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33. Kukan International Corp v Reyes; J.

Velasco; Effect of Estoppel on Objections to Jurisdiction

Summary: Kukan failed to pay Morales, and the RTC held them liable in a decision that became final. When the sheriff
levied on Kukans property, another corporation, KIC, objected. Morales moved to pierce the corporate veil to show that
Kukan and KIC are one and the same, but the SC held that the RTC lacked jurisdiction to grant the motion, ruling that
KICs objections were not tantamount to a submission to the jurisdiction of the court, as KIC never abandoned its
challenge against the courts jurisdiction and was basically hauled to court because their property was being levied.

Doctrine: Special appearances in court do not constitute a submission to its jurisdiction when the appearances is made
precisely to challenge such jurisdiction, even if other grounds and affirmative defences were also raised. Also, a motion
to pierce the veil of corporate fiction is only applied to determine established liability, and does not allow courts to
acquire jurisdiction over corporations.

- Kukan Inc. bid out the supply & installation of signage in a building in Makati. Romeo Morales won the P3.38m
contract. Despite his work, Morales was only paid P1.4m, thus he filed a case to collect a sum of money.

- Although initially counterclaiming, Kukan Inc. stopped appearing in court starting Nov 2000, so the RTC declared
them in default and allowed Morales to submit his evidence ex parte. Ultimately, the RTC found for Morales,
ordering Kukan Inc. to pay P1.2m with interest, plus damages and costs. This judgment became final and
executory, and a writ of execution was issued against Kukan Inc.

- When the sheriff executed the writ against Kukan Inc.s supposed property, Kukan International Corporation
filed a 3rd Party Claim, alleging it was a different corporation from Kukan Inc. and that it owned the property
being levied upon. Notably, KIC was incorporated mid-2000s, the time Kukan Inc. stopped participating in court.

- In response, Morales filed motions to Pierce the Veil of Corporate Fiction and Examination of Judgement
Debtors, and was opposed by KIC. When this was denied, he instead sought the inhibition of presiding Judge
Peralta, which was granted.

- The case was re-raffled to Judge Amor Reyes, who granted the motions and declared both companies to be one
and the same, making the sheriffs levy valid.

- KIC filed an MFR, which was denied, and appealed to the CA, who affirmed the RTC. Thus KIC this petition.

Issues:

1. Can a final and executory judgment rendered against one party be executed against another? NO.

a. While courts have supervisory control over the execution of its judgment, such does not extend as to
authorize the alteration of a final decision, lest the court violate the principle of finality of judgment
and immutability, save for a few recognized exceptions (clerical errors, void judgments, nunc pro tunc
rulings or when circumstances transpire after finality which render the execution unjust/inequitable.)

b. The initial ruling of the RTC, which lapsed into finality, was unequivocally directed against Kukan Inc.

2. Did the RTC acquire jurisdiction over KIC, despite KIC not being impleaded nor made a party in the case? NO.

a. The CA erred in considered KICs filing of a 3 rd Party Claim, opposition to Morales motions, and MFR to
be KIC voluntarily submitting itself to the courts jurisdiction pursuant to Rule 14 S20.

a.i. Jurisprudence supporting this [De Midgely v Ferandos; Republic v Ker Co.] have long been
modified/superseded by [La Naval Drug Corp v CA]: A special appearance before the court
challenging its jurisdiction over the person through a motion to dismiss even if the movant
invokes other grounds is not tantamount to estoppel or a waiver by the movant of his
objection to jurisdiction over his person; and such is not constitutive of a voluntary
submission to the jurisdiction of the court.
b. As held in [Orion Security v Kalfam Enterprises], in civil cases, jurisdiction is acquired either through (1)
the service of summons or (2) voluntary appearance in court and submission to its authority.

c. In this case, KIC was not made a party to the original civil case against Kukan Inc., and although it raised
affirmative defences, KIC never abandoned its challenge against the courts jurisdiction over it.

c.i. It even labelled its opposition to Morales motion as a special but not voluntary appearance.

3. Was the veil of corporate fiction correctly pierced? NO.

a. Piercing the veil is only applied to determine established liability, it does not confer jurisdiction to a
court which has not acquired it. In other words, a corporation not impleaded in a case cannot be subject
to a court process of piercing the veil.

b. If KIC was created to defraud Morales, the proper recourse is not piercing the veil, as he has another
cause of action being defrauded to file another complaint, this time against KIC.

c. Regardless, to pierce the veil, it must be proved that (1) a corporation is first dissolved, (2) the assets are
transferred to another corporation to avoid financial liability, and (3) both corporations are owned by
the same persons and the 2nd should be considered a continuation of the first.

d. In applying the concept, the CA and RTC failed to establish the presence of the latter 2 requisites.

d.i. The RTC ruled this way because Michael Chan owned 40% of Kukan and KIC. Its not enough that
stockholders in Kukan Inc. were also stockholders in KIC it must be shown that the stockholder
had control or complete dominion over Kukan & KIC, & he used such to commit fraud. 40% isnt
even majority in former cases where the veil was pierced, it was ~90%.

d.ii. The CA ruled this way because of KICs meagre paid-up capital (P5k) and similar business activity
to Kukan. However, that in it of itself does not prove fraud.

Held: Petition granted.


34. LEO A. GONZALES vs. SOLID CEMENT CORPORATION and ALLEN QUERUBIN
SUMMARY: The SC ruled in favor of Gonzales in his illegal dismissal case and remanded the case to the LA
for execution. The Labor Arbiter awarded Gonzales P965,014.15 but this was increased by the NLRC. The CA
reversed the NLRC decision, so Gonzales filed for a Motion for Reconsideration to the SC, and when it was
denied, he filed a second MR.
DOCTRINE: A second motion for reconsideration is a prohibited pleading under the Rules of Court. A definitive
final judgment, however erroneous, is no longer subject to change or revision. The orderly administration of
justice requires that, at the risk of occasional errors, the judgments/resolutions of a court must reach a point of
finality set by the law. Any act, which violates such principle, must immediately be struck down. The principle of
conclusiveness of prior adjudications is not confined in its operation to the judgments of what are ordinarily
known as courts, but extends to all bodies upon which judicial powers had been conferred.
EXCEPTION: In this case, however, the CA effectively varied the final and executory judgment in the original
case, as modified on appeal and ultimately affirmed by the Court, and thereby acted outside its jurisdiction.The
CAs actions outside its jurisdiction cannot produce legal effects and cannot likewise be perpetuated by a
simple reference to the principle of immutability of final judgment; a void decision can never become final. "The
only exceptions to the rule on the immutability of final judgments are (1) the correction of clerical errors, (2) the
so-called nunc pro tunc entries which cause no prejudice to any party, and (3) void judgments."
FACTS:
The current petition arose from the execution of the final and executory judgment in the parties illegal
dismissal dispute. The Labor Arbiter (LA) resolved the case and found that an illegal dismissal took
place, the company reinstated petitioner Gonzales in the payroll on January 22, 2001.
The case was appealed to the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) and from there to the
Court of Appeals (CA) on a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court. The LAs ruling of
illegal dismissal was largely left undisturbed in these subsequent recourses. The original case
eventually came to the Court.
Court (2005) denied the petition of Solid Cement for lack of merit. The ruling became final and entry of
judgment took place on July 12, 2005.
The case was remanded to the LA for execution. Gonzales included several items as components in
computing the amount of his backwages. The LAs decision stated that he was entitled to P965,014.15.
The NLRC decision increased this to P2,805,698.04.
On a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court, the CA set aside the NLRCs decision
and reinstated the LAs order, prompting Gonzales to come to the Court via a petition for review on
certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court. In a Minute Resolutions, the SC denied Gonzales Rule
45 petition. At this point came the two motions now under consideration.
The Court denied the first MR. Hence, the filing of Gonzales of this second MR.
ISSUE: W/N the Second Motion for Reconsideration of Gonzales should be reconsidered - YES
As a rule, a second motion for reconsideration is a prohibited pleading under the Rules of Court, and
this reason alone is sufficient basis to dismiss the present second motion for reconsideration. The ruling
in the original case, as affirmed by the Court, has been expressly declared final. A definitive final
judgment, however erroneous, is no longer subject to change or revision.
A decision that has acquired finality becomes immutable and unalterable. This quality of immutability
precludes the modification of a final judgment, even if the modification is meant to correct erroneous
conclusions of fact and law. And this postulate holds true whether the modification is made by the court
that rendered it or by the highest court in the land.
The orderly administration of justice requires that, at the risk of occasional errors, the
judgments/resolutions of a court must reach a point of finality set by the law. The noble purpose is to
write finis to dispute once and for all. This is a fundamental principle in our justice system, without
which there would be no end to litigations. Utmost respect and adherence to this principle must always
be maintained by those who exercise the power of adjudication. Any act, which violates such principle,
must immediately be struck down. Indeed, the principle of conclusiveness of prior adjudications is not
confined in its operation to the judgments of what are ordinarily known as courts, but extends to all
bodies upon which judicial powers had been conferred.
The Court however, believes and so hold that the CA did not only legally err but even acted outside its
jurisdiction when it issued its May 31, 2011 decision. Specifically, by deleting the awards properly
granted by the NLRC and by reverting back to the LAs execution order, the CA effectively varied the
final and executory judgment in the original case, as modified on appeal and ultimately affirmed by the
Court, and thereby acted outside its jurisdiction. The CA likewise, in the course of its rulings and as
discussed below, acted with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction by
using wrong considerations, thereby acting outside the contemplation of law.
The CAs actions outside its jurisdiction cannot produce legal effects and cannot likewise be
perpetuated by a simple reference to the principle of immutability of final judgment; a void decision can
never become final. "The only exceptions to the rule on the immutability of final judgments are (1) the
correction of clerical errors, (2) the so-called nunc pro tunc entries which cause no prejudice to any
party, and (3) void judgments."
For these reasons, the Court sees it legally appropriate to vacate the assailed Minute Resolutions of
November 16, 2011 and February 27, 2012, and to reconsider its ruling on the current petition.
Supreme Court v Delgado
2011.

Summary:

Basically, one court personnel (Delgado) was caught taking pages from the Agenda that was forwarded from AJ Carpios
office. He admitted doing so because 2 other personnel requested him to do so. The three were held administratively
liable and dismissed.

TBH I AM NOT SURE WHY this falls under the topic Can the SC be a party to a case

Facts:

This is an administrative case stemmed from the Memo issued by the Complaints and Investigation Division of the OAS
(Office of Admin Services) against respondents Eddie Delgado (Delgado), Wilfredo Florence (Florendo) and Joseph
Madeja (Madeja). The three are utility workers and clerk IV in the Office of the Clerk of Court 2nd Divisions (OCC-SD).
The case alleges their participation in removing some pages from of the sealed agenda without authority to do so.

OAS found Delgado guilty of grave misconduct and recommended his dismissal while the other two were found guilty of
Conduct Prejudicial to the best interest of the service for which OAS recommended their 6 month suspension.

Ms Puno of the OCC-SD asked Mr Irving Tanael to photox the sealed agenda from the office of AJ Carpio in two copies.
Subsequently, the copies were given to respondent Delgado for stitching. Ms Puno caught Delgado acting suspiciously and
suspected that he might have taken some pages from the copies of the Agenda. Thereafter, OCC-SD Clerk of Court
Laurea ordered an initial investigation.

Delgado admite that he took pages from the Agenda but said it was only as a favour for the two other respondents madera
and florendo. Both Florendo and Madeja said that other court employees were requesting for copies of the Agenda to
which they agreed to in exchange for merienda money and pamasahe.

The OAS then conducted a formal investigation wherein the respondents Madeja and Florendo denied having made any
admission during the initial investigation. They submit that theres no actual evidence to prove the allegations. Delgado
however stood by his original admissions.

Issues:
Are the respondents administratively liable? YAS KWEEN

The unsubstantiated denial of respondents, therefore, falters in light of the direct and positive statements of respondent
Delgado. The basic principle in Evidence is that denials, unless supported by clear and convincing evidence, cannot prevail
over the affirmative testimony of truthful witnesses.

Owing to the confidential nature of the contents of an Agenda, the OCC-SD follows a very strict procedure in handling
them. Thus, as can be gathered from the factual narration, only a few specified personnel within the OCC-SD are
authorized to have access to an Agenda e.g., only Ms. Puno is authorized to receive and open; only four (4) persons are
authorized to photocopy. None of the respondents are entitled to a copy of the Agenda.

The acts of the respondents fall squarely under the offense Grave Misconduct. In Valera v. Ombudsman, 547 SCRA 42
(2008), We defined the offense as follows: Misconduct is a transgression of some established and definite rule of action,
more particularly, unlawful behavior or gross negligence by a public officer. The misconduct is grave if it involves any
of the additional elements of corruption, willful intent to violate the law or disregard of established rules, which
must be proved by substantial evidence.

3 RESPONDENTS ARE DISMISSED.


36. Lu v. Lu Ym, Sr. (2011)

Summary: This is a consolidation of three cases which stemmed from the complaint for a Declaration of Nullity of
Share Issue, Receivership and Dissolution. The Court ruled that first, it may take cognizance of the present incidents
since the the judgment cannot be considered final because the present cases may involve a modification or reversal
of a doctrine or principle. The Court also ruled that the subject matter is not capable of pecuniary estimation since
whatever property may be distributed to the stockholders is a mere consequence of the main action and David et al.
are not claiming ownership of the shares. It was also ruled that estoppel has set in and there was no intent to defraud
the government.

Facts
Antecedents
The three consolidated cases stemmed from the complaint for Declaration of Nullity of Share Issue,
Receivership and Dissolution filed on August 14, 2000 before the RTC-Cebu City by David Lu, et al. against
Paterno Lu Ym, Sr. and sons (Lu Ym father and sons) and LLDC.
RTC ruled in favor of David et al. by annulling the issuance of the shares of stock subscribed and paid by Lu Ym
father and sons at less than par value, and ordering the dissolution and asset liquidation of LLDC.
Several incidents arising from the complaint reached the Court through the present three petitions.
G.R. No. 153690 - David, et al. assailed the appellate courts resolutions dismissing their complaint for its
incomplete signatory in the certificate of non-forum shopping and consequently annulling the placing of the
subject corporation under receivership pendente lite.
o The Court (August 26, 2008 Decision) found the issue to have been mooted by the admission by the
trial court of David et al.s Amended Complaint, filed by them pursuant to the trial courts order to
conform to the requirements of the Interim Rules of Procedure Governing Intra-Corporate
Controversies.
o Since an amended pleading supersedes the pleading that it amends, the original complaint of
David, et al. was deemed withdrawn from the records.
o Both parties admitted the mootness of the issue and that the trial court had already rendered a
decision on the merits of the case.
o The Amended Complaint stands since Lu Ym father and sons availed of an improper mode (via an
Urgent Motion filed with this Court) to assail the admission of the Amended Complaint.
G.R. No. 157381 - Lu Ym father and sons challenged the appellate courts resolution restraining the trial court
from proceeding with their motion to lift the receivership order which was filed during the pendency of G.R.
No. 153690.
o The Court (August 26, 2008 Decision) resolved that the issue was mooted by the amendment of the
complaint and by the trial courts decision on the merits.
o The motion having been filed ancillary to the main action, which main action was already decided on
the merits by the trial court, there was nothing more to enjoin.
G.R. No. 170889 - involved the denial by the appellate court of Lu Ym father and sons application in CA-G.R.
CV No. 81163 for a writ of preliminary injunction.
o By August 26, 2008 Decision, the Court dismissed the petition after finding no merit on their argument
which they raised for the first time in their motion for reconsideration before the appellate court
of lack of jurisdiction for non-payment of the correct RTC docket fees.
August 4, 2009 Resolution The Court reconsidered its position on the matter of docket fees.
o It ruled that the trial court did not acquire jurisdiction over the case for David Lu, et al.s failure to pay
the correct docket fees, hence, all interlocutory matters and incidents subject of the present petitions
must consequently be denied.

Issues
1. WoN the Court may take cognizance of the present incidents
YES
The present cases fall under at least three types of cases for consideration by the Court En Banc, based on the
Internal Rules of the Supreme Court.
(1) Cases where a doctrine or principle laid down by the Court en banc or by a Division may be modified or reversed
(2) Subject to Section 11(b) of this rule, other division cases that, in the opinion of at least three Members of the Dvision who are voting
and present, are appropriate for transfer to the Court en banc
(3) Cases that the Court en banc deems of sufficient importance to merit its attention
At least three members of the Courts Second Division (to which the present cases were transferred, they
being assigned to a Member thereof) found, by Resolution of October 20, 2010, that the cases were
appropriate for referral-transfer to the Court En Banc which subsequently accepted the referral in view of the
sufficiently important reason to resolve all doubts on the validity of the challenged resolutions as they appear
to modify or reverse doctrines or principles of law.

Argument: The assailed Resolutions in the present cases have already become final, since a second motion for
reconsideration is prohibited except for extraordinarily persuasive reasons and only upon express leave first
obtained; and that once a judgment attains finality, it thereby becomes immutable and unalterable, however
unjust the result of error may appear.
o SC: The doctrine of immutability of decisions applies only to final and executory decisions. Since the
present cases may involve a modification or reversal of a Court-ordained doctrine or principle, the
judgment rendered by the Special Third Division may be considered unconstitutional, hence, it can
never become final.
o That a judgment must become final at some definite point at the risk of occasional error cannot be
appreciated in a case that embroils not only a general allegation of occasional error but also
a serious accusation of a violation of the Constitution, viz., that doctrines or principles of law were
modified or reversed by the Courts Special Third Division August 4, 2009 Resolution.
The Court has the power and prerogative to suspend its own rules and to exempt a case from their operation
if and when justice requires it, as in the present circumstance where movant filed a motion for leave after the
prompt submission of a second motion for reconsideration but, nonetheless, still within 15 days from receipt
of the last assailed resolution.
Thus, the Court grants David Lus Motion for Reconsideration. The assailed Resolutions of August 4,
2009 and September 23, 2009, which turn turtle settled doctrines, must be overturned. The Court
thus reinstates the August 26, 2008 Decision wherein a three-tiered approach was utilized to analyze the issue
on docket fees.

2. WoN the value of the subject matter can be estimated


NO
Assailed 2009 Resolution: (on the claim that the complaint had for its objective the nullification of the issuance of
600,000 shares of stock of LLDC, the real value of which based on underlying real estate values, as alleged in the
complaint, stands at P1,087,055,105)
To the extent of the damage or injury they allegedly have suffered from this sale of the shares of stock, the
action they filed can be characterized as one capable of pecuniary estimation.
The value of the 600,000 shares of stock, which are the properties in litigation, should be the basis for the
computation of the filing fees.
Courts position:
David, et al. are not claiming to own these shares. They do not claim to be the owners thereof entitled to be
the transferees of the shares of stock. The mention of the real value of the shares of stock, over which
David, et al. do not, it bears emphasis, interpose a claim of right to recovery, is merely narrative or
descriptive in order to emphasize the inequitable price at which the transfer was effected.
The Resolution does not explore the value of the extent of the damage or injury.
Whatever property, real or personal, that would be distributed to the stockholders would be a mere
consequence of the main action.
In the event LLDC is dissolved, David, et al. would not be getting the value of the 600,000 shares, but only the
value of their minority number of shares, which are theirs to begin with.
The complaint filed by David, et al. is one for declaration of nullity of share issuance.
o The main relief prayed for both in the original complaint and the amended complaint is the same, that is, to declare null and
void the issuance of 600,000 unsubscribed and unissued shares to Lu Ym father and sons, et al. for a price of 1/18 of their real
value, for being inequitable, having been done in breach of directors fiduciarys duty to stockholders, in violation of the
minority stockholders rights, and with unjust enrichment.
Therefore, David Lu et al.s complaint is one incapable of pecuniary estimation, hence, the correct docket fees
were paid.

3. WoN estoppel has set in


YES
Lu Ym father and sons did not raise the issue before the trial court.
o The narration of facts in the Courts original decision shows that Lu Ym father and sons merely
inquired from the Clerk of Court on the amount of paid docket fees on January 23, 2004. They
thereafter still speculated on the fortune of litigation. Thirty-seven days later or on March 1, 2004 the
trial court rendered its decision adverse to them.
Meanwhile, Lu Ym father and sons attempted to verify the matter of docket fees from the Office of the Court
Administrator (OCA). In their Application for the issuance a writ of preliminary injunction filed with the Court
of Appeals, they still failed to question the amount of docket fees paid by David Lu, et al. It was only in their
Motion for Reconsideration of the denial by the appellate court of their application for injunctive writ that
they raised such issue.
Lu Ym father and sons further inquiry from the OCA cannot redeem them. A mere inquiry from an improper
office at that, could not, by any stretch, be considered as an act of having raised the jurisdictional
question prior to the rendition of the trial courts decision.

4. WoN there was intent to defraud the government


NO
There was no proof of bad faith to warrant a dismissal of the complaint.
The erroneous annotation of a notice of lis pendens does not negate good faith. The overzealousness of a
party in protecting pendente lite his perceived interest, inchoate or otherwise, in the corporations properties
from depletion or dissipation, should not be lightly equated to bad faith.
That notices of lis pendens were erroneously annotated on the titles does not have the effect of changing the
nature of the action. The aggrieved party is not left without a remedy, for they can move to cancel the
annotations.
Good faith can also be gathered from the series of amendments on the provisions on filing fees.
37. In re: Letter Complaint of Merlita B. Fabiana against Presiding Justice Andres B.
Reyes Jr et al (July 2013)

Topic: Appellate Jurisdiction of Court of Appeals

SUMMARY: The NLRC granted the Fabianas monetary claims against Magsaysay Maritime
Corporation, to which both Fabianas and and MMC filed separate petitions for review. The CA
failed to consolidate these 2 petitions and only ruled on the 1st petition. After the SC
promulgated its resolution on the issue, the CA finally ruled on the 2nd petition, its decision being
inconsistent with the SC resolution. Fabianas filed an administrative case against the CA
Presiding Justice for disobeying the SC resolution. The SC dismissed the administrative
complaint but directed the CA to observe its internal rules on consolidation of cases.

DOCTRINE: The consolidation of 2 or more actions is MANDATORY, especially in courts


of appellate jurisdiction. This is authorized where the cases arise from the same act,
event or transaction, involve the same or like issues, and depend largely or substantially
on the same evidence, provided that the court has jurisdiction and that consolidation will
not give one party an undue advantage or that consolidation will not prejudice the
substantial rights of any of the parties.

FACTS

Marlon Fabianas contract with Magsaysay Maritime Corporation (manning agent) and
its principal Air Sea Holiday GMBH-Stable Organizations Italia was terminated

Marlon Fabiana died from a disease so his wife, Merlita took over.

2007: Labor Arbiter granted the following claims to Fabianas heirs:

o Death benefits, sickness allowance, salary differentials and other monetary


claimsNLRC affirmed but reduced moral & exemplary damages.

Both parties brought their respective petitions for certiorari to the CA

o 1st petition: Fabianas heirs assailed the jurisdiction of NLRC in entertaining MMC
& its principals appeal + prayed for the reinstatement of moral & exemplary
damages

o 2nd petition: MMC and its principal challenged the propriety of the monetary
awards granted to the heirs of Fabiana

CA partly granted the 1st petition, and di

o Affirmed the NLRC decision with modification (imposed interest rate of 6% on all
monetary awards)

o This was said to have rendered the 2nd petition moot and academic.
MMC filed a motion for clarification (NOT a motion for reconsideration)

o So CA issued its clarification

Fabianas filed a motion for reconsideration = CA denied

So Fabianas appealed to the SC by petition for review on certiorari

o SC denied for failure to sufficiently show that the appellate court committed any
reversible error in the challenged decision as to warrant the SC to exercise its
appellate jurisdiction

Fabianas moved to dismiss the 2nd petition that was never acted upon.

But CA (with Presiding Justice Reyes Jr) denied to dismiss and finally decided on the 2nd
petition

o Found that NLRC did not gravely abuse its discretion

So Fabianas filed an administrative complaint against Presiding Justice Reyes Jr,


Associate Justice Dicdican and Associate Justice Cruz for disobeying SCs resolution

ISSUE: WoN Presiding Justice Reyes Jr is administratively liable for disobeying SCs
resolution NO

Justice Reyes didnt obey SCs resolution because the same resolution did not divest CA
Division of jurisdiction to entertain & pass upon the 2nd petition.

CA validly issued its resolution in the exercise of its judicial discretion.

Recourse open to the Fabianas: move for the correction of the resolution. If denied, then
they could have assailed the denial in the SC with the proper remedy.

o Merlita Fabiana shouldve just exhausted all available judicial remedies before
resorting to a disciplinary charge against the Presiding Justice.

HOWEVER, the SC points out that the CA shouldve just properly implemented its
procedure for the consolidation of petitions arising from the same controversies.

o S3(a), Rule 3 of 2009 Internal Rules of the Court of Appeals

Sec 3. Consolidation of cases. When related cases are assigned to


different justices, they shall be consolidated & assigned to one Justice.

(a) Upon motion of a party with notice to the other parties, or at the
instance of the Justice to whom any or the related cases is assigned,
upon notice to the parties, consolidation shall ensue when the cases
involve the same parties and/or related questions of fact and/or law.

Subject matter of the 2 petitions:

o 1st petition: Jurisdiction of NLRC and reduction of moral & exemplary damages
o 2nd petition: propriety of monetary awards

2 petitions: involved the same parties and the same facts

o Both assailed the same decision of the NLRC and stemmed from the same issue
arising from the death of Marlon Fabiana

The consolidation of 2 or more actions is authorized where the cases arise from
the same act, event or transaction, involve the same or like issues, and depend
largely or substantially on the same evidence, provided that the court has
jurisdiction and that consolidation will not give one party an undue advantage or
that consolidation will not prejudice the substantial rights of any of the parties.

Requirements of consolidation:

o Substantial identity (when there is a community of interest or privity of interest


between the 2 parties)

o Identity of issues (enough that they present conflicting claims about the same
issue)

Reason for consolidation: to prevent a judge from deciding identical issues presented in
the case assigned to him in a manner that will prejudice another judge from deciding a
similar case before him

Consolidation of cases for trial: permissive and a matter of judicial discretion

o But its permissiveness doesnt carry over to the appellate stage where the
primary objective is more of the ideal realization of the dual function of all
appellate adjudications. Consolidation of cases is MANDATORY.

This is because an appellate court serves a dual function:

o Review for correctness/res judicata (case is reviewed on appeal to assure that


substantial justice has been done)

o Institutional function/stare decisis (the progressive development of the law for


general application in the judicial system)

So administrative complaint DISMISSED. CA directed to adopt measures to ensure strict


observance of rule on consolidation of cases.
38. CITY OF MANILA vs. JUDGE CUERDO
Court of Tax Appeals | Feb. 4, 2014 | Peralta, J.

Facts:
Petitioner City of Manila, through its treasurer, Liberty Toledo assessed taxes for the taxable period
from January December 2002 against respondents SM Mart, Inc., SM Prime Holdings, Inc., Star
Appliances Center, Supervalue, Inc., Ace Hardware Philippines, Inc., Watsons Personal Care Stores
Phils., Inc., Jollimart Philippines Corp., Surplus Marketing Corp. and Signature Lines

The assessment covered the taxes due pursuant to Section 14, 15, 16, and 17 of the Revised Revenue
Code of Manila (RRCM) and the local business taxes pursuant to Section 21 of the RRCM
Respondents paid the P19,316,458.77 assessment under protest because it was a precondition for the
issuance of their business permits
Respondents filed for Refund or Recovery of Illegally and/or Erroneously Collected Local
Business Tax, Prohibition with Prayer to Issue TRO and Writ of Preliminary Injunction before the
sala of Judge Cuerdo
o They filed an amended complaint alleging that aside from the violations of the RRCM, there
was also a violation of the limitations and guidelines under Section 143 (h) of the Local
Government Code on double taxation
o They further averred that petitioner Citys Ordinance which amended portions of the RRCM
had already been declared illegal and unconstitutional

Lower Courts:
RTC - Granted the preliminary injunction and denied petitioners Motion for Reconsideration
CA - Dismissed petitioners petition for certiorari no jurisdiction over the said petition
o Since appellate jurisdiction over the respondents complaint was for tax refund, which was
filed with the RTC, is vested with the Court of Tax Appeals (CTA) pursuant to RA No. 9282
a petition for certiorari seeking nullification of an interlocutory order issued in the said case
should be filed with the CTA
o Denied petitioners Motion for Reconsideration

Petitioners filed the present petition raising the following issues:


o WON the CA gravely erred in dismissing the case for lack of jurisdiction?
o WON the RTC gravely abused its discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction in
enjoining by issuing a Writ of Injunction the petitioners, their agents and/or authorized
representatives from implementing Section 21 of the RRCM against respondents?
o WON the RTC gravely abused its discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction in
issuing the Writ of Injunction despite failure of respondents to make a written claim for tax
credit or refund with the City Treasurer of Manila?
o WON the RTC gravely abused its discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction
considering that under Section 21 of the RRC, they are mere collecting agents of the City
Government?\WON the RTC gravely abused its discretion amounting to lack or excess of
jurisdiction in issuing the Writ of Injunction because petitioner City of Manila and its
constituents would result to greater damage and prejudice thereof?

Note: Without resolving the issues, this Court finds that the instant petition should be denied for
being moot and academic pursuant to a Decision in the main case rendered by the RTC on August 13,
2007: Court ruled un favor of the plaintiff to grant a tax refund or credit for taxes paid pursuant to
Section 21 of the RRCM
o The parties did not inform the Court that the Decision had already become final and executor
per the Certificate of Finality
o Well entrenched is the rule that where the issues have become moot and academic, there is
no justiciable controversy, thereby rendering the resolution of the same of no practical use or
value
However, the Court finds it necessary to resolve the issue on jurisdiction raised by the petitioners
owing to its significance and for future guidance of the bench and bar
Courts will decide a question otherwise moot and academic if it is capable of repetition, yet evading
review

Procedural Issue: WON Petitioners availed of the correct remedy for appeal? NO, but the rules were
relaxed for the case at bar.
Petitioners availed of the wrong remedy when they filed the instant special civil action for certiorari
under Rule 65 of the ROC in assailing the Resolutions of the CA which dismissed their petition
The assailed resolutions of the CA are in the nature of a final order as they disposed of the petition
completely
In cases where an assailed judgment or order is considered final remedy is to appeal
Petitioner should have filed a petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45, which is the
continuation of the appellate process over the original case
The equally settled rule is that a special civil action for certiorari under Rule 65 is an original or
independent action based on grave abuse of discretion only if there is no appeal or any other plain,
speedy, and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law
Instances where the court has treated a petition for certiorari as a petition for review on certiorari:
o If the petition for certiorari was filed within the reglementary period within which to file a
petition for review on certiorari
o When errors of judgment are averred
o When there is sufficient reason to justify the relaxation of the rules
Considering that the present petition was filed within the 15-day reglementary period for filing a
petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45, that an error of judgment is averred, and because of
the significance of the issue on jurisdiction, the Court deems it proper and justified to relax the rules
and, thus, treat the instant petition for certiorari as a petition for review on certiorari.

