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15. Section 16 – Death of a party No, it is not proper.

i. Requisites The Supreme Court's original


ii. Effect of non-substitution of a jurisdiction to issue writ of certiorari is
deceased party not exclusive. It is shared with Regional
a. Heirs of Bertuldo Hinog v. Trial Courts and the Court of Appeals.
Melicor, 455 SCRA 460 Although the Supreme Court, Court of
Appeals and the Regional Trial Courts
have concurrent jurisdiction to issue
FACTS: writs of certiorari, prohibition,
mandamus, quo warranto, habeas
On May 21, 1991, private respondents, corpus and injunction, such concurrence
all surnamed Balane, filed a complaint does not give the petitioner unrestricted
for "Recovery of Ownership and freedom of choice of court forum. There
Possession, Removal of Construction is after all a hierarchy of courts. That
and Damages" against Bertuldo Hinog. hierarchy is determinative of the venue
Bertuldo filed his Answer alleging of appeals, and also serves as a general
ownership of the disputed property by determinant of the appropriate forum
virtue of a Deed of Absolute Sale. for petitioners for extraordinary writs.
However, on June 24, 1998, while trial
was still pending, Bertuldo died without The rationale for this rule is two-fold:
completing his evidence. (a) it would be an imposition upon the
precious time of the Supreme Court; and
On August 4, 1998, Atty. Tinampay (b) it would cause an inevitable and
withdrew as counsel for Bertuldo as his resultant delay, intended or otherwise,
services was terminated by petitioner in the adjudication of cases, which in
Bertuldo Hinog III. Atty. Petalcorin then some instances had to be remanded or
entered his appearance as new counsel referred to the lower court as the proper
for Bertuldo. forum under the rules of procedure, or
as better equipped to resolve issues
Atty. Petalcorin filed a motion to because the Supreme Court is not a trier
expunge the complaint from the record of facts. The Supreme Court will not
and nullify all court proceedings on the entertain direct resort to certiorari
ground that private respondents failed unless redress desired cannot be
to specify in the complaint the amount obtained in the appropriate courts, and
of damages claimed so as to pay the exceptional and compelling
correct docket fees; and that non- circumstances, such as cases of national
payment of the correct docket fee is interest and of serious implications,
jurisdictional. The trial court ordered justify the availment of the
the complaint to be expunged from the extraordinary remedy of writ of
records. However, on March 22, 1999, certiorari, calling for the exercise of its
the trial court reinstated the case after primary jurisdiction.
private respondents have paid the
deficiency docket fee.

On November 24, 1999, petitioners filed b. De la cruz v. Joaquin, 464


before the Supreme Court petition for SCRA 576
certiorari and prohibition. They alleged
that Judge Melicor committed grave
abuse of discretion in allowing the case Facts
to be reinstated after payment of the : To secure payment for an obligation,
deficiency docket fee. Respondent supposedly executed a Deed of
Sale infavor of Petitioners, for a parcel of
land in Nueva Ecija. The parties also
ISSUE: executed a Kasunduan which Respondent
claimed showed the deed of sale to be
Whether or not direct recourse to the actually an equitable mortgage. Petitioners
Supreme Court for Petition for contend that the document was merely an
Certiorari and Prohibition is proper. accommodation to allow Respondent to
repurchase the land, which the latter failed
to exercise.
HELD:
The RTC declared that the parties had
entered into a sale with right to repurchase. c. Florendo v. Coloma, 129 SCRA
It further held that Respondent had made a 304
valid tender of payment on two separate
occasions to exercise his right of
repurchase. Hence, petitioners were required Facts:
to reconvey the property upon his payment.
The CA sustained the RTC decision and On July 11, 1969, Adela Salindon an awardee
ordered a substitution by legal of a Philippine Homesite and Housing
representatives, in view of Respondent’s Corporation lot filed a complaint for ejectment
death. Petitioners now assert that the against William Vasquez and Silverio Nicolas
with the respondent court. The disputed
RTC’s Decision was invalid for lack of residential lot, located at Diliman, Quezon
jurisdiction when Respondent died during City.
the pendency of the case and that there was
no substitution of heirs.
In her complaint, Salindon alleged that the
defendants were squatters occupying her
ISSUE: property. Defendant William Vasquez denied
his being a squatter in the subject parcel of
Whether the trial court lost jurisdiction over land. He alleged that he had been in
the case upon Respondent’s death continuous, open, adverse and actual
possession and occupation of the lot since
1950.
HELD
:No. When a party to a pending action dies The PHCC said that the defendants being
and the claim is not extinguished, the Rule squatters have not acquired any vested right
sunder Sec.16, Rule 3 require a substitution over the property and that, since the subject
of the deceased. The rule on the lot is not a relocation area intended for
substitution of parties was crafted to squatters, the defendants can not claim
protect every party’s right to due preference in the award of the lot.
process. The estate of the deceased party
will continue to be properly represented in After trial on the merits, the respondent court
the suit through the duly appointed legal issued a decision in favor of the defendants.
representative. Moreover, no adjudication The Court rendered the judgment in favor of
can be made against the successor of the the defendants and against the plaintiff as
follows:
deceased if the fundamental right to a day in (1) declaring the conditional and the absolute
court is denied. A formal substitution by deeds of sale executed by the PHHC in favor of
heirs is not necessary when they themselves the plaintiff Adela Salindon as null and void;
voluntarily appear, participate in the case, and
and present evidence in defenseof the (2) ordering the PHHC to award the lot in
deceased. These actions negate any claim litigation to the defendant William Vasquez
and Erlinda Nicolas and, upon payment by
that the right to due process was violated.
said defendants of the total consideration
within 30 days from notice of this decision, to
Case records show that Respondent’s heirs execute the corresponding deed of absolute
voluntarily appeared and participated in sale in their favor.
the case after the CA had ordered for legal
representatives to appear and substitute for
Adela Salindon appealed then later on
him. As such, the Motion for Substitution died. After Salindon’s death, her heirs settled
may be deemed to have been granted; and her estate and the subject lot was transferred
the heirs, to have substituted for the with a new Transfer Certificate of Title to the
deceased respondent. As there was no petitioners.
violation of due process, the issue of
substitution cannot be upheld as Issue:
a ground to nullify the trial court’s
Decision.
Whether or not the death of Adela Salindon
extinguishes her civil personality.

Held:

(1) No. The supervening death of plaintiff-


appellant Salindon did not extinguish her civil
personality Section 17, Rule 3 of the Rules of
Court provides:
After a party dies and the claim is not thereby 1. The petitioner failed to
extinguished, the court shall order upon
proper notice, the legal representative of the
incorporate in his petition a
deceased to appear and to be substituted for written explanation why the
the deceased within a period of thirty (30) preferred mode of personal
days or within such time as may be granted. service and filing as prescribed
Section 16 of Rule 3 provides:
Whenever a party to a pending case dies, it
under Section 11, Rule 13 of
shall be the duty of his attorney to inform the the Revised Rules of Court
court promptly of such death and to give the was not availed of;
name and residence of the executor,
administrator, guardian or other legal 2. Copies of the pertinent and
representative of the deceased.
relevant pleadings and
documents, which are
The counsel after her death failed to inform necessary for proper resolution
the court of Salindon’s death. The appellate
court could not be expected to know or take of the case, were not attached
judicial notice of the death of Salindon to the petition, viz.:
without the proper manifestation from
Salindon’s counsel. In such a case and a. Complaint[;]
considering that the supervening death of
appellant did not extinguish her civil
personality, the appellate court was well b. Motion to Dismiss and
within its jurisdiction to proceed as it did with the corresponding
the case. Comment thereon;

