Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 24

amounts demanded by the plaintiffs for the cost of the On August 19, 1992, NPC moved to dismiss its

G.R. No. 167415 February 26, 2010 improvements on their respective lands which were appeal5 alleging that the parties had arrived at a
destroyed when the NPC constructed the Marawi- settlement. Attached to the motion were acknowledgment
ATTY. MANGONTAWAR M. GUBAT, Petitioner, Malabang Transmission Line. receipts6 dated April 2, 1992 signed by plaintiffs Acur
vs. Macarampat, Ala Mambuay, and Norma Maba, who
NATIONAL POWER CORPORATION, Respondent. On the day of the initial hearing on the merits, NPC and its received P90,060.00, P90,000.00, and P90,050.00
counsel failed to appear. Consequently, respondent was respectively, in full satisfaction of their claims against the
DECISION declared in default. Despite the plea of NPC for the lifting of NPC. The motion stated that copies were furnished to Atty.
the default order, the RTC of Marawi City, Branch 8, Mandangan and herein petitioner,
DEL CASTILLO, J.: rendered its Decision2 on April 24, 1991, the dispositive
portion of which provides: although it was only Atty. Mandangans signature which
Truly, there is no doubt that the rights of others cannot be appeared therein.7
prejudiced by private agreements. However, before this PREMISES CONSIDERED, judgment is hereby rendered in
Court can act and decide to protect the one apparently favor of the herein plaintiffs and against the defendant On January 24, 1996, the CA rendered its
prejudiced, we should remember what Aesop taught in one National Power Corporation as represented by its President Decision8 disposing thus:
of his fables: Every truth has two sides; it is well to look at Ernesto Aboitiz, P.M. Durias and Rodrigo P. Falcon, ordering
both, before we commit ourselves to either. the latter jointly and severally: WHEREFORE, the Order of Default dated December 11,
1990; the Order denying the Motion for Reconsideration to
A lawyer asserts his right to his contingent fees after his (1) In Civil Case No. 204-90 to pay plaintiff Ala Lift Order of Default dated January 25, 1991; and the
clients, allegedly behind his back, had entered into an out- Mambuay the sum of P103,000.00 representing Decision dated April 24, 1991, are hereby ANNULLED and
of-court settlement with the National Power Corporation the value of the improvements and the occupied SET ASIDE and the records of Civil Case Nos. 294-90, 295-90
(NPC). The trial court granted his claim by way of summary portion of the land, P32,000.00 as attorneys and 296-90 are hereby ordered remanded to the court of
judgment. However, this was reversed by the Court of fees, P20,000.00 as moral and/or exemplary origin for new trial.9
Appeals (CA) because the counsel was allegedly enforcing a damages, P50,000.00 as actual damages and the
decision that was already vacated. In this petition, costs; After the cases were remanded to the RTC, petitioner filed
petitioner Atty. Mangontawar M. Gubat (Atty. Gubat) a Motion for Partial Summary Judgment10 on his attorneys
attempts to persuade us that the compensation due him is (2) In Civil Case No. 295-90 to pay plaintiff Norma fees. He claimed that the plaintiffs and the NPC deliberately
independent of the vacated decision, his entitlement Maba represented by Capt. Ali B. Hadji Ali the sum did not inform him about the execution of the compromise
thereto being based on another reason: the bad faith of his of P146,700.00 representing the value of the agreement, and that said parties connived with each other
clients and of the respondent NPC. improvements and the occupied portion of the in entering into the compromise agreement in order to
land, P32,000.00 as attorneys fees, P20,000.00 unjustly deprive him of his attorneys fees. Furthermore, he
Factual Antecedents as moral and/or exemplary damages, P50,000.00 alleged:
as actual damages and the costs;
In August 1990, plaintiffs Ala Mambuay, Norma Maba, and xxxx
Acur Macarampat separately filed civil suits for damages (3) In Civil Case No. 296-90 to pay plaintiff Acur
against the NPC before the Regional Trial Court of Lanao del Macarampat the sum of P94,100.00 representing 12. That, in view of such settlement, there are no
Sur in Marawi City (RTC), respectively docketed as Civil Case the value of the improvements and the occupied more genuine issues between the parties in the
Nos. 294-90, 295-90, and 296-90. In the said complaint, portion of the land, P32,000.00 as attorneys above-entitled cases except as to the attorneys
plaintiffs were represented by Atty. Linang Mandangan fees, P20,000.00 as moral and/or exemplary fees; As such, this Honorable Court may validly
(Atty. Mandangan) and petitioner herein, whose services damages, P50,000.00 as actual damages and the render a partial summary judgment on the claim
were engaged at an agreed attorneys fees of P30,000.00 costs.3 for attorneys fees; and
for each case and P600.00 for every appearance. Petitioner
was the one who signed the complaints on behalf of himself NPC appealed to the CA which was docketed as CA-G.R. CV 13. That the undersigned counsel hereby MOVES
and Atty. Mandangan.1 No. 33000. During the pendency of the appeal, Atty. Gubat for a partial summary judgment on his lawful
filed an Entry and Notice of Charging Lien4 to impose his attorneys fees based on the pleadings and
During the course of the proceedings, the three complaints attorneys lien of P30,000.00 and appearance fees documents on file with the records of this case.11
were consolidated because the plaintiffs causes of action of P2,000.00 on each of the three civil cases he handled,
are similar. They all arose from NPCs refusal to pay the totalling P96,000.00. xxxx
Petitioner thus prayed that a partial summary judgment be trial court in its June 27, 2000 Order.17 Thus, NPC filed a summary judgment on his fees, it was a final disposition of
rendered on his attorneys fess and that NPC be ordered to Petition for Certiorari18 before the CA docketed as CA-G.R. the entire case. He also argued that the issue of bad faith is
pay him directly his lawful attorneys fees of P32,000.00 in SP No. 60722, imputing grave abuse of discretion on the factual which cannot be a subject of a certiorari petition. He
each of the above cases, for a total of P96,000.00. court a quo for granting petitioners Motion for Partial also insisted that NPCs petition was defective for lack of a
Summary Judgment. It prayed that the subject order be set board resolution authorizing Special Attorney Comie
NPC opposed the motion for partial summary of judgment. aside insofar as NPC is concerned. Doromal (Atty. Doromal) of the Office of the Solicitor
It alleged that a client may compromise a suit without the General (OSG) to sign on NPCs behalf.
intervention of the lawyer and that petitioners claim for NPC maintained that it acted in good faith in the execution
attorneys fees should be made against the plaintiffs. NPC of the compromise settlement. It likewise averred that the On September 9, 2002, the CA rendered the herein assailed
likewise claimed that it settled the case in good faith and lower courts award of attorneys fees amounting Decision20 ruling that:
that plaintiffs were paid in full satisfaction of their claims to P96,000.00 was clearly based on the award of attorneys
which included attorneys fees. fees in the April 24, 1991 Decision of the trial court which The reasoning of Atty. Gubat is a crude palusot (a sneaky
had already been reversed and set aside by the CA in CA- fallacious reasoning) for how can one enforce a part of a
On March 15, 2000, the trial court issued an G.R. CV No. 33000. Moreover, NPC contended that decision which has been declared void and vacated. In legal
Order12 granting petitioners motion for summary petitioner cannot enforce his charging lien because it contemplation, there is no more decision because,
judgment. It found that the parties to the compromise presupposes that he has secured a favorable money precisely, the case was remanded to the court a quo for
agreement connived to petitioners prejudice which judgment for his clients. At any rate, since petitioner is further proceeding.
amounts to a violation of the provisions of the Civil Code on obviously pursuing the compensation for the services he
Human Relations.13 It ruled that: rendered to his clients, thus, recourse should only be It was bad enough that Atty. Gubat tried to pull a fast [one]
against them, the payment being their personal obligation but it was [worse] that respondent Judge fell for it resulting
xxxx and not of respondent. NPC further alleged that even in a plainly erroneous resolution.
assuming that the subject attorneys fees are those that fall
There is no dispute that the Compromise Agreement was under Article 2208 of the Civil Code19 which is in the Like his predecessor Judge Adiong, Judge Macarambon
executed during the pendency of these cases with the concept of indemnity for damages to be paid to the winning committed basic errors unquestionably rising to the level of
Honorable Court of Appeals. Despite the knowledge of the party in a litigation, such fees belong to the clients and not grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of
defendant that the services of the movant was on a to the lawyer, and this form of damages has already been jurisdiction.
contingent basis, defendant proceeded with the paid directly to the plaintiffs.
Compromise Agreement without the knowledge of Atty. WHEREFORE, finding merit in the petition, the Court issues
Gubat. The actuation of the defendant is fraudulently On the other hand, petitioner claimed that he was not the writ of certiorari and strikes down as void the Order
designed to deprive the movant of his lawful attorneys fees informed of the compromise agreement or furnished a copy dated March 15, 2000 granting Atty. Mangontawar M.
which was earlier determined and awarded by the Court. of NPCs Motion to Dismiss Appeal. He alleged that the Gubats Motion for Partial Summary Judgment as well as
Had defendant been in good faith in terminating these same was received only by Atty. Mandangan who neither the Order dated June 27, 2000 denying petitioner National
cases, Atty. Gubat could have been easily contacted. signed any of the pleadings nor appeared in any of the Power Corporations Motion for Reconsideration.
hearings before the RTC. Petitioner clarified that his motion
x x x x14 for a partial summary judgment was neither a request for SO ORDERED.21
the revival of the vacated April 24, 1991 Decision nor an
The dispositive portion of the Order reads: enforcement of the lien, but a grant of his contingent fees
Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration but the motion
by the trial court as indemnity for damages resulting from
was denied by the CA in its January 19, 2005
the fraudulent act of NPC and of his clients who conspired
WHEREFORE, premises considered, plaintiffs Ala Mambuay, Resolution,22 Hence, this petition.
to deprive him of the fees due him. He asserted that NPC
Norma Maba and Acur Macarampat as well as defendant
cannot claim good faith because it knew of the existence of
National Power Corporation are hereby ordered to pay Petitioner insists on the propriety of the trial courts order
his charging lien when it entered into a compromise with
jointly and solidarily Atty. Mangontawar M. Gubat the sum of summary judgment on his attorneys fees. At the same
the plaintiffs.
of P96,000.00.15 time, he imputes grave abuse of discretion amounting to
lack or excess of jurisdiction on the CA for entertaining
Petitioner also alleged that NPCs remedy should have been
NPC filed a Motion for Reconsideration16 but the motion respondents Petition for Certiorari. He maintains that the
an ordinary appeal and not a petition for certiorari because
was denied by the petition should have been dismissed outright for being the
the compromise agreement had settled the civil suits. Thus,
wrong mode of appeal.
when the trial court granted the motion for partial
Our Ruling trial to be dispensed with, the party who moves for agreements it executed with the plaintiffs. Even in its
summary judgment has the burden of demonstrating assailed Decision of September 9, 2002, the CA did not rule
The petition lacks merit. clearly the absence of genuine issues of fact, or that the on the validity of the alleged compromise agreements. This
issue posed is patently insubstantial as to constitute a is only to be expected in view of its earlier ruling dated
Petitioners resort to Rule 65 is not proper. genuine issue.25 "Genuine issue" means an issue of fact January 24, 1996 which directed the remand of the case to
which calls for the presentation of evidence as the court of origin for new trial.
At the outset, the petition should have been dismissed distinguished from an issue which is fictitious or
outright because petitioner resorted to the wrong mode of contrived.26 Considering the above disquisition, there is still a factual
appeal by filing the instant petition for certiorari under Rule issue on whether the NPC and the plaintiffs had already
65. Section 1 of the said Rule explicitly provides that a Petitioner pleaded for a summary judgment on his fees on validly entered into a compromise agreement. Clearly, the
petition for certiorari is available only when there is no the claim that the parties intentionally did not inform him NPC and the plaintiffs have diverse interpretations as
appeal or any plain, speedy, and adequate remedy in the of the settlement. He alleged that he never received a copy regards the stipulations of the compromise agreement
ordinary course of law. In this case, the remedy of appeal of NPCs Motion to Withdraw Appeal before the CA and that which must be resolved. According to the NPC, the amounts
by way of a petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 instead, it was another lawyer who was furnished and who it paid to the plaintiffs were in full satisfaction of their
is not only available but also the proper mode of appeal. For acknowledged receipt of the motion. When he confronted claims. Plaintiffs claim otherwise. They insist that the
all intents and purposes, we find that petitioner filed the his clients, he was allegedly told that the NPC deceived amounts they received were exclusive of attorneys claim.
instant petition for certiorari under Rule 65 as a substitute them into believing that what they received was only a They also assert that NPC undertook to pay the said
for a lost appeal. We note that petitioner received a copy of partial payment exclusive of the attorneys fees. NPC attorneys fees to herein petitioner.
the January 19, 2005 Resolution of the CA denying his contested these averments. It claimed good faith in the
motion for reconsideration on January 28, 2005. Under execution of the compromise agreement. It stressed that A client may enter into a compromise agreement without
Section 2 of Rule 45, petitioner has 15 days from notice of the attorneys fees were already deemed included in the the intervention of the lawyer, but the terms of the
the said Resolution within which to file his petition for monetary consideration given to the plaintiffs for the agreement should not deprive the counsel of his
review on certiorari. As such, he should have filed his compromise. compensation for the professional services he had rendered.
appeal on or before February 12, 2005.However, records If so, the compromise shall be subjected to said fees. If the
show that the petition was posted on March 1, 2005, or long The above averments clearly pose factual issues which client and the adverse party who assented to the
after the period to file the appeal has lapsed. make the rendition of summary judgment not proper. Bad compromise are found to have intentionally deprived the
faith imports a dishonest purpose or some moral obliquity lawyer of his fees, the terms of the compromise, insofar as
At any rate, even if we treat the instant petition as one filed and conscious doing of a wrong. It is synonymous with they prejudice the lawyer, will be set aside, making both
under Rule 45, the same should still be denied for failure on fraud, in that it involves a design to mislead or deceive parties accountable to pay the lawyers fees. But in all cases,
the part of the petitioner to show that the CA committed a another.27 The trial court should have exercised prudence it is the client who is bound to pay his lawyer for his legal
reversible error warranting the exercise of our discretionary by requiring the presentation of evidence in a formal trial representation.
