Special Civil Actions Roco

September 9, 2017 | Author: Jose Roco | Category: Lawsuit, Complaint, Declaratory Judgment, Lease, Cheque
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From the class of Atty. Jorge Melo...

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Special Civil Actions Digests Roco, B2015 I.

Atty. Jorge Melo

RULE 62: INTERPLEADER

CLASS NOTES: - Plaintiff-in-interpleader is not interested in the subject matter. - Requirements: o Conflicting claim  Must be asserted  “I think that’s my pen” not considered a claim  Mere suspicion of a claim is not enough. It has to be asserted. o Same subject matter o Against person who claims no interest 1. Ocampo v. Tirona 455 SCRA 62 (2005) FACTS: Ocampo owns a 500 sqm parcel of land in Pasay City. He bought such property from Rosauro Breton, heir of the land’s registered owner. Even though the TCT is not yet in Ocampo’s name, the possession and administration of said property was already with Ocampo. On the other hand, Tirona is a lessee occupying a portion of said land. When Ocampo bought the property, he wrote a letter to Tirona informing her of the change of ownership. Thus, in recognition of Ocampo’s ownership, Tirona paid the monthly rentals due. Later on, however, Ocampo received a letter from Tirona’s letter which states that Tirona will temporarily stop paying monthly rentals pursuant to a P.D. which declared the property in question an “area for priority development.” Consequently, Ocampo wrote a demand letter to Tirona to pay the rentals in arrears (1,200/mo) and to vacate the premises. Nonetheless, Tirona refuses to heed Ocampo’s demands. Thus, Ocampo filed a complaint for Unlawful Detainer against Tirona before the MTC. In her Answer, Tirona asserted that one Dona Lourdes Yaneza actually owns the land. Then, she was allowed to amend her answer because she filed her first Answer without the assistance of counsel.. In her Amended Answer, she claimed that the actual owner was a certain Maria Lourdes Breton-Mendiola. MTC ruled that Tirona has no reason to stop paying rent. As such, she was ordered to vacate. In the RTC, the MTC ruling was affirmed. In the CA, however, Ocampo’s complaint was dismissed because, according to the CA, the property in question should have been partitioned first. Hence, this petition. ISSUE: WHETHER OR NOT OCAMPO CAN EJECT TIRONA? HELD: YES. ALL REQUISITES OF UNLAWFUL DETAINER ARE PRESENT. SHE SHOULD HAVE FORCED THE CLAIMANTS TO THE PROPERTY TO INTERPLEAD. Ocampo has the right to eject Tirona from the subject land. All the elements required for an unlawful detainer case to prosper are present (i.e. fact of lease; expiration or violation of the lease). Ocampo notified Tirona that he purchased the subject land from Tirona’s lessor. Tirona’s continued occupation of the subject land amounted to acquiescence to Ocampo’s terms. However, Tirona eventually refused to pay rent to Ocampo, thus violating the lease. INTERPLEADER The good faith of Tirona is put in question in her preference for Maria Lourdes Breton-Mendiola. As a stakeholder, Tirona should have used reasonable diligence in hailing the contending claimants to court. Tirona need not have awaited actual institution of a suit by Ocampo against her before filing a bill of interpleader . An action for interpleader is proper when the lessee does not know the person to whom to pay rentals due to conflicting claims on the property. The action of interpleader is a remedy whereby a person who has property whether personal or real, in his possession, or an obligation to render wholly or partially, without claiming any right in both, or claims an interest which in whole or in part is not disputed by the conflicting claimants, comes to court and asks that the persons who claim the said property or who consider themselves entitled to demand compliance with the obligation , be required to litigate among themselves, in order to determine finally who is entitled to one or the other thing. 1

Special Civil Actions Digests Roco, B2015

Atty. Jorge Melo

The remedy is afforded not to protect a person against a double liability but to protect him against a double vexation in respect of one liability. When the court orders that the claimants litigate among themselves, there arises in reality a new action and the former are styled interpleaders, and in such a case the pleading which initiates the action is called a complaint of interpleader and not a cross-complaint. CLASS NOTES: - Interpleader not proper after complaint has been filed 2. Wack Wack Golf and Country Club v. Won, 70 SCRA 165 (1976) FACTS: Wack Wack filed a complaint for interpleader against defendants Lee E. Won and Bienvenido A. Tan. The complaint was in reference to the questioned Membership Fee Certificate (MFC) 201. It alleged that Won claims ownership of MFC 201 by virtue of a decision rendered in the CFI of Manila. It also alleges that Tan claims ownership of MFC 201 when it was assigned to him by the original owner of said certificate, “Swan, Culbertson, and Fritz.” Further, Wack Wack claims that it has no interest in said MFC 201 and that it has no means of determining who of the two is the lawful owner thereof. Wack Wack prayed that the defendants be made to litigate to be able to decide who the lawful owner of the MFC 201 is. The defendants moved to dismiss the complaint on the ground of res judiciata and failure to state a cause of action. CFI dismissed the case. Hence, this appeal. ISSUE:WHETHER OR NOT WACK WACK PROPERLY AVAILED OF THE REMEDY OF INTERPLEADER. HELD: WACK WACK DID NOT ACT WITH REASONABLE DILIGENCE IN INSTITUTING THE COMPLAINT FOR INTERPLEADER The action of interpleader is a remedy whereby a person who has personal property in his possession, or an obligation to render wholly or partially, without claiming any right to either, comes to court and asks that the persons who claim the said personal property or who consider themselves entitled to demand compliance with the obligation, be required to litigate among themselves in order to determine finally who is entitled to one or the other thing. The remedy is afforded to protect a person not against double liability but against double vexation in respect of one liability. The procedure under the Rules of Court is the same as that under the Code of Civil Procedure, except that under the former the remedy of interpleader is available regardless of the nature of the subject-matter of the controversy, whereas under the latter an interpleader suit is proper only if the subject-matter of the controversy is personal property or relates to the performance of an obligation. There is no question that the subject-matter of the present controversy, i.e., the membership fee certificate 201, is proper for an interpleader suit. What is here disputed is the propriety and timeliness of the remedy in the light of the facts and circumstances obtaining. A stakeholder should use REASONABLE DILIGENCE to hale the contending claimants to court. He need not await actual institution of independent suits against him before filing a bill of interpleader. He should file an action of

interpleader within a reasonable time after a dispute has arisen without waiting to be sued by either of the contending claimants. Otherwise, he maybe barred by laches or undue delay. But where he acts with reasonable diligence in view of the environmental circumstances, the remedy is not barred.

WACK WACK DID NOT ACT WITH REASONABLE DILIGENCE It was aware of the conflicting claims of the appellees with respect to the membership fee certificate 201 long before it filed the present interpleader suit. It had been recognizing Tan as the lawful owner thereof . It was sued by Lee who also claimed the same membership fee certificate. Yet it did not interplead Tan. It preferred to proceed with the litigation (civil case 26044) and to defend itself therein. As a matter of fact, final judgment was rendered against it and said judgment has already been executed. It is now therefore too late for it to invoke the remedy of interpleader. 2

Special Civil Actions Digests Roco, B2015

Atty. Jorge Melo

It has been held that a stakeholder’s action of interpleader is too late when filed after judgment has been rendered against him in favor of one of the contending claimants, especially where he had notice of the conflicting claims prior to the rendition of the judgment and neglected the opportunity to implead the adverse claimants in the suit where judgment was entered. This must be so, because once judgment is obtained against him by one claimant he becomes liable to the latter. The Corporation has not shown any justifiable reason why it did not file an application for interpleader in civil case 26044 to compel the appellees herein to litigate between themselves their conflicting claims of ownership. It was only after adverse final judgment was rendered against it that the remedy of interpleader was invoked by it. By then it was too late, because to be entitled to this remedy the applicant must be able to show that he has not been made independently liable to any of the claimants. And since the Corporation is already liable to Lee under a final judgment, the present interpleader suit is clearly improper and unavailing. It is the GENERAL RULE that before a person will be deemed to be in a position to ask for an order of interpleader , he must be prepared to show, among other prerequisites, that he has not become independently liable to any of the claimants. To now permit the Corporation to bring Lee to court after the latter’s successful establishment of his rights in civil case 26044 to the membership fee certificate 201, is to increase instead of to diminish the number of suits, which is one of the purposes of an action of interpleader, with the possibility that the latter would lose the benefits of the favorable judgment. This cannot be done because having elected to take its chances of success in said civil case 26044, with full knowledge of all the fact, the Corporation must submit to the consequences of defeat. Besides, a successful litigant cannot later be impleaded by his defeated adversary in an interpleader suit and compelled to prove his claim anew against other adverse claimants, as that would in effect be a collateral attack upon the judgment. In fine, the instant interpleader suit cannot prosper because the Corporation had already been made independently liable in civil case 26044 and, therefore, its present application for interpleader would in effect be a collateral attack upon the final judgment in the said civil case. CLASS NOTES: - Interpleader was filed after final judgment. Not proper. o Amounts to a collateral attack on the judgment; violates rule on immutability of judgments - Reasonable diligence: as soon as you find out there are conflicting claimants, file interpleader - Compare Ocampo and Wack Wack with Mesina wherein interpleader was allowed even after plaintiff had been sued. They allowed this because due diligence was exercised in filing the action. 3. Ramos v. Ramos 399 SCRA 43 (2003) FACTS: Petitioners Soledad et al are the children of the late Paulino Chanliongco who co-owned a parcel of land in Tondo. It was coowned by him, his sister Narcisa, and brothers Mario and Antonio. Through a Special Power of Attorney executed by the coowners in favor of Narcissa, her daughter, Adoracion C. Mendoza, sold the lot to Respondents. Due to conflict as to the validity of the sale, Respondents filed with the RTC a Complaint for Interpleader to resolve the various ownership claims over the property. RTC upheld the sale as to the share of Narcisa but ruled that Adoracion had no authority to sell the share of the other co-owners because the SPA was only in favor of her mother, Narcisa. On appeal, CA modified the ruling and held that the sale was all valid because Adoracion became a sub-agent of her mother Narcisa, to whom the SPA was executed in favor of. The CA decision became final. Petitioners filed a Motion to Set Aside the CA decision because it allegedly denied their right to due process. They assert that they were not served a copy of the Complaint or the Summons. Nor were they impleaded as parties in the RTC. Said Motion was denied. Hence, this petition. ISSUE: WHETHER THE PETITIONERS NEED TO BE IMPLEADED OR SUMMONED. 3

Special Civil Actions Digests Roco, B2015

Atty. Jorge Melo

HELD: NO. AN ACTION FOR INTERPLEADER COVERING A PARCEL OF LAND IS A REAL ACTION. A final judgment 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 in the land. The only exceptions to this rule are the correction of the following: (1) clerical errors; (2) the so-called nunc pro tunc entries which cause no prejudice to any party; or (3) void judgments. NO NEED TO IMPLEAD OR SERVE SUMMONS The rules on the service of summons differ depending on the nature of the action. An ACTION IN PERSONAM is lodged against a person based on personal liability; an ACTION IN REM is directed against the thing itself instead of the person; while an ACTION QUASI IN REM names a person as defendant, but its object is to subject that person’s interest in a property to a corresponding lien or obligation. The Complaint filed by respondents with the RTC called for an interpleader to determine the ownership of the real property in question. Specifically, it forced persons claiming an interest in the land to settle the dispute among themselves as to which of them owned the property. Essentially, it sought to resolve the ownership of the land and was not directed against the personal liability of any particular person. It was therefore a REAL ACTION, because it affected title to or possession of real property. As such, the Complaint was brought against the deceased registered co-owners: Narcisa, Mario, Paulino and Antonio Chanliongco, as represented by their respective estates. Clearly, petitioners were not the registered owners of the land, but represented merely an inchoate interest thereto as heirs of Paulino. They had no standing in court with respect to actions over a property of the estate, because the latter was represented by an executor or administrator . Thus, there was no need to implead them as defendants in the case, inasmuch as the estates of the deceased co-owners had already been made parties. CLASS NOTES: - Sir said not really an interpleader (hassle). Proper action should have been for Quieting of Title. 4. Beltran v. People’s Homesite and Housing Corp 29 SCRA 145 (1969) FACTS: PHHC leased housing units at Project 4 to Beltran et al. Years later, PHHC announced that the management, administration, and ownership of Project 4 would be transferred to GSIS in payment of PHHC debts. In the same announcement, PHHC asked the tenants to agree to buy the housing units and agreeing to credit 30% of what they paid as rentals. After the tenants agreed, PHHC announced that all payments by tenants would be considered as amortizations or installment-payments. Thereafter, the agreement to turnover administration and ownership of Project 4 was executed by PHHC in favor of GSIS. Subsequently, however, the new chairman of PHHC, Esmeraldo Eco, refused to recognize all agreements previously entered with GSIS. As a result, Beltran, in their own behalf and in behalf of all Project 4 residents, filed an Interpleader Suit to compel PHHC and GSIS to litigate and interplead between themselves concerning their conflicting claims involving Project 4. Beltran asserts that the conflicting claims of PHHC and GSIS caused them great inconvenience as they did not know to whom they should pay their monthly amortizations. In reply, the defendants filed a Motion to Dismiss on the ground of failure to state a cause of action. During the hearing, GSIS expressed conformity that the monthly amortization be paid directly to PHHC. As such, CFI dismissed the Complaint. Beltran filed an MR which was denied. Hence, this petition. ISSUE: WHETHER OR NOT BELTRAN PROPERLY INSTITUTED THE COMPLAINT FOR INTERPLEADER. 4

Special Civil Actions Digests Roco, B2015

Atty. Jorge Melo

HELD: NO. THE CONFLICTING CLAIMS ARE ONLY AGAINST THE CORPORATIONS AND NOT RELATED TO THE PLAINTIFFS Plaintiffs entirely miss the vital element of an action of interpleader. Rule 63, section 1 of the Revised Rules of Court (formerly Rule 14) requires as an indispensable element that “conflicting claims upon the same subject matter are or may be made” against the plaintiff-in-interpleader “who claims no interest whatever in the subject matter or an interest which in whole or in part is not disputed by the claimants.” While the two defendant corporations may have conflicting claims between themselves with regard to the management, administration and ownership of Project 4, such conflicting claims are not against the plaintiffs nor do they involve or affect the plaintiffs. No allegation is made in their complaint that any corporation other than the PHHC which was the only entity privy to their lease-purchase agreement, ever made on them any claim or demand for payment of the rentals or amortization payments. The questions of fact raised in their complaint concerning the enforceability, and recognition or non-enforceability and non-recognition of the turnover agreement of December 21, 1961 between the two defendant corporations are irrelevant to their action of interpleader, for these conflicting claims, loosely so-called, are between the two corporations and not against plaintiffs. Both defendant corporations were in conformity and had no dispute, as pointed out by the trial court that the monthly payments and amortizations should be made directly to the PHHC alone. In fine, the record shows clearly that there were no conflicting claims by defendant corporations as against plaintifftenants, which they may properly be compelled in an interpleader suit to interplead and litigate among themselves. Both defendant corporations were agreed that PHHC should continue receiving the tenants' payments, and that such payments would be duly recognized even if the GSIS should eventually take over Project 4 by virtue of their turnover agreement of December 27, 1961. CLASS NOTES: - See if there are really conflicting claims against the plaintiff-in-interpleader 5. Mesina v. IAC, 145 SCRA 497 (1986) FACTS: Jose Go bought from Associated Bank a Cashier’s Check for P800K. However, he left it on the bank manager’s desk. Said manager entrusted the check for safekeeping to Albert Uy, a bank official. While Uy had a visitor, Alexander Lim, he stepped out to answer a phone call. When he returned to his desk, Lim had already left. When Go asked for his Cashier’s Check, it was missing. Upon advice, Go executed a STOP PAYMENT Order and executed an Affidavit of Loss while Uy reported the loss of the checks to the police. Somebody tried to enchash the check at Prudential Bank but Associated Bank dishonored it pursuant to the Stop Payment Order. Thereafter, the Atty. Navarro, representing his then-unnamed client demanded from the Bank that it be paid. But the Bank explained that it belonged to Go. The Bank tried to know who tried to encash the check but to no avail. Since the Bank could not find out who Atty. Navarro’s client was, the Bank filed an Action for Interpleader against Go and John Doe (unnamed client) on Feb 1984. On the same day, the Bank received a summons to a complaint for damages from petitioner Marcelo Mesina (unnamed client) which was filed earlier than the Interpleader case. Go filed his Answer to the Interpleader case. On the other hand, instead of filing an Answer, Mesina filed an Omnibus Motion to Dismiss Ex Abudante Cautela on the ground of lack of jurisdiction because there was no order to litigate, failure to state cause of action, and lack of personality to sue. Mesina’s motion was denied. Failing to file an Answer, upon motion by Go, Mesina was declared in default. Mesina then filed a petition for certiorari with the IAC which was also denied. RTC in the Interpleader case ordered the Bank to replace the check in favor of Go or its cash equivalent. Likewise, the Damages case was dismissed in light of the decision in the Interpleader case. Hence, this petition. ISSUE: WHETHER IT WAS CORRECT TO MAINTAIN AN INTERPLEADER SUIT BY A PARTY WHO HAD BEEN SUED EARLIER ON THE SAME CLAIM (OWNERSHIP OF THE CHECK) 5

Special Civil Actions Digests Roco, B2015

Atty. Jorge Melo

HELD: YES. BANK FILED THE INTERPLEADER WITH NO KNOWLEDGE THAT IT WAS SUED BY ONE OF THE CLAIMANTS NO PROOF THAT MESINA WAS A HOLDER IN DUE COURSE Petitioner failed to substantiate his claim that he is a holder in due course and for consideration or value as shown by the established facts of the case. Admittedly, petitioner became the holder of the cashier’s check as endorsed by Alexander Lim who stole the check. He refused to say how and why it was passed to him. He had therefore notice of the defect of his title over the check from the start. The holder of a cashier’s check who is not a holder in due course cannot enforce such check against the issuing bank which dishonors the same. If a payee of a cashier’s check obtained it from the issuing bank by fraud, or if there is some other reason why the payee is not entitled to collect the check, the respondent bank would, of course, have the right to refuse payment of the check when presented by the payee, since respondent bank was aware of the facts surrounding the loss of the check in question. INTERPLEADER PROPER; BANK NOT AWARE THAT IT HAD EARLIER BEEN SUED Considering the aforementioned facts and circumstances, the Bank merely took the necessary precaution not to make a mistake as to whom to pay and therefore interpleader was its proper remedy . It has been shown that the interpleader suit was filed by the Bank because Mesina and Jose Go were both laying their claims on the check , Mesina asking payment thereon and Jose Go as the purchaser or owner. The allegation of Mesina that the Bank had effectively relieved itself of its primary liability under the check by simply filing a complaint for interpleader is belied by the willingness of the Bank to issue a certificate of time deposit in the amount of P800,000 representing the cashier’s check in question in the name of the Clerk of Court of Manila to be awarded to whoever will be found by the court as validly entitled to it. Said validity will depend on the strength of the parties’ respective rights and titles thereto. The Bank filed the interpleader suit not because Mesina sued it but because Mesina is laying claim to the same check that Go is claiming. On the very day that the bank instituted the case in interpleader, it was NOT AWARE of any suit for damages filed by Mesina against it as supported by the fact that the interpleader case was first entitled Associated Bank vs. Jose Go and John Doe, but later on changed to Marcelo A. Mesina for John Doe when his name became known to the Bank. COURT REQUIRING ANSWER FROM DEFENDANTS IS EQUIVALENT TO AN ORDER TO INTERPLEAD Mesina assails the IAC in upholding the trial court’s order declaring petitioner in default when there was no proper order for him to plead in the interpleader case. The Order of the trial court requiring the parties to file their answers is to all intents and purposes an order to interplead, substantially and essentially and therefore in compliance with the provisions of Rules. What else is the purpose of a law suit but to litigate? CLASS NOTES: - Answer equivalent to an order to interplead. If not filed, party will be declared in default. 6. Vda de Camillo v. Arcamo, 3 SCRA 146 (1961) FACTS: Petitioners Petra Vda de Camillo and the Franciscos separately possessed a parcel of public foreshore land in Zamboanga del Sur. Each of them erected adjoining commercial buildings on their respective parcels of land. In Sep. 1957, the 2 buildings burned down. Weeks later, Respondents Ong Peng Kee and Adelia Ong constructed a building of their own which encroached upon the lands previously occupied by De Camillo and Francisco. As a result, on Dec. 1957, De Camillo filed a Forcible Entry Case against the Ongs with the Justice of the Peace of Malagas. Subsequently, on Aug 1958, Francisco filed a similar case. In effect, there were 2 pending Forcible Entry cases. In their Answer, the Ongs claimed that the land where they constructed the building was leased to them by the Municipality of Malagas. 6

Special Civil Actions Digests Roco, B2015

Atty. Jorge Melo

Pending trial of the 2 cases, the Ongs filed a Complaint for Interpleader against De Camillo, Francisco, the Mayor, and Treasurer of Malagas. They alleged that the filing of the Forcible Entry Cases indicated that the Defendants had conflicting interests since they all claimed possession over the lot. Petitioners sought to dismiss the Interpleader on the ground of lack of jurisdiction, pending action for the same cause, and failure to state a cause of action. Justice of the Peace denied the Motion to Dismiss and ordered Petitioners to interplead. Consequently, the Petitioners filed a certiorari & mandamus before the CFI of Zamboanga claiming that the Justice of the Peace had no jurisdiction. CFI set aside the order of the Justice of the Peace. ISSUE: WHETHER OR NOT THE JUSTICE OF THE PEACE HAD JURISDICTION OVER THE INTERPLEADER CASE HELD: NO JURISDICTION. DE CAMILLO & FRANCISCO DID NOT HAVE CONFLICTING CLAIMS. THEIR CLAIMS WERE ONLY WITH RESPECT TO THE AREA THEY HAD PREVIOUSLY OCCUPIED. The Petitioners (De Camillo & Francisco) claimed the possession of the respective portion of the lands belonging to them on which the respondents had erected their house after the fire which destroyed petitioners’ buildings. This being the case, the contention of Petitioners that the complaint to interplead lacked cause of action, is correct. Section 1, Rule 14 of the Rules of Court provides — Interpleader when proper. — Whenever conflicting claims upon the same subject matter are or may be made against a person, who claims no interest whatever in the subject-matter, or an interest which in whole or in part is not disputed by the claimants, he may bring an action against the conflicting claimants to compel them to interplead and litigate their several claims among themselves. The Petitioners did not have conflicting claims against the Ongs. Their respective claim was separate and distinct from the other. They claimed possession of two different parcels of land, of different areas, adjoining each other. Furthermore, it is not true that the Ongs did not have any interest in the subject matter. Their interest was the prolongation of their occupancy or possession of the portions encroached upon by them . It is, therefore, evident that the requirements for a complaint of Interpleader do not exist. JUSTICE OF THE PEACE HAD NO JURISDICTION; WITHIN THE JURISDICTION OF THE CFI Even in the supposition that the complaint presented a cause of action for Interpleader, still We hold that the JP had no jurisdiction to take cognizance thereof. The complaint asking the petitioners to interplead, practically took the case out of the jurisdiction of the JP court, because the action would then necessarily “involve the title to or possession of real property or any interest therein” over which the CFI has original jurisdiction. Then also, the subject matter of the complaint (interpleader) would come under the original jurisdiction of the CFI, because it would not be capable of pecuniary estimation, there having been no showing that rentals were asked by the Petitioners from the Ongs. 7. Makati Development Corporation v. Tanjuatco, 27 SCRA 401 (1969) FACTS: MDC and Pedro Tanjuatco entered into a contract whereby Tanjuatco would construct a reinforced concrete water reservoir, office and pump house, and water main at Forbes Park. Before making the final payment agreed upon, Concrete Aggregates (Supplier of materials) informed MDC that Tanjuatco still had not paid to it the sum of P5,198. As such, MDC asked Tanjuatco if he had already settled his account with the Supplier. Then, the Supplier made a claim against Tanjuatco for said amount. Consequently, with the consent of Tanjuatco, MDC withheld said amount from its final payment. Due to Tanjuatco’s failure to settle with the Supplier, MDC filed a Complaint for Interpleader in the RTC against Tanjuatco and Supplier to compel them to interplead their conflicting claims. Tanjuatco moved to dismiss on the ground of lack of jurisdiction over the subject matter considering that the amount was less than P10K. RTC dismissed the case. Hence, this appeal where MDC maintains that the subject matter is not the P5,198 but the right to compel Tanjuatco and Supplier to litigate among themselves to protect MDC against double vexation. 7

Special Civil Actions Digests Roco, B2015

Atty. Jorge Melo

ISSUE: WHETHER OR NOT THE RTC HAS JURISDICTION OVER THE INTERPLEADER CASE HELD: NONE. There is no question in this case that MDC may compel the defendants to interplead among themselves, concerning the aforementioned sum of P5,198.75. The only issue is who among the defendants is entitled to collect the same. This is the object of the action, which is not within the jurisdiction of the lower court. As a matter of fact, on May 25, 1966, the Supplier sued Tanjuatco in the Municipal Court of Manila, for the recovery of said amount of P5,198.75, and the decision therein will settle the question as to who has a right to the sum withheld by MDC. Rule 63 of the present Rules of Court, prescribing the procedure in cases of interpleading, and section 19 of Rule 5 of said Rules of Court omits the Rules on Interpleading among those made applicable to inferior courts. The jurisdiction of our courts over the subject-matter of justiciable controversies is governed by Rep. Act No. 296, as amended, pursuant to which municipal courts shall have exclusive original jurisdiction in all civil cases “in which the demand, exclusive of interest, or the value of the property in controversy” amounts to not more than P10,000. CLASS NOTES: - Jurisdiction of interpleader action is based on ordinary rules of jurisdiction, i.e. based on the amount of the claim o Capable of pecuniary estimation which is the value of the claim 8. RCBC v. Metro Container Corporation, 365 SCRA 150 (2001) FACTS: LEYCON got a P30M loan from RCBC which was secured by a real estate mortgage over its Valenzuela property. LEYCON failed to pay RCBC thereby prompting the latter to institute extrajudicial foreclosure proceedings against it. Foreclosure took place and RCBC was the highest bidder. LEYCON filed an Action for Nullification of Extrajudicial Foreclosure against RCBC. Meanwhile, RCBC consolidated ownership over the Valenzuela property after LEYCON failed to redeem it within the 12-month period. A new TCT was issued in his favor. RCBC then demanded rental payments from METROCAN which was leasing the property from LEYCON. Later, LEYCON filed an Unlawful Detainer case against METROCAN in the MTC. The next day, METROCAN filed a Complaint for Interpleader in the RTC against LEYCON and RCBC to compel them to litigate and interplead their several claims among themselves and determine who among them shall rightfully receive payment of monthly rentals. At the pretrial of the Interpleader case, the RTC ordered the dismissal insofar as METROCAN and LEYCON were concerned in view of an amicable settlement they entered into where METROCAN paid back rentals to LEYCON. Meanwhile, judgment was rendered in the Unlawful Detainer case between METROCAN and LEYCON wherein the MTC ordered METROCAN to pay LEYCON whatever rent due. This decision became final and executor. Later, METROCAN and LEYCON separately sought to dismiss the Interpleader case for having become moot and academic due to the amicable settlement. However, the RTC denied the motions. MRs likewise were denied. Consequently, METROCAN went to the CA on certiorari to nullify the RTC order denying their motion to dismiss the Interpleader case. CA granted the petition and set aside the RTC’s orders. As a result, RCBC now files this petition. ISSUE: WHETHER OR NOT THE ACTION FOR INTERPLEADER MUST STILL PROSPER DESPITE THE FINALITY OF THE UNLAWFUL DETAINER CASE. HELD: NO. THERE’S NO MORE REASON FOR THE INTERPLEADER ACTION IN LIGHT OF THE JUDGMENT ORDERING METROCAN TO PAY LEYCON THE RENTALS DUE 8

Special Civil Actions Digests Roco, B2015

Atty. Jorge Melo

It is undisputed that METROCAN filed the Interpleader action because it was unsure which between LEYCON and RCBC was entitled to receive the payment of momthly rentals on the subject property. LEYCON was claiming payment of the rentals as lessor of the property while RCBC was making a demand by virtue of the consolidation of the title of the property in its name. It is also undisputed that LEYCON, as lessor of the subject property filed an action for Unlawful Detainer against its lessee METROCAN. The issue said case is limited to the question of physical or material possession of the premises. The issue of ownership is immaterial therein and the outcome of the case could not in any way affect conflicting claims of ownership, in this case between RCBC and LEYCON. Hence, the reason for the interpleader action ceased when the MeTC rendered judgment the Unlawful Detainer case whereby the court directed METROCAN to pay LEYCON whatever rentals due on the subject premises. While RCBC, not being a party to the Unlawful Detainer case, could not be bound by the judgment therein, METROCAN is bound by the MeTC decision. When the decision in the Unlawful Detainer case became final and executory, METROCAN has no other alternative left but to pay the rentals to LEYCON.

Precisely because there was already a judicial flat to METROCAN , there was no more reason to continue with the

Interpleader Case. Thus, METROCAN moved for the dismissal of the interpleader action not because it is no longer interested but because there is no more need for it to pursue such cause of action. II.

RULE 63: DECLARATORY RELIEF

CLASS NOTES: - Deed, will, instrument, contract, law, etc. - Justiciable controversy: there must be an assertion of a right and a consequent denial of the same o Source of conflict; not merely academic o Courts have power to resolve; not trivial 1. Allied Broadcasting Center v. Republic, 190 SCRA 782 (1990) FACTS: Through RA 3001, Allied Broadcasting was granted a franchise as a broadcasting station in the Philippines. It was able to construct, maintain, and operate 10 stations all over the country. RA 3001 provides that Allied’s franchise is “subject to amendment, alteration, or repeal by Congress when public safety so requires. Then, in 1974, PD 576-A (Decree Regulating Ownership and Operation of Radio & TV Stations) was issued. Essentially, PD 576-A limited the number of stations that one can operate which was subject to divestiture in case of excess. Also, it provided that all franchises of radio/TV broadcasting systems shall terminate on Dec. 31, 1981. Such may only operate with the authority of the Board of Communications and Secretary of Public Works and Communications. In compliance therewith, Allied was left with only 3 radio stations located in Iloilo, Bacolod, and Roxas City. As such, Allied filed a Petition for the Declaration of the Unconstitutionality of PD 576-A before the SC. It claimed great and irreparable damage for being divested of its franchise without due process, its right to construct and operate stations in other cities/municipalities, and suffered loss of income. ISSUE: WHETHER THE PETITION TO DECLARE PD 576-A FILED DIRECTLY WITH THE SC IS A PROPER REMEDY. HELD: NO. TREATED AS A DECLARATORY RELIEF, IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN FILED WITH THE RTC. The petition seeks a declaration of the unconstitutionality and/or nullity of Presidential Decree No. 576-A. As such, it must be treated as one seeking DECLARATORY RELIEF under Rule 64 of the Rules of Court. Such an action should be brought before the Regional Trial Court and not before the Supreme Court. A petition for declaratory relief is not among the petitions within the original jurisdiction of the Supreme Court even if only questions of law are involved. NO BONA FIDE CASE OR CONTROVERSY 9

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Also, there is no actual case or controversy involving the law sought to be annulled. Petitioner does not allege that it has filed an application for a license to operate a radio or television station in excess of the authorized number and that the same is being denied or refused on the basis of the restrictions under Presidential Decree No. 576-A. Petitioner does not also allege that it had been penalized or is being penalized for a violation under said Decree. There is, likewise, no allegation that any of the petitioner's stations had been confiscated or shut down pursuant to Presidential Decree No. 576-A. Obviously, the constitutional challenge is not being raised in the context of a specific case or controversy wherein the petitioner has asserted his rights. All that petitioner seeks is the nullification of PD 576-A and the reinstatement of its rights under RA 3001. CLASS NOTES: - ABC complied with the law that he later assailed as unconstitutional. No controversy was made known by ABC. o No protest; compliance with said law was unqualified o Only realized later on that they wanted to question the law. 2. Salvacion v. Central Bank, 278 SCRA 27 (1997) FACTS: First year HS student Karen Salvacion, 12 years old, was in Makati Cinema Square when an American by the name of Greg Bartelli approached her and induced her to go to his house on the premise that Karen would teach Bartelli’s niece Filipino. However, Bartelli detained her for 4 days and was able to rape Karen multiple times in the span of said 4 days. Police came when she screamed for help. A criminal case was for Serious Illegal Detention and 4 counts of Rape were filed against Bartelli. Moreover, a civil case for Damages with Preliminary Attachment was filed against Bartelli. Unfortunately, he escaped from jail. Meanwhile, upon payment of the Bond, Writ of Attachment was issued. As such, Notice of Garnishment was served on Chinabank where Bartelli had a dollar account. However, Chinabank invoked § 113 of Central Bank Circular 960 which exempted dollar deposits from attachment, garnishment, or any other process of any court, legislative body, government agency, or administrative body. In its inquiry with Central Bank, the latter clarified that the cited provision is absolute in its application and does not admit of any exceptions. Its purpose as to encourage dollar accounts in the country to help boost the economy. After summons by publication, Bartelli still failed to file an Answer. As such, after hearing the case ex parte, it rendered judgment awarding damages to Salvacion. In attempting to execute upon Bartelli’s dollar account in Chinabank, the latter invoked the exemption provision. Thus, Salvacion filed a Petition for Declaratory Relief with the SC. It prayed that Chinabank be restrained from applying the Circular on the ground that it was unconstitutional (violation of substantive due process; equal protection as it gives undue favor foreigners; it provides a safe haven. ISSUE: WHETHER THE SC CAN ENTERTAIN A PETITION FOR DECLARATORY RELIEF EVEN IF ORIGINAL JURISDICTION THEREOF LIES WITH THE RTC; PROVISIONS OF THE CIRCULAR HELD INAPPLICABLE TO THIS CASE HELD: PARTLY MERITORIOUS. Petitioner deserves to receive the damages awarded to her by the court. But this petition for declaratory relief can only be entertained and treated as a Petition for Mandamus to require respondents to honor and comply with the writ of execution in Civil Case No. 89-3214. This Court has no original and exclusive jurisdiction over a petition for declaratory relief. However, EXCEPTIONS to this rule have been recognized. Thus, where the petition has far reaching implications and raises questions that should be resolved, it may be treated as one for Mandamus. It is worth mentioning that R.A. No. 6426 was enacted in 1983 or at a time when the country’s economy was in a shambles; when foreign investments were minimal and presumably, this was the reason why said statute was enacted. But the realities of the present times show that the country has recovered economically; and even if not, the questioned law still denies those entitled to due process of law for being unreasonable and oppressive . The intention of the questioned 10

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law may be good when enacted. The law failed to anticipate the iniquitous effects producing outright injustice and inequality such as the case before us. CLASS NOTES: - In effect, the Declaratory Relief was granted because the SC construed the CB Circular based on the circumstances of the case - SC did not rule using strict technicality. It exercised its equity jurisdiction. - Lawyer should have filed a certiorari 3. Tolentino v. Board of Accountancy, 90 Phil. 83 (1951) FACTS: Hilarion Tolentino, a CPA, brought an Action for Declaratory Relief before the CFI of Manila, not for his own personal benefit or that his rights have been adversely affected, but rather for the benefit of persons belonging to other professions or callings not parties to the case, for the purpose of questioning the constitutionality of § 16-A of Commonwealth Act 342 (Phil. Accountancy Law). The action was addressed against the Board of Accountancy, Robert Ferguson, and Hans Hausamann. It alleged that the provisions of the law violates the equal protect clause as it excludes persons engaged in other professions from adopting or using a trade name in connection with their practice/callings. In other words, it only extends to those engaged in the accountancy profession. It claims that Ferguson and Hausamann practice under the trade name “Fleming & Williamson” (old trade name of accountants) is unconstitutional for excluding persons engaged in other professions from adopting a trade name. ISSUE: WHETHER OR NOT THERE IS A SUFFICIENT CAUSE OF ACTION TO QUESTION THE CONSTITUTIONALITY OF THE PHIL. ACCOUNTANCY LAW HELD: NO. LACK OF CAUSE OF ACTION. REQUISITES OF DECLARATORY RELIEF NOT COMPLIED WITH. His main objection centers on the exclusive character of the law which extends its benefits only to those engaged in the profession of accountancy. It is obvious that he seeks the declaratory relief not for his own personal benefit, or because his rights or prerogatives as an accountant, or as an individual, are adversely affected, but rather for the benefit of persons belonging to other professions or callings, who are not parties to this case. He does not claim having suffered any

prejudice or damage to him or to his rights or prerogatives as an accountant by the use of the disputed name by the defendants (Ferguson & Haussamann).

His complaint is rather addressed against the propriety of the use of said trade name by the defendants because it is misleading and is liable to defraud the public . Plaintiff, therefore, has no actual justiciable controversy against the herein defendants which may give him the right to secure relief by asserting the unconstitutionality of the law in question. This case, therefore, does not properly come under Rule 66 of the Rules of Court which authorizes the institution of an action for declaratory relief. The authorities are unanimous that in order that an ACTION FOR DECLARATORY RELIEF may be entertained, it must be predicated on the following REQUISITE facts or conditions: (1) (2) (3) (4)

there must be a justiciable controversy; the controversy must be between persons whose interests are adverse ; the party seeking declaratory relief must have a legal interest in the controversy; and the issue involved must be ripe for judicial determination.

These requisite facts are wanting and, therefore, the complaint must fail for lack of sufficient cause of action. NO VIOLATION OF THE CONSTITUTION Granting for the sake of argument that plaintiff has established the requisite facts to entitle him to claim for declaratory relief, we are, however, of the opinion that Commonwealth Act No. 342 does not offend against the equal protection clause of 11

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our Constitution on the ground of class legislation, for the reason that said Act applies alike to all persons pursuing the same calling or profession under the same conditions or requirements . Said Act gives the same right or affords the same privileges to all accountants without distinction or discrimination. This benefit is extended to the defendants as well as to the plaintiff. The only requirement is that they should comply with the provisions of Act No. 3883 as to the procedure to be followed relative to the use of the chosen trade name. So long as the law applies to all alike, the requirements of equal protection are met. CLASS NOTES: - No controversy. Not ripe for adjudication 4. PACU v. Secretary of Education, 97 Phil. 806 (1955) FACTS: The Philippine Association of College and Universities request that Act 2706 (An Act Making the Inspection and Recognition of Private Schools and Colleges Obligatory for the Secretary of Public Instruction) as amended by Act 3075 and Commonwealth Act 180 be declared unconstitutional. Said Act gives the Department of Education supervisory and regulatory power over all private schools. Section 3 thereof provides that before a private school may be opened to the public, it must first obtain a permit from the Secretary of Education. PACU alleges that the Act deprives teachers and parents of liberty and property without due process of law and deprive parents of their right to rear their children. In its defense, the Government contends that the petition constitutes no justiciable controversy. ISSUE: WHETHER OR NOT PACU PRESENTED AS JUSTICIABLE CONTROVERSY IN ASSAILING THE VALIDITY OF SAID ACT. HELD: NONE. This Court is reluctant to consider petitioner's demand for avoidance of the law aforesaid, specially where, as respondents assert, petitioners suffered no wrong — nor allege any — from the enforcement of the criticized, statute. As a GENERAL RULE, the constitutionality of a statute will be passed on only if, and to the extent that, it is directly and necessarily involved in a justiciable controversy and is essential to the protection of the rights of the parties concerned. As pointed out by the SolGen, none of petitioners has cause to present this issue because all of them have permits to operate and are actually operating by virtue of their permits. Also, they do not assert that the respondent Secretary of Education has threatened to revoke their permits. They have suffered no wrong under the terms of the law — and, naturally need no relief in the form they now seek to obtain. Courts will not pass upon the constitutionality of a law upon the complaint of one who fails to show that he is injured by its operation. Mere apprehension that the Secretary of Education might under the law withdraw the permit of one of petitioners does not constitute a justiciable controversy . An action, like this, is brought for a positive purpose, nay, to obtain actual and positive relief. Courts do not sit to adjudicate mere academic questions to satisfy scholarly interest therein, however intellectually solid the problem may be. CLASS NOTES: - The schools complied with the law. Just like in Allied Broadcasting 5. Cutaran v. DENR, 350 SCRA 697 (2001) FACTS: DENR was given by law the power to identify, delineate, and recognize ancestral land claim nationwide. Cutaran were occupants of land within Camp John Hay who filed applications for Certificate of Ancestral Land Claim (CALC) over said land. However, DENR denied the application on the ground that the tribes they allegedly belong to (Bontoc & Applai) were not among the recognized tribes of Baguio. Thereafter, the Carantes heirs also filed an application for CALC over a parcel of land which overlapped portions of the land occupied by Cutaran. 12

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While the Carantes application was pending with the DENR, Cutaran filed a Petition for Prohibition in the CA to enjoin DENR from processing the application of the Carantes because, if granted, they might be evicted. CA denied. Hence, this petition. ISSUE: WHETHER THE CUTARAN PRESENTED A JUSTICIABLE CONTROVERSY HELD: The petition was prematurely filed. Under the undisputed facts there is as yet no justiciable controversy for the court to resolve and the petition should have been dismissed by the CA on this ground. We gather from the allegations of the petition and that of the petitioners’ memorandum that the alleged application for certificate of ancestral land claim (CALC) filed by the heirs of Carantes under the assailed DENR special orders has not been granted nor the CALC applied for, issued. The DENR is still processing the application of the heirs of Carantes for a certificate of ancestral land claim , which the DENR may or may not grant. It is evident that the adverse legal interests involved in this case are the competing claims of the petitioners and that of the heirs of Carantes to possess a common portion of a piece of land. As the undisputed facts stand there is no justiciable controversy between the petitioners and the respondents as there is no actual or imminent violation of the petitioners’ asserted right to possess the land by reason of the implementation of the questioned administrative issuances. A JUSTICIABLE CONTROVERSY has been defined as, “a definite and concrete dispute touching on the legal relations of parties having adverse legal interests” which may be resolved by a court of law through the application of a law . Courts have no judicial power to review cases involving political questions and as a rule, will desist from taking cognizance of speculative or hypothetical cases, advisory opinions and in cases that has become moot. Subject to certain well-defined exceptions courts will not touch an issue involving the validity of a law unless there has been a governmental act accomplished or performed that has a direct adverse effect on the legal right of the person contesting its validity . This Court cannot rule on the basis of petitioners’ speculation that the DENR will approve the application of the heirs of Carantes. There must be an actual governmental act which directly causes or will imminently cause injury to the alleged legal right of the petitioner to possess the land before the jurisdiction of this Court may be invoked. There is no showing that the petitioners were being evicted from the land by the heirs of Carantes under orders from the DENR. CLASS NOTES: - Justiciable controversy o Definite and concrete o Touches upon legal relations of parties o Adverse legal interests 6. Caltex v. Palomar, 18 SCRA 247 (1966) FACTS: To promote patronage for its oil products, Caltex devised a promo scheme called “Caltex Hooded Pump Context.” It calls for participants to estimate the actual liters a hooded gas pump at each Caltex station. Its participation applies to all (except Caltex employees, dealers, and advertising agency). To join, no fee is required nor purchase of Caltex products. The entry forms are made available upon request at each station. Whoever gets the closest estimate of the actual liters dispensed by the hooded pump gets a price (kerosene burner, thermos bottle, hunter lantern, flashlight). Since Caltex was going to extensively use the mails, it asked postal authorities to clear the contest in advance. However, pursuant to the anti-lottery provisions of the Postal Law, the Acting Postmaster General ruled that it fell within the anti-lottery provisions and denied clearance. Moreover, he further stated that, even if it was not lottery, the contest still involves a “gift enterprise” proscribed by the Postal Law. Aggrieved, Caltex sought relief by filing a Petition for Declaratory Relief against the Postmaster praying that it be declared that the “Caltex Hooded Pump Contest” not to be violative of the Postal Law. RTC ruled in favor of Caltex. 13

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ISSUE: WHETHER OR NOT THE PETITION STATES A SUFFICIENT CAUSE OF ACTION FOR DECLARATORY RELIEF. HELD: YES. CALTEX PRESENTED A JUSTICIABLE CONTROVERSY By express mandate of section 1 of Rule 66 of the old Rules of Court, which was the applicable legal basis for the remedy at the time it was invoked, DECLARATORY RELIEF is available to any person whose rights are affected by a statute to determine any question of construction or validity arising under the statute and for declaration of his rights thereunder. In amplification, this Court, conformably to established jurisprudence on the matter, laid down certain CONDITIONS SINE QUA NON therefor, to wit: (1) (2) (3) (4)

there must be a justiciable controversy; the controversy must be between persons whose interests are adverse; the party seeking declaratory relief must have a legal interest in the controversy; and the issue involved must be ripe for judicial determination.

The appellee (Caltex), as a business enterprise of some consequence, concededly has the unquestioned right to exploit every legitimate means, and to avail of all appropriate media to advertise and stimulate increased patronage for its products. In contrast, the appellant (Postmaster), as the authority charged with the enforcement of the Postal Law, admittedly has the power and the duty to suppress transgressions thereof . Obviously pursuing its right aforesaid, the Caltex laid out plans for the sales promotion scheme hereinbefore detailed. To forestall possible difficulties in the dissemination of information thereon thru the mails, amongst other media, it was found expedient to request the Postmaster for an advance clearance therefor. However, likewise by virtue of his jurisdiction in the premises and construing the pertinent provisions of the Postal Law, the Postmaster saw a violation thereof in the proposed scheme and accordingly declined the request. A point of difference as to the correct construction to be given to the applicable statute was thus reached. Communications in which the parties expounded on their respective theories were exchanged. The confidence with which Caltex insisted upon its position was matched only by the obstinacy with which the Postmaster stood his ground. And this impasse was climaxed by the Postmaster’s open warning to Caltex. Against this backdrop, the stage was indeed set for the remedy prayed for. The Caltex’s insistent assertion of its claim to the use of the mails for its proposed contest, and the challenge thereto and consequent denial by the Postmaster of the privilege demanded, undoubtedly spawned a live controversy. The justiciability of the dispute cannot be gainsaid. There is an active antagonistic assertion of a legal tight on one side and a denial thereof on the other, concerning a real — not a mere theoretical — question or issue. The contenders are as real as their interests are substantial. To Caltex, the uncertainty occasioned by the divergence of views on the issue of construction hampers or disturbs its freedom to enhance its business. To the Postmaster, the suppression of Caltex’s proposed contest believed to transgress a law he has sworn to upholdand enforce is an unavoidable duty. Contrary to the insinuation of the Postmaster, the time is long past when it can rightly be said that merely Caltex’s “desires are thwarted by its own doubts, or by the fears of others” which admittedly does not confer a cause of action. Doubt, if any there was, has ripened into a justiciable controversy when, as in the case at bar, it was translated into a positive claim of right which is actually contested. QUESTION OF CONSTRUTION Construction, verily, is the art or process of discovering and expounding the meaning and intention of the authors of the law with respect to its application to a given case, where that intention is rendered doubtful, amongst others, by reason of the fact that the given case is not explicitly provided for in the law. 14

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Of course, no breach of the Postal Law has as yet been committed. Yet, the disagreement over the construction thereof is no longer nebulous or contingent. It has taken a fixed and final shape, presenting clearly defined legal issues susceptible of immediate resolution. If Caltex cannot obtain a final and definitive pronouncement as to whether the anti-lottery provisions of the Postal Law apply to its proposed contest, it would be faced with these choices: If it launches the contest and uses the mails for purposes thereof, it not only incurs the risk, but is also actually threatened with the certain imposition, of a fraud order with its concomitant stigma which may attach even if the appellee will eventually be vindicated; if it abandons the contest, it becomes a self-appointed censor, or permits the appellant to put into effect a virtual fiat of previous censorship which is constitutionally unwarranted. CLASS NOTES: - Ripe for adjudication 7. Mirando v. Wellington, 81 SCRA 506 (1978) FACTS: Shortly after the Liberation, Mirando et al occupied and lived within the premises of Arellano University from 1945-1950. To solve the problem posed by squatters to public health and sanitation and to meet the needs to the University, Manila Mayor de La Fuente secured approval of Quezon City Mayor Diaz to relocate the squatters to a certain parcel of land which was formerly owned by a Japanese. But because the latter was an enemy alien, the Phil. Alien Property Custodian (Phil. Board of Liquidators) took possession of those lots. During Mirando’s occupancy, they built shit on thereon and were charged nominal rates by the PBL. In 1953, PBL, with the approval of the President, bartered the land in question with another piece of property owned by one Carmen Planas. Later, in 1964, the Administrator of the Planas Estate sold the lots to Wellington Ty & Bros. Inc. TCT was issued in favor of the latter. Then, Wellington demanded for Mirando et al to vacate. The latter refused. An ejectment case was filed in QC. As a result, Mirando et al filed a Petition for Declaratory Relief for Cancellation of Title and/or Reconveyance anchoring their claim on the allegation that they were bona fide occupants and that they were deprived of the preferential right to purchase the lots. CFI ruled that Mirando et al had no rights over the land and that it was not able to show that the PBL had no authority to sell the land to Planas and then to Wellington. CA upheld. ISSUE: WHETHER OR NOT REQUISITES FOR FILING AN ACTION FOR DECLARATORY RELIEF WAS PRESENT. HELD: NO. Under the Rules of Court, declaratory relief is an action which any person interested under a deed, will, contract, or other written instrument, or whose rights are affected by a statute, executive order or regulation, or ordinance, may, before breach or violation thereof, bring to determine any question of construction or validity arising under the instrument or statute and for a declaration of his rights or duties thereunder. Petitioners-appellants brought this action with a claim that they were deprived of their preferential right to buy the disputed lots by virtue of a CONTRACT OF SALE involving said lots executed between the administrator of the estate of the late Carmen Planas and respondent Wellington Ty & Bros., Inc But it is evident from the records that from the date of their relocation to the disputed lots in 1950 to the date of the filing of this petition for declaratory relief, at no time did the

petitioners-appellants acquire any interest whatsoever in the parcels of land subject of the aforementioned contract of sale. They ENJOYED NO RIGHTS which were violated, or at the least, affected, by the exchange of properties between the national government and the late Carmen Planas, and eventually, by the above contract of sale between the administrator of the estate of Carmen Planas and the respondent-appellee Wellington Ty & Bros., Inc. The authorities are unanimous that in order that an action for declaratory relief may be entertained, it must be predicated on the following REQUISITE facts or conditions: (1) there must be a justifiable controversy; (2) the controversy must be 15

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between persons whose interests are adverse; (3) the party seeking declaratory relief must have a legal interest in the controversy; and (4) the issue involved must be ripe for judicial determination. All these requisite facts are not present; the complaint must, therefore, fail for lack of sufficient cause of action. CLASS NOTES: - Legal interest: squatters ain’t got none - No right of preference to purchase land 8. Delumen v. Republic, 94 Phil. 287 (1954) FACTS: Antonio, Juan, and Julito Delumen filed a petition in the CFI of Samar alleging that they are legitimate children of a Filipino woman and a man declared adjudged to be a Filipino citizen. They prayed that the court determine whether they are Filipino citizens and declare their corresponding rights and duties. In response, the SolGen filed an Answer contending that the petition states no cause of action since there is no adverse party against whom the petitioners have an actual or justiciable controversy. After the hearing, CFI declared that Delumens were Filipino citizens by birth and blood. As such, SolGen appealed. Delumen argued that by virtue of the Answer filed by the SolGen, a justiciable controversy arose. ISSUE: WHETHER OR NOT THE PETITION HAD A SUFFICIENT CAUSE OF ACTION HELD: NO JUSTICIABLE CONTROVERSY. A justiciable controversy is one involving an active antagonistic assertion of a legal right on one side and a denial thereof on the other concerning a real, and not a mere theoretical question or issue. Since there is nothing in the petition which even intimates that the alleged status of the appellees as Filipino citizens had in any instance been questioned or denied by any specific person or authority. Indeed, the petition alleges that the appellees have considered themselves and were considered by their friends and neighbors as Filipino citizens, voted in the general elections of 1946 and 1947, and were registered voters for the elections of 1951, and it is not pretended that on any of said occasions their citizenship was controverted. It is not accurate to say, as appellees do, that an actual controversy arose after the filing by the Solicitor General of an opposition to the petition, for the reason that the cause of action must be made out by the allegations of the complaint or petition, without the aid of the answer. As a matter of fact, the answer herein alleges that the petition states no cause of action. In essence, the appellees merely wanted to remove all doubts in their minds as to their citizenship, but an action for declaratory judgment cannot be invoked solely to determine or try issues or to determine a moot, abstract or theoretical question, or to decide claims which are uncertain or hypothetical. 9. Lim v. Republic, 37 SCRA 783 (1971) FACTS: Felisa Lim filed n Petition before the CFI of Zamboanga praying that she be permitted to take the oath of allegiance as a Filipino citizen and be repatriated. She avers that she was formerly a Philippine citizen who lost her citizenship by reason of marriage to a Chinese national. Now that her husband died, it was her intention to reacquire Philippine citizenship. Despite the Government’s opposition, the CFI declared Lim to have all the qualifications required by law and allowed her to take the oath. ISSUE: WHETHER OR NOT MATTERS OF CITIZENSHIP CAN BE PRESENTED IN AN ACTION FOR DECLARATORY RELIEF. HELD: NO. The procedure for the repatriation of a female citizen of the Philippines, who has lost her citizenship by reason of marriage to an alien, is as simple as it can possibly be. All that is required of her, upon termination of her marital status, is for her to take the necessary oath of allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines and to register said oath in the proper civil registry. In fact, 16

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the allegations and, particularly, the prayer in the petition of appellee herein suggest that she is aware of the pertinent legal provisions. It is, moreover, apparent that her objective is to settle her political status prior to marriage. In other words, thru her petition herein, she hopes to establish that she was a citizen of the Philippines before she contracted marriage. As a consequence, her petition is, in effect, one for a DECLARATORY RELIEF, which this Court has repeatedly held to be inapplicable to the political status of natural persons. Declaratory relief in this jurisdiction is a special civil action which may lie only when ‘any person interested under a

deed, will, contract or other written instrument, or whose rights are affected by statute or ordinance,’ demands construction thereof for a declaration of his rights thereunder . None of the above circumstances exists in the case under consideration. And this Court has already held that there is no proceeding established by law or the rules by which any person claiming to be a citizen may get a declaration in a court of justice to that effect or in regard to his citizenship. CLASS NOTES: - Declaratory relief cannot be used for citizenship stuff

10. Dela Llana v. COMELEC, 80 SCRA 525 (1977); I don’t even understand why the fuck this case was assigned. FACTS: On Dec. 17, 1977, COMELEC, pursuant to PD 1229, initiated a referendum with the question: “Do you vote that Pres. Marcos continue as President and be Prime Minister after the organization of the Interim Batasang Pambansa as provided by Amendment 3 of the 1976 Amendments to the Constitution?” Dela Llana filed a “Petition for Prohibition or Declaratory Relief” against the COMELEC. He claimed that said question was in the nature and form of an amendment to the constitution. ISSUE: WHETHER OR NOT IT WAS AN AMENDMENT. HELD: NO. PETITION DISMISSED. The holding of the referendum will not result in an indirect amendment to Amendment No. 3 to the Constitution. PD 1229 cannot therefore be said to suffer from any constitutional infirmity. If the people vote “yes,” Amendment No. 3 will merely be reaffirmed and reinforced. If the people vote “no,” the incumbent President, heeding “the will” of the people, will — as he has categorically announced — resign; in such situation, he will be merely exercising the prerogative, inherent in all public officials, to resign. In either case the Constitution, as it now reads, will remain unaltered. Moreover, it is a political and non-justiciable question because the power to determine when a referendum should be called and what matter is important for referral to the people, resides in the political branch of the Government. Lastly, the call for the referendum is explicitly authorized by Amendment No. 7 of the Constitution. If, pursuant to this grant of power, the President decides, as he has decided, to consult with the people and submit himself to a vote of confidence in a referendum because he deems it important to do so, he cannot be constitutionally faulted. It is clear from the above that the petition does not pose any question of sufficient importance or significance to warrant the further attention of the Court. 11. Ollada v. Central Bank, 5 SCRA 297 (1962) FACTS: Felipe Ollada was a CPA whose name was placed in the rolls of CPAs authorized and accredited to practice accountancy in the Office of the Central Bank. In 1955, the Import-Export Department thereof issued a requirement that CPAs submit to an accreditation under oath before they could certify as financial statements of their clients applying for import dollar allocations. Having not complied with this, Ollada’s accreditation was nullified. 17

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Ollada thus assailed such accreditation requirement on the ground that it was an unlawful invasion of the jurisdiction of the Board of Accountancy, in excess of the CB’s powers, and that it unlawful restrained his legitimate pursuit of his trade. He thus filed a Petition for Declaratory Relief in the CFI of Manila to nullify said requirements. In said Petition, Ollada stated that he “sufficiently alleged ultimate facts which violated his right as a duly qualified CPA,” and in addition, he also alleged that “ by virtue of the violation of his right and that of numerous CPAs, he has suffered serious injury.” CB filed a MTD on the ground that Ollada had no cause of action considering that CB had power to issue such rules and regulations. Thereafter, Ollada sought to enjoin CB from enforcing such requirements via Writ of Preliminary Injunction. CB submitted a memorandum saying that it was willing to delete a paragraph from the Issuance which required CPAs to follow strictly the rules and regulations promulgated. Having done so, the Petition for Preliminary Injunction was denied. However, Ollada filed an MR because it alleged that CB was still enforcing said requirement. Thus, the CFI granted the Injunction. On MR by CB, the Writ of Preliminary Injunction was set aside. Later, CFI resolved the MTD filed by CB and dismissed the complaint by Ollado. Hence, this appeal. ISSUE: WHETHER OR NOT, BASED ON THE FACTS ALLEGED IN THE PETITION, THE CFI CORRECTLY DISMISSED THE CASE. HELD: YES. The complaint for declaratory relief will not prosper if filed after a contract, statute or right has been breached or violated. In the present case such is precisely the situation arising from the facts alleged in the petition for declaratory relief. As vigorously claimed by petitioner himself, Central Bank had already invaded or violated his right and caused him injury — all these giving him a complete cause of action enforceable in an appropriate ordinary civil action or proceeding. The dismissal of the action was, therefore, proper in the light of our ruling in De Borja vs. Villadolid and Samson vs. Andal where we held that an action for declaratory relief should be filed before there has been a breach of a contract, statutes or right, and that it is sufficient to bar such action, that there had been a breach — which would constitute actionable violation. The rule is that an action for Declaratory Relief is proper only if adequate relief is not available through the means of other existing forms of action or proceeding. CLASS NOTES: - Do not ask for damages - Violation of right 12. Sarmiento v. Capapas, 4 SCRA 816 (1962) FACTS: In May 1958, shipments of tobacco were imported by Philippine Tobacco FlueCuring and Redrying Corporation (PTFRC) under Barter Permit No. 1380. The Collector of Customs thereafter authorized the release of said imported goods. Said shipments of tobacco are due to arrive at the Port of Manila under the same Barter Permit which will earn an aggregate sum of $4.9M. However, certain interested parties objected to the importation of said tobacco allegedly because the Barter Permits were issued in violation of the provisions of existing laws. As such, Sarmiento et al filed an Action for Injunction against Capapas, Commissioner of Customs, to prohibit them from releasing importations made under the Barter Permit No. 1380 in the name of PTFRC and to order Collector of Customs to institute seizure proceedings and confiscation proceedings of the importations of tobacco under the same Barter Permit. Later, however, Sarmiento filed a Motion to be Permitted to File A New Petition for Declaratory Relief. With Preliminary Injunction. It asked the court to determine whether the Barter Permit is valid. 18

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Capapas et al raised the defense that the petition does not state a cause of action for declaratory relief. CFI of Ilocos Norte declared the Barter Permit was against the law and thus void. As such, it ordered the forfeiture to the Government of said importations. ISSUE: WHETHER OR NOT AN ACTION FOR DECLARATORY RELIEF IS PROPER CONSIDERING THAT THERE HAS BEEN A BREACH OF THE LAW. HELD: NO. IT VIOLATES THE RULE ON MULTIPLICITY OF SUITS. If an action for declaratory relief were to be allowed in this case, after a breach of the statute, the decision of the court in the action for declaratory relief would prejudge the action for violation of the barter law. The institution of an action for declaratory relief after a breach of contract or statute, is objectionable on various grounds, among which is that it violates the rule on multiplicity of suits. If the case at bar were allowed for a declaratory relief, the judgment therein notwithstanding, another action would still lie against the importer respondent for violation of the barter law . So, instead of one case only before the courts in which all issues would be decided, two cases will be allowed, one being the present action for declaratory relief and a subsequent one for the confiscation of the importations as a consequence of the breach of the barter law. The impropriety of allowing an action for declaratory relief, after a breach of the law, can be seen in the very decision of the court itself, which is now subject of the appeal. Whereas the case at bar was purported to bring about a simple declaration of the rights of the parties to the action, the judgment goes further than said declaration and decrees that the importation by the respondent corporation violates the law, and further directs that the legal importation be confiscated under the provisions of the law. This condition directed by the court lies clearly beyond the scope and nature of an action for declaratory relief, as the judgment of confiscation goes beyond the issues expressly raised, and to that extent it is null and void. That the proper remedy under the circumstances was an action for injunction, and not one for declaratory relief, is evident from the fact that the original petition was for injunction; petitioner herein only changed the nature of the action into one for declaratory relief when, as they explain, they found out that they did not have funds for the writ of preliminary injunction. As a final reason for dismissing the present action, we have the undeniable fact that as of this date (March, 1962) the permit had expired two years before (its life extended to January 21, 1960 only), and all the shipments under the permit had already been delivered to the consignee and used in the manufacture of tobacco. Under the circumstances and at present, of what use will a declaration of the rights of the parties under the barter law be? In fact as of the date of this decision the issues have become moot and academic and the court can do no other than declare the action to be so and of no practical use or value. 13. Edades v. Edades, 99 Phil. 676 (1956) FACTS: Juan Edades is an illegitimate son of Emigdio Edades. Emigdio had 8 other legitimate children. He filed an action seeking Declaratory Judgment on his hereditary rights in the property of his father and also recognition of his status as an illegitimate son of Emigdio. He claims that, as an illegitimate child, he is entitled to share in the inheritance of his father under the law. Also, to prevent a costly litigation, he files this action because his father’s other legitimate children will deny his right to inherit. Severino Edades and other legitimate heirs filed a Motion to Dismiss on the ground that the complaint states facts sufficient to constitute a cause of action. The trial court granted the motion and ruled that an Action for Declaratory Relief cannot be availed of to compel recognition of hereditary rights. As such, Juan Edades appealed. ISSUE: WHETHER OR NOT THE ACTION FOR DECLARATORY RELIEF IS PROPER. HELD: NO. REQUISITES OF A DECLARATORY RELIEF WERE NOT MET. 19

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Under the law, an action for declaratory relief is proper when any person is interested "under a deed, will, contract or other written instrument, or whose rights are affected by a statute or ordinance" in order to determine any question of construction or validity arising under the instrument or statute, or to declare his rights or duties thereunder (section 1, Rule 66). Moreover, the action should be predicated on the following conditions: (1) (2) (3) (4)

there must be a justiciable controversy; the controversy must be between persons whose interest are adverse; the party seeking declaratory relief must have a legal interest in the controversy ; and the issue involved must be ripened for judicial determination.

The present case does not come within the purview of the law authorizing an action for declaratory relief for it neither concerns a deed, will, contract or other written instrument, nor does it affect a statute or ordinance, the construction or validity of which is involved. Nor is it predicated on any justiciable controversy for admittedly the alleged rights of inheritance which plaintiff desires to assert against the defendants as basis of the relief he is seeking for have not yet accrued for the simple reason that his alleged father Emigdio Edades has not yet died. In fact, he is one of the herein defendants. And the law is clear that "the rights to the succession are transmitted from the moment of the death of the decedent" (Article 777, new Civil Code). Up to that moment, the right to succession is merely speculative for, in the meantime, the law may change, the will of the testator may vary, or the circumstances may be modified to such an extent that he who expects to receive property may be deprived of it. Indeed, the moment of death is the determining point when an heir acquires a definite right to the inheritance. This action therefore cannot be maintained if considered strictly as one for declaratory relief. But the present action, though captioned as one for declaratory relief, is not merely aimed at determining the hereditary right of the plaintiff to eventually preserve his right to the property of his alleged father, but rather to establish his status as illegitimate child in order that, should his father die, his right to inherit may, not be disputed, as at present, by the other defendants who are the legitimate children of his father. It is true that there is no express provision in the new Civil Code which prescribe the step that may be taken to establish such status as in case of a natural child who can bring an action for recognition but this silence notwithstanding, we declare that a

similar action may be brought under similar circumstances considering that an illegitimate child other than natural is now given successional rights and there is need to establish his status before such rights can be asserted and enforced. Considering that the rules of procedure shall be liberally construed to promote their object and avoid an expensive litigation we hold that the present action may be maintained in the light of the view herein expressed.

Thc case is remanded to the trial court for further proceedings in connection with the determination of the alleged status of the plaintiff as an illegitimate son of Emigdio Edades, without pronouncements as to costs. 14. Degala v. Reyes, 87 Phil. 649 (1950) FACTS: While the will of Placida Mina was being probated, Santiago Degala, one of the legal heirs, filed an action for Declaratory Judgment praying that the provisions of said will and testament creating a trust be declared null and void because, as alleged, there was no cestui que trust named therein. The only persons made party-defendants in the Petition were Cecilia Reyes (Petitioner of the Probate of the Will), Valentin Umipig (special administrator of the estate of the Placida Mina), and Leona Leones and Cipriana Alcantara (named trustees under the will). After the hearing, CFI ruled that in view of the unanimous desire of the parties, the will creating the trust was declared void. Reyes, et al appealed. They contend that since the will left properties for the repair and maintenance of the church, it created a charitable and religious trust in favor for the church. 20

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ISSUE: WHETHER OR NOT ALL THE INTERESTED PARTIES HAVE BEEN IMPLEADED IN THE ACTION FOR DECLARATORY JUDGMENT. HELD: NO. It is obvious, that the Roman Catholic Church or its legal representative the Roman Catholic Bishop of Nueva Segovia,

has interest in defending the validity of the trust created in the will and its interest would be affected by the declaration of nullity of the trust. Section 3, Rule 66, of the Rules of Court provides that "when declaratory relief is sought, all persons shall be made parties who have or claim any interest which would be affected by the declaration, and no declaration shall, except as otherwise provided in these rules, prejudice the rights of persons not parties to the action." The non-joinder of necessary parties would deprive the declaration of that final and pacifying function it is calculated to subserve, as they would not be bound by the declaration and may raise the identical issue.

