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SECOND DIVISION pursuing the ejectment case in the MTC of Manila.

Having arrived at this conclusion, there


is no need for Us to discuss the other issues involved.

[G.R. No. 96914. July 23, 1992.]


2. ID.; ID.; IN CASE AT BAR, ISSUE OF NON-COMPLIANCE WITH SECTIONS 6 AND 9
OF P.D. 1508 RAISED IN TRIAL COURT BY ALLEGATIONS IN THE ANSWER. We do not
agree with petitioner that the issue of non-compliance with Sections 6 and 9 of P.D. 1508
CECILIA U. LEDESMA, Petitioner, v. THE HON. COURT OF APPEALS, and JOSE T. DIZON,
was raised only for the first time in the Court of Appeals. When private respondent stated
Respondents.
that he was never summoned or subpoenaed by the Barangay Chairman, he, in effect, was
stating that since he was never summoned, he could not appear in person for the needed
confrontation of the parties before the Lupon Chairman for conciliation and/or amicable
Edgar V. Mendoza and Epifania N. Mendoza for Petitioner. settlement. Without the mandatory personal confrontation, no complaint could be filed
with the MTC. Private respondents allegation in paragraph 4 of his Answer that he was
never summoned or subpoenaed by the Barangay Chairman; that plaintiff has no cause of
Gaudioso C. de Lunas for Private Respondent. action against him as alleged in paragraph 7 of the Answer; and that the certification to file
action was improperly issued in view of the foregoing allegations thereby resulting in non-
compliance with the mandatory requirements of P.D. No. 1508, as stated in paragraph 8 of
the Answer are in substantial compliance with the raising of said issues and/or objections
in the court below.
SYLLABUS

DECISION
1. REMEDIAL LAW; PRESIDENTIAL DECREE NO. 1508; PERSONAL
CONFRONTATION BETWEEN PARTIES MANDATED BY SECTION 9 THEREOF; RATIONALE;
EXCEPTIONS TO PERSONAL CONFRONTATION; CASE AT BAR. As stated earlier, Section
9 of P.D 1508 mandates personal confrontation of the parties because: ". . . a personal
confrontation between the parties without the intervention of a counsel or representative NOCON, J.:
would generate spontaneity and a favorable disposition to amicable settlement on the part
of the disputants. In other words, the said procedure is deemed conducive to the successful
resolution of the dispute at the barangay level." Petitioner tries to show that her failure to
personally appear before the Barangay Chairman was because of her recurring
psychological ailments. But for the entire year of 1988 specifically September to Petitioner Cecilia U. Ledesma prays before this Court for the reversal of the Decision of the
December 6 -- there is no indication at all that petitioner went to see her psychiatrist for respondent Court of Appeals of August 30, 1990 1 ordering the dismissal of her ejectment
consultation. The only conclusion is that 1988 was a lucid interval for petitioner. There complaint before the Manila Metropolitan Trial Court for lack of cause of action due to non-
was, therefore, no excuse then for her non-appearance at the Lupon Chairmans office. compliance with Sections 6 and 9 of P.D. 1508 (Katarungang Pambarangay Law) as well as
Petitioner, not having shown that she is incompetent, cannot be represented by counsel or the Resolution of January 7, 1991 2 denying petitioners Motion for Reconsideration of said
even by attorney-in-fact who is next of kin. As explained by the Minister of Justice with Decision.
whom We agree: "To ensure compliance with the requirement of personal confrontation
between the parties, and thereby, the effectiveness of the barangay conciliation
proceedings as a mode of dispute resolution, the above-quoted provision is couched in The facts of this case as summarized by the petitioner in her Memorandum are as
mandatory language. Moreover, pursuant to the familiar maxim in statutory construction follows:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph
dictating that expressio unius est exclusio alterius, the express exceptions made regarding
minors and incompetents must be construed as exclusive of all others not mentioned.
Petitioners non-compliance with Secs. 6 and 9 of P.D. 1508 legally barred her from
"Petitioner is the owner-lessor of an apartment building located at 800-802 Remedios "IN VIEW WHEREOF, the Decision dated October 13, 1989 of the RTC of Manila, Br. IX in
Street, Malate, Manila. Two (2) units of said apartment building were leased (now being Civil Case No. 89-49672 is reversed and set aside and the Complaint for Ejectment against
unlawfully occupied) to private respondent at monthly rates of P3,450.00 for the petitioner is dismissed for lack of cause of action. No costs." 6
unit/apartment located at 800 Remedios Street, Malate, Manila and P2,300.00 for the
unit/apartment located at 802 Remedios Street, Malate, Manila, respectively, . . . .
Thus, this appeal, raising several assignments of error, namely, that the Court of Appeals
erred
"Said lease was originally covered by written contracts of lease both dated December 10,
1984 and except for the rates and duration, the terms and conditions of said contracts
were impliedly renewed on a `month-to-month basis pursuant to Article 1670 of the Civil
1. In holding that private respondent raised the issue of non-compliance with
Code.
Sections 6 and 9 of P.D. 1508 in the lower court when in fact and in truth his answer and
position paper failed to do so, contrary to evidence on record;

