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Degayo vs. Magbuana-Dinglasan, et.al.

G.R. No. 173148, April 6, 2015


Facts: Degayo and the tenants claims ownership on the belief that the area was an
accretion to Lot No. 861. The respondents, on the other hand, argued that the
disputed property was an abandoned riverbed, which should rightfully belong to them
to compensate for the erstwhile portion of Lot No. 7328, over which the Jalaud River
presently runs.
Magbanua-Dinglasan filed a complaint for ownership and damages against the tenants,
with the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Iloilo (Civil Case No. 16047). Degayo sought to
intervene in Civil Case No. 16047 but her motion was denied. Notably, Degayo never
bothered to question the interlocutory order denying her motion for intervention by
filing a petition for certiorari. Instead, Degayo initiated the present suit against the
respondents for declaration of ownership with damages, also with the RTC of Iloilo,
Branch 22, docketed as Civil Case No. 18328, involving the disputed parcel of land. On
May 7, 1996, the RTC of Iloilo, Branch 27, rendered its decision in Civil Case No.
16047, in favor of the respondents which became final and executory. Meanwhile, in
Civil Case No. 18328, the court, a quo, found in favor of Degayo and declared the
property in question as an accretion to Lot No. 861.
The CA granted the respondents appeal and reversed and set aside the decision of
the RTC Branch 22 in Civil Case No. 18328. The CA likewise noted that the previous
RTC Branch decision in Civil Case No. 16047 is conclusive to the title of the thing,
being an aspect of the rule on conclusiveness of judgment. Degayo sought for
reconsideration but was denied. Hence this petition.
Issues:
1. Whether or not CA erred in taking judicial notice of the RTC decision in Civil
Case No. 16047, which was not even presented during the hearing of the
present case.
No. The CA may take judicial notice of Civil Case No. 16047. The taking of judicial
notice is a matter of expediency and convenience for it fulfills the purpose that
the evidence is intended to achieve, and in this sense, it is equivalent to
proof. Generally, courts are not authorized to "take judicial notice of the contents
of the records of other cases even when said cases have been tried or are pending
in the same court or before the same judge." While the principle invoked is
considered to be the general rule, this rule is not absolute. There are exceptions
to this rule. Like when there is a close connection with the matter in the
controversy and when determining whether or not the case pending is a moot one
or whether or not a previous ruling is applicable in the case under consideration.
The Court in citing Justice Edgardo L. Paras:
"A court will take judicial notice of its own acts and records in the same case,
of facts established in prior proceedings in the same case, of the authenticity

of its own records of another case between the same parties, of the files of
related cases in the same court, and of public records on file in the same
court. In addition judicial notice will be taken of the record, pleadings or
judgment of a case in another court between the same parties or involving one
of the same parties, as well as of the record of another case between different
parties in the same court. "
2. Whether or not CA erred in declaring the RTC Branch 27 decision in Civil Case
No. 16047 conclusive upon Degayo when she was not even a party in the said
Civil Case.
The CA did not err in declaring that the RTC Branch 27 Decision is conclusive to the
case even if Degayo is not a party to the case. The Court found that there is an
identity of parties in Civil Case No. 16047 and the present case. There is identity
of parties where the parties in both actions are the same, or there is privity
between them, or they are "successors-in-interest by title subsequent to the
commencement of the action, litigating for the same thing and under the same
title and in the same capacity. Absolute identity of parties is not required, shared
identity of interest is sufficient to invoke the coverage of this principle. Thus, it is
enough that there is a community of interest between a party in the first case and
a party in the second case even if the latter was not impleaded in the first case.
The court refused to subscribe to this technical interpretation of the Rules. In the
present case, assisted heretofore, petitioner had the fullest opportunity to lay
before the court her claim but the same was overruled. The fact that she was not
formally made a party defendant in the case would appear therefore to be a mere
technicality that would not serve the interest of the administration of justice.