And the absence of a defendant with such adverse interest is a jurisdictional defect , and no declaratory judgment can be rendered. But the Roman Catholic Church, or its legal representative was not included as party defendant in the present case. In view of the foregoing, the judgment appealed from in so far as it declares the trust under consideration null and void, is set aside, without pronouncement as to costs. CLASS NOTES: - Church was an indispensible party. So, absence thereof is a jurisdictional defect 15. Baguio Citizen’s Action v. City Council, 121 SCRA 368 (1983) FACTS: The City Council of Baguio City passed Ordinance 386 which essentially considered all squatters of public land in Baguio as bona fide occupants of their respective lots. The purpose of said Ordinance was supposedly to extend a helping hand to the numerous landless city residents/squatters. As a result, Baguio Citizen’s Action (BCA) filed a Petition for Declaratory Relief in the CFI of Baguio against the City Council and the Mayor and prayed for a judgment declaring the Ordinance invalid and illegal ab initio. The City Council filed a Motion to Dismiss but was denied. Nonetheless, the CFI rendered a decision dismissing the Petition on the ground that the squatters who have come within the protection of the Ordinance were not made parties to the Petition and thus held that non-joinder of such parties is a jurisdictional defect. Hence, this appeal. ISSUE: WHETHER OR NOT THE SQUATTERS HAVE TO BE IMPLEADED IN ORDER FOR THE DECLARATORY RELIEF TO PROSPER. HELD: NO. The non-inclusion of the squatters mentioned in the Ordinance in question as party defendants in this case cannot defeat the jurisdiction of the CFI of Baguio. There is nothing in Section 2 of Rule 64 of the Rules of Court which says that

the non-joinder of persons who have or claim any interest which would be affected by the declaration is a jurisdictional defect. Said section merely states that “All persons shall be made parties who have or claim any interest which

would be affected by the declaration; and no declaration shall, except or otherwise provided in these rules, prejudice the rights of persons not parties to the action.” This section contemplates a situation where there are other persons who would be affected by the declaration, but were not impleaded as necessary parties, in which case the declaration shall not prejudice them. If at all, the case may be dismissed not on the ground of lack of jurisdiction but for the reason stated in Section 5 of the same Rule stating that “the Court may refuse to exercise the power to declare rights and to construe instruments in any case where a decision would not terminate the uncertainty or controversy which gave rise to the action, or any case where the declaration or construction is not necessary and proper at the time under all circumstances.” It must be noted that the reason for the law requiring the joinder of all necessary parties is that failure to do so would deprive the declaration of the final and pacifying function the action for declaratory relief is calculated to subserve , as they would not be bound by the declaration and may raise the identical issue . In the case at bar, although it is true that any declaration by the court would affect the squatters, the latter are not necessary parties because the question 21

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involved is the power of the Municipal Council to enact the Ordinances in question. Whether or not they are impleaded, any determination of the controversy would be binding upon the squatters. A different situation obtains in the case of Degala v. Reyes cited in the decision under review. The Degala case involves the validity of the trust created in the will of the testator. In the said case, the Roman Catholic Church which was a necessary party, being the one which would be most vitally affected by the declaration of the nullity of the will was not brought in as party. The Court therefore, refused to make any declaratory judgment on ground of jurisdictional defect, for there can be no final judgment that could be rendered and the Roman Catholic not being bound by such judgment might raise the identical issue, making therefore the declaration a mere exercise in futility. This is not true in the instant case. A declaration on the nullity of the ordinance, would give the squatters no right which they are entitled to protect. The party most interested to sustain and defend the legality of the Ordinance is the body that passed it, the City Council, and together with the City Mayor, is already a party in these proceedings. CLASS NOTES: - Necessary parties not impleaded are not prejudiced; not a jurisdictional defect III.

RULE 64: REVIEW OF COMELEC/COA JUDGMENTS AND FINAL ORDERS

CLASS NOTES: - Talks about final orders only (en banc) - Mode of Review: Certiorari o Errors in jurisdiction o Lack of jurisdiction o Grave abuse of discretion Rule 64 30 days If your file an MR, only balance left from receipt of denial. Attach certified true copies of all annexes

Rule 65 60 days If you file MR, fresh period of 60 days from receipt of denial. Certified true copies of order, decisions, etc.

1. Aratuc v. COMELEC, 88 251 (1979) FACTS: Aratuc and Mandangan bring separate petitions to assail the COMELEC resolution of January 13, 1979 which declared as final the result of the canvass of the election in Region XII for representatives to the IBP held in April 7, 1978. ISSUE: WHETHER OR NOT THE SC CAN TAKE COGNIZANCE OF THE PETITIONS ASSAILING THE RESOLUTION OF COMELEC HELD: YES. CERTIORARI ON THE GROUND OF GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION IS THE PROPER REMEDY Now before discussing the merits of the foregoing contentions, it is necessary to clarify first the nature and extent of the Supreme Court’s power of review in the premises. The ARATUC PETITION is expressly predicated on the ground that respondent Comelec “committed grave abuse of discretion, amounting to lack of jurisdiction” in eight specifications. On the other hand, the MANDANGAN PETITION raises pure questions of law and jurisdiction. In other words, both petitions invoked the Court’s certiorari jurisdiction, not its appellate authority of review. This is as it should be. While under the Constitution of 1935, “the decisions, orders and rulings of the Commission shall be subject to review by the Supreme Court” (Sec. 2, first paragraph, Article X) and pursuant to the Rules of Court, the petition for “certiorari or review” shall be on the ground that the Commission “has decided a question of substance not theretofore determined by the Supreme Court, or has decided it in a way not in accord with law or the applicable decisions of the Supreme Court” (Sec. 3, Rule 43), and such provisions refer not only to election contests but even to pre-proclamation proceedings, the 1973 Constitution provides somewhat differently thus: “ Any decision, order or ruling of the Commission may be 22

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brought to the Supreme Court on certiorari by the aggrieved party within thirty days from his receipt of a copy thereof” (Section 11, Article XII c), even as it ordains that the Commission shall “be the sole judge of all contests relating to the elections, returns and qualifications of all members of the National Assembly and elective provincial and city officials” (Section 2 (2).)

Correspondingly, the Election Code of 1978, which is the first legislative construction of the pertinent constitutional provisions, makes the Commission also the “sole judge of all pre-proclamation controversies” and further provides that “any of its decisions, orders or rulings (in such controversies) shall be final and executory”, just as in election contests, “the decision of the Commission shall be final, and executory and inappealable.” (Section 193) It is at once evident from these constitutional and statutory modifications that there is a definite tendency to enhance and invigorate the role of the Commission on Elections as the independent constitutional body charged with the safeguarding of free, peaceful and honest elections. The framers of the new Constitution must be presumed to have definite knowledge of what it means to make the decisions, orders and rulings of the Commission “subject to review by the Supreme Court”. And since instead of maintaining that provision intact, it ordained that the Commission’s actuations be instead “brought to the Supreme Court on certiorari”, We cannot insist that there was no intent to change the nature of the remedy, considering that the limited scope of certiorari, compared to a review, is well known in remedial law. Withal, as already stated, the legislative construction of the modified pertinent constitutional provision is to the effect that the actuations of the Commission are final, executory and even inappealable. While such construction does not exclude the general certiorari jurisdiction of the Supreme Court which inheres in it as the final guardian of the Constitution , particularly, of its imperious DUE PROCESS MANDATE, it correspondingly narrows down the scope and extent of the inquiry the Court is supposed to undertake to what is strictly the office of certiorari as distinguished from review. We are of the considered opinion that the statutory modifications are consistent with the apparent new constitutional intent. Indeed, it is obvious that to say that actuations of the Commission may be brought to the Supreme Court on certiorari technically connotes something less than saying that the same “shall be subject to review by the Supreme Court”, when it comes to the measure of the Court’s reviewing authority or prerogative in the premises. REVIEW V. CERTIORARI A REVIEW includes digging into the merits and unearthing errors of judgment, while CERTIORARI deals exclusively with grave abuse of discretion, which may not exist even when the decision is otherwise erroneous. CERTIORARI implies an indifferent disregard of the law, arbitrariness and caprice, an omission to weigh pertinent considerations, a decision arrived at without rational deliberation. While the effects of an error of judgment may not differ from that of an indiscretion, as a matter of policy, there are matters that by their nature ought to be left for final determination to the sound discretion of certain officers or entities, reserving it to the Supreme Court to insure the faithful observance of due process only in cases of patent arbitrariness. Such, to Our mind, is the constitutional scheme relative to the Commission on Elections. Conceived by the charter as the effective instrument to preserve the sanctity of popular suffrage, endowed with independence and all the needed concomitant powers, it is but proper that the Court should accord the greatest measure of presumption of regularity to its course of action and choice of means in performing its duties, to the end that it may achieve its designed place in the democratic fabric of our government. Ideally, its members should be free from all suspicions of partisan inclinations, but the fact that actually some of them have had stints in the arena of politics should not, unless the contrary is shown, serve as basis for denying to its actuations the respect and consideration that the Constitution contemplates should be accorded to it, in the same manner that the Supreme Court itself which from time to time may have members drawn from the political ranks or even from the military is at all times deemed insulated from every degree or form of external pressure and influence as well as improper internal motivations that could arise from such background or orientation. We hold, therefore, that under the existing constitutional and statutory provisions, the certiorari jurisdiction of the Court over orders, rulings and decisions of the COMELEC is not as broad as it used to be and should be confined to instances of grave abuse of discretion amounting to patent and substantial denial of due process. Accordingly, it is in this light that We shall proceed to examine the opposing contentions of the parties in these cases. 23

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2. Ambil Jr. v. COMELEC, 344 SCRA 358 (2000) FACTS: The Provincial Board of Canvassers in Eastern Samar proclaimed Ambil as the duly elected governor. On the other hand, Ramirez obtained the second highest number of votes. Thus, Ramirez filed an election protest challenging the results. Said case was assigned to the COMELEC’s First Division which was then composed of Commissioners Guiani, Desamito, and Tancangco. In Feb 15, 2000, Guiani retired from service. It will only be on April 4, 2000 when Guiani’s replacement, Javier would assume office. Then, around Feb 24, 2000, Ramirez & Ambil received a purported resolution signed by Guiani and Tancangco with Desamito dissenting which ruled in favor of Ramirez. Days later, the First Division declared that the purported resolution is a useless scrap of paper. On June 15, 2000, the First Division issued an order setting the promulgation of the resolution on June 20. Without waiting for the promulgation, Ambil filed a petition seeking to annul the order setting the promulgation of the resolution of the case and directing the COMELEC to deliberate anew on the case. ISSUE: WHETHER OR NOT COMELEC FIRST DIVISION ACTED WITH GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION IN SCHEDULING THE PROMULGATION

HELD: NO. The power of the Supreme Court to review decisions of the COMELEC is prescribed in the Constitution, as follows: Section 7. Each commission shall decide by a majority vote of all its members any case or matter brought before it within sixty days from the date of its submission for decision or resolution. A case or matter is deemed submitted for decision or resolution upon the filing of the last pleading, brief, or memorandum required by the rules of the commission or by the commission itself. Unless otherwise provided by this constitution or by law, any decision, order, or ruling of each commission may be brought to the Supreme Court on certiorari by the aggrieved party within thirty days from receipt of a copy thereof . We have interpreted this provision to mean final orders, rulings and decisions of the COMELEC rendered in the exercise of its adjudicatory or quasi-judicial powers.” This decision must be a final decision or resolution of the Comelec en banc, not of a division and certainly not an interlocutory order of a division. The Supreme Court has no power to review via certiorari, an interlocutory order or even a final resolution of a Division of the COMELEC. The mode by which a decision, order or ruling of the COMELEC en banc may be elevated to the Supreme Court is by the special civil action of certiorari under Rule 65 of the 1964 Revised Rules of Court, now expressly provided in Rule 64, 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, as amended. Rule 65, Section 1, 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, as amended, requires that there be no appeal, or any plain, speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law. A motion for reconsideration is a plain and adequate remedy provided by law. Failure to abide by this procedural requirement constitutes a ground for dismissal of the petition. In like manner, a decision, order or resolution of a division of the COMELEC must be reviewed by the COMELEC en banc via a MR before the final en banc decision may be brought to the Supreme Court on certiorari. The prerequisite filing of a MR is mandatory. Article IX-C, Section 3, 1987 Constitution provides as follows: Section 3. The Commission on Elections may sit en banc or in two divisions, and shall promulgate its rules of procedure in order to expedite disposition of election cases, including pre-proclamation controversies. All such election cases shall be heard and decided in division, provided that motions for reconsideration of decisions shall be decided by the Commission en banc . Similarly, the Rules of Procedure of the COMELEC provide that a decision of a division may be raised to the en banc via a motion for reconsideration. 24

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The case at bar is an election protest involving the position of Governor, Eastern Samar. It is within the original jurisdiction of the COMELEC in division. Admittedly, Ambil did not ask for a reconsideration of the division’s resolution or final decision. In fact, there was really no resolution or decision to speak of because there was yet no promulgation , which was still scheduled on June 20. Ambil went directly to the Supreme Court from an order of “promulgation of the Resolution of this case” by the First Division of the COMELEC. Under the existing Constitutional scheme, a party to an election case within the jurisdiction of the COMELEC in division cannot dispense with the filing of an MR of a decision, resolution or final order of the Division of the Commission on Elections because the case would not reach the COMELEC en banc without such motion for reconsideration having been filed and resolved by the Division. The instant case does not fall under any of the recognized exceptions to the rule in certiorari cases dispensing with an MR prior to the filing of a petition. In truth, the exceptions do not apply to election cases where an MR is mandatory by Constitutional fiat to elevate the case to the COMELEC en banc, whose final decision is what is reviewable via certiorari before the Supreme Court. We are aware of the ruling in Kho v. Commission on Elections, that “in a situation such as this where the COMELEC in division committed grave abuse of discretion or acted without or in excess of jurisdiction in issuing interlocutory orders relative to an action pending before it and the controversy did not fall under any of the instances mentioned in Section 2, Rule 3 of the COMELEC Rules of Procedure, the remedy of the aggrieved party is not to refer the controversy to the Commission en banc as this is not permissible under its present rules but to elevate it to this Court via a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court.” This is the case relied upon by the dissenting justice to support the proposition that resort to the Supreme Court from a resolution of a COMELEC Division is allowed. Unfortunately, the Kho case has no application to the case at bar. The issue therein is, may the COMELEC in division admit an answer with counter-protest after the period to file the same has expired? The COMELEC First Division admitted the answer with counter-protest of the respondent. The Supreme Court declared such order void for having been issued with grave abuse of discretion tantamount to lack of jurisdiction. However, an important moiety in the Kho case was not mentioned in the dissent. It is that the COMELEC, First Division, denied the prayer of petitioner for the elevation of the case to en banc because the orders of admission were mere interlocutory orders. Hence, the aggrieved party had no choice but to seek recourse in the Supreme Court. Such important fact is not present in the case at bar. 3. ABS-CBN v. COMELEC, 323 SCRA 811 (2000) FACTS: ABS CBN prepared a project to conduct radio-TV coverage of the elections and to make an exit survey of the vote during the elections for national officials, the results of which shall be broadcast immediately. Believing that this might conflict with the national COMELEC count as well as the unofficial NAMFREL quick count, COMELEC en banc issued a resolution 20 days before the election itself or on April 21, 1998 restraining/stopping ABS CBN from conducting such survey. ABS CBN then filed a Petition for Certiorari under Rule 65 assailing said resolution. SolGen contends that the Petition should be dismissed for failure to exhaust available remedies like filing an MR. ISSUE: WHETHER COMELEC ACTED WITH GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION IN ENJOINING ABS CBN FROM CONDUCTING EXIT POLLS. HELD: YES. This Court has ruled in the past that this procedural requirement may be glossed over to prevent a miscarriage of justice, when the issue involves the principle of social justice or the protection of labor , when the decision or resolution sought to be set aside is a nullity, or when the need for relief is extremely urgent and certiorari is the only adequate and speedy remedy available. The instant Petition assails a Resolution issued by the Comelec en banc on April 21, 1998, only twenty (20) days before the election itself. Besides, ABS CBN got hold of A copy thereof only on May 4, 1998. Under the circumstances, there was 25

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hardly enough opportunity to move for a reconsideration and to obtain a swift resolution in time for the May 11, 1998

elections. Moreover, not only is time of the essence; the Petition involves transcendental constitutional issues. Direct resort to this Court through a special civil action for certiorari is therefore justified. 4. Repol v. COMELEC, 428 SCRA 321 (2004) FACTS: Repol and Ceracas were candidates for Municipal Mayor of Pagsanghan, Samar in the 2001 elections. Ceracas was proclaimed winner by 66 votes. Thus, Repol filed an election protest in the RTC. RTC dismissed the election protest. On certiorari, COMELEC First Division reversed the RTC order dismissing the protest and ordering the RTC to reinstate the protest and revise the ballots. MR was denied by COMELEC en banc. Then, RTC declared Ceracas’ proclamation void and proclaimed Repol as winner. Ceracas appealed to the COMELEC and Repol filed a Motion for Execution Pending Appeal which was granted. Repol took his oath of office. Then, pending Ceracas’ appeal, the latter filed a Petition for Certiorari with the COMELEC First Division assailing the writ of execution. COMELEC First Division then issued an Order directing the parties to maintain status quo ante. As such, Repol filed a Petition for Certiorari in the SC alleging the COMELEC First Division committed grave abuse of discretion in issuing such Order. ISSUE: WHETHER OR NOT INTERLOCUTORY ORDERS FROM COMELEC DIVISION CAN BE BROUGHT TO THE SC. HELD: YES. AS AN EXCEPTION, DIRECT RESORT TO THE SC IS JUSTIFIED. The Order did not dispose of the case completely as there is something more to be done. Interlocutory orders merely rule on an incidental issue and do not terminate or finally dispose of the case as they leave something to be done before it is finally decided on the merits. Since the COMELEC First Division issued the interlocutory Order, the same COMELEC First Division should resolve Repol’s MR of the Order. The remedy of the aggrieved party is neither to file an MR for certification to the COMELEC en banc nor to elevate the issue to this Court via a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Civil Procedure. Section 5, Rule 19 of the 1993 COMELEC Rules of Procedure governs MRs of decisions of a COMELEC Division, as follows: SEC. 5. How Motion for Reconsideration Disposed of. — Upon the filing of a motion to reconsider a decision, resolution, order or ruling of a Division, the Clerk of Court concerned shall, within twenty-four (24) hours from the filing thereof, notify the presiding Commissioner. The latter shall within two (2) days thereafter certify the case to the Commission en banc. In Gementiza v. Commission on Elections, the Court explained the import of this rule in this wise: Under the above-quoted rule, the acts of a Division that are subject of a motion for reconsideration must have a character of finality before the same can be elevated to the COMELEC en banc. The elementary rule is that an order is final in nature if it completely disposes of the entire case. But if there is something more to be done in the case after its issuance, that order is interlocutory. Only final orders of the COMELEC in Division may be raised before the COMELEC en banc. Section 3, Article IXC of the 1987 Constitution mandates that only motions for reconsideration of final decisions shall be decided by the COMELEC en banc. Under this constitutional provision, the COMELEC en banc shall decide motions for reconsideration only of “decisions” of a Division, meaning those acts having a final character. Clearly, the assailed status quo ante Order, being interlocutory, should first be resolved by the COMELEC First Division via a motion for reconsideration. Furthermore, the present controversy does not fall under any of the instances over which the COMELEC en banc can take cognizance of the case. Section 2, Rule 3 of the 1993 COMELEC Rules of Procedure provides: 26

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SEC. 2. The Commission En Banc. — The Commission shall sit en banc in cases hereinafter specifically provided, or in preproclamation cases upon a vote of a majority of the members of the Commission, or in all other cases where a division is not authorized to act, or where, upon a unanimous vote of all the Members of a Division, an interlocutory matter or issue relative to an action or proceeding before it is decided to be referred to the Commission en banc. The present case is not one of the cases specifically provided under the COMELEC Rules of Procedure in which the COMELEC may sit en banc. Neither is this case one where a division is not authorized to act nor a case where the members of the First Division unanimously voted to refer the issue to the COMELEC en banc. Thus, the COMELEC en banc is not even the proper forum where Repol may bring the assailed interlocutory Order for resolution. Repol went directly to the Supreme Court from an interlocutory order of the COMELEC First Division. Section 7, Article IX of the 1987 Constitution prescribes the power of the Supreme Court to review decisions of the COMELEC, as follows: Section 7. Each commission shall decide by a majority vote of all its members any case or matter brought before it within sixty days from the date of its submission for decision or resolution. A case or matter is deemed submitted for decision or resolution upon the filing of the last pleading, brief, or memorandum required by the rules of the commission or by the commission itself. Unless otherwise provided by this constitution or by law, any decision, order, or ruling of each commission may be brought to the Supreme Court on certiorari by the aggrieved party within thirty days from receipt of a copy thereof. We have interpreted this constitutional provision to mean final orders, rulings and decisions of the COMELEC rendered in the exercise of its adjudicatory or quasi-judicial powers. The decision must be a final decision or resolution of the COMELEC en banc. The Supreme Court has no power to review via certiorari an interlocutory order or even a final resolution of a Division of the COMELEC. Failure to abide by this procedural requirement constitutes a ground for dismissal of the petition. However, this rule is not ironclad. In ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corporation v. COMELEC, we stated — This Court, however, has ruled in the past that this procedural requirement [of filing a motion for reconsideration] may be glossed over to prevent a miscarriage of justice, when the issue involves the principle of social justice or the protection of labor, when the decision or resolution sought to be set aside is a nullity, or when the need for relief is extremely urgent and certiorari is the only adequate and speedy remedy available. The Court further pointed out in ABS-CBN that an exception was warranted under the peculiar circumstances of the case since there was hardly enough opportunity to move for a reconsideration and to obtain a swift resolution in time for the 11 May 1998 elections. The same can be said in Repol’s case. We rule that direct resort to this Court through a special civil action for certiorari is justified under the circumstances obtaining in the present case . IV.

RULE 65: CERTIORARI, PROHIBITION, MANDAMUS

a. CERTIORARI CLASS NOTES: - Person asking about jurisdiction o Whether the respondent has jurisdiction/discretion to do a particular thing. - Judicial or Quasi-judicial functions - You cannot substitute Rule 65 Certiorari for a lost appeal Rule 45 (Petition for Review on Certiorari) Appeal

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Questions of law Only for final decisions, orders Parties are the same Only 15 days from notice to file petition Stays execution of judgment No need to file MR

Errors of jurisdiction or grave abuse only Any interlocutory order, issuance Original action against public respondent 60 days from notice to file petition Does not stay judgment unless there is a TRO or Injunction MR is a condition sine qua non (with certain exceptions)

1. Tuazon v. Register of Deeds, 157 SCRA 613 (1988) FACTS: Act. 1120 and CA No. 32 were promulgated to allow the purchase of friar lands called the “Tala Estate.” The laws provided until the price was fully paid, title thereto was reserved to the government. Pursuant to said laws, Camel Farms Inc. bought said property. Thereafter, in 1965, Sps. Tuason bought around 8K sqm of said property from Camel out of their retirement funds as retired public school teachers. Then, they took possession thereof. However, 8 years later, Marcos issued PD 293. Essentially, it declared that they were no longer owners of the land because they had been declared for disposition and sale to the members of the Malacanang Homeowners Association. In said PD, Marcos invalidated the Tuason’s title after making a finding that Camel did not make full payment of the purchase pursuant to Act 1120 and CA No. 32. Thus, title had remained with the Government. There was even contradictory declarations in said PD when it was stated that both the buyers from Camel and members of the Malacanang Homeowners Association were occupants of the same lot at the same time. Nonetheless, by virtue of said PD, the Register of Deeds of Caloocan inscribed in the Tuasons title that it was declared null and void. Sps. Tuason then filed a Petition for Certiorari assailing PD 293 as an arbitrary measured which violated their right to due process, just compensation, and Land Registration Act on the indefeasibility of Torrens titles. On the other hand, SolGen opposed on the ground that the remedy was improper considering that they were not suing the government in the exercise of its judicial/quasi-judicial powers. ISSUE: WHETHER OR NOT THE VALIDITY OF PD 293 CAN BE ASSAILED BY A PETITION FOR CERTIORARI GIVEN THE FACT THAT IT IS AN ACT OF THE EXECUTIVE. HELD: YES. MARCOS EXERCISED JUDICIAL FUNCTIONS, VIOLATED DUE PROCESS The extraordinary writ of certiorari may properly issue to nullify only judicial or quasi-judicial acts, unlike the writ of prohibition which may be directed against acts either judicial or ministerial. Section 1, Rule 65 of the Rules of Court deals with the writ of certiorari in relation to “any tribunal, board or officer exercising judicial functions, while Section 2 of the same Rule treats of the writ of prohibition in relation to “proceedings of any tribunal, corporation, board, or person exercising functions judicial or ministerial.” But the petition will be shown upon analysis to be in reality directed against an unlawful exercise of judicial power. The decree reveals that Mr. Marcos exercised an obviously judicial function. He made a determination of facts, and applied the law to those facts, declaring what the legal rights of the parties were in the premises. These acts essentially constitute a judicial function, or an exercise of jurisdiction — which is the power and authority to hear or try and decide or determine a cause. He adjudged it to be an established fact that “neither the original purchasers nor their

subsequent transferees have made full payment of all installments of the purchase money and interest on the lots claimed by Carmel Farms, Inc., including those on which the dwellings of the members of x x (the) Association (of homeowners) stand.” And applying the law to that situation, he made the adjudication that “title to said land has remained with the Government, and the land now occupied by the members of said association has never ceased to form part of the property of the Republic of the Philippines,” and that “any and all acts affecting said land and purporting to segregate it from the said property of the Republic x x (were) null and void ab initio as against the law and public policy.”

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These acts may thus be properly struck down by the writ of certiorari, because done by an officer in the performance of what in essence is a judicial function, if it be shown that the acts were done without or in excess of jurisdiction, or with grave abuse of discretion. Since Mr. Marcos was never vested with judicial power — such power, as everyone knows, being vested in the Supreme Court and such inferior courts as may be established by law — the judicial acts done by him were in the circumstances indisputably perpetrated without jurisdiction. The acts were completely alien to his office as chief executive, and utterly beyond the permissible scope of the legislative power that he had assumed as head of the martial law regime. Moreover, he had assumed to exercise power — i.e., determined the relevant facts and applied the law thereto — without a trial at which all interested parties were accorded the opportunity to adduce evidence to furnish the basis for a determination of the facts material to the controversy. He made the finding ostensibly on the basis of “the records of the Bureau of Lands.” Prescinding from the fact that there is no indication whatever the nature and reliability of these records and that they are in no sense conclusive, it is undeniable that the Tuasons (and the petitioners in intervention) were never confronted with those records and afforded a chance to dispute their trustworthiness and present countervailing evidence. This is yet another fatal defect. The adjudication was patently and grossly violative of the right to due process to which the petitioners are entitled in virtue of the Constitution. Mr. Marcos, in other words, not only arrogated unto himself a power never granted to him by the Constitution or the laws but had in addition exercised it unconstitutionally. In any event, this Court has it in its power to treat the petition for certiorari as one for prohibition if the averments of the former sufficiently made out a case for the latter. Considered in this wise, it will also appear that an executive officer had acted without jurisdiction — exercised judicial power not granted to him by the Constitution or the laws—and had furthermore performed the act in violation of the constitutional rights of the parties thereby affected. The Court will grant such relief as may be proper and efficacious in the premises even if not specifically sought or set out in the prayer of the appropriate pleading, the permissible relief being determined after all not by the prayer but by the basic averments of the parties’ pleadings. CLASS NOTES: - Not directed toward an office but the exercise of the functions of such office 2. Meralco Securities Industrial Corporation v. Central Board of Assessment Appeals, 114 SCRA 260 (1982) FACTS: Pursuant to a pipeline concession, Meralco Securities installed a pipeline system from Batangas to Manila. Said pipeline is embedded in the soil and are firmly and solidly welded together so as to preclude breakage or damage and prevent leakage or seepage of the oil. In other words, they are permanently attached to the land. However, Meralco notes that segments of the pipeline can be moved from one place to another as provided in the permit issued which provides that the government reserves the right to remove/transfer the pipes should they be affected by any road repair or improvement. Nonetheless, pursuant to the Assessment Law (CA 470), the assessor of Laguna treated the pipeline as real property subject to real property tax. Thereafter, it issued assessments. Meralco appealed the assessments to the Board of Assessment Appeals which upheld said assessments. Then, it was appealed to the CBAA which likewise upheld it. Meralco filed an MR within the 15 day reglamentary period but was denied. As such, Meralco filed a petition for certiorari claiming that. SolGen contends that certiorari is not proper considering that the CBAA acted within its jurisdiction. ISSUE: WHETHER OR NOT CERTIORARI WAS PROPERLY AVAILED OF. HELD: YES. HOWEVER, CBAA DID NOT ACT WITH GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION It is a writ issued by a superior court to an inferior court, board or officer exercising judicial or quasi-judicial functions whereby the record of a particular case is ordered to be elevated for review and correction in matters of law. 29

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The rule is that as to administrative agencies exercising quasi-judicial power there is an underlying power in the courts to scrutinize the acts of such agencies on questions of law and jurisdiction even though no right of review is given by the statute. The PURPOSE OF JUDICIAL REVIEW is to keep the administrative agency within its jurisdiction and protect substantial rights of parties affected by its decisions. The review is a part of the system of checks and balances which is a limitation on the separation of powers and which forestalls arbitrary and unjust adjudications. Judicial review of the decision of an official or administrative agency exercising quasi-judicial functions is proper in cases of lack of jurisdiction, error of law, grave abuse of discretion, fraud or collusion or in case the administrative decision is corrupt, arbitrary or capricious. NO FINDING THAT CBAA GRAVELY ABUSED ITS DISCRETION The CBAA, in confirming the ruling of the provincial assessor and the provincial board of assessment appeals that Meralco Securities’ pipeline is subject to realty tax, reasoned out that the pipes are machinery or improvements, as contemplated in the Assessment Law and the Real Property Tax Code; that they do not fall within the category of property exempt from realty tax under those laws; that articles 415 and 416 of the Civil Code, defining real and personal property, have no application to this case; that even under article 415, the steel pipes can be regarded as realty because they are constructions adhered to the soil and things attached to the land in a fixed manner and that Meralco Securities is not exempt from realty tax under the Petroleum law. Meralco Securities insists that its pipeline is not subject to realty tax because it is not real property within the meaning of article 415. This contention is not sustainable under the provisions of the Assessment Law, the Real Property Tax Code and the Civil Code It is incontestable that the pipeline of Meralco Securities does not fall within any of the classes of exempt real property enumerated in section 3 of the Assessment Law and section 40 of the Real Property Tax Code. The pipeline system in question is indubitably a construction adhering to the soil. It is attached to the land in such a way that it cannot be separated therefrom without dismantling the steel pipes which were welded to form the pipeline . Insofar as the pipeline uses valves, pumps and control devices to maintain the flow of oil, it is in a sense machinery within the meaning of the Real Property Tax Code. It should be borne in mind that what are being characterized as real property are not the steel pipes but the pipeline system as a whole. Meralco Securities has apparently two pipeline systems. Meralco Securities argues that the realty tax is a local tax or levy and not a tax of general application. This argument is untenable because the realty tax has always been imposed by the lawmaking body and later by the President of the Philippines in the exercise of his lawmaking powers. The realty tax is enforced throughout the Philippines and not merely in a particular municipality or city but the proceeds of the tax accrue to the province, city, municipality and barrio where the realty taxed is situated. In contrast, a local tax is imposed by the municipal or city council by virtue of the Local Tax Code. We hold that the CBAA did not act with grave abuse of discretion, did not commit any error of law and acted within its jurisdiction in sustaining the holding of the provincial assessor and the local board of assessment appeals that Meralco Securities’ pipeline system in Laguna is subject to realty tax. CLASS NOTES: - Remedy which most embodies judicial power o Underlying power of the court to review administrative agencies even if no right of review is given 3. Ermita v. Aldecoa-Delorino, 651 SCRA 128 (2011) FACTS: PGMA promulgated EO 486 which effectively reduced the protective tariff rates from 10% to 5% on the entry of inexpensive products from ASEAN Free Trade member countries into the Philippines. Accordingly, the Association of Petrochemical Manufacturers of the Philippines (APMP) opposed the implementation of EO 486. They claim that it would prejudice local 30

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manufacturers. Thus, it filed a Petition seeking the unconstitutionality of the EO for being contrary to RA 6647 and the Tariff and Customs Code which prohibits the President from increasing or reducing taxes while Congress is in session. APMP prayed for the issuance of a Writ of Preliminary Injunction. Exec. Sec. filed an Omnibus Motion to Dismiss. Nonetheless, Judge Delorino denied the Motion and granted the Writ. Thus, Ermita filed a Petition for Certiorari alleging that the Judge gravely abused her discretion in granting the writ on the ground that the exercise of the President of her quasi-legislative functions cannot be enjoined. He avers that Writs of Prohibition only applies to those exercising judicial, quasi-judicial, or ministerial functions. APMP denies the Petition on the ground of prematurity for failing to first avail of an MR to assail the Order of the Judge denying the Motion to Dismiss and granting the Writ. ISSUE: WHETHER OR NOT AN MR IS NECESSARY PRIOR TO THE FILING OF THE PETITION FOR CERTIORARI HELD: NO. EXCEPTIONS: URGENT NECESSITY + PUBLIC INTEREST It is settled that what determines the nature of the action and which court has jurisdiction over it are the allegations in the complaint and the character of the relief sought. A perusal of the petition of APMP before the trial court readily shows that it is not a mere petition for prohibition with application for the issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction. For it is also one for certiorari as it specifically alleges that E.O. 486 is invalid for being unconstitutional, it having been issued in contravention of Sec. 4 of R.A. 6647 and Sec. 402(e) of the Tariff and Customs Code, hence, its enforcement should be enjoined and Ermita prohibited from implementing the same. Thus, even if the petition was denominated as one for prohibition, the Judge did not err in treating it also as one for certiorari and taking cognizance of the controversy. Ordinarily, certiorari as a special civil action will not lie unless a motion for reconsideration is first filed before the respondent tribunal, to allow it an opportunity to correct its assigned errors. This rule, however, is not without exceptions. The rule is, however, circumscribed by well-defined exceptions, such as (a) where the order is a patent nullity, as where the court a quo had no jurisdiction; (b) where the questions raised in the certiorari proceeding have been duly raised and passed upon by the lower court, or are the same as those raised and passed upon in the lower court; (c) where there is an urgent necessity for the resolution of the question and any further delay would prejudice the interests of the Government or of the petitioner or the subject matter of the action is perishable; (d) where, under the circumstances, a motion for reconsideration would be useless; (e) where petitioner was deprived of due process and there is extreme urgency for relief; (f) where, in a criminal case, relief from an order of arrest is urgent and the granting of such relief by the trial court is improbable; (g) where the proceedings in the lower court are a nullity for lack of due process; (h) where the proceedings were ex parte, or in which the petitioner had no opportunity to object; and (i) where the issue raised is one purely of law or where public interest is involved. The present case involves the constitutionality and implementation of an executive issuance involving tariff rates and, as alleged by petitioner, the Government’s commitments under the AFTA. Clearly, the filing of a motion for reconsideration may be dispensed with following exceptions (c) and (i) in the above enumeration in Siok Ping Tang. CLASS NOTES: - Lowering of tariff rates is an executive function - Certiorari was still granted 4. Francisco v. Toll Regulatory Board FACTS: 31

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Oh fuck. Totally forgot about this case. ISSUE: HELD: When an act of a branch of government is seriously alleged to have infringed the Constitution, it becomes not only the right but in fact the duty of the Judiciary to settle the dispute. In doing so, the judiciary merely defends the sanctity of its powers and duties under the Constitution. CLASS NOTES: - Extension of franchise by president is an exercise of legislative function - Certiorari is not just contained in Rule 65 but also in Art. 8 Sec 1 of the Constitution. 5. Angara v. Fedman Development Corporation, 440 SCRA 467 (2004) FACTS: Fedman filed a Complaint for Accion Reivindicatoria and/or Quieting of Title against Angara before the RTC of Nasugbu. It was alleged that Fedman is the registered owner of different adjoining lots with a total area of 67K sqm. In 1995, they discovered that Angara had fenced the lands without her knowledge and consent. Based on a relocation survey, it was shown that the lands occupied by Angara are covered by Fedman’s TCTs. Thus, they were asked to vacate. In his Answer, Angara claims that he is the lawful owner. Then, at the instance of the parties, RTC authorized that a ground relocation survey be conducted. For the purpose, a Constitution of Three Surveyors composed of 3 geodetic engineers. Thereafter, said surveyors submitted their individual reports to the court. A year later, Angara filed an Omnibus Motion praying that judgment be rendered on the basis of the Commissioner’s Report and to implead all parties that will be affected. RTC denied the Omnibus Motion on the ground that no joint survey was conducted. As such, the Commissioner’s Report cannot be the basis of the judgment. Angara’s MR was denied. As a result, Angara filed in the CA a Petition for Certiorari on the ground of grave abuse of discretion upon the RTC for refusing to render judgment based on the Commissioner’s Report and its refusal to implead the parties affected. CA dismissed. Angara filed a Petition for Review in the SC. SC dismissed. Hence, this MR. ISSUE: WHETHER OR NOT THE RTC GRAVELY ABUSED ITS DISCRETION WHEN IT DENIED ANGARA’S MOTION TO RENDER JUDGMENT BASED ON THE COMMISSIONERS’ REPORT. HELD: NO. It must be emphasized that the petition before the CA is a special civil action for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court. Certiorari under Rule 65 is a remedy narrow in scope and inflexible in character. It is not a general utility tool in the legal workshop. It offers only a limited form of review. Its principal function is to keep an inferior tribunal within its jurisdiction. It can be invoked only for an error of jurisdiction, that is, one where the act complained of was issued by the court, officer or a quasi-judicial body without or in excess of jurisdiction, or with grave abuse of discretion which is tantamount to lack or in excess of jurisdiction. EXCESS OF JURISDICTION as distinguished from absence of jurisdiction means that an act, though within the general power of a tribunal, board or officer is not authorized, and invalid with respect to the particular proceeding, because the conditions which alone authorize the exercise of the general power in respect of it are wanting. WITHOUT JURISDICTION means lack or want of legal power, right or authority to hear and determine a cause or causes, considered either in general or with reference to a particular matter. It means lack of power to exercise authority. GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION implies such capricious and whimsical exercise of judgment as is equivalent to lack of jurisdiction or, in other words, where the power is exercised in an arbitrary manner by reason of passion, prejudice, or personal hostility, and it must be so patent or gross as to amount to an evasion of a positive duty or to a virtual refusal to perform the duty enjoined or to act at all in contemplation of law . 32

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Not every error in proceeding, or every erroneous conclusion of law or fact, is abuse of discretion. In this case, the assailed orders of the RTC are but resolutions on incidental matters which do not touch on the merits of the case or put an end to the proceedings. They are interlocutory orders since there leaves something else to be done by the RTC with respect to the merits of the case. Ordinarily, the remedy against an interlocutory order is not to resort forthwith to certiorari but to continue with the case in due course and, when an unfavorable verdict is handed down, to take an appeal in the manner authorized by law. However, where there are special circumstances clearly demonstrating the inadequacy of an appeal , the special civil action of certiorari may exceptionally be allowed. Special circumstances are absolutely wanting in the present case. The wisdom or soundness of the RTC’s orders involves a matter of judgment which is not properly reviewable by petition for certiorari, which is intended to correct defects of jurisdiction solely and not to correct errors of procedure or matters in the RTC’s findings or conclusions. Any error therein amounts only to an error of judgment. An error of judgment

committed by a court in the exercise of its legitimate jurisdiction is not the same as “grave abuse of discretion.” Errors of judgment are correctible by appeal, while those of jurisdiction are reviewable by certiorari.

Furthermore, where the court has jurisdiction over the subject matter, the orders or decisions upon all questions pertaining to the cause are orders or decisions within its jurisdiction and however erroneous they may be, they cannot be corrected by certiorari. Elsewise stated, when the court; has jurisdiction over the case, its questioned acts, even if its findings are not correct, would at most constitute errors of law and not abuse of discretion correctible by the extraordinary remedy of certiorari. A writ of certiorari is not intended to correct every controversial interlocutory ruling. A contrary rule would lead to confusion, and seriously hamper the administration of justice. Angara failed to demonstrate his claim that the RTC acted with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or in excess of its jurisdiction in denying his prayer for rendition of judgment based on the commissioners’ report. The Rules of Court clearly provides that the trial court is not bound by the findings of the commissioners or precluded from disregarding the same. It may adopt, modify, reject the report or recommit it with instructions, or require the parties to present further evidence. Neither has Angara demonstrated that the RTC acted with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or in excess of its jurisdiction in denying his prayer to implead adjoining property owners. The RTC correctly observed that Angara did not identify the property owners allegedly affected or will be affected by the suit. The RTC cannot simply order a blanket inclusion of property owners in the entire Barangay Balaytigue, Nasugbu, Batangas. It is the petitioner’s responsibility to state the names of all the persons whom he claims will be affected by the suit or any judgment therein. CLASS NOTES: - Distinguish lack of jurisdiction and excess of jurisdiction (Sir thinks they’re both the same) - Discretion is never absolute - There are conditions to the exercise of discretion - Certiorari not a remedy for errors in judgment 6. Intestate Estate of Carmen de Luna v. IAC, 170 SCRA 246 (1989) FACTS: Jose de Luna Gonzales and former Judge Ramon Icasiano were appointed as co-administrators of the estate of Carmen de Luna in a Special Proceedings Case. After Judge Icasiano died, Gonzales became the sole administrator. Decades later, Gonzales filed a Motion for Allowances and Payment of Administrator’s Commission in accordance with Rule 85 Sec. 7. Before the court could act upon it, Jose de Luna Gonzales died. As such, his heirs immediately filed a Supplemental Motion for Allowances and Payment of Administrator’s Commission or Fees in the amount of P500K. However, this was opposed by one of Carmen de Luna’s heirs. Meanwhile, Catalina Gonzales 33

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(wife of Jose De Luna Gonzales) was named as the new administratrix. As such, the court ordered for her to submit a complete and sworn inventory of the estate. Pursuant to such order, she filed said inventory which showed that the total value of the estate was at 10.7M. Thereafter, the court granted the compensation (P500K) asked for by the former administrator. Consequently, the heirs of the deceased appealed. CA affirmed. On MR, CA modified the decision and declared that the former administrator was entitled to P4,312. Aggrieved, the administratrix filed an MR which was however denied. Hence, this petition. ISSUE: WHETHER OR NOT THE ADMINISTRATOR IS ENTITLED TO P500K BY WAY OF COMPENSATION AS ADMINISTRATOR OF THE ESTATE. HELD: YES. RTC CORRECTLY AWARDED 500K BY WAY OF COMPENSATION The applicable provision is the proviso which states: “in any special case, where the estate is large and the settlement has been attended with great difficulty and has required a high degree of capacity on the part of the executor or administrator, a greater sum may be allowed.” A wide latitude, leeway or discretion is therefore given to the trial court to grant a greater sum. And the determination of whether the administration and liquidation of an estate have been attended with greater difficulty and have required a high degree of capacity on the part of the executor or administrator rests on the sound discretion of the court which took cognizance of the estate. The trial court, in applying this proviso awarded the sum of P500,000.00 as administrator’s compensation. There appears to be no sound justification why the CA should interfere with the exercise of the trial court’s discretion, absent a showing that the trial court committed any abuse of discretion in granting a greater remuneration to the petitioner. The trial court’s order is based on substantial evidence and the applicable rule. In the case of Litton Mills v. Galleon Traders, et al., this court had the occasion to explain: An act of a court or tribunal may only be considered as in grave abuse of discretion when the same was performed in a capricious or whimsical exercise of judgment which is equivalent to lack of jurisdiction. The abuse of discretion must be so patent and gross as to amount to an evasion of positive duty or to a 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 and despotic manner by reason of passion or personal hostility. The records of the case is replete with evidence to prove that the late administrator Jose de Luna Gonzales had taken good care of the estate and performed his duties without any complaint from any of the heirs. And with regards to the inventory, the respondents did not even present any evidence to counter or disprove the valuations made so their claim that the estimated P10 million value of the properties was exaggerated is without basis and purely conjectural. With the well settled rule that the findings of the trial court are given great respect, we therefore sustain the finding that the value of the estate is worth P10 million as found by the trial court. Considering the size of the estate and extent of the care given by the administrator, the amount asked for is not unreasonable and should therefore be allowed. CLASS NOTES: - Grave abuse of discretion: case to case basis 7. Lalican v. Vergara, 276 SCRA 518 (1997) FACTS: An Information for violation of Sec 68 of the Forestry Reform Code was filed by the City Prosecutor of Puerto Princesa in the RTC against Lalican et al. It states that Lalican et al were caught in possession of lumber on board 2 passenger jeeps. After pleading not guilty, Lalican filed a Motion to Quash the Information on the ground that the facts charge do not constitute an offense because the law refers to “timber and other forest products” and not “lumber.” Essentially, Lalican asserts that “timber” becomes “lumber” only after it is sawed into beams, planks, boards, etc. 34

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Prosecution opposed. However, RTC quashed the information and held that the law provides for a distinction between “timber” and “lumber.” On MR, the Prosecution pointed out that based on the Primer on Illegal Logging by the DENR, timber can also be manufactured. RTC set aside the quashal Oder and stated that lumber is still a forest product and therefore it falls within the ambit of the law. Lalican filed an MR but it was denied. Hence, this petition. ISSUE: WHETHER OR NOT THE RTC GRAVELY ABUSED ITS DISCRETION WHEN IT SET ASIDE THE ORDER QUASHING THE INFORMATION. HELD: NO. Punished under Sec 68 of PD 705 are: (a) the cutting, gathering, collection, or removal of timber or other forest products from the places therein mentioned without any authority; or (b) possession of timber or other forest products without the legal documents as required under existing forest laws and regulations. The legislative intent to include possession of lumber in Sec. 68 is clearly gleaned from the expressed reasons for enacting the law. To exclude possession of “lumber” from the acts penalized in Sec. 68 would certainly emasculate the law itself. A law should not be so construed as to allow the doing of an act which is prohibited by law, nor so interpreted as to afford an opportunity to defeat compliance with its terms, create an inconsistency, or contravene the plain words of the law. After all, the phrase “forest products” is broad enough to encompass lumber which, to reiterate, is manufactured timber. Hence, to mention lumber in Sec. 68 would merely result in tautology. The Court, therefore, finds that the lower court did not gravely abuse its discretion in denying the quashal of the information. The petition simply has no legal basis. Certiorari 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 to 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 and despotic manner by reason of passion or personal hostility. Grave abuse of discretion implies a capricious and whimsical exercise of power. On the other hand, certiorari may not be availed of where it is not shown that the respondent court lacked or exceeded its jurisdiction or committed grave abuse of discretion. Where the court has jurisdiction over the case, even if its findings are not correct, its questioned acts would at most constitute errors of law and not abuse of discretion correctible by certiorari. In other words, certiorari will issue only to correct errors of jurisdiction and not to correct errors of procedure or mistakes in the judge’s findings and conclusions. NOT A PROPER REMEDY FOR A DENIAL OF A MOTION TO QUASH The unavailability of the writ of certiorari, and even that of prohibition, in this case is borne out of the fact that what petitioner considers as grave abuse of discretion in this case is the denial of his motion to quash the information filed against him and three others. This Court has consistently defined the proper procedure in case of denial of a motion to quash. The accused has to enter a plea, go to trial without prejudice on his part to present the special defenses he had invoked in his motion and, if after trial on the merits, an adverse decision is rendered, to appeal therefrom in the manner authorized by law. Certiorari is not the proper remedy where a motion to quash an information is denied. That the appropriate recourse is to proceed to trial and in case of conviction, to appeal such conviction, as well as the denial of the motion to quash, is impelled by the fact that a denial of a motion to quash is an interlocutory procedural aspect which cannot be appealed nor can it be the subject of a petition for certiorari. The remedies of appeal and certiorari are mutually exclusive and not alternative or successive. An interlocutory order may be assailed by certiorari or prohibition only when it is shown that the court acted without or in excess of jurisdiction or with grave abuse of discretion. However, this Court generally frowns upon this remedial measure as 35

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regards interlocutory orders. To tolerate the practice of allowing interlocutory orders to be the subject of review by certiorari would not only delay the administration of justice but also would unduly burden the courts. CLASS NOTES: - Mere errors of judgment - Procedure for denial of motion to quash 8. Gold City Integrated Port Systems v. IAC, 171 SCRA 579 (1989) FACTS: Atty. Dumlao was retained as counsel for Gold City and was given a monthly fee. Dumlao later asked Gold City to increase his retainership fee. Instead of giving the increase, Gold City proposed that Dumlao specify the legal fee for every legal case to be handled by him. Thus, in three pending cases handled by Dumlao for Gold City, Dumlao filed Manifestations for payment of attorney’s fees based on quantum meruit. The respective courts granted the same and adjudged different fees for each case (20K, 5K, 10K). Gold City challenged the orders from said courts via Petition for Certiorari (not by appeal) before the IAC. IAC dismissed the petition on the ground that no appeal was filed on time. MR was denied. Hence, this petition. ISSUE: WHETHER OR NOT THE COURT’S DETERMINATION OF ATTORNEY’S FEES CAN BE ASSAILED BY A PETITION FOR CERTIORIARI

HELD: NO. APPEAL IS THE PROPER REMEDY. BESIDES, CERTIORARI WILL NOT LIE ON THE GROUND OF ERRORS OF JUDGMENT. For an APPEAL to lie, Orders or Resolutions of any Court must be final. The test in determining whether or not a judgment or order is final is whether or not something remains to be done by the Court . A final judgment, order or decree is one that finally disposes of, adjudicates or determines the rights or some right or rights of the parties, either on the entire controversy or on some definite and separate branch thereof, and which concludes them until it is reversed or set aside. In this case, the Orders of the Trial Courts are, indeed, final in character because they finally disposed of the matter of attorney’s fees, and nothing more remained for the respective lower Courts to do. No further questions can come on the issue before the Trial Courts except the execution of said Orders. They concluded the right of private respondent to said claim until reversed or set aside. As the Appellate Court had ruled, therefore, appeal was the proper remedy. But since no timely appeals were interposed, the questioned Orders have become final and the issue of private respondent’s entitlement to those fees deemed to have been laid at rest. Petitioner contends, however, that under the circumstances, appeal is not possible because the main cases are still being litigated in the lower Courts. In so arguing, Petitioner fails to take into account that a claim for attorney’s fees may be asserted either in the very action in which the services in question have been rendered or in an independent action. In the cases at bar, although private respondent sought to enforce his claim for attorney’s fees in the principal case, that issue remained separate and distinct from the main litigation and resolution of the former will in no way affect or disturb the latter as, in fact, the cases below still pend, as petitioner itself admits. Furthermore, the questions raised by petitioner delve on “possible errors of judgment made by respondent Judges concerning facts and law,” in which case, they are correctible only by appeal. CERTIORARI WILL NOT BE ISSUED to cure errors in proceedings or correct erroneous conclusions of law or fact. As long as a Court acts within its jurisdiction, any alleged errors committed in the exercise of its jurisdiction, will amount to nothing more than errors of judgment which are reviewable by timely appeal and not by a special civil action of certiorari. As pointed out in Tolentino vs. Escalona, having failed to interpose a timely appeal from the impugned Orders, petitioners may not avail of the Writ of Certiorari to offset the adverse effects of their omission. 36

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And even if Certiorari were the proper remedy, petitioner has failed to show that the Orders complained of are tainted with grave abuse of discretion, meaning such capricious and whimsical exercise of judgment as is equivalent to lack of jurisdiction. Abuse of discretion alone is not sufficient. Rather, it must be grave as where the power is exercised in an arbitrary or despotic manner by reason of passion or personal hostility and must be so patent and gross as to amount to an evasion of positive duty or to a virtual refusal to perform the duty enjoined or to act at all in contemplation of law. 9. St. Peter Memorial Park v. Campos, 63 SCRA 180 (1975) FACTS: Spouses Regino Cleofas and Lucia dela Cruz filed a suit against St. Peter Memorial Park, Banco Filipino, et al. They prayed that they be declared as rightful owners of a lot constituting the Piedad Estate. They also prayed that the mortgages over said lot be declared null and void. After trial, RTC ruled in favor of the Spouses. Memorial Park and Banco Filipino jointly filed an MR and Motion for New Trial RTC denied. So, they filed a Notice of Appeal. Thereafter, Memorial Park filed before the SC a Petition for Certiorari and Prohibition with Preliminary Injunction against the RTC judge and the Spouses. As a result, their appeal was dismissed on the ground that it was abandoned when Memorial Park filed the Petition for Certiorari. Banco Filipino then filed a Petition for Certiorari and Mandamus against the RTC and the Spouses. ISSUE: WHETHER OR NOT THE APPEAL IS DEEMED ABANDONED UPON THE FILING OF PETITION FOR CERTIORARI. HELD: NO. AS FOR BANCO FILIPINO, HE WAS NOT PARTY. AS FOR MEMORIAL PARK, THERE WAS INCOMPATIBILITY. It must be noted that the petitioner in L-38280 is only St. Peter Memorial Park. Banco Filipino is not a party in that first proceeding before this Court. Thus, whatever may be the effect of the filing of a petition for certiorari, on the pending appeal, cannot affect the appeal of Banco Filipino. And the respondent Judge clearly committed a clear error

and a grave abuse of discretion when it dismissed the appeal of Banco Filipino due to the filing by the Memorial Park of its petition in L-38280.

Moreover, as will now be explained, the dismissal of the appeal violated the restraining order issued by this Court. EVEN WITH RESPECT TO THE MEMORIAL PARK, we cannot say there was abandonment of the appeal. There would have been abandonment if there is incompatibility between the two remedies sought by the Memorial Park , that is, between said appeal and the petition for certiorari. The appeal is from the decision of May 2, 1973; the certiorari petition is directed against the order dated February 5, 1974. 10. Valencia v. CA, 184 SCRA 561 (1990) FACTS: Valencia filed an Action for Rescission of a Lease Contract over a fishpond in Bulacan against Bunye and Bagtas. Bunye and Bagtas filed an Answer with Counterclaim for Damages. While the case was pending, the Lease Contract expired which caused Bunye and Bagtas to peacefully surrender the fishpond to Valencia. As such, the RTC declared that the prayer for rescission of the contract had become moot and academic. However, RTC ruled in favor of the Counterclaim and ordered Valencia to pay Bunye and Bagtas to pay for damages. As a result, Valencia filed a Notice of Appeal which the RTC gave due course and directed that the records of the case be forwarded to the CA. A day after, Bunye and Bagtas filed a Motion for Execution Pending Appeal. RTC granted said Motion over Valencia’s objection. In its Order granting the Motion, the RTC stated that “an offer of a bond for immediate execution of judgment is a good ground for execution pending appeal.” Thereafter, they paid the required bond. The RTC also informed Valencia that he may file a counterbond to stay the execution. MR denied. Upon issuance by the RTC of the Writ of Execution Pending Appeal, Valencia filed a Petition for Certiorari, Prohibition, and Mandamus with the CA. However, CA dismissed the petition. Hence, this petition. ISSUE: WHETHER OR NOT THE PETITION FOR CERTIORARI IS PROPER TO ASSAIL AN ORDER FOR EXECUTION PENDING APPEAL. 37

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HELD: YES, WHEN THE GRANT OF EXECUTION PENDING APPEAL IS NOT FOUNDED UPON GOOD REASONS We have ruled in Jaca, et al. vs. Davao Lumber Company, et al. that: Although Section 1, Rule 65 of the Rules of Court provides that the special civil action of certiorari may only be invoked when ‘there is no appeal, nor any plain, speedy and adequate remedy in the (ordinary) course of law,’ this rule is not without exception. The availability of the ordinary course of appeal does not constitute sufficient ground to prevent a party from making use of the extraordinary remedy of certiorari where appeal is not an adequate remedy or equally beneficial, speedy and sufficient. It is the INADEQUACY — not the mere absence — of all other legal remedies and the danger of failure of justice without the writ that usually determines the propriety of certiorari. Thus, we held therein, and we so reiterate for purposes of the case at bar, that certiorari lies against an order granting execution pending appeal where the same is not founded upon good reasons. Also, the fact that the losing party had appealed from the judgment does not bar the certiorari action filed in respondent court as the appeal could not be an adequate remedy from such premature execution. That Valencia could have resorted to a supersedeas bond to prevent execution pending appeal, as suggested by the two lower courts, is not to be held against him. The filing of such bond does not entitle him to the suspension of execution as a matter of right. It cannot, therefore, be categorically considered as a plain, speedy and adequate remedy. Hence, no rule requires a losing party so circumstanced to adopt such remedy in lieu or before availment of other remedial options at hand. MERE FLING OF A BOND IS NOT GOOD REASON TO GRANT EXECUTION PENDING APPEAL In the case at bar, the ground relied upon by the RTC in allowing the immediate execution, as stated in its order of March 20, 1989, is the filing of a bond by Bunye and Bagtas. The rule is now settled that the MERE FILING OF A BOND by the successful party is NOT A GOOD REASON for ordering execution pending appeal. The exercise of the power to grant or deny immediate or advance execution is addressed to the sound discretion of the court. However, the existence of good reasons is principally what confers such discretionary power . Absent any such good reason, the special order of execution must be struck down for having been issued with grave abuse of discretion. If the judgment is executed and, on appeal, the same is reversed, although there are provisions for restitution, oftentimes damages may arise which cannot be fully compensated. Accordingly, execution should be granted only when these considerations are clearly outweighed by superior circumstances demanding urgency and the provision contained in Rule 39, Section 2, requires a statement of these circumstances as a security for their existence. The courts look with disfavor upon any attempt to execute a judgment which has not acquired a final character. Section 2 of Rule 39 which authorizes the discretionary execution of judgments, being an exception to the general rule, must be restrictively construed. It would not be a sound rule to allow indiscriminately the execution of a money judgment, even if there is a sufficient bond. CLASS NOTES: - Supersedeas bond will not suspend execution pending appeal as a matter of right o Not speedy and adequate remedy - Certiorari addresses the validity of the execution pending appeal itself 11. National Electrification Administration v. CA, 126 SCRA 394 (1983) FACTS: Rural Power Corp executed a real estate mortgage in favor NEA in the sum of 985K for the purpose of improving Rural Power’s services to the public. Due to certain violations in the conditions stipulated in the REM, NEA instituted extrajudicial foreclosure proceedings. The Sheriff set the sale of the properties at public auction. 38

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As a result, Rural Power filed in the CFI of Pangasinan an Action for Injunction, Release of Sum of Money, and Cancellation of Mortgages. Judge Bello stopped the auction sale and subsequently ruled in favor of Rural Power. Then, NEA filed its Notice of Appeal and Appeal Bond. Then, it filed its Record on Appeal. However, Judge Bello disapproved it for non-compliance with Sec. 6 Rule 41 and directed NEA to comply therewith by filing an Amended Record on Appeal. Pursuant to the CFI’s direction, NEA filed an Amended Record on Appeal supplying the deficiencies with prayer that “all oral and documentary evidence presented in the case be elevated with all the records to the CA.” Nonetheless, Judge Bello again disapproved it for the same reason. Instead of filing an MR, NEA instituted a Petition for Certiorari and Mandamus with Preliminary Injunction before the CA. However, CA dismissed on the ground that it should have asked Judge Bello to reconsider first. CA ruled that the absence of a prior MR is fatal to the petition. Hence, this petition. ISSUE: WHETHER OR NOT THE OMISSION TO FILE AN MR PRIOR TO THE FILING OF A PETITION FOR CERTIORARI AND MANDAMUS WAS FATAL TO THE PETITION. HELD: NOT FATAL. EXCEPTIONS: PATENT NULLITY, PUBLIC INTEREST, URGENT NECESSITY First of all, Judge Bello's Order of January 14, 1970 as well as that of March 4, 1970 disapproving petitioner's original and amended Record on Appeal, respectively, for alleged non-compliance with Section 6 of Rule 41 were both vague because they did not specify the requirements not complied with nor the errors or additions that had to be corrected or added. Secondly, whatever defects the original Record on Appeal may have contained had been cured in the Amended Record on Appeal by petitioners prayer that all the documentary and oral evidence be elevated to the Appellate Court as expressly provided for by Section 6, Rule 41 of the Revised Rules of Court. Therefore, Judge Bello's disputed Order of March 4, 1970 again disapproving the Amended Record on Appeal on the same ground of alleged non-compliance with Section 6, Rule 41 was arbitrary and constituted grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction. In the eyes of the law, the two disputed Orders were PATENT NULLITIES, thus excepting the instant case from the

general rule that before Certiorari or Mandamus may be availed of petitioner must first file a Motion for Reconsideration. In other words, respondent Judge, in effect, deprived petitioner of its right to appeal and any other plain, speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law , hence, making petitioner's resort to the instant petition a virtual necessity.