c. Motion for
d. Regalado v. Regalado, G.R. No. Reconsideration of the
196919 June 6, 2011 MTC’s October 5, 2007
Order and the
respondents’ separate
G.R. No. 196919 June 6, Opposition thereto;
2011
d. Notice of
JOSE RAMILO O. Appeal/Appeal
REGALADO, Petitioner, Memorandum; [and]
vs.
CHAUCER B. REGALADO and e. Appellees’
GERARD R. Memorand[u]m
CUEVAS, Respondents.
3. It is not shown that the
RESOLUTION purported representative of
petitioner has the required
NACHURA, J.: authority to sign the verification
and certificate of non-forum
This is a Petition for Review on shopping in the latter’s behalf.3
Certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules
of Court, assailing the twin Petitioner sought reconsideration and
Resolutions dated September 24, asked for leniency in the application
20091 and October 15, 20102 of the of the Rules of Court. Attached in his
Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-G.R. motion were copies of the pleadings
CEB-SP UDK No. 0235, entitled pertinent and relevant to his petition.
"Hugo C. Regalado, represented by Petitioner asserted that he was
Jose Ramilo O. Regalado v. Chaucer authorized to sign the verification and
B. Regalado and Jose Gerard R. certification of non-forum shopping in
Cuevas." behalf of Hugo Regalado by virtue of
a Special Power of Attorney attached
The first assailed Resolution to the complaint filed together with
dismissed petitioner’s appeal on the the motion for reconsideration.4
following grounds:
Respondents opposed the motion
and manifested that Hugo Regalado
died on April 23, 2008, even before Petitioner argues that after the death
the challenged decision of the of Hugo Regalado, he did not lose
Regional Trial Court (RTC) was his right or interest over the case
rendered on May 15, 2008.5 since he is one of the compulsory
heirs. As such, he signed the petition
On December 15, 2009, Atty. Miguel before the CA, not as an agent of
B. Albar, counsel of Hugo Regalado, Hugo Regalado, but as a compulsory
furnished the CA with a notice of heir.
Hugo Regalado’s death on April 23,
2008, together with a list of the The petition is meritorious.
latter’s legal representatives.6
The action that led to the present
On October 15, 2010, the CA denied controversy was one for cancellation
the motion for reconsideration, ruling of title, which is a real action affecting
thus: as it does title to or possession of
real property. It is an action that
With the death of Hugo Regalado on survives or is not extinguished upon
April 23, 2008, the authority of Jose the death of a party, pursuant to
Ramilo O. Regalado to represent the Section 1, Rule 87 of the Rules of
former in this case had ceased Court.10
effective said date. Elemental is the
rule that one of the causes of the Section 16, Rule 3 lays down the
termination of an agency is the death procedure that must be observed
of the principal. Apparently, when the when a party dies in an action that
instant petition was filed on June 4, survives, viz.:
2008, Jose Ramilo O. Regalado had
no more authority to sign the SEC.16. Death of party; duty of
verification thereof in behalf of counsel. – Whenever a party to a
deceased petitioner Hugo Regalado. pending action dies, and the claim is
In effect, the petition was without not thereby extinguished, it shall be
proper verification. In the absence of the duty of his counsel to inform the
verification, the instant petition is court within thirty (30) days after
deemed as an unsigned pleading, such death of the fact thereof, and to
and, as such, it is considered as a give the name and address of his
mere scrap of paper and does not legal representative or
deserve the cognizance of this representatives. Failure of counsel to
Court.7 comply with this duty shall be a
ground for disciplinary action.
From this denial, petitioner is now
before this Court, seeking for the The heirs of the deceased may be
reversal of the CA’s issuances. allowed to be substituted for the
deceased, without requiring the
We shall first settle petitioner’s plea appointment of an executor or
that he be permitted to pursue this administrator and the court may
appeal as a pauper litigant. appoint a guardian ad litem for the
minor heirs.
Considering that petitioner was
allowed by the courts a quo to The court shall forthwith order said
prosecute his case as an indigent legal representative or
litigant and upon finding that he has representatives to appear and be
complied with the conditions set forth substituted within a period of thirty
by Section 19, Rule 141 of the Rules (30) days from notice.
of Court,8 the prayer is granted.9 The
Clerk of Court of the Second Division If no legal representative is named
is directed to assign a regular docket by the counsel for the deceased
number for this case, and the petition party, or if the one so named shall
is hereby given due course. fail to appear within the specified
period, the court may order the
opposing party, within a specified course of action set forth by the
time, to procure the appointment of rules, the CA adopted a myopic
an executor or administrator for the examination of the procedural facts
estate of the deceased and the latter of the case. It focused simply on the
shall immediately appear for and on validity of the Special Power of
behalf of the deceased. The court Attorney, and completely disregarded
charges in procuring such the notice of Hugo Regalado’s death.
appointment, if defrayed by the Indeed, nothing is more unfortunate
opposing party, may be recovered as in law than when a counsel’s
costs. remedial faux pas is improperly
addressed by a court.
The rule is intended to protect every
party's right to due process.11 The Petitioner and the other legal
estate of the deceased party will representatives of Hugo Regalado
continue to be properly represented were thus deprived of due process,
in the suit, through the duly and, as such, the CA issuances
appointed legal rendered against them were void.
representative.12 Moreover, no
adjudication can be made against the WHEREFORE, premises considered,
successor of the deceased if the the Clerk of Court is DIRECTED to
fundamental right to a day in court is ASSIGN a regular docket number to
denied.13 this case, and thereafter REMAND
the case to the Court of Appeals.
Hugo Regalado passed away on
April 23, 2008, but the notice of his The September 24, 2009 and
death was served to the CA by his October 15, 2010 Resolutions of the
counsel only on December 15, 2009. Court of Appeals are hereby
Although Hugo Regalado died as ANNULLED and SET ASIDE. The
early as the pendency of the Court of Appeals is hereby
proceedings before the RTC,14 the ORDERED (1) to substitute the legal
non-fulfillment of the requirement representatives of Hugo Regalado in
before said court is excusable since his place as petitioner in CA-G.R.
the RTC rendered a decision on May CEB-SP UDK No. 0235, and (2) to
15, 2008, or before the expiration of GIVE DUE COURSE to the appeal.
the 30-day period set by the rule.
For his unexplained negligence in
However, it should not have taken complying with the rules on
Atty. Miguel B. Albar twenty (20) substitution of a deceased party,
months before notifying the CA, Atty. Miguel B. Albar is hereby
when the same ought to have been REPRIMANDED with a WARNING
carried out at the time of the filing of that a repetition of the same or
their appeal. similar acts shall be dealt with more
severely. Let a copy of this
This notwithstanding, it was still error Resolution be FURNISHED the
for the CA to dismiss the Office of the Bar Confidant to be
appeal. After receiving the notice of
1âwphi1 attached to the personal records of
Hugo Regalado’s death, together Atty. Miguel B. Albar.
with a list of his representatives, it
was incumbent upon the appellate SO ORDERED.
court to order the latter’s appearance
and cause their substitution as
parties to the appeal. The belated
filing of the notice must not prejudice
the deceased party’s legal
representatives; the rules clearly
provide that it is a mere ground for a
disciplinary action against the erring
counsel. Instead of abiding by the
iii. Test to determine whether an BERSAMIN, J.:
action survives the death of a party
The petitioner directly appeals the order of January
a. Cruz v. Cruz, G.R. No. 173292 31, 20051 dismissing her complaint for reconveyance
September 1, 2010 and damages, and the order of April 7, 20052 denying
her motion for reconsideration,3 both issued by the
Regional Trial Court (RTC) in Iloilo City in Civil Case
No. 23499, contending that the dismissal was grossly
FACTS erroneous under the law and pertinent jurisprudence.

Memoracion Z. Cruz filed with the RTC a The antecedents follow.


Complaint against her son, Oswaldo Z. Cruz, for
On March 7, 1997, the Spouses Gilda Jardeleza and
“Annulment of Sale, Reconveyance and Dr. Ernesto Jardeleza, Sr. (Ernesto) commenced Civil
Damages.” After Memoracion finished Case No. 23499 against respondents Spouses
Melecio and Elizabeth Jardeleza, JMB Traders, Inc.,
presenting her evidence in chief, she died. The and Teodoro Jardeleza (Teodoro) respecting several
RTC was informed, albeit belatedly, of the death parcels of their conjugal lands. Civil Case No. 23499
was raffle d to Branch 33 of the RTC. On January 13,
of Memoracion, and was supplied with the 2004, during the pendency of Civil Case No. 23499,
name and address of her legal representative, Ernesto died. Hence, administration proceedings
(Special Proceedings No. 04-7705) were commenced
Edgardo Cruz. in the RTC (assigned to Branch 38), and Teodoro was
appointed as the administrator of the estate. The
ISSUE other heirs questioned the appointment in the Court of
Appeals (CA).
Whether or not Petition for Annulment of Deed
Meanwhile, Teodoro, in his capacity as the
of Sale, Reconveyance and Damages is a purely administrator, filed a motion to dismiss in Civil Case
personal action which did not survive the death No. 23499 on the ground that because Melecio, one
of the defendants, was also an heir of Ernesto, the
of petitioner. properties subject of the action for reconveyance
should be considered as "advances in the
inheritance," and, accordingly, the claim for
reconveyance should be heard in Special
Proceedings No. 04-7705 by Branch 38.
RULING
Branch 33 issued the first assailed order dated
NO. The question as to whether an action January 31, 2005 granting the motion to dismiss, viz.:
survives or not depends on the nature of the
action and the damage sued for. In the causes Considering that the Motion to Dismiss dated
December 15, 2004 carries with it the signature of all
of action which survive, the wrong complained parties and their respective counsels in the above-
[of] affects primarily and principally property entitled case, the prayer for the dismissal of the
complaint and the counterclaims in this case are
and property rights, the injuries to the person hereby granted.
being merely incidental, while in the causes of
SO ORDERED.4
action which do not survive, the injury
complained of is to the person, the property Gilda sought reconsideration, arguing that she had a
and rights of property affected being incidental. personal cause of action of her own distinct from that
of Ernesto; that she neither signed nor consented to
Here, the petition for annulment of deed of sale the dismissal of Civil Case No. 23499; and that
involves property and property rights, and Teodoro should have first sought the approval of
Branch 38 as the intestate court considering that the
hence, survives the death of petitioner estate could potentially recover properties belonging
Memoracion. to it.

On April 7, 2005, Branch 33 issued the second


assailed order denying Gilda’s motion for
b. Jardeleza v. Sps. Jardeleza, reconsideration. Hence, Gilda has directly appealed
G.R. No. 167975 June 17, 2015 the adverse rulings of the RTC.

Did Branch 33 err in dismissing Civil Case No.


23499?
G.R. No. 167975 June 17, 2015
Ruling of the Court
GILDA JARDELEZA, (DECEASED), SUBSTITUTED
BY HER HEIRS, NAMELY: ERNESTO ARDELEZA,
The appeal is meritorious.
JR., TEODORO MARIA JARDELEZA, ROLANDO L.
JARDELEZA, MA GLENDA JARDELEZA-UY, and
MELECIO GIL JARDELEZA, Petitioners, Firstly, although Branch 33 based its dismissal of Civil
vs. Case No. 23499 on the fact that the motion to
SPOUSES MELECIO and ELIZABETH dismiss5 filed by Teodoro, in his capacity as
JARDELEZA, JMB TRADERS, INC., and administrator, bore the signatures of all the parties
TEODORO JARDELEZA,Respondents. and their respective counsel, the records show that
the motion to dismiss carried only the conformity of
Teodoro. In addition to the cited ground being
DECISION obviously a misrepresentation, Teodoro’s conformity
to the dismissal would stand only for the intestate merits on the question of ownership of the affected
estate of Ernesto, and did not bind Gilda without properties, the dismissal should now be undone.
whose express conformity the dismissal of Civil Case
No. 23499 was ineffectual. Gilda’s express conformity WHEREFORE, the Court GRANTS the petition for
was not merely necessary but indispensable review on certiorari; REVERSES and SETS ASIDE
considering that the properties sought to be the assailed orders issued on January 31, 2005 and
reconveyed pertained to the conjugal partnership of April 7, 2005 in Civil Case No. 23499 by the Regional
Gilda and Ernesto. Trial Court, Branch 33, in Iloilo City; REINSTATES
Civil Case No. 23499; DIRECTS the Regional Trial
Secondly, Gilda correctly posits that the action for Court, Branch 33, in Iloilo City to continue the
reconveyance, which survived the intervening death proceedings in Civil Case No. 23499 with dispatch;
of Ernesto as co-plaintiff, should be maintained and ORDERS the respondents to pay the costs of
independently of Special Proceedings No. 04-7705. suit.
Indeed, whether an action survives or not depends on
its nature.6 In a cause of action that survives, the SO ORDERED.
wrong complained of primarily and principally affects
property and property rights, the injuries to the person
being merely incidental; in a cause of action that does
not survive, the injury complained of is to the person,
the property and rights of property affected being
incidental.7 This rule is applicable regardless of
whether it is the plaintiff or the defendant who dies, or iv. Actions that survive the decedent
whether the case is in the trial or in the appellate in relation to Rule 87:
courts.8 Verily, Civil Case No. 23499 survived the
death of Ernesto. a. Action to recover real or personal
property against the estate
Thirdly, the jurisdiction of the RT C as a probate court b. Actions to enforce liens thereon
relates only to matters having to do with the
settlement of the estate and probate of a will of a
c. Actions to recover for an injury to
deceased person, and does not extend t the person or property by reason of tort
determination of a question of ownership that arises or delict committed by the deceased
during the proceedings.9 This is true whether or not
the property is alleged to belong to the estate,10 unless
the claimants to the property are all heirs of the
deceased and they agree to submit the question for 16. Section 17 - Death or separation
determination by the probate or administration court of a party who is a public officer
and the interests of third parties are not
prejudiced;11 or unless the purpose is to determine
whether or not certain properties should be included
in the inventory, in which case the probate or i. Commissioner Rodriguez v.
administration court may decide prima facie the Jardin, G.R. No. 141834 July 30,
ownership of the property, but such de termination is
not final and is without prejudice to the right of 2007
interested parties to ventilate the question of
ownership in a proper action.12 Otherwise put, the
determination is provisional, not conclusive, and is
subject to the final decision in a separate action to G.R. No. 141834 July 30, 2007
resolve title by a court of competent jurisdiction.13
COMMISSIONER RUFUS B. RODRIGUEZ and
In this regard, it bears mentioning that Civil Case No. ASSOCIATE COMMISSIONER ALAN ROULLO YAP
23499 had been instituted in 1997 and was pending of the Bureau of Immigration, Petitioners,
trial before Branch 33 prior to the bringing of the vs.
probate proceedings in 2004. In dismissing Civil Case SAMUEL A. JARDIN,1 Respondent.
No. 23499, Branch 33 shirked from its responsibility to
decide the issue of ownership and to let the probate RESOLUTION
court decide the same. Branch 33 thereby did not
consider that any decision that Branch 38 as a
CORONA, J.:
probate court would render on the title and on
whether or not property should be included or
excluded from the inventory of the assets of the This petition for review on certiorari2 seeks to set
estate would at best be merely provisional in aside the decision of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-
character, and would yield to a final determination in a G.R. SP No. 544653 and its resolution denying
separate action. reconsideration.