Dynamic Builders and Construction Co. vs. Hon. Ricardo Presbitero, Jr.
G.R. No. 174202, April 7, 2015
Facts: The Bids and Awards Committee issued a Resolution affirming the award of
contract to HLJ Construction and Enterprise for the construction of the 1,050-linealmeter Construction Shoreline Protection Project amounting to P31,922,420.37. Bids
and Awards Committee Chairperson Celina C. Segunla wrote Engr. Raul F. Balandra of
Dynamic Builders to inform them of the Bids and Awards Committees findings and
decision. Dynamic Builders alleged that it submitted the letter containing a request
for the Bids and Awards Committee to furnish it with all submitted bid documents and
relevant Bids and Awards Committee resolutions, but this was denied. A subsequent
motion for reconsideration was also denied.
Dynamic Builders lodged a formal protest with the head of the procuring entity, Mayor
Ricardo P. Presbitero, Jr. (Mayor Presbitero), to set aside the Bids and Awards
Committee decision declaring Dynamic Builders bid as not substantially responsive. It
was dismissed. Pursuant to Article XVII, Section 58 of Republic Act No. 9184, otherwise
known as the Government Procurement Reform Act, Dynamic Builders filed the
Petition for Certiorari before the Regional Trial Court of Bago City, Negros Occidental,
assailing Mayor Presbiteros Decision and Resolution.
Simultaneously, Dynamic Builders filed this Petition 29 dated September 4, 2006 for
prohibition with application for temporary restraining order and/or writ of
preliminary injunction before this court.
Public respondents counter that petitioner "grossly violated the rules against splitting
a single cause of action, multiplicity of suits, and forum shopping . . . [and] availed of
an improper remedy and disregarded the rule on hierarchy of courts[.]"
Issues:
1. Whether petitioner violated the rules against the splitting of a cause of action,
multiplicity of suits, and forum shopping.
Yes, the petitioner violated the rules against the splitting of a cause of action,
multiplicity of suits, and forum shopping. The Petition filed before the Supreme
Court seeks to enjoin the execution of public respondents Decision and Resolution
on the protest the same Decision and Resolution sought to be set aside in the
Petition before the Regional Trial Court. In essence, petitioner seeks the same
relief through two separate Petitions filed before separate courts. This violates the
rule against forum shopping. Rule 2, Section 3 of the Rules of Court provides that
"[a] party may not institute more than one suit for a single cause of action."
Moreover, Section 4 discusses the splitting of a single cause of action in that "if two
or more suits are instituted on the basis of the same cause of action, the filing of
one or a judgment upon the merits in any one is available as a ground for the
dismissal of the others." The splitting of a cause of action "violate[s] the policy
against multiplicity of suits, whose primary objective [is] to avoid unduly
burdening the dockets of the courts."

2. Whether Article XVII, Section 58 of Republic Act No. 9184, in relation to


Republic Act No. 8975 and Presidential Decree No. 1818, allows Regional Trial
Courts to issue injunctive relief subject to the presence of certain conditions.
There is nothing in Republic Act No. 8975 or in Presidential Decree No. 1818
that allows the simultaneous availment of legal remedies before the Regional
Trial Court and the Supreme Court. Republic Act No. 8975, even when read with
Presidential Decree No. 1818, does not sanction the splitting of a cause of
action in order for a party to avail itself of the ancilliary remedy of a
temporary restraining order from the Supreme Court.
Petitioners reading of Republic Act No. 8975s repealing clause, such that only
the Supreme Court can issue injunctive relief, fails to persuade. The Court has
set the limit on the prohibition found in Presidential Decree No. 1818 by
explaining that lower courts are not prohibited from enjoining administrative
acts when questions of law exist and the acts do not involve administrative
discretion in technical cases: Although Presidential Decree No. 1818 prohibits
any court from issuing injunctions in cases involving infrastructure projects, the
prohibition extends only to the issuance of injunctions or restraining orders
against administrative acts in controversies involving facts or the exercise of
discretion in technical cases. On issues clearly outside this dimension and
involving questions of law, the Court declared that courts could not be
prevented from exercising their power to restrain or prohibit administrative
acts.
3. Whether respondents violated this courts September 18, 2006 status quo Order
in relation to the ongoing Construction Shoreline Protection Project.
No. This court has explained that status quo should be the one existing at the
time of the filing of the case: The status quo should be that existing at the
time of the filing of the case. The status quo usually preserved by a preliminary
injunction is the last actual, peaceable and uncontested status which preceded
the actual controversy. The status quo ante litem is, ineluctably, the state of
affairs which is existing at the time of the filing of the case. Indubitably, the
trial court must not make use of its injunctive power to alter such status.
In this case, the present existing condition on September 18, 2006, was the
ongoing construction." Relying in good faith on the ordinary meaning of status
quo as differentiated from status quo ante, respondents pushed through with
the construction, which had been the existing state of affairs at the time the
September 18, 2006 Resolution was issued.