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RECENT JURISPRUDENCE IN REMEDIAL LAW (JULY –

DECEMBER 2016)
CIVIL PROCEDURE

VENUE
Section 1, Rule 4 of the Rules of Court, in relation to Section 2 thereof, defines a real
action as one “affecting title to or possession of real property or interest therein”;
and all other actions are personal actions. A real action must be filed in the proper
court which has jurisdiction over the subject real property, while a personal action
may be filed where the plaintiff or defendant resides, or if the defendant is a
nonresident, where he may be found, at the election of the plaintiff. Personal
actions include those filed for recovery of personal property, or for enforcement of
contract or recovery of damages for its breach, or for the recovery of damages for
injury committed to a person or property. (Pamaran vs. Bank of Commerce, 795
SCRA 430, July 04, 2016)

CAUSE OF ACTION
A cause of action is an act or omission by which a person violates the right of
another. Its essential elements are: (1) plaintiff’s right, which arises from or is
created by whatever means, and is covered by whatever law; (2) defendant’s
obligation not to violate such right; and (3) defendant’s act or omission in violation
of the such right and for which plaintiff’s may seek relief from defendant. When an
action is filed, the defendant may, nevertheless, raise the issue of want of cause of
action through a proper motion to dismiss. Thus, a distinction must be made
between a motion to dismiss for failure to state a cause of action under Section 1(g)
of Rule 16, and the one under Rule 33 of the Rules of Court. (Pamaran vs. Bank of
Commerce, 795 SCRA 430, July 04, 2016)

INTERVENTION
The rules on intervention are procedural rules, which are mere tools designed to
expedite the resolution of cases pending in court. Courts can avoid a strict and rigid
application of these rules if such application would result in technicalities that tend
to frustrate rather than promote substantial justice. In the present case, Neptune
only filed a special appearance with a motion to inspect the container van before
the RTC. At that time, Neptune was still uncertain whether it owned or it had legal
interest over the container van’s contents. After the inspection, however, it
ascertained that it indeed owned the scrap copper wires and thus continued to
participate in the case. Notably, the RTC allowed Neptune to appear, file pleadings,
and represent itself in the court proceedings. All these amount to intervention as
contemplated under the rules. (Neptune Metal Scrap Recycling, Inc. vs. Manila
Electric Company, 795 SCRA 418, July 04, 2016)

Intervention is a remedy by which a third party, who is not originally impleaded in a


proceeding, becomes a litigant for purposes of protecting his or her right or interest
that may be affected by the proceedings. Intervention is not an absolute right but
may be granted by the court when the movant shows facts which satisfy the
requirements of the statute authorizing intervention. The allowance or disallowance
of a motion to intervene is within the sound discretion of the court. Section 1, Rule
19 of the Rules provides that a court may allow intervention (a) if the movant has
legal interest or is otherwise qualified, and (b) if the intervention will not unduly
delay or prejudice the adjudication of rights of the original parties and if the
intervenor’s rights may not be protected in a separate proceeding. Both
requirements must concur. Section 2, Rule 19 of the Rules requires a movant to file
the motion for intervention before the RTC’s rendition of judgment and to attach a
pleading-in-intervention. The court may allow intervention after rendition of
judgment if the movant is an indispensable party. (Neptune Metal Scrap
Recycling, Inc. vs. Manila Electric Company, 795 SCRA 418, July 04, 2016)

A movant for intervention must have legal interest either (i) in the matter in
litigation, (ii) in the success of either of the parties, or (iii) against both parties. The
movant may also intervene if he or she is (iv) so situated as to be adversely
affected by a distribution or other disposition of property in the court’s custody.
Legal interest is present when the intervenor will either gain or lose as a direct
effect of the judgment. The legal interest must be actual and material, direct, and
immediate. In a theft case, the subject matter in litigation is the item alleged to
have been stolen. (Neptune Metal Scrap Recycling, Inc. vs. Manila Electric
Company, 795 SCRA 418, July 04, 2016)

DISMISSAL OF ACTIONS
The failure to file Appellant’s Brief, though not jurisdictional, results in the
abandonment of the appeal which may be the cause for its dismissal. We must
emphasize that the right to appeal is not a natural right but a statutory privilege,
and it may be exercised only in the manner and in accordance with the provisions of
the law. The party who seeks to avail of the same must comply with the
requirements of the Rules. Failing to do so, the right to appeal is lost. In the present
case, petitioner failed to file the required brief within the period prescribed under
Section 7, Rule 44 of the Rules. Thus, the appellate court rightly considered her
appeal abandoned and consequently dismissed the same. (Sibayan vs. Costales,
795 SCRA 387, July 04, 2016)

The usage of the word may in Section 1(e) of Rule 50 indicates that the dismissal of
the appeal upon failure to file the appellant’s brief is not mandatory, but
discretionary. (Sibayan vs. Costales, 795 SCRA 387, July 04, 2016)

APPEAL
As a general rule, a party who has not appealed cannot obtain any affirmative relief
other than the one granted in the appealed decision. However, jurisprudence admits
an exception to the said rule, such as when strict adherence thereto shall result in
the impairment of the substantive rights of the parties concerned. In Global
Resource for Outsourced Workers (GROW), Inc. v. Velasco, 678 SCRA 751 (2012):
Indeed, a party who has failed to appeal from a judgment is deemed to have
acquiesced to it and can no longer obtain from the appellate court any affirmative
relief other than what was already granted under said judgment. However, when
strict adherence to such technical rule will impair a substantive right, such as that
of an illegally dismissed employee to monetary compensation as provided by law,
then equity dictates that the Court set aside the rule to pave the way for a full and
just adjudication of the case. (Century Properties, Inc. vs. Babiano, 795 SCRA
671, July 05, 2016)

At the outset, it should be pointed out that, as a general rule, a reexamination of


factual findings cannot be done by the Court acting on a petition for review on
certiorari because it is not a trier of facts and only reviews questions of law. This
rule, however, admits of certain exceptions, namely: (1) when the findings are
grounded entirely on speculation, surmises or conjectures; (2) when the inference
made is manifestly mistaken, absurd or impossible; (3) when there is grave abuse of
discretion; (4) when the judgment is based on a misapprehension of facts; (5) when
the findings of facts are conflicting; (6) when in making its findings the Court of
Appeals went beyond the issues of the case, or its findings are contrary to the
admissions of both the appellant and the appellee; (7) when the findings are
contrary to the trial court; (8) when the findings are conclusions without citation of
specific evidence on which they are based; (9) when the facts set forth in the
petition as well as in the petitioner’s main and reply briefs are not disputed by the
respondent; (10) when the findings of fact are premised on the supposed absence of
evidence and contradicted by the evidence on record; and (11) when the Court of
Appeals manifestly overlooked certain relevant facts not disputed by the parties,
which, if properly considered, would justify a different conclusion. Finding a
confluence of certain exceptions in this case, the general rule that only legal issues
may be raised in a petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of
Court does not apply, and the Court retains the authority to pass upon the evidence
presented and draw conclusions therefrom. (Ambray vs. Tsourous, 795 SCRA
627, July 05, 2016)

EXECUTION OF JUDGMENT
While Section 6 of Rule 39 does not expressly state that the two modes of execution
are mutually exclusive, it is not difficult to discern why no action upon a judgment
can be filed once the prevailing party had availed of the first mode of execution. For
the same reason that a second motion for execution raising the same issues or
items is barred by the denial of the first motion for execution, so is an independent
action raising the same issues or items is barred. The bar by prior judgment
principle would equally apply. To be more specific, an independent action to execute
the costs of suit and the taxes withheld would be the same as the first motion for
execution that had raised these issues. Since the denial of the first motion for
execution has become final and immutable, Atty. Funk is barred from filing an
independent action raising exactly the same issues. (Funk vs. Santos Ventura
Hocorma Foundation, Inc., 796 SCRA 69, July 07, 2016)

Under Section 6, Rule 39 of the Rules of Court, a final and executory judgment or
order may be executed on motion within five years from the date of its entry. After
the lapse of such time, and before it is barred by the statute of limitations, a
judgment may be enforced by action. Thus, under the rules, there are two modes by
which a judgment may be executed: first, on motion if made within five years from
the date of entry of the judgment sought to be executed; and second, by an
independent action to revive the judgment within the statute of limitations, which is
ten years from the date of entry. (Funk vs. Santos Ventura Hocorma
Foundation, Inc., 796 SCRA 69, July 07, 2016)

Section 6, Rule 39 of the Rules of Court bars a second or subsequent motion for
execution that raise the same issues or the same items in the judgment sought to
be executed. Section 6 of Rule 39 provides: Section 6. Execution by motion or by
independent action.—A final and executory judgment or order may be executed on
motion within five (5) years from the date of its entry. After the lapse of such time,
and before it is barred by the statute of limitations, a judgment may be enforced by
action. The revived judgment may also be enforced by motion within five (5) years
from the date of its entry and thereafter by action before it is barred by the statute
of limitations. [emphasis and italics ours] To be clear, Section 6 of Rule 39 does not
prohibit a second motion for execution. We recognize that there may be instances
where the prevailing party can validly or reasonably file a second or subsequent
motion for execution. (Funk vs. Santos Ventura Hocorma Foundation, Inc.,
796 SCRA 69, July 07, 2016)

RES JUDICATA PROPER (BAR BY PRIOR JUDGMENT)


