Sei sulla pagina 1di 224

Rule 62: Interpleader

Respondent: Leonora Tirona

Section 1. When interpleader 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.

G.R. No. 147812, April 6, 2005


Carpio, J.

Sec. 2. Order.
Upon the filing of the complaint, the court shall issue an order requiring the conflicting
claimants to interplead with one another. If the interests of justice so require, the court
may direct in such order that the subject matter be paid or delivered to the court.
Sec. 3. Summons.
Summons shall be served upon the conflicting claimants, together with a copy of the
complaint and order.
Sec. 4. Motion to dismiss.
Within the time for filing an answer, each claimant may file a motion to dismiss on the
ground of impropriety of the interpleader action or on other appropriate grounds
specified in Rule 16. The period to file the answer shall be tolled and if the motion is
denied, the movant may file his answer within the remaining period, but which shall not
be less than five (5) days in any event, reckoned from notice of denial.
Sec. 5. Answer and other pleadings.
Each claimant shall file his answer setting forth his claim within fifteen (15) days from
service of the summons upon him, serving a copy thereof upon each of the other
conflicting claimants who may file their reply thereto as provided by these Rules. If any
claimant fails to plead within the time herein fixed, the court may, on motion, declare
him in default and thereafter render judgment barring him from any claim in respect to
the subject matter.
The parties in an interpleader action may file counterclaims, cross-claims, third-party
complaints and responsive pleadings thereto, as provided by these Rules.
Sec. 6. Determination.
After the pleadings of the conflicting claimants have been filed, and pre-trial has been
conducted in accordance with the Rules, the court shall proceed to determine their
respective rights and adjudicate their several claims.
Sec. 7. Docket and other lawful fees, costs and litigation expenses as liens.
The docket and other lawful fees paid by the party who filed a complaint under this
Rule, as well as the costs and litigation expenses, shall constitute a lien or charge
upon the subject matter of the action, unless the court shall order otherwise.

1. Ocampo v. Tirona
Petitioner: Leonardo R. Ocampo

Special Civil Action: CALDONA

SUMMARY:
Ocampo purchased from Rosauro Breton a parcel of land located in Alvarez St. Pasay
City with an approximate area of 500sqm. Upon acquisition of the property, Ocampo
sent a formal written notice of ownership to the lessee Tirona, who paid rentals to
Ocampo in recognition of his ownership. On one occasion, Ocampo received a letter
from Callejo Law Office which stated that Tirona will temporarily stop payment because
the property was declared by the NHA as area for priority development. Ocampo
demanded for payment but was unheeded. Hence he filed a complaint for unlawful
detainer and damages in the MTC of Pasay. MTC of Pasay ruled for Ocampo and
ordered Tirona to pay and vacate the premises. Pending Tironas appeal to the RTC,
one Maria Lourdes Breton-Mendiola filed a motion with leave to file intervention before
the RTC, claiming to be the owner of the land. Tirona subsequently filed a
memorandum disclosing for the first time that Maria Lourdes was her real lessor. RTC
denied Maria Lourdes claim, and affirmed MTC. CA reversed and set aside the
previous rulings and held that Ocampo, being the buyer of the subject land which is not
yet partitioned among the heirs, cannot validly evict Tirona. SC held that (1) Ocampo
has the right to eject Tirona from the subject land. (2) As a stakeholder, Tirona should
have used reasonable diligence in hailing the contending claimants to court by filing a
bill of interpleader.
FACTS:

Ocampos claims:
o He is the owner of a parcel of land with an approximate area of 500
square meters, located at Alvarez Street, Pasay City.
o Ocampo bought the subject land from Rosauro Breton, heir of the
subject lands registered owner Alipio Breton Cruz.
o Possession and administration of the subject land are claimed to be
already in Ocampos management even though the TCT is not yet in
his name.
o Tirona, on the other hand, is a lessee occupying a portion of the
subject land.

Facts established in the MTC:


o According to Ocampo, upon acquisition of ownership of the subject
premises, a formal written notice was given to Tirona.
o Tirona paid some monthly rentals due in recognition of Ocampos
right of ownership over the subject premises.
o However, on July 5, 1995, Ocampo received a letter from Callejo
Law Office stating among others, that, in view of the fact that the
subject premises was declared under area for priority development,
Tirona is invoking her right of first refusal and in connection thereto,
Tirona will temporarily stop paying her monthly rentals until and
unless the National Housing Authority (NHA) have processed the
pertinent papers as regards the amount due to Ocampo by reason of
the implementation of the above law.

Bautista | Lopez | Macabagdal | R. Santos | Taruc

Ocampo replied to Callejo Law Office and Tirona was also furnished
a copy (content not discussed).
o On 7 August 1995, Ocampo wrote a letter to Tirona demanding
payment for rentals in arrears for the months of April, May, June,
July and August at the rate of P1,200 a month and to vacate the
premises.
o Tirona failed and refused to heed [Ocampos] demands.
Ocampo filed a complaint for unlawful detainer and damages against Tirona
before the MTC.
Tironas answer:
o The land is actually owned by one Doa Lourdes Rodriguez Yaneza,
represented by Assignor Edison A. Hindap (her General Overseer
and Attorney-in-Fact).
o The Title of Ocampo overlapped with the Original Land Title of the
Assignor.
o The Assignor recognized Tirona as co-owner by possession and
thereby ceded, transfered and assigned the said parcel of land in
Tironas favor.
o Tirona denied and discontinued all obligations imposed by Ocampo
because the property in question is not owned by Ocampo, but
rather owned by the Assignor, who issued a Certification for
Occupancy and Assignment in favor of Tirona.
o The certificate of title to the subject land is not even registered under
Ocampos name.
o Tirona also alleged that she has a right of first refusal in case of sale
of the land, pursuant to PD Nos. 1517, 1893 and 1968.
o Tirona asked for attorneys fees and moral and exemplary damages.
MTC --- Tirona does not have any reason to suspend payment of rents until
after PD No. 1517, in relation to PD Nos. 1893 and 1968, is implemented in
her favor. Tironas non-payment of rents rendered her occupation of the
subject land illegal. As owner of the subject land, Ocampo is entitled to its
use and enjoyment, as well as to recover its possession from any person
unlawfully withholding it. Tirona was ordered to vacate the property, surrender
its possession and pay rentals, attorneys fees and cost of suit. Tirona
appealed to the RTC.
Maria Lourdes Breton-Mendiola filed a motion with leave to file intervention
before the RTC, claiming to be the owner of the land.
o Tirona filed a memorandum, disclosing for the first time that she is
actually the tenant of one Alipio Breton. When Alipio Died, Rosauro
and Maria Lourdes inherited the land. Rosauro waived and
conveyed the land to Maria Lourdes, and could not have sold his
portion to Ocampo.
RTC --- affirmed in toto the MTC ruling.
o The RTC denied Breton-Mendiolas motion with leave to file
intervention because it would violate the 1964 Rules of Court and
jurisprudence.
o Tirona appealed to the CA, claiming a better right of possession to
the land.

Special Civil Action: CALDONA

CA --- considered partition of the estate of Alipio Breton as a prerequisite to


Ocampos action.
o The principal issue for its resolution is whether Ocampo, being the
buyer of the subject land which is not yet partitioned among the
heirs, can validly evict Tirona.
o Until the partition of the estate is ordered by the RTC in the pending
partition proceedings and the share of each co-heir is determined by
metes and bounds, Ocampo cannot rightfully claim that what he
bought is part of the property occupied by Tirona.

ISSUES:
Ocampo argues that the CA ERRED in:
1. Entertaining and not dismissing the petition for review (with prayer for its
issuance of writ of preliminary injunction and immediate issuance of tro),
the same having been filed beyond the reglamentary period. --- YES
2. Considering and resolving an issue raised in the petition for review for
the first time on appeal. --- YES
3. Declaring that Leonardo R. Ocampo has no right to eject Leonora
Tirona, nor demand payment of rentals from her for the use and
occupancy of the lot involved in the present case. --- YES
HELD:

The petition has merit.


Instant petition for review GRANTED.
RTC decision affirming MTC decision is REINSTATED.
Decision of the CA denying the motion for reconsideration is SET ASIDE.

RATIO:
1. SC agrees with Ocampos observation that Tirona changes her theory of the
case each time she appeals.

The evidence on record reveals that the CA did not contradict the
findings of facts of the MTC and RTC.

There is no reason to deviate from their findings of facts.


2. Unlawful detainer

The elements to be proved and resolved in unlawful detainer cases


are the fact of lease and expiration or violation of its terms.

Ocampo has the right to eject Tirona from the subject land. All the
elements required for an unlawful detainer case to prosper are
present. Ocampo notified Tirona that he purchased the subject land
from Tironas lessor. Tironas continued occupation of the subject
land amounted to acquiescence to Ocampos terms. However,
Tirona eventually refused to pay rent to Ocampo, thus violating the
lease.

Mirasol v. Magsuci, et al. --- The sale of a leased property places the
vendee into the shoes of the original lessor to whom the lessee
bound himself to pay. The vendee acquires the right to evict the
lessee from the premises and to recover the unpaid rentals after the
vendee had notified the lessee that he had bought the leased

Bautista | Lopez | Macabagdal | R. Santos | Taruc

3.

4.

property and that the rentals on it should be paid to him, and the
lessee refused to comply with the demand.
Ownership of the subject lot

Unlawful detainer being a summary proceeding, it was error for the


CA to include the issue of ownership.

Had the CA limited its ruling to the elements to be proved in a case


of unlawful detainer, Ocampo need not even prove his ownership.

The issue of ownership opens a virtual Pandoras Box for Tirona and
her supposed intervenor, Maria Lourdes Breton-Mendiola.
Interpleader

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.

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 crosscomplaint.

2. ALVAREZ VS COMMONWEALTH OF THE PHILIPPINES


(SORRY LONG DIGEST! )
G.R. No. L-45315 | February 25, 1938
Plaintiffs-appellants: PRAXEDES ALVAREZ, ET AL.
Defendants-appellees: THE COMMONWEALTH OF THE PHILIPPINES, Provincial
Government of Laguna, the municipality of San Pedro, the Colegio de San Jose, and
Carlos Young
Interpleader-appellant: MUNICIPALITY OF SAN PEDRO, LAGUNA
Summary: Plaintiffs claim they are the owners of the improvements, which are their
houses, found within Hacienda de San Pedro Tunasan and recognize the obligation of

Special Civil Action: CALDONA

paying the reasonable rent but asks the court that the defendants or interpleaders
litigate among themselves over the ownership or dominion of the hacienda to
determine by judgment who is the rightful owner of the hacienda. Plaintiff maintains
that the Commonwealth of the Philippines has become the owner of the Hacienda and
likewise Colegio de San Jose. Municipality of San Pedro Laguna filed its complaint of
interpleader stating that it has right to the hacienda for the exclusive benefit of its
inhabitants. Carlos Young and Colegio de San Jose interposed demurrer to complaint
on the ground of lack of cause of action. Lower court dismissed plaintiffs complaint
which was appealed. The Court affirmed appealed resolution stating that the pleadings
were complaints, that the applicant for interpleading is equivalent to a complaint in an
ordinary action which may be demurred to. And, with the exclusion of the
Commonwealth of, because of its unwillingness to litigate or engage with anyone in a
suit, it becomes evident that the action of interpleader is indefensible from any
standpoint for lack of the basis of reason relied upon by the plaintiffs. The complaint of
interpleader of the municipality of San Pedro is premature inasmuch as there has been
no order yet by the court that the defendants litigate among themselves.
FACTS:

In the complaint by which the case was commenced, the plaintiffs allege: that
they appear and bring the action for themselves and in the name of other five
thousand persons; all of them and their predecessors-in-interest from time
immemorial, are in possession for many years of many lots, where they now
have their houses, any many agricultural lands which they have continuously
cultivated lots which are found within the Hacienda de San Pedro Tunasan,
situated in the municipality of San Pedro, Province of Laguna
o They only claim to be the owners of the improvements, consisting of
houses and that they are entitled to occupy the lands and
agricultural lands
o They recognize in favor of someone their obligation to pay
reasonable rent or canon for their occupation of the lots and
agricultural lands which they are willing to pay
o The Commonwealth of the Philippines is the true owner of the entire
Hacienda de San Pedro Tunasan by the right of escheat.
o The Provincial Government of Laguna may have an interest in the
hacienda, for the benefit of the plaintiffs and the residents of the
municipality of San Pedro; that this municipality, will claim the
ownership of the hacienda also by the right of escheat
o The Colegio de San Jose, without any right, also claims to be the
owner; and that Carlos Young, without any known right, claims to
have an interest in the same hacienda.
o Plaintiffs ask that the court order the defendants or interpleaders to
litigate among themselves over the ownership or dominion of the
hacienda and thereafter determine by judgment who is the rightful
owner thereof entitled to collect the rental from them.

The municipality of San Pedro filed its complaint of interpleader wherein it is


stated: that according to the history of the Philippines, so alleges, the
Hacienda De San Pedro Tunasan originally belonged to one, Don Esteban
Rodriguez de Figueroa, who held the office of Governor and Captain General
of the Island of Mindanao and who executed a will transferring in trust and for

Bautista | Lopez | Macabagdal | R. Santos | Taruc

administration the entire hacienda aforesaid to a charitable institution of


learning which was subsequently called the Colegio de San Jose, governed
by the Jesuit Fathers
o Rodriguez de Figueroa died leaving as heirs his two minors
daughters, who also died without leaving any heirs;
o Since then the Colegio de San Jose, through the Jesuit Fathers, had
held and administered the hacienda and through the practice called
"sustitucion pupilar" by the claimant, the Jesuit Fathers succeeded in
appropriating the same, considering it from then on as their property
and as part of the temporal properties of the church;
o By virtue of the treaty of Paris, the Organic Law of the United States
Congress of July 1, 1902, the Jones Law, and finally the TydingsMcDuffie Independence Law, the aforesaid passed to the ownership
of the Commonwealth of the Philippines and the latter is at present
the owner thereof, which should be administered and conserved for
the benefit of the inhabitants of the Philippines, particularly those of
the municipality of San Pedro;
o By the right of escheat the Commonwealth has likewise become the
owner of the hacienda because of the death of the daughters of
Rodriguez de Figueroa without leaving any heirs and because there
is no one who is legally entitled thereto;
o The municipality of San Pedro has a right to a hacienda for the
exclusive benefit of its inhabitants;
o Colegio de San Jose should render an accounting of the rentals
which it has been collecting from the hacienda, which should not be
less than P60,000.
Carlos Young appeared and interposed a demurrer to the complaint of the
plaintiffs on the grounds that it does not state facts constituting a cause of
action and that is allegations are vague, ambiguous, and unintelligible; and
urged that said complaint be finally dismissed. He also filed MTD of complaint
of interpleader of the municipality of San Pedro, on the ground that the latter
entity has no standing to bring the action, that the complaint of interpleader is
premature because the court has not yet ordered the parties therein to litigate
among themselves.
The Colegio de San Jose, Inc., interposed a demurrer to the plaintiff's
complaint, upon the same grounds advanced by Carlos Young in his
demurrer. It filed it answer to the complaint of interpleader of the municipality
of San Pedro, wherein it denied the material allegation thereof and put up the
defense that the Hacienda de an Pedro Tunasan is it exclusive property and
that its title has been recognized by the government and the courts.
The lower court entered the appealed resolution dismissing the plaintiff's
complaint, holding further that the complaint of interpleader of the municipality
of San Pedro is premature, overruling all the motion filed by the latter and
ordering the striking out from the record of the pleadings filed by appellants
counsel

ISSUES (assignment of errors by appellants):


1. W/N judge acted impartial in the case NO

Special Civil Action: CALDONA

2. W/N applicant for interpleading is equivalent to a complaint in an ordinary action


which may be demurred to, and consequently, assuming the demurrers of Carlos
Young and of the Colegio de San Jose, Inc. YES
3. W/N applicant (not complaint) of interpleading is sufficient NO
4. W/N special appearance of Solicitor-Genral should be sustained YES
5. W/N complaint of interpleader of the municipality of San Pedro is premature and,
consequently, W/N Colegio de San Jose and Carlos young should have been declared
in default YES & NO
6. W/N proceedings of this case should be suspended until decision of the escheat
case NO
RATIO:
FIRST ISSUE: JUDGE DID NOT ACT PARTIALLY

Appellant question the integrity and impartiality of the judge who entered the
appealed resolution and contend that he should have abstained from taking
cognizance of the case.

The appellants concede that they have not duly questioned at any time, the
judge who decided this case. The facts of record do not furnish any evidence
in support of the appellants' contention. The circumstances pointed out by the
appellants that one of their attorney filed a complaint and administrative
charge against the judge, and that this naturally created an enmity between
them, is not a sufficient ground for concluding that the judge acted partially.
SECOND ISSUE: COURT DID NOT ERR IN CONSIDERING THE DEMURRERS

The plaintiff commenced the case under the provisions of section 120 of the
Code of Civil Procedure:
SEC. 120. Interpleading. Whenever conflicting claims are or may be made
upon a person for or relation personal property, or the performance of an
obligation or any portion thereof, so that he may be made subject to several
actions by different person, unless the court intervenes, such person may
bring an action against the conflicting claimants, disclaiming personal interest
in the controversy, to compel them to interplead and litigate their several
claims among themselves, and the court may order the conflicting claimants
to interplead with one another and thereupon proceed to determine the right
of the several parties to the interpleading to the personal property or the
performance of the obligation in controversy and shall determine the right of
all in interest.

Pursuant to this section, the remedy provided for may be availed of by


bringing an "action", for no other meaning may de deduced from the phrase
"such person may bring an action against the conflicting claimants" used to
indicate the procedure to be followed by one would avail himself of its
provisions.

The word "action" means the ordinary action defined in section 1 of the same
Code and should be commenced by complaint which may be demurrer to as
provided in section 91 and upon the grounds therein stated. The pleading
which commences an ordinary action cannot be correctly called an
application or petition because these, generally, are the pleadings used only
to commence special proceedings

Bautista | Lopez | Macabagdal | R. Santos | Taruc

The action of interpleader, under section 120, 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 in both, 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 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.

THIRD ERROR: ACTION OF INTERPLEADER IS INDEFENSIBLE

The lower court sustained the demurrers on the ground that the complaint of
the municipality of San Pedro does not allege sufficient facts to constitute a
right or cause of action. As to the Commonwealth of the Philippines, because
it cannot be compelled to litigate without its consent, and as to the Colegio de
San Jose, Inc., and Carlos Young, because according to the very allegations
of the complaint there is no person or entity, outside of the Colegio de San
Jose, Inc., who has conflicting or incompatible claims in connection with the
obligation to pay rent or canon which plaintiffs admit devolves upon them.

Speaking of the intervention of the Commonwealth of the Philippines, there is


little to be said. It is a fundamental principle that the Government of the
Philippines, now the Commonwealth of the Philippines, as the supreme
authority which represents in this country the existing sovereignty, cannot be
sued without its consent. The prohibition holds true both in case where it is
joined as a defendant as well as in that where, as in the present, it is being
compelled to litigate against other persons without its consent. There is no
substantial difference between making it defend itself against it will in a case
where it is a defendant and compelling it, without its consent, to interplead in
an action commenced by another person.

With the exclusion of the Commonwealth of the Philippines, because of its


unwillingness to litigate or engage with anyone in a suit over an hacienda the
ownership of which is clearly defined and recognized, it becomes evident that
the action of interpleader is indefensible from any standpoint for lack of the
basis of reason relied upon by the plaintiffs in their complaint, namely, that
there are two entities, the Commonwealth of the Philippines and the Colegio
de San Jose, contending over the hacienda and claiming to be entitled to
collect the rent or canon coming therefrom.

We do not include Carlos Young, because according to his own admission,


he is a mere lessee of the Colegio de San Jose, Inc., and does not claim any
right of ownership adverse to the latter.

In reaching this conclusion we have not lost sight of the fact that the
municipality of San Pedro has already filed its complaint of interpleader
wherein it alleges a certain interest in the hacienda and in its rents; but apart
from the fact that in resolving the demurrers only the allegation of the
plaintiffs' complaint should be taken into account, because the former are

Special Civil Action: CALDONA

directed only against it, it appears from the allegations said complaint of
interpleader that the municipality of San Pedro also admits that the
Commonwealth of the Philippines is the owner of the hacienda by transfer
and right of escheat.
Another question raised by the appellants has to do with the holding of the
court that the complaint of interpleader of the municipality of San Pedro is
premature inasmuch as there has been no order yet that the defendant
litigate among themselves.
In the opinion of the court it is necessary that there be a declaration to this
effect before the defendant may litigate among themselves and file a
complaint of interpleader. Section 120 of the Code of Civil Procedure in truth
requires such and good practice demands that the defendants be not
permitted to file claims or complaint of interpleader until after the court has
ordered that they should litigate among themselves. This procedure will do
way with groundless suits, and will save the parties time, inconvenience, and
unnecessary expenses.
Finally, it remains to be whether, the demurrers having been sustained, the
plaintiff are entitled to amend their complaint, or whether the case should be
1
dismissed. Section 101 of the Code of Civil Procedure prescribes the
procedure to be followed in cases where a demurrer has been interposed
Under this section the amendments of a pleading, after a demurrer is
sustained, is not an absolute right of the pleader; and the amendment rest
rather in the sound discretion of the court. When it is evident that the court
has no jurisdiction over the person and the subject matter, that the pleading is
so fatally defective as not to be susceptible of amendment or that to permit
such amendment would radically alter the theory and the nature of the action
then the court may refuse the amendment of the defective pleading and the
order the dismissal of the case.
In the present case the plaintiffs' complaint is fatally defective because its
allegations are insufficient to constitute a cause of action, and to permit the
amendment thereof the plaintiffs would have to charge their theory as well as
the nature of the action which they have commenced. For this reason the
court did not commit the error assigned in not permitting the amendment and
in finally dismissing the case.

FOURTH ISSUE:
SPECIAL APPEARANCE AND DISMISSAL OF CASE OF
COMMONWEALTH UPHELD
1

SEC. 101. Proceedings on Demurrer. When a demurrer to any pleading is sustained, the party whose
pleading is thus adjudge defective may amend his pleading within a time to be fixed by the court, with or
without terms, as to be the court shall seem just; but if the party fails to amend his pleading within the time
limited or elect not to amend the court shall render such judgment upon the subject matter involved in the
pleading and demurrer as the law and the facts of the case as set forth in the pleadings warrant. If the
demurrer is overruled, the court shall proceed, if no answer is filed, to render such judgment as the law and
the facts duly pleaded warrant. But after the overruling of a demurrer to a complaint, the defendant may
answer within a time to be fixed by general rules of court; and after the overruling of a demurrer to an answer
the plaintiff may amend his complaint, if necessary, to meet new facts or counterclaims set forth in the answer.

Bautista | Lopez | Macabagdal | R. Santos | Taruc

Commonwealth of the Philippines cannot, without its consent, be compelled


to litigate in this action of interpleader. This being so, the conclusion is
inevitable that the court did not err in sustaining the special appearance of the
Commonwealth of the Philippines and in ordering the dismissal of the
complaint with respect to this party.

FIFTH ISSUE: MUNICIPALITY OF SAN PEDROS COMPLAINT OF INTERPLEADER


PREMATURE, COLEGIO DE SAN JOSE AND YOUNG NOT IN DEFAULT

In resolving the third assignment of error we already expressed the opinion


that the court should order that the defendant litigate among themselves
before any of them may file a complaint of interpleader. Applying this rule, it is
evident that the first part of the assignment of error is without merit.

With respect to the default of the Colegio de San Jose and Carlos Young, it
suffices to state that the first and El Colegio de San Jose, Inc., are the same
entity and it, as well as Young, interposed demurrers within the legal period.
SIXTH ISSUE: SUSPENSION OF PROCEEDINGS NOT NECESSARY

Before rendering the appealed resolution, the municipality of San Pedro


asked for the suspension of the proceedings in the case for the purpose of
first obtaining final judgment in the other escheat case (Special Proceedings
No. 3052) commenced by the same municipality. There was no good reason
to suspend the proceedings and to put off the resolution or decision, when at
any rate the same result would be reached.

At all events, the appellants do not cite the violation of any law, and the
suspension of the proceedings rest entirely in a sound judicial discretion, a
discretion which the court exercised adversely to the municipality of San
Pedro.
HELD: For all the reasons stated herein, the appealed resolution is affirmed, with the
costs of this instance against all the appellants. So ordered.

3. Wack-Wack Golf v. Won


G.R. No. L-23851 | March 26, 1976
Petitioner: Wack Wack Golf & Country Club, Inc.
Respondent: Lee E. Won alias Ramon Lee & Bienvenido A. Tan
Ponente: C. J. Castro
Summary:
Won claims ownership of a membership fee certificate at Wack Wack Golf & Country
Club. By virtue of a civil case, he was issued such certificate. But a certain Tan also
claims ownership over such certificate pursuant to an assignment made by the alleged
true owner of the same certificate. Thus, Wack Wack filed a complaint to interplead
Won and Tan to litigate their conflicting claims. Trial court dismissed the complaint on
the ground of res judicata by reason of the previous civil case that issued Won the right
to the certificate. ISSUE is WON Wack Wack is barred to file an interpleader suit.
YES.

Special Civil Action: CALDONA

As to the subject matter (Membership fee certificate), there is no question that such is
proper for an interpleader suit. However, the instant interpleader suit cannot prosper
because Wack Wack had already been made independently liable in the previous civil
case wherein Won had established his rights to the certificate and, therefore, its
present application for interpleader would in effect be a collateral attack upon the final
judgment in the civil case. Since Won had already established his rights to
membership fee certificate 201 in the aforesaid civil case, it follows then that this
interpleader suit, if granted, would compel Won to establish his rights anew, and
thereby increase instead of diminish litigations, which is one of the purposes of an
interpleader. And because Wack Wack allowed itself to be sued to final judgment in
the said case, its action of interpleader was filed inexcusably late, for which reason it is
barred by laches or unreasonable delay.
FACTS:

Wack Wack Golf & Country Club, Inc. (a non-stock, civic and athletic corporation
duly organized under the laws of the Philippines with principal office in
Mandaluyong, Rizal) filed an interpleader suit. In its complaint, the corporation
alleged 2 causes of action.
st

1 cause of action:
o Won claims ownership of its membership fee certificate 201, by virtue of the
decision rendered in civil case 26044 of Manila CFI (entitled "Won v. Wack
Wack Golf & Country Club" and also by virtue of membership fee certificate
201-serial no. 1478 issued by the deputy clerk of court pursuant to the order
in the said case.
o Bienvenido A. Tan, on the other hand, claims to be lawful owner of the same
membership fee certificate 201 by virtue of membership fee certificate 201serial no. 1199 issued to him pursuant to an assignment made in his favor by
"Swan, Culbertson and Fritz," the original owner and holder of membership
fee certificate 201.
o Wack Wack Golf has no means of determining who of the two defendants is
the lawful owner.
nd

2 cause of action:
o The membership fee certificate 201-serial no. 1478 issued by the deputy clerk
of court of Manila CFI is null and void because it was issued in violation of the
corporations by-laws, which require the surrender and cancellation of the
outstanding membership fee certificate 201 before issuance may be made to
the transferee of a new certificate duly signed by its president and secretary.
o This is aside from the fact that the decision of the CFI of Manila in civil case
26044 is not binding upon Tan, because he was only made a party to the
case so that complete relief may be accorded therein.

The Corporation prayed that


o an order be issued requiring Lee and Tan to interplead and litigate their
conflicting claims;
o judgment be rendered, declaring who of the two is the lawful owner of
membership fee certificate 201; and
o ordering the surrender and cancellation of membership fee certificate 201serial no. 1478 issued in the name of Lee.

Bautista | Lopez | Macabagdal | R. Santos | Taruc

Won & Tan moved to dismiss the complaint upon the grounds of res judicata,
failure of the complaint to state a cause of action, and bar by prescription.
Trial Court:

Dismissed the complaint due to res judicata.


Wack Wack Golfs Argument:

Trial court erred in dismissing the complaint, instead of compelling the appellees
to interplead because there actually are conflicting claims with respect to the
ownership of membership fee certificate 201, and, as there is not identity of
parties, of subject-matter, and of cause of action, between civil case 26044 of the
CFI of Manila and the present action, the complaint should not have been
dismissed upon the ground of res judicata.

WACK W ACK

DID NOT ACT WITH DILIGENCE, SUCH THAT IT


INTERPLEADER

ISSUE: WON Wack Wacks interpleader suit can prosper. NO.


RATIO:

Interpleader under section 120 of the Code of Civil Procedure 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 tone or
the one thing.
o The remedy is afforded to protect a person not against double liability but
against double vexation in respect of one liability.

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.
WHEN TO APPLY FOR AN INTERPLEADER

A stakeholder should use reasonable diligence to hale the contending claimants to


court.
o 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.
o Otherwise, he may be barred by laches or undue delay. But where he acts
with reasonable diligence in view of the environmental circumstances, the
remedy is not barred.

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.
o If a stakeholder defends a suit filed by one of the adverse claimants and
allows said suit to proceed to final judgment against him, he cannot later on
have that part of the litigation repeated in an interpleader suit.

Special Civil Action: CALDONA

CANNOT

EVOKE THE REMEDY OF

The corporation was aware of the conflicting claims of Won & Tan with respect to
the membership fee certificate 201 long before it filed the present interpleader suit.
o It had been recognizing Tan as the lawful owner.
o It was sued by Lee who also claimed the same membership fee certificate.
Yet it did not interplead Tan.
o It preferred to proceed with the litigation (civil case 26044) and to defend itself
therein. In fact, a final judgment was rendered against it and said judgment
has already been executed.
The Corporation has NOT shown any justifiable reason why it did not file an
application for interpleader in civil case 26044 to compel Won & Tan to
litigate between themselves their conflicting claims of ownership.
o It was only after adverse final judgment was rendered against the corporation
that the remedy of interpleader was invoked by it.
o 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.

Since the Corporation is already liable to Lee under a final


judgment, the present interpleader suit is clearly improper and
unavailing.
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.
o This cannot be done.
o Having elected to take its chances of success in civil case 26044, 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.

DECISION: ACCORDINGLY, the order dismissing the complaint, is affirmed, at


appellant's cost.

4. Ramos v. Ramos
G.R. No. 144294 | March 11, 2003 | Panganiban, J.
Petitioners: Soledad Ramos, Francisco Chanliongco, Adelberto Chanliongco,
Armando Chanliongco, and Florencio Chanliongco
Respondents: Teresita Ramos, Sps. Teresita and Edmundo Muyot, Sps. Vedasta and
Florencio Dato, Loreto Muyot, Sps. TEresita and Elmer Solis, Liceria Torres, SPs.
Corazon and Vicente Macatungal, Sps. Precilla and Cirsostomo Muyot, and Sps.
Caridad and Salvador Pingol

Bautista | Lopez | Macabagdal | R. Santos | Taruc

SUMMARY:
Petitioners are children of the late Paulino. Paulino was the co-owner of a land in
Tondo together with his siblings Narcisa, Mario and Antonio. A SPA was executed by
the co-owners in favor of Narcisa, by virtue of which her daughter Adoracion was able
to sell the lot to the respondents. Conflict arose among the heirs of the co-owners as to
the validity of the sale. Hence, respondents filed an interpleader to resolve the various
ownership claims. RTC upheld the sale insofar as Narcisas share was concerned, but
held that Adoracion had no authority to sell the shares of the other co-owners because
the SPA was executed in favor only of Narcisa, her mother. CA modified the ruling,
and held that while there was no SPA in favor of Adoracion, the sale was nonetheless
valid, because she had been authorized by her mother to be the latters subagent.
This CA decision was not appealed, became final and was entered in favor of the
respondents. ISSUE: WN CA erred in denying petitioners motion and allowing its
decision to take its course, inspite of its knowledge that the RTC did not acquire
jurisdiction over the person of the petitioners. NO, CA WAS CORRECT. Petition
denied. As a GR, a decision that has acquired finality becomes immutable and
unalterable. Exceptions are clerical errors, nun pro tunc entries and void judgments.
Whether the CA Decision was void depends on the nature of the action and the
propriety of the summons. The Complaint filed by the respondents called for an
interpleader. It forced persons claiming an interest in the land to settle the
dispute among themselves as to which of them owned the property. It was
therefore a real action, because it affected title to or possession of real property.
Petitioners, as heirs, only had an inchoate right over the property; hence, they had no
standing in court with respect to actions over a property of the estate, because an
executor or administrator represented the latter. 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. Futher, under the old Rules, which was in effect at
the time that the Complaint was filed, an executor or administrator may sue or be sued
without joining the party for whose benefit the action is prosecuted or defended. In the
present case, it was the estate of petitioners father, Paulino Chanliongco, as
represented by Sebrio Tan Quiming and Associates, that was included as
defendant and served summons. As it was, there was no need to include
petitioners as defendants. Not being parties, they were not entitled to be served
summons. Petitioner Florencio was impleaded, but was not served summons.
However, the service of summons upon the estate of his deceased father was
sufficient to include him.
FACTS

Case: Petition for Review on Certiorari under R45 of the Rules of Ct., seeing
to set aside the 7/31/2000 Resolution of the CA which denied petitioners
Motion to Set Aside the CA decision dated 9/28/1995

Petitioners are children of the late Paulino Chanliongco, Jr. (Paulino), a coowner of land known as Lot No. 2-G of Subdivision Plan SWO No. 7308
o Co-owners: siblings Paulino, Narcisa, Mario and Antonio

By virtue of a Special Power of Attorney (SPA) executed by the coowners


in favor of Narcisa, her daughter Adoracion C. Mendoza (Adoracion)
had sold the lot to herein respondents on different days in September
1986.

Special Civil Action: CALDONA

Because of conflict among the heirs of the co-owners as to the


validity of the sale, respondents filed with the RTC a Complaint for
interpleader to resolve the various ownership claims.
RTC upheld the sale insofar as the share of Narcisa was concerned.
o Held: Adoracion had no authority to sell the shares of the other
co-owners, because the SPA had been executed in favor only of her
mother, Narcisa.
CA modified RTCs ruling
o Held: While there was no SPA in favor of Adoracion, the sale was
nonetheless valid, because she had been authorized by her mother
to be the latters subagent.

There was thus no need to execute another SPA in her


favor as sub-agent.

This CA Decision was not appealed, became final and


was entered in favor of respondents on August 8, 1996

ISSUE: WN the CA erred in denying petitioners Motion and allowing its Decision dated
9/25/1995 to take its course, inspite of its knowledge that the lower court did not
acquire jurisdiction over the person of petitioners and passing petitioners property in
favor of respondents, hence without due process of law. No, CA was correct.
HELD: Petition unmeritorious.
RATIO:

GR: A decision that has acquired finality becomes immutable and unalterable.
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.

EXC: The only exceptions to this rule are the:


o Correction of clerical errors,
o
Nunc pro tunc entries which cause no prejudice to any party, and
o Void judgments.

To determine whether the CA Decision of 9/25/1995 is void, the failure to


implead and to serve summons upon petitioners will now be addressed.
o To be able to rule on this point, the Court needs to determine
whether the action is in personam, in rem or quasi in rem. 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;


o An action in rem is directed against the thing itself instead of the
person;
o An action quasi in rem names a person as defendant, but its object
is to subject that persons 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.

Bautista | Lopez | Macabagdal | R. Santos | Taruc

It forced persons claiming an interest in the land to settle the


dispute among themselves as to which of them owned the
property.
o 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.
o As such, the Complaint was brought against the deceased
registered co-owners: Narcisa, Mario, Paulino and Antonio
Chanliongco, as represented by their respective estates.
Petitioners were not the registered owners of the land, but represented
merely an inchoate interest thereto as heirs of Paulino.
o They had no standing in court with respect to actions over a
property of the estate, because an executor or administrator
represented the latter.
o 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.
Further, at the time the Complaint was filed, the 1964 Rules of Court
(Old Rules) were still in effect.
2
o Under the old Rules, specifically 3 of Rule 3, an executor or
administrator may sue or be sued without joining the party for whose
benefit the action is prosecuted or defended.
3
o The present rule, however, requires the joinder of the beneficiary or
the party for whose benefit the action is brought.
o Under the old Rules, an executor or administrator is allowed to either
sue or be sued alone in that capacity.
o In the present case, it was the estate of petitioners father,
Paulino Chanliongco, as represented by Sebrio Tan Quiming
and Associates, that was included as defendant and served
summons.
o As it was, there was no need to include petitioners as
defendants. Not being parties, they were not entitled to be
served summons.
Petitioner Florencio D. Chanliongco (Florencio), on the other hand, was
impleaded in the Complaint, but not served summons.

SEC. 3. Representative Parties. A trustee of an express trust, a guardian, executor or administrator, or a


party authorized by statute, may sue or be sued without joining the party for whose benefit the action is
presented or defended; but the court may, at any stage of the proceedings, order such beneficiary to be made
a party. An agent acting in his own name and for the benefit of an undisclosed principal may sue or be sued
without joining the principal except when the contract involves things belonging to the principal.
3

SEC. 3. Representatives as parties.


Where the action is allowed to be prosecuted or defended by a representative or someone acting in a fiduciary
capacity, the beneficiary shall be included in the title of the case and shall be deemed to be the real party in
interest. A representative may be a trustee of an express trust, a guardian, an executor or administrator, or a
party authorized by law or these Rules. An agent acting in his own name and for the benefit of an undisclosed
principal may sue or be sued without joining the principal except when the contract involves things belonging to
the principal.

Special Civil Action: CALDONA

However, the service of summons upon the estate of his


deceased father was sufficient, as the estate appeared for and
on behalf of all the beneficiaries and the heirs of Paulino
Chanliongco, including Florencio.
We also note that the counsel of petitioners, Atty. Felino V. Quiming Jr., is
a partner of the law firm that represented the estate of the deceased
father.
o Hence, it can reasonably be expected that the service upon the
law firm was sufficient notice to all the beneficiaries of the
estate, including Petitioner Florencio.
WHEREFORE, the Petition is hereby DENIED and the assailed Resolution
AFFIRMED. Costs against petitioners

5. Beltran v. Peoples Homesite


G.R. No. L-25138 | August 28, 1969
Plaintiffs-appellants: JOSE A. BELTRAN, ET AL.
Defendants-appellees: PEOPLE'S HOMESITE & HOUSING CORPORATION
TEEHANKEE, J.:
Summary
Interpleader suit was filed by plaintiffs praying that the two defendant-government
corporations be compelled to litigate and interplead between themselves their alleged
conflicting claims involving said Project 4. PHHC announced to the tenants that the
management, administration and ownership of Project 4 would be transferred by the
PHHC to the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) in payment of PHHC
debts to the GSIS. Subsequently, however, PHHC through its new Chairman-General
Manager, Esmeraldo Eco, refused to recognize all agreements and undertakings
previously entered into with GSIS, while GSIS insisted on its legal rights to enforce the
said agreements and was upheld in its contention by both the Government Corporate
Counsel and the Secretary of Justice. W/N the complaint for interpleader should be
dismissed. YES. 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 leasepurchase agreement, ever made on them any claim or demand for payment of the
rentals or amortization payments. 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. There were no conflicting
claims by defendant corporations as against plaintiff-tenants, which they may properly
be compelled in an interpleader suit to interplead and litigate among themselves.
CASE: Appeal on purely questions of law from an order of dismissal of the complaint
for interpleader, on the ground that it does not state a cause of action, as certified to
this Court by the Court of Appeals. We affirm the dismissal on the ground that where
the defendants sought to be interpleaded as conflicting claimants have no conflicting

Bautista | Lopez | Macabagdal | R. Santos | Taruc

claims against plaintiff, as correctly found by the trial court, the special civil action of
interpleader will not lie.

receive in trust the payments from the plaintiffs on their monthly amortizations on
PHHC lots and to be released only upon proper authority of the Court."

FACTS:

This interpleader suit was filed on August 21, 1962, by plaintiffs in their own behalf
and in behalf of all residents of Project 4 in Quezon City, praying that the two
defendant-government corporations be compelled to litigate and interplead
between themselves their alleged conflicting claims involving said Project 4.
Plaintiffs' principal allegations in their complaint were as follows:

Since they first occupied in 1953 their respective housing units at Project 4, under
lease from the People's Homesite & Housing Corporation (PHHC) and paying
monthly rentals therefor, they were assured by competent authority that after five
years of continuous occupancy, they would be entitled to purchase said units.

PHHC announced to the tenants that the management, administration and


ownership of Project 4 would be transferred by the PHHC to the Government
Service Insurance System (GSIS) in payment of PHHC debts to the GSIS.

In the same announcement, the PHHC also asked the tenants to signify their
conformity to buy the housing units at the selling price indicated on the back
thereof, agreeing to credit the tenants, as down payment on the selling price, thirty
(30%) percent of what had been paid by them as rentals.

The tenants accepted the PHHC offer, and the PHHC announced in another
circular that all payments made by the tenants after March 31, 1961 would be
considered as amortizations or installment payments.

The PHHC furthermore instructed the Project Housing Manager in a memorandum


to accept as installments on the selling price the payments made after March 31,
1961 by tenants who were up-to-date in their accounts as of said date.

Pursuant to the PHHC-GSIS arrangement, collections from tenants on rentals


and/or installment payments were delivered by the PHHC to the GSIS.

The agreement of turnover of administration and ownership of PHHC properties,


including Project 4 was executed by PHHC in favor of GSIS, pursuant to the
release of mortgage and amicable settlement of the extrajudicial foreclosure
proceedings instituted in May, 1960 by GSIS against PHHC.

(Conflict) Subsequently, however, PHHC through its new Chairman-General


Manager, Esmeraldo Eco, refused to recognize all agreements and
undertakings previously entered into with GSIS, while GSIS insisted on its
legal rights to enforce the said agreements and was upheld in its contention
by both the Government Corporate Counsel and the Secretary of Justice.
Complaint

Plaintiffs thus claimed that these conflicting claims between the defendantscorporations caused them great inconvenience and incalculable moral and
material damage, as they did not know to whom they should pay the monthly
amortizations or payments.

They further alleged that as the majority of them were GSIS policy holders, they
preferred to have the implementation of the outright sale in their favor effected by
the GSIS, since the GSIS was "legally entitled to the management, administration
and ownership of the PHHC properties in question."

Upon urgent ex parte motion of plaintiffs, the trial Court issued its August 23,
1962 Order designating the People's First Savings Bank at Quezon City "to

Motion to Dismiss filed by PHHC and GSIS

The two defendant corporations represented by the Government Corporate


Counsel filed a Motion to Dismiss the complaint for failure to state a cause of
action as well as to lift the Court's order designating the People's First Savings
Bank as trustee to receive the tenants' payments on the PHHC lots.

The trial Court heard the motion on in the presence of all the parties, and
thereafter issued its Order dismissing the Complaint:
o During the hearing of the said motion and opposition thereto, the counsel for the
defendants ratified the allegations in his motion and made of record that the
defendant Government Service Insurance System has no objection that
payments on the monthly amortizations from the residents of Project 4 be made
directly to the defendant People's Homesite and Housing Corporation.
o From what appears in said motion and the statement made in open court by the
counsel for defendants that there is no dispute as to whom the residents of
Project 4 should make their monthly amortizations payments, there is, therefore,
no cause of action for interpleading and that the order of August 23, 1962 is not
warranted by the circumstances surrounding the case.
o In so far as payments are concerned, defendant GSIS has expressed its
conformity that they be made directly to defendant PHHC.

10

Special Civil Action: CALDONA

MR

Plaintiffs subsequently filed their motion for reconsideration and the trial court,
"with a view to thresh out the matter once and for all," called the Managers of the
two defendants-corporations and the counsels for the parties to appear before it
for a conference on October 24, 1962.

"During the conference," the trial court related in its Order, denying plaintiffs'
Motion for Reconsideration, "Manager Diaz of the GSIS made of record that he
has no objection that payments be made to the PHHC.

On the other hand, Manager Eco of the PHHC made of record that at present
there is a standing arrangement between the GSIS and the PHHC that as long as
there is showing that the PHHC has remitted 100% of the total purchase price of a
given lot to the GSIS, the latter corporation shall authorize the issuance of title to
the corresponding lot.

It was also brought out in said conference that there is a new arrangement being
negotiated between the two corporations that only 50% of the purchase price be
remitted to the GSIS by the PHHC, instead of the 100%.

At any rate the two Managers have assured counsel for the plaintiffs that upon
payment of the whole purchase price of a given lot, the title corresponding to said
lot will be issued."
Appeal

On appeal, plaintiffs claim that the trial Court erred in dismissing their suit,
contending the allegations in their complaint "raise questions of fact that can be
established only by answer and trial on the merits and not by a motion to dismiss
heard by mere oral manifestations in open court," and that they "do not know who,

Bautista | Lopez | Macabagdal | R. Santos | Taruc

as between the GSIS and the PHHC, is the right and lawful party to receive their
monthly amortizations as would eventually entitle them to a clear title to their
dwelling units."

ISSUE:
W/N the complaint for interpleader should be dismissed. - YES

RATIO:

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 27, 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.

The record rejects plaintiffs' claim that the trial courts order was based on "mere
oral manifestations in court." The Reply to Opposition of September 11, 1962 filed
by the Government Corporate Counsel expressly "reiterates his manifestation in
open court that no possible injustice or prejudice would result in plaintiffs by
continuing to make payments of such rentals or amortizations to defendant PHHC
because any such payments will be recognized as long as they are proper, legal
and in due course by anybody who might take over the property.

Specifically, any such payments will be recognized by the GSIS in the event that
whatever conflict there might be (and this is only on the hypothetical assumption
that such conflict exists) between the PHHC and the GSIS should finally be
resolved in favor of the GSIS".

The assurances and undertakings to the same affect given by the Managers of the
defendants-corporations at the conference held by the trial Court are expressly
embodied in the Court's Order of November 20, 1962 quoted above.

The GSIS' undertaking to recognize and respect the previous commitments of


PHHC towards its tenants is expressly set forth in Par. III, section M of the
turnover agreement, Annex "F" of plaintiffs' complaint, wherein it is provided that
"GSIS shall recognize and respect all awards, contracts of sale, lease agreements
and transfer of rights to lots and housing units made and approved by PHHC,
subsisting as of the signing of this agreement, and PHHC commitment to sell its

11

Special Civil Action: CALDONA

housing projects 4, 6 and 8-A at the selling prices less rental credits fixed by
PHHC and as finally approved by the OEC.
In fine, the record shows clearly that there were no conflicting claims by defendant
corporations as against plaintiff-tenants, which they may properly be compelled in
an interpleader suit to interplead and litigate among themselves.
The action of interpleader is a remedy whereby a person who has property in his
possession or has an obligation to render wholly or partially, without claiming any
right in both, comes to court and asks that the defendants who have made upon
him conflicting claims upon the same property or who consider themselves entitled
to demand compliance with the obligation be required to litigate among
themselves in order to determine who is entitled to the property or payment of the
obligation.
"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."
Thus, in another case, where the occupants of two different parcels of land
adjoining each other belonging to two separate plaintiffs, but on which the
occupants had constructed a building encroaching upon both parcels of land,
faced two ejectment suits from the plaintiffs, each plaintiff claiming the right of
possession and recovery over his respective portion of the lands encroached
upon, this Court held that the occupants could not properly file an interpleader
suit, against the plaintiffs, to litigate their alleged conflicting claims; for evidently,
the two plaintiff did not have any conflicting claims upon the same subject matter
against the occupants, but were enforcing separate and distinct claims on their
respective properties.
Plaintiffs' other contention is that they had raised other issues that were not
resolved and would require rendition of judgment after trial on the merits, such as
"the issue of the right of ownership over the houses and lots in Project 4 (and) the
issue of the status of the commitment agreements and undertakings made by the
previous PHHC Administration, particularly those of the then PHHC General
Manager Bernardo Torres."
This contention is without merit, for no conflicting claims have been made with
regard to such issues upon plaintiffs by defendant corporations, who both bound
themselves to recognize and respect the rights of plaintiffs-tenants. The resolution
of such issues affecting the defendant corporations exclusively may not properly
be sought through the special civil action of interpleader.
Should there be a breach of the PHHC undertakings towards plaintiffs, plaintiffs'
recourse would be an ordinary action of specific performance or other appropriate
suit against either the PHHC or GSIS or both, as the circumstances warrant.
We find no error, therefore, in the trial court's order of dismissal of the complaint
for interpleader and the lifting, as a consequence, of its other order designating
the People's First Savings Bank as trustee to receive the tenants' payments on the
PHHC lots.

ACCORDINGLY, the trial Court's order of dismissal is hereby affirmed. Without costs.

Bautista | Lopez | Macabagdal | R. Santos | Taruc

6. Sy-Quia v. Sheriff of Ilocos Sur (MB)


Petitioner: Gregorio R. Sy-Quia
Respondents: The Sheriff of Ilocos Sur and Filadelfo De Leon
46 Phil. 400, October 10, 1924
Ostrand, J.
SUMMARY:
[Short case] Cheng-Laco and ChengKiango executed a chattel mortgage in favor of
petitioner Sy-Quia on their mercantile establishment including merchandise contained
therein as security for a debt of P6,000. A second mortgage on the same property was
executed in favor of respondent De Leon as security for the sum of P4,900. Sy-Quia
requested the Sheriff to take possession of the property and sell it under Sec. 14 of the
Chattel Mortgage Law (Act No. 1508). The Sheriff seized the property and scheduled
the date of the sale. Meanwhile, De Leon filed an adverse claim on the property
alleging that the goods covered by Sy-Quias chattel mortgage were already sold,
st
hence the 1 chattel mortgage was of no effect. Sheriff suspended the foreclosure
proceedings and brought an action requiring the 2 claimants to interplead. Sy-Quia
filed the present petition for the issuance of a writ of mandamus to compel the Sheriff
to proceed with the foreclosure sale. SC denied the petition ruling that the Sheriffs
action in suspending the sale pending the determination of the action of interpleader
seems justified. The Sheriff might lay himself open to an action for damages if he sold
the goods without the consent of the holder of the last mortgage, and it does not
appear that the petitioner offered to give bond to hold him harmless in such an event.
FACTS:

This is a petition for a writ of mandamus to compel the Sheriff of the Province
of Ilocos Sur to proceed with a chattel mortgage foreclosure sale.

Miguel Aglipay Cheng-Laco and Feliciano Reyes ChengKiango executed a


chattel mortgage in favor of the petitioner Gregorio R. Sy-Quia on their
mercantile establishment, with all the merchandise therein contained, as
security for a debt of P6,000.
o From its terms it may be inferred that it was the intention of the
parties that the mortgagors were to be permitted to sell the
merchandise replenishing their stock from time to time and that the
new stock brought in should also be subject to the mortgage.

Miguel Aglipay Cheng-Laco executed a 2nd chattel mortgage on the same


establishment and all its contents in favor of the respondent Filadelfo de Leon
as security for the sum of P4,900.

Sy-Quia requested the Sheriff to take possession of the mortgaged property


and to sell it at public auction under the provisions of section 14 of the Chattel
Mortgage Law (Act No. 1508).

The Sheriff seized the establishment in question as well as its contents and
fixed the date of the sale at June 2, 1924.
o In the meantime Filadelfo de Leon presented an adverse claim to the
property by virtue of his chattel mortgage, alleging that all the goods
on which the chattel mortgage of Gregorio R. Sy-Quia was given had

12

Special Civil Action: CALDONA

been sold long before the chattel mortgage in favor of De Leon was
executed, hence, the earlier chattel mortgage was of no effect.
The Sheriff being in doubt as to the priority of the conflicting claims,
suspended the foreclosure proceedings and brought an action requiring the
two claimants to interplead.
The present proceeding in mandamus was instituted. Sy-Quia alleged that the
duty of the Sheriff to proceed with the sale was a ministerial one and praying
that the Sheriff be commanded to proceed.

ISSUE:
[Not stated] W/N the writ of mandamus should be issued. --- NO
HELD:

The petition for a writ of mandamus is denied with the costs against the
petitioner.

Johnson, Street, Malcolm, Avancea, Villamor, and Romualdez, JJ., concur.


RATIO:

Though it would have been better practice for the Sheriff to sell the property
and hold the proceeds of the sale subject to the outcome of the action of
interpleader, the SC is of the opinion that the facts shown do not justify our
interference by mandamus.

The Sheriff might lay himself open to an action for damages if he sold the
goods without the consent of the holder of the last mortgage, and it does not
appear that the petitioner offered to give bond to hold him harmless in such
an event.

In these circumstances, his action in suspending the sale pending the


determination of the action of interpleader seems justified.

Also, the petition for mandamus should be addressed to the CFI rather than
the SC.

7. DE JESUS vs LA SOCIEDAD ARRENDATARIA


G.R. No. L-7313 | August 29, 1912
Plaintiff-appellant: PRUDENCIO DE JESUS
Defendants-appellants: LA SOCIEDAD ARRENDATARIA DE GALLERAS DE PASAY,
ET AL.
Summary: A partnership owned a cockpit which was rented to defendant company.
Plaintiff became absolute owner of two-fifths interest in the property on February 15,
1909 when Lucio Cruz sold his interest and failed to exercise right of repurchase.
Plaintiff also purchased another two-fifths share while one of the defendants hold onefifth share in the partnership. Plaintiff now seeks monthly rental from defendant
company which he claims to be due on February 15, 1909. The Court ruled in his
favor. If the defendant company had any sufficient ground to be in doubt as to which of
the claimants was entitled to the rent, it could have protected itself from the danger of
making payment to the wrong person by requiring the contesting claimants to

Bautista | Lopez | Macabagdal | R. Santos | Taruc

interplead, thus leaving the determination of the doubt to the courts. A lessee who is in
doubt as to the person to whom he should pay the rent because the property leased is
claimed by several persons may properly bring an action for interpleader against such
persons (words from another case).
FACTS:

A partnership composed of Isidoro Aragon, Lucio Cuneta Cruz and Modesto


de la Cruz, owned a cockpit which it rented to the defendant company. On the
14th of December, 1908, Lucio Cuneta Cruz sold his interest in the
partnership (two-fifths share) to the plaintiff, reserving the right to repurchase
under certain conditions.

Plaintiff claims that the vendor having failed to exercise the right became
absolute owner on the 15th day of February, 1909, and that since that date he
has been the sole owner of this two-fifths interest in the partnership.

It appears also that plaintiff purchased the interest of Isidoro Aragon in the
partnership (also a two-fifths share), and that Modesto de la Cruz, one of the
defendants in this action, continues to hold his original interest in the
partnership (a one-fifth share).
ISSUES:
1) W/N plaintiff may recover from defendant company the amount of the monthly rental
which plaintiff claims to be due to him as the owner of Lucio Cuneta Cruz' interest
since the 15th day of February, 1909 YES
2) W/N plaintiff may terminate the rental contract NO
RATIO:

We think that the evidence of record fully establishes the claim of the plaintiff
as to his purchase of the interest of Lucio Cuneta Cruz in the partnership
which entered into the rental contract the defendant company obligated itself
to pay to the owner of that interest the sum of P280 per month so long as the
contract continued in force up to the date of the entry of judgment in the court
below; and that the plaintiff became the absolute owner of Cuneta Cruz'
interest on February 15, 1909.
PLAINTIFF ENTITILED TO RECOVER AMOUND OF RENTAL FROM DATE WHEN
PURCHASE PERFECTED

The trial judge recognized the right of the plaintiff to recover this monthly
rental from the defendant company from the date of the judgment entered by
him, but declined to give judgment for the monthly rental from the date when
the purchase of Cuneta Cruz' interest was perfected (February 15,1909) to
the date of the judgment.
o Since there had been no formal adjudication of plaintiff's ownership
of Cuneta Cruz' interest prior to the date of the judgment, the
defendant company was not obligated to pay the plaintiff the monthly
rental, since, to have done so might have exposed it to the risk of
having the contract terminated by Cuneta Cruz for failure to pay to
him the stipulated rental, in the event that it should later be judicially

13

Special Civil Action: CALDONA

determined that Cuneta Cruz and not the plaintiff was the true
owner.
In this we hold that the trial judge erred. The defendant company had due and
sufficient notice of the sale at the time when the plaintiff perfected his
purchase of Cuneta Cruz' interest. Demand was formally and promptly made
upon it for the payment of the rent to which the plaintiff was thereafter entitled.
Under its contract it was the defendant company's duty to pay the stipulated
rent to the owner of the interest originally held by Cuneta. If with due notice of
the purchase of this interest by plaintiff, it paid any other person than the true
owner, such payment in no wise relieved it of its obligations under the
contract to pay the true owner.
Judgment for the rent in question from the 15th day of February, 1909, to the
date of the judgment should have been rendered in favor of the plaintiff,
together with interest at the rate of six per centum per annum upon the
amount of the rent for each month from the date when it fell due to the date of
payment.

ACTION FOR INTERPLEADER PROPER WHEN IN DOUBT AS TO WHOM TO PAY


RENT (MAIN)

We do not recognize the force of the contention that merely because the right
of ownership was in dispute the defendant company lawfully refused to pay
the rent to the plaintiff, on the ground that it could not be required to take the
risk of paying the wrong person and suffering the consequences. Section 120
of the Code of Civil Procedure provides for just such a case. If the defendant
company had any sufficient ground to be in doubt as to which of the claimants
was entitled to the rent, it could have protected itself from the danger of
making payment to the wrong person by requiring the contesting claimants to
interplead, thus leaving the determination of the doubt to the courts.

The defendant company not having exercised this right, it voluntarily assumed
the risk of payment to the wrong person, and of course payment to the wrong
person, under such circumstances (even if it were actually made, which does
not affirmatively appear from the record in the case), would not relieve it of
ability to the person lawfully entitled to received payment under the rental
contract.
RENTRAL CONTRACT CANNOT BE TERMINATED

Plaintiff's prayer that the rental contract with the defendant company be
terminated cannot be granted in this action. Plaintiffs appears to rest his
demand for the termination of the contract on the ground that as the owner of
two of the three interests which originally constituted the partnership (a
"sociedad colectiva" as defined in article 2 of title 1 of the Code of Commerce)
that entered into the rental contract with the defendant company, these two
interests constituting a four-fifths share in that partnership, he is entitled to
control the operations of the partnership.

Even if it be admitted that plaintiff's purchase of two of the three original


interests representing a four-fifths share in the partnership gave him the right
to control the operations of the partnership, it does not necessarily follow that
he can arbitrarily repudiate the rental contract.

Bautista | Lopez | Macabagdal | R. Santos | Taruc

The right to terminate the contractual relations between the parties, and the
conditions upon which one or other of the contracting parties may exercise
this right necessarily depends on the contract itself. It does not definitely
appear from the record whether the contract was or was not reduced to
writing; and while there does not seem to have been any question in the court
below as to some of its terms, the contract itself is not before us.
Plaintiffs having failed to establish satisfactorily the terms and conditions of
the rental contract, it is impossible for us to determine the conditions, if any,
upon which he, acting for the partnership, may exercise his alleged right to
terminate it; or to hold that under the contract, the society or partnership in
which plaintiff holds a controlling interest has a right to have the contract
rescinded.
So far therefore as the judgment of the court below denies the right of the
plaintiff to have the rental contract in question terminated in this action it
should be affirmed, reserving to the plaintiff, however, the right to institute a
new action or to take such steps as he may deem proper, hereafter, with a
view to the exercise of any right he may have, under the contract, to rescind
or terminate the same.

HELD: Ten days hereafter let judgment be entered reversing the judgment of the court
below without costs in this instance, and twenty days thereafter let the record be
returned to the court wherein it originated, which will enter final judgment, in
accordance with the principles herein laid down. So ordered.

8. Mesina v. IAC
G.R. No. 70145 | November 13, 1986
Petitioner: Marcelo A. Mesina
Respondents: Intermediate Appellate Court, Hon. Arsenio M. Gonong, in his capacity
as Judge of Manila RTC (Branch VIII), Jose Go, & Albert Uy
Ponente: J. Paras
Summary:
Jose Go purchased from Associated Bank a cashier's check for P800,000 which he left
on top of the desk of the bank manager when he left the bank. The bank manager
entrusted the check for safekeeping to Albert Uy. While Uy went to the men's room,
the check was stolen by his visitor, Alexander Lim. Upon discovering that the check
was lost, Go accomplished an Affidavit of Loss and a "STOP PAYMENT" order. Two
days later, Associated Bank received the lost check for clearing from Prudential Bank.
After dishonoring the same check twice, Associated Bank received summons and copy
of a complaint for damages of Marcelo Mesina who was in possession of the lost
check and is demanding payment. Unsure of what to do, Associated Bank filed an
action for Interpleader. Mesina, instead of filing his answer to the complaint filed a
Motion to Dismiss which the RTC denied. Thereafter, he was declared in default. The
RTC then rendered a decision ordering Associate Bank to replace Cashier's Check No.
011302 in favor of Go or its cash equivalent. Main ISSUE is WON the interpleader suit
was proper (my own words ). YES.

14

Special Civil Action: CALDONA

The SC held that Associated Bank merely took the necessary precaution not to make a
mistake as to whom to pay and therefore interpleader was its proper remedy. The
interpleader suit was filed because Mesina and Jose Go were both claiming on the
cashiers check. Contrary to Mesinas claim, Associated Bank filed the interpleader suit
NOT because Mesina sued it for damages. This is supported by the fact that (1)
Associated Bank was willing to issue a certificate of time deposit of P800,000
representing the cashier's check 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, and (2) on the
day that the bank instituted the interpleader, it was not aware of any suit for damages
filed as the interpleader case was first entitled Associated Bank v. Jose Go and John
Doe, but later on changed to Marcelo A. Mesina for John Doe when his name became
known to the bank.
FACTS: [Sori mahaba talaga yung facts, saka mejo iniba ko yung ordering nung facts
para mas madaling intindihin]

Jose Go purchased from Associated Bank a cashier's check for P800,000.00.


Unfortunately, he left the check on the top of the desk of the bank manager when
he left the bank. The bank manager entrusted the check for safekeeping to Albert
Uy, a bank official, who had then a visitor (Alexander Lim). Uy had to answer a
phone call on a nearby telephone after which he proceeded to the men's room.
When he returned to his desk, Lim was already gone.

When Go inquired for his cashier's check from Uy, the check was not in his folder
and nowhere to be found. He then advised Go to accomplish a "STOP
PAYMENT" order, which was immediately put into action. Go also executed an
affidavit of loss.

Afterwards, Uy went to the police to report the loss of the check, pointing to
Alexander Lim as the one who could shed light on it.

Records of the police show that Associated Bank received the lost check for
clearing, coming from Prudential Bank, Escolta Branch. The check was
immediately dishonored by Associated Bank by sending it back to Prudential
Bank, with the words "Payment Stopped" stamped on it.
o However, the same was again returned to Associated Bank and for the
second time it was dishonored.

Several days later, Associated Bank received a letter from a certain Atty. Lorenzo
Navarro demanding payment on the cashier's check which was being held by his
client.
o He however refused to reveal the name of his client and threatened to sue if
payment is not made.
o Associated Bank replied saying the check belonged to Go who lost it in the
bank and is laying claim to it.
Filing of Cases
st

1 case: Unsure of what to do, Associated Bank filed an action for Interpleader
naming as respondent, Jose Go and one John Doe, Atty. Navarro's then unnamed
client.
nd

2 case: Thereafter Associated Bank received summons and copy of the


complaint for damages of a certain Marcelo Mesina from the Caloocan City RTC.

Bautista | Lopez | Macabagdal | R. Santos | Taruc

Associated Bank moved to amend its complaint, having been notified for the first
time of the name of Atty. Navarro's client and substituted Marcelo Mesina for John
Doe. Simultaneously it informed the Western Police District that the lost check of
Go is in the possession of Mesina.
o When asked how he came to possess the check, he said it was paid to him
by Alexander Lim in a "certain transaction" but refused to elucidate further.
rd
3 case: An information for theft was then instituted against Alexander Lim and
the corresponding warrant for his arrest was issued which up to the date of the
filing of this instant petition remains unserved because of Lim's successful evation.

st

1 case: Interpleader Suit

Go filed his answer.

Uy filed a motion of intervention and answer in the complaint for Interpleader.

Mesina, instead of filing his answer to the complaint filed an Omnibus Motion to
Dismiss Ex Abudante Cautela alleging lack of jurisdiction in view of the absence of
an order to litigate, failure to state a cause of action and lack of personality to sue.
o RTC DENIED.
o MR also denied.
o RTC afterwards issued an order declaring Mesina in default since his period
to answer has already expired and set the ex-parte presentation of
Associated Bank's evidence.

Mesina then filed a petition for certiorari with preliminary injunction with IAC to set
aside 1) order of RTC denying his omnibus Motion to Dismiss and 2) the order of
default against him.
o IAC dismissed.
o MR also denied.

RTC rendered a decision in the Interpleader case ordering Associate Bank to


replace Cashier's Check No. 011302 in favor of Go or its cash equivalent.
2

nd

case: Complaint for Damages.


Go moved to participate as intervenor.
Associated Bank moved to dismiss suit in view of the existence of the Interpleader
case.
RTC issued an order dismissing the case since the main issue in both cases (the
Interpleader Suit & Complaint for Damages) are the same (ISSUE who
between Mesina and Go is entitled to payment of Associated Bank's Cashier's
Check No. CC-011302).
o Said issue having been resolved already, the complaint for damages is
already moot and academic.

ISSUES:
1. WON IAC erred in ruling that a cashier's check can be countermanded even in the
hands of a holder in due course. NO. In the first place, Mesina is NOT a
holder in due course.
2. WON IAC erred in countenancing the filing and maintenance of an interpleader
suit by a party who had earlier been sued on the same claim. NO. [main]
3. WON IAC erred in upholding the trial court's order declaring Mesina in default
when there was no proper order for him to plead in the interpleader complaint.

15

Special Civil Action: CALDONA

4.

NO. [important also because it discusses the process involved in an interpleader


suit]
WON IAC went beyond the scope of its certiorari jurisdiction by making findings of
facts in advance of trial. NO.

RATIO:
MESINA IS NOT A HOLDER IN DUE COURSE [nego issue]

Mesina failed to substantiate his claim that he is a holder in due course and
for consideration or value.
o He became the holder of the cashier's check as endorsed by Alexander Lim
who stole the check, and he refused to say how and why it was passed to
him.
o He had therefore notice of the defect of his title over the check from the start.
o 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 issuing bank would, of course, have the right to refuse
payment of the check when presented by the payee, since it was aware
of the facts surrounding the loss of the check.

Moreover, Associated Bank did not issue the cashier's check in payment of
its obligation.
o Jose Go bought the cashiers check from the said bank for purposes of
transferring his funds from Associated Bank to another bank near his
establishment realizing that carrying money in this form is safer than if it were
in cash.
o The check was Jose Go's property when it was misplaced or stolen, hence he
stopped its payment.
o Jose Go owns the money the cashiers check represents and he is therefore
the drawer and the drawee in the same manner as if he has a current account
and he issued a check against it; and from the moment said cashier's check
was lost and/or stolen no one outside of Jose Go can be termed a holder in
due course because Jose Go had not indorsed it in due course.
o The check in question suffers from the infirmity of not having been properly
negotiated and for value by Jose Go.
AN INTERPLEADER SUIT IS PROPER [MAIN]
Mesinas Argument: There is no showing of conflicting claims and interpleader is out of
the question.
SC: There is enough evidence to establish the contrary.

Associated Bank merely took the necessary precaution not to make a


mistake as to whom to pay and therefore interpleader was its proper
remedy.
o The interpleader suit was filed 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.

Bautista | Lopez | Macabagdal | R. Santos | Taruc

Mesinas allegation that Associated 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 of
P800,000 representing the cashier's check 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.
Associated Bank filed the interpleader suit NOT because Mesina sued it but
because he is laying claim to the same check that Go is claiming.
o In fact 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.

MESINA WAS ALREADY IN DEFAULT WHEN HE FAILED TO FILE HIS ANSWER


Mesinas Argument: IAC erred 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.
SC: Such contention is untenable.

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 Rule 63 of the Rules of Court.
IACS FINDING OF FACTS WAS NECESSARY IN THE CASE AT BAR

Before Associated Bank resorted to Interpleader, it took precautionary and


necessary measures to bring out the truth.

On the other hand, Mesina concealed the circumstances known to him and now
that the bank brought these circumstances out in court (which eventually rendered
its decision in the light of these facts), Mesina charges it with "gratuitous
excursions into these non-issues."

IAC cannot rule on whether RTC committed an abuse of discretion or not,


without being apprised of the facts and reasons why Associated Bank
instituted the Interpleader case. Therefore, IAC did not act therefore beyond the
scope of the remedy sought in the petition.
DECISION: WHEREFORE, finding that the instant petition is merely dilatory, the same
is hereby denied and the assailed orders of the respondent court are hereby
AFFIRMED in toto.

9. Vda. De Camilo v. Hon. Arcamo


GR No. L-15653 | Sept. 29, 1961 | Paredes, J.
Petitioners-appellees: Petra Carpio Vda. De Camilo, et al. (PETRA)
Respondents-appellants: Hon. Justice of the Peace (JP) Arcamo, Ong Peng Kee
(PENG), Adelia Ong (ADELIA)
SUMMARY

16

Special Civil Action: CALDONA

Petra, Estrada and the Franciscos owned parcels of land in Zamboanga del Sur, all of
which had buildings erected on them. Fire razed the buildings. Afterwards, the Ongs
erected their own building on the pretense that the Municipality of Malangas leased the
land to them. The new building, however, encroached upon the petitioners land.
Petitioners filed 2 separate forcible entry cases against the Ongs. The Ongs,
meanwhile, filed a complaint for interpleader. Petitioners filed the present proceedings
for mandamus and certiorari claiming that the justice of the peace (JP) had no
jurisdiction over the interpleader case. CFI ruled in favor of petitioners. The Ongs
appealed. Issue: WN the Justice of the Peace Court has jurisdiction to take cognizance
of the interpleader case. No. The petitioners claimed the possession of the
respective portion of the lands belonging to them on which the respondents had
erected their house. This being the case, the contention of petitioners-appellants
that the complaint to interplead lacked cause of action, is correct. Petitioners did
not have conflicting claims against the respondents. Petra, Estrada and the
Franciscos claimed possession of two different parcels of land of different
areas, adjoining each other. Further, 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. CFI decision affirmed.
FACTS

This appeal stemmed from a petition for Certiorari and Mandamus filed by
Petra and others, against Samuel A. Arcamo, Justice of the Peace of
Malangas, Zamboanga del Sur, Ong Peng Kee and Adelia Ong.

