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POLITICAL LAW

CENTER FOR PEOPLE EMPOWERMENT IN GOVERNANCE (CenPEG) v. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS (2010) Refresher: Comelec failed to provide plaintiffs with the source code of identified canvass machines despite repeated requests and demands. CenPEG is now praying for the issuance of a writ of mandamus, despite the lapse of the May 2010 elections, claiming that the source code remained important and relevant "not only for compliance with the law, and the purpose thereof, but especially in the backdrop of numerous admissions of errors and claims of fraud." Issue: W/N COMELEC could be compelled to release the source code to CenPEG- YES Doctrine: pertinent portion of Section 12 of R.A. 9369 is clear in that "once an AES technology is selected for implementation, the Commission shall promptly make the source code of that technology available and open to any interested political party or groups which may conduct their own review thereof." - The COMELEC has offered no reason not to comply with this requirement of the law. Indeed, its only excuse for not disclosing the source code was that it was not yet available when CenPEG asked for it and, subsequently, that the review had to be done, apparently for security reason, "under a controlled environment." The elections had passed and that reason is already stale. ABAYON V. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES (2010) Refresher: Plaintiffs Abayon and Palparan are first nominees of the the party-list groups Aangat Tayo and Bantay, respectively, both of which won a seat in the House of Representatives in the 2007 elections. The defendant questioned the eligibility and qualification of the plaintiffs to sit as representatives since both did not belong to the sectors in which the respective party-list groups represent. The House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal (HRET) issued an order, dismissing the petition as against Aangat Tayo and Bantay but upholding its jurisdiction over the qualifications of petitioners Abayon and Palparan Issue: (1) W/N respondent HRET has jurisdiction over the question of qualifications of petitionersYES (2) W/N it is the party-list nominee and not the group who stands as elected member- YES Doctrine: Section 17, Article VI of the Constitution provides that the HRET shall be the sole judge of all contests relating to, among other things, the qualifications of the members of the House of Representatives. Since party-list nominees are "elected members" of the House of Representatives (not the party-list group itself) no less than the district representatives are, the HRET has jurisdiction to hear and pass upon their qualifications. GREENHILLS EAST ASSOCIATION, INC. (GEA) v. E. GANZON, INC. (EGI) (2010) Refresher: EGI sought to develop a 4,109 sq. m. lot (land site) at the corner of eDSa and Ortigas Ave. in Brgy. Wack-Wack. It wanted to build a 77-storey mixed-used building with an 8-storey basement for a total of 85 storeys. The land site is adjacent to Greenhills East Subd. GEA wrote the HLURB NCR Regional Director opposing EGIs project. It also sent a letter to DPWH. EGI applied with the Brgy for clearance. The brgy denied the application.

On 24 November 1999, HLURB Arbiter rendered a decision, dismissing GEAs opposition. GEAs petition for review with the HLURB Board of Commissioners was also denied. MR also denied. On 20 November 2001, GEA filed its Notice of Appeal with the Office of the President. On 12 December 2001, GEA received an order requiring it to file its memo on appeal within 15d from notice. Before the period was up, GEA filed a motion for extension of 15d. on 11 January 2001 it filed another motion for extension for 5d. The OP denied GEAs appeal for failure to perfect it on time. MR was denied. Petition for review wth the CA was also denied. Hence, recourse to the SC. Issue: W/N the HLURB erred in finding no valid ground to restrict EGIs use of the land site, which lies beside a residential subdivision, for constructing a high-rise building. NO Doctrine: Sec. 10, Art. V of the MMZO 81-01 applies to a situation where an R-1 property adjoins a C-2 property. This is not the case at bar after the Mandaluyong City government enacted Ordinance 128 in 1993. Consequently the land site ceased to be adjacent to an R-1 zone and no longer suffered from height restrictions. The ordinance intended to cnvert all the lots, on both sides and margins of Ortigas Ave. up to the point where Notre Dame Street was. In relying on the Mandaluyong zoning map, the HLURB took note of the standard procedure observed in fixing the boundaries of the land. As a quasi-judicial body, which enjoys an expertise in land zoning classifications, the HLURB can take judicial notice of such official maps as are generated and used in government zoning activities. Although the land site indeed adjoins Lot 11, Block 4, it does so not in the manner that would properly call for the application of the zoning ordinance. Lot 11 of Block 4 and the ladn site do not have common boundaries that join them. Rather, they touch each other only at a certain point due to the irregular shape of the properties, following the direction of the meandering creek that lies between them. For this reason, it cannot be said that Sec. 10, Art. V of MMZO 81-01 applies to the project. Although Sec. 152(c) of the LGC requires a brgy clearance for any activity within its jurisdiction, such clearance cannot be denied when the activity is in a permissible zone. The applicable ordinance does not preclude the construction of the project on the land site over the unreasonable objection of a nearby association of subdivision dwellers. The city or municipality may still issue the required license or building permit despite the withholding of the brgy clearance. ROMUALDEZ v. SANDIGANBAYAN (2010) Refresher: RP filed an action for the forfeiture of alleged unlawfully acquired property with the Sandiganbayan against the Romualdez spouses as well as against Romson Realty, Inc., R & S Transport, Inc., Fidelity Management, Inc., and Dio Island Resort, Inc. pursuant to RA 1379. Petitioner filed a motion for preliminary investigation and to suspend proceedings, claiming that since it was a forfeiture proceeding filed under R.A. 1379, the Ombudsman should have first conducted a "previous inquiry similar to preliminary investigations in criminal cases" before the filing of the case pursuant to Section 2 of the law. However, the Sandiganbayan denied the motion and the subsequent MR. ISSUE: W/N the preliminary investigation that the Ombudsman conducted satisfied the requirement of the law in forfeiture cases. YES

Doctrine: The Ombudsman has under its general investigatory powers the authority to investigate forfeiture cases where the alleged ill-gotten wealth had been amassed before February 25, 1986. The exercise of his correlative powers to both investigate and initiate the proper action for the recovery of ill-gotten and/or unexplained wealth is restricted only to cases for the recovery of ill-gotten and/or unexplained wealth which were amassed after February 25, 1986. Prior to said date, the Ombudsman is without authority to initiate such forfeiture proceedings. We, however, uphold his authority to investigate cases for the forfeiture or recovery of such ill-gotten and/or unexplained wealth amassed even before the aforementioned date, pursuant to his general investigatory power under Section 15(1) of Republic Act No. 6770. (Republic v. Sandiganbayan) Although it was the Ombudsman who conducted the preliminary investigation, it was the OSG that instituted the action. The Ombudsman could not be faulted for proceeding with the investigation of the Romualdezes cases when they did not show up despite notice being sent to them at their last known residence. The New Rules on Criminal Procedure "does not require as a condition sine qua non to the validity of the proceedings [in the preliminary investigation] the presence of the accused for as long as efforts to reach him were made, and an opportunity to controvert the evidence of the complainant is accorded him. The obvious purpose of the rule is to block attempts of unscrupulous respondents to thwart the prosecution of offenses by hiding themselves or by employing dilatory tactics." Petition DISMISSED for lack of merit. NATIONAL HOUSING AUTHORITY v. THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRARIAN REFORM ADJUDICATION BOARD and MATEO VILLARUZ (May 4, 2010) Refresher: Respondent Villaruz was the tenant of an Estate, which Estate was later on purchased by petitioner NHA in a foreclosure sale for failure of the Estate to pay its loan to a bank. The DPWH constructed roads and bridges that passed through a portion of the Estate prompting Villaruz to claim damages and disturbance compensation; said claim was dismissed. Consequent to a complaint filed by Villaruz, the Provincial Agrarian Reform Adjudicator (PARAD) declared Villaruz as tenant beneficiary of the lot he tenanted. NHA now contends that it cannot be subrogated to the rights and substituted to the obligations of an agricultural lessor since the lot, which it acquired for its housing and resettlement projects is exempt from agrarian laws. Issue: W/N the subject lot is exempt from the coverage of the agrarian reform laws, the same having been acquired by NHA for its housing program? YES Doctrine: P.D. 1472 exempts from land reform those lands that NHA acquired for its housing and resettlement programs whether it acquired those lands when the law took effect or afterwards. The language of the exemption is clear: the exemption covers "lands or property acquired x x x or to be acquired" by NHA. In addition, Section 1 of P.D. 1472 provides that petitioner NHA shall not be liable for disturbance compensation. The NHAs purchase of the lot for development and resettlement transformed the property by operation of law from agricultural to residential. If the subject lot were held to be covered by the agrarian laws, the NHA would become an agricultural lessor with no right to use the land for the purpose for which it bought the same. This, in turn, would become prejudicial to the governments housing projects. The Court is mindful of the plight of tenant-farmers like Villaruz. But it is also incumbent upon it to weigh their rights against the governments interest in meeting the housing needs of the greater majority.

ATIENZA v. COMELEC (16 Feb 2010) Refresher: 2005: Drilon (Liberal Party president) withdrew his support from the Arroyo administration 2006: Atienza (LP chairman) hosted a party conference/assembly which proceeded to elect new officers for all positions. Atienza won as LP president. Drilon filed a petition before COMELEC for the nullification of the election. 2007: National Executive Council (NECO), the partys electing body, convened for the election of new set of officers before Drilons term expired. Manuel Roxas II was installed as new LP president. Atienza and other LP members filed a petition for mandatory and prohibitory injunction to enjoin Roxas from assuming his position, alleging illegal constitution of the NECO and illegal expulsion/exclusion of Atienza from the party and its election. Issues: 1.WON the NECO assembly that elected respondent Roxas as LP president was validly constituted- YES 2. WON COMELEC has jurisdiction over the issue of validity of Atienza, et al.s expulsion from the party- NO Doctrine: The COMELECs jurisdiction over intra-party disputes is limited. It does not have blanket authority to resolve any and all controversies involving political parties. Political parties are generally free to conduct their activities without interference from the state. The COMELEC may intervene in disputes internal to a party only when necessary to the discharge of its constitutional functions. The COMELECs jurisdiction over intra-party leadership disputes has already been settled by the Court. The Court ruled in Kalaw v. Commission on Elections that the COMELECs powers and functions under Section 2, Article IX-C of the Constitution, "include the ascertainment of the identity of the political party and its legitimate officers responsible for its acts." The Court also declared in another case17 that the COMELECs power to register political parties necessarily involved the determination of the persons who must act on its behalf. Thus, the COMELEC may resolve an intra-party leadership dispute, in a proper case brought before it, as an incident of its power to register political parties. xxx courts will ordinarily not interfere in membership and disciplinary matters within a political party. A political party is free to conduct its internal affairs, pursuant to its constitutionally-protected right to free association. In Sinaca v. Mula, the Court said that judicial restraint in internal party matters serves the public interest by allowing the political processes to operate without undue interference. It is also consistent with the state policy of allowing a free and open party system to evolve, according to the free choice of the people. LAUREL V SOCIAL SECURITY SYSTEM Refresher: An administrative case was filed against employees, including the petitioner, for grave misconduct and conduct gravely prejudicial to the best interest of the service. It was alleged that the petitioner and other held strikes within the SSS Main Office that caused prejudice to thousands of member of the SSS.

The SSC rendered a Decision in the case, finding Laurel guilty of simple neglect of duty and imposing on her a fine equivalent to one months salary. Feeling aggrieved, Laurel filed a petition forcertiorari with the Court of Appeals (CA) under Rule 65 in CA-G.R. SP 77267. CA rendered a decision, denying Laurels petition. The CA ruled that the proper mode of appeal for her is a petition under Rule 43, not a special civil action of certiorari. She, thus, filed the present petition. Issues: (1) Whether or not the CA erred in denying the petition on the technical ground it invoked: YES. (2) Whether or not the SSC gravely abused its discretion in finding Laurel guilty of simple neglect of duty: NO. Doctrine: (1) True, petitions for review under Rule 43 specifically cover decisions rendered by the SSC. But this applies only to SSC decisions where the remedy of appeal is available. Here, considering that the law regards the kind of penalty the SSC imposed on Laurel already final, she had no appeal or other plain, speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law against the decision of that body. Provided the SSC committed grave abuse of discretion in rendering the decision against her, Laurel can avail herself of the remedy of special civil action of certiorari under Rule 65. (2) The SC reversed the finding of simple neglect because the evidence used against Laurel (the petitioner was weak). Also, the nature of simple neglect is "not clear". ECHANO v. TOLEDO (September 15, 2010) Refresher: Echano, cashier of the Land Bank-Taft Avenue Branch was charged grave misconduct and conduct prejudicial to the service by the City Treasurer of Manila for having approved the deposit of a managers check that is due to the City, to the account of Perez, a stenographer of the Manila RTC. The dorsal portion of the check showed Perezs signature and a signature of an unidentified person who was supposedly the first endorser. OMB found Echano guilty of grave misconduct and dishonesty. Issue: Whether OMB is correct in finding Echano guilty of grave misconduct and dishonesty. YES. Doctrine: Misconduct is a transgression of some established and definite rule of action, more particularly, unlawful behavior or gross negligence by a public officer. As differentiated from simple misconduct, in grave misconduct the elements of corruption, clear intent to violate the law or flagrant disregard of established rule, must be manifest. As Acting Branch Cashier, petitioner was charged with responsibility of handling the banks daily transactions which could run into large amounts. There is a tremendous difference between the degree of responsibility, care, and trustworthiness expected of an ordinary employee in the bureaucracy and that required of bank managers and other officials directly handling large sums of money and properties.

Under CSC rules, grave misconduct carries with it the penalty of dismissal for the first offense. It also allows mitigating circumstances to be considered.While Echano claims good faith, the Court cannot close its eyes to the fact that he approved for deposit to Perezs personal account about 26 other second-endorsed checks payable to the City Treasurer of Manila. CENTRAL MINDANAO UNIVERSITY V SEC OF DENR (Sept. 21, 2010) Refresher: In 1958, Pres. Garcia issued Presidential Proclamation 476, which reserved 3,401 ha of lands in the public domain in Musuan, Bukidnon as the site for CMU, a state university. CMU obtained titles to 3,080 ha of those lands. The government distributed the remaining 300 ha to several tribes living in the areas cultural communities. In 2003, Pres. Arroyo issued PP 310 which distributed 670 ha of CMUs titled lands to indigenous peoples and cultural communities in Musuan. CMU filed a petition for prohibition and questioned the constitutionality of PP 310. The RTC dismissed the petition on the ground that since the enjoined act relates to an official act of the Executive Department done in Manila, jurisdiction lies with the Manila RTC. Issue/s: W/N Presidential Proclamation 310, which took away CMUs registered lands and distributed it to indigenous peoples and cultural communities, is valid and constitutional Held: NO 1. Presidential Proclamation No. 476 withdrew from sale or settlement and reserved for CMU the 3,080 hectares as its future campus. The lands by their character became inalienable from the moment Pres. Garcia dedicated them for CMU. They have ceased to be alienable public lands. 2. When Congress enacted the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act (IPRA) in 1997, it provided in Sec. 56 that "property rights within the ancestral domains already existing and/or vested shall be recognized and respected." Ownership over the lands had been vested in CMU as early as 1958. Thus, transferring the lands in 2003 to the indigenous peoples around the area is not in accord with the IPRA. 3. The land registration court considered the claims of several tribes belonging to the area in the course of the proceedings for the titling of the lands. Eventually only 3,080 hectares were titled. More than 300 hectares were acknowledged to be in the possession of and subject to the claims of those tribes.

REMEDIAL LAW
CHINA BANKING CORPORATION v. ABEL (2011) Refresher: China Bank acquired title over Abels La Vista property at a foreclosure sale. China Bank filed ex parte petition for issuance of writ of possession in its favor, which the RTC granted. Abels appeal denied by CA. SC denied. Decision became final and executory. RTC: China Bank filed a motion for execution. 7 June Abel filed a motion to cancel and reset the hearing (she needed more time to comment on or oppose the banks motion) 8 June RTC granted her the 10-day period she asked but "from notice." 19 June noting Abels failure to file her opposition to or comment on the motion for execution, the RTC issued an Order granting China Banks motion. 21 June Abel filed an omnibus urgent motion for reconsideration and to admit her opposition to the banks motion for execution 22 June the day after receiving her motion, the RTC denied the same for lack of merit. 25 June sheriff implemented writ. CA: Abel filed petition for certiorari on 25 June. TRO issued 29 June. CA eventually rendered a decision setting aside the assailed orders of the RTC. CA ruled that the RTC committed grave abuse of discretion in granting the banks motion for execution, noting that the latter court gave Abel 10 days from notice of its order, not 10 days from the issuance of such order, within which to file her opposition. Parenthetically, the shorter period was what she asked for in her motion for postponement. But there was no proof, said the CA, as to when Abel had notice of the RTCs June 8, 2007 Order as to determine when the 10-day period actually began to run.

Issue: W/N the CA erred in setting aside the assailed RTCs June 19 and 22, 2007 Orders on the ground of failure to observe due process respecting Abels right to be heard on the banks motion for execution YES Doctrine: Although the RTC caused the issuance of the writ of execution before it could establish that Abels 10 days "from notice" within which to file her opposition had lapsed, she filed with that court on June 21, 2007 an urgent motion for reconsideration with her opposition to the motion for execution attached. The Court, acting on her motion, denied it on the following day, June 22, 2007. Any perceived denial of her right to be heard on the banks motion for execution had been cured by her motion for reconsideration and the RTCs action on the same. Orders for the issuance of a writ of possession are issued as a matter of course upon the filing of the proper motion and approval of the corresponding bond since no discretion is left to the court to deny it. China Banks petition granted. BERMUDO v. TAYAG-ROXAS (2011) Refresher: Atty. Ricardo Bermudo , as executor, filed a petition for his appointment as administrator of the estate of Artemio Hilario and for the allowance and probate of the latters will before the RTC of Angeles City. The testator instituted Fermina Tayag-Roxas as his only heir but several persons, who claimed to be Hilarios relatives, opposed the petition. RTC rendered a decision, allowing the will and recognizing Roxas as Hilarios sole heir. Atty. Bermudo who also served as counsel for Roxas in the actions concerning her inheritance filed a motion to fix his legal fees and to constitute a charging lien against the estate for the legal services he rendered. Issue: Whether or not Atty. Bermudo, as administrator, is entitled to collect attorneys fees. YES Doctrine: Atty. Bermudo did not only serve as administrator of the estate. He also served as Roxas counsel in the suit that assailed her right as sole heir. Atty. Bermudo brought the contest all the way up to the Supreme Court to defend her rights to her uncles estate. And Atty. Bermudo succeeded. Acting as counsel in that suit for Roxas was not part of his duties as administrator of the estate (ergo, does not fall under Rule 85 Section 7 of the ROC). Consequently, it was but just that he is paid his attorneys fees.

PHILIPPINE VETERANS BANK v. BASES CONVERSION DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY, et al. (2011) Refresher: Respondent Bases Conversion Development Authority (BCDA), a government corporation, filed several expropriation actions before the various branches of the RTC of Angeles City, for acquisition of lands needed for the construction of the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway Project. Ten of such cases raffled to Branch 58 of RTC. The other respondents were the registered owners (defendants in expropriation action) of the expropriated lands that they acquired as beneficiaries of the comprehensive agrarian reform program. Petitioner Philippine Veterans Bank (PVB) filed motions to intervene in all the cases with attached complaints-in-intervention. PVB alleged that the covered properties actually belonged to Belmonte Agro-Industrial Development Corp. which mortgaged the lands to PVB

in 1976. PVB had since foreclosed on the mortgages and bought the same at public auction in 1982. But the bank had been unable to consolidate ownership in its name. PVB also had a pending action for annulment of the titles issued to the individual defendants and this was pending before Branch 62 of the court. Issue: Whether or not the PVB was entitled to intervene in the expropriation cases before Branch 58 of the Angeles City RTC. NO Doctrine: Section 9, Rule 67 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure authorizes the court adjudicating the expropriation case to hear and decide conflicting claims regarding the ownership of the properties involved while the compensation for the expropriated property is in the meantime deposited with the court. But this cannot apply to PVB. At the time PVB tried to intervene in the expropriation cases, its conflict with the farmer beneficiaries who held CLOAs, EPs, or TCTs emanating from such titles were already pending before Angeles City RTC Branch 62, a co-equal branch of the same court. Branch 58 had no authority to pre-empt Branch 62 of its power to hear and adjudicate claims that were already pending before it. PEOPLE v. PAJARIN and PALLAYA (2011) Refresher: The prosecution claims that the accused were arrested on a buy-bust operation. The police officers supposedly obtained two packets of drugs from the accused. The accused denied ownership of the packets of drugs. The lower courts found the accused guilty of the charge. The accused contest their conviction on the account that the plastic packets of drugs presented in court were unmarked and therefore did not prove that such packets were the same ones obtained by the police officers from the accused. Issues: W/N CA erred in not excluding the evidence of the seized shabu on the ground that the prosecution failed to prove their integrity by establishing the chain of custody of the same until they got to the trial court - YES W/N for this reason the CA erred in affirming their conviction - YES Doctrine: The custodial link of the evidence starts with the police officers marking the seized packets of drugs, in accordance with Section 21 (a), Article II of the Implementing Rules and Regulations of R.A. 9165. Section 21 (a) requires the police officers to take immediate inventory of and photograph the seized item in the presence of the accused or his representative or responsible third persons mentioned but always taking care that the integrity and evidentiary value of the seized articles are preserved. Here, the police officers did not mark the sealed plastic sachets to show that they were the same things they took from the accused. Failure to place such markings paves the way for swapping, planting, and contamination of the evidence. These lapses seriously cast doubt on the authenticity of the corpus delicti, warranting acquittal on reasonable doubt. Failure of the police officer to follow rules regarding buy-bust operations will result in acquittals, but lower courts should be forced to dismiss the case on account of the police officers and prosecutions failure to follow proper procedure.

AFP MUTUAL BENEFIT ASSOCIATION, INC. v. REGIONAL TRIAL COURT, MARIKINA CITY, BRANCH 193 and SOLID HOMES, INC. (2011) Refresher: Investco entered into a contract of sale with Solid Homes, but the latter defaulted on the payments. Investco sued Solid Homes for specific performance and damages and sold the property to petitioner. The register of deeds issued certificates of title in favor of AFPMBAI. Solid Homes filed an action to cancel the certificates of title and annotate lis pendens, but the SC held that the petitioner was a buyer in good faith and for value and thus ruled against Solid Homes. Solid Homes filed another action with the RTC, but the latter dismissed the case on the ground of res judicata. RTC also denied Solid Homes second motion for reconsideration. Solid Homes then filed a petition for relief from judgment of the denial of the second motion for reconsideration on the ground of extrinsic fraud. This fraud consisted in AFPMBAIs alleged failure to disclose its knowledge of a prior sale between Investco and Solid Homes. Solid Homes caused the annotation of lis pendens on the certificates of title based on this pending petition for relief from the judgment before the RTC. RTC then issued an order giving due course to Solid Homes petition. Hence the present petition for prohibition and mandamus by AFPMBAI. Issues: W/N Solid Homes filed its petition for relief from judgment with the RTC beyond the period allowed by the rules - YES W/N the fraud that Solid Homes invoked as ground for its petition for reliefAFPMBAIs alleged fraud in acquiring the subject propertyis the fraud contemplated by the rules - NO W/N the RTCs grant of Solid Homes petition for relief based on AFPMBAIs alleged fraud in acquiring its titles to the subject property is barred by res judicata - YES W/N the annotation of a notice of lis pendens is allowed in connection with a pending petition for relief from judgment - NO because of res judicata Doctrine: Section 3, Rule 38 of the Rules of Civil Procedure judgment must be filed within 60 days from notice from the entry of judgment. Solid Homes filed its issued by the RTC denying the original motion for motion for reconsideration cannot be the basis of motion was a prohibited pleading. provides that a petition for relief from of such judgment or within six months petition 10 months after the judgment reconsideration. Moreover, the second the lapse of the period because such

Although AFPMBAI petitions for mandamus must fails since the case does not refer to a ministerial duty, its petition for prohibition allows the Court to decide on the case. The extrinsic fraud that will justify a petition for relief from judgment is that fraud which the prevailing party caused to prevent the losing party from being heard on his action or defense. Such fraud concerns not the judgment itself but the manner in which it was obtained.25 For example, the petition of a defending party would be justified where the plaintiff deliberately caused with the process servers connivance the service of summons on defendant at the wrong address and thus succeeded in getting a judgment by default against him. AFPMBAIs alleged prior knowledge of the sale of the disputed lands to Solid Homes is not the kind of fraud contemplated by the rules. This fraud that Solid Homes alleges refers to the merits of the case which had already been initially decided upon by the SC, ruling in favor of AFPMBAI. The principle of res judicata

holds that issues actually and directly resolved in a former suit cannot be raised in any future case between the same parties. HEIRS OF MARILOU SANTIAGO v. AGUILA (2011) Refresher: A tenancy dispute arose between the parties. When the case was brought to the Provincial Agrarian Reform Adjudicator (PARAD), it was decided in favor of the landowners. Upon appeal, the decision was reversed by the DARAB. After the petitioners motion for reconsideration was denied, they filed a motion for extension of 30 days or until April 20 to file a petition for review. The petitioners accordingly submitted their petition for review on April 20. However, on April 28, the CA decided to only grant them a 15-day extension or until April 5 only. For this reason, the CA dismissed petitioners petition for review for having been filed out of time. In addition, the CA also ruled that the SPA presented by the attorney-in-fact is defective, since it was in representation of one Dennis Matubis instead of Dennis Santiago, the petitioner in this case. Issue: WON the SPA is defective. NO. Doctrine: Petitioner heirs explained that it was an honest mistake because Dennis Matubis (who appeared not to be a party in the case) and petitioner Dennis K. Santiago are one and the same person. Since Aguila has offered no proof to counter the truth of this assertion and since the CA did not require the heirs to substantiate it, the Court may presume such assertion to be true. Besides, the CA cannot altogether throw out the entire petition for this reason since all the petitioners have a common interest in the success of the suit and since the petition was validly verified with respect to the rest of them. Issue: WON the Petition for Review filed before the CA out of time. NO. Doctrine: Although it is within the CAs discretion to grant or not to grant a motion for extension, such discretion should be exercised wisely and prudently. The rules regulating the filing of motions for extension of time to file certain pleadings are intended to promote the speedy disposition of cases in the interest of justice, not throw out such pleadings on pure technicality. In this case, the petitioners timely filed a motion for extension of time. By the time the CA rendered its decision on April 28, the petitioners already filed their petition for review on April 20 in accordance with the motion for extension of time to file the said petition. Procedural rules are intended to facilitate the administration of justice, not frustrate it. It is always better that a case is decided on the merits rather than disposed of because of procedural infirmities. DO-ALL METAL INDUSTRIES, ET AL v. SECURITY BANK (2011) Refresher: The Lims, thru Do-All Metal Industries, owed money from Security Bank. Since they were unable to pay their indebtedness, they assigned their property in Pasig City to the Bank as payment thereof. Thereafter, the Bank agreed to lease the property to the Lims, indicating that should the bank opt to sell the property, the Lims, thru DMI, shall be given the right of first refusal. Eventually, the Bank decided to sell the property, offering it first to the Lims. However, no agreement regarding the purchase price was reached by the parties. Because of this, the