Lastly, the comments of the heirs of Gilda, who had In the evening of May 8, 1999, Edgardo D. Cabrrera,
meanwhile also passed away, and Ernesto reveal that Gerardo R. Gorrospe and Dorotea T. Hiyas,
they had no longer any objection to the overturning of intelligence agents of the Bureau of Immigration (BI),
the dismissal. In his comment,14 Teodoro prayed that
1âwphi1
saw respondent Samuel A. Jardin, chief of the BI's
the dismissal be undone. Rolando Jardeleza’s own Law and Intelligence Division, with three unidentified
comment15 expressed his support for the petition of male companions, including a Japanese national who
Gilda to have the dismissal reversed so that the arrived on board a flight from Osaka, Japan, at the
properties allegedly donated to the respondents arrival area of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport
would be brought back to the estate of his late (NAIA). Cabrrera noticed that the Japanese national's
parents and be included in its final settlement. In her fifth finger on the left hand was missing. This aroused
comment16 and consolidated reply to his suspicion, mutilation being a common practice
comments,17 Glenda Jardeleza manifested her among members of the Yakuza.4 Hence, the BI
intention to substitute the late Gilda, her mother, and agents closely watched respondent and his
prayed that Civil Case No. 23499 be remanded to companions.
Branch 33 for further proceedings. With all the heirs of
Gilda and Ernesto having thus united to seek the After identifying the Japanese national as Mizutani
undoing of the dismissal in order to have a trial on the Ryoichiro, an alien declared undesirable in 1999 and
prohibited from entering the Philippines, 5 they adopts or continues or threatens to continue or adopt
immediately apprehended him and sent him back to the action of his predecessor. Before a substitution is
Japan pursuant to an exclusion order.6 made, the party or officer affected, unless expressly
assenting thereto, shall be given reasonable notice of
The following day, the BI agents filed a spot the application therefor and accorded an opportunity
report7 (relating the previous night's incident) with the to be heard. 1avv phil

chief of intelligence of the BI stationed in NAIA. Acting


immigration officer Jude C. Hinolan, in his On April 30, 2003, the Office of the Solicitor General
memorandum,8 confirmed the spot report and relayed (OSG) manifested that Andrea D. Domingo had
the service of the exclusion order on the airline and indeed been appointed the new immigration
the consequent deportation of Ryoichiro. commissioner replacing petitioner Rodriguez. The
OSG also stated that Commissioner Domingo was not
On May 14, 1999, petitioner Rufus Rodriguez, adopting the position of her predecessor, petitioner
immigration commissioner at that time, ordered Rodriguez.28
associate commissioner Ma. Luisa Ylagan-Cortez to
investigate the allegations contained in the spot report Despite serious misgivings, we agree with respondent
of the agents and Hinolan's but purely on technicality.
memorandum.9 Accordingly, Ylagan-Cortez ordered
respondent to file his sworn explanation.10 Well-settled is the rule that failure to make a
substitution pursuant to Section 17, Rule 3 of the
Respondent denied the allegations against him.11 He Rules of Court is a ground for the dismissal of an
averred that his relatives requested his assistance in action.29 For the valid substitution of a public officer
welcoming a niece's fiancé, Mizutani who has sued or has been sued in his or her official
Ryoichiro.12 Although he was aware that a Mizutani capacity, the following requisites must be satisfied:
Ryoichiro had been declared an undesirable alien, he
was informed that the blacklisted Ryoichiro was born 1. satisfactory proof by any party that there is
in 198813 while his niece told him that her fiancé was substantial need for continuing or
in his fifties.14 Furthermore, respondent reasoned that maintaining the action;
the accusations against Ryoichiro were unfounded
because neither a conviction nor a police report
linking Ryoichiro to the Yakuza was ever presented.15 2. the successor adopts or continues or
threatens to adopt or continue the acts of his
or her predecessor;
On June 4, 1999, Ylagan-Cortez, as acting
immigration commissioner,16 ordered the preventive
suspension of respondent for 90 days.17 The 3. the substitution must be effected within 30
administrative case against respondent was then days after the successor assumes office or
referred to petitioner Alan Roullo Yap, an associate within the time granted by the court; and,
commissioner at that time, for formal investigation and
reception of evidence.18 Respondent moved for the 4. notice of the application to the other party.
suspension of proceedings and reconsideration19 but
petitioner Yap denied his motion.20 Here, petitioner Rodriguez's successor categorically
expressed her lack of interest in pursuing this appeal,
On July 8, 1999, respondent sought the review of the hence, the failure to effect a substitution.
June 4, 1999 order by the Secretary of Justice.21
WHEREFORE, the petition is hereby DENIED.
Despite the lapse of his preventive suspension on
September 4, 1999 and pending the resolution of his No costs.
appeal with the Secretary of Justice, respondent filed
a special civil action for certiorari22 with the CA,
assailing the June 4, 1999 order. On November 19, SO ORDERED.
1999, the appellate court nullified the order and
directed petitioners to reinstate respondent to his
position.23 Petitioners' motion for reconsideration was
denied.24

On February 21, 2000, petitioners in their official 17. Section 18 - Incompetency or


capacities filed this appeal.25 They contended that the incapacity
CA erred in granting respondent's petition for
certiorari and in annulling the June 4, 1999 order. 26
18. Section 19 - Transfer of interest
On June 15, 2002, respondent moved to declare the
petition moot. He averred that petitioner Rodriguez
had in the meantime been replaced by Andrea D.
Domingo as immigration commissioner while
19. Section 20 - Action and
petitioner Yap had been appointed to the Office of the contractual money claims
Government Corporate Counsel.27 Despite the lapse
of 30 days, no substitution was effected pursuant to i. Claims which may be proceeded
Section 17, Rule 3 of the Rules of Court which against the estate:
provides: a. Funeral expenses
Sec. 17. Death or separation of a party who is a
b. Expenses for the last illness
public officer. — When a public officer is a party in an c. Judgment for money arising from
action in his official capacity and during its pendency a contract, whether express of
dies, resigns, or otherwise ceases to hold office, the
action may be continued and maintained by or against
implied
his successor if within thirty (30) days after the d. Damages (Rule 86, Sec. 5)
successor takes office or such time as may be
granted by the court, it is satisfactorily shown to the
court by any party that there is a substantial need for
continuing or maintaining it and that the successor
20. Section 21 - Indigent party 141, Section 16 and Rule 3, Section 21 on such
applications or should the court apply only Rule
i. Requirement to be allowed to sue 141, Section 16 and discard Rule 3, Section 21
as indigent as having been superseded by Rule 141,
Section 16 on Legal Fees.
a. Sps. Algura vs. Local
Government of Naga, G.R. No. The Court rules that Rule 3, Section 21 and Rule
150135 October 30, 2006 141, Section 16 (later amended as Rule 141,
Section 18 on March 1, 2000 and subsequently
amended by Rule 141, Section 19 on August 16,
Facts: 2003, which is now the present rule) are still
Spouses Antonio F. Algura and Lorencita S.J. valid and enforceable rules on indigent litigants.
Algura filed a Verified Complaint for damages
against the Naga City Government and its The Court opts to reconcile Rule 3, Section 21
officers, arising from the alleged illegal and Rule 141, Section 19 because it is a settled
demolition of their residence and boarding principle that when conflicts are seen between
house and for payment of lost income derived two provisions, all efforts must be made to
from fees paid by their boarders amounting to harmonize them. Hence, every statute [or rule]
PhP 7,000.00 monthly. must be so construed and harmonized with
Simultaneously, petitioners filed an Ex- other statutes [or rules] as to form a uniform
Parte Motion to Litigate as Indigent Litigants, to system of jurisprudence.
which petitioner Antonio Alguras pay showing a
gross monthly income of PhP 10,474.00 and a
net pay PhP 3,616.99.
Recapitulating the rules on indigent
litigants, therefore, if the applicant for
exemption meets the salary and
Finding that petitioners’ motion to litigate as property requirements under Section
indigent litigants was meritorious RTC granted 19 of Rule 141, then the grant of the
petitioners plea for exemption from filing fees.
application is mandatory. On the other
Meanwhile, as a result of respondent Naga City
hand, when the application does not
Governments demolition of a portion of satisfy one or both requirements, then
petitioners’ house, the Alguras allegedly lost a the application should not be denied
monthly income of PhP 7,000.00 from their outright; instead, the court should
boarders’ rentals. With the loss of the rentals,
the meager income from Lorencita Alguras sari-
apply the indigency test under Section
sari store and Antonio Alguras small take home 21 of Rule 3 and use its sound
pay became insufficient for the expenses of the discretion in determining the merits of
Algura spouses and their six (6) children for their the prayer for exemption.
basic needs including food, bills, clothes, and
schooling, among others.

