Sei sulla pagina 1di 32

For Digest: Deadline, Sunday(April 1) 11:59 pm

Start Digest on Page 2! Thank you


Format
Case name
By: insert name

Doctrine:
F:
I:
H:

RULE 38
1. Purcon vs. MRM Ph Inc - Corona
2. Yujuico vs. Atienza Jr - De Castro
3. Cayetano vs. Ceguerra - Gaite
4. Lopez vs. CA - Grande
5. Agan vs. Heirs of Andres Nueva - Jovero
6. Gomez vs. Montalban - Lapuz
7. Spouses Que vs. CA - Mano
8. Metropolitan Bank and Trust Co vs. Alejo -Marasigan
9. Heirs of the LAte Faustina Borres vs. Abela - Morales
10. Mesina vs. Meer - Montes

RULE 47

1. Phil Tourism Authority vs. Phil Golf Development & Equipment - Pangilinan
2. Grande vs. UP - Radovan
3. Rexlon vs. CA - Rosario
4. Republic vs. G Holdings Inc - Samson
5. Manila vs. Manzo - Torres
6. Springfield Development Corp vs. RTC of Misamis Oriental - Valencia, E
7. Bulawan vs. Aquende - Valencia, Clydeen
8. Yu vs. Yu - Alba
9. Ancheta vs. Ancheta - Arid
10. Ramos vs, Hon. Combong - Bernardo
RULE 38

11. Purcon vs. MRM Ph Inc - Corona


Purcon v. MRM
By: Joen

Doctrine: Rule 38 uses the phrase "any court," it refers only to Municipal/Metropolitan and Regional Trial Courts.
As revised, Rule 38 radically departs from the previous rule as it now allows the Metropolitan or Municipal Trial
Court which decided the case or issued the order to hear the petition for relief. Under the old rule, a petition for
relief from the judgment or final order of Municipal Trial Courts should be filed with the Regional Trial Court.

Facts: The case stemmed from a complaint filed by petitioner for reimbursement of medical expenses, sickness
allowance and permanent disability benefits with prayer for compensatory, moral and exemplary damages and
attorney’s fees.

Petitioner alleged that MRM hired him as a seaman. His contract was extended for another three (3) months. On
the second week of June 2002, he felt an excruciating pain in his left testicle. After being examined by a doctor at
the port of France, he was diagnosed with hernia. On June 26, 2002, he was repatriated due to his ailment.

Purcon was initially diagnosed to be fit to resume work.

However, on March 3, 2004, after a thorough medical examination and evaluation, he was diagnosed with
EPIDIDYMITIS, LEFT; UPPER RESPIRATORY TRACT INFECTION WITH IMPEDIMENT GRADE XIV.

Respondents, on the other hand, countered that since petitioner’s ailment, hernia, is not work-related, he is not
entitled to disability benefit and related claims. In fact, he was declared fit to resume work on July 23, 2002 by the
company-designated physician. Respondents likewise argued that his ailment is not to be considered a permanent
disability as this is easily correctable by simple surgery. More importantly, petitioner signed a Quitclaim and
Release which was notarized.

Labor Arbiter ruled in favor of MRM. NLRC affirmed.

Purcon filed a Rule 65 petition before the CA but was dismissed for lack of infirmities.

Hence, this appeal to the SC.

Issues: Can petitioner avail of a petition for relief from judgment under Rule 38 of the 1997 Rules of Civil
Procedure from Our resolution denying his petition for review?

Held: NO.

Rule 38 must be interpreted in harmony with Rule 56, which enumerates the original cases cognizable by the
Supreme Court, thus:

Section 1. Original cases cognizable. – Only petitions for certiorari, prohibition, mandamus, quo warranto, habeas
corpus, disciplinary proceedings against members of the judiciary and attorneys, and cases affecting ambassadors,
other public ministers and consuls may be filed originally in the Supreme Court.

We reiterated Our pronouncement in Mesina v. Meer,11 that a petition for relief from judgment is not an available
remedy in the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court. The Court explained that under the 1997 Revised Rules of
Civil Procedure, the petition for relief must be filed within sixty (60) days after petitioner learns of the judgment,
final order or other proceeding to be set aside and must be accompanied with affidavits showing the fraud,
accident, mistake, or excusable negligence relied upon, and the facts constituting petitioner’s good and substantial
cause of action or defense, as the case may be.

Most importantly, it should be filed with the same court which rendered the decision.
Section 1. Petition for relief from judgment, order, or other proceedings. – When a judgment or final order is
entered, or any other proceeding is thereafter taken against a party in any court through fraud, accident, mistake,
or excusable negligence, he may file a petition in such court and in the same case praying that the judgment, order
or proceeding be set aside.

Rule 38 uses the phrase "any court," it refers only to Municipal/Metropolitan and Regional Trial Courts. As revised,
Rule 38 radically departs from the previous rule as it now allows the Metropolitan or Municipal Trial Court which
decided the case or issued the order to hear the petition for relief. Under the old rule, a petition for relief from the
judgment or final order of Municipal Trial Courts should be filed with the Regional Trial Court.

There is no provision in the Rules of Court making the petition for relief applicable in the CA or this Court. The
procedure in the CA from Rules 44 to 55, with the exception of Rule 45 which pertains to the Supreme Court,
identifies the remedies available before said Court such as annulment of judgments or final orders or resolutions
(Rule 47), motion for reconsideration (Rule 52), and new trial (Rule 53). Nowhere is a petition for relief under Rule
38 mentioned. If a petition for relief from judgment is not among the remedies available in the CA, with more
reason that this remedy cannot be availed of in the Supreme Court.

PANDAGDAG

In exceptional cases, when the mistake of counsel is so palpable that it amounts to gross negligence, this Court
affords a party a second opportunity to vindicate his right. But this opportunity is unavailing in the instant case,
especially since petitioner has squandered the various opportunities available to him at the different stages of this
case. Public interest demands an end to every litigation and a belated effort to reopen a case that has already
attained finality will serve no purpose other than to delay the administration of justice.

Finally, it is a settled rule that relief will not be granted to a party who seeks to be relieved from the effects of the
judgment when the loss of the remedy at law was due to his own negligence, or a mistaken mode of procedure;
otherwise, the petition for relief will be tantamount to reviving the right of appeal which has already been lost
either because of inexcusable negligence or due to mistaken mode of procedure by counsel.

12. Yujuico vs. Atienza Jr - De Castro

Yujuico vs Atienza Jr
By: De Castro

DOCTRINE: Sections 2 and 3, Rule 38 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure provide that a petition for relief may be
granted upon a showing that (1) through fraud, accident, mistake or excusable negligence, a party has been
prevented from taking an appeal, and (2) the party has a good and substantial cause of action or defense.

FACTS: 8 December 1995, the City Council of Manila enacted an Ordinance authorizing the City Mayor to acquire
by negotiation or expropriation certain parcels of land for utilization as a site for the Francisco Benitez Elementary
School. The subject property is covered by Transfer Certificates of Title Nos. 71541, 71548, 24423, 71544 and
71546, all in the name of petitioner. The Ordinance provides that an amount not to exceed the fair market value of
the land then prevailing in the area will be allocated out of the Special Education Fund (SEF) of the City of Manila
(City) to defray the cost of the property’s acquisition. City filed a case for eminent domain for failing to acquire the
land by negotiation. RTC rendered decision in favor of the City. The judgment became final and executory, no
appeal having been interposed by either party. Petitioner filed Motion for Execution of Judgment which the trial
court granted. Pursuant to a Writ of Execution dated 28 June 2001, the branch sheriff served a Notice of
Garnishment on the funds of the City deposited with the Land Bank of the Philippines. The City moved to quash the
Notice of Garnishment invoking that the public funds cannot be made subject to garnishment. The trial court issued
order on the motion, ordering the release to petitioner of the amount of P31,039,881.00 deposited with the Land
Bank, in partial payment of the just compensation adjudged in favor of petitioner.

“Upon manifestation of the counsel for the plaintiff that it is the City School Board which has the authority to pass a
resolution allocating funds for the full satisfaction of the just compensation fixed, body is hereby given thirty (30)
days from receipt of this Order to pass the necessary resolution for the payments of the remaining balance due to
defendant Teresita M. Yujuico”
A copy of the order was served on the City School Board (CSB) on August 3, 2001. On 30 August 2001, petitioner
submitted a manifestation before the trial court requesting that she be informed by both the City and the CSB if a
resolution had already been passed by the latter in compliance with the Order. Earlier, petitioner sent a letter to
the Superintendent of City Schools of Manila to verify the CSB’s compliance with the Order. Not having been
favored with a reply to her queries even after the lapse of the thirty (30)-day compliance period, petitioner sent a
letter to the CSB dated 10 September 2001, demanding compliance with the Order. NO ACTION. Petitioner filed a
petition for contempt of court against respondents in their capacities as members of CSB. The respondents filed
Motion to dismiss alleging that they never disregarded the Order; it has been calendared and deliberated upon
during the meetings of the CSB. In their reply, they argued that petitioner’s failure to avail of the proper recourse
to enforce the final and executory judgment should not be a ground to hold them in contempt of court. Trial court
denied the petition for contempt of court.

Petitioner filed a Petition for Mandamus against the members of the CSB, the same respondents in the petition for
contempt of court, seeking to compel them to pass a resolution appropriating the amount necessary to pay the
balance of the just compensation awarded to petitioner in the expropriation case. The court consolidated the
mandamus case with the expropriation case. MANDAMUS WAS GRANTED. Respondent filed MR but was denied.
Respondents weren’t able to interpose an appeal hence, decision became final and Entry of Judgment was issued,
court even granted Motion for Execution. Respondents filed Petition for Relief from Judgment with TRO and
preliminary injunction. Respondents invoked excusable negligence as a ground for their failure to seasonably file an
appeal. The court granted the petition for relief from Judgment. Finding the Order unacceptable, petitioner elevated
it to this Court by way of a petition for certiorari under Rule 45.

ISSUE: WON the decision on petition for relief from judgment in connection to mandamus is proper

HELD: Up for determination is the tenability of the RTC’s favorable action on respondents’ petition for relief from
judgment. This engenders a look at the grounds and defenses relied upon by respondents in support of their
petition. Sections 2 and 3, Rule 38 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure provide that a petition for relief may be
granted upon a showing that (1) through fraud, accident, mistake or excusable negligence, a party has been
prevented from taking an appeal, and (2) the party has a good and substantial cause of action or defense. The
above requisites notwithstanding, it bears stressing that relief from judgment is premised on equity. It is an act of
grace which is allowed only in exceptional cases.

In this case, according to respondents they were unable to seasonably file a notice of appeal due to “excusable
negligence.” One Ronald Silva (Silva), an employee of the OCLO, allegedly failed to forward the Order denying
respondents’ motion for reconsideration in Civil Case No. 02-103748 to the handling lawyers. When the order was
delivered to the OCLO on 17 December 2002, Silva was the one who received it because the employee designated
to do so was out on official business. Since the employees were busy preparing for the office Christmas party that
day, Silva forgot all about the order. He only remembered it when the order for entry of judgment in the case was
received on 29 January 2003. By that time, however, the order dated 17 December 2002 had already been
misplaced. Clearly, the situation does not present a case of excusable negligence which would warrant relief under
Rule 38. Time and again, this court has ruled that the inability to perfect an appeal in due time by reason of failure
of a counsel’s clerk to notify the handling lawyer is not a pardonable oversight.

There was a grave abuse of discretion for the lower court to have given due course to respondents’ appeal through
the grant of their petition for relief from judgment based on the flimsy ground they proffered. Even assuming that
the negligence invoked by respondents could be considered excusable, still the petition should not have been
granted. It must be borne in mind that two requisites must be satisfied before a petition under Rule 38 may be
granted, the other being the existence of a good and substantial cause of action or defense. Respondents’ defense
consisted of their claim that the CSB has a personality separate and distinct from the City such that it should not
be made to pay for the City’s obligations. However, the argument is undercut by the particular circumstances of
this case. It is worthy of note that the records of this case clearly show that the same counsel, the OCLO,
represented the City in the expropriation case and now, all except one of the individual respondents in the case at
bar.

13. Cayetano vs. Ceguerra - Gaite


Cayetano vs Ceguerra
By: Rhio

Doctrine: A petition for relief may be taken from an order of execution, inasmuch as Sec. 2, Rule 38, Revised
Rules of Court, does not only refer to judgments, but also to orders, or any proceedings.

Facts: Cayetano, instituted Civil Case for Foreclosure of Real Estate Mortgage, against defendants-spouses
Osmundo Ceguerra and Felina Serrano. She prayed for the payment of the principal, amounting to P4,000.00, plus
1% per month on said amount, computed from the date of execution of the mortgage, 20% on the total amount
due, for liquidated damages, plus the additional sum of 25% of said total amount, for attorney's fees. Summons
and copy of the complaint for foreclosure were served on the defendants on December 2, 1960, and on December
15, 1960, within the reglementary period, the defendants filed an Answer in the form of a letter.

As a prayer in the letter-answer, defendants stated:

“ x x x the changing of the mind of Miss Cayetano in refraining to submit the title to the GSIS in order to effect
reapproval and release, aggravate my belief and confidence to such an extent of doubting that the said instrument
of Mortgage was deliberately planned in taking advantage of my poverty. It is only now that I realize that her plan
was rather malicious and that she said further that if such unenforceable contract shall prevail I am afraid it may
hamper and defeat the good purpose of the administration of the late President Magsaysay who benevolently
distributed lot (land) to the landless poor who needs ample protection of the government in order to enjoy little
shelter, little food and little laws. x x x May I conclude your honor of imploring that my title be submitted to the
GSIS in order to follow the correct track of our original understanding.”

