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GCPMannyTransportServicesInc.

G.R. NO. 141484


Facts:
Respondentsfiledfordamagesforphysicalinjuriessustainedbyhimasapassengerof
GCPsbus.Thecourtruledinfavoroftherespondents.AcopywassenttoGCPbutitwas
returnedbecauseitmovedresidence.Acopythatwassenttothecounsel,Atty.Aquino,was
returnedunservedbeingunclaimed.GCPsaysthatacopywaspersonallyderivedbytheCivil
DocketClerkofthetrialcourtonAtty.Aquinowhorefusedtoreceiveitsayingheisnolonger
thecounsel,althoughnonoticeofwithdrawalwasfiled.
Respondentsfiledamotionforexecutionofthejudgmentwhichthecourtgrantedanda
writofexecutionwascorrespondinglyissued.Atty.JosedeLunaenteredhisappearanceasnew
counselwithmotionforreconsiderationandquashalofthewritofexecutiononthegroundthat
GCPhadnotbeendulynotifiedofthedecision.DespitethisGCPreceivedanoticeofdemand
forpaymentwiththeattachedwritofexecutionanddecision.GCPfiledanappealandwentto
CAallegingGADELEJbecausetheywerenotnotifiedofthedecisionandthereisnofactual
basisforthewrit.CAdeniedtheMR.HencethispetitiontotheSC.
GCP:whenthecopyofthedecisionwassenttoAtty.Aquinowasreturnedtosender,theJudge
causedtheserviceinopencourtwhenAtty.Aquinoappearedinthesalaforanothercase.This
shouldbedeemedashavingnonoticesinceitscounselrefusedtoreceiveacopy,suchact
constitutesgrossnegligencewhichdoesnotbindthepetitioner.Therewasalsonovalidservice
to Atty. Aquino because the civil docket clerk should have resorted to substituted service.
Therefore,thewritofexecutionanddenialofappealisnullandvoid.
Respondents:ThereisnorecordtoshowthatAtty.Aquinowithdrew.Thecopyofthedecision
mailedtohimbyregisteredmailissufficienttoserveasnotice.ItwasthedutyofGCPtonotify
thecourtthatAtty.Aquinowasnolongeritscounsel.Atty.Aquinodidnotfileanymotionto
withdraw,thusheremainedascounsel.
Issue:W/NtheCAerredinfindingthattherefusalofitscounselwasnegligencewhichshould
bindit?NO(W/NwritofexecutionisvalidYES)
Thegeneralrulesisthatclientsareboundbytheactionsoftheircounsel.Theonlyexceptionis
when the counsels acts are gross or palpable resulting in serous injustice. If the error or
negligence of the counsel did not result in the deprivation of due process to the client,
nullificationofthedecisiongroundedongraveabuseofdiscretionisnotwarranted.GCPwas
abletoparticipateintheproceedings,itwasdulypresentedbycounselduringthetrial.Itmay
havelostitsrighttoappealbutnotdenieditsdayincourt.Therighttoappealisnotanatural

rightbutonlyastatutoryprivilege.Whenthepetitionerisatfaultornotentirelyblameless,there
isnoreasontooverturnwellsettledjurisprudenceortointerprettherulesliberallyinitsfavor.
GCPfailedtoactwithprudenceanddiligencethuscannotelicitthecourtssympathy.Itwas
GCPsdutytobeintouchwithhiscounselandismandatedtoinquireaboutthestatusand
progressofthecasefromtimetotime.Itisalsoitsresponsibility,togetherwithcounsel,to
device a system for the receipt of mail. GCP did not inform the court that it severed its
relationshipwithAtty.Aquino.Itknewthatitdidnothaveanycounselwhenthedecisionofthe
trialcourtwasdueforpromulgationyetitdidnotengagetheservicesofanewonetosafeguard
its interests. The fact that Atty. Aquino refused to receive a copy of the decision and no
substitutedservicewaseffecteddoesnoterasethefactthatacopyofthetrialcourtdecisionhad
earlierbeensentbyregisteredmailtoAtty.Aquinowhichwasreturnedforthereasonthathehas
moved.Thisissufficientserviceofthedecisiononpetitionersinceserviceuponcounselof
recordathisgivenaddressisservicetopetitioner.Theruleisthatwhenapartyisrepresentedby
counselinanactionincourt,noticesofallkindsincludingmotions,pleadingsandordersmust
be served on the counsel. And notice to such counsel is notice to the client. A lawyers
withdrawalascounselmustbemadeinaformalpetitionfiledinthecase,withoutwhich,notice
ofjudgmentrenderedinthecaseservedonthecounselofrecord,is,foralllegalpurposes,notice
totheclient,thedateofreceiptofwhichisconsideredthestartingpointfromwhichtheperiodof
appealprescribedbylawshallbegintorun.Petitionerhavingfailedtoappealinduetime,the
trialcourtdidnotcommitanyerrororgraveabuseofdiscretioningrantingthemotionfor
execution.

WHEREFORE,thepetitionisherebyDISMISSEDforlackofmerit.