Bar by prior judgment means that when a right or fact had already been judicially
tried on the merits and determined by a court of competent jurisdiction, the final
judgment or order shall be conclusive upon the parties and those in privity with
them and constitutes an absolute bar to subsequent actions involving the same
claim, demand, or cause of action. (Funk vs. Santos Ventura Hocorma
Foundation, Inc., 796 SCRA 69, July 07, 2016)

REVIVAL OF JUDGMENT
An action for revival of judgment is a procedural means of securing the execution of
a previous judgment which has become dormant after the passage of five years
without it being executed upon motion of the prevailing party. After the lapse of the
five-year period, the judgment is reduced to a mere right of action, which judgment
must be enforced, as all other ordinary actions, by the institution of a complaint in
the regular form. Such action must be filed within ten (10) years from the date the
judgment has become final. In concrete terms, the prevailing party, who for some
reason or another, failed to move for execution within five years from the date of
entry of the judgment, can file an action to have the judgment revived. The rule
allowing the filing of an action within ten years from the date of entry merely gives
substance to the Civil Code provisions on the prescription of an action upon a
judgment. (Funk vs. Santos Ventura Hocorma Foundation, Inc., 796 SCRA
69, July 07, 2016)

APPEAL
Although appeal is an essential part of our judicial process, it has been held, time
and again, that the right thereto is not a natural right or a part of due process but is
merely a statutory privilege. Thus, the perfection of an appeal in the manner and
within the period prescribed by law is not only mandatory but also jurisdictional and
failure of a party to conform to the rules regarding appeal will render the judgment
final and executory. While it is true that we have applied a liberal application of the
rules of procedure in a number of cases, we have stressed that this can be invoked
only in proper cases and under justifiable causes and circumstances. (Land Bank
of the Philippines vs. Court of Appeals, 796 SCRA 319, July 11, 2016)

The Supreme Court (SC) has already settled in Land Bank of the Philippines v. De
Leon, 388 SCRA 537 (2002), that the proper mode of appeal from decisions of
Regional Trial Courts (RTCs) sitting as Special Agrarian Courts (SACs) is by petition
for review under Rule 42 of the Rules of Court and not through an ordinary appeal
under Rule 41. (Land Bank of the Philippines vs. Court of Appeals, 796 SCRA
319, July 11, 2016)

PARTIES
When a party to a pending action dies and the claim is not extinguished, the Rules
of Court require a substitution of the deceased in accordance with Section 16 of
Rule 3. In De la Cruz v. Joaquin, 464 SCRA 576 (2005), we explained the importance
of the substitution of a deceased party: The rule on the substitution of parties was
crafted to protect every party’s right to due process. The estate of the deceased
party will continue to be properly represented in the suit through the duly appointed
legal representative. Moreover, no adjudication can be made against the successor
of the deceased if the fundamental right to a day in court is denied. Thus, in all
proceedings, the legal representatives must appear to protect the interests of the
deceased. Because Isabel was never substituted by her heirs or legal representative
in this case, no adjudication can be had on Cristino’s right of retention as a matter
of due process. (Saguinsin vs. Liban, 796 SCRA 99, July 11, 2016)

APPEAL
In appeals in agrarian cases, it is a long-standing rule that when the appellate court
has confirmed that the findings of fact of the agrarian courts are borne out by the
records, such findings are conclusive and binding on this Court. Further, the well-
settled rule is that only questions of law may be raised in a petition for review on
certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court, since “the Supreme Court is not a trier
of facts.” It is not our function to review, examine and evaluate or weigh the
probative value of the evidence presented. (Saguinsin vs. Liban, 796 SCRA 99,
July 11, 2016)

JUDGMENTS
“It is well-settled that judgments or orders become final and executory by operation
of law and not by judicial declaration. The finality of a judgment becomes a fact
upon the lapse of the reglementary period of appeal if no appeal is perfected or [no]
motion for reconsideration or new trial is filed.” “The court need not even
pronounce the finality of the order as the same becomes final by operation of law. In
fact, it could not even validly entertain a motion for reconsideration after the lapse
of the period for taking an appeal. x x x The subsequent filing of a motion for
reconsideration cannot disturb the finality of the judgment or order.” Once a
decision becomes final and executory, it is “immutable and unalterable, and can no
longer be modified in any respect, even if the modification is meant to correct what
is perceived to be an erroneous conclusion of fact or law, and regardless of whether
the modification is attempted to be made by the court rendering it or by the highest
court of the land.” (Barrio Fiesta Restaurant vs. Beronia, 796 SCRA 257, July
11, 2016)

MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION (RULE 52)


Under Section 1, Rule 52 of the Rules of Court, a motion for reconsideration of a
judgment or final resolution should be filed within fifteen (15) days from notice. If no
appeal or motion for reconsideration is filed within this period, the judgment or final
resolution shall forthwith be entered by the clerk in the book of entries of judgment
as provided under Section 10 of Rule 51. (Barrio Fiesta Restaurant vs. Beronia,
796 SCRA 257, July 11, 2016)

For purposes of determining its timeliness, a motion for reconsideration may


properly be treated as an appeal. As a step to allow an inferior court to correct itself
before review by a higher court, a motion for reconsideration must necessarily be
filed within the period to appeal. When filed beyond such period, the motion for
reconsideration ipso facto forecloses the right to appeal. (Barrio Fiesta
Restaurant vs. Beronia, 796 SCRA 257, July 11, 2016)

A motion for reconsideration on the ground of excusable negligence is addressed to


the sound discretion of the court which cannot be granted except upon a clear
showing of justifiable circumstances negating the effects of any negligence that
might have been present. (Barrio Fiesta Restaurant vs. Beronia, 796 SCRA
257, July 11, 2016)

APPEAL
It is noteworthy to emphasize at this point that the jurisdiction of this Court in a
Petition for Review on Certiorari under Rule 45 of the Revised Rules of Court is
limited to reviewing only errors of law. Factual questions are not the proper subject
of an appeal by certiorari. A question of law is present when there is a doubt or
difference in opinion as to what the law is on a certain set of facts, while a question
of fact exists when a doubt or difference arises as to the truth or falsehood of the
alleged facts. Unless the case falls under any of the recognized exceptions, the
Court is limited solely to a review of legal questions. (Fernandez vs. Ronulo, 796
SCRA 539, July 13, 2016)

MANNER OF MAKING ALLEGATIONS IN PLEADINGS


Section 7, Rule 8 of the Rules of Court provides that whenever a “defense is based
upon a written instrument or document, the substance of such instrument or
document shall be set forth in the pleading, and the original or a copy thereof shall
be attached to the pleading. (Fernandez vs. Ronulo, 796 SCRA 539, July 13,
2016)

MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION (RULE 52)


The filing of a second motion for reconsideration is prohibited under Rule 52,
Section 2 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, as amended and the prevailing 1999
Internal Rules of the Procedure of the CA (IRCA). Being a prohibited pleading, a
second motion for reconsideration does not have any legal effect and does not toll
the running of the period to appeal. (Heirs of Gamaliel Albano vs. Ravanes, 797
SCRA 472, July 20, 2016)

APPEAL
An appeal is not a matter of right, but is one of sound judicial discretion. It may only
be availed of in the manner provided by the law and the rules. A party who fails to
question an adverse decision by not filing the proper remedy within the period
prescribed by law loses the right to do so as the decision, as to him, becomes final
and binding. (Heirs of Gamaliel Albano vs. Ravanes, 797 SCRA 472, July 20,
2016)

APPEAL
For appellate jurisdiction to attach, the following requisites must be complied with:
(a) the petitioner must have invoked the jurisdiction of the CA within the time for
doing so; (b) he must have filed his petition for review within the reglementary
period; (c) he must have paid the necessary docket fees; and (d) the other parties
must have perfected their appeals in due time. In this regard, the Rules of Court
require that in an appeal by way of a petition for review, the appeal is deemed
perfected as to the petitioner upon the timely filing of the petition and the payment
of docket and other lawful fees. To perfect the appeal, the party has to file the
petition for review and to pay the docket fees within the prescribed period. The law
and its intent are clear and unequivocal that the petition is perfected upon its filing
and the payment of the docket fees. Consequently, without the petition, the CA
cannot be said to have acquired jurisdiction over the case. (Bautista vs. Doniego,
Jr., 797 SCRA 724, July 20, 2016)

CAUSE OF ACTION
The test to determine whether the causes of action are identical is to ascertain
whether the same evidence will sustain both actions, or whether there is an identity
in the facts essential to the maintenance of the two (2) actions. (Grace Park
International Corporation vs. Eastwest Banking Corporation, 798 SCRA
644, July 27, 2016)

FORUM SHOPPING
Forum shopping is the act of a litigant who repetitively availed of several judicial
remedies in different courts, simultaneously or successively, all substantially
founded on the same transactions and the same essential facts and circumstances,
and all raising substantially the same issues, either pending in or already resolved
adversely by some other court, to increase his chances of obtaining a favorable
decision if not in one court, then in another. (Grace Park International
Corporation vs. Eastwest Banking Corporation, 798 SCRA 644, July 27,
2016)

In Heirs of Marcelo Sotto v. Palicte, 716 SCRA 175 (2014), the Court held that “[t]he
test to determine the existence of forum shopping is whether the elements of litis
pendentia are present, or whether a final judgment in one case amounts to res
judicata in the other. Thus, there is forum shopping when the following elements are
present, namely: (a) identity of parties, or at least such parties as represent the
same interests in both actions; (b) identity of rights asserted and reliefs prayed for,
the relief being founded on the same facts; and (c) the identity of the two preceding
particulars, such that any judgment rendered in the other action will, regardless of
which party is successful, amounts to res judicata in the action under
consideration.” (Grace Park International Corporation vs. Eastwest Banking
Corporation, 798 SCRA 644, July 27, 2016)

