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COMMENT/ANSWER

Petition for Relief from Judgment


Civil Case No. Br. 20-3137

Republic of the Philippines


Second Judicial Region
REGIONAL TRIAL COURT
Branch 20
Cauayan City, Isabela

PRISCILLANO ESPEJO represented


by his attorney-in-fact, NELLY
ESPEJO,
Plaintiff/s,
CIVIL CASE NO.
BR.20-3137

-versusZOILO
BAYLON
BAYLON

and

ISABELO

Defendants.
x-----------------------x

COMMENT/ANSWER
WITH GREATEST RESPECT, Plaintiff by counsel and to this
Honorable Court, as comment/answer to Defendants Petition for Relief
from Judgment, Orders and other Proceedings, states that:
ANTECEDENTS
1. On 20 November 2014, the Honorable Court issued a
Decision, its dispositive portion reads:
WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing,
judgment is hereby rendered in favor of plaintiff
Priscillano Espejo and against defendant Zoilo
and Isabelo Baylon as follows:
1.

Directing defendant Zoilo Baylon and


Isabelo Baylon and all other persons
claiming rights under them, to vacate
and
surrender
peacefully
the
possession of the parcel of land with
respect to an area of 1,600 square
meters embraced in TCT No. T-118217
registered in the name plaintiff
Pricillano Espejo;

2.

Ordering defendant Zoilo Baylon to


accept payment of the plaintiff in the

COMMENT/ANSWER
Petition for Relief from Judgment
Civil Case No. Br. 20-3137

amount of P70,000 as agreed upon in


the Katulagan Iti Panangibanag;
3.

No award for atorneys fees as the


plaintiff failed to present and submit in
evidence the official receipt duly
registered with the Bureau of Internal
Revenue showing payment of the
attorneys fees;

4.

An award of
damages; and

5.

An award of P10,000 as exemplary


damages.

P10,000

as

moral

SO ORDERED.

2. In her motion dated 15 January 2015, the Plaintiff filed her


motion for the issuance of the an Order Nunc Pro Tunc for the
clarification of paragraph 1 of the Decision of the Honorable
Court dated 20 November 2014;
3. On 16 March 2015, the Honorable Court issued an order
granting the motion of the plaintiff which extensively
explained the office of a nunc pro tunct order, the fallo
reads:
WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing, the
Certificate of Finality dated January 9, 2014 is
hereby RECALLED and SET ASIDE. An Order
Nunc Pro Tunc is hereby issued clarifying
paragraph 1 of the dispositive portion of the
Decision dated November 20, 2014 to read as
follows:
1. Directing defendant Zoilo Baylon and
Isabelo Baylon and all other persons
claiming rights under them, to vacate and
surrender peacefully the possession of the
parcel of land embraced in TCT No. T118217 registered in the name [of] plaintiff
Pricillano Espejo;

SO ORDERED.
4. In line with the Order dated 16 March 2015, the Clerk of
Court issued a Certificate of Finality dated 16 April 2015;

COMMENT/ANSWER
Petition for Relief from Judgment
Civil Case No. Br. 20-3137

5. A motion for the execution of the Decision was granted by the


Court. Thus, on 13 May 2015, the Court Sheriff caused the
service of the Writ of Execution which was duly implemented 1.
6. For reasons stated in their petition, defendants are essentially
praying2 for relief from the Order of the Honorable Court
dated 16 March 2015 (the order granting the motion of the
plaintiffs for the issuance of a nunc pro tunc order);

ARGUMENTS
(IN ANSWER/OPPOSITION TO THE PETITION)

THE
ORDER
DATED
16
MARCH
2015
WAS
NOT
TAKEN THROUGH FRAUD;
THE
ORDER
DATED
16
MARCH
2015
WAS
NOT
RENDERED BY FRAUD MUCH
LESS DID IT PREVENT THE
DEFENDANTS FROM TAKING
AN APPEAL TO THE 20
NOVEMBER 2015 DECISION
OF THE HONORABLE COURT.
7. At the outset, it is worth emphasizing that the records of the
case would show that the defendants and their counsel were
duly furnished of a copy of the Decision dated 20 November
2014. Fully aware of the contents and substance of the
Decision of the Honorable Court, defendants and their counsel
never filed any motion whatsoever questioning the same. On
the contrary, it was plaintiff who filed a motion nunc pro tunc
relative to the decision, which has already attained
finality, when she learned that it does not conform to the
evidence presented.
8. Again, the records would show that the defendants were duly
furnished with a copy of the motion of the of the plaintiff for
the issuance of an order nunc pro tunc for the clarification
of the Decision dated 20 November 2014, but still, they
failed to file any comment to the motion and/or appear on 23
January 2015, the schedule of the hearing of the motion;
9. The Rules are clear that a Petition for Relief may be filed from
a judgment or final order entered, or any other proceeding
taken against a party in any court through fraud, accident,

1
2

See Sheriffs Return, records.


