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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-1996 Jurisprudence                 

  • G.R. No. 116600 July 3, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. REYNALDO LANDICHO

  • G.R. No. 119527 July 3, 1996 - EVELYN J. GARCIA v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 121910 July 3, 1996 - NATIONAL WATERWORKS AND SEWERAGE AUTHORITY, ET AL. v. NLRC

  • G.R. Nos. 98121-22 July 5, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROMEO R. SALAZAR

  • G.R. No. 100629 July 5, 1996 - ENELYN E. PEÑA, ET AL. v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 100699 July 5, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EDGAR C. GUTIERREZ

  • G.R. No. 102377 July 5, 1996 - ALFREDO SAJONAS, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 102998 July 5, 1996 - BA FINANCE CORPORATION v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 105583 July 5, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ELEUTERIO TAMPON

  • G.R. No. 106296 July 5, 1996 - ISABELO T. CRISOSTOMO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 106413 July 5, 1996 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL. v. TACLOBAN CITY ICE PLANT, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 107698 July 5, 1996 - GLORIA Z. GARBO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 107824 July 5, 1996 - SUPERCLEAN SERVICES CORPORATION v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 109173 July 5, 1996 - CITY OF CEBU v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 111324 July 5, 1996 - ROMAN CATHOLIC ARCHBISHOP OF MANILA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 111549 July 5, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ARTEMIO P. ORTALEZA

  • G.R. Nos. 113178 & 114777 July 5, 1996 - RADIO COMMUNICATIONS OF THE PHIL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 113549 July 5, 1996 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 113827 July 5, 1996 - PHILIPPINE AIRLINES INC. v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 113948 July 5, 1996 - ARMANDO NICOLAS v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 114002 July 5, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ELEUTERIO C. COMPENDIO, JR.

  • G.R. No. 115216 July 5, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DAVID CABILES

  • G.R. No. 115825 July 5, 1996 - FRANKLIN DRILON v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116208 July 5, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ESMAEL SALIDO

  • G.R. No. 116693 July 5, 1996 - PURITA DE LA PEÑA, ET AL. v. PEDRO R. DE LA PEÑA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 118203 July 5, 1996 - EMILIO A. SALAZAR, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 118231 July 5, 1996 - VICTORIA L. BATIQUIN, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS

  • G.R. No. 118284 July 5, 1996 - MAMERTO REFUGIA, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 118562 July 5, 1996 - ANGLO-KMU v. SAMANA BAY, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 118691 July 5, 1996 - ALEJANDRO BAYOG, ET AL. v. ANTONIO M. NATINO, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 118712 & 118745 July 5, 1996 - LAND BANK OF THE PHIL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 118824 July 5, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROMEO GARCIA

  • G.R. No. 119069 July 5, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DANILO EXCIJA

  • G.R. No. 119845 July 5, 1996 - ANTONIO M. GARCIA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 120949 July 5, 1996 - ARACELI RAMOS FONTANILLA v. PEOPLE OF THE PHIL.

  • G.R. No. 121180 July 5, 1996 - GERARD A. MOSQUERA v. DELIA H. PANGANIBAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 121592 July 5, 1996 - ROLANDO P. DELA TORRE v. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 122807 July 5, 1996 - ROGELIO P. MENDIOLA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. RTJ-91-712 July 9, 1996 - BEN D. MARCES, SR. v. PAUL T. ARCANGEL

  • G.R. No. 88189 July 9, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. TIBURCIO ABALOS

  • G.R. No. 103922 July 9, 1996 - SANTIAGO LAND DEVELOPMENT COMPANY v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 104312 July 9, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MARIO CABALLERO

  • G.R. No. 109563 July 9, 1996 - PHILIPPINE NATIONAL BANK v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 114058 July 10, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ZALDY B. FRANCISCO

  • G.R. No. 74495 July 11, 1996 - DUMEZ COMPANY, ET AL. v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 80437-38 July 11, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROBERTO B. ABORDO

  • G.R. Nos. 94376-77 July 11, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ELMER O. BELGA

  • G.R. No. 103174 July 11, 1996 - AMADO B. TEODORO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 103968 July 11, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DIMSON M. GARDE

  • G.R. No. 104860 July 11, 1996 - CITYTRUST BANKING CORPORATION v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 106418 July 11, 1996 - DANIEL L. BORBON II, ET AL. v. SERVICEWIDE SPECIALISTS, INC., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 109156 July 11, 1996 - STOLT-NIELSEN MARINE SERVICES (PHILS.) INC. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 110207 July 11, 1996 - FLORENTINO REYES, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116221 July 11, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALEJANDRO G. GABRIS

  • Adm. Matter No. P-93-995 July 12, 1996 - ROBERTO JALBUENA v. EGARDO GELLADA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 88126 July 12, 1996 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL. v. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 96795 July 12, 1996 - ANTONIO M. CORRAL v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 108926 July 12, 1996 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 116128 & 116461 July 12, 1996 - ALLIED BANKING CORP. v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 121139 July 12, 1996 - ISIDRO B. GARCIA v. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 88822 July 15, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALEJANDRO M. TUVILLA

  • G.R. No. 117661 July 15, 1996 - DANIEL VILLANUEVA, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 83437-38 July 17, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. WILFREDO R. GUARIN

  • G.R. No. 98458 July 17, 1996 - COCOLAND DEV. CORP. v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 102037 July 17, 1996 - MELANIO IMPERIAL v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 106977 July 17, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. AQUILIO ACABO

  • G.R. Nos. 109396-97 July 17, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROMEO S. OARGA

  • G.R. No. 114795 July 17, 1996 - LUCITA Q. GARCES v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116728 July 17, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RODELIO S. CRUZ

  • G.R. No. 120496 July 17, 1996 - FIVE STAR BUS CO., INC., ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. MTJ-96-1088 July 19, 1996 - RODOLFO G. v. HERNANDO C. DOMAGTOY

  • G.R. Nos. 70168-69 July 24, 1996 - RAFAEL T. MOLINA, ET AL. v. PEOPLE OF THE PHIL., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 95940 July 24, 1996 - PANTRANCO NORTH EXPRESS, INC. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 108052 July 24, 1996 - PHILIPPINE NATIONAL BANK v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 110241 July 24, 1996 - ASIA BREWERY, INC. v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 115008-09 July 24, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DANIEL C. QUIJADA

  • G.R. No. 120043 July 24, 1996 - AMERICAN HOME ASSURANCE CO., ET AL v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 120099 July 24, 1996 - EDUARDO T. RODRIGUEZ v. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 120303 July 24, 1996 - FEDERICO GEMINIANO, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET Al.

  • Adm. Matter No. RTJ-96-1336 July 25, 1996 - JOCELYN TALENS-DABON v. HERMIN E. ARCEO

  • G.R. No. 95223 July 26, 1996 - ALLIED BANKING CORPORATION v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 105673 July 26, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ANTONIO MAGANA

  • G.R. Nos. 105690-91 July 26, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL v. RODOLFO CAGUIOA, SR.