In spite of the above letter-answer, the defendants were, upon motion of plaintiff declared in default and plaintiff
was allowed to present her evidence ex-parte on January 7, 1961. On January 11, 1961, the court a quo rendered
judgment for the plaintiff.

Trial Court Decision: “This is an action for foreclosure of mortgage instituted by the plaintiff against the
defendants. Having failed to file a responsive pleading to the complaint within the reglementary period, the
defendants were declared in default and plaintiff was allowed to adduce evidence in support of her complaint.
WHEREFORE, the Court finds the complaint meritorious, and judgment is hereby rendered in this case, in favor of
the plaintiff and against the defendants x x x”

It appears that this decision never became known to appellants-spouses, the same having been returned to the
Court, as unclaimed.

Under date of April 21, 1961, defendants were served with a copy of a Writ of Execution, dated February 10, 1961,
addressed to the Sheriff of Quezon City, commanding the latter to seize the goods and chattels of the defendants-
appellants in order to satisfy the judgment. The matter was referred to counsel who, on June 17, 1961, presented
a Petition for Relief, based on the following grounds:

(1) the answer-letter was a substantial compliance with the rules, for it contained facts upon which defendants
relied upon as defenses, and if said letter-answer did not conform with the rules, the non-conformity could be
considered "an excusable mistake" taking into account that defendants are mere ordinary lay-men not cognizant
with the intricacies of the Rules of Court;

(2) the defendants have substantial and valid defenses, which were contained in the letter-answer;

(3) that defendants have been deprived of their day in court.

It was prayed that the Court, in the interest of justice, set aside the order dated January 7, 1961, declaring them
in default, together with the decision of January 11, 1961, and that the case be set for hearing on the merits. The
petition for relief was accompanied by the requisite affidavit of merit.

Plaintiff-appellee interposed an opposition to the petition for relief, claiming that the declaration of default was well
taken and proper since the defendants failed to present a responsive pleading and/or to furnish the plaintiff a copy
of the letter-answer; that their belief that the letter-answer was sufficient cannot be an excusable mistake; and
that the defenses contained in the letter-answer are not only false, but also not substantial or meritorious. Plaintiff
asked for the denial of the petition for relief.

Trial Court: Petition for relief is denied. It appearing that the first registry notice for the decision of this Court was
received by the defendant on January 13, 1961, and according to the provisions of the rules, five (5) days after the
receipt of such first notice, he is presumed to have received the same; and It appearing further that from January
13, 1961 up to June 17, when the petition for relief was filed, more than 60 days has elapsed. Therefore, the said
petition for relief was filed beyond the reglementary period.

A motion to reconsider the above Order was filed on July 10, 1961, the main ground being that the petition for
relief was presented on time. The argument in support of the contention is that defendants having actually known
of the adverse decision rendered, only on April 21, 1961, the presentation of the petition on June 17, 1961, was
only 57 days from the former date. To bolster the argument, Sec. 3, Rule 38 of the Rules was cited, wherein it was
provided, among others, that petitions of this nature should be filed within sixty days after the petitioner learns of
the judgment, order or other proceedings to be set aside. This motion for reconsideration was likewise denied, for
failure to comply with the rules regarding the three (3) day notice and for lack of merits.

Issues: (1) Whether the letter-answer sufficient in law


(2) Whether the petition for relief presented within the period provided for by the rules

Held: (1) Yes. The letter-answer contained a recital of facts relied upon, as defenses. The mortgage debt was
admitted, but defendants claimed that thru the machinations of plaintiff, they were unable to pay the same. We
believe that this was a sufficient and substantial compliance with the requirements of the rules; after all, a liberal
interpretation has always been advocated. Having filed an answer, defendants should have been entitled to notice
of hearing. And if the answer was not responsive, the trial court should have apprised the defendants of such fact,
considering that they were not lawyers. It appearing that they were not informed of the scheduled hearing, all the
proceedings undertaken therein became a nullity, there being a deprivation of their day in court, amounting to lack
of due process.

(2) Yes. While it is true that appellee was not furnished with a copy of the letter-answer, the non-service, however,
was not the ground for declaring them in default, but the alleged failure to present a responsive pleading. We have
said that the letter-answer took the place of a responsive pleading and, therefore, defendants should not have
been declared in default; for a defendant who has timely filed an answer cannot be in default (Ignacio v. Racho).
And even if We grant, for purposes of argument, that defendants were validly declared in default, still We consider
the petition for relief to have been filed on time. This is so, because a petition for relief may likewise be taken from
the order of execution, inasmuch as See. 2, Rule 38, Revised Rules, does not only refer to judgments, but also to
orders, or any other proceedings (PHHC v. Tiongco & Escasa). From the time they had actual knowledge of the
order of execution, on April 21, 1961, until the filing of the petition for relief, on June 17, 1961, only 57 days had
elapsed.

It is conceded that defendants received a first registry notice on January 13, 1961, but they did not claim the
letter, thereby giving rise to the presumption that five (5) days after receipt of the first notice, the defendants were
deemed to have receive the letter. This Court, however, cannot justly attribute upon defendants actual knowledge
of the decision, because there is no showing that the registry notice itself contained any indication that the
registered letter was a copy of the decision, or that the registry notice referred to the case being ventilated. We
cannot exact a strict accounting of the rules from ordinary mortals, like the defendants.

The subject matter of the case is a lot and house, which to all appearances, constitute the only holdings of
appellants. It would be in keeping with the best interest of justice to afford them (appellants) a chance to prove
whether the machinations attributed to appellee existed and whether appellee can be compelled to submit the title
of appellants to the GSIS, with a view of having the loan released.

CONFORMABLY WITH ALL THE FOREGOING, the Order denying the petition for relief and that denying the motion
for reconsideration, are set aside and another entered remanding the case to the court below, for hearing on the
merits.
14. Lopez vs. CA - Grande

Lopez vs. CA
By: Grande, Jonicocel

Doctrine: Time and again, the Court have stressed that the rules of procedure are not to be applied in a very strict
and technical sense. The rules of procedure are used only to help secure and not override substantial justice. If a
stringent application of the rules would hinder rather than serve the demands of substantial justice, the former
must yield to the latter.
Facts: Fermin Lopez occupied, possessed a parcel of public land. He filed a homestead application over the land,
but his application was not acted upon until his death in 1934. When he died, he was survived by the following: (1)
Hermogenes Lopez, now deceased, leaving the respondents, as his heirs; (2) petitioner Eleuterio Lopez.
Hermogenes, being the eldest child, worked and introduced additional improvements on the land. He inquired from
the Bureau of Lands the status of his late fathers application for a homestead grant. After ascertaining that the
land was free from claim of any private person, the Bureau approved his application.
Unaware that he has been awarded a homestead patent, Hermogenes executed an Extra-judicial Partition of the
disputed land with his brothers - petitioner Eleuterio, Juan, and Nazario. However, the three executed a Deed of
Absolute Sale of their share in the land in favor of Hermogenes. The succeeding year, Hermogenes applied for the
registration of the property in his name. To his surprise, he found that the land has been registered in the names of
Gorospe, Tagle (defendants), who collectively opposed his application.
Civil Case No. 5957. Hermogenes filed a complaint for the annulment of the free patent and title against these
persons. Defendants moved for its dismissal alleging that Hermogenes was not a real party in interest since he
previously sold his right to the land to one Ambrocio Aguilar. The case was dismissed.
Civil Case No. 24873. Aguilar instituted new civil action. The Court declared Aguilar as the absolute owner of the
land
Civil Case No. 463-A. Respondent Lopezes, as heirs of Hermogenes filed a complaint against Aguilar for the
cancellation of the deed of sale executed by Hermogenes in favor of Aguilar and/or reconveyance. The lower court
declared the deed of absolute sale null and void ab initio and the respondents as the true and absolute owner of
the disputed land.
Civil Case No. 677-A. Petitioners instituted the present action against the respondents. They prayed, among
others, that they be declared co-owners of the property subject matter hereof and that private respondents be
ordered to reconvey to them 3/5 thereof as its co-owners, or in the alternative, to pay its value.
In the August 28, 1986 hearing petitioners counsel failed to appear, causing the case to be dismissed. The
dismissal, however, was reconsidered upon motion of petitioners counsel, and the case was again set for hearing.
In the scheduled hearing of October 17, 1986, counsel for respondent was absent. Upon proper motion, petitioners
were allowed to present their evidence ex-parte on December 5, 1986.
The court a quo rendered a decision in favor of the petitioners. Respondents failed to appeal the decision but they
filed a petition for relief from judgment, alleging that accident/excusable negligence prevented them from
attending the trial and that they have a good, substantial and meritorious defense.
Petitioners contend that the grant of relief from judgment is erroneous as the respondents did not substantiate
their allegation of fraud, accident, mistake, or excusable negligence which unjustly deprived them of a hearing.
They add that while respondents had ample opportunity to avail of other remedies, such as a motion for
reconsideration or an appeal, from the time they received a copy of the decision, yet they did not do so.

Issue: WON the grant of relief from judgment is erroneous.


Held: NO.
The Court finds that respondents were deprived of their right to a hearing due to accident. In the October 17, 1986
hearing, their counsel was absent due to asthma, which disabled him and made it difficult for him to talk. Similarly,
when petitioners presented their evidence ex-parte on December 5, 1986, the counsel for the respondents again
failed to appear as he experienced another severe asthma attack. On both occasions, his absence is clearly
excusable.
Nor is there any doubt that respondents were able to show that they have a good and substantial defense. They
attached to their affidavit of merit the following documents: the decision of the CFI in Civil Case No. 5957;Civil
Case No. 24873 and; Civil Case No. 463-A. The deed showed that petitioner Eleuterio, Juan and Nazario sold their
rights and interests in the contested lot to their brother Hermogenes.
Time and again, the Court have stressed that the rules of procedure are not to be applied in a very strict and
technical sense. The rules of procedure are used only to help secure and not override substantial justice. If a
stringent application of the rules would hinder rather than serve the demands of substantial justice, the former
must yield to the latter.

15. Agan vs. Heirs of Andres Nueva - Jovero

(05) Agan v. Sps. Nueva


By: Jovero, John Tristram V.

Doctrine: The word “mistake,” according to its signification in the act referred to, does not apply, and never was
intended to apply, to a judicial error which the court in question might have committed in the trial referred to.

Facts: Diosdada Nueva, with marital consent, sold under a pacto de retro, a parcel of land to Philadelphia Agan.
Petitioners failed to repurchase the property within the stipulated six-month period. Philadelphia Agan filed a
petition for consolidation of ownership against Spouses Andres and Diosdada Nueva. Judgment consolidating
ownership over the disputed property in favor of the vendee, Philadelphia Agan, was rendered by the trial court.
However, the second paragraph of the dispositive portion gave the vendors a period of thirty [days] from receipt of
the decision within which to redeem the property.

Philadelphia Agan filed a petition for relief from the August 3, 2000 decision. She argued that she did not find it
necessary to file an appeal from the said decision considering that the grant of the third-day period to redeem the
property is a mere surplusage and hence, unenforceable and illegal in view of the court’s order consolidating
ownership of the property in her favor. Respondent Agan prayed for the court to delete the said portion of the
decision.

Issue: Whether or not petition for relief is the proper remedy.

Held: No.

Relief from judgment or order is premised on equity. It is granted only in exceptional cases.1âwphi1 It is an act of
grace. It is not regarded with favor. For relief to be granted, the petitioner must show that the judgment or final
order was entered, or the proceeding thereafter against him was taken, through fraud, accident, mistake, or
excusable negligence.

The mistake contemplated by Rule 38 of the Rules of Court, as the Court of Appeals correctly held, pertains
generally to one of fact, not of law. In Guevara v. Tuason & Co., the Court held that the "word ‘mistake,’ according
to its signification in the act referred to, does not apply, and never was intended to apply, to a judicial error which
the court in question might have committed in the trial referred to. Such errors may be corrected by means of an
appeal. The act in question can not in any way be employed as a substitute for the said remedy."

Moreover, the Court is not convinced that petitioner sincerely believed in her theory that the second paragraph of
the dispositive portion of the RTC decision was surplusage. Had it been so, she would have moved to rectify the
alleged error immediately, not after respondents had offered to repurchase the property in question. Her failure to
file a motion for reconsideration or to appeal before the lapse of the reglementary period constitutes an acceptance
of the trial court’s judgment, and her rationalization now appears to have been made only on hindsight.

16. Gomez vs. Montalban - Lapuz


Gomez v. Montalban
G.R. No. 174414, March 14, 2008
by: Lapuz, Jesus Jr. Ros

Doctrine: When a party has another remedy available to him, which may be either a motion for new trial or appeal
from an adverse decision of the trial court, and he was not prevented by fraud, accident, mistake or excusable
negligence from filing such motion or taking such appeal, he cannot avail himself of this petition.
Facts: Petitioner filed a complaint with the RTC for a sum of money, damages and payment of attorney’s fees against
respondent. The Complaint alleged, among other things, that: on or about 26 August 1998, respondent obtained a
loan from petitioner in the sum of P40,000.00 with a voluntary proposal on her part to pay 15% interest per month;
upon receipt of the proceeds of the loan, respondent issued in favor of petitioner, as security, Capitol Bank Check No.
0215632, postdated 26 October 1998, in the sum of P46,000.00, covering the P40,000.00 principal loan amount and
P6,000.00 interest charges for one month; when the check became due, respondent failed to pay the loan despite
several demands; thus, petitioner filed the Complaint praying for the payment of P238,000.00, representing the
principal loan and interest charges, plus 25% of the amount to be awarded as attorney’s fees, as well as the cost of
suit.

