Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 26

SAMAHAN NG MGA MANGGAGAWA SA HYATT (SAMASAH-NUWHRAIN),

Petitioner,
vs.
HOTEL ENTERPRISES OF THE PHILIPPINES, INC., Respondent.

G.R. No. 172303

Topic: Nature and purpose of procedural law

Rules of procedure exist for a noble purpose, and to disregard such rules in the guise of liberal
construction would be to defeat such purpose. Procedural rules are not to be disdained as mere
technicalities. They may not be ignored to suit the convenience of a party. Adjective law ensures the
effective enforcement of substantive rights through the orderly and speedy administration of justice.
Rules are not intended to hamper litigants or complicate litigation. But they help provide for a vital
system of justice where suitors may be heard following judicial procedure and in the correct forum.
Public order and our system of justice are well served by a conscientious observance by the parties of the
procedural rules.

FACTS: Petitioner is a duly registered union and the certified bargaining representative of
the rank-and-file employees of Hyatt Regency Manila, a five-star hotel owned and operated
by respondent Hotel Enterprises of the Philippines, Inc. On January 31, 2001, Hyatt’s General
Manager, David C. Pacey, issued a Memorandum informing all hotel employees that hotel
security have been instructed to conduct a thorough bag inspection and body frisking in every
entrance and exit of the hotel.

From February 3, 2001 to March 2, 2001 Angelito Caragdag, a waiter at the hotel’s Cafe Al
Fresco restaurant and a director of the union, committed multiple infraction such as refusing
to be frisked by the security personnel, interrupting and intimidating his superior, and leaving
work assignment during official working hours

Because of the succession of infractions he committed, An investigation board was formed,


and the matter was set for hearing on May 19, 2001. However, despite notice of the scheduled
hearing, both Caragdag and the Union President failed to attend. Thereafter, the
investigating board resolved on the said date to dismiss Caragdag. Caragdag appealed but the
investigating board affirmed its resolution.

Caragdag’s dismissal was questioned by petitioner, and the dispute was referred to voluntary
arbitration upon agreement of the parties.

Arbitrator’s ruling:

The Arbitrator affirmed the decision of the investigating board reasoning that the
union officers and members had no right to breach company rules and regulations on
security and employee discipline on the basis of certain suspicions against management
and an ongoing CBA negotiation standoff. The Voluntary Arbitrator also found that
when Caragdag advised Lacambacal and Alvaro not to give any statement, he
threatened and intimidated his superior while the latter was performing his duties.
Moreover, there is no reason why he did not arrange his time-off with the Department
Head concerned.
Petitioner sought reconsideration of the decision while respondent filed a motion for
partial reconsideration. However, the Voluntary Arbitrator denied both motions on
May 26, 2003.

CA’s ruling: On the Petition for Certiorari of petitioners

The CA dismissed the petition outright for being the wrong remedy. The CA
explained:

Final orders or resolution of voluntary arbitrators is through a Petition for Review


which should be filed within fifteen (15) days from the receipt of notice of judgment, order
or resolution of the voluntary arbitrator. Considering that petitioner intends this petition
to be a Petition for Certiorari, the Court hereby resolves to dismiss the petition outright
for being an improper mode of appeal.

Petitioner duly filed a motion for reconsideration of the dismissal, but the motion was denied
by the CA.

Petitioner filed before the SC a petition for review on certiorari.

Party arguments:

Petitioner points out, that Rule 43 expressly provides "shall not apply to judgments
or final orders issued under the Labor Code of the Philippines." Hence, a petition for
certiorari under Rule 65 is the proper remedy for questioning the decision of the Voluntary
Arbitrator.

On the other hand, respondent maintains that Section 1 of Rule 43 clearly states that
it is the governing rule with regard to appeals from awards, judgments, final orders or
resolutions of voluntary arbitrators.

ISSUE:
WON the CA erred in dismissing outright the petition for certiorari filed before it on the
ground that the same is an improper mode of appeal;

RULING:
The question on the proper recourse to assail a decision of a voluntary arbitrator has already
been settled in Luzon Development Bank v. Association of Luzon Development Bank Employees,
where the Court held that the decision or award of the voluntary arbitrator or panel of
arbitrators should likewise be appealable to the Court of Appeals by a petition for certiorari
under Rule 43, just like those of the quasi-judicial agencies, boards and commissions
enumerated therein, and consistent with the original purpose to provide a uniform procedure
for the appellate review of adjudications of all quasi-judicial entities.

Hence, upon receipt on May 26, 2003 of the Voluntary Arbitrator’s Resolution denying
petitioner’s motion for reconsideration, petitioner should have filed with the CA, within the
fifteen (15)-day reglementary period, a petition for review, not a petition for certiorari.
Petitioner insists on a liberal interpretation of the rules but we find no cogent reason in this
case to deviate from the general rule. Verily, rules of procedure exist for a noble purpose,
and to disregard such rules in the guise of liberal construction would be to defeat such
purpose. Procedural rules are not to be disdained as mere technicalities. They may not
be ignored to suit the convenience of a party. Adjective law ensures the effective
enforcement of substantive rights through the orderly and speedy administration of
justice. Rules are not intended to hamper litigants or complicate litigation. But they
help provide for a vital system of justice where suitors may be heard following judicial
procedure and in the correct forum. Public order and our system of justice are well
served by a conscientious observance by the parties of the procedural rules.

WHEREFORE, the petitions for review on certiorari are DENIED.


LIGHT RAIL TRANSIT AUTHORITY, represented by its Administrator
MELQUIADES A. ROBLES, Petitioner,
vs.
AURORA A. SALVAÑA, Respondent.

G.R. No. 192074, June 10, 2014

Topic: Retroactive application of procedural rules

It is true that under the Civil Code of the Philippines, "(l)aws shall have no retroactive effect,
unless the contrary is provided. But there are settled exceptions to this general rule,
such as when the statute is CURATIVE or REMEDIAL in nature or when it CREATES
NEW RIGHTS.

On the other hand, remedial or procedural laws, i.e., those statutes relating to remedies or modes of
procedure, which do not create new or take away vested rights, but only operate in furtherance of the
remedy or confirmation of such rights, ordinarily do not come within the legal meaning of a
retrospective law, nor within the general rule against the retrospective operation of statutes.

FACTS: On May 12, 2006, then Administrator of the Light Rail Transit Authority,
Melquiades Robles revoked Atty. Aurora A. Salvaña’s designation as Officer-in-Charge (OIC)
of the LRTA Administrative Department.