appellate jurisdiction. to determine the veracity of the parties respective
assertions. Whether NPC and the plaintiffs connived and A compromise is a contract whereby the parties, by making
Petitioners resort to summary judgment is not proper; he acted in bad faith is a question of fact and is evidentiary. reciprocal concessions, avoid litigation or put an end to one
is not entitled to an immediate relief as a matter of law, for Bad faith has to be established by the claimant with clear already commenced.28 It is a consensual contract, binding
the existence of bad faith is a genuine issue of fact to be and convincing evidence, and this necessitates an upon the signatories/privies, and it has the effect of res
tried. examination of the evidence of all the parties. As certain judicata.29 This cannot however affect third persons who
facts pleaded were being contested by the opposing are not parties to the agreement.30
A summary judgment is allowed only if, after hearing, the parties, such would not warrant a rendition of summary
court finds that except as to the amount of damages, the judgment. Contrary to petitioners contention, a client has an
pleadings, affidavits, depositions and admissions show no undoubted right to settle a suit without the intervention of
genuine issue as to any material fact and that the movant is Moreover, the validity or the correct interpretation of the his lawyer,31 for he is generally conceded to have the
entitled to a judgment as a matter of law.23 The purpose of alleged compromise agreements is still in issue in view of exclusive control over the subject-matter of the litigation
a summary judgment is to avoid drawn out litigations and the diverse interpretations of the parties thereto. In fact, in and may, at any time before judgment, if acting in good
useless delays because the facts appear undisputed to the the Decision of the CA dated January 24, 1996, the appellate faith, compromise, settle, and adjust his cause of action out
mind of the court. Such judgment is generally based on the court ordered the case to be remanded to the trial court for of court without his attorneys intervention, knowledge, or
facts proven summarily by affidavits, depositions, new trial, thereby ignoring completely NPCs motion to consent, even though he has agreed with his attorney not
pleadings, or admissions of the parties. 24For a full-blown dismiss appeal based on the alleged compromise to do so.32 Hence, a claim for attorneys fees does not void
the compromise agreement and is no obstacle to a court The CA soundly exercised its discretion in resorting to a striving to secure to litigants. They are designed as the
approval.33 liberal application of the rules. There are no vested right to means best adopted to obtain that thing. In other words,
technicalities.1avvphi1 they are a means to an end. When they lose the character
However, counsel is not without remedy. As the validity of of the one and become the other, the administration of
a compromise agreement cannot be prejudiced, so should Concededly, the NPC may have pursued the wrong remedy justice is at fault and courts are correspondingly remiss in
not be the payment of a lawyers adequate and reasonable when it filed a petition for certiorari instead of an appeal the performance of their obvious duty.
compensation for his services should the suit end by reason since the ruling on attorneys fees is already a ruling on the
of the settlement. The terms of the compromise subscribed merits. However, we find that the trial court gravely abused The error in this case is purely technical. To take advantage
to by the client should not be such that will amount to an its discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction of it for other purposes than to cure it, does not appeal to a
entire deprivation of his lawyers fees, especially when the when it ordered NPC solidarily liable with the plaintiffs for fair sense of justice. Its presentation as fatal to the plaintiff's
contract is on a contingent fee basis. In this sense, the the payment of the attorneys fees. The rule that a petition case smacks of skill rather than right. A litigation is not a
compromise settlement cannot bind the lawyer as a third for certiorari is dismissible when the mode of appeal is game of technicalities in which one more deeply schooled
party. A lawyer is as much entitled to judicial protection available admits of exceptions, to wit: (a) when the writs and skilled in the subtle art of movement and position,
against injustice or imposition of fraud on the part of his issued are null; and, (b) when the questioned order entraps and destroys the other. It is rather, a contest in
client as the client is against abuse on the part of his amounts to an oppressive exercise of judicial which each contending party fully and fairly lays before the
counsel. The duty of the court is not only to ensure that a authority.37 Clearly, respondent has shown its entitlement court the facts in issue and then, brushing aside as wholly
lawyer acts in a proper and lawful manner, but also to see to the exceptions. trivial and indecisive all imperfections of form and
to it that a lawyer is paid his just fees.34 technicalities of procedure, asks that justice be done upon
The same liberal application should also apply to the the merits. Law-suits, unlike duels, are not to be won by a
Even if the compensation of a counsel is dependent only question of the alleged lack of authority of Atty. Doromal to rapier's thrust. Technicality, when it deserts its proper
upon winning a case he himself secured for his client, the execute the certification of non-forum shopping for lack of office as an aid to justice and becomes its great hindrance
subsequent withdrawal of the case on the clients own a board resolution from the NPC. True, only individuals and chief enemy, deserves scant consideration from courts.
volition should never completely deprive counsel of any vested with authority by a valid board resolution may sign There should be no vested rights in technicalities. No
legitimate compensation for his professional services.35 In the certificate of non-forum shopping in behalf of the litigant should be permitted to challenge a record of a court
all cases, a client is bound to pay his lawyer for his services. corporation, and proof of such authority must be attached of these Islands for defect of form when his substantial
The determination of bad faith only becomes significant to the petition,38 the failure of which will be sufficient cause rights have not been prejudiced thereby.
and relevant if the adverse party will likewise be held liable for dismissal. Nevertheless, it cannot be said that Atty.
in shouldering the attorneys fees.36 Doromal does not enjoy the presumption that he is WHEREFORE, the Petition is hereby DISMISSED for lack of
authorized to represent respondent in filing the Petition merit. The September 9, 2002 Decision of the Court of
Petitioners compensation is a personal obligation of his for Certiorari before the CA. As Special Attorney, he is one Appeals and its January 19, 2005 Resolution are AFFIRMED.
clients who have benefited from his legal services prior to of the counsels of NPC in the proceedings before the trial
their execution of the compromise agreement. This is court, and the NPC never questioned his authority to sign SO ORDERED.
strictly a contract between them. NPC would only be made the petition for its behalf.
liable if it was shown that it has connived with the
petitioners clients or acted in bad faith in the execution of In any case, the substantive issues we have already
the compromise agreement for the purpose of depriving discussed are justifiable reasons to relax the rules of
petitioner of his lawful claims for attorneys fees. In each procedure. We cannot allow a patently wrong judgment to
case, NPC should be held solidarily liable for the payment of be implemented because of technical lapses. This
the counsels compensation. However, as we have already ratiocination is in keeping with the policy to secure a just,
discussed, petitioners resort to summary judgment is not speedy and inexpensive disposition of every action or
proper. Besides, it is interesting to note that petitioner is proceeding.39 As we have explained in Alonso v. Villamor:40
the only one claiming for his attorneys fees
notwithstanding that plaintiffs counsels of record were There is nothing sacred about processes or pleadings, their
petitioner herein and Atty. Mandangan. Nevertheless, this forms or contents. Their sole purpose is to facilitate the
is not at issue here. As we have previously discussed, this is application of justice to the rival claims of contending
for the trial court to resolve. parties. They were created, not to hinder and delay, but to
facilitate and promote, the administration of justice. They
do not constitute the thing itself, which courts are always
G.R. No. 141538 March 23, 2004 imprudent manner without due regard to traffic At the hearing on August 30, 1994, the plaintiff
rules and regulations, there being a "Slow Down" [Tuazon] testified that he is presently jobless; that
HERMANA R. CEREZO, petitioner, sign near the scene of the incident, and without at the time of the filing of this case, his son who is
vs. taking the necessary precaution to prevent loss of working in Malaysia helps him and sends him
DAVID TUAZON, respondent. lives or injuries, his negligence, carelessness and once in a while P300.00 a month, and that he
imprudence resulted to severe damage to the does not have any real property. Attached to the
tricycle and serious physical injuries to plaintiff Motion to Litigate as Pauper are his Affidavit that
thus making him unable to walk and becoming he is unemployed; a Certification by the Barangay
disabled, with his thumb and middle finger on the Captain of his poblacion that his income is not
DECISION left hand being cut[.]4 enough for his familys subsistence; and a
Certification by the Office of the Municipal
On 1 October 1993, Tuazon filed a motion to litigate as a Assessor that he has no landholding in the
pauper. Subsequently, the trial court issued summons Municipality of Mabalacat, Province of
against Atty. Cerezo and Mrs. Cerezo ("the Cerezo Pampanga.
CARPIO, J.: spouses") at the Makati address stated in the complaint.
However, the summons was returned unserved on 10 The Court is satisfied from the unrebutted
November 1993 as the Cerezo spouses no longer held office testimony of the plaintiff that he is entitled to
The Case
nor resided in Makati. On 18 April 1994, the trial court prosecute his complaint in this case as a pauper
issued alias summons against the Cerezo spouses at their under existing rules.
This is a petition for review on certiorari1 to annul the
address in Barangay Sta. Maria, Camiling, Tarlac. The alias
Resolution2 dated 21 October 1999 of the Court of Appeals
summons and a copy of the complaint were finally served On the other hand, the Court denies the prayer in
in CA-G.R. SP No. 53572, as well as its Resolution dated 20
on 20 April 1994 at the office of Atty. Cerezo, who was then the Appearance and Urgent Ex-Parte Motion
January 2000 denying the motion for reconsideration. The
working as Tarlac Provincial Prosecutor. Atty. Cerezo requiring new summons to be served to the
Court of Appeals denied the petition for annulment of the
reacted angrily on learning of the service of summons upon defendants. The Court is of the opinion that any
Decision3 dated 30 May 1995 rendered by the Regional Trial
his person. Atty. Cerezo allegedly told Sheriff William infirmity in the service of the summons to the
Court of Angeles City, Branch 56 ("trial court"), in Civil Case
Canlas: "Punyeta, ano ang gusto mong mangyari? Gusto defendant before plaintiff was allowed to
No. 7415. The trial court ordered petitioner Hermana R.
mong hindi ka makalabas ng buhay dito? Teritoryo ko ito. prosecute his complaint in this case as a pauper
Cerezo ("Mrs. Cerezo") to pay respondent David Tuazon
Wala ka sa teritoryo mo."5 has been cured by this Order.
("Tuazon") actual damages, loss of earnings, moral
damages, and costs of suit.
The records show that the Cerezo spouses participated in If within 15 days from receipt of this Order, the
the proceedings before the trial court. The Cerezo spouses defendants do not question on appeal this Order
Antecedent Facts
filed a comment with motion for bill of particulars dated 29 of this Court, the Court shall proceed to resolve
April 1994 and a reply to opposition to comment with the Motion for Bill of Particulars.8
Around noontime of 26 June 1993, a Country Bus Lines motion dated 13 June 1994.6 On 1 August 1994, the trial
passenger bus with plate number NYA 241 collided with a court issued an order directing the Cerezo spouses to file a On 27 September 1994, the Cerezo spouses filed an urgent
tricycle bearing plate number TC RV 126 along Captain M. comment to the opposition to the bill of particulars. Atty. ex-parte motion for reconsideration. The trial court denied
Palo Street, Sta. Ines, Mabalacat, Pampanga. On 1 October Elpidio B. Valera ("Atty. Valera") of Valera and Valera Law the motion for reconsideration.
1993, tricycle driver Tuazon filed a complaint for damages Offices appeared on behalf of the Cerezo spouses. On 29
against Mrs. Cerezo, as owner of the bus line, her husband August 1994, Atty. Valera filed an urgent ex-parte motion
Attorney Juan Cerezo ("Atty. Cerezo"), and bus driver Danilo On 14 November 1994, the trial court issued an order
praying for the resolution of Tuazons motion to litigate as directing the Cerezo spouses to file their answer within
A. Foronda ("Foronda"). The complaint alleged that: a pauper and for the issuance of new summons on the fifteen days from receipt of the order. The Cerezo spouses
Cerezo spouses to satisfy proper service in accordance with did not file an answer. On 27 January 1995, Tuazon filed a
7. At the time of the incident, plaintiff [Tuazon] the Rules of Court.7 motion to declare the Cerezo spouses in default. On 6
was in his proper lane when the second-named
February 1995, the trial court issued an order declaring the
defendant [Foronda], being then the driver and On 30 August 1994, the trial court issued an order resolving Cerezo spouses in default and authorizing Tuazon to
person in charge of the Country Bus with plate Tuazons motion to litigate as a pauper and the Cerezo present his evidence. 9
number NYA 241, did then and there willfully, spouses urgent ex-parte motion. The order reads:
unlawfully, and feloniously operate the said
motor vehicle in a negligent, careless, and
On 30 May 1995, after considering Tuazons testimonial and claimed that he was able to read the decision of the trial
documentary evidence, the trial court ruled in Tuazons court only after Mrs. Cerezo sent him a copy.11 Exhibit 9-B - Third page of Exhibit 9;
favor. The trial court made no pronouncement on
Forondas liability because there was no service of Tuazon did not testify but presented documentary evidence
summons on him. The trial court did not hold Atty. Cerezo Exhibit 9-C - Fourth page of Exhibit 9;
to prove the participation of the Cerezo spouses in the case.
liable as Tuazon failed to show that Mrs. Cerezos business Tuazon presented the following exhibits:
benefited the family, pursuant to Article 121(3) of the Exhibit 9-D - Courts return slip addressed to Atty
Family Code. The trial court held Mrs. Cerezo solely liable Exhibit 1 - Sheriffs return and summons;
for the damages sustained by Tuazon arising from the and
negligence of Mrs. Cerezos employee, pursuant to Article
2180 of the Civil Code. The dispositive portion of the trial Exhibit 1-A - Alias summons dated April 20, 1994;
courts decision reads: Exhibit 9-E - Courts return slip addressed to plai
Exhibit 2 - Comment with Motion;
WHEREFORE, judgment is hereby rendered On 4 March 1998, the trial court issued an order13 denying
ordering the defendant Hermana Cerezo to pay the petition for relief from judgment. The trial court stated
Exhibit 3 - Minutes of the hearing held on August 1, 1994;
the plaintiff: that having received the decision on 25 June 1995, the
Cerezo spouses should have filed a notice of appeal instead
Exhibit 3-A - Signature of defendants counsel; of resorting to a petition for relief from judgment. The trial
a) For Actual Damages - P69,485.35
court refused to grant relief from judgment because the
Exhibit 4 Cerezo
- Minutes of the hearing held on August 30, spouses
1994; could have availed of the remedy of appeal.
1) Expenses for operation and medical Treatment Moreover, the Cerezo spouses not only failed to prove
fraud, accident, mistake or excusable negligence by
Exhibit 4-A - Signature of the defendants counsel;
conclusive evidence, they also failed to prove that they had
2) Cost of repair of the tricycle
a good and substantial defense. The trial court noted that
Exhibit 5 - Appearance and Urgent Ex-Parte Motion;
the Cerezo spouses failed to appeal because they relied on
b) For loss of earnings - 39,921.00 an expected settlement of the case.
Exhibit 6 - Order dated November 14, 1994;
c) For moral damages - 43,300.00 The Cerezo spouses subsequently filed before the Court of
Appeals a petition for certiorari under Section 1 of Rule 65.
Exhibit 6-A - Postal certification dated January 13,
petition was docketed as CA-G.R. SP No. 48132.14 The
d) And to pay the cost of the suit. - 20,000.00 petition questioned whether the trial court acquired
Exhibit 7 - Order dated February [illegible]; jurisdiction over the case considering there was no service
The docket fees and other expenses in the filing of summons on Foronda, whom the Cerezo spouses claimed
of this suit shall be lien on whatever judgment Exhibit 7-A - was
Courts return slip addressed to Atty. an indispensable
Elpidio Valera; party. In a resolution15 dated 21
may be rendered in favor of the plaintiff. January 1999, the Court of Appeals denied the petition
for certiorari and affirmed the trial courts order denying
Exhibit 7-B - Courts return slip addressed to Spouses Juan and
the petition forHermana
relief fromCerezo;
judgment. The Court of Appeals
declared that the Cerezo spouses failure to file an answer
Mrs. Cerezo received a copy of the decision on 25 June Exhibit 8 - Decision dated May [30], 1995 was due to their own negligence, considering that they
1995. On 10 July 1995, Mrs. Cerezo filed before the trial continued to participate in the proceedings without filing
court a petition for relief from judgment on the grounds of an answer. There was also nothing in the records to show
Exhibit 8-A - Courts return slip addressed to defendant Hermana Cerezo;
"fraud, mistake or excusable negligence." Testifying before that the Cerezo spouses actually offered a reasonable
the trial court, both Mrs. Cerezo and Atty. Valera denied settlement to Tuazon. The Court of Appeals also denied
Exhibit 8-B - Courts return slip addressed to defendants counsel, motion
Cerezo spouses Atty. Elpidio Valera;
for reconsideration for lack of
receipt of notices of hearings and of orders of the court.
