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Mago v.

Ferbruary 25, 1999
Bellosillo, J.

Private respondent Rolando Asis sued the National Housing Authority to
prevent it from acting upon the recommendation stated in its Resolution that:
(1) the title of land awarded to Asis should be cancelled, and (2) the land be
subdivided into two, with one half to be awarded to Asis and the other half
to be awarded to petitioners Antonio Mago and Danilo Macasinag (tenant of
Antonio Mago).
o This case relates to an erroneous award by the NHA of a parcel of
land belonging to Francisco Mago, petitioner Antonio Magos
predecessor-in-interest, to Asis.
o Francisco Mago complained to the NHA which acknowledged its
o As a result, the parties agreed on a Kasunduan ng Paghahati ng Lote,
whereby the lot will be divided into two and split between petitioner
Antonio Mago (to whom Francisco Mago sold his interest over the
land) and respondent Asis.
o However, the NHA later, ironically executed a Deed of Sale with
Mortgage over the land in favor of Asis.
o Antonio Mago again complained to the NHA and sued Asis in civil
case for recovery of posession and damages.
o NHA eventually came up with the abovementioned Resolution.
TRIAL COURT dismissed Asiss petition in view of the NHAs admission
and recognition of Asiss title to the land.
69 days after they learned of the above order, petitioners filed a Motion for
Leave to Intervene and a Petition for Relief from Judgment/Order.
TRIAL COURT denied the motion and the petition.
CA sustained the trial court and held that while the Rules shall be liberally
construed inorder to promote just, speedy, and inexpensive resolution of
cases, the rules on reglementary periods must be strictly construed against
the filer or pleader to prevent needless delays.

Issues and Held

1. WON petitioners should be allowed to intervene.
YES. Under Sec 2, Rule 2, a person may, before or during trial, be permitted to
intervene if:
a. He has a legal interest in the matter under litigation; or
b. He has a legal interest in the success of either parties or an interest
againrt both; or
c. When he is so situated as to be adversely affected by a distribution or
other disposition of property in custody of the court or an officer thereof.
In this case, petitioners motion for intervention was, admittedly, filed after the
disputed order has become final. However, it must be noted that petitioners
were unaware of the proceedings in the case between Asis and NHA. They were
never impleaded therein. Worse, they were led into believing that all was well,
by virtue of the Kasunduan. Asis acted in bad faith when he accepted the award
erroneously made to him by NHA knowing full well that there was a previous
perfected agreement between him and petitioners. NHA itself even admitted its
mistake in one of its comments in the case between it and Asis.

The permissive tenor of the provision on intervention shows that the intention
of Rules was to give the court full discretion in permitting or disallowing the
same. However, this discretion must be exercised judiciously and only after
consideration of all the circumstances obtaining in the case. In this case, the
lower courts only considered the technicalities, which worked injustice on the
part of the plaintiffs.

Therefore, petitioners Motion to Intervene should be granted.

2. WON petitioners Petition for Relief from Judgment should be heard.

YES. The time of filing said petition must satisfy both periods as indicated in
the Ruleswithin 60 days after knowldge of order and not more than 6 months
after entry. A few days in excess of the 60-day requirement is not fatal as long
as it is filed within 6 months from issuance of the order. In this case, the petition
was 9 days late of the 60-day deadline but still within the 6 month period.