Bank posted security guards around the area and prevented the Lims from entering the property. Alleging that they suffered damages due to the Banks malicious conduct, the Lims sued the Bank for damages. They also asked for an injunction against the Bank to allow them to enter the premises. Upon checking the premises however, they discovered that some of their personal properties are missing. They thus filed a supplemental complaint against the Bank alleging an additional actua27M. Issue: WON damages may be awarded based on the allegations in a supplemental complaint without prior payment of docket fees. NO. Doctrine: After-judgment lien, which implies that payment depends on a successful execution of the judgment, applies to cases where the filing fees were incorrectly assessed or paid or where the court has discretion to fix the amount of the award. None of these circumstances obtain in this case. On the contrary, the Lims specified an actual amount from the very beginning. And despite the issue having been raised in the Banks Motion for Reconsideration before the RTC, they still did not pay the corresponding docket fee. They merely said that they did not yet pay the fees because the RTC had not assessed them for it. A supplemental complaint is like any complaint and the rule is that the filing fees due on a complaint need to be paid upon its filing. The rules do not require the court to make special assessments in cases of supplemental complaints. Consequently, the trial court should have treated their Supplemental Complaint as not filed. SPOUSES ALAGAR v. PNB (2011) Refresher: Spouses Alagar were the owners of New Taj Resources Inc. They were indebted to PNB for a personal loan and a corporate loan, which were secured by separate mortgages. As owners of the corporation, they were solidary debtors in the corporate loan. The Alagars were able to settle the personal loan but PNB refused to release the mortgage covering it because of the outstanding corporate loan. Alagars filed a petition for mandamus to compel PNB to release the mortgage covering the said personal loan. RTC ruled in favor of the Alagars, directing PNB to release the mortgage. While the appeal to the CA was pending, the RTC declared the decision final and executory ruling that the motion for reconsideration filed by PNB as pro forma hence the appeal was filed out of time. PNB was forced to obey the writ, returned to mortgaged property and pay damages. CA reversed. The Alagars now claim that PNB is estopped from assailing the validity of the writ of execution after it had been implemented. Issue: W/N the validity of the writ of execution has been mooted by compliance of the writ NO. Doctrine: Execution of a judgment pending an action in a higher court essentially challenging its finality cannot be deemed an abandonment of that action. The rules grant parties the right to question by special civil actions those orders and rulings that inferior courts issue with grave abuse of discretion. GENTLE SUPREME PHILIPPINES, INC v. CONSULTA (2010) Refresher:

Gentle Supreme Philippines, Inc. (GSP) filed a collection case with application for a writ of preliminary attachment against Consar Trading Corporation (CTC), its president, Consulta, and its vice-president, Sarayba. The sheriff failed to serve the summons and copies of the complaint on any of CTCs authorized officers as well as on Consulta and Sarayba, so he left copies of such documents with Canave who, according to the sheriffs return, was Saraybas secretary and an authorized representative of both Sarayba and Consulta. The defendants failed to file an answer and they were declared in default. A property owned by Consulta was also attached. The RTC eventually ruled in favor of GSP. Consulta now claims that he was not properly served with summons because, although his address stated in the complaint was his regular place of business, Canave, who received the summons, was not in charge of the matter. Issue: W/N there was a valid service of summons YES. Doctrine: It is not necessary that the person in charge of the defendants regular place of business be specifically authorized to receive the summons. It is enough that he appears to be in charge. In this case, Canave, a secretary whose job description necessarily includes receiving documents and other correspondence, would have the semblance of authority to accept the court documents. Land Bank of the Philippines v. Corazon M. Villegas; Heirs of Catalino V. Noel and Procula P. Sy (2010) Refresher: Petitioner Land Bank filed cases for determination of just compensation against respondent Corazon M. Villegas and respondent heirs of Catalino V. Noel and Procula P. Sy before the RTC of Dumaguete City, Branch 32, sitting as a Special Agrarian Court for the province of Negros Oriental. Respondent Villegas property was in Hibaiyo, Guihulngan City, Negros Oriental, while respondent heirs land was in Nangca, Bayawan City, Negros Oriental. These lands happened to be outside the regular territorial jurisdiction of RTC Branch 32 of Dumaguete City. Branch 32 dismissed both cases for lack of jurisdiction. It ruled that, although it had been designated Special Agrarian Court for Negros Oriental, the designation did not expand its territorial jurisdiction to hear agrarian cases. Issue: W/N an RTC, acting as Special Agrarian Court, has jurisdiction over just compensation cases involving agricultural lands located outside its regular jurisdiction but within the province where it is designated as an agrarian court under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law of 1998. YES. DOCTRINE: The law is clear. A branch of an RTC designated as a Special Agrarian Court for a province has the original and exclusive jurisdiction over all petitions for the determination of just compensation in that province. Jurisprudence states that Special Agrarian Courts have original and exclusive jurisdiction over two categories of cases: (1) all petitions for the determination of just compensation to landowners, and (2) the prosecution of all criminal offenses under R.A. 6657. By "special" jurisdiction, Special Agrarian Courts exercise power in addition to or over and above the ordinary jurisdiction of the RTC, such as taking cognizance of suits involving agricultural lands located outside their regular territorial jurisdiction, so long as they are within the province where they sit as Special Agrarian Courts.

R.A. 6657 requires the designation by the Supreme Court before an RTC Branch can function as a Special Agrarian Court. The Supreme Court has not designated the single sala courts of RTC, Branch 64 of Guihulngan City (court under which Villegas property is situated), and RTC, Branch 63 of Bayawan City (court under which Noel/Sy property is situated) as Special Agrarian Courts. Consequently, they cannot hear just compensation cases just because the lands subject of such cases happen to be within their territorial jurisdiction. Since RTC, Branch 32 of Dumaguete City is the designated Special Agrarian Court for the province of Negros Oriental, it has jurisdiction over all cases for determination of just compensation involving agricultural lands within that province, regardless of whether or not those properties are outside its regular territorial jurisdiction. Spouses dela Cruz v. Ramon C. Papa IV, in his capacity as Co-Administrator of the Estate of Angela M. Butte (2010) Refresher: 1994: the Intestate Estate of Angela M. Butte (the Estate) filed an action for cancellation of titles, recovery of properties, and damages against several defendants, including petitioner spouses Reuben and Minerva Dela Cruz (the Dela Cruzes) before the RTC of Antipolo City. October 21, 1999: the Estate presented Myron C. Papa (Myron), its executor, to testify on the substance of the complaint. At the conclusion of Myrons testimony on that day, the RTC required the Estate and the latter agreed to present Myron anew at the next scheduled hearing to identify the originals of certain exhibits, after which counsels for the defendants, would begin to cross-examine him. However, Myron was taken ill and diagnosed as suffering from stage four colon and liver cancer, sothe Estate never got around recalling Myron to the witness stand, as the coadministrator sought repeated hearing postponements in order to accommodate Myrons treatment. Later, the Estate filed a motion for leave to have the defendants cross-examine Myron by deposition at the hospital where he was confined. Granted by RTC. Deposition set on September 7, 2001 but Myron passed away on August 16, 2001. November 15, 2001: one of the defendants moved to expunge Myrons direct testimony. The Dela Cruzes for their part moved to dismiss the case for failure of the Estate to prosecute it. RTC denied the 2 motions. GROUND: Estate had no control of the circumstances that caused the delay in the case. December 3, 2003: the Estate asked leave of court to file its formal offer of exhibits. December 5, 2003: the Dela Cruzes filed a motion to strike out Myrons testimony on the ground of failure to cross-examine him. Meanwhile, the Estate filed its formal offer of evidence.

March 4, 2005: RTC granted the Dela Cruzes motion to strike out Myrons testimony || GROUND: due to the Estates fault, such testimony was never completed, depriving the defendants of the opportunity to cross-examine him. CA: reversed RTC The CA said that the defendants were guilty of unreasonable delay in objecting to Myrons testimony. Myron died on August 16, 2001 yet the other defendants moved to expunge his testimony only on November 15, 2001. On the other hand, the Dela Cruzes filed a similar motion only in December 2003. Citing Section 36, Rule 132 of the Rules of Court,6 the CA held that they should have objected to Myrons testimony when it was offered or soon after the reason for objecting to its admission became apparent. When they failed to do so, said the CA, the defendants waived their right to object to the same. Issue: W/N Myrons testimony should be stricken out for failure of defendants to crossexamine him. YES. Doctrine: The RTC set the deposition taking on September 7, 2001 but Myron died before that date, on August 16, 2001. Consequently, it was not the defendants fault that they were unable to cross-examine him. The CA appears too hasty in blaming the defendants for the further delays that followed. When Myron died on August 16, 2001, the obligation to close his aborted testimony and proceed with its other evidence remained with the Estate. But it did nothing, prompting one of the defendants to ask the RTC on November 15, 2001 to strike down Myrons testimony on the ground of the defendants failure to cross-examine him. The Dela Cruzes themselves asked that the case be dismissed for the Estates failure to prosecute after such a long time. Still, wanting to give the Estate the chance to present additional evidence, on March 13, 2002 the RTC denied the defendants motions. But the Estate did nothing for about a year and eight months until December 3, 2003 when, rather than present additional evidence, it asked leave to close its case with a formal offer of its documentary exhibits. Clearly, it was only at this stage that the Estate signaled its intention to still avail itself of Myrons unfinished testimony. And the Dela Cruzes did not lose time to act. On December 5, 2003 they renewed the defendants earlier motion to expunge such testimony. And this time, the RTC granted the motion. It did so correctly since the Estate showed a lack of interest in offering a substitute testimony for that of Myrons. Since the Estate presented its documentary exhibits and had the same authenticated through Myrons testimony, it stands to reason that the striking out of the latters testimony altogether wiped out the required authentication for those exhibits. They become inadmissible unless the RTC, in its discretion, reopens the trial upon a valid ground and permits the Estate to rectify its mistakes. LANDBANK OF THE PHILIPPINES V. FORTUNE SAVINGS AND LOAN ASSOCIATION INC., represented by PDIC (2010) Refresher: Respondent Fortune Savings and Loan Association, Inc. (Fortune Savings) owned a 4,230square meter agricultural land in San Gregorio, Malvar, Batangas, that it acquired for P80K after foreclosing on the mortgage constituted on the land by one of its borrowers who defaulted on a P71,500 loan.

Fortune Savings offered to sell the property for P100K to the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) for inclusion in the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP). But petitioner Land Bank of the Philippines (Land Bank), the financial intermediary for the CARP, fixed the lands value at only P6,796.00. Rejecting this amount, Fortune Savings filed a summary administrative proceeding for the determination of just compensation with the DAR Adjudication Board (DARAB). March 3, 1999 - DARAB rendered judgment, finding unreasonable Land Banks valuation of the land and fixing its value at P93,060.00. Since the Land Bank received a copy of the decision on March 17, 1999, it had 15 days from that date or until April 1, 1999 within which to file an action with RTC for judicial determination of just compensation. But, because April 1 fell on Maundy Thursday, a public holiday, Land Bank was able to file a petition for the determination of just compensation before the RTC of Lipa City in Agrarian Case 99-0214 only on Monday, April 5, 1999. For Land Banks failure to cause the service of summons, however, the RTC dismissed the case without prejudice. Meanwhile, Fortune Savings ceased operations and was taken over by the PDIC as its liquidator. April 7, 2000 or 4 months after the RTC dismissed Agrarian Case 99-0214, Land Bank filed another petition for the determination of just compensation for the subject land in Agrarian Case 2000-0155. Because Fortune Savings failed to file a responsive pleading, the RTC declared it in default. And rendered a decision, upholding Land Banks valuation of the property atP6,796.00 based on a technical formula adopted by the DAR. On appeal to the CA, it reinstated the March 3, 1999 DARAB decision and its P93,060.00 valuation. The CA ruled that Land Bank incurred delay in filing only on April 5, 1999 its petition for the determination of just compensation in Agrarian Case 99-0214 and that, consequently, the DARAB decision became final and executory on April 1, 1999. ISSUES: 1. WON the DARAB determination of just compensation became final and executory? NO 2. CA erred in adopting the valuation fixed by DARAB for the property at P93,060.00 instead of the P6,796.00 established by Land Bank? Doctrine: 1. Although the DAR is vested with primary jurisdiction under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law of 1988 or CARL to determine in a preliminary manner the reasonable compensation for lands taken under the CARP, such determination is subject to challenge in the courts. The CARL vests in the RTCs, sitting as Special Agrarian Courts, original and exclusive jurisdiction over all petitions for the determination of just compensation The RTCs jurisdiction is not any less "original and exclusive" because the question is first passed upon by the DAR. The proceedings before the RTC are not a continuation of the administrative determination. Indeed, although the law may provide that the decision of the DAR is final and unappealable, still a resort to the courts cannot be foreclosed on the theory that courts are the guarantors of the legality of administrative action.

The taking of property under the CARL is a government exercise of the power of eminent domain. Since the determination of just compensation in eminent domain proceedings is a judicial function, such determination cannot be made to depend on the existence of administrative proceedings of a similar nature. Thus, even while the DARAB summary administrative hearing for determination of just compensation is pending, the interested party may file a petition for judicial determination of the same. Consequently, Land Banks filing of Agrarian Case 2000-0155 after the dismissal without prejudice of Agrarian Case 99-0214 cannot be regarded as barred by the filing of the latter case beyond the 15-day period prescribed under Rule XIII, Section 11 of the DARAB Rules. The procedural soundness of Agrarian Case 2000-0155 could not be made dependent on the DARAB case, for these two proceedings are separate and independent.

2. Re: Valuation: the Court notes that Fortune Savings forfeited by default its right to
present evidence of just compensation before the RTC. Thus, the latter court simply accepted the computation and supporting documents that Land Bank adduced at the trial, which computation was at P6,796.00 based on the formula provided by Section 17 of the CARL. But, although the formula found in Section 17 of the CARL may be justly adopted in certain cases, it is by no means the only formula that the court may adopt in determining just compensation. The Court finds too iniquitous the amount of P6,796.00 for the land. As Fortune Savings pointed out, P6,796.00 is just the price of a 14-inch television set, yet what is at stake in this case is a 4,230-square meter land with 43 coconut-bearing trees and 6 jackfruit trees, certainly with potential for greater productivity than a television set. That Fortune Savings was willing to pay P80,000.00 for the property is proof that the property was valued far more than the P6,796.00 fixed by the RTC. The CA adopted the DARAB valuation of P93,060.00 for the subject land for a technical reason. But, since DARAB fixed the amount based on its expertise and since that amount is not quite far from the price for which Fortune Savings bought the same at a public auction, the Court is inclined to accept such valuation. Considering the relatively small amount involved, this would be a far better alternative than remanding the case and incurring further delay in its resolution. CHAVEZ AND DELES v. CA AND ATTY. VARGAS (2010) Refresher: Petitioners had been staying in the remote portion of the land of Vargas, planting coconut seedlings and supervising the harvest of coconut and palay. They agreed to divide the gross sales of all products from the land. Chavez held in trust Vargas share but failed to remit them. She also refused to turn over the administration of property despite demand. Vargas filed a complaint for recovery of possession, rent, and damages with prayer for the immediate appointment of a receiver against Chavez and her daughter, Deles, before the RTC of Bulan, Sorsogon. Petitioners claimed that the RTC did not have jurisdiction over the subject matter of the case since it actually involved an agrarian dispute. The RTC dismissed the complaint for lack of jurisdiction based on Vargas admission that the petitioners were tenants.

Vargas appealed to the CA and filed a motion for the appointment of a receiver. CA granted the motion and ordained receivership of the land, noting that there appeared to be a need to preserve the property and its fruits in light of her allegation that Chavez failed to account for her share of such fruits. She also filed three estafa cases with the RTC of Olongapo City and a complaint for dispossession with the Department of Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board (DARAB). In all these cases, Fidela asked for the immediate appointment of a receiver for the property. ISSUES: 1. W/N respondent Vargas is guilty of forum shopping considering the identical applications for receivership over the subject properties in the criminal cases she filed with the RTC of Olongapo City and in the administrative case before the DARAB. NO. There is no forum shopping. By forum shopping, a party initiates two or more actions in separate tribunals, grounded on the same cause, trusting that one or the other tribunal would favorably dispose of the matter. The various suits involved different causes of action and sought different reliefs. The civil action filed with the RTC sought to recover possession of the property based on petitioners failure to account for its fruits. The cases are similar only in that they involved the same parties and she sought the placing of the properties under receivership in all of them. BUT receivership is not an action. It is but an auxiliary remedy, a mere incident of the suit to help achieve its purpose. It cannot be said that the grant of receivership in one case will amount to res judicata on the merits of the other cases. The grant or denial of this provisional remedy will still depend on the need for it in the particular action. 2. W/N CA erred in granting the application for receivership. YES. Under Section 1(b), Rule 59 of the Rules of Civil Procedure a petition for receivership requires that the property or fund subject of the action is in danger of being lost, removed, or materially injured, necessitating its protection or preservation. Its object is the prevention of imminent danger to the property. Vargas does not claim that the land or its productive capacity would disappear or be wasted if not entrusted to a receiver. She does not claim that the land has been materially injured, necessitating its protection and preservation. RTC dismissed Vargas action for lack of jurisdiction over the case, holding that the issues raised properly belong to the DARAB. It seem more prudent for the CA to first provisionally determine that the RTC had jurisdiction before granting receivership which is but an incident of the main action. Doctrine: Elements of forum shopping (same as in litis pendentia where the final judgment in one case will amount to res judicata in the other): (1) identity of parties, or at least such parties as would represent the same interest in both actions; (2) identity of rights asserted and relief prayed for, the relief being founded on the same facts; and (3) identity of the two preceding particulars such that any judgment rendered in the other action will, regardless of which party is successful, amount to res judicata in the action under consideration. ARIAL SPORTSWEAR MANUFACTURING and NARESH GIDWANI v. BANCO DE ORO Refresher:

G.G. Sportswear and Naresh Gidwani mortgaged a lot in Makati and a house and Lot in BelAir Village to secure a P20,357,000 loan with BDO to G.G. Sporstwear. The parties amended the mortgages to include an additional P 11.643.000 loan but G.G. Sportswear was unable to pay. BDO wrote to G.G Sportswear saying that it had transferred the loan obligation to Philippine Investment One (PIO) and all the rights, titles etc. accrue to SPV-AMC but BDO subsequently applied for the foreclosure of the properties. The Makati lot was auctioned to BDO but before the auction of the Bel-Air property, G.G. and Gidwani filed an action for TRO and preliminary injunction with the RTC to annul the foreclosure saying that with the transfer of the loan receivables, BDO lost the right to foreclose which the RTC denied. On certiorari, the CA dismissed G.G. and Gidwanis petition. Issue: WON the CA erred in finding that the RTC did not gravely abuse its discretion when it denied petitioners G.G. Sportswear and Gidwanis application for TRO and preliminary injunction despite the banks apparent assignment of its credit to another entity. Doctrine: The test for issuing a TRO or an injunction is whether the facts show a need for equity to intervene in order to protect perceived rights in equity. In general, a higher court will not set aside the trial courts grant or denial of an application for preliminary injunction unless it gravely abused its discretion as when it lacks jurisdiction over the action, ignores relevant considerations that stick out of the parties pleadings, sees the facts with a blurred lens, ignores what is relevant, draws illogical conclusions, or simply acts in random fashion. Injunction may be issued only when the plaintiff appears to be entitled to the main relief he asks in his complaint. This means that the plaintiffs allegations should show clearly that he has a cause of action. This means that he enjoys some right and that the defendant has violated it. And, where the defendant is heard on the application for injunction, the trial court must consider, too, the weight of his opposition. According to BDOs letter to GG, it seemed to have assigned all the loan receivables of GG to PIO so logically it should not longer had the right to foreclose but in its answer to the complaint, BDO wanted that corrected, claiming that it just assigned a small portion of the same to PIO. Did the allegations of the parties and the documents they attached to their pleadings give ample justification for the issuance of a TRO or preliminary injunction order to stop the foreclosure sale of the Bel-Air property? Two considerations militate against it: First. The mortgaged properties were due for foreclosure. Admittedly, petitioner G.G. Sportswear had defaulted on the loans secured by the subject mortgages. Petitioners had, therefore, no right to complain about losing their properties to foreclosure. Second. The issue of which party owns the loan receivables and, consequently, had the right to foreclose the mortgages is essentially an issue between BDO and PIO. This issue is the concern of petitioners G.G. Sportswear and Gidwani but only to the extent that they are entitled to ensure that the proceeds of the foreclosure sale were paid to the right party. Respondent PIO, which had been impleaded in the case, did not contest BDOs ownership of the loan receivables and its right to foreclose the mortgages. It would, therefore, make no sense to insist that PIO be the one to foreclose when it denounces such right It cannot be said that G.G. and Gidwani have established a right to the main relief they want, namely, the arrest of the foreclosure sale of their mortgaged properties after they had admitted not paying their loans. Also, the provisional remedy of preliminary injunction may

only be resorted to when there is a pressing necessity to avoid injurious consequences which cannot be remedied under any standard of compensation. Since there is a valid cause to foreclose on the mortgages, petitioners G.G. Sportswear and Gidwani cannot claim that the irreparable damage they wanted to prevent by their application for preliminary injunction is the loss of their properties to auction sale. Their real injury, if it turns out that the right to foreclose belongs to PIO rather than to BDO, is payment of the proceeds of the auction sale to the wrong party rather than to their creditor. But this kind of injury is purely monetary and is compensable by an appropriate judgment against BDO. It is not in any sense an irreparable injury. HEIRS OF SARAH MARIE PALMA BURGOS v. COURT OF APPEALS AND JOHNNY CO (2010) Refresher: Assailants attacked the household of Sarah Marie Palma Burgos while all were asleep. Sarah and her uncle Erasmo Palma were killed. Two of the assailants were arrested and they pointed to respondent Johnny Co as the mastermind. After 10 years, respondent surrendered to the NBI and later filed a petition for admission to bail. RTC granted bail on the ground that the evidence of guilt of respondent Co was not strong. CA dismissed petitioners certiorari (Rule 65) for having been filed without involving the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG). Issue: WON the CA correctly dismissed the petition, which questioned the RTCs grant of bail to respondent Co, for having been filed without the OSGs intervention. NO. Doctrine: The purpose of a criminal action is to determine the penal liability of the accused for having outraged the state with his crime and, if he be found guilty, to punish him for it. In this sense, the parties to the action are the People of the Philippines and the accused. The offended party is regarded merely as a witness for the state. Only the state, through its appellate counsel, the OSG, has the sole right and authority to institute proceedings before the CA or the Supreme Court. LEE v. COURT OF APPEALS (July 13, 2010) Refresher: The children of Lee and Keh (Lee-Keh children) filed a petition for the deletion from the certificate of live birth of the petitioner Emma Lee the name Keh and replace the same with the name Tiu to indicate her true mothers name. The Lee-Keh children believed that Emma Lee was their fathers daughter with Tiu Chuan. The Lee-Keh children requested the issuance of a subpoena ad testificandum to compel Tiu, Emma Lees presumed mother, to testify in the case. Tiu claimed that the subpeona was oppressive and violated Section 25, Rule 130 of the Rules of Court, the rule on parental privilege, she being Emma Lees stepmother, and moved to quash the said subpoena. Issue: W/N the subpoena should be quashed on the grounds that it was oppressive and unreasonable and that it violated the rule on parental privilege. - NO Doctrine: the grounds citedunreasonable and oppressiveare proper for subpoena ad duces tecum or for the production of documents and things in the possession of the witness, a command that has a tendency to infringe on the right against invasion of privacy. The privilege cannot apply to them because the rule applies only to "direct" ascendants and descendants, a family tie connected by a common ancestry.1avvphi1 A stepdaughter has no common ancestry by her stepmother."