Main Issue: WON the CTA has jurisdiction over a special civil action for certiorari assailing an
interlocutory order issued by the RTC in a local tax case? YES.
On June 16, 1954, Congress enacted RA No. 1125 which created the CTA and gave the court
jurisdiction over the following:
o Decisions of the Collector of Internal Revenue in cases involving disputed assessments,
refunds of internal revenue taxes, fees or other charges, penalties imposed in relation thereto,
or other matters arising under the National Internal Revenue Code or other law or part of law
administered by the Bureau of Internal Revenue.
o Decisions of the Commissioner of Customs in cases involving liability for customs duties,
fees or other money charges; seizure, detention or release of property affected fines,
forfeitures or other penalties imposed in relation thereto; or other matters arising under the
Customs Law or other law or part of law administered by the Bureau of Customs

o Decisions of provincial or City Boards of Assessment Appeals in cases involving the


assessment and taxation of real property or other matters arising under the Assessment Law,
including rules and regulations relative thereto
March 30, 2004 Congress passed RA No. 9282 which expanded the jurisdiction of the CTA,
enlarging its membership and elevating its rank to the level of a collegiate court with special
jurisdiction
While it is clearly stated that the CTA has exclusive appellate jurisdiction over decisions, orders, or
resolutions of the RTCs in local tax cases originally decided or resolved by them in the exercise of
their original or appellate jurisdiction, there is no categorical statement under RA 1125 as well as the
amendatory RA 9282, which provides that the CTA has jurisdiction over petitions for certiorari
assailing interlocutory orders issued by the RTC in local tax cases filed before it.
Prevailing doctrine: authority to issue writs of certiorari involves the exercise of original jurisdiction
which must be expressly conferred by the Constitution or by law and cannot be implied from the mere
existence of appellate jurisdiction
While there is no express grant of such power, with respect to the CTA, Section 1, Article VIII of the
1987 Constitution provides, nonetheless, that judicial power shall be vested in one Supreme Court
and in such lower courts as may be established by law and that judicial power includes the duty of the
courts of justice to settle actual controversies involving rights which are legally demandable and
enforceable, and to determine whether or not there has been a grave abuse of discretion
amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or instrumentality of the
Government.

The power of the CTA includes that of determining WON there has been grave abuse of discretion
amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of the RTC in issuing an interlocutory order in
cases falling with the exclusive appellate jurisdiction of the tax court
The CTA, by constitutional mandate, is vested with jurisdiction to issue writs of certiorari in these
cases.

In transferring exclusive jurisdiction over appealed tax cases to the CTA, it can reasonably be
assumed that the law intended to transfer also such power as is deemed necessary, if not
indispensable, in aid of such appellate jurisdiction. There is no perceivable reason why the transfer
should only be considered as partial, not total.

Section 6, Rule 135, ROC - provides that when by law, jurisdiction is conferred on a court or judicial
officer, all auxiliary writs, processes and other means necessary to carry it into effect may be
employed by such court or officer

If this Court were to sustain petitioners contention that jurisdiction over their certiorari petition lies
with the CA, this Court would be confirming the exercise by two judicial bodies, the CA and the
CTA, of jurisdiction over basically the same subject matter precisely the split jurisdiction situation
which is anathema to the orderly administration of justice.

The supervisory power or jurisdiction of the CTA to issue a writ of certiorari in aid of its appellate
jurisdiction should coexist with, and be a complement to, its appellate jurisdiction to review, by
appeal, the final orders and decisions of the RTC, in order to have complete supervision over the acts
of the latter.

A grant of appellate jurisdiction implies that there is included in it the power necessary to exercise it
effectively, to make all orders that will preserve the subject of the action, and to give effect to the
final determination of the appeal.

It carries with it the power to protect that jurisdiction and to make the decisions of the court
thereunder effective.
Section 1 of RA 9282 states that the CTA shall be of the same level as the CA and shall possess all
the inherent powers of a court of justice.

The authority of the CTA to take cognizance of petitions for certiorari questioning interlocutory
orders issued by the RTC in a local tax case is included in the powers granted by the Constitution as
well as inherent in the exercise of its appellate jurisdiction.

Held: PETITION DENIED


39. LU VS LU YM (2008)

Nature Of Case: Consolidated petitions:


Case 1: Petition for review on certiorari filed by David Lu
Case 2: Petition assailing the CA decision ordering the RTC to desist from conducting
proceedings relating to receivership over the LLDC filed by the Lu Yms
Case 3: Special civil action for certiorari and prohibition questioning the CA resolutions
denying their application for injunction

Summary: Lu filed a complaint for nullification for the issuance of LLDCs shares of
stock to the Lu Yms, as well as the dissolution of and the appointment of receivers for
the corporation. The Lu Yms argued that Lus complaint should be dismissed for failure
to pay the proper docket fees.
Doctrine: In general, a court acquires jurisdiction over a case only upon payment of the
prescribed fees. However, in this case, the complaint cannot be dismissed on such
ground because the action is incapable of pecuniary estimation. An action is incapable
of pecuniary estimation when it involves issue other than the right to recover a sum of
money, or where the money claim is merely incidental to the principal relief sought.

Facts:
LLDC is a family corporation founded by Paterno Sr. and his brothers, primarily to
hold real estate for the family.
The LLDC Board of Directors authorized the issuance of its 600,000
unsubscribed and unissued shares at a par value of Php 100.00 per share. Lu
Ym father and sons subscribed to and paid most of the shares. Lu et al, contend
that the shares were issued for less than their real values.
Because of this, Lu et al filed a complaint for Declaration of Nullity of Share
Issue, Receivership and Dissolution where they prayed for:
o Nullification of said shares
o Dissolution of the corporation
o Appointment of a receiver for the corporation
The Lu Ym father and sons moved to dismiss on the grounds of:
o Non-compliance with the rules on certificate of non-forum shopping, since
onle plaintiffs signed the same, without any showing that he was
authorized to sign on behalf of the other parties
o No earnest efforts toward a compromise
The court denied the motion solely on the ground that the case was exempt from
the observance of the Katarungang Pambarangay Law. In a separate resolution,
the Court also held that the signature of 1 plaintiff was a substantial compliance
with the rules. The court placed LLDC under receivership pendente lite and
appointed receivers for the company.
The Lu Yms elevated the matter to the CA, but the case was dismissed on the
ground that only 2 petitioners filed the verification and certification against forum
shopping. The case was re-filed.
The court initially dismissed it, however, the court reconsidered and reinstated
the earlier petition. The Lu Yms filed a supplement to such.
The CA granted the Lu Yms petition and dismissed the complaint on the ground
of failure t sign the certificate of non-forum shopping. The court also annulled the
resolutions placing the corporation under receivership and appointing receivers.
David filed an MR, which was denied by the CA. Hence, the petition for review on
certiorari before the SC filed by David alone.
Meanwhile, Lu Yms filed a Motion for Inhibition against RTC Judge Gako, which
was granted. The case was re-raffled to Judge Dicdican, who directed the parties
to amend their respective pleadings in order to conform with the requirements
laid down in the Interim Rules of Procedure Governing Intra-Corporate
Controversies under RA 8799. The case was re-docketed.
The Lu Yms filed in the abovementioned case a Manifestation and Motion
praying for the immediate lifting of the receivership order over LLDC which was
immediately set for hearing. However, it did not push through because of Lus
motions to stop it. It turned out that Lu instituted a special civil action for certiorari
and prohibition with the CA, with Urgent Application for TRO and Writ of
Preliminary Injunction, on the sole issue of WoN the RTC should proceed to hear
the Lu Yms motion to lift the receivership.
The CA finally resolved to grant the petition and ordered the RTC to desist from
conducting any proceeding relating to the receivership over LLDC since the
abovementioned amendment ordered by the court was still pending. Aggrieved,
the Lu Yms instituted Case no. 2.
Meanwhile, Judge Dicdican inhibited himself and the case was transferred.
Lu filed a Motion to Admit Complaint to Conform to the Interim Rules Governing
Intra-Corporate Controversies, which the court admitted.
The Lu Yms inquired from the Clerk of Court and the Office of the Court
Administrator (OCA) on the amount of docket fees paid by Lu et al. They were
told to bring the matter to the attention of the regular courts and not the OCA,
which was not in the position to give an opinion.
The RTC rendered a decision on the merits of the case:
o Annulling the issuance of LLDC shares of stock and cancelling their
certificates of stocks
o Ordering the dissolution of LLDC and the liquidation of its assets
o Creating a management committee to take over LLDC and stripping the
corporations officers of their powers as such
Aggrieved, Lu Yms seasonably filed a Notice of Appeal. They aso applied for a
Writ of Preliminary Injunction and/or TRO, which was opposed by Lu.
The CA issued a TRO valid for 60 days. However, it denied the application for a
writ of preliminary injunction. Since the original records had been transmitted to
the appellate court, the RTC was divested of jurisdiction to resolve pending
incidents therein. Thus, it ordered that all motions be filed with the CA.
Lu Yms filed an MR assailing the denial of their application for injunction as well
as questioning the sufficiency of docket fees paid by Lu in the RTC where the
case was originally filed.
The CA did not reconsider, hence, Case no. 3.
Issue And Held: (relevant to topic)
WoN the initial complaint should be dismissed on the ground of lack of
jurisdiction occasioned by the insufficient payment of docket fees- N O.
o A court acquires jurisdiction over a case only upon the payment of the
prescribed fees. However, in the instant case, the dismissal prayed for
cannot be granted because:
1. The case instituted before the RTC is one incapable of pecuniary
estimation.
o The test in determining WON the subject matter of an action is incapable
of pecuniary estimation: by determining the nature of the principal action
or remedy sought:
Action is primarily for recovery of a sum of money: claim is
considered capable of pecuniary estimation.
Issue is something other than the right to recover a sum of money;
money claim is incidental to the principal relief sought- action is
incapable of pecuniary estimation.
o In the instant case, Lu sought the dissolution of the corporation and the
appointment of receivers/management committee. These are actions
which do not consist in the recovery of a sum of money. If such were
recovered, it would simply be the consequence of such principal action.
2. Lu Yms are estopped because of their active participation in the
proceedings below and because the issue had been belatedly raised
before the CA.
o Even if it were an action capable of pecuniary estimation, it should still not
be dismissed because the issue was belatedly raised. The
well-established rule is that after vigorously participating in all stages of
the case before the TC and even invoking the TCs authority in order to
ask for affirmative relief, Lu Yms are barred by estoppel from challenging
the courts jurisdiction. If a party invokes the jurisdiction of a court, he
cannot thereafter challenge the court's jurisdiction in the same case.
3. Assuming that the payment was incorrect, it was imputable to the
Clerk of Court who assessed the same.
o Even if the amount was insufficient as claimed by Lu Yms, fraud and bad
faith cannot be attributed to Lu as to warrant the dismissal of the
complaint.

Ruling:
Petitions denied: Case 1 and 2 for being moot and academic, Case 3 for lack of
merit.

Other Issues:
WoN the original complaint before the RTC should have been dismissed- M OOT.
o Pursuant to the CA decision assailed in Case no. 1, the RTC admitted an
amendment complaint, proceeded to hear the case, and decided the
same on the merits.
o While this was questioned by the Lu Yms, they did so through an Urgent
Motion. Under the ROC, the proper mode to challenge such interlocutory
order is through a special civil action for certiorari. This procedural defect
bars the Court from ruling on the propriety of such admission.
Consequently, the amended complaint admitted by the RTC stands.
o Sec. 8, Rule 10 of the ROC specifically provides that an amended
pleading supersedes the pleading that it amends. Therefore, this issue
should have been mooted. It is settled that courts do not entertain a moot
question.
WoN the receivership proceedings were validly suspended pending the
amendment of the initial complaint in compliance with the Interim Rules of
Procedure for Intracorporate Controversies- MOOT.
o The propriety of such injunction is mooted by the amendment of the
complaint, and the RTC decision in the case on the merits thereof. The
appellate court ordered that the hearing on the motion to lift the
receivership be held in abeyance primarily because the original complaint
was yet to be amended. Upon the amendment of the complaint and the
admission thereof by the RTC, the reason for such injunction ceased to
exist. Thus, the CA could resolve, as it in fact resolved, the question of
WON the receivership should be lifted.
o While there are exceptions which will allow the court to decide otherwise
moot and academic cases, the instant petition does not fall under any of
those.
WoN a writ of preliminary injunction should have been issued pending the
resolution of the appeal on the merits filed before the CA- N O.
o Sec. 3, Rule 58 of the ROC sets forth the requisites for the issuance of a
writ of preliminary injunction. Lu Yms failed to satisfy such requisites.
40. Lu v Lu Ym Sr. (2009)

Jurisdiction of the RTC

Nachura, J.

SUMMARY: Petitioners John Lu Ym and Ludo LuYM filed a motion for reconsideration assailing the 2008 decision of
the Supreme Court which dismissed three consolidated cases for lack of merit. They alleged that the RTC did not
acquire jurisdiction over the subject matter, it not being one of an intra-corporate controversy. The SC granted the
petition, holding that the respondents were guilty of fraud and the failure to pay docket fees did not vest jurisdiction in
the trial court.

DOCTRINE: A court acquires jurisdiction over a case only upon the payment of the prescribed fees. Hence without
payment of the correct docket fees, the trial court did not acquire jurisdiction over the action.

FACTS:

A Motion for Reconsideration was filed by petitioners John Lu Ym and Ludo & LuYM Development
Corporation praying for reconsideration of the 2008 decision dismissing three consolidated cases for lack of
merit.

Petitioners argue that respondents are guilty of fraud in avoiding payment of the correct docket fees. They
also allege that the present action, not being one of an intra-corporate controversy, does not give jurisdiction
to the RTC over the subject matter of the case

Reiteration of facts (more detailed in the 2008 digest):

o Aug. 14, 2000: David Lu et al filed with the RTC a complaint against Paterno Lu Ym Sr et al for
Declaration of Nullity of Share Issue, Receivership and Dissolution. They alleged that the
respondents caused the issuance of unsubscribed and unissued shares for less than their actual
value.

o The RTC denied the motion to dismiss, placing LLDC on receivership, and the CA affirmed the
dismissal. Upon re-filing, the CA granted the dismissal.

o Deciding on the merits, it annulled the issuance of LLDCs 600k shares of stock and it ordered the
dissolution of LLDC and the liquidation of its assets. The CA denied the MR filed by the Lu YM
father and sons.

o On Aug. 26, 2008, the court rendered the judgment earlier stated hence this MR.

ISSUE/S:

WoN the subject matter of the complaint filed was one capable of pecuniary estimation: YES

o The 600k shares of stock were properties in litigation. They were the subject matter of the
complaint and the relief prayed for entailed the nullification of the transfer thereof and the return to
LLDC.

o Thus to the extent of the damage or injury they suffered, the action can be characterized as one of
pecuniary estimation. The shares of stock have a definitive value as declared in the complaint.
Therefore the docket fees should have been computed based on this amount.
o A court acquires jurisdiction over a case only upon the payment of the prescribed fees. Hence
without payment of the correct docket fees, the trial court did not acquire jurisdiction over the
action.

WoN David et al were guilty of fraud in that while they did not mention any real property in their complaint,
they were able to obtain the annotation of notices of lis pendens on various real properties of LLDC:

o The petitioners point out that when David et al moved for the annotation of notices of lis pendens
on real properties owned by LLDC, they in effect acknowledged that the case they filed was a real
action.

o It is clear that a notice of lis pendens is availed of mainly in real actions. Hence, when David, et al.,
sought the annotation of notices of lis pendens on the titles of LLDC, they acknowledged that the
complaint they had filed affected a title to or a right to possession of real properties. At the very
least, they must have been fully aware that the docket fees would be based on the value of the
realties involved.

The filing of a notice of lis pendens charges all strangers with notice of the particular
litigation referred to therein and, therefore, any right they may thereafter acquire over the
property is subject to the eventuality of the suit. Such announcement is founded upon
public policy and necessity, the purpose of which is to keep the properties in litigation
within the power of the court until the litigation is terminated and to prevent the defeat of
the judgment or decree by subsequent alienation

o Their silence or inaction to point this out to the Clerk of Court who computed their docket fees,
therefore, becomes highly suspect, and thus, sufficient for this Court to conclude that they have
crossed beyond the threshold of good faith and into the area of fraud. Clearly, there was an effort to
defraud the government in avoiding to pay the correct docket fees. Consequently, the trial court did
not acquire jurisdiction over the case.

WoN the Lu Ym father and sons are estopped from challenging the jurisdiction of the trial court: NO

o The Lu Ym father and sons are not estopped from challenging the jurisdiction of the trial
court. They raised the insufficiency of the docket fees before the trial court rendered judgment and
continuously maintained their position even on appeal to the CA.

o Although the manner of challenge was erroneous they should have addressed this issue directly to
the trial court instead of to the OCA they should not be deemed to have waived their right to assail
the jurisdiction of the trial court.

o The trial court did not acquire jurisdiction over the case for failure of David, et.al. to pay the correct
docket fees. Consequently, all interlocutory matters pending before this Court, specifically the
incidents subject of these three consolidated petitions, must be denied for being moot and
academic.

HELD: Motion for Reconsideration GRANTED. Assailed orders are reconsidered and set aside.
41. Mijares v Hon. Ranada (2005)

Jurisdiction of the RTC

Tinga, J.

SUMMARY: Petitioners seek to enforce a judgment rendered by a US District Court granting them an award of over
$2.5B for the abuses they suffered during the Martial Law regime. They filed a complaint to enforce the judgment in
the RTC which was dismissed. On appeal to the SC, it reversed, holding that the action although capable of
pecuniary estimation, was based on a final judgment.

DOCTRINE: A complaint for enforcement of a foreign judgment, even if capable of pecuniary estimation, would fall
under the jurisdiction of the Regional Trial Court. Indeed, an examination of BP 129 Sec 6 indicates that it can be
relied upon as jurisdictional basis with respect to actions for enforcement of foreign judgments, provided that no other
court or office is vested jurisdiction over such complaint.

FACTS:

On May 9, 1991, a complaint was filed with the US District Court against the Estate of former President
Marcos by ten Filipino citizens, alleging human rights abuses such as arbitrary detention and rape suffered
during the Marcos regime.

Using the Alien Tort Act, they brought the action on behalf of a class of similarly situated individuals who
were tortured, summarily executed, or disappeared while in the custody of military groups. A judgment was
rendered awarding them a total of $1.9B.

On May 20, 1997, petitioners filed a complaint with the RTC Makati to enforce said judgment. They argued
that due to the failure of the Marcos estate to appeal, the decision had become final and executory.

Marcos estate filed a motion to dismiss arguing that since the petitioners sought to enforce a monetary
amount of damages worth over $2.25B, they had incorrectly paid the amount of filing fees.

Petitioners: action for the enforcement of a foreign judgment not capable of pecuniary estimation; Php 410
filing fee proper under Sec 7(a) of Rule 141.

RTC: dismissed complaint subject matter capable of pecuniary estimation; proper amount of filing fees =
Php 472M

Petitioners then filed a petition for certiorari under Rule 65, alleging that their action is incapable of pecuniary
estimation as the subject matter of the suit is the enforcement of a foreign judgment.

o They point out that to require the class plaintiffs to pay Php 472M in filing fees would negate and
render inutile the liberal construction ordained by the Rules of Court

o They also invoked Sec 11 Art III of the Bill of Rights which would be violated by the exorbitant filing
fee

ISSUE/S:

WoN the action filed with the lower court is a money claim as against an estate not based on judgment: NO

o Petitioners complaint may have been lodged against an estate, but is it is clear that it was based
on a final judgment of the US District Court. Sec 7(a) did not distinguish between a local and
foreign judgment.
o While a foreign judgment is presumptive, and not conclusive, of a right as between the parties and
their successors in interest by a subsequent title, it is usually necessary for an action to be filed in
order to enforce it. Consequently, the party attacking the judgment has the burden of overcoming
the presumption of its validity and is entitled to defend against its enforcement.

o While the subject matter of the action is undoubtedly the enforcement of a foreign judgment, the
effect of a providential award would be the adjudication of a sum of money. There is no denying
that the enforcement of the foreign judgment will necessarily result in the award of a definite sum of
money.

o Sec 19(6), B.P. 129 reveals that the instant complaint for enforcement of a foreign judgment,
even if capable of pecuniary estimation, would fall under the jurisdiction of the Regional
Trial Courts, thus negating the fears of the petitioners. Indeed, an examination of the provision
indicates that it can be relied upon as jurisdictional basis with respect to actions for enforcement of
foreign judgments, provided that no other court or office is vested jurisdiction over such complaint.

o In this particular circumstance, given that the complaint is lodged against an estate and is based on
the US District Court's Final Judgment, this foreign judgment may, for purposes of classification
under the governing procedural rule, be deemed as subsumed under Section 7(b)(3) of Rule
141, i.e., within the class of "all other actions not involving property." Thus, only the blanket filing
fee of minimal amount is required.

HELD: Petition GRANTED. Assailed orders are nullified and set aside.

Notes:

SEC.7. Clerks of Regional Trial Courts.-...

(b) For filing:

1. ......Actions where the value of the subject matter cannot be estimated ..P600.00

2. ......Special civil actions except judicial foreclosure of mortgage which


shall be governed by paragraph (a) above ....600.00

3. ......All other actions not involving property 600.00

Sec. 19. Jurisdiction in civil cases. Regional Trial Courts shall exercise exclusive original jurisdiction:
xxx
(6) In all cases not within the exclusive jurisdiction of any court, tribunal, person or body exercising
jurisdiction or any court, tribunal, person or body exercising judicial or quasi-judicial functions.
42. PADLAN VS DINGLASAN

Nature Of Case: Petition for Certiorari

Summary: Dinglasan filed a complaint in the RTC against Padlan for cancellation of
TCT after a portion of their lot was fraudulently acquired by another and eventually sold
to Padlan. Padlan argued that the RTC had no jurisdiction over the subject matter of the
case since the value of the property as alleged by the Dinglasans was only Php 4,000.
The SC ruled in Padlans favor.
Doctrine: The case at bar is not merely one for cancellation of TCT. First and foremost,
it requires a determination of who is legally entitled to the TCT in question. Where the
ultimate objective of the plaintiffs is to obtain title to real property, it should be filed in the
proper court having jurisdiction over the assessed value of the property subject thereof.
Facts:
Dinglasan was the registered owner of a parcel of land. Dinglasans mother,
Baluyot, had a conversation with one Passion regarding the sale of the property.
Believing that Passion was a real estate agent, Baluyot borrowed the TCT of the
land and gave it to Passion, who then subdivided the property into several lots,
under the name of Dinglasan and her husband.
Through a falsified deed of sale, Passion was able to sell the lots to different
buyers, including petitioner Editha Padlan for Php 4,000. A new TCT was issued
in her name.
After finding out what happened, respondents demanded petitioner to surrender
possession of the lot, but the latter refused. The Dinglasans were forced to file a
case before the RTC for Cancellation of TCT. Summons was served to petitioner
through her mother.
Respondents moved to declare petitioner in default and prayed that they be
allowed to present evidence ex parte. Petitioner opposed on the ground that the
court had no jurisdiction over her person, since summons was served to her
mother and not to her. Padlan resided in Japan and that time and did not visit the
Philippines often.
The RTC denied Padlans motion to dismiss and declared her in default. It
rendered a decision finding petitioner to be a buyer in good faith and
consequently, dismissed the complaint.
The case was elevated to the CA, which decided in favor of the Dinglasans. The
appellate court found Padlan to be a buyer in bad faith since given the
circumstances surrounding the sale, she should have conducted further inquiry
before buying the disputed property.
Aggrieved, Padlan filed an MR, claiming that the lower court failed to acquire
jurisdiction over the subject matter of the case and over her person. This was
denied by the CA, which reasoned that when the RTC denied petitioners motion
to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction, Padlan neither moved for a reconsideration nor
did she avail of any remedy provided by the Rules. (Tijam vs Sibonghanoy)

Issue And Held:


WoN the court has jurisdiction over the subject matter of the case- N O.
o Pet: No jurisdiction over the subject matter since it can be inferred from
the complaint that the value of the property was only Php 4,000.
o SC: Jurisdiction over subject matter of a case is conferred by law and
determined by the allegations in the complaint which comprise a concise
statement of the ultimate facts constituting the plaintiffs cause of action.
Once vested by the allegations in the complaint, it remains vested
irrespective or WON the plaintiff is entitled to recover upon all or some of
the claims asserted therein.
o In the case at bar before the relief prayed for can be granted, the issue of
who between the parties has the valid title to the subject lot must first be
determined before a determination of who between them is legally entitled
to the certificate of title covering the property in question.
o Therefore, the case is not simply a case for the cancellation of a particular
TCT and the revival of another. The action, therefore, is about
ascertaining which of these parties is the lawful owner of the subject lot,
jurisdiction over which is determined by its assessed value.
o Since the amount alleged in the complaint for the disputed lot is only Php
4,000, the MTC, not the RTC, has jurisdiction over the action. All
proceedings before the RTC are null and void.

Ruling:
Petition granted. CA decision reversed and set aside.

Other Issues:
WoN the court has jurisdiction over the person of Padlan- NEED NOT BE
DISCUSSED.
o Pet: Tijam cannot be applied since in that case, petitioner actively
participated in the proceedings. In the case at bar, she did not participate
in the RTC proceedings because she was declared in default. Also, since
she was residing in Japan at the time summons was served, Sec. 5, Rule
14 of the ROC applies: When defendant does not reside in the Philippines
and the subject of the action is property within the Philippines of the
defendant, service may be effected out of the Philippines by personal
service or by publication in a newspaper of general circulation.
WoN the petitioner is a buyer in good faith and for value- NEED NOT BE
DISCUSSED.
o Pet: She is in good faith and it was Passion who defrauded the
respondents by selling the property without their authority.
43. ORTIGAS vs. HERRERA
Civil Actions in which the subject of the litigation is incapable of pecuniary estimation| Jan. 21, 1983 |
Per Curiam

Facts:
August 14, 1969 Petitioner and respondent entered into an agreement thereby for and in
consideration of P55,430 petitioner agreed to sell the latter a parcel of land with a special condition
that should respondent as purchaser complete the construction and painting of his residential house on
the lot within 2 years petitioner would refund the amount of P10.00 per sqm.
When the special condition was fulfilled, respondent accordingly notified in writing the petitioner of
the same and requested his refund amounting to P4,820
Petitioner failed to pay his obligation, respondent filed a complaint for sum of money and damages
with the City Court of Manila
Petitioner filed a motion to dismiss on grounds of lack of jurisdiction, failure of the complaint to state
a cause of action and improper venue
City Court Judge Hererra held in abeyance the resolution on the motion until after the trial of the case
on the merits
A reconsideration of the said order having been denied, petitioner on October 12, 1972 filed with the
Court of First Instance of Manila , a special civil action for certiorari and prohibition with preliminary
injunction

A motion to dismiss was filed by private respondent, and on November 17, 1972, the petition was
dismissed on the ground that the claim of private respondent in his complaint, being less than
P10,000.00, is within the exclusive jurisdiction of the city court.

Petitioner before this Court that:


o The action is for specific performance of contract

o Actions in which the subject of litigation is not capable of pecuniary estimation such as
complaints for specific performance of contract are exclusively cognizable by the Court of
First Instance

Issue: WON the City Court of Manila, Branch II, has jurisdiction over the complaint? YES
Action involved is one for specific performance and not for a sum of money incapable of pecuniary
estimation because what respondent seeks is the performance of petitioners obligation under a
written contract to make a refund but under specific conditions still to be proven or established
But when a party to a contract has agreed to refund to the other party a sum of money upon
compliance by the latter of certain conditions and only upon compliance therewith may what is
legally due him under the written contract be demanded, the action is one not capable of pecuniary
estimation

Payment of a sum of money is only incidental which can only be ordered after a determination of
certain acts the performance of which being the more basic issue to be inquired into.

An analysis of all the factual allegations of the complaint patently shows that what private respondent
seeks is the performance of petitioners obligation under the written contract to make the refund of
the rate of P10.00 per square meter or in the total amount of P4,820.00, but only after proof of having
himself fulfilled the conditions that will give rise to petitioners obligation, a matter clearly incapable
of pecuniary estimation.
Held: Court RESOLVED to reverse the order appealed from and the complaint filed with the City
Court of Manila, Branch II, docketed as Civil Case No. 211673 is hereby ordered dismissed for lack of
jurisdiction.

Significance in relation to Dacasin vs. Dacasin: RTC vested with Jurisdiction to Enforce Contracts -
Subject matter jurisdiction is conferred by law. At the time petitioner filed his suit in the trial court, statutory
law vests on Regional Trial Courts exclusive original jurisdiction over civil actions incapable of pecuniary
estimation.An action for specific performance, such as petitioners suit to enforce the Agreement on joint
child custody, belongs to this species of actions. Thus, jurisdiction-wise, petitioner went to the right court.
44. Ascue v CA (1991)
Topic: Jurisdiction of the RTC

SUMMARY Lessor refused to collect rentals for 3 months so the kha-lessses (bwahaha kbye) consigned the
amount with the MeTC. Lessor said it is the RTC that has jurisdiction because consignation cases are
incapable of pecuniary estimation. The SC ruled that a valid consignation presupposes that there is an
amount of money due, and so in consignation cases, the subject matter IS capable of pecuniary estimation.
Thus, the amount sought to be consigned determines the jurisdiction of the court. In this case, the amount
consigned was P5625 (which is within the jurisdiction of the MeTC).

FACTS

Ramon Antonio, Salvador Salenga & Ulipia Fernandez are the lessees of Ramon Ascue
o They occupy Nos. 948, 950 and 952 in Pepin St., Sampaloc, Manila
o Their respective monthly rentals thereon are P635.00, P950.00 and P950.00
Ascue refused to collect the rentals for May, June and July 1986
o Total amount of rentals that became due: P 5,625.00
So lessees sought the consignation of the amount with the MeTC
Ascue filed a motion to dismiss complaint
o Said it is the RTC, not the MeTC, that has jurisdiction over consignation cases (because the
subject matter of litigation is incapable of pecuniary estimation)
MeTC denied the motion.
o The amount consigned (i.e. P 5,625.00) was below P 20,000.00 = so they have jurisdiction
o Besides, a motion to dismiss is a prohibited pleading
Ascue appealed to the RTC
RTC dismissed the appeal for being premature + proper remedy was a special civil action
for certiorari
So Ascue filed a direct appeal with the SC
SC referred the case to the CA, which has concurrent jurisdiction over the subject matter + no
special and important reason for SC to take cognizance of case at the first instance
Ascue filed a motion for reconsideration = SC denied
Meanwhile, CA dismissed the petition.
o Consignation cases fall within the jurisdiction of the MeTC and the amount consigned
determines that jurisdiction.

So Ascue filed with a petition for review on certiorari with the SC

ISSUE: WoN the case is under the jurisdiction of the RTC NO, its the MeTC
Ascue says: RTC has jurisdiction because the subject matter (consignation) is incapable of
pecuniary estimation
Consignation: the act of depositing the thing due with the court or judicial authorities whenever the
creditor cannot accept or refuses to accept payment and it generally requires a prior tender of
payment.
Requisites of a valid consignation
o There is a debt due
o The amount due is placed at the disposal of the court
So in consignation cases, there is a definite amount due and deposited = it is capable of
pecuniary estimation
o So the amount sought to be consigned determines the jurisdiction of the court
In this case, amount consigned is P5,625 = so MeTC has jurisdiction in accordance with Section
33(l) of BP 129
CA AFFIRMED. PETITION DENIED.
45. Villena v. Payoyo

Summary: This case involves a complaint for recovery of a sum of money and damages arising from a
contract of delivery and installation of kitchen cabinets and home appliances. The Court ruled that the
trial court has jurisdiction since the subject matter of the complaint is incapable of pecuniary
estimation. The allegations show that it is actually for a breach of contract and the prayer for refund is
a mere incident to the main action.

