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Ministerial Acts PEFIANCO vs. MORAL FACTS: DECS Secretary Ricardo T.

Gloria filed a complaint against respondent Maria Luisa C. Moral, then Chief Librarian, Catalog Division, of the National Library for dishonesty, grave misconduct and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service. The complaint charged respondent Moral with the pilferage of some historical documents from the vaults of the Filipiniana and Asian Division (FAD) of the National Library which were under her control and supervision as Division Chief and keeping in her possession, without legal authority and justification, some fortyone (41) items of historical documents which were missing from the FAD vaults of the National Library. The DECS Investigating Committee conducted several hearings on the complaint. On 25 September 1996 Secretary Gloria issued a resolution finding respondent "guilty of the administrative offenses of dishonesty, grave misconduct and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service, for the commission of pilferage of historical documents of the national library, to the prejudice of the national library in particular, and the country in general." She was ordered dismissed from the government service with prejudice to reinstatement and forfeiture of all her retirement benefits and other remunerations. Respondent did not appeal the judgment. On 2 October 1996 respondent filed a Petition for the Production of the DECS Investigation Committee Report purportedly to "guide [her] on whatever action would be most appropriate to take under the circumstances."2 Her petition was, however, denied. Instead, she instituted an action for mandamus and injunction before the regular courts against Secretary Gloria praying that she be furnished a copy of the DECS Investigation Committee Report and that the DECS Secretary be enjoined from enforcing the order of dismissal until she received a copy of the said report.

HELD: She is not entitled to the writ prayed for. The nature of the remedy of mandamus has been the subject of discussions in several cases. It is settled that mandamus is employed to compel the performance, when refused, of a ministerial duty, this being its main objective. It does not lie to require anyone to fulfill a discretionary duty. It is essential to the issuance of a writ of mandamus that petitioner should have a clear legal right to the thing demanded and it must be the imperative duty of the respondent to perform the act required. It never issues in doubtful cases. While it may not be necessary that the duty be absolutely expressed, it must nevertheless be clear. The writ will not issue to compel an official to do anything which is not his duty to do or which is his duty not to do, or give to the applicant anything to which he is not entitled by law. The writ neither confers powers nor imposes duties. It is simply a command to exercise a power already possessed and to perform a duty already imposed. In her petition for mandamus, respondent miserably failed to demonstrate that she has a clear legal right to the DECS Investigation Committee Report and that it is the ministerial duty of petitioner DECS Secretary to furnish her with a copy thereof. Consequently, she is not entitled to the writ prayed for.

Ministerial Acts (2nd Case) Pimentel, et al. vs. Executive Secretary, et al. FACTS:

This is a petition for mandamus filed by petitioners to compel the Office of the Executive Secretary and the Department of Foreign Affairs to transmit the signed copy of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court to the Senate of the Philippines for its concurrence in accordance with Section 21, Article VII of the 1987 Constitution. In filing this petition, the petitioners interpret Section 21, Article

VII of the 1987 Constitution to mean that the power to ratify treaties belongs to the Senate. ISSUE: The core issue in this petition for mandamus is whether the Executive Secretary and the Department of Foreign Affairs have a ministerial duty to transmit to the Senate the copy of the Rome Statute signed by a member of the Philippine Mission to the United Nations even without the signature of the President. HELD: It should be emphasized that under our Constitution, the power to ratify is vested in the President, subject to the concurrence of the Senate. The role of the Senate, however, is limited only to giving or withholding its consent, or concurrence, to the ratification. Hence, it is within the authority of the President to refuse to submit a treaty to the Senate or, having secured its consent for its ratification, refuse to ratify it.[21] Although the refusal of a state to ratify a treaty which has been signed in its behalf is a serious step that should not be taken lightly,[22] such decision is within the competence of the President alone, which cannot be encroached by this Court via a writ of mandamus. This Court has no jurisdiction over actions seeking to enjoin the President in the performance of his official duties.[23] The Court, therefore, cannot issue the writ of mandamus prayed for by the petitioners as it is beyond its jurisdiction to compel the executive branch of the government to transmit the signed text of Rome Statute to the Senate.

Hipos vs. Judge Bay (Mandamus to direct exercise of judgment in a particular way) FACTS: On 15 December 2003, two Informations for the crime of rape and one Information for the crime of acts of lasciviousness were filed against petitioners Darryl Hipos, Jaycee Corsio, Arthur Villaruel and two others before Branch 86 of the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City, acting as a Family Court, presided by respondent Judge Bay. The cases were docketed as Criminal

Cases No. Q-03-123284, No. Q-03-123285 and No. Q-03-123286. The Informations were signed by Assistant City Prosecutor Ronald C. Torralba. On 23 February 2004, private complainants AAA1 and BBB filed a Motion for Reinvestigation asking Judge Bay to order the City Prosecutor of Quezon City to study if the proper Informations had been filed against petitioners and their co-accused. Judge Bay granted the Motion and ordered a reinvestigation of the cases. On 19 May 2004, petitioners filed their Joint Memorandum to Dismiss the Case[s] before the City Prosecutor. They claimed that there was no probable cause to hold them liable for the crimes charged. On 10 August 2004, the Office of the City Prosecutor issued a Resolution on the reinvestigation affirming the Informations filed against petitioners and their co-accused in Criminal Cases No. Q03-123284-86. The Resolution was signed by Assistant City Prosecutor Raniel S. Cruz and approved by City Prosecutor Claro A. Arellano. On 3 March 2006, 2nd Assistant City Prosecutor Lamberto C. de Vera, treating the Joint Memorandum to Dismiss the Case as an appeal of the 10 August 2004 Resolution, reversed the Resolution dated 10 August 2004, holding that there was lack of probable cause. On the same date, the City Prosecutor filed a Motion to Withdraw Informations before Judge Bay. On 2 October 2006, Judge Bay denied the Motion to Withdraw Informations in an Order of even date. ISSUE: CAN THE HON. SUPREME COURT COMPEL RESPONDENT JUDGE BAY TO DISMISS THE CASE THROUGH A WRIT OF MANDAMUS BY VIRTUE OF THE RESOLUTION OF THE OFFICE OF THE CITY PROSECUTOR OF QUEZON CITY FINDING NO PROBABLE CAUSE AGAINST THE ACCUSED AND SUBSEQUENTLY FILING A MOTION TO WITHDRAW INFORMATION? HELD: In the case at bar, the act which petitioners pray that we compel the trial court to do is to grant the Office of the City Prosecutors

