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31. G.R. No.

199084 September 11, 2012

Ceron vs Comelec

Petitioner Antonia P. Ceron (Ceron) and private respondent Romeo O. Arcilla (Arcilla) were candidates
for the position of Barangay Kagawad of Barangay 201, Pasay City during the 25 October 2010
Synchronized Barangay and SangguniangKabataan Elections.

After the canvass of votes, the Barangay Board of Canvassers (BBOC) proclaimed Ceron as one of the
seven duly elected Barangay Kagawads. Based on the Statement of Votes by Precinct4 and the
Certificate of Canvass of Votes and Proclamation of Winning Candidates.

Arcilla one of the candidate was not proclaimed as he only obtained nine hundred and nineteen (919)
votes and ranked eighth in the tally of votes. Arcilla thereafter filed a petition8 protesting the election of
Ceron with the Metropolitan Trial Court of Pasay City, docketed as Case No. E-03-10.9 Arcilla alleged
that there is a discrepancy between the taras10 and the written words and figures corresponding to the
votes obtained by Ceron recorded in the Election Return for Clustered Precinct Nos. 844A and 844B of
Barangay 201, Pasay City.

On 24 November 2010, Presiding Judge Eliza B. Yu of the Metropolitan Trial Court, Branch 47, Pasay City
promulgated an Order16 dismissing the election protest of Arcilla pursuant to Section 13 of A.M. No. 07-

In the verified petition filed byGrace P. Valdez (Valdez), Eva T. Pauig (Pauig) and Arjolyn T. Antonio
(Antonio), in their capacity as members of the Board of Election Tellers (BET) of Clustered Precinct Nos.
844A and 844B of Barangay 201, Pasay City in the COMELEC in relation to the same issue, it recognized
the settled rule that the number of votes reflected by the taras prevails in the event of a discrepancy
between the number of taras and the written words and figures.38 It therefore concluded that the total
number of votes received by Ceron is 915 making Arcilla the winner in the election.

Ceron subsequently filed a Motion for Reconsideration41 of the Resolution dated 1 July 2011.
The COMELEC En Banc denied the Motion for Reconsideration of Ceron.

Whether or not the petition has merit.

There is an absence of identity of parties between the election protest filed by Arcilla and the verified
petition filed by Valdez, Pauig and Antonio. Identity of parties exists "where the parties in both actions
are the same, or there is privity between them, or they are successors-in-interest by title subsequent to
the commencement of the action, litigating for the same thing and under the same title and in the same
capacity. The parties in the first and second actions are clearly not the same. There is also no privity
between them and they are not successors-in-interest. The election protest was filed solely by Arcilla as
a candidate in the 25 October 2010 Synchronized Barangay and SangguniangKabataan Elections, while
the verified petition was filed by Valdez, Pauig and Antonio in their capacity as members of the BET of
Clustered Precinct Nos. 844A and 844B of Barangay 201, Pasay City.
54. G.R. No. 190754 November 17, 2010
San Pedro Cineplex vs Heirs of Enao

Respondents filed on August 17, 2006 a complaint for quieting of title with damages against petitioner
before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of San Pedro, Laguna, which complaint was raffled to Branch 93

On October 20, 2006, petitioner filed a Motion to Dismiss on the ground that the RTC did not validly
acquire jurisdiction over it due to improper service of summons. It argued that, among other things,
there was no observance of the rule that service of summons on a defendant-corporation must be made
upon its president, general manager, corporate secretary, treasurer or in-house counsel.

Respondents contended, however, that the Officers Return showed that the summons addressed to
petitioner was served upon and received by Jay Orpiada (Orpiada), its manager. They thus moved to
declare petitioner in default for failure to file an Answer within the reglementary period.

Close to 11 months after petitioner filed a Motion to Dismiss or on September 10, 2007, it filed a Motion
to Withdraw [its still unresolved] Motion to Dismiss and to Admit Answer. On even date, the trial court
denied petitioners motion to dismiss and, acting on the motion of respondents which they had filed
after petitioners filing of the Motion to Dismiss, declared petitioner in default.

Petitioner challenged the trial courts order of default via certiorari, prohibition and mandamus before
the Court of Appeals.The appellate court dismissed the petition.

Issue: Whether or not the petitioner in is default.


Petitioner correctly points out that the rule is that a defendant's answer should be admitted where it is
filed before a declaration of default and no prejudice is caused to the plaintiff. Indeed, where the
answer is filed beyond the reglementary period but before the defendant is declared in default and
there is no showing that defendant intends to delay the case, the answer should be admitted.[13]

In the case at bar, it is inconsequential that the trial court declared petitioner in default on the same day
that petitioner filed its Answer. As reflected above, the trial court slept on petitioners Motion to Dismiss
for almost a year, just as it also slept on respondents Motion to Declare petitioner in Default. It was only
when petitioner filed a Motion to Withdraw Motion to Dismiss and to Admit Answer that it denied the
Motion to Dismiss, and acted on/granted respondents Motion to Declare petitioner in Default. This is
procedurally unsound.

The policy of the law is to have every litigant's case tried on the merits as much as possible. Hence,
judgments by default are frowned upon. A case is best decided when all contending parties are able to
ventilate their respective claims, present their arguments and adduce evidence in support thereof. The
parties are thus given the chance to be heard fully and the demands of due process are subserved.
Moreover, it is only amidst such an atmosphere that accurate factual findings and correct legal
conclusions can be reached by the courts.

75. G.R. No. 156759 June 5, 2013

Macasaet vs Co Jr.

On July 3, 2000, respondent, a retired police officer assigned at the Western Police District in Manila,
sued AbanteTonite, a daily tabloid of general circulation; its Publisher Allen A. Macasaet; its Managing
Director Nicolas V. Quijano; its Circulation Manager Isaias Albano; its Editors Janet Bay, Jesus R. Galang
and Randy Hagos; and its Columnist/Reporter Lily Reyes (petitioners), claiming damages because of an
allegedly libelous article petitioners published in the June 6, 2000 issue of AbanteTonite. The suit,
docketed as Civil Case No. 0097907, was raffled to Branch 51 of the RTC, which in due course issued
summons to be served on each defendant, including AbanteTonite, at their business address at Monica
Publishing Corporation, 301-305 3rd Floor, BF Condominium Building, Solana Street corner A. Soriano
Street, Intramuros, Manila. In the morning of September 18, 2000, RTC Sheriff Raul Medina proceeded
to the stated address to effect the personal service of the summons on the defendants. But his efforts to
personally serve each defendant in the address were futile because the defendants were then out of the
office and unavailable. He returned in the afternoon of that day to make a second attempt at serving the
summons, but he was informed that petitioners were still out of the office. He decided to resort to
substituted service of the summons, and explained why in his sheriff’s return dated September 22, 2005.

Issue: Whether summons was not duly served to acquire jurisdiction over respondents?

The SC approved the decision of RTC of Manila City and the CA that substituted service of summons
complied with the rules. We are strict in insisting on personal service on the defendant but we do not
cling to such strictness when circumstances already justify substituted service instead. It is the spirit of
the procedural rules, not their letter, that governs.

The plaintiff in a civil action voluntarily submits himself to the jurisdiction of the court by the act of filing
the initiatory pleading. As to the defendant, the court acquires jurisdiction over his person either by the
proper service of the summons, or by a voluntary appearance in the action.