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JAIME BELTRAN LUZ, petitioner, vs.

NATIONAL AMNESTY COMMISSION,


respondent.
SECOND DIVISION

January 10, 2003, within which to file his petition. The petitioner filed
his petition for review with the Court of Appeals on January 10, 2003.

On January 13, 2003, the CA issued a Resolution granting the


petitioners first motion for a fifteen-day extension counted from
December 7, 2002 or until December 22, 2002, within which to file
said petition.

On February 20, 2003, the CA issued a Resolution denying


petitioners second motion for having been filed out of time. The
petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration of the February 20, 2003
Resolution claiming that, since the last day to file his petition was a
Saturday, December 7, 2002, and the next day, December 8, 2002
was a Sunday, the last day for filing the petition was December 9,
2002. He reasoned that since he filed his motion for extension of
time to file his petition for review on the said date, the said motion
was timely filed.

On August 19, 2003, the CA issued a Resolution denying the


petitioners motion, relying on A.M. No. 00-2-14-SC issued on
February 29, 2000, which provides that any extension of time to file
the required pleading should be counted from the expiration of the
period regardless of the fact that the said due date is a Saturday,
Sunday, or legal holiday.

[G.R. No. 159708. September 24, 2004]


FACTS:

On July 18, 1988, petitioner was charged with violation of


Presidential Decree No. 1866 (illegal possession of firearms) in the
Regional Trial Court of Makati City.

On March 22, 2000, the petitioner filed an application for amnesty


with the Local Amnesty Board for Metro Manila. The board denied
the said application.

On August 26, 2002, the National Amnesty Commission (NAC)


affirmed the decision of the Local Amnesty Board. The motion for
reconsideration thereof was denied by the NAC, per its Resolution, a
copy of which was received by the petitioner on November 22, 2002.

Under the NAC Administrative Order No. 2, petitioner had until


December 7, 2002, a Saturday, within which to file a petition for
review of the said resolution with the Court of Appeals.
On December 9, 2002, the petitioner filed a motion in the appellate
court for an extension of fifteen (15) days from December 9, 2002, or
until December 24, 2002 within which to file his petition. The
petitioner alleged therein that he had just engaged the services of
counsel who needed additional time to study the case and draft the
petition. However, the petitioner failed to file his petition for review.

December 24, 2002 was declared a national holiday; December 25,


2002 was also a holiday.

On December 26, 2002, the petitioner filed a second motion for


extension of fifteen (15) days from December 26, 2002 or until

ISSUE: WON the petitioner timely filed his second motion for extension of
time to file his petition for review. NO, CA was correct in denying
petitioners second motion for extension
HELD:
Section 1, Rule 22, of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure provides:
Section 1. How to compute time. In computing any period of time
prescribed or allowed by these Rules, or by order of the court, or by any
applicable statute, the day of the act or event from which the designated
period of time begins to run is to be excluded and the date of performance
included. If the last day of the period, as thus computed, falls on a Saturday,
a Sunday, or a legal holiday in the place where the court sits, the time shall
not run until the next working day.

The extension granted by the Court of Appeals should be tacked to the


original period and commences immediately after the expiration of such
period. Under the Resolution of this Court in A.M. No. 00-2-14-SC, the CA
has no discretion to reckon the commencement of the extension it granted
from a date later than the expiration of such period, regardless of the fact that
said due date is a Saturday, Sunday, or a legal holiday.
The Court of Appeals cannot be faulted for granting the petitioners first
motion for extension of fifteen (15) days within which to file his petition for
review, reckoned from December 7, 2002, and not from December 9, 2002
as prayed for by the petitioner. In so doing, it merely applied, with fealty,
Section 1, Rule 22 of the Revised Rules of Court, as amended, as clarified
by the Court via its Resolution in A.M. No. 00-2-14-SC. Had the CA granted
the petitioners first motion for extension and reckoned the fifteen-day period
from December 9, 2002, instead of from December 7, 2002, the appellate
court would have acted with grave abuse of its discretion.
Prescinding from the foregoing considerations, we agree with the petitioners
plea for a liberal interpretation and application of A.M. No. 00-2-14-SC in light
of the peculiar factual mileu in this case. It appears that the petitioners
counsel relied in good faith on the ruling of this Court in Moskowsky.
Moreover, the petitioner filed his petition for review on the same day, January
13, 2003, even before the CA granted his first motion for extension of time to
file his petition for review. In fine, when the CA granted the petitioners first
motion, the petitioner had already filed his petition for review even as his
second motion for extension had yet to be resolved by the CA. As we ruled
in Labad v. University of Southeastern Philippines:
The underpinning consideration in Moskowsky, Vda. de Capulong and in the
case at bar, is the liberal interpretation of the Rules to achieve substantial
justice. Petitioner would be outright denied her right to appeal if the original
period of December 26, 1998 would be the basis of the 15-day extension
period. While the right to appeal is a statutory, not a natural right,
nonetheless it is an essential part of our judicial system and courts should
proceed with caution so as not to deprive a party of the right to appeal, but
rather, ensure that every party-litigant has the amplest opportunity for the

proper and just disposition of his cause, freed from the constraints of
technicalities.
The unfairness of the situation becomes even more apparent when we
consider the fact that petitioner received notice that the extension was to be
counted from the original period and not from the date that she had prayed
for, a month after she had already filed her petition