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TIJAM vs.

SIBONGHANOY (23 SCRA 29)


FACTS: Tijam filed for recovery of P1,908 + legal interest from Sibongahanoy.
Defendants filed a counter bond with Manila

Surety and Fidelity Co (Surety). Judgement was in favour of the plaintiffs, a writ of execution
was issued against the defendant.
Defendants moved for writ of execution against surety which was granted. Surety moved to
quash the writ but was denied,
appealed to CA without raising the issue on lack of jurisdiction.

CA affirmed the appealed decision. Surety then filed Motion to Dismiss on the ground of lack of
jurisdiction against CFI Cebu in
view of the effectivity of Judiciary Act of 1948 a month before the filing of the petition for
recovery. Act placed original exclusive
jurisdiction of inferior courts all civil actions for demands not exceeding 2,000 exclusive of
interest. CA set aside its earlier
decision and referred the case to SC since it has exclusive jurisdiction over "all cases in which
the jurisdiction of any inferior court
is in issue.

ISSUE: WON Surety bond is estopped from questioning the jurisdiction of the CFI Cebu for the
first time upon appeal.YES
RATIO: SC believes that that the Surety is now barred by laches from invoking this plea after
almost fifteen years before the

Surety filed its motion to dismiss raising the question of lack of jurisdiction for the first time - A
party may be estopped or barred
from raising a question in different ways and for different reasons. Thus we speak of estoppel in
pais, or estoppel by deed or by
record, and of estoppel by laches. Laches, in a general sense is failure or neglect, for an
unreasonable and unexplained length of
time, to do that which, by exercising due diligence, could or should have been done earlier -
Furthermore, it has also been held
that after voluntarily submitting a cause and encountering an adverse decision on the merits, it
is too late for the loser to
question the jurisdiction or power of the court -"undesirable practice" of a party submitting his
case for decision and then
accepting the judgment, only if favorable, and attacking it for lack of jurisdiction, when adverse.

: Other merits on the appeal : The surety insists that the lower court should have granted its
motion to quash the writ of
execution because the same was issued without the summary hearing - Summary hearing is
"not intended to be carried on in the
formal manner in which ordinary actions are prosecuted" (83 C.J.S. 792). It is, rather, a
procedure by which a question is
resolved "with dispatch, with the least possible delay, and in preference to ordinary legal and
regular judicial proceedings" (Ibid,
p. 790). What is essential is that "the defendant is notified or summoned to appear and is given
an opportunity to hear what is
urged upon him, and to interpose a defense, after which follows an adjudication of the rights of
the parties - In the case at bar,
the surety had been notified of the plaintiffs' motion for execution and of the date when the
same would be submitted for
consideration. In fact, the surety's counsel was present in court when the motion was called,
and it was upon his request that the
court a quo gave him a period of four days within which to file an answer. Yet he allowed that
period to lapse without filing an
answer or objection. The surety cannot now, therefore, complain that it was deprived of its day
in court

The orders appealed from are affirmed.


METROMEDIA TIMES CORPORATION/GOKONGWEI-PE vs PASTORIN (465 SCRA 320)
FACTS: Pastorin was an employee of Metromedia tasked for periodic collection of receivables
from dealers of petitioner's

newspapers. He terminated from service but was not dismissed due to the intervention of the
labor union, the collective
bargaining agent in the company. Pastorin has a loan from a certain Gloria de Manuel who seek
the help of the petitioner for the
collection of said loan - petitioner sent a letter addressed to respondent, requiring an
explanation for the transaction with De
Manuel, as well as for his failure to pay back the loan - respondent admitted having incurred the
loan, but offered no definitive
explanation for his failure to repay the same.- respondent was suspended – he was transferred
to another department –
respondent stopped reporting to work and sent a letter re refusal to accept the transfer -
Respondent duly filed a complaint for
constructive dismissal – ruled in favour of respondent – Metomedia is ordered to reinstate the
complainant to his former position,
with full backwages from the time his salary was withheld until he is actually reinstated

Petitioner appealed to NLRC raising as a ground the lack of jurisdiction of the labor arbiter over
respondent’s complaint – an issue never raised in the Labor Arbiter – NLRC reversed the
decision for lack of jurisdiction – respondent appealed to CA after denial of motion for recon- CA
reversed decision of NLRC – petitioner appealed to SC – SC reversed and set aside decision of
Labor Arbiter and CA.