Petra had been by herself and predecessor in interest in peaceful, open and
adverse possession of a parcel of public foreshore land, situated in Malangas,
Zamboanga del Sur, containing an area of about 400 square meters.
o A commercial building was erected on the property which was
declared under Tax Dec. No. 5286 and assessed at P7,400.00.

Peng was a lessee of one of the apartments of said commercial building since
June 1, 1957.

8/1/1957 Arthur Evert Bannister (Bannister) filed an unlawful detainer case


against both Petra and Peng with the JP of Malangas.
o For failure of Bannister and/or counsel to appear at the trial, they
were declared in default and P100.00 was awarded to Petra on her
counterclaim.
o The MR presented by Bannister was denied.

The other petitioners (Other Petitioners; Severino Estrada, Felisa, Susana,


Antonio and the minors Isabelo, Rene and Ruben, all surnamed Francisco,
the said minors represented by their mother Susana) had also been in
possession (in common), peaceful, open and adverse, since 1937, of a
parcel of public foreshore land, about 185 square meters which is
adjoining that land occupied by Petra.
o On this parcel, a commercial building assessed at P1,000.00 was
erected by the Franciscos, and had the same declared under Tax
Dec. No. 4911.

9/1/1957 the 2 commercial buildings were burned down.

Bautista | Lopez | Macabagdal | R. Santos | Taruc

Two weeks after, Peng and Adelia constructed a building of their


own, occupying about 120 sqm.
o However, the building encroached upon portions of the lands
previously occupied by Petra and the Franciscos.
12/3/1957 Petra filed a civil case for Forcible Entry against Peng and Adelia
(Ongs) with the JP of Malangas.
8/8/1958 Estrada and the Franciscos filed a similar case.
Ongs answer: land where they constructed their building was leased to them
by the Municipality of Malangas.
Pending trial of the 2 cases, the Ongs filed a complaint for Interpleader
against Petra, Estrada, the Franciscos, Arthur Evert Bannister, the Mayor
and Treasurer of Malangas, alleging that the filing of the three cases of
forcible entry indicated that the defendants (in the Interpleader, i.e.,
Petra, etc.) had conflicting interests, since they all claimed to be entitled to
the possession of the lot in question and they (Ongs) could not determine
without hazard to themselves who among the defendants was entitled to the
possession.
o Interpleader plaintiffs (Ongs) further alleged that they had no interest
in the property other than as mere lessees.
And motion to dismiss the complaint for interpleader was presented by the
defendants therein (now petitioners), contending that the JP had no
jurisdiction to try and hear the case; that there were other pending actions
between the parties for the same cause; and that the complaint for
interpleader did not state a cause of action.
o The Ongs opposed the motion.
o Respondent JP denied the MTD and ordered the petitioners to
interplead.
o The 2 forcible entry cases dismissed.
The petitioners instituted the present proceedings, for certiorari and
mandamus before the CFI of Zamboanga, claiming that the JP acted
without jurisdiction in denying the MTD, gravely abused his discretion for
having given due course to the complaint for Interpleader, and unlawfully
neglected the performance of an act which was specifically enjoined by law,
and for which there was no plain, speedy and adequate remedy in the
ordinary course of law.
CFI JP was without jurisdiction (in favor of the petitioners); Order denying
the motion to dismiss the interpleader complaint was set aside. Respondents
appealed.

ISSUE: WN the Justice of the Peace Court has jurisdiction to take cognizance of the
interpleader case. No.
HELD: Decision appealed from is affirmed.
RATIO:

The petitioners 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.

17

Special Civil Action: CALDONA

This being the case, the contention of petitioners-appellants that


the complaint to interplead lacked cause of action, is correct.
1, Rule 14 of the Rules of Court (old):
o 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.
Petitioners did not have conflicting claims against the respondents.
o Their respective claim was separate and distinct from the other.
o Petra only wanted the respondents to vacate that portion of her
property, which was encroached upon by them when they
erected their building.
o The same is true with Estrada and the Franciscos.
o They claimed possession of two different parcels of land of
different areas, adjoining each other.
o 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.
Even in the supposition that the complaint presented a cause of action for
Interpleader, still SC holds that the JP had no jurisdiction to take
cognizance thereof.
o 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.
o Then also, the subject matter of the complaint (interpleader)
would come under the original jurisdiction of the CFI (not the JP
court), because it would not be capable of pecuniary estimation,
there having been no showing that rentals were asked by the
petitioners from respondents.
IN VIEW OF ALL THE FOREGOING, We find that the decision appealed from
is in conformity with the law, and the same should be, as it is hereby affirmed,
with costs against respondents-appellants Ong Peng Kee and Adelia Ong.

10. Makati Devt Corp v. Tanjuatco


G.R. No. L-26443
March 25, 1969
Plaintiff-appellant:
MAKATI
DEVELOPMENT
CORPORATION,
Defendants-appellees: PEDRO C. TANJUATCO and CONCRETE AGGREGATES,
INC.

Bautista | Lopez | Macabagdal | R. Santos | Taruc

CONCEPCION, C.J.:
Summary
Plaintiff and defendant Pedro C. Tanjuatco entered into a contract whereby the latter
bound himself to construct a reinforced concrete covered water reservoir, office and
pump house and water main at Forbes Park, Makati, Rizal, furnishing, inter alia, the
materials necessary therefor.
Before making the final payment of the consideration agreed upon, plaintiff inquired
from the suppliers of materials, who had called its attention to unpaid bills therefor of
Tanjuatco, whether the latter had settled his accounts with them. In response to this
inquiry, Concrete Aggregates, Inc. made a claim in the sum of P5,198.75, representing
the cost of transit-mixed concrete allegedly delivered to Tanjuatco. Plaintiff instituted
the action, in the Court of First Instance of Rizal, against Tanjuatco and the Supplier, to
compel them to interplead their conflicting claims. W/N the CFI of Rizal has jurisdiction
over the complaint for interpleader? It does not have jurisdiction. There is no
question in this case that plaintiff 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 Civil Case No. 149173 of 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 plaintiff herein.
Case: Appeal by plaintiff Makati Development Corporation from an order of dismissal
of the Court of First Instance of Rizal (Pasig), predicated upon lack of jurisdiction.
FACTS:

February 21, 1963, said plaintiff and defendant Pedro C. Tanjuatco entered into a
contract whereby the latter bound himself to construct a reinforced concrete
covered water reservoir, office and pump house and water main at Forbes Park,
Makati, Rizal, furnishing, inter alia, the materials necessary therefor.

Before making the final payment of the consideration agreed upon, plaintiff
inquired from the suppliers of materials, who had called its attention to unpaid bills
therefor of Tanjuatco, whether the latter had settled his accounts with them.

In response to this inquiry, Concrete Aggregates, Inc. hereinafter referred to as


the Supplier made a claim in the sum of P5,198.75, representing the cost of
transit-mixed concrete allegedly delivered to Tanjuatco.

With his consent, plaintiff withheld said amount from the final payment made to
him and, in view of his subsequent failure to settle the issue thereon with the
Supplier, on September 16, 1955, plaintiff instituted the present action, in the
Court of First Instance of Rizal, against Tanjuatco and the Supplier, to
compel them "to interplead their conflicting claims."

October 4, 1965 - Tanjuatco moved to dismiss the case, upon the ground that the
court had no jurisdiction over the subject-matter of the litigation, the amount
involved therein being less than P10,000.00.

Finding this motion "to be well-taken", the lower court granted the same, over
plaintiffs opposition thereto, and, accordingly, issued an order, dated November
16, 1965, dismissing the case, without costs.

18

Special Civil Action: CALDONA

ISSUE:
W/N the CFI of Rizal has jurisdiction over the complaint for interpleader? It
does not have jurisdiction.
RATIO:

Plaintiff maintains that the subject-matter of this litigation is not the


aforementioned sum of P5,198.75, but the right to compel the defendants "to
litigate among themselves" in order to protect the plaintiff "against a double
vexation in respect to one liability."

We find no merit in this contention. There is no question in this case that plaintiff
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 Civil Case
No. 149173 of 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 plaintiff herein.

The latter relies upon 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, which, unlike section 19 of Rule 4 of the Old Rules, omits the Rules on
Interpleading among those made applicable to inferior courts. This fact does not
warrant, however, the conclusion drawn therefrom by plaintiff herein.

To begin with, 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 "ten thousand pesos."

Secondly, "the power to define, prescribe, and apportion the jurisdiction of the
various courts" belongs to Congress and is beyond the rule-making power of the
Supreme Court, which is limited to matters concerning pleading, practice, and
procedure in all courts, and the admission to the practice of law.

Thirdly, the failure of said section 19 of Rule 5 of the present Rules of Court to
make its Rule 63, on interpleading, applicable to inferior courts, merely implies
that the same are not bound to follow Rule 63 in dealing with cases of
interpleading, but may apply thereto the general rules on procedure applicable to
ordinary civil action in said courts.
WHEREFORE, the order appealed from is hereby affirmed, with the costs of this
instance against plaintiff Makati Development Corporation. It is so ordered.

11. RCBC v. Metro Container Corp. (MB)


Petitioner: Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC)
Respondent: Metro Container Corporation (METROCAN)
G.R. No. 127913, September 13, 2001

Bautista | Lopez | Macabagdal | R. Santos | Taruc

Kapunan, J.
SUMMARY:
LEYCON loaned P30,000,000 from RCBC which was secured by a real estate
mortgage over a property located in Barrio Ugong, Valenzuela City. The property was
leased out to METROCAN. When LEYCON failed to pay RCBC, the latter
extrajudicially foreclosed the property and purchased it as the highest bidder. LEYCON
on the other had filed an action for Nullification of Extrajudicial Foreclosure Sale and
Damages against RCBC. RCBC on the other hand consolidated ownership over the
property, and by virtue of such title demanded rental payments from METROCAN.
st
LEYCON filed an action for Unlawful Detainer (1 case) against METROCAN.
nd
Subsequently, METROCAN filed a complaint for Interpleader (2 case) to compel
LEYCON and RCBC to litigate their claims in order to determine which among them
nd
should rightfully receive rental payments. During the pre-trial of the 2 case, LEYCON
and METROCAN was able to reach an amicable settlement where METROCAN was
st
to pay rentals to LEYCON. Thereafter the 1 case was resolved in favor of LEYCON
and METROCAN was ordered likewise to pay LEYCON. In effect, both LEYCON and
nd
METROCAN moved to dismiss the Interpleader case (2 case) which motions the
nd
RTC dismissed. On appeal, the CA granted the motions to set aside the 2 case.
RCBC questions the dismissal of the Interpleader case. SC held that (1) The reason
for the Interpleader action ceased when the MeTC rendered judgment in Unlawful
Detainer case whereby the court directed METROCAN to pay LEYCON. (2) While
RCBC could not compel METROCAN to pursue the Interpleader case, it is not bereft of
other legal remedies such as proving its claim in the action for Nullification of
Extrajudicial Foreclosure Sale and Damages filed by LEYCON.
FACTS:

Ley Construction Corporation (LEYCON) contracted a loan from RCBC in the


amount of P30,000,000.
o The loan was secured by a real estate mortgage over a property,
located in Barrio Ugong, Valenzuela, Metro Manila (now Valenzuela
City).
o LEYCON failed to settle its obligations prompting RCBC to institute
an extrajudicial foreclosure proceeding.
o When LEYCONs legal attempts to forestall the action of RBCB
failed, the property was foreclosed with RCBC as the highest bidder.
o LEYCON promptly filed an action for Nullification of Extrajudicial
Foreclosure Sale and Damages against RCBC in the RTC of
Valenzuela, Branch 72.
o Meanwhile, RCBC consolidated its ownership over the property due
to LEYCONs failure to redeem it within the 12-month redemption
period and a TCT was issued if favor of the bank.
o By virtue thereof, RCBC demanded rental payments from Metro
Container Corporation (METROCAN) which was leasing the property
from LEYCON.
st

1 case (Unlawful Detainer) --- LEYCON filed an action for Unlawful Detainer
against METROCAN before the MeTC of Valenzuela, Branch 82.
nd

2 case (Interpleader) --- METROCAN filed a complaint for Interpleader


before the RTC of Valenzuela, Metro Manila, Branch 75 against LEYCON and

19

Special Civil Action: CALDONA

RCBC to compel them to interplead and litigate their several claims among
themselves and to determine which among them shall rightfully receive the
payment of monthly rentals on the subject property.
o During the pre-trial conference, the trial court ordered the dismissal
of the case insofar as METROCAN and LEYCON were concerned in
view of an amicable settlement where METROCAN paid back
rentals to LEYCON.
st
Judgment was rendered in the 1 case which among other things, ordered
METROCAN to pay LEYCON whatever rentals due on the subject
premises. The MeTC decision became final and executory.
nd
METROCAN moved for the dismissal of the 2 case for having become moot
and academic due to the amicable settlement and because of the decision in
st
the 1 case. LEYCON did the same.
o The two motions were dismissed for lack of merit.
o MRs filed by METROCAN and LEYCON were also denied.
o METROCAN sought relief from the CA via a petition forcertiorari and
prohibition with prayer for the issuance of a TRO and a writ of
preliminary injunction.
o LEYCON also sought for the nullification of the RTC orders.
CA --- granted the petition and set aside the orders of the RTC and ordered
nd
the dismissal of the 2 case (Interpleader)
RCBCs MR was denied for lack of merit. Hence, the present recourse.

ISSUES:
RCBC alleges that:
st
1. The decision in the 1 case (Unlawful Detainer) between METROCAN
and LEYCON does not and cannot render the Interpleader action moot
and academic.
2. While a party who initiates an Interpleader action may not be compelled
to litigate if he is no longer interested to pursue such cause of action,
said party may not unilaterally cause the dismissal of the case after the
answer have been filed. Further, the defendants in an Interpleader suit
should be given full opportunity to litigate their respective claims.

HELD:

Petition for review is DENIED.

The Decision of the CA as well as its Resolution are AFFIRMED.


RATIO:
1. When Interpleader is proper

Section 1, Rule 63 of the Revised Rules of Court provides:


Section 1. 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

Bautista | Lopez | Macabagdal | R. Santos | Taruc

conflicting claimants to compel them to interplead and litigate their several


claims among themselves.
2. Application to the case at hand
nd

It is undisputed that METROCAN filed the Interpleader action (2 case)


because it was unsure which between LEYCON and RCBC was entitled to
receive the payment of monthly 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


st
action for Unlawful Detainer (1 case) against its lessee METROCAN.
o The issue in the Unlawful Detainer case is limited to the question of
physical or material possession of the premises.
o The issue of ownership is immaterial and the outcome of the case
could not in any way affect conflicting claims of ownership, in this
case between RCBC and LEYCON.
o This was made clear when the trial court, in denying RCBC's "Motion
for Inclusion x x x as an Indispensable Party" declared that "the final
determination of the issue of physical possession over the subject
premises between the plaintiff and the defendant shall not in any
way affect RCBC's claims of ownership over the said premises,
since RCBC is neither a co-lessor or co-lessee of the same, hence
he has no legal personality to join the parties with respect to the
issue of physical possession.

Hence, the reason for the Interpleader action ceased when the MeTC
rendered judgment in Unlawful Detainer case whereby the court directed
METROCAN to pay LEYCON whatever rentals due on the subject premises
x x x.

While RCBC, not being a party to Unlawful Detainer case, could not be bound
by the judgment therein, METROCAN is bound by the MeTC decision.

Precisely because there was already a judicial fiat to METROCAN, there was
no more reason to continue with 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.
3. Other comments on Interpleader

An action of Interpleader is afforded to protect a person not against double


liability but against double vexation in respect of one liability.

It requires, as an indespensable requisite, 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.
o The decision in Unlawful Detainer case resolved the conflicting
claims insofar as payment of rentals was concerned.
4. RCBC may prove its claim through other legal remedies.

RCBC is correct in saying that it is not bound by the decision in Unlawful


Detainer case because it is not a party thereto.

20

Special Civil Action: CALDONA

However, RCBC could not compel METROCAN to pursue the Interpleader


case.
RCBC has other avenues to prove its claim.
The issue of ownership can very well be threshed out in the case for
Nullification of Extrajudicial Foreclosure Sale and Damages filed by LEYCON
against RCBC.

Bautista | Lopez | Macabagdal | R. Santos | Taruc

Rule 63: Declaratory Relief and Similar Remedies

Section 1. Who may file petition.


Any person interested under a deed, will, contract or other written instrument, whose
rights are affected by a statute, executive order or regulation, ordinance, or any other
governmental regulation may, before breach or violation thereof, bring an action in the
appropriate Regional Trial Court to determine any question of construction or validity
arising, and for a declaration of his rights or duties, thereunder.
An action for the reformation of an instrument, to quiet title to real property or remove
clouds therefrom, or to consolidate ownership under Article 1607 of the Civil Code,
may be brought under this Rule.
Sec. 2. Parties.
All persons who have or claim any interest which would be affected by the declaration
shall be made parties; and no declaration shall, except as otherwise provided in these
Rules, prejudice the rights of persons not parties to the action.
Sec. 3. Notice on Solicitor General.
In any action which involves the validity of a statute, executive order or regulation, or
any other governmental regulation, the Solicitor General shall be notified by the party
assailing the same and shall be entitled to be heard upon such question.
Sec. 4. Local government ordinances.
In any action involving the validity of a local government ordinance, the corresponding
prosecutor or attorney of the local governmental unit involved shall be similarly notified
and entitled to be heard. If such ordinance is alleged to be unconstitutional, the
Solicitor General shall also be notified and entitled to be heard.
Sec. 5. Court action discretionary.
Except in actions falling under the second paragraph of section 1 of this Rule, the
court, motu proprio or upon motion, 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 in any case where the
declaration or construction is not necessary and proper under the circumstances.
Sec. 6. Conversion into ordinary action.
If before the final termination of the case, a breach or violation of an instrument or a
statute, executive order or regulation, ordinance, or any other governmental regulation
should take place, the action may thereupon be converted into an ordinary action, and
the parties shall be allowed to file such pleadings as may be necessary or proper.
1. MIRANDO V. WELLINGTON
G.R. No. L-44062 | February 16, 1978
Petitioners-appellants: PABLO L. MIRANDO, MANUEL V. SERRANILLA,
MAGDALEMO LEMOS, JESUS MILLA, IGNACIO ANGUE, JUAN BOLO, RUFINO
FLORES, TEODORO CASTILLO, PETRA ALACAR, AURELIA LAVADIA, EUGENIO

AMOR, RAYMUNDO ABELLA, CONSTANTINO DODIE, ANTONINO V.


SERRANILLA, DAVID IMPANG and CELESTINO LACERNA
Respondents-appellees: WELLINGTON TY & BROS., INC. and THE PHILIPPINE
BOARD OF LIQUIDATORS,.
Summary: After liberation from the Japanese, petitioners occupied and lived in the
premises of Arellano University in Manila, from 1945 to 1950. To solve the problem
posed by the squatters to public health and sanitation, Mayor of Manila relocated the
squatters in QC. The Phil. Board of Liquidators took possession of these lots from a
Japanese enemy alien. During their occupancy of the lots, petitioners constructed their
houses and were charged nominal rentals. They also filed their respective applications
for the sale of the lots to them. Phil. Board bartered two parcels of land with another
land owned by Planas. Estate of Planas sold lots in question to Wellington Ty to which
a TCT was issued. Petitioners filed petitioned entitled Declaratory Relief for
Cancellation of Title and/or Reconveyance with Preliminary Injunction when they were
demanded to vacate and surrender premises. SC ruled that complaint must fail for lack
of sufficient cause of action. An action for declaratory relief may be entertained,
provided the following are present: (1) there must be a justifiable controversy; (2) the
controversy must be 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. Petitioners who claimed to have interest on the disputed land by paying rents
in favor of the government (in contrast to respondents claim by virtue of contract of
sale with the government) failed to prove that they were entitled to the same.
FACTS:

Shortly after the liberation of Manila from the Japanese Imperial Army,
petitioners occupied and lived in the premises of Arellano University at
Legarda St., Manila, from 1945 to 1950. To solve the problem posed by the
squatters to public health and sanitation in general and to meet the needs of
the University for its premises in particular, Mayor de la Fuente of Manila
secured the approval of Mayor Diaz of QC to relocate the squatters in Lots 1
and 2, Block No. 3, adjoining Broadway St., QC.

These lots were formerly owned by a Japanese named Arata Tuitsue.


4
Because he was an enemy alien, the Phil. Board of Liquidators took
possession of these lots. During their occupancy of the lots in question,
petitioners constructed their houses thereon and were charged nominal
rentals by the respondent Phil. Board of Liquidators. They also filed their
respective applications with the Board through the Office of the President for
the sale of the lots to them.

Sometime in 1953 the Phil. Board of Liquidators with the approval of the
President of the Philippines, bartered the two parcels of land in dispute with
4

21

Special Civil Action: CALDONA

successor of Phil. Alien Property Custodian

Bautista | Lopez | Macabagdal | R. Santos | Taruc

another piece of land owned by the late Carmen Planas. In 1964, the
administrator of the estate of Planas sold the lots in question to private
respondents, Wellington Ty & Bros., Inc. A TCT was issued to the latter.
Soon thereafter, the private respondents made demands upon the petitioners
to vacate and surrender the possession of the premises. Petitioners refused,
claiming that they had preferential rights to the property. Private respondents
reacted by filing an ejectment proceeding QC.
In 1969, Petitioners-appellants filed a petition entitled Declaratory Relief for
Cancellation of Title and/or Reconveyance with Preliminary Injunction before
the CFI of Rizal, claiming inter alia,
o (a) that they are the bona fide occupants of the lots in question,
having, constructed thereon their respective resident substantial
houses with assessed values as follows: (case listed for each
petitioner ranging from 2k to 8k) and
o (b) that through the fraud and misrepresentation of the respondentappellee Wellington Ty & Bros, Inc., in collusion with the Phil. Board
of Liquidators, they were deprived of their preferential right to
purchase said lots from the latter.
The petition sought the cancellation of the title of Wellington, the
reconveyance of the disputed lots in their favor and the issuance of a writ of
preliminary injunction against further proceedings in the ejectment case.
After their MTD was denied, respondent appellee Wellington Ty & Bros., Inc.
filed its Answer, claiming the indefensibility of their title under the Land
Registration Act, being purchasers for value and in good faith. Further, they
reiterated the grounds of their motion to dismiss:
o (a) the present action is not the proper remedy;
o (b) the petition does not state a sufficient justifiable cause of action
as required by law;
o (c) there is a pending action in Court between the same parties
wherein the issue raised herein is involved.
Likewise, respondent Phil. Board of Liquidators filed its Answer with following
defenses:
o (a) That the Court has no jurisdiction over the respondent Board of
Liquidators;
o (b) That petitioners have no cause of action against respondent
Board of Liquidators;
o (c) That the respondent Board of Liquidators is not the real party in
interest in this case;
o (d) That the cause of action, if any, has already prescribed.
CFI Rizal decision: petitioners had no right over the property
CA decision: Court feels that the, issues raised involve purely questions of
law, the review of which is vested within the exclusive jurisdiction of the
Supreme Court.

ISSUE: W/N petitioners are entitled to the declaratory relief prayed for NO
RATIO:
THE ACQUISITION OF LAND WAS VALID

22

Special Civil Action: CALDONA

Petitioners-appellants contend that their alleged preferential right to buy the


land is by authority of R.A. 3348 which provides:
Section 1. Section 1 of RA 477, as amended by RA 1970, is further amended
to read as follows:
Section 1. All lands which have been or may hereafter be transferred to the
Republic of the Philippines in accordance with the Philippine Property Act of
1946 and RA 8 and all the public lands
and
improvements
thereon
transferred from the Bureau of Lands to the National Abaca and Other Fibers
Corporation under the provisions of EO 29 (1946), and of EO 99 (1947), shall
be subdivided into convenient-sized lots, except such portion thereof as the
President of the Philippines may reserve or transfer title thereto for the use of
the National or local governments, or for the use of the corporations or
entities owned or controlled by the Government. ; Provided that any
provision of law to the contrary notwithstanding, the Department of General
Services shall determine the minimum size of said urban homesite or
residential lots and shall allot to the actual occupants thereof at the time of the
approval of this Act.

Petitioners-appellants' contention is without merit, the said law having come


into effect only on August 8 1963, or almost 10 years after the lots in question
passed into the private estate of the late Carmen Planas who acquired the
same from the national government in 1953.

We do not see any irregularity in the acquisition by Carmen Planas of the said
parcels of land. The exchange of properties between the national government
and the late Carmen Planas was validly effected in accordance with the
provisions of the then existing laws.

Thus, under EO 372 (1950), the Philippine Board of Liquidators, with the
approval of the President of the Philippines, was empowered to sell lease,
transfer, assign, or otherwise dispose of, the properties transferred to the
Republic of the Philippines under the Philippine Property Act of 1946

And, under RA 926, the "President of the Philippines, in payment of


compensation for landed estates acquired by the Government, whether thru
voluntary agreement or expropriation proceedings, may convey in behalf of
the Republic, with the written consent of the owner of the land, in total partial
payment of such compensation, such public land as is disposable by sale or
lease to private individuals in accordance with law, and such other similarly
disposable property pertaining to the Republic of the Philippines."

In the absence of proof of defect in the acquisition by Carmen Planas of, or


proof of infirmity in her title to, the lots occupied by petitioners-appellants, We
cannot question the validity of the contract of sale executed between the
administrator of her estate and Wellington Ty & Bros., Inc.
NO PREFERENTIAL RIGHT TO BUY LOTS

If We pursue farther the contention of the petitioners- appellants that they had
the preferential right to buy the lots they occupied, We must look into the
provisions of the law then in effect, RA 477, effective 1950, and not RA 3348.
Thus,

Bautista | Lopez | Macabagdal | R. Santos | Taruc

Sec. 1. (same provision as above but the ff text was emphasized)


except such portions thereof as the President of the Philippines may
reserve for the use of the National or local governments, or for the
use of corporations or entities owned or controlled by the
Government. ...
The fact that the applications of the petitioners-appellants to buy these
parcels of land from the national government, thru the Board of Liquidators,
had not been given due course by the latter no doubt shows that, as
authorized under the above provision of law, the national government
reserved these lots for its own use with no intention to subdivide them into
convenient-sized lots to be awarded to bona fide occupants.
That petitioners-appellants paid nominal fees for the use of the lots is of little
consequence, in the absence of positive proof that the fees were in
consideration of any claim of priority rights. In fact, unrebutted testimony was
presented appellants were considered squatters. Their use and occupation of
the land was merely tolerated by the national government, and could not have
vested in them any claim, right, or adverse interest in such government
property.

CONDITIONS FOR DECLARATORY RELIEF NOT PRESENT

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.
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:
o (1) there must be a justifiable controversy;
o (2) the controversy must be between persons whose interests are
adverse;
o (3) the party seeking declaratory relief must have a legal interest in
the controversy; and
o (4) the issue involved must be ripe for judicial determination.

23

Special Civil Action: CALDONA

All these requisite facts are not present; the complaint must, therefore, fail for
lack of sufficient cause of action.

HELD: WHEREFORE, the judgment of the lower court is affirmed, with costs against
petitioners-appellants.
2. DELUMEN V. REPUBLIC
G.R. No. L-5552 | January 28, 1954
Doctrine: An action for declaratory judgment cannot be invoked solely to determine or
try issues or to determine a moot, abstract or theoretical question, or decide claims
which are uncertain or hypothetical.
Petitioners: Antonio Delumen, et al
Respondent: Republic of the Philippines
Ponente: C. J. Paras
FACTS: [No summary since short case]

Antonio, Juan and Julito, all surnamed Delumen, filed a petition in the CFI of
Samar, alleging that they are legitimate children of Pacencia Pua, a Filipino
woman, and Mariano Delumen who was declared a Filipino citizen by the same
court.
o They prayed to said court to determine whether they are Filipino citizens and
to declare their corresponding rights and duties.
o They alleged that they have continuously resided in the Philippines since their
birth, have considered themselves as Filipinos, had exercised the right to vote
in the general elections of 1946 and 1947, and were registered voters for the
elections in 1951.

The Solicitor General, in behalf of the Republic of the Philippines, filed an answer
alleging that the petition states no cause of action.
o There is no adverse party against whom the petitioners have an actual or
justiciable controversy.

CFI: Declared petitioners to be Filipinos by blood.


Solicitor Generals contention:

No justiciable controversy no specific person was mentioned in the petition as


having or claiming an adverse interest in the matter and with whom the appellees
have an actual controversy.
Petitioners contention:

By virtue of the answer filed by the Solicitor General opposing the petition for
declaratory relief, a justiciable controversy thereby arose.
ISSUE: WON the petition for declaratory relief is proper. NO.
RATIO:
Requisites for a petition for declaratory relief:
1) there must be a justiciable controversy;
2) the controversy must be between persons whose interest are adverse;

Bautista | Lopez | Macabagdal | R. Santos | Taruc

3)
4)

the party seeking declaratory relief must have a legal interest in the controversy;
and
the issue invoked must be ripe for judicial determination.

Petitioners contention is incorrect. [See above]

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.
o There is nothing in the petition which even intimates that the alleged status of
the pettiioners as Filipino citizens had in any instance been questioned or
denied by any specific person or authority.
o As they have alleged, they 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 wrong to say that an actual controversy arose after the filing by the Solicitor
General of an opposition to the petition, because the cause of action must be
made out by the allegations of the complaint or petition, without the aid of the
answer.

In essence, the petitioners 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 decide claims which are uncertain or
hypothetical.
o And the fact that their desires are thwarted by their "own doubts, or by fears
of others . . . does not confer a cause of action."
DECISION: WHEREFORE, the appealed decision is reversed and the petition
dismissed without pronouncement as to costs. So ordered.
3. TOLENTINO V. BOARD OF ACCOUNTANCY
GR No L-3062| 09/28/1951 | Bautista Angelo, J.
Plaintiff-appellant: Hilarion Tolentino (Tolentino)
Defendants-appellees: Board of Accountancy (BOA), Robert Orr Ferguson
(Ferguson), Hans Hausamann (Hausamann)
SUMMARY
Tolentino assailed the constitutionality of CA No. 342 on the ground that it is a class
legislation since by its terms it excludes persons engaged in other callings or
professions from adopting, acquiring or using a trade name in connection with the
practice of such callings or professions. The lower court dismissed the complaint.
Plaintiff-appellant appealed. W/N plaintiff had sufficient cause of action NO. Tolentino
sought declaratory relief for the benefit of persons belonging to other professions
or callings, who are not parties to this case. This case, therefore, does not
properly come under rule 66 of the Rules of Court which authorizes the

24

Special Civil Action: CALDONA

institution of an action for declaratory relief. Further, the requisites for an action of
declaratory relief were lacking (see below). W/N Act is unconstitutional NO. While
said Act does not mention other professions, occupations or calling, it does not mean
that they are precluded from using a trade name as this privilege is likewise given to
them in other similar laws.
FACTS

Action for declaratory relief filed by plaintiff in the CFI-Manila


o Purpose: test the constitutionality of 16-A of Comm. Act (CA) No.
3105 (Phil. Accountancy Law), as amended by (a.a.b.) CA No. 342.
o Ground for unconstitutionality: it is a class legislation since by its
terms it excludes persons engaged in other callings or professions
from adopting, acquiring or using a trade name in connection with
the practice of such callings or professions
o BOA did not answer complaint, nor has the Solicitor General
intervened.
o Only Ferguson and Hausamann appeared and answered through
counsel.
o Atty. Claro M. Reco was allowed to intervene as amicus curiae in
favor of contitutionality
o Lower court dismissed complaint disputed law is not
unconstitutional. Plaintiff-appellant appealed to SC.

Facts as found by the lower court:


o Tolentino is a CPA duly admitted to the practice of accountancy as
per a certificate issued on March 15, 1948.
o BOA is an administrative body created by law and vested with the
power and authority to regulate and supervise the practice of the
profession of accountancy in the Philippines
o Ferguson (British) & Hausamann (Swiss) both admitted to the
practice of accountancy in the Phils.

Practiced profession as CPAs under the trade name


Fleming & Williamson
o Tolentino submitted that 16-A, CA No. 3105, a.a.b. CA No. 342
unconstitutional on the ground that it excludes persons engaged in
other callings and professions from adopting or acquiring or using a
trade name.
o Answer of defendants-appellees practically admitted the foregoing
allegations

16-A, CA No. 3105, a.a.b. CA No. 342 not a class


legislation, nor does it violate the provision of the
Constitution with respect to equal protection of the laws;
that the plaintiff has no right or interest adversely affected
by said law and that he is entitled to the benefits thereof
and may use a trade or name firm name in the practice of
his profession as accountant.

Fleming ^ Williamson old trade name of accountants ,


used originally in 1952 by Messrs. Fleming & Williamson;

Bautista | Lopez | Macabagdal | R. Santos | Taruc

the right to use the same was sold to various parties until
acquired by Ferguson & Hausamann in 1946.

June 10, 1946 defendants formed a co-partnership


under the trade name

Registered with the SEC

June 13, 1946 trade name registered with the B. of


Commerce

Sept. 17, 1948 partnership of defendants renewed


registration of the trade name
BOA did not appear or answer

ISSUE
1. WN plaintiff has sufficient cause of action to question constitutionality of CA
No. 342 - NO
2. WN said Act is constitutional - YES
HELD: Wherefore, the decision appealed from is affirmed with costs against the
appellants.
RATIO

TOLENTINO HAS NO SUFFICIENT CAUSE OF ACTION


o Tolentions main objection centers on the exclusive character of the
law which extends its benefits only to those engaged in the
profession of accountancy.
o SC: Tolentiono 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.
o 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.
o 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.
o Plaintiff, therefore, has no actual justiciable controversy against the
defendants which may give him the right to secure relief by asserting
the unconstitutionality of the law in question.
o 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.
o Requisites for an action of declaratory relief:

There must be a justiciable controversy

Controversy must be between persons whose interests


are adverse

The party seeking declaratory relief have a legal


interest in the controversy

25

Special Civil Action: CALDONA

The issue involved must be ripe for judicial


determination
o These requisites are wanting; thus, complaint must fail for lack of
sufficient cause of action.
CA NO. 342 IS CONSTITUTIONAL
o 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 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 Acts gives the 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.

The discriminations which are open to objections are those in


which persons engaged in the same business are subjected to
different privileges under the same conditions.

12 Am. Jur., 187: It is a general rule that legislation which


affects alike all persons pursuing the same business under the
same conditions is not such class legislation as is prohibited by
constitutional provisions. The discrimination which are open to
objection are those in which persons engaged in the same
business are subjected to different restrictions or are held
entitled to different privileges under the same conditions.

12 Am. Jur., 143: The general rule is well settled that legislation
which, in carrying out a public purpose, is limited in its
application, if within the sphere of its operation its affects all
persons similarly situated, is not within the prohibition of the
14th Amendment. The mere fact that legislation is based on a
classification and is made to apply only to a certain limited
group of persons, and not to others, does not affect its validity, if
it is so made that all persons subject to its terms are treats alike
under similar circumstances and conditions.

16 CJS, 966: The legislature may classify professions,


occupations, and business, according to natural and reasonable
lines of distinction, and if a statute affects like all persons of the
same class it is not invalid as class legislation;
o It is not true that CA No. 342 precludes practitioners of other
professions, occupations or calling from using a trade name in
connection with the practice of their professions, occupation or
calling.

Bautista | Lopez | Macabagdal | R. Santos | Taruc

o
o

While said Act does not mention other professions, occupations or


calling, it does not mean that they are precluded from using a trade
name as this privilege is likewise given to them in other similar
laws.
We may mention CA No. 294 for mechanical engineers, RANo. 318 for
chemical engineers, and even the corporation law as regards corporate
names.
Assuming that CA No. 342 grants accountants a privilege not accorded
to member s of other professions or calling, that alone would not render
the Act discriminatory or violative of the equal protection clause of the
Constitution, for tat clause only means that no person or class of
persons shall be denied the same protection of the laws which is enjoyed
by other persons or other classes in the same place and in like
circumstances.
And the Legislature may classify professions, occupations, and business
according to natural and reasonable lines of distinction, and if a statute
affects like all persons of the same class it is not invalid as a class
legislation
The claim that CA No. 342 is discriminatory because it was approved
only to protect foreign accountants has no basis in law or in fact, for there
is nothing that bears it out. Said Act applies to all accountants in
general without distinction.
The claim that said Act contravenes the principle of separation of powers
is likewise untenable. The Act does not encroach upon the powers of the
Executive Department as represented by the Board of Accountancy
simply because it attempts to regulate the profession of accountants. If
our legislature can create the Board of Accountancy, it can certainly
amend the law that gave life to it without in any way encrouching on the
prerogatives of the Executive Department of our government

4. EDADES V. EDADES
[No. L-8964. July 31, 1956]
Plaintiff and appellant: JUAN EDADES
Defendants and appellees SEVERINO EDADES, ET AL.
APPEAL from an order of the Court of First Instance of Pangasinan. Bonto, J.
SUMMARY
Plaintiff brought this action before the Court of First Instance of Pangasinan seeking a
declaratory judgment on his hereditary rights in the property of his alleged father and
incidentally the recognition of his status as an illegitimate son of Emigdio Edades. The
court sustained the MTD holding that "An action for declaratory relief just for the
purpose of clearing away doubt, uncertainty, or insecurity to the plaintiff's status or
rights would seem to be improper and outside the purview of a declaratory relief.
Neither can it be availed of for the purpose of compelling recognition of such rights, if
disputed or objected to." W/N an action for declaratory relief is proper? YES. The
present action, though captioned as one for declaratory relief, is not merely aimed at

26

Special Civil Action: CALDONA

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. 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. The
rules of procedure shall be liberally construed to promote their object and avoid an
expensive litigation (section 2, Rule 1), we hold that the present action may be
maintained in the light of the view herein expressed.
FACTS:

Plaintiff brought this action before the Court of First Instance of Pangasinan
seeking a declaratory judgment on his hereditary rights in the property of his
alleged father and incidentally the recognition of his status as an illegitimate son of
Emigdio Edades.
Plaintiffs allegations

He is an illegitimate son of Emigdio Edades with Maria de Venecia, having been


born when said Emigdio Edades was legally married to Maxima Edades with
whom Emigdio had eight legitimate children;

He had always enjoyed the continuous and uninterrupted possession of the status
of illegitimate child by direct and positive acts of his father and of the legitimate
children of the latter;

As such illegitimate child he is entitled to share in the inheritance of his father


under the law;

And that as the legitimate children of his father will deny, as in fact they have
denied his right to inherit, and such denial may ripen into a costly litigation, he
brought the present action for the determination of his hereditary rights.
MTD

Motion to dismiss on the ground that the complaint does not state facts sufficient
to constitute a cause of action.

The court sustained the motion holding that "An action for declaratory relief just
for the purpose of clearing away doubt, uncertainty, or insecurity to the
plaintiff's status or rights would seem to be improper and outside the
purview of a declaratory relief. Neither can it be availed of for the purpose of
compelling recognition of such rights, if disputed or objected to."

Consequently, the court dismissed the complaint, without costs. From the order of
dismissal, plaintiff has appealed and the case was certified to this court because
only questions of law are involved in the appeal.
ISSUE:
W/N an action for declaratory relief is proper? YES
RATIO:

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

Bautista | Lopez | Macabagdal | R. Santos | Taruc

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) there must be a justiciable controversy;
(2) the controversy must be between persons whose interest are adverse;
(3) the party seeking declaratory relief must have a legal interest in the
controversy; and
(4) the issue involved must be ripened for judicial determination. (Tolentino w.
Board of Accountancy)
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 f or 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.
In fact, in paragraph 2 of complainant's prayer he asks that defendants be ordered
to recognize his status as illegitimate child with right to inherit. 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 (Article 285), 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.
This right is impliedly recognized by Article 289 which permits the investigation of
the paternity or maternity of an illegitimate child in the same manner as in the case
of a natural child. Considering that the rules of procedure shall be liberally
construed to promote their object and avoid an expensive litigation (section
2, Rule 1), we hold that the present action may be maintained in the light of
the view herein expressed.

27

Special Civil Action: CALDONA

Wherefore, the order appealed from is revoked. 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.
5. TANDA V. ALDAYA
Nos. L-932223| January 30, 1956 | Bautista Angelo, J.
Plaintiff-Appellant: Teodoro Tanda
Defendant-Appelle: Narciso Aldaya
SUMMARY:
Tanda instituted as action for the annulment of a certain contract of sale with pacto de
retro. Trial court ruled for Aldaya and upheld the validity of the contract. SC affirmed
the trial court. Tanda filed a case for declaratory relief because according to him (1)
The case comes under its purview because its purpose is to obtain a clarification of the
decision of the SC affirming the Trial court in the annulment case which in the opinion
of appellant, is vague and susceptible of double interpretation, and (2) The words
other written instrument should be interpreted as including a court decision
regardless of whether it is final in character or otherwise. The SC denied Tandas
petition ruling that a court decision cannot be interpreted as included within the purview
of the words other written instrument.
FACTS:
Annulment of Contract of Sale

Tanda instituted in the CFI of Cavite an action for the annulment of a certain
contract of sale with pacto de retro.

Trial court rendered a decision declaring the contract valid and absolving
Aldaya of the complaint.
o Motion to set aside judgment and a motion for new trial filed by
Tanda were denied by the trial court, so he appealed to the SC.

SC affirmed the decision appealed from particularly with regard to the


validity of the contract.
o Tandas 2 MRs were denied and the decision became final and
executory.
Declaratory Relief

Subsequently, Tanda initiated the present case for declaratory relief.


o Side comment from the SC --- Considering that this action is
purposeless because, while outwardly its aim is to seek a
declaratory relief on certain matters but in effect its purpose is to
nullify the judgment rendered in the annulment case which was
affirmed by the SC.

In the meantime, appellee moved to withdraw the original of Title No. 114 in
order that his ownership may be consolidated and a new title issued in his
name.

Trial court granted Aldayas motion to dismiss and allowed him to withdraw
the original title of the subject property in the annulment case.

CA certified the case to SC on purely questions of law.

Tandas arguments:

Bautista | Lopez | Macabagdal | R. Santos | Taruc

1.

2.

This case comes under its purview because its purpose is to obtain
a clarification of the decision of the SC affirming the Trial court in the
annulment case which in the opinion of appellant, is vague and
susceptible of double interpretation.
The words other written instrument should be interpreted as
including a court decision regardless of whether it is final in
character or otherwise.

ISSUE:
[None stated] W/N an action for declaratory relief is proper --- NO.

HELD:

Petition has NO MERIT.

Order appealed from AFFIRMED.


RATIO:
1. A court decision cannot be interpreted as included within the purview of the
words other written instrument

The Rules of Court already provide for the ways by which an ambiguous or
doubtful decision may be corrected or clarified without need of resorting to the
expedient prescribed by Rule 66.

If a party is not agreeable to a decision either on questions of law or of fact,


he may file with the trial court a motion for reconsideration or a new trial in
order that the defect may be corrected (Section 1, Rule 37).

The same remedy may be pursued by a party with regard to a decision of the
Court of Appeals or of the Supreme Court (section 1, Rule 54, section 1, Rule
55, in connection with section 1, Rule 58).

A party may even seek relief from a judgment or order of an inferior court on
the ground of fraud, accident, mistake or excusable negligence if he avails of
that remedy within the terms prescribed by section 1, Rule 38.

In the present case, the fundamental reason why the decision cannot be the
subject of declaratory relief is predicated upon the principle of res judicata
which stamps the mark of finality on a case which has been fully and
definitely litigated in court.

Apparently, appellant has already availed of some of these legal remedies but
that he was denied relief because his claim was found unmeritorious.
2. Res judicata applies.

It avoids multiplicity of actions. It commands that once a case is definitely


litigated it should not be reopened.

The foundation principle upon which the doctrine of res judicata rests is that
parties ought not to be permitted to litigate the same issue more than once;
that, when a right or fact has been judicially tried and determined by a court of
competent jurisdiction, or an opportunity for such trial has been given, the
judgment of the court, so long as it remains unreversed, should be conclusive
upon the parties, and those in privity with them in law or estate.
3. No contradiction or inconsistency in the courts pronouncement that the contract of
sale was valid.

28

Special Civil Action: CALDONA

It was licit for the parties to agree that the vendor should pay the purchaser
only P2,000 instead of P20,000 as price of repurchase regardless of the
currency received by the vendor. In this case the plaintiff, who is a fullpledged
lawyer and appeared below in his own behalf and filed the brief in this
instance, drew the deed of sale himself, according to the lower courts finding,
and the fixing of the ratio of ten to one between the Japanese war notes and
the Commonwealth money must have been his own idea and certainly was
for his own benefit. If the devaluation of the Japanese money bothered the
plaintiffs conscience, there was no law to prevent him from redeeming the
land for P20,000, or P15,000 which he admitted having received.
Where the judgment has become final and executory and no further step
need be taken affecting the equities of the parties, the evidence presented
therein may be withdrawn.

6. DE BORJA V. VILLADOLID
G.R. No. L-1897 | November 28, 1949
Plaintiff-appellant: JOSE DE BORJA
Defendant-appellee: DEOGRACIAS V. VILLADOLID, Director of Fisheries
Summary: This is a complaint for declaratory relief filed with the CFI of Manila
whereby plaintiff prayed the court to issue a declaratory judgment "declaring that the
plaintiff is not required by law to secure a commercial fishing boat license," for the
operation of his motor boats engaged in the transportation of fish. The defendant
required the plaintiff, as such fish peddler to procure a commercial fishing boat license.
Plaintiff refused on the ground that he is not so required by Act No. 4003 for the reason
that he "is not operating his motor boats for the purpose of catching fish." Court ruled
against plaintiff. It appears that plaintiff, upon learning of the defendants turning over
the case to the Fiscal, countered by filing this complaint for declaratory relief, but this
attitude of the plaintiff will only result in multiplicity of actions. The Rules of Court
provide that the action for declaratory relief must be brought "before there has been a
breach" of a contract or statute the construction of which is sought. There is nothing
left for the courts to adjudicate or construe regarding the legal rights, suites and status
of appellant in the premises. The law also does not require that there shall be an actual
pending case (like criminal case against plaintiff). It is sufficient that there is a breach
of the law, an actionable violation to bar a complaint for declaratory judgment.
FACTS:

This is a complaint for declaratory relief filed with the CFI of Manila whereby
plaintiff prayed the court to issue a declaratory judgment "declaring that the
plaintiff is not required by law to secure a commercial fishing boat license," for
the operation of his motor boats engaged in the transportation of fish.

Plaintiff alleges in his complaint that he "is a license fee fish peddler, having
paid the required license fee" to the office of Manila City Treasurer; that " as
such fish peddler" he "is the owner of two motor boats, with coastwise license
issued by the Bureau of Customs renewable every year; " that "said motor

Bautista | Lopez | Macabagdal | R. Santos | Taruc

boats are used by him solely and exclusively in connection with his business
of buying fish somewhere in Busuanga and other islands adjacent to the
coast of Palawan and in Lubang, Batangas, for the purpose of selling said fish
in Manila and that plaintiff has no intervention in the catching of fish, nor does
he participate, as partner or in any other capacity, in the catch of the
fishermen actually engaged in the catching of fish."
The defendant required the plaintiff, as such fish peddler, to procure a
commercial fishing boat license as owner and operator of said motor boats.
Plaintiff refused to secure such license as demanded by the defendant, on the
ground that he is not so required by section 18 of Act No. 4003, as amended
by CA No. 471, for the reason that he "is not operating his motor boats for the
purpose of catching fish."
A MTD the complaint was granted and MR having been denied, case was
brought here on appeal.

ISSUE: W/N complaint for declaratory relief filed by plaintiff should be given due
course in this Court NO
RATIO:

Court cited Sections 17 & 18 of Act No. 4003:


SEC. 17. License tax on operation of boat. Unless provided with a
license issued in accordance with this Act, no person, association
or corporation shall operate any vessel of more than three tons
gross for the purpose of catching fish in the territorial waters of the
Philippine Islands.
SEC. 18. Annual fee on operation of boat. The Secretary of
Agriculture and Commerce is hereby empowered to issue to the
proper parties licenses for fishing operation of powered vessels of
more than three tons gross and sailing or rowed vessels of more
than three tons gross towed or operated in connection with power propelled vessels : Provided That failure of a licensee to secure a
renewal or extension of his license and pay the annual fee shall
subject him to a surcharge of 100% based on the amount of the
original fee, without prejudice to criminal proceedings against the
delinquent licensee under the penal provisions of this Act: Provided,
further, That all vessels less than three tons gross shall be licensed
: And provided, also, That the catching of fish under the license
issued shall be subject to the limitations, restrictions, and penalties
imposed by this Act.

The issue presented for our determination is whether or not the plaintiff, by
operating his motor boats for the purpose of transporting fish caught by other
persons in the places mentioned in the complaint, and of bringing them to
Manila for sale in the local market, is obliged to procure a commercial fishing
boat license as owner and operator of his motor boats engaged for said
purpose.

29

Special Civil Action: CALDONA

The Solicitor General relies on an opinion rendered by the Secretary of


Justice, that vessels engaged in the transportation of fish, although not
actually employed in the catching thereof, are, pursuant to Act No. 4003,
required to pay the commercial fishing boat license. We deem it unnecessary
to delve now on the applicability of the ruling made by the Secretary of Justice
to the case at bar.
It appears that the Director of the Bureau of Fisheries demanded that plaintiff
pay the license provided in that Act and in view of the insistent refusal of
plaintiff to comply with such demand, he finally turned over the case to the
Office of the Fiscal of the City of Manila for appropriate action.
However, plaintiff, upon learning of the step taken by the director of the
Bureau of Fisheries, countered by filing this complaint for declaratory relief,
but this attitude of the plaintiff will only result in multiplicity of actions which
should always be invoked and the Rules of Court obviously seeks to prevent
when, in section 2 of Rule 66, it provides that the action for declaratory relief
must be brought "before there has been a breach" of a contract or statute the
construction of which is sought.
The facts in this case are so clear and unambiguous, that in the light of said
section 2 or Rule 66, there is nothing left for the courts to adjudicate or
construe regarding the legal rights, suites and status of appellant in the
premises. The general purpose of declaratory judgment act is to provide for
adjudication of the legal rights, duties, or status of the respective parties."
It is quite clear that if appellant is prosecuted and found criminally liable, then
the punishment prescribed by section 78 of the law, will be imposed upon
him; otherwise the charge will be dismissed. In either case, the action is, as
stated by the Solicitor General, terminated with finality.
It might be argued that no criminal action has as yet been presented. But the
law does not require that there shall be an actual pending case. It is sufficient
that there is a breach of the law, an actionable violation to bar a complaint for
declaratory judgment.
Evidently, appellant would have the courts to prejudice the impending criminal
action against him, without necessarily terminating the same.

HELD: The order of the Court of First Instance of Manila which dismissed the
complaint herein is hereby affirmed
7. ARANETA V. GATMAITAN
G.R. Nos. L-8895 and L-9191 | April 30, 1957
st
[1 case]
Petitioner: SALVADOR A. ARANETA, ETC., ET AL.
Respondent: THE HON. MAGNO S. GATMAITAN, ETC., ET AL.
nd

[2 case]
Petitioner: EXEQUIEL SORIANO, ET AL.
Respondent: SALVADOR ARANETA, ETC., ET AL.
Ponente: J. Felix

Bautista | Lopez | Macabagdal | R. Santos | Taruc

Summary: The President issued E.O 22 prohibiting the use of trawls in San Miguel
Bay, and the E.O 66 and 80 as amendments to EO 22, as a response for the general
clamor among the majority of people living in the coastal towns of San Miguel Bay that
the said resources of the area are in danger of major depletion because of the effects
of trawl fishing. A group of Otter trawl operators filed a complaint for injunction and/or
declaratory relief with preliminary injunction to restrain the Secretary of Agriculture and
Natural Resources from enforcing the said E.O. and to declare E.O 22 as null and
void. CFI of Manila ruled in favor of the trawl operators. Now the Secretary is
contending that the Rules of Court does not empower a court of law to pass upon the
validity of an executive order in a declaratory relief proceeding.

More processes

The complainants filed an ex-parte motion for the issuance of a writ of injunction
which was opposed by the Solicitor General (who acted as the representative of
the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources and the Director of Fisheries)
o Court issued an order denying Sol Gens motion to set aside judgment and
ordering them to file a bond of P30,000, as a condition for the non-issuance of
the injunction prayed for by complainants pending appeal.

And so the Sol Gen brought the matter to this SC in a petition for prohibition and
certiorari with preliminary injunction.
o On the same day it filed a notice to appeal from the order of the CFI.

The SC held that the court is allowed. There was already a case before, Hilado vs. De
la Costa, et al., which involves the constitutionality of another executive order
presented in an action for declaratory relief, on which the decision of the lower court
was also affirmed by the SC.

Sol Gens contention:


Case 1: Petition for prohibition and certiorari [dito ung part na important for SCA]

The Sec. of Agriculture and Natural Resources and the Director of Fisheries
contended among other things
o That the order of the judge requiring them to post a bond had been issued
without jurisdiction or with GADALEJ
o that Rule 66 of the Rules of Court does not empower a court of law to pass
upon the validity of an executive order in a declaratory relief proceeding
o that the Judge did not have the power to grant the injunction as Section 4 of
Rule 39 does not apply to declaratory relief proceedings but only to injunction,
receivership and patent accounting proceedings
Case 2: Appeal from CFIs decision

The lower court erred in ruling that the President has no authority to EOs 22, 66
and 80 banning the operation of trawls in San Miguel Bay.

FACTS:

San Miguel Bay, located between the provinces of Camarines Norte and
Camarines Sur is considered as the most important fishing area in the Pacific side
of the Bicol region.

In 1950, trawl operators from Malabon, Navotas and other places migrated to this
region most for the purpose of using this particular method of fishing in said bay.

It was believed that the operation of this kind of gear caused the depletion of the
marine resources of that area. Thus, there arose a general clamor among the
majority of the inhabitants of coastal towns to prohibit the operation of trawls in
San Miguel Bay.

A resolution were passed by the Municipal Mayors' League condemning the


operation of trawls as the cause of the wanton destruction of the shrimp specie. In
another resolution the same League of Municipal Mayor, prayed the President to
protect them and the fish resources of San Miguel Bay by banning the operation of
trawls.

In response to these pleas, the President issued on April 5, 1954, EO 22


prohibiting the use of trawls in San Miguel Bay.
o was amended by EO 66 allowance of trawl fishing during the typhoon
season only.
o EO 80 revived EO 22. (EO 66 was superseded)

And so, a group of Otter trawl operators filed a complaint for injunction and/or
declaratory relief with preliminary injunction with the CFI of Manila, praying that:
o a writ of preliminary injunction be issued to restrain the Secretary of
Agriculture and Natural Resources and the Director of Fisheries from
enforcing said EO
o to declare the same null and void
o and for such other relief as may be just and equitable in the premises.
CFI

Granted.
o Until, the trawler is outlawed by legislative enactment, it cannot be banned
from San Miguel bay by executive proclamation.
o EOs 22 & 66 are void.

30

Special Civil Action: CALDONA

ISSUES:
1. WON the constitutionality of an executive order can be ventilated in a declaratory
relief proceeding. YES. [main for SCA]
2. WON the EOs were valid, for the issuance was not in the exercise of legislative
powers unduly delegated to the Pres. YES.
RATIO:
#1 Declaratory Relief is proper

The SC had already taken cognizance of an appeal from the decision of the lower
court in the case of Hilado vs. De la Costa, et al., which involves the
constitutionality of another executive order presented in an action for declaratory
relief, which in effect accepted the propriety of such action.
#2 The EOs are valid

Congress provided under the Fisheries Act that:


o it is unlawful to take or catch fry or fish eggs in the waters of the Philippines
o therefore there is a need to prohibit the use of any fish net or fishing devises
like trawl nets that could endanger and deplete the countrys supply of
seafood; and
o to that end authorized the Sec. of Agriculture and Nat. Resources to provide
regulations/ restrictions as he may deem necessary for this purpose.

Bautista | Lopez | Macabagdal | R. Santos | Taruc

The Act was complete in itself and leaves it to the Sec. to carry into effect its
legislative intent
As the Secretary is subject to the general supervision and control of the President,
he can exercise the same power and authority through EOs, regulations, decrees,
and proclamations, upon recommendation of the Secretary concerned.

8. MEJIA V. GABAYAN
Petitioner: Arturo Mejia (Mejia)
Respondents: Filomena Gabayan, Albin Rueme (Rueme), Ernesto Mejia (Ernesto),
Carlos Ramos (Ramos), Josefina Lacadin (Lacadin), Pedro Gavino (Gavino)
(collectively respondents)
*The facts of this case are convoluted, so please take note of the DAR Secretary Order
and RTC Orders. Read the summary for guidance.
SUMMARY
The gist of the factual milieu of the case points to Mejias relentless pursuit to drive the
respondents away from the subject property. Mejia hinges his rights to own the
property on an OCT. Respondents based their rights on Certs. of Land Transfer issued
by DAR. Mejia filed a petition with the DAR, but was denied. He appealed this
administrative case with the DAR. Instead of pursuing this appeal, he then filed a case
with the RTC for declaratory relief, praying that the property be exempt from PD 27,
pursuant to the Alita ruling promulgated by the SC. On 1/25/1995, RTC granted a
summary judgment in favor of Mejia. (The admin. Case went through various
departments within the DAR, but I will cut the path and go straight to the DAR
Secretary because that is important.) Meanwhile, DAR Secretary issued an Oder on
12/27/1996 (take note!), holding that only that portion of the property that petitioner is
personally cultivating shall be exempt from PD 27, and that the RTC had no
jurisdiction over Mejias action. Mejia assailed this DAR Order in the SC, which
denied the same. In the civil case, RTC made an about-face, declaring that the
12/27/1996 DAR Sec. Order was valid. WN RTC can modify/alter its decision that has
become final and executory YES. As a GR, it is the trial courts ministerial duty to
order the execution of its orders. However, the Rules of Court provides an exception
that the RTC may amend and control its process and orders so as to make them
conformable to law and justice. Based on case law, an action for declaratory relief is
proper only if adequate relief is not available through other existing forms of
actions or proceedings. A petition for a declaratory relief cannot be made a
substitute for all existing remedies and should be used with caution. Relief is sui
generis, not designed to supplant existing remedies, and purely statutory in nature
and origin. A declaratory judgment does not create or change substantial rights
or modify any relationship or alter the character of controversies. Worse, the
RTC rendered judgment ordering the respondents to vacate the property and
restore possession thereof to the Mejia, notwithstanding case law that the

31

Special Civil Action: CALDONA

petitioner is not entitled to any award other than a declaration of all his rights
under PD No. 27, as amended, in light of the ruling of the Court in Alita. Case
dismissed.
FACTS

Mejia registered owner of a parcel of land in Sinamar, San Mateo, Isabela


(10.400 hectares; TCT No. 75164 issued by the Register of Deeds (RD) of
Isabela on 7/3/1974)
o Lot is a portion of a large tract of land covered by a homestead
patent granted by the President of the Philippines to Dalmacio Mejia
(Dalmacio) in 1936, on the basis of which OCT No. T-4184 was
issued by the RD of Isabela.

8/13/1978 Phil. President, through the Agrarian Reform (DAR) Secretary,


issued Certs. Of Land Transfer (CLT) over portions of the property covered by
TCT 75164 to the respondents.

Certificates were filed with the RD. Upon learning of the certificate issuances,
Mejia filed a petition with the DAR in 1983 for their cancellation. But no
action was taken on said petition.

Meantime: case Altia v. CA (Alta) was promulgated, wherein it was held that
properties covered by homestead patents were not covered by Pres. Decree
No. 27

5/10/1993 Mejia filed a petition with DAR for the exclusion of the property
from PD 27 (docketed as Admin. Case No. A-0204-0001)

8/26/1993 Provincial Agrarian Reform Officer (PARO) issued an Order


recommending denial of the petition. Mejia appealed this to the DAR Regional
Director

6/20/1994 Instead of pursuing his appeal in Admin. Case A-0204-0001,


Mejia took advantage of the ruling in Alita and filed a complaint on June 20,
1994 in the RTC-Isabela against respondents for declaratory relief and for
recovery of the lot covered by TCT 75164 with damages and plea for
injunctive relief. (docket: Civil Case No. 768)

Complaint allegations:
o Lot originally owned by Mejias father, Dalmacio, to whome a
homestead patent was granted by the Phil. President; based on the
patent, OCT T-4148 was issued by the RD; respondents were
agricultural tenants on the property; the land was not covered by
PD 27 based on Alita; and demands to vacate the lot were made on
respondents, who refused to do so, claiming security of tenure as
agricultural tenants therein.
o Prayer: that the trial court declare the property as not covered by PD
27 and other related law; that he be declared entitled to possession
thereof; and the respondents be evicted therefrom;
o His plea for injunctive relief was denied by the trial court

Answer to complaint respondents averred:


o That there was a pending petition with the DAR filed by Mejia for the
xclusion of the property from the coverage of PD 27; that the action
was beyond the jurisdiction of the court because the dispute

Bautista | Lopez | Macabagdal | R. Santos | Taruc

between the parties is agrarian and, as such, within the original


exclusive jurisdiction of the DAR and Adjudication Board (DARAB);
and that, as evidenced by the CLTs issued in their favor, they were
beneficiaries of the land reform laws.
Prayer: dismissal of complaint. They appended to their answer a
copy of the petition for exclusion filed by Mejia with the DAR and the
CLTS issued by DAR in their favor

Pre-trial:
o Respondents alleged that they had acquired all the rights and
privileges enjoyed under PD 27 and could not be deprived thereof by
RA 6657 (Comp. Agrarian Reform Law of 1998); Mejias action was
barred by his pending petition with DAR; the court had no jurisdiction
over the action; and Mejia was guilty of forum shopping
1/25/1995 RTC rendered a summary judgment in favor of Mejia that it had
jurisdiction over his action for declaratory relief and that the lot was not
covered by PD 27 in light of the Alita ruling. Respondents appealed to the CA
5/23/1995 meantime, DAR Regional Director issued an Order granted
Mejias petition exempting his property from the CARProgram, but ordered
him to allow the respondent-tenants to remain in possession of the lot and to
execute Leasehold Contracts in their favor in accordance with RA 3844
(Agricultural Land Reform Code)
o Mejia appealed this Oder to the DAR Secretary
5/17/1996 CA Resolution: dismissed respondents appeal for failure to file
their appellants brief within the period required. Entry of judgment: 7/10/1996.
Thereafter, CA remanded the records to the RTC for execution of its decision
12/27/1996 DAR Secretarys Order: affirmed the DAR Reg. Dir.s
Resolution with modifications:
o (inter alia) only that portion of the property that petitioner is
personally cultivating shall be exempt from PD 27 and RA 6658
o Cancelled CLTs by the previous Order shall be re-issued (this time
as CLOAs since subject landholding is not covered by PD 27),
except those within the landowners area which shall be under the
leasehold system
o DAR Secretary ruled: RTC had no jurisdiction over Mejias action
o Mejia filed a petition for certiorari with the SC, assailing the
12/27/1996 Order of the DAR Secretary SC dismissed petition
on 3/17/1997; appropriate remedy was a petition for review with the
CA; this became final and executory on 4/24/1997
Despite the 12/27/1996 DAR Secretary Oder becoming final and
th
executory, Mejia filed a motion (in Civil Case 768; 7 bullet above) for
the issuance of a writ of execution.
o RTC issued writ of execution; Sheriff, with policemen, placed
bamboo poles with red flags on the 4 corners of the lot
o Ambot Rueme, on of respondent Rueme removed the poles; Sheriff
placed ples anew; Mejia, however, failed to take possession of the
lot

Chief of the DAR Legal Division issued a status quo order because of the
conflicting RTC and DAR Secretary rulings; requested the PNP to implement
it
Mejia filed a petition for contempt against Ambot Rueme which the RTC
granted. Majia was placed in actual possession of the property
But, respondents counsel ordered them to reenter property, claiming that
RTC decision was null and void.
o Mejia filed a petition for contempt against respondents and counsel
RTC issued TRO, ordering them not to harvest palay from the
property
o 3/2/1998 respondents file petition against Mejia with the DAR to
enjoin him from entering the lot, and for DAR to implement the
12/27/1996 DAR Order.
o 6/2/1998 Meantime, RTC found respondents and counsel in
contempt of court. They sought reconsideration and filed a petition
with the CA for nullification of the RTC decision in Civil Case 768, on
the ground that it had no jurisdiction over the action, the dispute
being an agrarian one.
o 8/25/1998 CA dismissed this because their appeal from the RTC
decision in Civil Case No. 768 has previously been dismissed due to
their failure to file their briefs

Respondents MR of the Resolution was likewise denied by


the CA. The failed to appeal the resolutions of the Court;
entry of judgment made on 12/4/1998
o Meantime, sheriff again placed poles; but respondents drove Mejia
away; contempt case filed again (Hay. Kapagod.)
10/22/1998 Provincial Agrarian Reform Adjudicator (PARAD) rendered a
decision in DARAB Case dismissing petition for the implementation of
the 12/27/1996 DAR Sec. Order. PARAD: that Order was null and void.
12/15/1998 filed an Omnibus Motion with the RTC (reiterating what he wants)
Parallel development: Director of the DAR Legal Assistance Office Order of
Finality of DAR Order dated 12/27/1996
3/31/1999 Mejia filed an Urgent Motion to Implement Writ of Execution and
All Orders of the Court; prayed to be placed in possession of the property;
and that the Order citing respondents in contempt be enforced
6/30/1999 Municipal Agrarian Reform Officer invited Mejia to attend a field
investigation to implement the 12/27/1996 DAR Secretary Order, giving him
an opportunity to choose his retained area.
3/6/2001 RTC made a complete about-face. Assailed RTC Order:
holding in abeyance the resolution of Mejias pending motions. (the
resolution of the Motion to Execute the order of this Court dated June 2, 1998
and the Omnibus Motion of the plaintiff are held in abeyance)
o Ruled that the 12/27/1996 DAR Sec. Order was valid, and that its
Decision vis--vis the same Order could not be fully
implemented.
o MR was denied. Mejia assailed these Orders. Progress!!!

ISSUE

32

Special Civil Action: CALDONA

Bautista | Lopez | Macabagdal | R. Santos | Taruc

1.
2.

3.

WN RTC can motu proprio amend/modify its 1/25/1995 Decision after the
same had already been duly executed? YES
WN RTC can hold in abeyance the execution of tis 6/2/1998 Order holding
contemners in contempt of court, which has long become final and executor?
st
YES (issues 1 &2 explained under 1 ratio)
WN RTC can hold in abeyance the accounting by respondents (defendants)
of the palay they harvested on the property in litigation? NO, RTC has no
jurisdiction.

HELD: IN LIGHT OF ALL THE FOREGOING, the petition is DENIED for lack of merit.
RATIO

RTC can amend/modify its Decision


o GR: it is the ministerial duty of the court to order the execution of its
final judgment
o EXC: Rule 135, Section 5(g) of the Rules of Court provides that the
trial court may amend and control its process and orders so as to
make them conformable to law and justice. It has the inherent power
to control, in furtherance of justice, the conduct of its ministerial
offices, and of all other persons in any manner connected with a
case before it, in every manner appertaining thereto
o It has the authority to cause a modification of the decision when it
becomes imperative in the higher interest of justice or when
supervening events warrant it.
o The court is also vested with inherent power to stay the enforcement
of its decision based on antecedent facts which show fraud in its
rendition or want of jurisdiction of the trial court apparent on the
record.
o In another case, the Court held that an execution would ordinarily be
stayed pending the termination of the proceedings connected with
the principal case.
o Here, the RTC ruled that it did not amend its decision but
merely harmonized it with the December 27, 1996 Order of the
DAR Secretary and suspended its enforcement until after the
said order shall have been implemented.
o Assailed Orders of the RTC in accord with case law.

SC agrees with the RTC finding that Mejia deliberatele


concealed his petition, then pending with the DAR, for the
exclusion of the property from PD 27. RTC became aware
of the pending petition during the RTC proceedings.

In fact, RTC new of the pending DAR case as early as


1983, but RTC turned a blind eye to the respondents
pleadings. RTC should have dismissed petitioners
complaint. Petitioner should have exhausted all admin.
remedies before coming to court.
o Based on case law, an action for declaratory relief is proper only
if adequate relief is not available through other existing forms
of actions or proceedings.

33

Special Civil Action: CALDONA

A petition for a declaratory relief cannot be made a


substitute for all existing remedies and should be used
with caution.

Relief by declaratory judgment is sui generis and not


strictly legal or equitable yet its historical affinity is
equitable.

The remedy is not designed to supplant existing remedies.

The remedy is purely statutory in nature and origin.

A declaratory judgment does not create or change


substantial rights or modify any relationship or alter
the character of controversies.

Worse, the RTC rendered judgment ordering the


respondents to vacate the property and restore
possession thereof to the petitioner, notwithstanding
case law that the petitioner is not entitled to any award
other than a declaration of all his rights under PD No.
27, as amended, in light of the ruling of the Court in Alita.

1996 DAR Sec. Order had become final and executor


whent this Court denied due course to the petition filed by
Mejia assailing said Order on the ground that the correct
remedy was to file a petition for review in the CA.

Tshe RTC cannot enforce its decision and ignore the 1996
Order of the DAR Secretary, especially so in light of the
ruling of this Court in Paris v. Alfeche

Held: Right to retain an area of 7 hectares (has.) is


not absolute. It is premised on the condition that
the landowner is cultivating the area sought to be
retained or will actually cultivate it upon effectivity
of the law.

From the pleadings of the parties, the respondents had


been in actual possession of the property and
cultivated the same as agricultural tenants long before
the Mejia filed his complaint in the RTC.

SC ruled in Paris v. Alfeche] that, under the circumstances,


the only right of the petitioner is to retain 5 has. of the
subject property, in accordance with 6 RA No. 6657
Petitioners cannot be evicted from property.
o Mejia cannot find solace in the PARAD decision dated 10/22/1998,
which held that the 1996 DAR Sec. Order was null and void
o FIRST. Mejia himself acknowledged DRAs jurisdiction over his
petition for exemption of the property from PD 27. The petitioner
cannot invoke the authority of the DAR to grant him relief and at the
same time disavow the same authority without running afoul of the
doctrine of estoppel.
o SECOND. The petition for exemption was filed by Mejia in 1993
before the aforequoted Rule of the DARAB was promulgated.

