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FACTS: Petitioners are co-owners of a rice-land in Bulacan registered in the name of
their grandparents.
The rice-land was distributed to farmer beneficiaries by virtue of PD No. 27.
Petitioners filed with the RTC for determination of just compensation. Petitioners alleged
that from the time the land was distributed to farmer-beneficiaries in 1972 up to the time
of the filing of the complaint, no payment or rentals has been made, and titles have
already been issued to the farmer-beneficiaries.
Petitioners also alleged that the fair market value of the property is P6,000,000.00.
The RTC dismissed the complaint for lack of cause of action since the determination for
just compensation must be filed in the DAR and not the special agrarian court.
Petitioners filed a motion for reconsideration. The RTC partially granted the
reconsideration setting aside the order of dismissal and archiving the case until the
amount of just compensation has been determined.
Petitioners then filed a complaint with the DARAB, however DARAB dismissed the
complaint on the ground that it had no jurisdiction on valuation cases under PD. No. 27
as such it was under the administrative powers of the Office of the Secretary.
Because of the foregoing dismissal, petitioners filed with the RTC, a motion to re-open
and calendar of case for hearing, which was granted by the RTC.
The RTC by agreement of the parties, constituted commissioners to determine just
compensation but the same was dissolved.
After Pre-trial, petitioners were scheduled to present their evidence. During the hearing
the parties agreed as to the issues. Whether or not plaintiffs were entitled to just
compensation as provided for under RA 6657 and not PD No. 27 as per the contention of
The RTC dismissed the complaint saying that since the property was taken from
petitioners on October 21, 1972 under the DARs Operation Land Transfer pursuant to PD
27, the just compensation must be based on the value of the property at the time of the
Petitioners appealed to the CA praying that the case be remanded to the RTC for further
proceedings and reception of evidence on the just and fair market value of the property.
CA dismissed the appeal. Petitioners filed a motion for reconsideration but the same
was denied on the ground that it was filed (44) days late, and the CA found no cogent
reason to reverse or modify its decision.

ISSUES: (1) That the decision of the CA is not with accordance with law and applicable
decisions of the Supreme Court;
(2) That the CA has departed from the accepted and usual course of judicial proceedings
or has sanctioned such departure from the lower court.

It is true that petitioners' failure to file their motion for reconsideration within the
reglementary period rendered the CA Decision dated May 30, 2002 final and executory.

For all intents and purposes, said Decision should now be immutable and unalterable;
however, the Court relaxes this rule in order to serve substantial justice considering
(a) matters of life, liberty, honor or property,
(b) the existence of special or compelling circumstances,
(c) the merits of the case,
(d) a cause not entirely attributable to the fault or negligence of the party favored by the
suspension of the rules,
(e) a lack of any showing that the review sought is merely frivolous and dilatory, and (f)
the other party will not be unjustly prejudiced thereby.
The explanation of petitioners' counsel for the delayed filing of the motion for
reconsideration was that their law firm secretary failed to inform the court of their
change of address.This, of course, is not a valid excuse. As a general rule, a client is
bound by the acts of his counsel, including even the latter's mistakes and negligence.
But where such mistake or neglect would result in serious injustice to the client, a
departure from this rule is warranted. To cling to the general rule is to condone rather
than rectify a serious injustice to petitioners whose only fault was to repose his faith and
entrust his innocence to his lawyer.
The Court also finds that the CA erred in sustaining the RTC ruling that just compensation
in this case should be based on the value of the property at the time of taking, October
21, 1972, which is the effectivity date of P.D. No. 27.
Finally, the Court sustains petitioners' contention that the CA erred in ruling that the RTC
correctly dismissed their complaint. Even assuming that the RTC was correct in holding
that P.D. No. 27 applies, still it should not have simply dismissed the complaint after
resolving the issue of which law should apply. Instead, it should have proceeded to
determine the just compensation due to petitioners.
Records show that the complaint for just compensation was first filed in the RTC, but this
was dismissed in the Order dated June 22, 1994, for the reason that the determination of
just compensation must first be filed with the DAR. Conformably with said ruling,
petitioners filed the complaint with the DAR, which dismissed the same on the ground
that it has no jurisdiction to hear and decide valuation cases covered by P.D. No. 27.
Because of said dismissal, petitioners went back to the RTC for the re-opening of the
case. Petitioners' case was obviously thrown back and forth between the two venues,
and with the RTC's second dismissal, they were left hanging and without any recourse,
which, of course, is iniquitous considering that their property has already long been
expropriated by the government and its fruits enjoyed by the farmer-beneficiaries.
Given the foregoing conclusion, this case should then be remanded to the Regional Trial
Court (RTC) of Bulacan, Branch 13, for the final determination of just compensation.
ONTIMARE vs. ELEP (January 20, 2006)
FACTS: Respondents want to build an apartment in their lot and applied for a building
permit. Ontimare is the owner of the owner of the adjacent lot whose terrace extends to
the boundary between the two lots. Respondent wrote a request to Ontimare, asking for
a written consent to the construction of a firewall adjacent to the latters existing
Instead of consenting, Ontimare filed a complaint with the Office of the Building Official
asking to withhold the permit because the structure to be built would affect the
ventilation and market value of Ontimares property.
Despite being issued a building permit, a cease to desist order was issued.
The order was then lifted after respondents wrote to the City Engineer explaining that
they were only going to build a firewall in their own property.
Ontimares complaint was dismissed, so he appealed to the City Mayor who ordered an
investigation on the matter.

Ontimare filed a notarial prohibition but was dismissed, and was ordered to make
adjustments in the construction of his house. Respondents were then issued a new
building permit.
While workers were constructing respondents firewall, Ontimare fired his shotgun and
threatened to kill anyone who would enter his property to work in respondents
construction. As a result the firewall remained unfinished, water seeped into the building
and damaged the floors and ceiling.
Respondents filed an action for damages with application for preliminary injunction and
restraining order against Ontimare before the RTC.
Ontimare moved for summary judgment and the court granted the same and
ordered Ontimare to pay the following:
Actual and compensatory damages in the form of unrealized income
and bank amortization interest in the amount of P75,000.00 per month from July,
1996 to September, 1998;
The amount of P150,000.00 as reimbursement for the damage on the
wood parquet floors, wall paintings and ceiling;

P50,000.00 as and by way of exemplary damages; and


P30,000.00 as and by way of attorneys fees.

On appeal, the Court of Appeals affirmed the assailed summary judgment with
WHEREFORE, premises considered, judgment is hereby rendered in
favor of the plaintiffs, and the defendant is hereby ordered to pay the

Compensatory damages in the form of unrealized income

in the total amount of Two Hundred Eighty-eight Thousand Pesos
(P288,000.00) for Apartments A, B and C, and bank amortization
interest from July 1996 to July 1997 in the total amount of Three
Hundred Forty-four Thousand Eight Hundred Seventy-five Pesos and
74/100 centavos (P344,875.74);


The amount of P150,000.00 as reimbursement for the

damage on the wood parquet floors, wall paintings and ceiling;


P50,000.00 as and by way of exemplary damages; and


P30,000 as and by way of attorneys fees.

Meanwhile, while the case was on appeal, Ontimare Sr. died. He was survived by
his two sons, petitioners herein, who now filed before the SC a petition for review
ISSUES: (1) Is the summary judgment rendered by the court proper?
(2) Are petitioners liable for the damages awarded?



For a summary judgment to be proper, two (2) requisites must

concur, to wit: (1) there must be no genuine issue on any material fact, except for the

amount of damages; and (2) the moving party must be entitled to a judgment as a
matter of law.
When, on their face, the pleadings tender a genuine issue, summary judgment is
not proper. An issue is genuine if it requires the presentation of evidence as
distinguished from a sham, fictitious, contrived or false claim.
In the instant case, the summary judgment was rendered after the presentation of
evidence by both parties in a full blown trial. Records show that during the two-year trial
of the case, Ontimare Sr. had presented his own witnesses, all four of them, and had
cross-examined the witnesses of the opposing party.
The trial courts decision was merely denominated as summary judgment. But in
essence, it is actually equivalent to a judgment on the merits, making the rule on
summary judgment inapplicable in this case.


Petitioners contend that respondents were issued locational

clearance only on July 16, 1996 and hence, the start of the construction work should be
reckoned not earlier than the said date. When the shotgun incident happened on July 15,
1996, respondents had no locational clearance.
Petitioners also argue that the unearned rent and reimbursement of bank interest
amortization should be counted up to and not from the completion of the rework because
the apartments could have been rented out and could have started to earn once the
rework was completed. Petitioners insist the period for the computation of unrealized
income should have been ten months.
Lastly, petitioners maintain that Ontimare Sr. did not act in bad faith nor abusively
in the protection of his rights, thus no exemplary damages should be granted.
For their part, respondents counter that petitioners raise pure questions of fact
already ruled upon by the Court of Appeals, hence, the instant petition should be denied
outright. Granting arguendo that the petition should be given due course, respondents
aver that Ontimare Sr., despite knowledge that respondents had already acquired a
building permit, nevertheless, threatened bodily harm on workers of respondents to
prevent the construction. He should thus be held liable for damages for abuse of his
rights to the prejudice of respondents.
Respondents alleged that rework on the firewall started from September 1996, as
evidenced by the receipts issued by the contractor. The compensatory damages in the
form of unearned rent started to accrue on October 1, 1996 until the completion of the
rework on August 1, 1997 for Apartment A (a total of eleven months) and until July 15,
1997 for Apartments B and C (a total of ten months and fifteen days).
Lastly, respondents posit that Ontimare Sr.s threats with use of a firearm
constitute bad faith.
At the outset, it bears stressing that, except for the issue on exemplary damages,
petitioners raise pure questions of fact, which may not be the subject of a petition for

review on certiorari. Well-settled is the rule that the Supreme Court is not a trier of facts.
When supported by substantial evidence, the findings of fact of the Court of Appeals are
conclusive and binding on the parties and are not reviewable by this Court, unless the
case falls under any of the following recognized exceptions:

(1) When the conclusion is a finding grounded entirely on speculation,

surmises and conjectures;
(2) When the inference made is manifestly mistaken, absurd or
(3) Where there is a grave abuse of discretion;
(4) When the judgment is based on a misapprehension of facts;
(5) When the findings of fact are conflicting;
(6) When the Court of Appeals, in making its findings, went beyond the
issues of the case and the same is contrary to the admissions of both
appellant and appellee;
(7) When the findings are contrary to those of the trial court;
(8) When the findings of fact are conclusions without citation of specific
evidence on which they are based;
(9) When the facts set forth in the petition as well as in the petitioners
main and reply briefs are not disputed by the respondents; and
(10) When the findings of fact of the Court of Appeals are premised on
the supposed absence of evidence and contradicted by the evidence on

Petitioners failed to show that their case falls under any of the above-quoted
exceptions. Hence, we see no reason to disturb the findings of the Court of Appeals,
which we find supported by evidence on record.
We are likewise constrained from reversing the award of exemplary damages. Exemplary
damages are imposed by way of example or correction for the public good. [14]Ontimare
Sr.s firing his shotgun at respondents workers cannot be countenanced by this Court.
Exemplary damages in the amount of P50,000 is proper.
FACTS: Respondent PCIBANK filed complaint for a sum of money with prayer for
preliminary attachment against petitioner ASIACON.
The first cause of action was that ASIACON had not paid its credit account with PCIBANK
amounting to $4,487,000. The second cause of action was that PCIBANK suffered
damages and prayed that ASIACON pay Exemplary damages, attorneys fees, and the
cost of suit, and that ASIACON is guilty of fraud in contracting the debt and in the
performance thereof or both.
By way of defenses, ASIACON pleads in its answer the alleged Severe Financial Crisis
which hit the Philippines in July 1997 which affected and put it out of business.
PCIBANK filed a verified Motion for Summary Judgment therein contending that
ASIACONs defenses are a sham and that the financial crisis alleged in the answer is not

a fortuitous event that would excuse debtors from their loan obligations, nor is it an
exempting circumstance under ART. 1262, CC.
RTC in favor of PCIBANK granted the motion for Summary Judgment.
Upon Appeal, the CA affirmed with modification the Summary Judgment, reducing the
amount of attorneys fees from (P1,260,000) to (P1M).
With its motion for reconsideration denied by the CA, ASIACON now appeals to the SC.

ISSUES: (I) Whether or not there is a genuine issue as to the material fact which rules
out the propriety of the summary judgment;
(II) Whether or not the award of Attorneys fees is exorbitant or unconscionable.

RULING: (I) CA did not commit any reversible error in affirming the summary judgment
rendered by the trial court as, at bottom, there existed no genuine issue as to any
material fact.
(II) CAs reduction in the award of attorneys fees to only P1,000,000.00, given the fact
that there was no full-blown trial.
Petitioner failed to append, to its "Opposition" to the "Motion for Summary Judgment",
"Affidavits" showing the factual basis for its defenses of "extraordinary deflation,"
including facts, figures and data showing its financial condition before and after the
economic crisis and that the crisis was the proximate cause of its financial distress. It
bears stressing that the [petitioner] was burdened to demonstrate, by its "Affidavits" and
documentary evidence, that, indeed, the Philippines was engulfed in an extraordinary
deflation of the Philippine Peso and that the same was the proximate cause of the
financial distress, it claimed, it suffered.
A "genuine issue" is an issue of fact which requires the presentation of evidence as
distinguished from a sham, fictitious, contrived or false claim.
When the facts as pleaded appear uncontested or undisputed, then there is no real or
genuine issue or question as to the facts, and summary judgment is called for.
The party who moves for summary judgment has the burden of demonstrating clearly
the absence of any genuine issue of fact, or that the issue posed in the complaint is
patently unsubstantial so as not to constitute a genuine issue for trial.
The [petitioner] may have experienced financial difficulties because of the "1997
economic crisis" that ensued in Asia. However, the same does not constitute a valid
justification for the [petitioner] to renege on its obligations to the [respondent].
It is a fundamental rule that contracts, once perfected, bind both contracting parties, and
obligations arising therefrom have the force of law between the parties and should be
complied with in good faith. But the law recognizes exceptions to the principle of the
obligatory force of contracts. One exception is laid down in Article 1266 of the Civil Code,
which reads: The debtor in obligations to do shall also be released when the prestation
becomes legally or physically impossible without the fault of the obligor.
Petitioner cannot, however, successfully take refuge in the said article, since it is
applicable only to obligations "to do," and not obligations "to give." An obligation "to do"
includes all kinds of work or service; while an obligation "to give" is a prestation which
consists in the delivery of a movable or an immovable thing in order to create a real
right, or for the use of the recipient, or for its simple possession, or in order to return it to
its owner.
PINEDA vs. GUEVARA (February 14, 2007)
FACTS: The Guevara Heirs filed an action for the nullification of the certificates of title
of a parcel of land in Marikina.
Defendants were the estate of the late Pedro Gonzales, Virginia Perez, Crisanta Perez,
Jose Perez, Roy Guadalupe, Lino Bucad and Florentino Pineda.

According to the Guevara heirs, the defendants illegally claimed ownership and
possession over a certain portion of the property.
Defendant Pineda filed an answer with counterclaim, raising the defenses of lack of
cause of action, prescription, laches and estoppel. He averred that he was a buyer in
good faith and had been in actual possession of the land since 1970 initially as a lessor
and subsequently as an owner.
Defendants Virginia, Crisanta, and Jose, all surnamed Perez, filed an answer with
compulsory counterclaim and averred that their father, Marcos Perez, purchased the
property from the late Pedro Gonzales and had it declared in Perezs name for taxation
The rest of the defendants, including the estate of Pedro Gonzales, also filed an answer
with counterclaim, raising the same defenses of laches and prescription and res judicata.
The late Pedro Gonzales allegedly bought the property from the Municipality of Marikina
in a public bidding on 25 April 1966 and had allowed defendants to occupy the property.
They asserted that the Guevara heirs never actually occupied the property.
On 4 December 1995, the RTC set the case for hearing as if a motion to dismiss had been
filed. During the hearing, the parties presented oral arguments and were directed to file
their memoranda.
After submission of memoranda, the RTC issued an Order dated 7 May 1996, dismissing
the action on the ground of laches. The Guevara heirs appealed the order of dismissal,
claiming the denial of their right to due process.
CA set aside the RTCs decision reinstating the action.
The appellate court ruled that a complaint cannot be dismissed under Rule 16, Section 1
of the Rules of Court based on laches since laches is not one of the grounds enumerated
under said provision. Although the RTC order of dismissal did not rule on the other
affirmative defenses raised by petitioners in the answer, such as lack of cause of action,
prescription and res judicata, the Court of Appeals discussed them and ruled that none of
these affirmative defenses raised were present to warrant the dismissal of the action.
Only Pineda sought reconsideration. CA denied Pinedas motion.
ISSUES: (I) Whether or not the appeal of the heirs of Guevara was improperly elevated
to the Court of Appeals since, according to them, it raised a pure question of law; and
(II) Whether or not the trial court correctly dismissed the action on the ground of laches
without conducting trial on the merits.
RULING: On the first issue, Petitioner Pineda had ample opportunity to raise before
the Court of Appeals the objection on the improper mode of appeal taken by the heirs of
Guevara. This, he failed to do. The issue of improper appeal was raised only in Pinedas
motion for reconsideration of the Court of Appeals Decision. Hence, this Court cannot
now, for the first time on appeal, pass upon this issue. For an issue cannot be raised for
the first time on appeal.
On the second issue, in reversing the RTCs order of dismissal, the Court of Appeals
held that "laches could not be a ground to dismiss the complaint as it is not enumerated
under Rule 16, Section 1." This is not entirely correct.
Under paragraph (h) thereof, where a claim or demand set forth in the plaintiffs pleading
has been paid, waived, abandoned, orotherwise extinguished, the same may be raised in
a motion to dismiss.
The language of the rule, particularly on the relation of the words "abandoned" and
"otherwise extinguished" to the phrase "claim or demand deemed set forth in the
plaintiffs pleading" is broad enough to include within its ambit the defense of bar by
However, when a party moves for the dismissal of the complaint based on laches, the
trial court must set a hearing on the motion where the parties shall submit not only their
arguments on the questions of law but also their evidence on the questions of fact
involved. Thus, being factual in nature, the elements of laches must be proved or
disproved through the presentation of evidence by the parties. As discussed above, an
apparent delay in the filing of a complaint as shown in a pleading does not automatically
warrant the dismissal of the complaint on the ground of laches..

The elements of laches are: (1) conduct on the part of the defendant, or of one under
whom he claims, giving rise to the situation of which the complaint seeks a remedy; (2)
delay in asserting the complainants rights, the complainant having had knowledge or
notice of the defendants conduct as having been afforded an opportunity to institute a
suit; (3) lack of knowledge or notice on the part of the defendant that the complainant
would assert the right in which he bases his suit; and (4) injury or prejudice to the
defendant in the event relief is accorded to the complainant, or the suit is not held
Whether or not the elements of laches are present is a question involving a factual
determination by the trial court.

