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09 Obando v.

CA
GR. No. 139760 (2001)
J. Ynares-Santiago / Tita K

Subject Matter: Rule 41; Appeals from RTC


Case Summary:
Petitioner Felizardo Obando and Eduardo Figueras were appointed as co-administrator of the estate of the deceased spouses, Jose
and Alegria. Petitioner Felizardo and his brother and co-petitioner, Juan, were convicted for falsifying Alegria’s will, making it appear
that they were named heirs of Alegria. Hence, Eduardo filed a motion to remove Petitioner Felizardo as co-administrator. Probate
Court granted the motion to remove. Petitioner Felizardo filed a MR which was denied. He then filed an urgent MR (second MR), but
was again denied. Again, he filed a 3rd MR which was also denied. 6 months later, Petitioner filed a Notice of Appeal with the
probate court. The probate court denied due course thereto, finding that the 2 nd and 3rd MRs, being prohibited, did not toll the
reglementary period to appeal; the order removing Felizardo as co-administrator had become final. Petitioners then filed with the
CA a petition for certiorari and mandamus, which was denied for lack or merit.

WON the Respondent Court should have given due course to the appeal. The SC ruled in the negative.

SC held that a second motion for reconsideration shall not be allowed. Here, petitioners filed not only a second motion for
reconsideration, but a third motion for reconsideration as well. Since the period to appeal began to run from the denial of the first
motion for reconsideration, consequently, petitioners’ Notice of Appeal filed six months later was correctly denied by the probate
court for being late. SC also held that a special civil action of certiorari is no longer available the petitioners, as The remedies of
appeal and certiorari are mutually exclusive and not alternative or successive.
Doctrine/s:
A second motion for reconsideration shall not be allowed.
The special civil action of certiorari cannot be used as a substitute for the lost remedy of appeal.
The remedies of appeal and certiorari are mutually exclusive and not alternative or successive.
Action Before SC: “This is a petition for review under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court”
Parties:
Petitioner FELIZARDO S. OBANDO, JUAN S. OBANDO and THE ESTATE OF ALEGRIA STREBEL Vda. DE
FIGUERAS

Respondent HON. COURT OF APPEALS, HON. PRESIDING JUDGE OF RTC-MANILA, BRANCH 17, ESTATE
and/or HEIRS OF EDUARDO FIGUERAS & HEIRS OF FRITZ STREBEL

Antecedent Facts:
1. Jose Figueras died leaving as heirs:
Alegria – his 2nd wife, and
Francisco and Eduardo Figueras - his two legitimate children by his first wife.
RTC
1. Francisco instituted a petition for probate of last will and testament of Jose Figueras.
2. Subsequently, Alegria died. Petitioner Felizardo Obando, Alegria’s nephew (son of Alegria’s sister), instituted a petition for
probate of Alegria’s last will and testament, alleging that he and his brother, Juan, have been named as heirs in Alegria’s
will.
3. The two probate proceedings were consolidated. Eduardo Figueras and Petitioner Felizardo Obando were appointed as co-
administrators of the estate of the deceased spouses.
4. Petitioner Felizardo filed a motion for the removal of Eduardo as his co-administrator alleging that he was suffering from a
heart ailment; that he failed to account for rentals received on behalf of the estate; that Eduardo was convicted of the
crime of rebellion.
5. Meanwhile, the NBI found that Alegria’s last will and testament was a forgery. Criminal charges for falsification were filed
against Petitioners Felizardo and Juan, and were thereafter convicted of falsification.
6. Thus, Eduardo Figueras and intervenor Fritz Strebel filed a motion to remove Petioner Felizardo as co-administrator on the
ground of the conviction of Petioners Felizardo and Juan for falsifying Algeria’s last will and testament, and of Petitioner
Felizardo’s failure to account for the rentals received from the lessee of the estate.
7. December 17, 1997 - The probate court denied the motion to remove Eduardo and granted the motion to remove
Petitioner Felizardo as administrator.
8. Petioner Felizardo filed a MR but was denied on February 5, 1998. (MR #1)
9. Petitioner Felizardo filed an Urgent MR but was again denied for being actually a second MR. (MR #2)
10. Again, Petitioner Felizardo filed an MR but was denied on July 17, 1998.
11. August 6, 1998 – Petitioner Felizardo filed a Notice of Appeal.
12. The probate court denied this appeal. RTC held that the second and third MRs, being prohibited under the ROC, did not toll
the reglementary period to appeal; the order removing Petitioner Felizardo as administrator had already become final and
executory.
CA
1. Petitioners filed a petition for certiorari and mandamus.
2. CA dismissed the petition and subsequent MR for lack of merit.

Issues:
1. WON the CA erred in dismissing the petition for certiorari. (No)
Sub-issue: WON the Respondent Court be ordered to give due course to petitioners’ appeal. (NO)
2. WON the remedy of certiorari is available to petitioners. (NO)

Arguments:
Petitioners invoke liberal construction of the Rules of Procedure.
Ratio:

No – The CA did not commit a reversible error nor grave abuse in dismissing the petition for certiorari and mandamus.

 The ROC are explicit that a second motion for reconsideration shall not be allowed.
o In this case, petitioners filed not only a second motion for reconsideration, but a third motion for reconsideration
as well.
o Since the period to appeal began to run from the denial of the first motion for reconsideration, consequently,
petitioners’ Notice of Appeal filed six months later was correctly denied by the probate court for being late.

NO – Remedy of certiorari is no longer available to petitioners.


 The special civil action for certiorari cannot be used as a substitute for the lost remedy of appeal.
 The remedies of appeal and certiorari are mutually exclusive and not alternative or successive.
 A basic requisite for the special civil action of certiorari to lie is that there be no appeal nor plain, speedy and adequate
remedy in the ordinary course of law.
 Certiorari is a remedy of last recourse and is a limited form of review. Its principal function is to keep inferior tribunals
within their jurisdiction.
 It cannot be used as a substitute for a lost appeal. It is not intended to correct errors of procedure or mistakes in the judge’s
findings or conclusions.
o Since petitioners availed of appeal, certiorari is no longer available (I think lang!).

Dispositive: Wherefore, in view of the foregoing, the instant petition is DISMISSED. The assailed Decision of the Court of Appeals
dated May 7, 1999 is AFFIRMED in toto.