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UNIVERSAL MOTORS CORP VS CA, G.R. NO. L-47432 JAN.

27, 1992 From said decision, private respondents interposed an appeal before the CA,
which reversed the decision of the trial court. Petitioner filed a motion for
Doctrine: reconsideration but was denied.
As a rule, findings of fact of the CA are final and conclusive and cannot be
reviewed on appeal, provided, they are borne out by the record or are based Issue:
on substantial evidence. However, this rule admits of certain exceptions, as Whether the CA erred in exonerating private respondents from any liability to
when the findings of facts are conclusions without citation of specific evidence petitioner.
on which they are based; or the appellate court's findings are contrary to those
of the trial court. Here, the apparent conflict between the findings of the Ruling: NO.
appellate court and that of the trial court is due to the fact that evidence was
presented ex parte in the lower court while the evidence of the private Petitioner submits that the findings of the CA were erroneous for the following
respondents was presented only on appeal. Hence, the trial court decided the reasons: 1) that in the answer filed by private respondents, they expressly
case on the basis solely of the evidence of the petitioner while the respondent admitted that they were indebted to petitioner; 2) that private respondents
court reached a decision with the advantage of weighing and analyzing both declared that there was no necessity for plaintiff to retain services of counsel
the evidence of the petitioner and the private respondents. Thus, bearing in as defendants never ran away from a valid obligation; 3) that the principle of
mind these facts and in the absence of any showing that the findings estoppel is applicable to private respondents, therefore, their admission is
complained of are totally devoid of support in the records, such findings must binding upon them and they may no longer deny the same, much less claim
stand and be admitted as final and conclusive. overpayment. In sum, the petitioner stresses that where there is ambiguity in
a questioned decision of the Court of Appeals, the doubt should be resolved
Facts: to sustain the trial court.
On December 15, 1962, private respondents Rafael Verendia, Teodoro Galicia
and Marcelina Galicia purchased from petitioner Universal Motors Corporation Private respondents insist that all the arguments of petitioner actually require
two (2) Mercedez Benz trucks at a cash price of P33,608.27 each payable the court to examine and contrast the oral and documentary evidence
within ninety (90) days. submitted by the parties. Private respondents emphasize that the task of
examining documentary proofs or exhibits is a task for the Court of Appeals
The private respondents made several payments which were applied to the and not this Court. Private respondents stress that this case does not fall within
principal, interest and to the expenses incurred in executing and registering a the exceptions where the Supreme Court can review on appeal the final and
deed of chattel mortgage in favor of petitioner. For failure of the private conclusive findings of fact of the Court of Appeals.
respondents to pay the cash price, their account was re-scheduled to allow
them a period of thirty (30) months within which to complete the payments. We find the petition devoid of merit.
Private respondents executed a promissory note in favor of the petitioner
covering the re- scheduled account. But despite repeated demands, the We already stressed that in the case of Bustamante v. Hon. Court of Appeals
private respondents failed to comply with their foregoing undertaking, so that that "(a)s a rule, findings of fact of the Court of Appeals are final and conclusive
the petitioner commenced a complaint for the recovery of the unpaid balance and cannot be reviewed on appeal, provided, they are borne out by the record
among others with the CFI. or are based on substantial evidence. However, this rule admits of certain
exceptions, as when the findings of facts are conclusions without citation of
Private respondents admitted the principal allegations except that they insisted specific evidence on which they are based; or the appellate court's findings are
that their outstanding account was only the amount of P28,911.10 as of contrary to those of the trial court. Furthermore, only question of law may be
October 31, 1965, not P40,945.31. The petitioner then filed a motion for raised on a petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Revised Rules
summary judgment, but the same was denied by the lower court. When the of Court. The jurisdiction of the Supreme Court in cases brought to it from the
case was called for hearing, neither the private respondents nor their counsel Court of Appeals is limited to reviewing and revising the errors of law imputed
appeared despite due notice, hence upon motion of the petitioner's counsel, to it, its findings of fact being conclusive. It is not the function of the Supreme
petitioner was allowed to present evidence ex-parte. On its ruling, the lower Court to analyze or weigh such evidence all over again, its jurisdiction being
court rendered judgment in favor of petitioner. After re-hearing, the same was limited to reviewing errors of law that might have been committed. Barring,
ruled in favor of the petitioner. therefore, a showing that the findings complained of are totally devoid of
support in the records, or that they are so glaringly erroneous as to constitute
serious abuse of discretion, such findings must stand for the Supreme Court
is not expected or required to examine or contrast the oral and documentary
evidence submitted by the parties.

The respondent court opined that the record consisting of both the oral and
documentary evidence presented in the case outweighed the findings of fact
of the trial court. The apparent conflict between the findings of the appellate
court and that of the trial court is due to the fact that evidence was presented
ex parte in the lower court while the evidence of the private respondents was
presented only on appeal. Hence, the trial court decided the case on the basis
solely of the evidence of the petitioner while the respondent court reached a
decision with the advantage of weighing and analyzing both the evidence of
the petitioner and the private respondents.