Under PD No. 946, Section 12, as amended by RA No.


6657, matters involving administrative implementation of
the transfer of the land to the tenant-farmer under PD 27

Bautista | Lopez | Macabagdal | R. Santos | Taruc

o
o

and amendatory decrees, orders, rules and regulations,


shall be exclusively cognizable by the DAR Secretary, and
that the decision of DAR Secretary may be appealed to the
Philippine President.

I his complaint before the RTC, Mejia sought the


declaration of his right in light of the ruling of the Alita ruling
inclusive of his right of retention and of the right of the
respondents to a home lot, as well as the consequent
issuance, recall and cancellation of CLTs except in cases
where the tenant-farmer failed to pay the amortization for
the landholding. The matters raised by Mejia and the
reliefs prayed for by him were within the authority of
the DAR Secretary to delve into and resolve.
In fine, RTC had no jurisdiction over Mejias complaint for the
declaration of his rights under RA No. 6657 and its precursors,
inclusive of the issue of whether or not the petitioner is entitled to a
retention area and, if so, how big an area is he entitled to.
Such matters are within the exclusive jurisdiction of the DAR
Secretary to delve into and resolve.
Since the RTC had no jurisdiction on the action of the
petitioner, its decision and the writs of execution issued by it
are null and void.

9. CUTARAN V. DENR
G.R. No. 134958
January 31, 2001
PATRICIO CUTARAN, DAVID DANGWAS and PACIO DOSIL, petitioners,
vs.
DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENT and NATURAL RESOURCES, herein
represented by SEC. VICTOR O. RAMOS, OSCAR M. HAMADA and GUILLERMO S.
FIANZA, in his capacity as Chairman of Community Special Task Force on Ancestral
Lands (CSTFAL), Baguio City, respondents.
GONZAGA-REYES, J.:

SUMMARY
In 1990 the Assistant Secretary for Luzon Operations of the DENR issued Special
Order no. 3 entitled "Creation of a Special Task force on acceptance, identification,
evaluation and delineation of ancestral land claims in the Cordillera Administrative
Region".
The relatives of herein petitioners filed separate applications for certificate of ancestral
land claim (CALC) over the land they, respectively occupy inside the Camp John Hay
Reservation. Petitioners claim that even if no certificate of ancestral land claim has yet
been issued by the DENR in favor of the heirs of Carantes, the latter, on the strength
of certain documents issued by the DENR, tried to acquire possession of the land they
applied for, including the portion occupied by herein petitioners. Hence, this petition
for prohibition originally filed with the Court of Appeals to enjoin the respondent
DENR from implementing the assailed administrative issuances and from processing
the application for certificate of ancestral land claim (CALC) filed by the heirs of
Carantes on the ground that the said administrative issuances are void for lack of legal

34

Special Civil Action: CALDONA

basis. W/N the DENR Special Order no. 25, series of 1993 and its implementing rules
DAO no. 02 are valid? YES, no justiciable controversy yet. From a reading of the
records it appears to us that 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 appellate court on this ground. 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 by the implementation of the
questioned administrative issuances.

Case: Petition for review of the decision rendered by the Court of Appeals on March
25, 1998 and the order dated August 5, 1998, a petition for prohibition originally filed
with the appellate court to enjoin the respondent DENR from implementing DENR
Special Order Nos. 31, as amended by 31-A and 31-B, series of 1990, Special Order
No. 25, series of 1993 and all other administrative issuances relative thereto, for
having been issued without prior legislative authority.

FACTS:

In 1990 the Assistant Secretary for Luzon Operations of the DENR issued Special
Order no. 3 entitled "Creation of a Special Task force on acceptance,
identification, evaluation and delineation of ancestral land claims in the Cordillera
Administrative Region".

The special task force created thereunder was authorized to accept and evaluate
and delineate ancestral and claims within the said area, and after due evaluation
of the claims, to issue appropriate land titles (Certificate of Ancestral Land Claim)
in accordance with existing laws.

On January 15, 1993 the Secretary of the DENR issued Special Order no.
25 entitled "Creation of Special Task Forces provincial and community
environment and natural resources offices for the identification, delineation and
recognition of ancestral land claims nationwide" and Department Administrative
Order no. 02 containing the Implementing Rules and Guidelines of Special Order
no. 25.

In 1990, the same year Special Order no. 31 was issued, the relatives of herein
petitioners filed separate applications for certificate of ancestral land claim (CALC)
over the land they, respectively occupy inside the Camp John Hay Reservation.

In 1996, the applications were denied by the DENR Community Special Task
Force on Ancestral Lands on the ground that the Bontoc and Applai tribes to
which they belong are not among the recognized tribes of Baguio City.

Also pursuant to the assailed administrative issuances the Heirs of Apeng


Carantes filed an application for certification of ancestral land claim over a parcel
of land also within Camp John Hay and overlapping some portions of the land
occupied by the petitioners.
Petitioners allegations:

Petitioners claim that even if no certificate of ancestral land claim has yet been
issued by the DENR in favor of the heirs of Carantes, the latter, on the strength of

Bautista | Lopez | Macabagdal | R. Santos | Taruc

certain documents issued by the DENR, tried to acquire possession of the land
they applied for, including the portion occupied by herein petitioners.
Petitioners also allege that the heirs of Carantes removed some of the
improvements they introduced within the area they actually occupy and if not for
the petitioner's timely resistance to such intrusions, the petitioners would have
been totally evicted therefrom.
Hence, this petition for prohibition originally filed with the Court of Appeals to
enjoin the respondent DENR from implementing the assailed administrative
issuances and from processing the application for certificate of ancestral land
claim (CALC) filed by the heirs of Carantes on the ground that the said
administrative issuances are void for lack of legal basis.
The Court of Appeals held that the assailed DENR Special Orders Nos. 31, 31-A,
31-B issued in 1990 prior to the effectivity of RA 7586 known as the National
Integrated Protected Areas Systems (NIPAS) Act of 1992, are of no force and
effect "for pre-empting legislative prerogative" but sustained the validity of DENR
Special Order No. 25, and its implementing rules (DAO No. 02, series of 1993) by
the appellate court on the ground that they were issued pursuant to the powers
5
delegated to the DENR under section 13 of RA 7586.

Present case

The petitioners filed with this Court a petition for review of the appellate court's
decision on the ground that the Court of Appeals erred in upholding the validity of
Special Order No. 25 and its implementing rules.

The petitioners seek to enjoin the respondent DENR from processing the
application for certificate of ancestral land claim filed by the Heirs of Carantes.
Petitioners contend that in addition to the failure of the DENR to publish the
assailed administrative issuances in a newspaper of general circulation prior to its
implementation, RA 7586, which provides for the creation of a National Integrated
Protected Areas System, does not contain the slightest implication of a grant of
authority to the DENR to adjudicate or confer title over lands occupied by
indigenous communities.

It is contended that the said law only grants DENR administrative and managerial
powers over designated national and natural parks called "protected areas"
wherein rare and endangered species of plants and animals inhabit.
ISSUE:
W/N the DENR Special Order no. 25, series of 1993 and its implementing rules DAO
no. 02 are valid? YES, no justiciable controversy yet.

"Section 13. Ancestral Lands and Rights over Them. Ancestral lands and customary rights and interest
arising therefrom shall be accorded due recognition. The DENR shall prescribe rules and regulations to govern
ancestral lands within protected areas: Provided, that the DENR shall have no power to evict indigenous
communities from their present occupancy nor resettle them to another area without their consent: Provided,
however, that all rules and regulations, whether adversely affecting said communities or not, shall be subjected
to notice and hearing to be participated in by members of concerned indigenous community."

35

Special Civil Action: CALDONA

RATIO:

The petitioners' main contention is that the assailed administrative orders were
issued beyond the jurisdiction or power of the DENR secretary under the NIPAS
Act of 1992. They seek to enjoin the respondents from processing the application
for ancestral land claim filed by the heirs of Carantes because if approved, the
petitioners may be evicted from the portion of the land they occupy which overlaps
the land applied for by the Carantes heirs.

From a reading of the records it appears to us that 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 appellate
court 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 by 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 interest" 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 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.

The petitioners' allegation that certain documents from the DENR were shown to
them by the heirs of Carantes to justify eviction is vague, and it would appear that
the petitioners did not verify if indeed the respondent DENR or its officers
authorized the attempted eviction.

Suffice it to say that by the petitioners own admission that the respondents are still
processing and have not approved the application of the heirs of Carantes, the

Bautista | Lopez | Macabagdal | R. Santos | Taruc

petitioners alleged right to possess the land is not violated nor is in imminent
danger of being violated, as the DENR may or may not approve Carantes'
application.
Until such time, the petitioners are simply speculating that they might be evicted
from the premises at some future time.
If indeed the heirs of Carantes are trying to enter the land and disturbing the
petitioners possession thereof even without prior approval by the DENR of the
claim of the heirs of Carantes, the case is simply one for forcible entry.
10. SALVACION V. CENTRAL BANK

G.R. No. 94723| August 21, 1997 | Torres, Jr., J.


Petitioners: Karen E. Salvacion, minor, thru Federico N. Salvacion, Jr., father and
Natural Guardian, and Spouses Federico N. Salvacion, Jr., and Evelina E. Salvacion
Respondents: Central Bank of the Philippines, China Banking Corporation and Greg
Bartelli y Northcott
SUMMARY:
Karen Salvacion was detained for four days and raped by Greg Bartelli (American
tourist) once for the first day, and 3 times each in the next succeeding three days.
Policemen rescued Karen and Bartelli was arrested and charged with Serious Illegal
Detention and 4 counts of Rape. On the day assigned for hearing of Bartellis bail, he
escaped from prison. Karens parents filed an action for damages. RTC rules for the
petitioners. However, respondents Central Bank and Chinabank prevented them from
recovering their claims due the enforcement of RA 1405 (Secrecy of Bank Depostis
Law) and Section 113 of Central Bank Circular No. 960 to the effect that the dollar
deposits of defendant Greg Bartelli are exempt from attachment, garnishment, or any
other order or process of any court, legislative body, government agency or any
administrative body, whatsoever. Hence, petitioners filed this petition for declaratory
relief to restrain respondents from enforcing the said laws. SC held that (1) 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. (2) In case of
doubt in the interpretation or application of laws, it is presumed that the lawmaking
body intended right and justice to prevail.
FACTS:

Greg Bartelli y Northcott, an American tourist, coaxed and lured petitioner


Karen Salvacion, then 12 years old to go with him to his apartment.
o She was finishing her snack on a concrete bench in front of Plaza
Fair, an American approached her. He sat beside her when he
talked to her. He then invited her to go with him to his house where
she could teach Pilipino to his niece in his house at Kalayaan
Ave. He even gave her a stuffed toy.
o Upon entering the bedroom defendant suddenly locked the door, got
a piece of cotton cord and tied Karens hands with it, and then he
undressed her. He tied her feet and hands spread apart to the bed
posts. He knelt in front of her and inserted his finger in her sex

36

Special Civil Action: CALDONA

organ. She felt severe pain. She tried to shout but no sound could
come out because there were tapes on her mouth.
o She was raped 3 times each day for the next 3 days.
Policemen and people living nearby rescued Karen, Greg Bartelli was
arrested and detained at the Makati Municipal Jail.
Greg Bartelli was charged with Serious Illegal Detention and four (4)
counts of Rape.
Petitioners filed with the RTC of Makati a claim for damages with
preliminary attachment against Greg Bartelli.
The day there was a scheduled hearing for Bartellis petition for bail, he
escaped from jail. A Warrant of Arrest and a Hold Departure Order was
issued.
RTC (action for damages case) ruled for petitioners and issued a writ
of preliminary attachment.
The Deputy Sheriff served a Notice of Garnishment on China Banking
Corporation.
o China Banking Corporation invoked RA 1405 (Secrecy of Bank
Depostis Law) and Section 113 of Central Bank Circular No.
960 to the effect that the dollar deposits of defendant Greg
Bartelli are exempt from attachment, garnishment, or any other
order or process of any court, legislative body, government
agency or any administrative body, whatsoever.
Counsel for petitioners inquired from the Central Bank if there are any
exceptions to Section 113 or if it has been repealed.
o Central Bank replied saying the laws are in absolute force and
there are no exceptions the reason being that the purpose of the
law is to encourage dollar accounts within the countrys banking
system which would help in the development of the economy.
The law may be harsh as some perceive it, but it is still the law.
Meanwhile, RTC (action for damages) ruled for petitioners because
Greg Bartelli was in default for his failure to answer the complaint.
o Bartelli was orders to pay P500,000.00 as moral
damages; P150,000.00 each for Karens parents; exemplary
damages of P100,000.00; attorneys fees, litigation costs.
Hence this petition for declaratory relief praying for the following reliefs:
1. Immediately upon the filing of this petition, an Order be issued
restraining the respondents from applying and enforcing Section
113 of Central Bank Circular No. 960;
2. After hearing, judgment be rendered:
a. Declaring the respective rights and duties of petitioners
and respondents;
b. Adjudging Section 113 of Central Bank Circular No.
960 as contrary to the provision of the Constitution,
hence void; because its provision that Foreign
currency deposits shall be exempt from attachment,
garnishment, or any other order to process of any
court, legislative body, government agency or any
administrative body whatsoever

Bautista | Lopez | Macabagdal | R. Santos | Taruc

i. has taken away the right of petitioners to have


the bank deposit of defendant Greg Bartelli y
Northcott garnished to satisfy the judgment
rendered in petitioners favor in violation of
substantive due process guaranteed by the
Constitution;
ii. has given foreign currency depositors an
undue favor or a class privilege in violation of
the equal protection clause of the
Constitution;
iii. has provided a safe haven for criminals like
the herein respondent Greg Bartelli y
Northcott since criminals could escape civil
liability for their wrongful acts by merely
converting their money to a foreign currency
and depositing it in a foreign currency deposit
account with an authorized bank.
ISSUES:
1. May this Court entertain the instant petition despite the fact that original
jurisdiction in petitions for declaratory relief rests with the lower court? --- YES
2. Should Section 113 of Central Bank Circular No. 960 and Section 8 of R.A.
6426, as amended by P.D. 1246, otherwise known as the Foreign Currency
Deposit Act be made applicable to a foreign transient? --- NO
HELD:

Petition is PARTLY MERITORIOUS.

The provisions of Section 113 of CB Circular No. 960 and PD No. 1246,
insofar as it amends Section 8 of R.A. 6426 are hereby held to
be INAPPLICABLE to this case because of its peculiar circumstances.

Respondents are hereby REQUIRED to COMPLY with the writ of execution


and to RELEASE to petitioners the dollar deposit of respondent Greg Bartelli
y Northcott in such amount as would satisfy the judgment.
RATIO:
1. Court has no original and exclusive jurisdiction over a petition for declaratory
relief.

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

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.
2. In case of doubt in the interpretation or application of laws, it is presumed that the
lawmaking body intended right and justice to prevail.

37

Special Civil Action: CALDONA

Indeed, after hearing the testimony of Karen, the Court believes that it was
indoubtedly a shocking and traumatic experience she had undergone which
could haunt her mind for a long, long time, the mere recall of which could
make her feel so humiliated, as in fact she had been actually humiliated once
when she was refused admission at the Abad Santos High School, Arellano
University, where she sought to transfer from another school, simply because
the school authorities of the said High School learned about what happened
to her and allegedly feared that they might be implicated in the case.
The application of the law depends on the extent of its justice. Eventually, if
we rule that the questioned Section 113 of Central Bank Circular No. 960
which exempts from attachment, garnishment, or any other order or process
of any court, legislative body, government agency or any administrative body
whatsoever, is applicable to a foreign transient, injustice would result
especially to a citizen aggrieved by a foreign guest like accused Greg Bartelli.
This would negate Article 10 of the New Civil Code which provides that in
case of doubt in the interpretation or application of laws, it is presumed that
the lawmaking body intended right and justice to prevail.
Simply stated, when the statute is silent or ambiguous, this is one of those
fundamental solutions that would respond to the vehement urge of
conscience.

11. ALLIED BROADCASTING V. REPUBLIC


G.R. No. 91500 | October 18, 1990
Petitioner: ALLIED BROADCASTING CENTER, INC.
Respondents:
REPUBLIC
OF
THE
PHILIPPINES,
TRANSPORTATION
AND
COMMUNICATIONS
TELECOMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION

DEPARTMENT
OF
and
NATIONAL

SUMMARY: This is a petition for the declaration of the unconstitutionality of PD No.


576-A with a prayer for the issuance of a temporary restraining order and/or a writ of
preliminary injunction. In January 1960, RA 3001 was passed granting ABC to operate
its broadcasting stations. ABC subsequently established 10 radio stations. In
November 1974, PD 576-A was passed delineating and restricting radio station
ownership. It basically regulated ABCs ownership of some of its stations. One of the
laws provisions is that a broadcasting station should only own one radio station per
municipality or city. This made ABC lose 7 of its radio stations. ABC complained
alleging that the law is arbitrary. SC dismissed the petition. The petition seeks a
declaration of the unconstitutionality and/or nullity of PD No. 576-A. As such, it must be
treated as one seeking declaratory relief which action should be brought before the
RTC 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. 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

Bautista | Lopez | Macabagdal | R. Santos | Taruc

that the same is being denied or refused on the basis of the restrictions under the law.
Petitioner does not also allege that it had been penalized or is being penalized for a
violation. There is, likewise, no allegation that any of the petitioner's stations had been
confiscated or shut down. Obviously, the constitutional challenge is not being raised in
the context of a specific case or controversy wherein the petitioner has asserted his
rights.
FACTS:

This is a petition for the declaration of the unconstitutionality of PD No. 576-A


with a prayer for the issuance of a temporary restraining order and/or a writ of
preliminary injunction.

On January 1960, RA No. 3001 was passed granting petitioner the permit or
franchise to construct, maintain and operate radio broadcasting stations in the
Philippines which the petitioner was able to do, operating 10 radio
6
broadcasting stations all over the country. Through said broadcasting
stations, petitioner was able to provide adequate public service which enabled
the government to reach the population on important public issues, and assist
the government in programs relating to public information and education.

Under Section 10 of Republic Act No. 3001, petitioner's franchise or permit


"shall be subject to amendment, alteration or repeal by the Congress of the
Philippines when the public interest so requires . ..."

On November 1974, PD No. 576-A entitled "Decree Regulating The


Ownership And Operation Of Radio And Television Stations And For Other
Purposes" was issued. Sections 3, 4, 5 and 6 provide:
Sec. 3. No person or corporation may own, operate, or manage more than
one radio or television station in one municipality or city; nor more than five
AM and FM radio stations; nor more than five television channels in the
entire country, and no radio or television station shall be utilized by any
single-interest group to disseminate information or otherwise influence the
public or the government to serve or support the ends of such group.
Sec. 4. Any person or corporation which owns more than the number of
radio or television stations authorized in the preceding section shall divest
itself of the excess stations or channels. Any excess station shall be sold
through the Board of Communications.
Sec. 5. Failure to divest as provided in the foregoing section shall, in addition
to the penalties provided in Section 6, subject the person or corporation
guilty of such failure to cancellation of the franchise of every excess station
and to confiscation of the station and its facilities without compensation.
Sec. 6. All franchises, grants, licenses, permits, certificates or other forms
of authority to operate radio or television broadcasting systems shall
Its radio stations have never been used for the broadcasting of obscene or indecent language or
speech, or for the disseminati on of misleading information or willful misrepresentation, or to the
detriment of the public health, or to incite, encourage or assist in subversion or treasonable acts.
6

38

Special Civil Action: CALDONA

terminate on December 31, 1981. Thereafter, irrespective of any franchise,


grant, license, permit, certificate or other forms of authority to operate
granted by any office, agency or person, no radio or television station shall
be authorized to operate without the authority of the Board of
Communications and the Secretary of Public Works and Communications or
their successors who have the right and authority to assign to qualified
parties frequencies, channels or other means of Identifying broadcast
systems; Provided, however, that any conflict over, or disagreement with, a
decision of the aforementioned authorities may be appealed finally to the
Office of the President .
Pursuant to Section 6 of the said Decree, all franchises, grants, licenses,
permits, certificates, or other forms of authority to operate radio or television
broadcasting systems/stations, including the franchise or permit of petitioner
under Republic Act No. 3001, have been deemed terminated or revoked
effective December 31, 1981.
Thus, petitioner is left with only 3 radio stations located in Iloilo City, Bacolod
City and Roxas City.
Petitioner alleged that said Decree has caused it great and irreparable
damage, because (a) it divested petitioner of its franchise without due
process of law and forced it to divest itself of some of its radio stations; (b) it
deprived petitioner of its right to further construct, maintain and operate radio
broadcasting stations in other cities or municipalities of the country; 2 (c) it
deprived petitioner of its right to avail of loan facilities or renew its existing
loan availments from any bank or financial institution in order to expand and
continue the operation of its radio broadcasting business; and (d) petitioner
suffered loss of income.

ISSUE: W/N PD No. 576-A is unconstitutional and null and void ab initio NO
RATIO:

The petition seeks a declaration of the unconstitutionality and/or nullity of PD


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
RTC 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. Thus, present petition should be
dismissed on this score.

Moreover, 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 the law. 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.

Bautista | Lopez | Macabagdal | R. Santos | Taruc

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 No. 576-A and the reinstatement
of its rights under RA No. 3001.
Judicial review cannot be exercised in vacuo. Judicial power is "the right to
determine actual controversies arising between adverse litigants." The power
of judicial review can only be exercised in connection with a bona fide case or
controversy which involves the statute sought to be reviewed.
Petitioner alleges that it used to maintain and operate at least ten (10) radio
broadcasting stations but pursuant to the cited sections of the law it divested
itself of the "excess stations" thus leaving it with three (3) radio stations.
Petitioner did not allege that it challenged the constitutionality of the decree at
any time since it took effect. It does not appear that petitioner's compliance
was made under protest.
In view of its acquiescence with PD No. 576-A, the petitioner is now estopped
from challenging the same under the principle of estoppel that "one who
sleeps on his rights shall not be heard to complain."
The allegation of petitioner that its petition should be treated as a petition for
prohibition does not place petitioner in any better position. The petition cannot
be considered as one for prohibition as it does not seek to prohibit further
proceedings being conducted by any tribunal, corporation, board or person
exercising judicial or ministerial functions.
In the instant petition, petitioner does not seek to prohibit any proceeding
being conducted by public respondent which adversely affects its interest.
Petitioner does not claim that it has a pending application for a broadcast
license which is about to be denied. Apparently, what petitioner seeks to
prohibit is the possible denial of an application it may make to operate radio
or television stations on the basis of the restrictions imposed. Obviously, the
petition is premature.
Petitioner prays for reinstatement of its rights under its original franchise.
Reinstatement is an affirmative remedy and cannot be secured through a writ
of prohibition which is essentially a preventive and not a corrective remedy. It
cannot correct an act that is a fait accompli.

HELD: WHEREFORE, the petition is DISMISSED with costs against petitioner.

39

Special Civil Action: CALDONA

Bautista | Lopez | Macabagdal | R. Santos | Taruc

RULE 64: Review of Judgments and Final Orders or Resolutions of the


Commission on Elections and the Commission on Audit
Section 1. Scope. This Rule shall govern the review of judgments and final orders
or resolutions of the Commission on Elections and the Commission on Audit. (n)
Section 2. Mode of review. A judgment or final order or resolution of the
Commission on Elections and the Commission on Audit may be brought by the
aggrieved party to the Supreme Court on certiorari under Rule 65, except as
hereinafter provided. (n; Bar Matter No. 803, 17 February 1998)
Section 3. Time to file petition. The petition shall be filed within thirty (30) days from
notice of the judgment or final order or resolution sought to be reviewed. The filing of a
motion for new trial or reconsideration of said judgment or final order or resolution, if
allowed under the procedural rules of the Commission concerned, shall interrupt the
period herein fixed. If the motion is denied, the aggrieved party may file the petition
within the remaining period, but which shall not be less than five (5) days in any event,
reckoned from notice of denial. (n)
Section 4. Docket and other lawful fees. Upon the filing of the petition, the petitioner
shall pay to the clerk of court the docket and other lawful fees and deposit the amount
of P500.00 for costs. (n)
Section 5. Form and contents of petition. The petition shall be verified and filed in
eighteen (18) legible copies. The petition shall name the aggrieved party as petitioner
and shall join as respondents the Commission concerned and the person or persons
interested in sustaining the judgment, final order or resolution a quo. The petition shall
state the facts with certainty, present clearly the issues involved, set forth the grounds
and brief arguments relied upon for review, and pray for judgment annulling or
modifying the questioned judgment, final order or resolution. Findings of fact of the
Commission supported by substantial evidence shall be final and non-reviewable.
The petition shall be accompanied by a clearly legible duplicate original or certified true
copy of the judgment, final order or resolution subject thereof, together with certified
true copies of such material portions of the record as are referred to therein and other
documents relevant and pertinent thereto. The requisite number of copies of the
petition shall contain plain copies of all documents attached to the original copy of said
petition.
The petition shall state the specific material dates showing that it was filed within the
period fixed herein, and shall contain a sworn certification against forum shopping as
provided in the third paragraph of section 3, Rule 46.

Section 6. Order to comment. If the Supreme Court finds the petition sufficient in
form and substance, it shall order the respondents to file their comments on the
petition within ten (10) days from notice thereof; otherwise, the Court may dismiss the
petition outright. The Court may also dismiss the petition if it was filed manifestly for
delay or the questions raised are too unsubstantial to warrant further proceedings. (n)
Section 7. Comments of respondents. The comments of the respondents shall be
filed in eighteen (18) legible copies. The original shall be accompanied by certified true
copies of such material portions of the record as are referred to therein together with
other supporting papers. The requisite number of copies of the comments shall contain
plain copies of all documents attached to the original and a copy thereof shall be
served on the petitioner.
No other pleading may be filed by any party unless required or allowed by the Court.
(n)
Section 8. Effect of filing. The filing of a petition for certiorari shall not stay the
execution of the judgment or final order or resolution sought to be reviewed, unless the
Supreme Court shall direct otherwise upon such terms as it may deem just. (n)
Section 9. Submission for decision. Unless the Court sets the case for oral
argument, or requires the parties to submit memoranda, the case shall be deemed
submitted for decision upon the filing of the comments on the petition, or of such other
pleadings or papers as may be required or allowed, or the expiration of the period to
do so. (n)
1. Aratuc v. Comelec (JM)
G.R. Nos. L-49705-09 and L-49717-21 | February 8, 1979
st

[1 case]
Petitioners: TOMATIC ARATUC, SERGIO TOCAO, CISCOLARIO DIAZ, FRED
TAMULA, MANGONTAWAR GURO and BONIFACIO LEGASPI
Respondents: COMELEC, REGIONAL BOARD OF CANVASSERS for Region XII
(Central Mindanao), ABDULLAH DIMAPORO, JESUS AMPARO, ANACLETO
BADOY, et al.
nd

[2 case]
Petitioner: LINANG MANDANGAN
Respondents: COMELEC, REGIONAL BOARD OF CANVASSERS for Region XII
(Central Mindanao), & ERNESTO ROLDAN
Ponente: J. Barredo

The petition shall further be accompanied by proof of service of a copy thereof on the
Commission concerned and on the adverse party, and of the timely payment of docket
and other lawful fees.
The failure of petitioner to comply with any of the foregoing requirements shall be
sufficient ground for the dismissal of the petition. (n)

40

Special Civil Action: CALDONA

Summary: [Sori guys, magulo talaga yung case. Eto lang ang naintindihan ko.]
Aratuc et al, and Mandangan filed a separate Petition for certiorari with restraining
order and preliminary injunction against the decision of Comelec resolving their appeal
from the Regional Board of Canvasses for Region XII regarding the canvass of the
results of the election in said region for representatives to the Interim Batasang

Bautista | Lopez | Macabagdal | R. Santos | Taruc

Pambansa held on April 7, 1978. Aratuc et al questioned the alleged dubious canvass
being undertaken by the Board in Cotabato city, which according to them did not
observe the issued guidelines by the SC in an earlier order. Mandangan, on the other
hand, is a candidate for representative in the same election in that region, who also
filed a petition to review the decision of the Comelec declaring Ernesto Roldan as
entitled to be proclaimed as one of the 8 winners in said election.
The SC held that the petition for certiorari is not proper. It differentiated review and
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 weight 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, 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 SC to insure the faithful observance of due
process only in cases of patent arbitrariness. Therefore, the certiorari jurisdiction of the
SC over orders, 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. In the case at bar, Comelec did not act wantonly and
arbitrarily or without any rational basis. If there are errors in any of those conclusions,
they are errors of judgment which are not reviewable in certiorari.
FACTS:
st
1 case

Tomatic Aratuc, et al. (6 independent candidates for representatives to the Interim


Batasang Pambansa who had joined together under the banner of the Kunsensiya
ng Bayan which was not registered as a political party or group) sought the
suspension of the canvass then being undertaken by Regional Board Of
Canvassers for Region XII (BOARD) in Cotabato city.

A supervening panel headed by Comelec Hon. Venancio S. Duque had conducted


of their complaints of the alleged irregularities in the election records in all the
voting centers in the whole province of Lanao del Sur, the whole City of Marawi, 8
towns of Lanao del Norte, 7 towns in Maguindanao, 10 towns in North Cotabato,
and 11 towns in Sultan Kudarat by reason for which, they ask that the returns from
said voting centers be excluded from the canvass.

Before hearing, the canvass was suspended but thereafter, Comelec lifted its
order of suspension and directed the resumption of the canvass to be done in
Manila. The said order was appealed to the SC, and after hearing the parties, the
SC allowed the resumption of the canvass but issued guidelines to be observed,
which was subsequently modified.

The Board proceeded with the canvass, with Aratuc, et. al. presenting objections.
Notwithstanding, Board terminated its canvass and declared the result of the
voting.

Aratuc et al brought the resolution of the Board to the Comelec. Hearing was held
after which the case was declared submitted for decision. However the Comelec
issued a resolution stating that in order to enable the Commission to decide the
appeal properly:

41

Special Civil Action: CALDONA

it will have to go deeper into the examination of the voting records and
registration records, and in the case of voting centers whose voting and
registration records which have not yet been submitted for the Commission to
decide to open the ballot boxes; and
o to interview and get statements under oath of impartial and disinterested
persons from the area to determine whether actual voting took place, as well
as those of the military authorities in the areas affected.

After requiring the parties to file their respective comments, the Comelec rendered
its resolution being assailed in these cases, declaring the final result of the
canvass.
nd
2 case

Linang Mandangan, on the other hand, is a candidate for representative in the


same election in that region, who also filed a petition for certiorari with
restraining order and preliminary injunction regarding the decision of the
Comelec declaring Ernesto Roldan as entitled to be proclaimed as one of the 8
winners in said election.
Aratuc et als contentions:

Comelec committed GADALEJ because of the ff:


1. In not pursuing the examination of the registration records and voting records
from the other voting centers after it found proof of massive substitute voting
in all of the voting records and registration records examined by Comelec and
NBI experts;
2. In including in the canvass returns from the voting centers whose book of
voters and voting records could not be recovered by the Commission in spite
of its repeated efforts to retrieve said records;
3. In not excluding from the canvass returns from voting centers showing a very
high percentage of voting and in not considering that high percentage of
voting, coupled with massive substitution of voters is proof of manufacturing
of election returns;
4. In denying petitioners' petition for the opening of the ballot boxes from voting
centers whose records are not available for examination to determine whether
or not there had been voting in said voting centers;
5. In not identifying the ballot boxes that had no padlocks and especially those
that were found to be empty while they were shipped to Manila pursuant to
the directive of the Commission in compliance with the guidelines of the SC;
6. In not excluding from the canvass returns where the results of examination of
the voting records and registration records show that the thumbprints of the
voters did not correspond to those of the registered voters;
7. In giving more credence to the affidavits of chairmen and members of the
voting centers, municipal treasurers and other election officials in the voting
centers where irregularities had been committed and not giving credence to
the affidavits of watchers of petitioners;
8. In not including among those questioned before the Board those included
among the returns questioned by them in their Memorandum filed with the
Commission which the Supreme Court said in its Guidelines should be
considered by the Board in the course of the canvass.
Mandangans contentions:

Bautista | Lopez | Macabagdal | R. Santos | Taruc

Comelec erred in applying Diaz vs. Comelec instead of that of Bashier vs.
Comelec
Comelec exceeded its jurisdiction and denied Mandangan due process

ISSUES:
3. WON the petition for certiorari is proper. NO. [main for SCA]
4. WON the contentions of the petitioners are with merit. NO.
RATIO:
#1 What is the nature and extent of the SCs power of review [MAIN]

The Aratuc petition is expressly predicated on the ground that Comelec committed
GADALEJ in 8 specifications. The Mandangan petition raises pure questions of
law and jurisdiction.
o Both petitions invoked the Court's certiorari jurisdiction, not its appellate
authority of review.

While under the 1935 Constitution, "the decisions, orders and rulings of Comelec
shall be subject to review by the SC" and pursuant to the Rules of Court, the
petition for "certiorari or review" shall be on the ground that Comelec "has decided
a question of substance not determined by the SC, or has decided it in a way not
in accord with law or the applicable decisions of the SC", the 1973 Constitution
provides somewhat differently.
o "Any decision, order or ruling of the Commission may be brought to the
Supreme Court on certiorari, even if Comelec 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 official.

Correspondingly, the Election Code of 1978, which is the first legislative


construction of the pertinent constitutional provisions, makes Comelec also the
"sole judge of all pre-proclamation controversies" and further provides that "any of
its decisions, orders or rulings (in such contoversies) shall be final and executory",
just as in election contests, "the decision of the Commission shall be final, and
executory and inappealable."

It is evident that there is a definite tendency to enhance and invigorate the role of
the Comelec as the independent constitutional body charged with the
safeguarding of free, peaceful and honest elections.
o 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 SC".

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, 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.
o 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.

42

Special Civil Action: CALDONA

Certiorari implies an indifferent disregard of the law, arbitrariness and caprice,


an omission to weight 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 SC to insure the faithful observance
of due process only in cases of patent arbitrariness.
Therefore, the certiorari jurisdiction of the SC over orders, 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. It is in this light that the SC oppose the contentions
of the parties in this cases.

#2 The contentions are without merit [not important. siguro pag nagtanong n lang si
sir]
Aratuc case

In summary, Comelec did not act wantonly and arbitrarily or without any rational
basis, in drawing its conclusions adverse to petitioners' position. If there are errors
in any of those conclusions, they are errors of judgment which are not reviewable
in certiorari, so long as they are founded on substantial evidence.
Mandangan case
1. The Diaz and Bashier rulings are not mutually exclusive of each other. Whether
they will be applied together or separately depends on the situation on hand. In
the factual milieu of the instant case as found by the Comelec, the SC sees no
cogent reason, and Mandangan has not shown any, why returns in voting centers
showing that the votes of the candidate obtaining highest number of votes of the
candidate obtaining the highest number of votes exceeds the highest possible
number of valid votes cast therein should not be deemed as spurious and
manufactured just because the total number of excess votes in said voting centers
were not more than 40 %.
2. In regard to the jurisdictional and due process issue raised, it should be noted that
under Section 168 of the Revised Election Code of 1978, "the Comelec shall have
direct control and supervision on over the board of canvassers. The authority of
Comelec in reviewing does not spring from any appellate jurisdiction conferred by
any specific provision of law, but from the plenary prerogative of direct control and
supervision endowed to it by the above-quoted provision of Section 168. And in
administrative law, a superior body or office having supervision and control over
another may do directly what the latter is supposed to do or ought to have done.

DECISION: Petition dismissed, without pronouncement as to costs.


2. Dario v. Mison (RS)
176 SCRA 84 (1989) | Sarmiento, J.
G.R. No.s 81954, 81967, 82023, 83737, 85310, 85335, 86241

Bautista | Lopez | Macabagdal | R. Santos | Taruc

*7 petitions; there are numerous parties; Sorry if the digest is long; please read the
summary for guidance
SUMMARY
Pursuant to EOs issued by Pres. Corazon Aquino and the new Constitution, BOC
Commissioner Mison sent notices of separation to various BOC officials and
employees. These officials/employees sought recourse with the Civil Service
Commission, which ruled for their reinstatement. BOC Commissioner sought a
reconsideration of this Resolution, which was denied. He then went to the SC on
certiorari to question the CSC decisions. Meanwhile, BOC employee-petitioners
question before the SC Misons authority to dismiss them. SC rules in favor of the BOC
officials/employees in regard to their reinstatement. With respect to whether
Commissioner Mison could validly file a certiorari case with the SC to question CSCs
decisions, the SC says that judgment of the Commission (CSC) may be brought to
the SC through certiorari alone, under Rule 65 of the Rules. The SC affirms the
Aratuc ruling, which held that [i]t is 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'. SC observes that there is no
fundamental difference between the CSC and Commission on Elections (the latter is
relevant to Rule 64).
FACTS

3/25/1986 Pres. Corazon Aquino promulgated Proclamation No. 3


(Adoption of a Provisional Constitution; basically provided for a reorganization
of the government)

Various Eos and directives that Aquino enacted:


o EO 17 (5/28/1986) set forth grounds for separation replacement of
personnel
o EO 127 (1/30/1987) reorganized the Finance Ministry, including
the Bureau of Customs
o New Constitution (2/2/1987)

1/6/1988 incumbent Comm. Of Customs (COC) Salvador Mison issued a


Memorandum, providing for guidelines on the implementation of Eos,
specifically the procedure in personnel placement
o He also sent notices to several Customs officials, informing them of
their termination; 310 people were listed as recipients of this notice
(see original; Dario was one of the numerous recipients/parties in
this case)

Records reveal that 394 officials/employees of the BOCustoms (BOC) were


given notices of separation; a number of them sought reinstatement with the
Reorganization Appeals Boards while the others went to the CSC; the first 31
in the 310 listed in the case came directly to the SC.

6/30/1988 CSC Resolution ordered reinstatement of 279 employees in GR


85310

43

Special Civil Action: CALDONA

7/15/1988 Commissioner Mison, represented by the OSG, filed an


MR, which was denied by the CSC

10/20/88 Mison filed a certiorari case with the SC (GR 85310)

11/16/88 CSC Resolution CSC further reinstated 5 more employees


o 1/6/1989 Mison challenged this in the SC (GR 86241)

6/10/88 RA 6656 (act to protect the security of tenure of civil service


officers/employees in the implementation of govt reorganization) - 7 states
that illegally separated employees shall be reinstated/reappointed without
loss of seniority rights and shall be entitled to full pay for the period of
separation.

6/23/1988 Amasa and Dionisio, customs examiners appointed by Mison


petitioned the SC to contest the validity of the statute (GR 83737)

10/21/1988 35 more Customs officials ordered reinstated by the CSC filed


their own petition to compel the Commissioner of Customs to comply with
CSC order (GR 85335)

A summary of the petitions follows:


GR 81954, 81967, 82023, AND 85335

Dario (GR 81954) was 1 of the Deputy Commissioners of the BOC until his
dismissal from service by Mison. He contends that Mison could not have
7
legally invoked 59 of EO 127 to dismiss him.
o Avers that he could not have been legally deemed to be an
"incumbent whose position is not included therein or who is not
reappointed" to justify his separation from the service.

Like Dario, Feria (GR 81967) was a Deputy Commissioner at the Bureau until
his separation directed by Commissioner Mison. Like Dario, he claims that he
has acquired security of tenure and that he is not covered by 59 of EO 127,
having been appointed during the effectivity of the Provisional Constitution.
o

SEC. 59. New Structure and Pattern. Upon approval of this Executive Order, the officers and
employees of the Ministry shall, in a holdover capacity, continue to perform their respective
duties and responsibilities and receive the corresponding salaries and benefits unless in the
meantime they are separated from government service pursuant to Executive Order No. 17
(1986) or Article III of the Freedom Constitution.
The new position structure and staffing pattern of the Ministry shall be approved and
prescribed by the Minister within one hundred twenty (120) days from the approval of this
Executive Order and the authorized positions created hereunder shall be filled with regular
appointments by him or by the President, as the case may be. Those incumbents whose
positions are not included therein or who are not reappointed shall be deemed separated
from the service. Those separated from the service shall receive the retirement benefits to
which they may be entitled under existing laws, rules and regulations. Otherwise, they shall be
paid the equivalent of one month basic salary for every year of service, or the equivalent
nearest fraction thereof favorable to them on the basis of highest salary received but in no
case shall such payment exceed the equivalent of 12 months salary.
No court or administrative body shall issue any writ of preliminary injunction or restraining
order to enjoin the separation/replacement of any officer or employee effected under this
Executive Order

Bautista | Lopez | Macabagdal | R. Santos | Taruc

Petitioners in GR 82023, collectors and examiners in venous ports of the


Philippines, say, on the other hand, that the purpose of reorganization is to
end corruption at the BOC and that since there is no finding that they are
guilty of corruption, they cannot be validly dismissed from the service.
GR 85310 AND 86241

Commissioners twin petitions are direct challenges to 3 rulings of the CSC:


o 6/30/1988 Resolution reinstating 265 customs employees
o 9/20/1988 Resolution denying reconsideration
o 11/16/1988 Resolution reinstating 5 employees
CSC RULING

Reorganizations occur where there has been a reduction in personnel or


redundancy of functions; there is no showing that the reorganization in
question has been carried out for either purpose on the contrary, the
dismissals now disputed were carried out by mere service of notices

The current Customs reorganization has not been made according to


Malacaang guidelines; information on file with the Commission shows that
Commissioner Mison has been appointing unqualified personnel
8

Jose v. Arroyo, relied upon by Mison in validating Executive Order No. 127,
did not countenance illegal removals; RA 6656 protects security of tenure in
the course of reorganizations
ISSUE
What is the nature and extent of this government reorganization?
HELD

CSC Resolutions dated 6/30/1988, 9/20/1988 and 11/16/1988 involved in


GR Nos. 85310, 85335 and 86241, and 5/8/1989 involved in GR 85310 are
affirmed
Petitions in GR Nos. 81954, 81967, 82023 and 85335 (BOC employeepetitioners) are granted.
Petitions in GR Nos. 83737, 85310 and 86241 (Amasa, Dionisio and
Commissioner Misons petitions) are dismissed.
Commissioner of Customs is ordered to reinstate the employees separated
as a result of his notices dated 1/26/1988
Employees whom Mison may have appointed as replacements are ordered to
vacate their posts

Jose v. Arroyo: The contention of petitioner that Executive Order No. 127 is violative of the
provision of the 1987 Constitution guaranteeing career civil service employees security of
tenure overlooks the provisions of Section 16, Article XVIII (Transitory Provisions) which
explicitly authorize the removal of career civil service employees "not for cause but as a result
of the reorganization pursuant to Proclamation No. 3 dated March 25, 1986 and the
reorganization following the ratification of this Constitution." By virtue of said provision, the
reorganization of the Bureau of Customs under Executive Order No. 127 may continue even
after the ratification of the Constitution, and career civil service employees may be separated
from the service without cause as a result of such reorganization.

44

Special Civil Action: CALDONA

RATIO
JUDGMENT OF THE COMMISSION MAY BE BROUGHT TO THE SC BY CERTIORARI ALONE

The urgings in GR 85335 and 85310 that the 6/30/1988 CSC Resolution had
attained a character of finality for failure of Mison to seasonably apply for
judicial review or ask for reconsideration under PD 807, or under RA 6656, or
under the Constitution are likewise rejected.
o Records show that BOC had until 7/15/1988 to ask for
reconsideration or come to this Court pursuant to 39 of PD 807.
o SolGen also filed an MR on 7/15/1988.
o The CSC issued its Resolution denying reconsideration on
9/20/1988; a copy of this Resolution was received by the Bureau on
9/23/1988
o Hence, the Bureau had until 10/23/1988 to elevate the matter on
certiorari to this Court.
o Since the Bureaus petition was filed on 10/20/1988, it was filed on
time.

(Note: This, I think, is the only important part of the case vis--vis Rule
64)
o Contentions that the Bureaus petition (in GR 85310) raises no
jurisdictional questions, and is thus bereft of basis as a petition for
certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court are rejected.
o Questions raised in Misons petition (in GR 85310) are proper for
certiorari if, by jurisdictional questions, the SC means questions
having to do with an indifferent disregard of the law, arbitrariness
and caprice, or omission to weigh pertinent considerations, a
decision arrived at without rational deliberation, as distinguished
from questions that required digging into the merits and unearthing
errors od judgment which is the office, on the other hand, of review
under Rule 45 of the said Rules.
o CSCs act of reinstating Customs employees has implications not
only on the entire reorganization process decreed no less than by
the Provisional Constitution, but on the Philippine bureaucracy in
general; these implications are of such magnitude that it cannot be
said that the CSC committed a plain error of judgment that Aratuc
says cannot be corrected by the extraordinary remedy of certiorari or
ay special civil action.
o SC affirms the teaching of Aratuc as regards recourse to this Court
with respect to rulings of the CSC which is that judgment of the
Commission (CSC) may be brought to the SC through certiorari
alone, under Rule 65 of the Rules.
o Aratuc: It is 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

Bautista | Lopez | Macabagdal | R. Santos | Taruc

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.
o SC: No fundamental difference between the Commission on
Elections and the Civil Service Commission (or the Commission
on Audit for that matter) in terms of the constitutional intent to
leave the constitutional bodies alone in the enforcement of laws
relative to elections, with respect to the former, and the civil
service, with respect to the latter (or the audit of government
accounts, with respect to the Commission on Audit).

It should also be noted that under the new Constitution, as under the 1973
Charter, "any decision, order, or ruling of each Commission may be brought
to the Supreme Court on certiorari," which, as Aratuc tells us, "technically
connotes something less than saying that the same 'shall be subject to review
by the Supreme Court, which in turn suggests an appeal by petition for
review under Rule 45. Therefore, our jurisdiction over cases emanating from
the Civil Service Commission is limited to complaints of lack or excess of
jurisdiction or grave abuse of discretion tantamount to lack or excess of
jurisdiction, complaints that justify certiorari under Rule 65.

While RA 6656 states that judgments of the Commission are "final and
executory" and hence, unappealable, under Rule 65, certiorari precisely lies in
the absence of an appeal.

Accordingly, SC accepted Misons petition (G.R. No. 85310), which clearly


charges the CSC with grave abuse of discretion, a proper subject of certiorari,
although it may not have so stated in explicit terms.

SC reiterates that it has been filed seasonably. SolGen had 30 days from
9/23/1988 (the date the CSC Resolution of 9/20/1988, denying
reconsideration,
was
received)
to
commence
the
instant certiorari proceedings.
o Under the Constitution, an aggrieved party has 30 days within which
to challenge "any decision, order, or ruling" of the Commission. To
say that the period should be counted from the Solicitor's receipt of
the main Resolution, dated June 30, 1988, is to say that he should
not have asked for reconsideration But to say that is to deny him the
right to contest (by a motion for reconsideration) any ruling, other
than the main decision, when, precisely, the Constitution gives him
such a right. Hence, we must reckon the thirty-day period from
receipt of the order of denial
SCS RULING ON THE SEPARATION OF BOC EMPLOYEES

Fundamental Principles of Reorganization


o Removals versus separations arising from abolition of office (not by
virtue of the Constitution) as a result of reorganization carried out by
reason of economy or to remove redundancy of functions.

Separations: Govt is obliged to prove good faith

Removals undertaken to comply with clear and explicit


constitutional mandates: Govt is not hard put to prove

45

Special Civil Action: CALDONA

anything, plainly and simply because the Constitution


allows it.
9
o Question is whether or not 16 of Article XVIII of the 1987
Constitution is a grant of a license upon the Govt to remove career
public officials it could have validly done under an automatic
vacancy-authority and to remove them without rhyme or reason.

Since 1935, transition periods have been characterized by


provisions of automatic vacancies. SC takes the silence
of the 1987 Constitution on this matter as a restraint
upon the Government to dismiss public servants at a
moment's notice.
Nature, Extent and Limitations of Reorganization under the 1987
Constitution; Jose v. Arroyo clarified
o Did Arroyo extend the effects of reorganization under the
revolutionary Charter to the era of the new (1987) Constitution?
o The opinion expressed therein that "by virtue of said provision the
reorganization of the BOC under EO 127 may continue even after
the ratification of this constitution and career civil service employees
may be separated from the service without cause as a result of such
reorganization" is in the nature of an obiter dictum.
o Arroyo is an unsigned resolution while Palma-Fernandez (which held
that after February 2, 1987, incumbent officials and employees have
acquired security of tenure) is a full-blown decision. While a
resolution of the Court is no less forceful than a decision, the latter
has a special weight.
o Palma-Fernandez v. De la Paz comes as a later doctrine. (Jose v.
Arroyo was promulgated on August 11, 1987 while PalmaFernandez was decided on August 31, 1987.) A later judgment
supersedes a prior one in case of an inconsistency.
o Arroyo is not necessarily incompatible with Palma-Fernandez (or
Esguerra)
o Based on the foregoing, reorganization under the aegis of the
1987 Constitution is not as stern as reorganization under the
prior Charter. Whereas the latter, sans the President's

Sec. 16. Career civil service employees separated from the service not for cause but
as a result of the reorganization pursuant to Proclamation No. 3 dated March 25,
1986 and the reorganization following the ratification of this Constitution shall be
entitled to appropriate separation pay and to retirement and other benefits accruing
to them under the laws of general application in force at the time of their separation.
In lieu thereof, at the option of the employees, they may be considered for
employment in the Government or in any of its subdivisions, instrumentalities, or
agencies, including government-owned or controlled corporations and their
subsidiaries. This provision also applies to career officers whose resignation,
tendered in line with the existing policy, had been accepted.
Bautista | Lopez | Macabagdal | R. Santos | Taruc

46

subsequently imposed constraints, envisioned a purgation, the same


cannot be said of the reorganization inferred under the new
Constitution because, precisely, the new Constitution seeks to usher
in a democratic regime
o While the former Constitution left the axe to fall where it might, the
present Constitution requires that removals "not for cause"
must be as a result of reorganization. The 1987 Constitution
does not provide for "automatic" vacancies. It must also pass
the test of good faith a test not obviously required under the
revolutionary government formerly prevailing, but a test wellestablished in democratic societies and in this government
under a democratic Charter.
o Therefore, when Arroyo permitted a reorganization under EO
127
after
the
ratification
of
the
1987
Constitution, Arroyo permitted a reorganization provided that it
is done in good faith.
o GR: a reorganization is carried out in "good faith" if it is for the
purpose of economy or to make bureaucracy more efficient. In that
event, no dismissal or separation actually occurs because the
position itself ceases to exist.
o Good faith, as a component of a reorganization under a
constitutional regime, is judged from the facts of each case.
Lack of good faith in the reorganization of the Bureau of Customs
o There is no showing that legitimate structural changes have
been made or a reorganization actually undertaken, for that
matter at the Bureau since Commissioner Mison assumed
office, which would have validly prompted him to hire and fire
employees.
o There can therefore be no actual reorganization to speak of, in the
sense of reduction of personnel, consolidation of offices, or abolition
thereof by reason of economy or redundancy of functions, but a
revamp of personnel pure and simple.
o SC did not strike down EO 127 for repugnancy to the Constitution.
While the act is valid, the means with which it was implemented is
not.
Specific case of EO 127
o With respect to EO 127, Commissioner Mison submits that under
59 thereof, "those incumbents whose positions are not included
therein or who are not reappointed shall be deemed separated from
the service." He submits that because the 394 removed personnel
have not been "reappointed," they are considered terminated.
o The Commissioner's appointing power is subject to the provisions of
EO 39, under which the Commissioner of Customs may "appoint
all Bureau personnel, except those appointed by the President."
o Thus, with respect to Dario and Feria, Commissioner Mison
could not have validly terminated them, they being Presidential
appointees.
o Also, 59 has been rendered inoperative according to our holding
inPalma-Fernandez.

Special Civil Action: CALDONA

Summary of SC statements:
o The President could have validly removed government employees,
elected or appointed, without cause but only before the effectivity of
the 1987 Constitution on February 2, 1987; in this connection, 59
(on non-reappointment of incumbents) of Executive Order No. 127
cannot be a basis for termination;
o In such a case, dismissed employees shall be paid separation and
retirement benefits or upon their option be given reemployment
opportunities
o From February 2, 1987, the State does not lose the right to
reorganize the Government resulting in the separation of career civil
service employees, provided, that such a reorganization is made in
good faith.

3. Garces v. CA (RT)
G.R. No. 114795 July 17, 1996
Petitioner: LUCITA Q. GARCES
Respondents: THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS, SALVADOR EMPEYNADO
and CLAUDIO CONCEPCION
SUMMARY
Petitioner Lucita Garces was appointed Election Registrar of Gutalac, Zamboanga del
Norte. She was to replace respondent Election Registrar Claudio Concepcion who, in
turn, was transferred to Liloy, Zamboanga del Norte. Concepcion, however, refused to
transfer post as he did not request for it. Garces, on the other hand, was directed by
the Office of Assistant Director for Operations to assume the Gutalac post. But she
was not able to do so because of a Memorandum issued by respondent Provincial
Election Supervisor Salvador Empeynado that prohibited her from assuming office in
Gutalac as the same is not vacant. Garces was directed by the same Office of
Assistant Director to defer her assumption of the Gutalac post. Meanwhile, since
respondent Concepcion continued occupying the Gutalac office, the COMELEC en
banc cancelled his appointment to Liloy. Garces filed before the RTC a petition
for mandamus with preliminary prohibitory and mandatory injunction and damages
against Empeynado and Concepcion, among others. Meantime, the COMELEC en
banc through a Resolution dated June 3, 1988, resolved to recognize respondent
Concepcion as the Election Registrar of Gutalac, and ordered that the appointments of
Garces to Gutalac and of Concepcion to Liloy be cancelled. I: 1. Is petitioner's action
for mandamus proper? NO. 2. Is this case cognizable by the RTC or by the Supreme
Court? RTC. 1. Mandamus will not lie as this remedy applies only where petitioner's
right is founded clearly in law and not when it is doubtful. It will not issue to give him
something to which he is not clearly and conclusively entitled. Considering that
Concepcion continuously occupies the disputed position and exercises the
corresponding functions therefor, the proper remedy should have been quo
warranto and not mandamus. 2. Cognizable by the RTC. The settled rule is that
"decision, rulings, order" of the COMELEC that may be brought to the Supreme Court
on certiorari under Sec. 7 Art. IX-A are those that relate to the COMELEC's exercise of
its adjudicatory or quasi-judicial powers involving "elective regional, provincial, and city

Bautista | Lopez | Macabagdal | R. Santos | Taruc

officials." The controversy involves an appointive, not an elective, official. Hardly can
this matter call for the certiorari jurisdiction of the Supreme Court.
FACTS:
Petitioner Lucita Garces was appointed Election Registrar of Gutalac, Zamboanga
del Norte on July 27, 1986. She was to replace respondent Election Registrar
Claudio Concepcion who, in turn, was transferred to Liloy, Zamboanga del Norte.
Correspondingly approved by the Civil Service Commission, both appointments
were to take effect upon assumption of office.
Concepcion, however, refused to transfer post as he did not request for it.
Garces, on the other hand, was directed by the Office of Assistant Director for
Operations to assume the Gutalac post. But she was not able to do so because of a
Memorandum issued by respondent Provincial Election Supervisor Salvador
Empeynado that prohibited her from assuming office in Gutalac as the same is not
vacant.
On February 24, 1987, Garces was directed by the same Office of Assistant Director
to defer her assumption of the Gutalac post.
On April 15, 1987, she received a letter from the Acting Manager, Finance Service
Department, with an enclosed check to cover for the expenses on construction of
polling booths.
It was addressed "Mrs. Lucita Garces E.R. Gutalac, Zamboanga del Norte"
which Garces interpreted to mean as superseding the deferment order.
Meanwhile, since respondent Concepcion continued occupying the Gutalac office,
the COMELEC en banc cancelled his appointment to Liloy.
On February 26, 1988, Garces filed before the RTC a petition for mandamus with
preliminary prohibitory and mandatory injunction and damages against
Empeynado and Concepcion, among others.
Meantime, the COMELEC en banc through a Resolution dated June 3, 1988,
resolved to recognize respondent Concepcion as the Election Registrar of
Gutalac, and ordered that the appointments of Garces to Gutalac and of
Concepcion to Liloy be cancelled.
In view thereof, respondent Empeynado moved to dismiss the petition
for mandamus alleging that the same was rendered moot and academic by the said
COMELEC Resolution, and that the case is cognizable only by the COMELEC under
Sec. 7 Art. IX-A of the 1987 Constitution.
The RTC, thereafter, dismissed the petition for mandamus on two grounds, viz., (1)
that quo warranto is the proper remedy, and (2) that the "cases" or "matters" referred
under the constitution pertain only to those involving the conduct of elections.
On appeal, respondent CA affirmed the RTC's dismissal of the case. Hence, this
petition
ISSUES:
1. Is petitioner's action for mandamus proper? NO.
2. Is this case cognizable by the RTC or by the Supreme Court? RTC.

On the first issue, Garces claims that she has a clear legal right to the Gutalac post
which was deemed vacated at the time of her appointment and qualification. Garces
insists that the vacancy was created by Section 2, Article III of the Provisional
Constitution.
On the contrary, Concepcion posits that he did not vacate his Gutalac post as he did
not accept the transfer to Liloy.
10
Article III Section 2 of the Provisional Constitution did not require any cause for
removal of an appointive official under the 1973 Constitution.
The transition period from the old to the new Constitution envisioned an "automatic"
vacancy; hence the government is not hard put to prove anything plainly and simply
because the Constitution allows it.
Mere appointment and qualification of the successor removes an incumbent from his
post.
Nevertheless, the government in an act of auto-limitation and to prevent
indiscriminate dismissal of government personnel issued on May 28, 1986,
Executive Order (E.O.) No. 17.
This executive order, which applies in this case as it was passed prior to the
issuance of Concepcion's transfer order, enumerates five grounds for separation or
replacement of elective and appointive officials authorized under Article III, Section 2
of the Provisional Constitution, to wit:
1. Existence of a case for summary dismissal pursuant to Section 40 of the Civil
Service Law;
2. Existence of the probable cause for violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt
Practices Act as determined by the Ministry Head concerned;
3. Gross incompetence or inefficiency in the discharge of functions;
4. Misuse of public office for partisan political purposes;
5. Any other analogous ground showing that the incumbent is unfit to remain in the
service or his separation/replacement is in the interest of the service.
Not one of these grounds was alleged to exist, much less proven by petitioner when
respondent Concepcion was transferred from Gutalac to Liloy.
More, Concepcion was transferred without his consent. A transfer requires a prior
appointment.
If the transfer was made without the consent of the official concerned, it is
tantamount to removal without valid cause contrary to the fundamental guarantee on
non-removal except for cause.
Concepcion's transfer thus becomes legally infirm and without effect for he was not
validly terminated. His appointment to the Liloy post, in fact, was incomplete
because he did not accept it. Acceptance, it must be emphasized, it is indispensable
to complete an appointment.
Corollarily, Concepcion's post in Gutalac never became vacant. It is a basic precept
in the law of public officers that "no person, no matter how qualified and eligible he is
for a certain position may be appointed to an office which is not vacant.

10

RATIO:
1. Mandamus is NOT proper.

47

Special Civil Action: CALDONA

All elective and appointive officials and employees under the 1973 Constitution shall continue in the office
until otherwise provided by proclamation or executive order or upon the designation or appointment and
qualification of their successors, if such is made within a period of one year from February 25, 1986. (Emphasis
supplied).

Bautista | Lopez | Macabagdal | R. Santos | Taruc

There can be no appointment to a non-vacant position. The incumbent must first be


legally removed, or his appointment validly terminated before one could be validly
installed to succeed him.
Further, Garces' appointment was ordered to be deferred by the COMELEC. The
deferment order, we note, was not unequivocably lifted. Worse, her appointment to
Gutalac was even cancelled by the COMELEC en banc.
These factors negate Garces' claim for a well-defined, clear, certain legal right to the
Gutalac post. On the contrary, her right to the said office is manifestly doubtful and
highly questionable.
As correctly ruled by respondent court, mandamus, which petitioner filed below,
will not lie as this remedy applies only where petitioner's right is founded
clearly in law and not when it is doubtful.
It will not issue to give him something to which he is not clearly and conclusively
entitled.
Considering that Concepcion continuously occupies the disputed position and
exercises the corresponding functions therefor, the proper remedy should have
been quo warranto and not mandamus.
Quo warranto tests the title to one's office claimed by another and has as its object
the ouster of the holder from its enjoyment, while mandamus avails to enforce clear
legal duties and not to try disputed titles.
2. Cognizable by the RTC.
The jurisdiction of the RTC was challenged by respondent Empeynado contending
that this is a "case" or "matter" cognizable by the COMELEC under Sec. 7 Art. IX-A
of the 1987 Constitution.
The COMELEC resolution cancelling the appointment of Garces as Election
Registrar of Gutalac, he argues, should be raised only on certiorari before the
Supreme Court and not before the RTC, else the latter court becomes a reviewer of
11
an en banc COMELEC resolution contrary to Sec. 7, Art. IX-A.
The contention is without merit. This provision is inapplicable as there was no
case or matter filed before the COMELEC.
On the contrary, it was the COMELEC's resolution that triggered this controversy.
The "case" or "matter" referred to by the constitution must be something within the
jurisdiction of the COMELEC, i.e., it must pertain to an election dispute.
The settled rule is that "decision, rulings, order" of the COMELEC that may be
brought to the Supreme Court on certiorari under Sec. 7 Art. IX-A are those that
relate
to
the
COMELEC's
exercise
of
itsadjudicatory or quasijudicial powers involving "elective regional, provincial, and city officials."
In this case, what is being assailed is the COMELEC's choice of an appointee to
occupy the Gutalac Post which is an administrative duty done for the operational
set-up of an agency.
11

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.

48

Special Civil Action: CALDONA

The controversy involves an appointive, not an elective, official. Hardly can this
matter call for the certiorari jurisdiction of the Supreme Court.
To rule otherwise would surely burden the Court with trivial administrative questions
that are best ventilated before the RTC, a court which the law vests with the power
to exercise original jurisdiction over "all cases not within the exclusive jurisdiction
over of any court, tribunal, person or body exercising judicial orquasi-judicial
functions."
WHEREFORE, premises considered, the petition for review is hereby DENIED without
prejudice to the filing of the proper action with the appropriate body.

4. ABS-CBN v. COMELEC (MB)


Petitioner: ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corporation
Respondent: Commission on Elections
G.R. No. 133486. January 28, 2000
Panganiban, J.
SUMMARY:
ABS-CBN filed this Petition for Certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court assailing
a Comelec en banc Resolution which issued a restraining order to stop ABS-CBN or
any other groups, its agents or representatives from conducting exit surveys for the
May 1998 elections. The SC issued a TRO prayed for by ABS-CBN and ordered
Comelec to cease and desist from the implementation of the Resolution. ABS-CBN
now raises the issue that Comelec acted with GADALEJ in the issuance of the prior
Resolution. SolGen argues that the issue is moot and that the case is premature
because ABS-CBN failed to file an MR. SC held that:
(1) The procedural requirement that a motion for reconsideration must first be filed
before resorting to the special civil action of certiorari 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.
(2) Where not only is time of the essence but transcendental constitutional issues are
involved, direct resort to the Supreme Court through a special civil action for
certiorari is justified.
(3) [Non-SCA issue] The holding of exit polls and the dissemination of their results
through mass media constitute an essential part of the freedoms of speech and of
the press. Comelec cannot ban them totally in the guise of promoting clean,
honest, orderly and credible elections. Quite the contrary, exit polls -- properly
conducted and publicized -- can be vital tools in eliminating the evils of electionfixing and fraud. Narrowly tailored countermeasures may be prescribed by the
Comelec so as to minimize or suppress the incidental problems in the conduct of
exit polls, without transgressing in any manner the fundamental rights of our
people.

Bautista | Lopez | Macabagdal | R. Santos | Taruc

FACTS:

This case is a Petition for Certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court
assailing a Comelec en banc Resolution which issued a restraining order to
stop ABS-CBN or any other groups, its agents or representatives from
conducting exit surveys.

The Resolution was issued by the Comelec allegedly upon information from a
reliable source that ABS-CBN (Lopez Group) has prepared a project, with PR
groups, to conduct radio-TV coverage of the elections and to make an exit
survey of the vote during the elections for national officials particularly for
President and Vice President, results of which shall be broadcast
immediately.

The electoral body believed that such project might conflict with the official
Comelec count, as well as the unofficial quick count of the National
Movement for Free Elections (Namfrel). It also noted that it had not
authorized or deputized Petitioner ABS-CBN to undertake the exit survey.

On May 9, 1998, SC issued a TRO prayed for by ABS-CBN.


o Comelec was directed to cease and desist, until further orders, from
implementing the assailed Resolution or the restraining order issued
pursuant thereto, if any. In fact, the exit polls were actually
conducted and reported by media without any difficulty or problem.
ISSUES:
ABS-CBN posits the issue:
Whether or not the Comelec acted with GADALEJ when it approved the
issuance of a restraining order enjoining ABS-CBN or any other group, its
agents or representatives from conducting exit polls during the May 11
elections.
SolGen argues:
1. Mootness
2. [SCA issue] Prematurity, because of petitioner's failure to exhaust available
remedies before the issuing forum, specifically the filing of a motion for
reconsideration.
HELD:

Petition is GRANTED, and the Temporary Restraining Order issued by the


Court on May 9, 1998 is made PERMANENT.

Assailed Minute Resolution issued by the Comelec en banc is hereby


NULLIFIED and SET ASIDE.
RATIO:
1.

Procedural Issues: Mootness and Prematurity

The issue is not totally moot. While the assailed Resolution referred
specifically to the May 11, 1998 election, its implications on the people's
fundamental freedom of expression transcend the past election. The holding
of periodic elections is a basic feature of our democratic government. By its
very nature, exit polling is tied up with elections. To set aside the resolution of
the issue now will only postpone a task that could well crop up again in future
elections.

49

Special Civil Action: CALDONA

2.

The procedural requirement that a motion for reconsideration must first be


filed before resorting to the special civil action of certiorari may be glossed
over:
(1) to prevent a miscarriage of justice
(2) when the issue involves the principle of social justice or the protection of
labor
(3) when the decision or resolution sought to be set aside is a nullity, or
(4) when the need for relief is extremely urgent and certiorari is the only
adequate and speedy remedy available.
Where not only is time of the essence but transcendental constitutional issues
are involved, direct resort to the Supreme Court through a special civil action
for certiorari is justified.
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, the
petitioner got hold of a copy thereof only on May 4, 1998. Under the
circumstances, there was hardly enough opportunity to move for a
reconsideration and to obtain a swift resolution in time for the May 11, 1998
elections.

Validity of Conducting Exit Polls:

An exit poll is a species of electoral survey conducted by qualified individuals


or groups of individuals for the purpose of determining the probable result of
an election by confidentially asking randomly selected voters whom they have
voted for, immediately after they have officially cast their ballots. The results
of the survey are announced to the public, usually through the mass media, to
give an advance overview of how, in the opinion of the polling individuals or
organizations, the electorate voted. In our electoral history, exit polls had not
been resorted to until the recent May 11, 1998 elections.

Admittedly, no law prohibits the holding and the reporting of exit polls.
A. Nature and Scope of Freedoms of Speech and of the Press:
o The freedom of expression is a fundamental principle of our
democratic government. It is a preferred right and, therefore,
stands on a higher level than substantive economic or other liberties.
o Our Constitution clearly mandates that no law shall be passed
abridging the freedom of speech or of the press.
o Gonzales v. Comelec --- at the very least, free speech and a free
press consist of the liberty to discuss publicly and truthfully any
matter of public interest without prior restraint.
B. Limitations:
o The realities of life in a complex society, however, preclude an
absolute exercise of the freedoms of speech and of the press. They
are not immune to regulation by the State in the exercise of its police
power.
o Cabansag v. Fernandez --- two theoretical tests in determining the
validity of restrictions to such freedoms:

Clear and present danger rule --- that the evil consequence
of the comment or utterance must be 'extremely serious
and the degree of imminence extremely high' before the

Bautista | Lopez | Macabagdal | R. Santos | Taruc

C.

D.

50

utterance can be punished. The danger to be guarded


against is the 'substantive evil' sought to be prevented.

Dangerous tendency rule --- if the words uttered create a


dangerous tendency which the state has a right to prevent,
then such words are punishable. It is not necessary that
some definite or immediate acts of force, violence, or
unlawfulness be advocated. It is sufficient that such acts be
advocated in general terms. Nor is it necessary that the
language used be reasonably calculated to incite persons
to acts of force, violence, or unlawfulness. It is sufficient if
the natural tendency and probable effect of the utterance
be to bring about the substantive evil which the legislative
body seeks to prevent.
Justification for a Restriction:
A government regulation is sufficiently justified if it is within the
constitutional power of the government, if it furthers an important or
substantial government interest; if the governmental interest is
unrelated to the suppression of free expression; and if the incidental
restriction on alleged First Amendment freedoms is no greater than
is essential to the furtherance of that interest.
Comelec Ban on Exit Polling:
o In the case at bar, the Comelecs arguments are purely speculative
and clearly untenable. First, by the very nature of a survey, the
interviewees or participants are selected at random, so that the
results will as much as possible be representative or reflective of the
general sentiment or view of the community or group polled. Second,
the survey result is not meant to replace or be at par with the official
Comelec count. It consists merely of the opinion of the polling group
as to who the electorate in general has probably voted for, based on
the limited data gathered from polled individuals. Finally, not at stake
here are the credibility and the integrity of the elections, which are
exercises that are separate and independent from the exit polls. The
holding and the reporting of the results of exit polls cannot
undermine those of the elections, since the former is only part of the
latter. If at all, the outcome of one can only be indicative of the other.
o The absolute ban imposed by the Comelec cannot, therefore, be
justified. It does not leave open any alternative channel of
communication to gather the type of information obtained through
exit polling. On the other hand, there are other valid and reasonable
ways and means to achieve the Comelec end of avoiding or
minimizing disorder and confusion that may be brought about by exit
surveys.
o For its part, Petitioner ABS-CBN explains its survey methodology as
follows: (1) communities are randomly selected in each province; (2)
residences to be polled in such communities are also chosen at
random; (3) only individuals who have already voted, as shown by
the indelible ink on their fingers, are interviewed; (4) the interviewers
use no cameras of any sort; (5) the poll results are released to the
[49]
public only on the day after the elections. These precautions,

Special Civil Action: CALDONA

E.

together with the possible measures earlier stated, may be


undertaken to abate the Comelec's fear, without consequently and
unjustifiably stilling the people's voice.
Violation of Ballot Secrecy:
o In exit polls, the contents of the official ballot are not actually
exposed. Furthermore, the revelation of whom an elector has voted
for is not compulsory, but voluntary. Voters may also choose not to
reveal their identities.