Summons was served, but despite her receipt thereof, respondent failed to file her Answer. Consequently, she was
declared in default and upon motion, petitioner was allowed to present evidence ex parte. RTC ruled in favor of the
petitioner.
On May 28, 2004, respondent filed a Petition for Relief from Judgment alleging that there was no effective service of
summons upon her since there was no personal service of the same. The summons was received by one Mrs. Alicia
dela Torre, who was not authorized to receive summons or other legal pleadings or documents on respondent’s
behalf. Respondent attributes her failure to file an Answer to fraud, accident, mistake or excusable negligence. After
petitioner filed his Answer to the Petition for Relief from Judgment and respondent her Reply, the said Petition was
set for hearing.

After several dates were set and called for hearing, respondent, thru counsel, failed to appear despite being duly
notified; hence, her Petition for Relief was dismissed for her apparent lack of interest to pursue the petition.

Respondent filed a Motion for Reconsideration of the dismissal of her Petition for Relief, stating that her counsel’s
failure to appear was not intentional, but due to human shortcomings or frailties, constituting honest mistake or
excusable negligence. On 18 November 2005, the RTC granted respondent’s motion for reconsideration On 20 June
2006, the RTC granted respondent’s Petition for Relief from Judgment and set aside its Decision

Issue: Whether or not the RTC erred when it granted the respondent’s Petition for Relief from Judgment.

Ruling: YES. First of all, a petition for relief under Rule 38 of the Rules of Court is only available against a final and
executory judgment. Since respondent allegedly received a copy of the Decision dated 4 May 2004 on 14 May 2004,
and she filed the Petition for Relief from Judgment on 28 May 2004, judgment had not attained finality. The 15-day
period to file a motion for reconsideration or appeal had not yet lapsed. Hence, resort by respondent to a petition for
relief from judgment under Rule 38 of the Rules of Court was premature and inappropriate.

Second, based on respondent’s allegations in her Petition for Relief before the RTC, she had no cause of action for
relief from judgment. Under Section 1, Rule 38 of the Rules of Court, the court may grant relief from judgment only
“[w]hen a judgment or final order is entered, or any other proceeding is taken against a party in any court through
fraud, accident, mistake, or excusable negligence x x x.” In her Petition for Relief from Judgment before the RTC,
respondent contended that judgment was entered against her through “mistake or fraud,” because she was not duly
served with summons as it was received by a Mrs. Alicia dela Torre who was not authorized to receive summons or
other legal processes on her behalf.

As used in Section 1, Rule 38 of the Rules of Court, “mistake” refers to mistake of fact, not of law, which relates to the
case. The word “mistake,” which grants relief from judgment, does not apply and was never intended to apply to a
judicial error which the court might have committed in the trial. Such errors may be corrected by means of an
appeal.This does not exist in the case at bar, because respondent has in no wise been prevented from interposing an
appeal.

“Fraud,” on the other hand, must be extrinsic or collateral, that is, the kind which prevented the aggrieved party from
having a trial or presenting his case to the court,or was used to procure the judgment without fair submission of the
controversy.This is not present in the case at hand as respondent was not prevented from securing a fair trial and
was given the opportunity to present her case.

Negligence to be excusable must be one which ordinary diligence and prudence could not have guarded against.
Under Section 1, the “negligence” must be excusable and generally imputable to the party because if it is imputable
to the counsel, it is binding on the client. To follow a contrary rule and allow a party to disown his counsel’s conduct
would render proceedings indefinite, tentative, and subject to reopening by the mere subterfuge of replacing counsel.
What the aggrieved litigant should do is seek administrative sanctions against the erring counsel and not ask for the
reversal of the court’s ruling.

Third, the certificate of service of the process server of the court a quo is prima facie evidence of the facts as set out
therein. According to the Sheriff’s Return of Service, summons was issued and served on respondent thru one Mrs.
Alicia dela Torre.

Finally, even assuming arguendo that the RTC had no jurisdiction over respondent on account of the non-service
upon her of the summons and complaint, the remedy of the respondent was to file a motion for the reconsideration of
the 4 May 2004 Decision by default or a motion for new trial within 15 days from receipt of notice thereof. This is also
without prejudice to respondent’s right to file a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court for the
nullification of the order of default of the court a quo and the proceedings thereafter held including the decision, the
writ of execution, and the writ of garnishment issued by the RTC, on the ground that it acted without jurisdiction.
Unfortunately, however, respondent opted to file a Petition for Relief from the Judgment of the RTC, which, as the
Court earlier determined, was the wrong remedy.

In Tuason v. Court of Appeals, the Court explained the nature of a petition for relief from judgment:

A petition for relief from judgment is an equitable remedy that is allowed only in exceptional cases where there is
no other available or adequate remedy. When a party has another remedy available to him, which may be
either a motion for new trial or appeal from an adverse decision of the trial court, and he was not
prevented by fraud, accident, mistake or excusable negligence from filing such motion or taking such
appeal, he cannot avail himself of this petition. Indeed, relief will not be granted to a party who seeks
avoidance from the effects of the judgment when the loss of the remedy at law was due to his own negligence;
otherwise the petition for relief can be used to revive the right to appeal which had been lost thru
inexcusable negligence.[ (Emphasis and underscoring supplied; citations omitted)

In the case at bar, there being no fraud, accident, mistake, or excusable negligence that would have prevented
petitioner from filing either a motion for reconsideration or a petition for review on certiorari of the 4 May 2004
Decision of the RTC, her resort to a Petition for Relief from Judgment was unwarranted.

Moreover, when respondent was declared in default for her failure to file an Answer to the Complaint, she did not
immediately avail herself of any of the remedies provided by law to a party declared in default. To wit:

a) The defendant in default may, at any time after discovery thereof and before judgment, file a motion, under
oath, to set aside the order of default on the ground that his failure to answer was due to fraud, accident,
mistake or excusable negligence, and that he has a meritorious defense (Sec. 3, Rule 18 [now Sec. 3(b), Rule
9]);
b) If the judgment has already been rendered when the defendant discovered the default, but before the same
has become final and executory, he may file a motion for new trial under Section 1 (a) of Rule 37;
c) If the defendant discovered the default after the judgment has become final and executory, he may file a
petition for relief under Section 2 [now Section 1] of Rule 38; and
d) He may also appeal from the judgment rendered against him as contrary to the evidence or to the law, even
if no petition to set aside the order of default has been presented by him (Sec. 2, Rule 41).
In addition, a petition for certiorari to declare the nullity of a judgment by default is also available if the trial court
improperly declared a party in default, or even if the trial court properly declared a party in default, if grave abuse of
discretion attended such declaration.

17. Spouses Que vs. CA - Mano

Que v. CA
By: Razna

Doctrine: Under Section 1, Rule 38, of the Rules “negligence” must be excusable and generally imputable to the
party because if it is imputable to the counsel, it is binding on the client; As an equitable remedy, a petition for
relief from judgment is available only as a last recourse, when the petitioner has no other remedy.

Facts: Respondent filed a complaint against Urian and petitioners spouses Que in the Regional Trial Court for
Annulment of Quitclaim, Ownership, Possession and Damages. After petitioners received the complaint with the
summonses, they hired the services of one Atty. Ronnie Ranot (Atty. Ranot - first counsel). However, Atty.
Ranot failed to file petitioners Answer. Respondent moved to declare petitioners in default. During the hearing
of respondent’s motion, only Urian appeared and manifested that Atty. Ranot was still preparing the Answer. The
trial court found Urians manifestation unmeritorious and issued an Order in open court declaring petitioners in
default. The trial court granted respondents motion to present her evidence ex parte. RTC rendered judgment in
respondent’s favor. Petitioners, through a new counsel, Atty. Benjamin Bateria (Atty. Bateria – second counsel),
sought reconsideration or new trial, which the trial court denied. The trial court held that the motion was pro
forma since no affidavit of merit accompanied the motion. Petitioners, represented this time by one Atty.
Oliver Cachapero (Atty. Cachapero – third counsel), filed with the trial court a petition for relief from judgment
under Rule 38. Petitioners claimed that their failure to file an Answer and to seek reconsideration or new
trial on time was due to the excusable negligence of their previous counsels. Petitioners also invoked
mistake and fraud as they were allegedly under the impression that Atty. Ranot had prepared and filed
the necessary pleading or that the necessary pleading to vacate the judgment and secure new trial was
prepared xxx and filed xxx. The trial court denied the petition for relief from judgment. The trial court held that
the negligence of their counsels bound petitioners.

Petitioners filed a petition for certiorari in the Court of Appeals to set aside the trial court’s Order. They contended
that their previous counsels’ negligence denied them due process hence they should not be bound by it. The Court
of Appeals denied due course to and dismissed petitioners’ petition. The Court of Appeals held that the trial court
did not err in outrightly dismissing the petition for relief from judgment for insufficiency in form and substance
under Section 4, Rule 38. The appellate court further held that petitioners filed their petition for relief from
judgment beyond the 60-day period under Section 3, Rule 38.

Issue: Whether petitioners were entitled to relief from judgment.

Held: NO. Their petition was insufficient in form and substance, filed late, and improperly availed of.

Petitioners failed to prove fraud, mistake, or excusable negligence. In their petition for relief from judgment in the
trial court, petitioners contended that judgment was entered against them through mistake or fraud because they
were allegedly under the impression that Atty. Ranot had prepared and filed the necessary pleading. This is not the
fraud or mistake contemplated under Section 1. As used in that provision, mistake refers to mistake of fact, not of
law, which relates to the case. Fraud, on the other hand, must be extrinsic or collateral, that is, the kind which
prevented the aggrieved party from having a trial or presenting his case to the court. Clearly, petitioners’ mistaken
assumption that Atty. Ranot had attended to his professional duties is neither mistake nor fraud.

What petitioners appear to be claiming in this petition is that this Court should reverse the Court of Appeals and
remand the case to the trial court for new trial on the ground that their previous counsels’ negligence constitutes
excusable negligence under Section 1. This claim is similarly without merit. Under Section 1, the negligence must
be excusable and generally imputable to the party because if it is imputable to the counsel, it is binding on the
client. To follow a contrary rule and allow a party to disown his counsel’s conduct would render proceedings
indefinite, tentative, and subject to reopening by the mere subterfuge of replacing counsel. What the aggrieved
litigant should do is seek administrative sanctions against the erring counsel and not ask for the reversal of the
court’s ruling. Petitioners nevertheless seek exemption from the above rule because their counsels’ negligence
allegedly deprived them of their day in court and, if the ruling of the Court of Appeals stands, they will suffer
deprivation of property without due process of law.

Admittedly, this Court has relaxed the rule on the binding effect of counsel’s negligence and allowed a litigant
another chance to present his case (1) where the reckless or gross negligence of counsel deprives the client of due
process of law; (2) when the rules application will result in outright deprivation of the client’s liberty or property; or
(3) where the interests of justice so require. None of these exceptions obtains here. For a claim of counsel’s gross
negligence to prosper, nothing short of clear abandonment of the client’s cause must be shown. Here, what
petitioners first, second, and third counsels did was fail to file the Answer, file a belated and defective motion for
reconsideration or new trial, and belatedly and erroneously file a petition for relief from judgment, respectively.
While these acts and omissions can plausibly qualify as simple negligence, they do not amount to gross negligence
to justify the annulment of the proceedings.

Moreover, the petition for relief from judgment was filed out of time because the sixty (60)-day period provided for
under the said Rule had already elapsed. Case law has it that the periods provided for by the Rules are fixed,
inextendible and never interrupted and if the Petition is filed beyond the period provided for by the Rules, the
Petition cannot be entertained and must be dismissed. While it may be true that the Petitioner Urian filed a Motion
for Reconsideration and New Trial, however, the same did not suspend the running of the period under Rule 38 of
the Rules of Court because it was filed beyond the period therefor.

As an equitable remedy, a petition for relief from judgment is available only as a last recourse, when the petitioner
has no other remedy. This is not true here because petitioners had at their disposal other remedies which they in
fact availed of, albeit belatedly or defectively, such as when they filed their motion for reconsideration or new trial
in the trial court. If the complainant lost a remedy at law from an adverse judgment by his xxx negligence, such
inequitable conduct precludes him from relief under Rule 38 of the Rules of Court.

18. Metropolitan Bank and Trust Co vs. Alejo -Marasigan

Metropolitan Bank and Trust Co vs. Alejo


GR No. 141970, September 10, 2001
By: Mariz

Doctrine: Rule 38 of the Rules of Court only applies when the one deprived of his right is a party to the case.

Facts: Spouses Raul and Cristina Acampado obtained loans from petitioner in the amounts of P5,000,000 and
P2,000,000, respectively. As security for the payment of these credit accommodations, the Acampados executed in
favor of petitioner a Real Estate Mortgage and an Amendment of Real Estate Mortgage over a parcel of land
registered in their names. The land was covered by TCT No. V-41319 in the Registry of Deeds of Valenzuela City.

On June 3, 1996, a Complaint for Declaration of Nullity of TCT No. V-41319 was filed by Respondent Sy Tan Se
against Spouses Acampado. Despite being the registered mortgagee of the real property covered by the title
sought to be annulled, petitioner was not made a party to Civil Case No. 4930-V-96, nor was she notified of its
existence.

Because the spouses defaulted in the payment of their loan, extrajudicial foreclosure proceedings over the
mortgaged property were initiated on April 19, 1997.

The sheriff of Valenzuela conducted an auction sale of the property, during which petitioner submitted the highest
and winning bid. On July 15, 1997, a Certificate of Sale was issued in its favor. This sale was entered in the
Registry of Deeds of Valenzuela on July 28, 1997. When the redemption period lapsed exactly a year after, on July
28, 1998, petitioner executed an Affidavit of Consolidation of Ownership to enable the Registry of Deeds of
Valenzuela to issue a new TCT in its name.