PEOPLE v. HABANA (March 5, 2010) Refresher: In a buy-bust operation, the police seized from the accused three sachets of what appeared to be shabu and marked bills used by the police to purchase drugs from the accused. At the pre-trial, the parties stipulated (1) that the forensic chemist got the police request for examination of the substance and found it positive for methamphetamine hydrochloride and (2) that Moran was the police officer to whom the arresting officers turned over the seized items and was the one who prepared the referral slip, sworn affidavit of the arresting officers and the request for laboratory examination Issue: 1. WON the forensic examiner and the police investigator are indispensable witnesses in a drugs case to establish the chain of custody over the substance seized from the accused No. 2. WON the prosecution failed to establish the integrity of the seized substance taken from Habana along the chain of custody. Yes. Doctrine: 1. no rule requires the prosecution to present as witness in a drugs case every person who had something to do with the arrest of the accused and the seizure of prohibited drugs from him. The discretion on which witness to present in every case belongs to the prosecutor. The non-presentation of the informant cannot prejudice the prosecutions theory of the case. His testimony would merely be corroborative since police officers who witnessed everything already testified. 2. The chain of custody rule requires that testimony be presented about every link in the chain, from the moment the item was seized up to the time it is offered in evidence. To this end, the prosecution must ensure that the substance presented in court is the same substance seized from the accused. (The prosecution did not adduce evidence on what the investigator on duty did with the seized articles, how these got to the laboratory technician, and how they were kept before being adduced in evidence at the trial.) People v. Peralta alias Memeng (2010) Refresher: Elmer Peralta was arrested after the District Drug Enforcement Group (DDEG) staged a by-bust operation with one police officer (SPO1 Alberto Sangalang) acting as poseur-buyer. An informant introduced the police officer to Peralta and the former informed Peralta that the police officer was a dance instructor in need of shabu for himself and his fellow dance instructors so they could endure the long nights. The police officer gave Peralta a marked P500.00 bill for a sachet of shabu. At a signal, Sangalang told his informant to go out and buy cigarettes. On seeing the informant come out of the house, the police back-up team rushed in. They arrested accused Peralta, took the marked money from him, and brought him to the police station. Meanwhile, the sachet of shabu was marked "AS-1210702" and taken to the Philippine National Police Crime Laboratory for testing. The contents of the sachet tested positive for methylamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu. The prosecution presented the police officer. He alone testified for the government since it was thought that the testimonies of the other police officers would only be corroborative. The prosecution also dispensed with the testimony of the forensic chemist after the parties stipulated on the existence and due execution of Chemistry Report D-33202, which showed that the specimen tested positive for shabu.

Issue: Whether or not the prosecution presented ample proof that the police officers involved caught accused Peralta at his home, peddling prohibited drugs. NO. Doctrine: The elements of the sale of illegal drugs are a) the identities of the buyer and seller, b) the transaction or sale of the illegal drug, and c) the existence of the corpus delicti. With respect to the third element, the prosecution must show that the integrity of the corpus delicti has been preserved. This is crucial in drugs cases because the evidence involvedthe seized chemicalis not readily identifiable by sight or touch and can easily be tampered with or substituted. The prosecution must establish the chain of custody of the seized prohibited drugs. It must present testimony about every link in the chain of custody of such drugs, from the moment they were seized from the accused to the moment they are offered in evidence. But here the prosecution failed to show the chain of custody or that they followed the procedure that has been prescribed in connection with the seizure and custody of drugs. To begin with, the prosecution did not adduce evidence of when the sachet of shabu was marked. Consequently, it could have been marked long after its seizure or even after it had been tested in the laboratory. While the records show that the sachet bore the markings "AS-1-210702," indicating that Sangalang probably made the marking, the prosecutor did not bother to ask him if such marking was his. Sangalang identified the seized drugs in a manner that glossed over the need to establish their integrity. Since the seizing officer usually has to turn over the seized drugs to the desk officer or some superior officer, who would then send a courier to the police crime laboratory with a request that the same be examined to identify the contents, it is imperative for the officer who placed his marking on the plastic container to seal the same, preferably with adhesive tape that usually cannot be removed without leaving a tear on the plastic container. If the drugs were not in a plastic container, the police officer should put it in one and seal the same. In this way the drugs would assuredly reach the laboratory in the same condition it was seized from the accused. Further, after the laboratory technician has tested and verified the nature of the powder in the container, he should seal it again with a new seal since the police officers seal had been broken. In this way, if the accused wants to contest the test made, the Court would be assured that what is retested is the same powder seized from the accused. The prosecutor could then ask questions of the officer who placed his marking on the plastic container to prove that the suspected drugs had not been tampered with or substituted when they left that officers hands. If the sealing of the seized article had not been made, the prosecution would have to present the desk officer or superior officer to whom the seizing officer turned over such article. That desk officer or superior officer needs to testify that he had taken care that the drugs were not tampered with or substituted. And if someone else brought the unsealed sachet of drugs to the police crime laboratory, he, too, should give similar testimony, and so on up to the receiving custodian at the crime laboratory until the drugs reach the laboratory technician who examined and resealed it.

Del Rosario and Del Rosario v. Donato and Gonzaga (2010) Refresher: On January 23, 2002 Philip Morris wrote to the NBI, requesting assistance in curtailing the proliferation of fake Marlboro cigarettes in Angeles City, Pampanga. After doing surveillance work in that city, respondent Donato, the NBI agent assigned to the case, succeeded in confirming the storage and sale of such fake cigarettes at the house at 51 New

York Street, Villasol Subdivision, Angeles City, that belonged to petitioner Alexander del Rosario. On March 5, 2002 respondent Donato applied for a search warrant with Branch 57 of the RTC of Angeles City to search the subject premises. But it took a week later for the RTC to hear the application and issue the search warrant. Although Donato felt that the delayed hearing compromised the operation, the NBI agents led by respondent Rafael V. Gonzaga proceeded to implement the warrant. Their search yielded no fake Marlboro cigarettes. Subsequently, the Del Rosarios filed a complaint for P50 million in damages against respondents NBI agents Donato and Gonzaga and two others before the RTC of Angeles City, Branch 62. On August 6, 2003 respondents NBI agents answered the complaint with a motion to dismiss on the grounds of: a) the failure of the complaint to state a cause of action; b) forum shopping; and c) the NBI agents immunity from suit, they being sued as such agents. RTC ruled for the petitioners. However, CA, upon the respondent NBIs special civil action of certiorari, ruled for the latter and annulled the RTC decision. Issues: Whether or not the complaint of the Del Rosarios did not state a cause of action. YES. Doctrine: On the issue of failure to state a cause of action: The test of sufficiency of a complaint is whether or not, assuming the truth of the facts that plaintiff alleges in it, the court can render judgment granting him the judicial assistance he seeks. And judgment would be right only if the facts he alleges constitute a cause of action that consists of three elements: (1) the plaintiffs legal right in the matter; (2) the defendants corresponding obligation to honor or respect such right; and (3) the defendants subsequent violation of the right. Absent any of these, the complaint would have failed to state a cause of action. Essentially, however, all that the Del Rosarios allege is that respondents NBI agents used an unlawfully obtained search warrant against them, evidenced by the fact that, contrary to the sworn statements used to get such warrant, the NBI agents found no fake Marlboro cigarettes in petitioner Alexander del Rosarios premises. But a judicially ordered search that fails to yield the described illicit article does not of itself render the courts order "unlawful." The Del Rosarios did not allege that respondents NBI agents violated their right by fabricating testimonies to convince the RTC of Angeles City to issue the search warrant. Their allegation that the NBI agents used an unlawfully obtained search warrant is a mere conclusion of law. While a motion to dismiss assumes as true the facts alleged in the complaint, such admission does not extend to conclusions of law. Statements of mere conclusions of law expose the complaint to a motion to dismiss on ground of failure to state a cause of action.

FLORENDO v. PARAMOUNT (January 20, 2010) Refresher:

Florendos bought agricultural lots from Aguirre. The titles were not transferred in their name. After 18 years, the Florendos discovered that Paramount managed to attach the properties in a case against Aguirre. The Florendos sought the annulment of liens over their lots against Paramount. Paramount opposed by saying that the annotation in their favor was free from adverse claim. RTC ruled in favor of Florendo. Paramount appealed the decision to CA. In the meantime that the case was on appeal, RTC issued a special order directing the execution of judgment in favor of Florendo on the condition that a P4M bond be posted. CA reversed the RTC and issued temporary restraining order against the RTCs special order to execute judgment. Issue: WON CA erred in giving due course to the petition. No. Doctrine: The case is an exception to the rule that a motion for reconsideration on an order must be sought first before a special civil action of certiorari must be given due course. In this case, the exception pertains to the urgency of the situation. The RTC already issued a writ of execution which made the enforcement of decision imminent. (Doctrine) The issue of validity of execution pending appeal was a pure question of law. There is no forum shopping in this case. The certiorari action refers to grave abuse of discretion by the RTC judge in allowing the execution pending appeal. On the other hand, the ordinary appeal refers to the merit of RTCs decision. Execution was not yet a matter of right. Execution pending appeal must be strictly construed by lower courts. (Doctrine) Here, the reasons such as old age, ailment, and opponents delaying tactics are not good reasons sufficient to compel the immediate execution of RTC judgment. The bond of P4M to answer for damages when the RTC decision is possibly reversed is insufficient security because the properties are valued at P42M. The decision in main case turned out to be favorable to Paramount. Hence, it gives the presumption of invalidity to the RTC special order directing execution of judgment. REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES v. SANDIGANBAYAN, TERNATE DEVELOPMENT CORP ET AL (July 13, 2010) Refresher: This case is about the propriety of amending a complaint for recovery of alleged ill-gotten wealth by impleading corporate entities already listed down in the original complaint as assets and shell corporations of the defendant individuals. PCGG issued various sequestration orders against the assets, records and documents of several corporations owned by the Enriquez group, alleged associates of Sps. Marcos. The Republic then filed a complaint with the Sandiganbayan against Sps. Marcos and the Enriquez group for reconveyance, reversion, accounting, restitution and damages. Annexed to the complaint was a list of corporations where the individual defendants allegedly owned shares of stock. Afterwards, the government moved for the admission of an amended complaint impleading the respondents in this case, allegedly because these corporations were beneficially owned or controlled by the individual defendants. They were allegedly

used as fronts to defeat public convenience, protect fraudulent schemes or evade obligations and liabilities under the law. Upon petition of the respondents, the Sandiganbayan issued a writ of preliminary injunction against the republic re: sequestration orders, but the Sandiganbayan admitted the amended complaint. Nevertheless, the Sandiganbayan dimissed the case, stating that impleading the corporations as defendants was unnecessary and that the amended complaint stated no cause of action against the defendant corporations. The government filed then a petition for certiorari under Rule 65. Issue: 1. W/N THE AMENDED COMPLAINT WAS PROPERLY DISMISSED FOR REASON OF FAILURE TO STATE A CAUSE OF ACTION. 2. W/N CERTIORARI UNDER RULE 65 WAS THE PROPER REMEDY. NO. Doctrine: 1. In the more recent case of Universal Broadcasting Corporation v. Sandiganbayan (5th Dvision), the Court again said that when corporations are organized with ill-gotten wealth but are not themselves guilty of wrongdoing and are merely the res of the actions, there is no need to implead them. Judgment may simply be directed against the shares of stock that were issued in consideration of ill-gotten wealth. . A cause of action has three elements: 1) plaintiffs right under the law; (2) the defendants obligation to abide by such right; and (3) defendants subsequent violation of the same that entitles the plaintiff to sue for recompense. The complaint makes no allegations that respondent corporations have done some acts that have violated a right vested by law in the Government. Indeed, the amended complaint states that it is a civil action against the individual defendants for their alleged misappropriation and theft of public funds, plunder of the nations wealth, extortion, blackmail, bribery, embezzlement and other acts of corruption, betrayal of public trust and brazen abuse of power. Here, the Government makes no allegations that respondent corporations as such committed these acts. 2. With respect to the threshold issue, the Government clearly availed itself of the wrong remedy in filing this special civil action of certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court. An order of dismissal is a final order, which is the proper subject of an appeal through a petition for review. Where appeal is available, the special civil action of certiorari will not be entertained even if it is filed on ground of grave abuse of discretion as in this case. The remedies of appeal and special civil action of certiorari are mutually exclusive. One cannot take the place of the other. And, while there are known exceptions to this rule, none has been shown here. SHELL PHILIPPINES EXPLORATION B.V. vs. EFREN JALOS, et al. (8 Sep. 2010) Refresher: Shell and the Republic of the Philippines entered into Service Contract 38 for the exploration and extraction of petroleum in northwestern Palawan where natural gas was discovered and developed under the Malampaya Natural Gas Project. Jalos, et. al., claiming to be subsistence fishermen, filed a complaint for damages in the RTC, alleging that their livelihood was adversely affected by the construction and operation of Shells natural gas pipeline. Shell filed MTD alleging lack of jurisdiction as it is a pollution case which falls under the Pollution Adjudication Board (PAB). RTC granted and case was dismissed. CA reversed. SC ruled that there is cause of action but proper venue should be PAB. Case dismissed without prejudice to refilling with PAB.

Issue: 1. Whether or not the complaint is a pollution case that falls within the primary jurisdiction of the PAB. YES, while the word pollution was not actually used in the complaint, the allegations imputed re Shells pipeline constitutes "pollution" as defined by law. In resolving resps claim, the proper tribunal must determine WON the operation of the pipeline adversely altered the coastal waters properties and negatively affected its life-sustaining function. The power and expertise needed to determine such issue lies with the PAB. 2. Whether or not the complaint sufficiently alleges a cause of action against Shell. YES, even if the complaint did not contain specific allegations on how the pipeline disturbed the waters and drove the fish away, lack of particulars is not a ground for dismissing the complaint. What is important is that all the elements of a cause of action are present. There is a right guaranteed by the Constitution - the preferential use of marine and fishing resources; there is a duty on the part of Shell to refrain from acts or omissions affecting respondents use and enjoyment of the sea; there is a violation by Shell when its pipeline disrupted and impaired the natural habitat of fish resulting in less catch and less income for resps. 3. Whether or not the suit is actually against the State and is barred under the doctrine of state immunity. NO, Shell is not an agent of the Republic of the Philippines. It is but a service contractor for the exploration and development of one of the countrys natural gas reserves. Even if its petroleum operations are under the States full control and supervision, it does not follow that Shell has become the States "agent" within the meaning of the law. Shells primary obligation under the contract is not to represent the Philippine government for the purpose of transacting business with third persons. Rather, its contractual commitment is to develop and manage petroleum operations on behalf of the State. Doctrine: The test for determining the sufficiency of a cause of action rests on whether the complaint alleges facts which, if true, would justify the relief demanded. REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. DEVELOPMENT RESOURCES CORPORATION and RD DAVAO CITY (18 Dec. 2009) Refresher: Respondent Development Resources Corporation is the owner of 2 lots with TCTs issued under its name. Said TCTs were only two of the many derived from OCT 493 issued by RD Davao pursuant to an adjudication by CFI Davao sitting as cadastral court in 1922 in favor of Antonio Matute. Petitioner, though OSG, filed a petition for cancellation of title and reversion of lots to the public domain. It claimed that no valid title vested in Matute because the two lots were still part of public forest and inalienable since 1922. It presented a certification to this effect from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and LC Map 47. DRC contended that the lots could no loner be reverted to the public domain because they are now private properties held by purchasers in good faith. RTC dismissed. Republic failed to prove subject lots were still part of the public domain when the same were adjudicated to Antonio Matute. The RTC ruled that LC Map 47 has no probative value because: (1) the copy presented in court was a reproduction and not the original or certified copy; and (2) it does not show that the land was declared alienable and disposable only as of August 6, 1923; rather that it was certified on that date. Issue: WON LC Map 47 has probative value? WON DRCs titles can be cancelled?

No. Since a complaint for reversion can upset stability of registered titles thru the cancellation of the original title and others emanating from it, the State bears a heavy burden of proving the ground for its action. The Republic failed to discharge its burden . The Court held in SAAD Agro-Industries, Inc. v. Republic of the Philippines that a mere photocopy of an LC Map is not a competent evidence of the existence of such map. In this case, a certified photocopy issued by the public officer having custody thereof should have been presented. For another, the courts below correctly held that LC Map 47 does not state on its face that Lot 544 became alienable and disposable only on the date appearing on that Map, namely, on August 6, 1923, about 10 months after Lots 1 and 5 of Pcs-16678 of the Davao Cadastre were adjudicated to Antonio Matute. The DENR certification has no additional value since it was just based on the same map. The RTC was correct in dismissing the case for failure of the Republic to discharge its evidential burden. Doctrine: Mere photocopy is not competent evidence. TALLORIN v. HEIRS OF JUANITO TARONAS (November 24, 2009) Refresher: Respondents Taronas brought action against petitioner Tallorin for the cancellation of her and two other womens tax declaration over a parcel of land. The Taronas alleged that, unknown to them, the Assessors Office cancelled Tax Declaration in the name of their father, Juanito, based on an unsigned though notarized affidavit that Juanito allegedly executed in favor of petitioner Tallorin and two others, who were not impleaded here. In place of the cancelled one, Assessors Office issued a new Tax Declaration in the names of the latter three persons. The old man Taronas affidavit had been missing. Taronas filed a motion to declare petitioner Tallorin in default for failing to answer their complaint within the allowed time. But, before the RTC could act on the motion, Tallorin filed a belated answer, alleging that she held a copy of the missing affidavit of Juanito who was merely an agricultural tenant of the. Tallorin also put up the affirmative defenses of noncompliance with the requirement of conciliation proceedings and prescription. RTC denied the Taronas motion for reconsideration that it received Tallorins answer before it could issue a default order and that the Taronas failed to show proof that Tallorin was notified of the motion three days before the scheduled hearing. CA ruled that the RTC gravely abused its discretion in admitting Tallorins late answer in the absence of a motion to admit it. Even if petitioner Tallorin had already filed her late answer, said the CA, the RTC should have heard the Taronas motion to declare Tallorin in default. Upon remand, RTC heard the Taronas motion to declare Tallorin in default, granted it, and directed the Taronas to present evidence ex parte. RTC rendered judgment, a) annulling the tax declaration in the names of Tallorin, b) reinstating the tax declaration in the name of Juanito; and c) ordering the issuance in its place of a new tax declaration in the names of Juanitos heirs. The trial court also ruled that

Juanitos affidavit authorizing the transfer of the tax declaration had no binding force since he did not sign it. Issue: Whether or not the CA erred in failing to dismiss the Taronas complaint for not impleading Margarita Pastelero Vda. de Valdez and Dolores Valdez in whose names, like their co-owner Tallorin, the annulled tax declaration had been issued. - YES Doctrine: The rules (1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 3, Sec. 7) mandate the joinder of indispensable parties. Indispensable parties are those with such an interest in the controversy that a final decree would necessarily affect their rights, so that the courts cannot proceed without their presence. Joining indispensable parties into an action is mandatory, being a requirement of due process. Judgments do not bind strangers to the suit. The absence of an indispensable party renders all subsequent actions of the court null and void. Indeed, it would have no authority to act, not only as to the absent party, but as to those present as well. The responsibility for impleading all indispensable parties lies in the plaintiff. in Uriarte v. People, although not conclusive, a tax declaration is a telling evidence of the declarants possession which could ripen into ownership. Here, RTC and CA annulled Tax Declaration that belonged not only to defendant Tallorin but also to those two persons had no opportunity to be heard as they were never impleaded. But in Butin Plasabas v. Court of Appeals, the non-joinder of indispensable parties is not a ground for dismissal. Section 11, Rule 3 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure prohibits the dismissal of a suit on the ground of non-joinder or misjoinder of parties and allows the amendment of the complaint at any stage of the proceedings, through motion or on order of the court on its own initiative. Only if plaintiff refuses to implead an indispensable party, despite the order of the court, may it dismiss the action. BPI v. SPS NORMAN and ANGELINA YU & TUANSON BUILDERS (January 20, 2010) Refresher: Norman and Angelina Yu doing business as Tuanson Trading, and Tuanson Builders Corporation borrowed P75m from Far East Bank and Trust Company. For collateral, they executed real estate mortgages over several of their properties,including lands owned by Tuanson Trading. The Yus, unable to pay, requested a loan restructuring with the Bank which now merged with BPI. Despite the restructuring, however, the Yus still had difficulties paying their loan. They asked BPI to release some of the mortgaged lands since their total appraised value exceeded the amount of the remaining debt. When BPI ignored their request, the Yus withheld payments on their amortizations. Thus, BPI extrajudicially foreclosed the mortgaged properties. The winning bidder was Magnacraft Development Corporation. The Yus instituted a court action against Magnacraft and BPI to retrieve the properties. The Yus then entered into a compromise agreement with Magnacraft, thus it instituted a new action against BPI alone for recovery of alleged excessive penalty charges, attorneys fees, and foreclosure expenses that the bank caused to be incorporated in the price of the auctioned properties.

The Yus moved for summary judgment which the RTC partially granted I relation to the penalty charged which they reduced from 36% to 12% and the attorneys fees which they held to be reasonable. However the RTC ruled it needed to receive evidence to resolve the remaining issues with regard to the foreclosure expenses. The Yus moved for partial reconsideration arguing that since BPI did not mark in evidence any document in support of the foreclosure expenses it claimed, it may be assumed that the bank had no evidence to prove such expenses. Thus, the court could already resolve without trial the issue of whether or not the foreclosure of the property was valid. The Yus also sought reconsideration of the reduction of penalty charges claiming that they should be deleted since BPI violated RA 3765 or the truth in lending ac for failure to state the rate of penalties on late amortizations. The RTC thus reconsidered its decision and rendered a summary judgment deleting the penalty charges. BPI appealed to the CA which affirmed the RTC decision. Thus BPIs present recourse. ISSUES: 1. W/N the summary judgment rendered by the RTC was proper? YES 2. W/N the deletion of penalty charges was correct? YES Doctrine: 1. RULE: A summary judgment is apt when the essential facts of the case are uncontested or the parties do not raise any genuine issue of fact. APPLIED: The issue on excessive charges may be resolved by the RTC by looking through the ff documents: a) the pleadings of the parties; b) the loan agreements, the promissory note, and the real estate mortgages between them; c) the foreclosure and bidding documents; and d) the admissions and other disclosures between the parties during pre-trial. In this case since Since the parties admitted not only the existence, authenticity, and genuine execution of these documents but also what they stated, the trial court did not need to hold a trial for the reception of the evidence of the parties. BPI has failed to name any document or item of fact that it would have wanted to adduce at the trial of the case. 2. RULE: Under Sec 4 of the Truth in Lending Act, a penalty charge is considered a finance charge which represents the amount to be paid by the debtor incident to the extension of credit." The lender may provide for a penalty clause so long as the amount or rate of the charge and the conditions under which it is to be paid are disclosed to the borrower before he enters into the credit agreement. Under Circular 158 of the Central Bank, the lender is required to include the information required by R.A. 3765 in the contract covering the credit transaction or any other document to be acknowledged and signed by the borrower. In addition, the contract or document shall specify additional charges, if any, which will be collected in case certain stipulations in the contract are not met by the debtor." APPLIED: although BPI failed to state the penalty charges in the disclosure statement, the promissory note that the Yus signed,contained data, including penalty charges, required by the Truth in Lending Act. They cannot avoid liability based on a rigid interpretation of the Truth in Lending Act that contravenes its goal.

But ,the courts also have authority to reduce penalty charges when these are unreasonable and iniquitous. Thus in this case, considering that BPI had already received over P2.7 million in interest, the SC finds the deletion of the penalty charges reasonable. CABADOR v. PEOPLE (October 2, 2009) Refresher: In 2000, Antonio Cabador was accused of murder in conspiracy with others, before RTC of QC. In 2006, after presenting only 5 witnesses over 5 years of intermittent trial, the RTC declared at an end the prosecutions presentation of evidence and required the prosecution to make a written or formal offer of its documentary evidence within 15 days from notice. But the public prosecutor asked for three extensions of time. Still, the prosecution did not make the required written offer. Cabador filed a motion to dismiss the case. Unknown to petitioner Cabador, however, 4 days earlier the prosecution asked for another extension, which offer it eventually made on August 1, 2006, the day Cabador filed his motion to dismiss. On August 31, 2006 the RTC issued an Order treating petitioner Cabadors motion to dismiss as a demurrer to evidence. And, since he filed his motion without leave of court, the RTC declared him to have waived his right to present evidence in his defense. RTC: denied Cabadors motion for reconsideration CA: affirmed. Issue: W/N Cabadors MTD was a demurrer to evidence filed without leave of court, with the result that he effectively waived his right to present evidence in his defense and submitted the case for decision insofar as he was concerned. No. Doctrine: To determine whether the pleading filed is a demurer to evidence or a motion to dismiss, the Court must consider (1) the allegations in it made in good faith; (2) the stage of the proceeding at which it is filed; and (3) the primary objective of the party filing it. The Court finds that petitioner Cabador filed a motion to dismiss on the ground of violation of his right to speedy trial, not a demurrer to evidence. He cannot be declared to have waived his right to present evidence in his defense. Pacifico R. Cruz v. The Sandiganbayan, et. Al. (February 12, 2010) Refresher: The Task Force found that certain officials of the Department of Finance had been issuing tax credit certificates (TCCs) to entities that did not earn them through tax overpayments. According to respondent Task Force, the Diamond Knitting Corporation (DKC) shut down its operations in 1993 yet the DOFs One-Stop Center issued to it TCCs totaling P131 M from 1994 to 1997. DKC in turn sold a number of these TCCs to Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corporation (Pilipinas Shell) with the approval of the One-Stop Center. Pilipinas Shell then used these TCCs to pay off its excise tax obligations to the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR).

Believing that petitioner Pacifico R. Cruz, the General Manager of Pilipinas Shells Treasury and Taxation Department, was a party to the fraud, the Task Force included him in its complaint for plunder before respondent Office of the Ombudsman (OMB). The OMB dismissed the plunder charge but caused the filing of separate informations for multiple violations of Section 3(e) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act against petitioner Cruz and the others with him. Cruz sought the reinvestigation of the cases. After reinvestigation, the Prosecutor recommended the dropping of the charges against Cruz. Upon review, the OMB approved respondent OSPs recommendation. More than five months later the OSP, acting through Prosecutor Warlito F. Galisanao, filed a motion with the Sandiganbayan to hold in abeyance action on the OSPs motion to drop petitioner Cruz from the charges. At the hearing of the motion when neither Cruz nor his counsel was present, Prosecutor Humphrey T. Monteroso orally moved to withdraw the OSPs motion to drop Cruz from the informations. The Sandiganbayan promptly granted Monterosos oral motion. Yet, later the OSP still filed a motion to withdraw its motion to drop Cruz from the informations. Issues:

1.

