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Prof. Joselito Guianan Chan's The Labor Code of the Philippines, Annotated Labor Standards & Social Legislation Volume I of a 3-Volume Series 2019 Edition (3rd Revised Edition)
 

 
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UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT JURISPRUDENCE
 

 
PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT JURISPRUDENCE
 

   
July-1958 Jurisprudence                 

  • G.R. No. L-11485 July 11, 1958 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. GREGORIO BACSA

    104 Phil 136

  • G.R. No. L-11567 July 17, 1958 - ARSENIO FERRERIA, ET AL. v. MANUELA IBARRA VDA. DE GONZALES, ET AL.

    104 Phil 143

  • G.R. No. L-11107 July 25, 1958 - LUIS SARABIA, ET AL. v. SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE AND NATURAL RESOURCES, ET AL.

    104 Phil 151

  • G.R. No. L-11769 July 25, 1958 - CONRADO POTENCIANO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

    104 Phil 156

  • G.R. No. L-11940 July 25, 1958 - SEVERINO DAGDAG, JR., ET AL. v. PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION, ET AL.

    104 Phil 162

  • G.R. No. L-12809 July 25, 1958 - SALVADOR LAURILLA v. REMEDIOS T. UICHANGCO, ET AL.

    104 Phil 171

  • G.R. No. L-9124 July 28, 1958 - BERNARDO HEBRON v. EULALIO D. REYES

    104 Phil 175

  • G.R. No. L-11752 July 30, 1958 - JOSE GATTOC v. HON. JUAN SARENAS

    104 Phil 221

  • G.R. No. L-6817 July 31, 1958 - ESTEFANIA R. VDA. DE PIROVANO v. DE LA RAMA STEAMSHIP CO. INC.

    104 Phil 228

  • G.R. No. L-9435 July 31, 1958 - FREDERICK L. WORCESTER v. RAMON LORENZANA

    104 Phil 234

  • G.R. No. L-10152 July 31, 1958 - MANILA RAILROAD COMPANY v. PANGASINAN TRANSPORTATION CO. INC.

    104 Phil 238

  • G.R. No. L-11251 July 31, 1958 - MAYON TRADING CO., INC. v. CO BUN KIM

    104 Phil 242

  • G.R. No. L-11920 July 31, 1958 - JUAN V. AGUSTIN v. PASTOR L. DE GUZMAN, ET AL.

    104 Phil 250

  • G.R. No. L-11986 July 31, 1958 - BERNARDO MANALANG, ET AL. v. ELVIRA TUASON DE RICKARDS, ET AL.

    104 Phil 254

  • G.R. No. L-12337 July 31, 1958 - JESUS AGUIRRE v. HIGINIO B. MACADAEG, ET AL.

    104 Phil 259

  • G.R. No. L-12379 July 31, 1958 - NUGUID & NUGUID v. VENANCIO CARIÑO

    104 Phil 263

  • G.R. No. L-12596 July 31, 1958 - JOSE L. GUEVARA v. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS

    104 Phil 268

  • G.R. No. L-13242 July 31, 1958 - LEON REFORMA v. MACARIO DE LUNA

    104 Phil 278

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    G.R. No. L-11769   July 25, 1958 - CONRADO POTENCIANO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL. <br /><br />104 Phil 156

     
    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    EN BANC

    [G.R. No. L-11769. July 25, 1958.]

    CONRADO POTENCIANO, substituted by DR. VICTOR R. POTENCIANO, Special Administrator, Petitioner, v. Hon. COURT OF APPEALS and ALBERTO BENIPAYO, Respondents.

    Gelasio L. Dimaano for Petitioner.

    Carlos J. Antiporda for Respondents.