Motion for Withdrawal of Informations against petitioners. In effect, petitioners seek to curb Judge Bays exercise of judicial discretion. There is indeed an exception to the rule that matters involving judgment and discretion are beyond the reach of a writ of mandamus, for such writ may be issued to compel action in those matters, when refused.5 However, mandamus is never available to direct the exercise of judgment or discretion in a particular way or the retraction or reversal of an action already taken in the exercise of either.6 In other words, while a judge refusing to act on a Motion to Withdraw Informations can be compelled by mandamus to act on the same, he cannot be compelled to act in a certain way, i.e., to grant or deny such Motion. In the case at bar, Judge Bay did not refuse to act on the Motion to Withdraw Informations; he had already acted on it by denying the same. Accordingly, mandamus is not available anymore. If petitioners believed that Judge Bay committed grave abuse of discretion in the issuance of such Order denying the Motion to Withdraw Informations, the proper remedy of petitioners should have been to file a Petition for Certiorari against the assailed Order of Judge Bay. The rule is settled that once a criminal complaint or information is filed in court, any disposition thereof, such as its dismissal or the conviction or acquittal of the accused, rests in the sound discretion of the court. While the prosecutor retains the discretion and control of the prosecution of the case, he cannot impose his opinion on the court. The court is the best and sole judge on what to do with the case. Accordingly, a motion to dismiss the case filed by the prosecutor before or after the arraignment, or after a reinvestigation, or upon instructions of the Secretary of Justice who reviewed the records upon reinvestigation, should be addressed to the discretion of the court. The action of the court must not, however, impair the substantial rights of the accused or the right of the People to due process of law. In sum, petitioners resort to a Petition for Mandamus to compel the trial judge to grant their Motion to Withdraw Informations is improper. While mandamus is available to compel action on matters involving judgment and discretion when refused, it is never available to direct the exercise of judgment or discretion in a particular way or the retraction or reversal of an action already

taken in the exercise of either.24 The trial court, when confronted with a Motion to Withdraw an Information on the ground of lack of probable cause, is not bound by the resolution of the prosecuting arm of the government, but is required to make an independent assessment of the merits of such motion, a requirement satisfied by the respondent judge in the case at bar.

UP Board of Regents v. CA FACTS OF THE CASE:

Private respondent Arokiaswamy William Margaret Celine enrolled in the doctoral program in Anthropology of the University of the Philippines College of Social Sciences and Philosophy (CSSP) in Diliman, Quezon City.

After completing the units of course work required in her doctoral program, private respondent had finished her dissertation and was ready for her oral defense. There were portions in private respondent's dissertation that were lifted, without proper acknowledgment. Despite such findings, her dissertation was accepted by Dean Paz in partial fulfillment of the course requirements for the doctorate degree in Anthropology.

On April 21, 1993, Dean Paz sent a letter to Dr. Milagros Ibe, Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, requesting the exclusion of private respondent's name from the list of candidates for graduation, pending clarification of the problems regarding her dissertation. However, the letter did not reach the Board of Regents on time, and thus the said Board approved the qualified students for graduation including the private respondent.

Dean Paz also wrote a letter to private respondent, dated April 21, 1993, that she would not be granted an academic clearance unless she substantiated the accusations contained in her letter dated April 17, 1993.

Various committees were organized to investigate on the matter, which found that at least ninety (90) instances or portions in private respondent's thesis which were lifted from sources without

proper or due acknowledgment. Thus, unanimously approved the recommendation to withdraw private respondent's doctorate degree and forwarded its recommendation to the University Council which sent its recommendation to the Board of Regents.

Private respondent then filed a petition for mandamus with a prayer for a writ of preliminary mandatory injunction and damages, alleging that petitioners had unlawfully withdrawn her degree without justification and without affording her procedural due process.

ISSUE: Whether petition for mandamus would lie in this action.

RULING:

Petitioners argue that private respondent failed to show that she had been unlawfully excluded from the use and enjoyment of a right or office to which she is entitled so as to justify the issuance of the writ of mandamus. They also contend that she failed to prove that the restoration of her degree is a ministerial duty of U.P. or that the withdrawal of the degree violated her right to the enjoyment of intellectual property.

The Court finds petitioners' contention to be meritorious.

Mandamus is a writ commanding a tribunal, corporation, board or person to do the act required to be done when it or he unlawfully neglects the performance of an act which the law specifically enjoins as a duty resulting from an office, trust, or station, or unlawfully excludes another from the use and enjoyment of a right or office to which such other is entitled, there being no other plain, speedy, and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law.

Mandamus is never issued in doubtful cases, a showing of a clear and certain right on the part of the petitioner being required. It is of no avail against an official or government agency whose duty requires the exercise of discretion or judgment.

Laguna Metts Corporation v. Caalam, et al. *When and Where filed.*

FACTS:

This petition arose from a labor case filed by private respondents Aries C. Caalam and Geraldine Esguerra against petitioner Laguna Metts Corporation (LMC). The labor arbiter decided in favor of private respondents and found that they were illegally dismissed by LMC. On appeal, however, the National Labor Relation s Commission (NLRC) reversed the decision of the labor arbiter in a decision dated February 21, 2008. Private respondents motion for reconsideration was denied in a resolution dated April 30, 2008.

Counsel for private respondents received the April 30, 2008 resolution of the NLRC on May 26, 2008. On July 25, 2008, he filed a motion for extension of time to file petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court. The motion alleged that, for reasons stated therein, the petition could not be filed in the Court of Appeals within the prescribed 60-day period. Thus, a 15-day extension period was prayed for.

In a resolution dated August 7, 2008, the Court of Appeals granted the motion and gave private respondents a non-extendible period of 15 days within which to file their petition for certiorari. LMC moved for the reconsideration of the said resolution claiming that extensions of time to file a petition for certiorari are no longer allowed under Section 4, Rule 65 of the Rules of Court, as amended by A.M. No. 07-7-12-SC dated December 4, 2007. This was denied in a resolution dated October 22, 2008.

ISSUE:

Whether or not, the extension granted by the Court of Appeals proper.

RULING:

The Court of Appeals arrogated to itself a power it did not possess, a power that only this Court may exercise.

Rules of procedure must be faithfully complied with and should not be discarded with the mere expediency of claiming substantial merit. As a corollary, rules prescribing the time for doing specific acts or for taking certain proceedings are considered absolutely indispensable to prevent needless delays and to orderly and promptly discharge judicial business. By their very nature, these rules are regarded as mandatory.

While the proper courts previously had discretion to extend the period for filing a petition for certiorari beyond the 60-day period, the amendments to Rule 65 under A.M. No. 07-7-12-SC disallowed extensions of time to file a petition for certiorari with the deletion of the paragraph that previously permitted such extensions.

With its amendment under A.M. No. 07-7-12-SC, it now reads:

SEC. 4. When and where to file petition. The petition shall be filed not later than sixty (60) days from notice of the judgment or resolution. In case a motion for reconsideration or new trial is timely filed, whether such motion is required or not, the sixty (60) day period shall be counted from the notice of the denial of the motion.

If the petition relates to an act or an omission of a municipal trial court or of a corporation, a board, an officer or a person, it shall be filed with the Regional Trial Court exercising jurisdiction over the territorial area as defined by the Supreme Court. It may also be filed in the Court of Appeals or with the Sandiganbayan, whether or not the same is in aid of the courts appellate jurisdiction. If the petition involves an act or an omission of a quasi-judicial agency, unless otherwise provided by law or these rules, the petition shall be filed with and be cognizable only by the Court of Appeals.