ISSUE: WON lack of jurisdiction over the subject matter of the case, heard and decided by the
labor arbiter, may be raised for
the first time before the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) by a litigant who had
actively participated in the
proceedings, which it belatedly questioned. YES
RATIO: It appears that the issue of validity of complainant’s reassignment stemmed from the
exercise of a management

prerogative which is a matter apt for resolution by a Grievance Committee, the parties having
opted to consider such as a
grievable issue. The matter of reassignment is one not directly related to the charge of
complainant’s having committed an act
which is unfavourable to Metromedia’s interest, since the latter had already been addressed to
by complainant’s service of a
suspension order. The transfer, in effect, is one which properly falls under Section the Collective
Bargaining Agreement and, as
such, questions as to the enforcement thereof is one which falls under the jurisdiction of the
labor arbiter – estoppel does not
confer jurisdiction, petitioner is not estopped from assailing the jurisdiction of the labor arbiter
before the NLRC on appeal –

S A T U R D A Y , N O V E M B E R 1 7, 2 00 7
S U N I N S U R A N C E O F F I C E L T D . V S H O N . A S U N C I O N A N D M A N U E L U Y P O T I O N G GR N O .
7 99 37 - 38 F E B R U A R Y 13 , 19 89
Facts:
Sun insurance filed a case for the consignation of premiums on a fire insurance policy with a
prayer for the judicial declaration of its nullity against private respondent Manuel Uy Po Tiong.
Private respondent as declared in default for failure to file the required answer within the
reglementary period. Meanwhile, the Respondent Manuel Tiong also filed a case against Sun
Insurance for the refund of premiums and the issuance of a writ of preliminary attachment,
seeking the payment of actual, compensatory, moral, exemplary and liquidated damages,
attorney’s fees, expenses of litigation, and costs of suit, but the damages sought were not
specifically stated in the prayer, although it may be inferred from the body of the complaint
that it would amount to about P50M. In the body of the original complaint, the total amount of
damages sought amounted to about P50 Million. In the prayer, the amount of damages asked
for was not stated. The amount of only P210.00 was paid for the docket fee. On January 23,
1986, private respondent filed an amended complaint wherein in the prayer it is asked that he
be awarded no less than P10,000,000.00 as actual and exemplary damages but in the body of
the complaint the amount of his pecuniary claim is approximately P44,601,623.70. Said
amended complaint was admitted and the private respondent was reassessed the additional
docket fee of P39,786.00 based on his prayer of not less than P10,000,000.00 in damages,
which he paid.
On April 24, 1986, private respondent filed a supplemental complaint alleging an additional
claim of P20,000,000.00 in damages so that his total claim is approximately P64,601,620.70.
On October 16, 1986, private respondent paid an additional docket fee of P80,396.00. After the
promulgation of the decision of the respondent court on August 31, 1987 wherein private
respondent was ordered to be reassessed for additional docket fee, and during the pendency of
this petition, and after the promulgation of Manchester, on April 28, 1988, private respondent
paid an additional docket fee of P62,132.92. Although private respondent appears to have paid
a total amount of P182,824.90 for the docket fee considering the total amount of his claim in
the amended and supplemental complaint amounting to about P64,601,620.70, petitioner
insists that private respondent must pay a docket fee of P257,810.49.

Issue:
Whether or not the court acquires jurisdiction when the correct and proper docket fee has not
been paid?

Ruling:
Manchester ruling applies, with modification. Statutes regulating the procedure of courts will be
construed as applicable to actions pending and undetermined at the time of their passage.
Procedural laws are retrospective in that sense and in that respect.
The Court dismissed petitioner’s motion and ordered the Clerk of court to re-asses the docket
fees.

Personal Observation:

The case is different in Manchester because the respondent herein has shown compliance by
paying docket fees upon reassessment and has also paid the docket fees on its amended
complaint increasing the claim for damages. Furthermore, there is no substantial evidence that
the respondent has the intention of deliberately defraud the court or evaded the payment of
docket fees.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Manchester Development Corporation vs Court of Appeals GR No. 75919 May 7, 1987

Facts:
This was originally a case of an action for torts and damages and specific performance with a
prayer for temporary restraining order. The damages were not specifically stated in the prayer
but the body of the complaint assessed a P78.75M damages suffered by the petitioner. The
amount of docket fees paid was only P410.00. The petitioner then amended the complaint and
reduced the damages to P10M only.

Issues:
When does a court acquire jurisdiction?
Does an amended complaint vest jurisdiction in the court?

Ruling:
The court acquires jurisdiction over any case only upon the payment of the prescribed docket
fee. An amendment of the complaint or similar pleading will not thereby vest jurisdiction in the
court, much less the payment of the docket fee based on the amounts sought in the amended
pleading.