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First Aqua Sugar Traders, Inc.

vs BPI

Facts:
 Petitioners, First Aqua Sugar Traders, Inc. and CBN International Corporation were the plaintiffs in a Civil
Case filed in the RTC against respondent, BPI
 On Oct. 16, 2000, the trial court rendered a summary judgment dismissing the complaint
 Petitioners received a copy of the judgment on Oct. 27, 2000
 Instead of filing a notice of appeal, on Nov. 6, 2000 (10 days after), they opted to file a motion for
reconsideration
 MR was denied in the order dated Jan. 30, 2001
 Petitioners claim that:
a. They received a copy of the said order on Feb. 16, 2001; and
b. They filed a notice of appeal on the same day
 On Feb. 19, 2001, the trial court gave due course to the notice of appeal
 Respondent, on the other hand, filed a motion to declare the Oct. 16, 2000 judgment final alleging that
petitioner’s notice of appeal was filed out of time
o According to respondent, the Jan. 30, 2001 order was sent to the address of petitioner’s counsel
and was received by a certain Lenie Quilatan (authorized representative) on Feb. 9, 2001
o Hence, petitioners had only 5 days left to file the notice of appeal counted from Feb. 9, 2001, or
until Feb. 14, 2001
o Thus, the Feb. 16, 2001 filing was out of time
 Petitioners disputed this allegation and further claim that Quilatan was not in any wat connected to them
or their counsel
 On March 30, 2001 the trial court ruled for the respondents
 On Certiorari the CA sustained the trial court’s decision, hence this recourse

Issue:
WON the notice of appeal by the petitioners was filed on time

Ruling:
 YES
 The actual date of receipt of the notice of denial of the motion for reconsideration dated Jan. 30, 2001
is a factual issue which the trial court and the CA have already ruled on
o Not being a trier of facts, and having no reason to reverse the said finding, the date of receipt of
the Jan. 30, 2001 order was Feb. 9, 2001
 However, the notice of appeal was not filed late
 In light of the Neypes ruling, a party litigant may now file his notice of appeal either within 15 days from
receipt of the original decision or within 15 days from the receipt of the order denying the motion for
reconsideration
 Being procedural in nature, Neypes is deemed to be applicable to actions pending and undetermined
at the time of its effectivity and is thus retroactive in that sense and to that extent
 Petitioner’s notice of appeal filed on Feb. 16, 2001 was therefore well-within the fresh period of 15 days
from the date of their receipt of the Jan. 30, 2001 order on Feb. 9, 2001
 Petition GRANTED