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Nos. 304.

Heirs of Domingo Valientes vs. Ramas, 638 SCRA 444, December 15, 2010

Case Title : HEIRS OF DOMINGO VALIENTES, petitioners, vs. Hon.


ReInerio (Abraham) B. Ramas, Acting Presiding Judge, RTC, Branch 29,
9th Judicial Region, San Miguel, Zamboanga del Sur and Vilma V. Minor,
respondents

Case Nature : PETITION for review on certiorari of the decision and


resolution of the Court of Appeals

Syllabi Class :Certiorari

FACTS:

Petitioners claim that they are the heirs of Valientes who, before his death, was the
owner of a parcel of land in Zamboanga delSur. In 1939, Valientes mortgaged the
subject property to secure his loan to the spouses Belen. In the 1950s, the
Valientes family purportedly attempted, but failed, to retrieve the subject property
from the spouses Belen. Through an allegedly forged document captioned VENTA
DEFINITIVA purporting to be a deed of sale of the subject property between
Valientes and the spouses Belen, the latter obtained title over the land. On
February 28, 1970, the legitimate children of the late Valientes, had their Affidavit
of Adverse Claim. Upon the death of the spouses Belen, their surviving heirs
executed an extra-judicial settlement with partition and sale in favor of private
respondent Minor, the present possessor of the subject property. On June 20, 1979,
Minor filed with the then CFI a "PETITION FOR CANCELLATION OF
MEMORANDUM OF ENCUMBRANCE APPEARING IN THE TITLE IN HER
POSSESSION" which the RTC granted. On the other hand, petitioners filed a
complaint for the cancellation of the title in Minors possession and its
reconveyanceto them. On this complaint, Minor filed an Omnibus Motion to
Dismiss on the ground of forum shopping and litis pendentia, which the RTC
dismissed. Undeterred, Minor filed a Motion for Reconsideration which was
granted. Petitioners filed a Motion for Reconsideration based on this decision
which was denied. They appealed it to the CA, which although found that there
was no forum shopping nor litis pendentia, dismissed the case on the ground of
prescription and laches.

ISSUE:
Whether or not prescription or laches has already set in to bar the filing of the case
at hand.

HELD: Petition for Certiorari is DISMISSED

CIVIL CODE; PRESCRIPTION

When the plaintiff is in possession of the subject property, the action, being in
effect that of quieting of title to the property, does not prescribe. In the case at bar,
petitioners are not in possession of the subject property. In this case, if it were to
be considered as that of enforcing an implied trust, should have therefore been
filed within ten years from the issuance of TCT to spouses Belen.But, the case was
instituted beyond the prescriptive period.

As to the alternative defense of petitioners, applying Arts. 1141, 1134 and 1137 of
the Civil Code, thus entitling them to a 30 year period to assail the title, the Court
ruled that the applicable law in this instant case is Presidential Decree No. 1529,
otherwise known as the Property Registration Decree (since it is more specific that
the general rules of the above mentioned articles of the Civil Code). Under the
Torrens System as enshrined in P.D. No. 1529, the decree of registration and the
certificate of title issued become incontrovertible upon the expiration of one year
from the date of entry of the decree of registration, without prejudice to an action
for damages against the applicant or any person responsible for the fraud.

It took petitioners 28 before filing this case. This period is unreasonably long for a
party seeking to enforce its right to file the appropriate case. Thus, petitioners
claim that they had not slept on their rights is patently unconvincing.

The Decision of the CA and the Resolution are AFFIRMED.


Nos. 305.

Amante-Descallar vs. Ramas, 638 SCRA 358, December 15, 2010

Case Title : ATTY. NORLINDA R. AMANTE-DESCALLAR, petitioner, vs. HON.


REINERIO (ABRAHAM) B. RAMAS, respondent

Case Nature : ADMINISTRATIVE MATTER in the Supreme Court. Grave


Misconduct

Syllabi Class :Administrative Law|Judges

Facts:

Atty. Amante-Descallar imputed certain acts to Judge Ramas which includes (1)
Issuing a search warrant without ascertaining it carefully and affixing his signature
therein; (2) Allowing a plea bargaining in a violation of CDDA and; (3) Not giving
prosecution enough time to submit their case in a criminal case. In his Comment,
respondent judge argued that complainant failed to show that his decisions were
issued whimsically and arbitrarily or that the parties in said cases were deprived of
due process; that hearings were conducted and the parties were given equal
opportunity to be heard; and the dispositions in question were served upon them;
that assuming his rulings to be erroneous, the rules provide remedies by which
said rulings may be contested, which the parties failed to avail of.

Issue:

Whether or not the respondent judge is guilty of gross ignorance

Held:

Yes. Although judges cannot be held to account for every erroneous decision
rendered by him in good faith, it is imperative that they should have basic
knowledge of the law. His acts of issuing a search warrant without personally and
carefully inspecting it and not giving ample time to prosecutors to rest their cases
are basic knowledge that a judge should know in discharging the functions of his
office.
Nos. 306.

Aranda vs. Elayda, 638 SCRA 336, December 15, 2010

Case Title : SPOUSES VIRGILIO and ANGELINA ARANDA, petitioners, vs.


ATTY. EMMANUEL F. ELAYDA, respondent

Case Nature : ADMINISTRATIVE CASE in the Supreme Court. Gross


Negligence or Gross Misconduct in Handling Case

Syllabi Class :Administrative Law|Attorneys

Facts:

In 2006, Atty. Emmanuel Elayda was hired by Spouses Virgilio and Angelina
Aranda to be their counsel in a civil case. However, to their surprise in July 2006,
an adverse judgment was issued against them, thus they lost possession of their
car. Apparently, their counsel never appeared in court for them. Atty. Elayda failed
to inform the spouses of the date of hearing as well as the order of judgment. No
motion for reconsideration or appeal was interposed by the lawyer as well.

In his defense, Atty. Elayda said that it was the spouses who never went to court;
that the spouses neglected to check on their case in court; that one time when
their case was scheduled, he even notified the court stenographer to notify him if
the spouses are in court so that he could be there for them as he was in another
court branch for another case.

Issue:

Whether or not Atty. Elayda should be disciplined.

Held:

Yes. It was established that Atty. Elayda was remiss and negligent in handling the
Aranda case. Although it is true that the client and their counsel must equally
share the burden of communication, it is the primary duty of the counsel to inform
the client of the status of their case in court and the orders which have been issued
by the court. He cannot simply wait for his clients to make an inquiry about the
developments in their case. Close coordination between counsel and client is
necessary for them to adequately prepare for the case, as well as to effectively
monitor the progress of the case. Also, his excuse that he did not appear in court
because the spouses failed to appear in court is not tenable. His attendance at the
hearing should not be made to depend on the whether the spouses Aranda will
come or not.

The IBP Board of Governors recommended a 6 month suspension. This was


adopted by the court.
Nos. 307.

Bernas vs. Reyes, 625 SCRA 190, July 21, 2010

Case Title : ATTY. JOSE A. BERNAS, complainant, vs. JUDGE JULIA A.


REYES, METROPOLITAN TRIAL COURT, BRANCH 69, PASIG CITY,
respondent.

Case Nature : ADMINISTRATIVE MATTER in the Supreme Court. Gross


Ignorance of the Law and Manifest Partiality.

Syllabi Class :Judicial Ethics|Judges|Misconduct

Facts:

Complainant Jose A. Bernas filed with the Office of the Court Administrator (OCA),
a charge against the respondent Judge Julia A. Reyes of the Metropolitan Trial
Court (MeTC), Branch 69, Pasig City, with gross ignorance of the law and manifest
partiality in connection with an eviction suit. . Complainant alleged that
respondent Judge committed a flagrant violation of the rules when she unduly
extended the 20-day lifetime of a TRO. Likewise, complainant maintained that
respondent Judge erroneously granted a relief which was not prayed for and even
awarded damages which were way beyond the jurisdiction of a first-level court.
Complainant thereafter requested that an investigation be conducted and that
appropriate penalties be imposed on respondent Judge.

Issue:

Whether or not respondent committed gross negligence or misconduct in failing to


recognize a basic or elementary law when he delays in resolving the case and the
disregard of evidence favorable to the client of the complainant?

Held:

No, The Court cannot conclude that respondent Judge was guilty of such
misapplication of elementary court rules and procedure as to constitute gross
ignorance of the law. However, the same circumstances, taken together and
measured against the high ethical standards set for members of the Judiciary, are
clear indicators of manifest bias and partiality as well as grave abuse of authority
on the part of respondent Judge.
Established is the norm that judges should not only be impartial but should also
appear impartial. Judges must not only render just, correct and impartial decisions,
but must do so in a manner free from any suspicion as to their fairness,
impartiality and integrity.

As a matter of public policy, not every error or mistake of a judge in the


performance of his official duties renders him liable. In the absence of fraud,
dishonesty or corruption, the acts of a judge in his official capacity do not always
constitute misconduct although said acts may be erroneous. It is true that a judge
may not be disciplined for error of judgment absent proof that such error was
made with a conscious and deliberate intent to cause an injustice. This does not
mean, however, that a judge need not observe propriety, discreetness and due care
in the performance of his official functions. Indeed, all members of the Bench are
enjoined to behave at all times as to promote public confidence in the integrity and
impartiality of the judiciary.

OCA found respondent Judge guilty of manifest bias, partiality, and grave abuse of
authority. Further, SC found the respondent guilty of manifest bias, partiality and
grave abuse of authority and ordered to pay a fine in the amount of Forty Thousand
Pesos (P40,000.00) to be deducted from her accrued leave credits, if sufficient; if
not, then she should pay the said amount directly to this Court.
Nos. 308.

Talento vs. Paneda, 609 SCRA 1, December 23, 2009

Case Title : CESAR TALENTO and MODESTA HERRERA TALENTO,


petitioners, vs. ATTY. AGUSTIN F. PANEDA, respondent.

Case Nature : ADMINISTRATIVE CASE in the Supreme Court. Violation of


Lawyers Oath and Neglect of Duty.

Syllabi Class :Legal Ethics|Attorneys

Facts:

This case was initiated by petitioners with the filing of a Complaint1 before the
Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) alleging that they secured the services of
Atty. Agustin Paneda to help and defend them in a case for Quieting of Title filed
against them. They paid the attorneys fees respondent required from them in
order that they could avail of his services as counsel. However, much more to
complainants surprise and predicament, after filing their answer to the complaint,
respondent never made any appearance for and on their behalf. He also failed to
submit pre-trial brief and to appear despite Courts order and notice to him. As a
result thereof, petitioners were declared in default because of the failure of their
counsel to file and submit pre-trial brief and lost the case.

Atty. Paneda filed a Motion for Reconsideration but the same was dismissed. Atty.
Paneda told petitioners that he will appeal the case to the Court of Appeals. He
filed a notice of appeal, paid the required fees and even required petitioners to
shell out more money for the preparation of the Appeal brief. Petitioners waited
for so long for the decision of the Court of Appeals only to find out later that the
appeal was dismissed due to lack of an appeal brief.

