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UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT JURISPRUDENCE
 

 
PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT JURISPRUDENCE
 

   
October-1995 Jurisprudence                 

  • Adm. Case No. 3745 October 2, 1995 - CYNTHIA B. ROSACIA v. BENJAMIN B. BULALACAO

  • G.R. No. 94702 October 2, 1995 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CARLITO ACUÑA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 97143 October 2, 1995 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ARTURO FIGUEROA

  • Adm. Matter No. RTJ-95-1325 October 4, 1995 - PABLO ESPAÑOLA v. VINCENT EDEN C. PANAY

  • G.R. No. 102672 October 4, 1995 - PANAY ELECTRIC COMPANY, INC. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 118533 October 4, 1995 - PABLO R OLIVAREZ v. SANDIGANBAYAN

  • Adm. Case No. 4405 October 6, 1995 - BIENVENIDO SANCHEZ v. GALILEO P. BRION

  • Adm. Matter No. P-93-972 October 6, 1995 - OFFICE OF THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR v. MA. GORGONIA L. FLORES

  • Adm. Matter No. P-94-1006 October 6, 1995 - LERMA CHUA MARTINEZ v. ALDO MUÑOZ

  • G.R. No. 76490 October 6, 1995 - ISAGANI SABINIANO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 104604 & 111223 October 6, 1995 - NARCISO O. JAO, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 110634 October 6, 1995 - RUFINO O. ESLAO v. COMMISSION ON AUDIT

  • G.R. Nos. 111206-08 October 6, 1995 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CLAUDIO TEEHANKEE, JR.

  • G.R. No. 116183 October 6, 1995 - RICARDO T. GLORIA v. SALVADOR P. DE GUZMAN, JR.

  • G.R. No. 117092 October 6, 1995 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MARIO C. LAO

  • G.R. Nos. 118712 & 118745 October 6, 1995 - LAND BANK OF THE PHILIPPINES v. COURT OF APPEALS

  • G.R. No. 120319 October 6, 1995 - LUZON DEVELOPMENT BANK v. ASS’N. OF LUZON DEV’T. BANK EMPLOYEES, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. RTJ-93-1033 October 10, 1995 - MARIBETH CORDOVA, ET AL. v. EMMA C. LABAYEN

  • G.R. No. 117732 October 10, 1995 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JESUS C. SALILING

  • G.R. No. 93915 October 11, 1995 - AUGUSTO EVANGELISTA v. NLRC

  • G.R. No. 99049 October 11, 1995 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROGELIO A. BARQUILLA

  • G.R. No. 117009 October 11, 1995 - SECURITY BANK & TRUST COMPANY, ET AL., v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 118013-14 October 11, 1995 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DEMOSTHENES L. MAGALLANES, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 99263 October 12, 1995 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. PACIFICO R. LAZARO

  • G.R. Nos. 119987-88 October 12, 1995 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LORENZO B. VENERACION

  • Adm. Case No. 4380 October 13, 1995 - NICANOR GONZALES, ET AL., v. MIGUEL SABACAJAN

  • G.R. No. 103911 October 13, 1995 - EDGARDO E. LOPEZ v. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL

  • G.R. Nos. 109373 & 112991 October 13, 1995 - PACIFIC BANKING CORP. EMPLOYEES ORG., ET AL v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 110015 October 13, 1995 - MANILA BAY CLUB CORPORATION v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL

  • G.R. No. 107101 October 16, 1995 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MARLO S. RODICO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 108515 October 16, 1995 - LUIS BALANTAKBO, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 110053 October 16, 1995 - DEVELOPMENT BANK OF THE PHILIPPINES v. COURT OF APPEALS

  • G.R. No. 110544 October 17, 1995 - REYNALDO V. TUANDA, ET AL. v. SANDIGANBAYAN

  • G.R. No. 105649 October 18, 1995 - FLORO ENTERPRISES, INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 111634 October 18, 1995 - KOMATSU INDUSTRIES (PHIL.), INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116062 October 18, 1995 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BERTO BANTISIL, ET AL

