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Philip Ray B.

Cases to be submitted to Judge Mia Joy Cawed, professor, remedial law review

1. G.R. No. 171095

June 22, 2015
On August 15, 2000, respondent with the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Cabanatuan
City a Complaint for mandamus and abatement of nuisance against petitioners and a
number of private persons namely, Rodel Puno, Vicente Mata, Tony Maderia, Rene
Maderia, and German Maderia (Puna, et al.).
Respondent alleged that he had intended to start a gasoline station business on
his lot in Aliaga, Nueva Ecija, but several illegal structures built on the road shoulder by
Puno, et al. wereobstructing access to his site. His demands for the removal of the
structures fell on deaf ears. He tried to seek assistance from petitioners but, the latter
similarly did not act.
Respondent prayed for the court to command petitioners to cause the removal of
all buildings and structures built on the concerned road shoulder by Puno, et al.On
February 14, 2001, the court rendered a Decision in favor of respondent.
As the decision became final and executory, respondent filed a Motion for the Issuance of
a Writ of Execution. A Writ of Execution was issued on May 25, 2001, however, as of June
13, 2001, the judgment has not been executed.
On April 13, 2005, respondent filed a Motion to Compel Defendants Mayor Marcial
Vargas and Engineer Raymundo Del Rosario to Implement the Writ of Execution and to
Explain Why They Should Not Be Cited for Contempt of Court.
Petitioners filed their own Motion to Quash Writ of Execution with Explanation Why
Public Defendants Should Not Be Cited for Contempt of Court on the following grounds:
(1) that it allegedly would compel the municipal engineer to exercise the powers and
duties of the mayor; (2) that it forces the mayor to perform a discretionary duty;(3) that
there was no exhaustion of administrative remedies; and, (4) that the judgment obligee
had no well-defined, clear and certain right to warrant the grant of mandamus.
On September 15, 2005, the RTC issued its assailed Orderdenying the motion filed
by petitioners. The court held that the mayor can be compelled to do his duty by writ of
Whether or not grounds exist to quash the writ of execution
No. Rule 39 of the Rules of Court states:
Section 1. Execution upon judgments or final orders. Execution shall issue as a
matter of right, or motion, upon a judgment or order that disposes of the action or
proceeding upon the expiration of the period to appeal therefrom if no appeal has been
duly perfected. (1a)
When a judgment is final and executory, it may no longer be modified in any respect,
except to correct clerical errors or to make nunc pro tunc entries, or when it is a void
judgment. Otherwise, the court which rendered judgment only has the ministerial duty to
issue a writ of execution.
The grounds to quash the writ of execution go into the substance and merits of
the case which had been decided with finality, and have no bearing on the validity of the
issuance of the writ of execution.

Petitioners may not raise in their opposition to the writ of execution issues that
they should have raised in the case during the trial proper or against the judgment via an
appeal. They may not object to the execution by raising new issues of fact or law, except
under the following circumstances:
(1) the writ of execution varies the judgment;
(2) there has been a change in the situation of the parties making execution inequitable
or unjust;
(3) execution is sought to be enforced against property exempt from execution;
(4) it appears that the controversy has been submitted to the judgment of the court;
(5) the terms of the judgment are not clear enough and there remains room for
interpretation thereof; or
(6) it appears that the writ of execution has been improvidently issued, or that it is
defective in substance, or issued against the wrong party, or that the judgment debt has
been paid or otherwise satisfied, or the writ was issued without authority
The petition is dismissed for lack of merit. The parties and the officers of the court below
are hereby ORDERED to IMPLEMENT the writ of execution with dispatch.

2. G.R. No. 213197, October 21, 2015

REMEGIO A. CHING, Petitioner,

Respondent SPCBA is a domestic non-stock and non-profit corporation. Its original

incorporators and members included petitioner Remegio A. Ching (Remegio). In a letter,
dated September 19, 2001, Remegio tendered his irrevocable resignation since the Board
of Trustees has taken over his functions as well as his duties as Treasurer of SPCBA since
February 2002.
To SPCBA, the tenor of Remegio's resignation was not only as a trustee and
treasurer, but also as its member. For said reason, he was paid the amount of
P20,000,000.00 representing the buy-out price of his interest in SPCBA.
The First Case
On June 10, 2010, Remegio filed an intra-corporate case before the RTC for the
inspection of corporate books. He sought the recognition of his right to inspect the
corporate books of SPCBA as its member, alleging that his resignation letter covered his
trusteeship and treasurership positions only and not his membership in SPCBA. In its
February 14, 2011, The RTC agreed with Remegio.
SPCBA then went to the CA seeking the reversal of the RTC decision. On March 1,
2011, SPCBA filed a "notice of appeal, however, the correct mode of appeal was through
a petition for review under Rule 43 of the Rules of Court. For taking the wrong mode, the
CA dismissed the appeal. The SC affirmed the CA decision. It further denied with finality
SPCBAs motion for reconsideration in the February 29, 2012 minute resolution.
Earlier, on February 16, 2012, SPCBA's Board of Trustees resolved to "affirm
and/or confirm the previous removal of Mr. Remigio A. Ching, not only as Trustee and
Treasurer, but also as a Member of the Corporation, primarily due to the payment unto
said Mr. Remegio A. Ching, the buy out of sum of Twenty Million Pesos, for all his rights as
Trustee, Treasurer and Member of the Corporation. On April 4, 2012, the judgment of the
Court, which effectively affirmed the conclusions of the RTC in became final and
The Present Case
On April 26, 2012, respondent filed a complaintto declare petitioner legally and/or
validly removed as trustee, treasurer and member pursuant to the February 16, 2012
Joint Resolution. Respondent sought to prevent petitioner from filing a nuisance and/or
harassment suits against it and for the RTC to affirm/confirm his removal as a member on
the basis of the February 16, 2012 Board Resolution.

On the matter of his membership in SPCBA, petitioner countered that res judicata
had already set in following the decision rendered by the RTC. Thus, the issue on his
membership could not be made an issue again. In its December 11, 2012, RTC ruled that
the principle of res judicata already barred respondent from claiming that he was not a
member of SPCBA.
In a petition for certiorari filed by respondent under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court,
the CA reversed the RTC order. The CA reasoned out that there was a marked difference
in the causes of action between the cases. It stated that the present case introduced a
fact which did not exist at the time the first case was filed and terminated, giving SPCBA
a new cause of action under Section 91 of the Corporation Code pertaining to termination
of membership or expulsion of a member from a non-stock corporation. Petitioner moved
for reconsideration, but was denied by the CA.
Whether or not the CA erred in not affirming the application by the RTC in the second
case of the principle of res judicata
Yes. The issue on petitioners membership, as finally settled in the first case, is res
judicata Under the present Rules of Court, the doctrine of res judicata appears in Section
47 of Rule 39 as follows:
Sec. 47. Effect of judgments or final orders. The effect of a judgment or final order
rendered by a court or judge of the Philippines, having jurisdiction to pronounce the
judgment or final order, may be as follows:
(b) In other cases, the judgment or final order is, with respect to the matter directly
adjudged or as to any other matter that could have been raised in relation thereto,
conclusive between the parties and their successors-in-interest, by title subsequent to
the commencement of the action or special proceeding, litigating for the same thing and
under the same title and in the same capacity; and
(c) In any other litigation between the same parties or their successors-in-interest, that
only is deemed to have been adjudged in a former judgment or final order which appears
upon its face to have been so adjudged, or which was actually and necessarily included
therein or necessary thereto.
Issue preclusion finds application when a fact or question has been squarely put in
issue, judicially passed upon, and adjudged in a former suit by a court of competent
jurisdiction. For issue preclusion to be applicable, (1) the issue or fact sought to be
precluded must be identical to the issue or fact actually determined in a former suit, (2)
the party to be precluded must be party to or was in privity with a party to the former
proceeding; (3) there was final judgment on the merits in the former proceedings, and (4)
in compliance with the basic tenet of due process, that the party against whom the
principle is asserted must have had full and fair opportunity to litigate issues in the prior
The issue of petitioners membership was fully determined or disposed of by the RTC in
the first case, in a decision which became final and executory on April 4, 2012. The
parties are the same and the issues are essentially the same.
The issue of petitioner's membership was indispensable in the first case because
his prayer to be permitted to inspect the books of SPCBA depended on its resolution. This
indispensability of factual determination in a prior case supports the conclusion that res
judicata in the concept of issue preclusion is applicable.
In sum, the confluence of all the elements of res judicata in the concept of
conclusiveness of judgment or issue preclusion bars respondent from relitigating the
same issue of petitioner's membership.
The petition is granted.