Issue:

Whether or not respondent committed gross negligence or misconduct in handling


petitioners case both on trial in the RTC and on appeal in the CA which led to its
dismissal without affording petitioners the opportunity to present their evidence.

Held:

Respondents documented acts evidence that his efforts fall extremely short of the
standard of professional duty that all lawyers are required to faithfully adhere to.
There is no doubt that respondent was remiss in his duty to display utmost
diligence and competence in protecting the interests of his clients. The petitioners
lost to the civil case as a result of their being declared in default in the said case as
a consequence of respondents failure to appear at the pre-trial conference.

It is beyond dispute that respondent is duty-bound by his oath as a lawyer to


diligently prosecute the case of his clients to the best of his ability within the
bounds of law. Regrettably, the facts of this case illustrate respondents dismal
performance of that responsibility, which in its totality could amount to a
reprehensible abandonment of his clients cause.

Hence, the Court found respondent Atty. Agustin F. Paneda guilty of violating
Canons 17 and 18 as well as Rules 18.02 and 18.03 of the Code of Professional
Responsibility. Accordingly, he was suspended from the practice of law for one (1)
year.
Nos. 309.

Dela Cruz vs. Zapico, 565 SCRA 658, September 18, 2008

Case Title : RONNIE C. DELA CRUZ, complainant, vs. REDENTOR A.


ZAPICO, QUIRINO V. ITLIONG II, and ODON C. BALANI, respondents

Case Nature : ADMINISTRATIVE MATTER in the Supreme Court. Grave


Misconduct, Conduct Unbecoming a Court Employee and Conduct
Prejudicial to the Best Interest of the Service.

Syllabi Class :Administrative Law ; Court Personnel ; Penalties ;

Facts:

Ronnie C. Dela Cruz filed an administrative complaint against Redentor A. Zapico,2


Quirino V. Itliong II, and Odon C. Balani for grave misconduct, conduct
unbecoming a Court employee, and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the
service. The complaint recounts an altercation involving the parties which
happened on the evening of November 14, 2007 at the Peking Wok Restaurant,
where the Complainant allegedly went there to fetch his girlfriend, Rubylyn C.
Badinas who worked as a cashier in the said restaurant.

Respondents uttered derogatory remarks against the Complainant but he just


ignored their utterances and continued walking towards the outside of the
restaurant. Respondent Zapico allegedly followed complainant outside, then
shouted invectives and attacked the latter. Complainant fell to the ground and
while lying down, all three respondents allegedly mauled him. Complainant claims
that he tried to defend himself by using his arms and kicking his legs. The mauling
allegedly ended when people restrained the parties and stopped the fight.

Thereafter, complainant proceeded to the Philippine General Hospital (PGH)


Emergency Room for treatment and medico-legal examination. In the Medico-Legal
Certificate issued by PGH, complainant was found to have suffered physical
injuries which, will require medical attendance for a period of less than nine (9)
days.6 When complainant reached home, he requested his friend and officemate
Samuel Galope to take photos of his injuries.7 The following day, he went to the
Manila Police District Station 2 and had the incident entered into the police
blotter.8 Due to the injuries he suffered, complainant was not able to report for
work for two (2) days.

All three respondents argued that the incident was initiated by the complainant
and that such incident, which took place after office hours, was purely personal in
character and in no way related to office work. Thus, they prayed for the dismissal
of the instant administrative complaint not only for lack of merit, but also for want
of jurisdiction of the OAS to entertain and take cognizance of the same.

Issue:

Whether or not the conduct of respondents shows that they are liable for the
offenses charged and warrants the imposition of administrative sanctions?

Held:

Yes, The fact that the incident complained of was not related to respondents work
or official duties and took place after office hours and outside the Court does not
warrant the dismissal of the case, as respondents contend. This Court has held that
employees of the judiciary should be living examples of uprightness not only in the
performance of their official duties, but also in their personal and private dealings
with other people, so as to preserve at all times the good name and standing of
courts in the community. Employees in the government service are bound by the
rules of proper and ethical behavior and are expected to act with self-restraint and
civility at all times, even when confronted with rudeness and insolence.

Misconduct generally means wrongful, improper, unlawful conduct motivated by a


premeditated, obstinate, or intentional purpose. Any transgression or deviation
from the established norm of conduct, work-related or not, amounts to a
misconduct.

With respect to respondent Zapico, we agree with the finding of the OAS that his
outburst of temper and act of attacking the complainant, despite the lack of
evidence of sufficient provocation on the part of complainant tended to degrade
the dignity and the image of the judiciary. Such belligerence on the part of Zapico
and his infliction of multiple, visible injuries on complainant are clear deviations
from the established norm of conduct, even if it is not work-related, and amounts
to misconduct. He undeniably fell short of the high standards of propriety and
decorum expected of employees of the judiciary. Thus, the recommendation of the
OAS finding respondent Zapico guilty of simple misconduct is well-taken.

Thus, the penalty of suspension for one (1) month and one (1) day should be
imposed upon respondent Zapico for the commission of the first offense of simple
misconduct with a stern warning that a repetition of the same or similar acts in the
future will be dealt with more severely.

With respect to respondents Itliong and Balani, while we agree with the OAS that
complainant failed to substantiate his allegation that respondents Itliong and
Balani participated in the mauling of complainant, we find that their actuations
in this case are not above reproach. In their respective comments, they admit that
Itliong indeed told Zapico that complainant allegedly gave Zapico a hard look or
was sizing [Zapico] up from head to toe. Even Zapico narrated in this own
comment that his co-respondents told him that com plainant gave him a bad
stare and sized him up.18 All this tended to corroborate complainants and
Rubylyns statements that she [Rubylyn] heard respondents Itliong and Balani
make remarks, such as: Ang sama makatingin, o! Kabago-bago pa lang sa Court,
ang yabang na. Such statements contributed to, if not precipitated, the tension
between complainant and respondent Zapico. This Court likewise notes with
disfavor the fact that although Itliong and Balani did not appear to have helped in
the attack on complainant, they failed to timely intervene between their friend
Zapico and complainant to prevent the incident from progressing to such a stage
that complainant, their co-employee, even sustained injuries.

Respondents Itliong and Balani should be admonished for their deplorable conduct,
which likewise falls short of the high standards of decorum and propriety expected
of them.

IN VIEW WHEREOF, respondent Redentor A. Zapico is hereby SUSPENDED for


One (1) Month and One (1) Day without pay while respondents Quirino V. Itliong II,
and Odon C. Balani are REPRIMANDED for their improper conduct, with a warning
to said respondents that a repetition of the same or similar offense shall be dealt
with more severely in the future.

Nos. 310.

Inonog vs. Ibay, 594 SCRA 168, July 28, 2009

Case Title : VENANCIO INONOG, complainant, vs. JUDGE FRANCISCO B.


IBAY, Presiding Judge, Regional Trial Court, Branch 135, Makati City,
respondent.

Case Nature : ADMINISTRATIVE MATTER in the Supreme Court. Gross


Abuse of Authority.

Syllabi Class :Administrative Law|Judges

Facts:

The present administrative case stemmed from the Sinumpaang Salaysay of


Venancio P. Inonog, filed with the Office of the Court Administrator (OCA) on April
26, 2005, charging Judge Francisco B. Ibay of the Regional Trial Court (RTC),
Branch 135, Makati City with gross abuse of authority. The complaint involved an
incident in the Makati City Hall basement parking lot for which respondent judge
cited complainant in contempt of court because complainant parked his superiors
vehicle at the parking space reserved for respondent judge.

Respondent judge initiated the proceeding for indirect contempt by issuing an


order dated March 18, 2005 directing the complainant to show cause why he
should not be punished for contempt. On the same day respondent judge issued
another order, finding complainant guilty of contempt and sentenced him to suffer
imprisonment for a period of five (5) days and to pay a fined of P1,000.00.

Issue:

Whether or not respondent is guilty of violating Canon 2 of the Code of Judicial


Ethics?

Held:

The power to punish for contempt is inherent in all courts so as to preserve order
in judicial proceedings as well as to uphold the administration of justice. The
courts must exercise the power of contempt for purposes that are impersonal
because that power is intended as a safeguard not for the judges but for the
functions they exercise. Thus, judges have, time and again, been enjoined to
exercise their contempt power judiciously, sparingly, with utmost restraint and
with the end in view of utilizing the same for correction and preservation of the
dignity of the court, not for retaliation or vindication. Respondent judges act of
unceremoniously citing complainant in contempt is a clear evidence of his
unjustified use of the authority vested upon him by law.

Besides possessing the requisite learning in the law, a magistrate must exhibit that
hallmark of judicial temperament of utmost sobriety and self-restraint which are
indispensable qualities of every judge. Respondent judge himself has characterized
this incident as a "petty disturbance" and he should not have allowed himself to be
annoyed to a point that he would even waste valuable court time and resources on
a trivial matter.

Considering that this is not the first time that respondent judge committed the
same offense and in Nuez, which had similar factual antecedents as the case at
bar, the Court already saw fit to impose upon him a fine in the amount of
P40,000.00, it is proper to impose on him the same penalty in this case.
Nos. 311.

Tagle vs. Court of Appeals, 592 SCRA 283, July 08, 2009

Case Title : SPS. ELIZABETH S. TAGLE & ERNESTO R. TAGLE, petitioners,


vs. HON. COURT OF APPEALS, RTC, QUEZON CITY, BRANCH 97, SPS.
FEDERICO and ROSAMYRNA CARANDANG and SHERIFF CAROL
BULACAN, respondents.

Case Nature : PETITION for review on certiorari of a decision of the Court


of Appeals.

Syllabi Class :Civil Procedure

Facts:

This is a petition for certiorari assailing the Decision of the (CA) in CA-G.R. SP No.
75707, upholding the Orders issued by the RTC of Quezon City, Branch 97, dated
October 25, 20012 and December 16, 20023 which respectively denied petitioners
Motion to Set Aside/Annul Public Auctions dated July 18, 2002 and Motion for
Reconsideration dated November 27, 2002.

It stemmed from the execution of a favorable judgment in the civil case for
rescission of contract filed by respondent spouses Federico and Rosamyrna
Carandang (the Carandangs) against petitioner spouses Ernesto and Elizabeth
Tagle (the Tagles). Carandangs mortgaged several properties with the Philippine
Banking Corporation (PBC). Among those mortgaged and subject of the present
controversy is a house and lot located in White Plains, Quezon City. Unable to pay
their mortgage obligation, the Carandangs ceded or assigned the subject property,
among others, to PBC by way of a Dacion En Pago with Right to Repurchase within
2 years. The parties herein executed a Contract to Sell involving the White Plains
property for P 4.5 million and thereupon the Tagles issued a check for P1 million in
favor of the Carandangs. The Carandangs, in turn, delivered said amount to PBC as
partial payment of the redemption/repurchase price and surrendered possession of
the property to the Tagles.

The parties executed a Deed of Assignment, which sold the right to repurchase the
subject property to the Tagles. The Deed of Assignment superseded the Contract to
Sell. Hence, pursuant to the Deed of Assignment, the Tagles would be able to
acquire title to the property upon payment of the redemption price as they would
step into the shoes of the Carandangs.