"One of the terms and conditions of the said Contract of Lease, that of monthly rental
payments, was violated by private respondent and that as of October 31, 1988, said private
2. In failing to consider that private respondent had waived his right to question the
respondent has incurred arrears for both units in the total sum of P14,039.00 for which
lack of cause of action of the complaint, if there is any, contrary to law, established
letters of demand were sent to, and received by, private Respondent.
jurisprudence, and evidence on record;

"Upon failure of private respondent to honor the demand letters, petitioner referred the
3. In giving undue weight and credence to the self-serving allegations of the private
matter to the Barangay for conciliation which eventually issued a certification to file action.
respondent that summons was not served him, contrary to law, established jurisprudence
Petitioner was assisted by her son, Raymond U. Ledesma, (who is not a lawyer) during the
and evidence on record.
barangay proceeding as she was suffering from recurring psychological and emotional
ailment as can be seen from the receipts and prescriptions issued by her psychiatrist
copies of which are attached as Annexes `E-E10 of the said Petition.
4. In disregarding the well-known principle of law that barangay authorities are
presumed to have performed their official duties and to have acted regularly in issuing the
certificate to file action and grossly and manifestly erred in making an opposite conclusion
"Due to the stubborn refusal of the private respondent to vacate the premises petitioner
to this effect, contrary to law, established jurisprudence and evidence on record.
was constrained to retain the services of counsel to initiate this ejectment proceeding." 3

5. In not holding that the settlement was repudiated, contrary to law and evidence
The Metropolitan Trial Court, Branch 10, Manila, rendered a decision on June 21, 1989
on record.
ordering private respondent to vacate the premises, to pay rentals falling due after May
1989 and to pay attorneys fees in the amount of P2,500.00. 4 The Regional Trial Court of
Manila, Branch IX, on appeal, affirmed the MTC ruling except for the award of attorneys
fees which it reduced to P1,000.00. 5 6. In not affirming the judgment rendered by the Metropolitan Trial Court and
Regional Trial Court below.

Private respondent, however, found favor with the respondent Court of Appeals when he
elevated the case in a Petition for Review, when it ruled, thus:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph Petitioner assails private respondent for raising the issue of non-compliance with Sections
6 and 9 of P.D. 1508 only in his petition for review with the appellate court and which
mislead the court to erroneously dismiss her complaint for ejectment.
Section 6 of P.D. 1508 states:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph "4. Answering defendant denies the allegations of paragraph 8, the truth of the
matter being that he was not duly summoned nor subpoenaed by the Barangay Chairman,
who issued the alluded certification, to appear for hearing." 9
"SEC. 6. Conciliation pre-condition to filing of complaint. No complaint, petition, action
or proceeding involving any matter within the authority of the Lupon as provided in
Section 2 hereof shall be filed or instituted in court or any other government office for x x x
adjudication unless there has been a confrontation of the parties before the Lupon
Chairman or the Pangkat and no conciliation or settlement has been reached as certified by
the Lupon Secretary or the Pangkat Secretary, attested by the Lupon or Pangkat Chairman,
or unless the settlement has been repudiated. . . .
"7. Plaintiff has no cause of action against answering defendant.