5. Repol v. COMELEC (LL)


G.R. No. 161418 | April 28, 2004
Petitioner: NOEL Y. REPOL
Respondents: COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS and VIOLETO CERACAS
Summary: Repol and Ceracas were candidates for Municipal Mayor in Pagsanghan,
Samar. Ceracas was proclaimed mayor but Repol filed an election protest claiming
that fraud and other irregularities marred the elections. COMELEC directed RTC to
conduct revision of ballots after reversing RTC order of dismissing the election protest
case. New trial ensued and Repol was proclaimed as mayor to which a writ of
execution was issued. During the pendency of Ceracass appeal with the COMELEC
and without waiting for the RTC to resolve his omnibus motion, Ceracas filed with the
COMELEC a Petition for Certiorari. COMELEC division issued assailed Order directing
the parties to maintain the status quo ante in the interest of justice and so as not to
render the issues moot and academic. SC ruled that COMELEC is not empowered to
issue a status quo ante which in effect overturned the effective enforcement of the writ
of execution issued by trial court and suspending indefinitely, without prior notice and
hearing, the implementation of such writ. Since the COMELEC First Division issued the
interlocutory Order, the same COMELEC First Division should resolve Repols MR of
the Order. The circumstances however justify the propriety of assailing the order
through certiorari. The Order, which actually took the form of a TRO, violated rule that
such will only had lifespan of 20 days. Also, the grant of execution pending appeal was
well within the discretionary powers of the trial court.
FACTS:

Repol and private respondent Violeto Ceracas ("Ceracas") were candidates


for Municipal Mayor of Pagsanghan, Samar in the 14 May 2001 elections.
Ceracas was proclaimed as the duly elected mayor with 66 votes more than
Repol.

Repol filed an election protest (Election Case No. T-001) before the RTC of
Tarangnan, Samar claiming that fraud and other irregularities marred the
elections in three precincts. Repol prayed for revision of the ballots in these
precincts. Judge Francisco Mazo dismissed the election protest.

On certiorari, the COMELEC First Division reversed the dismissal order of


Judge Mazo in a Resolution "for being issued with GAD tantamount to lack of
jurisdiction" and directed the trial court "to reinstate the subject election

Bautista | Lopez | Macabagdal | R. Santos | Taruc

protest and conduct the revision of ballots from the protested precincts." This
was affirmed by COMELEC en banc.
This time around, trial and revision of the ballots ensued with Judge Navidad
presiding. The trial court declared proclaimed Repol the duly elected mayor.
Thus:
o After a very careful study and meticulous and painstaking appraisal
of the contested ballots, cheating and commission of various
frauds and irregularities in three contested precincts was massive
o .. Use of some ballots as shuttles [lanzadera], by which device, the
ballots of the voters who are not skilled in the act of writing or whose
fidelity to party is in doubt is illegally written out for them by others.
o Sisters in law of the Protestee were illegally at the table of the BEI
Chairman controlling the voting process and demanding that some
voters be allowed to vote as illiterates
o Handwriting of one person in some of the ballots in one precinct are
also found in the other two precincts. Also, ballots had unnecessary
decorations serving to easily identify his vote.
Trial court granted Repols motion and issued a writ of execution. Meanwhile,
Ceracas appealed the trial courts judgment to the COMELEC.
Repol took his oath of office as the duly elected mayor of Pagsanghan,
Samar. On the same date, Ceracas filed before the trial court an omnibus
motion to reconsider, set aside and quash the writ of execution.
During the pendency of Ceracass appeal with the COMELEC and without
waiting for the trial court to resolve his motion, Ceracas filed with the
COMELEC a Petition for Certiorari (with prayer for temporary restraining
order, writ of preliminary injunction and/or status quo ante) assailing the writ
of execution (SPR No. 1-2004)
On January 12, 2004, COMELEC First Division issued the assailed Order
(Order) directing the parties to maintain the status quo ante. The Order
reads in part:
o In the interest of justice and so as not to render the issues moot and
academic, the Comelec (First Division) hereby directs the parties to
maintain the STATUS QUO ANTE, which is the condition prevailing
before the issuance and implementation of the questioned Order (for
writ of execution)
o Accordingly, effective immediately, private respondent Noel Repol, is
hereby ordered to cease and desist from assuming the duties and
functions of Municipal Mayor of Pagsanghan, Western Samar until
further orders from this Commission. In the meantime, petitioner
Violeto Ceracas shall assume the post of Municipal Mayor of
Pagsanghan, Western Samar.
Repol filed this Petition for Certiorari in SC alleging that COMELEC First
Division committed GAD in issuing the Order.

ISSUE: WHETHER THE COMELEC IS EMPOWERED UNDER ANY STATUTE,


RULE, OR JURISPRUDENCE TO ISSUE A STATUS QUO ANTE IN EFFECT
OVERTURNING THE EFFECTIVE ENFORCEMENT OF THE WRIT OF EXECUTION

51

Special Civil Action: CALDONA

ISSUED BY THE TRIAL COURT AND SUSPENDING INDEFINITELY, WITHOUT


PRIOR NOTICE AND HEARING, THE IMPLEMENTATION OF SUCH WRIT NO
RATIO:

Repol argues that the COMELEC First Division acted with grave abuse of
discretion in issuing the status quo ante Order which indefinitely suspended
and effectively nullified the trial courts writ of execution.

Repol contends that the COMELEC First Division has no authority to issue
the Order after the trial court found the election in the protested precincts
marred by fraud and after the trial court considered meritorious the grounds
cited by Repol in his motion for execution pending appeal. The law, rule and
jurisprudence limit the COMELECs power to issue temporary restraining
orders to a non-extendible period of 20 days from the date of issuance.

Ceracas agrees with Repol that the rules do not expressly grant to the
COMELEC the power to issue status quo ante orders. However, Ceracas
argues that the COMELECs power to issue TROs and preliminary injunctions
necessarily includes the power to issue status quo ante orders.

OSG prays that the Court dismiss the instant petition. The OSG asserts that
Repol cannot challenge before this Court by way of a petition for certiorari an
interlocutory order issued by a COMELEC Division without first filing a motion
for reconsideration with the COMELEC en banc.
Remedy to Assail Interlocutory Orders of the COMELEC in Division

Where the COMELEC in division allegedly committed grave abuse of


discretion or acted without or in excess of jurisdiction in issuing an
interlocutory order, the applicable rule is Section 5(c), Rule 3 of the 1993
12
COMELEC Rules of Procedure

The 12 January 2004 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 of 12


January 2004, the same COMELEC First Division should resolve Repols
motion for reconsideration of the Order. The remedy of the aggrieved party is
neither to file a motion for reconsideration 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.

Under COMELEC rules, 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.

Any motion to reconsider a decision, resolution, order or ruling of a Division shall be resolved
by the Commission en banc except motions on interlocutory orders of the division, which shall be
resolved by the division which issued the order.
12

Bautista | Lopez | Macabagdal | R. Santos | Taruc

Only final orders of the COMELEC in Division may be raised before the
COMELEC en banc. Section 3, Article IX-C of the 1987 Constitution
mandates that only motions for reconsideration of final decisions shall be
decided by the COMELEC en banc
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
13
instances over which the COMELEC en banc can take cognizance of the
case asprovided under the COMELEC Rules of Procedure. 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 SC 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, which
mean final orders, rulings and decisions of the COMELEC rendered in the
exercise of its adjudicatory or quasi-judicial powers.
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. BUT this is not an ironclad rule.
ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corporation v. COMELEC: 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. 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 Repols 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.

Validity of the Status Quo Ante Order

The main issue to be resolved in this petition is whether the COMELEC First
Division acted with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of
jurisdiction in issuing the status quo ante Order which effectively overturned
the trial courts grant of execution pending appeal in Repols favor.
Section 2, Rule 3 of the 1993 COMELEC Rules of Procedure provides: The Commission shall sit
en banc in cases hereinafter specifically provided, or in pre-proclamation 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.
13

52

Special Civil Action: CALDONA

This issue is not mooted even if the next elections are just a few weeks away.
The holding of periodic elections is a basic feature of our democratic
government. To set aside the resolution of the issue now will only postpone a
task that could well crop up again in future elections.
First. Rule 30 of the 1993 COMELEC Rule of Procedure provides for the
metes and bounds on the COMELECs power to issue injunctive relief (too
long, I will only include Section emphasized by SC)
o SECTION 5. Preliminary injunction not granted without notice;
issuance of restraining order. - No preliminary injunction shall be
granted without notice to the adverse party. If it shall appear from the
facts shown by affidavits or the verified petition that great or
irreparable injury would result to the applicant before the matter can
be heard on notice, the Commission or any Division to which the
application for preliminary injunction was made, may issue a
restraining order to be effective only for a period of twenty days from
date of its issuance. .
A cursory reading of the Order dated 12 January 2004 or the so-called status
quo ante Order reveals that it was actually TRO. It ordered Repol to cease
and desist from assuming the position of municipal mayor of Pagsanghan,
Samar and directed Ceracas to assume the post in the meantime.
The status quo ante Order had a life span of more than 20 days since the
directive was qualified by the phrase "until further orders from this
Commission." This violates the rule that a TRO has an effective period of only
20 days and automatically expires upon the COMELECs denial of the
preliminary injunction. Thus, the status quo ante Order automatically ceased
to have any effect after 1 February 2004 since the COMELEC First Division
did not issue a writ of preliminary injunction.
While the hearing on Ceracass application for a writ of preliminary injunction
was held on 29 January 2004, the COMELEC First Division failed to resolve
the application. Instead, it issued an Order directing the parties to file their
memoranda until 3 February 2004 on their respective positions "on the life
span of status quo ante orders and whether a writ of preliminary injunction
should be granted in the case." Clearly, the COMELEC First Divisions
indecision on the matter not only worked injustice to Repol but also failed to
dispel the uncertainty beclouding the real choice of the electorate for
municipal mayor.
Second. The decision of the trial court in Election Case No. T-001 was
rendered on 30 December 2003, or after almost one year of trial and revision
of the questioned ballots. It found Repol as the candidate with the plurality of
votes. The grant of execution pending appeal was well within the
discretionary powers of the trial court.
Santos v. COMELEC Panulaya: Between the determination by the trial court
of who of the candidates won the elections and the finding of the Board of
Canvassers as to whom to proclaim, it is the courts decision that should
prevail.
The rationale why such execution is allowed in election cases is "to give as
much recognition to the worth of a trial judges decision as that which is
initially ascribed by the law to the proclamation by the board of canvassers."

Bautista | Lopez | Macabagdal | R. Santos | Taruc

Thus: Why should the proclamation by the board of canvassers suffice as


basis of the right to assume office, subject to future contingencies attendant
to a protest, and not the decision of a court of justice? Indeed, when it is
considered that the board of canvassers is composed of persons who are
less technically prepared to make an accurate appreciation of the ballots,
apart from their being more apt to yield to extraneous considerations, and that
the board must act summarily, practically racing against time, while, on the
other hand, the judge has the benefit of all the evidence the parties can offer
and of admittedly better technical preparation and background, apart from his
being allowed ample time for conscientious study and mature deliberation
before rendering judgment, one cannot but perceive the wisdom of allowing
the immediate execution of decisions in election cases adverse to the
protestees, notwithstanding the perfection and pendency of appeals
therefrom, as long as there are, in the sound discretion of the court, good
reasons therefor.
To deprive trial courts of their discretion to grant execution pending appeal
would bring back the ghost of the "grab-the-proclamation-prolong the protest"
techniques so often resorted to by devious politicians in the past in their
efforts to perpetuate their hold to an elective office. This would, as a
consequence, lay to waste the will of the electorate.
Applying Santos to this petition, we hold that the COMELEC First Division
committed grave abuse of discretion in setting aside the trial courts order
granting execution pending appeal.

Ceracas was Guilty of Forum Shopping

At the time Ceracas instituted SPR Case No. 1-2004 with the COMELEC, he
had a pending omnibus motion to reconsider, set aside and quash the writ of
execution with the trial court. In addition, Ceracass appeal of the trial courts
adverse decision was also pending before the COMELEC.
HELD: WHEREFORE, the instant petition is GRANTED. The Order dated 12 January
2004 of the COMELEC First Division in SPR Case No. 1-2004 is ANNULLED and said
case is ordered DISMISSED on the ground of forum-shopping. The Order dated 5
January 2004 of the Regional Trial Court of Tarangnan, Samar, Branch 40, granting
the execution pending appeal of its decision in Election Case No. T-001, and the Writ
of Execution issued pursuant thereto, are REINSTATED. The full enforcement of the
said Writ must forthwith be made.
This Decision shall be immediately executory.

53

Special Civil Action: CALDONA

Bautista | Lopez | Macabagdal | R. Santos | Taruc

RULE 65: CERTIORARI


Section 1. Petition for certiorari.
When any tribunal, board or officer exercising judicial or quasi-judicial functions has
acted without or in excess of its or his jurisdiction, or with grave abuse of discretion
amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction, and there is no appeal, or any plain,
speedy, and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law, a person aggrieved
thereby may file a verified petition in the proper court, alleging the facts with certainty
and praying that judgment be rendered annulling or modifying the proceedings of such
tribunal, board or officer, and granting such incidental reliefs as law and justice may
require.
The petition shall be accompanied by a certified true copy of the judgment, order or
resolution subject thereof, copies of all pleadings and documents relevant and
pertinent thereto, and a sworn certification of non-forum shopping as provided in the
third paragraph of section 3, Rule 46.
XXX
1.

MERALCO V. CBAA (JM)

G.R. No. L-46245


May 31, 1982
Nature of the Case: In this special civil action of certiorari, Meralco assails the
decision of the CBAA (composed of the Sec. of Finance as chairman and the Secs. of
Justice and Local Government and Community Development as members) dated May
6, 1976, holding that Meralcos oil pipeline is subject to realty tax.
Petitioner: Meralco Securities Industrial Corporation
Respondents: Central Board of Assessment Appeals, Board Of Assessment Appeals
Of Laguna & Provincial Assessor Of Laguna
Ponente: J. Aquino
Summary:
Meralco installed from Batangas to Manila a pipeline system consisting of cylindrical
steel pipes joined together and buried not less than 1 meter below the surface along
the shoulder of the public highway. The portion passing through Laguna is about 30
kilometers long. Pursuant to the Assessment Law, the provincial assessor of Laguna
treated the pipeline as real property and issued Tax Declarations. The Board of
Assessment Appeals of Laguna and the Central Board of Assessment Appeals
affirmed. Hence this petition for certiorari.
The SC held that in this case, certiorari was properly availed of. 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. 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

54

Special Civil Action: CALDONA

or in case the administrative decision is corrupt, arbitrary or capricious. However, in the


case at bar, 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 LBAA that Meralco Securities' pipeline system in Laguna is subject to
realty tax.
FACTS:

Pursuant to a pipeline concession issued under the Petroleum Act of 1949 (RA
387), Meralco Securities installed from Batangas to Manila a pipeline system
consisting of cylindrical steel pipes joined together and buried not less than 1
meter below the surface along the shoulder of the public highway.
o The portion passing through Laguna is about 30 kilometers long.

The pipes are embedded in the soil and are firmly and solidly welded together so
as to preclude breakage or damage thereto and prevent leakage or seepage of
the oil. The valves are welded to the pipes so as to make the pipeline system one
single piece of property from end to end. In order to repair, replace, remove or
transfer segments of the pipeline, the pipes have to be cold-cut by means of a
rotary hard-metal pipe-cutter after digging or excavating them out of the ground
where they are buried. In points where the pipeline traversed rivers or creeks, the
pipes were laid beneath the bed thereof.
o Hence, the pipes are permanently attached to the land.

According to Meralco:
o Segments of the pipeline can be moved from one place to another as shown
in the permit issued by the Secretary of Public Works and Communications
which permit provides that the government reserves the right to require the
removal or transfer of the pipes by and at the concessionaire's expense
should they be affected by any road repair or improvement.

Provincial Assessor: Pursuant to the Assessment Law (Commonwealth Act


470), the provincial assessor of Laguna treated the pipeline as real property and
issued Tax Declarations.

LBAA: Meralco Securities appealed the assessments to the Board of Assessment


Appeals of Laguna composed of the register of deeds as chairman and the
provincial auditor as member, but it upheld the assessments.

Central Board of Assessment Appeals: Ruled that the pipeline is subject to


realty tax. The MR was also denied.

Hence, this special civil action of certiorari.


ISSUES:
1. WON the petition for certiorari is proper. YES. [main for SCA]
2. WON the pipeline system is subject to realty tax. YES.
RATIO:
#1 CERTIORARI WAS PROPERLY AVAILED OF [main]
Solicitor General: Certiorari is not proper because the Board acted within its jurisdiction
and did not gravely abuse its discretion.
Meralco Securities: Because the Court of Tax Appeals has no jurisdiction to review the
decision of the CBAA and because no judicial review of the Board's decision is

Bautista | Lopez | Macabagdal | R. Santos | Taruc

provided for in the Real Property Tax Code, the recourse is to file a petition for
certiorari.
SC:

Certiorari 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.

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.
o Judicial 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.
#2 PIPELINE SUBJECT TO REALTY TAX
CBAA: The pipes
1. Are machinery or improvements as contemplated in the Assessment Law and the
Real Property Tax Code;
2. They do not fall within the category of property exempt from realty tax under those
laws;
3. Articles 415 & 416 of the Civil Code, defining real and personal property, have no
application to this case;
4. 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
5. Meralco Securities is not exempt from realty tax under the Petroleum Law.
Meralco Securities: Its pipeline is not subject to realty tax because:
1. It is not real property within the meaning of article 415.
2. The Petroleum Law exempts the company from the payment of realty taxes,
because the provisions of that law exempts Meralco Securities from local taxes
and makes it liable for taxes of general application.
SC:

Pipeline means a line of pipe connected to pumps, valves and control devices for
conveying liquids, gases or finely divided solids. It is a line of pipe running upon or
in the earth, carrying with it the right to the use of the soil in which it is placed.

Section 2 of the Assessment Law provides that the realty tax is due "on real
property, including land, buildings, machinery, and other improvements" not
specifically exempted in section 3 thereof. This provision is reproduced with
some modification in the Real Property Tax Code.
o 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.

Article 415[l] and [3] provides that real property may consist of constructions of all
kinds adhered to the soil and everything attached to an immovable in a fixed

55

Special Civil Action: CALDONA

manner, in such a way that it cannot be separated therefrom without breaking the
material or deterioration of the object.
o The pipeline system 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.
o Note that what are being characterized as real property are not the steel
pipes but the pipeline system as a whole.
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.
Lastly, the realty tax is a tax of general application.
o It 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.
o In contrast, a local tax is imposed by the municipal or city council by virtue of
the Local Tax Code (PD 231).

DECISION: WHEREFORE, the questioned decision and resolution are affirmed. The
petition is dismissed. No costs.
2. NUNAL V. COA (RS)
G.R. No. 78648 | 1/24/1989 | Melencio-Herrera, J. | RESOLUTION
Petitioner: Rafael Nunal (Nunal)
Respondents: Comm. On Audit, Mun. of Isabela, Basilan (Municipality)
SUMMARY
Nunal was appointed as Muncipial Administrator (MunAdmin) of Isabela, Basilan. He
was administratively charged and dismissed from the service for dishonesty,
misconduct and for lack of confidence. On appeal to the Merit Systems Board, he was
exonerated and reinstated to his position. He was later on dismissed again for lack of
confidence by Mayor Dans. Nunal filed 2 cases seeking reinstatement, payment of
backwages, other emoluments, and separation pay. Nunal and the Municipality
entered into a Compromise Agreement (CompAgr) entitling the former to the amounts
he sought. The CompAgr was approved by the CFI. He then filed a claim for
separation pay with the Mun. Treasurer, who forwarded the request to the Provincial
Auditor who, in turn, granted such claim. The Regional Director of the COA, however,
denied it. The COA Central Office in QC denied the claim for separation pay, as well
as the backwages and other emoluments. Nunal raised the case to the SC on
certiorari. SC denied the petition for certiorari in its Minute Resolution of 5/11/1988
(assailed resolution). On this MR, Nunal claims that the assailed resolution does not
clearly express the facts and the law on which it is based. SCs "Resolution" of 11 May
1988 was not a "Decision" within the meaning of the Constitutional requirement. This
mandate is applicable only in cases "submitted for decision," i.e., given due
course and after the filing of Briefs or Memoranda and/or other pleadings, as the
case may be. It is not applicable to an Order or Resolution refusing due course
to a Petition for Certiorari. The assailed Resolution does state the legal basis for the
dismissal of the Petition and thus complies with the Constitutional provision. It may be

Bautista | Lopez | Macabagdal | R. Santos | Taruc

added that the Writ of certiorari dealt with in Rule 65 of the Rules of Court is a
prerogative Writ, never demandable as a matter of right, "never issued except in
the exercise of judicial discretion."
FACTS

Case: For resolution is petitioner's Motion for Reconsideration of the Minute


Resolution of this Court of 11 May 1988 dismissing the Petition
for certiorari "for failure of the petitioner to sufficiently show that the COA had
committed grave abuse of discretion in holding, among others, that the
compromise agreement of the parties is not enforceable against the
Municipality of Isabela, the latter not having been impleaded as an
indispensable party in the case.

Nunal contends in the present motion:


o Decision does not clearly express the facts and the law on which it is
based
o The Municipality is bound by the compromise agreement; and
o COA gravely abused its discretion in denying the lawful claim for
separation pay by Nunal

2/24/1986 Nunal was appointed as Mun. Administrator of Isabela, Basilan.

1/1/1980 (6 years back; I dont know if this is correct) he was


administratively charged and dismissed from the service for dishonesty,
misconduct and for lack of confidence.

5/8/1980 On appeal, the Merit Systems Board exonerated Nunal and


reinstated him to his position as Municipal Administrator.

1/29/1981 Nunal was again dismissed for lack of confidence by then


Municipal Mayor Alvin Dans under Administrative Order No. 54, Series of
1981

Upon denial of his MR, Nunal filed Case No. 43, a suit for mandamus and
Damages with Preliminary Injunction against the Municipal Mayor, the
Municipal Treasurer, and the Sangguniang Bayan, before the then CFIBasilan Branch 1, praying for reinstatement "with full backwages and other
rights inherent in the position."

He also filed Case No. 45 with the same Court seeking that he and his wife
be paid their back salaries from 1 February 1980 to 31 May 1980 pursuant to
the Decision of the Merit Systems Board on 16 February 1981.

2/20/1984 during the pendency of the said case, the Sangguniang Bayan of
Isabela, Basilan, abolished the subject position in its Resolution No. 902,
Series of 1984, and Ordinance No. 336, pursuant to the provisions of the
Local Government Code (LGC)

12/5/1984 On the one hand, Nunal and his wife, and on the other, Mayor
Dans in his capacity both as Municipal Mayor and as Presiding Officer of the
Sangguniang Bayan, the Municipal Treasurer and the Provincial, entered into
a Compromise Agreement stipulating, among others, that:
o The respondents shall pay petitioner Nunal all back salaries and
other emoluments due him by reason of his employment as
Municipal Administrator covering the period from January 1, 1980 to
August 15, 1984, together with accumulated vacation/sick leaves,

56

Special Civil Action: CALDONA

mid-year and Christmas bonuses in 1982 and 1983, and separation


pay under the LGC, which are reflected in the computation
o Nunal was also considered as "retired" upon receipt of the monetary
considerations mentioned therein.
12/12/1984 CFI approved the Compromise Agreement.
4/1/1985 Nunal collected his retirement benefits although, concededly, no
provision for the same had been included in the Compromise Agreement
9/17/1985 Nunal filed his claim for separation pay in the amount of
P54,092.50 to which he is allegedly entitled due to the abolition of the position
of Municipal Administrator, which separation pay is provided for by the LGC
1/6/1986 Municipal Treasurer forwarded Nunals claim to the Provincial
Auditor of Basilan.
o 1/1/1986 in a First Indorsement, the Provincial Auditor opined that
the claim was legal and proper but its payment was made subject to
availability of funds and the ruling of the Regional Office of the COA,
Region IX, Zamboanga City.
o 2/12/1986 in a 2nd Indorsement, the Regional Director of the COA,
Region IX, Zamboanga City, reversed the Provincial Auditor of
Basilan and denied Nunals claim for separation pay.
o Nunals MR was forwarded to the COA Central Office, Quezon City.
10/13/1986 COA Central Office, in its Decision No. 388, not only denied
Nunals claim for separation pay but also disallowed the other payments
made to him
First petition to the SC: denied, held in favor of COA and the Municipality
Thus, this MR by Nunal alleging grave abuse of discretion by COA,
which Petition we had previously dismissed in our Resolution of 11 May
1988.

ISSUE: WN the COA committed GAD?


HELD
ACCORDINGLY, the Resolution of this Court of 11 May 1988 is hereby
PARTIALLY RECONSIDERED in that the disallowance by COA of the amounts
ordered paid by the CFI-Basilan, in its Decision dated 12 December 1984, is hereby
SET ASIDE, but its disallowance of Nunals claim for separation pay of P54,092.50, is
hereby SUSTAINED.
RATIO

It appearing, however, that the Compromise agreement was duly signed by


Mayor Alvin Dans as Mayor and as Presiding Officer of the Sangguniang
Bayan, by the Municipal Treasurer, and by the Provincial Fiscal as their; that
the case was one for reinstatement and backwages; and following the ruling
of this Court in Gementiza vs. Court of Appeal (1982), the Municipality should
be deemed as impleaded in this case, it being apparent that the officials
concerned had been sued in their official capacity.

It should be noted that before the CFI, respondents sued petitioner Mayor
alone.

Bautista | Lopez | Macabagdal | R. Santos | Taruc

57

However, respondents, too, prayed for a Writ of mandamus to


compel petitioner Mayor to reinstate them with back salaries and
damages (***this part is unclear)
o Respondents, therefore, actually intended to sue petitioner in his
official capacity.
o Failure to implead the Municipality and other municipal authorities
should not deter this Court, in the interests of justice and equity, from
including them herein as respondents.
o The Compromise Agreement, therefore, must be held binding
on the Municipality of Isabela, which was not, in any way, deprived
of its day in
o Thus, the payments to Nunal of the sums of P68,389.25 as back
salaries, P21,387.71 as total accumulated vacation/sick leaves,
P772.75 as Christmas bonus, and the back salaries of Mrs.
Nanie B. Nunal in the sum of P3,096.00, have to be upheld.
o It likewise appears that retirement benefits bad also been collected
by Nunal on 1 April 1985.
In respect, however, of the separation pay claimed by Nunal, we uphold the
ruling of the COA:
o Anent the second issue, this Commission believes and so holds that
the instant claim for separation pay in addition to the retirement
benefits earlier received by claimant is bereft of any legal basis.
o Culled from the records is the fact that Nunal was dismissed from
the service on January 29, 1981 and has not been reinstated to the
service until his position of Municipal Administrator of Isabela was
abolished.
o In other words, he was no longer in, or had already been separated
from, the service when the said position was abolished.
o Evidently then, his separation from the service was not attributable
to the abolition of the position but was due to his dismissal and,
therefore, Section 76 of Batas Pambansa Blg. 337 cannot be
validly invoked as legal basis for the claim for separation pay, viz

Section 76.-Abolition of Position. When the position of an


official or employee under the civil service is abolished by
law or ordinance, the official or employee so affected shall
be reinstated in another vacant position without diminution
of salary. Should such position not be available, the official
or employee affected shall be granted a separation pay
equivalent to one month salary for every year of service
over and above the monetary privileges granted to officials
and employees under existing law.
o Moreover, Nunal has already been paid his retirement benefits under
the existing retirement law.
o His entitlement, thus, to separation pay under BP 337 is offensive to
the general policy of the government prohibiting payment of double
retirement benefits to an employee.
o To grant double gratuity is unwarranted
o It may be that the matter of separation pay was included in the
Compromise Agreement. Nonetheless, it could not be granted

Special Civil Action: CALDONA

outright but still had to be claimed and passed in audit, and has
been aptly denied by COA.
o And although Nunal did file suit against the Municipality for
reinstatement, it does not follow that he was not effectively
dismissed such that he could still be considered an incumbent
whose position had been abolished.
o A dismissed employee can be considered as not having left his
office only upon reinstatement and should be given a comparable
position and compensation at the time of reinstatement
MOST IMPORTANT: On Nunals contention that the Resolution of this Court
under date of 11 May 1988 is not in accordance with Section 14, Article VIII
of the 1987 Constitution, which provides No decision shall be rendered
by any Court without expressing therein clearly and distinctly the facts and the
law on which it is based.
o No petition for review or motion for reconsideration of a decision of
the Court shall be refused due course or denied without stating the
legal basis therefor.
o SCs "Resolution" of 11 May 1988 was not a "Decision" within the
meaning of the Constitutional requirement.

This mandate is applicable only in cases "submitted for


decision," i.e., given due course and after the filing of
Briefs or Memoranda and/or other pleadings, as the
case may be.

It is not applicable to an Order or Resolution refusing


due course to a Petition for Certiorari.
o The assailed Resolution does state the legal basis for the dismissal
of the Petition and thus complies with the Constitutional provision.
o It may be added that the Writ of certiorari dealt with in Rule 65 of
the Rules of Court is a prerogative Writ, never demandable as a
matter of right, "never issued except in the exercise of judicial
discretion."

3. TUASON V. RD-CALOOCAN (RT)


G.R. No. 70484 January 29, 1988
Petitioners: ROMAN C. TUASON and REMEDIOS V. TUASON, by attorney-in-fact
Trinidad S. Viado
Respondents: REGISTER OF DEEDS, CALOOCAN City, MINISTRY OF JUSTICE,
and the NATIONAL TREASURER,
SUMMARY
Petitioner spouses, the Tuasons, were retired public school teachers. On April 6, 1965,
with funds pooled from their retirement benefits and savings, they bought from Carmel
Farms, Inc. (Carmel) a piece of land measuring about 8,756 square meters, in the
latter's subdivision in Barrio Makatipo, Caloocan City. On September 14, 1973-a year
almost to the day after the declaration of martial law Mr. Ferdinand Marcos, then
president of the country, invoking his emergency powers, issued Presidential Decree
No. 293 with immediate effect. The decree invalidated inter alia the title of the Tuasons'
vendor, Carmel, which had earlier purchased from the Government the land it had
subsequently subdivided into several lots for sale to the public (the Tuasons being

Bautista | Lopez | Macabagdal | R. Santos | Taruc

among the buyers). Said Presidential Decree No. 293 made the finding that Carmel
had failed to complete payment of the price.
W/N the petition for certiorari is proper? YES
It is true that the extraodinary 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. 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 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.
FACTS:
Petitioner spouses, the Tuasons, were retired public school teachers. On April 6,
1965, with funds pooled from their retirement benefits and savings, they bought from
Carmel Farms, Inc. (Carmel) a piece of land measuring about 8,756 square meters,
in the latter's subdivision in Barrio Makatipo, Caloocan City.
In virtue of this sale, Carmel's Torrens title (No. 64007) over the lot was cancelled
and a new one (No. 8314) issued in the name of the Tuasons. The Tuasons took
possession of their property.
Some eight (8) years thereafter, the Tuasons' travails began. They woke up one
morning to discover that by presidential flat, they were no longer the owners of the
land they had purchased with their hard-earned money, and that their land and the
other lots in the subdivision had been "declared open for disposition and sale to the
members of the Malacanang Homeowners Association, Inc., the present bona
fide occupants thereof."
On September 14, 1973-a year almost to the day after the declaration of martial law
Mr. Ferdinand Marcos, then president of the country, invoking his emergency
powers, issued Presidential Decree No. 293 with immediate effect.
The decree invalidated inter alia the title of the Tuasons' vendor, Carmel, which had
earlier purchased from the Government the land it had subsequently subdivided into
several lots for sale to the public (the Tuasons being among the buyers).
The land bought by Carmel was part of the Tala Estate (one of the so-called "Friar
Lands"). Carmel had bought the land under Act No. 1120 and C.A. No. 32, as
amended.
Said Presidential Decree No. 293 made the finding that Carmel had failed to
complete payment of the price. It adjudged that
o ... according to the records of the Bureau of Lands, 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 the
Carmel Farms, Inc., including those on which the dwellings of the members of
said Association stand. Hence, title to said land has remained with the

58

Special Civil Action: CALDONA

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, any
and all acts affecting said land and purporting to segregate it from the said
property of the Republic of the Philippines being therefore null and void ab
initio as against the law and public policy.
Upon this adjudgment, Mr. Marcos invalidated the titles of Carmel Farms, Inc. and all
those derived therefrom, and declared as aforestated "the members of the
Malacanang Homeowners Association, Inc. the present bona fide occupants" of the
lots which, in consequence, thereby became open to them for "disposition and sale
... pursuant to Commonwealth Act No. 32, as amended."
It seems to have completely escaped Mr. Marcos' attention that his decree contained
contradictory declarations.
o While acknowledging on the one hand that the lots in the Carmel Subdivision were
occupied by the buyers thereof, and in fact the latter's dwellings stood thereon, he
states on the other that the "members of the Malacanang Homeowners
Association, Inc. (are) the present bona fide occupants" of all said lots.
o The latter averment is not only essentially inconsistent with the former but is both
a physical and legal fallacy. Well known is the rule of physics that two objects
cannot occupy the same space at the same time.
o And the absurdity of the subsumed proposition is self-evident for persons not in
possession of land, who probably have not even set foot thereon, cannot be
deemed "occupants" thereof, much less "bona fide" occupants.
But this notwithstanding, and upon the factual premise already indicated, Mr. Marcos
disposed of the land of the petitioner spouses and others similarly situated as they.
On the strength of this presidential decree, the Register of Deeds of Caloocan City
caused the inscription on the Tuasons' title, TCT No. 8314, of the following:
MEMORANDUM. Pursuant to Presidential Decree No. 293, this certificate of title
is declared invalid and null and void ab initio and considered cancelled as against
the Government and the property described herein is declared open for disposition
and sale to the members of the Malacanang Homeowners Association, Inc.
The Tuason Spouses thereupon filed with this Court a petition
for certiorari assailing the Marcos decree as an arbitrary measure which
deprived them of their property in favor of a selected group, in violation not
only of the constitutional provisions on due process and eminent domain but
also of the provisions of the Land Registration Act on the indefeasibility of
Torrens titles; and they prayed that the Register of Deeds be directed to cancel the
derogatory inscription on their title and restore its efficacy, or in the alternative, that
they be compensated for the loss from the Assurance Fund.

SOLGEN
Mr. Marcos' Solicitor General sought to sustain the decree. In his comment on the
petition, he questioned the propriety of the remedy of certiorari resorted to by
the petitioners, it not appearing that the public respondents were being sued
as judicial or quasi-judicial officers who had acted without or in excess of their
jurisdiction, or with grave abuse of discretion.
ISSUE:
W/N the petition for certiorari is proper? YES

Bautista | Lopez | Macabagdal | R. Santos | Taruc

RATIO:
It is true that the extraodinary 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 ... (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 ... (were) null and
void ab initio as against the law and public policy.
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 petitioner 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

59

Special Civil Action: CALDONA

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.
There is no dispute about the fact that title to the land purchased by Carmel was
actually issued to it by the Government. This of course gives rise to the strong
presumption that official duty has been regularly performed, that official duty being in
this case the ascertainment by the Chief of the Bureau of Public Lands of the
fulfillment of the condition prescribed by law for such issuance, i.e., the payment in
full of the price, together with all accrued interest.
Against this presumption there is no evidence. It must hence be accorded full sway
in these proceedings. Furthermore, the title having been duly issued to Carmel, it
became "effective in the manner provided in section one hundred and twenty-two of
the Land Registration Act."
It may well be the fact that Carmel really did fail to make full payment of the price of
the land purchased by it from the Government pursuant to the provisions of Act
1120. This is a possibility that cannot be totally discounted. If this be the fact, the
Government may bring suit to recover the unpaid installments and interest,
invalidate any sale or encumbrance involving the land subject of the sale, and
enforce the lien of the Government against the land by selling the same in the
manner provided by Act Numbered One Hundred and Ninety for the foreclosure of
mortgages.
This it can do despite the lapse of a considerable period of time. Prescription does
not lie against the Government. But until and unless such a suit is brought and
results in a judgment favorable to the Government, the acquisition of title by Carmel
and the purchases by the petitioners and the petitioners-intervenors from it of
portions of the land covered by its original title must be respected.
At any rate, the eventuation of that contingency will not and cannot in any manner
affect this Court's conclusion, herein affirmed, of the unconstitutionality and invalidity
of Presidential Decree No. 293, and the absolute lack of any right to the land or any
portion thereof on the part of the members of the so-called "Malacanang
Homeowners Association, Inc."
The decree was not as claimed a licit instance of the application of social justice
principles or the exercise of police power. It was in truth a disguised, vile stratagem
deliberately resorted to favor a few individuals, in callous and disdainful disregard of
the rights of others. It was in reality a taking of private property without due process
and without compensation whatever, from persons relying on the indefeasibility of
their titles in accordance with and as explicitly guaranteed by law.

Bautista | Lopez | Macabagdal | R. Santos | Taruc

WHEREFORE, Presidential Decree No. 293 is declared to be unconstitutional and


void ab initio in all its parts. The public respondents are commanded to cancel the
inscription on the titles of the petitioners and the petitioners in intervention of the
memorandum declaring their titles null and void and declaring the property therein
respectively described open for disposition and sale to the members of the
Malacanang Homeowners Association, Inc. to do whatever else is needful to restore
the titles to full effect and efficacy; and henceforth to refrain, cease and desist from
implementing any provision or part of said Presidential Decree No. 293. No
pronouncement as to costs.

4. INPORT V. IAC (MB)


Petitioner: Gold City Integrated Port Services, Inc. (INPORT)
Respondents: The Honorable Intermediate Appellate Court, Atty. Florentino G.
Dumlao, Jr.
G.R. No. 71771-73 March 31, 1989
Melencio-Herrera, J.
SUMMARY:
Atty. Florentino G. Dumlao was a retained counsel for INPORT. He asked for an
increase in his retainership fee, but INPORT refused. Castro filed before the 3 cases
handled by him for INPORT for payment of attorneys fees which the trial court
granted. INPORT challenged said orders through Petitions for Certiorari in the IAC and
not through appeals. IAC denied the petitions and ruled for Castro. Hence the present
Petition for Certiorari. SC affirmed the IAC stating:
(1) Appeal, not certiorari, was the proper remedy in assailing a final order.
(2) INPORT failed 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.
(3) Certiorari will neither lie because INPORT 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.

FACTS:

Atty. Florentino G. Dumlao, Jr., was a retained counsel for INPORT, an


arrastre and stevedoring operator since 1976 when it was established up to 1
June 1984.
o As retained counsel, he was given a monthly fee of P 1,000.00,
representation allowance of P 500.00 and 100 liters per month as
gasoline allowance.

Castro asked for an increase in retainership fee. Instead of giving the same,
INPORT discarded the previous arrangement and proposed that Castro
specify, instead, the legal fee for every legal case to be handled by him.

In 3 pending cases handled by Castro for INPORT before the lower Courts,
Castro filed Manifestations/Motions for the payment of attorney's fees based
on quantum meruit (a reasonable sum of money to be paid for services

60

Special Civil Action: CALDONA

rendered or work done when the amount due is not stipulated in a legally
enforceable contract) which were granted by the respective Trial Courts.
Challenging the aforesaid Orders, INPORT resorted to Petitions for Certiorari,
not appeals, before the IAC.
IAC decided against INPORT.
o What INPORT should have done was to appeal on time the
questioned orders.
o This, it failed to do, and at the very least if these petitions had only
been interposed seasonably they could have been considered the
appeals.
o Even if we were for the moment to ignore the fatal procedural error
of INPORT of not appealing, and were We to treat the petitions for
certiorari as such, still no comfort and relief could be extended to
INPORT, because grave abuses of discretion on the part of
respondent judges had not been shown to exist.
o INPORT's MR of said judgment was denied.
Hence, this Petition for Review on Certiorari.

ISSUES:
In its Memorandum INPORT defines the issues, thus:
1. What should have been the proper legal remedy taken by INPORT in bringing
the 3 questioned orders from the RTC to the IAC, appeal or certiorari? --APPEAL
2. Is Atty. Florentino G. Dumlao, Jr. legally entitled to recover alleged attorney's
fees in the 3 cases, now the subject of this appeal by certiorari? --- YES
HELD:

The judgment under review is hereby AFFIRMED.

Costs against INPORT.


RATIO:
1. Appeal, not certiorari, was the proper remedy.

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.

Since no timely appeals were interposed, the questioned Orders have


become final and the issue of Castro's entitlement to those fees deemed to
have been laid at rest.

Bautista | Lopez | Macabagdal | R. Santos | Taruc

2. INPORT failed 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.

INPORT contends that under the circumstances, appeal is not possible


because the main cases are still being litigated in the lower Courts based on
Section 39 of BP Blg. 129.

In the cases at bar, although Castro 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 INPORT itself admits. And on
appeal, only the pleadings and documents pertinent to the issue of attomey's
fees need be presented to the Appellate Court.
3. Certiorari will neither lie.

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.

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.

Even if certiorari were the proper remedy, INPORT 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.

That the Courts below were lawfully vested with jurisdiction to hear and act on
the Motions to fix attomey's fees is beyond question. Any alleged mistakes
committed in the exercise thereof would be errors of judgment not reviewable
by a special civil action of Certiorari.

While INPORT claims that the Orders were issued ex-parte, its filing of a
Motion for Reconsideration, which was orally argued and subsequently
supported by a memorandum and documents, had cured that defect.

5. ST. PETER MEMORIAL V. CAMPOS JR (LL)


G.R. No. L-38280 | March 21, 1975
Petitioner: ST. PETER MEMORIAL PARK, INC.
Respondents: HON. JOSE C. CAMPOS, JR. and/or COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE
OF RIZAL (Quezon City, REGINO CLEOFAS, and LUCIA DE LA CRUZ

Petitioner: BANCO FILIPINO SAVINGS & MORTGAGE BANK, petitioner,


Respondents: HON. JOSE CAMPOS, REGINO CLEOFAS, and LUCIA DE LA CRUZ
Summary: Spouses Cleofas filed suit against St. Peter Memorial Park praying that
they be declared rightful owners of Lot No. 719 of the Piedad Estate. Lower court
rendered a decision in favor of the spouses. Memorial Park filed MNT which was
denied which prompted it to file before SC a petition for certiorari against trial judge
and spouses, seeking annulment of courts order denying new trial as it was issued in
GAD. SC ruled that respondent Judge committed grave abuse of discretion in denying
the motion for new trial, having disregarded in a capricious and arbitrary manner, the
newly discovered evidence. The general rule is that the extraordinary writ of certiorari
is not proper when ordinary appeal is available. However, it has been granted in cases
where it is shown that appeal would be inadequate, slow, insufficient and will not
promptly relieve petitioner from the injurious effects of the order complained of. The
grounds cited by petitioners for the allowance of the writ of certiorari, justify the giving
of due course to the petitions in these two cases, for ordinary appeal will not be
adequate. As many memorial lot buyers are affected, and the very integrity of the
torrens system is at stake, public interest is involved.
FACTS:

In CFI of Rizal, the spouses Regino Cleofas and Lucia de la Cruz filed suit
14
against St. Peter Memorial Park, Inc. (Memorial Park) et al (Civil Case No.
Q-15001)
o The spouses prayed that they be declared the rightful owners of Lot
No. 719 of the Piedad Estate, that the Torrens Title to said lot be
reconstituted, the title thereto of their deceased predecessor,
Antonio Cleofas, having been burned in a fire in 1933; that the
certificates of title over said lot in the name of the Memorial Park,
and that in the name of Wijangco del Rosario, and all the certificates
of title from which these certificates were derived be declared null
and void; that the mortgages over said, lot constituted in favor of
Banco Filipino and the NIDC be declared null and void; and that the
Memorial Park be ordered to pay plaintiffs damages.

May 2, 1973 decision: Lower court rendered a decision in favor of the


spouses. Memorial Park and Banco Filipino filed MR and/or joint MNT which
was opposed by spouses who moved for issuance of writ of preliminary
injunction and restoration of receivership.

February 5, 1974 order: Trial court denied new trial, which was appealed.

The Memorial Park filed before this Court a petition for certiorari and
prohibition with preliminary injunction (L-38280) against the trial judge and the
plaintiff spouses, seeking annulment of the court's order denying new trial, on
the ground that the same was issued in grave abuse of discretion.

This Court issued a restraining order: that effective immediately and until
further orders from this Court, You (respondent Judge), your agents
representatives and/or any person or persons acting upon your orders or in
Araceli Wijangco del Rosario, National Investment and Development Corporation (NIDC), Banco
Filipino Savings and Mortgage Bank (Banco Filipino), the RD of Rizal, RD & Sheriff of QC
14

G.R. No. L-39905 | March 21, 1975

61

Special Civil Action: CALDONA

Bautista | Lopez | Macabagdal | R. Santos | Taruc

your place or stead are hereby RESTRAINED from enforcing your decision
and your order all issued in Civil Case No. Q-15001, and from stopping the
business operations of petitioner herein."
In compliance, the lower court, issued an order holding "in abeyance until
further orders from the Appellate Court," action on the petition for appointment
of a receiver and for execution of judgment pending appeal, and likewise
upon motion of spouses Cleofas and De la Cruz, deferred the approval of the
Joint Record on Appeal "until the Supreme Court has ruled on the petition for
certiorari filed by the defendants."
July 8, 1974 order: However the court, again upon motion of said spouses,
dismissed the appeal filed by both the Memorial Park and Banco Filipino, on
the ground that the same was abandoned when Memorial Park filed the
present petition for certiorari the dismissal order having been brought to the
attention of this Court in the manifestation of the Memorial Park.
Banco Filipino, for its part, filed in this Court a petition for certiorari and
mandamus with preliminary injunction (L-38843), against the trial judge and
the spouses Cleofas and Dela Cruz, to annul the trial court's order dismissing
its own appeal.

ISSUES:
1) Whether or not the respondent Judge acted in grave abuse of discretion in
dismissing the joint appeal of the Memorial Park and Banco Filipino in its order of July
8, 1974
2) For Case No. L-38280: whether or not the respondent Judge committed a grave
abuse of discretion when it denied in its order the motion for new trial of the Memorial
Park in its order of February 5, 1974
RATIO:
1. JUDGE COMMITTED GAD IN DISMISSING APPEAL

In moving for dismissal of the appeal in the trial court, respondents spouses
averred that "the filing of the petition for certiorari and prohibition in the
Supreme Court by the principal defendant, in effect, is abandonment of the
unperfected appeal;"
o that "the defendants could not pursue both remedies, appeal to the
Court of Appeals and appeal by special action to the Supreme Court
of one and the same case;" and
o that "the dismissal of the appeal is not covered by the restraining
order issued by the Supreme Court in the aforesaid petition filed by
one of the defendants in this case."

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.

62

Special Civil Action: CALDONA

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.
Under American Law, a motion for new trial does not work as a waiver of the
appeal, unless there is a rule to the contrary. Thus, both the motion for new
trial and the appeal may be pursued at the same time. Here, the certiorari
petition in L-38280 is in pursuance of the motion for new trial. Memorial Park
can pursue this remedy as well as that of the appeal from the main decision.
More important, it must be remembered that in L-38280 this Court issued a
restraining order enjoining respondent Judge "from enforcing your decision
dated May 2, 1973." This restraining order was intended to retain the status
quo insofar as said decision and other circumstances surrounding it are
concerned. Any court action or order that would change any circumstance of
the decision is necessarily included in the scope of the restraining order.
At the time that restraining order was issued, the trial court's decision was a
decision on appeal. The order dismissing the appeal tended to change the
status quo since by reason of the dismissal, the enjoined decision became
final. For the reasons we have expounded we find said dismissal order to
have been issued in grave abuse of discretion.

2. RESPONDENT JUDGE COMMITTED GAD IN DENYING MNT, HAVING


DISREGARDED NEWLY DISCOVERED EVIDENCE

The questions presented in L-38280 are : (1) Is certiorari the proper remedy,
ordinary appeal being available to petitioner St. Peter Memorial Park, Inc. (2)
Did respondent Judge commit grave abuse of discretion and/or excess of
jurisdiction when he denied the motion for new trial?
Facts from Trial Court Decision

From the decision of the trial court it appears that the parties do not dispute
that Lot No. 719 of the Piedad Estate forms part of the land covered by an
OCT in the name of the Government of the Philippine Islands. The Director of
Lands, as administrator of the Piedad Estate, executed a contract in favor of
Antonio Cleofas.

According to the decision, private respondents' evidence indicated that


Antonio Cleofas, their predecessor, took possession of the lot and occupied
the same until his death sometime in 1945. However, Antonio's title was
burned in a fire sometime in 1933. Private respondents did not take any step
to reconstruct said title until the real estate boom. But when they filed a
petition for reconstruction, they discovered that the lot was already covered
by TCT in the name of Trino Narciso and Aniceto Martin, predecessors of the
Memorial Park.

On the other hand, the decision states, that the Memorial Park and Banco
Filipino presented evidence to the following effect (too many transactions
involved. Basta in the end Memorial Park purchased it from Roques).

Bautista | Lopez | Macabagdal | R. Santos | Taruc

OCT was however torn. The MNT was based on newly discovered evidence.
It alleges:
o A certificate of title of the Piedad Estate could not have been issued
in favor of Cleofas because all rights thereto had been assigned to
Martin predecessor-in-interest of defendant St. Peter pursuant to
which Deed of Conveyance from bureau of Lands to Martin and TCT
were issued, also all in favor of Martin.
o St. Peter started on the premise now that the entry in favor of
Antonio Cleofas, et als. on Sheet 15 of OCT No. 614 (the major
portion of which appear to have been torn off and lost) must refer to
another lot of the Piedad Estate
o St. Peter examined the incomplete entry on the torn part of the OCT
and also the records of the Notary Public and concluded that entry
on sheet or page 15 of OCT no. 614 refers to another lot and
another title of the Piedad Estate

Certiorari may be granted if remedy of appeal is inadequate

As contended by herein respondents, the general rule is that the


extraordinary writ of certiorari is not proper when ordinary appeal is available.
However, we have granted the writ in cases where it is shown that appeal
would be inadequate, slow, insufficient and will not promptly relieve petitioner
from the injurious effects of the order complained of. In fact, in Alfonso vs.
Yatco, to avoid future litigations, we passed upon a petition for certiorari
though the proper remedy was appeal.

Justice Conrado V. Sanchez, pointed out the evils attending split jurisdictions,
saying: "To draw a tenuous jurisdictional line is to undermine stability in...
litigations. A piece meal resort to one Court and another gives rise to
multiplicity of suits... The time to be lost, effort wasted, anxiety augmented,
additional expense incurred...these are considerations which weigh heavily
against split jurisdiction. Indeed, it is more in keeping with orderly
administration of justice that all the causes of action here be cognizable and
heard by only one court ... ."

The grounds cited by petitioners for the allowance of the writ of certiorari,
justify the giving of due course to the petitions in these two cases, for ordinary
appeal will not be adequate. As many memorial lot buyers are affected, and
the very integrity of the torrens system is at stake, public interest is involved.

Judge committed grave abuse of discretion and/or excess of jurisdiction when he


denied petitioner's motion for new trial, based on the evidence attached to the said
motion

The rule for the granting of a motion for new trial, as all other rules of
procedure, should be liberally construed to assist the parties in obtaining a
just and speedy determination of their rights. Court litigations are primarily for
the search of truth, and a liberal interpretation of the rules by which both
parties are given the fullest opportunity to adduce proofs is the best way to
find out such truth. The dispensation of justice and vindication of legitimate
grievances should not be barred by technicalities.

63

Special Civil Action: CALDONA

Gauged by these standards, we find the evidence proposed to be presented


by petitioner in a new trial are newly discovered evidence within the
contemplation of the Rules of Court. The said evidence could not have been
produced during the trial because the subject-matter of the trial was Lot No.
719. Petitioner correctly searched, discovered and presented during that trial,
all documents pertaining to Lot No. 719 only.
The evidence sought to be presented in a new trial by petitioner became
pertinent and important only after trial, when judgment was rendered by
respondent Judge that private respondents have a valid and subsisting title to
Lot No. 719 on the basis of sheet 15 of OCT which on its fact does not
mention Lot No. 719.
Based on the incomplete data appearing on such, petitioner conducted a new
search and discovered the evidence it now seeks to present in a new trial,
indubitably showing that sheet 15 of OCT refers to a title to Lot No. 640, and
not to Lot No. 719 in the name of petitioner. If admitted in a new trial, these
newly discovered evidence will probably alter the judgment of the trial court.
In making the foregoing conclusions, we do not by any means intend to
prejudge the effect of such evidence on the outcome of the case. We are
confining ourselves to the conclusion that the evidence intended to be
submitted, "would probably alter the result."
We hold that respondent Judge committed grave abuse of discretion in
denying the motion for new trial, having disregarded in a capricious and
arbitrary manner, the newly discovered evidence. We rule, therefore, in favor
of new trial. The grant of new trial necessarily vacates the judgment subject of
the appeal which, consequently, becomes moot.

HELD: WHEREFORE, PREMISES CONSIDERED, the petitions in L-38280 and L39905 are granted, the orders of February 5, 1974 and July 8, 1974 are hereby
declared null and void and set aside, and both cases are remanded to the trial court for
new trial pursuant to the motion to that effect of both Banco Filipino and Memorial
Park, dated June 30, 1973, which is hereby granted. Costs against private
respondents.
6. Valencia v. CA (JM)
G.R. No. 89431 | April 25, 1990
Petitioner: ERIBERTO G. VALENCIA
Respondents: HON. COURT OF APPEALS, HON. CARLOS C. OFILADA, Presiding
Judge, Regional Trial Court, Bulacan, Branch XL, Third Judicial Region, Deputy Sheriff
PABLO R. GLORIOSO, MIGUEL BUNYE and RICARDO BAGTAS
Ponente: J. Regalado
Summary:
Valencia filed with the Bulacan RTC for the rescission of a lease contract over a 24
hectare fishpond in Paombong, Bulacan against BUNYE & BAGTAS. During the
pendency of the case, the lease contract expired and Bunye & Bagtas peacefully
surrendered the fishpond to Valencia. As a result, the case became moot and
academic and RTC just ordered Valencia to pay moral & exemplary damages and

Bautista | Lopez | Macabagdal | R. Santos | Taruc

attorneys fees. Pending appeal by Valencia to the CA, Bunye & Bagtas filed a motion
for execution pending appeal under Rule 39 Sec 2 which provides that a writ of
execution may be issued to enforce a judgment before the expiration of the period to
appeal upon showing good reasons by filing a bond. Notwithstanding the opposition
filed by Valencia, RTC granted the motion. In view of Valencias failure to file a
counterbond, a writ of execution pending appeal was issued by the RTC. Thus, this
Petition for Certiorari by Valencia contending that mere filing of a bond does not
suffice, absent of a showing of superior circumstances demanding urgency which will
outweigh the injury or damages should the losing party secure a reversal of the
judgment.
The SC held that the issuance of Writ of Execution Pending Appeal by RTC is
IMPROPER. The requisites for such issuance are the ff: (a) There must be a motion by
the prevailing party with notice to the adverse party; (b) There must be a good reason
for issuing the writ of execution; and (c) The good reason must be stated in a special
order. 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. Absent any such good
reason, the special order of execution must be struck down for having been issued
with grave abuse of discretion. It follows then also, that certiorari lies against an order
granting execution pending appeal where the same is not founded upon good reasons.
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.
FACTS:

Valencia filed with the RTC of Bulacan for the rescission of a lease contract over a
24 hectare fishpond in Paombong, Bulacan, with a prayer for a writ of preliminary
mandatory injunction against BUNYE & BAGTAS.

During the pendency of the case, the lease contract expired and Bunye & Bagtas
peacefully surrendered the fishpond to Valencia.

RTC: declared that the Valencias prayer for rescission of contract had become
moot and academic and the only remaining issue for adjudication was the matter
of damages claimed by the defendants.
o It then awarded P100,000.00 as moral damages, P50,000.00 as exemplary
damages to each defendant and P30,000.00 as attorney's fees, aside from
the costs of suit.

Valencia claims that Bagtas acknowledged in writing his receipt of a copy of said
decision on January 3, 1989. On the other hand, Valencia received a copy of the
decision on January 10, 1989, and filed a notice of appeal on January 16, 1989.
While on appeal

On the same day, RTC judge Ofilasa issued an order that said notice of appeal be
"given due course" and directing that the records of the case be forwarded to CA.

Bunye & Bagtas then filed a motion for execution pending appeal, alleging that
under ROC Rule 39 Section 2 a writ of execution may be issued to enforce a
judgment before the expiration of the period to appeal upon showing good
reasons. The filing of the bond by the successful party is a good reason for
ordering execution.

64

Special Civil Action: CALDONA

Notwithstanding the opposition filed by Valencia, RTC judge Ofilasa granted


the motion for execution pending appeal, Bunye & Bagtas having filed a bond
of P330,000 posted by the Domestic Insurance Company of the Philippines.
o It also granted a period up to April 27, 1989 within which Valencia may "file a
counterbond to stay the implementation of the Writ of Execution to be issued."
Valencias MR was also denied on the ground that "an offer of a bond for
immediate execution of judgment is a good ground for execution pending appeal"
and "execution pending appeal may be granted as long as movant files a good
and sufficient surety.
Consequently, a writ of execution pending appeal was issued by the trial court.

Petition for Certiorari

Valencia then filed a petition for certiorari, prohibition and mandamus with the CA
on the following grounds:
a) Upon the perfection of the appeal from the decision rendered on November
29, 1988, a copy thereof having been received by Bunye & Bagtas on
January 3, 1989, RTC Bulacan lost jurisdiction over the case, and accordingly
no longer had any jurisdiction to entertain bunye's and bagtas' motion for
execution pending appeal, let alone to issue a writ of execution.
b) Mere filing of a bond does not suffice absent of (sic) a showing of superior
circumstances demanding urgency which will outweigh the injury or damages
should the losing party secure a reversal of the judgment.
c) A trial court exceeds the limits of its jurisdiction where it orders advance of
(sic) execution of consequential damages, exemplary damages and attorney's
fees.

CA: Dismissed.

SC: Issued a TRO.


ISSUES:
3. WON the trial court had already lost jurisdiction by reason of the perfection of
appeal in Nov. 29, 1988. NO.
4. WON the trial court was correct in issuing a writ of execution pending appeal.
NO. [main for SCA]
RATIO:
#1 THERE WAS NO PERFECTION OF APPEAL YET

An appeal is perfected upon the expiration of the last day to appeal by any
party. It is not perfected on the date the notice of appeal was filed.

In the present case, Bunye & Bagtas had up to January 18, 1989 within which to
appeal and Valencia had up to January 25, 1989. The motion for execution was
filed by Bunye & Bagtas on January 17, 1989, before the expiration of the last day
to appeal by any of the parties.

The fact that plaintiff filed a notice of appeal on January 16, 1989 did not result in
the perfection of the appeal.

Despite Valencias having filed his notice of appeal, Bunye & Bagtas could still
have availed of the right, up to their last day to appeal which was January 18,
1989, to also file their notice of appeal or to file a motion for new trial or to move

Bautista | Lopez | Macabagdal | R. Santos | Taruc

for execution as in fact they did, since Valencias appeal had not yet been
perfected.
#2 ISSUANCE OF WRIT OF EXECUTION PENDING APPEAL BY RTC IS IMPROPER [main]

In order that there may be a discretionary issuance of a writ of execution pending


appeal the following requisites must be satisfied, under Section 2, Rule 39 of the
Rules of Court: (a) There must be a motion by the prevailing party with notice to
the adverse party; (b) There must be a good reason for issuing the writ of
execution; and (c) The good reason must be stated in a special order.

In the case at bar, the ground relied upon by the trial court in allowing the
immediate execution is the filing of a bond by Bunye & Bagtas.
o 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.

Roxas v. CA: Good reasons, special, important, pressing reasons must


exist to justify it; otherwise, instead of an instrument of solicitude and
justice, it may well become a tool of oppression and inequity. But to
consider the mere posting of a bond a "good reason" would precisely
make immediate execution of a judgment pending appeal routinary, the
rule rather than the exception. Judgments would be executed
immediately, as a matter of course, once rendered, if all that the
prevailing party needed to do was to post a bond to answer for the
damages that might result therefrom

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.
o 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.

Likewise, awards for moral and exemplary damages cannot be the subject of
execution pending appeal.
o Radio Communications of the Philippines, Inc. (RCPI) vs. Lantin: The
existence of the factual bases of these types of damages and their causal
relation to the petitioners' act will have to be determined in the light of the
assignments of errors on appeal. It is possible that the petitioners, after all,
while liable for actual damages may not be liable for moral and exemplary
damages.
Anent the issue of the propriety of a special civil action for certiorari to assail an order
for execution pending appeal [SCA part]

Jaca et al. vs. Davao Lumber Company: 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

65

Special Civil Action: CALDONA

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.
o Thus, in the case at bar, certiorari lies against an order granting execution
pending appeal where the same is not founded upon good reasons.
o Also, the fact that the losing party had appealed from the judgment does not
bar the certiorari action filed in CA as the appeal could not be an adequate
remedy from such premature execution.
o Moreover, the filing of supersedeas bond to prevent execution pending
appeal does not entitle Valencia to the suspension of execution as a matter of
right. It cannot, therefore, be categorically considered as a plain, speedy and
adequate remedy.
DECISION: WHEREFORE, the petition is granted and the assailed resolutions of CA
are hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE. The writ of execution issued by the trial court
is hereby ANNULLED. The temporary restraining order heretofore issued against the
said order and writ is hereby made permanent.

7. National Electrification Administration v. CA (RS)


GR L-32490 | 12/29/1983 | Melencio-Herrera, J.
Petitioners: Natl Elec. Admin. (NEA), rep. by Administrator Lopez (Now Dumol)
Respondents: CA, Hon. Bello (Judge, CFI-Lingayen, Pangasinan), Rural Power
Corporation (RPC), Sps. Eusebio and Lourdes Ferrer (Sps. Ferrer), Eduardo Ferrer
(Eduardo)
SUMMARY
Rural Power executed 3 real estate mortgages (REMs) in favor of NEA in the sum of
P985K. Due to alleged violations of the conditions in the mortgage deed, NEA
instituted extrajudicial foreclosure proceedings. Rural Power then instituted a civil suit
against NEA. Hon. Bello issued a Writ of Preliminary Injunction as regards the public
auction of the properties related to the REMs. NEA filed a notice of appeal and a
Records of Appeal, which was disapproved by Hon. Bello. Thereafter, NEA filed an
Amended Records of Appeal pursuant to Hon. Bellos Order disapproving the first
Records of Appeal. NEA did not file an MR of this later Order, but instead filed a
Petition for certiorari with the CA, which, however, denied the petition. WN the CA
gravely abused their discretion in holding that NEAs omission to move for
reconsideration before the Trial Court prior to filing a petition for certiorari and
mandamus was fatal to the petition. YES. Whatever defects the original Record on
Appeal may have contained had been cured in the Amended Record on Appeal by
NEAs prayer that all the documentary and oral evidence be elevated to the CA as
expressly provided for by 6, Rule 41 of the Revised Rules of Court. 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. Further, public interest
being involved, a Motion for Read consideration need not be availed of.
Furthermore, a Motion for Reconsideration is no longer a prerequisite where

Bautista | Lopez | Macabagdal | R. Santos | Taruc

there is urgent necessity and any further delay would prejudice the interests of
the Government.
FACTS

Petition for certiorari under RA 5440 (as amended by a.a.b. RA 6038) in


relation to Rule 45 (R45) of the Rules of Court, to review the CA Decision
dated August 17, 1970, which denied the petition in said case, and dissolving
the Writ of Preliminary injunction issued in connection therewith on June 3,
1970.

6/14/1965 RPC, Sps. Ferrer and Eduardo (hereinafter referred to as Rural


Power) executed a Real Estate Mortgage (REM) in favor of NEA in the sum
of P985K for the purpose of improving the formers services to the public.
o Rural Power was required to execute 2 other REMs to secure 2
other loans for the amounts of P98K and P81K, but said amounts
were never released.
o Of the 3 deeds of mortgages, only the first in the amount of P985K
has been the object of implementation
o
The mortgage deed provided for a "program of world divided into
Phases A, B and C and pursuant thereto P68,000.00 was released
on July 8, 1965, P247,000.00 on September 19, 1965, and
(P125,000.00 on January 16, 1966, with deductions for expenses,
interests, and insurance. Among the conditions of the mortgage
were that the amount to be released to Rural Power would be
utilized for the "purposes therein specified subject to availability of
funds", and "that the respondents shall adhere strictly with the
program of work and specifications attached to the deed."

5/11/1969 Due to alleged violations of the conditions above, NEA instituted


extrajudicial foreclosure proceedings pursuant to the deed of REM for the
amount of P985K
o Sheriff of Alaminos set the sale of the properties for public auction .

4/24/1969 Rural Power initiated a civil case before the CFI-Pangasinan for
injunction, release of sum of money, cancellation of mortages, and damages.
o Respondent Hon. Bello issued a Writ of Preliminary Injunction
stopping the auction sale and subsequently decided in favor of Rural
Power after trial on the mertis.

12/23/1969 NEA filed notice of appeal and appeal bond

1/3/1970 NEA filed Record of Appeal, which was disapproved by Hon. Bello
in an Order dated 1/14/1970 for alleged non-compliance with 6, Rule 42 of
the Rules of Court and directed NEA to comply therewith and file an
Amended Record on Appeal.

2/13/1970 NEA filed an Amended Record on Appeal supplying the


deficiencies with the prayer that "all oral and documentary evidence
presented in the instant case be elevated together with all the records to the
Court of Appeals".
o Again, Hon. Bello disapproved the Amended Record on Appeal for
alleged non-compliance with Section 6 of Rule 41 of the Revised
Rules of Court in an Order, dated 3/4/1970
o NEA did not file an MR of this Order

66

Special Civil Action: CALDONA

5/27/1970 NEA filed a Petition for certiorari and mandamus with Prelim.
Injunction before the CA.
o However, the CA ruled that the failure of NEA to ask Hon. Bello to
reconsider his Order of 3/4/1970 before resorting to the remedies of
certiorari and mandamus with preliminary injunction was "fatal" to
petitioner's position

ISSUE:

WN CA gravely abused its discretion in holding that NEAs omission to move


for reconsideration before the Trial Court prior to filing a petition for certiorari
and mandamus was fatal to the petition. - YES

This issue would, in turn, hinge on the question of WN Hon. Bello committed
grave abuse of discretion in disapproving NEAs Record on Appeal and the
subsequent Amended Record on Appeal. - YES
HELD
WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing, the Decision of respondent Appellate Court
(former Special 8th Division), dated August 17, 1970, is hereby annulled and the
Regional Trial Court corresponding to the former Court of First Instance of Pangasinan
(Lingayen Branch) is hereby directed to transmit the entire original record of the case
to the Intermediate Appellate Court (the Record on Appeal having been eliminated by
Batas Pambansa Blg. 129).
RATIO
1. First of all, Hon. Bellos Order of January 14, 1970 as well as that of March 4,
1970 disapproving NEAs original and amended Record on Appeal,
respectively, for alleged non- compliance with 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.
a. As the CA had observed "it is possible that the respondent Judge
was referring to deficiencies other than that specified in (the) order of
January 14, 1970". Hence, petitioner cannot be faulted if its
Amended Record on Appeal did not meet the standards set by the
Trial Judge as there weren't any.
2. Secondly, whatever defects the original Record on Appeal may have
contained had been cured in the Amended Record on Appeal by NEAs
prayer that all the documentary and oral evidence be elevated to the CA as
expressly provided for by 6, Rule 41 of the Revised Rules of Court.
a. Therefore, Hon. Bellos disputed Order of March 4, 1970 again
disapproving the Amended Record on Appeal on the same ground of
alleged non- compliance with 6, Rule 41 was arbitrary and
constituted grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of
jurisdiction.
b. 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.
c. In other words, Hon. Bello, in effect, deprived NEA of its right to
Appeal and other plain, speedy and adequate remedy in the

Bautista | Lopez | Macabagdal | R. Santos | Taruc

3.

4.

5.

ordinarily course of law, hence, making NEAs resort to the instant


petition a virtual necessity.
d. 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 lifeless.
Third, NEA is a government corporation performing governmental functions
pursuant to Republic Act, No. 2717, as amended. Public interest being
involved, a Motion for Read consideration need not be availed of.
Fourth, NEA 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.
a. 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 NEAs
substantive right to appeal.
a. 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. As this Court, speaking through Justice Moreland, in the
case of Alonzo vs. Villamor, said:
i. The error in toes case is purely technical, To take
advantage of it rather than to cure it, does not appeal to a
fair sense of justice. Its present. ration as fatal to the
plaintiff's case smacks of skill rather than right. A litigation is
not a game of technicalities in which one, more deeply
schooled and skilled in the subtle art of movement and
position entraps and destroys the other. It is, rather, a
contest in which each contending party fully and fairly lays
before the court the facts in issue, and then brushing aside
as wholly trivial and indecisive all imperfections of form and
technicalities of procedure, asks that justice be done on the
merits. Lawsuits, unlike duels are not to be won by the
rapier's thrust. Technicality when it deserts its proper office
as an aid to justice becomes its great hindrance and
enemy, and deserves scant consideration from the courts.
There are no vested rights in technicalities.