REPUBLIC vs TUVERA (February 16, 2007)

FACTS: Twin peaks is a corporation engaged in real estate business. President Marcos
granted Twin peaks a Timber License Agreement (TLA) in favor of the latter to operate on
26,000 hectares of land with an annual allowable cut of 60,000 cubic meters of
mahogany and narra species. As a result Twin peaks was able to engage in logging
With President Marcos was ousted, Corazon C. Aquino assumed presidency and
established the Philippine Commission on Good Government (PCGG) to track down the illgotten wealth procured by Marcos. PCGG was granted the power to issue writs of
sequestration. PCGG issued a Writ of Sequestration on all assets, properties, records,
documents, and shares of stock of Twin Peaks on the ground that all the assets of the
corporation are ill-gotten wealth for having been acquired directly or indirectly through
fraudulent and illegal means.
During trial after the prosection has rested its case and wiith leave of court, respondents
filed a Demurrer to Evidence on the basis of res judicata citing the factual antecedents
culminating with the Courts decision in Felipe Ysmael, Jr. & Corp., Inc. v. Sec. of
Environment and Natural Resources.
Sandiganbayan sustained the demurrer to evidence. The Republic questioned the
correctness of the Sandiganbayans decision to grant the demurrer to evidence because
it was not based solely on the insufficiency of its evidence but also on the evidence of
respondent mentioned during the pre-trial conference. The Republic also challenges the
applicability of res judicata.
ISSUE: Whether or not a demurrer to evidence may be granted on the ground of res
RULING: An examination of the Sandiganbayans Resolution shows that dismissal of the
case on demurrer to evidence was principally anchored on the Republics failure to show
its right to relief because of the existence of a prior judgment which consequently barred
the relitigation of the same issue. In other words, the Sandiganbayan did not dismiss the
case on the insufficiency of the Republics evidence nor on the strength of respondents
evidence. Rather, it based its dismissal on the existence of the Ysmael case which,
according to it, would render the case barred by res judicata.
For res judicata to serve as an absolute bar to a subsequent action, the following
requisites must concur: (1) the former judgment or order must be final; (2) the judgment
or order must be on the merits; (3) it must have been rendered by a court having
jurisdiction over the subject matter and parties; and (4) there must be between the first
and second actions, identity of parties, of subject matter, and of causes of action. When
there is only identity of issues with no identity of causes of action, there exists res
judicata in the concept of conclusiveness of judgment.
In Ysmael, the case was between Felipe Ysmael Jr. & Co., Inc. and the Deputy Executive
Secretary, the Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources, the Director of the
Bureau of Forest Development and Twin Peaks Development and Realty Corporation. The
present case, on the other hand, was initiated by the Republic of
the Philippines represented by the Office of the Solicitor General. No amount of
imagination could let us believe that there was an identity of parties between this case
and the one formerly filed by Felipe Ysmael Jr. & Co., Inc.

The Sandiganbayan held that despite the difference of parties, res judicata nevertheless
applies on the basis of the supposed sufficiency of the "substantial identity" between the
Republic of the Philippines and Felipe Ysmael, Jr. Co., Inc. We disagree. The Court in a
number of cases considered the substantial identity of parties in the application of res
judicata in instances where there is privity between the two parties, as between their
successors in interest by title or where an additional party was simply included in the
subsequent case or where one of the parties to a previous case was not impleaded in the
succeeding case.
The Court finds no basis to declare the Republic as having substantial interest as that of
Felipe Ysmael, Jr. & Co., Inc. In the first place, the Republics cause of action lies in the
alleged abuse of
power on respondents part in violation of R.A. No. 3019 and breach of public trust, which
in turn warrants its claim for restitution and damages. Ysmael, on the other hand, sought
the revocation of TLA No. 356 and the reinstatement of its own timber license
agreement. Indeed, there is no identity of parties and no identity of causes of action
between the two cases.


FACTS: Petitioner Manila Banking Corporation (MBC) granted a P14-Million credit line to
respondent University of Baguio Inc.(UBI) On behalf of the university, its the vice
chairman Bautista signed promissory notes and executed a continuing surety agreement.
However, Bautista diverted the net proceeds of the loan. He endorsed and delivered the
four checks representing their net proceeds to respondent Group Developers Inc.(GDI).
The loan was not paid.
The bank filed a complaint for a sum of money against Bautista and his wife before the
RTC. Subsequently, the bank amended the complaint and impleaded GDI as additional
In the amended complaint, the bank alleged that it was unaware and did not approve the
diversion of the loan to GDI; that it granted the loan without collateral upon the
universitys undertaking that it would construct new buildings; and that GDI connived
with the university and Bautista, Jr. in fraudulently contracting the debt.
In its Answer, the university claimed that the bank and GDI approved the diversion.
Allegedly, Victor G. Puyat, then GDIs President, and Vicente G. Puyat, then the banks
President, decided to use the proceeds of the loan.
On December 14, 1995, the bank and GDI executed a deed of dacion en pago. As
attorney-in-fact of Batulao Bio-Loop Farms, Inc., GDI ceded and transferred to the bank a
parcel of land consisting of 210,000 square meters located in Nasugbu, Batangas and
covered by Transfer Certificate of Title No. T-70784. The dacion en pago was for a
consideration of P78 million and in full settlement of the loan under the promissory
The university moved to dismiss the amended complaint on the grounds that: (1) there
was "no more cause of action" against it since the loan had been settled by GDI; and (2)
the bank "failed to prosecute the action for an unreasonable length of time." In an
Order dated August 17, 1999, the trial court denied the motion since the "matters relied
upon by the university were evidentiary in nature."
On October 14, 1999, the university moved to set the case for pre-trial on December 2,
On August 3, 2000, the trial court resolved GDIs motion to resolve the motions to
dismiss and defer pre-trial; expunged from the record the deed of dacion en pago; and
reinstated GDIs motions to dismiss the amended complaint and cross-claim on the
ground that no compromise agreement was submitted for its approval.
On August 29, 2001, the university filed a manifestation with motion for reconsideration
of the August 17, 1999 Order denying the universitys motion to dismiss the amended

complaint. The university argued that the grounds for its motion to dismiss were not
evidentiary as the deed of dacion en pago and the banks judicial admission thereof were
on record.
The bank opposed the motion on the ground that the motion for reconsideration of the
August 17, 1999 Order was filed after more than two years. The bank noted that it was
the university which moved to set the case for pre-trial; thus, its claim of not seeking
reconsideration of the August 17, 1999 Order because of the scheduled pre-trial was
preposterous. The bank concluded that the motion to dismiss lacked basis since the deed
of dacion en pago had already been expunged.
In the appealed Order of April 11, 2002, the trial court ruled that the bank had no cause
of action against the defendants because its claim for a sum of money had been paid
through the dacion en pago. The trial court noted that the bank even admitted the
ISSUE: Whether or not the trial court erred in dismissing the amended complaint,
without trial, upon motion of respondent university?
A motion to dismiss under Rule 33 in the nature of demurrer to evidence and would be
proper only after petitioner had presented its evidence and rested its case. In the case at
bar, there had been no presentation of evidence yet and petitioner had not rested its
case. Therefore, the August 17, 1999 Order properly denied the motion to dismiss for
being improper under either Rule 16 or 33.
GSIS vs. Pudential Guarantee & Assurance (November 30, 2013)
FACTS: National Electrification Administration (NEA) entered into a Memorandum of
Agreement (MOA) with GSIS insuring all real and personal properties mortgaged to it by
electrical cooperatives under an Industrial All Risks Policy (IAR policy). The total sum
insured under the IAR policy wasP16,731,141,166.80, out of which, 95%
or P15,894,584,108.40 was reinsured by GSIS with PGAI for a period of one year or from
March 5, 1999 to March 5, 2000.
While GSIS remitted to PGAI the reinsurance premiums for the first three quarters, it,
however, failed to pay the fourth and last reinsurance premium due on December 5,
1999 despite demands. This prompted PGAI to file, Complaint for sum of money
(complaint) against GSIS before the RTC.
PGAI filed a Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings averring that GSIS essentially admitted
the material allegations of the complaint, such as: (a) the existence of the MOA between
NEA and GSIS; (b) the existence of the reinsurance binder between GSIS and PGAI; (c)
the remittance by GSIS to PGAI of the first three quarterly reinsurance premiums; and (d)
the failure/refusal of GSIS to remit the fourth and last reinsurance premium. Hence, PGAI
prayed that the RTC render a judgment on the pleadings pursuant to Section 1, Rule 34
of the Rules of Court (Rules). GSIS opposed the foregoing motion by reiterating the
allegations and defenses in its Answer.
RTC issued an Order granting PGAIs Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings.
GSIS assailed the RTCs Order which granted PGAIs Motion for Judgment on the
Pleadings through an appeal.
GSIS averred that the RTC gravely erred in: (a) rendering judgment on the pleadings
since it specifically denied the material allegations in PGAIs complaint; (b) ordering
execution pending appeal since there are no justifiable reasons for the same; and (c)
effecting execution against funds and assets of GSIS given that RA 8291 exempts the
same from levy, execution and garnishment.
For its part, PGAI maintained that: (a) the judgment on the pleadings was in order given
that GSIS never disputed the facts as alleged in its complaint; (b) the discretionary
execution was proper in view of the dilatory methods employed by GSIS in order to
evade the payment of a valid obligation; and (c) the general insurance fund of GSIS,
which was attached and garnished by the RTC, is not exempt from execution.

The CA ruled that judgment on the pleadings was proper since GSIS did not specifically
deny the genuineness, due execution, and perfection of its reinsurance contract with
ISSUE: Whether or not a judgment on the pleading was proper.
RULING: The CA did not err in affirming the propriety of a judgment on the pleadings.
Judgment on the pleadings is appropriate when an answer fails to tender an issue, or
otherwise admits the material allegations of the adverse partys pleading. The rule is
stated in Section 1, Rule 34 of the Rules which reads as follows:
In this relation, jurisprudence dictates that an answer fails to tender an issue if it does
not comply with the requirements of a specific denial as set out in Sections 8 and 10,Rule
8 of the Rules, resulting in the admission of the material allegations of the adverse
partys pleadings.
In this case, records disclose that in its Answer, GSIS admitted the material allegations of
PGAIs complaint warranting the grant of the relief prayed for. In particular, GSIS
admitted that: (a) it made a request for reinsurance cover which PGAI accepted in a
reinsurance binder effective for one year; (b) it remitted only the first three reinsurance
premium payments to PGAI; (c) it failed to pay PGAI the fourth and final reinsurance
premium installment;and (d) it received demand letters from PGAI.It also did not refute
the allegation of PGAI that it settled reinsurance claims during the reinsured period.
This is a Rule 45 Petition for Review on Certiorari assailing the Decision dated 20
November 2008 and Resolution dated 30 March 2009 issued by the Court of Appeals
(CA). Affirming the findings of the Civil Service Commission (CSC), the CA found
petitioner Carlito C. Encinas (petitioner) administratively liable for grave misconduct and
conduct prejudicial to the best interest of service- offenses proscribed by Section 46(b)
(4) and (27), Book V of Executive Order No. 292, or the Administrative Code of 1987 and affirmed his dismissal.