x x x
"8. The certification to file action (annex D of the complaint) was improperly or
irregularly issued as the defendant was never summoned nor subpoenaed by the Barangay
Chairman to appear for hearing in connection with the alleged complaint of the plaintiff. In
effect the mandatory provision of P.D. 1508 was not complied with warranting the
while Section 9 states that:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph dismissal of the instant complaint."cralaw virtua1aw library

"SEC. 9. Appearance of parties in person. In all proceedings provided for herein, the x x x 10
parties must appear in person without the assistance of counsel/representative, with the
exception of minors and incompetents who may be assisted by their next of kin who are
not lawyers."cralaw virtua1aw library
We do not agree with petitioner that the issue of non-compliance with Sections 6 and 9 of
P.D. 1508 was raised only for the first time in the Court of Appeals. When private
respondent stated that he was never summoned or subpoenaed by the Barangay
Petitioner submits that said issue, not having been raised by private respondent in the Chairman, he, in effect, was stating that since he was never summoned, he could not
court below, cannot be raised for the first time on appeal, specially in the Court of Appeals, appear in person for the needed confrontation of the parties before the Lupon Chairman
citing Saludes v. Pajarillo. 7 Private respondent had waived said objection, following the for conciliation and/or amicable settlement. Without the mandatory personal
line of reasoning in Royales v. Intermediate Appellate Court. 8 confrontation, no complaint could be filed with the MTC. Private respondents allegation in
paragraph 4 of his Answer that he was never summoned or subpoenaed by the Barangay
Chairman; that plaintiff has no cause of action against him as alleged in paragraph 7 of the
Answer; and that the certification to file action was improperly issued in view of the
Private respondent denies having waived the defenses of non-compliance with Sections 6
foregoing allegations thereby resulting in non-compliance with the mandatory
and 9 of P.D. 1508. His Answer before the Metropolitan Trial Court, specifically paragraphs
requirements of P.D. No. 1508, as stated in paragraph 8 of the Answer are in substantial
4, 7 & 8, substantially raised the fact of non-compliance by petitioner with Sections 6 and 9
compliance with the raising of said issues and/or objections in the court below.
of P.D. 1508 and consequently, subjected petitioners complaint to dismissal for lack of
cause of action, to wit:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

Petitioner would like to make it appear to this Court that she appeared before the Lupon
Chairman to confront private Respondent. She stated in her Petition 11 and her
x x x
Memorandum 12 that:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph
"Upon failure of private respondent to honor the demand letters, petitioner referred the
matter to the barangay for conciliation which eventually issued a certification to file action.
Petitioner was assisted by her son, Raymond U. Ledesma, (who is not a lawyer) during the As explained by the Minister of Justice with whom We agree:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph
barangay proceeding as she was suffering from recurring psychological and emotional
ailment as can be seen from the receipt and prescriptions issued by her psychiatrist copies
of which are attached herewith as Annexes E-E10."cralaw virtua1aw library "To ensure compliance with the requirement of personal confrontation between the
parties, and thereby, the effectiveness of the barangay conciliation proceedings as a mode
of dispute resolution, the above-quoted provision is couched in mandatory language.
However, as found out by the respondent court:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph Moreover, pursuant to the familiar maxim in statutory construction dictating that
`expressio unius est exclusio alterius, the express exceptions made regarding minors and
incompetents must be construed as exclusive of all others not mentioned." 17

"We agree with the petitioner that private respondent Cecile Ledesma failed to comply
with section 6 of P.D. 1508. The record of the case is barren showing compliance by the
private Respondent. Indeed, the documentary evidence of the private respondent herself Petitioners non-compliance with Secs. 6 and 9 of P.D. 1508 legally barred her from
attached to the complaint buttresses this conclusion. They show that it is not the private pursuing the ejectment case in the MTC of Manila. 18 Having arrived at this conclusion,
respondent but her son, Raymund U. Ledesma, and her lawyer, Atty. Epifania Navarro who there is no need for Us to discuss the other issues involved.
dealt with the petitioner regarding their dispute. Thus, the demand letter dated October
18, 1988 sent to the petitioner for payment of rentals in the sum of P14,039.00 was signed
by Raymund Ledesma. On the other hand, the demand letter dated November 14, 1988 WHEREFORE, the questioned decision and resolution of the respondent Court are affirmed
was signed by Atty. Epifania Navarro. More telling is the Certification to File Action signed in toto with treble costs against petitioner.
by Barangay Chairman, Alberto A. Solis where it appears that the complainant is Raymund
U. Ledesma and not the private Respondent." 13
SO ORDERED.