  • G.R. No. 110731 July 26, 1996 - SHOPPERS GAIN SUPERMART, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 111127 July 26, 1996 - ENGRACIO FABRE, JR., ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 112175 July 26, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RODOLFO DIAZ

  • G.R. Nos. 114280 & 115224 July 26, 1996 - PHILIPPINE AIRLINES, INC. v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 115683 July 26, 1996 - DELIA MANUEL v. DAVID ALFECHE, JR., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 118434 July 26, 1996 - SIXTA C. LIM v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 119225 July 26, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RODRIGO G. ABUTIN

  • G.R. No. 119328 July 26, 1996 - PROVIDENT INT’L. RESOURCES INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 119673 July 26, 1996 - IGLESIA NI CRISTO (INC.) v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. MTJ-93-783 July 29, 1996 - OFFICE OF THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR v. FILOMENO PASCUAL

  • G.R. Nos. 97556 & 101152 July 29, 1996 - DAMASO S. FLORES v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 111639 July 29, 1996 - MIDAS TOUCH FOOD CORPORATION v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 114313 July 29, 1996 - MGG MARINE SERVICES, INC., ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. P-95-1148 July 30, 1996 - PEDRO ROQUE, ET AL. v. ZENAIDA GRIMALDO

  • G.R. No. 102557 July 30, 1996 - ALFONSO D. ZAMORA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 108028 July 30, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CRISTINA M. HERNANDEZ

  • G.R. No. 116512 July 30, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LEOPOLDO BACANG, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116542 July 30, 1996 - HONGKONG AND SHANGHAI BANKING CORP. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 118590 July 30, 1996 - D.M. CONSUNJI, INC. v. RAMON S. ESGUERRA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 122241 July 30, 1996 - BOARD OF OPTOMETRY, ET AL. v. ANGEL B COLET, ET. AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 111517-19 July 31, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROGER N. AUSTRIA

  • G.R. No. 112233 July 31, 1996 - COKALIONG SHIPPING LINES v. OMAR U. AMIN

  • G.R. No. 112611 July 31, 1996 - CLARA ATONG VDA. DE PANALIGAN, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116015 July 31, 1996 - GOVERNMENT SERVICE INSURANCE SYSTEM v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 119306 July 31, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DANTE BELTRAN

  • G.R. No. 121917 July 31, 1996 - ROBIN CARIÑO PADILLA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 122274 July 31, 1996 - SUSAN V. LLENES v. ISAIAS P. DICDICAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 122749 July 31, 1996 - ANTONIO A. S. VALDES v. RTC, BRANCH 102, QUEZON CITY, ET AL.

  •  





     
     

    G.R. No. 118691   July 5, 1996 - ALEJANDRO BAYOG, ET AL. v. ANTONIO M. NATINO, ET AL.

     
    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    THIRD DIVISION

    [G.R. No. 118691. July 5, 1996.]

    ALEJANDRO BAYOG and JORGE PESAYCO, JR., Petitioners, v. HON. ANTONIO M. NATINO, Presiding Judge, Regional Trial Court, Branch 12, San Jose, Antique, and ALBERTO MAGDATO, Respondents.


    SYLLABUS


    1. JUDICIAL ETHICS; JUDGES; EXPECTED TO KEEP ABREAST AND CONVERSANT WITH RULES AND CIRCULARS ADOPTED BY THIS COURT. — It must be noted that despite the effectivity of the Revised Rule on Summary Procedure on 15 November 1991, the MCTC Judge still applied the previous Rule on Summary Procedure in his 15 December 1992 order. While it may be true that this did not affect the outcome of the case, judges are expected to keep abreast of and be conversant with the rules and circulars adopted by this Court which affect the conduct of cases before them.

    2. REMEDIAL LAW; CIVIL ACTIONS; RULE ON SUMMARY PROCEDURE; COURT SHOULD TAKE COGNIZANCE OF ANSWER FILED BEYOND PERIOD TO DETERMINE WHETHER OR NOT IT POSSESS JURISDICTION OVER CASE. — While it may be said that the MCTC correctly applied the Rule on Summary Procedure in Civil Case No. 262 since BAYOG’s complaint for ejectment therein suppressed the fact of an agrarian relationship between him and MAGDATO, it should not have refrained from taking cognizance of MAGDATO ‘s Answer. Although filed late, the Answer asserted that the MCTC had no jurisdiction over the case in light of the agricultural tenancy relationship between BAYOG and MAGDATO, which is clearly evidenced by their Agricultural Leasehold Contract and the Certificate of Agricultural Leasehold issued in MAGDATO’s favor by then President Marcos. While this assertion, per se, did not automatically divest the MCTC of its jurisdiction over the ejectment case, nevertheless, in view of MAGDATO’s defense, the MCTC should have heard and received the evidence for the precise purpose of determining whether or not it possessed jurisdiction over the case. And upon such hearing, if tenancy was shown to be at issue, the MCTC should have dismissed the case for lack of jurisdiction. Verily, if indeed MAGDATO were an agricultural lessee under agrarian law, then the MCTC was devoid of jurisdiction over the ejectment case. The MCTC should have met and ruled squarely on the issue of jurisdiction, instead of simply adopting a strange theory that it could not take cognizance of the answer belatedly filed without exceeding its jurisdiction under Section 36 of B.P. Blg. 129. Plainly, there is nothing in the said section which bars the MCTC from taking cognizance of the answer. The Revised Rule on Summary Procedure, as well as its predecessor, do not provide that an answer filed after the reglementary period should be expunged from the records. As a matter of fact, there is no provision for an entry of default if a defendant fails to file his answer. It must likewise be pointed out that MAGDATO’s defense of lack of jurisdiction may have even be raised in a motion to dismiss as an exception to the rule on prohibited pleadings in the Revised Rule on Summary Procedure. Such a motion is allowed under paragraph (a) of Section 19 thereof.

    3. ID.; ID.; ID.; ORDER OF REMOVAL AND DEMOLITION BEFORE FINALITY OF JUDGMENT, RENDERS FUTILE ANY APPEAL RESPONDENT COULD INTERPOSE. — In its Order of 20 September 1993, the MCTC ordered MAGDATO "to remove his house . . . before judgment becomes final and executory," and the Provincial Sheriff "to demolish and destroy [MAGDATO’S] house on the . . . land of [BAYOG] in case [MAGDATO] should fail remove same . . . before judgment against him becomes final and executory." This was clearly in violation of Section 8, Rule 70 of the Rules of Court and Section 21 of the Revised Rule on Summary Procedure. Such orders of "removal" and "demolition" before the judgment becomes final and executory were obviously intended to render futile any appeal which MAGDATO could interpose therefrom pursuant to Section 21 of the Revised Rule on Summary Procedure.

