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Bilag v. Ay-ay, G.R. No. 189950, [April 24, 2017]; Perlas-Bernabe, J.

Doctrine:

When a court has no jurisdiction over the subject matter, the only power it has is to dismiss the action, as
any act it performs without jurisdiction is null and void, and without any binding legal effects.

Facts of the case:

The instant case stemmed from a Complaint for Quieting of Title filed by respondents against petitioners before
the RTC Br. 61, docketed as Civil Case No. 5881-R. Respondents alleged that Iloc Bilag, petitioners' predecessor-
in-interest, sold to them the subject lands and that they registered the corresponding Deeds of Sale with the
Register of Deeds of Baguio City. According to respondents, the seller not only acknowledged full payment
and guaranteed that his heirs, successors-in-interest, and executors are to be bound by such sales, but he also
caused the subject lands to be removed from the Ancestral Land Claims. Respondents further alleged that
they have been in continuous possession of the said lands since 1976 when they were delivered to them and
that they have already introduced various improvements thereon. Despite the foregoing, petitioners refused to
honor the foregoing sales by asserting their adverse rights on the subject lands. Worse, they continued to harass
respondents, and even threatened to demolish their improvements and dispossess them thereof. Hence, they
filed the instant complaint to quiet their respective titles over the subject lands and remove the cloud cast
upon their ownership as a result of petitioners' refusal to recognize the sales.

For their part, petitioners filed a Motion to Dismiss on the grounds of lack of jurisdiction,
prescription/laches/estoppel, and res judicata. Petitioners averred that the subject lands are untitled,
unregistered, and form part of the Baguio Townsite Reservation which were long classified as lands of the public
domain. As such, the RTC has no jurisdiction over the case as it is the Land Management Bureau (formerly the
Bureau of Lands) which is vested with the authority to determine issues of ownership over unregistered public
lands.

Issue:
Whether or not the RTC has jurisdiction over the subject matter of the case

Held:
No. The subject land forms part of the Baguio Townsite Reservation, a portion of which was awarded to
the Iloc Bilag due to the reopening of Civil Reservation Case No. 1, GLRO Record No. 211. In PD 1271, it was
expressly declared that all orders and decisions issued by the CFI of Baguio and Benguet in connection with the
proceedings for the reopening of Civil Reservation Case No. 1, GLRO Record 211, covering lands within the
Baguio Townsite Reservation are null and void and without force and effect. While PD 1271 provides for a
means to validate ownership over lands forming part of the Baguio Townsite Reservation, it requires, among
others, that a Certificate of Title be issued on such lands on or before July 31, 1973. In this case, records reveal
that the subject lands are unregistered and untitled, as petitioners' assertion to that effect was not seriously
disputed by respondents. In view of the foregoing, it is only reasonable to conclude that the subject lands
should be properly classified as lands of the public domain as well.

Therefore, since the subject lands are untitled and unregistered public lands, then petitioners correctly argued
that it is the Director of Lands who has the authority to award their ownership. Thus, the RTC Br. 61 correctly
recognized its lack of power or authority to hear and resolve respondents' action for quieting of title.

In conclusion, RTC Br. 61 has no jurisdiction over Civil Case No. 5881-R as the plaintiffs therein (herein
respondents) seek to quiet title over lands which belong to the public domain. Necessarily, Civil Case No. 5881-
R must be dismissed on this ground. It should be stressed that the court a quo's lack of subject matter jurisdiction
over the case renders it without authority and necessarily obviates the resolution of the merits of the case.
Dee v. Harvest All Investment Limited, G.R. Nos. 224834 & 224871, [March 15, 2017]; Perlas-Bernabe, J.

Doctrine:

Depending on the nature of the principal action or remedy sought, an intra-corporate controversy may involve
a subject matter which is either capable or incapable of pecuniary estimation. If the action is primarily for the
recovery of a sum of money, the claim is considered capable of pecuniary estimation, and whether jurisdiction
is in the municipal courts or in the RTC 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 RTC.

Facts of the case:

Respondents are minority stockholders of Alliance Select Foods International, Inc. (Alliance). As per
Alliance's by-laws, its Annual Stockholders' Meeting (ASM) is held every June 15. However, in a Special Board of
Directors Meeting held prior, the Board of Directors passed a Board Resolution indefinitely postponing Alliance's
2015 ASM pending complete subscription to its Stock Rights Offering (SRO) consisting of shares with total value
of P1 Billion which was earlier approved in a Board Resolution. This prompted respondents to file the instant
Complaint involving an intra-corporate controversy against Alliance, and its other Board members. In said
complaint, Harvest All, et al. principally claimed that the subscription to the new shares through the SRO cannot
be made a condition precedent to the exercise by the current stockholders of their right to vote in the 2015
ASM; otherwise, they will be deprived of their full voting rights proportionate to their existing shareholdings.

For its part, the Alliance Board raised the issue of lack of jurisdiction on the ground of Harvest All, et al.'s
failure to pay the correct filing fees. It argued that the latter should have paid P20 Million, more or less, in filing
fees based on the SRO which was valued at P1 Billion. However, Harvest All, et al. did not mention such capital
infusion in their prayers and, as such, were only made to pay the measly sum of P8,860.00. On the other hand,
Harvest All, et al. maintained that they paid the correct filing fees, considering that the subject of their
complaint is the holding of the 2015 ASM and not a claim on the aforesaid value of the SRO. Harvest All, et al.
likewise pointed out that they simply relied on the assessment of the Clerk of Court and had no intention to
defraud the government.

Issue:
Whether or not the complaint was capable of pecuniary estimation and as such the filing fee must be
based on the P1 Billion value of the SRO

Held:
No. The Complaint’s main purpose is to have Alliance hold its 2015 ASM on the date set in the
corporation's by-laws, or at the time when Alliance's SRO has yet to fully materialize, so that their voting interest
with the corporation would somehow be preserved. Thus, Harvest All, et al. sought for the nullity of the Alliance
Board Resolution which indefinitely postponed the corporation's 2015 ASM pending completion of subscription
to the SRO. Certainly, Harvest All, et al.'s prayer for nullity, as well as the concomitant relief of holding the 2015
ASM as scheduled in the by-laws, do not involve the recovery of sum of money. The mere mention of Alliance's
impending SRO valued at P1 Billion cannot transform the nature of Harvest All, et al.'s action to one capable of
pecuniary estimation, considering that: (a) Harvest All, et al. do not claim ownership of, or much less
entitlement to, the shares subject of the SRO; and (b) such mention was merely narrative or descriptive in order
to emphasize the severe dilution that their voting interest as minority shareholders would suffer if the 2015 ASM
were to be held after the SRO was completed. If, in the end, a sum of money or anything capable of pecuniary
estimation would be recovered by virtue of Harvest All, et al.'s complaint, then it would simply be the
consequence of their principal action. Clearly therefore, Harvest All, et al.'s action was one incapable of
pecuniary estimation.

Having classified the action as one incapable of pecuniary estimation, the Court finds that Harvest All,
et al. should be made to pay the appropriate docket fees in accordance with the applicable fees provided
under Section 7 (b) (3) of Rule 141 [fees for all other actions not involving property] of the Revised Rules of
Court, in conformity with A.M. No. 04-02-04-SC dated October 5, 2016.
KT Construction Supply, Inc. v. PSBank, G.R. No. 228435, June 21, 2017; Mendoza, J.

Doctrine:

Jurisdiction over the person of the parties must be acquired so that the decision of the court would be binding
upon them. It is a fundamental rule that jurisdiction over a defendant is acquired in a civil case either through
service of summons or voluntary appearance in court and submission to its authority.

Facts of the case:

Petitioner obtained a loan from respondent, evidenced by a Promissory Note which was signed by William K.
Go (Go) and Nancy Go-Tan (Go-Tan) as Vice-President/General Manager and Secretary/Treasurer of KT
Construction, respectively. In addition, both Go and Go-Tan signed the note in their personal capacities. One
time, PSBank sent a demand letter to KT Construction asking the latter to pay its outstanding obligation. For its
failure to pay despite demand, PSBank filed a complaint for sum of money against KT Construction.

The RTC ruled in favor of PSBank and declared KT Construction, Go and Go-Tan solidary liable to pay PSBank.
On appeal, the CA affirmed the RTC decision. Likewise, the CA agreed that Go and Go-Tan were solidarily
liable with KT Construction for the judgment amount because, when they signed the promissory note in their
personal capacities, they became co-makers thereof. It added that the parties themselves stipulated in the
promissory note that their liability was solidary.