As stated earlier, Section 9 of P.D. 1508 mandates personal confrontation of the parties
because:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

". . . a personal confrontation between the parties without the intervention of a counsel or
representative would generate spontaneity and a favorable disposition to amicable
settlement on the part of the disputants. In other words, the said procedure is deemed
conducive to the successful resolution of the dispute at the barangay level." 14

Petitioner tries to show that her failure to personally appear before the Barangay
Chairman was because of her recurring psychological ailments. But for the entire year of
1988 15 specifically September to December 6 there is no indication at all that
petitioner went to see her psychiatrist for consultation. The only conclusion is that 1988
was a lucid interval for petitioner. There was, therefore, no excuse then for her non-
appearance at the Lupon Chairmans office.

Petitioner, not having shown that she is incompetent, cannot be represented by counsel or
even by attorney-in-fact who is next of kin. 16
Republic of the Philippines indicated, by his refusal to appear before the Punong Barangay, that no extrajudicial
settlement was possible between him and his brother. 6 Manuel is now before us to
SUPREME COURT question this decision.
Manila

We hold for the petitioner.


FIRST DIVISION

The applicable provisions of P.D. No. 1508 (Emphasis supplied) are as follows:
G.R. No. L-85475 June 30, 1989

SEC. 4. Procedure for amicable settlement.


MANUEL A. RAMOS, petitioner,

vs. a) Who may initiate proceedings. Any individual who has a cause of action against
another individual involving any matter within the authority of the Lupon as provided in
THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS and DOMINGO RAMOS, respondents.
Section 2 may complain orally or in writing, to the Barangay Captain of the barangay
referred to in Section 3 hereof.

b) Mediation by Barangay Captain. Upon receipt of the complaint, the Barangay Captain
shall within the next working day summon the respondent/s, with notice to the
CRUZ, J.: complainant's for them and their witnesses to appear before him for a mediation of their
conflicting interests. If he fails in his effort within fifteen (15) days from the first meeting of
the parties before him, he shall forthwith set a date for the constitution of the Pangkat in
Domingo Ramos authorized his brother Manuel Ramos to sell his share of certain lands accordance with the provisions of Section 1 of this Decree.
owned by them in common with their other brothers and sisters. Manuel did. Later,
Domingo revoked the power of attorney and demanded an accounting from Manuel.
Manuel refused. Domingo then filed a complaint with the Punong Barangay of Pampanga, c) Hearing before the Pangkat. The Pangkat shall convene not later than three (3) days
Buhangin District, City of Davao, which was docketed as Case No. 008-87. 1 The Punong from its constitution, on the day and hour set by the Barangay Captain, to hear both parties
Barangay scheduled a hearing on March 14, 1987. 2 Manuel appeared but Domingo did and their witnesses, simplify issues, and explore all possibilities for amicable settlement.
not. He was represented, however, by his wife who said her husband wanted to avoid a For this purpose, the Pangkat may issue summons for the personal appearance of parties
direct confrontation with his brother. 3 She requested that the Punong Barangay issue a and witnesses before it.
certification that no settlement had been reached so a complaint could be filed in court.
The Punong Barangay complied. 4 Thereupon, Domingo sued Manuel in the Regional Trial
Court of Davao City, also for accounting, in Civil Case No. 18560-87.
xxx