3. G.R. No. 206653

February 25, 2015
YUK LING ONG, Petitioner,
BENJAMIN T. CO, Respondent.
Petitioner, a British-Hong Kong national, and respondent, a Filipino citizen were
married on October 3, 1982. Sometime in November 2008, petitioner learned that her
marriage with respondent was declared void ab initio on the ground of psychological
incapacity under Article 36 of the Family Code in a decision in December 11, 2002 by RTC
in Paranaque City.
It appears that on April 26, 2001, respondent filed a petition for declaration of
nullityon the ground of psychological incapacity before the RTC. The recorded address of
the petitioner was 600 Elcano St., Binondo, Manila. There was no showing of its status,
whether pending, withdrawn or terminated.
On July 19, 2002, respondent filed another similar petition, indicating petitioners
address as 23 Sta. Rosa Street, Unit B-2 Manresa Garden Homes, Quezon City.
On July 29, 2002, the RTC issued summons. In the Servers Return, substituted service of
summons with the copy of the petition was effected on August 1, 2002 after several futile
attempts to serve the same personally on petitioner. The said documents were received
by Mr. Roly Espinosa, a security officer.
On December 11, 2002, the RTC rendered a decisionfinding respondents marriage
with petitioner as void ab initio on the ground of psychological incapacity under Article 36
of the Family Code. Consequently, petitioner filed a petition for annulment of judgment,

claiming that she was never notified of the cases filed against her.She prayed that the
decisionbe nullified on the grounds of extrinsic fraud, as respondent deliberately
indicated a wrong address to prevent her participation in the proceedings, and lack of
jurisdiction because of an invalid substituted service of summons.
On the service of summons, petitioner stated that there was no sufficient
explanation showing impossibility of personal service before process server resorted to
substituted service of summons. Moreover, that the alleged substituted service was
made on a security guard of their townhouse and not on a member of her household.
The CA upheld the December 11, 2002 decision of the RTC and further ruled that
the substituted service of summons was valid. It found that there was a customary
practice in petitioners townhouse that the security guard would first entertain any
visitors and receive any communication in behalf of the homeowners, making it
impossible for the process server to personally serve the summons upon petitioner. The
CA also declared a presumption of regularity in the process servers duties and functions.
Whether or not the RTC validly acquired jurisdiction over the person of the petitioner
No. Under Sections 6 and 7 of Rule 14 of the Rules of Court, if the defendant does
not voluntarily appear in court, jurisdiction can be acquired by personal or substituted
service of summons:
Sec. 6. Service in person on defendant. - Whenever practicable, the summons shall be
served by handing a copy thereof to the defendant in person, or, if he refuses to receive
and sign for it, by tendering it to him.
Sec. 7. Substituted Service. - If, for justifiable causes, the defendant cannot be served
within a reasonable time as provided in the preceding section, service may be effected
(a) by leaving copies of the summons at the defendant's residence with some person of
suitable age and discretion then residing therein, or (b) by leaving the copies at
defendant's office or regular place of business with some competent person in charge
In the case, the summons was issued on July 29, 2002. The process server
resorted to substituted service of summons on August 1, 2002, after only two (2) days
from the issuance of the summons.
The servers return utterly lacks sufficient detail of the attempts undertaken by
the process server to personally serve the summons on petitioner.It simply stated that
the summons was received "by Mr. Roly Espinosa of sufficient age and discretion, the
Security Officer thereat." It did not expound on the competence of the security officer to
receive the summons.
Moreover, the presumption of regularity in the performance of official duty was
never intended to be applied even in cases where there are no showing of substantial
compliance with the requirements of the rules of procedure. Such presumption does not
apply where it is patent that the sheriff's or server's return is defective.
The petition is granted.

4. G.R. No. 126603 June 29, 1998

HON. RODOLFO A. ORTIZ, Presiding Judge, RTC-Br. 89, Quezon City, HAJA PUTRI
On May 31, 1958, Senator Mamintal Abdul JabarTamano (Tamano) married private
respondent in civil rites. Their marriage supposedly remained valid and subsisting until
his death on 18 May 1994. Prior to his death, particularly on 2 June 1993, Tamano also
married petitioner Estrellita J. Tamano (Estrellita) in civil rites in Malabang, Lanao del Sur.
On November 23, 1994, private respondent Zorayda, joined by her son Adib A. Tamano
(Adib), filed a Complaint for Declaration of Nullify of Marriage of Tamano and Estrellita on

the ground that it was bigamous. Private respondents alleged that Tamano never
divorced Zorayda and that Estrellita was not single when she married Tamano as the
decision annulling her previous marriage with Romeo C. Llave never became final and
executory for non-compliance with publication requirements.
Estrellita filed a motion to dismiss on the ground that the RTC-Quezon City has no
jurisdiction over the subject and nature of the action. She alleged that "only a party to
the marriage" could file an action for annulment of marriage against the other spouse,
hence, it was only Tamano who could file an action for annulment of their marriage.
Moreover, she contended that since Tamano and Zorayda were both Muslims and married
in Muslim rites the jurisdiction to hear and try the instant case was vested in the shari'a
courts pursuant to Art. 155 of the Code of Muslim Personal Laws.
The lower court denied the motion to dismiss and ruled that the instant case was
properly cognizable by the RTC since Estrellita and Tamano were married in accordance
with the Civil Code and not exclusively in accordance with PD No. 1083 or the Code of
Muslim Personal laws.
Whether or not the RTC has jurisdiction over a Complaint for Declaration of Nullify of
Marriage involving Muslims married in Muslim rites
Yes. Under The Judiciary Reorganization Act of 1980,RTCs have jurisdiction over all
actions involving the contract of marriage and marital relations. Personal actions, such as
the instant complaint for declaration of nullity of marriage, may be commenced and tried
where the plaintiff or any of the principal plaintiffs resides, or where the defendant or any
of the principal defendants resides, at the election of the plaintiff.
The complaint alleged that Estrellita and Tamano were married in accordance with
the provisions of the Civil Code. The fact that they were married under Muslim laws was
first mentioned only in her Motion for Reconsideration.The RTC was not divested of
jurisdiction to hear and try the instant case despite the allegation in the Motion for
Reconsideration that Estrellita and Tamano were likewise married in Muslim rites.
A court's jurisdiction cannot be made to depend upon defenses set up in the answer, in a
motion to dismiss, or in a motion for reconsideration, but only upon the allegations of the
Assuming that indeed petitioner and Tamano were likewise married under Muslim
laws, the same would still fall under the general original jurisdiction of the Regional Trial
Courts. Article 13 of PD No. 1083 does not provide for a situation where the parties were
married both in civil and Muslim rites. Consequently, the shari'a courts are not vested
with original and exclusive jurisdiction when it comes to marriages celebrated under both
civil and Muslim laws. Consequently, the Regional Trial Courts are not divested of their
general original jurisdiction under Sec. 19, par. (6) of BP Blg. 129 which provides
Sec. 19. Jurisdiction in Civil Cases. Regional Trial Courts shall exercise exclusive original
jurisdiction: . . . (6) In all cases not within the exclusive jurisdiction of any court, tribunal,
person or body exercising judicial or quasi-judicial functions . . .
The petition is denied.

5.A.M. No. RTJ-15-2422 [Formerly OCA I.P.I. No. 13-4129-RTJ], July 20, 2015
256, MUNTINLUPA CITY, Respondent.

On February 1, 2012, complainant filed her Amended Petitionbefore the RTC,

praying for the issuance of new owner's duplicate copy of Transfer Certificate of Title
(TCT) No. 3460. The case was raffled to the branch presided by respondent judge.
The amended petition alleged that complainant was one of the heirs of Juan
Gilbuena (Gilbuena); that TCT No. 3460 was registered under the name of Gilbuena; and
that the owner's duplicate copy of the said title had remained missing despite their
On May 18, 2012, respondent judge granted the petition on the basis of
complainants evidence since no opposition was raised. The RTC decision became final
and executory on July 3, 2012 and the Certificate of Finality was issued on July 6, 2012.
On October 15, 2012, a Manifestation by the Registry of Deedsacting records
officer stated that upon examination of the documents submitted to their office, it
appeared that TCT No. 3460 had long been cancelled as early as April 2, 1924; that on
August 16, 2012, the RD issued a letter recalling the approval of the annotation of the
Affidavit of Loss on TCT No. 3460 after it was discovered that the said title was already
cancelled and, therefore, could no longer be the subject of any transaction; that the
discovery of the cancellation of the title was sometime in August 2012, when their office
found out that several titles had already originated from said title; that the truth was that
the title was not lost, rather, it was cancelled by virtue of valid transactions and
conveyance as early as April 2, 1924; and that the basis of the petition for issuance of
new owner's duplicate, which was an affidavit of loss, was totally false, untrue and
Acting thereon, respondent judge issued an order requiring the complainant
and all the parties concerned to attend a hearing on November 7, 2012. The complainant
did not appear in court. On June 21, 2013, Judge Catalo recalled and set aside the May
Aggrieved, complainant filed the subject administrative complaint before the
Court alleging that Judge Catalo committed gross misconduct for recalling a final and
executory judgment. Complainant prays that Judge Catalo be dismissed from the service
For his part, the respondent judge explained that although a final judgment is
immutable and unalterable, such rule is not absolute as it admits exceptions such as
The Office of the Court Administrator (OCA) opined that respondent judge was
administratively liable, not for gross misconduct, but for gross ignorance of the law.
According to the OCA, when the May 18, 2012 decision became final and executory on
July 3, 2012, it became immutable and unalterable. Thus, respondent judge inexcusably
and wrongfully ignored such basic principle when he decided to motuproprio recall his
own final decision.
Whether or not the final and executory judgment is absolutely immutable and
No. Under the doctrine of finality of judgment or immutability of judgment, a
decision that has acquired finality becomes immutable and unalterable, and may no
longer be modified in any respect. However, there are recognized exceptions to this

general rule such as (1) the correction of clerical errors, the so-called nunc pro tunc
entries which cause no prejudice to any party, (2) void judgments, and (3) whenever
circumstances transpire after the finality of the decision rendering its execution unjust
Under the second exception, a void judgment for want of jurisdiction is no
judgment at all. It neither is a source of any right nor the creator of any obligation. All
acts performed pursuant to it and all claims emanating from it have no legal effect.
Hence, it can never become final and any writ of execution based on it is void. It may be
said to be a lawless thing which can be treated as an outlaw and slain at sight, or ignored
wherever and whenever it exhibits its head.Under the law, if there are facts and
circumstances that would render a judgment void or unjust after its finality, and render
its execution a complete nullity, such judgment cannot exude immutability.
Respondent judge correctly recalled the judgment because the second and third
exceptions on the doctrine of finality of judgments were squarely applicable. After the
finality of the RTC decision on July 3, 2012, it was discovered that TCT No. 3460 had been
cancelled as early as April 2, 1924. Complainant failed to support his stand when she was
given the opportunity to do so.
Respondent judge realized an execution of such judgment would definitely be
unjust and inequitable as it would be sanctioning fraud and irregularity. It would judicially
permit the issuance of a new owner's duplicate copy of a title which was no longer in
Respondent judge correctly rectified his questionable decision. Had he not acted
responsibly, the void judgment would have spawned double and conflicting titles and
would have wreaked havoc on the revered Torrens System of land registration. Hence, he
committed no gross ignorance of the law.
The complaint is dismissed.

