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56. J Plus Development Asia vs.

Utility Assurance
G.R. No. 199650, June 26, 2013

Facts:

Petitioner J Plus Asia Development Corporation and Seven Shades of Blue


Trading and Services, entered into a Construction Agreement, whereby the latter
undertook to build the former's 72-room condominium/hotel (Condotel Building 25). The
project was to be completed within one year reckoned from the first calendar day after
signing of the Notice of Award and Notice to Proceed and receipt of down payment.
The down payment was fully paid. Payment of the balance of the contract price will be
based on actual work finished within 15 days from receipt of the monthly progress
billings. Mabuhay also submitted the required Performance Bond in the amount
equivalent to 20% down payment. Mabunay commenced work at the project site.

Thereafter, petitioner terminated the contract for the reason that respondent
incurred in delay and sent demand letters to Mabunay and respondent surety. As its
demands went unheeded, petitioner filed a Request for Arbitration before the
Construction Industry Arbitration Commission (CIAC).

Respondent filed a motion to dismiss on the ground that petitioner has no cause
of action and the complaint states no cause of action against it. The CIAC denied the
motion to dismiss. Respondent’s motion for reconsideration was likewise denied.

Issue: Whether the CIAC arbitral award need not be confirmed by the regional
trial court to be executory.

Held:

A CIAC arbitral award need not be confirmed by the regional trial court to be
executory as provided under E.O. No. 1008.

Executive Order (EO) No. 1008 vests upon the CIAC original and exclusive
jurisdiction over disputes arising from, or connected with, contracts entered into by
parties involved in construction in the Philippines, whether the dispute arises before or
after the completion of the contract, or after the abandonment or breach thereof. By
express provision of Section 19 thereof, the arbitral award of the CIAC is final and
unappealable, except on questions of law, which are appealable to the Supreme Court.
With the amendments introduced by R.A. No. 7902 and promulgation of the 1997 Rules
of Civil Procedure, as amended, the CIAC was included in the enumeration of quasi-
judicial agencies whose decisions or awards may be appealed to the CA in a petition for
review under Rule 43. Such review of the CIAC award may involve either questions of
fact, of law, or of fact and law.
57. Nacar v. Gallery Frames
G.R. No. 189871, August 13, 2013, 703 SCRA 439

FACTS:

Dario Nacar filed a labor case against Gallery Frames and its owner Felipe Bordey, Jr.
Nacar alleged that he was dismissed without cause by Gallery Frames on January 24,
1997. On October 15, 1998, the Labor Arbiter (LA) found Gallery Frames guilty of illegal
dismissal hence the Arbiter awarded Nacar P158,919.92 in damages consisting of
backwages and separation pay.

Gallery Frames appealed all the way to the Supreme Court (SC). The Supreme Court
affirmed the decision of the Labor Arbiter and the decision became final on May 27,
2002. After the finality of the SC decision, Nacar filed a motion before the LA for
recomputation as he alleged that his backwages should be computed from the time of
his illegal dismissal (January 24, 1997) until the finality of the SC decision (May 27,
2002) with interest. The LA denied the motion as he ruled that the reckoning point of the
computation should only be from the time Nacar was illegally dismissed (January 24,
1997) until the decision of the LA (October 15, 1998). The LA reasoned that the said
date should be the reckoning point because Nacar did not appeal hence as to him, that
decision became final and executory.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the Labor Arbiter is correct.

RULING:

No. There are two parts of a decision when it comes to illegal dismissal cases (referring
to cases where the dismissed employee wins, or loses but wins on appeal). The first
part is the ruling that the employee was illegally dismissed. This is immediately final
even if the employer appeals – but will be reversed if employer wins on appeal. The
second part is the ruling on the award of backwages and/or separation pay. For
backwages, it will be computed from the date of illegal dismissal until the date of the
decision of the Labor Arbiter. But if the employer appeals, then the end date shall be
extended until the day when the appellate court’s decision shall become final. Hence, as
a consequence, the liability of the employer, if he loses on appeal, will increase – this is
just but a risk that the employer cannot avoid when it continued to seek recourses
against the Labor Arbiter’s decision. This is also in accordance with Article 279 of the
Labor Code.
58. Virginia Venzon vs. Rural Bank of Buenavista
GR No. 178031; August 28, 2013

Facts:

This is a Petition for Review on Certiorari questioning the decision resolution of the
Court of Appeals which dismissed the Petition in said case and denying reconsideration
thereof. Virginia Venzon (Venzon) and his spouse obtained a Php 5,000.00 loan from
Rural Bank of Buenavista (Bank) against a mortgage on their house and lot. Not able to
settle her account, the Bank foreclosed the property and sold at auction to the Bank for
Php 6,472.76. Venzon then filed a Petition with the Regional Trial Court of Butuan City
to annul the foreclosure proceedings and the tax declarations issued in the name of the
Bank.

