Está en la página 1de 16

GABRIEL L. DUERO, petitioner, vs. HON. COURT OF APPEALS, fact, but an issue of conferment as a matter of law.

ent as a matter of law. Also, neither waiver


and BERNARDO A. ERADEL, respondents. nor estoppel shall apply to confer jurisdiction upon a court, barring highly
meritorious and exceptional circumstances.
Actions; Evidence; Xerox copies are obviously without evidentiary
weight or value.At the outset, however, we note that petitioner through Same; Same; Appeals; Certiorari; Since a decision of a court without
counsel submitted to this Court pleadings that contain inaccurate jurisdiction is null and void, it could logically never become final and
statements. Thus, on page 5 of his petition, we find that to bolster the executory, hence appeal therefrom by writ of error would be out of the
claim that the appellate court erred in holding that the RTC had no questiona petition for certiorari would be in order.Since a decision
jurisdiction, petitioner pointed to Annex E of his petition which of a court without jurisdiction is null and void, it could logically never
supposedly is the Certification issued by the Municipal Treasurer of San become final and executory, hence appeal therefrom by writ of error
Miguel, Surigao, specifically containing the notation, Note: Subject for would be out of the question. Resort by private respondent to a petition
General Revision Effective 1994. But it appears that Annex E of his for certiorari before the Court of Appeals was in order. Duero vs. Court
petition is not a Certification but a xerox copy of a Declaration of Real of Appeals, 373 SCRA 11, G.R. No. 131282 January 4, 2002
Property. Nowhere does the document contain a notation, Note:
Subject for General Revision Effective 1994. Petitioner also asked this Donato vs. Court of Appeals, 417 SCRA 216, G.R. No. 129638
Court to refer to Annex F, where he said the zonal value of the disputed December 8, 2003
land was P1.40 per sq.m., thus placing the computed value of the land
at the time the complaint was filed before the RTC at P57,113.98, hence Actions; Pleadings and Practice; Certiorari; Error of Judgment;
beyond the jurisdiction of the municipal court and within the jurisdiction Distinguished from Error of Jurisdiction; In order to determine whether
of the regional trial court. However, we find that these annexes are both the recourse of petitioners is proper or not, it is necessary to draw a line
merely xerox copies. They are obviously without evidentiary weight or between an error of judgment and an error of jurisdiction.An error of
value. judgment is one which the court may commit in the exercise of its
jurisdiction, and which error is reviewable only by an appeal. On the
Certiorari; Words and Phrases; By grave abuse of discretion is meant other hand, an error of jurisdiction is one where the act complained of
such capricious and whimsical exercise of judgment which is equivalent was issued by the court, officer or a quasi-judicial body without or in
to an excess or a lack of jurisdiction, and the abuse of discretion must excess of jurisdiction, or with grave abuse of discretion which is
be so patent and gross as to amount to an evasion of a positive duty or tantamount to lack or in excess of jurisdiction. This error is correctible
a virtual refusal to perform a duty enjoined by law, or to act at all in only by the extraordinary writ of certiorari.
contemplation of law as where the power is exercised in an arbitrary and
despotic manner by reason of passion or hostility.Coming now to the Same; Same; Same; Certification of Non-Forum Shopping; The
principal issue, petitioner contends that respondent appellate court requirement regarding the need for a certification of non-forum shopping
acted with grave abuse of discretion. By grave abuse of discretion is in cases filed before the CA and the corresponding sanction for
meant such capricious and whimsical exercise of judgment which is noncompliance thereto are found in the then prevailing Revised Circular
equivalent to an excess or a lack of jurisdiction. The abuse of discretion No. 28-91.The requirement regarding the need for a certification of
must be so patent and gross as to amount to an evasion of a positive non-forum shopping in cases filed before the CA and the corresponding
duty or a virtual refusal to perform a duty enjoined by law, or to act at all sanction for non-compliance thereto are found in the then prevailing
in contemplation of law as where the power is exercised in an arbitrary Revised Circular No. 28-91. It provides that the petitioner himself must
and despotic manner by reason of passion or hostility. But here we find make the certification against forum shopping and a violation thereof
that in its decision holding that the municipal court has jurisdiction over shall be a cause for the summary dismissal of the multiple petition or
the case and that private respondent was not estopped from questioning complaint. The rationale for the rule of personal execution of the
the jurisdiction of the RTC, respondent Court of Appeals discussed the certification by the petitioner himself is that it is only the petitioner who
facts on which its decision is grounded as well as the law and has actual knowledge of whether or not he has initiated similar actions
jurisprudence on the matter. Its action was neither whimsical nor or proceedings in other courts or tribunals; even counsel of record may
capricious. be unaware of such fact. The Court has ruled that with respect to the
contents of the certification, the rule on substantial compliance may be
Actions; Jurisdiction; Estoppel; While participation in all stages of a case availed of. This is so because the requirement of strict compliance with
before the trial court, including invocation of its authority in asking for the rule regarding the certification of non-forum shopping simply
affirmative relief, effectively bars a party by estoppel from challenging underscores its mandatory nature in that the certification cannot be
the courts jurisdiction, the Court notes that estoppel has become an altogether dispensed with or its requirements completely disregarded,
equitable defense that is both substantive and remedial and its but it does not thereby interdict substantial compliance with its provisions
successful invocation can bar a right and not merely its equitable under justifiable circumstances.
enforcement; For estoppel to apply, the action giving rise thereto must
be unequivocal and intentional because, if misapplied, estoppel may Same; Same; Same; Same; The subsequent filing of the certification
become a tool of injustice.Was private respondent estopped from duly signed by the petitioner himself should thus be deemed substantial
questioning the jurisdiction of the RTC? In this case, we are in compliance, pro hac vice.We have stressed that the rules on forum
agreement with the Court of Appeals that he was not. While participation shopping, which were precisely designed to promote and facilitate the
in all stages of a case before the trial court, including invocation of its orderly administration of justice, should not be interpreted with such
authority in asking for affirmative relief, effectively bars a party by absolute literalness as to subvert its own ultimate and legitimate
estoppel from challenging the courts jurisdiction, we note that estoppel objective which is simply to prohibit and penalize the evils of forum
has become an equitable defense that is both substantive and remedial shopping. The subsequent filing of the certification duly signed by the
and its successful invocation can bar a right and not merely its equitable petitioner himself should thus be deemed substantial compliance, pro
enforcement. Hence, estoppel ought to be applied with caution. For hac vice.
estoppel to apply, the action giving rise thereto must be unequivocal and
Same; Same; Same; Same; While the swift unclogging of court dockets
intentional because, if misapplied, estoppel may become a tool of
is a laudable objective, granting substantial justice is an even more
injustice.
urgent ideal.Needless to stress, a litigation is not a game of
Same; Same; Same; The fundamental rule is that, the lack of jurisdiction technicalities. When technicality deserts its function of being an aid to
of the court over an action cannot be waived by the parties, or even justice, the Court is justified in exempting from its operations a particular
cured by their silence, acquiescence or even by their express consent; case. Technical rules of procedure should be used to promote, not
Even if a party actively participated in the proceedings before the trial frustrate justice. While the swift unclogging of court dockets is a laudable
court, the doctrine of estoppel cannot still be properly invoked against objective, granting substantial justice is an even more urgent ideal.
him because the question of lack of jurisdiction may be raised at any
Same; Same; Same; Same; What should guide judicial action is that a
time and at any stage of the action.Under these circumstances, we
party litigant is given the fullest opportunity to establish the merits of his
could not fault the Court of Appeals in overruling the RTC and in holding
action or defense.The Courts pronouncement in Republic vs. Court
that private respondent was not estopped from questioning the
of Appeals is worth echoing: cases should be determined on the merits,
jurisdiction of the regional trial court. The fundamental rule is that, the
after full opportunity to all parties for ventilation of their causes and
lack of jurisdiction of the court over an action cannot be waived by the
defenses, rather than on technicality or some procedural imperfections.
parties, or even cured by their silence, acquiescence or even by their
In that way, the ends of justice would be better served. Thus, what
express consent. Further, a party may assail the jurisdiction of the court
should guide judicial action is that a party litigant is given the fullest
over the action at any stage of the proceedings and even on appeal. The
opportunity to establish the merits of his action or defense rather than
appellate court did not err in saying that the RTC should have declared
for him to lose life, honor or property on mere technicalities. This
itself barren of jurisdiction over the action. Even if private respondent
guideline is especially true when the petitioner has satisfactorily
actively participated in the proceedings before said court, the doctrine of
explained the lapse and fulfilled the requirements in his motion for
estoppel cannot still be properly invoked against him because the
reconsideration, as in this case. Donato vs. Court of Appeals, 417 SCRA
question of lack of jurisdiction may be raised at any time and at any
216, G.R. No. 129638 December 8, 2003
stage of the action. Precedents tell us that as a general rule, the
jurisdiction of a court is not a question of acquiescence as a matter of
Gonzaga vs. Court of Appeals, 394 SCRA 472, G.R. No. 144025 legal basis. It bears stressing that R.A. No. 7975 is a substantive
December 27, 2002 procedural law which may be applied retroactively.