Atty. Salvaña was directed to comply with this office order through a memorandum issued on
May 22, 2006 by Atty. Elmo Stephen P. Triste, the newly designated OIC of the
administrative department. Instead of complying, Salvaña questioned the order with the
Office of the President.

In the interim, Salvaña applied for sick leave of absence on May 12, 2006 and from May 15 to
May 31, 2006. In support of her application, she submitted a medical certificate issued by Dr.
Grace Marie Blanco of the Veterans Memorial Medical Center (VMMC).

LRTA discovered that Dr. Blanco did not issue this medical certificate. Dr. Blanco also denied
having seen or treated Salvaña. On June 23, 2006, Administrator Robles issued a notice of
preliminary investigation.

Because of this Salvaña was found guilty of all the charges against her and imposed on her
the penalty of dismissal from service with all the accessory penalties."

Civil Service Commission:

Salvaña appealed with the Civil Service Commission. "In her appeal, she claimed that she
was denied due process and that there was no substantial evidence to support the charges
against her."

The Civil Service Commission found that Salvaña was guilty only of simple dishonesty.

CA:

On November 11, 2009, the Court of Appeals dismissed the petition and affirmed the Civil
Service Commission’s finding that Salvaña was only guilty of simple dishonesty.
The appellate court also ruled that Administrator Robles had no standing to file a motion
for reconsideration before the Civil Service Commission because that right only belonged
to respondent in an administrative case. LRTA moved for reconsideration of this decision
but was denied.

Party arguments:

Petitioner argues that it has the legal personality to appeal the decision of the Civil Service
Commission before the Court of Appeals. It cites Philippine National Bank v. Garcia as basis
for its argument that it can be considered a "person adversely affected" under the pertinent
rules and regulations on the appeal of administrative cases. It also argues that respondent’s
falsification of the medical certificate accompanying her application for sick leave was not
merely simple but serious dishonesty.

Respondent argues the opposite.

Fact relative to the case:

Previous definition: PARTY ADVERSELY AFFECTED refers to the respondent against


whom a decision in a disciplinary case has been rendered or to the disciplining authority
in an appeal from a decision exonerating(only) the said employee. (emphasis supplied)

During the pendency of this decision, or on November 18, 2011, the Revised Rules on
Administrative Cases in the Civil Service or RACCS was promulgated. The Civil Service
Commission modified the definition of a "party adversely affected" for purposes of appeal.

It now reads: PARTY ADVERSELY AFFECTED refers to the respondent against whom
a decision in an administrative case has been rendered or to the disciplining authority in
an appeal from a decision reversing or modifying the original decision.

Note: so the question now stands is if LRTA, in a non-exonerating case, may appeal as a
PARTY ADVERSELY AFFECTED as newly defined despite that this change in definition
was done after the case was brought into court.

ISSUE:

Whether the LRTA, as represented by its Administrator, has the standing to appeal the
modification by the Civil Service Commission of its decision

RULING:

In previous cases, or as the rule that stood during the time that the case was tried was that
disciplining authority were only allowed to appeal from a decision exonerating an employee.
In this case, respondent was not exonerated; she was found guilty, but the finding was
modified.

The LRTA had standing to appeal the modification by the Civil Service Commission of its
decision

The employer has the right "to select honest and trustworthy employees." When the
government office disciplines an employee based on causes and procedures allowed by law, it
exercises its discretion. This discretion is inherent in the constitutional principle that
"[p]ublic officers and employees must, at all times, be accountable to the people, serve them
with utmost responsibility, integrity, loyalty, and efficiency; act with patriotism and justice,
and lead modest lives." This is a principle that can be invoked by the public as well as the
government office employing the public officer.

Here, petitioner already decided to dismiss respondent for dishonesty. Dishonesty is a serious
offense that challenges the integrity of the public servant charged. To bar a government office
from appealing a decision that lowers the penalty of the disciplined employee prevents it from
ensuring its mandate that the civil service employs only those with the utmost sense of
responsibility, integrity, loyalty, and efficiency.

Honesty and integrity are important traits required of those in public service. If all decisions
by quasi-judicial bodies modifying the penalty of dismissal were allowed to become final and
unappealable, it would, in effect, show tolerance to conduct unbecoming of a public servant.
The quality of civil service would erode, and the citizens would end up suffering for it.

On the application of the amendment to the present case:

Procedural laws have retroactive application. In Zulueta v. Asia Brewery:

As a general rule, laws have no retroactive effect. But there are certain recognized exceptions,
such as when they are remedial or procedural in nature. This Court explained this exception
in the following language:

It is true that under the Civil Code of the Philippines, "(l)aws shall have no retroactive
effect, unless the contrary is provided. But there are settled exceptions to this general
rule, such as when the statute is CURATIVE or REMEDIAL in nature or when it
CREATES NEW RIGHTS.

On the other hand, remedial or procedural laws, i.e., those statutes relating to remedies or
modes of procedure, which do not create new or take away vested rights, but only operate in
furtherance of the remedy or confirmation of such rights, ordinarily do not come within the
legal meaning of a retrospective law, nor within the general rule against the retrospective
operation of statutes.

Thus, procedural laws may operate retroactively as to pending proceedings even without
express provision to that effect. Accordingly, rules of procedure can apply to cases pending at
the time of their enactment. In fact, statutes regulating the procedure of the courts will be
applied on actions undetermined at the time of their effectively. Procedural laws are
retrospective in that sense and to that extent. (Emphasis supplied)

Remedial rights are those rights granted by remedial or procedural laws. These are rights
that only operate to further the rules of procedure or to confirm vested rights. As such, the
retroactive application of remedial rights will not adversely affect the vested rights of any
person. Considering that the right to appeal is a right remedial in nature, we find that
Section 4, paragraph (k), Rule I of the RACCS applies in this case. Petitioner, therefore,
had the right to appeal the decision of the Civil Service Commission that modified its
original decision of dismissal.
Thus, we now hold that the parties adversely affected by a decision in an administrative
case who may appeal shall include the disciplining authority whose decision dismissing
the employee was either overturned or modified by the Civil Service Commission.
JUDITH YU, Petitioner,
vs.
HON. ROSA SAMSON-TATAD, Presiding Judge, Regional Trial Court, Quezon City,
Branch 105, and the PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Respondents.
G.R. No. 170979, February 9, 2011

Topic: Fresh Period Rule; Applies in Criminal Procedure

While Neypes involved the period to appeal in civil cases, the Court’s pronouncement of a "fresh
period" to appeal should equally apply to the period for appeal in criminal cases.