Facts
Patricio Payoyo (respondent) and Novaline, Inc., through its president, Patricio Villena
(petitioner), entered into a contract for the delivery and installation of kitchen cabinets
in Payoyos residence. The cabinets were to be delivered within ninety days
from downpayment of 50% of the purchase price.
Payoyo paid Villena P155,183 as downpayment.
Payoyo entered into another contract with Villena for the delivery of home appliances. On the
same day, Payoyo paid 50% of the purchase price equal to P29,638.50 as downpayment.
However, Villena failed to install the kitchen cabinets and deliver the appliances. Payoyo made
several demands upon Villena but the latter failed to comply.
Payoyo demanded the cancellation of the contracts and the refund in full of
the downpayments amounting to P184,821.50. Villena promised to install the kitchen cabinets
and to deliver the appliances. Despite repeated demands, Villena again failed to do so.
Payoyo sent Villena two demand letters asking the latter to either deliver all items or return
the downpayments.
Payoyo filed a complaint for recovery of a sum of money and damages against Villena.
Villena moved to dismiss the complaint for failure to state a cause of action. He argued that there
was no ground to cancel the contract; thus, there was no basis for refund.
The trial court denied his motion. Villena thereafter filed an answer with compulsory
counterclaim citing as an affirmative defense Payoyos failure to state a cause of action.
Immediately after the trial court issued a pre-trial order, Villena filed a second motion to dismiss
on the ground of lack of jurisdiction over the subject matter but it was denied.
TC ruled in favor of Payoyo, reasoning that the power to rescind is implied in reciprocal
obligations.
o Considering that Villena repeatedly failed to comply with his obligation, Payoyo had the
right to rescind the contract and demand a refund.
o The trial court ordered petitioner to pay respondent P184,821.50 as actual damages plus
12% interest per annum from the date of filing of the complaint and P20,000 as moral
damages plus legal interest from judicial demand until fully paid.
CA affirmed the RTC decision with modifications.

Issue: WoN the trial court had jurisdiction over the complaint
YES
Petitioner: RTC has no jurisdiction. The complaint is mainly for recovery of a sum of money in the
amount of P184,821.50 which is below the jurisdictional amount set for RTCs.
Respondent: RTC has jurisdiction over the complaint as the allegations therein show that it is actually
a case for rescission of the contracts. The recovery of a sum of money is merely a necessary
consequence of the cancellation of the contracts.
Court:
In determining the jurisdiction of an action whose subject is incapable of pecuniary estimation,
the nature of the principal action or remedy sought must first be ascertained.
o If it is primarily for the recovery of a sum of money, the claim is considered capable of
pecuniary estimation and the jurisdiction of the court depends on the amount of the
claim.
o But, where the primary issue is something other than the right to recover a sum of
money, where the money claim is purely incidental to, or a consequence of, the principal
relief sought, such are actions whose subjects are incapable of pecuniary estimation,
hence cognizable by the RTCs.
In this case, the complaint, albeit entitled as one for collection of a sum of money with damages,
is one incapable of pecuniary estimation; thus, one within the RTCs jurisdiction.
The allegations therein show that it is actually for breach of contract.
o A case for breach of contract is a cause of action either for specific performance or
rescission of contracts.
o An action for rescission of contract, as a counterpart of an action for specific
performance, is incapable of pecuniary estimation, and therefore falls under the
jurisdiction of the RTC.
In the present case, the averments in the complaint show that Payoyo sought the cancellation of
the contracts and refund of the downpayments since Villena failed to comply with the obligation
to deliver the appliances and install the kitchen cabinets subject of the contracts. The court then
must examine the facts and the applicable law to determine whether there is in fact substantial
breach that would warrant rescission or cancellation of the contracts and entitle the respondent
for a refund. While the respondent prayed for the refund, this is just incidental to the main
action, which is the rescission or cancellation of the contracts.
Supreme Court v Delgado
2011.

Summary: Montanez took out a loan from Miguel. Montanez failed to pay. Miguel filed a complained before the
Lupong tagapamayapa in the Barangay. The two ended up with a Kasunduang Pag-aayos. Montanez still failed to pay.
Miguel brought a suit. CA dismissed the suit for collection but ordered the enforcement of the kasunduan. SC: CA
reversed RTC judgment reinstated (collection in favour of Miguel).

Doctrine: parang its under the wrong topic in the syllabus bec this is a case where the subject of litigation is capable
of pecuniary investigation. Basically the case says that while kasunduans have the force and effect of a judgment and
should be enforced, a suit for a collection of sum of money means automatic rescission of the kasunduan.

Facts:

Montanez secured a loan from Miguel:

P 143,864Payable in 1 year OR until Feb 1, 2002


- Collateral house and lot located at Caloocan

Montanez failed to pay


- Miguel filed before the Lupong tagapamayapa of Brgy San
Jose, Rodriguez, Rizal
The two entered into a Kasunduang Pagaayos
- Respondent Montanez agreed to pay his loan in installments in the amount of Two Thousand Pesos (P2,000.00)
per month, and in the event the house and lot given as collateral is sold, the respondent would settle the
balance of the loan in full.
- Lupong Tagapamayapa issued a certification to file action in court in favor of the petitioner Miguel

Miguel filed before MTC Makati for Collection of sum of money

- Montanez Answer: Improper venue (petitioner was resident of


Caloocan while he lived in Rizal)
- MTC: ordered Montanez to pay
- Appeal to RTC of MAKATI: Respondent raised the same issue
- RTC affirmed MTC
- Appeal to CA
- Whether or not venue was improperly laid AND o Whether kasunduang pag-aayos effectively
- novated the loan agreement - CA: Reversed and set aside RTC: dismissed the suit for collection and
ordered the enforcement of the kasunduan
- No novation
o Merely supplemented the old agreement
o Such pagaayos has the force and effect of a court
Issues:
a. Whether complaint for sum of money is the proper remedy for the petitioner, notwithstanding the
Kasunduang Pagaayos

b. Whether CA should have decided the case on the merits rather the case for the enforcement of the
Kasunduan

A. Respondent failed to comply with the kasunduan, agreement is deemed RESCINDED (Art 2041)

i. Can enforce action for collection of sum of money

B. Cause of action arose from the loan agreement not the kasunduan/pag-aayos

i. Compromise: it has effect and authority of res judicata but there shall be no execution except in compliance with a
judicial compromise

ii. Being a by-product of mutual concessions and good faith of the parties, an amicable settlement has the force and
effect of res judicata even if not judicially approved. It transcends being a mere contract binding only upon the
parties thereto, and is akin to a judgment that is subject to execution in accordance with the Rules

iv. Enforced within 6 months from date of


settlement by filing an action to enforce inappropriate city or municipal court, IF BEYOND 6 MONTH PERIOD.

Enforcement by execution of amicable settlement is only applicable if the contracting parties have not repudiated such
settlement within 20 days from date thereon

the petitioner has the option either to enforce the Kasunduang Pag- aayos, or to regard it as rescinded and insist upon his
original demand, in accordance with the provision of Article 2041 of the Civil Code. Having instituted an action for
collection of sum of money, the petitioner obviously chose to rescind the Kasunduang Pag-aayos. As such, it is error on the
part of the CA to rule that enforcement by execution of said agreement is the appropriate remedy under the circumstances.

i. Accordance with: Sec 416 of the LGC or ROC


1. No action for rescission is required
2. Pursue suit as if there had never been any compromise
3. Without bringing an action for rescission
4. Need not ask for judicial declaration of rescission
5. Regrard compromise agreement as rescinded

2-TIERED MODE OF ENFORCEMENT OF AN AMICABLE SETTLEMENT:


i. Execution by the punong barangay (quasi-judicial and summary in nature) AND

ii. Action in regular form, which remedy is judicial

47. SARAZA vs. WILLIAM FRANCISCO


SUMMARY: Petitioners questioned the RTC Decision in a civil case for specific performance, arguing that the
RTC of Imus lacked jurisdiction over the case as it involved an adjudication of ownership of a property situated
in Makati City.
DOCTRINE: A case for specific performance with damages is a personal action which may be filed in a court
where any of the parties reside.
Section 2, Rule 4 of the Rules of Court governs the venue for the action. It provides that personal actions "may
be commenced and tried where the plaintiff or any of the principal plaintiffs resides, or where the defendant or
any of the principal defendants resides, or in the case of a non-resident defendant where he may be found, at
the election of the plaintiff." Considering that Franciscos statement in his complaint that he resides in Imus,
Cavite, the filing of his case with the RTC of Imus was proper.
FACTS:
Francisco alleged in his complaint that on September 1, 1999, he and Fernando executed an
Agreement that provided for the latters sale of his 100-square meter share in a lot situated in Bangkal,
Makati City, which at that time was still registered in the name of one Emilia Serafico for 3.2M Pesos.
o The amount of P1,200,000.00 was paid upon the Agreements execution, while the balance
of P2,000,000.00 was to be paid on installments to PNB, to cover a loan of Spouses Saraza,
Fernandos parents, with the bank. A final deed of sale conveying the property was to be
executed by Fernando upon full payment of the PNB loan.
It was also agreed upon that should the parties fail for any reason to transfer the subject property to the
Franciscos name, Rosario and Fernandos 136-sq m property shall be considered a collateral in favor
of the Francisco.
Francisco asked for the petitioners issuance of a Special Power of Attorney that would authorize him to
receive from PNB the owners duplicate copy of the property upon full payment of the loan. The
petitioners denied the request.
Upon inquiry from PNB, he found out that the petitioners had instead executed an Amended Authority,
which provided that the owners copy should be returned to the mortgagors upon full payment of the
loan. The spouses also evicted Francisco from the property. This prompted the Francisco to institute
the civil case for specific performance, sum of money and damages with the RTC.
The Spouses admitted the existence of the Agreement and the Authority which was addressed to PNB.
They, nonetheless, opposed Franciscos complaint on the ground that the amount of P1,200,000.00
which was supposed to be paid by Francisco upon the Agreements execution remained unpaid.
Francisco allegedly took advantage of the trust that was reposed upon him by the petitioners, who
nonetheless did not formally demand payment from him but merely waited for him to pay the amount.
RTC ruled in favor of Francisco and held Fernando liable, considering the contents of the Agreement of
the parties.
o The RTC held that contrary to the petitioners claim, the Franciscos full payment of
the P3,200,000.00 consideration provided in the Agreement was supported by: (1) the
petitioners acknowledgment in the Agreement that they received the amount of P1,200,000.00
upon its execution; and (2) the Certification from PNB that the full amount of Spouses Sarazas
loan with the bank had been fully paid.
Dissatisfied, Fernando questioned the RTC Decision before the CA. In addition to the defenses
which he raised during the proceedings before the RTC, he argued that the RTC of Imus lacked
jurisdiction over the case as it involved an adjudication of ownership of a property situated in
Makati City.
CA affirmed the ruling of RTC. On the issue of jurisdiction, the CA cited Fernandos failure to
seasonably file before the lower court a motion to dismiss stating that the action should have been filed
in Makati City. More importantly, the Court explained that the case was a personal action since it did
not involve a claim of ownership of the subject property, but only sought Fernandos execution of a
deed of sale in the Franciscos favor. Thus, the venue for the action was the residence of the plaintiff or
the defendant, at the plaintiffs option.
ISSUE: W/N RTC of Imus had jurisdiction over the case YES
Although the end result of Franciscos claim was the transfer of the subject property to his name, the
suit was still essentially for specific performance, a personal action, because it sought Fernandos
execution of a deed of absolute sale based on a contract which he had previously made.
In Siasoco v. Court of Appeals, private respondent filed a case for specific performance with damages
before the RTC of Quezon City. It alleged that after it accepted the offer of petitioners, they sold to a
third person several parcels of land located in Montalban, Rizal. The Supreme Court sustained the trial
courts order allowing an amendment of the original Complaint for specific performance with damages.
Contrary to petitioners position that the RTC of Quezon City had no jurisdiction over the case, as the
subject lots were located in Montalban, Rizal, the said RTC had jurisdiction over the original Complaint.
The Court reiterated the rule that a case for specific performance with damages is a personal action
which may be filed in a court where any of the parties reside.
Section 2, Rule 4 of the Rules of Court then governs the venue for Franciscos action. It provides that
personal actions "may be commenced and tried where the plaintiff or any of the principal plaintiffs
resides, or where the defendant or any of the principal defendants resides, or in the case of a non-
resident defendant where he may be found, at the election of the plaintiff." Considering the Franciscos
statement in his complaint that he resides in Imus, Cavite, the filing of his case with the RTC of Imus
was proper.
48. Trayvilla v Sejas; J. Del Castillo; Civil actions where the subject of litigation is incapable of pecuniary estimation

Summary: Trayvilla bought a lot from Sejas in a handwritten document. They went to the RTC to compel Sejas to
execute a final deed of sale in their favor, and amended their complaint to include reconveyance after he sold it to Juvy.
Sejas claimed that the RTC failed to acquire jurisdiction since the value of the lot wasnt provided for and the filing fees
for the amended complaint were improperly paid, which is required in a real action. Trayvilla claims the action was
merely for specific performance and thus incapable of pecuniary estimation, and that in any case, merely the
amendment should be dismissed. The SC held that the amendment qualified their case as a real action, and thus it
required the stated value of the lot and the payment of the proper docket fees to bestow jurisdiction. Regardless, even if
they could rely upon the stated value, it was P6k, below P20k, and thus the RTC had no jurisdiction to try the case.

Doctrine: Amendments can qualify cases labelled as one for specific performance into real actions. Real actions can rely
upon the actual market value or the stated value. If the value is above P20k (or P50k, in MM), the RTC has jurisdiction,
but under, the MTC does.

- In 1982, Claudio & Carmencita Trayvilla bought a 434-sqm lot from Bernardo Sejas in Zamboanga del Sur in a
private handwritten document and built a house on it. Later, Sejas reasserted his ownership over the lot.
Trayvilla filed for specific performance to compel Sejas to execute a final deed of sale, w/ P30k AF & damages.

o They later amended this to include Juvy Paglinawan (Sejas sold the lot to her), the cancellation of her
TCT, reconveyance of the lot, and P30k MD. However, the docket fees for the Amended Complaint
were not paid.

- Respondents moved to dismiss, claiming:

o The RTC lacked jurisdiction since the action was not for specific performance, but rather an action
involving title to real property, and those required the proper filing fee to be computed and paid.
However, the value of the lot was not alleged in the complaint and the proper filing fees were unpaid.

o The action had prescribed. The sale was in 82, they acted in 05 the 10 year period to sue upon a
handwritten contract had lapsed.

- The RTC denied the motion to dismiss, ruling that the action was for specific performance and incapable of
pecuniary estimation.

- The CA reversed, agreeing that the case involved title to real property since, as it was amended to include the
cancellation of a TCT and reconveyance, the aim of the original civil action was securing vaunted ownership,
and not merely specific performance. Thus, the court acquires jurisdiction only upon the payment of the filing
and docket fees prescribed by Rule 141(a), as amended by AM 04-2-04-SC.

o It requires the fair market value (in the tax declaration or the zonal value by the BIR) of the property or
at least, the stated value, whichever is higher, as a basis for computation of fees

o It also is important for jurisdiction in BP 129 S19, if the value exceeds P20k (unless in MM, then
P50k), the RTC has jurisdiction, if not, MTC.

- Thus this petition.

Issues:

1. Did the RTC acquire jurisdiction over the case? NO.

a. Petitioners erroneously argue that reconveyance was only prayed for in the amendment, whereas the
principal action is that of specific performance, and that at worst, the amendment could be disregarded
but the case should continue.
b. As correctly held by the CA, Trayvillas aim in filing the civil case was to secure title to the property,
qualifying their case as a real action, meaning they should have complied with the fee requirements.

c. However, the CA failed to consider that the stated value could be the basis for computation (in this
case, the lot was valued at P6k according to the amended complaint and the handwritten agreement).

d. Regardless, since the value is P6k which is lesser than P20k, the RTC lacked jurisdiction to hear the case.

Held: Petition denied.


49. MICHAEL SEBASTIAN v ANNABEL LAGMAY NG, represented by her Attorney-in-fact
ANGELITA LAGMAY

Summary: Annabel, through Angelita, and Michael reached an amicable settlement/kasunduan through the
Katarungang Pambarangay wherein Michael was to pay P250k to Annabel. Michael failed to honor the
kasunduan so Annabel sought to have the kasunduan enforced, first through the barangay, but the brgy.
captain instead issued a certification to file action. Annabel thus filed a motion for execution in the MCTC.
It was granted. Michael appealed to the RTC. It was initially denied, but on reconsideration, the RTC
reversed the MCTC decision, saying that the MCTC did not have jurisdiction since the subject matter is
P250k, beyond the P200k jurisdictional amount of the MCTC. On appeal, the CA reversed the RTC, relying
on Art. 417, LGC.
Doctrine: The CA is correct, pursuant to Sec. 417, LGC. The law, as written, unequivocally speaks of the
appropriate city or municipal court as the forum for the execution of the settlement or arbitration award
issued by the Lupon. Notably, in expressly conferring authority over these courts, the provision made no
distinction with respect to the amount involved or the nature of the issue involved. Thus, there can be no
question that the laws intendment was to grant jurisdiction over the enforcement of settlement/arbitration
awards to the city or municipal courts the regardless of the amount.

Facts:
In 1997, Angelita, acting as representative and attorney-in-fact of her daughter Annabel, filed a
complaint before the Barangay Justice, Siclong, Laur, Nueva Ecija. She sought to collect from Michael
the sum of P350k. She claimed that Annabel and Michael were once sweethearts and that they agreed to
jointly buy a truck. She alleged that while Annabel was working in Hongkong, Annabel sent Michael the
amount of P350k to purchase the truck, but after the relationship has ended, Michael allegedly refused to
return the money to Annabel
On July 9, 1997, the parties entered into an amicable settlement, evidenced by a document denominated
as kasunduan wherein Michael agreed to pay Annabel the amount of P250k on specific dates. The
kasunduan was signed by Angelita (on behalf of Annabel), Michael, and the members of the pangkat ng
tagapagkasundo.
When Michael failed to honor the kasunduan, Angelita brought the matter back to the Barangay, but the
Brgy. Captain failed to enforce the kasunduan, and instead, issued a Certification to File Action.
On Jan. 15, 1999, Angelita filed with the MCTC, Laur and Gabaldon, Nueva Ecija, a Motion for
Execution of the kasunduan.
Michael moved for the dismissal of the motion, alleging it is a violation of Sec. 15, Rule 13, RoC
On Jan. 17, 2000, the MCTC rendered a decision in favor of Annabel
Michael filed an appeal with the RTC, arguing that the MCTC committed grave abuse of discretion in
prematurely deciding the case. Michael also pointed out that a hearing was necessary for the petitioner to
establish the genuineness and due execution of the kasunduan
On Nov. 13, the RTC upheld the MCTC decision, holding that Michael failed to assail the validity of the
kasunduan, or to adduce any evidence to dispute Annabels claims or the applicability of the IRR of RA
7160 (LGC)
Michael filed a Motion for Reconsideration arguing that: (1) an amicable settlement or arbitration award
can be enforced by the Lupon within 6 months from date of settlement or after the lapse of 6 months, by
ordinary civil action in the appropriate City or Municipal TC and not by a mere Motion for execution;
and (2) the MCTC does not have jurisdiction since the amount of P250k (as the subject matter of the
kasunduan) is in excess of MCTCs jurisdictional amount of P200k
On March 13, 2001 the RTC granted the motion, finding merit in the jurisdictional issue he raised.
Angelita moved for the reconsideration, but the motion was subsequently denied. She thus filed a
Petition for Review with the CA.
On Aug. 2, the CA initially dismissed the petition on a mere technical ground of failure to attach the
Affidavit of Service. Angelita moved for reconsideration, attaching in her motion the Affidavit of
Service. The CA granted the motion.
On March 31, 2004, the CA reversed the RTCs decision, declaring that the appropriate local trial
court stated in Sec. 2, Rule VII, IRR of RA 7160 refers to the municipal trial courts. Thus, contrary to
Michaels contention, the MCTC has jurisdiction to enforce any settlement or arbitration award,
regardless of the amount involved. It also ruled that Michaels failure to repudiate the kasunduan in
accordance with the procedure prescribed under the IRR of RA 7160, rendering the kasunduan final.
Michael moved to reconsider this decision, but the CA denied his motion Hence, this petition for review
on certiorari

Issue: WoN the kasunduan can be enforced YES


A simple reading of Sec. 417, LGC readily discloses the two-tiered mode of enforcement of an amicable
settlement. Under this provision, an amicable settlement or arbitration award that is not repudiated
within a period of 10 days from the settlement may be enforced by: first, execution by the Lupon within
6 months from the date of the settlement; or second, by an action in the appropriate city or municipal
trial court if more than 6 months from the date of settlement has already elapsed. The second mode of
enforcement is judicial in nature and could only be resorted to through the institution of an action in a
regular form before the proper City/Municipal Trial Court. The proceedings shall be governed by the
provisions of the Rules of Court. Indisputably, Angelita chose to enforce the kasunduan under the
second mode and filed a motion for execution
The MCTC is authorized, through Angelitas motion for execution, to enforce the kasunduan under Sec.
417, LGC. Angelita filed before the MCTC was captioned motion for execution, rather than a
petition/complaint for execution; however, a perusal of the motion for execution shows that it contains
the material requirements of an initiatory action:
o The motion is sufficient in form and substance, complete with allegations of the ultimate
facts constituting the cause of action, the names and residences of the plaintiff and the defendant, the
prayer for the MCTC to order the execution of the kasunduan, and a verification and certification
against forum shopping.
o Attached to the motion are: 1) the authenticated SPA of Annabel, authorizing Angelita to file
the present action on her behalf, and 2) the copy of the kasunduan whose contents were quoted in the
body of the motion for execution.
It is well-settled that what are controlling in determining the nature of the pleading are the allegations in
the body and not the caption. Thus, the motion for execution that Angelita filed was intended to be an
initiatory pleading or an original action that is compliant with the requirement under Sec. 3, Rule 6, RoC.
Angelitas motion could therefore be treated as an original action, and not merely as a motion/special
proceeding. Thus, Annabel has filed the proper remedy prescribed under Sec. 417, LGC
However, Angelita should pay the proper docket fees corresponding to the filing of an action for
execution. The docket fees shall be computed by the Clerk of Court of the MCTC, with due
consideration of what Angelita had already paid when her motion for execution was docketed as a
special proceeding.

Issue: WoN the kasunduan could be given the force and effect of a final judgment YES
Under Sec. 416, LGC, the amicable settlement and arbitration award shall have the force and effect of a
final judgment of a court upon the expiration of 10 days from the date of its execution, unless the
settlement or award has been repudiated or a petition to nullify the award has been filed before the
proper city or municipal court. Moreover, Sec. 14, Rule VI, Katarungang Pambarangay IRR states that
the partys failure to repudiate the settlement within the period of 10 days shall be deemed a waiver of
the right to challenge the settlement on the ground that his/her consent was vitiated by fraud, violence or
intimidation.
In this case, the records reveal that Michael never repudiated the kasunduan within the period prescribed
by the law. Furthermore, the irregularities in the kasunduans execution, and the claim of forgery are
deemed waived since Michael never raised these defenses in accordance with the procedure prescribed
under the LGC

Issue: WoN the MCTC has the jurisdiction to execute the kasunduan regardless of the amount involved
YES
This is pursuant again to Sec. 417, LGC. The law, as written, unequivocally speaks of the appropriate
city or municipal court as the forum for the execution of the settlement or arbitration award issued by
the Lupon. Notably, in expressly conferring authority over these courts, the provision made no
distinction with respect to the amount involved or the nature of the issue involved. Thus, there can be no
question that the laws intendment was to grant jurisdiction over the enforcement of
settlement/arbitration awards to the city or municipal courts the regardless of the amount.
DAICHI ELECTRONICS MANUFACTURING v VILLARAMA amended by R.A. No. 6715, the RTC stated that it is the Labor Arbiter
PETITIONERS: DAI-CHI ELECTRONICS MANUFACTURING which had original and exclusive jurisdiction over the subject matter of the
case.
CORPORATION
4. Dai-Chi seeks the reversal of the RTCs dismissal of the civil case,
RESPONDENTS: HON. MARTIN S. VILLARAMA, JR., Presiding Judge, contending that the case is cognizable by the regular courts. It argues that the
Regional Trial Court, Branch 156, Pasig, Metro Manila and ADONIS C. cause of action did not arise from employer-employee relations, even though
LIMJUCO the claim is based on a provision in the employment contract.

ISSUES:
SUMMARY: Dai-Chi filed a complaint for damages in the RTC for breach of a 1. WON claim for damages arose from employer-employee relations, and is
post-employment provision in the contract. The RTC dismissed, ruling that the therefore within the jurisdiction of the LA NO
Labor Arbiter had jurisdiction as this controversy involved the relationship
between the employer-employee. On appeal to the SC, the Court ruled that the RATIO:
action was to recover damages not arising from the employer-employee 1.
relationship, but from a breach of the contractual obligation, and is therefore a. In the case at bar, Dai-Chi does not ask for any relief under the
within the purview of Civil law and the jurisdiction of regular courts. Labor Code. It seeks to recover damages agreed upon in the
contract as redress for Limjuco's breach of his contractual
DOCTRINE: Money claims of workers which now fall within the original and obligation. Such cause of action is within the realm of Civil Law,
exclusive jurisdiction of Labor Arbiters are those money claims which have and jurisdiction over the controversy belongs to the regular courts,

some reasonable causal connection with the employer-employee relationship. especially considering that the stipulation refers to the
Otherwise, the controversy should be resolved in the regular courts. post-employment relations of the parties.
b. While seemingly the cause of action arose from employer-employee
Nov 21, 1994 | Quiason, J. | Review | Jurisdiction of the RTC: RTC or Labor Courts?
relations, Dai-Chi's claim for damages is grounded on violation of
the terms and conditions of the contract, and this removed the
FACTS:
controversy from the coverage of the Labor Code and brought it
1. On July 29, 1993, Dai-Chi filed a complaint for damages with the within the purview of Civil Law.
RTC-Pasig against Limjuco, its former employee, for violation of their c. Jurisprudence has evolved the rule that claims for damages under
contract of employment. The provision states that after paragraph 4 of Article 217, to be cognizable by the Labor
termination/resignation, the employee is prohibited from being employed, in Arbiter, must have a reasonable causal connection with any of
a similar position or otherwise, in a competitor company. Otherwise, the the claims provided for in that article. Only if there is such a
employee shall be liable for liquidated damages worth P100,000. connection with the other claims can the claim for damages be
2. In the case at bar, Limjuco became an employee of Angel Sound Philippines considered as arising from employer-employee relations
Corporation, a corporation engaged in the same line of business as Dai-Chi, d. Other examples of actions not cognizable by LA:
within two years from January 30, 1992 (date of resignation). Limjuco is i. Action based on a quasi-delict or tort, which has no
also holding the position of Head of the Material Management Control reasonable causal connection with any of the claims
Department, the same position he held while in Dai-Chi.
3. RTC-Pasig ruled that it had no jurisdiction over the subject matter of the
controversy because the complaint was for damages arising from submission of the case by the parties for decision without extension, even in the
1
employer-employee relations. Citing Article 217(4) of the Labor Code , as absence of stenographic notes, the following cases involving all workers, whether
agricultural or non-agricultural:
1
Art. 217. Jurisdiction of Labor Arbiters and the Commission. (a) Except as xxx xxx xxx
otherwise provided under this Code, the Labor Arbiters shall have original and 4. Claims for actual, moral, exemplary and other forms of damages arising from the
exclusive jurisdiction to hear and decide, within thirty (30) calendar days after the employer-employee relations;
provided for in Article 217 (Ocheda v CA)
ii. Action for malicious prosecution (Pepsi v Galang)
51. YUSEN AIR AND SEA SERVICE PHILIPPINES INCORPORATED V VILLAMOR

Petitioner is a corporation engaged in the business of freight forwarding and respondent was its
branch manager in its Cebu Office who was later reclassified to the position of Division Manager,
a position he held until his resignation in 2002.

Immediately after his resignation, respondent started working for Aspac International, a
corporation engaged in the same line of business as that of petitioner.

Petitioner filed against respondent a complaint for injunction and damages with prayer for a
temporary restraining order alleging a breach of a non-compete clause.

Respondent filed a case for illegal dismissal against petitioner before the NLRC. Instead of filing
his answer to the Civil Case, he filed a Motion to Dismiss arguing the RTC has no jurisdiction over
the subject matter of said case because an employer-employee relationship is involved.

TC: dismissed the petitioners complaint for lack of jurisdiction over the subject matter thereof
on the ground that the action was for damages arising from employer-employee relations.

o Cited Art 217: it is the labor arbiter which had jurisdiction over petitioners complaint

Petitioners MR was also denied by the RTC.

WN petitioner's claim for damages arose from employer-employee relations between the parties? NO.
RTC has jurisdiction.

TRO is moot. 2-year prohibition against employment in a competing company which


petitioner seeks to enforce thru injunction, had already expired sometime in February 2004

But the damage aspect was never rendered moot.

An action for breach of contractual obligation is intrinsically a civil dispute.

Daichi Electronics v Villarama:

o Petitioner does not ask for any relief under the Labor Code of the Philippines. It seeks
to recover damages agreed upon in the contract as redress for private respondents
breach of his contractual obligation to its damage and prejudice. Such cause of
action is within the realm of Civil Law, and jurisdiction over the controversy belongs
to the regular courts. More so when we consider that the stipulation refers to the
post-employment relations of the parties.

Claims are cognizable by the LA only if there is such a connection with the other claims can a
claim for damages be considered as arising from employer-employee relations
SMC v NLRC: money claims of workers which now fall within the original and exclusive
jurisdiction of Labor Arbiters are those money claims which have some reasonable causal
connection with the employer-employee relationship.