As was held in People v. Palacio, a Motion for Reconsideration may be dispensed with if under the circumstances, such as in the case at bar, it would have been useless. Third, petitioner is a government corporation performing governmental functions pursuant to Republic Act No. 2717, as amended. PUBLIC INTEREST being involved, a Motion for Reconsideration need not be availed of. Fourth, petitioner averred that time was of the essence because respondents were in the process of executing the assailed judgment of the Trial Court with precipitate haste, the enforcement of which would have impaired petitioner corporation's operations and funds. In Vivo vs. Cloribel and Bache and Co. (Phil). Inc., et al. vs. Hon. Ruiz, this Court held that a Motion for Reconsideration is no longer a prerequisite where there is URGENT NECESSITY and any further delay would prejudice the interests of the Government. Finally, to sustain Rural Power's stand would be to put a premium on procedural technicality, which should not be made to prevail over petitioner's substantive right to appeal. Considering the fact that the two Records on Appeal were totally unopposed by Rural Power and that giving the appeal due course would not have prejudiced its rights nor substantially affected the merits of the case, the spirit of liberality which animates the Rules rather than strict technicality would be more in keeping with the ends of justice. CLASS NOTES: - Urgency (time is of the essence) 39

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Public interest

12. Abraham v. NLRC, 353 SCRA 739 (2001) FACTS: Jennifer Abraham filed a Complaint for Constructive Dismissal against her employer, Philippine Institute of Technical Education (PITE). The LA dismissed the complaint. On appeal, NLRC reversed and ordered PITE to pay Abraham monetary benefits. Not satisfied, PITE filed an MR which the NLRC granted thereby reversing its ruling in favor of PITE. Aggrieved by the reversal, Abraham filed a Petition for Certiorari with the CA. However, CA dismissed the Petition because she failed to file an MR of the NLRC’s ruling. CA denied MR. Hence, this petition. Abraham maintains that since NLRC already reversed its previous ruling, she deemed it proper not to file an MR because, in all likelihood, the NLRC would not reverse itself again. ISSUE: WHETHER OR NOT AN MR IS NECESSARY BEFORE FILING A PETITION FOR CERTIORARI IN LIGHT OF THE FACT THAT THE NLRC ALREADY REVERSED ITSELF PREVIOUSLY. HELD: NOT ANYMORE. FALLS UNDER THE EXCEPTIONS TO THE RULE ON THE MR REQUIREMENT. Generally, certiorari as a special civil action will not lie unless a motion for reconsideration is filed before the respondent tribunal to allow it an opportunity to correct its imputed errors. However, the following have been recognized as exceptions to the rule: (2) where the order is a patent of nullity, as where the court a quo has no jurisdiction; (3) where the questions raised in the certiorari proceedings have been duly raised and passed upon by the lower court, or are the same as those raised and passed upon in the lower court; (4) where there is an urgent necessity for the resolution of the question and any further delay would prejudice the interests of the Government or of the petitioner or the subject matter of the action is perishable ; (5) where, under the circumstances, a motion for reconsideration would be useless; (6) where petitioner was deprived of due process and there is extreme urgency for relief; (7) where, in a criminal case, relief from an order of arrest is urgent and the granting of such relief by the trial court is improbable; (8) where the proceedings in the lower court are a nullity for lack of due process; (9) where the proceedings was ex parte or in which the petitioner had no opportunity to object; and (10) where the issue raised is one purely of law or where public interest is involved. We hold that the SECOND and FOURTH exceptions are clearly in point. The rationale for the requirement of first filing a motion for reconsideration before the filing of a petition for certiorari is that the law intends to afford the tribunal, board, or office an opportunity to rectify the errors and mistakes it may have lapsed into before resort to the courts of justice can be had. In the present case, the NLRC was already given the opportunity to review its ruling and correct itself when PITE filed its motion for reconsideration of the NLRC’s initial ruling in favor of Abraham. In fact, it granted the motion for reconsideration filed by PITE and reversed its previous ruling and reinstated the decision of the Labor Arbiter dismissing the complaint of Abraham. It would be an exercise in futility to require the Abraham to file a motion for reconsideration since the very issues raised in the petition for certiorari, i.e. whether or not Abraham was constructively dismissed by PITE and whether or not she was entitled to her money claims, were already duly passed upon and resolved by the NLRC. Thus the NLRC had more than one opportunity to resolve the issues of the case and in fact reversed itself upon a reconsideration. It is highly improbable or unlikely under the circumstances that the Commission would reverse or set aside its resolution granting a reconsideration. CLASS NOTES: - MR is useless - Opportunity to pass upon issues 40

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13. Metro Transit Organization Inc v. CA, 392 SCRA 229 (2002) FACTS: MTO is a GOCC operating an LRT. One Ruperto Evangelista worked as a cash assistant in the MTO’s Treasury Division. One day, after completion of an inventory count of tokens, MTO discovered that 2,000 pieces were missing. An investigation was conducted and Evangelista was implicated. Due to lack of trust and confidence, MTO terminated Evangelista. A criminal case for qualified theft was also filed but was eventually dismissed. As a result, Evangelista filed a case of Illegal Dismissal against MTO. LA ruled that Evangelista was illegally dismissed and ordered MTO to reinstate him with full payment of back wages. On appeal, NLRC affirmed but deleted the moral & exemplary damages. MTO did not file an MR. Instead, the directly filed with the CA a Petition for Certiorari under Rule 65. CA dismissed the petition. Hence, this Petition. ISSUE: WHETHER OR NOT AN MR IS REQUIRED BEFORE FILING A PETITION FOR CERTIORARI UNDER RULE 65. HELD: YES. The GENERAL RULE is that a motion for reconsideration is indispensable before resort to the special civil action for certiorari to afford the court or tribunal the opportunity to correct its error, if any. The rule is well-settled that the filing of a motion for reconsideration is an indispensable condition to the filing of a special civil action for certiorari, subject to certain exceptions. Thus, in Abraham v. NLRC, the Court ruled: Generally, certiorari as a special civil action will not lie unless a motion for reconsideration is filed before the respondent tribunal to allow it an opportunity to correct its imputed errors. However, the following have been recognized as exceptions to the rule: (11) where the order is a patent of nullity, as where the court a quo has no jurisdiction; (12) where the questions raised in the certiorari proceedings have been duly raised and passed upon by the lower court, or are the same as those raised and passed upon in the lower court; (13) where there is an urgent necessity for the resolution of the question and any further delay would prejudice the interests of the Government or of the petitioner or the subject matter of the action is perishable; (14) where, under the circumstances, a motion for reconsideration would be useless; (15) where petitioner was deprived of due process and there is extreme urgency for relief; (16) where, in a criminal case, relief from an order of arrest is urgent and the granting of such relief by the trial court is improbable; (17) where the proceedings in the lower court are a nullity for lack of due process; (18) where the proceedings was ex parte or in which the petitioner had no opportunity to object; and (19) where the issue raised is one purely of law or where public interest is involved. An examination of the records reveals that MTO did not file a motion for reconsideration of the NLRC decision. As MTO alleged in their petition before the Court of Appeals, a motion for reconsideration is not necessary as the questions raised before the court are the very same issues which the NLRC already considered. Except for this bare allegation, MTO failed to show sufficient justification for dispensing with the requirement of a prior motion for reconsideration. MTO failed to state any justification that their case falls within any of the exceptions. Certiorari is not a shield from the adverse consequences of an omission to file the required motion for reconsideration. As correctly pointed out by the Court of Appeals in its decision, MTO may not arrogate to themselves the determination of whether a motion for reconsideration is necessary or not. The PLAIN AND ADEQUATE REMEDY referred to in Section 1 of Rule 65 is a motion for reconsideration of the assailed decision. The purpose of this requirement is to enable the court or agency to rectify its mistakes without the intervention of a higher court. To dispense with this requirement, there must be a concrete, compelling, and valid reason for the failure to comply with the requirement. 41

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CLASS NOTES: - Other exceptions to MR: when MR is a prohibited pleading - “Slain on Sight” doctrine: when the order is a patent nullity - If MR is pending o GR: Wait until it is resolved. Otherwise, premature o E: Conti case (pending for 2 years) 14. JP Latex Technology v. Ballons Granger Balloons Inc., 581 SCRA 553 (2009) FACTS: Canadian corporation Granger filed a Complaint for Rescission and Damages against JP Latex and its officers (Katsumi Watanabe & Tatsuya Ogino). The Complaint alleged that Ogino, as president of JP Latex, and Christos Santorineos, as president and CEO of Granger entered into a Contract of Sale of Granger’s machinery (dipping lines) and other non-cash considerations. After Granger fulfilled his end of the deal by reassembling the dipping lines in JP Latex’s factory, JP Latex allegedly paid only a part of the sum and reneged on its other non-cash obligations. While the case was pending (Aug 5, 2006), Granger moved for the Execution Pending Appeal of the RTC decision which decided in favor of Granger on Aug 10, 2006. The RTC ordered JP Latex to return and deliver to Granger the dipping lines. After receiving a copy of the said decision, JP Latex filed an MR. JP Latex likewise opposed the Motion for Execution Pending Appeal. RTC denied Granger’s Motion. Consequently, Granger filed an Omnibus MR and Ocular Inspection. RTC granted the Granger’s plea for Execution Pending Appeal but denied the prayer for ocular inspection. As such, a Writ of Execution Pending Appeal was issued. The next day, the Sheriff served upon JP Latex the Writ. Thereafter, the Sheriff effected the dismantling of the dipping lines. As a result, JP Latex filed a special civil action for certiorari under Rule 65 in the CA against the Judge etc and Granger on the ground that the judge gravely abused his discretion in directing the issuance of the Writ of Execution Pending Appeal. CA denied the petition for certiorari on the ground that JP Latex failed to file an MR after the RTC granted Grangers plea for Execution Pending Appeal. MR denied. Hence, this petition. ISSUE: WHETHER OR NOT AN MR IS A PREREQUISITE BEFORE FILING A PETITION FOR CERTIORARI UNDER RULE 65. HELD: GENERALLY, YES. BUT THIS CASE FALLS UNDER THE EXCEPTIONS. As a general rule, a petition for certiorari before a higher court will not prosper unless the inferior court has been given, through a motion for reconsideration, a chance to correct the errors imputed to it. This rule, though, has certain EXCEPTIONS, namely: (1) when the issue raised is purely of law; (2) when public interest is involved; or (3) in case of urgency. As a FOURTH EXCEPTION, the Court has ruled that the filing of a motion for reconsideration before availment of the remedy of certiorari is not a sine qua non, when the questions raised are the same as those that have already been squarely argued and exhaustively passed upon by the lower court. In the instant case, the issue raised is purely an issue of law. Moreover, following the fourth exception, a motion for reconsideration of the RTC order allowing the immediate execution of its decision is no longer necessary in view of the

fact that the RTC had already passed upon the propriety of Granger’s motion for execution “pending appeal” on two occasions. It should be noted that on the first occasion, the RTC denied Granger’s motion for execution “pending appeal,” prompting them to seek reconsideration of its denial. In the second instance, the RTC reversed itself and allowed the execution “pending appeal.” On these two occasions, the parties had been accorded ample avenue to squarely and exhaustively argue their positions and the RTC more than enough opportunity to study the matter and to deliberate upon the issues raised by the parties. Thus, the filing of another motion for reconsideration of the order of execution 42

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“pending appeal” by petitioner could not be considered a plain and adequate remedy but a mere superfluity under the circumstances of the case. 15. Conti v. CA, 307 SCRA 486 (1999) FACTS: Indalicio Conti is a faculty member of PUP with a rank of Assistant Professor IV pursuant to the National Compensation Circular (NCC). In 1992, he submitted himself to the process in order that he can attain the rank of Professor I. In doing so, he filed the required personal data sheet and submitted himself to written and oral examinations conducted by Phil. Association of State Universities and Colleges (PASUC). He placed 8th among the candidates which thereby allowed him to be reclassified from Assistant Professor IV to Professor I. He was later issued appointment papers. Then, information circulated that he was not an MBA holder. To verify this, the President of PUP requested from Dr. Olanan of the CSC a copy of Conti’s MBA diploma. Conti was also furnished a copy of said request. In his reply, Conti contended that a masteral degree was not a requisite for the position of Professor I. However, he was still formally charged with dishonesty because he represented in his Personal Data Sheet that he had an MBA. Proceedings were conducted in the CSC. On Nov 2, 1995, CSC resolved to hold Conti guilty of dishonesty and dismissed him from service. Conti filed an MR in December 1995. Despite the formal pleas for reconsideration, CSC still had not acted on his MR. Thus, on Feb. 23 1998 (more than 2 years from the CSC resolution), Conti filed with the SC a Petition for Certiorari, Prohibition, and Mandamus. SC referred the petition to the CA. In the CA, the Petition was dismissed for being filed out of time because under Rule 43 (which incorporated the Revised Admin Circular 1-93), resolutions from quasi-judicial agencies (CSC) shall be taken by way of petition for review within 15 days from the assailed judgment. MR denied. Hence, this petition. ISSUE: WHETHER OR NOT CONTI FILED HIS PETITION FOR CERTIORARI OUT OF TIME. HELD: YES BUT THERE ARE EXCEPTIONAL CIRCUMSTANCES IN THIS CASE WHICH WARRANTED THE LATE FILING Conti’s initial petition for certiorari, prohibition and mandamus against CSC which he filed before this Court on 23 February 1998 could have thus been outrightly dismissed had there not been the attendance of an exceptional circumstance that justified his recourse to such special remedies. Truly, an ESSENTIAL REQUISITE for the availability of the extraordinary remedies under the Rules is an absence of an appeal nor any “plain, speedy and adequate remedy” in the ordinary course of law, one which has been so defined as a “remedy which (would) equally (be) beneficial, speedy and sufficient, not merely a remedy which at some time in the future will bring about a revival of the judgment complained of in the certiorari proceeding, but a remedy which will promptly relieve the petitioner from the injurious effects of that judgment and the acts of the inferior court or tribunal” concerned. Illustrative of such a plain, speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law is a motion for reconsideration that has thus often been considered a condition sine qua non for the grant of certiorari. PUP capitalizes on the admission of Conti that he has a pending motion for reconsideration on the adverse resolution of the CSC, contending that his petition for certiorari is thereby premature. Ironically, it is this very argument that militates against PUP. As the Solicitor General so aptly points out, the continuous failure of CSC to resolve Conti’s motion for reconsideration for so long a time has virtually amounted to a denial of his right to due process and right to the speedy disposition of his case. In fact, there is yet no indication on record that CSC has already resolved Conti’s motion for reconsideration. It cannot be gainsaid that it is the INADEQUACY, not the total absence, of all other legal remedies, and the danger of the failure of justice without the writ, that should determine the propriety of certiorari. This Court has ruled that a recourse to certiorari is proper not only where there is a clear deprivation of petitioner’s fundamental right to due process; but so also where other special circumstances warrant immediate and more direct action. Conti’s motion for reconsideration has been pending with the CSC for more than 2 years since 13 December 1995 up until his petition with this Court on 28 February 1998. 43

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16. People v. Albano, 163 SCRA 511 (1988) FACTS: On June 1971, an Information was filed in the CFI of South Cotabato charging Mayor Acharon for violating provisions of RA 3019. On the same day, another Information was filed in the same CFI charging Mayor Acharon and Vice Mayor Bernabe for violation of the provisions of RA 3019. Thereafter, the Prosecution filed an Urgent Motion to issue an order suspending both of them. Also, Bernabe filed a Motion to Dismiss. Before the pre-suspension hearings, Acharon and Bernabe were already arraigned. On the date of the hearing, Acharon filed a Motion to hear the validity of the Informations filed against him. In said hearing, the Acharon and Bernabe agreed to submit the question of the validity or invalidity of the 2 Informations based on the records of the case. Upon submission, the CFI decided the case on the merits by making findings of fact based on its assessment of the records. CFI resolved that the Informations were void ab initio. Prosecution moved to reconsider. CFI denied. Hence this petition. ISSUE: WHETHER OR NOT A COURT MAY DECIDE A CASE ON THE MERITS BY MAKING FINDINGS OF FACT AFTER AN ASSESSMENT OF THE EVIDENCE ON RECORD WITHOUT A TRIAL PROPER. HELD: NO. In determining whether the acts for which Antonio Acharon was charged do not constitute a violation of the provisions of Rep. Act 3019 or of the provisions on bribery of the Revised Penal Code, the trial court should have limited its inquiry to (1) the averments in the informations, as hypothetically admitted, (2) facts admitted by the prosecution, and (3) indubitable facts. To traverse the allegations contained in the information, and conclude that "no law had been violated by the accused," merely on the basis of the records of the case which contain evidence submitted by the prosecution in the preliminary investigation, preemptively denies the prosecution its right to exhaustively present its evidence against the accused at the trial proper. Considering that the law does not require the conviction of the accused in the pre-suspension proceeding but only the determination of the validity of the criminal proceeding leading to the filing of the information, and given the ability of the latter to overcome a motion to quash, the prosecution should not be faulted if what it presents as evidence in the presuspension proceedings does not satisfy a finding of guilt beyond reasonable doubt of the accused. The records of the instant case do not show that the proceedings leading to the filing of the informations against the accused were tainted with any irregularity so as to invalidate the same. Likewise, a reading of the informations shows that the allegations contained therein meet the essential elements of offense as defined by substantive law . The CFI exceeded its jurisdiction when it practically held that the prosecution failed to establish the culpability of the accused in a proceeding which does not even require the prosecution to do so. It acted with grave abuse of discretion, tantamount to lack of jurisdiction, when it preemptively dismissed the cases and, as a consequence thereof, deprived the prosecution of its right to prosecute and prove its case, thereby violating its fundamental right to due process. With this violation, its Orders, dated 28 October 1976 and 20 December 1976, are wherefore null and void. Likewise, for being null and void, said orders cannot constitute a proper basis for a claim of double jeopardy. 17. Escudero v. Dulay, 158 SCRA 68 (1988) FACTS: Spouses Escudero executed a “Deed of Absolute Sale under Pacto de Retro” in favor of the spouses Amistad over a parcel of land in Lapu-Lapu City. The consideration stated was 42,350. Also, it stated that redemption was to be made by the vendors within 3 months after its execution. The redemption period expired without an offer of repurchase being made by the Escuderos. Days later, Amistads filed a Petition for Consolidation of Title. In opposition, the Escudero wife filed an Answer with an allegation that the transaction 44

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was actually a loan of 35K as principal with 7% monthly interest, thus totaling 42,350. Moreover, it was alleged that due to the inadequacy of the purchase price, it was an equitable mortgage. A month after, the lawyer of the Escuderos, Atty. Sena, moved for a judgment on the pleadings because, in his view, according to Art. 1606 of the New Civil Code, the Escuderos may still exercise their right to repurchase within 30 days from final judgment. However, RTC ruled against the Escuderos and stated that the said provision applies only in situations where there is a dispute as to the nature of the transaction either as a true sale with right to repurchase or an equitable mortgage. In this case, the parties admitted that the transaction is a true sale. CA affirmed. MR denied. Hence, this petition under a new lawyer. Initially, the SC dismissed. However, with leave of court, a Second MR was allowed to be filed. SC granted the 2nd MR and gave due course to the petition which sought to nullify the RTC on account of their previous lawyer’s gross ignorance which violated their rights. ISSUE: WHETHER OR NOT THE RULES ON FILING A PETITION FOR CERTIORARI MAY BE RELAXED. HELD: YES, IN ORDER TO PREVENT MISCARRIAGE OF JUSTICE Ordinarily, a special civil action under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court will not be a substitute or cure for failure to file a timely petition for review on certiorari (appeal) under Rule 45 of the Rules. Where, however, the application of this rule will result in a manifest failure or miscarriage of justice , the rule may be relaxed. Here, there is good and valid evidence to support Escuderos’ allegation and defense that the transaction they entered into with Amistad was indeed one of loan with equitable mortgage , for P35,000.00 as principal, with 7% monthly interest amounting to P7,350.00 for three (3) months which, when added to the principal of P35,000.00, total P42,350.00, exactly the "purchase price" stated in the Deed of Sale. Computation of the principal, interests and agent's fees is shown in a note written and signed by a certain Necitas Ybañez, agent of both parties in the transaction, who received P1,250.00 for documentation and other expenses, which were deducted from the principal of P35,000.00, so that, what petitioner wife actually received from private respondents was only P33,750.00 as shown by a Philippine Veterans Bank Check No. CB80480 dated 18 July 1979 (Annex K-2, Second Motion for Reconsideration) drawn by respondent Pacita Amistad payable to petitioner wife. The price for the transaction, as a sale, is also grossly inadequate, Escuderos’ Declaration of Real Property placed the value of the residential lot in question, a prime property near the Mactan International Airport, at P131,952.00. Amistads claim that the land's value is only P86,400.00 but, even so, this value is still greatly in excess of the alleged purchase price of P42,350.00. While this Court is cognizant of the rule that, generally, a client will suffer the consequences of the negligence, mistake or lack of competence of his counsel, in the interest of justice and equity, exceptions may be made to such rule, in accordance with the facts and circumstances of each case. Adherence to the general rule would, in the instant case, result in the outright deprivation of their property through a technicality . The Court cannot close its eyes to the Escudero wife's affirmative and special defense, under oath in her Answer before the respondent trial court that her transaction with private respondents was not a pacto de retro sale but an equitable mortgage. The Court cannot also but take note of Escuderos’ evidence to support such verified defense, notably the incriminating note signed by the agent of both parties in which the real nature of the questioned transaction is revealed. CLASS NOTES: - SC bent the rules by allowing the Petition for Certiorari even if it was belatedly filed 18. Leonor v. CA, 256 SCRA 69 (1996) FACTS: Virginia and Mauricio Leonor were married in San Carlos City. They separated for a substantial part of their marriage. Mauricio lived in Switzerland while Virginia lived in the Philippines. After learning that Mauricio became unfaithful, Virginia filed an action for Separation and Alimony in Geneva. On the other hand, Mauricio countersued for Divorce. As a result, the lower Cantonal Civil Court of Switzerland divorced the spouses but denied the alimony to Virginia. 45

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Meanwhile, Virginia learned that their solemnizing officer failed to send a copy of their marriage contract to the Civil Registrar. Hence, she applied for late registration of her marriage in the Philippines which the Civil Registrar granted. Later, on appeal to the higher Cantonal Civil Court, Mauricio asked for the cancellation of his marriage in the Philippines. However, said court granted Virginia alimony. This was later affirmed by the Federal Court of Switzerland. Thereafter, Mauricio filed a Petition for the Cancellation of the Late Registration of Marriage in the Civil Registry of San Carlos City with the RTC pursuant to Rule 108. After several hearings, RTC declared the marriage null and void. It also ordered the cancellation of the registration of the marriage contract. Upon receiving said decision, Virginia filed her Notice of Appeal. However, this was dismissed because she failed to file it within 30 days. So, she filed a Petition for Certiorari Prohibition and Mandamus and sought to nullify the RTC’s declaration that their marriage was null and void as well as the RTC’s dismissal of her Notice of Appeal. CA only set aside the RTC order dismissing her Notice of Appeal. Hence, this petition. ISSUE: WHETHER OR NOT THE RTC COULD DECLARE THE NULLITY OF A MARRIAGE PURSUANT TO RULE 108. HELD: NO. RTC HAS NO JURISDICTION. The trial court’s decision is really a nullity for utter want of jurisdiction. Hence it could be challenged at any time. It is not disputed that the original petition in the trial court was for “cancellation of entry in the civil registry” of the “late registration of the marriage” between Leonor and Mauricio, “ in consonance with Section 3, Rule 108 of the Rules of Court.” Ground alleged for the nullity and cancellation of the marriage was “non-observance of the legal requirements for a valid marriage.” On its face, the Rule would appear to authorize the cancellation of any entry regarding “marriages” in the civil registry for any reason by the mere filing of a verified petition for the purpose. However, it is not as simple as it looks. Doctrinally, the only errors that can be cancelled or corrected under this Rule are typographical or clerical errors, not material or substantial ones like the validity or nullity of a marriage. “A clerical error is one which is visible to the eyes or obvious to the understanding; error made by a clerk or a transcriber; a mistake in copying or writing; or some harmless and innocuous change such as a correction of name that is clearly misspelled or of a misstatement of the occupation of the parent. Where the effect of a correction in a civil registry will change the civil status of petitioner and her children from legitimate to illegitimate, the same cannot be granted except only in an adversarial proceeding. Clearly and unequivocally, the summary procedure under Rule 108, and for that matter under Art. 412 of the Civil Code, cannot be used by Mauricio to change his and Virginia’s civil status from married to single and of their three children from legitimate to illegitimate. Neither does the trial court, under said Rule, have any jurisdiction to declare their marriage null and void and as a result thereof, to order the local civil registrar to cancel the marriage entry in the civil registry. Further, the respondent trial judge gravely and seriously abused his discretion in unceremoniously

expanding his very limited jurisdiction under such rule to hear evidence on such a controversial matter as nullity of a marriage under the Civil Code and/or Family Code, a process that is proper only in ordinary adversarial proceedings under the Rules.

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. CLASS NOTES: - Slain on Sight Doctrine - Certiorari limited to grave abuse of jurisdiction - Only remedy is to annul acts exercised beyond its jurisdiction - Void judgment may be slain on sight - SC ruled on the merits even if the issue was only regarding the propriety of the dismissal of the Notice of Appeal 46

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The fact that the decision is void does not automatically entitle a party to file a Petition for Certiorari when there are still other speedy and adequate remedies.

19. DD Commendador Construction Corp. v. Sayo, 118 SCRA 590 (1982) FACTS: DD Comendador purchased construction materials from Kho Eng Poe with a total value of P108K. However, the postdated check used to pay for it was eventually dishonored. As such, Poe sued DD Commendador. After the latter filed its Answer, Poe filed a Motion for Summary Judgment or Judgment on the Pleadings. Despite opposition, RTC granted the Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings. Thereafter, DD Commendador filed a Motion to Reset Hearing. When DD Commendador made no appearance in the set hearing, RTC declared that the case was already submitted for decision. MR denied. As a result, DD Commendador filed a Petition for Certiorari in the SC alleging the RTC gravely abused its discretion in denying its MR. Subsequently, the RTC rendered a decision ordering DD Commendador to pay Poe. When said decision was rendered, the RTC had no knowledge that a Petition for Certiorari had been previously filed because it was notified later. From the RTC decision, DD Commendador appealed to the CA. Poe now assails the propriety of the Petition for Certiorari in view of the remedy of appeal which DD Commendador availed of. ISSUE: WHETHER OR NOT THE PETITION FOR CERTIORARI CAN SUBSIST DESPITE THE AVAILABILITY OF APPEAL HELD: NO. NO EXCEPTIONAL CIRCUMSTANCES IN THIS CASE. It is axiomatic that the remedies of certiorari and prohibition are not available where the petitioner has the remedy of appeal or some other plain, speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law. It is true that in the cited case of St Peter Memorial Park, Inc. vs. Campos, Jr., We have held that although “the general rule is that the extraordinary writ of certiorari is not proper when ordinary appeal is available”, such writ may be granted “in case where it is shown that appeal would be inadequate, slow, insufficient and will not promptly relieve the petitioner from the injurious effects of the order complained of.” We are not convinced that the circumstances obtaining herein justify the invocation of the exception, rather than the application of the general rule disauthorizing the resort to certiorari where there exists the remedy of appeal which had in fact been availed of. In the cited case, certiorari was allowed in spite of the fact that there was already a judgment which was actually appealed in view of the controversy over a motion for new trial which was denied by the trial Court but which denial was overturned in the petition for certiorari filed with this Court. It was also pointed out therein that the remedy of appeal would not be adequate inasmuch as there were so many lot buyers in the memorial park which were affected, and public interest was involved in view of the fact that the integrity of the torrens system was placed at stake. DD Commendador resorted to the remedy of certiorari and prohibition not because of any exceptional circumstance to justify the use of said remedy despite the existence of an appeal. This petition was filed before the judgment in Civil Case No. C-8242 was rendered. It is directed against interlocutory orders which, at the time of the filing of the petition, were not appealable. Now that a judgment in the main action had been rendered by the RTC, which judgment had subsequently been appealed to the Court of Appeals, the proceeding pursued by the petitioner against the two orders of the respondent may no longer be entertained. No circumstance as would justify the application of the ruling in the case of St. Peter Memorial Park, Inc., supra, had been cited to warrant the grant of certiorari despite the existence of the remedy of appeal. The petitioner may not rationalize the resort to certiorari for the supposed inadequacy of the remedy of appeal on the ground that, by virtue of the writ of preliminary attachment issued by the respondent Judge, some of its equipments had been levied upon by the Sheriff thereby rendering it unable to make use of the same. While the fact of such attachment is admitted by the private respondent, it has been manifested by the latter in his Memorandum, which remained unrebutted by the petitioner, that the 47

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attached properties were taken from the custody of the attaching Sheriff by virtue of an alleged prior writ of attachment secured by the plaintiff in another case pending before Branch XXI of the Court of First Instance of Pasig, Rizal, and the same had been sold at public auction to a certain Wildredo Abueg. CLASS NOTES: - GR: Certiorari is mooted once main decision is appealed - E: St. Peter case: appeal would be inadequate, slow, insufficient, and will not promptly relieve the petitioner from the injurious effects of the order complained of 20. Pastor Jr. v. CA, 122 SCRA 885 (1983) FACTS: PASTOR SR. had two legitimate children, PASTOR JR. and SOFIA, and an illegitimate child, QUEMADA. In 1970, QUEMADA filed a Petition for Probate of an alleged holographic will of PASTOR SR in the CFI of Cebu. Said will provides that a legacy in favor of QUEMADA amounting to 30% of PASTOR SR’s 42% share in the operation of Atlas Mining of some mining claims. QUEMADA was appointed special administrator. As such, he filed an Action for Reconveyance PASTOR JR and his wife of alleged properties of the estate. In 1971, PASTOR JR and SOFIA opposed the Petition for Probate and the order appointing QUEMADA as special administrator. On Dec. 5 1972, the Probate Court allowed the will to probate. This order was disputed until it reached the SC who finally remanded it to the Probate Court in 1978. In 1980 or 2 years after the remand, QUEMADA asked the Probate Court for payment of his legacy. PASTOR JR and SOFIA opposed since there was still an Action for Reconveyance pending. After the Probate Court ordered the parties to submit Position Papers to show how much inheritance QUEMADA was entitled, on August 20, 1980, while the action for Reconveyance was pending, the Probate Court issued an Order of Execution and Garnishment. Atlas was directed to remit royalties of PASTOR SR. to QUEMADA. A Writ of Execution and Garnishment was likewise issued. PASTOR JR and SOFIA opposed via MR imputing grave abuse of discretion on the Probate Court for resolving the question of ownership of the royalties. Before the MR was ruled on, PASTOR JR and his wife filed a Petition for Certiorari. QUEMADA contended that the certiorari cannot be availed to assail the validity of an Order of Execution. CA dismissed the petition. MR denied. Hence, this petition assailing the rulings of the Probate Court and the CA. ISSUE: WHETHER OR NOT CERTIORARI IS A PROPER REMEDY TO ASSAIL THE EXECUTION OF A FINAL JUDGMENT HELD: YES. ORDINARILY, APPEAL WOULD BE THE PROPER REMEDY. HOWEVER, CERTIORARI WILL LIE IF THERE’S GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION IN THE EXECUTION

QUEMADA challenges the propriety of certiorari as a means to assail the validity of the disputed Order of execution. He contends that the error, if any, is one of judgment, not jurisdiction, and properly correctible only by appeal, not certiorari. Under the circumstances of the case at bar, the challenge must be rejected. Grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction is much too evident in the actuations of the probate court to be overlooked or condoned.

Without a final, authoritative adjudication of the issue as to what properties compose the estate of PASTOR, SR. in

the face of conflicting claims made by heirs and a non-heir involving properties not in the name of the decedent, and in the absence of a resolution on the intrinsic validity of the will here in question , there was no basis for the Probate Court to hold in its Probate Order of 1972, which it did not, that QUEMADA is entitled to the payment of the questioned legacy. Therefore, the Order of Execution of August 20, 1980 and the subsequent implementing orders for the payment of QUEMADA’s legacy, in alleged implementation of the dispositive part of the Probate Order of December 5, 1972, must fall for lack of basis.

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The ordered payment of legacy would be violative of the rule requiring prior liquidation of the estate of the deceased, i.e., the determination of the assets of the estate and payment of all debts and expenses, before apportionment and distribution of the residue among the heirs and legatees. It is within a court’s competence to order the execution of a final judgment; but to order the execution of a final order (which is not even meant to be executed) by reading into it terms that are not there and in utter disregard of existing rules and law, is manifest grave abuse of discretion tantamount to lack of jurisdiction. Consequently, the rule that certiorari may not be invoked to defeat the right of a prevailing party to the execution of a valid and final judgment, is inapplicable. For when an order of execution is issued with grave abuse of discretion or is at variance with the judgment sought to be enforced, certiorari will lie to abate the order of execution. CLASS NOTES: - Order of execution can be assailed by certiorari if there is grave abuse 21. Chua v. CA, 443 SCRA 259 (2004) FACTS: Lydia Hao, the treasurer of Siena Realty Corporation, filed a Complaint in the City Prosecutor of Manila charging Francis Chua and his wife of Falsification of Public Documents. Thereafter, an Information was filed in the MTC. During trial, Hao brought private prosecutors Attys. Sua-Kho and Rivera. After presenting Hao’s testimony, Chua moved to exclude said private prosecutors on the ground that Hao failed to allege and prove civil liability. MTC granted said motion and ordered their exclusion. Hao’s MR was denied. Thus, she filed a Petition for Certiorari in the RTC entitled Hao, in her own behalf and for the benefit of Siena Realty Corporation v. Chua and Judge Dela Vega. RTC reversed the MTC order of exclusion. Chua’s MR was denied. Thus, Chua filed a Petition for Certiorari in the CA and questioned the allowance of Siena Realty to be impeaded as copetitioner in Hao’s Petition for Certiorari in the RTC. CA dismissed. Hence, this petition. Chua claims that since Siena Realty was not a private complainant in the criminal case in the MTC, it cannot be impleaded as appellant in the Petition for Certiorari. ISSUE: WHETHER OR NOT SIENA REALTY CORPORATION IS A PROPER PARTY IN THE PETITION FOR CERTIORARI BEFORE THE RTC HELD: Under Rule 65 of the Rules of Civil Procedure, when a trial court commits a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction, the person aggrieved can file a special civil action for certiorari. The aggrieved parties in such a case are the State and the private offended party or complainant. In a string of cases, we consistently ruled that only a PARTY-IN-INTEREST or those AGGRIEVED may file certiorari cases. It is settled that the offended parties in criminal cases have sufficient interest and personality as “person(s) aggrieved” to file special civil action of prohibition and certiorari. In Ciudad Real, cited by Chua, we held that the CA committed grave abuse of discretion when it sanctioned the standing of a corporation to join said petition for certiorari, despite the finality of the trial court’s denial of its Motion for Intervention and the subsequent Motion to Substitute and/or Join as Party/Plaintiff. Note, however, that in Pastor, Jr. v. Court of Appeals we held that if aggrieved, even a NON-PARTY may institute a petition for certiorari. In that case, petitioner was the holder in her own right of three mining claims and could file a petition for certiorari, the fastest and most feasible remedy since she could not intervene in the probate of her father-in-law’s estate. In the instant case, we find that the recourse of Hao to the RTC was proper. The petition was brought in her own name and in behalf of the Corporation. Although, the corporation was not a complainant in the criminal action, the subject of 49

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the falsification was the corporation’s project and the falsified documents were corporate documents. Therefore, the

corporation is a proper party in the petition for certiorari because the proceedings in the criminal case directly and adversely affected the corporation. CLASS NOTES: - Property of the corporation was directly affected. Hence, considered as an “aggrieved party.”

22. Tang v. CA, 325 SCRA 394 (2000) FACTS: The Estate of Spouses Teodoro are pending settlement in the RTC of Caloocan in which Prudencio Teodoro was the courtappointed administrator. One of the properties included in the estate is a 1,704 sqm land. In 1991, the Government expropriated a portion thereof so the lot was subdivided. For the purpose of acquiring funds to settle the estate, the Administrator offered to sell the land to Caloocan. However, the City Engineer was not interested. As such, the Administrator petitioned the Probate Court to give him authority to mortgage the land. This was granted. Thereafter, the land was again subdivided. Finding it difficult to sell the land, the Administrator applied with the City Engineer for a permit to fence the lots. After a conference was held, Tang and the other adjoining owners of lands opposed it because, being street lots, fencing it would deprive them of access to public roads. So the application was denied. Thus, the Administrator filed a Petition before the Probate Court to order the City Engineer to issue a fencing permit. This was granted on the ground that the lots in question were not denominated as “Street Lots.” Initially, the City Engineer filed a Notice of Appeal questioning the order of the Probate Court. Subsequently, however, he withdrew the appeal and issued a fencing permit. As such, Tang questioned the Probate Court’s order by filing a Petition for Certiorari with Preliminary Injunction in the CA. After issuing the TRO, other neighboring landowners joined Tang. However, CA eventually dismissed the petition on the ground that appeal, rather than certiorari, was the proper remedy. Tang et al’s MR was denied. Hence this petition. Tang et al assert that since they were not parties in the proceedings in the Probate Court, they could not avail of the remedy of appeal and thus certiorari was proper. ISSUE: WHETHER OR NOT TANG ET AL CAN BE CONSIDERED AS “AGGRIEVED PARTIES” WHO COULD AVAIL OF THE REMEDY OF CERTIORARI. HELD: NO. The persons who elevated the questioned order of the Probate Court to the CA, through the special civil action of certiorari, were not parties in the proceedings before the probate court. The Administrator impleaded in the petition before the Probate Court, the City Engineer of Caloocan, did not pursue his appeal and the ones who elevated the questioned order are merely a group of individuals who claim to have an interest in the fencing of the subject lots. Although Section 1 of Rule 65 provides that the special civil action of certiorari may be availed of by a “person aggrieved” by the orders or decisions of a tribunal, the term “PERSON AGGRIEVED” is not to be construed to mean that any person who feels injured by the lower court’s order or decision can question the said court’s disposition via certiorari. To sanction a contrary interpretation would open the floodgates to numerous and endless litigations which would undeniably lead to the clogging of court dockets and, more importantly, the harassment of the party who prevailed in the lower court. The “person aggrieved” referred to under Section 1 of Rule 65 who can avail of the special civil action of certiorari pertains to one who was a party in the proceedings before the lower court. The correctness of this interpretation can be gleaned

from the fact that a special civil action for certiorari may be dismissed motu proprio if the party elevating the case failed to file a motion for reconsideration of the questioned order or decision before the lower court. 50

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Obviously, only one who was a party in the case before the lower court can file a motion for reconsideration since a stranger to the litigation would not have the legal standing to interfere in the orders or decisions of the said court. In relation to this, if a non-party in the proceedings before the lower court has no standing to file a motion for reconsideration, logic would lead us to the conclusion that he would likewise have no standing to question the said order or decision before the appellate court via certiorari. Another factor, which militates against the availability of certiorari to petitioners, is the principle that the Court will only exercise its power of judicial review if the case is brought before it by a party who has the legal standing to raise the legal question. “LEGAL STANDING” denotes a personal and substantial interest in the case such that the party has sustained or will sustain direct injury as a result of the act that is being challenged. The term “INTEREST” means material interest as distinguished from a mere incidental interest. In the present case, aside from the fact that Tang et al were not parties in the proceedings before the lower court, they have not cited any acceptable or valid basis to support their legal standing to question the probate court’s order. Since Estate is the undisputed owner of the subject private lots, the right of the Administrator to have the same fenced cannot be questioned by Tang et al who do not have any vested right over the subject lots. The fact that Tang et al are neighboring lot owners whose access to public roads will allegedly be affected by the fencing of the subject lots, merely gives them an incidental interest over the questioned order of the probate court and cannot serve as basis to support their legal standing to elevate the order of the probate court to the CA and before this Court. Although Tang et al maintain that their legal basis for filing the special civil action of certiorari with the CA and the present petition before this Court is Section 22 of Presidential Decree No. 957, otherwise known as the “The Subdivision and Condominium Buyers’ Protective Decree,” the said section is evidently inapplicable to the present case since it pertains to the proscription imposed upon a subdivision owner or developer . In the present case, the Estate is not a subdivision owner or developer but merely the owner of a neighboring lot. In this regard, it is worth mentioning that the only person who can rightfully oppose the issuance of the fencing permit is the City Engineer of Caloocan. However, after initially opposing the issuance of the fencing permit, he is now convinced of the propriety of issuing the fencing permit. CLASS NOTES: - Person Aggrieved: not any person who feels inured by the lower court’s order or decision. o Pertains to one who was a party in the proceedings before the lower court - If you’re not a party, file a motion to intervene o However, in Pastor and Chua, since their properties were directly affected, can be considered as an “aggrieved party.” - Pastor: indispensible party was not impleaded. Hence, proceedings were void. 23. Rodriguez v. Gadiane, 495 SCRA 368 (2006) FACTS: Rodriguez filed a Complaint for Violation of BP 22 against Gadiane and Rafols in the MTC. However, the MTC suspended the proceeding on the ground of prejudicial question since there was another civil case pending. Thus, Rodriguez filed a Petition for Certiorari in the RTC questioning the order suspending the proceedings. Gadiane et al sought to dismiss the Petition on the ground that it was filed by Rodriguez instead of the government prosecutor. As a result, RTC dismissed. Rodriguez’s MR was likewise denied. Hence, this petition. Rodriguez argues that, being a private complainant, he is a person aggrieved and that he may file a Petition for Certiorari. ISSUE: WHETHER OR NOT THE PRIVATE COMPLAINANT IN A CRIMINAL CASE IS AN AGGRIEVED PARTY WHO MAY FILE A PETITION FOR CERTIORARI. HELD: 51

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A special civil action for certiorari may be filed by an aggrieved party alleging grave abuse of discretion amounting to excess or lack of jurisdiction on the part of the trial court. In a long line of cases, this Court construed the term “aggrieved parties” to include the State and the private offended party or complainant. As early as in the case of Paredes v. Gopengco, it was held that the offended parties in criminal cases have sufficient interest and personality as “person(s) aggrieved” to file the special civil action of prohibition and certiorari under Sections 1 and 2 of Rule 65. Apropos thereto is the case cited by Rodriguez, De la Rosa v. Court of Appeals, wherein it was categorically stated that the aggrieved parties are the State and the private offended party or complainant. It was further held in De la Rosa that the complainant has such an interest in the civil aspect of the case that he may file a special civil action questioning the decision or action of the respondent court on jurisdictional grounds. In so doing, complainant should not bring the action in the name of the People of the Philippines . He should do so and prosecute it in his name as such complainant. In the same vein, the cases of Martinez v. Court of Appeals, Santos v. Court of Appeals, and Chua v. Court of Appeals adhere to the doctrines mentioned above. The Court has nonetheless recognized that if the criminal case is dismissed by the trial court or if there is an acquittal, the appeal on the criminal aspect of the case must be instituted by the Solicitor General in behalf of the State. The capability of the private complainant to question such dismissal or acquittal is limited only to the civil aspect of the case. However, it should be remembered that the order which Rodriguez seeks to assail is not one dismissing the case or acquitting Gadiane. Hence, there is no limitation to the capacity of the private complainant to seek judicial review of the assailed order. There is no doubt that Rodriguez maintains an interest in the litigation of the civil aspect of the case against Gadiane. Section 1(b), Rule 111 of the 2000 Rules of Criminal Procedure states that the criminal action for violation of B.P. 22 shall be deemed to include the corresponding civil action. Hence, the possible conviction of Gadiane would concurrently provide a judgment for damages in favor of Rodriguez. The suspension of the criminal case which Rodriguez decries would necessarily cause delay in the resolution of the civil aspect of the said case which precisely is the interest and concern of Rodriguez. Such interest warrants protection from the courts. Significantly, under the present Rules of Court, complainants in B.P. 22 cases have to pay filing fees upon the commencement of such cases in court to protect their interest. CLASS NOTES: - In a criminal case, the private complainant is a “party aggrieved” in a Petition for Certiorari with respect to the civil aspect of the case. 24. Jerome Castro v. People, 559 SCRA 676 (2008) FACTS: Reedley International School dismissed Atty. Tan’s son for violating his disciplinary probation. Upon Tan’s request, RIS reconsidered but imposed a “non-appealable” condition of excluding his son from participating in the graduation ceremonies. Aggrieved, Tan filed a Complaint in the DECS. The latter found the RIS violated Tan’s due process. As such, Tan’s son was readmitted and allowed to participate in the graduation ceremonies. Thereafter, Tan met Ching, a fellow parent in RIS. Tan told her that he was going to suit RIS’ officers in their personal capacities as well as Castro, the assistant headmaster. Ching informed Castro of this through telephone. Before they hung up, Castro said to Ching, “Be careful talking to Tan, that’s dangerous.” Then, Ching told Tan about what Castro said. As a result, Tan filed a Complaint for Grave Oral Defamation against Castro in the MTC of Mandaluyong. MTC found Castro guilty. On appeal, RTC modified it to Slight Oral Defamation but, due to prescription, Castro was acquitted. As a matter of course, OSG filed a Petition for Certiorari in the CA and contended that the RTC gravely abused its discretion when it misapprehended the totality of the circumstances and finding only Slight Oral Defamation. Thus, CA reinstated the MTC decision. Castro’s MR was denied. Hence, this petition. 52

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Castro argues that the CA erred in taking cognizance of the Petition for Certiorari because the OSG merely raised errors in judgment and failed to prove that the RTC gravely abused its discretion. ISSUE: WHETHER OR NOT THE PETITION FOR CERTIORARI MERELY RAISED ERRORS JUDGMENT HELD: NO. IN A PETITION FOR CERTIORARI, FACTUAL FINDINGS CANNOT BE QUESTIONED. No person shall be twice put in jeopardy of punishment for the same offense. Double jeopardy occurs upon (1) a valid indictment (2) before a competent court (3) after arraignment (4) when a valid plea has been entered and (5) when the accused was acquitted or convicted or the case was dismissed or otherwise terminated without the express consent of the accused. Thus, an acquittal, whether ordered by the trial or CA, is final and unappealable on the ground of double jeopardy. The ONLY EXCEPTION is when the trial court acted with grave abuse of discretion or, as we held in Galman v. Sandiganbayan, when there was mistrial. In such instances, the OSG can assail the said judgment in a petition for certiorari establishing that the State was deprived of a fair opportunity to prosecute and prove its case . The rationale behind this exception is that a judgment rendered by the trial court with grave abuse of discretion was issued without jurisdiction. It is, for this reason, void. Consequently, there is no double jeopardy. In this case, the OSG merely assailed the RTC’s finding on the nature of Castro’s statement, that is, whether it constituted grave or slight oral defamation. The OSG premised its allegation of grave abuse of discretion on the RTC’s “erroneous” evaluation and assessment of the evidence presented by the parties . What the OSG therefore questioned were errors of judgment (or those involving misappreciation of evidence or errors of law). However, a court, in a petition for certiorari, cannot review the public respondent’s evaluation of the evidence and factual findings. Errors of judgment cannot be raised in a Rule 65 petition as a writ of certiorari can only correct errors of jurisdiction (or those involving the commission of grave abuse of discretion). At most, Castro could have been liable for damages under Article 26 of the Civil Code. Castro is reminded that, as an educator, he is supposed to be a role model for the youth. As such, he should always act with justice, give everyone his due and observe honesty and good faith. CLASS NOTES: - Issues regarding errors of judgment are not dealt with in a petition for certiorari; only errors of jurisdiction 25. Tanjuan v. Phil. Coastal Savings Bank, 411 SCRA 168 (2003) FACTS: Tanjuan worked as a Property Appraisal Specialist and OIC of the Credit Supervision and Control Department of the Philippine Postal Savings Bank Inc (PPSBI). Sometime in 1998, PPSBI President Torres issued a Memo addressed to Tanjuan and 5 other employees charging them with negligence and misrepresentation in violation of PPSBI’s rules and regulations for approving loans to Corinthian de Tagaytay and Clavecilla Marine Service. As such, he was preventively suspended. During the pendency of the administrative case, PPSBI’s Board approved its reorganization via retrenchment plan. Thus, all employees were notified that to be included in the selection process, they should apply for their desired positions. If not, they will be deemed to have chosen to be separated. However, Tanjuan did not apply for any position. As a result, he received a Notice of Termination. However, his release of separation pay was withheld in light of the pendency of a criminal case in the Ombudsman due to the irregular granting of loans. Displeased, Tanjuan filed a Complaint for Illegal Dismissal with money claims. The LA found PPSBI guilty of illegal dismissal. On appeal, NLRC admitted evidence presented and ruled that the retrenchment due to business losses was valid. Thus, NLRC ruled that there was no illegal dismissal. Aggrieved, Tanjuan went up to the CA via Petition for Certiorari. However, CA affirmed the NLRC. Hence, this Petition for Review under Rule 45. Tanjuan asserts that the CA erred in disregarding the LA’s factual findings. 53

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ISSUE: WHETHER OR NOT THE CA HAS THE POWER TO REVIEW NLRC CASES HELD: YES. It is well to remind Tanjuan that those findings were rejected in the first instance by the NLRC, pursuant to its exclusive appellate jurisdiction over all cases decided by labor arbiters. Thereafter, its Decision was reviewed by the CA via a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court. St. Martin Funeral Home v. NLRC laid down the mode of judicial review of NLRC decisions. In that case, this Court held that the proper vehicle for such review was a special civil action for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court, and that this action should be filed in the CA in strict observance of the doctrine of the hierarchy of courts. As the rule now stands, special civil actions for certiorari of NLRC cases filed in this Court after June 1, 1999 are to be dismissed, not referred to the CA. Verily, the CA, pursuant to the exercise of its original jurisdiction over petitions for certiorari, has the power to review NLRC cases. Such review extends to the factual findings of the LA when, as in this case, these are at variance with those of the NLRC. The CA thus acted within its power when it disregarded the LA’s findings and upheld the contrary ruling of the NLRC. In turn, the factual findings of the former affirming those of the latter are generally binding on this Court and will not as a rule be reviewed on appeal. CLASS NOTES: - CA can receive evidence in resolving cases within its jurisdiction b. PROHIBITION CLASS NOTES: - Looks at future acts - Purpose of stopping someone without jurisdiction from performing an act - Judicial, quasi-judicial, ministerial - See incidental reliefs! 1. Matuguina Integrated Wood Products v. CA, 263 SCRA 490 (1996) FACTS: In 1973, the Bureau of Forest Development (BFD) issued a Provisional Timber License (PTL) in favor of Milagros Matuguina doing business under the sole proprietorship in the name of MLE. The area covered by the PTC adjoined the timber concession of Davao Enterprises Corp (DAVENCOR). In 1974, Matuguina Integrated Wood Products Inc (MIWPI) was incorporated with Mataguina as majority stockholder. Subsequently, Matuguina requested the Director of BFD to transfer the PTL in favor of MIWPI. Pursuant thereto, a Deed of Transfer was executed in favor of MIWPI. Pending approval of the request, DAVENCOR complained that MLE encroached on its timber operations. After investigation, a report was submitted to the Director that MLE had indeed encroached upon DAVENCOR’s area. Consequently, the Director declared that MLE encroached the area of DAVENCOR. Pending MLE’s appeal, Mataguina ceased to be a stockholder in MIWPI by disposed of her shares therein. Thereafter, the Minister of Natural Resources affirmed the order of the Director and ordered MLE to pay DAVENCOR around 2.5M. This became final and executory. Upon DAVENCOR’s request, an Order of Execution was issued and directed the issuance of a Writ of Execution against MLE and MIWPI. The Writ was issued afterwards. As a result, MIWPI filed a Complaint for Prohibition, Damages, and Injunction with TRO in the RTC of Davao contending that it had a separate and distinct personality from MLE. RTC ruled in favor of MIWPI and nullified the Order and Execution by the Minister of Natural Resources. On appeal, CA reversed the RTC. CA stated that any violation of MIWPI’s right to due process was cured when it filed the Action for Prohibition. MIWPI’s MR was denied. Hence, this petition. 54

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ISSUE: WHETHER OR NOT THE ACTION FOR PROHIBITION IS A PROPER REMEDY TO DETERMINE THE FACT THAT MIWPI AND MLE ARE ONE AND THE SAME ENTITY. HELD: NO. PROHIBITION CASES ONLY RESOLVE ISSUES ON JURISDICTION. Essentially, Prohibition is a remedy to prevent inferior courts, corporations, boards or persons from usurping or exercising a jurisdiction or power with which they have not been vested by law. As we have held in Mafinco Trading Corporation vs. Ople, et al., in a certiorari or prohibition case, only issues affecting the jurisdiction of the tribunal, board and offices involved may be resolved on the basis of undisputed facts. The issue of whether or not MIWPI is an alter ego of Milagros Matuguina/MLE, is one of fact, and which should have been threshed out in the administrative proceedings , and not in the prohibition proceedings in the trial court, where it is precisely the failure of the Minister of Natural Resources to proceed as mandated by law in the execution of its order which is under scrutiny. Assuming, arguendo, that prohibition is the proper remedy for determining the propriety of piercing the separate personality of MIWPI with its stockholders, the evidence presented at said trial does not warrant such action. In the case at bar, there is insufficient basis for the CA’s ruling that MIWPI is the same as Matuguina. 2. Aurillo v. Rabi, 392 SCRA 595 (2002) FACTS: Noel Rabi was arrested without a warrant and charged with Possession of Unlicensed Firearm in the Prosecutor of Tacloban. After inquest, it was recommended that the case be dismissed for lack of probable cause because the evidence were merely based on hearsay. However, Regional State Prosecutor Araullo decided to assume jurisdiction over the case and conduct a new preliminary investigation. As such, he ordered the City Prosecutor to elevate the records of the case to his office, which the latter complied. Thereafter, a subpoena was issued notifying Rabi of the schedule for the preliminary investigation not only for Possession of Unlicensed Firearm but also for violation of the COMELEC Gunban and Malicious Mischief. Upon service of said subpoena, Rabi’s lawyer immediately filed a Petition for Prohibition with Prayer for TRO or Writ of Preliminary Injunction. It alleged that the Regional State Prosecutor was vested only with administrative supervision over the city prosecutors and cannot motu propio review, revise, or modify the latter’s resolutions as regards the conduct of preliminary investigation or inquest. Further, he contended that by taking over the preliminary investigation, Araullo acted without jurisdiction or with grave abuse thereof. In his Answer, Araullo alleged that the Petition was premature as Rabi did not exhaust administrative remedies from the Secretary of Justice. He also averred that his power was derived from his prosecutorial powers in the Admin Code. RTC ruled in favor of Rabi and nullified the preliminary investigation as well as the Information filed as a result thereof and ordered Araullo to pay damages. It declared that the Regional State Prosecutor can only conduct preliminary investigation when ordered by the Secretary of Justice. Hence, this petition. ISSUE: WHETHER OR NOT THE PETITION FOR PROHIBITION FILED BEFORE THE RTC WAS PREMATURE HELD: Tthe GENERAL RULE is that an aggrieved party is mandated to first exhaust all administrative remedies before filing a judicial action for redress from acts of administrative bodies or offices in the performance of their quasi-judicial functions; otherwise, said action may be dismissed for prematurity. However, the principle is not without EXCEPTIONS. The aggrieved party may validly resort to immediate judicial action where the (1) (2) (3) (4)

question raised is purely legal; when the act complained of is patently illegal; when there is an urgent need for judicial intervention; when the disputed act is performed without jurisdiction or in excess of jurisdiction; 55

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(5) the administrative remedy does not provide for a plain, speedy and adequate remedy; and (6) when due process is disregarded. In this case, the Investigating Prosecutor terminated the inquest investigation and came out with her resolution dismissing the case as approved by the City Prosecutor. On January 11, 1995, barely a day thereafter, Aurillo decided to take over the preliminary investigation and ordered the City Prosecutor to elevate the records of said case to the Office of the Regional State Prosecutor. Rabi was completely unaware of the takeover by Aurillo of the preliminary investigation of the case or the reasons therefor. Rabi learned about Aurillo’s action for the first time when he received the subpoena from the Assistant Regional State Prosecutor on January 27, 1995 setting the preliminary investigation of the case anew on February 2, 1995.

Being a resident of Tacloban City, Rabi did not have adequate time to seek redress from the Secretary of Justice whose offices is located in Manila and request that the scheduled investigation be forestalled.

Given this factual milieu, time was of the essence. Inaction was not an option; it was, in fact, sheer folly. Judicial intervention was imperative. There was no need for Rabi to still wait for Aurillo to complete his preliminary investigation, find probable cause against Rabi for violation of PD 1866 and file an Information against him for said crime nor wait for the issuance by the trial court of a warrant for his arrest. If Rabi tarried, the acts sought to be assailed by him would by then have been a fait accompli to his gross prejudice, and his prayer for a writ of prohibition and for injunctive relief, an exercise in utter futility. Aurillo acted without authority and with grave abuse of discretion amounting to excess or lack of jurisdiction when he took over motu proprio the preliminary investigation and ordered a new preliminary investigation thereof; hence, his actuations were a nullity. The “administrative supervision” which shall govern the equivalent and an agency under its jurisdiction is limited to the

authority of such department to generally oversee the operation of the agency under it to insure that the same is managed effectively and economically, without interfering with its day-to-day activities; and to take such action as may be necessary for the proper performance of official functions, including the rectification of violations, abuses or other forms of maladministration. It bears stressing that in administrative law, administrative supervision is not synonymous with control.

RTC CORRECTLY NULLIFIED THE PRELIMINARY INVESTIGATION AND INFORMATION The pendency of the special civil action for prohibition before the RTC did not interrupt the investigation in I.S. No. 95-043. It goes without saying, however, that proceeding with the preliminary investigation and terminating the same, Aurillo did so subject to the outcome of the petition for prohibition. In this case, the RTC granted the petition of Rabi, declared Aurillo bereft of authority to take over the preliminary investigation and nullified the preliminary investigation conducted by Aurillo as well as the Information thereafter filed by him. The RTC is possessed of residual power to restore the parties to their status before Aurillo proceeded with the preliminary investigation, and grant in favor of the aggrieved party such other relief as may be proper. Jurisprudence has it that PROHIBITION will give complete relief not only by preventing what remains to be done but by undoing what has been done. The Court has authority to grant any appropriate relief within the issues presented by the pleadings of the parties: Generally, the relief granted in a prohibition proceeding is governed by the nature of the grievance proved and the situation at the time of judgment. Although the general rule is that a writ of prohibition issues only to restrain the commission of a future act, and not to undo an act already performed, where anything remains to be done by the court, prohibition will give complete relief, not only by preventing what remains to be done but by undoing what has been done. Under some statutes, the court must grant the appropriate relief whatever the proceeding is called if facts stating ground for relief are pleaded. Although prohibition is requested only as to a particular matter, the court has authority to grant 56

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any appropriate relief within the issues presented by the pleadings . If the application for prohibition is too broad, the court may mould the writ and limit it to as much as is proper to be granted. In the exercise of its jurisdiction to issue writs, the court has, as a necessary incident thereto, the power to make such incidental order as may be necessary to maintain its jurisdiction and to effectuate its final judgment . The court may retain jurisdiction of the cause to enable it to make an appropriate order in the future, even though the petition for a writ of prohibition is dismissed.

Hence, the RTC did not commit any error in nullifying not only the preliminary investigation by the Office of the Regional State Prosecutor in I.S. No. 95-043 for want of authority but also the Information approved by Aurillo and filed with the Regional Trial Court. 3. Verzosa v. CA, 299 SCRA 100 (1998) FACTS: Uson mortgaged a parcel of land in Pangasinan to Verzosa. When Uson failed to pay, the property was foreclosed. The Provincial Sheriff set the foreclosure sale at a specific date and time. To prevent the foreclosure sale from taking place, Uson filed in the RTC a Complaint for Annulment of Mortgage with Prayer for Issuance of Writ of Preliminary Injunction against Verzosa and the Provincial Sheriff. Verzosa’s Motion to Dismiss was granted because Uson did not verify it. Thereafter, she filed her Amended Complaint which bears the proper verification. Nonetheless, upon Verzosa’s insistence, the foreclosure sale was conducted and the property was sold to Verzosa being the highest bidder and a Certificate of Sale was approved. It was later registered in the ROD. Later on, the RTC admitted the Amended Complaint of Uson. Consequently, Verzosa filed a Petition for Certiorari in the CA alleging that the Amended Complaint was admitted with grave abuse of discretion. While the Petition was pending, the 1-year redemption period lapsed and a new TCT was issued in Verzosa’s name. Thereafter, he sold the property to one Martinez and a TCT was thereafter issued in the latter’s name. Thereafter, the CA dismissed Verzosa’s Petition for Certiorari and sustained the admission of Uson’s Amended Complaint. Then, Uson filed her Second Amended Complaint and also impleaded the ROD and Martinez and prayed for the annulment of his TCT. As a result, the RTC issued a Cease and Desist order against Martinez and Verzosa from making constructions in the land. The RTC likewise clarified that the status quo sought to be maintained is the possession of Uson of the land and not when Martinez was already the registered owner. Aggrieved, Verzosa filed a Petition for Certiorari to challenge the RTC’s orders. However, it was dismissed. Hence, this petition. It is contended that the RTC violated the doctrine that consummated acts can no longer be restrained by injunction. ISSUE: WHETHER OR NOT RTC CAN STILL RESTRAIN CONSUMMATED ACTS BY INJUNCTION. HELD: YES. As earlier noted, despite the fact that Pilar Martinez already had title to and possession of the disputed property, the CA affirmed the order of the trial court enjoining her from “entering, intruding and making construction and/or performing any act of ownership or possession and any activity over the land.” Verzosa cite the following ruling in Reyes v. Harty: It is a universal principle of the law that an injunction will not issue to restrain the performance of an act already done. It is undisputed proof in this case, presented by the plaintiffs themselves, that, at the time this [case] was tried, the plaintiffs had been completely dispossessed, the defendant being in full and complete possession of the lands in question. Again, the case cited by Verzosa is incongruous with the factual milieu of the present controversy. In that case, the party praying for an injunctive writ had been completely dispossessed of the land in question prior to the commencement of the action. In the case at bar, Uson was still the owner and was in possession of the property at the time the original Complaint was filed. The rule is that a court should not by means of preliminary injunction transfer the property in litigation from the possession of one party to another where the legal title is in dispute and the party having 57

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possession asserts ownership thereto. When Uson filed the original Complaint, she had title to and possession of the property and was asserting ownership thereto.

Where the acts have been performed prior to the filing of the injunction suit , the GENERAL RULE is that consummated acts can no longer be restrained by injunction. However, “where the acts are performed after the injunction suit is brought, a defendant may not as [a matter] of right proceed to perform the acts sought to be restrained and then be heard to assert in the suit that the injunction will not lie because he has performed these acts before final hearing has been had, but after the beginning of the action. A defendant thus acts at his peril.”

It has been held that “[t]he GENERAL RULE OF LAW is that, where a defendant completes, after the beginning of an action, the act thereby sought to be restrained, and before the issue of any final order or decree , the court has the power to, and may, compel, by a mandatory injunction, the restoration of the former condition of things and thereby prevent the giving of an advantage by reason of the wrongful act. And where a defendant does an act thus sought to be restrained, he proceeds at his peril, and the court in which the action is pending may compel a restoration of the former status or grant to the plaintiff such relief as may be proper.” In this case, an action was brought to enjoin Verzosa from proceeding with the mortgage sale, yet he proceeded to do so while the action was still pending. Such conduct is reprehensible. “If one in the face of a pending suit for injunction, does the thing sought to be enjoined, he cannot thus outwit equity and the court, but must restore the status quo. Even where an injunction has not been issued, if the suit is one for injunction, the defendant, if he does the thing sought to be enjoined does so at his peril.” Hence, in proceeding with the mortgage sale and subsequently selling the property to Pilar Martinez, Verzosa was acting at his peril. CLASS NOTES: - Prohibition is an incidental relief (Aurillo and Versoza) 4. Vergara v. Rugue, 78 SCRA 312 (1977) FACTS: Rugue, through a Contract of Sale, purchased a portion of the Tuason Estate. After having completed the payment of the purchase price, the Land Tenure Administration became bound to transfer ownership in favor of Rugue. However, before this could be done, Vergara intervened and asserted his preferential right against Rugue. Nonetheless, the LTA awarded the contract in favor of Rugue. Vergara appealed to the Office of the President which reversed the LTA and awarded the contract to Vergara with Rugue having a right to be reimbursed what he has paid. As a result, Rugue filed an Action for Annulment of Sale in the CFI of Manila. However, the CFI dismissed the complaint but ordered Rugue to be refunded. On appeal, CA reversed the CFI and cancelled the sale to Vergara. As a result, Rugue was able to secure from the CFI an Order of Execution. Upon receipt thereof, Vergara filed a Petition for Relief from Judgment in the CA and a Motion to Stay Execution in the CFI. CA denied the Petition but CFI stayed the execution. As such, he filed a Petition for Review on Certiorari before the SC. SC dismissed the petition. Vergara then filed 3 successive MRs in the SC but all of them were denied. Fearing that the CFI would lift its order staying the execution, Vergara filed a Petition for Prohibition contending that the CA’s decision was rendered through patent grave abuse of discretion and is therefore null and void. Vergara avers that the CA decision collaterally attacked the final and executory decision of the Office of the President, that it was rendered based on facts contrary to the record. ISSUE: WHETHER OR NOT THE REMEDY OF PETITION FOR PROHIBITION IS PROPER. HELD: NO. The FUNCTION OF PROHIBITION is to prevent the unlawful and oppressive exercise of legal authority and to provide for a fair and orderly administration of justice . It is directed against proceedings that are done without or in excess of jurisdiction, or with grave abuse of discretion, there being no appeal or other plain, speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law. 58

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For grave abuse of discretion to prosper as a ground for prohibition, it must first be demonstrated that the lower court has exercised its power in an arbitrary or despotic manner, by reason of passion or personal hostility, and it must be so patent and gross as would amount to an evasion, or to a virtual refusal to perform the duty enjoined or to act in contemplation of law. On the other hand, the term “excess of jurisdiction” signifies that the court, board, or officer has jurisdiction over a case but has transcended the same or acted without any authority. With the foregoing criteria in mind, We shall now examine the instances indicated by Vergara to support his claim that the CA had acted with grave abuse of discretion or in excess of its jurisdiction. RULING OF PRESIDENT NOT RES JUDICATA The thrust of his argument is that the CA was precluded from reviewing the decision of Executive Secretary Pajo on the ground of res judicata — a principle also applicable to judicial acts of public, executive or administrative officers and boards. We do not think that this ingenious argument is legally tenable. It ignores the circumstance that res judicata was never raised as a defense by Vergara in the aforementioned Civil Case No. 45780, the decision of which was reversed by the Appellate Court in CA-G. R. No. 31186-R. Nowhere in the aforementioned answer has Vergara ever asserted that the decisions of Executive Secretary Pajo, as affirmed by Executive Secretary Castillo, was a final adjudication of the property rights of Vergara and Rugue and, therefore, the action of Rugue was barred under the doctrine of res judicata. It is rather too late in the day for Vergara to question now the lack or excess of jurisdiction of the CA in rendering the said decision on the alleged ground that said Court is precluded from reversing the award of the lot on the ground of res judicata. It should be obvious to Vergara that the defense of res judicata when not interposed either in a motion to dismiss or in an answer is deemed waived. ISSUES CAN NO LONGER BE RELITIGATED Veragara cannot relitigate the aforesaid issues. The doctrine of res judicata has already set in because of the finality not only of the decision of the CA, the execution of which is being sought here to be prohibited, but also of the resolution of this Court in G. R. No. L-32309, aforementioned, sustaining said decision of the Court of Appeals. The doctrine of res judicata has two (2) aspects. The FIRST is the effect of a judgment as a bar to the prosecution of a second action upon the same claim, demand or cause of action. The SECOND aspect is that it precludes the relitigation of a particular fact or issue in another action between the same parties on a different claim or cause of action. EXTRAORDINARY REMEDY OF PROHIBITION The office of the extraordinary remedy of prohibition is not to correct errors of judgment but to prevent or restrain usurpation by inferior tribunals and to compel them to observe the limitation of their jurisdictions. It is a PREVENTIVE REMEDY. Its function is to restrain the doing of some act to be done. It is not intended to provide a remedy for acts already accomplished. This remedy will lie only to “prevent an encroachment, excess, usurpation, or improper assumption of jurisdiction on the part of an inferior court or tribunal, or to prevent some great outrage upon the settled principles of law and procedure; but, if the inferior court or tribunal has jurisdiction of the person and subject matter of the controversy , the writ will not lie to correct errors and irregularities in procedure, or to prevent an erroneous decision or an enforcement of an erroneous judgment, or even in cases of encroachment, usurpation, and abuse of judicial power or the improper assumption or jurisdiction, where an adequate and applicable remedy by appeal, writ of error, certiorari, or other prescribed methods of review are available.” It may be safely asserted as a settled law, that “ unless the court sought to be prohibited is wanting in jurisdiction over

the class of cases to which the pending case belongs or is attempting to act in excess of its jurisdiction in a case of which it rightfully has cognizance, the writ will be denied.” CLASS NOTES: - Do not question execution by referring to the merits of the judgment. 59

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5. Nacionalista Party v. Bautista, 85 Phil. 101 (1949) FACTS: In 1949, President Elpidio Quirino appointed incumbent Solicitor General Felix Angelo-Bautista as an acting member of the COMELEC. The latter took the oath and proceeded to assume and perform the functions of his office. The members of the Nacionalista Party filed a Petition for Prohibition and contended that such designation was invalid, illegal, and unconstitutional because at the time of the designation, there was no vacancy in the COMELEC. They contend that COMELEC Commissioner Enage applied for retirement but was nonetheless entitled to leave and until the expiration of such leave would he cease to become a member of COMELEC. SC already ruled that there was a vacancy in the COMELEC because Enage initially applied for retirement in 1941 and reiterated his application in 1946 and in 1948. Moreover, the SC already held that the designation is unconstitutional. Only question that needs to be resolved is the propriety of the remedy utilized by the Nacionalista Party. ISSUE: WHETHER OR NOT PROHIBITION IS A PROPER REMEDY HELD: QUO WARRANTO IS THE PROPER REMEDY. HOWEVER, DUE TO THE UNIQUE CIRCUMSTANCES, THE PETITION WAS NOT DISMISSED

Strictly speaking, there are no proceedings of the COMELEC in the exercise of its judicial or ministerial functions, which are being performed by it without or in excess of its jurisdiction, or with grave abuse of its discretion. The only basis

for the petition is that the designation of Angelo-Bautista as temporary member of the COMELEC is illegal and invalid because it offends against the Constitution. This special civil action as our Rules call it, or this extraordinary legal remedy following the classical or chancery nomenclature, is in effect to test the validity or legality of the Angelo-Bautista designation in a temporary capacity as member of the COMELEC pending the appointment of a permanent member or Commissioner. It is in the nature of a quo warranto, and as such it may only be instituted by the party who claims to be entitled to the office or by the Solicitor General. The authorities and decisions of courts are almost unanimous that PROHIBITION WILL NOT LIE to determine the title of a de facto judicial officer, since its only function is to prevent a usurpation of jurisdiction by a subordinate court. In the case at bar, however, as we have found that Angelo-Bautista’s designation to act temporarily as member of the COMELEC is unlawful because it offends against the provisions of the Constitution creating the COMELEC, the dismissal of the petition would deny and deprive the parties that are affected by such designation of a remedy and relief, because no one is entitled now to the office and a party who is not entitled to the office may not institute quo warranto proceedings, and Angelo-Bautsita as Solicitor General, the only other party who may institute the proceedings, would not proceed against himself. In these circumstances, it is incumbent upon and the duty of this Court to grant a remedy. There are cases involving a situation similar to the one under consideration wherein it was ruled that the remedy of prohibition may lie. The foregoing authorities are invoked in view of the peculiar and extraordinary circumstances obtaining in this case already referred to, to wit: that as no one is entitled to the office there is no party who in his name may institute quo warranto proceedings, and that Angelo-Bautista, the only other party who may institute the proceedings in the name of the Republic of the Philippines, would not proceed against himself. Were it not for this anomalous situation where there would be no remedy to redress a constitutional transgression, we would adhere strictly to the time-honored rule that to test the right to an office quo warranto proceedings is the proper remedy. The Nacionalista Party is granted 5 days within which to amend its petition so as to substitute the real parties in interest for it (the petitioner), or to show that it is a juridical person entitled to institute these proceedings. Otherwise, or if the petitioner does not amend its petition or does not show that it is" a juridical entity, the petition will be dismissed. After the amendment or showing referred to shall have been made, the writ prayed for will issue, without costs. CLASS NOTES: - You question the office itself - Cannot question the person holding the office 60

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6. Enriquez v. Macadaeg, 84 SCRA 674 (1949) FACTS: Yburan purchased real property in Negros Oriental in an execution sale. However, Enriquez, the judgment debtor, still mortgaged the property to PNB and refused to surrender possession thereof to Yburan. Thus, the latter filed a action in the CFI of Cebu against Enriquez and PNB in order that he may be declared as owner of the property. Before filing their Answer, Enriquez and PNB moved to dismiss the Action on the ground that since it involved title to and possession of real property situated in Negros Oriental, it should not have been filed in Cebu. Nevertheless, the CFI through Judge Macadaeg denied the motion. As a result, Enriquez filed a Petition for Mandamus to compel the judge to dismiss the action. In his defense, Judge Macadaeg averred that since the act involves an exercise of discretion, appeal, rather than mandamus, is the proper remedy. ISSUE: WHETHER OR NOT THE PETITION FOR MANDAMUS OR APPEAL IS THE PROPER REMEDY. HELD: NO. PROHIBITION IS PROPER TO CHALLENGE THE REFUSAL OF A JUDGE TO DISMISS A CASE WHICH SHOULD NOT BE IN HIS COURT

While the Judge Macadaeg committed a manifest error in denying the motion, mandamus is not the proper remedy for correcting that error, for this is not a case where a tribunal "unlawfully neglects the performance of an act which the law specifically enjoins as a duty resulting from an office" or "unlawfully excludes another from the use and enjoyment of a right." It is rather a case where a judge is proceeding in defiance of the Rules of Court by refusing to dismiss an action which would not be maintained in his court. The remedy in such case is PROHIBITION, and that remedy is available in the present case because the order complained of, being merely of an interlocutory nature, is not appealable.

While the petition is for mandamus, the same may well be treated as one for prohibition by waiving strict adherence to technicalities in the interest of a speedy administration of justice pursuant to section 2, Rule 1, Rules of Court.