Atty. Valera added that he received no notice before or merit.
during the 8 May 1995 elections, "when he was a senatorial Exhibit 9 - Order dated September 21, 1995;
candidate for the KBL Party, and very busy, using his office The Cerezo spouses filed before this Court a petition for
and residence as Party National Headquarters." Atty. Valera review on certiorari under Rule 45. Atty. Cerezo himself
Exhibit 9-A - Second Page of Exhibit 9;
signed the petition, docketed as G.R. No. 137593. On 13
April 1999, this Court rendered a resolution denying the SO ORDERED.18 Assuming arguendo that private respondent
petition for review on certiorari for failure to attach an failed to reserve his right to institute a separate
affidavit of service of copies of the petition to the Court of On 20 January 2000, the Court of Appeals denied the Cerezo action for damages in the criminal action, the
Appeals and to the adverse parties. Even if the petition spouses motion for reconsideration.19 The Court of petitioner cannot now raise such issue and
complied with this requirement, the Court would still have Appeals stated: question the lower courts jurisdiction because
denied the petition as the Cerezo spouses failed to show petitioner and her husband have waived such
that the Court of Appeals committed a reversible error. The A distinction should be made between a courts right by voluntarily appearing in the civil case for
Courts resolution was entered in the Book of Entries and jurisdiction over a person and its jurisdiction over damages. Therefore, the findings and the decision
Judgments when it became final and executory on 28 June the subject matter of a case. The former is of the lower court may bind them.
1999.16 acquired by the proper service of summons or by
the parties voluntary appearance; while the Records show that the petitioner previously filed
Undaunted, the Cerezo spouses filed before the Court of latter is conferred by law. with the lower court a Petition for Relief from
Appeals on 6 July 1999 a petition for annulment of Judgment on the ground that they were
judgment under Rule 47 with prayer for restraining order. Resolving the matter of jurisdiction over the wrongfully declared in default while waiting for
Atty. Valera and Atty. Dionisio S. Daga ("Atty. Daga") subject matter, Section 19(1) of B[atas] an amicable settlement of the complaint for
represented Mrs. Cerezo in the petition, docketed as CA- P[ambansa] 129 provides that Regional Trial damages. The court a quo correctly ruled that
G.R. SP No. 53572.17 The petition prayed for the annulment Courts shall exercise exclusive original jurisdiction such petition is without merit, jurisdiction having
of the 30 May 1995 decision of the trial court and for the in all civil actions in which the subject of the been acquired by the voluntary appearance of
issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction enjoining litigation is incapable of pecuniary estimation. defendant spouses.
execution of the trial courts decision pending resolution of Thus it was proper for the lower court to decide
the petition. the instant case for damages. Once again, it bears stressing that having availed
of a petition for relief, the remedy of annulment
The Court of Appeals denied the petition for annulment of Unlike jurisdiction over the subject matter of a of judgment is no longer available.
judgment in a resolution dated 21 October 1999. The case which is absolute and conferred by law; any
resolution reads in part: defects [sic] in the acquisition of jurisdiction over Based on the foregoing, the motion for
a person (i.e., improper filing of civil complaint or reconsideration could not be given due course
In this case, records show that the petitioner improper service of summons) may be waived by and is hereby DENIED.
previously filed with the lower court a Petition for the voluntary appearance of parties.
Relief from Judgment on the ground that they SO ORDERED.20
were wrongfully declared in default while waiting The lower court admits the fact that no summons
for an amicable settlement of the complaint for was served on defendant Foronda. Thus, The Issues
damages. The court a quo correctly ruled that jurisdiction over the person of defendant Foronda
such petition is without merit. The defendant was not acquired, for which reason he was not On 7 February 2000, Mrs. Cerezo, this time with Atty. Daga
spouses admit that during the initial hearing they held liable in this case. However, it has been alone representing her, filed the present petition for review
appeared before the court and even mentioned proven that jurisdiction over the other on certiorari before this Court. Mrs. Cerezo claims that:
the need for an amicable settlement. Thus, the defendants was validly acquired by the court a
lower court acquired jurisdiction over the quo. 1. In dismissing the Petition for Annulment of
defendant spouses. Judgment, the Court of Appeals assumes that the
The defendant spouses admit to having appeared issues raised in the petition for annulment is
Therefore, petitioner having availed of a petition in the initial hearings and in the hearing for based on extrinsic fraud related to the denied
for relief, the remedy of an annulment of plaintiffs motion to litigate as a pauper. They petition for relief notwithstanding that the
judgment is no longer available. The proper even mentioned conferences where attempts grounds relied upon involves questions of lack of
action for the petitioner is to appeal the order of were made to reach an amicable settlement with jurisdiction.
the lower court denying the petition for relief. plaintiff. However, the possibility of amicable
settlement is not a good and substantial defense 2. In dismissing the Petition for Annulment, the
Wherefore, the instant petition could not be which will warrant the granting of said petition. Court of Appeals disregarded the allegation that
given due course and should accordingly be the lower court[s] findings of negligence against
dismissed. xxx defendant-driver Danilo Foronda [whom] the
lower court did not summon is null and void for mistake, or excusable negligence" as grounds. On 4 March c) If the defendant discovered the default after
want of due process and consequently, such 1998, the trial court denied Mrs. Cerezos petition for relief the judgment has become final and executory, he
findings of negligence which is [sic] null and void from judgment. The trial court stated that Mrs. Cerezo may file a petition for relief under Section 2 [now
cannot become the basis of the lower court to could have availed of appeal as a remedy and that she failed Section 1] of Rule 38; and
adjudge petitioner-employer liable for civil to prove that the judgment was entered through fraud,
damages. accident, mistake, or excusable negligence. Mrs. Cerezo d) He may also appeal from the judgment
then filed before the Court of Appeals a petition rendered against him as contrary to the evidence
3. In dismissing the Petition for Annulment, the for certiorari under Section 1 of Rule 65 assailing the denial or to the law, even if no petition to set aside the
Court of Appeals ignored the allegation that of the petition for relief from judgment. On 21 January order of default has been presented by him (Sec.
defendant-driver Danilo A. Foronda whose 1999, the Court of Appeals dismissed Mrs. Cerezos 2, Rule 41). (Emphasis added)
negligence is the main issue is an indispensable petition. On 24 February 1999, the appellate court denied
party whose presence is compulsory but [whom] Mrs. Cerezos motion for reconsideration. On 11 March Moreover, a petition for certiorari to declare the nullity of a
the lower court did not summon. 1999, Mrs. Cerezo filed before this Court a petition for judgment by default is also available if the trial court
review on certiorari under Rule 45, questioning the denial improperly declared a party in default, or even if the trial
4. In dismissing the Petition for Annulment, the of the petition for relief from judgment. We denied the court properly declared a party in default, if grave abuse of
Court of Appeals ruled that assuming arguendo petition and our resolution became final and executory on discretion attended such declaration.23
that private respondent failed to reserve his right 28 June 1999.
to institute a separate action for damages in the Mrs. Cerezo admitted that she received a copy of the trial
criminal action, the petitioner cannot now raise On 6 July 1999, a mere eight days after our resolution courts decision on 25 June 1995. Based on this admission,
such issue and question the lower courts became final and executory, Mrs. Cerezo filed before the Mrs. Cerezo had at least three remedies at her disposal: an
jurisdiction because petitioner [has] waived such Court of Appeals a petition for annulment of the judgment appeal, a motion for new trial, or a petition for certiorari.
right by voluntarily appearing in the civil case for of the trial court under Rule 47. Meanwhile, on 25 August
damages notwithstanding that lack of jurisdiction 1999, the trial court issued over the objection of Mrs. Mrs. Cerezo could have appealed under Rule 4124 from the
cannot be waived.21 Cerezo an order of execution of the judgment in Civil Case default judgment within 15 days from notice of the
No. 7415. On 21 October 1999, the Court of Appeals judgment. She could have availed of the power of the Court
The Courts Ruling dismissed the petition for annulment of judgment. On 20 of Appeals to try cases and conduct hearings, receive
January 2000, the Court of Appeals denied Mrs. Cerezos evidence, and perform all acts necessary to resolve factual
The petition has no merit. As the issues are interrelated, we motion for reconsideration. On 7 February 2000, Mrs. issues raised in cases falling within its appellate
shall discuss them jointly. Cerezo filed the present petition for review on certiorari jurisdiction.25
under Rule 45 challenging the dismissal of her petition for
Remedies Available to a Party Declared in Default annulment of judgment. Mrs. Cerezo also had the option to file under Rule 3726 a
motion for new trial within the period for taking an appeal.
An examination of the records of the entire proceedings Lina v. Court of Appeals22 enumerates the remedies If the trial court grants a new trial, the original judgment is
shows that three lawyers filed and signed pleadings on available to a party declared in default: vacated, and the action will stand for trial de novo. The
behalf of Mrs. Cerezo, namely, Atty. Daga, Atty. Valera, and recorded evidence taken in the former trial, as far as the
Atty. Cerezo. Despite their number, Mrs. Cerezos counsels a) The defendant in default may, at any time after same is material and competent to establish the issues,
failed to avail of the proper remedies. It is either by sheer discovery thereof and before judgment, file shall be used at the new trial without retaking the same.27
ignorance or by malicious manipulation of legal a motion under oath to set aside the order of
technicalities that they have managed to delay the default on the ground that his failure to answer Mrs. Cerezo also had the alternative of filing under Rule
disposition of the present case, to the detriment of pauper was due to fraud, accident, mistake or excusable 6528 a petition for certiorari assailing the order of default
litigant Tuazon. negligence, and that he has a meritorious defense within 60 days from notice of the judgment. An order of
(Sec. 3, Rule 18 [now Sec. 3(b), Rule 9]); default is interlocutory, and an aggrieved party may file an
Mrs. Cerezo claims she did not receive any copy of the order appropriate special civil action under Rule 65.29 In a petition
declaring the Cerezo spouses in default. Mrs. Cerezo asserts b) If the judgment has already been rendered for certiorari, the appellate court may declare void both the
that she only came to know of the default order on 25 June when the defendant discovered the default, but order of default and the judgment of default.
1995, when she received a copy of the decision. On 10 July before the same has become final and executory,
1995, Mrs. Cerezo filed before the trial court a petition for he may file a motion for new trial under Section Clearly, Mrs. Cerezo had every opportunity to avail of these
relief from judgment under Rule 38, alleging "fraud, 1 (a) of Rule 37; remedies within the reglementary periods provided under
the Rules of Court. However, Mrs. Cerezo opted to file a remedies of new trial, appeal, petition for relief from The same negligent act may produce civil liability arising
petition for relief from judgment, which is available only in judgment, or other appropriate remedies are no longer from a delict under Article 103 of the Revised Penal Code,
exceptional cases. A petition for relief from judgment available through no fault of the party.33 Mrs. Cerezo could or may give rise to an action for a quasi-delict under Article
should be filed within the reglementary period of 60 days have availed of a new trial or appeal but through her own 2180 of the Civil Code. An aggrieved party may choose
from knowledge of judgment and six months from entry of fault she erroneously availed of the remedy of a petition for between the two remedies. An action based on a quasi-
judgment, pursuant to relief, which was denied with finality. Thus, Mrs. Cerezo delict may proceed independently from the criminal
may no longer avail of the remedy of annulment. action.36 There is, however, a distinction between civil
Rule 38 of the Rules of Civil Procedure.30 Tuason v. Court of liability arising from a delict and civil liability arising from a
Appeals31 explained the nature of a petition for relief from In any event, the trial court clearly acquired jurisdiction quasi-delict. The choice of remedy, whether to sue for a
judgment: over Mrs. Cerezos person. Mrs. Cerezo actively delict or a quasi-delict, affects the procedural and
participated in the proceedings before the trial court, jurisdictional issues of the action.37
When a party has another remedy available to submitting herself to the jurisdiction of the trial court. The
him, which may either be a motion for new trial defense of lack of jurisdiction fails in light of her active Tuazon chose to file an action for damages based on a
or appeal from an adverse decision of the trial participation in the trial court proceedings. Estoppel or quasi-delict. In his complaint, Tuazon alleged that Mrs.
court, and he was not prevented by fraud, laches may also bar lack of jurisdiction as a ground for Cerezo, "without exercising due care and diligence in the
accident, mistake or excusable negligence from nullity especially if raised for the first time on appeal by a supervision and management of her employees and buses,"
filing such motion or taking such appeal, he party who participated in the proceedings before the trial hired Foronda as her driver. Tuazon became disabled
cannot avail himself of this petition. Indeed, relief court, as what happened in this case.34 because of Forondas "recklessness, gross negligence and
will not be granted to a party who seeks imprudence," aggravated by Mrs. Cerezos "lack of due care
avoidance from the effects of the judgment when For these reasons, the present petition should be dismissed and diligence in the selection and supervision of her
the loss of the remedy at law was due to his own for utter lack of merit. The extraordinary action to annul a employees, particularly Foronda."38
negligence; otherwise the petition for relief can final judgment is restricted to the grounds specified in the
be used to revive the right to appeal which has rules. The reason for the restriction is to prevent this The trial court thus found Mrs. Cerezo liable under Article
been lost thru inexcusable negligence. extraordinary action from being used by a losing party to 2180 of the Civil Code. Article 2180 states in part:
make a complete farce of a duly promulgated decision that
Evidently, there was no fraud, accident, mistake, or has long become final and executory. There would be no Employers shall be liable for the damages caused
excusable negligence that prevented Mrs. Cerezo from end to litigation if parties who have unsuccessfully availed by their employees and household helpers acting
filing an appeal, a motion for new trial or a petition of any of the appropriate remedies or lost them through within the scope of their assigned tasks, even
for certiorari. It was error for her to avail of a petition for their fault could still bring an action for annulment of though the former are not engaged in any
relief from judgment. judgment.35 Nevertheless, we shall discuss the issues raised business or industry.
in the present petition to clear any doubt about the
After our resolution denying Mrs. Cerezos petition for relief correctness of the decision of the trial court. Contrary to Mrs. Cerezos assertion, Foronda is not an
became final and executory, Mrs. Cerezo, in her last ditch indispensable party to the case. An indispensable party is
attempt to evade liability, filed before the Court of Appeals Mrs. Cerezos Liability and the Trial Courts Acquisition of one whose interest is affected by the courts action in the
a petition for annulment of the judgment of the trial court. Jurisdiction litigation, and without whom no final resolution of the case
Annulment is available only on the grounds of extrinsic is possible.39 However, Mrs. Cerezos liability as an
fraud and lack of jurisdiction. If based on extrinsic fraud, a Mrs. Cerezo contends that the basis of the present petition employer in an action for a quasi-delict is not only solidary,
party must file the petition within four years from its for annulment is lack of jurisdiction. Mrs. Cerezo asserts it is also primary and direct. Foronda is not an indispensable
discovery, and if based on lack of jurisdiction, before laches that the trial court could not validly render judgment since party to the final resolution of Tuazons action for damages
or estoppel bars the petition. Extrinsic fraud is not a valid it failed to acquire jurisdiction over Foronda. Mrs. Cerezo against Mrs. Cerezo.