LITIS PENDENTIA
In reference to the foregoing, litis pendentia is a Latin term, which literally means “a
pending suit” and is variously referred to in some decisions as lis pendens and auter
action pendant. As a ground for the dismissal of a civil action, it refers to the
situation where two (2) actions are pending between the same parties for the same
cause of action, so that one (1) of them becomes unnecessary and vexatious. It is
based on the policy against multiplicity of suits. (Grace Park International
Corporation vs. Eastwest Banking Corporation, 798 SCRA 644, July 27,
2016)

IDENTITY OF PARTIES
Anent the first requisite of forum shopping, “[t]here 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.” (Grace Park International
Corporation vs. Eastwest Banking Corporation, 798 SCRA 644, July 27,
2016)

APPEALS
Under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court, the proper remedy to reverse a judgment, final
order, or resolution of the CA is to file a petition for review on certiorari, not a
petition for certiorari under Rule 65. Certiorari is an extraordinary remedy of last
resort; it is only available when there is no appeal, or any plain, speedy, and
adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law. The availability of an appeal
precludes immediate resort to certiorari, even if the ascribed error was lack or
excess of jurisdiction or grave abuse of discretion. The municipality did not even
bother to explain this glaring defect in its petition. (Municipality of Alfonso Lista,
Ifugao vs. Court of Appeals, Special Former Sixth Division, 798 SCRA 505,
July 27, 2016)

Well-entrenched is the rule that this Court is not a trier of facts. The resolution of
factual issues is the function of the lower courts, whose findings on these matters
are received with respect and are in fact binding subject to certain exceptions. In
this regard, it is settled that appeals taken from judgments or final orders rendered
by RTC in the exercise of its original jurisdiction raising questions of fact or mixed
questions of fact and law should be brought to the Court of Appeals (CA) in
accordance with Rule 41 of the Rules of Court. (Medina vs. Koike, 798 SCRA 733,
July 27, 2016)

REMEDIES (CERTIORARI)
In that regard, the following requisites must concur for certiorari to prosper, namely:
(1) the writ is directed against a tribunal, a board or any officer exercising judicial or
quasi-judicial functions; (2) such tribunal, board or officer has acted without or in
excess of jurisdiction, or with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess
of jurisdiction; and (3) there is no appeal or any plain, speedy and adequate remedy
in the ordinary course of law. Without jurisdiction means that the court acted with
absolute lack of authority. There is excess of jurisdiction when the court transcends
its power or acts without any statutory authority. Grave abuse of discretion implies
such capricious and whimsical exercise of judgment as to be equivalent to lack or
excess of jurisdiction; in other words, power is exercised in an arbitrary or despotic
manner by reason of passion, prejudice, or personal hostility; and such exercise is
so patent or so gross as to amount to an evasion of a positive duty or to a virtual
refusal either to perform the duty enjoined or to act at all in contemplation of law.
(Limkaichong vs. Land Bank of the Philippines, 799 SCRA 139, August 02,
2016)

APPEALS
Indeed, the Court has held that the availability of an appeal as a remedy is a bar to
the bringing of the petition for certiorari only where such appeal is in itself a
sufficient and adequate remedy, in that it will promptly relieve the petitioner from
the injurious effects of the judgment or final order complained of. (Limkaichong
vs. Land Bank of the Philippines, 799 SCRA 139, August 02, 2016)

APPEALS
The question of whether the parties are in pari delicto is a factual question and is
generally not within the scope of a Rule 45 petition. Further, the Court had
elaborated on the applicability of the doctrine particularly in the case of
Constantino, et al. v. Heirs of Pedro Constantino, Jr., 706 SCRA 580 (2013). (Ranara,
Jr. vs. de los Angeles, Jr., 799 SCRA 581, August 08, 2016)

EXECUTION OF JUDGMENTS
The losing party cannot seek relief from the execution of a final judgment by
bringing a separate action to prevent the execution of the judgment against her by
the enforcing sheriff. Such action contravenes the policy on judicial stability. She
should seek the relief in the same court that issued the writ of execution. (Dy Chiao
vs. Bolivar, 800 SCRA 623, August 17, 2016)

APPEALS
Pursuant to Section 2, Rule 50 of the Rules of Court, an appeal raising only
questions of law brought to the CA instead of to this Court shall be dismissed. The
same rule expressly forbids the erroneous appeal to be transferred to the Court. (Dy
Chiao vs. Bolivar, 800 SCRA 623, August 17, 2016)

REMEDIES (CERTIORARI)
A petition for certiorari under Rule 65 is proper to correct errors of jurisdiction
committed by the lower court, or grave abuse of discretion which is tantamount to
lack of jurisdiction. This remedy can be availed of when there is no appeal or any
plain, speedy, and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law. (Cunanan vs.
Court of Appeals, Ninth Division, 800 SCRA 706, August 17, 2016)

One of the essential requisites of a petition for certiorari is that there is neither
appeal nor any plain, speedy, and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law
for the purpose of annulling or modifying the questioned proceeding. Thus, the
respondents were correct in pointing out that it cannot coexist with an appeal or
any other particular remedy. (Cunanan vs. Court of Appeals, Ninth Division,
800 SCRA 706, August 17, 2016)

APPEALS
Appeal by certiorari under Rule 45, on the other hand, is a mode of appeal available
to a party desiring to raise only questions of law from a judgment or final order or
resolution of the CA, the Sandiganbayan, the Regional Trial Court or other courts
whenever authorized by law. (Cunanan vs. Court of Appeals, Ninth Division,
800 SCRA 706, August 17, 2016)
FORUM SHOPPING
As We held in Brown-Araneta v. Araneta, 707 SCRA 222 (2013), “(t)he evil sought to
be avoided by the rule against forum shopping is the rendition by two competent
tribunals of two separate and contradictory decisions. Unscrupulous party-litigants,
taking advantage of a variety of competent tribunals, may repeatedly try their luck
in several different fora until a favorable result is reached.” (Begnaen vs.
Caligtan, 800 SCRA 588, August 17, 2016)

“A circumstance of forum shopping occurs when, as a result or in anticipation of an


adverse decision in one forum, a party seeks a favorable opinion in another forum
through means other than appeal or certiorari by raising identical causes of action,
subject matter and issues. Stated a bit differently, forum shopping is the institution
of two or more actions involving the same parties for the same cause of action,
either simultaneously or successively, on the supposition that one or the other court
would come out with a favorable disposition.” (Begnaen vs. Caligtan, 800 SCRA
588, August 17, 2016)

APPEALS
The issues raised invite a redetermination of questions of fact which is not within
the province of a petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Revised Rules
of Court. Factual findings of the trial court affirmed by the CA are final and
conclusive and may not be reviewed on appeal. (Lorenzana vs. Lelina, 800 SCRA
570, August 17, 2016)

In certain cases, we held that as an exception, a review of such factual findings may
be made when the judgment of the CA is premised on a misapprehension of facts or
a failure to consider certain relevant facts, which, if properly considered, would
justify a different conclusion. (Lorenzana vs. Lelina, 800 SCRA 570, August 17,
2016)

OMINBUS MOTION RULE


Moreover, grounds for objection must be specified in any case. Grounds for
objections not raised at the proper time shall be considered waived, even if the
evidence was objected to on some other ground. Thus, even on appeal, the
appellate court may not consider any other ground of objection, except those that
were raised at the proper time. (Lorenzana vs. Lelina, 800 SCRA 570, August
17, 2016)

JUDGMENTS
Money judgments are enforceable only against property unquestionably belonging
to the judgment debtor alone. If property belonging to any third person is
mistakenly levied upon to answer for another man’s indebtedness, the Rules of
Court gives such person all the right to challenge the levy through any of the
remedies provided for under the rules, including an independent “separate action”
to vindicate his or her claim of ownership and/or possession over the foreclosed
property. (Lorenzana vs. Lelina, 800 SCRA 570, August 17, 2016)

ACTIONS
The nature of an action and its subject matter, as well as which court or agency of
the government has jurisdiction over the same, are determined by the material
allegations of the complaint in relation to the law involved and the character of the
reliefs prayed for, whether or not the complainant/plaintiff is entitled to any or all of
such reliefs. The designation or caption is not controlling more than the allegations
in the complaint. It is not even an indispensable part of the complaint. (Barangay
Mayamot, Antipolo City vs. Antipolo City, 800 SCRA 558, August 17, 2016)

EXECUTION PENDING APPEAL


A mere statement of “good reasons as stated in the motion” does not suffice to
justify execution pending appeal. It is basic that the trial court should make a
finding on whether the allegations in the motion for execution pending appeal
constitute good reasons as required in Section 2 of Rule 39. The trial court should
have expressed clearly and distinctly the facts and law on which the order granting
the motion for execution pending appeal was based, but it did not. (National
Power Corporation vs. Heirs of Antonina Rabie, 801 SCRA 73, August 17,
2016)

Execution pending appeal, also called discretionary execution under Section 2(a),
Rule 39 of the Rules of Court, is allowed upon good reasons to be stated in a special
order after due hearing. (National Power Corporation vs. Heirs of Antonina
Rabie, 801 SCRA 73, August 17, 2016)