Respondents Agustin and Caubang were then both holding positions as Fire
Officer I in Nueva Ecija.
Petitioner Encinas who was then Provincial Fire Marshall of Nueva Ecija
allegedly required the respondents to pay him P5,000 in order not to relieve them
from their station at the Cabanatuan City and re-assign them to a far flung area.
The respondents decided to pay in fear of the re-assignment, but they manage to
come up with P2,000 and prompting to direct them to come up with the balance
within a week. When they failed to deliver the balance, only causing the petitioner
to order for their re-assignment Agustin to Cuyapo Fire Station and Caubang to
Talugtug Fire Station.
As a result, the respondents decided to file a complaint for illegal transfer before
the Bureau of Fire Protection for illegal transfer of personnel under Republic Act
(R.A.) No. 6975 or the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Act of
1990 and at the same time filed another complaint before the Civil
Service Commission Regional Office in Pampanga and the Civil
Service Commission in Cabanatuan for violation of Section 4(c) of R.A. No.
6713 or the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and
BFP = dismissed for insufficiency of evidence.
CSCRO issued its Decision, finding petitioner administratively liable for grave
misconduct and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of service, and ordered his
dismissal from service.
Petitioner filed a Motion for Reconsideration.
The Motion, however, was subsequently denied by the CSCRO. It affirmed its
previous ruling that the statements of petitioners witnesses were incompetent and
immaterial, having failed to disprove that petitioner had indeed extorted money
from respondents.

Aggrieved, petitioner filed an Appeal Memorandum with the CSC main

office. Based on the filed complaints, the petitioner alleges that the respondents
are guilty of forum shopping by filing the two identical complaints. The petitioner
claims that the charges of dishonesty, grave misconduct and conduct prejudicial to
public interest that were filed before the Civil Service Commission and the BFP are
in violation of the rules against forum shopping.
Whether or not respondents are guilty of forum-shopping
The court held the respondents are not guilty of forum shopping. The court
enumerated what constitutes a violation of forum shoppingwhich include the presence
of the requisites of litis pendentia and res judicata. There is litis pendentia when: (1)
identity of parties is the same with the same interests in both actions, (2) identity of
rights asserted and reliefs prayed for and founded on the same facts, (3) identity of
the two preceding cases where a judgment rendered in the pending case will amount
to res judicata in the other case.
For res judicata to bar the institution of a subsequent action, the following requisites
include (1) the former judgment is final, (2) the court rendering the said decision has
jurisdiction over the parties and the subject matter, (3) judgement is based on
the merits, (4) between the two actions, there must be identity of parties, subject
matter and cause of action.
In applying the above requisites, the court held that the dismissal of the petitioner
based on the BFP complaint does not constitute res judicata in relation to the CSC
complaint. The dismissal by the BFP is not based on the merits, but based on the
recommendation of the fact finding committee in determining whether a formal
charge of an administrative offense may be filed. There is therefore no rights and
liabilities of the parties that were determined in the said action with finality. The court
thereby affirmed the dismissal of the petitioner and denied the petition.
Before us is a petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 assailing the Decision dated
September 9, 2008 and Resolution dated December 15, 2008 of the Court of Appeals
(CA) in CA-G.R. CV No. 85384. The CA affirmed the Orders dated March 7, 2005 and May
4, 2005 of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Paraaque City, Branch 260 in Civil Case No.
Petitioner, Ma. Carminia C. Calderon and private respondent Jose Antonio F. Roxas, were
married on December 4, 1985 and their union produced four children.
On January 16, 1998, petitioner filed an Amended Complaint for the declaration of nullity
of their marriage on the ground of psychological incapacity under Art. 36 of the Family
Code of the Philippines.
On May 19, 1998, the trial court issued an Order granting petitioners application for
support pendente lite. The aforesaid order and subsequent orders for support pendente
lite were the subject of G.R. No. 139337 entitled Ma. Carminia C. Roxas v. Court of
Appeals and Jose Antonio F. Roxas decided by this Court on August 15, 2001.
The Decision in said case declared that the proceedings and orders issued by the trial
court in the application for support pendente lite (and the main complaint for annulment
of marriage) in the re-filed case, that is, in Civil Case No. 97-0608 were not rendered null
and void by the omission of a statement in the certificate of non-forum shopping
regarding the prior filing and dismissal without prejudice of Civil Case No. 97-0523 which
involves the same parties. The assailed orders for support pendent lite were thus
reinstated and the trial court resumed hearing the main case.

On motion of petitioners counsel, the trial court issued an Order directing private
respondent to give support in the amount of P42,292.50 per month starting April 1, 1999
pursuant to the May 19, 1998 Order.
On February 11, 2003, private respondent filed a Motion to Reduce Support citing,
among other grounds, that the P42,292.50 monthly support for the children as fixed by
the court was even higher than his then P20,800.00 monthlysalary as city councilor.
After hearing, the trial court issued an Order (March 7, 2005) granting the motion to
reduce support and denying petitioners motion for spousal support, increase of the
childrens monthly support pendente lite and support-in-arrears.
Petitioners motion for partial reconsideration of the March 7, 2005 Order was denied on
May 4, 2005.
On May 16, 2005, the trial court rendered its Decision in Civil Case No. 97-0608 declaring
the marriage null and void; Ordering the respondent Jose Antonio Roxas to provide
support to the children.
In her appeal brief, petitioner emphasized that she is not appealing the Decision dated
May 16, 2005 which had become final as no appeal therefrom had been brought by the
parties or the City Prosecutor or the Solicitor General. Petitioner pointed out that her
appeal is from the RTC Order dated March 7, 2005, issued prior to the rendition of the
decision in the main case, as well as the May 4, 2005 Order denying her motion for
partial reconsideration.
By Decision dated September 9, 2008, the CA dismissed the appeal on the ground that
granting the appeal would disturb the RTC Decision of May 16, 2005 which had long
become final and executory. The CA further noted that petitioner failed to avail of the
proper remedy to question an interlocutory order.
Petitioners motion for reconsideration was likewise denied by the CA.
Whether the March 7, 2005 and May 4, 2005 Orders on the matter of support pendente
lite are interlocutory or final.
In interlocutory order merely resolves incidental matters and leaves something more to
be done to resolve the merits of the case. In contrast, a judgment or order is considered
final if the order disposes of the action or proceeding completely, or terminates a
particular stage of the same action. Clearly, whether an order or resolution is final or
interlocutory is not dependent on compliance or noncompliance by a party to its
directive, as what petitioner suggests.
Moreover, private respondents obligation to give monthly support in the amount fixed
by the RTC in the assailed orders may be enforced by the court itself, as what transpired
in the early stage of the proceedings when the court cited the private respondent in
contempt of court and ordered him arrested for his refusal/failure to comply with the
order granting support pendente lite. A few years later, private respondent filed a motion
to reduce support while petitioner filed her own motion to increase the same, and in
addition sought spousal support and support in arrears. This fact underscores the
provisional character of the order granting support pendente lite.
Petitioners theory that the assailed orders have ceased to be provisional due to the
arrearages incurred by private respondent is therefore untenable.
The remedy against an interlocutory order not subject of an appeal is an appropriate
special civil action under Rule 65 provided that the interlocutory order is rendered
without or in excess of jurisdiction or with grave abuse of discretion.

Having chosen the wrong remedy in questioning the subject interlocutory orders of the
RTC, petitioner's appeal was correctly dismissed by the CA.
FTC (herein petitioner Fortune Tobacco Corporation) is engaged in manufacturing or
producing cigarette brands with tax rate classification based on net retail price.
FTC filed before the CTA three (3) separate petitions for refund covering three different
periods involving varying amounts as hereunder indicated:
a) CTA Case No. 6365 (Jan. 1 to Jan. 31, 2000) for P35,651,410.00;
b) CTA Case No. 6383 (Feb. 1, 2000 to Dec. 31, 2001) for P644,735,615.00; and
c) CTA Case No. 6612 (Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, 2002) for 355,385,92
In three (3) separate decisions/resolutions, the CTA found the claims for refund for the
amounts aforestated valid and thus ordered the payment thereof.
Respondent Commissioner filed a Petition for Review with the Court of Appeals (CA) questioning the CTA
Resolution dated November 4, 2003 which was issued in CTA Case Nos. 6365 and 6383. The case was
docketed as CA-G.R. SP No.80675.
Respondent Commissioner filed another appeal before the CA questioning the CTA Decision dated
December 4, 2003 issued in CTA Case No. 6612. The case was docketed as CA-G.R. SP No. 83165.

The BIR Commissioner went to the CA on a petition for review assailing in CA-G.R.SP
No. 80675 the CTA decision/resolution pertaining to consolidated CTA Case Nos. 6365
& 6383. A similar petition, docketed as CA G.R. SP No.83165, was subsequently filed
assailing the CTA decision/resolution on CTA Case No. 6612.
The CA denied the Commissioners consolidated petition for review and also denied the
Commissioners motion for reconsideration.
The Commissioner went to the Supreme Court -- G.R. Nos. 167274-75 to defeat FTCs
claim for refund thus granted initially by the CTA and then by the CA in CA-G.R. SP No.
80675 and CA-G.R. SP No. 83165.
By Decision dated July 21, 2008, the Court found against the Commissioner, disposing as
WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED. The Decision of the Court of Appeals in CA G.R. SP
No. 80675, dated 28 September 2004,and its Resolution, dated 1 March 2005, are
AFFIRMED. No pronouncement as to costs.
From the foregoing narration, two critical facts are at once apparent. First , the BIR
Commissioner came to this Court on a petition for review in G.R. Nos. 167274-75 to set
aside the consolidated decision of the CA in CA-G.R. SP No. 80675 and CA-G.R. SP No.
83165. Second, while the Courts Decision dated July 21, 2008 in G.R. Nos. 167274-75
denied the Commissioners petition for review, necessarily implying that the CAs
appealed consolidated decision is affirmed in toto, the fallo of that decidendi makes no
mention or even alludes to the appealed CA decision in CA-G.R. No. 83165, albeit the
main decisions recital of facts made particular reference to that appealed CA decision. In
fine, there exists an apparent in consistency between the dispositive portion and the
body of the main decision, which ideally should have been addressed before the finality
of the said decision.
The Supreme Court ruled that CA-G.R. SP No. 83165 should be included in the fallo of the
July 21, 2008 decision.