W/N the OSP acted in violation of petitioner Cruzs right to due process of law when it impulsively and arbitrarily disregarded its previous finding of lack of probable cause without hearing and filed a motion to withdraw its motion to drop Cruz from the Informations. YES Commissioner of Internal Revenue that Pilipinas Shell was a transferee in good faith and for value of the TCCs in question bar the prosecution of Cruz in the criminal cases subject of this petition. YES

2. W/N the findings of the Court in Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corporation v.

Doctrine: 1. Here, after respondent OSP considered the evidence anew at reinvestigation, it ruled that such evidence did not establish probable cause against petitioner Cruz. Respondent OSP, therefore, recommended the dropping of petitioner Cruzs name from the charges already filed in court. And the OMB approved this recommendation. The necessary implication of this is that the OMB had, after reinvestigation, found no probable cause against Cruz. Based on its finding, therefore, the State did not have the right to prosecute him. With this result, it was a matter of duty for respondent OSP to apply with the Sandiganbayan for the withdrawal of the charges against Cruz. 2. The main issue in this case is whether or not Cruz connived with the officials of the One-Stop Center and others in unlawfully giving, through manifest partiality and bad faith, unwarranted benefits to DKC by processing and approving such transfers to Pilipinas Shell, knowing that DKC, the transferee, had been a dormant company. This Court resolved substantially the same issue in Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corporation v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue. The parties in the tax case and in the criminal cases also represent substantially identical interests. The principle of res

judicata through conclusiveness of judgment applies to bar the criminal actions against Cruz. SANCHEZ v. REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES (October 9, 2009) Refresher: The University of Life Complex (Complex) was built by the GOCC Human Settlements Development Corporation (HSDC) using public funds during the time of Pres. Marcos. Eventually the government gave the management and operation of the Complex to the University of Life Foundation, Inc. (ULFI) But HSDC was to continue to construct and acquire equipment for it. After the Marcos regime, HSDC was reorganized into SIDCOR. The government realized that ULFI owed P36M to HSDC because it never paid for the annual fee due the latter. SIDCOR rescinded the HSDC-ULFI agreement. Ironically, in its place, SIDCOR entered into an Interim Management Agreement with ULFI, allowing it to continue managing and operating the Complex. Government transferred Complex from UFLI to DECS. Unlaful detainer suit by DECS against ULFI which was granted on appeal. DECS filed a complaint for collection of the unremitted rents and damages against Henri Kahn, ULFIs President, and petitioner Manuel Luis S. Sanchez, its Executive Vice-President, based on their personal liability under Section 31 of the Corporation Code. The latter two were Managing Director and Finance Director, respectively, of the corporation. The underlying theory of the case is that Kahn and Sanchez "operated ULFI as if it were their own property, handled the collections and spent the money as if it were their personal belonging." In a nutshell, Sanchez argues that he cannot be made personally liable for ULFIs corporate obligations absent specific allegations in the complaint and evidence adduced during trial that would warrant a piercing of the corporate veil. He further argues that the DECS is barred by res judicata and forum shopping from collecting from him what it could not get by execution from ULFI under the judgment in the ejectment case. Finally, he claims that because ULFI suffered losses in operations during the period 1992 up to 1996, there could have been nothing left of the rentals it collected from the lessees of the Complex. Issue: W/N There was forum shopping - NO Doctrine: The essence of forum shopping is the filing of multiple suits involving the same parties for the same cause of action, either simultaneously or successively, for the purpose of obtaining a favorable judgment. This is not the case with respect to the ejectment suit vis-vis the action for damages. The DECS does not have to invoke the doctrine of piercing the veil of corporate fiction. Section 31 above expressly lays down petitioner Sanchez and Kahns liability for damages arising from their gross negligence or bad faith in directing corporate affairs. LAND BANK OF THE PHILIPPINES v. MONET'S EXPORT AND MANUFACTURING CORP. Refresher: On June 25, 1981 petitioner Land Bank and respondent Monets Export and Manufacturing Corporation (Monet) executed an Export Packing Credit Line Agreement under which the bank gave Monet a credit line of P250,000.00. Land Bank that Monets obligation had swelled toP11,464,246.19. Since Monet failed to pay despite demands, the bank filed a collection suit against Monet and the Tagles. Monet and the Tagles claimed that Land Bank had refused to collect receivables on Monets export letter of credit and also that it made unauthorized payment on its import letter of credit to Beautilike (H.K.) Ltd. (In other words,

Land Bank mismanaged its clients affairs under the Agreement.)RTC recognized Monet and the Tagles obligations to Land Bank in the amount reflected in Exhibit 39, the banks Schedule of Amortization from its Loans and Discount Department, but sans any penalty. The RTC ordered petitioners to pay Land Bank the same. On appeal to the Court of Appeals, the court affirmed the RTC. A petition for review was sent to the SC and the court remanded the case noting that Exhibit 39, the Summary of Availment and Schedule of Amortization, on which both the RTC and the CA relied, covered only Monets debt of P2.5 million under Promissory Note P-981, a small amount compared to the P11,464,246.19 that Land Bank sought to collect from it. Remanded to the RTC, and no new evidence given by the counsels, the RTC stood by Exhibit 39 as the basis of its finding that Monet and the Tagles owed Land Bank onlyP2.5 million as opposed to the latters claim of P11,464,246.19. Land Bank filed a motion for reconsideration to enable it to adduce in evidence a Consolidated Billing Statement to show how much Monet and the Tagles still owed the bank. But the trial court denied the motion. Land Bank appealed the order to the CA affirmed the RTC. Land Bank moved for reconsideration, but the CA denied it hence, the present petition by Land Bank. Issue: W/N the RTC and the CA acted correctly in denying petitioner Land Banks motion to reopen the hearing to allow it to present the banks updated Consolidated Billing Statement that reflects respondents Monet and the Tagles remaining indebtedness to it. NO Doctrine: Such billing statement, said the CA, did not constitute sufficient evidence to prove Monets total indebtedness for the simple reason that this Court in G.R. 161865 regarded a prior Consolidated Statement of Account for 1992 insufficient for that purpose. But what the RTC and the CA did not realize is that the original RTC decision of July 15, 1997 was an incomplete decision since it failed to resolve the main issue that the collection suit presented: how much Monet and the Tagles exactly owed Land Bank. In reverting back to Exhibit 39, which covers just one of many promissory notes that Monet and the Tagles executed in favor of Land Bank, the RTC and the CA have shown an unjustified obstinacy and a lack of understanding of what the Court wanted done to clear up the issue of how much Monet and the Tagles still owed the bank. The bank lawyer who claimed that Land Bank had no further evidence to present during the hearing was of course in error and it probably warranted a dismissal of the banks claim for failure to prosecute. But the banks motion for reconsideration, asking for an opportunity to present evidence of the status of the loans, opened up a chance for the RTC to abide by what the Court required of it. It committed error, together with the CA, in ruling that a reopening of the hearing would serve no useful purpose.

REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES v. CATARROJA Refresher: Respondents filed a petition for reconstitution of lost original certificate of title covering two lots in Zapang, Ternate, Cavite. The Catarrojas alleged that they inherited these lands from their parents, Fermin and Sancha Catarroja, who reportedly applied for their registration with the Court of First Instance of Cavite sometime before the last world war. The Land Registration Authority (LRA) issued a certification and a report confirming that the land registration court issued Decree 749932 on May 21, 1941 covering the subject lots. A copy of this decree was, however, no longer available in the records of the LRA. The LRA report

verified as correct the plans and technical descriptions of the subject lots which had been approved.The Catarrojas alleged that, pursuant to the decree, the Register of Deeds of Cavite issued an original certificate of title to their parents. But, as it happened, based on a certification issued by the Register of Deeds, the original on file with it was lost in the fire that gutted the old Cavite capitol building .The Catarrojas also claimed that the owners duplicate copy of the title had been lost while with their parents. RTC issued an Order, granting the petition for reconstitution of title. The Court of Appeals (CA) reversed the RTC decision. It held that the evidence of the Catarrojas failed to establish any of the sources for reconstitution enumerated in Section 2 of Republic Act (R.A.) 26 (An act providing a special procedure for reconstitution of Torrens certificate of title lost or destroyed). The Catarrojas did not have proof that an original certificate of title had in fact been issued covering the subject lots. On motion for reconsideration, however, the CA rendered an amended decision finding sufficient evidence to allow reconstitution of the Catarrojas title. Issue: W/N the CA erred in finding sufficient evidence to grant the petition for reconstitution of title. YES Doctrine: This is about a petition for reconstitution of a lost original certificate of title in which the respondents have been unable to present evidence that such title had in fact been issued by an appropriate land registration court. R.A. 26 governs the reconstitution of lost or destroyed Torrens certificates of title. Its Section 2 enumerates the following sources for the reconstitution of such titles: (a) The owners duplicate of the certificate of title; (b) The co-owners, mortgagees, or lessees duplicate of the certificate of title; (c) A certified copy of the certificate of title, previously issued by the register of deeds or by a legal custodian thereof; (d) An authenticated copy of the decree of registration or patent, as the case may be, pursuant to which the original certificate of title was issued; (e) A document, on file in the Registry of Deeds, by which the property, the description of which is given in said document, is mortgaged, leased or encumbered, or an authenticated copy of said document showing that its original had been registered; and (f) Any other document which, in the judgment of the court, is sufficient and proper basis for reconstituting the lost or destroyed certificate of title. Admittedly, the Catarrojas have been unable to present any of the documents mentioned in paragraphs (a) to (e) above. Their parents allegedly lost the owners duplicate certificate of title. They did not have a certified copy of such certificate of title or a co-owners, a mortgagees, or a lessees duplicate of the same. The LRA itself no longer has a copy of the original decree or an authenticated copy of it. Likewise, the Register of Deeds did not have any document of encumbrance on file that shows the description of the property. The only documentary evidence the Catarrojas could produce as possible sources for the reconstitution of the lost title are those other documents described in paragraph (f). This Court has, in Republic v. Intermediate Appellate Court, applied the principle of ejusdem generis in interpreting Section 2(f) of R.A. 26. "Any other document" refers to reliable documents of the kind described in the preceding enumerations. This Court is not convinced that the documents the Catarrojas submitted fall in the same class as those enumerated in paragraphs (a) to (e). None of them proves that a certificate of title had in fact been issued in the name of their parents.

Moreover the Catarrojas failed to show that they exerted efforts to look for and avail of the sources in paragraphs (a) to (e) before availing themselves of the sources in paragraph (f). Absent a clear and convincing proof that an original certificate of title had in fact been issued to their parents in due course, the Catarrojas cannot claim that their predecessors succeeded in acquiring title to the subject lots. The nature of reconstitution of a lost or destroyed certificate of title denotes a restoration of the instrument in its original form and condition. That cannot be done without proof that such certificate of title had once existed. PANLILIO v. COMELEC Refresher: Panlilio) and respondent De Jesus ran against each other for Mayor. De Jesus got 3,902 votes as against Panlilios 3,150 votes, with De Jesus winning by 752 votes. Panlilio filed an election protest1 with the RTC. The RTC declared Panlilio the winner over De Jesus by two votes. De Jesus appealed the RTC decision to the COMELEC. He filed a petition for certiorari with application for a temporary restraining order (TRO) and preliminary injunction with the COMELEC against the RTC and petitioner De Jesus,10 seeking to annul the order of execution pending appeal. COMELECs Second Division issued a 60-day TRO, enjoining the execution pending appeal. The Second Division did not find good reasons for allowing execution of the RTC decision pending an appeal from it to the COMELEC. Thereafter, Panlilio asked the RTC to implement the writ of execution it earlier issued in his favor, given that the COMELECs 60-day TRO had already expired. The Court granted the motion. COMELEC en banc set aside the RTCs order. ISSUE: whether or not the COMELEC en banc acted with grave abuse of discretion when it enjoined the implementation of the RTCs order of execution pending appeal notwithstanding the lapse of the 60-day TRO that the COMELEC Second Division had earlier issued. HELD: NO. DOCTRINE: The Second Division may not have issued a preliminary injunction but it did something even better than that. It issued after hearing its resolution of July 15, 2008, already adjudicating the merits of the case. It annulled the RTC order that allowed the execution of its decision pending appeal for lack of good reasons to support its issuance. True, the implementation of the main relief grantedthe setting aside of the RTCs orders that allowed execution pending appealmay be deemed suspended when petitioner Panlilio filed a motion for its reconsideration.22 But the preliminary injunction component of the resolutionthe maintenance of the status quo that existed before the RTC issued its April 17, 2008 orderis not suspended. It is expressly kept in force. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. ROMY FALLONES (MARCH 16, 2011) Refresher:

Romy Fallones was charged with the rape of Alice a mental retardate. Alice however died before she could testify in trial. The prosecution instead presented her father, sister, a police investigator and the two apprehending officers. Alices sister, Amalia, testified that at about 9:45 a.m. on June 29, 2004, her mother told her older sister, Alice, to look for their brother Andoy. Since Andoy arrived without Alice, her mother asked Amalia to look for her. Amalia looked in places where Andoy often played and this led her near accused Fallones house. As she approached the house, Amalia heard someone crying out from within, "Tama na, tama na!" Recognizing Alices voice, Amalia repeatedly knocked on the door until Fallones opened it. Amalia saw her sister standing behind him. As Amalia went in to take her sister out, Alice held out a sanitary napkin and, crying, said that Fallones had given her the napkin. Alices shorts were wet and bloodstained. Frightened and troubled, the two girls went home. On their way home, Alice recounted to her sister that Fallones brought her to his bathroom, pulled down her shorts, and ravished her. She said that Fallones wet her shorts to make it appear that she tripped and had her monthly period. Fallones denied the accusations against him. On July 10, 2007 the RTC rendered a Decision, finding the accused guilty beyond reasonable doubt of simple rape. The RTC sentenced him to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua, and ordered him to pay P50,000.00 as civil indemnity and P50,000.00 as damages. The accused appealed to the Court of Appeals (CA) but the latter court rendered judgment on June 30, 2009, affirming the RTC Decision. Accused Fallones moved for reconsideration but the CA denied his motion, hence, the present appeal to this Court. Issue: Whether or not the CA erred in affirming the RTCs finding that accused Fallones raped Alice, a mental retardate. NO Doctrine: Although Alice died before she could testify, the evidence shows that she positively identified Fallones as her abuser before the barangay officials and the police. Amalia, her sister, testified of her own personal knowledge that she had been out looking for Alice that midmorning; that she heard the latters voice from within Fallones house imploring her attacker to stop what he was doing to her; that upon repeatedly knocking at Fallones door, he opened it, revealing the presence of her sister, her shorts bloodied. Although with mental retardation, the prosecution also presented the psychologist who confirmed that Alice had been sexually abused and suffered post-traumatic stress disorder. On cross-examination, the psychologist testified that while Alice may be vulnerable to suggestions, she had no ability to recall or act out things that may have been taught to her. Neither can anyone manipulate her emotions if indeed she was influenced by others. Amalias personal knowledge not hearsay Accused Fallones tried to discredit Amalias testimony as hearsay, doubtful, and unreliable. But, although what Alice told Amalia may have been hearsay, the rest of the latters testimony, which established both concomitant and subsequent circumstance, are admissible in evidence having been given from personal knowledge. Res Gestae Further, the Court considers a res gestae Amalias recital of what she heard Alice utter when she came and rescued her. Res gestae refers to statements made by the participants or the victims of, or the spectators to, a crime immediately before, during, or after its commission.

These statements are a spontaneous reaction or utterance inspired by the excitement of the occasion, without any opportunity for the declarant to fabricate a false statement. For spontaneous statements to be admitted in evidence, the following must concur: 1) the principal act, the res gestae, is a startling occurrence; 2) the statements were made before the declarant had time to contrive or devise; and 3) the statements concerned the occurrence in question and its immediately attending circumstances.

PEOPLE VS. JAN MICHAEL TAN (December 9 2009) Refresher: A new presiding judge reversed the order of the previous acting judge. He found probable cause against respondents and ordered the issuance of warrants for their arrest. Issue: Whether the presiding judge gravely abused his discretion when he reexamined and reversed his predecessors finding of lack of probable cause. No. Doctrine: Probable cause assumes the existence of facts that would lead a reasonably discreet and prudent man to believe that a crime has been committed and that it was likely committed by the person sought to be arrested. It requires neither absolute certainty nor clear and convincing evidence of guilt. The test for issuing a warrant of arrest is less stringent than that used for establishing the guilt of the accused. As long as the evidence shows a prima facie case against the accused, the trial court has sufficient ground to issue a warrant for his arrest. A trial, unlike preliminary investigations, could yield more evidence favorable to either side after the interrogations of the witnesses either on direct examination or on crossexamination. What is important is that there is some rational basis for going ahead with judicial inquiry into the case.

ESPIRITU V. PETRON AND DOLOIRAS (November 24 2009) Refresher: An employee of KPE, exclusive distributor of Petron Gasul in Sorsogon saw loaded in one Bicol Gas truck a Gasul tank filled with Bicol Gas LPG. KPE and Petron then filed a complaint against Bicol Gas for violations of Republic Act (R.A.) 623 (illegally filling up registered cylinder tanks), as amended, and Sections 155 (infringement of trade marks) and 169.1 (unfair competition) of the Intellectual Property Code (R.A. 8293). CNFS filed by KPE and Petron before the CA was signed only by Petron through an Atty. Cruz. Issue: Whether the CNFS complied with what the rules require. YES. Doctrine: But, while procedural requirements such as that of submittal of a certificate of non-forum shopping cannot be totally disregarded, they may be deemed substantially complied with under justifiable circumstances.7 One of these circumstances is where the petitioners filed a collective action in which they share a common interest in its subject matter or raise a common cause of action. In such a case, the certification by one of the petitioners may be deemed sufficient.

Here, KPE and Petron shared a common cause of action against petitioners Espiritu, et al., namely, the violation of their proprietary rights with respect to the use of Gasul tanks and trademark. Furthermore, Atty. Cruz said in his certification that he was executing it "for and on behalf of the Corporation, and co-petitioner Carmen J. Doloiras."Thus, the object of the requirement to ensure that a party takes no recourse to multiple forums was substantially achieved. Besides, the failure of KPE to sign the certificate of non-forum shopping does not render the petition defective with respect to Petron which signed it through Atty. Cruz.

COMMERCIAL LAW
PNB v. CORPUZ (2010) Refresher: Corpuz delivered her owners duplicate copy of TCT to Dagupan City Rural Bank as security against any liability she might incur as its cashier. She later left her job and went to the States. The rural bank cancelled its lien as Corpuz did not incur any liability. But the manager, in connivance with Camacho, Callejo and someone from the assessors office prepared several deeds of sale that made it appear that the lot was transferred to different people, eventually to the Spouses Songcuan, through a sale that originated from Corpuz. The Sps. Songcuan obtained a loan from PNB and as security, they executed a REM on their title. PNB granted the loan. Corpuz filed a complaint asking for annulment of the layers of deeds of sale and the cancellation of the TCTs in the name of the buyers and the reinstatement of the TCT in her name. Issue: W/N petitioner PNB is a mortgagee in good faith, entitling it to its lien on the title to the property in dispute. NO Doctrine: Banks are expected to be more cautious than ordinary individuals in dealing with lands, even registered ones, since the business of banks is imbued with public interest. It is of judicial notice that the standard practice for banks before approving a loan is to send a staff to the property offered as collateral and verify the genuineness of the title to determine the real owner or owners. NORTH BULACAN v. PBCOM (2010) Refresher: NBC's parent company, CVI, entered into a JVA with FSPHI to develop the latters property into low and medium-cost housing projects. FSPHI will supply the land and CVI will develop it. The parties amended the JVA to enable NBC to substitute for CVI. PBCom offered to finance the whole project and immediately provide NBC a loan facility on the condition that the Pag-IBIG will directly pay PBCom for the houses upon completion of construction, whether or not these had been sold. NBC accepted the banks offer. NBC executed a deed of assignment, assigning to PBCom its rights and interests over all payments that may be due it from the Pag-IBIG. However, PBCom discontinued its financial support to NBC because BSP had issued a ceaseand-desist order against the bank. When it became apparent that PBCom had no intention of complying with its commitment, NBC sought help from Cocolife and Land Bank which expressed their intention to finance the project by taking out NBC's loan from PBCom. But the latter refused the offer, insisting on the supposed BSP cease-and-desist order. NBCs construction eventually stopped for lack of funds. NBC filed a petition for corporate rehabilitation. RTC granted petition but CA reversed the decision. Issue: W/N CA erred in dismissing NBCs action for corporate rehabilitation - NO Doctrine: The Court enacted the Interim Rules of Procedure on Corporate Rehabilitation to provide a remedy for summary and non-adversarial rehabilitation proceedings of distressed but viable corporations. The intent is consistent with the commercial nature of rehabilitation, which seeks to expedite its resolution for the benefit, not only of the petitioner-corporation, but of all the parties involved and the economy in general. These rules are to be construed liberally to obtain for the parties a just, expeditious, and inexpensive disposition of the

case. The parties may not, however, invoke such liberality if it will result in the utter disregard of the rules or cause needless delay in the administration of justice. IEMELIF v. BISHOP LAZARO (06 July 2010 ) Refresher: In 1909, the petitioner Iglesia Evangelica Metodista En Las Islas Filipinas, Inc. (IEMELIF) was established as a corporation sole. Apparently, although the IEMELIF remained a corporation sole on paper (with all corporate powers theoretically lodged in the hands of one member, the General Superintendent), it had always acted like a corporation aggregate. Subsequently, during its 1973 General Conference, the general membership voted to put things right by changing IEMELIFs organizational structure from a corporation sole to a corporation aggregate. On May 7, 1973 the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) approved the vote. For some reasons, however, the corporate papers of the IEMELIF remained unaltered as a corporation sole. In response to SECs later objection that conversion was not properly carried out and documented, IEMELIF amended its articles of incorporation to reflect the conversion from corporation sole into corporation aggregate. Issue: WON a corporation may change its character as a corporation sole into a corporation aggregate by mere amendment of its articles of incorporation without first going through the process of dissolution - YES Doctrine: There is no point to dissolving the corporation sole of one member to enable the corporation aggregate to emerge from it. Whether it is a non-stock corporation or a corporation sole, the corporate being remains distinct from its members, whatever be their number. The increase in the number of its corporate membership does not change the complexion of its corporate responsibility to third parties. The one member, with the concurrence of two-thirds of the membership of the organization for whom he acts as trustee, can self-will the amendment. He can, with membership concurrence, increase the technical number of the members of the corporation from "sole" or one to the greater number authorized by its amended articles.