6. G.R. No. 194176, September 10, 2014

Limuel C. Narciso, et. al vs. Pacific Traders and Manufacturing Corp.,

et. Al

The Facts:
The petitioners were hired on different dates by Pacific Traders Manufacturing
Corporation (PTMC). Tabok Muti-Purpose Cooperative is a cooperative duly registered
with the Cooperative Development Authority, one of the purposes of which is to engage
in job out works for PTMC. The petitioners filed a complaint for illegal dismissal against
PTMC and TWMPC in 2004, alleging that they were referred to TWMPC by PTMC because
the latter refused to sign a casual or probationary employment contract with them.
TWMPC on the other hand treated them with indifference, and when they reported the
latters failure to provide them proper labor benefits, TWMPC terminated them from
employment without just or authorize ed cause. PTMC denied the allegation that
petitioners were its regular employees; they were assigned to the company by TWMPC,
one of its legitimate labor contractors. When their contracts expired, the petitioners
executed their respective Releases and Quitclaims; at the time of the filing of their
complaints, the company had long terminated its relations with petitioners. TWMPC
affirmed that petitioners were its employees; their disagreement started when the Board
of Directors contemplated pakyaw system instead of the per hour arrangement, to
which petitioners objected, thus they agreed to leave TWMPC provided they were paid
separation pay; despite this verbal agreement, petitioners still filed with the DOLE and
NLRC. The DOLE case was eventually settled, but the NLRC case proceeded.
The Labor Arbiter in its decision, dismissed the case filed by petitioners, holding
them not regular employees of PTMC and not illegally dismissed, but ordered TWMPC to
pay them separation pay and other labor benefits. Both petitioners and TWMPC
appealed the ruling to the NLRC, but both appeals were dismissed by the NLRC for failure
to attach the requisite Certificate of Non-Forum Shopping.
Petitioners moved for
reconsideration of the dismissal and submitted a Motion to Admit Certificate of NonForum Shopping pleading for a liberal application of procedural rules in the interest of
substantial justice; still, the NLRC denied reconsideration, thus petitioners filed a petition
for certiorari with the CA to assail the dismissal of their appeal.
Holding that petitioners failed to cite a compelling reason for relaxation of the
rules, the CA dismissed the petition for certiorari, ruling that petitioners failed to attach
the Certification Against Non-Forum shopping within the reglementary period for filing
the Memorandum Appeal. Thus, petitioners resorted to a petition for review on certiorari,
assailing the CA decision.
Whether or not the CA erred in dismissing the case for failure to attach the Certificate of
Non-Forum shopping.
The petition is denied.

At the outset, it bears to emphasize that the findings of the NLRC are generally
binding and should be treated with finality. The CA only looks at the facts to determine if
a tribunal, board or officer exercising judicial or quasi-judicial functions acted without or
in excess of its or his jurisdiction, or with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or
excess of jurisdiction in appreciating the facts.
Hence, in ruling on the correctness of the CAs review of the NLRC decision, this
Court is confined to a review of the case solely on pure questions of law. We are tasked to
view the CA decision in the same context that the petition for certiorari it ruled upon was
presented; we have to examine the CA decision from the prism of whether it correctly
determined the presence or absence of grave abuse of discretion in the NLRC decision
before it, not on the basis of whether the NLRC decision on the merits of the case was
correct. In other words, we have to be keenly aware that the CA undertook a Rule 65
review, not a review on appeal, of the challenged NLRC decision.
In question form, the question to ask is: Did the CA correctly determine whether
the NLRC committed grave abuse of discretion in ruling on the case?
Grave abuse of discretion connotes utter absence of any basis for the NLRC ruling.
The attendant facts and records on hand show otherwise. A certificate of non-forum
shopping is a requisite for the perfection of an appeal. This is clearly enunciated in
Section 4, Rule VI of the 2005 Revised Rules of Procedure of the NLRC (2005 NLRC
Sec. 4. Requisites For Perfection Of Appeal. a) The appeal shall be: 1) filed within the
reglementary period provided in Section 1 of this Rule; 2) verified by the appellant
himself in accordance with Section 4, Rule 7 of the Rules of Court, as amended; 3) in the
form of a memorandum of appeal which shall state the grounds relied upon and the
arguments in support thereof, the relief prayed for, and with a statement of the date the
appellant received the appealed decision, resolution or order; 4) in three (3) legibly
typewritten or printed copies; and 5) accompanied by i) proof of payment of the required
appeal fee; ii) posting of a cash or surety bond as provided in Section 6 of this Rule; iii) a
certificate of non-forum shopping; and iv) proof of service upon the other parties. The
petitioners aver that the CA should have granted their petition for certiorari and relaxed
the NLRC Rules of Procedure because on page 53 of their memorandum on appeal is the
caption Verification and Certification. However, the counsel for the petitioners
inadvertently deleted the paragraphs intended for the certification of non-forum
shopping. They assert that they were in a hurry in preparing the memorandum due to the
very limited time of 10 days to file the same. They proffer these as justifiable causes for
their non-compliance with the NLRC Rules of Procedure and submit that their belated
filing of the certificate in their motion for reconsideration was substantial compliance.
They further aver that the outright dismissal of their appeal on a mere technicality would
seriously impair the orderly administration of justice.
The petitioners arguments are devoid of merit. The subsequent compliance with
the requirement does not excuse a partys failure to comply therewith in the first
instance. While the Court, in certain cases, has excused non-compliance with the
requirement to submit a certificate of non-forum shopping, such liberal posture has
always been grounded on special circumstances or compelling reasons which made the
strict application of the rule clearly unjustified or inequitable.
Here, the reasons cited by the petitioners for their failure to attach the certificate
in their appeal memorandum can hardly be considered as special circumstances or
compelling reasons to warrant a liberal application of the rules of procedure. Moreover,
based on the facts of the case, a strict application of a technical rule will not prejudice
the administration of justice in view of the petitioners unmeritorious claims.
It is true that in labor cases, technical rules are not necessarily fatal and they can
be liberally applied. However, this principle can only operate if, all things being equal,
any doubt or ambiguity would be resolved in favor of labor. Should the case be

substantively unmeritorious, technicalities and limitations in procedural rules must be

fully enforced.
The claims advanced by the petitioners failed to yield substantive
merit. First, their money claims have already been amicably settled and paid in the
concurrent labor case they filed before the DOLE. The Quitclaim and Release signed by
the petitioners show that they already received payment for their claims from TWMPC
and PTMC. The quitclaims were duly attested by Atty. Joy Lily Elumir-Tan, Chief of the
Labor Relations Division of the DOLE, Region VII, Cebu City.
Second, the LA correctly ruled that the petitioners allegations did not bear out a
case for illegal dismissal. The alleged termination from employment was merely
presumed by the petitioners from their disagreement with TWMPC when the latter
announced its plans to shift to a pakyaw system of compensation instead of the per
hour scheme. We defer to the factual findings of the LA considering its expertise on labor
matters and its inimitable opportunity to assess the parties claims first-hand. As
observed by the LA, the petitioners verbally agreed to settle the disagreement by
withdrawing their membership and monetary interests from the cooperative. They later
on filed the illegal dismissal suit just to obtain more monetary consideration from TWMPC
in the form of a separation pay. Meanwhile, PTMC was not the employer of the petitioners
and it hired them long before the present controversy arose. They were hired as casual or
contractual employees through their job contractor TWMPC.
In fine, in the absence of justifiable and compelling reasons, a liberal application
of procedural rules is not warranted in this case. The Court thus agrees with the CA that
no grave abuse of discretion is attributable to the NLRC when it found no justification to
excuse the absence of a certificate of non-forum shopping in the petitioners
memorandum on appeal.