Case at bar: cause of action is based on a quasi-delict or tort, which has no reasonable
causal connection with any of the claims provided for in Article 217, jurisdiction over the
action is with the regular courts.
52. Barrera v. Heirs of Vicente Legaspi 2008 dispossessing respondents of the property, they used a tractor to
September 12, 2008 | J. Carpio-Morales | Petition for Review on Certiorari destroy the planted crops, took possession of the land, and had since
tended it.
Petitioners: Fernanda Geonzon vda. de Barrera and Johnny Oco, Jr. February 7, 1997: Respondents filed a complaint before the RTC of
Respondents: Heirs of Vicente Legaspi (represented by Pedro Legaspi) Tangub for Reconveyance of Possession with Preliminary
Mandatory Injunction against petitioners.
Summary: Respondents predecessor-in-interest Vicente and his wife Lorenza Petitioners answered that the subject land forms part of a 3-hectare
have owned a piece of land since 1935. They found that part of it was owned property described in OCT No. P-447, issued in the name of Andrea
by one Andrea Lacson, but never filed an action to recover ownership. In Lacson, who sold a 2-hectare portion thereof to Eleuterio Geonzon,
1996, petitioners Fernanda and Johnny entered upon their land and who, in turn, sold 1.1148 to his sister, petitioner Fernanda.
dispossessed them of the same by the use of a tractor. Respondents then filed Respondents asserted that the land was occupied, possessed and
a complaint with the RTC for reconveyance of possession (accion publiciana). cultivated by their predecessor-in-interest Vicente Legaspi and his
The assessed value of the land stated in the tax declaration was only P11,160. wife Lorenza since 1935. After a subdivision survey, it was found
This prompted the petitioners to question the jurisdiction of the RTC over that part of the land formed part of the titled property of Andrea
the subject matter. The RTC and CA ruled in favor of respondents, on both LAcson. Despite this, they never filed any action to recover
issues of jurisdiction and reconveyance, opining that the estimated value of ownership thereof since they were left undisturbed in their
the land was P50k, thus placing it within the jurisdiction of the RTC. possession, until October 1, 1996, when petitioners forced their way
into it.
Doctrine: The RTC had no jurisdiction over the subject matter of the In their Memorandum, petitioners raised the issue of ownership as a
complaint. Under BP 129, as amended by RA7691, it is the municipal trial special affirmative defense. However, they questioned the
court that has exclusive original jurisdiction over all civil actions which jurisdiction of the RTC over the subject matter of the complaint, as
involve title to, or possession of, real property, or any interest therein where the assessed value of the land was only P11,160, as reflected in Tax
the assessed value of the property or interest therein does not exceed P20k Declaration No. 7565.
or, in civil actions in Metro Manila, where such assessed value does not
exceed P50k. This assessed value of the property refers to the worth or value Lower Courts
of property established by taxing authorities on the basis of which the tax RTC Ruled in favor of respondents, ordering the petitioners to
rate is applied, and is not the same as the true or market value. Given that return the possession of the land and to desist from further
the land was assessed at P11,160, it was the municipal trial court that had depriving and disturbing respondents peaceful possession thereof.
jurisdiction over the case. As to the issue of jurisdiction, the RTC ruled that the present
estimated value of the land was P50k, so it had jurisdiction over the
Facts case.
This is a petition for review on certiorari of the decision of the CA, CA Affirmed the RTC, holding that both testimonial and
which affirmed the RTC of Tangub City in ordering the defendants- documentary evidence established that respondents have been in
petitioners Fernanda Geonzon vda. de Barrera and Johnny Oco, Jr. to peaceful, continuous, public and actual possession of the property
return possession of the subject property to plaintiffs-respondents even before the year 1930. It also emphasized that in an accion
Heirs of Vicente Legaspi. publiciana, the only issue involved is the determination of
October 1, 1996: Petitioner Johnny, said to be a peace officer possession de jure.
connected with the PNP accompanied by unidentified CAFGU
members, forced his way into respondents 0.9504-hectare irrigated Issue 1: W/N the RTC had jurisdiction over the subject matter of the case
farmland at Liloan, Bonifacio, Misamis Occidental. After NO
S33, BP 129, as amended by RA 7691, provides for the jurisdiction of The Court likewise noted that respondents cause of action (accion
metropolitan trial courts, municipal trial courts, and municipal publiciana) is the wrong mode. The dispossession took place on
circuit trial courts: Exclusive original jurisdiction in all civil October 1, 1996 and the complaint was filed four months thereafter
actions which involve title to, or possession of, real property, or or on February 7, 1997. Respondents exclusion from the property
any interest therein where the assessed value of the property or had thus not lasted for more than one year to call for the remedy of
interest therein does not exceed Twenty thousand pesos accion publiciana.
(P20,000.00) or, in civil actions in Metro Manila, where such assessed
value does not exceed Fifty thousand pesos (P50,000.00) exclusive of HELD: Petition granted.
interest, damages of whatever kind, attorneys fees, litigation
expenses and costs: Provided, That in cases of land not declared for
taxation purposes, the value of such property shall be determined by
the assessed value of the adjacent lots.
Before the amendments introduced by RA 7691, the plenary action of
accion publiciana was to be brought before the RTC. With RA 7691,
the jurisdiction of the first level courts has been expanded to include
jurisdiction over other real actions where the assessed value does not
exceed P20,000, P50,000 where the action is filed in Metro Manila.
The first level courts thus have exclusive original jurisdiction over
accion publiciana and accion reivindicatoria where the assessed value
of the real property does not exceed the aforestated amounts.
Accordingly, the jurisdictional element is the assessed value of the
property.
Assessed value is understood to be the worth or value of property
established by taxing authorities on the basis of which the tax rate is
applied. Commonly, however, it does not represent the true or
market value of the property.
The subject land has an assessed value of P11,160 as reflected in the
tax declaration, a common exhibit of the parties. The bare claim of
respondents that it has a value of P50k thus fails. The case therefore
falls within the exclusive original jurisdiction of the municipal trial
court.
It was error then for the RTC to take cognizance of the complaint
based on the allegation that the present estimated value [of the land
is] P50k which allegation is, oddly, handwritten on the printed
pleading. The estimated value, commonly referred to as fair market
value, is entirely different from the assessed value of the property.
Lack of jurisdiction is one of those excepted grounds where the court
may dismiss a claim or a case at any time when it appears from the
pleadings or the evidence on record that any of those grounds exists,
even if they were not raised in the answer or in a motion to dismiss.
53. Heirs of Sebe v. Heirs of Sevilla 053
GR No. 174497, 12 Oct 2009, Abad, J.
Digested by Joseph Pajarillo Law 125 CivPro
Topic: RTC or MTC

The Sebes file a case against the Sevillas in the RTC. The RTC dismisses the case, finding that it
did not meet the jurisdictional requirement of the value of the lot being more than P20,000. The
Court ruled that the issue of the case involved ownership, and was thus not incapable of
pecuniary estimation, as the Sebes claimed.

FACTS
The Sebes filed a complaint against the Sevillas and Technology and Livelihood
Resources Center for Annulment of Document, Reconveyance and Recovery of
Possession of two lots, which had a total value of P9,910, plus damages.
o The case was filed with the RTC.
The complaint was later amended, with the Sebes claiming that Sevilla got them to sign
documents conveying the lots to him.
RTC: dismissed the case for lack of jurisdiction, finding that the relief sought was for
reconveyance of title and possession of two lots with value less than P20,000.
o Only actions where the value of the property exceeded P20,000 fell under the
jurisdiction of the RTC the complaint should have been filed with the MTC
instead.
Sebes: Filed MR (rejected). The action was not involving title to or possession of real
property; the case was for annulment of documents and titles of Sevilla, which was
incapable of pecuniary estimation and thus fell within the jurisdiction of the RTC.

ISSUES & HOLDING


Does the RTC have jurisdiction over the case? NO.
o Is the issue one of title or possession of real property, or one incapable of
pecuniary estimation? Title/Possession of Real Property.
RATIO
The Sebes claimed that they had been owners of the lots in question for more than 40
years. They were allegedly tricked by Sevilla into signing deeds conveying ownership
over the two lots to the latter, when they thought they were deeds of real estate mortgage.
The Sebes asked the RTC to void the affidavits of quitclaim and the deeds of
confirmation of sale over the lots.
o Based on the allegations of the complaint, the applicable law is BP 129. Should
the case have been decided under the original text of the same, the case would
have been deemed a real action incapable of pecuniary estimation, and there
would be no issue.
BP 129 was amended by RA 7601, and the Court distinguished between real actions and
actions became necessary, as the first level courts had jurisdiction over real actions
involving property with assessed values less than P20,000.
According to the court, an action involving title to real property meant that the plaintiffs
cause of action is based on a claim that he owns such property or has legal rights to
exclusive control, possession, enjoyment or disposition of the same.
o Title is the link between the owner of a property and the property.
Certificate of title, meanwhile, is the evidence of the title.
If the Sebes can prove that they had title or rightful claim over the two lots, they would
then be entitled to secure evidence of ownership, and then to possess and enjoy them. The
Court may then direct Sevilla to return the lots and their corresponding titles without
cancelling the titles issued to him.
The Court found that the case was not about the declaration of nullity of the documents,
or the reconveyance of the certificates of title to the Sebes these would follow a
determination of which of the parties was the lawful owner of the lots.
o The ultimate issue was whether or not Sevilla defrauded the Sebes of their
property by making them sign documents of conveyance rather than a deed of
real mortgage, jurisdiction over which was determined by the assessed value of
the lots.
The total assessed value of the lots was P9,910, which did not meet the requirement of
exceeding P20,000. Therefore the MTC had jurisdiction over the complaint.

DISPOSITIVE
Petition DISMISSED. RTC ruling
AFFIRMED.
54. Spouses Huguete vs Spouses Embudo
July 1, 2003
Summary:
Petitioner spouses filed a complaint for the annulment of deed of sale and partition of the 50-square meter
portion of land against respondent spouses in the RTC.
Respondent spouses filed a Motion to Dismiss the complaint on the ground of lack of jurisdiction over the
subject matter of the case, arguing that the action is one for annulment of title and the total assessed
value of the subject land was only P15,000.00 which falls within the exclusive jurisdiction of the MTC,
pursuant to Sec 33(3) of BP Blg 129, as amended by RA 7691.
Petitioner spouses filed an Opposition to the Motion to Dismiss alleging that the subject matter of the
action is incapable of pecuniary estimation and, therefore, is cognizable by the RTC, as provided by Sec
19(1) of BP 129, as amended.

Facts:

Herein petitioner spouses Jorge and Yolanda Huguete instituted against respondent
spouses Teofredo Amarillo Embudo and Marites Huguete-Embudo a complaint for
Annulment of Deed of Sale, and Partition, before the Regional Trial Court of Cebu City.
Petitioners alleged that their son-in-law, respondent Teofredo, sold to them a parcel of
land situated in San Isidro, Talisay, Cebu, for a consideration of P15,000.00 and that
despite demands, Teofredo refused to partition the lot between them.
Respondents filed a Motion to Dismiss the complaint on the ground of lack of jurisdiction
over the subject matter of the case, arguing that the total assessed value of the subject
land was only P15,000.00 which falls within the exclusive jurisdiction of the Municipal
Trial Court, pursuant to Section 33(3) of Batas Pambansa Blg. 129, as amended by
Republic Act No. 7691.
Petitioners filed an Opposition to the Motion to Dismiss alleging that the subject matter of
the action is incapable of pecuniary estimation and, therefore, is cognizable by the
Regional Trial Court, as provided by Section 19(1) of B.P. 129, as amended.
Petitioners maintain that the complaint filed before the Regional Trial Court is for the
annulment of deed of sale and partition, and is thus incapable of pecuniary estimation.
Respondents, on the other hand, insist that the action is one for annulment of title and
since the assessed value of the property as stated in the complaint is P15,000.00, it falls
within the exclusive jurisdiction of the Municipal Trial Court.
Nonetheless the trial court dismissed the complaint for lack of jurisdiction. Petitioners
filed a Motion for Reconsideration, which was denied on July 26, 2001. Hence this
appeal.

Issue:
WHETHER THE RTC HAS JURISDICTION OVER THE SUBJECT MATTER OF THE
ACTION.
Decision:
The SC ruled that the petition lacks merit.
In determining whether an action is one the subject matter of which is not capable of
pecuniary estimation this Court has adopted the criterion of first ascertaining the nature
of the principal action or remedy sought. If it is primarily for the recovery of a sum of
money, the claim is considered capable of pecuniary estimation, and whether the
jurisdiction is in the municipal courts or in the courts of first instance would
depend on the amount of the claim. However, where the basic issue is something
other than the right to recover a sum of money, where the money claim is purely
incidental to, or a consequence of, the principal relief sought, this Court has
considered such actions as cases where the subject of the litigation may not be
estimated in terms of money, and are cognizable exclusively by the Regional Trial
Courts.
In the case at bar, the principal purpose of petitioners in filing the complaint was to
secure title to the 50-square meter portion of the property which they purchased from
respondents.
Petitioners cause of action is based on their right as purchaser of the 50-square meter
portion of the land from respondents. They pray that they be declared owners of the
property sold. Thus, their complaint involved title to real property or any interest therein.
The alleged value of the land which they purchased was P15,000.00, which was within
the jurisdiction of Municipal Trial Court. The annulment of the deed of sale between Ma.
Lourdes Villaber-Padillo and respondents, as well as of TCT No. 99694, were prayed for
in the complaint because they were necessary before the lot may be partitioned and the
50-square meter portion subject thereof may be conveyed to petitioners.
Petitioners argument that the present action is one incapable of pecuniary estimation
considering that it is for annulment of deed of sale and partition is not well-taken. As
stated above, the nature of an action is not determined by what is stated in the
caption of the complaint but by the allegations of the complaint and the reliefs
prayed for. Where, as in this case, the ultimate objective of the plaintiffs is to obtain title
to real property, it should be filed in the proper court having jurisdiction over the
assessed value of the property subject thereof.
WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing, the instant petition for review is DENIED
Genesis Investment Inc v. Heirs of Ebarasabal 055
GR No. 181622, 20 November 2013, Peralta, J.
Digested by PTJZU Law 125 Civil Procedure
Topic: RTC or MTC?
Nature of action Petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45
What action below Complaint for Declaration of Nullity of Documents, Recovery of Shares.
RTC dismissed a case which involves title to real property less than P20,000 in value claiming
lack of jurisdiction. SC says RTC still had jurisdiction because the case had other causes of
action incapable of pecuniary jurisdiction.
FACTS
Nov 12, 2003 Respondents filed against Petitioners a complaint for declaration of
nullity of documents, recovery of shares, partition, damages and attorneys fees with the
RTC of Barili, Cebu.
Aug 5, 2004 PETS filed a Motion to Dismiss RTC has no jurisdiction because
the case involves title to or possession of real property the assessed value of which does
not exceed P20,000. The value of the property was only P11,900 falling within MTC
jurisdiction.
o RTC granted: While the annulment of documents is incapable of pecuniary
estimation cognizable by second level courts, the value of the property involved,
as admitted, is still less than P20,000 hence beyond RTC jurisdiction.
RESP filed a Motion for Partial Reconsideration Their complaint consists of
several causes of action, since the annulment of documents is incapable of pecuniary
estimation, it falls within RTC jurisdiction.
o RTC granted: the declaration of nullity or annulment of documents which
unquestionably is incapable of pecuniary estimation and thus within the exclusive
original jurisdiction of this court to try although in the process of resolving the
controversy, claims of title or possession of the property in question is involved
which together with all the other remaining reliefs prayed for are but purely
incidental to or as a consequence of the foregoing principal relief sought.
PETS filed a Motion for Reconsideration, but the RTC denied.
PETS filed a petition for certiorari with the CA.
o CA dismissed: The subject matter of the RESPS complaint is incapable of
pecuniary estimation, therefore within RTC jurisdiction.
PETS filed a MR, which was subsequently denied by CA.

ISSUES & HOLDING


WON the case is within the jurisdiction of the RTC? YES





RATIO
Though the assessed value of the property makes it fall within the jurisdiction of the
MTC, a complete reading of the complaint would show that, based on the nature of the
suit, the allegations and the relief sought, the action is within RTC jurisdiction.
o Aside from praying that the RTC render judgment declaring as null and void the
said Deed of Extrajudicial Settlement with Sale and Memorandum of Agreement,
respondents likewise sought the following: (1) nullification of the Tax
Declarations subsequently issued in the name of petitioner Cebu Jaya Realty, Inc.;
(2) partition of the property in litigation; (3) reconveyance of their respective
shares; and (3) payment of moral and exemplary damages, as well as attorney's
fees, plus appearance fees.
o This is a case of joinder of causes of action which comprehends more than the
issue of partition or recovery of shares over real property.
Singson v. Isabela Sawmill: In determining WON an action is capable of pecuniary
estimation, the nature of the principal action must be ascertained. If it is primarily to
recover a sum of money, the claim is capable of pecuniary estimation. If the right to
recover a sum of money is purely incidental to the principal relief sought, the action
may not be estimated in terms of money and is only cognizable by RTC.
The principal relief sought is the nullification of the subject Extrajudicial Settlement with
Sale entered into by and between some of their co-heirs and respondents, insofar as their
individual shares in the subject property are concerned. Thus, the recovery of their
undivided shares or interest over the disputed lot, which were included in the sale,
simply becomes a necessary consequence if the above deed is nullified.
Sec 5, Rule 2, ROC: where the causes of action are between the same parties but pertain
to different venues or jurisdictions, the joinder may be allowed in the RTC provided one
of the causes of action falls within the jurisdiction of said court and the venue lies therein.

DISPOSITIVE
Petition Denied.
56. Russell v. Hon. Vestil
GR 119347 / Kapunan

Petition for Certiorari to set aside RTC Order issued by Hon. Judge Vestil

Facts

-Sps Tautho owned a parcel of land. They died. The property was inherited by their legal heirs, the
PETs and RESPS.

-The land had remained undivided until PETs discovered a public document "DECLARATION OF HEIRS
AND DEED OF CONFIRMATION OF PREVIOUS ORAL PARTITION by virtue of which RESPS divided the
property among themselves to the exclusion of PETs who are also entitled to the lot as heirs

-PETs prayed that the document be declared null and void and that an order be issued to partition the
land

-RESPS filed MTD on the ground of lack of jurisdiction over the nature of the case as the total assessed
value of the land is P5,000.00 which under Sec.33(3) of BP129 falls within the exclusive jurisdiction of
MTC

-PETs filed Opposition to MTD saying that RTC has jurisdiction since the action is incapable of
pecuniary estimation under Sec.19(1) of BR129

-RTC granted the MTD

Issue

WON RTC has jurisdiction? YES

Held

The complaint filed before RTC is one incapable of pecuniary estimation, hence within RTCs
jurisdiction

-In determining whether an action is one the subject matter of which is not capable of pecuniary
estimation, first ascertain the nature of the principal action or remedy sought.
-if it is primarily for the recovery of a sum of money, the claim is considered capable of
pecuniary estimation, and whether jurisdiction is in municipal courts or in the courts of first
instance would depend on the amount of the claim
-where the basic issue is something other than the right to recover a sum of money, where
the money claim is purely incidental to or a consequence of the principal relief sought, the subject
of litigation may not be estimated in terms of money, and are cognizable exclusively by RTCs

-Examples of actions incapable of pecuniary estimation: specific performance, support, foreclosure of


mortgage or annulment of judgment, actions questioning validity of mortgage, annulling a deed of
sale or conveyance and to recover the price paid and for rescission

-The subject matter of the complaint here is annulment of the document. While the complaint also
prays for the partition of the property, this is just incidental to the main action which is the
declaration of nullity of the document.

RTC Order dismissing the case set aside


BPI v. Honorable Hontanosas 057
GR No.157163 ,June 25, 2014 , Bersamin J.
Digested by Deriq M. David Law 125

FACTS
Spouses Silverio and Zosima Borbon, Spouses Xerxes and Erlinda Facultad,and
XM Facultad and Development Corporation commenced a Civil Case against
herein petitioner, seeking a declaration of nullity for several promissory notes,
chattel mortgages, and a surety agreement they had entered into with petitioner.
Also applied for a TRO writ of preliminary injunction to prevent Petitioner from
foreclosing the mortgages on their property.
Respondents in total owed 17.9M pesos to petitioner, but were only able to pay
back 13M. They cited the economic turmoil present in Asia as the reason for the
on-payment.
BPI, on June 6, 2001 filed a motion to dismiss on the grounds of improper venue
and for lack of jurisdiction, as the legal fees had not yet been paid by private
respondents and that private respondents had not cited a cause of action.
RTC denied the motion to dismiss for being unmeritorious, but granted the
preliminary injunction prayed for by private respondents.
Petitioner assailed the order by way of petition for certiorari.
CA affirmed order of the lower court. On the issue of the non-payment of the
legal/docket fees, the court stated that the allegation was without evidence.
Hence this petition.

ISSUES & HOLDING


WON the case should be dismissed for either non payment of the docket fees
and/or improper venue? No
WON the preliminary injunction was proper? No

RATIO
As to the first issue, the venue(Cebu), being a personal action, was proper(Section
2 Rule ). It was the place of residence of one of the plaintiffs hence venue was
proper.
o Real Action- Any action dealing possession or title of real property or an
interest therein.
Should be commenced and tried in the province where the property
or any part thereof lies.
o Personal Action- Any other type of action. (Ex. recovery of personal
property, or for the enforcement of some contract or recovery of damages
for its breach, or for the recovery of damages for the commission of an
injury to the person or property.)
May be commenced and tried where the defendant or any of the
defendants resides or may be found, or where the plaintiff or any
of the plaintiffs resides, at the election of the plaintiff.
Docket Fees: Unsupported by Evidence
Preliminary Injunction was improper. Court cited Section 3 Rule 58 1 which states
the guidelines for a preliminary injunction to be considered as proper.
Court further stated that the following are requirements for an injunction to be
issued, (a) that the right to be protected exists prima facie; (b) that the act sought
to be enjoined is violative of that right; and (c) that there is an urgent and
paramount necessity for the writ to prevent serious damage.
The respondents when they filed the civil case did not have a right to be protected.
They admitted that there was a non payment of the amount still due BPI.
Foreclosure is the proper remedy of BPI in cases of non payment of the amount
due in chattel mortgage, mortgages and the like.

DISPOSITIVE
Disposition

1Section 3. Grounds for issuance of preliminary injunction. - A preliminary injunction may be granted
when it is established:

(a) That the applicant is entitled to the relief demanded, and the whole or part of such relief consists
in restraining the commission or continuance of the act or acts complained of, or in requiring the
performance of an act or acts, eitherfor a limited period or perpetually;

(b) That the commission, continuance or non-performance of the act or acts complained of during the
litigation would probably work injustice to the applicant; or

(c) That a party, court, agency or a person is doing, threatening, or is attempting to do, or is procuring
or suffering to be done, some act or acts probably in violation of the rights of the applicant respecting
the subject of the action or proceeding, and tending to render the judgment ineffectual.
58. Eugenio v Sta. Monica Riverside Homeowners Association

Summary: Eugenio and co. did not want to leave a tract of land bought by Sta. Monica Riverside
Homeowners Association, which was under the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board
(HLURB). SMR filed ejectment cases against them in the HLURB, EE and co. assailed HLURBs
jurisdiction over the case.

Doctrine: HLURB has the jurisdiction to supervise and regulate homeowner associations. SMRs
cause of action resonates from the rights of the members of the association, which gives the
HLURB jurisdiction over the case.

Facts:
Residents of a parcel of land owned by Hi-Marketing Corp (HM) in Quezon City
organized themselves into a community association Sta. Monica Riverside HA (SMR)
o Registered under the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB) for the
purpose of acquiring land under the Community Mortgage Program (CMP) of the
Social Housing and Finance Corp (SHFC)
CMP as a mode of land acquisition was introd by RA 7279
o S33: Beneficiaries of the program shall be responsible for their org into
associations to manage their subdivisions or places of residence
o Mortgage program of the National Home Mortgage Finance Corp (NHMFC)
assists the legally organized associations of underprivileged and homeless
citizens to purchase and develop land under the concept of community
ownership
Through the CMP, the land owner executes a contract to sell the prop for
SMR
SMR then makes an agreement with SHFC for the collection and
remittance of shares in monthly amortization for its member borrowers
and make sure they are paid
If someone defaults, SMR has to find a sub who shall assume the
obligations
SMR started negotiations with HM invited Edna Eugenio and co., who occupied a
portion of the land, to become members
o They refused, they formed another, non-accredited, org
o HM sold the land to SMR
Since only members of SMR can avail of its benefits, SMR again asked EE
and Co. to join they still said no
SMR asked them to leave but they didnt so SMR filed a complaint for
eviction before the HLURB
HLURB Arbiter Melchor told them to vacate
o On jurisdiction HULRB has the power to regulate and supervise activities and
ops. of homeowners associations
SMR causes of action are incidental to the enforcement of interests of
SMR members AKA HLURB has primary jurisdiction over the case
o Board of Commissioners affirmed this decision
o On pet for rev in the CA Denied, MFR was also denied

Issues:
W/N HLURB had jurisdiction over the case? YES
Rule 2 of the disputes triable by the HLURB
o HLURB has jurisdiction over intra-corp relations bet. Members and bet. The
association and the state or other public entities
o EE and Co say that HLURB has no jurisdiction bec there is no intra-corp
controversy as there are non-members in SMR + the case is not a controversy
bet. Public and the association bec it does not pertain to SMRs juridical
personality
They say that BP 129 gives jurisdiction to the 1st level courts over forcible
entry and Unlawful detainer cases
HLURB has quasi-judicial functions all controversies relating to the subject matter of
its specialization are within its jurisdiction
o They have the jurisdiction to supervise and regulate homeowner associations so
the complaint was correctly filed to them
o EE and co. affirmed that HLURB had jurisdiction when they challenged SMRs
right to exist as a corp entity.
They said that they have no juridical personality bec they were SMR was
not regd under the HLURB
o Right of possession, which is the main problem of this case, falls within the
determination of the rights and privileges granted by the CMP
Gives HLURB Jurisdiction
(59) CHRISTIAN GENERAL ASSEMBLY, INC. v SPS. AVELINO C. IGNACIO and tenant-beneficiaries, including Lot 2-F and Lot 2-G. On appeal, the Office of the
PRISCILLA T. IGNACIO August 27, 2009 President, the CA and finally the SC upheld the DAR Order.
Topic: RTC or HLURB
CGA, hence, filed a complaint against the Sps before the RTC.
Summary: CGA entered into a Contract to Sell a subdivision lot with the Sps Allegation:
Ignacio. Later, CGA learned that the Sps do now own the lot. CGA filed a - Sps fraudulently concealed the fact that the subject property was part of a
rescission case in the RTC. The Sps filed a MD. RTC denied the MD. CA, however, property under litigation, and that the Sps did not even own the property
ordered the dismissal of the case. It ruled that, based on the provisions of PD 957 Prayer:
and PD 1344, the HLURB, not the RTC, had exclusive jurisdiction over the subject - for the trial court to rescind the contract, and order the Sps to return the
matter of the complaint since it involved a contract to sell a subdivision lot. SC amounts already paid, and pay damages
affirmed the decision, but noted that those cases cognizable by the HLURB
should also be those instituted by subdivision or condominium buyers or owners Instead of filing an answer, the Sps filed a motion to dismiss (MD).
against the project developer or owner, and not vice versa, as indicated by the - RTC had no jurisdiction over the case. Pursuant to PD957 and PD1344, the case
wordings of Sec. 1 PD No. 1344. falls within the exclusive jurisdiction of the HLURB since it involved the sale of a
subdivision lot.
Doctrine: HLURB has exclusive jurisdiction over complaints instituted by
subdivision or condominium buyers or owners against the project developer or Oct 15, 2002, the RTC denied the MD.
owner AND arising from contracts between them (buyer and developer) or those - the action for rescission of contract and damages due to the Sps fraudulent
aimed at compelling the subdivision developer to comply with its contractual misrepresentation that they are the rightful owners of the subject property, free
and statutory obligations to make the subdivision a better place to live in. from all liens and encumbrances, is outside the HLURBs jurisdiction.

A petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the decision of CA The Sps then filed a petition for certiorari with the CA.
BRION, J
FACTS Oct 20, 2003, the CA set the RTC order aside
April 30, 1998, CGA entered into a Contract to Sell a subdivision lot with the Sps. - Based on the provisions of PD 957 and PD 1344 , the HLURB had exclusive
CGA would pay P2,373,000 (later increased to P2,706, 600) for the property on jurisdiction over the subject matter of the complaint since it involved a contract
installment basis. to sell a subdivision lo.

CGA later learned that the subject property was actually part of two Hence this petition.
consolidated lots (Lots 2-F and 2-G) that the Sps had acquired from Nicanor -----------------------------------------
Adriano and Ceferino Sison, respectively. Adriano and Sison were former CGA's Position:
tenant-beneficiaries of Purificacion S. Imperial whose property in Cutcut, - the exclusive jurisdiction of the HLURB, as set forth in PD 1344 and PD 957, is
Pulilan, Bulacan had been placed under PD 27s Operation Land Transfer. limited to cases involving specific performance and does not cover actions for
rescission.
According to CGA, Imperial applied for the retention of five hectares of her land
under RA 6657, which the DAR granted in its October 2, 1997 order. The DAR Sps' Position:
Order authorized Imperial to retain the farm lots previously awarded to the - since CGAs case involves the sale of a subdivision lot, it falls under the
HLURBs exclusive jurisdiction. developing subdivisions and corporations being imbued with public interest and
-------------------------------------------- welfare, any question arising from the exercise of that prerogative should be
Which of the two the regular court or the HLURB has exclusive brought to the HLURB which has the technical know-how on the matter. In the
jurisdiction over CGAs action for rescission and damages. exercise of its powers, the HLURB must commonly interpret and apply contracts
Held: HLURB and determine the rights of private parties under such contracts. This ancillary
(1) HLURB's exclusive jurisdiction: power is no longer a uniquely judicial function, exercisable only by the regular
PD 1344, "Empowering The National Housing Authority To Issue Writ Of courts.
Execution In The Enforcement Of Its Decision Under PD 957," clarifies and spells
out the quasi-judicial dimensions of the grant of jurisdiction to the HLURB in the (2) Subdivision cases under the RTCs jurisdiction
following specific terms: The expansive grant of jurisdiction to the HLURB does not mean, however, that
all cases involving subdivision lots automatically fall under its jurisdiction. As
SEC. 1. In the exercise of its functions to regulate the real estate trade and business and in held by the Court in [Roxas v. CA], the wordings of Section 1 PD 1344,
addition to its powers provided for in Presidential Decree No. 957, the National Housing particularly pars. (b) and (c) thereof, limit the HLURB's jurisdiction to cases filed
Authority shall have exclusive jurisdiction to hear and decide cases of the following by buyers and customers against the sellers (subdivision owners and developers
nature: or condominium builders and realtors), and not vice versa.

A. Unsound real estate business practices; The only instance that HLURB may take cognizance of a case filed by the
developer is when said case is instituted as a compulsory counterclaim to a
B. Claims involving refund and any other claims filed by subdivision lot or condominium pending case filed against it by the buyer or owner of a subdivision lot or
unit buyer against the project owner, developer, dealer, broker or salesman; and condominium unit.

C. Cases involving specific performance of contractual and statutory obligations filed by Where it is not clear from the allegations in the complaint that the property
buyers of subdivision lots or condominium units against the owner, developer, dealer, involved is a subdivision lot, the case falls under the jurisdiction of the regular
broker or salesman. courts and not the HLURB. Similarly, the RTC had jurisdiction over a case where
the conflict involved a subdivision lot buyer and a party who owned a number of
Section 3 of of P.D. No. 957, "The Subdivision And Condominium Buyers' subdivision lots but was not himself the subdivision developer.
Protective Decree" also provides:
(3) The Present Case
x x x National Housing Authority [now HLURB]. - The National Housing Authority shall In the present case, CGA is unquestionably the buyer of a subdivision lot from
have exclusive jurisdiction to regulate the real estate trade and business in accordance the Sps, who sold the property in their capacities as owner and developer.
with the provisions of this Decree.
From the allegations CGA made in its complaint, the main thrust of the CGA is
The provisions of PD 957 were intended to encompass all questions regarding clear to compel the Sps to refund the payments already made for the subject
subdivisions and condominiums. The intention was aimed at providing for an property because the Sps were selling a property that they apparently did not
appropriate government agency, the HLURB, to which all parties aggrieved in own. In other words, CGA claims that since the Sps cannot comply with their
the implementation of provisions and the enforcement of contractual rights obligations under the contract, i.e., to deliver the property free from all liens
with respect to said category of real estate may take recourse. The business of and encumbrances, CGA is entitled to rescind the contract and get a refund of
the payments already made. This cause of action clearly falls under the actions
contemplated by Paragraph (b), Section 1 of PD 1344.

CGAs contention that the CA erred in applying Article 1191 of the Civil Code as
basis for the contracts rescission is a negligible point. Regardless of whether
the rescission of contract is based on Article 1191 or 1381 of the Civil Code, the
fact remains that what CGA principally wants is a refund of all payments it
already made to the respondents. This intent, amply articulated in its complaint,
places its action within the ambit of the HLURBs exclusive jurisdiction and
outside the reach of the regular courts. Accordingly, CGA has to file its
complaint before the HLURB, the body with the proper jurisdiction.