In election cases involving an act or omission of a municipal or a regional trial court, the petition shall be filed exclusively with the Commission on Elections, in aid of its appellate jurisdiction. Lapid v. Laurea FACTS: Spouses Ramon Isidro P. Lapid and Gladys B. Lapid, petitioners, are the parents of seven-yearold Christopher B. Lapid, who was a Grade 1 pupil who was alleged to be summarily dismissed by the officials of the respondent school, St. Therese of the Child Jesus, a private educational institution providing preschool and elementary education at Malabon, Metro Manila.

Petitioners filed a complaint for damages against the private respondents before the Regional Trial Court (RTC), Malabon, Metro Manila, Branch 169. According to petitioners, the schools malicious imputation against their son tarnished their good name and reputation.

On November 18, 1998,4 petitioners filed a motion to declare respondent school as in default, which motion was denied by the trial court in an order dated February 9, 1999.5 Petitioners moved for a reconsideration, but said motion was likewise denied on March 11, 1999.

With the denial of their motion for reconsideration, petitioners filed a petition for certiorari with the Court of Appeals but such petition was dismissed for failure to indicate the material date, particularly the date of filing of motion for reconsideration with the RTC, as required by Supreme Court Circular No. 39-98.

ISSUE:

Whether or not, the Court of Appeals erred in dismissing the petition for certiorari filed by petitioners on the ground of formal and procedural deficiency, i.e., the petitioners failure to state a material date in their petition for certiorari.

RULING:

No reversible error can be ascribed to the Court of Appeals for dismissing the petition for certiorari and later denying the petitioners motion for reconsideration.

After a careful consideration of the submissions of the parties, particularly their respective memoranda, we are constrained to agree with the ruling of the respondent appellate court which dismissed the instant petition for certiorari. We find no reversible error in the assailed resolutions of the Court of Appeals because in filing a special civil action for certiorari without indicating the requisite material date thereon, petitioners violated basic tenets of remedial law, particularly Rule 65 of the Rules of Court.

There are three material dates that must be stated in a petition for certiorari brought under Rule 65. First, the date when notice of the judgment or final order or resolution was received; second, the date when a motion for new trial or for reconsideration was filed; and third, the date when notice of the denial thereof was received. In the case before us, the petition filed with the CA failed to indicate the second date, particularly the date of filing of their motion for reconsideration. As explicitly stated in the aforementioned Rule, failure to comply with any of the requirements shall be sufficient ground for the dismissal of the petition.

The rationale for this strict provision of the Rules of Court is not difficult to appreciate. As stated in Santos vs. Court of Appeals, the requirement is for purpose of determining the timeliness of the petition, thus:

The requirement of setting forth the three (3) dates in a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 is for the purpose of determining its timeliness. Such a petition is required to be filed not later than sixty (60) days from notice of the judgment, order or Resolution sought to be assailed. Therefore, that the petition for certiorari was filed forty-one (41) days from receipt of the denial of the motion for reconsideration is hardly relevant. The Court of Appeals was not in any position to determine when this period commenced to run and whether the motion for reconsideration itself was filed on time since the material dates were not stated. x x x (Stress supplied.)

Quo Warranto G.R. No. L-36966 February 28, 1974

THE PHILIPPINE PUBLIC SCHOOL TEACHERS ASSOCIATION (PPSTA) COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS and the 1972 PPSTA BOARD OF DIRECTORS, petitioners, vs. Honorable SERGIO A. F. APOSTOL, Presiding Judge Court of First Instance of Rizal, Branch XVI, Quezon City and EUFEMIA M. SAN LUIS, respondents.

Facts: On July 20, 1972, private respondent Eufemia M. San Luis as a member of the Philippine Public School Teachers Association (PPSTA for short), a fraternal non-stock association of public school teachers throughout the country, filed with respondent court of first instance at Quezon City a complaint with preliminary injunction for the annulment of the 1972 annual elections of the PPSTA board of directors held on June 26-28, 1972 at Teachers Camp in Baguio City for having been held outside its principal office at Quezon City against herein petitioners as defendants. Respondent court rendered without further hearing and trial its decision of April 26, 1973 holding that " (T)he meeting held in Baguio City being contrary to the by-laws of the corporation and the Corporation Law, whatever acts therein made, including the elections of the Board of Directors, are null and void," and declared as null and void all resolutions and corporate acts at the 29th (1972) annual PPSTA Representative Assembly, including the elections of the 1972 PPSTA board of directors and the formation of the PPSTA commission on elections which supervised the elections and proclaimed the winners. Issue: Whether or not the action has complied with the requirements of Rule 66 governing such special civil actions of quo warranto. Ruling: The Court sets aside the judgment of respondent court. Respondent's action below was in essence one of quo warranto which is governed by Rule 66 of the Rules of Court Section 6

thereof provides that in order that an individual may directly bring the action, he or she must claim to entitled to the public office or position allegedly unlawfully held or usurped. 6 Otherwise, the action must be brought by the Solicitor General or fiscal with leave of the court upon the complaint of the relator under section 4 of the Rule. 7 Chief Justice Moran thus explained the application of the two cited provisions: The general rule is that actions for quo warranto should be brought by the Solicitor General or a fiscal in cases of usurpation of an office established by law or by the Constitution under color of an executive appointment, or the abuse of a public franchise under color of a legislative grant, for these are public wrongs and not private injuries. Since, under our system all power emanates from the people, who constitute the sovereignty, the right to inquire into the authority by which a person assumes to exercise the functions of a public office or franchise is regarded as inherent in the people on the right their sovereignty. Hence, the action should be brought by the Solicitor General or the fiscal who represents the sovereign power. However, in a case involving merely the administration corporate functions or duties which touch only private individual rights, such as the election of officers, admission of a corporate officer, or member, and the like the action for quo warranto may be brought with leave of court, by the Solicitor General or fiscal upon the relation of any person or persons having an interest injuriously affected. Such action may be allowed in the discretion of the court, according to section 4 and the court, before granting leave, may direct that, notice be given to the defendant so that he may be heard in opposition thereto, under section 5. 8 Respondent manifestly lays no claim herself to the office of PPSTA director nor has the present action been filed with leave of court by the Solicitor General or fiscal upon her relation as a party having an interest injuriously affected, as required by the cited Rule. Her action must therefore fail on this score and the judgment erroneously rendered by respondent court shall be set aside. ACCORDINGLY, the judgment under review of respondent court is hereby set aside and the complaint ordered dismissed. No pronouncement as to costs.

Quo Warranto GR. No. L-48928 February 25, 1982 PARDO DE TAVERA vs. PHILIPPINE TUBERCULOSIS SOCIETY, INC. Facts:

Plaintiff is a doctor of Medicine by profession and a recognized specialist in the treatment of tuberculosis and a member of the Board of Directors of the defendant Society, in representation of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office as Executive Secretary. The Board of Directors removed her from her position averring that said position is held at the pleasure of the Board of Directors and when the pleasure is exercised, it only means that the incumbent has to vacate the same because her term has expired. Plaintiff-appellant Mita Pardo de Tavera filed with the Court of First Instance of Rizal a complaint against the Philippine Tuberculosis Society, Inc. On September 3, 1976, the court a quo rendered a decision holding that the present suit being one for quo warranto it should be filed within one year from plaintiff's outer from office; that nevertheless, plaintiff was not illegally rendered or used from her position as Executive Secretary in The Society since plaintiff as holding an appointment all the pleasure of the appointing power and hence her appointment in essence was temporary in nature. The case was remanded to this Court considering that the appeal raises no factual issues and involves only issues of law. Issue: Whether or not the instant case is an action for damages and not of quo warranto.