G.R. No. 202989, March 25, 2015
COMGLASCO CORP/Aguila Glass vs. Santos Car Check Center Corp.
In the year 2000, Santos Car Check Center and Comglasco Corporation entered into a
contract of lease for five years of a showroom in Iloilo City. However, Comglasco advised
Santos Car Check Center that it is pre-terminating the lease effective December 1, 2001,
to which Santos did not accede, citing that their contract was for five years. Comglasco
vacated the premises on January 15, 2002 and stopped paying any rentals. Despite
several demands, Comglasco ignored the demand letters, hence Santos filed a case for
breach of contract. In its answer, Comglasco averred that business setbacks caused by
the 1997 financial crisis caused it to pre-terminate the contract, which allows pretermination with cause in the first three years of the contract and without cause after the
third year. Invoking Article 1267 of the Civil Code, it averred that it is authorised to preterminate the contract before the lapse of the three years.
Santos moved for a judgment on the pleading, which the RTC granted. It held Comglasco
liable for unpaid rentals from January 16, 2002 to August 15, 2003, as well as attorneys
fees, litigation expenses and exemplary damages. Comglasco appealed to the CA, but
the same was denied. Hence, Comglasco filed a petition for review on certiorari with the
Supreme Court, arguing that judgment on the pleadings was not proper in the case as it
cannot be deemed to have admitted the material allegations in the complaint in its
Answer, having pleaded a valid cause (Business reverses caused by the 1997 financial
crisis). The RTC should have ordered the reception of evidence for that purpose, after

which a summary judgment would have been proper. It also insists that its rentals in
advance should be deducted from the award of damages.
Whether or not judgment on the pleadings is proper in the case.
The petition is denied.
Comglasco maintains that the RTC was wrong to rule that its answer to Santos
complaint tendered no issue, or admitted the material allegations therein; that the court
should have heard it out on the reason it invoked to justify its action to pre-terminate the
parties lease; that therefore a summary judgment would have been the proper recourse,
after a hearing.
In Philippine National Construction Corporation v. CA (PNCC), which also involves
the termination of a lease of property by the lessee due to financial, as well as technical,
difficulties, the Court ruled:
The obligation to pay rentals or deliver the thing in a contract of lease falls within
the prestation to give; hence, it is not covered within the scope of Article 1266. At any
rate, the unforeseen event and causes mentioned by petitioner are not the legal or
physical impossibilities contemplated in said article. Besides, petitioner failed to state
specifically the circumstances brought about by the abrupt change in the political
climate in the country except the alleged prevailing uncertainties in government policies
on infrastructure projects.
The principle of rebus sic stantibus neither fits in with the facts of the case. Under
this theory, the parties stipulate in the light of certain prevailing conditions, and once
these conditions cease to exist, the contract also ceases to exist. This theory is said to
be the basis of Article 1267 of the Civil Code, which provides:
Art. 1267. When the service has become so difficult as to be manifestly beyond the
contemplation of the parties, the obligor may also be released therefrom, in whole or in
This article, which enunciates the doctrine of unforeseen events, is not, however,
an absolute application of the principle of rebus sic stantibus, which would endanger the
security of contractual relations. The parties to the contract must be presumed to have
assumed the risks of unfavorable developments. It is therefore only in absolutely
exceptional changes of circumstances that equity demands assistance for the debtor.
In this case, petitioner wants this Court to believe that the abrupt change in the
political climate of the country after the EDSA Revolution and its poor financial condition
rendered the performance of the lease contract impractical and inimical to the corporate
survival of the petitioner.
The RTC acted correctly in resorting to Section 1 of Rule 34, on Judgment on the
Pleadings, to cut short a needless trial. This Court agrees with the CA that Comglasco
cannot cite Article 1267 of the Civil Code, and that it must be deemed to have admitted
the material allegations in the complaint.
Section 1, Rule 34 reads:
Sec. 1. Judgment on the pleadings. Where an answer fails to tender an issue, or
otherwise admits the material allegations of the adverse partys pleading, the court may,
on motion of that party, direct judgment on such pleading. However, in actions for
declaration of nullity or annulment of marriage or for legal separation, the material facts
alleged in the complaint shall always be proved.
A judgment on the pleadings is a judgment on the facts as pleaded, and is based
exclusively upon the allegations appearing in the pleadings of the parties and the

accompanying annexes It is settled that the trial court has the discretion to grant a
motion for judgment on the pleadings filed by a party if there is no controverted matter
in the case after the answer is filed A genuine issue of fact is that which requires the
presentation of evidence, as distinguished from a sham, fictitious, contrived or false
issue. Come to think of it, under Rule 35, on Summary Judgments, Comglasco had
recourse to move for summary judgment, wherein it could have adduced supporting
evidence to justify its action on the parties lease, but it did not do so. Section 2 of Rule
35 provides:
Sec. 2. Summary judgment for defending party. A party against whom a claim,
counterclaim, or cross-claim is asserted or a declaratory relief is sought may, at any
time,move with supporting affidavits, depositions or admissions for a summary judgment
in his favor as to all or any part thereof.
Concerning, now, whether Comglascos alleged rental deposit and advance
rentals of P309,000.00 should be credited to Comglascos account, let it suffice to state
that it never raised this matter in its answer to the complaint, nor in its appeal to the CA.
Certainly, it cannot do so now.
Finally, as to whether attorneys fees may be recovered by Santos, Article 2208(2)
of the Civil Code justifies the award thereof, in the absence of stipulation, where the
defendants act or omission has compelled the plaintiff to incur expenses to protect his
interest. The pre-termination of the lease by Comglasco was not due to any fault of
Santos, and Comglasco completely ignored all four demands of Santos to pay the rentals
due from January 16, 2002 to August 15, 2003, thereby compelling Santos to sue to
obtain relief.
It is true that the policy of the Court is that no premium should be placed on the
right to litigate,but it is also true that attorneys fees are in the nature of actual damages,
the reason being that litigation costs money. But the Court agrees with the CA that the
lesser amount of P100,000.00 it awarded to Santos instead of P200,000.00 adjudged by
the RTC, is more reasonable.

8. Spouses Abelardo and Francisca Valarao vs. MSC and COMPANY (G.R. No.
185331, June 8, 2016)
MSC and Company (MSC) entered into a Memorandum of Agreement with Spouses
Valarao to develop the latters landholding in Angat, Bulacan for residential use. The
parties had subsequent Contract Agreement where Spouses Valarao undertook to
reimburse MSCs expenses for the projects topographic survey, site relocation,
subdivision plans and specifications. They also agreed to give an advance payment of
P8,550,000.00 as mobilization expenses for land development which will be paid upon
the contract's execution. However, Spouses Valarao failed to pay after demand and even
after MSC completed 30% of the project.
MSC instituted the court action for collection of sum of money, damages and
rescission. On April 5, 2006, RTC rendered its decision in favor of MSC, ordering the
spouses to pay the former P16,349,035.60 and other reliefs sought by MSC. Aggrieved by
the decision, Spouses Valarao appealed to the Court of Appeals (CA) but was denied
appeal in its decision dated February 21, 2008 and affirming the decision of the RTC. The
CAs decision became final on March 19, 2008 considering that no motion for
reconsideration or Supreme Court petition has been filed by MSC and that no Supreme
Court petition has been filed by Spouses Valarao. Spouses Valarao brought the matter to
the Supreme Court via petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of
Court, claiming that they have timely submitted a Motion for Reconsideration on March
11, 2008.
ISSUE: Did the decision of CA dated February 21, 2008 become final and executory
considering the alleged timely filing of the Motion for Reconsideration on March 11,
Yes, the decision of CA dated February 21, 2008 had become final and executory.
The alleged timely submitted Motion for Reconsideration filed on March 11, 2008 was not
properly filed in its due form considering that the copy of the motion attached to the
petition lacked material portions, including the end of its prayer and the required
signature of counsel. Further, the counsel of Spouses Valarao failed to file a timely Motion
for Extension or Petition with the Supreme Court despite the receipt of the May 28, 2008
resolution denying his motion for reconsideration. The doctrine of finality or immutability
of judgment has already set in. Under this doctrine, a decision that has acquired finality
becomes immutable and unalterable, and may no longer be modified in any respect,
even if the modification is meant to correct erroneous conclusions of fact and law, and
whether it be made by the court that rendered it or by the Highest Court of the land. Any
act which violates this principle must immediately be struck down. Although there are
exceptions to this doctrine, none of the circumstance attends the above-mentioned case.


GR No. 165569
This case began with a Complaint for Damages filed by respondent Danes B.
Sanchez (respondent) against the University of Santo Tomas (UST) and its Board of
Directors, the Dean and the Assistant Dean of the UST College of Nursing, and the
University Registrar for their alleged unjustified refusal to release the respondents
Transcript of Records (ToR).
In his Complaint, respondent alleged that he graduated from UST on April 2, 2002
with a Bachelors Degree of Science in Nursing. He was included in the list of candidates
for graduation and attended graduation ceremonies. On April 18, 2002, respondent
sought to secure a copy of his ToR with the UST Registrars Office, paid the required fees,
but was only given a Certificate of Graduation by the Registrar. Despite repeated
attempts by the respondent to secure a copy of his ToR, and submission of his class cards
as proof of his enrolment, UST refused to release his records, making it impossible for
him to take the nursing board examinations, and depriving him of the opportunity to
make a living. The respondent prayed that the RTC order UST to release his ToR and hold
UST liable for actual, moral, and exemplary damages, attorneys fees, and the costs of
Instead of filing an Answer, petitioners filed a Motion to Dismiss where they
claimed that they refused to release respondents ToR because he was not a registered
student, since he had not been enrolled in the university for the last three semesters.
They claimed that the respondents graduation, attendance in classes, and taking/passing
of examinations were immaterial because he ceased to be a student when he failed to
enroll during the second semester of school year 2000-2001. They also sought the
dismissal of the case on the ground that the complaint failed to state a cause of action.
After the parties filed their responsive pleadings,petitioners filed a Supplement to
their Motion to Dismiss, alleging that respondent sought administrative recourse before
the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) through a letter-complaint dated January
21, 2003. Thus, petitioners claimed that the CHED had primary jurisdiction to resolve
matters pertaining to school controversies, and the filing of the instant case was
1. Whether or not CHED exercises quasi-judicial power over controversies involving
school matters and has primary jurisdiction over respondents demand for the release of
his ToR.
2. Whether or not the Complaint failed to state a cause of action, since respondent
admitted that he was not enrolled in UST in the last three semesters prior to graduation.
1. The rule on primary jurisdiction applies only where the administrative agency
exercises quasi-judicial or adjudicatory functions. Thus, an essential requisite for this
doctrine to apply is the actual existence of quasi-judicial power. However, petitioners

have not shown that the CHED possesses any such power to investigate facts or
ascertain the existence of facts, hold hearings, weigh evidence, and draw conclusions.
Indeed, Section 8 of Republic Act No. 7722 otherwise known as the Higher Education Act
of 1994, certainly does not contain any express grant to the CHED of judicial or quasijudicial power.
2. The Complaint states a cause of action. Under Rule 16, Section 1(g) of the Rules
of Court, a motion to dismiss may be made on the ground that the pleading asserting the
claim states no cause of action. To clarify the essential test required to sustain dismissal
on this ground, we have explained that the test of the sufficiency of the facts found in a
petition, to constitute a cause of action, is whether admitting the facts alleged, the court
could render a valid judgment upon the same in accordance with the prayer of the
petition. Stated otherwise, a complaint is said to assert a sufficient cause of action if,
admitting what appears solely on its face to be correct, the plaintiff would be entitled to
the relief prayed for. The Complaint makes the following essential allegations: that
petitioners unjustifiably refused to release respondents ToR despite his having obtained a
degree from UST; that petitioners claim that respondent was not officially enrolled is
untrue; that as a result of petitioners unlawful actions, respondent has not been able to
take the nursing board exams since 2002; that petitioners actions violated Articles 19-21
of the Civil Code; and that petitioners should be ordered to release respondents ToR and
held liable for P400,000.00 as moral damages, P50,000.00 as exemplary damages,
P50,000.00 as attorneys fees and costs of suit, and P15,000.00 as actual damages.
10. G.R. No. 203775
August 5, 2014

