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Ventanilla Corporation vs Adelina Tan

Ventanilla leased two properties to the Tans in Cabanatuan City. The Tan failed to comply
with the lease agreement and Ventanilla sued for the cancellation and termination of the
lease. The RTC of Cabanatuan City rendered a favorable judgment for Ventanilla which
included the lease rate plus interest, exemplary damages, liquidated damages equivalent to
50% of the unpaid rent, forfeiture of their deposit, and pay 15% equivalent of the unpaid
rentals as attorney's fees plus cost of suit.
The Tans appealed the decision and Ventanilla filed for a motion for execution pending
appeal, which was granted. A levy was put on their bank accounts, but the Tans decided to
pay later on, lifting and cancelling the levy.
Alfredo Tan's appeal was denied, but Adelina Tan's continued in due course. The Court of
Appeals ruled that the appeal is partially granted with the deletion of exemplary damages
and attorney's fees and reduction of the liquidated damages to 25% with all other aspects
affirmed. There was no motion for reconsideration or appeal and the CA decision became
final and executory.
Adelina filed a Motion for Execution of the CA's decision and to be refunded the excess
she previously. Ventanilla instead filed an Omnibus motion to recall, lift, and set aside the
CA decision. Ventanilla argued that he needed to file an appeal brief because his previous
attorney died before such notice of decision, and the appeal is deemed moot since Adelina
paid her obligation already.
The RTC granted Adelina's motion and denied petitioner's reconsideration. Petitioner
then assailed the RTC decision with certiorari to the CA, which was also denied. The CA
rendered a decision that the death of petitioner's counsel does not qualify a recall of a case.
Whether or not notice was properly given since petitioner's counsel died before the
conclusion of the appeal?
Whether or not the refund to Adelina was proper since her appeal was moot when she
paid her obligation?
Parties; duty of party to inform court of counsels death. The Court strikes down the
argument that the CA Decision in CA-G.R. CV No. 58817 did not attain finality because
petitioners counsel, who died while the case was pending before the CA, was unable to
receive a copy thereof. The CA was correct in ruling that there is no extraordinary
circumstance in this case that would merit a recall of the entry of judgment to reopen the
case. The reason given by petitioner, that its former counsel had died before the CA
Decision was promulgated, hence, it was not properly notified of the judgment, is too
tenuous to be given serious consideration.

The Supreme Court denies petitioner's contention.

The High Court ruled that is is the duty of the party to inform the court of the death of
counsel. The courts cannot constantly moniter the status of a law firm, whether the
partners are alive, or its associates are still connected with the firm. The parties should not
just sit back and relax and just wait for the outcome. The petitioner was given due process
and failed to participate in such.
Thus, for failure of petitioner to notify the CA if the death of its counsel of record and have
said counsel substituted, then service of the CA Decision at the places or law office
designated by its counsel of record as his address, is sufficient notice. The case then
became final and executory when no motion for reconsideration was filed within the
reglementary period therefor
The payment of Adelina was not for the satisfaction of her obligation, but merely in
compliance the execution pending appeal. There was no compromise agreement within the
court records to support the petitioner's contention.