It is established jurisprudence that "the only portion of the decision which becomes the
subject of execution and determines what is ordained is the dispositive part, the body of
the decision being considered as the reasons or conclusions of the Court, rather than its
In the case of Ong Ching Kian Chung v. China National Cereals Oil and Foodstuffs Import
and Export Corporation, the Court noted two (2)exceptions to the rule that the fallo
prevails over the body of the opinion, viz:
(a) where there is ambiguity or uncertainty, the body of the opinion may be referred to
for purposes of construing the judgment because the dispositive part of a decision must
find support from the decisions ratio decidendi;
(b) where extensive and explicit discussion and settlement of the issue is found in the
body of the decision.
Both exceptions obtain in the present case. We find that there is an ambiguity in the fallo
of Our July 21, 2008 Decision in G.R. Nos. 167274-75 considering that the propriety of
the CA holding in CA-G.R. SP No.83165 formed part of the core issues raised in G.R. Case
Nos. 167274-75, but unfortunately was left out in the all-important decretal portion of
the judgment. The fallo of Our July 21, 2008 Decision should, therefore, be
correspondingly corrected.
This is a Petition for Review on Certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court seeking to
annul and set aside the Decision1 dated November 30, 2005 of the Court of Appeals (CA)
ordering petitioner City of Cebu (petitioner) to pay twelve percent (12%) legal interest
per annum on the unpaid balance of the just compensation paid to respondent Apolonio
Dedamo, Jr. (respondent). Likewise assailed is the Resolution 2 dated May 9, 2006 denying
The present controversy is an off-shoot of Civil Case No. CEB-14632 for eminent domain
over two (2) parcels of land owned by spouses Apolonio and Blasa Dedamo (Spouses
Dedamo), filed by the petitioner before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Cebu City. The
petitioner immediately took possession of the lots after depositing P51,156.00 with the
Philippine National Bank pursuant to Section 19 of Republic Act No. 7160.
During the pendency of the case, the petitioner and Spouses Dedamo entered into a
Compromise Agreement whereby the latter agreed to part with the ownership of the
parcels of land in favor of the former in consideration of ONE MILLION SEVEN HUNDRED
EIGHTY-SIX THOUSAND FOUR HUNDRED PESOS (P1,786,400.00) as provisional payment
and just compensation in an amount to be determined by a panel of commissioners.
Forthwith, the panel was constituted and a report was submitted to the RTC
recommending the sum ofP20,826,339.50 as just compensation. The report was adopted
and approved by the RTC in its Order.
The RTC Order was affirmed by the CA and then by the Court, when the matter was
elevated for review in a petition docketed as G.R. No. 142971.
When the said decision became final and executory on September 20, 2002, the case
was remanded for execution to the RTC, before which, a motion for the issuance of a writ
of execution was filed by Spouses Dedamo.
On May 16, 2003, the RTC granted the motion and ordered the issuance of the writ.
In the meantime, Spouses Dedamo passed away and they were substituted in the case
by herein respondent.
On December 23, 2003, the petitioner paid the respondent the sum of P19,039,939.50
which is the difference between the just compensation due and the provisional payment
already made.
On March 24, 2004, the respondent filed a Manifestation and Motion before the RTC to
order the petitioner to pay interest on the just compensation computed from the time of
actual taking of the lands.

On April 30, 2004, the RTC denied the motion and ruled that it can no longer amend a
final and executory judgment that did not specifically direct the payment of legal
interest. Adamant, the respondent sought recourse before the CA asserting that the
petitioner is liable to pay legal interest.
The CA rejected the respondents first claim since the issue was belatedly raised during
the execution stage and after the judgment of just compensation attained finality.
Nonetheless, the CA found the respondents second contention meritorious. The CA
awarded legal interest accruing from the time the RTC Order dated December 27, 1996
awarding just compensation was affirmed with finality by the Supreme Court up to the
time of full payment thereof in line with the ruling in Eastern Shipping Lines, Inc. v. Court
of Appeals that when a court judgment awarding a sum of money becomes final and
executory, it shall earn legal interest of 12% per annum reckoned from such finality until
In the case at bar, the petitioner prays for the annulment of the award of 12% legal
interest made by the CA in view of the termination of the eminent domain case upon
payment of the just compensation in satisfaction of the writ of execution. The petitioner
further asserts that the final judgment in Civil Case No. CEB-14632 which did not
explicitly pronounce the payment of interest can no longer be modified lest the basic
principles of remedial law be defiled.
For his part, the respondent avers that Section 10, Rule 67 of the Rules of Court
mandating the payment of legal interest on just compensation forms part of every
judgment rendered in eminent domain cases even if the same was not directly ordered
The respondent also claims that the award of just compensation must be reckoned from
the date of taking of subject lots and not from the date of finality of G.R. No. 142971
because just compensation, before it is paid, constitutes loan or forbearance of money
that entails the imposition of a 12% interest per annum.
The petition is denied on the ground of res judicata in the mode of conclusiveness of
A perusal of the allegations in the present case evidently shows that the petitioner
broaches the issues similarly raised and already resolved in G.R. No. 172942.
Under the principle of conclusiveness of judgment, when a right or fact has been
judicially tried and determined by a court of competent jurisdiction, or when an
opportunity for such trial has been given, the judgment of the court, as long as it
remains unreversed, should be conclusive upon the parties and those in privity with
them.14 Stated differently, conclusiveness of judgment bars the re-litigation in a second
case of a fact or question already settled in a previous case.
The adjudication in G.R. No. 172942 has become binding and conclusive on the petitioner
who can no longer question the respondents entitlement to the 12% legal interest
awarded by the CA. The Courts determination in G.R. No. 172942 on the reckoning point
of the 12% legal interest is likewise binding on the petitioner who cannot re-litigate the
said matter anew through the present recourse.
Thus, the judgment in G.R. No. 172942 bars the present case as the relief sought in the
latter is inextricably related to the ruling in the former.
WHEREFORE, premises considered, the Petition is hereby DENIED.


This is a petition for revievv on certiorari assailing the Decision1 dated April 17, 2009 of the Court of
Appeals (CA) in CA-G.R. CV No. 70071, and the Resolution 2 dated Septernber 30, 2010 denying
petitioner's Motion for Partial Reconsideration.3

Respondents spouses Placido and Clara Orilla (respondents) were the owners of a parcel of land
situated in Bohol containing an area of 23.3416 hectares and covered by Transfer Certificate of Title
No. 18401.
Department of Agrarian Reform Provincial Agrarian Reform Office (DARPARO) of Bohol sent
respondents a Notice of Land Valuation and Acquisition informing them of the compulsory acquisition
of 21.1289 hectares of their landholdings pursuant to the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law
(Republic Act [RA] 6657) for P371,154.99 as compensation based on the valuation made by petitioner
Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP).4
However, respondents rejected the said valuation. Consequently, a summary hearing was conducted
by the Provincial Department of Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board (Provincial DARAB) to determine
the amount of just compensation. After the proceedings, the Provincial DARAB affirmed the valuation
made by the petitioner.5
Not content with the decision, respondents filed an action for the determination of just compensation
before the Regional Trial Court of Tagbilaran City sitting as a Special Agrarian Court (SAC). The case
was docketed as Civil Case No. 6085 and was raffled to Branch 3.
After trial on the merits, the SAC rendered a Decision WHEREFORE, judgment is hereby rendered
fixing the just compensation of the land of petitioner subject matter of the instant action at P7.00 per
square meter, as only prayed for, which shall earn legal interest from the filing of the complaint until
the same shall have been fully paid.
Petitioner filed a Notice of Appeal. Subsequently, respondents filed a Motion for Execution Pending
Appeal, pursuant to Section 2, Rule 39 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure.
SAC issued an Order granting the Motion for Execution Pending Appeal
Petitioner filed a Motion for Reconsideration, which was denied.
Petitioner filed with the CA a special civil action for certiorari and prohibition under Rule 65 of the
Rules of Court with prayer for issuance of a temporary restraining order and/or preliminary injunction.
It questioned the propriety of the SAC Order granting the execution pending appeal. 13
The CA held that there was no valid and sufficient legal basis for the SAC in fixing the just
compensation for the subject property at P1,479,023.00. Thus, the CA remanded the case to the SAC
for the proper determination of just compensation.
In disposing the case, the CA also took into consideration the Motion for Execution Pending Appeal
that was granted earlier by the SAC and affirmed by the CA and this Court