Were we to strictly interpret the "fresh period rule" in Neypes and make it applicable only to the period
to appeal in civil cases, we shall effectively foster and encourage an absurd situation where a litigant in
a civil case will have a better right to appeal than an accused in a criminal case – a situation that gives
undue favor to civil litigants and unjustly discriminates against the accused-appellants. It suggests a
double standard of treatment when we favor a situation where property interests are at stake, as against
a situation where liberty stands to be prejudiced. We must emphatically reject this double and unequal
standard for being contrary to reason.

FACTS:

Based on the complaint of Spouses Sergio and Cristina Casaclang, an information for estafa
against the petitioner was filed with the RTC.

In a May 26, 2005 decision, the RTC convicted the petitioner as charged.

Fourteen (14) days later, or on June 9, 2005, the petitioner filed a motion for new trial with
the RTC, alleging that she discovered new and material evidence that would exculpate her of
the crime for which she was convicted.

In an October 17, 2005 order, respondent Judge denied the petitioner’s motion for new trial
for lack of merit.

On November 16, 2005, the petitioner filed a notice of appeal with the RTC, alleging that
pursuant to our ruling in Neypes v. Court of Appeals, she had a "fresh period" of 15 days from
November 3, 2005, the receipt of the denial of her motion for new trial, or up to November
18, 2005, within which to file a notice of appeal.

On December 8, 2005, the prosecution filed a motion to dismiss the appeal for being filed 10
days late, arguing that Neypes is inapplicable to appeals in criminal cases.

The Petition

The petitioner argues that the RTC lost jurisdiction to act on the prosecution’s motions when
she filed her notice of appeal within the 15-day reglementary period provided by the Rules of
Court, applying the "fresh period rule" enunciated in Neypes.

The Case for the Respondents


In their comment, the Spouses Casaclang aver that the petitioner cannot seek refuge in
Neypes to extend the "fresh period rule" to criminal cases because Neypes involved a civil
case, and the pronouncement of "standardization of the appeal periods in the Rules" referred
to the interpretation of the appeal periods in civil cases, i.e., Rules 40, 41, 42 and 45, of the
1997 Rules of Civil Procedure among others; nowhere in Neypes was the period to appeal in
criminal cases, Section 6 of Rule 122 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure, mentioned.

ISSUE:

The core issue boils down to whether the "fresh period rule" enunciated in Neypes applies to
appeals in criminal cases.

RULING:

In Neypes, the Court modified the rule in civil cases on the counting of the 15-day period
within which to appeal. The Court categorically set a fresh period of 15 days from a denial
of a motion for reconsideration within which to appeal, thus:

The Supreme Court may promulgate procedural rules in all courts. It has the sole prerogative
to amend, repeal or even establish new rules for a more simplified and inexpensive process,
and the speedy disposition of cases. In the rules governing appeals to it and to the Court of
Appeals, particularly Rules 42, 43 and 45, the Court allows extensions of time, based on
justifiable and compelling reasons, for parties to file their appeals. These extensions may
consist of 15 days or more.

Henceforth, this "fresh period rule" shall also apply to Rule 40 governing appeals from
the Municipal Trial Courts to the Regional Trial Courts; Rule 42 on petitions for
review from the Regional Trial Courts to the Court of Appeals; Rule 43 on appeals
from quasi-judicial agencies to the Court of Appeals and Rule 45 governing appeals by
certiorari to the Supreme Court. The new rule aims to regiment or make the appeal period
uniform, to be counted from receipt of the order denying the motion for new trial, motion for
reconsideration (whether full or partial) or any final order or resolution.

While Neypes involved the period to appeal in civil cases, the Court’s pronouncement of a
"fresh period" to appeal should equally apply to the period for appeal in criminal cases
under Section 6 of Rule 122 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure.

Were we to strictly interpret the "fresh period rule" in Neypes and make it applicable only to
the period to appeal in civil cases, we shall effectively foster and encourage an absurd situation
where a litigant in a civil case will have a better right to appeal than an accused in a criminal
case – a situation that gives undue favor to civil litigants and unjustly discriminates against
the accused-appellants. It suggests a double standard of treatment when we favor a situation
where property interests are at stake, as against a situation where liberty stands to be
prejudiced. We must emphatically reject this double and unequal standard for being contrary
to reason. Over time, courts have recognized with almost pedantic adherence that what is
contrary to reason is not allowed in law – Quod est inconveniens, aut contra rationem non
permissum est in lege.

WHEREFORE, the petition for prohibition is hereby GRANTED.


San Lorenzo Ruiz Builders and Developers Group, Inc. vs Ma. Cristina F. Bayang
G.R. No. 194702, April 20, 2015

Topic: Fresh Period Rule; not apply to administrative appeals


It is settled that the "fresh period rule" in Neypes applies only to judicial appeals and not to
administrative appeals.

FACTS: On April 15, 2000, petitioner SLR Builders (then known as Violago Builders, Inc),
as seller, and respondent Ma. Cristina F. Bayang (Cristina), as buyer, entered into a "contract
to sell" of a sixty (60)-square meter lot in Violago Homes Parkwoods Subdivision, located in
Barangay Payatas, Quezon City.

Upon full payment of the monthly amortizations on the purchased lot, Cristina demanded
from SLR Builders the execution of the deed of absolute sale and the lot's certificate of title
but the latter failed to deliver, prompting Cristina to file a complaint for specific
performance and damages against SLR Builders and its President, Oscar Violago
(petitioners) before the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB).

HLURB Ruling:
Ruled in favor of respondent.

OP (Office of the President) ruling:

The OP dismissed the petitioners' appeal for having been filed out of time. The OP's
resolution stated:

. . .Arbiter's decision was received by the respondents/appellants (referring to the


petitioners) on July 27, 2005. On that date, the 15-day prescriptive period within which
to file an appeal began to run. Instead of preparing an appeal, respondents-appellants
opted to file a Motion for Reconsideration on August 10, 2005. Their filing of the said
motion interrupted the period of appeal by that time, however, fourteen (14) days had
already elapsed.

On April 17, 2006, respondents-appellants received the Resolution denying their Motion
for Reconsideration. Following the above rules, respondents-appellants have only one
(1) day left, or until April 18, 2006, within which to file their notice of appeal.
Unfortunately, they were able to do so only on April 27, 2006, or nine (9) days late.

The petitioners moved to reconsider and argued that the "fresh period rule" enunciated in the
case of Domingo Neypes, et at. v. Court of Appeals, et al. should be applied to their case.