Wherefore, let a writ of prohibition issue, enjoining the Judge Macadaeg or his successor from taking cognizance of this case unless it be to dismiss the same in accordance with the Rules. 7. Asinas v. CFI Romblon, 61 Phil. 665 (1928) FACTS: While Maurcio Asinas’ will was being probated in the CFI of Romblon, an Opposition was entered into by one Felisa Asinas who claimed to be an acknowledged natural daughter of the deceased. Catalina Asinas denied Felisa’s right to intervene in the proceedings. As such, the CFI determined whether Felisa is really an acknowledged natural daughter. After hearing, the CFI authorized Felisa to intervene in the proceeding and in the administration of the estate. Likewise, she was granted P200 in travelling expenses which is chargeable to the funds under administration. Catalina’s MR was denied. As such, Catalina filed a Petition for the Writ of Prohibition against the CFI of Romblon and Felisa. It was contended that CFI exceeded its jurisdiction in allowing Felisa to intervene and granting her P200 travelling expenses. SC already held that mere prima facie evidence of her condition as an acknowledged natural daughter is enough to give her a right to oppose probate. As to the grant of travelling expenses, the SC said that Felisa’s expenses for her appearance is not an administration expense. Thus, the CFI should not have granted her such. The question that now remains is the propriety of the remedy of Petition of Prohibition. ISSUE: WHETHER OR NOT PETITION FOR WRIT OF PROHIBITION IS PROPER TO CHALLENGE THE CFI’S RULING. HELD: NO. SINCE THE CFI DECISION IS FINAL IN CHARACTER, IT IS APPEALABLE. The CFI’s resolution ordering the payment of said expenses to be charged to the funds under administration, is final in character, since by it a claim of the Felisa Asinas is granted, without the administrator or Catalina having had a day in 61

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court, and notwithstanding their subsequent opposition, thus giving an end to the controversy; and as such it is appealable, without the necessity of waiting for the termination of the administration.

As there is another plain, speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of justice , namely, an appeal, prohibition cannot lie.

CLASS NOTES: - Prohibition is a remedy of last resort c. MANDAMUS CLASS NOTES: - Applicable to ministerial acts - For the purpose of compelling an act required as aduty - Can mandamus lie against a private person? No. - Factor to consider: Is there a law, office, or station which requires something to be done. - Duty must be based on law; must be a legally demandable act or right 1. Lamb v. Phipps, 22 Phil. 456 (1912) FACTS: C.H. Lamb was a superintendent of the Iwahig Penal Colony until he resigned in 1911 due to ill health. As a result, he requested the Auditor General, W.H. Phipps, for his Certificate of Clearance upon showing documents that he has accounted for all the property and funds that came under his custody when he was in office. Under the law, this Certificate was required so that Lamb may be allowed to leave the Philippines without incurring criminal liability. Although the records show that Lamb’s account was balanced and settled, Phipps refused to issue the Certificate. Consequently, Lamb filed a Petition for Mandamus before the SC praying that Phipps, as Auditor General, be compelled to issue said Certificate. Thereafter, the SC ordered Phipps to appear and show cause why the writ should not be granted. Thus, Phipps appeared and filed a demurrer alleging that the court has no jurisdiction to issue mandamus to compel the Auditor and that the complaint does not state facts to constitute a cause of action. ISSUE: WHETHER OR NOT MANDAMUS MAY LIE TO COMPEL THE AUDITOR TO ISSUE A CERTIFICATE OF CLEARANCE IN FAVOR OF LAMB. HELD: NO. HIS ACT IS DISCRETIONARY. MANDAMUS ONLY AVAILABLE FOR MINISTERIAL ACTS. The Auditor for the Philippine Islands has exclusive jurisdiction in the first instance to examine, audit, and settle all accounts pertaining to the revenues and receipts from whatever source of every governmental entity within the Philippine Islands. His decision or the result of his accounting upon such revenues and receipts and accounts is final and conclusive upon all parties unless an appeal is taken within a period of one year. When an appeal is taken to the Governor-General and the latter disapproves of the accounting made by the Auditor , he must at once forward to the Secretary of War for final action the matter in controversy. If, then, the Auditor for the Philippine Islands is possessed with exclusive and final jurisdiction to audit all accounts of the Philippine Government, and if his judgment is final unless an appeal therefrom is taken and finally reversed by the Secretary of War, it would seem to be a reasonable conclusion to hold that he has at least a certain discretion in arriving at an uncontrolled and independent conclusion as to any accountability of any accountable employee or official of the Philippine Government. Auditors and comptrollers, as accounting officers, are generally regarded as quasi-official officers. They perform mere ministerial duties only in cases where the sum due is conclusively fixed by law or pursuant to law. Except in such cases, the action of the accounting officers upon claims coming before them for settlement and certification of balances found by them to be due, is not ministerial merely but judicial and discretionary. 62

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The writ of mandamus cannot be used to control the judgment and discretion of an officer in the decision of a matter which the law gave him the power and imposed upon him the duty to decide for himself. The exercise of this power involves judicial discretion. Judicial action cannot be subject to any control or direction except by law and continue to be judicial action. Mandamus will not lie in any matter requiring the exercise of official judgment, or resting in the sound discretion of the person to whom a duty is confided by law , either to control the exercise of that discretion or to determine the decision which shall be finally given, but only to set him in motion and compel him to exercise his function according to some discretion when he has refused or neglected to act at all. The general rule adopted by the Supreme Court of the Philippine Islands is that mandamus will never be issued (a) to control discretion, nor (b) when another adequate remedy exists. It is essential to the issuance of a writ of mandamus that the plaintiff have a clear legal right to the thing demanded and it must be the imperative duty of the defendant to perform the act required. It never issues in doubtful cases. While it may not be necessary that the duty be absolutely express, it is necessary that it should be dear. The writ will not issue to compel an official to do anything which it is not his duty to do or which it is his duty not to do, or to give to the applicant anything to which he is not entitled by law. The writ neither confers powers nor imposes duties. It is simply a command to exercise a power already possessed and to perform a duty already imposed . The writ of mandamus cannot be used to control the discretion of a judge or to compel him to decide a case or a motion pending before him in a particular way. He must be left to exercise the discretion which the law imposes upon him. Mr. Black in his valuable law dictionary says: DISCRETION, when applied to public functionaries, means a power or right conferred upon them by law of acting officially in certain circumstances, according to the dictates of their own judgment and conscience, uncontrolled by the judgment or conscience of others. A purely MINISTERIAL ACT, in contradistinction to a discretional act, is one which an officer or tribunal performs in a given state of facts, in a prescribed manner, in obedience to the mandate of legal authority, without regard to or the exercise of his own judgment upon the propriety or impropriety of the act done . ANOTHER ADEQUATE REMEDY As a general rule it may be said that by the phrase another adequate remed is meant one specifically provided by law. If the remedy is specifically provided by law, it is presumed to be adequate. Under the law in cases like the present, the aggrieved party has the right to appeal. He did not take advantage of that right, nor has he exhausted the ordinary remedy afforded him by express law. He is not entitled to this extraordinary remedy until he has at least exhausted the ordinary remedies afforded him by law. CLASS NOTES: - Ministerial (e.g. a final and executory judgment) - J. Trent, dissenting: Discretion is not absolute. It must be exercised with the purpose of the law in mind. 2. Big Five Products Union v. CIR, 8 SCRA 559 (1963) FACTS: Big Five Products is in the business of packing vegetable oil under the management of Paula Ricaro. Later on, Some of its employees organized a union called Big Five Products Workers Union and elected its officers. Thereafter, the management of Big Five Products dismissed and discriminated against some of its employees for their union activities and for testifying against the company. 63

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Consequently, the Union filed a Complaint for Unfair Labor Practice against Big Five before the CIR. Initially, the CIR judge dismissed the case. On reconsideration, CIR en banc ordered Big Five to cease and desist from interfering with their employees’ right to self-organization. Moreover, the CIR ordered the reinstatement of the dismissed employees but without backpay. Aggrieved, the Union filed an action for certiorari to review the denial of backpay. In response, Big Five claimed that the CIR had discretion to order reinstatement without backpay. ISSUE: WHETHER OR NOT THE CIR PROPERLY EXERCISED ITS DISCRETION IN ORDERING REINSTATEMENT WITHOUT BACKPAY. HELD: NO. SOUND LEGAL DISCRETION DICTATES THAT BACKWAGES MUST BE AWARDED. The resolution appealed from does not mention any fact which may justify the granting of a similar exemption to Big Five. What is more, the CIRen banc found that said Big Five had dismissed Chona Avila, Luisa Escalera, Purificacion Sillos, Macaria Peregrino and Perlito Palomata, because the latter had testified for the Union at the preliminary investigation of this case, and the first four had engaged in union activities, and that Big Five is, therefore, guilty of unfair labor practices with malice aforethought. Although Section 5, paragraph (c), of the Industrial Peace Act empowers the CIR to order the employer convicted of unfair labor practices to reinstate the victims thereof "with or without back pay," this authority must be availed of in accordance with the dictates of justice, reason and equity. And, even if said legal provision were deemed to confer DISCRETION, the same is neither unlimited, nor arbitrary, capricious, inquisitorial or oppressive in nature, but a sound, legal discretion, limited by the evident purpose of the law which, in the Industrial Peace Act (R.A. No. 875), is to assure the freedom of laborers and employees to engage in union activities , by prohibiting the performance of acts constituting unfair labor practices. Hence, under conditions analogous to those existing in the present case, this Court has ordered the reinstatement with full back pay of the laborers and/or employees adversely affected by unfair labor practices . CLASS NOTES: - While there is discretion, exercise thereof must not be absolute (applied the Trent’s dissent) - Corporation in bad faith for ULP 3. University of San Agustin v. CA, 230 SCRA 761 (1994) FACTS: Nursing students in their 3rd year were refused re-admission by the University for failing to obtain grades of not lower than 80% in any major subject and in 2 minor subjects. Claiming that their right to freely choose their field of study and finish a college degree pursuant to the Education Act of 1982, they filed a Petition for Mandamus in the RTC of Iloilo to command the University to re-admit them. In their Answer, the University was merely following school policy. Likewise, the contended that the Students had no cause of action for mandamus to lie because there is no clear and well-defined right of the Students which has been violated and neither does the University have a ministerial duty to re-admit them. RTC dismissed the petition stating that mandamus will not lie to compel the school authorities to graduate a student who has failed to comply with the disciplinary and academic rules of the school since the writ cannot review or control the exercise of discretionary powers. On appeal, however, CA reversed and ordered the University to re-admit the Students. MR was denied. Hence, this petition. ISSUE: WHETHER OR NOT THE UNIVERSITY MAY BE COMPELLED BY MANDAMUS TO READMIT STUDENTS. HELD: NO. We rule that the special civil action of mandamus is not available in this instance. The petition which was filed by private respondents before the trial court sought the issuance of a writ of mandamus, to command petitioners to admit them for 64

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enrolment. Taking into account the admission of private respondents that they have finished their Nursing course at the Lanting College of Nursing even before the promulgation of the questioned decision, this case has clearly been overtaken by events and should therefore be dismissed. However, the case of Eastern Broadcasting Corporation (DYRE) v. Dans, etc., et al. is the authority for the view that “even if a case were moot and academic, a statement of the governing principle is appropriate in the resolution of dismissal for the guidance not only of the parties but of others similarly situated. Under Rule 65, Section 3 of the Rules of Court, mandamus lies under any of the following cases: (1) against any tribunal which unlawfully neglects the performance of an act which the law specifically enjoins as a duty; (2) in case any corporation, board or person unlawfully neglects the performance of an act which the law enjoins as a duty resulting from an office, trust or station; and (3) in case any tribunal, corporation, board or person unlawfully excludes another from the use and enjoyment of a right or office to which such other is legally entitled ; and there is no other plain, speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law. The nature of mandamus has been the subject of discussions in several cases. It is settled that mandamus is employed to compel the performance, when refused, of a ministerial duty, this being its main objective. It does not lie to require anyone to fulfill contractual obligations or to compel a course of conduct, nor to control or review the exercise of discretion. On the part of the University, it is essential to the issuance of a writ of mandamus that he should have a clear legal right to the thing demanded and it must be the imperative duty of the Students to perform the act required . It never issues in doubtful cases. While it may not be necessary that the duty be absolutely expressed, it must however, be clear. The writ will not issue to compel an official to do anything which is not his duty to do or which is his duty not to do, or give to the applicant anything to which he is not entitled by law. The writ neither confers powers nor imposes duties. It is simply a command to exercise a power already possessed and to perform a duty already imposed. In the present case, the Students have failed to satisfy the prime and indispensable requisites of a mandamus proceeding. There is no showing that they possess a clear legal right to be enrolled in the University. Moreover, assuming that the University has an imperative duty to enroll them, it does not appear to this Court that the duty is merely ministerial; rather, it is a duty involving the exercise of discretion. Every school has a right to determine who are the students it should accept for enrolment. It has the right to judge the fitness of students . Under the provisions of the Manual of Regulations for Private Schools, the school, after having accepted a student for enrollment in a given course may not expel him or refuse to re-enroll him until he completes his course, except when he is academically deficient or has violated the rules of discipline. He is presumed to be qualified to study there for the entire period it will take to complete his course. 4. Uy Kiao Eng v. Nixon Lee, 610 SCRA 211 (2010) FACTS: When Nixon Lee’s father passed away, he claimed that his father’s holographic will was in the custody of his mother Uy Kiao Eng. Lee claims that he already requested Uy Kiao Eng to settle and liquidate his father’s estate but his mother refused. Thus, Lee filed a Petition for Mandamus in the RTC of Manila to compel Uy Kiao Eng to produce the will so that probate proceedings could be instituted. After presentation and formal offer of evidence by Lee, Uy filed a demurrer contending that Lee failed to prove that she had in her custody the holographic will. RTC denied the demurrer but, on MR, it was granted. Aggrieved, Lee filed an MR but was denied and the Petition for Mandamus was dismissed. On appeal, CA denied. When Lee filed his MR, CA granted it and issued a Writ and ordered the production of the holographic will. After Uy’s MR was denied, she filed this petition contending that Petition for Mandamus is not the proper remedy. 65

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ISSUE: WHETHER OR NOT MANDAMUS WILL LIE TO COMPEL UY KIAO ENG TO PRODUCE THE HOLOGRAPHIC WILL OF THE DECEDENT. HELD: NO. HE MAY INSTITUTE THE PROBATE PROCEEDINGS PURSUANT TO THE RULES OF COURT. THUS, THERE IS ANOTHER ADEQUATE REMEDY

The first paragraph of Section 3 of Rule 65 of the Rules of Court pertinently provides that — SEC. 3. Petition for mandamus. — When any tribunal, corporation, board, officer or person unlawfully neglects the performance of an act which the law specifically enjoins as a duty resulting from an office, trust, or station, or unlawfully excludes another from the use and enjoyment of a right or office to which such other is entitled, and there is no other plain, speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law, the person aggrieved thereby may file a verified petition in the proper court, alleging the facts with certainty and praying that judgment be rendered commanding the respondent, immediately or at some other time to be specified by the court, to do the act required to be done to protect the rights of the petitioner, and to pay the damages sustained by the petitioner by reason of the wrongful acts of the respondent. MANDAMUS is a command issuing from a court of law of competent jurisdiction, in the name of the state or the sovereign, directed to some inferior court, tribunal, or board, or to some corporation or person requiring the performance of a particular duty therein specified, which duty results from the official station of the party to whom the writ is directed or from operation of law. This definition recognizes the public character of the remedy, and clearly

excludes the idea that it may be resorted to for the purpose of enforcing the performance of duties in which the public has no interest.

The writ is a proper recourse for citizens who seek to enforce a public right and to compel the performance of a public duty, most especially when the public right involved is mandated by the Constitution. As the quoted provision instructs, mandamus will lie if the tribunal, corporation, board, officer, or person unlawfully neglects the performance of an act which the law enjoins as a duty resulting from an office, trust or station. The writ of mandamus, however, will not issue to compel an official to do anything which is not his duty to do or which it is his duty not to do, or to give to the applicant anything to which he is not entitled by law. Nor will mandamus issue to enforce a right which is in substantial dispute or as to which a substantial doubt exists, although objection raising a mere technical question will be disregarded if the right is clear and the case is meritorious. As a rule, mandamus will not lie in the absence of any of the following grounds: (a) that the court, officer, board, or person against whom the action is taken unlawfully neglected the performance of an act which the law specifically enjoins as a duty resulting from office, trust, or station; or (b) that such court, officer, board, or person has unlawfully excluded petitioner/relator from the use and enjoyment of a right or office to which he is entitled. On the part of the relator, it is essential to the issuance of a writ of mandamus that he should have a clear legal right to the thing demanded and it must be the imperative duty of respondent to perform the act required. Recognized further in this jurisdiction is the principle that mandamus cannot be used to enforce contractual obligations. Generally, mandamus will not lie to enforce purely private contract rights, and will not lie against an individual unless some obligation in the nature of a public or quasi-public duty is imposed. The writ is not appropriate to enforce a private right against an individual. The writ of mandamus lies to enforce the execution of an act, when, otherwise, justice would be obstructed; and, regularly, issues only in cases relating to the public and to the government; hence, it is called a prerogative writ. To preserve its prerogative character, mandamus is not used for the redress of private wrongs, but only in matters relating to the public. Moreover, an important principle followed in the issuance of the writ is that there should be no plain, speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law other than the remedy of mandamus being invoked. In other words, 66

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mandamus can be issued only in cases where the usual modes of procedure and forms of remedy are powerless to afford relief. Although classified as a legal remedy, mandamus is equitable in its nature and its issuance is generally controlled by equitable principles. Indeed, the grant of the writ of mandamus lies in the sound discretion of the court.

In the instant case, the Court, without unnecessarily ascertaining whether the obligation involved here — the production of the original holographic will — is in the nature of a public or a private duty, rules that the remedy of mandamus cannot be availed of by Lee because there lies another plain, speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law. Let it be noted that Lee has a photocopy of the will and that he seeks the production of the original for purposes of probate. The Rules of Court, however, does not prevent him from instituting probate proceedings for the allowance of the will whether the same is in his possession or not. He may file an action for the allowance of a will under Rule 76. There being a plain, speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law for the production of the subject will, the remedy of mandamus cannot be availed of. Suffice it to state that Lee lacks a cause of action in his petition. Thus, the Court grants the demurrer. CLASS NOTES: - Remedy of mandamus is public in character o Excludes the idea that it can be resorted to for the purpose of enforcing performance of duties in which the public has no interest - Mandamus will not lie to enforce purely private contracts and will not lie against an individual unless some obligation in the nature of a public or quasi-public duty is imposed 5. Manalo v. PAIC Savings Bank, 453 SCRA 747 (2005) FACTS: For failure to pay its loan obligation to PAIC, Vargas’ mortgaged properties in Pasay were foreclosed and sold at auction in favor of PAIC. Years later, Vargas sought to annul the mortgage and foreclosure but this was dismissed by the RTC and the CA. This became final and executory. Meanwhile, PAIC filed a Petition for Issuance of Writ of Possession in the RTC. Thereafter, Vargas sold the lots to Angsico for 18M. Then, Vargas likewise leased a portion thereof to Manalo. Later, Angsico assigned and transferred to Manalo all his rights to the lots. Then, Manalo filed a Complaint for Specific Performance against PAIC and Vargas and alleged that he has legal interest in the property. He prayed that the RTC issue a Writ of Mandamus to compel PAIC to allow him to redeem the lots for 18M and release to him the title of the lots. PAIC filed a Motion to Dismiss on the ground that it fails to state a cause of action because he has no interest in the property after Vargas previously failed to exercise her right of redemption. However, the Motion was denied. So, PAIC filed its Answer. RTC ruled in favor of PAIC and dismissed the complaint for lack of enforceable cause of action. On appeal, CA affirmed and stated that mandamus will not lie to compel PAIC to accept the 18M redemption money since it was not its ministerial duty to do so. Hence, this petition. ISSUE: WHETHER OR NOT MANDAMUS WILL LIE TO COMPEL PAIC TO ACCEPT THE REDEMPTION MONEY BEING OFFERED BY MANALO. HELD: NO. MANDAMUS WILL NOT LIE BECAUSE MANALO’S RIGHT IS NOT FOUNDED CLEARLY IN LAW. ALSO, MANDAMUS WILL NOT LIE TO COMPEL PERFORMANCE OF CONTRACTUAL OBLIGATIONS. We hold that mandamus is not the proper recourse to enforce Manalo’s alleged right of redemption. To begin with, mandamus applies as a remedy only where Manalo’s right is founded clearly in law and not when it is doubtful. In varying language, the principle echoed and reechoed is that legal rights may be enforced by mandamus only if those rights are well-defined, clear and certain. On December 4, 1985 or when Vargas failed to exercise her right of redemption within the 1 year redemption period, PAIC ipso facto became the absolute owner of the lots. Surprisingly, however, on December 23, 1992, she sold the property for 67

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P18,000,500.00 to Angsico, who eventually transferred his rights to Manalo. Not only that, on August 24, 1994, Vargas still leased to Manalo a portion of the subject lots. Verily, when PAIC became the owner of the lots on December 4, 1985, Vargas could no longer legally transfer, cede and convey the property to Manalo. Moreover, mandamus cannot be availed of as a remedy to enforce the performance of contractual obligations. In Commission on Elections vs. Quijano-Padilla, we held: It was not intended to aid a plaintiff in the enforcement of a mere contract right , or to take the place of the other remedies provided by law for the adjudication of disputed claims . To permit the writ of mandamus to be used for the purpose of enforcing a mere contract right would be a wide departure from the settled practice in respect to the character of cases in which relief by mandamus may be obtained. 6. Mantrade/FMMC Division Employees and Workers Union v. Bacungan, 144 SCRA 510 (1986) FACTS: In a labor dispute involving Mantrade Development Corporation and its Union, LA Bacungan declared that Mantrade is not obliged to pay holiday pay to its monthly paid employees who are uniformly paid by month. Thus, the Union filed a Petition for Certiorari and Mandamus to question the legal basis of Bacungan’s ruling and to compel him to order he payment of holiday pay. Bacungan denied the payment of holiday pay to the monthly employees because although they were not excluded under the Labor Code, the IRR appears to exclude them. ISSUE: WHETHER OR NOT THE ARBITER CAN BE COMPELLED BY MANDAMUS TO ORDER THE PAYMENT OF HOLIDAY PAY. HELD: YES. JURISPRUDENCE CLEARLY DEFINES THE LEGAL DUTY TO GRANT HOLIDAY PAY. This issue was subsequently decided on October 24, 1984 by a division of this Court in the case of Insular Bank of Asia and America Employees’ Union (IBAAEU) vs. Inciong, wherein it held as follows: WE agree with the petitioner’s contention that Section 2, Rule IV, Book III of the implementing rules and Policy Instruction No. 9, issued by the then Secretary of Labor are null and void since in the guise of clarifying the Labor Code’s provisions on holiday pay, they in effect amended them by enlarging the scope of their exclusion. This ruling was reiterated by the Court en banc on August 28, 1985 in the case of Chartered Bank Employees Association vs. Ople. Lastly, Mantrade contends that mandamus does not lie to compel the performance of an act which the law does not clearly enjoin as a duty. True it is also that mandamus is not proper to enforce a contractual obligation, the remedy being an action for specific performance. In the case at bar, however, in view of the above-cited subsequent decisions of this Court clearly defining the legal duty to grant holiday pay to monthly salaried employees, mandamus is an appropriate equitable remedy . 7. Rural Bank of Salinas v. CA, 210 SCRA 510 (1992) FACTS: Clemente Guerrero, as President of Rural Bank of Salinas, authorized his wife (Melania) to sell or dispose 473 shares of stock of the bank which were registered in his name. Pursuant thereto, Melania executed a Deed of Assignment for said shares in favor of Andico, Rosales, and Guerrero. Months later, Clemente Guerrero died. Thereafter, Melania presented to Rural Bank of Salinas the Deed of Assignment for registration in the stock and transfer book of the shares that were assigned a well as the cancellation of the stock certificates and issuance of new once in the names of the new owners thereof. However, Rural Bank of Salinas denied the request. 68

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Aggrieved, Melania filed with the SEC an Action for Mandamus against the Rural Bank to compel it to register the transfer in the stock and transfer book. In its Answer, the Rural Bank averred that said shares of stock should be considered properties which are part of the estate of its deceased owner. Thereafter, SEC granted the Writ of Mandamus and directed the Rural Bank to cancel the stock certificates and issue new ones in the name of the new owners. On appeal, SEC en banc affirmed. In the CA, the ruling was likewise affirmed. Hence, this petition. ISSUE: WHETHER OR NOT MANDAMUS MAY LIE TO COMPEL THE REGISTRATION OF THE STOCK CERTIFICATES IN THE STOCK AND TRANSFER BOOK OF THE CORPORATION. HELD: YES. IT IS IN ACCORDANCE WITH SECTION 64 OF THE CORPORATION CODE. SEC correctly ruled in favor of the registering of the shares of stock in question in private respondent’s names. Such ruling finds support under Section 63 of the Corporation Code, to wit: SEC. 63. x x x Shares of stock so issued are personal property and may be transferred by delivery of the certificate or certificates indorsed by the owner or his attorney-in-fact or other person legally authorized to make the transfer. No transfer, however, shall be valid, except as between the parties, until the transfer is recorded in the books of the corporation. The right of a transferee/assignee to have stocks transferred to his name is an inherent right flowing from his ownership of the stocks. Thus:

Whenever a corporation refuses to transfer and register stock in cases like the present, mandamus will lie to compel the officers of the corporation to transfer said stock in the books of the corporation.

The corporation’s obligation to register is ministerial. In transferring stock, the secretary of a corporation acts in purely ministerial capacity, and does not try to decide the question of ownership. The duty of the corporation to transfer is a ministerial one and if it refuses to make such transaction without good cause, it may be compelled to do so by mandamus. For the Rural Bank of Salinas to refuse registration of the transferred shares in its stock and transfer book, which duty is ministerial on its part, is to render nugatory and ineffectual the spirit and intent of Section 63 of the Corporation Code. 8. Angchangco Jr. v. Ombudsman, 268 SCRA 301 (1997) FACTS: Angchangco was a Sheriff in the RTC of Butuan City. He was tasked to cause the satisfaction of the final and executory judgment in a case wherein Nasipit Integrated Arrastre was ordered by the DOLE to pay its workers 1.2M. In an attempt to enjoin the execution, Nasipit’s President, Atty. Calo, filed a Complaint for Prohibition against Angchangco. However, the RTC dismissed this case. In addition to the civil case, Atty. Calo also filed in the Ombudsman a criminal complaint for graft, estafa, and malversation against Angchangco but the Ombudsman recommended its dismissal. Also, several workers of Nasipit filed complaints in the Ombudsman against Angchangco alleging that he deducted amounts from their differential pay. While the SC dismissed the administrative aspect of the case, the criminal aspect remained pending and unresolved. When Angchangco retired, he could not get clearance because of the pendency of said criminal cases. With the criminal complaints unresolved for more than 6 years, Angchangco filed a Motion to Dismiss. However, these were not acted upon. Hence, this Petition for Mandamus which seeks to compel the Ombudsman to dismiss the cases filed against him and to direct the Ombudsman to issue a clearance in his favor. ISSUE: WHETHER OR NOT MANDAMUS MAY LIE TO COMPEL THE OMBUDSMAN TO DISMISS THE CASES PENDING AND ISSUE A CLEARANCE IN HIS FAVOR. HELD: YES. 69

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Mandamus is a writ commanding a tribunal, corporation, board, or person to do the act required to be done when it or he unlawfully neglects the performance of an act which the law specifically enjoins as a duty resulting from an office, trust, or station, or unlawfully excludes another from the use and enjoyment of a right or office to which such other is entitled, there being no other plain, speedy, and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law. After a careful review of the facts and circumstances of the present case, the Court finds the inordinate delay of more than 6 years by the Ombudsman in resolving the criminal complaints against Angchangco to be violative of his constitutionally guaranteed right to due process and to a speedy disposition of the cases against him, thus warranting the dismissal of said criminal cases pursuant to the pronouncement of the Court in Tatad vs. Sandiganbayan. Verily, the Office of the Ombudsman in the instant case has failed to discharge its duty mandated by the Constitution “to promptly act on complaints filed in any form or manner against public officials and employees of the government, or any subdivision, agency or instrumentality thereof .” Mandamus is employed to compel the performance, when refused, of a ministerial duty, this being its chief use and not a discretionary duty. It is nonetheless likewise available to compel action, when refused, in matters involving judgment and discretion, but not to direct the exercise of judgment or discretion in a particular way or the retraction or reversal of an action already taken in the exercise of either. It is correct, as averred in the comment that in the performance of an official duty or act involving discretion, the corresponding official can only be directed by mandamus to act, but not to act one way or the other. However, this rule admits of exceptions such as in cases where there is GROSS ABUSE OF DISCRETION, MANIFEST INJUSTICE, or PALPABLE EXCESS OF AUTHORITY. Here, the Office of the Ombudsman, due to its failure to resolve the criminal charges against Angchangco for more than 6 years, has transgressed on the constitutional right of Angchangco to due process and to a speedy disposition of the cases against him, as well as the Ombudsman’s own constitutional duty to act promptly on complaints filed before it. For all these past 6 years, he has remained under a cloud, and since his retirement in September 1994, he has been deprived of the fruits of his retirement after serving the government for over 42 years all because of the inaction of Ombudsman. If we wait any longer, it may be too late for him to receive his retirement benefits, not to speak of clearing his name. This is a case of plain injustice which calls for the issuance of the writ prayed for. CLASS NOTES: - GR: An official can only be directed by mandamus to act but not to act one way or another. - E: (a) there is gross abuse of discretion; (b) manifest injustice; (c) palpable excess of authority - Failure to resolve criminal charges for more than 6 years amounts to a violation of due process and speedy disposition of cases. 9. Carbungco v. Amparo, 83 Phil. 638 (1949) FACTS: Carbungco owns a parcel of land in Sampaloc, Manila. He leased to one Jose Santos. After Santos vacated the premises, a certain Vicenta Foz remained in the property who claimed to have received a sublease on the same premises. Due to her refusal to vacate, Carbungco filed a Complaint for Forcible Entry and Detainer against Foz in the MTC. For failure to Answer the Complaint, Foz was declared in default and judgment was rendered against her ordering her to vacate the premises and pay monthly rental to Carbungco. During Foz’s appeal in the CFI of Manila, she failed to make a deposit of the rental corresponding to the month of April 1948. As such, Carbungco moved for the execution of the judgment. Before the motion was resolved, Foz made the deposit. Later on, Judge Amparo denied the motion on the ground that the deposit was already made. MR was denied. Thus, Carbungco now filed a Petition for Mandamus praying that Judge Amparo be commanded to issue an order of execution against Foz. 70

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ISSUE: WHETHER OR NOT MANDAMUS WILL LIE TO COMPEL THE JUDGE TO ISSUE AN ORDER OF EXECUTION HELD: YES. Con trary to the provisions of law, particularly Rule 72, section 8, Rules of Court, Foz failed to deposit in court within the first 10 days of the succeeding month (May 1948) the rental corresponding to the previous month (April 1948). This deposit was actually made 3 days after the end of the 10-day period, that is to say, on May 13, 1948. The law and the authorities are, however, clear that this legal provision about the deposit of the rental corresponding to the previous month within the first 10 days of the succeeding month, is mandatory; that upon violation thereof by the Foz, the Carbungco has the right to ask for execution pending appeal ; and that the court is left no discretion to either extend the period of deposit prescribed by law , postpone the making of said deposit, or otherwise relieve Foz of the consequences of her or his failure to make the deposit within the precise period prescribed by law. The law has prescribed a period, and this requirement should be complied with strictly, and its observance and compliance should be enjoined and enforced by the courts, not only for the protection of parties in whose favor the law hap pens to have been made and promulgated, but also for the information and guidance of those otherwise affected thereby. We hold and declare that pending appeal, failure to make the deposit of rental within the period fixed by law, however short the delay, gives the appellee the right to execution of the judgment, which the court is bound to grant and enforce. In view of the foregoing, the petition for mandamus is hereby granted and Judge Amparo, or anyone presiding over Branch V of the Court of First Instance of Manila, or any other branch of said court taking cognizance of civil case No. 2886 (Ambrosio Carbungco vs. Vicenta Foz), is hereby commanded to order the execution of the appealed judgment rendered by the Municipal Court of Manila requiring the defendant Vicenta Foz to vacate the premises in question. 10. University of San Carlos v. CA, 166 SCRA 570 (1988) FACTS: Lee was first enrolled in University of San Carlos’ College of Architecture. After receiving and Incomplete grade and 2 failing grades, she shifted to Commerce. Some of the units she completed in her previous course was carried over to her new course. As a student of Commerce, she obtained good grades. However, aware that her earlier failing grades would be factored in in determining her overall performance, she wrote the school requesting that said grades be disregarded. She wrote a similar letter to the Ministry of Education. Said letter was then referred to the University’s president. Since the President was out of town, she wrote to the USC Registrar requesting that her failing grades be changed. Successful, her grades were changed. After discovering that the change of grades was not accompanied by class record, MECS officials requested for said class records. Pending this, the University held its graduation and Lee graduated with BS in Commerce without honors. Thus, she demanded from the Dean to allow to graduate cum laude. However, the Dean said that the matter was still pending. When the class records could not be produced, the request was denied. Aggrieved, Lee filed an Action for Mandamus with Damages against the University praying that they be compelled to confer upon her the degree with honors. RTC ruled in her favor. CA affirmed the same. Hence, the University filed this petition. ISSUE: WHETHER OR NOT MANDAMUS WILL LIE TO COMPEL A UNIVERSITY TO CONFER A DEGREE WITH HONORS. HELD: NO. It is an accepted principle that schools of learning are given ample discretion to formulate rules and guidelines in the granting of honors for purposes of graduation. This is part of academic freedom. Within the parameters of these rules, it is within the competence of universities and colleges to determine who are entitled to the grant of honors among the graduating students. Its discretion on this academic matter may not be disturbed much less controlled by the courts unless there is grave abuse of discretion in its exercise. In this case, the University’s bulletin of information provides all students and all other interested parties advise on the University policies and rules on enrollment and academic achievements. Therein it is provided, among others, that a 71

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student may not officially withdraw from subjects in the curriculum if he does not have the written permission of his parents or guardian. For an incomplete grade, there must be an application for completion or removal within the period announced by the school calendar and when not removed within one (1) year, it automatically becomes final. A “DR” (Dropped) subject which is in the same category, as a “5” disqualifies a student from receiving honors. A candidate for honors should have earned no less than 18 units per semester but a working student should earn no less that 12 units. A failure in any subject disqualifies a student from honors. Good moral character and exemplary conduct are as important criteria for honors as academic achievements. Lee should know and is presumed to know those University policies and is bound to comply therewith. The change of grades of private respondent is thus open to question. Obviously, Lee employed undue and improper pressure on the MECS authorities to approve the change of her grades to remove all obstacle to her graduation with honors. Nevertheless, even if she succeeded in removing her failing grades, it was still within the sound discretion of the University to determine whether Lee was entitled to graduate with honors. The Court finds that the University did not commit a grave abuse of discretion in denying the honors sought by Lee under the circumstances. Indeed, the aforesaid change of grades did not automatically entitle her to the award of honors. 11. Peralta v. Salcedo, 101 Phil. 452 (1957) FACTS: Peralta was a 4th year student at the Adamson University College of Law. A certain Marieta de Sesto filed with the Bureau of Private Education a complaint for immorality against Peralta and alleged that he had illicit relations with her and, as a result of which, a baby was born. Moreover, Peralta refused to make good his promise to marry her. Upon receipt of the complaint, Salcedo, as Director of Private Schools, addressed a letter to the president of Adamson informing him of the immorality charge and requested that Peralta’s graduation be held in abeyance. Thereafter, Salcedo recommended to the Secretary of Education that Peralta is guilty and should expelled. Thereafter, Peralta filed with the Bureau of private Schools an application for graduation but no action was taken because of the pending case. Aggrieved, Peralta filed the present Petition for Mandamus to compel Salcedo to issue a certificate that he had completed the required studies and other orders that would enable him to obtain his diploma for his Bachelor of Laws. ISSUE: WHETHER OR NOT MANDAMUS WILL LIE TO COMPEL THE DIRECTOR OF PRIVATE SCHOOLS TO ISSUE CERTIFICATES OF COMPLETION WHILE THE CASE IS PENDING RESOLUTION WITH THE SECRETARY OF EDUCATION HELD: NO. PETITION WAS PREMATURE The writ of mandamus prayed for cannot issue for the reason that the petition is clearly premature. When this petition was filed, the Director Salcedo had made a recommendation to the Secretary of Education as to the proper action to be taken on Peralta’s case, and the Secretary had not yet acted thereon. Until and after the Secretary of Education has rendered a decision on Peralta’s case, the courts can not act in the matter. Well-settled is the rule that no recourse to the courts can be had until all administrative remedies have been exhausted and special civil actions have been held not entertainable if superior administrative officers could grant relief. d. COMMON MATTERS CLASS NOTES: - Certificate against forum shopping (because it’s an original action) - Certified true copies of the questioned orders, decisions, order denying MR - Time to file: 60 days from denial of MR - Extendible? 72

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1. Midlands Power Generation Corporation v. CA 667 SCRA 342 (2012) (citing Domdom v. Sandiganbayan, 613 SCRA 528 (2010)) FACTS: Oriental Mindoro Electric Cooperative (ORMECO) entered into an Electric Supply Agreement (ESA) with Power One who has given the right to operate the Calapan Diesel Power Plant. Thereafter, Power One invited other partners to enter into a JVA for the purpose of managing and operating the ESA. The joint venture was named Midlands Power. It assumed all rights, interests, and obligations of Power One under the ESA. Thereafter, problems arose regarding the implementation of the ESA which resulted in the reduction of electricity generated to less than 50% of the capacity. As a result, Midlands filed a Complaint for Injunction with TRO against Power One et al. in the RTC of Pasig. Midlands argued that Power One should be restrained from preventing them from performing their obligations under the ESA considering that there was already an assignment of rights. A 72-hour TRO was issued. It was also agreed that during the hearing on the issuance of the Writ of Preliminary Injunction, they agreed to an interim compromise operation of the power plant wherein the operation thereof was placed under Midlands’ responsibility. Later, the RTC of Pasig would issue a Writ of Preliminary Injunction. During the pendency of the Complaint, ORMECO filed a separate Complaint against Power One for Specific Performance before the RTC of Calapan City. As a result, a 72-hour TRO was issued and commanded Power One to perform and comply with its obligation to operate the power plant. Later on, the RTC of Calapan would issue a Writ of Preliminary Mandatory Injunction. Problems arose when the parties sought to enforce 2 separate writs which were issued by different RTCs. Consequently, Power One assailed the order from the RTC of Pasig via Petition for Certiorari in the CA. However, CA sustained the RTC of Pasig. Meanwhile, RTC of Pasig heard the main case for injunction and rendered a judgment in favor of Midlands. Thereafter, Power One was permanently enjoined from preventing Midlands from performing their obligations. Aggrieved, Power One filed a Motion for Extension to File its Petition for Certiorari with the CA on account of the fact that the lawyer handling their case left the firm and the other lawyers could not act on the Petition because they had other equally important undertakings. CA granted the Motion. Thus, Midland opposed the CA’s resolution arguing that it violated the Rules. However, CA denied Midland’s motion. Hence, this petition. According to Midlands, in granting the Motion for Extension, CA violated an administrative matter which already removed the provision which allows an extension of time to file a petition under Rule 65. ISSUE: WHETHER OR NOT THE CA ABUSED ITS DISCRETION WHEN IT GRANTED POWER ONE’S MOTION FOR EXTENSION OF TIME TO FILE A PETITION FOR CERTIORARI IN THE CA. HELD: NO. Section 4, Rule 65 of the Rules of Court, was previously worded thus: SEC. 4. When and where petition filed. — The petition shall be filed not later than sixty (60) days from notice of the judgment, order or resolution. In case a motion for reconsideration or new trial is timely filed, whether such motion is required or not, the sixty (60) day period shall be counted from notice of the denial of said motion. The petition shall be filed in the Supreme Court or, if it relates to the acts or omissions of a lower court or of a corporation, board, officer or person, in the Regional Trial Court exercising jurisdiction over the territorial area as defined by the Supreme Court. It may also be filed in the Court of Appeals whether or not the same is in aid of its appellate jurisdiction, or in the Sandiganbayan if it is in aid of its appellate jurisdiction. If it involves the acts or omissions of a quasi-judicial agency, unless otherwise provided by law or these rules, the petition shall be filed in and cognizable only by the Court of Appeals. 73

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No extension of time to file the petition shall be granted except for compelling reason and in no case exceeding fifteen (15) days. In a Resolution dated 4 December 2007, the Supreme Court En Banc issued A.M. No. 07-7-12-SC, which amended the aforecited provision as follows: Sec. 4. When and where to file the petition.—The petition shall be filed not later than sixty (60) days from notice of the judgment, order or resolution. In case a motion for reconsideration or new trial is timely filed, whether such motion is required or not, the petition shall be filed not later than sixty (60) days counted from the notice of the denial of the motion. If the petition relates to an act or an omission of a municipal trial court or of a corporation, a board, an officer or a person, it shall be filed with the Regional Trial Court exercising jurisdiction over the territorial area as defined by the Supreme Court. It may also be filed with the Court of Appeals or with the Sandiganbayan, whether or not the same is in aid of the court’s appellate jurisdiction. If the petition involves an act or an omission of a quasi-judicial agency, unless otherwise provided by law or these rules, the petition shall be filed with and be cognizable only by the Court of Appeals. In election cases involving an act or an omission of a municipal or a regional trial court, the petition shall be filed exclusively with the Commission on Elections, in aid of its appellate jurisdiction. In Laguna Metts Corporation v. Court of Appeals, we explained that the reason behind the amendments under A.M. No. 07-712-SC was to prevent the use or abuse of the remedy of petition for certiorari in order to delay a case or even defeat the ends of justice. We thus deleted the clause that allowed an extension of the period to file a Rule 65 petition for compelling reasons. Instead, we deemed the 60-day period to file as reasonable and sufficient time for a party to mull over the case and to prepare a petition that asserts grave abuse of discretion by a lower court. The period was specifically set and limited in order to avoid any unreasonable delay in the dispensation of justice, a delay that could violate the constitutional right of the parties to a speedy disposition of their case. Consequently, we pronounced that when the CA granted the motion for extension, it in effect disregarded and modified, if not outrightly reversed, the Supreme Court En Banc Resolution in A.M. No. 07-7-12-SC. We then said that in so doing, the appellate court arrogated unto itself “a power it did not possess, a power that only this Court may exercise.” Consequently, we ruled that petitions for certiorari must now be filed strictly within 60 days from notice of judgment or from the order denying a motion for reconsideration. Nevertheless, in the more recent case of Domdom v. Sandiganbayan, we ruled that the deletion of the clause in Section 4, Rule 65 by A.M. No. 07-7-12-SC DID NOT, ipso facto, make the filing of a motion for extension to file a Rule 65 petition absolutely prohibited. We held in Domdom that if absolute proscription were intended, the deleted portion could have just simply been reworded to specifically prohibit an extension of time to file such petition. Thus, because of the lack of an express prohibition, we held that motions for extension may be allowed, subject to this Court’s sound discretion, and only under exceptional and meritorious cases. Indeed, we have relaxed the procedural technicalities introduced under A.M. No. 07-7-12-SC in order to serve substantial justice and safeguard strong public interest. PRESENT CASE IS AN EXCEPTIONAL CASE The present Petition involves one of those exceptional cases in which relaxing the procedural rules would serve substantial justice and safeguard strong public interest. It concerns the operations and management of the Calapan Diesel Power Plant — a power-generating facility that supplies electricity to Oriental Mindoro. It was alleged that the dispute between the parties had already resulted in a reduced generation of power , which was supposedly producing electricity at 74

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less than 50% of its capacity. A TRO had already been issued previously, as there was an impending brownout in the entire province of Oriental Mindoro. Consequently, in order to protect strong public interest, this Court deems it appropriate and justifiable to relax the amendment of Section 4, Rule 65 under A.M. No. 07-7-12-SC, concerning the reglementary period for the filing of a Rule 65 petition. Considering that the imminent power crisis is an exceptional and meritorious circumstance, the parties herein should be allowed to litigate the issues on the merits. Furthermore, we find no significant prejudice to the substantive rights of the litigants as Power One was able to file the Petition before the CA within the 15-day extension it asked for. We therefore find no grave abuse of discretion attributable to the CA when it granted respondent Power One’s Motion for Extension to file its Petition for Certiorari. As a final note, we convey our strong disapproval over the failure of Power One’s lawyers to file the Petition within the reglementary period. The amendments under A.M. No. 07-7-12-SC were meant to be implemented strictly, with a view in mind that the 60-day period to file is a reasonable and sufficient time to prepare a Rule 65 petition. Workload and resignation of the lawyer handling the case are insufficient reasons to justify the relaxation of the procedural rules. He should not have left his client with this very critical piece of work hanging in midair. Were it not for the exceptional nature of the case and the strong public interest involved herein, we would have overturned the approval by the CA of the Motion to extend the period to file a Rule 65 Petition. CLASS NOTES: - 60 days cannot be extended - BUT it can be relaxed to serve substantial justice and safeguard strong public interest. - SB can issue Certiorari, Prohibition, Mandamus but only in aid of their appellate jurisdiciton 2. Santiago v. Vasquez, 217 SCRA 633 (1993) FACTS: Miriam Santiago was charged with violation of RA 3019 with the Sandiganbayan. Therefter, she filed a cash bond for her provisional liberty in the amount of 15K. She was authorized not to appear until June 5, 1991 on account of the fact that she was still recovering from her vehicular accident. However, Ombudsman Vasquez filed a Manifestation saying that he saw Santiago in his office who came and left unaided. Acting on this Manifestation, the Sandiganbayan resolved to set the arraignment at an earlier date. Aggrieved, Santiago filed in the SC a Petition for Certiorari and Prohibition seeking to enjoin the Sandiganbayan and RTC from proceeding with the criminal cases filed before them. As a result, SC issued a TRO against the Sandiganbayan and RTC. As a result of the TRO, Sandiganbayan deferred her arraignment. Thereafter, SC dismissed the Petition for Certiorari and set aside the TRO. Santiago filed an MR but was denied with finality. Subsequently, the Sandiganbayan issued an HDO against Santiago after she announced in media that she would be leaving for the US to accept a fellowship in Harvard University. Aggrieved by this, Santiago filed before the SC a motion denominated as “Motion to Restrain the Sandiganbayan from Enforcing its HDO with Prayer for Issuance of a TRO and/or Preliminary Injunction.” Santiago argues that the Sandiganbayan disregarded the rule of judicial comity when it issued the HDO while her MR was still pending before the SC. It is her position that the filing of an MR stayed the lifting of the TRO. As such, the Sandiganbayan continued to be enjoined from proceeding with the case. ISSUE: WHETHER OR NOT THE MR ON THE DENIAL OF THE PETITION FOR CERTIORARI SHOULD PREVENT THE SANDIGANBAYAN FROM PROCEEDING WITH THE CASE. HELD: NO. Section 4, Rule 39 of the Rules of Court provides that, unless otherwise ordered by the court, a judgment in an action for injunction shall not be stayed after its rendition and before an appeal is taken or during the pendency of an appeal. And, the rule is that the execution of a judgment decreeing the dissolution of a writ of preliminary injunction shall not be stayed before an appeal is taken or during the pendency of an appeal, and we see no reason why the foregoing considerations should 75

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not apply to a temporary restraining order. The rationale therefor is that even in cases where an appeal is taken from a judgment dismissing an action on the merits, the appeal does not suspend the judgment, hence the general rule applies that a temporary injunction terminates automatically on the dismissal of the action. It has similarly been held that an order of dissolution of an injunction may be immediately effective, even though it is not final. A dismissal, discontinuance, or non-suit of an action in which a restraining order or temporary injunction has been granted operates as a dissolution of the restraining order or temporary injunction and no formal order of dissolution is necessary to effect such dissolution. There is no question that with the dismissal of the petition for certiorari and the lifting of the restraining order, nothing

stood to hinder the Sandiganbayan from acting on and proceeding with the criminal cases filed against herein petitioner. At any rate, as we have earlier mentioned, the motion for reconsideration filed by petitioner was denied with finality in our resolution dated September 10, 1992.

FILING OF A PETITION FOR CERTIORARI DOES NOT DIVEST SANDIGANBAYAN OF JURISDICTION The original and special civil action filed with this Court is, for all intents and purposes, an invocation for the exercise of its supervisory powers over the lower courts. It does not have the effect of divesting the inferior courts of jurisdiction validly acquired over the case pending before them . It is elementary that the mere pendency of a special civil action for certiorari, commenced in relation to a case pending before a lower court, DOES NOT EVEN INTERRUPT THE COURSE OF THE LATTER when there is no writ of injunction restraining it. The inevitable conclusion is that for as long as no writ of injunction or restraining order is issued in the special civil action for certiorari , no impediment exists and there is nothing to prevent the lower court from exercising its jurisdiction and proceeding with the case pending before it. And, even if such injunctive writ or order is issued, the lower court nevertheless continues to retain its jurisdiction over the principal action. CLASS NOTES: - Can file in the RTC, CA, SC but subject to the principle of judicial hierarchy - If your case is not of transcendental importance, no reason to go directly to the SC - Unless there’s a TRO or PI, proceedings in court should not be postponed. 3. Eternal Gardens Memorial Park v. CA, 164 SCRA 421 (1988) FACTS: Eternal Gardens applied for a Certificate of Clearance from the National Pollution Control Commission (NPCC) to operate a memorial park where a college used to stand. The residents of Baesa, Caloocan opposed the application on the ground that the project would pollute their water resources. Later, NPCC granted Eternal Garden’s application for a Certificate to operate a memorial park. The residents filed an MR but the NPCC denied it. Consequently, the residents filed a Notice of Appeal and an Motion for Extension of Time to File an Appeal with the IAC. This Motion was granted and the residents filed their appeal. Then, Eternal Gardens filed a Motion to Dismiss the Appeal for being filed out of time. In response, the residents filed a Motion to Expunge Eternal Garden’s Motion to Dismiss for failing to state the time and place for hearing. IAC granted the residents’ motion. Aggrieved, Eternal Gardens filed an MR but was denied. Thus, it filed a Petition for Certiorari and Mandamus with Preliminary Injunction in the SC. While the Petition was pending, the IAC issued motu proprio a resolution reversing its order which expunged Eternal Garden’s Motion to Dismiss. Because of this, Eternal Gardens filed a Manifestation and Motion to Withdraw the Petition for Certiorari since it had become moot and academic. Eternal Gardens argued that the IAC did not lose its jurisdiction to correct interlocutory orders even though a Petition for Certiorari questioning said interlocutory order was pending in the SC. On the other hand, the residents of Baesa contend that while courts may amend, modify, or revoke any decisions/orders promulgated by them, such power is not absolute such as when a Petition for Certiorari had already been filed in a higher court. 76

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ISSUE: WHETHER OR NOT THE IAC HAD JURISDICTION TO MOTU PROPRIO ISSUE RESOLUTIONS WHILE A PETITION FOR CERTIORARI WAS PENDING BEFORE THE SC. HELD: NO. IAC GRAVELY ABUSED ITS DISCRETION.

Although this Court did not issue any restraining order against the Intermediate Appellate Court to prevent it from

taking any action with regard to its resolutions respectively granting the residents’ motion to expunge from the records Eternal Garden’s motion to dismiss and denying the latter’s motion to reconsider such order, upon learning of the petition, the IAC should have refrained from ruling thereon because its jurisdiction was necessarily limited upon the filing of a petition for certiorari with this Court questioning the propriety of the issuance of the above-mentioned resolutions. Due respect for the Supreme Court and practical and ethical considerations should have prompted the IAC to wait for the final determination of the petition before taking cognizance of the case and trying to render moot exactly what was before this court. As we have ruled in the case of People v. Court of Appeals, The statement that ‘whatever rights the movants were allowed to exercise in the Supreme Court could be exercised by them in the Court of Appeals’ is clearly misplaced. The Writ of Certiorari is intended to keep a tribunal within the limits of its jurisdiction. As explained above, respondent court acted without or in excess of its

jurisdiction and with grave abuse of discretion when it passed upon private respondents’ Fourth Motion for Reconsideration considering that its judgment of conviction had ALREADY BECOME FINAL.

Applying the foregoing precedent, we rule that the IAC acted with grave abuse of or in excess of jurisdiction when it issued the resolutions dated March 27 and April 5, 1979 correcting its earlier erroneous orders which were already before us. CLASS NOTES: - If a resolution (interlocutory) is questioned before a higher court, the lower court cannot act in such a way that it will interfere with the higher court’s jurisdiction over the matter subject for review. - Lower court loses jurisdiction to act on the particular matter elevated to the higher court for review. 4. Joy Mart Consolidated Corporation v. CA, 209 SCRA 738 (1992) FACTS: Joy Mart owns Isetann Department Store at Carriedo Manila. Said property was among the properties that was needed for the planned LRT system and were being considered for expropriation. In cooperation with the government (LRTA), Joy Mart agreed to sell said property and give up leasehold rights over the adjacent properties provide it would be given the first option to redevelop the area denominated as the “Consolidated Block of LRT Carriedo Station.” Later on, however, construction activities commenced within said consolidated block pursuant to a contract between LRTA and Phoenix Omega Development and Management Corporation. Joy Mart reminded LRTA of its first option to redevelop the area. However, this remained unheeded. Aggrieved, Joy Mart filed a Complaint for Specific Performance with Prayer for Writ of Preliminary Injunction and/or TRO against LRTA and Phoenix before the RTC of Manila. Thereafter, the RTC issued a Writ of Preliminary Injunction commanding Phoenix to cease and desist from its construction activities. As a result, Phoenix sought relief from the CA via Petition for Certiorari. While the Petition for Certiorari was pending in the CA, LRTA and Phoenix filed in the RTC a joint petition to dissolve the Writ of Preliminary Injunction because it was causing tremendous losses to LRTA and Phoenix. Despite Joy Mart’s opposition, the RTC dissolve the Writ. Consequently, the CA likewise dismissed Phoenix’s Petition for Certiroari since it had already become moot and academic. 77

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Joy Mart’s MR was denied. Thus, it filed a Petition for Certiorari in the CA. However, CA dismissed the same. Hence, this petition. ISSUE: WHETHER OR NOT THE RTC CONTINUED TO HAVE CONTROL OF THE WRIT OF PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION EVEN AFTER SAID WRIT HAD BEEN RAISED BEFORE THE CA VIA PETITION FOR CERTIORARI. HELD: NO.

After the LRTA and Phoenix had elevated the writ of preliminary injunction to the ca for determination of the propriety of its issuance, the RTC (notwithstanding the absence of a temporary restraining order from the appellate court) could not interfere with or preempt the action or decision of the ca on the writ of preliminary injunction whose annulment was sought therein by Phoenix and the LRTA.

In petitioning the RTC to lift the writ of preliminary injunction which they themselves had brought up to the CA for review, Phoenix and the LRTA engaged in FORUM SHOPPING. After the question of whether the writ of preliminary injunction should be annulled or continued had been elevated to the CA for determination, the RTC lost jurisdiction or authority to act on the same matter. By seeking from the trial court an order lifting the writ of preliminary injunction, Phoenix and LRTA sought to divest the CA of its jurisdiction to review the writ. They improperly tried to moot their own petition in the Court of Appeals — a clear case of trifling with the proceedings in the appellate court or of disrespect for said court. In Prudential Bank vs. Castro, where the trial judge issued an order changing or correcting his previous order which had been elevated to the Supreme Court for review, the judge's actuation was deemed to be “disrespectful of this Court.” The actuation of Judge Luna in Civil Case No. 87-41731 can be categorized as such. It is not excused by the fact that Phoenix and LRTA were presenting evidence of losses and damages in support of their motion to lift the writ of preliminary injunction, for that could as easily have been done by them in the CA. The trial judge played into the hands of Phoenix and the LRTA, and acted with grave abuse of discretion amounting to excess of jurisdiction in granting their motion to dissolve the writ of injunction. Judicial courtesy behooved the trial court to keep its hands off the writ of preliminary injunction and defer to the better judgment of the Court of Appeals the determination of whether the writ should be continued or discontinued. The non-issuance of a TRO by the CA upon receipt of the petition in CA-G.R. SP No. 12998 simply meant that the RTC COULD PROCEED TO HEAR AND DECIDE THE MAIN COMPLAINT of Joy Mart for specific performance of contract and damages against the LRTA and Phoenix. It did not give the lower court a license to interfere with the appellate court's disposition of the writ of preliminary injunction. CLASS NOTES: - Similar to Eternal Gardens 5. Go v. Judge Abrogar, 398 SCRA 166 (2003) FACTS: Go and Looyuko were adjudged to be solidarily liable to pay 96M International Exchange Bank in an action for a sum of money. After Go received the decision, he filed an MR. However, Judge Abrogar denied the same. Thereafter, International Exchange Bank moved for the execution of the judgment against Go on the ground that the decision was already final and executory considering that the MR was filed 1 day beyond the reglementary period. Then, Judge Abrogar ordered the issuance of a Writ of Execution. As a result of its enforcement, Looyuko’s shares in China Bank were levied and were scheduled to be sold at public auction. Aggrieved, Go filed a Motion to Quash the Writ of Execution by alleging that the decision was not yet final and executory as to him. Not content with the Motion to Quash, Go also filed a Third-party Adverse Claim and a Complaint for the Annulment of Auction Sale. Moreover, Go also filed a Petition for Certiorari, Mandamus, and Prohibition with the CA. They assailed the writ of execution issued by Judge Abrogar as well as the latter’s denial of his MR. 78

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While the Petition was pending in the CA, Judge Abrogar issued a Second Writ of Execution for the purpose of levying properties of Go. Subsequently, CA denied Go’s Petition and affirmed the Judge’s orders. Consequently, Go charged Judge Abrogar with Gross Ignorance of the Law. They assert that the Judge violated the principle of “judicial courtesy” when it ordered the execution of his properties while his Petition for Certiorari, Prohibition, and Mandamus were pending in the CA. ISSUE: WHETHER OR NOT JUDGE ABROGAR VIOLATED THE PRINCIPLE OF JUDICIAL COURTESY. HELD: NO. The principle of “judicial courtesy” could not have prevented Judge Abrogar from authorizing the execution of the judgment and issuing the writ of execution. Obviously, at the time these processes were made available , no petition was then pending in the CA. The petition in the CA, docketed as CA-G.R. SP No. 57572 was filed only on 4 March 2000. Moreover, the precept of “judicial courtesy” should not be applied indiscriminately and haphazardly if we are to maintain the relevance of Sec. 7, Rule 65, 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure which states that “the petition shall not interrupt the

course of the principal case unless a temporary restraining order or a writ of preliminary injunction has been issued against the public respondent from further proceeding in the case.” So construed, in Eternal Gardens Memorial Corp. v. Court of Appeals, the rule of “judicial courtesy” would apply only if there is a strong probability that the issues before the higher court would be rendered moot and moribund as a result of the continuation of the proceedings in the lower court. Unfortunately for Go, this circumstance is not present in the decision of Judge Abrogar to issue on 19 April 2000 a second writ of execution. Clearly, the ill-effects of this writ of execution, if any, would have been remedied by restitution or reparation under Sec. 5, Rule 39, 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure. Evidently, too, the proceedings in the CA were not interrupted by Judge Abrogar’s action as shown by the promulgation of its Decision on Go’s petition without any hint of interference from Judge Abrogar’s exercise of discretion. If any party in this case has violated the rule of “judicial courtesy,” it appears to be Go. They were the ones who have apparently misapplied Sec. 16, Rule 39, 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure and violated the rules against forum shopping. This was so when they instituted a separate action for annulment of the auction sale with prayer for injunction before RTC-Br. 154, Pasig City, simultaneously with their third-party adverse claim and motion to quash the writ of execution, and their petition for certiorari, mandamus and prohibition with the Court of Appeals. All these cases and incidents sought substantially the same relief, i.e., to reverse and set aside the orders of respondent Judge regarding the execution of his Decision in Civil Case No. 98-791. V.