Upon presentation to the Register of Deeds of the Affidavit of Consolidation of Ownership, petitioner was informed
of the existence of the August 12, 1998 RTC Decision in Civil Case No. 4930-V-96, annulling TCT No. V-41319.
Petitioner filed with the Court of Appeals a Petition for Annulment of the RTC Decision. For being insufficient in form
and substance, the Petition for Annulment was outrightly dismissed by the CA. It ruled that petitioner ought to
have filed, instead, a petition for relief from judgment or an action for quieting of title.

Issues:

1. Whether or not a petition for annulment of judgment under Rule 47 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure is the
proper remedy available to petitioner under the circumstances.

2. Whether or not the judgment of the trial court in Civil Case No. 4930-V-96 should be annulled.

Held:

1. Yes.

Respondents aver that a petition for annulment is not proper, because there were three different remedies
available but they were not resorted to by petitioner.

We are not persuaded. First, a petition for relief, the remedy pointed to by the Court of Appeals, was not available
to petitioner. Section 1, Rule 38 of the Rules of Court, states:

Petition for relief from judgment, order, or other proceedings.-When a judgment or final order is entered, or any
other proceeding is thereafter taken against a party in any court through fraud, accident, mistake, or excusable
negligence, he may file a petition in such court and in the same case praying that the judgment, order or
proceeding be set aside. (Italics supplied)

It must be emphasized that petitioner was never a party to Civil Case No. 4930-V-96. In Lagula et al. v. Casimiro
et al., the Court held that -- relative to a motion for relief on the ground of fraud, accident, mistake, or excusable
negligence -- Rule 38 of the Rules of Court only applies when the one deprived of his right is a party to the case.
Since petitioner was never a party to the case or even summoned to appear therein, then the remedy of relief from
judgment under Rule 38 of the Rules of Court was not proper. This is plainly provided in the italicized words of the
present provision just quoted.

Second, in denying petitioner’s Motion for Reconsideration of the Decision dismissing the Petition for Annulment of
Judgment, the Court of Appeals reasoned that another remedy, an action for quieting of title, was also available to
petitioner.

We do not agree. It should be stressed that this case was instituted to ask for relief from the peremptory
declaration of nullity of TCT No. V-41319, which had been issued without first giving petitioner an opportunity to be
heard. Petitioner focused on the judgment in Civil Case No. 4930-V-96 which adversely affected it, and which it
therefore sought to annul. Filing an action for quieting of title will not remedy what it perceived as a disregard of
due process; it is therefore not an appropriate remedy.

Equally important, an action for quieting of title is filed only when there is a cloud on title to real property or any
interest therein. As defined, a cloud on title is a semblance of title which appears in some legal form but which is in
fact unfounded. In this case, the subject judgment cannot be considered as a cloud on petitioners title or interest
over the real property covered by TCT No. V-41319, which does not even have a semblance of being a title.

Third, private respondent cites a last remedy: the intervention by petitioner in Civil Case No. 4930-V-96. The
availability of this remedy hinges on petitioner’s knowledge of the pendency of that case, which would have
otherwise been alerted to the need to intervene therein. Though presumed by private respondent, any such
knowledge prior to October 1998 is, however, emphatically denied by petitioner.

The Petition for Annulment before the Court of Appeals precisely alleged that private respondent purposely
concealed the case by excluding petitioner as a defendant in Civil Case No. 4930-V-96, even if the latter was an
indispensable party. Without due process of law, the former intended to deprive petitioner of the latter’s duly
registered property right. Indeed, the execution of the Decision in Civil Case No. 4930-V-96 necessarily entailed its
enforcement against petitioner, even though it was not a party to that case. Hence, the latter concludes that
annulment of judgment was the only effective remedy open to it.
The allegation of extrinsic fraud, if fully substantiated by a preponderance of evidence, may be the basis for
annulling a judgment. The resort to annulment becomes proper because of such allegation, coupled with the
unavailability of the other remedies pointed to by respondents.

2. Yes.

Although a mortgage affects the land itself and not merely the TCT covering it, the cancellation of the TCT and the
mortgage annotation exposed petitioner to real prejudice, because its rights over the mortgaged property would no
longer be known and respected by third parties. Necessarily, therefore, the nullification of TCT No. V-41319
adversely affected its property rights, considering that a real mortgage is a real right and a real property by itself.

Evidently, petitioner is encompassed within the definition of an indispensable party; thus, it should have been
impleaded as a defendant in Civil Case No. 4930-V-96.

The joinder of indispensable parties to an action is mandated by Section 7, Rule 3 of the Revised Rules of Civil
Procedures, which we quote:

SEC 7. Compulsory joinder of indispensable parties. Parties in interest without whom no final determination can be
had of an action shall be joined either as plaintiffs or defendants.

Aside from the above provision, jurisprudence requires such joinder, as the following excerpts indicate:

Indispensable parties must always be joined either as plaintiffs or defendants, for the court cannot proceed without
them. x x x. Indispensable parties are those with such an interest in the controversy that a final decree would
necessarily affect their rights, so that the courts cannot proceed without their presence.

"x x x. Without the presence of indispensable parties to a suit or proceeding, a judgment of a Court cannot attain
real finality."

Whenever it appears to the court in the course of a proceeding that an indispensable party has not been joined, it
is the duty of the court to stop the trial and to order the inclusion of such party. Clearly, it was the trial courts
duty to order petitioners inclusion as a party to Civil Case No. 4930-V-96. This was not done. Neither the court nor
private respondents bothered to implead petitioner as a party to the case. In the absence of petitioner, an
indispensable party, the trial court had no authority to act on the case. Its judgment therein was null and void due
to lack of jurisdiction over an indispensable party.

19. Heirs of the Late Faustina Borres vs. Abela - Morales

Heirs of the Late Faustina Borres vs. Abela


G.R. No. 131023, July 17, 2007
By: Morales, E.

Doctrine

A decision penned by a judge after his retirement cannot be validly promulgated; it cannot
acquire a binding effect as it is null and void. Qoud ab initio non valet, in tractu temporis non
convalescit.

In like manner, a decision penned by a judge during his incumbency cannot be validly
promulgated after his retirement. When a judge retired all his authority to decide any case, i.e.,
to write, sign and promulgate the decision thereon also "retired" with him. In other words, he had
lost entirely his power and authority to act on all cases assigned to him prior to his retirement.
Where a judgment is on its face void ab initio, the limited periods for relief from judgment in Rule
38 are inapplicable. That judgment is vulnerable to attack in any way and at any time, even
when no appeal has been taken. So it is in this case where the decision cannot be said to have
any force and effect. Accordingly, it is as if no decision was rendered at all.

Facts

On October 4, 1929, the CFI of Capiz rendered a decision in a Cadastral Case, adjudicating the
subject lot in this case, in favor of Faustina, Segundina, Felisa, Micaela, Maria, and Sixto, all
surnamed Borres.

Faustina died before World War II, leaving as heirs her children, namely: Jose, Juan,
Concepcion, and Dolores, all surnamed Villareiz. Herein respondent Victoria Villareiz-Radjaie
(Mrs. Radjaie) is the daughter of the late Jose Villareiz who claims sole ownership over the
subject property. Meanwhile, the Borres heirs assert their rights over the property as heirs of
Faustina, Segundina, Felisa, Micaela, Maria, and Sixto, and as co-heirs of Mrs. Radjaie.

It appears that Faustina and her siblings mortgaged the subject property in favor of Navitas
Fishing Company but failed to redeem the same. Mrs. Radjaie claims that Jose personally
redeemed the property and had it exclusively titled in his name on July 24, 1940. Jose died on
February 13, 1963. On April 8, 1992, TCT No. T-24150 was issued in the name of Mrs. Radjaie.
She claims sole ownership over the property which she allegedly inherited from her father.

However, the Borres heirs allege that Jose fraudulently caused the reconstitution and issuance
of the title exclusively in his name.

On July 6, 1992, the Borres heirs, represented by Atty. Villarruz, filed a complaint for partition
and accounting against Mrs. Radjaie in the RTC. The action also sought the cancellation of the
TCT and the declaration of the property as commonly owned by Mrs. Radjaie and the Borres
heirs.

For her alleged failure to file an answer, Mrs. Radjaie was declared in default. On October 8 and
December 10, 1993, the Borres heirs presented their evidence ex-parte.

On January 30, 1995, RTC Judge Alovera ordered the cancellation of the TCT and declared the
subject property as commonly owned by Mrs. Radjaie and the Borres heirs. On January 31,
1995, Judge Alovera retired from the judiciary having reached the mandatory age of retirement.

On January 9, 1996, Acting Presiding Judge Delano F. Villarruz, issued an order for the
issuance of a writ of execution to enforce the January 30, 1995 Decision. Subsequently,
possession of the subject property was turned over to the Borres heirs.

On March 5, 1996, Mrs. Radjaie filed a petition for relief assailing the January 30, 1995 Decision
and the January 9, 1996 Order. She alleged that she was never served with summons; that the
trial court did not acquire jurisdiction over her person; that the proceedings in the Civil Case are
null and void; and that the January 30, 1995 Decision was penned by Judge Alovera after his
retirement and was never entered in the book of judgments.

On March 29, 1996, Judge Abela was appointed as the new Presiding Judge of Branch 17. On
June 14, 1996, he issued a resolution nullifying the January 30, 1995 Decision and the January
9, 1996 Order. Further, he ordered the issuance of a preliminary injunction upon the filing of a
bond and directed the Borres heirs to surrender possession of the subject property to Mrs.
Radjaie.

On September 25, 1997, Judge Abela issued the assailed Resolution granting the petition for
relief from order.

The Borres heirs moved for reconsideration but were denied.

The Borres heirs claim that the January 30, 1995 Decision has long become final and
executory. They argue that Judge Abela gravely abused his discretion in giving due course to
the petition for relief and setting aside the January 30, 1995 Decision.

Issue

Whether Judge Abela committed grave abuse of discretion in granting the petition for relief and
setting aside the January 30, 1995 Decision

Held

NO.

Petitioners’ claim is not well taken.

The January 30, 1995 Decision could never attain finality for being void. It was penned by Judge
Alovera after his retirement when he no longer had the authority to decide cases. We take
judicial notice of this Court’s Decision in Administrative Case No. 4748 dated August 4, 2000,
where the Court en banc disbarred Judge Alovera for gross misconduct, violation of the lawyer’s
oath and the Code of Professional Responsibility.

Civil Case No. V-6186 were attended with irregularities. The hearing on December 10, 1993
was simulated; the January 30, 1995 Decision was penned by Judge Alovera after he retired;
and the decision was never entered in the book of judgments as mandated in the rules. Thus,
petitioners’ contention that the decision has become final and executory lacks merit. Under the
circumstances, the Borres heirs cannot claim rights under the decision nor can they insist on its
binding character.
A decision penned by a judge after his retirement cannot be validly promulgated; it cannot
acquire a binding effect as it is null and void. Qoud ab initio non valet, in tractu temporis non
convalescit.

In like manner, a decision penned by a judge during his incumbency cannot be validly
promulgated after his retirement. When a judge retired all his authority to decide any case, i.e.,
to write, sign and promulgate the decision thereon also "retired" with him. In other words, he had
lost entirely his power and authority to act on all cases assigned to him prior to his retirement.

A void judgment is not entitled to the respect accorded to a valid judgment, but may be entirely
disregarded or declared inoperative by any tribunal in which effect is sought to be given to it. It
is attended by none of the consequences of a valid adjudication. It has no legal or binding effect
or efficacy for any purpose or at any place. It cannot affect, impair or create rights. It is not
entitled to enforcement and is, ordinarily, no protection to those who seek to enforce. All
proceedings founded on the void judgment are themselves regarded as invalid. In other words,
a void judgment is regarded as a nullity, and the situation is the same as it would be if there
were no judgment. It, accordingly, leaves the parties litigants in the same position they were in
before the trial.

Thus, a void judgment is no judgment at all. It cannot be the source of any right nor of any
obligation. All acts performed pursuant to it and all claims emanating from it have no legal effect.
Hence, it can never become final and any writ of execution based on it is void: "x x x it may be
said to be a lawless thing which can be treated as an outlaw and slain at sight, or ignored
wherever and whenever it exhibits its head."

In this case, Mrs. Radjaie assailed the January 30, 1995 Decision by way of a petition for relief.
Under Section 3, Rule 38 of the Rules of Court, a verified petition for relief must be filed within
sixty (60) days after the petitioner learns of the judgment, final order, or other proceeding to be
set aside, and not more than six (6) months after such judgment or final order was entered or
such proceeding was taken.

The Borres heirs claim that the petition for relief was filed out of time. However, we likewise held
in Hilado that where a judgment is on its face void ab initio, the limited periods for relief from
judgment in Rule 38 are inapplicable. That judgment is vulnerable to attack in any way and at
any time, even when no appeal has been taken. So it is in this case where the decision cannot
be said to have any force and effect. The decision is null and void as it was rendered in the
complete absence of authority on the part of Judge Alovera. Accordingly, it is as if no decision
was rendered at all.

20. Mesina vs. Meer - Montes

Spouses Michaelangelo and Grace Mesina v. Humberto Meer


G.R. No. 146845, July 2, 2002
By: Maria Francesca R. Montes

Doctrine
1) The Supreme Court will not allow a party, in guise of equity, to benefit from its own
negligence. Relief from judgment is an equitable remedy and is allowed only under
exceptional circumstances and only if fraud, accident, mistake, or excusable negligence
is present. Where the defendant has other available or adequate remedy such as a
motion for new trial or appeal from the adverse decision, he cannot avail himself of this
remedy.
2) The petition for relief must be filed within sixty (60) days after the petitioner learns of the
judgment, and should be filed with the same court which rendered the decision.