WHEREFORE, premises considered, we DENY the petition and AFFIRM the


Decision of the CA dismissing for lack of jurisdiction the CGA complaint filed
with the RTC.
60.Philippine Bank of Communications vs. Pridisons Realty Corporation - Respondent defaulted in paying its loan and so petitioner
G.R. No. 155113 Jan. 9, 2013 extrajudicially foreclosed the said land.
Brion, J. o The public auction of the land, however, was forestalled by a
preliminary injunction from the HLURB after the buyers of
Summary: Respondent Pridisons, in order to secure a loan from petitioner the units filed a complaint against respondent/Ivory Crest
bank, executed a deed of estate mortgage over a parcel of land. Thereafter, and Petitioner for the nullification of the mortgage. They
respondent transferred the title to its sister company and the latter applied
argued that the mortgage contract did not follow the specific
and was granted the license to build and sell condominiums in the said lot. 2
Respondent, however, defaulted in its payment to petitioner and the latter steps for mortgages mandated under PD 957 .
foreclosed said property. The auction of the land was forestalled by HLURB o Petitioner argued:
in conjunction with the case(s) filed by the buyers of the condominium That the mortgage existed before the purchase of the
against respondent and petitioner. Petitioner claimed that HLURB has no condominium units, so petitioners claim is superior;
jurisdiction over the bank as it was not engaged in real estate business and HLURB has no jurisdiction over petitioner as the
that the mortgage came before the turning of the land into actual condos. latter was not engaged in business of real estate.
1 - HLURB en banc upheld its jurisdiction over mortgagee banks when
Doctrine: PD 1344 Sec.1(a) is broad enough to include third parties to a the subject matter involves a condominium or subdivision project.
sales contract. Also, the rationale behind PD 957 is to protect innocent
On appeal, the Office of the President affirmed the HLURBs ruling.
lot buyers from scheming developers. For this reason, the Court has
broadly construed the jurisdiction of the HLURB to include complaints - CA affirmed the decisions of the HLURB and the OP.
for annulment of mortgages of condominium or subdivision units. To
Hence, this petition.
lodge it separately would only cause inconvenience and would not serve
the ends of speedy trial and inexpensive admin of justice. Held:

- HLURB has jurisdiction over mortgagee banks.


Facts:
o PD 1344 Section 1 limits the HLURBs jurisdiction to three
- In order to secure a P7M loan from Petitioner PBComm (petitioner), kinds of cases:
respondent Pridisons Realty Corporation (respondent) executed a (a) Unsound real estate business practices;
deed of real estate mortgage in favor of petitioner over a 1,988 sq. mt (b) Claims involving refund and any other claims filed by
parcel of land in New Manila, Quezon City. subdivision lot or condominium unit buyers against the
- Thereafter, petitioner transferred all its rights over the land to its project owner, developer, dealer, broker or salesman; and
sister company, Ivory Crest Realty Development Corporation (Ivory (c) Cases involving specific performance of contractual and
Crest), and the latter applied for and was granted by the Housing and statutory obligations filed by buyers of subdivision lots or
Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB) the permit/license to condominium units against the owner, developer, dealer,
construct and sell condominium units on the said land. Various broker or salesman.
buyers were able to acquire units. Paragraph (a) is broad enough to include third

1 2
In the case, it was indicated as PD 957. But its the wrong PD for that particular PD 957: Subdivision and Condominium Buyers Protective Decree (as amended by PD
sentence. Pramis. 1216)
parties to the sales contract. certificates of titles issued w/o petitioner releasing the title of
o The rationale behind the enactment of PD 957 is to protect the land that it held on account of the mortgage. Hence, it
innocent lot buyers from scheming developers. For this was aware.
reason, the Court has broadly construed the jurisdiction of
the HLURB to include complaints for annulment of Petition Denied.
mortgages of condominium or subdivision units.
o The jurisdiction of the HLURB to regulate real estate trade is
broad enough to include jurisdiction over complaints for
annulment of mortgage. To lodge it separately would only
cause inconvenience to the parties and would not serve the
ends of speedy and inexpensive administration of justice as
mandated by the laws vesting quasi-judicial powers in the
agency.
-
Mortgage in favor of Petitioner PBComm is nullified. Even if the
mortgage existed even before the land was turned into an actual
condominium project, there were signs that petitioner knew of the
proposed conversion, thus meriting the application of PD 957,
3
sec.18.
o First, petitioner has not categorically denied prior knowledge
of the condominium project. It is standard industry practice
for banks to require loan applicant to disclose the nature and
purpose of the loan. Since there is a presumption that the
standard banking and industry practice and procedures were
observed, in all likelihood there was a due disclosure of the
loan purpose and submission of plans to the bank.
o Second, there was a finding of several annotations and
renewal of notes concerning the loans petitioner extended to
respondent during the period when the project was under
development, suggesting progressive releases for project
development.
o Third, it is unlikely to have the master deed and the 12 condo

3
Sec.18: Mortgages.No Mortgage on any unit or lot shall be made by the owner or
developer without prior written approval of the authority. Such approval shall not be
granted unless it is shown that the proceeds of the mortgage loan shall be used for
the development of the condominium or subdivision project and effective measures
have been provided to ensure such utilization. x x x
61. Geronimo v. Calderon

Petitioner: ANNIE GERONIMO, SUSAN GERONIMO AND SILVERLAND ALLIANCE CHRISTIAN


CHURCH

Respondents: SPS. ESTELA C. CALDERON AND RODOLFO T. CALDERON

Topic: RTC or HLURB?

Summary: Respondents filed in the HLRUB actions for specific performance, cease and dissit order
and damages against the respondents for building a church in a place it wasnt supposed to be.
Petitioners denied the allegations and allege that the HLRUB had no jurisdiction over the matter. HLURB
ruled for the respondents. CA ruled that the HLRUB had jurisdiction on the matter bec it was wd regard
the contract to sell. SC sustained the ruling the HLRUB had jurisdiction as granted by PD 1344
Doctrine: The jurisdiction of the HLURB to hear and decide cases is determined by the nature of the
cause of action, the subject matter or property involved and the parties. Jurisdiction over the subject
matter of a case is conferred by law and determined by the allegations in the complaint which comprise a
concise statement of the ultimate facts constituting the plaintiffs cause of action. The nature of an action,
as well as which court or body has jurisdiction over it, is determined based on the allegations contained in
the complaint of the plaintiff, irrespective of whether or not the plaintiff is entitled to recover upon all or
some of the claims asserted therein. The averments in the complaint and the character of the relief
sought are the ones to be consulted. Once vested by the allegations in the complaint, jurisdiction also
remains vested irrespective of whether or not the plaintiff is entitled to recover upon all or some of the
claims asserted therein.

Facts:

The respondents filed a verified complaints against the petitioners for specific performance and for
the issuance of cease and desist order and damages in the HLURB
o They allege that Sometime in May 2005, a building was erected beside the house of Joel
and Annie. Jonas Geronimo directed the construction. When respondents asked about the
building, Susan Geronimo told them that her son, Joel, had bought the adjacent lot to build
an extension house in order to create a wider playing area for the Geronimo grandchildren
because their two-storey house could no longer accommodate their growing family.
o When the construction was finished, the building turned out to be the church of
petitioner SACC. The church was used for different religious activities including daily
worship services, baptisms, summer school, choir rehearsals, band practices, playing of
different musical instruments and use of a loud sound system which would last until late in
the evening.
o The noise allegedly affected respondents health and caused inconvenience to
respondents because they were forced to leave their house if they want peace and
tranquility.
o Respondents sought assistance from the President of the homeowners association. SACC,
through Atty. Alan Alambra promised that it will take steps to avoid church activities beyond
10:00 p.m. However, the intolerable noise still continued. In fact, another residence
situated at #36 Silverlane Street was used for Sunday school. Due to the added noise and
tension, Estelas nose bled.
o Respondents went to the Commission on Human Rights, but no settlement was reached.
The petitioners denied the allegations. Moreoever, they allege that the HLURB had no jurisdiction
over the case which primarily involves abatement of nuisance, primarily lodged with the regular
courts.
HLURB: ordered petitioners not to use the property at #46 Silverlane Street for religious purposes
and as a location of a church
The appeal by the petitioners was denied by the first division of the board of commissioners of the
HLURB. Their appeal to the OP was also denied.
CA: Dismissed the petition.
o The CA noted that respondents sued Silverland Realty & Development Corporation for
violation of the Contract to Sell, for failure to disallow the construction and operation of
SACC since August 2005. The CA also noted that under the Contract to Sell, the parcel of
land shall "be used exclusively for one single-family residential building." Since the
respondents action which sought the enforcement of the Contract to Sell clearly falls
under the jurisdiction of the HLURB
o under the Deed of Restrictions, a developer and the homeowners association are
contractually bound to the buyers of subdivision lots to maintain and preserve the intended
use of a certain lot, and to see to it that each and every construction conforms to the
approved plan. Cases involving specific performance of contractual and statutory
obligations filed by buyers of subdivision lots against the owner or developer of a
subdivision project fall under the jurisdiction of the HLURB pursuant to Section 1
of Presidential Decree No. 1344

Issue 1/2: whether the CA erred in ruling that the HLURB has jurisdiction over the present controversy NO

The jurisdiction of the HLURB to hear and decide cases is determined by the nature of the cause of
action, the subject matter or property involved and the parties. Jurisdiction over the subject matter of
a case is conferred by law and determined by the allegations in the complaint which comprise a
concise statement of the ultimate facts constituting the plaintiffs cause of action. The nature of an
action, as well as which court or body has jurisdiction over it, is determined based on the allegations
contained in the complaint of the plaintiff, irrespective of whether or not the plaintiff is entitled to
recover upon all or some of the claims asserted therein. The averments in the complaint and the
character of the relief sought are the ones to be consulted. Once vested by the allegations in the
complaint, jurisdiction also remains vested irrespective of whether or not the plaintiff is entitled to
recover upon all or some of the claims asserted therein.
Granted by Presidential Decree (P.D.) No. 1344, "EMPOWERING THE NATIONAL HOUSING
AUTHORITY TO ISSUE WRIT OF EXECUTION IN THE ENFORCEMENT OF ITS DECISION
UNDER PRESIDENTIAL DECREE NO. 957," HLURB has jurisdiction on
o A. Unsound real estate business practices;
o B. Claims involving refund and any other claims filed by subdivision lot or condominium unit
buyer against the project owner, developer, dealer, broker or salesman; and
o C. Cases involving specific performance of contractual and statutory obligations filed by
buyers of subdivision lots or condominium units against the owner, developer, dealer,
broker or salesman.
In the present case, respondents are buyers of a subdivision lot from subdivision owner and
developer Silverland Realty & Development Corporation. Respondents action against Silverland
Realty & Development Corporation was for violation of its own subdivision plan when it allowed the
construction and operation of SACC. Respondents sued to stop the church activities inside the
subdivision which is in contravention of the residential use of the subdivision lots. Undoubtedly, the
present suit for the enforcement of statutory and contractual obligations of the
subdivision developer clearly falls within the ambit of the HLURBs jurisdiction. N eedless to
stress, when an administrative agency or body is conferred quasi-judicial functions, all
controversies relating to the subject matter pertaining to its specialization are deemed to
be included within the jurisdiction of said administrative agency or body.

Issue 2/2: whether the CA erred in affirming the HLURBs ruling that petitioners cannot use #46 of Silverlane
Street for religious purposes and as a location of a church. NO ERROR