This appeal was instituted by KT Construction. It insists that Go and Go-Tan could not be held solidarily liable for
the judgment award because they were neither impleaded nor served with summons. Moreover, they did not
voluntarily appear before the court. Thus, the courts never acquired jurisdiction over their persons.

Issue:

Whether or not Go and Go-Tan are bound by the court’s decision

Held:

No. In relation to the rules of civil procedure, it is elementary that a judgment of a court is conclusive
and binding only upon the parties and their successors-in-interest after the commencement of the action in
court. A decision rendered on a complaint in a civil action or proceeding does not bind or prejudice a person
not impleaded therein, for no person shall be adversely affected by the outcome of a civil action or
proceeding in which he is not a party. The principle that a person cannot be prejudiced by a ruling rendered in
an action or proceeding in which he has not been made a party conforms to the constitutional guarantee of
due process of law.

In the case at bench, Go and Go-Tan were neither impleaded in the civil case nor served with summons. They
merely acted as representatives of KT Construction, which was impleaded as the defendant in the complaint. It
is for this reason that only KT Construction filed an answer to the complaint. Thus, it is clear that the trial court
never acquired jurisdiction over Go and Go-Tan.

Consequently, it was improper for the trial court to declare in its dispositive portion that Go and Go-Tan were
jointly and severally liable with KT Construction for the judgment award. It is noteworthy that their liability as co-
makers was never discussed in the body of the decision and that their solidary liability was a mere conclusion in
the dispositive portion.
Abagatnan v. Spouses Clarito, G.R. No. 211966, [August 7, 2017]; Del Castillo, J.

Doctrine:

Parties who do not actually reside in the same city or municipality or adjoining barangays are not required to
submit their dispute to the lupon as a pre-condition to the filing of a complaint in court. The Court ruled that the
express statutory requirement of actual residency in the LGC pertains specifically to the real parties in interest in
the case. It further explained that said requirement cannot be construed to apply to the attorney-in-fact of the
party-plaintiff, as doing so would abrogate the meaning of a "real party in interest" as defined in Section 2, in
relation to Section 3, of Rule 3 of the Rules of Court.

Facts of the case:

Wenceslao Abagatnan and Lydia acquired a parcel of land. Lydia died leaving her children, who are co-
petitioners in this case, to succeed into the ownership of her conjugal share of said property. Subsequently,
respondents allegedly approached Wenceslao and asked for permission to construct a residential house made
of light materials on the subject property. Petitioners decided to sell the subject property which was then still
being occupied by respondents. They offered to sell said portion to respondents, but the latter declined.
Consequently, petitioners sent respondents a Demand Letter to vacate the subject property which the latter
refused.

Petitioners filed a Complaint for Unlawful Detainer against respondents before the MTCC. Notably, the
Complaint alleged that prior barangay conciliation proceedings are not required as a pre-condition for the
filing of the case in court, given that not all petitioners are residents of Roxas City. Specifically, petitioner Jimmy
C. Abagatnan (Jimmy) resided in Laguna, while petitioner Jenalyn A. De Leon (Jenalyn) resided in Pasig City.

In their Answer with Counterclaim, respondents argued that prior barangay conciliation is a mandatory
requirement that cannot be dispensed with, considering that Jimmy and Jenalyn had already executed a
Special Power of Attorney (SPA) in favor of their co-petitioner and sister, Josephine A. Parce (Josephine), who is
a resident of Roxas City.

Issue:

Whether or not the complaint should be dismissed for failure to comply with the prior barangay
conciliation requirement under Section 412 of the LGC

Held:

No. The Complaint filed before the MTCC specifically alleged that not all the real parties in interest in
the case actually reside in Roxas City. As such, the lupon has no jurisdiction over their dispute, and prior referral
of the case for barangay conciliation is not a pre-condition to its filing in court.

This is true regardless of the fact that Jimmy and Jenalyn had already authorized their sister and co-petitioner,
Josephine, to act as their attorney-in-fact in the ejectment proceedings before the MTCC. As previously
explained, the residence of the attorney-in-fact of a real party in interest is irrelevant in so far as the "actual
residence" requirement under the LGC for prior barangay conciliation is concerned.

Besides, as the RTC correctly pointed out, the lack of barangay conciliation proceedings cannot be brought on
appeal because it was not included in the Pre-Trial Order. The non-inclusion of this issue in the Pre-Trial Order
barred its consideration during the trial.
Societe Des Produits, Nestle, S.A. v. Puregold Price Club, In, G.R. No. 217194, [September 6, 2017];
Carpio, Acting CJ

Doctrine:

Juridical persons, including corporations, that cannot personally sign the certification against forum shopping,
must act through an authorized representative. The exercise of corporate powers including the power to sue is
lodged with the board of directors which acts as a body representing the stockholders. For corporations, the
authorized representative to sign the certification against forum shopping must be selected or authorized
collectively by the board of directors.

Facts of the case:

Puregold filed an application for the registration of the trademark "COFFEE MATCH" with the Intellectual
Property Office (IPO). Nestle filed an opposition alleging that it is the exclusive owner of the "COFFEE-MATE"
trademark and that there is confusing similarity between the "COFFEE-MATE" trademark and Puregold's "COFFEE
MATCH" application.

The Bureau of Legal Affairs-Intellectual Property Office (BLA-IPO) dismissed Nestle's opposition and ruled that
Nestle's opposition was defective because the verification and certification against forum shopping attached
to Nestle's opposition did not include a board of directors' resolution or secretary's certificate stating Mr. Dennis
Jose R. Barot's (Barot) authority to act on behalf of Nestle. The Office of the ODG-IPO dismissed Nestle's appeal
and the CA dismissed Nestle's petition for review on the same ground.

Issue:

Whether or not the petition of Nestle should be dismissed for failure to properly execute a certification against
forum shopping

Held:

Yes. The authority of the representative of a corporation to sign the certification against forum shopping
originates from the board of directors through either a board of directors' resolution or secretary's certificate
which must be submitted together with the certification against forum shopping.

Nestle, itself, acknowledged in this petition the absence of a board resolution or secretary's certificate issued by
the board of directors of Nestle to prove the authority of Barot to sign the certification against forum shopping
on behalf of Nestle, to wit: "[t]hus, while there is no board resolution and/or secretary's certificate to prove the
authority of Dennis Jose R. Barot to file the petition and Verification/Certification of Non-Forum Shopping on
behalf of petitioner-corporation, there is a Power of Attorney evidencing such authority." The power of attorney
submitted by Nestle in favor of Barot was signed by Céline Jorge. However, the authority of Céline Jorge to sign
the power of attorney on behalf of Nestle, allowing Barot to represent Nestle, was not accompanied by a
board resolution or secretary's certificate from Nestle showing that Céline Jorge was authorized by the board of
directors of Nestle to execute the power of attorney in favor of Barot.
Tujan-Militante v. Nustad, G.R. No. 209518, [June 19, 2017]; Tijam, J.

Doctrine:

By seeking affirmative reliefs from the trial court, the petitioner is deemed to have voluntarily submitted to the
jurisdiction of the court. A party cannot invoke the jurisdiction of the court to secure the affirmative relief
against his opponent and after obtaining or failing to obtain such relief, repudiate or question that same
jurisdiction.

Facts of the case:

Respondent, as represented by Atty. Lucila, filed a petition before the RTC and prayed that petitioner be
ordered to surrender to the Register of Deeds of Lucena City the owner's duplicate copy of the TCTs which
were all issued in Nustad's name. Instead of filing an Answer, petitioner filed an Omnibus Motion to Dismiss. She
averred that the RTC did not acquire jurisdiction over her person as she was not able to receive summons.

The RTC denied petitioner’s Motion and ruled that it has jurisdiction over the case. Petitioner filed a Motion for
Reconsideration and alleged that the Power of Attorney executed by Nustad in favor of Atty. Lucila is void and
non-existent. She likewise averred that Atty. Lucila is representing a Norwegian, who is not allowed to own lands
in the Philippines. Aside from the dismissal of the case, petitioner prayed that the Office of the Solicitor General
and the Land Registration Authority be impleaded. Moreover, Tujan-Militante prayed for moral and exemplary
damages, attorney's fees, and costs of suit.

Petitioner’s motion having been denied, she filed a Petition for Certiorari before the CA. The CA recognized the
jurisdictional defect over the person of Tujan-Militante, but nevertheless ruled that the flaw was cured by Tujan-
Militante's filing of her Motion for Reconsideration.