8. Uy Kiao v. Lee (RT)


G.R. No. 176831| January 15, 2010
Petitioner: UY KIAO ENG
Respondent: NIXON LEE
SUMMARY

67

Special Civil Action: CALDONA

Alleging that his father passed away on June 22, 1992 in Manila and left a holographic
will, which is now in the custody of petitioner Uy Kiao Eng, his mother, respondent
Nixon Lee filed, on May 28, 2001, a petition for mandamus with damages before the
Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Manila, to compel petitioner to produce the will so that
probate proceedings for the allowance thereof could be instituted. W/N the petition for
mandamus is the proper remedy? NO.
The Rules of Court does not prevent him from instituting probate proceedings for the
allowance of the will whether the same is in his possession or not. 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
respondent Lee lacks a cause of action in his petition.
FACTS:
Alleging that his father passed away on June 22, 1992 in Manila and left a
holographic will, which is now in the custody of petitioner Uy Kiao Eng, his mother,
respondent Nixon Lee filed, on May 28, 2001, a petition for mandamus with
damages before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Manila, to compel petitioner to
produce the will so that probate proceedings for the allowance thereof could be
instituted.
Allegedly, respondent had already requested his mother to settle and liquidate the
patriarchs estate and to deliver to the legal heirs their respective inheritance, but
petitioner refused to do so without any justifiable reason.
In her answer with counterclaim, petitioner posited that the same be dismissed for
failure to state a cause of action, for lack of cause of action, and for non-compliance
with a condition precedent for the filing thereof. Petitioner denied that she was in
custody of the original holographic will and that she knew of its whereabouts. She,
moreover, asserted that photocopies of the will were given to respondent and to his
siblings.
As a matter of fact, respondent was able to introduce, as an exhibit, a copy of the
will in Civil Case No. 224-V-00 before the RTC of Valenzuela City. Petitioner further
contended that respondent should have first exerted earnest efforts to amicably
settle the controversy with her before he filed the suit.
The RTC heard the case. After the presentation and formal offer of respondents
evidence, petitioner demurred, contending that her son failed to prove that she had
in her custody the original holographic will. Importantly, she asserted that the pieces
of documentary evidence presented, aside from being hearsay, were all immaterial
and irrelevant to the issue involved in the petitionthey did not prove or disprove
that she unlawfully neglected the performance of an act which the law specifically
enjoined as a duty resulting from an office, trust or station, for the court to issue the
writ of mandamus.
The RTC, at first, denied the demurrer to evidence. In its February 4, 2005
Order, however, it granted the same on petitioners motion for reconsideration.
Respondents motion for reconsideration of this latter order was denied on
September 20, 2005. Hence, the petition was dismissed.
Aggrieved, respondent sought review from the appellate court. On April 26, 2006,
the CA initially denied the appeal for lack of merit. It ruled that the writ of mandamus
would issue only in instances when no other remedy would be available and
sufficient to afford redress.

Bautista | Lopez | Macabagdal | R. Santos | Taruc

Under Rule 76, in an action for the settlement of the estate of his deceased father,
respondent could ask for the presentation or production and for the approval or
probate of the holographic will.
The CA further ruled that respondent, in the proceedings before the trial court, failed
to present sufficient evidence to prove that his mother had in her custody the original
copy of the will. 1avvphi1
Respondent moved for reconsideration. The appellate court, in the assailed August
23, 2006 Amended Decision, granted the motion, set aside its earlier ruling, issued
the writ, and ordered the production of the will and the payment of attorneys fees. It
ruled this time that respondent was able to show by testimonial evidence that his
mother had in her possession the holographic will.
Dissatisfied with this turn of events, petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration. The
appellate court denied this motion in the further assailed February 23, 2007
Resolution.
ISSUE:
1. W/N the petition for mandamus is the proper remedy? NO.
RATIO:
The Court cannot sustain the CAs issuance of the writ.
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.

68

Special Civil Action: CALDONA

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.
o 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.
o 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.
o 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.
o In other words, 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.
Case at bar
In the instant case, the Court, without unnecessarily ascertaining whether the
obligation involved herethe production of the original holographic willis in the
nature of a public or a private duty, rules that the remedy of mandamus cannot be
availed of by respondent Lee because there lies another plain, speedy and adequate
remedy in the ordinary course of law.
Let it be noted that respondent 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
15
will whether the same is in his possession or not.
An adequate remedy is further provided by Rule 75, Sections 2 to 5, for the
16
production of the original holographic will.
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.
15

Rule 76, Section 1 relevantly provides:


Section 1. Who may petition for the allowance of will.Any executor, devisee, or legatee named in a will, or any other person interested in the
estate, may, at any time, after the death of the testator, petition the court having jurisdiction to have the will allowed, whether the same be in
his possession or not, or is lost or destroyed.
16

SEC. 2. Custodian of will to deliver.The person who has custody of a will shall, within twenty (20) days after he knows of the death of the
testator, deliver the will to the court having jurisdiction, or to the executor named in the will.
SEC. 3. Executor to present will and accept or refuse trust.A person named as executor in a will shall within twenty (20) days after he knows
of the death of the testator, or within twenty (20) days after he knows that he is named executor if he obtained such knowledge after the death
of the testator, present such will to the court having jurisdiction, unless the will has reached the court in any other manner, and shall, within
such period, signify to the court in writing his acceptance of the trust or his refusal to accept it.
SEC. 4. Custodian and executor subject to fine for neglect.A person who neglects any of the duties required in the two last preceding
sections without excuse satisfactory to the court shall be fined not exceeding two thousand pesos.
SEC. 5. Person retaining will may be committed.A person having custody of a will after the death of the testator who neglects without
reasonable cause to deliver the same, when ordered so to do, to the court having jurisdiction, may be committed to prison and there kept until
he delivers the will.

Bautista | Lopez | Macabagdal | R. Santos | Taruc

WHEREFORE, premises considered, the petition for review on certiorari is GRANTED.


The August 23, 2006 Amended Decision and the February 23, 2007 Resolution of the
Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 91725 are REVERSED and SET ASIDE. Civil
Case No. 01100939 before the Regional Trial Court of Manila is DISMISSED.
9. Romys Freight Service v. Castro (MB)
Petitioner: Romys Freight Service, represented by Roman G. Cruz
st
Respondent: Jesus C. Castro, Dominador Veloria and 1 Division of the Court of
Appeals

G.R. No. 141637. June 8, 2006


Corona, J.
SUMMARY:
Private respondents Castro (supervisor) and Veloria (senior mechanic) filed a petition
for illegal dismissal against Romys Freight Service owned by Cruz. They alleged that
they were constructively dismissed for failure to report to work due to health-related
absences. LA ruled for Castro and Veloria. NLRC reversed the LA ruling. Castro and
Veloria filed a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 with the CA ascribing GADALEJ on
the NLRC. CA reversed the ruling of the NLRC. Hence, the present petition for
certiorari filed by Romys Freight Service which claims that (1) the CAs taking
cognizance of the private respondents petition for certiorari was improper and that (2)
the monetary awards granted the employees were improper. The SC ruled for private
respondents stating:
(1) Private respondents petition for certiorari to the CA is proper even if no
motion for reconsideration had been filed by them with the NLRC because the
issue was impressed with public interest.
(2) Romys Freight Services present petition for certiorari must fail because:
a. An inquiry into factual matters (such as whether private respondents
were illegally dismissed or abandoned their work and whether they
were entitled to backwages, unpaid benefits, separation pay and
attorneys fees) cannot be a proper subject of a petition for certiorari.
b. Petitioner failed to overcome the burden of proving just cause for
terminating the employment of private respondents.
FACTS:

This case originated from a complaint for illegal dismissal filed jointly by
private respondents Jesus C. Castro and Dominador Veloria against Romys
Freight Service, represented by Roman G. Cruz (owner/sole proprietor) with
the Regional Arbitration Branch of the NLRC in Baguio City.

Castro was hired by Romys Freight Service as a mechanic.


o He was promoted to supervisor.

69

Special Civil Action: CALDONA

He suffered a stroke. On his doctors advice, he took a leave of


absence from work. Pending recovery, he extended his leave
several times.
o While on leave, however, petitioner Roman G. Cruz sent him several
letters first urging him to return to work. The succeeding ones
assumed the nature of show cause letters requiring him to explain
why he should not be disciplined for his prolonged absence. Cruz
also filed complaints for estafa and qualified theft against him.
o Because of these, Castro was constrained to file a case for illegal
dismissal against petitioner on the ground that Cruzs acts
constituted constructive dismissal.
Veloria was hired by petitioner in 1977 as a carpenter.
o After several years, he was promoted to mechanic and senior
mechanic.
o He figured in an accident. The overheated water coming from the
radiator of a car he was repairing spurted onto his face, burning it.
He was forced to absent himself from work to undergo recuperation.
o During his absence, he received several letters from Cruz. One letter
required him to explain the loss of several tools, another ordered him
to pay his loan and still another required him to explain his
absences. He was later charged for qualified theft of the missing
tools.
o Because of petitioners acts against him, Veloria joined Castro in
filing a case for illegal constructive dismissal against petitioner.
Cruz denied that private respondents were dismissed from their employment,
asserting that private respondents abandoned their work.
Executive labor arbiter Jesselito Latoja ruled that petitioner was guilty of
illegal dismissal and ordered it to pay private respondents the total amount
of P352,944.90, representing 13th month pay, backwages, separation pay,
premium pay for work rendered on rest days and holidays, and attorneys
fees.
o He amended the decision and increased the award to P985,529.20
to include backwages.
o Cruz appealed to the NLRC.
NLRC reversed and set aside the LAs ruling.
o It found private respondents guilty of abandonment of work and
dismissed their complaint for illegal dismissal against petitioner.
o Aggrieved, private respondents filed a petition for certiorari under
Rule 65 with the CA. They ascribed grave abuse of discretion
amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of the NLRC
for not finding that they were constructively dismissed by petitioner.
CA reversed and set aside the NLRC.
o Cruz failed to overcome the burden of proving the existence of just
cause for dismissing private respondents, hence, it was guilty of
illegal dismissal.
o It held that their failure to report for work was for justifiable reasons
and that they had no intention to sever their employment.
o Cruz MR denied.
o

Suffice it to state that respondent Lee lacks a cause of action in his petition. Thus,
the Court grants the demurrer.

Bautista | Lopez | Macabagdal | R. Santos | Taruc

Hence, this petition for certiorari under Rule 65.

ISSUES:
1. W/N the petition for certiorari of private respondents should have been
dismissed outright for failure to file a motion for reconsideration with the
NLRC before filing the petition for certiorari with the CA. --- NO
2. W/N the CA erred when it adopted the findings of the labor arbiter that private
respondents were constructively dismissed, instead of the contrary finding of
the NLRC. --- NO
3. W/N the CA erred when it awarded 13th month pay, backwages, separation
pay and attorneys fees to Castro and 13th month pay, backwages, premium
pay for work rendered on rest days and holidays, and attorneys fees to
Veloria. --- NO
HELD:

Petition is DISMISSED.

CA decision is AFFIRMED.
B.
RATIO:
1. Private respondents certiorari to the CA is proper even if no motion for
reconsideration had been filed by private respondents with the NLRC.

As a general rule, a motion for reconsideration is needed before a petition for


certiorari under Rule 65 can be resorted to.

Private respondents petition for certiorari before the CA was covered by the
exceptions.

The issue raised in the certiorari proceeding before the appellate court, i.e.,
whether private respondents were constructively dismissed without just
cause, was also the very same issue raised before the NLRC and resolved by
it. Moreover, the employer-employee relationship between petitioner and
private respondents was impressed with public interest.
2. Petitioners present petition for certiorari fails because:
A. An inquiry into factual matters cannot be a proper subject of a petition
for certiorari.
o The other issues raised by petitioner, i.e., whether private respondents
were illegally dismissed or abandoned their work and whether they were
entitled to backwages, unpaid benefits, separation pay and attorneys
fees, are not proper subjects of a petition for certiorari. They involve an
inquiry into factual matters.
o The Supreme Court is not a trier of facts, more so in the consideration of
the extraordinary writ of certiorari where neither questions of fact nor of
law are entertained, but only questions of lack or excess of jurisdiction or
grave abuse of discretion.
o The phrase grave abuse of discretion has a precise meaning in law,
denoting abuse of discretion "too patent and gross as to amount to an
evasion of a positive duty, or a virtual refusal to perform the duty enjoined
or act in contemplation of law, or where the power is exercised in an
arbitrary and despotic manner by reason of passion and personal

70

Special Civil Action: CALDONA

hostility." It does not encompass an error of law. Nor does it include a


mistake in the appreciation of the contending parties respective evidence
or the evaluation of their relative weight.
o The Court cannot be tasked to go over the proofs presented by the
parties and analyze, assess and weigh them all over again to ascertain if
the trial court or quasi-judicial agency and the appellate court were
correct in according superior credit to this or that piece of evidence of
one party or the other.
o The sole office of a writ of certiorari is the correction of errors of
jurisdiction including the commission of grave abuse of discretion
amounting to lack of jurisdiction, and does not include the review of
public respondents evaluation of the evidence and the factual findings
based thereon.
o Therefore, the present petition for certiorari fails insofar as it questions
the affirmation by the CA of the factual finding of the labor arbiter that
private respondents were illegally dismissed, entitling them to an award
of backwages, unpaid benefits, separation pay and attorneys fees.
Petitioner failed to overcome the burden of proving just cause for terminating
the employment of private respondents.

10. DBP vs PINGOL (LL)


G.R. No. 145908 | January 22, 2004
Petitioner: Development BANK OF THE PHILIPPINES
Respondents: PINGOL LAND TRANSPORT SYSTEM COMPANY, INC., REMEDIOS
D. PINGOL (Chairman of the Board of PLTSCI), JESUSITO L. PINGOL (President)
and JOSEPHINE PINGOL-SILO (Treasurer)
Summary: PLTSCI executed a chattel mortgage over certain air-conditioned buses in
favor of DBP to secure payment for its loans. After PLTSCI defaulted in payment, DBP
applied for the extra-judicial foreclosure of the mortgaged properties. PLTSCI filed with
the Makati RTC a complaint for damages with injunction seeking the annulment of the
foreclosure and seizure of its buses. PLTSCI filed another complaint for annulment of
foreclosure and/or auction sale, replevin and damages before the RTC Naga. Naga
RTC issued the assailed Order annulling the writ of replevin and denied the motion to
dismiss of petitioner ratiocinating that no pending case exists at the time PLTSCI filed
the complaint with the Naga court considering that the prior motion to withdraw the
complaint filed by Jesusito Pingol terminated all the proceedings before the Makati
court. CA dismissed petition for certiorari filed by DBP, ruling that assuming that the
Naga court committed an error in not granting the motion to dismiss, said error is an
error of judgment and not an error of jurisdiction correctible by certiorari. SC found
PLTSCI guilty of forum shopping. What highlights the error of the CA in not dismissing
the complaint before the Naga court is the fact that PLTSCI withdrew its appeal from
the decision of the Makati RTC. Said withdrawal had the effect of rendering final and
executory the decision of the Makati court. This is obviously a species of res judicata,
specifically, bar by former judgment. The judgment on the merits rendered by the
Makati court constitutes an absolute bar to subsequent action before the Naga court.
The remedy of certiorari is therefore proper to assail the patently null order of the Naga

Bautista | Lopez | Macabagdal | R. Santos | Taruc

court which denied petitioners motion to dismiss. Where the questioned order is a
patent nullity, or where it was issued in excess or without jurisdiction, resort to
certiorari may be allowed. Here, the violation of the rule on forum shopping is obvious.
Disregarding such fact constituted grave abuse of discretion on the part of the trial
court, amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction.
FACTS:

Assailed in this petition for review on certiorari is CA decision which


dismissed the petition for certiorari questioning the Order of the RTC Naga
denying petitioners motion to dismiss.

Respondent Pingol Land Transport System Company, Inc. (PLTSCI), a


domestic corporation, obtained loans from petitioner Development Bank of
the Philippines in the total amount of P20 Million. To secure the payment
thereof, PLTSCI executed, among others, a chattel mortgage over certain airconditioned buses in favor of petitioner.

After PLTSCI defaulted in the payment of its loans, petitioner applied for the
extra-judicial foreclosure of the mortgaged properties

PLTSCI filed with the RTC Makati a complaint for damages with injunction
against petitioner seeking the annulment of the foreclosure and seizure of its
buses and the issuance of a restraining order and/or injunction to prevent
their sale at public auction. Meanwhile foreclosure sale proceeded with
petitioner being declared as highest bidder.

Jesusito filed "Motion to Withdraw Complaint but failed to show authorization


to do so upon court order.

PLTSCI filed another complaint against petitioner for annulment of foreclosure


and/or auction sale, replevin and damages before the RTC Naga. The
complaint was based on the same facts alleged case pending before the
Makati RTC, except that in the latter complaint, PLTSCI prayed for the
issuance of a writ of replevin to recover the buses foreclosed by petitioner.

RTC Naga issued the assailed Order annulling a writ of replevin which was
previously issued, directing sheriff to repossess the subject 19 vehicles and
deliver such to DBP. Judge ruled that the replevin bond posted by PLTSCI
was inefficacious because the officer of Utility Assurance Corporation who
signed the replevin bond had no authority to do so.
o Nevertheless, RTC Naga denied the motion to dismiss prayed for by
petitioners ratiocinating that no pending case exists at the time
PLTSCI filed the complaint with the Naga court considering that the
prior motion to withdraw the complaint filed by Jesusito Pingol
terminated all the proceedings before the Makati court. Judge
Malaya held that said complaint can be withdrawn as a matter of
right because the same was filed before the petitioner filed its
answer.

Petitioner elevated case to CA via petition for certiorari when its MR was
denied contending, among others, that Judge Malaya gravely abused his
discretion in not dismissing the complaint on the ground of forum shopping.

In the meantime, the Makati RTC denied motion to withdraw the complaint for
failure to submit a Board Resolution authorizing him to withdraw the same
Makati RTC rendered a decision ordering PLTSCI to pay petitioner the

71

Special Civil Action: CALDONA

outstanding balance of its loan. The said decision was assailed on certiorari
by PLTSCI to the CA.
Both cases elevated to CA were consolidated. CA issued a Resolution
granting PLTSCIs motion to withdraw. It also dismissed the petition for
certiorari, ruling that assuming that the Naga court committed an error in not
granting the motion to dismiss, said error is an error of judgment and not an
error of jurisdiction correctible by certiorari.
Hence, petitioner DBP filed the instant petition.

ISSUES: (1) W/N CA erred in sustaining the denial of petitioners motion to dismiss
YES
(2) if in the affirmative, W/N such an error is correctible by certiorari YES
RATIO:
CA ERRED IN SUSTAINING RTCS DENIAL OF MTD

Forum shopping is the filing of multiple suits involving the same parties for the
same cause of action, either simultaneously or successively, for the purpose
of obtaining a favorable judgment.

In the case at bar, the principal parties in the two complaints filed before the
Makati and Naga courts were the same, i.e., PLTSCI and petitioner DBP as
well as their officers. Both cases arose from the same loan and mortgage
contracts; and both complaints filed by PLTSCI seek to annul the foreclosure
and sale at public auction of the foreclosed buses, except that in the
complaint before the Naga court, PLTSCI included an additional prayer for the
issuance of a writ of replevin. Evidently, this is a clear case of forum shopping
as the judgment in the Makati RTC would constitute a bar to the suit before
the Naga court.

What highlights the error of the Court of Appeals in not dismissing the
complaint before the Naga court is the fact that PLTSCI withdrew its appeal
from the decision of the Makati RTC. Said withdrawal had the effect of
rendering final and executory the decision of the Makati court which (1)
dismissed PLTSCIs complaint to recover damages and to annul the
foreclosure and sale of its buses; and (2) ordered PLTSCI to pay the balance
of the loan plus damages for filing a clearly baseless and unfounded suit.

This is obviously a species of res judicata, specifically, "bar by former


judgment," which exists when, between the first case where the judgment was
rendered, and the second case where such judgment is invoked, there is
identity of parties, subject matter and cause of action. The judgment on the
merits rendered by the Makati court constitutes an absolute bar to
subsequent action before the Naga court.

Rules of Civil Procedure which allows the dismissal of the complaint by the
plaintiff as a matter of right at any time before service of the answer, is not
applicable in the instant case because Jesusito Pingol who signed the motion
to withdraw the complaint failed to present a Board Resolution authorizing
him to withdraw the complaint filed by PLTSCI. Being a corporation, the latter
has a personality separate and distinct from Jesusito Pingol.

Petitioners claim for damages, caused by PLTSCIs filing of a baseless suit,


cannot be decided without going through the merits of the complaint filed by

Bautista | Lopez | Macabagdal | R. Santos | Taruc

PLTSCI. Moreover, petitioners counterclaim cannot stand independently from


PLTSCIs complaint as petitioners claim is dependent on the validity of sale
and foreclosure which PLTSCI branded as illegal. This justified the Makati
courts denial of the motion to withdraw the complaint.
PETITIONER CORRECTLY RESORTED TO WRIT OF CERTIORARI

Basic is the doctrine that the denial of a motion to dismiss or to quash, being
interlocutory, cannot be questioned by certiorari; it cannot be the subject of
appeal, until final judgment or order is rendered. But this rule is not absolute.

Even when appeal is available and is the proper remedy, the Supreme Court
has allowed a writ of certiorari (1) where the appeal does not constitute a
speedy and adequate remedy, as where 33 appeals were involved from
orders issued in a single proceeding which will inevitably result in a
proliferation of more appeals (PCIB vs. Escolin; (2) where the orders were
also issued either in excess of or without jurisdiction; (3) for certain special
considerations, as public welfare or public policy (Jose vs. Zulueta); (4) where
in criminal actions, the court rejects rebuttal evidence for the prosecution as,
in case of acquittal there could be no remedy; (5) where the order is a patent
nullity; and (6) where the decision in the certiorari case will avoid future
litigations.

Indeed, where the questioned order is a patent nullity, or where it was issued
in excess or without jurisdiction, resort to certiorari may be allowed. Here, the
violation of the rule on forum shopping is obvious. Disregarding such fact
constituted grave abuse of discretion on the part of the trial court, amounting
to lack or excess of jurisdiction. The remedy of certiorari is therefore proper to
assail the patently null order of the Naga court which denied petitioners
motion to dismiss.
HELD: WHEREFORE, in view of all the foregoing, the petition is GRANTED. The
Decision of CA is REVERSED and SET ASIDE. The complaint before RTC Naga is
DISMISSED.

72

Special Civil Action: CALDONA

Bautista | Lopez | Macabagdal | R. Santos | Taruc

RULE 65: PROHIBITION


Section 2. Petition for prohibition.
When the proceedings of any tribunal, corporation, board, officer or person, whether
exercising judicial, quasi-judicial or ministerial functions, are without or in excess of its
or his jurisdiction, or with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of
jurisdiction, and there is no appeal or any other plain, speedy, and adequate remedy in
the ordinary course of law, a 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 to desist from further proceedings in the action or matter
specified therein, or otherwise granting such incidental reliefs as law and justice may
require.
The petition shall likewise be accompanied by a certified true copy of the judgment,
order or resolution subject thereof, copies of all pleadings and documents relevant and
pertinent thereto, and a sworn certification of non-forum shopping as provided in the
third paragraph of section 3, Rule 46.
XXX
11. Matuguina Integrated Wood Products v. CA (JM)
G.R. No. 98310
October 24, 1996
Petitioner: MATUGUINA INTEGRATED WOOD PRODUCTS, INC
Respondents: The HON. COURT OF APPEALS, DAVAO ENTERPRISES
CORPORATION, The HON. MINISTER, (NOW SECRETARY) of NATURAL
RESOURCES AND PHILLIP CO
Ponente: J. Torres Jr.
Summary:
A timber license was issued to Milagros to operate logging businesses under her sole
proprietorship venture MLE. Thereafter, MIWPI was established with 7 stockholders,
Milagros becoming the majority stockholder later on. Milagros then petitioned to have
the timber license be transferred to MIWPI. Pending approval of MLEs petition,
DAVENCOR filed a complaint against MLE before the District Forester alleging that
Milagros/MLE has encroached upon the area allotted for DAVENCORs timber
concession. The Investigating Committee found MLE guilty as charged and had
recommended the Director to declare that MLE has done so. MLE appealed the case
to the Ministry of Natural Resources. During pendency, Milagrosa withdrew her shares
from MIWPI. Later, Minister Ernesto Maceda found MLE guilty as charged. Pursuant to
the finding, DAVENCOR and Philip Co requested Maceda to order MLE and/or MIWPI
to comply with the ruling to pay the value in pesos of 2352.04 m3 worth of timbers. The
Minister then issued a writ of execution against MIWPI. MIWPI filed a petition for
prohibition before the Davao RTC. The RTC ruled in favor of MIWPI and has ordered
to enjoin the Minister from pursuing the execution of the writ. DAVENCOR appealed
and the CA reversed the ruling of the RTC. Now MIWPI is contending that it is not a
party to the original case (as it was MLE that was sued a separate entity). That the
issuance of the order of execution by the Minister has been made not only without or in

73

Special Civil Action: CALDONA

excess of his authority but that the same was issued patently without any factual or
legal basis, hence, a gross violation of MIWPIs constitutional rights under the due
process clause.
The sc ruled that failure to afford MIPWI the opportunity to be heard in the
administrative level could not have been cured by the institution of the action for
prohibition in the trial court because said court had no jurisdiction to determine whether
MIPWI was guilty of encroachment on Davencors timber concession. 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. 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. In the instant
case, the issue of whether MIPWI is an alter ego of Milagros/MLE is one of fact, and
which should have been threshed out in the administrative proceedings, and not in the
prohibition proceedings of the trial court.
FACTS:

Acting Director of the Bureau of Forest Development issued Provisional Timber


License (PTL) No. 30, covering an area of 5,400 hectares to Milagros Matuguina
who was then doing business under the name of MLE, a sole proprietorship
venture.
o A portion of the said area was located within the territorial boundary of Gov.
Generoso in Mati, Davao Oriental, and adjoined the timber concession of
Davao Enterprises Corporation (DAVENCOR).

Matuguina Integrated Wood Products, Inc. (MIWPI) was incorporated, having an


authorized capital stock of Ten Million Pesos.
o Milagros became the majority stockholder of MIWPI when Henry Wees
1Million shares were transferred to her, thus giving her 70% stock ownership.

Milagros then requested the Director of Forest Development (DFD) for a change
of name and transfer of management of PTL No. 30, from a single proprietorship
under her name, to that of MIWPI.

In the meantime, Milagros executed a Deed of Transfer transferring all of her


rights, interests, ownership and participation in PTL No. 30 to MIPWI in
consideration of 148,000 shares of stocks in MIWPI.
o A copy of said deed was submitted to the DFD, and MIWPI had since been
acting as holder and licensee of PTL No. 30.

District Forester: Pending approval of the request to transfer the PTL to MIWPI,
DAVENCOR complained to the District Forester at Mati, Davao Oriental that
Milagros/MLE had encroached into and was conducting logging operations in
DAVENCORs timber concession.
o After the Investigating Committee submitted its report to the Director, the DFD
issued an Order finding and declaring MLE to have encroached upon and
conducted illegal logging operations within the licensed or concession area of
DAVENCOR.

Ministry of Natural Resources: MLE appealed the Order to the Ministry of


Natural Resources. During the pendency of the appealed case with the Minister,
Milagros disposed of her shares in MIWPI, thereby ceasing to be a stockholder.

Bautista | Lopez | Macabagdal | R. Santos | Taruc

The Minister of Natural Resources, Hon. Ernesto M. Maceda rendered his


Decision, affirming the order of the DFD.

Matuguina is ordered to pay DAVENCOR the equivalent value in pesos


of 2,352.04 cubic meters of timber based on the market price obtaining.
She is directed to comply with this Order within 90 days from receipt, and
after the lapse, MLEs logging operations shall ipso facto become
automatically suspended until she shall have complied as directed. (Note
that Matuguina is the one directed in the Decision)
o When the Decision of the Minister became final and executory, Philip Co and
DAVENCOR requested the Minister to issue immediately a writ of execution
against MLE and/or MIWPI. The Order of Execution was issued which
directed the issuance of a writ of execution, not only against MLE, but
likewise against MIWPI.
o Subsequently, a writ of execution was issued in favor of DAVENCOR.
RTC: And so, MIWPI filed a complaint for prohibition, damages and injunction,
with prayer for restraining order in the RTC Davao City.
o MIWPIs Contentions: (among others)

MIWPI which has a distinct and separate personality of its own under the
law, and was never a party to the case between DAVENCOR and MLE,
suddenly became a party to the case after the decision became final and
executory.

Minister is doing, threatens or is about to do, or is procuring or suffering


to be done, some act which definitely is in violation of the MIWPIs rights
respecting the subject matter of the action, and unless said act or acts
are restrained or prohibited at least during the pendency of this case,
said act or acts would probably work not only injustice to MIWPI but
would tend to render the judgment of the RTC ineffectual.
o Trial court issued a temporary restraining order enjoining DAVENCOR and
the Secretary of Natural Resources from enforcing, implementing and/or
carrying into effect, the decision of as well as the order of execution.
o DAVENCOR filed a Motion to Dismiss but this was denied. And so, it filed an
Answer, stating the following special and affirmative defenses: (among
others)

Neither Milagros nor MIWPI advised Davencor of the change of name,


and transfer of management of PTL No. 30. from Milagros to MIWPI
during the pendency of MNR Case No. 6540 before the Bureau of Forest
Develoment and the Ministry of Natural Resources, notwithstanding that
the lawyer of MIWPI who was also a stockholder thereof, had appeared
for Milagros in said administrative case.

That MIWPI has acted in bad faith and is now in estoppel from
questioning the Writ of Execution issued against Milagros (now MIWPI)
to satisfy the judgment in MNR Case No. 6540.

The RTC has no jurisdiction because MIWPI has not exhausted


administrative remedies available to it before initiating this action.
o Meanwhile, the trial court issued an order granting MIWPIs prayer for the
issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction.
o RTC rendered its Decision in favor of MIWPI.

74

Special Civil Action: CALDONA

The order of execution issued by the Minister of Natural Resources included


MIWPI despite its non-inclusion in the decision of the then Minister of Natural
Resources. Said order or execution is hereby declared null and void.
CA: Reversed.
o The Order of Execution issued by the Minister of Natural Resources is
affirmed.
o MIWPIs MR was denied.
Hence this Petition for Certiorari.

ISSUES:
5. WON MIWPI was denied due process when it was adjudged liable with MLE for
encroaching upon the timber concession of DAVENCOR in the Minister's Order of
Execution. YES. [main for SCA]
6. WON MIWPI is a transferee of MLE's interest, as to make it liable for the latters
illegal logging operations in DAVENCORs timber concession. NO.
RATIO:
#1 MIWPI WAS DENIED DUE PROCESS [main]

Generally accepted is the principle that no man shall be affected by any


proceeding to which he is a stranger, and strangers to a case are not bound
by judgment rendered by the court. In the same manner, an execution can be
issued only against a party and not against one who did not have his day in court.
o Lorenzo vs. Cayetano: only real parties in interest in an action are bound by
judgment therein and by writs of execution and demolition issued pursuant
thereto.

A judgment cannot bind persons who are not parties to the action. A decision of a
court will not operate to divest the rights of a person who has not and has never
been a party to a litigation, either as plaintiff or as defendant. Execution of a
judgment can only be issued against one who is a party to the action, and not
against one who, not being a party in the action has not yet had his day in court.

The writ of execution must conform to the judgment which is to be


executed, as it may not vary the terms of the judgment it seeks to enforce.
Nor may it go beyond the terms of the judgment which sought to be
executed.
o Where the execution is not in harmony with the judgment which gives it life
and exceeds it, it has pro tanto no validity. To maintain otherwise would be to
ignore the constitutional provision against depriving a person of his property
without due process of law.

The writ of execution issued by the Secretary of Natural Resources clearly varies
the term of his Decision, inasmuch as the Writ includes the MIWPI as party liable
whereas the Decision only mentions Milagros/MLE.
o There is no basis for the issuance of the Order of Execution against MIWPI.
The same was issued without giving it an opportunity to defend itself
and oppose the request of DAVENCOR for the issuance of a writ of
execution against it.
o In fact, it does not appear that MIWPI was at all furnished with a copy of
DAVENCORs letter requesting for the Execution of the Honorable
Secretarys decision against it. MIWPI was suddenly made liable upon the

Bautista | Lopez | Macabagdal | R. Santos | Taruc

order of execution by Secretarys expedient conclusions that MLE and MIWPI


are one and the same, apparently on the basis merely of DAVENCORs letter
requesting for the Order, and without hearing or impleading MIWPI. This
action of the Secretary disregards the most basic tenets of due process and
elementary fairness.

The liberal atmosphere which pervades the procedure in administrative


proceedings does not empower the presiding officer to make conclusions of
fact before hearing all the parties concerned. The right to notice and hearing is
essential to due process and its non-observance will, as a rule, invalidate the
administrative proceedings.
o Appellant [DAVENCOR] should have filed a Motion with the Minister with
Notice to the appellee [MIWPI] to include the latter as party liable for the
judgment in order to afford the appellee an opportunity to be heard on its
liability for the judgment rendered against Milagros doing business under the
name Matuguina Logging Enterprises.
[SCA part]

HOWEVER, the failure to comply with the procedure in order to satisfy the
requirements of due process was NOT cured by the present action for prohibition
where the liability of MIWPI has been ventilated.

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.
o Mafinco Trading Corporation vs. Ople: 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 MAWPI 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.
#2 THERE IS NO NEED TO PIERCE THE VEIL OF MIWPIS CORPORATE EXISTENCE. IT IS NOT A
MERE CONDUIT OR SUCCESSOR OF MLE.

Assuming 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.

It is settled that a corporation is clothed with a personality separate and distinct


from that of persons composing it. But when the juridical personality of the
corporation is used to defeat public convenience, justify wrong, protect fraud or
defend crime, the corporation shall be considered as a mere association of
persons and its responsible officers and/or stockholders shall be individually liable.
o For the separate juridical personality of a corporation to be disregarded, the
wrongdoing must be clearly and convincingly established. It cannot be
presumed.

In the case at bar, there is insufficient basis for the appellate courts ruling that
MIWPI is the same as Milagros/MLE. DAVENCORs arguments do not at all
indicate that such a legal fiction was granted.

In the first place the alleged control of Milagros was not evident in any of
MPWIs particular corporate acts, wherein Milagros/MLE using MIPWI,
executed acts or powers directly involving the corporation.
o Neither was there any evidence that Milagros, using the facilities and
resources of MIPWI, involved itself in transaction using both MLE and MIPWI
in such particular line of business undertakings.

There is no evidence presented that during the subject decision of Hon.


Secretary of Natural Resources and corresponding writ of execution,
Milagros was a stockholder of MIPWI in such amount or was she an
officer of MIPWI in whatever capacity.
o Yet, granting that in 1974 or in 1975, Milagros became the controlling
stockholder, this circumstance, does not of itself prove that MIPWI was the
alter ego of Milagros.

Mere ownership by a single stockholder or by another corporation of all


or nearly all of the capital stocks of the corporation, is not itself a
sufficient warrant for disregarding the fiction of separate personality.
It is likewise improper to state that the MIWPI is the privy or the successor-ininterest of MLE, as the liability for the encroachment over DAVENCORs timber
concession is concerned, by reason of the transfer of interest in PTL No. 30 from
MLE to MIWPI.
o First at all, it does not appear indubitable that the said transfer ever became
effective, since PTL No. 30 remained in the name of Milagros/MLE until it
expired.
o More importantly, even if it is deemed that there was a valid change of name
and transfer of interest in the PTL No. 30, this only signifies a transfer of
authority, from MLE to MIWPI, to conduct logging operations in the area
covered by PTL No. 30. It does not show indubitable proof that MIWPI was a
mere conduit or successor of Milagros/MLE, as far the latters liability for the
encroachment upon DAVENCORs concession is concerned. This is the only
conclusion which we can discern from the language of Section 61 of P.D.
705, and the letters of the Acting Minister of Natural Resources to
Milagros/MLE and to MIWPI.

Even if it is mandated in Section 61 of P.D. 705 that the transferee shall


assume all the obligations of the transferor this does not mean that all
obligations are assumed, indiscriminately.

The term obligations as used in the final clause of the second


paragraph of Section 61 of P.D. 705 is construed to mean those
obligations incurred by the transferor in the ordinary course of business.
It cannot be construed to mean those obligations or liabilities incurred by
the transferor as a result of transgressions of the law, as these are
personal obligations of the transferor, and could not have been included
in the term obligations absent any modifying provision to that effect.

Accordingly, the letter's language implies that the obligations which


MIWPI are to assume as transferee of Milagros /MLE are those
obligations in favor of the government only, and not to any other entity.
Thus this would include Forestry Charges, Taxes, Fees, and similar
accountabilities.

Conclusion:

75

Special Civil Action: CALDONA

Bautista | Lopez | Macabagdal | R. Santos | Taruc

1.

2.

The Honorable Minister of Natural Resources gravely abuse its discretion when it
issued its Order of Execution, including therein as one of the parties liable MIPWI
which was never a party to the assailed proceeding resulting in the issuance of
such Order and, without affording the same an opportunity to be heard before it
was adjudged liable.
MIPWI is a corporate entity separate and distinct from Milagros/MLE, there being
no clear basis for considering it as a mere conduit or alter ego of Milagros/MLE,
and therefore, cannot be made liable for the obligations of the same for
encroachment over the timber concession of DAVENCOR.

DECISION: WHEREFORE, the petition is granted and the assailed resolutions of CA


are hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE. The writ of execution issued by the trial court
is hereby ANNULLED. The temporary restraining order heretofore issued against the
said order and writ is hereby made permanent.
12. MORFE V. JUSTICE OF THE PEACE OF CALOOCAN (RS)
GR L-46604|April 29, 1939|Villa-real, J.
Petitioners: Francisco Morfe, Catalino Bolos
Respondents: Justice of the Peace (JOP) of Caloocan, Rizal, and Albino Celestino,
Ricardo Celestino
SUMMARY
Cases for estafa was filed against Morfe. Cases for less serious physical injuries were
filed against Morfe and Bolos for allegedly inflicting harm on Albino and Ricardo, both
surnamed Celestino (Respondents). Also, a case for less serious physical injuries was
filed against Respondents for allegedly harming Morfe. All accused pleaded not guilty.
Criminal cases for less serious physical injuries against Morfe and Bolos were not
called for trial immediately because the respondents were confined at PGH. Cases
against the Petitioners and the Respondents were not called for trial because of
postponements sought by Atty. Valencia. Respondents announced their intention to file
complaints for frustrated murder against the Petitioners, and by agreement of the
parties the trial of case for less serious physical injuries was postponed. Complaints for
frustrated murder were filed with the JOP in place of those for less serious physical
injuries. Petitioners challenged the jurisdiction and competency of said JOP to receive
said complaints. WN the facts alleged in the petition for prohibition and mandamus are
sufficient to justify the granting of the remedies prayed for. NO. The remedy of
prohibition has for its object that of preventing an inferior tribunal in the proper
case, as a JOP court, from executing or continuing to execute an act in excess
of its jurisdiction, when there is no other plain, speedy and adequate remedy in
the ordinary course of law. The respondent JOP had and has the power to
dismiss the complaints for less serious physical injuries either on petition of the
complainants or upon his own for the reason that the cognizance and decision
of the crime of less serious physical injuries complained of are within his
jurisdiction. He also has authority to receive and docket the new complaints for
frustrated murder in place of the former ones, which were filed by the same
respondents against the petitioners, and to conduct only the summary and preliminary
investigation inasmuch as it is not within his jurisdiction to take cognizance of
complaints or informations for the crime of frustrated murder or decide the same, but
within that of the proper CFI.

76

Special Civil Action: CALDONA

FACTS

To prevent the respondent JOP of Caloocan, Rizal, from receiving and


docketing or continuing to take cognizance of the complaints for frustrated
murder filed by the respondents against the petitioners after the complaints
for less serious physical injuries against the same petitioners had been
dismissed; and to compel said respondent JOP to hear and decide on its
merits and without further delay criminal case No. 10476 entitled
"People vs. Albino Celestino et al.," for less serious physical injuries, the
aforesaid petitioners Morfe and Bolos have filed the present combined
petition for prohibition and mandamus.

9/29/1938 complaint for estafa against Morfe, was filed in the JOP Court of
Coloocan, Rizal.

10/15/1938 accused was temporarily released upon filing a bond.

10/18/1938 as a result of a quarrel between Morfe and the respondents, a


complaint for less serious physical injuries was filed against the former, who
is alleged to have inflicted the same upon the persons of Albino and Ricardo
(criminal case No. 10477).
o Same day as a result of the same quarrel, a complaint also for less
serious physical injuries, was filed against the other petitioner, Bolos,
who is alleged to have inflicted the same upon the same
respondents (criminal case no. 10478).
o Same day complaint for less serious physical injuries was filed
against Albino, Felipe and Ricardo, all surnamed Celestino, who
allegedly inflicted said injuries upon the persons of Morfe (criminal
case No. 10476).

10/19/1938 The accused, having been arraigned by the reading of the


respective complaints against of them, pleaded not guilty, each giving a bond
for his temporary release.

1/19/1939 Morfe appeared in criminal case No. 10473 for estafa and asked
for the dismissal of the complaint on the ground that the facts alleged are not
sufficient to confer jurisdiction on the JOP court of Coloocan, Rizal, or to
constitute the crime of estafa with which he charged. Up to the filing of the
present petition, Morfe has not been notified of any resolution on his motion
for dismissal

Criminal cases Nos. 10477 and 10478 against Morfe and Bolos, respectively,
for less serious physical injuries, were not called for trial immediately, until
December 16, 1938, for the reason that Albino and Ricardo, were then
confined in the Philippines General Hospital as a result of the injuries they
had received.
o The trial was not, however, held because Atty. Felix Valencia asked
for postponement.

1/23/1939 on motion of the offended parties Albino and Ricardo, the JOP
dismissed the criminal cases Nos. 19477 and 10478.

Criminal case No. 10476, in which Albino and Ricardo are accused, was
called for hearing on December 16, 1938; but was postponed on motion of
Atty. Felix Valencia, who appeared as private prosecutor.

Bautista | Lopez | Macabagdal | R. Santos | Taruc

The case having been again (sic) for trial on January 19, 1939, Albino and
Ricardo announced their intention to file complaints for frustrated murder
against the Petitioners, and by agreement of the parties the trial of said case
was postponed.
As one of the attorneys for the petitioners asked the provincial fiscal of Rizal
to examine the records of the criminal cases for frustrated murder, the
hearing of the case was suspended until the records were returned on March
2, 1939.
1/24/1939 complaints for frustrated murder in criminal cases Nos. 10576
and 10577 were filed with the JOP in place of those for less serious physical
injuries.
Before the JOP could issue the corresponding warrants of arrest, one of the
attorneys for the Petitioners asked the provincial fiscal to examine all the
records of the criminal cases for frustrated murder.
2/10/1939 Petitioners filed with the JOP a special appearance in which they
challenged the jurisdiction and competency of said JOP to receive said
complaints.
Up to the filing of the present petition, the said JOP has not resolved the
foregoing objection, nor has he issued any warrant of arrest in said criminal
cases for frustrated murder.

ISSUE: WN the facts alleged in the petition for prohibition and mandamus are sufficient
to justify the granting of the remedies prayed for. NO.
HELD: Wherefore, there being no merit whatever in the combined petition for
prohibition and mandamus before us, we hereby dismiss the same with costs against
the petitioners.
RATIO:

The remedy of mandamus has for its object to compel an inferior tribunal in
the proper case, as a JOP court, to comply with a function which the law
specially prescribes as a duty resulting from its office when there is no other
plain, speedy and adequate remedy (sec. 222, Code of Civil Procedure); and
that of prohibition has for its object that of preventing an inferior
tribunal in the proper case, as a JOP court, from executing or
continuing to execute an act in excess of its jurisdiction, when there is
no other plain, speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of
law (section 226, Code of Civil Procedure).

As to the petition for mandamus, the causes of the delay in the hearing of
criminal case No. 10476 entitled "People vs. Albino Celestino et al.," for less
serious physical injuries, against the herein Petitioners, were the
postponement prayed for by Atty. Felix Valencia, who appeared as private
prosecutor; the agreement entered into by all the parties to suspend the
hearing by reason of the announced intention of the Respondents to file a
complaint for frustrated murder against the Petitioners, and the fact that one
of the attorneys for the Petitioners asked the provincial fiscal of Rizal to
examine the records of the criminal cases for frustrated murder, agreeing to
wait for the result of the investigation.

As to that prohibition, the respondent JOP had and has the power to
dismiss the complaints for less serious physical injuries either on

77

Special Civil Action: CALDONA

petition of the complainants or upon his own for the reason that the
cognizance and decision of the crime of less serious physical injuries
complained of are within his jurisdiction.
o He also has authority to receive and docket the new complaints for
frustrated murder in place of the former ones, which were filed by the
same respondents against the petitioners, and to conduct only the
summary and preliminary investigation inasmuch as it is not within
his jurisdiction to take cognizance of complaints or informations for
the crime of frustrated murder or decide the same, but within that of
the proper CFI.
SC thus finds that in so far as the petition for mandamus is concerned, it not
appearing that the respondent JOP has abused his discretion in not hearing
and immediately deciding criminal case No. 10476, the petition referred to is
without basis.
On the petition for prohibition, the respondent JOP having jurisdiction to
receive and docket the complaints for frustrated murder filed by the
respondents against the petitioners and to conduct the summary as well as
the preliminary investigation thereof, said petition does not likewise lie.

13. Vergara v. Rugue (RT)


G.R. No. L-32984 August 26, 1977
Petitioner: ALFONSO VERGARA
Respondents: ABRAHAM RUGUE, JUDGE JOSE S. DELA CRUZ, CFI, Manila,
Branch XIX, THE SHERIFF OF THE CITY OF MANILA, and THE REGISTER OF
DEEDS OF MANILA
SUMMARY
Vergara v. Rugue
G.R. No. L-32984 August 26, 1977
Petitioner: ALFONSO VERGARA
Respondents: ABRAHAM RUGUE, JUDGE JOSE S. DELA CRUZ, CFI, Manila,
Branch XIX, THE SHERIFF OF THE CITY OF MANILA, and THE REGISTER OF
DEEDS OF MANILA
FACTS:
The Kapisanan "Ang Buhay, Inc." executed a contract of sale on Lot No. 9, Block No.
12, in favor of the plaintiff Abraham Rugue.
Under the terms of the agreement, plaintiff bound himself to pay and religiously and
regularly paid the installments that become due and payable thereon. Having thus
completed the payments constituting the purchase price of the said lot, the Land
Tenure Administration became bound to execute the corresponding document of sale
to transfer the ownership of the said lot to the plaintiff. However, before the same could
be done, one Alfonso Vergara intervened and claim preferential right over the said
property over Rugue herein. After trial, the lower court rendered a decision dismissing
the complaint for the annulment of the sale but ordering the Land Tenure
Administration to refund to Abraham Rugue all the payments that he has made on the

Bautista | Lopez | Macabagdal | R. Santos | Taruc

property, as well as to reimburse him for whatever improvement he has made on the
property. Vergara filed with the Court of Appeals a petition for relief from judgment; he
also filed with the lower court the corresponding motion to stay execution of judgment.
SC denied the petition for review by certiorari.
W/N the the decision of the CA is null and void and its execution can be
restrained by the extraordinary writ of prohibition.
It is petitioner's view that when the Court of Appeals in effect set aside the effects of
the decision of Executive Secretary Pajo which according to him had long become final
and executory, it exceeded or transcended its appellate jurisdiction. The thrust of his
argument is that the Court of Appeals was precluded from reviewing the decision of
Executive Secretary Pajo on the ground of res judicata.It is rather too late in the day for
petitioner to question now the lack or excess of jurisdiction of the Appellate Court 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
petitioner that the defense of res judicata when not interposed either in a motion to
dismiss or in an answer is deemed waived. 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.
FACTS:

The Kapisanan "Ang Buhay, Inc." which was duly authorized by the Tuason
Estate in Sta. Mesa, Manila executed a contract of sale on a portion of the
said estate described as Lot No. 9, Block No. 12, in favor of the plaintiff
Abraham Rugue.

Under the terms of the agreement, plaintiff bound himself to pay and
religiously and regularly paid the installments that become due and payable
thereon.

Having thus completed the payments constituting the purchase price of the
said lot, the Land Tenure Administration became bound to execute the
corresponding document of sale to transfer the ownership of the said lot to
the plaintiff.

However, before the same could be done, one Alfonso Vergara intervened
and claim preferential right over the said property over Rugue herein.

An investigation was conducted by the Land Tenure Administration as a result


of which the Land Tenure Administration awarded the contract in favor of the
Rugue.

An appeal from the decision of the Land Tenure Administration was taken by
defendant Alfonso Vergara to the Office of the President, which Office
reversed the decision of the Land Tenure Administration thru former
Executive Secretary Juan Pajo, and awarded the contract of the said property
to the said defendant Alfonso Vergara, reserving, however, the right of
reimbursement to the plaintiff for the payments that he had made on the said
lot by virtue of the contract that was executed between him and the
representative of the government.

78

Special Civil Action: CALDONA

After trial, the lower court ordered the Land Tenure Administration to refund to
Abraham Rugue all the payments that he has made on the property, as well
as to reimburse him for whatever improvement he has made on the property.
Upon appeal, the Court of Appeals reversed the judgment of the trial court.
The records of the case were remanded by the Court of Appeals to the lower
court, and Rugue filed with the lower court a motion for execution of said
decision which was granted by the trial court on. Consequently, the
corresponding order of execution was issued.
Vergara filed with the Court of Appeals a petition for relief from judgment; he
also filed with the lower court the corresponding motion to stay execution of
judgment. Per Resolution dated June 5, 1970, the Court of Appeals denied
Vergara's petition for relief from judgment.
He moved for reconsideration of said Resolution on June 24, 1970, but the
motion was likewise denied.
Forthwith, Vergara filed with this Court a petition for review by certiorari of the
decision and resolutions of the Court of Appeals, with preliminary injunction.
Denied.
Vergara moved for reconsideration of the Resolution, contending that Rugue
was disqualified to purchase the lot, and that the subsequent award to him
was valid, he being qualified to acquire the property. Denied.
Undaunted, he filed a second motion for reconsideration. Denied.
This notwithstanding, Vergara filed a third motion for reconsideration.
DENIED!

THIS CASE

Apprehensive that the lower court, upon receipt of the foregoing


Resolution, would lift its order staying execution of the decision of the
Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. No. 31186-R, petitioner filed the present
petition, contending that said decision of the Court of Appeals "was rendered
through a patent grave abuse of discretion amounting to want of jurisdiction or
excess of jurisdiction" and, consequently, the decision is null and void
and its execution can be restrained by the extraordinary writ of
prohibition.
ISSUE:
W/N the decision of the CA is null and void and its execution can be restrained by the
extraordinary writ of prohibition. NO
RATIO:

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.

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

Bautista | Lopez | Macabagdal | R. Santos | Taruc

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.
It is petitioner's view that when the Court of Appeals in effect set aside the
effects of the decision of Executive Secretary Pajo, dated June 12, 1958,
which according to him had long become final and executory, it exceeded or
transcended its appellate jurisdiction.
The thrust of his argument is that the Court of Appeals 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 the petitioner
in the afore-mentioned Civil Case No. 45780, the decision of which was
reversed by the Appellate Court, in CA-G. R. No. 31186-R.
Neither has Vergara invoked res judicata in his brief when the case was
appealed to the Court of Appeals in CA-G. R. No. 31186-R, although
extensive discussion was made thereon regarding the power of the Executive
Secretary to reverse the decision of the Chairman of the Land Tenure
Administration and the correctness and validity of the former's decision
reversing that of the latter.
Nor has he questioned, in his petition for certiorari with this Court on July 30,
1970 in G R. No. L-32309, the jurisdiction of the Court of Appeals in reversing
the trial court's judgment.
Thus, he emphasized therein not the lack of authority of the respondent Court
of Appeals to cancel and declare null and of no effect the sale of Lot No. 9,
Block No. 12, of the Tuason Estate in Sta. Mesa, Manila, executed by the
Land Tenure Administration in favor of Alfonso Vergara, as well as Transfer
Certificate of Title No. 59274 issued in Vergara's name, but the fact that the
Appellate Court "has so far departed from the accepted and usual course of
judicial proceedings".
It is rather too late in the day for petitioner to question now the lack or excess
of jurisdiction of the Appellate Court 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 petitioner that the defense of res judicata when not
interposed either in a motion to dismiss or in an answer is deemed waived.
Furthermore, the decision of Executive Secretary Pajo was presented as
evidence by petitioner Vergara himself Considering such circumstance and
the fact that petitioner Vergara had not invoked the defense of res judicata, it
was properly within the appellate authority of the Court of Appeals to pass
upon said decision of the Executive Secretary to ascertain whether or not the
same was supported by substantial evidence, or that said administrative
officer acted with gross abuse of discretion, fraud or error of law.

79

Special Civil Action: CALDONA

The general rule precluding the relitigation of material facts or questions


which were in issue and adjudicated in a former action is commonly applied to
all matters essentially connected with the subject matter of the litigation.
Thus, it extends to questions "necessarily involved in an issue, and
necessarily adjudicated, or necessarily implied in the final judgment, although
no specific finding may have been made in reference thereto, and although
such matters were directly referred to in the pleadings and were not actually
or formally presented.
Under this rule, if the record of the former trial shows that the judgment could
not have been rendered without deciding the particular matter, it will be
considered as having settled that matter as to all future actions between the
parties, and if a judgment necessarily presupposes certain premises, they are
as conclusive as the judgment itself.
It is urged by petitioner that the facts of the case as stated in the questioned
decision of the Court of Appeals are "mis-restated" in that there are some
portions thereof which do not reflect the true facts.
Again, it is rather too late for the petitioner to raise this point. In fact, having
adopted the very same facts, as stated by the Court of Appeals in its decision,
in his petition for certiorari with this Court in G. R. No. L-32309, he is now
estopped from raising such question. In any event, no excess or want of
jurisdiction is herein involved which would justify the availment of the
extraordinary legal remedy of prohibition.
The same conclusion is reached with regard to petitioner's contention that the
Court of Appeals erred when it honored the sale of the questioned lot in favor
of Abraham Rugue.
This is a matter that has to do with the merits of the case which
petitioner is now precluded from relitigating in view of the principle
of res judicata. Certainly, such question is not a proper subject of a
petition for 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

Bautista | Lopez | Macabagdal | R. Santos | Taruc

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."
WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing, the petition for prohibition should be, and
it is hereby, DISMISSED. Costs against the petitioner.
14. NACIONALISTA PARTY V. BAUTISTA (MB)
Petitioner: The Nacionalista Party
Respondent: Felix Angelo Bautista (Solicitor General of the Philippines)

G.R. No. L-3452 December 7, 1949


Padilla, J.
SUMMARY:
Felix Angelo Bautista, Solicitor General of the Philippines, was appointed by President
Quirino as acting member of the Comelec. Nacionalista Party challenges the
constitutionality of this appointment by praying for a writ of prohibition. The SC held
that:
1. Bautista's designation to act temporarily a member of the Comelec is unlawful
because it offends against the provision of the Constitution creating the Comelec.
2. No legal basis for the allegation of bad faith.
3. Nacionalista Party failed to establish that it is a real party in interest.
4. Prohibition is not the proper remedy. However, peculiar and extraordinary
circumstances are obtaining in this case. 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. As no one is entitled to the office, there is no party who in his name
may institute quo warranto proceedings. 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.
FACTS:

On 9 November 1949, while Bautista held, as he still holds, the office of


Solicitor General of the Philippines, the President designated him as acting
member of the Comelec.

On that same date Bautista took the oath of office and assumed office.

Nacionalista Party contends:


o Such designation is invalid, illegal, and unconstitutional, because
there was no vacancy in the Comelec, for the acceptance, approval,
or granting of the application for retirement filed by Commissioner
Francisco Enage on such date constitutes or amounts to abuse of
discretion and was done in bad faith by the President and therefore
null and void.
o The allegation of bad faith is predicated upon the allegation that the
Commissioner "had voted to suspend the elections in Negros

80

Special Civil Action: CALDONA

Occidental and Lanao and the Liberal Party fears he might vote to
annul said elections."
o Even if there was a vacancy in the Comelec, still Bautista's
designation is invalid, illegal, and unconstitutional, because
membership in the Commission is a permanent constitutional office
with a fixed tenure, and therefore, no designation of a person or
officer in an acting capacity could and can be made.
Bautistas answer:
o His designation is lawful and valid, not only because the power to
appoint vested in the President includes the power to designate, but
also because it is expressly so provided in Commonwealth Act No.
588.
o The offices held by him, one permanent and the note temporary, are
not incompatible.
The Nacionalista Party prays that a writ of prohibition be issued commanding
Bautista Solicitor General to desist forever from acting as acting member of
the Comelec under the designation rendered to him by President Quirino
unless he is legally appointed as regular member of the said Comelec.

ISSUES:
1. Whether the designation of Bautista as Acting Member of the Commissions
on Elections, in addition to his duties as Solicitor General, pending the
appointment of a permanent of Commissioner Francisco Enage, is unlawful
and unconstitutional. --- YES.
2. [MAIN] Whether or not prohibition is the proper remedy. --- NO, but peculiar
and extraordinary circumstances are obtaining in this case.
HELD:

Nacionalista Party is granted 5 days within which to amend its petition so as


to substitute the real parties in interest for it, or to show that it is a juridical
person entitled to institute these proceedings.

Otherwise, the petition will be dismissed. After the amendment or showing


referred to shall have been made, the writ prayed for will issue, without costs.
RATIO:
1. Bautista's designation to act temporarily a member of the Comelec is unlawful
because it offends against the provision of the Constitution creating the Comelec.

Francisco Enage vacated his office in the Comelec when he retired. In cases
of vacancy (when a member or members die, resign, retire, as in the case, or
be removed by impeachment or disqualified, or become physically or mentally
incapable, to perform the duties and functions of the office), the President
may appoint the Commissioner for the unexpired term.

However, by the very nature of their functions, the members of the Comelec
must be independent. It would be more in keeping with the intent, purpose
and aim of the framers of the Constitution to appoint a permanent
Commissioner than to designated, tested by the nature and character of the
functions he has to perform in both offices, but in the broad sense there is an

Bautista | Lopez | Macabagdal | R. Santos | Taruc

incompatibility, because his duties and functions as Solicitor General require


that all his time be devoted to their efficient performance. Nothing short of that
is required and expected of him.
2. No legal basis for the allegation of bad faith.

There is no legal basis for the allegation of bad faith, because the Comelec
can only recommend to the President the suspension of an election "when for
any serious cause the holding of an election should become impossible in any
political division or subdivision," pursuant to section 8 of Republic Act No.
180, and because the Commission on Election cannot "vote to annul said
elections" for it has no power to annul the election.
3. Nacionalista Party failed to establish that it is a real party in interest.

It does not aver that it is incorporated to entitle it to bring this action.

It may be organized and registered as a political party in or with the Comelec


for the purposes of the Revised Election Code (Republic Act No. 180 ), but for
the purpose of bringing an action in the courts of justice such organization
and registration are not sufficient.

But this technical defect may be cured by allowing the substitution of the real
parties in interest for the Nacionalista Party.
4. Prohibition is not the proper remedy. However, peculiar and extraordinary
circumstances are obtaining in this case.

As no one is entitled to the office, there is no party who in his name may
institute quo warranto proceedings. 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.

This special civil action as our Rule call it, or this extraordinary legal remedy
following the classical or chancery nomenclature, may only be instituted by
the party who claims to be entitled to the office (sec. 6, Rule 680 or by the
Solicitor General (sec. 3,4, Rule 68).

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.

However, in the case at bar, since Bautista's designation is unconstitutional,


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 warrant proceedings.

Bautista 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 the
consideration wherein it was ruled that the remedy of prohibition may lie.

High's Extraordinary Legal Remedies, 3rd edition on this point enumerates:

81

Special Civil Action: CALDONA

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

When the legislature have, by an unconstitutional statute, referred to


a body of judges the determination of the validity of a statute
concerning the liability of the state upon bonds issued in aid of
railways, prohibition will lie to prevent such body from acting upon
the matters thus submitted. So when an act of legislature delegates
to a judge powers partly judicial and partly of a legislative character,
as regards the determination of petitions for the incorporation of
villages, the act being held unconstitutional because assuming to
delegate legislative powers to a court or judicial body, prohibition will
lie to prevent the exercise of the powers thus conferred.
Prohibition will not be granted as a substitute for quo warranto for
the purpose of trying title to a judicial office by restraining an intruder
or de facto officer from acting, on the ground that he is an intruder or
a de facto officer. However, in Chambers vs. Jennings, it was
doubted whether there was or could be any such court, but said a
prohibition would lie to a pretend court.
If a court against which a writ of prohibition is sought is one of
established jurisdiction, a plea that the subject matter of a particular
suit lies without its jurisdiction, or that the party is not amenable to its
cognizance, will ordinarily afford full relief; "but when the question
involves the legal existence and construction of a court, a denial
of all jurisdiction and not of the particular jurisdiction proposed to be
exercised, a prohibition is the only adequate remedy.
Where a statute was plainly unconstitutional in so far as it provided
for the creation of a tribunal of justices to hear and consider
accusations of corrupt practices in elections, made no provision for
exemptions, and denied the right of appeal, except as to questions
of the eligibility of candidates to public office (so that in particular
case there was no means of review except through certiorari or writ
of error, neither of which would lie until after the unconstitutional
tribunal should have completed its hearings and made futile findings
which it had no jurisdiction to make, and both of which were
otherwise so defective under the circumstances as to be remedies in
form rather than in substance,) it was held proper to determine an
issue as to the constitutionality of the statute in a prohibition
proceeding. [Curtis vs. Cornish (1912)]
Where a writ of prohibition may issue against certain persons to
prevent their acting as supreme court commissioners by
appointment made under an unconstitutional statute, the somewhat
lengthy opinion contains no suggestion of doubt as to the propriety
of the remedy in view of the conclusion that statute in its entirety was
utterly void. The statute purported to create the offices of
commissioners of the supreme court as well as to provide for the
appointment of commissioners. [Hovey vs. Noble (1889)]

15. ENRIQUEZ v. MACADAEG (LL)


G.R. No. L-2422 | September 30, 1949 (short case, no summary)

Bautista | Lopez | Macabagdal | R. Santos | Taruc

Petitioner: MARCELO ENRIQUEZ


Respondents: HIGINIO B. MACADAEG, Judge of CFI of Cebu, MELITON YBURAN,
and THE PHILIPPINE NATIONAL BANK

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.

FACTS:

This is a petition for a writ of mandamus to compel the respondent judge to


dismiss a civil action pending in his court.

The civil action in question is for the recovery of a piece of real property
situated in Negros Oriental, the complaint alleging that the said property had
been bought by Meliton Yburan at an execution sale but that, notwithstanding
the sale, the judgment debtor, as supposed owner of said property,
subsequently mortgaged the same to the Philippine National Bank and
refused to surrender possession thereof to Yburan, whereupon, the latter
brought suit (Meliton Yburan vs. Marcelo Enriquez and PNB) to have himself
declared owner of said property and placed in possession thereof.

Before filing their answer, the defendants in that case moved for the dismissal
of the complaint on the ground, among others, that, as the action concerned
title to and possession of real estate situated in Negros Oriental, venue was
improperly laid in the CFI of Cebu. The motion having been denied, the
defendants filed the present petition for mandamus to compel the respondent
judge to dismiss the action.

Answering the petition, the respondent judge puts up the defense that the act
sought to be ordered involves the exercise of judicial discretion and that
petitioner has another adequate remedy, which is by appeal.

HELD: Wherefore, let a writ of prohibition issue, enjoining the respondent judge or his
successor from taking cognizance of this case unless it be to dismiss the same in
accordance with the Rules. Without costs. So ordered.

ISSUE: W/N mandamus proper remedy for correcting error of CFI judge NO

The SC held that (1) a CFI does not exceed its probate jurisdiction in authorizing one
claiming to be an acknowledged natural child of a decedent to intervene in the probate
of the alleged will of said decedent, upon presentation of prima facie evidence of such
civil status, (2) although a CFI does exceed its jurisdiction in ordering the payment
from the funds under administration of the expenses incurred by a presumptive for his
appearance and that of this witnesses with a view to opposing the probate of an
alleged will of his predecessor, because such expenses are not necessary to the
management of the estate, or its productivity, yet said decree being of a final character
and appealable, and there existing a plain, speedy and adequate remedy such as an
appeal, the writ of prohibition cannot be issued.

RATIO:

Rules of Court require that actions affecting title to or recovery of possession


of real property be commenced and tried in the province where the property
lies. Defendant may, within the time for pleading, file a motion to dismiss the
action when "venue is improperly laid."

As the action sought to be dismissed affects title to and the recovery of


possession of real property situated in Oriental Negros, it is obvious that the
action was improperly brought in the Court of First Instance of Cebu. The
motion to dismiss was therefore proper and should have been granted.

But, while the respondent judge 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.

82

Special Civil Action: CALDONA

16. ASINAS v. CFI & ASINAS (JM)


G.R. No. L-29038
March 10, 1928
Petitioner: CATALINA ASINAS, assisted by her husband Francisco Medina
Respondents: THE COURT OF THE FIRST INSTANCE OF ROMBLON and FELISA
ASINAS
Ponente: J. Villa-Real
Summary:
Catalina filed an application for the probate of the will of Mauricio. This was opposed
by Felisa who claimed to be the acknowledged natural daughter of the deceased. After
consideration, court authorized Felisa to intervene in the probate proceeding and the
administration of the estate, and also granted her P200 travelling expenses for herself
and her witnesses chargeable to the funds of the estate.

FACTS:

An application for the probate of what purports to be the will of the deceased
Mauricio Asinas, a resident of Looc, Romblon was filed by Catalina Asinas (hindi
sinabi kung ano siya ni Mauricio) in the office of the clerk of the CFI of Romblon.

Opposition was entered to said application by Felisa Asinas, alleging that she is
an acknowledged natural daughter of Mauricio, and by Justo Asinas, brother of
the deceased.

In view of the fact that Catalina denied Felisas right to intervene in the proceeding
for the probate of said alleged will, the court proceeded to determine whether
Felisa is really an acknowledged natural daughter of the deceased.

After hearing the parties, and upon consideration of the evidence adduced, the
court, in spite of Catalinas objection authorized Felisa to intervene in said probate

Bautista | Lopez | Macabagdal | R. Santos | Taruc

proceeding as well as in the administration of the said deceased's estate, and


granted her P200 travelling expenses for herself and her witnesses, chargeable to
the funds under administration.
Catalina moved for reconsideration but this was denied.
Hence this Petition for Prohibition.

ISSUE: WON court exceeded its jurisdiction in:


7. authorizing Felisa to intervene in the proceeding for the probate of the alleged will
of the deceased Mauricio and the administration of his estate. NO.
8. ordering that the expenses incurred by Felisas appearance in court and that of
her witnesses, amounting of P200, be charged to the funds under administration.
YES.
RATIO:
#1 IT WAS PROPER FOR THE PROBATE COURT TO PERMIT FELISA TO INTERVENE

Section 630 of the Code of Civil Procedure, in requiring the publication in a


newspaper of general circulation in the province for 3 consecutive weeks of the
date fixed by the competent court for the probate of a will, in order to afford all
those interested an opportunity to appear and oppose said probate, does not
specify who are the interested parties who may appear nor what proof they must
submit to show such interest.

A person alleging an interest in opposing the probate of a will as an acknowledged


natural daughter need not conclusively prove the existence of such a civil status,
or that such status has been judicially declared; it is sufficient that there be prima
facie evidence to that effect.
o This is not only because the law does not require it, but because section 753
of the same Code provides for the determination of the persons entitled to
receive the rest of the property in the said administration proceeding after the
debts, funeral and administration expenses have been paid.

Felisas right to intervene in the appointment of an administrator and in the estate


is nothing more than a logical consequence of her right to oppose the
probate of the will.
o It was only proper to permit Felisa, upon producing prima facie evidence of
her condition as an acknowledged natural daughter of the deceased Mauricio,
to oppose the probate of the said deceased's will and to intervene in the
appointment of an administrator of the property left by him.
#2 CFI EXCEEDED ITS JURISDICTION, BUT PROHIBITION DOES NOT LIE

Lizarraga Hermanos vs. Abada: The expenses of administration should be those


necessary for the management of the property, for protecting it against destruction
or deterioration, and possibly for the production of fruits; but the sum expended by
an administrator of an extensive administration of the estates of the decedent
cannot be considered "expenses of administration.

The expenses incurred by Felisa for her appearance and that of her witnesses,
with a view to establishing her right to oppose the probate of Mauricio Asinas' will,
cannot be considered as administration expenses, inasmuch as they are not
necessary either for the management of the property or its protection from
destruction of deterioration, or for the production of fruits.

83

Special Civil Action: CALDONA

Although a CFI has jurisdiction to authorize a judicial administrator of a


decedent's estate to make certain expenses for the benefit of said estate, or
to approve those already made, such jurisdiction is confined to expenses
strictly necessary for the good management thereof.
o In ordering then that the P200 expenses incurred for the appearance of Felisa
and her witnesses be paid out of the funds under administration, the court
exceeded its jurisdiction.
HOWEVER, note that the court'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 Felisa is granted, without the administrator or Catalina having
had a day in 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.
o As there is another plain, speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary course
of justice, namely, an appeal, prohibition cannot lie.

DECISION: By virtue whereof, the remedy applied for is denied, and the application is
dismissed, with the costs against the petitioner.
17. HOLY SPIRIT HOMEOWNERS ASSOCIATION INC. V. DEFENSOR (RS)
GR 163980|Aug. 3, 2006|Tinga, J.
Petitioners: HSHA, Inc. (HSHAI), Nestorio Apolinario, in his personaly capacity as
President of HSHAI
Respondents: Sec. Michael Defensor (Defensor, Chairman of the Housing and Urban
Devt Coordinating Council HUDCC), etc.
*Long case, but really easy to understand. Included all issues just in case sir asks. Go
straight to the procedural matters if youre in a hurry.
SUMMARY
Petitioners filed a petition for prohibition, seeking to prevent respondents from
enforcing the IRR of RA 9207. For the government, the OSG contends that, as to
procedure, prohibition is an improper remedy because the writ of prohibition does not
lie against the exercise of a quasi-legislative function. The respondents also allege that
petitioners violated the doctrine of hierarchy of courts in filing the instant petition with
this Court and not with the CA, which has concurrent jurisdiction over a petition for
prohibition. SC said that they are correct. Case ruled in favor of respondents. In
questioning the validity or constitutionality of a rule or regulation issued by an
administrative agency, a party need not exhaust administrative remedies before
going to court. This principle, however, applies only where the act of the
administrative agency concerned was performed pursuant to its quasi-judicial
function, and not when the assailed act pertained to its rule-making or quasilegislative power. Where what is assailed is the validity or constitutionality of a
rule or regulation issued by the administrative agency in the performance of its
quasi-legislative function, the regular courts (RTCs) have jurisdiction to pass
upon the same. Prohibition is an extraordinary writ directed against any tribunal,
corporation, board, officer or person, whether exercising judicial, quasi-judicial
or ministerial functions, ordering said entity or person to desist from further

Bautista | Lopez | Macabagdal | R. Santos | Taruc

proceedings when said proceedings are without or in excess of said entitys or


persons jurisdiction, or are accompanied with grave abuse of discretion, and
there is no appeal or any other plain, speedy and adequate remedy in the
ordinary course of law. Prohibition lies against judicial or ministerial functions,
but not against legislative or quasi-legislative functions. The assailed IRR was
issued pursuant to the quasi-legislative power of the Committee expressly authorized
by R.A. No. 9207. Hence, the petition is mortal.
FACTS

The instant petition for prohibition under Rule 65 of the 1997 Rules of Civil
Procedure, with prayer for the issuance of a TRO and/or writ of preliminary
injunction, seeks to prevent respondents from enforcing the implementing
rules and regulations (IRR) of RA No. 9207, otherwise known as the National
Government Center (NGC) Housing and Land Utilization Act of 2003.