RULE 66: QUO WARRANTO

CLASS NOTES: - Action is generally in the name of the Republic - Interested in public office: usurpation, forfeiture - Who must commence? o Solicitor General o City Prosecutor o Upon relation or request of a third person (when someone relates facts to the Solicitor General) o Individual who claims to be entitled to the office - Time to file? 1 year from the cause of action (i.e. ouster or appointment) 1. Abaya v. Alvear, 82 Phil. 103 (1948) FACTS: In 1920, Jose Abaya was appointed as Justice of the Peace of the towns of Cervantes, Angaki, Concepcion, and San Emilio in the Province of Ilocos Sur. In 1923, the municipalities of Concepcion and San Emilio were excluded from his territorial jurisdiction but continued to discharge his duties in Cervantes and Angaki until the Japanese occupation. 79

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In 1943, Jorge Vargas (chairman of the Philippine Executive Commission) appointed him as Justice of the Peace for Cervantes only. In 1944, Pres. Laurel appointed him again as Justice of the Peace in Cervantes. Abaya accepted these appointments and discharged his judicial functions for Cervantes. However, in November 1944, because of threat to his life due to clashes between the Japanese and guerillas, he left his post and fled to the mountains. After liberation and during the military government, he was again appointed for the same position in Cervantes and Angaki. Then, on August 1945, Versoza (delegate of the Department of the Interior) appointed him as temporary Justice of the Peace of Cervantes and Angaki. When the Commonwealth government was restored, in 1946, he was given by Pres. Osmena an ad interim appointment to the same position and for the same municipalities. However, the COA did not confirm his appointment. Another appointment was extended to him by Pres. Roxas but the COA did not act on it. In 1947, Pres. Roxas extended an ad interim appointment to Alejandrino Alvear as Justice of the Peace of Cervantes and Angaki. COA confirmed Alvear’s appointment. The latter accepted and assumed office. Learning of this, Abaya protested against his being deprived of his post by writing a letter to Pres. Roxas. When he failed to receive and answer, he wrote to VP Quirino and Senator Sanidad. Failing to receive immediate relief, he filed a Petition for Quo Warranto before the SC for the purpose of having him declared the legal and lawful Justice of the Peace for Cervantes and Angaki. Alvear contends that Abaya lost his right, title, and claim to the position by reason of abandonment. ISSUE: WHETHER OR NOT ABAYA WAS CONSIDERED TO HAVE ABANDONED HIS OFFICE AS JUSTICE OF THE PEACE. HELD: NO. Applying the doctrine laid down in that case of Teves vs. Sindiong including the observations made therein, we find and so hold that because of the ABNORMAL CONDITIONS obtaining in Ilocos Sur, particularly the towns of Cervantes and Angaki during the war, there is reason to believe that the changing of the original circuit occupied by Abaya by eliminating therefrom the town of Angaki, was a mere temporary expedient to meet the exigencies of the administration of justice in that area, under abnormal conditions, and that his acceptance of the new post did not involve or entail abandonment of his old position. In proof of the temporary nature of the change in the circuit is the fact that when conditions returned to normal, the old circuit comprising the towns of Cervantes and Angaki was restored. And it is significant to note that when said old circuit was restored, Abaya was likewise restored to his old post by appointments extended by two administrations, that of President Osmeña and the administration of President Roxas. We may add, as we have stated in the case of Teves vs. Sindiong that in those days Abaya could not very well dictate his terms of acceptance of the positions extended to him. He had to take them as they came, accepting the position of justice of the peace of Cervantes alone during the occupation and accepting a new appointment to his old circuit during the days following the liberation. He had no freedom of choice. The important thing is that he never intended to abandon his old post and all along during the Japanese occupation and even after liberation he continued in the judicial service and exercised and discharged the functions of the office of justice of the peace in the same place and area which he did before the war. And, we may also say that his appointment by President Osmeña and later by President Roxas, to his old post of justice of the peace of Cervantes and Angaki though not confirmed by the Commission on Appointments, was unnecessary; that it did not and could not add anything to or diminish his right to the office conferred by his original appointment, but that said appointments may be regarded as a mere restitution of the office which belonged to him but which he failed to hold because of, and during the war. When Alvear assumed the office of justice of the peace of Cervantes and Angaki, there was no reason nor obligation on the part of Abaya to continue residing in Cervantes. He was prompted to reside in Candon perhaps because it was his native town. Furthermore, his asking the government to act upon his application “for retirement may not be regarded as evidence of 80

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intent to abandon his office.” We understand that such applications for retirement had, years ago, been filed by many government officials in order to secure the benefits of the retirement law. And his urging the government to act upon such application was perhaps a mere precaution for purposes of security in case that he lost his office against his will. In view of the foregoing, we hold and decide that Jose Abaya never abandoned his office of justice of the peace of Cervantes and Angaki, Province of Ilocos Sur, and that he is entitled to the same by virtue of his prewar appointment; and Alejandrino A. Alvear is hereby ordered to deliver said office and all the records appertaining thereto to Abaya. 2. Potot v. Bagano, 82 Phil. 679 (1949) FACTS: Potot instituted quo warranto proceedings for the purpose of having him declared entitled to the position of Justice of the Peace of Pilar which was filled by the appointment and confirmation of Bagano after liberation. Potot was appointed Justice of the Peace for the municipality of Pilar, Cebu in 1933. He held such office until 1944 for unknown reasons. On August 1945, the jurisdiction of the Justice of the Peace of San Francisco, Poro, and Tudela was extended to include Pilar. From April 14, 1946 to September 1, 1946, the Justice of the Peace for Pilar remained vacant. During that time, Bagano entered upon the performance of the duties of said office. Potot joined the police force in Cebu from June 1947 to January 1948. Thereafter, he became the Assistant Provincial Warden. ISSUE: WHETHER OR NOT POTOT IS ENTITLED TO RECLAIM HIS OFFICE AS JUSTICE OF THE PEACE. HELD: NO. Potot’s acceptance of other public offices incompatible with judicial functions operate as an abandonment of the position to which he seeks reinstatement. That Potot was forced to seek or accept these jobs in order to live would not alter the case even if we assume, for the sake of argument, that economic necessity was a valid plea. The government was not the only source of gainful employments that could have tide him over while waiting, as he says, for reappointment to his old position. The truth is that for almost 2 years after liberation, before he accepted other government positions, he got along outside the government. All that time, when his old position was without any permanent incumbent, he did not enter public service , and he did not raise a finger to claim his judicial post. It would seem that he lost all interest in the same until he changed his mind or found he had made a mistake. 3. Serafin v. Cruz, 58 Phil. 611 (1933) FACTS: Fr. Lopez, Parish Priest of Quingua, Bulacan, filed administrative charges against Serafin as Chief of Police of said municipality before the provincial board. He was charged with negligence in the performance of his duties. At first, Serafin was exonerated. On appeal, however, they found Serafin guilty and was dismissed from service through an executive order. Thereafter, Justo Cruz was appointed as permanent Chief of Police of the same municipality. The decision was received by Cruz on Oct. 14, 1931, one day before the term of the provincial board ended. Thereafter, Serafin filed an MR of the decision dismissing him with the new provincial board. Said MR was granted and ordered his immediate reinstatement. Since Cruz already assumed his duties, Serafin sought to have Cruz expelled from office through Quo Warranto proceedings. ISSUE: WHETHER OR NOT SERAFIN IS ENTITLED TO THE POSITION OF CHIEF OF POLICE. HELD: NO. Mechem in “Law of Public Offices and Officers,” states: When the appointing power has once acted and the appointee has accepted the office and done what is required of him upon its acceptance, his title to the office becomes complete, and he can then be removed only in the regular way. 81

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In the case at bar, Justo C. Cruz was permanently appointed chief of police of Quiñgua by the president of the said municipality, to fill the vacancy created by the dismissal from said office of Serafin, as ordered by the provincial board of Bulacan after the necessary proceedings provided by law. The appointment in question was confirmed by the municipal council of Quiñgua after the appointee had qualified and entered upon the performance of his duties as chief of police. In accordance with the authority cited above, Cruz has acquired a vested right in the office and cannot be removed nor dismissed therefrom except for any of the causes designated and in accordance with the proceedings established by law. The legal provision quoted above expressly states that members of the municipal police shall not be removed and, except in cases of resignation, shall not be discharged from the service, except for misconduct or incompetency, dishonesty, disloyalty to the United States or Philippine Government, serious irregularities in the performance of their duties, and violation of law or duty. The reinstatement of the dismissed official is not one of the causes designated by the law for the removal therefrom of one who has been permanently appointed to substitute the former. In view of the foregoing considerations, we are of the opinion and so hold that the extraordinary legal remedy of quo warranto does not lie against a duly and legally appointed chief of municipal police who has duly qualified for and has entered upon the performance of his duties, in order to reinstate another who has been legally dismissed. 4. Lacson v. Romero, 84 Phil. 740 (1949) FACTS: In July 1946, Lacson was appointed by the President as the Provincial Fiscal of Negros Oriental (then a second class province). COA confirmed said appointment and Lacson took his oath and performed the duties of his office. Then, upon the recommendation of the Secretary of Justice, in May 1949, the President nominated Lacson for the position of Provincial Fiscal of Tarlac (first class province). On the same date, the President likewise nominated Romero for the position of Provincial Fiscal of Negros Oriental. Both nominations were confirmed by the COA. After the appointments and confirmations, Negros Oriental had become a first class province. However, Lacson neither accepted the appointment nor assumed his new position. Romero, however, assumed his post in Negros Oriental. In 2 separate cases in the chambers of Judges Narvasa and Ocampo, Romero appeared. Lacson objected to his appearance but the judges recognized Romero as the Provincial Fiscal. Lacson likewise could not get his salary because the Auditor and Treasurer said that it was Romero who was entitled to them. Aggrieved, Lacson filed a Petition for Quo Warranto to establish his right to the post of Provincial Fiscal of Negros Oriental and to oust Romero thereform. ISSUE: WHETHER OR NOT LACSON IS ENTITLED TO THE POSITION OF PROVINCIAL FISCAL OF NEGROS ORIENTAL. HELD: YES. ROMERO IS OUSTED The appointment to a government post like that of provincial fiscal to be complete involves several steps. First, comes the NOMINATION by the President. Then to make that nomination valid and permanent, the Commission on Appointments of the Legislature has to CONFIRM said nomination. The last step is the acceptance thereof by the appointee by his ASSUMPTION of office. The first two steps, nomination and confirmation, constitute a mere offer of a post. They are acts of the Executive and Legislative departments of the Government. But the last necessary step to make the appointment complete and effective rests solely with the appointee himself. He may or he may not accept the appointment or nomination. As held in the case of Borromeo vs. Mariano, “there is no power in this country which can compel a man to accept an office .” Consequently, since Lacson has declined to accept his appointment as provincial fiscal of Tarlac and no one can compel him to do so, then he continues as provincial fiscal of Negros Oriental and no vacancy in said office was created, unless Lacson had been lawfully removed as such fiscal of Negros Oriental. 82

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It is obvious that the intended transfer of Lacson to Tarlac on the basis of his nomination thereto, if carried out, would be equivalent to a removal from his office in Negros Oriental. To appoint and transfer him from one province to another would mean his removal or separation from the first province. The reason is that a fiscal is appointed for each province and Lacson could not well and legally hold and occupy the two posts of fiscal of Tarlac and Negros Oriental simultaneously. To be fiscal for Tarlac must mean his removal from Negros Oriental. When the transfer is consented to and accepted by the transferees, then there would be no question; but where as in the present case, the transfer is involuntary and objected to, then it is necessary to decide whether the removal is lawful. A provincial fiscal who is nominated and appointed by the President with the consent of the Commission on Appointments, as was Lacson, is, under section 671 (b) above-quoted, included in the unclassified service of the Civil Service. The next question arises as to whether the President even with the concurrence or consent of the Commission on Appointments may remove a provincial fiscal without cause. The Constitution itself denies said right. Article XII, section 4 of said instrument provides that “no officer or employee in the civil service shall be removed or suspended except for cause as provided by law.” That constitutional prohibition is a limitation to the inherent power of the Executive to remove those civil service officials whom he appoints. Considering this security and protection accorded a provincial fiscal from arbitrary and illegal removal from office, and considering the provisions of section 1673 of the Administrative Code which among other things provides, that "after December 31, 1932 any city fiscal or assistant city fiscal of Manila, provincial fiscal or deputy provincial fiscal over 65 years of age shall vacate his office, the logical inference is that a provincial fiscal duly appointed, until he reaches the age of 65 has the right to continue in office unless sooner removed for cause. In other words, he enjoys tenure of office, which is duly protected by statute and by the Constitution. In conclusion, we find and declare Lacson to be the provincial fiscal of Negros Oriental, and Romero not being entitled to said post, is hereby ordered to surrender to Lacson all the records or papers appertaining to said office that may have come into his possession. 5. Acosta v. Flor, 5 Phil. 18 (1905) FACTS: Acosta and Flor were candidates for the position of Municipal President in the 1903 municipal elections in Laoag. Thereafter, Flor assumed to said position. Aggrieved, Acosta filed a complaint alleging that, as a result of the election, he was elected to said office by a majority of 100 votes but, notwithstanding that, Flor usurped said office and unlawfully held it. He prayed that judgment be rendered against Flor and that Acosta be declared entitled to the same. During trial, not a single witness confirmed the allegations that Acosta obtained 100 votes and that he was entitled to said office. As a result, Flor was acquitted. Hence, this appeal. ISSUE: WHETHER OR NOT ACOSTA WAS ENTITLED TO THE OFFICE OF THE MUNICIPAL PRESIDENT. HELD: NO. HE DID NOT SHOW THAT HE WAS ENTITLED TO SAID OFFICE. An examination of the evidence of record supports the finding of the court below to the effect that Acosta has failed to prove in any way, shape, or form that he was entitled to the office in question, as alleged by him in his complaint. The question that we have to decide, therefore, is whether, notwithstanding what has already been said, and notwithstanding the fact that Acosta has failed to show that he had any right to the office of municipal president of Laoag, he can maintain an action such as this for the purpose of excluding Flor from the exercise of said office on account of illegalities alleged to have been committed in the elections. 83

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The right to maintain such an action is especially and expressly governed by the provisions of sections 197 to 216 of the Code of Civil Procedure. The code, after enumerating in sections 197 and 198 the cases in which such an action may be brought and the persons against whom they may be brought, goes on to determine with careful distinction those who have the right to maintain such action. Section 199 provides that "the Attorney-General of the Islands, or the fiscal of any province, when directed by the Chief Executive of the Islands, must commence any such action; and when upon complaint or otherwise he has good reason to believe that any case specified in the two preceding sections can be established by proof, he must commence such action." Section 200 provides that "the Attorney-General of the Islands or the fiscal for a province, may, at his own instance, bring such an action, or he may, on leave of the court in which the action is to be commenced, or a judge thereof in vacation, bring the action upon the relation of and at the request of another person; but, if the action is brought at the request of and upon the relation of another person, the officer bringing it may require an indemnity for expenses and costs of the action, to be given to him by the party at whose request and upon whose relation the same is brought, before commencing it." Finally, section 201, under the heading "An individual may commence such action," provides as follows: "A person claiming to be entitled to a public office, unlawfully held and exercised by another, may bring an action therefor." Our opinion is that the law has reserved to the Attorney-General and to the provincial fiscals, as the case may be, the right to bring such action, and in but one case does the law authorize an individual to bring such an action, to wit, when that person claims to have the right to the exercise of the office unlawfully held and exercised by another. Aside from this case an individual cannot maintain such action. 6. Garcia v. Perez, 99 SCRA 628 (1980) FACTS: In September 1964, there was a vacancy for the position of Senior Clerk in the Fiscal Management and Budget Division of the CA. As such, Purificacion Garcia, currently occupying a position of Senior Clerk in the same division but with a lower compensation, filed a written application to the Presiding Justice which stated her qualification. Despite this, the Presiding Justice appointed one Angelo Perez who, at that time, was a Cash and Payroll Clerk in the same division. Aggrieved, Garcia protested with the CSC on the ground that she was next in rank and better qualified and entitled to preferential appointment to said position. Nonetheless, CSC approved Perez’s appointment. MR was denied. Thereafter, she protested with the Commissioner of CSC. Then, she filed an action for Quo Warranto with the CFI. However, CFI dismissed the action stating that Garcia did not claim that she was entitled to the position but she merely asserted a preferential right to be appointed. Hence, this appeal. ISSUE: WHETHER OR NOT GARCIA CAN BRING AN ACTION FOR QUO WARRANTO TO QUESTION THE LEGALITY OF PEREZ’S APPOINTMENT. HELD: Nothing is better settled than that a petitioner, in a quo warranto proceeding to try title to a public office, must be able to show that he is entitled to said office. Absent such an element, the petition must be dismissed. This is a principle that goes back to Acosta v. Flor, a 1905 decision. There, the doctrine has been laid down that: No individual can bring a civil action relating to usurpation of a public office without averring that he has a right to the same; and AT ANY STAGE OF THE PROCEEDINGS, if it be shown that such individual has no right, the action may be dismissed because there is no legal ground upon which it may proceed when the fundamental basis of such action is destroyed. In other words, one whose claim is predicated solely upon a more or less remoted possibility that he may be the recipient of the appointment, has no cause of action against the office holder. This is precisely the situation in the case at hand, and there is no cogent reason to change the rule. Perforce, the instant appeal may be dismissed, even on this ground alone. 84

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7. Cruz v. Ramos, 84 Phil. 226 (1949) FACTS: Cruz et al alleged in their Petition for Quo Warranto that they are members of the 10-member Municipal Board of the City of Manila after being elected thereto in 1947 until 1951. In 1949, a vacancy arose after the appointment of Balagtas as Director of Prisons. As a result, the President appointed Ramos et al to fill the vacancy left by Balagtas and that 2 additional positions were created pursuant to RA 409 when Manila expanded from 2 to 4 congressional districts. In their Answer, Ramos et al contend that Cruz et al have no legal capacity to bring their petition because they do not claim to be entitled to occupy the office in question. ISSUE: WHETHER OR NOT THE FILING OF A PETITION FOR QUO WARRANTO WAS PROPER HELD: NO. The present petition is not authorized by section 6 because Cruz et al do not claim to be entitled to the public office alleged to be unlawfully held or exercised by the Ramos. As a matter of fact Cruz et al allege that they are elected members of the municipal board and that their term of office will not expire until December 31, 1951. They do not and cannot claim that Ramos et al have supplanted them. Their contention that they and the other elected members of the board who are not parties in this case "have the absolute and exclusive right to exercise the prerogatives and privileges and discharge the duties of the office of members of said board," does not bring their case within the purview of section 6. Moreover, such contention is untenable because if the elected councilors had "the absolute and exclusive right" to the membership of the board, then no other person could become a member of the board even if vacancies should be created therein by law or by the death or resignation of an elected member during the four-year term of office of Cruz et al; and that is untenable because the councilors are elected individually, each to fill one seat in the board, and not collectively as a body to constitute the board. And if Cruz et al should admit as they must that vacancies may be filled by other persons, because an elected councilor cannot fill more than one seat in the board, they must necessarily admit also that their right to membership therein is not exclusive. The mere fact that the membership of the board was increased from 10 to 12 and the quorum from 6 to 7 does not in any way diminish the rights and prerogatives of the individual petitioners as members of the board. Such increase

does not result in the diminution of the emolument or in the curtailment of the participation in the deliberations and of the vote of each of the petitioners as a member of the board. Cruz et al are bringing this action as individuals and not as a group or juridical entity recognized by law as having a corporate or collective right to assert. As members of the municipal board the 6 petitioners are not bound to vote solidly to a man on any measure or motion that may come up before the board. Indeed, they are supposed to express their individual opinions and; cast their; individual votes. Therefore, the increase

of the membership of the board and of the quorum necessary to do business does not constitute any invasion of petitioners' right which would entitle them to bring this action. VI.

RULE 67: EXPROPRIATION

CLASS NOTES: - 2-stage proceeding o Determination of public purpose o Just compensation - Legislature passes the enabling law to expropriate - Incapable of pecuniary estimation (RTC) - Market Value (FMV) + Consequential Damages (CD) – Consequential Benefits (CB)* - *CB should not exceed consequential damages. Otherwise, it opens doors for abuse. - GR: non-payment of just compensation entitles owner to interest from the time of taking - GR: Cannot execute/attach/levy/garnish on government funds - E: If there are funds appropriated for the purpose (Cosculluela) - GR: Cannot recover property expropriated o E1: Republic v. Lim: public purpose + just compensation gives rise to valid expropriation) 85

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E2: Vda de Oano v. Republic: just compensation within reasonable time of 5 years)  5 years is also the same time you can execute judgment by motion  After 5 years, file an action for recovery

1. Barangay San Roque v. Heirs of Pastor, 334 SCFA 127 (2000) FACTS: Barangay San Roque of Talisay, Cebu filed a Complaint for Expropriation before the MTC of Talisay for the purpose of expropriating the property of the heirs of Pastor. However, MTC dismissed the Complaint on the ground of lack of jurisdiction. It was stated that, in an action for eminent domain, the principal cause of action is the exercise of such power or right and that the property involved is merely incidental. As such, it is within the exclusive and original jurisdiction of the RTC. Subsequently, a similar complaint was filed in the RTC of Talisay. However, it was again dismissed for lack of jurisdiction stating that, because it involved real property, the value thereof determines the jurisdiction. Since the value was less than 20K (only P1,740 assessed value), the MTC should have jurisdiction. Aggrieved, Barangay went directly to the SC on Certiorari raising a pure question of law. ISSUE: WHETHER AN ACTION FOR EXPROPRIATION SHOULD BE FILED BASED ON THE VALUE OF THE PROPERTY IN QUESTION OR IS IT INCAPABLE OF PECUNIARY ESTIMATION. HELD: RTC. ACTIONS FOR EXPROPRIATION ARE INCAPABLE OF PECUNIARY ESTIMATION. We agree with the barangay that an expropriation suit is incapable of pecuniary estimation. The test to determine whether it is so was laid down by the Court in this wise: A review of the jurisprudence of this Court indicates that in determining whether an action is one the subject matter of which is not capable of pecuniary estimation, this Court has adopted the criterion of first ascertaining the nature of the principal action or remedy sought. If it is primarily for the recovery of a sum of money, the claim is considered capable of pecuniary estimation, and whether jurisdiction is in the municipal courts or in the courts of first instance would depend on the amount of the claim. However, where the basic issue is something other than the right to recover a sum of money, or where the money claim is purely incidental to, or a consequence of, the principal relief sought, like in suits to have the defendant perform his part of the contract (specific performance) and in actions for support, or for annulment of a judgment or to foreclose a mortgage, this Court has considered such actions as cases where the subject of the litigation may not be estimated in terms of money, and are cognizable exclusively by courts of first instance. The rationale of the rule is plainly that the second class cases, besides the determination of damages, demand an inquiry into other factors which the law has deemed to be more within the competence of courts of first instance, which were the lowest courts of record at the time that the first organic laws of the Judiciary were enacted allocating jurisdiction. In the present case, an expropriation suit does not involve the recovery of a sum of money. Rather, it deals with the exercise by the government of its authority and right to take private property for public use . In National Power Corporation v. Jocson, the Court ruled that expropriation proceedings have TWO PHASES: The FIRST is concerned with the determination of the authority of the plaintiff to exercise the power of eminent domain and the propriety of its exercise in the context of the facts involved in the suit. It ends with an order, if not of dismissal of the action, ‘of condemnation declaring that the plaintiff has a lawful right to take the property sought to be condemned, for the public use or purpose described in the complaint, upon the payment of just compensation to be determined as of the date of the filing of the complaint.’ An order of dismissal, if this be ordained, would be a final one, of course, since it finally disposes of the action and leaves nothing more to be done by the Court on the merits. So, too, would an order of condemnation be 86

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a final one, for thereafter as the Rules expressly state, in the proceedings before the Trial Court, ‘no objection to the exercise of the right of condemnation (or the propriety thereof) shall be filed or heard.’ The SECOND PHASE of the eminent domain action is concerned with the determination by the court of ‘the just compensation for the property sought to be taken.’ This is done by the Court with the assistance of not more than three (3) commissioners. The order fixing the just compensation on the basis of the evidence before, and findings of, the commissioners would be final, too. It would finally dispose of the second stage of the suit, and leave nothing more to be done by the Court regarding the issue[.] It should be stressed that the primary consideration in an expropriation suit is whether the government or any of its instrumentalities has complied with the requisites for the taking of private property. Hence, the courts determine the authority of the government entity, the necessity of the expropriation, and the observance of due process. In the main, the subject of an expropriation suit is the government’s exercise of eminent domain, a matter that is incapable of pecuniary estimation. True, the value of the property to be expropriated is estimated in monetary terms, for the court is duty-bound to determine the just compensation for it. This, however, is merely incidental to the expropriation suit. Indeed, that amount is determined only after the court is satisfied with the propriety of the expropriation. To emphasize, the question in the present suit is whether the government may expropriate private property under the given set of circumstances. The government does not dispute Pastor’s title to or possession of the same. Indeed, it is not a question of who has a better title or right, for the government does not even claim that it has a title to the property. It merely asserts its inherent sovereign power to “‘appropriate and control individual property for the public benefit, as the public necessity, convenience or welfare may demand.” 2. National Power Corporation v. Jocson, 206 SCRA 520 (1992) FACTS: NPC filed 7 eminent domain cases before the RTC of Bacolod for the acquisition of a right-of-way easement over certain parcels of land that are to be used for the construction of a tower and transmission line in connection with the Negros-Panay Interconnection Project. NPC prayed that the RTC fix the provisional value of the land and to authorize it to enter or take possession of the premises. After the cases were consolidated, NPC and the owners of the property argued their positions with respect to the Motion to Fix Provisional Value. Thereafter, Judge Jocson issued an Order fixing the provisional values and directed NPC to deposit 23M with the bank. The market value was the same value appearing in the tax declarations of the properties. The owners of the property filed their MRs and alleged that the provisional value was too low. They contended that the real value was 29M. Thereafter, Judge Jocson ordered the increase of the provisional values and directed NPC to deposit the balance. Pursuant thereto, NPC deposited an additional sum. After acting on the Manifestations by the owners that they are amenable to accept and withdraw the amounts deposited, Judge Jocson ordered that a Writ of Possession be issued after receipt of said amounts. Aggrieved, NPC filed a Petition for Certiorari alleging that Judge Jocson gravely abused its discretion in fixing the above provisional values at excessive and unconscionable amounts. Moreover, NPC alleges that Judge Jocson violated Sec 2 of Rule 67 which provides that upon filing the complaint or at any time thereafter, the plaintiff shall have the right to take or enter upon the property if he deposits with the treasurer its value as provisionally and promptly ascertained and fixed by the court. ISSUE: WHETHER OR NOT THE RTC CORRECTLY FIXED THE PROVISIONAL VALUES OF THE PROPERTIES FOR PURPOSES OF ISSUING A WRIT OF POSSESSION ON THE BASIS OF THE MARKET VALUE OF THE PROPERTY. HELD: NO. In Municipality of Biñan vs. Hon. Jose Mar Garcia, et al., this Court ruled that there are two (2) stages in every action of expropriation: 87

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The FIRST is concerned with the determination of the authority of the plaintiff to exercise the power of eminent domain and the propriety of its exercise in the context of the facts involved in the suit. It ends with an order, if not of dismissal of the action, ‘of condemnation declaring that the plaintiff has a lawful right to take the property sought to be condemned, for the public use or purpose described in the complaint, upon the payment of just compensation to be determined as of the date of the filing of the complaint.’ An order of dismissal, if this be ordained, would be a final one, of course, since it finally disposes of the action and leaves nothing more to be done by the Court on the merits. So, too, would an order of condemnation be a final one, for thereafter as the Rules expressly state, in the proceedings before the Trial Court, ‘no objection to the exercise of the right of condemnation (or the propriety thereof) shall be filed or heard.’ The SECOND PHASE of the eminent domain action is concerned with the determination by the Court of ‘the just compensation for the property sought to be taken.’ This is done by the Court with the assistance of not more than three (3) commissioners. The order fixing the just compensation on the basis of the evidence before, and findings of, the commissioners would be final, too. It would finally dispose of the second stage of the suit, and leave nothing more to be done by the Court regarding the issue. However, upon the filing of the complaint or at any time thereafter, the petitioner has the right to take or enter upon the possession of the property involved upon compliance with P.D. No. 42 which requires the petitioner, after due notice to the defendant, to deposit with the Philippine National Bank in its main office or any of its branches or agencies, “an amount equivalent to the assessed value of the property for purposes of taxation .” This assessed value is that indicated in the tax declaration. P.D. No. 42 repealed the “provisions of Rule 67 of the Rules of Court and of any other existing law contrary to or inconsistent” with it. Accordingly, it repealed Section 2 of Rule 67 insofar as the determination of the provisional value, the form of payment and the agency with which the deposit shall be made, are concerned. Said section reads in full as follows: SECTION 2. Entry of plaintiff upon depositing value with National or Provincial Treasurer. — Upon the filing of the complaint or at any time thereafter the plaintiff shall have the right to take or enter upon the possession of the real or personal property involved if he deposits with the National or Provincial Treasurer its value, as provisionally and promptly ascertained and fixed by the court having jurisdiction of the proceedings, to be held by such treasurer subject to the orders and final disposition of the court. Such deposit shall be in money, unless in lieu thereof the court authorizes the deposit of a certificate of deposit of a depository of the Republic of the Philippines payable on demand to the National or Provincial Treasurer, as the case may be, in the amount directed by the court to be deposited. After such deposit is made the court shall order the sheriff or other proper officer to forthwith place the plaintiff in possession of the property involved. It will be noted that under the aforequoted section, the court has the discretion to determine the provisional value which must be deposited by the plaintiff to enable it “to take or enter upon the possession of the property.” Notice to the parties is not indispensable. PD No. 42, however effectively removes the discretion of the court in determining the provisional value. What is to be deposited is an amount equivalent to the assessed value for taxation purposes. No hearing is required for that purpose. All that is needed is notice to the owner of the property sought to be condemned. Clearly, therefore, Judge Jocson either deliberately disregarded P.D. No. 42 or was totally unaware of its existence and the cases applying the same. In any event, NPC deposited the provisional value fixed by the court. As a matter of right, it was entitled to be placed in possession of the property involved in the complaints at once , pursuant to both Section 2 of Rule 67 and P.D. No. 42. The RTC had the corresponding duty to order the sheriff or any other proper officer to forthwith place the petitioner in such possession. Instead of complying with the clear mandate of the law, Judge Jocson chose to ignore and overlook it. 88

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Moreover, upon separate MRs filed by the owners in Civil Cases Nos. 5938 and 5939, he issued a new Order increasing the provisional values of the properties involved therein. No hearing was held on the motions. The MR in Civil Case No. 5938 does not even contain a notice of hearing. It is then a mere scrap of paper; it presents no question which merits the attention and consideration of the court. There was, moreover, a much stronger reason why the RTC should not have issued the 12 July 1990 Order increasing the provisional values of the Gonzaga lots in Civil Cases Nos. 5938 and 5939. After having fixed these provisional values, albeit erroneously, and upon deposit by NPC of the said amounts, Judge Jocson lost, as was held in Manila Railroad Company vs. Paredes, “plenary control over the order fixing the amount of the deposit, and has no power to annul, amend or modify it in matters of substance pending the course of the condemnation proceedings.” The reason for this is that a contrary ruling would defeat the very purpose of the law which is to provide a speedy and summary procedure whereby the peaceable possession of the property subject of the expropriation proceedings “may be secured without the delays incident to prolonged and vexatious litigation touching the ownership and value of such lands, which should not be permitted to delay the progress of the work.” Compounding the above error and the capriciousness with which it was committed is Judge Jocson’s refusal to place NPC in possession of the property or issue the writ of possession despite the fact that the latter had likewise deposited the additional amount called for by the 12 July 1990 Order. The above Order has absolutely no legal basis even as it also unjustly, oppressively and capriciously compels NPC to accept the respondent Judge’s determination of the provisional value as the just compensation after the defendants shall have manifested their conformity thereto. He thus subordinated his own judgment to that of the defendants’ because he made the latter the final authority to determine such just compensation. This Court ruled in Export Processing Zone Authority vs. Dulay, et al. that the determination of just compensation in eminent domain cases is a judicial function; accordingly, We declared as unconstitutional and void, for being, inter alia, impermissible encroachment on judicial prerogatives which tends to render the Court inutile in a matter which, under the Constitution, is reserved to it for final determination, the method of ascertaining just compensation prescribed in P.D. Nos. 76, 464, 794 and 1533, to wit: the market value as declared by the owner or administrator or such market value as determined by the assessor, whichever is lower in the first three (3) decrees, and the value declared by the owner or administrator or anyone having legal interest in the property or the value as determined by the assessor, pursuant to the Real Property Tax Code, whichever is lower, prior to the recommendation or decision of the appropriate Government office to acquire the property, in the last mentioned decree. If the legislature or the executive department cannot even impose upon the court how just compensation should be determined, it would be far more objectionable and impermissible for Judge Jocson to grant the owners’ in an eminent domain case such power and authority. 3. Visayan Refining Corporation v. Camus, 40 Phil. 550 (1919) FACTS: Visayan Refining, Dean Worcester, and Fred Leas jointly owned a tract of land known as the Camp Tomas Claudio which was located in Paranaque along the water front of Manila Bay. In 1919, the Governor-General directed the Attorney General to cause condemnation proceedings for the purpose of expropriating said tract of land. It was stated that it was desired by the government for military and aviation purposes. In accordance thereto, the Attorney General filed a complaint in the CFI of Rizal and impleaded Visayan Refining et al. It prayed that the government be given possession of the land after the necessary deposit is made. Moreover, it prayed that the CFI promptly and provisionally fix the sum of P600K as the total value and put the government in possession upon deposit. As a result, Judge Camus fixed the value provisionally at the amount stated and ordered the government be placed in possession. Aggrieved, Visayan Refining et al filed a demurrer and questioned the validity of the proceedings on the ground that there was no law authorizing the exercise of eminent domain to acquire land for military and aviation purposes. Nonetheless, Judge Camus overruled the demurrer. Hence, this petition for Certiorari and Prohibition praying that the government stop the condemnation proceedings. 89

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ISSUE: WHETHER OR NOT THE CONDEMNATION PROCEEDINGS ARE VALID. HELD: YES. NO IRREGULARITY IN THE PROCEEDINGS. General authority to exercise the power of eminent domain is expressly conferred on the Government of the Philippine Islands, as now constituted, by section 63 of the Philippine Bill, which reads as follows: That the Government of the Philippine Islands is hereby authorized, subject to the limitation and conditions prescribed in this Act to acquire, receive, hold, maintain, and convey title to real and personal property, and may acquire real estate for public uses by the exercise of the right of eminent domain. Section 3 of the Jones Act contains the further provision that “private property shall not be taken for public use without just compensation.” In addition to this there is found in the game section the familiar provision, already expressed in section 5 of the Philippine Bill, that no law shall be enacted which shall deprive any person of property without due process of law, or deny any person the equal protection of the laws. Section 64 of the Administrative Code of the Philippine Islands (Act No. 2711) expressly confers on the GovernorGeneral the power, among others: To determine when it is necessary or advantageous to exercise the right of eminent domain in behalf of the Government of the Philippine Islands; and to direct the Attorney-General, where such act is deemed advisable, to cause the condemnation proceedings to be begun in the court having proper jurisdiction. Taken together, the laws mentioned supply a very complete scheme of judicial expropriation, deducing the authority from its ultimate source in sovereignty, providing in detail for the manner of its exercise, and making the right of the expropriator finally dependent upon payment of the amount awarded by the court. As has already been indicated the petition before us proceeds on the idea that the expropriation proceedings in question cannot be maintained by the Philippine Government in the absence of a statute authorizing the exercise of the power of eminent domain for military and aviation purposes; and while it is not urged that a special legislative Act must be passed every time any particular parcel of property is to be expropiated, it is claimed — and this really amounts to the same thing — that

the Government cannot institute and prosecute expropriation proceedings unless there is already in existence a legislative appropriation especially destined to pay for the land to be taken. We are of the opinion that the contentions of the Visayan Refinery et al, in whatever way they may be understood or expressed, are not well founded. There is one point at least on which all must agree, namely, that if land can be taken by the Government for a public use at all, the use intended to be made of the land now in question, that is, for military and aviation purposes, is a public use.

It is undeniable that a military establishment is essential to the maintenance of organized society, and the courts will take judicial notice of the recent progress of the military and naval arts resulting from the development of aeronautics. The question as to the abstract authority of the Government to maintain expropriation proceedings upon the initiative of the Governor-General should not be confused with that which has reference to the necessity for a legislative appropriation. They really involve different problems and will be separately considered. Upon the first, we are of the opinion that in this jurisdiction at least expropriation proceedings may be maintained upon the exclusive initiative of the Governor-General, without the aid of any special legislative authority other than that already on the statute books. Furthermore, if the Government complies with the requirements of law relative to the making of a deposit in court, provisional possession of the property may be at once given to it, just as is permitted in the case of any other person or entity authorized by law to exercise the power of eminent domain. Special legislative authority for the buying of a piece of land by the Government is no more necessary than for buying a paper of pins; and in the case of a forced taking of property against the will of the owner, all that can be required 90

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of the government is that it should be able to comply with the conditions laid down by law as and when those conditions arise. The contention that the authority to maintain such a proceeding cannot be delegated by the Legislature to the Chief Executive, is in our opinion wholly erroneous and apparently has its basis in a misconception of fundamentals. It is recognized by all writers that the power of eminent domain is INSEPARABLE FROM SOVEREIGNTY being essential to the existence of the State and inherent in government even in its most primitive forms. Philosophers and legists may differ as to the grounds upon which the exercise of this high power is to be justified, but no one can question its existence. No law, therefore, is ever necessary to confer this right upon sovereignty or upon any government exercising sovereign or quasi-sovereign powers. The power of eminent domain, with respect to the conditions under which the property is taken, must of course be exercised in subjection to all the restraints imposed by constitutional or organic law. The 2 provisions by which the exercise of this power is chiefly limited in this jurisdiction are found in the third section of the Jones Act, already mentioned, which among other things declares (1) that no law shall be enacted which shall deprive any person of property without due process of law and (2) that private property shall not be taken for public use without just compensation. From the foregoing discussion it is apparent that the action taken by the lower court in the condemnation proceedings aforesaid was in all respects regular and within the jurisdiction of the court. The writ prayed for in the petition before us, therefore, cannot be issued. 4. Municipality of Binan v. Garcia, 180 SCRA 576 (1989) FACTS: An expropriation suit was filed by the Municipality of Binan in the RTC of Laguna and San Pablo impleading Erlinda Francisco as one of the owners of the 11 parcels of land sought to be expropriated to be used as a new site for a public market. The suit was authorized by the Sangguniang Bayan. In response, Francisco filed a “Motion to Dismiss” pursuant to Sec 3 of Rule 67. Pending this, Judge Garcia issued a Writ of Possession in favor of Binan. On July 24, 1984, Judge Garcia dismissed the complaint and amended the Writ of Possession by excluding Francisco’s property. Binan was notified of said dismissal on July 27, 1984. On August 17, 1984, Binan filed an MR. However, the RTC declared that the MR was filed out of time claiming that the MR was filed beyond the 15-day period. Binan sought for another reconsideration and argued that since expropriation suits have multiple appeals, the period to appeal is 30 days and not 15 days. Still, said motion was denied. Hence, this Petition for Certiorari. ISSUE: WHETHER OR NOT THE RTC ERRED IN DENYING BINAN’S MR FOR BEING FILED OUT OF TIME. HELD: NO. There are two (2) stages in every action of expropriation. The FIRST is concerned with the determination of the authority of the plaintiff to exercise the power of eminent domain and the propriety of its exercise in the context of the facts involved in the suit. It ends with an order, if not of dismissal of the action, “of condemnation declaring that the plaintiff has a lawful right to take the property sought to be condemned, for the public use or purpose described in the complaint, upon the payment of just compensation to be determined as of the date of the filing of the complaint.” An order of dismissal, if this be ordained, would be a final one, of course, since it finally disposes of the action and leaves nothing more to be done by the Court on the merits. So, too, would an order of condemnation be a final one, for thereafter, as the Rules expressly state, in the proceedings before the Trial Court, “no objection to the exercise of the right of condemnation (or the propriety thereof) shall be filed or heard. The SECOND PHASE of the eminent domain action is concerned with the determination by the Court of “the just compensation for the property sought to be taken.” This is done by the Court with the assistance of not more than three (3) commissioners. The order fixing the just compensation on the basis of the evidence before, and findings of, the commissioners would be final, too. It would finally dispose of the second stage of the suit, and leave nothing more to be done by the Court regarding the issue. Obviously, one or another of the parties may believe the order to be erroneous in its 91

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appreciation of the evidence or findings of fact or otherwise. Obviously, too, such a dissatisfied party may seek reversal of the order by taking an appeal therefrom. A similar two-phase feature is found in the special civil ACTION OF PARTITION and accounting under Rule 69 of the Rules of Court. The FIRST PHASE of a partition and/or accounting suit is taken up with the determination of whether or not a coownership in fact exists, and a partition is proper (i.e., not otherwise legally proscribed) and may be made by voluntary agreement of all the parties interested in the property. This phase may end with a declaration that plaintiff is not entitled to have a partition either because a co-ownership does not exist, or partition is legally prohibited. It may end, on the other hand, with an adjudgment that a co-ownership does in truth exist, partition is proper in the premises and an accounting of rents and profits received by the defendant from the real estate in question is in order. In the latter case, “the parties may, if they are able to agree, make partition among themselves by proper instruments of conveyance, and the court shall confirm the partition so agreed upon. In either case — i.e., either the action is dismissed or partition and/or accounting is decreed — the order is a final one, and may be appealed by any party aggrieved thereby. The SECOND PHASE commences when it appears that “the parties are unable to agree upon the partition” directed by the court. In that event partition shall be done for the parties by the Court with the assistance of not more than three (3) commissioners. This second stage may well also deal with the rendition of the accounting itself and its approval by the Court after the parties have been accorded opportunity to be heard thereon, and an award for the recovery by the party or parties thereto entitled of their just share in the rents and profits of the real estate in question.” Such an order is, to be sure, final and appealable. Now, this Court has settled the question of the finality and appealability of a decision or order decreeing partition or recovery of property and/or accounting. As pointed out in Miranda, imperative considerations of public policy, of sound practice and adherence to the constitutional mandate of simplified, just, speedy and inexpensive determination of every action require that judgments for recovery (or partition) of property with accounting be considered as final judgments, duly appealable. This, notwithstanding that further proceedings will still have to be rendered by the party required to do so, it will be ventilated and discussed by the parties, and will eventually be passed upon by the Court. It is of course entirely possible that the Court disposition may not sit well with either the party in whose favor the accounting is made, or the party rendering it. In either case, the Court’s adjudication on the accounting is without doubt a final one, for it would finally terminate the proceedings thereon and leave nothing more to be done by the Court on the merits of the issue. And it goes without saying that any party feeling aggrieved by that ultimate action of the Court on the accounting may seek reversal or modification thereof by the Court of Appeals or the Supreme Court. No reason presents itself for different disposition as regards cases of eminent domain. On the contrary, the close analogy between the special actions of eminent domain and partition already pointed out , argues for the application of the same rule to both proceedings. The Court therefore holds that in actions of eminent domain, as in actions for partition, since no less than two (2) appeals are allowed by law, the period for appeal from an order of condemnation is thirty (30) days counted from notice of order and not the ordinary period of fifteen (15) days prescribed for actions in general, conformably with the provision of Section 39 of Batas Pambansa Bilang 129, in relation to paragraph 19 (b) of the Implementing Rules to the effect that in “appeals in special proceedings in accordance with Rule 109 of the Rules of Court and other cases wherein multiple appeals are allowed, the period of appeal shall be thirty (30) days, a RECORD OF APPEAL being required.” The Binan’s MR filed on August 17,1984 was therefore timely presented, well within the 30-day period laid down by law therefor; and it was error for the RTC to have ruled otherwise and to have declared that the order sought to be considered had become final and executory. Also, in the case at bar, where a single complaint was filed against several defendants having individual, separate interests, and a SEPARATE TRIAL was held relative to one of said defendants (Francisco) after which a final order or judgment was rendered on the merits of the plaintiff’s claim against that particular defendant, it is obvious that in the event 92

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of an appeal from that separate judgment, the original record cannot and should not be sent up to the appellate tribunal.

The record will have to stay with the trial court because it will still try the case as regards the other defendants. As the rule above quoted states, “In an action against several defendants, the court may, when a several judgment is proper, render judgment against one or more of them, leaving the action to proceed against the others.” In lieu of the original record, a record on appeal will perforce have to be prepared and transmitted to the appellate court. More than one appeal being permitted in this case, therefore, “the period of appeal shall be thirty (30) days, a record of appeal being required,” 5. Provincial Government of Rizal v. Caro de Araullo, 58 Phil. 308 (1933) FACTS: The Province of Rizal filed a complaint for expropriation in 1928 for the extension of Taft Avenue to Pasay. The owners of the various lots affected admitted the right to expropriate of the Province. Thereafter, 4 commissioners were appointed. Later on, the CFI declared that the properties should be appraised in accordance with their value from the time the complaint was filed in 1928. At this time, the value of the lots had already appreciated because of the improvements made by the Province. Hence, the Province appealed. ISSUE: WHETHER THE CFI ERRED IN DECLARING THE PROPERTIES SHOULD BE APPRAISED ACCORDING TO THEIR VALUE IN 1928 (DATE OF FILING) AND NOT IN 1927 (DATE OF ENTRY). HELD: YES. IT SHOULD BE BASED ON THEIR VALUE DURING THE TIME OF TAKING (1927). The fiscal's first assignment of error raises one of the principal questions to be decided. Are the damages to be based upon the value of the property when the district engineer of Rizal Province entered upon the land and laid out the extension of Taft Avenue in 1927, or the value on May 31, 1928 when the condemnation proceedings were filed, or on the value of the property at the time of the hearings before the commissioners in 1929 and 1930? In the case of the Manila Railroad Company vs. Caligsihan (40 Phil., 326, 329), cited by the trial judge, this court said: It is a rule of general application that the value of the property taken by eminent domain should be fixed as of the date of the proceedings, and with reference to the loss the owner sustains, considering the property in its condition and situation at the time it is taken, and not as enhanced by the purpose for which it is taken. Our law says that the compensation shall be 'just' and, 'to be exactly just, the compensation should be estimated as of the time of the taking.' The rule just quoted contemplates a case where the taking of the property by eminent domain coincides with the filing of the proceedings, but in the case at bar the Province through its agents entered upon the property , with the consent of the owners, and laid out the street in 1927, and entrusted to the Director of Public Works and other officials the negotiations as to the price to be paid therefor. A few public spirited citizens offered to donate their land; others agreed to accept what the authorities deemed a reasonable price, but in most cases no amicable agreement could be reached as to the value of the property taken, and in order to settle the matter plaintiff filed these condemnation proceedings on May 31, 1928. The improvements existing on the land when it was taken had been removed or destroyed in most cases before the filing of these proceedings. As clearly appears from the evidence of record, the value of the property in question was greatly enhanced between the time when the extension of the street was laid out and the date when the condemnation proceedings were filed, because of the fact that one of the widest and most important streets in the City of Manila was to be extended through the municipality of Pasay, thereby making the land affected practically a part of the City of Manila and giving it a frontage on one of the city's principal boulevards. The property had further increased in value when the commissioners held hearings a year and a half after these proceedings were filed. In other words, the value of the property was enhanced by the purpose for which it was taken. In our opinion the

owners of the land have no right to recover damages for this unearned increment resulting from the construction of the public improvement for which the land was taken . To permit them to do so would be to allow them to recover 93

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more than the value of the land at the time when it was taken, which is the true measure of the damages, or just compensation, and would discourage the construction of important public improvements. The property is to be considered in its condition and situation at the time it is taken, and not as enhanced by the purpose for which it is taken. The fundamental doctrine that private property cannot be taken for public use without just compensation requires that the owner shall receive the market value of his property at the time of the taking, unaffected by any subsequent change in the condition of the property. The valuation of the property taken should be made as of the time of the filing of the condemnation proceedings. That is a fixed and convenient date, and it usually precedes or coincides with the taking of the property ; but in the case at bar the plaintiff appropriated the property with the consent of the landowners, and without the filing of any expropriation proceedings, in the expectation that the parties would be able to reach an agreement out of court as to the value of the property taken, and the condemnation proceedings were not filed until it was found much later that no such agreement could be reached as to part of the property. Under those circumstances the value of the property should be FIXED AS OF THE DATE WHEN IT WAS TAKEN and not the date of the filing of the proceedings. 6. Republic v. Vda de Castellvi, 58 SCRA 336 (1974) FACTS: In 1947, Castellvi and the Republic entered into a special lease agreement for the use of the former’s land by the Philippine Air Force. Castellvi refused to renew the contract. After its termination in 1956, the AFP refused to vacate. Castellvi sought to eject them but the action was dismissed. In 1959, a Complaint for Eminent Domain was filed in the CFI of Pampanga against Carmen vda. de Castellvi and against Maria Toledo-Gozun for the purpose of expropriating their respective parcels of land. The Republic alleged that the FMV was not more than 2,000 per hectare (259K) and prayed that the provisional value be fixed at 259K and authorize the Republic to take immediate possession thereof upon deposit of the amount with the Treasurer. As such, the CFI ordered the fixing of the provisional value of the lands at 259K. In her “motion to dismiss,” Castellvi alleged that the FMV was 15 psm or a total of 11M. It was also alleged that the Republic, through the AFP had been illegally occupying her property since 1956 which prevented her from using and disposing it thereby causing unrealized profits. After the Republic deposited said amount, it was allowed to take actual possession in August 1959. Thereafter, the CFI appointed 3 commissioners. In their report and recommendation, the claimed that the price was P10 psm. Republic insisted that it was 0.20 psm while Castellvi and Toledo-Gozun insisted it was 15psm. Nonetheless, CFI adopted the commissioners’ findings and pegged the value at 10 psm. It also ordered that Castellvi be paid starting from 1959 when the Republic commenced the action for expropriation. Hence, this appeal. The Republic contends the CFI should have reckoned the “taking” from 1947 — the year when the special lease agreement between Republic and Castellvi which gave the Republic the right and privilege to buy the property for the use of the Philippine Air Force. ISSUE: WHETHER OR NOT THE DATE OF “TAKING” WAS IN 1947 OR IN 1959. HELD: NO “TAKING” CAN ARISE OUT OF A LEASE. THUS, IT MUST BE RECKONED FROM 1959 OR FROM THE DATE OF FILING. In American Jurisprudence, Vol. 26, 2nd edition, Section 157, on the subject of “Eminent Domain, we read the definition of “taking” as follows: Taking’ under the power of eminent domain may be defined generally as entering upon private property for more than a momentary period, and, under the warrant or color of legal authority, devoting it to a public use, or otherwise informally appropriating or injuriously affecting it in such a way as substantially to oust the owner and deprive him of all beneficial enjoyment thereof. 94

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Pursuant to the aforecited authority, a number of circumstances must be present in the “taking” of property for purposes of eminent domain. ENTRY UPON PRIVATE PROPERTY FIRST, the expropriator must enter a private property. This circumstance is present in the instant case, when by virtue of the lease agreement the Republic, through the AFP, took possession of the property of Castellvi. ENTRANCE MUST BE FOR MORE THAN A MOMENTARY PERIOD SECOND, the entrance into private property must be for more than a momentary period . The word “momentary” when applied to possession or occupancy of (real) property should be construed to mean “a limited period” — not indefinite or permanent. The aforecited lease contract was for a period of 1 year, renewable from year to year. The entry on the property, under the lease, is temporary, and considered transitory. The fact that the Republic, through the AFP, constructed some installations of a permanent nature does not alter the fact that the entry into the land was transitory , or intended to last a year, although renewable from year to year by consent of the owner of the land. By express provision of the lease agreement the Republic, as lessee, undertook to return the premises in substantially the same condition as at the time the property was first occupied by the AFP. It is claimed that the intention of the lessee was to occupy the land permanently, as may be inferred from the construction of permanent improvements . But this “intention” cannot prevail over the clear and express terms of the lease contract. Intent is to be deduced from the language employed by the parties, and the terms of the contract, when unambiguous, as in the instant case, are conclusive in the absence of averment and proof of mistake or fraud — the question being not what the intention was, but what is expressed in the language used. Moreover, in order to judge the intention of the contracting parties, their contemporaneous and subsequent acts shall be principally considered. If the intention of the lessee (Republic) in 1947 was really to occupy permanently Castellvi’s property, why was the contract of lease entered into on year to year basis? Why was the lease agreement renewed from year to year? Why did not the Republic expropriate this land of Castellvi in 1949 when, according to the Republic itself, it expropriated the other parcels of land that it occupied at the same time as the Castellvi land, for the purpose of converting them into a jet air base? It might really have been the intention of the Republic to expropriate the lands in question at some future time, but certainly mere notice — much less an implied notice — of such intention on the part of the Republic to expropriate the lands in the future did not, and could not, bind the landowner, nor bind the land itself. The expropriation must be actually commenced in court. ENTRY MUST BE UNDER THE WARRANT OR COLOR OF LEGAL AUTHORITY THIRD, the entry into the property should be under warrant or color of legal authority. This circumstance in the “taking” may be considered as present in the instant case, because the Republic entered the Castellvi property as lessee. PROPERTY MUST BE DEVOTED TO A PUBLIC USE FOURTH, the property must be devoted to a public use or otherwise informally appropriated or injuriously affected. It may be conceded that the circumstance of the property being devoted to public use is present because the property was used by the air force of the AFP. UTILIZATION FOR PUBLIC USE MUST OUST THE OWNER AND DEPRIVE HIM OF ENJOYMENT THEREOF FIFTH, the utilization of the property for public use must be in such a way as to oust the owner and deprive him of all beneficial enjoyment of the property . In the instant case, the entry of the Republic into the property and its utilization of the same for public use did not oust Castellvi and deprive her of all beneficial enjoyment of the property. Castellvi remained as owner, and was continuously recognized as owner by the Republic, as shown by the renewal of the lease contract from year to year, and by the provision in the lease contract whereby the Republic undertook to return the property to Castellvi when the lease was terminated. Neither was Castellvi deprived of all Republic was bound to pay, and had been paying, Castellvi the agreed monthly rentals until the time when it filed the complaint for eminent domain on June 26, 1959. 95

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It is clear, therefore, that the “taking” of Catellvi’s property for purposes of eminent domain cannot be considered to have taken place in 1947 when the Republic commenced to occupy the property as lessee thereof. We find merit in the contention of Castellvi that 2 essential elements in the “taking” of property under the power of eminent domain, namely: (1) that the entrance and occupation by the condemnor must be for a permanent, or indefinite period; and (2) that in devoting the property to public use the owner was ousted from the property and deprived of its

beneficial use

were not present when the Republic entered and occupied the Castellvi property in 1947.

To sustain the contention of the Republic is to sanction a practice whereby in order to secure a low price for a land which the government intends to expropriate (or would eventually expropriate) it would first negotiate with the owner of the land to lease the land (for say ten or twenty years) then expropriate the same when the lease is about to terminate, then claim that the “taking” of the property for the purposes of the expropriation be reckoned as of the date when the Government started to occupy the property under the lease, and then assert that the value of the property being expropriated be reckoned as of the start of the lease, in spite of the fact that the value of the property, for many good reasons, had in the meantime increased during the period of the lease. This would be sanctioning what obviously is a deceptive scheme, which would have the effect of depriving the owner of the property of its true and fair market value at the time when the expropriation proceedings were actually instituted in court.

Under Section 4 of Rule 67 of the Rules of Court, the “JUST COMPENSATION” is to be determined as of the date of the filing of the complaint. This Court has ruled that when the taking of the property sought to be expropriated coincides with the commencement of the expropriation proceedings, or takes place subsequent to the filing of the complaint for eminent domain, the just compensation should be determined as of the date of the filing of the complaint. In the instant case, it is undisputed that the Republic was placed in possession of the Castellvi property, by authority of the court, on August 10, 1959. The “taking” of the Castellvi property for the purposes of determining the just compensation to be paid must, therefore, be reckoned as of June 26, 1959 when the complaint for eminent domain was filed. 7. Export Processing Zone Authority v. Dulay, 149 SCRA 305 (1987) FACTS: Through a Proclamation by Pres. Marcos, a certain parcel of land in Cebu was reserved for the establishment of thee EPZA. However, some of the area reserved were private land owned by San Antonio Development Corporation. As a result, EPZA offered to purchase the parcels of land. However, they failed to reach an agreement. As a result, EPZA filed before the CFI of Cebu a Complaint for Expropriation. During pre-trial conference, the parties agreed that the only issue to be resolved is the issue of just compensation. Thereafter, trial ensued. Judge Dulay appointed 3 commissioners. In their report, it was recommended that the amount of 15 psm is fair and reasonable compensation for the land. EPZA, however, filed an MR and contended that PD 1533 already superseded the provisions under Rule 67 as regards determination of just compensation through commissioners. Moreover, PD 1533 provided a maximum amount of just compensation which must be followed. CFI denied the MR. Hence, EPZA filed a Petition for Certiorari and Mandamus to the SC. ISSUE: WHETHER OR NOT THE PROVISIONS ON DETERMINATION OF JUST COMPENSATION UNDER THE RULES OF COURT HAVE BEEN REPEALED BY PD 1533. HELD: NO. PD 1533 IS UNCONSTITUTIONAL. DETERMINATION OF JUST COMPENSATION IS A JUDICIAL FUNCTION. 96

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Prior to the promulgation of P.D. Nos. 76, 464, 794 and 1533, this Court has interpreted the eminent domain provisions of the Constitution and established the meaning, under the fundamental law, of just compensation and who has the power to determine it. Thus, in the following cases, wherein the filing of the expropriation proceedings were all commenced prior to the promulgation of the aforementioned decrees, we laid down the DOCTRINE ON JUST COMPENSATION: Just compensation means the equivalent for the value of the property at the time of its taking . Anything beyond that is more and anything short of that is less, than just compensation. It means a fair and full equivalent for the loss sustained, which is the measure of the indemnity, not whatever gain would accrue to the expropriating entity. Hence, in estimating the market value, all the capabilities of the property and all the uses to which it may be applied or for which it is adapted are to be considered and not merely the condition it is in the time and the use to which it is then applied by the owner. All the facts as to the condition of the property and its surroundings, its improvements and capabilities may be shown and considered in estimating its value. According to section 8 of Rule 67, the court is not bound by the commissioners' report. It may make such order or render such judgment as shall secure to the plaintiff the property essential to the exercise of his right of condemnation, and to the defendant just compensation for the property expropriated. This Court may substitute its own estimate of the value as gathered from the record. However, the promulgation of the aforementioned decrees practically set aside the above and many other precedents hammered out in the course of evidence-laden, well argued, fully heard, studiously deliberated, and judiciously considered court proceedings. The decrees categorically and peremptorily limited the definition of just compensation.

P.D. No. 76:

For purposes of just compensation in cases of private property acquired by the government for public use, the basis shall be the current and fair market value declared by the owner or administrator , or such market value as determined by the Assessor, whichever is lower.

P.D. No. 464:

Section 92. Basis for payment of just compensation in expropriation proceedings. — In determining just compensation which private property is acquired by the government for public use, the basis shall be the market value declared by the owner or administrator or anyone having legal interest in the property, or such market value as determined by the assessor , whichever is lower.

P.D. No. 794:

Section 92. Basis for payment of just compensation in expropriation proceedings. — In determining just compensation when private property is acquired by the government for public use, the same shall not

exceed the market value declared by the owner or administrator or anyone having legal interest in the property, or such market value as determined by the assessor, whichever is lower. P.D. No. 1533:

Section 1. In determining just compensation for private property acquired through eminent domain proceedings, the compensation to be paid shall not exceed the value declared by the owner or administrator or anyone having legal interest in the property or determined by the assessor , pursuant to the Real Property Tax Code, whichever value is lower, prior to the recommendation or decision of the appropriate Government office to acquire the property. We are constrained to declare the provisions of the Decrees on just compensation unconstitutional and void and accordingly dismiss the instant petition for lack of merit. The method of ascertaining just compensation under the aforecited decrees constitutes impermissible encroachment on judicial prerogatives. It tends to render this Court inutile in a matter which under the Constitution is reserved to it for final determination . 97

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Thus, although in an expropriation proceeding the court technically would still have the power to determine the just compensation for the property, following the applicable decrees, its task would be relegated to simply stating the lower value of the property as declared either by the owner or the assessor . As a necessary consequence, it would be useless for the court to appoint commissioners under Rule 67 of the Rules of Court. Moreover, the need to satisfy the due process clause in the taking of private property is seemingly fulfilled since it cannot be said that a judicial proceeding was not had before the actual taking. However, the strict application of the decrees during the proceedings would be nothing short

of a mere formality or charade as the court has only to choose between the valuation of the owner and that of the assessor, and its choice is always limited to the lower of the two.

We are convinced and so rule that the trial court correctly stated that the valuation in the decree may only serve as a guiding principle or one of the factors in determining just compensation but it may not substitute the court's own judgment as to what amount should be awarded and how to arrive at such amount. A return to the earlier well-established doctrine, to our mind, is more in keeping with the principle that the judiciary should live up to its mission "by vitalizing and not denigrating constitutional rights." VALUATION Various factors can come into play in the valuation of specific properties singled out for expropriation. The values given by provincial assessors are usually uniform for very wide areas covering several barrios or even an entire town with the exception of the poblacion. Individual differences are never taken into account. The value of land is based on such generalities as its possible cultivation for rice, corn, coconuts, or other crops. Very often land described as "cogonal" has been cultivated for generations. Buildings are described in terms of only two or three classes of building materials and estimates of areas are more often inaccurate than correct. Tax values can serve as guides but cannot be absolute substitutes for just compensation. To say that the owners are estopped to question the valuations made by assessors since they had the opportunity to protest is illusory. The overwhelming mass of land owners accept unquestioningly what is found in the tax declarations prepared by local assessors or municipal clerks for them. They do not even look at, much less analyze, the statements. The idea of expropriation simply never occurs until a demand is made or a case f filed by an agency authorized to do so. It is violative of due process to deny to the owner the opportunity to prove that the valuation in the tax documents is unfair or wrong. And it is repulsive to basic concepts of justice and fairness to allow the haphazard work of a minor bureaucrat or clerk to absolutely prevail over the judgment of a court promulgated only after expert commissioners have actually viewed the property, after evidence and arguments pro and con have been presented, and after all factors and considerations essential to a fair and just determination have been judiciously evaluated. DETERMINATION OF JUST COMPENSATION IS A JUDICIAL FUNCTION We return to older and more sound precedents. This Court has the duty to formulate guiding and controlling constitutional principles, precepts, doctrines, or rules. The determination of "just compensation" in eminent domain cases is a judicial function. The executive department or the legislature may make the initial determinations but when a party claims a violation of the guarantee in the Bill of Rights that private property may not be taken for public use without just compensation, no statute, decree, or executive order can mandate that its own determination shall prevail over the court's findings. Much less can the courts be precluded from looking into the "just-ness" of the decreed compensation. 8. Benguet Consolidated Inc. v. Republic, 143 SCRA 466 (1986) ???????? FACTS: In 1958, the Republic filed a Complaint for Expropriation in the CFI of Benguet against 10 defendants including Benguet Consolidated. It was stated that the property subject to the suit was for the purpose of establishing and maintaining a permanent site for the PMA. It also claimed that it had occupied since 1950 the area covered by the mining claims of Benguet Consolidated. Benguet filed a Motion to Dismiss on the ground that the Republic has not occupied the areas covered by the mining claims and that the area covered would have no use to the PMA because it was rugged terrain. CFI thereafter issued an order stating 98

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that Benguet is no longer challenging Republic’s right to condemn the property and thus declared the Republic to have the lawful right to take the property sought to be condemned. Benguet opposed this through a motion and expressed that it did not manifest that it was no longer challenging the Republic’s right to expropriate its former mineral claims. Also, Benguet moved to set the hearing for its Motion to Dismiss. In the course of the proceedings, commissioners were appointed to establish just compensation. In their report, they recommended the payment of 43K as just compensation. When Benguet objected, CFI rejected the commissioners’ report and made its own findings. It thereafter awarded various sums to Benguet et al. Benguet was awarded 128K. Benguet and the Republic appealed in the IAC. IAC set aside the CFI’s decision and ordered the condemnation of the mining claims and also adopted the commissioner’s findings for the payment of just compensation. Hence, this petition. ISSUE: WHETHER OR NOT THE CONDEMNATION IS CONTRARY TO LAW AND WHETHER THE APPROVAL OF THE COMMISSIONER’S REPORT IS VALID HELD: CONDEMNATION WAS PROPER. APPROVAL OF THE COMMISSIONER’S REPORT WAS VALID. The filing of expropriation proceedings recognizes the fact that the petitioner’s property is no longer part of the public domain. The power of eminent domain refers to the power of government to take private property for public use. If the mineral claims are public, there would be no need to expropriate them . The mineral claims of Benguet Consolidated are not being transferred to another mining company or to a public entity interested in the claims as such. The land where the mineral claims were located is needed for the Philippine Military Academy , a public use completely unrelated to mining. The fact that the location of a mining claim has been perfected does not bar the Government’s exercise of its power of eminent domain. The right of eminent domain covers all forms of private property, tangible or intangible, and includes rights which are attached to land. We ruled in the Nieto case that: A cursory reading of Sections 4, 5 and 8 of Rules 69 of the Rules of Court discloses the steps to be followed, one after another, in condemnation proceedings from the institution thereof. The FIRST STEP is the presentation by defendants of their objections and defenses to the right of plaintiff to take the property for the use specified, which objections and defenses shall be set forth in a single motion to dismiss (Section 4). The SECOND is the hearing on the motion and the unfavorable resolution thereon by the court. That an adverse resolution on the motion to dismiss, if objections and defenses are presented, is required because the rule (Sec. 5) authorizes the court to enter an order of condemnation only if the motion to dismiss is overruled, or if no motion to dismiss had been presented. The second step includes the order of condemnation, which may be embodied in the resolution overruling the motion to dismiss. The THIRD is the appointment of commissioners to assess the just compensation for the property (Sec. 6). That the above steps must follow one another is evident from the provisions of the rules as well as from the inter-relation between the steps and the dependence of one upon the previous step. Thus no order of condemnation may be entered if the motion to dismiss has not been passed upon and over-ruled, and no assessment should be undertaken unless and until an order of condemnation has already been entered. In the instant case the ruling on the motion to dismiss was deferred by the CFI in view of a possible amicable settlement. Moreover, after the CFI entered an order of condemnation over the objection of the petitioner, the court issued an order to the effect that the trial court “x x x makes it of record that, pending negotiations between the Government and Benguet Consolidated, Inc. said corporation has not waived its right to challenge plaintiff’s right to condemn the mineral claims in question.” 99

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At the hearing conducted by the Board of Commissioners, the counsel for the petitioner manifested that its motion to dismiss was still pending in court, and requested that the hearing for the presentation of evidence for the petitioner be cancelled. At this point, negotiations between the government and the petitioner were still going on. In its original decision, the lower court overlooked an award of just compensation for the petitioner. This triggered off the filing of the following motions by the petitioner: (1) motion for clarification praying that an order be issued clarifying the decision insofar as the compensation to be paid to the petitioner is concerned; (2) motion for new trial and/or reconsideration on the ground that the court did not award just compensation for the properties of the petitioner; (3) motion to re-open case on the ground that the issues insofar as the petitioner is concerned have not been joined since its motion to dismiss has not been resolved; and (4) a second motion for clarification. This order was not challenged by the petitioner. Instead, it filed its above-mentioned second motion for clarification. Under these circumstances, the petitioner is estopped from questioning the proceedings of condemnation followed by the court. We cannot condone the inconsistent positions of the petitioner. It is very clear from the statements of the petitioner that it had already abandoned its earlier stand on the propriety of expropriation and that its intent shifted to the just compensation to be paid by the plaintiff for its condemned properties. AMOUNT OF JUST COMPENSATION The Benguet assails the IAC’s approval of the Commissioners’ Report which fixed the amount of P7,532.46 as just compensation for the mineral claims. Benguet contends that this amount is by any standard ridiculously low and cannot be considered just and that in fact the commissioners’ report was rejected by the CFI. The Commissioners’ Report was submitted by Ernesto C. Bengson, chairman of the board and Rolando J. Gamboa, Francisco Joaquin, representing the defendants resigned after attending eight (8) hearings due to ill health. The defendants did not ask for a replacement. The conclusion of the Commissioners are the result of documentary evidence presented by the parties, testimonies of several mining experts and executives of mining companies including Mr. Ralph W. Crosby, the then vice-president of Benguet, and ocular inspections of the mining claims involved in this case. Among those present during the ocular inspection were Mr. Joventino S. Perfecto and Mr. Kevin A. Callow, the Chief Engineer of the Acupan Mines and the Exploration Geologist of the Benguet Consolidated, Inc., respectively. Among those considered by the commissioners in order to determine the just compensation to be paid to the defendants were the ore reserves, base metal concentrates, and gypsums deposits of the mining claims. These findings negate the CFI’s observation that the commissioners only took into consideration the surface value of the mineral claims. We find no reason to disturb the lower court’s findings on this matter. Benguet has not advanced any reason for us to reject such findings. As stated earlier, the IAC based its findings on the Commissioners’ Report. Benguet now assails the approval of the commissioners’ report regarding the P7,532.46 just compensation to be paid by the government for its four (4) mining claims.

While it is true that a court may reject a Commissioners’ Report on the ground that the amount allowed is palpably in adequate, it is to be noted that the petitioner herein has not supported its stand that the P7,532.46 just compensation for its mining claims is by any standard ridiculously low and cannot be considered just. On the other hand, the appellate court said: The integrity and impartiality of the remaining Commissioners, Engrs. Bengson and Gamboa, were not questioned by the defendants. They are experienced mining engineers and members of the bar.

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We are not inclined to reject these findings of facts of the IAC in the absence of any contrary evidence pointed to by Benguet. Moreover, it is to be noted that unlike the plaintiff and other defendants, Benguet did not file any opposition to the Commissioners’ Report in the lower court. CLASS NOTES: - Stuff about the Commissioner’s Report 9. Coscolluela v. CA, 164 SCRA 393 (1988) FACTS: For the purpose of constructing canal networks for the Barotac Irrigation Project, the Republic, through the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) filed a Complaint for Expropriation with the CFI of Iloilo against the parcels of land owned by Sebastian Coscolluela and Mita Lumampao. CFI granted the expropriation and ordered NIA to pay Coscolluela and Lumampao just compensation. On appeal, CA modified the CFI’s decision and reduced attorney’s fees and litigation expenses. This became final and executory. Coscolluela filed a motion before the CFI for the execution of the judgment of the CA. NIA filed a Motion to Set Aside and contended that its funds are government funds and thus cannot be executed upon without appropriation by law. The CFI modified its order and directed the NIA to just deposit the money with PNB under the name of Coscolluela and Lumambao. Aggrieved, NIA filed a Petition for Certiorari in the CA to annul the CFI’s orders. CA granted the petition and set aside the CFI ruling on the ground that public funds are not subject to levy of execution. Hence this petition. Coscolluela asserts that the CA’s decision violates his right to just compensation and due process of law. ISSUE: WHETHER OR NOT COSCOLLUELA’S RIGHT TO JUST COMPENSATION AND DUE PROCESS HAS BEEN VIOLATED. HELD: YES. As admitted by the Republic, the NIA took possession of the expropriated property in 1975 and for around ten (10) years already, it has been servicing the farmers on both sides of the Barotac Viejo Irrigation Project in Iloilo Province and has been collecting fees therefor by way of taxes at the expense of Coscolluela. On the other hand, Coscolluela, who is already more than eighty (80) years old and sickly , is undergoing frequent hospitalization, and is made to suffer further by the unconscionable delay in the payment of just compensation based on a final and executory judgment. One of the basic principles enshrined in our Constitution is that no person shall be deprived of his private property without due process of law; and in expropriation cases, an essential element of due process is that there must be just compensation whenever private property is taken for public use . Thus, in the case of Province of Pangasinan v. CFI Judge of Pangasinan, Branch, this Court speaking through then Chief Justice Fernando ruled: There is full and ample recognition of the power of eminent domain by Justice Street in a leading case of Visayan Refining Co. v. Camus decided prior to the Commonwealth, the matter being governed by the Philippine Autonomy Act of 1916, otherwise known as the Jones Law. It was characterized as ‘inseparable from sovereignty being essential to the existence of the State and inherent in government even in its most primitive forms.’ Nonetheless, he was careful to point out: ‘In other words, the provisions now generally found in the modern laws of constitutions of civilized countries to the effect that private property shall not be taken for public use without just compensation have their origin in the recognition of a necessity for restraining the sovereign and protecting the individual.’ Moreover, he did emphasize: ‘Nevertheless it should be noted that the whole problem of expropriation is resolvable in its ultimate analysis into a constitutional question of due process of law. Even were there no organic or constitutional provision in force requiring compensation to be paid, the seizure of one’s property without payment, even though intended for a public use , would undoubtedly be held to be a taking without due process of law and a denial of the equal protection of the laws.’ The property of Coscolluela was taken by the government in 1975. The following year, NIA made the required deposit of P2,097.30 with the Philippine National Bank and within the same year, the Barotac Viejo Irrigation Project was finished. Since 101

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then, for more than a period often (10) years, the project has been of service to the farmers nearby in the province of Iloilo. It is, thus, inconceivable how this project could have been started without the necessary appropriation for just compensation. Needless to state, no government instrumentality, agency, or subdivision has any business initiating expropriation proceedings unless it has adequate funds, supported by proper appropriation acts, to pay for the property to be seized from the owner. Not only was the government able to make an initial deposit of P2,097.30 but the project was finished in only a year’s time. We agree with Coscolluela that before the NIA undertook the construction of the Barotac Viejo Irrigation Project, the same was duly authorized, with the corresponding funds appropriated for the payment of expropriated land and to pay for equipment, salaries of personnel, and other expenses incidental to the project. The NIA officials responsible for the project have to do plenty of explaining as to where they misdirected the funds intended for the expropriated property. The present case must be distinguished from earlier cases where payment for property expropriated by the National Government may not be realized upon execution. As a rule, the legislature must first appropriate the additional amount to pay the award. In the present case, the Barotac Viejo Project was a package project of government. Money was allocated for an entire project. Before bulldozers and ditch diggers tore up the place and before millions of pesos were put into the development of the project, the basic responsibility of paying the owners for property seized from them should have been met. Another distinction lies in the fact that the NIA collects fees for the use of the irrigation system constructed on the Coscolluela’s land. It does not have to await an express act of Congress to locate funds for this specific purpose . The rule in earlier precedents that the functions and public services rendered by the state cannot be allowed to be paralyzed or disrupted by the diversion of public funds from their legitimate and specific objects is not applicable here. There is no showing of any public service to be disrupted if the fees collected from the farmers of Iloilo for the use of irrigation water from the disrupted property were utilized to pay for that property. Nowhere in any expropriation case has there been a deviation from the rule that the Government must pay for expropriated property. In the Commissioner of Public Highways case, the Court stressed that it is incumbent upon the legislature to appropriate the necessary amount because it cannot keep the land and dishonor the judgment. This case illustrates the expanded meaning of “public use” in the eminent domain clause. Coscolluela’s land was not taken for the construction of a road, bridge, school, public buildings, or other traditional objects of expropriation. When the National Housing Authority expropriates raw land to convert into housing projects for rent or sale to private persons or the NIA expropriates land to construct irrigation systems and sells water rights to farmers, it would be the height of abuse and ignominy for the agencies to start earning from those properties while ignoring final judgments ordering the payment of just compensation to the former owners. Just compensation means not only the correct determination of the amount to be paid to the owner of the land but also the payment of the land within a reasonable time from its taking. Without prompt payment, compensation cannot be considered “just” for the property owner is made to suffer the consequence of being immediately deprived of his land while being made to wait for a decade or more before actually receiving the amount necessary to cope with his loss. 10. Republic v. Lim, 462 SCRA 265 (2005) FACTS: In 1938, an Action for Expropriation was initiated in the CFI of Cebu involving 2 lots within the Banilad Friar Land Estate for the purpose of establishing a military reservation. Said lots were then under the name of the Denzons. After depositing P9,500 with the PNB, the Republic took possession of the lots. In May 1940, CFI ruled that the Republic should pay the Denzons 4K as just compensation. Judgment was entered in 1948.