Issue:

Whether or not the court has jurisdiction over the person of Tujan-Militante

Held:

Yes. A trial court acquires jurisdiction over the person of the defendant by service of summons. However,
it is equally significant that even without valid service of summons, a court may still acquire jurisdiction over the
person of the defendant, if the latter voluntarily appears before it.

In this case, while Tujan-Militante's motion to dismiss challenged the jurisdiction of the court a quo on the
ground of improper service of summons, the subsequent filing of a Motion for Reconsideration which sought for
affirmative reliefs is tantamount to voluntary appearance and submission to the authority of such court. Such
affirmative relief is inconsistent with the position that no voluntary appearance had been made, and to ask for
such relief, without the proper objection, necessitates submission to the court's jurisdiction.
Express Padala (Italia) v. Ocampo , G.R. No. 202505, [September 6, 2017]

Doctrine:

Substituted service presupposes that the place where the summons is being served is the defendant's current
residence or office/regular place of business. Thus, where the defendant neither resides nor holds office in the
address stated in the summons, substituted service cannot be resorted to.

Facts of the case:

BDO Remittance, a corporation with principal office in Italy, hired respondent Ocampo as a remittance
processor. It filed a criminal complaint against her for misappropriating a sum of money. The Court of Turin
convicted her but granted her the benefit of suspension of the enforcement of sentence on account of her
guilty plea. Consequently, BDO Remittance filed a petition for recognition of foreign judgment with the RTC of
Mandaluyong City.

The sheriff attempted to personally serve the summons on Ocampo in her local address alleged in the petition
located in San Bernardo Village, Darasa, Tanauan, Batangas. Macahia, the present occupant, informed the
sheriff that Ocampo and her family were already in Italy, and that he was only a caretaker of the house. The
sheriff then proceeded to serve the summons upon Macahia. After Ocampo failed to file an answer, BDO
Remittance filed a motion to declare Ocampo in default. The RTC granted the motion and allowed BDO
Remittance to present evidence ex parte. The RTC rendered a Decision in favor of BDO Remittance. Not
having been represented by counsel a quo, the period of appeal lapsed. Ocampo was later able to engage
the services of counsel who filed a petition for certiorari before the CA which set aside the RTC Decision.
Hence, BDO Remittance filed the present petition for review.

Issue:

Whether or not the service of summons was validly effected upon respondent

Held:

No. The general rule in this jurisdiction is that summons must be served personally on the defendant. When the
defendant cannot be served personally within a reasonable time after efforts to locate him have failed, the
rules allow summons to be served by substituted service. When the defendant's whereabouts are unknown, the
rules allow service of summons by publication. As an exception to the preferred mode of service, service of
summons by publication may only be resorted to when the whereabouts of the defendant are not only
unknown, but cannot be ascertained by diligent inquiry. The diligence requirement means that there must be
prior resort to personal service under Section 7 and substituted service under Section 8, and proof that these
modes were ineffective before summons by publication may be allowed. This mode also requires the plaintiff to
file a written motion for leave of court to effect service of summons by publication, supported by affidavit of
the plaintiff or some person on his behalf, setting forth the grounds for the application.

The Court agrees with the CA which held that substituted service was improperly resorted to. It found that since
Ocampo's whereabouts are unknown and cannot be ascertained by diligent inquiry, service may be effected
only by publication in a newspaper of general circulation.

Not being a resident of the address where the summons was served, the substituted service of summons is
ineffective. Accordingly, the RTC did not acquire jurisdiction over the person of Ocampo. Since the RTC never
acquired jurisdiction over the person of Ocampo, the judgment rendered by the court could not be
considered binding upon her.
Republic v. De Borja, G.R. No. 187448, [January 9, 2017]; Caguioa, J.

Doctrine:

In a demurrer to evidence, it is premature to speak of "preponderance of evidence" because it is filed prior to


the defendant's presentation of evidence; it is precisely the office of a demurrer to evidence to expeditiously
terminate the case without the need of the defendant's evidence. Hence, what is crucial is the determination
as to whether the plaintiff's evidence entitles it to the relief sought.

Facts of the case:

The case stems from a Complaint filed by petitioner Republic, represented by the Presidential Commission on
Good Government, for "Accounting, Reconveyance, Forfeiture, Restitution, and Damages" (Complaint) before
the Sandiganbayan for the recovery of ill-gotten assets allegedly amassed by the individual respondents
therein, singly or collectively, during the administration of the late President Ferdinand E. Marcos. Geronimo Z.
Velasco (Velasco), one of the defendants in Civil Case No. 0003, was the President and Chairman of the Board
of Directors of the Philippine National Oil Company (PNOC). Herein respondent De Borja is Velasco's nephew.

Respondent De Borja filed his Demurrer to Evidence, stating therein, among others: (i) that Verano, on two (2)
occasions, testified that he delivered an envelope to Velasco who, in turn, instructed him to deliver the same to
De Borja; (ii) that Verano admitted that the envelope was sealed; (iii) that Verano did not open the envelope
and therefore had no knowledge of the contents thereof; (iv) that Verano did not deliver the envelope
personally to De Borja; and (v) that Verano did not confirm whether De Borja in fact received the said
envelope.

The SB found that the evidence presented was insufficient to support a claim for damages against De Borja,
thereby granting respondent De Borja's Demurrer to Evidence. Hence, petitioner Republic filed the instant
Petition solely with respect to the liability of respondent De Borja, claiming that the SB erred in granting the
Demurrer to Evidence.

Issue: Whether or not respondent De Borja's Demurrer to Evidence must be granted

Held:

Yes. A demurrer to evidence is a motion to dismiss on the ground of insufficiency of evidence. It is a remedy
available to the defendant, to the effect that the evidence produced by the plaintiff is insufficient in point of
law, whether true or not, to make out a case or sustain an issue. The question in a demurrer to evidence is
whether the plaintiff, by his evidence in chief, had been able to establish a prima facie case.

Specifically, the inquiry in this case is confined to resolving whether petitioner Republic is entitled to
"Accounting, Reconveyance, Forfeiture, Restitution, and Damages" based on the evidence it has presented. As
repeatedly stressed by respondent De Borja, the only evidence presented with respect to his liability is the
testimony of Verano and the affidavit of one Jose M. Reyes. The insinuations of petitioner Republic in the instant
Petition can best be described as speculative, conjectural, and inconclusive at best. Nothing in the testimony
of Verano reasonably points, or even alludes, to the conclusion that De Borja acted as a dummy or conduit of
Velasco in receiving address commissions from vessel owners.

The Court joins and concurs in the SB's observations pertaining to Verano's want of knowledge with respect to
the contents of the envelopes allegedly delivered to respondent De Borja's office, which remained sealed the
entire time it was in Verano's possession. As admitted by Verano himself, he did not and could not have known
what was inside the envelopes when they were purportedly entrusted to him for delivery. In the same vein,
Verano did not even confirm respondent De Borja's receipt of the envelopes, despite numerous opportunities
to do so. Relatedly, it was further revealed during the cross-examination of Verano that in the first place,
Velasco did not even deal directly with brokers.
Iloilo Jar Corp. v. Comglasco Corp., G.R. No. 219509, [January 18, 2017]; Mendoza, J.

Doctrine:

What distinguishes a judgment on the pleadings from a summary judgment is the presence of issues in the
Answer to the Complaint. When the Answer fails to tender any issue, that is, if it does not deny the material
allegations in the complaint or admits said material allegations of the adverse party's pleadings by admitting
the truthfulness thereof and/or omitting to deal with them at all, a judgment on the pleadings is appropriate.
On the other hand, when the Answer specifically denies the material averments of the complaint or asserts
affirmative defenses, or in other words raises an issue, a summary judgment is proper provided that the issue
raised is not genuine. "A 'genuine issue' means an issue of fact which calls for the presentation of evidence, as
distinguished from an issue which is fictitious or contrived or which does not constitute a genuine issue for trial."

Facts of the case: Iloilo Jar filed a civil action for breach of contract and damages before the RTC against
Comglasco. Sunsequently, Iloilo Jar filed its Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings arguing that Comglasco, in
its Answer, admitted all the material allegations in the complaint. It insisted that Comglasco's answer failed to
tender an issue because its affirmative defense was unavailing. Iloilo Jar argues that Comglasco's answer
materially admitted the allegations of the former's complaint, particularly, that the latter had removed its
merchandise from the lease premises and failed to pay subsequent rentals, after it had received the demand
letters sent. It points out that Comglasco brushed aside its obligation by merely claiming that it was no longer
bound by the lease contract because it was terminated due to the financial difficulties it was experiencing in
light of the economic crisis.