Argument: Petitioner argues that when the CA set aside the valuation of the SAC, it necessarily
means that such valuation can no longer be the subject of an execution pending appeal. It adds that
the writ of execution ordering the LBP to pay respondents the amount of P1,479,023.00 remains
unimplemented as of the time the CA rendered the decision annulling the aforesaid valuation.
Petitioner posits that once a decision is annulled or set aside, it is rendered without legal effect for
being a void judgment. Petitioner maintains that while the issue of the validity of the writ of execution
issued by the SAC had been upheld by this Court in G.R. No. 157206, the enforcement of the writ had
been rendered moot and academic after the decision of the SAC was reversed and set aside by the
On their part, respondents contend that having attained finality, the decision of this Court in G.R. No.
157206 could no longer be disturbed. Moreover, the reason advanced by the CA in denying the
motion for partial reconsideration was merely an affirmation of the decision of this Court in the said
The CA, therefore, concluded that there was no sufficient legal basis for the valuation arrived at by
the SAC in the amount of P1,479,023.00. In fine, the CA effectively set aside and voided the Decision
of the RTC fixing the amount of just compensation for the subject property. As correctly argued by
petitioner, being the fruit of a void judgment such amount cannot be the proper subject of the Order
granting the motion for execution pending appeal issued by the SAC.
A void judgment or order has no legal and binding effect, force or efficacy for any purpose. In
contemplation of law, it is non-existent. Such judgment or order may be resisted in any action or

proceeding whenever it is involved. It is not even necessary to take any steps to vacate or avoid a
void judgment or final order; it may simply be ignored.27
Accordingly, a void judgment is no judgment at all. It cannot be the source of any right nor of any
obligation. All acts performed pursuant to it and all claims emanating from it have no legal effect.
Hence, it can never become final, and any writ of execution based on it is void: "x x x it may be said
to be a lawless thing which can be treated as an outlaw and slain at sight, or ignored wherever and
whenever it exhibits its head."30
Verily, it appears that the writ of execution pending appeal remains unimplemented as of the time the
CA rendered its decision annulling the valuation made by the SAC. The monetary award having
emanated from a void valuation, it follows that the writ of execution pending appeal cannot be
properly implemented. As contemplated by the CA, the situation would have been different if the writ
was already enforced during the pendency of the appeal, for at that time the writ could still be validly
enforced since the valuation made by the SAC still stands. Necessarily, as directed by the CA, any
excess amount paid to respondents should be returned to petitioner.
Nonetheless, the amount of P371,154.99 representing the compensation offered by the petitioner for
the land taken, can still be properly awarded to respondents in accordance with Land Bank of the
Philippines v. Court of Appeals.32 In the said case, the Court allowed the release of the offered
compensation to the landowner pending the determination of the final valuation of their properties.
The Court opined that:
We are not persuaded. As an exercise of police power, the expropriation of private property under the
CARP puts the landowner, and not the government, in a situation where the odds are already stacked
against his favor. He has no recourse but to allow it. His only consolation is that he can negotiate for
the amount of compensation to be paid for the expropriated property. As expected, the landowner will
exercise this right to the hilt, but subject however to the limitation that he can only be entitled to a
"just compensation." Clearly therefore, by rejecting and disputing the valuation of the DAR, the
landowner is merely exercising his right to seek just compensation. If we are to affirm the withholding
of the release of the offered compensation despite depriving the landowner of the possession and use
of his property, we are in effect penalizing the latter for simply exercising a right afforded to him by

Petitioners Eleazar P. Quinto and Gerino A. Tolentino, Jr. filed a petition for certiorari and
prohibition against the COMELEC for issuing a resolution declaring appointive officials
who filed their certificate of candidacy as ipso facto resigned from their positions. In this
defense, the COMELEC avers that it only copied the provision from Sec. 13 of R.A. 9369.
Procedural Issues
First, we shall resolve the procedural issues on the timeliness of the COMELECs motion
for reconsideration which was filed on December 15, 2009, as well as the propriety of the
motions for reconsideration-in-intervention which were filed after the Court had rendered
its December 1, 2009 Decision.


Timeliness of COMELECs Motion for Reconsideration

Pursuant to Section 2, Rule 56-A of the 1997 Rules of Court,[5] in relation to Section 1,
Rule 52 of the same rules,[6] COMELEC had a period of fifteen days from receipt of notice
of the assailed Decision within which to move for its reconsideration. COMELEC received
notice of the assailed Decision on December 2, 2009, hence, had until December 17,
2009 to file a Motion for Reconsideration.
The Motion for Reconsideration of COMELEC was timely filed. It was filed on December
14, 2009. The corresponding Affidavit of Service (in substitution of the one originally
submitted on December 14, 2009) was subsequently filed on December 17, 2009 still
within the reglementary period.


Propriety of the Motions for Reconsideration-in-Intervention

Section 1, Rule 19 of the Rules of Court provides:

A person who has legal interest in the matter in litigation or in the success of either of
the parties, or an interest against both, or is so situated as to be adversely affected by a
distribution or other disposition of property in the custody of the court or of an officer
thereof may, with leave of court, be allowed to intervene in the action. The court shall
consider whether or not the intervention will unduly delay or prejudice the adjudication
of the rights of the original parties, and whether or not the intervenors rights may be
fully protected in a separate proceeding.
Pursuant to the foregoing rule, this Court has held that a motion for intervention shall be
entertained when the following requisites are satisfied: (1) the would-be intervenor
shows that he has a substantial right or interest in the case; and (2) such right or interest
cannot be adequately pursued and protected in another proceeding.[7]
Upon the other hand, Section 2, Rule 19 of the Rules of Court provides the time within
which a motion for intervention may be filed, viz.:
SECTION 2. Time to intervene. The motion for intervention may be filed at any time
before rendition of judgment by the trial court. A copy of the pleading-in-intervention
shall be attached to the motion and served on the original parties. (italics supplied)
This rule, however, is not inflexible. Interventions have been allowed even beyond the
period prescribed in the Rule, when demanded by the higher interest of justice.
Interventions have also been granted to afford indispensable parties, who have not been
impleaded, the right to be heard even after a decision has been rendered by the trial
court,[8] when the petition for review of the judgment has already been submitted for
decision before the Supreme Court,[9] and even where the assailed order has already
become final and executory.[10] In Lim v. Pacquing,[11] the motion for intervention filed
by the Republic of the Philippines was allowed by this Court to avoid grave injustice and
injury and to settle once and for all the substantive issues raised by the parties.
In fine, the allowance or disallowance of a motion for intervention rests on the sound
discretion of the court[12] after consideration of the appropriate circumstances.[13]We
stress again that Rule 19 of the Rules of Court is a rule of procedure whose object is to
make the powers of the court fully and completely available for justice.[14] Its purpose is
not to hinder or delay, but to facilitate and promote the administration of justice.[15]
We rule that, with the exception of the IBP Cebu City Chapter, all the movantsintervenors may properly intervene in the case at bar.
First, the movants-intervenors have each sufficiently established a substantial right or
interest in the case.
As a Senator of the Republic, Senator Manuel A. Roxas has a right to challenge the
December 1, 2009 Decision, which nullifies a long established law; as a voter, he has a
right to intervene in a matter that involves the electoral process; and as a public officer,
he has a personal interest in maintaining the trust and confidence of the public in its
system of government.
On the other hand, former Senator Franklin M. Drilon and Tom V. Apacible are candidates
in the May 2010 elections running against appointive officials who, in view of the
December 1, 2009 Decision, have not yet resigned from their posts and are not likely to
resign from their posts. They stand to be directly injured by the assailed Decision, unless
it is reversed.
Moreover, the rights or interests of said movants-intervenors cannot be adequately
pursued and protected in another proceeding. Clearly, their rights will be foreclosed if
this Courts Decision attains finality and forms part of the laws of the land.
With regard to the IBP Cebu City Chapter, it anchors its standing on the assertion that
this case involves the constitutionality of elections laws for this coming 2010 National
Elections, and that there is a need for it to be allowed to intervene xxx so that the voice

of its members in the legal profession would also be heard before this Highest Tribunal as
it resolves issues of transcendental importance.
Prescinding from our rule and ruling case law, we find that the IBP-Cebu City Chapter has
failed to present a specific and substantial interest sufficient to clothe it with standing to
intervene in the case at bar. Its invoked interest is, in character, too indistinguishable to
justify its intervention.

Spouses Paul Pelaez, Jr. (Paul) and Roceli Mamisay Pelaez (Roceli) were
employees of petitioner Associated Anglo-American Tobacco Corporation (the
Corporation). Paul worked as Sales Supervisor and later as Senior Salesman
while Roceli worked as secretary.
Paul was required by the Corporation to post a bond to answer for any amount
which he might fail to turnover to the Corporation. He complied by executing a
mortgage bond over his family's house and lot in favor of the Corporation.
Paul had defaulted in remitting the sales proceeds, the Corporation initiated the
extrajudicial foreclosure of the mortgage bond.
To stop the extrajudicial sale, Paul and Roceli filed a Complaint against the
Corporation, Dy and the Sheriff Virgilio S. Villar (Sheriff) before the RTC.
Ruling of the Regional Trial Court
The RTC issued a restraining order and, subsequently, a writ of preliminary
injunction to stop the extrajudicial sale. Then, on September 14, 2000, after due
hearing, Judge Crispin C. Laron, issued a Decision in favor of the spouses Pelaez,
the fallo of which reads:
WHEREFORE, judgment is rendered in favor of the plaintiffs and against the defendants, as follows:
1. The defendants Associated Anglo-American Tobacco Corporation and Florante C. Dy are ordered
to jointly and severally pay plaintiffs the amount of P23,820.16 representing the overage and the
account of Plaintiff Paul Pelaez, Jr. and to release the mortgage on the parcel of land covered by, and
release to plaintiffs, Transfer Certificate of Title No. 155994;
2. The defendants Associated Anglo-American Tobacco Corporation and Florante C. Dy are ordered
to pay the plaintiffs moral, exemplary damages, attorney's fees and litigation expenses in the
amount ofP50,000.00;
3. The injunction is made permanent.
With costs against defendants.
Upon motion of the spouses Pelaez, the RTC amended its Decision in its

February 7, 2001 Order, to wit:

WHEREFORE, the Motion for Partial Reconsideration is granted and the dispositive portion of
the Decision dated September 14, 2000 is hereby modified as follows:
The defendants Associated Anglo-American Tobacco Corp. and Florante C. Dy are ordered to jointly
and severally pay plaintiffs the amount of P843,383.11 representing the overage and the amount of
award of moral and exemplary damages and attorney's fees is increased from P50,000.00
to P2,000,000.00.
Furnish copies of this Order to Atty. Efren Moncupa and Atty. Da Vinci Crisostomo.