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In 1950, Denzon’s heirs filed claims for payment of rentals of the lots with the National Airports Corporation but this remained unheeded. Another heir claimed from the Office of Pres. Garcia who endorsed the same to the Civil Aeronautics Commission. In 1961, however, the claim was denied. In 1961, for failure to pay for the lots, Valdehueza, Denzons’ successors-in-interest, filed an Action for Recovery of Possession with Damages against the Republic and officers of the AFP. Pending the case, the TCTs were placed under Valdehueza’s name with an added annotation that the “National Airport Corporation had priority right to acquire said lots.” In 1962, CFI ruled in favor of Valdehueza and declared them as owners on account of the Republic’s failure to pay the just compensation but still ordered that a Deed of Sale be executed in favor of the Republic due to the annotation. Valdehueza’s MR was denied. On appeal to the SC, the CFI decision was affirmed and ruled that they were not entitled to recover possession but may only demand payment of its FMV. Meanwhile, in 1964, Valdehueza mortgaged one of the lots to Vicente Lim. The latter was able to foreclose on the mortgage in 1976 when Valdehueza was in default. Consequently, a TCT was issued in Lim’s name. In 1992, Lim filed a Complaint for Quieting of Title in the RTC of Cebu against the Republic and officers of the AFP. In 2001, RTC declared Lim as the absolute and exclusive owner of the lot as well as absolute right to possession. Aggrieved, the Republic appealed. However, CA sustained and held that since it failed to pay just compensation, Republic’s claim constitutes a cloud on Lim’s title. Republic elevated it to the SC but their petition was denied. Hence, this second MR. Republic asserts that its title over said lot had already been settled in the Valdehueza case. ISSUE: WHETHER OR NOT THE REPUBLIC HAS RETAINED OWNERSHIP OF THE SUBJECT LOT DESPITE ITS FAILURE TO PAY THE LIM’S PREDECESSORS-IN-INTEREST THE JUST COMPENSATION PURSUANT TO THE JUDGMENT OF THE CFI RENDERED IN 1940. HELD: NO. LIM IS ENTITLED TO RECOVER; 5-YEAR RULE ON PAYMENT OF JUST COMPENSATION One of the basic principles enshrined in our Constitution is that no person shall be deprived of his private property without due process of law; and in expropriation cases, an essential element of due process is that there must be just compensation whenever private property is taken for public use. Accordingly, Section 9, Article III, of our Constitution mandates: “Private property shall not be taken for public use without just compensation.” The Republic disregarded the foregoing provision when it failed and refused to pay Lim’s predecessors-in-interest (Denzons) the just compensation for Lots 932 and 939. The length of time and the manner with which it evaded payment demonstrate its arbitrary high-handedness and confiscatory attitude. The final judgment in the expropriation proceedings was entered on April 5, 1948. More than half of a century has passed, yet, to this day, the landowner, Lim, has remained empty-handed. Undoubtedly, over 50 years of delayed payment cannot, in any way, be viewed as fair. This is more so when such delay is accompanied by bureaucratic hassles. Apparent from Valdehueza is the fact that Lim’s predecessors-in-interest were given a “run around” by the Republic’s officials and agents. In 1950, despite the benefits it derived from the use of the two lots, the National Airports Corporation denied knowledge of the claim of Lim’s predecessors-in-interest. Even President Garcia, who sent a letter to the Civil Aeronautics Administration and the Secretary of National Defense to expedite the payment, failed in granting relief to them. And, on September 6, 1961, while the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces expressed willingness to pay the appraised value of the lots, nothing happened. The CA is correct in saying that Republic’s delay is contrary to the rules of fair play, as “just compensation embraces not only the CORRECT DETERMINATION OF THE AMOUNT TO BE PAID to the owners of the land, but also the PAYMENT FOR THE LAND WITHIN A REASONABLE TIME FROM ITS TAKING. Without prompt payment, compensation cannot be considered ‘just.’ ” In jurisdictions similar to ours, where an entry to the expropriated property precedes the payment of compensation, it has been held that if the compensation is not paid in a reasonable time, the party may be TREATED AS A TRESPASSER ab initio. 103

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As a matter of fair procedure, it is the duty of the Government, whenever it takes property from private persons against their will, to supply all required documentation and facilitate payment of just compensation. The imposition of

unreasonable requirements and vexatious delays before effecting payment is not only galling and arbitrary but a rich source of discontent with government. There should be some kind of swift and effective recourse against unfeeling and uncaring acts of middle or lower level bureaucrats.

While it is true that all private properties are subject to the need of government, and the government may take them whenever the necessity or the exigency of the occasion demands, however, the Constitution guarantees that when this governmental right of expropriation is exercised, it shall be attended by compensation. From the taking of private property by the government under the power of eminent domain, there arises an implied promise to compensate the owner for his loss. Significantly, the above-mentioned provision of Section 9, Article III of the Constitution is not a grant but a limitation of power. This limiting function is in keeping with the philosophy of the Bill of Rights against the arbitrary exercise of governmental powers to the detriment of the individual’s rights. Given this function, the provision should therefore be strictly interpreted against the expropriator, the government, and liberally in favor of the property owner. Clearly, without full payment of just compensation, there can be no transfer of title from the landowner to the expropriator. Otherwise stated, the Republic’s acquisition of ownership is conditioned upon the full payment of just compensation within a reasonable time. STAGES OF EXPROPRIATION Significantly, in Municipality of Biñan v. Garcia this Court ruled that the expropriation of lands consists of 2 stages, to wit: (1) The FIRST is concerned with the determination of the authority of the plaintiff to exercise the power of eminent domain and the propriety of its exercise in the context of the facts involved in the suit. It ends with an order, if not of dismissal of the action, “of condemnation declaring that the plaintiff has a lawful right to take the property sought to be condemned, for the public use or purpose described in the complaint, upon the payment of just compensation to be determined as of the date of the filing of the complaint. (2) The SECOND phase of the eminent domain action is concerned with the determination by the court of the just compensation for the property sought to be taken. This is done by the court with the assistance of not more than three (3) commissioners. It is only upon the completion of these two stages that expropriation is said to have been completed. In Republic v. Salem Investment Corporation, we ruled that, “the process is not completed until payment of just compensation.” Thus, here, the failure of the Republic to pay respondent and his predecessors-in-interest for a period of 57 years rendered the expropriation process incomplete. ENTITLED TO RECOVERY We thus rule that the special circumstances prevailing in this case entitle Lim to recover possession of the expropriated lot from the Republic. Unless this form of swift and effective relief is granted to him, the grave injustice committed against his predecessors-in-interest, though no fault or negligence on their part, will be perpetuated. Let this case, therefore, serve as a wake-up call to the Republic that in the exercise of its power of eminent domain, necessarily in derogation of private rights, it must comply with the Constitutional limitations. This Court, as the guardian of the people’s right, will not stand still in the face of the Republic’s oppressive and confiscatory taking of private property, as in this case.

The issue of whether or not Lim acted in bad faith is immaterial considering that the Republic did not complete the

expropriation process. In short, IT FAILED TO PERFECT ITS TITLE over Lot 932 BY ITS FAILURE TO PAY JUST COMPENSATION. The issue of bad faith would have assumed relevance if the Republic actually acquired title over Lot 932. In such a case, even if Lim’s title was registered first, it would be the Republic’s title or right of ownership that shall be upheld. But now, assuming that Lim was in bad faith, can such fact vest upon the Republic a better title over Lot 932? We believe not. This is because in the first place, the Republic has no title to speak of. 104

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CONCLUSION; 5 YEAR PERIOD FOR RECOVERY In summation, while the PREVAILING DOCTRINE is that “the non-payment of just compensation does not entitle the private landowner to recover possession of the expropriated lots,” however, in cases where the government failed to pay just compensation within five (5) years from the finality of the judgment in the expropriation proceedings , the owners concerned shall have the right to recover possession of their property. This is in consonance with the principle that “the government cannot keep the property and dishonor the judgment. To be sure, the 5-year period limitation will encourage the government to pay just compensation punctually. This is in keeping with justice and equity. After all, it is the duty of the government, whenever it takes property from private persons against their will, to facilitate the payment of just compensation. 11. Vda de Ouano v. Republic, 642 SCRA 384 (2011) FACTS: In 1949, MCIAA’s predecessor (National Airport Corporation) pursued a program to expand the Lahug Airport in Cebu. Through its team of negotiators, NAC met the owners of the properties around the airport. In the course of said negotiations, the negotiating team made verbal assurances that the owners could repurchase their lands should the Lahug Airport expansion project do not push through. Thus, some owners accepted this and executed Deeds of Sale with Right to Repurchase. There were others, however, who refused to sell. Consequently, the Republic filed an Expropriation suit. In 1961, CFI of Cebu ruled in favor of the Republic. On the strength of the assurances, the owners no longer appealed. Thereafter, titles were issued in the Republic’s name. At the end of 1991, Lahug Airport completely ceased its operations. Also, the expropriated lots were never used for the purpose they were taken considering that no expansion was undertaken. Because of this, Ouano, Inocian, and other former owners demanded from the Republic that they be allowed to exercise their promised right to repurchase. When the demands were ignored, actions were filed. In 1996 and 1997, Inocian and Ouano separately filed in the RTC of Cebu Complaints for Reconveyance of real properties against MCIAA. During trial, they presented evidence showing that the Republic made assurances that the former owners could repurchase their lands when the purpose for which their lands were taken have ceased. RTC and CA ruled in favor of Inocian. Aggrieved, MCIAA filed a Petition for Review on Certiorari with the SC. On the other hand, RTC ruled for Ouano but was reversed on MR. On appeal, CA dismissed. Hence, this Petition. ISSUE: WHETHER OR NOT THE FORMER OWNERS OF THE EXPROPRIATED PROPERTY ARE ENTITLED TO RECOVER THE SAME AFTER THE PURPOSE FOR WHICH SAID PROPERTIES WERE TAKEN HAVE CEASED. HELD: YES, PROVIDED THAT THE FORMER OWNERS RETURN WHAT THEY WERE PAID AS JUST COMPENSATION. Analyzing the situation of the cases at bar, there can be no serious objection to the proposition that the agreement package between the government and the private lot owners was already partially performed by the government through the acquisition of the lots for the expansion of the Lahug airport. The parties, however, failed to accomplish the more important condition in the CFI decision decreeing the expropriation of the lots litigated upon: the expansion of the Lahug Airport. The project — the public purpose behind the forced property taking — was, in fact, never pursued and, as a consequence, the lots expropriated were abandoned. In a bid to deny the lot owners the right to repurchase, MCIAA, citing cases, points to the dispositive part of the decision in Civil Case R-1881 which, as couched, granted the Republic absolute title to the parcels of land declared expropriated. The MCIAA is correct about the unconditional tone of the dispositive portion of the decision, but that actuality would not carry the day for the agency. Addressing the matter of the otherwise absolute tenor of the CFI’s disposition in Civil Case No. R1881, the Court, in Heirs of Moreno, after taking stock of the ensuing portion of the body of the CFI’s decision, said: As for the public purpose of the expropriation proceeding, it cannot now be doubted. Although Mactan Airport is being constructed, it does not take away the actual usefulness and importance of the Lahug Airport: it is handling the air traffic of both civilian and military. From it aircrafts fly to Mindanao and Visayas and 105

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pass thru it on their flights to the North and Manila. Then, no evidence was adduced to show how soon is the Mactan Airport to be placed in operation and whether the Lahug Airport will be closed immediately thereafter. It is up to the other departments of the Government to determine said matters. The Court cannot substitute its judgments for those of the said departments or agencies. In the absence of such showing, the court will presume that the Lahug Airport will continue to be in operation. MCIAA cannot really rightfully say that it has absolute title to the lots decreed expropriated in Civil Case No. R-1881. The correct lesson of Fery is captured by what the Court said in that case, thus: “the government acquires only such rights in expropriated parcels of land as may be allowed by the character of its title over the properties.” In light of our disposition in Heirs of Moreno and Tudtud, the statement immediately adverted to means that in the event the particular public use for which a parcel of land is expropriated is abandoned, the owner shall not be entitled to recover or repurchase it as a matter of right, unless such recovery or repurchase is expressed in or irresistibly deducible from the condemnation judgment. But as has been determined below, the decision in Civil Case No. R-1881 enjoined MCIAA, as a condition of approving expropriation, to allow recovery or repurchase upon abandonment of the Lahug airport project. To borrow from our underlying decision in Heirs of Moreno, “[n]o doubt, the return or repurchase of the condemned properties of petitioners could readily be justified as the manifest legal effect of consequence of the trial court’s underlying presumption that ‘Lahug Airport will continue to be in operation’ when it granted the complaint for eminent domain and the airport discontinued its activities.” In the case at bench, the Ouanos and the Inocians parted with their respective lots in favor of the MCIAA, the latter obliging itself to use the realties for the expansion of Lahug Airport ; failing to keep its end of the bargain, MCIAA can be compelled by the former landowners to reconvey the parcels of land to them, otherwise, they would be denied

the use of their properties upon a state of affairs that was not conceived nor contemplated when the expropriation was authorized. In effect, the government merely held the properties condemned in trust until the proposed public use or purpose for which the lots were condemned was actually consummated by the government. Since the government failed to perform the obligation that is the basis of the transfer of the property, then the lot owners Ouanos and Inocians can demand the reconveyance of their old properties after the payment of the condemnation price. Constructive trusts are fictions of equity that courts use as devices to remedy any situation in which the holder of the legal title, MCIAA in this case, may not, in good conscience, retain the beneficial interest. We add, however, as in Heirs of Moreno, that the party seeking the aid of equity — the landowners in this instance, in establishing the trust — must himself do equity in a manner as the court may deem just and reasonable. In esse, expropriation is forced private property taking, the landowner being really without a ghost of a chance to defeat the case of the expropriating agency. In other words, in expropriation, the private owner is deprived of property against his will. Withal, the mandatory requirement of due process ought to be strictly followed, such that the state must show, at the minimum, a genuine need, an exacting public purpose to take private property, the purpose to be specifically alleged or least reasonably deducible from the complaint. Public use, as an eminent domain concept, has now acquired an expansive meaning to include any use that is of “usefulness, utility, or advantage, or what is productive of general benefit [of the public].” If the genuine public necessity — the very reason or condition as it were — allowing, at the first instance, the expropriation of a private land ceases or disappears, then there is no more cogent point for the government’s retention of the expropriated land. The same legal situation should hold if the government devotes the property to another public use very much different from the original or deviates from the declared purpose to benefit another private person. It has been said that the direct use by the state of its power to oblige landowners to renounce their productive possession to another citizen, who will use it predominantly for that citizen’s own private gain, is offensive to our laws. A condemnor should commit to use the property pursuant to the purpose stated in the petition for expropriation, failing which it should file another petition for the new purpose. If not, then it behooves the condemnor to return the said property to its private owner, if the latter so desires. 106

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The government cannot plausibly keep the property it expropriated in any manner it pleases and, in the process, dishonor the judgment of expropriation. This is not in keeping with the idea of fair play. The notion, therefore, that the government, via expropriation proceedings, acquires unrestricted ownership over or a fee simple title to the covered land, is no longer tenable. There is really no occasion to apply the “fee simple concept” if the transfer is conditional. The taking of a private land in expropriation proceedings is always conditioned on its continued devotion to its public purpose. As a necessary corollary, once the purpose is terminated or peremptorily abandoned, then the former owner, if he so desires, may seek its reversion, subject of course to the return, at the very least, of the just compensation received. Given the foregoing disquisitions, equity and justice demand the reconveyance by MCIAA of the litigated lands in question to the Ouanos and Inocians. In the same token, justice and fair play also dictate that the Ouanos and

Inocian return to MCIAA what they received as just compensation for the expropriation of their respective properties plus legal interest to be computed from default, which in this case should run from the time MCIAA complies

with the reconveyance obligation. They must likewise pay MCIAA the necessary expenses it might have incurred in sustaining their respective lots and the monetary value of its services in managing the lots in question to the extent that they, as private owners, were benefited thereby. VII.

RULE 68: FORECLOSURE

CLASS NOTES: - Foreclosure trough an action - Basically a action for collection - Complaint Pretrial  Trial o There’s an obligation o How much? o Order defendant to pay o 90-120 days to pay judgment (equity of redemption) o If defendant does not pay, judgment is executed upon  Auction sale  Confirmation  Registration  Isssuance of new TCT 1. Seno v. Pestolante, 103 Phil. 414 (1958) FACTS: Fausto Pestolante secured his obligation with Florencio Seno by executing a chattel mortgage covering personal properties amounting to P2,500. Said chattel mortgage was executed in Oroquieta, Misamis Oriental. Pestolante had made payments already but there was still a balance of P600. Thus, Seno brought before the CFI of Cebu an Action to Recover Sum of Money amounting to P600 and, in default thereof, to order the foreclosure of the chattel mortgage executed by Pestolante covering personal properties valued at P2,500. Telesforo Barimbao was also impleaded because he is currently in possession of said properties and refused to surrender the same to Seno. In his Answer, Barimbao alleged that he refused to surrender possession because he purchased it from Pestolante pursuant to a notatized Deed of Sale. As for Pestolante, he filed a Motion to Dismiss on the ground that the CFI had no jurisdiction over the case considering that the action is only for recovery of P600 balance — an amount cognizable by the Justice of the Peace. As a result, the CFI dismissed the complaint on the ground that it was Justice of the Peace of Oroquieta who had jurisdiction. Hence, this appeal. ISSUE: WHETHER OR NOT THE CFI OF CEBU HAD JURISDICTION OVER THE COMPLAINT FILED BY SENO. 107

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HELD: YES. While it is true that the purpose of the action is to recover the sum of P600 , plus interest, which comes within the original jurisdiction of the justice of the peace court, it is as well true that the action involves the foreclosure of the chattel mortgage executed by Fausto Pestolante to secure the payment of his obligation, which mortgage covers personal properties valued at more than P2,000. Speaking of foreclosure of a chattel mortgage, former Chief Justice Moran says: “Of course a chattel mortgage may be foreclosed judicially, following substantially the same procedure provided in this Rule . When the mortgagor refuses to surrender possession of the mortgaged chattel an action of judicial foreclosure necessarily arises, or one of replevin to secure possession as a preliminary step to the sale contemplated in Section 14 of Act No. 1508.” And in a similar case, this Court said: “Where the debtor refuses to yield up the property , the creditor must institute an action, either to effect a judicial foreclosure directly, or to secure possession as a preliminary to the sale above quoted.” Seno had to institute the present action because, as alleged in the complaint, one Telesforo Barimbao has refused to surrender the possession of the mortgaged chattel because he claims to have bought it from the mortgagor free from encumbrance by virtue of a document executed before a notary public. And the action has to be instituted before the CFI because the chattel is worth more than P2,000 . CLASS NOTES: - You can file judicial foreclosure in chattel mortgage. - Also, you can secure a writ of replevin to recover personal property - Petition/Complaint  Trial  Judgment  90-120 days Equity of Redemption  Either foreclose on property OR property is redeemed upon payment 2. Limpin v. IAC, 166 SCRA 87 (1988) FACTS: Spouses Aquino owned 4 lots covered by TCTs. In 1973, said lots were mortgaged to Ponce. In 1978, while the mortgage was subsisting, the Aquino sold the lots to Butuan Bay Wood Export Corporation. In 1979, Limpin obtained a favorable judgment against Butuan Bay for the payment of sum of money. To satisfy said judgment, 2 of the lots were levied upon and sold at public auction in 1980 to Limpin, the highest bidder. Thereafter, Limpin sold the 2 lots to Sarmiento. Prior to aforementioned levy, Ponce, as mortgagee, initiated judicial foreclosure proceedings over the original 4 lots. Judgment was rendered in his favor and had become final. At the foreclosure sale, Ponce was able to acquire said lots as the highest bidder. Thereafter, Ponce moved for the confirmation of the foreclosure sale of the 4 lots. However, the court only confirmed 2 lots because the other 2 had already been executed by Limpin. As a result, Ponce filed a Petition for Certiorari in the IAC against Limpin and Sarmiento. In 1985, IAC ruled in Ponce’s favor and ordered the RTC to confirm the sale and issue a writ of possession in favor of Ponce, subject to the equity of redemption of Sarmiento. On appeal, SC denied in 1987. On March 1988 or 9 months after the entry of judgment recognizing his equity of redemption, Sarmiento attempted to exercise this right and asked the RTC to fix the redemption price according to the agreement of Ponce and Sarmiento. Sarmiento offered to redeem at 2.6M but Ponce rejected the offer claiming that the period to redeem had already lapsed. Hence, this petition. ISSUE: WHETHER OR NOT SARMIENTO CAN STILL INVOKE EQUITY OF REDEMPTION TO REDEEM SAID PROPERTIES. HELD: NO. The equity of redemption is, to be sure, different from and should not be confused with the right of redemption. The RIGHT OF REDEMPTION in relation to a mortgage — understood in the sense of a prerogative to re-acquire mortgaged property after registration of the foreclosure sale — exists only in the case of the extrajudicial foreclosure 108

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of the mortgage. No such right is recognized in a judicial foreclosure except only where the mortgagee is the Philippine National Bank or a bank or banking institution. Where a mortgage is FORECLOSED EXTRAJUDICIALLY, Act 3135 grants to the mortgagor the right of redemption within one (1) year from the registration of the sheriffs certificate of foreclosure sale . Where the FORECLOSURE IS JUDICIALLY EFFECTED, however, no equivalent right of redemption exists. The law declares that a judicial foreclosure sale, “ when confirmed by an order of the court, shall operate to divest the rights of all the parties to the action and to vest their rights in the purchaser, subject to such rights of redemption as may he allowed by law.” Such rights exceptionally “allowed by law” (i.e., even after confirmation by an order of the court) are those granted by the charter of the Philippine National Bank (Acts No. 2747 and 2938), and the General Banking Act (R.A. 337). These laws confer on the mortgagor, his successors in interest or any judgment creditor of the mortgagor, the right to redeem the property sold on foreclosure — after confirmation by the court of the foreclosure sale —which right may be exercised within a period of one (1) year, counted from the date of registration of the certificate of sale in the Registry of Property. But, to repeat, no such right of redemption exists in case of judicial foreclosure of a mortgage if the mortgagee is not the PNB or a bank or banking institution. In such a case, the foreclosure sale, “when confirmed by an order of the court, x x shall operate to divest the rights of all the parties to the action and to vest their rights in the purchaser.” There then exists only what is known as the EQUITY OF REDEMPTION. This is simply the right of the defendant mortgagor to extinguish the mortgage and retain ownership of the property by paying the secured debt within the 90-day period after the judgment becomes final, in accordance with Rule 68, or even after the foreclosure sale but prior to its confirmation. This is the mortgagor’s equity (not right) of redemption which, as above stated, may be exercised by him even beyond the 90-day period “from the date of service of the order,” and even after the foreclosure sale itself, provided it be before the order of confirmation of the sale. After such order of confirmation, no redemption can be effected any longer. It is this same equity of redemption that is conferred by law on the mortgagor’s successors-in-interest, or third persons acquiring rights over the mortgaged property subsequent, and therefore subordinate, to the mortgagee’s lien. If these subsequent or junior lien-holders be not joined in the foreclosure action, the judgment in the mortgagor’s favor is ineffective as to them, of course. In that case, they retain what is known as the “ unforeclosed equity of redemption,” and a separate foreclosure proceeding should be brought to require them to redeem from the first mortgagee, or the party acquiring title to the mortgaged property at the foreclosure sale, within 90 days, under penalty of losing that prerogative to redeem. In the case at bar, however, there is no occasion to speak of any “unforeclosed equity of redemption” in Sarmiento’s favor since he was properly impleaded in the judicial proceeding where his and Ponce’s rights over the mortgaged property were ventilated and specifically adjudicated. Under the circumstances obtaining in this case, the plain intendment of the IAC was to give to Sarmiento, not the unforeclosed equity of redemption pertaining to a stranger to the foreclosure suit , but the same equity of redemption possessed by the mortgagor himself. The judgment cannot be construed as contemplating or requiring the institution of a separate suit by Ponce to compel Sarmiento to exercise his unforeclosed equity of redemption, or as granting Sarmiento the option to redeem at any time that he pleases, subject only to prescription. This would give rise to that multiplicity of proceedings which the law eschews. The judgment plainly intended that Sarmiento exercise his option to redeem, as successor of the mortgagor. Upon the facts on record, Sarmiento cannot be heard to complain of denial of due process for alleged lack of notice of any motion or hearing for confirmation of sale. The Decision of the IAC which he and his predecessor, Limpin, had appealed to this Court specifically ordered the Trial Court to confirm the judicial foreclosure sale in favor of Ponce over the two lots. 109

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Given the fact that said appealed orders of the Trial Court had been issued upon motion for confirmation earlier made by Ponce —which was duly served and heard — the aforecited Decision of the IAC can be construed in nowise than as a peremptory command to the Trial Court to confirm the sale as directed, motu proprio, and without the need of any further motion or other action on the part of Ponce. CLASS NOTES: - Stuff about junior encumbrancers and equity of redemption 3. Quimson v. PNB, 36 SCRA 26 (1970) FACTS: Francisco Quimson mortgaged a parcel of land in San Juan with PNB for P2,500. When Quimson failed to pay the mortgage loans, PNB filed judicial foreclosure proceedings in the CFI. Later on, a Writ of Execution was issued directing the CFI to sell the property at public auction. As a result thereof, the property was sold to PNB as the highest bidder. In January 10, 1957, the certificate of sale was issued in favor of PNB which was given judicial confirmation on September 27, 1957. In 1959, PNB sold the property to one Ricardo Mendoza and informed Quimson’s heirs of such fact. The certificate of sale and the judicial confirmation was registered with the Register of Deeds only on September 1963. Thereafter, Quimson’s heirs sought to redeem the property from PNB but the latter refused stating that the redemption period counted from the date of judicial confirmation (1957) had already expired. Moreover, the property had already been sold to Mendoza. In its complaint before the CFI, Quimson argues that the period of redemption should be counted from the registration of the certificate and judicial confirmation in 1963. However, CFI dismissed the complaint and ruled that the period of redemption is counted from the time of judicial confirmation. Hence, this appeal. ISSUE: WHETHER OR NOT THE 1-YEAR REDEMPTION PERIOD IN JUDICIAL FORECLOSURES OF MORTGAGES WITH THE PNB SHOULD BE RECKONED FROM THE DATE OF THE REGISTRATION OF THE CERTIFICATE OF SALE AND JUDICIAL CONFIRMATION.

HELD: 1-YEAR REDEMPTION PERIOD IS COUNTED FROM THE REGISTRATION. Section 32 of Act 2938 (now Section 20 of Republic Act 1300), the PNB’s charter, provides: SEC. 20. Right of Redemption of property foreclosed. — The mortgagor shall have the right, within the year after the sale of real estate as a result of the foreclosure of a mortgage , to redeem the property by paying the amount fixed by the court in the order of execution, with interest thereon at the rate specified in the mortgage, and all the costs and other judicial expenses incurred by the bank by reason of the execution and for the custody of said property. This is practically the same language as that of Section 6 of Act 3135 governing redemption in extrajudicial foreclosures and Section 30 of Rule 39 governing redemption from sales on execution of ordinary judgments. Nothing said in the Gonzales case relied upon by Mendoza precludes the desirability and propriety of having a uniform procedure to govern matters or transactions of the same nature or in pari materia. It is to be noted that nowhere in the Gonzales case does it appear that what was involved therein was registered land. Of course, it is understandable that with regard to unregistered land, the most natural date from which the period of redemption should be computed should be that of the judicial confirmation of the sale as it is only then that, in the language of Section 3 of Rule 68, the sale "operates to divest the rights of all the parties to the action and to vest their rights in the purchaser." Withal, the qualification contained in the same Section 3 of Rule 68 to the effect that the vesting of the rights of all the parties to the foreclosure in the purchaser is "subject to such rights of redemption as may be authorized by law" verily implies that the applicable rules of redemption, particularly as to the period thereof, must be premised on the character of finality imparted by the judicial confirmation upon the sale but it need not be computed from the date thereof but, rather, according to what the particular applicable law providing for the right of redemption may ordain or specify. 110

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It is thus clear that it is preferable that even in foreclosure of mortgage of registered real property by the Philippine National Bank by virtue of its charter, the period of redemption should start from the registration of the deed of sale conducted by the sheriff and not from the date of confirmation thereof, and We so hold. When it comes to the period of redemption of registered real estate sold on execution, whether in foreclosure proceedings or in ordinary cases, actual notice of the sale by the judgment debtor or redemptioner is immaterial, the period must always be computed from the date of registration of the corresponding auction sale . Accordingly, We hold that Quimson’s first assignment of error is well taken and, therefore, Quimson’s period of redemption should be computed from September 19, 1963. 4. Ramos v. Manalac and Lopez, 89 Phil. 270 (1951) FACTS: The Ramos siblings authorized their brother Eladio Ramos to encumber, mortgage, and transfer in favor of any person a parcel of land in Pangasinan. Pursuant thereto, Eladio executed in favor of Rivera a mortgage over said property to guarantee payment of a P300 loan. However, when Eladio failed to pay at maturity, Rivera filed an action for judicial foreclosure against the Ramos siblings. In 1939, the CFI ordered Eladio to pay his obligation and ordered the foreclosure upon the latter’s failure to pay the judgment within 90 days from the finality of the decision. Since he was not able to pay, the CFI directed the sale at public auction of said properties. Rivera purchased it, being the highest bidder. As a matter of course, a Deed of Sale was issued in his favor and was later confirmed by the CFI in 1941. In 1947, Rivera sold the property to Felipa Lopez who later moved that she be placed in possession thereof. As a result, the CFI granted the motion but the Ramos siblings did not heed the order and contended that the writ of possession partook of the nature of an execution which was issued more than 5 years from the finality of the judgment (1939). Nonetheless, CFI insisted that Lopez be put in possession of the property and threatened the Ramos siblings with contempt of court. Hence, this petition for certiorari. ISSUE: WHETHER OR NOT THE ISSUANCE OF WRIT OF POSSESSION IN FAVOR OF LOPEZ IS VALID. HELD: YES. The issuance of a writ of possession in a foreclosure proceedings is not an execution of judgment within the purview of section 6, Rule 39, of the Rules of Court, but is merely a ministerial and complementary duty of the court to put an end to the litigation which the court can undertake even after the lapse of five (5) years , provided the statute of limitations and the rights of third persons have not intervened in the meantime. This is the correct interpretation of section 6, Rule 39, in relation to section 3, Rule 70 of the Rules of Court. This is a case where the judgment involved is already final and executed, and the properties mortgaged sold by order of the court, and the purchaser thereof has transferred them to a third person, who now desires to be placed in their possession. In the exercise of its interlocutory duty to put an end to the litigation and save multiplicity of action, no plausible reason is seen why the court cannot issue a peremptory order to place the ultimate purchaser in the possession of the property. The general rule is that after a sale has been made under a decree in a foreclosure suit, the court has the power to give possession to the purchaser, and the latter will not be driven to an action at law to obtain possession. The power of the court to issue a process and place the purchaser in possession, is said to rest upon the ground that it has power to enforce its own decrees and thus avoid circuitous action and vexatious litigation. It has also been held: 111

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In a foreclosure suit, where no third person not a party thereto intervenes and the debtor continues in possession of the real property mortgaged, a writ of possession is a necessary remedy to put an end to the litigation, inasmuch as section 257 of the Code of Civil Procedure (now section 3, Rule 70 of the Rules of Court) provides that the confirmation of the sale by judicial decree operates to divest all the parties to the action of their respective rights and vests them in the purchaser. According to this legal provision, it is the

duty of the competent court to issue a writ so that the purchaser may be placed in the possession of the property which he purchased at the public auction sale and become his by virtue of the final decree confirming the sale.

5. Grimalt v. Velasquez, 36 Phil. 936 (1917) FACTS: Andres Grimault filed an action before the CFI of Manila to foreclose a mortgage executed and delivered by Velazquez upon a parcel of land. After trial, the CFI ordered the foreclosure of the mortgage provided that Velazquez is given the opportunity to deposit the amount due within a designated time. However, when Velazquez failed to make a deposit, an execution was issued ordering the sale of the properties. During the auction sale, a certain Dominguez emerged as the highest bidder. However, because of his failure to pay the bid price, the property was again sold. This time, Sy Quio was the purchaser. As a result, on January 4, 1916, Sy Quio moved that the sale should be confirmed. The next day, CFI granted the motion and confirmed the sale. Aggrieved, on January 7, 1916, Velazquez filed a motion praying that the order confirming the sale be annulled and set aside on the ground that no notice of said Sy Quio’s motion was given to him. He further claimed that he had deposited with the sheriff the full amount due on January 6, 1916. Consequently, CFI declared that Velazquez was not notified and thus annulled the confirmation of the sale. Hence, this appeal. ISSUE: WHETHER OR NOT, IN PROCEEDINGS FOR FORECLOSURE OF A MORTGAGE, THE DEBTOR MUST BE GIVEN NOTICE OF A MOTION MADE TO HAVE THE SALE OF THE MORTGAGED PROPERTIES CONFIRMED. HELD: IT IS REQUIRED. IN THIS CASE, HOWEVER, SY QUIO ALREADY PAID THE FULL AMOUNT BEFORE THE CONFIRMATION WAS MADE. THUS, NO NEED TO ORDER THE RE-SALE OF THE PROPERTIES. The question of the necessity of giving the defendant notice of a motion to confirm the sale of premises under foreclosure proceedings has heretofore been discussed by this court. Section 257 of Act No. 190 provides that the title to premises sold under foreclosure proceedings does not pass until the sale of the same has been confirmed by the court. In the case of Raymundo vs. Sunico, we held that, in order that a foreclosure sale may be validly confirmed by the court, it is necessary that a hearing be given the interested parties at which they may have an opportunity to show cause why the sale should not be confirmed; that a failure to give notice is good cause for setting aside the sale. In the present case, however, in view of the fact that Sy Quio had, before the sale was finally confirmed, deposited with the sheriff the full amount of the judgment, with interest and costs, there is no occasion for ordering a resale of the premises. 6. Sy v. CA, 172 SCRA 125 (1989) FACTS: Coquinco mortgaged a parcel of land in San Juan in favor of State Investment House Inc (SIHI) as a security for the payment of a 1M loan. For failure to pay, the property was extrajudicially foreclosed by SIHI. At auction, SIHI was able to purchase the property for only 760K. The certificate of sale was registered with the Register of Deeds on February 28, 1983. Later, SIHI filed an Action for Collection of a Sum of Money in the RTC against Coquinco for the remaining balance. Meanwhile, Coquinco executed a Deed of Assignment over the right of redemption in favor of Sy. Before the expiration of the redemption period, Sy offered to redeem the foreclosed property by tendering 2 manager’s checks totalling 851K. However, SIHI rejected the offer. Thus, Sy filed an Action for Consignation to compel SIHI to accept the redemption price. 112

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A day before the expiration of the redemption period (Feb 27, 1984), Sy decided to redeem the property directly from the sheriff who accepted the amount of the redemption price. SIHI moved to dismiss the action on the ground of lack of cause of action because the amount consigned was insufficient pursuant to Sec. 78 of the General Banking Law. As such, the action was dismissed and SIHI was able to consolidate ownership. Consequently, Sy again filed an Action for Annulment and Cancellation of Title against SIHI. Pending this, SIHI sold the property to the Lim spouses. However, RTC dismissed the case for failure to effect a valid redemption. MR denied. On appeal, CA denied. Hence, this petition. Sy contends that a valid redemption was made when he tendered and paid 851K (purchase price) plus interest computed at 1% per month for 12 months. ISSUE: WHETHER SEC 78 OF THE GENERAL BANKING ACT OR ACT 3135 IN RELATION TO SEC 30 RULE 39 IS APPLICABLE IN DETERMINING THE REDEMPTION PRICE. HELD: GENERAL BANKING ACT APPLIES TO CREDIT INSTITUTIONS LIKE SIHI Sy insists that the present case is governed by Act No. 3135, as amended, in relation to Section 30, Rule 39 of the Revised Rules of Court which provides in part: SEC. 30. Time and manner of, and amounts payable on, successive redemptions. Notice to be given and filed. — The judgment debtor, or redemptioner, may redeem the property from the purchaser, at any time within twelve months after the sale on paying the purchaser the amount of his purchase , with one percentum per month interest thereon in addition, up to the time of redemption, together with the amount of

any assessments or taxes which the purchaser may have paid thereon after purchase, and interest on such last-named amount at the same rate[.]

On the other hand, CA, citing the case of Ponce de Leon v. Rehabilitation Finance Corporation [G.R. No. L-24571, December 18, 1970, 36 SCRA 289], applied Section 78 of the General Banking Act, as amended by P.D. No. 1828, and consequently held that no valid redemption was effected by petitioner because the amount tendered to SIHI and thereafter paid to the sheriff was insufficient, it being less than the amount due under the real estate mortgage contract of Carlos Coquinco, or the latter’s outstanding balance, with interest as specified in the mortgage contract plus expenses incurred by SIHI by reason of the foreclosure and sale of the subject property. The Court finds that the CA committed no reversible error, having acted in accordance with the law and jurisprudence. Section 78 of the General Banking Act, as amended by P.D. No. 1828, states that: In the event of foreclosure, whether judicially or extrajudicially, of any mortgage on real estate which is security for any loan granted before the passage of this Act or under the provisions of this Act, the mortgagor or debtor whose real property has been sold at public auction, judicially or extrajudicially, for the full or partial payment of an obligation to any bank, banking or credit institution, within the purview of this Act shall have the right, within one year after the sale of the real estate as a result of the foreclosure of the respective mortgage, to redeem the property by paying the amount fixed by the court in the order of execution, or the amount due under the mortgage deed, as the case may be, with interest thereon at the rate specified in the mortgage and all the costs, and judicial and other expenses incurred by the bank or

institution concerned by reason of the execution and sale and as a result of the custody of said property less the income received from the property .

It must be emphasized that the above section is applicable not only to “banks and banking institutions,” but also to “credit institutions.” And, as certified by the Central Bank, SIHI is a credit institution, i.e. financial intermediary engaged in quasi-banking functions, within the purview of Section 78, it being an entity authorized to engage in the lending of funds or purchasing of receivables or other obligations with funds obtained from the public as provided in the General Banking Act under Section 2-A (a); and, to lend, invest or place funds deposited with them, acquired by them or otherwise coursed through them, either for their own account or for the account of others under Section 2-D(c). 113

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Moreover, Sy by virtue of the deed of assignment of Carlos Coquinco’s right of redemption must be deemed subrogated to the rights and obligations of his assignor, and bound by exactly the same conditions, relative to the redemption of the subject property that bound the latter as debtor and mortgagor. Had Carlos Coquinco attempted to redeem the subject foreclosed property, he would have had to pay “the amount due under the mortgage deed with interest thereon at the rate specified in the mortgage and all costs and other expenses incurred by reason of the execution [or foreclosure] and sale and as a result of the custody of said property less the income received from the property” pursuant to Section 78 of the General Banking Act in order to effect a valid redemption. Since Sy merely stepped into the shoes of Carlos Coquinco, his assignor, he should have tendered and paid the same amount in order to redeem the property. Contrary to Sy’s claim, the Court’s decision in Ponce de Leon v. Rehabilitation Finance Corporation, supra, is applicable. In that case, the Court had occasion to state that the General Banking Act partakes of the nature of an amendment to Act No. 3135 insofar as the redemption price is concerned, when the mortgagee is a bank or banking or credit institution, Section 6 of Act No. 3135 being, in this respect, inconsistent with Section 78 of the General Banking Act. Although the foreclosure and sale of the subject property was done by SIHI pursuant to Act No. 3135, as amended (whereby entities like SIHI are authorized to extrajudicially foreclose and sell mortgaged properties only under a special power inserted in or annexed to the real estate mortgage contract, and interested parties, like Sy herein, are given one year from the date of sale within which to redeem the foreclosed properties), Section 78 of the General Banking Act, as amended, provides the amount at which the subject property is redeemable from SIHI, which is, in this case, the amount due under the mortgage deed, or the outstanding obligation of Carlos Coquinco, plus interest and expenses. Thus, inasmuch as Sy failed to tender and pay the required amount for the redemption of the subject property pursuant to Section 78 of the General Banking Act, as amended, no valid redemption was effected by him . Consequently, there was no legal obstacle to the consolidation of title by SIHI. CLASS NOTES: - Price of redemption is the price of the debt 7. Tolentino v. CA, 106 SCRA 513 (1981) FACTS: Dela Cruz owned a parcel of homestead land which was sold to Tolentino in 1962. Thereafter, Tolentino constituted a first mortgage over said land in favor of BPI for a loan of 40K. Another mortgage over the same was executed in favor of Philippine Banking Corporation. For failure to pay the loans to BPI upon maturity, BPI judicially foreclosed on the property and was able to purchase the same at auction. The certificate of sale was registered on April 1969. Meanwhile, in 1967, Dela Cruz filed an Action for Repurchase of the homestead land pursuant to CA 141 against Tolentino, BPI and PBC. The CFI allowed Dela Cruz to repurchase the homestead land. As such, they paid 16K to BPI representing the repurchase price. Thereafter, BPI issued a Deed of Conveyance. CFI also issued a writ of possession in favor of Dela Cruz. In the meantime, Tolentino offered to redeem the homestead property for 16K through a letter delivered to the Branch Manager of BPI (Lopez). Lopez sent the letter to BPI’s counsel with a request to inform Tolentino that they can still redeem before the expiration of the redemption period upon payment of 75K — the balance remaining after deducting 16K paid by Dela Cruz. However, Tolentino consigned with the sheriff a check for 91K to redeem the land. Simultaneously, Tolentino filed a Complaint for Redemption against BPI to redeem the property they mortgaged claiming that BPI was in bad faith when it refused to allow them to redeem their properties. CFI dismissed the complaint. On appeal, CA dismissed stating that the tender of payment was invalid pursuant to Art 1249 of the Civil Code because the crossed check is not legal tender. MR denied. Hence, this petition. ISSUE: WHETHER OR NOT THE TENDER OF PAYMENT WAS VALID. HELD: YES. It is worthwhile to remember that Article 1249 of the new Civil Code deals with a mode of extinction of an obligation and expressly provides for the medium in the “PAYMENT OF DEBTS.” Thus, it provides that: 114

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The payment of debts in money shall be made in the currency stipulated, and if it is not possible to deliver such currency, then in the currency which is legal tender in the Philippines. The delivery of promissory notes payable to order, or bills of exchange or other mercantile documents shall produce the effect of payment only when they have been cashed, or when through the fault of the creditor they have been impaired. In the meantime, the action derived from the original obligation shall be held in abeyance. We are of the considered view that the aforequoted Article should not be applied in the instant case, hereinafter explained, together with the exposition on the resolution of the second issue raised in this petition, the first two issues raised hinging ultimately on whether the Tolentinos may redeem the properties in suit. To start with, the Tolentinos are not indebted to BPI their mortgage indebtedness having been extinguished with the foreclosure and sale of the mortgaged properties. After said foreclosure and sale, what remains is the right vested by law in favor of the Tolentinos to redeem the properties within the prescribed period . This right of redemption is an absolute privilege, the exercise of which is entirely dependent upon the will and discretion of the redemptioners. There is, thus, no legal obligation to exercise the right of redemption. Said right, can in no sense, be considered an obligation, for the Tolentinos are under no compulsion to exercise the same. Should they choose not to exercise it, nobody can compel them to do so nor will such choice give rise to a cause of action in favor of the purchaser at the auction sale. In fact, the relationship between said purchaser and the redemptioners is not even that of creditor and debtor. On the other hand, if the redemptioners choose to exercise their right of redemption, it is the policy of the law to aid rather than to defeat the right of redemption. It stands to reason therefore, that redemptions should be looked upon with favor and where no injury is to follow, a liberal construction will be given to our redemption laws as well as to the exercise of the right of redemption. In the instant case, the ends of justice would be better served by affording the Tolentinos the opportunity to redeem the properties in question other than the homestead land, in line with the policy aforesaid, to which We adhere fully notwithstanding the reason advanced by the CA in its Resolution, denying a reconsideration of its decision, which reads: We agree that the act of redeeming of a property mortgaged is not an obligation but a privilege, in the sense that the mortgagor may or may not redeem his property . That of course is a privilege. He may choose to give up the property and have the mortgage foreclosed, or redeem the property with the obligation of course to pay the loan or indebtedness. But where he elects to redeem the property and he has to pay the loan for which the mortgage was constituted, then Art. 1249 of the Civil Code applies because it involves now the 'payment of debts.' It is only the act of redeeming or not that is considered a privilege, but not the act of paying the obligation once the mortgagor has elected to redeem the property, in which case the check issued or drawn shall produce the effect of payment only when it has been cashed. Under existing jurisprudence, what the redemptioner should pay, is not the amount of the “loan for which the mortgage was constituted” as stated by the CA, but the auction purchase price plus 1% interest per month on the said amount up to the time of redemption, together with the taxes or assessment paid by the purchaser after the purchase , if any. And in this connection, a formal offer to redeem, accompanied by a bona fide tender of the redemption price, although proper, is not essential where, as in the instant case, the right to redeem is exercised thru the filing of judicial action , which as noted earlier was made simultaneously with the deposit of the redemption price with the Sheriff, within the period of redemption. The formal offer to redeem, accompanied by a bona fide tender of the redemption price within the 115

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period of redemption prescribed by law, is only essential to preserve the right of redemption for future enforcement even beyond such period of redemption. The filing of the action itself, within the period of redemption, is equivalent to a formal offer to redeem. Should the court allow redemption, the redemptioners should then pay the amount already adverted to. Moreover, when the action to redeem was filed, a simultaneous deposit of the redemption money was tendered to the Sheriff and under the last sentence of Section 31, Rule 39 of the Rules of Court, it is expressly provided that the tender of the redemption money may be made to the Sheriff who made the sale. And the redemption is not rendered in valid by

the fact that the said officer accepted a check for the amount necessary to make the redemption instead of requiring payment in money. It goes without saying that if he had seen fit to do so, the officer could have required payment to be made in lawful money, and he undoubtedly, in accepting a check, placed himself in a position where he could be liable to the purchaser at the public auction if any damage had been suffered by the latter as a result of the medium in which payment was made. But this cannot affect the validity of the payment. The check as a medium of payment in commercial transactions is too firmly established by usage to permit of any doubt upon this point at the present day . No importance may thus be attached to the circumstance that a stop-payment order was issued against said check the day following the deposit, for the same will not militate against the right of the Tolentinos to redeem, in the same manner that a withdrawal of the redemption money being deposited cannot be deemed to have forfeited the right to redeem, such redemption being optional and not compulsory. Withal, it is not clearly shown that said stop-payment order was made in bad faith. But while we uphold the right of redemption of the Tolentinos, the same does not apply to the homestead land, for the reason that shall be indicated in the discussion of the third issue. 8. Gravina v. CA, 220 SCRA 178 (1993) FACTS: Gravina owned a parcel of land in Tondo, Manila which they mortgaged in favor of Daily Savings Loan Association (DSLA) as security for a 109K loan. For failing to pay upon maturity, DSLA extrajudicially foreclosed on the mortgage and bought the same at public auction. After the title was consolidated in favor of DSLA, the latter sold the property to Mercantile Financing. Thereafter, Mercantile Financing, in turn, sold the property to Tan, an employee of DSLA. Thereafter, Tan filed an Action for Ejectment against Gravina in the MTC which the MTC granted. On appeal, however, RTC dismissed the case and stated that the proper remedy was an accion reivindicatoria. Consequently, Tan filed an action for recovery in the RTC which ordered Gravina to vacate. On appeal, CA dismissed. Hence, this petition. Gravina asserts the extrajudicial foreclosure is not valid on the ground that it was done without notice to the mortgagors. Moreover, Gravina alleges that the sale to Tan, a personnel of DSLA, is not valid. ISSUE: WHETHER OR NOT THE EXTRAJUDICIAL FORECLOSURE IS VALID. HELD: YES. The finding of the RTC, which was sustained by the Court of Appeals, was that the DSLA did send a letter to Gravina informing them of the foreclosure of the mortgage but they failed to claim the letter. The Court also found that said notice was published in the Evening News, a newspaper of general circulation in the City of Manila. We are bound by those factual findings of the Court of Appeals. Moreover, Section 3 of Act No. 3135 (Mortgage Law) requires only the posting of the notices of sale in 3 public places and the publication of the same in a newspaper of general circulation. Personal notice is not required, to wit: Sec. 3. Notice shall be given by posting notices of the sale for not less than twenty days in at least three public places of the municipality or city where the property is situated, and if such property is worth more 116

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than four hundred pesos, such notice shall also be published once a week for at least three consecutive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation in the municipality or City. In the case of Philippine National Bank vs. International Corporate Bank, the Court likewise ruled that: The contention of private respondent in its opposition that the extrajudicial foreclosure is null and void for failure of the petitioner to inform them of the said foreclosure and the pertinent dates of redemption so that it can exercise its prerogatives under the law is untenable. There being obviously no contractual stipulation therefor, personal notice is not necessary and what governs is the general rule in Section 3 of Act 3135, as amended, which directs the posting of notices of the sale in at least three (3) public places of the municipality where the property is situated, and the publication thereof in a newspaper of general circulation in said municipality. There is no merit in Gravina’s contention that the sale of the foreclosed property to Lucila Edna Tan, an employee of the bank, was invalid. In the first place, the Tans did not buy the property from the mortgagee, DSLA, but from the Mercantile Financing Corporation. Secondly, it is not prohibited for the bank to sell to its employee property acquired by the bank at a mortgage foreclosure sale. The claim of Gravina that there was collusion between DLSA and the Tans was not proven. CLASS NOTES: - Posting and publication in Extrajudicial Foreclosure are indispensible requirements (jurisdictional) 9. Ouano v. CA, 398 SCRA 525 (2003) FACTS: Julieta Ouano obtained a loan from PNB. As a security to said loan, she executed a real estate mortgage over 2 parcels of land in Mandaue City. Upon her default, PNB filed a Petition for Extrajudicial Foreclosure before the Sheriff of Mandaue. A notice of sale was prepared which set the date of the public auction of the parcels of land on Dec 5, 1980 at 9am-4pm. In addition, the notice was published in Cebu Daily Times — a newspaper of general circulation. Furthermore, copies of the notices were posted in public places in Mandaue and where said properties were located. However, the sale did not take place as scheduled because the parties executed an Agreement to Postpone Sale addressed to the sheriff and requested the auction sale to another date. However, at designated date, no sale was conducted on account of the postponement by the parties. This happened 4 more times. In all these postponements, no new notice of sale was issued nor was there any republication or reposting of the notices for the rescheduled dates. Finally, on May 29, 1981, an auction sale was conducted awarding the 2 parcels of land to PNB. As a result, a certificate of sale was issued. Julieta failed to redeem the properties. So, PNB consolidated its title on February 1983. Later, PNB conveyed the properties to Julieta’s brother, Alfredo Ouano. As such, Julieta filed a Complaint for Nullification of the Foreclosure Sale before the RTC of Cebu on the ground of irregularities in the foreclosure sale. RTC ruled in favor of Julieta and held that the lack of republication rendered the foreclosure void. Thus, PNB and Ouano appealed. CA affirmed. Both of them went up the SC. However, PNB’s petition was dismissed for having been filed out of time. Hence, this petition by Ouano. ISSUE: WHETHER OR NOT THE REQUIREMENTS UNDER ACT 3135 (POSTING AND PUBLICATION) WERE COMPLIED WITH IN THE MAY 29, 1981 FORECLOSURE SALE HELD: NO. The governing law for extrajudicial foreclosures is Act No. 3135 as amended by Act No. 4118. The provision relevant to this case is Section 3, which provides: SEC. 3. Notice shall be given by posting notices of the sale for not less than twenty (20) days in at least three public places of the municipality or city where the property is situated, and if such property is 117

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worth more than four hundred pesos, such notice shall also be published once a week for at least three consecutive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation in the municipality of city. It is a well-settled rule that statutory provisions governing publication of notice of mortgage foreclosure sales must be strictly complied with, and that even slight deviations therefrom will invalidate the notice and render the sale at least voidable. In a number of cases, we have consistently held that failure to advertise a mortgage foreclosure sale in compliance with statutory requirements constitutes a jurisdictional defect invalidating the sale. Consequently, such defect renders the sale absolutely void and no title passes. In Tambunting v. Court of Appeals, we held that republication in the manner prescribed by Act No. 3135 is necessary for the validity of a postponed extrajudicial foreclosure sale. Thus we stated: Where required by the statute or by the terms of the foreclosure decree, public notice of the place and time of the mortgage foreclosure sale must be given, a statute requiring it being held applicable to subsequent sales as well as to the first advertised sale of the property. The issue of whether republication may be waived is not novel, as we have passed upon the same query in Philippine National Bank v. Nepomuceno Productions, Inc., Petitioner therein sought extrajudicial foreclosure of respondent’s mortgaged properties with the Sheriffs Office of Pasig, Rizal. Initially scheduled on August 12, 1976, the auction sale was rescheduled several times without republication of the notice of sale, as stipulated in their Agreements to Postpone Sale. Finally, the auction sale proceeded on December 20, 1976, with petitioner as the highest bidder. Aggrieved, respondents sued to nullify the foreclosure sale. The trial court declared the sale void for noncompliance with Act No. 3135. This decision was affirmed in toto by the Court of Appeals. Upholding the conclusions of the trial and appellate court, we categorically held: [T]he principle is recognized that everyone has a right to waive, and agree to waive, the advantage of a law or rule made solely for the benefit and protection of the individual in his private capacity, if it can be dispensed with and relinquished without infringing on any public right, and without detriment to the community at large. Although the general rule is that any right or privilege conferred by statute or guaranteed by constitution may be waived, a waiver in derogation of a statutory right is not favored, and a waiver will be inoperative and void if it infringes on the rights of others, or would be against public policy or morals and the public interest may be waived. The principal object of a notice of sale in a foreclosure of mortgage is not so much to notify the mortgagor as to inform the public generally of the nature and condition of the property to be sold , and of the time, place, and terms of the sale. Notices are given to secure bidders and prevent a sacrifice of the property. Clearly, the statutory requirements of posting and publication are mandated, not for the mortgagor’s benefit, but for the public or third persons. In fact, personal notice to the mortgagor in extrajudicial foreclosure proceedings is not even necessary, unless stipulated. As such, it is imbued with public policy considerations and any waiver thereon would be inconsistent with the intent and letter of Act No. 3135. Publication, therefore, is required to give the foreclosure sale a reasonably wide publicity such that those interested might attend the public sale. To allow the parties to waive this jurisdictional requirement would result in converting into a private sale what ought to be a public auction. In a vain attempt to uphold the validity of the aforesaid waiver, Ouano asserts that the Court of Appeals should have applied Rule 39, Section 24 of the Rules of Court, which allows adjournment of execution sales by agreement of the parties. The said provision provides: 118

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Sec. 24. Adjournment of Sale.—By written consent of debtor and creditor, the officer may adjourn any sale upon execution to any date agreed upon in writing by the parties. Without such agreement, he may adjourn the sale from day to day, if it becomes necessary to do so for lack of time to complete the sale on the day fixed in the notice. Ouano submits that the language of the abovecited provision implies that the written request of the parties suffices to authorize the sheriff to reset the sale without republication or reposting. At the outset, distinction should be made of the three different kinds of sales under the law, namely: an ordinary execution sale, a judicial foreclosure sale, and an extrajudicial foreclosure sale. An ORDINARY EXECUTION SALE is governed by the pertinent provisions of Rule 39 of the Rules of Court. Rule 68 of the Rules of Court applies in cases of JUDICIAL FORECLOSURE SALE. On the other hand, Act No. 3135, as amended by Act No. 4118 otherwise known as “An Act to Regulate the Sale of Property under Special Powers Inserted in or Annexed to Real Estate Mortgages” applies in cases of EXTRAJUDICIAL FORECLOSURE SALE. A different set of law applies to each class of sale mentioned. The cited provision in the Rules of Court hence does not apply to an extrajudicial foreclosure sale. Moreover, even assuming that the aforecited provision applies, all it authorizes is the adjournment of the execution sale by agreement of the parties. Nowhere does it state that republication and reposting of notice for the postponed sale may be waived. Thus, it cannot, by any means, sanction the waiver in the case at bar. CLASS NOTES: - Repost/Republish Notice of Auction Sale is required even if parties consented. Otherwise, auction sale is void. 10. Yulienco v. CA, 393 SCRA 143 (2002) FACTS: Spouses Yulienco obtained a loan from Advance Capital Corporation (ACC) amounting to 20M. As a security, Yulienco executed real estate mortgages on their properties in Makati, Benguet, and QC. When Yulienco defaulted, a Petition for Extrajudicial Foreclosure of the properties were filed in the Sheriff of QC. Thereafter, the date of the auction sale was scheduled and a notice of sale was published in the Times Record. To stall foreclosure, Yulienco filed an action for injunction in the RTC of Makati. Days before the sale, RTC of Makati enjoined the foreclosure sale. After the lapse of the 20-day TRO, ACC requested that the auction sale for the QC property to proceed. So, a 2nd notice of sale was issued and it was published anew. Thereafter, public auction was held and the QC property was sold to ACC. When Yulienco failed to redeem, ACC consolidated its ownership over the QC property. However, since Yulienco still occupied the property, ACC demanded for them to vacate. Moreover, ACC filed in the RTC of QC a Petition for Issuance of a Writ of Possession. In opposition, Yulienco commented that issuance of the writ is improper in light of the pending case in the RTC of Makati. Nonetheless, RTC of QC granted the writ of possession. MR was denied. On appeal, CA dismissed the petition and stated that the issuance of the writ was valid. Hence, this petition. ISSUE: WHETHER OR NOT THE RTC OF QC CORRECTLY GRANTED THE WRIT OF POSSESSION TO ACC. HELD: YES Act 3135, otherwise known as “An Act to Regulate the Sale of Property under Special Powers Inserted in or Annexed to Real Estate Mortgages,” mandates that jurisdiction over a petition for a writ of possession lies in the court of the province, city, or municipality where the property subject thereof is situated. Section 7 of the said Act is clear on this matter, thus: SEC. 7. In any sale made under the provisions of this Act, the purchaser may petition the Court of First Instance [now Regional Trial Court] of the province or place where the property or any part thereof is situated, to give him possession thereof during the redemption period, furnishing bond in an amount equivalent to the use of the property for a period of twelve months, to indemnify the debtor in case it 119

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be shown that the sale was made without violating the mortgage or without complying with the requirements of this Act. Since the land subject of the controversy is located in Quezon City, the city’s RTC should rightly take cognizance of the case, to the exclusion of other courts. Neither can this Court consider the pendency of Special Civil Case No. 93-2521 before Branch 61 of the Makati RTC a procedural obstacle. Said action for injunction, reformation, and damages does not raise an issue that constitutes a prejudicial question in relation to the present case. A prejudicial question is one that arises in a case the resolution of which is a logical antecedent of the issue involved therein, and the cognizance of which pertains to another tribunal. It generally comes into play in a situation where a civil action and a criminal action are both pending and there exists in the former an issue that must be preemptively resolved before the criminal action may proceed, because howsoever the issue raised in the civil action is resolved would be determinative juris et de jure of the guilt or innocence of the accused in the criminal case. The rationale behind the principle of prejudicial question is to avoid two conflicting decisions. Here, Special Civil Case No. 93-2521 and the present one are both civil in nature and, therefore, no prejudicial question can arise from the existence of the two actions. It taxes our imagination how the questions raised in Special Civil Case No. 93-2521 would be determinative of Land Registration Case No. Q-11564 (99). The basic issue in the former is whether the promissory note and mortgage agreement executed between Yulienco and ACC are valid. In the latter case, the issue is whether ACC, armed with a TCT in its name, is entitled to a writ of possession. Clearly, the two cases can proceed separately and take their own direction independently of each other. Well established is the rule that after the consolidation of title in the buyer’s name , for failure of the mortgagor to redeem, the writ of possession becomes a matter of right. Its issuance to a purchaser in an extrajudicial foreclosure is merely a ministerial function. The writ of possession issues as a matter of course upon the filing of the proper motion and the approval of the corresponding bond. The judge issuing the writ following these express provisions of law neither exercises his official discretion nor judgment. As such, the court granting the writ cannot be charged with having acted without jurisdiction or with grave abuse of discretion. If only to stress the writ’s ministerial character, we have, in a case more recent than Cometa, disallowed injunction prohibiting its issuance, just as we have held that its issuance may not be stayed by a pending action for annulment of mortgage or the foreclosure itself. Guided by the foregoing principles, until the foreclosure sale of the property in question is annulled by a court of competent jurisdiction, Yulienco is bereft of valid title and right to prevent the issuance of a writ of possession to ACC. Until then, it is the trial court’s ministerial function to grant the possessory writ to said corporation. No error could be attributed to the CA for affirming the trial court’s order in favor of ACC. CLASS NOTES: - In extrajudicial foreclosure, mortgagee can claim deficiency - GR: No right of redemption - E1: Extrajudicial Foreclosure (Act 3135) - E2: General Banking Act (foreclosure by banks) Judicial Foreclosure Mortgagee Individual mortgagor Juridical Person

Banking Institution Within 1 year from registration of sale Within 1 year from

Extrajudicial Foreclosure

Non-Bank X X 120

Banking Institution

Non-Bank

Within 1 year from registration of sale Until registration of

Within 1 year from registration of sale Within 1 year from

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registration of sale

sale OR 90 days from sale, whichever is earlier

registration of sale

RULE 69: PARTITION

CLASS NOTES: - When does it arise? Co-ownership (co-heirs) - Procedure is in 2 stages: o Whether right exists (co-ownership) o How partition is affected - Each stage is appealable (30 days record on appeal) - You have to implead all persons interested (e.g. co-owners, occupants, possessors, creditors, etc) o Indispensible parties - Time to file is imprescriptible provided acquisitive prescription has not yet set in o Imprescriptible as long as there is no repudiation o If there is, possession becomes adverse. So, acquisitive prescription commences to run. - Partition is an action quasi in rem o Cannot defeat other encumbrancers or lien-holders - Applies also to PERSONAL PROPERTIES 1. Russel v. Vestil, 304 SCRA 738 (1999) FACTS: The Tautho spouses owned a parcel of land in Cebu. Upon their death, said property was inherited by Russell et al (petitioners) and Tagalog et al. (respondents). The lot remained undivided until Russel discovered a public document executed by Tagalog et al dividing the property among themselves to the exclusion of Russel et al, who are also entitled to said lot as heirs. As a result, Russel filed a complaint against Tagalog et al denominated as “Declaration of Nullity and Partition” before the RTC of Mandaue. Consequently, Tagalog filed a Motion to Dismiss on the ground of lack of jurisdiction over the nature of the case because the total assessed value of the property is P5,000 which was within the exclusive jurisdiction of the MTC. In opposition thereto, Russel avers that the RTC had jurisdiction considering that the action is incapable of pecuniary estimation. Nonetheless, Judge Vestil granted the Motion to Dismiss. In their MR, Russel argues that their action is not for the recovery of title or possession but an action to annul a document or declare it null and void — which is incapable of pecuniary estimation. Still, Judge Vestil denied the MR. Hence, this petition. ISSUE: WHETHER OR NOT AN ACTION DENOMINATED AS “DECLARATION OF NULLITY AND PARTITION” IS COGNIZABLE BY THE RTC. HELD: YES. YES. IT IS INCAPABLE OF PECUNIARY ESTIMATION. The complaint filed before the RTC is doubtless one incapable of pecuniary estimation and therefore within the jurisdiction of said court. In Singsong vs. Isabela Sawmill, we had the occasion to rule that: [I]n determining whether an action is one the subject matter of which is not capable of pecuniary estimation this Court has adopted the criterion of first ascertaining the nature of the principal action or remedy sought. If it is primarily for the recovery of a sum of money, the claim is considered capable of pecuniary estimation, and whether jurisdiction is in the municipal courts or in the courts of first instance would depend on the amount of the claim. However, where the basic issue is something other than the right to recover a sum of money, where the money claim is purely incidental to, or a consequence of, the principal relief sought, this Court has considered such actions as cases where the subject of the litigation may not be estimated in terms of money, and are cognizable exclusively by courts of first instance (now Regional Trial Courts). 121

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Examples of actions incapable of pecuniary estimation are those for specific performance, support, or foreclosure of mortgage or annulment of judgment; also actions questioning the validity of a mortgage, annulling a deed of sale or conveyance and to recover the price paid and for rescission, which is a counterpart of specific performance. The main purpose of Russel in filing the complaint is to declare null and void the document in which Tagalog et al

declared themselves as the only heirs of the late spouses Casimero Tautho and Cesaria Tautho and divided his property among themselves to the exclusion of Russel who also claim to be legal heirs and entitled to the property.