Comglasco countered that its answer raised material defenses which rendered judgment on the pleadings
improper. It asserted that judgment on the pleadings may be had only when the answer fails to tender an issue
or otherwise admits the material allegations of the adverse party's pleading. Comglasco argued that even if
the allegations in the complaint were deemed admitted, the affirmative defenses it raised may give rise to
factual controversies or issues which should be subject to a trial.

Iloilo Jar reiterated that judgment on the pleadings was warranted because Comglasco's answer failed to
specifically deny the allegation in the complaint, and that the affirmative defense alleged therein was
improper because Article 1267 is inapplicable to a lease contract. As such, it stressed that Comglasco's answer
failed to tender an issue.

Issue: Whether or not resort to judgment on the pleadings is proper

Held:

No. Comglasco interposed an affirmative defense in its answer. While it admitted that it had removed its stocks
from the leased premises and had received the demand letter for rental payments, it argued that the lease
contract had been pre-terminated because the consideration thereof had become so difficult to comply in
light of the economic crisis then existing. Thus, judgment on the pleadings was improper considering that
Comglasco's Answer raised an affirmative defense.

The judgment rendered by the RTC in this case was a summary judgment, not a judgment on the pleadings,
because Comglasco's answer raised an affirmative defense. Nevertheless, no genuine issue was raised
because there is no issue of fact which needs presentation of evidence, and the affirmative defense
Comglasco invoked is inapplicable in the case at bench.

A full blown trial would needlessly prolong the proceedings where a summary judgment would suffice. It is
undisputed that Comglasco removed its merchandise from the leased premises and stopped paying rentals
thereafter. Thus, there remains no question of fact which must be resolved in trial.
Spouses Rosario v. Alvar, G.R. No. 212731, [September 6, 2017]; Del Castillo, J.

Doctine:

Under the doctrine of conclusiveness of judgment, facts and issues actually and directly resolved in a former
suit cannot again be raised in any future case between the same parties, even if the latter suit may involve a
different claim or cause of action.

Facts of the case:

Petitioner Agnes executed two Deeds of Absolute Sale over the two lots in favor of Priscilla's daughter,
Evangeline, for the amount of P900,000.00 each. Evangeline later sold the lots to Priscilla also for the price of
P900,000.00 each. Priscilla sent a demand letter to petitioner spouses Rosario asking them to vacate Lot 1. This
prompted petitioner spouses Rosario to file before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Makati City a Complaint for
Declaration of Nullity of Contract of Sale and Mortgage, Cancellation of Transfer Certificates of Title and
Issuance of new TCTs with Damages against Priscilla. Petitioner spouses Rosario alleged that Priscilla deceived
Agnes into signing the Deeds of Absolute Sale in favor of Evangeline, as Agnes merely intended to renew the
mortgages over the two lots.

Priscilla, in turn, filed with the RTC a Complaint for Recovery of Possession. The RTC ruled in favor or Priscilla. The
CA reversed the RTC Decision and ruled that although the transfers from Agnes to Priscilla were identified as
absolute sales, the contracts are deemed equitable mortgages. Since the parties did not file a motion for
reconsideration or an appeal, the CA Decision became final and executory.

Priscilla sent a letter to Agnes demanding the payment of her outstanding obligation amounting to P1.8 million.
Due to the failure or refusal of petitioner spouses Rosario to heed the demand, Priscilla filed before the RTC of
Makati a Complaint for Judicial Foreclosure of Real Estate Mortgage. The RTC rendered a Decision in favor of
Priscilla. On appeal, the CA affirmed the RTC Decision.

Issue:

Whether or not the appeal filed by petitioners should be dismissed

Held:

Yes. Unlike res judicata by prior judgment, where there is identity of parties, subject matter, and causes
of action, there is only identity of parties and subject matter in res judicata by conclusiveness of judgment.
Since there is no identity of cause of action, the judgment in the first case is conclusive only as to those matters
actually and directly controverted and determined. Thus, there is res judicata by conclusiveness of judgment
when all the following elements are present: (1) the judgment sought to bar the new action must be final;
(2) the decision must have been rendered by a court having jurisdiction over the subject matter and the
parties; (3) the disposition of the case must be a judgment on the merits; and (4) there must be as between the
first and second action, identity of parties, but not identity of causes of action. In this case, all the elements are
present.

Since there is conclusiveness of judgment in this case, petitioner spouses Rosario are estopped from raising
issues that were already adjudged in the CA Decision as "the dictum laid down in the earlier final judgment is
conclusive and continues to be binding between the parties, their privies and successors-in-interest, as long as
the facts on which that judgment was predicated continue to be the facts of the case or incident before the
court in a later case."

The CA Decision already established the existence of the loan in the amount of P1.8 million and recognized the
legal personality of Priscilla to foreclose the subject property, as she was the one who loaned spouses Rosario
the amount of P1.8 million.
Torres v. Aruego, G.R. No. 201271, [September 20, 2017]; Del Castillo, J.

Doctrine:
Once a decision has attained finality, not even this Court could have changed the trial court's disposition
absent any showing that the case fell under one of the recognized exceptions such as the correction of clerical
errors or the making of so-called nunc pro tunc entries in which case there is no prejudice to any party, and
where the judgment is void.

Facts of the case:

In a complaint for "Compulsory Recognition and Enforcement of Successional Rights" filed by respondent
against petitioners (the heirs of respondent’s illegitimate father) before the RTC of Manila, the court ruled in
favor of respondent on June 15, 1992.

Respondent filed a Motion for Partition with the court a quo alleging that its June 15, 1992 Decision became
final and executory in view of the denial of the notice of appeal filed by petitioners and the dismissal of their
Petition for Prohibition and Certiorari by the CA and the subsequent denial of their appeal to the Supreme
Court.

Petitioners opposed the motion arguing in the main that the partition of the estate of Aruego could not take
place by virtue of respondent's mere motion considering that there was no conclusive adjudication of the
ownership of the properties declared as constituting the estate of Jose M. Aruego and that all the identities of
his heirs had yet to be determined. Unconvinced, the lower court rejected the arguments of petitioner and
granted respondent's motion.

Petitioners filed a Petition for Certiorari with the CA which was denied for lack of merit. Hence, this Petition for
Review on Certiorari under Rule 45 was filed by petitioners. Petitioners contend that even assuming that the
June 15, 1992 Decision has attained finality, petitioners still maintain that it may still be modified because its
terms are patently unclear. There is ambiguity in the manner the estate of Aruego should be divided as it
admits of various interpretations.

Issues:

Whether or not the June 15, 1992 Decision of the court a quo, which attained finality more than 20 years ago,
may still be subject to review and modification by the Court

Held:

No. True, the doctrine on immutability of final judgments admits of exceptions; however, these are not
obtaining in the case at bench. Hence, there is no ground to justify the modification of the Respondent RTC's
June 15, 1992 Decision.

What petitioners in the present case seek is an order from the court to allow them to present evidence with
regard to the properties comprising the estate of Aruego and the heirs who are to share in the inheritance. This
is, in effect, an appeal from the June 15, 1992 Decision which has long become final and executory, and not
from an order of execution which is yet to be carried out, thru a Project of Partition still to be submitted to and
approved by the court.

Petitioners actively participated in the trial of the case. They presented and formally offered their own evidence
but nothing was presented to rebut respondent's evidence on the properties comprising the estate of Aruego.
In short, petitioners had ample opportunity to present their countervailing evidence during trial and it is now
much too late in the day to present the evidence that they should have presented way back then. It is settled
that the active participation of a party before a court is tantamount to recognition of that court's jurisdiction
and willingness to abide by the court's resolution of the case.
Baclaran Marketing Corp. v. Nieva, G.R. No. 189881, [April 19, 2017]; Jardeleza, J.

Doctrine: Rule 47, Section 2 provides extrinsic fraud and lack of jurisdiction as the exclusive grounds for the
remedy of annulment of judgment. Case law, however, recognizes a third ground — denial of due process of
law.

Facts of the case: In a case for damages, the RTC of Antipolo ruled in favor of BMC and Mendoza and
dismissed Sibulo's complaint. However, on appeal, the CA reversed the decision and awarded Sibulo
damages. In the absence of a motion for reconsideration, the Decision became final and executor. The
Antipolo Court subsequently issued a Writ of Execution. The sheriff of the Antipolo Court levied upon BMC's real
property. He sold the property and its improvements through public auction where Nieva emerged as the
highest bidder. For BMC's failure to redeem the property within one year from the sale, Nieva consolidated
ownership over it. He filed a Petition for Cancellation of TCT before the RTC of Paranaque which ordered the
Register of Deeds to annul BMC’s TCT and issue a new title in Nieva's name. The Decision of the Parañaque
Court became final. Consequently, Nieva filed a Petition for Issuance of a Writ of Possession over the property in
the Parañaque Court which was granted.