While the trial court still had jurisdiction when it issued the order granting execution
pending appeal, the Court holds that discretionary execution does not apply to
eminent domain proceedings. (National Power Corporation vs. Heirs of
Antonina Rabie, 801 SCRA 73, August 17, 2016)

RESIDUAL JURISDICTION
Further, prior to transmittal of the records of the case, the trial court does not lose
jurisdiction over the case and in fact, may issue an order for execution pending
appeal. (National Power Corporation vs. Heirs of Antonina Rabie, 801 SCRA
73, August 17, 2016)

PARTIES
From the foregoing provisions of the Rules of Court, it is clear that in the event that
the respondent-debtor dies during the pendency of the case, the same is not
dismissed but is allowed to continue. If, eventually, the court rules against the
deceased respondent, the same shall be enforced as a claim against his estate, and
not against the individual heirs. PASDA, Incorporated vs. Dimayacyac, Sr., 801
SCRA 189, August 17, 2016
FORUM SHOPPING
Forum shopping is the simultaneous or successive institution of two or more actions
or proceedings involving the same parties for the same cause of action with the
hope that one or the other court would make a favorable disposition. It vexes the
courts and the litigants because different courts are asked to rule on the same or
related causes, raising the same issues and praying for similar reliefs, which creates
the possibility of conflicting decisions rendered by two different tribunals. PASDA,
Incorporated vs. Dimayacyac, Sr., 801 SCRA 189, August 17, 2016

JURISDICTION
We likewise reiterate that a court’s jurisdiction may be raised at any stage of the
proceedings, even on appeal. The reason is that jurisdiction is conferred by law, and
lack of it affects the very authority of the court to take cognizance of and to render
judgment on the action. Indeed, a void judgment for want of jurisdiction is no
judgment at all. It cannot be the source of any right nor the creator of any
obligation. All acts performed pursuant to it and all claims emanating from it have
no legal effect. Hence, it can never become final and any writ of execution based on
it is void. Balibago Faith Baptist Church, Inc. vs. Faith in Christ Jesus Baptist
Church, Inc., 801 SCRA 218, August 22, 2016

PLEADINGS
The rule is that the allegations in the complaint determine both the nature of the
action and the jurisdiction of the court. The cause of action in a complaint is not
what the designation of the complaint states, but what the allegations in the body
of the complaint define and describe. The designation or caption is not controlling,
more than the allegations in the complaint themselves are, for it is not even an
indispensable part of the complaint. Balibago Faith Baptist Church, Inc. vs.
Faith in Christ Jesus Baptist Church, Inc., 801 SCRA 218, August 22, 2016

APPEALS
The fact that the FDA is not among the agencies enumerated in Rule 43 as subject
of a petition for review to the CA is of no consequence. In Cayao-Lasam v. Ramolete,
574 SCRA 439 (2008), the Court disagreed with the opinion of the CA that the
enumeration of the agencies mentioned in Section 1 of Rule 43 was exclusive.
Alliance for the Family Foundation, Philippines, Inc. (ALFI) vs. Garin, 801
SCRA 453, August 24, 2016

REMEDIES
As to the contention that the subject recourse is improper as it involves the FDA’s
exercise of its regulatory powers, suffice it to say that the Court has unequivocally
declared that certiorari, prohibition and mandamus are appropriate remedies to
raise constitutional issues and to review and/or prohibit/nullify, when proper, acts of
legislative and executive officials as there is no other plain, speedy or adequate
remedy in the ordinary course of law. . Alliance for the Family Foundation,
Philippines, Inc. (ALFI) vs. Garin, 801 SCRA 453, August 24, 2016
ANNULMENT OF JUDGMENT
A petition for annulment of judgment initiated under Rule 47 of the Rules of Court is
a remedy granted only under exceptional circumstances provided the petitioner has
failed to avail himself of the ordinary or other appropriate remedies provided by law
without fault on his part. It has often been stressed that such action is never
resorted to as a substitute for the petitioner’s own neglect in not promptly availing
himself of the ordinary or other appropriate remedies. Aquino vs. Tangkengko,
801 SCRA 330, August 24, 2016

A litigant who brought a petition for relief from judgment under Rule 38 of the Rules
of Court cannot anymore avail himself of an action for annulment of judgment under
Rule 47 of the Rules of Court based on the same grounds available to him for the
prior remedy. Aquino vs. Tangkengko, 801 SCRA 330, August 24, 2016

REMEDIES
No one has a vested right to file an appeal or a petition for certiorari. These are
statutory privileges which may be exercised only in the manner prescribed by law.
Rules of procedure must be faithfully complied with and should not be discarded
with by the mere expediency of claiming substantial merit. Manila Electric
Company vs. N.E. Magno Construction, Inc., 802 SCRA 51, August 31, 2016

Under Section 4, Rule 65 of the Rules of Court, as amended by A.M. No. 07-7-12-SC,
an aggrieved party has sixty (60) days from receipt of the assailed decision, order or
resolution within which to file a petition for certiorari. In case of denial of the motion
for reconsideration, the petition shall be filed within sixty (60) days from the receipt
of the notice of such denial Manila Electric Company vs. N.E. Magno
Construction, Inc., 802 SCRA 51, August 31, 2016

APPEALS
There exists a question of law when the doubt arises as to what the law is
pertaining to a certain state of facts while a question of fact concerns itself with the
truth or falsity of the alleged facts. To reiterate, a petition for review on certiorari
covers only questions of law. Zoleta-San Agustin vs. Sales, 801 SCRA 683,
August 31, 2016

It is a well-settled principle that the findings of fact of the Court of Appeals (CA)
especially those upholding the trial court are final and conclusive and cannot be
reviewed on appeal to the Supreme Court (SC). Zoleta-San Agustin vs. Sales,
801 SCRA 683, August 31, 2016

It is settled in a catena of cases that the findings of fact of trial courts are given
weight on appeal because they are in a better position to examine the real
evidence, and observe the demeanor of the witnesses and therefore discern
whether they are telling the truth. Zoleta-San Agustin vs. Sales, 801 SCRA 683,
August 31, 2016
EXECUTION OF JUDGMENTS
It must be pointed out that third-party claimants in execution proceedings have the
burden of proving their right or title to the subject properties, if they want to defeat
the judgment lien. To do so, they must submit evidence not only of the basis of their
entitlement, but also of the fact that the properties they are claiming were indeed
the subject of the execution. Failure to submit that evidence will justify the denial of
the thirdparty claim, as in this case. Cameron Granville 3 Asset Management,
Inc. vs. UE Monthly Associates, 802 SCRA 153, September 05, 2016

HIERARCHY OF COURTS
The Supreme Court (SC) has jurisdiction to hear petitions for review assailing
decisions of the Regional Trial Court (RTC); however, losing litigants, do not have
unbridled freedom to submit their claim directly before the SC. The petitioners
should have filed a petition for review via Rule 41 before the Court of Appeals (CA)
first. Quilo vs. Bajao, 802 SCRA 299, September 07, 2016

REMEDIES
Section 1, Rule 65 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure mandates that petitions for
certiorari shall be accompanied by a certified true copy of the judgment, order or
resolution assailed, to wit: Section 1. Petition for certiorari.—x x x x The petition
shall be accompanied by a certified true copy of the judgment, order or resolution
subject thereof, copies of all pleadings and documents relevant and pertinent
thereto, and a sworn certification of non-forum shopping as provided in the third
paragraph of section 3, Rule 46. (Emphasis supplied) As borne by the records,
petitioners failed to attach certified true copies of the MeTC Orders dated 26 June
2008 and 29 July 2008 and MeTC Decision dated 20 November 1998 with their
petition for certiorari. It was only when they filed a motion for reconsideration when
the petitioners submitted certified true copies of the assailed Orders dated 26 June
2008 and 29 July 2008 on 2 October 2008. Quilo vs. Bajao, 802 SCRA 299,
September 07, 2016

MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION


Petitioners violated the three (3)-day notice rule for failure to serve a copy of the
Motion for Reconsideration to public respondents within three days prior to the date
of hearing pursuant to Section 4, Rule 15 of the Rules of Civil Procedure. Quilo vs.
Bajao, 802 SCRA 299, September 07, 2016

REVIVAL OF JUDGMENTS
As mandated by Section 6, Rule 39, if the prevailing party fails to have the decision
enforced by a motion after the lapse of five (5) years, the said judgment is reduced
to a right of action which must be enforced by the institution of a complaint in a
regular court within ten (10) years from the time the judgment becomes final. Quilo
vs. Bajao, 802 SCRA 299, September 07, 2016

REMEDIES
It is settled that a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court is a
pleading limited to correction of errors of jurisdiction or grave abuse of discretion
amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction. Local Water Utilities Administration
Employees Association for Progress (LEAP) vs. Local Water Utilities
Administration (LWUA), 802 SCRA 357, September 07, 2016

The extraordinary remedy of certiorari is not a substitute for a lost appeal; it is not
allowed when a party to a case fails to appeal a judgment to the proper forum,
especially if one’s own negligence or error in one’s choice of remedy occasioned
such loss or lapse. Local Water Utilities Administration Employees
Association for Progress (LEAP) vs. Local Water Utilities Administration
(LWUA), 802 SCRA 357, September 07, 2016