Manuel moved to dismiss the complaint on the ground of non-compliance with the
d) Sanctions. Refusal or willfull failure of any party or witness to appear in compliance
requirements of P.D. No. 1508. Specifically, he cited the failure of the Punong Barangay to
with the summons issued pursuant to the preceding two (2) paragraphs may be punished
refer the dispute to the Pangkat ng Tagapagkasundo after the unsuccessful mediation
by the city or municipal court as for indirect contempt of court upon application filed
proceedings convened by him. The motion was denied. 5 Manuel then filed with this Court
therewith by the Lupon Chairman, the Pangkat Chairman, or by any of the parties. Further,
a petition for certiorari which we referred to the Court of Appeals. That court denied the
such refusal or willful failure to appear shall be reflected in the records of the Lupon
petition. It held that there was no need for such referral because Domingo had clearly
Secretary or in the minutes of the Pangkat Secretary and shall bar the complainant from
seeking judicial recourse for the same cause of action, and the respondent, from filing any Barangay's jurisdiction and then disregarded it. Under Section 4(d), he is now barred, as
counterclaim arising out of or necessarily connected therewith. complainant in the barangay proceedings, "from seeking judicial recourse for the same
cause of action."

xxx
Domingo argues that he did appear through his wife, but this was not permitted by P.D. No.
1508. Its Section 9 reads:
SEC. 6. Conciliation, pre-condition to filing of complaint. No complaint, petition, action
or proceeding involving any matter within the authority of the Lupon as provided in
Section 2 hereof shall be filed or instituted in court or any other government office for Appearance of parties in person. In all proceedings provided for herein, the parties must
adjudication unless there has been a confrontation of the parties before the Lupon appear in person without the assistance of counsel/representative, with the exception of
Chairman or the Pangkat and no conciliation or settlement has been reached as certified by minors and incompetents who may be assisted by their next of kin who are not lawyers.
the Lupon Secretary or the Pangkat Secretary, attested by the Lupon or Pangkat Chairman,
or unless the settlement has been repudiated.
In Alinsugay, the Court said that "where one party fails to appear for no justifiable reason,
convening the Pangkat as a necessary second step will serve no useful purpose." True, but
It is clear from the above rules that the dispute should not have ended with the mediation we must stress the word justifiable. Mere refusal to appear at the confrontation as
proceedings before the Punong Barangay because of his failure to effect a settlement required by the law, when the party invoking P.D. 1508 is the one who disregarded it, is
between the brothers. One purpose of P.D. 1508 is precisely to effect a confrontation not a justifiable reason.
between the parties in the hope that they can resolve their differences without resort to
the courts of justice. Obviously, this purpose would be nullified if the matter were to be
considered closed simply because either of the parties refuses to confront the other.
It remains to add that the other purpose of the Katarungang Pambarangay Law is to relieve
the trial courts of cases among neighbors that hopefully can be settled through the
mediation of their peers in peaceful and even friendly confrontations. This purpose could
It was not for the Punong Barangay to say that referral to the Pangkat was no longer be defeated if such cases were allowed immediate access to the already clogged judicial
necessary merely because he himself had failed to work out an agreement between the dockets simply because one of the parties is unwilling to submit to justice at the barangay
petitioner and the private respondent. Indeed, it is possible that the Pangkat could have level.
exerted more efforts and succeeded (where he had not) in resolving the dispute. The
Punong Barangay could in fact have even issued summons to compel the attendance of
Domingo Ramos, who was the complainant himself in the mediation hearing. It seems the
WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED and the appealed decision is REVERSED. The
Punong Barangay had not tried hard enough. In any event, the certification he issued was
respondent judge is ordered to DISMISS Civil Case No. 18560-87. Costs against the private
certainly premature and did not authorize immediate recourse to judicial action.
respondent.

The case of Alinsugay v. Cagampang, 7 which was applied by respondent court, is not on all
S0 ORDERED.
fours with the petition at bar. There the parties claiming non-compliance with P.D. 1508
were the very parties who did not appear at the mediation proceedings before the Punong
Barangay. The defendants in the case were the respondents who had earlier disregarded
the Katarungang Pambarangay Law and were later inconsistently invoking its provisions.