In view of the Writ of Possession and Notice to Vacate issued against it, BMC filed a Petition for Annulment of
Judgment before the CA. BMC prayed for the annulment of the following orders and decisions: (a) Writ of
Execution; (b) Order for the implementation of the writ of execution over the real properties of BMC; (c) Auction
Sale; (d) Decision canceling the TCT; and (e) Decision ordering the issuance of a Writ of Possession. BMC
alleged that its counsel committed acts of gross and inexcusable negligence constituting "extrinsic fraud," in
not informing them of the appeal which deprived it of due process and an opportunity to present its side. The
CA denied BMC's petition ruling that the remedy of annulment of judgment is not available to BMC.

Issue: Whether or not the remedy of petition for Annulment of Judgment may be availed of by petitioner

Held:

No. The petition failed to comply with some of the statutory requirements under Rule 47.

First, an auction sale and a writ of execution are not final orders. Corollarily, an order implementing a writ of
execution issued over certain real properties is also not a final order as it merely enforces a judicial process over
an identified object. It does not involve an adjudication on the merits or determination of the rights of the
parties. A writ of possession is also not a final order because it is merely a judicial process to enforce a final
order against the losing party. In fine, only the Decision of the Parañaque Court ordering the cancellation of
BMC's title over the property qualifies as a final judgment. It is a judgment on the merits declaring who between
Nieva and BMC has the right over the title to the property. Therefore, it may be the subject of an action for
annulment of judgment.

Second, BMC failed to prove that any of the grounds for annulment are present in this case.

Extrinsic fraud refers to a fraud committed to the unsuccessful party by his opponent preventing him from fully
exhibiting his case by keeping him away from court, a false promise of a compromise; or where the defendant
never had knowledge of the suit, being kept in ignorance by the acts of the plaintiff; or when an attorney
fraudulently or without authority connives at his defeat.

In this case, the CA correctly found that BMC neither alleged nor proved that the gross negligence of its former
counsel was done in connivance with Nieva or Sibulo. Therefore, it is not the extrinsic fraud contemplated
under Rule 47, Section 2.

As to its alleged denial of due process, the record is bereft of showing that BMC alleged and proved that Atty.
Rizon was motivated by malice in failing to inform it of Sibulo's appeal. Moreover, the gross negligence of the
counsel must not be accompanied by the client's own negligence.
Butuan Development Corp. v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 197358, [April 5, 2017]; Reyes, J.

Doctrine: While a petition for certiorari is dismissible for being the wrong remedy, there are exceptions to this
rule, to wit: (a) when public welfare and the advancement of public policy dictates; (b) when the broader
interest of justice so requires; (c) when the writs issued are null and void; or (d) when the questioned order
amounts to an oppressive exercise of judicial authority.

Facts of the case: BDC purchased from the Spouses Sering a parcel of land and a TCT was issued in its name.
Later, Max Arriola Jr., representing himself as the Chairman of BDC and armed with a duly notarized Resolution
of the BDC Board of Directors mortgaged the subject property to DORI and its President, Libarios. Subsequently,
BDC filed a complaint for declaration of the REM before the RTC against Max Jr., Libarios, and DORI
(respondents). It alleged that it discovered that the owner's duplicate copy of the TCT was missing and efforts
to locate the same proved futile. However, it subsequently discovered that the owner's duplicate copy was
already in Libario's possession, pursuant to the REM executed by the Arriolas who misrepresented themselves as
the owners and directors of BDC. Accordingly, claiming that the said REM was a nullity, BDC prayed that the
same be nullified.

The RTC ruled in favor of BDC. The respondents then filed a petition for certiorari with the CA. The CA granted
the petition and dismissed BDC’s complaint for failure to state a cause of action. The CA opined that BDC had
no corporate existence and juridical personality when it purchased the subject property. Thus, having no right
over the subject property, no cause of action could have accrued in favor of BDC when the subject property
was mortgaged to Libarios and DORI. Hence, this petition for certiorari was filed by BDC.

Issue: Whether or not petition for certiorari is the proper remedy

Held:

No. BDC failed to file a petition for review on certiorari within the period to do so and, instead, opted to file a
petition for certiorari. Certiorari is not and cannot be a substitute for an appeal, especially if one's own
negligence or error in one's choice of remedy occasioned such loss or lapse. Nevertheless, the acceptance of
a petition for certiorari, as well as the grant of due course thereto is, generally, addressed to the sound
discretion of the court. In view of the factual circumstances in this case, the dismissal of the petition for certiorari
would result in the miscarriage of justice. On account of the CA's unwarranted dismissal of its complaint, BDC
was effectively denied due process as it was unduly prevented from presenting evidence to prove its claim.
The CA arbitrarily directed the dismissal of BDC's complaint on the ground that the complaint failed to state a
cause of action.

BDC's complaint sufficiently stated a cause of action for declaration of nullity of the REM. Basically, BDC alleged
in its complaint that it is the owner of the subject property as evidenced by TCT from the Spouses Sering. BDC
further alleged that the subject property was mortgaged to DORI and Libarios without their knowledge or
consent and that the Arriolas were not in any way connected with BDC.

What is clear is that the issues of whether the REM constituted over the subject property is void and whether
BDC has a right to the subject property at the time of the execution of the REM would have been best resolved
during the trial. The respondents' affirmative defense that BDC, at the time of the execution of the REM, had no
right to hold the subject property in its name being merely an unincorporated association, if at all, amounts to
an allegation that BDC has no cause of action against the respondents. However, failure to state a cause of
action is different from lack of cause of action. Failure to state a cause of action refers to the insufficiency of
the pleading, and is a ground for dismissal under Rule 16 of the Rules of Court. On the other hand, lack of cause
of action refers to a situation where the evidence does not prove the cause of action alleged in the pleading.
The remedy in the first is to move for the dismissal of the pleading, while the remedy in the second is to demur to
the evidence.
Marcelo v. Peroxide Phils., Inc., G.R. No. 203492, [April 24, 2017]; Reyes, J.

Doctrine: Before a WPI may be issued, the concurrence of the following essential requisites must be present,
namely: (a) the invasion of right sought to be protected is material and substantial; (b) the right of the
complainant is clear and unmistakable; and (c) there is an urgent and paramount necessity for the writ to
prevent serious damage. While a clear showing of the right is necessary, its existence need not be conclusively
established. Hence, to be entitled to the writ, it is sufficient that the complainant shows that he has an
ostensible right to the final relief prayed for in his complaint.

Facts of the case:

This case stemmed from an ejectment case filed by petitioners (children of the lessor) against respondent-
lessee before the MeTC. The MeTC ordered PPI to vacate the subject property and to pay a sum of money;
and issued a writ of execution.

Ultimately, the sheriff conducted a public auction the levied properties of PPI that were found inside the subject
property where petitioners emerged as the highest bidder. Aggrieved, the third-party claimants filed a
complaint with the RTC of Quezon City to declare void the sheriff's sale and Certificate of Sale with prayer for a
temporary restraining order (TRO) and a writ of preliminary injunction (WPI). The third-party claimants added PPI
as a party-plaintiff and prayed further for the declaration of PPI's ownership over the improvements erected
and/or introduced on the subject property.

Pablo then challenged the issuance of the WPI by petition for certiorari before the CA and later before this
Court where the Court upheld the validity of the WPI. Meanwhile, the deputy sheriff of the RTC of Quezon City
padlocked the gate of the subject property. Pablo, however, forcibly opened the gate and brought out
dismantled machineries of PPI. PPI filed an Omnibus Motion alleging specific acts that were characterized as
violative of the court's injunction. The RTC issued an Omnibus Order granting the petitioners' motion to remove
padlock on the gate of the subject property.

The petitioners' sole argument is premised on the fact that since they are the registered owners of the subject
property, then the lower courts do not have legal basis in ordering that the subject property be turned over to
PPI and the same be padlocked pending trial of the main case. On the other hand, PPI anchors its claim on the
provisions in the Contract of Lease which stated that it shall remain the owner of all the improvements thereon
erected and/or introduced by it.