HSHAI is a homeowners association from the West Side of the NGC,


represented by its president, Apolinario.

Named respondents are the ex-officio members of the National Government


Center Administration Committee (Committee). At the filing of the instant
petition, the Committee was composed of Secretary Michael Defensor,
Chairman of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council
(HUDCC), Atty. Edgardo Pamintuan, General Manager of the National
Housing Authority (NHA), Mr. Percival Chavez, Chairman of the Presidential
Commission for Urban Poor (PCUP), Mayor Feliciano Belmonte of Quezon
City, Secretary Elisea Gozun of the DENR and Secretary Florante Soriquez of
the DPWH.

Prior to the passage of R.A. No. 9207, a number of presidential issuances


authorized the creation and development of what is now known as the
National Government Center (NGC).

3/5/1972 former President Marcos issued Proclamation No. 1826,


reserving a parcel of land in Constitution Hills, Quezon City, covering a little
over 440 hectares as a national government site to be known as the NGC.

8/11/1987 then President Aquino issued Proclamation No. 137, excluding


150 of the 440 hectares of the reserved site from the coverage of
Proclamation No. 1826 and authorizing instead the disposition of the
excluded portion by direct sale to the bona fide residents therein.

In view of the rapid increase in population density in the portion excluded by


Proclamation No. 137 from the coverage of Proclamation No. 1826, former
President Ramos issued Proclamation No. 248 (kaloka) on September 7,
1993, authorizing the vertical development of the excluded portion to
maximize the number of families who can effectively become beneficiaries of
the governments socialized housing program.
17

5/14/2003 President GMA signed into law R.A. No. 9207.

18

In accordance with 5 of R.A. No. 9207, the Committee formulated the IRR
of R.A. No. 9207 on June 29, 2004. Petitioners subsequently filed the instant
petition.

ISSUES:

WN 3.1(A.4), 3.2(A.1) and 3.2(C.1) of the IRR should be declared null and
void for being inconsistent with RA 9207. NO

WN 3.1(A.4), 3.2(A.1) and 3.2(C.1) should be declared null and void for
being arbitrary, capricious and whimsical. NO
HELD
WHEREFORE, the instant petition for prohibition is DISMISSED
RATIO
PROCEDURAL MATTERS

As to locus standi:
o OSG contends that:

coverage thereof, 184 hectares on the west side and 238 hectares on the east side of
Commonwealth Avenue, and declaring the same open for disposition to bona fide residents
therein: Provided, That the determination of the bona fide residents on the west side shall be
based on the census survey conducted in 1994 and the determination of the bona
fide residents on the east side shall be based on the census survey conducted in 1994 and
occupancy verification survey conducted in 2000: Provided, further, That all existing legal
agreements, programs and plans signed, drawn up or implemented and actions taken,
consistent with the provisions of this Act are hereby adopted.
SEC. 4. Disposition of Certain Portions of the National Government Center Site for Local
Government or Community Facilities, Socioeconomic, Charitable, Educational and Religious
Purposes. Certain portions of land within the aforesaid area for local government or
community facilities, socioeconomic, charitable, educational and religious institutions are
hereby reserved for
disposition for
such
purposes:Provided, That only
those institutions already operating and with existing facilities or structures, or those
occupying the land may avail of the disposition program established under the provisions this
Act; Provided, further, That in ascertaining the specific areas that may be disposed of in favor
of these institutions, the existing site allocation shall be used as basis
therefore: Provided, finally. That in determining the reasonable lot allocation of
such institutions without specific lot allocations, the land area that may be allocated to them
shall be based on the area actually used by said institutions at the time of effectivity of this
Act. (Emphasis supplied.)

17

SEC. 2. Declaration of Policy. It is hereby declared the policy of the State to secure the land
tenure of the urban poor. Toward this end, lands located in the NGC, Quezon City shall be
utilized for housing, socioeconomic, civic, educational, religious and other purposes.
SEC. 3. Disposition of Certain Portions of the National Government Center Site to Bona Fide
Residents. Proclamation No. 1826, Series of 1979, is hereby amended by excluding from the

84

Special Civil Action: CALDONA

18

SEC. 5. National Government Center Administration Committee. There is hereby created a


National Government Center Administration Committee to administer, formulate guidelines
and policies, and implement the land disposition of the areas covered by this Act. xxx

Bautista | Lopez | Macabagdal | R. Santos | Taruc

85

HSHAI cannot question the implementation of Section 3.1


(b.2) and Section 3.2 (c.1) since it does not claim any right
over the NGC East Side. Section 3.1 (b.2) provides for the
maximum lot area that may be awarded to a residentbeneficiary of the NGC East Side, while Section 3.2 (c.1)
imposes a lot price escalation penalty to a qualified
beneficiary who fails to execute a contract to sell within the
prescribed period.

Also, since HSHAI is not the duly recognized peoples


organization in the NGC and since petitioners not qualify as
beneficiaries, they cannot question the manner of
disposition of lots in the NGC.
o Legal standing or locus standi has been defined as a personal and
substantial interest in the case such that the party has sustained or
will sustain direct injury as a result of the governmental act that is
being challenged. The gist of the question of standing is whether
a party alleges such personal stake in the outcome of the
controversy as to assure that concrete adverseness which sharpens
the presentation of issues upon which the court depends for
illumination of difficult constitutional questions.
o HSHAI has the legal standing to institute the instant petition, whether
or not it is the duly recognized association of homeowners in the
NGC. There is no dispute that the individual members of HSHAI are
residents of the NGC. As such, they are covered and stand to be
either benefited or injured by the enforcement of the IRR, particularly
as regards the selection process of beneficiaries and lot allocation to
qualified beneficiaries. Thus, HSHAI may assail those provisions in
the IRR, which it believes to be unfavorable to the rights of its
members.
o We cannot, therefore, agree with the OSG on the issue of locus
standi. The petition does not merit dismissal on that ground.
As to prohibition:
o OSG contends:

Prohibition is an improper remedy because the writ of


prohibition does not lie against the exercise of a quasilegislative function. Since in issuing the questioned IRR of
R.A. No. 9207, the Committee was not exercising judicial,
quasi-judicial or ministerial function, which is the scope of a
petition for prohibition under 2, Rule 65 of the 1997 Rules
of Civil Procedure, the instant prohibition should be
dismissed outright.

For their part, respondent Mayor of Quezon City and


respondent NHA contend that petitioners violated the
doctrine of hierarchy of courts in filing the instant petition
with this Court and not with the CA, which has concurrent
jurisdiction over a petition for prohibition.
o These cited breaches necessitate the dismissal of the instant
petition.

Special Civil Action: CALDONA

o
o

o
o

o
o

Administrative agencies possess quasi-legislative and quasi-judicial


powers.
In questioning the validity or constitutionality of a rule or
regulation issued by an administrative agency, a party need not
exhaust administrative remedies before going to court. This
principle, however, applies only where the act of the
administrative agency concerned was performed pursuant to its
quasi-judicial function, and not when the assailed act pertained to
its rule-making or quasi-legislative power.
The assailed IRR was issued pursuant to the quasi-legislative
power of the Committee expressly authorized by R.A. No. 9207.
Where what is assailed is the validity or constitutionality of a
rule or regulation issued by the administrative agency in the
performance of its quasi-legislative function, the regular courts
have jurisdiction to pass upon the same.
Since the regular courts have jurisdiction to pass upon the validity of
the assailed IRR issued by the Committee in the exercise of its
quasi-legislative power, the judicial course to assail its validity must
follow the doctrine of hierarchy of courts.
Although the Supreme Court, Court of Appeals and the Regional
Trial Courts have concurrent jurisdiction to issue writs of certiorari,
prohibition, mandamus, quo warranto, habeas corpus and injunction,
such concurrence does not give the petitioner unrestricted freedom
of choice of court forum
True, this Court has the full discretionary power to take cognizance
of the petition filed directly with it if compelling reasons, or the nature
and importance of the issues raised, so warrant.
A direct invocation of the Courts original jurisdiction to issue
these writs should be allowed only when there are special and
important reasons therefor, clearly and specifically set out in
the petition.
Heirs of Bertuldo Hinog v. Melicor SC will not entertain direct resort
to it unless the redress desired cannot be obtained in the appropriate
courts, and exceptional and compelling circumstances, such as
cases of national interest and of serious implications, justify the
availment of the extraordinary remedy of writ of certiorari, calling for
the exercise of its primary jurisdiction.

Here, perusal of the petition for prohibition shows no


compelling, special or important reasons to warrant the
Courts taking cognizance of the petition in the first
instance. Petitioner also failed to state any reason that
precludes the lower courts from passing upon the validity of
the questioned IRR. Moreover, as provided in Section 5,
Article VIII of the Constitution, the Courts power to evaluate
the validity of an IRR is generally appellate in nature. Thus,
following the doctrine of hierarchy of courts, the instant
petition should have been initially filed with the Regional
Trial Court.

Bautista | Lopez | Macabagdal | R. Santos | Taruc

A petition for prohibition is also not the proper remedy to assail


an IRR issued in the exercise of a quasi-legislative function.

Prohibition is an extraordinary writ directed against


any tribunal, corporation, board, officer or person,
whether exercising judicial, quasi-judicial or ministerial
functions, ordering said entity or person to desist from
further proceedings when said proceedings are without
or in excess of said entitys or persons jurisdiction, or
are accompanied with grave abuse of discretion, and
there is no appeal or any other plain, speedy and
adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law

Prohibition lies against judicial or ministerial functions,


but not against legislative or quasi-legislative
functions.

Generally, the purpose of a writ of prohibition is to keep a


lower court within the limits of its jurisdiction in order
to maintain the administration of justice in orderly
channels.

Prohibition is the proper remedy to afford relief against


usurpation of jurisdiction or power by an inferior court, or
when, in the exercise of jurisdiction in handling matters
clearly within its cognizance the inferior court transgresses
the bounds prescribed to it by the law, or where there is no
adequate remedy available in the ordinary course of law by
which such relief can be obtained.

Where the principal relief sought is to invalidate an


IRR, petitioners remedy is an ordinary action for its
nullification, an action which properly falls under the
jurisdiction of the RTC.

In any case, petitioners allegation that respondents are


performing or threatening to perform functions without or in
excess of their jurisdiction may appropriately be enjoined
by the trial court through a writ of injunction or a temporary
restraining order.

SUBSTANTIVE MATTERS

Petitioners allege that the provisions of the IRR (see ISSUES) are
constitutionally infirm as they are not germane to and/or are in conflict with
the object and purpose of RA 9207
o They allege that the limitation on the areas to be awarded to
qualified beneficiaries under Sec. 3.1 (a.4) and (b.2) of the IRR is not
in harmony with the provisions of R.A. No. 9207, which mandates
that the lot allocation to qualified beneficiaries shall be based on the
area actually used or occupied by bona fide residents without
limitation to area. The argument is utterly baseless.
o SC: While it is true that Section 4 of R.A. No. 9207 has a proviso
mandating that the lot allocation shall be based on the land area
actually used or occupied at the time of the laws effectivity, this
proviso applies only to institutional beneficiaries consisting of the

86

Special Civil Action: CALDONA

local government, socioeconomic, charitable, educational and


religious institutions which do not have specific lot allocations, and
not to the bona fide residents of NGC. There is no proviso which
even hints that a bona fide resident of the NGC is likewise entitled to
the lot area actually occupied by him.
Petitioners note that while Sec. 3.2 (a.1) of the IRR fixes the selling rate of a
lot at P700.00 per sq. m., R.A. No. 9207 does not provide for the price. They
add Sec. 3.2 (c.1) penalizes a beneficiary who fails to execute a contract to
sell within six (6) months from the approval of the subdivision plan by
imposing a price escalation, while there is no such penalty imposed by R.A.
No. 9207. Thus, they conclude that the assailed provisions conflict with R.A.
No. 9207 and should be nullified. The argument deserves scant
consideration.
o Where a rule or regulation has a provision not expressly stated or
contained in the statute being implemented, that provision does not
necessarily contradict the statute. A legislative rule is in the nature of
subordinate legislation, designed to implement a primary legislation
by providing the details thereof. All that is required is that the
regulation should be germane to the objects and purposes of the
law; that the regulation be not in contradiction to but in conformity
with the standards prescribed by the law
o In 5 of R.A. No. 9207, the Committee is granted the power to
administer, formulate guidelines and policies, and implement the
disposition of the areas covered by the law
o The Committees authority to fix the selling price of the lots may be
likened to the rate-fixing power of administrative agencies. In case of
a delegation of rate-fixing power, the only standard which the
legislature is required to prescribe for the guidance of the
administrative authority is that the rate be reasonable and just.
However, it has been held that even in the absence of an express
requirement as to reasonableness, this standard may be implied.
o Here, petitioners do not even claim that the selling price of the lots is
unreasonable.
Petitioners also suggest:
o That the adoption of the IRR suffers from a procedural flaw.
o Also, that the IRR was adopted and concurred in by several
representatives of peoples organizations contrary to the express
mandate of R.A. No. 9207 that only two representatives from duly
recognized peoples organizations must compose the NGCAC which
promulgated the assailed IRR. It is worth noting that petitioner
association is not a duly recognized peoples organization.
o In subordinate legislation, as long as the passage of the rule or
regulation had the benefit of a hearing, the procedural due process
requirement is deemed complied with. That there is observance of
more than the minimum requirements of due process in the adoption
of the questioned IRR is not a ground to invalidate the same.

18. Verzosa v. CA
G.R. No. 119511 November 24, 1998

Bautista | Lopez | Macabagdal | R. Santos | Taruc

Petitioners: WILFREDO P. VERZOSA and PILAR MARTINEZ


respondents: COURT OF APPEALS, HON. NICODEMO FERRER, and FE GIRON
USON
SUMMARY
Fe Giron Uson is the owner of a parcel of land located in Pangasinan. She mortgaged
the land to Wilfredo Verzosa. Fe Uson failed to pay her entire obligation to Verzosa,
prompting the latter to have the mortgage foreclosed. To prevent the Office of the
Provincial Sheriff from proceeding with the foreclosure sale, Fe Uson filed a complaint
against Wilfredo Verzosa for annulment of mortgage with prayer for the issuance of a
writ of preliminary injunction. The complaint was dismissed on the ground that it was
not personally verified by plaintiff Fe Uson. She then filed her amended complaint
which bears the proper verification. The foreclosure sale was conducted by the sheriff.
The property was sold to Verzosa being the highest bidder. The trial court issued an
order admitting the amended complaint of Fe Uson. Verzosa filed for certiorari. He
alleged that the said order, admitting the amended complaint was issued with grave
abuse of discretion.
The court dismissed the petition, thus sustaining the validity of respondent court's
order admitting Fe Uson's amended complaint.Upon Uson's application for preliminary
injunction respondent court issued an order directing the latter to cease and desist
from entering, making constructions and performing any act of possession or
ownership over the land in question Respondent judge, acting on Verzosa's motion for
clarification, issued an order to the effect that the status quo being maintained is the
possession of plaintiff Fe Uson of the land and that such status quo does not refer to
defendant Pilar Martinez being the registered owner of T.C.T. No. 11107.
ISSUES:
1. Is private respondent entitled to an injunctive writ? YES.
2. What is the status quo ante that the said writ seeks to preserve? the status quo was
the situation of the parties at the time of the filing of the original Complaint.
1. Issuance of the Injunctive Writ
An injunctive writ may be issued when the following requisites are established:
1. The invasion of the right is material and substantial;
2. The right of complainant is clear and unmistakable;
3. There is an urgent and permanent necessity for the writ to prevent serious
damage.
The foregoing requisites are present in this case. The undisputed owner of the
property which was mortgaged to Petitioner Verzosa was private respondent who,
upon learning of the scheduled foreclosure, immediately filed a Complaint to annul the
mortgage, praying that a restraining order be issued to restrain such foreclosure.
Private respondent insisted that she had paid her P25,000 debt, except for the
remaining unpaid balance of P915.75 which she was willing to consign to the court. In
other words, she had title to and possession of the property and she claimed to have
paid her obligation, except for the nominal unpaid balance which she was willing to
consign judicially.
2. Status Quo Ante
The "status quo" is the last actual peaceful uncontested situation which precedes a
controversy, and its preservation is the office of an injunctive writ. In the instant case,
the Amended Complaint did not introduce a new or different cause of action or
demand. The original Complaint was amended only to rectify the lack of verification

87

Special Civil Action: CALDONA

and thereafter to implead Martinez, who had purchased the contested property from
Verzosa.
FACTS:
Records reveal that Fe Giron Uson is the owner of a parcel of land consisting of
19,955 square meters located at Baquioen, Sual, Pangasinan. She mortgaged the
land to Wilfredo Verzosa.
Fe Uson failed to pay her entire obligation to Verzosa, prompting the latter to have
the mortgage foreclosed. The Provincial Sheriff of Pangasinan set the foreclosure
sale on August 17, 1988 at 10:00 A.M.
To prevent the Office of the Provincial Sheriff from proceeding with the foreclosure
sale, Fe Uson, on August 12, 1988, filed with the Regional Trial Court, Branch 37,
Lingayen, Pangasinan, a complaint against Wilfredo Verzosa and the Provincial
Sheriff, docketed as Civil Case No. 16590, for annulment of mortgage with prayer for
the issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction.
Defendant Verzosa filed a motion to dismiss the complaint.The complaint was
dismissed on the ground that it was not personally verified by plaintiff Fe Uson.
Fe Uson filed a motion for reconsideration which was granted by the court. She filed
her amended complaint which bears the proper verification.
Meantime, Verzosa wrote the Provincial Sheriff to proceed with the foreclosure of
mortgage.
Whereupon, Fe Uson, through counsel, wrote the Provincial Sheriff requesting him
to discontinue the foreclosure sale in deference to "the said pending case and to the
action to be taken by the Honorable Presiding Judge of the Court.
The foreclosure sale was conducted by the sheriff. The property was sold to Verzosa
being the highest bidder. Thereafter, the Sheriff's Certificate of Sale was approved
by Executive Judge Antonio Belen and issued to Verzosa.
The trial court issued an order admitting the amended complaint of Fe Uson.
At this point, Verzosa filed with the Court of Appeals CA-G.R. SP No. 18898
for certiorari. He alleged that the said order, admitting the amended complaint was
issued with grave abuse of discretion.
The Sheriffs Certificate of Sale was registered in the Registry of Deeds of Alaminos,
Pangasinan.
After the expiration of the redemption period of one year, the defendant Sheriff
issued the Sheriff's Final Deed of Sale. Thus, the title in Fe Uson's name was
cancelled and in lieu thereof, title was issued in the name of Wilfredo Verzosa.
Verzosa sold the land to Pilar Martinez. As a result, Verzosa's T.C.T. was cancelled
and T.C.T. was issued to Martinez.
Meantime, after one year from the filing of Verzosa's petition for certiorariwith the
Court of Appeals, the said court dismissed the petition, thus sustaining the
validity of respondent court's order dated September 5, 1989 admitting Fe
Uson's amended complaint.
Fe Uson filed her second amended complaint impleading as additional defendants
the Register of Deeds of Alaminos, Pangasinan and Pilar Martinez and praying,
among others, the annulment of the latter's title T.C.T. No. 11107.
Upon Uson's application for preliminary injunction embodied in her Second
Amended Complaint (which was opposed by Verzosa and Martinez), respondent
court issued an order directing the latter to cease and desist from entering, making

Bautista | Lopez | Macabagdal | R. Santos | Taruc

constructions and performing any act of possession or ownership over the land in
question, upon posting by plaintiff Uson of a bond of P10,000.00.
Defendant Martinez filed a motion for consideration which was denied on September
18, 1991.
After hearing and upon posting of a bond in the amount of P10,000.00 by Uson,
respondent Judge issued an order directing defendants Verzosa and Martinez
and/or any and other persons acting under their command to desist and cease
from entering, intruding and making constructions on the land covered by
O.C.T. No. 12783.
Respondent judge, acting on Verzosa's motion for clarification of the order dated
September 18, 1991, issued an order to the effect that the status quo being
maintained is the possession of plaintiff Fe Uson of the land and that such status
quo does not refer to defendant Pilar Martinez being the registered owner.
It should be noted that the Complaint alleged that Private Respondent Uson
mortgaged the property to Verzosa for P25,000, and that the remaining, unpaid
balance was P915.75, an amount she was willing to consign to the trial court.
Petitioners challenged by certiorari the two orders of the trial court. Because the CA
dismissed their petition, petitioners availed themselves of the present recourse.

ISSUES:
1. Is private respondent entitled to an injunctive writ? YES.
2. What is the status quo ante that the said writ seeks to preserve? The status quo was
the situation of the parties at the time of the filing of the original Complaint.
RATIO:
1. Issuance of the Injunctive Writ
Petitioners primarily allege that the injunctive writ was wrongfully issued in favor of
private respondent, as the latter had a doubtful, unclear and unadjudicated right for
recovery of the property which had been mortgaged, foreclosed and sold to a third
party. We disagree.
An injunctive writ may be issued when the following requisites are established:
4. The invasion of the right is material and substantial;
5. The right of complainant is clear and unmistakable;
6. There is an urgent and permanent necessity for the writ to prevent serious
damage.
The foregoing requisites are present in this case.
The undisputed owner of the property which was mortgaged to Petitioner Verzosa
was private respondent who, upon learning of the scheduled foreclosure,
immediately filed a Complaint to annul the mortgage, praying that a restraining order
be issued to restrain such foreclosure.
Private respondent insisted that she had paid her P25,000 debt, except for the
remaining unpaid balance of P915.75 which she was willing to consign to the court.
In other words, she had title to and possession of the property and she claimed to
have paid her obligation, except for the nominal unpaid balance which she was
willing to consign judicially.
Hence, she had a clear and unmistakable right to protect her title to and possession
of the mortgaged property by enjoining the foreclosure sale.

88

Special Civil Action: CALDONA

Given the above factual allegations, it is clear that private respondent was entitled to
the injunctive writ.
2. Status Quo Ante
The "status quo" is the last actual peaceful uncontested situation which precedes a
controversy, and its preservation is the office of an injunctive writ.
Petitioners insist that the status quo refers to the point when Pilar Martinez was
already the owner of the property, having purchased it from Verzosa.
We cannot sustain the petitioners, for Martinez' claim to the property is precisely the
bone of contention.
Private respondent, the origin owner of the property, filed a Complaint against
Wilfredo Verzosa and the provincial sheriff for the annulment of mortgage and the
issuance of an injunctive writ to prevent the foreclosure of the property and the
subsequent transfer of ownership. Although the Complaint was subsequently
amended, the controversy began when the first Complaint was filed.
Nevertheless, Petitioner Verzosa and the sheriff proceeded with the foreclosure
before the filing of the Amended Complaint. Worse, Verzosa sold the property to
Martinez one week later.
Now, Verzosa and Martinez claim that thestatus quo to be preserved refers to the
time before the filing of the second Complaint and after Martinez had acquired the
property from Verzosa.
Petitioners contend that the controversy started only when the Amended Complaint
was filed, because the previous Complaints were expunged from the records.
Jurisprudence says that when the amended complaint does not introduce new
issues, causes of action, or demands, the suit is deemed to have commenced on the
date the original complaint was filed, not on the date of the filing of the amended
complaint.
In other words, for demands already included in the original complaint, the suit is
deemed to have commenced upon the filing of such original complaint.
In short, for purposes of determining the commencement of a suit, the original,
complaint is deemed abandoned and superseded by the amended complaint only if
the amended complaint introduces a new or different cause of action or demand.
Hence, it has been held that "an amendment which merely supplements and
amplifies the facts originally alleged relates back to the date of the commencement
of the action and is not barred by the statute of limitations, the period of which
expires after service of the original complaint but before service of amendment." It is
the actual filing in court that controls and not the date of the formal admission of the
amended pleading.
In the instant case, the Amended Complaint did not introduce a new or different
cause of action or demand. The original Complaint was amended only to rectify the
lack of verification and thereafter to implead Martinez, who had purchased the
contested property from Verzosa.
Similarly unavailing is petitioners' contention that the injunctive writ was applied
retroactively and, hence, violative of Ruymann and other subsequent cases. To
repeat, Ruymann was wrongly applied by petitioners.

Bautista | Lopez | Macabagdal | R. Santos | Taruc

There being no new issues introduced in the Amended Complaint herein, the
present suit is deemed to have commenced on the date of the filing of the original
Complaint.
Hence, the CA was correct in upholding the trial court that the status quo was the
situation of the parties at the time of the filing of the original Complaint.
Finally, petitioners assert that Respondent Court violated the well-entrenched
doctrine that consummated acts can no longer be restrained by injunction.
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 . . .; "
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 the 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 Petitioner Verzosa from proceeding with
the mortgage sale, yet he proceeded to do so while the action was still pending.
Such conduct is reprehensible.
Hence, in proceeding with the mortgage sale and subsequently selling the property
to Pilar Martinez, Petitioner Verzosa was acting at his peril.
Clearly, the Respondent Court did not err in sustaining the Decision of the lower
court that the status quo to be maintained was the situation when title to and
possession of the property were still with Private Respondent Uson.
WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED for lack of merit and the assailed Decision of
the Court of Appeals is AFFIRMED.

89

Special Civil Action: CALDONA

Bautista | Lopez | Macabagdal | R. Santos | Taruc

MANDAMUS
Section 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.
The petition shall also contain a sworn certification of non-forum shopping as provided
in the third paragraph of section 3, Rule 46. (3a)
Section 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.

specifically directed by the court, they shall not appear or participate in the
proceedings therein. (5a)
Section 6. Order to comment. If the petition is sufficient in form and substance to
justify such process, the court shall issue an order requiring the respondent or
respondents to comment on the petition within ten (10) days from receipt of a copy
thereof. Such order shall be served on the respondents in such manner as the court
may direct together with a copy of the petition and any annexes thereto.
In petitions for certiorari before the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals, the
provisions of section 2, Rule 56, shall be observed. Before giving due course thereto,
the court may require the respondents to file their comment to, and not a motion to
dismiss, the petition. Thereafter, the court may require the filing of a reply and such
other responsive or other pleadings as it may deem necessary and proper. (6a)
Section 7. Expediting proceedings; injunctive relief. The court in which the petition
is filed may issue orders expediting the proceedings, and it may also grant a temporary
restraining order or a writ of preliminary injunction for the preservation of the rights of
the parties pending such proceedings. 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.
(7a)
Section 8. Proceedings after comment is filed. After the comment or other
pleadings required by the court are filed, or the time for the filing thereof has expired,
the court may hear the case or require the parties to submit memoranda. If after such
hearing or submission of memoranda or the expiration of the period for the filing
thereof the court finds that the allegations of the petition are true, it shall render
judgment for the relief prayed for or to which the petitioner is entitled.

No extension of time to file the petition shall be granted except for compelling reason
and in no case exceeding fifteen (15) days. (4a) (Bar Matter No. 803, 21 July 1998;
A.M. No. 00-2-03-SC)

The court, however, may dismiss the petition if it finds the same to be patently without
merit, prosecuted manifestly for delay, or that the questions raised therein are too
unsubstantial to require consideration. (8a)

Section 5. Respondents and costs in certain cases. When the petition filed relates
to the acts or omissions of a judge, court, quasi-judicial agency, tribunal, corporation,
board, officer or person, the petitioner shall join, as private respondent or respondents
with such public respondent or respondents, the person or persons interested in
sustaining the proceedings in the court; and it shall be the duty of such private
respondents to appear and defend, both in his or their own behalf and in behalf of the
public respondent or respondents affected by the proceedings, and the costs awarded
in such proceedings in favor of the petitioner shall be against the private respondents
only, and not against the judge, court, quasi-judicial agency, tribunal, corporation,
board, officer or person impleaded as public respondent or respondents.

Section 9. Service and enforcement of order or judgment. A certified copy of the


judgment rendered in accordance with the last preceding section shall be served upon
the court, quasi-judicial agency, tribunal, corporation, board, officer or person
concerned in such manner as the court may direct, and disobedience thereto shall be
punished as contempt. An execution may issue for any damages or costs awarded in
accordance with section 1 of Rule 39. (9a)

Unless otherwise specifically directed by the court where the petition is pending, the
public respondents shall not appear in or file an answer or comment to the petition or
any pleading therein. If the case is elevated to a higher court by either party, the public
respondents shall be included therein as nominal parties. However, unless otherwise

90

Special Civil Action: CALDONA

1. Angchangco Jr. v. Ombudsman (MB)


Petitioner: Casiano A. Angchangco, Jr.
Respondents: The Honorable Ombudsman, Zaldy Tamayo, Gilda Navarra, Odelia
Legaspi, Salvador Tamayo, Gaspar Aborque, Roel Abas, Remedios Olita, et al.,
Teodoro Torreon, et al., Jimmy Martin, Menrado Allawan, Margarito Escorial, Norberto
Ocat and Alejandro Erna.

Bautista | Lopez | Macabagdal | R. Santos | Taruc

G.R. No. 122728. February 13, 1997


Melo, J.
SUMMARY:
Angchangco was the Sheriff IV in the RTC of Agusan del Norte and Butuan City. The
DOLE rendered a decision ordering NIASSI to pay its workers. Angchangco garnished
on NIASSIs clients to satisfy the writ of execution. Atty. Calo (NIASSI President) filed a
civil case (prohibition and damages) in the RTC and criminal complaints (graft,
estafa/malversation and misconduct) in the office of the Ombudsman against
Angchangco. Several workers of NIASSI filed letters-complaints with the Office of the
Ombudsman-Mindanao charging Angchangco with illegal deductions from their salary.
RTC dismissed the civil case. The criminal complaints remained unresolved for more
than 6 years. Angchangcos motion to dismiss also remained unacted upon. Hence
this petition for mandamus filed by Angchangco to compel the Ombudsman dismiss
the cases against him and to issue a clearance.
The SC held that the petition for mandamus was proper because the Office of the
Ombudsman, due to its failure to resolve the criminal charges against Angchangco for
more than six 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.
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.
FACTS:

Angchangco served as a deputy sheriff and later as Sheriff IV in the RTC of


Agusan del Norte and Butuan City.

The DOLE rendered a decision ordering the Nasipit Integrated Arrastre and
Stevedoring Services Inc. (NIASSI) to pay its workers the sum of
P1,281,065.505.

Angchangco, as the assigned sheriff and pursuant to the writ of execution


issued, caused the satisfaction of the decision by garnishing NIASSI's daily
collections from its various clients.

Atty. Tranquilino O. Calo, Jr. (NIASSI President), filed a complaint for


prohibition and damages against Angchangco.

RTC initially issued a TRO but later dismissed the case for lack of
jurisdiction.

Atty. Calo likewise filed before the Office of the Ombudsman a complaint
against Angchangco for graft, estafa/malversation and misconduct relative to
the enforcement of the writ of execution.

Ombudsman recommended dismissal for lack of merit.

Several workers of NIASSI filed letters-complaints with the Office of the


Ombudsman-Mindanao alleging that Angchangco illegally deducted an
amount equivalent to 25% from their differential pay

91

Special Civil Action: CALDONA

Ombudsman-Mindanao endorsed to the Court the administrative aspect of


the complaints. The Court in an En Banc Resolution dated November 25,
1993 dismissed the case for lack of interest on the part of complainants to
pursue their case.
When Angchangco retired the criminal complaints still remained unresolved,
as a consequence of which Angchangco's request for clearance in order that
he may qualify to receive his retirement benefits was denied.
With the criminal complaints remaining unresolved for more than 6 years,
Angchangco filed a motion to dismiss, invoking Tatad vs. Sandiganbayan.
However, even this motion to dismiss, has not been acted upon.
Hence, the instant petition for mandamus seeking to compel the Ombudsman
to dismiss the cases and to direct the Ombudsman to issue a clearance in
favor of Angchangco.
Office of the Solicitor General filed a Manifestation and Motion saying it
agreed with the views of Angchangco.

ISSUE:
Whether or not mandamus is proper. --- YES.
HELD:

The Court finds the present petition to be impressed with merit.

The Court RESOLVED to give DUE COURSE to the petition and to GRANT
the same.

Ombudsman Cases are ordered DISMISSED. The Office of the Ombudsman


is further directed to issue the corresponding clearance in favor of
Angchangco.
RATIO:
1. The inordinate delay of more than six years violates Angchangcos right to
due process and speedy disposition of cases.

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
(Section 3 of Rule 65 of the Rules of Court).

After a careful review of the facts and circumstances of the present case, the
Court finds the inordinate delay of more than six 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.

Tatad vs. Sandiganbayan --- The long delay in the termination of the
preliminary investigation by the Tanodbayan in the instant case to be violative
of the constitutional right of the accused to due process. Not only under the
broad umbrella of the due process clause, but under the constitutional

Bautista | Lopez | Macabagdal | R. Santos | Taruc

guarantee of "speedy disposition" of cases, the inordinate delay is violative of


the petitioners constitutional rights. A delay of close to three years can not be
deemed reasonable or justifiable in the light of the circumstance obtaining in
the case at bar.
2. The Ombudsman failed to discharge its duty 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 (Rules of Court in the Philippines,
Volume III by Martin, 4th Edition, page 233).

It is correct 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 (Kant Kwong vs. PCGG,
156 SCRA 222, 232 [1987]).

Here, the Office of the Ombudsman, due to its failure to resolve the criminal
charges against Angchangco for more than six 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, Angchangco 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 respondent Ombudsman. If we wait any longer, it may be too
late for Angchangco 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.
2. KAPISANAN NG MGA MANGGAGAWA VS MANILA RAILROAD
G.R. No. L-25316 February 28, 1979
Petitioner-appellant: KAPISANAN NG MGA MANGGAGAWA SA MANILA RAILROAD
COMPANY CREDIT UNION, INC.
Respondent-appellee: MANILA RAILROAD COMPANY
Summary: In this mandamus petition dismissed by the lower court, Kapisanan ng mga
Manggagawa seeks a reversal of the decision relying on what it considered to be a
right granted by Section 62 of the Republic Act No. 2023. Kapisanan ng mga
Manggagawa contends that the mandatory character of RA 2023 is only to compel the
employer to make the deduction of the employees' debt from the latter's salary and
turn this over to the employees' credit union but this mandatory character does not
convert the credit union's credit into a first priority credit. Such an interpretation found
favor with the Manila Railroad Company, which pointed out that there is nothing in said

92

Special Civil Action: CALDONA

provision from which it could be implied that it gives top priority to obligations of the
nature of that payable to Kapisanan ng mga Manggagawa, and that, therefore, Manila
Railroad Company, in issuing the documents did not violate RA 2023. SC ruled that
this petition being one for mandamus and the provision of law relied upon being clear
on its face, it would appear that no favorable action can be taken on this appeal. The
very law on which the action is based fails to supply any basis for this petition.
Mandamus is the proper remedy if it could be shown that there was neglect on the part
of a tribunal in the performance of an act, which specifically the law enjoins as a duty
or an unlawful exclusion of a party from the use and enjoyment of a right to which he is
entitled. Only specific legal rights may be enforced by mandamus if they are clear and
certain. If the legal rights are of the petitioner are not well defined, clear, and certain,
the petition must be dismissed
FACTS:

In this mandamus petition dismissed by the lower court, petitioner-appellant


would seek a reversal of such decision relying on what it considered to be a
right granted by Section 62 of the Republic Act No. 2023, more specifically
the first two paragraphs thereof:
o "... (1) A member of a cooperative may execute an agreement in
favor of the co-operative authorizing his employer to deduct from the
salary or wages payable to him by the employer such amount as
may be specified in the agreement and to pay the amount so
deducted to the co-operative in satisfaction of any debt or other
demand owing from the member to the co-operative.
o (2) Upon the exemption of such agreement the employer shall if so
required by the co-operative by a request in writing and so long as
such debt or other demand or any part of it remains unpaid, make
the claimant and remit forth with the amount so deducted to the cooperative."

Petitioner contends that the loans granted by credit union to its members
enjoy first priority in the payroll collection. There is nothing in RA 2023 which
provides that obligation of laborers and employees payable to credit unions
shall enjoy first priority.
o The only effect of RA 2023 is to compel the employer to deduct from
the salaries or wages payable to members of the employees'
cooperative credit unions the employees' debts to the union and to
pay the same to the credit union.
o If RA 2023 had been enacted, the employer could not be compelled
to act as the collecting agent of the employees' credit union for the
employees' debt to his credit union but to contend that the debt of a
member of the employees cooperative credit union as having first
priority in the matter of deduction, is to write something into the law
which does not appear.
o The mandatory character of Rep. Act 2023 is only to compel the
employer to make the deduction of the employees' debt from the
latter's salary and turn this over to the employees' credit union but
this mandatory character does not convert the credit union's credit
into a first priority credit.

Bautista | Lopez | Macabagdal | R. Santos | Taruc

If the legislative intent were to give first priority in the matter of


payments to the obligations of employees in favor of their credit
unions, then, the law would have so expressly declared.
Respondent-appellee pointed out "that there is nothing in said provision from
which it could be implied that it gives top priority to obligations of the nature of
that payable to petitioner, and that, therefore, respondent company, in issuing
the documents which establish the order of priority of payment out of the
salaries of the employees of respondent-appellee, did not violate the abovequoted Section 62 of RA 2023. In issuing such documents, it was only
implementing the law.

ISSUE: W/N mandamus lie in this case NO


RATIO:

This petition being one for mandamus and the provision of law relied upon
being clear on its face, it would appear that no favorable action can be taken
on this appeal.

The applicable provision of RA 2023 speaks for itself. There is no ambiguity.


Where the statutory norm speaks unequivocally, there is nothing for the
courts to do except to apply it. The law, leaving no doubt as to the scope of its
operation, must be obeyed.

Petitioner-appellant was unable to show a clear legal right. The very law on
which he would base his action fails to supply any basis for this petition. A
more rigorous analysis would have prevented him from instituting a suit of this
character.

Mandamus is the proper remedy if it could be shown that there was neglect
on the part of a tribunal in the performance of an act, which specifically the
law enjoins as a duty or an unlawful exclusion of a party from the use and
enjoyment of a right to which he is entitled.

Only specific legal rights may be enforced by mandamus if they are clear and
certain. If the legal rights are of the petitioner are not well defined, clear, and
certain, the petition must be dismissed.

It is well establish that only specific legal rights are enforceable by


mandamus, that the right sought to be enforced must be certain and clear,
and that the writ not issue in cases where the right is doubtful."

The writ never issues in doubtful cases. It neither confers powers nor imposes
duties. It is simply a command to exercise a power already possessed and to
perform a duty already imposed.

It has also been held that it is essential to the issuance of the writ of
mandamus that the plaintiff should 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.
HELD: WHEREFORE, the appealed decision is affirmed. No pronouncement as to
costs.
3. Carbungco v. Amparo
G.R. No. L-2245
May 20, 1949

93

Special Civil Action: CALDONA

Petitioner: Ambrosio Carbungco


Respondents: Rafael Amparo, Judge of the Court of First Instance of Manila
Ponente: J. Montemayor
FACTS: [No summary since short case]

Ambrosio Carbungco filed a complaint for forcible entry and detainer against
Vicenta Foz, in the municipal court of Manila, claming that the regular tenant Jose
Santos who previously occupied Nos. 1775 and 1777 of Andalucia Street,
Sampaloc, Manila owned by Carbungco, had already vacated and delivered the
premises to him, upon his demand.
o Foz claiming to have received as sublease said premises, from the lessee,
particularly the second story of house No. 1775, refused to vacate the same.

Foz failed to either appear in the municipal court or answer the complaint.
o Municipal court: Judgment was rendered against her, ordering her to vacate
the premises, restore possession to Carbungco, and to pay P100 as monthly
rental from February 16, 1947, until she shall have left the premises, with
costs.

Foz appealed to CFI Manila. Pending appeal, and because of her failure to
deposit the rental corresponding to the month of April 1948, Carbungco filed a
motion in CFI Manila for execution of the judgment.
o It was only after this when Foz made the deposit of the rentals corresponding
to the month of April 1948.

Hon. Rafael Amparo, presiding branch V of CFI Manila, in the absence of Judge
Buenaventura Ocampo who was on vacation, issued an order denying the motion
for execution on the ground that the deposit had already been made.

MR denied.

Hence this petition for mandamus praying that Judge Rafael Amparo be
commanded to issue an order of execution against Foz.
ISSUE: WON mandamus lies. YES. (no issue given; in my own words )
RATIO:

Contrary to the provisions of law (ROC 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).
o The deposit was actually made 3 days after the end of the 10-day period.

This legal provision is mandatory. Upon violation by Foz, Carbungco has the
right to ask for execution pending appeal; and that the court is left no discretion to
extend the period of deposit prescribed by law, postpone the making of said
deposit, or otherwise relieve Foz of the consequences of her on his failure to
make the deposit within the period prescribed by law.

Also, the fact that the actual deposit was made shortly after the expiration of the
first 10 days of the succeeding month cannot make any difference.
o The law has prescribed a period, and this requirement should be complied
with strictly. Its observance and compliance should be enjoined and enforced
by the courts, not only for the protection of parties in whose favor the law

Bautista | Lopez | Macabagdal | R. Santos | Taruc

happens to have been made and promulgated, but also for the information
and guidance of those otherwise affected thereby.
o Otherwise, there would be confusion and misunderstanding as to whether or
not an appellant in a forcible entry and detainer case could avoid execution if
he shall have made the monthly deposit, say, on the 11th, 12th, 13th or 14th
day etc. of the succeeding month, just as long as the delay is not too long.

Pending appeal, failure to make the deposit of rentals within the


period fixed by law, however short the delay, gives Carbungco the
right to execution of the judgment, which the court is bound to
grant and enforce.
In 2 cases previously decided by the SC (Thomas v. Garcia, Santos vs. Alvarez),
it was held that under Commonwealth Act No. 689, as amended by RA 66, a
tenant cannot be ejected for non-payment of rents unless such nonpayment be
deliberate and intentional.
o In the present case however, there is every reason to believe that Fozs
failure to deposit within the period fixed by law was deliberate and intentional.
No explanation was given for the delay in making the deposit.
o Moreover, there is reason to doubt that Foz does not possess the status of a
regular tenant. According to the uncontradicted claims of Carbungco, Foz was
a mere intruder or squatter, having had no previous contract or understanding
with him about the occupancy of the premises in question.

DECISION: In view of the foregoing, the petition for mandamus is hereby granted and
the respondent judge, or anyone presiding over Branch V of CFI Manila, or any other
branch of said court taking cognizance of civil case No. 2886 is hereby commanded to
order the execution of the appealed judgment rendered by the Municipal Court of
Manila requiring Foz to vacate the premises in question.
4. University of San Carlos v. CA (RS)
GR 79237|10/18/1988|Gancayco, J.
Petitioner: Univ. of San Carlos (USC), Victoria Satorre (Satorre) collectively
Petitioners
Respondents: CA, Jennifer Lee (Lee)
SUMMARY
Lee enrolled in the College of Architecture, USC. She obtained 2 failing grades and 1
incomplete (IC) in 3 of her subjects. She subsequently transferred to the College of
Commerce. She graduated with a degree in Accounting, without honors. She asked
Dean Satorre to confer to her the recognition of graduating cum laude, which the
former refused. Lee then filed a Petition for mandamus to compel USC and Dean
Satorre to confer to her the recognition being sought. The main question is WN
mandamus is the proper remedy to compel a university to confer a degree with honors.
NO. Schools of teaming are given ample discretion to formulate rules and
guidelines in the granting of honors for purposes of graduation. This is part of
academic freedom. 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. Besides, USC issued rules and policies to be followed by students in
regard to scholastic responsibility and transfer of courses. Lee failed to follow these
rules. More, she employed undue and improper pressure on the MECS

94

Special Civil Action: CALDONA

authorities to approve the change of her grades to remove all obstacles to her
graduation with honors. Lee not having demonstrated that she has a clear legal right
to the honors sought, her claim for damages must necessarily fail.
FACTS
st

Lee enrolled in the College of Architecture, USC during the 1 semester of


nd
school year (SY) 1978-79. At the end of the 2 sem of that SY, she obtained
a grade of IC (incomplete) in Architecture 121, and grades of 5s (failures) in
Architecture 122 and 123.

The following SY, she shifted to the College of Commerce of USC.


o Some of the units she earned in Architecture were carried over and
credited in her new course.
o As a commerce student, she obtained good grades. However, she
was aware of her earlier failing grades in the College of Architecture
and that the same would be taken into consideration in the
evaluation of her overall academic performance to determine if she
could graduate with honors.

12/10/1981 Lee wrote the Council of Deans of the USC, requesting that her
grades of 5s in Architecture 121 and Architecture 122 be disregarded in the
computation of her grade average.
o She wrote a similar letter to the Ministry of Education, Culture and
Sports (MECS) in Region VII and this letter was referred to the
President of the USC for comment and return to the MECS.
rd

3 Indorsement dated Feb. 4, 1982 USC President informed the MECS that
the university policy was that any failing grade obtained by a student in any
course would disqualify the student for honors; that to deviate from that policy
would mean injustice to students similarly situated before who were not
allowed to graduate with honors; that the bad grades given to her were
justified and could not be deleted or removed because her subjects were not
"dropped" as required; that she had two failures and one incomplete grade
which became a failure upon her inaction to attend to the incomplete grade
within one year; and that while her three failures did not affect her graduation
from the College of Commerce, they nonetheless caused her disqualification
from graduating with honors. She was furnished a copy of said indorsement
but she did not ask for reconsideration.

3/17/1982 USC President was out of town; Lee wrote the USC Registrar
requesting that her failing grades be changed.
o USC Registrar referred her letter to the MECS and the request for
change of grades was approved in a 4th indorsement of March 22,
1982
o Grade of IC in Architecture 121 was changed to "1.9" by Professor
Victor Leves Jr. and the grades of "5" in Architecture 122 and
Architecture 123 were changed to "W" (Withdrawn)

3/24/1982 Mr. Bacalso of MECS Hinger Education Division discovered that


the change of the grade of private respondent from "IC" to "1.9" did not have
the supporting class record required, so he wrote to MECS Supervisor Mr.
Ortiz requesting the submission of the class record.

Bautista | Lopez | Macabagdal | R. Santos | Taruc

3/28/1982 USC held its graduation exercises, and Lee graduated with the
degree of BS in Commerce, major in Accounting, without honors.
3/31/1982 Lee, assisted by counsel, demanded from Dean Satorre that she
be allowed to graduate, cum laude.
o Dean Satorre explained that the matter was held in abeyance
pending compliance with certain requirements of the MECS through
the memo of Mr. Bacalso.
5/24/1982 Arch. Leves Jr., the teacher required to produce the class
records, reported he could not produce the same.
o 5/27/1982 Dean Satorre wrote to the MECS Regional Director
Aurelio Tiro asking for the revocation of the change of grades of
Lee. Request was denied as there was no positive proof of fraud.
Lee filed an action for mandamus with damages against USC and Satorre in
the RTC of Cebu, asking that Petitioners be compelled to confer upon her the
degree of BS in Commerce, major in Accounting, cum laude, retroactive to
March 28, 1982, to execute and deliver to her all necessary credentials
evidencing her graduation with honors, and to pay her moral damages,
exemplary damages, and attorney's fees.
RTC in favor of Lee
CA affirmed in toto the RTCs decision. MR was denied

ISSUE

WN mandamus is the proper remedy to compel a university to confer a


degree with honors. NO.

Incidentally, WN the refusal of that university to confer honors would


constitute bad faith so as to make it liable for damages. NO.
HELD
WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED and the subject decision of the respondent
court is hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE and another judgment is hereby rendered
DISMISSING the complaint without pronouncement as to costs.
RATIO

It is an accepted principle that schools of teaming 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.

Here, the Petitioner's bulletin of information provides all students and all other
interested parties advise on the University policies and rules on enrollment
and academic achievements.
o A student may not officially withdraw from subjects in the curriculum
if he does not have the written permission of his parents or guardian.
o For an incomplete grade, there must be an application for
completion or removal within the period announced by the school

95

Special Civil Action: CALDONA

calendar and when not removed within one (1) year, it automatically
becomes final.
o A "DR" (Dropped) subject which is in the same category, as a "5"
disqualifies a student from receiving honors.
o 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.
o 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.
It is precisely because she knew of these rules that she exerted all efforts to
have her final grades of "5's" in Architecture 122 and Architecture 123 be
disregarded in the computation of honors.
o When her request was denied by the university, she did not ask for a
reconsideration thereof. Instead, when the USC President was out of
town, she wrote another letter to the USC registrar asking her failing
grades be changed as above related. The matter was referred to the
MECS and the request was approved on March 22,1982.
o However, when it was discovered that the change of Lees grades
from "IC" to "1.9" was not supported by the corresponding class
records and its production was required, the same could not be
produced.
o There is thus no justification for said change of grade.
o More, the request for the change of the grade of incomplete was not
made by Lee within 1 year so that it became final according to the
rules.
By the same token, the change of the grades of private respondent from "5"
to "W" (Withdrawn) in Architecture 122 and Architecture 123 was without the
written permission of her parents or guardian.
o Indeed, it is unusual that a student who got a "5" in a subject, as in
this case, should still be allowed to withdraw from such subject.
Withdrawal from subjects is not ordinarily allowed after mid-term
examination much less after a failing grade in the subject has been
received.
Lee employed undue and improper pressure on the MECS authorities to
approve the change of her grades to remove all obstacles to her
graduation with honors.
o Petitioners' claim that the change of grades was attended with fraud
is not entirely misplaced.
o Petitioners cannot be faulted for refusing to vest the honors
demanded of them by Lee.
o
One failure would have been sufficient to disqualify her but she had
one incomplete and two failures. Her only change was to reverse her
failing grades. This she accomplished thru the back door.
Nevertheless, even if she succeeded in removing her failing grades, it was
still within the sound discretion of the petitioners to determine whether
private respondent was entitled to graduate with honors

Bautista | Lopez | Macabagdal | R. Santos | Taruc

Petitioners did not commit a grave abuse of discretion in denying the honors
sought by Lee under the circumstances.
o The change of grades did not automatically entitle her to the award
of honors
o Lee not having demonstrated that she has a clear legal right to the
honors sought, her claim for damages must necessarily fail.

5. Madrigal v. Lecaroz
G.R. No. L-46218 October 23, 1990
Petitioner-appellant: JOVENTINO MADRIGAL
Respondents-appellees: PROV. GOV. ARISTEO M. LECAROZ, VICE-GOVERNOR
CELSO ZOLETA, JR., PROVINCIAL BOARD MEMBERS DOMINGO RIEGO AND
MARCIAL PRINCIPE; PROV. ENGR. ENRIQUE M. ISIDRO, ABRAHAM T. TADURAN
AND THE PROVINCE OF MARINDUQUE
Summary
November 25, 1971 - public respondents Governor Aristeo M. Lecaroz, Vice-Governor
Celso Zoleta, Jr., Provincial Board of Marinduque members Domingo Riego and
Marcial Principe abolished petitioner-appellat Joventino Madrigal's position as a
permanent construction capataz in the office of the Provincial Engineer from the
annual Roads Bridges Fund Budget for fiscal year 1971-1972 by virtue of Resolution
No. 204. The abolition was allegedly due to the poor financial condition of the province
and it appearing that his position was not essential. Madrigal appealed to the Civil
Service Commission. He transmitted a follow-up letter to the Commission regarding his
appela. December 15, 1975 - Madrigal filed a petition before the Court of First Instance
(now Regional Trial Court) of Marinduque against public respondents Governor Aristeo
M. Lecaroz, Vice-Governor Celso Zoleta, Jr., Provincial Board Members Domingo
Riego and Marcial Principe, Provincial Engineer Enrique M. Isidro, Abraham I. Taduran
and the Province of Marinduque for mandamus and damages seeking
1) W/N the trial court erred in dismissing the petition for mandamus and damages on
the ground of laches. NO, CA was correct.
The unbending jurisprudence in this jurisdiction is to the effect that a petition for quo
warranto and mandamus affecting titles to public office must be filed within one (1)
year from the date the petitioner is ousted from his position. There must be stability in
the service so that public business may not be unduly retarded; delays in the
statement of the right to positions in the service must be discouraged. It is not proper
that the title to public office should be subjected to continued uncertainly, and the
peoples interest require that such right should be determined as speedily as
practicable. The fatal drawback of Madrigal's cause is that he came to court out of
time. As aforestated, it was only after four (4) years and twenty (20) days from the
abolition of his position that he file the petition for mandamusand damages. This single
circumstance has closed the door for any judicial remedy in his favor. And this one (1)
year period is not interrupted by the prosecution of any administrative remedy.
FACTS:
November 25, 1971 - public respondents Governor Aristeo M. Lecaroz, ViceGovernor Celso Zoleta, Jr., Provincial Board of Marinduque members Domingo

96

Special Civil Action: CALDONA

Riego and Marcial Principe abolished petitioner-appellat Joventino Madrigal's


position as a permanent construction capataz in the office of the Provincial Engineer
from the annual Roads Bridges Fund Budget for fiscal year 1971-1972 by virtue of
Resolution No. 204. The abolition was allegedly due to the poor financial condition of
the province and it appearing that his position was not essential.
Madrigal appealed to the Civil Service Commission. He transmitted a follow-up letter
to the Commission regarding his appela. On January 7, 1974, the Commission in its
1st Indorsement declared the removal of Madrigal from the service illegal.
Public respondent Governor Aristeo M. Lecaroz moved for a reconsideration of said
resolution. The Commission denied the motion for reconsideration.
Madrigal sent a letter to the Provincial Board requesting implementation of the
resolution of the Commission and consequently, reinstatement to his former
posistion.
The Provincial Board, through Resolution No. 93, denied Madrigal's request for
reinstatement because his former posistion no longer exists. In the same resolution,
it ordered the appropriation of the amount of P4,200.00 as his back salaries covering
the preiod December 1, 1971 up to June 30, 1973.
December 15, 1975 - Madrigal filed a petition before the Court of First Instance
(now Regional Trial Court) of Marinduque against public respondents Governor
Aristeo M. Lecaroz, Vice-Governor Celso Zoleta, Jr., Provincial Board
Members Domingo Riego and Marcial Principe, Provincial Engineer Enrique M.
Isidro, Abraham I. Taduran and the Province of Marinduque for mandamus and
damages seeking, inter alia, (1) restoration of his abolished position in the Roads
and Bridges Fund Budget of the Province; (2) reinstatement to such position; and (3)
payment of his back salaries plus damages.
March 16, 1976, the trial court issued an order dismissing the petition on the
ground that Madrigal's cause of action was barred by laches. The trial court
rationalized its judgment as follows:
o It is beyond question that herein petitioner was separated from the service
on November 25, 1971, and it was only on December 15, 1975, or FOUR (4)
YEARS and TWENTY (20) DAYS after, that he filed this case for "Mandamus and
Damages" with the principal aim of causing his reinstatement to the public position
from where his service was terminated.
o Much as the petitioner might have had a good cause of action, it is unfortunate
that the same is now barred by laches.
o A person claiming right to a position in the civil service should file his action for
reinstatement within one year from his illegal removal from office, otherwise he is
considered as having abandoned the same.
The rationale for the aforecited doctrine on time limitation of a cause of action in a
judicial tribunal by one seeking reinstatement in the civil service is that the suitor
thereby is guilty of LACHES (National Shipyards and Steel Corporation vs. CIR, L21675, May 23, 1967, 20 SCRA 134).
The ruling is no doubt inspired by the provision of Section 16, Rule 66 of the Revised
Rules of Court on "Quo Warranto", pertinent portion of which reads:
o Sec. 16. Limitations. Nothing contained in this rule shall be construed to
authorize an action ... against a public officer or employee for his ouster from
office unless the same be commenced within one (1) year after the cause of such
ouster, or the right of the plaintiff to hold such office or position, arose ....

Bautista | Lopez | Macabagdal | R. Santos | Taruc

o and to the established jurisprudence interpreting the aforequoted rule to the effect
that the period of one year fixed therein is a condition precedent to the existence
of the cause of action for quo warranto.
That the instant case is one for MANDAMUS, and not QUO WARRANTO, is not of
any significance, for the same principle applies as held in these cases:
o An action for reinstatement, by a public official, whether it be quo warranto
or mandamus, should be filed in court within one year from removal or separation,
otherwise the action will be barred.
MR was denied.
ISSUES:
1) W/N the trial court erred in dismissing the petition for mandamus and damages on
the ground of laches. NO, CA was correct.
2) Assuming arguendo that his claim for reinstatement was not filed seasonably, the
trial court erred in not proceeding with the trial of the case on the merits to determine
the claim for back salaries and damages. NO. CA still correct.
RATIO:
1. Madrigals petition was filed out of time.
The unbending jurisprudence in this jurisdiction is to the effect that a petition for quo
warranto and mandamus affecting titles to public office must be filed within one (1)
year from the date the petitioner is ousted from his position
The reason behind this being was expounded in the case of Unabia v. City Mayor,
etc., 99 Phil. 253 where We said:
o ..... [W]e note that in actions of quo warranto involving right to an office, the action
must be instituted within the period of one year. This has been the law in the
island since 1901, the period having been originally fixed in Section 216 of the
Code of Civil Procedure (Act No. 190).
o We find this provision to be an expression of policy on the part of the State that
persons claiming a right to an office of which they are illegally dispossessed
should immediately take steps to recover said office and that if they do not do so
within a period of one year, they shall be considered as having lost their right
thereto by abandonment.
o There are weighty reasons of public policy and convenience that demand the
adoption of a similar period for persons claiming rights to positions in the civil
service. There must be stability in the service so that public business may not be
unduly retarded; delays in the statement of the right to positions in the service
must be discouraged.
o Furthermore, constitutional rights may certainly be waived, and the inaction of the
officer for one year could be validly considered as waiver, i.e., a renunciation
which no principle of justice may prevent, he being at liberty to resign his position
anytime he pleases.
o And there is good justification for the limitation period; it is not proper that the title
to public office should be subjected to continued uncertainly, and the peoples
interest require that such right should be determined as speedily as practicable.
o Further, the Government must be immediately informed or advised if any person
claims to be entitled to an office or a position in the civil service as against another
actually holding it, so that the Government may not be faced with the predicament
of having to pay the salaries, one, for the person actually holding the office,

97

Special Civil Action: CALDONA

although illegally, and another, for one not actually rendering service although
entitled to do so.
o We hold that in view of the policy of the State contained in the law fixing the period
of one year within which action for quo warranto may be instituted, any person
claiming right to position in the civil service should also be required to file his
petition for reinstatement within the period of one year, otherwise he is thereby
considered as having abandoned his office.
Case at bar
The fatal drawback of Madrigal's cause is that he came to court out of time. As
aforestated, it was only after four (4) years and twenty (20) days from the abolition of
his position that he file the petition for mandamusand damages. This single
circumstance has closed the door for any judicial remedy in his favor. And this one
(1) year period is not interrupted by the prosecution of any administrative remedy.
Actually, the recourse by Madrigal to the Commission was unwarranted. It is
fundamental that in a case where pure questions of law are raised, the doctrine of
exhaustion of administrative remedies cannot apply because issues of law cannot be
resolved with finality by the administrative officer.
Appeal to the administrative officer of orders involving questions of law would be an
exercise in futility since administrative officers cannot decide such issues with
finality.
In the present case, only a legal question is to be resolved, that is, whether or not
the abolition of Madrigal's position was in accordance with law.
2. Madrigal is not entitled to back wages and damages. Madrigal loses sight of the fact
that the claim for back salaries and damages cannot stand by itself. The principal
action having failed, perforce, the incidental action must likewise fail. Needless to
state, the claim for back salaries and damages is also subject to the prescriptive period
of one (1) year.
ACCORDINGLY, the appeal is hereby DENIED. The orders of the Court of First
Instance of Marinduque dated March 16, 1976 and April 27, 1976 are AFFIRMED.
6. University of the East v. City of Manila (MB)
Petitioner-appellee: University of the East
Respondents-appellants: City of Manila and Alejo Aquino, etc.
G.R. No. L-7481 December 23, 1954
Jugo, J.:
SUMMARY:
The University of the East filed with the City Engineer of Manila an application for a
permit to construct a four-storey high school building on its lot on Gastambide Street,
Sampaloc, Manila. It submitted plans and specifications but not in conformity with the
requirements of the Zoning Regulations adopted and promulgated by the National
Planning Commission. For failure of the University of the East to comply, the City
Engineer refused to issue the permit. The University of the East brought an action for

Bautista | Lopez | Macabagdal | R. Santos | Taruc

mandamus to compel the City Engineer to issue the permit. The CFI granted. The City
of Manila and the City Engineer appealed to the SC. The SC affirmed the CFI ruling
that the respondent-appellants should issue the corresponding permit because the
Zoning Regulations adopted and promulgated by the National Planning Commission
are null and void.
FACTS:

The University of the East filed with the City Engineer of Manila an application
for a permit to construct a four-storey high school building on its lot on
Gastambide Street, Sampaloc, Manila.

It submitted the plans and specifications prepared by its architect, in


conformity with the provisions of Zonification Ordinance No. 2830, as
amended by Ordinance No. 2906 of the City of Manila, but not in conformity
with the requirements of the Zoning Regulations adopted and promulgated by
the National Planning Commission.
o Section 43, paragraph (c) of said Zoning Regulations --- That there
shall be a minimum depth of 6 meters for the front yard, 5 meters
wide for side yards, and a minimum depth of 6 meters for the rear
yard.

The City Engineer notified the University of the East to prepare plans and
specifications in conformity with the Zoning Regulations.

As the University of the East failed to amend its plans and specifications as
required, the City Engineer refused to issue the permit.

The University of the East brought an action for mandamus in the CFI of
Manila to compel him to do so.

Honorable Judge Rafael Amparo declared the Zonification Regulations of


the National Planning Board null and void, and ordered the City Engineer to
issue the permit.

The City of Manila and the City Engineer appealed to the SC arguing:
1. According to the lower court, "there can be no question that Executive
Order No. 98 series of 1946, was promulgated in accordance with the
emergency powers of the President."
2. When then President Quirino issued Executive Order No. 367, he acted
under the authority of Republic Act No. 442 and in consolidating the
National Urban Planning Commission and the National Planning
Commission he thereby transferred the powers conferred on the former
Commission by Executive Order No. 98 to the latter.
ISSUES:
1. W/N the lower court erred in declaring that the Zoning Regulations adopted and
promulgated by the National Planning Commission are null and void. --- NO
2. W/N the lower court erred in ordering the respondent-appellants to issue the
corresponding permit for the construction of a high school building on Gastambide
Street in accordance with the plans and specifications submitted by the petitionerappellee which are not in conformity with the said Zoning Regulations. --- NO
HELD:

The judgment appealed from is affirmed, with costs against the appellants.

When the President merged into one single body the National Urban Planning
Commission, the Capital City Planning Commission, and the Real Property
Board, he was limited to consolidating the powers, duties and functions of
said bodies for purposes of economy.
The Municipal Board of Manila is the local legislative body of said City.
However, not only have said "Zoning Regulations for the City of Manila" not
been adopted as a city ordinance by the Municipal Board but said Municipal
Board of the City of Manila even protested against said zoning regulations, as
promulgated by the National Planning Commission, and recommended that,
considering the far-reaching effects of said regulations on property owners
and other persons engaged in construction, public hearing should first be
conducted whereat the public and persons interested might express their
views on the matter, before final action thereon would be taken by said
Municipal Board;
Consequently, the above-mentioned zoning regulations having been rejected
by the Municipal Board of the City of Manila are of no force and effect as one
of the essential requisites prescribed by Executive Orders Nos. 98 and 367
has not been complied with:
o Section 7 of Executive Order No. 98 --- Legal Status of Zoning
Regulations. Resolutions of the Commission shall be filed with the
President of the legislative body. Unless said legislative body shall
disapprove such resolution by a three-fourths vote within 30 days it
shall take effect and shall supersede any similar regulations.
o Section 4, Executive Order No. 367 --- Building Code. The
Building Code, or any proposed amendment thereof, shall be
submitted to the local legislative bodies concerned for adoption in
the form of ordinances, and shall take effect in the same as zoning
or subdivision regulations.
Moreover, the issuance of such zoning regulations which affect very important
and valuable property rights throughout the whole country, cannot be
delegated to an administrative commission without specific standards and
limitations to guide the commission in the exercise of the wide discretion
granted to it.
o People vs. Vera --- The presence or absence of a standard or rule of
action or the sufficiency thereof in the statute, is to aid the
delegate in exercising the granted discretion. As a rule, an act of the
legislature is incomplete and hence invalid if it does not lay down
any rule or definite standard by which the administrative officer or
board may be guided in the exercise of the discretionary powers
delegated to it.

07 HENARES vs LTFRB
G.R. No. 158290 | October 23, 2006
Petitioners: ILARION M. HENARES, JR., VICTOR C. AGUSTIN, ALFREDO L.
HENARES, DANIEL L. HENARES, ENRIQUE BELO HENARES, and CRISTINA
BELO HENARES

RATIO: [no discussion about mandamus in particular]

98

Special Civil Action: CALDONA

Bautista | Lopez | Macabagdal | R. Santos | Taruc

Respondents: LAND TRANSPORTATION FRANCHISING AND REGULATORY


BOARD (LTFRB)
and DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION AND
COMMUNICATIONS (DOTC)
Summary: Petitioners challenge this Court to issue a writ of mandamus commanding
respondents Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) and the
Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) to require public utility
vehicles (PUVs) to use compressed natural gas (CNG) as alternative fuel. Citing
studies made by various agencies, petitioners attempt to present a compelling case for
judicial action against the bane of air pollution and related environmental hazards.
Petitioner presented statistics showing the dire situation of the air pollution of the major
cities in the Philippines. Asserting their right to clean air, petitioners contend that the
bases for their petition for a writ of mandamus to order the LTFRB to require PUVs to
use CNG as an alternative fuel, lie in Section 16 Article II of the 1987 Constitution,
ruling in Oposa v. Factoran, Jr., and Section 14 of Philippine Clean Air Act of 1999. SC
ruled that regrettably, the plain, speedy and adequate remedy herein sought by
petitioners, i.e., a writ of mandamus commanding the respondents to require PUVs to
use CNG, is unavailing. It is essential to the issuance of a writ of mandamus that
petitioner should have a clear legal right to the thing demanded and it must be the
imperative duty of the respondent to perform the act required. The writ neither confers
powers nor imposes duties. Also, mandamus is available only to compel the doing of
an act specifically enjoined by law as a duty. Here, there is no law that mandates the
respondents LTFRB and the DOTC to order owners of motor vehicles to use CNG.
FACTS:

Petitioners challenge this Court to issue a writ of mandamus commanding


LTFRB and the DOTC to require public utility vehicles (PUVs) to use
compressed natural gas (CNG) as alternative fuel.
Various studies and statistics referred by petitioners

Citing statistics from the Metro Manila Transportation and Traffic Situation
Study of 1996, the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) of NCR, a
study of the Asian Development Bank, the Manila Observatory and the DENR
on the high growth and low turnover in vehicle ownership in the Philippines,
including diesel-powered vehicles, two-stroke engine powered motorcycles
and their concomitant emission of air pollutants, petitioners attempt to present
a compelling case for judicial action against the bane of air pollution and
related environmental hazards.

Particulate matters (PM) (like dust, dirt, smoke) emitted into the air from
various engine combustions have caused detrimental effects on health,
productivity, infrastructure and the overall quality of life. Petitioners
particularly cite the effects of certain fuel emissions from engine combustion
when these react to other pollutants. (di ko na nilagay, puro chemicals na
nagcreate ng smog, acid rain, etc)

With the continuing high demand for motor vehicles, the energy and transport
sectors are likely to remain the major sources of harmful emissions.
Petitioners refer us to the study of the Philippine Environment Monitor 2002,
stating that in four of the country's major cities the exposure to PM10, a finer
PM which can penetrate deep into the lungs causing serious health problems,

99

Special Civil Action: CALDONA

leading people to die prematurely and others to suffer from chronic bronchitis
and other respiratory symptoms days.
Petitioners likewise cite the UP studies in 1990-91 and 1994 showing that
vehicular emissions in Metro Manila have resulted to the prevalence of
chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases (COPD); that pulmonary tuberculosis
is highest among jeepney drivers. The studies also revealed that the children
in Metro Manila showed more compromised pulmonary function than their
rural counterparts. Petitioners infer that these are mostly due to the emissions
of PUVs.

Petitioners proposal of use of CNG

To counter the aforementioned detrimental effects of emissions from PUVs,


petitioners propose the use of CNG. CNG is a natural gas comprised mostly
of methane which although containing small amounts of propane and
butane,is colorless and odorless and considered the cleanest fossil fuel
because it produces much less pollutants than coal and petroleum; produces
up to 90 percent less CO compared to gasoline and diesel fuel; reduces NOx
emissions by 50 percent and cuts hydrocarbon emissions by half; emits 60
percent less PMs; and releases virtually no sulfur dioxide.

Asserting their right to clean air, petitioners contend that the bases for their
petition for a writ of mandamus to order the LTFRB to require PUVs to use
CNG as an alternative fuel, lie in Section 16, Article II of the 1987
Constitution, our ruling in Oposa v. Factoran, Jr., and Section 414 of RA 8749
or Philippine Clean Air Act of 1999.
Solicitor Generals comment (for respondents)

Writ of mandamus is not the correct remedy since the writ may be issued only
to command a tribunal, corporation, board or person to do an act that is
required to be done, when he or it 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.