Petitioners received their copy of the February 7, 2001 Order and on March 6,
2001, they filed a Notice of Appeal of the September 14, 2000 Decision and
the February 7, 2001 Order of the RTC.
The spouses Pelaez, on the other hand, filed a Motion to Dismiss the Appeal and
Motion for Partial Execution dated August 22, 2001.
Ruling on the motion, the RTC found that the petitioners Notice of Appeal was
filed timely "only insofar as the Order of the Court dated February 7, 2001 is
concerned." Hence, the appeal insofar as to all matters not raised in the plaintiffs'
Motion for Partial Reconsideration is DISMISSED.

Ruling of the Court of Appeals

Petitioners then filed a Petition for Certiorari with the CA. The CA found that the
September 14, 2000 Decision of the RTC had become final and executory. It
found no cogent reason to disturb the RTC's Decision and its subsequent
amendment as embodied in the February 7, 2001 Order.
CA Decision states that the petition is DISMISSED for lack of merit.
After the denial by the CA of their motion for reconsideration, petitioners filed the
present Petition for Certiorari and Prohibition.
Petitioners' Arguments
Petitioners contend that their petition for certiorari is the proper remedy and that
it was filed on time within 60 days from their receipt of the CA's assailed
They contend that the CA gravely abused its discretion when it regarded the
September 14, 2000 Decision of the trial court as final and executory even if said
Decision was already modified, superseded, vacated and substituted by the
subsequent February 7, 2001 Order.
They also contend that it is grossly erroneous for the CA to conclude that the
Petition for Certiorari and Prohibition is not the right judicial remedy but ordinary
appeal, when the latter action had already been taken and perfected by
petitioners but the trial court simply refused to elevate the records to the CA.

Our Ruling
The petition has merit.
Mode of Appeal
Petitioners are questioning a final decision of the CA by resorting to Rule 65,
when their remedy should be based on Rule 45. This case would normally have
been dismissed outright for failure of the petitioners to adopt the proper

remedy. While ordinarily, certiorari is unavailing where the appeal period has
lapsed, there are exceptions.
Among them are (a) when public welfare and the advancement of public policy
dictates; (b) when the broader interest of justice so requires; (c) when the writs
issued are null and void; or (d) when the questioned order amounts to an
oppressive exercise of judicial authority. In the present case, the CA's act of
dismissing petitioners' petition for certiorari and in finding the RTC's Decision
already final and executoryin its entirety, despite the filing by the petitioners of a
Notice of Appeal within 15 days from their receipt of the February 7, 2001 RTC
Order amending the said RTC Decision is an oppressive exercise of judicial
authority. Hence, in the interest of substantial justice, we deem it wise to
overlook the procedural technicalities.
Trial Court's Decision and Its Modification
Both parties agree that the February 7, 2001 Order increased the monetary
awards in the Decision, specifically, the amount of overage from P23,820.16
to P843,383.11 and the award of moral and exemplary damages and attorney's
fees from P50,000.00 to P2,000,000.00. They however, differ on whether these
changes constituted an amendment of the Decision or merely provided a
supplement to the Decision. Petitioners argue that the change constituted a
substantial amendment, which therefore makes the entire case reviewable on
appeal, while respondents argue that the Order merely supplements the
Decision which therefore makes only the changes reviewable on appeal. They
both cite Esquivel v. Alegre which states:
There is a difference between an amended judgment and a
supplemental judgment. In an amended and clarified judgment, the
lower court makes a thorough study of the original judgment and
renders the amended and clarified judgment only after considering all
the factual and legal issues. The amended and clarified decision is an
entirely new decision which supersedes the original decision. Following
the court's differentiation of a supplemental pleading from an amending
pleading, it can be said that a supplemental decision does not take the
place or extinguish the existence of the original. As its very name
denotes, it only serves to bolster or adds something to the primary
decision. A supplement exists side by side with the original. It does not
replace that which it supplements.

In the present case, the dispositive portion of the February 7, 2001 Order was
crafted in such a way that it initially evades a categorical classification into either
of the situations as described in the above-cited case.
Hence, we further take into consideration that what plaintiffs filed was merely
a Partial Motion for Reconsideration. It is clear they were seeking
a partial change in the original Decision. It follows that there were some parts of
the Decision that they sought to remain unchanged. The RTC, thus made a study
of only a portion of its original Decision and then amended the pertinent
portion. The RTC Decision was indeed, only partially amended. The February 7,
2001 Order cannot be considered as a supplemental Decision because it cannot
exist side by side with the original pertinent portion on overage, damages and
attorney's fees. The former replaced and superceded the latter.

Now what is the effect of this partial amendment? Is the subject RTC Decision
divisible, such that a portion may be considered already final and unappealable
while another portion may be considered as not yet final and unappealable? To
answer this question we draw some light from some provisions of the Rules of
Court that permit divisions, to wit:
Rule 37, Sec. 7. Partial new trial or reconsideration.- If the grounds
for a motion under this Rule appear to the court to affect the issues as to
only a part, or less than all of the matter in controversy, or only one, or
less than all, of the parties to it, the court may order a new trial or grant
reconsideration as to such issues if severable without interfering with
the judgment or final order upon the rest. (Italics and emphasis supplied)
Rule 36, Sec. 5. Separate judgments.-When more than one claim
for relief is presented in an action, the court, at any stage, upon a
determination of the issues material to a particular claim and
all counterclaims arising out of the transaction or occurrence
which is the subject matter of the claim, may render a separate
judgment disposing of such claim. The judgment shall terminate the
action with respect to the claim so disposed of and the action shall
proceed as to the remaining claims.

It can be seen that when matters, issues or claims can properly and conveniently
be separately resolved, then division is permitted, otherwise it is not. We see no
hindrance in applying this thesis to the current situation.
As the disposition of some inter-related issues in the original RTC Decision were
materially amended by the February 7, 2001 RTC Order, these two issuances
must be taken in conjunction with each other. Together, these two issuances
form one integrated amended decision.[11] Hence, an appeal from the February
7, 2001 RTC Order must be deemed to be an appeal from the whole integrated
amended Decision.
Appeal and Partial Execution
Petitioners received their copy of the February 7, 2001 Order on February 20,
2001. They timely filed a notice of appeal on March 6, 2001, or after 14
days. The appeal was duly perfected.
When an appeal had been duly perfected, execution of the judgment, whether
wholly or partially, was not a matter of right, but of discretion provided good
reasons therefor existed. The compelling grounds for the issuance of the writ
must be stated in a special order after due hearing. Aside from the existence of
good reasons, the rules also require that the motion for partial execution should
have been filed while the trial court still had jurisdiction over the case.[13]
In the present case, the RTC's May 9, 2002 Order granting the issuance of
the writ of execution failed to state good reasons for the issuance of the
writ. The RTC mistakenly deemed that the execution should issue as a matter of
right because it had held that part of its September 14, 2001 Decision had
become final and executory. As previously discussed, the said proposition is
erroneous because the Decision in the present case is not properly severable.
Furthermore, the motion for partial execution was filed only on August 22,
2001, more than four months after the appeal was perfected. In appeals by

notice of appeal, the court loses jurisdiction over the case upon the perfection of
the appeals filed in due time and the expiration of the time to appeal of the
other parties."[14] Each party only has at most 15 days from their receipt of the
final order to appeal it. Thus, when respondents filed their motion for partial
execution the RTC no longer had jurisdiction over the case and it no longer had
jurisdiction to act on the said motion for partial execution.
Aside from the fact that the appeal was filed on time and should thus not have
been dismissed in the assailed May 9, 2002 Order, the said Order, which also
resolved the motion for partial execution, fell short of the requirements of
Section 2, Rule 39, as previously discussed. Where the order of execution is not
in conformity with the rules, the same is null and void.[15]Therefore, the CA erred
in not nullifying the May 9, 2002 Order.
Finally, we address the December 12, 2002 RTC Orders. These Orders
proceeded from, and implemented, the May 9, 2002 Order that was null and
void. These Orders were also issued more than a year after the RTC had already
lost jurisdiction over the case. Clearly, like the May 9, 2002 Order, the December
12, 2002 Orders were also null and void. Thus the CA should have also nullified
these Orders instead of dismissing the petition for certiorari questioning these
Orders before it.
Supreme Court en banc, struck down the subject 16 of the Cityhood Laws for violating
Section 10, Article X of the Constitution. Respondents filed a petition for reconsideration
which was denied by the Honorable Court. A second motion for reconsideration was also
denied until on the 18th of November 2008, the judgement became final and executory.
The Court then on the 19th of December 2009, unprecedentedly reversed its decision
upholding the constitutionally of the Cityhood Laws.
Whether or not the Court could reverse the decision it already rendered.
Yes, The operative fact doctrine never validates or constitutionalizes an unconstitutional
law. Under the operative fact doctrine, the unconstitutional law remains unconstitutional,
but the effects of the unconstitutional law, prior to its judicial declaration of nullity, may
be left undisturbed as a matter of equity and fair play. In short, the operative fact
doctrine affects or modifies only the effects of the unconstitutional law, not the
unconstitutional law itself.
Thus, applying the operative fact doctrine to the present case, the Cityhood
Laws remain unconstitutional because they violate Section 10, Article X of the
Constitution. However, the effects of the implementation of the Cityhood Laws prior to
the declaration of their nullity, such as the payment of salaries and supplies by the new
cities or their issuance of licenses or execution of contracts, may be recognized as valid
and effective. This does not mean that the Cityhood Laws are valid for they remain
void. Only the effects of the implementation of these unconstitutional laws are left
undisturbed as a matter of equity and fair play to innocent people who may have relied
on the presumed validity of the Cityhood Laws prior to the Courts declaration of their