Issue: Whether or not the issuance of the WPI was proper

Held:

Yes. Under the factual setting of this case, PPI was able to sufficiently establish that it had a right over the
properties which should be protected while being litigated. As owner of the improvements and machineries
inside the subject property, PPI has the right to be protected. Hence, the issuance by the lower courts of the
WPI and the order to padlock and re-padlock the subject property to enjoin the petitioners from disposing the
properties of PPI was warranted.

It may be argued that the dispossession of PPI is already a consummated act. However, it is a settled rule that
even if the acts complained of have already been committed but such acts are continuing in nature and were
in derogation of PPI's rights at the outset, preliminary mandatory injunction may be availed of to restore the
parties to the status quo. Furthermore, the restoration of PPI to the possession of the subject property is not
tantamount to the disposition of the main case. The Court is simply of the impression that based on the parties'
presentations of their cases, there appears a probable violation of PPI's rights and the injury it has been suffering
due to that violation is grave, serious and beyond pecuniary estimation. PPI's restoration to possession pending
litigation is a mere provisional remedy and is not determinative of the question of validity of the petitioners' titles
which is the main issue in this case.
Siy v. Tomlin, G.R. No. 205998, [April 24, 2017]; Del Castillo, J.

Doctrine:

In a complaint for replevin, the claimant must convincingly show that he is either the owner or clearly entitled to
the possession of the object sought to be recovered, and that the defendant, who is in actual or legal
possession thereof, wrongfully detains the same.

Facts of the case:

Petitioner filed before the RTC a Complaint for Recovery of Possession with Prayer for Replevin against
respondent. A Writ of Replevin was issued in his favor after posting a bond. The subject vehicle was seized by
the court-appointed special sheriff who then filed the corresponding Sheriff's Return. Respondent filed an
Omnibus Motion seeking to quash the Writ of Replevin, dismiss the Complaint, and turn over or return the
vehicle to him, which was denied. Respondent filed a petition for certiorari before the CA which was granted.

It appears that he purchased the subject vehicle from Lopez, who executed and signed in blank a deed of
sale and surrendered all documents of title to him; that he did not register the sale in his favor, such that the
vehicle remained in the name of Lopez; that he delivered the subject vehicle, together with all its documents
of title and the blank deed of sale, to Ong, with the express intention of selling the vehicle through the latter as
broker/second hand car dealer; that Ong appears to have issued in his favor two guarantee checks
amounting to P4.95 million; and that these checks bounced. Thereafter, Ong was able to sell the vehicle to
Chua who sold the vehicle to respondent, who caused registration of the vehicle in his name. Apparently, Ong
did not remit Chua's payment to petitioner, prompting the latter to file formal complaints/charges.

Issue:

Whether or not a complaint for replevin is the proper remedy

Held:

No. "Rule 60 x x x allows a plaintiff, in an action for the recovery of possession of personal property, to
apply for a writ of replevin if it can be shown that he is 'the owner of the property claimed . . . or is entitled to
the possession thereof.' The plaintiff need not be the owner so long as he is able to specify his right to the
possession of the property and his legal basis therefor."

Acting for and in petitioner's behalf by virtue of the implied or oral agency, Ong was thus able to sell the
vehicle to Chua, but he failed to remit the proceeds thereof to petitioner; his guarantee checks bounced as
well. This entitled petitioner to sue for estafa through abuse of confidence. Since Ong was able to sell the
subject vehicle to Chua, petitioner thus ceased to be the owner thereof. Nor is he entitled to the possession of
the vehicle; together with his ownership, petitioner lost his right of possession over the vehicle.

Considering that he was no longer the owner or rightful possessor of the subject vehicle at the time he filed the
case, petitioner may not seek a return of the same through replevin. Quite the contrary, respondent, who
obtained the vehicle from Chua and registered the transfer with the Land Transportation Office, is the rightful
owner thereof, and as such, he is entitled to its possession.
Zaragoza v. Iloilo Santos Truckers, Inc., G.R. No. 224022, [June 28, 2017]; Perlas-Bernabe, J.

Doctrine:

For an unlawful detainer suit to prosper, the plaintiff-lessor must show that: first, initially, the defendant-lessee
legally possessed the leased premises by virtue of a subsisting lease contract; second, such possession
eventually became illegal, either due to the latter's violation of the provisions of the said lease contract or the
termination thereof; third, the defendant-lessee remained in possession of the leased premises, thus, effectively
depriving the plaintiff-lessor enjoyment thereof; and fourth, there must be a demand both to pay or to comply
and vacate and that the suit is brought within one (1) year from the last demand.

Facts of the case:

This is a case for unlawful detainer filed by petitioner against respondents. It appears that petitioner’s father
leased his land to respondent. However, when his father died, respondent stopped paying rentals. Respondent
averred that it was uncertain as to whom payment should be made as it received separate demands from
Florentino's heirs, including petitioner. Thus, respondent filed an interpleader case before the RTC which
dismissed the action but allowed it to avail of the remedy of consignation. This notwithstanding, petitioner
contends that it did not extinguish the respondent's obligation to pay rent because the amount consigned was
insufficient to cover the unpaid rentals plus interests from February 2007 to May 2011. In this regard, petitioner
demanded that respondent pay said amount and at the same time, vacate the subject land.

In its defense, respondent maintained, inter alia, that its consignation of rental amounts with RTC-Br. 24
constituted compliance with the provisions of the lease contract concerning the monthly rental payments. As
such, petitioner has no cause of action against it, and accordingly, it cannot be ejected from the subject land.

Issue:

Whether or not petitioner could not eject respondent from the subject land as the latter fully complied with its
obligation to pay monthly rent thru consignation

Held:

No. The amount consigned represents monthly rentals only for the period of February 2007 to March 2011,
which is two (2) whole months short of what was being demanded by petitioner. It appears that even assuming
arguendo that respondent's consignation of its monthly rentals with RTC was made in accordance with law, it
still failed to comply with its obligation under the lease contract to pay monthly rentals. It is apparent that at the
time petitioner filed the unlawful detainer suit, respondent was not updated in its monthly rental payments, as
there is no evidence of such payment for the months of April, May, and even June 2011. Irrefragably, said
omission constitutes a violation of the lease contract on the part of respondent.

Considering that all the requisites of a suit for unlawful detainer have been complied with, petitioner is justified
in ejecting respondent from the subject land.
Estate of Marcos v. Republic, G.R. Nos. 213027 & 213253, [January 18, 2017]; Sereno, CJ

Doctrine:

It is a settled rule that summary judgment may be granted if the facts which stand admitted by reason of a
party’s failure to deny statements contained in a request for admission show that no material issue of fact exists.
By its failure to answer the other party’s request for admission, petitioner has admitted all the material facts
necessary for judgment against itself.

Facts of the case:

The present consolidated petitions emanated from a forfeiture case entitled Republic vs. Marcos, when the
Republic filed a Motion for Partial Summary Judgment with respect to another property listed in the 1991
Petition as ill-gotten wealth. By way of that motion, the Republic asked the Sandiganbayan to render judgment
declaring the pieces of jewelry, known as the Malacañang Collection as ill-gotten; and to subsequently cause
this collection of jewelry to be declared forfeited in favor of the Republic. The Republic also filed a Request for
Admission addressed to the Estate of Ferdinand Marcos, Imelda Marcos, Imelda Marcos-Manotoc, and Irene
Marcos Araneta.

Imelda Marcos and Irene Marcos Araneta filed their Manifestation and Preliminary Comments and stated that
the Request for Admission was inconsistent with the Motion for Partial Summary Judgment and the Supplement
thereto and further reserved their right to present additional arguments or comments on the Motion and the
Supplement. In their Manifestation and Motion to Expunge, they claimed that the filing of the Request for
Admission was tantamount to an abdication of the earlier position of the Republic that the case was ripe for
summary judgment. They argued that the Request for Admission entertained a possibly genuine issue as to a
material fact, which was needed for the grant of the motion for summary judgment. They further argued that
the filing of the Request for Admission was rather late, considering that it was done after the Republic had filed
its Motion for Summary Judgment in 2000 and after the case was concluded in 2004. They then requested that
all pleadings, motions and requests filed after the termination of the case in 2004 he expunged.

In a Resolution, the Sandiganbayan denied the Marcoses' Manifestation and Preliminary Comments and
Manifestation and Motion to Expunge. After the submission of the parties of their respective memoranda, the
Sandiganbayan issued a Partial Summary Judgment ruling that (1) the Malacañang Collection was part and
subject of the forfeiture petition; (2) the Motion for Summary Judgment was proper; and (3) the forfeiture of the
Malacañang Collection was justified pursuant to R.A. 1379.