    4. ID.; ID.; ID.; ID.; A CLEAR ABUSE OF AUTHORITY OR MISUSE OF STRONG ARM OF THE LAW. — The MCTC, in its Order of Execution of 16 December 1993, directed the Provincial Sheriff "to demolish and destroy defendant’s [MAGDATO’s] home standing in the above-described parcel of land in case defendant should fail to remove the same therefrom before judgment against him becomes final and executory." And, in strict obedience to this said order, Sheriff IV Amando S. Lapos, acting for the Ex-Officio Provincial Sheriff, accompanied by Edgar Tondares (Sheriff IV), the Barangay Captain of Centro Pojo, members of the Philippine National Police (PNP) of Bugasong, Antique, as security escorts, and BAYOG himself, served on MAGDATO the order of execution on 24 January 1994 and forthwith ejected MAGDATO from the land in question and demolished and destroyed MAGDATO’s house. This was a clear abuse of authority or misuse of the strong arm of the law. No demolition of MAGDATO’s house could have been validly effected on the day of service of the order of execution. MAGDATO should have been afforded a reasonable period of time to remove his house, and only after the failed to comply within the given period could a demolition order have been issued by the court, pursuant to Section 14, Rule 39 of the Rules of Court.

    5. ID.; ID.; ID.; PETITION FOR RELIEF FROM JUDGMENT, PROHIBITED PLEADING WITH SUPERIOR COURT. — We disagree with the RTC’s holding that a petition for relief from judgment (Civil Case No. 2708) is not prohibited under the Revised Rule on Summary Procedure, in light of the Jakihaca ruling. When Section 19 of the Revised Rule on Summary Procedure bars a petition for relief from judgment of a petition for certiorari, mandamus, or prohibition against any interlocutory order issued by the court, it has in mind no other than Section 1, Rule 38 regarding petitions for relief from judgment, and Rule 65 regarding petitions for certiorari, mandamus, or prohibition, of the Rules of Court, respectively. These petitions are cognizable by Regional Trial Courts, and not by Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal Trial Courts, or Municipal Circuit Trial Courts. If Section 19 of the Revised Rule on Summary Procedure and Rules 38 and 65 of the Rules of Court are juxtaposed, the conclusion is inevitable that no petition for relief from judgment nor a special civil action of certiorari, prohibition or mandamus arising from cases covered by the Revised Rule on Summary Procedure may be filed with a superior court. This is but consistent with the mandate of Section 36 of B.P. Blg. 129 to achieve an expeditious and inexpensive determination of the cases subject of summary procedure.

    6. ID.; ID.; ID.; ID.; PETITION ALLOWED IN VIEW OF UNUSUAL AND PECULIAR CIRCUMSTANCES IN CASE AT BAR. — In view of the unusual and peculiar circumstances of this case, unless some form of relief is made available to MAGDATO, the grave injustice and irreparable injury that visited him through no fault or negligence on his part will only be perpetuated. Thus, the petition for relief from judgment which he filed may be allowed or treated, pro hac vice, either as an exception to the rule, or a regular appeal to the RTC, or even an action to annul the order (decision) of the MCTC of 20 September 1993. As an exception, the RTC correctly held that the circumstances alleged therein and the justification pleaded worked in favor of MAGDATO, and that the motion to dismiss Civil Case No. 2708 was without merit. And contrary to the petitioners’ contention, the petition for relief from judgment was filed within the period fixed in Section 3, Rule 38 of the Rules of Court.

    7. ID.; ID.; ID.; ID.; ID.; 60-DAY PERIOD TO FILE PETITION RECKONED FROM DATE WHEN PARTY LEARNED OF JUDGMENT. — While the MCTC Order of 20 September 1993 was received by MAGDATO’s lawyer, Atty. Marcelo C. Josue, on 11 October 1993, the later, however, did not inform nor notify MAGDATO about it; worse, the said lawyer took no action whatever after he received a copy of BAYOG’s motion for execution on 22 November 1993. MAGDATO learned of the Order of 20 September 1993 only on 24 January 1994, when he was served with a copy of the Order of Execution. MAGDATO filed the petition for relief from judgment on 9 February 1994, or FIFTEEN days from the time he learned of the judgment. BAYOG’s insistence then that the period must be reckoned from Atty. Josue’s receipt of the Order on 11 October 1993 deserves scant consideration. Under what we considered above as the unusual and peculiar circumstances in this case, we cannot consider as notice to MAGDATO of the 20 September 1993 Order the notice to his lawyer, who to us appears to have been unconscionably irresponsible. In any event, the 60-day period in this case can, with equal force and effect, be reckoned from MAGDATO’s receipt of the Order of Execution on 24 January 1994 and the petition may then be treated as a petition for relief from the said order.

    8. ID.; ID.; ID.; ID.; ID.; MANDATORY SIX MONTH PERIOD, STARTS FROM ENTRY OF JUDGMENT. — As regards the mandatory second period of six months, the least that can be said is that it had not even begun to run as the records do not disclose that the Order of 20 September 1993, which is the challenged "decision," had been entered. On this score, Section 3 of Rule 38 speaks of entry of the judgment or order, not its rendition nor finality, thus the 6-month period must be reckoned from the entry.

    9. ID.; ID.; ID.; ID.; ID.; AFFIDAVIT OF MERIT; SUBSTANTIAL COMPLIANCE WHERE PETITION, UNDER OATH, RECITES FACTS CONSTITUTING GROUNDS. .— We likewise agree with the RTC that the absence of an affidavit of merit was not fatal since the petition itself, which is under oath, recites the circumstances or facts which constitute the grounds for the petition. Such being the case, a separate affidavit reiterating the grounds already laid bare in the petition would be superfluous. Elsewise stated, the absence of the affidavit is of de minimis importance, as the oath elevates the petition to the same category as the affidavit.

    10. ID.; ID.; FINAL AND EXECUTORY JUDGMENT; HOW SET ASIDE. — In the alternative, the petition for relief from judgment may properly be considered as MAGDATO’s appeal from the order (decision) of the MCTC of 20 September 1993, or an action to annul the said order. It is a settled rule that the final and executory judgment may be set aside in three way, viz., (1) by a petition for relief from judgment under Rule 38; (2) when the judgment is void for want of jurisdiction, by direct action, as certiorari, or by collateral attack; and (3) when the judgment was obtained by fraud and Rule 38 cannot be applied, by civil action under Article 1114 of the Civil Code.

    11. ID.; ID.; PETITION FOR RELIEF FROM JUDGMENT; UNCONSCIONABLE FAILURE OF LAWYER TO INFORM CLIENT OF RECEIPT OF ORDER AND MOTION FOR EXECUTION AND TO TAKE APPROPRIATE ACTION TO PROTECT CLIENT AMOUNTING TO CONNIVANCE WITH PREVAILING PARTY CONSTITUTES FRAUD. — The fraud must be extrinsic or collateral. In the instant case, the unconscionable failure of MAGDATO’s lawyer to inform MAGDATO of his receipt of the Order of 20 September 1993 and the motion for execution, and to take the appropriate action against either or both to protect MAGDATO’s rights amounted to connivance with the prevailing party for MAGDATO’s defeat, which constituted extrinsic fraud.