CRIMINAL LAW
LEJANO v. PEOPLE (2011) Refresher: The Supreme Court reversed CA judgment and acquitted Hubert Webb et al of the Vizconde murders. Ground lack of proof of guilt beyond reasonable doubt. Lauro Vizconde filed a motion for consideration, asking the SC to reverse the judgment of acquittal, claiming it denied the prosecution due process. Issue: W/N a judgment for acquittal can be reconsidered NO Doctrine: Art III, Sec. 21 of the Constitution provides, No person shall be twice put in jeopardy of punishment for the same offense. To reconsider a judgment of acquittal places the accused twice in jeopardy of being punished for the crime of which he has already been absolved. People v. Sandiganbayan: The provision therefore guarantees that the State shall not be permitted to make repeated attempts to convict an individual for an alleged offense... Societys awareness of the heavy personal strain which a criminal trial represents for the individual defendant is manifested in the willingness to limit the government to a single criminal proceeding to vindicate its very vital interest in the enforcement of criminal laws. On occasions, a motion for reconsideration after an acquittal is possible. But the grounds are exceptional and narrow as when the court that absolved the accused gravely abused its discretion, resulting in loss of jurisdiction, or when a mistrial has occurred. In any of such cases, the State may assail the decision by special civil action of certiorari under Rule 65. Ultimately, what the complainant actually questions is the Courts appreciation of the evidence and assessment of the prosecution witnesses credibility. Concurring opinion, Sereno, J. The evidence tends to demonstrate that Hubert Webb is innocent. The simple fact also is that the evidence demonstrates that not only had Jessica Alfaro failed to substantiate her testimony, she had contradicted herself and had been contradicted by other more believable evidence. While as a general rule, a trial judges findings as to the credibility of a witness are entitled to utmost respect as he has had the opportunity to observe their demeanor on the witness stand, this holds true only in the absence of bias, partiality, and grave abuse of discretion on the part of the judge. During Alfaros cross examination, the defense counsel tried to impeach her credibility by asking her about her 28 April 1995 Affidavit, which markedly differs from her 22 May 1995 Affidavit. The prosecution objected on the basis of the inadmissibility of the evidence obtained allegedly without the assistance of counsel, pursuant to Article III Section 12(1) and (3) of the 1987 Constitution.2

o This constitutional right, however, is a right reserved solely for the accused or a "person under investigation for the commission of an offense." The prosecutions objection had no legal basis because Alfaro was clearly not the accused in the case. Alfaro was a witness who had a legal duty to "answer questions, although his (her) answer may tend to establish a claim against him (her)."3 Notwithstanding this, the lower court sustained the prosecutions objection. o The law does not confer any favorable presumption on behalf of a witness. The right to cross-examine a witness is a matter of procedural due process such that the testimony or deposition of a witness given in a former case "involving the same parties and subject matter, may be given in evidence against the adverse party" provided the adverse party "had the opportunity to cross-examine him." PEOPLE v. DITONA (2010) Refresher: The Drug Enforcement Group of the Olongapo City Police had received reports of rampant selling of illegal drugs at Compound 7-9th Street, Barangay Ilalim, Olongapo City. On July 19, 2002, within the election period, the police conducted a buy-bust operation at the place. SPO1 Alfredo Flores, acting as a poseur-buyer, and an informer met the accused Efren M. Ditona in front of the latters house. SPO1 Flores gave Ditona the marked money consisting of two P100 bills in exchange for one plastic sachet of shabu. At a signal, PO3 Norberto Ventura and PO2 Allan Delos Reyes rushed towards the gate of the compound to make the apprehension but, before they could reach SPO1 Flores and Ditona, the latter noticed their movement and ran into his house. The officers arrested him there and four others who were then sniffing shabu and preparing aluminum tin foils. The police frisked them and found the marked money on Ditonas person together with transparent plastic sachets containing what appeared to be shabu substance and one cal. 22 magnum revolver with six live ammunitions. They confiscated the marked money, the suspected shabu substance in sachets, the gun, and the ammunitions. Upon laboratory examination, the substance proved positive for methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu. Four separate informations were filed against Ditona before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Olongapo City for selling and possessing illegal drug and illegal possession of firearms. The RTC tried all four cases jointly. The RTC found Ditona guilty of all the charges and sentenced him to suffer the following penalties: imprisonment (reclusion perpetua); imprisonment from 12 years and one day to 20 years; imprisonment from one year to six years; and imprisonment from four years, two months, and one day to six years of prision correccional and a fine ofP15,000. The Court of Appeals affirmed the conviction for the crimes relating to the prohibited drugs but modified the RTC ruling with respect to the other charges after observing that it erred in convicting Ditona separately for illegal possession of firearms and violation of the Omnibus Election Code. Issue: Whether or not the prosecution was able to establish beyond reasonable doubt Ditonas guilt for illegal possession and sale of shabu. NO. Doctrine: To successfully prosecute an accused for selling illegal drugs, the prosecution has to prove: (1) the identities of the buyer and the seller, the object, and the consideration; and (2) the delivery of the thing sold and the payment for it. On the other hand, for an accused to be convicted of possession of illegal drugs, the prosecution is required to prove that: (1) the accused was in possession of prohibited drug;

(2) such possession is not authorized by law; and (3) the accused freely and consciously possessed the prohibited drug. In both instances, the State has to prove as well the corpus delicti, the body of the crime. It must be shown that the suspected substance the police officers seized from the accused is the same thing presented in court during the trial. PEOPLE v. ALEGRE (2010) Refresher: Alegre was charged with frustrated murder and with qualified rape. VON and Alegre were acquaintances. Alegre owned the house where his family and VONs relatives lived. One evening VON went to Alegres house to visit her relatives. Alegre asked her to join him for drinks inside a jeep. After finishing a small bottle of gin pomelo, VON returned to her relatives quarters and told her cousin that she was going home. But, as VON stepped out, Alegre invited her to meet his girl friends. She could not say whether he was under the influence of drugs at that time. Once Alegre lured VON to the nearby abandoned house, he proceeded to punch and stab VON with an ice pick. He proceeded to sexually ravish her. Tanods found VON and took her to a hospital. RTC found Alegre guilty of the rape. CA affirmed. Issue: WON Alegre raped and murdered VON? YES. Doctrine: The settled rule is the trial courts findings respecting the credibility of witnesses and their testimonies deserve the highest respect. Since the judge saw and heard the witnesses and observed how they testified under intense questioning, he was in a better position to weigh what they said. Here, the trial court, concurred in by the CA, found VONs testimony credible. Alegres testimony was found too weak and insufficient to overcome that of VON. His alibi and his claim that VON filed the charges in retaliation for a past offense he committed against a relative remained uncorroborated. There is also no showing that the trial court overlooked, misunderstood, or misapplied facts or circumstances which would affect the outcome of the case. The conflict in VONs testimony that Alegre refers to concerns the position of her body when she fell on the ground and the order that the rape and the stabbing followed. But Alegre improperly appreciated VONs testimony. Actually, she maintained that he raped her before stabbing her on the chest. In any case, any error in the sequence in which the rape victim narrated these two successive turn of events cannot erode the value of her testimony. For the most part, VON remained consistent under repeated questioning regarding these details. One must understand that rape is not just an assault upon a womans body; it is also a derogation of her dignity. If there were inconsistencies in minute details, they may be attributed to the emotions brought to the surface by the need for her to repeatedly narrate in detail the brutality inflicted on her. VON never once faltered in her declaration that Alegre sexually molested her. Dr. Aguirre corroborated her claim with her testimony regarding VONs hymenal lacerations. Dr. Lagapa testified on her multiple stab wounds. Inevitably, when the rape victims straightforward testimony is consistent with the physical evidence of the injuries she received, sufficient basis exists for concluding that she has told the truth. Regarding the penalty, both the CA and the RTC failed to take into account Alegres use of a deadly weapon in the rape case, a fact specifically averred in the information and proved during the trial. This qualifies the rape he committed. Article 266-B of the Revised Penal Code provides that the penalty for rape committed with the use of a deadly weapon should be reclusion perpetua to death. But in view of the enactment of Republic Act 9346 which

prohibits the imposition of the death penalty, the penalty of reclusion perpetua without eligibility for parole as provided by Act 4103 should instead be imposed. PEOPLE v. BABANGGOL (September 15, 2010) Refresher: The Philippine National Police Narcotics Group planed a buy-bust operation against the accused Acas Sumayan and Arnel Babangol. The buy-bust team proceeded to the Coastal Mall where Babanggol was identified by the informant upon getting off a blue Kia Besta Van. He was accompanied by Cesar Naranjo, the driver of the van. After negotiating with the poseur-buyer, Babangol and Naranjo went back to the van and upon getting the stuffs, they were accompanied by two other persons, later identified as Edwin San Jose and Acas Sumayan. After the exchange of the boodle money, the buy-bust team arrested Babangol, Naranjo, San Jose and Sumayan. The arresting officers recovered from the accused 295.8 grams of methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu. They were convicted in the trial court for illegal possession of prohibited drugs, which decision was affirmed by the Court of Appeals. Issues: 1. Whether the presentation of the informant to prove the offense charged is necessaryNO 2. Whether the testing of the entire contents of the package confiscated is necessary to prove the offense charged- NO 3. Whether Naranjo, the driver of the van, acted in conspiracy with the other accusedNO Doctrine: 1. The presentation of the police informant is not necessary to prove the offense charged. The prosecution of criminal actions is under the public prosecutors direction and control. He determines what evidence to present. The burden of showing the necessity of presenting the informant rests upon the accused. 2. A sample taken from a package is logically presumed to be representative of its entire contents unless the accused proves otherwise. 3. A persons mere presence when an illegal transaction had taken place does not mean that he was into the conspiracy. To be guilty as a conspirator, the accused needs to have done an overt act in pursuit of the crime.

VICTORIA P. CABRAL v. JACINTO UY, MICHAEL UY, MARILYN O. UY, RICHARD O. UY, REY IGNACIO DIAZ, JOSE PO and JUANITO MALTO (January 20, 2010) Refresher: An Information was filed against respondents for violation of Section 5, PD 957 prohibiting the sale of subdivision lots without a license from the HLURB. The respondents filed a motion to quash the Information and motion for judicial determination of probable cause claiming that the trial court had no jurisdiction over violations of PD 957 (as jurisdiction is with the HLURB alone) and that they could not be held criminally liable because the HLURB subsequently issued them a license to sell. Issue: W/N the office of the public prosecutor and the trial court have jurisdiction over criminal actions for violation of PD 957? YES

W/N the HLURBs subsequent issuance of a license to sell extinguished respondents criminal liability for selling subdivision lots prior to the issuance of such license? NO Doctrine: The trial court has power to hear and adjudicate the action, the penalty being a P20,000.00 fine and imprisonment of not exceeding 10 years or both such fine and imprisonment. This penalty brings the offense within the jurisdiction of that court. Section 5 of PD 957 prohibits such sale without the prior issuance of an HLURB license and punishes those who engage in such selling. The crime is regarded as malum prohibitum. It is the commission of that act as defined by law, not its character or effect that determines whether or not its provision has been violated. Malice or criminal intent is immaterial in such crime. In crimes that are mala prohibita, the forbidden acts might not be inherently immoral. Still they are punished because the law says they are forbidden. With these crimes, the sole issue is whether the law has been violated. Since the Information in this case sufficiently alleged that Moldex sold a subdivision lot when it did not yet have a license to do so, the crime was done. Assuming the allegations to be true, the subsequent issuance of the license and the invocation of good faith cannot reach back to erase the offense and extinguish respondents criminal liability. PEOPLE v. QUEBRAL, ET AL. (November 27, 2009) Refresher: A police informers report that two men and a woman on board an owner type jeep with a specific plate number would deliver shabu at a Gasoline Station to co-accused Salvador, a drug pusher in the police watch list. Police officers watched out for them at the NLEX roadside, during which such a jeep, with the reported plate number and with two men and a woman on board, came out. Police trailed the jeep as it proceeded to a Petron gas station. Accused Salvador arrived and walked towards the jeep and talked to co-accused Quebral, who handed him a white envelope. Then police surrounded the jeep. An officer took the envelope from Salvador, opened it, and saw five plastic sachets containing shabu. Accused were charged with violation of Section 5, Article II of RA 9165 (Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002). RTC found accused guilty; CA affirmed. Issues: 1. W/N CA erred in not excluding the evidence of the seized shabu on the ground that, having illegally arrested the accused, the police officers subsequent search of their persons incident to such arrest was also illegal. NO. 2. W/N prosecution presented ample proof of appellants guilt beyond reasonable doubt. YES. Doctrine: 1. The law enforcers already had an inkling of the personal circumstances of the persons they were looking for and the criminal act they were about to commit. That these circumstances played out in their presence supplied probable cause for the search. The police acted on reasonable ground of suspicion or belief supported by circumstances sufficiently strong in themselves to warrant a cautious man to believe that a crime has been committed or is about to be committed.
2.

The lone declaration of an eyewitness is sufficient to convict if, as in this case, the court finds the same credible. Credibility goes into a persons integrity, to the fact that he is worthy of belief, and does not come with the number of witnesses. The non-presentation of the forensic chemist in illegal drug cases is an insufficient cause for acquittal. The corpus delicti in dangerous drugs cases constitutes the

dangerous drug itself. This means that proof beyond doubt of the identity of the prohibited drug is essential. The report of an official forensic chemist regarding a recovered prohibited drug enjoys the presumption of regularity in its preparation. Corollarily, under Section 44 of Rule 130, Revised Rules of Court, entries in official records made in the performance of official duty are prima facie evidence of the facts they state. Failure to comply strictly with the requirements of law for handling will not render the seizure of the prohibited drugs invalid for so long as the integrity and evidentiary value of the confiscated items are properly preserved by the apprehending officers. PEOPLE V. CATENTAY (July 6, 2010) Refresher: This case is about the duty of the prosecution in a prohibited drugs case to prove the integrity of the corpus delicti by establishing the chain of custody of the allegedly illegal substance that the police officers seized from the accused. Officers who conducted a buy-bust operation submitted the sachets of drugs to the PNP Crime Laboratory. Issue: W/N the integrity of the evidence was preserved. NO. Doctrine The burden of the prosecution in a case of illegal sale of dangerous drugs is to prove (1) the identities of the buyer and the seller; (2) the sale of dangerous drugs; and (3) the existence of the corpus delicti or the illicit drug as evidence. The prosecution has to establish the integrity of the seized article in that it had been preserved from the time the same was seized from the accused to the time it was presented in evidence at the trial. Since it is unavoidable that possession of the substance changes hand a number of times, it is imperative for the officer who seized the substance from the suspect to place his marking on its plastic container and seal the same, which he will identify at the trial. Further, after the laboratory technician tests and verifies the nature of the substance in the container, he should put his own mark on the plastic container and seal it again with a new seal since the police officers seal has been broken. In this case, although the plastic sachets that the forensic chemist received were heatsealed and authenticated by the police officer with his personal markings, no evidence had been adduced to show that the forensic chemist properly closed and resealed the plastic sachets with adhesive and placed his own markings on the resealed plastic to preserve the integrity of their contents until they were brought to court. Nor was any stipulation made to this effect. The plastic sachets apparently showed up at the pre-trial, not bearing the forensic chemists seal, and was brought from the crime laboratory by someone who did not care to testify how he came to be in possession of the same. The evidence did not establish the unbroken chain of custody. LEJANO v. PEOPLE (December 14, 2010) Refresher: 1. On June 30, 1991 Estrellita Vizconde and her daughters Carmela and Jennifer, were brutally slain at their home in Paraaque City. Four years later, the NBI presented

their star witness Jessica Alfaro who pointed to accused. Both the TC and CA found Hubert Webb guilty and he was thus arrested. 2. On April 20, 2010, the SC issued a Resolution granting the request of Webb to submit for DNA analysis the semen specimen taken from Carmelas cadaver. Unfortunately, on April 27, 2010 the NBI informed the Court that it no longer has custody of the specimen. This outcome prompted accused Webb to file an urgent motion to acquit on the ground that the governments failure to preserve such vital evidence has resulted in the denial of his right to due process. ISSUES: (1) W/N Hubert Webb should be acquitted due to governments failure to preserve DNA evidence.. NO (1) W/N Alfaros testimony overcomes Webbs alibi.. NO DOCTRINE: (1) As held in US case Arizona v. Youngblood, due process does not require the State to preserve the semen specimen although it might be useful to the accused unless the latter is able to show bad faith on the part of the prosecution or the police For, another, when Webb raised the DNA issue, the rule governing DNA evidence did not yet exist, the country did not yet have the technology for conducting the test, and no Philippine precedent had as yet recognized its admissibility as evidence. Consequently, the idea of keeping the specimen secure even after the trial court rejected the motion for DNA testing did not come up. (2) Not all denials and alibis should be regarded as fabricated. A judge must keep an open mind in deciding a case. A positive declaration from a witness that he saw the accused commit the crime should not automatically cancel out the accuseds claim that he did not do it. A lying witness can make as positive an identification as a truthful witness can. The positive identification of a witness must at least meet two criteria (1) s/he must be considered as a credible witness (2) , the witness story of what she personally saw must be believable, not inherently contrived. In this case, Alfaro had prior access to the knowledge she testified to through media and the NBI. The inconsistencies in her testimony render it incredible. On the other hand, to establish alibi, the accused must prove by positive, clear, and satisfactory evidence57 that (a) he was present at another place at the time of the perpetration of the crime, and (b) that it was physically impossible for him to be at the scene of the crime. In this case, Webb was able to sufficiently establish through documents and witnesses that he was at the US at the time was committed. CONCLUSION: SC reverses and sets aside CA decision and acquits Hubert Webb and fellow accused. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. ROMULO TUNIACO, JEFFREY DATULAYTA and ALEX ALEMAN (January 19, 2010) Refresher: This case is about the requirements of a valid extrajudicial confession and the establishment of the existence ofcorpus delicti in murder cases. Accused Tuniaco, Datulayta, and Aleman were charged with murder before the RTC of General Santos City. Accused Aleman raises two issues: a) whether or not the prosecution

was able to present evidence of corpus delicti; and b) whether or not accused Alemans extrajudicial confession is admissible in evidence. Issue: W/N the accused Aleman correctly invoked the Galit doctrine. NO. Doctrine: Corpus delicti has been defined as the body, foundation, or substance of a crime. The evidence of a dead body with a gunshot wound on its back would be evidence that murder has been committed. Corpus delicti has two elements: (a) that a certain result has been established, for example, that a man has died, and (b) that some person is criminally responsible for it. The prosecution is burdened to prove corpus delicti beyond reasonable doubt either by direct evidence or by circumstantial or presumptive evidence. But corpus delicti need not be proved by an autopsy report of the dead victims body or even by the testimony of the physician who examined such body. While such report or testimony is useful for understanding the nature of the injuries the victim suffered, they are not indispensable proof of such injuries or of the fact of death. Nor is the presentation of the murder weapons also indispensable since the physical existence of such weapons is not an element of the crime of murder. LTC. ROBERTO K. GUILLERGAN v. REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES (FEBRUARY 2, 2011) Refresher: Guillergan and four others were charged with estafa under Article 315, par. 2(a) in relation to Article 171 of the RPC for causing the anomalous preparation and disbursement of the payrolls of their civilian intelligence agents (CIAs). Guillergan directed Technical Sergeant Nemesio H. Butcon (Butcon), the Budget and Fiscal Non-Commissioned Officer, to affix his initial on the "Remarks/Sig" column intended for the payees signatures. Guillergan also instructed that the cash advances for the CIAs payrolls in Region 6 for 1987, totaling P732,000.00, be made payable to Captain Roland V. Maclang, Jr. (Maclang, Jr.). When ready, Guillergan received the corresponding cash or checks then turned them over to Brigadier General Domingo T. Rio. At the end of 1987, Rio further received P787,000.00 in "administrative funds" to be paid out to contractors for repairs in the mens barracks, the firing range, the guesthouse and others. But Rio requested that this "administrative funds" be re-aligned to "intelligence funds". On June 30, 2008, the Sandiganbayan Second Division rendered judgment,13 finding Guillergan guilty of falsification penalized under Article 17214 of the RPC and sentenced him to suffer the penalty of imprisonment for 2 years and 4 months as minimum to 4 years, 9 months and 10 days as maximum. The court acquitted the other accused on the ground of lack of proof of their guilt beyond reasonable doubt. Issue: Whether or not the Sandiganbayan can convict Guillergan of violation of Article 172 of the RPC under an Information that charged him with estafa in relation to Article 171 of the code; Doctrine: The Information alleged that Guillergan committed falsification by making it appear in several public documents that P1,519,000.00 in AFP funds intended for the CIAs payroll

were paid for that purpose when in truth these were just given to Rio, resulting in damage and prejudice to the government. Although the charge was for estafa in relation to Article 171 of the RPC, the facts alleged in the information sufficiently made out a case for violation of Article 172 of which Guillergan was convicted. What is important is that the Information described the latter offense intelligibly and with reasonable certainty, enabling Guillergan to understand the charge against him and suitably prepare his defense. Given that some of the essential elements of Article 171 constitute the lesser offense of falsification of public documents under Article 172, then the allegations in the Information were sufficient to hold Guillergan liable under Article 172.

LABOR LAW
AGRICULTURAL AND INDUSTRIAL SUPPLIES CORPORATION et al. v. SIAZAR (2010) Refresher: Siazar filed a complaint for illegal dismissal and unfair labor practice against petitioner Agricultural and Industrial Supplies Corporation (AISC) and others before the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC). In early 1997, Siazar discovered that his company was not remitting much of his SSS premiums although the computations appeared on his pay slips. When he told his co-

employees about it, they made their own inquiries, too. Subsequently, Siazar was refused entry when he arrived for work. He went to AISCs lawyer, who told him he was dismissed. Efforts at negotiation proved futile, so he filed a complaint with the labor arbiter. The Labor Arbiter found that the company did not yet dismiss Siazar from work since they were still negotiating for a financial package for him. He rather stopped reporting for work of his own accord after learning of the plan to retrench him. Indeed, the company gave Siazar no letter of dismissal or retrenchment. Consequently, the Labor Arbiter dismissed the complaint but ordered the company to give Siazar separation pay, his unpaid salary, and a proportionate 13th month pay for 1997. On appeal, the NLRC affirmed the Labor Arbiters finding that the company did not dismiss him from work and that, misunderstanding its action, he ceased to report for work. It was all a misunderstanding, said the NLRC, and each party must bear his own loss to place them on equal footing. The NLRC sustained the award of separation pay, to be reckoned from June 1996 to June 1997, the time Siazar worked for AISC. The NLRC also affirmed the grant to him of his unpaid salary and proportionate 13th month pay. Siazar asked for reconsideration but the NLRC denied it. The Court of Appeals affirmed the NLRC decision. On motion for reconsideration, however, the CA rendered an Amended Decision finding sufficient evidence that the company indeed illegally dismissed Siazar from work. Issues: Whether or not the company dismissed Siazar from work; and YES In the affirmative, whether or not his dismissal was valid. NO. Doctrine: The Court has held that, under Article 279 of the Labor Code, separation pay may be awarded to an illegally dismissed employee in lieu of reinstatement when continued employment is no longer possible where, as in this case, the continued relationship between the employer and the employee is no longer viable due to strained relations between them and reinstatement appears no longer practical due to the length of time that had since passed. In awarding separation pay to an illegally dismissed employee, in lieu of reinstatement, the amount to be awarded shall be equivalent to one month salary for every year of service reckoned from the first day of employment until the finality of the decision. Payment of separation pay is in addition to payment of back wages. And if separation pay is awarded instead of reinstatement, back wages shall be computed from the time of illegal termination up to the finality of the decision. WILLIAM UY CONSTRUCTION CORP. v. TRINIDAD (March 10, 2010) Refresher: Trinidad filed an illegal dismissal case against petitioner. He claimed that he signed several employment contracts with the company that identified him as a project employee although he had always been assigned to work on one project after another with some intervals. The company, on the other hand, alleged that employment intervaks were inherent in the construction business. In compliance with labor rules, it submitted an establishment termination report t the DOLE. The Labor Arbiter dismissed Trinidads complaint. The NLRC upheld the finding. On appeal, the CA reversed the NLRC.

Issue: W/N the companys repeated rehiring of Trinidad over several years as project employee for its various projects automatically entitled him to the status of a regular employee. NO Doctrine: The test for distinguishing a project employee from a regular employee is whether or not he has been assigned to carry out a specific project or undertaking, with the duration and scope of his engagement specified at the time his service is contracted. Here, it is not disputed that the company contracted Trinidads service by specific projects with the duration of his work clearly set out in his employment contracts. He remained a project employee regardless of thee number of years and the various projects he worked for the company. The repeated and successive rehiring of project employees do not qualify them as regular employees, as length of service is not the controlling determinant of the employment tenure of a project employee, but whether the employment has been fixed for a specific project or undertaking, its completion has been determined at the time of the engagement f the employee. BANDILA SHIPPING, INC., MR. REGINALDO A. OBEN, BANDILA SHIPPING, INC. and FUYOH SHIPPING, INC. v. MARCOS C. ABALOS (010) Refresher: This case is about a Filipino seafarers claim for disability benefits from cholecystolithiasis or gallstone that was discovered when he suffered excruciating pain while working on board an ocean-going vessel, an illness that was not in the list of compensable diseases listed in the standard seafarers contract that he signed with the vessel owner. Issue: W/N Abalos cholecystolithiasis or gallstone is compensable and, thus, entitles him to disability benefits and sickness allowance. - NO Doctrine: Since cholecystolithiasis or gallstone has been excluded as a compensable illness under the applicable standard contract for Filipino seafarers that binds both respondent Abalos and the vessels foreign owner, it was an error for the CA to treat Abalos illness as "work-related" and, therefore, compensable. The standard contract precisely did not consider gallstone as compensable illness because the parties agreed, presumably based on medical science, that such affliction is not caused by working on board ocean-going vessels. Nor has respondent Abalos proved by some evidence that the nature of his work on board a ship aggravated his illness. If the NLRC orders the payment of benefits not found in that contract, the particular seaman might be favored but the credibility of our standard employment contract will suffer. MALIG-ON v. EQUITABLE GENERAL SERVICES, INC. (2010) Refresher: After 6 years of being a janitress, Malig-on was told by her company that she will be assigned to another client. Despite follow-ups, she was not reassigned. After 8 months, the company told her that it is necessary for her to resign before she would be reassigned. She complied but the company reneged on its undertaking. The company claimed that she stopped working for no reason, that they sent her 2 letters to explain her absence and that on October 15, 2002 she showed-up and submitted her resignation. The LA found the resignation valid and binding. The NLRC reversed the LA and ruled that Malig-on was constructively dismissed and it ordered her reinstatement and payment of full backwages. CA reversed the NLRC decision and reinstated that of the LA.