The Carandangs submitted the approved Deed of Assignment from PBC, However,
the sale and conveyance of the title to the property were protracted by several
factors one of which was the fact that the title of the subject property needed to be
reconstituted because it was among those gutted by the fire which razed the Office
of the Register of Deeds in Quezon City.

A meeting was held among PBC and the parties to discuss the payment scheme. At
this point, the Tagles insisted that the dacion be registered and a Deed of Sale
executed between them and PBC. Further, PBC and the Tagles executed a Deed of
Absolute Sale, whereby the former sold the White Plains property to the latter. This
deed made no mention of the parties prior Deed of Assignment because the Tagles
refused to sign unless any reference thereto was removed.

Having dealt with PBC directly, the Tagles refused to honor their obligation to the
Carandangs under the Deed of Assignment. Hence, the Carandangs filed a
complaint for rescission of contract against the Tagles in the RTC of Quezon City
which was docketed as Civil Case No. Q91-10092. The complaint sought payment
of the balance of their obligation to the Carandangs under the Deed of Assignment.

The RTC decided in favor of petitioners and ordered respondents to reimburse the
down payment given to them. However, on appeal, the CA reversed the decision of
the RTC and declared that the Tagles were bound by the parties Deed of
Assignment.

Issue:

Whether the RTC gravely abused its discretion when it upheld the regularity and
validity of the public auctions despite the shockingly inadequate proceeds thereof?

Held:

No, Mere allegation is not evidence and is not equivalent to proof. While this Court
is not unaware of petitioner Ernesto Tagles reputation as a known artist and
painter, mere claim of his renown in artistic circles is not proof of the purported
high value of his artwork and pieces that were auctioned or of the inadequacy of
the price when such works were sold during the questioned auction sales. We note
that the Tagles presented several receipts to show the prices at which some of
petitioner Ernesto Tagles artworks had allegedly been sold. However, there was
no evidence that the artworks auctioned on execution were of the same kind or
worth as those sold to the buyers indicated in the said receipts. Ergo, there were
no bases for comparison for the value of the works mentioned in the said receipts
and the value of those sold at the execution sales questioned herein. What was
incumbent upon petitioners was to produce independent, competent and credible
valuations or appraisals of the artwork sold during the assailed public auctions in
order to substantiate their claim that the prices at which said paintings and
artwork were sold were indeed grossly inadequate.
Accordingly, the Court finds no grave abuse of discretion was committed by the CA
in upholding the regularity and validity of the challenged August 9, 2000 and
September 27, 2000 public auction sales.
Nos. 312.

Go vs. Villanueva, Jr., 581 SCRA 126, March 13, 2009

Case Title : JIMMY T. GO, petitioner, vs. THE CLERK OF COURT AND EX-
OFFICIO PROVINCIAL SHERIFF OF NEGROS OCCIDENTAL, ILDEFONSO
M. VILLANUEVA, JR., and SHERIFF DIOSCORO F. CAPONPON, JR. and
MULTI-LUCK CORPORATION, respondents.

Case Nature : PETITION for review on certiorari of the decision and


resolution of the Court of Appeals.

Syllabi Class :Courts ; Injunction ; Requisites ;

Facts:

The case originates from the complaint alleging that petitioner is a business
partner of Looyuko and that the former co-owned the properties of Looyuko/NAMI
including the properties subject of the auction sales from the writ of execution
issued by the RTC on the bounced check issued by Go to Multi-Luck. Multi-Luck
filed a motion to dismiss on the ground, among others, that the Pasig RTC had no
jurisdiction over the subject matter of petitioners claim and over the public
respondent sheriffs as well as over Multi-Luck.

In the Order dated October 30, 2000, the Pasig RTC granted petitioners prayer for
issuance of a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO). Multi-Luck moved for the
reconsideration of the November 23, 2000 and December 7, 2000 Orders but both
motions were also denied by the Pasig RTC in separate Orders both dated February
2, 2001. Multi-Luck elevated the case to the CA via a petition for certiorari and
prohibition with prayer for the issuance of restraining order and/or injunction.

Multi-Luck elevated the case to the CA via a petition for certiorari and prohibition
with prayer for the issuance of restraining order and/or injunction.

As previously stated herein, in the Decision dated April 30, 2002, the CA granted
Multi-Lucks petition and reversed the ruling of the Pasig RTC. The CA ruled that
the November 23, 2000 Order issued by the Pasig RTC interfered with the order of
the Bacolod RTC, which is a co-equal and coordinate court. The CA held that the
Pasig RTC gravely abused its discretion when it granted the injunctive relief
prayed for by petitioner despite the glaring lack of a clear legal right on the part of
the latter to support his cause of action. Petitioner filed a motion for
reconsideration but the CA denied the same in its equally challenged Resolution
dated July 31, 2002.

Hence, this present petition for review on certiorari.


Issues:

Whether or not since Petitioner theorizes that since he was a stranger to the
Civil Case No. 98-10404, he should be considered a third party claimant on
attached properties held for auction sale?

Held:

No, the attached real properties are registered solely in the name of Looyuko and
NAMI. Corollarily, petitioner had no standing to question the Bacolod RTCs
judgment as he is a stranger to Civil Case No. 98-10404 and he has no clear right
or interest in the attached property. Likewise, the stock certificate is registered in
the name of NAMI. Moreover, the checks subject of Civil Case No. 98-10404 were
made in payment for obligations incurred by Looyuko in the course of the business
operation of NAMI. Even assuming for the sake of argument that indeed, petitioner
co-owns NAMI, whatever obligation the business incurred in the course of its
operation is an obligation of petitioner as a part owner. In effect, petitioner was
merely forestalling the implementation of a final judgment against the corporation
which he purportedly co-owns.

Hence such petition is denied.


Nos. 313.

Philippine National Oil Company vs. Maglasang, 570 SCRA 560, November
11, 2008

Case Title : PHILIPPINE NATIONAL OIL COMPANY, petitioner, vs.


LEONILO A. MAGLASANG and OSCAR S. MAGLASANG, respondents

Case Nature : PETITION for review on certiorari of the decision and


resolution of the Court of Appeals.

Syllabi Class :Constitutional Law ; Property ; Eminent Domain ; Just


Compensation ;

Facts:

PNOC filed a complaint for eminent domain against respondent Oscar S.


Maglasang; and against Leolino A. Maglasang. The subject parcels of land are
located at Lim-ao, Municipality of Kananga, Leyte and to be used by the PNOC in
the construction and operation of the 125MW Upper Mahiao Geothermal Power
Plant Project.

The RTC issued writs of possession over Lot No. 11907 and Lot No. 11900 on
December 5, 1994 and December 13, 1994, respectively, after PNOC posted the
required provisional deposit.

The RTC appointed three commissioners; upon recommendation the price is


Php700 per square meter. Upon appeal, CA reduced the price to Php 300 per
square meter. PNOC filed an appeal based on these grounds:

A.CONTRARY TO THE RULING OF THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS,


THE INITIAL VALUATION OF THE TRIAL COURT OF P 300.00 PER SQUARE
METER IS NOT WELL SUPPORTED BY THE EVIDENCE ON RECORD AS
REPRESENTING THE FAIR MARKET VALUE OF THE EXPROPRIATED PARCELS
OF LAND.

B.LIKEWISE CONTRARY TO THE RULING OF THE HONORABLE COURT OF


APPEALS, THE SUBJECT PROPERTIES WERE AGRICULTURAL, NOT
INDUSTRIAL, PARCELS OF LAND AT THE TIME THEY WERE TAKEN FOR
PUBLIC USE.

Issue:

Whether or not there are justifiable grounds on the appeal of PNOC in the SC?
Held:

No, other than the question as to the precise time the fixing of just compensation
should be reckoned, the rest of petitioners arguments dwell solely on questions of
fact.

In expropriation proceedings, the value of the land and its character at the time it
was taken by the government are the criteria for determining just compensation.
In expropriation proceedings, the value of the land and its character at the time it
was taken by the government are the criteria for determining just compensation.
This is so because, there are instances when the expropriating agency takes over
the property prior to the expropriation suit, in which situation just compensation
shall be determined as of the time of taking.

There is a taking when the expropriator enters private property not only for a
momentary period but for a more permanent duration, for the purpose of devoting
the property to a public use in such a manner as to oust the owner and deprive him
of all beneficial enjoyment thereof.In the context of the States inherent power of
eminent domain, there is taking where the owner is actually deprived or
dispossessed of his property; where there is a practical destruction or a material
impairment of the value of his property; or when he is deprived of the ordinary use
thereof. In Republic v. Castellvi, 58 SCRA 336 (1974), this Court held that there is
a taking when the expropriator enters private property not only for a momentary
period but for a more permanent duration, for the purpose of devoting the
property to a public use in such a manner as to oust the owner and deprive him of
all beneficial enjoyment thereof. Thus, in that case, we rejected the States
contention that a lease on a year to year basis can give rise to a permanent right to
occupy, since by express legal provision a lease made for a determinate time, as
was the lease of Castellvis land, ceases upon the day fixed, without need of a
demand. Neither can it be said that the right of eminent domain may be exercised
by simply leasing the premises to be expropriated. Where, as here, the owner was
compensated and not deprived of the ordinary and beneficial use of his property by
its being diverted to public use, there is no taking within the constitutional sense.
Nos. 314.

Sesbreo vs. Gako, Jr., 570 SCRA 398, November 03, 2008

Case Title : ATTY. RAUL H. SESBREO, complainant, vs. JUDGE IRENEO L.


GAKO, JR., Judge, Regional Trial Court (RTC), Branch 5, Cebu City, and
MANUEL G. NOLLORA, Clerk of Court, RTC, Br. 5, Cebu City, respondents

Case Nature : ADMINISTRATIVE MATTER in the Supreme Court. Violation


of Rule 3.05, Canon 3, in relation to Rule 1.02, Canon 2 of the Code of
Judicial Conduct for Delay in Resolving a Motion for Reconsideration,
Violation of Canon 2 of said Code for Acting on Said Case After Having
Recused from the Case and Incompetence.

Syllabi Class :Administrative Law ; Court Personnel ; Clerks of Court ;

Facts:

Atty. Raul H. Sesbreo charging Judge Gako with delay in resolving a Motion for
Reconsideration filed in Special Proceedings No. 916-R entitled Intestate Estate of
Vito Borromeo,; and for acting on the said case after he had recused himself from
the case, and incompetence, together with Clerk of Court Nollora.

According to the complainant, respondent Judge Gako deliberately failed to resolve


the motion within the ninety (90)-day period and in clear violation of the mandate
that a judge to dispose of the courts business promptly and to decide cases within
the required periods requiring judges to administer justice without delay.

The complainant further alleged that respondent judge issued an Order inhibiting
himself from handling Special Proceedings No. 916-R. However, almost five (5)
months after such inhibition, respondent judge still continued to act on the said
case by issuing an Order granting the Motion for Clarification/ Reconsideration
filed by the heirs of Patrocino Borromeo Herrera. Complainant also charged
respondent judge and his Clerk of Court of incompetence for failure to keep all the
records of the case intact and for proceeding to resolve the case with incomplete
records.