This Court has ruled that because an appeal was available to the aggrieved party,
the action for certiorari would not be entertained. We emphasized in that case that
the remedies of appeal and certiorari are mutually exclusive, not alternative or
successive. Where an appeal is available, certiorari will not prosper, even if the
ground is grave abuse of discretion. By filing the present special civil action for
certiorari under Rule 65, petitioners, therefore, clearly availed themselves of the
wrong remedy. Under Supreme Court Circular 2-90, an appeal taken to this Court or
to the CA by a wrong or an inappropriate mode merits outright dismissal. On this
score alone, the instant petition is dismissible. Local Water Utilities
Administration Employees Association for Progress (LEAP) vs. Local Water
Utilities Administration (LWUA), 802 SCRA 357, September 07, 2016

RULES OF PROCEDURE FOR ENVIRONMENTAL CASES


Writ of Kalikasan; Rule 7, Section 17 of the Rules of Procedure for Environmental
Cases expressly provides that the filing of a petition for the issuance of the writ of
kalikasan shall not preclude the filing of separate civil, criminal, or administrative
actions. Alecha vs. Atienza, Jr., 802 SCRA 700, September 14, 2016

REMEDIES
It is a settled rule that the special civil action of certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules
of Court is available to an aggrieved party only when there is no appeal, nor any
plain, speedy, and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law. Otherwise, the
petition will not prosper even if the alleged ground is grave abuse of discretion.
Alecha vs. Atienza, Jr., 802 SCRA 700, September 14, 2016

EXHAUSTION OF ADMINISTRATIVE REMEDIES


The thrust of the rule is that courts must allow administrative agencies to carry out
their functions and discharge their responsibilities within the specialized areas of
their respective competence. Alecha vs. Atienza, Jr., 802 SCRA 700,
September 14, 2016

PARTIES
The rule provides that parties may be dropped or added by order of the court on
motion of any party or on the court’s own initiative at any stage of the action and
on such terms as are just. Cameron Granville 3 Asset Management, Inc. vs.
Chua, 802 SCRA 688, September 14, 2016

The rationale for allowing parties to join in a proceeding that delves on a common
question of law or fact concerning them is trial convenience; i.e., to save the parties
unnecessary work, trouble and expense. In order to meet the requirements of
justice and convenience, the rule on the joinder of parties is construed with
considerable flexibility. Hence, courts are given broad discretion in determining who
may properly be joined in a proceeding. The rules also provide that in case of a
transfer of interest, the court, upon motion, may direct the person to whom the
interest is transferred to be substituted in the action or joined with the original
party. Cameron Granville 3 Asset Management, Inc. vs. Chua, 802 SCRA
688, September 14, 2016

Indeed, a transferee pendente lite is a proper party that stands exactly in the shoes
of the transferor, the original party. Transferees are bound by the proceedings and
judgment in the case, such that there is no need for them to be included or
impleaded by name. We have even gone further and said that the transferee is
joined or substituted in the pending action by operation of law from the exact
moment when the transfer of interest is perfected between the original party and
the transferee. Cameron Granville 3 Asset Management, Inc. vs. Chua, 802
SCRA 688, September 14, 2016

RES JUDICATA
The principle of res judicata does not apply because the ejectment suits and the
present complaint covered different causes of action. Moreover, the ejectment suits
were not decided on the merits. These were dismissed mainly on the ground that
the ownership issue was raised by the respondents, a matter that was beyond the
scope of the MeTC’s jurisdiction. The issue on the petitioners’ tenancy was not
resolved in the said cases. Aleguela vs. Eastern Petroleum Corporation, 803
SCRA 338, September 14, 2016

APPEALS
The settled rule is that only questions of law may be raised in a petition for review
under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court. It is not the Court’s function to analyze or weigh
all over again evidence already presented in the proceedings below, since the
Court’s jurisdiction is limited to reviewing errors of law that may have been
committed by the lower court. The resolution of factual issues is the function of the
lower courts, whose findings on these matters are received with respect. Aleguela
vs. Eastern Petroleum Corporation, 803 SCRA 338, September 14, 2016

Section 2(c), Rule 41 of the Rules provides that in all cases where only questions of
law are raised or involved, the appeal shall be before us. Petitioners question the
grant of due course to respondents’ motion to dismiss filed after the filing of their
Answer Ad Cautelam, the grant of respondents’ motion to dismiss the contempt
case on the ground of mootness, and the grant of respondents’ motion to expunge
petitioners’ MR on the ground of violation of the three-day notice rule. In order to
resolve these issues, we need not examine or evaluate the evidence of the parties,
but rely solely on what the law provides on the given set of undisputed facts.
Consequently, petitioners’ remedy for assailing the correctness of the Orders of RTC
Br. 87, involving as it does a pure question of law, indeed lies with us. J.O.S.
Managing Builders, Inc. vs. United Overseas Bank Philippines (formerly
known as Westmont Bank), 803 SCRA 264, September 14, 2016

THREE-DAY NOTICE RULE


The general rule is that the three-day notice requirement in motions under Section 4
of the Rules is mandatory. It is an integral component of procedural due process.
The purpose of the three-day notice requirement, which was established not for the
benefit of the movant but rather for the adverse party, is to avoid surprises upon
the latter and to grant it sufficient time to study the motion and to enable it to meet
the arguments interposed therein. J.O.S. Managing Builders, Inc. vs. United
Overseas Bank Philippines (formerly known as Westmont Bank), 803 SCRA
264, September 14, 2016

When the adverse party had been afforded such opportunity, and has been indeed
heard through the pleadings filed in opposition to the motion, the purpose behind
the three (3)-day notice requirement is deemed realized. In such case, the
requirements of procedural due process are substantially complied with. J.O.S.
Managing Builders, Inc. vs. United Overseas Bank Philippines (formerly
known as Westmont Bank), 803 SCRA 264, September 14, 2016

MOTION TO DISMISS
Even after an answer has been filed, the Supreme Court (SC) has allowed a
defendant to file a motion to dismiss on the following grounds: (1) lack of
jurisdiction, (2) litis pendentia, (3) lack of cause of action, and (4) discovery during
trial of evidence that would constitute a ground for dismissal. J.O.S. Managing
Builders, Inc. vs. United Overseas Bank Philippines (formerly known as
Westmont Bank), 803 SCRA 264, September 14, 2016

RES JUDICATA
Under the doctrine of res judicata, a final judgment or decree, on the merits
rendered by a court of competent jurisdiction is conclusive of the rights of the
parties or their privies in all later suits and on all points and matters determined in
the previous suit. The foundation principle upon which the doctrine rests is that the
parties ought not to be permitted to litigate the same issue more than once; that
when a right or fact has been judicially tried and determined by a court of
competent jurisdiction, so long as it remains unreversed, it should be conclusive
upon the parties and those in privity with them in law or estate. Teng vs. Ting,
803 SCRA 614, September 21, 2016

CONCLUSIVENESS OF JUDGMENT
Conclusiveness of judgment applies when a fact or question has been squarely put
in issue, judicially passed upon, and adjudged in a former suit by a court of
competent jurisdiction. The fact or question settled by final judgment or order binds
the parties, to that action (and persons in privity with them or their successors-in-
interest), and continues to bind them while the judgment or order remains standing
and unreversed by proper authority on a timely motion or petition; the conclusively
settled fact or question furthermore cannot again be litigated in any future or, other
action between the same parties or their privies and successors-in-interest, in the
same or in any other court of concurrent jurisdiction, either for the same or for a
different cause of action. Thus, only the identities of parties and issues are required
for the operation of the principle of conclusiveness of judgment. Teng vs. Ting,
803 SCRA 614, September 21, 2016

APPEALS
Case law holds that the proper remedy to reverse or modify a Voluntary Arbitrators’
or a Panel of Voluntary Arbitrators’ decision or award is to appeal the award or
decision before the CA under Rule 43 of the Rules on questions of fact, of law, mixed
questions of fact and law, or a mistake of judgment. However, in several cases, the
Court allowed the filing of a petition for certiorari from the VA’s judgment to the CA
under Rule 65 of the same Rules, where the VA was averred to have acted without
or in excess of his jurisdiction or with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or
excess of jurisdiction. Coca-Cola Femsa Philippines, Inc. vs. Bacolod Sales
Force Union-Congress of Independent Organization-ALU, 804 SCRA 139,
September 21, 2016

COUNTERCLAIMS
Verily, respondents’ reliance on the findings of the courts a quo, albeit erroneous,
exhibits their good faith in not paying the docket fees, much more their intention
not to defraud the government. Thus, the counterclaim should not be dismissed for
nonpayment of docket fees. Instead, the docket fees required shall constitute a
judgment lien on the monetary awards in respondents’ favor. In Intercontinental
Broadcasting Corporation (IBC-13) v. Alonzo-Legasto, 487 SCRA 339 (2006), citing
Section 2, Rule 141 of the Rules of Court, the Court held that in instances where a
litigant’s nonpayment of docket fees was made in good faith and without any
intention of defrauding the government, the clerk of court of the court a quo should
be ordered to assess the amount of deficient docket fees due from such litigant,
which will constitute a judgment lien on the amount awarded to him, and enforce
such lien, as in this case. Sy-Vargas vs. The Estate of Rolando Ogsos, Sr., 805
SCRA 438, October 05, 2016
The rule in permissive counterclaims is that for the trial court to acquire jurisdiction,
the counterclaimant is bound to pay the prescribed docket fees. On the other hand,
the prevailing rule with respect to compulsory counterclaims is that no filing fees
are required for the trial court to acquire jurisdiction over the subject matter. In view
of the finding that the counterclaim is permissive, and not compulsory as held by
the courts a quo, respondents are required to pay docket fees. However, it must be
clarified that respondents’ failure to pay the required docket fees, per se, should not
necessarily lead to the dismissal of their counterclaim. Sy-Vargas vs. The Estate
of Rolando Ogsos, Sr., 805 SCRA 438, October 05, 2016