ground if such fraud was used as a ground, or could have points out that there was no service of summons on
been used as a ground, in a motion for new trial or petition Foronda. Moreover, Tuazon failed to reserve his right to The responsibility of two or more persons who are liable for
for relief from judgment.32 institute a separate civil action for damages in the criminal a quasi-delict is solidary.40 Where there is a solidary
action. Such contention betrays a faulty foundation. Mrs. obligation on the part of debtors, as in this case, each
Mrs. Cerezo insists that lack of jurisdiction, not extrinsic Cerezos contention proceeds from the point of view of debtor is liable for the entire obligation. Hence, each debtor
fraud, was her ground for filing the petition for annulment criminal law and not of civil law, while the basis of the is liable to pay for the entire obligation in full. There is no
of judgment. However, a party may avail of the remedy of present action of Tuazon is quasi-delict under the Civil merger or renunciation of rights, but only mutual
annulment of judgment under Rule 47 only if the ordinary Code, not delict under the Revised Penal Code. representation.41 Where the obligation of the parties is
solidary, either of the parties is indispensable, and the other corresponding primary liability are established.47 If the have endeavored to shorten and facilitate the
is not even a necessary party because complete relief is present action proceeds from a delict, then the trial courts pathways of right and justice.50
available from either.42 Therefore, jurisdiction over jurisdiction over Foronda is necessary. However, the
Foronda is not even necessary as Tuazon may collect present action is clearly for the quasi-delict of Mrs. Cerezo Interest at the rate of 6% per annum is due on the amount
damages from Mrs. Cerezo alone. and not for the delict of Foronda. of damages adjudged by the trial court.51 The 6% per
annum interest shall commence from 30 May 1995, the
Moreover, an employers liability based on a quasi-delict is The Cerezo spouses contention that summons be served date of the decision of the trial court. Upon finality of this
primary and direct, while the employers liability based on anew on them is untenable in light of their participation in decision, interest at 12% per annum, in lieu of 6% per
a delict is merely subsidiary.43 The words "primary and the trial court proceedings. To uphold the Cerezo spouses annum, is due on the amount of damages adjudged by the
direct," as contrasted with "subsidiary," refer to the remedy contention would make a fetish of a trial court until full payment.
provided by law for enforcing the obligation rather than to technicality.48Moreover, any irregularity in the service of
the character and limits of the obligation.44Although summons that might have vitiated the trial courts WHEREFORE, we DENY the instant petition for review. The
liability under Article 2180 originates from the negligent act jurisdiction over the persons of the Cerezo spouses was Resolution dated 21 October 1999 of the Court of Appeals
of the employee, the aggrieved party may sue the employer deemed waived when the Cerezo spouses filed a petition in CA-G.R. SP No. 53572, as well as its Resolution dated 20
directly. When an employee causes damage, the law for relief from judgment.49 January 2000 denying the motion for reconsideration,
presumes that the employer has himself committed an act is AFFIRMED with the MODIFICATION that the amount due
of negligence in not preventing or avoiding the damage. We hold that the trial court had jurisdiction and was shall earn legal interest at 6% per annum computed from 30
This is the fault that the law condemns. While the employer competent to decide the case in favor of Tuazon and against May 1995, the date of the trial courts decision. Upon
is civilly liable in a subsidiary capacity for the employees Mrs. Cerezo even in the absence of Foronda. Contrary to finality of this decision, the amount due shall earn interest
criminal negligence, the employer is also civilly liable Mrs. Cerezos contention, Foronda is not an indispensable at 12% per annum, in lieu of 6% per annum, until full
directly and separately for his own civil negligence in failing party to the present case. It is not even necessary for payment.
to exercise due diligence in selecting and supervising his Tuazon to reserve the filing of a separate civil action
employee. The idea that the employers liability is solely because he opted to file a civil action for damages against SO ORDERED.
subsidiary is wrong.45 Mrs. Cerezo who is primarily and directly liable for her own
civil negligence. The words of Justice Jorge Bocobo
The action can be brought directly against the in Barredo v. Garcia still hold true today as much as it did in
person responsible (for another), without 1942:
including the author of the act. The action against
the principal is accessory in the sense that it x x x [T]o hold that there is only one way to make
implies the existence of a prejudicial act defendants liability effective, and that is, to sue
committed by the employee, but it is not the driver and exhaust his (the latters) property
subsidiary in the sense that it can not be first, would be tantamount to compelling the
instituted till after the judgment against the plaintiff to follow a devious and cumbersome
author of the act or at least, that it is subsidiary to method of obtaining relief. True, there is such a
the principal action; the action for responsibility remedy under our laws, but there is also a more
(of the employer) is in itself a principal action.46 expeditious way, which is based on the primary
and direct responsibility of the defendant under
Thus, there is no need in this case for the trial court to article [2180] of the Civil Code. Our view of the
acquire jurisdiction over Foronda. The trial courts law is more likely to facilitate remedy for civil
acquisition of jurisdiction over Mrs. Cerezo is sufficient to wrongs, because the procedure indicated by the
dispose of the present case on the merits. defendant is wasteful and productive of delay, it
being a matter of common knowledge that
In contrast, an action based on a delict seeks to enforce the professional drivers of taxis and other similar
subsidiary liability of the employer for the criminal public conveyances do not have sufficient means
negligence of the employee as provided in Article 103 of the with which to pay damages. Why, then, should
Revised Penal Code. To hold the employer liable in a the plaintiff be required in all cases to go through
subsidiary capacity under a delict, the aggrieved party must this roundabout, unnecessary, and probably
initiate a criminal action where the employees delict and useless procedure? In construing the laws, courts
G.R. No. 151325 June 27, 2005 On February 9, 1995, the above-named respondents, who On March 10, 2000, the Arbiter issued an Order denying the
were employed as security guards by DArmoured Security motion and directing the sheriff to release the garnished
D' ARMOURED SECURITY AND INVESTIGATION AGENCY, and Investigation Agency, Inc., petitioner, and assigned to sum of money to respondents pro rata.
INC., petitioner, Fortune Tobacco, Inc. (Fortune Tobacco), filed with the
vs. Labor Arbiter a complaint for illegal dismissal and various Petitioners motion for reconsideration was denied, hence,
ARNULFO ORPIA, LODUVICO ABUCEJO, ROWEL AGURO, monetary claims against petitioner and Fortune Tobacco, it interposed an appeal to the NLRC.
ROMEO BALINGBING, RAMON BARROA, MONTECLARO In a Resolution dated July 27, 2000, the NLRC dismissed the
BATAWIL, ARNEL BON, RICARDO CAPENTES, DANILO On June 11, 1998, the Labor Arbiter rendered a Decision, appeal for petitioners failure to post a bond within the
DADA, JOEL DELA CRUZ, HERNANO DELOS REYES, the dispositive portion of which reads: reglementary period. Its motion for reconsideration was
FLORENTINO DELOS TRINO, ROGELIO DUERME, NONITO denied in a Resolution dated September 25, 2000.
ESTRELLADO, JOSEPH FALCESO, ISIDRO FLORES, VICTOR "WHEREFORE, premises considered, all the respondents
GUNGON, SONNY JULBA, PATRICIO LACANA, JR., FELIX except Antonio Cabangon Chua are jointly and severally Forthwith, petitioner filed with the Court of Appeals a
LASCONA, JUANITO LUNA, RAUL LUZADAS, ROMMEL liable to pay complainants the total sum of ONE MILLION petition for certiorari and prohibition with prayer for
SAMUEL PADILLA, EDWIN PARRENO, IRENEO PARTOLAN, underpayment, overtime pay, legal holiday pay, service In a Decision dated December 18, 2001, the Court of
JUAN PIGTUAN, GUILLERMO PUSING, RODEL SIBAL, incentive leave pay, 13th month pay, illegal deduction and Appeals dismissed the petition.
SILVESTRE SOLEDAD, JOVENAR TEVER, VIRGILIO TIMAJO, refund of firearms bond, as indicated in Annex A.
ERMILIO TOMARONG, JR., VIRGILIO VERDEFLOR and Hence, this petition for review on certiorari.
JOEREX VICTORINO, respondents. Finally, ten (10%) percent of all sums owing to complainants
is hereby awarded as attorneys fees. In this petition, the issue posed is whether the Court of
DECISION Appeals erred in holding that petitioners monthly
SO ORDERED." receivables from the Foremost Farms, Inc. (garnishee) are
SANDOVAL-GUTIERREZ, J.: not exempt from execution.
From the said Decision, Fortune Tobacco interposed an
For resolution is a petition for review on certiorari under appeal to the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC). The petition lacks merit. We have ruled that an order of
Rule 45 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, as amended, Petitioner did not appeal. On March 26, 1999, the NLRC execution of a final and executory judgment, as in this
assailing the Decision1 dated December 18, 2001 rendered rendered its Decision affirming with modification the case, is not appealable, otherwise, there would be no end
by the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 61799, entitled assailed Arbiters Decision in the sense that the complaint to litigation.2 On this ground alone, the instant petition is
"DArmoured Security and Investigation Agency, Inc. vs. against Fortune Tobacco was dismissed. This Decision dismissible.
National Labor Relations Commission, Arbiter Ariel C. became final and executory. Thus, the award specified in
Santos, NLRC Sheriff Ricardo Perona, Arnulfo Orpia, the Decision of the Arbiter became the sole liability of Assuming that an appeal is proper, still we have to deny the
Ludovico Abucejo, Rowel Aguro, Efren Almoete, Romeo petitioner. instant petition. Section 1, Rule IV of the NLRC Manual on
Amista, Warlito Balgosa, Romeo Balingbing, Ramon Barroa, Execution of Judgment provides:
Monteclaro Batawil, Arnel Bon, Ricardo Capentes, Danilo The records were then remanded to the Arbiter for
Dada, Joel dela Cruz, Hernando delos Reyes, Florentino execution. "Rule IV
delos Trino, Rogelio Duerme, Nonito Estrellado, Joseph
Falceso, Isidro Flores, Victor Gungon, Sonny Julba, Patricio Upon respondents motion, the Arbiter issued a writ of
Lacana, Jr., Felix Lascona, Juanito Luna, Raul Lozadas, execution. Eventually, the sheriff served a writ of SECTION 1. Properties exempt from execution. Only the
Rommel Magbanua, Rogelio Maribung, Nicolas Mendoza, garnishment upon the Chief Accountant of Foremost Farms, properties of the losing party shall be the subject of
Ezvener Ogana, Ricky Orano, Reynaldo Ozaraga, Samuel Inc., a corporation with whom petitioner has an existing execution, except:
Padilla, Edwin Parreno, Ireneo Partolan, Juan Pigtuan, services agreement. Thus, petitioners receivables with
Guillermo Pusing, Rodel Sibal, Silvestre Soledad, Jovener Foremost were garnished.
Tever, Virgilio Timajo, Emilio Tomarong, Jr., Virgilio (a) The losing partys family home constituted in
Verdeflor and Joerex Victorino." accordance with the Civil Code or Family Code or
Petitioner filed with the NLRC a "Motion to Quash/Recall as may be provided for by law or in the absence
Writ of Execution and Garnishment" which was opposed by thereof, the homestead in which he resides, and
land necessarily used in connection therewith, SECTION 13. Property exempt from execution. Except as available only to a natural person, such as a dentists dental
subject to the limits fixed by law; otherwise expressly provided by law, the following chair and electric fan (Belen v. de Leon, G.R. No. L-15612, 30
property, and no other, shall be exempt from execution: Nov. 1962). As pointed out by the Solicitor General, if
(b) His necessary clothing, and that of his family; properties used in business are exempt from execution,
xxxxxxxxx there can hardly be an instance when a judgment claim can
(c) Household furniture and utensils necessary for be enforced against the business entity [Pentagon Security
housekeeping, and used for that purpose by the (i) So much of the salaries, wages or earnings of the and Investigation Agency vs. Jimenez, 192 SCRA 492 (1990)].
losing party such as he may select, of a value not judgment obligor for his personal services within the four
exceeding the amount fixed by law; months preceding the levy as are necessary for the support It stands to reason that only natural persons whose salaries,
of his family. wages and earnings are indispensable for his own and that
(d) Provisions for individual or family use of his familys support are exempted under Section 13 (i) of
sufficient for three (3) months; The exemption under this procedural rule should be read in Rule 39 of the Rules of Court. Undeniably, a corporate entity
conjunction with the Civil Code, the substantive law which such as petitioner security agency is not covered by the
(e) The professional libraries of attorneys, judges, proscribes the execution of employees wages, thus: exemption.
physicians, pharmacists, dentists, engineers,
surveyors, clergymen, teachers, and other ART. 1708. The laborers wage shall not be subject to WHEREFORE, the petition is hereby DISMISSED.
professionals, not exceeding the amount fixed by execution or attachment, except for debts incurred for
law; food, shelter, clothing and medical attendance. SO ORDERED."

(f) So much of the earnings of the losing party for Obviously, the exemption under Rule 39 of the Rules of WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED. The assailed Decision
his personal services within the month preceding Court and Article 1708 of the New Civil Code is meant to dated December 18, 2001 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R.
the levy as are necessary for the support of his favor only laboring men or women whose works are SP No. 61799 is AFFIRMED IN TOTO. Costs against
family; manual. Persons belonging to this class usually look to the petitioner.
reward of a days labor for immediate or present support,
(g) All monies, benefits, privileges, or annuities and such persons are more in need of the exemption than SO ORDERED.
accruing or in any manner growing out of any life any other [Gaa vs. Court of Appeals, 140 SCRA 304 (1985)].
In this context, exemptions under this rule are confined only
(h) Tools and instruments necessarily used by him to natural persons and not to juridical entities such as
in his trade or employment of a value not petitioner. Thus, the rule speaks of salaries, wages and
exceeding three thousand (P3,000.00) pesos; earning from the personal services rendered by the
judgment obligor. The rule further requires that such
(i) Other properties especially exempted by law." earnings be intended for the support of the judgment
debtors family.