Respondent judge filed his Compliance with an opening statement that he


compulsorily retired from the service on September 20, 2006 and while working on
his retirement papers, he suffered a mild stroke which necessitated his
rehabilitation in his home. Further, According to respondent judge, he did not act
on the said motion because he believed that Virginia Lim Sesbreo should be the
person who should have filed the motion for reconsideration and not herein
complainant. Subsequently, respondent judge issued an order voluntarily inhibiting
himself from the case because complainant had already filed the instant
administrative complaint against him.

Issue:

Whether respondent judge and the clerk of court are liable for undue delay in
resolving a decision or order which is considered a less serious offense?

Held:

Yes, the unreasonable delay of the respondent judge in resolving the motion
submitted for his resolution clearly constituted a violation of complainants
constitutional right to a speedy disposition of his case. Having failed to resolve the
Motion for Reconsideration within the prescribed period of time, respondent judge
is liable for undue delay in resolving a decision or order which is considered a less
serious offense. Respondent judge should also be held liable for failure to obey
directives from the OCA.

The explanation of respondent judge that he suffered a mild stroke to be


insufficient to exonerate him, although it may mitigate his liability. While he may
have been suffering from some ailment, he failed to show that it totally
incapacitated him from complying with the lawful orders of the OCA. The failure of
respondent judge to comply with the OCAs directives to file comment to the letter-
complaint against him manifested his indifference to the lawful directives of the
Court.

No, respondent Clerk of Court Nollora, as an officer of the court, is duty-bound to


use reasonable skill and diligence in completing the record of the case even
without any order from his presiding judge, as he is aware whether the record is
complete or incomplete when he receives them. Under the 2002 Revised Manual
for Clerks of Court, the branch clerk of court as the administrative officer of the
court, among others, controls and supervises the safekeeping of court records.
Moreover, Section 7, Rule 136 of the Rules of Court specifically mandates the clerk
of court to safely keep all records, papers, files, exhibits and public property
committed to his charge. As custodian of judicial records, it is incumbent upon him
to ensure an orderly and efficient record management system in the court and to
supervise the personnel under his office to function effectively. A clerk of court
plays a key role in the complement of the court and cannot be permitted to slacken
on his job under one pretext or another. He must be assiduous in performing his
official duties and in supervising and managing court dockets and records. In this
case, he fell short of his duty. Thus, we find him administratively liable for simple
neglect of duty.
WHEREFORE, judgment is hereby rendered:

(1)Finding Judge IRENEO L. GAKO, JR. GUILTY for two less serious offenses: (1)
undue delay in rendering a decision/resolution and (2) violation of Court directives
for which he is hereby FINED in the total amount of P30,000.00 to be deducted
from the amount withheld from his retirement benefits.

(2)Finding Clerk of Court MANUEL G. NOLLORA GUILTY for simple neglect of


duty and is FINED in the amount equivalent to one (1) month salary and sternly
WARNED that a repetition of the same or similar offense shall be dealt with more
severely.
Nos. 315.

Wilkie vs. Limos, 570 SCRA 1, October 24, 2008

Case Title : WALTER WILKIE, complainant, vs. ATTY. SINAMAR E. LIMOS,


respondent

Case Nature : ADMINISTRATIVE CASE in the Supreme Court. Deceitful and


Dishonest Conduct.

Facts:

The case arose from the IBP case filed by Wilkie against Atty. Limos for issuance of
several bouncing checks on the loan granted by the former to the latter. Further, it
the loan was granted when Atty. Limos was the counsel of Wilkie for an adoption
case. The IBP case was rendered in favor of Wilkie, however despite of the IBP
decision; the loan was not yet paid immediately until July 21, 2005 and August 24,
2005. Hence, a criminal case for violation of BP Blg 22 was filed.

Issue:

Whether or not Atty. Limos should be disbarred for such misconduct?

Held:

No, In this case, the respondent has fully paid her obligation to the complainant
which according to the receipts dated July 21, 2005 and August 24, 2005,
amounted to P400,000.00. The criminal cases filed by the complainant have been
dismissed and this is the first time a complaint of such nature has been filed
against the respondent. Under these circumstances, the Court rules and so holds
that a suspension of three months from the practice of law would be sufficient
sanction on the respondent.

On a final note, we reiterate that membership in the legal profession is a privilege


demanding a high degree of good moral character, not only as a condition
precedent to admission, but also as a continuing requirement for the practice of
law. Sadly, herein respondent fell short of the exacting standards expected of her
as a vanguard of the legal profession.
Nos. 316.

People vs. Gil, 569 SCRA 142, October 15, 2008

Case Title : PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee, vs. JULIE


VILLACORTA GIL (A.K.A. Julie Villasorca Gil), accused-appellant

Case Nature : AUTOMATIC REVIEW of a decision of the Court of Appeals.

Syllabi Class :Evidence ; Circumstantial Evidence ; Witnesses ;

Facts:

The case arose from the arson with homicide case filed against the appellant. After
trial, the RTC rendered its assailed decision convicting the accused-appellant of
the crime charged. After trial, the RTC rendered its assailed decision convicting
the accused-appellant of the crime charged. This case was directly elevated to this
Court for mandatory review. In a minute resolution, the case was referred to CA.
On review, the CA rejected the assignments of error raised by the accused-
appellant and affirmed her conviction of the crime charged.

The accused-appellant assails her conviction on the following grounds:

I. THE COURT A QUO GRAVELY ERRED IN FINDING THE ACCUSED-


APPELLANT GUILTY BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT OF THE CRIME
OF ARSON WITH HOMICIDE BASED ON CIRCUMSTANTIAL
EVIDENCE.
II. THE COURT A QUO GRAVELY ERRED IN CONSIDERING AS EVIDENCE
THE ALLEGED EXTRAJUDICIAL CONFESSION OF THE ACCUSED-
APPELLANT.

The accused-appellant contends that the circumstantial evidence of the


prosecution failed to produce the required quantum of proof to hold her criminally
liable for the charge.

The accused-appellant also argues that her written confession is inadmissible in


evidence. She claims that she was not assisted by counsel at the time she executed
the same; and that she was merely led to believe, without apprising her of its legal
significance, that it would help her.

Issue:

Whether or not the arguments are tenable?


Held:

No, This Court agrees with the plaintiff-appellee that the RTC has passed upon
enough circumstantial evidence to hold the accused-appellant guilty beyond
reasonable doubt of the crime charged. The plaintiff-appellee correctly cites the
ruling in People v. Gallarde, 325 SCRA 835 (2000), which distinguished the two
types of positive identification of a perpetrator of a crime and discussed their legal
importance, thus: Positive identification pertains essentially to proof of identity and
not per se to that of being an eyewitness to the very act of commission of the
crime. There are two types of positive identification. A witness may identify a
suspect or accused in a criminal case as the perpetrator of the crime as an
eyewitness to the very act of the commission of the crime. This constitutes direct
evidence. There may, however, be instances where, although a witness may not
have actually seen the very act of commission of a crime, he may still be able to
positively identify a suspect or accused as the perpetrator of a crime as for
instance when the latter is the person or one of the persons last seen with the
victim immediately before and right after the commission of the crime. This is the
second type of positive identification, which forms part of circumstantial evidence,
which, when taken together with other pieces of evidence constituting an
unbroken chain, leads to the only fair and reasonable conclusion, which is that the
accused is the author of the crime to the exclusion of all others. If the actual
eyewitness are the only ones allowed to possibly positively identify a suspect or
accused to the exclusion of others, then nobody can ever be convicted unless there
is an eyewitness, because it is basic and elementary that there can be no
conviction until and unless an accused is positively identified. Such a proposition is
absolutely absurd, because it is settled that direct evidence of the commission of a
crime is not the only matrix wherefrom a trial court may draw its conclusion and
finding of guilt. If resort to circumstantial evidence would not be allowed to prove
identity of the accused on the absence of direct evidence, then felons would go free
and the community would be denied proper protection.
Nos. 317.

Republic vs. Heirs of Evaristo Tiotioen, 568 SCRA 152, October 08, 2008

Case Title : REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, petitioner, vs. HEIRS OF


EVARISTO TIOTIOEN, respondents

Case Nature : PETITION for review on certiorari of a decision of the Court


of Appeals.

Syllabi Class :Appeals ; Land Registration ; Procedural Rules and


Technicalities ;

Facts:

Petitioners claimed that they are the heirs of Domingo Valientes who was the
owner of a parcel of land which was mortgaged to secure his loan to the spouses
Belen. Valiented failed to retrieve the land; hence through an allegedly forged
document captioned VENTA DEFINITIVA purporting to be a deed of sale of the
subject property between Domingo Valientes and the spouses Belen, the latter
obtained Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT) No. T-5,427 in their name. Upon the
death of the spouses Belen, their surviving heirs Brigida Sescon Belen and Maria
Lina Belen executed an extrajudicial settlement with partition and sale in favor of
private respondent Vilma Valencia-Minor, the present possessor of the subject
property.

Private respondent Minor filed with the then Court of First Instance of Pagadian
City a PETITION FOR CANCELLATION OF MEMORANDUM OF ENCUMBRANCE
APPEARING IN TCT NO. T-5,427 OF THE REGISTRY OF DEEDS OF ZAMBOANGA
DEL SUR,; the Regional Trial Court (RTC) granted Minors prayer to allow the
Register of Deeds to have the title to the subject property transferred to her name.

Petitioners filed a Complaint before the RTC of San Miguel, Zamboanga del Sur for
the CANCELLATION OF TRANSFER CERTIFICATE OF TITLE NO. T-5,427,
RECONVEYANCE, WITH ACCOUNTING, RECEIVERSHIP AND APPLICATION FOR
A WRIT OF PRELIMINARY PROHIBITORY INJUNCTION PLUS DAMAGES.

Private respondent Minor Private respondent Minor filed an Omnibus Motion to


Dismiss, RTC denied. The former filed motion for reconsideration, RTC still denied.

Hence, this Petition for Certiorari, wherein petitioners raised the following
grounds for assailing the Court of Appeals Decision:

I
THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS COMMITTED GRAVE ABUSE OF
DISCRETION AMOUNTING TO LACK OR IN EXCESS OF JURISDICTION WHEN IT
APPLIED PRESCRIPTION IN THE PRESENT PETITION, AFTER ALL, WHEN SHE
DID NOT APPEAL THE DECISION OF THE HONORABLE REGIONAL TRIAL
COURT DISMISSING THE COMPLAINT ON THE SOLE GROUND OF RES
JUDICATA, PRIVATE RESPONDENT IS DEEMED TO HAVE ALREADY WAIVED
THE DEFENSE OF PRESCRIPTION.