In contrast to a discretionary act, a ministerial act, which a mandamus is, is


one in which an officer or tribunal performs in a given state of facts, in a
prescribed manner, in obedience to a mandate of legal authority, without
regard to or the exercise of his own judgment upon the propriety or
impropriety of an act done.

Nothing in RA 8749 that petitioners invoke, prohibits the use of gasoline and
diesel by owners of motor vehicles. RA 8749 does not even mention the
existence of CNG as alternative fuel and avers that unless this law is
amended to provide CNG as alternative fuel for PUVs, the respondents
cannot propose that PUVs use CNG as alternative fuel.

It is DENR that is tasked to implement Rep. Act No. 8749 and not the LTFRB
nor the DOTC. It is the Department of Energy (DOE) that is required to set the
specifications for all types of fuel and fuel-related products to improve fuel
compositions for improved efficiency and reduced emissions. DOTC is limited

Bautista | Lopez | Macabagdal | R. Santos | Taruc

to implementing the emission standards for motor vehicles, and the herein
respondents cannot alter, change or modify the emission standards.
ISSUES: 1) Do petitioners have legal personality to bring this petition before us?
YES
2) Should mandamus issue against respondents to compel PUVs to use CNG as
alternative fuel? NO
RATIO:
I. There is no dispute that petitioners have standing to bring their case before this
Court. Even respondents do not question their standing.

This petition focuses on one fundamental legal right of petitioners, their right
to clean air. Moreover, as held previously, a party's standing before this Court
is a procedural technicality which may, in the exercise of the Court's
discretion, be set aside in view of the importance of the issue raised.

We brush aside this issue of technicality under the principle of the


transcendental importance to the public, especially so if these cases demand
that they be settled promptly.

Undeniably, the right to clean air not only is an issue of paramount


importance to petitioners for it concerns the air they breathe, but it is also
impressed with public interest. The consequences of the counter-productive
and retrogressive effects of a neglected environment due to emissions of
motor vehicles immeasurably affect the well-being of petitioners..
II. Regrettably, however, the plain, speedy and adequate remedy herein sought by
petitioners, i.e., a writ of mandamus commanding the respondents to require PUVs to
use CNG, is unavailing.
1. What is writ of mandamus

Mandamus lies under any of the following cases:


o (1) against any tribunal which unlawfully neglects the performance of
an act which the law specifically enjoins as a duty;
o (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
o (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.

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 petitioner, 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 respondent 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.

100

Special Civil Action: CALDONA

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.

Reiteration of petitioners contentions and causes of action

In this petition the legal right which is sought to be recognized and enforced
hinges on a constitutional and a statutory policy already articulated in
operational terms, e.g. in RA 8749. Paragraph (a), Section 21 of the Act
specifically provides that when PUVs are concerned, the responsibility of
implementing the policy falls on respondent DOTC.

There is no dispute that under the Clean Air Act it is the DENR that is tasked
to set the emission standards for fuel use and the task of developing an
action plan. As far as motor vehicles are concerned, it devolves upon the
DOTC and the line agency whose mandate is to oversee that motor vehicles
prepare an action plan and implement the emission standards for motor
vehicles, namely the LTFRB.

In Oposa we said, the right to a balanced and healthful ecology carries with it
the correlative duty to refrain from impairing the environment. We also said, it
is clearly the duty of the responsible government agencies to advance the
said right.

Petitioners invoke the provisions of the Constitution and the Clean Air Act in
their prayer for issuance of a writ of mandamus commanding the respondents
to require PUVs to use CNG as an alternative fuel. Although both are general
mandates that do not specifically enjoin the use of any kind of fuel,
particularly the use of CNG, there is an executive order (EO No. 290)
implementing a program on the use of CNG by public vehicles. A thorough
reading of the executive order assures us that implementation for a cleaner
environment is being addressed. To a certain extent, the instant petition had
been mooted by the issuance of EO No. 290.
Writ of mandamus is unavailing because of absence of a law

BUT mandamus is available only to compel the doing of an act specifically


enjoined by law as a duty. Here, there is no law that mandates the
respondents LTFRB and the DOTC to order owners of motor vehicles to use
CNG. At most the LTFRB has been tasked by E.O. No. 290 in par. 4.5 (ii),
Section 4 "to grant preferential and exclusive Certificates of Public
Convenience (CPC) or franchises to operators of NGVs based on the results
of the DOTC surveys."

Further, mandamus will not generally lie from one branch of government to a
coordinate branch, for the obvious reason that neither is inferior to the other.
The need for future changes in both legislation and its implementation cannot
be preempted by orders from this Court, especially when what is prayed for is
procedurally infirm. Besides, comity with and courtesy to a coequal branch
dictate that we give sufficient time and leeway for the coequal branches to
address by themselves the environmental problems raised in this petition.

Bautista | Lopez | Macabagdal | R. Santos | Taruc

In the same manner that we have associated the fundamental right to a


balanced and healthful ecology with the twin concepts of "inter-generational
responsibility" and "inter-generational justice" in Oposa, where we upheld the
right of future Filipinos to prevent the destruction of the rainforests, so do we
recognize, in this petition, the right of petitioners and the future generation to
clean air.
It is the firm belief of this Court that in this case, it is timely to reaffirm the
premium we have placed on the protection of the environment in the
landmark case of Oposa. Yet, as serious as the statistics are on air pollution,
with the present fuels deemed toxic as they are to the environment, as fatal
as these pollutants are to the health of the citizens, and urgently requiring
resort to drastic measures to reduce air pollutants emitted by motor vehicles,
we must admit in particular that petitioners are unable to pinpoint the law that
imposes an indubitable legal duty on respondents that will justify a grant of
the writ of mandamus compelling the use of CNG for public utility vehicles.
It appears to us that more properly, the legislature should provide first the
specific statutory remedy to the complex environmental problems bared by
herein petitioners before any judicial recourse by mandamus is taken.

HELD: WHEREFORE, the petition for the issuance of a writ of mandamus is


DISMISSED for lack of merit.

101

Special Civil Action: CALDONA

Bautista | Lopez | Macabagdal | R. Santos | Taruc

RULE 66: QUO WARRANTO


Section 1. Action by Government against individuals. An action for the usurpation
of a public office, position or franchise may be commenced by a verified petition
brought in the name of the Republic of the Philippines against:
(a) A person who usurps, intrudes into, or unlawfully holds or exercises a
public office, position or franchise;
(b) A public officer who does or suffers an act which, by the provision of law,
constitutes a ground for the forfeiture of his office; or
(c) An association which acts as a corporation within the Philippines without
being legally incorporated or without lawful authority so to act. (1a)
Section 2. When Solicitor General or public prosecutor must commence action. The
Solicitor General or a public prosecutor, when directed by the President of the
Philippines, or when upon complaint or otherwise he has good reason to believe that
any case specified in the preceding section can be established by proof, must
commence such action. (3a)
Section 3. When Solicitor General or public prosecutor may commence action with
permission of court. The Solicitor General or a public prosecutor may, with the
permission of the court in which the action is to be commenced, bring such an action at
the request and upon the relation of another person; but in such case the officer
bringing it may first require an indemnity for the expenses and costs of the action in an
amount approved by and to be deposited in the court by the person at whose request
and upon whose relation the same is brought. (4a)
Section 4. When hearing had on application for permission to commence action.
Upon application for permission to commence such action in accordance with the next
preceding section, the court shall direct that notice be given to the respondent so that
he may be heard in opposition thereto; and if permission is granted, the court shall
issue an order to that effect, copies of which shall be served on all interested parties,
and the petition shall then be filed within the period ordered by the court. (5a)
Section 5. When an individual may commence such an action. A person claiming to
be entitled to a public office or position usurped or unlawfully held or exercised by
another may bring an action therefor in his own name. (6)
Section 6. Parties and contents of petition against usurpation. When the action is
against a person for usurping a public office, position or franchise, the petition shall set
forth the name of the person who claim to be entitled thereto, if any, with an averment
of his right to the same and that the respondent is unlawfully in possession thereof. All
persons who claim to be entitled to the public office, position or franchise may be made
parties, and their respective rights to such public office, position or franchise
determined, in the same action. (7a)
Section 7. Venue. An action under the preceding six sections can be brought only
in the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals, or in the Regional Trial Court exercising
jurisdiction over the territorial area where the respondent or any of the respondents
resides, but when the Solicitor General commences the action, it may be brought in a
Regional Trial Court in the City of Manila, in the Court of Appeals, or in the Supreme
Court. (8a)
Section 8. Period for pleadings and proceedings may be reduced; action given
precedence. The court may reduce the period provided by these Rules for filing
pleadings and for all other proceedings in the action in order to secure the most
expeditious determination of the matters involved therein consistent with the rights of

102

Special Civil Action: CALDONA

the parties. Such action may be given precedence over any other civil matter pending
in the court. (9a)
Section 9. Judgment where usurpation found. When the respondent is found guilty
of usurping into, intruding into, or unlawfully holding or exercising a public office,
position or franchise, judgment shall be rendered that such respondent be ousted and
altogether excluded therefrom, and that the petitioner or relator, as the case may be,
recover his costs. Such further judgment may be rendered determining the respective
rights in and to the public office, position or franchise of all the parties to the action as
justice requires. (10a)
Section 10. Rights of persons adjudged entitled to public office; delivery of books and
papers; damages. If judgment be rendered in favor of the person averred in the
complaint to be entitled to the public office he may, after taking the oath of office and
executing any official bond required by law, take upon himself the execution of the
office, and may immediately thereafter demand of the respondent all the books and
papers in the respondent's custody or control appertaining to the office to which the
judgment relates. If the respondent refuses or neglects to deliver any book or paper
pursuant to such demand, he may be punished for contempt as having disobeyed a
lawful order of the court. The person adjudged entitled to the office may also bring
action against the respondent to recover the damages sustained by such person by
reason of the usurpation. (15a)
Section 11. Limitations. Nothing contained in this Rule shall be construed to
authorize an action against a public officer or employee for his ouster from office
unless the same be commenced within one (1) year after the cause of such ouster, or
the right of the petitioner to hold such office or position, arose, nor to authorize an
action for damages in accordance with the provisions of the next preceding section
unless the same be commenced within one (1) year after the entry of the judgment
establishing the petitioner's right to the office in question. (16a)
Section 12. Judgment for costs. In an action brought in accordance with the
provisions of this Rule, the court may render judgment for costs against either the
petitioner, the relator, or the respondent, or the person or persons claiming to be a
corporation, or may apportion the costs, as justice requires. (17a)
1.

POTOT V. BAGNO (JM)

G.R. No. L-2456


January 25, 1949
Petitioner: Nicolas B. Potot
Respondents: Juan L. Bagano, the Secretary of Justice & the Judge Of CFI Cebu
Ponente: J. Tuason
FACTS: [No summary since very short case]

This is a quo warranto proceeding instituted by a prewar justice of the peace


whose position was filled by the appointment and confirmation of the respondent
after liberation.

Potot was appointed justice of the peace for the municipality of Pilar, Cebu, in
1933. He had held that office until 1944 when he ceased to act for reasons not
disclosed in the record.

Bautista | Lopez | Macabagdal | R. Santos | Taruc

In1945, the jurisdiction of the justice of the peace of San Francisco, Poro and
Tudela (which is currently held by) Vicente de Roda was extended to comprise the
municipality of Pilar. De Roda was later succeeded by Felixberto R. Sosmea,
who was justice of the peace until April 1946. Thereafter, the office was vacant. It
was only in September 1946 that respondent entered upon the performance of his
duties in that office.
Potot on the other hand joined the police force of Cebu city as lieutenant from
June 11, 1947, to January 15, 1948. From January 16 April 24, 1948 year, he
was Assistant Provincial Warden.

ISSUE: WON the instant petition for quo warranto would prosper. NO. (no issue
given; in my own words )
RATIO:

Potots acceptance of other public offices incompatible with judicial


function operates as an abandonment of the position to which he seeks
reinstatement.
o That he was forced to seek or accept jobs in order to live would not alter the
case even if is to be assumed, for the sake of argument, that economic
necessity was a valid plea.

The government was not the only source of gainful employment 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, his previous position was without any permanent
incumbent. But even so, 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.
DECISION: The petition is dismissed with costs.
2. ABAYA V. ALVEAR (RS)
82 Phil. 103|11/9/1948|Montemayor, J.
Petitioner: Jose Abaya
Respondent: Alejandrino Alvear
SUMMARY
Abaya was appointed to the post of justice of the peace of the towns of Cervantes,
Angaki, Concepcion and San Emilio, all Provinces of Ilocos Sur. When the Japanese
occupied the Philippines, he was forced to abandon his post. After liberation, he was
again appointed to the post, but the Commission of Appointments did not approve this
appointment. Presumably because of this non-approval by the COA, Alvear was
appointed in Abayas stead. Abaya instituted quo warranto proceedings. The SC rules
in Abayas favor, citing the case of Teves, recently decided by the SC and on point
with Abayas case. The SC held, as in Teves, that Abaya did not intend to abandon his
post. 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, eliminating therefrom the town of Angaki, was a
mere temporary expedient to meet the exigencies of the administration of justice in that

103

Special Civil Action: CALDONA

area, under abnormal conditions, and that his acceptance of the new post did not
involve or entail abandonment of his old position. The important thing is that he
never intended to abandon his old post. His appointment, though unconfirmed by
the COA, was unnecessary and 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.
FACTS

Abaya 61 y/o, member of the Bar


o 10/9/1920 - appointed to the post of justice of the peace of the towns
of Cervantes, Angaki, Concepcion and San Emilio, Province of
Ilocos Sur and he qualified for the position and discharged the duties
thereof
o 1923 - municipalities of Concepcion and San Emilio were excluded
from his territorial jurisdiction and he continued to discharge his
judicial functions as JOP of Cervantes and Angaki up to December
31, 1941, a few days before the Japanese occupation forces arrived
in the town of Cervantes
o 4/17/1943 Abaya was given an appointment as JOP of Cervantes
only, by Jorge B. Vargas (Vargas), chairman of the Philippine
Executive Commission.
o 5/1/1944 Jose P. Laurel as President of the Republic of the
Philippines extended to him another appointment as JOP of the
same town of Cervantes, Ilocos Sur.
o He evidently accepted these appointments made during the
Japanese occupation and continued to discharge his judicial function
of the peace but only for the town of Cervantes, until the month of
November, 1944 when, because of the threat of military clashes
between Japanese forces and Filipino guerrillas, he left his post and
fled to the mountains for safety.
o After liberation and upon establishment of a military government in
Ilocos Sur, Abaya was appointed by the military governor as JOP of
the municipalities of Cervantes and Angaki, Ilocos Sur.
o 8/1/1945 Mauro Versoza, acting as delegate of the Department of
the Interior, designated Abaya as temporary JOP of Cervantes and
Angaki, the appointment to "terminate as soon as your successor is
appointed by the central office."
o 2/8/1946 Upon the restoration of peace and order and upon
normal functioning of the Commonwealth government, Abaya was
given an ad interim appointment by President Sergio Osmea to the
post of JOP for the towns of Cervantes and Angaki.
o But when this appointment was submitted to the Commission on
Appointments (COA), it was turned down.
o 12/5/1946 Abaya was given another appointment as JOP by
President Manuel Roxas for the municipalities of Cervantes and
Angaki but said appointment was left without being acted upon by
the Commission on Appointments.

Bautista | Lopez | Macabagdal | R. Santos | Taruc

6/13/1947 presumably because of the failure of the COA to approve


Abayas appointment, President Manuel Roxas extended an ad
interim appointment to the post of JOP of Cervantes and Angaki in favor of
Alvear Alejandrino A. Alvear
o 7/5/1947 Alvear accepted and assumed appointment
o Alvear's appointment was later confirmed by the COA.
o Alvears Answer: claims that when he assumed office, Abaya was
nowhere to be found because he had gone to the town of Candon,
Ilocos Sur to reside. He also states that Abaya has already asked
the Secretary of Justice to have his application for retirement
approved.
Abaya claims that shortly after Alvear had assumed office as JOP of
Cervantes and Angaki, he, Abaya, wrote a letter to His Excellency, the
President of the Philippines protesting against his being deprived of his old
post although, no copy of said letter could be found in the office of the
Assistant Executive Secretary of Malacaan
o He further claims that when he failed to receive any answer to his
letter to the President, he conferred with VP Elpidio Quirino, and
Senator Prospero Sanidad regarding his being restored to the
position for JOP of Cervantes and Angaki
o 11/14/1947 Failing to receive immediate relief, he commenced
these quo warranto proceedings in this Court for the purpose of
having him declared the legal and lawful JOP for the towns
already referred to and have Alvear ousted therefrom.

ISSUE: WN quo warranto is proper. YES


HELD: In view of the foregoing, we hold and decide that the Abaya Jose Abaya never
abandoned his office of JOP of Cervantes and Angaki, Province of Ilocos Sur, and that
he is entitled to the same by virtue of his pre-war appointment; and Alvear Alejandrino
A. Alvear is hereby ordered to deliver said office and all the records appertaining
thereto to said Abaya. No pronouncement as to costs. So ordered.
RATIO

Alvears theories: Abaya had lost his right, title or valid claim to the position of
JOP of Cervantes and Angaki by reason of abandonment, consisting in his
acceptance of the position of JOP of Cervantes only, during the Japanese
occupation, said position being different and distinct from the circuit of
Cervantes and Angaki held by him before the war; his acceptance of the
position of temporary JOP of Cervantes and Angaki under an appointment
extended by a Special Delegate of the Department of the Interior; his
departure from his circuit of Cervantes and Angaki, and his residence in
Candon, Ilocos Sur; lastly, his insistence on the approval of his retirement
and, his inaction for several months from June 30, 1947 to November 30,
1947, evidencing his intention to abandon his office.

Teves vs. Sindiong (10/21/1948) facts, as quoted below, are similar to case
at bar [including the summary of the case cause its important to understand
how its applied to Abayas case]:
o On December 19, 1914, Pablo Teves was appointed JOP of
Luzurriaga, Negros Oriental. He assumed office on January 14,

104

Special Civil Action: CALDONA

o
o
o
o

o
o

o
o

o
o

o
o

1915, and had since discharged the duties of said office up to the
outbreak of the Pacific war in December, 1941.
Negros Oriental, or part thereof, was subsequently occupied by
then Japanese army.
Teves followed and stayed with the guerrillas in the free area and
continued to discharge his duties as JOP of that part of Luzurriaga
not occupied by the invaders.
However, sometime in October 1943, Teves was arrested by a
Japanese patrol and was later taken down to Dumaguete, capital of
Negros Oriental, and there kept a virtual prisoner.
Because of Teves absence from the free area of Luzurriaga where
a free government had been organized and maintained by the
guerrilla forces, the Deputy Governor of said government appointed
Atty. Mauro Edrial as JOP of said municipality of Luzurriaga
Edrial qualified for the position and performed the duties thereof
from July 8, 1944 to January 4, 1945.
In October, 1944, Teves managed to escape from his confinement
in Dumaguete, went to the free area of Luzurriaga, and asked the
Deputy Governor under the guerrilla Government to restore to him
his post of JOP of Luzurriaga
He was advised that before he could be reinstated, he should
secure a clearance certificate from the guerrilla military authorities to
prove his loyalty to the Filipino cause.
Teves secured the necessary clearance, and, on January 4, 1945,
he was appointed JOP of the municipalities of Luzurriaga and
Bacong, 6th Administrative District, by Deputy Governor Margarito
Teves, which appointment was approved by Alfredo Montelibano,
Governor of the Islands of Negros and Siquijor.
Teves resumed, or rather qualified for said office and discharged
the duties thereof.
On May 1, 1945, Teves was again appointed acting JOP of
Luzurriaga, Bacong and Dauin, by special agent Jose M. Aldeguer of
the Department of the Interior, by virtue of the authority vested in
that Department by the President of the Commonwealth of the
Philippines, said appointment bearing the approval of the
Commanding Officer of PCAU 24. On the same day, the plaintiff
qualified for and assumed said office.
Then, on December 26, 1945, Teves was again appointed by
President of the Philippines Sergio Osmena, as ad interim JOP of
Luzurriaga, Negros Oriental. Teves again qualified for and assumed
said office.
However, when his appointment was submitted to the Commission
on Appointments, it was not confirmed. Despite this nonconfirmation, plaintiff Teves continued in office.
[M]eantime, and presumably because of his non-confirmation of
Teves' appointment, the President of the Philippines nominated the
defendant Perpetuo A. Sindiong JOP of Luzurriaga and said
nomination was confirmed by the Commission on Appointments on
September 3, 1946.

Bautista | Lopez | Macabagdal | R. Santos | Taruc

Sindiong took the corresponding oath on September 14, 1946, and


then advised the plaintiff of his appointment and demanded of him
the surrender of the office. Plaintiff refused to comply with this
demand, insisting that he was the legitimate JOP of Luzurriaga.
o On being apprised of the situation, the Judge of the Court of First
Instance of Negros Oriental issued a summary order dated
September 23, 1946, directing Teves to make delivery within ten
days of the office of JOP of Luzurriaga, together with the documents
and records pertaining thereto to Sindiong, under penalty of
contempt.
o To avoid unpleasant consequences, Teves surrendered the office
and its records to Sindiong on October 7, 1946, and a week later, or
on October 14, he commenced the present action in the Court
below.
o HELD in Teves: [B]ecause of the abnormal conditions obtaining
in Negros Oriental by reason of the war the formation of new
judicial circuits including Luzurriaga first, the grouping of
Luzurriaga and Bacong, and later the merger of the three towns of
Luzurriaga, Bacong and Dauin, into a circuit was a makeshift
arrangement, a mere temporary expedient, far from being
permanent in nature, but merely designed to meet and solve the
exigencies of the administration of justice in those areas in the
manner possible under said abnormal conditions; that the law and
doctrines governing abandonment of an office may not and
should not be strictly applied to cases occurring during the
war, specially in those areas occupied partly or by the enemy;
and that considering the surrounding circumstances, we ruled
that in accepting the post of JOP of Luzurriaga and Bacong and later
of the office of JOP of Luzurriaga, Bacong and Dauin, Teves did not
abandon his post JOP of Luzurriaga.

Acceptance by Teves of the ad interim appointment in


December, 1945, of his old post of JOP of Luzurriaga
was not a waiver of his right and title to the old post;
that he had the right to hold the same, not under the
new ad interim appointment in December, 1945, but by
virtue of his original appointment in 1914, for the
reason that one cannot be properly appointed to the
same post; that (note: pretty sure the last semicolon
shouldnt be there) he is already holding under a valid
appointment.

A subsequent appointment to the post of JOP extended


to one who already had a right to it because of a
previous pre-war appointment under which he had
qualified and discharged his duties, may be regarded
as a mere restitution or restoration of the position
which belonged to him; and that the new appointment
can add nothing to or diminish his right to the office
conferred by his original appointment.
Teves as applied to Abayas case:
o

105

Special Civil Action: CALDONA

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, 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.
Proof of the temporary nature of the change in the circuit: the
that when conditions returned to normal, the old circuit comprising
the towns of Cervantes and Angaki was restored. When said old
circuit was restored, Abaya was likewise restored to his old post by
appointments extended by two administrations, that of President
Osmena and the administration of President Roxas.
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 JOP 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
JOP in the same place and area which he did before the
war.

His appointment by President Osmena and later by


President Roxas, to his old post of JOP of Cervantes and
Angaki, though not confirmed by the COA, 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.
We find no merit in the other grounds advanced by the Alvear.

When Alvear assumed the office of JOP of Cervantes and


Angaki, there was no reason nor obligation on the part of
the 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 intent to abandon his office.

Such applications for retirement had, years ago, been filed


by many government officials in order to secure the benefits
of the retirement law.

Bautista | Lopez | Macabagdal | R. Santos | Taruc

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.
His very letter to the Secretary of Justice in this regard
(Exhibit 7) states that his successor to the post of JOP of
Cervantes and Angaki was appointed without his
knowledge.
And to further demonstrate that he did not intend to lose
said office without effort or fight, he filed these proceedings
not long after he was deprived thereof.

3. TEVES V. SINDIONG (RT)


[G.R. No. L-2050. October 21, 1948.]
Plaintiff-Appellant: PABLO TEVES
Defendant-Appellee: PERPETUO A. SINDIONG
SUMMARY
Pablo Teves was appointed justice of the peace of Luzurriaga, Negros Oriental. He
qualified for and assumed said office on January 14, 1915, and had since discharged
the duties of said office up to the outbreak of the Pacific war in December 1941. The
plaintiff followed and stayed with the guerrillas in the free area and continued to
discharge his duties as justice of the peace of that part of Luzurriaga not occupied by
the invaders. However, sometime in October 1943, the plaintiff was arrested by a
Japanese patrol and was later taken down to Dumaguete, capital of Negros Oriental,
and there kept a virtual prisoner. Pablo Teves managed to escape from his
confinement in Dumaguete, went to the free area of Luzurriaga, and asked the Deputy
Governor under the guerrilla Government to restore him to his post of justice of the
nd
peace of Luzurriaga. 2 Appointment- May 1, 1945, Teves was again appointed
acting justice of the peace of Luzurriaga, Bacong and Dauin. However, when his
appointment was submitted to the Commission on Appointments, it was not confirmed.
Despite this non-confirmation, plaintiff Teves continued in office. In the meantime, and
presumably because of this non-confirmation of Teves appointment, the President of
the Philippines nominated the defendant Perpetuo A. Sindiong justice of the peace of
Luzurriaga and said nomination was confirmed by the Commission on Appointments.
Trial Court decision:Teves had abandoned his old office of justice of the peace of
Luzurriaga alone.
Who is entitled to the said office of justice of the peace of Luzurriaga? Teves.
The appellant herein is still below the age of seventy, and none of the other factors or
elements justifying loss of, or separation from, his office as justice of the peace of
Luzurriaga, exists with the possible exception of that of abandonment. The conditions
obtaining at the time were far from normal. It seems that the town proper of Luzurriaga
was occupied by the Japanese forces. Instead of rendering service to, or cooperating
with, these military occupants and continuing to serve as justice of the peace of the
town proper under them, Teves joined the guerrillas in the mountains and continued to
exercise his judicial functions and administer justice in the free area of Luzurriaga
under the aegis of the government maintained by the Filipino forces, until he was
arrested by the Japanese soldiers and confined in Dumaguete. The law and the
doctrines governing abandonment of an office may not and should not be too strictly

106

Special Civil Action: CALDONA

applied to cases occurring during war, especially in those areas occupied party or
entirely by the enemy. Considering all the circumstances surrounding this case, we
believe and hold that in accepting the post of justice of the peace of Luzurriaga and
Bacong and later the office of justice of the peace of Luzurriaga, Bacong and Dauin,
the appellant herein did not abandon his post of Justice of the peace of
Luzurriaga. One cannot properly be appointed to the same post that he is already
holding under a valid appointment. Incidentally, it may even possibly be maintained,
and not without reason, that the last appointment for the post of justice of the peace of
Luzurriaga in December 1945, was invalid for the additional reason that the President
could not extend an appointment to one who, under a new appointment, is not duly
qualified.
CASE: Pablo Teves, for the purpose of having himself declared legally entitled to
the office of justice of the peace of the municipality of Luzurriaga (now Valencia),
Negros Oriental, and placed in possession thereof, and at the same time of having the
defendant Perpetuo A. Sindiong, the incumbent, declared not entitled to the said office,
and so ousted therefrom, instituted the present quo warranto proceedings in the
Court of First Instance of Oriental Negros. After due hearing, the trial court found and
held that the plaintiff, Pablo Teves, was not entitled to the said office of justice of the
peace of Luzurriaga, and that he had no cause of action against the defendant
Perpetuo A. Sindiong, and so it dismissed the case, with costs against the plaintiff.
Teves has now brought the case here on appeal.
FACTS
st
1 Appointment
December 19, 1914, Pablo Teves was appointed justice of the peace of Luzurriaga,
Negros Oriental. He qualified for and assumed said office on January 14, 1915, and
had since discharged the duties of said office up to the outbreak of the Pacific war in
December 1941.
Negros Oriental, or part thereof, was subsequently occupied by the Japanese army.
The plaintiff followed and stayed with the guerrillas in the free area and continued to
discharge his duties as justice of the peace of that part of Luzurriaga not occupied
by the invaders.
However, sometime in October 1943, the plaintiff was arrested by a Japanese patrol
and was later taken down to Dumaguete, capital of Negros Oriental, and there kept
a virtual prisoner.
Because of plaintiffs absence from the free area of Luzurriaga where a free
government had been organized and maintained by the guerrilla forces, the Deputy
Governor of said government appointed Atty. Mauro Edrial as justice of the peace of
said municipality of Luzurriaga. Edrial qualified for the position and performed the
duties thereof from July 8, 1944 to January 4, 1945.
Pablo Teves managed to escape from his confinement in Dumaguete, went to the
free area of Luzurriaga, and asked the Deputy Governor under the guerrilla
Government to restore him to his post of justice of the peace of Luzurriaga.
He was advised that before he could be reinstated he should secure a clearance
certificate from the guerrilla military authorities to prove his loyalty to the Filipino
cause.

Bautista | Lopez | Macabagdal | R. Santos | Taruc

Plaintiff secured the necessary clearance, and, he was appointed justice of the
peace of the municipalities of Luzurriaga and Bacong, 6th Administrative District, by
Deputy Governor Margarito Teves, which appointment was approved by Alfredo
Montelibano, Governor of the Islands of Negros and Siquijor. Plaintiff Teves
resumed, or rather qualified for said office and discharged the duties thereof.

nd

2 Appointment
May 1, 1945, Teves was again appointed acting justice of the peace of Luzurriaga,
Bacong and Dauin, by special agent Jose M. Aldeguer of the Department of the
Interior, by virtue of the authority vested in that Department by the President of the
Commonwealth of the Philippines, said appointment bearing the approval of the
Commanding Officer of PCAU 24.
On the same day, the plaintiff qualified for and assumed said office. Then, on
December 26, 1945, Teves was again appointed by President of the Philippines
Sergio Osmea, as ad interim justice of the peace of Luzurriaga, Negros Oriental.
Teves again qualified for and assumed said office. However, when his appointment
was submitted to the Commission on Appointments, it was not confirmed. Despite
this non-confirmation, plaintiff Teves continued in office.
Entry of Sindiong
In the meantime, and presumably because of this non-confirmation of Teves
appointment, the President of the Philippines nominated the defendant Perpetuo A.
Sindiong justice of the peace of Luzurriaga and said nomination was confirmed by
the Commission on Appointments on September 3, 1946.
Sindiong took the corresponding oath on September 14, 1946, and then advised the
plaintiff of his appointment and demanded of him the surrender of the office. Plaintiff
refused to comply with this demand, insisting that he was the legitimate justice of the
peace of Luzurriaga.
On being apprised of the situation, the Judge of the Court of First Instance of Negros
Oriental issued a summary order dated September 23, 1946, directing plaintiff Pablo
Teves to make delivery within ten days of the office of justice of the peace of
Luzurriaga, together with the documents and records pertaining thereto to the
defendant Perpetuo A. Sindiong, under penalty of contempt.
To avoid unpleasant consequences, Teves surrendered the office and its records to
Sindiong on October 7, 1946, and a week later, or on October 14, he commenced
the present action in the court below.
Trial Court decision: According to the lower court, in accepting first the position of
justice of the peace of Luzurriaga and Bacong, and afterwards, the position of justice
of the peace of Luzurriaga, Bacong and Dauin, the plaintiff had abandoned his old
office
of
justice
of
the
peace
of
Luzurriaga
alone.
ISSUE
Who is entitled to the said office of justice of the peace of Luzurriaga? Teves.
RATIO
Considering the circumstances under which the appellant herein accepted the two
positions, first as justice of the peace of Luzurriaga and Bacong and later as

107

Special Civil Action: CALDONA

justice of the peace of Luzurriaga, Bacong and Dauin, we disagree with the view
or conclusion of the trial court.
There is no question that under the doctrine laid down in the case of Tavora v.
Gavina Et. Al., supra, by virtue of Article VIII, section 9, of the Philippine
Constitution, which provides that "members of the Supreme Court and all Judges
of inferior courts shall hold office during good behavior, until they reach the age of
seventy years, or become incapacitated to discharge the duties of their office," a
justice of the peace appointed and qualified before the war, but who ceased to
discharge his duties as such at the outbreak thereof, may, after liberation or after the
war, resume and continue in his office until he either reaches the age limit, becomes
incapacitated, resigns from office, is properly removed therefrom, or abandons the
same.
The appellant herein is still below the age of seventy, and none of the other factors
or elements justifying loss of, or separation from, his office as justice of the peace of
Luzurriaga, exists with the possible exception of that of abandonment.
If the acts of acceptance in this case, particularly plaintiffs acceptance of the two
new appointments to the position first as justice of the peace of Luzurriaga and
Bacong and then of Luzurriaga, Bacong and Dauin, had taken place during normal
conditions, there might be force and reason in the position maintained by the lower
court regarding abandonment.
If, during normal times, as a result of a judicial reorganization pursuant to a provision
of law, the position of justice of the peace of Luzurriaga had been abolished, and in
its place the office of justice of the peace of Luzurriaga and Bacong had been
established, and again under another legal reorganization the second position was
again abolished and in its place a new district or circuit had been established
comprising the municipalities of Luzurriaga, Bacong and Dauin, and that the plaintiff,
without pressure or necessity, or considerations of Government expediency due to
war, had successively accepted said two new positions or districts, we might agree
that he had lost right and title to the old post of justice of the peace of Luzurriaga by
abandonment.
However, the conditions obtaining at the time were far from normal. It seems that the
town proper of Luzurriaga was occupied by the Japanese forces. Instead of
rendering service to, or cooperating with, these military occupants and continuing to
serve as justice of the peace of the town proper under them, Teves joined the
guerrillas in the mountains and continued to exercise his judicial functions and
administer justice in the free area of Luzurriaga under the aegis of the government
maintained by the Filipino forces, until he was arrested by the Japanese soldiers and
confined in Dumaguete.
He escaped from confinement and again joined the guerrillas. Later, for some
reason not known to us, at least not appearing in the record, but possibly because of
the limited area occupied by the guerrillas and for purposes of expediency, the
municipalities of Luzurriaga and Bacong were joined so as to comprise one single
judicial district or circuit; and this district was given to Teves due to his desire and
willingness to continue serving the guerrilla Government in his judicial capacity.
But it is extremely doubtful whether, in accepting this post, Teves acted with
complete freedom of choice. Normally, one would prefer to serve as Justice of the
peace of only one town like Luzurriaga, if under complete peace and order in the
poblacion, rather than for two towns with perhaps a bit more pay and a little wider

Bautista | Lopez | Macabagdal | R. Santos | Taruc

territorial jurisdiction, but in the mountains, under abnormal conditions and subject to
be continually harassed or even captured and summarily punished by the superior
Japanese occupation forces.
Said fear was not imaginary or fanciful, as proven by the fact that, while serving as
justice of the peace in this area, Teves had previously been captured by the
Japanese forces and confined in Dumaguete. Abandonment of an office by reason
of the acceptance of another, in order to be effective and binding, should spring from
and be accompanied by deliberation and freedom of choice, either to keep the old
office or renounce it for another.
Teves, and for it he could not well be blamed, did not wish to continue staying
with, and performing his judicial duties under the Japanese Government and
administration. He preferred to be with the resistance movement; but, in continuing
to serve his people in a judicial capacity, in the free area, he could not well dictate
his terms or his wishes to the guerrilla authorities, such as insisting that his judicial
district comprising only one municipality, that of Luzurriaga, be preserved.
Conditions and reasons of expediency, possibly military, perhaps called for the
merging of the towns of Luzurriaga and Bacong into a new judicial circuit or district.
This district, Teves accepted, because he felt he could not keep his old office under
the Japanese.
The second appointment extended to him on May 1, 1945.
The record shows that the conditions in Negros Oriental at the time were not yet
normal. True, some areas, and perhaps the greater portion of Negros Oriental, were
already occupied by the American liberation forces. But there was still fighting
between said forces and Japanese troops entrenched in the mountains.
For purposes of debt moratorium, Proclamation No. 9 of President Osmea declared
Negros Oriental free from enemy occupation as of May 30, 1945. The lower court in
its decision said that when Negros Oriental was liberated, plaintiff Teves was
discharging his duties of justice of the peace of the three municipalities of
Luzurriaga, Bacong and Dauin.
This goes to show that when the plaintiff accepted his second appointment on May
1, 1945, Negros Oriental where these three municipalities were located had not yet
been liberated. And to further show that at that time normalcy had not yet returned,
the appointment extended to plaintiff as justice of the peace of Luzurriaga, Bacong
and Dauin, was made not by the President of the Philippines but by an agent of the
Department of the Interior and under the approval of the PCAU (Philippine Civil
Affairs Unit), a body which was administering civil affairs for the Army. And it was not
a permanent appointment either, but merely as acting justice of the peace.
And it is significant that these two appointments, the first by the guerrilla
Government, and the second, by the Department of the Interior, were not ad
interim appointments subject to confirmation by the Commission on Appointments,
as regular appointments should have been.
All these circumstances and considerations forcibly bring out the fact that the
formation of a judicial circuit including Luzurriaga, first, the grouping of the
municipalities of Luzurriaga and Bacong, and later the merger of the three towns of
Luzurriaga, Bacong and Dauin, into a circuit, was a makeshift arrangement, a
mere temporary expedient, far from being permanent in nature, but merely designed

108

Special Civil Action: CALDONA

to meet and solve the exigencies of the administration of justice in those areas in the
best manner possible under said abnormal conditions.
And the best proof that all that arrangement and setup was temporary in nature, is
the fact that in December 1945, when conditions were much better, and were fast
becoming normal, the old judicial arrangement or setup was restored, namely, the
office of justice of the peace of Luzurriaga alone.
And it is significant to note that the person who was appointed to this post was none
other than the original pre-war incumbent, the plaintiff herein.
No abandonment of office
The law and the doctrines governing abandonment of an office may not and should
not be too strictly applied to cases occurring during war, especially in those areas
occupied party or entirely by the enemy.
How many public officials, upon the outbreak of or during the war, left their offices in
the cities, particularly Manila, and returned to their native towns, but who were not
held as having abandoned said offices, and were recalled to them after liberation?
Tavora v. Gavina Et. Al.:
o Tavora who had been appointed justice of the peace of San Fernando, La Union,
and had been discharging his judicial functions as such, ceased to perform his
duties at the outbreak of the war.
o True, he was later appointed to the same post by the Chairman of the Philippine
Executive Commission and he served under said appointment, but, in July 1944
he ceased to act in said office and did not resume his duties until April 1945.
o Under normal conditions, such act or conduct may clearly be regarded as an
abandonment and vacation of his office, a voluntary relinquishment thru nonuser.
And yet, it was not even insinuated that Tavora had abandoned his office for
failure and for ceasing to discharge his functions and for nonuser.
Considering all the circumstances surrounding this case, we believe and hold that in
accepting the post of justice of the peace of Luzurriaga and Bacong and later the
office of justice of the peace of Luzurriaga, Bacong and Dauin, the appellant herein
did not abandon his post of Justice of the peace of Luzurriaga.
One cannot properly be appointed to the same post that he is already holding under
a valid appointment. Incidentally, it may even possibly be maintained, and not
without reason, that the last appointment for the post of justice of the peace of
Luzurriaga in December 1945, was invalid for the additional reason that the
President could not extend an appointment to one who, under a new appointment, is
not duly qualified.
Plaintiff herein is not a member of the Bar, although, having been appointed before
the approval of the Constitution of the Philippines and of Commonwealth Act No.
101 which lastly amended section 207 of the Revised Administrative Code on
October 28, 1936, which require membership in the Bar as a qualification for the
position of justice of the peace, he was not bound by this legal requisite as far as his
appointments in 1914 is concerned.
However, a new appointment like that appointment extended to him in December
1945 for the post of justice of the peace would come under this requirement, that
is to say, that no person who is not a lawyer may be appointed to the office of justice
of the peace after the approval of the Philippine Constitution and of Commonwealth
Act No. 101 amending section 207 of the Revised Administrative Code.

Bautista | Lopez | Macabagdal | R. Santos | Taruc

Garces v. Bello Et. Al. and Singson v. Quintillan: An appointment to the post of
justice of the peace extended to one who had a right to it because of a previous prewar appointment under which he had qualified and discharged his duties, may be
regarded as a mere restitution or restoration of the position which belonged to him;
and that the new appointment can add nothing to or diminish his right to the office
conferred by his original appointment. It may well be said that the appointment
extended to the plaintiff in December 1945 was a mere restitution of the office which
belonged to him but which he failed to hold because of, and during the war.
In conclusion, we find and hold that the appellant here had not abandoned his post
of justice of the peace of Luzurriaga, Negros Oriental, because of his acceptance
and discharge of the position first of justice of the peace of Luzurriaga and Bacong,
and later, of justice of the peace of Luzurriaga, Bacong and Dauin, under abnormal
conditions due to the last war, which new positions successively occupied were
temporary in nature and intended as a mere temporary expedient; and that his last
appointment in December 1945, to his original office of justice of the peace of
Luzurriaga, was unnecessary if not invalid, and his acceptance of the same would
not in any way affect his right to hold said office under his original appointment in
1914.
Reserving the decision appealed from, the plaintiff-appellant Pablo Teves is hereby
declared to be legally entitled to the office of justice of the peace of Luzurriaga (now
Valencia), Negros Oriental, and the defendant-appellee Perpetuo A. Sindiong is
hereby ordered to deliver said office and all the records appertaining thereto to said
plaintiff-appellant. No pronouncement as to costs. So ordered.
4. SERAFIN V. CRUZ (MB)
Petitioner: Simplicio Serafin
Respondent: Justo C. Cruz
G.R. No. L-39224 October 24, 1933
Villa-Real, J.:
SUMMARY:
Serafin was dismissed from his office as chief of police of the municipality of Quigua,
Bulacan for negligence in the performance of his duties. Municipal president Anselmo
D. Garcia appointed Cruz to replace Serafin. Serafin appealed to the provincial board,
and he was reinstated. Cruz now appeals from a judgment of the CFI of Bulacan which
reinstated Serafin. The SC reversed the CFI ruling and held 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 from the office
in question.
FACTS:

Father Victorino Lopez (Parish Priest of Quigua, Bulacan) filed with the
provincial board of Bulacan, administrative charges against Simplicio Serafin

109

Special Civil Action: CALDONA

(chief of police of the municipality of Quigua, Bulacan), for negligence in the


performance of his duties.
Municipal council exonerated Serafin.
o Father Victorino Lopez, appealed to the provincial board.
Provincial board Ordered Serafins dismissal. Serafin should be separated
from the service, particularly during this time when there are so many
eligibles, and government institutions are entitled to select the officials who
have a keen sense of responsibility.
Anselmo D. Garcia (municipal president of Quigua) issued executive order
No. 1 dismissing Serafin and appointed the herein respondent-appellant,
Justo C. Cruz, permanent chief of police.
The term of the provincial board which dismissed Serafin expired.
Serafin filed with the new provincial board a motion for reconsideration of the
decision ordering his dismissal rendered by the former provincial board.
New provincial board granted the motion for reconsideration, exonerating
the plaintiff-Serafin of the charge of "negligence in the performance of his
duties", and by an executive order the immediate reinstatement of the said
Serafin in the office of chief of police.
This is an appeal taken by the respondent Justo C. Cruz from the judgment
rendered by the CFI of Bulacan [no mention how the case reached the CFI of
Bulacan but it may be inferred that Serafin filed a quo warranto against Cruz
in the CFI of Bulacan] which ruled in favor of plaintiff Simplicio Serafin,
declaring that he is reinstated to hold the office of chief of police of the
municipality of Quigua.

ISSUES:
Whether or not a duly appointed and qualified chief of municipal police who has
entered upon the performance of his duties as such, may be dismissed therefrom in
order to reinstate another who had been dismissed from such office pursuant to a
legal, valid and conclusive decision.
HELD:

The judgment appealed from is hereby REVERSED.

The quo warranto proceedings DISMISSED, with the costs against Serafin.
So ordered.
RATIO:

In the case at bar, the herein defendant-appellant, Justo C. Cruz, was


permanently appointed chief of police of Quigua 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.

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.

Section 2272 of the Administrative Code --- 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,

Bautista | Lopez | Macabagdal | R. Santos | Taruc

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, 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 from the
office in question.

5. LACSON V. ROMERO ET AL. (LL)


G.R. No. L-3081 | October 14, 1949
Petitioner: ANTONIO LACSON
Respondents: HONORIO ROMERO, ET AL.

provincial fiscal of Negros Oriental respondent Romero. Both nominations


were simultaneously confirmed by the Commission on Appointments.
Lacson neither accepted the appointment nor assumed the office of fiscal of
Tarlac. But respondent Romero took his oath of office (the post of fiscal of
Negros Oriental) in Manila, notified the Solicitor General of the fact, and
thereafter proceeded to his station. Upon arrival at Dumaguete City, capital of
Negros Oriental, he notified Lacson of his intention to take over the office the
following day, but Lacson objected.
Romero appeared in a criminal case and also special proceedings case which
was objected by Lacson. Judges Narvasa& Ocampo (respondents in the
case) denied the petitions of Lacson and recognized respondent Romero as
the provincial fiscal of Negros Oriental.
When petitioner Lacson requested payment of his salary as provincial fiscal of
Negros Oriental, Angel Paguia, Provincial Auditor Provincial Treasurer (also
respondents in the case) turned down his claim and instead paid respondent
Romero the salary.

Summary: Involved in these quo warranto proceedings is the Office of the Provincial
Fiscal of Negros Oriental, and the right to said position as between petitioner Lacson
and respondent Romero. Petitioner Lacson was appointed by the President of the
Philippines to provincial fiscal of Negros Oriental. Upon recommendation of the
Secretary of Justice, the President nominated Lacson to the post of provincial fiscal of
Tarlac. On the same date, the President nominated for the position of provincial fiscal
of Negros Oriental respondent Romero. Both nominations were simultaneously
confirmed by the Commission on Appointments. But Lacson neither accepted the
appointment nor assumed the office of fiscal of Tarlac and objected to Romeros
intention of taking over the post of fiscal of Negros Oriental. SC ruled that Lacson had
the right to the post of provincial fiscal of Negros Oriental. Defendant Romeros
appointment to the post was invalid. The complete appointment to a post like that of a
provincial fiscal, the disputed position in this case, involves several steps. First is the
nomination by the President. Second, for it to be valid and permanent, the Commission
on Appointments must confirm the said nomination. Finally, the appointee should
accept his post by assuming it. The first two steps constitute a mere offer of a post.
Acceptance then completes and gives effect the appointment, which rests solely with
the appointee himself. It has neither been shown that petitioner Lacson has accepted
the new position given to him nor that he has been charged with any violation of the
law or civil service regulation. Pertinently, the Administrative Code provides that a
provincial fiscal enjoys security
of tenurethat is, until he reaches the age of 65, unless sooner removed for cause.

ISSUE: W/N petitioner has right to the post of provincial fiscal of Negros Oriental
YES

FACTS:

Involved in these quo warranto proceedings filed directly with this Court is the
Office of Provincial Fiscal of Negros Oriental, and the right to said position as
between the petitioner Antonio Lacson and the respondent Honorio Romero.

Petitioner Lacson was appointed by the President of the Philippines to


provincial fiscal of Negros Oriental. Upon recommendation of the Secretary of
Justice, the President nominated petitioner Lacson to the post of provincial
fiscal of Tarlac. On the same date, the President nominated for the position of

(1) Did the Commission on Appointments alone, without his acceptance nomination of
Lacson to Tarlac and its confirmation by the thereof create a vacancy in the post of
provincial fiscal of Negros Oriental so that Romero could be lawfully appointed to said
vacancy?

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

110

Special Civil Action: CALDONA

RATIO:
Background in the case

Negros Oriental was a second class province with a salary of P5,100 per
annum for the post of provincial fiscal, while Tarlac was first class simple with
a higher salary of P5,700.

There is reason to believe that the nomination of Lacson to Tarlac or rather


his attempted transfer from Negros Oriental to Tarlac was intended and
considered as a promotion. At least, there is nothing in the record to show
that he was being deliberately eased out of or removed from his post in
Negros Oriental.

But the category of province of Negros Oriental was raised and after filing the
present petition, Tarlac was also raised to higher category making the salary
for both the same.

This might be one of the reasons why petitioner to the Province of Tarlac
prefer to remain at his old post of provincial fiscal of Negros Oriental.
The determination as to who is entitled to the position of provincial fiscal of Negros
Oriental, depends upon the correct answers to several queries.

Bautista | Lopez | Macabagdal | R. Santos | Taruc

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. 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.

(2) Does the nomination of Lacson to Tarlac and its confirmation by the Commission
on Appointments serve as and is equivalent to a removal of Lacson as fiscal of Negros
Oriental? If in the affirmative, was that removal and lawful?

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.

In one case, it was decided that a transfer of a Justice of the Peace outside of
the municipality of which he is appointed is in legal effect a combined removal
and appointment." 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.

The office of provincial fiscal is included in the Civil Service. The law
regarding appointment to the post of provincial fiscal is contained in section
66 of the Administrative Code which provides that "the Governor-General
(now the President) shall appoint among other officials, Secretaries to
Departments, Provincial Treasurers, Provincial Fiscals, Register of Deeds,
etc."

And, Article VII, section 10(3) of the Constitution provides that the President
shall nominate and with the consent of the Commission on Appointments
shall appoint among other officials, "all other officers of the Government
whose appointments are not herein otherwise provided for" which clearly
includes the office of provincial fiscal.

It is therefore clear that a provincial fiscal who is nominated and appointed by


the President with the consent of the Commission on Appointments, as was
petitioner Lacson, is, under section 671 (b) of Administrative Code, included
in the unclassified service of the Civil Service.

111

Special Civil Action: CALDONA

(3) Could the President who appointed Lacson as provincial fiscal of Negros Oriental
remove him at will and without cause, or did the post of provincial fiscal in general
have attached to it a tenure of office during which the incumbent may not be removed
except for cause?

Article XII, section 4 of Constitution provides that "no officer or employee in


the civil service shall be removed or suspended except for cause as provided
by law." This constitutional provision is reproduced in Rev. Adm. Code.

The Committee on Civil Service of the Constitutional Convention which


drafted the Constitution in its report and in advocating the merit system in
connection with a civil service system among other things stated the
following:
o The adoption of the "merit system" in government service has
secured efficiency and social justice. It eliminates the political factor
in the selection of civil employees which is the first essential to an
efficient personnel system. It insures equality of opportunity to all
deserving applicants desirous of a career in the public service. It
advocates a new concept of the public office as a career open to all
and not the exclusive patrimony of any party or faction to be doled
out as a reward for party service.
o Necessity for Constitutional Provisions. The inclusion in the
constitution of provisions regarding the "merit system" is a necessity
of modern times. As its establishment secures good government, the
citizens have a right to expect its guarantee as a permanent
institution. . . . .
o Separations, Suspensions, Demotion, and Transfers. The "merit
system" will be ineffective if no safeguards are placed around the
separation and removal of public employees. The Committee's
report requires that removals shall be made only for "causes and in
the manner provided by law." This means that there should be bona
fide reasons and action may be taken only after the employee shall
have been given a fair hearing. This affords to public employees
reasonable security of tenure.

It is contended on of the respondent that the power of removal is inherent in


the power to appoint. Ordinarily, where there is no constitutional limitation the
contention of the respondent would be tenable; but where as in the
Philippines and as already stated the Constitution forbids the removal of a
civil service official or employee like the petitioner except for cause as
provided by law, said right of the Chief Executive is qualified and limited. That
constitutional prohibition is a limitation to the inherent power of the Executive
to remove those civil service officials whom he appoints.

Again, it is contended that the provincial fiscal is not appointed for a fixed
term and that there is no tenure of office attached to the post. This contention
is without merit. As we have already stated, a provincial fiscal as a civil
service official may not be removed from office even by the President who
appointed him, and even with the consent of the Commission on
Appointments, except for cause.

Considering this security and protection accorded a provincial fiscal from


arbitrary and illegal removal from office, and considering the provisions of

Bautista | Lopez | Macabagdal | R. Santos | Taruc

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.
The last part of the report of the Committee on Civil Service of the
Constitutional Convention which we have reproduced mentions this tenure of
office in its last sentence, "This affords public employees reasonable
security or tenure."
The provision of the Constitution of the Philippines, which has no counterpart
in the Constitution of the United States, makes the tenure of officers and
employees in the Civil Service secure even against the President's power of
removal and even if the officers should hold purely executive offices.
It is also contended by the respondent that neither the Constitution nor the
laws passed by the Legislature mention or enumerate the cause or causes for
which a civil service official may be removed from office. We find this claim
untenable. The law and civil service rules clearly provide the causes or some
of the causes for removal of civil service officials.
o Section 686 of the Revised Administrative Code, section 18 provides
that falsification by a civil service official of his daily time record shall
render him liable to summary removal and subject him to
prosecution as provided by law.
o Section 687 of the same Code section 19 deals with political activity
and contribution to political fund by civil service employees.
o Rule XIII, section 6 of the Civil Service Rules also provides certain
misconducts
From sections 64 and 694 of the Admin Code, it is inevitable that before a
civil service official or employee can be removed, there must first be an
investigation at which he must be given a fair hearing and an opportunity to
defend himself.
In the case of petitioner Lacson, the record fails to show, neither is there any
claim that he has been charged with any violation of law or civil service
regulation, much leas investigated and thereafter found guilty so as to
authorize or warrant removal from office.

CONCLUSION: The transfer of Lacson to Tarlac by his nomination to the post of


provincial fiscal of that province was equivalent to and meant his removal as provincial
fiscal of Negros Oriental; that said removal was illegal and unlawful for lack of valid
cause as provided by law and the Constitution; that the confirmation of the nomination
by the Commission on Appointments did not and could not validate the removal, since
the Constitution is equally binding on the Legislature; that a provincial fiscal is a civil
service official or employee whose tenure of office is protected by the Constitution; and
that Antonio Lacson could not be compelled to accept his appointment as provincial
fiscal of Tarlac; that having declined said appointment, he continued as provincial fiscal
of Negros Oriental; that inasmuch as he neither left, abandoned nor resigned from his
post as provincial fiscal of Negros Oriental, there was no vacancy in said post to which

112

Special Civil Action: CALDONA

the respondent could be legally appointed; and that consequently, the appointment of
the respondent was invalid.
Final dramatic words from SC

There are hundreds, yea, thousands of young, ambitious people who enter
the Civil Service not temporarily or as a makeshift, but to make a career out of
it. They give the best years of their lives to the service in the hope and
expectation that with faithful service, loyalty and some talent, they may
eventually attain the upper reaches and levels of official hierarchy.

To permit circumvention of the constitutional prohibition in question by


allowing removal from office without lawful cause, in the form or guise of
transfers from one office to another, or from one province to another, without
the consent of the transferee, would blast the hopes of these young civil
service officials and career men and women, destroy their security and tenure
of office and make for a subservient, discontented and inefficient civil service
force that sways with every political wind that blows and plays up to whatever
political party is in the saddle.

Incidentally, it happens that the petitioner is one of those we had in mind as


making a career of the Government service. He claims and it is not denied by
the respondent, that twenty years ago he entered the service of the
Government as register of deeds of Negros Oriental, then was promoted to
the post of fiscal, first of the Province of Palawan, then of Surigao, later of
Antique and lastly of Negros Oriental in 1946. He does not want to accept the
transfer to the Province of Tarlac. His only alternative would be to resign,
sacrifice his twenty years of continuous, faithful service and his career, and
perchance his hope that some day, he might yet be promoted to the judiciary.
Not a very bright prospect or picture, not only to him but to other civil service
officials in like circumstance.

But in justice to the President and the Commission on Appointments, let it be


stated once again that it would seem that the transfer of the petitioner to
Tarlac was not meant and intended as a punishment, a disciplinary measure
or demotion. It was really a promotion, at least at the time the appointment
was made.

Only, that later, due to a change in the category of Oriental Negros as a


province, the transfer was no longer a promotion in salary. And yet the
respondent and the Solicitor General insisted in the transfer despite the
refusal of the petitioner to accept his new appointment.
HELD: In conclusion, we find and declare the petitioner to be the provincial fiscal of
Negros Oriental, and the respondent not being entitled to said post, is hereby ordered
to surrender to the petitioner all the records or papers appertaining to said office that
may have come into his possession. The respondent provincial auditor and provincial
treasurer, are hereby ordered to pay to the herein petitioner his salary from June 16,
1949, and as long as said petitioner continues to be the legal incumbent to the office in
question. Considering that the respondent appears to have acted in good faith and
relied upon his nomination by the President and the confirmation thereof by the
Commission on Appointments, as well as the position taken by the Solicitor-General,
who sustained his appointment, we make no pronouncement as to costs.

Bautista | Lopez | Macabagdal | R. Santos | Taruc

o
6. ACOSTA V. FLOR (JM)
G.R. No. 2122
September 13, 1905
Petitioner: Pedro Acosta
Respondent: David Flor
Ponente: J. Mapa
Summary:
Acosta filed a case in the lower court alleging that as a result of the December 1903
municipal elections in Laoag, Ilocos Norte, he was elected by a majority of 100 votes.
Notwithstanding this, Flor (another candidate) has usurped the office. He therefore
prays to be declared to be entitled to the office and be given possession thereof. In the
trial, it was not proven that Acosta was entitled in any way of the office of municipal
president. Hence, the court granted Flors Demurrer of Evidence, and acquitted Flor on
the ground that Acostas petition had no cause of action for failing to establish his right
to the exercise of the office.
SC held that under Sec. 201 of the Code of the Civil Procedure, it can be inferred that
the individual who does not claim to have such right cannot bring an action for the
usurpation of public office. This is supported by Sec. 202 which states that when an
action is against a person for usurping an office, the complaint shall set forth the name
of the person who claims to be entitled, with an averment of his right to the same.
Therefore, 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.
FACTS:

Acosta filed a case in the lower court (hnd sinabi kung saan) a complaint alleging:
o At the municipal elections held in Dec. 1, 1903 in Laoag, Ilocos Norte, Acosta
and Flor were candidates for the office of municipal president;
o that as a result of the election Acosta was elected to by a majority of 100
votes, and that notwithstanding this Flor has usurped the office and unlawfully
held the same ;
o sets out other acts in regard to illigalities alleged to have been committed
during the election.
o Prayer: that judgment be entered against Flor, excluding him from the
exercise of such office and that Acosta be declared to be entitled to the same
and that he be given possession thereof.

In the trial, not a single witness by Acosta confirmed that he had obtained a
majority of 100 votes at the election, nor can it be inferred from the evidence
introduced by him that he, as a result of the said election or for any other reason,
was entitled to the office of municipal president of Laoag.

In view of the evidence introduced at the trial by Acosta, and before Flor had
presented his, the court, on the latters motion, acquitted Flor (Demurrer to
evidence?) on 2 grounds:

113

Special Civil Action: CALDONA

No cause of action because Acosta had failed to establish his alleged right to
the exercise of the office; and
o There was no necessity to inquire into the right of Flor to hold the office
because this question had already been determined by the provincial board
after a consideration of the various protests presented to it in regard to
irregularities committed during the election held at Laoag and for the further
reason that the presumption is that a person holding a public office was duly
appointed or elected thereto.
Hence this petition.

ISSUE: WON a plaintiff can maintain an action for the purpose of excluding the
defendant from the exercise of an office on account of illegalities alleged to have been
committed in the elections notwithstanding the fact that plaintiff has failed to show that
he had any right to the office of municipal president of Laoag. NO. (no issue given)
RATIO:

If the legislator had intended to give to all citizens alike the right to maintain an
action for usurpation of public office, he would have plainly said so in order to
avoid doubt on a subject of such far-reaching importance.
19
20

On the contrary especially and specifically provided in sections 199 , 200 , and
21
201 of the Code of Civil Procedure who must and who may bring such actions.
And it is very clear that it was its intention to give such right to those expressly
mentioned and to no other, following the well-known rule of law "inclusio unius est
exclusio alterius."
o The 3 sections only mention the Attorney-General, the provincial fiscal,
and the individual claiming to be entitled to the office unlawfully held
and exercised by another.
o It is to be inferred from this last provision that the individual who does not
claim to have such a right cannot bring an action for usurpation of public
office.

This inference is supported by the provisions of section 202 which says


that when the action is against a person for usurping an office, the
complaint shall set forth the name of the person who claims to be entitled
thereto, with an averment of his right to the same.

As a consequence of what has been said, no individual can bring a civil action
relating to the 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
19

"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."
20
"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."
21
"A person claiming to be entitled to a public office, unlawfully held and exercised by another, may
bring an action therefor."

Bautista | Lopez | Macabagdal | R. Santos | Taruc

such individual has no such 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 as is the case here.
This is what actually happened in this case. After all of the evidence presented by
Acosta had been introduced, it was found, and he himself so admitted that he had
failed to establish in any way that he had any right to the office of municipal
president of Laoag as he had alleged in his complaint without foundation for such
allegation.
o Consequently the judge very properly acquitted Flor.
Acostas Contention: The question of the right of the plaintiff to the said office
does not arise until it has been determined that the defendant is not entitled to the
exercise of such office. In other words, the court should have first passed upon the
right of the defendant and afterwards upon the right of the plaintiff.
SC: This should be done at the same time and in the same judgment. It is
immaterial what method the court may follow in the determination of the questions
in the rendition of his judgment because even though the court may pass upon the
right of the plaintiff first, and the right of the defendant afterwards, or vice versa,
this procedure would not vitiate the judgment, provided the court does not fail to
state therein what the rights of the contending parties to the office are.
o BUT all of this presupposes that the action has been properly brought
and duly prosecuted to a judgment. It is impossible to prosecute a suit
without a cause of action.
o Therefore, whenever before judgment it is conclusively proven that the
plaintiff has no right to maintain the action since he has not the essential
conditions required by law in order to bring and maintain such action, his
complaint should be dismissed and it becomes unnecessary to pass upon the
right of the defendant who has a perfect right to the undisturbed possession
of his office, unless the action is brought by a person having a right to
maintain the same under the law.
o The only exception to the rule that there be a person claiming to be entitled to
the office alleged to have been usurped, only refers to cases where the action
is brought by the Attorney-General or the provincial fiscal.

DECISION: The order of the court below appealed from, is hereby affirmed.
7. GARCIA V. PEREZ (RS)
22
No. L-28184|99 SCRA 628 |9/11/1980|De Castro, J.
Petitioner-appellant: Purificacion Garcia
Respondent-appellee: Angelo Perez
SUMMARY
Garcia questioned the appointment of Perez to the position of Senior Clerk in the
Fiscal Management and Budget Division, Court of Appeals, which receives a higher
salary than what Garcia does. Garcia filed a protest with the CSC against Perez
22

Syllabus says 99 SCRA 328, but that case, if there is one with that
citation, does not turn up in my search.
114

Special Civil Action: CALDONA

appointment on the ground that she was next in rank, better qualified and entitled to
preferential appointment to the position. CSC denied this. MR denied. Garcia filed quo
warranto case, which was also denied by the court a quo. MR denied. Before the SC,
the issue was WN Garcia has the right to bring a quo warranto proceeding questioning
the legality of the appointment of Perez. NO. Quo warranto petition dismissed. 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. In Cuyegkeng, the SC held that one who does not
claim to be entitled to the office allegedly usurped or unlawfully held or
exercised by another, but who "merely asserts a right to be appointed" thereto,
cannot question the latter's title to the same by quo warranto. 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.
FACTS

Purificacion V. Garcia appeals on pure questions of law, from a decision


dated 29 June 1967 of the CFI of Manila, which dismissed the petition for quo
warranto instituted by petitioner-appellant questioning the authority of
respondent-appellee to occupy and discharge the duties of the position of
Senior Clerk in the Fiscal Management and Budget Division, Court of Appeals
(CA).

9/1964 position of Senior Clerk in the Fiscal Management and Budget


Division of the CA (Senior Clerk or the position for brevity) with an
authorized salary of P4,800 per annum, became vacant

Petitioner Garcia, who was then occupying another position of Senior Clerk in
the same division but with compensation at the rate of P3,400 per annum,
filed with the Presiding Justice of the CA a written application for the vacant
position stating therein her qualifications.

9/12/1964 upon recommendation of the Clerk of CA, the Presiding Justice


of said Court, appointed respondent Angelo Perez to the vacant position, with
compensation at the rate of P4,200 per annum, effective 2 days hence. At
that time, Perez was holding the position of Cash and Payroll Clerk in the
same division, with compensation at the rate of P3,960 per annum.

9/21/1964 Garcia filed with the Civil Service Commission (CSC), a protest
against the appointment of Perez on the ground that she was next in rank,
better qualified and entitled to preferential appointment to the position.
o The Commissioner of CSC indorsed Garcia's protest to the CA for
comment.
o In a second endorsement, the Presiding Justice of the CA,
recommended approval of the appointment of Perez.
o In a separate communication to the Commissioner of CSC, the Chief
of the Fiscal Management and Budget Division of the CA stated that
the recommendation for the approval of the appointment of Perez
was made "after carefully studying the records and efficiency ratings
of the ranking employees in said division where the vacancy exists"
and that while Garcia occupies an item in his division, she never

Bautista | Lopez | Macabagdal | R. Santos | Taruc

worked therein and "has no knowledge or experience about the


nature or kind of work being performed" in said division.
o The first Deputy Clerk of Court and Administrative Officer of the CA
also informed the Commissioner of CSC that the position of Cash
and Payroll Clerk, was considered next in rank to the position of
Senior Clerk to which Perez was appointed and this ranking was
based in the "hierarchical organization of the Fiscal Department and
Budget Division to which the two above-mentioned positions belong,
the degree of relationship between these two positions and the
similarity in the nature of the duties inherent in them."
8/8/1966 Commissioner of CSC approved Perez appointment as Senior
Clerk with compensation at the rate of P4,200 per annum.
Garcia filed a MR of the decision of the Commissioner of CSC denying her
protest.
10/7/1966 MR was denied by the Commissioner of CSC.
To the position of Cash and Payroll Clerk vacated by Perez, the Presiding
Justice of the CA appointed Virginia Soriano thereto.
11/23/1966 - Garcia sent to the Commissioner of CSC her protest against
said appointment on the ground that it violated the CSC Rules on Promotion,
with the statement that the formal protest would be sent later.
11/25/1966 - Garcia commenced the present action but three days later she
sent her formal protest against the appointment of Mrs. Soriano, with a prayer
that it be disapproved and to cause the appointment of Garcia to said
position.
Court a quo dismissed the complaint: "A careful reading of Garcias complaint
and the stipulation of facts submitted by the parties disclose that Garcia does
not claim to be entitled to the position but she merely asserted a preferential
right' to be appointed thereto. Considering that she has not been appointed to
the position in question, she cannot, therefore, be placed and made to occupy
it. Under the situation, Garcia has no cause of action against Perez."
o Further note: "Another circumstance which militates against the
present action is that it was commenced beyond the period of one
year from the time the alleged right of Garcia to hold the office in
question arose. Perez was appointed Senior Clerk effective
September 14, 1964, and since then, he immediately discharged the
duties of the position. Considering that Garcia contends that the
appointment, of Perez to said position and his exercise of its
functions was unlawful and prejudicial to petitioner's rights, she
should have commenced her action (assuming that she has the right
to do so) within a period of one year from said appointment, as she
was in effect deprived of a right to occupy the position, The
complaint in this case was filed only on November 25, 1966 and
accordingly, it is already barred."
Hence, this appeal wherein Garcia has assigned four (4) errors of the court a
5
quo, thus:

ISSUE: WN Garcia has the right to bring a quo warranto proceeding questioning the
legality of the appointment of Perez. NO

115

Special Civil Action: CALDONA

HELD: Instant petition for quo warranto is dismissed.


RATIO

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.
o Absent such an element, the petition must be dismissed.
o This is a principle that goes back to Acosta v. Flor, a 1905 decisionDOCTRINE: "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.
o This has been the exacting rule, since then, followed with stricter
firmness in Cuyegkeng v. Cruz HELD: one who does not claim
to be entitled to the office allegedly usurped or unlawfully held
or exercised by another, but who "merely asserts a right to be
appointed" thereto, cannot question the latter's title to the same
by quo warranto. 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.

Should greater liberality be accorded to Garcia by considering her action as


one for mandamus whereby she would seek the appointing power to be
compelled to withdraw the appointment of Perez and issue in its place one for
Garcia herself, a procedural obstacle stands on the way, the appointing
power, the Presiding Justice of the CA, not having been impleaded as a party.
This on the assumption that appellant has a clear legal right to the contested
position, which she has not.
o The observation just made finds relevance to the issue raised in
appellant's second assignment of error, relative to the fatal
consequence of her failure to institute the present quo warranto
proceedings within the reglementary period of one year from the
accrual of the cause of action (Sec. 16, Rule 66, Rules of Court).
o In said assignment of error, Garcia maintains that the lower court
erred in holding that this action should have been commenced within
one (1) year from the Perez appointment and argues that her cause
of action arose only after notice of the denial of her MR of the
decision of the Commissioner of CSC on her protest against the
appointment of Perez.
o Moreover, she insists that the pendency of the protest in the CSC
suspended the running of the one-year period, citing the Supreme
Court's ruling on the finality of appointment in the case of Grospe v.
Sec. of Public Works and Communication, the dissenting opinion of

Bautista | Lopez | Macabagdal | R. Santos | Taruc

116

Justice Perfecto in the case of Tumulak v. Egay concerning the oneyear period, and the ruling in the case of Agcaoile v. Saguitan.
o The authorities relied upon by appellant are, however, not in point
and do not apply in this case.

The first case is one of mandamus and the case at bar


cannot be considered as one, as already shown asking
for the reinstatement of an employee who was ordered
dismissed for cause by the Commission on CSC.

The second is a dissenting opinion which is not binding, as


it is a mere expression of the individual view of the
dissenting justice from the conclusion held by the majority
of the court.