While the complaint also PRAYS FOR THE PARTITION of the property, this is just incidental to the main action, which is the declaration of nullity of the document above-described. It is axiomatic that jurisdiction over the subject matter of a case is conferred by law and is determined by the allegations in the complaint and the character of the relief sought, irrespective of whether the plaintiff is entitled to all or some of the claims asserted therein. 2. Ruguian v. Ruguian, 9 Phil. 527 (1908) FACTS: Diego, Felipa, Valeriana, and Roman Ruguian are siblings and heirs of one Calixto Ruguian. When Calixto died in 1905, he left a parcel of land in Ilocos Norte. Thereafter, Diego filed an action in the CFI of Ilocos Norte for the partition of said property. In response, Roman contended that he was the owner of said land and had been in the uninterrupted possession thereof for about 40 years. During trial, Diego claims that the land in question was part of the estate of their father. On the other hand, Roman claims that their father disposed of said property in his favor by virtue of a deed. However, since he was not able to present such deed, he showed by preponderant evidence that he had been in possession thereof for about 30 years and that said land was disposed of in his favor by Calixto (father) and Mariano (uncle) Ruguian. The CFI ordered the partition of the property in favor of Diego. Thus, Roman appealed. ISSUE: WHETHER OR NOT THE CFI’S ORDER THAT THE PROPERTY WOULD BE PARTITIONED IS PROPER. HELD: NO. NOT ALL INTERESTED PARTIES WERE IMPLEADED. It appearing from the evidence that a third person, Mariano Ruguian, had an interest in the land in question, and he NOT BEING MADE A PARTY TO THIS SUIT, we are of the opinion, and so hold, for this reason, that a partition of the land in question cannot be granted. This court has already held, in the case of Garcia de Lara vs. Gonzalez de Lara, that an action will not lie for the partition of an undivided interest in land without the joinder of all co-owners. Therefore, for the reason that the evidence shows that all of the parties interested in the land in question are not parties to the suit, the decision of the lower court is hereby reversed, and, without any finding as to costs, it is so ordered. 3. Miranda v. CA, 71 SCRA 295 (1976) ??? FACTS: ISSUE: WHETHER OR NOT A JUDGMENT FOR ACCOUNTING OF THE FRUITS AND PROCEEDS THEREOF IS INTERLOCUTORY IN CHARACTER AND, THEREFORE, NOT APPEALABLE UNTIL AFTER ADJUDICATIONS NEEDED FOR THE COMPLETION OF THE RELIEF IS MADE. HELD: The pertinent rule accordingly recognizes that in actions involving the rendition of an accounting (as in the case at bar), an appeal may be taken from the judgment ordering the accounting and directs that during the pendency of the appeal or even before the appeal is taken, the rendition of the accounting shall not be stayed, unless otherwise ordered by the trial court. Thus, if the judgment directing an accounting is upheld on appeal, there would be no time lost and the accounting as rendered could be passed upon by the trial court at the stage of execution of judgment ; and if the judgment were 122

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reversed on appeal, reimbursement of the actual expenses incurred by the successful appellant in rendering the accounting could be awarded. Here, the rendition of the accounting as, a consequence and incident of Judge Mendoza’s judgment declaring the properties to belong to the decedent’s estate and ordering their delivery to petitioner-administrator was not ordered stayed during the pendency of the appeal taken by respondents. In fact, Judge Mendoza had ruled that the proposed appeal was filed out of time and that his judgment had become final and executory, and the accounting that his judgment had become final and executory, and the accounting that he ordered would have been rendered at the stage of execution of judgment. The Court’s considered opinion is that imperative considerations of public policy and of sound practice in the courts and adherence to the constitutional mandate of simplified, just, speedy and inexpensive determination of every action call for considering such judgments for recovery of property with accounting as final judgments which are duly appealable (and would therefore become final and executory if not appealed within the reglementary period) with the accounting as a mere incident of the judgment to be rendered during the course of the appeal as provided in Rule 39, section 4 or to be implemented at the execution stage upon final affirmance on appeal of the judgment (as in Court of Industrial Relations unfair labor practice cases ordering reinstatement of the worker with accounting, computation and payment of his backwages less earnings elsewhere during his layoff) and that the only reason given in Fuentebella for the contrary ruling, viz, “the general harm that would follow from throwing the door open to multiplicity of appeals in a single case” is of lesser import and consequence. Furthermore, the premise that the accounting portion of the judgment would give rise to a second appeal in the same case is erroneous because taken as a mere incident to the judgment as provided in the cited Rule or as a matter to be implemented in the execution stage, no appeal would lie from the lower court’s action approving or disapproving the accounting unless there were gross error, oppression, fraud or grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction that would be correctible on a special writ of certiorari. It must also be noted that the resort to multiple appeals in a single case has been considerably lessened since the enactment on September 9, 1968 of Republic Act 5440 which did away with the right of appeal to this Court save in the three special cases therein provided and provides only for review on certiorari in this Court of all other final judgments and decrees of inferior courts at its judgment and discretion. 4. Municipality of Binan v. Garcia, 180 SCRA 576 (1989) supra FACTS: An expropriation suit was filed by the Municipality of Binan in the RTC of Laguna and San Pablo impleading Erlinda Francisco as one of the owners of the 11 parcels of land sought to be expropriated to be used as a new site for a public market. The suit was authorized by the Sangguniang Bayan. In response, Francisco filed a “Motion to Dismiss” pursuant to Sec 3 of Rule 67. Pending this, Judge Garcia issued a Writ of Possession in favor of Binan. On July 24, 1984, Judge Garcia dismissed the complaint and amended the Writ of Possession by excluding Francisco’s property. Binan was notified of said dismissal on July 27, 1984. On August 17, 1984, Binan filed an MR. However, the RTC declared that the MR was filed out of time claiming that the MR was filed beyond the 15-day period. Binan sought for another reconsideration and argued that since expropriation suits have multiple appeals, the period to appeal is 30 days and not 15 days. Still, said motion was denied. Hence, this Petition for Certiorari. ISSUE: WHETHER OR NOT THE RTC ERRED IN DENYING BINAN’S MR FOR BEING FILED OUT OF TIME. HELD: NO. There are two (2) stages in every action of expropriation. The FIRST is concerned with the determination of the authority of the plaintiff to exercise the power of eminent domain and the propriety of its exercise in the context of the facts involved in the suit. It ends with an order, if not of dismissal of the action, “of condemnation declaring that the plaintiff has a lawful right to take the property sought to be condemned, for the public use or purpose described in the complaint, upon the payment of just compensation to be determined as of the date of the filing of the complaint.” An order of dismissal, if this be ordained, would be a final one, of course, since it finally disposes of the action and leaves nothing more to be done by the Court on the merits. So, too, would an order of condemnation be a final one, for thereafter, as the Rules expressly state, in the proceedings before the Trial Court, “no objection to the exercise of the right of condemnation (or the propriety thereof) shall be filed or heard. 123

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The SECOND PHASE of the eminent domain action is concerned with the determination by the Court of “the just compensation for the property sought to be taken.” This is done by the Court with the assistance of not more than three (3) commissioners. The order fixing the just compensation on the basis of the evidence before, and findings of, the commissioners would be final, too. It would finally dispose of the second stage of the suit, and leave nothing more to be done by the Court regarding the issue. Obviously, one or another of the parties may believe the order to be erroneous in its appreciation of the evidence or findings of fact or otherwise. Obviously, too, such a dissatisfied party may seek reversal of the order by taking an appeal therefrom. A similar two-phase feature is found in the SPECIAL CIVIL ACTION OF PARTITION and accounting under Rule 69 of the Rules of Court. The FIRST PHASE of a partition and/or accounting suit is taken up with the determination of whether or not a coownership in fact exists, and a partition is proper (i.e., not otherwise legally proscribed) and may be made by voluntary agreement of all the parties interested in the property. This phase may end with a declaration that plaintiff is not entitled to have a partition either because a co-ownership does not exist, or partition is legally prohibited. It may end, on the other hand, with an adjudgment that a co-ownership does in truth exist, partition is proper in the premises and an accounting of rents and profits received by the defendant from the real estate in question is in order . In the latter case, “the parties may, if they are able to agree, make partition among themselves by proper instruments of conveyance, and the court shall confirm the partition so agreed upon. In either case — i.e., either the action is dismissed or partition and/or accounting is decreed — the order is a final one, and may be appealed by any party aggrieved thereby. The SECOND PHASE commences when it appears that “the parties are unable to agree upon the partition” directed by the court. In that event partition shall be done for the parties by the Court with the assistance of not more than three (3) commissioners. This second stage may well also deal with the rendition of the accounting itself and its approval by the Court after the parties have been accorded opportunity to be heard thereon , and an award for the recovery by the party or parties thereto entitled of their just share in the rents and profits of the real estate in question.” Such an order is, to be sure, final and appealable. Now, this Court has settled the question of the finality and appealability of a decision or order decreeing partition or recovery of property and/or accounting. As pointed out in Miranda, imperative considerations of public policy, of sound practice and adherence to the constitutional mandate of simplified, just, speedy and inexpensive determination of every action require that judgments for recovery (or partition) of property with accounting be considered as final judgments, duly appealable. This, notwithstanding that further proceedings will still have to be rendered by the party required to do so, it will be ventilated and discussed by the parties, and will eventually be passed upon by the Court. It is of course entirely possible that the Court disposition may not sit well with either the party in whose favor the accounting is made, or the party rendering it. In either case, the Court’s adjudication on the accounting is without doubt a final one, for it would finally terminate the proceedings thereon and leave nothing more to be done by the Court on the merits of the issue. And it goes without saying that any party feeling aggrieved by that ultimate action of the Court on the accounting may seek reversal or modification thereof by the Court of Appeals or the Supreme Court. No reason presents itself for different disposition as regards cases of eminent domain. On the contrary, the close analogy between the special actions of eminent domain and partition already pointed out , argues for the application of the same rule to both proceedings. The Court therefore holds that in actions of eminent domain, AS IN ACTIONS FOR PARTITION, since no less than two (2) appeals are allowed by law, the period for appeal from an order of condemnation is thirty (30) days counted from notice of order and not the ordinary period of fifteen (15) days prescribed for actions in general, conformably with the provision of Section 39 of Batas Pambansa Bilang 129, in relation to paragraph 19 (b) of the Implementing Rules to the effect that in “appeals in special proceedings in accordance with Rule 109 of the Rules of Court and other cases wherein multiple appeals are allowed, the period of appeal shall be thirty (30) days, a RECORD OF APPEAL being required.”

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The Binan’s MR filed on August 17,1984 was therefore timely presented, well within the 30-day period laid down by law therefor; and it was error for the RTC to have ruled otherwise and to have declared that the order sought to be considered had become final and executory. Also, in the case at bar, where a single complaint was filed against several defendants having individual, separate interests, and a SEPARATE TRIAL was held relative to one of said defendants (Francisco) after which a final order or judgment was rendered on the merits of the plaintiff’s claim against that particular defendant, it is obvious that in the event of an appeal from that separate judgment, the original record cannot and should not be sent up to the appellate tribunal. The record will have to stay with the trial court because it will still try the case as regards the other defendants. As the rule above quoted states, “In an action against several defendants, the court may, when a several judgment is proper, render judgment against one or more of them, leaving the action to proceed against the others.” In lieu of the original record, a record on appeal will perforce have to be prepared and transmitted to the appellate court. More than one appeal being permitted in this case, therefore, “the period of appeal shall be thirty (30) days, a record of appeal being required,” 5. Quimpo v. Abad Vda de Beltran, 545 SCRA 174 (2008) FACTS: Eustaquia Abad owned 4 parcels of land in Camarines Sur. When she died intestate in 1948, said properties were inherited by her grandchild Joaquin Quimpo and great grandchildren Consuelo, Ireneo, Danilo, Marites, Anita, and Helen Abad. In 1966, Quimpo undertook an oral partition of the parcels of land. Half of the properties were given to Quimpo while the other half to the great grandchildren. Moreover, Quimpo became the administrator of the undivided properties and the shares of the minors Danilo, Marites, Anita, and Helen. In 1989, the then-minors wanted to take possession of the portions allotted to them but they were prevented by Quimpo from occupying it. Quimpo likewise refused the demands for partition thereby prompting the great grandchildren to file a Complaint for Judicial Partition and/or Recovery of Possession with Accounting and Damages in the RTC of Camarines Sur. Quimpo argued that the action had already prescribed and that he was the absolute owner by virtue of a Deed of Sale executed in his favor by Eustaquia in 1946. While the case was pending, Quimpo died so he was substituted by his heirs. In 1996, RTC ruled in favor of the great grandchildren and declared them as co-owners and rejected Quimpo’s claim of absolute ownership because, at that time, he had no source of income and that Eustaquia could not have consented to the sale since she was already 91 years old in 1946. Likewise, RTC sustained the oral partition in 1966 stating that the possession and occupation by Consuelo and Ireneo with Quimpo’s acquiescence was sufficient evidence that there was actual partition. Thus, he Quimpo can no longer claim ownership over the property. On appeal, CA affirmed. It was also stated the prescription and laches do not apply since prescription does not run against heirs so long as the heirs have not repudiated the co-ownership. Hence, this petition. ISSUE: WHETHER OR NOT THERE WAS INDEED ORAL PARTITION. HELD: YES. For 43 years, Consuelo and Ireneo occupied their portions of the San Jose property and significantly, Joaquin never disturbed their possession. They also installed tenants in parcel IV, and Joaquin did not prevent them from doing so, nor did he assert his ownership over the same . These unerringly point to the fact that there was indeed an oral partition of parcels III and IV. In Maglucot-Aw v. Maglucot, we held, viz.: [P]artition may be inferred from circumstances sufficiently strong to support the presumption. Thus, after a long possession in severalty, a deed of partition may be presumed. It has been held that recitals in deeds, possession and occupation of land, improvements made thereon for a long series of years, and acquiescence for 60 years, furnish sufficient evidence that there was an actual partition of land either by deed or by proceedings in the probate court, which had been lost and were not recorded. 125

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Furthermore, in Hernandez v. Andal, we explained that: On general principle, independent and in spite of the statute of frauds, courts of equity have enforced oral partition when it has been completely or partly performed. Regardless of whether a parol partition or agreement to partition is valid and enforceable at law, equity will in proper cases, where the parol partition has actually been consummated by the taking of possession in severalty and the exercise of ownership by the parties of the respective portions set off to each, recognize and enforce such parol partition and the rights of the parties thereunder. Thus, it has been held or stated in a number of cases involving an oral partition under which the parties went into possession, exercised acts of ownership, or otherwise partly performed the partition agreement, that equity will confirm such partition and in a proper case decree title in accordance with the possession in severalty. In numerous cases it has been held or stated that parol partitions may be sustained on the ground of estoppel of the parties to assert the rights of a tenant in common as to parts of land divided by parol partition as to which possession in severalty was taken and acts of individual ownership were exercised. And a court of equity will recognize the agreement and decree it to be valid and effectual for the purpose of concluding the right of the parties as between each other to hold their respective parts in severalty. A parol partition may also be sustained on the ground that the parties thereto have acquiesced in and ratified the partition by taking possession in severalty, exercising acts of ownership with respect thereto, or otherwise recognizing the existence of the partition. A number of cases have specifically applied the doctrine of part performance, or have stated that a part performance is necessary, to take a parol partition out of the operation of the statute of frauds. It has been held that where there was a partition in fact between tenants in common , and a part performance, a court of equity would have regard to and enforce such partition agreed to by the parties. The CA, therefore, committed no reversible error in sustaining the oral partition over parcels III and IV and in invalidating the deeds of sale between Eustaquia and Joaquin. CLASS NOTES: - Oral partition upheld on the ground of estoppel. (Be careful in invoking this case) 6. De Guia v. CA, 413 SCRA 114 (2003) FACTS: A 79,220 sqm fishpond in Bulacan was originally co-owned by one Primitiva Lejano and one Lorenza Araniego who was married to Juan Abejo. De Guia acquired possession of the entire fishpond by virtue of a Lease Contract executed between him in Primitiva Lejano effective until 1979. On the other hand, Teofilo Abejo acquired the undivided 1/2 share of Lorenzana Araniego-Abejo through intestate succession. Teofilo later sold his share to his son, Jose Abejo in 1983. Since De Guia still continues to possess the entire fishpond and derive income therefrom despite the expiration of the Lease Contract, Abejo sent De Guia demands to vacate. When this remained unheeded, Abejo filed a Complaint for Recovery of Possession against De Guia even though De Guia’s claim of ownership over the 1/2 undivided portion has not yet been finally adjudicated upon. RTC ruled against De Guia. It was also stated that, pending partition, Abejo, as co-owner, has the right to possess the fishpond. CA affirmed. Hence, this petition. De Guia contends that a co-owner cannot claim a definite portion from the property owned in common until there is a partition. ISSUE: WHETHER AN ACTION FOR RECOVERY OF POSSESSION AND TURN-OVER OF THE 1/2 UNDIVIDED PORTION OF A COMMON PROPERTY IS PROPER BEFORE PARTITION IS HAD. 126

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HELD: YES. BUT THIS WILL ONLY HAVE THE EFFECT OF RECOGNIZING THE CO-OWNERSHIP. Under Article 484 of the Civil Code, “there is co-ownership whenever the ownership of an undivided thing or right belongs to different persons.” A co-owner of an undivided parcel of land is an “owner of the whole, and over the whole he exercises the right of dominion, but he is at the same time the owner of a portion which is truly abstract.” On the other hand, there is no co-ownership when the different portions owned by different people are already concretely determined and separately identifiable, even if not yet technically described. Article 487 of the Civil Code provides, “[a]ny one of the co-owners may bring an action in ejectment.” This article covers all kinds of actions for the recovery of possession. Article 487 includes forcible entry and unlawful detainer (accion interdictal), recovery of possession (accion publiciana), and recovery of ownership (accion de reivindicacion). The summary actions of forcible entry and unlawful detainer seek the recovery of physical possession only. These actions are brought before municipal trial courts within one year from dispossession. However, accion publiciana, which is a plenary action for recovery of the right to possess, falls under the jurisdiction of the proper regional trial court when the dispossession has lasted for more than one year. Accion de reivindicacion, which seeks the recovery of ownership, also falls under the jurisdiction of the proper regional trial court.

Any co-owner may file an action under Article 487 not only against a third person, but also against another co-owner who takes exclusive possession and asserts exclusive ownership of the property. In the latter case, however, the only purpose of the action is to obtain recognition of the co-ownership. The plaintiff cannot seek exclusion of the defendant from the property because as co-owner he has a right of possession. The plaintiff cannot recover any material or determinate part of the property.

In Hermogena G. Engreso with Spouse Jose Engreso v. Nestoria De La Cruz and Herminio De La Cruz,we reiterated the rule that a coowner cannot recover a material or determinate part of a common property prior to partition as follows: It is a basic principle in civil law that before a property owned in common is actually partitioned, all that the co-owner has is an ideal or abstract quota or proportionate share in the entire property. A co-

owner has no right to demand a concrete, specific or determinate part of the thing owned in common because until division is effected his right over the thing is represented only by an ideal portion.

As such, the only effect of an action brought by a co-owner against a co-owner will be to obtain recognition of the co-ownership; the defendant cannot be excluded from a specific portion of the property because as a co-owner he has a right to possess and the plaintiff cannot recover any material or determinate part of the property. Thus, the courts a quo erred when they ordered the delivery of one-half (1/2) of the building in favor of private respondent. Indisputably, DE GUIA has been in exclusive possession of the entire FISHPOND since July 1974. Initially, DE GUIA disputed ABEJO’s claim of ownership over the ½ undivided portion of the FISHPOND. Subsequently, he implicitly recognized ABEJO’s 1/2 undivided share by offering to settle the case for P300,000 and to vacate the property. During the trial proper, neither DE GUIA nor ABEJO asserted or manifested a claim of absolute and exclusive ownership over the entire FISHPOND. Before this Court, DE GUIA limits the issues to the propriety of bringing an action for recovery of possession and the recovery of compensatory damages. Following the inherent and peculiar features of co-ownership, while ABEJO and DE GUIA have equal shares in the FISHPOND quantitatively speaking, they have the same right in a qualitative sense as co-owners. Simply stated, ABEJO and DE GUIA are owners of the whole and over the whole, they exercise the right of dominion. However, they are at the same time individual owners of a 1/2 portion, which is truly abstract because until there is partition, such portion remains indeterminate or unidentified. As co-owners, ABEJO and DE GUIA may jointly exercise the right of dominion over the entire FISHPOND until they partition the FISHPOND by identifying or segregating their respective portions.

Since a co-ownership subsists between ABEJO and DE GUIA, judicial or extra-judicial partition is the proper recourse. An action to demand partition is imprescriptible and not subject to laches. Each co-owner may demand at 127

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any time the partition of the common property unless a co-owner has repudiated the co-ownership under certain conditions. Neither ABEJO nor DE GUIA has repudiated the co-ownership under the conditions set by law. To recapitulate, we rule that a co-owner may file an action for recovery of possession against a co-owner who takes exclusive possession of the entire co-owned property. However, the only effect of such action is a recognition of the co-ownership. The courts cannot proceed with the actual partitioning of the co-owned property. Thus, judicial or extrajudicial partition is necessary to effect physical division of the FISHPOND between ABEJO and DE GUIA. An action for partition is also the proper forum for accounting the profits received by DE GUIA from the FISHPOND. However, as a necessary consequence of such recognition, ABEJO shall exercise an equal right to possess, use and enjoy the entire FISHPOND. RECOVERY OF RENT WAS PROPER The right of enjoyment by each co-owner is limited by a similar right of the other co-owners. A co-owner cannot devote common property to his exclusive use to the prejudice of the co-ownership. Hence, if the subject is a residential house, all the co-owners may live there with their respective families to the extent possible. However, if one co-owner alone occupies the entire house without opposition from the other co-owners, and there is no lease agreement, the other co-owners cannot demand the payment of rent. Conversely, if there is an agreement to lease the house, the co-owners can demand rent from the co-owner who dwells in the house. The co-owners can either exercise an equal right to live in the house, or agree to lease it. If they fail to exercise any of these options, they must bear the consequences. It would be unjust to require the co-owner to pay rent after the coowners by their silence have allowed him to use the property. In case the co-owners agree to lease a building owned in common, a co-owner cannot retain it for his use without paying the proper rent. Moreover, where part of the property is occupied exclusively by some co-owners for the exploitation of an industry, the other co-owners become co-participants in the accessions of the property and should share in its net profits. CLASS NOTES: - Can you sue for recovery of possession of co-owned property? Yes. o But cannot be fully executed until the property is partitioned. o Before partition, you cannot possess a particular portion of the co-owned property IX.

RULE 70: FORCIBLE ENTRY & UNLAWFUL DETAINER

CLASS NOTES: - 2 procedures o Forcible entry: someone who tries to land grab  Possession is illegal from the start  Prior possession must be alleged and proven. Otherwise, dismissed. o Unlawful Detainer: possessor whose right of possession has ceased  Right to possess initially exists but is later lost  Prior possession is not a requirement  Demand is required unless it is based on expiration of a contract - Both contemplate ACTUAL POSSESSION (not constructive possession) - You can’t convert Forcible Entry to Unlawful Detainer - Rule 70 is a summary procedure (See RSP) o Witnesses are not presented (only through their affidavits) o See prohibited pleadings o Can dismiss case outright o Failure to file Answer within 10 days: Court may motu propio or on motion render judgment 128

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1. Reyes v. Sta. Maria, 91 SCRA 164 (1979) FACTS: Reyes filed in the CFI an action termed as one to quiet title to a certain residential lot in Bulacan and to recover possession thereof against Santos. They allege Santos only came to possess said property by mere tolerance and that Reyes verbally notified Santos that they already needed the land and thus demanded for them to vacate the property. Despite this, Santos refused and claimed ownership of the property and claimed that they purchased it from one Pablo Aguinaldo. Thus, Reyes prayed that the CFI declare them as owners and order Santos to vacate the premises and return possession of the same. Santos filed a Motion to Dismiss on the ground that the CFI had no jurisdiction over the action and argued that the action is actually one for ejectment and thus cognizable by the MTC. CFI granted and dismissed the case. Hence, this petition. ISSUE: WHETHER OR NOT THE REYES’ ACTION IS IN THE NATURE OF AN ACTION FOR EJECTMENT? HELD: NO. IT IS AT LEAST AN ACCION PUBLICIANA WHICH IS COGNIZABLE BY THE CFI. The CFI was clearly in error in issuing its dismissal order on its mistaken notion “that the allegations of facts are only constitutive of an action for unlawful detainer” since the complaint shows on its face that respondents’ refusal to deliver the possession of the property was due to their adverse claim of ownership of the same property and their counter-allegation that they had bought the same from a certain Pablo Aguinaldo, and, therefore, Reyes’ action was clearly one for recovery of their right to possess the property (possession de jure), as well as to be declared the owners thereof as against the contrary claim of respondents. There are THREE KINDS OF ACTIONS for the recovery of possession of real property, namely: (1) the summary action for forcible entry or detainer (accion interdictal), which seeks the recovery of physical possession only and is brought within 1 year in the justice of the peace court; (2) the accion publiciana, which is for the recovery of the right to possess and is a plenary action in an ordinary civil proceeding in a Court of First Instance; and (3) accion de reivindicacion, which seeks the recovery of ownership (which of course includes the jus utendi and the jus fruendi), also brought in the Court of First Instance. It has been said that “(T)he only issue in forcible entry and detainer cases is the physical possession of real property — possession de facto and not possession de jure. If plaintiff can prove a prior possession in himself, he may recover such possession even from the owner himself. Whatever may be the character of his prior possession , if he has in his favor priority of time, he has the security that entitles him to stay on the property until he is lawfully ejected by a person having a better right by either accion publiciana or accion reivindicatoria.” Reyes’ action was not merely for recovery of possession de facto. Their action was clearly one of accion publiciana for recovery of possession de jure, if not one of accion reivindicatoria for declaration of their ownership of the land. As reaffirmed by the Court in the analogous case of Aguilon vs. Bohol, Reyes’ action is at least “an accion publiciana, which action ‘corresponde al que tiene derecho a la posesion, contra el que posee sin derecho 6 con titulo menos firme, para que se ponga la cosa en poder del actor con todas las accesiones, frutos, ets.’,” and such accion publiciana or the plenary action in an ordinary civil proceeding to determine the better and legal right to possess (independently of title) clearly falls within the jurisdiction of the Courts of First Instance and not of the Municipal Courts. The Court further underscored therein “that an action for recovery of possession is an urgent matter which must be decided promptly to forestall breaches of peace, violence or even loss of life and, therefore, the court should act swiftly and expeditiously in cases of that nature.” Reyes, therefore, correctly filed their accion publiciana before the lower court as against respondents’ claim that they should instead have filed a summary action for detainer in the municipal court. Having been fully apprised of respondents’ refusal to surrender possession and their contrary claim of ownership of the same property, Reyes properly filed their accion publiciana with the Court of First Instance to avoid getting enmeshed in what would certainly have been another jurisdictional dispute, since they could reasonably foresee that if indeed they had filed a summary action for illegal detainer instead in the municipal court, respondents would then have contended, contrary to their present claim, that the municipal court is without jurisdiction over the detainer case by virtue of their contrary claim of ownership of the property. 129

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CLASS NOTES: - 3 kinds of accion o Interdictal: ejectment (physical possession); MTC o Publiciana: RTC o Reinvindicatoria: RTC 2. Hilario v. CA, 260 SCRA 420 (1996) FACTS: Hilario filed an Ejectment Suit against Anastacio in the MTC of Guiguinto Bulacan. It was alleged that they purchased a lot from Anastacio under a Deed of Sale. However, Hilario allowed Anastacio to remain in possession of the lot under a verbal agreement that Anastacio would vacate after 2 years. When said period expired without Anastacio vacating, Hilario demanded that they vacate. Because of their refusal, Hilario filed a Complaint for Unlawful Detainer. In their Answer, Anastacio averred that the purported sale was actually one of mortgage and that it had already been extinguished due to their payment of the full amount of the mortgage. Thus, they argue that they remained as owners. Moreover, they assail the jurisdiction of the MTC. MTC affirmed its jurisdiction over the case and ordered Anastacio to vacate. On appeal, RTC affirmed. In the CA, however, the Complaint for Unlawful Detainer was dismissed. Hence, this petition. ISSUE: WHETHER OR NOT THE MTC HAD JURISIDICTION OVER THE ACTION FOR EJECTMENT HELD: YES. Section 33 (2) of Batas Pambansa Blg. 129, prescribes the jurisdiction of inferior courts in forcible entry and unlawful detainer cases as follows: Sec. 33. Jurisdiction of Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal Trial Courts and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts in Civil Cases. — Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal Trial Courts, and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts shall exercise: (2) Exclusive original jurisdiction over cases of forcible entry and unlawful detainer: Provided, That when in such cases, the defendant raises the question of ownership in his pleadings and the question of possession cannot be resolved without deciding the issue of ownership, the issue of ownership shall be resolved only to determine the issue of possession. This Court subsequently promulgated the corresponding Interim Rules and Guidelines in the implementation of said law and, on the jurisdiction of inferior courts in ejectment cases, it provides: 10. Jurisdiction in ejectment cases. — Metropolitan trial courts, municipal trial courts, and municipal circuit trial courts, without distinction, may try cases of forcible entry and unlawful detainer even if the question of ownership is raised in the pleadings and the question of possession could not be resolved without deciding the issue of ownership, but the question of ownership shall be resolved only to determine the issue of possession. In turn, the 1983 Rule on Summary Procedure, Section 1 of which originally conferred on inferior courts jurisdiction to try in summary proceedings cases of forcible entry and unlawful detainer except where the question of ownership was involved or where the damages or unpaid rentals sought to be recovered exceeded P20,000.00 at the time of the filing of the complaint, was later revised by a resolution of the Court En Banc which took effect on November 15, 1991. At present, all forcible entry and unlawful detainer cases have to be tried pursuant to the Revised Rule on Summary Procedure regardless of whether or not the issue of ownership of the subject property is alleged by a party. Then, on April 15, 1994, Republic Act No. 7691 took effect and expanded the jurisdiction of the metropolitan trial courts, municipal trial courts, and municipal circuit trial courts, amending for the purpose the pertinent portions of Batas Pambansa 130

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Blg. 129. The jurisdiction of the aforesaid courts as defined in Section 33 (2) of Batas Pambansa Blg. 129 was, however, retained by said amendatory Act. As the law now stands, inferior courts retain jurisdiction over ejectment cases even if the question of possession cannot be resolved without passing upon the issue of ownership; but this is subject to the same caveat that the issue posed as to ownership could be resolved by the court for the sole purpose of determining the issue of possession. Thus, an adjudication made therein regarding the issue of ownership should be regarded as merely provisional and, therefore, would not bar or prejudice an action between the same parties involving title to the land. The foregoing doctrine is a necessary consequence of the nature of forcible entry and unlawful detainer cases where the only issue to be settled is the physical or material possession over the real property, that is, POSSESSION DE FACTO and not possession de jure. In Wilmon Auto Supply Corporation, et al. vs. Court of Appeals, et al., the Court catalogued the cases which should not be regarded as prejudicial to an ejectment suit, to wit: (1) Injunction suits instituted in the RTC by defendants in ejectment actions in the municipal trial courts or other courts of the first level do not abate the latter; and neither do proceedings on consignation of rentals. (2) An “accion publiciana” does not suspend an ejectment suit against the plaintiff in the former. (3) A “writ of possession case” where ownership is concededly the principal issue before the Regional Trial Court does not preclude nor bar the execution of the judgment in an unlawful detainer suit where the only issue involved is the material possession or possession de facto of the premises. (4) An action for quieting of title to property is not a bar to an ejectment suit involving the same property. (5) Suits for specific performance with damages do not affect ejectment actions (e.g., to compel renewal of a lease contract). (6) An action for reformation of instrument (e.g., from deed of absolute sale to one of sale with pacto de retro) does not suspend an ejectment suit between the same parties. (7) An action for reconveyance of property or “accion reivindicatoria” also has no effect on ejectment suits regarding the same property. (8) Neither do suits for annulment of sale, or title, or document affecting property operate to abate ejectment actions respecting the same property. It is underscored, however, that the allegations in the complaint for ejectment should sufficiently make out a case for forcible entry or unlawful detainer, as the case may be; otherwise, jurisdiction would not vest in the inferior court. Jurisdiction over the subject matter is, after all, determined by the nature of the action as alleged or pleaded in the complaint. Thus, even where the defendant alleges ownership or title to the property in his or her answer, the inferior court will not be divested of its jurisdiction. A contrary rule would pave the way for the defendant to trifle with the ejectment suit, which is summary in nature, as he could easily defeat the same through the simple expedient of asserting ownership. In the case at bar, the submission of Anastacio could not prosper, both under the rule that inferior courts have the undoubted competence to resolve the issue of ownership provisionally, and on the well-grounded principle that jurisdiction is determined by the allegations in the complaint. Indeed, while Anastacio did raise the question of ownership when they asserted that the contract of sale was in fact one of mortgage, the MTC could not be divested of its jurisdiction over the case since, to repeat, it could very well resolve that particular issue albeit provisionally, as what happened in this case. Parenthetically, Anastacio is not without remedy in their stance. They could still assert ownership over the property but it should be done in the manner required by the Rules. In fact, they did just that when they themselves initiated an action for reconveyance involving the same property against petitioners before the Regional Trial Court of Malolos, Bulacan in Civil Case No. 87-M-94 thereof. The record discloses that said action is still pending in that court. The settled rule is that a complaint for unlawful detainer is sufficient if it contains the allegation that the withholding of possession or the refusal to vacate is unlawful, without necessarily employing the terminology of the law. The complaint must aver facts showing that the inferior court has jurisdiction to try the case, such as how defendant’s possession started or continued. Thus, the allegation in a complaint that the “plaintiff verbally asked the defendants to remove their houses on the lot of the former but the latter refused and still refuse to do so without just and lawful grounds” was held 131

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to be more than sufficient compliance with the jurisdictional requirements. If the possession is by tolerance, as has been alleged in the complaint of the Hilarios in this case, such possession became illegal upon demand to vacate and the possessor refused to comply with such demand. CLASS NOTES: - Issues of ownership can still be raised but only to determine the issue of possession (ownership is not conclusive) 3. Wilmon Auto Supply Corp v. CA, 208 SCRA 108 (1992) FACTS: Solinap et al owned a commercial building in Iloilo which was leased to Wilmon pursuant to a Lease Contract. In said contract, it was stipulated that Wilmon shall be informed about the lessor’s plan to sell the property. After the expiration of the lease period, the commercial building was sold to Star Group. Subsequently, Star Group brought an action for Unlawful Detainer against the Wilmon. In their Answer, Wilcon impugned Star Groups right to eject them and argued that the lessors violated their lease contract when they were not accorded the right of preemption or prior purchase. Additionally, the same defenses raised in their Answer was also set out as Wilmon’s causes of action in a complaint it subsequently filed in the RTC against Star Group and the previous owners of the commercial building. As a result, Wilmon moved to dismiss the ejectment suits on the ground of litis pendentia and lack of jurisdiction over the nature of the action. MTC denied. Hence, this petition. ISSUE: WHETHER OR NOT AN ACTION FOR UNLAWFUL DETAINER FILED IN THE MTC SHOULD BE SUSPENDED BY AN ACTION FILED IN THE RTC ON A CLAIM OF A RIGHT OF PREEMPTION. HELD: NO. It is a question that is far from novel, one that has been passed upon and resolved by this Court in numerous cases, and one to which a negative answer has invariably been given. The relevant precedents are hereunder outlined: (1) Injunction suits instituted in the RTC by defendants in ejectment actions in the municipal trial courts or other courts of the first level do not abate the latter; and neither do proceedings on consignation of rentals. (2) An “accion publiciana” does not suspend an ejectment suit against the plaintiff in the former. (3) A “writ of possession case” where ownership is concededly the principal issue before the Regional Trial Court does not preclude nor bar the execution of the judgment in an unlawful detainer suit where the only issue involved is the material possession or possession de facto of the premises. (4) An action for quieting of title to property is not a bar to an ejectment suit involving the same property. (5) Suits for specific performance with damages do not affect ejectment actions (e.g., to compel renewal of a lease contract). (6) An action for reformation of instrument (e.g., from deed of absolute sale to one of sale with pacto de retro) does not suspend an ejectment suit between the same parties. (7) An action for reconveyance of property or “accion reivindicatoria” also has no effect on ejectment suits regarding the same property. (8) Neither do suits for annulment of sale, or title, or document affecting property operate to abate ejectment actions respecting the same property. The underlying reasons for the above rulings were that the actions in the RTC did not involve physical or de facto possession, and, on not a few occasions, that the case in the RTC was merely a ploy to delay disposition of the ejectment proceeding, or that the issues presented in the former could quite as easily be set up as defenses in the ejectment action and there resolved. This is especially true in the cases at bar, where the Wilmon’s claims — that the lessors (and the buyer of the leased premises) had violated their leasehold rights because (a) they (the lessees) were not accorded the right of preemption, (b) the buyer was not required to respect their leases, and (c) the lessees were denied the option to renew their leases upon the expiration thereof — constituted their causes of action in the suits commenced by them in the Regional Trial Court . 132

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4. Munoz v. CA, 214 SCRA 216 (1992) FACTS: Nicolas Garcia filed a Complaint for Unlawful Detainer in the MTC against Munoz. It was alleged that Garcia is a co-owner of an agricultural land in Pampanga in which Munoz et al constructed their houses on a portion thereof without knowledge and consent of the owners. Moreover, it was alleged that, despite demands to remove their houses thereon, Munoz et al refused to vacate. In their Answer, Munoz et al contended that they were already deemed owners pursuant to PD 27. As such, since the case was an accion publiciana, the MTC had no jurisdiction over the case. After summary proceeding, MTC ordered Munoz et al to vacate. Moreover, it was stated that since the issue is mere possession, an action for Unlawful Detainer was proper. On appeal, RTC reversed the MTC. It stated that Garcia was not able to establish proof of prior possession over the property. It likewise believed that the MTC had no jurisdiction. Then, CA reversed the RTC and reinstated the MTC. Hence, this petition. Munoz claims that the Complaint filed in the MTC was actually an accion publiciana which is cognizable by the RTC. On the other hand, Garcia avers that the action filed in the MTC was one for unlawful detainer. ISSUE: WHETHER OR NOT THE ACTION FILED IN THE MTC IS A SUMMARY PROCEEDING FOR FORCIBLE ENTRY, UNLAWFUL DETAINER, OR AN ACCION PUBLICIANA. HELD: IT WAS ACTUALLY ONE FOR FORCIBLE ENTRY The summary actions for unlawful detainer and forcible entry may be DISTINGUISHED from each other, as follows: (a) In FORCIBLE ENTRY, the possession of the land by the defendant is unlawful from the beginning as he acquires possession thereof by force, intimidation, threat, strategy or stealth; while in UNLAWFUL DETAINER, the possession of the defendant is inceptively lawful but it becomes illegal by reason of the termination of his right to the possession of the property under his contract with the plaintiff. (b) In FORCIBLE ENTRY, the law does not require a previous demand for the defendant to vacate the premises ; but in UNLAWFUL DETAINER, the plaintiff must first make such demand, which is jurisdictional in nature. (c) In FORCIBLE ENTRY, the plaintiff must prove that he was in prior physical possession of the premises until he was deprived thereof by the defendant; in UNLAWFUL DETAINER, the plaintiff need not have been in prior physical possession. (d) In FORCIBLE ENTRY, the 1-year period is generally counted from the date of actual entry on the land; in UNLAWFUL DETAINER, from the date of last demand or last letter of demand. The complaint subject of this case was captioned as “unlawful detainer.” However, the Garcia alleged therein that from the start, the possession of Munoz et al was unlawful as it was stated that they have constructed their houses on the questioned premises stealthily, that is, without the knowledge and consent of his co-owners. This allegation clearly characterized the complaint as one for forcible entry and not for unlawful detainer. The questions to be resolved in an action for FORCIBLE ENTRY are: (1) First, who had actual possession over the piece of real property? (2) Second, was the possessor ousted therefrom within one year from the filing of the complaint by force, threat, strategy or stealth? (3) And lastly, does the plaintiff ask for the restoration of his possession? There was no mention in the complaint nor in the position paper of Garcia that he or his co-owners were in prior possession of the property. There was an allegation that the property “is presently tenanted” but it did not state when the tenant started to possess the property. While it is true that possession of the tenant is possession of the owner, the complaint failed to state that Loreta Garcia was in prior possession of the property at the time of entry by Munoz et 133

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al. And while the complaint stated that Munoz obtained possession of the premises through stealth, it failed to aver when this entry was accomplished or when the private respondent learned of such entry. The failure of Garcia to allege the time when unlawful deprivation took place is fatal because this will determine the start of the counting of the one year period for the filing of the summary action of forcible entry.

When the complaint fails to aver facts constitutive of forcible entry or unlawful detainer, as where it does not state how entry was effected or how and when dispossession started, the action should either be accion publiciana or reinvindicatoria in the CFI (now RTC). The CA erred in holding that this case is one for unlawful detainer. It failed to consider the basic distinction that in forcible entry, possession is illegal at the inception while in unlawful detainer, possession is legal until demand is

made to recover such possession or until the possessor does or fails to do an act which makes his continued possession of the premises illegal.

The fact that a demand was made by Garcia for Munoz to vacate the subject premises cannot change the nature of the latter’s possession of the property and convert the former’s action from forcible entry to one for unlawful detainer . The CA likewise erred in applying in this case the doctrine that — “a person who occupies the land of another at the latter’s tolerance or permission, without any contract between them, is necessarily bound by the implied promise that he will vacate upon demand, failing which, a summary action for ejectment is proper remedy against them” — because, as We have said here, the possession by defendants was illegal at the inception as alleged in the complaint, hence, there was no tolerance. As explained in Sarona v. Villegas: But will this rule as to tolerance hold true in a case where there was forcible entry at the start, but the lawful possessor did not attempt to oust the intruder for over one year, and only thereafter filed forcible entry suit following demand to vacate? A close assessment of the law and the concept of the word ‘tolerance’ confirms our view heretofore expressed that such tolerance must be present right from the start of possession sought to be recovered, to categorize a cause of action as one of unlawful detainer — not of forcible entry. Indeed, to hold otherwise would espouse a dangerous doctrine. And for two reasons. First. Forcible entry into the land is an open challenge to the right of the possessor. Violation of that right authorizes the speedy redress — in the inferior court — provided for in the rules. If one year from the forcible entry is allowed to lapse before suit is filed, then the remedy ceases to be speedy; and the possessor is deemed to have waived his right to seek relief in the inferior court. Second, if a forcible entry action in the inferior court is allowed after the lapse of a number of years, then the result may well be that no action for forcible entry can really prescribe. No matter how long such defendant is in physical possession, plaintiff will merely make a demand, bring suit in the inferior court — upon a plea of tolerance to prevent prescription to set in—and summarily throw him out of the land. Such a conclusion is unreasonable. Especially if we bear in mind the postulates that proceedings of forcible entry and unlawful detainer are summary in nature, and that the one year time bar to suit is but in pursuance of the summary nature of the action. It is well to remember that after the lapse of the one year period, suit must be started in the Court of First Instance in an accion publiciana. The main issue in an action for forcible entry and detainer is one of priority of possession. If the plaintiff can prove prior possession in himself, he may recover such possession even from the owner. This rule however has no application in this case. It is true that Garcia in this case claimed that he is one of the co-owners of the lot in question. However, he has not presented any evidence in support of such claim of ownership by virtue of which he is entitled to its possession. Moreover, he had not shown nor claimed in his complaint that he was in prior possession of the property. On the contrary, it is Munoz who claimed possession of the property for more than 12 years. If Garcia is indeed the owner of the premises and that possession thereof was deprived from him for more than 12 years, he should present his claim before the RTC in an accion publiciana or an accion reinvidicatoria and not before the Municipal Trial Court in a summary proceeding of unlawful detainer or forcible entry. For even if he is the owner, possession of the property cannot 134

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be wrested from another who had been in possession thereof for more than twelve (12) years through a summary action for ejectment. CLASS NOTES: - Forcible entry without alleging when prior possession was had is fatal 5. Sumulong v. CA, 232 SCRA 372 (1994) FACTS: Sumulong filed an ejectment suit against Inland Trailways under the theory that Inland entered its premises by stealth and strategy. Inland averred that the proper action should have been for unlawful detainer. MTC ruled in favor of Sumulong and ordered Inland to vacate. On appeal, RTC reversed the MTC and stated that Sumulong was not able to prove that she was in prior physical and actual possession, an element of an action for forcible entry. In the CA, the RTC decision was affirmed. It was stated that Sumulong was not able to specifically aver in her complaint facts constituting a cause of action for forcible entry. Hence, this petition. Sumulong avers that the CA erred in holding that she had no cause of action for forcible entry against Inland and asserts that she had prior physical possession of the property in question. ISSUE: WHETHER OR NOT THE COMPLAINT IN THE MTC FAILED TO STATE A CAUSE OF ACTION FOR FORCIBLE ENTRY. HELD: WHILE THE COMPLAINT DOES NOT STATE FACTS CONSTITUTING FORCIBLE ENTRY, IT DOES AVER FACTS CONSTITUTING UNLAWFUL DETAINER. Forcible entry and unlawful detainer are two distinct causes of action defined in Section 1, Rule 70 of the Rules of Court. In FORCIBLE ENTRY, one is deprived of physical possession of any land or building by means of force, intimidation, threat, strategy, or stealth. In UNLAWFUL DETAINER, one unlawfully withholds possession thereof after the expiration or termination of his right to hold possession under any contract, express or implied. In FORCIBLE ENTRY, the possession is illegal from the beginning and the only issue is who has the prior possession de facto. In UNLAWFUL DETAINER, possession was originally lawful but became unlawful by the expiration or termination of the right to possess and the issue of rightful possession is the one decisive, for in such action, the defendant is the party in actual possession and the plaintiff’s cause of action is the termination of the defendant’s right to continue in possession. Accordingly, in FORCIBLE ENTRY, the plaintiff must allege in the complaint and prove that he was in prior physical possession of the property in litigation until he was deprived thereof by the defendant, but in unlawful detainer, the plaintiff need not have prior physical possession of the property, or, elsewise stated, prior physical possession is not an indispensable requirement in an unlawful detainer case. The aforequoted allegations in the complaint of Sumulong indubitably show that she anchors her claim of prior physical possession on her peaceful take-over of the leased premises in November 1989 from INLAND who had been in possession thereof since June 1989 allegedly by virtue of an oral sublease contract. She overlooks, however, that as her allegations show, she allowed INLAND to reoccupy the premises in December 1989 when it misrepresented to her that Jopson was also its (INLAND’S) owner. When it was ascertained that Jopson was not, she again re-took possession of the premises, only, thereafter, to allow again INLAND to temporarily re-occupy the premises because of its representation that it will negotiate with her a contract of lease in its favor. Such negotiations were undertaken from 1 February 1990 to 1 March 1990. However, since the parties could not agree on the rate of rentals, and INLAND procured through “strategy and stealth” a sublease agreement from Jopson on 2 April 1990, Sumulong retook the physical possession of the leased premises on 4 April 1990. However, on the night of the said date, INLAND misrepresented to her that it was ready to finalize the appropriate lease contract and because of that misrepresentation, INLAND was again able to re-occupy the premises. It is clear then that since Sumulong’s first re-taking of possession in November 1989, INLAND was permitted to re-occupy the premises thrice. The words STRATEGY and STEALTH, as means of forcible entry, are used by Sumulong in paragraphs 17 and 20 of her complaint. They refer, however, to the procurement by INLAND of the sublease agreement on 2 April 1990 and its misrepresentation that it was ready to finalize the appropriate lease contract. 135

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Assuming them to be true, those acts hardly constitute either strategy or stealth as a means of forcible entry. “STRATEGY” in this regard could only mean machination or artifice and considering that the parties tangled for weeks to reach an agreement on the terms and conditions of a contract of lease, no such machination or artifice could be said to have been employed by INLAND. “STEALTH,” on the other hand, is defined as any secret, sly, or clandestine act to avoid discovery and to gain entrance into or remain within residence of another without permission. The allegations then in paragraphs 17 and 20 of the complaint that INLAND employed “strategy” and “stealth” are conclusions which are not supported by the material operative facts averred in the complaint. On the contrary, they are negated by paragraph 21 which reads: 21. Except those times when plaintiff took over the subject properties for a while, defendant Inland Trailways has remained in illegal possession of the said premises, since June 1989, and, up to the present, still retains such possession thereof. This paragraph and Sumulong’s allegations of strategy and stealth on 4 April 1990 also refute her argument that for purposes of determining prior physical possession, her retaking of the property in November 1989 should be the basis in determining her cause of action for forcible entry. It must be stated, however, that whatever illegality may have tainted INLAND’S entry in June 1989 was removed by Sumulong’s acceptance of rentals from INLAND after her November 1989 take-over, even if such acceptance was thru the latter’s misrepresentation that Jopson is also its owner. INLAND’S succeeding acts of re-occupying the premises twice thereafter were tolerated by Sumulong for the reasons earlier adverted to. We thus agree with the RTC and the CA that the complaint fails to show a cause of action for forcible entry. Neither was Sumulong able to prove it by her evidence, which on the contrary, established that she allowed INLAND to re-occupy the premises, not because of the claim of the latter of an oral sublease agreement and then of a written sublease agreement, but because of the allegation that Jopson is the owner of INLAND; that INLAND would negotiate for a formal lease contract; and that INLAND was ready to finalize the lease contract. Also, from the allegations in the complaint, the nullity of the sublease agreement which INLAND allegedly obtained from Jopson on 2 April 1990 is beyond question. Jopson had no right to sublease the property since the contract of lease in its favor had already been automatically cancelled pursuant to Section III thereof and Jopson was properly notified of such automatic cancellation first in December 1989 and then on 14 March 1990. Neither party proved that Jopson protested the cancellation of the contract of lease. A sublessee can invoke no right superior to that of his sublessor. Consequently, as correctly held by the MTC, “the written sublease was only resorted to by Defendant [INLAND] when the parties could not agree as to the terms of a new lease,” which, however, the MTC erroneously considered as the act which constituted “stealth and strategy.” Notwithstanding the foregoing, the complaint should not have been dismissed merely for its failure to state a cause of action for forcible entry, for although Sumulong has designated or denominated it in the caption as one for forcible entry, her allegations in the body thereof sufficiently establish a cause of action for unlawful detainer. Well-settled is the rule that what determines the nature of the action as well as the court which has jurisdiction over the case are the allegations in the complaint. 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 or 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. It is equally settled that in an action for unlawful detainer, an allegation that the defendant is unlawfully withholding possession from the plaintiff is deemed sufficient, and a complaint for unlawful detainer is sufficient if it

alleges that the withholding of possession or the refusal to vacate is unlawful without necessarily employing the terminology of the law.

It is easily discernible from the allegations in the complaint that the re-occupation by INLAND of the premises in question in December 1989 — after it was discovered that INLAND was not owned by Jopson — was by virtue of Sumulong’s tolerance because INLAND promised to negotiate for a contract of lease and consequently, its continuance in possession was conditioned on the execution of a lease contract. 136

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Possession by tolerance is lawful. However, a person who occupies the land of another at the latter’s tolerance or

permission without any contract between them is necessarily bound by an implied promise that he will vacate upon demand, failing which a summary action for ejectment is the proper remedy against him. Accordingly, we rule that the allegations in the complaint in Civil Case No. 132844-CV adequately and sufficiently establish a cause of action for unlawful detainer and that the prayer therein is equally appropriate for an action for unlawful detainer. The evidence summarized in the MTC’s decision preponderantly supports that cause of action. A judgment then for unlawful detainer could be validly rendered in Civil Case No. 132844-CV and the dispositive portion of the MTC’s decision therein is consistent with that for unlawful detainer, except that the fixed reasonable compensation for the use of the premises should only commence to run from December 1989 and not from June 1989. CLASS NOTES: - Definition of “stealth” and “strategy” 6. Ong v. Parel, 355 SCRA 691 (2001) FACTS: Spouses Ong are registered owners of a lot at Rizal Park Subdivision which is adjacent to another lot registered under Visitacion Beltran, grandmother of one Soccoro Parel. On May 25, 1995, Ong filed an Action for Forcible Entry against Parel in the MTC of Manila. It was alleged that, through strategy and stealth, Parel constructed an overhang and hollow block wall which encroached upon the lot owned by Ong. It was likewise alleged that Ong discovered Parel’s illegal possession of the lot on Aug 1994 when they had the boundaries thereof resurveyed. Moreover, it was alleged that the last demand to vacate was made on Dec 1994. In her Answer, Parel denied the allegations and claimed that the said constructions had already been in existence since 1956. MTC ruled in favor of Ong and ordered Parel to remove the constructions and surrender possession to Ong. On appeal, RTC reversed and dismissed the case for failure of Ong to prove prior possession. CA likewise denied Ong’s Petition for Review and stated that since the constructions were made when Parel’s grandmother still owned the lots, they could not be considered as strategy and stealth which gives rise to forcible entry. Hence, this petition. Essentially, Ong alleges that Parel is a usurper and that the act of entering and constructing upon his land without his knowledge is an act of dispossession by means of strategy or stealth. ISSUE: WHETHER OR NOT THE ACTION FOR FORCIBLE ENTRY WILL PROSPER. HELD: NO. Section 1, Rule 70 of the Rules of Court requires that in actions for forcible entry the plaintiff is allegedly deprived of the possession of any land or building by force, intimidation, threat, strategy, or stealth and that the action is filed any time within 1 year from the time of such unlawful deprivation of possession. This requirement implies that in such cases, the possession of the land by the defendant is unlawful from the beginning as he acquires possession thereof by unlawful means. The plaintiff must allege and prove that he was in prior physical possession of the property in litigation until he was deprived thereof by the defendant. The 1 year period within which to bring an action for forcible entry is generally counted from the date of actual entry on the land, EXCEPT that when entry was made through stealth, the 1 year period is counted from the time the plaintiff learned thereof. If the alleged dispossession did not occur by any of the means stated in section 1, Rule 70, the proper recourse is to file a plenary action to recover possession with the RTC. In their complaint, Ong spouses aver that through stealth and strategy Parel constructed the controversial overhang and hollow block wall along the common boundary of the parties adjoining lots which encroached on petitioners’ Lot No. 18. STEALTH is defined as any secret, sly or clandestine act to avoid discovery and to gain entrance into or remain within residence of another without permission. However, Ong failed to establish that Parel encroached upon their property through stealth as it was not shown when and how the alleged entry was made on the portion of their lot. 137

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On the other hand, Parel’s claim that the said structures were already existing on the lot at the time Ong bought the same from the Magbag spouses in 1994, was sustained by the lower court since Ong admitted in their petition that they discovered such encroachment only after a relocation survey on their lot on August 23, 1994. We find no reason to disturb the RTC’s factual conclusion that the alleged encroachments were made by the late Visitacion Beltran at a time when she still owned both lots nos. 17 and 18 or when she had all the right and power to do so. Parel in her affidavit submitted before the court had affirmed that her grandmother, Visitacion Beltran, was the registered owner of the parcel of land covered by TCT No. 125163 (Lot No. 17) with improvements which include the window sill overhang and the old adobe wall which were constructed as early as 1956 and these improvements are adjacent to the private alley from Elias Street which has to be opened and maintained as long as there exists building thereon; that the maintenance of such alley was made as an encumbrance in Ong’s title when they bought the adjacent Lot No. 18. Ong failed to present evidence to the contrary. It becomes clear that this is not a proper case for forcible entry wherein one party unlawfully deprives another of possession of the property subject of the litigation; it is a boundary dispute wherein the adobe wall, overhang and window grill on the Parel’s side of the property encroach a total of 4.29 meters, more or less, upon the Ong’s side of the property. In view of the failure of Ong to allege, much less prove, with specificity that Parel unlawfully entered their portion of the lot either by force, intimidation, threat, strategy, or stealth this action for forcible entry must necessarily fall. We declared in the case of Sarmiento vs. Court of Appeals: The jurisdictional facts must appear on the face of the complaint. When the complaint fails to aver facts constitutive of forcible entry or unlawful detainer, as where it does not state how entry was effected or how and when dispossession started, as in the case at bar, the remedy should either be an accion publiciana or an accion reivindicatoria in the proper regional trial court. If private respondent is indeed the owner of the premises subject of this suit and she was unlawfully deprived of the real right of possession or the ownership thereof, she should present her claim before the regional trial court in an accion publiciana or an accion reivindicatoria, and not before the municipal trial court in a summary proceeding of unlawful detainer or forcible entry. For even if one is the owner of the property, the possession thereof cannot be wrested from another who had been in the physical or material possession of the same for more than one year by resorting to a summary action for ejectment. This is especially true where his possession thereof was not obtained through the means or held under the circumstances contemplated by the rules on summary ejectment. We have held that in giving recognition to the action for forcible entry and unlawful detainer, the purpose of the law is to protect the person who in fact has actual possession, and in case of a controverted proprietary right, the law requires the parties to preserve the status quo until one or the other sees fit to invoke the decision of a court of competent jurisdiction upon the question of ownership. Ong’s contention that although they denominated their complaint as one for forcible entry based on the ground of stealth, the allegations in the body of the complaint sufficiently established a cause of action for unlawful detainer, does not persuade us. In unlawful detainer, one unlawfully withholds possession thereof after the expiration or termination of his right to hold possession under any contract, express or implied. In the instant case, the complaint does not allege that the possession of Parel ever changed from illegal to legal anytime from their alleged illegal entry before plaintiffs made the demand to vacate. There was no averment in the complaint which recites as a fact any overt act on the part of Ong which showed that they permitted or tolerated Parel to occupy a portion of their property . After a finding that Ong failed to make a case for ejectment, we find it unnecessary to dwell on the other assignments of error. CLASS NOTES: - Entry by stealth - Reckoning point of 1 year period is from the time the illegal possession is discovered. 138

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7. Co Tiamco v. Diaz, 75 Phil. 672 (1946) FACTS: ISSUE: HELD: A demand is a prerequisite to an action for unlawful detainer, when the action is “for failure to pay rent due or to comply with the conditions of his lease,” and not where the action is to terminate the lease because of the expiration of its term. A lease ceases upon the expiration of its term without the necessity of any notice to the tenant who thenceforth becomes a deforciant withholding the property unlawfully “after the expiration or termination of the right to hold possession by virtue of any contract, express or implied,” as provided in Rule 72, section 1. In other words upon the expiration of the term of a lease, the landlord may go into the property and occupy it, and if the lessee refuses to vacate the premises, an action for unlawful detainer may immediately be brought against him even before the expiration of the fifteen or five days provided in Rule 72, section 2. Indeed, upon the expiration of the lease, there may be a tacit renewal thereof (tácita reconducción), as when, with the acquiescence of the lessor, the lessee continues enjoying the thing leased for fifteen days, as provided in article 1566 of the Civil Code; and the lessor's acquiescence may be inferred from his failure to serve a notice to quit . But tacit renewal in such case, being a new contract, is a matter of defense which may be alleged by defendant in his answer, no allegation being necessary in the complaint by way of anticipation of such defense. CLASS NOTES: - If lease expires, no demand is needed especially if there is no stipulation regarding automatic renewal. - Demand is necessary unless otherwise stipulated - One can stipulate that demand is not necessary - Must be a demand to VACATE and PAY - 1-year period reckoned from the last demand 8. Penas v. CA, 233 SCRA 744 (1994) FACTS: Penas leased out a property in QC to Calaycay pursuant to a Lease Contract which was on a month-to-month basis. On January 1990, Penas notified Calaycay that they were terminating the contract effective March 1990 and demanded that they vacate on or before the last day of February 1990. In the same letter, Penas opted to allow Calaycay to continue occupying the premises provided he will agree to execute a new lease for a period of 1 year at an increased monthly rate. When Calaycay did not abide by this and still continued staying in the premises, Penas sent another demand to vacate on Aug 1992 and for Calaycay to pay back rentals. Thereafter, Penas filed an Action for Unlawful Detainer on Sept. 1992. MTC dismissed the complaint on the ground of lack of jurisdiction upon finding that the complaint was filed beyond the 1 year period after Calaycay unlawfully occupied the premises. On appeal, RTC affirmed. CA also affirmed. It was stated that the proper remedy was an Action for Recovery of Possession in the RTC. Hence, this petition. ISSUE: WHETHER OR NOT THE ACTION FOR UNLAWFUL DETAINER WAS FILED WITHIN THE 1-YEAR PERIOD WHICH WOULD NECESSARILY VEST JURISDICTION ON THE MTC. HELD: YES Penas correctly cite our ruling in Sy Oh v. Garcia upholding the established rule that the one (1) year period provided for in section 1, Rule 70 of the Rules of Court within which a complaint for unlawful detainer can be filed should be counted from the LAST letter of demand to vacate, the reason being that the lessor has the right to waive his right of action based on previous demands and let the lessee remain meanwhile in the premises. 139

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In the present case, it is of note that the first demand letter addressed by Penas to Calaycay gave the latter the option to either vacate the premises on or before 28 February 1990 or agree to execute a new lease contract for one (1) year at an increased rental rate of P2,500 per month. In Vda. de Murga v. Chan we held that: The notice giving the lessee the alternative either to pay the increased rental or otherwise vacate the land is not the demand contemplated by the Rules of Court in unlawful detainer cases . When after such notice, the lessee elects to stay, he thereby merely assumes the new rental and cannot be ejected until he defaults in said obligation and necessary demand is first made. The facts of this case do not warrant a departure from said settled doctrine. It should be noted that even if Calaycay was depositing rentals in trust for Penas, what was being deposited were rentals at the old rate, which Penas were not bound to accept or withdraw. When Calaycay elected to remain in the premises after Penas had sent him the letter of 18 January 1990 giving him the option to vacate by 28 February 1990 or to sign a new lease contract for one (1) year at an increased rental rate of P2,500.00 (later reduced to P2,000.00) a month, he assumed the new rental rate and could be ejected from the premises only upon default and by a proper demand from Penas. The demand was made on 10 August 1992, followed by the action for unlawful detainer on 25 September 1992.