Remedial Law; Estoppel; While an order or decision rendered without Agan, Jr. vs. Philippine International Air Terminals Co., Inc., 420
jurisdiction is a total nullity and may be assailed at any stage, active SCRA 575, G.R. No. 155001, G.R. No. 155547, G.R. No. 155661
participation in the proceedings in the court which rendered the order or January 21, 2004
decision will bar such party from attacking its jurisdiction.Petitioners
claim that the recent decisions of this Court have already abandoned the Courts; Jurisdiction; Concurrent Jurisdiction; Hierarchy of Courts Rule;
doctrine laid down in Tijam vs. Sibonghanoy. We do not agree. In The rule on hierarchy of courts in cases falling within the concurrent
countless decisions, this Court has consistently held that, while an order jurisdiction of the trial courts and appellate courts generally applies to
or decision rendered without jurisdiction is a total nullity and may be cases involving warring factual allegations.The rule on hierarchy of
assailed at any stage, active participation in the proceedings in the court courts in cases falling within the concurrent jurisdiction of the trial courts
which rendered the order or decision will bar such party from attacking and appellate courts generally applies to cases involving warring factual
its jurisdiction. allegations. For this reason, litigants are required to repair to the trial
courts at the first instance to determine the truth or falsity of these
Same; Same; Court frowns upon the undesirable practice of a party contending allegations on the basis of the evidence of the parties. Cases
submitting his case for decision and then accepting the judgment but which depend on disputed facts for decision cannot be brought
only if favorable, and attacking it for lack of jurisdiction if not. immediately before appellate courts as they are not triers of facts. It goes
Petitioners should bear the consequence of their act. They cannot be without saying that when cases brought before the appellate courts do
allowed to profit from their omission to the damage and prejudice of the not involve factual but legal questions, a strict application of the rule of
private respondent. This Court frowns upon the undesirable practice of hierarchy of courts is not necessary.
a party submitting his case for decision and then accepting the judgment
but only if favorable, and attacking it for lack of jurisdiction if not. Same; Same; Doctrine of Legal Standing; The application of the doctrine
Gonzaga vs. Court of Appeals, 394 SCRA 472, G.R. No. 144025 on legal standing necessarily involves a preliminary consideration of the
December 27, 2002 merits of the case and is not purely a procedural issue.Legal standing
is relevant in the realm of public law. In certain instances, courts have
Escobal vs. Garchitorena, 422 SCRA 45, G.R. No. 124644 February allowed private parties to institute actions challenging the validity of
5, 2004 governmental action for violation of private rights or constitutional
principles. In these cases, courts apply the doctrine of legal standing by
Criminal Law; Courts; Jurisdiction; Criminal Procedure; Pleadings and determining whether the party has a direct and personal interest in the
Practice; The jurisdiction of the court over criminal cases is determined controversy and whether such party has sustained or is in imminent
by the allegations in the Information or the Complaint and the statute in danger of sustaining an injury as a result of the act complained of, a
effect at the time of the commencement of the action, unless such standard which is distinct from the concept of real party in interest.
statute provides for a retroactive application thereof.The respondent Measured by this yardstick, the application of the doctrine on legal
Presiding Justice acted in accordance with law and the rulings of this standing necessarily involves a preliminary consideration of the merits
Court when he ordered the remand of the case to the RTC, the court of of the case and is not purely a procedural issue.
origin. The jurisdiction of the court over criminal cases is determined by
the allegations in the Information or the Complaint and the statute in Constitutional Law; Bids; Award; There can be no substantial or material
effect at the time of the commencement of the action, unless such change to the parameters of the project, including the essential terms
statute provides for a retroactive application thereof. The jurisdictional and conditions of the contract bidded upon, after the contract award.
requirements must be alleged in the Information. Such jurisdiction of the Again, we brightline the principle that in public bidding, bids are
court acquired at the inception of the case continues until the case is submitted in accord with the prescribed terms, conditions and
terminated. parameters laid down by government and pursuant to the requirements
of the project bidded upon. In light of these parameters, bidders
Same; Same; Same; Sandiganbayan; Public Officers; For the formulate competing proposals which are evaluated to determine the bid
Sandiganbayan to have exclusive jurisdiction under Section 4(a) of P.D. most favorable to the government. Once the contract based on the bid
No. 1606, as amended by P.D. No. 1861 over crimes committed by most favorable to the government is awarded, all that is left to be done
public officers in relation to their office, it is essential that the facts by the parties is to execute the necessary agreements and implement
showing the intimate relation between the office and the offender and them. There can be no substantial or material change to the parameters
the discharge of official duties must be alleged in the Informationit is of the project, including the essential terms and conditions of the
not enough to merely allege in the Information that the crime charged contract bidded upon, after the contract award. If there were changes
was committed by the offender in relation to his office because that and the contracts end up unfavorable to government, the public bidding
would be a conclusion of law.However, for the Sandiganbayan to have becomes a mockery and the modified contracts must be struck down.
exclusive jurisdiction under the said law over crimes committed by public
officers in relation to their office, it is essential that the facts showing the Same; Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) Law; Proposals; Requisites;
intimate relation between the office of the offender and the discharge of The BOT Law and its implementing rules provide that there are three (3)
official duties must be alleged in the Information. It is not enough to essential requisites for an unsolicited proposal to be accepted.The
merely allege in the Information that the crime charged was committed BOT Law and its implementing rules provide that there are three (3)
by the offender in relation to his office because that would be a essential requisites for an unsolicited proposal to be accepted: (1) the
conclusion of law. The amended Information filed with the RTC against project involves a new concept in technology and/or is not part of the list
the petitioner does not contain any allegation showing the intimate of priority projects, (2) no direct government guarantee, subsidy or equity
relation between his office and the discharge of his duties. Hence, the is required, and (3) the government agency or local government unit has
RTC had jurisdiction over the offense charged when on November 24, invited by publication other interested parties to a public bidding and
1995, it ordered the re-amendment of the Information to include therein conducted the same. The failure to fulfill any of the requisites will result
an allegation that the petitioner committed the crime in relation to office. in the denial of the proposal. Indeed, it is further provided that a direct
The trial court erred when it ordered the elevation of the records to the government guarantee, subsidy or equity provision will necessarily
Sandiganbayan. It bears stressing that R.A. No. 7975 amending P.D. disqualify a proposal from being treated and accepted as an unsolicited
No. 1606 was already in effect. proposal. In fine, the mere inclusion of a direct government guarantee
in an unsolicited proposal is fatal to the proposal. There is more reason
Same; Same; Same; Same; Same; Under R.A. 7975, even if the to invalidate a contract if a direct government guarantee provision is
offender committed the crime charged in relation to his office but inserted later in the contract via a backdoor amendment. Such an
occupies a position corresponding to a salary grade below 27, the amendment constitutes a crass circumvention of the BOT Law and
proper Regional Trial Court or Municipal Trial Court, as the case may renders the entire contract void.
be, shall have exclusive jurisdiction over the case.Under the law, even
if the offender committed the crime charged in relation to his office but Same; State Powers; Police Power; Elements; Police power is exercised
occupies a position corresponding to a salary grade below 27, the without provision for just compensation for its paramount consideration
proper Regional Trial Court or Municipal Trial Court, as the case may is public welfare.Police power has been defined as the state authority
be, shall have exclusive jurisdiction over the case. In this case, the to enact legislation that may interfere with personal liberty or property in
petitioner was a Police Senior Inspector, with salary grade 23. He was order to promote the general welfare. It consists of two essential
charged with homicide punishable by reclusion temporal. Hence, the elements. First, it is an imposition of restraint upon liberty or property.
RTC had exclusive jurisdiction over the crime charged conformably to Second, the power is exercised for the benefit of the common good. Its
Sections 20 and 32 of Batas Pambansa Blg. 129, as amended by definition in elastic terms underscores its all-encompassing and
Section 2 of R.A. No. 7691. comprehensive embrace. It is and still is the most essential, insistent,
and illimitable of the States powers. It is familiar knowledge that unlike
Same; Same; Same; Same; Statutes; R.A. No. 7975 is a substantive the power of eminent domain, police power is exercised without
procedural law which may be applied retroactively.The petitioners provision for just compensation for its paramount consideration is public
contention that R.A. No. 7975 should not be applied retroactively has no welfare.
Same; Same; Same; Police power cannot be diminished by any that may be rendered in the pending case, regardless of which party is
contract.Police power cannot be diminished, let alone defeated by any successful, would amount to res judicata in the other case.
contract for its paramount consideration is public welfare and interest.
Manila Bankers Life Insurance Corporation vs. Ng Kok Wei, 418
Same; Legislative Department; Powers; Power of Inquiry; SCRA 454, G.R. No. 139791 December 12, 2003
Congressional Investigation; A congressional investigation is conducted
in aid of legislation.There is a fundamental difference between a case Actions; Jurisdiction; Condominiums; Housing and Land Use Regulatory
in court and an investigation of a congressional committee. The purpose Board (HLURB); Complaints for specific performance with damages by
of a judicial proceeding is to settle the dispute in controversy by a lot or condominium unit buyer against the owner or developer falls
adjudicating the legal rights and obligations of the parties to the case. under the exclusive jurisdiction of the HLURB.Pursuant to the above
On the other hand, a congressional investigation is conducted in aid of provisions, it is the HLURB which has jurisdiction over the instant case.
legislation. Its aim is to assist and recommend to the legislature a We have consistently held that complaints for specific performance with
possible action that the body may take with regard to a particular issue, damages by a lot or condominium unit buyer against the owner or
specifically as to whether or not to enact a new law or amend an existing developer falls under the exclusive jurisdiction of the HLURB.
one. Consequently, this Court cannot treat the findings in a
congressional committee report as binding because the facts elicited in Same; Same; Same; Same; Estoppel; Where a party failed to raise the
congressional hearings are not subject to the rigors of the Rules of Court question of jurisdiction before the trial court and the appellate court, it,
on admissibility of evidence. in effect, confirmed and ratified the trial courts jurisdiction over the case
and is now in estoppel and can no longer question the trial courts
Liga ng mga Barangay National vs. Atienza, Jr., 420 SCRA 562, G.R. jurisdiction.While it may be true that the trial court is without
No. 154599 January 21, 2004 jurisdiction over the case, petitioners active participation in the
proceedings estopped it from assailing such lack of it. We have held that
Actions; Pleadings and Practice; Certiorari; Requisites; Petition for it is an undesirable practice of a party participating in the proceedings
certiorari under Rule 65 may be invoked only against a tribunal, board and submitting its case for decision and then accepting the judgment,
or officer exercising judicial or quasi-judicial functions.A petition for only if favorable, and attacking it for lack of jurisdiction, when adverse.
certiorari under Rule 65 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure is a special Here, petitioner failed to raise the question of jurisdiction before the trial
civil action that may be invoked only against a tribunal, board, or officer court and the Appellate Court. In effect, petitioner confirmed and ratified
exercising judicial or quasi-judicial functions. Section 1, Rule 65 of the the trial courts jurisdiction over this case. Certainly, it is now in estoppel
1997 Rules of Civil Procedure provides: SECTION 1. Petition for and can no longer question the trial courts jurisdiction.
certiorari.When any tribunal, board or officer exercising judicial or
quasi-judicial functions has acted without or in excess of its or his Same; Same; The jurisdiction of the Supreme Court in a petition for
jurisdiction, or with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure,
excess of jurisdiction, and there is no appeal, or any plain, speedy, and as amended, is limited to reviewing only errors of law, not of fact, unless
adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law, a person aggrieved the factual findings being assailed are not supported by evidence on
thereby may file a verified petition in the proper court, alleging the facts record or the impugned judgment is based on a misapprehension of
with certainty and praying that judgment be rendered annulling or facts.On petitioners claim that it did not incur delay, suffice it to say
modifying the proceedings of such tribunal, board or officer, and granting that this is a factual issue. Time and again, we have ruled that the
such incidental reliefs as law and justice may require. Elsewise stated, factual findings of the trial court are given weight when supported by
for a writ of certiorari to issue, the following requisites must concur: (l) it substantial evidence and carries more weight when affirmed by the
must be directed against a tribunal, board, or officer exercising judicial Court of Appeals. Whether or not petitioner incurred delay and thus,
or quasi-judicial functions; (2) the tribunal, board, or officer must have liable to pay damages as a result thereof, are indeed factual questions.
acted without or in excess of jurisdiction or with grave abuse of discretion The jurisdiction of this Court in a petition for review on certiorari under
amounting lack or excess of jurisdiction; and (3) there is no appeal or Rule 45 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, as amended, is limited to
any plain, speedy, and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law. reviewing only errors of law, not of fact, unless the factual findings being
assailed are not supported by evidence on record or the impugned
Same; Same; Same; Judicial and Quasi-Judicial Function, judgment is based on a misapprehension of facts. These exceptions are
distinguished.A respondent is said to be exercising judicial junction not present here.
where he has the power to determine what the law is and what the legal
rights of the parties are, and then undertakes to determine these Office of the Court Administrator vs. Sardido, 401 SCRA 583, A.M.
questions and adjudicate upon the rights of the parties. Quasi-judicial No. MTJ-01-1370 April 25, 2003
function, on the other hand, is a term which applies to the actions,
discretion, etc., of public administrative officers or bodies ... required to Courts; Judges; Circular No. 3-89; Words and Phrases; Under Circular
investigate facts or ascertain the existence of facts, hold hearings, and No. 3-89, the IBP (Board of Governors and Commission on Bar
draw conclusions from them as a basis for their official action and to Discipline) shall forward to the Supreme Court for appropriate action all
exercise discretion of a judicial nature. cases involving justices and judges of lower courts, whether or not such
complaints deal with acts apparently unrelated to the discharge of their
Same; Same; Same; Concurrent Jurisdiction; A becoming regard of that official functions, such as acts of immorality, estafa, crimes against
judicial hierarchy most certainly indicates that petitions for the issuance persons and property, etc.; The phrase attorneys x x x in the
of extraordinary writs against first level (inferior) courts should be filed government service in Section 1 of Rule 139-B does not include justices
with the Regional Trial Court, and those against the latter, with the Court of appellate courts and judges of lower courts who are not subject to the
of Appeals.This concurrence of jurisdiction is not, however, to be disciplining authority of the IBP.The Court issued Circular No. 3-89 on
taken as according to parties seeking any of the writs an absolute, 6 February 1989 clarifying the En Banc Resolution of 29 November
unrestrained freedom of choice of the court to which application 1988. Circular No. 3-89 provides in part as follows: (1) The IBP (Board
therefore will be directed. There is after all a hierarchy of courts. That of Governors and Commission on Bar Discipline) shall forward to the
hierarchy is determinative of the venue of appeals, and also serves as Supreme Court for appropriate action all cases involving justices and
a general determinant of the appropriate forum for petitions for the judges of lower courts, whether or not such complaints deal with acts
extraordinary writs. A becoming regard of that judicial hierarchy most apparently unrelated to the discharge of their official functions, such as
certainly indicates that petitions for the issuance of extraordinary writs acts of immorality, estafa, crimes against persons and property, etc. x x
against first level (inferior) courts should be filed with the Regional Trial x. (Emphasis supplied) Circular No. 3-89 clarified the second paragraph,
Court, and those against the latter, with the Court of Appeals. A direct Section 1 of Rule 139-B of the Rules of Court which states that: The IBP
invocation of the Supreme Courts original jurisdiction to issue these Board of Governors may, motu proprio or upon referral by the Supreme
writs should be allowed only when there are special and important Court or by a Chapter Board of Officers, or at the instance of any person,
reasons therefor, clearly and specifically set out in the petition. This is initiate and prosecute proper charges against erring attorneys including
[an] established policy. It is a policy necessary to prevent inordinate those in the government service. (Emphasis supplied). As clarified, the
demands upon the Courts time and attention which are better devoted phrase attorneys x x x in the government service in Section 1 of Rule
to those matters within its exclusive jurisdiction, and to prevent further 139-B does not include justices of appellate courts and judges of lower
overcrowding of the Courts docket. courts who are not subject to the disciplining authority of the IBP. All
administrative cases against justices of appellate courts and judges of
Same; Same; Forum shopping; Forum shopping exists where the lower courts fall exclusively within the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court.
elements of litis pendentia are present or when a final judgment in one
case will amount to res judicata in the other.Forum shopping exists Same; Same; Same; As mandated by the Constitution, the Court
where the elements of litis pendentia are present or when a final exercises the exclusive power to discipline administratively justice of
judgment in one case will amount to res judicata in the other. For litis appellate courts and judges of lower courts.However, Rule 139-B
pendentia to exist, the following requisites must be present: (1) identity refers to Disbarment and Discipline of Attorneys which is administrative
of parties, or at least such parties as are representing the same interests and not criminal in nature. The cases referred to in Circular No. 3-89 are
in both actions; (2) identity of rights asserted and reliefs prayed for, the administrative cases for disbarment, suspension or discipline of
reliefs being founded on the same facts; and (3) identity with respect to attorneys, including justices of appellate courts and judges of the lower
the two preceding particulars in the two cases, such that any judgment courts. The Court has vested the IBP with the power to initiate and
prosecute administrative cases against erring lawyers. However, under Rules of Civil Procedure brought about no radical change. Under the
Circular No. 3-89, the Court has directed the IBP to refer to the Supreme new rules, a court may motu proprio dismiss a claim
Court for appropriate action all administrative cases filed with IBP
against justices of appellate courts and judges of the lower courts. As _______________
mandated by the Constitution, the Court exercises the exclusive power
to discipline administratively justices of appellate courts and judges of
lower courts.
* THIRD DIVISION.
Same; Same; Same; Circular No. 3-89 does not refer to criminal cases
566
against erring justices of appellate courts or judge of lower courtstrial
courts retain jurisdiction over the criminal aspect of offenses committed
by justices of appellate courts and judges of lower courts.Circular No.
3-89 does not refer to criminal cases against erring justices of appellate 566
courts or judges of lower courts. Trial courts retain jurisdiction over the
criminal aspect of offenses committed by justices of appellate courts and SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED
judges of lower courts. This is clear from the Circular directing the IBP,
and not the trial courts, to refer all administrative cases filed against Katon vs. Palanca, Jr.
justices of appellate courts and judges of lower courts to the Supreme
when it appears from the pleadings or evidence on record that it has no
Court. The case filed against Judge Hurtado is not an administrative
jurisdiction over the subject matter; when there is another cause of
case filed with the IBP. It is a criminal case filed with the trial court under
action pending between the same parties for the same cause, or where
its jurisdiction as prescribed by law.
the action is barred by a prior judgment or by statute of limitations. x x
Same; Same; Same; The acts or omissions of a judge may well x.
constitute at the same time both a criminal act and an administrative
Courts; Jurisdiction; Residual Jurisdiction; The trial court still retains its
offense, and whether the criminal case relates to an act committed
so-called residual jurisdiction to issue protective orders, approve
before or after he became a judge is of no moment, and neither is it
compromises, permit appeals of indigent litigants, order execution
material that an MTC judge will be trying an RTC judge in the criminal
pending appeal, and allow the withdrawal of the appeal.The residual
case.The acts or omissions of a judge may well constitute at the same
jurisdiction of trial courts is available at a stage in which the court is
time both a criminal act and an administrative offense. Whether the
normally deemed to have lost jurisdiction over the case or the subject
criminal case against Judge Hurtado relates to an act committed before
matter involved in the appeal. This stage is reached upon the perfection
or after he became a judge is of no moment. Neither is it material that
of the appeals by the parties or upon the approval of the records on
an MTC judge will be trying an RTC judge in the criminal case. A criminal
appeal, but prior to the transmittal of the original records or the records
case against an attorney or judge is distinct and separate from an
on appeal. In either instance, the trial court still retains its so-called
administrative case against him. The dismissal of the criminal case does
residual jurisdiction to issue protective orders, approve compromises,
not warrant the dismissal of an administrative case arising from the
permit appeals of indigent litigants, order execution pending appeal, and
same set of facts. The quantum of evidence that is required in the latter
allow the withdrawal of the appeal.
is only preponderance of evidence, and not proof beyond reasonable
doubt which is required in criminal cases. Public Lands; Nullification of Title; Allegations; In an action for
nullification of title or declaration of its nullity, the complaint must contain
Same; Same; Gross Ignorance of the Law; A judge is called upon to
the following allegations.In an action for nullification of title or
exhibit more than just a cursory acquaintance with statutes and
declaration of its nullity, the complaint must contain the following
procedural ruleshe must be conversant with basic legal principles and
allegations: 1) that the contested land was privately owned by the
well-settled doctrines.A judge is called upon to exhibit more than just
plaintiff prior to the issuance of the assailed certificate of title to the
a cursory acquaintance with statutes and procedural rules. He must be
defendant; and 2) that the defendant perpetuated a fraud or committed
conversant with basic legal principles and well-settled doctrines. He
a mistake in obtaining a document of title over the parcel of land claimed
should strive for excellence and seek the truth with passion. Judge
by the plaintiff. In these cases, the nullity arises not from fraud or deceit,
Sardido failed in this regard. He erred in excluding Judge Hurtado as
but from the fact that the director of the Land Management Bureau had
one of the accused in the Amended Information and in forwarding the
no jurisdiction to bestow title; hence, the issued patent or certificate of
criminal case against Judge Hurtado to the Court.
title was void ab initio.
Same; Same; Same; The amendment to Rule 140 classifying gross
Same; Reversion; Section 101 of the Public Land Act categorically
ignorance of the law as a serious offense cannot apply retroactively to a
declares that only the solicitor general or the officer in his stead may
judge whose administrative case against him started before the
institute such an action.Neither can petitioners case be one for
amendment.One last point. This administrative case against Judge
reversion. Section 101 of the Public Land Act categorically declares that
Sardido started before the amendment of Rule 140 classifying gross
only the solicitor general or the officer in his stead may institute such an
ignorance of the law a serious offense punishable by a fine of more than
action. A private person may not bring an action for reversion or any
P20,000.00 but not exceeding P40,000.00. The amendment cannot
other action that would have the effect of canceling a free patent and its
apply retroactively to Judge Sardidos case. However, the fine of
derivative title, with the result that the land thereby covered would again
P5,000.00 recommended by the OCA is too light a penalty considering
form part of the public domain.
that this is not the first offense of Judge Sardido.
VENANCIO FIGUEROA y CERVANTES,1 petitioner, vs. PEOPLE OF
Katon vs. Palanca, Jr., 437 SCRA 565, G.R. No. 151149 September
THE PHILIPPINES, respondent.
7, 2004
Actions; Jurisdiction; Statutes; Applied uniformly is the familiar rule that
Actions; Pleadings and Practice; Appeals; Certiorari; Settled is the
the jurisdiction of the court to hear and decide a case is conferred by the
doctrine that the sole office of a writ of certiorari is the correction of errors
law in force at the time of the institution of the action, unless such statute
of jurisdiction.Settled is the doctrine that the sole office of a writ of
provides for a retroactive application thereof.Applied uniformly is the
certiorari is the correction of errors of jurisdiction. Such writ does not
familiar rule that the jurisdiction of the court to hear and decide a case
include a review of the evidence, more so when no determination of the
is conferred by the law in force at the time of the institution of the action,
merits has yet been made by the trial court, as in this case.
unless such statute provides for a retroactive application thereof. In this
Same; Same; Motions; Dismissal; Motu Proprio; In four excepted case, at the time the criminal information for reckless imprudence
circumstances, the court shall motu proprio dismiss the claim or resulting in homicide with violation of the Automobile Law (now Land
action. Under Section 1 of Rule 9 of the Rules of Court, defenses and Transportation and Traffic Code) was filed, Section 32(2) of Batas
objections not pleaded either in a motion to dismiss or in the answer are Pambansa (B.P.) Blg. 129 had already been amended by Republic Act
deemed waived, except when (1) lack of jurisdiction over the subject No. 7691.
matter, (2) litis pendentia, (3) res judicata and (4) prescription are
Same; Same; Estoppel by Laches; The general rule should be, as it has
evident from the pleadings or the evidence on record. In the four
always been, that the issue of jurisdiction may be raised at any stage of
excepted instances, the court shall motu proprio dismiss the claim or
the proceedings, even on appeal, and is not lost by waiver or by
action. In Gumabon v. Larin we explained thus: x x x [T]he motu proprio
estoppelestoppel by laches, to bar a litigant from asserting the courts
dismissal of a case was traditionally limited to instances when the court
absence or lack of jurisdiction, only supervenes in exceptional cases
clearly had no jurisdiction over the subject matter and when the plaintiff
similar to the factual milieu of Tijam v. Sibonghanoy, 23 SCRA 29
did not appear during trial, failed to prosecute his action for an
(1968).The Court, thus, wavered on when to apply the exceptional
unreasonable length of time or neglected to comply with the rules or with
circumstance in Sibonghanoy and on when to apply the general rule
any order of the court. Outside of these instances, any motu proprio
enunciated as early as in De La Santa and expounded at length in
dismissal would amount to a violation of the right of the plaintiff to be
Calimlim. The general rule should, however, be, as it has always been,
heard. Except for qualifying and expanding Section 2, Rule 9, and
that the issue of jurisdiction may be raised at any stage of the
Section 3, Rule 17, of the Revised Rules of Court, the amendatory 1997
proceedings, even on appeal, and is not lost by waiver or by estoppel.
Estoppel by laches, to bar a litigant from asserting the courts absence employees shall serve with the highest degree of responsibility, integrity,
or lack of jurisdiction, only supervenes in exceptional cases similar to loyalty and efficiency and shall remain at all times accountable to the
the factual milieu of Tijam v. Sibonghanoy. Indeed, the fact that a person people.
attempts to invoke unauthorized jurisdiction of a court does not estop
him from thereafter challenging its jurisdiction over the subject matter, Same; Same; Same; Statutory Construction; The rule is wellestablished
since such jurisdiction must arise by law and not by mere consent of the in this jurisdiction that statutes should receive a sensible construction so
parties. This is especially true where the person seeking to invoke as to avoid an unjust or an absurd conclusionthe intention of the
unauthorized jurisdiction of the court does not thereby secure any legislator must be ascertained from the whole text of the law and every
advantage or the adverse party does not suffer any harm. part of the act is to be taken into view.The rule is well-established in
this jurisdiction that statutes should receive a sensible construction so
Same; Same; Same; Delay alone, though unreasonable, will not sustain as to avoid an unjust or an absurd conclusion. Interpretatio talis in
the defense of estoppel by laches unless it further appears that the ambiguis semper fienda est, ut evitetur inconveniens et absurdum.
party, knowing his rights, has not sought to enforce them until the Where there is ambiguity, such interpretation as will avoid
condition of the party pleading laches has in good faith become so inconvenience and absurdity is to be adopted. Kung saan mayroong
changed that he cannot be restored to his former state, if the rights be kalabuan, ang pagpapaliwanag ay hindi dapat maging mahirap at
then enforced, due to loss of evidence, change of title, intervention of katawa-tawa. Every section, provision or clause of the statute must be
equities, and other causes.Applying the said doctrine to the instant expounded by reference to each other in order to arrive at the effect
case, the petitioner is in no way estopped by laches in assailing the contemplated by the legislature. The intention of the legislator must be
jurisdiction of the RTC, considering that he raised the lack thereof in his ascertained from the whole text of the law and every part of the act is to
appeal before the appellate court. At that time, no considerable period be taken into view. In other words, petitioners interpretation lies in direct
had yet elapsed for laches to attach. True, delay alone, though opposition to the rule that a statute must be interpreted as a whole under
unreasonable, will not sustain the defense of estoppel by laches unless the principle that the best interpreter of a statute is the statute itself.
it further appears that the party, knowing his rights, has not sought to Optima statuti interpretatrix est ipsum statutum. Ang isang
enforce them until the condition of the party pleading laches has in good
faith become so changed that he cannot be restored to his former state, 226
if the rights be then enforced, due to loss of evidence, change of title,
intervention of equities, and other causes. In applying the principle of
estoppel by laches in the exceptional case of Sibonghanoy, the Court
226
therein considered the patent and revolting inequity and unfairness of
having the judgment creditors go up their Calvary once more after more SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED
or less 15 years. The same, however, does not obtain in the instant
case. Serana vs. Sandiganbayan