The OP, in a resolution dated July 26, 2007, denied the petitioners' motion with finality,
stating that the "fresh period rule" applies only to judicial appeals and not to administrative
appeals, such as in petitioners' case.
CA Ruling:
Denied the petitioners' petition for review. The CA, likewise, denied the petitioners' motion
for reconsideration; hence, the filing of the present petition for review on certiorari with this
Court.

ISSUE:

Whether the "fresh period rule" in Neypes applies to administrative appeals, such as an appeal
filed from a decision of the HLURB Board of Commissioners to the Office to the President.

RULING:
We DENY the petition. It is settled that the "fresh period rule" in Neypes applies only to
judicial appeals and not to administrative appeals.

The "fresh period rule" in Neypes declares:

To standardize the appeal periods provided in the Rules and to afford litigants fair
opportunity to appeal their cases, the Court deems it practical to allow a fresh period of 15
days within which to file the notice of appeal in the Regional Trial Court, counted from receipt
of the order dismissing a motion for a new trial or motion for reconsideration.

Henceforth, this "fresh period rule" shall also apply to Rule 40 governing appeals from the
Municipal Trial Courts to the Regional Trial Courts; Rule 42 on petitions for review from
the Regional Trial Courts to the Court of Appeals; Rule 43 on appeals from quasi-judicial
agencies to the Court of Appeals; and Rule 45 governing appeals by certiorari to the Supreme
Court. The new rule aims to regiment or make the appeal period uniform, to be counted from
receipt of the order denying the motion for new trial, motion for reconsideration (whether
full or partial) or any final order or resolution.

Obviously, these Rules cover judicial proceedings under the 1997 Rules of Civil
Procedure.

What was the proper action?

Petitioner's present case is administrative in nature involving an appeal from the decision or
order of the DENR regional office to the DENR Secretary. Such appeal is indeed governed
by Section 1 of Administrative Order No. 87, Series of 1990. As earlier quoted, Section 1
clearly provides that if the motion for reconsideration is denied, the movant shall perfect his
appeal "during the remainder of the period of appeal, reckoned from receipt of the resolution
of denial;" whereas if the decision is reversed, the adverse party has a fresh 15-day period to
perfect his appeal.
In this case, the subject appeal, i.e., appeal from a decision of the HLURB Board of
Commissioners to the OP, is not judicial but administrative in nature; thus, the "fresh period
rule" in Neypes does not apply.

As aptly pointed out by the OP, the rules and regulations governing appeals from decisions
of the HLURB Board of Commissioners to the OP are Section 2, Rule XXI of HLURB
Resolution No. 765, series of 2004, in relation to Paragraph 2, Section 1 of Administrative
Order No. 18, series of 1987:

Section 2, Rule XXI of the HLURB Resolution No. 765, series of 2004, prescribing the rules
and regulations governing appeals from decisions of the Board of Commissioners to the Office
of the President, pertinently reads:

Section 2. Appeal. - Any party may, upon notice to the Board and the other party, appeal a
decision rendered by the Board of Commissioners to the Office of the President within fifteen
(15) days from receipt thereof, in accordance with P.D. No. 1344 and A.O. No. 18 Series of
1987.

The pendency of the motion for reconsideration shall suspend the running of the period of
appeal to the Office of the President.

Corollary thereto, paragraph 2, Section 1 of Administrative Order No. 18, series of 1987,
provides that in case the aggrieved party files a motion for reconsideration from an
adverse decision of any agency/office, the said party has the only remaining balance of
the prescriptive period within which to appeal, reckoned from receipt of notice of the
decision denying his/her motion for reconsideration.

Thus, in applying the above-mentioned rules to the present case, we find that the CA correctly
affirmed the OP in dismissing the petitioners' appeal for having been filed out of time.

WHEREFORE, we DENY the present petition for review on certiorari and AFFIRM.
FORTUNE LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY, INC., Petitioner,
vs.
COMMISSION ON AUDIT (COA) PROPER; COA REGIONAL OFFICE NO. VI-
WESTERN VISAYAS; AUDIT GROUP LGS-B, PROVINCE OF ANTIQUE; AND
PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT OF ANTIQUE, Respondents.
G.R. No. 213525, January 27, 2015

Topic: Fresh Period Rule; not apply to Rule 64

We ruled in Pates v. Commission on Elections that the belated filing of the petition for certiorari under
Rule 64 on the belief that the fresh period rule should apply was fatal to the recourse. As such, the
petitioner herein should suffer the same fate for having wrongly assumed that the fresh period rule
under Neypes applied. Rules of procedure may be relaxed only to relieve a litigant of an
injustice that is not commensurate with the degree of his thoughtlessness in not
complying with the prescribed procedure. Absent this reason for liberality, the petition cannot
be allowed to prosper.

FACTS:

Respondent Provincial Government of Antique (LGU) and the petitioner executed a


memorandum of agreement concerning the life insurance coverage of qualified barangay
secretaries, treasurers and tanod, the former obligating ₱4,393,593.60 for the premium
payment, and subsequently submitting the corresponding disbursement voucher to COA
Antique for pre-audit. The latter office disallowed the payment for lack of legal basis.
Respondent LGU appealed but its appeal was denied.

COA Ruling:

Consequently, the petitioner filed its petition for money claim in the COA. On November 15,
2012, the COA issued its decision denying the petition, holding that only municipal or city
governments are expressly vested with the power to secure group insurance coverage for
barangay workers.

The petitioner received a copy of the COA decision on December 14, 2012, and filed its motion
for reconsideration on January 14, 2013. However, the COA denied the motion, the denial
being received by the petitioner on July 14, 2014.

CA Ruling:

The petition for certiorari was dismissed because of

(a) the late filing of the petition;


(b) the non-submission of the proof of service and verified declaration; and
(c) the failure to show grave abuse of discretion on the part of the respondents.

ISSUES:

In its motion for reconsideration, the petitioner submits that it filed the petition for certiorari
within the reglementary period following the fresh period rule enunciated in Neypes v. Court
of Appeals.
RULING:

The petitioner posits that the fresh period rule applies because its Rule 64 petition is akin to
a petition for review brought under Rule 42 of the Rules of Court; hence, conformably with
the fresh period rule, the period to file a Rule 64 petition should also be reckoned from the
receipt of the order denying the motion for reconsideration or the motion for new trial.

The petitioner’s position cannot be sustained.

There is no parity between the petition for review under Rule 42 and the petition for
certiorari under Rule 64.