  • G.R. No. 116462 October 18, 1995 - RENO FOODS, INC. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116910 October 18, 1995 - INTERNATIONAL CONTAINER TERMINAL SERVICES, INC., ET. AL. v. CA, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 114841-42 October 20, 1995 - ATLANTIC GULF AND PACIFIC CO. OF MANILA, INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 103915 October 23, 1995 - COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE v. TELEFUNKEN SEMICONDUCTOR PHIL., INC., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 106477 October 23, 1995 - GLOBE GENERAL SERVICES AND SECURITY AGENCY, ET AL. v. NLRC

  • G.R. No. 111837 October 24, 1995 - NEW YORK MARINE MANAGERS, INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 112969-70 October 24, 1995 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. GREGORIO PADRE-E

  • G.R. No. 118584 October 24, 1995 - AURELIA S. GOMEZ v. PRESIDING JUDGE, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 120823 October 24, 1995 - HADJI HAMID PATORAY v. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. MTJ-92-716 October 25, 1995 - MA. BLYTH B. ABADILLA v. JOSE C. TABILIRAN, JR.

  • Adm. Matter No. MTJ-93-892 October 25, 1995 - SAN MANUEL WOOD PRODUCTS, INC. v. RAMON B. TUPAS, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. MTJ-94-907 October 25, 1995 - BANK OF THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS, ET AL. v. JOSELITO SD. GENEROSO, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. MTJ-94-979 October 25, 1995 - EMERITO M. AGCAOILI v. ADOLFO B. MOLINA

  • Adm. Matter No. P-94-1081 October 25, 1995 - VIRGINIA E. BURGOS v. JOSEFINA R. AQUINO

  • G.R. No. 95573 October 25, 1995 - GSIS v. NATIONAL FOOD AUTHORITY, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 99058 October 25, 1995 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FELIXBERTO FRANCISCO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 102976 October 25, 1995 - IRON AND STEEL AUTHORITY v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 110815-16 October 25, 1995 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JOHNNY SINATAO

  • G.R. No. 111688 October 25, 1995 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. AGAPITO @ "FELITOY" BRIOL, ET. AL.

  • G.R. No. 112713 October 25, 1995 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JOSE TAMPARONG, JR.

  • G.R. No. 108115 October 27, 1995 - PHILIPPINE SOAP BOX DERBY, INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 117083 October 27, 1995 - LAZARO V. KAVINTA v. PRUDENCIO ALTRE CASTILLO, JR.

  • G.R. No. 112448 October 30, 1995 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. AGAPITO LOPEZ, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 115455, 115525, 115543, 115544, 115754, 115781, 115852, 115873 & 115931 October 30, 1995 - ARTURO M. TOLENTINO v. SECRETARY OF FINANCE, ET AL.

  •  





     
     

    G.R. No. 110015   October 13, 1995 - MANILA BAY CLUB CORPORATION v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL

     
    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    THIRD DIVISION

    [G.R. No. 110015. October 13, 1995.]

    MANILA BAY CLUB CORPORATION, Petitioner, v. THE COURT OF APPEALS, MODESTA SABENIANO and MIRIAM SABENIANO, JUDITH SABENIANO, JOY DENNIS SABENIANO, Et Al., Respondents.

    Abraham F. Sarmiento, Rolando M. Rivera and Carlos Dans for Petitioner.

    Rosario Calixto-Chavez for Private Respondents.

    Martinez, Villacarlos & Associates Law Offices for Respondents.


    SYLLABUS


    1. REMEDIAL LAW; EVIDENCE; FAILURE TO REFUTE IS CRUCIAL; CASE AT BAR. — Anent the issue of the rentals/damages, petitioner had all the opportunity at its disposal before the trial court to refute, with all allowable pieces of evidence it can produce, Mrs. Sabeniano’s testimony or any other evidence of private respondents, and there is nothing to indicate that petitioner was ever denied such opportunity/opportunities by the trial court. The trial court, respondent court and this Court cannot be faulted for taking private respondents’ uncontroverted evidence below vis-a-vis the monthly rentals on its face value — no matter how "staggering" it may appear — for petitioner’s omission to rebut that which would have naturally invited an immediate, pervasive and stiff opposition from petitioner created an adverse inference that either the controverting evidences to be presented by petitioner will only prejudice its case, or that the uncontroverted evidence of private respondents indeed speaks of the truth. And such adverse inference, recognized and adhered to by courts in judging the weight of evidence in all kinds of proceedings, surely is not without basis the rationale and effect of which rest on sound, logical and practical considerations. The inference still holds even if it be assumed, for argument’s sake, that Mrs. Sabeniano’s testimony is improbable or weak.