Ruling: While it is true that the complaint questions petitioner's removal from the position of Executive Secretary and seeks her reinstatement thereto, the nature of the suit is not necessarily one of quo warranto because the respondents, except for one, namely, Alberto Romulo, are not actually holding the office in

question. Corollarily, the one-year period fixed in Section 16, Rule 66 of the Revised Rules of Court within which a petition for quo warranto should be filed, counted from the date of ouster, does not apply to the case at bar. The action is one for "injury to the rights of the plaintiff, and must be brought within 4 years murder Article 1146 of the New Civil Code. Nonetheless, the action will not prosper because the By-laws of the Society stated that petitioner held an appointment at the pleasure of the appointing power that is in essence temporary in nature. It is co-extensive with the desire of the Board of Directors. WHEREFORE, premises considered, the decision of the lower court holding that petitioner was not illegally removed or ousted from her position as Executive Secretary of the Philippine Tuberculosis Society, Inc., is hereby AFFIRMED. SO ORDERED.

Quo Warranto G.R. No. L-46218 October 23, 1990 MADRIGAL vs. LECAROZ Facts: Joventino Madrigal's position as a permanent construction capataz in the office of the Provincial Engineer was abolished. The abolition was allegedly due to the poor financial condition of the province and it appearing that his position was not essential. The Civil Service Commission declared the removal of Madrigal from the service illegal. Madrigal filed a petition before the Court of First Instance (now Regional Trial Court) of Marinduque against public respondents for mandamus and damages. The trial court issued an order dismissing the petition on the ground that Madrigal's cause of action was barred by laches because herein petitioner was separated from the service on November 25, 1971, and it was only on December 15, 1975, or FOUR (4) YEARS and TWENTY (20) DAYS after, that he filed this case for "Mandamus and Damages" with the principal aim of causing his reinstatement to the public position from where his service was terminated.

Issue: Whether or not the petitioners cause of action is barred by laches. Ruling: That the instant case is one for MANDAMUS, and not QUO WARRANTO, is not of any significance, for the same principle applies as held in these cases: An action for reinstatement, by a public official, whether it be quo warranto or mandamus, should be filed in court within one year from removal or separation, otherwise the action will be barred. The unbending jurisprudence in this jurisdiction is to the effect that a petition for quo warranto and mandamus affecting titles to public office must be filed within one (1) year from the date the petitioner is ousted from his position. The reason behind this being there must be stability in the service so that public business may (sic) be unduly retarded; delays in the statement of the right to positions in the service must be discouraged. ACCORDINGLY, the appeal is hereby DENIED. SO ORDERED.

ATTY. LUCKY M. DAMASEN,

vs OSCAR G. TUMAMAO, G.R. No. 173165 February 17, 2010 Facts: On December 2, 2004, Nelia Tumamao, the Vice-Mayor of San Isidro, Isabela, died.[1][3] As a result, a permanent vacancy was created in the Office of the Vice-Mayor. Pursuant to Sec. 44 of Republic Act (RA) No. 7160,[2][4] Ligaya C. Alonzo (Alonzo) was elevated to the position of Vice-Mayor, she being the highest-ranking member of the

Sangguniang Bayan, that is, the one who garnered the highest number of votes for that office.[3] [5] As a result, a permanent vacancy was created in the Sangguniang Bayan.

To fill up the ensuing vacancy in the Sangguniang Bayan, San Isidro Mayor Abraham T. Lim (Mayor Lim) recommended to Governor Maria Gracia Cielo M. Padaca (Governor Padaca), the appointment of respondent Oscar G. Tumamao (Tumamao), a member of the Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino (LDP), the same political party to which Alonzo belonged On April 15, 2005, Tumamao took his oath as a member of the Sangguninang Bayan before Mayor Lim.[4][7]

On April 26, 2005 and May 3, 2006, Tumamao attended the regular sessions of the Sangguniang Bayan.[5][8]

On May 5, 2005, petitioner Atty. Lucky Damasen (Damasen) became a member of the LDP after taking his oath of affiliation before the LDP Provincial Chairman, Ms. Ana Benita Balauag (Provincial Chairman Balauag).[6][9] On even date, Damasen was able to secure from LDP Provincial Chairman Balauag a letter of nomination addressed to Governor Padaca for his appointment to the Sangguniang Bayan.[7][10] On May 12, 2005, Damasen was appointed as Sangguniang Bayan member by Governor Padaca.[8][11]

On May 16, 2005, Damasen took his oath as member of the Sangguniang Bayan before Governor Padaca.[9][12]

On May 17, 2005, Damasen attended the Sangguniang Bayan session, but with Tumamao present thereat, the former was not duly recognized.[10][13] Hence, in the afternoon of the same day, Damasen filed with the Regional Trial Court of Santiago City (RTC) a Petition for Quo Warranto with Prayer for the Issuance of a Writ of Preliminary Injunction,[11][14] seeking to be declared the rightful member of the Sangguniang Bayan, claiming that he had been nominated by LDP Provincial Chairman Balauag and had been appointed thereto by Governor Padaca.[12][15] The case was docketed as Special Civil Action Case No. 0234. The RTC issued a Temporary Restraining Order effective for 72 hours. Thereafter, the RTC issued an order extending the Temporary Restraining order to 17 days.

Later, Tumamao presented Provincial Chairman Balauag who affirmed the contents of her letter revoking the nomination of Damasen.[13][18] On August 4, 2005, the RTC rendered a Decision[14][19] ruling in favor of Damasen, The RTC based its decision on Sec. 45 (b) of RA 7160,[15][21] which provides for the rule on succession in cases of permanent vacancies in the Sangguninan. The RTC ruled that the evidence submitted by Damasen proved that the requirements to be able to qualify for the position was fully complied with. Tumamao appealed the RTC Decision to the CA.

On June 14, 2006, the CA rendered a Decision reversing the appealed Decision, While Atty. Damasen might have been appointed by Governor Padaca, this appointment must fly in the face of the categorical and unbending sine qua non requirements of the statute.

Indeed, Atty. Damasen was nominated simply by Ms. Balauag, the Provincial Chairman of the LDP, who obviously is not the highest official of this political party. It cannot escape notice that the quoted provision particularizes: highest official of the political party concerned without any additional qualifying or restrictive words.

Issue : Whether or not Atty Damasen , has the right to have the office as Sanguniang Bayan?