The above Rule clearly enumerates what properties are
exempt from execution. It is apparent that the exemption Necessarily, petitioner which is a corporate entity, does not
pertains only to natural persons and not to juridical entities. fall under the exemption. If at all, the exemption refers to
On this point, the Court of Appeals correctly ruled that petitioners individual employees and not to petitioner as a
petitioner, being a corporate entity, does not fall within the corporation.
exemption, thus:
x x x. Parenthetically, in a parallel case where a security
"We cannot accede to petitioners position that the agency claimed that the guns it gives to its guards are tools
garnished amount is exempt from execution. and implements exempt from execution, the Supreme
Court had the occasion to rule that the exemption pertains
Section 13 of Rule 39 of the Rules of Court is plain and clear only to natural and not to juridical persons, thus:
on what properties are exempt from execution. Section 13
(i) of the Rules pertinently reads: However, it would appear that the exemption
contemplated by the provision involved is personal,
G.R. No. 166495 February 16, 2011 No. 84902, which affirmed the Review and September 4, 2001 through Board Resolution No. 172.9De
Recommendation4 dated January 26, 2004 and Jesus then withdrew his petition with the CSC on
ROQUE C. FACURA and EDUARDO F. TUASON, Petitioners, Order5 dated April 20, 2004 issued by the Ombudsman in September 5, 2001.
vs. OMB-C-A-02-0496-J, which dismissed De Jesus from the
COURT OF APPEALS, RODOLFO S. DE JESUS and EDELWINA government service with prejudice to re-entry thereto. Under the CSC Accreditation Program, particularly under
DG. PARUNGAO, Respondents. CSC Resolution No. 96770110 dated December 3, 1996,
G.R. 184263 is another appeal, by way of Petition for LWUA has been granted the authority to take final action
x - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -x Review on Certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court, on appointment papers effective January 1, 1997. Under
filed by the Ombudsman, from the Decision dated May 26, LWUA Officer Order No. 205.0111 dated September 25,
G.R. No. 184129 2005 and Resolution dated August 6, 2008 of the CA, in CA- 2001, LWUA Administrator Lorenzo Jamora (Administrator
G.R. SP No. 84902, for ordering the reinstatement of Jamora) granted De Jesus the authority to sign/approve and
RODOLFO S. DE JESUS, Petitioner, Parungao as Manager of the Human Resources issue appointment papers of appointees to vacant plantilla
vs. Management Department (HRMD) of the Local Water positions in LWUA which have been previously cleared or
OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN, EDUARDO F. TUASON, Utilities Administration (LWUA), thereby modifying the approved in writing by the Administrator or the Board of
LOCAL WATER UTILITIES ADMINISTRATION (LWUA), Review and Recommendation6 dated January 26, 2004 and Trustees.
represented by its new Administrator Orlando C. Order7 dated April 20, 2004, issued by the Ombudsman in
Hondrade, Respondents. OMB-C-A-02-0496-J, which dismissed Parungao from the Prior to the grant of authority to De Jesus to sign
government service with prejudice to re-entry thereto. appointment papers, in a letter12 dated August 27, 2001
x - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -x signed by Administrator Jamora, LWUA requested the
These consolidated cases arose from a Joint Complaint- Department of Budget and Management (DBM) for
G.R. No. 184263 Affidavit filed with the Ombudsman by Facura and Tuason authority to hire confidential staff for the LWUA Board of
against De Jesus and Parungao for violation of Republic Trustees. The request was to seek exemption for LWUA
Act (R.A.) No. 3019 (the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices from Administrative Order No. 5 which prohibited the hiring
Act), dishonesty, gross neglect of duty, grave misconduct, of new personnel in order to generate savings.
falsification of official documents, being notoriously
undesirable, and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of While awaiting the reply of DBM on his request, Jamora, in
OF APPEALS (Former 7th Division), Respondents.
the service. an inter-office memorandum13 dated October 23, 2001,
directed the Office of Administrative Services (OAS),
The Facts headed by De Jesus, and the Investment and Financial
Services, to process the payment of the salaries and
The LWUA is a government-owned and controlled allowances of his two (2) newly appointed confidential staff
corporation chartered under Presidential Decree (P.D) No. who reported to him effective October 10, 2001. Upon
For resolution before this Court are the following: receipt of the said inter-office memorandum, the OAS
198, as amended. De Jesus was the Deputy Administrator
for Administrative Services of LWUA, while Parungao was forwarded it to the HRMD headed by Parungao for
G.R. No. 166495 is a petition for certiorari filed by Roque its HRMD Manager for Administrative Services. appropriate action.
Facura (Facura) and Eduardo Tuason (Tuason) assailing the
Resolutions1 dated September 22, 2004 and January 4, On December 11, 2001, LWUA received a reply letter14 from
De Jesus was dismissed from the service per LWUA Board
2005 of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-G.R. SP No. 84902, DBM granting the request to fill positions for the LWUA
Resolution No. 0618 dated March 28, 2001. Through Board
which granted the applications for preliminary mandatory Boards confidential staff. On the same day, on the strength
Resolution No. 069 dated April 17, 2001, the Board denied
injunction filed by Atty. Rodolfo De Jesus (De Jesus) and of said letter of approval, LWUA board members issued
his motion for reconsideration and prohibited De Jesus
Atty. Edelwina Parungao (Parungao) by ordering their their respective inter-office memoranda15 and
from acting on any matter as head of Administrative
reinstatement to their former positions despite the letter16 containing the retroactive appointments of their
Services. On April 18, 2001, De Jesus appealed to the Civil
standing order of dismissal issued by the Office of the confidential staff, as follows: Board Chairman Francisco
Service Commission (CSC) to nullify Board Resolution Nos.
Ombudsman (Ombudsman) against them. Dumpit appointed Michael M. Raval and Ma. Geraldine
061 and 069.
Rose D. Buenaflor effective August 20, 2001; Trustee Bayani
G.R. No. 184129 is an appeal, by way of Petition for Review Dato, Sr. appointed Albino G. Valenciano, Jr. effective
On August 20, 2001, pending resolution of his petition with
on Certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court, filed by August 20, 2001; and Trustee Solomon Badoy appointed
the CSC, De Jesus filed a petition for reinstatement with a
De Jesus, from the Decision2 dated May 26, 2005 and Kristina Joy T. Badoy and Noelle Stephanie R. Badoy
newly-reconstituted LWUA Board, which granted it on
Resolution3 dated August 6, 2008 of the CA, in CA-G.R. SP
effective June 19, 2001. On December 18, 2001, Trustee Ma. Susan G. Facto - October 10, 2001 informal consultation. It was also proposed that the salaries
Normando Toledo also issued an inter-office and benefits already paid be made on quantum
memorandum17 appointing, effective August 20, 2001, Ma. Lourdes M. Manaloto - August 20, 2001 meruit basis, based on actual services rendered as certified
Marc Anthony S. Verzosa and Ma. Lourdes M. Manaloto. by the Board members.
These inter-office memoranda and letter directed De Jesus Marc Anthony S. Versoza - August 20, 2001
to prepare their appointment papers. They bore the written Therefore, for the purpose of meeting the monitoring and
concurrence of Administrator Jamora as agency head and On December 20, 2001, Administrator Jamora issued an reportorial requirements of the CSC in relation to the
mandated appointing authority of LWUA employees under inter-office memorandum19 to the accounting department accreditation given to LWUA to take final action on its
the LWUA charter. Upon his receipt of the aforesaid inter- on the matter of payment of back salaries of the said appointments, De Jesus and Parungao, with the prior
office memoranda and letter, De Jesus forwarded them to confidential staff, stating therein that as approved by the approval of Administrator Jamora, re-issued the
the HRMD for the preparation and processing of the DBM in its letter, the hiring of such personnel was appointments of the Boards nine (9) confidential staff. The
corresponding appointment papers. authorized retroactive to their employment date, thus, appointment papers23 were now all dated December 12,
ordering the immediate payment of their back salaries and 2001, with Serial Nos. 168292, 168293, 168294, 168295,
As HRMD head, Parungao forwarded the said documents to other remunerations. On the same day, a LWUA 168297, 168298, 168299, 168301, and 168304 and were
the Personnel Division to have them transformed into disbursement voucher20 was prepared and processed by transmitted to the CSC.
formal appointment papers, otherwise known as CSC the Accounting Department, and Administrator Jamora
Standard Form No. 33. The encoded standard forms thereafter approved the release of a Land Bank check On February 28, 2002, Administrator Jamora again wrote a
indicated the names and positions of the confidential staff amounting to P624,570.00 as part of the cash advance letter24 to the DBM clarifying whether its December 11,
and the dates of signing and issuance of the appointments, amounting to P692,657.31, for the payment of the back 2001 letter, approving the hiring of the confidential staff of
which were the retroactive effectivity dates appearing in salaries. the LWUA Board, had retroactive effect. It was explained
the inter-office memoranda and letter issued by the Board that the said confidential staff had started rendering
member. The concerned HRMD staff and Parungao affixed The appointments of the subject confidential staff were services as early as August 20, 2001, when the Board
their initials below the printed name of De Jesus who, in reflected in the Supplemental Quarterly Report on assumed office because their services were urgently
turn, signed the formal appointment papers as Accession for June and August 2001 and Quarterly Report needed by the trustees.
respresentative of the appointing authority. The nine (9) on Accession and Separation for October to December 2001
appointment papers18 bore Serial Nos. 168207, 168210, which were submitted to the CSC on January 8, 2002. Meanwhile, the LWUA Accounting Department, in a Brief to
168213, 168214, 168215, 168216, 168217, 168287, and the Legal Department dated March 2, 2002, sought its legal
168288. On January 25, 2002, HRMD and OAS issued a opinion on the subject of the first payment of salary of the
Memorandum21 for Administrator Jamora on the subject of confidential staff. The Legal Department replied that a
In Office Order No. 286.01 dated December 13, 2001 and the appointment papers of the nine (9) confidential staff of letter had been sent to the DBM seeking clarification on
Office Order No. 001.02 dated December 20, 2001 issued the Board. De Jesus and Parungao called his attention to the whether the previous DBM approval retroacted to the
by De Jesus and Parungao, it was stated therein that the requirements under CSC Resolution No. 96770122 of the actual service of the confidential staff.
following nine (9) personnel were appointed retroactively submission to the CSC of two (2) copies of the Report on
to the dates indicated below: Personnel Actions (ROPA) within the first fifteen (15) days Thereafter, the Internal Control Office (ICO) of LWUA issued
of the ensuing month together with the certified true copies a memorandum dated May 10, 2002, questioning the
Ma. Geraldine Rose D. Buenaflor - August 20, of the appointments acted on, and appointments not issuance of the retroactive appointment papers. It pointed
2001 submitted within the prescribed period would be made out that since the appointment papers submitted to the CSC
effective thirty (30) days prior to the date of submission to indicated December 12, 2001 as effective date, the
Michael M. Raval - August 20, 2001 the CSC. It was explained that the appointment papers with appointment of the involved personnel to the government
retroactive effectivity dates violated the provisions of CSC service should be considered effective only on said date,
Albino G. Valenciano, Jr. - August 20, 2001 Res. No. 967701 and Rule 7, Section 11 of the CSC Omnibus with their salaries and other compensation computed only
Rules on Appointments. For said reason, LWUA from December 12, 2001. Thus, there was an overpayment
Noelle Stephanie R. Badoy - June 19, 2001 accreditation could be cancelled and the Administrator be made as follows:
held personally liable for the invalidated appointments. It
Kristina Joy T. Badoy - June 19, 2001 was suggested instead that the appointments be re-issued Ma. Geraldine Rose D. Buenaflor - P107,730.09
effective December 12, 2001, the ROPA be dated January
Jesusito R. Toren - October 15, 2001 15, 2002, and the earlier retroactive appointments be Michael M. Raval - P111,303.16
cancelled, as advised by a CSC Field Director in a previous
Albino G. Valenciano, Jr. - P107, 730.09 Resolution No. 03050428 was issued dated May 5, 2003 employees, they had no discretion on the matter of the
considering the dismissal case closed and terminated. retroactive appointments of the nine confidential staff
Noelle Stephanie R. Badoy - P157, 210.34 specifically requested by the Board members; and that the
Complaint of Facura and Tuason re-issuance of the second set of appointments effective
Kristina Joy T. Badoy - P163, 130.69 December 12, 2001 was duly approved by Administrator
On October 18, 2002, Facura and Tuason filed a Joint Jamora. They denied any financial damage on the part of
It was further recommended that the Legal Department Affidavit-Complaint29 before the Evaluation and LWUA since the retroactive payment of salaries was
conduct an investigation to identify the person liable to Preliminary Investigation Bureau of the Ombudsman justified under the DBM letter approving the hiring of
refund to LWUA the overpayments made to the subject against De Jesus and Parungao charging them with: 1) personnel retroactive to the date of actual services
personnel and that the Accounting Department take violation of Section 3(e) of R.A. No. 3019; and 2) dishonesty, rendered by them.
appropriate actions to recover the overpayment. gross neglect of duty, grave misconduct, falsification of
official documents, being notoriously undesirable, and The Ruling of the Ombudsman
On June 5, 2002, LWUA received DBMs reply letter 25
on conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service, for
June 5, 2002, informing Administrator Jamora that the the fabrication of fraudulent appointments of nine (9) The complaint was originally referred to the Ombudsmans
previously granted authority on the hiring of the coterminous employees of LWUA. Preliminary Investigation and Administrative Adjudication
confidential staff to the LWUA Board may be implemented Bureau B, and assigned to Graft Investigation and
retroactive to the date of actual service rendered by the Facura and Tuason alleged that the retroactive Prosecution Officer I Vivian Magsino-Gonzales (Pros.
employees involved. appointment papers were fabricated and fraudulent as they Magsino-Gonzales). After evaluating the documents on file,
were made to appear to have been signed/approved on the Pros. Magsino-Gonzales dispensed with the preliminary
In a Brief to Administrator Jamora dated July 26, 2002, dates stated, and not on the date of their actual issuance. conference and preliminary investigation of the case. In her
signed by De Jesus and initialed by Parungao, the issues They further alleged that with malice and bad faith, De Decision dated September 30, 2003, she recommended the
raised by ICO in its Memorandum on the retroactive Jesus and Parungao willfully and feloniously conspired not outright dismissal of the case, ratiocinating that the
appointments of the concerned confidential staff and to submit the fraudulent appointment papers to the CSC, Ombudsman did not have the jurisdiction to resolve the
overpayments were deemed clarified with the reply letter and to submit instead the valid set of appointment papers issues of fraudulent appointments of the nine confidential
of the DBM on the retroactive implementation of the bearing the December 12, 2001 issuance date. staff and their alleged overpayment to the damage of
authority granted to LWUA in the previous letter of LWUA and the government and to decide on the status of
approval. They questioned the issuance of the fraudulent De Jesus as a dismissed employee which, in her view,
appointments in favor of the nine (9) confidential staff, to belonged to the primary jurisdiction and technical expertise
Meanwhile, on November 20, 2001, in relation to the earlier the prejudice of the government in the amount of the CSC.
appeal of De Jesus (which he withdrew upon his of P692,657.31, as these were used as basis for the
reinstatement by the newly reconstituted LWUA Board), payment of their back salaries. They also alleged that De Said recommendation was disapproved by the Ombudsman
the CSC issued Resolution No. 011811,26 which remanded Jesus reinstatement was illegal and that he had lost and the case was referred for review to Special Prosecution
the case to LWUA for the conduct of an investigation authority to sign any LWUA documents effective upon the Officer Roberto Agagon (Special Pros. Agagon) of the
regarding De Jesus dismissal, to be finished within three (3) issuance of LWUA Board Resolution Nos. 061 and 069. Thus, Preliminary Investigation and Administrative Adjudication
calendar months, failure of which would result in the the actions undertaken by him in signing the fraudulent Bureau A. Without conducting a preliminary conference
dismissal of the case against De Jesus. appointments were all misrepresented and, therefore, or investigation, Special Pros. Agagon came up with the
unlawful. They further alleged that contrary to law, De Jesus assailed Review and Recommendation finding De Jesus and
On August 15, 2002, the CSC issued Resolution No. continued to receive his salary and benefits as Deputy Parungao guilty of grave misconduct, dishonesty, gross
02109027 ruling that CSC Resolution No. 011811 had not Administrator of LWUA despite having already been neglect of duty, and falsification, the dispositive portion of
been rendered moot and academic by the reinstatement of dismissed. They cited the string of criminal and which reads:
De Jesus by the LWUA Board. It further declared the administrative cases against De Jesus before the trial courts
reinstatement as illegal, null and void. The Board was and the Ombudsman. WHEREFORE, respondents Rodolfo S. De Jesus and
directed to recall the reinstatement of De Jesus, and LWUA Edelwina DG. Parungao are meted out the penalty of
was ordered to continue the conduct of the investigation on In their Joint Counter-Affidavit,30 De Jesus and Parungao Dismissal from the service with prejudice to re-entry into
De Jesus as earlier directed, within three (3) calendar alleged that they were mere rank-and-file employees who the government service.