the Development Permit indicates the use of the property as residential except for the designated
open spaces. Petitioners do not deny that the building built beside the lot of Annie and Joel
Geronimo is used as a church and that other religious activities are performed there. Clearly, this
usage contravenes the land use policy particularly prescribed in the subdivision plan and in the
Development Permit. Respondents, as subdivision lot owners, are entitled to assert that the use of
the said property for religious activities be enjoined since it clearly violates the intended use of the
subject lot.
62. Banco De Oro v Sunnyside Commercial International Bank (PCIB) to secure a loan of
Lesson: RTC OR HLURB? P1,700,000.00. Mover failed to pay and PCIB foreclosed
mortgage. Bank as the highest bidder
SUMMARY
PCIB advertised the land for sale in the newspaper. This
Mover took a loan from PCIB (now BDO) and executed a real estate prompted Sunnyside Heights Homeowners Association
mortgage over one of the properties within the subdivision. Upon default (SHHA) to file before the Housing and Land Use Regulatory
of payment, the bank foreclosed the property and it was awarded as Board (ITLURB) a letter-complaint to declare mortgage
highest bidder. Mover seeks to annul mortgage and foreclosure now between Mover and PCIB void and thus sought reconveyance
claiming that said property was part of public dominion. Having reached of the property on the ground that such property has been
an unfavorable decision, BDO challenges the jurisdiction of HLURB to reserved for an open space pursuant to a law
decide the case. However, jurisdiction to decide on the case was actually PCIB maintained that the mortgaged lot was different from
granted by law. PETITION DENIED. that which was allocated for the open spapce and that the
TCT bears no annotation
DOCTRINE o Claiming to be an innocent mortgagee in good faith
Executive Order (E.O.) No. 648, which reorganized the Human and for value, PCIB insisted that under Batas
Settlements Regulatory Commission in 1981, the regulatory and
Pambansa Bilang 129 and Presidential Decree
quasi-judicial functions of the NHA were transferred to the Human
Settlements Regulatory Commission, later renamed as HLURB under (P.D.) No. 1344,the complaint should have been
E.O. No. 90. filed with the regular courts
The consistent ruling has been that the HLLJRB has jurisdiction over ITLURB- Dismissed complaint.
complaints arising from contracts between the subdivision developer and o The property claimed by SHHA to be an open space
the lot buyer, or those aimed at compelling the developer to comply with was a different property
its contractual and statutory obligations
On petition for review to the HLURB Board of Commissioners
o SHHA presented a certification from the
HLURB approving alteration in the subdivision plan
saying that the subject land was actually renamed
FACTS which made it part of the land reserved for the open
Petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 ROC space
Mover Enterprises, Inc. (Mover) is the owner and developer of o It held that the subject matter property which was
the Sunnyside Heights Subdivision located in Batasan Hills, foreclosed was designated for said open space.,
Quezon City which made it inalienable and outside the commerce
Mover mortgaged Lot 5, Block 10 of Phase I of the said of man. Hence, mortgage and foreclosure was null
subdivision containing 5,764 square meters to the Philippine and void
Appeal to the Office of the President- No merit in the appeal, mortgage over Block 10, now renamed as Block 7, of
ruling that the HLURB has jurisdiction over matters related to Sunnyside Heights Subdivision, and the detriment and
or connected with the complaint for annulment of mortgage, prejudice to the residents and the violation by Mover of its
as in this case. obligation to maintain its open space under P.D. No. 1216
Meanwhile, PCIB merge and is now known as BDO The SHHA was correct to seek the annulment of the
BDO alleged that the HLURB has no jurisdiction over SHHA's mortgage between Mover and PCIB before the HLURB
letter-complaint to annul the mortgage between Mover and o In view of its exclusive jurisdiction over "any claims
PCIB. filed by subdivision lot or condominium unit buyer
CA- the jurisdiction of the HLURB to regulate the real estate against the project owner, developer, dealer, broker
trade is broad enough to include jurisdiction over complaints or salesman; and cases involving specific
for annulment of mortgage. performance of contractual and statutory obligations
Hence this petition by BDO filed by buyers of subdivision lot or condominium unit
against the owner or developer. "
ISSUE/S && RATIO The Court has long recognized and upheld the rationale
WoN HLURB has jurisdiction over the case- YES behind P.D. No. 957, which is to protect innocent lot buyers
from scheming developers; buyers who are by law entitled to
the enjoyment of an open space within the subdivision. Thus,
Section 3 of P.D. No. 957 granted to the National Housing this Court has broadly construed HLURB's jurisdiction to
Authority (NHA) exclusive jurisdiction to regulate the real include complaints to annul mortgages of condominium or
estate trade and business in order to curb swindling and subdivision units.
fraudulent manipulations by unscrupulous subdivision and Manila Banking Corp. v. Spouses Rabina: The jurisdiction of
condominium sellers and operators the HLURB to regulate the real estate trade is broad enough
Under Executive Order (E.O.) No. 648, which reorganized to include jurisdiction over complaints for annulment of
the Human Settlements Regulatory Commission, the mortgage. To disassociate the issue of nullity of mortgage
regulatory and quasi-judicial functions of the NHA were and lodge it separately with the liquidation court would only
transferred to the Human Settlements Regulatory cause inconvenience to the parties and would not serve the
Commission, later renamed as HLURB under E.O. No. 90 ends of speedy and inexpensive administration of justice as
In the cases reaching this Court, the consistent ruling has mandated by the laws vesting quasi-judicial powers in the
been that the HLLJRB has jurisdiction over complaints arising agency.
from contracts between the subdivision developer and the lot
buyer, or those aimed at compelling the developer to comply
with its contractual and statutory obligations.
SHHA's letter-complaint puts in issue the validity of the
63. GSIS v. Court of Appeals splitting of jurisdiction.
PETITIONER: Government Service Insurance System April 16, 2009 | Tinga, J. | Certiorari | Jurisdiction of RTC RTC or SEC?
RESPONDENTS: The Hon. Court of Appeals, (8th Division), Anthony V.
Rosete, Manuel M. Lopez, Felipe B. Alfonso, Jesus F. Francisco, Christian S. FACTS:
Monsod, Elpidio L. Ibaez, and Francis Giles Puno 1. Proxies were required to be submitted and validated in connection with
Meralcos annual stockholders meeting.
2. The position of corporate secretary of Meralco became vacant, so the board
SUMMARY: Proxies were required to be submitted and validated in of directors of Meralco designated Jose Vitug to act as corporate secretary
connection with Meralcos annual stockholders meeting, during which the for the annual meeting. However, when the proxy validation began, the
stockholders of Meralco were to elect the directors of the corporation. After proceedings were presided over by respondent Anthony Rosete, assistant
irregularities in the proxy validation proceedings, GSIS, a major shareholder of corporate secretary and in-house chief legal counsel of Meralco.
Meralco, filed a complaint with the RTC to annul and declare invalid said 3. GSIS, a major shareholder in Meralco, filed a complaint with the RTC of
proxies. However, GSIS had the complaint dismissed and filed the case with the Pasay City, seeking the declaration of certain proxies as invalid. Three days
SEC instead. The SEC issued a Cease and Desist Order, but private respondents later, GSIS filed a Notice with the RTC manifesting the dismissal of the
ignored this during the annual stockholders meeting, expressing the opinion complaint. On the same day, GSIS filed an Urgent Petition with the
that the CDO is null and void. Since the SEC issued a Show Cause Order, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) seeking to restrain Rosete from
private respondents filed a petition for certiorari with the CA praying for the "recognizing, counting and tabulating, directly or indirectly, notionally or
annulment of the CDO and SCO. The CA granted the petition. Hence, this actually or in whatever way, form, manner or means, or otherwise honoring
petition for certiorari seeking of the SC to declare that the SEC has jurisdiction the shares covered by the proxies in favor of respondents (all of whom
over the petition filed before it by GSIS. The Court ruled in favor of serve in different corporate capacities with Meralco or First Philippines
respondents and held that the RTC has jurisdiction over the case. Holdings Corporation, a major stockholder of Meralco and an affiliate of the
Lopez Group of Companies) or any officer representing MERALCO
DOCTRINE: The cases referred to in Section 5 of Presidential Decree No. Management, and to annul and declare invalid said proxies. GSIS also
902-A, which originally conferred on the SEC "original and exclusive prayed for the issuance of a Cease and Desist Order (CDO) to restrain the
jurisdiction to hear and decide cases" involving "controversies in the election or use of said proxies during the annual meeting scheduled for the following
appointments of directors, trustees, officers or managers of such corporations, day.
partnerships or associations, were transferred from the jurisdiction of the SEC 4. A CDO was issued on the same day the complaint was filed. During the
to the regular courts with the passage of the Securities Regulation Code. Hence, annual meeting held on the following day, Rosete announced that the
the jurisdiction of the regular courts over so-called election contests or meeting would push through, expressing the opinion that the CDO is null
controversies under Section 5(c) of Presidential Decree No. 902-A does not and void.
extend to every potential subject that may be voted on by shareholders, but only 5. The SEC issued a Show Cause Order against private respondents, ordering
to the election of directors or trustees. On the other hand, the power of the SEC them to appear before the Commission and explain why they should not be
to investigate violations of its rules on proxy solicitation is unquestioned when cited in contempt. Hence, respondents filed a petition for certiorari with
proxies are obtained to vote on matters unrelated to the cases enumerated under prohibition with the CA, praying that the CDO and the SCO be annulled.
Section 5 of Presidential Decree No. 902-A. 6. The CA granted the petition and declared that the SEC lacked jurisdiction.
Hence, these two consolidated cases seeking of the SC to declare the
GSISs position flirts with the abhorrent evil of split jurisdiction. Should the decision of the Court of Appeals null and void, affirm the SECs jurisdiction
argument of GSIS be sustained, election controversies could be heard and over the petition filed before it by GSIS, and pronounce that the CDO and
adjudicated by both the SEC and the regular courts. There is no definitive the SCO orders are valid.
statutory provision that expressly mandates so untidy a framework, and the SC
is disinclined to construe the SRC in such a manner as to pave the way for the ISSUE/S:
1. WON SEC has jurisdiction over the petition filed by GSIS against private members, or associates; or association of which they are
respondents NO. THE RTC HAS JURISDICTION. stockholders, members, or associates, respectively;
ii. (3) Controversies in the election or appointment of
RATIO: directors, trustees, officers or managers of corporations,
1. partnerships, or associations;
a. GSIS primarily anchors its argument on are Section 53.1 and c. Private respondents also cite the Interim Rules on Intra-Corporate
Section 20.1 of the Securities Regulation Code (SRC): Controversies (Interim Rules) promulgated by SC, most pertinently,
i. SEC. 53. Investigations, Injunctions and Prosecution of Section 2 of Rule 6 (on Election Contests), which defines "election
Offenses . - 53.1. The Commission may, in its contests" to include the validation of proxies.
discretion, make such investigations as it deems d. The correct answer is not clear-cut, but there is one. In private
necessary to determine whether any person has violated respondents favor, the provisions of law they cite pertain directly
or is about to violate any provision of this Code, any and exclusively to the statutory jurisdiction of trial courts acquired
rule, regulation or order thereunder, or any rule of an by virtue of the transfer of jurisdiction following the passage of the
Exchange, registered securities association, clearing SRC. In contrast, the SRC provisions relied upon by GSIS do not
agency, other self-regulatory organization, and may immediately or directly establish that bodys jurisdiction over the
require or permit any person to file with it a statement in petition, since it necessitates the linkage of Section 20 to Section
writing, under oath or otherwise, as the Commission shall 53.1 of the SRC before the point can bear on us.
determine, as to all facts and circumstances concerning the e. On the other hand, the distinction between "proxy solicitation" and
matter to be investigated. The Commission may publish "proxy validation" cannot be dismissed offhand. The right of a
information concerning any such violations, and to stockholder to vote by proxy is generally established by the
investigate any fact, condition, practice or matter which Corporation Code, but it is the SRC which specifically regulates the
it may deem necessary or proper to aid in the form and use of proxies, more particularly the procedure of proxy
enforcement of the provisions of this Code, in the solicitation. It is plain that proxy solicitation antecedes proxy
prescribing of rules and regulations thereunder, or in validation. GSIS raises the sensible point that there was no election
securing information to serve as a basis for yet at the time it filed its petition with the SEC, hence no proper
recommending further legislation concerning the election contest or controversy yet over which the regular courts
matters to which this Code relates; may have jurisdiction. And the point ties its cause of action to
ii. SEC. 20. Proxy Solicitations. 20.1. Proxies must be alleged irregularities in the proxy solicitation procedure, a process
issued and proxy solicitation must be made in accordance that precedes either the validation of proxies or the annual meeting
with rules and regulations to be issued by the Commission; itself.
iii. Since proxy solicitations following Section 20.1 have to be f. At the same time, Meralco raises the substantial point that nothing
made in accordance with rules and regulations issued by in the SRC empowers the SEC to annul or invalidate improper
the SEC, it is the SEC under Section 53.1 that has the proxies issued in contravention of Section 20, but just to penalize
jurisdiction to investigate alleged violations of the rules on through reprimands and pecuniary fines. Indeed, if the SEC does
proxy solicitations. not have the power to invalidate proxies solicited in violation of its
b. Private respondents argue that under Section 5.2 of the SRC, the promulgated rules, serious questions may be raised whether it has
SECs jurisdiction over all cases enumerated in Section 5 of the power to adjudicate claims of violation in the first place, since
Presidential Decree No. 902-A was transferred to the courts of the relief it may extend does not directly redress the cause of action
general jurisdiction or the appropriate regional trial court. The of the complainant seeking the exclusion of the proxies.
enumerated cases in the PD that are pertinent are: g. There is an interesting point, which neither party raises, and it
i. (2) Controversies arising out of intra-corporate, partnership, concerns Section 6(g) of Presidential Decree No. 902-A which
or association relations, between and among stockholders, states that in order to effectively exercise such jurisdiction, the
Commission shall possess the following powers: xxx (g) To pass corporate directors, the resulting controversy, even if it
upon the validity of the issuance and use of proxies and voting trust ostensibly raised the violation of the SEC rules on proxy
agreements for absent stockholders or members. Such power of the solicitation, should be properly seen as an election
SEC to adjudicate controversies relating not only to proxy controversy within the original and exclusive jurisdiction of
solicitation, but also to proxy validation is then incidental or the trial courts by virtue of Section 5.2 of the SRC in
ancillary to the "exercise of such jurisdiction." Section 6 is relation to Section 5(c) of Presidential Decree No. 902-A.
immediately preceded by Section 5, which originally conferred on k. The conferment of original and exclusive jurisdiction on the regular
the SEC "original and exclusive jurisdiction to hear and decide courts over such controversies in the election of corporate directors
cases" involving "controversies in the election or appointments of must be seen as intended to confine to one body the adjudication of
directors, trustees, officers or managers of such corporations, all related claims and controversy arising from the election of such
partnerships or associations." The cases referred to in Section 5 directors. For that reason, Section 2, Rule 6 of the Interim Rules
were transferred from the jurisdiction of the SEC to the regular broadly defines the term "election contest" as encompassing all
courts with the passage of the SRC; thus, the SECs power to pass plausible incidents arising from the election of corporate directors,
upon the validity of proxies in relation to election controversies has including the validation of proxies. If all matters anteceding the
effectively been withdrawn. holding of such election which affect its manner and conduct, such
h. Based on the foregoing, it is evident that the linchpin in deciding the as the proxy solicitation process, are deemed within the original and
question is whether or not the cause of action of GSIS before the exclusive jurisdiction of the SEC, then the prospect of overlapping
SEC is intimately tied to an election controversy, as defined under and competing jurisdictions between that body and the regular
Section 5(c) of Presidential Decree No. 902-A. To answer that, we courts becomes frighteningly real. From the language of Section
need to properly ascertain the scope of the power of trial courts to 5(c) of Presidential Decree No. 902-A, it is indubitable that
resolve controversies in corporate elections. controversies as to the qualification of voting shares, or the validity
i. The Corporation Code provides for a whole range of matters which of votes cast in favor of a candidate for election to the board of
can be voted upon by stockholders. On any of these matters, the directors are properly cognizable and adjudicable by the regular
proxy device is generally available. courts exercising original and exclusive jurisdiction over election
j. Under Section 5(c) of Presidential Decree No. 902-A, in relation to cases. Questions relating to the proper solicitation of proxies used in
the SRC, the jurisdiction of the regular trial courts with respect to such election are indisputably related to such issues, yet if the
election-related controversies is specifically confined to position of GSIS were to be upheld, they would be resolved by the
"controversies in the election or appointment of directors, trustees, SEC and not the regular courts, even if they fall within
officers or managers of corporations, partnerships, or associations." "controversies in the election" of directors.
Evidently, the jurisdiction of the regular courts over so-called l. GSISs position flirts with the abhorrent evil of split jurisdiction.
election contests or controversies under Section 5(c) does not Should the argument of GSIS be sustained, we would be perpetually
extend to every potential subject that may be voted on by confronted with the spectacle of election controversies being heard
shareholders, but only to the election of directors or trustees. and adjudicated by both the SEC and the regular courts, made
i. This qualification allows for a useful distinction that gives possible through a mere allegation that the anteceding proxy
due effect to the statutory right of the SEC to regulate solicitation process was errant, but the competing cases filed with
proxy solicitation, and the statutory jurisdiction of regular one objective in mind to affect the outcome of the election of the
courts over election contests or controversies. The power of board of directors. There is no definitive statutory provision that
the SEC to investigate violations of its rules on proxy expressly mandates so untidy a framework, and the SC is
solicitation is unquestioned when proxies are obtained to disinclined to construe the SRC in such a manner as to pave the way
vote on matters unrelated to the cases enumerated under for the splitting of jurisdiction.
Section 5 of Presidential Decree No. 902-A. However, m. Unlike either Section 20.1 or Section 53.1, which merely alludes to
when proxies are solicited in relation to the election of the rule-making or investigatory power of the SEC, Section 5 of
Pres. Decree No. 902-A sets forth a definitive rule on jurisdiction,
expressly granting as it does "original and exclusive jurisdiction"
first to the SEC, and now to the regular courts. The fact that the
jurisdiction of the regular courts under Section 5(c) is confined to
the voting on election of officers, and not on all matters which may
be voted upon by stockholders, elucidates that the power of the SEC
to regulate proxies remains extant and could very well be exercised
when stockholders vote on matters other than the election of
directors.
n. That the proxy challenge raised by GSIS relates to the election of
the directors of Meralco is undisputed. The controversy was
engendered by the looming annual meeting, during which the
stockholders of Meralco were to elect the directors of the
corporation.
64. SEC v CA (2014) violation of SRC Rule 20(11)(b)(xviii) of the Amended
Securities Regulation Code (SRC)
Nature of case: Petition for Certiorari under Rule 65 to nullify the o Moreover, the proxies issued in favor of Tia exceeded 19
Court of Appeals Decision and Petition for Review on Certiorari
giving rise to the presumption of solicitation thereof under SRC
under Rule 45
Rule 20(2)(B)(ii)(b)
Summary: Omico had its annual stockholders meeting wherein
o Lastly, Tia did not comply with the rules on proxy solicitation,
Astra objected to the validation of the proxies in favor of Tia who
in violation of Section 20.1 of the SRC
would be included in the determination of quorum and election of
the board of directors. Astra filed a complaint before the SEC and - Omicos Board of Inspectors ruled over the objections of Tia
the latter issued a cease and desist order. Unfortunately, the Court - Thus, Astra filed a complaint before the Securities and Exchange
ultimately held that the SEC didnt have jurisdiction to issue such Commission (SEC) praying for the invalidation of the proxies
order. According to Section 5(c) of PD No. 902-A, the regular trial issued in favor of Tia
courts have jurisdiction over controversies in the election or - SEC issued a cease and desist order (CDO) enjoining Omico from
appointment of directors, trustees, officers or managers of accepting and including the questioned proxies in determining a
corporations, partnerships, or associations." Thus, even if SRC quorum and in electing the members of the board of directors
Rule 20 states that the disputes regarding the validation of proxies during the annual stockholders meeting
shall be governed by the SEC, when the controversy relates to o However, attempts to serve the CDO failed and the
such election of directors, trustees, officers, or managers of stocholders meeting proceeded as scheduled
corporations, partnerships, or associations, then it is within the - Astra instituted a complaint against Omico before the SEC for
jurisdiction of the RTC. All matters affecting the manner and disobedience of the CDO
conduct of the election of directors are properly cognizable by the o On the other hand, Omico filed a petition for certiorari and
regular courts. prohibition imputing grave abuse of discretion on the SEC for
Doctrine: The RTC has jurisdiction over all matters relating to the issuing the CDO
manner and conduct of the election of directors or any election - CA decision: declared the CDO null and void the controversy
controversy even if they should overlap with the SECs function of
was an intra-corporate dispute and is under the jurisdiction of the
validating proxies.
RTC, not the SEC.
- Astra Securities Corporation (Astra) is one of the stockholders of
o The SRC expressly transferred the jurisdiction over
Omico Corporation (Omico) owning about 18% of the latters
actions involving intracorporate controversies from the
outstanding capital stock
SEC to the regional trial courts
o Omico scheduled its annual stockholders and set the deadline
o Moreover, S2, R6 of the Interim Rules of Procedure Governing
for submission of proxies and the validation of proxies
Intra-Corporate Disputes provides that any controversy or
- Astra objected to the validation of the proxies issued in favor of
dispute involving the validation of proxies is an election
Tommy Kin Hing Tia (Tia), representing about 38% of the
contest, the jurisdiction over which has also been transferred
outstanding capital stock of Omico; and also to the inclusion of the
by the SRC to the regular courts
proxies issued in favor of Tia and/or Martin Buncio, representing
about 2% of the outstanding capital stock W/N the SEC has jurisdiction over controversies arising from the
o Astra stated that the proxy issuers, who were brokers, didnt validation of proxies for the election of the directors of a
obtain the required express written authorization of their clients corporation NO
when they issued the proxies in favor of Tia, which is in
- Under Section 5(c) of PD No. 902-A, in relation to the SRC, the instances when stockholders vote on matters other than the
jurisdiction of the regular trial courts with respect to election election of directors
related controversies is specifically confined to "controversies in - The test is whether the controversy relates to such election. All
the election or appointment of directors, trustees, officers or matters affecting the manner and conduct of the election of
managers of corporations, partnerships, or associations." directors are properly cognizable by the regular courts.
Evidently, the jurisdiction of the regular courts over so-called - Astra argues that 1) the validation of proxies in this case relates to
election contests or controversies under Section 5 (c) does not the determination of the existence of a quorum; and 2) no actual
extend to every potential subject that may be voted on by voting for the members of the board of directors was conducted,
shareholders, but only to the election of directors or trustees, in as the directors were merely elected by motion
which stockholders are authorized to participate under Section 24 - SC: It is a quorum for the election of the directors, thus which
of the Corporation Code. requires the presence in person or by proxy of the owners of
o Thus, when proxies are solicited in relation to the election of the majority of the outstanding capital stock of Omico and makes it
corporate directors, the resulting controversy, even if it raised within the jurisdiction of the RTC
the violation of the SEC rules on proxy solicitation, should be
properly seen as an election controversy within the original
and exclusive jurisdiction of the trial courts by virtue of Section
5.2 of the SRC in relation to Section 5 (c) of Presidential
Decree No. 902-A.
- The conferment of original and exclusive jurisdiction on the regular
courts over such controversies in the election of corporate
directors is intended to confine the adjudication of all related
claims and controversy arising from the election of such directors
to one body
- If all matters anteceding the holding of such election which affect
its manner and conduct, such as the proxy solicitation process,
are deemed within the original and exclusive jurisdiction of the
SEC, then the prospect of overlapping and competing jurisdictions
between that body and the regular courts becomes frighteningly
real.
- Although SRC Rule 20 and Rule 1 of the Interim Rules of
Procedure Governing IntraCorporate Disputes seemingly conflict
because the former states that the disputes regarding the
validation of proxies shall be governed by the SEC while the latter
states that election contests or controversies in the election of
directors including the validation of proxies shall be governed by
the RTC, they do not
o The power of the SEC to regulate proxies remains in place in
Medical Plaza Makati v Cullen MLHI with the RTC
- MPM and MLHI filed motion to dismiss on the ground of lack of
Nature: Petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court jurisdiction
assailing the CA decision reversing and setting aside the RTC decision
o MLHI claims that it is the Housing and Land Use Regulatory
Summary: Cullen sued MPM and MLHI for damages because they failed to
Board (HLURB) which is vested with the exclusive jurisdiction
respect his right to vote and be voted for in the election of MPMs Board of
to hear and decide the case
Directors. MPM and MLHI argued that the RTC has no jurisdiction over the
o MPM claims that the case is an intra-corporate controversy
case because HLURB is the one who has jurisdiction and the case is an
intra-corporate controversy. The SC dismissed the complaint before the RTC and that there is no cause of action because Cullens
for lack of jurisdiction held that the case for damages is an intra-corporate obligation was already settled by MLHI
controversy. The case doesnt fall within the jurisdiction of the HLURB- RTC: rendered a Decision granting MPMs and MLHIs motion to
because it is a condominium corporation. The SC then remanded the case to dismiss
the Executive Judge of the RTC to be re-raffled to the designated special o The action for specific performance was within the exclusive
commercial courts. jurisdiction of the HLURB
Doctrine: Intra-corporate disputes with the demand for damages being merely o The obligation was already settled, so there is no cause of
incidental are to be resolved in special commercial courts in the RTC and not action
the HLURB. o The issues raised are intra-corporate between the corporation
- Robert Cullen purchased Unit 1201 of the Medical Plaza Manila and member
from MLHI covered by Condominium Certificate of Title No. 45808 - CA: reversed TC decision and remanded it to the RTC
o This certificate of title was subsequently cancelled and o The controversy is an ordinary civil action for damages which
Condominium Certificate of Title No. 64218 was issued in falls within the jurisdiction of regular courts
Cullens name
Does the controversy involve intra-corporate issues as would fall
- Medical Plaza Manila (MPM) demanded payment for alleged
within the jurisdiction of the RTC sitting as a special commercial
unpaid association dues and assessments amounting to
court or an ordinary action for damages within the jurisdiction of
P145,567.42 from Cullen
regular courts? Special Commercial Court!
o Cullens defense: he had been religiously paying his dues
shown by the fact that he was previously elected president and - Jurisdiction over the subject matter is determined by the
director of MPM allegations in the complaint
o MPMs reply: claimed that Cullens obligation was a carry-over - The nature of an action, as well as which court or body has
of that of MLHI jurisdiction over it, is determined based on the allegations
- Consequently, Cullen was prevented from exercising his right to contained in the complaint of the plaintiff
vote and be voted for during the 2002 election of MPMs Board of o The averments in the complaint and the character of the relief
Directors prompting him to clarify with MLHI the veracity of MPMs sought are the ones to be consulted.
claim MLHI that the obligation was already settled o Once vested by the allegations in the complaint, jurisdiction
o Thus, Cullen demanded an explanation why he was also remains vested irrespective of whether or not the plaintiff
considered a delinquent payer despite the settlement of the is entitled to recover upon all or some of the claims asserted
obligation MPM failed to provide one therein
o Cullen instituted a complaint for damages against MPM and - The nature of the action is determined by the body rather than the
title of the complaint. Though denominated as an action for threshed out before the RTC sitting as a special commercial court
damages, an examination of the allegations made by Cullen in his - Under PD 902-A, the SEC exercises exclusive jurisdiction over:
complaint shows that it dwells on the propriety of the assessment o Controversies arising out of intra-corporate or partnership
made by MPM and the validity of MPMs preventing Cullen from relations, between and among stockholders, members or
participating in the election associates; between any or all of them and the corporation,
- To determine if the dispute is an intra-corporate one, the Court partnership or association of which they are stockholders,
has 2 tests: the relationship test and the nature of the controversy members, or associates, respectively; and between such
test corporation, partnership or association and the State insofar
o The relationship test: an intra-corporate controversy is one as it concerns their individual franchise or right to exist as such
which pertains to any of the following relationships: (1) entity
between the corporation, partnership or association and the o Controversies in the election or appointment of directors,
public; (2) between the corporation, partnership or association trustees, officers, or managers of such corporations,
and the State insofar as its franchise, permit or license to partnerships, or associations
operate is concerned; (3) between the corporation, partnership - Under RA 8799 or the Securities Regulation Code, the jurisdiction
or association and its stockholders, partners, members or of the SEC over all cases enumerated under Section 5 of
officers; and (4) among the stockholders, partners or Presidential Decree No. 902-A has been transferred to RTCs
associates themselves designated by this Court as Special Commercial Courts
o Nature of the controversy test: "the controversy must not only o The jurisdiction of HLURB, on the other hand, only involves
be rooted in the existence of an intra-corporate relationship, inter-association and/or intra-association controversies or
but must as well pertain to the enforcement of the parties conflicts concerning homeowners associations thus the
correlative rights and obligations under the Corporation Code case doesnt fall under this because it falls under a
and the internal and intra-corporate regulatory rules of the controversy between a condominium unit owner and a
corporation." condominium corporation
- Simply stated, jurisdiction should be determined by considering o RA 4726 or the Condominium Act was enacted to govern a
both the relationship of the parties as well as the nature of the condominium.
question involved - In the senate deliberations regarding the jurisdiction of HLURB, it
- In this case, applying the 2 tests, the court finds that this case was stated that condominium corporations are not covered by the
involves an intra-corporate controversy. amendment or RA 9904 or the Magna Carta for Homeowners and
o It arose from intra-corporate relations between the parties, and Homeowners Association, which empowered HLURB to hear and
the questions involved pertain to their rights and obligations decide inter-association and/or intra-association controversies or
under the Corporation Code and matters relating to the conflicts concerning homeowners associations.
regulation of the corporation
o Cullen repeatedly questioned his characterization as a
delinquent member and MPMs decision to bar him from
exercising his rights to vote and be voted for
- The issues are clearly corporate and the demand for damages is
just incidental. Being corporate in nature, the issues should be
66. Concorde Condominium v. Baculio
PETITIONER: Concorde Condominium, Inc., by itself and comprising FACTS:
the unit owners of Concorde Condominium Building 1. Concorde Condominium, Inc. filed with the RTC of Makati City a Petition
RESPONDENTS: Augusto H. Baculio; New PPI Corporation; Asian for Injunction against the respondents.The case was raffled to the Makati
Security and Investigation Agency and its Security Guards; Engr. Nelson RTC, Branch 149, which was designated as a Special Commercial Court.
B. Morales, in his capacity as Building Official of the Makati City 2. Respondents Baculio and New PPI Corporation filed an Urgent Motion to
Engineering Department; Supt. Ricardo C. Perdigon, in his capacity as Re-Raffle, claiming that it is a regular court which has jurisdiction over the
City Fire Marshal of the Makati City Fire Station; F/C Supt. Santiago E. case. The RTC denied the motion to re-raffle, and instead called the case for
Laguna, in his capacity as Regional Director of the Bureau of Fire hearing.
Protection-NCR, and any and all persons acting with or under them 3. In their Motion to Vacate Order and Motion to Dismiss, respondents Baculio
and New PPI Corporation assailed the RTC Order calling the case for
hearing, stating that the case is beyond its jurisdiction as a Special
SUMMARY: Concorde Condominium filed with the RTC Makati a petition Commercial Court. Respondents claimed that the petition seeks to restrain or
for injunction against respondents. The case was raffled to the Makati RTC, compel certain individuals and government officials to stop doing or
Branch 149, which was designated as a Special Commercial Court. performing particular acts, and that there is no showing that the case
Respondents assailed the RTC order calling the case for hearing, stating that the involves a matter embraced in Section 5 of Presidential Decree (P.D.) No.
case is beyond its jurisdiction as a Special Commercial Court. The RTC 902-A, which enumerates the cases over which the SEC [now the RTC
dismissed the case for lack of jurisdiction, ruling that the case does not involve acting as Special Commercial Court pursuant to Republic Act (R.A.) No.
an intra-corporate controversy cognizable by it sitting as a Special Commercial 8799] exercises exclusive jurisdiction.
on certiorari. The Supreme Court held
Court. Hence, this petition for review 4. The RTC dismissed the case for lack of jurisdiction. It noted that by
that the RTC erred in dismissing the petition. petitioner's own allegations and admissions, respondents Baculio and New
PPI Corporation are not owners of the two subject lots and the building. Due
DOCTRINE: The fact that a particular branch has been designated as to the absence of intra-corporate relations between the parties, it ruled that
a Special Commercial Court does not shed the RTCs general the case does not involve an intra-corporate controversy cognizable by it
jurisdiction over ordinary civil cases under the imprimatur of BP 129. The sitting as a Special Commercial Court.
designation of Special Commercial Courts was merely intended as a 5. Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration, which the RTC denied. Hence,
procedural tool to expedite the resolution of commercial cases in line with the this petition for review on certiorari.
court's exercise of jurisdiction. This designation was not made by statute but
only by an internal Supreme Court rule under its authority to promulgate rules ISSUE/S:
governing matters of procedure and its constitutional mandate to supervise the 1. WON the the Makati RTC, Branch 149 erred in dismissing the petition for
administration of all courts and the personnel thereof. The designation of injunction YES. IT STILL HAD JURISDICTION OVER THE CASE.
Special Commercial Courts is, to stress, merely an incident related to the court's
exercise of jurisdiction, which is distinct from the concept of jurisdiction over RATIO:
the subject matter. Jurisdiction over the subject matter of a case is conferred by 1.
law, whereas a court's exercise of jurisdiction, unless provided by the law itself, a. Jurisdiction of the SEC over intra-corporate cases was transferred to
is governed by the Rules of Court or by the orders issued from time to time by Courts of general jurisdiction or the appropriate Regional Trial
the Court. Hence, the matter of whether the RTC resolves an issue in the Court when R.A. No. 8799 took effect.
exercise of its general jurisdiction or of its limited jurisdiction as a special court b. In GD Express Worldwide N. V., et al. v. Court of Appeals (4th
is only a matter of procedure and has nothing to do with the question of Div.) et al,12 the Court stressed that Special Commercial Courts are
jurisdiction. still considered courts of general jurisdiction which have the power
to hear and decide cases of all nature, whether civil, criminal or
February 17, 2016 | Peralta, J. | Review | Special Commercial Courts
special proceedings, thus:
i. Section 5.2 of R.A. No. 8799 directs merely the Supreme is not specifically provided for by law to be within
Court's designation of RTC branches that shall exercise the jurisdiction of any other court, fall under the
jurisdiction over intra-corporate disputes. Nothing in the jurisdiction of the regional trial court.
language of the law suggests the diminution of jurisdiction iii. To clarify, the word "or" in Item 5.2, Section 5 of RA 8799
of those RTCs to be designated as SCCs. The assignment (The Commission's jurisdiction over all cases enumerated
of intra-corporate disputes to SCCs is only for the purpose under Section 5 of Presidential Decree No. 902-A is hereby
of streamlining the workload of the RTCs so that certain transferred to the Courts of general jurisdiction or the
branches thereof like the SCCs can focus only on a appropriate Regional Trial Court) was intentionally
particular subject matter. used by the legislature to particularize the fact that the
c. In Manuel Luis C. Gonzales and Francis Martin D. Gonzales v. phrase "the Courts of general jurisdiction" is equivalent to
GJH Land, Inc. (formerly known as S.J. Land Inc.), Chang Hwan the phrase "the appropriate Regional Trial Court."
Jang a.k.a. Steve Jang, Sang Rak Kim, Mariechu N. Yap and Atty. d. A careful review of the allegations in the petition for injunction with
Roberto P. Mallari II, the Court explained why transfer of damages indicates no intra-corporate relations exists between the
jurisdiction over cases enumerated in Section 5 of P.D. 902-A was opposing parties. Clearly, as the suit neither arises from an
made to the RTCs in general, and not only in favor of particular intra-corporate relationship nor does it pertain to the enforcement of
RTC branches (Special Commercial Courts), to wit: their correlative rights and obligations under the Corporation Code,
i. As a basic premise, let it be emphasized that a court's and the internal and intra-corporate regulatory rules of the
acquisition of jurisdiction over a particular case's subject corporation, Branch 149 correctly found that the subject matter of
matter is different from incidents pertaining to the exercise the petition is in the nature of an ordinary civil action.
of its jurisdiction. Jurisdiction over the subject matter of a e. The Court is mindful of the recent guideline laid down in the recent
case is conferred by law, whereas a court's exercise of case of Manuel Luis C. Gonzales and Francis Martin D. Gonzal.es
jurisdiction, unless provided by the law itself, is governed v. GJH Land, Inc. (formerly known as S.J. Land Inc.), Chang Hwan
by the Rules of Court or by the orders issued from time to Jang a.k.a. Steve Jang, Sang Rak, Kim, Mariechu N. Yap and Atty.
time by the Court. In Lozada v. Bracewell, it was recently Roberto P. Mallari II:
held that the matter of whether the RTC resolves an i. In the scenario of ordinary civil cases filed before the
issue in the exercise of its general jurisdiction or of its proper RTCs but wrongly raffled to its branches designated
limited jurisdiction as a special court is only a matter of as Special Commercial Courts, the ordinary civil case
procedure and has nothing to do with the question of should then be referred to the Executive Judge for
jurisdiction. re-docketing as an ordinary civil case; thereafter, the
ii. The legal attribution of Regional Trial Court as courts of Executive Judge should then order the raffling of the case
general jurisdiction stems from Section 19 (6) Chapter II to all branches of the same RTC.
of Batas Pambansa Bilang (BP) 129, known as "The f. However, that the foregoing guideline applies only in a situation
Judiciary Reorganization Act of 1980: where the ordinary civil case filed before the proper RTCs was
1. Section 19. Jurisdiction in civil cases. - Regional "wrongly raffled" to its branches designated as Special Commercial
Trial Courts shall exercise exclusive original Courts, which situation does not obtain in this case. No clear and
jurisdiction: xxx (6) In all cases not within the convincing evidence is shown to overturn the legal presumption that
exclusive jurisdiction of any court, tribunal, person official duty has been regularly performed in the docketing and
or body exercising judicial or quasi-judicial raffling of the case.
functions.
2. As enunciated in Durisol Philippines, Inc. v. CA,
the regional trial court is a court of general
jurisdiction. All cases, the jurisdiction over which
67. Enesio v Tulop ejectment
Lesson: Agrarian Disputes Lilia alleged that she was the owner of the lot in possession of
the petitioner whose possession was by her (the
SUMMARY respondents) mere tolerance.
When Lilia notified the petitioner that she needed the property
Petitioner Enasio was in possession of land owned by
for the construction of a store, the petitioner ignored her
respondent Lilia. When the latter claimed for repossession, demands
petitioner refused claiming that he was an agricultural Having refused to vacate, respondent filed a case against
tenant. The question on MTCs jurisdiction was also raised petitioner in the MTC
because cases involving agrarian disputes are outside the Petitioner filed his Answer before the MTC and claimed that
courts jurisdiction because it is cognizable by the he had been an agricultural tenant of the land;
Department of Agrarian Adjudication Board. The SC ruled o That the case was an agrarian dispute cognizable by
that no tenancy relationship existed between the parties and the Department of Agrarian Reform Adjudication
Board
that the MTC had jurisdiction since tenancy relationship
o The MTC must dismiss the case for lack of
was only used as a defense and it was really an ejectment jurisdiction.
case. MTC exercised jurisdiction over the case and held that the
petitioner was not Lilias agricultural tenant. As the petitioners
DOCTRINE possession was by Lilias mere tolerance, the petitioner must
A tenancy relationship did not exist between the parties. As vacate the property when so required by her
the petitioner admitted himself, he has never shared any of RTC AFFIRMED
the harvests with petitioner, this element being important in CA affirmed MTC && RTC
establishing such relationship. Hence, since no tenancy o Ruled that the MTC does not lose jurisdiction over
existed between the parties,the MTC was not divested of its ejectment cases simply because tenancy relationship
jurisdiction from hearing and deciding this ejectment case. has been raised as a defense.
o It is only upon determination, after hearing, that
tenancy relationship exists that the MTC must
dismiss the case for want of jurisdiction.
FACTS
Petitioner Generoso Enesio seeks petition for review on
certiorari under Rule 45
Lilia Tulop, substituted by her heirs sued petitioner for
Court in the absence of any compelling reason showing
that it is tainted with infirmity.
ISSUE/S && RATIO The Court has repeatedly emphasized that sharing of
produce must exist between the tenant and the
WoN an agrarian tenancy relationship existed among the parties-
landowner for tenancy relationship to exist.
NO
MTC-tenancy did not exist between the parties. Respondent
WoN the MTC had jurisdiction to hear and resolve the case-YES
himself admitted that he never shared any of his harvests with
The case of Bayog does not apply in this case.
Lilia (sharing of harvest is an important element in a tenancy
o The Court faulted the Municipal Circuit Trial Court
relationship)
(MCTC) for not receiving the defendants belated
The petitioner pointed out that the MTC merely proceeded
Answer. As ruled by the Court, had the MCTC not
with the pre-trial conference and required the parties to
refrained from receiving the defendants Answer, the
submit position papers.
MCTC would have found that the defendant raised
o He posited that the MTC should have conducted a
tenancy as an issue. While tenancy as a defense in
preliminary hearing and received evidence to
ejectment cases does not automatically divest the
determine the existence of a tenancy relationship
MCTC of its jurisdiction over ejectment cases, the
between the parties
MCTC should have heard and received evidence to
o Petitioner also claimed that the lower tribunals
determine whether the MCTC had jurisdiction over
misappreciated the facts of the case, he had shared
the case. If tenancy had indeed been an issue, the
harvest with the previous owners of the land and
MCTC had no option but to dismiss the case for lack
hence, a tenancy relationship existed
of jurisdiction
Respondent reiterated that the petitioner himself admitted that
MTC correctly observed the proper procedure in ejectment
he never shared harvests with her.
cases by receiving the respective position papers of the
o While the petitioner shared the produce with the
parties. Hence, the non-exisiting tenancy relationship was
relatives and with the caretaker of Lilia, such sharing
established. THE ISSUE WAS NOT THE TENANCY
was not with Lilia in the absence of proof to that
RELATIONSHIP BUT THE EJECTMENT. MTC has
effect.
jurisdiction.
o In the absence of sharing of harvests between Lilia
MTC concluded that the petitioner never shared his
and the petitioner, tenancy cannot exist.
produce with Lilia. Expectedly, the MTC ruled that the
The Court confirms that there was never any harvest
petitioner was not Lilias tenant and in this light, it had
sharing between the parties to make the petitioner the
jurisdiction over the case.
tenant of Lilia; this has been the consistent factual
finding in the courts below and this finding binds this
68. Iniego v Purganan
Petitioner: ARTEMIO INIEGO

Respondents: The HONORABLE JUDGE GUILLERMO G. PURGANAN and FOKKER SANTOS


Topic: In all other cases in which the demand, exclusive of interest and damages of whatever kind,
attorneys fees, litigation expenses, and cost or the value of the property in controversy exceeds
P300,000 or in such other cases in Metro Manila where the demand, exclusive of the
above-mentioned items exceed P400,000

Summary: P. Respondents filed a complaint for damages based on a quasi delict. Petitioners filed a
motion to dismiss based on lack of jurisdiction. The motion to dismissed was denied the court has
jurisdiction because quasi-delicts could not be the subject of pecuniary estimation. The petitioners
appealed, arguing that the action is capable of penuiary estimation and that the court who would
have jurisdiction would be dependent on the amount of damages. They further argue that the
computation for the said damages would only include the actual damages. SC agrees with the
petitioners in the former, however for the latter, the SC ruled that damages would be based on the
total amount
Doctrine: actions for damages based on quasi-delicts are actions that are capable of pecuniary
estimation. As such, they fall within the jurisdiction of either the RTC or the municipal courts,
depending on the amount of damages claimed. In this case, the amount of damages claimed is
within the jurisdiction of the RTC, since it is the claim for all kinds of damages that is the basis of
determining the jurisdiction of courts, whether the claims for damages arise from the same or
from different causes of action. whether or not the different claims for damages are based on a
single cause of action or different causes of action, it is the total amount thereof which shall
govern.

Facts:
March 1, 2002 : Private respondents filed a complaint for quasi delict and damages against a
certain Jimmy T. Pinion truck driver and the petitioner the owner of the truck.
o This was becase of a collision between the truck and the jitney the respondent was
driving at that time. The respondent was also the owner.
August 24, 2002: The respondent filed a motion to declare the defendant in default since the
defendant (petitioners) was not able to file his answer.
o Aug 28: petitioners filed a Motion to admit and a Motion to Dismiss on the ground
that the RTC had no jurisdiction the action is capable of pecuniary estimation.
RTC: Issued the assailed order denying the Motion to dismiss and the Motion to declare
default.
o main cause of action is not the claim for damages but quasi-delict. Damages are
being claimed only as a result of the alleged fault or negligence of both defendants
But since fault or negligence (quasi-delicts) could not be the subject of pecuniary
estimation, this court has exclusive jurisdiction.
o Subsequent MRs were denied
CA: denied due course and dismissed for lack of merit
o MR was also denied
Hence this petition
o Petitioner claims that actions for damages based on quasi-delict are actions that are
capable of pecuniary estimation; hence, the jurisdiction in such cases falls upon
either the municipal courts or RTCs depending on the value
o Petitioner argues further that should this Court find actions for damages capable of
pecuniary estimation, then the total amount of damages claimed by the private
respondent must exceed P400,000.00 in order that it may fall under the jurisdiction of
the RTC. Petitioner asserts, however, that the moral and exemplary damages
claimed by private respondent be excluded from the computation of the total amount
of damages for jurisdictional purposes because the said moral and exemplary
damages arose, not from the quasi-delict, but from the petitioners refusal to pay the
actual damages.

ISSUE 1/2: WON the amount of damages claimed is within the jurisdiction of the RTC, since it is the
claim for all kinds of damages that is the basis of determining the jurisdiction of courts, whether the
claims for damages arise from the same or from different causes of action. YES

the total amount of damages claimed by the private respondent nevertheless still exceeds
the jurisdictional limit of P400,000.00 and remains under the jurisdiction of the RTC
whether or not the different claims for damages are based on a single cause of action or
different causes of action, it is the total amount thereof which shall govern. Jurisdiction in the
case at bar remains with the RTC, considering that the total amount claimed, inclusive of the
moral and exemplary damages claimed, is P490,000.00.
The petitioner is wrong in contending that claims for damages arising from a different cause
of action (i.e., damages other than actual damages should be excluded. Only actual
damages should be counted in the determination of the jurisdiction) should not be included in
the computation of the jurisdictional amount. The total amount (ex. Actual damages + moral
damages + exemplary damages) should be considered.

ISSUE 2/2 : WON Actions for damages based on quasi-delicts are primarily and effectively actions for
the recovery of a sum of money for the damages suffered because of the defendants alleged
tortious acts, and are therefore capable of pecuniary estimation. YES

Actions for damages based on quasi-delicts are primarily and effectively actions for the
recovery of a sum of money for the damages suffered because of the defendants alleged
tortious acts. The damages claimed in such actions represent the monetary equivalent of the
injury caused to the plaintiff by the defendant, which are thus sought to be recovered by the
plaintiff. This money claim is the principal relief sought, and is not merely incidental thereto or
a consequence thereof. It bears to point out that the complaint filed by private respondent
before the RTC actually bears the caption "for DAMAGES."
69. Sante vs. Claravall for exemplary damages, P50K for attorneys fees, P20K for
G.R. No. 173915 Feb.22, 2010 attorneys fees and the costs of suit. She filed it before the
Villarama, Jr., J. RTC of Baguio City.
- Petitioner filed a motion to dismiss the case, stating that the MTCC
Summary: Respondent Kalashian filed a complaint for the recovery of has jurisdiction over the case. The amount of claim for moral
damages against petitioner in the amount of P300k for moral damages, P50K damages was not more than the jurisdictional amount of P300K of
for exemplary damages, P50K for attys fees, and P20K for litigation
the MTCC, and that the exemplary damages and other claims of the
expenses. She filed the complaint in the RTC Baguio City. Petitioner filed a
motion to dismiss with the contention that the RTC does not have respondent should not be included in the total claims for they are
jurisdiction over the case because the amount in the complaint is only for merely incidental to the main claim.
P300K moral damages (an amount that qualifies under the jurisdiction of the - RTC: denied the motion to dismiss. It held that the total claim of the
MTCC), and that the exemplary damages and other claims are only incident respondent amounted to P420K, which was above the jurisdictional
to the case, and hence, should be excluded in the computation of the total amount for MTCCs outside Metro Manila.
claim. - CA: Reversed the decision, but upon MR, ultimately affirmed the
decision of the RTC.
Doctrine: Admin. Circular No. 09-94 states that in cases where the
claim for damages is the main cause of action or one of the causes of Hence, this petition.
action, the amount of such claims shall be considered in determining the
jurisdiction of the Court. It is clear that respondents main action is for Held:
damages. Hence, the exemplary damages and other claims are to be
included in the total amount of claims, ultimately affirming the - RTC has jurisdiction over the case.
jurisdiction of the RTC over the case. o BP 129 sec. 19(8) states that:
in Civil CasesRTC shall exercise
Sec. 19: Jurisdiction
Facts: exclusive original jurisdiction:
xxx
- Respondent Vita Kalashian (respondent) has a friend/bodyguard
(8) In all other cases in which the demand, exclusive of
named Gacusan who was then a suspect in the killing of one of the
interest, damages of whatever kind, attorneys fees, litigation
Sante spouses (petitioners) close relatives.
expenses, and costs or the value of the property in
o While respondent was in the police station, and in the
controversy exceeds P100K or, in such other cases in Metro
presence of others, petitioner Irene Sante spouted words to
Manila, where the demand, exclusive of the abovementioned
the detained Gacusan (translated into English): How many
items exceeds P200K.
rounds of sex did you have with your boss, Bert? You fucking
bitch!
This is amended by RA 7691, Supreme Court No. 21-99 and
o Petitioners were also allegedly telling the people around
OCA Circular no. 65-2004 which adjusted the
Natividad, Pangasinan, that respondent was the one
MTC/MTCCs jurisdictional amount to P300K, and in Metro
protecting the suspects in the said killing.
Manila, P400K. Anything beyond P300K (in MM, P400K) is
o Aggrieved, respondent filed a case for the recovery of
under the jurisdiction of the RTC.
damages in the amount of P300K for moral damages, P50K
o Administrative Circular No. 09-94: The exclusion of the involved in this case.
term damages of whatever kind in determining the
jurisdictional amount under sec. 19(8) x x x applies to cases
where the damages are merely incidental to or a
consequence of the main cause of action. However, in cases
where the claim for damages is the main cause of action, or
one of the causes of action, the amount of such claim shall
be considered in determining the jurisdiction of the court.
o It is clear, based on the allegations of the complaint, that
respondents main cause of action is for damages. Hence, the
other forms of damages being claimed by respondent, e.g.,
exemplary damages, attys fees and litigation expenses, are
not merely incidental to or consequences of the main action
the primary relief prayed for in the complaint.
but constitute
The total amount of damages asked by the respondent is
therefore P420K, making it rightly under the jurisdiction of
the RTC.
- (super minor ruling) background: Pending the decision of the CA,
respondent decided to increase the claim for MD from P300K to
P1M. Petitioners, of course, contested this. The CA and,
consequently, the SC ruled that the amendment is allowed. While it
is a basic jurisprudential principle that an amendment cannot be
allowed when the court has no jurisdiction over the original
complaint and the purpose of the amendment is to confer jurisdiction
on the court, here, the RTC clearly had jurisdiction over the original
complaint and amendment of the complaint was then still a matter of
right.