    12. ID.; SUPREME COURT; DISPOSITION OF ISSUE ON JURISDICTION OF MCTC OVER EJECTMENT CASE. — There is nothing more the parties can offer on the issue of the jurisdiction of the MCTC. There is then absolutely no acceptable reason to await the end of the tedious procedural rituals above indicated since that issue can now be resolved in view of the foregoing considerations. It serves no useful purpose to withhold our verdict and remand this case to the MCTC, only for it to order the dismissal of the ejectment case. The resultant further delay which may accompany a likely appeal therefrom by BAYOG and Pesayco must be forestalled to serve the ends of justice. Plainly, the greater interest of justice, especially to MAGDATO, whose rights as an agricultural leaseholder were trampled upon, demands that we dispose of the issue of the MCTC’s jurisdiction over the ejectment case. Accordingly, we adopt that portion of the challenged Order of 18 October 1994 of respondent Judge Natino in Civil Case No. 2708 setting aside the order (judgment) of the MCTC of 20 September 1993 in Civil Case No. 262, consider Civil Case No. 2708 closed and terminated, and declare the Third MCTC of Antique without jurisdiction over Civil Case No. 262.


    D E C I S I O N


    DAVIDE, JR., J.:


    This is a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court to annul the Order of 18 October 1994 1 of the respondent Presiding Judge of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of San Jose, Antique, Branch 23, in Civil Case No. 2708, a petition for relief from judgment. 2 The Order set aside the final and partly executed judgment 3 of the Third Municipal Circuit Trial Court (MCTC) of Patnongon-Bugasong-Valderama, Antique, in an ejectment case, Civil Case No. 262, 4 and remanded the case to the MCTC for proper disposition.

    The antecedent facts are not disputed:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    On 16 June 1973, petitioner Alejandro Bayog (hereinafter, BAYOG) and private respondent Alberto Magdato (hereinafter, MAGDATO) entered into an Agricultural Leasehold Contract over a lot with an area of 0.8 hectares located in Centro Pojo, Bugasong, Antique, 5 with BAYOG as the LANDOWNER-LESSOR and MAGDATO as TENANT-LESSEE. The contract commenced with crop year 1975-1976 and expressly provided that matters not therein stipulated would be governed by the provisions of R.A. No. 3344, as amended.

    On 19 April 1983, then President Ferdinand E. Marcos, pursuant to P.D. No. 27, R.A. No. 3844, and P.D No. 1425, issued a Certificate of Agricultural Leasehold 6 to MAGDATO, declaring that the latter had complied with all the requirements to become the agricultural lessee of the land cultivated by him and owned by BAYOG located in Centro Pojo, Bugasong, Antique. The certificate enumerated the following rights of MAGDATO, inter alia:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    1. He shall not be ejected, dispossessed, excluded, removed or ousted from his farmholding by any landowner, agricultural lessor or anybody except when his disposition has been authorized by the proper court;

    2. He shall have the right to peaceful possession, cultivation and enjoyment of his farmholding;

    3. He shall have the right against conversion of the farmholding into . . . any non-agricultural use or to the production of any other crop by the landowner . . . or anybody acting for and in his behalf, without prior approval of the proper authorities and payment of disturbance compensation. . . .

    On 3 September 1990, BAYOG, in consideration of P250,000.00, executed a so-called Deed of Equitable Mortgage, with right of redemption within five years, in favor of Santiago Pesayco. The document covered four parcels of unregistered riceland in Bugasong, Antique, with a total area of 30,187 square meters. 7

    In a letter dated 19 October 1992, BAYOG asked MAGDATO to remove his (MAGDATO’s) house from BAYOG’s land. BAYOG explained that the house was an obstacle to the cultivation of the land by Jorge Pesayco, Jr., the brother and civil law lessee of Santiago Pesayco. 8

    As MAGDATO did not comply, BAYOG and Jorge Pesayco, Jr. filed with the Third MCTC of Patnongon-Bugasong-Valderama, Antique, a complaint, dated 26 November 1992, for "Ejectment and/or Abatement of Nuisance with Prayer for Demolition," which was docketed as Civil Case No. 262. 9

    In its Order of 15 December 1992, the MCTC declared that the case fell under the Rule on Summary Procedure and directed the issuance of summons which, together with complaint, was served on MAGDATO on 11 January 1993. 10

    MAGDATO had then ten days from service of summons (or until 22 January 1993) to file his Answer, 11 but he filed it only on 25 January 1993. In his Answer, MAGDATO admitted BAYOG’s ownership of the lot, but asserted that he was in actual possession thereof as BAYOG’s agricultural lessee as evidenced by the Agricultural Leasehold Contract executed on 17 June 1975. As defenses, MAGDATO alleged that the court had no jurisdiction over the case, it being an agrarian dispute; and that he had not been able to cultivate the land because plaintiff Jorge Pesayco, Jr. threatened to shoot anyone who would work on it. 12

    On 20 September 1993, the MCTC issued an Order 13 holding that since MAGDATO’s Answer was filed outside the reglementary period, it could not take cognizance thereof without exceeding its jurisdiction under Section 36 of B.P. Blg. 129. It then considered "needless" for the court to resolve all pleadings subsequently filed, such as the answer; and then claiming authority under Section 5 14 of the Rule on Summary Procedure, the MCTC rendered judgment in favor of plaintiffs BAYOG and Pesayco, thus:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    WHEREFORE, judgment is hereby rendered in favor of the plaintiff and against defendant, as follows:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    1. Ejecting defendant from the parcel of land plaintiff Alejandro Bayog described in paragraph 2 of this complaint and ordering defendant to remove his house therefrom before judgment becomes final and executory;

    2. Ordering the Provincial Sheriff, or his defendant, to demolish and destroy defendant’s house on the above-mentioned land of plaintiff Alejandro Bayog, in case defendant should fail to remove the same therefrom before judgment against him becomes final and executory; and

    3. Ordering defendant to pay plaintiffs jointly and severally the sum of P1,000.00, Philippine Currency, as and by way of actual litigation expenses.

    SO ORDERED. 15

    MAGDATO’s counsel, Atty. Marcelo C. Josue, received a copy of the Order on 11 October 1993. 16

    On 16 December 1993, the MCTC issued an Order of Execution 17 commanding the Provincial Sheriff or his deputy to eject MAGDATO, his "attorney-in-fact, agent, or any other person acting on his behalf" from the parcel of land in question and to "demolish and destroy" MAGDATO’s house standing thereon "should he fail to remove it before the judgment against him becomes final."cralaw virtua1aw library

    The Sheriff’s Return of Service 18 dated 26 January 1994 reported that the order was personally served on MAGDATO on 24 January 1994, and upon MAGDATO’s receipt thereof, "he and any other person acting under his . . . authority were ejected from the parcel of land . . . and his house was demolished and destroyed." However, "there was no monetary satisfaction of the judgment since [MAGDATO] refused to give the amount and he has no real/personal properties [sic] that can be levied on execution."cralaw virtua1aw library

    On 9 February 1994, MAGDATO filed a petition for relief from judgment with injunction and prayer to litigate as a pauper with the RTC of San Jose, Antique, Branch 12 (Civil Case No. 2708). MAGDATO alleged therein that the late filing of his answer was due to mistake or excusable neglect, for at the time he received summons, he was stricken with pulmonary tuberculosis which restricted his mobility and sound judgment. Further, his illiteracy limited his understanding of the English language, hence, he was unaware of the "unextendible" 10-day period, and by the time he consulted a lawyer in San Jose, Antique, said period had already lapsed. In fact, it was only when his house was demolished in the latter part of January 1994, that he learned of the judgment rendered against him.