Facts
Meer is registered owner of a parcel of land in Pandacan Manila. In Jun 1993, he applied for a
loan to construct a house. He discovered that his certificate of title has been cancelled and a
new one was issued in the name of Spouses Bunquin who acquired the same purportedly
executed by Meer in the spouses’ favor. On January 12, 1994, Meer sought cancellation of
certificate of title under Spouses Bunquin and notice of lis pendens was annotated at the back
thereof. On June 15, 1994, new certificate of title was issued in favor of Spouses Mesina
pursuant to conyevance of property executed on September 28, 1993 including notarization and
payment of taxes. The transfer was only effected on June 15, 1994 due to requirements by
National Housing Authority.

Meer impleaded the petitioners. Spouses Bunquin never appeared in hearings which led them
to be in default. Trial Court ruled that the alleged sale between Meer and Bunquin was
fraudulent. However, Spouses Medina were adjudged buyers in good faith and thus were
entitled to the possession of the subject property. Spouses Bunquin were ordered to pay Meer
the value of subject property and exemplary damages in the amount of PhP 20,000 and
attorney’s fees for PhP 30,000.

Meer filed a Motion for Reconsideration against the decision but court denied the same.
Thereafter, he filed an appeal with the Regional Trial Court, which reversed the ruling of the
MeTC. RTC ruled that Spouses Mesina were not purchasers in good faith as it is the registration
of the Deed of Sale and not the execution of the conveyance of the title of property. Since the
Deed of Sale was registered subsequent to the annotation of the lis pendens, Spouses Medina
were bound by the outcome of the case.

Petitioners appealed to the Court of Appeals which affirmed RTC ruling on May 10, 2000. On
July 17, 2000, and after the reglementary period for appeal has lapsed, petitioners filed a
Petition for Relief from Judgment and prayed that the CA set aside resolution for:
1. Extrinsic fraud was committed which prevented the petitioners from presenting his case
to the court and/or was used to procure the judgment without fair submission of the
controversy - Spouses Mesina argued that there was collusion between Meer and the
Bunquins during the trial at MeTC;
2. Mistake and excusable negligence has prevented the petitioner from taking an appeal
within the prescribed period - Spouses Mesina averred that their failure to file the
requisite appeal on time was largely due to the delay of counsel of record to produce the
requested documents of the case; and
3. Petitioner has good and substantial defense in his action.

Issue
Whether Spouses Mesina should be granted the Relief from Judgment

Held
No. The Supreme Court will not allow a party, in guise of equity, to benefit from its own
negligence. Relief from judgment is an equitable remedy and is allowed only under exceptional
circumstances and only if fraud, accident, mistake, or excusable negligence is present. Where
the defendant has other available or adequate remedy such as a motion for new trial or appeal
from the adverse decision, he cannot avail himself of this remedy. The petition for relief must be
filed within sixty (60) days after the petitioner learns of the judgment, and should be filed with
the same court which rendered the decision.

RULE 47

11. Phil Tourism Authority vs. Phil Golf Development & Equipment - Pangilinan

Philippine Tourism Authority vs. Philippine Golf Development &


Equipment, Inc.
By: Pangilinan, Gene

DOCTRINE: Annulment of Judgment under Rule 47 of the Rules of Court is a recourse equitable in character and
allowed only in exceptional cases where the ordinary remedies of new trial, appeal, petition for relief or other
appropriate remedies are no longer available through no fault of petitioner.

FACTS: Philippine Tourism Authority (PTA) entered into a contract with Atlantic Erectors, Inc. (AEI) for the
construction of the Intramuros Golf Course Expansion Projects. Since AEI was incapable of constructing the golf
course aspect of the project, it entered into a sub-contract agreement with Philippine Golf Development &
Equipment, Inc. (PHILGOLF) to build the golf course. The sub-contract agreement also provided that PHILGOLF
shall submit its progress billings directly to PTA and, in turn, PTA shall directly pay PHILGOLF.

PHILGOLF filed a collection suit against PTA for the construction of the golf course. Despite the RTC’s liberality of
granting two successive motions for extension of time, PTA failed to answer the complaint. Hence, the RTC
rendered a judgment of default. PTA seasonably appealed the case to the CA. But before the appeal of PTA could
be perfected, PHILGOLF already filed a motion for execution pending appeal with the RTC. The RTC granted the
motion and a writ of execution pending appeal was issued against PTA. A notice of garnishment was issued against
PTA’s bank account.

PTA withdrew its appeal of the RTC decision and, instead, filed a petition for annulment of judgment under Rule 47
of the Rules of Court. The petition for annulment of judgment was premised on the argument that the gross
negligence of PTA’s counsel prevented the presentation of evidence before the RTC.
ISSUES:
1. Whether or not the negligence of PTA’s counsel amounted to an extrinsic fraud warranting an annulment of
judgment.

2. Whether or not annulment of judgment is the proper remedy.

HELD:
1. No. “Extrinsic fraud refers to any fraudulent act of the prevailing party in the litigation which is committed
outside of the trial of the case, whereby the unsuccessful party has been prevented from exhibiting fully his case,
by fraud or deception practiced on him by his opponent.”

The records reveal that the judgment of default was sent via registered mail to PTA’s counsel. However, PTA never
availed of the remedy of a motion to lift the order of default. Since the failure of PTA to present its evidence was
not a product of any fraudulent acts committed outside trial, the RTC did not err in declaring PTA in default.

It is not disputed that the summons together with a copy of the complaint was personally served upon, and
received by PTA through its Corporate Legal Services Department, on October 10, 2003. Thus, in failing to submit a
responsive pleading within the required time despite sufficient notice, the RTC was correct in declaring PTA in
default.

2. No. PTA’s appropriate remedy was only to appeal the RTC decision. “Annulment of Judgment under Rule 47 of
the Rules of Court is a recourse equitable in character and allowed only in exceptional cases where the ordinary
remedies of new trial, appeal, petition for relief or other appropriate remedies are no longer available through no
fault of petitioner.”

In this case, appeal was an available remedy to the CA, and then to the SC. There was also no extraordinary
reason for a petition for annulment of judgment, nor was there any adequate explanation on why the remedy for
new trial or petition for relief could not be used. The SC was actually at a loss why PTA had withdrawn a properly
filed appeal and substituted it with another petition, when PTA could have merely raised the same issues through
an ordinary appeal.

12. Grande vs. UP - Radovan


Grande vs UP
By: Radovan

DOCTRINE: The annulment of judgments, as a recourse, is equitable in character, allowed only in exceptional
cases, as where there is no available or other adequate remedy. It is generally governed by Rule 47 of the 1997
Rules of Civil Procedure. Section 1 thereof expressly states that the Rule “shall govern the annulment by the Court
of Appeals of judgments or final orders and resolutions in civil action of Regional Trial Courts for which the ordinary
remedies of new trial, appeal, petition for relief or other appropriate remedies are no longer available through no
fault of the petitioner.” Clearly, Rule 47 applies only to petitions for the nullification of judgments rendered by
regional trial courts filed with the Court of Appeals. It does not pertain to the nullification of decisions of the Court
of Appeals.

FACTS: Petition for Annulment of Judgment that seeks the annulment of the decision of the CA and the resolution
denying the MR of petitioner. The CA in its decision dismissed the appeal interposed by petitioners from the
decision of the RTC dismissing the complaint for recovery of ownership and reconveyance of the subject property
on the ground of lack of cause of action. The RTC Decision concluded that the subject property was covered by a
Torrens title as early as 1914 and it was only in 1984, or 70 years after the issuance of the title, that petitioners
filed their action for recovery of ownership and reconveyance. During the interregnum, ownership of the property
was acquired by respondent University of the Philippines as an innocent purchaser for value, so the RTC found and
the appellate court upheld. Petitioners, through their former counsel received a copy of the Court of Appeals’
Decision on 28 December 1998, and a copy of the Resolution denying their motion for reconsideration on 17 March
2000. However, petitioners failed to elevate the rulings of the Court of Appeals to this Court. They claim that their
former counsel had neglected to inform them of the receipt of the Resolution denying their motion for
reconsideration. The decision of CA became final and executory, with entry of judgement. More than a year
after, petitioners filed “Petition for Annulment of Judgment”.

ISSUE: WON petition for annulment of judgment should be granted

HELD: The annulment of judgments, as a recourse, is equitable in character, allowed only in exceptional cases, as
where there is no available or other adequate remedy. It is generally governed by Rule 47 of the 1997 Rules of
Civil Procedure. Section 1 thereof expressly states that the Rule “shall govern the annulment by the Court of
Appeals of judgments or final orders and resolutions in civil action of Regional Trial Courts for which the ordinary
remedies of new trial, appeal, petition for relief or other appropriate remedies are no longer available through no
fault of the petitioner.” Clearly, Rule 47 applies only to petitions for the nullification of judgments
rendered by regional trial courts filed with the Court of Appeals. It does not pertain to the nullification
of decisions of the Court of Appeals. The Supreme Court has no authority to take cognizance of an original
action for annulment of judgment of any lower court. The only original cases cognizable before this Court are
“petitions for certiorari, prohibition, mandamus, quo warranto, habeas corpus, disciplinary proceedings against
members of the judiciary and attorneys, and cases affecting ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls.”
Petitions for annulment of judgment are not among the cases originally cognizable by this Court.

Moreover, if what is desired is an appeal from a decision of the Court of Appeals, which petitioners could have been
entitled to under ordinary circumstances, the only mode of appeal cognizable by this Court is “a petition for review
on certiorari.”Notably, Rule 47 on annulment of judgments has nothing to do with the provisions which govern
petitions for review on certiorari. Thus, it is totally inappropriate to extend Rule 47 to the review of decisions of the
Court of Appeals. Then too, appeals by certiorari to this Court must be filed within fifteen (15) days from notice of
the judgment or the final order or resolution appealed from. Even if we were to treat the petition for annulment of
judgment as an appeal by certiorari, the same could not be given due course as it had been filed several months
after the Court of Appeals decision had already lapsed to finality.

13. Rexlon vs. CA - Rosario

REXLON REALTY GROUP, INC vs CA, ALEX DAVID, et al


By: Kaye

Doctrine: The overriding consideration in extrinsic fraud is that the fraudulent scheme prevented a party from
having his day in court. It is well-settled that the use of forged instruments or perjured testimonies during trial is
not an extrinsic fraud, because such evidence does not preclude the participation of any party in the proceedings.
Furthermore, it should be stressed that extrinsic fraud pertains to an act committed outside of the trial.

If an owner’s duplicate copy of a certificate of title has not been lost but is in fact in the possession of another
person, the reconstituted title is void and the court rendering the decision has not acquired jurisdiction.

Facts: Respondent David is the registered owner of two parcels of land located in Bacoor, Cavite. Petitioner Rexlon
bought the parcels of land as evidenced by an Absolute Deed of Sale. Five years after, David filed with the Cavite
RTC a petition for the issuance of owner’s duplicate copies of the TCTs covering the parcels of land in his name.
David alleged that he entrusted his copies of the TCTs to a member of his staff for the purpose of showing them to
a prospective developer and such copies of the TCTs were misplaced and could not be found despite diligent
efforts. The RTC granted the said petition.

Rexlon then filed with the CA a petition for annulment of the said Decision of the RTC on the ground that David
allegedly employed fraud and deception in securing the replacement owner’s duplicate copies of the TCTs. Rexlon
claims that David misled the RTC in alleging in his petition before the RTC that his owner’s duplicate copies were
lost when in fact he had delivered the same to Rexlon pursuant to the contract of sale executed between them.
The CA rendered a decision dismissing the petition of Rexlon, ruling that David appeared to be the registered
owner of TCTs when said petition was filed. Consequently, pursuant to Section 109 of PD No. 1529, he has the
personality to file the same.

Issue: Should the RTC’s Decision granting David’s petition for issuance of new TCTs in his name be
annulled?

Held: NO on the ground of extrinsic fraud; YES on the ground of lack of jurisdiction.

Pursuant to Section 2 of Rule 47, the grounds to annul a judgment of a lower court are extrinsic fraud and lack of
jurisdiction.

Extrinsic fraud contemplates a situation where a litigant commits acts outside of the trial of the case, the effect of
which prevents a party from having a trial, a real contest, or from presenting all of his case to the court, or where
it operates upon matters pertaining, not to the judgment itself, but to the manner in which it was procured so that
there is not a fair submission of the controversy. The overriding consideration is that the fraudulent scheme of the
prevailing litigant prevented a party from having his day in court. It is well-settled that the use of forged
instruments or perjured testimonies during trial is not an extrinsic fraud, because such evidence does not preclude
the participation of any party in the proceedings. While a perjured testimony may prevent a fair and just
determination of a case, it does not bar the adverse party from rebutting or opposing the use of such evidence.
Furthermore, it should be stressed that extrinsic fraud pertains to an act committed outside of the trial. The alleged
fraud in this case was perpetrated during the trial.

However, David’s act of misrepresentation, though not constituting extrinsic fraud, is still an evidence of absence of
jurisdiction. In the Straight Times case and in Demetriou v. Court of Appeals, also on facts analogous to those
involved in this case, the SC held that if an owner’s duplicate copy of a certificate of title has not been lost but is in
fact in the possession of another person, the reconstituted title is void and the court rendering the decision has not
acquired jurisdiction. Consequently, the decision may be attacked any time. In the case at bar, the authenticity and
genuineness of the owners duplicate of TCT Nos. T-52537 and T-52538 in the possession of petitioner Rexlon and
the Absolute Deed of Sale in its favor have not been disputed. As there is no proof to support actual loss of the said
owners duplicate copies of said certificates of title, the trial court did not acquire jurisdiction and the new titles
issued in replacement thereof are void.