Same; Same; Same; Estoppel, being in the nature of a forfeiture, is not batas ay marapat na bigyan ng kahulugan sa kanyang kabuuan sa ilalim
favored by lawit is to be applied rarely, only from necessity, and only ng prinsipyo na ang pinakamainam na interpretasyon ay ang mismong
in extraordinary circumstances; When misapplied, the doctrine of batas.
estoppel may be a most effective weapon for the accomplishment of
injustice.We note at this point that estoppel, being in the nature of a Same; Same; Same; Estafa; Plainly, estafa is one of those felonies
forfeiture, is not favored by law. It is to be applied rarelyonly from within the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan, subject to the twin
necessity, and only in extraordinary circumstances. The doctrine must requirements that (a) the offense is committed by public officials and
be applied with great care and the equity must be strong in its favor. employees mentioned in Section 4(A) of P.D. No. 1606, as amended,
When misapplied, the doctrine of estoppel may be a most effective and that (b) the offense is committed in relation to their office.The
weapon for the accomplishment of injustice. Moreover, a judgment Sandiganbayan has jurisdiction over other felonies committed by public
rendered without jurisdiction over the subject matter is void. Hence, the officials in relation to their office. We see no plausible or sensible reason
Revised Rules of Court provides for remedies in attacking judgments to exclude estafa as one of the offenses included in Section 4(B) of P.D.
rendered by courts or tribunals that have no jurisdiction over the No. 1606. Plainly, estafa is one of those other felonies. The jurisdiction
concerned cases. No laches will even attach when the judgment is null is simply subject to the twin requirements that (a) the offense is
and void for want of jurisdiction. Figueroa vs. People, 558 SCRA 63, committed by public officials and employees mentioned in Section 4(A)
G.R. No. 147406 July 14, 2008 of P.D. No. 1606, as amended, and that (b) the offense is committed in
relation to their office.
G.R. No. 162059. January 22, 2008.*
Same; Same; Same; Public Office; University of the Philippines (U.P.);
HANNAH EUNICE D. SERANA, petitioner, vs. SANDIGANBAYAN Words and Phrases; A University of the Philippines (UP) Student Regent
and PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, respondents. is a public officer; A public office is the right, authority, and duty created
and conferred by law, by which for a given period, either fixed by law or
Criminal Procedure; Pleadings and Practice; Appeals; Certiorari; Well- enduring at the pleasure of the creating power, an individual is invested
established is the rule that when a motion to quash in a criminal case is with some portion of the sovereign functions of the government, to be
denied, the remedy is not a petition for certiorari, but for petitioners to go exercise by him for the benefit of the public.Petitioner also contends
to trial, without prejudice to reiterating the special defenses invoked in that she is not a public officer. She does not receive any salary or
their motion to quash.We would ordinarily dismiss this petition for remuneration as a UP student regent. This is not the first or likely the
certiorari outright on procedural grounds. Well-established is the rule last time that We will be called upon to define a public officer. In Khan,
that when a motion to quash in a criminal case is denied, the remedy is Jr. v. Office of the Ombudsman, 495 SCRA 452 (2006), We ruled that it
not a petition for certiorari, but for petitioners to go to trial, without is difficult to pin down the definition of a public officer. The 1987
prejudice to reiterating the special defenses invoked in their motion to Constitution does not define who are public officers. Rather, the varied
quash. Remedial measures as regards interlocutory orders, such as a definitions and concepts are found in different statutes and
motion to quash, are frowned upon and often dismissed. The evident jurisprudence. In Aparri v. Court of Appeals, 127 SCRA 231 (1984), the
reason for this rule is to avoid multiplicity of appeals in a single action. Court held that: A public office is the right, authority, and duty created
and conferred by law, by which for a given period, either fixed by law or
Criminal Law; Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act (R.A. No. 3019);
enduring at the pleasure of the creating power, an individual is invested
Jurisdictions; It is P.D. No. 1606, as amended, rather than R.A. No.
with some portion of the sovereign functions of the government, to be
3019, as amended, that determines the jurisdiction of the
exercise by him for the benefit of the public ([Mechem Public Offices and
Sandiganbayan.We first address petitioners contention that the
Officers,] Sec. 1). The right to hold a public office under our political
jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan is determined by Section 4 of R.A. No.
system is therefore not a natural right. It exists, when it exists at all only
3019 (The Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, as amended). We note
because and by virtue of some law expressly or impliedly creating and
that petitioner refers to Section 4 of the said law yet quotes Section 4 of
conferring it (Mechem Ibid., Sec. 64). There is no such thing as a vested
P.D. No. 1606, as amended, in her motion to quash before the
interest or an estate in an office, or even an absolute right to hold office.
Sandiganbayan. She repeats the reference in the instant petition for
Excepting constitutional offices which provide for special immunity as
certiorari and in her memorandum of authorities. We cannot bring
regards salary and tenure, no one can be said to have any vested right
ourselves to write this off as a mere clerical or typographical error. It
in an office or its salary (42 Am. Jur. 881).
bears stressing that petitioner repeated this claim twice despite
corrections made by the Sandiganbayan. Her claim has no basis in law. Same; Same; Same; Same; Same; Same; It is not only the salary grade
It is P.D. No. 1606, as amended, rather than R.A. No. 3019, as that determines the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayanthe
amended, that determines the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan. A brief Sandiganbayan also has jurisdiction over other officers enumerated in
legislative history of the statute creating the Sandiganbayan is in order. P.D. No. 1606.Petitioner claims that she is not a public officer with
The Sandiganbayan was created by P.D. No. 1486, promulgated by then Salary Grade 27; she is, in fact, a regular tuition fee-paying student. This
President Ferdinand E. Marcos on June 11, 1978. It was promulgated is likewise bereft of merit. It is not only the salary grade that determines
to attain the highest norms of official conduct required of public officers the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan. The Sandiganbayan also has
and employees, based on the concept that public officers and jurisdiction over other officers enumerated in P.D. No. 1606. In
Geduspan v. People, 451 SCRA 187 (2005), We held that while the first Republic Act No. 4670; Republic Act No. 7836; Teachers; Under Section
part of Section 4(A) covers only officials with Salary Grade 27 and 9 of R.A. No. 4670, the jurisdiction over administrative cases of public
higher, its second part specifically includes other executive officials school teachers is lodged with the investigating committee constituted
whose positions may not be of Salary Grade 27 and higher but who are therein. Also, under Section 23 of R.A. No. 7836 (the Philippine
by express provision of law placed under the jurisdiction of the said Teachers Professionalization Act of 1994), the Board of Professional
court. Petitioner falls under the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan as she Teachers is given the power, after due notice and hearing, to suspend
is placed there by express provision of law. Section 4(A)(1)(g) of P.D. or revoke the certificate of registration of a professional teacher for
No. 1606 explictly vested the Sandiganbayan with jurisdiction over causes enumerated therein.Indeed, under Section 9 of R.A. No. 4670,
Presidents, directors or trustees, or managers of government-owned or the jurisdiction over administrative cases of public school teachers is
controlled corporations, state universities or educational institutions or lodged with the investigating committee constituted therein. Also, under
foundations. Petitioner falls under this category. As the Sandiganbayan Section 23 of R.A. No. 7836 (the Philippine Teachers
pointed out, the BOR performs functions similar to those of a board of Professionalization Act of 1994), the Board of Professional Teachers is
trustees of a non-stock corporation. By express mandate of law, given the power, after due notice and hearing, to suspend or revoke the
petitioner is, indeed, a public officer as contemplated by P.D. No. 1606. certificate of registration of a professional teacher for causes
enumerated therein.
Same; Same; Same; Same; Same; Same; It is well-established that
compensation is not an essential element of public office.It is well Remedial Law; Civil Procedure; Jurisdiction; Concurrent Jurisdiction;
established that compensation is not an essential element of public Concurrent jurisdiction is that which is possessed over the same parties
office. At most, it is merely incidental to the public office. Delegation of or subject matter at the same time by two or more separate tribunals.
sovereign functions is essential in the public office. An investment in an Concurrent jurisdiction is that which is possessed over the same parties
individual of some portion of the sovereign functions of the government, or subject matter at the same time by two or more separate tribunals.
to be exercised by him for the benefit of the public makes one a public When the law bestows upon a government body the jurisdiction to hear
officer. and decide cases involving specific matters, it is to be presumed that
such jurisdiction is exclusive
Same; Same; Same; Same; Same; Same; The administration of the
University of the Philippines (UP) is a sovereign function in line with 569
Article XIV of the Constitution.The administration of the UP is a
sovereign function in line with Article XIV of the Constitution. UP
performs a legitimate governmental function by providing advanced
instruction in literature, philosophy, the sciences, and arts, and giving VOL. 697, JUNE 5, 2013
professional and technical training. Moreover, UP is maintained by the
569
Government and it declares no dividends and is not a corporation
created for profit. Pat-og, Sr. vs. Civil Service Commission
Criminal Procedure; Jurisdictions; Pleadings and Practice; It is axiomatic unless it be proved that another body is likewise vested with the same
that jurisdiction is determined by the averments in the information.It is jurisdiction, in which case, both bodies have concurrent jurisdiction over
axiomatic that jurisdiction is determined by the averments in the the matter.
information. More than that, jurisdiction is not affected by the pleas or
the theories set up by defendant or respondent in an answer, a motion Same; Same; Same; Same; Where concurrent jurisdiction exists in
to dismiss, or a motion to quash. Otherwise, jurisdiction would become several tribunals, the body that first takes cognizance of the complaint
dependent almost entirely upon the whims of defendant or respondent. shall exercise jurisdiction to the exclusion of the others.Where
concurrent jurisdiction exists in several tribunals, the body that first takes
Legal Ethics; Attorneys; A lawyer owes candor, fairness and honesty to cognizance of the complaint shall exercise jurisdiction to the exclusion
the Courta lawyer should not misquote or misrepresent; Petitioners of the others. In this case, it was CSC which first acquired jurisdiction
counsel admonished to be more careful and accurate in his citation. over the case because the complaint was filed before it. Thus, it had the
Petitioners counsel, Renato G. dela Cruz, misrepresented his reference authority to proceed and decide the case to the exclusion of the DepEd
to Section 4 of P.D. No. 1606 as a quotation from Section 4 of R.A. No. and the Board of Professional Teachers.
3019. A review of his motion to quash, the instant petition for certiorari
and his memorandum, unveils the misquotation. We urge petitioners Same; Same; Same; The Supreme Court has time and again frowned
counsel to observe Canon 10 of the Code of Professional Responsibility, upon the undesirable practice of a party submitting his case for decision
specifically Rule 10.02 of the Rules stating that a lawyer shall not and then accepting the judgment only if favorable, but attacking it for
misquote or misrepresent. The Court stressed the importance of this lack of jurisdiction when adverse.At any rate, granting that the CSC
rule in Pangan v. Ramos, 93 SCRA 87 (1979), where Atty. Dionisio D. was without jurisdiction, the petitioner is indeed estopped from raising
Ramos used the name Pedro D.D. Ramos in connection with a criminal the issue. Although the rule states that a jurisdictional question may be
case. The Court ruled that Atty. Ramos resorted to deception by using a raised at any time, such rule admits of the exception where, as in this
name different from that with which he was authorized. We severely case, estoppel has supervened. Here, instead of opposing the CSCs
reprimanded Atty. Ramos and warned that a repetition may warrant exercise of jurisdiction, the petitioner invoked the same by actively
suspension or disbarment. We admonish petitioners counsel to be more participating in the proceedings before the CSC-CAR and by even filing
careful and accurate in his citation. A lawyers conduct before the court his appeal before the CSC itself; only raising the issue of jurisdiction
should be characterized by candor and fairness. The administration of later in his motion for reconsideration after the CSC denied his appeal.
justice would gravely suffer if lawyers do not act with complete candor This Court has time and again frowned upon the undesirable practice of
and honesty before the courts. a party submitting his case for decision and then accepting the judgment
only if favorable, but attacking it for lack of jurisdiction when adverse.
ALBERTO PAT-OG, SR., petitioner, vs. CIVIL SERVICE
COMMISSION, respondent. Administrative Proceedings; Due Process; The essence of due process
is simply to be heard, or as applied to administrative proceedings, a fair
Civil Service Commission (CSC); Department of Education (DepEd); and reasonable opportunity to explain ones side, or an opportunity to
Board of Professional Teachers-Professional Regulatory Commission seek a reconsideration of the action or ruling complained of; In
(PRC); Teachers; In Puse v. Santos-Puse, 615 SCRA 500 (2010), it was administrative proceedings, a formal or trial-type hearing is not always
held that the Civil Service Commission (CSC), the Department of necessary and technical rules of procedure are not strictly applied.The
Education (DepEd) and the Board of Professional Teachers- essence of due process is simply to be heard, or as applied to
Professional Regulatory Commission (PRC) have concurrent jurisdiction administrative proceedings, a fair and reasonable opportunity to explain
over administrative cases against public school teachers.In Puse v. ones side, or an opportunity to seek a reconsideration of the action or
Santos-Puse, 615 SCRA 500 (2010), it was held that the CSC, the ruling complained of. Administrative due process cannot be fully
Department of Education (DepEd) and the Board of Professional equated with due process in its strict judicial sense. In administrative
Teachers-Professional Regulatory Commission (PRC) have concurrent proceedings, a formal or trial-type hearing is not always necessary and
jurisdiction over administrative cases against public school teachers. technical rules of procedure are not strictly applied. Hence, the right to
Under Article IX-B of the 1987 Constitution, the CSC is the body charged cross-examine is not an indispensable aspect of administrative due
with the establishment and administration of a career civil service which process. The petitioner cannot, therefore, argue that the affidavit of
embraces all branches and agencies of the government. Executive Bang-on and his witnesses are hearsay and insufficient to prove his
Order (E.O.) No. 292 (the Administrative Code of 1987) and Presidential guilt.
Decree (P.D.) No. 807 (the Civil Service Decree of the Philippines)
expressly provide that the CSC has the power to hear and decide Administrative Law; Misconduct; To constitute an administrative offense,
administrative disciplinary cases instituted with it or brought to it on misconduct should relate to or be connected with the performance of the
appeal. Thus, the CSC, as the central personnel agency of the official functions and duties of a public officer.Misconduct means
government, has the inherent power to supervise and discipline all intentional wrongdoing or deliberate violation of a rule of law or standard
members of the civil service, including public school teachers. of behaviour. To constitute an administrative offense, misconduct should
relate to or be connected with the performance of the official functions
and duties of a public officer. In grave misconduct, as distinguished from Same; Same; If the objection to the jurisdiction is not raised either in a
simple misconduct, the elements of corruption, clear intent to violate the motion to dismiss or in the answer, the objection to the jurisdiction over
law or flagrant disregard of an established rule must be manifest. the person of the plaintiff or the defendant is deemed waived.Since
the defense of lack of jurisdiction over the person of a party to a case is
Teachers; Teachers are duly licensed professionals who must not only not one of those defenses which are not deemed waived under Section
be competent in the practice of their noble profession, but must also 1 of Rule 9, such defense must be invoked when an answer or a motion
possess dignity and a reputation with high moral values.Teachers are to dismiss is filed in order to prevent a waiver of the defense. If the
duly licensed professionals who must not only be competent in the objection is not raised either in a motion to dismiss or in the answer, the
practice of their noble profession, but must also possess dignity and a objection to the jurisdiction over the person of the plaintiff or the
reputation with high moral values. They must strictly adhere to, observe, defendant is deemed waived by virtue of the first sentence of the above-
and practice the set of ethical and moral principles, standards, and quoted Section 1 of Rule 9 of the Rules of Court.
values laid down in the Code of Ethics of Professional Teachers, which
apply to all teachers in schools in the Philippines, whether public or Same; Civil Procedure; Parties; Indispensable Parties; Words and
private, as provided in the preamble of the said Code. Section 8 of Article Phrases; An indispensable party is one who has such an interest in the
VIII of the same Code expressly provides that a teacher shall not inflict controversy or subject matter of a case that a final adjudication cannot
corporal punishment on offending learners. be made in his or her absence, without injuring or affecting that
interest.An indispensable party is one who has such an interest in the
Administrative Law; Grave Misconduct; Penalties; Uniform Rules on controversy or subject matter of a case that a final adjudication cannot
Administrative Cases in the Civil Service (URACCS); Under Section be made in his or her absence, without injuring or affecting that interest.
52(A)(2) of Rule IV of the Uniform Rules on Administrative Cases in the He or she is a party who has not only an interest in the subject matter of
Civil Service, the penalty for grave misconduct is dismissal from the the controversy, but an interest of such nature that a final decree cannot
service, which carries with it the cancellation of eligibility, forfeiture of be made without affecting [that] interest or leaving the controversy in
retirement benefits and perpetual disqualification from reemployment in such a condition that its final determination may be wholly inconsistent
the government service.Under Section 52(A)(2) of Rule IV of the with equity and good conscience. It has also been considered that an
Uniform Rules on Administrative Cases in the Civil Service, the penalty indispensable party is a person in whose absence there cannot be a
for grave misconduct is dismissal from the service, which carries with it determination between the parties already before the court which is
the cancellation of eligibility, forfeiture of retirement benefits and effective, complete or equitable. Further, an indispensable party is one
perpetual disqualification from reemployment in the government service. who must be included in an action before it may properly proceed.
This penalty must, however, be tempered with compassion as there was
sufficient provocation on the part of Bang-on. Considering further the Same; Same; Same; Section 11 of Rule 3 of the Rules of Court states
mitigating circumstances that the petitioner has been in the government that [n]either misjoinder nor non-joinder of parties is ground for
service for 33 years, that this is his first offense and that he is at the cusp dismissal of an action. Parties may be dropped or added by order of the
of retirement, the Court finds the penalty of suspension for six months court on motion of any party or on its own initiative at any stage of the
as appropriate under the circumstances. Pat-og, Sr. vs. Civil Service action and on such terms as are just.Section 11 of Rule 3 of the Rules
Commission, 697 SCRA 567, G.R. No. 198755 June 5, 2013 of Court states that [n]either misjoinder nor non-joinder of parties is
ground for dismissal of an action. Parties may be dropped or added by
G.R. No. 173946. June 19, 2013.* order of the court on motion of any party or on its own initiative at any
stage of the action and on such terms as are just. Any claim against a
BOSTON EQUITY RESOURCES, INC., petitioner, vs. COURT OF
misjoined party may be severed and proceeded with separately. Based
APPEALS and LOLITA G. TOLEDO, respondents. on the last sentence of the afore-quoted provision of law, a misjoined
party must have the capacity to sue or be sued in the event that the claim
Remedial Law; Certiorari; Motion to Dismiss; Well-settled is the rule that
by or against the misjoined party is pursued in a separate case. In this
the special civil action for certiorari is not the proper remedy to assail the
case, therefore, the inclusion of Manuel in the complaint cannot be
denial by the trial court of a motion to dismiss; The proper remedy in
considered a misjoinder, as in fact, the action would have proceeded
such a case is to appeal after a decision has been rendered.The Court
against him had he been alive at the time the collection case was filed
of Appeals erred in granting the writ of certiorari in favor of respondent.
by petitioner. This being the case, the remedy provided by Section 11 of
Well-settled is the rule that the special civil action for certiorari is not the
Rule 3 does not obtain here. The name of Manuel as party-defendant
proper remedy to assail the denial by the trial court of a motion to
cannot simply be dropped from the case. Instead, the procedure taken
dismiss. The order of the trial court denying a motion to dismiss is merely
by the Court in Sarsaba v. Vda. de Te, 594 SCRA 410 (2009), whose
interlocutory, as it neither terminates nor finally disposes of a case and
facts, as mentioned earlier, resemble those of this case, should be
still leaves something to be done by the court before a case is finally
followed herein.
decided on the merits. Therefore, the proper remedy in such a case is
to appeal after a decision has been rendered. Same; Same; Same; Where the defendant is neither a natural nor a
juridical person or an entity authorized by law, the complaint may be
Same; Jurisdiction; Estoppel by Laches; The aspect of jurisdiction which
dismissed on the ground that the pleading asserting the claim states no
may be barred from being assailed as a result of estoppel by laches is
cause of action or for failure to state a cause of action pursuant to
jurisdiction over the subject matter.The aspect of jurisdiction which
Section 1(g) of Rule 16 of the Rules of Court, because a complaint
may be barred from being assailed as a result of estoppel by laches is
cannot possibly state a cause of action against one who cannot be a
jurisdiction over the subject matter. Thus, in Tijam, the case relied upon
party to a civil action.Where the defendant is neither a natural nor a
by petitioner, the issue involved was the authority of the then Court of
juridical person or an entity authorized by law, the complaint may be
First Instance to hear a case for the collection of a sum of money in the
dismissed on the ground that the pleading asserting the claim states no
amount of P1,908.00 which amount was, at that time, within the
cause of action or for failure to state a cause of action pursuant to
exclusive original jurisdiction of the municipal courts. In subsequent
Section 1(g) of Rule 16 of the Rules of Court, because a complaint
cases citing the ruling of the Court in Tijam, what was likewise at issue
cannot possibly state a cause of action against one who cannot be a
was the jurisdiction of the trial court over the subject matter of the case.
party to a civil action. Since the proper course of action against the
Accordingly, in Spouses Gonzaga v. Court of Appeals, 394 SCRA 472
wrongful inclusion of Manuel as party-defendant is the dismissal of the
(2002), the issue for consideration was the authority of the regional trial
case as against him, thus did the trial court err when it ordered the
court to hear and decide an action for reformation of contract and
substitution of Manuel by his heirs.
damages involving a subdivision lot, it being argued therein that
jurisdiction is vested in the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board Same; Same; Same; Substitution of Parties; Substitution is proper only
pursuant to PD 957 (The Subdivision and Condominium Buyers where the party to be substituted died during the pendency of the case,
Protective Decree). In Lee v. Presiding Judge, MTC, Legaspi City, 145 as expressly provided for by Section 16, Rule 3 of the Rules of
SCRA 408 (1986), petitioners argued that the respondent municipal trial Court.Substitution is proper only where the party to be substituted died
court had no jurisdiction over the complaint for ejectment because the during the pendency of the case, as expressly provided for by Section
issue of ownership was raised in the pleadings. Finally, in People v. 16, Rule 3 of the Rules of Court, which states: Death of party; duty of
Casuga, 53 SCRA 278 (1973), accused-appellant claimed that the crime counsel.Whenever a party to a pending action dies, and the claim is
of grave slander, of which she was charged, falls within the concurrent not thereby extinguished, it shall be the duty of his counsel to inform the
jurisdiction of municipal courts or city courts and the then courts of first court within thirty (30) days after such death of the fact thereof, and to
instance, and that the judgment of the court of first instance, to which give the name and address of his legal representative or
she had appealed the municipal courts conviction, should be deemed representatives. x x x The heirs of the deceased may be allowed to be
null and void for want of jurisdiction as her appeal should have been filed substituted for the deceased, without requiring the appointment of an
with the Court of Appeals or the Supreme Court. In all of these cases, executor or administrator x x x. The court shall forthwith order said legal
the Supreme Court barred the attack on the jurisdiction of the respective representative or representatives to appear and be substituted within a
courts concerned over the subject matter of the case based on estoppel period of thirty (30) days from notice. (Emphasis supplied.) Here, since
by laches, declaring that parties cannot be allowed to belatedly adopt an Manuel was already dead at the time of the filing of the complaint, the
inconsistent posture by attacking the jurisdiction of a court to which they court never acquired jurisdiction over his person and, in effect, there was
submitted their cause voluntarily.
no party to be substituted. Boston Equity Resources, Inc. vs. Court of not remove the bases of a charge for conspiracy, one defendant may be
Appeals, 699 SCRA 16, G.R. No. 173946 June 19, 2013 found guilty of the offense.