On 28 August 2012, The Supreme Court affirmed COMELEC Resolution SPP 10013, cancelling the certificate of registration of the Alliance of Barangay Concerns (ABC)
Party-List which won in the party-list elections in the 2010 national elections. The
disqualification of the ABC Party-List resulted in the re-computation of the party-list
allocations in the House of Representatives, in which the COMELEC followed the formula
outlined in the case of Barangay Association for National Advancement and Transparency
(BANAT) v. Commission on Elections. The COMELEC then issued Minute Resolution No. 120859.
Petitioners Association of Flood Victims and Jaime Aguilar Hernandez filed with
the Court a special civil action for certiorari and/or mandamus under Rule 65 of the Rules
of Court. Petitioners assert that the COMELEC committed grave abuse of discretion when
it issued Minute Resolution No. 12-0859. Furthermore, petitioners pray for the issuance of
a writ of mandamus to compel publication of the COMELEC Minute Resolution No. 120859.
The Issues
(1) whether the COMELEC committed grave abuse of discretion in issuing Minute
Resolution No. 12-0859;
(2) whether the COMELEC may be compelled through mandamus to publish Minute
Resolution No. 12-0859.
Petition Dismissed.

Petitioners do not have legal capacity to sue, hence no reason to discuss the
issues raised in the case at bar. Sections 1 and 2, Rule 3 of the 1997 Rules of Civil
Procedure read:
SECTION 1. Who may be parties; plaintiff and defendant. Only natural or juridical
persons, or entities authorized by law may be parties in a civil action. The term "plaintiff"
may refer to the claiming party, the counter-claimant, the cross-claimant, or the third
(fourth, etc.) -party plaintiff. The term "defendant" may refer to the original defending
party, the defendant in a counterclaim, the cross-defendant, or the third (fourth, etc.)
-party defendant.
SECTION 2. Parties in interest. A real party in interest is the party who stands to be
benefited or injured by the judgment in the suit, or the party entitled to the avails of the
suit. Unless otherwise authorized by law or these Rules, every action must be prosecuted
or defended in the name of the real party in interest.
Under Sections 1 and 2 of Rule 3, only natural or juridical persons, or entities authorized
by law may be parties in a civil action, which must be prosecuted or defended in the
name of the real party in interest. Article 44 of the Civil Code lists the juridical persons
with capacity to sue, thus:
Art. 44. The following are juridical persons:
(1) The State and its political subdivisions;
(2) Other corporations, institutions and entities for public interest or purpose, created by
law; their personality begins as soon as they have been constituted according to law;
(3) Corporations, partnerships and associations for private interest or purpose to which
the law grants a juridical personality, separate and distinct from that of each shareholder,
partner or member.
Section 4, Rule 8 of the Rules of Court mandates that "[f]acts showing the
capacity of a party to sue or be sued or the authority of a party to sue or be sued in a
representative capacity or the legal existence of an organized association of persons that
is made a party, must be averred.
In their petition, it is stated that petitioner Association of Flood Victims "is a nonprofit and non-partisan organization in the process of formal incorporation, the primary
purpose of which is for the benefit of the common or general interest of many flood
victims who are so numerous that it is impracticable to join all as parties," and that
petitioner Hernandez "is a Tax Payer and the Lead Convenor of the Association of Flood
Victims. Clearly, petitioner Association of Flood Victims, which is still in the process of
incorporation, cannot be considered a juridical person or an entity authorized by law,
which can be a party to a civil action.
Petitioner Association of Flood Victims is an unincorporated association not
endowed with a distinct personality of its own. An unincorporated association, in the
absence of an enabling law, has no juridical personality and thus, cannot sue in the name
of the association Such unincorporated association is not a legal entity distinct from its
If an association, like petitioner Association of Flood Victims, has no juridical
personality, then all members of the association must be made parties in the civil action.
In this case, other than his bare allegation that he is the lead convenor of the Association
of Flood Victims, petitioner Hernandez showed no proof that he was authorized by said
association. Aside from petitioner Hernandez, no other member was made signatory to
the petition. Only petitioner Hernandez signed the Verification and Sworn Certification
Against Forum Shopping, stating that he caused the preparation of the petition. There
was no accompanying document showing that the other members of the Association of
Flood Victims authorized petitioner Hernandez to represent them and the association in
the petition.

Since petitioner Association of Flood Victims has no legal capacity to sue,

petitioner Hernandez, who is filing the petition as a representative of the Association of
Flood Victims, is likewise devoid of legal personality to bring an action in court.

11. ROSALIO BONILLA (a minor) SALVACION BONILLA (a minor) and

PONCIANO BONILLA (their father) who represents the
HON. LEOPOLDO GIRONELLA of the Court of First Instance of Abra,respondents.
On March 31, 1975 Fortunata Barcena, mother of minors Rosalio and Salvacion
and wife of Ponciano Bonilla, instituted a civil action in the Court of First Instance of Abra,
to quiet title over certain parcels of land located in Abra.
On May 9, 1975, defendants filed a written motion to dismiss the complaint, but
before the hearing of the motion to dismiss, the counsel for the plaintiff moved to amend
the complaint in order to include certain allegations therein. The motion to amend the
complaint was granted and on July 17, 1975, plaintiffs filed their amended complaint.

On August 4, 1975, the defendants filed another motion to dismiss the complaint
on the ground that Fortunata died and, therefore, has no legal capacity to sue. Said
motion to dismiss was heard on August 14, 1975. In said hearing, counsel for the plaintiff
confirmed the death of Fortunata, and asked for substitution by her minor children and
her husband, the petitioners herein; but the court after the hearing immediately
dismissed the case on the ground that a dead person cannot be a real party in interest
and has no legal personality to sue. The counsel for the plaintiff filed a Motion for
Reconsideration but the same was denied by the trial court for lack of merit.
W/N the deceased litigant can be substituted by her minor heirs in order to pursue the
Yes. In the case at bar, respondent Court refused the request for substitution on
the ground that the children were still minors and cannot sue in court. This is a grave
error because the respondent Court ought to have known that under the Rules of Court,
the court is directed to appoint a guardian ad litem for the minor heirs. Precisely in the
instant case, the counsel for the deceased plaintiff has suggested to the respondent
Court that the uncle of the minors be appointed to act as guardian ad litem for them.
Unquestionably, the respondent Court has gravely abused its discretion in not complying
with the clear provision of the Rules of Court in dismissing the complaint of the plaintiff
and refusing the substitution of parties in the case.


DINGAL, Respondents.
The case rooted from a forcible entry case filed by Paulino before the Municipal
Circuit Trial Court, Abuyog, Leyte (MCTC), against spouses Florentino and Consolacion
Tabalno. In a decision dated March 31, 2008, the MCTC ordered the petitioners to vacate
the premises and restore its possession to Paulino; demolish any and all structures

illegally constructed therein at their expense; and pay Paulino P50,000.00 as damages
for the use and occupation of the lot in dispute, P30,000.00 as attorney's fees, and
P3,500.00 as litigation expenses. When the petitioners appeal the decision to the RTC,
Paulino filed a motion for the dismissal of the petitioners' appeal and prayed for the
issuance of a writ of execution.
During the pendency of the case, Paulino died. Hence, his wife filed an omnibus
ex parte motion for substitution which was granted by the RTC and ordered the
substitution of Paulino by his surviving spouse Juanita. The petitioners contested the
same and charge the RTC with grave abuse of discretion in granting the substitution of
Paulino by his wife Juanita. They argue that, under Section 4, Rule 3 of the Rules of Court,
the husband and the wife shall sue or be sued jointly, except as may be provided by law.
W/N the substitution of Juanita, in place of her deceased husband, was legally proper.
Yes. In this jurisdiction, there are three kinds of actions available for the recovery
of possession of real property: (1) accion interdictal or ejectment case; (b) accion
publiciana; and (3) accion reivindicatoria. These actions survive the death of a party.
Under Section 16, Rule 319 of the Rules of Court, the heirs of a deceased party may be
substituted for the latter on a pending action where the claim is not thereby
Forcible entry, as well as unlawful detainer, belongs to the class of action known
as accion interdictal - where the issue is the right of physical or material possession of
the subject real property that, therefore, survives the death of a party.
To be sure, forcible entry cases are actions in personam - affecting only the
particular person sought to be held liable - that generally do not survive a party's death.
Nonetheless, because it is a real action that primarily and principally affects property and
property rights, it survives the death of either party.
Based on these considerations, the forcible entry case filed by Paulino against the Sps.
Tabalno, et al, survived Paulino's death. Hence, pursuant to Section 16, Rule 3 of the
Rules of Court, Juanita, the surviving spouse and heir of Paulino, could have and had
properly been substituted for him in the forcible entry case.
The Court is aware of Section 4, Rule 3 of the Rules of Court that requires the
husband and the wife to sue jointly, otherwise, the non-joining spouse is deemed to have
waived his or her participation in the proceeding. However, the Court noted that Juanita
did not join the proceeding pursuant to Section 4 of Rule 3 when she, as Paulino's wife,
should have sued jointly with Paulino. Rather, Juanita joined the proceeding pursuant to
Section 16 of Rule 3 which allows her, as her husband's heir, to substitute for Paulino in
the case. In other words, she was merely taking over her husband's place, not belatedly
joining as an additional party, to protect Paulino's rights and interests that the
proceedings may affect.