Held: Petition dismissed. Affirmed the reversal of the CA ruling. Section 45. Permanent Vacancies in the Sanggunian. Xxx

Xxxx

(b) Except for the Sangguniang Barangay, only the nominee of the political party under which the sanggunian member concerned had been elected and whose elevation to the position next

higher in rank created the last vacancy in the sanggunian shall be appointed in the manner hereinabove provided. The appointee shall come from the same political party as that of the sanggunian member who caused the vacancy and shall serve the unexpired term of the vacant office. In the appointment herein mentioned, a nomination and a certificate of membership of the appointee from the highest official of the political party concerned are conditions sine qua non, and any appointment without such nomination and certification shall be null and void ab initio and shall be a ground for administrative action against the official responsible therefore.[16][30]

As can be gleaned from the above provision, the law provides for conditions for the rule of succession to apply: First, the appointee shall come from the same political party as that of the Sanggunian member who caused the vacancy. Second, the appointee must have a nomination and a Certificate of Membership from the highest official of the political party concerned.

Thus, this Court cannot countenance Damasens insistence in clinging to an appointment when he is in fact not a bona fide member of the LDP. While the revocation of the nomination given to Damasen came after the fact of his appointment, this Court cannot rule in his favor, because the very first requirement of Sec. 45 (b) is that the appointee must come from the political party as that of the Sanggunian member who caused the vacancy. To stress, Damasen is not a bona fide member of the LDP.

In addition, appointing Damasen would not serve the will of the electorate. He himself admitts that he was previously a member of the Lakas-CMD, and that he ran for the position of Mayor under the said party on the May 2004 Elections. Likewise, he did not resign from the said party when he joined the LDP, and even admitted that his joining the LDP was not because of party ideals, but because he just wanted to.[17][46] How can the will of the electorate be best served, given the foregoing admissions of Damasen? If this Court were to grant herein petition, it would effectively diminish the party representation of the LDP in the Sanggunian, as Damasen would still be considered a member of the Lakas-CMD, not having resigned therefrom, a scenario that defeats the purpose of the law, and that ultimately runs contrary the ratio of Navarro. Lastly, the records of the case reveal that Tumamao has the nomination[18][47] of Senator Edgardo J. Angara, the Party Chairman and, therefore, the highest official of the LDP. In addition, he is a member in good standing of the LDP.

[G.R. No. 131977. February 4, 1999]

PEDRO MENDOZA, petitioner, vs. RAY ALLAS and GODOFREDO OLORES, respondents.

Facts: In September 1994, petitioner received a letter from Deputy Customs Commissioner Cesar Z. Dario, informing him of his termination from the Bureau of Customs, in view of respondent Allas' appointment as Director III by President Fidel V. Ramos. The pertinent portion of the letter reads:bb "Effective March 4, 1994, Mr. Ray Allas was appointed Director III by President Fidel V. Ramos and as a consequence, [petitioner's] services were terminated without prejudice to [his] claim for all government benefits due [him]." Attached to the letter was the appointment of respondent Ray Allas as "Director III, CIIS, Bureau of Customs, vice Pedro Mendoza." Petitioner wrote the Customs Commissioner demanding his reinstatement with full back wages and without loss of seniority rights. No reply was made. On December 2, 1994, petitioner filed a petition for quo warranto against respondent Allas before the Regional Trial Court, Paranaque, Branch 258.[i][3] The case was tried and on September 11, 1995, a decision was rendered granting the petition. The court found that petitioner was illegally terminated from office without due process of law and in violation of his security of tenure, and that as he was deemed not to have vacated his office, the appointment of respondent Allas to the same office was void ab initio. The court ordered the ouster of respondent Allas from the position of Director III, and at the same time directed the reinstatement of petitioner to the same position with payment of full back salaries and other benefits appurtenant thereto. On May 9, 1996, petitioner filed with the court a quo a Motion for Execution of its decision. On July 24, 1996, the court denied the motion on the ground that the contested position vacated by respondent Allas was now being occupied by respondent Godofredo Olores who was not a party to the quo warranto petition.[ii][5] Petitioner filed a special civil action for certiorari and mandamus with the Court of Appeals questioning the order of the trial court.[iii][6] On November 27, 1997, the Court of Appeals dismissed the petition.[iv][7] Hence, this recourse. Petitioner claims that: "The Court of Appeals grossly erred in holding that a writ of execution may no longer be issued, considering that respondent Olores who was not a party to the case now occupies the subject position."

Issue: Whether or not Mendoza validly ousted from his office amounting to illegally dismissed?

Held: Quo warranto is a demand made by the state upon some individual or corporation to show by what right they exercise some franchise or privilege appertaining to the state which, according to the Constitution and laws of the land, they cannot legally exercise except by virtue of a grant or authority from the state. In other words, a petition for quo warranto is a proceeding to determine the right of a person to the use or exercise of a franchise or office and to oust the holder from its enjoyment, if his claim is not well-founded, or if he has forfeited his right to enjoy the privilege. The action may be commenced for the Government by the Solicitor General or the fisca against individuals who usurp a public office, against a public officer whose acts constitute a ground for the forfeiture of his office, and against an association which acts as a corporation without being legally incorporated.The action may also be instituted by an individual in his own name who claims to be entitled to the public office or position usurped or unlawfully held or exercised by another. Where the action is filed by a private person, he must prove that he is entitled to the controverted position, otherwise respondent has a right to the undisturbed possession of the office.[x][14] If the court finds for the respondent, the judgment should simply state that the respondent is entitled to the office.[xi][15] If, however, the court finds for the petitioner and declares the respondent guilty of usurping, intruding into, or unlawfully holding or exercising the office, judgment may be rendered as follows: "Sec. 10. Judgment where usurpation found.-- When the defendant is found guilty of usurping, intruding into, or unlawfully holding or exercising an office, position, right, privilege, or franchise, judgment shall be rendered that such defendant be ousted and altogether excluded therefrom, and that the plaintiff or relator, as the case may be, recover his costs. Such further judgment may be rendered determining the respective rights in and to the office, position, right, privilege, or franchise of all the parties to the action as justice requires." If it is found that the respondent or defendant is usurping or intruding into the office, or unlawfully holding the same, the court may order: (1) (2) The ouster and exclusion of the defendant from office; The recovery of costs by plaintiff or relator;

(3) The determination of the respective rights in and to the office, position, right, privilege or franchise of all the parties to the action as justice requires.

The character of the judgment to be rendered in quo warranto rests to some extent in the discretion of the court and on the relief sought Ordinarily, a judgment against a public officer in regard to a public right binds his successor in office. This rule, however, is not applicable in quo warranto cases.[xiii][21] A judgment in quo warranto does not bind the respondent's successor in office, even though such successor may trace his title to the same source. This follows from the nature of the writ of quo warranto itself. It is never directed to an officer as such, but always against the person-- to determine whether he is constitutionally and legally authorized to perform any act in, or exercise any function of the office to which he lays claim.[xiv][22] In the case at bar, the petition for quo warranto was filed by petitioner solely against respondent Allas. What was threshed out before the trial court was the qualification and right of petitioner to the contested position as against respondent Ray Allas, not against Godofredo Olores. The Court of Appeals did not err in denying execution of the trial court's decision.