The last was expressly abandoned in Torres v. Quintos in


the following tenor: ... We denied said supplemental action
in a minute resolution, the effect of which is of course to
reject the theory that the pendency of an administrative
remedy suspends the period within which a petition for quo
warranto should be filed. The reason is obvious. While it
may be desirable that administrative remedies be first
resorted to, no one is compelled or bound to do so; and as
said remedies neither are prerequisite to nor bar the
institution of quo warranto proceedings: it follows that he
who claims the right to hold a public office allegedly
usurped by another and who desires to seek redress in the
courts, should file the proper judicial action within the
reglementary period. Public interest requires that the right
of public office should be determined as speedily as
practicable... This ruling has been reiterated with
consistent strictness in a long line of cases.
As applied to the instant case: admitted facts show that the appointment in
controversy was made on 12 September 1964, effective 14 September 1964;
respondent-appellee assumed office on the strength thereof, and received the
salary corresponding to said position. The petition herein was filed only on
25 November 1966, clearly more than one year after the pretended right
of Garcia to hold the office in question arose. This circumstance has
close the door for any judicial remedy in her favor.
This makes it unnecessary to take up in detail the other assignment of errors
advanced by Garcia. Suffice it to state that Garcia has not overcome the
presumption of regularity and legality in official actions anent the extension of
the appointment in question by the Presiding Justice of the CA and the
approval thereof, by the Commissioner of CSC.
o Even if viewed only as a matter of equity, we cannot disregard, as if
they were totally irrelevant, the facts that Perez was at the time of
the issuance of the disputed appointment, receiving a higher salary
than Garcia; and that he, as cash and payroll clerk, had always
worked in the division to which the contested position pertains, while
Garcia has never worked therein, although her item is that of a
senior clerk of the same division, thereby giving Perez higher

Special Civil Action: CALDONA

o
o

potentiality for, if not actually greater, competence for the duties and
responsibilities of the position in question.
Likewise, three days after filing the instant petition, Garcia protested
with the Commissioner of CSC the appointment of Mrs. Soriano to
the position of cash and payroll clerk, the position vacated by Perez,
praying that she (Garcia) be appointed to said position.
This theory of abandonment, as advanced by Perez and raised his
Motion to Dismiss was not refuted by Garcia, as she could have
done by filing a reply brief which she did not.
Undeniably, there is obvious validity in this contention, at least
insofar as it tends to show Garcias own conviction in the weakness
of her claim to be entitled to the position in dispute, which constitutes
the real and actual foundation of the action of quo warranto which
she has instituted.

8. CRUZ V. RAMOS (RT)


G.R. No. L-3059
August 2, 1949
Petitioners: VICENTE G. CRUZ, AMADO V. HERNANDEZ, JOSEFINA R. PHODACA,
SALVADOR MARINO, ISAURO M. SANTIAGO, and SEGUNDO AGUSTIN
Respondents: PLACIDO RAMOS, FERNANDO MONLEON, and LUIS VILLACERAN
SUMMARY
The six petitioners allege that they are members of the Municipal Board of the City of
Manila, they having been elected in the general elections of 1947 for a term of four
years expiring on December 31, 1951. As such elected members they have the
absolute and exclusive right to exercise the prerogatives and privileges of the office of
members of said board. Only one vacancy in the board was created by the
appointment of Eustaquio Balagtas as Director of Prisons. The President of the
Philippines appointed the respondents Placido Ramos, Fernando Monleon and Luis
Villaceran members of the municipal board to fill the vacancy caused by the
appointment of Eustaquio Balagtas as Director of Prisons and two new additional
positions created by Republic Act No. 409, known as the Revised Charter of the City of
Manila.
Petitioners allege that Republic Act No. 409, which increases the congressional
districts of the City of Manila from two to four and the membership of the municipal
board from ten to twelve, is unconstitutional because section 5 of Article VI of the
Constitution authorizes the Congress to apportion legislative districts throughout the
Philippines by a general law and not by piecemeal legislation.
W/N quo warranto is proper? NO.
The exercise of the prerogative writ of Quo Warranto is governed by Rule 68 of the
Rules of Court. Section 6 provides that "a person claiming to be entitled to a public
office usurped or unlawfully held or exercised by another may bring an action therefor
in his own name." The present petition is not authorized by section 6 to because the
petitioners do not claim to be entitled to the public office alleged to be unlawfully held
or exercised by the respondents. As a matter of fact the petitioners 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 the respondents have

Bautista | Lopez | Macabagdal | R. Santos | Taruc

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. The
mere fact that the membership of the board was increased from ten to twelve and the
quorum from six to seven 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.

CASE: An original petition of Quo Warranto (1) to declare "that the respondents are
illegally usurping, intruding into, and/or exercising or holding the office of Members of
the Manila Municipal Board," and (2) oust them from that office.
FACTS
Petitioners Allegations
The six petitioners allege that they are members of the Municipal Board of the City of
Manila, they having been elected in the general elections of 1947 together with
Gregorio Garcia, Andres Santamaria, Pedro Arenas, and Eustaquio Balagtas (who
are not parties in this case) to compose the ten members of the Board, for a term of
four years expiring on December 31, 1951.
As such elected members they have the absolute and exclusive right to exercise the
prerogatives and privileges of the office of members of said board.
Only one vacancy in the board was created by the appointment of Eustaquio
Balagtas in March, 1949, as Director of Prisons.
On June 22, 1949, the President of the Philippines appointed the respondents
Placido Ramos, Fernando Monleon and Luis Villaceran members of the municipal
board to fill the vacancy caused by the appointment of Eustaquio Balagtas as
Director of Prisons and two new additional positions created by Republic Act No.
409, known as the Revised Charter of the City of Manila.
Petitioners allege that Republic Act No. 409, which increases the congressional
districts of the City of Manila from two to four and the membership of the municipal
board from ten to twelve, is unconstitutional because section 5 of Article VI of the
Constitution authorizes the Congress to apportion legislative districts throughout the
Philippines by a general law and not by piecemeal legislation.
At least any two of the respondents are illegally usurping, intruding into, and/or
holding or exercising the rights and privileges and discharging the duties exclusively
pertaining to the petitioners and other members of the municipal board elected in the
general elections of 1947 because the creation of the office and the appointment of
at least any two of the respondents are contrary to section 5, Article VI of the
Constitution.
The unconstitutional appointment and qualification of at least any two of the
respondents increases the number of a majority to constitute a quorum to do
business in the deliberation of the municipal board, thereby depriving any six of the
elective members of the board to do business, inasmuch as the minimum number to
constitute a quorum of a 12-member board under Republic Act No. 409 is seven,
instead of six.

117

Special Civil Action: CALDONA

Respondents contentions
The petitioners have no legal capacity to bring the present action for usurpation of
public office, inasmuch as the petitioners do not claim to be entitled to occupy the
office now held by the respondents, and that an action for usurpation of office may
be brought only by the Solicitor General or by a fiscal in the name of the Republic of
the Philippines.
The respondents are lawfully holding the office in question, they having been duly
appointed thereto by the President of the Philippines.
Republic Act No. 409 is constitutional.
ISSUE
W/N quo warranto is proper? NO.
RATIO
The exercise of the prerogative writ of Quo Warranto is governed by Rule 68 of the
Rules of Court.
Section 1 of said rule provides that an action for the usurpation of office may be
brought in the name of the Republic of the Philippines against any person who
usurps, intrudes into, or unlawfully holds or exercises a public office.
And section 6 provides that "a person claiming to be entitled to a public office
usurped or unlawfully held or exercised by another may bring an action therefor in
his own name."
The present petition is not authorized by section 6 to because the petitioners do not
claim to be entitled to the public office alleged to be unlawfully held or exercised by
the respondents. As a matter of fact the petitioners 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 the respondents 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 the petitioner; 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 the petitioners 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 ten to twelve
and the quorum from six to seven does not in any way diminish the rights and
prerogatives of the individual petitioners as members of the board.

Bautista | Lopez | Macabagdal | R. Santos | Taruc

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. The petitioners are bringing this action as
individuals and not as a group or judicial entity recognized by law as having a
corporate or collective right to assert.
As members of the municipal board the six 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 invasion of
petitioners' right which would entitle them to bring this action.
If, as petitioners contend, Republic Act No. 409 increasing the membership of the
board is unconstitutionala question which we cannot inquire into unless a proper
action is brought before usthe remedy available to them as well as to any other
citizen is that provided for in section 4 of Rule 68; namely, to relate the matter to the
Solicitor General and request him to bring the action in the name of the Republic of
the Philippines.
The reason of the law is that a public office or a franchise is created or granted by
law, and its usurpation or unlawful exercise is the concern primarily of the
Government. Hence the latter as a rule is the party called upon to bring the action for
such usurpation or unlawful exercise of an office or franchise.
The only exception in which the law permits an individual to bring the action in his
own name is when he claims to be entitled to the public office alleged to be usurped
or unlawfully held or exercised by another. That, however, is not the present case,
as we have hereinabove demonstrated.
It resulting from the foregoing that the petitioners have no cause of action, it is
neither necessary nor proper for the Court to pass upon the constitutionality of
Republic Act No. 409.
The petition is dismissed, with costs.
9.

CALLEJA V. PANDAY (MB)

Petitioners: Ma. Lutgarda P. Calleja, Joaquin M. Calleja, Jr., Jadelson Peter P.


Calleja, Ma. Jessica T. Flores, Mercie C. Tipones and Perfecto Nixon C. Tabora
Respondents: Jose Pierre A. Panday, Augusto R. Panday and Ma. Thelna P. Mallari
G.R. No. 168696 February 28, 2006
Austria-Martinez, J.:
SUMMARY:
Respondents Jose Panday et al. filed a petition with the RTC-Br. 58 of Camarines Sur
for quo warranto and other remedies against Ma. Lutgarda Calleja et al. for allegedly
usurping the powers which supposedly belonged to Panday et al. as members of the
board of directors and officers of St. John Hospital, Incorporated. RTC-Br. 58 Camsur
transferred the case to RTC-Naga City, but RTC-Naga City refused to receive the case
for improper venue. RTC-Br. 58 Camsur proceeded with the case. Petitioners Tabora
and others answer moved to dismiss the quo warranto case invoking improper venue,
lack of jurisdiction and wrong remedy of quo warranto. RTC-Br. 58 Camsur dismissed

118

Special Civil Action: CALDONA

this motion to dismiss. Hence this petition for review on certiorari assailing the said
order. The SC granted the petition ruling:
(1) Calleja et al. chose the wrong remedy. However, it appears that the longer
this case remains unresolved, the greater chance there is for more violence
between the parties to erupt so the SC resolved to rule on the merits.
(2) Rule 66 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure does not apply to quo
warranto cases against persons who usurp an office in a private corporation.
(3) It is The Interim Rules of Procedure Governing Intra-Corporate Controversies
Under R.A. No. 8799 (Interim Rules) which applies to the petition for quo
warranto filed by Panday et al.
(4) It is the Regional Trial Court designated as Special Commercial Courts in
Camarines Sur which shall have jurisdiction over the petition
FACTS:

Respondents Jose Panday et al. filed a petition with the RTC of San Jose,
Camarines Sur for quo warranto with Damages and Prayer for Mandatory and
Prohibitory Injunction, Damages and Issuance of Temporary Restraining
Order against Ma. Lutgarda Calleja et al.

Panday et al. alleged that from 1985 up to the filing of the petition with the trial
court, they had been members of the board of directors and officers of St.
John Hospital, Incorporated, but sometime in May 2005, Calleja et al., who
are also among the incorporators and stockholders of said corporation,
forcibly and with the aid of armed men usurped the powers which supposedly
belonged to Panday et al.

RTC-Br. 58 issued an Order transferring the case to the RTC in Naga City.
o Since the verified petition showed Panday et al. to be residents of
Naga City, then the action for quo warranto should be brought in the
RTC exercising jurisdiction over the territorial area where Panday et
al. or any of the respondents resides.

However, the Executive Judge of RTC of Naga City refused to receive the
case, stating that improper venue is not a ground for transferring a quo
warranto case to another administrative jurisdiction.

The RTC-Br. 58 then proceeded to issue and serve summons.


o Petitioner Tabora filed his Answer raising the ff. affirmative defenses:
(1) improper venue
(2) lack of jurisdiction, and
(3) wrong remedy of quo warranto.
o Other respondents also filed their Answer raising the same
affirmative defenses.

RTC-Br. 58 issued the assailed Order:


o Denying the Motion to Dismiss because it is a prohibited pleading
o Remanding the case to the RTC of Naga City which has been
designated as special court to try and decide intra-corporate
controversies under R.A. 8799.
o The issue of whether Quo Warranto is the proper remedy is better
left to the court of competent jurisdiction to rule upon.

Calleja et al. elevated the case to the SC via a petition for review
on certiorari under Rule 45.

Bautista | Lopez | Macabagdal | R. Santos | Taruc

In their Comment, Panday et al. argue that:


1. An appeal under Rule 45 is inappropriate because the Order is
merely interlocutory and not a final order as contemplated under
Rule 45.
2. A petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 is the wrong remedy
because all decisions and final orders in cases falling under the
Interim Rules of Corporate Rehabilitation and the Interim Rules of
Procedure Governing Intra-Corporate Controversies shall be
appealable to the CA through a petition for review under Rule 43.
3. The petition was intended merely to delay the proceedings.
Subsequently, Calleja et al. also filed an Urgent Motion to Restore Status Quo
Ante, alleging that respondent Jose Pierre Panday, with the aid of 14 armed
men, assaulted the premises of St. John Hospital in Naga City, taking away
the daily hospital collections estimated at P400,000.00.

ISSUES:
1. Whether a branch of the RTC which has no jurisdiction to try and decide a
case has authority to remand the same to another co-equal court in order to
cure the defects on venue and jurisdiction. --- NO
2. Whether or not Administrative Circular No. 8-01 dated January 23, 2001
which took effect on March 1, 2001 may be applied in the present case which
was filed on May 16, 2005. --- YES
HELD:

The petition is GIVEN DUE COURSE and GRANTED.

The Order of the RTC of San Jose, Camarines Sur is SET ASIDE for
being NULL and VOID.

The petition for quo warranto entitled "Jose Pierre A. Panday, et al. v. Sps.
Joaquin M. Calleja, Jr., et al." is ordered DISMISSED.
RATIO:
1. Calleja et al. chose the wrong remedy. However, it appears that the longer this case
remains unresolved, the greater chance there is for more violence between the parties
to erupt.

It is hornbook principle that Rule 45 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure


governs appeals from judgments or final orders.

The order was merely interlocutory as it does not dispose of the case
completely, but leaves something more to be done on its merits. Such being
the case, the assailed Order cannot ordinarily be reviewed through a petition
under Rule 45.

In this case, the basic issue of which court has jurisdiction over cases
previously cognizable by the SEC under Section 5, P.D. No. 902-A, and the
propensity of the parties to resort to violence behoove the Court to look
beyond petitioners technical lapse of filing a petition for review
on certiorari instead of filing a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 with the
proper court.

119

Special Civil Action: CALDONA

Thus, the Court shall proceed to resolve the case on its merits.

2. History: Transfer of jurisdiction from SEC to regular courts

It should be noted that allegations in a complaint for quo warranto that certain
persons usurped the offices, powers and functions of duly elected members
of the board, trustees and/or officers make out a case for an intra-corporate
controversy.

Prior to the enactment of R.A. No. 8799, Section 1, Rule 66 of the 1997 Rules
of Civil Procedure is limited to actions of quo warranto against persons who
usurp a public office, position or franchise; public officers who forfeit their
office; and associations which act as corporations without being legally
incorporated, while actions of quo warranto against corporations, or against
persons who usurp an office in a corporation, fall under the jurisdiction of the
Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

However, R.A. No. 8799 was passed stating that the SECs jurisdiction over
all cases enumerated under Section 5 of Presidential Decree No. 902-A is
hereby transferred to the Courts of general jurisdiction or the appropriate
RTC: Provided, That the Supreme Court in the exercise of its authority may
designate the RTC branches that shall exercise jurisdiction over these cases.

Therefore, actions of quo warranto against persons who usurp an office in a


corporation, which were formerly cognizable by the SEC, have been
transferred to the courts of general jurisdiction.
3. But, this does not change the fact that Rule 66 of the 1997 Rules of Civil
Procedure does not apply to quo warranto cases against persons who usurp an
office in a private corporation.

Presently, Section 1(a) of Rule 66 reads ---- Section 1. Action by Government


against individuals. An action for the usurpation of a public office, position or
franchise may be commenced by a verified petition brought in the name of the
Republic of the Philippines against:
(a) A person who usurps, intrudes into, or unlawfully holds or exercises a
public office, position or franchise;

Unilongo case --- Section 1(a) of Rule 66 of the present Rules no longer
contains the phrase "or an office in a corporation created by authority of law"
which was found in the old Rules.
o Clearly, the present Rule 66 only applies to actions of quo
warranto against:

persons who usurp a public office, position or franchise;

public officers who forfeit their office; and

associations which act as corporations without being legally


incorporated despite the passage of R.A. No. 8799.

Therefore, it is The Interim Rules of Procedure Governing Intra-Corporate


Controversies Under R.A. No. 8799 (Interim Rules) which applies to the
petition for quo warranto filed by Panday et al. before the trial court since
what is being questioned is the authority of Calleja et al. to assume the office
and act as the board of directors and officers of St. John Hospital,
Incorporated.

Bautista | Lopez | Macabagdal | R. Santos | Taruc

The Interim Rules shall govern the procedure to be observed in civil cases
involving the following among others:
o Controversies arising out of intra-corporate, partnership, or
association relations, between and among stockholders, members,
or associates, and between, any or all of them and the corporation,
partnership, or association of which they are stockholders, members,
or associates, respectively;
o Controversies in the election or appointment of directors, trustees,
officers, or managers of corporations, partnerships, or associations;
Venue --- All actions covered by these Rules shall be commenced and tried in
the RTC which has jurisdiction over the principal office of the corporation,
partnership, or association concerned.

4. It is the Regional Trial Court designated as Special Commercial Courts in


Camarines Sur which shall have jurisdiction over the petition for quo
warranto filed by Panday et al.

Supreme Court promulgated A.M. No. 00-11-03-SC (effective December 15,


2000) --- designating certain branches of the RTCs to try and decide cases
formerly cognizable by the SEC. For the Fifth Judicial Region, this Court
designated the following branches of the Regional Trial Court, to wit:
Camarines Sur (Naga City) --- Branch 23, Judge Pablo M. Paqueo,
Jr.
Albay (Legaspi City) --Branch 4, Judge Gregorio A. Consulta
Sorsogon (Sorsogon) --Branch 52, Judge Honesto A. Villamor

Subsequently, the Court promulgated A.M. No. 03-03-03-SC (effective July 1,


2003) --- which provides that the RTCs designated as SEC courts shall be
called Special Commercial Courts to try and decide cases involving violations
of Intellectual Property Rights in addition to SEC cases.

It is undisputed that the principal office of the corporation is situated at


Goa, Camarines Sur.

RTC-Br. 58 in San Jose, Camarines Sur is bereft of jurisdiction over Panday


et al.s petition for quo warranto because based on the allegations in the
petition, the case was clearly one involving an intra-corporate dispute.
o RTC-Br. 58 was never designated as a Special Commercial Court;
hence, it was never vested with jurisdiction over cases previously
cognizable by the SEC.
o RTC-Br. 58 did not have the requisite authority or power to order the
transfer of the case to another branch of the RTC.
o The only action that RTC-Br. 58 could take on the matter was to
dismiss the petition for lack of jurisdiction.

Note, further, that Panday et al. petition for quo warranto was filed as late as
2005. A.M. No. 03-03-03-SC took effect as early as July 1, 2003 and it was
clearly provided that such petitions shall be filed in the Office of the Clerk of
Court in the official station of the designated Special Commercial Court.
o Since the official station of the designated Special Commercial Court
for Camarines Sur is the RTC in Naga City, Panday et al. should
have filed their petition with said court.

120

Special Civil Action: CALDONA

Bautista | Lopez | Macabagdal | R. Santos | Taruc

Rule 67: EXPROPRIATION


Section 1. The complaint. The right of eminent domain shall be exercised by the
filing of a verified complaint which shall state with certainty the right and purpose of
expropriation, describe the real or personal property sought to be expropriated, and
join as defendants all persons owning or claiming to own, or occupying, any part
thereof or interest therein, showing, so far as practicable, the separate interest of each
defendant. If the title to any property sought to be expropriated appears to be in the
Republic of the Philippines, although occupied by private individuals, or if the title is
otherwise obscure or doubtful so that the plaintiff cannot with accuracy or certainty
specify who are the real owners, averment to that effect shall be made in the
complaint. (1a)
Section 2. Entry of plaintiff upon depositing value with authorized government
depositary. Upon the filing of the complaint or at any time thereafter and after due
notice to the defendant, the plaintiff shall have the right to take or enter upon the
possession of the real property involved if he deposits with the authorized government
depositary an amount equivalent to the assessed value of the property for purposes of
taxation to be held by such bank subject to the orders 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 government bank of the Republic of the Philippines payable on demand to
the authorized government depositary.
If personal property is involved, its value shall be provisionally ascertained and the
amount to be deposited shall be promptly fixed by the court.
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 and promptly submit
a report thereof to the court with service of copies to the parties. (2a)
Section 3. Defenses and objections. If a defendant has no objection or defense to
the action or the taking of his property, he may file and serve a notice of appearance
and a manifestation to that effect, specifically designating or identifying the property in
which he claims to be interested, within the time stated in the summons. Thereafter, he
shall be entitled to notice of all proceedings affecting the same.
If a defendant has any objection to the filing of or the allegations in the complaint, or
any objection or defense to the taking of his property, he shall serve his answer within
the time stated in the summons. The answer shall specifically designate or identify the
property in which he claims to have an interest, state the nature and extent of the
interest claimed, and adduce all his objections and defenses to the taking of his
property. No counterclaim, cross-claim or third-party complaint shall be alleged or
allowed in the answer or any subsequent pleading.
A defendant waives all defenses and objections not so alleged but the court, in the
interest of justice, may permit amendments to the answer to be made not later than ten
(10) days from the filing thereof. However, at the trial of the issue of just compensation
whether or not a defendant has previously appeared or answered, he may present

121

Special Civil Action: CALDONA

evidence as to the amount of the compensation to be paid for his property, and he may
share in the distribution of the award. (n)
Section 4. Order of expropriation. If the objections to and the defenses against the
right of the plaintiff to expropriate the property are overruled, or when no party appears
to defend as required by this Rule, the court may issue an order of expropriation
declaring that the plaintiff has a lawful right to take the property sought to be
expropriated, 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 taking of the
property or the filing of the complaint, whichever came first.
A final order sustaining the right to expropriate the property may be appealed by any
party aggrieved thereby. Such appeal, however, shall not prevent the court from
determining the just compensation to be paid.
After the rendition of such an order, the plaintiff shall not be permitted to dismiss or
discontinue the proceeding except on such terms as the court deems just and
equitable. (4a)
Section 5. Ascertainment of compensation. Upon the rendition of the order of
expropriation, the court shall appoint not more than three (3) competent and
disinterested persons as commissioners to ascertain and report to the court the just
compensation for the property sought to be taken. The order of appointment shall
designate the time and place of the first session of the hearing to be held by the
commissioners and specify the time within which their report shall be submitted to the
court.
Copies of the order shall be served on the parties. Objections to the appointment of
any of the commissioners shall be filed with the court within ten (10) days from service,
and shall be resolved within thirty (30) days after all the commissioners shall have
received copies of the objections. (5a)
Section 6. Proceedings by commissioners. Before entering upon the performance
of their duties, the commissioners shall take and subscribe an oath that they will
faithfully perform their duties as commissioners, which oath shall be filed in court with
the other proceedings in the case. Evidence may be introduced by either party before
the commissioners who are authorized to administer oaths on hearings before them,
and the commissioners shall, unless the parties consent to the contrary, after due
notice to the parties, to attend, view and examine the property sought to be
expropriated and its surroundings, and may measure the same, after which either party
may, by himself or counsel, argue the case. The commissioners shall assess the
consequential damages to the property not taken and deduct from such consequential
damages the consequential benefits to be derived by the owner from the public use or
purpose of the property taken, the operation of its franchise by the corporation or the
carrying on of the business of the corporation or person taking the property. But in no
case shall the consequential benefits assessed exceed the consequential damages
assessed, or the owner be deprived of the actual value of his property so taken. (6a)

Bautista | Lopez | Macabagdal | R. Santos | Taruc

Section 7. Report by commissioners and judgment thereupon. The court may order
the commissioners to report when any particular portion of the real estate shall have
been passed upon by them, and may render judgment upon such partial report, and
direct the commissioners to proceed with their work as to subsequent portions of the
property sought to be expropriated, and may from time to time so deal with such
property. The commissioners shall make a full and accurate report to the court of all
their proceedings, and such proceedings shall not be effectual until the court shall
have accepted their report and rendered judgment in accordance with their
recommendations. Except as otherwise expressly ordered by the court, such report
shall be filed within sixty (60) days from the date the commissioners were notified of
their appointment, which time may be extended in the discretion of the court. Upon the
filing of such report, the clerk of the court shall serve copies thereof on all interested
parties, with notice that they are allowed ten (10) days within which to file objections to
the findings of the report, if they so desire. (7a)
Section 8. Action upon commissioners' report. Upon the expiration of the period of
ten (10) days referred to in the preceding section, or even before the expiration of such
period but after all the interested parties have filed their objections to the report or their
statement of agreement therewith, the court may, after hearing, accept the report and
render judgment in accordance therewith, or, for cause shown, it may recommit the
same to the commissioners for further report of facts, or it may set aside the report and
appoint new commissioners; or it may accept the report in part and reject it in part and
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 expropriation, and to the defendant just
compensation for the property so taken. (8a)

ordering the Regional Trial Court to forthwith enforce the restoration to the defendant
of the possession of the property, and to determine the damages which the defendant
sustained and may recover by reason of the possession taken by the plaintiff. (11a)

Section 9. Uncertain ownership; conflicting claims. If the ownership of the property


taken is uncertain, or there are conflicting claims to any part thereof, the court may
order any sum or sums awarded as compensation for the property to be paid to the
court for the benefit of the person adjudged in the same proceeding to be entitled
thereto. But the judgment shall require the payment of the sum or sums awarded to
either the defendant or the court before the plaintiff can enter upon the property, or
retain it for the public use or purpose if entry has already been made. (9a)

1. BRGY SAN ROQUE vs PASTOR (LL)


G.R. No. 138896 | June 20, 2000

Section 10. Rights of plaintiff after judgment and payment. Upon payment by the
plaintiff to the defendant of the compensation fixed by the judgment, with legal interest
thereon from the taking of the possession of the property, or after tender to him of the
amount so fixed and payment of the costs, the plaintiff shall have the right to enter
upon the property expropriated and to appropriate it for the public use or purpose
defined in the judgment, or to retain it should he have taken immediate possession
thereof under the provisions of section 2 hereof. If the defendant and his counsel
absent themselves from the court, or decline to receive the amount tendered, the same
shall be ordered to be deposited in court and such deposit shall have the same effect
as actual payment thereof to the defendant or the person ultimately adjudged entitled
thereto. (10a)
Section 11. Entry not delayed by appeal; effect of reversal. The right of the plaintiff
to enter upon the property of the defendant and appropriate the same for public use or
purpose shall not be delayed by an appeal from the judgment. But if the appellate court
determines that plaintiff has no right of expropriation, judgment shall be rendered

122

Special Civil Action: CALDONA

Section 12. Costs, by whom paid. The fees of the commissioners shall be taxed as
a part of the costs of the proceedings. All costs, except those of rival claimants
litigating their claims, shall be paid by the plaintiff, unless an appeal is taken by the
owner of the property and the judgment is affirmed, in which event the costs of the
appeal shall be paid by the owner. (12a)
Section 13. Recording judgment, and its effect. The judgment entered in
expropriation proceedings shall state definitely, by an adequate description, the
particular property or interest therein expropriated, and the nature of the public use or
purpose for which it is expropriated. When real estate is expropriated, a certified copy
of such judgment shall be recorded in the registry of deeds of the place in which the
property is situated, and its effect shall be to vest in the plaintiff the title to the real
estate so described for such public use or purpose. (13a)
Section 14. Power of guardian in such proceedings. The guardian or guardian ad
litem of a minor or of a person judicially declared to be incompetent may, with the
approval of the court first had, do and perform on behalf of his ward any act, matter, or
thing respecting the expropriation for public use or purpose of property belonging to
such minor or person judicially declared to be incompetent, which such minor or
person judicially declared to be incompetent could do in such proceedings if he were of
age or competent. (14a)

Petitioner: BARANGAY SAN ROQUE, TALISAY, CEBU


Respondents: Heirs of FRANCISCO PASTOR, namely: EUGENIO SYLIANCO,
TEODORO SYLIANCO, ISABEL SYLIANCO, EUGENIA S. ONG, LAWRENCE
SYLIANCO, LAWSON SYLIANCO, LAWINA S. NOTARIO, LEONARDO SYLIANCO
JR. and LAWFORD SYLIANCO
An expropriation suit is incapable of pecuniary estimation. Accordingly, it falls within
the jurisdiction of the regional trial courts, regardless of the value of the subject
property.
Facts:

Petitioner Brgy. San Roque, Talisay, Cebu filed before the Municipal Trial
Court (MTC) of Talisay, Cebu a Complaint to expropriate a property of the
respondents heirs of Francisco Pastor. The MTC dismissed the Complaint on
the ground of lack of jurisdiction. It reasoned that "eminent domain is an
exercise of the power to take private property for public use after payment of
just compensation. In an action for eminent domain, therefore, the principal
cause of action is the exercise of such power or right. The fact that the action
also involves real property is merely incidental. An action for eminent domain
is therefore within the exclusive original jurisdiction of the Regional Trial Court
and not with this Court."

Bautista | Lopez | Macabagdal | R. Santos | Taruc

The RTC also dismissed the Complaint when filed before it, holding that the
action for eminent domain or condemnation of real property is a real action
affecting title to or possession of real property, hence, it is the assessed value
of the property involved which determines the jurisdiction of the court. Section
3, paragraph (3), of Republic Act No. 7691, provides that all civil actions
involving title to, or possession of, real property with an assessed value of
less than P20,000.00 are within the exclusive original jurisdiction of the
Municipal Trial Courts. The Tax Declaration shows that the assessed value of
the land involved is only P1,740.00. Hence, it is the MTC which has
jurisdiction.

Issue: Who has jurisdiction in expropriation cases? - RTC


Ratio:
Test to determine whether a suit is incapable of pecuniary estimation

An expropriation suit is incapable of pecuniary estimation. 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 (now RTC).
Expropriation proceedings involve two phases
1. 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.

123

Special Civil Action: CALDONA

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.
An expropriation suit is incapable of pecuniary estimation

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.

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 governments 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 respondents 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.

Held: WHEREFORE, the Petition is hereby GRANTED and the assailed Orders SET
ASIDE. The Regional Trial Court is directed to HEAR the case. No costs.

2. NAPOCOR V. JOCSON (JM)


G.R. Nos. 94193-99
February 25, 1992
[Sorry guys mahaba ung case at puro tungkol sa expropriation, saka baka gusto ito ni
Sir kasi puro mali yung ginawa nung judge]
Petitioner: National Power Corporation
Respondents: HON. ENRIQUE T. JOCSON (in his capacity as Presiding Judge, RTC,
Branch 47, Bacolod City) AND
Jesus, Fernando, Maria Cristina And Michael, All Surnamed Gonzaga; Luis,
Dionisio, Roberto, Gabriel, Benjamin, Ana, Alexander, Carla, Sofia And
Daniel, all Surnamed gonzaga; Rosario P. Mendoza; Celsoy Agro-Ind. Corp.;

Bautista | Lopez | Macabagdal | R. Santos | Taruc

Emmanuel, Lydia, Harry, Noli, Clifford And Christian Dale, all surnamed Ao;
Mayo L. Lacson; And Lucia Gosienfiao [collectively known as DEFENDANTS]
Ponente: J. Davide Jr.
Summary:
Napocor filed 7 eminent domain cases in the acquisition of right of way easement over
7 parcels of land in relation to the necessity of building towers and transmission line for
its Negros-Panay Interconnection Project, particularly the Bacolod-Tomonton
Transmission Line. However, both parties did not come to an agreement on just
compensation thereby prompting Napocor to bring the eminent domain case.
Respondent judge found existing paramount public interest for the expropriation and
thereby issued an order determining the provisional market value of the subject areas
based on the tax declaration of the properties. Napocor, in compliance to the order,
deposited a corresponding amount of the assessed value of said lands with the PNB.
However, the defendants as land owners filed a MR asserting that the assessed value
is way too low. Immediately the following day, respondent judge increased the
provisional value to that stated in the MR and ordered Napocor to deposit the
differential amount within 24 hours from receipt of order while holding in abeyance the
writ of possession order pending compliance to said order. Napocor complied.
Thereafter, respondent judge again ordered Napocor to pay in full amount the
defendants for their expropriated property. Unable to accept the above Order, Napocor
filed this petition alleging that respondent Judge acted in excess of jurisdiction, in
violation of laws and in dereliction of the duty to afford respondents due process when
he issued said Orders.
Respondent Judge committed GADALEJ, and is otherwise either unmindful or ignorant
of the law: when (1) he fixed the provisional values of the properties in disregard of
P.D. No. 42; (2) in amending such determination of provisional values without hearing;
(3) in directing the defendants to manifest within 24 hours whether or not they are
accepting and withdrawing the amounts, representing the provisional values, deposited
by Napocor as "final and full satisfaction of the value of their respective property; (4) in
declaring the provisional values as the final values and directing the release of the
amounts deposited, in full satisfaction thereof; and (5) in suspending the issuance of
the writ of possession until after the amounts shall have been released to and received
by defendants.
FACTS:

Napocor filed a special civil action for certiorari to annul 4 orders issued by
respondent judge for having been issued without or in excess of jurisdiction, in
violation of law and in deprivation of petitioner's right to due process

Napocor filed 7 eminent domain cases before the RTC of Bacolod City for the
acquisition of a right-of-way easement over portions of the parcels of land
described in the complaints for its Negros-Panay Interconnection Project,
particularly the Bacolod-Tomonton Transmission Line.
o It was alleged therein that the lands were urgently needed, compatible with
the greatest good, and at the same time causing the least private injury for
the lands will not be impaired as it will only acquire a right-of-way-easement
thereon. It had negotiated with and offered to pay defendants for the portions

124

Special Civil Action: CALDONA

affected but the parties failed to reach an agreement despite long and
repeated negotiations.
st
1 order: Respondent judge found existing paramount public interest for the
expropriation, the long range benefit of the project involved, substantial
compliance with the rules concerning efforts for negotiation and, taking into
consideration the market value of the subject areas and the daily opportunity profit
that the petitioner allegedly admitted in open court, and thereby issued an order
determining the provisional market value of the subject areas based on tax
declaration of the properties, as found in the assessment by the Assessor.
Napocor, in compliance to the order of respondent judge, deposited a
corresponding amount of the assessed value of said lands in the amount of
P23,180,828 with the Philippine National Bank.
The defendant land owners filed a motion for reconsideration asserting that the
assessed value is way too low and that just compensation due them is estimated
as P29,970,000.
nd
2
order: Immediately the following day, respondent judge increased the
provisional value to that stated in the motion for reconsideration and ordered
Napocor to deposit the differential amount within 24 hours from receipt of order
while holding in abeyance the writ of possession order pending compliance to said
order which Napocor immediately complied.
rd
3 order: Thereafter, respondent judge ordered Napocor to pay in full amount the
defendants for their expropriated property, and ordering that the writ of possession
be issued after the defendants "have duly received the amounts."
Napocor assailed such order to be in violation of due process and abuse of
discretion on the part of the respondent judge, hence this petition.

Napocors Contentions: The respondent judge acted with GAD in


1) fixing the provisional values of the parcels of land sought to be expropriated by
Napocor in amounts far exceeding their market values;
2) increasing the provisional values of the parcels of land without hearing, and
holding in abeyance the issuance of the writ of possession in favor of Napocor
until deposit of the additional amount;
o This is in violation of:
o Section 2, Rule 67 of the Rules of Court 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
o P.D. No. 42 upon filing in the proper court of the complaint in eminent
domain proceedings or at anytime thereafter, and after due notice to the
defendant, plaintiff shall have the right to take or enter upon the possession of
the real property involved if he deposits with the PNB, an amount equivalent
to the assessed value of the property for purposes of taxation, to be held by
said bank subject to the orders and final disposition of the court.
3) requiring the defendants, to state in writing within 24 hours whether or not they are
amenable to accepting and withdrawing the amount deposited by Napocor as
provisional values in full and final satisfaction of their respective properties, and

Bautista | Lopez | Macabagdal | R. Santos | Taruc

4)

directing that the writ of possession be issued only until after the defendants shall
have so manifested in writing their acceptance and receipt of said amounts;
o Impliedly, this act surrenders the judicial prerogative to fix the provisional
value in favor of the defendants considering that respondent Judge's
valuation may still be overruled by the latter.
o Moreover, it preempts and deprives Napocor of the right to dispute and
contest the value of the property. The respondent Judge took a short-cut,
violating in the process the procedure laid down in Sections 3 to 8 of Rule 67
of the Rules of Court.
directing Napocor to release and pay within 24 hours, through the Court and in
favor of the defendants, the amount of P43,016,960.

ISSUE: WON respondent judge committed GADALEJ. YES.


RATIO:
Review There are two 2 stages in an action of expropriation:
a) 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.
o It ends with either (1) an order 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, or
(2) an order of dismissal. Both are final orders.
b) the determination by the Court of the "just compensation for the property sought to
be taken.
o 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.
Reasons why there was GADALEJ:
#1 Judge deliberately disregarded P.D. No. 42 or was totally unaware of its existence
and the cases applying the same.

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 PD 42.
o PD 42 requires the petitioner, after due notice to the defendant, to deposit
with the PNB 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, as
indicated in the tax declaration.

PD 42 repealed the provision in the RoC on the assessment of the property


value under Rule 67 Sec. 2.
o Under the RoC then, the court has the discretion to determine the provisional
value. Notice to the parties is not indispensable.
o Now, under PD 42, 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. PD 42 effectively removes the discretion of the court in
determining the provisional value.

125

Special Civil Action: CALDONA

In the case at bar, Napocor 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. 42.
Respondent Court 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, respondent Judge chose to ignore
and overlook it.

#2 The Orders were issued in violation of the proceedings and formalities required
under the Rules of Court.

No hearing was held on the motions of the defendants.

As a matter of fact, the MR of the defendants did not even contain a notice of
hearing. It is then a mere scrap of paper.]
#3 Upon having fixed the provisional values, though erroneous, and Napocor having
deposited the amount, respondent judge lost plenary control over the order fixing the
amount of the deposit.

He has no longer the 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.
#4 There was a clear abdication of judicial prerogative.

The Order unjustly, oppressively and capriciously compels Napocor to accept the
respondent Judge's determination of the provisional value as the just
compensation after the defendants shall have manifested their conformity thereto.
o He thus subordinated his own judgment to that of the defendants' because he
made the latter the final authority to determine such just compensation.

The determination of just compensation in eminent domain cases is a judicial


function.
o Accordingly, the Order is 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.
#5 There is a complete disregard of the provisions of Rule 67 as to the procedure to be
followed after a plaintiff has deposited the provisional value of the property. The
following were not done by Respondent Judge.

3 sets of defendants filed motions to dismiss pursuant to Section 3, Rule 67;


Section 4 provides that the court must rule on them and in the event that it
overrules the motions or, when any party fails to present a defense as required in
Section 3, it should enter an order of condemnation declaring that the petitioner
has a lawful right to take the property sought to be condemned.

Bautista | Lopez | Macabagdal | R. Santos | Taruc

From the 1st Order, the respondent Judge found that Napocor has the right to
expropriate for there will be a paramount public interest to be served.
o Accordingly, considering that the parties submitted neither a compromise
agreement as to the just compensation nor a stipulation to dispense with the
appointment of commissioners and to leave the determination of just
compensation to the court on the basis of certain criteria, respondent Judge
was duty bound to set in motion Section 5 of Rule 67.
o The court should have appointed not more than 3 competent and
disinterested persons as commissioners to ascertain and report to it regarding
the just compensation.
o Such commissioners shall perform their duties in the manner provided for in
Section 6.
o Sec: 7 Upon the filing of their report, the court shall grant 10 days to the
parties in order that the latter may file their objections to such report, and after
hearing pursuant to Section 8, accept and render judgment in accordance
therewith or, for cause shown, recommit the same to the commissioners for
further report of facts.
o The court may also set aside the report and appoint new commissioners, or it
may accept the report in part and reject it in part; and it may make such order
or render such judgment as shall secure to the petitioner the property
essential to the exercise of its right of condemnation, and to the defendant
just compensation for the property so taken.

#6 Not satisfied with the foregoing violations of law and insisting upon his own
procedure, respondent Judge declared in the 3rd Order that the provisional amounts
be the fixed values.

By such Order, the case was in fact terminated and the writ of execution then
became a mere incident of an execution of a judgment.

The right of Napocor to take possession of the property upon the filing of the
complaint granted by Section 2 of Rule 67 and P.D. No. 42 was totally negated
despite compliance with the deposit requirement under the latter law.
Conclusion: [drama part]

Nothing can justify the acts of respondent Judge. Either by design or sheer
ignorance, he made a mockery of the procedural law on eminent domain by
concocting a procedure which he believes to be correct. Judges must apply the
law; they are not at liberty to legislate.

Canon 18 of the Canon of Judicial Ethics Ours is a government of law and not
of men, and that he violates his duty as a minister of justice under such a system if
he seeks to do what he may personally consider substantial justice in a particular
case and disregards the general law as he knows it to be binding on him.

The demands of fair, impartial, and wise administration of justice call for a faithful
adherence to legal precepts on procedure which ensure to litigants the opportunity
to present their evidence and secure a ruling on all the issues presented in their
respective pleadings. "Short-cuts" in judicial processes are to be avoided where
they impede rather than promote a judicious disposition of justice.

126

Special Civil Action: CALDONA

DECISION: WHEREFORE, the instant petition is GRANTED and the Orders of


respondent Judge are hereby SET ASIDE and the TRO issued by this Court directing
respondent Judge to cease and desist from enforcing the questioned Orders is hereby
made permanent.
The respondent Judge is hereby directed to fix the provisional values of the parcels of
land in Civil Cases Nos. 5938, 5939, 5940, 5941, 5942, 5943, and 5944 in accordance
with P.D. No. 42; thereafter, the petitioner may retain in Savings Account No. 249505865-7 with the Philippine National Bank, NAPOCOR Branch, Diliman, Quezon City,
a sum equivalent to the provisional value as thus fixed, which the Bank shall hold
subject to the orders and final disposition of the court a quo, and withdraw the balance.
The respondent Judge is further directed to proceed with the above eminent domain
cases without unnecessary delay pursuant to the procedure laid down in Rule 67 of the
Rules of Court.
3. CITY OF MANILA VS THE ARELLANO LAW COLLEGES INC. (RS)
GR NO L-2929 | 2/28/1950 | Tuason, J.
Plaintiff-appellant: City of Manila
Defendant-appellee: Arellano Law Colleges, Inc.
SUMMARY
Manila City wanted to expropriate lands owned by Arellano Law Colleges. CFI-Manila
dismissed the action, which sought to condemn said lands for the purpose of
subdivision and resale. WN City was entitled to expropriate? NO. The word
"expropriating," taken singly or with the text, is susceptible of only meaning. But this
power to expropriate is necessarily subject to the limitations and conditions noted in
the cases of Guido and Borja. The national Government may not confer upon its
instrumentalities authority which it itself may not exercise. A stream cannot run higher
than its source. To authorize the condemnation of any particular land by a grantee
of the power of eminent domain, a necessity must exist for the taking thereof for
the proposed uses and purposes. Necessity within the rule that the particular
property to be expropriated must be necessary, does not mean an absolute but only a
reasonable or practical necessity, such as would combine the greatest benefit to
the public with the least inconvenience and expense to the condemning party
and property owner consistent with such benefit. Any good that would accrue to
the public from providing homes to a few families fades into insignificance in
comparison with the preparation of young men and women for useful citizenship
and for service to the government and the community, a task which the
government alone is not a position to undertake.
FACTS

1 of RA 267 provides: "Cities and municipalities are authorized to contract


loans from the Reconstruction Finance Corporation, the Philippine National
Bank, and/or any other entity or person at a rate of interest not exceeding
eight per cent per annum for the purpose of purchasing or expropriating
homesites within their respective territorial jurisdiction and reselling them at
cost to residents of the said cities and municipalities."

Bautista | Lopez | Macabagdal | R. Santos | Taruc

CFI of Manila this provision empowers cities to purchase but not to


expropriate lands for the purpose of subdivision and resale, and so
dismissed the present action, which seeks to condemn, for the purpose just
stated, several parcels of land having a combined area of 7,270 square
meters and situated on Legarda Street, City of Manila.
Guido v. Rural Progress Administration and Commonwealth v. De Borja
SC discussed at great length the extent of the Philippine Governments power
to condemn private property for resale [take note of the LIMITS to the power
to expropriate public interest, public purpose, public use, etc.]
o [T]he assertion of the right on the part of the legislature to take
the property of one citizen and transfer it to another, even for a full
compensation, when the public interest is not promoted thereby, is
claiming a despotic power, and one inconsistent with every just
principle and fundamental maxim of a free government.
o In a broad sense, expropriation of large estates, trusts in perpetuity,
and land that embraces a whole town, or a large section of a town or
city, bears direct relation to the public welfare. The size of the land
expropriated, the large number of people benefited, and the extent of
social and economic reform secured by the condemnation, clothes
the expropriation with public interest and public use
o Although courts are not in agreement as to the tests to be applied
in determining whether the use is public or not, some go so far in the
direction of a liberal construction as to hold that public use is
synonymous with public benefit, public utility, or public advantage,
and to authorize the exercise of the power of eminent domain to
promote such public benefit, etc., especially where the interests
involved are of considerable magnitude
o In some instances, slumsites have been acquired by
condemnation. The highest court of New York State has ruled that
slum clearance and erection of houses for low-income families were
public purposes for which New York City Housing authorities could
exercise the power of condemnation. And this decision was followed
by similar ones in other states.

The underlying reasons for these decisions are that the


destruction of congested areas and insanitary dwellings
diminishes the potentialities of epidemics, crime and waste,
prevents the spread of crime and diseases to unaffected
areas, enhances the physical and moral value of the
surrounding communities, and promotes the safety and
welfare of the public in general.
o But it will be noted that in all these cases and others of similar nature
extensive areas were involved and numerous people and the
general
public
benefited
by
the
action
taken.
o

127

"The condemnation of a small property in behalf of 10, 20 or 50


persons and their families does not insure to the benefit of the public
to a degree sufficient to give the use public character.

The expropriation proceedings at bar [2 cases cited] have


been instituted for the economic relief of a few families

Special Civil Action: CALDONA

devoid of any consideration of public health, public peace


and order, or other public advantage.
"No fixed line of demarcation between what taking is for public
use and what is not can be made; each case has to be judged
according to its peculiar circumstances.

ISSUE: WN Manila City is empowered to expropriate the subject lands for homesties.
NO.
HELD: Order CFI of Manila affirmed.
RATIO

SC is inclined to believe that Act No. 267 empowers cities to expropriate as


well as to purchase lands for homesites.
o The word "expropriating," taken singly or with the text, is susceptible
of only one meaning.
o But this power to expropriate is necessarily subject to the
limitations and conditions noted in the decisions above cited.
o The National Government may not confer upon its
instrumentalities authority which it itself may not exercise. A
stream cannot run higher than its source.
o The case at bar is weaker for the condemnor [City].

FIRST, the land that is the subject of the present


expropriation is only one-third of the land sought to be
taken in the Guido case, and about two-thirds of that
involved in the Borja condemnation proceeding.

SECOND, the Arellano Colleges land is situated in a highly


commercial section of the city and is occupied by persons
who are not bona fide tenants.

THIRD, this land was bought by the defendant for a


university site to take the place of rented buildings that are
unsuitable for schools of higher learning.
o To authorize the condemnation of any particular land by a
grantee of the power of eminent domain, a necessity must exist
for the taking thereof for the proposed uses and purposes.
o City of Manila v. Manila Chinese Community SC, citing American
decisions, laid down this rule: "The very foundation of the right to
exercise eminent domain is a genuine necessity, and that
necessity must be of a public character. The ascertainment of
the necessity must precede or accompany, and not follow, the
taking of the land

Passage in Blackstones Commentaries on the English Law


is cited in this decision: "So great is the regard of the law for
private property that it will not authorize the least violation
of it, even for the public good, unless there exists a very
great necessity thereof."

Perhaps modern decisions are not so exigent. Necessity within the rule that
the particular property to be expropriated must be necessary, does not
mean an absolute but only a reasonable or practical necessity, such as

Bautista | Lopez | Macabagdal | R. Santos | Taruc

would combine the greatest benefit to the public with the least
inconvenience and expense to the condemning party and property
owner consistent with such benefit.
But measured even by this standard, and forgetting for a moment the
private character of the intended use, necessity for the condemnation
has not been shown.
o The land in question has cost the owner [Arellano] P140,000.
o The people for whose benefit the condemnation is being undertaken
are so poor they could ill afford to meet this high price, unless they
intend to borrow the money with a view to disposing of the property
later for a profit.
o Cheaper lands not dedicated to a purpose so worthy as a school and
more suited to the occupants needs and means, if really they only
want to own their own homes, are aplenty elsewhere.
o On the other hand, Arellano not only has invested a considerable
amount for its property but had the plans for construction ready and
would have completed the project a long time ago had it not been
stopped by the city authorities.
o And again, while a handful of people stand to profit by the
expropriation, the development of a university that has a present
enrollment of 9,000 students would be sacrificed. Any good that
would accrue to the public from providing homes to a few families
fades into insignificance in comparison with the preparation of young
men and young women for useful citizenship and for service to the
government and the community, a task which the government alone
is not in a position to undertake.
o As the Rural Progress Administration, the national agency created
by the Government to purchase or expropriate lands for resale as
homesites, and to which the petition to purchase the land in question
on behalf of the occupants was referred by the President, turning
down the occupants request after proper investigation, commented
that "the necessity of the Arellano Law College to acquire a
permanent site of its own is imperative not only because denial
of the same would hamper the objectives of that educational
institution, but it would likewise be taking a property intended
already for public benefit.
o
The Mayor of the City of Manila himself confessed that he believes
the plaintiff is entitled to keep this land.

4. VISAYAN REFINING V. CAMUS, G.R. NO. L-15870 (RT)


(http://philippinelaw.info/case-digests/visayan-refining-v-camus-g-r-no-l-15870.html)
1.EMINENT DOMAIN; PUBLIC USE; MILITARY AND AVIATION PURPOSES.The
use of land by the Government for military and aviation purposes is a public use within
the meaning of the provisions of law authorizing the Government of the Philippine
Islands to acquire real estate for public uses by the exercise of the right of eminent
domain.

128

Special Civil Action: CALDONA

2.ID. ; JUDICIAL PROCEEDINGS; AUTHORITY OF GOVERNOR-GENERAL TO


DIRECT INSTITUTION OF PROCEEDINGS.Judicial proceedings for the
condemnation of land for public use can be maintained in the name of the Government
of the Philippine Islands pursuant to the directions of the Governor-General, without
any other special legislative authority than that expressed in subsection (h) of section
64 of the Administrative Code, in relation with section 3 of the Jones Act.
3.ID. ; ID. ; LEGISLATIVE APPROPRIATION.The existence of a legislative
appropriation especially destined to pay for land to be acquired by the Government
through the exercise of the power of eminent domain is not an essential prerequisite to
the institution and maintenance of judicial proceedings for the expropriation of such
land. All that can be required of the Government is that it should comply with the
conditions laid down by law as and when those conditions arise.
4.ID. ; RIGHT TO EXERCISE POWER; INHERENT IN SOVEREIGNTY.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. No law,
therefore, is ever necessary to confer this right upon sovereignty or upon any
Government exercising sovereign or quasi-sovereign powers.
5.ID.; ID.; DUE PROCESS OF LAW; JUST COMPENSATION.The power of eminent
domain, with respect to the conditions under which the property is taken, must be
exercised in subjection to the restraints imposed by constitutional or organic law, and
in these Islands especially with reference to section 3 of the Jones Act which declares
that no law shall be enacted which shall deprive any person of property without due
process of law and that private property shall not be taken for public use without just
compensation.
6.ID. ; ID. ; METHOD OF EXPROPRIATION.If the Legislature prescribes a method
of expropriation which provides for the payment of just compensation and such method
is so conceived and adapted as to fulfill the constitutional requisite of due process of
law, any expropriation accomplished in conformity with that method is valid.
7.ID. ; ID.; ID.; PAYMENT OF COMPENSATION.There is no organic or
constitutional provision in force in these Islands requiring that compensation shall
actually be paid prior to the judgment of condemnation.
8.ID.; ID.; ID.; PAYMENT OF COMPENSATION AS PREREQUISITE TO
ACQUISITION OF PROPERTY.The system of expropriation prescribed by laws in
force in these Islands affords absolute assurance that no piece of land can be finally
and irrevocably taken from an unwilling owner until compensation is paid. In this
connection our courts are directed to make such final order and judgment as shall
secure just compensation for the land taken, and the right of the expropriator is finally
made absolutely dependent upon the payment of compensation by him.
9.ID. ; ID. ; GIVING OF PROVISIONAL POSSESSION TO GOVERNMENT ; OFFICE
OF PRELIMINARY DEPOSIT.Where provisional possession is given to the
Government in an expropriation proceeding, upon the making of the deposit required
by Act No. 2826 of the Philippine Legislature, the owner of the land is fully protected

Bautista | Lopez | Macabagdal | R. Santos | Taruc

from any loss that might result from the temporary occupation of the land by the
Government in the event that the Legislature should finally f ail to appropriate any
additional amount necessary to satisfy the award of the court; for such preliminary
deposit serves the double purpose of prepayment upon the value of the property, if
finally expropriated, and as an indemnity against damage in the eventuality that the
proceeding should fail of consummation.
FACTS:
Upon the direction of the Governor-General, the Attorney-General filed a complaint
with the CFI (Rizal) in the name of the Government of the Philippines for the
condemnation of a certain tract of land in Paranaque for military and aviation purposes.
The petitioners herein are among the defendants named. Likewise, it was prayed that
the court will give the Government the possession of the land to be expropriated after
the necessary deposit (provisional) of P600, 000.00 as the total value of the property.
Through the order of the public respondent, Judge Camus, the prayer was granted.
During the pendency of the proceedings, the petitioners raised a demurrer questioning
the validity of the proceedings on the ground that there is no law authorizing the
exercise of the power of eminent domain. Likewise, they moved for the revocation of
the order on the same ground stated and with additional allegation that the deposit had
been made without authority of law since the money was taken from the unexpended
balance of the funds appropriated by previous statutes for the use of the Militia
Commission and the authority for the exercise of the power of eminent domain could
not be found in those statutes. The demurrer and motion were overruled and denied
respectively by Camus. This prompted the petitioners to file this instant petition to stop
the proceedings in the CFI.
ISSUE: Can the Philippine Government initiate expropriation proceedings in the
absence of a statute authorizing the exercise of the power of eminent domain?
RULING: Yes, it can. The Philippine Government has the general authority to exercise
the power of eminent domain as expressly conferred by Section 63 of the Philippine
Bill (Act of Congress of July 1, 1902). It says that the Philippine Government is
authorized "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 to
eminent domain." The same is subject to the limitation of due process of law. In
consonance with this, Section 64 of the Administrative Code of the Philippine Islands
(Act No. 2711) expressly confers on the Government General the power "to determine
when it is necessary or advantageous to exercise the right of eminent domain in behalf
of the Government of the Philippine Island; and to direct the Attorney-General, where
such at is deemed advisable, to cause the condemnation proceedings to be begun in
the court having proper jurisdiction." There is no question as to the Governor General's
authority to exercise this power.
However, this authority is not absolute. It is subject to two limitations, namely, that the
taking shall be for public purpose and there must be just compensation.

129

Special Civil Action: CALDONA

Apparently, the reason behind the taking of the subject land was for military and
aviation purposes. This considered a public purpose given the importance of the
military and aviation in the operation of the State.
As to the second requirement, it must be remembered that at that time there was no
law requiring that compensation shall actually be paid prior to the judgment of
condemnation. The deposit was made, despite the absence of said law, to afford
absolute assurance that no piece of land can be finally and irrevocably taken from an
unwilling owner until compensation is paid. This is in conformity with the just
compensation requirement.
Given these reasons, the proceedings were made in accordance with law.
DISPOSITION
Petition is denied. Proceedings of the lower court were in all respects regular and
within the jurisdiction of the court.
NOTE: The Supreme Court did not elaborate the reason in upholding the legality of the
transfer funds used for the deposit. It only said that "the Insular Auditor was acting
within his authority when he let this money out of the Insular Treasury."

5. Municipality of Bian v. Garcia (MB)


Petitioner: Municipality of Bian
Respondents: Hon. Jose Mar Garcia, Judge of the Regional Trial Court at Bian,
Laguna (BRANCH XXXIV, Region IV), and Erlinda Francisco
FACTS:

The expropriation suit was commenced by complaint of the Municipality of


Bian, Laguna filed in the RTC. The complaint named as defendants the
owners of eleven (11) adjacent parcels of land in Bian The land sought to be
expropriated was intended for use as the new site of a modern public market
and the acquisition was authorized by a resolution of the Sangguniang Bayan.
One of the defendants, Francisco filed a MTD. Her motion was filed pursuant
to Section 3, Rule 67. Her "motion to dismiss" was thus actually a pleading,
taking the place of an answer in an ordinary civil action; it was not an ordinary
motion governed by Rule 15, or a "motion to dismiss" within the
contemplation of Rule 16. Respondent Judge issued a writ of possession in
favor of the plaintiff Municipality.

Francisco filed a "Motion for Separate Trial. She alleged she had the special
defense of "a constitutional defense of vested right via a pre-existing
approved Locational Clearance from the H.S.R.C. The Court granted the
motion. It directed that a separate trial be held for Francisco regarding her
special defenses.

Judge issued order dismissing the complaint "as against defendant


FRANCISCO," and amending the Writ of Possessions as to "exclude
therefrom and from its force and effects said defendant .. and her property ..."

The Municipality filed a MR. Francisco filed an "Ex-Parte Motion for Execution
and/or Finality of Order," contending that the Order had become "final and

Bautista | Lopez | Macabagdal | R. Santos | Taruc

executory for failure of the Municipality to file a motion for reconsideration


and/or appeal within the reglementary period," i.e "fifteen (15) days counted
from the notice of the final order .. appealed from.
The Municipality contended that "multiple appeals are allowed by law" in
actions of eminent domain, and hence the period of appeal is thirty (30), not
fifteen (15) days;the special civil action of partition and accounting under Rule
69.

HELD:

The challenged Order issued by His Honor is ANNULLED AND SET ASIDE

The case is remanded to the Trial Court for the reception of the evidence of
the plaintiff Municipality of Bian as against defendant Erlinda Francisco, and
for subsequent proceedings and judgment in accordance with the Rules of
Court and the law.
ISSUES/RATIO:
1. Whether the special civil action of eminent domain under Rule 67 of the Rules
of Court is a case "wherein multiple appeals are allowed, 1 as regards which 'the
period of appeal shall be thirty [30] days, instead of fifteen (15) days.

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.

The municipality's motion for reconsideration filed on August 17, 1984 was
therefore timely presented, well within the thirty-day period laid down by law
therefor; and it was error for the Trial Court to have ruled otherwise and to
have declared that the order sought to be considered had become final and
executory.

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 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 settles, "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 as provided by the Implementing Rules in relation to Section
39 of B.P. Blg. 129, supra.

130

Special Civil Action: CALDONA

2. Whether or not the Trial Court may treat the motion to dismiss" filed by one of
the defendants in the action of eminent domain as a "motion to dismiss" under
Rule 16 of the Rules of Court, reverse the sequence of trial in order and hear and
determine said motion to dismiss, and thereafter dismiss the expropriation suit
as against the movant.

One of the defendants was Erlinda Francisco. She filed a "Motion to Dismiss."
Now, her motion to dismiss" was filed pursuant to Section 3, Rule 67 of the
Rules of Court:
o Sec. 3. Defenses and objections within the time specified in the
summons, each defendant, in lieu of an answer, shall present in a
single motion to dismiss or for other apppropriate relief, all of his
objections and defenses to the right of the plaintiff to take his
property for the use or purpose specified in the complaint. All such
objections and defenses not so presented are waived. A copy of the
motion shall be served on the plaintiffs attorney of record and filed
with the court with the proof of service.

Her "motion to dismiss" was thus actually a pleading, taking the place of an
answer in an ordinary civil action; it was not an ordinary motion governed by
Rule 15, or a "motion to dismiss" within the contemplation of Rule 16 of the
Rules of Court.
3. And the third is whether or not a "locational clearance issued by the Human
Settlements Regulatory Commission relative to use of land is a bar to an
expropriation suit involving that land.

Turning now to the locational clearance issued by the HSRC in Francisco's


favor on May 4, 1983, it seems evident that said clearance did become a
"worthless sheet of paper," as averred by the Municipality, upon the lapse of
one (1) year from said date in light of the explicit condition in the clearance
that it shall be considered automatically revoked if not used within a period of
one (1) year from date of issue," and the unrebutted fact that Francisco had
not really made use of it within that period. The failure of the Court to consider
these facts, despite its attention having been drawn to them, is yet another
error which must be corrected.

6. PROVINCIAL GOVT OF RIZAL vs ARAULLO (LL)


G.R. No. L-36096 | August 16, 1933
Plaintiff-appellant: THE PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT OF RIZAL, PHILIPPINE
ISLANDS
Defendants-appellees: FILOMENA CARO DE ARAULLO, ET AL.
Defendants-appellants: AMALIA ARCEGA DE BASA and RAMON AGTARAP
Facts:

This is an appeal by the provincial government of Rizal from the decision of


the Court of First Instance of that province, fixing the damages to be paid by
the plaintiff for the property expropriated for the extension of Taft Avenue from
the limits of the City of Manila, through the municipality of Pasay, to its

Bautista | Lopez | Macabagdal | R. Santos | Taruc

intersection with the Manila South Road. Fifty-two lots and the improvements
on ten lots are involved in the appeal
The original complaint was filed on May 31, 1928. Defendants appeared and
admitted plaintiff's right to expropriate the property in question, and the court
appointed four commissions respectively, to hear the parties and view the
premises, and assess the damages to be paid for the condemnation, and to
report their proceedings to the court. The only question involved in the case
was the determination of the damages to which the defendants were entitled.
In the case of most of the lots the evidence consists of the owner's estimate
of the value of his land at the time of the hearing in 1929 or 1930, and for the
plaintiff the testimony of Colin M. Hoskins. Hoskins is a real estate broker and
appraiser of real property, and at the time of the hearing had been engaged in
that business for seven years, and had participated in real estate transactions
in the municipality of Pasay and in the land taken for the extension of Taft
Avenue. He had examined the property to be condemned, and was in a
position to express a reliable opinion as to its market value.
We have not overlooked the fact that he was being paid for his services by
the plaintiff. He testified as to the value of the property in question in 1927
before the extension of Taft Avenue was laid out, and as to its increase value
at the time of the hearing.
There were 13 errors attributed to lower courts decision. Issue included here
is the first issue. Other errors were related to each of the lots value during
appraisal.

Issue:
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? 1927

Ratio:

131

In their report of October 25, 1930, commissioners state that in appraising the
land expropriated they gave great weight to Hoskin's valuation of the land for
1927, which they increased slightly. An examination of the record as to the
individual lots shows, however, that in most cases the commissioners
disregarded the evidence and substituted their opinion as to the value of the
property, based on the inspection made by them. This they were not
authorized to do.
After referring to the case of the Manila Railroad Co. vs. Caligsihan, the trial
judge said that the present expropriation was begun June 1, 1928. It may be
inferred from this statement that he was under the erroneous impression that
the province did not lay out the street or take possession of the property
before the filing of these proceedings.
o The trial judge also held that there was a natural increase in the
value of the property from 1927 to 1928; that in the ordinary course
of events land increases in value from time to time, and the appraisal
in this case is based almost entirely on the prices fixed by Hoskins

Special Civil Action: CALDONA

for the year 1927, plus an extra prince in accordance with the
petition of counsel for some of the defendants, this extra price
appearing to be the natural increase in value of the properties in
question from 1927 to the date of the expropriation.
The record does not sustain these findings of the trial court.
Manila Railroad Company vs. Caligsihan: 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 plaintiff 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.
It is contended for one appellant that the value of the said two lots ought to be
P3.50 per square meter which was the price in 1927 and not P5 per square
meter which was the value fixed by the commissioners and approved by the
trial judge corresponding to the year 1928 when the expropriation
proceedings were actually commenced in the CFI of Rizal."
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 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.

Bautista | Lopez | Macabagdal | R. Santos | Taruc

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 than 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.
Wier vs. St. Louis: "The general current of authorities is that in all such cases
compensation should be ascertained and assessed as of the time when the
property was taken. Where the possession is taken by consent of the owner,
followed by the location and construction of the road, the time of going into
such actual possession is clearly the time of taking, rather than the period of
condemnation proceedings, which, for some reason, may have been
postponed. The damages will be measured as of the time when the company
first takes possession of the land, and occupies it as a right of way.
The conclusion of the trial court to the effect that there is a steady increase in
the value of land is not well founded. Land like other property increases or
decreases in value according to the general economic conditions prevailing,
and for special reasons, but that is a matter of proof.

Held: The decision appealed from is modified as hereinabove stated; in all other
respects it is affirmed. The plaintiff will pay the costs of the proceedings in the trial
court. No costs will be allowed in this court.

7. REPUBLIC V. VDA DE CASTELLVI (JM)


G.R. No. L-20620
August 15, 1974
Petitioner: Republic of the Philippines
Respondents: Carmen M. Vda. De Castellvi, Et Al.
Ponente: J. Zaldivar
Doctrine: What constitutes taking for purposes of eminent domain.
Summary:

132

Special Civil Action: CALDONA

After Vda de Castellvi, the owner of a parcel of land that has been rented and occupied
by the AFP in 1947 refused to extend the lease, the Republic of the Philippines
commenced expropriation proceedings in 1959. The trial court rendered a decision
finding that the unanimous recommendation of the commissioners of P10.00 per
square meter for the 3 lots subject of the action is fair and just compensation. Republic
contended that the P10.00 was unconscionable in view of the fact that the fair market
value of the was not more than P.20/sqm when AFP first had the taking of the said
property by virtue of the special lease agreement. Vda de Castellvi and ToledoGonzon on the other hand contends that their lands, being residential lands have a fair
market value of not less than P15/sqm.
The SC ruled that the just compensation is to be determined at the time of the taking
of the property. The property was deemed taken only when the expropriation
proceedings commenced in 1959. The essential elements of the taking are: (1)
expropriator must enter a private property, (2) for more than a momentary period, (3)
and under warrant of legal authority, (4) devoting it to public use, or otherwise
informally appropriating or injuriously affecting it in such a way as (5) to substantially to
oust the owner and deprive him of all beneficial enjoyment thereof. In the case at bar,
elements #2 & #5 were not present when the government entered and occupied the
property under the contract of lease in 1947. As a consequence, the P0.20/sqm was
wrong. Yet, the SC also stated that the P10.00/sqm, as suggested by the
commissioners is too high. The SC then fixed the price at P5.00/sqm.
FACTS:

Castellvi and Toledo-Gonzon own neighboring land near an AFP Base in San
Jose, Floridablanca,Pampanga.

1 July 1947 - Petitioner Republic of the Philippines (Philippine Air Force) occupied
the land situated in Floridablanca, Pampanga of Carmen M. vda. de Castellvi, the
judicial administratrix of the estate of the late Alfonso de Castellvi by virtue of a
contract of lease on a year-to-year basis with option to renew. Since then the AFP
have built an airstrip and a number of military installations on the leased land.

30 June 1956 - Before the expiration of the contract of lease, the Republic sought
to renew the same but Castellvi refused, because the family was subdividing it
and going to sell it to subdivision developers.

26 June 1959 In view of the difficulty for the army to vacate the premises due to
permanent installations and other facilities, AFP filed expropriation proceedings
against Castellvi and Toledo-Gonzon, and was placed in possession of the lands
on 10 August 1959.

In its complaint, the Republic alleged, among other things, that the fair market
value of the above-mentioned lands, according to the Committee on Appraisal for
the Province of Pampanga, was not more than P2,000 per hectare (P.20/sqm), or
a total market value of P259,669.10 when AFP first had the taking of the said
property by virtue of the special lease agreement. Respondents allege that their
lands are residential with a fair market value of not less than P15/sqm.

The trial court rendered its decision, finding that the unanimous recommendation
of the commissioners of P10.00 per square meter for the 3 lots subject of the
action is fair and just compensation.

Bautista | Lopez | Macabagdal | R. Santos | Taruc

ISSUES:
1. When did the taking happen? 1959
2. WON the P10/sqm is fair and just compensation NO.
RATIO:
ISSUE 1: TAKING OF THE PROPERTY
REPUBLIC: 1947, when it got the lease with option to buy and it started building stuff
on it.
CASTELLVI & TOLEDO-GOZUN: 1959, when the expropriation case started
SC: 1959 (filing of expropriation complaint)

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.

Pursuant to the aforecited authority, a number of circumstances must be


present in the "taking" of property for purposes of eminent domain:
(Elements/Requisites)
1) Expropriator must enter a private property.
2) Entrance into private property must be for more than a momentary period.
3) Entry into the property should be under warrant or color of legal authority.
4) Property must be devoted to a public use or otherwise informally appropriated
or injuriously affected.
5) 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.

The "taking" of Castellvi'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.
o Elements #1, #3 & #4 were met.

1st element By virtue of the lease agreement the Republic, through


the AFP, took possession of the property of Castellvi. Thus, there was
entering of a private property.

3rd element This circumstance in the "taking" was under warrant or


color of legal authority because the Republic entered the Castellvi
property as lessee.

4th element 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.
o HOWEVER, Elements #2 & #5 were not present when Republic entered the
properties in 1947.
nd

2 element The aforecited lease contract was for a period of one


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. 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.

133

Special Civil Action: CALDONA

5th element 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 the beneficial enjoyment of the property, because the 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.

ISSUE 2: JUST COMPENSATION


REPUBLIC: the value of the expropriated lands is to be determined as of June 26,
1959, the price of P10.00 per square meter fixed by the lower court "is not only
exhorbitant but also unconscionable. It should be P0.20 per square meter.
CASTELLVI & TOLEDO-GOZUN: lands are residential lands with a fair market value
of not less than P15.00 per