14. Republic vs. G Holdings Inc - Samson

REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES v. “G” HOLDINGS, INC.


G.R. No. 141241. November 22, 2005.
By: Apol Samson

Doctrine: A petition for annulment of judgment is an extraordinary action. By virtue of its exceptional character,
the action is restricted exclusively to the grounds specified in the rules, namely, (1) extrinsic fraud and (2) lack of
jurisdiction. The rationale for the restriction is to prevent the extraordinary action from being used by a losing
party to make a complete farce of a duly promulgated decision that has long become final and executory. The
remedy may not be invoked where the party has availed himself of the remedy of new trial, appeal, petition for
relief or other appropriate remedy and lost, or where he has failed to avail himself of those remedies through his
own fault or negligence.

Facts: The Committee on Privatization approved the proposal of the Asset Privatization Trust (APT) for the
negotiated sale of 90% of the shares of stock of the government-owned Maricalum Mining Corporation (MMC).
Learning of the government’s intention to sell MMC, the respondent “G” Holdings, Inc. signified its interest to
purchase MMC and submitted the best bid. The series of negotiations between the petitioner Republic, through the
APT as its trustee, and “G” Holdings culminated in the execution of a purchase and sale agreement. Under the
agreement, the Republic undertook to sell and deliver 90% of the entire issued and outstanding shares of MMC, as
well as its company notes, to “G” Holdings in consideration of the purchase price of P673,161,280. It also provided
for a down payment of P98,704,000 with the balance divided into four tranches payable in installment over a
period of ten years. Subsequently, a disagreement on the matter of when the installment payments should
commence arose between the parties. The Republic claimed that it should be on the seventh month from the
signing of the agreement while “G” Holdings insisted that it should begin seven months after the fulfillment of the
closing conditions. Unable to settle the issue, “G” Holdings filed a complaint for specific performance and damages
with the RTC against the Republic to compel it to close the sale in accordance with the purchase and sale
agreement. The trial court rendered its decision, it ruled in favor of “G” Holdings. The Solicitor General filed a
notice of appeal on behalf of the Republic. Contrary to the rules of procedure, however, the notice of appeal was
filed with the Court of Appeals, not with the trial court which rendered the judgment appealed from. No other
judicial remedy was resorted to until when the Republic, through the APT, filed a petition for annulment of
judgment with the CA. It claimed that the decision should be annulled on the ground of abuse of discretion
amounting to lack of jurisdiction on the part of the trial court. The appellate court dismissed the petition. It ruled
that there was no extrinsic fraud because “G” Holdings had no participation in the failure of the Solicitor General to
properly appeal the decision of the trial court. Neither was there any connivance between “G” Holdings’ and the
Republic’s counsels in the commission of the error. The appellate court also held that the trial court had jurisdiction
over the subject matter of the case, as well as over the person of the parties. Hence, whatever error the trial court
committed in the exercise of its jurisdiction was merely an error of judgment, not an error of jurisdiction.

Issue: Whether or not the Court of Appeals erred in not holding that the Trial Court committed grave abuse of
discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction which resulted in the nullity of the Trial Court’s decision.

Held: NO grave abuse of discretion can be imputed to the trial court when it rendered the decision. We note that
the instant petition suffers from a basic infirmity for lack of the requisite imprimatur from the Office of the Solicitor
General, hence, it is dismissible on that ground. The general rule is that only the Solicitor General can bring or
defend actions on behalf of the Republic of the Philippines and that actions filed in the name of the Republic, or its
agencies and instrumentalities for that matter, if not initiated by the Solicitor General, should be summarily
dismissed. In the interest of justice, however, we shall proceed to discuss the issues propounded by the Republic.

A petition for annulment of judgment is an extraordinary action. By virtue of its exceptional character, the action is
restricted exclusively to the grounds specified in the rules, namely, (1) extrinsic fraud and (2) lack of jurisdiction.
The rationale for the restriction is to prevent the extraordinary action from being used by a losing party to make a
complete farce of a duly promulgated decision that has long become final and executory. The remedy may not be
invoked where the party has availed himself of the remedy of new trial, appeal, petition for relief or other
appropriate remedy and lost, or where he has failed to avail himself of those remedies through his own fault or
negligence.

Lack of jurisdiction as a ground for annulment of judgment refers to either lack of jurisdiction over the person of
the defending party or over the subject matter of the claim. Where the court has jurisdiction over the defendant
and over the subject matter of the case, its decision will not be voided on the ground of absence of jurisdiction. The
Republic does not deny that the trial court had jurisdiction over it as well as over the subject matter of the case.
What the Republic questions is the grave abuse of discretion allegedly committed by the court a quo in rendering
the decision.

We cannot agree with the Republic. First, the interpretation of the Republic contravenes the very rationale of the
restrictive application of annulment of judgment. By seeking to include acts committed with grave abuse of
discretion, it tends to enlarge the concept of lack of jurisdiction as a ground for the availment of the remedy. In a
petition for annulment of judgment based on lack of jurisdiction, the petitioner must show not merely an abuse of
jurisdictional discretion but an absolute lack of jurisdiction. Thus, the concept of lack of jurisdiction as a ground to
annul a judgment does not embrace abuse of discretion. Second, by claiming grave abuse of discretion on the part
of the trial court, the Republic actually concedes and presupposes the jurisdiction of the court to take cognizance of
the case. Hence, the Republic effectively admits that the two grounds for which lack of jurisdiction may be validly
invoked to seek the annulment of a judgment—want of jurisdiction over the parties and want of jurisdiction over
the subject matter—do not exist. It only assails the manner in which the trial court formulated its judgment in the
exercise of its jurisdiction.

We have held that where the court has jurisdiction and, having all the facts necessary for a judgment, it renders a
decision without holding any trial or hearing (where the parties are allowed to present their respective evidence in
support of their cause of action and defense), such judgment cannot be assailed as having been rendered without
or in excess of jurisdiction nor rendered with grave abuse of discretion.
In the matter of extrinsic fraud, the circumstances of this case do not establish its existence. Extrinsic fraud refers
to any fraudulent act of the prevailing party in the litigation which is committed outside of the trial of the case,
whereby the unsuccessful party is prevented from fully proving his case, by fraud or deception practiced on him by
his opponent. Fraud is regarded as extrinsic where it prevents a party from having a trial or from presenting his
entire case to the court, or where it operates upon matters pertaining not to the judgment itself but to the manner
in which it is procured. The overriding consideration when extrinsic fraud is alleged is that the fraudulent scheme of
the prevailing litigant prevented a party from having his day in court. The Republic has not proven, or even
alleged, that “G” Holdings practiced deceit or employed subterfuge on it, precluding it from fully and completely
presenting its case to the court. Since the prevailing party did not commit or participate in the commission of fraud
which prevented the other party from having his day in court, there was no reason for the appellate court to annul
the decision of the trial court.

NOTE (IN CASE SIR WILL ASK): Jurisdiction is distinct from the exercise thereof. We amply explained the
distinction between the two in Tolentino v. Leviste, thus: “Jurisdiction is not the same as the exercise of
jurisdiction. As distinguished from the exercise of jurisdiction, jurisdiction is the authority to decide a cause, and
not the decision rendered therein. Where there is jurisdiction over the person and the subject matter, the decision
on all other questions arising in the case is but an exercise of the jurisdiction. And the errors which the court may
commit in the exercise of jurisdiction are merely errors of judgment which are the proper subject of an appeal.”

15. Manila vs. Manzo - Torres


16. Springfield Development Corp vs. RTC of Misamis Oriental - Valencia, E
(16)
Springfield Development Corporation, Inc. and Heirs of Petra Capistrano Piit vs
Honorable Presiding Judge of the Regional Trial Court of Misamis Oriental
GR 142628 February 6, 2007
Digest by Valencia, Emmanuelle Nicole

Doctrine:
The rule is that where legislation provides for an appeal from decisions of certain administrative bodies to the CA, it means that such bodies
are co-equal with the RTC, in terms of rank and stature, and logically, beyond the control of the latter. Given that DARAB decisions are
appealable to the CA, the inevitable conclusion is that the DARAB is a co-equal body with the RTC and its decisions are beyond the RTC’s
control.

Facts:
Petra Capistrano Piit previously owned a lot in Cagayan de Oro City (Lot 2291). Springfield Development Corporation, Inc.
purchased two lots (Lots 2291-C and 2291-D) and subdivided these properties into a project called Mega Heights Subdivision.
The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) through the Municipal Agrarian Reform Officer, issued a Notice of Coverage, placing
the subject property under the coverage of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law. The heirs of Piit opposed, and the case was docketed
in the DARAB. The Provincial Adjudicator of DARAB rendered a decision declaring the nature of the property as residential, and not suitable
for agriculture. The Regional Director filed a notice of appeal, which was disallowed for being pro forma and frivolous. The decision became
final and executory, and Springfield proceeded to develop the property.
The Regional Director filed a petition for relief from judgment. The DARAB granted the petition and gave due course to the Notice
of Coverage. It directed the Municipal Agrarian Reform Office to proceed with documentation, acquisition and distribution of the property to
the true and lawful beneficiaries. It further ordered the heirs of Piit and Springfield to pay the farmer-beneficiaries PhP 12,340,800.00)
corresponding to the value of the property, since it was already developed into a subdivision.
Springfield and the heirs of Piit filed a petition with the RTC of Cagayan de Oro City to annul the DARAB decision and all its
subsequent proceedings, contending that the decision was rendered without affording them notice and hearing. The RTC dismissed the case
for lack of jurisdiction upon motion by the farmer-beneficiaries.
Springfield and the heirs of Piit filed a special civil action for certiorari, mandamus and prohibition with the Court of Appeals. They
also prayed for the issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction and/or temporary restraining order. They alleged that the RTC committed
grave abuse of discretion when it ruled that the annulment of judgment was actually certiorari in a different color; they claim that what they
sought was an annulment of the DARAB decision, which was void ab initial for having been rendered without due process of law.
The CA dismissed the petition for lack of merit, ruling that the RTC does not have the jurisdiction to annul the DARAB decision
because it is a co-equal body. The CA further ordered the elevation of the records before it, in view of the writ of prohibition against the
enforcement of the DARAB order. After receipt of the records, the CA denied the motion for reconsideration without resolving the prayer for
the writ of prohibition.

Issue:
Does the RTC have jurisdiction to annul the judgment of the DARAB?
Ruling / Ratio:
NO. The RTC does not have the jurisdiction to annul the judgment of the DARAB.
Petitioners argue that under BP 129, there is no provision that vests the CA with jurisdiction to annul DARAB judgments. They
argue that the RTC may take cognizance under Sec. 19 of BP 129, which vests the RTC with general jurisdiction, and an action for
annulment is covered under the same. The petition for annulment of the DARAB decision was filed with the RTC before the 1997 Rules of
Civil Procedure, and so the applicable law is BP 129.
BP 129 does not specifically provide for any power of the RTC to annul judgments of quasi-judicial bodies. While it is true that the
RTC had the authority to annul final judgments, such authority pertained only to final judgments rendered by inferior courts and quasi-judicial
bodies of equal ranking with such inferior courts.
The DARAB is a quasi-judicial body created by Executive Order, and RA 6657 delineated its adjudicatory powers and functions.
According to the DARAB Revised Rules of Procedure, any decision, order, award or ruling by the Board or its Adjudicators may be brought to
the Court of Appeals by certiorari.
The rule is that where legislation provides for an appeal from decisions of certain administrative bodies to the CA, it means that
such bodies are co-equal with the RTC, in terms of rank and stature, and logically, beyond the control of the latter. Given that DARAB
decisions are appealable to the CA, the inevitable conclusion is that the DARAB is a co-equal body with the RTC and its decisions are
beyond the RTC’s control.

17. Bulawan vs. Aquende - Valencia, Mary

MAXIMINA A. BULAWAN v. EMERSON B. AQUENDE


G.R. No. 182819 22 June 2011
By: Valencia, Mary Clydeen L.

DOCTRINE: In a petition for annulment of judgment, the judgment may be annulled on the grounds of extrinsic fraud
and lack of jurisdiction. Fraud is extrinsic where it prevents a party from having a trial or from presenting his entire
case to the court, or where it operates upon matters pertaining not to the judgment itself but to the manner in which it
is procured. On the other hand, lack of jurisdiction refers to either lack of jurisdiction over the person of the defending
party or over the subject matter of the claim, and in either case the judgment or final order and resolution are void.
Where the questioned judgment is annulled, either on the ground of extrinsic fraud or lack of jurisdiction, the same
shall be set aside and considered void. / Moreover, annulment of judgment is a remedy in law independent of the
case where the judgment sought to be annulled was rendered. Consequently, an action for annulment of judgment
may be availed of even if the judgment to be annulled had already been fully executed or implemented.

FACTS: On 1 March 1995, Bulawan filed a complaint for annulment of title, reconveyance and damages against
Lourdes Yap (Yap) and the Register of Deeds before the trial court docketed as Civil Case No. 9040. Bulawan
claimed that she is the owner of Lot No. 1634-B of Psd-153847 covered by Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT) No.
13733 having bought the property from its owners, brothers Santos and Francisco Yaptengco (Yaptengco brothers),
who claimed to have inherited the property from Yap Chin Cun. Bulawan alleged that Yap claimed ownership of the
same property and caused the issuance of TCT No. 40292 in Yap’s name. On 26 November 1996, the trial court
ruled in favor of Bulawan.

Yap appealed. On 20 July 2001, the Court of Appeals dismissed Yap’s appeal.