13. LOURDES SUITES (Crown Hotel Management

Corporation), Petitioner, vs.NOEMI BINARO, Respondent.
Lourdes Suites is the owner and operator of a hotel located along Kalayaan
Avenue, Makati City who entered into 2 contracts with the respondent for room
accommodations for two groups of students. It filed a Collection for Sum of Money
against the respondent claiming that the latter failed to pay the balance representing the
charges for damages to the furniture, lost key and excess guests.
In her Response, respondent alleged that she is not obliged to pay the claimed
amount because petitioner billed the charges twice.
The MeTC found that the petitioner failed to successfully prove by preponderance
of evidence the existence of an obligation in its favor and that the respondent has an
unpaid account in the amount of Php47,810.00. Hence, the said trial court dismissed the
case with prejudice on the ground of lack of cause of action.
Aggrieved with the decision of the MeTC, the petitioner filed a petition for
certiorari with the RTC stating that a dismissal based on the ground that the complaint
states no cause of action cannot be deemed a dismissal with prejudice under the
Rules. Petitioner further argued that lack of cause of action is not a valid ground for
dismissal of case, much more a dismissal with prejudice. Founding that MeTC did not
commit grave abuse of discretion, the RTC rendered a decision against the petitioner.
Upon filing the petition with the Court, the petitioner stated as one of the issues
that the existence of a cause of action is determined only by the facts alleged in the
complaint, but the MeTC Decision was anchored on the evidence of Defendant, now
W/N the petition is meritorious based on the ground given by Lourdes Suites.
No. Failure to state a cause of action and lack of cause of action are really
different from each other. On the one hand, failure to state a cause of action refers to
the insufficiency of the pleading, and is a ground for dismissal under Rule 16 of the Rules
of Court. On the other hand, lack of cause of action refers to a situation where the
evidence does not prove the cause of action alleged in the pleading.
The courts are not precluded from dismissing a case for lack of cause of action
(i.e. insufficiency of evidence). In civil cases, courts must determine if the plaintiff was
able to prove his case by a preponderance of evidence.
The basis of the MeTC in dismissing the complaint for lack of cause of action is the
failure of petitioner to preponderantly establish its claim against the private respondent
by clear and convincing evidence. Hence, public respondent did not commit grave abuse
of discretion when it dismissed the Complaint for lack of cause of action, as he referred to
the evidence presented and not to the allegations in the Complaint.

14. IMELDA RELUCIO, petitioner, vs.ANGELINA MEJIA LOPEZ, respondent.


Angelina Mejia Lopez filed a petition for Appointment as Sole Administratrix of

Conjugal Partnership of Properties, Forfeiture, Etc., against defendant Alberto Lopez and
petition Imelda Relucio in the Regional Trial Court of Makati. On December 8, 1993, a
Motion to Dismiss the Petition was filed by herein petitioner on the ground that private
respondent has no cause of action against her.
An Order dated February 10, 1994 was issued by the court denying petitioner
Relucio's Motion to Dismiss on the ground that she is impleaded as a necessary or
indispensable party because some of the subject properties are registered in her name
and defendant Lopez, or solely in her name.
The petitioner filed a Motion for Reconsideration which was denied by the trial
court. Upon the denial of the said motion, the petitioner filed a petition for certiorari with
the Court of Appeals but the same was denied by the court. Hence, the petitioner filed
this appeal with the Supreme Court.
W/N respondent's petition for appointment as sole administratrix of the conjugal
property, accounting, etc. against her husband Alberto J. Lopez established a cause of
action against petitioner.
W/N petitioner's inclusion as party defendant is essential in the proceedings for a
complete adjudication of the controversy.
No. The elements of a cause of action are:
(1) a right in favor of the plaintiff by whatever means and under whatever law it arises or
is created;
(2) an obligation on the part of the named defendant to respect or not to violate such
right; and
(3) act or omission on the part of such defendant in violation of the right of the plaintiff or
constituting a breach of the obligation of the defendant to the plaintiff for which the
latter may maintain an action for recovery of damages.
The administration of the property of the marriage is entirely between Alberto and
Angelina, to the exclusion of all other persons. Respondent alleges that Alberto J. Lopez is
her husband. Therefore, her cause of action is against Alberto J. Lopez. There is no rightduty relation between petitioner and respondent that can possibly support a cause of
action. In fact, none of the three elements of a cause of action exists.
A real party in interest is one who stands "to be benefited or injured by the
judgment of the suit. In this case, petitioner would not be affected by any judgment in
the special proceedings filed by Angelina Lopez. Petitioner's participation in Special
Proceedings M-36-30 is not indispensable. Certainly, the trial court can issue a judgment
ordering Alberto J. Lopez to make an accounting of his conjugal partnership with
respondent, and give support to respondent and their children, and dissolve Alberto J.

Lopez' conjugal partnership with respondent, and forfeit Alberto J. Lopez' share in
property co-owned by him and petitioner. Such judgment would be perfectly valid and
enforceable against Alberto J. Lopez. Nor can petitioner be a necessary party in the said
proceedings. In the context of her petition in the lower court, respondent would be
accorded complete relief if Alberto J. Lopez were ordered to account for his alleged
conjugal partnership property with respondent, give support to respondent and her
children, turn over his share in the co-ownership with petitioner and dissolve his conjugal
partnership or absolute community property with respondent.


Petitioner filed the first suit assailing the REM over its property covered by TCT No.
114645 on January 17, 2003, docketed as Civil Case No. 03-045 of the RTC of Makati City,
Branch 56.The petitioner stated that Gilbert Guy signed the blank REM deed with the
understanding that the document shall not be completed and not to be registered with
the Register of Deeds as it would only serve as comfort document to prove petitioners
willingness to execute a REM in the future if so demanded by AUB. In contravention of
such agreement and despite the fact that no notary public was present when Mr. Guy
signed the REM, AUB and its officers made it appear that the REM dated February 29,
2000 with the stated consideration of Php202 million was duly completed and notarized,
and was subsequently registered with the Register of Deeds. Disparities in the copy of
the REM on file with the Office of the Clerk of Court of Pasig City were likewise discovered
by petitioner (community tax certificates used were issued in 2001). On January 29,
2002, petitioner sent its written objections to the spurious REM and demanded from AUB
its immediate cancellation. Upon request of petitioner, the National Bureau of
Investigation also investigated the falsification and found forgery in the signature of
respondent Pelicano (Notary Public).
On November 30, 2006, petitioner filed the second case against herein
respondents AUB and its officers Christine T. Chan, Florante Del Mundo, Engracio M.
Escasinas, Jr. (RTC of Makati City Clerk of Court and Ex-Officio Sheriff), Norberto B.
Magsajo (Sheriff IV) and Ronald A. Ortile (Register of Deeds for Makati City), docketed
as Civil Case No. 06-1032 of RTC of Makati City, Branch 145. Whereas the earlier case
(Civil Case No. 03-045) sought the annulment of the REM based on alleged irregularities
in its execution, Civil Case No. 06-1032 prayed for injunctive relief and/or nullification of
the extrajudicial foreclosure sale which petitioner alleged to be procedurally and legally
Respondents contended that petitioner is guilty of forum shopping, as it has
previously filed a case for the annulment of the REM (Civil Case No. 03-045) which is
pending before Branch 56. Said case was based on the same cause of action, that is,
petitioners perceived irregularities in the execution and registration of the REM.

W/N the petitioner is guilty of forum shopping when it successively filed Civil Case No.
03-045 and Civil Case No. 06-1032.

Yes. There is forum shopping when the following elements are present: (a) identity
of parties, or at least such parties as represent the same interests in both actions; (b)
identity of rights asserted and relief prayed for, the relief being founded on the same
facts; and (c) the identity of the two preceding particulars is such that any judgment
rendered in the other action will, regardless of which party is successful, amount to res
judicata in the action under consideration.
All the foregoing elements are present in this case. There can be no dispute that
the prayer for relief in the two cases was based on the same attendant facts in the
execution of REMs over petitioners properties in favor of AUB.


G.R. No. 131457
April 24, 1998

The strikers protested the March 29, 1996 Decisionof the Office of the President
(OP), issued through then Executive Secretary Ruben D. Torres, which approved the
conversion of a one hundred forty-four (144)-hectare land from agricultural to agroindustrial/institutional area. This led the Office of the President, through then Deputy
Executive Secretary Renato C. Corona, to issue the so-called Win-Win Resolution,
substantially modifying its earlier Decision after it had already become final and
executory. The said Resolution modified the approval of the land conversion to agroindustrial area only to the extent of forty-four (44) hectares, and ordered the remaining
one hundred (100) hectares to be distributed to qualified farmer-beneficiaries.
Petitioners claimed that the Office of the President was prompted to issue the said
resolution after a very well-managed hunger strike led by fake farmer-beneficiary Linda
Ligmon succeeded in pressuring and/or politically blackmailing the Office of the President
to come up with this purely political decision to appease the farmers, by reviving and
modifying the Decision of 29 March 1996 which has been declared final and executory in
an Order of 23 June 1997. Thus, petitioners further allege, respondent then Deputy
Executive Secretary Renato C. Corona committed grave abuse of discretion and acted
beyond his jurisdiction when he issued the questioned Resolution of 7 November 1997.
They availed of this extraordinary writ of certiorari because there is no other plain,
speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law. They never filed a motion for
reconsideration of the subject Resolution because it is patently illegal or contrary to law
and it would be a futile exercise to seek a reconsideration.