    MAGDATO further asserted that he had good, valid, and strong evidence to counteract BAYOG’s claim, and if given a chance to be heard, would prove that he was a duly instituted tenant of BAYOG, as evidenced by copies of the Agricultural Leasehold Contract and the Certificate of Agricultural Leasehold. More importantly, this tenancy relationship had never been terminated for cause. Finally, he contended that as the MCTC judgment had already been partly executed, he was bereft of other avenues, to protect his rights. He thus prayed for a writ of preliminary injunction to prevent disturbance of his possession; that he be allowed to litigate in forma pauperis, as he owned no real property as attested to by a certification from the Office of the Municipal Assessor; 19 and that the MCTC judgment in Civil Case No. 262 be set aside and a new trial ordered. 20

    On 19 May 1994, BAYOG filed a Motion to Dismiss 21 Civil Case No. 2708 on grounds of: (a) lack of jurisdiction on the part of the RTC; (b) failure of the petition to state a cause of action; and (c) prescription and/or laches.

    As to the first, BAYOG asserted that a petition for relief from judgment was a prohibited pleading under Section 19(d) of the Revised Rule on Summary Procedure. Moreover, the petition was not accompanied by the affidavit of merit required by Section 3, Rule 38 of the Rules of Court.

    Anent the second, BAYOG maintained that the petition did not contain a statement of facts constituting fraud, accident, mistake, or excusable negligence. In any event, the cause of action was mooted by the partial execution of the MCTC judgment, for it was settled that relief from judgment was not available where the judgment had already been executed, without, however, prejudice on the part of the aggrieved party to sue to recover the property. 22

    Finally, BAYOG contended that Section 3, Rule 38 of the Rules of Court required that petitions for relief from judgment be "filed within sixty (60) days after the petitioner learns of the judgment . . . to be set aside, and not more than six (6) months after such judgment . . . was entered. . . ." Considering that MAGDATO learned of the MCTC judgment through his lawyer on 11 October 1993 when the latter received a copy thereof, the 60-day period expired on 12 December 1993. Since the petition for relief was filed only on 9 February 1994, it was then filed out of time.

    On 22 June 1994, MAGDATO filed an Opposition 23 to the Motion to Dismiss, to which BAYOG filed a Reply 24 on 7 July 1994.

    On 16 September 1994, BAYOG filed another Motion to Dismiss Civil Case No. 2708 on the ground that the petition for relief from judgment was not accompanied by a sworn certification against forum-shopping as required by Administrative Circular No. 9-94 of this Court. 25 MAGDATO filed his Comment 26 thereto on 3 October 1994, while BAYOG filed a Reply 27 to the Comment on 10 October 1994.

    In its Order 28 of 18 October 1994, the RTC denied BAYOG’s first and second motions to dismiss and ruled as follows:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    WHEREFORE, the judgment in Civil Case No. 262 rendered by Judge Deogracias K. del Rosario of the Municipal Circuit Trial Court of Patnongon-Bugasong and Valderama is set aside and let this case be remanded back to that court for proper disposal.

    The grounds relied upon for the denial were: (1) that the petition for relief from judgment is not a prohibited pleading under the Rule on Summary Procedure since the latter does not apply to Regional Trial Courts, per the ruling in Jakihaca v. Aquino; 29 (2) the petition states a cause of action as MAGDATO, as shown in Annex "B" of the petition, is a tenant farmer who is entitled to protection against ejectment; (3) the issue of prescription must yield to the fact that MAGDATO is a tenant farmer, or his ejectment by the MCTC was a violation of the law; (4) BAYOG and Pesayco did not come to court with clean hands as they did not reveal the fact that MAGDATO is a holder of a certificate of agricultural leasehold; (5) the MCTC should not have disregarded MAGDATO’s answer filed therein which showed that the MCTC had no jurisdiction over the case; and (6) Administrative Circular No. 04-94 took effect only on 1 April 1994, or before the filing of the petition for relief from judgment, hence, it could not be given retroactive effect.

    BAYOG’s Motion for Reconsideration of the Order 30 was denied on 12 December 1994. 31

    Hence, BAYOG and Pesayco (hereinafter, Petitioners) filed this petition for certiorari and ask us to set aside the above order. They reiterate their arguments regarding the prohibition against petitions for relief from judgment; maintain that Rule 38 of the Rules of Court is inconsistent with the letter and spirit of the Revised Rule on Summary Procedure; allege that since MAGDATO’s Answer in Civil Case No. 262 was filed out of time, it should be deemed not to have been filed at all, in light of Lesaca v. Court of Appeals; 32 assert that the RTC has no jurisdiction over the petition for relief from judgment since the decision challenged therein was already final and executory; and characterize the Order in question as void as it directs the conduct of a new trial, contrary to Section 19(c) of the Revised Rule on Summary Procedure.

    As to the petition for relief from judgment itself, the petitioners assert that it was fatally defective for it was not accompanied by an affidavit of merit; it was filed out time; its subject matter had become moot and academic; and it is not the proper remedy pursuant to Banco Español-Filipino v. Palanca, 33 where this Court held that the proper remedy was an action to annul the judgment and enjoin its enforcement, if not yet carried into effect; or an action to recover the property if the judgment had already been executed and the property of the aggrieved party disposed of.

    We required the respondents to Comment on the petition and issued a temporary restraining order.

    In his Comment, MAGDATO admits that his answer in Civil Case No. 262 was filed out of time; however, he insists that the MCTC should not have disregarded it as it alleged the existence of a tenancy relationship between the parties, thereby bringing the case beyond its jurisdiction, and within that of the Department of Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board (DARAB).

    As to the affidavit of merit, MAGDATO countered that "the affidavit of merit may be set forth in the petition itself and need not be in a separate document (Consul v. Consul, L-22713, July 26, 1966)," if the "facts constituting petitioner’s substantial cause of action or defense . . . are alleged in the verified petition for the oath elevated the petition to the same category as a separate affidavit (Fabar, Inc. v. Rodelas, L-46394, Oct. 24, 1977)."cralaw virtua1aw library

    In their Reply to the Comment, the petitioners contend that while MAGDATO used to be a tenant-lessee on another parcel of land of petitioner BAYOG, this ceased when MAGDATO sold his tenancy rights, without BAYOG’s prior knowledge or consent, to Federico Valdevieso, Sr. under a Deed of Mortgage of Tenancy Rights dated 31 August 1987. Valdevieso then tilled the land and delivered to petitioner BAYOG the latter’s share of the harvest, as evidenced by the receipts of 5 December 1987, 10 April 1988, and 15 August 1988. 34 Then, in September 1989, Valdevieso, with petitioner BAYOG’s consent, sold his tenancy rights to Jose Bayog, as evidenced by the 3 May 1994 affidavit of Arturo P. Valdevieso, Federico’s son. 35 The petitioners then argue, citing Yabut v. Lillies, 36 that the above Deed of Mortgage "amounted to [MAGDATO’s] declaration against his interest and an express waiver of his tenancy rights" resulting in the extinguishment of the tenant-lessor relationship between them.

    We gave due course to the petition and required both parties to submit their memoranda, which they subsequently complied with.