Respondents filed a Motion to Disqualify the


Plaintiffs for Non-Payment of Filing Fees. They b. Acar v. Rosal, G.R. No. L-21707
asserted that in addition to the more than PhP March 18, 1967
3,000.00 net income of petitioner Antonio
Algura, who is a member of the Philippine
National Police, spouse Lorencita Algura also
had a mini-store and a computer shop on the G.R. No. L-21707 March 18, 1967
ground floor of their residence. Also,
respondents claimed that petitioners second FELIPE ACAR, ET AL., petitioners,
floor was used as their residence and as a vs.
boarding house, from which they earned more HON. INOCENCIO ROSAL, in his capacity as
than PhP 3,000.00 a month. In addition, it was Executive Judge, Court of First Instance of
claimed that petitioners derived additional Negros Oriental, 12th Judicial District, respondent.
income from their computer shop patronized by
students and from several boarders who paid F. S. Villarin for petitioners.
rentals to them. Hence, respondents concluded Jose B. Navarro for respondent.
that petitioners were not indigent litigants.
BENGZON J.P., J.:

Issue: Whether petitioners should be considered


All over the world, Constitutions share one purpose:
as indigent litigants who qualify for exemption to protect and enhance the people's interest, as a
from paying filing fees? nation collectively and as persons individually. The
Philippine Constitution is no exception. Interpretation
of its provisions, therefore, should be done with a
view to realizing this fundamental objective. Among
the provisions in our Constitution is one both, timely
Held: and far-reaching, as it affects the people at large and
The position of petitioners on the need to use relates to social justice problems of the day. It is
Rule 3, Section 21 on their application to litigate Subsec. 21, Sec. I of Art. III: "Free access to the
as indigent litigants brings to the fore the issue courts shall not be denied to any person by reason of
poverty." It is the one involved in this case.
on whether a trial court has to apply both Rule
A suit was filed in the Court of First Instance of Sixty per centum of the increased
Negros Oriental on February 21, 1963 by ten persons participation for the laborers and forty per
for their own behalf and that of 9,000 other farm centum for the planters. The distribution of
laborers working off and on in sugar cane plantations the share corresponding to the laborers shall
at the Bais milling district, Negros Oriental, against be made under the supervision of the
Compañia General de Tabacos de Filipinas, Central Department of Labor.
Azucarera de Bais, Compañia Celulosa de Filipinas,
Ramon Barata, Aurelio Montinola, Sr., and Miguel The benefits granted to laborers in sugar
Franco. Plaintiffs sought to recover their alleged plantations under this Act and in the
participations or shares amounting to the aggregate Minimum Wage Law shall not in any way be
sum of P14,031,836.74, in the sugar, molasses, diminished by such labor contracts known as
bagasse and other derivatives based on the "by the piece," "by the volume," "by the
provisions of Republic Act 809 (The Sugar Act of area," or by any other system of "pakyaw,"
1952), particularly Sections 1 and 9 thereof: the Secretary of Labor being hereby
authorized to issue the necessary orders for
SECTION 1. In the absence of written milling the enforcement of this provision."
agreements between the majority of planters
and the millers of sugarcane in any milling Furthermore, plaintiffs asked thereunder as well as by
district in the Philippines, the unrefined sugar separate motion, that the aforementioned court
produced in that district from the milling by authorize them to sue as pauper litigants, under Sec.
any sugar central of the sugar-cane of any 22, Rule 3 of the Rules of Court:
sugar-cane planter or plantation owner, as
well as all by-products and derivatives
thereof, shall be divided between them as SEC. 22. Pauper litigant. — Any court may
follows: authorize a litigant to prosecute his action or
defense as a pauper upon a proper showing
that he has no means to that effect by
Sixty per centum for the planter, and forty affidavits, certificate of the corresponding
per centum for the central in any milling provincial, city or municipal treasurer, or
district the maximum actual production of otherwise. Such authority once given shall
which is not more than four hundred include an exemption from payment of legal
thousand piculs: Provided, That the fees and from filing appeal bond, printed
provisions of this section shall not apply to record and printed brief. The legal fees shall
sugar centrals with an actual production of be a lien to any judgment rendered in the
less than one hundred fifty thousand piculs; case favorably to the pauper, unless the
court otherwise provides.
Sixty-two and one-half per centum for the
planter, and thirty-seven and one-half per invoking Sec. 1, subsec. (21) of Art. III of the
centum for the central in any milling district Constitution of the Philippines. They alleged
the maximum actual production of which that they had no means, to pay the docket
exceeds four hundred thousand piculs but fee of P14,500.00, being laborers dependent
does not exceed six hundred thousand solely on their daily wages for livehood and
piculs; possessed of no properties. And in support
of the foregoing, the ten named plaintiffs
Sixty-five per centum for the planter, and submitted certificates of the municipal
thirty-five per centum for the central in any treasurers of their places of residence stating
milling district the maximum actual that they have no real property declared in
production of which exceeds six hundred their names in said municipalities.
thousand piculs but does not exceed nine
hundred thousand piculs; Acting on the petition to litigate in forma pauperis, the
Court of First Instance issued an order on May 27,
Sixty-seven and one-half per centum for the 1963, denying the same upon the ground that the
planter, and thirty-two and one-half per plaintiffs have regular employment and sources of
centum for the central in any milling district income and, thus, can not be classified as poor or
the maximum actual production of which paupers.
exceeds nine hundred thousand piculs but
does not exceed one million two hundred Plaintiffs sought reconsideration of said order but
thousand piculs; reconsideration was denied in an order dated June
11, 1963. Assailing said two CFI orders and asserting
Seventy per centum for the planter, and their alleged right not to be denied free access to the
thirty per centum for the central in any milling courts by reason of poverty, plaintiffs in said case filed
district the maximum actual production of herein, on August 1, 1963, the present special civil
which exceeds one million two hundred action or certiorari and mandamus. Petition to litigate
thousand piculs. 1äwphï1.ñët as pauper in the instant case before Us was also filed.
And on August 16, 1963, We allowed petitioners
By actual production is meant the total herein to litigate in this Court as paupers and required
production of the mill for the crop year respondent to answer. Respondent's answer was filed
immediately preceding. on November 2, 1963. After hearing on February 10,
1964 this case was submitted for decision.
xxx xxx xxx
The sole issue herein is whether petitioners were
deprived, by the orders in question, of free access to
SEC. 9. In addition to the benefits granted by the courts by reason of poverty. In denying petitioners'
the Minimum Wage Law, the proceeds of motion to litigate as paupers, respondent Judge
any increase in the participation granted the adopted the definition at "pauper" in Black's Law
planters under this Act and above their Dictionary (at p. 1284) as "a person so poor that he
present share shall be divided between the must be supported at public expense". And, as afore-
planter and his laborers in the plantation in stated, he ruled that petitioners are not that poor.
the following proportion:
Such interpretation, to our mind, does not fit with the
purpose of the rules on suits in forma pauperis and
the provision of the Constitution, in the Bill of Rights, petitioners' favor, as plaintiffs in the suit before
that: "Free access to the courts shall not be denied to respondent Judge, the right not to be denied free
any person by reason of poverty." As applied to access to the courts by reason of poverty. Since they
statutes or provisions on the right to sue in forma were excluded from the use and enjoyment of said
pauperis, the term has a broader meaning. It has thus right, mandamus lies to enforce it. Appeal was
been recognized that: "An applicant for leave to sue in unavailing, since they were not even accorded the
forma pauperis need not be a pauper; the fact that he status of litigants, for non-payment of docket fee; and
is able-bodied and may earn the necessary money is perfecting an appeal would have presented the same
no answer to his statement that he has not sufficient question of exemption from legal fees, appeal bond
means to prosecute the action or to secure the costs" and similar requisites.
(14 Am. Jur. 31). It suffices that plaintiff
is indigent (Ibid.), the not a public charge. And the Wherefore, petitioners are declared entitled to litigate
difference between "paupers" and "indigent" persons as paupers in their class suit before respondent
is that the latter are "persons who have no property or Judge and the latter is hereby ordered to grant their
source of income sufficient for their support aside petition to litigate in forma pauperis. No costs. So
from their own labor, though self-supporting when ordered.
able to work and in employment" (Black's Law
Dictionary, p. 913, "Indigent", citing People vs.
Schoharie County, 121 NY 345, 24 NE 830). It is
therefore in this sense of being indigent that "pauper"
is taken when referring to suits in forma pauperis.
Black's Law Dictionary in fact defines pauper, thus: "A
person so poor that he must be supported at public
expense; also a suitor who, on account of poverty, is
allowed to sue or defend without being chargeable
with costs" (p. 1284, emphasis supplied). 21. Section 22 - Notice to the
Solicitor General
It is further argued that the docket fee of P14,500
would very well be shouldered by petitioners since i. Cooperative Development
there are around 9,000 of them. It must be
remembered, however that the action in question was
Authority v. Dolefil Agrarian
filed by way of a class suit. And the Rules of Court Reform Beneficiaries Coop., G.R.
allowing such procedure state under Sec. 12, Rule 3: No. 137489 May 29, 2002
SEC. 12. Class suit. — When the subject
matter of the controversy is one of common
or general interest to many persons, and the
parties are so numerous that it is
G.R. No. 137489 May 29,
impracticable to bring them all before the 2002
court, one or more may sue or defend for the
benefit of all. But in such case the court shall
make sure that the parties actually before it COOPERATIVE DEVELOPMENT
are sufficiently numerous and representative AUTHORITY, petitioner,
so that all interest concerned are fully
protected. Any party in interest shall have a vs.
right to intervene in protection of his DOLEFIL AGRARIAN REFORM
individual interest.
BENEFICIARIES COOPERATIVE,
So that in the suit before respondent Judge the ten INC., ESMERALDO A. DUBLIN,
named petitioners herein are the ones suing, albeit for ALICIA SAVAREZ, EDNA URETA,
the benefit of all the others. It follows that the payment
of docket fee would be directly charged upon them,
ET AL., respondents.
not upon the unnamed "9,000 other laborers." And
even if the 9,000 other laborers should later bear the DE LEON, JR., J.:
payment of said docket fee of P14,500, the same
would be spread among them at about P1.60 each.
Said cost of pressing their respective average At the core of the instant petition for
demand of P1.60 each is, to Our mind, a substantial
imposition on a seasonal farm laborer earning barely review on certiorari of the
subsistent wages. And as pointed out, this is only the Decision1 of the Court of Appeals,
initial fee; subsequent fees and charges would have
to be paid. The philosophy underlying the
13th Division, in CA-G.R. SP. No.
constitutional mandate of free access to the courts 47933 promulgated on September 9,
notwithstanding poverty, therefore, calls for exemption 1998 and its Resolution2 dated
of herein petitioners from payment of the aforesaid
legal fees in their assertion and claim of substantial February 9, 1999 is the issue of
rights under the Sugar Act of 1952. whether or not petitioner Cooperative
Returning to the purpose of all Constitutions, as
Development Authority (CDA for
mentioned earlier, We find this course the most brevity) is vested with quasi-judicial
sensible, logical and practical construction demanded authority to adjudicate intra-
by the free access clause of the Constitution. For a
contrary interpretation could not make said provision cooperative disputes.
the living reality that it is designed to be.
The record shows that sometime in
As regards the fact that the supporting certifications of
indigence refer only to the ten named plaintiffs, suffice the later part of 1997, the CDA
it to reiterate that this involves a class suit, where it is received from certain members of the
not practicable to bring all the other 9,000 laborers
before the court. This Court finds the supporting
Dolefil Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries
evidence of indigence adequate, showing in Cooperative, Inc. (DARBCI for
brevity), an agrarian reform paving the way for the newly-created
cooperative that owns 8,860 management committee7 to assume
hectares of land in Polomolok, South office on March 10, 1998.
Cotabato, several complaints
alleging mismanagement and/or On March 27, 1998, the RTC of
misappropriation of funds of DARBCI Polomolok, South Cotabato, Branch
by the then incumbent officers and 39, issued a temporary restraining
members of the board of directors of order8(TRO), initially for seventy-two
the cooperative, some of whom are (72) hours and subsequently
herein private respondents. extended to twenty (20) days, in an
Order dated March 31, 1998. The
Acting on the complaints docketed as temporary restraining order, in effect,
CDA-CO Case No. 97-011, CDA directed the parties to restore status
Executive Director Candelario L. quo ante, thereby enabling the
Verzosa, Jr. issued an order3 dated private respondents to reassume the
December 8, 1997 directing the management of DARBCI.
private respondents to file their
answer within ten (10) days from The CDA questioned the propriety of
receipt thereof. the temporary restraining order
issued by the RTC of Polomolok,
Before the private respondents could South Cotabato on March 27, 1998
file their answer, however, CDA through a petition for certiorari before
Administrator Alberto P. Zingapan the Court of Appeals, 12th Division,
issued on December 15, 1997 an which was docketed as CA-G.R. SP
order,4 upon the motion of the No. 47318.
complainants in CDA-CO Case No.
97-011, freezing the funds of On April 21, 1998, the Court of
DARBCI and creating a management Appeals, 12th Division, issued a
committee to manage the affairs of temporary restraining order9 in CA-
the said cooperative. G.R. SP No. 47318 enjoining the
RTC of Polomolok, South Cotabato,
On December 18, 1991, the private Branch 39, from enforcing the
respondents filed a Petition for restraining order which the latter
Certiorari5 with a prayer for court issued on March 27, 1998, and
preliminary injunction, damages and ordered that the proceedings in SP
attorney’s fees against the CDA and Civil Case No. 25 be held in
its officers namely: Candelario L. abeyance. 1âw phi1.nêt