G.R. No. 168539. March 25, 2014.* Same; Same; Same; The avowed policy of the State and the legislative
intent to repress acts of public officers and private persons alike, which
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, petitioner, vs. HENRY T. GO, constitute graft or corrupt practices, would be frustrated if the death of
respondent. a public officer would bar the prosecution of a private person who
conspired with such public officer in violating the Anti-Graft Law.The
Criminal Law; Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices; Public Officers; Corrupt Court agrees with petitioner that the avowed policy of the State and the
Practices of Public Officers; Elements of.Section 3(g) of R.A. 3019 legislative intent to repress acts of public officers and private persons
provides: Sec. 3. Corrupt practices of public officers.In addition to acts alike, which constitute graft or corrupt practices, would be frustrated if
or omissions of public officers already penalized by existing law, the the death of a public officer would bar the prosecution of a private person
following shall constitute corrupt practices of any public officer and are who conspired with such public officer in violating the Anti-Graft Law.
hereby declared to be unlawful: x x x x (g) Entering, on behalf of the
Government, into any contract or transaction manifestly and grossly Same; Same; Same; It is settled that the absence or presence of
disadvantageous to the same, whether or not the public officer profited conspiracy is factual in nature and involves evidentiary matters.It is
or will profit thereby. The elements of the above provision are: (1) that settled that the absence or presence of conspiracy is factual in nature
the accused is a public officer; (2) that he entered into a contract or and involves evidentiary matters. Hence, the allegation of conspiracy
transaction on behalf of the government; and (3) that such contract or against respondent is better left ventilated before the trial court during
transaction is grossly and manifestly disadvantageous to the trial, where respondent can adduce evidence to prove or disprove its
government. presence.

Same; Same; Conspiracy; Private persons, when acting in conspiracy Remedial Law; Criminal Procedure; Jurisdiction; The rule is well settled
with public officers, may be indicted and, if found guilty, held liable for that the act of an accused in posting bail or in filing motions seeking
the pertinent offenses under Section 3 of Republic Act (R.A.) 3019, in affirmative relief is tantamount to submission of his person to the
consonance with the avowed policy of the anti-graft law to repress jurisdiction of the court.Respondent should be reminded that prior to
certain acts of public officers and private persons alike constituting graft this Courts ruling in G.R. No. 168919, he already posted bail for his
or corrupt practices act or which may lead thereto.At the outset, it provisional liberty. In fact, he even filed a Motion for Consolidation in
bears to reiterate the settled rule that private persons, when acting in Criminal Case No. 28091. The Court agrees with petitioners contention
conspiracy with public officers, may be indicted and, if found guilty, held that private respondents act of posting bail and filing his Motion for
liable for the pertinent offenses under Section 3 of R.A. 3019, in Consolidation vests the SB with jurisdiction over his person. The rule is
consonance with the avowed policy of the anti-graft law to repress well settled that the act of an accused in posting bail or in filing motions
certain acts of public officers and private persons alike constituting graft seeking affirmative relief is tantamount to submission of his person to
or corrupt practices act or which may lead thereto. This is the controlling the jurisdiction of the court. Thus, it has been held that: When a
doctrine as enunciated by this Court in previous cases, among which is defendant in a criminal case is brought before a competent court by
a case involving herein private respondent. virtue of a warrant of arrest or otherwise, in order to avoid the submission
of his body to the jurisdiction of the court he must raise the question of
Same; Same; Same; It is true that by reason of Secretary Enriles death, the courts jurisdiction over his person at the very earliest opportunity. If
there is no longer any public officer with whom respondent can be he gives bail, demurs to the complaint or files any dilatory plea or pleads
charged for violation of Republic Act (R.A.) 3019. It does not mean, to the merits, he thereby gives the court jurisdiction over his person.
however, that the allegation of conspiracy between them can no longer (State ex rel. John Brown vs. Fitzgerald, 51 Minn., 534)
be proved or that their alleged conspiracy is already expunged.It is
true that by reason of Secretary Enriles death, there is no longer any Same; Same; Same; Courts; Sandiganbayan;The Sandiganbayan is a
public officer with whom respondent can be charged for violation of R.A. special criminal court which has exclusive original jurisdiction in all cases
3019. It does not mean, however, that the allegation of conspiracy involving violations of Republic Act (R.A.) 3019 committed by certain
between them can no longer be proved or that their alleged conspiracy public officers, as enumerated in Presidential Decree (P.D.) 1606 as
is already expunged. The only thing extinguished by the death of amended by R.A. 8249. This includes private individuals who are
Secretary Enrile is his criminal liability. His death did not extinguish the charged as co-principals, accomplices or accessories with the said
crime nor did it remove the basis of the charge of conspiracy between public officers.The SB is a special criminal court which has exclusive
him and private respondent. Stated differently, the death of Secretary original jurisdiction in all cases involving violations of R.A. 3019
Enrile does not mean that there was no public officer who allegedly committed by certain public officers, as enumerated in P.D. 1606 as
violated Section 3(g) of R.A. 3019. In fact, the Office of the Deputy amended by R.A. 8249. This includes private individuals who are
Ombudsman for Luzon found probable cause to indict Secretary Enrile charged as co-principals, accomplices or accesso-
for infringement of Sections 3(e) and (g) of R.A. 3019. Were it not for his
death, he should have been charged. ries with the said public officers. In the instant case, respondent is being
charged for violation of Section 3(g) of R.A. 3019, in conspiracy with
Same; Same; Same; The requirement before a private person may be then Secretary Enrile. Ideally, under the law, both respondent and
indicted for violation of Section 3(g) of Republic Act (R.A.) 3019, among Secretary Enrile should have been charged before and tried jointly by
others, is that such private person must be alleged to have acted in the Sandiganbayan. However, by reason of the death of the latter, this
conspiracy with a public officer; If circumstances exist where the public can no longer be done. Nonetheless, for reasons already discussed, it
officer may no longer be charged in court, as in the present case where does not follow that the SB is already divested of its jurisdiction over the
the public officer has already died, the private person may be indicted person of and the case involving herein respondent. To rule otherwise
alone.The requirement before a private person may be indicted for would mean that the power of a court to decide a case would no longer
violation of Section 3(g) of R.A. 3019, among others, is that such private be based on the law defining its jurisdiction but on other factors, such as
person must be alleged to have acted in conspiracy with a public officer. the death of one of the alleged offenders. People vs. Go, 719 SCRA
The law, however, does not require that such person must, in all 704, G.R. No. 168539 March 25, 2014
instances, be indicted together with the public officer. If circumstances
exist where the public officer may no longer be charged in court, as in City of Manila vs. Grecia-Cuerdo, 715 SCRA 182, G.R. No. 175723
the present case where the public officer has already died, the private February 4, 2014
person may be indicted alone.
Remedial Law; Civil Procedure; Moot and Academic; Well-entrenched
Same; Same; Same; The death of one of two or more conspirators does is the rule that where the issues have become moot and academic, there
not prevent the conviction of the survivor or survivors.Indeed, it is not is no justiciable controversy, thereby rendering the resolution of the
necessary to join all alleged co-conspirators in an indictment for same of no practical use or value.It clearly appears that the issues
conspiracy. If two or more persons enter into a conspiracy, any act done raised in the present petition, which merely involve the incident on the
by any of them pursuant to the agreement is, in contemplation of law, preliminary injunction issued by the RTC, have already become moot
the act of each of them and they are jointly responsible therefor. This and academic considering that the trial court, in its decision on the merits
means that everything said, written or done by any of the conspirators in the main case, has already ruled in favor of respondents and that the
in execution or furtherance of the common purpose is deemed to have same decision is now final and executory. Well-entrenched is the rule
been said, done, or written by each of them and it makes no difference that where the issues have become moot and academic, there is no
whether the actual actor is alive or dead, sane or insane at the time of justiciable controversy, thereby rendering the resolution of the same of
trial. The death of one of two or more conspirators does not prevent the no practical use or value.
conviction of the survivor or survivors. Thus, this Court held that: x x x
[a] conspiracy is in its nature a joint offense. One person cannot conspire Same; Same; Appeals; It is settled that in cases where an assailed
alone. The crime depends upon the joint act or intent of two or more judgment or order is considered final, the remedy of the aggrieved party
persons. Yet, it does not follow that one person cannot be convicted of is appeal.Petitioners availed of the wrong remedy when they filed the
conspiracy. So long as the acquittal or death of a co-conspirator does instant special civil action for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of
Court in assailing the Resolutions of the CA which dismissed their
petition filed with the said court and their motion for reconsideration of expressly gives these tribunals such power. It must be observed,
such dismissal. There is no dispute that the assailed Resolutions of the however, that with the exception of Garcia v. Sandiganbayan, 237 SCRA
CA are in the nature of a final order as they disposed of the petition 552 (1994), these rulings pertain not to regular courts but to tribunals
completely. It is settled that in cases where an assailed judgment or exercising quasi-judicial powers. With respect to the Sandiganbayan,
order is considered final, the remedy of the aggrieved party is appeal. Republic Act No. 8249 now provides that the special criminal court has
Hence, in the instant case, petitioner should have filed a petition for exclusive original jurisdiction over petitions for the issuance of the writs
review on certiorari under Rule 45, which is a continuation of the of mandamus, prohibition, certiorari, habeas corpus, injunctions, and
appellate process over the original case. other ancillary writs and processes in aid of its appellate jurisdiction.