REGLEMENTARY PERIOD
In these situations, Section 1, Rule 22 of the Rules of Court provides that: 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. Sy-Vargas vs. The
Estate of Rolando Ogsos, Sr., 805 SCRA 438, October 05, 2016

EXECUTION OF JUDGMENTS
As a corollary rule, this Court has held that execution may issue only upon a person
who is a party to the action or proceeding, and not against one who did not have or
was denied his day in court. We said as much in Atilano II v. Asaali, 680 SCRA 345
(2012): It is well-settled that no man shall be affected by any proceeding to which
he is a stranger, and strangers to a case are not bound by a judgment rendered by
the court. Execution of a judgment can only be issued against one who is a party to
the action, and not against one who, not being a party thereto, did not have his day
in court. Due process dictates that a court decision can only bind a party to the
litigation and not against innocent third parties. Philippine Coconut Producers
Federation, Inc. (COCOFED) vs. Republic, 805 SCRA 1, October 05, 2016

The Supreme Court (SC) has held that execution may issue only upon a person who
is a party to the action or proceeding, and not against one who did not have or was
denied his day in court. Philippine Coconut Producers Federation, Inc.
(COCOFED) vs. Republic, 805 SCRA 1, October 05, 2016

LIS PENDENS
Rule 13, Section 14 of the Rules of Court provides that a notice of lis pendens may
be cancelled only upon order of the court, after proper showing that the notice is to
molest the adverse party, or that it is not necessary to protect the right of the party
who caused it to be recorded. Republic vs. Sandiganbayan, Fourth Division,
805 SCRA 193, October 05, 2016

AMENDMENT OF PLEADINGS
The procedural rule, which requires that amendments to a pleading be indicated
with appropriate marks, has for its purpose the convenience of the Court and the
parties. It allows the reader to be able to immediately see the modifications.
However, failure to use the appropriate markings for the deletions and
intercalations will not affect any substantive right. Certainly, its absence cannot
cause the denial of any substantive right. The Sandiganbayan’s view that a motion
for leave to amend should be denied on the basis of the rule on proper markings in
an amended pleading displays an utter lack of understanding of the function of this
procedural rule. Republic vs. Sandiganbayan, Fourth Division, 805 SCRA 193,
October 05, 2016

APPEALS
It is settled that failure to pay the appeal docket fee confers on the court a mere
directory power to dismiss an appeal which must be exercised with sound discretion
and with a great deal of circumspection considering all attendant circumstances. Co
It vs. Co, 805 SCRA 245, October 05, 2016

JUDGMENTS
Nothing is more settled in law than that a judgment, once it attains finality,
becomes immutable and unalterable and can no longer be modified in any respect,
regardless of whether the modification is attempted to be made by the court
rendering it or by the highest court of the land. Co It vs. Co, 805 SCRA 245,
October 05, 2016

Jurisprudence has settled that a ‘“decision that has acquired finality becomes
immutable and unalterable[,] and may no longer be modified in any respect even if
the modification is meant to correct erroneous conclusions of fact or law and
whether it [will be] made by the court that rendered it or by the highest court of the
land.’ ‘Once a judgment or order becomes final, all the issues between the parties
are deemed resolved and laid to rest.’ No additions can be made to the decision,
and no other action can be taken on it, except to order its execution.” Buenavista
Properties, Inc. vs. Mariño, 805 SCRA 548, October 10, 2016

MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION


Section 2 of Rule 52 states that “[n]o second motion for reconsideration of a
judgment or final resolution by the same party shall be entertained”; While the Rule
provides for exceptions, the second motion for reconsideration can still only be
entertained “before the ruling sought to be reconsidered becomes final by operation
of law or by the Court’s declaration.” Buenavista Properties, Inc. vs. Mariño,
805 SCRA 548, October 10, 2016

JUDGMENTS
By declaring that the petitioner’s liability as solidary, the Labor Arbiter modified the
already final and executory February 23, 2005 decision. The modification was
impermissible because the decision had already become immutable, even if the
modification was intended to correct erroneous conclusions of fact and law. The only
recognized exceptions to the immutability of the decision are the corrections of
clerical errors, the making of so-called nunc pro tunc entries that cause no prejudice
to any party, and where the judgment is void. None of such exceptions applied
herein. Lozada vs. Mendoza, 805 SCRA 673, October 12, 2016

DISMISSAL OF ACTIONS
The question of whether a case should be dismissed for failure to prosecute is
mainly addressed to the sound discretion of the trial court. The true test for the
exercise of such power is whether, under the prevailing circumstances, the plaintiff
is culpable for want of due diligence in failing to proceed with reasonable
promptitude. As to what constitutes “unreasonable length of time,” this Court has
ruled that it depends on the circumstances of each particular case and that “the
sound discretion of the court” in the determination of the said question will not be
disturbed, in the absence of patent abuse. Allied Banking Corporation vs.
Madriaga, 805 SCRA 688, October 12, 2016

There are three (3) instances when the trial court may dismiss an action motu
proprio, namely: 1) where the plaintiff fails to appear at the time of the trial; 2)
where he fails to prosecute his action for an unreasonable length of time; and 3)
when he fails to comply with the rules or any order of the court. Allied Banking
Corporation vs. Madriaga, 805 SCRA 688, October 12, 2016

The failure of respondents to promptly set the case for pretrial, without justifiable
reason, is tantamount to failure to prosecute. Respondents cannot blame their
counsels because they too had been remiss in their duty to diligently pursue the
case when they failed to secure the services of a counsel within the given period.
Respondents’ laxity in attending to their case ultimately led to its dismissal. Indeed,
respondents were in the brink of losing their property to foreclosure. This situation
should all the more pursue the case relentlessly. The law aids the vigilant, not those
who slumber on their rights. Vigilantibus, sed non dormientibus Jura subverniunt.
Allied Banking Corporation vs. Madriaga, 805 SCRA 688, October 12, 2016

APPEALS
As a rule, points of law, theories, issues and arguments not brought to the attention
of the CA as an appellate court cannot be raised for the first time at this late stage,
and will not be considered by the Court on appeal. Considerations of due process
impel this rule. Escoto vs. Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation,
806 SCRA 116, October 17, 2016

A question of fact arises when the doubt or difference arises as to the truth or
falsehood of alleged facts, and a question of law exists when the doubt or difference
arises as to what the law is on a certain set of facts. The test of whether the
question is one of law or of fact is not met by considering the appellation given to
such question by the party raising it; rather, it is whether the appellate court can
determine the issue without reviewing or evaluating the evidence. If no review or
evaluation of the evidence is necessary, the question is one of law; otherwise, it is a
question of fact. Escoto vs. Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation,
806 SCRA 116, October 17, 2016

CAUSE OF ACTION
As the rule now stands, the neglect to invoke the ground of failure to state a cause
of action in a motion to dismiss or in the answer would result in its waiver. The
reason for the deletion is that failure to state a cause of action may be cured under
Section 5, Rule 10 of the Rules of Court: Section 5. Amendment to conform to or
authorize presentation of evidence.—When issues not raised by the pleadings are
tried with the express or implied consent of the parties they shall be treated in all
respects as if they had been raised in the pleadings. Such amendment of the
pleadings as may be necessary to cause them to conform to the evidence and to
raise these issues may be made upon motion of any party at any time, even after
judgment; but failure to amend does not affect the result of the trial of these issues.
If evidence is objected to at the trial on the ground that it is not within the issues
made by the pleadings, the court may allow the pleadings to be amended and shall
do so with liberality if the presentation of the merits of the action and the ends of
substantial justice will be subserved thereby. The court may grant a continuance to
enable the amendment to be made. Gemina vs. Eugenio, 806 SCRA 617,
October 19, 2016

ORDINARY CIVIL ACTION VS SPECIAL PROCEEDINGS


An ordinary civil action is one by which a party sues another for the enforcement or
protection of a right, or the prevention or redress of a wrong. A special proceeding,
on the other hand, is a remedy by which a party seeks to establish a status, a right
or a particular fact. The Rules of Court provide that only a real party-in-interest is
allowed to prosecute and defend an action in court. A real party-in-interest is the
one who stands to be benefited or injured by the judgment in the suit or the one
entitled to the avails thereof. Such interest, to be considered a real interest, must be
one which is present and substantial, as distinguished from a mere expectancy, or a
future, contingent, subordinate or consequential interest. A plaintiff is a real party-
in-interest when he is the one who has a legal right to enforce or protect. Gemina
vs. Eugenio, 806 SCRA 617, October 19, 2016