Petition Denied.

Side note: Claravall is the presiding judge of Branch 60 of RTC Baguio that was
(70) RP v YOLANDA CADACIO GRANADA June 13, 2012 Yolanda filed a Motion to Dismiss
Topic: Family Courts - CA had no jurisdiction over the appeal. Her Petition for Declaration of
A petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the decision of CA Presumptive Death, based on Article 41 of the Family Code, was a summary
judicial proceeding, in which the judgment is immediately final and executory
Summary: In 1991, Yolanda married Cyrus. In 1994, Cyrus went to Taiwan. From and, thus, not appealable.
then on, no contact. Yolanda filed a petition to have Cyrus declared
presumptively dead. Petition was granted by the RTC. RP filed a MR. It was Jan 23 2009, CA granted Yolanda's Motion to Dismiss on the ground of lack of
denied. RP filed a Notice to Appeal, Yolanda filed a MD. The MD was granted by jurisdiction. C
CA. CA opined that her Petition for Declaration of Presumptive Death, based on
Article 41 of the Family Code, was a summary judicial proceeding, in which the RP moved for reconsideration, but its motion was likewise denied by the CA.
judgment is immediately final and executory and, thus, not appealable. SC Hence, the present Rule 45 Petition.
affirmed the decision.
Whether the CA seriously erred in dismissing the Petition on the ground
Doctrine: By express provision of law, the judgment of the court in a summary that the Decision of the RTC in a summary proceeding for the declaration
proceeding shall be immediately final and executory of presumptive death is immediately final and executory upon notice to
the parties and, hence, is not subject to ordinary appeal.
SERENO, J Held: No
FACTS Article 41 of the Family Code provides:
In May 1991, Yolanda met Cyrus Granada at Sumida Electric Philippines, where
both were then working. The two eventually got married. Their marriage Art. 41. A marriage contracted by any person during the subsistence of a previous
resulted in the birth of their son, Cyborg Dean Cadacio Granada. marriage shall be null and void, unless before the celebration of the subsequent marriage,
the prior spouse had been absent for four consecutive years and the spouse present has a
May 1994, when Sumida Electric Philippines closed down, Cyrus went to Taiwan well-founded belief that the absent spouse was already dead. In case of disappearance
to seek employment. Yolanda claimed that from that time, she had not received where there is danger of death under the circumstances set forth in the provisions of
any communication from her husband, notwithstanding efforts to locate him. Article 391 of the Civil Code, an absence of only two years shall be sufficient.

After 9 years of waiting, Yolanda filed a Petition to have Cyrus declared For the purpose of contracting the subsequent marriage under the preceding paragraph
presumptively dead. the spouse present must institute a summary proceeding as provided in this Code for the
declaration of presumptive death of the absentee, without prejudice to the effect of
Feb 7 2005, the RTC Lipa rendered a Decision declaring Cyrus as presumptively reappearance of the absent spouse.
dead.
RP, represented by the OSG, filed a MR. Clearly, a petition for declaration of presumptive death of an absent spouse for
- Yolanda had failed to exert earnest efforts to locate Cyrus and thus failed to the purpose of contracting a subsequent marriage under Article 41 of the Family
prove her well-founded belief that he was already dead. Code is a summary proceeding as provided for under the Family Code.

RTC denied the motion. Further, Title XI of the Family Code is entitled Summary Judicial Proceedings in
RP filed a Notice of Appeal to elevate the case to the CA. the Family Law. Subsumed thereunder are Articles 238 and 247, which provide:
Whether the CA seriously erred in affirming the RTC's grant of the Petition
Art. 238. Until modified by the Supreme Court, the procedural rules in this Title shall for Declaration of Presumptive Death under Article 41 of the Family Code
apply in all cases provided for in this Code requiring summary court proceedings. Such based on the evidence that respondent had presented.
cases shall be decided in an expeditious manner without regard to technical rules. Held: The RTC ruling on the issue of whether respondent was able to prove her
xxx xxx xxx well-founded belief that her absent spouse was already dead prior to her filing of
Art. 247. The judgment of the court shall be immediately final and executory. the Petition to declare him presumptively dead is already final and can no
longer be modified or reversed. Nothing is more settled in law than that when a
Further, Article 253 of the Family Code reads: judgment becomes final and executory, it becomes immutable and unalterable.
The same may no longer be modified in any respect, even if the modification is
ART. 253. The foregoing rules in Chapters 2 and 3 hereof shall likewise govern summary meant to correct what is perceived to be an erroneous conclusion of fact or law.
proceedings filed under Articles 41, 51, 69, 73, 96, 124 and 217, insofar as they are
applicable. WHEREFORE, premises considered, the assailed Resolutions of the Court of
Appeals dated 23 January 2009 and 3 April 2009 in CA-G.R. CV No. 90165 are
In [Republic v. Bermudez-Lorino], the Republic likewise appealed the CAs AFFIRMED.
affirmation of the RTCs grant of respondents Petition for Declaration of
Presumptive Death of her absent spouse. The Court therein held that it was an
error for the Republic to file a Notice of Appeal when the latter elevated the
matter to the CA.

Justice (later Chief Justice) Artemio Panganiban, who concurred in the result
reached by the [Court in Republic v. Bermudez-Lorino], additionally opined that
what the OSG should have filed was a petition for certiorari under Rule 65, not a
petition for review under Rule 45.

By express provision of law, the judgment of the court in a summary proceeding


shall be immediately final and executory. As a matter of course, it follows that
no appeal can be had of the trial court's judgment in a summary proceeding for
the declaration of presumptive death of an absent spouse under Article 41 of the
Family Code. It goes without saying, however, that an aggrieved party may file a
petition for certiorari to question abuse of discretion amounting to lack of
jurisdiction. Such petition should be filed in the CA in accordance with the
Doctrine of Hierarchy of Courts. From the decision of the CA, the losing party
may then file a petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of
Court with the SC. This is because 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.
71. Republic v Narceda

Summary: OSG appealed the decision of the RTC, with regard to the pet for declaration of
presumptive death filed by Narceda, to the CA.

Doctrine: The proper remedy of a losing party in a summary proceeding is a petition for
certiorari, not an ordinary appeal.

Facts:
Petition for Review filed by the Republic of the Philippines (RP) praying for the reversal
of the decision of the CA
Robert Narceda married Marina Marriage contract showed that Marina was 17y and
4m old at the time of the wedding
o 1994 Marina when to Singapore and never returned
No communication bet. the spouses, RN tried to look for her but never
found her
A friend told RN that the last time she saw Marina, she was living with a
Singaporean husband.
RN filed with the RTC a pet for judicial declaration of the presumptive death of Marina
o RTC granted
o RP through the OSG appealed to the CA
Said that RN never tried to look for her, not well-founded belief that she
was dead
CA Hearing of a pet for the declaration of presumptive death =
summary proceeding under the Family Code
247 FC: Judgement of TC is final and executory
Dismissed the case bec of lack of jurisdiction
OSG filed MFR but it was denied

Issues:
W/N CA had jurisdiction over the case? NO
OSG CA has jurisdiction bec RN failed to establish well-founded belief that Marina
was dead
o RP v CA This is a summary proceeding under A41 FC not a special proceeding
under the ROC, which calls for the filing of an appeal
CA Resolution of the petition needs a summary proceeding
o Arts. 238,257, 253 of FC are to be followed for procedure
o There is no reglementary period to perfect an appeal in summary judicial
proceedings under the FC bec these decisions are final and executory (RP v
Bermudez-Lorino)
Appelate court has no jurisdiction to review a judgement w/c is final and
executory
A41 FC Spouse present must institute a summary proceeding for declaration of death
o Remedy of losing party in this proceeding is a pet for certiorari, not an ordinary
appeal (RP v Tango)
o This may be filed to the CA
After this, losing party may file a pet. For review on certiorari to SC
OSG availed of wrong remedy in this case (notice of appeal only)
Cruz v. Cruz 072
GR No. 172217 , Septemper 18, 2009 , CoronaJ.
Digested by Deriq M. David Law 125

FACTS
December 15, 1999 Petitioners bought the subject land from 3 siblings all named
Flores, who were the siblings of one of the petitioners.
Land was inherited from their father Estanislao who had died in 1995.
After the death of Estanislao petitioners found out that Leonardo and Iluminada
Goli-Cruz were occupying a portion of the above mentioned land.
March 2, 2001, petitioners lawyer sent respondents letters asking them to leave.
Respondents refused and attempts at baranggay conciliation failed.
Petitioners then lodged a complaint for recovery of possession of land with the
RTC.
Respondents filed a motion to dismiss, claiming that the RTC did not have
jurisdiction over the subject matter of the complaint. They claimed that the court
who had jurisdiction was the MTC since the complaint was in effect a summary
motion for ejectment(unlawful detainer).
RTC rendered a decision, finding for herein petitioners and ordering the
respondents to vacate the land.
On appeal the CA however found for the respondents, finding that RTC should
have dismissed the case as they did not have jurisdiction over the case.
Hence this petition.

ISSUES & HOLDING


Did the RTC have jurisdiction over the case? No
RATIO
Jurisdiction over the case is determined by the allegations contained in the
complaint and the law in effect at the time of the filing of the same.
Considering that the complaint alleged that respondents were possessors of the
land by mere tolerance, and that the complaint was filed less than a year after the
demand to vacate the land, the proper remedy was in fact an action for unlawful
detainer which should have been filed in the MTC.
The law in effect at the time of the filing of the complaint was RA 7691 which
expanded the MTCs jurisdiction to include actions involving title to or possession
of real property (accion publiciana and reinvindicatoria)where the assessed value
of the property does not exceed P20,000 (or P50,000, for actions filed in Metro
Manila). This being said it can be seen that the proper court to file an action is no
longer determined merely by the type of action but also on the assessed value of
the property involved.
Applied to the present case, since there was no value alleged in the complaint
there was no showing that RTC had jurisdiction over the case. Indeed, absent any
allegation as to the value of the property in question, there can be no
determination as to which court, the RTC or MTC, had jurisdiction over the case.
Case should have been filed in the MTC as it was one of unlawful detainer and
not for accion publiciana, RTC erred when it proceeded with the case. Since RTC
did not have jurisdiction , its decision is null and void.

DISPOSITIVE
Disposition
73. Bernardo v Heirs of Villegas
GR 183357 / Perez

Petition for Review on Certiorari under Rule 45 to assail CA Decision

Facts

-RESP filed complaint for accion publiciana against PETs. RESPs earlier filed ejectment case agaist PET
with MTC which was dismissed on the ground of lack of jurisdiction for having been filed beyond one
yr prescriptive period for filing a forcible entry case

RESPs alleged that their father is the owner of a parcel of land and that PET, by stealth, surreptitiously
entered into possession of a portion of RESPs land, and unlawfully possessed and continue to possess
the property and had refused to vacate

-RESP alleged that RTC lacked jurisdiction

-RTC ruled in favour of RESPS, and that the accion publiciana suit is within its jurisdiction

-CA affirmed RTC, ruling that PET is estopped from raising the issue of jurisdiction because he failed to
file MTD on such ground and instead actively participated in the proceedings before RTC

PET says: TC had no jurisdiction over the subject matter for failure of RESPS to allege the assessed
value of the property; that CA is wrong in saying that he failed to raise objections before TC; that he
raised the defense of lack of jurisdiction as early in his Answer; that even if he did not raise the
defense of lack of jurisdiction, TC should have dismissed motu propio; that the doctrine of estoppel by
laches is not applicable to him since he raised the issue of jurisdiction not only in his answer but also
in his appeal

Issue

WON estoppel bars PET from raising the issue of lack of jurisdiction? YES

Held

-GR: jurisdiction of a court may be questioned at any stage of the proceedings


-EXC: estoppel, when a party participates in all stages of a case before challenging the jurisdiction of
the lower court
-one cannot belatedly reject or repudiate its decision after voluntarily submitting to its
jurisdiction, just to secure affirmative relief against ones opponent or after failing to obtain such
relief.


The principle of justice and equity in Tijam v Siboghanoy should be applied

-MTC dismissed the ejectment case upon its ruling that the case is for accion publiciana. It did not
assert jurisdiction even if it could have done so based on the assessed value of the property. PET did
not bring up the issue of jurisdictional amount. He considered the dismissal to be in his favor.

-When, as a result of dismissal, RESPs brought the case as accion publiciana before RTC, PET never
brought up the issue of jurisdictional amount. What he mentioned in his Answer before RTC was the
generally phrased allegation that the court has no jurisdiction over the subject matter. That general
assertion, which lacks basis, is insufficient.

-PET failed to point out the omission of the assessed value in the complaint. PET actively participated
during trial by adducing evidence and filing pleadings, none of which mentioned any defect in the
jurisdiction of RTC.

-It was only on appeal before CA, after he obtained adverse judgment in TC, that PET, for the first
time, came up with the argument that the decision is void because there was no allegation in the
complaint about the value of the property. PET is estopped from questioning the jurisdiction of the
RTC.

-the RTC and CA decisions discussed extensively the merits of the case which has been pending for
nearly 10 yrs. If the Court were to acceded to PETs prayer, all the effort, time and expenses of the
parties would be wasted.

-The technical Report on Verification Survey which formed part of the records, contained a tax dec
indicating that the property has an assessed value of P110,220.00. Under RA 7691, RTC has in fact
jurisdiction over the subject matter.

-Since the MTC decision proclaimed that the case is one for accion publiciana and the assessed value
of the property as evidenced by the case records, jurisdiction rightfully pertains with the RTC.

Petition denied. CA decision affirming the RTC judgment is affirmed


Quinagoran v. CA 074
GR No. 155179, 24 August 2007, Austria-Martinez, J.
Digested by PTJZU Law 125 Civil Procedure
Topic: MTC, RA 7691

Nature of action Petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45


What action below Complaint for Recovery of Portion of Registered Land with Damages

Absent any allegation in the complaint of the assessed value of the property, it cannot be
determined whether the RTC or the MTC has original and exclusive jurisdiction over the
petitioner's action.

FACTS
Heirs of Juan Dela Cruz filed a complaint for recovery of portion of land with
compensation and damages against Quinagoran before RTC-Tuao.
o They alleged that they are the co-owners of land located at Centro, Piat, they inherited from
Juan dela Cruz.
o RESP prayed for the reconveyance and surrender of the disputed 400sqm, occupied by PETS
by mere tolerance, and to be paid monthly rent of P5,000.
PETS filed a Motion to Dismiss RTC has no jurisdiction under RA 7691, which
expanded the exclusive original jurisdiction of the MTC to include all civil actions which
involve title to, or possession of real property which does not exceed P20,000. Assessed
valued is only P1,730.
o RTC denied: Present action is accion publiciana. Jurisdiction lies with RTC
regardless of value. Complaint alleged that plaintiff demanded removal of the
house built by PET and that PETs possession is only due to tolerance.
PETS filed a MR, denied by RTC.
PETS filed a petition for certiorari and prohibition with the CA seeking the
annulment of RTC orders.
o CA dismissed: Complaint of the Heirs is cognizable by the RTC. It does not aver
facts constitutive of forcible entry/unlawful detainer as there is no allegations of
how dispossession started. The action is for accion publiciana.
PETS filed a MR, denied by CA for lack of merit.
PETS filed before SC a petition for review Under RA 7691, the jurisdiction of the
MTC, MeTC, MTCC was expanded to include exclusive original jurisdiction over civil
actions when the assessed value of the property does not exceed P20,000 outside Metro
Manila and P50k within Metro Manila. Further, that it is indispensable that the complaint
should allege the assessed value of the property, in this case no allegation was made.

ISSUES & HOLDING


WON the RTC has jurisdiction? NO.
RATIO
RA 7691 vests exclusive original jurisdiction the MTC/MTCC/MeTC over civil actions
which involve title to or possession of real property where the assessed value does not
exceed P20k (P50k for Metro Manila).
A complaint must allege the assessed value of the real property subject of the complaint
or the interest thereon to determine which court has jurisdiction over the action.
o The nature of the action and which court has original and exclusive jurisdiction
over the same is determined by the material allegations of the complaint, the type
of relief prayed for by the plaintiff and the law in effect when the action is filed,
irrespective of whether the plaintiffs are entitled to some or all of the claims
asserted therein.
Nowhere in said complaint was the assessed value of the subject property ever
mentioned. There is therefore no showing on the face of the complaint that the RTC has
exclusive jurisdiction over the action of the respondents.
o Absent any allegation in the complaint of the assessed value of the property, it
cannot be determined whether the RTC or the MTC has original and exclusive
jurisdiction over the petitioner's action. The courts cannot take judicial notice of
the assessed or market value of the land.
Jurisdiction of the court does not depend upon the answer of the defendant or even upon
agreement, waiver or acquiescence of the parties.

DISPOSITIVE
Petition is Granted.
75. CABRERA v. CLARIN
2016

Facts:

The petition originated from a complaint for accion publiciana with damages filed by Cabrera in the
RTC against spouses Clarin.
Cabrera alleged that he is the lawful and registered owner of a parcel of land in Bulacan. And that
he was in actual and physical possession of the land until he discovered encroachments that were
fraudulently made by the respondents.
He made several demands to vacate the premises but the respondents refused to heed.
Respondents also failed to amicably settle when the case was brought to the barangay for
conciliation.
Respondents filed a Motion to Dismiss the complaint saying that the petitioners failed to state the
assessed value of the property which is an essential condition in filing a complaint.
RTC ruled in favor of Cabrera so the spouses Clarin elevated the case to the CA.
CA: favored Spouses Clarin and dismissed the Motion for Reconsideration filed by Cabrera.

Issue: WoN estoppel bars respondents from raising the issue of lack of jurisdiction.

Held: BATAS PAMBANSA Blg. 129 provides:



Section 19. Jurisdiction in civil cases. Regional Trial Courts shall exercise exclusive original jurisdiction:
(2) In all civil actions which involve the title to, or possession of, real property, or any interest
therein, where the assessed value of the property involved exceeds Twenty thousand pesos
(P20,000.00) or for civil actions in Metro Manila, where such the value exceeds Fifty thousand
pesos (50,000.00) except actions for forcible entry into and unlawful detainer of lands or buildings,
original jurisdiction over which is conferred upon Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal Trial Courts,
and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts;

Section 33. Jurisdiction of Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal Trial Courts and Municipal Circuit Trial
Courts in civil cases. Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal Trial Courts, and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts
shall exercise:
(3) Exclusive original jurisdiction in all civil actions which involve title to, or possession of, real
property, or any interest therein where the assessed value of the property or interest therein does
not exceed Twenty thousand pesos (P20,000.00) or, in civil actions in Metro Manila, where such
assessed value does not exceed Fifty thousand pesos (P50,000.00) exclusive of interest, damages
of whatever kind, attorney's fees, litigation expenses and costs: Provided, That value of such
property shall be determined by the assessed value of the adjacent lots. (as amended by R.A. No.
7691)
It is axiomatic that the nature of an action and the jurisdiction of tribunal are determined by the material
allegations of the complaint and the law at the time the action was commenced. A court's jurisdiction may
be raised at any stage of the proceedings, even on appeal for the same is conferred by law, and lack of it
affects the very authority of the court to take cognizance of and to render judgment on
the action. It applies even if the issue on jurisdiction was raised for the first time on appeal or even after final
judgment.

The exception to the basic rule mentioned operates on the principle of estoppel by laches -whereby a party
may be barred by laches from invoking the lack of jurisdiction at a late hour for the purpose of annulling
everything done in the case with the active participation of said party invoking the plea. In the oft-cited case
of Tijam v. Sibonghanoy, the party-surety invoked the jurisdictions of both the trial and appellate courts in
order to obtain affirmative relief, and even submitted, the case for final adjudication on the merits. It was only
after the CA had rendered an adverse decision that the party-surety raised the question of jurisdiction for the
first time in a motion to dismiss almost fifteen (15) years later.

A party cannot invoke the jurisdiction of a court to secure affirmative relief against his opponent and, after
obtaining or failing to obtain such relief, repudiate or question that same jurisdiction .... , it was further said
that the question whether the court had jurisdiction either of the subject matter of the action or of the parties
was not important in such cases because the party is barred from such conduct not because the judgment
or order of the court is valid and conclusive as an adjudication, but for the reason that such practice cannot
be tolerated obviously for reasons of public policy.

Guided by the abovementioned jurisprudence, this Court rules that respondents are not cstoppcd from
assailing the jurisdiction of the RTC over the subject civil case. Records reveal that even before filing their
Answer, respondents assailed the jurisdiction of the RTC through a motion to dismiss as there was no
mention of the assessed value of the prope1iy in the complaint. We note that the RTC anchored its denial of
respondents' motion to dismiss on the doctrine enunciated in a 1977 case -that all cases of recovery of
possession or accion publiciana lie with the RTC regardless of the value -which no longer
holds true. Thereafter, the respondents filed their Answer through an omnibus motion to set aside order of
default and to admit Answer.

PETITION DENIED
77. Villagracia v. Fifth Sharia District Court 2014 March 3, 1996: TCT No. T-15633 covering the parcel of land was
April 23, 2014 | J. Leonen | Special Civil Action issued in Roldans name. At the time, petitioner Vivencio V.
Villagracia occupied the land.
Petitioner: Vivencio B. Villagracia 2002: Vivencio secured a Katibayan ng Orihinal na Titulo Blg. P-60192
Respondents: Fifth Sharia District Court and Roldan E. Mala (represented by issued by the Land Registration Authority allegedly covering the
his father Hadji Kalam T. Mala) same parcel of land.
October 30, 2006: Roldan had the same parcel surveyed. The geodetic
Summary: Respondent Roldan owned a parcel of land that was being engineer found that Vivencio occupied the parcel of land covered by
occupied by petitioner Vivencio. Roldan had a TCT issued in his name, but Roldans certificate of title.
Vivencio obtained a Katibayan ng Orihinal na Titulo. Roldan then filed an To settle this, Roldan initiated barangay conciliation proceedings
action to recover possession of the land with respondent Fifth Sharia District before the Office of the Barangay Chairman of Poblacion II, Parang,
Court. Roldan is a Muslim, while Vivencio is not. The Fifth Sharia District Shariff Kabunsuan. They failed to settle the controversy, so Roldan
Court took cognizance of the petition, and ruled that Roldan had the better filed an action to recover the possession of the parcel of land with
right to possess the land. Vivencio then filed a petition for relief from respondent Fifth Sharia District Court. In his petition, Roldan
judgment, contending that the Fifth Sharia District Court had no jurisdiction alleged that he is a Filipino Muslim, that he is the registered owner
over him, as he was a Christian. The Fifth Shariaa District Court denied his of the lot, and that Vivencio occupied his property. He prayed that
petition, holding that waived his right to defend himself when he failed to the court order Vivencio to vacate his property.
file an answer to Roldans complaint. Vivencio then filed the instant special
civil action for certiorari. Lower Courts
Fifth Sharia District Court Took cognizance of the case. Vivencio
Doctrine: A Sharia District Court cannot validly hear, try, and decide a real failed to file his answer, so Roldan was allowed to present his
action when one of the parties is non-Muslim, even if it uses provisions of evidence ex parte. The court ruled that Roldan, as registered owner,
the Civil Code in its decision and even if the non-Muslim defendant has been had the better right to possess the parcel, thus ordering Vivencio to
served with summons. Under the Code of Muslim Personal Laws, Sharia vacate the property, turn it over to Roldan, and pay P10k as
District Courts have concurrent jurisdiction over real actions not arising from moderate damages and P5k as attorneys fees. It later issued a writ of
customary contracts wherein the parties involved are both Muslims. Upon execution and gave Vivencio 30 days to comply.
discovery that Vivencio is not a Muslim, the Fifth Sharia District Court o Vivencio then filed a petition for relief from judgment with
should have motu proprio dismissed Roldans complaint. As such, all prayer for issuance of writ of preliminary injunction, citing
proceedings with the Fifth Sharia District Court are null and void for lack of P2, A155 of the Code of Muslim Personal Laws of the
jurisdiction. Even if summons was served on Vivencio, the same is likewise Philippines (CMPL) and arguing that Sharia District Courts
void for lack of jurisdiction. may only hear civil actions and proceedings if both parties
are Muslims. As he was a Christian, he argued that the Fifth
Facts Sharia District Court had no jurisdiction to take cognizance
This is a petition for certiorari with application for issuance of of Roldans action.
temporary restraining order and/or preliminary injunction to set Fifth Sharia District Court 2 Ruled that Vivencio intentionally
aside the Fifth (5th) Sharia District Courts decision and order. waived his right to defend himself, because he was duly served
February 15, 1996: Respondent Roldan E. Mala purchased a 300- with summons and had notice of Roldans motion to present
square meter parcel of land in Poblacion, Parang, Maguindanao evidence ex parte, the courts decision, and the writ of execution.
(now Shariff Kabunsuan) from one Ceres Caete. However, he only went to court when he lost his right to assail the
decision via certiorari. He also cited the wrong provision of law, as
that quoted applies to the jurisdiction of Sharia Circuit Courts, not action for recovery of possession. All its proceedings in SDC Special
Sharia District Courts. Hence, it had jurisdiction over Roldans Proceedings Case No. 07-200 are void.
action. Roldan chose to file his action with the Sharia District Court, instead
o Vivencio then filed the instant petition for certiorari with of filing the action with the regular courts, to obtain a more speedy
prayer for issuance of a TRO to the SC. He argued that the disposition of the case. This would have been a valid argument had
Sharia District Court acted without jurisdiction because he all the parties involved in this case been Muslims. However, the
is not a Muslim. The SC then issued a TRO and asked concurrent jurisdiction over real actions of Sharia District Courts is
Roldan to comment on the petition. applicable solely when both parties are Muslims. When one of the
o Roldan filed his comment, arguing that he filed his petition parties is not a Muslim, the action must be filed before the regular
with the Sharia District Court as he would obtain a more courts.
speedy disposition considering the voluminous pending The application of the provisions of the Civil Code of the Philippines
cases at RTCs. He contended that the Sharia District Court by respondent Fifth Sharia District Court does not validate the
had jurisdiction over Vivencio, because there is no provision proceedings before the court. Under A175 of the Muslim Code,
in the CMPL that prohibits non-Muslims from participating customary contracts are construed in accordance with Muslim
in Sharia court proceedings, especially where said court law.51 Hence, Sharia District Courts apply Muslim law when
applies provisions of the Civil Code. resolving real actions arising from customary contracts. In real
actions not arising from contracts customary to Muslims, there is no
Issue 1: W/N a Sharia District Court may validly hear, try, and decide a real reason for Sharia District Courts to apply Muslim law. The courts
action where one of the parties is a non-Muslim if the District Court decides will necessarily apply the laws of general application, which, in this
the action applying the provisions of the Civil Code NO case, is the Civil Code. This is the reason why the original
A143 of the Muslim Code states that Sharia District Courts have jurisdiction of Sharia District Courts over real actions not arising
concurrent original jurisdiction with existing civil courts over real from customary contracts is concurrent with that of regular courts.
actions not arising from customary contracts wherein the parties However, as discussed, this concurrent jurisdiction arises only if the
involved are Muslims. parties involved are Muslims. Considering that Vivencio is not a
When property involved is real, the action to recover it is a real Muslim, respondent Fifth Sharia District Court had no jurisdiction
action; otherwise the action is a personal action. In such actions, the over Roldans action for recovery of possession of real property. The
parties involved must be Muslims for Sharia Court Districts to proceedings before it are void, regardless of the fact that it applied
validly take cognizance of them. the provisions of the Civil Code of the Philippines in resolving the
In this case, the allegations in Roldans petition for recovery of action.
possession did not state that Vivencio is a Muslim. When Vivencio True, no provision in the Code of Muslim Personal Laws of the
stated in his petition for relief from judgment that he is not a Philippines expressly prohibits non-Muslims from participating in
Muslim, Roldan did not dispute this claim. Sharia court proceedings. However, there are only certain instances
When it became apparent that Vivencio is not a Muslim, the Fifth when non-Muslims may participate in Sharia court proceedings,
Sharia District Court should have motu proprio dismissed the case. and the case does not fall under any of them.
Under S1, R9 ROC, if it appears that the court has no jurisdiction That Vivencio raised the issue of lack of jurisdiction over the subject
over the subject matter of the action based on the pleadings or the matter only after respondent Fifth Sharia District Court had
evidence on record, the court shall dismiss the claim. rendered judgment is immaterial. A party may assail the jurisdiction
Respondent Fifth Sharia District Court had no authority under the of a court or tribunal over a subject matter at any stage of the
law to decide Roldans action because not all of the parties involved proceedings, even on appeal. This is the general rule. An exceptional
in the action are Muslims. Thus, it had no jurisdiction over Roldans circumstance was provided for in Tijam v. Sibonghanoy, wherein the
Court ruled that the surety company involved therein could no On the other hand, jurisdiction over the person is not necessary for a
longer assail the jurisdiction of the CFI on the ground of estoppel by court to validly try and decide actions in rem. Actions in rem are
laches. Parties may be barred from assailing the jurisdiction of the directed against the thing or property or status of a person and seek
court over the subject matter of the action if it took them an judgments with respect thereto as against the whole world. In
unreasonable unexplained length of time to object to the courts actions in rem, the court trying the case must have jurisdiction over
jurisdiction, which, in that case, took 15 years. During trial, the the res, or the thing under litigation, to validly try and decide the
surety company also invoked the jurisdiction of the CFI by seeking case. Jurisdiction over the res is acquired either by the seizure of the
several affirmative reliefs. property under legal process, whereby it is brought into actual
In this case, the exceptional circumstances in Tijam do not exist. custody of the law; or as a result of the institution of legal
Vivencio never invoked the Fifth Sharia District Courts jurisdiction proceedings, in which the power of the court is recognized and made
to seek affirmative relief and he filed the petition for relief from effective. In actions in rem, summons must still be served on the
judgment to assail the courts jurisdiction immediately. defendant but only to satisfy due process requirements.
Unlike objections to jurisdiction over the subject matter which may
Issue 2: W/N a Sharia District Court may validly hear, try, and decide a real be raised at any stage of the proceedings, objections to jurisdiction
action filed by a Muslim against a non-Muslim if the non-Muslim defendant over the person of the defendant must be raised at the earliest
was served with summons NO possible opportunity; otherwise, the objection to the courts
Roldan argued that the proceedings before respondent Sharia jurisdiction over the person of the defendant is deemed waived.
District Court were valid since the latter acquired jurisdiction over In this case, Roldan sought to enforce a personal obligation on
the person of Vivencio. When Vivencio was served with summons, Vivencio to vacate his property, restore him to the possession of his
he failed to file his answer and waived his right to participate in the property, and pay damages for its unauthorized use. Thus, Roldans
proceedings before respondent Fifth Sharia District Court. Since action is one in personam. Service of summons was thus necessary
Vivencio waived his right to participate in the proceedings, he for the Fifth Sharia District Court to acquire jurisdiction over
cannot argue that his rights were prejudiced. Vivencios person. However, as discussed, the Fifth Sharia District
Jurisdiction over the person is the power of [a] court to render a Court has no jurisdiction over the subject matter of the action, so
personal judgment or to subject the parties in a particular action to even the service of summons is void.
the judgment and other rulings rendered in the action. A court
acquires jurisdiction over the person of the plaintiff once he or she HELD: Petition granted.
files the initiatory pleading. As for the defendant, the court acquires
jurisdiction over his or her person either by his or her voluntary
appearance in court or a valid service on him or her of summons.
Jurisdiction over the person is required in actions in personam or
actions based on a partys personal liability. Since actions in
personam are directed against specific persons and seek personal
judgments, it is necessary that the parties to the action are
properly impleaded and duly heard or given an opportunity to be
heard. With respect to the defendant, he or she must have been
duly served with summons to be considered properly impleaded;
otherwise, the proceedings in personam, including the judgment
rendered, are void.
78. Go v CA

RESP filed with the MTCC of Iloilo City an ejectment case against PETs.