Issue:

Whether or not the Motion for Partial Summary Judgment was inconsistent with the Request for Admission

Held:

No. The Sandiganbayan properly ruled that there was no inconsistency or incongruity between Republic's
Request for Admission and Motion for Partial Summary Judgment. Indeed, we have held that a request for
admission can be the basis for the grant of summary judgment. The request can be the basis therefor when its
subject is deemed to have been admitted by the party and is requested as a result of that party's failure to
respond to the court's directive to state what specifically happened in the case. The resort to such a request as
a mode of discovery rendered all the matters contained therein as matters that have been deemed admitted
pursuant to Rule 26, Section 2 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure. The Sandiganbayan ruled that "a request for
admission may even complement a summary judgment in that the request for admission may be used as basis
for filing a summary judgment".
Borlongan v. Banco de Oro, G.R. Nos. 217617 & 218540 (Resolution), [April 5, 2017]; Velasco, Jr., J.

Facts of the case: Petitioner spouses found out that their property has been the subject of a foreclosure sale as
a result of being declared in default in a complaint for sum of money filed by BDO before the RTC Makati
against Tancho Corporation, the principal debtor of loan obligations obtained from the bank, which includes
Carmelita, who signed four (4) security agreements.

Following the discovery of the sale of their property, Eliseo executed an affidavit of adverse claim and filed a
Complaint for Annulment of Surety Agreements, Notice of Levy on Attachment, Auction Sale and Other
Documents with the RTC Pasig. BDO filed a Motion to Dismiss the Complaint, asserting that the Pasig RTC has no
jurisdiction to hear Eliseo's Complaint, the case was barred by res judicata given the Decision and orders of the
Makati RTC, and, finally, the Complaint failed to state a cause of action.

Meanwhile, on an ex-parte omnibus motion filed by BDO, the Makati RTC ordered the issuance of a Writ of
Possession and the issuance of a new TCT covering the subject property in favor of the respondent bank.
Arguing that the Makati RTC had not acquired jurisdiction over her person as the service of the summons and
the other processes of the court was defective, Carmelita filed a Petition for Annulment of Judgment (With
Urgent Prayer for Issuance of Temporary Restraining Order and/or Writ of Preliminary Injunction) with the CA.

Issues: (1) Whether or not it is proper to issue a TRO and/or WPI stopping the consolidation of BDO's ownership
over the subject property; (2) Whether or not the Pasig RTC has jurisdiction to hear and decide a case filed by
the non-debtor husband to annul the levy and execution sale of the subject property ordered by the Makati
RTC against his wife

Held:

(1) Yes. For a court to decide on the propriety of issuing a TRO and/or a WPI, it must only inquire into the
existence of two things: (1) a clear and unmistakable right that must be protected; and (2) an urgent
and paramount necessity for the writ to prevent serious damage.

There is an existence of the grounds for the issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction. First, petitioner has a
clear and unmistakable right that must be protected. This right is not just her proprietary rights over the subject
property but her constitutionally protected right to due process. As the essence of due process lies in the
reasonable opportunity to be heard and to submit any evidence the defendant may have in support of her
defense, she must be properly served the summons of the court. Second, Without a TRO and/or WPI enjoining
the respondent bank from continuing in the possession and consolidating the ownership of the subject
property, petitioner's right to be afforded due process will unceasingly be violated. Resort to the service of
summons by publication is unwarranted. There was no diligent effort made to find the petitioner. Neither was it
impossible to locate the residence of petitioner and her whereabouts.

(2) Yes. Section 16, Rule 39 of the Rules of Court allows third-party claimants of properties under execution
to vindicate their claims to the property in a separate action with another court. The availability of the
remedy provided under the foregoing provision requires only that that the claim is a third-party or a
"stranger" to the case. If the debt had not redounded to the benefit of the conjugal partnership, the
spouse is a stranger to the suit who can file an independent separate action, distinct from the action in
which the writ was issued.

In the present case, it is not disputed that the conjugal property was attached on the basis of a surety
agreement. There is no presumption that the conjugal partnership is benefited when a spouse enters into a
contract of surety. Furthermore, it is not apparent from the records of this case that BDO had established the
benefit to the conjugal partnership flowing from the surety agreement allegedly signed by Carmelita. Thus,
Eliseo's claim over the subject property lodged with the RTC Pasig is proper, with the latter correctly exercising
jurisdiction thereon.
Asia Brewery, Inc. v. Equitable PCI Bank, G.R. No. 190432, [April 25, 2017]; Sereno, CJ

Doctrine:

If the Complaint fails to state a cause of action, a motion to dismiss must be made before a responsive
pleading is filed; and the issue can be resolved only on the basis of the allegations in the initiatory pleading. On
the other hand, if the Complaint lacks a cause of action, the motion to dismiss must be filed after the plaintiff
has rested its case.

In the first situation, the veracity of the allegations is immaterial; however, in the second situation, the judge
must determine the veracity of the allegations based on the evidence presented.

Facts of the case:

This is a petition for review under Rule 45 assailing the Orders of the RTC ordering the dismissal of petitioners'
Complaint for lack of cause of action and denied their motion for reconsideration.

Petitioners filed a Complaint for payment, reimbursement, or restitution against respondent before the RTC. The
latter filed its Answer (with Counterclaims), in which it also raised the special and/or affirmative defense of lack
of cause of action, among others.

The RTC issued the assailed Orders without proceeding to trial. It dismissed the Complaint for lack of cause of
action, and also denied respondent's counterclaims. Respondent did not appeal from that ruling. Only
petitioners moved for reconsideration, but their motion was likewise denied.

Issue:

Whether or not the RTC correctly ruled in dismissing the complaint for lack of cause of action

Held:

No. The arguments raised by both of the parties to this case require an examination of evidence. Even a
determination of whether there was "delivery" in the legal sense necessitates a presentation of evidence. It was
erroneous for the RTC to have concluded that there was no delivery, just because the checks did not reach the
payee.

Hence, in order to resolve whether the Complaint lacked a cause of action, respondent must have presented
evidence to dispute the presumption that the signatories validly and intentionally delivered the instrument.

Even assuming that the trial court merely used the wrong terminology, that it intended to dismiss the Complaint
on the ground of failure to state a cause of action, the Complaint would still have to be reinstated.

The test to determine whether a complaint states a cause of action against the defendants is this: admitting
hypothetically the truth of the allegations of fact made in the complaint, may a judge validly grant the relief
demanded in the complaint? The petitioner met this test.

It is of no moment that respondent denies that it has any obligation to pay. In determining the presence of the
elements, the inquiry is confined to the four corners of the complaint. In fact, even if some of the allegations are
in the form of conclusions of law, the elements of a cause of action may still be present.
Guyamin v. Flores, G.R. No. 202189, [April 25, 2017]; Del Castillo, J.

Doctrine:

The act of reminding is to be treated as a polite demand; indeed, the law never required a harsh or impolite
demand but only a categorical one.

Facts of the case:

Respondents filed a Complaint for Recovery of Possession against petitioners before the RTC. They alleged that
petitioners have been occupying their property by tolerance and have been reminding them to vacate the
same but to no avail. Respondents filed a Motion to Declare Defendants in Default, arguing that despite
service of summons, petitioners failed to file their answer. The RTC ruled in favor of the respondents. On appeal,
the CA affirmed the RTC Decision. Hence, the present Petition.

Petitioners insist that there is no demand to vacate the subject property, and the lack of such demand renders
the action against them premature; and that there was improper service of summons.

Issue:

Whether or not the action filed by respondents against the petitioner is premature for lack of demand to
vacate

Held:

No. Respondents have been more than cordial in dealing with petitioners; they have shown only respect and
reverence to the latter, even to the extent of using less offensive language in their complaint for fear of
generating more enmity than is required. Thus, instead of using "demand", respondents chose "remind". The
parties being relatives and the context and circumstances being the way they are, the choice of words is
understandable. The Court will treat respondents' act as a polite demand; indeed, the law never required a
harsh or impolite demand but only a categorical one.

With the clear realization that they are settling on land that they do not own, occupants of registered private
lands by mere tolerance of the owners should always expect that one day, they would have to vacate the
same. Their time is merely borrowed; they have no right to the property whatsoever, and their presence is
merely tolerated and under the good graces of the owners. As it were, they live under constant threat of being
evicted; they cannot pretend that this threat of eviction does not exist. It is never too much to ask them to give
a little leeway to the property owners; after all, they have benefited from their tolerated use of the lands, while
the owners have clearly lost by their inability to use the same.
Edron Construction Corp. v. Provincial Government of Surigao Del Sur, G.R. No. 220211, [June 5, 2017];
Perlas-Bernabe, J.