In his book entitled Remedial Law Compendium, Justice Florenz D. Regalado, a


recognized commentator on remedial law, explained the distinction between failure
to state a cause of action and lack of cause of action: What is contemplated,
therefore, is a failure to state a cause of action which is provided in Sec. 1(g) of Rule
16. This is a matter of insufficiency of the pleading. Sec. 5 of Rule 10, which was
also included as the last mode for raising the issue to the court, refers to the
situation where the evidence does not prove a cause of action. This is, therefore, a
matter of insufficiency of evidence. Failure to state a cause of action is different
from failure to prove a cause of action. The remedy in the first is to move for
dismissal of the pleading, while the remedy in the second is to demur to the
evidence, hence reference to Sec. 5 of Rule 10 has been eliminated in this section.
The procedure would consequently be to require the pleading to state a cause of
action, by timely objection to its deficiency; or, at the trial, to file a demurrer to
evidence, if such motion is warranted. Gemina vs. Eugenio, 806 SCRA 617,
October 19, 2016

REMEDIES
A petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court is proper when (1) any
tribunal, board or officer exercising judicial or quasi-judicial functions has acted
without or in excess of jurisdiction or with grave abuse of discretion amounting to
lack or excess of jurisdiction, and (2) there is no appeal, nor plain, speedy and
adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law for the purpose of annulling or
modifying the proceeding. People vs. Castillo, Sr., 807 SCRA 77, November
07, 2016

PLEADINGS
Basic is the rule that it is the allegations of the complaint and not the prayer that
determines the basis of the plaintiffs relief. In the same vein, the prayer will not be
construed as enlarging the complaint so as to embrace a cause of action not
pleaded therein. Republic vs. Capital Resources Corporation, 807 SCRA 147,
November 07, 2016

ESTOPPEL BY LACHES
It has been a long-standing principle that issues not timely raised in the proceedings
before the lower court are barred by estoppel. As a rule, new issues can no longer
be considered by the appellate court because a party is not permitted to change his
theory on appeal; to allow him to do so would be offensive to the rules of fair play,
justice and due process. Republic vs. Capital Resources Corporation, 807
SCRA 147, November 07, 2016

DOCKET FEES
The failure to pay the required docket fees per se should not necessarily lead to the
dismissal of a case. It has long been settled that while the court acquires jurisdiction
over any case only upon the payment of the prescribed docket fees, its nonpayment
at the time of filing of the initiatory pleading does not automatically cause its
dismissal provided that: (a) the fees are paid within a reasonable period; and (b)
there was no intention on the part of the claimant to defraud the government.
Camaso vs. TSM Shipping (Phils.), Inc., 807 SCRA 204, November 07, 2016

Section 3, Rule 46 of the Rules of Court provides that in original actions filed before
the CA, such as a petition for certiorari, the payment of the corresponding docket
fees is required, and that the failure to comply with the same shall be sufficient
ground for the dismissal of such action. Camaso vs. TSM Shipping (Phils.), Inc.,
807 SCRA 204, November 07, 2016

APPEALS
Our rules recognize the broad discretionary power of an appellate court to waive the
lack of proper assignment of errors and to consider errors not assigned. The CA has
ample authority to review errors not raised in the following instances: (a) When the
question affects jurisdiction over the subject matter; (b) Matters that are evidently
plain or clerical errors within contemplation of law; (c) Matters whose consideration
is necessary in arriving at a just decision and complete resolution of the case or in
serving the interests of justice or avoiding dispensing piecemeal justice; (d) Matters
raised in the trial court and are of record having some bearing on the issue
submitted that the parties failed to raise or that the lower court ignored; (e) Matters
closely related to an error assigned; and (f) Matters upon which the determination of
a question properly assigned is dependent. Tolentino-Prieto vs. Elvas, 808 SCRA
108, November 09, 2016

The right to appeal is neither a natural right nor is it a component of due process. It
is a mere statutory privilege, and may be exercised only in the manner and in
accordance with the provisions of law. Elvas calls for our compassion to overlook the
one day delay in the filing of his petition; however, we have ruled time and again
that our kind consideration is not for the undeserving. While it is within our power to
relax the rule on timeliness of appeals, the circumstances obtaining in this case do
not warrant our liberality. Tolentino-Prieto vs. Elvas, 808 SCRA 108, November
09, 2016

FRESH PERIOD RULE


While it is evident in jurisprudence that the filing of motion for reconsideration
before the LBAA is allowed, this Court finds that, inevitably, the filing of the appeal
before the CBAA through registered mail on November 16, 2006 was already late. It
is settled that the “fresh period rule” in the case of Domingo Neypes, et al. v. Court
of Appeals, et al., 469 SCRA 633 (2005), applies only to judicial appeals and not to
administrative appeals. National Power Corporation vs. Provincial Treasurer
of Benguet, 808 SCRA 595, November 14, 2016

JURISDICTION
Thus, this Court finds it improper for the RTC and for the CA to have passed upon:
(1) the validity (or invalidity) of the lease contract and (2) Miguel’s authority (or
alleged lack thereof) to enter into the lease. While the RTC has the power to
determine the validity or invalidity of contracts, this power is exercised pursuant to
its exclusive original jurisdiction over cases where the subject is incapable of
pecuniary estimation. Quesada vs. Bonanza Restaurants, Inc., 808 SCRA 533,
November 14, 2016

Moreover, the Court has emphasized in several cases that the RTC may not motu
proprio dismiss the case on the ground of improper venue. It is a matter personal to
the parties and without their objection at the earliest opportunity, as in a motion to
dismiss or in the answer, it is deemed waived. Radiowealth Finance Company,
Inc. vs. Nolasco, 808 SCRA 639, November 14, 2016
VENUE
Apparently, the RTC mistook jurisdiction for the more lenient concept of venue. To
clarify, jurisdiction and venue are not synonymous concepts. Primarily, jurisdiction is
conferred by law and not subject to stipulation of the parties. It relates to the nature
of the case. On the contrary, venue pertains to the place where the case may be
filed. Unlike jurisdiction, venue may be waived and subjected to the agreement of
the parties provided that it does not cause them inconvenience. Radiowealth
Finance Company, Inc. vs. Nolasco, 808 SCRA 639, November 14, 2016

Clearly, stipulation on venue is permitted and must be recognized for as long as it


does not defeat the purpose of the Rules which primarily aims for the convenience
of the parties to the dispute. In Unimasters Conglomeration, Inc. v. CA, 267 SCRA
759 (1997), the Court emphasized: Parties may by stipulation waive the legal venue
and such waiver is valid and effective being merely a personal privilege, which is
not contrary to public policy or prejudicial to third persons. Radiowealth Finance
Company, Inc. vs. Nolasco, 808 SCRA 639, November 14, 2016

FINDINGS OF FACT OF LOWER COURTS


At the outset, the Court has consistently held that the lower court’s findings of fact,
particularly when affirmed by the CA, are final and conclusive upon the Court. In
this, as well as in other appeals, the Court, not being a trier of facts, does not review
their findings, especially when they are supported by the records or based on
substantial evidence. It is not the function of the Court to analyze or weigh evidence
all over again, unless there is a showing that the findings of the lower courts are
absolutely devoid of support or are glaringly erroneous as to constitute palpable
error or grave abuse of discretion. Republic vs. Limbonhai and Sons, 809 SCRA
243, November 16, 2016

LIBERAL INTERPRETATION
To start with, the exemption, being a matter of procedure, can be retrospectively
applied to his case. It is fundamental wisdom, indeed, that procedural laws do not
come within the legal conception of a retroactive law, or the general rule against
the retroactive operation of statutes, and, as such, they may be given retroactive
effect on actions pending and undetermined at the time of their passage.
Pangcatan vs. Maghuyop, 809 SCRA 157, November 16, 2016

DOCKET FEES
The rule in this jurisdiction is that when an action is filed in court, the complaint
must be accompanied by the payment of the requisite docket and filing fees.
Section 1, Rule 141 of the Rules of Court expressly requires that upon the filing of
the pleading or other application that initiates an action or proceeding, the
prescribed fees for such action or proceeding shall be paid in full. If the complaint is
filed but the prescribed fees are not paid at the time of filing, the courts acquire
jurisdiction only upon the full payment of such fees within a reasonable time as the
courts may grant, barring prescription. Pangcatan vs. Maghuyop, 809 SCRA
157, November 16, 2016

JUDGMENTS
We have consistently ruled that a decision that has acquired finality can no longer
be modified in any respect or attacked directly or indirectly, even by the highest
court of the land. The doctrine of finality and immutability of judgments is grounded
on the fundamental considerations of public policy and sound practice to the effect
that, at the risk of occasional error, the judgments of the courts must become final
at some definite date set by law. Bernardo vs. Court of Appeals (Former
Fourth Division), 809 SCRA 121, November 16, 2016

It is only in rare cases that this Court resolves to recall an entry of judgment such as
for instance, to prevent a miscarriage of justice. We relax the rules of procedure in
order to serve substantial justice considering (a) matters of life, liberty, honor or
property, (b) the existence of special or compelling circumstances, (c) the merits of
the case, (d) a cause not entirely attributable to the fault or negligence of the party
favored by the suspension of the rules, (e) a lack of any showing that the review
sought is merely frivolous and dilatory, and (f) the other party will not be unjustly
prejudiced thereby. None of these circumstances obtain in this case. Bernardo vs.
Court of Appeals (Former Fourth Division), 809 SCRA 121, November 16,
2016

REMEDIES
It is settled that the mode of judicial review over decisions of the NLRC is by a
petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Revised Rules of Court filed before the
Court of Appeals. This special original action is limited to the resolution of
jurisdictional issues, that is, lack or excess of jurisdiction and grave abuse of
discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction. Oasis Park Hotel vs. Navaluna, 809
SCRA 330, November 21, 2016