On 7 February 2002, the trial court’s 26 November 2006 Decision became final and executory per entry of judgment
dated 20 July 2001. On 19 July 2002, the trial court issued a writ of execution.

In a letter dated 24 July 2002, the Register of Deeds informed Aquende of the trial court’s writ of execution and
required Aquende to produce TCT No. 40067 so that a memorandum of the lien may be annotated on the title. On 25
July 2002, Aquende wrote a letter to the Register of Deeds questioning the trial court’s writ of execution against his
property. Aquende alleged that he was unaware of any litigation involving his property having received no summons
or notice thereof nor was he aware of any adverse claim as no notice of lis pendens was inscribed on the title.

Aquende filed a Notice of Appearance with Third Party Motion and prayed for the partial annulment of the trial court’s
26 November 1996 Decision, specifically the portion which ordered the cancellation of Psd-187165 as well as any
other certificate of title issued pursuant to Psd-187165. In its 19 February 2003 Order, the trial court denied
Aquende’s motion. Thereafter, Aquende filed a petition for annulment of judgment before the Court of Appeals on the
grounds of extrinsic fraud and lack of jurisdiction. The Court of Appeals ruled in favor of Aquende. On 8 January
2008, Bulawan filed a motion for reconsideration. In its 7 May 2008 Resolution, the Court of Appeals denied
Bulawan’s motion. Hence, this petition.

ISSUE: Whether the former Third Division of the Court of Appeals decided contrary to existing laws and jurisprudence
when it declared the Decision dated 26 November 1996 in Civil Case No. 9040 null and void considering that a
petition for annulment [of judgment] under Rule 47 of the Rules of Court is an equitable remedy which is available
only under extraordinary circumstances

HELD: NO.

In a petition for annulment of judgment, the judgment may be annulled on the grounds of extrinsic fraud and lack of
jurisdiction. Fraud is extrinsic where it prevents a party from having a trial or from presenting his entire case to the
court, or where it operates upon matters pertaining not to the judgment itself but to the manner in which it is procured.
The overriding consideration when extrinsic fraud is alleged is that the fraudulent scheme of the prevailing litigant
prevented a party from having his day in court. On the other hand, lack of jurisdiction refers to either lack of
jurisdiction over the person of the defending party or over the subject matter of the claim, and in either case the
judgment or final order and resolution are void. Where the questioned judgment is annulled, either on the ground of
extrinsic fraud or lack of jurisdiction, the same shall be set aside and considered void.

In his petition for annulment of judgment, Aquende alleged that there was extrinsic fraud because he was prevented
from protecting his title when Bulawan and the trial court failed to implead him as a party. Bulawan also maintained
that the trial court did not acquire jurisdiction over his person; therefore, its 26 November 1996 Decision is not binding
on him. In its 26 November 2007 Decision, the Court of Appeals found merit in Aquende’s petition and declared that
the trial court did not acquire jurisdiction over Aquende, who was adversely affected by its 26 November 1996
Decision. We find no error in the findings of the Court of Appeals. We agree with the Court of Appeals that Bulawan
obtained a favorable judgment from the trial court by the use of fraud. Bulawan prevented Aquende from presenting
his case before the trial court and from protecting his title over his property. We also agree with the Court of Appeals
that the 26 November 1996 Decision adversely affected Aquende as he was deprived of his property without due
process.

Moreover, annulment of judgment is a remedy in law independent of the case where the judgment sought to be
annulled was rendered. Consequently, an action for annulment of judgment may be availed of even if the judgment to
be annulled had already been fully executed or implemented. Therefore, the Court of Appeals did not err when it took
cognizance of Aquende’s petition for annulment of judgment and overturned the trial court’s 26 November 1996
Decision even if another division of the Court of Appeals had already affirmed it and it had already been executed.

The Court also noted that when the Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s 26 November 1996 Decision, it had not
been given the occasion to rule on the issue of Aquende being an indispensable party and, if in the affirmative,
whether the trial court properly acquired jurisdiction over his person. This question had not been raised before the
trial court and earlier proceedings before the Court of Appeals.

Ancheta v. Ancheta
G.R. No. 145370 March 4, 2004
By: Arid, Hannah Mhae

Doctrine: In a case where a petition for the annulment of a judgment or final order of the RTC filed under Rule 47
of the Rules of Court is grounded on lack of jurisdiction over the person of the defendant/respondent or over the
nature or subject of the action, the petitioner need not allege in the petition that the ordinary remedy of new trial
or reconsideration of the final order or judgment or appeal therefrom are no longer available through no fault of
her own. This is so because a judgment rendered or final order issued by the RTC without jurisdiction is null and
void and may be assailed any time either collaterally or in a direct action or by resisting such judgment or final
order in any action or proceeding whenever it is invoked, unless barred by laches.

Facts: We have here spouses Ancheta who have been married for 33 years with eight children. Upon the3rd year
of being married (1992), the husband left the conjugal home and abandoned his family for another woman. The
wife of course didn’t take it sitting down. When two years passed and it was absolute that there’s just no way her
husband is going return, she invoked the court to secure their financial situation.

On the 25th ofJune 1994, she filed for a petition with the Regional Trial Court of Makati, Branch 40, against her
husband forthe dissolution of their conjugal partnership and judicial separation of property with a plea for support
andsupport pendente lite. At that time, the petitioner was renting a house at No. 72 CRM Avenue cor. CRMCorazon,
BF Homes, Almanza, Las Piñas, Metro Manila.Two months after, a compromise agreement was executed by both
parties. Part of the conjugal propertiesadjudicated to the wife and the eight children were the following:
… A parcel of land (adjoining the two lots covered by TCT Nos. 120082 and TCT No. 120083-Cavite) located at
Bancal, Carmona, Cavite, registered in the name of the family Ancheta. BiofoodCorporation under TCT No. 310882,
together with the resort Munting Paraiso, Training Center, four-storey building, pavilion, swimming pool and all
improvements. All of the shares of stocks of AnchetaBiofoods Corporation were distributed one-third (1/3) to the
petitioner and the eight children one-twelfth (1/12) each.The wife together with the eight kids moved and began
residence, with the knowledge of the husband, at theMunting Paraiso Bancal, Carmona, Cavite property after the
husband left June of 1994.Come 1995, the husband decided that he wants to marry again. He filed a petition with
the Regional TrialCourt of Naic, Cavite, Branch 15, for the declaration of nullity of his marriage with the petitioner
on the groundof psychological incapacity.Even if the husband was aware that his wife and kids were then already
residing at the resort Munting Paraisoin Bancal, Carmona, Cavite, he, nevertheless, alleged in his petition that the
petitioner was residing at No. 72CRM Avenue corner CRM Corazon, BF Homes, Almanza, Las Piñas, Metro Manila,
"where she may be servedwith summons."

The clerk of court issued summons to the petitioner at the address stated in the petition.The sheriff served the
summons and a copy of the petition by substituted service on June 6, 1995 on the petitioner’s son, Venancio
Mariano B. Ancheta III, at his residence in Bancal, Carmona, Cavite. On June 21, 1995, Sheriff Jose R. Salvadora,
Jr. submitted a Return of Service to the court stating that thesummons and a copy of the petition were served on
the petitioner through her son.The wife failed to file an answer to the petition. An "Ex-Parte Motion to Declare
Defendant as in Default" wasfiled by the husband. During the hearing on the motion, the wife did not get to show
up. The public prosecutorappeared for the State and offered no objection to the motion of the respondent who
appeared with counsel.The wife was then declared in default, and the husband was allowed adduce evidence ex-
parte. The husbandtestified in his behalf and adduced documentary evidence. On July 7, 1995, the trial court
issued an Order granting the petition and declaring the marriage of the parties void ab initio.

Valentine’s day of 1998 the husband re-married. On July 7, 2000, the wife filed a verified petition against the
respondent with the Court of Appeals under Rule47 of the Rules of Court, as amended, for the annulment of the
order of the RTC.The wife, inter alia, that the husband committed gross misrepresentations by making it appear in
his petitionthat she was a resident of No. 72 CRM Avenue cor. CRM Corazon, BF Homes, Almanza, Las Piñas,
MetroManila, when in truth and in fact, the respondent knew very well that she was residing at Munting Paraiso,
Bancal, Carmona, Cavite. She also alleged that the respondent caused the service of the petition andsummons on
her by substituted service through her married son, Venancio Mariano B. Ancheta III, a resident ofBancal,
Carmona, Cavite, where the husband was a resident. Furthermore, her son failed to deliver to her thecopy of the
petition and summons. Thus, according to the wife, the order of the trial court in favor of therespondent was null
and void (1) for lack of jurisdiction over her person; and (2) due to the extrinsic fraudperpetrated by the
respondent.The Court of Appeals dismissed her petition.

Issue: W/N final judgment can be annulled.

Held: YES.
An original action in the Court of Appeals under Rule 47 of the Rules of Court, as amended, to annul a judgment or
final order or resolution in civil actions of the RTC may be based on two grounds: (a) extrinsic fraud; or (b) lack of
jurisdiction. If based on extrinsic fraud, the remedy is subject to a condition precedent, namely, the ordinary
remedies of new trial, appeal, petition for relief or other appropriate remedies are no longer available through no
fault of the petitioner.18 The petitioner must allege in the petition that the ordinary remedies of new trial, appeal,
petition for relief from judgment, under Rule 38 of the Rules of Court are no longer available through no fault of
hers; otherwise, the petition will be dismissed. If the petitioner fails to avail of the remedies of new trial, appeal or
relief from judgment through her own fault or negligence before filing her petition with the Court of Appeals, she
cannot resort to the remedy under Rule 47 of the Rules; otherwise, she would benefit from her inaction or
negligence.19
It is not enough to allege in the petition that the said remedies were no longer available through no fault of her
own. The petitioner must also explain and justify her failure to avail of such remedies. The safeguard was
incorporated in the rule precisely to avoid abuse of the remedy. Access to the courts is guaranteed. But there must
be limits thereto. Once a litigant’s rights have been adjudicated in a valid final judgment of a competent court, he
should not be granted an unbridled license to sue anew. The prevailing party should not be vexed by subsequent
suits.21
In this case, the petitioner failed to allege in her petition in the CA that the ordinary remedies of new trial, appeal,
and petition for relief, were no longer available through no fault of her own. She merely alleged therein that she
received the assailed order of the trial court on January 11, 2000. The petitioner’s amended petition did not cure
the fatal defect in her original petition, because although she admitted therein that she did not avail of the
remedies of new trial, appeal or petition for relief from judgment, she did not explain why she failed to do so.
We, however, rule that the Court of Appeals erred in dismissing the original petition and denying admission of the
amended petition. This is so because apparently, the Court of Appeals failed to take note from the material
allegations of the petition, that the petition was based not only on extrinsic fraud but also on lack of jurisdiction
over the person of the petitioner, on her claim that the summons and the copy of the complaint in Sp. Proc. No.
NC-662 were not served on her. While the original petition and amended petition did not state a cause of action for
the nullification of the assailed order on the ground of extrinsic fraud, we rule, however, that it states a sufficient
cause of action for the nullification of the assailed order on the ground of lack of jurisdiction of the RTC over the
person of the petitioner, notwithstanding the absence of any allegation therein that the ordinary remedy of new
trial or reconsideration, or appeal are no longer available through no fault of the petitioner.
In a case where a petition for the annulment of a judgment or final order of the RTC filed under Rule 47
of the Rules of Court is grounded on lack of jurisdiction over the person of the defendant/respondent
or over the nature or subject of the action, the petitioner need not allege in the petition that the
ordinary remedy of new trial or reconsideration of the final order or judgment or appeal therefrom are
no longer available through no fault of her own. This is so because a judgment rendered or final order
issued by the RTC without jurisdiction is null and void and may be assailed any time either collaterally
or in a direct action or by resisting such judgment or final order in any action or proceeding whenever
it is invoked, unless barred by laches.

In this case, the original petition and the amended petition in the Court of Appeals, in light of the
material averments therein, were based not only on extrinsic fraud, but also on lack of jurisdiction of
the trial court over the person of the petitioner because of the failure of the sheriff to serve on her the
summons and a copy of the complaint. She claimed that the summons and complaint were served on
her son, Venancio Mariano B. Ancheta III, who, however, failed to give her the said summons and
complaint.

Even a cursory reading of the material averments of the original petition and its annexes will show that
it is, prima facie meritorious; hence, it should have been given due course by the Court of Appeals.

In Paramount Insurance Corporation v. Japzon, we held that jurisdiction is acquired by a trial court
over the person of the defendant either by his voluntary appearance in court and his submission to its
authority or by service of summons. The service of summons and the complaint on the defendant is to
inform him that a case has been filed against him and, thus, enable him to defend himself. He is, thus,
put on guard as to the demands of the plaintiff or the petitioner. Without such service in the absence of
a valid waiver renders the judgment of the court null and void.Jurisdiction cannot be acquired by the
court on the person of the defendant even if he knows of the case against him unless he is validly
served with summons.
18. Yu vs. Yu - Alba

Yu vs. Yu
G.R. No. 200072 June 20, 2016
By: Alba, Ma. Angela

Doctrine: Extrinsic fraud exists when there is a fraudulent act committed by the prevailing party outside of the
trial of the case, whereby the defeated party was prevented from presenting fully his side of the case by fraud or
deception practiced on him by the prevailing party.

The overriding consideration is that the fraudulent scheme of the prevailing litigant prevented a party from having
his day in court.