The respondents, through the Solicitor General, opposed the petition and prayed
that it be dismissed outright on the following grounds:
(1) The proper remedy of petitioners should have been to file a petition for review
directly with the Court of Appeals in accordance with Rule 43 of the Revised Rules of
(2) The petitioners failed to file a motion for reconsideration of the assailed Win-Win
Resolution before filing the present petition; and
(3) Petitioner NQSRMDC is guilty of forum-shopping.
(1)Whether or not there is error of jurisdiction in the present case
(2) Whether or not the petitioners are guilty of forum shopping
(3) Whether the win-win resolution, issued after the original decision had become final
and executory, had any legal effect.
(4) Whether the farmer-beneficiaries of the land in question are real parties in interest.
(1) It is true that under Rule 43, appeals from awards, judgments, final orders or
resolutions of any quasi-judicial agency exercising quasi-judicial functions, including the
Office of the President, may be taken to the Court of Appeals by filing a verified petition
for review within fifteen (15) days from notice of the said judgment, final order or
resolution, whether the appeal involves questions of fact, of law, or mixed questions of
fact and law.
However, we hold that, in this particular case, the remedy prescribed in Rule 43 is
inapplicable considering that the present petition contains an allegation that the
challenged resolution is patently illegal and was issued with grave abuse of discretion
and beyond his (respondent Secretary Renato C. Coronas) jurisdictionwhen said
resolution substantially modified the earlier OP Decision of March 29, 1996 which had
long become final and executory. In other words, the crucial issue raised here involves an
error of jurisdiction, not an error of judgment which is reviewable by an appeal under
Rule 43. Thus, the appropriate remedy to annul and set aside the assailed resolution is an
original special civil action for certiorari under Rule 65, as what the petitioners have
correctly done.
(2) The petitioners are not guilty of forum shopping. The test for determining
whether a party has violated the rule against forum shopping is where a final judgment in
one case will amount to res adjudicata in the action under consideration. The petition for
certiorari in the Court of Appeals sought the nullification of the DAR Secretarys order to
proceed with the compulsory acquisition and distribution of the subject property. On the
other hand, the civil case in RTC of Malaybalay, Bukidnon for the annulment and
cancellation of title issued in the name of the Republic of the Philippines, with damages,
was based on the following grounds: (1) the DAR, in applying for cancellation of
petitioner NQSRMDCs title, used documents which were earlier declared null and void by
the DARAB; (2) the cancellation of NQSRMDCs title was made without payment of just
compensation; and (3) without notice to NQSRMDC for the surrender of its title.
The present petition is entirely different from the said two cases as it seeks the
nullification of the assailed Win-Win Resolution of the Office of the President, which
resolution was issued long after the previous two cases were instituted.
(3) No. When the OP issued the Order dated June 23,1997 declaring the Decision
of March 29, 1996 final and executory, as no one has seasonably filed a motion for
reconsideration thereto, the said Office had lost its jurisdiction to re-open the case, more
so modify its Decision. Having lost its jurisdiction, the Office of the President has no more
authority to entertain the second motion for reconsideration filed by respondent DAR
Secretary, which second motion became the basis of the assailed Win-Win Resolution.
Section 7 of Administrative Order No. 18 and Section 4, Rule 43 of the Revised
Rules of Court mandate that only one (1) motion for reconsideration is allowed to be

taken from the Decision of March 29, 1996. And even if a second motion for
reconsideration was permitted to be filed in exceptionally meritorious cases,, still the
said motion should not have been entertained considering that the first motion for
reconsideration was not seasonably filed, thereby allowing the Decision of March 29,
1996 to lapse into finality. Thus, the act of the Office of the President in re-opening the
case and substantially modifying its March 29,1996 Decision which had already become
final and executory, was in gross disregard of the rules and basic legal precept that
accord finality to administrative determinations.
(4) No. In their motion, movants contend that they are the farmer-beneficiaries of
the land in question, hence, are real parties in interest. Apparently, the alleged master
list was made pursuant to the directive in the dispositive portion of the assailed Win-Win
Resolution which directs the DAR to carefully and meticulously determine who among the
claimants are the qualified farmer-beneficiaries. In other words, those movants are
merely recommendee farmer-beneficiaries.
The rule in this jurisdiction is that a real party in interest is a party who would be
benefited or injured by the judgment or is the party entitled to the avails of the suit. Real
interest means a present substantial interest, as distinguished from a mere expectancy
or a future, contingent, subordinate or consequential interest. Undoubtedly, movants
interest over the land in question is a mere expectancy. Ergo, they are not real parties in


GR No. 101083; July 30 1993

A taxpayers class suit was filed by minors Juan Antonio Oposa, et al.,
representing their generation and generations yet unborn, and represented by their
parents against FulgencioFactoran Jr., Secretary of DENR. They prayed that judgment be
rendered ordering the defendant, his agents, representatives and other persons acting in
his behalf to:
1. Cancel all existing Timber Licensing Agreements (TLA) in the country;
2. Cease and desist from receiving, accepting, processing, renewing, or appraising new
3. Grant the plaintiffs such other reliefs just and equitable under the premises.
They alleged that they have a clear and constitutional right to a balanced and
healthful ecology and are entitled to protection by the State in its capacity as
parenspatriae. Furthermore, they claim that the act of the defendant in allowing TLA
holders to cut and deforest the remaining forests constitutes a misappropriation and/or
impairment of the natural resources property he holds in trust for the benefit of the
plaintiff minors and succeeding generations.
The defendant filed a motion to dismiss the complaint on the following grounds:
1.Plaintiffs have no cause of action against him;
2. The issues raised by the plaintiffs is a political question which properly pertains to the
legislative or executive branches of the government.
ISSUE: Whether the petitioner-minors have a cause of action in filing a class suit to
prevent the misappropriation or impairment of Philippine rainforests
The Supreme Court ruled in affirmative. Petitioner-minors assert that they
represent their generation as well as generations to come. The Supreme Court ruled that
they can, for themselves, for others of their generation, and for the succeeding
generation, file a class suit. The subject matter of complaint is of common and general
interest to all the citizens of the Philippines.
Their personality to sue in behalf of succeeding generations is based on the
concept of intergenerational responsibility insofar as the right to a balanced and healthful
ecology is concerned. Such a right considers the rhythm and harmony of nature which
indispensably include, inter alia, the judicious disposition, utilization, management,
renewal and conservation of the countrys forest, mineral, land, waters, fisheries, wildlife,
offshore areas and other natural resources to the end that their exploration,
development, and utilization be equitably accessible to the present as well as the future
Needless to say, every generation has a responsibility to the next to preserve that
rhythm and harmony for the full enjoyment of a balanced and healthful ecology. Put a
little differently, the minors assertion of their right to a sound environment constitutes at
the same time, the performance of their obligation to ensure the protection of that right
for the generations to come.

G.R. No. 160053 August 28, 2006
Petitioners Renato and Angelina Lantin took several peso and dollar loans from
respondent Planters Development Bank and executed several real estate mortgages and
promissory notes to cover the loans. They defaulted on the payments so respondent
bank foreclosed the mortgaged lots. The foreclosed properties, in partial satisfaction of
petitioners debt, were sold at a public auction where the respondent bank was the
winning bidder. On November 8, 2003, petitioners filed against respondents a complaint
for Declaration of Nullity and/or Annulment of Sale and/or Mortgage, Reconveyance,
Discharge of Mortgage, Accounting, Permanent Injunction, and Damages with the RTC of
Lipa City, Batangas. Petitioners alleged that only their peso loans were covered by the
mortgages and that these had already been fully paid, hence, the mortgages should
have been discharged. They challenged the validity of the foreclosure on the alleged nonpayment of their dollar loans as the mortgages did not cover those loans.
Petitioners contend that, since the validity of the loan documents were squarely
put in issue, necessarily this meant also that the validity of the venue stipulation also
was at issue. Moreover, according to the petitioners, the venue stipulation in the loan
documents is not an exclusive venue stipulation. The venue in the loan agreement was
not specified with particularity. Besides, they alleged that the rule on venue of action was
established for the convenience of the plaintiff, herein petitioners. Further, petitioners
also contend that since the complaint involves several causes of action which did not
arise solely from or connected with the loan documents, the cited venue stipulation
should not be made to apply.
Private respondents moved to dismiss the complaint on the ground of improper
venue since the loan agreements restricted the venue of any suit in Metro
Manila.According to private respondents, the language of the stipulation is clearly
exclusive. However, the respondent judge dismissed the case for improper venue.
Petitioners sought reconsideration. They argued that the trial court in effect prejudged
the validity of the loan documents because the trial court based its dismissal on a venue
stipulation provided in the agreement. The motion for reconsideration was denied and
the lower court held that the previous order did not touch upon the validity of the loan
documents but merely ruled on the procedural issue of venue.Hence, the petition
ISSUE:Whether respondent judge committed grave abuse of discretion when she
dismissed the case for improper venue.
The general rules on venue of actions shall not apply where the parties, before the
filing of the action, have validly agreed in writing on an exclusive venue. The mere
stipulation on the venue of an action, however, is not enough to preclude parties from
bringing a case in other venues. The parties must be able to show that such stipulation is
exclusive.In the absence of qualifying or restrictive words, the stipulation should be
deemed as merely an agreement on an additional forum, not as limiting venue to the
specified place.
The pertinent provisions of the several real estate mortgages and promissory
notes executed by the petitioner respectively read as follows:
In the event of suit arising out of or in connection with this mortgage and/or the
promissory note/s secured by this mortgage, the parties hereto agree to bring their
causes of auction (sic) exclusively in the proper court of Makati, Metro Manila or at such

other venue chosen by the Mortgagee, the Mortgagor waiving for this purpose any other
I/We further submit that the venue of any legal action arising out of this note
shall exclusively be at the proper court of Metropolitan Manila, Philippines or any other
venue chosen by the BANK, waiving for this purpose any other venue provided by the
Rules of Court
Clearly, the words "exclusively" and "waiving for this purpose any other venue" are
restrictive and used advisedly to meet the requirements.