II

THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS COMMITTED GRAVE ABUSE OF


DISCRETION AMOUNTING TO LACK OR IN EXCESS OF JURISDICTION IN
DISMISSING THE COMPLAINT ON THE GROUND OF PRESCRIPTION, THE
PRESENT ACTION, ALTHOUGH CAPTIONED FOR CANCELLATION OF
TRANSFER CERTIFICATE OF TITLE NO. T-5,427, RECONVEYANCE AND ETC.,
SUBSTANTIALLY, IS FOR QUIETING OF TITLE, HENCE, PRESCRIPTION WILL
NOT LIE.

III

THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS COMMITTED GRAVE ABUSE OF


DISCRETION AMOUNTING TO LACK OR IN EXCESS OF JURISDICTION IN
APPLYING THE CASES OF TENIO-OBSEQUIO VERSUS COURT OF APPEALS, 330
SCRA 88, AND DECLARO VS. COURT OF APPEALS, 346 SCRA 57 WHEN FACTS
OBTAINING IN SAID CASES ARE NOT ATTENDANT IN THE PRESENT CASE FOR
CANCELLATION OF TRANSFER CERTIFICATE OF TITLE NO. T-5,427 ON THE
GROUND OF FORGERY OR BY REASON OF FORGED DOCUMENT CAPTIONED
VENTA DEFINITIVA.

IV

THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS COMMITTED GRAVE ABUSE OF


DISCRETION AMOUNTING TO LACK OR IN EXCESS OF JURISDICTION WHEN IT
[RENEGED] FROM ITS SOLEMN DUTY TO RENDER SUBSTANTIAL JUSTICE DUE
THE PARTIES RATHER THAN THE SANCTIFICATION OF TECHNICAL RULES OR
EQUITY ON PRESCRIPTION.

Issue:

Whether or not the arguments are tenable?

Held:
No, In deciding this case, this Court is guided by the settled doctrine that the
belated filing of an appeal by the State, or even its failure to file an opposition, in a
land registration case because of the mistake or error on the part of its officials or
agents does not deprive the government of its right to appeal from a judgment of
the court. In Director of Lands v. Medina, 241 SCRA 340 (1995), we said:
Considering the foregoing, the lower court gravely abused its discretion in
dismissing the appeal of the government on the basis of what it perceived as a
procedural lapse. The lower court should be reminded that the ends of substantial
justice should be the paramount consideration in any litigation or proceeding. As
this Court ruled in Republic v. Associacion Benevola de Cebu, 178 SCRA 692
(1989) to dismiss the Republics appeal merely on the alleged ground of late filing
is not proper considering the merits of the case and to ignore the evidence
presented by the provincial fiscal in behalf of the Director of Forestry which
constituted the crux of the governments case would defeat the time-honored
Constitutional precepts and the Regalian doctrine that all lands of the public
domain belong to the State, and that the State is the source of any asserted right
to ownership in land and charged with the conservation of such patrimony.

The Supreme Court has advised lower courts, under exceptional circumstances, to
be cautious about not depriving a party of the right to appeal and that every party
litigant should be afforded the amplest opportunity for the proper and just
determination of his cause free from the constraints of technicalities.We have
advised the lower courts, under exceptional circumstances, to be cautious about
not depriving of a party of the right to appeal and that every party litigant should
be afforded the amplest opportunity for the proper and just determination of his
cause free from the constraints of technicalities. In Tanenglian v. Lorenzo, et al.,
550 SCRA 348 (2008), we recognized the importance of the facts and issues
involved and gave due course to an appeal despite that it was the wrong mode of
appeal and that it was even filed beyond the reglementary period to do so, thus:
We have not been oblivious to or unmindful of the extraordinary situations that
merit liberal application of the Rules, allowing us, depending on the
circumstances, to set aside technical infirmities and give due course to the appeal.
In cases where we dispense with the technicalities, we do not mean to undermine
the force and effectivity of the periods set by law. In those rare cases where we did
not stringently apply the procedural rules, there always existed a clear need to
prevent the commission of a grave injustice. Our judicial system and the courts
have always tried to maintain a healthy balance between the strict enforcement of
procedural laws and the guarantee that every litigant be given the full opportunity
for the just and proper disposition of his cause.
Nos. 318.

People vs. Magbanua, 597 SCRA 287, August 27, 2009

Case Title : PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee, vs. RANDY


MAGBANUA alias BOYUNG and WILSON MAGBANUA, accused-
appellants.

Case Nature : APPEAL from a decision of the Court of Appeals.

Syllabi Class :Criminal Law|Dangerous Drugs Act

Facts:

This is an appeal for the decision of CA affirming the decision of RTC for the
conviction of the accused appellants for violation of RA 6425; for illegal possession
of four bricks of marijuana.

In their respective briefs, the prosecution and the defense presented conflicting
versions of the facts of the case.

While the prosecution stood by the facts as found by the RTC, accused-appellants
claimed that the RTC and the CA erred in convicting them because their guilt was
not proven beyond reasonable doubt. Even as they admitted that the marijuana
was seized from the vehicle with them on board, they denied having knowledge of
its existence. They offered a different version of the facts of the case.

Issue:

Whether or not the alleged inconsistencies in the testimonies should be the basis
for the acquittal of the appellants?

Held:

No, The alleged inconsistencies in the testimonies of the two (2) police officers
pointed out by the accused-appellants are not material but relate only to minor
matters. What is essential in a conviction for violation of Section 8, Article II of
R.A. No. 6425, as amended, is that the possession of the prohibited drug must be
duly established.

As long as the testimonies of the witnesses corroborate each other on material


points, the minor inconsistencies therein cannot destroy their credibility. Such
minor inconsistencies may even serve to strengthen their credibility as they negate
any suspicion that their testimonies are fabricated or rehearsed. Even the most
candid of witnesses commit mistakes and make confused and inconsistent
statements.16

Generally, courts give full faith and credit to police officers for they are presumed
to have performed their duties in a regular manner. Courts cannot simply set aside
their testimonies where there is no showing that the search conducted on the
accused-appellants was clearly violative of their constitutional rights or the said
search was a mere ploy to extort on the part of the police officers.

Accused-appellants failed to show any motive why the arresting police officers
would falsely impute a serious crime against them. Without such proof and with
the presumption that official duty was performed regularly, the findings of the trial
court on the credibility of witnesses shall prevail over accused-appellants self-
serving and uncorroborated denial.
Nos. 319.

Lopez vs. People, 555 SCRA 525, June 26, 2008

Case Title : JUDE JOBY LOPEZ, petitioner, vs. PEOPLE OF THE


PHILIPPINES, respondent

Case Nature : PETITION for review on certiorari of a decision of the Court


of Appeals.

Syllabi Class :Criminal Law ; Estafa ; Penalties ;

Facts:

This is a petition for review for the decision of the CA affirming the decision of RTC
convicting the petitioner guilty of the crime of Estafa; for the alleged issuance of a
DBP check amounting to Php20,000; that despite repeated demands after receipt
of dishonor, the accused still refuses to pay.

The petitioner interposed this appeal, contending that the CA erred

1.In affirming the decision of the lower court convicting the accused of the crime
of estafa.

2.In not applying the provisions of the negotiable instruments law.

3.In not ruling on the excessive penalty imposed by the trial court.

He was sentenced to suffer an indeterminate penalty of six (6) years and one (1)
day of prision mayor, as minimum, to twelve (12) years and one (1) day of reclusion
temporal, as maximum, and to indemnify the private complainant in the amount of
Twenty Thousand Pesos (P20,000.00) plus costs.

Issue:

Whether or not there is merit on the appeal?

Held:

No, Deceit is the false representation of a matter of fact whether by words or


conduct by false or misleading allegations or by concealment of that which should
have been disclosed which deceives or is intended to deceive another so that he
shall act upon it to his legal injury. Concealment which the law denotes as
fraudulent implies a purpose or design to hide facts which the other party ought to
have. The postdating or issuing of a check in payment of an obligation when the
offender had no funds in the bank or his funds deposited therein are not sufficient
to cover the amount of the check is a false pretense or a fraudulent act.7

The trial court and the CA found these elements of the crime charged present in
this case. There is no dispute as to the findings of fact of the CA that respondent
gave the sum of P20,000.00 to the accused in exchange for a postdated check in
the same amount issued by petitioner and that the said check was dishonored by
the bank. We quote the appellate courts factual findings, which sustained the trial
courts decision as follows:

Indisputably, on March 23, 1998, appellant issued and postdated a check with a
value equivalent to the sum of P20,000.00 which he obtained from Efren. He
accomplished deceit when he led Efren to believe that, prior to, or simultaneous
with, their arrangement, the subject check is good upon its maturity on April 30,
1998. However, the check turned out to be worthless because, when Efren
deposited it with the Legaspi Savings Bank, the same was dishonor due to
Account Closed. Evidently, Efren was prejudiced and damaged by appellants
fraudulent ploy.

In the motion for reconsideration of the decision of the trial court finding petitioner
guilty of the crime of estafa, the latter raised only the issue of whether or not
deceit was proven by the prosecution. Petitioner likewise dwelt on the said issue in
his appeal to the CA.

The Indeterminate Sentence Law provides that if an offense is punished by the


Revised Penal Code or its amendments, the court shall sentence the accused to an
indeterminate penalty, the maximum term of which shall be that which, in view of
the attending circumstances, can be properly imposed under the rules of the
Revised Penal Code, while the minimum term of which shall be within the range of
penalty next lower to that prescribed by the Code for the offense.The
Indeterminate Sentence Law provides that if an offense is punished by the Revised
Penal Code or its amendments, the court shall sentence the accused to an
indeterminate penalty, the maximum term of which shall be that which, in view of
the attending circumstances, can be properly imposed under the rules of the
Revised Penal Code, while the minimum term of which shall be within the range of
the penalty next lower to that prescribed by the Code for the offense.
Nos. 320.

RN Development Corporation vs. A.I.I. System, Inc., 555 SCRA 513, June
26, 2008

Case Title : RN DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, petitioner, vs. A.I.I.


SYSTEM, INC., respondent.

Case Nature : PETITION for review on certiorari of the decision and


resolution of the Court of Appeals.

Syllabi Class :Civil Procedure ; Pre-trial ;

Facts:

This is a Petition for review for reversal of decision of CA reversing the decision of
the RTC dismissing respondents complaint for its failure to appear for pre-trial
and for lack of interest. The respondents motion for reconsideration of the said
Order was denied by the RTC. The record thus bears out that the Court had been
very lenient to the [respondent] when it allowed the resetting of the pre-trial for
five times.

Hence, the petitioner is now before this Court contending that the CA erred in
reversing the RTCs Order dismissing the petitioners complaint because the
inference made by the Court of Appeals was manifestly mistaken; its judgment was
based on misapprehension of facts; and the Court of Appeals manifestly overlooked
certain facts not disputed by the parties and which, if properly considered, would
justify a different conclusion. Petitioner added that the trial court did not commit
grave abuse of discretion in dismissing respondents complaint.

Issue:

Whether or not the argument is tenable?

Held:

No, While a court can dismiss a case on the ground of non prosequitur, the real
test of such power is whether, under the circumstances, plaintiff is chargeable with
want of due diligence in failing to proceed with reasonable promptitude. In the
absence of a pattern or a scheme to delay the disposition of the case or a wanton
failure to observe the mandatory requirement of the rules on the part of the
plaintiff, as in the case at bar, courts should decide to dispense rather than wield
their authority to dismiss.