Facts: Petitioner Philip Yu and respondent Viveca Lim Yu were married on November 18, 1984. In 1993, Viveca left
the conjugal home with their four children and filed a Petition for Legal Separation against Philip before the RTC of
Pasig City. Philip denied the accusations. He narrated that his marriage to Viveca was arranged according to the
Chinese tradition and that it was much later when he discovered Viveca’s excessively jealous, cynical, and insecure
behaviour. Philip prayed in his Counterclaim for the declaration of nullity of their marriage due to Viveca’s
psychological incapacity, rendering her incapable of complying with her marital obligations. However, Philip
subsequently filed a Motion to Withdraw Counterclaim for Declaration of Nullity of Marriage revealing that he no
longer had the desire to have his marriage declared void. Despite Viveca’s fervent opposition, the Pasig RTC
granted the motion.

On July 1, 2009, the RTC of Pasig City rendered a Decision dismissing the Petition for Legal Separation stating that
the case has become moot due to the declaration of nullity of the marriage of the parties, on the ground of the
psychological incapacity of petitioner, Viveca Yu, pursuant to the Decision of the RTC of Balayan, Batangas.

Claiming to be completely unaware of the proceedings before the RTC of Balayan, Batangas, nullifying her marriage
with Philip on the ground of her psychological incapacity, Viveca filed a Petition for Annulment of Judgment before
the CA seeking to annul the Decision of said court. According to Viveca, jurisdiction over her person did not
properly vest since she was not duly served with Summons. She alleged that she was deprived of her right to due
process when Philip fraudulently declared that her address upon which she may be duly summoned was still at
their conjugal home, when he clearly knew that she had long left said address for the United States of America.
Viveca likewise maintained that had Philip complied with the legal requirements for an effective service of
summons by publication, she would have been able to rightly participate in the proceedings before the Batangas
court.

The CA granted Viveca’s petition, ruling thus:

The Petition for Declaration of Nullity of Marriage affecting the personal status of private
respondent is in the nature of an action in rem. x x x x

With this premise in mind, it is beyond cavil that the court a quo was justified in resorting to
Summons by publication. Petitioner is a nonresident defendant who left the Philippines with her
children way back in 1997 and has now been living in the United States of America. The court a
quo validly acquired jurisdiction to hear and decide the case given that as adumbrated, in a
proceeding in rem, jurisdiction over the person of the defendant is not a prerequisite to confer
jurisdiction on the court, provided that the court acquires jurisdiction over the res.

Still and all, there is more to this case than meets the eye. Private respondent knew that
petitioner left the conjugal home on account of their marital difficulties. x x x x

This knowledge notwithstanding, private respondent declared before the court a quo that the
“last known address” of petitioner was still her conjugal abode at Meralco Avenue, Ortigas, Pasig
City. While private respondent knew that it was well-nigh impossible for petitioner to receive
Summons and other court notices at their former conjugal home, still, he supplied the aforesaid
address.
We cannot turn a blind eye to the fact that private respondent moved for the dismissal of his
counterclaim for nullity of marriage in the Legal Separation case in 2007 as he had by then had
the sinister motive of filing the Petition for Declaration of Nullity of Marriage before the court a
quo. Private respondent knew that if he breathed a word on the filing and pendency of the latter
Petition, petitioner would vigorously resist it as revealed by her tenacious opposition in the
proceedings before the RTC-Pasig.

The deceitful scheme employed by private respondent deprived petitioner of her constitutional
right to due process which ensued in her failure to participate in the proceedings before the court
a quo. To Our mind, this compelling justification warrants the annulment of judgment.

The CA denied Philip’s motion for reconsideration. Hence, this petition.

Issue: Whether the CA was correct in setting aside the decision of the Batangas RTC despite its own finding that
said court validly acquired jurisdiction when Summons was duly served on Viveca by publication.

Held: Yes, the CA was correct is setting aside the decision of the Batangas RTC.

Annulment of judgment is a recourse equitable in character, allowed only in exceptional cases as where there is no
available or other adequate remedy. Section 2, Rule 47 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure provides that
judgments may be annulled only on grounds of extrinsic fraud and lack of jurisdiction or denial of due process. The
objective of the remedy is to undo or set aside the judgment or final order, and thereby grant to the petitioner an
opportunity to prosecute his cause or to ventilate his defense. If the ground relied upon is lack of jurisdiction, the
entire proceedings are set aside without prejudice to the original action being refiled in the proper court. If the
judgment or final order or resolution is set aside on the ground of extrinsic fraud, the CA may on motion order the
trial court to try the case as if a timely motion for new trial had been granted therein.

Extrinsic fraud exists when there is a fraudulent act committed by the prevailing party outside of the trial of the
case, whereby the defeated party was prevented from presenting fully his side of the case by fraud or deception
practiced on him by the prevailing party. Fraud is extrinsic where the unsuccessful party had been prevented from
exhibiting fully his case, by means of fraud or deception, as by keeping him away from court, or by a false promise
of a compromise; or where the defendant never had knowledge of the suit, being kept in ignorance by the acts of
the plaintiff; or where an attorney fraudulently or without authority assumes to represent a party and connives at
his defeat; these and similar cases which show that there has never been a real contest in the trial or hearing of
the case are reasons for which a new suit may be sustained to set aside and annul the former judgment and open
the case for a new and fair hearing. Ultimately, the overriding consideration is that the fraudulent scheme of the
prevailing litigant prevented a party from having his day in court.

In the present case, We find that Viveca was completely prevented from participating in the Declaration of Nullity
case because of the fraudulent scheme employed by Philip insofar as the service of summons is concerned. It is
undisputed that when Philip filed the Petition for Declaration of Nullity of Marriage, an action which affects his
personal status, Viveca was already residing in the United States. Thus, extraterritorial service of summons under
Sec. 15, Rule 14 of the Rules of Court is the proper mode by which summons may be served on Viveca, a
nonresident defendant who is not found in the Philippines. In compliance therewith, Philip claims that Viveca was
duly served summons because: (1) copies of the summons, complaint, and order of the Batangas court were
published in Tempo, a newspaper of general circulation; and (2) the sheriff served copies of the summons,
complaint, and order of the Batangas court on Viveca at their conjugal home in Pasig City, her last known address.
Thus, he contends that the second mode of extraterritorial service of summons mentioned above — by publication
and sending a copy of the summons and order of the court by registered mail to the defendant’s last known
address — was sufficiently complied with.

The Court finds, however, that such service of summons on their conjugal home address cannot be deemed
compliant with the requirements of the rules and is even tantamount to deception warranting the annulment
of the Batangas court’s judgment. Philip knew that Viveca had already left their conjugal home and moved to a
different local address for purposes of the pendency of the Legal Separation case. Thus, Philip cannot be allowed to
feign ignorance to the fact that Viveca had already intentionally abandoned their conjugal abode. Note that from
the very beginning of the Legal Separation case in 1994, all the way up until the promulgation by the Pasig RTC of
its decision thereon in 2009, there is no showing that Viveca had ever received any document in relation to said
case, nor is there any proof that Philip had ever sent any pertinent file to Viveca, at the conjugal address. There is,
therefore, no reason for Philip to assume, in good faith, that said address is in truth and in fact Viveca’s “last
known address” at which she may receive summons. His contention that the rules require the defendant’s “last
known address” to be of a permanent, and not of a temporary nature, has no basis in law or jurisprudence.

In addition, the Court is curious as to why Philip filed the instant Petition before the RTC of Batangas City on
February 15, 2008 when less than a year before filing the same, he had motioned the RTC of Pasig City to
withdraw his counterclaim for the same declaration of nullity of marriage. In his petition before the Court, Philip
explained that he withdrew his counterclaim in the Legal Separation case in his “desire to explore the possibility of
having a so-called ‘universal settlement’ of all the pending cases with respondent and her relatives for the sake of
his love for his 4 children.” Yet, in an apparent, direct contravention of this so-called “desire,” he filed an identical
action which sought the same nullity of his marriage with Viveca. Thus, while there may be no outright admission
on Philip’s part as to a sinister motive, his inconsistent actions effectively negate his claims of good faith.

It is interesting to note, moreover, that Philip does not even reside in Batangas, the city of the court wherein he
filed his Petition for Declaration of Nullity of Marriage. It is, therefore, evident that not only did Philip contradict his
previous Motion to Withdraw his Counterclaim for the Declaration of Nullity of marriage, he even violated a basic
mandate of law so as to be able to file the same action before a different court in a city he was not even a resident
of.

Thus, while individually and in isolation, the aforementioned doubtful circumstances may not instantly amount to
extrinsic fraud, these circumstances, when viewed in conjunction with each other, paint a deceitful picture which
resulted in a violation of Viveca’s constitutional right to due process. True, the service of summons in this case is
not for the purpose of vesting the court with jurisdiction, but for the purpose of complying with the requirements of
fair play or due process. But because of Philip’s employment of deceptive means in the service of summons on
Viveca, said purpose of satisfying the due process requirements was never accomplished. As a result, Viveca never
had knowledge of the filing of the Declaration of Nullity of Marriage suit, only finding out about the same when the
Pasig City RTC had promulgated its decision on the Legal Separation case. It is clear, therefore, that because
of the service of summons at the erroneous address, Viveca was effectively prevented from
participating in the proceedings thereon.

When defendants are deprived of such opportunity to duly participate in, and even be informed of, the proceedings,
due to a deceitful scheme employed by the prevailing litigant, as in this case, there exists a violation of their due
process rights. Any judgment issued in violation thereof necessarily suffers a fatal infirmity for courts, as guardians
of constitutional rights cannot be expected to deny persons their due process rights while at the same time be
considered as acting within their jurisdiction.

19. Ancheta vs. Ancheta - Arid


20. Ramos vs, Hon. Combong - Bernardo
Ramos vs. Combong, Jr.
G.R. No. 144273. October 20, 2005
By: Gerard

Doctrine: While Rule 47 does not explicitly require that a statement of material dates should accompany the
petition, nevertheless, there must be a manifest showing in the petition that it was filed within the four-year period
If based on extrinsic fraud.

Facts:
In Civil Case No. 11085 the court declared petitioners Rodolfo Ramos, Emma R. Millado and Norma R. Erie as
owners pro indiviso of one-half portion of the western side of Lot 196, while private respondents Teresita Medina,
Teodoro Medina and Jesus Medina were declared owners of the other half on the eastern portion. The foregoing
decision was affirmed by the then Intermediate Appellate Court in AC-G.R. CV No. 62059, which decision became
final and executory per Entry of Judgment dated May 23, 1986.
On the other hand, in Civil Case No. 402, the trial court ordered the enforcement and revival of the decision in
AC-G.R. CV No. 62059, and declared petitioners’ titles over the property null and void. The trial court also ordered
the reconveyance of the one-half portion of the property to private respondents and the issuance of a new title in
their names.

On December 23, 1999, petitioners filed a petition for annulment of judgments based on extrinsic fraud in
Civil Case Nos. 11085 and 402 before the CA.

CA dismissed because the petitioners failed to state material dates.

Petitioners argue that the petition filed before the CA need not contain a statement of material dates to show that
it was filed on time since it presupposes that the judgment sought to be annulled is null and void ab initio, hence, it
can be attacked anytime.

Petitioners further argue that they have a valid ground for the annulment of the decision in Civil Case No. 11085
and the final order in Civil Case No. 402. According to petitioners, private respondents failed to disclose in these
cases that petitioners’ predecessors, Luis Galvez and Matea Ramos, never transferred the one-half portion of Lot
196 to private respondents’ predecessors, as evidenced by Cadastral Decree No. 32855 and reconstituted Transfer
Certificate of Title No. T-4809, which are still in the names of Luis Galvez and Matea Ramos. They also contend that
the General Powers of Administration and Deed of Sale dated June 18, 1947 relied upon by the trial court in Civil
Case No. 11085 was executed in Spanish and it was only recently that petitioners were able to comprehend its
contents.

Issue:
A. Whether or not there is a need to state material dates in a petition for annulment of judgment.
B. Whether or not the fraud raised by the petitioner is extrinsic fraud.

Held:
A. YES. Section 3 of Rule 47 lays down the period within which to bring an action for annulment of judgment based
on extrinsic fraud, to wit: SEC. 3. Period for filing action.— If based on extrinsic fraud, the action must be
filed within four (4) years from its discovery; and if based on lack of jurisdiction, before it is barred by laches
or estoppel. (Emphasis supplied) Based on the foregoing provision, petitioners should have filed an annulment
of judgment based on extrinsic fraud within four years from discovery of the alleged fraudulent acts
committed by private respondents.

A perusal of the petition filed before the CA shows that there is no indication of the dates or time from whence
petitioners discovered private respondents’ alleged fraudulent acts. While Rule 47 does not explicitly require
that a statement of material dates should accompany the petition, nevertheless, there must be a
manifest showing in the petition that it was filed within the four-year period. Consequently, the CA was
right in dismissing the petition, as it had no basis for determining the timeliness of the filing of the petition.

B. NO. Extrinsic fraud exists when there is a fraudulent act committed by the prevailing party outside of the trial of
the case, whereby the defeated party was prevented from presenting fully his side of the case by fraud or
deception practiced on him by the prevailing party. Fraud is regarded as extrinsic where it prevents a party from
having a trial or from presenting his entire case to the court, or where it operates upon matters pertaining not to
the judgment itself but to the manner in which it is procured. The overriding consideration when extrinsic fraud is
alleged is that the fraudulent scheme of the prevailing litigant prevented a party from having his day in court.

By no means were petitioners deprived by respondents of their day in court. Their arguments for the
annulment of judgment are evidentiary matters, which should have been earlier brought out before the
trial court.

With regard to Civil Case No. 402, the only matter that had to be determined in that case was whether the decision
in AC-G.R. CV No. 62059 has already become final and executory. The trial court cannot go beyond such issue or
delve into the rightful ownership of the subject property even if petitioners brought it to the trial court’s attention.
Thus, petitioners cannot argue that they were prevented from fully presenting their side due to respondents’
alleged fraudulent acts.