Issues: 1. W/N Malig-on was constructively dismissed. YES. The company evidently placed Malig-on on floating status. But such act of "offdetailing" Malig-on was not the equivalent of dismissal so long as her floating status did not continue beyond a reasonable time. But, when it ran up to more than six months, the company may be considered to have constructively dismissed her from work, that is, as of August 16, 2002. Thus, her purported resignation on October 15, 2002 could not have been legally possible. The notices cannot possibly take the place of the notices required by law. They came more than six months after the company placed her on floating status and, consequently, the company gave her those notices after it had constructively dismissed her from work. 2. W/N she is entitled to reinstatement. YES, BUT under the circumstances, her reinstatement to her former position would only result in a highly hostile work environment for the parties and might further worsen their relationship. The NLRC should have just awarded Malig-on separation pay instead of ordering the company to reinstate her. Backwages represent compensation that should have been earned but were not collected because of the unjust dismissal. Malig-on can be said to be entitled to reinstatement from the time she was constructively dismissed in August 2002 until the NLRC ordered her immediate reinstatement in February 2005, a period of two years and six months. For this she is entitled to backwages. But since the circumstances already rule out actual reinstatement, she is entitled to separation pay at the rate of one month for every year of service from 1996, when she began her employment to 2005, when she is deemed to have been actually separated from work, a period of nine years, both amountsthe backwages and the separation pay to bear interest of 6 percent per annum until fully paid. Doctrine: The rule in termination cases is that the employer bears the burden of proving that he dismissed his EE for a just cause. If the EE resigned from work, the burden is on the ER to prove that he did so willingly. This would largely depend on the circumstances surrounding such alleged resignation. Those circumstances must be consistent with the EEs intent to give up work. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT (DOLE) and NATIONAL MARITIME POLYTECHNIC (NMP) vs. RUBEN Y. MACEDA Refresher: On June 28, 1989, Ruben Y. Maceda, a deck marine officer, joined the National Maritime Polytechnic (NMP), a government school, with a permanent appointment as Instructor I. He rose to the permanent positions of Assistant Professor I and later Associate Professor I. He studied law in the meantime and passed the bar. He was later designated as Officer-inCharge (OIC) of the Maritime Training Division and as NMPs legal counsel. In 1998, the NMP again promoted Maceda to the rank of Professor I but this time under a mere temporary appointment. He then submitted justifications, to the NMP Executive Director, to change his temporary status to permanent. In 1999 the International Maritime Law sponsored his studies in the IMO-International Maritime Law Institute in Malta. He finished his masters degree in 2000. He later developed a module in maritime law for Marine Officers of the NMP and started teaching the subject. Yearly, NMP renewed Macedas temporary appointment as Professor I. In 2001 he resigned from his position as NMP legal

counsel. In 2002 the NMP completed the revision of the Qualification Standard (QS) for its staff. Maceda claimed, however, that nothing has since been heard of that revised QS after the NMP submitted the same to the CSC for approval. In 2003, the HR of NMP wrote Maceda that the school would be putting him under contractual employment until such time as the CSC shall have already approved the NMP Maritime Training Revised Qualification Standard. Subsequently, NMP, through Executive Director Devanadera renewed the temporary appointment of Maceda as Professor I. Maceda was also informed that the succeeding renewal of his appointment would be subject to his meeting the requirements of the position. The NMP considered Maceda first priority for the Shipboard Rotation Scheme for 2003 and for holding the 3rd Officer position on board ship. He answered the letter, making a number of requests, so he could avail of the Shipboard Rotation Scheme. But the NMP did not act on his letter. On December 2003, the NMP OIC wrote Maceda that his appointment as Professor I would be renewed on contractual status. Maceda agreed and signed a contract on January 5, 2004. On the same date, however, Maceda filed a complaint with the CSC regarding his demotion in employment status. The Administrative Officer of the CSC regional office convinced him, however, that the renewal of the appointments of temporary employees is a prerogative of the head of the agency. On June 2004, the NMP OIC informed Maceda that, on instructions from Devanadera, he was not to report for work anymore on the following day. On July 13, 2004, however, Devanadera asked Maceda to be a guest lecturer in Maritime Law, thus acknowledging the need for his services and his expertise on the subject. Maceda then wrote the NMP Board of Trustees about his illegal termination as professor and Devanaderas mismanagement of the school. Maceda also charged Devanadera and NMP, before DOLE, of oppression leading to his illegal termination. DOLE Secretary dismissed his complaint. Maceda appealed to the CSC but the latter dismissed the same for lack of jurisdiction, pointing out that, since Devanadera was a presidential appointee, the power to discipline him belonged to the President. Maceda filed a MR but CSC denied the same. The CSC held that, as a holder of a temporary and contractual employment, Maceda did not enjoy security of tenure. The CSC further held that it was his fault that he did not take steps to remedy his deficiency, namely, a shipboard experience on license, after holding the position of Professor I for five years. This prompted Maceda to seek recourse by special civil action of certiorari with the CA. CA granted his petition, ordering NMP to reinstate Maceda to his previous position as Professor I, and directing it to pay his salary and other benefits from July 1, 2004 until he is reinstated. DOLE and NMP filed a MR but the CA denied the same, hence, this petition. Issues: 1. Whether or not the CA correctly gave due course to Macedas special civil action of certiorari for the correction of the alleged errors in the rulings of the CSC; and 2. Whether or not the NMP illegally terminated Maceda from employment as professor. Doctrine: 1. No. In determining whether the proper remedy is a special civil action for certiorari or a petition for review, it is not so much the nature of the questions raised that matters. With very rare exceptions, what is decisive is WON the challenged order is a final order that disposes of the merit of the case. The Court held in Metropolitan

Manila Development Authority v. Jancom Environmental Corp. that the remedy for seeking the reversal or modification of a judgment rendered on the merits of the case is appeal. This is true even if the error imputed to the officer, body, or tribunal constitutes alleged lack of jurisdiction over the subject matter of the case or grave abuse of discretion in making its findings of fact or of law. The Court cannot countenance the blurring of the distinction between a special civil action for certiorari and a petition for review. Besides, it cannot be said that the CSC gravely abused its discretion in dismissing Macedas complaint. Grave abuse of discretion exists where the public respondent acts in a manner so patent and gross that it amounts to an evasion of a positive duty or a virtual refusal to do what the law enjoins on him. It is not sufficient that the CA disagreed with the findings of the CSC or considered them in error; it had to determine that the CSCs findings had run berserk, prompted by passion and personal hostility rather than by reason. The CA did not make this determination. 2. No, he was not illegally terminated. CA points out that the NMP ignored Macedas solid work, expertise, and experience when it said that he was not qualified to become a permanent professor. But Macedas so-called accomplishments cannot count for much where, as in this case, they do not in fact meet the uniform standards set by the school for its permanent professors. Nor can it be said that the NMP did not give Maceda sufficient leeway to meet those standards. The CAs finding that the NMP disregarded Macedas request that he be allowed to avail himself of the schools training privileges, so he could comply with the requirements of the Shipboard Rotation Scheme, is not supported by evidence. Devanadera approved Macedas request. Maceda simply did not avail himself of the schools Shipboard Rotation Scheme nor submit the papers needed under that program. CA also faults the NMP for not appointing Maceda as Administrative Officer V or DED III if he could not be given a permanent appointment as professor. But the power to appoint rests essentially on free choice. The appointing authority has the right to decide who best fits the job from among those who meet the minimum requirements for it. As an outsider, quite remote from the day-to-day problems of a government agency such as NMP, no court of law can presume to have the wisdom needed to make a better judgment respecting staff appointments. Lastly, the CA assumed the power and discretion to declare Macedas 15 years of teaching experience sufficient compliance with the "shipboard experience on license" requirement of the NMP. But under the relevant NMP QS then in force, a Professor I, who was a Marine Merchant Officer with a rank of a 3rd Mate Officer, must possess a two-year sea experience (on license) and three years of teaching experience. Maceda had sufficient teaching experience but he did not have the required shipboard experience. In fact, he did not board any vessel as a licensed 3rd Mate Officer. The records show that, despite the repeated efforts of the NMP HR to get him on board, Maceda still did not bother to complete the required shipboard experience. Because of this, the NMP could only give him temporary appointment that did not provide any security of tenure. Such appointment is of course terminable at the pleasure of the appointing power with or without a cause. Maceda contends that the NMP demoted him from a temporary to a contractual position. But, as both the DOLE and the CSC uniformly held, no such demotion took place since a contractual appointment is of the same nature as a temporary appointment. Thus, when the NMP did not further renew Macedas contractual appointment, the same cannot be regarded as a dismissal but an expiration of his term.

JAVELLANA v. BELEN (Mar. 5, 2010) Refresher: Belen filed a complaint against Javellana for for illegal dismissal and underpayment or nonpayment of salaries and other monetary claims. Petitioner claims he was hired as a company driver for Javellana. On Aug. 20, 1999, he was illegally dismissed. On Nov. 25, 2002, the Labor Arbiter found for Belen and awarded him backwages, separation pay, 13th month pay, SILP, holiday pay, salary differential, and attorney's fees. On appeal, the NLRC modified the decision, deleting the award of backwages and separation pay and instead ordered Javellana to pay him 15 days salary by way of indemnity pursuant to Article 149 LC. The CA reverted to the decision of the LA but modified the award of backwages and separation pay, finding the computation to be erroneous. Both parties filed petitions before the SC: The petition filed by Javellana, questioned the CA's finding of illegality of dismissal while the petition filed by Belen, challenged the amounts of money claims awarded to him. The Court denied the first with finality in its resolution of September 22, 2008; the second is the subject of the present case. Issue: Whether the monetary award in favor of Belen should run until the finality of the decision of his case? Yes, Belen should be entitled to backwages from August 20, 1999, when he was dismissed, to September 22, 2008, when the judgment for unjust dismissal in G.R. 181913 became final. Article 279 of the Labor Code, as amended provides: Art. 279. Security of Tenure. - In cases of regular employment, the employer shall not terminate the services of an employee except for a just cause or when authorized by this Title. An employee who is unjustly dismissed from work shall be entitled to reinstatement without loss of seniority rights and other privileges and to his full backwages, inclusive of allowances, and to his other benefits or their monetary equivalent computed from the time his compensation was withheld from him up to the time of his actual reinstatement. The law intends the award of backwages and similar benefits to accumulate past the date of the Labor Arbiter's decision until the dismissed employee is actually reinstated. But if, as in this case, reinstatement is no longer possible, this Court has consistently ruled that backwages shall be computed from the time of illegal dismissal until the date the decision becomes final. Separation pay, on the other hand, is equivalent to one month pay for every year of service, a fraction of six months to be considered as one whole year. Here that would begin from January 31, 1994 when petitioner Belen began his service. Technically the computation of his separation pay would end on the day he was dismissed on August 20, 1999 when he supposedly ceased to render service and his wages ended. But, since Belen was entitled to collect backwages until the judgment for illegal dismissal in his favor became final, here on September 22, 2008, the computation of his separation pay should also end on that date. Further, since the monetary awards remained unpaid even after it became final on September 22, 2008 because of issues raised respecting the correct computation of such awards, it is but fair that respondent Javellana be required to pay 12% interest per annum on those awards from September 22, 2008 until they are paid. Doctrine: In cases of illegal dismissal, the employee is entitled to monetary claims which should run until the finality of the decision of the case. Remaining unpaid after the finality of such award, said amount earns interest at the rate of 12% per annum until it is fully paid.

Gomez v. PNOC (November 27, 2009) Refresher: This case is about what distinguishes a regular company manager performing important executive tasks from a corporate officer whose election and functions are governed by the companys by-laws. Filoil's president appointed Gomez as a corporate secretary, and then rehired her as administrator and legal counsel. After some time, the new board of directors questioned her continued employment, since it was without the board's approval. It reasoned that, since her position was functionally that of a vice-president or general manager, her term could be extended under the companys by-laws only with the approval of the board. Issue: W/N Gomez was, in her capacity as administrator, an ordinary employee whose employment does not need board approval. YES. Doctrine Estoppel, an equitable principle rooted on natural justice, prevents a person from rejecting his previous acts and representations to the prejudice of others who have relied on them. This principle of law applies to corporations as well. The PDMC in this case is estopped from claiming that despite all the appearances of regular employment that it weaved around petitioner Gomezs position it must have technically hired her only as a corporate officer. The board and its officers made her stay on and work with the company for years under the belief that she held a regular managerial position. It is possible for one to have a dual role of officer and employee. Alcantara & Sons V. CA (September 29, 2010) Refresher: Alcantara & Sons is a company engaged in the manufacturing of plywood. It agreed to a CBA with the Union wherein there would be no strike, no lockout during the course of the life of the CBA. The renegotiations ended with a deadlock and the Union decided to file a notice of strike and went throught the proper procedures. The Labor Arbiter decided the strike to be illegal. The NLRC overturned the LA and ordered reinstatement. Issue: Whether or not the no strike, no lockout provisionin a CBA is illegal ? NO Doctrine: A strike may be regarded as invalid although the labor union has complied with the strict requirements for staging one as provided in Article 263 of the Labor Code when the same is held contrary to an existing agreement, such as a no strike clause or conclusive arbitration clause.19 Here, the CBA between the parties contained a "no strike, no lockout" provision that enjoined both the Union and the Company from resorting to the use of economic weapons available to them under the law and to instead take recourse to voluntary arbitration in settling their disputes. No law or public policy prohibits the Union and the Company from mutually waiving the strike and lockout maces available to them to give way to voluntary arbitration. Indeed, no less than the 1987 Constitution recognizes in Section 3, Article XIII, preferential use of voluntary means to settle disputes. Thus The State shall promote the principle of shared responsibility between workers and employers and the preferential use of voluntary modes in settling disputes, including conciliation, and shall enforce their mutual compliance therewith to foster industrial peace.

The Heritage Hotel Manila v. PIGLAS-Heritage (October 30, 2009) Refresher: The Heritage Hotel rank and file employees filed a certificate of election in 2000 to be the Heritage Hotel Employees Union. After petitions by the company against the formation of the union and the CA decision, the petition for cancellation was final when HHE union withdrew its petition for review. In 2003, the rank and file employees formed the PIGLAS union. The company opposed the petition for certificate of election by the PIGLAS union and alleged that it submitted fraudulent documents which misrepresented the number of members that it had and that it was the same union as the HHE union. Issue: WON the discrepancy in the number of members of the union is fatal (as misrepresentation) in the application for union registration? NO Doctrine: Except for the evident discrepancies as to the number of union members involved as these appeared on the documents that supported the unions application for registration, petitioner company has no other evidence of the alleged misrepresentation. But those discrepancies alone cannot be taken as an indication that respondent misrepresented the information contained in these documents. The charge that a labor organization committed fraud and misrepresentation in securing its registration is a serious charge and deserves close scrutiny. It is serious because once such charge is proved, the labor union acquires none of the rights accorded to registered organizations. Consequently, charges of this nature should be clearly established by evidence and the surrounding circumstances. There is also nothing essentially mysterious or irregular about the fact that only 127 members ratified the unions constitution and by-laws when 128 signed the attendance sheet. It cannot be assumed that all those who attended approved of the constitution and by-laws. Any member had the right to hold out and refrain from ratifying those documents or to simply ignore the process. At any rate, the Labor Code and its implementing rules do not require that the number of members appearing on the documents in question should completely dovetail. For as long as the documents and signatures are shown to be genuine and regular and the constitution and by-laws democratically ratified, the union is deemed to have complied with registration requirements. Labor laws are liberally construed in favor of labor especially if doing so would affirm its constitutionally guaranteed right to self-organization. Here, the PIGLAS unions supporting documents reveal the unmistakable yearning of petitioner companys rank and file employees to organize. This yearning should not be frustrated by inconsequential technicalities. The fact that some of respondent PIGLAS unions members were also members of the old rank and file union, the HHE union, is not a ground for canceling the new unions registration. The right of any person to join an organization also includes the right to leave that organization and join another one. Besides, HHE union is dead. It had ceased to exist and its certificate of registration had already been cancelled.

LUZVIMINDA ANG v. PNB (2010) Refresher: Ang claimed that respondent PNB, then a government-owned corporation, hired her as a probationary clerk. She eventually became an Assistant Department Manager I, a

position she held when the PNB was privatized on May 26, 1996 and when she, like her coemployees, was deemed automatically retired. The bank computed Angs gratuity benefits, the monetary value of her leave credits, and the other benefits due her and cleared her of any accountability. PNB re-employed Ang as Assistant Manager effective on May 27, 1996. Less than four months later, the PNB administratively charged her with serious misconduct and willful breach of trust for taking part in a scam, called "kiting operation," where a depositor used a conduit bank account for depositing several unfunded checks drawn against the same depositors other current accounts and from which conduit bank account he later withdrew those checks. PNB also heaped other charges against Ang of serious misconduct and gross violation of the banks rules and regulations. She raised her defenses, one of which was that it was not a "kiting operation," but an accommodation of a very valued client. She admitted that the checks were not funded and were converted into account receivables or accommodation loans that the client had settled, including interests, penalties, and other charges. Consequently, the PNB did not suffer any loss from those transactions; it even reaped enormous profits from them. Ang further pointed out that the causes for her termination took place when she was yet a government official. The PNB had since ceased to be government-owned. If she were to be charged for those causes, the jurisdiction over her case would lie with the Civil Service Commission. Even then, since she already retired from the government service, the employment that could be terminated no longer existed. The LA and NLRC held the dismissal was illegal. The CA reversed, holding it was valid. Issue: W/N the CA erred in upholding Angs dismissal from the service for willful breach of the trust reposed in her by the PNB. NO. Doctrine: Ang did not deny the acts and omissions constituting the offense. Her defense consisted in her claim that she accommodated a clients unfunded checks and issued false bank certificates with the knowledge and consent of the branch manager and comptroller. But such uncorroborated defense is unsatisfactory, revealing a mind that was willing to disregard bank rules and regulations when other branch officers concurred. The PNB rightfully separated her from work for willful breach of the trust that it reposed in her under the Labor Code. Her defense that the PNB did not suffer any loss is of no moment. The focal point is that she betrayed the trust of the bank in her fidelity to its interest and rules. Ang is entitled to the benefits which accrued to her as of May 26, 1996.Although the transformation of the PNB from a government-owned corporation to a private one did not result in a break in its life as juridical person, the same idea of continuity cannot be said of its employees. Section 27 of Presidential Proclamation 50 provided for the automatic termination of employer-employee relationship upon privatization of a government-owned and controlled corporation. Further, such privatization cannot deprive the government employees involved of their accrued benefits or compensation. Here, when PNB was privatized, Angs employment with it as a government-owned corporation ceased. Indeed, the PNB already computed the retirement and other benefits to which she was entitled as a result of the cessation of her employment. Since she had no

pending administrative case on the day she ceased to be a PNB employee and had been cleared of any accountability, all those benefits already accrued to her on the date of her termination. As for possible benefits accruing to Ang after May 26, 1996, the same should be deemed governed by the Labor Code since the PNB that rehired her on May 27, 1996 has become a private corporation. Under the Omnibus Rules Implementing the Labor Code, Book VI, Rule I, Section 7, the employees separation from work for a just cause does not entitle her to termination pay. Thus, the PNB may rightfully withhold Angs termination pay that accrued beginning on May 27, 1996 because of her dismissal.

CIVIL LAW
IMMACULATE CONCEPCION ACAMDEMY v. AMA COMPUTER COLLEGE, INC. (2011) Refresher: AMA leased a building from ICA after inspecting it and then signed the contract for 10 years where AMA paid earnest money and advance rentals. But during their renovation of the building, AMA found the building to be structurally unsafe for human occupancy, which was confirmed by the municipal engineers office. Because of this AMA wrote ICA for a reimbursement citing the deficiency, for violation of the implied warranty against hidden defects, as its ground and didnt push through with the lease contract. When it was ignored by ICA, AMA filed for breach of contract and damages with prayer for issuance of writ of preliminary attachment against ICA with the allegation that ICA didnt provide them with certification for occupancy. Issue: W/N AMA is justified in rescinding the contract NO. Doctrine:

The fact that AMAs representatives inspected the building to determine if it was suitable for their schools needs means there was no violation of the implied warranty against hidden defects. The cracks on the floor and on the walls were too obvious to suggest to them that something was amiss. It was their fault that they did not check the significance of such signs. A demand to repair the defects in the buildings structure, a clearly difficult and costly proposition, cannot be so easily implied from AMAs demand that ICA produce such certificate of occupancy. AMAs outright rescission of the lease contract and demand that ICA return the deposit and advance rentals it got within 24 hours from such demand precluded ICA, first, from contesting the findings of the local building official or getting some structural specialists to verify such findings or, second, from making the required repair. Clearly, AMAs hasty rescission of the contract gave ICA no chance to exercise its options. AMA also cant invoke Art 1660 for this article assumes that the defects are irremediable and that the parties had no agreement for repairing them. The lease contract implicitly gave ICA the option to repair the defects. If this had been done, the risk to human lives would have been removed and the right to rescind would be irrelevant. AMA is entitled to reimbursement though but not more than it has paid ICA.

DOLINA v. VALLECERA (2010) Refresher: Dolina filed a petition with prayer for the issuance of a temporary protection order against respondent Vallecera for alleged woman and child abuse (RA9262) with prayer for financial support for their supposed child basing her prayer on the childs Certificate of Live Birth which listed Vallecera as the childs father. Vallecera opposed the petition denying that he is not the childs father. RTC dismissed the petition after hearing since no prior judgment exists establishing the filiation of Dolinas son and granting him the right to support as basis for an order to compel the giving of such support Issue: W/N Dolina is entitled support for the child from Vallecera - NO

Doctrine: Dolina evidently filed the wrong action to obtain support for her child. Although the issuance of a protection order against the respondent in the case can include the grant of legal support for the wife and the child, this assumes that both are entitled to a protection order and to legal support. But contrary to her claim, neither she nor her child ever lived with Vallecera. To be entitled to legal support, petitioner must, in proper action, first establish the filiation of the child, if the same is not admitted or acknowledged. Since Dolinas demand for support for her son is based on her claim that he is Valleceras illegitimate child, the latter is not entitled to such support if he had not acknowledged him, until Dolina shall have proved his relation to him. Illegitimate children are entitled to support and successional rights but their filiation must be duly proved. The childs remedy is to file through her mother a judicial action against Vallecera for compulsory recognition. However, that the RTC should not have dismissed the entire case based solely on the lack of any judicial declaration of filiation between Vallecera and Dolinas child since the main issue remains to be the alleged violence committed by Vallecera against Dolina and her child and whether they are entitled to protection. But Dolina failed to raise this error. ESTAMPA v. CITY GOVT OF DAVAO (2010) Refresher: Dr. Estampa, Jr. was Medical Officer VI at its City Health Office. This made him head of a Task Force Unit assigned to deal with any untoward event taking place in the city and Disaster Coordinator for the Davao City Health Office under the Davao City Disaster Coordinating Council.

On March 4, 2003 a powerful bomb exploded at the passengers terminal of the Davao International Airport. Dr. Estampa failed to respond. Dr. Estampa was required to explain in writing. Apparently satisfied with the explanation, the case considered the case closed by the City Health Office OIC. 10 months later, the Davao City Health Officer, queried the Citys Human Resource Management Office (HRMO) regarding the status of the case. Case was endorsed to the City Legal Office; Assistant City Legal Officer required Dr. Estampa to answer the charge against him. But he did not do so.Investigation Report found a prima facie case against Dr. Estampa for neglect of duty1 and recommending the filing of a formal charge against him. The city mayor approved the report and signed the formal charge. On receiving the same, Dr. Estampa filed his answer and supporting documents. City Legal Officer found Dr. Estampa guilty of "grave" neglect of duty and recommended his dismissal. City mayor approved the recommendation and dismissed Dr. Estampa. CSC denied appeal, corrected the denomination of his offense to gross neglect of duty. CA also denied his appeal. Issue: WON Estampa is guilty of gross neglect of duty? YES. Doctrine: The claim of Dr. Estampa that he could not be found guilty of "gross" neglect of duty when he was charged only with simple neglect of duty is unmeritorious. The charge in an administrative case need not be drafted with the precision of the information in a criminal action. It is enough that he is informed of the substance of the charge against him. And what controls is the allegation of the acts complained of. Here, the formal charge accused him of failing to respond, as was his duty as Disaster Coordinator of the City Health Office. It was a serious charge although the formal charge failed to characterize it correctly as "gross neglect of duty." Gross neglect of duty denotes a flagrant and culpable refusal or unwillingness of a person to perform a duty. Dr. Estampa cannot claim ignorance of his duties. The local government code, the provision of which he may be assumed to know, provides that a government health officer has the duty, among others, to be in the frontline of the delivery of health services, particularly during and in the aftermath of man-made and natural disasters and calamities.11 As Medical Officer VI, one of his duties was "to act as head of a task force unit for any untoward events in his area of responsibility." When Estampa accepted his post he entered into a covenant with the city to act with dedication, speed, and courage in the face of disasters. Estampa justified his absence with the claim that he needed to attend to his family first. Initially, he could not leave his one-year-old daughter because they had no house help. When his wife arrived from work shortly, he also could not leave because she was six months pregnant. Further, a bomb was found some meters from their apartment a few weeks earlier. This is not acceptable. A persons duty to his family is not incompatible with his job-related commitment to come to the rescue of victims of disasters. Disasters do not strike every day. Besides, knowing that his job as senior medical health officer entailed the commitment to make a measure of personal sacrifice, he had the choice to resign from it when he realized that he did not have the will and the heart to respond.

FUENTES v. ROCA (April 21, 2010) Refresher: The father of the respondents, Tarciano Roca, executed a contract to sell with the Sps. Fuentes a property, which was part of the conjugal property. The sale was consummated

after Tarciano, through his lawyer, allegedly secured a written authorization to sell the property from his estranged wife, Rosario. This was notarized four months after the lawyer allegedly witness Rosario signing the document. A new transfer certificate of title was consequently issued in favor of the Sps. Fuentes. Eight years later, the heirs of Tarciano and Rosario filed an action for annulment of sale and reconveyance of land against the Sps. Fuentes. They claimed that the signature of Rosario was forged and that no authorization for the sale of the conjugal property was given as required by the provisions of the Civil Code. The Sps. Fuentes argued on the other hand that the action has prescribed since the complaint was based on fraud, which prescribes in four years. The trial court ruled in favor of the Sps. Fuentes. This was reversed by the Court of Appeals. Issue: Whether the action for the declaration of nullity of the sale to the spouses already prescribed-NO Doctrine: In contrast to Article 173 of the Civil Code, Article 124 of the Family Code does not provide a period within which the wife who gave no consent may assail her husbands sale of the real property. It simply provides that without the other spouses written consent or a court order allowing the sale, the same would be void. Under the provisions of the Civil Code governing contracts, a void or inexistent contract has no force and effect from the very beginning. And this rule applies to contracts that are declared void by positive provision of law, as in the case of a sale of conjugal property without the other spouses written consent. A void contract is equivalent to nothing and is absolutely wanting in civil effects. It cannot be validated either by ratification or prescription.21 But, although a void contract has no legal effects even if no action is taken to set it aside, when any of its terms have been performed, an action to declare its inexistence is necessary to allow restitution of what has been given under it. This action, according to Article 1410 of the Civil Code does not prescribe. DONA ROSANA REALTY V. MOLAVE DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION (2010) Refresher: Carmelita Austria Medina (Medina) owned an 86.4959-hectare land in Anupil, Bamban, Tarlac, Dec. 16, 1994 - she executed a contract to sell the land to respondent Molave Development Corporation for 14M Molave Development (Molave) paid P1M to Medina upon the signing of the contract and P1.3M more as first installment. But it refused to pay the rest on being informed by the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) of the existence of alleged tenants on the land. 2 years later, Medina wrote respondent Molave Development a letter, rescinding the contract to sell between them.

Molave later learned that a month earlier or on Dec.18, 1996, Medina sold the land to petitioner Doa Rosana Realty and Development Corporation (Doa Rosana Realty) to whom the Register of Deeds issued TCT 288633. After learning of the sale respondent Molave Development filed with RTC of Capas, Tarlac, an action for specific performance, delivery of possession, and annulment of title By way of third party complaint, petitioner Doa Rosana Realty sued Medinas nephew, Wilfredo Miranda, and the latters lawyer, Atty. Delfin Supapo, Jr., for allegedly conniving with Medina in concealing from it the contract to sell that Medina entered into with respondent Molave Development. RTC declared Medina in default. Pet. Doa Rosana Realty, on the other hand, filed an claiming that it acted in good faith in purchasing the property and that respondent Molave Development was estopped from questioning the sale because it agreed to cancel the contract to sell and, after the complaint was filed, its president, Tinitigan, received from Medinas counsel a P1.3M partial reimbursement as shown by a receipt dated March 13, 1997. Molave Development presented Tinitigans letter to Medina dated March 15, 1997, informing the latter that she (Tinitigan) was treating the P1.3 million as partial payment for the damages she sought in the pending case before the trial court.1avvphi1 RTC denied petitioner Doa Rosana Realtys MTD but, on petition with CA the latter court directed the RTC to conduct a preliminary hearing on Doa Rosana Realtys special affirmative defense of good faith. RTC dismissed the complaint insofar as Doa Rosana Realty and Sy Ka Kieng were concerned. It held that the latter were buyers in good faith and, therefore, respondent Molave Development had no cause of action against them. MR denied. CA held that contrary to the ruling of the trial court, respondent Molave Developments complaint in fact stated a cause of action against Medina and petitioner Doa Rosana Realty. The CA thus remanded the case to the RTC for further proceedings. Petitioner then filed the present case with the SC ISSUE: WON CA erred in holding that no ground existed for dismissing respondent Molave Developments complaint against petitioner Doa Rosana Realty given that such complaint stated a cause of action? YES Doctrine: The CA seems to have missed the point in the RTC decision. It will be recalled that petitioner Doa Rosana Realty filed a motion with the RTC to hear and resolve its affirmative defenses. The RTC did so and resolved to deny the motion. On a petition filed with the CA, however, the latter court directed the RTC to hear and resolve Doa Rosana Realtys affirmative defense of good faith in buying Medinas property. The RTC complied and, after hearing the evidence of the parties, dismissed the case, holding that Doa Rosana Realty and its president were buyers of the property in good faith and Molave Development did not have a cause of action against them. Clearly, The RTC did not dismiss the case on the ground that the complaint did not state a cause of action, which is an entirely different matter.