Indeed, the dismissal of a case whether for failure to appear during trial or
prosecute an action for an unreasonable length of time rests on the sound
discretion of the trial court. But this discretion must not be abused, nay gravely
abused, and must be exercised soundly. Deferment of proceedings may be
tolerated so that cases may be adjudged only after a full and free presentation of
all the evidence by both parties. The propriety of dismissing a case must be
determined by the circumstances surrounding each particular case. There must be
sufficient reason to justify the dismissal of a complaint.

Pre-trial is not a mere technicality in court proceeding for it is essential in the


simplification and the speedy disposition of disputes. The Court observed in the
case of Development Bank of the Philippines v. Court of Appeals6 that:

Everyone knows that a pre-trial in civil actions is mandatory, and has been so
since January 1, 1964. Yet to this day its place in the scheme of things is not fully
appreciated, and it receives but perfunctory treatment in many courts. Some
courts consider it a mere technicality, serving no useful purpose save perhaps,
occasionally to furnish ground for non-suiting the plaintiff, or declaring a
defendant in default, or, wistfully, to bring about a compromise. The pre-trial
device is not thus put to full use. Hence it has failed in the main to accomplish the
chief objective for it: the simplification, abbreviation and expedition of the trial, if
not indeed its dispensation. This is a great pity, because the objective is attainable,
and with not much difficulty, if the device were more intelligently and extensively
handled.

It is the policy of the Court to afford every litigant the amplest opportunity for the
proper and just determination of his cause, free from the constraints of
technicalities. Since rules of procedure are mere tools designed to facilitate the
attainment of justice, courts must avoid the rigid application thereof which tends
to frustrate rather than promote the ends of justice.7 Here, the counsel for
respondent, upon receiving the order dismissing the complaint, immediately filed a
motion for reconsideration which adequately explained his late arrival for four (4)
minutes, which was not disputed before the trial court. Under the circumstances,
the latter should have granted respondents motion for reconsideration of the
dismissal of the complaint. The interest of justice will be better served by the
continuation of the proceedings and final disposition of the case on the merits
before the trial court. Thus, the appellate court did not commit any reversible error
when it set aside the order of the trial court dismissing the respondents complaint.
Nos. 321.

Republic vs. Lorenzo, 687 SCRA 478, December 10, 2012

Case Title : REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, petitioner, vs. CONCEPCION


LORENZO, ORLANDO FONTANILLA, SAMUEL FONTANILLA, JULIET
FONTANILLA, ELIZABETH FONTANILLA, ROSELA FONTANILLA, RENATO
FONTANILLA and EVELYN FONTANILLA, respondents.

Case Nature : PETITION for review on certiorari of a decision of the Court


of Appeals.

Syllabi Class :Civil Law|Land Registration|Reconstitution of Titles

Facts:

Herein respondents Concepcion Lorenzo and Orlando, Samuel, Juliet, Elizabeth,


Rosela, Renato, Evelyn, all surnamed Fontanilla, filed a petition for reconstitution
of Original Certificate of Title (OCT) No. 3980 before the RTC covering a parcel of
land in Echague, Isabela. They claimed that during his lifetime, Pedro Fontanilla
and his spouse Concepcion Lorenzo bought a parcel of land from Antonia Pascua
and that a deed of sale was executed for the said transaction. Hence, an Owners
Duplicate Copy of OCT No. 3980 was delivered unto the spouses Pedro Fontanilla
and Concepcion Lorenzo. They also averred that the owner's copy of the said title
was eaten by termites while the original copy of the title filed before the Register
of Deeds of Isabela was burned when the latter was razed by fire. The RTC granted
the petition.

On appeal, the Court of Appeals affirmed the RTCs decision. Thus, the Republic
sought the relief before the Supreme Court.

Issue:

Whether or not the Court of Appeals erred when it affirmed the RTCS Order of
reconstitution of OCT No. 3980?

Held:

The petition is impressed with merit.

CIVIL LAW: reconstitution of title


The relevant law that governs the reconstitution of a lost or destroyed Torrens
certificate of title is Republic Act No. 26. Section 2 of said statute enumerates the
following as valid sources for judicial reconstitution of title:

Original certificates of title shall be reconstituted from such of the sources


hereunder enumerated as may be available, in the following order:

(a) The owners duplicate of the certificate of title;

(b) The co-owners, mortgagees, or lessees duplicate of the certificate of title;

(c) A certified copy of the certificate of title, previously issued by the register of
deeds or by a legal custodian thereof;

(d) An authenticated copy of the decree of registration or patent, as the case may
be, pursuant to which the original certificate of title was issued;

(e) A document, on file in the Registry of Deeds, by which the property, the
description of which is given in said document, is mortgaged, leased or
encumbered, or an authenticated copy of said document showing that its original
had been registered; and

(f) Any other document which, in the judgment of the court, is sufficient and proper
basis for reconstituting the lost or destroyed certificate of title.

As borne out by the records of this case, Lorenzo et al. were unable to present any
of the documents mentioned in paragraphs (a) to (e) above. Thus, the only
documentary evidence the respondents were able to present as possible sources
for the reconstitution of OCT No. 3980 are those that they believed to fall under
the class of any other document described in paragraph (f).

As correctly pointed out by Republic, we had emphasized in Republic v. Holazo that


the term any other document in paragraph (f) refers to reliable documents of the
kind described in the preceding enumerations and that the documents referred to
in Section 2(f) may be resorted to only in the absence of the preceding documents
in the list. Therefore, the party praying for the reconstitution of a title must show
that he had, in fact, sought to secure such documents and failed to find them
before presentation of other documents as evidence in substitution is allowed.

Furthermore, in a more recent case, this Court enumerated what should be shown
before an order for reconstitution can validly issue, namely: (a) that the certificate
of title had been lost or destroyed; (b) that the documents presented by petitioner
are sufficient and proper to warrant reconstitution of the lost or destroyed
certificate of title; (c) that the petitioner is the registered owner of the property or
had an interest therein; (d) that the certificate of title was in force at the time it
was lost or destroyed; and (e) that the description, area and boundaries of the
property are substantially the same and those contained in the lost or destroyed
certificate of title.

In the case at bar, Lorenzo, et al. were unable to discharge the burden of proof
prescribed by law and jurisprudence for the reconstitution of lost or destroyed
Torrens certificate of title.

Likewise, the deed of sale purportedly between Antonia Pascua, as seller, and
Pedro Fontanilla, as buyer, which involves OCT No. 3980 cannot be relied upon as
basis for reconstitution of Torrens certificate of title. An examination of the deed of
sale would reveal that the number of the OCT allegedly covering the subject parcel
of land is clearly indicated, however, the date when said OCT was issued does not
appear in the document. This circumstance is fatal to Lorenzo et al.s cause as we
have reiterated inRepublic v. El Gobierno de las Islas Filipinas that the absence of
any document, private or official, mentioning the number of the certificate of title
and the date when the certificate of title was issued, does not warrant the granting
of a petition for reconstitution.

Petition for reconstitution is DENIED.


Nos. 322.

Magdadaro vs. Saniel, Jr., 687 SCRA 401, December 10, 2012

Case Title : MARCELINO A. MAGDADARO, complainant, vs. JUDGE


BIENVENIDO R. SANIEL, JR., Regional Trial Court, Branch 20, Cebu City,
respondent.

Case Nature : ADMINISTRATIVE MATTER in the Supreme Court.


Unreasonable Delay, Gross Ignorance of the Law, and Bias and Partiality.

Syllabi Class :Administrative Law|Judges|Right to Speedy Disposition of


Cases|Penalties

Facts:

This is an administrative complaint filed against Judge Saniel for unreasonable


delay, gross ignorance of the law, and bias and partiality; for the antecedent civil
case due to the following reasons because it took respondent more than one year
to decide the case from the time it was submitted for decision. To make matters
worse, it took the court almost another year to act on his Notice of Appeal and
transmit the records of the case to the appellate court.

Complainant also asserted that respondent was ignorant of the law considering
that the latter did not know the respective liabilities and obligations of the parties
in a comprehensive car insurance contract.

Respondent alleged that complainant instituted the instant administrative


complaint because the latter felt resentful towards the former for rendering the
Decision dated December 28, 2009 dismissing Civil Case No. CEB-27778.

Respondent further argued that the filing of the instant complaint was premature
given that complainants appeal of the Decision dated December 28, 2009 in Civil
Case No. CEB-27778 was still pending before the Court of Appeals. Respondent
cannot be held liable for gross ignorance of the law for the appellate court may still
affirm respondents ruling in the appealed judgment.

Issue:

Whether or not the arguments of the respondent are tenable?

Held:
No, it is settled that a judges failure to interpret the law or to properly appreciate
the evidence presented does not necessarily render him administratively liable.
Only judicial errors tainted with fraud, dishonesty, gross ignorance, bad faith, or
deliberate intent to do an injustice will be administratively sanctioned. An
administrative complaint against a judge cannot be pursued simultaneously with
the judicial remedies accorded to parties aggrieved by his erroneous order or
judgment.

As a general principle, rules prescribing the time within which certain acts must be
done, or certain proceedings taken, are considered absolutely indispensable to the
prevention of needless delays and the orderly and speedy discharge of judicial
business.

That judges must decide cases promptly and expeditiously cannot be


overemphasized, for justice delayed is justice denied. Delay in the disposition of
cases undermines the peoples faith and confidence in the judiciary. If they cannot
decide cases within the period allowed by the law, they should seek extensions
from this Court to avoid administrative liability.
Nos. 323.

People vs. Rarugal, 688 SCRA 646, January 16, 2013

Case Title : PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee, vs. RAMIL


RARUGAL alias AMAY BISAYA, accused-appellant.

Case Nature : APPEAL from a decision of the Court of Appeals.

Syllabi Class :Criminal Law|Damages

Facts:

Appellant Ramil Rarugal alias Amay Bisaya was found guilty of murder for
stabbing Arnel M. Florendo with a bladed weapon, causing its death. Based on the
testimonies of witnesses that on the night of October 19, 1998 while victim was
cycling along Sampaguita Street, Barangay Capari, Novaliches, Quezon City,
appellant, with the use of a long double-bladed weapon, stabbed Florendo; thus,
forcibly depriving him of his bicycle. Immediately thereafter, appellant hurriedly
fled the scene. This incident was witnessed by Roberto Sit-Jar, who positively
identified appellant in court. Florendo arrived home bleeding. He was quickly
attended to by his siblings, including his brother Renato. When Renato recounted
the events of that night to the court, he testified that Florendo told him and his
other relatives that it was appellant who had stabbed him. They then took Florendo
to Tordesillas Hospital but had to transfer him to Quezon City General Hospital,
due to the unavailability of blood.

In his defense, appellant denied that he stabbed Florendo since he was at that time
working as a farm administrator for the town mayor in Pangasinan. He said he was
living with his cousin in Urbiztondo, Pangasinan on October 19, 1998, where he
had been staying since 1997. He stated that during the period 1997 to 1998, he did
not visit Manila at any point.