    2. ID.; CIVIL ACTIONS; JUDGMENT; MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION; ISSUE INITIALLY RAISED THEREIN, NOT PROPER. — With regard to petitioner’s contention that it "did not raise a fresh matter on appeal," the Court merely reiterates that petitioner’s invocation of the principles of trust found its way only for the first time in its "Motion For Reconsideration" of the respondent court’s decision. If well-recognized jurisprudence precludes raising an issue only for the first time on appeal proper, with more reason should such issue be disallowed or disregarded when initially raised only in a motion for reconsideration of the decision of the appellate court.

    3. ID.; SPEEDY DISPOSITION OF CASES ENCOURAGED. — We cannot finally put this case to rest without confronting the perceived "unusual dispatch" in its resolution the petitioner is "genuinely disturbed" of consisting in the rendition of the judgment (July 11, 1995) having been made in six (6) months from the ponente’s appointment to the Court on January 5, 1995. It is the practice of the Court to encourage the speedy resolution of cases unloaded to a newly-appointed Member, especially those cases that are already ripe for decision and in which motions for their early resolution have been filed by either of the parties concerned, as in this case. This is the reason why it became imperative to resolve this case at the soonest possible time and without further delay, lest we be charged with footdragging on the case thereby putting the Court in a more objectionable situation. In fact, the undersigned ponente has come across some of the maiden decisions of one of petitioner’s counsels, Mr. Justice Abraham F. Sarmiento, a distinguished former magistrate of this Court himself who the undersigned holds in high-respect, which were disposed of by him in less than six (6) months from the date of his appointment to the Court. And in all honestly, the undersigned ponente regards such prompt disposition as something commendable, not condemnable.


    R E S O L U T I O N


    FRANCISCO, J.:


    After carefully perusing the instant motion for reconsideration, petitioner’s arguments, in sum, dwell on the focal issues involved in the controversy which have been passed upon in the Court’s July 11, 1995. Decision sought to be reconsidered. No reasons of significant and compelling import have been advanced to alter the Court’s observation and conclusion that 1) petitioner’s non-designation of private respondents as beneficiaries of the insurance policies was a violation of the "insurance clause" amounting to a "substantial", and not a mere "slight or casual", breach entitling private respondents to rescind the lease contract, and 2) the amount of rentals/damages petitioner was bound to pay was correctly adjudged by respondent Court of Appeals after slightly modifying the trial court’s assessment. The Court, however, would like to make some additional disquisitions in response to certain noteworthy contentions raised by petitioner.chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

    Anent the issue of the rentals/damages, petitioner avers that "the Decision awards excessive damages" since "the Decision of this Honorable Court condemned the petitioner to pay, up front, the total sum of P12,029,800.00", "a staggering sum by any calculation . . . that will probably reduce the petitioner to utter bankruptcy." It is likewise maintained that private respondents will be "unjustly enriched" simply because petitioner failed to present controverting evidence, or rebut Mrs. Sabeniano’s testimony which, according to petitioner, is mere "speculation" .

    We need to stress the one decisive fact that petitioner had all the opportunity at its disposal before the trial court to refute, with all allowable pieces of evidence it can produced, Mrs. Sabeniano’s testimony or any other evidence of private respondents, and there is nothing to indicate that petitioner was ever denied such opportunity/opportunities by the trial court. The trial court, respondent court and this Court cannot be faulted for taking private respondents’ uncontroverted evidence below vis-a-vis the monthly rentals on its face value — no matter how "staggering" it may appear — for petitioner’s omission to rebut that which would have naturally invited an immediate, pervasive and stiff opposition from petitioner created an adverse inference that either the controverting evidences to be presented by petitioner will only prejudice its cases, or that the uncontroverted evidence of private respondents indeed speaks of the truth. And such adverse inference, recognized and adhered to by courts in judging the weight of evidence in all kinds of proceedings, surely is not without basis — the rationale and effect of which rest on sound, logical and practical considerations.