Verzosa, Jr. and Alberto P.


Zingapan, including the DOLE Consequently, the CDA continued
Philippines Inc. before the Regional with the proceedings in CDA-CO
Trial Court (RTC for brevity) of Case No. 97-011. On May 26, 1998
Polomolok, South Cotabato, Branch CDA Administrator Arcadio S.
39. The petition which was docketed Lozada issued a resolution10 which
as SP Civil Case No. 25, primarily directed the holding of a special
questioned the jurisdiction of the general assembly of the members of
CDA to resolve the complaints DARBCI and the creation of an ad
against the private respondents, hoc election committee to supervise
specifically with respect to the the election of officers and members
authority of the CDA to issue the of the board of directors of DARBCI
"freeze order" and to create a scheduled on June 14, 1998.
management committee that would
run the affairs of DARBCI. The said resolution of the CDA,
issued on May 26, 1998 prompted
On February 24, 1998, CDA the private respondents to file on
Chairman Jose C. Medina, Jr. issued June 8, 1998 a Petition for
an order6 in CDA-CO Case No. 97- Prohibition11 with a prayer for
011 placing the private respondents preliminary mandatory injunction and
under preventive suspension, hence, temporary restraining order with the
Court of Appeals, 13th Division, which convened a general assembly and
was docketed as CA-G.R. SP No. held an election of the members of
47933. On June 10, 1998, the the board of directors and officers of
appellate court issued a the cooperative, thereby effectively
resolution12 restraining the CDA and replacing the private respondents.
its administrator, Arcadio S. Lozada, Hence, the private respondents filed
the three (3) members of the ad a Twin Motions for Contempt of
hoc election committee or any and all Court and to Nullify
persons acting in their behalf from Proceedings15 with the Court of
proceeding with the election of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 47933.
officers and members of the board of
directors of DARBCI scheduled on On September 9, 1998 the Court of
June 14, 1998. Appeals, 13th Division, promulgated
its subject appealed
Incidentally, on the same date that Decision16 granting the petition in CA-
the Court of Appeals issued a G.R. SP No. 47933, the dispositive
temporary restraining order in CA- portion of which reads:
G.R. SP No. 47933 on June 10,
1998, a corporation by the name of Wherefore, the foregoing
Investa Land Corporation (Investa for considered, the Petition is
brevity) which allegedly executed a hereby GRANTED. The Orders
"Lease Agreement with Joint of the respondent Cooperative
Venture" with DARBCI filed a Development Authority in
petition13 with the RTC of Polomolok, CDA-CO case No. 97-011
South Cotabato, Branch 39, dated 08 December 1997, 15
docketed as SP Civil Case No. 28, December 1997, 26 January
essentially seeking the annulment of 1998, 24 February 1998, 03
orders and resolutions issued by the March 1998, and the
CDA in CDA-CO Case No. 97-011 Resolution dated 26 May 1998,
with a prayer for temporary are hereby declared NULL
restraining order and preliminary AND VOID and of no legal
injunction. On the following day, June force and effect.
11, 1998, the trial court issued a
temporary restraining Further, the respondents are
order14enjoining the respondents hereby ORDERED to
therein from proceeding with the perpetually CEASE AND
scheduled special general assembly DESIST from taking any
and the elections of officers and further proceedings in CDA-
members of the board of directors of CO Case No. 97-011.
DARBCI on June 14, 1998.
Thereafter, it also issued a writ of Lastly, the respondent CDA is
preliminary injunction. hereby ORDERED to
REINSTATE the Board of
With the issuance of the two (2) Directors of DARBCI who were
restraining orders by the Court of ousted by virtue of the
Appeals, 13th Division, and the RTC questioned Orders, and to
of Polomolok, South Cotabato, RESTORE the status quo prior
Branch 39, on June 10 and 11, 1998, to the filing of CDA-CO Case
respectively, the scheduled special No. 97-011.
general assembly and the election of
officers and members of the board of SO ORDERED.
directors of DARBCI on June 14,
1998 did not take place. The CDA filed a motion for
reconsideration17 of the Decision in
Nevertheless, on July 12, 1998, the CA-G.R. SP No. 47933 but it was
majority of the 7,511 members of denied by the Court of Appeals in its
DARBCI, on their own initiative, assailed Resolution18 dated February
9, 1999, thus:
WHEREFORE, the Motion for I
Reconsideration is hereby
DENIED for being patently THE HONORABLE COURT
without merit. OF APPEALS, IN
NULLIFYING THE ORDERS
MOREOVER, acting on AND RESOLUTIONS OF THE
petitioners’ Twin Motion, and in COOPERATIVE
view of the Decision in this DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY
case dated 09, September IN CDA CO CASE NO. 97-
1998, the tenor of which gives 011, DECIDED A QUESTION
it legal effect nunc pro tunc. OF SUBSTANCE THAT IS
We therefore hold the 12 July NOT IN ACCORD WITH LAW
1998 election of officers, the AND APPLICABLE
resolutions passed during the DECISIONS OF THE
said assembly, and the SUPREME COURT.
subsequent oath-taking of the
officers elected therein, and all II
actions taken during the said
meeting, being in blatant THE HONORABLE COURT
defiance of a valid restraining OF APPEALS ERRED IN NOT
order issued by this Court, to APPLYING THE RULE ON
be NULL AND VOID AB FORUM-SHOPPING.
INITIO AND OF NO LEGAL
FORCE AND EFFECT. III

FURTHERMORE, the private THE HONORABLE COURT


respondents are hereby given OF APPEALS ERRED IN
thirty (30) days from receipt of RENDERING A DECISION ON
this Resolution within which to THE BASIS OF PURE
explain in writing why they CONJECTURES AND
should not be held in contempt SURMISES AND HAS
of this Court for having openly DEPARTED FROM THE
defied the restraining order ACCEPTED AND USUAL
dated 10 July 1998. The Hon. COURSE OF JUDICIAL
Jose C. Medina of the CDA is PROCEEDINGS WHICH CALL
given a like period to explain in FOR AN EXERCISE OF THIS
writing why he should not be HONORABLE COURT’S
cited in contempt for having SUPERVISION.
administered the oath of the
"Board of Officers" pending the Petitioner CDA claims that it is
effectivity of the restraining vested with quasi-judicial authority to
order. The respondent Arcadio adjudicate cooperative disputes in
S. Lozada, Administrator of the view of its powers, functions and
CDA, is likewise given the responsibilities under Section 3 of
same period to explain why he Republic Act No. 6939.20 The quasi-
should not be held in contempt judicial nature of its powers and
for issuing a resolution on 21 functions was confirmed by the
July 1998 validating the Department of Justice, through the
proceedings of the assembly, then Acting Secretary of Justice
and another resolution on 28 Demetrio G. Demetria, in DOJ
August 1998 confirming the Opinion No. 10, Series of 1995,
election of the officers thereof. which was issued in response to a
query of the then Chairman Edna E.
SO ORDERED. Aberina of the CDA, to wit:

Hence, the instant petition19 for Applying the foregoing, the


review which raises the following express powers of the CDA to
assignments of error: cancel certificates of
registration of cooperatives for inquiry with a fine or
non-compliance with imprisonment prescribed
administrative requirements or therein, a power usually
in cases of voluntary granted to make effective the
dissolution under Section 3(g), exercise of quasi-judicial
and to mandate and conciliate functions.21
disputes within a cooperative
or between cooperatives under Likewise, the Office of the President,
Section 8 of R.A. No. 6939, through the then Deputy Executive
may be deemed quasi-judicial Secretary, Hon. Leonardo A.
in nature. Quisumbing, espoused the same
view in the case of Alberto Ang, et al.
The reason is that – in the v. The Board of Directors, Metro
performance of its functions Valenzuela Transport Services
such as cancellation of Cooperative, Inc., O.P. Case No.
certificate of registration, it is 51111, when it declared and ruled
necessary to establish non- that:
compliance or violation of
administrative requirement. To Concededly, Section 3(o) of
do so, there arises an R.A. No. 6939 and Article
indispensable need to hold 35(4) of R.A. 6938, may not be
hearings, investigate or relied upon by the CDA as
ascertain facts that possibly authority to resolve internal
constitute non-compliance or conflicts of cooperatives, they
violation and, based on the being general provisions.
facts investigated or Nevertheless, this does not
ascertained, it becomes preclude the CDA from
incumbent upon the CDA to resolving the instant case. The
use its official discretion assumption of jurisdiction by
whether or not to cancel a the CDA on matters which
cooperative’s certificate of partake of cooperative
registration, thus, clearly disputes is a logical, necessary
revealing the quasi-judicial and direct consequence of its
nature of the said function. authority to register
When the CDA acts as a cooperatives. Before a
conciliatory body pursuant to cooperative can acquire
Section 8 of R.A. No. 6939, it juridical personality,
in effect performs the functions registration thereof is a
of an arbitrator. Arbitrators are condition sine qua non, and
by the nature of their functions until and unless the CDA
act in quasi-judicial capacity issues a certificate of
xxx. registration under its official
seal, any cooperative for that
The quasi-judicial nature of the matter cannot be considered
foregoing functions is bolstered as having been legally
by the provisions of Sections constituted. To our mind, the
3(o) of R.A. No. 6939 which grant of this power impliedly
grants CDA on (sic) the carries with it the visitorial
exercise of other functions as power to entertain cooperative
may be necessary to conflicts, a lesser power
implement the provisions of compared to its authority to
cooperative laws, the power to cancel registration certificates
summarily punish for direct when, in its opinion, the
contempt any person guilty of cooperative fails to comply with
misconduct in the presence some administrative
thereof who seriously requirements (Sec. 2(g), R.A.
interrupts any hearing or No. 6939). Evidently,
respondents-appellants’ claim that private respondents originally
that the CDA is limited to filed a petition with a prayer for
conciliation and mediation preliminary injunction dated
proceedings is bereft of legal December 17, 1997 before the RTC
basis. Simply stated, the CDA, of Polomolok, South Cotabato which
in the exercise of ‘such other was docketed as SP Civil Case No.
function’ and in keeping with 25. Subsequently, the same private
the mandate of the law, could respondents filed another petition
render the decisions and/or with a prayer for preliminary
resolutions as long as they injunction with the Court of Appeals,
pertain to the internal affairs of 13th Division, docketed as CA-G.R.
the public service cooperative, SP No. 47933. Thereafter, Investa,
such as the rights and also represented by the same
privileges of its members, the counsel of private respondents, Atty.
rules and procedures for Reni Dublin, filed another case with
meetings of the general the RTC of Polomolok, South
assembly, Board of Directors Cotabato, docketed as SP Civil Case
and committees, election and No. 28, likewise praying, among
qualifications of officers, others, for the issuance of
directors and committee preliminary injunction and an
members, and allocation and application for a temporary
distribution of surpluses.22 restraining order. In effect, petitioner
was confronted with three (3) TRO’s
The petitioner avers that when an issued in three (3) separate actions
administrative agency is conferred enjoining it from enforcing its orders
with quasi-judicial powers and and resolutions in CDA-CO Case No.
functions, such as the CDA, all 97-011.
controversies relating to the subject
matter pertaining to its specialization In their Comment,24 private
are deemed to be covered within the respondents contend that the instant
jurisdiction of said administrative petition for review on certiorari filed
agency. The courts will not interfere by CDA Administrator Alberto
in matters which are addressed to Zingapan should be dismissed and
the sound discretion of government struck down as a mere scrap of
agencies entrusted with the paper for lack of authority to file the
regulation of activities undertaken same from the Office of the Solicitor
upon their special technical General and for having been filed
knowledge and training. without approval from the Board of
Administrators of CDA.
The petitioner added that the
decision in the case of CANORECO The private respondents also
v. Hon. Ruben D. Torres,23 affirmed contend that, contrary to the claim of
the adjudicatory powers and the petitioner, the powers, functions
functions of CDA contrary to the view and responsibilities of the CDA show
held by the Court of Appeals, when that it was merely granted regulatory
the Supreme Court upheld therein or supervisory powers over
the ruling of the CDA annulling the cooperatives in addition to its
election of therein respondents authority to mediate and conciliate
Norberto Ochoa, et al. as officers of between parties involving the
the Camarines Norte Electric settlement of cooperative disputes.
Cooperative.
Private respondents denied that they
Petitioner CDA also claims that are guilty of forum-shopping. They
herein private respondents are guilty clarified that the case filed with the
of forum-shopping by filing cases in RTC of Polomolok, South Cotabato,
three (3) different fora seeking the Branch 39, docketed as SP Civil
same relief. Petitioner pointed out Case No. 25, was a petition
for certiorari. On the other hand, the instant petition which was granted by
case that they filed with the Court of this Court per its Resolution dated
Appeals, 13th Division, docketed July 7, 1999.28 In the same
therein as CA-G.R. SP No. 47933, resolution, this Court required both
was a petition for prohibition to stop petitioner CDA and the private
the holding of a special general respondents in this case to file their
assembly and the election of a new respective comments to the petition-
set of DARBCI officers on June 14, in-intervention within ten (10) days
1998 as ordered by the petitioner from notice, but both parties failed to
CDA on May 26, 1998, which events comply to do so up to the present.
have not yet occurred at the time the
petition for certiorari was filed by the We note that the instant petition for
private respondents with the RTC of review on certiorari suffers from a
Polomolok, South Cotabato, Branch basic infirmity for lack of the requisite
39. imprimatur from the Office of the
Solicitor General, hence, it is
Private respondents also denied that dismissible on that ground. The
the filing by Investa of the petition for general rule is that only the Solicitor
the declaration of nullity of the orders General can bring or defend actions
and resolutions of petitioner CDA, on behalf of the Republic of the
with a prayer for temporary Philippines and that actions filed in
restraining order with the RTC of the name of the Republic, or its
Polomolok, South Cotabato, agencies and instrumentalities for
docketed therein as SP Civil Case that matter, if not initiated by the
No. 28, constituted forum-shopping Solicitor General, will be summarily
on their part. They pointed out that dismissed.29
Investa has a separate juridical
personality from DARBCI and that, The authority of the Office of the
contrary to the claim of petitioner Solicitor General to represent the
CDA, the former is not represented Republic of the Philippines, its
by the lawyer of the private agencies and instrumentalities, is
respondents. embodied under Section 35(1),
Chapter 12, Title III, Book IV of the
By way of reply,25 petitioner claims Administrative Code of 1987 which
that Atty. Rogelio P. Madriaga was provides that:
properly deputized, among other
lawyers, as Special Attorney by the SEC. 35. Powers and
Office of the Solicitor General to Functions.—The Office of the
represent the CDA in the instant Solicitor General shall
petition pursuant to the letter26 of represent the Government of
Assistant Solicitor General Carlos N. the Philippines, its agencies
Ortega addressed to CDA Chairman and instrumentalities and its
Jose C. Medina, Jr. dated April 8, officials and agents in any
1999. Likewise, the filing of the litigation, proceeding,
instant petition was an official act of investigation or matter
CDA Administrator Alberto P. requiring the services of
Zingapan who was duly appointed by lawyers. When authorized by
the CDA Board of Administrators as the President or head of the
chairman of the Oversight Committee office concerned, it shall also
on Legal Matters per Resolution No. represent government owned
201, S-1998.27 or controlled corporations. The
Office of the Solicitor General
Meanwhile, on March 26, 1999, shall constitute the law office of
certain persons alleging to be the Government and, as such,
incumbent officers and members of shall discharge duties requiring
the board of directors of DARBCI the services of lawyers. It shall
filed a motion to intervene in the
have the following specific General well applies to the
powers and functions: Solicitor General under the
facts of the present case. The
(1) Represent the Court then declared:
Government in the
Supreme Court and the In this jurisdiction, it is
Court of Appeals in all the duty of the Attorney
criminal proceedings; General ‘to perform the
represent the duties imposed upon
Government and its him by law’ and ‘he shall
officers in the Supreme prosecute all causes,
Court, Court of Appeals, civil and criminal, to
and all other courts or which the Government
tribunals in all civil of the Philippine Islands,
actions and special or any officer thereof, in
proceedings in which the his official capacity, is a
Government or any party’ xxx.
officer thereof in his
official capacity is a xxx xxx xxx
party.
The Court is firmly convinced
The import of the above-quoted that considering the spirit and
provision of the Administrative Code the letter of the law, there can
of 1987 is to impose upon the Office be no other logical
of the Solicitor General the duty to interpretation of Sec. 35 of the
appear as counsel for the Administrative Code than that
Government, its agencies and it is, indeed, mandatory upon
instrumentalites and its officials and the OSG to "represent the
agents before the Supreme Court, Government of the Philippines,
the Court of Appeals, and all other its agencies and
courts and tribunals in any litigation, instrumentalities and its
proceeding, investigation or matter officials and agents in any
requiring the services of a lawyer. Its litigation, proceeding,
mandatory character was investigation or matter
emphasized by this Court in the case requiring the services of a
of Gonzales v. Chavez,30 thus: lawyer."