Same; Same; Same; Petition for Review on Certiorari; In accordance Same; Same; Same; Same; Same; Same; While there is no express
with the liberal spirit pervading the Rules of Court and in the interest of grant of the power to issue writ of certiorari, with respect to the Court of
substantial justice, the Supreme Court has, before, treated a petition for Tax Appeals (CTA), Section 1, Article VIII of the 1987 Constitution
certiorari as a petition for review on certiorari, particularly (1) if the provides, nonetheless, that judicial power shall be vested in one
petition for certiorari was filed within the reglementary period within Supreme Court and in such lower courts as may be established by law
which to file a petition for review on certiorari; (2) when errors of and that judicial power includes the duty of the courts of justice to settle
judgment are averred; and (3) when there is sufficient reason to justify actual controversies involving rights which are legally demandable and
the relaxation of the rules.In accordance with the liberal spirit enforceable, and to determine whether or not there has been a grave
pervading the Rules of Court and in the interest of substantial justice, abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the
this Court has, before, treated a petition for certiorari as a petition for part of any branch or instrumentality of the Government.Section 5 (1),
review on certiorari, particularly (1) if the petition for certiorari was filed Article VIII of the 1987 Constitution grants power to the Supreme Court,
within the reglementary period within which to file a petition for review in the exercise of its original jurisdiction, to issue writs of certiorari,
on certiorari; (2) when errors of judgment are averred; and (3) when prohibition and mandamus. With respect to the Court of Appeals,
there is sufficient reason to justify the relaxation of the rules. Considering Section 9 (1) of Batas Pambansa Blg. 129 (BP 129) gives the appellate
that the present petition was filed within the 15-day reglementary period court, also in the exercise of its original jurisdiction, the power to issue,
for filing a petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45, that an error of among others, a writ of certiorari, whether or not in aid of its appellate
judgment is averred, and because of the significance of the issue on jurisdiction. As to Regional Trial Courts, the power to issue a writ of
jurisdiction, the Court deems it proper and justified to relax the rules and, certiorari, in the exercise of their original jurisdiction, is provided under
thus, treat the instant petition for certiorari as a petition for review on Section 21 of BP 129. The foregoing notwithstanding, while there is no
certiorari. express grant of such power, with respect to the CTA, Section 1, Article
VIII of the 1987 Constitution provides, nonetheless, that judicial power
Same; Same; Courts; Court of Tax Appeals; On March 30, 2004, the shall be vested in one Supreme Court and in such lower courts as may
Legislature passed into law Republic Act No. 9282 (RA 9282) amending be established by law and that judicial power includes the duty of the
RA 1125 by expanding the jurisdiction of the Court of Tax Appeals courts of justice to settle actual controversies involving rights which are
(CTA), enlarging its membership and elevating its rank to the level of a legally demandable and enforceable, and to determine whether or not
collegiate court with special jurisdiction.On June 16, 1954, Congress there has been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess
enacted Republic Act No. 1125 (RA 1125) creating the CTA and giving of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or instrumentality of the
to the said court jurisdiction over the following: (1) Decisions of the Government.
Collector of Internal Revenue in cases involving disputed assessments,
refunds of internal revenue taxes, fees or other charges, penalties Same; Same; Same; Same; Same; Same; It can be fairly interpreted
imposed in relation thereto, or other matters arising under the National that the power of the Court of Tax Appeals (CTA) includes that of
Internal Revenue Code or other law or part of law administered by the determining whether or not there has been grave abuse of discretion
Bureau of Internal Revenue; (2) Decisions of the Commissioner of amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of the RTC in
Customs in cases involving liability issuing an interlocutory order in cases falling within the exclusive
appellate jurisdiction of the tax court.It can be fairly interpreted that
for customs duties, fees or other money charges; seizure, detention or the power of the CTA includes that of determining whether or not there
release of property affected fines, forfeitures or other penalties imposed has been grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of
in relation thereto; or other matters arising under the Customs Law or jurisdiction on the part of the RTC in issuing an interlocutory order in
other law or part of law administered by the Bureau of Customs; and (3) cases falling within the exclusive appellate jurisdiction of the tax court.
Decisions of provincial or City Boards of Assessment Appeals in cases It, thus, follows that the CTA, by constitutional mandate, is vested with
involving the assessment and taxation of real property or other matters jurisdiction to issue writs of certiorari in these cases. Indeed, in order for
arising under the Assessment Law, including rules and regulations any appellate court to effectively exercise its appellate jurisdiction, it
relative thereto. On March 30, 2004, the Legislature passed into law must have the authority to issue, among others, a writ of certiorari. In
Republic Act No. 9282 (RA 9282) amending RA 1125 by expanding the transferring exclusive jurisdiction over appealed tax cases to the CTA, it
jurisdiction of the CTA, enlarging its membership and elevating its rank can reasonably be assumed that the law intended to transfer also such
to the level of a collegiate court with special jurisdiction. power as is deemed necessary, if not indispensable, in aid of such
appellate jurisdiction. There is no perceivable reason why the transfer
Same; Same; Same; Same; Jurisdiction; Certiorari; While it is clearly should only be considered as partial, not total.
stated that the Court of Tax Appeals (CTA) has exclusive appellate
jurisdiction over decisions, orders or resolutions of the Regional Trial Same; Same; Same; Same; Same; Same; The Supreme Court has held
Courts (RTCs) in local tax cases originally decided or resolved by them as early as the case of J.M. Tuason & Co., Inc. v. Jaramillo, et al., 9
in the exercise of their original or appellate jurisdiction, there is no SCRA 189 (1963), that if a case may be appealed to a particular court
categorical statement under RA 1125 as well as the amendatory RA or judicial tribunal or body, then said court or judicial tribunal or body has
9282, which provides that the Court of Tax Appeals has jurisdiction over jurisdiction to issue the extraordinary writ of certiorari, in aid of its
petitions for certiorari assailing interlocutory orders issued by the appellate jurisdiction.Consistent with the above pronouncement, this
Regional Trial Court in local tax cases filed before it; The prevailing Court has held as early as the case of J.M. Tuason & Co., Inc. v.
doctrine is that the authority to issue writs of certiorari involves the Jaramillo, et al., 9 SCRA 189 (1963), that if a case may be appealed to
exercise of original jurisdiction which must be expressly conferred by the a particular court or judicial tribunal or body, then said court or judicial
Constitution or by law and cannot be implied from the mere existence of tribunal or body has jurisdiction to issue the extraordinary writ of
appellate jurisdiction.While it is clearly stated that the CTA has certiorari, in aid of its appellate jurisdiction. This principle was affirmed
exclusive appellate jurisdiction over decisions, orders or resolutions of in De Jesus v. Court of Appeals, 212 SCRA 823 (1992), where the Court
the RTCs in local tax cases originally decided or resolved by them in the stated that a court may issue a writ of certiorari in aid of its appellate
exercise of their original or appellate jurisdiction, there is no categorical jurisdiction if said court has jurisdiction to review, by appeal or writ of
statement under RA 1125 as well as the amendatory RA 9282, which error, the final orders or decisions of the lower court. The rulings in J.M.
provides that the CTA has jurisdiction over petitions for certiorari Tuason and De Jesus were reiterated in the more recent cases of
assailing interlocutory orders issued by the RTC in local tax cases filed Galang, Jr. v. Geronimo, 643 SCRA 631 (2011) and Bulilis v. Nuez, 655
before it. The prevailing doctrine is that the authority to issue writs of SCRA 241 (2011). Furthermore, Section 6, Rule 135 of the present
certiorari involves the exercise of original jurisdiction which must be Rules of Court provides that when by law, jurisdiction is conferred on a
expressly conferred by the Constitution or by law and cannot be implied court or judicial officer, all auxiliary writs, processes and other means
from the mere existence of appellate jurisdiction. Thus, in the cases of necessary to carry it into effect may be employed by such court or officer.
Pimentel v. COMELEC, 101 SCRA 769 (1980), Garcia v. De Jesus, 206
SCRA 779 (1992), Veloria v. COMELEC, 211 SCRA 907 (1992); Same; Same; Same; Same; Same; Same; The Supreme Court agrees
Department of Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board v. Lubrica, 457 with the ruling of the Court of Appeals (CA) that since appellate
SCRA 800 (2005), and Garcia v. Sandiganbayan, 237 SCRA 552 jurisdiction over private respondents complaint for tax refund is vested
in the Court of Tax Appeals (CTA), it follows that a petition for certiorari
185 seeking nullification of an interlocutory order issued in the said case
should, likewise, be filed with the same court.If this Court were to
(1994), this Court has ruled against the jurisdiction of courts or tribunals sustain petitioners contention that jurisdiction over their certiorari
over petitions for certiorari on the ground that there is no law which
petition lies with the CA, this Court would be confirming the exercise by 2015 Supreme Court Decisions
two judicial bodies, the CA and the CTA, of jurisdiction over basically the
same subject matter precisely the split jurisdiction situation which Saint Mary Crusade to Alleviate Poverty of Brethren Foundation,
is anathema to the orderly administration of justice. The Court cannot Inc. vs. Riel, 745 SCRA 60, G.R. No. 176508 January 12, 2015
accept that such was the legislative motive, especially considering that
the law expressly confers on the CTA, the tribunal with the specialized Remedial Law; Special Civil Actions; Certiorari; Conditions for the Grant
competence over tax and tariff matters, the role of judicial review over of Certiorari.Certiorari, being an extraordinary remedy, is granted only
local tax cases without mention of any other court that may exercise under the conditions defined by the Rules of Court. The conditions are
such power. Thus, the Court agrees with the ruling of the CA that since that: (1) the respondent tribunal, board or officer exercising judicial or
appellate jurisdiction over private respondents complaint for tax refund quasi-judicial functions has acted without or in excess of its or his
is vested in the CTA, it follows that a petition for certiorari seeking jurisdiction, or with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or
nullification of an interlocutory order issued in the said case should, excess of jurisdiction; and (2) there is no appeal, or any plain, speedy,
likewise, be filed with the same court. To rule otherwise would lead to and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law. Without jurisdiction
an absurd situation where one court decides an appeal in the main case means that the court acted with absolute lack of authority; there is
while another court rules on an incident in the very same case. excess of jurisdiction when the court transcends its power or acts without
any statutory authority; grave abuse of discretion implies such
Same; Same; Same; Same; Same; Same; The supervisory power or capricious and whimsical exercise of judgment as to be equivalent to
jurisdiction of the Court of Tax Appeals (CTA) to issue a writ of certiorari lack or excess of jurisdiction; in other words, power is exercised in an
in aid of its appellate jurisdiction should coexist with, and be a arbitrary or despotic manner by reason of passion, prejudice, or personal
complement to, its appellate jurisdiction to review, by appeal, the final hostility; and such exercise is so patent or so gross as to amount to an
orders and decisions of the Regional Trial Court (RTC), in order to have evasion of a positive duty or to a virtual refusal either to perform the duty
complete supervision over the acts of the latter.It would be somewhat enjoined or to act at all in contemplation of law.
incongruent with the pronounced judicial abhorrence to split jurisdiction
to conclude that the intention of the law is to divide the authority over a Civil Law; Land Registration; Reconstitution of Titles; Regional Trial
local tax case filed with the RTC by giving to the CA or this Court Courts; Jurisdiction; Under Section 12 of Republic Act (RA) No. 26, the
jurisdiction to issue a writ of certiorari against interlocutory orders of the law on the judicial reconstitution of a Torrens title, the Regional Trial
RTC but giving to the CTA the jurisdiction over the appeal from the Court (RTC) (as the successor of the Court of First Instance [CFI]) had
decision of the trial court in the same case. It is more in consonance with the original and exclusive jurisdiction to act on the petition for judicial
logic and legal soundness to conclude that the grant of appellate reconstitution of title.The petition for certiorari and mandamus did not
jurisdiction to the CTA over tax cases filed in and decided by the RTC show how respondent Judge could have been guilty of lacking or
carries with it the power to issue a writ of certiorari when necessary in exceeding his jurisdiction, or could have gravely abused his discretion
aid of such appellate jurisdiction. The supervisory power or jurisdiction amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction. Under Section 12 of Republic
of the CTA to issue a writ of certiorari in aid of its appellate jurisdiction Act No. 26, the law on the judicial reconstitution of a Torrens title, the
should coexist with, and be a complement to, its appellate jurisdiction to Regional Trial Court (as the successor of the Court of First Instance) had
review, by appeal, the final orders and decisions of the RTC, in order to the original and exclusive jurisdiction to act on the petition for judicial
have complete supervision over the acts of the latter. reconstitution of title. Hence, the RTC neither lacked nor exceeded its
authority in acting on and dismissing the petition. Nor did respondent
Same; Same; Same; Same; Same; Same; A grant of appellate Judge gravely abuse his discretion amounting to lack or excess of
jurisdiction implies that there is included in it the power necessary to jurisdiction considering that the petition for reconstitution involved land
exercise it effectively, to make all orders that will preserve the subject of already registered in the name of the UP, as confirmed by the LRA.
the action, and to give effect to the final determination of the appeal. Instead, it would have been contrary to law had respondent Judge dealt
A grant of appellate jurisdiction implies that there is included in it the with and granted the petition for judicial reconstitution of title of the
power necessary to exercise it effectively, to make all orders that will petitioner.
preserve the subject of the action, and to give effect to the final
determination of the appeal. It carries with it the power to protect that Remedial Law; Special Civil Actions; Courts; Hierarchy of Courts; The
jurisdiction and to make the decisions of the court thereunder effective. filing of the instant special civil action directly in this Court is in disregard
The court, in aid of its appellate jurisdiction, has authority to control all of the doctrine of hierarchy of courts. Although the Supreme Court (SC)
auxiliary and incidental matters necessary to the efficient and proper has concurrent jurisdiction with the Court of Appeals (CA) in issuing the
exercise of that jurisdiction. For this purpose, it may, when necessary, writ of certiorari, direct resort is allowed only when there are special,
prohibit or restrain the performance of any act which might interfere with extraordinary or compelling reasons that justify the same.The filing of
the proper exercise of its rightful jurisdiction in cases pending before it. the instant special civil action directly in this Court is in disregard of the
doctrine of hierarchy of courts. Although the Court has concurrent
Same; Same; Same; Same; Same; Same; The Supreme Court has held jurisdiction with the Court of Appeals in issuing the writ of certiorari,
that while a court may be expressly granted the incidental powers direct resort is allowed only when there are special, extraordinary or
necessary to effectuate its jurisdiction, a grant of jurisdiction, in the compelling reasons that justify the same. The Court enforces the
absence of prohibitive legislation, implies the necessary and usual observance of the hierarchy of courts in order to free itself from
incidental powers essential to effectuate it, and, subject to existing laws unnecessary, frivolous and impertinent cases and thus afford time for it
and constitutional provisions, every regularly constituted court has to deal with the more fundamental and more essential tasks that the
power to do all things that are reasonably necessary for the Constitution has assigned to it. There being no special, important or
administration of justice within the scope of its jurisdiction and for the compelling reason, the petitioner thereby violated the observance of the
enforcement of its judgments and mandates.Indeed, courts possess hierarchy of courts, warranting the dismissal of the petition for certiorari.
certain inherent powers which may be said to be implied from a general
grant of jurisdiction, in addition to those expressly conferred on them. Civil Law; Property; Ownership; The University of the Philippines (UPs)
These inherent powers are such powers as are necessary for the registered ownership of the land comprising its campus has long been
ordinary and efficient exercise of jurisdiction; or are essential to the settled under the law.The land covered by the petition for judicial
existence, dignity and functions of the courts, as well as to the due reconstitution related to the same area that formed the UP campus. The
administration of justice; or are directly appropriate, convenient and UPs registered ownership of the land comprising its campus has long
suitable to the execution of their granted powers; and include the power been settled under the law. Accordingly, the dismissal of the petition for
to maintain the courts jurisdiction and render it effective in behalf of the judicial reconstitution by respondent Judge only safeguarded the UPs
litigants. Thus, this Court has held that while a court may be expressly registered ownership. In so doing, respondent Judge actually heeded
granted the incidental powers necessary to effectuate its jurisdiction, a the clear warnings to the lower courts and the Law Profession in general
grant of jurisdiction, in the absence of prohibitive legislation, implies the against mounting or abetting any attack against such ownership. One
necessary and usual incidental powers essential to effectuate it, and, such warning was that in Caero v. University of the Philippines, 437
subject to existing laws and constitutional provisions, every regularly SCRA 630 (2004), as follows: We strongly admonish courts and
constituted court has power to do all things that are reasonably unscrupulous lawyers to stop entertaining spurious cases seeking
necessary for the administration of justice within the scope of its further to assail respondent UPs title. These cases open the dissolute
jurisdiction and for the enforcement of its judgments and mandates. avenues of graft to unscrupulous land-grabbers who prey like vultures
Hence, demands, matters or questions ancillary or incidental to, or upon the campus of respondent UP. By such actions, they wittingly or
growing out of, the main action, and coming within the above principles, unwittingly aid the hucksters who want to earn a quick buck by
may be taken cognizance of by the court and determined, since such misleading the gullible to buy the Philippine counterpart of the proverbial
jurisdiction is in aid of its authority over the principal matter, even though London Bridge. It is well past time for courts and lawyers to cease
the court may thus be called on to consider and decide matters which, wasting their time and resources on these worthless causes and take
as original causes of action, would not be within its cognizance. City of judicial notice of the fact that respondent UPs title had already been
Manila vs. Grecia-Cuerdo, 715 SCRA 182, G.R. No. 175723 February validated countless times by this Court. Any ruling deviating from such
4, 2014 doctrine is to be viewed as a deliberate intent to sabotage the rule of law
and will no longer be countenanced. Saint Mary Crusade to Alleviate
Poverty of Brethren Foundation, Inc. vs. Riel, 745 SCRA 60, G.R. No.
176508 January 12, 2015
DANILO A. DUNCANO, petitioner, vs. HON. SANDIGANBAYAN (2nd RTC in issuing an interlocutory order in cases falling within the CTAs
DIVISION), and HON. OFFICE OF THE SPECIAL PROSECUTOR, exclusive appellate jurisdiction.
respondents.
Same; Same; Same; Same; It is settled that it is the Court of Tax
Remedial Law; Civil Procedure; Courts; Sandiganbayan; The creation Appeals (CTA) which has exclusive jurisdiction over a special civil action
of the Sandiganbayan was mandated by Section 5, Article XIII of the for certiorari assailing an interlocutory order issued by the Regional Trial
1973 Constitution.The creation of the Sandiganbayan was mandated Court (RTC) in a local tax case.It is settled that it is the CTA which has
by Section 5, Article XIII of the 1973 Constitution. By virtue of the powers exclusive jurisdiction over a special civil action for certiorari assailing an
vested in him by the Constitution and pursuant to Proclamation No. interlocutory order issued by the RTC in a local tax case.
1081, dated September 21, 1972, former President Ferdinand E.
Marcos issued P.D. No. 1486. The decree was later amended by P.D. Interlocutory Orders; Certiorari; Local Taxation; Court of Tax Appeals;
No. 1606, Section 20 of Batas Pambansa Blg. 129, P.D. No. 1860, and Jurisdiction; A certiorari petition questioning an interlocutory order
P.D. No. 1861. With the advent of the 1987 Constitution, the special issued in a local tax case falls under the jurisdiction of the Court of Tax
court was retained as provided for in Section 4, Article XI thereof. Aside Appeals (CTA).No doubt, the injunction case before the RTC is a local
from Executive Order Nos. 14 and 14-a, and R.A. 7080, which expanded tax case. And as earlier discussed, a certiorari petition questioning an
the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan, P.D. No. 1606 was further interlocutory order issued in a local tax case falls under the jurisdiction
modified by R.A. No. 7975, R.A. No. 8249, and just this year, R.A. No. of the CTA. Thus, the CA correctly dismissed the Petition for Certiorari
10660. before it for lack of jurisdiction. CE Casecnan Water and Energy
Company, Inc. vs. Province of Nueva Ecija, 759 SCRA 180, G.R. No.
Same; Same; Same; Same; Jurisdiction; Those that fall within the 196278 June 17, 2015
original jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan are: (1) officials of the
executive branch with Salary Grade 27 or higher, and (2) officials JOSE J. FERRER, JR., petitioner, vs. CITY MAYOR HERBERT
specifically enumerated in Section 4(A)(1)(a) to (g), regardless of their BAUTISTA, CITY COUNCIL OF QUEZON CITY, CITY TREASURER
salary grades.Those that fall within the original jurisdiction of the OF QUEZON CITY, and CITY ASSESSOR OF QUEZON CITY,
Sandiganbayan are: (1) officials of the executive branch with Salary respondents.
Grade 27 or higher, and (2) officials specifically enumerated in Section
4(A)(1)(a) to (g), regardless of their salary grades. While the first part of Taxation; Local Taxation; Local Government Code of 1991; The Local
Section 4(A) covers only officials of the executive branch with Salary Government Code of 1991 (LGC) is specific in providing that the power
Grade 27 and higher, its second part specifically includes other to impose a tax, fee, or charge, or to generate revenue shall be
executive officials whose positions may not be of Salary Grade 27 and exercised by the sanggunian of the local government unit concerned
higher but who are by express provision of law placed under the through an appropriate ordinance.For a writ of certiorari to issue, the
jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan. following requisites must concur: (1) it must be directed against a
tribunal, board, or officer exercising judicial or quasi-judicial functions;
Same; Same; Same; Same; The legislative intent is to allow the (2) the tribunal, board, or officer must have acted without or in excess of
Sandiganbayan to devote its time and expertise to big-time cases jurisdiction or with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess
involving the so-called big fishes in the government rather than those of jurisdiction; and (3) there is no appeal or any plain, speedy, and
accused who are of limited means who stand trial for petty crimes, the adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law. The enactment by the
so-called small fry, which, in turn, helps the court decongest its Quezon City Council of the assailed ordinances was done in the
dockets.The legislative intent is to allow the Sandiganbayan to devote exercise of its legislative, not judicial or quasi-judicial, function. Under
its time and expertise to big-time cases involving the so-called big Republic Act (R.A.) No. 7160, or the Local Government Code of 1991
fishes in the government rather than those accused who are of limited (LGC), local legislative power shall be exercised by the Sangguniang
means who stand trial for petty crimes, the so-called small fry, which, Panlungsod for the city. Said law likewise is specific in providing that the
in turn, helps the court decongest its dockets. Yet, those that are power to impose a tax, fee, or charge, or to generate revenue shall be
classified as Salary Grade 26 and below may still fall within the exercised by the sanggunian of the local government unit concerned
jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan, provided that they hold the positions through an appropriate ordinance.
enumerated by the law. In this category, it is the position held, not the
salary grade, which determines the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan. Remedial Law; Civil Procedure; Appeals; Supreme Court; The judicial
The specific inclusion constitutes an exception to the general policy is that the Supreme Court (SC) will entertain direct resort to it
qualification relating to officials of the executive branch occupying the when the redress sought cannot be obtained in the proper courts or
positions of regional director and higher, otherwise classified as Grade when exceptional and compelling circumstances warrant availment of a
27 and higher, of the Compensation and Position Classification Act of remedy within and calling for the exercise of the SCs primary
1989. Duncano vs. Sandiganbayan (2nd Division), 762 SCRA 663, jurisdiction.Also, although the instant petition is styled as a petition for
G.R. No. 191894 July 15, 2015 certiorari, it essentially seeks to declare the unconstitutionality and
illegality of the questioned ordinances. It, thus, partakes of the nature of
CE Casecnan Water and Energy Company, Inc. vs. Province of a petition for declaratory relief over which this Court has only appellate,
Nueva Ecija, 759 SCRA 180, G.R. No. 196278 June 17, 2015 not original, jurisdiction. Despite these, a petition for declaratory relief
may be treated as one for prohibition or mandamus, over which We
Remedial Law; Civil Procedure; Jurisdiction; Jurisdiction over the exercise original jurisdiction, in cases with far-reaching implications or
subject matter is required for a court to act on any controversy. one which raises transcendental issues or questions that need to be
Jurisdiction over the subject matter is required for a court to act on any resolved for the public good. The judicial policy is that this Court will
controversy. It is conferred by law and not by the consent or waiver upon entertain direct resort to it when the redress sought cannot be obtained
a court. As such, if a court lacks jurisdiction over an action, it cannot in the proper courts or when exceptional and compelling circumstances
decide the case on the merits and must dismiss it. warrant availment of a remedy within and calling for the exercise of Our
primary jurisdiction.
Same; Same; Same; Court of Tax Appeals; This expanded jurisdiction
of the Court of Tax Appeals (CTA) includes its exclusive appellate Same; Special Civil Actions; Prohibition; In a petition for prohibition
jurisdiction to review by appeal the decisions, orders or resolutions of against any tribunal, corporation, board, or person whether exercising
the Regional Trial Court (RTC) in local tax cases originally decided or judicial, quasi-judicial, or ministerial functions who has acted without
resolved by the RTC in the exercise of its original or appellate or in excess of jurisdiction or with grave abuse of discretion, the
jurisdiction.With respect to the CTA, its jurisdiction was expanded and petitioner prays that judgment be rendered, commanding the
its rank elevated to that of a collegiate court with special jurisdiction by respondents to desist from further proceeding in the action or matter
virtue of Republic Act No. 9282. This expanded jurisdiction of the CTA specified in the petition.Section 2, Rule 65 of the Rules of Court lay
includes its exclusive appellate jurisdiction to review by appeal the down under what circumstances a petition for prohibition may be filed:
decisions, orders or resolutions of the RTC in local tax cases originally SEC. 2. Petition for prohibition.When the proceedings of any tribunal,
decided or resolved by the RTC in the exercise of its original or appellate corporation, board, officer or person, whether exercising judicial, quasi-
jurisdiction. judicial or ministerial functions, are without or in excess of its or his
jurisdiction, or with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or
Same; Same; Same; Same; In the recent case of City of Manila v. excess of jurisdiction, and there is no appeal or any other plain, speedy,
Grecia-Cuerdo, 715 SCRA 182 (2014), the Supreme Court (SC) ruled and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law, a person aggrieved
that the Court of Tax Appeals (CTA) likewise has the jurisdiction to issue thereby may file a verified petition in the proper court, alleging the facts
writs of certiorari or to determine whether there has been grave abuse with certainty and praying that judgment be rendered commanding the
of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of the respondent to desist from further proceeding in the action or matter
Regional Trial Court (RTC) in issuing an interlocutory order in cases specified therein, or otherwise granting such incidental reliefs as law and
falling within the CTAs exclusive appellate jurisdiction.In the recent justice may require. In a petition for prohibition against any tribunal,
case of City of Manila v. Grecia-Cuerdo, 715 SCRA 182 (2014), the corporation, board, or person whether exercising judicial, quasi-
Court ruled that the CTA likewise has the jurisdiction to issue writs of judicial, or ministerial functions who has acted without or in excess of
certiorari or to determine whether there has been grave abuse of jurisdiction or with grave abuse of discretion, the petitioner prays that
discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of the judgment be rendered, commanding the respondents to desist from
further proceeding in the action or matter specified in the petition. In this second case albeit the latter was not impleaded in the first case.
case, petitioners primary intention is to prevent respondents from Moreover, the fact that the positions of the parties are reversed, i.e., the
implementing Ordinance Nos. SP-2095 and SP-2235. Obviously, the plaintiffs in the first case are the defendants in the second case or vice
writ being sought is in the nature of a prohibition, commanding versa, does not negate the identity of parties for purposes of determining
desistance. whether the case is dismissible on the ground of litis pendentia.