The trial court dismissed the case in favor of the Bank. It held that Venzon erroneously
relied on the mandatory requirement on publication that under the Rural Bank Act, the
foreclosure of mortgages covering loans granted by rural banks xxx involving real
properties levied upon by a sheriff shall be exempt from publication where the total
amount of the loan, including interests due and unpaid, does not exceed Php 10,000.
Since Venzon’s outstanding obligation amounted to just over Php 6,000.00 publication
was not necessary. The Court of Appeals also dismissed her petition, this time because
her remedy should have been an appeal under Rule 41 and not under Rule 65 of the
Rules of Court since the resolution of trial court is a FINAL ORDER of DISMISSAL. She
moved for reconsideration but was also denied. Hence this petition.

ISSUE:

(1) Whether the foreclosure proceedings was legal foreclosure proceedings was legal.

HELD:

Yes. The Court finds no error in the CA’s treatment of the Petition for Certiorari. It was
indeed to be treated as a final order. And since Venzon’s outstanding obligation did not
exceed Php 10,000.00 and thus constitutes a dismissal with the character of finality.
Hence, she should have availed of the remedy under Rule 41 and not Rule 65.
However, Petitioner is entitled to a return of Php 6,00.00 she paid to the Bank in 1995.
The Bank has no right to receive the amount. In its Answer with Counterclaims, it is
interesting that the Bank did not deny being the issuer of Official Receipt No. 410848,
which amount under the circumstances it had no right to receive. Here, the Bank failed
to refute Venzon’s claim of having paid the amount of Php 6,000. By making such an
ambiguous allegations in its Answer with Counterclaims, the Bank is deemed to have
admitted receiving the amount of Php 6,000.00 from Venzon as evidenced by Official
Receipt No. 410848, which amount under the cicumstances it had no right to receive.
Secretary of DPWH vs. Tecson
GR 179334; April 21 2015

Facts:
Spouses “Heracleo” are the co-owners of a land which is among the private
properties traversed by MacArthur Highway in Bulacan, a government project
undertaken sometime in 1940. The taking was taken without the requisite expropriation
proceedings and without their consent. In 1994, Heracleo demanded the payment of the
fair market value of the property. The DPWH offered to pay 0.70 centavos per sqm., as
recommended by the appraiser committee of Bulacan. Unsatisfied, Heracleo filed a
complaint for recovery of possession with damages. Favorable decisions were rendered
by the RTC and the CA, with valuation of P 1,500 per sqm. and 6% interest per annum
from the time of filing of the until full payment. The SC Division reversed the CA ruling
and held that computation should be based at the time the property was taken in1940,
which is 0.70 per sqm. But because of the contrasting opinions of the members of the
Division and transcendental importance of the issue, the case was referred to the En
Banc for resolution.

Issues
1. Whether the taking of private property without due process should be nullified.
2. Whether compensation is based on the market value of the propertyat the time of
taking.

Held:
1. No. The government’s failure to initiate the necessary expropriation proceedings
prior to actual taking cannot simply invalidate the State’s exercise of its eminent
domain power, given that the property subject of expropriation is indubitably
devoted for public use, and public policy imposes upon the public utility the
obligation to continue its services to the public. To hastily nullify said
expropriation in the guise of lack of due process would certainly diminish or
weaken one of the State’s inherent powers, the ultimate objective of which is to
serve the greater good. Thus, the non-filing of the case for expropriation will not
necessarily lead to the return of the property to the landowner. What is left to the
land owner is the right of compensation.

2. Yes. While it may appear inequitable to the private owners to receive an outdated
valuation, the long-established rule is that the fair equivalent of a property should
be computed not at the time of payment, but at the time of taking. This is
because the purpose of ‘just compensation’ is not to reward the owner for the
property taken but to compensate him for the loss