Petitioner Dee Ping Wee and Marina U. Tan are brother and sister of respondent Lee
Hionh Wee. Araceli Wee is the wife of Dee Ping Wee.
Respondent Rosalind Wee is the spouse of Lee Hiong Wee. Petitioners were the
majority stockholders of Marcel Trading Corporation, Marine Resources
Development Corporation, and Marcel Properties.
Respondents are minority shareholders of these three corporations.
On April 16, 2004, respondents, through counsel, sought to inspect the record
books of the three (3) corporations. Petitioner Dee Ping Wee replied that he will
allow if respondent spouses will also allow petitioners to inspect the financial
records of Rico Philippines Industrial Corporation (RPIC).
Since respondents were unable to get a favorable reply, they filed three (3)
separate complaints before the RTC Quezon City, to wit: (a) Q-04-091 for Marcel
Trading Corporation, (b) Q-04-092 for Marine Resources Development Corporation,
and (c) Q-04-093 for Marcel Properties, Inc.
They allege that petitioners violated their rights to gain access to and inspect the
corporate books, records, and financial statements pursuant to Section 74 and 75
of the Corporation Code.
In their reply to the complaint, petitioners contend that respondents request were
ill-motivated, i.e. the requested reports will be used to fish for evidence that will be
used to harass petitioners.
RTC ruled in favor of respondent and held that the right to inspection of corporate
records under Sections 74 and 75 are inherent in the ownership of shares of a
corporation. The exercise of this right may be denied, however, if it is shown that
stockholders have improperly used any information secured through a previous
examination or that the demand is purely speculative or merely to satisfy curiosity.
These grounds have not been shown to be present in this case.
Petitioners received the copy of the RTC decision on July 7, 2004 while the
respondents received their copy on July 8, 2004.
On August 23, 2004, petitioners filed before the Court of Appeals a petition for
certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court alleging that there was no plain,
speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law and that a decision
rendered in an intra-corporate controversy was immediately executory.
The corresponding cases were docketed as (a) CA-G.R. SP No. 85878 (Q-04-091),
(b) 85879 (Q-04-093), and (c) 85880 (Q-04-092).
In CA-G.R. SP No. 85878, the Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the respondent and
dismissed the petition.
In CA-G.R. SP No. 85879 and 85870, the Court of Appeals ruled in favor of
petitioners ratiocinating that respondents failed to allege their motive, purpose,
and reason for inspection. The Court did not find that the respondents were
properly motivated in seeking to inspect the records of the corporation.
After the RTC decision, respondents filed a motion for execution on Q-04-091, Q-04092, and Q-04-093. The RTC denied the motion Q-04-092 and Q-04-093 on the
ground of the pendency on appeal of the case before the Court of Appeals.
However, it granted the motion for execution on Q-04-091. The RTC based its
decision on CA-G.R. No. 85878. Petitioners filed an omnibus motion to dismiss but
was denied by the RTC.
Thus petitioners filed before Court of Appeals (CA-G.R. SP No. 90024) a Petition for
Certiorari and Prohibition with prayer for issuance of Preliminary Injunction. The
motion was denied. Thereafter, petitioners filed before the SC praying for the
issuance of a preliminary injunction and/or temporary restraining order (TRO).
Whether or not the decision in SP No. 85879 (Marcel Properties, Inc.) and 85880
(Marine Resources Development Corporation) creates a supervening event which

would warrant the suspension of execution of the RTC decision granting

respondents the rights to inspect corporate records of Marcel Trading Corporation
A supervening event affects or changes the substance of the judgment and
renders the execution thereof inequitable. Should such an event occur after a
judgment becomes final and executory, which event may render the execution of
the judgment impossible or unjust, Ramirez v. Court of Appeals 54 dictates that a
stay or preclusion of execution may properly be sought. Supervening events refer
to facts which transpire after judgment has become final and executory or to new
circumstances which developed after the judgment has acquired finality, including
matters which the parties were not aware of prior to or during the trial as they
were not yet in existence at that time, a supervening event affects or changes the
substance of the judgment and renders the execution thereof inequitable,
impossible or unjust. The three corporations are distinct from each other. The
adverse decision on one case will not affect the results of the other two cases.
Furthermore, the court remands records of this case to RTC Branch 93 QC for
Petitioner is the proprietor and general manager of a licensed security-service
contractor. Respondents were security guards assigned to the National Power
Corporation (NPC-Mindanao). Petitioner issued a memorandum requiring all
security guards to submit their updated personal data files, security guard
professional license, and other pertinent documents. When respondents failed to
comply with the petitioners directive, despite several notices to do so, the
petitioner relieved them.
Respondents filed individual complaints with Labor Arbiter (LA) for illegal dismissal
and money claims, claiming they were constructively dismissed when they were
not given new assignments for a period of over 6 months, despite their repeated
Petitioner countered that the respondents relief from duty was a valid exercise of
its management prerogative.
Furthermore, petitioner issued a notice directing the respondents to report to
SMPSAs main office for new assignments, but the latter failed or refused to comply
without any valid reasons.
The LA ruled in favor of the petitioner. The respondents appealed the

dismissal of their complaints to the NLRC.

The NLRC affirmed the LA decision.
In a September 29, 2006 resolution, the NLRC denied the respondents subsequent motion for
reconsideration. The respondents counsel, Atty. Demosthenes R. Plando, received the September 29, 2006
resolution on October 13, 2006.
Eighty-eight (88) days later, or on January 9, 2007, the respondents, through their new counsel,
filed with the CA a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court, alleging that they were
informed of the September 29, 2006 resolution on December 6, 2006, while Bicoy received a copy of the
resolution on November 6, 2006.

Counsel for the respondents appealed with the Court of Appeals (CA) outside the
reglementary period, yet the ruling was in favor of respondents.

The petitioner and SMPSA moved for reconsideration, arguing that the CA should
have dismissed the petition outright for late filing, and that there was no
compelling reason for the reversal of the LA and the NLRCs factual findings.
CA considered the respondents petition as timely filed and also opined that
disregarding any procedural lapses best served substantial justice.
(1) Whether or not the Court of Appeals erred in acting on the
respondents petition despite of its late filing.
(2) Whether or not the Court of Appeals erred in reversing the LA and
NLRC decisions.
(1) Yes. Late filing should not be allowed. Under Section 4 of Rule 65 of the 1997
Rules of Civil Procedure,certiorari should be instituted within a period of 60 days
from notice of the judgment, order, or resolution sought to be assailed. The 60day period is inextendible to avoid any unreasonable delay that would violate
the constitutional rights of parties to a speedy disposition of their case.
Procedural rules do not exist for the convenience of the litigants; the rules were
established primarily to provide order to, and enhance the efficiency of, our
judicial system. While procedural rules are liberally construed, the provisions on
reglementary periods are strictly applied, indispensable as they are to the
prevention of needless delays, and are necessary to the orderly and speedy
discharge of judicial business. The timeliness of filing a pleading is a
jurisdictional caveat that even this Court cannot trifle with.
Viewed in this light, procedural rules are not to be belittled or dismissed simply because their
non-observance may have prejudiced a party's substantive rights; like all rules, they are
required to be followed.
However, there are recognized exceptions to their strict observance, such as: (1) most
persuasive and weighty reasons; (2) to relieve a litigant from an injustice not commensurate
with his failure to comply with the prescribed procedure; (3) good faith of the defaulting party
by immediately paying within a reasonable time from the time of the default; (4) the existence
of special or compelling circumstances; (5) the merits of the case; (6) a cause not entirely
attributable to the fault or negligence of the party favored by the suspension of the rules; (7) a
lack of any showing that the review sought is merely frivolous and dilatory; (8) the other party
will not be unjustly prejudiced thereby; (9) fraud, accident, mistake or excusable negligence
without appellant's fault; (10) peculiar legal and equitable circumstances attendant to each
case; (11) in the name of substantial justice and fair play; (12) importance of the issues
involved; and (13) exercise of sound discretion by the judge guided by all the attendant
circumstances.[19] Thus, there should be an effort on the part of the party invoking liberality to
advance a reasonable or meritorious explanation for his/her failure to comply with the rules.

(2) Yes. The NLRCs resolution became final ten (10) days after counsels receipt,
and the respondents failure to file the petition within the required (60)-day period
rendered it impervious to any attack through a Rule 65 petition for certiorari. Thus,
no court can exercise jurisdiction to review the resolution. A decision that has
acquired finality becomes immutable and unalterable and may no longer be
modified in any respect, even if the modification is meant to correct erroneous
conclusions of fact or law and whether it will be made by the court that rendered it
or by the highest court of the land. All the issues between the parties are deemed
resolved and laid to rest once a judgment becomes final and executory; execution
of the decision proceeds as a matter of right as vested rights are acquired by the
winning party. Just as a losing party has the right to appeal within the prescribed
period, the winning party has the correlative right to enjoy the finality of the
decision on the case. After all, a denial of a petition for being time-barred is
tantamount to a decision on the merits. Otherwise, there will be no end to
litigation, and this will set to naught the main role of courts of justice to assist in
the enforcement of the rule of law and the maintenance of peace and order by
settling justiciable controversies with finality. Petition was granted and the decision
of Labor Arbiter is reinstated.

Negligence of former counsel binds the respondents

In the present case, the respondents petition for certiorari was filed twenty-eight
(28) days late from Atty. Plandos October 13, 2006 receipt of the September 29,
2006 resolution. The respondents insist that they should not suffer for Atty. Plandos
negligence in failing to inform them of the September 29, 2006 resolution, and the
reckoning date for the 60-day period should be their December 6, 2006 notice.
The general rule is that a client is bound by the acts, even mistakes, of his counsel
in the realm of procedural technique. The exception to this rule is when the
negligence of counsel is so gross, reckless and inexcusable that the client is
deprived of his day in court. The failure of a partys counsel to notify him on time of
the adverse judgment, to enable him to appeal therefrom, is negligence that is not
excusable. We have repeatedly held that notice sent to counsel of record is binding
upon the client, and the neglect or failure of counsel to inform him of an adverse
judgment resulting in the loss of his right to appeal is not a ground for setting aside
a judgment valid and regular on its face.[22]
We cannot sustain the respondents argument that they cannot be bound by Atty.
Plandos negligence since this would set a dangerous precedent. It would enable
every party-litigant to render inoperative any adverse order or decision of the
courts or tribunals, through the simple expedient of alleging his/her counsels gross
We thus find that the CA erred in acting on the respondents petition
for certiorari despite its late filing. The NLRC resolution was already final and
executory, and the CA had no jurisdiction to entertain the petition, except to order
its dismissal.