G.R. No. 168696

February 28, 2006

MA. LUTGARDA P. CALLEJA, JOAQUIN M. CALLEJA, JR., JADELSON PETER P. CALLEJA, MA. JESSICA T. FLORES, MERCIE C. TIPONES and PERFECTO NIXON C. TABORA, Petitioners, vs. JOSE PIERRE A. PANDAY, AUGUSTO R. PANDAY and MA. THELNA P. MALLARI, Respondents.

Facts: On May 16, 2005, respondents filed a petition with the Regional Trial Court of San Jose, Camarines Sur for quo warranto with Damages and Prayer for Mandatory and Prohibitory Injunction, Damages and Issuance of Temporary Restraining Order against herein petitioners. Respondents alleged that from 1985 up to the filing of the petition with the trial court, they had been members of the board of directors and officers of St. John Hospital, Incorporated, but sometime in May 2005, petitioners, who are also among the incorporators and stockholders of said corporation, forcibly and with the aid of armed men usurped the powers which supposedly belonged to Respondents. On May 24, 2005, RTC-Br. 58 issued an Order transferring the case to the Regional Trial Court in Naga City. According to RTC-Br. 58, since the verified petition showed petitioners therein (herein respondents) to be residents of Naga Citybvg, then pursuant to Section 7, Rule 66 of the

1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, the action for quo warranto should be brought in the Regional Trial Court exercising jurisdiction over the territorial area where the respondents or any of the respondents resides. However, the Executive Judge of RTC, Naga City refused to receive the case folder of the subject case for quo warranto, stating that improper venue is not a ground for transferring a quo warranto case to another administrative jurisdiction. The RTC-Br. 58 then proceeded to issue and serve summons on herein petitioners (respondents below). Petitioner Tabora filed his Answer dated June 8, 2005, raising therein the affirmative defenses of (1) improper venue, (2) lack of jurisdiction, and (3) wrong remedy of quo warranto. Thereafter, the other petitioners also filed their Answer, also raising the same affirmative defenses. On March 13, 2001, A.M. No. 01-2-04 SC was promulgated and took effect on April 1, 2001. From the foregoing discussion and historical background relative to the venue and jurisdiction to try and decide cases originally enumerated in Section 5 of PD 902-A and later under Section 5.2 of RA 8799, it is evident that the clear intent of the circular is to bestow the juridiction "to try and decide these cases to the "special courts" created under A.M. No. 00-11-03-SC. . . . Under Section 8, of the Interim Rules, [a] Motion to Dismiss is among the prohibited pleadings. On the otherhand, the Supreme Court under Administrative Order 8-01 has directed the transfer from the regular courts to the branches of the Regional Trial Courts specially designated to try and decide intra-corporate dispute. Petitioners no longer moved for reconsideration of the foregoing Order and, instead, immediately elevated the case to this Court via a petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure.

Issue: Whether or not the RTC of Co-Equal court having concurrent jurisdiction and whether or not the following Circular AM No 00-11-03-SC will be applied in this cases?

Held: Petition Granted. Note, further, that respondents petition for quo warranto was filed as late as 2005. A.M. No. 0303-03-SC took effect as early as July 1, 2003 and it was clearly provided therein that such petitions shall be filed in the Office of the Clerk of Court in the official station of the designated Special Commercial Court. Since the official station of the designated Special Commercial Court for Camarines Sur is the Regional Trial Court in Naga City, respondents should have filed their petition with said court. A.M. No. 00-11-03-SC having been in effect for four years and A.M. No. 03-03-03-SC having been in effect for almost two years by the time respondents filed their petition, there is no cogent reason why respondents were not aware of the appropriate court where their petition should be filed.

The ratiocination of RTC-Br.58 that Administrative Circular No. 08-2001 authorized said trial court to order the transfer of respondents petition to the Regional Trial Court of Naga City is specious because as of the time of filing of the petition, A.M. No. 03-03-03-SC, which clearly stated that cases formerly cognizable by the SEC should be filed with the Office of the Clerk of Court in the official station of the designated Special Commercial Court, had been in effect for almost two years. Thus, the filing of the petition with the Regional Trial Court of San Jose, Camarines Sur, which had no jurisdiction over those kinds of actions, was clearly erroneous.

[2][4]

Otherwise known as the Local Government Code of 1991. Section 44 provides:

Section 44. Permanent Vacancies in the Offices of the Governor, Vice-Governor, Mayor, and Vice-Mayor. - If a permanent vacancy occurs in the office of the governor or mayor, the vicegovernor or vice-mayor concerned shall become the governor or mayor. If a permanent vacancy occurs in the offices of the governor, vice-governor, mayor, or vice-mayor, the highest ranking sanggunian member or, in case of his permanent inability, the second highest ranking sanggunian member, shall become the governor, vice-governor, mayor or vice-mayor, as the case may be. Subsequent vacancies in the said office shall be filled automatically by the other sanggunian members according to their ranking as defined herein. (a) If a permanent vacancy occurs in the office of the punong barangay, the highest ranking sanggunian barangay member or, in case of his permanent inability, the second highest ranking sanggunian member, shall become the punong barangay. (b) A tie between or among the highest ranking sanggunian members shall be resolved by the drawing of lots. (c) The successors as defined herein shall serve only the unexpired terms of their predecessors. For purposes of this Chapter, a permanent vacancy arises when an elective local official fills a higher vacant office, refuses to assume office, fails to qualify, dies, is removed from office, voluntarily resigns, or is otherwise permanently incapacitated to discharge the functions of his office. For purposes of succession as provided in the Chapter, ranking in the sanggunian shall be determined on the basis of the proportion of votes obtained by each winning candidate to the total number of registered voters in each district in the immediately preceding local election.

G.R. No. L-13602

April 6, 1918

LEUNG BEN, plaintiff, vs. P. J. O'BRIEN, JAMES A OSTRAND and GEO. R. HARVEY, judges of First Instance of city of Manila,defendants. Facts: An application for a writ of certiorari was filed to quash an attachment issued from the Court of First Instance of the City of Manila. ON December 12, 1917, an action was filed in the Court of First Instance of the city of Manila by P. J. O'Brien to recover from Leung Ben the sum of P15,000 alleged to have been lost by the OBrien to the Ben in a series of gambling, banking and percentage games two or three months prior to the institution of the suit. In his verified complaint the OBrien asked for an attachment, against the property of the Ben, on the ground that the latter was about to depart from the Philippine islands with intent to defraud his creditors. The attachment was issued; and acting under the authority thereof, the sheriff attached the sum of P15,000 which had been deposited by Ben with the International Banking Corporation. Ben for his part moved to quash the attachment, but was dismissed in the CFI. Leung Ben then filed petiiton for the writ of certiorari against OBrien and judges of the CFI. The prayer is that the Honorable James A. Ostrand, as the judge having cognizance of the action in said court be required to certify the record to this court for review and that the order of attachment which had been issued should be revoked and discharged. with costs. Upon the filing of said petition in this court the usual order was entered requiring the defendants to show cause why the writ should not issue. The response of the defendants, in the nature of a demurrer, was filed upon January 21, 1918; and the matter is now heard upon the pleadings thus presented.