Sec. 1, Rule 16 of the Rules of Civil Procedure provides that the trial court may dismiss a complaint on the ground that the claim or demand set forth in the plaintiffs complaint has been paid, waived, abandoned, or otherwise extinguished. This ground essentially admits the obligation set out in the complaint but points out that such obligation has been extinguished, in this case apparently by abandonment after respondent Molave Development received partial reimbursement from Medina as a consequence of the cancellation of contract to sell between them. On March 13, 1997, 10 days after it filed its complaint with the RTC, Molave acknowledged having received P1.3M as a consideration for the cancellation of its contract to sell with Medina. Tinitigan of respondent Molave of course later asserted that she signed the above receipt because Medinas lawyer would not have released the check to her. But this is not a valid ground for claiming vitiation of consent. If she did not want to agree to the cancellation, she had no business signing the receipt and accepting the check. She could very well have stood her ground and pressed for complete performance of the contract to sell. Having received the P1.3M, Molave Developments remaining remedy was to pursue a claim for the balance of P1 million that it paid Medina upon the execution of the contract to sell. Further, as the RTC correctly held, respondent Molave Development failed to overcome the presumption of good faith in favor of petitioner Doa Rosana Realty. The title to the property was unencumbered when it bought the same. And the evidence shows that Doa Rosana Realty learned of the existence of the unregistered contract to sell only after it had bought the land. Indeed, it even filed a third party complaint against Willie Miranda and Atty. Supapo, Jr., for allegedly conniving with Medina in concealing that contract to sell. HEIRS and/or ESTATE OF ATTY. ROLANDO P. SIAPIAN v. INTESTATE ESTATE OF EUFROCINA MACKAY (2010) Refresher: Eufrocina Maqckay died intestate in 1994, several heirs. One of the heirs (Antonio) filed a petition for the settlement of the estate and for appointment as administrator while the others opposed such appointment, pushing for the appointment of Arturo who engaged the services of Atty. Rolando Siapian under the agreement that he will be paid the equivalent of 1% of what they will receive from the Estate. The parties later fixed the attorneys fees at P3 Million. Antonio and Arturo were appointed as co-special administrators and about a year and a half later, Arturo et al told the RTC that they had terminated Atty. Siapians services which prompted the latter to file a motion claiming his attorneys fees and moved that the court in the meantime not recognize any new counsel for Arturo. The estate opposed the motion, saying that it cannot be held answerable for the claimed attorneys fees against his clients. RTC denied Atty. Siapians motion holding that it had limited jurisdicition and could not resolve issues regarding attorneys fees. Siapian then filed a motion for enforcement and annotation of his attorneys lien which the court granted since it was shown that Siapian completely handled the case. Arturo appealed and his appeal was denied and the order of dismissal became final. Atty. Siapian moved for the entry and inscription of his attorneys lien on the titles of the Estates properties. Atty. Siapian died and was substituted by his heirs but the intestate court issued an Order directing the Register of the different where the Estates properties

were located to annotate the lien and the court explicitly stated that the attorneys lien would only affect the distributive shares of Arturo et al, which they did not question. 7 years later, however, Arturo et al filed a Petition for Annulment of Judgment before the CA alleging that the intestate court did not have jurisdiction to issue the orders regarding attorneys fees. The CA ruled in favor of Arturo et al., holding that the Estate cannot be held liable for attorneys fees arising out of the dispute between the Estates beneficiaries and their lawyer since they should be liable in their persojal capacities. Issues: 1. Whether or not the CA erred in effectively setting aside the intestate courts order of April 3, 1997 for Arturo, et al to pay Atty. Siapians P3 million claim for attorneys fees; and 2. Whether or not the CA erred in nullifying the June 18, 1998 order of the intestate court which directed the annotation of the attorneys lien on the titles of the properties of the Estate. Doctrine: Palanca v. Pecson: an attorney may cause a statement of his lien to be registered even before the rendition of any judgment, the purpose being merely to establish his right to the lien. The recording of an attorneys lien is distinct from its enforcement, which may only take place after the judgment is secured in favor of the client. Held: 1. A claim for attorneys fees may be asserted either in the very action in which a lawyer rendered his services or in a separate action. But enforcing it in the main case bodes well as it forestalls multiplicity of suits. The intestate court in this case, therefore, correctly allowed Atty. Siapian to interject his claim for attorneys fees in the estate proceedings against some of the heirs and, after hearing, adjudicate the same. Arturo, et al has failed to establish any ground for the CA to annul the April 3, 1997 order. They allege no extrinsic fraud committed in the issuance of that order. Nor were they able to show that the intestate court lacked jurisdiction to adjudicate the claim of Atty. Siapian for attorneys fees. 2. Since the award of P3 million in attorneys fees in favor of Atty. Siapian had already become final and executory, the intestate court was within its powers to order the Register of Deeds to annotate his lien on the Estates titles to its properties. The Estate has no cause for complaint since the lien was neither a claim nor a burden against the Estate itself. It was not enforceable against the Estate but only against Arturo, et al, who constituted the majority of the heirs. It is a lien contingent on the intestate courts final determination of Arturo, et als shares of what would remain of the estates properties after payment of taxes and debts. At any rate, the Estates petition under Rule 47 of the Rules of Court was not the proper remedy for nullifying the June 18, 1998 order of the intestate court, which directed the annotation of Atty. Siapians lien on the titles of the Estates properties. That order is interlocutory. An interlocutory order refers to a ruling respecting some point or matter between the commencement and end of the suit, but is not a final adjudication of the claims and liabilities of the parties that are in dispute in that suit REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES (REPRESENTED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION DIVISION OF LIPA CITY (FOR PANINSINGIN PRIMARY SCHOOL) v. PRIMO MENDOZA AND MARIA LUCERO (2010) Refresher: Paninsingin Primary School (PPS) is a public school operated by the Republic through the Department of Education. The parcel of land which it had been occupying since 1957 was part of a larger parcel registered under the Torrens system in the name of respondents. When respondents had their land subdivided in 1962, the parcel on which PPS

stood was earmarked in favor of the City Government of Lipa. However, no new title was issued in favor of the latter. In 1998, respondents demanded that PPS vacate the disputed property. When PPS refused to do so, respondents filed a complaint for unlawful detainer. RTC ordered PPS to vacate the property. CA affirmed. Issue: WON the respondents were entitled to evict the Republic from the subject property. NO. Doctrine: The evidence on record, particularly the subdivision plan, shows that the Mendozas intended to cede the property to the City Government of Lipa permanently. Where the owner agrees voluntarily to the taking of his property by the government for public use, he thereby waives his right to the institution of a formal expropriation proceeding covering such property. Thus, the Mendozas remedy is an action for the payment of just compensation, not ejectment. As to the time when just compensation should be fixed, it is settled that where property was taken without the benefit of expropriation proceedings and its owner filed an action for recovery of possession before the commencement of expropriation proceedings, it is the value of the property at the time of taking that is controlling. GOLDEN HAVEN MEMORIAL PARK, INC. v FILINVEST DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION (November 17, 2010) Refresher: Yap, the Vivars, Cruz, Aquino, Corpuz, Sobremesana, and some other relatives inherited a parcel of land in Las Pias City covered by TCT 67462 RT-1. Subsequently, the heirs had the land divided into 13 lots and, in a judicial partition, the court distributed four of the lots as follows: a) Lots 1 and 12 to Aquino; b) Lot 2 to Corpuz and Sobremesana; and (c) Lot 6 to Yap, Cruz, and the Vivars. The other lots were distributed to the other heirs. On March 6, 1989 Yap, acting for herself and for Cruz and the Vivars, executed an agreement to sell Lot 6 in favor of Golden Haven Memorial Park, Inc. (GHM), payable in three installments. On July 31, 1989 another heir, Aquino, acting for himself and for Corpuz and Sobremesana, also executed an agreement to sell Lots 1, 2, and 12 in favor of GHM, payable in the same manner. In both instances, GHM paid the first installment upon execution of the contract. On August 4, 1989 GHM caused to be annotated a Notice of Adverse Claim on TCT 67462 RT-1. On September 20, 1989 the sellers of the four lots wrote GHM that they were still working on the titling of the lots in their names and wanted to know if GHM was still interested in proceeding with their agreements. GHM replied in the affirmative on September 21, 1989 and said that it was just waiting for the sellers titles so it can pay the second installments. Sometime in August of 1989, Filinvest Development Corporation (FDC) applied for the transfer in its name of the titles over Lots 2, 4, and 5 but the Las Pias Register of Deeds declined its application. Upon inquiry, FDC learned that Lot 8, a lot belonging to another heir and covered by the same mother title, had been sold to Household Development Corporation (HDC), a sister company of GHM, and HDC held the owners duplicate copy of that title. FDC immediately filed against HDC a petition for the surrender and cancellation of the co-owners duplicate copy of TCT 67462 RT-1. FDC alleged that it bought Lots 1, 2, 6, and 12 of the property from their respective owners as evidenced by three deeds of absolute sale in its favor dated September 10, November 18, and December 29, 1989 and that FDC was entitled to the registrations of such sales.

On January 14, 1991 GHM filed against the sellers and FDC a complaint for the annulment of the deeds of sale issued in the latters favor before the RTC of Las Pias City. RTC declared the contracts to sell executed by some of the heirs in GHMs favor valid and enforceable and the sale in favor of FDC null and void. FDC appealed. CA affirmed the RTC decision with respect to the validity of the contract to sell Lot 6 in GHMs favor. But the CA declared the contracts to sell Lots 1, 2, and 12 in GHMs favor void and the sale of the same lots in favor of FDC valid. Both parties filed their petitions for review before the SC. Issue: Whether or not the contracts to sell that the sellers executed in GHMs favor covering the same lots sold to FDC are valid and enforceable. YES Doctrine: To prove good faith, the rule is that the buyer of registered land needs only show that he relied on the title that covers the property. But this is true only when, at the time of the sale, the buyer was unaware of any adverse claim to the property. Otherwise, the law requires the buyer to exercise a higher degree of diligence before proceeding with his purchase. He must examine not only the certificate of title, but also the sellers right and capacity to transfer any interest in the property. In such a situation, the buyer must show that he exercised reasonable precaution by inquiring beyond the four corners of the title. Failing in these, he may be deemed a buyer in bad faith. Here, FDC was on notice that GHM had caused to be annotated on TCT 67462 RT-1, the mother title, as early as August 4, 1989 a notice of adverse claim covering Lot 6. This notwithstanding, FDC still proceeded to buy Lots 1, 2, 6, and 12 on September 10, November 18, and December 29, 1989. FDC contends that, although the title carried a notice of adverse claim, that notice was only with respect to seller Yaps interest in Lot 6. The Court disagrees. The annotation of an adverse claim is intended to protect the claimants interest in the property. The notice is a warning to third parties dealing with the property that someone claims an interest in it or asserts a better right than the registered owner. Such notice constitutes, by operation of law, notice to the whole world. Here, although the notice of adverse claim pertained to only one lot and FDC wanted to acquire interest in some other lots under the same title, the notice served as warning to it that one of the owners was engaged in double selling. Also, upon inquiry with the Register of Deeds of Las Pias, FDC learned that the heirs sold Lot 8 to HDC and turned over the co-owners duplicate copy of the TCT to that company which had since then kept the title. FDC admits this fact in its petition. FDCs knowledge that GHM, a competitor, had bought Lot 6 in which FDC was interested, that GHM had annotated an adverse claim to that Lot 6, and that HDC (GHMs sister company) had physical possession of the title, should have put FDC on its toes regarding the prospects it faced if it bought the other lots covered by the title in question. FDC should have investigated the true status of Lots 1, 2, 6, and 12 by asking GHM the size and shape of its interest in the lands covered by the same title, especially since both companies were engaged in the business of developing lands. One who has knowledge of facts which should have put him upon such inquiry and investigation cannot claim that he has acquired title to the property in good faith as against the true owner of the land or of an interest in it. The Court upholds the validity of the contracts between GHM and its sellers. As the trial court aptly observed, GHM entered into valid contracts with its sellers but the latter simply and knowingly refused without just cause to honor their obligations. The sellers apparently had a sudden change of heart when they found out that FDC was willing to pay more.

HEIRS OF PAULINO ATIENZA vs. DOMINGO P. ESPIDOL (August 11, 2010) Refresher: Petitioners own a registered agricultural land at Cabanatuan which was acquired through an emancipation patent. Petitioners and respondent entered into a Contract to Sell Land with a Down Payment covering the property. They agreed on a price of 2M++, payable in three installments: 100K upon the signing of the contract; 1.75M in December 2002, and the rest on June 2003. Espidol paid 100K upon the execution of the contract plus 30K brokers commission but he couldnt pay the second installment of 1.75M despite demand. Thus petitioners filed a complaint for the annulment of their agreement with damages on grounds of breach of obligations before the RTC. Respondent argued that, since their contract was one of sale on installment, his failure to pay the 2nd installment did not amount to a breach. The non-payment of an installment is merely an event that authorized the vendor not to convey title, not a legal ground for annulling a perfected contract of sale. He argued that their remedy was to bring an action for specific performance. RTC agreed with respondent and ruled that petitioners cancellation of the contract would have to comply with the provisions of Republic Act (R.A.) 6552 or the Realty Installment Buyer Protection Act (R.A. 6552), which mandates the giving of the required notice of cancellation. CA affirmed, so petitoners filed MR where they impugned the validity of their contract with respondent, arguing that since the property was covered by an emancipation patent, the sale was prohibited and void. ISSUES: 1. W/N the petitioners could validly sell land acquired through land reform under PD 27. YES 2. W/N there was breach when respondent failed to pay the 2nd installment already due and thus petitioners are entitled to cancel the contract. (Hinged on the issue of W contract to sell or contract of sale). Contract to Sell so no breach yet as payment is only a suspensive condition. Thus petitioners not entitled to cancel. 3. W/N action for cancellation of title was premature for noncompliance with the required notice of cancellation under R.A. 6552. NO DOCTRINES: 1. Because of the enactment of Executive Order 228 in 1987, emancipation patent beneficiaries are already allowed to transfer ownership of their lands provided that their amortizations with the Land Bank of the Philippines (Land Bank) have been paid in full. Since the Atienzas already got their title, they must have already completed their amortizations. Therefore, they can already sell the land. 2. In a contract of sale (COS), the title to the property passes to the buyer upon the delivery of the thing sold. In a contract to sell (CTS), on the other hand, the ownership is, by agreement, retained by the seller and is not to pass to the vendee until full payment of the purchase price. In COS, the buyers non-payment of the price is a negative resolutory condition; in CTS, the buyers full payment of the price is a positive suspensive condition to the coming into effect of the agreement. In COS, the seller has lost and cannot recover the ownership of the property unless he takes action to set aside the contract of sale. In CTS, the title simply remains in the seller if the buyer does not comply with the condition precedent of making payment at the time specified in the contract.19 Here, it is quite evident that the contract involved was one of a CTS since the Atienzas, as sellers, were to

retain title of ownership to the land until respondent, the buyer, has paid the agreed price. In a CTS, payment is a positive suspensive condition: failure to pay is not regarded a breach hence there can be no rescission of an obligation (to turn over title). When Espidol failed to pay within the period provided in their agreement, the Atienzas were relieved of any obligation to reserve the property in his favor. The obligation is not rescinded; it simply did not arise. 3. The notice of cancellation under R.A. 6552 pertains to extrajudicial cancellation, and so does not apply to a judicial rescission as in this case. SPS. SALIMBANGON vs. SPS. TAN (January 20, 2010) Refresher: Ceniza died intestate leaving a parcel of land at Mandaue City. Twenty years later his 5 children executed an extrajudicial declaration of heirs and partition, dividing the land into 5 parcels for each of them. Lots A, B, and C were adjacent to a city street, while Lots D and E were not interior lots. To give these interior lots access to the street, the heirs established in their extrajudicial partition an easement of right of way annotated on the individual titles and consisting of a 3-meter wide alley between Lots D and E that continued on between Lots A and B and on to the street; Realizing that the partition resulted in an unequal division of the property, the heirs modified this and imposed a 3-meter wide right of way, exclusively along the boundary of Lot B from Lots D and E to the

street. Thus: The Salimbangons, owners of Lot A, one of the three lots adjacent to the city street, constructed a house and two garages. One garage used the alley or easement of right of way existing on Lot B to get to the street. Victoria had this alley cemented and gated. Subsequently, respondent spouses bought Lots B, C, D, E, built improvements on Lot B that spilled into the easement area and closed the gate for the right of way. So the Sps Salimbangons filed a complaint with the City Engineer of Mandaue against respondents. Respondents in turn filed with RTC for the extinguishment of the easement on Lot B with damages.

RTC upheld the right of way, holding that since this easement on Lot B was established by agreement of the parties for the benefit of Lots A, D, and E, such easement may only be extinguished by mutual agreement of the parties. CA reversed, finding that based on one of the 5 heirs testimony, the true intent of the parties was to establish that easement for the benefit of the owners of Lots D and E. Thus when ownership of Lots B, D, and E was transferred to the respondents, the easement ceased to have any purpose and became extinct. ISSUES: 1. W/N parol evidence rule precluded the parties from introducing testimony that tended to alter or modify the agreement for easement between the parties. NO 2. W/N the easement of right of way established by the partition agreement among the heirs has been extinguished. NO DOCTRINES: 1. The exclusionary provision of the parol evidence rule admits of exceptions. Section 9, Rule 130 of the Revised Rules on Evidence states: Sec. 9. Evidence of written agreements. - When the terms of an agreement have been reduced to writing, it is considered as containing all the terms agreed upon and there can be, between the parties and their successors in interest, no evidence of such terms other than the contents of the written agreement. However, a party may present evidence to modify, explain or add to the terms of the written agreement if he puts in issue in his pleading: (a) An intrinsic ambiguity, mistake or imperfection in the written agreement; (b) The failure of the written agreement to express the true intent and agreement of the parties thereto; (c) The validity of the written agreement; or (d) The existence of other terms agreed to by the parties or their successors in interest after the execution of the written agreement. Here, the Tans had put in issue the true intent of the parties when they alleged that the easement on Lot B was actually for the benefit of Lots D and E only. Thus they were entitled to introduce evidence to establish the true intent and agreement of the parties although this may depart from what the partition agreement literally provided.

2. As testified, the true agreement of the heirs was for the establishment of an
easement of right of way for the benefit solely of the lots that did not have direct access to the street, namely Lots D and E. Lots A and B did not need this alley since they were facing the street. Consequently, when the owner of Lots D and E also became the owner of Lot B, the easement of right of way on Lot B became extinct by operation of law. (Civil Code, 631 par.1) The existence of a dominant estate and a servient estate is incompatible with the idea that both estates belong to the same person. VEGA v. SSS (September 20, 2010) Refresher: Reyes loaned from SSS. When Reyes could no longer pay for the loan, he asked Sps. Vega to assume the loan and buy his land. Vega sought the opinion of SSS employee on the propriety of substitution of mortgage. The employee informed Vega that only an internal arrangement with the mortgagors may be done but process will be without the participation of SSS.

Vega agreed to execute the real property with assumption of mortgage in 1981. Reyes, through her sister completed to execute the deed only on 1984. Afterwards, Reyes failed to remit to SSS the payment for amortizations given by Vega. Vega updated the amortizations themselves and paid P115,738.48. Meanwhile, PDC filed action for sum of money against Reyes and the house was attached by RTC. In response, Vega filed an action for consignation, damages and injunction. Vega won in this case. The RTC ordered PDC to deliver to Vega the certificate of title. SSS appealed to CA. CA reversed. Issue: WON Reyes validly sold her SSS mortgage property to Vega. Yes. Doctrine: Secondary evidence of deed of assignment is sufficient because the original was lost in flood without bad faith on part of Vega. Vega offered strong corroboration of the fact of sale such as possession of properties and payment of amortization. A1237 of the Civil Code which states that whoever pays on behalf of the debtor without knowledge or will of the debtor cannot compel the creditor to subrogate him the rights over the mortgage- cannot apply in this case because Reyes consented to the transfer of ownership of mortgaged properties, and subrogation in this case will contravene public policy. (Doctrine) When a mortgagor sells the mortgaged property to a third person, the creditor may demand payment of principal obligation. This is because mortgage credit is a real right. After payment of mortgage debt to SSS, it has no further justification for withholding the release of property. Reyes assignment of property to Vega did not bind PDC. Reyes has already lost ownership of the property as early as 1981 when the property was sold to Vega. Also, PDC was not a buyer in good faith because it has notice of the sale of the property. SPS. FELIPE AND JOSEFA PARINGIT v. BAJICT, PARINGIT and ORDONO (Sept. 29, 2010) Refresher: Julian and Aurelia Paringit leased a lot in Manila, where they built their home. The lessor, Terocel Realty, offered to sell it to the couple but they didn't have enough money to make full payment upon deadline. They sought the help of their child and his wife, Felipe and Josefa. In line with this, the couple executed a deed of assignment of leasehold right in favor of Felipe and wife. Upon full payment, Terocel executed a Deed of Absolute Sale in the favor of Felipe and Josefa and turned over the title to them. The dad thereafter executed an affidavit clarifying the nature of the purchase of the lot, stating that it was bought for the benefit of all his children. This was signed by all their children except one. Josefa, Felipe's wife, signed on his behalf. The purchase of the lot was registered in the name of Felipe and his wife, but they didn't occupy the place. Felipe's sibling did. Eventually, Felipe and his wife demanded that rental fees be paid by the occupants, to which Felipe's siblings refused. They claimed that upon the death of their father, they had obtained the right to occupy the lot, the same being their inheritance. A

case was filed by the siblings against Felipe and his wife for annulment of title and reconveyance of property Issue: W/N THE LOT WAS PURCHASED UNDER AN IMPLIED TRUST FOR THE BENEFIT OF ALL OF JULIAN'S CHILDREN. YES Doctrine: Implied trust under Article 1450 presupposes a situation where a person, using his own funds, buys property on behalf of another, who in the meantime may not have the funds to purchase it. Title to the property is for the time being placed in the name of the trustee, the person who pays for it, until he is reimbursed by the beneficiary, the person for whom the trustee bought the land. It is only after the beneficiary reimburses the trustee of the purchase price that the former can compel conveyance of the property from the latter Although no express agreement covered Felipe and his wifes purchase of the lot for the siblings and their father, it came about by operation of law and is protected by it. The nature of the transaction established the implied trust and this in turn gave rise to the rights and obligations provided by law. Implied trust is a rule of equity, independent of the particular intention of the parties. In an implied trust, the beneficiarys cause of action arises when the trustee repudiates the trust, not when the trust was created as Felipe and his wife would have it.33 The spouses of course registered the lot in their names in January 1987 but they could not be said to have repudiated the implied trust by that registration. Their purchase of the land and registration of its title in their names are not incompatible with implied trust. It was understood that they did this for the benefit of Julian and all the children. Felicidad T. Martin, et al. vs. DBS Bank Philippines, Inc., et al. (June 16, 2010) Refresher: Lease agreement between Martin, et al. (lessors) and DBS (lessee) over a commercial warehouse and lots. Period is 5 years. In heavy rains flooded the leased property and submerged into water the DBS offices there along with its 326 repossessed vehicles. As a result, DBS wrote the Martins demanding that they take appropriate steps to make the leased premises suitable as a parking yard for its vehicles. DBS suggested the improvement of the drainage system or the raising of the propertys ground level. In response, the Martins filled the propertys grounds with soil and rocks but did not level it. DBS filed a complaint against the Martins for rescission of the contract of lease with damages. Claiming that the leased premises had become untenantable, DBS demanded rescission of the lease contract as well as the return of its deposit of P1,200,000.00. Issue: W/N DBS, as lessee, is entitled to rescind the contract. - YES Doctrine: Under their lease agreement, the remedy of rescission would become unavailable to DBS only if the Martins, as lessors, made the required repair and reconstruction after the damages by natural cause occurred, which meant putting the premises after the floods in such condition as would enable DBS to resume its use of the same for the purposes contemplated in the agreement, namely, as office, warehouse, and parking space for DBS repossessed vehicles. Here, it is undisputed that the floods of May 25 and August 13, 1997 submerged the DBS offices and its 326 repossessed vehicles. The floods rendered the place unsuitable for its intended uses. And, while the Martins did some repairs, they did not restore the place to meet DBS needs. Thus DBS may seek to rescinding the lease.