months from receipt of the resolution. For failure of LWUA had no knowledge of or participation in personnel matters;
to conduct an investigation within the required period, CSC that their actions in issuing the two sets of appointments
were all documented and above-board; that as subordinate
On March 24, 2004, Facura and Tuason filed their Motion dated July 20, 2004, deferred action on the application for On October 4, 2004, Facura, Tuason and LWUA moved for
for Reconsideration but the same was denied in the assailed TRO and gave Facura and Tuason time to comment. the reconsideration of the September 22, 2004 Resolution,
Order dated April 20, 2004. which motion was opposed by De Jesus and Parungao. Their
After the petition to the CA was filed, LWUA implemented Motions for Reconsideration were denied by the CA on
The Ombudsman found that during De Jesus dismissal from the order of dismissal against De Jesus and Parungao. January 4, 2005, as follows:
the service at the LWUA, and despite the advice of the CSC Administrator Jamora issued Office Order No. 151204
to await the final resolution of his appeal, De Jesus illegally notifying De Jesus and Parungao of their dismissal from the WHEREFORE, the foregoing considered, the respondents
issued appointments to several co-terminous employees in LWUA effective at the close of office hours on July 23, 2004. respective Motions for Reconsideration of the Resolution
June and August 2001. The appointments were found to dated 22 September 2004 are hereby DENIED. Petitioner De
have been prepared and issued by De Jesus and Parungao On August 12, 2004, the CA granted the application for TRO Jesus Most Urgent Motion to Deputize the Philippine
after the former had been terminated from LWUA, so as not to render the issues raised in the petition moot National Police to Implement the Injunctive Writ dated 29
therefore, without authority to sign/act on any official and academic. On August 24, 2004, Facura and Tuason filed September 2004 is GRANTED and accordingly the said entity
LWUA document/official matter, which fact he was fully their Manifestation with Extremely Urgent Motion for is hereby deputized to implement the injunctive relief
aware of, thereby making the solemnity of the documents Dissolution of the issued TRO because the act to be issued by this Court.
questionable. All said appointments were, thus, found to be enjoined, the implementation of the dismissal order, was
fraudulent, illegal, and of no legal force and effect. Since fait accompli. Facura and Tuason then filed the present Petition for
these were also prepared and initialed by Parungao, a Certiorari with this Court questioning the above-mentioned
conspiracy to commit falsification through dishonesty was On September 22, 2004, the CA issued the assailed Resolutions of the CA, docketed as G.R. No. 166495.
found to have been present. Resolution denying Facura and Tuasons motion to dissolve Pending resolution of the said Petition, the CA rendered its
the TRO, and granting the issuance of a writ of preliminary decision in CA-G.R. SP No. 84902, dated May 26, 2005, the
It was also found that the DBM approved the LWUA request mandatory injunction in favor of De Jesus and Parungao, dispositive portion of which reads:
on retroactivity of payment of back salaries because not all which reads as follows:
facts attendant to the illegal appointments had been WHEREFORE, the foregoing considered, the petition is
disclosed to said office. The deliberate concealment of the WHEREFORE, the foregoing considered, the Motion to GRANTED and the assailed Review and Recommendation
illegal appointment papers was dishonest. The attachment Dissolve TRO filed by respondents is hereby DENIED. and Order are MODIFIED hereby ordering the
of the illegal appointments to the LWUA Disbursement Accordingly, let writ of preliminary mandatory injunction reinstatement of petitioner Parungao as Manager of the
Voucher for payment of backsalaries, to the prejudice and issue enjoining LWUA and the Office of the Ombudsman Human Resource Management Department of LWUA with
damage of the government, was also cited as another from enforcing the assailed Order and are thereby directed back pay and without loss of seniority. The dismissal of
deliberate concealment and distortion with false narration to maintain and/or restore the status quo existing at the petitioner De Jesus from the government service with
of facts. time of the filing of the present petition by reinstating prejudice to re-entry thereto is AFFIRMED.
petitioners to their former positions pending the resolution
The Ombudsman also viewed the second set of of this case upon the filing of petitioners bond in the Facura, Tuazon and the Ombudsman filed their respective
appointment papers as to have been issued for no apparent amount of P40,000.00 each, which will answer for whatever Motions for Partial Reconsideration, while De Jesus filed his
reason and designed to legalize the illegal appointments damages respondents may sustain in the event that the Motion for Reconsideration. These were denied by the CA
issued in June and August 2001. Thus, dishonesty on the petition is not granted. in its Resolution dated August 6, 2008.
part of De Jesus was found to be present for acting against
a series of orders issued by the CSC and for the falsification The CA found that the right to appeal from decisions of the The CA believed that at the time De Jesus signed the two
of the illegal appointment papers. Ombudsman imposing a penalty other than public censure sets of appointment papers, the CSC had not divested itself
or reprimand, or a penalty of suspension of more than one of jurisdiction and authority over his dismissal case. Thus,
The Ruling of the Court of Appeals month or a fine equivalent to more than one months he misrepresented his authority to do so as his dismissal
salary, granted to parties by Section 27 of R.A. No. 6770 (the was still in effect and for resolution by the CSC. The CA
Aggrieved, De Jesus and Parungao filed a petition for review Ombudsman Act) should generally carry with it the stay of agreed with De Jesus that it was his ministerial duty to
with the CA on July 5, 2004 which was docketed as CA-G.R. these decisions pending appeal citing Lopez v. Court of comply with the request of the Board members. However,
SP No. 84902, praying, among others, for the issuance of a Appeals.31 The right to a writ of preliminary mandatory he failed to perform his ministerial duty, for if he had in fact
Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) and/or preliminary injunction was deemed to be in order because De Jesus and done so, the second set of appointments would not have
prohibitory injunction to enjoin the implementation of the Parungaos right to be protected under R.A. No. 6770 was been issued as the first set of appointments with retroactive
order of dismissal against them. The CA, in its Resolution found to exist prima facie, and the acts sought to be effectivity dates would have already been submitted to the
enjoined are violative of such right. CSC.
The CA further found the request for approval to the DBM The issues presented for resolution by Facura (now PUBLIC RESPONDENT OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN AND
to apply the earlier granted authority to hire retroactively deceased) and Tuason in G.R. No. 166495 are as follows: THE COURT OF APPEALS DO NOT HAVE JURISDICTION TO
as a disingenuous attempt to provide a semblance of COLLATERALLY RULE AGAINST PETITIONERS TITLE AS
legality to the intended retroactive appointments. It held a. Whether or not an appeal of the Ombudsmans DEPUTY ADMINISTRATOR OF LWUA.
that the approval or disapproval of appointment to the decision in administrative cases carries with it the
government was the sole office of the CSC, and not the suspension of the imposed penalty; VI
DBM, as the LWUA authority to take final action on its
appointments was by virtue of CSCs accreditation program. b. Whether or not petitioners were heard before THE COURT OF APPEALS GROSSLY ERRED IN FAILING TO
De Jesus failure to submit the retroactive appointment the issuance of the writ of preliminary mandatory APPRECIATE AS MITIGATING CIRCUMSTANCES THE
papers as prescribed under the CSC accreditation was injunction; and EDUCATION AND LENGTH OF SERVICE OF PETITIONER IN
viewed by the CA as a concealment of such retroactivity THE IMPOSITION OF SUPREME PENALTY OF DISMISSAL.
and, thus, dishonesty. To its mind, the CSC was deliberately c. Whether or not private respondents are
made unaware of what the DBM was doing, and vice versa. entitled to the writ of preliminary mandatory VII
Parungao was exonerated by the CA after having been THE COURT OF APPEALS GROSSLY ERRED IN STILL FINDING
found that she took steps to clarify the matter with the CSC, The assignment of errors presented by De Jesus in G.R. No. PETITIONER GUILTY OF MISREPRESENTATION OF
informed her superiors about her misgivings and the legal 184129, are as follows: AUTHORITY AFTER EXONERATING ATTY. EDELWINA DG.
effects of the retroactive appointments, and published such PARUNGAO.
retroactive appointments in the LWUA Quarterly Reports I
on Accession, thus, demonstrating her good faith. The issue presented for resolution by the Ombudsman in
In its Resolution denying the motions for reconsideration THE DOCTRINE OF CONCLUSIVENESS OF JUDGMENT
others, that the case of De Jesus v. Sandiganbayan32 could OCTOBER 17, 2007 IN G.R. NOS. 164166 & 164173-80 AND RULING THAT NO SUBSTANTIAL EVIDENCE EXISTS AGAINST
not be used as basis to absolve administrative liability, as CSC RES. NOS. 03-0504, 07-0146 & 07-0633. RESPONDENT PARUNGAO FOR THE ADMINISTRATIVE
the present case was not limited solely to falsification and OFFENSE OF DISHONESTY WHICH WARRANTS HER
preparation of the two sets of appointment papers. The CA DISMISSAL FROM THE SERVICE .
found that De Jesus failed to comply with CSC rules due to
his failure to submit the first set of appointment papers to
the CSC. Dishonesty was found present when De Jesus
submitted the first set of appointment papers to the DBM
and the second set to CSC to comply with reportorial
requirements, ensuring that the DBM was unaware of what
the CSC was doing and vice versa. The CSC resolutions The issue of whether or not an appeal of the Ombudsman
dismissing the complaint against De Jesus were found to III decision in an administrative case carries with it the
have no bearing as the dismissal case was already before immediate suspension of the imposed penalty has been laid
the CSC for resolution when De Jesus affixed his signature. THE COURT OF APPEALS GROSSLY ERRED IN STILL RELYING to rest in the recent resolution of the case of Ombudsman
Thus, De Jesus had no authority to sign the appointment ON CSC RES. NO. 01-1811 AND RES. NO. 02-1090 AFTER v. Samaniego,33 where this Court held that the decision of
papers and by doing so, he defied the CSC directive recalling HAVING BEEN RENDERED MOOT AND ACADEMIC BY CSC the Ombudsman is immediately executory pending appeal
his reinstatement. Violation of CSC rules on appointment RES. NO. 03-0405. and may not be stayed by the filing of an appeal or the
was found to be distinct from misrepresentation of issuance of an injunctive writ, to wit:
authority to sign appointment papers. IV
Section 7, Rule III of the Rules of Procedure of the Office of
Hence, the present Petitions for Review on Certiorari THE COURT OF APPEALS GROSSLY ERRED IN FINDING the Ombudsman,34 as amended by Administrative Order
separately filed by De Jesus and the Ombudsman, docketed PETITIONER TO HAVE COMMITTED AN ACT OF DISHONESTY No. 17 dated September 15, 2003, provides:
as G.R. Nos. 185129 and 184263, respectively. IN RELATION TO THE CSC ACCREDITATION PROGRAM.
SEC. 7. Finality and execution of decision. Where the
THE ISSUES V respondent is absolved of the charge, and in case of
conviction where the penalty imposed is public censure or
reprimand, suspension of not more than one month, or a special immunity as regards salary and tenure, no one can Clearly, Section 7, Rule III of the Rules of Procedure of the
fine equivalent to one month salary, the decision shall be be said to have any vested right in an office. Office of the Ombudsman supersedes the discretion given
final, executory and unappealable. In all other cases, the to the CA in Section 12,40 Rule 43 of the Rules of Court when
decision may be appealed to the Court of Appeals on a Following the ruling in the above cited case, this Court, a decision of the Ombudsman in an administrative case is
verified petition for review under the requirements and in Buencamino v. Court of Appeals,37 upheld the resolution appealed to the CA. The provision in the Rules of Procedure
conditions set forth in Rule 43 of the Rules of Court, within of the CA denying Buencaminos application for preliminary of the Office of the Ombudsman that a decision is
fifteen (15) days from receipt of the written Notice of the injunction against the immediate implementation of the immediately executory is a special rule that prevails over
Decision or Order denying the motion for reconsideration. suspension order against him. The Court stated therein that the provisions of the Rules of Court. Specialis derogat
the CA did not commit grave abuse of discretion in denying generali. When two rules apply to a particular case, that
An appeal shall not stop the decision from being petitioners application for injunctive relief because Section which was specially designed for the said case must prevail
executory. In case the penalty is suspension or removal 7, Rule III of the Rules of Procedure of the Office of the over the other.41 [Emphases supplied]
and the respondent wins such appeal, he shall be Ombudsman was amended by Administrative Order No. 17
considered as having been under preventive suspension dated September 15, 2003. Thus, Section 7, Rule III of the Rules of Procedure of the
and shall be paid the salary and such other emoluments Office of the Ombudsman, as amended by Administrative
that he did not receive by reason of the suspension or Respondent cannot successfully rely on Section 12, Rule 43 Order (A.O.) No. 17, is categorical in providing that an
removal. of the Rules of Court which provides: appeal shall not stop an Ombudsman decision from being
executory. This rule applies to the appealable decisions of
A decision of the Office of the Ombudsman in SEC. 12. Effect of appeal The appeal shall not stay the the Ombudsman, namely, those where the penalty
administrative cases shall be executed as a matter of award, judgment, final order or resolution sought to be imposed is other than public censure or reprimand, or a
course. The Office of the Ombudsman shall ensure that the reviewed unless the Court of Appeals shall direct otherwise penalty of suspension of more than one month, or a fine
decision shall be strictly enforced and properly upon such terms as it may deem just. equivalent to more than one months salary. Hence, the
implemented. The refusal or failure by any officer without dismissal of De Jesus and Parungao from the government
just cause to comply with an order of the Office of the In the first place, the Rules of Court may apply to cases in service is immediately executory pending appeal.
Ombudsman to remove, suspend, demote, fine, or censure the Office of the Ombudsman suppletorily only when the
shall be a ground for disciplinary action against such officer. procedural matter is not governed by any specific provision The aforementioned Section 7 is also clear in providing that
[Emphases supplied] in the Rules of Procedure of the Office of the in case the penalty is removal and the respondent wins his
Ombudsman.38 Here, Section 7, Rule III of the Rules of appeal, he shall be considered as having been under
The Ombudsmans decision imposing the penalty of Procedure of the Office of the Ombudsman, as amended, is preventive suspension and shall be paid the salary and such
suspension for one year is immediately executory pending categorical, an appeal shall not stop the decision from being other emoluments that he did not receive by reason of the
appeal.35 It cannot be stayed by the mere filing of an appeal executory. removal. As explained above, there is no such thing as a
to the CA. This rule is similar to that provided under Section vested interest in an office, or an absolute right to hold
47 of the Uniform Rules on Administrative Cases in the Civil Moreover, Section 13 (8), Article XI of the Constitution office, except constitutional offices with special provisions
Service. authorizes the Office of the Ombudsman to promulgate its on salary and tenure. The Rules of Procedure of the
own rules of procedure. In this connection, Sections 18 and Ombudsman being procedural, no vested right of De Jesus
In the case of In the Matter to Declare in Contempt of Court 27 of the Ombudsman Act of 198939 also provide that the and Parungao would be violated as they would be
Hon. Simeon A. Datumanong, Secretary of the DPWH,36 we Office of the Ombudsman has the power to "promulgate its considered under preventive suspension, and entitled to
held: rules of procedure for the effective exercise or performance the salary and emoluments they did not receive in the event
of its powers, functions and duties" and to amend or modify that they would win their appeal.