VERIFICATION
The Verification and Certificate of Non-Forum Shopping and Affidavit of Service
attached to the Petition were accompanied by a duly accomplished jurat indicating
the respective affiants’ competent evidence of identity, particularly, their Social
Security System Card and Voter’s ID, respectively. The Court already pointed out in
Heirs of Amada A. Zaulda v. Isaac Zaulda, 719 SCRA 308 (2014), that dismissal by
the Court of Appeals of the petition for lack of competent evidence on the affiant’s
identity on the attached verification and certification against forum shopping was
without clear basis. Oasis Park Hotel vs. Navaluna, 809 SCRA 330, November
21, 2016

PARTIES
The failure of petitioner to implead the complete names of all private respondents in
the caption of the Petition did not warrant the dismissal of said Petition, especially
when all the names and circumstances of the parties were stated in the body of the
Petition, under “PARTIES.” As the Court held in Genato v. Viola, 611 SCRA 677
(2010): It is not the caption of the pleading but the allegations therein that are
controlling. Oasis Park Hotel vs. Navaluna, 809 SCRA 330, November 21,
2016

ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION


It must be stressed that the very soul of an arbitration proceeding would be
rendered useless if it would be simply used as an avenue for evidence gathering or
an entrapment mechanism to lure the other unsuspecting party into conveying
information that could be potentially used against him in another forum or in court.
Federal Express Corporation vs. Airfreight 2100, Inc., 809 SCRA 382,
November 21, 2016

Rule 10.1 of A.M. No. 07-11-08-SC or the Special Rules of Court on Alternative
Dispute Resolution (Special ADR Rules) allows “[a] party, counsel or witness who
disclosed or who was compelled to disclose information relative to the subject of
ADR under circumstances that would create a reasonable expectation, on behalf of
the source, that the information shall be kept confidential x x x the right to prevent
such information from being further disclosed without the express written consent
of the source or the party who made the disclosure.” Federal Express
Corporation vs. Airfreight 2100, Inc., 809 SCRA 382, November 21, 2016

The provisions of the ADR Act and the Arbitration Rules repeatedly employ the word
“shall” which, in statutory construction, is one of mandatory character in common
parlance and in ordinary signification. Thus, the general rule is that information
disclosed by a party or witness in an ADR proceeding is considered privileged and
confidential. Federal Express Corporation vs. Airfreight 2100, Inc., 809 SCRA
382, November 21, 2016

In evaluating the merits of the petition, Rule 10.8 of the Special ADR Rules
mandates that courts should be guided by the principle that confidential information
shall not be subject to discovery and shall be inadmissible in any adversarial
proceeding. Federal Express Corporation vs. Airfreight 2100, Inc., 809 SCRA
382, November 21, 2016

JUDGMENTS
All told, We find no error on the part of the CA in dismissing the Complaint for lack
of jurisdiction and for not reviewing the document belatedly filed. Consequently, all
proceedings in the RTC are null and void. Indeed, a void judgment for want of
jurisdiction is no judgment at all, and cannot be the source of any right nor the
creator of any obligation. All acts performed pursuant to it and all claims emanating
from it have no legal effect. Cabrera vs. Clarin, 810 SCRA 563, November 28,
2016

JURISDICTION
Indeed, nowhere in the complaint was the assessed value of the subject property
ever mentioned. On its face, there is no showing that the RTC has jurisdiction
exclusive of the MTC. Absent any allegation in the complaint of the assessed value
of the property, it cannot readily be determined which court had original and
exclusive jurisdiction over the case at bar. The courts cannot take judicial notice of
the assessed or market value of the land. Cabrera vs. Clarin, 810 SCRA 563,
November 28, 2016

ESTOPPEL BY LACHES
The exception to the basic rule mentioned operates on the principle of estoppel by
laches — whereby a party may be barred by laches from invoking the lack of
jurisdiction at a late hour for the purpose of annulling everything done in the case
with the active participation of said party invoking the plea. Cabrera vs. Clarin,
810 SCRA 563, November 28, 2016

APPEALS
It is hornbook law that in appeal by certiorari to this Court under Rule 45 of the
Revised Rules of Court, the findings of fact by the CA, especially where such findings
of fact are affirmatory or confirmatory of the findings of fact of the RTC, as in this
case, are conclusive upon this Court. The reason is simple: this Court not being a
trial court, it does not embark upon the task of dissecting, analyzing, evaluating,
calibrating or weighing all over again the evidence, testimonial or documentary,
that the parties adduced during trial. Manulife Philippines, Inc. vs. Ybañez, 810
SCRA 516, November 28, 2016

FINDINGS OF FACT
Of course, there are exceptions to this rule, such as: (1) when the conclusion is
grounded upon speculations, surmises or conjectures; (2) when the inference is
manifestly mistaken, absurd or impossible; (3) when there is a grave abuse of
discretion; (4) when the judgment is based on a misapprehension of facts; (5) when
the findings of fact are conflicting; (6) when there is no citation of specific evidence
on which the factual findings are based; (7) when the findings of absence of facts is
contradicted by the presence of evidence on record; (8) when the findings of the CA
are contrary to the findings of the RTC; (9) when the CA manifestly overlooked
certain relevant and undisputed facts that, if properly considered, would justify a
different conclusion; (10) when the findings of the CA are beyond the issues of the
case; and (11) when the CA’s findings are contrary to the admission of both parties.
Manulife Philippines, Inc. vs. Ybañez, 810 SCRA 516, November 28, 2016

FORUM SHOPPING
Forum shopping, however, may or may not be deliberate, intentional, or willful. The
consequences in relation to the dismissal of the cases simultaneously or
successively filed vary as to whether forum shopping is deliberate, intentional, or
willful. If the forum shopping is not considered willful and deliberate, the subsequent
case shall be dismissed without prejudice, on the ground of either litis pendentia or
res judicata. If the forum shopping is willful and deliberate, both (or all, if there are
more than two) actions shall be dismissed with prejudice. However, the question as
to whether there was deliberate or willful intent to forum shop is a question of fact,
which the trial court is in the best position to determine. Heirs of Andres Naya vs.
Naya, 810 SCRA 582, November 28, 2016

QUESTIONS OF LAW VS QUESTIONS OF FACT


A question of law exists when there is doubt or controversy as to what the law is on
a certain state of facts, and there is a question of fact when the doubt or difference
arises as to the truth or falsehood of facts, or when the query necessarily invites
calibration of the whole evidence considering mainly the credibility of witnesses,
existence and relevancy of specific surrounding circumstances, their relation to
each other and to the whole and probabilities of the situation. No examination of the
probative value of the evidence would be necessary to resolve a question of law.
The opposite is true with respect to questions of fact. Resources Corporation vs.
Court of Appeals, 810 SCRA 447, November 28, 2016

REMEDIES
A petition for certiorari will only lie in case of grave abuse of discretion. It may be
issued only where it is clearly shown that there is patent and gross abuse of
discretion as to amount to an evasion of positive duty or virtual refusal to perform a
duty enjoined by law, or to act at all in contemplation of law, as where the power is
exercised in an arbitrary or despotic manner by reason of passion or personal
hostility. Resources Corporation vs. Court of Appeals, 810 SCRA 447,
November 28, 2016

APPEALS
Verily, the finding of Fil-Estate and Fairways’ bad faith as well as their liability for
moral damages, exemplary damages, and attorney’s fees, are all factual matters
which are not within the ambit of the instant petition for review on certiorari under
Rule 45 of the Rules of Court. In this regard, it has long been settled that factual
findings of the trial court, affirmed by the CA, are final and conclusive and may not
be reviewed on appeal, save for certain exceptions, which Fil-Estate and Fairways
failed to show in this case — at least regarding this issue. Ayson vs. Fil-Estate
Properties, Inc., 811 SCRA 520, December 01, 2016

The Court has exhaustively examined the contract between the parties, including
the so-called Special Conditions of the MERALCO TSC, the Calaca Typical Hourly
Customer’s Load Profile and the Nomination Protocol between MERALCO and NPC of
TSC Contract Energy, as cited by PSALM in its petition, and specifically the
provisions thereof quoted by the ERC, and found the same to be consistent with the
above conclusions of the said agency. As such, the Court will not interfere with the
same, mindful of the principle that actions of an administrative agency may not be
disturbed nor set aside by the judicial department sans any error of law, grave
abuse of power or lack of jurisdiction, or grave abuse of discretion clearly conflicting
with either the letter or spirit of the law. Power Sector Assets and Liabilities
Management Corporation vs. SEM-Calaca Power Corporation, 812 SCRA
156, December 05, 2016

It is general practice among the courts that the rulings of administrative agencies
like the ERC are accorded great respect, owing to a traditional deference given to
such administrative agencies equipped with the special knowledge, experience and
capability to hear and determine promptly disputes on technical matters. Factual
findings of administrative agencies that are affirmed by the Court of Appeals are
generally conclusive on the parties and not reviewable by this Court. Although there
are instances when such a practice is not applied, such as when the board or official
has gone beyond its/his statutory authority, exercised unconstitutional powers or
clearly acted arbitrarily without regard to its/his duty or with grave abuse of
discretion, or when the actuation of the administrative official or administrative
board or agency is tainted by a failure to abide by the command of the law, none of
such instances obtain in the present case which would prompt this Court to reverse
the findings of the tribunal below. Power Sector Assets and Liabilities
Management Corporation vs. SEM-Calaca Power Corporation, 812 SCRA
156, December 05, 2016