See Paragraph 3 and 9 of the instant Petition of the Defendants;

COMMENT/ANSWER
Petition for Relief from Judgment
Civil Case No. Br. 20-3137

mistake, or excusable negligence3 or a judgment or final


order is rendered when a party, by fraud, accident, mistake,
or excusable negligence, has been prevented from taking an
appeal4
10.
From the allegations5 of the petition itself, we pose
the question May the Order dated 16 March 2015 clarifying
the paragraph 1 of the 20 November 2014 Decision of the
Honorable Court in the nature of a final judgment, order or
other proceeding which maybe the subject of the instant
petition? The answer is a resounding no.
11.
It bears stressing that the Order dated 16 March
2015 is not an Order or Judgment which has to be entered in
the Book of Entries of the Judgment but the 20 November
2015 Decision. Be it remembered that the 16 march 2015
Order merely clarified paragraph 1 of the 20 November
2014 Decision. Also, the 16 March 2015 Order of the
Honorable Court did not prevent the parties from taking an
appeal from the 20 November 2014 Decision which has
become final and executory as early as the lapse of fifteen
days from notice of the defendants.
12.
More importantly, there is no allegation much less
proof
to
substantiate
that
fraud6
attended
the
issuance/rendition of the Order dated 16 March 2015 which
merely clarified the Decision dated 20 November 2014. It
must not escape the mind of the Honorable Court that the
defendants were duly notified of all the proceedings and
processes in Civil Case No. Br. 20-3137. The defendants
and their counsel were duly furnished of a Copy of the
Decision dated 20 November 2014.
13.
The Honorable Court must not fall to the contrived
fraud allegedly committed by their former counsel to justify
the instant petition. Where fraud is the ground, the fraud
must be extrinsic or collateral. The extrinsic or collateral
fraud that invalidates a final judgment must be such that it
prevented the unsuccessful party from fully and fairly
presenting his case or defense and the losing party from
having an adversarial trial of the issue. There is extrinsic
fraud when a party is prevented from fully presenting his
case to the court as when the lawyer connives to defeat or
corruptly sells out his clients interest. Extrinsic fraud can be
committed by a counsel against his client when the latter is
prevented from presenting his case to the court.7
3

Sec 1, Rule 38 of the Rules of Court;


Sec 2, Rule 38, of the Rules of Court
5
Ibid
6
Paragraph 11, 12, and 13 of the Petition;
7
Sy Bang v. Sy, 604 Phil. 606, 625 (2009) [Per J. Chico-Nazario, Third Division], citing Garcia v. Court of
Appeals, 279 Phil. 242, 249 (1991) [Per J. Sarmiento, Second Division]
4

COMMENT/ANSWER
Petition for Relief from Judgment
Civil Case No. Br. 20-3137

14.
Truth to be told the defendants were given all the
opportunity to present their claims and defenses in court but
they did not exercise diligence in pursuing their case. Their
were informed of the processes of the Honorable Court and
was also duly notified of the motions of the plaintiffs. The fact
remains that defendants received a copy of the 20 November
2014 Decision but did nothing about it, the same being, in
substance, favourable to their interest. Hence, to pass on the
blame and to allege extrinsic fraud is but unfair to their
former counsel.
15.
Simply put, the alleged non-notification of the pretrial by the Honorable Court and by their counsel is not an
extrinsic fraud contemplated by law and jurisprudence. The
petition itself is devoid of any allegation/s stating the facts
constituting the fraud committed by their former counsel to
justify the instant petition. The defendants have only
themselves to blame. They alleged no proof to the effect that
they went to their former counsel or at least to the Honorable
Court to check or verify the progress of their case.
MOTION TO DISMISS
THE PETITION IS FILED OUT
OF TIME.
16.
The plaintiff-respondent re-pleads and all the
foregoing allegations in support of her motion to dismiss the
petition;
17.
Verily, the subject of the instant petition is the
Decision dated 20 November 2014 which was clarified by
the 16 March 2015 Order. The Decision has attained finality
after the lapse of 15 days from the time the defendants
received their copy of the same without taking any appeal
thereon. Records would reveal that it was not only the former
counsel, Atty. Gilbert Bautista who was furnished by the
Honorable Court of a copy of the Decision, but also the
defendants themselves.
18.
By filing the instant Petition for Relief from
Judgment, the defendants essentially are admitting that the
Decision dated 20 November 2014 in Civil Case No. Br. 20
3137 is already final and executory. To save themselves from
the consequences of the said decision which was merely
clarified by virtue of the Order Nunc Pro Tunc dated 16 March
2015, they filed the instant petition as a last ditch effort. But
they are mistaken. They are already time-barred.
19.
A Petition for Relief from Judgment is an equitable
remedy provided by law and the rules against a final and
executory judgement, however, it must comply with the two
5