The reglementary periods under Rule 42 and Rule 64 are different. In the former, the
aggrieved party is allowed 15 days to file the petition for review from receipt of the assailed
decision or final order, or from receipt of the denial of a motion for new trial or reconsideration
(fresh period rule). In the latter, the petition is filed within 30 days from notice of the judgment
or final order or resolution sought to be reviewed. The filing of a motion for new trial or
reconsideration, if allowed under the procedural rules of the Commission concerned,
interrupts the period; hence, should the motion be denied, the aggrieved party may file the
petition within the remaining period, which shall not be less than five days in any event,
reckoned from the notice of denial. (fresh period rule not applied)

The petitioner filed its motion for reconsideration on January 14, 2013, which was 31 days
after receiving the assailed decision of the COA on December 14, 2012. Pursuant to Section
3 of Rule 64, it had only five days from receipt of the denial of its motion for reconsideration
to file the petition. Considering that it received the notice of the denial on July 14, 2014, it
had only until July19, 2014 to file the petition. However, it filed the petition on August 13,
2014, which was 25 days too late.

We ruled in Pates v. Commission on Elections that the belated filing of the petition for
certiorari under Rule 64 on the belief that the fresh period rule should apply was fatal to the
recourse. As such, the petitioner herein should suffer the same fate for having wrongly
assumed that the fresh period rule under Neypes applied. Rules of procedure may be relaxed
only to relieve a litigant of an injustice that is not commensurate with the degree of
his thoughtlessness in not complying with the prescribed procedure. Absent this reason
for liberality, the petition cannot be allowed to prosper.
Milagrosa Jocson vs Nelson San Miguel
G.R. No. 206941, March 9, 2016

Topic: Fresh Period Rule; not apply to administrative rules

In the present case, the appeal from a decision of the Provincial Adjudicator to the DARAB as provided
for under Section 1, Rule XIV of the 2003 DARAB Rules of Procedure, is not judicial but
administrative in nature. As such, the "fresh period rule" in Neypes finds no application therein.

As a final note, it is worthy to emphasize that the right to appeal is not a natural right or a part of due
process, but is merely a statutory privilege that may be exercised only in the manner prescribed by law.
The right is unavoidably forfeited by the litigant who does not comply with the manner thus prescribed.
In addition, the liberal application of rules of procedure for perfecting appeals is still the exception, and
not the rule; and it is only allowed in exceptional circumstances to better serve the interest of justice.[36]
This exceptional situation, however, does not obtain in this case.

FACTS: On September 10, 2008, Milagrosa C. Jocson (Jocson) filed with the DARAB-
PARAD, Region III of San Fernando City, Pampanga, a Complaint for ejectment with
damages against respondent Nelson San Miguel (San Miguel) and all persons claiming rights
under him.

In the Complaint, Jocson alleged that she is the registered owner of a parcel of agricultural
land, located in Magalang, Pampanga. She asserted that 56,000 sq m thereof became the
subject of an Agricultural Leasehold Contract (Contract) between her and San Miguel, with
the latter as tenant-lessee. As part of the contract, they agreed that the subject landholding
shall be devoted to sugar and rice production.

According to Jocson, San Miguel, however, occupied the entire landholding and refused to
vacate the portion not covered by their Contract despite repeated demands.

On December 15, 2009, Jocson filed a Supplemental Complaint alleging that, during the
pendency of the present suit, San Miguel commenced to plant corn on the subject landholding
which violated their Contract.

In his Answer, San Miguel maintained that he had religiously complied with all the terms and
conditions of their Contract and that Jocson has no valid ground to eject him from the
disputed landholding.

PARAD Decision

The PARAD (Provincial Agrarian Reform Adjudicator) ruled in favor of petitioner.

San Miguel filed a Motion for Reconsideration but it was denied in an Order.

On June 15, 2011, San Miguel filed his Notice of Appeal. It was subsequently denied because
it was filed out of time according to PARAD applying the DARAB Rules of Procedure which
only gives a petitioner five (5) days to file an appeal.
Note: The PARAD found that San Miguel, through his counsel, received his copy of Decision dated
January 26, 2011 on February 3, 2011 and thereafter filed his MR on February 15, 2011, thus, he could
have only three (3) days within which to file his Notice of Appeal upon its denial. The MR was denied on
May 31, 2011 and San Miguel, through his counsel, received his copy of the Order on June 2, 2011 and
he filed his Notice of Appeal on June 15, 2011 or after twelve (12) days, which, following the rules
abovementioned, is already beyond the period allowed.

Undaunted, San Miguel filed a Petition for Certiorari with the CA praying that the new 2009
DARAB Rules of Procedure which adopted the "fresh period rule" should apply to the case.

Note: In September 1, 2009 or during the pendency of the case the New 2009 DARAB Rules of Procedure
was enacted hence the prayer.

CA Ruling:

The CA issued a decision granting San Miguel's petition and remanding the case to the
DARAB-PARAD for further proceedings. The CA held that the "fresh period rule"
enunciated in Neypes should be applied in the instant case.

ISSUE:

WON the new DARAB Rules of Procedure should apply.


WON the “fresh period rule” should apply.

RULING:

Application of the 2003 DARAB Rules of Procedure

San Miguel alleged that due to the effectivity of the 2009 DARAB Rules of Procedure, its
provisions should be applied instead of the 2003 DARAB Rules of Procedure.

The SC ruled in the negative.

It must be noted that Section 1, Rule XXIV of the 2009 DARAB Rules of Procedure explicitly
states that:

Sec. 1. Transitory Provisions. These Rules shall govern all cases filed on or after its effectivity.
All cases pending with the Board and the Adjudicators, prior to the date of effectivity
of these Rules, shall be governed by the DARAB Rules prevailing at the time of their
filing.

Thus, pursuant to the above-cited rule, the applicable rule in the counting of the period for
filing a Notice of Appeal with the Board is governed by Section 12, Rule X of the 2003
DARAB Rules of Procedure, which states that:

The filing of the Motion for Reconsideration shall interrupt the period to perfect an appeal.
If the motion is denied, the aggrieved party shall have the remaining period within which to
perfect his appeal. Said period shall not be less than five (5) days in any event, reckoned from
the receipt of the notice of denial.

Application of the "fresh period rule" enunciated in the Neypes ruling


This Court likewise finds no merit to San Miguel's contention that the "fresh period rule" laid
down in Neypes is applicable in the instant case.