Bearing in mind these facts and in the absence of any showing that the findings
complained of are totally devoid of support in the records, such findings must
stand and be admitted as final and conclusive. Thus, respondent court
committed no error in reversing the decision of the trial court and in dismissing
the complaint in favor of the private respondents.
ESTELLA VS CA, G.R. NO. 76884; MAY 8, 1990; 185 SCRA 732
RTC rendered judgment against the petitioner. Petitioners received a copy of
Doctrine: the decision and filed a notice of appeal. The trial court ordered the records of
The record on appeal as a requisite for the perfection of an appeal has been the case forwarded to th Intermediate Appellate Court. But up to the time when
eliminated under Section 39 of BP Blg. 129 (Judiciary Reorganization Act of private respondent Perez filed his motion to dismiss the appeal of petitioners
1980) and Sections 18, 19 and 20 of the Interim Rules and Guidelines. Since on June 3, 1986 or after a period of one (1) year, one (1) month and twenty-
the appellate court based its outright dismissal of petitioners’ appeal on the two (22) days from April 11, 1985, no records were received by the appellate
non-transmittal of the record on appeal pursuant to Section 3, Rule 46 of the court.
Revised Rules of Court, then clearly, said dismissal was erroneous.
In the assailed Resolution, the CA granted respondent’s motion to dismiss
Facts: appeal for failure of the appellants (petitioner) to prosecute.
Rosario N. Concepcion was the original owner of the disputed residential land
with a three-door apartment thereon. Concepcion sold the property to herein Issue: Whether the CA erred in dismissing the appeal of petitioner on the
petitioners who registered the sale with the Register of Deeds of Manila. ground of non-transmittal of the record on appeal.
However, petitioners failed to secure a new tax declaration or assessment in
their name, for which reason said property remained for taxation purposes in Ruling: YES.
the name of vendor Concepcion.
The record on appeal as a requisite for the perfection of an appeal has been
Seven years after, the City Treasurer of Manila, Jesus Calleja, sent to the eliminated under BP Blg. 129 and Section 18-20 of the Interim Rules and
declared owner on record, meaning Concepcion, a first notice of tax Guidelines which were already in force when CA handed down its dismissal
delinquency covering the second and fourth quarters of 1970, 1972, 1973, resolution. The provision provides that: “Sec 39: No record on appeal shall be
1974, 1975 and 1976. Since no payment was made after the first notice, a final required to take an appeal. In lieu thereof, the entire record shall be
notice which included her 1977 tax delinquency was sent giving her another transmitted; Sec. 18: Elimination of record on appeal and appeal bond.—The
ten (10) days to settle her account. Despite the final notice sent, no payment filing of a record on appeal shall be dispensed with…; Sec 20: Procedure for
was made. Consequently, as a warning, the City Treasurer sent Concepcion taking appeal.—An appeal x x x from the regional trial courts to the
a notice of publication stating therein that the notice would be published in the Intermediate Appellate Court in actions or proceedings originally filed in the
Times Journal and Balita after which if said property still remained delinquent former shall be taken by filing a notice of appeal with the court that rendered
of taxes, it would be sold at public auction. the judgment or order appealed from.”

In the public auction held, the Sta. Cruz property was awarded to herein private Since the appellate court based its outright dismissal of petitioners’ appeal on
respondent Ricardo Perez as the highest bidder. After the auction sale, the non-transmittal of the record on appeal pursuant to Section 3, Rule 46 of
another notice was sent to delinquent taxpayer Concepcion informing her of the Revised Rules of Court, then clearly, said dismissal was erroneous.
her right to redeem the property pursuant to Real Property Tax Code. The one-
year period having lapsed without any redemption, Perez registered the This Court is puzzled as to how the appellate court could have overlooked
certificate of sale with the Register of Deeds of Manila and had it annotated at such a major innovation introduced in the 1980 Reorganization Act and in the
the back of TCT. Interim Rules which did away with the requirement of a record on appeal, the
notice of appeal being sufficient for the purpose. Be that as it may, the appeal
In a letter, the RD of Manila advised petitioner to surrender their TCT for the by petitioners should have been disallowed for a different reason: petitioners’
purpose of annotating the certificate of sale in favor of Perez. Petitioner- gross inaction for a period which exceeded one year.
spouses replied that the tax sale was without legal basis and that they were
never delinquent in the payment of the realty taxes. Petitioners sued private Conceding to the point that it is the clerk of court who is primarily responsible
respondents, City Treasurer Calleja, the members of the Auction Bidding for seeing to it that the records of appealed cases are properly sent to the
Committee and the Register of Deeds of Manila for quieting of title, annulment appellate court without delay (and having failed to do so subjects him to
of public auction sale, certificate of bill of sale, transfer certificate of title, administrative liability), it behooves the litigants to be more vigilant of their
damages, with prayer for the issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction and/or rights. They should take it upon themselves to call the attention of the trial court
restraining order. as to any delay in action over their cases. The rule that it is the duty of the
appellant to prosecute his appeal with reasonable diligence is still a sound rule.
He cannot simply “fold his hands” and say that it is the duty of the clerk of court
to have his case promptly submitted to the appellate court for the disposition
of his appeal.