Issue:

Whether or not a dying declaration is admissible as evidence?

Held:

Yes, Florendo did not immediately die after he was stabbed by the appellant.
Florendo, apparently conscious that he could die of his wound, identified his
assailant as the appellant Ramil Rarugal. Under the rules, statements made by a
person under the consciousness of an impending death is admissible as evidence of
the circumstances of his death. The positive identification made by the victim
before he died, under the consciousness of an impending death is a strong
evidence indicating the liability of herein appellant.

The Rules of Court states that a dying declaration is admissible as evidence if the
following circumstances are present: (a) it concerns the cause and the
surrounding circumstances of the declarants death; (b) it is made when death
appears to be imminent and the declarant is under a consciousness of impending
death; (c) the declarant would have been competent to testify had he or she
survived; and (d) the dying declaration is offered in a case in which the subject of
inquiry involves the declarants death. x x x. (Citation omitted.)

We agree with the Court of Appeals that the statement of Florendo made to his
brother Renato has complied with the requisites of a dying declaration. It is
important to note that Florendo, after being stabbed by appellant twice on the
chest, went home and under labored breathing, told Renato that it was appellant
who had stabbed him. Clearly, the statement made was an expression of the cause
and the surrounding circumstances of his death, and under the consciousness of
impending death. There being nothing in the records to show that Florendo was
incompetent, he would have been competent to testify had he survived. It is
enough to state that the deceased was at the time competent as a witness. Lastly,
the dying declaration is offered in an inquiry the subject of which involves his
death.
Nos. 324.

People vs. Morante, 686 SCRA 602, November 28, 2012

Case Title : PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee, vs. FELIX


MORANTE, accused-appellant.

Case Nature : APPEAL from a decision of the Court of Appeals.

Syllabi Class :Remedial Law|Evidence|Witnesses|Rape

Facts:

This is an appeal for the affirmative decision on the six counts of rape, that on or
about the month of December, 1999, the appellant took advantage of the minority
of the complainant AAA who was then twelve (12) years of age and of his moral
ascendancy and influence over her as common-law husband of her mother, fondle
the breasts of said AAA, kiss her and raped her. AAA testified that appellant is her
stepfather. AAA and her siblings lived with their mother, BBB, and appellant in a
one-storey house/apartment. AAA also testified that every night from January 10 to
15, 2000, appellant, despite living with the family in close quarters, repeatedly
violated her, all the while threatening to kill her if she made any noise or reported
the incident to anyone else. On redirect examination, AAA clarified that she and
her mother lived in the same house as her aunt and her children, together with
appellant. She maintained that appellant had carnal knowledge of her despite
living in close quarters and with several people around.

Appellant denied all the charges against him. He stated that AAA was the daughter
of his common-law wife. He, however, disclaimed any knowledge of sexual abuse
committed in December 1999 and from January 10, 2000 to January 15, 2000. He
said that AAA, BBB, and CCC, AAAs aunt, harbored ill feelings against him for
intervening in an alleged fight among the three ladies involving the salary earned
by AAA from her baby-sitting job. They thus orchestrated his downfall. He said that
he treated AAA as he would his own daughter. He added that it was impossible for
him to have done anything to AAA since she worked as a helper in Bocaue, Bulacan
for four months, from January 13, 2000 to April 6, 2000.

However, there was an apparent contradiction in the testimony of [AAA] when put
on cross where she apparently stated that in the evening of January 10, 2000 to
January 15, 2000, she slept with her Tita and the latters siblings continuously thru
the night such that nothing untoward happened to her.

Issue:
Whether inconsistencies between AAAs testimony in the direct and cross-
examinations raised the defense of finding the accused guilty of rape?

Held:

No, AAA managed to explain and confirm that indeed she was raped by the
[appellant] herein in those evenings.

The Court is not unmindful of the defense raised by the accused that on some of
the material dates given, particularly January 11, 2000 onwards to January 15,
2000, he could not have raped AAA because the latter was already actually
employed and living as a babysitter in Bocaue, Bulacan. Other than his own self-
serving testimony and that of his natural child, no other witness came forward to
support the defense raised by the appellant.

The defense of denial raised therefore cannot be considered strong enough to


debunk the positive identification made by AAA against him. It noted that while
there seemed to be inconsistencies between AAAs testimony in the direct and
cross-examinations, she was able to explain these during the redirect examination.
Nos. 325.

People vs. Mangune, 685 SCRA 578, November 14, 2012

Case Title : PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee, vs. WILLIAM


MANGUNE y DEL ROSARIO, accused-appellant.

Case Nature : APPEAL from a decision of the Court of Appeals.

Syllabi Class :Criminal Law|Denials

Facts:

This is an appeal from the Decision of the RTC, where it was found Mangune guilty
beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of rape under Article 266-A, paragraph 1 (a)
as qualified by his parental relationship to the minor victim. The victim (AAA)
alleged that Mangune started raping her when she was just a little girl. She said
that since she was so young when the first rape occurred, her first clear memory of
her father raping her was in 1994, when she was in Grade III. Mangune, who
testified in his own defense, denied raping his daughter, AAA, and said that the
charge caught him by surprise.

The RTC handed down a guilty verdict against Mangune and sentenced him to
reclusion perpetua without the benefit of parole. The RTC found AAAs testimony
sufficient to be able to stand on its ground and convict Mangune.

Mangune appealed to the Court of Appeals, arguing that his guilt had not been
proven beyond reasonable doubt as the prosecution witnesses testimonies were
materially unreliable; thus, should not have been given full weight and credence.
On August 29, 2008, the Court of Appeals affirmed the RTCs Decision in its
entirety.

Issue:

Whether the fact that the medico-legal officer found no signs of external injuries on
AAA, especially on her face, which supposedly had been slapped several times,
invalidate her statement or that the absence of external signs of physical injuries
does negate rape?

Held:

Yes, While the victim testified that she was slapped many times by the accused-
appellant, which caused her to become unconscious, the doctor found no trace or
injury on her face. The absence of any injury or hematoma on the face of the victim
does not negate her claim that she was slapped. This Court, in a long line of cases,
has ruled that the absence of external signs of physical injuries does not negate
rape. The doctrine is thus well-entrenched in our jurisprudence, and the Court of
Appeals correctly applied it.

This Court finds no valid reason to depart from the time-honored doctrine that
where the issue is one of credibility of witnesses, and in this case their testimonies
as well, the findings of the trial court are not to be disturbed unless the
consideration of certain facts of substance and value, which have been plainly
overlooked, might affect the result of the case.
Nos. 326.

Bank of the Philippines Islands vs. BPI Employees Union-Davao Chapter-


Federation of Unions in BPI Unibank, 658 SCRA 828, October 11, 2011

Case Title : BANK OF THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS, petitioner, vs. BPI


EMPLOYEES UNION-DAVAO CHAPTERFEDERATION OF UNIONS IN BPI
UNIBANK, respondent.

Case Nature : MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION of a decision of the


Supreme Court.

Syllabi Class :Labor Law|Merger|Security of Tenure

Facts:

The BSP approved the Articles of Merger executed on January 20, 2000 by and
between BPI, and FEBTC. This Article and Plan of Merger was approved by the
SEC on April 7, 2000.Pursuant to the Article and Plan of Merger, all the assets and
liabilities of FEBTC were transferred to and absorbed by BPI as the surviving
corporation. FEBTC employees, including those in its different branches across the
country, were hired by petitioner as its own employees, with their status and
tenure recognized and salaries and benefits maintained. Respondent BPI
Employees Union-Davao Chapter-Federation of Unions in BPI Unibank is the
exclusive bargaining agent of BPIs rank and file employees in Davao City. The
former FEBT Crank-and-file employees in Davao City did not belong to any labor
union at the time of the merger. Prior to the effectivity of the merger, respondent
union invited said FEBTC employees to a meeting regarding the Union Shop
Clause of the existing CBA between petitioner BPI and respondent union. The
parties both advert to certain provisions of the existing CBA. After the meeting
called by the union, some of the former FEBTC employees joined the union, while
others refused. Later, however, some of those who initially joined retracted their
membership. Respondent union then sent notices to the former FEBTC employees
who refused to join, as well as those who retracted their membership and called
them to a hearing regarding the matter. When these former FEBTC employees
refused to attend the hearing, the president of the Union requested BPI to
implement the Union Shop Clause of the CBA and to terminate their employment.
After two months of management inaction on the request, respondent informed
petitioner of its decision to refer the issue of the implementation of the Union Shop
Clause of the CBA to the Grievance Committee. However, the issue remained
unresolved at this level and so it was subsequently submitted for voluntary
arbitration by the parties. Voluntary Arbitrator ruled in favor of petitioner BPI.
Respondent Union filed a motion for reconsideration, but the voluntary arbitrator
denied the same. It appealed to the CA and the CA reversed and set aside the
decision of the voluntary arbitrator. Hence, this petition.

Issue:

May a corporation invoke its merger with another corporation as a valid ground to
exempt its absorbed employees from the coverage of a union shop clause
contained in its existing CBA with its own certified labor union?

Held:

Employment Contracts

Significantly, too, the Articles of Merger and Plan of Merger dated April 7, 2000
did not contain any specific stipulation with respect to the employment contracts of
existing personnel of the non-surviving entity which is FEBTC. Unlike the Voluntary
Arbitrator, this Court cannot uphold the reasoning that the general stipulation
regarding transfer of FEBTC assets and liabilities to BPI as set forth in the Articles
of Merger necessarily includes the transfer of all FEBTC employees into the
employ of BPI and neither BPI nor the FEBTC employees allegedly could do
anything about it. Even if it is so, it does not follow that the absorbed employees
should not be subject to the terms and conditions of employment obtaining in the
surviving corporation. The rule is that unless expressly assumed, labor contracts
such as employment contracts and collective bargaining agreements are not
enforceable against a transferee of an enterprise, labor contracts being in
personam, thus binding only between the parties. A labor contract merely creates
an action in personam and does not create any real right which should be
respected by third parties. This conclusion draws its force from the right of an
employer to select his employees and to decide when to engage them as protected
under our Constitution, and the same can only be restricted by law through the
exercise of the police power.
Nos. 327.

Development Bank of the Philippines vs. Traverse Development


Corporation, 658 SCRA 614, October 05, 2011

Case Title : DEVELOPMENT BANK OF THE PHILIPPINES, petitioner, vs.


TRAVERSE DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION and CENTRAL SURETY AND
INSURANCE COMPANY, respondents.

Case Nature : PETITION for review on certiorari of the decision and


resolution of the Court of Appeals.