    SYLLABUS


    1. PLEADING AND PRACTICE; JUDGMENT; MISTAKES THAT CAN BE CORRECTED AFTER JUDGMENT HAD BECOME FINAL; CASE AT BAR. — It is an elementary rule of procedure that after a decision, order or ruling has already become final, the court loses jurisdiction over the same and can no longer be subjected to any modification or alteration, except to correct misprints or clerical mistakes. In the case at bar, the Court of Appeals granted the motion filed by defendant-appellee for the dismissal of the case, because the subject matter involved is a money claim against the appellee who died already, and testate proceedings have been filed for the settlement of the estate of the deceased. However, the resolution of said Tribunal granting the same referred to the motion as one for the dismissal of the appeal, Held: The Court of Appeals could not have dismissed the appeal which was not asked for, because although a court may grant any relief allowed by law, said prerogative is delimited by the cardinal principle that it cannot grant anything more than what is prayed for by the movant. Under the circumstances of the instant case, the resolution in question should properly refer to the motion as one for the dismissal of the case, as prayed for, and not of the appeal alone. The inclusion of the word appeal is a clerical mistake on the part of the appellate court which could be corrected even after the resolution had become final.


    D E C I S I O N


    FELIX, J.:


    This is a petition for certiorari filed by Victor R. Potenciano, as Special Administrator of the Testate Estate of Conrado Potenciano, to review the resolution of the Court of Appeals of November 19, 1956, and December 10, 1956, in CA-G. R. No. 13314-R. The facts of the case are as follows:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Sometime prior to February, 1954, Alfredo D. Benipayo instituted a civil action with the Court of First Instance of Manila against Conrado R. Potenciano for recovery of a sum of money (Civil Case No. 7173). The claim was duly set for hearing and after the parties had adduced their respective evidence, the Court rendered judgment dated February 19, 1954, dismissing the complaint as well as the counterclaim of defendant. From said decision, plaintiff appealed to the Court of Appeals (CA-G. R. No. 13314-R).

    On August 6, 1954, and while the appeal was pending in said court, defendant Conrado Potenciano died and on November 10, 1954, Victor R. Potenciano, duly appointed special administrator of the estate of the deceased, filed a motion to dismiss contending that the claim therein was not one that survives the decedent and as pursuant to Section 5, Rule 87 of the Rules of Court, said claim must be filed in the testate proceeding, it was prayed that "the CASE be dismissed, without prejudice to the plaintiff-appellant filing his claim with the Probate Court." This motion which was not opposed by appellant Benipayo, was granted by the Court of Appeals in its order of November 13, 1954, which reads as follows:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "Upon consideration of the motion filed by counsel for defendant- appellee in case CA-G. R. No. 13314-R, Alberto Benipayo v. Conrado Potenciano, etc., for the dismissal of the appeal; and it appearing that the subject matter involved in the above-entitled case is a money claim against the appellee who died already, and testate proceedings has been filed for the settlement of the estate of the deceased; the Court RESOLVED to grant the motion."

    Accordingly, appellant Benipayo presented his claim in Special Proceedings No. 23875 of the Court of First Instance of Manila. The special administrator, however, filed an opposition to the introduction of evidence to support Benipayo’s claim against the estate on the ground that for the probate court to render decision based on such evidence would amount to a review of Civil Case No. 7173 which was already passed upon and decided by a court of equal jurisdiction.

    On July 19, 1956, the probate court issued a resolution holding that the claim of Alberto Benipayo could not be allowed in said proceedings for the reason that as the Court of Appeals dismissed the appeal in CA-G. R. No. 13314-R, it worked as if no appeal had been interposed and the judgment of the lower court in Civil Case No. 7173, therefore, could be enforced. Claimant Benipayo thus filed with the Court of Appeals a motion praying for a clarification of its order of November 13, 1954, as a result of which, said appellate court issued a resolution dated November 19, 1956, to this wise:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "Upon consideration of the motion filed by counsel for plaintiff- appellant in Case CA-G. R. No. 13314-R, entitled Alberto Benipayo v. Conrado Potenciano, substituted by Dr. Victor L. Potenciano, praying, on the grounds therein alleged, that this Court issue an order clarifying its resolution dated November 13, 1954, the Court RESOLVED to clarify said resolution in the sense that the Case is dismissed without prejudice to the plaintiff-appellant filing his claim with the probate court in the testate proceedings of the estate of the defendant-appellee. Let the resolution of this Court, dated November 13, 1954, stand thus corrected and clarified."

    As the motion for reconsideration of said resolution filed by defendant appellee was denied, Victor R. Potenciano, as special administrator of the estate of Conrado Potenciano, filed the instant petition for certiorari alleging that the appellate court acted without or in excess of its jurisdiction in issuing the resolution of November 19, 1956, as affirmed by its resolution of December 10, 1956.