Administrative Law; Ministerial Functions; Words and Phrases; A Same; Same; Ordinances; An ordinance, as in every law, is presumed
ministerial function is one that an officer or tribunal performs in the valid.Respondents correctly argued that an ordinance, as in every
context of a given set of facts, in a prescribed manner and without regard law, is presumed valid. An ordinance carries with it the presumption of
for the exercise of his or its own judgment, upon the propriety or validity. The question of reasonableness though is open to judicial
impropriety of the act done.We consider that respondents City Mayor, inquiry. Much should be left thus to the discretion of municipal
City Treasurer, and City Assessor are performing ministerial functions. authorities. Courts will go slow in writing off an ordinance as
A ministerial function is one that an officer or tribunal performs in the unreasonable unless the amount is so excessive as to be prohibitive,
context of a given set of facts, in a prescribed manner and without regard arbitrary, unreasonable, oppressive, or confiscatory. A rule which has
for the exercise of his or its own judgment, upon the propriety or gained acceptance is that factors relevant to such an inquiry are the
impropriety of the act done. Respondent Mayor, as chief executive of municipal conditions as a whole and the nature of the business made
the city government, exercises such powers and performs such duties subject to imposition.
and functions as provided for by the LGC and other laws. Particularly,
he has the duty to ensure that all taxes and other revenues of the city Same; Same; Same; Requisites of a Valid Ordinance.For an
are collected, and that city funds are applied to the payment of expenses ordinance to be valid though, it must not only be within the corporate
and settlement of obligations of the city, in accordance with law or powers of the LGU to enact and must be passed according to the
ordinance. On the other hand, under the LGC, all local taxes, fees, and procedure prescribed by law, it should also conform to the following
charges shall be collected by the provincial, city, municipal, or barangay requirements: (1) not contrary to the Constitution or any statute; (2) not
treasurer, or their duly-authorized deputies, while the assessor shall unfair or oppressive; (3) not partial or discriminatory; (4) not prohibit but
take charge, among others, of ensuring that all laws and policies may regulate trade; (5) general and consistent with public policy; and (6)
governing the appraisal and assessment of real properties for taxation not unreasonable. As jurisprudence indicates, the tests are divided into
purposes are properly executed. the formal (i.e., whether the ordinance was enacted within the corporate
powers of the LGU and whether it was passed in accordance with the
Remedial Law; Civil Procedure; Appeals; The petition at bar is of procedure prescribed by law), and the substantive (i.e., involving
transcendental importance warranting a relaxation of the doctrine of inherent merit, like the conformity of the ordinance with the limitations
hierarchy of courts.Petitioner has adduced special and important under the Constitution and the statutes, as well as with the requirements
reasons as to why direct recourse to Us should be allowed. Aside from of fairness and reason, and its consistency with public policy).
presenting a novel question of law, this case calls for immediate
resolution since the challenged ordinances adversely affect the property Local Government Units; Municipal Corporations; Municipal
interests of all paying constituents of Quezon City. As well, this petition corporations are bodies politic and corporate, created not only as local
serves as a test case for the guidance of other local government units units of local self-government, but as governmental agencies of the
(LGUs). Indeed, the petition at bar is of transcendental importance state.LGUs must be reminded that they merely form part of the whole;
warranting a relaxation of the doctrine of hierarchy of courts. In Social that the policy of ensuring the autonomy of local governments was never
Justice Society (SJS) Officers, et al. v. Lim, 742 SCRA 1 (2014), the intended by the drafters of the 1987 Constitution to create an imperium
Court cited the case of Senator Jaworski v. Phil. Amusement & Gaming in imperio and install an intra-sovereign political subdivision independent
Corp., 419 SCRA 317 (2004), where We ratiocinated: Granting of a single sovereign state. [M]unicipal corporations are bodies politic
arguendo that the present action cannot be properly treated as a petition and corporate, created not only as local units of local self-government,
for prohibition, the transcendental importance of the issues involved in but as governmental agencies of the state. The legislature, by
this case warrants that we set aside the technical defects and take establishing a municipal corporation, does not divest the State of any of
primary jurisdiction over the petition at bar. x x x This is in accordance its sovereignty; absolve itself from its right and duty to administer the
with the well-entrenched principle that rules of procedure are not public affairs of the entire state; or divest itself of any power over the
inflexible tools designed to hinder or delay, but to facilitate and promote inhabitants of the district which it possesses before the charter was
the administration of justice. Their strict and rigid application, which granted.
would result in technicalities that tend to frustrate, rather than promote
substantial justice, must always be eschewed. Same; Delegation of Powers; Legislative Power; Local Government
Units (LGUs) are able to legislate only by virtue of a valid delegation of
Same; Same; Locus Standi; A party challenging the constitutionality of legislative power from the national legislature; they are mere agents
a law, act, or statute must show not only that the law is invalid, but also vested with what is called the power of subordinate legislation.LGUs
that he has sustained or is in immediate, or imminent danger of are able to legislate only by virtue of a valid delegation of legislative
sustaining some direct injury as a result of its enforcement, and not power from the national legislature; they are mere agents vested with
merely that he suffers thereby in some indefinite way.Legal what is called the power of subordinate legislation. Congress enacted
standing or locus standi calls for more than just a generalized the LGC as the implementing law for the delegation to the various LGUs
grievance. The concept has been defined as a personal and substantial of the States great powers, namely: the police power, the power of
interest in the case such that the party has sustained or will sustain direct eminent domain, and the power of taxation. The LGC was fashioned to
injury as a result of the governmental act that is being challenged. The delineate the specific parameters and limitations to be complied with by
gist of the question of standing is whether a party alleges such personal each LGU in the exercise of these delegated powers with the view of
stake in the outcome of the controversy as to assure that concrete making each LGU a fully functioning subdivision of the State subject to
adverseness which sharpens the presentation of issues upon which the the constitutional and statutory limitations.
court depends for illumination of difficult constitutional questions. A party
challenging the constitutionality of a law, act, or statute must show not Same; Same; Same; The fundamental law did not intend the delegation
only that the law is invalid, but also that he has sustained or is in to be absolute and unconditional; the constitutional objective obviously
immediate, or imminent danger of sustaining some direct injury as a is to ensure that, while the local government units (LGUs) are being
result of its enforcement, and not merely that he suffers thereby in some strengthened and made more autonomous, the legislature must still see
indefinite way. It must be shown that he has been, or is about to be, to it that (a) the taxpayer will not be overburdened or saddled with
denied some right or privilege to which he is lawfully entitled, or that he multiple and unreasonable impositions; (b) each local government unit
is about to be subjected to some burdens or penalties by reason of the will have its fair share of available resources; (c) the resources of the
statute complained of. national government will not be unduly disturbed; and (d) local taxation
will be fair, uniform, and just.Indeed, LGUs have no inherent power to
Same; Same; Litis Pendentia; Words and Phrases; Litis pendentia is a tax except to the extent that such power might be delegated to them
Latin term which literally means a pending suit and is variously referred either by the basic law or by the statute. Under the now prevailing
to in some decisions as lis pendens and auter action pendant.Litis Constitution, where there is neither a grant nor a prohibition by statute,
pendentia is a Latin term which literally means a pending suit and is the tax power must be deemed to exist although Congress may provide
variously referred to in some decisions as lis pendens and auter action statutory limitations and guidelines. The basic rationale for the current
pendant. While it is normally connected with the control which the court rule is to safeguard the viability and self-sufficiency of local government
has on a property involved in a suit during the continuance proceedings, units by directly granting them general and broad tax powers.
it is more interposed as a ground for the dismissal of a civil action Nevertheless, the fundamental law did not intend the delegation to be
pending in court. absolute and unconditional; the constitutional objective obviously is to
ensure that, while the local government units are being strengthened
Same; Same; Same; There is substantial identity of the parties when and made more autonomous, the legislature must still see to it that (a)
there is a community of interest between a party in the first case and a the taxpayer will not be overburdened or saddled with multiple and
party in the second case albeit the latter was not impleaded in the first unreasonable impositions; (b) each local government unit will have its
case.There is substantial identity of the parties when there is a fair share of available resources; (c) the resources of the national
community of interest between a party in the first case and a party in the
government will not be unduly disturbed; and (d) local taxation will be Constitutional Law; Equal Protection of the Laws; Equal protection
fair, uniform, and just. requires that all persons or things similarly situated should be treated
alike, both as to rights conferred and responsibilities imposed.Equal
Same; Local Taxation; Subject to the provisions of the Local protection requires that all persons or things similarly situated should be
Government Code (LGC) and consistent with the basic policy of local treated alike, both as to rights conferred and responsibilities imposed.
autonomy, every Local Government Unit (LGU) is now empowered and The guarantee means that no person or class of persons shall be denied
authorized to create its own sources of revenue and to levy taxes, fees, the same protection of laws which is enjoyed by other persons or other
and charges which shall accrue exclusively to the LGU as well as to classes in like circumstances. Similar subjects should not be treated
apply its resources and assets for productive, developmental, or welfare differently so as to give undue favor to some and unjustly discriminate
purposes, in the exercise or furtherance of their governmental or against others. The law may, therefore, treat and regulate one class
proprietary powers and functions.Subject to the provisions of the LGC differently from another class provided there are real and substantial
and consistent with the basic policy of local autonomy, every LGU is now differences to distinguish one class from another. An ordinance based
empowered and authorized to create its own sources of revenue and to on reasonable classification does not violate the constitutional guaranty
levy taxes, fees, and charges which shall accrue exclusively to the local of the equal protection of the law. The requirements for a valid and
government unit as well as to apply its resources and assets for reasonable classification are: (1) it must rest on substantial distinctions;
productive, developmental, or welfare purposes, in the exercise or (2) it must be germane to the purpose of the law; (3) it must not be limited
furtherance of their governmental or proprietary powers and functions. to existing conditions only; and (4) it must apply equally to all members
of the same class.
Constitutional Law; The 1987 Constitution explicitly espouses the view
that the use of property bears a social function and that all economic Taxation; The public purpose of a tax may legally exist even if the motive
agents shall contribute to the common good.Contrary to petitioners which impelled the legislature to impose the tax was to favor one over
submission, the 1987 Constitution explicitly espouses the view that the another.For the purpose of undertaking a comprehensive and
use of property bears a social function and that all economic agents shall continuing urban development and housing program, the disparities
contribute to the common good. The Court already recognized this in between a real property owner and an informal settler as two distinct
Social Justice Society (SJS) v. Atienza, Jr., 545 SCRA 92 (2008): classes are too obvious and need not be discussed at length. The
Property has not only an individual function, insofar as it has to provide differentiation conforms to the practical dictates of justice and equity and
for the needs of the owner, but also a social function insofar as it has to is not discriminatory within the meaning of the Constitution. Notably, the
provide for the needs of the other members of society. The principle is public purpose of a tax may legally exist even if the motive which
this: Police power proceeds from the principle that every holder of impelled the legislature to impose the tax was to favor one over another.
property, however absolute and unqualified may be his title, holds it It is inherent in the power to tax that a State is free to select the subjects
under the implied liability that his use of it shall not be injurious to the of taxation. Inequities which result from a singling out of one particular
equal enjoyment of others having an equal right to the enjoyment of their class for taxation or exemption infringe no constitutional limitation.
property, nor injurious to the right of the community. Rights of property,
like all other social and conventional rights, are subject to reasonable Police Power; The purposes and policy underpinnings of the police
limitations in their enjoyment as shall prevent them from being injurious, power to regulate the collection and disposal of solid waste are: (1) to
and to such reasonable restraints and regulations established by law as preserve and protect the public health and welfare as well as the
the legislature, under the governing and controlling power vested in environment by minimizing or eliminating a source of disease and
them by the constitution, may think necessary and expedient. preventing and abating nuisances; and (2) to defray costs and ensure
financial stability of the system for the benefit of the entire community,
Same; Police Power; Property rights of individuals may be subjected to with the sum of all charges marshalled and designed to pay for the
restraints and burdens in order to fulfill the objectives of the government expense of a systemic refuse disposal scheme.In the United States of
in the exercise of police power.Police power, which flows from the America, it has been held that the authority of a municipality to regulate
recognition that salus populi est suprema lex (the welfare of the people garbage falls within its police power to protect public health, safety, and
is the supreme law), is the plenary power vested in the legislature to welfare. As opined, the purposes and policy underpinnings of the police
make statutes and ordinances to promote the health, morals, peace, power to regulate the collection and disposal of solid waste are: (1) to
education, good order or safety and general welfare of the people. preserve and protect the public health and welfare as well as the
Property rights of individuals may be subjected to restraints and burdens environment by minimizing or eliminating a source of disease and
in order to fulfill the objectives of the government in the exercise of police preventing and abating nuisances; and (2) to defray costs and ensure
power. In this jurisdiction, it is well-entrenched that taxation may be financial stability of the system for the benefit of the entire community,
made the implement of the states police power. with the sum of all charges marshalled and designed to pay for the
expense of a systemic refuse disposal scheme.
Housing; Socialized Housing; Urban Development and Housing Act;
Under the Urban Development and Housing Act (UDHA), socialized Local Government Units; A municipality has an affirmative duty to
housing shall be the primary strategy in providing shelter for the supervise and control the collection of garbage within its corporate
underprivileged and homeless.Under the UDHA, socialized housing limits.A municipality has an affirmative duty to supervise and control
shall be the primary strategy in providing shelter for the underprivileged the collection of garbage within its corporate limits. The LGC specifically
and homeless. The LGU or the NHA, in cooperation with the private assigns the responsibility of regulation and oversight of solid waste to
developers and concerned agencies, shall provide socialized housing or local governing bodies because the Legislature determined that such
resettlement areas with basic services and facilities such as potable bodies were in the best position to develop efficient waste management
water, power and electricity, and an adequate power distribution system, programs. To impose on local governments the responsibility to regulate
sewerage facilities, and an efficient and adequate solid waste disposal solid waste but not grant them the authority necessary to fulfill the same
system; and access to primary roads and transportation facilities. The would lead to an absurd result.
provisions for health, education, communications, security, recreation,
relief and welfare shall also be planned and be given priority for Constitutional Law; Delegation of Powers; The general welfare clause is
implementation by the LGU and concerned agencies in cooperation with the delegation in statutory form of the police power of the State to Local
the private sector and the beneficiaries themselves. Government Units (LGUs).The general welfare clause is the
delegation in statutory form of the police power of the State to LGUs.
Taxation; The tax is not a pure exercise of taxing power or merely to The provisions related thereto are liberally interpreted to give more
raise revenue; it is levied with a regulatory purpose.Clearly, the SHT powers to LGUs in accelerating economic development and upgrading
charged by the Quezon City Government is a tax which is within its the quality of life for the people in the community. Wide discretion is
power to impose. Aside from the specific authority vested by Section 43 vested on the legislative authority to determine not only what the
of the UDHA, cities are allowed to exercise such other powers and interests of the public require but also what measures are necessary for
discharge such other functions and responsibilities as are necessary, the protection of such interests since the Sanggunian is in the best
appropriate, or incidental to efficient and effective provision of the basic position to determine the needs of its constituents.
services and facilities which include, among others, programs and
projects for low-cost housing and other mass dwellings. The collections Local Government Units; Principle of Decentralization; One (1) of the
made accrue to its socialized housing programs and projects. The tax is operative principles of decentralization is that, subject to the provisions
not a pure exercise of taxing power or merely to raise revenue; it is levied of the Local Government Code (LGC) and national policies, the Local
with a regulatory purpose. The levy is primarily in the exercise of the Government Units (LGUs) shall share with the national government the
police power for the general welfare of the entire city. It is greatly imbued responsibility in the management and maintenance of ecological
with public interest. Removing slum areas in Quezon City is not only balance within their territorial jurisdiction.One of the operative
beneficial to the underprivileged and homeless constituents but principles of decentralization is that, subject to the provisions of the LGC
advantageous to the real property owners as well. The situation will and national policies, the LGUs shall share with the national government
improve the value of their property investments, fully enjoying the same the responsibility in the management and maintenance of ecological
in view of an orderly, secure, and safe community, and will enhance the balance within their territorial jurisdiction. In this regard, cities are
quality of life of the poor, making them law-abiding constituents and allowed to exercise such other powers and discharge such other
better consumers of business products. functions and responsibilities as are necessary, appropriate, or
incidental to efficient and effective provision of the basic services and
facilities which include, among others, solid waste disposal system or shall be responsible for the collection, segregation, and recycling of
environmental management system and services or facilities related to biodegradable, recyclable, compostable and reusable wastes. For the