The Rules of Procedure of the Office of the Ombudsman are its rules as the interest of justice may require. For the CA to
clearly procedural and no vested right of the petitioner is issue a preliminary injunction that will stay the penalty The ratiocination above also clarifies the application of Rule
violated as he is considered preventively suspended while imposed by the Ombudsman in an administrative case 43 of the Rules of Court in relation to Section 7 of the Rules
his case is on appeal. Moreover, in the event he wins on would be to encroach on the rule-making powers of the of Procedure of the Office of the Ombudsman. The CA, even
appeal, he shall be paid the salary and such other Office of the Ombudsman under the Constitution and RA on terms it may deem just, has no discretion to stay a
emoluments that he did not receive by reason of the 6770 as the injunctive writ will render nugatory the decision of the Ombudsman, as such procedural matter is
suspension or removal. Besides, there is no such thing as a provisions of Section 7, Rule III of the Rules of Procedure of governed specifically by the Rules of Procedure of the Office
vested interest in an office, or even an absolute right to hold the Office of the Ombudsman. of the Ombudsman.
office. Excepting constitutional offices which provide for
The CAs issuance of a preliminary mandatory injunction, G.R. Nos. 184129 & 184263 the complaint-affidavit filed with the Ombudsman also
staying the penalty of dismissal imposed by the spawned two cases a proceeding for the determination of
Ombudsman in this administrative case, is thus an The Court now looks into the issue of whether De Jesus was probable cause for the filing of criminal charges, and an
encroachment on the rule-making powers of the rightfully dismissed from the government service, and administrative case subject of the petition. In said case, this
Ombudsman under Section 13 (8), Article XI of the whether Parungao was righfully exonerated by the CA. Court found that its factual findings regarding the
Constitution, and Sections 18 and 27 of R.A. No. 6770, proceeding for the determination of probable cause bound
which grants the Office of the Ombudsman the authority to Conclusiveness of Judgment the disposition of the factual issues in the administrative
promulgate its own rules of procedure. The issuance of an case under the principle of conclusiveness of judgment, as
injunctive writ renders nugatory the provisions of Section 7, De Jesus contends that under the doctrine of both the probable cause proceeding and the administrative
Rule III of the Rules of Procedure of the Office of the conclusiveness of judgment and/or res judicata, the present case require the same quantum of evidence, that is,
Ombudsman. case is bound by the decision of this Court in De Jesus v. substantial evidence. Furthermore, the factual backdrop in
Sandiganbayan.43 the proceeding for the determination of probable cause,
The CA, however, cannot be blamed for so ruling because which this Court declared as insufficient to hold
at that time the Courts rulings were not definite and, thus, The original complaint filed with the Ombudsman by Facura respondents for trial, was the same set of facts which
nebulous. There were no clear-cut guidelines yet. Even the and Tuason spawned two cases, an administrative confronted this Court in the administrative case.
initial ruling in Samaniego on September 11, 2008, stated in proceeding docketed as OMB-C-A-0496-J, which is the
effect that the mere filing by a respondent of an appeal subject of this present case, and a proceeding for the On the other hand, the Ombudsman, Tuason and LWUA
sufficed to stay the execution of the joint decision against determination of probable cause for the filing of criminal raised the jurisprudential principle that the dismissal of a
him. The Samaniego initial ruling merely followed that in charges docketed as OMB-C-C-02-0712-J. criminal case involving the same set of facts does not
the case of Office of the Ombudsman v. Laja,42 where it was automatically result in the dismissal of the administrative
stated: As to the criminal charges, probable cause was found to be charges due to the distinct and independent nature of one
present by the Ombudsman, and nine (9) informations for proceeding from the other. They further countered that the
[O]nly orders, directives or decisions of the Office of the falsification of public documents were separately filed only issue resolved in De Jesus was the absence of mens rea,
Ombudsman in administrative cases imposing the penalty against De Jesus and Parungao with the Sandiganbayan which was not a mandatory requirement for a finding of
of public censure, reprimand, or suspension of not more docketed as Criminal Case Nos. 27894-27902. After his falsification of official documents as an administrative
than one month, or a fine not equivalent to one month Motion to Quash was denied, De Jesus filed a petition for offense;48 and although it was found that there was no
salary shall be final and unappealable hence, immediately certiorari with this Court docketed as G.R. Nos. 164166 & absolutely false narration of facts in the two sets of
executory. In all other disciplinary cases where the penalty 164173-80, entitled De Jesus v. Sandiganbayan.44 This appointment papers, the issue in this administrative case
imposed is other than public censure, reprimand, or petition was resolved on October 17, 2007 in favor of De was not limited solely to falsification of official documents.
suspension of not more than one month, or a fine not Jesus with the finding that the evidence could not sustain a It was further contended that the evidence and admissions
equivalent to one month salary, the law gives the prima facie case. His Motion to Quash was granted for lack in the administrative case were different from the evidence
respondent the right to appeal. In these cases, the order, of probable cause to form a sufficient belief as to the guilt in the criminal case, thus, the findings in the criminal case
directive or decision becomes final and executory only of the accused. The Court stated that there was no could not bind the administrative case. Finally, they argued
after the lapse of the period to appeal if no appeal is reasonable ground to believe that the requisite criminal that the doctrine of res judicata would only apply to judicial
perfected, or after the denial of the appeal from the said intent or mens rea was present, finding that nothing in the or quasi-judicial proceedings and not to administrative
order, directive or decision. It is only then that execution two sets of appointment papers constituted an absolutely matters.49
shall perforce issue as a matter of right. The fact that the false narration of facts.
Ombudsman Act gives parties the right to appeal from its The Court agrees with De Jesus insofar as the finding
decisions should generally carry with it the stay of these As a result, the criminal cases filed with the Sandiganbayan regarding the falsification of official documents is
decisions pending appeal. Otherwise, the essential nature were consequently dismissed on March 14, 2008.45Copies concerned.
of these judgments as being appealable would be rendered of the decisions of this Court and the Sandiganbayan were
nugatory. [Emphasis in the original]. submitted to the CA through a Manifestation with Most The doctrine of res judicata is set forth in Section 47 of Rule
Urgent Ex-Parte Motion on April 24, 2008. 39 of the Rules of Court, as follows:
Having ruled that the decisions of the Ombudsman are
immediately executory pending appeal, The Court finds it De Jesus cited the case of Borlongan v. Buenaventura46 to Sec. 47. Effect of judgments or final orders. - The effect of a
unncessary to determine whether or not Facura and Tuason support his argument that this administrative case should judgment or final order rendered by a court of the
were heard before the issuance of the writ of preliminary be bound by the decision in De Jesus v. Sandiganbayan.47 In Philippines, having jurisdiction to pronounce the judgment
mandatory injunction. Borlongan, similar to the situation prevailing in this case, or final order, may be as follows:
xxx their privies, in the same court or any other court of conclusiveness of judgment bars the relitigation of
concurrent jurisdiction on either the same or different particular facts or issues in another litigation between the
(b)In other cases, the judgment or final order is, with cause of action, while the judgment remains unreversed by same parties on a different claim or cause of action.53
respect to the matter directly adjudged or as to any other proper authority. It has been held that in order that a
matter that could have been raised in relation thereto, judgment in one action can be conclusive as to a particular Although involving different causes of action, this
conclusive between the parties and their successors in matter in another action between the same parties or their administrative case and the proceeding for probable cause
interest by title subsequent to the commencement of the privies, it is essential that the issue be identical. If a are grounded on the same set of facts, involve the same
action or special proceeding, litigating for the same thing particular point or question is in issue in the second action, issue of falsification of official documents, and require the
and under the same title and in the same capacity; and and the judgment will depend on the determination of that same quantum of evidence54 substantial evidence, as was
particular point or question, a former judgment between similarly found in Borlongan, and correctly relied upon by
(c)In any other litigation between the same parties or their the same parties or their privies will be final and conclusive De Jesus.
successors in interest, that only is deemed to have been in the second if that same point or question was in issue and
adjudged in a former judgment or final order which appears adjudicated in the first suit (Nabus v. Court of Appeals, 193 It was ruled in De Jesus that there was no reasonable
upon its face to have been so adjudged, or which actually SCRA 732 [1991]). Identity of cause of action is not required ground to believe that the requisite criminal intent or mens
and necessarily included therein or necessary thereto. but merely identity of issue. rea was present. Although the presence of mens rea is
indeed unnecessary for a finding of guilt in an
The principle of res judicata lays down two main rules: (1) Justice Feliciano, in Smith Bell & Company (Phils.), Inc. v. administrative case for falsification of official
the judgment or decree of a court of competent jurisdiction Court of Appeals (197 SCRA 201, 210 [1991]), documents,55 it was expressly found by this Court in De
on the merits concludes the litigation between the parties reiterated Lopez v. Reyes (76 SCRA 179 [1977]) in regard to Jesus that there was no absolutely false narration of facts in
and their privies and constitutes a bar to a new action or the distinction between bar by former judgment which bars the two sets of appointment papers. The pertinent portion
suit involving the same cause of action either before the the prosecution of a second action upon the same claim, is quoted hereunder as follows:
same or any other tribunal; and (2) any right, fact, or matter demand, or cause of action, and conclusiveness of
in issue directly adjudicated or necessarily involved in the judgment which bars the relitigation of particular facts or Criminal intent must be shown in felonies committed by
determination of an action before a competent court in issues in another litigation between the same parties on a means of dolo, such as falsification. In this case, there is no
which a judgment or decree is rendered on the merits is different claim or cause of action. reasonable ground to believe that the requisite criminal
conclusively settled by the judgment therein and cannot intent or mens rea was present. The Ombudsman assails
again be litigated between the parties and their privies The general rule precluding the relitigation of material facts the first set of documents with dates of appointment earlier
whether or not the claims or demands, purposes, or subject or questions which were in issue and adjudicated in former than December 12, 2001. Clearly, the first set of CSC Form
matters of the two suits are the same.50 The first rule which action are commonly applied to all matters essentially No. 33 was prepared earlier as shown by the serial
corresponds to paragraph (b) of Section 47 above, is connected with the subject matter of the litigation. Thus, it numbers. The first set has serial numbers 168207, 168210,
referred to as "bar by former judgment"; while the second extends to questions necessarily implied in the final 168213, 168214, 168215, 168216, 168217, 168287 and
rule, which is embodied in paragraph (c), is known as judgment, although no specific finding may have been 168288; while the second set has serial numbers 168292,
"conclusiveness of judgment."51 made in reference thereto and although such matters were 168293, 168294, 168295, 168297, 168298, 168299, 168301
directly referred to in the pleadings and were not actually and 168304. The Ombudsman also admits this fact. Indeed,
As what is involved in this case is a proceeding for the or formally presented. Under this rule, if the record of the petitioner admits having signed two sets of appointment
determination of probable cause and an administrative former trial shows that the judgment could not have been papers but nothing in said documents constitutes an
case, necessarily involving different causes of action, the rendered without deciding the particular matter, it will be absolutely false narration of facts. The first set was
applicable principle is conclusiveness of judgment. The considered as having settled that matter as to all future prepared and signed on the basis of the inter-office
Court in Calalang v. Register of Deeds of Quezon actions between the parties and if a judgment necessarily memoranda issued by the members of the Board
City52 explained such, to wit: presupposes certain premises, they are as conclusive as the appointing their respective confidential staff conformably
judgment itself. with the DBM approval. There was no untruthful statement
The second concept - conclusiveness of judgment- states made on said appointment papers as the concerned
that a fact or question which was in issue in a former suit Under the principle of conclusiveness of judgment, when a personnel were in fact appointed earlier than December 12,
and was there judicially passed upon and determined by a right or fact has been judicially tried and determined by a 2001. In fact, the DBM also clarified that the authority to
court of competent jurisdiction, is conclusively settled by court of competent jurisdiction, or when an opportunity for hire confidential personnel may be implemented
the judgment therein as far as the parties to that action and such trial has been given, the judgment of the court, as long retroactive to the date of actual service of the employee
persons in privity with them are concerned and cannot be as it remains unreversed, should be conclusive upon the concerned. In any case, Jamora authorized the issuance of
again litigated in any future action between such parties or parties and those in privity with them. Simply put, the second set of appointment papers.Following the CSC
Rules, the second set of appointment papers should mean prepared and signed the appointment papers knowing fully De Jesus also cites CSC Resolution Nos. 07-0633 and 07-
that the first set was ineffective and that the appointing well that they were false.59 0146, which relate to other complaints filed against him,
authority, in this case, the members of the Board, shall be and which recognize the legality of his reinstatement and
liable for the salaries of the appointee whose appointment The Court, however, believes that in this case, at the time affirm CSC Resolution No. 030504 as res judicata. He argues
became ineffective. There was nothing willful or felonious each set of appointment papers were made, De Jesus and that this case should be bound by the three
in petitioner's act warranting his prosecution for Parungao believed they were making true statements. They aforementioned CSC resolutions under the principle of res
falsification. The evidence is insufficient to sustain a prima prepared and signed the first set on the basis of the inter- judicata.
facie case and it is evident that no probable cause exists to office memoranda issued by the Board members
form a sufficient belief as to the petitioner's appointing their respective confidential staff conformably A brief review of the relevant facts is necessary to resolve
guilt.56 [Emphasis supplied] with DBM approval. The second set was prepared to correct the issue at hand. LWUA dismissed De Jesus on March 28,
the retroactive appointments to conform to the CSC 2001. He appealed to the CSC on April 18, 2001. He was
Hence, the finding that nothing in the two sets of reportorial requirements, and the same was also approved reinstated on September 4, 2001 and so withdrew his
appointment papers constitutes an absolutely false by Administrator Jamora. There was no reason for De Jesus appeal with the CSC the next day. Notwithstanding, in
narration of facts is binding on this case, but only insofar as and Parungao to believe such to be false. Irregular it is connection with his appeal, the CSC issued Resolution No.
the issue of falsification of public documents is concerned, perhaps, not being in conformity with the CSC rules on 011811 on November 20, 2001 ordering LWUA to
and not on the other issues involved herein, namely, the accreditation, but not false. Therefore, this Court finds that investigate. The two sets of appointment papers were
other acts of De Jesus and Parungao which may amount to no falsification of official documents occured. signed by De Jesus in December 2001. It was only on August
dishonesty, gross neglect of duty, grave misconduct, being 15, 2002 that the CSC issued Resolution No. 021090, which
notoriously undesirable, and conduct prejudicial to the best Legality of Reinstatement and Authority to Sign recalled De Jesus reinstatement and declared it illegal and
interest of the service, as charged in the complaint. void. However, De Jesus title was conclusively established
The CA held that, as evinced from CSC Resolution No. on May 5, 2003 by CSC Resolution No. 030504, which finally
Contrary to Tuason and LWUAs contentions, the factual 011811, which ordered LWUA to conduct an investigation, dismissed the case against him.