G.R. No. 181970
August 3, 2010
Petitioner Bernardo De Leon filed a Complaint for Damages with Prayer for
Preliminary Injunction before the Regional Trial Court of Makati City against respondent
Public Estates Authority ("PEA"), a government-owned corporation, as well as its officers,
herein private respondents Ramon Arellano, Jr., Ricardo Pena and ReymundoOrpilla. The
suit for damages hinged on the alleged unlawful destruction of De Leons fence and
houses constructed on Lot, which De Leon claimed has been in the possession of his
family for more than 50 years. Essentially, De Leon prayed that one, lawful possession
of the land in question be awarded to him; two, PEA be ordered to pay damages for
demolishing the improvements constructed on Lot 5155; and, three, an injunctive relief
be issued to enjoin PEA from committing acts which would violate his lawful and peaceful
possession of the subject premises.
The court a quo found merit in De Leons application for writ of preliminary
injunction and thus issued the Order that he has a legal right over the subject matter of
the instant case and is entitled to the injunctive relief demanded for and may suffer
irreparable damage or injury if such right is not protected by Law.
De Leon insists that what this Court did in PEA v. CA was to simply dismiss his
complaint for damages and nothing more, and that the RTC erred and committed grave
abuse of discretion in issuing a writ of execution placing PEA in possession of the
disputed property. He insists that he can only be removed from the disputed property
through an ejectment proceeding.
ISSUE: Whether or not RTC erred and committed grave abuse of discretion in issuing a
writ of execution placing PEA in possession of the disputed property
No. As a general rule, a writ of execution should conform to the dispositive portion
of the decision to be executed; an execution is void if it is in excess of and beyond the
original judgment or award. The settled general principle is that a writ of execution must
conform strictly to every essential particular of the judgment promulgated, and may not
vary the terms of the judgment it seeks to enforce, nor may it go beyond the terms of the
judgment sought to be executed.
However, it is equally settled that possession is an essential attribute of
ownership. Where the ownership of a parcel of land was decreed in the judgment, the
delivery of the possession of the land should be considered included in the decision, it

appearing that the defeated partys claim to the possession thereof is based on his claim
of ownership. Furthermore, adjudication of ownership would include the delivery of
possession if the defeated party has not shown any right to possess the land
independently of his claim of ownership which was rejected.
This is precisely what happened in the present case. This Court had already
declared the disputed property as owned by the State and that De Leon does not have
any right to possess the land independent of his claim of ownership. In addition, a
judgment for the delivery or restitution of property is essentially an order to place the
prevailing party in possession of the property. If the defendant refuses to surrender
possession of the property to the prevailing party, the sheriff or other proper officer
should oust him. No express order to this effect needs to be stated in the decision; nor is
a categorical statement needed in the decision that in such event the sheriff or other
proper officer shall have the authority to remove the improvements on the property if the
defendant fails to do so within a reasonable period of time. The removal of the
improvements on the land under these circumstances is deemed read into the decision,
subject only to the issuance of a special order by the court for the removal of the
In the present case, it would be redundant for PEA to go back to court and file an
ejectment case simply to establish its right to possess the subject property. To further
require PEA to file an ejectment suit to oust de Leon and his siblings from the disputed
property would, in effect, amount to encouraging multiplicity of suits


G.R. No. 165025
August 31, 2011
FDC was the owner and developer of a condominium project known as Fedman
Suites Building. On June 18, 1975, Interchem Laboratories Incorporated (Interchem)
purchased FSBs Unit 411 under a contract to sell. Thereafter, FDC executed a Master
Deed with Declaration of Restrictions,and formed the Fedman Suite Condominium
Corporation (FSCC) to manage FSB and hold title over its common areas. On October 10,
1980, Interchem, with FDCs consent, transferred all its rights in Unit 411 to respondent
Agcaoili. In December 1983, the centralized air-conditioning unit of FSBs fourth floor
broke down. So Agcaoili, being thereby adversely affected, wrote to Genato, vicepresident and board member of FSCC, demanding the repair of the air-conditioning unit.
Not getting any immediate response, Agcaoili sent follow-up letters to FSCC reiterating
the demand, but the letters went unheeded. He then informed FDC and FSCC that he was
suspending the payment of his condominium dues and monthly amortizations.
On August 30, 1984, FDC cancelled the contract to sell involving Unit 411 and cut
off the electric supply to the unit. Agcaoili was thus prompted to sue FDC and FSCC for
injunction and damages. Agcaoili lodged a complaint for damages against FDC and FSCC
in the RTC. He alleged that the disconnection of the electric supply of Unit 411 on April
22, 1986 had unjustly deprived him of the use and enjoyment of the unit; that the
disconnection had seriously affected his law practice and had caused him sufferings,
inconvenience and embarrassment; that FDC and FSCC violated the compromise
agreement; that he was entitled to actual damages amounting to 21,626.60, as well as
to moral and exemplary damages, and attorneys fees as might be proven during the
trial; that the payment of interest sought by FDC and FSCC under the contract to sell was
illegal. The RTC rendered judgment in favor of Agcaoili. FDC appealed, but the CA
affirmed the RTC. Hence, this petition.

FDC claims that there was a failure to pay the correct amount of docket fee herein
because the complaint did not specify the amounts of moral damages, exemplary
damages, and attorneys fees; that the payment of the prescribed docket fee by Agcaoili
was necessary for the RTC to acquire jurisdiction over the case; and that, consequently,
the RTC did not acquire jurisdiction over this case.
FDC also claims that the proceedings in the RTC were void because the jurisdiction
over the subject matter of the action pertained to the Housing and Land Use Regulatory
Board (HLURB); and that both the RTC and the CA erred in ruling: (a) that Agcaoili had the
right to suspend payment of his monthly amortizations; (b) that FDC had no right to
cancel the contract to sell; and (c) that FDC and FSCC were one and same corporation,
and as such were solidarily liable to Agcaoili for damages.
ISSUE: Whether or not the Court can acquire jurisdiction over the case despite the failure
to pay the full amount of filing fees required by law.
The petition has no merit. The filing of the complaint or other initiatory pleading
and the payment of the prescribed docket fee are the acts that vest a trial court with
jurisdiction over the claim. In an action where the reliefs sought are purely for sums of
money and damages, the docket fees are assessed on the basis of the aggregate amount
being claimed.Ideally, therefore, the complaint or similar pleading must specify the sums
of money to be recovered and the damages being sought in order that the clerk of court
may be put in a position to compute the correct amount of docket fees. If the amount of
docket fees paid is insufficient in relation to the amounts being sought, the clerk of court
or his duly authorized deputy has the responsibility of making a deficiency assessment,
and the plaintiff will be required to pay the deficiency. The non-specification of the
amounts of damages does not immediately divest the trial court of its jurisdiction over
the case, provided there is no bad faith or intent to defraud the Government on the part
of the plaintiff.
The prevailing rule is that if the correct amount of docket fees are not paid at the
time of filing, the trial court still acquires jurisdiction upon full payment of the fees within
a reasonable time as the court may grant, barring prescription. The "prescriptive period"
that bars the payment of the docket fees refers to the period in which a specific action
must be filed, so that in every case the docket fees must be paid before the lapse of the
prescriptive period.
In Rivera v. Del Rosario, the Court, resolving the issue of the failure to pay the
correct amount of docket fees due to the inadequate assessment by the clerk of court,
ruled that jurisdiction over the complaint was still validly acquired upon the full payment
of the docket fees assessed by the Clerk of Court. Relying on Sun Insurance Office, Ltd.,
(SIOL) v. Asuncion, the Court opined that the filing of the complaint or appropriate
initiatory pleading and the payment of the prescribed docket fees vested a trial court
with jurisdiction over the claim, and although the docket fees paid were insufficient in
relation to the amount of the claim, the clerk of court or his duly authorized deputy
retained the responsibility of making a deficiency assessment, and the party filing the
action could be required to pay the deficiency, without jurisdiction being automatically
Even where the clerk of court fails to make a deficiency assessment, and the
deficiency is not paid as a result, the trial court nonetheless continues to have
jurisdiction over the complaint, unless the party liable is guilty of a fraud in that regard,
considering that the deficiency will be collected as a fee in lien within the contemplation
of Section 2, Rule 141 (as revised by A.M. No. 00-2-01-SC). The reason is that to penalize
the party for the omission of the clerk of court is not fair if the party has acted in good
In the case at bar, the docket fees paid by Agcaoili were insufficient considering
that the complaint did not specify the amounts of moral damages, exemplary damages
and attorneys fees. Nonetheless, it is not disputed that Agcaoili paid the assessed

docket fees. Such payment negated bad faith or intent to defraud the
Government.Nonetheless, Agcaoili must remit any docket fee deficiency to the RTCs
clerk of court.