In the case before us, it is Manuel Ramos, the respondent in the barangay proceedings, who
actually appeared therein and is now invoking the non-appearance of Domingo Ramos, the
complainant himself. Domingo, the herein private respondent, is the party who did not
appear to support his own complaint before the Punong Barangay. He invoked the Punong
Republic of the Philippines

SUPREME COURT From the evidence received by the Branch Clerk of Court from the petitioner, the following
facts emerged:
Manila

On 9 May 1985, petitioner, a duly accredited private school located at Barangay Palao,
THIRD DIVISION Iligan City, entered into a contract of services with private respondent Christina Trio.
Under that contract, Christina Trio would teach at the petitioner School during the
schoolyear 1985-1986, which would commence in June 1985 and end in March 1986. She
G.R. No. 80264 May 31, 1989 was assigned to take charge of Grade VI, Intermediate Department. The contract also
provided that any party desiring to terminate the contract before its scheduled expiration,
would give the other party at least one month notice of termination in writing. Sometime
in August 1985, while the contract was in full force and effect, and during a final
SAN MIGUEL VILLAGE SCHOOL, petitioner,
examination period, private respondent suddenly stopped teaching at the petitioner
vs. School, without giving notice of termination and thereby causing not inconsiderable
difficulties for the School. Petitioner School immediately sought the assistance of the
HONORABLE AMIR PUKUNUM D. PUNDOGAR and CHRISTINA TRIO, respondents. Barangay Captain of Palao and the commencement of conciliation proceedings, This
attempt failed because private respondent could not be contacted, she having left Iligan
City and having secured a better paying job at the Philippine Refugee Center based in
Estelito R. Alvia for petitioner. Manila.

Macalalag Law Office & Associates for private respondent. On 26 January 1986, the trial court then presided over by Judge Magadapa Rasuman
rendered a decision against private respondent, the dispositive portion of which read as
follows:

WHEREFORE, based on the foregoing consideration, judgment is hereby rendered in favor


of the plaintiff, San Miguel Village School and against defendant, Christina Trio as follows;
FELICIANO, J.:

1. Ordering defendant to pay all compensatory damages to the plaintiff, the amount
On 2 October 1985, petitioner San Miguel Village School filed a complaint for breach of of P8,400.00;
contract with damages against respondent Christina Trio, before the Regional Trial Court,
Branch 3, Lanao del Norte, the complaint being docketed as Civil Case No. L-111-577. A
Certificate to File Action, signed by the Barangay Captain of Barangay Palao, Iligan City,
dated 17 September 1985, bearing the notation that the "respondent cannot be contacted," 2. To pay plaintiff, the amount of P5,000.00, as moral damages;
was filed along with the complaint.

3. To pay attorney's fees of P5,000.00, and


Summons was served upon the private respondent through her husband. On 22 November
1985, private respondent having failed to file an answer within the reglementary period,
the petitioner School moved to declare her in default. The trial court granted the motion, 4. To pay the costs of this suit.
declared private respondent in default and designated the Branch Clerk of Court to receive
the evidence of the petitioner and thereafter to report back to the court.
SO ORDERED.