    "The presumption that a man will do that which tends to his obvious advantage, if he possesses the means, supplies a most important test for judging of the comparative weight of evidence . . . If, on the supposition that a charge or claim is unfounded, the party against whom it is made has evidence within his reach by which he may repel that which is offered to his prejudice, his omission to do so supplies a strong presumption that the charge or claim is well founded; it would be contrary to every principle of reason, and to all experience of human conduct, to form any other conclusion." (Starkie on Evidence, p. 846, Moore on Facts, Vol. I, p. 544)chanroblesvirtual|awlibrary

    "Where the evidence tends to fix a liability on a party who has it in his power to offer evidence of all the facts as they existed and to rebut the inferences which the proof tends to establish, and he neglects or refuses to offer such proof, the natural inference is that the proof, if produced, instead of rebutting, would support the inference against him." (Pennsylvania R. Co. v. Anoka Nat. Bank, 108 Fed. Rep. 482, 486, 47 C.C.A. 454, per Caldwell, C.J., Moore on Facts, Vol. I, p. 545. Emphasis supplied)

    "It is a well-settled rule that when the evidence tends to prove a material fact which imposes a liability on a party, and he has it in his power to produce evidence which from its very nature must overthrow the case made against him if it is not founded on fact, and he refuses to produce such evidence, the presumption arises that the evidence, if produced, would operate to his prejudice, and support the case of his adversary." (Missouri, etc. R. Co. v. Elliott, 102 Fed. Rep. 96, 102, 42 C.C.A. 188, per Caldwell, C.J., Moore on Facts, Vol. I, p. 546. Emphasis supplied)

    "No rule of law is better settled than that a party having it in his power to prove a fact, if it exist, which, if proved, would benefit him, his failure to prove it must be taken as conclusive that the facts does not exists." (Wheeling v. Hawley, 18 W. Va. 472, 476, per Patterson, J., quoted in Union Trust Co. v. McClellan, 40 W. Va. 405, 21 S.E. Rep. 1025, Moore on Facts, Vol. I, p. 544)chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

    "Where the burden is on a party to a suit to prove a material fact in issue, the failure, without excuse, to produce an important and necessary witness to such fact raises the conclusive presumption that such witness’s testimony, if introduced, would be adverse to the pretensions of such party." (Union Trust Co. v. McClellan, 40 W. Va. 405, 21 S.E. Rep. 1025, Moore on Facts, Vol. I, p. 545)

    "The rule is that where a party to an issue on trial has proof in his power which, if produced, would render material, but doubtful, facts certain, the law presumes against him if he omits to produce that proof, and authorizes a jury to resolve all doubts adversely to his defense." (People v. Sharp, 107 N.Y. 427, 465, 14 N.E. Rep. 319, 342, per Danforth, J., Moore on Facts, Vol. I, p. 546)

    "Where facts are in evidence affording legitimate inferences going to establish the ultimate fact that the evidence is designed to prove, and the party to be affected by the proof, with an opportunity to do so, fails to deny or explain them, they may well be taken as admitted with all the effect of the inferences afforded." (Somers v. McCready, 96 Md. 437, 53 Atl. Rep. 1117, per Jones, C.J., Moore on Facts, Vol. I, p. 559)chanrobles.com : virtual lawlibrary

    "The ordinary rule is that one who has knowledge peculiarly within his own control, and refuses to divulge it, cannot complain if the court puts the most unfavorable construction upon his silence, and infers that a disclosure would have shown the fact to be as claimed by the opposing party." (Societe, etc., v. Allen, 90 Fed. Rep. 815, 817, 33 C.C.A. 282, per Taft, C.J., Moore on Facts, Vol. I, p. 561)

    The inference still holds even if it be assumed, for argument’s sake, that Mrs. Sabeniano’s testimony is improbable or weak, for it has likewise been said that:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "Even if a party’s testimony is improbable, the failure of the opposite party to contradict it, although it was entirely within his power to do so if it were false, fully entitles it to belief." (Nutting v. El. R. Co., 21 N. Y. App. Div. 72, 47 N. Y. Supp. 327, Moore on Facts, Vol. I, p. 572)