Syllabi Class :Courts|Judgments|Attorneys Fees

Facts:

The Development of the Philippines (DBP)-Tarlac Branch granted a Real Estate


Loan of 910,000.00 to Traverse Development Corporation (Traverse) for the
construction of its three-storey commercial building at Taedo St., Tarlac City. To
secure the payment of this loan, Traverse constituted a mortgage on the land on
which the building was to be built on July 21, 1980.Among the conditions imposed
by DBP in the mortgage contract was Traverses acquisition of an insurance
coverage for an amount not less than the loan, to be endorsed in DBPs favor.
From 1980 to 1981, Traverse submitted to DBP three policies in accordance with
the insurance condition in the mortgage contract. Originally, the fire insurance
was under the FGU Insurance for one (1) million, but the DBP transferred the
building insurance to Central Surety & Insurance Company (Central) for the same
terms. On August 9, 1982, a fire of undetermined origin razed and gutted
Traverses building. The following day, Traverse informed Central of the mishap
and requested it to immediately conduct the necessary inspection, evaluation, and
investigation however Central denied the proposal of one (1) million claim of
Traverse. Hence, Traverse instituted a case in the court. Traverse averred that it
was obvious from the beginning that Central was unable or unwilling to fulfill its
liability. Traverse impleaded DBP as a co-defendant because of its alleged failure
or refusal to convince Central to pay Traverses claims, considering that it
transferred Traverses insurance to Central without Traverses knowledge. The
RTC adjudged DBP to be solidarily liable with Central for damages, attorneys fees,
and costs of suit in view of its refusal or failure to pursue the claim against
Central. The RTC said that as beneficiary-assignee of the Policy, DBP should not
have stopped at following-up its claim through letters and telegrams but should
have either filed its own case against Central or joined Traverse as a co-plaintiff.

Issue:
Whether or not DBP can be held solidarily liable with Central for the payment of
attorneys fees and cost of litigation hence answerale to damages, attorneys fees
and cost of suit?

Held:

No. Even if it were true that DBP had a hand in the transfer of Traverses
insurance coverage to Central, such act is not sufficient to hold it solidarily liable
with Central for the payment of attorneys fees and cost of litigation under
paragraph (2) of Article 2208. This Court also cannot sustain the insinuation that
DBPs lax attitude in pursuing its claim against Central was tantamount to bad
faith as to make it liable for attorneys fees and costs of suit. Even a resort to the
principle of equity will not justify making DBP liable. The award of attorneys fees
is the exception rather than the rule and the court must state explicitly the legal
reason for such award. The general rule is that attorneys fees cannot be recovered
as part of damages because of the policy that no premium should be placed on the
right to litigate. They are not to be awarded every time a party wins a suit. The
power of the court to award attorneys fees under Article 2208 demands factual,
legal, and equitable justification. Even when a claimant is compelled to litigate
with third persons or to incur expenses to protect his rights, still attorneys fees
may not be awarded where no sufficient showing of bad faith could be reflected in
a partys persistence in a case other than an erroneous conviction of the
righteousness of his cause.
Nos. 328.

BP Philippines, Inc. (Formerly Burmah Castrol Philippines, Inc.) vs. Clark


Trading Corporation, 681 SCRA 365, September 19, 2012

Case Title : BP PHILIPPINES, INC. (FORMERLY BURMAH CASTROL


PHILIPPINES, INC.), petitioner, vs. CLARK TRADING CORPORATION,
respondent.

Case Nature : PETITION for review on certiorari of the decision and


resolution of the Court of Appeals.

Syllabi Class :Remedial Law|Provisional Remedies|Preliminary Injunction


Nos. 329.

Vda. de Feliciano vs. Rivera, 681 SCRA 323, September 19, 2012

Case Title : LUCIA NAZAR VDA. DE FELICIANO, complainant, vs. ROMERO


L. RIVERA, SHERIFF IV, REGIONAL TRIAL COURT, OFFICE OF THE CLERK
OF COURT, VALENZUELA CITY, respondent.

Case Nature : ADMINISTRATIVE MATTER in the Supreme Court.


Dishonesty, Gross Neglect of Duty and Misconduct.

Syllabi Class :Administrative Law|Sheriffs|Simple Neglect of Duty

Facts:

This is an administrative complaint1 for dishonesty, gross neglect of duty, and


misconduct, filed by complainant Lucia Nazar vda. de Feliciano against respondent
Romero L. Rivera, Sheriff IV of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) relative to the Civil
Case No. 174-V-07 which was an appeal to an ejectment case instituted by
complainant in Civil Case No. 9316, in which the MeTC rendered a Decision in
complainants favor.

Where the judgment is hereby rendered ordering the Barangay Council of


Barangay Ugong, Valenzuela City, represented by their Barangay Chairman
Vitaliano Lota and all barangay officials and persons claiming rights from them to
immediately vacate the subject premises and restore peaceful possession thereof
to the [herein complainant; and was affirmed on the RTC Decision on May 11, 2009
affirming the assailed MeTC judgment.

The complainant argued that the implementation of the writ be made either on
October 26 or 27 of 2009 because he have yet to raise the amount which might be
needed for the implementation of the writ. The respondent acceded to the request
and the implementation of the writ on October 22, 2009 was postponed.

However, when a follow up was made, the implementation through complainants


counsel on October 26, 2009, they had an agreement that the implementation of
the writ either on the 26th or 27th of October 2009.

He waited until his return but the respondent told that he would not implement the
writ because the defendant in the civil case had filed a motion to quash the writ.

Respondent categorically and vehemently denied complainants allegations.

Issue:
Whether the complainant is guilty of dishonesty, gross neglect of duty, and
misconduct?

Held:

In the instant case, the Court perceives the respondents indifferent attitude in the
enforcement of the Writ of Execution in Civil Case No. 174-V-07. The Writ of
Execution was issued on October 5, 2009. Respondent served notice on October
12, 2009 giving Lota and those claiming rights from Lota only 10 days from date of
receipt or until October 22, 2009 within which to vacate the disputed properties
and remove all improvements thereon. October 22, 2009 came to pass and Lota
and those claiming rights from Lota were still occupying the disputed properties.
Upon follow-up, complainant learned that respondent was not at the office on
October 27, 2009 and was in Cagayan de Oro to implement the Writ of Execution
in another case. When respondent returned, he explained to complainant that he
was not taking further action to implement the Writ of Execution because Lota
already filed a motion to quash said writ. More than two months from its issuance,
the Writ of Execution remained unsatisfied, thus, prompting complainant to file the
instant administrative complaint against respondent.

Respondents unreasonable delay in implementing the Writ of Execution in Civil


Case No. 174-V-07 constitutes simple neglect of duty, defined as the failure of an
employee to give ones attention to a task expected of him, and signifies a
disregard of a duty resulting from carelessness or indifference. Civil Service
Commission Memorandum Circular No. 19, series of 1999, classifies simple neglect
of duty as a less grave offense, punishable by suspension without pay for one (1)
month and one (1) day to six (6) months for the first offense. However, the penalty
of fine may be imposed instead of suspension.22 This being respondents first
offense in his twenty- four (24) years in government service, the penalty
recommended by the OCA of a fine of P5,000.00 is appropriate.23
Nos. 330.

Tarona vs. Court of Appeals, 589 SCRA 474, June 18, 2009

Case Title : LEONARDO TARONA, EUGENIA TARONA, NITA TARONA, LUIS


TARONA, ROSALINDA TARONA, APOLONIA TARONA, CARLOS TARONA,
LOURDES TARONA and ROGELIO TARONA, petitioners, vs. COURT OF
APPEALS (NINTH DIVISION), GAY T. LEAO, LEMUEL T. LEAO, NOEL T.
LEAO, JEDD ANTHONY LEAO CUISON and JASON ANTHONY LEAO
CUISON, respondents.

Case Nature : PETITION for review on certiorari of the decision and


resolution of the Court of Appeals.

Syllabi Class :Agrarian Reform Law|Tenancy

Facts:

This is a Petition for review on certiorari on the dismissal private respondents


action for recovery of possession of the landholding in question and ordering the
latter to respect the status of the petitioners as bona-fide tenants thereof. Private
respondents alleged that they are co-owners of the land located in Bataan, subject
of the case which they inherited from their late mother, Antonia T. Leao, in whose
name said property is titled. Private respondents claimed that the petitioners, then
defendants and intervenors, are not lawful and bona fide tenants of the subject
landholding because they have no legal or valid document evidencing tenancy or
any proof of rental payments. The purported lease agreement executed by their
father in favor of one Juanito Tarona was void for their father had no authority to
deal with their mothers paraphernal property. They likewise alleged that during
the lifetime of their mother, the land was administered by Cesario and Meliton
Fronda, both of whom are now dead. It was after Antonias death that then
defendants Leonardo, Eugenia, Nita, Luis and Rosalinda Tarona entered the land
and took possession of the same. Since barangay conciliation and mediation
proceedings conducted by the Municipal Agrarian Reform Office of Morong failed,
and subsequent demands for petitioners to vacate the land likewise proved futile,
private respondents were thus constrained to file the complaint.

Defendants, Leonardo, Eugenia, Nita, Luis and Rosalinda, and the intervenors,
Apolonia, Carlos, Lourdes and Rogelio, denied the material allegations therein and
averred that as nephews and nieces and the lawful heirs of the original agricultural
lessee, Juanito Tarona, they have succeeded to the latters tenancy rights and are,
therefore, bona fide leasehold tenants. In support of the alleged existence of a
tenancy relationship, defendants and intervenors presented in evidence a
Leasehold Agreement.
Issue:

Whether the CA erred and gravely abused its discretion in (1) declaring that the
transfer of residence by Apolonia, Carlos, Lourdes and Rogelio Tarona from
Morong, Bataan, to Caloocan City, negated their claim of personal cultivation of
the landholding in dispute which is located in Morong, Bataan; (2) not appreciating
the fact that a tenancy relationship between the private respondents and
Leonardo, Eugenia, Nita, Luis, and Rosalinda Tarona was impliedly created by
virtue of the latters continuous and uninterrupted possession and cultivation of
the land since 1957 without any disturbance from the private respondents and
Antonia Leao; and (3) prematurely declaring that only 1.2854 hectares of the
landholding is carpable despite pendency of the appeal on the issue of carpability
of said land with the DAR?

Held:

No, the first and second issues being raised herein hinge on the existence of
tenancy relations between the parties. This is a question of fact which generally is
beyond this Courts scope of review under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court.

Not all the elements for the creation of a tenancy relationship between these
petitioners (intervenors) and private respondents have been established in this
case.

In order to establish a tenancy relationship, the following essential requisites must


concur: (1) the parties are the landowner and the tenant or agricultural lessee; (2)
the subject matter of the relationship is an agricultural land; (3) there is consent
between the parties to the relationship; (4) the purpose of the relationship is to
bring about agricultural production; (5) there is personal cultivation on the part of
the tenant or agricultural lessee; and (6) the harvest is shared between the
landowner and the tenant or agricultural lessee. All these requisites are necessary
to create a tenancy relationship and the absence of one or more will not make the
alleged tenant a de facto tenant.

The instant petition is DENIED and the assailed Decision dated April 27, 2005 and
Resolution dated October 19, 2005 of the CA are AFFIRMED insofar as it declared
the petitioners not tenants of the subject landholding, and REVERSED with respect
to the finding of the extent of the coverage of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform
Program over the land subject of the case.