It is patent that the intent of the As an exception to the general rule,


lawmaker was to give the the Solicitor General, in providing
designated official, the Solicitor legal representation for the
General, in this case, the government, is empowered under
unequivocal mandate to Section 35(8), Chapter 12, Title III,
appear for the government in Book IV of the Administrative Code
legal proceedings. Spread out of 1987 to "deputize legal officers of
in the laws creating the office government departments, bureaus,
is the discernible intent which agencies and offices to assist the
may be gathered from the term Solicitor General and appear or
"shall", which is invariably represent the Government in cases
employed, from Act No. 136 involving their respective offices,
(1901) to the more recent brought before the courts and
Executive Order No. 292 exercise supervision and control over
(1987). such legal officers with respect to
such cases."
xxx xxx xxx
Petitioner claims that its counsel of
The decision of this Court as record, Atty. Rogelio P. Madriaga,
early as 1910 with respect to was deputized by the Solicitor
the duties of the Attorney- General to represent the CDA in the
instant petition. To prove its claim, Nonetheless, in view of the novelty of
the petitioner attached to its Reply to the main issue raised in this petition
the Comment dated January 31, concerning the nature and scope of
2000, a photocopy of the alleged jurisdiction of the CDA in the
deputation letter31 from the Office of settlement of cooperative disputes as
the Solicitor General signed by Hon. well as the long standing legal battle
Carlos N. Ortega, Assistant Solicitor involving the management of
General, addressed to CDA DARBCI between two (2) opposing
Chairman Jose C. Medina, Jr. factions that inevitably threatens the
very existence of one of the country’s
A close scrutiny of the alleged major cooperatives, this Court has
deputation letter from the Office of decided to act on and determine the
the Solicitor General shows, merits of the instant petition.
however, that said counsel for the
petitioner was only "authorized to Section 3 of R.A. No. 6939
appear as counsel in all civil cases in enumerates the powers, functions
the lower courts (RTCs and MTCs) and responsibilities of the CDA, thus:
wherein the CDA is a party-litigant".
Likewise, the same letter appears to SEC. 3. Powers, Functions
be dated April 8, 1999 while the and Responsibilities.—The
Petition for Review on Certiorari filed Authority shall have the
by the petitioner was dated February following powers, functions
26, 1999. Clearly then, when the and responsibilities:
petition was filed with this Court on
March 3, 1999, Atty. Rogelio P. (a) Formulate, adopt and
Madriaga was not yet deputized by implement integrated and
the Office of the Solicitor General to comprehensive plans and
represent the CDA. programs on cooperative
development consistent with
Even on the assumption that the the national policy on
alleged letter from the Office of the cooperatives and the overall
Solicitor General was intended to socio-economic development
validate or ratify the authority of plan of the Government;
counsel to represent the petitioner in
this case, the same contains certain (b) Develop and conduct
conditions, one of which is that management and training
petitioner "shall submit to the programs upon request of
Solicitor General, cooperatives that will provide
for review, approval and signature, members of cooperatives with
all important pleadings and motions, the entrepreneurial
including motions to withdraw capabilities, managerial
complaints or appeals, as well as expertise, and technical skills
compromise agreements." required for the efficient
Significantly, one of the major operation of their cooperatives
pleadings filed subsequently by the and inculcate in them the true
petitioner in this case namely, the spirit of cooperativism and
Reply to the Respondent’s Comment provide, when necessary,
on the Petition dated January 31, technical and professional
2000, does not have any indication assistance to ensure the
that the same was previously viability and growth of
submitted to the Office of the cooperatives with special
Solicitor General for review or concern for agrarian reform,
approval, much less bear the fishery and economically
requisite signature of the Solicitor depressed sectors;
General as required in the alleged
deputation letter. (c) Support the voluntary
organization and consensual
development of activities that
promote cooperative (j) Impose and collect
movements and provide reasonable fees and charges
assistance to wards upgrading in connection with the
managerial and technical registration of cooperatives;
expertise upon request of the
cooperatives concerned; (k) Administer all grants and
donations coursed through the
(d) Coordinate the effects of Government for cooperative
the local government units and development, without prejudice
the private sector in the to the right of cooperatives to
promotion, organization, and directly receive and administer
development of cooperatives; such grants and donations
upon agreement with the
(e) Register all cooperatives grantors and donors thereof;
and their federations and
unions, including their division, (l) Formulate and adopt
merger, consolidation, continuing policy initiatives
dissolution or liquidation. It consultation with the
shall also register the transfer cooperative sector through
of all or substantially all of their public hearing;
assets and liabilities and such
other matters as may be (m) Adopt rules and
required by the Authority; regulations for the conduct of
its internal operations;
(f) Require all cooperatives,
their federations and unions to (n) Submit an annual report to
submit their annual financial the President and Congress on
statements, duly audited by the state of the cooperative
certified public accountants, movement;
and general information
sheets; (o) Exercise such other
functions as may be necessary
(g) Order the cancellation after to implement the provisions of
due notice and hearing of the the cooperative laws and, in
cooperative’s certificate of the performance thereof, the
registration for non-compliance Authority may summarily
with administrative punish for direct contempt any
requirements and in cases of person guilty of misconduct in
voluntary dissolution; the presence of the Authority
which seriously interrupts any
(h) Assist cooperatives in hearing or inquiry with a fine of
arranging for financial and not more than five hundred
other forms of assistance pesos (P500.00) or
under such terms and imprisonment of not more than
conditions as are calculated to ten (10) days, or both. Acts
strengthen their viability and constituting indirect contempt
autonomy; as defined under Rule 71 of
the Rules of Court shall be
(i) Establish extension offices punished in accordance with
as may be necessary and the said Rule.
financially viable to implement
this Act. Initially, there shall be It is a fundamental rule in statutory
extension offices in the Cities construction that when the law
of Dagupan, Manila, Naga, speaks in clear and categorical
Iloilo, Cebu, Cagayan de Oro language, there is no room for
and Davao; interpretation, vacillation or
equivocation – there is only room for
application.32 It can be gleaned from
the above-quoted provision of R.A. to provide this proposed
No. 6939 that the authority of the Authority with certain quasi-
CDA is to discharge purely judicial functions. Would I be
administrative functions which correct in this interpretation of
consist of policy-making, registration, paragraphs (f) and (g) under
fiscal and technical assistance to this section which state that
cooperatives and implementation of among the powers of the
cooperative laws. Nowhere in the Authority are:
said law can it be found any express
grant to the CDA of authority to To administer the
adjudicate cooperative disputes. At dissolution, disposal of
most, Section 8 of the same law assets and settlement of
provides that "upon request of either liabilities of any
or both parties, the Authority shall cooperative that has
mediate and conciliate disputes with been found to be
a cooperative or between inoperable, inactive or
cooperatives" however, with a defunct.
restriction "that if no mediation or
conciliation succeeds within three (3) To make appropriate
months from request thereof, a action on cooperatives
certificate of non-resolution shall be found to be in violation
issued by the commission prior to the of any provision…
filing of appropriate action before the
proper courts". Being an It appears to the mind of this
administrative agency, the CDA has humble Representation that
only such powers as are expressly the proposed Authority may be
granted to it by law and those which called upon to adjudicate in
are necessarily implied in the these particular instances. Is it
exercise thereof.33 therefore vested with quasi-
judicial authority?
Petitioner CDA, however, insists that
its authority to conduct hearings or MR. ROMUALDO. No, Mr.
inquiries and the express grant to it Speaker. We have to resort to
of contempt powers under Section 3, the courts, for instance, for the
paragraphs (g) and (o) of R. A. No. dissolution of cooperatives.
6939, respectively, necessarily vests The Authority only administers
upon the CDA quasi-judicial authority once a cooperative is
to adjudicate cooperative disputes. A dissolved. It is also the CDA
review of the records of the which initiates actions against
deliberations by both chambers of any group of persons that may
Congress prior to the enactment of use the name of a cooperative
R.A. No. 6939 provides a definitive to its advantage, that is, if the
answer that the CDA is not vested word "cooperative" is merely
with quasi-judicial authority to used by it in order to advance
adjudicate cooperative disputes. its intentions, Mr. Speaker.
During the house deliberations on
the then House Bill No. 10787, the MR. AQUINO (A.). So, is the
following exchange transpired: sponsor telling us that the
adjudication will have to be left
MR. AQUINO (A.). The to the courts of law?
response of the sponsor is not
quite clear to this humble MR. ROMUALDO. To the
Representation. Let me just courts, Mr. Speaker.34
point out other provisions
under this particular section, xxx xxx xxx
which to the mind of this
humble Representation appear MR. ADASA. One final
question, Mr. Speaker. On
page 4, line 33, it seems that My question is: If a
one of the functions given to cooperative, whose officers are
the Cooperative Development liable for wrongdoing, is found
Authority is to recommend the violating any of the provisions
filing of legal charges against of this Act, are we going to
any officer or member of a sacrifice the existence of that
cooperative accused of cooperative just because some
violating the provisions of this of the officers have taken
Act, existing laws and advantage of their positions
cooperative by-laws and other and misused some of the
rules and regulations set forth funds? It would be very unfair
by the government. Would this for the Authority to withdraw its
not conflict with the function of assistance at the expense of
the prosecuting fiscal? the majority. It is not clear as to
what the liabilities of the
MR. ROMUALDO. No, it will be members of these
the provincial fiscal that will file cooperatives are.
the case. The Authority only
recommends the filing of legal xxx xxx xxx
charges, that is, of course,
after preliminary investigation MR. ROMUALDO. Mr.
conducted by the provincial Speaker, before this action
fiscal or the prosecuting arm of may be taken by the Authority,
the government. there will be due process.
However, this provision is
MR. ADASA. Does the applicable in cases where the
Gentleman mean to say that cooperative as a whole
the Cooperative Development violated the provisions of this
Authority can take the place of Act as well as existing laws. In
the private complainant or the this case, punitive actions may
persons who are the offended be taken against the
party if the latter would not cooperative as a body.
pursue the case?
With respect to the officials, if
MR. ROMULDO. Yes, Mr. they themselves should be
Speaker. The Authority can punished, then Section (h) of
initiate even the filing of the this chapter provides that legal
charges as embraced and charges shall be filed by the
defined on line 33 of page 4 of Cooperative Development
this proposed bill.35 Authority.36

xxx xxx xxx In like manner, the deliberations on


Senate Bill No. 485, which was the
MR. CHIONGBIAN. xxx. Under counterpart of House Bill No. 10787,
the same section, line 28, yield the same legislative intent not
subparagraph (g) says that the to grant quasi-judicial authority to the
Authority can take appropriate CDA as shown by the following
action on cooperatives found discussions during the period of
to be violating any provision of amendments:
this Act, existing laws and
cooperative by-laws, and other SEN. ALVAREZ. On page 3,
rules and regulations set forth between lines 5 and 6, if I may,
by the government by way of insert the following as one of
withdrawal of Authority the powers: CONDUCT
assistance, suspension of INQUIRIES, STUDIES,
operation or cancellation of HEARINGS AND
accreditation. INVESTIGATIONS AND
ISSUE ORDERS, DECISIONS
AND CIRCULARS AS MAY BE amendment? Do we have
NECESSARY TO that?
IMPLEMENT ALL LAWS,
RULES AND REGULATIONS xxx xxx xxx
RELATING TO
COOPERATIVES. THE SEN. ALVAREZ. Mr.
AGENCY MAY SUMMARILY President, this is almost an
PUNISH FOR CONTEMPT BY inherent power of a registering
A FINE OF NOT MORE THAN body. With the tremendous
TWO HUNDRED PESOS responsibility that we have
(P200.00) OR assigned to the Authority or the
IMPRISONMENT NOT agency—for it to be able to
EXCEEDING TEN (10) DAYS, function and discharge its
OR BOTH, ANY PERSONS mandate—it will need this
GUILTY OF SUCH authority.1âw phi 1.nêt

MISCONDUCT IN THE
PRESENCE OF THE SEN. AQUINO. Yes, Mr.
AGENCY WHICH President, conceptually, we do
SERIOUSLY INTERRUPTS not like the agency to have
ANY HEARING OR quasi-judicial powers. And, we
INVESTIGATION, INCLUDING are afraid that if we empower
WILFULL FAILURE OR the agency to conduct
REFUSAL, WITHOUT JUST inquiries, studies, hearings and
CAUSE, COMPLY WITH A investigations, it might interfere
SUMMONS, SUBPOENA, in the autonomous character of
SUBPOENA DUCES TECUM, cooperatives. So, I am sorry
DECISION OR ORDER, RULE Mr. President, we don’t accept
OR REGULATION, OR, the amendment.37
BEING PRESENT AT A
HEARING OR The decision to withhold quasi-
INVESTIGATION, REFUSES judicial powers from the CDA is in
TO BE SWORN IN AS A accordance with the policy of the
WITNESS OR TO ANSWER government granting autonomy to
QUESTIONS OR TO cooperatives. It was noted that in the
FURNISH INFORMATION past 75 years cooperativism failed to
REQUIRED BY THE flourish in the Philippines. Of the
AGENCY. THE SHERIFF 23,000 cooperatives organized under
AND/OR POLICE AGENCIES P.D. No. 175, only 10 to 15 percent
OF THE PLACE WHERE THE remained operational while the rest
HEARING OR became dormant. The dismal failure
INVESTIGATION IS of cooperativism in the Philippines
CONDUCTED SHALL, UPON was attributed mainly to the stifling
REQUEST OF THE AGENCY, attitude of the government toward
ASSIST IT TO ENFORCE THE cooperatives. While the government
PENALTY. wished to help, it invariably wanted to
control.38 Also, in its anxious efforts to
THE PRESIDENT. That is push cooperativism, it smothered
quite a long amendment. Does cooperatives with so much help that
the Gentleman have a written they failed to develop self-reliance.
copy of his amendment, so As one cooperative expert put it,
that the Members will have an "The strong embrace of government
opportunity to go over it and ends with a kiss of death for
examine its implications? cooperatives."39