    It must be noted that despite the effectivity of the Revised Rule on Summary Procedure on 15 November 1991, the MCTC Judge still applied the previous Rule on Summary Procedure in his 15 December 1992 order. While it may be true that this did not affect the outcome of the case, judges are expected to keep abreast of and be conversant with the rules and circulars adopted by this Court which affect the conduct of cases before them.

    Moreover, while it may be said that the MCTC correctly applied the Rule on Summary Procedure in Civil Case No. 262 since BAYOG’s complaint for ejectment therein suppressed the fact of an agrarian relationship between him and MAGDATO, it should not have refrained from taking cognizance of MAGDATO’s Answer. Although filed late, the Answer asserted that the MCTC had no jurisdiction over the case in light of the agricultural tenancy relationship between BAYOG and MAGDATO, which is clearly evidenced by their Agricultural Leasehold Contract and the Certificate of Agricultural Leasehold issued in MAGDATO’s favor by then President Marcos. While this assertion, per se, did not automatically divest the MCTC of its jurisdiction over the ejectment case, 37 nevertheless, in view of MAGDATO’s defense, the MCTC should have heard and received the evidence for the precise purpose of determining whether or not it possessed jurisdiction over the case. And upon such hearing, if tenancy was shown to be at issue, the MCTC should have dismissed the case for lack of jurisdiction. 38 Verily, if indeed MAGDATO were an agricultural lessee under agrarian law, then the MCTC was devoid of jurisdiction over the ejectment case. 39

    The MCTC should have met and ruled squarely, on the issue of jurisdiction, instead of simply adopting a strange theory that it could not take cognizance of the answer belatedly filed without exceeding its jurisdiction under Section 36 of B.P. Blg. 129. Plainly, there is nothing in the said section which bars the MCTC from taking cognizance of the answer. The Revised Rule on Summary Procedure, as well as its predecessor, do not provide that an answer filed after the reglementary period should be expunged from the records. As a matter of fact, there is no provision for an entry of default if a defendant fails to file his answer. It must likewise be pointed out that MAGDATO’s defense of lack of jurisdiction may have even be raised in a motion to dismiss as an exception to the rule on prohibited pleadings in the Revised Rule on Summary Procedure. Such a motion is allowed under paragraph (a) of Section 19 thereof, which reads:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    SEC. 19. Prohibited pleadings and motions. — The following pleadings, motions, or petitions shall not be allowed in the cases covered by this Rule:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    (a) Motion to dismiss the complaint or to quash the complaint or information except on the ground of lack of jurisdiction over the subject matter, or failure to comply with the preceding section;

    (b) Motion for a bill of particulars;

    (c) Motion for new trial, or for reconsideration of a judgment, or for reopening of trial;

    (d) Petition for relief from judgment;

    (e) Motion for extension of time to file pleadings, affidavits or any other paper;

    (f) Memoranda;

    (g) Petition for certiorari, mandamus, or prohibition against any interlocutory order issued by the court;

    (h) Motion to declare defendant in default;

    (i) Dilatory motions for postponement;

    (j) Reply;

    (k) Third Party complaints;

    (l) Interventions. (Emphasis supplied)

    Worse, in its Order of 20 September 1993, the MCTC ordered MAGDATO "to remove his house . . . before judgment becomes final and executory," and the Provincial Sheriff to demolish and destroy [MAGDATO’S] house on the . . . land of [BAYOG] in case [MAGDATO] should fail to remove the same . . . before judgment against him becomes final and executory." 40 This was clearly in violation of Section 8, Rule 70 of the Rules of Court and Section 21 of the Revised Rule on Summary Procedure. Such orders of "removal" and "demolition" before the judgment becomes final and executory were obviously intended to render futile any appeal which MAGDATO could interpose therefrom pursuant to Section 21 of the Revised Rule on Summary Procedure.

    Compounding this palpably oppressive and capricious Order, the MCTC, in its Order of Execution 41 of 16 December 1993, directed the Provincial Sheriff "to demolish and destroy defendant’s [MAGDATO’s] home standing in the above-described parcel of land in case defendant should fail to remove the same therefrom before judgment against him becomes final and executory." And, in strict obedience to this said order, Sheriff IV Amando S. Lapos, acting for the Ex-Officio Provincial Sheriff, accompanied by Edgar Tondares (Sheriff IV), the Barangay Captain of Centro Pojo, members of the Philippine National Police (PNP) of Bugasong, Antique, as security escorts, and BAYOG himself, served on MAGDATO the order of execution on 24 January 1994 and forthwith ejected MAGDATO from the land in question and demolished and destroyed MAGDATO’s house. 42

    This was a clear abuse of authority or misuse of the strong arm of the law. No demolition of MAGDATO’s house could have been validly effected on the day of service of the order of execution. MAGDATO should have been afforded a reasonable period of time to remove his house, and only after he failed to comply within the given period could a demolition order have been issued by the court, pursuant to Section 14, Rule 39 of the Rules of Court. 43

    We now turn to the acts of the RTC.

    We disagree with the RTC’s holding that a petition for relief from judgment (Civil Case No. 2708) is not prohibited under the Revised Rule on Summary Procedure, in light of the Jakihaca 44 ruling. When Section 19 of the Revised Rule on Summary Procedure bars a petition for relief from judgment 45 of a petition for certiorari, mandamus, or prohibition against any interlocutory order issued by the court, 46 it has in mind no other than Section 1, Rule 38 regarding petitions for relief from judgment, and Rule 65 regarding petitions for certiorari, mandamus, or prohibition, of the Rules of Court, respectively. These petitions are cognizable by Regional Trial Courts, and not by Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal Trial Courts, or Municipal Circuit Trial Courts. If Section 19 of the Revised Rule on Summary Procedure and Rules 38 and 65 of the Rules of Court are juxtaposed, the conclusion is inevitable that no petition for relief from judgment nor a special civil action of certiorari, prohibition, or mandamus arising from cases covered by the Revised Rule on Summary Procedure may be filed with a superior court. This is but consistent with the mandate of Section 36 of B.P. Blg. 129 to achieve an expeditious and inexpensive determination of the cases subject of summary procedure.

    Nevertheless, in view of the unusual and peculiar circumstances of this case, unless some form of relief is made available to MAGDATO, the grave injustice and irreparable injury that visited him through no fault or negligence on his part will only be perpetuated. Thus, the petition for relief from judgment which he filed may be allowed or treated, pro hac vice, either as an exception to the rule, or a regular appeal to the RTC, or even an action to annul the order (decision) of the MCTC of 20 September 1993. As an exception, the RTC correctly held that the circumstances alleged therein and the justification pleaded worked in favor of MAGDATO, and that the motion to dismiss Civil Case No. 2708 was without merit. And contrary to the petitioners’ contention, the petition for relief from judgment was filed within the period fixed in Section 3, Rule 38 of the Rules of Court which provides:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    SEC. 3. Time for filing of petition contents and verification. — A petition for in either of the preceding sections of this rule must be verified, filed within sixty (60) days after the petitioner learns of the judgment, order, or other proceeding to be set aside, and not more than six (6) months after such judgment or order was entered, or such proceeding was taken; and must be accompanied with affidavits showing the fraud, accident, mistake, or excusable negligence relied upon, and the facts constituting the petitioner’s good and substantial cause of action or defense, as the case may be.