ALC INDUSTRIES, INC. v. DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS AND HIGHWAYS (2010)

Refresher: Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) awarded to petitioner ALC Industries, Inc. (ALC) the construction of a section of a road. ALC fell behind schedule and agreed with DPWH to reduce the scope of works (an agreement called RISA), shrinking the project the reduction in scope of work, ALC continued to fall behind schedule. The DPWH warned ALC about it thrice. The DPWH proposed to ALC a Supplemental Agreement, which ALC rejected. This prompted the DPWH to rescind the contract with ALC on the ground that it had incurred a negative slippage in excess of 15%, the threshold set under PD 1870. The Construction Industry Arbitration Commission (CIAC) upheld the contract saying that, factoring in the delays attributable to bad weather, the slippage should be adjusted to 12.85% only. The CIAC also found that, while ALC was guilty of breach of contract, the DPWH was not without fault. The CIAC modified the rescission to a mutual termination. CA granted rescission. Issue: W/N the CA erred in upholding the DPWHs rescission of its contract with ALC. NO. Doctrine: ALC failed to perform several obligations that the RISA required of it. Specifically, ALC failed to: 1) submit a program of work; 2) submit its month-by-month cash flow summary; 3) complete the verification survey; 4) complete and maintain facilities for the resident engineer; 5) provide data for the resident engineer to process orders for power generators; 6) provide a service vehicle; and 7) delegate the necessary technical, financial and administrative authority to the Project Manager. In any case, aside from those breaches of the contract, the DPWH based its rescission of the same on ALCs failure to comply with Clause 10 of the RISA. The 90% progress is a requirement imposed by the parties. As a contractual obligation, this supersedes the threshold imposed by law. Since the parties entered into the RISA primarily due to initial delays in the project, the timetable instituted in it became an integral part of the agreement, an assurance that the project would be completed on time. ALCs failure to keep up with the rate of progress as contractually mandated is a substantial and fundamental breach which would defeat the very purpose of the RISA. Thus, the DPWH was entitled to terminate the project and expel ALC from it. With regard to ALCs claim for standby costs for its equipment and manpower, ALC should be deemed to have already waived whatever rights or interests it may have been entitled to as a result of DPWHs shortcomings by virtue of entering into the RISA. The parties executed the RISA so the work on the project could continue despite the initial setbacks. Admittedly, both sides incurred some delays. Instead of seeking redress for such delays, each side waived whatever claims it had against the other arising from such delays as a major consideration for their agreeing to enter into the RISA. REPUBLIC of the PHILIPPINES vs. ROSILA ROCHE Refresher: On 05 December 1996, Rosila Roche applied for registration of title of her 15,353-squaremeter land in Barrio Napindan, Taguig, Metro Manila, denominated as Lot 8698, before Branch 155 of RTC Pasig. Roche alleged that she inherited the land in 1960 from her father, Miguel, who in turn had held the land in the concept of an owner when Roche was only about six years old. She was born on that land on January 10, 1938 and had helped her

father cultivate it. Roche had also paid the realty taxes on the land, which had an assessed value of P490,000.00. To support her application, she presented, among others: (1) a certified true copy of the survey plan of the land, (2) its technical description, (3) a Certification from DENR in lieu of the Geodetic Engineers Certificate, (4) tax declarations, and (5) real property tax receipts. She also presented certifications that the Land Registration Authority (LRA) and the National Printing Office issued to show compliance with requirements of service of notice to adjoining owners and publication of notice of initial hearing. As proof of her open, continuous, and uninterrupted possession of the land, Roche presented Manuel Adriano, who testified that he had been a resident of the place where the land was located from 1949 to 1996 when he moved to Pampanga. He drew a sketch showing the location of Lot 8698 in relation to his own and identified the owners of the other adjoining lots. He claimed to have known Roches father since the latter had been cultivating vegetables and rice on the land. The Government, through the OSG, opposed the application on the following grounds: (a) that neither Roche nor her predecessor-in-interest had occupied the land for the required period; and (b) that the land belonged to the State and is not subject to private acquisition. The Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA) also opposed Roches application on the ground that based on technical descriptions, her land was located below the reglementary lake elevation of 12.50 meters and, therefore, may be deemed part of the Laguna Lake bed under Section 41 of Republic Act (R.A.) 4850. Afterwards, OSG filed a manifestation that since Roche failed to prove that the land was part of the alienable land of the public domain, the Government did not need to present evidence in the case. It also adopted LLDAs opposition. RTC rendered judgment granting Roches application. The RTC held that Roche had proved continued adverse possession of the land in the concept of an owner since June 1945 or earlier, pursuant to PD 1959. Assuming that the land was part of the public domain, Roche and her predecessors occupation and cultivation of more than 30 years vested title on her, effectively segregating it from the mass of public land. Moreover, the LLDA did not prove by substantial evidence that the land was inalienable and part of the Laguna Lake bed. On appeal by the Government, the CA affirmed the decision of the RTC. The OSG filed a motion for reconsideration but the CA denied the same, prompting the Government to file the present petition. Issue: Whether or not the land subject of Roches application is alienable or disposable land of the public domain. NO. Ratio: An application for registration of title must, under Section 14(1), P.D. 1529, meet three requirements: (a) that the property is alienable and disposable land of the public domain; (b) that the applicants by themselves or through their predecessors-in-interest have been in open, continuous, exclusive and notorious possession and occupation of the land; and (c) that such possession is under a bona fide claim of ownership since June 12, 1945 or earlier.

Here, Roche did not present evidence that the land she applied for has been classified as alienable or disposable land of the public domain. She submitted only the survey map and technical description of the land which bears no information regarding the lands classification. She did not bother to establish the status of the land by any certification from the appropriate government agency. Thus, it cannot be said that she complied with all requisites for registration of title under Section 14(1) of P.D. 1529. Under the Regalian doctrine, all lands of the public domain belong to the State and the latter is the source of any asserted right to ownership in land. Thus, the State presumably owns all lands not otherwise appearing to be clearly within private ownership. To overcome such presumption, incontrovertible evidence must be shown by the applicant that the land subject of registration is alienable and disposable. Respecting the third requirement, the applicant bears the burden of proving the status of the land. In this connection, the Court has held that he must present a certificate of land classification status issued by the Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) or the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO) of the DENR. He must also prove that the DENR Secretary had approved the land classification and released the land as alienable and disposable, and that it is within the approved area per verification through survey by the CENRO or PENRO. Further, the applicant must present a copy of the original classification approved by the DENR Secretary and certified as true copy by the legal custodian of the official records. These facts must be established by the applicant to prove that the land is alienable and disposable. Since Roche was unable to overcome the presumption that the land she applied for is inalienable land that belongs to the State, the Government did not have to adduce evidence to prove it. VILLANUEVA vs. ROSQUETA Refresher: Respondent Emma Rosqueta is the formerly Deputy Commissioner of the Revenue Collection and Monitoring Group of the Bureau of Customs who tendered her courtesy resignation on 23 January 2001, shortly after President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo assumed office. But five months later, she withdrew her resignation, claiming that she enjoyed security of tenure and that she had resigned against her will on orders of her superior. On 13 July 2001, President Arroyo appointed Gil Valera to respondent Rosquetas position. Rosqueta challenged such appointment and filed a petition for prohibition, quo warranto, and injunction against petitioner Titus B. Villanueva, then Commissioner of Customs, the Secretary of Finance, and Gil Valera with RTC Manila in Civil Case 01-101539. On 27 August 2001, the RTC issued a TRO enjoining Villanueva and the Finance Secretary from implementing Valeras appointment. On 28 August 2001, the RTC superseded the TRO with a writ of preliminary injunction. Petitioner Villanueva, Valera, and the Secretary of Finance challenged the injunction order before the Court of Appeals. On 14 September 2001, the CA issued its own TRO, enjoining the implementation of the RTCs injunction order. But the TRO lapsed after 60 days and the CA eventually dismissed the petition before it. On 22 November 2001, while the preliminary injunction in the quo warranto case was again in force, petitioner Villanueva issued Customs Memorandum Order 40-2001, authorizing Valera to exercise the powers and functions of the Deputy Commissioner.

During the Bureaus celebration of its centennial anniversary in February 2002, its special Panorama magazine edition featured all the customs deputy commissioners, except respondent Rosqueta. The souvenir program, authorized by the Bureaus Steering Committee headed by petitioner Villanueva to be issued on the occasion, had a space where Rosquetas picture was supposed to be but it instead stated that her position was "under litigation." Meanwhile, the commemorative billboard displayed at the Bureaus main gate included Valeras picture but not Rosquetas. On 28 February 2002, respondent Rosqueta filed a complaint for damages before the RTC Quezon City against petitioner Villanueva, alleging that the latter maliciously excluded her from the centennial anniversary memorabilia. Further, she claimed that he prevented her from performing her duties as Deputy Commissioner, withheld her salaries, and refused to act on her leave applications. Thus, she asked the RTC to award her P1,000,000.00 in moral damages, P500,000.00 in exemplary damages, and P300,000.00 in attorneys fees and costs of suit. RTC dismissed the complaint. RTC stated that petitioner Villanueva committed no wrong and incurred no omission that entitled her to damages. The RTC found that Villanueva had validly and legally replaced her as Deputy Commissioner seven months before the Bureaus centennial anniversary. But the CA reversed the RTCs decision, holding instead that petitioner Villanuevas refusal to comply with the preliminary injunction order issued in the quo warranto case earned for Rosqueta the right to recover moral damages from him. Citing the abuse of right principle, the CA said that Villanueva acted maliciously when he prevented Rosqueta from performing her duties, deprived her of salaries and leaves, and denied her official recognition as Deputy Commissioner by excluding her from the centennial anniversary memorabilia. Thus, the appellate court ordered Villanueva to pay P500,000.00 in moral damages, P200,000.00 in exemplary damages and P100,000.00 in attorneys fees and litigation expenses. Issue: Whether or not the CA erred in holding petitioner Villanueva liable in damages to respondent Rosqueta for ignoring the preliminary injunction order that the RTC issued in the quo warranto case, thus denying her of the right to do her job as Deputy Commissioner of the Bureau and to be officially recognized as such public officer. NO, but the award is found excessive by the Supreme Court Doctrine: Under the abuse of right principle found in Article 19 of the Civil Code, a person must, in the exercise of his legal right or duty, act in good faith. He would be liable if he instead acts in bad faith, with intent to prejudice another. Complementing this principle are Articles 20 and 21 of the Civil Code which grant the latter indemnity for the injury he suffers because of such abuse of right or duty. Petitioner Villanueva claims that he merely acted on advice of the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) when he allowed Valera to assume the office as Deputy Commissioner since respondent Rosqueta held the position merely in a temporary capacity and since she lacked the Career Executive Service eligibility required for the job. But petitioner Villanueva cannot seek shelter in the alleged advice that the OSG gave him. Surely, a government official of his rank must know that a preliminary injunction order issued by a court of law had to be obeyed, especially since the question of Valeras right to replace respondent Rosqueta had not yet been properly resolved. That petitioner Villanueva ignored the injunction shows bad faith and intent to spite Rosqueta who remained in the eyes of the law the Deputy Commissioner. His exclusion of her from the centennial anniversary memorabilia was not an honest mistake by any

reckoning. Indeed, he withheld her salary and prevented her from assuming the duties of the position. As the Court said in Amonoy v. Spouses Gutierrez, a partys refusal to abide by a court order enjoining him from doing an act, otherwise lawful, constitutes an abuse and an unlawful exercise of right. That respondent Rosqueta was later appointed Deputy Commissioner for another division of the Bureau is immaterial. While such appointment, when accepted, rendered the quo warranto case moot and academic, it did not have the effect of wiping out the injuries she suffered on account of petitioner Villanuevas treatment of her. The damage suit is an independent action. The CA correctly awarded moral damages to respondent Rosqueta. Such damages may be awarded when the defendants transgression is the immediate cause of the plaintiffs anguish in the cases specified in Article 2219 of the Civil Code. Here, respondent Rosquetas colleagues and friends testified that she suffered severe anxiety on account of the speculation over her employment status. She had to endure being referred to as a "squatter" in her workplace. She had to face inquiries from family and friends about her exclusion from the Bureaus centennial anniversary memorabilia. She did not have to endure all these affronts and the angst and depression they produced had Villanueva abided in good faith by the courts order in her favor. Clearly, she is entitled to moral damages. The Court, however, finds the award of P500,000.00 excessive. As it held in Philippine Commercial International Bank v. Alejandro, moral damages are not a bonanza. They are given to ease the defendants grief and suffering. Moral damages should reasonably approximate the extent of hurt caused and the gravity of the wrong done. Here, that would be P200,000.00. The Court affirms the grant of exemplary damages by way of example or correction for the public good but, in line with the same reasoning, reduces it to P50,000.00. Finally, the Court affirms the award of attorneys fees and litigation expenses but reduces it to P50,000.00.

DALEON V. TAN (August 23 2010) Refresher: Daleons and Tans enter into a contract to sell a parcel of land which contract includes a provision which says that in the event that any of the check payments bounce, the contract shall be rescinded and the sellers shall forfeit 50% of the amount paid and return the other 50% to the Tans. Tans gave 10M as downpayment and issued postdated checks. Eight days after, a third party caused to be annotated on the title of the subject property an adverse claim. Tans place a stop payment order on the checks and asked Daleons to cancel the claim. The checks bounced. Daleons filed an action for rescission and enforcement of forfeiture clause, claiming breach of contract on the part of the Tans. Issue: Whether the vendors are entitled to rescind the contract to sell pursuant to the forfeiture provision in the contract.

Doctrine: As a general rule, a contract is the law between the parties. Thus, "from the moment the contract is perfected, the parties are bound not only to the fulfillment of what has been expressly stipulated but also to all consequences which, according to their nature,

may be in keeping with good faith, usage and law." Also, "the stipulations of the contract being the law between the parties, courts have no alternative but to enforce them as they were agreed [upon] and written, there being no law or public policy against the stipulated forfeiture of payments already made. However, it must be shown that the vendee failed to perform her obligation, thereby giving the vendor the right to demand the enforcement of the contract. Here, Daleon failed to prove the conditions that would warrant the implementation of this clause. A forfeiture clause in a contract of sale, which in a sense is punitive and confiscatory, is to be construed strictissimi juris and, in resolving a controversy involving it, the principles of equity must apply to the end that exact justice is achieved. The Tans were justified in placing a stop payment order on their checks to avoid greater loss since it may be assumed that they did not want to buy such an expensive property that had a cloud on its title.

DEL ROSARIO vs. FERRER (September 20, 2010) Refresher: Although denominated as a donation mortis causa, which in law is the equivalent of a will, the deed had no attestation clause and was witnessed by only two persons. The named donees, however, signified their acceptance of the donation on the face of the document. Asuncion opposed the petition, invoking his father Leopoldos assignment of his rights and interests in the property to her. According to RTC, donation was in fact one made inter vivos, the donors intention being to transfer title over the property to the donees during the donors lifetime, given its irrevocability. Consequently, said the RTC, Leopoldos subsequent assignment of his rights and interest in the property was void since he had nothing to assign. The CA said that the donation, being one given mortis causa, did not comply with the requirements of a notarial will,8 rendering the same void. Issue: whether or not the spouses Leopoldo and Guadalupes donation to Asuncion, Emiliano, and Jarabini was a donation mortis causa, as it was denominated, or in fact a donation inter vivos.- inter vivos Doctrine: Given that the donation in this case was irrevocable or one given inter vivos, Leopoldos subsequent assignment of his rights and interests in the property to Asuncion should be regarded as void for, by then, he had no more rights to assign. He could not give what he no longer had.

(1) express "irrevocability" of the donation is the "distinctive standard that identifies the (2) The donors in this case of course reserved the "right, ownership, possession, and
administration of the property" but such reservation (reddendum) in the context of document as a donation inter vivos."

an irrevocable donation simply means that the donors parted with their naked title, maintaining only beneficial ownership of the donated property while they lived. (3) Notably, the three donees signed their acceptance of the donation, which acceptance the deed required.14 This Court has held that an acceptance clause indicates that the donation is inter vivos. (4) Finally, in case of doubt, the conveyance should be deemed a donation inter vivos rather than mortis causa, in order to avoid uncertainty as to the ownership of the property subject of the deed.

LIMANCH-O HOTEL AND LEASING CORPORATION and CONRADO TIU vs. CITY OF OLONGAPO (January 18, 2010) Refresher: The respondent City of Olongapo assessed petitioner Conrado Tiu his unregistered electricity consumption. Petitioner Tiu filed an action against the City before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Olongapo for injunction with damages, which he won. Pending the RTCs resolution of its motion for reconsideration, the City filed criminal complaints against petitioner Tiu for: (a) theft of electrical current punished under Presidential Decree (P.D.) 401; and (b) disengaging and tampering with his electric meters potential link, thereby resulting to a zero-zero power consumption in violation of City Ordinance. This was dismissed. Claiming that petitioner Tiu suffered mental anguish, serious anxiety, besmirched reputation, wounded feelings, moral shock and social humiliation and that petitioner Limanch-O Hotel suffered loss of business goodwill, financial reverses, and injured reputation, both filed an action for damages against the City for having filed a malicious and unfounded charge of theft of electricity against them. The City denied any ill motive in filing the criminal complaint. It explained that it filed the criminal action following an examination of the electric meter installed at petitioner Tius building and registered in his name Issue: whether or not petitioners Tiu and Limanch-O Hotel have proved the last two elements.- NO. Doctrine: To be entitled to damages for malicious prosecution, a person must prove not only the filing of the criminal case against him which ended in his acquittal but also the lack of probable cause in the charges filed and the improper sinister motive in filing it. The burden in suits for malicious prosecution is being able to prove the complainants deliberate initiation of a criminal action knowing the charge to be false and groundless. Here, the complainant did not concoct from thin air the criminal charge for theft of electricity against petitioners. It filed the case based on the result of an investigation carried out at petitioners premises which indicated a tampering of the electric meter. It is not enough to say that, since the Supreme Court sustained the Secretary of Justices finding that no probable cause for electricity theft existed against petitioners, a case for malicious prosecution already exists against the respondent.

TAXATION LAW
LEPANTO CONSOLIDATED MINING v. AMBANLOC (2010) Refresher: Lepanto Consolidated Mining Company (Lepanto) has a mining lease contract granting it the right to extract and use for its purposes all mineral deposits within the boundary lines of its mining claim. Upon inquiry, DENR advised Lepanto that, under its contract, it did not have to get a permit to extract and use sand and gravel from within the mining claim for its operational and infrastructure needs. Based on this advice, Lepanto proceeded to extract and remove sand, gravel, and other earth materials from the mining site using it to construct and maintain concrete structures needed in its mining operation. Ambanloc, the provincial treasurer of Benguet, sent a demand letter to Lepanto, asking it to pay the province P1,901,893.22 as sand and gravel tax, for the quarry materials that it extracted from its mining site from 1997 to 2000. Lepanto questioned the assessment in the RTC of Benguet.RTC ruled that Lepanto was liable for the amount assessed, with interest at the rate of 2% per month from the time the tax should have been paid. On appeal, CTA (2nd Div) affirmed the ruling of the RTC with the

modification that the interest of 2% per month shall not exceed 36 months. The CTA En Banc affirmed the decision of the 2nd Division. ISSUE: W/N Lepanto is liable for the tax imposed by the Province of Benguet on the sand and gravel that it extracted and used exclusively in its mining operations. YES Doctrine: The question of Lepantos liability for tax should be determined based on the Revised Benguet Revenue Code (the revenue code). The provincial revenue code provides that the subject tax had to be paid prior to the issuance of the permit to extract sand and gravel. Its Article D, Section 2, enumerates four kinds of permits: commercial, industrial, special, and gratuitous. Special permits covered only personal use of the extracted materials and did not allow the permitees to sell materials coming from his concession. Among applicants for permits, however, only gratuitous permits were exempt from the sand and gravel tax. It follows that persons who applied for special permits needed to pay the tax, even though they did not extract materials for commercial purposes. Thus, the tax needed to be paid regardless of the applicability of the administrative and reportorial requirements of that revenue code. Lepanto invokes the Bureau of Mines and Geo-Sciences view that the mining company did not require it to get any of the permits that Mines Administrative Order MRD-27 might require. But that Bureaus view applied only to permits under MRD-27. The Bureau has no authority to determine the applicability of local ordinances. Besides, even the Bureau itself states that the exemption from MRD-27 is not absolute as it shall not apply if the sand and gravel were to be disposed of commercially. An exemption from the requirements of the provincial government should have a clear basis, whether in law, ordinance, or even from the contract itself. Unfortunately for Lepanto, it failed to show its entitlement to such exemption. Petition is DENIED. CTA En Banc decision AFFIRMED. CIR v. IRONCON BUILDERS (2010) Refresher: Ironcon sought the refund by the BIR of its income tax overpayment and excess creditable VAT. Due to CIR's inaction, Ironcon filed a petition for review with the CTA. CTA held that input VAT payments should first be applied to the reported output VAT liability. Only after this deduction has been made will the 6% VAT withheld be applied to the amount of VAT payable. Since Ironcon had no more output VAT against which the excess creditable VAT withheld may be applied or credited, the VAT withheld had been excessively paid. Thus, CTA ruled that the excess amount may be refunded under Section 204(C) in relation to Section 229 of the NIRC. Before a refund may be granted, however, it must be shown that the claim was not used or carried over to the succeeding quarters. But Ironcon did not present its VAT returns for the succeeding quarters of 2001. Without this, CTA could not verify whether the tax credit was applied to output VAT liability in 2001. Thus, CTA denied Ironcons claim for refund. Ironcon filed MR attaching the VAT returns and CIR granted the application for refund. Issue: W/N creditable value-added tax (VAT) withheld from a taxpayer in excess of its output VAT liability may be the subject of a tax refund in place of a tax credit - YES Doctrine: The rule is that before a refund may be granted, Ironcon must show that it had not used the creditable amount or carried it over to succeeding taxable quarters. Ironcons failure to offer in evidence its quarterly returns though fatal to its claim, may be disregarded. Citing BPI-Family Savings Bank v. Court of Appeals, the CTA ruled that once a claim for refund has been clearly established, it may set aside technicalities in the presentation of evidence. Considering the CTAs finding that Ironcon had excess creditable VAT withheld for which it was entitled to a refund, it makes no sense to deny Ironcon the

benefit of the BPI ruling that overlooks technicalities in the presentation of evidence. Substantial justice dictates that the government should not keep money that does not belong to it at the expense of citizens. PANASONIC COMMUNICATIONS v. CIR (Feb. 8, 2010) Refresher: Panasonic was engaged in the production and export of copiers. Claiming to be zero-rated and that its input VAT remained unutilized, it filed applications for tax refund or credit for its export sales from April 1998 to March 1999. These applications were denied because the word zero-rated were not printed on Panasonics export invoices. Panasonic points out that in requiring the printing on its sales invoices of the word "zero-rated," the Secretary of Finance unduly expanded, amended, and modified by a mere regulation (Section 4.108-1 of RR 7-95) the letter and spirit of Sections 113 and 237 of the 1997 NIRC, prior to their amendment by R.A. 9337, which did not include the inclusion of the word zero-rated. Issue: Whether Panasonic is entitled to the refund of its unutilized input VAT notwithstanding the absence of the word zero-rated on its invoices? No. For the effective zero-rating of transactions, the taxpayer has to be VAT-registered and must comply with invoicing requirements. RMC 42-2003 provides: Failure by the supplier to comply with the invoicing requirements on the documents supporting the sale of goods and services will result to the disallowance of the claim for input tax by the purchaser-claimant. If the claim for refund is based on the existence of zero-rated sales by the taxpayer but it fails to comply with the invoicing requirements in the issuance of sales invoices, its claim for tax credit/refund of VAT on its purchases shall be denied considering that the invoice it is issuing to its customers does not depict its being a VAT-registered taxpayer whose sales are classified as zero-rated sales. As to Panasonics contention, when petitioner Panasonic made the export sales subject of this case, the rule that applied was Section 4.108-1 of RR 7-95 (Consolidated Value-Added Tax Regulations). It already required the printing of the word "zero-rated" on the invoices covering zero-rated sales. Section 4.108-1 of RR 7-95 proceeds from the rule-making authority granted to the Secretary of Finance under Section 245 of the 1977 NIRC for the efficient enforcement of the tax code and of course its amendments. Doctrine: In order to claim unutilized input VAT for zero-rated transactions, the invoices must contain the word zero-rated.

ETHICS
SPELMANS V OCAMPO (March 26, 2010) Refresher: Roland Spelmans filed a complaint for theft and graft and corruption against MTC Judge Gaydifredo Ocampo of Polomolok, Cotabato. Earlier, his Filipina wife had filed a complaint for theft against the owners of the house that the Spelmans had rented, because of which Judge Ocampo conducted an ocular inspection of the said house and another house in which Spelmans kept some of the personal belongings of his mother. Spelmans alleged that the first case was merely a scheme of his wife to take out properties from the said house, and that Ocampo took several pieces of antique and furniture after the inspection. Ocampo said

Spelmanss wife had entrusted the items to him for safekeeping, and didnt know that the Spelmans were separated. Spelmans also alleged that Ocampo requested him to sign an affidavit which would clear the judge and pray for the dismissal of the administrative complaint. OCA found Ocampo guilty of acts of impropriety and maintaining close affinity with a litigant in violation of Canons 1 and 4 of the New Code of Judicial Conduct. Issue: W/N Judge Ocampos taking and keeping of the personal properties belonging to Spelmans but supposedly given to him by the latters wife for safekeeping violated the New Code of Judicial Conduct Held: Yes. First, Judge Ocampo did not explain why of all people of Polomolok, Spelmanss wife would entrust the properties for safekeeping. Second, the purpose of the ocular inspection was suspect. It was not a robbery case where he might have an interest in personally looking at where and how the break-in took place. Third, if Judge Ocampo received the properties from Spelmanss wife, it means a relation of trust existed between them. He should have inhibited himself from the beginning. Fourth, Ocampo returned the items only after four years when Spelmans filed the complaint. His years of possession obviously went beyond mere safekeeping. The proper charge should be gross misconduct, constituting violations of the New Code of Judicial Conduct, specifically Section 6 of Canon 1, Section 1 of Canon 2, and Section 1 of Canon 4. His acts were motivated by malice. He was not a warehouseman for personal properties of litigants in his court. He certainly would have kept Spelmans properties had the latter not filed a complaint against him. He was guilty of covetousness. It affected the performance of his duties as an officer of the court and tainted the judiciarys integrity.