general hygiene and sanitation. R.A. No. 9003, or the Ecological Solid purpose, a Materials Recovery Facility (MRF), which shall receive
Waste Management Act of 2000, affirms this authority as it expresses biodegradable wastes for composting and mixed nonbiodegradable
that the LGUs shall be primarily responsible for the implementation and wastes for final segregation, reuse and recycling, is to be established in
enforcement of its provisions within their respective jurisdictions while every barangay or cluster of barangays.
establishing a cooperative effort among the national government, other
local government units, nongovernment organizations, and the private Same; According to Republic Act (RA) No. 9003, a Local Government
sector. Unit (LGU), through its local solid waste management (SWM) board, is
mandated by law to prepare a ten (10)-year SWM plan consistent with
Fees and Charges; Fees and Charges, Distinguished.Necessarily, the National Solid Waste Management Framework (nswmf).According
LGUs are statutorily sanctioned to impose and collect such reasonable to R.A. No. 9003, an LGU, through its local solid waste management
fees and charges for services rendered. Charges refer to pecuniary board, is mandated by law to prepare a 10-year solid waste
liability, as rents or fees against persons or property, while Fee means management plan consistent with the National Solid Waste
a charge fixed by law or ordinance for the regulation or inspection of a Management Framework. The plan shall be for the reuse, recycling and
business or activity. The fee imposed for garbage collections under composting of wastes generated in its jurisdiction; ensure the efficient
Ordinance No. SP-2235 is a charge fixed for the regulation of an activity. management of solid waste generated within its jurisdiction; and place
primary emphasis on implementation of all feasible reuse, recycling, and
Same; Garbage Fee; The garbage fee is not a tax.Certainly, as composting programs while identifying the amount of landfill and
opposed to petitioners opinion, the garbage fee is not a tax. In Smart transformation capacity that will be needed for solid waste which cannot
Communications, Inc. v. Municipality of Malvar, Batangas, 716 SCRA be reused, recycled, or composted.
677 (2014), the Court had the occasion to distinguish these two
concepts: In Progressive Development Corporation v. Quezon City, the Garbage Fee; It is clear that the authority of a municipality or city to
Court declared that if the generating of revenue is the primary purpose impose fees is limited to the collection and transport of nonrecyclable
and regulation is merely incidental, the imposition is a tax; but if and special wastes and for the disposal of these into the sanitary landfill.
regulation is the primary purpose, the fact that incidentally revenue is Barangays, on the other hand, have the authority to impose fees for the
also obtained does not make the imposition a tax. In Victorias Milling collection and segregation of biodegradable, compostable and reusable
Co., Inc. v. Municipality of Victorias, the Court reiterated that the purpose wastes from households, commerce, other sources of domestic wastes,
and effect of the imposition determine whether it is a tax or a fee, and and for the use of barangay Materials Recovery Facility (MRFs).It is
that the lack of any standards for such imposition gives the presumption clear that the authority of a municipality or city to impose fees is limited
that the same is a tax. We accordingly say that the designation given by to the collection and transport of nonrecyclable and special wastes and
the municipal authorities does not decide whether the imposition is for the disposal of these into the sanitary landfill. Barangays, on the other
properly a license tax or a license fee. The determining factors are the hand, have the authority to impose fees for the collection and
purpose and effect of the imposition as may be apparent from the segregation of biodegradable, compostable and reusable wastes from
provisions of the ordinance. Thus, [w]hen no police inspection, households, commerce, other sources of domestic wastes, and for the
supervision, or regulation is provided, nor any standard set for the use of barangay MRFs. This is but consistent with Section 10 of R.A.
applicant to establish, or that he agrees to attain or maintain, but any No. 9003 directing that segregation and collection of biodegradable,
and all persons engaged in the business designated, without compostable and reusable wastes shall be conducted at the barangay
qualification or hindrance, may come, and a license on payment of the level, while the collection of nonrecyclable materials and special wastes
stipulated sum will issue, to do business, subject to no prescribed rule shall be the responsibility of the municipality or city.
of conduct and under no guardian eye, but according to the unrestrained
judgment or fancy of the applicant and licensee, the presumption is Same; Constitutional Law; Equal Protection of the Laws; For the
strong that the power of taxation, and not the police power, is being purpose of garbage collection, there is, in fact, no substantial distinction
exercised. between an occupant of a lot, on one hand, and an occupant of a unit in
a condominium, socialized housing project or apartment, on the other
Same; Same; Taxation; Double Taxation; Not being a tax, the contention hand.For the purpose of garbage collection, there is, in fact, no
that the garbage fee under Ordinance No. SP-2235 violates the rule on substantial distinction between an occupant of a lot, on one hand, and
double taxation must necessarily fail.In Georgia, U.S.A., assessments an occupant of a unit in a condominium, socialized housing project or
for garbage collection services have been consistently treated as a fee apartment, on the other hand. Most likely, garbage output produced by
and not a tax. In another U.S. case, the garbage fee was considered as these types of occupants is uniform and does not vary to a large degree;
a service charge rather than a tax as it was actually a fee for a service thus, a similar schedule of fee is both just and equitable. The rates being
given by the city which had previously been provided at no cost to its charged by the ordinance are unjust and inequitable: a resident of a 200
citizens. Hence, not being a tax, the contention that the garbage fee sq. m. unit in a condominium or socialized housing project has to pay
under Ordinance No. SP-2235 violates the rule on double taxation must twice the amount than a resident of a lot similar in size; unlike unit
necessarily fail. Nonetheless, although a special charge, tax, or occupants, all occupants of a lot with an area of 200 sq. m. and less
assessment may be imposed by a municipal corporation, it must be have to pay a fixed rate of Php100.00; and the same amount of garbage
reasonably commensurate to the cost of providing the garbage service. fee is imposed regardless of whether the resident is from a condominium
To pass judicial scrutiny, a regulatory fee must not produce revenue in or from a socialized housing project. Ferrer, Jr. vs. Bautista, 760 SCRA
excess of the cost of the regulation because such fee will be construed 652, G.R. No. 210551 June 30, 2015
as an illegal tax when the revenue generated by the regulation exceeds
the cost of the regulation. Lomondot vs. Balindong, 762 SCRA 494, G.R. No. 192463 July 13,
2015
Solid Waste Management; Under Republic Act (RA) No. 9003, it is the
declared policy of the State to adopt a systematic, comprehensive and Remedial Law; Civil Procedure; Courts; Sharia Appellate Courts; The
ecological solid waste management program which shall, among others, Sharia Appellate Court (SAC) shall exercise appellate jurisdiction over
ensure the proper segregation, collection, transport, storage, treatment petitions for certiorari of decisions of the Sharia District Courts
and disposal of solid waste through the formulation and adoption of the (SDCs).Under Republic Act No. 9054, An Act to Strengthen and
best environmental practices in ecological waste management.Under Expand the Organic Act for the Autonomous Region in Muslim
R.A. No. 9003, it is the declared policy of the State to adopt a systematic, Mindanao, amending for the purpose Republic Act No. 6734, entitled,
comprehensive and ecological solid waste management program which An Act Providing for the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, as
shall, among others, ensure the proper segregation, collection, amended, the Sharia Appellate Court shall exercise appellate
transport, storage, treatment and disposal of solid waste through the jurisdiction over petitions for certiorari of decisions of the Sharia District
formulation and adoption of the best environmental practices in Courts.
ecological waste management. The law provides that segregation and
collection of solid waste shall be conducted at the barangay level, Same; Same; Judgments; Execution of Judgments; It is settled that
specifically for biodegradable, compostable and reusable wastes, while there are recognized exceptions to the execution as a matter of right of
the collection of nonrecyclable materials and special wastes shall be the a final and immutable judgment, and one (1) of which is a supervening
responsibility of the municipality or city. Mandatory segregation of solid event.It is settled that there are recognized exceptions to the
wastes shall primarily be conducted at the source, to include household, execution as a matter of right of a final and immutable judgment, and
institutional, industrial, commercial and agricultural sources. one of which is a supervening event. In Abrigo v. Flores, 698 SCRA 559
Segregation at source refers to a solid waste management practice of (2013), we said: We deem it highly relevant to point out that a
separating, at the point of origin, different materials found in solid waste supervening event is an exception to the execution as a matter of right
in order to promote recycling and reuse of resources and to reduce the of a final and immutable judgment rule, only if it directly affects the matter
volume of waste for collection and disposal. Based on Rule XVII of the already litigated and settled, or substantially changes the rights or
Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) relations of the parties therein as to render the execution unjust,
Administrative Order No. 2001-34, Series of 2001, which is the impossible or inequitable. A supervening event consists of facts that
Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of R.A. No. 9003, barangays transpire after the judgment became final and executory, or of new
circumstances that develop after the judgment attained finality, including
matters that the parties were not aware of prior to or during the trial form of pleadings, and noncompliance therewith does not necessarily
because such matters were not yet in existence at that time. In that render the pleading fatally defective.
event, the interested party may properly seek the stay of execution or
the quashal of the writ of execution, or he may move the court to modify Same; Civil Procedure; Jurisdiction; Words and Phrases; Jurisdiction is
or alter the judgment in order to harmonize it with justice and the defined as the power and authority of a court to hear, try, and decide a
supervening event. The party who alleges a supervening event to stay case.Jurisdiction is defined as the power and authority of a court to
the execution should necessarily establish the facts by competent hear, try, and decide a case. Jurisdiction over the subject matter is
evidence; otherwise, it would become all too easy to frustrate the conferred by the Constitution or by law and is determined by the
conclusive effects of a final and immutable judgment. In this case, the allegations of the complaint and the relief prayed for, regardless of
matter of whether respondents houses intruded petitioners land is the whether the plaintiff is entitled to recovery upon all or some of the claims
issue in the recovery of possession complaint filed by petitioners in the prayed for therein. Jurisdiction is not acquired by agreement or consent
SDC which was already ruled upon, thus cannot be considered a of the parties, and neither does it depend upon the defenses raised in
supervening event that would stay the execution of a final and immutable the answer or in a motion to dismiss.
judgment. To allow a survey as ordered by the SDC to determine
whether respondents houses are within petitioners land is tantamount Same; Same; Same; Sandiganbayan; Under Section 4(C) of
to modifying a decision which had already attained finality. Presidential Decree (PD) No. 1606, as amended by Republic Act (RA)
No. 7975 and RA No. 8249, the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan
Same; Same; Same; Same; A judgment, if left unexecuted, would be included suits for recovery of ill-gotten wealth and related cases.
nothing but an empty victory for the prevailing party.We find that the Under Section 4(C) of P.D. No. 1606, as amended by R.A. No. 7975 and
SDC committed grave abuse of discretion when it denied petitioners R.A. No. 8249, the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan included suits for
motion for the issuance a writ of demolition. The issuance of a special recovery of ill-gotten wealth and related cases: (C) Civil and criminal
order of demolition would certainly be the necessary and logical cases filed pursuant to and in connection with Executive Order Nos. 1,
consequence of the execution of the final and immutable decision. 2, 14 and 14-A, issued in 1986. x x x x The Sandiganbayan shall have
Section 10(d) of Rule 39, Rules of Court provides: Section 10. Execution exclusive original jurisdiction over petitions for the issuance of the writs
of judgments for specific act.x x x x (d) Removal of improvements on of mandamus, prohibition, certiorari, habeas corpus, injunctions, and
property subject of execution.When the property subject of the other ancillary writs and processes in aid of its appellate jurisdiction and
execution contains improvements constructed or planted by the over petitions of similar nature, including quo warranto, arising or that
judgment obligor or his agent, the officer shall not destroy, demolish or may arise in cases filed or which may be filed under Executive Order
remove said improvements except upon special order of the court, Nos. 1, 2, 14 and 14-A, issued in 1986: Provided, That the jurisdiction
issued upon motion of the judgment obligee after due hearing and after over these petitions shall not be exclusive of the Supreme Court.
the former has failed to remove the same within a reasonable time fixed
by the court. Notably, this case was decided in 2005 and its execution Same; Same; Res Judicata; The doctrine of res judicata provides that a
has already been delayed for years now. It is almost trite to say that final judgment on the merits rendered by a court of competent
execution is the fruit and end of the suit and is the life of law. A judgment, jurisdiction is conclusive as to the rights of the parties and their privies
if left unexecuted, would be nothing but an empty victory for the and constitutes an absolute bar to subsequent actions involving the
prevailing party. Lomondot vs. Balindong, 762 SCRA 494, G.R. No. same claim, demand, or cause of action.The doctrine of res judicata
192463 July 13, 2015 provides that a final judgment on the merits rendered by a court of
competent jurisdiction is conclusive as to the rights of the parties and
Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) vs. their privies and constitutes an absolute bar to subsequent
Dumayas, 765 SCRA 524, G.R. No. 210901 August 11, 2015 actions involving the same claim, demand, or cause of action. The
following requisites must obtain for the application of the doctrine: (1)
Pleadings and Practice; Certification of Non-forum Shopping; the former judgment or order must be final; (2) it must be a judgment or
Verification; Under Rule 46, Section 3, paragraph 3 of the 1997 Rules of order on the merits, that is, it was rendered after a consideration of the
Civil Procedure, as amended, petitions for certiorari must be verified and evidence or stipulations submitted by the parties at the trial of the case;
accompanied by a sworn certification of non-forum shopping.Under (3) it must have been rendered by a court having jurisdiction over the
Rule 46, Section 3, paragraph 3 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, subject matter and the parties; and (4) there must be, between the first
as amended, petitions for certiorari must be verified and accompanied and second actions, identity of parties, of subject matter and of cause of
by a sworn certification of non-forum shopping. A pleading is verified by action. This requisite is satisfied if the two actions are substantially
an affidavit that the affiant has read the pleading and that the allegations between the same parties.
therein are true and correct of his personal knowledge or based on
authentic records. The party need not sign the verification. A partys Same; Same; Same; The doctrine of res judicata has two (2) aspects.
representative, lawyer or any person who personally knows the truth of The first, known as bar by prior judgment, or estoppel by verdict, is
the facts alleged in the pleading may sign the verification. the effect of a judgment as a bar to the prosecution of a second action
upon the same claim, demand or cause of action. The second, known
Same; Same; A certification of non-forum shopping is a certification as conclusiveness of judgment, otherwise known as the rule of auter
under oath by the plaintiff or principal party in the complaint or other action pendent, ordains that issues actually and directly resolved in a
initiatory pleading asserting a claim for relief or in a sworn certification former suit cannot again be raised in any future case between the same
annexed thereto and simultaneously filed therewith.A certification of parties involving a different cause of action.The doctrine of res
non-forum shopping is a certification under oath by the plaintiff or judicata has two aspects. The first, known as bar by prior judgment, or
principal party in the complaint or other initiatory pleading asserting a estoppel by verdict, is the effect of a judgment as a bar to the
claim for relief or in a sworn certification annexed thereto and prosecution of a second action upon the same claim, demand or cause
simultaneously filed therewith, (a) that he has not theretofore of action. The second, known as conclusiveness of judgment,
commenced any action or filed any claim involving the same issues in otherwise known as the rule of auter action pendent, ordains that issues
any court, tribunal or quasi-judicial agency and, to the best of his actually and directly resolved in a former suit cannot again be raised in
knowledge, no such other action or claim is pending therein; (b) if there any future case between the same parties involving a different cause of
is such other pending action or claim, a complete statement of the action. Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) vs.
present status thereof; and (c) if he should thereafter learn that the same Dumayas, 765 SCRA 524, G.R. No. 210901 August 11, 2015
or similar action or claim has been filed or is pending, he shall report that
fact within five (5) days therefrom to the court wherein his aforesaid
complaint or initiatory pleading has been filed.
REGULUS DEVELOPMENT, INC., petitioner, vs. ANTONIO DELA
Same; Same; Verification; It is obligatory that the one signing the CRUZ, respondent.
verification and certification against forum shopping on behalf of the
principal party or the other petitioners has the authority to do the Pleadings and Practice; Verification; A defect in the verification does not
same.It is obligatory that the one signing the verification and necessarily render the pleading fatally defective.The lack of notarial
certification against forum shopping on behalf of the principal party or seal in the notarial certificate is a defect in a document that is required
the other petitioners has the authority to do the same. We hold that the to be executed under oath. Nevertheless, a defect in the verification
signature of only one Commissioner of petitioner PCGG in the does not necessarily render the pleading fatally defective. The court may
verification and certification against forum shopping is not a fatal defect. order its submission or correction, or act on the pleading if the attending
circumstances are such that strict compliance with the Rule may be
Remedial Law; Verification; The purpose of requiring a verification is to dispensed with in order that the ends of justice may be served.
secure an assurance that the allegations in the petition are true and
correct, not merely speculative.It has been consistently held that the Same; Certification Against Forum Shopping; Noncompliance or a
verification of a pleading is only a formal, not a jurisdictional, defect in a certification against forum shopping, unlike in the case of a
requirement. The purpose of requiring a verification is to secure an verification, is generally not curable by its subsequent submission or
assurance that the allegations in the petition are true and correct, not correction, unless the covering Rule is relaxed on the ground of
merely speculative. This requirement is simply a condition affecting the substantial compliance or based on the presence of special
circumstances or compelling reasons.Noncompliance or a defect in
a certification against forum shopping, unlike in the case of a verification,
is generally not curable by its subsequent submission or correction,
unless the covering Rule is relaxed on the ground of substantial
compliance or based on the presence of special circumstances or
compelling reasons. Although the submission of a certificate against
forum shopping is deemed obligatory, it is not however jurisdictional.

