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Digest of Republic v Hidalgo

Facts:
Mendoza, an alleged owner of the No. 1440 Arlegui St. San Miguel, Manila,
near Malacanang (Arlegui Property), filed a suit against the Republic for
reconveyance and declaration of nullity of a deed of sale between the
Republic and Fidel Vivar. Mendoza claimed that the Arlegui Property was
illegally and forcibly taken from her by the PSG of then President Marcos;
thus, making her the owner of the said property. On Mendozas 3 rd amended
complaint, RTC Manila ruled that the deed of sale between the Republic and
Fidel Vivar was null and void. Republic is ordered to pay P 143,600,000 and
P 1,480,627,688.
Issue:
(1)Whether or not RTC Manila committed grave abuse of discretion.
(2)Whether or not the Arlegui Property was legally owned by Mendoza.
Thus, entitled for reconveyance and monetary compensation.
(3)Whether or not the cost of suit and Hidalgos issuance of writ of
execution against government funds to satisfy money judgment is valid
Held:
(1)No. Grave Abuse of Discretion connotes capricious, despotic,
oppressive or whimsical exercise of judgment and conveys the notion
of willful and unreasoning action. The mere issuance by the trial court
of order of default following judgment by default is within Section 3,
Rule 9 of the Rules of Court.
(2)Yes. Evidence presented adequately supports the conclusion that the
Marcos Administration wrested possession of the property in question
and somehow secured a certificate of title over it without a conveying
deed. The Court accordingly granted private respondents basic plea
for recovery of the Arlegui property, which was legally hers all along.
However, the monetary award set forth therein was declared
erroneous. To the court, an award of P 20,000 a month for use and
occupancy of the Arlegui property beginning July 1975 until it vacates
the same is reasonable.
(3)

No. It is basic principle that government funds and properties may not
be seized under writ of execution or garnishment to satisfy a judgment.
Office of the President was ordered to make appropriate budgetary
arrangements to pay Mendoza.