    "Weak evidence becomes strong by the neglect of the party against whom it is put in, in not showing by means within the easy control of the party that the conclusion drawn from such evidence is untrue." (Pittsburgh, etc., R. Co. v. Callaghan, 50 III. App. 676, 681, Moore on Facts, Vol. I, p. 572)

    "As weak evidence is often strengthened by failure of an opposing party to contradict by evidence within his power, so the trier of facts may infer that testimony in chief is worth its full face value when the other party is content to let it stand without cross-examination or contradiction by other evidence." (Moore on Facts, Vol. II, p. 1417)

    As petitioner seemed willing to admit private respondents’ evidence bearing on the fair rental value without question, the trial court was well-justified in having done the same — exhibiting, still, due consideration when it reduced the monthly rental value from P400,000.00 as per Mrs. Sabeniano’s uncontroverted testimony, to P250,000.00. In answer, therefore, to petitioner’s questions, i.e.,." . . does Mrs. Sabeniano’s testimony cease to be speculation because the petitioner failed to present ‘controverting evidence’?", and "The fact that Mrs. Sabeniano could have testified that she was offered P1 Million, indeed, P10 Million, indeed, P100 Million but would that, too, ‘stand’ simply because the petitioner failed to rebut it?", the Court is compelled, quite regrettably, to answer in the affirmative.chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

    With regard to petitioner’s contention that it "did not raise a fresh matter on appeal", the Court merely reiterates that petitioner’s invocation of the principles of trust found its way only for the first time in its "Motion For Reconsideration" of the respondent court’s decision. If well-recognized jurisprudence precludes raising an issue only for the first time on appeal proper, with more reason should such issue be disallowed or disregarded when initially raised only in a motion for reconsideration of the decision of the appellate court.

    We cannot finally put this case to rest without confronting the perceived "unusual dispatch" in its resolution the petitioner is "genuinely disturbed" of — consisting in the rendition of the judgment (July 11, 1995) having been in six (6) months from the ponente’s appointment to the Court on January 5, 1995. Petitioner amplifies that: 1)." . . hardly has the ponente warmed his seat, the case would be decided . . .", and 2)." . . when prior to the appointment of the ponente, it took the rest of the Justices of the Third Division of this Honorable Court more than a year to deliberate on the Petition, . . ."cralaw virtua1aw library

    It is the practice of the Court to encourage the speedy resolution of cases unloaded to a newly-appointed Member, especially those cases that are already ripe for decision and in which motions for their early resolution have been filed by either of the parties concerned, as in this case. This is the reason why it became imperative to resolve this case at the soonest possible time and without further delay, lest we be charged with foot-dragging on the case thereby putting the Court in a more objectionable situation.chanroblesvirtual|awlibrary

    In fact, the undersigned ponente has come across some of the maiden decisions of one of petitioner’s counsels, Mr. Justice Abraham F. Sarmiento, a distinguished former magistrate of this Court himself who the undersigned holds in high-respect, which were disposed of by him in less than six (6) months from the date of his appointment to the Court on January 26, 1987. To name a few are: People v. Decierdo, G.R. No. L-46956, May 7, 1987, 149 SCRA 496; People v. Saavedra, G.R. No. L-48738, May 18, 1987, 149 SCRA 610; People v. Pecato, G R. No. L-41008, June 18, 1987, 151 SCRA 14; People v. Ferrera, G.R. No. L-66965, June 18, 1987, 151 SCRA 113; Madrigal & Company, Inc. v. Zamora, G. R. Nos. L-49023 and L-48237, June 30 1987, 151 SCRA 355 (Labor Case); Banco Filipino Saving & Mortgage Bank v. Pardo, G.R. No. L-55354, June 30, 1987, 151 SCRA 481; and Del Rosario v. Hamoy, G.R. No. L-77154, June 30, 1987, SCRA 719. And in all honestly, the undersigned ponente regards such prompt disposition as something commendable, not condemnable.

    WHEREFORE, premises considered, the Motion For Reconsideration is hereby DENIED with FINALITY.

    Feliciano, Romero, Melo and Vitug, JJ., concur. cdt

    G.R. No. 110015   October 13, 1995 - MANILA BAY CLUB CORPORATION v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL


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