finding of this Court in De Jesus as to the absence of the CSC had not divested itself of jurisdiction and authority
falsification is based on the same evidence as in this over De Jesus dismissal case at the time he issued and Thus, prior to the CSC resolution recalling his reinstatement
administrative case. There are, however, other evidence signed both sets of appointment papers. The CA ruled that and declaring it illegal and void, De Jesus cannot be faulted
and admissions present in this case as cited by Tuason and in doing so, he defied the CSC directive recalling his for relying on the LWUA board resolution reinstating him as
LWUA which pertain to other issues and not to the issue of reinstatement. Deputy Administrator. Furthermore, the CSC resolution
falsification. recalling his reinstatement and declaring it illegal and void
De Jesus argues that, his title is not open to indirect was issued only after the appointment papers were
Meanwhile the doctrine in Montemayor v. challenge and can only be assailed in a proceeding for quo prepared and signed. Thus, there was no misrepresentation
Bundalian57 that res judicata applies only to judicial or warranto; and that absent any judicial declaration, he of authority on the part of De Jesus when he signed the
quasi-judicial proceedings, and not to the exercise of remained to be a de jure officer, and even if he were only a appointment papers because he did so after he was
administrative powers, has been abandoned in subsequent de facto officer, his acts were done under color of authority reinstated by the LWUA Board and before such
cases58 which have since applied the principle of res and, thus, valid and binding. De Jesus further argues that reinstatement was declared illegal and void by the CSC.
judicata to administrative cases. Hence, res judicata can the pendency of his appeal to the CSC did not render his
likewise be made applicable to the case at bench. Thus, reinstatement illegal, as he had no choice but to rely on the More important, the dismissal case against him was
given all the foregoing, the factual finding in De Jesus that regularity of the LWUA board resolution which reinstated ultimately dismissed, thereby conclusively establishing his
there was no false statement of facts in both sets of him, and this reinstatement should have rendered right to his title and position as Deputy Administrator of
appointment papers, is binding in this case. superfluous the CSC resolution ordering investigation. He LWUA.
further contends that it was wrong for the CA to rely on the
Even granting that the principle of conclusiveness of CSC resolutions which were interlocutory. Since CSC Duties under the CSC Accreditation Program
judgment is inapplicable to the case at bench, this Court Resolution No. 030504 ultimately dismissed the case
finds no cogent reason to deviate from the factual findings against him and in effect nullified his prior dismissal from The CA also found that De Jesus failed to comply with the
in De Jesus based on a careful review of the evidence on LWUA, he should be considered as never having left his CSC rules under the Accreditation Program due to his failure
record. The existence of malice or criminal intent is not a office. Said CSC resolution should have also rendered the to submit the first set of retroactive appointment papers to
mandatory requirement for a finding of falsification of previous CSC resolutions moot and academic. the CSC. Such failure was said to constitute a concealment
official documents as an administrative offense. What is of the retroactivity from the CSC and, thus, dishonesty on
simply required is a showing that De Jesus and Parungao his part. Parungao, on the other hand, was reinstated by the
CA after having been found that she took steps to clarify the As culled from the CSC letter61 dated November 11, 1996, were previously approved by the Administrator or the
matter with the CSC; that she informed her superiors about addressed to then LWUA Admistrator De Vera, which Board of Trustees. Thus:
her misgivings and the legal effects of the retroactive accompanied CSC Resolution No. 967701, the following
appointments; and that she published such retroactive responsibilities under the CSC Accreditation Program were In the exigency of the service and to facilitate/expedite
appointments in the LWUA Quarterly Reports on Accession, reiterated thus: administrative works, the Deputy Administrator,
thus, demonstrating her good faith. Administrative Services, is hereby authorized under
The LWUA Administrator/appointing authority shall: delegated authority to act on and sign for and in behalf of
De Jesus argues that, as Deputy Administrator, it was not the Administrator, documents such as Office Orders,
his responsibility to comply with the CSC rules under the - Take final action on all appointments that he Appointment Papers, Inter-Office Memoranda and other
Accreditation Program. He contends that the CA itself issues/signs; administrative documents including communications to
recognized this fact when it stated that it was the CSC and/or DBM relating to filling up of vacant positions,
responsibility of the LWUA Administrator to know and - Exercise delegated authority to take final action either by promotion or recruitment, as well as transfer of
implement the terms and conditions of accreditation. The on appointments following the terms and personnel, which have been previously cleared/approved in
CA even further stated that it was the Human Resources conditions stipulated in the Resolution and within writing by the Administrator, or by the Board of Trustees,
Management Officer who had the responsibility of the limits and restrictions of Civil Service Law, as the case may be. Also delegated is the authority to act
preparing and submitting the appointment papers with the rules, policies and standards; and sign for and in behalf of the Administrator, the Notice(s)
ROPA. of Salary Adjustment (NOSA) and Notice(s) of Salary
- Assume personal liability for the payment of Increment (NOSI). [Emphases supplied]
On the other hand, Tuason and LWUA argue that under salaries for actual services rendered by
Executive Order (E.O.) No. 286, the Office of the Deputy employees whose appointments have been It is clear from the above that the responsibility to submit
Administrator has direct supervision over the HRMD, and so invalidated by the CSNCRO. within the first fifteen (15) calendar days of each ensuing
De Jesus should be held liable for failure to submit the first month to the CSFO two copies of the monthly ROPA
set of appointment papers in accordance with the CSC rules. On the other hand, the Human Resources together with certified true copies of appointments acted
Management Officer shall: upon lies with the Human Resources Management
Under CSC Resolution No. 96770160 granting LWUA Officer (HRMO), namely, Parungao. Even granting that De
authority to take final action on its appointments under the - Ensure that all procedures, requirements, and Jesus, as Deputy Administrator, has direct supervision over
CSC Accreditation Program, the following was said to have supporting papers to appointments specified in the Human Resources and Management Department, it is
been violated: MC No. 38, s. 1997 and MC Nos. 11 and 12, s. 1996 the HRMO who is expressly tasked with the duty to submit
have been complied with and found to be in order to the CSC the ROPA with true copies of appointments
6. That for purposes of immediate monitoring and before the appointment is signed by the finally acted upon. Therefore, De Jesus, as Deputy
records keeping, the LWUA shall submit within appointing authority; Administrator, cannot be held liable for such failure to
the first fifteen calendar days of each ensuing submit the first set of appointment papers with the ROPA
month to the CSFO two copies of the monthly as prescribed under the CSC accreditation rules.
Report on Personnel Actions (ROPA) together
with certified true copies of appointments acted The authority to exercise the delegated authority to take
- Prepare and submit within the first fifteen
upon; final action on appointment papers is lodged in the LWUA
calendar days of each ensuing month to the CSFO
Administrator. The only duty of De Jesus is to sign
concerned two copies of the monthly ROPA
7. That failure to submit the ROPAs within the appointment papers previously approved by the
together with certified true copies of
prescribed period shall render all appointments Administrator or Board. Thus, De Jesus duty to sign
appointments issued and finally acted upon; and
listed therein lapsed and ineffective; appointment papers is only ministerial in nature, while the
discretionary power to take final action on appointments
8. That appointments issued within the month remains lodged in the LWUA Administrator. De Jesus is,
but not listed in the ROPA for the said month shall thus, bound only to sign appointment papers previously
[Emphases supplied] approved by the LWUA Administrator or Board, in
become ineffective 30 days from issuance;
accordance with LWUA Office Order No. 205.01, having no
Under LWUA Office Order No. 205.01,62 Administrator power to exercise any discretion on the matter.
xxx Jamora authorized De Jesus to sign appointment papers of
appointees to vacant plantilla positions in LWUA which
In exercising his ministerial duty of signing the appointment Administrator Jamora and not of De Jesus or Parungao. The salaries should only have been due upon the effectivity of
papers, De Jesus obeyed the patently lawful order of his request letter63 to the DBM was signed by Jamora. valid appointments, which is within the authority of the CSC
superior. CSC Resolution No. 967701 does not charge De Therefore, neither De Jesus nor Parungao can be held liable to approve, and not of the DBM.
Jesus with the duty to know and comply with the rules of for the act. The Court also failed to find any evidence on
the Accreditation Program, that being the province of the record that De Jesus deliberately ensured that DBM was Dishonesty refers to a persons "disposition to lie, cheat,
LWUA Administrator and HRMO, as expressly provided for unaware of what the CSC was doing and vice versa. It has deceive, or defraud; untrustworthiness; lack of integrity;
in the CSC letter. Therefore, so long as the appointment already been discussed that De Jesus only duty was to sign lack of honesty, probity or integrity in principle; lack of
papers were approved by the Administrator or Board, the the appointment papers in accordance with the LWUA fairness and straightforwardness; disposition to defraud,
order to sign them is patently lawful. Hence, De Jesus office order granting him authority to do so. All deceive or betray."65 The absence of dishonesty on the part
cannot be faulted for obeying the patently lawful orders of responsibilities relating to the reportorial requirements of De Jesus and Parungao is supported by their good faith
his superior. Furthermore, there is no evidence on record pertain to Parungao as the HRMO. in complying with the orders of Administrator Jamora. Their
to indicate that he acted in bad faith, as what he did was in good faith is manifested in several circumstances. First,
conformity with the authority granted to him by LWUA Furthermore, the appointment papers provided to the DBM their brief to Administrator Jamora, stating that the issues
Office Order No. 205.01. were referenced by Administrator Jamora in his request on the retroactive appointments and overpayments were
letter, and not by De Jesus or Parungao. The first set of deemed settled with the reply letter of the DBM,
The same, however, cannot be said of Parungao. As HRMO, appointment papers was never submitted to the CSC not demonstrates that they actually and honestly believed that
she was expressly charged with the duty to prepare and because the retroactivity of the appointments was being the letter had in fact resolved the issue. Second, their
submit within the first fifteen calendar days of each ensuing concealed, but precisely because it was realized that such memorandum66 to Administrator Jamora explained that
month to the CSFO concerned two copies of the monthly did not comply with the reportorial requirements. Given the appointment papers with retroactive effectivity dates
ROPA together with certified true copies of appointments the foregoing, there could have been no dishonesty on the would be violative of the provisions of CSC Res. No. 967701
issued and finally acted upon. Thus, she must necessarily be part of De Jesus and Parungao. and CSC Omnibus Rules on Appointments Rule 7, Section
aware that failure to submit the ROPAs within the 11. Third, an informal consultation67 was held with the CSC
prescribed period shall render all appointments listed Instead, it appears that the root of the dilemma in the case Field Director to seek advice regarding the retroactive
therein lapsed and ineffective, and that appointments at bench lies in confusion rather than appointments, wherein it was suggested that the
issued within the month but not listed in the ROPA for the dishonesty.1awphi1 This confusion pertains to the appointments be re-issued effective December 12, 2001,
said month shall become ineffective 30 days from issuance. misunderstanding of the roles of the CSC and the DBM vis- hence, the issuance of the second set of appointment
Knowing this, she should never have given her approval by a-vis the issuance of appointment papers. Such confusion papers. Finally, such retroactive appointments were
initialing the first set of retroactive appointments as she can be gleaned from the brief to Administrator Jamora published in the LWUA Quarterly Reports on Accession. The
should have known that they would be ineffective under signed by De Jesus and initialed by Parungao, stating that foregoing circumstances are apparently contrary to any
the CSC accreditation rules. the issues on the retroactive appointments and intention to defraud or deceive.
overpayments were deemed settled with the reply letter of
No Dishonesty, Mere Confusion the DBM on the retroactive implementation of the Parungao - Guilty
authority previously granted. Of Simple Neglect of Duty
With the finding that the request for approval of the DBM
to apply the earlier granted authority retroactively was a The CA correctly stated that the approval or disapproval of Simple neglect of duty is defined as the failure to give
disingenuous attempt to provide a semblance of legality to appointment to the government is the sole office of the proper attention to a task expected from an employee
the intended retroactive appointments, the CA held that CSC, and not the DBM, as the very authority given to LWUA resulting from either carelessness or indifference.68 In this
the approval or disapproval of appointment to the to take final action on its appointments is by virtue of CSCs regard, the Court finds Parungao, as HRMO, guilty of simple
government was the sole office of the CSC, and not the accreditation program.64 Thus, the DBM approval to neglect of duty. Given her duties under the CSC
DBM. Furthermore, dishonesty was found present when De retroact its previously granted authority to hire the LWUA Accreditation Program, she should have been aware of the
Jesus submitted the first set of appointment papers to the confidential staff is subject to an appointment validly issued reportorial requirements, and of the fact that it is the CSC
DBM and the second set to the CSC, apparently to ensure in accordance with CSC rules. In other words, the DBM which has authority over appointments, and not the DBM.
that the DBM was unaware of what the CSC was doing and approval for retroactivity presupposed valid appointments. Had she given the proper attention to her responsibility as
vice versa. DBMs approval was mistakenly understood to pertain to HRMO, the first set of appointment papers would never
both the back salaries and the validity of the staffs have been issued, thereby avoiding the present
A careful perusal of the records will show that the request appointments when, in fact, DBMs approval related only to predicament altogether.
for approval to the DBM, characterized by the CA as an LWUAs authority to hire and not to the validity of the
attempt to provide a semblance of legality, was the act of appointments of the hired personnel. Therefore, back
When a public officer takes an oath of office, he or she binds SO ORDERED.
himself or herself to faithfully perform the duties of the
office and use reasonable skill and diligence, and to act
primarily for the benefit of the public. Thus, in the discharge
of duties, a public officer is to use that prudence, caution
and attention which careful persons use in the
management of their affairs.69 Parungao failed to exercise
such prudence, caution and attention.

Simple neglect of duty is classified under the Uniform Rules

on Administrative Cases in the Civil Service as a less grave
offense punishable by suspension without pay for one
month and one day to six months. Finding no circumstance
to warrant the imposition of the maximum penalty of six
months, and considering her demonstrated good faith, the
Court finds the imposition of suspension without pay for
one month and one day as justified.


(1) in G.R. No. 166495, the petition is GRANTED.

The assailed September 22, 2004 and January 4,
2005 Resolutions of the Court of Appeals are
hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE. The writ of
preliminary mandatory injunction issued in CA-
G.R. SP No. 84902 is ordered DISSOLVED.

(2) in G.R. No. 184129, the petition is GRANTED,

and in G.R. No. 184263, the petition is PARTIALLY
GRANTED. The assailed May 26, 2005 Decision
and August 6, 2008 Resolution of the Court of
Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 84902, are
hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE, and a new one

a. ordering the reinstatement of

Rodolfo S. De Jesus as Deputy
Administrator of the LWUA with full
back salaries and such other
emoluments that he did not receive by
reason of his removal; and

b. finding Human Resources

Management Officer Edelwina DG.
Parungao GUILTY of Simple Neglect of
Duty and hereby imposing the penalty
of suspension from office for one (1)
month and one (1) day without pay.