Court issued an Order holding in abeyance the preliminary conference in said case until after the case
for specific performance (involving the same parties) shall have been finally decided by RTC Iloilo
Branch 37.

o RESP appealed which was assigned to RTC Iloilo B34

PET filed with RTC a motion to dismiss the appeal on the ground that the appealed order is
interlocutory and therefore not appealable.

o Denied by RTC Branch 34

PET filed Mr

Denied again

Thus, present petition for certiorari. Issue: whether or not the respondent RTC (Branch 34) acted
without or in excess of jurisdiction or with grave abuse of discretion in denying petitioners motion to
dismiss appeal.

RESP then filed with RTC a Motion to Resume Proceedings

o Granted. Remanded to MTCC for further proceedings

PET filed MR

Denied

Thus, present petition for review. Issue: whether or not the same respondent RTC acted without or in
excess of jurisdiction or with grave abuse of discretion in ordering the resumption of the proceedings in
the MTCC

SC issued a TRO enjoining RTC from further proceedings, then remanded the recods to the MTCC

PET filed with the MTCC a motion to hold in abeyance further proceedings.

o MTCC denied the motion and et the case for preliminary conference. MR of PET was also
denied.

PET filed their supplemental petition for review impleading the presiding Judge of the MTCC. Issue:
whether or not the respondent MTCC erred in resuming the proceedings in view of the timely filing of
the petition for review

SC: granted petitioners motion for a writ of preliminary injunction and ordered herein private and public
respondents to refrain from continuing with the proceedings in Civil Case No. 332 (93) before the
MTCC

CA: Recognizing the existence of a procedural void in the Rules on Summary Procedure, the Court of Appeals
sustained the propriety of appeal as a remedy to challenge the suspension of the ejectment suit by the
Municipal Trial Court in Cities (MTCC) of Iloilo City
WN in granting the appeal from an interlocutory order the RTC was in grave abuse of its discretion? NO

RTC was cognizant of the impropriety of an appeal from an interlocutory order. But in denying the
motion to dismiss the appeal, the following circumstances were considered:

o the procedural void where the aggrieved party (herein private respondent) will have no remedy
for the ventilation of his rights

o petitioners as plaintiffs in the case for specific performance also filed a motion to hold in
abeyance the pre-trial of said case.

what the private respondent sought to be reviewed by way of appeal was a suspension order. An order
which to all intents and purposes runs counter to the summary nature of ejectment proceedings. Thus,
the private respondent as plaintiff in the ejectment proceeding should be given a remedy to question
said order which the respondent court had judiciously provided for

inaction on the MTCCs order of suspension due to the procedural void created by Section 19 of the
Rule[s] on Summary Procedure and Section 2, Rule 41 of the Rules of Court will defeat rather than
promote the thrust of the summary rules which is the speedy disposition of cases

undisputed facts illustrate that existing procedural rules do not provide an adequate remedy to herein
private respondent

If there is an interlocutory order that the party wants to appeal, the proper remedy in such cases is an
ordinary appeal from an adverse judgment on the merits, incorporating in said appeal the grounds for
assailing the interlocutory order.

GR: Allowing appeals from interlocutory orders would result in the sorry spectacle of a case being
subject of a counterproductive ping-pong to and from the appellate court as often as a trial court is
perceived to have made an error in any of its interlocutory rulings

o EXN: However, where the assailed interlocutory order is patently erroneous and the remedy of
appeal would not afford adequate and expeditious relief, the Court may allow certiorari as a
mode of redress

HOW was RESP stuck in a procedural void? private respondent cannot appeal the order, being
interlocutory. But neither can it file a petition for certiorari, because ejectment suits fall under the
Revised Rules on Summary Procedure, Section 19 (g) of which considers petitions for certiorari
prohibited pleadings

RESP challenged the MTCC order delaying the ejectment suit, precisely to avoid the mischief
(unnecessary delays) envisioned by the Rules.

In situations wherein a summary proceeding is suspended indefinitely, a petition for certiorari alleging
grave abuse of discretion may be allowed. Because of the extraordinary circumstances in this case, a
petition for certiorari, in fact, gives spirit and life to the Rules on Summary Procedure. A contrary ruling
would unduly delay the disposition of the case and negate the rationale of the said Rules.

o Appeal should be treated as a petition for certiorari under Rule 65

NOTES:
Interlocutory: for it does not dispose of the case but leaves something else to be done by the trial court
on the merits of the case.

It is axiomatic that an interlocutory order cannot be challenged by an appeal


79. TERANA v DE SAGUN Thereafter, the MTC ruled on the merits of the case in favour of Simuangco.
PETITIONERS: FLORAIDA TERANA 5. Unaware of the decision, Tirana filed a motion for reconsideration titled
Kahilingan regarding the denial of the motion for extension of time. The
RESPONDENTS: HON. ANTONIO DE SAGUN, PRESIDING JUDGE,
Kahilingan was denied.
REGIONAL TRIAL COURT, BRANCH XIV, NASUGBU, BATANGAS 6. On appeal of the case to the RTC, it affirmed the MTC decision.
AND ANTONIO B. SIMUANGCO 7. Tirana then filed a Motion for Reconsideration and/or for New Trial, arguing
that the judgment was not based on supported by evidence and that she was
not given a chance to answer the allegations.
SUMMARY: Ejectment case between Tirana (lesee) and Simuangco (lessor). 8. The RTC granted the motion, ruling that 1) the MTC rendered its decision
During the proceedings in the MTC, both parties filed a motion for extension of before the petitioner was able to file her position paper and the affidavit of
time but were denied, and the MTC ruled on the case. On appeal to the RTC, her witnesses; 2) the rule on the timeliness of filing pleadings may be
the RTC remanded the case to the MTC so as to allow the parties to submit their relaxed on equitable considerations; and 3) the denial of the petitioners
papers. This was affirmed by the CA. However, upon reaching the SC, the motion for reconsideration and/or new trial will result to a miscarriage of
Court ruled that the remand was not necessary and that the Rules on Summary justice. The RTC then remanded the case to the MTC for further
Procedure explicitly prohibit the motion for extension (Rule 70, Sec. 13(5)) as proceedings, based on Sec. 6, Rule 135.1
this is contrary to the intention and spirit of a summary procedure, which is to 9. Tirana opposed the remand, arguing that that since the original action for
reach an expeditious and inexpensive determination of cases. unlawful detainer had already been elevated from the MTC to the RTC, the
Rules on Summary Procedure (RSP) no longer governed the disposal of the
DOCTRINE: The Rules on Summary Procedure expressly prohibit certain case. She also argued that pursuant to Section 6 of Rule 372 , the RTC should
motions and pleadings that could cause delay, among them, a motion for have conducted a trial de novo instead of remanding the case to the MTC.
extension of time to file pleadings, affidavits or any other paper. If the extension Additionally, she argued that remand to the court a quo may only be ordered
for the filing of these submissions cannot be allowed, it will be illogical and under Section 8, Rule 40.3
incongruous to admit a pleading that is already filed late. It is allowing
indirectly what we prohibit to be done directly. 1
Sec. 6. Means to carry jurisdiction into effect When by law jurisdiction is conferred
April 29, 2009 | Brion, J. | Review | Rules on Summary Procedure (RSP) on a court or judicial officer, all auxiliary writs, processes and other means necessary
to carry it into effect may be employed by such court or officer, and if the procedure
FACTS: to be followed in the exercise of such jurisdiction is not specifically pointed out by law
1. Lease agreement between Simuangco (lessor) and Tirana (lesee). In 1996, or by these rules, any suitable process or mode of proceeding may be adopted which
Tirana demolished the house and erected a new one in place. Simuangco appears conformable to the spirit of said law or rules.
2
of motion for new trial. If a new trial is granted in
Sec. 6. Effect of granting
alleged that this was done without his consent, and in violation of the
accordance with the provisions of this Rule, the original judgment or final order shall
provisions of the Contract of Lease.
be vacated, and the action shall stand for trial de novo; but the recorded evidence
2. Because of Tiranas refusal to vacate despite demand, Simuangco filed a taken upon the former trial, in so far as the same is material and competent to
complaint for unlawful detainer. In her defense, Tirana alleged that the establish the issues, shall be used at the new trial without retaking the same.
demolition was done with the consent and knowledge of Simuangco and the 3
Sec. 8. Appeal from orders dismissing case without trial; lack of jurisdiction. If an
house was on the verge of collapsing. appeal is taken from an order of the lower court dismissing the case without a trial on
3. The trial court called for a preliminary conference under Section 7 of the the merits, the Regional Trial Court may affirm or reverse it, as the case may be. In
Revised Rules of Summary Procedure (RSP) and Section 8 of Rule 70 of the case of affirmance and the ground of dismissal is lack of jurisdiction over the subject
Rules of Court, and required the parties to file their position papers and matter, the Regional Trial Court, if it has jurisdiction thereover, shall try the case on
affidavits of their witnesses after they failed to reach an amicable settlement. the merits as if the case was originally filed with it. In case of reversal, the case shall
4. Both parties moved for an extension of time to file the necessary pleadings, be remanded for further proceedings.
but were denied as it was prohibited under Sec. 13(5) of the Rules of Court. If the case was tried on the merits by the lower court without jurisdiction over
the subject matter, the Regional Trial Court on appeal shall not dismiss the case if it
10. The RTC denied Tiranas request, ruling that the remand is not prohibited by subject property. This fulfills the need to resolve the ejectment case
the Rules. Also, Sec. 6 of Rule 37 contemplates a motion for new trial and quickly. Thus, the late filing of her position paper and the affidavits

for reconsideration filed before a trial court a quo. The RTC in this case was of her witnesses should not be allowed.
acting as an appellate court; Tiranas motion for new trial and d. The failure of one party to submit his position paper does not bar at
reconsideration was directed against the appellate judgment of the RTC, not all the MTC from issuing a judgment on the ejectment complaint,
the original judgment of the trial court. following Sec, 10 of the RSP.4
11. The CA affirmed the RTC decision e. A position paper is not indispensable to the courts authority to
render judgment. This is evident from what the RSP provides
ISSUES: regarding a preliminary conference: on the basis of the pleadings
1. WON a remand is proper NO and the stipulations and admissions made by the parties, judgment
2. [MAIN] WON the Court should appreciate Tiranas position paper and may be rendered without the need for further proceedings, in which
the affidavits of her witnesses NO event the judgment shall be rendered within 30 days from the
3. WON the complaint for unlawful detainer should be dismissed. NO [not issuance of the order.
important to topic] i. Thus, the proceedings may stop at that point, without need
for the submission of position papers. In such a case, what
RATIO: would be extant in the record and the bases for the
1. Remand is NOT necessary. judgment would be the complaint, answer, and the record
a. It would delay the overdue resolution of this case (originally filed of the preliminary conference.
with the MTC on April 16, 1997), and would run counter to the
spirit and intent of the RSP
2. Tiranas Position Paper and the Affidavits of Her Witnesses Cannot Be
Admitted
a. By its express terms, the purpose of the RSP is to achieve an
expeditious and inexpensive determination of the cases they cover,
among them, forcible entry and unlawful detainer cases. To achieve
this objective, the RSP expressly prohibit certain motions and
pleadings that could cause delay, among them, a motion for
extension of time to file pleadings, affidavits or any other
paper.
b. If the extension for the filing of these submissions cannot be
allowed, it will be illogical and incongruous to admit
a pleading that 4
Section 10. Rendition of judgment. Within thirty (30) days after receipt of the last
is already filed late. It is allowing indirectly what we prohibit to be affidavits and position papers, or the expiration of the period for filing the same, the
done directly. court shall render judgment. [Underscoring supplied.]
c. The law looks with compassion upon a party who has been illegally However, should the court find it necessary to clarify certain material facts, it may,
dispossessed of his property. Due to the urgency presented by this during the said period, issue an order specifying the matters to be clarified, and
situation, the RSP provides for an expeditious and inexpensive require the parties to submit affidavits or other evidence on the said matters within
means of reinstating the rightful possessor to the enjoyment of the ten (10) days from receipt of said order. Judgment shall be rendered within fifteen
(15) days after the receipt of the last affidavit or the expiration of the period for filing
the same.
has original jurisdiction thereof, but shall decide the case in accordance with the
preceding section, without prejudice to the admission of amended pleadings and The court shall not resort to the foregoing procedure just to gain time for the
additional evidence in the interest of justice. rendition of the judgment.
80. PEREGRINO ROSALES v COURT OF APPEALS, the Hon. SALVADOR A. MEMORACION,
Presiding Judge of the REGIONAL TRIAL COURT OF BASILAN, Branch 2, the Hon. EDUARDO F.
CARTAGENA and the ESTATE OF WEE YEK SUI alias GREGORIO WEE, represented by
DANIEL WEE
*note: this was decided before the 1997 CivPro and 1991 Rule on Summary Procedure

Summary: Gregorio owned a lot which he leased to Rosales. Pursuant to the lease contract, Rosales built a
building wherein he established his photography studio. Gregorio died and was survived by his son Daniel
and his widow. The estate, through Daniel, requested Rosales to vacate, but he refused even if the lease
contract already expired. The estate thus filed an ejectment case against Rosales with the MTC. Several
procedural irregularities, from the MTC to the CA, occurred. At the end of everything, Rosales lost so he
appealed to the SC
Doctrine: Firstly, the MTC judge erred when he did not motu proprio dismiss the estates complaint for
failure to comply with the rule on actionable documents (Sec. 7, Rule 8, RoC) as he is empowered to do
under Sec. 3(A), Rule on Summary Procedure. Secondly, the MTC judge should erred when it made a
finding that the Rule on Summary Procedure was applicable as the damages and unpaid rentals sought
exceed P20k and required Rosales to file an answer and not a motion to dismiss. Thirdly, both parties
submitted pleadings that were prohibited under the Rule on Summary Procedure. Fourthly, forcible entry
and detainer cases being summary in nature and involving disturbance of social order, procedural
technicalities should be carefully avoided and should not be allowed to override substantial justice. Lastly,
the CA erred in applying Tible, which involves a complete change of theory, because in tis case, no such
change of theory obtains. Rosales merely added another ground to his list of assigned errors committed by
the lower courts to buttress his contention that the complaint should have been dismissed. At best, the CA
may have chosen not to deal with said issue instead of dismissing the whole petition. Despite these
procedural lapses, the SC found that Rosales was wrong, and thus asked him to vacate the premises.

Facts:
Wee Yek Sui/Gregorio Wee was the registered owner of a 287sqm commercial lot situated at Roxas Ave.,
Isabela, Basilan. Rosales was the occupant of a certain portion of this property by virtue of a lease
agreement on a month-to-month basis dated April 13, 1962 with rent at the rate of P50/month. Pursuant
to the agreement, Rosales constructed a commercial building wherein he established his photography
studio
On April 3, 1966, Gregorio died leaving behind as heirs his son Daniel and widow Kuaya Ong. His
estate, through his son, on several occasions requested Rosales to vacate the lot because the heirs wished
to put up their own building. Rosales refused, despite the termination of the term of the lease.
The estate of Wee thus filed an action for ejectment against Rosales in the MTC. In the complaint for
unlawful detainer, the estate alleged that Rosales occupied the property by virtue of a lease agreement
but the substance of the lease agreement was not set forth in the complaint and no copy of the lease
agreement was attached as an exhibit. The estate also alleged that Rosales stopped paying rent as early as
1979 and prayed for the recovery of the outstanding rental of P51,660 computed at the new rate of
P160/month. Further, it prayed for damages for loss of expected income in an amount to be fixed by the
court and attys fees equivalent to 30% of the recoverable amount but not less than P10k
o SC: At this point, the MTC judge erred when he did not motu proprio dismiss the complaint
for failure to comply with the rule on actionable documents (Sec. 7, Rule 8, RoC) as he is
empowered to do under Sec. 3(A), Rule on Summary Procedure. 1 Unlike in the rules of ordinary
procedure, MTC judges are equipped with the relatively unfettered discretion to immediately
dismiss a complaint for any of the grounds mentioned therein without prior need of an opposing
party calling attention thereto. This section also confers on the judge the discretion to dismiss
complaints on the lower courts concerned dealing with cases properly covered both by summary

1 SEC. 3. Duty of court upon filing of complaint.Upon the filing of the complaint, the court, from a
consideration of the allegations thereof:
A. may dismiss the case outright due to lack of jurisdiction, improper venue, failure to state a cause of
action, or for any other valid ground for the dismissal of a civil action; or xxx
procedure and by regular procedure. In the sequence of events, the ascertainment of w/n a case falls
under summary procedure is made after an assessment has been done on the formal and substantive
sufficiency of the complaint.
o SC: The MTC judge compounded the mistake when he made a finding that the Rule on
Summary Procedure was applicable, in disregard of then Sec. 1(A)(1) thereof, notwithstanding that
the damages and unpaid rentals sought exceed P20k and required Rosales to file an answer and not
a motion to dismiss
Instead of filing an answer, Rosales filed a motion to dismiss the complaint alleging 1) lack of
jurisdiction (under the complaint, inasmuch as the demand to vacate was made in 1979, also the year he
allegedly stopped paying rent, the unlawful detainer action was filed beyond the mandatory 1 year period
and thus the remedy should have been an accion publiciana, 2) lack of cause of action (his continued
stay in the premises was protected by PD 20,, the rent control law then in force), and 3) and failure to
comply with the rule on actionable documents.
On the other hand, because Rosales did not file the appropriate responsive pleading under the Rule on
Summary Procedure, the estate moved to declare him in defaultitself, like Rosales motion to dismiss,
a prohibited pleading under Sec. 15, Rule on Summary Procedure.
The MTC only addressed the motion to dismiss on the ground of lack of jurisdiction. It ruled that it had
jurisdiction as the latest demand was made barely over a month before the filing of the complaint. It
ruled for the estate and ordered Rosales to vacate the premises and awarded all the damages prayed for
by the estate
o Parenthetically, Rosales argues in the present petition that, notwithstanding it being labeled as
a motion to dismiss, said pleading should have been considered as his answer pursuant to the liberal
interpretation accorded the rules and inasmuch as the grounds involved therein also qualify as
defenses proper in an answer. In this instance, the SC agrees. Indeed, the rule on summary procedure
was conceptualized to facilitate the immediate resolution of cases such as the present one. Forcible
entry and detainer cases being summary in nature and involving disturbance of social order,
procedural technicalities should be carefully avoided and should not be allowed to override
substantial justice.
Rosales filed a motion for reconsideration, another pleading prohibited under the rule on summary
procedure. This was denied by the MTC. Rosales appealed to the RTC. However, Rosales failed to
comply with the order of the court requiring the parties to submit memoranda and thus was not able to
sufficiently argue his appeal.
The RTC, continuing the procedural errors, dismissed the appeal and affirmed in toto the judgment of
the MTC, finding that no error was committed by the lower court in applying the rule on summary
procedure. It also ruled that because Rosales failed to deny under oath the genuineness and due
execution of the lease agreement, the same is deemed admitted. The RTC did not consider that the said
agreement was not properly pleaded in the complaint as an actionable document. Rosales filed a
petitioner for review with the CA.
In its decision, the CA did not discuss any of the errors assigned by Rosales and denied due course to the
petition solely on the ground that, as claimed by the estate, the issues raised therein involved a complete
change of theory which could not be made for the first time on appeal, citing Tible v Aquino. Hence this
appeal

Issue: WoN the CA erred in its assessment that petitioner changed his theory on appeal YES
The CAs assessment is true only in so far the first assigned error, i.e., the issue dealing with the legal
personality of the estate of Wee and the authority of his son to represent it. The others concern the
questions of jurisdiction, of cause of action and the violation of Sec. 7, Rule 8, RoC, all of which were
timely raised
Unlike Tible which involves a complete change of theory, no such change of theory obtains in this case.
Rosales merely added another ground to his list of assigned errors to buttress his contention that the
complaint should have been dismissed. At best, the CA may have chosen not to deal with said issue on
the well-settled rule that questions not raised in the lower courts cannot be raised for the first time on
appeal

Issue: WoN the estates petition lack a cause of action NO


Rosales argues that his continued stay on the leased premises is protected by PD 25 inasmuch as the
reason relied upon by the estate, i.e., construction of a bigger commercial building for higher rental
income, is not one of those enumerated by the law as grounds for ejectment. Rosales is mistaken. It is
clear from PD 20 that the same pertains only to dwelling units or to land on which dwelling units are
located, in other words, residential buildings. In this case, it is clear that the building he constructed on
the leased lot is devoted purely to commercial purposes as he operates his photography business therein.
The lot itself is located in the commercial district of the municipality. Thus, his stay on the leased lot is
not covered by the rent control laws.
Thus, Rosales should vacate the land and remove his improvements thereon at his expense. Back rental
outstanding must also be paid by him which shall be computed with legal interest at the original monthly
rate of P50 as if the defective complaint brought by the estate was not filed at all
81. Sps Valdez v Tabisula; J. Carpio-Morales; Rules on Barangay Conciliation

Doctrines: Failure of the respondent to appear at barangay proceedings bars the filing of and recovery via counterclaim.
Failure of the complainant to appear bars him from seeking judicial recourse. Easement doctrines (not related).

- Victor & Jocelyn Valdez bought the eastern 200-sqm part of Francisco Tabisulas 380-sqm lot. The Deed also
reads: they shall be provided a 2 meters road right-of-way on the western side of their lot but which is not
included in this sale.

- Subsequently, Tabisula built a concrete wall on the western side of the lot. However, believing the western side
was intended for the right-of-way, Valdez brought the matter to the barangay for mediation and conciliation.

- Tabisula failed to attend the meetings set by the Barangay, and Valdez filed a complaint for specific
performance and damages in 1999, more than 6 years after the sale.

o Valdez claims he agreed to buy the portion relying on the assurance of right-of-way and prayed for
Tabisula to be ordered to remove the wall and provide a 2 meter easement.

o Tabisula claims the easement should be on Valdezs portion, and that Valdez owns 2 properties
adjoining the subject portion, both of which have access to public highways. Also, he claims he could not
have agreed to the easement since there was a 2-storey house on their lot where the easement is
supposedly located which was erected long before he sold the lot to Valdez.

- RTC dismissed the complaint but granted the counterclaim for damages. Valdez appealed. The CA affirmed.
Hence this petition.

Issues:

1. Should the right-of-way be granted? NO.

a. Valdez is not entitled either to a voluntary nor legal easement:

a.i. Voluntary: the stipulation in the deed is not a disposition of real property, itself expressly
providing that the intended right-of-way was not included in this sale. This means the parties
would have to enter into a separate and distinct agreement for that purpose. Also, a document
stipulating a voluntary easement must be recorded in the Registry of Property in order not to
prejudice 3rd parties (A708, 709).

a.ii. Legal: the 4 preconditions are not met (surrounded by immovables and no adequate outlet to
public highway, proper indemnity paid, isolation not result of dominant estates acts, at the
point least prejudicial to the servient estate [usually the shortest route, insofar as it is consistent
with the rule of least prejudice]).

a.ii.1. As shown by Tabisula, there are 2 adequate passages to public roads via other
lots owned by Valdez adjoining the subject portion.

2. Was the grant of damages proper? NO.

a. Firstly, A199 of Rule XXVI of the implementing rules of the LGC provides that wilful failure to appear
before Barangay reconciliation proceedings despite summons may be punished as indirect contempt,
shall be reflected in the records by the lupon/pangkat secretary, and shall bar the complainant from
seeking judicial recourse, and the respondent from filing any counterclaim arising out of, or
necessarily connected with the complaint.

a.i. While Tabisula claims to have appeared at the proceedings, the Certificate to File Action
provides otherwise.
b. Secondly, while Valdez is currently not entitled to a legal easement, when the sale was executed in
1993, the 2 passages didnt exist yet.

c. Thirdly, to merit MD, there must be proof of moral suffering shown by clear and convincing evidence,
and not mere allegations of sickness, humiliation, and embarrassment. There was also no proof of fraud,
bad faith, or ill-motive on the part of the complainant. The MD being baseless, so too is the ED.

Held: CA modified; grant of counterclaim set aside.

[Not in case but related to lesson] A case filed in court without prior Barangay certification may be dismissed upon
motion of the defendants, not for lack of jurisdiction but for failure to state a cause of action and for prematurity (Adm.
Circular No. 14-93). Certification issuance requires:

1. Issuance by the Lupon Secretary & attested by the Punong Barangay that a conciliation settlement has been
reached, but was subsequently repudiated.

2. Issuance by the Pangkat Secretary and attested by the Pangkat Chairman, either that:

a. Confrontation took place, but no settlement/conciliation was reached; or

b. No personal confrontation took place due to no fault of the complainant.

3. Issuance by the Punong Barangay either:

a. When both parties are members of the same indigenous community, and either requests for it to be
settled in accordance with their customs/traditions; or

b. When one or some parties are members of an indigenous community, and the parties mutually agree
to submit their dispute to the indigenous system of amicable settlement

c. AND in either case, there was no settlement, as certified by the Datu, Tribal Elder, or Elder to the
Punong Barangay of place of settlement.

4. *note* If conciliation before the Punong Barangay fail without an agreement to arbitrate, or if the respondent
fails to appear, the Punong Barangay shall not issue the certificate right away, he must first constitute the
Pangkat before whom mediation proceedings shall be held.
82. A.L. ANG NETWORK, INC. vs.EMMA MONDEJAR
SUMMARY: A.L. filed a complaint for sum of money under the Rule of Procedure for Small Claims Cases
before the MTCC. They lost, thus, filed a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court before the
RTC. RTC dismissed the petition for certiorari, finding that the said petition was only filed to circumvent the
non-appealable nature of small claims cases as provided under Section 23 of the Rule of Procedure on Small
Claims Cases.
DOCTRINE: RTC erred in dismissing the petition. Considering the final nature of a small claims case decision,
the remedy of appeal is not allowed, and the prevailing party may, thus, immediately move for its
execution. Nevertheless, the proscription on appeals in small claims cases, similar to other proceedings where
appeal is not an available remedy, does not preclude the aggrieved party from filing a petition for certiorari
under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court.
FACTS:
On March 23, 2011, petitioner filed a complaint for sum of money under the Rule of Procedure for Small
Claims Cases before the MTCC, seeking to collect from respondent the amount of P23,111.71 which
represented her unpaid water bills for the period June 1, 2002 to September 30, 2005.
o They claimed that it was duly authorized to supply water to and collect payment therefor from
the homeowners of Regent Pearl Subdivision, one of whom is respondent.
o From June 1, 2002 until September 30, 2005, respondent and her family consumed a total of
1,150 cubic meters (cu. m.) of water, which upon application of the agreed rate of P113.00 for
every 10 cu. m. of water, plus an additional charge of P11.60 for every additional cu. m. of
water, amounted to P28,580.09. However, respondent only paid the amount of P5,468.38, thus,
leaving a balance of P23,111.71 which was left unpaid despite petitioners repeated demands.
Emma contended that since April 1998 up to February 2003, she religiously paid petitioner the agreed
monthly flat rate of P75.00 for her water consumption. Notwithstanding their agreement that the same
would be adjusted only upon prior notice to the homeowners, petitioner unilaterally charged her
unreasonable and excessive adjustments (at the average of 40 cu. m. of water per month or 1.3 cu. m.
of water a day) far above the average daily water consumption for a household of only 3 persons. She
also questioned the propriety and/or basis of the aforesaid P23,111.71 claim.
MTCC held that since petitioner was issued a Certificate of Public Convenience (CPC)13 by the
National Water Resources Board (NWRB) only on August 7, 2003, then, it can only charge respondent
the agreed flat rate of P75.00 per month prior thereto or the sum of P1,050.00 for the period June 1,
2002 to August 7, 2003. Thus, given that respondent had made total payments equivalent to P1,685.99
for the same period, she should be considered to have fully paid petitioner.
o The court disregarded petitioners reliance on the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Boards
(HLURB) Decision dated August 17, 2000 in HLURB Case No. REM C6-00-001 entitled Nollie
B. Apura, et al. v. Dona Carmen I Subdivision, et al., as source of its authority to impose new
water consumption rates for water consumed from June 1, 2002 to August 7, 2003 in the
absence of proof (a) that petitioner complied with the directive to inform the HLURB of the result
of its consultation with the concerned homeowners as regards the rates to be charged, and (b)
that the HLURB approved of the same.
Aggrieved, petitioner filed a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court before the RTC.
RTC dismissed the petition for certiorari, finding that the said petition was only filed to circumvent the
non-appealable nature of small claims cases as provided under Section 23 of the Rule of Procedure on
Small Claims Cases. To this end, the RTC ruled that it cannot supplant the decision of the MTCC with
another decision directing respondent to pay petitioner a bigger sum than that which has been
awarded.
ISSUE: W/N the RTC erred in dismissing petitioners recourse under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court
assailing the propriety of the MTCC Decision in the subject small claims case - YES
Section 23 of the Rule of Procedure for Small Claims Cases states that: SEC. 23. Decision. After the
hearing, the court shall render its decision on the same day, based on the facts established by the
evidence (Form 13-SCC). The decision shall immediately be entered by the Clerk of Court in the court
docket for civil cases and a copy thereof forthwith served on the parties. The decision shall be final and
unappealable.
Considering the final nature of a small claims case decision under the above-stated rule, the remedy of
appeal is not allowed, and the prevailing party may, thus, immediately move for its
execution. Nevertheless, the proscription on appeals in small claims cases, similar to other proceedings
where appeal is not an available remedy, does not preclude the aggrieved party from filing a petition for
certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court.
Conti v. Court of Appeals held that: Truly, an essential requisite for the availability of the extraordinary
remedies under the Rules is an absence of an appeal nor any "plain, speedy and adequate remedy" in
the ordinary course of law, one which has been so defined as a "remedy which (would) equally (be)
beneficial, speedy and sufficient not merely a remedy which at some time in the future will bring about a
revival of the judgment x x x complained of in the certiorari proceeding, but a remedy which will
promptly relieve the petitioner from the injurious effects of that judgment and the acts of the inferior
court or tribunal" concerned. x x x
Verily, a petition for certiorari, unlike an appeal, is an original action designed to correct only errors of
jurisdiction and not of judgment. Owing to its nature, it is therefore incumbent upon petitioner to
establish that jurisdictional errors tainted the MTCC Decision. The RTC, in turn, could either grant or
dismiss the petition based on an evaluation of whether or not the MTCC gravely abused its discretion
by capriciously, whimsically, or arbitrarily disregarding evidence that is material to the controversy.
Considering that small claims cases are exclusively within the jurisdiction of the Metropolitan Trial
Courts, Municipal Trial Courts in Cities, Municipal Trial Courts, and Municipal Circuit Trial
Courts, certiorari petitions assailing its dispositions should be filed before their corresponding Regional
Trial Courts. This petitioner complied with when it instituted its petition for certiorari before the RTC
which, as previously mentioned, has jurisdiction over the same. In fine, the RTC erred in dismissing the
said petition on the ground that it was an improper remedy, and, as such, RTC Case No. 11-13833
must be reinstated and remanded thereto for its proper disposition.