Anyway, why do we not hold in But then, acknowledging the role of


abeyance the proposed cooperatives as instruments of
national development, the framers of
the 1987 Constitution directed
Congress under Article XII, Section ART. 121. Settlement of
15 thereof to create a centralized Disputes. – Disputes among
agency that shall promote the members, officers, directors,
viability and growth of cooperatives. and committee members, and
Pursuant to this constitutional intra-cooperative disputes
mandate, the Congress approved on shall, as far as practicable, be
March 10, 1990 Republic Act No. settled amicably in accordance
6939 which is the organic law with the conciliation or
creating the Cooperative mediation mechanisms
Development Authority. Apparently embodied in the by-laws of the
cognizant of the errors in the past, cooperative, and in applicable
Congress declared in an unequivocal laws.
language that the state shall
"maintain the policy of non- Should such a
interference in the management and conciliation/mediation
operation of cooperatives."40 proceeding fail, the matter
shall be settled in a court of
After ascertaining the clear legislative competent jurisdiction.
intent underlying R.A. No. 6939,
effect should be given to it by the Complementing this Article is
judiciary.41Consequently, we hold and Section 8 of R.A. No. 6939,
rule that the CDA is devoid of any which provides:
quasi-judicial authority to adjudicate
intra-cooperative disputes and more SEC. 8. Mediation and
particularly disputes as regards the Conciliation. – Upon request of
election of the members of the Board either or both or both parties,
of Directors and officers of the [CDA] shall mediate and
cooperatives. The authority to conciliate disputes with the
conduct hearings or inquiries and the cooperative or between
power to hold any person in cooperatives: Provided, That if
contempt may be exercised by the no mediation or conciliation
CDA only in the performance of its succeeds within three (3)
administrative functions under R.A. months from request thereof, a
No. 6939. certificate of non-resolution
shall be issued by the request
The petitioner’s reliance on the case thereof, a certificate of non-
of CANORECO is misplaced for the resolution shall be issued by
reason that the central issue raised the commission prior to the
therein was whether or not the Office filing of appropriate action
of the President has the authority to before the proper courts.
supplant or reverse the resolution of
an administrative agency, specifically Likewise, we do not find any merit in
the CDA, that had long became final the allegation of forum-shopping
and on which issue we ruled in the against the private respondents.
negative. In fact, this Court declared Forum-shopping exists where the
in the said case that the CDA has no elements of litis pendentia are
jurisdiction to adjudicate intra- present or where a final judgment in
cooperative disputes thus:42 one case will amount to res
judicata in the other.43 The requisites
xxx xxx xxx for the existence of litis pendentia, in
turn, are (1) identity of parties or at
Obviously there was a clear least such representing the same
case of intra-cooperative interest in both actions; (2) identity of
dispute. Article 121 of the rights asserted as prayed for, the
Cooperative Code is explicit on relief being founded on the same
how the dispute should be facts; and (3) the identity in both
resolved; thus: cases is such that the judgment that
may be rendered in the pending
case, regardless of which party is an entity whose juridical personality
successful, would amount to res is separate and distinct from that of
judicata to the other case.44 private respondent cooperative or
herein individual private respondents
While there may be identity of parties and that they have totally different
between SP Civil Case No. 25 filed interests in the subject matter of the
with the RTC of Polomolok, South case. Moreover, it was incorrect for
Cotabato, Branch 39, and CA-G.R. the petitioner to charge the private
SP No. 47933 before the Court of respondents with forum-shopping
Appeals, 13th Division, the two (2) partly based on its erroneous claim
other requisites are not present. The that DARBCI and Investa were both
Court of Appeals correctly observed represented by the same counsel. A
that the case filed with the RTC of charge of forum-shopping may not
Polomolok, South Cotabato was a be anchored simply on the fact that
petition for certiorari assailing the the counsel for different petitioners in
orders of therein respondent CDA for two (2) cases is one and the
having been allegedly issued without same.45 Besides, a review of the
or in excess of jurisdiction. On the records of this case shows that the
other hand, the case filed with the counsel of record of Investa in
Court of Appeals was a petition for Special Civil Case No. 28 is a certain
prohibition seeking to restrain therein Atty. Ignacio D. Debuque, Jr. and not
respondent from further proceeding the same counsel representing the
with the hearing of the case. private respondents.46
Besides, the filing of the petition for
prohibition with the Court of Appeals Anent the petition-in-intervention, the
was necessary after the CDA issued intervenors aver that the Resolution
the Order dated May 26, 1998 which of the Court of Appeals dated
directed the holding of a special February 9, 1999 in CA-G.R. SP No.
general assembly for purposes of 47933 denying the motion for
conducting elections of officers and reconsideration of herein petitioner
members of the board of DARBCI CDA also invalidated the election of
after the Court of Appeals, officers and members of the board of
12th Division, in CA-G.R. SP No. directors of DARBCI held during the
47318 issued a temporary restraining special general assembly on July 12,
order enjoining the proceedings in 1998, thus adversely affecting their
Special Civil Case No. 25 and for the substantial rights including their right
parties therein to maintain the to due process. They claim that the
status quo. Under the circumstances, object of the order issued by the
the private respondents could not appellate court on June 10, 1998
seek immediate relief before the trial was to restrain the holding of the
court and hence, they had to seek general assembly of DARBCI as
recourse before the Court of Appeals directed in the order of CDA
via a petition for prohibition with a Administrator Arcadio Lozada dated
prayer for preliminary injunction to May 26, 1998. In compliance with the
forestall the impending damage and said order of the Court of Appeals,
injury to them in view of the order no general assembly was held on
issued by the petitioner on May 26, June 14, 1998. However, due to the
1998. grave concern over the alleged
tyrannical administration and
The filing of Special Civil Case No. unmitigated abuses of herein private
28 with the RTC of Polomolok, South respondents, the majority of the
Cotabato does not also constitute members of DARBCI, on their own
forum-shopping on the part of the initiative and in the exercise of their
private respondents. Therein inherent right to assembly under the
petitioner Investa, which claims to law and the 1987 Constitution,
have a subsisting lease agreement convened a general assembly on
and a joint venture with DARBCI, is July 12, 1998. On the said occasion,
the majority of the members of from their posts in the said
DARBCI unanimously elected herein cooperative.
petitioners-in-intervention as new
officers and members of the board of The incident on July 12, 1998
directors of DARBCI,47 and thereby prompted herein private respondents
resulting in the removal of the private to file their Twin Motions for
respondents from their positions in Contempt of Court and to Nullify
DARBCI. Proceedings on July 26, 1998. The
twin motions prayed, among others,
Petitioners-in-intervention pointed out that after due notice and hearing,
that the validity of the general certain personalities, including the
assembly held on July 12, 1998 was petitioners-in-intervention, be cited in
never raised as an issue in CA-G.R. indirect contempt for their
SP No. 47933. The petitioners-in- participation in the subject incident
intervention were not even ordered and for the nullification of the election
by the Court of Appeals to file their on July 12, 1998 for being illegal,
comment on the "Twin Motions For contrary to the by-laws of the
Contempt of Court and to Nullify cooperative and in defiance of the
Proceedings" filed by the private injunctive processes of the appellate
respondents on July 29, 1998. court.

As earlier noted, the Court of On September 9, 1998, the Court of


Appeals issued a temporary Appeals, 13th Division, rendered a
restraining order48 in CA-G.R. SP No. Decision in CA-G.R. SP No. 47933
47933 on June 10, 1998, the which declared the CDA devoid of
pertinent portion of which reads: quasi-judicial jurisdiction to settle the
dispute in CDA-CO Case No. 97-011
Meanwhile, respondents or without however, taking any action
any and all persons acting in on the "Twin Motions for Contempt of
their behalf and stead are Court and to Nullify Proceedings"
temporarily restrained from filed by the private respondents. As it
proceeding with the election of turned out, it was only in its
officers and members of the Resolution dated February 9, 1999
board of directors of the Dolefil denying petitioner’s motion for
Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries reconsideration of the Decision in
Cooperative, Inc. scheduled on CA-G.R. SP No. 47933 that the
June 14, 1998 and or any Court of Appeals, 13th Division, acted
other date thereafter. on the "Twin Motions for Contempt of
Court and to Nullify Proceedings" by
It was also noted that as a declaring as null and void the
consequence of the temporary election of the petitioners-in-
restraining order issued by the intervention on July 12, 1998 as
appellate court, the general officers and members of the board of
assembly and the election of officers directors of DARBCI.
and members of the board of
directors of DARBCI, pursuant to the We find, however, that the action
resolution issued by CDA taken by the Court of Appeals,
Administrator Arcadio S. Lozada, did 13th Division, on the "Twin Motions
not take place as scheduled on June for Contempt of Court and to Nullify
14, 1998. However, on July 12, 1998 Proceedings" insofar as it nullified
the majority of the members of the election of the officers and
DARBCI, at their own initiative, held members of the Board of Directors of
a general assembly and elected a DARBCI, violated the constitutional
new set of officers and members of right of the petitioners-in-intervention
the board of directors of the to due process. The requirement of
cooperative which resulted in the due process is satisfied if the
ouster of the private respondents following conditions are present,
namely: (1) there must be a court or Officers of DARBCI held during
tribunal clothed with judicial power to the general assembly of the
hear and determine the matter before DARBCI members on July 12,
it; (2) jurisdiction must be lawfully 1998, is hereby SET ASIDE.
acquired over the person of the
defendant or over the property which No pronouncement as to costs.
is the subject of the proceedings; (3)
the defendant must be given an SO ORDERED.
opportunity to be heard; and (4)
judgment must be rendered upon
lawful hearing.49 The appellate court
should have first required the
petitioners-in-intervention to file their
comment or opposition to the said
"Twin Motions For Contempt Of
Court And to Nullify Proceedings"
which also refers to the elections
held during the general assembly on
July 12, 1998. It was precipitate for
the appellate court to render
judgment against the petitioners-in-
intervention in its Resolution dated
February 9, 1999 without due notice
and opportunity to be heard.
Besides, the validity of the general
assembly held on July 12, 1998 was
not raised as an issue in CA-G.R. SP
No. 47933. 1âw phi1.nêt

WHEREFORE, judgment is hereby


rendered as follows:

1. The petition for review on


certiorari is hereby DENIED for
lack of merit. The orders,
resolutions, memoranda and
any other acts rendered by
petitioner Cooperative
Development Authority in
CDA-CO Case No. 97-011 are
hereby declared null and
void ab initio for lack of quasi-
judicial authority of petitioner to
adjudicate intra-cooperative
disputes; and the petitioner is
hereby ordered to cease and
desist from taking any further
proceedings therein; and

2. In the interest of justice, the


dispositive portion of the
Resolution of the Court of
Appeals, dated February 9,
1999, in CA-G.R. SP No.
47933, insofar as it nullified the
elections of the members of
the Board of Directors and