    The records show that although defendant-appellee, in praying for the dismissal of the action then pending in the Court of Appeals, asks for the dismissal of the case, the resolution of said Tribunal granting the same referred to the motion as one for the dismissal of the appeal. The significance of these terms in the case at bar lies in the fact that the claim which herein respondent Benipayo seeks to present and establish in the probate court was already the subject matter of Civil Case No. 7173, which was dismissed by the Court of First Instance of Manila and subsequently appealed to the Court of Appeals. It is clear, therefore, that if what was dismissed by the Court of Appeals was the appeal, it would have the effect as if no such appeal has been interposed and the decision of the lower court in Civil Case No. 7173 had become enforceable; in which event, as correctly observed by the probate court, the presentation of the claim in the intestate proceedings would be improper.

    However, if the dismissal referred to the case, as it was prayed by the very Special Administrator Victor R. Potenciano (the petitioner herein), because Benipayo’s claim was not one that survived the decedent Potenciano and as pursuant to Section 5, Rule 87 of the Rules of Court, said claim must be filed in the testate proceeding — Special Proceedings No. 23875 of the Court of First Instance of Manila — (as Benipayo did following the procedure outlined by said administrator), such dismissal would then have the effect of nullifying the entire proceedings in Civil Case No. 7173 and the decision thereon would not be a bar to the filing of the claim with the probate court. For this reason when the attention of the Court of Appeals was called to this fact, it issued a resolution clarifying the matter in order that the phrase in question may properly read as a motion to dismiss the case.

    Now, considering that the aforesaid resolution correcting its order of November 13, 1954, was issued on November 19, 1956, the question presented by the instant action is whether or not the Court of Appeals has jurisdiction to effect such amendment long after said resolution has reached its finality.

    It is an elementary rule of procedure that after a decision, order or ruling has already become final, the court loses jurisdiction over the same and can no longer be subjected to any modification or alteration, except to correct misprints or clerical mistakes. In the case at bar, the Court of Appeals granted the motion filed by defendant-appellee for the dismissal of the case, because "the subject matter involved in the above-entitled case is a money claim against the appellee who died already, and testate proceeding has been filed for the settlement of the estate of the deceased." Said Tribunal, therefore, could not have dismissed the appeal which was not asked for, because although a court may grant any relief allowed by law, said prerogative is delimited by the cardinal principle that it cannot grant anything more than what is prayed for by the movant. Certainly, the relief to be dispensed cannot rise above its source. Under the circumstances of the instance case, the resolution in question should properly refer to the motion as one for the dismissal of the case, as prayed for, and not of the appeal alone. The inclusion of the word appeal is to Our mind a clerical mistake on the part of the appellate court which could be corrected even after it had become final. Indeed, there is no question that even during the lifetime of the deceased, Benipayo already ventilated his claim in court and although for some undisclosed reason it was dismissed, this fact does not militate against the merit of his aforesaid claim. To bar him on technical grounds from establishing whatever right he may have in the intestate proceedings after the case was thrown out of court upon the administrator’s own motion ostensibly to afford said claimant ample opportunity to present his claim in the probate court, would amount to a sacrifice of substantial rights of a litigant in the altar of sophisticated technicalities with impairment of the sacred principles of justice. This We would like to avoid as much as possible, for rigid specifications set by the human mind may at times be relaxed so as to give way to the sense of fair play as recognized by equity when the peculiar circumstances of a case so warrant. As this Court has aptly said:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "A litigation is not a game of technicalities in which one, more deeply schooled and skilled in the subtle art of movement and position, entraps and destroys the other" (Alonso v. Villamor, 16 Phil. 315).

    Wherefore, the resolutions of the Court of Appeals of November 19, 1956, and December 10, 1956, in CA-G. R. No. 13314-R, are affirmed and consequently, the writ of certiorari applied for is hereby denied. With costs against petitioner. It is so ordered.

    Paras, C.J., Bengzon, Padilla, Montemayor, Reyes, A., Bautista Angelo, Concepcion, Reyes, J.B.L. and Endencia, JJ., concur.

    G.R. No. L-11769   July 25, 1958 - CONRADO POTENCIANO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL. <br /><br />104 Phil 156


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