Procedural Rules and Technicalities; Every party-litigant must be


afforded ample opportunity for the proper and just determination of his
case, free from the unacceptable plea of technicalities.The rule is that
courts should not be unduly strict on procedural lapses that do not really
impair the proper administration of justice. The higher objective of
procedural rules is to ensure that the substantive rights of the parties are
protected. Litigations should, as much as possible, be decided on the
merits and not on technicalities. Every party-litigant must be afforded
ample opportunity for the proper and just determination of his case, free
from the unacceptable plea of technicalities.

Moot and Academic; A case or issue is considered moot and academic


when it ceases to present a justiciable controversy because of
supervening events, rendering the adjudication of the case or the
resolution of the issue without any practical use or value.A case or
issue is considered moot and academic when it ceases to present a
justiciable controversy because of supervening events, rendering the
adjudication of the case or the resolution of the issue without any
practical use or value. Courts generally decline jurisdiction over such
case or dismiss it on the ground of mootness except when, among
others, the case is capable of repetition yet evades judicial review.

Remedial Law; Civil Procedure; Jurisdiction; It is well-settled in


jurisprudence that jurisdiction is vested by law and cannot be conferred
or waived by the parties.It is well-settled in jurisprudence that
jurisdiction is vested by law and cannot be conferred or waived by the
parties. Even on appeal and even if the reviewing parties did not raise
the issue of jurisdiction, the reviewing court is not precluded from ruling
that the lower court had no jurisdiction over the case. Even assuming
that the case has been rendered moot due to the respondents
redemption of the property, the CA may still entertain the jurisdictional
issue since it poses a situation capable of repetition yet evading judicial
review.

Same; Same; Same; Appellate Jurisdiction and Equity Jurisdiction,


Distinguished.The appellate jurisdiction of courts is conferred by law.
The appellate court acquires jurisdiction over the subject matter and
parties when an appeal is perfected. On the other hand, equity
jurisdiction aims to provide complete justice in cases where a court of
law is unable to adapt its judgments to the special circumstances of a
case because of a resulting legal inflexibility when the law is applied to
a given situation. The purpose of the exercise of equity jurisdiction,
among others, is to prevent unjust enrichment and to ensure restitution.
The RTC orders which allowed the withdrawal of the deposited funds for
the use and occupation of the subject units were issued pursuant to the
RTCs equity jurisdiction, as the CA held in the petition docketed as
C.A.--G.R. S.P. No. 81277. The RTCs equity jurisdiction is separate and
distinct from its appellate jurisdiction on the ejectment case. The RTC
could not have issued its orders in the exercise of its appellate
jurisdiction since there was nothing more to execute on the dismissed
ejectment case. As the RTC orders explained, the dismissal of the
ejectment case effectively and completely blotted out and cancelled the
complaint. Hence, the RTC orders were clearly issued in the exercise
of the RTCs equity jurisdiction, not on the basis of its appellate
jurisdiction.

Same; Jurisdiction; Execution of Judgments; Execution shall be applied


for in the court of origin, in accordance with Section 1, Rule 39 of the
Rules of Court.Execution shall be applied for in the court of origin, in
accordance with Section 1, Rule 39 of the Rules of Court. The court of
origin with respect to the assailed RTC orders is the court which issued
these orders. The RTC is the court with jurisdiction to order the
execution of the issued RTC orders. Hence, the petitioner correctly
moved for the issuance of the writ of execution and levy of the
respondents real property before the RTC as the court of origin.
Regulus Development, Inc. vs. Dela Cruz, 781 SCRA 607, G.R. No.
198172 January 25, 2016