9. Caniza v. CA, 268 SCRA 640 (1997) FACTS: Amparo Evangelista was declared as the legal guardian of 94-year old Carmen Caniza who was adjudged to be incompetent. Caniza owned a house and lot in QC. As her guardian, Amparo filed an Action for Ejectment in the MTC against Estrada. It was alleged that Caniza allowed Estrada to reside in said property free of rent out of the goodness of her heart. It was also claimed that Caniza had asked the Estradas verbally and in writing to vacate the house but they refused. In their Answer, Estrada claims that Caniza allowed them to reside therein since the 1960s and was considered by Caniza as her own family. Nonetheless, MTC ordered Estrada to vacate. On appeal, RTC reversed and held that the proper action to be filed was an accion publiciana in the RTC. CA affirmed. It stated that since Estrada was not in the property as mere tenants or occupants by tolerance, but considered as an adopted family by the owner, an action for ejectment is not proper. Hence, this petition. Caniza, through her guardian, insists that action interdictal is proper. On the other hand, Estrada argues that the action is not an unlawful detainer because possession was not obtained through any contract as contemplated by Rule 70 thereby thus could never become unlawful. Neither could it be considered an action for forcible entry because they had occupied the property with prior consent of the owner. ISSUE: WHETHER OR NOT THE ACTION FOR EJECTMENT IS PROPER. HELD: YES. Undoubtedly, a cause of action for desahucio has been adequately set out. It is settled that in an ACTION FOR UNLAWFUL DETAINER, it suffices that the defendant is unlawfully withholding possession from the plaintiff is deemed sufficient, and a complaint for unlawful detainer is sufficient if it alleges that the withholding of possession or the refusal to vacate is unlawful without necessarily employing the terminology of the law. The Estradas’ first proffered defense derives from a literal construction of Section 1, Rule 70 of the Rules of Court which inter alia authorizes the institution of an unlawful detainer suit when “the possession of any land or building is unlawfully withheld after the expiration or termination of the right to hold possession, by virtue of any contract, express or implied.” They contend that since they did not acquire possession of the property in question “by virtue of any contract, express or implied” — they having been, to repeat, “allowed to live temporarily ** (therein) for free, out of (Cañiza’s) kindness” — in no sense could there be an “expiration or termination of (their) right to hold possession, by virtue of any contract, express or implied.” Nor would an action for forcible entry lie against them, since there is no claim that they had “deprived (Cañiza) of the possession of ** (her property) by force, intimidation, threat, strategy, or stealth.” 140

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The argument is arrant sophistry. Cañiza’s act of allowing the Estradas to occupy her house, rent-free, did not create a permanent and indefeasible right of possession in the latter’s favor. Common sense, and the most rudimentary sense of fairness clearly require that that act of liberality be implicitly, but no less certainly, accompanied by the necessary burden on the Estradas of returning the house to Cañiza upon her demand. More than once has this Court adjudged that a person who occupies the land of another at the latter’s tolerance or permission without any contract between them is necessarily bound by an implied promise that he will vacate upon demand, failing which a summary action for ejectment is the proper remedy against him. The situation is not much different from that of a tenant whose lease expires but who continues in occupancy by tolerance of the owner, in which case there is deemed to be an unlawful deprivation or withholding of possession as of the date of the demand to vacate. In other words, one whose stay is merely tolerated becomes a deforciant illegally occupying the land or property the moment he is required to leave. Thus, in Asset Privatization Trust vs. Court of Appeals, where a company, having lawfully obtained possession of a plant upon its undertaking to buy the same, refused to return it after failing to fulfill its promise of payment despite demands, this Court held that “(a)fter demand and its repudiation, (its) continuing possession became illegal and the complaint for unlawful detainer filed by the ** (plant’s owner) was its proper remedy.” It may not be amiss to point out in this connection that where there had been more than one demand to vacate, the oneyear period for filing the complaint for unlawful detainer must be reckoned from the date of the last demand, the reason being that the lessor has the option to waive his right of action based on previous demands and let the lessee remain meanwhile in the premises. Now, the complaint filed by Cañiza’s guardian alleges that the same was “filed within one (1) year from the date of the first letter of demand dated February 3, 1990 .” Although this averment is not in accord with law because there is in fact a second letter of demand to vacate, dated February 27, 1990, the mistake is inconsequential, since the complaint was actually filed on September 17, 1990, well within one year from the second (last) written demand to vacate. The Estradas’ possession of the house stemmed from the owner’s express permission. That permission was subsequently withdrawn by the owner, as was her right; and it is immaterial that the withdrawal was made through her judicial guardian, the latter being indisputably clothed with authority to do so. Nor is it of any consequence that Carmen Cañiza had executed a will bequeathing the disputed property to the Estradas; that circumstance did not give them the right to stay in the premises after demand to vacate on the theory that they might in the future become owners thereof, that right of ownership being at best inchoate, no transfer of ownership being possible unless and until the will is duly probated. Thus, at the time of the institution of the action of desahucio, the Estradas had no legal right to the property, whether as possessors by tolerance or sufferance, or as owners. They could not claim the right of possession by sufferance that had been legally ended. They could not assert any right of possession flowing from their ownership of the house; their status as owners is dependent on the probate of the holographic will by which the property had allegedly been bequeathed to them — an event which still has to take place; in other words, prior to the probate of the will, any assertion of possession by them would be premature and inefficacious. In any case, the only issue that could legitimately be raised under the circumstances was that involving the Estradas’ possession by tolerance, i.e., possession de facto, not de jure. It is therefore incorrect to postulate that the proper remedy for Cañiza is not ejectment but accion publiciana, a plenary action in the RTC or an action that is one for recovery of the right to possession de jure. 10. Cetus Development Inc v. CA, 176 SCRA 72 (1989) FACTS: Susana Realty owned a property in Quiapo. Navalta, Teng, Liwanag, Canlas, Sudario, and Nagbuya leased said properties. The rental payments were paid by the tenants to a collector of Susana Realty who went to the premises monthly. Later, Susana Realty sold the property to Cetus. Eventually, the tenants failed to pay their respective rental dues as no collector came. 141

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On October 9, 1984, Cetus sent a letter to each of the tenants demanding that they vacate and to pay back rentals for the periods of July, August, and September 1984. Immediately upon receipt of said demand letters, the tenants paid their back rentals which were accepted by Cetus subject to a condition that acceptance was without prejudice to the filing of an ejectment suit. For failure of the tenants to vacate, Cetus filed a Complaint for Ejectment in the MTC against the tenants. In their Answers, they all argued that the complaint had no cause of action. After the cases were consolidated, MTC dismissed the cases. RTC and CA affirmed. Hence, this petition. ISSUE: WHETHER OR NOT THERE WAS A CAUSE OF ACTION WHEN THE COMPLAINTS FOR UNLAWFUL DETAINER WERE FILED. HELD: NONE. The demand required and contemplated in Section 2 is a jurisdictional requirement for the purpose of bringing an unlawful detainer suit for failure to pay rent or comply with the conditions of lease, to wit: Sec. 2. Landlord to proceed against tenant only after demand. — No landlord or his legal representative or assign, shall bring such action against a tenant for failure to pay rent due or to comply with the conditions of his lease, unless the tenant shall have failed to pay such rent or comply with such conditions for a period of fifteen (15) days or five (5) days in case of building, after demand therefor, made upon him personally, or by serving written notice of such demand upon the person found on the premises, or by posting such notice on the premises if no persons be found thereon. It partakes of an extrajudicial remedy that must be pursued before resorting to judicial action so much so that when there is full compliance with the demand, there arises no necessity for court action. As to whether this demand is merely a demand to pay rent or comply with the conditions of the lease or also a demand to vacate, the answer can be gleaned from said Section 2. This section presupposes the existence of a cause of action for unlawful detainer as it speaks of “failure to pay rent due or comply with the conditions of the lease.” The existence of said cause of action gives the lessor the right under Article 1659 of the New Civil Code to ask for the rescission of the contract of lease and indemnification for damages, or only the latter, allowing the contract to remain in force. Accordingly, if the option chosen is for SPECIFIC PERFORMANCE, then the demand referred to is obviously to pay rent or to comply with the conditions of the lease violated. However, if RESCISSION is the option chosen, the demand must be for the lessee to pay rents or to comply with the conditions of the lease and to vacate. Accordingly, the rule that has been followed in our jurisprudence where rescission is clearly the option taken, is that BOTH DEMANDS to pay rent and to vacate are necessary to make a lessee a deforciant in order that an ejectment suit may be filed. Thus, for the purpose of bringing an ejectment suit, TWO REQUISITES MUST CONCUR, namely: (4) there must be failure to pay rent or comply with the conditions of the lease; and (5) there must be demand both to pay or to comply and vacate within the periods specified in Section 2, Rule 70, namely 15 days in case of lands and 5 days in case of buildings. The FIRST REQUISITE refers to the existence of the cause of action for unlawful detainer while the SECOND refers to the jurisdictional requirement of demand in order that said cause of action may be pursued. It is very clear that in the case at bar, no cause of action for ejectment has accrued. There was no failure yet on the part of the tenants to pay rents for three consecutive months. As the terms of the individual verbal leases which were on a month-to-month basis were not alleged and proved, the general rule on necessity of demand applies, to wit: there is default in 142

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the fulfillment of an obligation when the creditor demands payment at the maturity of the obligation or at anytime thereafter. This is explicit in Article 1169, New Civil Code which provides that “(t)hose obliged to deliver or to do something incur in delay from the time the obligee judicially or extrajudicially demands from them the fulfillment of their obligation.” Cetus has not shown that its case falls on any of the following EXCEPTIONS where demand is not required: (1) when the obligation or the law so declares; (2) when from the nature and circumstances of the obligation it can be inferred that time is of the essence of the contract; and (3) when demand would be useless, as when the obligor has rendered it beyond his power to perform . The demand required in Article 1169 of the Civil Code may be in any form, provided that it can be proved. The proof of this demand lies upon the creditor. Without such demand, oral or written, the effects of default do not arise. This demand is different from the demand required under Section 2, Rule 70, which is merely a jurisdictional requirement before an existing cause of action may be pursued. The facts on record fail to show proof that Cetus demanded the payment of the rentals when the obligation matured. Coupled with the fact that no collector was sent as previously done in the past, the tenants cannot be held guilty of mora solvendi or delay in the payment of rentals. Thus, when Cetus first demanded the payment of the 3-month arrearages and the tenants lost no time in making tender and payment, which Cetus accepted, no cause of action for ejectment accrued. Hence, its demand to vacate was premature as it was an exercise of a non-existing right to rescind. In contradistinction, where the right of rescission exists, payment of the arrearages in rental after the demand to pay and to vacate under Section 2, Rule 70 does not extinguish the cause of action for ejectment as the lessor is not only entitled to recover the unpaid rents but also to eject the lessee. Moreover, the acceptance of tendered payment does not constitute a waiver of the cause of action for ejectment especially when accepted with the written condition that it was “without prejudice to the filing of an ejectment suit”. Indeed, it is illogical or ridiculous not to accept the tender of payment of rentals merely to preserve the right to file an action for unlawful detainer. However, this line of argument presupposes that a cause of action for ejectment has already accrued, which is not true in the instant case. While it is true that a lessor is not obligated to send a collector, it has been duly established that it has been customary for the tenants to pay the rentals through a collector. 11. Heirs of Suico v. CA, 266 SCRA 444 (1997) FACTS: Suico owns a 2 storey residential building which was being rented to Reyes and Duran at P360 per month. Thereafter, Suico proposed an increase but Reyes and Duran refused. Suico refused to receive the rental payments tendered by the tenants who insisted on paying the original rental fee. As such, Suico served a notice to vacate the premises against the tenants. Thereafter, Suico filed a Complaint for Unlawful Detainer in the MTC. MTC ordered the tenants to vacate but recognized that they were owners of the leased buildings. On appeal, RTC extended the lease of the tenants. Aggrieved, Suico sought recourse from the CA. CA ruled that the MTC had no jurisdiction over the ejectment case and ordered the dismissal of the case. Essentially, CA stated that the MTC had no jurisdiction to decide the issue of ownership. Hence, this petition. ISSUE: WHETHER OR NOT THE MTC HAD JURISDICTION OVER THE EJECTMENT CASE DESPITE THE FACT THAT THE ISSUE OF OWNERSHIP WAS RAISED. HELD: YES. By their prayer in this petition that we annul the decision of the Court of Appeals and affirm the MTCC decision, Suico has unconditionally conceded to the finding of the MTCC that the building did not belong to their grandparents, as it was constructed by the tenants’ parents. 143

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The tenants’ affirmative allegation of ownership of the building was raised merely to underscore their claim that Suico’s demand for a rental increase “several times (more) than the prevailing rentals” was harsh, and that Suico was “trying to oppressively evict” them from the premises, disregarding the close relationship between Suico’s parents and grandparents, on one hand, and the tenants and their parents, on the other. It may also be noted that in the Prayer in their Answer, the tenants never asked for payment of the value of their building, but only sought that the complaint be dismissed in toto, or in the alternative, that the lease period be fixed, with moral damages of P50,000.00 and attorney’s fees and litigation expenses of at least P50,000.00, in either case. Indisputably then, the subject matter of the verbal lease agreement between the Suico’s grandparents and the tenants’ parents was exclusively a portion of the lot described in the Complaint in Civil Case No. R-31419, after the latter constructed the building in question following the destruction of the old house by typhoon “Amy.” The tenants, moreover, did not set up in their answer to the complaint for ejectment, the defense of lack of jurisdiction of the MTCC on the basis of the issue of ownership of the building. Neither did they raise this before the RTC nor the Court of Appeals. The upshot of the foregoing is that the MTCC’s lack of jurisdiction on the ground aforementioned was not even contemplated by the parties. It was thus error for the Court of Appeals to annul the decisions of the MTCC and the RTC on the ground of lack of jurisdiction on the part of the MTCC owing to the allegations concerning ownership of the building. The parties to the oral lease in question — Suico’s grandparents and the tenants’’ parents — did not fix a specified period therefor. However, since the rentals were paid monthly, the lease, even if verbal, may be deemed to be on a monthly basis, expiring at the end of every month, pursuant to Article 1687, in relation to Article 1673, of the Civil Code. In such case, a demand to vacate was not even necessary for judicial action after the expiration of every one month. In the instant case, however, Suico likewise demanded an increase in the rent since the tenants did not use the building exclusively for their residence or dwelling, having used it for the “conduct of their air conditioning service and repair business.” Expectedly the tenants refused to pay the new rate of rentals. Whether the demand was valid or otherwise is no longer in issue since the tenants even prayed in their comment that we affirm the decision of the RTC should we reverse the decision of the Court of Appeals. 12. Mara, Inc. v. Estrella, 65 SCRA 471 (1975) FACTS: Mara Inc filed a Complaint for Forcible Entry against De Leon. It was alleged that the latter, through force, intimidation, threat, strategy and stealth, occupied 4 lots in QC registered under the name of Mara as evidenced by TCTs. Moreover, Mara averred that it had prior possession of said lots. Days after the filing of said Complaint, Mara asked the City Court to issue a Preliminary Mandatory Injunction so that possession of said property could be restored. After posting bond, Judge Estrella issued a Writ of Preliminary Mandatory Injunction. Thereafter, De Leon moved for the dissolution of the injunction. Later, Judge Estrella dissolved the injunction after De Leon posted a surety bond. Aggrieved, Mara filed a Petition for Certiorari in the SC for the purpose of annulling Judge Estrella’s order which dissolved its Preliminary Mandatory Injunction. ISSUE: WHETHER OR NOT MARA INC IS ENTITLED TO A WRIT OF PRELIMINARY MANDATORY INJUNCTION TO RECOVER POSSESSION OF THE SUBJECT LOTS DURING THE PENDENCY OF THE EJECTMENT SUIT. HELD: YES. The Civil Code provides: 144

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ART. 539. Every possessor has a right to be respected in his possession; and should ho be disturbed therein he shall be protected in or restored to said possession by the means established by the laws and the Rules of Court. A possessor deprived of his possession through forcible entry may within ten days from the filing of the complain at present a motion to secure from the competent court, in the action for forcible entry, a writ of preliminary mandatory injunction to restore him in his possession. The court shall decide the motion within thirty (30) days from the filing thereof. Mara, Inc. based its petition for a writ of preliminary mandatory injunction on the second paragraph of article 539 which was incorporated as the second paragraph of section 3, Rule 70 of the Rules of Court dealing with forcible entry and detainer. The Code Commission noted that there had been “prolonged litigations between the owner and the usurper” and that the owner had been frequently deprived of his possession even when he had an immediate right thereto.

The urgency of the remedy of injunction is underscored by the fact that the court is given only 30 days within which to decide the motion for the issuance of the writ of preliminary mandatory injunction. It is deplorable that in this case it took the City Court more than 19 months to decide the motion of Mara, Inc.

As expressed by Justice Moreland in his flamboyant rhetoric, “it is the undisputed policy of every people which maintains the principle of private ownership of property that he who owns a thing shall not be deprived of its possession or use except for the most urgent and imperative reasons and then only so long as is necessary to make the rights which underlie those reasons effective. It is a principle of universal acceptance which declares that one has the instant right to occupy and use that which he owns, and it is only in the presence of reasons of the strongest and most urgent nature that that principle is prevented from accomplishing the purpose which underlies it. The force which gave birth to this stern and imperious principle is the same force which destroyed the feudal despotism and created the democracy of private owners.” The injunction contemplated in article 539 is an exception to the general rule that the writ of injunction is not proper where its purpose is to take property out of the possession or control of one person and place it in the hands of another whose title has not clearly been established by law. Therefore, if the petitioner asking for an injunction is the registered owner and the oppositor is an interloper or squatter who has no possessory right to the land in litigation, a writ of preliminary mandatory injunction may be issued pendente lite. In the instant case, the Torrens titles of Mara, Inc. to the 4 lots appear to be unassailable. De Leon in his answer to the complaint for ejectment merely pretended lack of knowledge of the said titles. He has not shown in his answer any indubitable right to possess the four lots in question. 13. Balagtas Realty Corp v. Romillo Jr., 114 SCRA 28 (1982) FACTS: Balagtas Realty owns a row of residential apartments in Pasay City. It filed 19 Complaints for Illegal Detainer in the MTC against its tenants for refusal and failure to vacate their premises and to pay rentals in arrears. Said cases were consolidated and jointly heard. MTC ordered 11 of them to vacate while the case against the 8 others were terminated previously. Thereafter, Balagtas filed Motions for Immediate Execution of the judgment. To stay such execution, the tenants filed a Notice of Appeal and posted their respective supersedeas bonds. When the cases were elevated to the CFI under Judge Romillo, Balagtas again filed a Motion for Immediate Ejectment Execution on the ground that the tenants failed to deposit their monthly rentals to the CFI. The tenants opposed and argued that they already deposited the rentals to the CFI. Judge Romillo denied Balagtas’ motion. Aggrieved, Balagtas filed a petition with the SC. ISSUE: WHETHER OR NOT BALAGTAS IS ENTITLED TO IMMEDIATE EXECUTION OF THE DECISION. 145

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HELD: The pertinent provision of Rule 70 of the Revised Rules of Court is as follows: Section 8. If judgment is rendered against the defendant, execution shall issue immediately, unless an appeal has been perfected, and the defendant to stay execution files a sufficient bond, approved by the municipal or city court and executed to the plaintiff to enter the action in the Court of First Instance and to pay the rents, damages and costs accruing down to the time of the judgment appealed from, and unless during the pendency of the appeal, he deposits with the appellate court the amount of rent due from time to time under the contract, if any, as found by the judgment of the municipal or city court to exist. In the absence of a contract, he shall deposit with the court the reasonable value of the use and

occupation of the premises for the preceding month or period at the rate determined by the judgment, on or before the tenth day of each succeeding month or period. The supersedeas bond shall be transmitted by the municipal or city court, with the other papers, to the clerk of the Court of First Instance to which the action is appealed.

Should the defendant fail to make the payments above prescribed from time to time during the pendency of the appeal, the appellate court, upon motion of the plaintiff, of which the defendant shall have notice, and upon proof of such failure, shall order the execution of the judgment appealed from with respect to the restoration of possession, but such execution shall not be a bar to the appeal taking its course until the final disposition thereof on its merits. Under this rule, judgment in favor of the plaintiff must be executed immediately in order to prevent further damages to him arising from continued loss of possession. However, the defendant may stay execution: (1) by perfecting an appeal and filing a supersedeas bond; AND (2) by paying promptly from time to time either to the plaintiff or depositing with the Court of First Instance the adjudged reasonable value of the use and occupation of the property. This rule is mandatory, the EXCEPTION being when the delay is due to fraud, accident, mistake or excusable negligence. In the case at bar, it is uncontradicted that the tenants posted their respective supersedeas bonds to answer for rentals and damages accruing down to the time of the perfection of their appeals in January, 1977. What is controverted is whether or not there is compliance with the second requisite to stay execution, namely; the payment of the monthly rentals as they fell due. We find for Balagtas. It is settled doctrine that the judgment of a case is what is contained in the dispositive portion: The portion of the decision that becomes the subject of execution is that ordained or decreed in the dispositive part thereof. Execution of judgment must conform to that ordained or decreed in the dispositive portion of the decision. Dispositive portion of decision controls in execution of judgment. We hold that since the dispositive part of the decision of the Pasay City Court adjudged and ordered the tenants “to each pay to Balagtas Two Thousand Pesos (P2,000.00) monthly rentals from May 1, 1976 until each of them finally and respectively vacates his/her respective apartment-premises subject matter of these summary complaints,” anything said in the body of the opinion about the P1,000.00 discount if a lessee pays his/her rental within the first three days of the month, is merely an obiter. Consequently, when the tenants effected monthly deposits of less than P2,000.00, they violated the condition imposed by Section 8, Rule 70 of the Revised Rules of Court, hereinbefore quoted, anent the deposit of the amount of rent due, as found by the judgment of the city court to exist. Our jurisprudence on the matter is overwhelming. Time and again, this Court has unswervingly held: 146

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The law providing that in case the defendant appeals, he must pay to the plaintiff or into the CFI the amount fixed as rent on or before the 10th day of each calendar month, and that failure to do so shall cause the judgment to be executed, is mandatory and cannot be evaded. The court has no discretion to give or not to give effect to such failure to pay. Failure of the defendant to deposit on time the monthly reasonable value of the use and occupation of the property or the rents fixed in the judgment is a ground for execution of such judgment, as a matter of right the duty of the court to order such execution being ministerial and imperative. In fact, even delayed payment of the rentals alone, unless excused by mistake, accident or fraud, would have already rendered the function of the court of executing the judgment ministerial and imperative. A deposit made out of time though prior to the order of the court cannot be accepted as an excuse for not ordering execution of the judgment and so with a deposit made after the motion for execution was filed. Moreover, the tenants are in estoppel to claim that P2,000.00 is not the monthly rental because their respective supersedeas bond posted with and approved by the lower court is on the basis of P2,000.00 monthly rental. It may be argued that the supersedeas bond covers rentals in arrears and hence, the discount given when rental is paid on time is not applicable but the discount may be availed of with respect to the current rentals as long as they are paid within the first three days of each month. Looking into the records, however, We find that except for Yu Chun Hian, all the other tenants had not been vigilant either in the payment of the rentals according to the letter-contract. At some point during the pendency of their respective appeals, they failed to pay their rentals within the first three days of the month. Hence, respondents may not in all sincerity claims that they have been depositing their current rentals according to the letter-contract. During the pendency of their respective appeals, the tenants must strictly comply with what is ordained in the judgment, which is payment of current rentals in order to stay execution with respect to possession of the leased premises. They may not avoid the provisions of Section 8, Rule 70 of the Revised Rules of Court by simply assailing the lower court’s jurisdiction. They may not determine for themselves what constitutes the right amount of current rental to be deposited. 14. Chua v. CA, 286 SCRA 437 (1998) FACTS: Moreno secured a favorable judgment in the MTC against Chua. MTC ordered that Chua be ejected from Moreno’s lots and ordered to pay monthly rentals of 50,000 until they vacated said lots. Said decision was received by Chua on March 10, 1993. The next day, he filed a Notice of Appeal. On March 29, Moreno moved for the execution of the MTC decision on the ground that Chua had neither posted a supersedeas bond nor make a monthly deposit of the reasonable value of the use and occupation of the properties despite their filing of a Notice of Appeal. As such, the RTC denied the Motion for Execution because the transmission of the records from the MTC to the RTC prevented Chua from filing a supersedeas bond. Thereafter, RTC issued another order stating that Chua was given an extension of 5 days to file his supersedeas bond. After Chua initially paid a cash bond, RTC granted Chua’s Motion for Substitution of Cash Bond with Surety Bond. Aggrieved, Moreno filed a Petition for Certiorari with the CA. CA granted the Petition and stated that the RTC violated Sec 8 of Rule 70 when it extended Chua’s filing of a supersedeas bond. MR denied. Hence, this petition. ISSUE: WHETHER OR NOT THE RTC CORRECTLY EXTENDED THE FILING OF THE SUPERSEDEAS BOND TO STAY THE EXECUTION IN THE EJECTMENT CASE. HELD: NO. As a general rule, pursuant to Sec. 8 of Rule 70, a judgment in favor of the plaintiff in an ejectment suit is immediately executory, in order to prevent further damage to him arising from the loss of possession of the property in question. 147

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To stay the immediate execution of the said judgment while the appeal is pending, the foregoing provision requires that the following requisites must concur: (1) the defendant perfects his appeal; (2) he files a supersedeas bond; and (3) he periodically deposits the rentals which become due during the pendency of the appeal. The failure of the defendant to comply with any of these conditions is a ground for the outright execution of the judgment, the duty of the court in this respect being “ministerial and imperative.” Hence, if the defendant-appellant perfected the appeal but failed to file a supersedeas bond, the immediate execution of the judgment would automatically follow. Conversely, the filing of a supersedeas bond will not stay the execution of the judgment if the appeal is not perfected. Necessarily then, the supersedeas bond should be filed within the period for the perfection of the appeal. In the present case, Chua filed their notice of appeal on March 11, 1993, a day after their receipt of the MTC’s decision. On March 16, 1993, or five days later, the MTC transmitted the records of the case to the RTC. On March 29, 1993, Moreno filed a motion for the immediate execution of the decision. As noted earlier, Chua opposed the motion on the ground that they were co-owners of the property. On June 10, 1993, the RTC denied the motion for execution and directed Chua to file a supersedeas bond. On the authority of the RTC order, Chua filed a cash bond, which was later substituted with a surety bond. We agree with the Court of Appeals that the bond was filed out of time. The motion for execution was filed 18 days from the date Chua received a copy of the MTC’s decision, after the appeal had already been perfected. Because no supersedeas bond had been filed within the period for appeal, a writ of execution should have been issued as a matter of right. Chua manifestly failed to adduce a compelling reason to justify a departure from the aforecited rule. COMPUTATION OF THE SUPERSEDEAS BOND Chua contends that the delay should be excused because the MTC, without fixing the amount of the bond, transmitted the records of the case to the RTC even before the perfection of the appeal, i.e., the expiration of the period for filing an appeal. Hence, they did not know whether to file a bond with the RTC or with the MTC. Neither were they certain of the amount of the bond. Chua need not require the MTC to fix the amount of the supersedeas bond. They could have computed this themselves. As early as 1947, we have held in Aylon vs. Jugo and De Pablo that the supersedeas bond is equivalent to the amount of rentals, damages and costs stated in the judgment: Under the provisions of Section 8 of the Rule, a justice of the peace or a municipal court may require the defendant to file a bond for an amount which would cover the stipulated rentals, as found by the judgment of the Court, or the reasonable value for the use and occupation of the premises, at the rate determined by the judgment, damages and costs down to the time of the final judgment in the action. The reasonable value for the use and occupation of the premises, the possession of which is sought to be recovered, is that fixed by the Court in the judgment, because the rental stipulated in the contract of lease that has expired or terminated may no longer be the reasonable value for the use and occupation of the premises as a result or by reason of the change or rise in values. But the bond together with the appeal is only to prevent the immediate execution of a judgment rendered against the defendant in forcible entry and detainer cases. Such execution must be prevented further by paying to the plaintiff or depositing with the Court of First Instance, during the pendency of the appeal, the stipulated rental due from time to time under the contract, as found by the judgment of the Court, or, in the absence of a contract, the reasonable value for the use and occupation of the premises for the preceding month, on or before the tenth day of each calendar month, at the rate determined by the judgment. Under Section 8 of Rule 70, the supersedeas bond shall be equivalent to the unpaid rentals, damages and costs which accrued before the decision was rendered, as determined by the MTC in the said decision. The bond does not answer for 148

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amounts accruing during the pendency of the appeal , which are, in turn, the subject of the periodic deposits to be made by the defendant.

In the present case, the MTC clearly stated in its March 5, 1993 decision that Chua should pay rentals of P50,000 a month from April 7, 1992 until they shall have vacated the lots. The amount comprising the supersedeas bond and the periodic deposits, therefore, is evident and computable from the MTC’s decision. WHERE IS THE SUPERSEDEAS BOND FILED As earlier observed, there is no need for either the MTC or the RTC to fix the amount of the supersedeas bond, the same being manifest in the face of the MTC’s decision. Moreover, Chua failed to file the bond on time not because they did not know where to file it, but because they believed that they should not do so. Hence, their opposition to the motion for on their alleged co-ownership of the property. It was only before the Court of Appeals that they claimed confusion on where the bond should be filed. The CA discarded Chua’s argument in this wise: Their claim that they did not know where to file the supersedeas bond is being made only now. Indeed, in opposing petitioners’ motion for execution they based their opposition not on this ground but on the claim that since they were claiming to be co-owners of the lots in question, their claim would be rendered moot and academic if execution were ordered pending appeal. It is, therefore, not true that they were prevented from filing a supersedeas bond because the MTC transmitted the records of the case to the RTC before the expiration of private respondents’ period of appeal. Chua also argues that Laurel vs. Abalos should be applied here. In that case, this Court held that “[w]here supervening events occurring subsequent to the judgment bring about a material change in the situation of the parties, which makes the execution inequitable, or where there is no compelling urgency for the execution because it is not justified by the prevailing circumstances, the court may stay immediate execution of the judgment.” They also allege that the “immediate execution of judgment of the inferior court will cause irreparable injury to the petitioners herein who stand to lose their home, business and source of livelihood.” We are not persuaded. We do not find in this case any supervening circumstance or any material change in the situation of the parties, which would render inequitable the immediate execution of the judgment pending appeal. We agree with the disquisition of CA on this point: It is also argued that this case falls under the exception to the rule making Rule 70, Sec. 8 mandatory because of supervening events which bring about a material change in the situation of the parties and make the execution pending appeal inequitable or because there is no urgency for the execution under the circumstances. The case in which this exception was applied was that of Laurel v. Abalos. The present case is, however, a far cry from that case. In Laurel v. Abalos there was probability that the plaintiff in the ejectment case would lose the property and therefore, his right to eject the defendant became doubtful because, while the appeal of the defendant was pending, another court declared the plaintiff’s title to be null and void at the instance of plaintiffs’ predecessor-in-interest. In the present case, no such probability exists. What is there is only an allegation by private respondents’ ejectment suit, that they are co-owners of the lots in question. What is noteworthy in this case is that the titles to the lots are in the names of petitioners and, except for the claim of ownership put up as a defense by the defendants, there is otherwise no action questioning the validity of petitioners’ titles. Indeed no heirs of Chua Hai has ever claimed ownership of the lots in question. There is, therefore, no basis for private respondents’ contention that because of a supervening event — of which there is none — there is no compelling necessity for ordering execution of the decision in the ejectment case based on private respondents’ failure to file a supersedeas bond and deposit the monthly rentals within the time provided by law. The allegation of Marciano Chua that he, as a co-owner of the subject property, has filed an action for partition does not constitute a compelling reason to further delay the execution of the judgment. An ejectment suit is conclusive 149

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only on the issue of material possession or possession de facto of the property under litigation, not on the issue of ownership. Section 7 of Rule 70 of the Rules of Court is clear on this: SEC. 7. Judgment conclusive only on possession; not conclusive in actions involving title or ownership.— The judgment rendered in an action for forcible entry or detainer shall be effective with respect to the possession only and in no wise bind the title or affect the ownership of the land or building. Such judgment shall not bar an action between the same parties respecting title to the land or building, nor shall it be held conclusive of the facts therein found in a case between the same parties upon a different cause of action not involving possession. The pendency of the action for partition, where ownership is one of the principal issues, does not preclude the execution of the judgment in the ejectment suit. Such action for partition is entirely independent of the ejectment suit. On the other hand, the issue of ownership is considered in an ejectment suit only for the limited purpose of determining who between the contending parties has the better right to possession. Moreover, it should be stressed that we are not being called upon here to decide which of the parties has a better right of possession, let alone, a better title to the property. The only issue in this case is whether or not a writ of execution should be issued pending appeal of the ejectment suit. In any event, it is erroneous to characterize the partition suit as a compelling reason to stay the execution of the judgment pending appeal. On the contrary, the fact that the titles to the disputed lots are in the name of Private Respondent Mariano C. Moreno, and not in the name of petitioners or their father Chua Hai, justifies the transfer of possession of the said property to the private respondents, at least during the appeal. The question of “irreparable injury” to petitioners, on the other hand, cannot be discussed at this forum, for this Court is not a trier of facts. In any case, this question of “irreparable injury” is, at best, speculative and conjectural, and deserves no further disquisition. Coming back to the original question, the bond should be filed before the MTC or, where the records have been forwarded to the RTC, before the latter court. In either case, it should be done during the period of appeal. 15. De Laureano v. Adil, 72 SCRA 148 (1976) FACTS:O De Laureano is the registered owner of a lot in Iloilo City which was leased to Ong Cu for a 15-year period. After the expiration, Cu failed to vacate the lots and remove the improvements thereon. Thus, De Laureano filed an Ejectment Suit in the MTC of Iloilo. MTC ordered Cu to vacate, remove the improvements, and pay 12K monthly compensation until he vacates. Cu appealed. Instead of filing a supersedeas bond, Cu asked the MTC ex parte to approve his supersedeas bond amounting to 22K and fix the monthly rental at 1,200 per month. MTC granted the motion. Thereafter, the records were elevated to the CFI under Judge Adil. As such, De Laureano filed 2 motions — a Motion for Preliminary Mandatory Injunction to restore her in the possession of said lots and a Motion for Immediate Execution on the ground that the supersedeas bond was inadequate. Over Cu’s opposition, CFI affirmed the MTC. Hence, this petition. ISSUE: WHETHER OR NOT THE CFI ERRED IN DENYING DE LAUREANO’S MOTIONS FOR EXECUTION AND MANDATORY INJUNCTION. HELD: YES. CU SHOULD BE GIVEN 30 DAYS TO FILE THE CORRECT SUPERSEDEAS BOND DUE TO THE MISTAKE OF THE MTC. ALSO, MANDATORY INJUNCTION SHOULD ALSO BE GRANTED. As explicitly provided in section 8, the judgment of the inferior court in plaintiff’s favor in an ejectment case is immediately executory. Thus, where the city court on the day it rendered the judgment ordered the execution thereof and the defendant did not perfect his appeal and did not post a supersedeas bond, it was held that certiorari would not lie to set aside the execution. Section 8 of Rule 70 is an exception to the general rule as to the execution of the judgment of an inferior court which is found in section 18, Rule 5 of the Rules of Court. 150

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The inferior court’s judgment is immediately executory in order to prevent further damages to the plaintiff should the defendant continue to deprive him of the possession of the premises in litigation. The defendant may stay execution by: (1) perfecting an appeal and filing a supersedeas bond; and (2) paying from time to time either to the plaintiff or to the Court of First Instance during the pendency of the appeal the rentals or the reasonable value of the use and occupation of the property as fixed by the inferior court in its judgment. The reasonable value of the use and occupation of the premises is that fixed by the inferior court in its judgment because the rental stipulated in the lease contract that had expired might no longer be the reasonable value for the use and occupation of the premises by the reason of the change or rise in value. The purpose of the supersedeas bond is to secure payment of the rents and damages adjudged in the appealed judgment. Hence, the bond is not necessary if the defendant deposits in court the amount of back rentals fixed in the judgment. In other words, the supersedeas bond answers only for rentals as fixed in the judgment and not for those that may accrue during the pendency of the appeal which are guaranteed by the periodical deposits to be made by the defendant. The appeal bond answers for the costs. The damages contemplated in section 8 of Rule 70 refer to the reasonable compensation for the use and occupation of the property which is generally measured by its fair rental value. It cannot refer to other damages which are foreign to the enjoyment or material possession of the property. Consequently, attorney’s fees cannot be considered as damages. In the instant case, the MTC found that Ong Cu’s lease expired on August 31, 1974 and that the reasonable value of the use and occupation of the two lots is four pesos a square meter or P12,428 monthly. To stay execution, Ong Cu should have filed, and the MTC should have required, a supersedeas bond in the total amount of the reasonable value of the use and occupation of the two lots for the period from September 1, 1974 to September, 1975 , or for thirteen months, at the rate fixed in the city court’s judgment which is P12,428. The supersedeas bond should be in the total sum of P161,564.00. And the amount to be deposited monthly beginning October, 1975 is that same amount of P12,428. The deposit should be made on or before the tenth day of the succeeding month. The MTC erred in issuing ex parte an order granting Ong Cu’s motion fixing the supersedeas bond at P22,000 and the monthly deposit at P1,200 which was the rental stipulated in the lease contract that had already expired. The MTC should not have allowed Ong Cu to dictate the amount of the supersedeas bond and the amount of the monthly payments to be deposited in court. The reasonable value of the use and occupation of the two lots was already fixed in its judgment. That value is the value to be deposited in court. Ong Cu’s motion that it be fixed at P1,200 was uncalled for and was in contravention of the mandatory provisions of section 8 of Rule 70. Also contrary to the peremptory provisions of section 8 was Ong Cu’s act of fixing his supersedeas bond at P22,000 instead of at the amount equivalent to the total compensation or rentals that had accumulated up to the rendition of the MTC judgment. That is the amount of the supersedeas bond unalterably fixed in section 8. The lower court theorized that the city court’s order of October 8, 1975 approving Ong Cu’s supersedeas bond in the sum of P22,000 and provisionally fixing the monthly rental deposited at P1,200 was a valid amendment of the city court’s decision of September 23. That theory is untenable. It distorts the meaning of an amendment. Ong Cu did not move that the decision be amended. The order according to its letter and tenor can in no sense be interpreted as amendment of the city court’s decision. It makes no reference to the decision. At the time the order was issued, Ong Cu had already filed his notice of appeal. 151

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He did not file a new notice of appeal by indicating therein that he was appealing from the city court’s decision as supposedly amended by its order of October 8. He could not have done so because the October 8 order in its face does not purport to amend the decision. It results that Ong Cu’s supersedeas bond was inadequate and that he did not deposit the compensation for the use and occupation of the two lots which was fixed in the city court’s judgment. His supersedeas bond and his deposits were not sufficient to stay execution. If this were a case where the defendant did not file any supersedeas bond or did not make any monthly deposit, then Mrs. Laureano would be entitled as a matter of right to the immediate execution of the city court’s judgment both as to the restoration of possession and the payment of the accrued rentals or compensation for the use and occupation of the premises. In such a case the execution is mandatory. The ONLY EXCEPTIONS are the existence of fraud, accident, mistake or execusable negligence which prevented the defendant from posting the supersedeas bond or making the monthly deposit, or the occurrence of supervening events which brought about a material change in the situation of the parties and which would make the execution inequitable. This is a case where there was a supersedeas bond and where monthly deposits were made but the bond and the deposit were inadequate or were not in conformity with the city court’s judgment. Ong Cu committed a mistake because he

followed the erroneous order of the MTC which fixed the supersedeas bond and the monthly deposit in contravention of its own decision and, consequently, in violation of section 8 of Rule 70. Because of that mistake, immediate execution under Rule 70 would not be warranted. The CFI has discretion to order the execution of a new supersedeas bond to replace a defective one.

Ong Cu should be given a 30 period from notice within which to file a new supersedeas bond in the sum of P161,564 and to deposit the value of the use and occupation of the two lots at the rate of P12,428 beginning October, 1975 less the amounts already deposited by him. Execution should issue if he fails to file a new supersedeas bond and to make up for the deficiency in his monthly deposits. MANDATORY INJUNCTION SHOULD HAVE BEEN GRANTED The execution in an ejectment case has TWO ASPECTS: (1) possession; and (2) the rentals or reasonable value of the use of the premises. The MANDATORY INJUNCTION refers to the possession of the premises in litigation. On the other hand, the SUPERSEDEAS BOND and the MONTHLY DEPOSITS are primarily designed to insure that the plaintiff would be paid the back rentals or the compensation for the use and occupation of the premises should the inferior court’s decision in his favor be affirmed on appeal. Hence, if no bond was filed or no monthly deposit was made, the plaintiff is entitled to the possession of the premises. To allow the defendant to continue his possession without any security for the rentals would be prejudicial to the plaintiff. He might not be able to recover the back rentals when the judgment in his favor becomes final and executory. In that event, his claim for rentals would be illusory or ineffectual.

If the mandatory injunction is granted, defendant’s possession would cease but the supersedeas bond and the deposits already made would subsist as security for the accrued pecuniary liability of the defendant to the plaintiff. The execution as to the rentals or compensation for the use of the premises would be stayed.

It results that the lower court gravely abused its discretion in not granting the writ of mandatory injunction. Its questioned orders were predicated on erroneous assumptions.

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X. RULE 71: CONTEMPT 1. Halili v. Court of Industrial Relations, 136 SCRA 113 (1985) FACTS: ISSUE: WHETHER OR NOT ATTY. PINEDA SHOULD BE CITED IN CONTEMPT. HELD: YES. Atty. Pineda should be cited for indirect contempt under paragraphs (b), (c) and (d) of Section 3, Rule 71 of the Revised Rules of Court. The said paragraphs read thus: Sec. 3. Indirect contempts to be punished after charge and hearing.— (b) Disobedience of or resistance to a lawful writ, process, order, judgment, or command of a court, or injunction granted by a court or judge, including the act of a person who, after being dispossessed or ejected from any real property by the judgment or process of any court of competent jurisdiction, enters or attempts or induces another to enter into or upon such real property, for the purpose of executing acts of ownership or possession, or in any manner disturbs the possession given to the person adjudged to be entitled thereto; (c) Any abuse of or any interference with the process or proceedings of a court not constituting direct contempt under section 1 of this rule; (d) Any improper conduct tending, directly or indirectly to impede, obstruct, or degrade the administration of justice. Contempt of court is a defiance of the authority, justice or dignity of the court; such conduct as tends to bring the authority and administration of the law into disrespect or witnesses during litigation. Contempt of court is defined as a disobedience to the court by acting in opposition to its authority, justice and dignity. It signifies not only a willful disregard or disobedience of the court’s orders, but such conduct as tends to bring the

authority of the court and the administration of law into disrepute or in some manner to impede the due administration of justice.

This Court has thus repeatedy declared that the power to punish for contempt is inherent in all courts and is essential to the preservation of order in judicial proceedings and to the enforcement of judgments, orders, and mandates of the court, and consequently, to the due administration of justice. In the matter of exercising the power to punish contempts, this Court enunciated in the Slade Perkins case that “the exercise of the power to punish contempts has a TWO-FOLD ASPECT, namely: (1) the proper punishment of the guilty party for his disrespect to the court or its order; and (2) to compel his performance of some act or duty required of him by the court which he refuses to perform. Due to this two-fold aspect of the exercise of the power to punish them, contempts are classified as civil or criminal. A CIVIL CONTEMPT is the failure to do something ordered to be done by a court or a judge for the benefit of the opposing party therein; and a CRIMINAL CONTEMPT, is conduct directed against the authority and dignity of a court or of a judge, as in unlawfully assailing or discrediting the authority or dignity of the court or judge, or in doing a duly forbidden act. Where the punishment imposed, whether against a party to a suit or a stranger, is wholly or primarily to protect or vindicate the dignity and power of the court, either by fine payable to the government or by imprisonment, or both, it is deemed a judgment in a criminal case. Where the punishment is by fine directed to be paid to a party in the nature of damages for the wrong inflicted, or by

imprisonment as a coercive measure to enforce the performance of some act for the benefit of the party or in aid of the final judgment or decree rendered in his behalf , the contempt judgment will, if made before final decree, be treated as in the nature of an interlocutory order, or, if made after final decree, as remedial in nature, and may be reviewed 153

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only on appeal from the final decree, or in such other mode as is appropriate to the review of judgments in civil cases. The question of whether the contempt committed is civil or criminal, does not affect the jurisdiction or the power of a court to punish the same. For civil contempt, Section 7, Rule 71 of the Revised Rules of Court explicitly provides: Sec. 7, Rule 71. Imprisonment until order obeyed. When the contempt consists in the omission to do an act which is yet in the power of the accused to perform, he may be imprisoned by order of a superior court until he performs it. Thus, in the case of Harden vs. Director of Prisons, where petitioner was confined in prison for contempt of court, this Court, in denying the petition and resolving the question of petitioner’s indefinite confinement, had the occasion to apply and clarify the aforequoted provision in the following tenor: The penalty complained of is neither cruel, unjust nor excessive. In Ex-parte Kemmler, the United States Supreme Court said that ‘punishments are cruel when they involve torture or a lingering death, but the punishment of death is not cruel, within the meaning of that word as used in the constitution. It implies there something inhuman and barbarous, something more than the extinguishment of life.’ The punishment meted out to the petitioner is not excessive. It is suitable and adapted to its objective; and it accords with section 7, Rule 64 of the Rules of Court which provides that ‘when the contempt consists in the omission to do an act which is yet in the power of the accused to perform, he may be imprisoned by order of a superior court until he performs it.’ If the term of imprisonment in this case is indefinite and might last through the natural life of the petitioner, yet by the terms of the sentence the way is left open for him to avoid serving any part of it by complying with the orders of the court, and in this manner put an end to his incarceration. In these circumstances, the judgment cannot be said to be excessive or unjust. As stated in a more recent case, ‘to order that one be imprisoned for an indefinite period in a civil contempt is purely a remedial measure. Its purpose is to coerce the contemner to do an act within his or her power to perform . He must have the means by which he may purge himself of the contempt.’ The latter decision cites Staley vs. South Jersey Realty Co, in which the theory is expressed in this language: ‘In a “CIVIL CONTEMPT” the proceeding is remedial, it is a step in the case the object of which is to coerce one party for the benefit of the other party to do or to refrain from doing some act specified in the order of the court. Hence, if imprisonment be ordered, it is remedial in purpose and coercive in character, and to that end must relate to something to be done by the defendant by the doing of which he may discharge himself. As quaintly expressed, the imprisoned man “carries the keys to his prison in his own pocket. The reason for the inherent power of courts to punish for contempt is that respect of the courts guarantees the stability of the judicial institution. Without such guarantee said institution would be resting on a very shaky foundation. 2. Ang v. Castro, 136 SCRA 453 (1985) FACTS: Through the Office of the Presidential Assistant on Legal Affairs, Atty. Ang lodged before the SC an administrative complaint against Judge Castro for ignorance of the law, gross inexcusable negligence, incompetence, etc in not resolving his MR in a civil case which he as handling. Upon learning of said administrative complaint one month later, Judge Castro ordered Ang to appear before him and show cause why he should not be punished for contempt of court for the latter’s contemptuous attitude towards him and the court. Ang did not show up. Thereafter, Judge Castro found him guilty of direct contempt of court. 154

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Ang filed a Notice of Appeal but was denied by Judge Castro. Subsequently, Judge Castro filed a criminal complaint for libel against Ang. Hence, this petition with and action for prohibition to enjoin the libel proceedings. ISSUE: WHETHER OR NOT JUDGE CASTRO PROPERLY ADJUDGED ATTY. ANG TO BE GUILT OF DIRECT CONTEMPT. HELD: NO. INJUNCTION IS IN ORDER. The alleged malicious imputations were not uttered in the presence or so near Judge Jose P. Castro as to obstruct or interrupt the proceedings before him; rather, they were contained in the pleadings and/or letters-complaint filed by Ang before the Office of the Presidential Assistant on Legal Affairs and before this Court in the aforementioned administrative case filed by petitioner against him. Section 3, particularly paragraphs (b) and (d), Rule 71 of the New Rules of Court, provide: SEC. 3. Indirect contempts to be punished after charge and hearing. — After charge in writing has been filed, and an opportunity given to the accused to be heard by himself or counsel, a person guilty of any of the following acts may be punished for contempt: (b) Disobedience of or resistance to a lawful writ, process, order, judgment, or command of a court, or injunction granted by a court or judge, including the act of a person who, after being dispossessed or ejected from any real property by the judgment or process of any court of competent jurisdiction, enters or attempts or induces another to enter into or upon such real property, for the purpose of executing acts of ownership or possession, or in any manner disturbs the possession given to the person adjudged to be entitled thereto; (d) Any improper conduct tending directly or indirectly, to impede, obstruct, or degrade the administration of justice[.] The Rules of Court cannot be any clearer. The use of disrespectful or contemptuous language against a particular judge in pleadings presented in another court or proceeding is indirect, not direct, contempt as it is not tantamount to misbehavior in the presence of or so near a court or judge as to interrupt the administration of justice. Stated differently, if the pleading containing derogatory, offensive or malicious statements is submitted in the same court or judge in which the proceedings are pending, it is direct contempt because it is equivalent to a misbehavior committed in the presence of or so near a court or judge as to interrupt the administration of justice. Considering the aforecited provisions, Ang’s conduct if at all, constitutes indirect contempt and, if found guilty, he may appeal pursuant to Section 10, Rule 71 of the Rules of Court, which reads: SEC. 10. Review of judgment or order by Court of Appeals or Supreme Court; bond for stay. — The judgment or order of a Court of First Instance made in a case of contempt punished after written charge and hearing may be reviewed by the Court of Appeals or the Supreme Court, but execution of the judgment or order shall not be suspended until a bond is filed by the person in contempt, in an amount fixed by the Court of First Instance, conditioned that if the appeal be decided against him he will abide by and perform the judgment or order. The appeal may be taken as in criminal cases. Anent the ancillary action for prohibition, We find the same meritorious, considering that the basis of the libel case filed against Ang before the RTC, Branch CIII, Quezon City was a communication addressed to the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court which was coursed through the Office of the Presidential Assistant on Legal Affairs, complaining against Judge Castro’s ignorance of the law, gross inexcusable negligence, incompetence, disregard for the Supreme Court administrative order, grave misconduct, rendering an unjust decision and dereliction of duty. It is manifest that as held in the case of Santiago vs. Calvo, “a communication made in good faith upon any subject matter in which the party making the communication has an interest or concerning which he has a duty is PRIVILEGED if made to a person having a corresponding interest or duty, although it contains incriminatory or derogatory matter which without the privilege would be libelous and actionable; that parties, counsel and witnesses are exempted from 155

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liability in libel or slander for words otherwise defamatory published in the course of judicial proceedings, provided the statements are pertinent or relevant to the case.” Records show that the libel case had already been instituted in court when the restraining order was issued by Us. Nonetheless, considering the privileged character of petitioner’s communication to the Chief Justice barring a prosecution for libel, it is proper that the injunction against the RTC, from proceeding with the hearing of Criminal Case No. Q-31587, be made permanent pursuant to the restraining order and established doctrine against the use of the strong arm of the law as an instrument of arbitrary and oppressive prosecution. 3. In re: Kelly, 35 Phil. 944 (1916) FACTS: Amzi Kelly was held in contempt of court by the SC and sentenced him to imprisonment. Thus, Kelly, through counsel, moved for a re-hearing. Pending this, Kelly wrote, composed, and caused to be published in The Independent, a weekly newspaper, a letter attacking the SC’s decision against him. As a result thereof Ramon Avancena, Attorney-General, filed a Petition before the SC praying that Kelly appear before the SC and show cause why he must not be held in contempt. When Kelly appeared, he argued that the SC has no jurisdiction to punish him for contempt because there is no law in force authorizing the SC to punish him therefor. ISSUE: WHETHER OR NOT THE SC HAS JURISDICTION TO PUNISH HIM FOR CONTEMPT OF COURT CONSIDERING THAT THERE IS NO LAW AUTHORIZING THE SC TO PUNISH HIM THEREFOR. HELD: YES. INHERENT IN ALL COURTS. The power to punish for contempt is inherent in all courts. The power to fine for contempt, imprison for contumacy, or enforce the observance of order, are powers which cannot be dispensed with in the courts, because they are necessary to the exercise of all others. The summary power to commit and punish for contempt, tending to obstruct or degrade the administration of justice, as inherent in courts as essential to the execution of their powers and to the maintenance of their authority, is a part of the law of the land. Courts of justice are universally acknowledged to be vested, by their very creation, with power to impose silence, respect, and decorum in their presence and submission to their lawful mandates, and as a corollary to this provision, to preserve themselves and their officers from the approach of insults and pollution. The existence of the inherent power of courts to punish for contempt is essential to the observance of order in judicial proceedings and to the enforcement of judgments, orders, and writs of the courts, and consequently to the due administration of justice. Any publication, pending a suit, reflecting upon the court, the jury, the parties, the officers of the court, the counsel, etc., with reference to the suit, or tending to influence the decision of the controversy, is contempt of court and is punishable. The publication of a criticism of a party or of the court to a pending cause, respecting the same, has always been considered as misbehavior, tending to obstruct the administration of justice and subjects such persons to contempt proceedings, Parties have a constitutional right to have their causes tried fairly in court, by an impartial tribunal, uninfluenced by publications or public clamor. Every citizen has a profound personal interest in the enforcement of the fundamental right to have justice administered by the courts, under the protection and forms of law, free from outside coercion or interference. 4. In re: Lozano and Quevedo, 54 Phil. 801 (1930) FACTS: During the pendency of administrative proceedings against Judge Garduno, Severino Lozano and Anastacio Quevedo, as editor and writer of El Pueblo, published an article regarding said proceedings. Said proceedings were held in secret pursuant to 156

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an SC resolution which provided that proceedings regarding the suspension/disbarment of lawyers and disciplinary cases against judges are considered confidential in nature. Thus, the Attorney General filed a Petition praying that Lozano and Quevedo to show cause why they should not be cited in contempt. In their Answer, they argue that they were in good faith and that they were not aware of said SC resolution. ISSUE: WHETHER OR NOT LOZANO AND QUEVEDO SHOULD BE HELD IN CONTEMPT. HELD: YES. It has previously been expressly held that the power to punish for contempt is inherent in the Supreme Court (In re Kelly [1916], 35 Phil., 944). That this power extends to administrative proceedings as well as to suits at law cannot be doubted. It is as necessary to maintain respect f r the courts, indeed to safeguard their very existence, in administrative cases concerning the removal and suspension of judges as it is in any other class of judicial proceedings. The rule is well established that newspaper publications tending to impede, obstruct, embarrass, or influence the courts in administering justice in a pending suit or proceeding constitute criminal contempt which is summarily punishable by the courts. The rule is otherwise after the cause is ended. It is also regarded as an interference with the work of the courts to publish any matters which their policy requires should be kept private, as for example the secrets of the jury room, or proceedings in camera. An examination of the authorities discloses that little attention has been directed to facts like those before us, and that in the few cases which have given consideration to the question there exist divergence of opinions. The English courts are more stringent in prohibiting the publication of their proceedings than are the American courts. Thus where the petitioner and her solicitor published a copy of the transcript of the official shorthand notes in a case of a very delicate and private character in contravention of an order directing that the cause be heard in camera, the presiding judge in England found the petitioner and her solicitor in contempt of court but accepted their excuses and apologies. With reference to the applicability of the above authorities, it should be remarked first of all that this court is not bound to accept any of them absolutely and unqualifiedly. What is best for the maintenance of the Judiciary in the Philippines should be the criterion. Here, in contrast to other jurisdictions, we need not be overly sensitive because of the sting of newspaper articles, for there are no juries to be kept free from outside influence . Here also we are not restrained by regulatory law. The only law, and that judge made, which is at all applicable to the situation, is the resolution adopted by this court. That Lozano and Quevedo were ignorant of this resolution is no excuse, for the very article published by them indicates that the hearing was held behind closed doors and that the information of the reporter was obtained from outside the screen and from comments in social circles. Then in writing up the investigation, it came about that the testimony was mutilated and that the report reflected upon the action of the complainant to his possible disadvantage. The Organic Act wisely guarantees freedom of speech and press. This constitutional right must be protected in its fullest extent.The court has heretofore given evidence of its tolerant regard for charges under the Libel Law which come dangerously close to its violation. We shall continue in this chosen path. The liberty of the citizen must be preserved in all of its completeness. But license or abuse of liberty of the press and of the citizen should not be confused with liberty in its true sense. As important as is the maintenance of an unmuzzled press and the free exercise of the rights of the citizen is the maintenance of the independence of the Judiciary. Respect for the Judiciary cannot be had if persons are privileged to scorn a resolution of the court adopted for good purposes, and if such persons are to be permitted by subterranean means to diffuse inaccurate accounts of confidential proceedings to the embarrassment of the parties and the courts. As has been remarked, the parties plead ignorance in extenuation of their offense. We accept as certain this defense. It is made known also that other newspapers, particularly in the metropolis, have been guilty of similar acts. That likewise is undoubtedly true, but does not purge the respondents of their contempt. All facts considered, we desire on the one hand to proceed on the corrective and not on the retaliatory idea of punishment, while on the other giving due notice that practices of which Lozano and Quevedo are guilty must stop. 157

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It is the holding of the court that Severino Lozano and Anastasio Quevedo are guilty of contempt of court, and it is the order of the court that they be punished for such contempt by the payment of a nominal sum by each of them in the amount of twenty pesos (P20), to be turned into the office of the clerk of court within a period of fifteen days from receipt of notice, with the admonition that if they fail to comply, further and more drastic action by the court will be necessary. 5. Peole v. Godoy, 243 SCRA 64 (1995) FACTS: ISSUE: WHETHER OR NOT REYNOSO AND PONCE DE LEON, AS COLUMNIST AND PUBLISHER OF PALAWAN TIMES, COMMITTED CONTEMPT OF COURT FOR POST-LITIGATION STATEMENTS OR PUBLICATIONS. HELD: NO. Snide remarks or sarcastic innuendoes do not necessarily assume that level of contumely which is actionable under Rule 71 of the Rules of Court. Neither do we believe that the publication in question was intended to influence this Court for it could not conceivably be capable of doing so. The article has not transcended the legal limits for editorial comment and criticism. Besides, it has not been shown that there exists a substantive evil which is extremely serious and that

the degree of its imminence is so exceptionally high as to warrant punishment for contempt and sufficient to disregard the constitutional guaranties of free speech and press.

The exercise of the power to punish for contempt has a dual aspect, primarily, the proper punishment of the guilty party for his disrespect to the court, and, secondarily, his compulsory performance of some act or duty required of him by the court and which he refuses to perform. Due perhaps to this twofold aspect of the exercise of the power to punish them, contempts are classified as civil or criminal. However, the line of demarcation between acts constituting criminal contempt, as distinguished from civil contempt, is quite indistinct. The confusion in attempts to classify civil and criminal contempts is due to the fact that there are contempts in which both elements appear; or there are contempts which are neither wholly civil nor altogether criminal, but partake of the characteristics of both; or it is also possible that the same act may constitute both a civil and criminal contempt. NATURE OF OFFENSE A CRIMINAL CONTEMPT is conduct that is directed against the dignity and authority of the court or a judge acting judicially; it is an act obstructing the administration of justice which tends to bring the court into disrepute or disrespect. On the other hand, CIVIL CONTEMPT consists in failing to do something ordered to be done by a court in a civil action for the benefit of the opposing party therein and is, therefore, an offense against the party in whose behalf the violated order is made. A CRIMINAL CONTEMPT, being directed against the dignity and authority of the court, is an offense against organized society and, in addition, is also held to be an offense against public justice which raises an issue between the public and the accused, and the proceedings to punish it are punitive. On the other hand, the proceedings to punish a CIVIL CONTEMPT are remedial and for the purpose of the preservation of the right of private persons. It has been held that civil contempt is neither a felony nor a misdemeanor, but a power of the court. It has further been stated that intent is a necessary element in criminal contempt, and that no one can be punished for a criminal contempt unless the evidence makes it clear that he intended to commit it. On the contrary, there is authority indicating that since the purpose of civil contempt proceedings is remedial , the defendant’s intent in committing the contempt is immaterial. Hence, good faith or the absence of intent to violate the court’s order is not a defense in civil contempt. PURPOSE FOR WHICH THE POWER IS EXERCISED 158

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A major factor in determining whether a contempt is civil or criminal is the purpose for which the power is exercised. Where the primary purpose is to preserve the court’s authority and to punish for disobedience of its orders, the contempt is criminal. Where the primary purpose is to provide a remedy for an injured suitor and to coerce compliance with an order, the contempt is civil. A criminal contempt involves no element of personal injury. It is directed against the power and dignity of the court; private parties have little, if any, interest in the proceedings for punishment. Conversely, if the contempt consists in the refusal of a person to do an act that the court has ordered him to do for the benefit or advantage of a party to an action pending before the court, and the contemnor is committed until he complies with the order, the commitment is in the nature of an execution to enforce the judgment of the court; the party in whose favor that judgment was rendered is the real party in interest in the proceedings. Civil contempt proceedings look only to the future. And it is said that in civil contempt proceedings, the contemnor must be in a position to purge himself. CHARACTER OF THE CONTEMPT PROCEEDING It has been said that the real character of the proceedings is to be determined by the relief sought, or the dominant purpose, and the proceedings are to be regarded as criminal when the purpose is primarily punishment, and civil when the purpose is primarily compensatory or remedial. CRIMINAL CONTEMPT proceedings are generally held to be in the nature of criminal or quasi-criminal actions. They are punitive in nature, and the Government, the courts, and the people are interested in their prosecution. Their purpose is to preserve the power and vindicate the authority and dignity of the court, and to punish for disobedience of its orders. Strictly speaking, however, they are not criminal proceedings or prosecutions, even though the contemptuous act involved is also a crime. The proceeding has been characterized as sui generis, partaking of some of the elements of both a civil and criminal proceeding, but really constituting neither. In general, CRIMINAL CONTEMPT PROCEEDINGS should be conducted in accordance with the principles and rules applicable to criminal cases, in so far as such procedure is consistent with the summary nature of contempt proceedings. So it has been held that the strict rules that govern criminal prosecutions apply to a prosecution for criminal contempt, that the accused is to be afforded many of the protections provided in regular criminal cases, and that proceedings under statutes governing them are to be strictly construed. However, criminal proceedings are not required to take any particular form so long as the substantial rights of the accused are preserved. CIVIL CONTEMPT PROCEEDINGS are generally held to be remedial and civil in their nature; that is, they are proceedings for the enforcement of some duty, and essentially a remedy for coercing a person to do the thing required. As otherwise expressed, a proceeding for civil contempt is one instituted to preserve and enforce the rights of a private party to an action and to compel obedience to a judgment or decree intended to benefit such a party litigant. So a proceeding is one for civil contempt, regardless of its form, if the act charged is wholly the disobedience, by one party to a suit, of a special order made in behalf of the other party and the disobeyed order may still be obeyed, and the purpose of the punishment is to aid in an enforcement of obedience. The rules of procedure governing criminal contempt proceedings, or criminal prosecutions, ordinarily are inapplicable to civil contempt proceedings. It has been held that a proceeding for contempt to enforce a remedy in a civil action is a proceeding in that action. Accordingly, where there has a violation of a court order in a civil action, it is not necessary to docket an independent action in contempt or proceed in an independent prosecution to enforce the order. It has been held, however, that while the proceeding is auxiliary to the main case in that it proceeds out of the original case, it is essentially a new and independent proceeding in that it involves new issues and must be initiated by the issuance and service of new process. In general, CIVIL CONTEMPT PROCEEDINGS should be instituted by an aggrieved party, or his successor, or someone who has a pecuniary interest in the right to be protected. In CRIMINAL CONTEMPT PROCEEDINGS, it is generally held that the State is the real prosecutor. 159

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Contempt is not presumed. In proceedings for criminal contempt, the defendant is presumed innocent and the burden is on the prosecution to prove the charges beyond reasonable doubt. In proceedings for civil contempt, there is no presumption, although the burden of proof is on the complainant, and while the proof need not be beyond reasonable doubt, it must amount to more than a mere preponderance of evidence. It has been said that the burden of proof in a civil contempt proceeding lies somewhere between the criminal “reasonable doubt” burden and the civil “fair preponderance” burden. On the basis of the foregoing legal principles which are now well settled, it can be safely concluded that under paragraph (d) of Section 3, Rule 71 of the Rules of Court on indirect contempt, any improper conduct tending, directly or indirectly, to impede, obstruct, or degrade the administration of justice, constitutes criminal contempt. POST-LITIGATION STATEMENTS AND PUBLICATIONS Generally, criticism of a court’s rulings or decisions is not improper, and may not be restricted after a case has been finally disposed of and has ceased to be pending. So long as critics confine their criticisms to facts and base them on the decisions of the court, they commit no contempt no matter how severe the criticism may be; but when they pass beyond that line and charge that judicial conduct was influenced by improper, corrupt, or selfish motives, or that such conduct was affected by political prejudice or interest, the tendency is to create distrust and destroy the confidence of the people in their courts. Moreover, it has been held that criticism of courts after a case is finally disposed of, does not constitute contempt and, to this effect, a case may be said to be pending so long as there is still something for the court to do therein. But criticism should be distinguished from insult. A CRITICISM after a case has been disposed of can no longer influence the court, and on that ground it does not constitute contempt. On the other hand, an INSULT hurled to the court, even after a case is decided, can under no circumstance be justified. Mere criticism or comment on the correctness or wrongness, soundness or unsoundness of the decision of the court in a pending case made in good faith may be tolerated; but to hurl the false charge that the Supreme Court has been

committing deliberately so many blunder and injustices would tend necessarily to undermine the confidence of the people in the honesty and integrity of its members, and consequently to lower or degrade the administration of justice, and it constitutes contempt.

The Philippine rule, therefore, is that in case of a post-litigation newspaper publication, fair criticism of the court, its proceedings and its members, are allowed. However, there may be a contempt of court, even though the case has been terminated, if the publication is attended by either of these two circumstances: (1) where it tends to bring the court into disrespect or, in other words, to scandalize the court; or (2) where there is a clear and present danger that the administration of justice would be impeded. And this brings us to the familiar invocation of freedom of expression usually resorted to as a defense in contempt proceedings. JURISDICTION IN CONTEMPT PROCEEDINGS In whatever context it may arise, contempt of court involves the doing of an act, or the failure to do an act, in such a manner as to create an affront to the court and the sovereign dignity with which it is clothed. As a matter of practical judicial administration, jurisdiction has been felt properly to rest in only one tribunal at a time with respect to a given controversy. Partly because of administrative considerations, and partly to visit the full personal effect of the punishment on a contemnor, the rule has been that no other court than the one contemned will punish a given contempt. The rationale that is usually advanced for the general rule that the power to punish for contempt rests with the court contemned is that contempt proceedings are sui generis and are triable only by the court against whose authority the contempts are charged; the power to punish for contempt exists for the purpose of enabling a court to compel due decorum and respect in its presence and due obedience to its judgments, orders and processes: and in order that a court may compel obedience to its orders, it must have the right to inquire whether there has been any disobedience thereof, for to submit the question of disobedience to another tribunal would operate to deprive the proceeding of half its efficiency. The rule, as now accepted and deemed applicable to the present incident, is that where the entire case has already been appealed, jurisdiction to punish for contempt rests with the appellate court where the appeal completely transfers the 160

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proceedings thereto or where there is a tendency to affect the status quo or otherwise interfere with the jurisdiction of the appellate court. Accordingly, this Court having acquired jurisdiction over the complaint for indirect contempt against herein respondents, it has taken judicial cognizance thereof and has accordingly resolved the same. 6. In re: Sotto, 82 Phil. 595 (1949) FACTS: ISSUE: HELD: That the power to punish for contempt is inherent in all courts of superior jurisdiction independently of any special expression of statute, is a doctrine or principle uniformly accepted and applied by the courts of last resort in the United States, which is applicable in this jurisdiction since our Constitution and courts of justice are patterned after those of that country. In conformity with the principle enunciated in the above quotation from American Jurisprudence, this Court, in In re Kelly, held the following: The publication of a criticism of a party or of the court to a pending cause, respecting the same, has always been considered as misbehavior, tending to obstruct the administration of justice, and subjects such persons to contempt proceedings. Parties have a constitutional right to have their causes tried fairly in court, by an impartial tribunal, uninfluenced by publications or public clamor. Every citizen has a profound personal interest in the enforcement of the fundamental right to have justice administered by the courts, under the protection and forms of law, free from outside coercion or interference. Any publication, pending a suit, reflecting upon the court, the parties, the officers of the court, the- counsel, etc., with reference to the suit, or tending to influence the decision of the controversy, is contempt of court and is punishable. The power to punish for contempt is inherent in all courts. The summary power to commit and punish for contempt tending to obstruct or degrade the administration of justice, as inherent in courts’ as essential to the execution of their powers and to the maintenance of their authority is a part of the law of the land. Mere criticism or comment on the correctness or wrongness, soundness or unsoundness of the decision of the court in a pending case made in good faith may be tolerated; because if well founded it may enlighten the court and contribute to the correction of an error if committed; but if it is not well taken and obviously erroneous, it should, in no way, influence the court in reversing or modifying its decision. Had the respondent in the present case limited himself to a statement that our decision is wrong or that our construction of the intention of the law is not correct, because it is different from what he, as proponent of the original bill which became a law had intended, his criticism might in that case be tolerated, “for it could not in any way influence the final disposition of the Parazo case by the court; inasmuch as it is of judicial notice that the bill presented by the respondent was amended by both houses of Congress, and the clause “unless the court finds that such revelation is demanded by the interest of the State” was added or inserted; and that, as the Act was passed by Congress and not by any particular member thereof, the intention of Congress and not that of the respondent must be the one to be determined by this Court in applying said Act. But in the above-quoted written statement which he caused to be published in the press, the respondent does not merely criticize or comment on the decision of the Parazo case, which was then and still is pending reconsideration by this Court upon petition of Angel Parazo. He not only intends to intimidate the members of this Court with the presentation of a bill in the next Congress, of which he is one of the members, reorganizing the Supreme Court and reducing the members of Justices from eleven to seven, so as to change the members of this Court which decided the Parazo case, who according to his statement, are incompetent and narrow minded, in order to influence the final decision of said case by this Court, and thus embarrass or obstruct the administration of justice. But the respondent also attacks the honesty and integrity of this Court for the apparent purpose of bringing the Justices of this Court into disrepute and degrading the administration of justice. 161

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To hurl the false charge that this Court has been for the last years committing deliberately “so many blunders and injustices,” that is to say, that it has been deciding in favor of one party knowing that the law and justice is on the part of the adverse party and not on the one in whose favor the decision was rendered, in many cases decided during the last years, would tend necessarily to undermine the confidence of the people in the honesty and integrity of the members of this Court, and consequently to lower or degrade the administration of justice by this Court. The Supreme Court of the Philippines is, under the Constitution, the last bulwark to which the Filipino people may repair to obtain relief for their grievances or protection of their rights when these are trampled upon, and if the people lose their confidence in the honesty and integrity of the members of this Court and believe that they cannot expect justice therefrom, they might be driven to take the law into their own hands, and disorder and perhaps chaos might be the result. As a member of the bar and an officer of the courts Atty. Vicente Sotto, like any other, is in duty bound to uphold the dignity and authority of this Court, to which he owes fidelity according to the oath he has taken as such attorney, and not to promote distrust in the administration of justice. Respect to the courts guarantees the stability of other institutions, which without such guaranty would be resting on a very shaky foundation. It is true that the constitutional guaranty of freedom of speech and the press must be protected to its fullest extent , but license or abuse of liberty of the press and of the citizen should not be confused with liberty in its true sense. As important as the maintenance of an unmuzzled press and the free exercise of the right of the citizen, is the maintenance of the independence of the judiciary. 7. Zaldivar v. Sandiganbayan, 166 SCRA 316 (1988) FACTS: ISSUE: HELD: The Supreme Court, as regulator and guardian of the legal profession, has plenary disciplinary authority over attorneys. The authority to discipline lawyers stems from the Court’s constitutional mandate to regulate admission to the practice of law, which includes as well authority to regulate the practice itself of law. Quite apart from this constitutional mandate, the disciplinary authority of the Supreme Court over members of the Bar is an inherent power incidental to the proper administration of justice and essential to an orderly discharge of judicial functions. Moreover, the Supreme Court has inherent power to punish for contempt, to control in the furtherance of justice the conduct of ministerial officers of the Court including lawyers and all other persons connected in any manner with a case before the Court. The power to punish for contempt is “necessary for its own protection against an improper interference with the due administration of justice,” “(it) is not dependent upon the complaint of any of the parties litigant.” There are, in other words, two (2) related powers which come into play in cases like that before us here; the Court’s inherent power to discipline attorneys and the contempt power. The disciplinary authority of the Court over members of the Bar is broader than the power to punish for contempt. Contempt of court may be committed both by lawyers and non-lawyers, both in and out of court. Frequently, where the contemnor is a lawyer, the contumacious conduct also constitutes professional misconduct which calls into play the disciplinary authority of the Supreme Court. Where the respondent is a lawyer, however, the Supreme Court’s disciplinary authority over lawyers may come into play whether or not the misconduct with which the respondent is charged also constitutes contempt of court. The power to punish for contempt of court does not exhaust the scope of disciplinary authority of the Court over lawyers. The disciplinary authority of the Court over members of the Bar is but corollary to the Court’s exclusive power of admission to the Bar. A lawyer is not merely a professional but also an officer of the court and as such, he is called upon to share in the task and responsibility of dispensing justice and resolving disputes in society. Any act on his part which visibly 162

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tends to obstruct, pervert, or impede and degrade the administration of justice constitutes both PROFESSIONAL MISCONDUCT calling for the exercise of disciplinary action against him, and CONTUMACIOUS CONDUCT warranting application of the contempt power. It is sometimes asserted that in the exercise of the power to punish for contempt or of the disciplinary authority of the Court over members of the Bar, the Court is acting as offended party, prosecutor and arbiter at one and the same time.

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