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G.R. No.

73317 August 31, 1989

THOMAS YANG, petitioner,


vs.
THE HONORABLE MARCELINO R. VALDEZ, Presiding Judge, Regional Trial Court, 11th Judicial Region,
Branch XXII, General Santos City, SPS. RICARDO MORANTE and MILAGROS MORANTE, respondents.

NATURE OF ACTION:

Petition for Certiorari which seeks to annul and set aside the orders of the Regional Trial Court of General Santos
City, Branch 22. The assailed orders, respectively, had approved a replevin bond posted by respondents, denied
the counter-replevin bond filed by Manuel Yaphockun, and rejected petitioner Thomas Yang's counter replevin
bond.

MATERIAL FACTS:

Spouses Ricardo and Milagros Morante brought an action in the RTC against petitioner Thomas Yang
and Manuel Yaphockun, to recover possession of two (2) Isuzu-cargo trucks. They alleged that they had actual
use and possession of the two (2) cargo trucks from 1982-1984. However, the trucks were registered in the
name of petitioner Thomas Yang who was the Treasurer in the spouses’ business. The Morante spouses further
alleged that they were deprived of possession of the vehicles when it was held by the petitioner and despite of
repeated demands, failed to return it.

Respondents applied for a writ of replevin and put up a bond of P560,000.00 to recover the trucks. On 7 January
1985, the respondent judge issued an order of seizure directing the Provincial Sheriff to take immediate
possession and custody of the vehicles involved. The Sheriff carried out the order. On 10 January 1985,
defendant Manuel Yaphockun filed a motion seeking repossession of the cargo trucks, and posted counter-bond
of P560,000.00 executed by himself and one Narciso Mirabueno. The respondent judge promptly required the
respondent spouses to comment on the counter-bond. As a response, respondents amended their complaint and
dropped Manuel Yaphockun who no longer had legal personality in the case while the court ordered for the
delivery of the trucks.

Yang moved for an extension of fifteen (15) days within which to file an answer to the complaint for replevin.
Days later, petitioner put up a counter-bond of P560,000.00 which was rejected by the respondent judge for
having been filed out of time. Yang argued that respondent judge had committed grave abuse of discretion
amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction in approving the replevin bond. It is contended by petitioner that
replevin bond was merely an undertaking of the bondsmen to pay the sum of P560,000.00, that no tangible
security, such as "cash, property or surety," was placed thereby at the disposal and custody of the court.

ISSUES:
Whether or not respondent judge has committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess
of jurisdiction in approving the replevin bond and rejecting petitioner’s counter bond

RULING:

We agree with the conclusion of respondent judge that petitioner's right to file a counterbond had already
prescribed. We consider, accordingly, that respondent judge did not commit any grave abuse of discretion
amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction in issuing the orders here assailed.
WHEREFORE, the Resolution of the Court granting due course to the Petition is hereby WITHDRAWN and the
"Petition for Review on Appeal by Certiorari" is DENIED for lack of merit and the orders of respondent Judge
Marcelino R. Valdez are hereby AFFIRMED. No pronouncement as to costs.

RATIO DECIDENDI:

No, petitioner’s right to file a counter bond has already prescribed. The sufficiency of a bond is a matter
that is addressed to the sound discretion of the court which must approve the bond. In the case at bar, the
replevin bond given by the respondent Morante spouses was properly secured by the sureties themselves who
declared their solvency and capacity to answer for the undertaking assumed, through an Affidavit of
Justification. A defendant in a replevin suit may demand return of possession of the property replevied by filing
a redelivery bond within the periods specified in Sections 5 and 6 of Rule 60. Under Section 5, petitioner may "at
any time before the delivery of the property to the plaintiff" require the return of the property; in Section 6, he
may do so, "within five (5) days after the taking of the property by the officer." Both these periods are
mandatory in character. Thus, a lower court which approves a counter-bond filed beyond the statutory periods,
acts in excess of its jurisdiction. In the instant case, the cargo trucks were taken into custody by the Sheriff on 7
January 1985. Petitioner Yang's counter-replevin bond was filed on 25 January 1985 which exceeded the 5-day
statutory period.