COMMENT/ANSWER
Petition for Relief from Judgment
Civil Case No. Br. 20-3137

(2) reglementary periods which are (a) it must be filed within


sixty (60) days after the petitioner learns of the final
judgment, final order, or other proceeding to be set aside and
(b) not more than six (6) months after such judgment or final
order was entered or such proceeding taken;
20.
The records of the case and as alleged in the
petition, it is clear that the petition is time-barred. The
allegation that the defendants came to know of the 16 March
2015 for the first time in 13 May 2015 is of no moment. It
does not remove the fact that the 60-day period has already
expired and conveniently put them in a situation where they
can file the instant petition. The defendants are misleading
the Court that the presumed date of entry or the date of
finality of the Decision dated 20 November 2014 is 16 April
2015, which is merely the date of the issuance of the
Certificate of Finality.
21.
To reiterate, the 20 November 2014 Decision has
attained finality and the date of finality is the date of its entry
in the Book of Judgments 8. The record itself will speak that
the 60-day period has already expired. On this score, the
petition must be dismissed.
22.
Finally, the plaintiff is already in possession of the
subject property as the Writ of Execution was already duly
implemented. In line with this, plaintiff pray before the
Honorable Court to order defendants to refrain from
committing acts of violence and intimidation against the
plaintiff and/or her tenants/laborers in line with the 20
November 2014 Decision. Consequently, there is no need for
the Court to pass upon the prayer for Temporary Restraining
Order as the same is already mooted.
PRAYER
WHEREFORE, all told, it is prayed of this Honorable Court to
DISMISS the instant PETITION for (a) not being sufficient in form
and substance and (b) being time-barred.
OTHER RELIEFS, just and equitable under the premises are
likewise prayed for.
City of Ilagan. 12 August 2015.
DCLAW
Rizal Street, San Vicente, Ilagan City,
Isabela, Philippines

Sec 2, Rule 36, Rules of Court.

COMMENT/ANSWER
Petition for Relief from Judgment
Civil Case No. Br. 20-3137

By:
JONATHAN F. D. DE LA CRUZ
Roll of Attorney No. 48637
IBP Lifetime No. 013365
PTR OR No. 5720152 1/05/15, Isabela
MCLE Exemption No. VI-000902; 4-15-16

VERIFICATION
Republic of the Philippines
)
Province of Isabela
) Sc.
City of Ilagan
)
x------------------X
I, NELLY ESPEJO, whose personal circumstances has been mentioned earlier is
the same defendant-respondent who caused the preparation the foregoing
COMMENT/ANSWER, the contents of which I have read and are all true and correct
to the best of my personal knowledge and based on authentic documents.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto affixed my signature this 12
August 2015 at City of Ilagan, Isabela.

NELLY ESPEJO
Affiant
Posta ID 380277

SUBSCRIBED AND SWORN to before me in the City of Ilagan, Isabela, this


12th day of August 2015. Affiant exhibited to me her valid identification card showing
her photograph and signature as competent proof of her identity.
Doc. No. ___;
Page No. ___;
Book No. ___;
Series of 2015.

COPY FURNISHED and EXPLANATION


Copy of this MOTION is served by registered mail, instead of personal service, because the
offices of the respective counsels of the defendants and plaintiffs are distantly located and for lack of or
inadequate messengerial aide to make personal service to:
CARLOS P. SIMANGAN
2/F. Las Vegas Building
Rizal Avenue, District 1
Cauayan City, Isabela

JONATHAN F. D. DE LA CRUZ