Respondent Judge was equally in error when he either disregarded or misconstrued the
Certificate to File Action, dated 17 September 1985, which had been, issued by the
Four (4) months later, on 15 May 1986, private respondent filed a Petition for Relief from Barangay Captain of Barangay Palao.
Judgment with the trial court, alleging that the court had no jurisdiction to render its
decision dated 26 January 1986 for failure of petitioner to go through the mandatory
conciliation procedure prescribed by Sections 2 and 6 of P.D. No. 1508. Private respondent
argued that the certification of the Barangay Captain of Palao dated 17 September 1985 Respondent Judge simply said apropos this Certificate to File Action, that no
was inadequate compliance with P.D. No. 1508, private respondent being a resident, not of "confrontation" had taken place between petitioner and private respondent before the
Barangay Palao, Iligan City, but rather of Barangay Tomas Cabili, Iligan City. Barangay authorities and immediately concluded that the requirements of P.D. No. 1508
had been violated. There is no question that the "confrontation" or conciliation
proceedings did not materialize here, since private respondent did not appear before the
Lupon. Where, however, the defendant in an action fails for one reason or another to
Almost a year later, on 6 April 1987, the trial court, this time presided over by respondent respond to a notice to appear before the Lupon, the requirement of P.D. No. 1508 must be
Judge Amir Pukunum D. Pundogar, issued an order upholding private respondent's regarded as having been satisfied by the plaintiff. A defendant cannot be allowed to
contentions and setting aside the assailed decision of 26 January 1986. In his order, while frustrate the requirements of the statute by her own refusal or failure to appear before the
Judge Pundogar acknowledged the impropriety of the Petition for Relief from Judgment, he Lupon and then later to assail a judgment rendered in such action by setting up the very
nonetheless in effect granted the relief sought, holding that the Regional Trial Court in ground of non-compliance with P.D. No. 1508. In simplest terms, a defendant cannot be
rendering the decision dated 26 January 1986, acted without jurisdiction "over the parties allowed to profit by her own default.
and the subject matter of the action" 1 for failure of petitioner to comply with the
requirements of P. D. No. 1508. A Motion for Reconsideration by petitioner was denied by
the respondent Judge.
In the instant case, private respondent, as noted earlier, had stated in her subsequent
Petition for Relief from Judgment that she resided not in Barangay Palao but in Barangay
Cabili, in effect suggesting that she had not received notice to appear before the Lupon of
In the instant Petition, it is vigorously contended by petitioner that the trial court had Barangay Palao. We do not believe that the statement and suggestion of private
jurisdiction to render its decision of 26 January 1986. respondent should be given much credence. In the first place, the Barangay authorities of
Barangay Palao must be presumed to have performed their official duties and to have
acted regularly in issuing the Certificate to File Action. They must be presumed to have
The Court notes, at the outset, that respondent Judge in fact granted the Petition for Relief sent a notice to Christina Trio to appear before the Lupon; otherwise, they could not
from Judgment not because he found one or more of the grounds specified in Section 2 of reasonably have stated that Christina "could not be contacted." Secondly, petitioner School
Rule 38 of the Revised Rules of Court (fraud, accident, mistake or excusable negligence) had already presented evidence during the hearing before the Commissioner appointed by
but rather because respondent Judge found his predecessor in the same court to have Judge Rasuman that both petitioner and private respondent were residents of Palao, Iligan
acted without jurisdiction. City.

It is, however, firmly settled 2 that failure of a plaintiff to comply with the requirements of Finally, and in any event, the alleged failure on the part of a plaintiff to comply with the
P.D. No. 1508 does not affect the jurisdiction of the court that tried the action. In, e.g., procedural requirement established by P.D. No. 1508 must be raised in a timely manner,
Millare v. Hernando, the Court stressed that "the conciliation procedure required under that is, at the first available opportunity, if such alleged failure is to provide legal basis for
P.D. No. 1508 is not a jurisdictional requirement in the sense that failure to have prior dismissal of the complaint. Such failure must be pleaded, in other words, in a timely motion
recourse to such procedure would not deprive a court of its jurisdiction either over the to dismiss or in the answer. Failure to so set up that defense produces the effect of waiver
subject matter or over the person of the defendant." 3 Failure of a plaintiff to go through of such defense. In the instant case, private respondent was declared in default and that
the conciliation procedure established by P.D. No. 1508 merely affects the sufficiency, or default order was never set aside. Accordingly, private respondent must be held to have
the maturity or ripeness of the plaintiffs cause of action and the complaint becomes waived whatever right she may have had to raise the defense of failure to comply with the
vulnerable to a motion to dismiss, not on the ground of lack of jurisdiction, but rather for compulsory conciliation procedure under P.D. No. 1508. Indeed, that was not the only
want of cause of action or for prematurity. 4 Respondent Judge was thus in palpable error thing she waived; she also waived the right to appear and to file an answer and there to set
in holding his predecessor without jurisdiction to render the assailed decision. up that and other defenses that she might have had. It is simply too late to demand
conciliation under P.D. No. 1508 after a judgment on the merits (albeit by default) has been
rendered and become final and executory.

ACCORDINGLY, the Orders of respondent Judge Amir Pukunum D. Pundogar dated 6 April
1987 and 15 June 1987 in Civil Case No. L-111-577 are hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE
and the Decision dated 26 January 1986 of Judge Magadapa Rasuman is hereby
REINSTATED. Costs against private respondent.

SO ORDERED.