In Panolino, this Court held that the "fresh period rule" only covers judicial proceedings under
the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, to wit:

The "fresh period rule" in Neypes declares:

xxxx
As reflected in the above-quoted portion of the decision in Neypes, the "fresh period rule"
shall apply to Rule 40 (appeals from the Municipal Trial Courts to the Regional Trial
Courts); Rule 41 (appeals from the Regional Trial Courts to the [CA] or Supreme Court);
Rule 42 (appeals from the Regional Trial Courts to the [CA]); Rule 43 (appeals from
quasi-judicial agencies to the [CA]); and Rule 45 (appeals by certiorari to the Supreme
Court). Obviously, these Rules cover judicial proceedings under the 1997 Rules of
Civil Procedure.

In the present case, the appeal from a decision of the Provincial Adjudicator to the DARAB
as provided for under Section 1, Rule XIV of the 2003 DARAB Rules of Procedure, is not
judicial but administrative in nature. As such, the "fresh period rule" in Neypes finds no
application therein.

As correctly observed by PARAD, San Miguel should perfect his appeal during the remainder
of the period of appeal, but not less than five (5) days, reckoned from receipt of the resolution
of denial of his MR or until June 7, 2011.

As a final note, it is worthy to emphasize that the right to appeal is not a natural right or a
part of due process, but is merely a statutory privilege that may be exercised only in the
manner prescribed by law. The right is unavoidably forfeited by the litigant who does not
comply with the manner thus prescribed. In addition, the liberal application of rules of
procedure for perfecting appeals is still the exception, and not the rule; and it is only allowed
in exceptional circumstances to better serve the interest of justice. This exceptional situation,
however, does not obtain in this case.

WHEREFORE, in consideration of the foregoing disquisitions, the petition is hereby


GRANTED.
THE UNITED STATES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. JOSE TAMPARONG ET AL., Defendants-Appellants.
G.R. No. 9527, August 23, 1915

Topic: Philippine Courts

Under the Spanish criminal procedure, appeals from justices’ courts were allowed only to Courts of First Instance.
By section 43 of General Orders No. 58, this procedure has been so amended that appeals can be taken to the
Supreme Court in such cases when the validity or constitutionality of a statute is involved. This amendment of
the procedure does not carry with it the right of review of the facts, but is confined to the purpose stated — that
is, of determining the validity or constitutionality of the statute or ordinance upon which the judgment was
predicated. Former cases reviewed, showing that such has uniformly been the interpretation of section 43 by this
court.
FACTS:
The defendants were convicted by the justice of the peace of Baguio for having played the game of
chance called "monte" in violation of Ordinance No. 35. They appealed to the Court of First Instance,
where they were again tried and convicted upon the same charge. An appeal was allowed to this court
because the validity of Ordinance No, 35 was drawn in question during the trial of the cause in the
court below.
Two questions are raised by this appeal: (1) Is Ordinance No. 35 valid, and (2) is this court required
under the law to examine the evidence for the purpose of determining the guilt or innocence of the
defendants?
ISSUES:
Is the court required under the law to examine the evidence for the purpose of determining the guilt
or innocence of the defendants?
RULING:
In a long line of cases the Court had constantly ruled that upon appeal the only question to be
considered will be that of the validity or invalidity of an ordinance. The Court cannot review the
evidence nor pass upon any other question of law which may appear in the record."
The court has not, since its organization, held in any case that it has the power to review the facts
touching the guilt of an accused person in cases of the character of the one under consideration.

Some discussion has arisen in regard to the language we should use in the final disposition of cases
wherein the statute or ordinance has been upheld. Sometimes we say, "The judgment is affirmed," and
at other times we have said "the appeal is dismissed," etc. The result is the same and it is of little
importance which expression we use. But, as the case comes to us on appeal for the purpose of testing
the legality of the statute or ordinance upon which the judgment rests and as the judgment cannot be
executed without the sanction of this court, it is perfectly legal to "affirm" or "reverse" the judgment
as the case may be.
For the foregoing reasons the judgment appealed from is affirmed, with costs against the defendants.
So ordered.
THE DIOCESE OF BACOLOD, et al Petitioners,
vs.
COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, et al Respondents.

G.R. No. 205728, January 21, 2015

Topic: Heirarchy of Courts; Exceptions

Thus, the doctrine of hierarchy of courts is not an iron-clad rule. This court has "full
discretionary power to take cognizance and assume jurisdiction [over] special civil
actions for certiorari . . .

FACTS: On February 21, 2013, petitioners posted two (2) tarpaulins within a private
compound housing the San Sebastian Cathedral of Bacolod. The first tarpaulin contains the
message "IBASURA RH Law" referring to the Reproductive Health Law of 2012. The second
tarpaulin is the subject of the present case. This tarpaulin contains the following:

TEAM BUHAY TEAM PATAY


Estrada, JV Angara, Juan Edgardo
Honasan, Gregorio Casiño, Teddy
Magsaysay, Mitos Cayetano, Alan Peter
Pimentel, Koko Enrile, Jackie
Trillanes, Antonio Escudero, Francis
Villar, Cynthia Hontiveros, Risa
Party List Buhay Legarda, Loren
Party List Ang Pamilya Party List Gabriela
Party List Akbayan
Party List Bayan Muna
Party List Anak Pawis

Those who voted for the passing of the law were classified by petitioners as comprising "Team
Patay," while those who voted against it form "Team Buhay"

On February 27, 2013, COMELEC Law Department issued a letter ordering the immediate
removal of the tarpaulin; otherwise, it will be constrained to file an election offense against
petitioners.

Petitioners initiated this case through this petition for certiorari and prohibition with
application for preliminary injunction and temporary restraining order questioning the
constitutionality of the COMELEC’s order.

On March 13, 2013, respondents filed their comment arguing that petitioners violated the
doctrine of hierarchy of courts in directly filing their petition before this court.
ISSUE:

WON petitioners violated the doctrine of hierarchy of courts in directly filing their petition
before this court.

RULING:

Hierarchy of courts

This brings us to the issue of whether petitioners violated the doctrine of hierarchy of courts
in directly filing their petition before this court.

Respondents contend that petitioners’ failure to file the proper suit with a lower court of
concurrent jurisdiction is sufficient ground for the dismissal of their petition. They add that
observation of the hierarchy of courts is compulsory, citing Heirs of Bertuldo Hinog v.
Melicor. While respondents claim that while there are exceptions to the general rule on
hierarchy of courts, none of these are present in this case.

The doctrine that requires respect for the hierarchy of courts was created by this court to
ensure that every level of the judiciary performs its designated roles in an effective and
efficient manner.