Doctrine:

If a defendant fails to raise a defense not specifically excepted in Section 1, Rule 9 of the Rules of Court either
in a motion to dismiss or in the answer, such defense shall be deemed waived, and consequently, defendant is
already estopped from relying upon the same in further proceedings.

Facts of the case:

A Complaint for specific performance and damages was filed by petitioners against respondent before the
RTC. Petitioners claimed that despite their completion of the construction agreements and respondent's
consequent acceptance of the works as evidenced by Certificates of Final Acceptance, the latter had yet to
pay them despite numerous oral and written demands.

More than a year after the filing of its Answer with Counterclaim, respondent filed a Motion to Dismiss on the
ground of failure to state a cause of action. It argued that under the construction agreements, final payment
to petitioners shall be made only after the submission of a sworn statement attesting to the fact that all of the
latter's obligations for labor and materials under the contracts have been fully paid. In this regard, respondent
contended that since petitioners have yet to submit such sworn statement, then the latter do not have a cause
of action against it.

Issue:

Whether or not the complaint should be dismissed for failure to state a cause of action

Held:

No. Respondent's Answer with Counterclaim did not raise as an issue or as a defense petitioners' non-
execution of the sworn statement pertained to the construction agreements. The Motion to Dismiss and the
arguments supporting it can no longer be considered since it was filed out of time which must be before the
filing the answer to the complaint or pleading asserting a claim. More importantly, such matter/defense raised
in the motion does not fall within the exceptions laid down in Section 1, Rule 9 of the Rules of Court. As such,
respondent was already precluded from raising such issue/defense.
Santos-Yllana Realty Corp. v. Spouses Deang, G.R. No. 190043, [June 21, 2017]; Velasco, Jr., J.

Doctrine:

As a general rule, where there is conflict between the fallo and the body of the decision, the fallo controls.
However, the rule is not without exception. Where the inevitable conclusion from the body of the decision is so
clear as to show that there was a mistake in the dispositive portion, the body of the decision will prevail.

Facts of the case:

Petitioner filed a Motion for Execution of the MTC Decision regarding the complaint for ejectment filed by
petitioner against respondent due to the latter’s failure to comply with the terms of the Compromise
Agreement, which was granted. The sheriff implemented the writ and padlocked respondents' stall. Aggrieved
by the implementation of the writ, respondents filed a Complaint for Damages against petitioner and the
sheriffs before the RTC alleging that it was illegally implemented. They claim to have suffered damages as a
result of the illegal closure of their stall.

The RTC adjudged petitioner, as well as the sheriffs, jointly and severally liable for the damages being claimed.
The CA found that the sheriffs failed to observe the notice requirement in the implementation of the Writ of
Execution. The CA relieved petitioner from any fault arising out of the manner of implementation of the Writ of
Execution. However, despite the foregoing findings, the CA adjudged petitioner liable for damages to
respondents.

Relying on the CA's pronouncement in the adverted Decision, petitioner asserts that it cannot be charged
jointly and severally with the sheriffs for any damage caused upon respondents due to the implementation of
the Writ of Execution. Prescinding from this conclusion, the damages awarded, according to petitioner, do not
find support in the body of the decision.

Issue:

Whether or not the CA erred in sustaining the damages awarded despite its finding that petitioner had no
participation in the implementation of the Writ of Execution

Held:

Yes. It is undisputed that petitioner succeeded in securing a favorable judgment in the ejectment case;
therefore, it was well within its right to move for the immediate execution of the MTC's Decision

A reading of the RTC's judgment shows that it was not conclusively proved that petitioner committed bad faith
or connived with the sheriffs in the implementation of the Writ. The CA's pronouncement is manifestly
incongruent with the disposition of the case as stated in the fallo of the assailed Decision.

This case falls squarely under the exception to the general rule that the fallo controls over the body of the
decision. The CA's own categorical finding, as embodied and discussed in the body of the adverted decision,
negates any liability on the part of petitioner to compensate respondents for the injuries they suffered due to
the misconduct and culpability of the sheriffs, for which they were accordingly administratively charged and
disciplined. To hold petitioners liable for damages, despite having been categorically absolved, is manifestly
unjust and inequitable.
Mendiola v. Sangalang, G.R. No. 205283, [June 7, 2017]; Tijam, J.

Facts of the case:

The subject property was originally registered in the name of Honorata. While Honorata was still alive,
the property was occupied by petitioner, her sister’s daughter. After Honorata’s death, respondents, the
children of her other sister, discovered that the subject property was already registered in petitioner’s name.
Later on, respondent, allegedly without asking permission from the petitioner and with the use of force and
violence upon things, broke open the door of the unit and had since detained the same. Due to respondent’s
refusal to vacate, petitioner commenced their complaint for accion publiciana against respondent for the
latter to return the illegally occupied unit and to pay reasonable rental therefor.

In his Answer, respondent claimed that as heirs of Honorata, they all have become co-owners in equal
undivided shares of the subject property. Respondent further disputes the Deed of Sale through which
ownership over the property was transferred to the petitioner and Vilma, since the same was executed only in
1996 after Honorata died in 1994.

Issue:

Whether or not the petitioner has the better right of possession over the subject property as to successfully evict
respondent

Held:

No. It is settled that the issue of ownership may be resolved only to determine the issue of possession.
While it is true that petitioner and Vilma have in their favor a Torrens title over the property, it is nonetheless
equally true that they acquired no right under the void Deed of Sale. Hence, respondent is not precluded from
questioning the validity of the petitioner and Vilma's title in the accion publiciana.

A necessary and logical consequence of the foregoing pronouncements is that, title over the property
remained in the name of Honorata as original registered owner thereof. By theory of succession, petitioner and
respondent are co-owners of the property and equally entitled to possession thereof, either de facto or de jure.
As such, petitioner and Vilma had no right to exclude respondent from enjoying possession thereof through a
possessory action.
Republic v. Spouses Salvador, G.R. No. 205428, [June 7, 2017]; Del Castillo, J.

Facts of the case:

The Republic (DPWH) filed a verified Complaint before the RTC for the expropriation of respindent’s property for
the construction of the C-5 Northern Link Road Project Phase 2. Respondents received two checks from the
DPWH representing payment of just compensation. The RTC thereafter issued the corresponding Writ of
Possession in favor of the Republic. The respondents interposed no objection thereto.

The RTC directed the Republic to pay respondents consequential damages equivalent to the value of the
capital gains tax and other taxes necessary for the transfer of the subject property in the Republic's name. The
Republic moved for partial reconsideration but the RTC denied the motion for having been belatedly filed. As a
result, the Republic filed the present Petition for Review on Certiorari assailing the RTC's Decision and Order.

Issues:

(1) Whether or not the RTC correctly denied the Republic's Motion for Partial Reconsideration for having
been filed out of time;
(2) Whether or not the capital gains tax on the transfer of the expropriated property can be considered as
consequential damages that may be awarded to respondents

Held:

(1) No. Although the trial court received the Republic's motion only on October 5, 2012, it should have
considered the pleading to have been filed on September 28, 2012, the date of its mailing, which is
clearly within the reglementary period of 15 days to file said motion, counted from September 13, 2012,
or the date of the Republic's receipt of the assailed Decision.

(2) No. While it is true that "the determination of the amount of just compensation is within the court's
discretion, it should not be done arbitrarily or capriciously. [Rather,] it must [always] be based on all
established rules, upon correct legal principles and competent evidence." The court cannot base its
judgment on mere speculations and surmises.

It is settled that the transfer of property through expropriation proceedings is a sale or exchange within the
meaning of Sections 24 (D) and 56 (A) (3) of the National Internal Revenue Code, and profit from the
transaction constitutes capital gain. Since capital gains tax is a tax on passive income, it is the seller, or
respondents in this case, who are liable to shoulder the tax.

Consequential damages are only awarded if as a result of the expropriation, the remaining property of the
owner suffers from an impairment or decrease in value. In this case, no evidence was submitted to prove any
impairment or decrease in value of the subject property as a result of the expropriation. More significantly,
given that the payment of capital gains tax on the transfer of the subject property has no effect on the
increase or decrease in value of the remaining property, it can hardly be considered as consequential
damages that may be awarded to respondents.