Held: Under section 514 of the Code of Civil Procedure the Supreme Court has original jurisdiction by the writ of certiorari over the proceedings of Courts of First Instance, wherever said courts have exceeded their jurisdiction and there is no plaint, speedy, and adequate remedy. In the same section, it is

further declared that the proceedings in the Supreme Court in such cases hall be as prescribed for Courts of First Instance in section 217-221, inclusive, of said Code. This Supreme Court, so far as applicable, the provisions contained in those section to the same extent as if they had been reproduced verbatim immediately after section 514. Turning to section 217, we find that, in defining the conditions under which certiorari can be maintained in a Court of First Instance substantially the same language is used as is the same remedy can be maintained in the Supreme Court of First Instance, substantially the same language is used as is found in section 514 relative to the conditions under which the same remedy can be maintained in the Supreme Court, namely, when the inferior tribunal has exceeded its jurisdiction and there is no appeal, nor any plain, speedy and adequate remedy. In using these expressions the author of the Code of Civil Procedure merely adopted the language which, in American jurisdictions at least, had long ago reached the stage of stereotyped formula. In section 220 of the same Code, we have a provision relative to the final proceedings in certiorari, and herein it is stated that the court shall determine whether the inferior tribunal has regularly pursued its authority it shall give judgment either affirming annulling, or modifying the proceedings below, as the law requires. The expression, has not regularly pursued its authority as here used, is suggestive, and we think it should be construed in connection with the other expressions have exceeded their jurisdiction, as used in section 514, and has exceeded their jurisdiction as used in section 217. Taking the three together, it results in our opinion that any irregular exercise of juridical power by a Court of First Instance, in excess of its lawful jurisdiction, is remediable by the writ of certiorari, provided there is no other plain, speedy, and adequate remedy; and in order to make out a case for the granting of the writ it is not necessary that the court should have acted in the matter without any jurisdiction whatever. Indeed the repeated use of expression excess of jurisdiction shows that the lawmaker contemplated the situation where a court, having jurisdiction should irregularly transcend its authority as well as the situation where the court is totally devoid of lawful power. It may be observed in this connection that the word jurisdiction as used in attachment cases, has reference not only to the authority of the court to entertain the principal action but also to its authority to issue the attachment, as dependent upon the existence of the statutory ground. (6 C. J., 89.) This distinction between jurisdiction to issue the attachment as an ancillary remedy incident to the principal litigation is of importance; as a court's jurisdiction over the main action may be complete, and yet it may lack authority to grant an attachment as ancillary to such action. This distinction between jurisdiction over the ancillary has been recognized by this court in connection with actions involving the appointment of a receiver. Thus in Rocha & Co. vs. Crossfield and Figueras (6 Phil. Rep., 355), a receiver

had been appointed without legal justification. It was held that the order making the appointment was beyond the jurisdiction of the court; and though the court admittedly had jurisdiction of the main cause, the order was vacated by this court upon application a writ of certiorari. (See Blanco vs. Ambler, 3 Phil. Rep., 358, Blanco vs. Ambler and McMicking 3 Phil. Rep., 735, Yangco vs. Rohde, 1 Phil. Rep., 404.) By parity of reasoning it must follow that when a court issues a writ of attachment for which there is no statutory authority, it is acting irregularly and in excess of its jurisdiction, in the sense necessary to justify the Supreme Court in granting relief by the writ of certiorari. In applying this proposition it is of course necessary to take account of the difference between a ground of attachment based on the nature of the action and a ground of attachment based on the acts or the conditions of the defendant. Every complaint must show a cause of action some sort; and when the statue declares that the attachment may issue in an action arising upon contract, the express or implied, it announces a criterion which may be determined from an inspection of the language of the complaint. The determination of this question is purely a matter of law. On the other hand, when the stature declares that an attachment may be issued when the defendant is about to depart from the Islands, a criterion is announced which is wholly foreign to the cause of action; and the determination of it may involve a disputed question of fact which must be decided by the court. In making this determination, the court obviously acts within its powers; and it would be idle to suppose that the writ of certiorari would be available to reverse the action of a Court of First Instance in determining the sufficiency of the proof on such a disputed point, and in granting or refusing the attachment accordingly. We should not be understood, in anything that has been said, as intending to infringe the doctrine enunciated by this court in Herrera vs. Barretto and Joaquin (25 Phil. Rep., 245), when properly applied. It was there held that we would not, upon application for a writ of certiorari, dissolve an interlocutory mandatory injunction that had been issued in a Court of First Instance as an incident in an action of mandamus. The issuance of an interlocutory injunction depends upon conditions essentially different from those involved in the issuance of an attachment. The injunction is designed primarily for the prevention of irreparable injury and the use of the remedy is in a great measure dependent upon the exercise of discretion. Generally, it may be said that the exercise of the injunctive powers is inherent in judicial authority; and ordinarily it would be impossible to distinguish between the jurisdiction of the court in the main litigation and its jurisdiction to grant an interlocutory injunction, for the latter is involved in the former. That the writ of certiorari can not be used to reverse an order denying a motion for a preliminary injunction is of course not to cavil. (Somes vs. Crossfield and Molina, 8 Phil. Rep., 284.)

But it will be said that the writ of certiorari is not available in this cae, because the petitioner is protected by the attachment bond, and that he has a plain, speedy, and adequate remedy appeal. This suggestion seems to be sufficiently answered in the case of Rocha & Co vs. Crossfield and Figueras (6 Phil. Rep., 355), already referred to, and the earlier case there cited. The remedy by appeal is not sufficiently speedy to meet the exigencies of the case. An attachment is extremely violent, and its abuse may often result in infliction of damage which could never be repaired by any pecuniary award at the final hearing. To postpone the granting of the writ in such a case until the final hearing and to compel the petitioner to bring the case here upon appeal merely in order to correct the action of the trial court in the matter of allowing the attachment would seem both unjust and unnecessary. G.R. No. L-9698 January 6, 1915

AGAPITO NAPA, petitioner, vs. JOHN P. WEISSENHAGEN, acting judge of the Court of First Instance of Surigao, ET AL., respondents Facts: In February, 1913, there was begun in the justice's court of Gigaquit, Surigao, an action for the summary recovery of the possession of land under section 80 and following sections of the Code of Civil Procedure, the plaintiff in the case at bar being the defendant there and the defendants Julian Larong and Hermenegildo Bayla being the plaintiffs. The justice's court tried the cause, found in favor of the plaintiff and ordered delivery of possession. The decision was rendered on the 14th of April, 1913, and appeal was taken therefrom on the 29th of the same month. The cause having arrived in the Court of First Instance for determination on the appeal, a motion was made by the appellee to dismiss the appeal on the ground that it had not been perfected within the time required by law. The court entertained this motion, granted it, and dismissed the appeal. The purpose of this proceeding is to obtain a writ of certiorari for the revision of the record of the court below, the revocation of the judgment entered upon the order granting the motion to dismiss the appeal, and to set aside the whole proceeding to the ground that the court lacked jurisdiction to dismiss the appeal. Held:

As is seen, a mere statement of the case is sufficient to deny the relief prayed for. It is clear at a glance that the Court of First Instance had jurisdiction to consider a motion to dismiss the appeal and the exercise of that jurisdiction did not result in its loss, it having been exercised in accordance with the established forms and methods of procedure prescribed by the practice of the country. We have held in numerous case that a writ ofcertiorari will not be issued unless it clearly appears that the court to which it is to be directed acted without or in excess of jurisdiction in performing the acts complained of. We have also held that if a court had jurisdiction of the subject matter and of the person, decision upon all question pertinent to the cause are decisions which its jurisdiction and however irregular or erroneous they may be, they cannot be corrected by certiorari. A Court of First Instance has jurisdiction to dismiss an appeal taken to it from a judgment of a justice's court and, therefore, had jurisdiction to decide every question pertaining thereto. This being the case, the consideration of the motion and the dismissal of the appeal as a consequence thereof are not acts in excess of jurisdiction. It may be stated as a general rule that the decision by a court of one of the fundamental question before it does not, except perhaps in cases involving a constitutional question, deprive it of jurisdiction whichever way it may decide. Jurisdiction is the authority to hear and determine a cause, the right to act in a case. Since it is the power to hear and determine, it does not depend either upon the regularity of the exercise of that power or upon the rightfulness of the decision made. Jurisdiction should be distinguished from the exercise of jurisdiction. The authority to decide a case at all and not the decision rendered therein is what makes up jurisdiction. Where there is jurisdiction of the person and the subject matter, the decision of all other question arising in the case is but an exercise of that jurisdiction. (Herrera vs. Barretto, 25 Phil. Rep., 245; Gala vs. Cui, 25 Phil. Rep., 522; De Fiesta vs. Llorente, 25 Phil. Rep., 554.) The writ of certiorari in so far as it was a method by which mere errors of an inferior court could be corrected no longer exists. Its place is now taken by the appeal. So long as the inferior court maintains jurisdiction, its errors can be corrected only by that method. The writ in this country has been confined to the correction of defects of jurisdiction solely and cannot be legally used for any other purpose. (Id.) The facts that the complaint in the justice's court appeared in its phraseology somewhat like a complaint in ejectment, and that the judgment of the justice's court took on also something of the color of a judgment in such an action; and the fact that such judgment contains some provisions which a justice's court is perhaps without authority to insert in its judgments is of no particular consequence in the proceeding before us. If the judgment of the justice's court was void, it was nevertheless appealable, although the losing party might have been able to rid himself of it by other means. Having been appealed, it stands upon substantially the same footing in the appellate

court, so far as the appeal itself is concerned, as any other judgment of a justice's court and the jurisdiction of the appellate court in that appeal is as full and complete as it is in any other. San Pedro vs Asdala G.R. No. 164560 Facts: This resolves the petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court, praying that the Resolutions [1] of the Court of Appeals (CA) dated September 15, 2003 and June 1, 2004, respectively, in CA-G.R. SP No. 78978, be reversed and set aside. Sometime in July 2001, private respondents, heirs of spouses Apolonio and Valeriana Dionisio, filed with the Metropolitan Trial Court (MeTC) of Quezon City, Branch 42, a Complaint[2] against herein petitioners and Wood Crest Residents Association, Inc., for Accion Reivindicatoria, Quieting of Title and Damages, with Prayer for Preliminary Mandatory Injunction. Private respondents alleged that subject property located in Batasan Hills, Quezon City, with an assessed value ofP32,100.00, was titled in the name of spouses Apolonio and Valeriana Dionisio; but petitioners, with malice and evident bad faith, claimed that they were the owners of a parcel of land that encompasses and covers subject property. Private respondents had allegedly been prevented from entering, possessing and using subject property. It was further alleged in the Complaint that petitioners' Transfer Certificate of Title over their alleged property was spurious. Private respondents then prayed that they be declared the sole and absolute owners of the subject property; that petitioners be ordered to surrender possession of subject property to them; that petitioners and Wood Crest and/or its members be ordered to pay actual and moral damages, and attorney's fees. Petitioners, for their part, filed a Motion to Dismiss [3] said complaint on the ground that the MeTC had no jurisdiction over the subject matter of the action, as the subject of litigation was incapable of pecuniary estimation.

The MeTC then issued an Order[4] dated July 4, 2002 denying the motion to dismiss, ruling that, under Batas Pambansa (B.P.) Blg. 129, as amended, the MeTC had exclusive original jurisdiction over actions involving title to or possession of real property of small value. Petitioners assailed the aforementioned Order by filing a petition for certiorari with the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Quezon City, Branch

87. However, in its Decision[5] dated March 10, 2003, the RTC dismissed the petition, finding no grave abuse of discretion on the part of the MeTC Presiding Judge. The RTC sustained the MeTC ruling, stating that, in accordance with Section 33(3) of Republic Act (R.A.) No. 7691, amending B.P. Blg. 129, the MeTC had jurisdiction over the complaint for Accion Reivindicatoria, as it involves recovery of ownership and possession of real property located in Quezon City, with an assessed value not exceeding P50,000.00. A Motion for Reconsideration [6] of the Decision was filed by petitioners, but was denied in an Order[7] dated July 3, 2003.

Petitioners then filed with the Court of Appeals another petition for certiorari, insisting that both the MeTC and RTC acted with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction by not ordering the dismissal of the complaint forAccion Reivindicatoria, for lack of jurisdiction over the same. In the assailed CA Resolution dated September 15, 2003, the CA dismissed the petition outright, holding that certiorari was not available to petitioners as they should have availed themselves of the remedy of appeal. Petitioners' motion for reconsideration of the resolution of dismissal was denied per Resolution[8] dated June 1, 2004. Held: The present Petition for Certiorari is doomed and should not have been entertained from the very beginning.

The settled rule is that appeals from judgments or final orders or resolutions of the CA should be by a verified petition for review on certiorari, as provided for under Rule 45 of the Revised Rules of Civil Procedure. Thus, in Pasiona, Jr. v. Court of Appeals,[10] the Court expounded as follows:

The aggrieved party is proscribed from assailing a decision or final order of the CA via Rule 65, because such recourse is proper only if the party has no plain, speedy and adequate remedy in the course of law. In this case, petitioner had an adequate remedy, namely, a petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court. A petition for review on certiorari, not a special civil action for certiorari was, therefore, the correct remedy.

xxxx

Settled is the rule that where appeal is available to the aggrieved party, the special civil action for certiorari will not be entertained remedies of appeal and certiorari are mutually exclusive, not alternative or successive. Hence, certiorari is not and cannot be a substitute for a lost appeal, especially if one's own negligence or error in one's choice of remedy occasioned such loss or lapse. One of the requisites of certiorari is that there be no available appeal or any plain, speedy and adequate remedy. Where an appeal was available, as in this case, certiorari will not prosper, even if the ground therefor is grave abuse of discretion. Petitioner's resort to this Court by Petition for Certiorari was a fatal procedural error, and the instant petition must, therefore, fail.[11]

For the very same reason given above, the CA, therefore, acted properly when it dismissed the petition for certiorari outright, on the ground that petitioners should have resorted to the remedy of appeal instead of certiorari. Verily, the present Petition for Certiorari should not have been given due course at all.