    While the MCTC Order of 20 September 1993 was received by MAGDATO’s lawyer, Atty. Marcelo C. Josue, on 11 October 1993, the latter, however, did not inform nor notify MAGDATO about it; worse, the said lawyer took no action whatever after he received a copy of BAYOG’s motion for execution on 22 November 1993. MAGDATO learned of the Order of 20 September 1993 only on 24 January 1994, when he was served with a copy of the Order of Execution. 47 MAGDATO filed the petition for relief from judgment on 9 February 1994, or FIFTEEN days from the time he learned of the judgment. BAYOG’s insistence then that the period must be reckoned from Atty. Josue’s receipt of the Order on 11 October 1993 deserves scant consideration. Under what we considered above as the unusual and peculiar circumstances in this case, we cannot consider as notice to MAGDATO of the 20 September 1993 Order the notice to his lawyer, who to us appears to have been unconscionably irresponsible. So we did in People’s Homesite and Housing Corporation v. Tiongco, 48 where we declared:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    There should be no dispute regarding the doctrine that normally notice to counsel is notice to parties, and that such doctrine has beneficent effects upon the prompt dispensation of justice. Its application to a given case, however, should be looked into and adopted, according to the surrounding circumstances; otherwise, in the court’s desire to make a short cut of the proceedings, it might foster, wittingly or unwittingly, dangerous collusions to the detriment of justice. It would then be easy for one lawyer to sell one’s rights down the river, by just alleging that he just forgot every process of the court affecting his clients, because he was so busy. Under this circumstance, one should not insist that a notice to such irresponsible lawyer is also a notice to his clients.

    In any event, the 60-day period in this case can, with equal force and effect, be reckoned from MAGDATO’s receipt of the Order of Execution on 24 January 1994 and the petition may then be treated as a petition for relief from the said order. Tiongco is likewise authority therefor, to wit:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Moreover, the petition for relief from judgment under consideration, may even be considered as one for relief from the order of execution, which was filed within the reglementary period, inasmuch as Section 2 of Rule 38, Revised Rules, does not only refer to judgments, but also to orders, or any other proceedings. 49

    Furthermore, as regards the mandatory second period of six months, the least that can be said is that it had not even begun to run as the records do not disclose that the Order of 20 September 1993, which is the challenged "decision," had been entered. On this score, Section 3 of Rule 38 speaks of entry of the judgment or order, not its rendition nor finality, thus the 6-month period must be reckoned from the entry. On this matter, Mr. Justice Florenz D. Regalado, in his Remedial Law Compendium, 50 states:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    The 6-month period is computed from the date of actual entry of the order or judgment as this is defined in Sec. 2, Rule 36, that is, from the recording of the judgment or order in the book of entries of judgments and not from the date of the order of default or the rendition of the judgment or the finality of the judgment. With respect to the "proceedings" in Courts of First Instance which can be subject of petitions for relief, supra, the date when the proceedings were taken controls (Dirige v. Biranya, L-22033, July 30, 1966, reviewing all previous decisions and expressly repealing all contrary doctrine). Also, in judgments upon compromise, being immediately executory, prescription runs from the date of its rendition, hence the 6-month period also runs therefrom (Bodlongan v. Ceniza, Et Al., O.G. 8058; Dirige v. Biranya, supra).

    We likewise agree with the RTC that the absence of an affidavit of merit was not fatal since the petition itself, which is under oath, recites the circumstances or facts which constitute the grounds for the petition. Such being the case, a separate affidavit reiterating the grounds already laid bare in the petition would be superfluous. Elsewise stated, the absence of the affidavit is of de minimis importance, as the oath elevates the petition to the same category as the affidavit. 51

    In the alternative, the petition for relief from judgment may properly be considered as MAGDATO’s appeal from the order (decision) of the MCTC of 20 September 1993, or an action to annul the said order. It is a settled rule that a final and executory judgment may be set aside in three way, viz., (1) by a petition for relief from judgment under Rule 38; (2) when the judgment is void for want of jurisdiction, by direct action, as certiorari, or by collateral attack; and (3) when the judgment was obtained by fraud and Rule 38 cannot be applied, by civil action under Article 1114 of the Civil Code. 52 The fraud must be extrinsic or collateral. In the instant case, the unconscionable failure of MAGDATO’s lawyer to inform MAGDATO of his receipt of the Order of 20 September 1993 and the motion for execution, and to take the appropriate action against either or both to protect MAGDATO’s rights amounted to connivance with the prevailing party for MAGDATO’s defeat, which constituted extrinsic fraud. 53

    The RTC cannot then be faulted for taking cognizance of the case. However, it acted with rather undue haste when, in its Order of 18 October 1994 denying BAYOG’s first and second motions to dismiss, it forthwith "set aside" the 20 September 1993 Order of the MCTC and "remanded the case to [the latter] for proper disposal." What it should have done was simply deny the motions to dismiss, in light of Section 4, Rule 16 of the Rules of Court, which provides that if a motion to dismiss is denied or if determination is deferred, the movant shall file his answer within the period prescribed by Rule 11, computed from the time he received notice of the denial or deferment, unless the court provides a different period.

    The petitioners do not, however, question the RTC’s error on this point. If we would then annul that portion of the challenged order setting aside the MCTC’s Order of 20 September 1993 as having been issued with grave abuse of discretion, then the petitioners herein would be allowed to file their Answer in Civil Case No. 2708. Thereafter, the RTC would hold a pre-trial conference and trial on the merits. These would merely unduly delay the resolution of an otherwise uncomplicated issue. Then, if respondent Judge Natino reaches the same conclusion and renders the same resolution as that of his challenged Order of 18 October 1994, the case would have to be remanded to the MCTC for proper "disposal." However, the pleadings filed in this case and the annexes thereto inexorably firm up the issue of jurisdiction of the MCTC over the ejectment case. We have for MAGDATO, copies of the Agricultural Leasehold Contract between him and BAYOG and Certificate of Agricultural Leasehold issued by then President Marcos; and for BAYOG, the Deed of Mortgage of Tenancy Rights executed by MAGDATO and his wife in favor of Federico Valdevieso, the affidavit of Arturo Valdevieso of 3 May 1994 to the effect that after the execution of the mortgage, his father Federico and the immediate members of his family possessed its subject property and paid the rentals to BAYOG, and the so-called receipts issued by the latter for the said rentals.

    In short, there is nothing more the parties can offer on the issue of the jurisdiction of the MCTC. There is then absolutely no acceptable reason to await the end of the tedious procedural rituals above indicated since that issue can now be resolved in view of the foregoing considerations. It serves no useful purpose to withhold our verdict and remand this case to the MCTC, only for it to order the dismissal of the ejectment case. The resultant further delay which may accompany a likely appeal therefrom by BAYOG and Pesayco must be forestalled to serve the ends of justice. 54 Plainly, the greater interest of justice, especially to MAGDATO, whose rights as an agricultural leaseholder were trampled upon, demands that we dispose of the issue of the MCTC’s jurisdiction over the ejectment case. 55

    Accordingly, we adopt that portion of the challenged Order of 18 October 1994 of respondent Judge Natino in Civil Case No. 2708 setting aside the order (judgment) of the MCTC of 20 September 1993 in Civil Case No. 262, consider Civil Case No. 2708 closed and terminated, and declare the Third MCTC of Antique without jurisdiction over Civil Case No. 262.

    WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing, the instant petition is DISMISSED for want of merit. That part of the dispositive portion of the Order of 18 October 1994 of the Regional Trial Court of Antique, Branch 12, in Civil Case No. 2708 setting aside the Order of 20 September 1993 of the Third Municipal Circuit Trial Court of Patnongon-Bugasong-Valderama, Antique, in Civil Case No. 262 is AFFIRMED, and the Order of Execution of 16 December 1993 in Civil Case No. 262 is ANNULLED and SET ASIDE and the said case is ordered DISMISSED.

    Furthermore, Honorable Judge DEOGRACIAS K. DEL ROSARIO of the Third Municipal Circuit Trial Court of Patnongon-Bugasong-Valderama, Antique, and Atty. MARCELO C. JOSUE are directed TO SHOW CAUSE, within ten (10) days from receipt of a copy of this Decision, why they should not be disciplinarily dealt with for gross ignorance of law and violation of Canon 18 of the Code of Professional Responsibility, respectively.

    Let copies of this Decision be furnished Judge Deogracias K. del Rosario and Atty. Marcelo C. Josue.

    Costs against the petitioners.

    SO ORDERED.

    Narvasa, C.J., Melo, Francisco and Panganiban, JJ., concur.

    Endnotes:



    1. Original Records (OR), Civil Case No. 2708, 100-103, 104-107, 108-111, 112-115; Rollo, 20-23. Per Judge Antonio M. Natino.

    2. Entitled, "Alberto Magdato, Petitioner, versus Alejandro Bayog and Jorge Pesayco, Jr., Respondent."cralaw virtua1aw library

    3. OR, 7-10; Rollo, 44-47. Per Judge Deogracias K. del Rosario.

    4. Entitled, "Alejandro Bayog, Et Al., plaintiffs, versus Alberto Magdato, Defendant."cralaw virtua1aw library

    5. Annex "A" of Petition OR, 5, 15, 26; Rollo, 42.

    6. Annex "B," Id.; Id., 6, 16, 27; Id., 43.

    7. Rollo, 105-106.

    8. Annex "A" of Complaint for Ejectment; Id., 28. The original was written in the local dialect, with the translation into English (Id., 29) done by Atty. Oseo Alcobilla, a Comelec Legal Assistance Officer.

    9. Annex "B," Id.; Id., 24-27.

    10. Annexes "C" and "C-1," Id.; Id., 31-32.

    11. Section 4, Rule on Summary Procedure (now Section 5, Revised Rule on Summary Procedure).

    12. Annex "A" of Comment; Rollo, 78-80.

    13. Annex "C" of Petition, OR, Civil Case No. 2708, 7-10, 17-20, 28-31.

    14. That section, which is now Section 6, Revised Rule on Summary Procedure reads:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    SEC. 5. Effect of failure to answer. — Should the defendant fail to answer the complaint, crossclaim or permissive counterclaim within the reglementary 10-day period herein provided, the court motu proprio, or on motion of the plaintiff, shall render judgment as may be warranted by the facts alleged in the complaint and limited to what is prayed for therein except as to the amount of damages which the Court may reduce in its discretion.

    15. Annex "C" of Petition OR, Civil Case No. 2708, 20.

    16. Motion to Dismiss Civil Case No. 2708, 4; Id., 42.

    17. OR, Civil Case No. 2708, 48-49; Rollo, 34-35.

    18. Annex "2," Motion to Dismiss Civil Case No. 2708; Id., 47; Id., 33.

    19. Annex "D" of Petition OR, 11, 21, 32; Rollo, 48.

    20. Id., 1-4, 12-14-A, 22-25; Id., 38-41.

    21. Id., 39-44, 50-55; Id., 49-54.

    22. Citing Banco Español v. Palanca, 37 Phil. 921 [1918].

    23. OR, 64-65.

    24. Id., 66-69.

    25. Id., 74-75.

    26. Id., 89.

    27. Id., 91-92.

    28. Id., Civil Case No. 2708, 100-103, 104-107, 108-111, 112-115; Rollo, 2043.

    29. 181 SCRA 67 [1990].

    30. OR, 116-127, 128-139.

    31. OR, 145, 146, 147; Rollo, 55.

    32. 215 SCRA 17 [1992].

    33. Supra note 22.

    34. Annexes "A," "B," and "C" of Reply; Rollo, 97-99.

    35. Annex "K" of Petition; Id., 60.

    36. 52 SCRA 37 [1973].

    37. De la Cruz v. Bautista, 186 SCRA 517, 525 [1990]; De Luna v. Court of Appeals, 221 SCRA 703, 709 [1993].

    38. E.O. No. 229; Sections 50 and 53, Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law of 1988 (R.A. No. 6657). See Quismundo v. Court of Appeals, 201 SCRA 609 [1991]; Tiongson v. Court of Appeals, 214 SCRA 197 [1992].

    39. Ignacio v. Court of First Instance, 42 SCRA 89, 95 [1971]; Isidro v. Court of Appeals, 228 SCRA 503, 512 [1993].

    40. Emphasis supplied.

    41. See note 17.

    42. See note 18.

    43. It provides:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    SEC. 14. Removal of improvements on property subject if execution. — When the property subject of the execution contains improvements constructed or planted by the judgment debtor or his agent the officer shall not destroy, demolish or remove said improvements except upon special order of the court, issued upon petition of the judgment creditor after due hearing and after the former has failed to remove the same within a reasonable time fixed by the court.

    See Carreon v. Mendiola, 220 SCRA 214 [1993]; Añonuevo v. Pempeña, 234 SCRA 168 [1994].

    44. Supra note 29.

    45. Section 19(d), Revised Rule on Summary Procedure.

    46. Section 19(g), Id.

    47. This is admitted in the petitioners’ Reply Brief (should be Reply). Rollo, 92, 94.

    48. 12 SCRA 471, 476 [1964].

    49. Supra note 48.

    50. Vol. 1, Fifth Revised ed. [1988], 256.

    51. Consul v. Consul, 17 SCRA 667, 671 [1966]; Fabar, Inc. v. Rodelas, 79 SCRA 638, 646 [1977].

    52. VICENTE J. FRANCISCO, The Revised Rules of Court in the Philippines, Vol. II (Civil Procedure) [1966 ed.], 541.

    53. Laxamana v. Court of Appeals, 87 SCRA 48, 56 [1978]; Asian Surety and Insurance Co., Inc. v. Island Steel, Inc., 118 SCRA 233, 239 [1982].

    54. Lianga Bay Logging Co., Inc. v. Abaya, 157 SCRA 357, 365-367 [1988], citing Lucas v. Mariano, 44 SCRA 501 [1972]; Francisco v. City of Davao, 12 SCRA 628 [1964].

    55. Limpan Investment Corp. v. Sundian, 157 SCRA 209, 213 [1988].

    G.R. No. 118691   July 5, 1996 - ALEJANDRO BAYOG, ET AL. v. ANTONIO M. NATINO, ET AL.


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