Trial courts do not only determine the facts from the evaluation of the evidence presented
before them. They are likewise competent to determine issues of law which may include the
validity of an ordinance, statute, or even an executive issuance in relation to the Constitution.

The Court of Appeals is primarily designed as an appellate court that reviews the
determination of facts and law made by the trial courts.

This court, on the other hand, leads the judiciary by breaking new ground or further
reiterating — in the light of new circumstances or in the light of some confusions of bench or
bar — existing precedents.

In other words, the Supreme Court’s role to interpret the Constitution and act in order to
protect constitutional rights when these become exigent should not be emasculated by the
doctrine in respect of the hierarchy of courts. That has never been the purpose of such
doctrine.

Thus, the doctrine of hierarchy of courts is not an iron-clad rule. This court has "full
discretionary power to take cognizance and assume jurisdiction [over] special civil
actions for certiorari . . .filed directly with it for exceptionally compelling reasons or if
warranted by the nature of the issues clearly and specifically raised in the petition."

As correctly pointed out by petitioners, we have provided exceptions to this doctrine:

First, a direct resort to this court is allowed when there are genuine issues of
constitutionality that must be addressed at the most immediate time.

Second is when the issues involved are of transcendental importance. In these cases,
the imminence and clarity of the threat to fundamental constitutional rights outweigh the
necessity for prudence.
Third, cases of first impression warrant a direct resort to this court. In cases of first
impression, no jurisprudence yet exists that will guide the lower courts on this matter.

Fourth, the constitutional issues raised are better decided by this court.

Fifth, the time element presented in this case cannot be ignored.

Sixth, the filed petition reviews the act of a constitutional organ. COMELEC is a
constitutional body.

Seventh, petitioners rightly claim that they had no other plain, speedy, and adequate
remedy in the ordinary course of law that could free them from the injurious effects of
respondents’ acts in violation of their right to freedom of expression.

Eighth, the petition includes questions that are "dictated by public welfare and the
advancement of public policy, or demanded by the broader interest of justice, or the
orders complained of were found to be patent nullities, or the appeal was considered as
clearly an inappropriate remedy."

It is not, however, necessary that all of these exceptions must occur at the same time to justify
a direct resort to this court. While generally, the hierarchy of courts is respected, the present
case falls under the recognized exceptions and, as such, may be resolved by this court directly.

After a long discussion on the subject the Court later admitted that the tarpaulin in question
is a form of free speech by stating:

xxx

This is a form of speech hopeful of a quality of democracy that we should all deserve. It is
protected as a fundamental and primordial right by our Constitution. The expression in the
medium chosen by petitioners deserves our protection.

WHEREFORE, the instant petition is GRANTED. The temporary restraining order


previously issued is hereby made permanent. The act of the COMELEC in issuing the assailed
notice dated February 22, 2013 and letter dated February 27, 2013 is declared
unconstitutional.
EDITHA PADLAN, Petitioner,
vs.
ELENITA DINGLASAN and FELICISIMO DINGLASAN, Respondents.

G.R. No. 180321, March 20, 2013

Topic: Jurisdiction; determined on the allegations

In order to determine which court has jurisdiction over the action, an examination of the complaint is
essential. Basic as a hornbook principle is that jurisdiction over the subject matter of a case is conferred
by law and determined by the allegations in the complaint which comprise a concise statement of the
ultimate facts constituting the plaintiff's cause of action. The nature of an action, as well as
which court or body has jurisdiction over it, is determined based on the allegations
contained in the complaint of the plaintiff, irrespective of whether or not the plaintiff is entitled
to recover upon all or some of the claims asserted therein.

FACTS: Elenita Dinglasan (Elenita) was the registered owner of a parcel of land. While on
board a jeepney, Elenita’s mother, Lilia Baluyot (Lilia), had a conversation with one Maura
Passion (Maura) regarding the sale of the said property. Believing that Maura was a real
estate agent, Lilia borrowed the owner’s copy of the TCT from Elenita and gave it to Maura.
Maura then subdivided the property into several lots under the name of Elenita and her
husband Felicisimo Dinglasan (Felicisimo).

Through a falsified deed of sale bearing the forged signature of Elenita and her husband
Felicisimo, Maura was able to sell the lots to different buyers. On April 26, 1990, Maura sold
a parcel to one Lorna Ong (Lorna), who later sold the lot to petitioner Editha Padlan.

After learning what had happened, respondents demanded petitioner to surrender possession
of the bought portion of lot, but the latter refused. Respondents were then forced to file a case.
Summons was, thereafter, served to petitioner through her mother, Anita Padlan.

Petitioner claimed that the court did not acquire jurisdiction over her, because the summons
was not validly served upon her person, but only by means of substituted service through her
mother. Petitioner maintained that she has long been residing in Japan after she married a
Japanese national and only comes to the Philippines for a brief vacation once every two years.

On April 5, 2001, the RTC issued an Order denying petitioner’s motion to dismiss and
declared her in default. Thereafter, trial ensued.

RTC Ruling:

On July 1, 2005, the RTC rendered a Decision finding petitioner to be a buyer in good faith
and, consequently, dismissed the complaint.

CA Ruling:

On June 29, 2007, the CA rendered a Decision in favor of the respondent.

Aggrieved, petitioner filed a Motion for Reconsideration. Petitioner argued that not only did
the complaint lacks merit, the lower court failed to acquire jurisdiction over the subject matter
of the case and the person of the petitioner.
Petitioner posits amongst others that the court lacks jurisdiction of the subject matter,
considering that from the complaint, it can be inferred that the value of the property was only
₱4,000.00, which under the BP 129 the MTC has jurisdiction to resolve.

Note: Respondents filed their Complaint with the RTC; hence, before proceeding any further with any other
issues raised by the petitioner, it is essential to ascertain whether the RTC has jurisdiction over the subject
matter of this case based on the above-quoted provisions.

ISSUE:
WON the RTC has jurisdiction over the subject matter.

RULING:

In order to determine which court has jurisdiction over the action, an examination of the
complaint is essential. Basic as a hornbook principle is that jurisdiction over the subject matter
of a case is conferred by law and determined by the allegations in the complaint which
comprise a concise statement of the ultimate facts constituting the plaintiff's cause of action.
The nature of an action, as well as which court or body has jurisdiction over it, is
determined based on the allegations contained in the complaint of the plaintiff,
irrespective of whether or not the plaintiff is entitled to recover upon all or some of the claims
asserted therein.

Respondents’ Complaint narrates:

- That they are the duly registered owners of the disputed lot.
- Without their knowledge and consent, the land was divided into several lots under
their names through the fraudulent manipulations of Maura.
- One of the lots was by Maura to Lorna who later sold the lot to petitioner for
₱4,000.00.
- That despite demands from the respondents, petitioner refused to surrender
possession of the subject property.

Where the ultimate objective of the plaintiffs is to obtain title to real property, it should be
filed in the proper court having jurisdiction over the assessed value of the property subject
thereof. Since the amount alleged in the Complaint by respondents for the disputed lot is only
₱4,000.00, hence under Sec. 33 of BP 129 the MTC and not the RTC has jurisdiction over the
action. Therefore, all proceedings in the RTC are null and void.

Consequently, the remaining issues raised by petitioner need not be discussed further.

WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED. The Decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-
G.R. CV No. 86983, dated June 29, 2007, and its Resolution dated October 23, 2007, are
REVERSED and SET ASIDE. The Decision of the Regional Trial Court, dated July I, 2005,
is declared NULL and VOID. The complaint in Civil Case No. 438-ML is dismissed without
prejudice.
AUGUSTUS GONZALES and spouses NESTOR victor and MA. LOURDES
RODRIGUEZ, Petitioners,
vs.
QUIRICO PE, Respondent.

G.R. No. 167398, August 9, 2011

Topic: Jurisdiction; Docket Fee

Section 9, Rule 41 of the Rules explains that the court of origin loses jurisdiction over the case only
upon the perfection of the appeal filed in due time by the appellant and the expiration of the time to
appeal of the other parties.

While every litigant must be given the amplest opportunity for the proper and just determination of his
cause, free from the constraints of technicalities, the failure to perfect an appeal within the reglementary
period is not a mere technicality. It raises jurisdictional problem, as it deprives the appellate court of its
jurisdiction over the appeal. After a decision is declared final and executory, vested rights are acquired
by the winning party. Just as a losing party has the right to appeal within the prescribed period, the
winning party has the correlative right to enjoy the finality of the decision on the case.

FACTS:
Respondent Quirico Pe was engaged in the business of construction materials and had been
in the business with petitioner spouses Rodriguez. Petitioners were then awarded by DPWH
two contracts and availed of DPWH’s pre-payment program for cement requirement
regarding the projects, wherein the DPWH would give an advance payment even before
project completion. Petitioner then gave the blank LBP check to respondent to guarantee
payment of 15,698 bags of Portland cement. However a year later respondent filled up the
blank LBP Check by placing P2,062,000.00. The petitioners then filed a case against the
respondent.
RTC
Ruled in favor of the petitioner
Respondent filed a Notice of Appeal
Petitioners filed a Motion for Reconsideration, to Dismiss Appeal, and for Issuance of Writ
of Execution, stating that respondent’s appeal should be dismissed as the same was not
perfected due to non-payment of docket and other lawful fees
The trial court dismissed respondent's appeal and directed the issuance of a writ of execution
to implement the RTC Decision
CA
Rendered a decision in favor of the respondent

Petitioner’s averments:

Petitioners allege that since respondent failed to pay the docket and other legal fees at the
time he filed the Notice of Appeal, his appeal was deemed not perfected in contemplation of
the law.
Respondent’s:

Respondent maintains that his appeal has been perfected by the mere filing of the notice of
appeal. Respondent theorizes that with the perfection of his appeal, the trial court is now
divested of jurisdiction to dismiss his appeal and, therefore, only the CA has jurisdiction to
determine and rule on the propriety of his appeal.

ISSUE:
WON the CA acquired jurisdiction over the case.

RULING:

The petition is meritorious.

Concomitant with the filing of a notice of appeal is the payment of the required appeal fees
within the 15-day reglementary period set forth in Section 4 of Rule 41.

Respondent’s claim that his non-payment of docket and other lawful fees should be treated as
mistake and excusable negligence, attributable to the RTC Branch Clerk of Court, is too
superficial to warrant consideration. This is clearly negligence of respondent's counsel, which
is not excusable. Negligence to be excusable must be one which ordinary diligence and
prudence could not have guarded against.

The CA took cognizance over the case, based on the wrong premise that when the RTC issued
the Order giving due course to respondent’s Notice of Appeal and directing the Branch Clerk
of Court to transmit the entire records of the case to the CA, it ipso facto lost jurisdiction over
the case. Section 9, Rule 41 of the Rules explains that the court of origin loses
jurisdiction over the case only upon the perfection of the appeal filed in due time by
the appellant and the expiration of the time to appeal of the other parties. Withal, prior
to the transmittal of the original records of the case to the CA, the RTC may issue orders for
the protection and preservation of the rights of the prevailing party, as in this case, the
issuance of the writ of execution because the respondent’s appeal was not perfected.

Since respondent’s appeal was not perfected within the 15-day reglementary period, it was as
if no appeal was actually taken. Therefore, the RTC retains jurisdiction to rule on pending
incidents lodged before it, such as the petitioner’s Motion for Reconsideration, to Dismiss
Appeal, and for Issuance of Writ of Execution. Having no jurisdiction over the case, the
prudent thing that the CA should have done was to dismiss the respondent’s appeal for failure
to pay the appeal fees, and declare that the RTC Decision dated June 28, 2002 has now become
final and executory.

To recapitulate, one who seeks to avail of the right to appeal must strictly comply with the
requirements of the rules, and failure to do so leads to the loss of the right to appeal. The
rules require that from the date of receipt of the assailed RTC order denying one’s motion for
reconsideration, an appellant may take an appeal to the CA by filing a notice of appeal with
the RTC and paying the required docket and other lawful fees with the RTC Branch Clerk of
Court, within the 15-day reglementary period for the perfection of an appeal. Otherwise, the
appellant's appeal is not perfected, and the CA may dismiss the appeal on the ground of non-
payment of docket and other lawful fees. As a consequence, the assailed RTC decision shall
become final and executory and, therefore, the prevailing parties can move for the issuance of
a writ of execution.

While every litigant must be given the amplest opportunity for the proper and just
determination of his cause, free from the constraints of technicalities, the failure to perfect an
appeal within the reglementary period is not a mere technicality. It raises jurisdictional
problem, as it deprives the appellate court of its jurisdiction over the appeal. After a decision
is declared final and executory, vested rights are acquired by the winning party. Just as a
losing party has the right to appeal within the prescribed period, the winning party has the
correlative right to enjoy the finality of the decision on the case.

WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED.