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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. 115683   July 26, 1996 - DELIA MANUEL v. DAVID ALFECHE, JR., ET AL.

     
    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    THIRD DIVISION

    [G.R. No. 115683. July 26, 1996.]

    DELIA MANUEL, Petitioner, v. JUDGE DAVID ALFECHE, JR., in his capacity as then Presiding Judge of RTC, Region Six, Branch 15, Roxas City, FELIPE CELINO, DANNY FAJARD0 and LEMUEL FERNANDEZ, Respondents.


    R E S O L U T I O N


    PANGANIBAN, J.:


    In criminal prosecutions, the civil action is deemed impliedly instituted unless the complainant waives it, or reserves the right to institute it separately or files it prior to the criminal. Where the trial court renders a judgment finding the accused guilty of libel, but motu proprio dismisses complainant’s claims for, inter alia, moral and exemplary damages on the ground of complainant’s failure to pay the filing fees therefor, may the complainant raise the matter via a petition for review on certiorari directly before this Court, while the judgment of conviction is on appeal before the Court of Appeals? This is the main question brought before this Court in this petition to set aside a portion of the Decision 1 of the respondent judge dated April 21, 1994 in Criminal Case No. 3539 as well as the Order 2 of the same court dated May 27, 1994 denying the motion for reconsideration.

    The Facts


    On January 9, 1992, the City Prosecutor of the City of Roxas filed with the Regional Trial Court, 6th Judicial Region, Branch 15, Roxas City an Information 3 for libel worded as follows:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "That on or about the period September 20-22, 1991, in the City of Roxas, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the said accused, FELIPE CELINO, being then the writer/author; DANNY FAJARDO, Editor-in-Chief; LEMUEL T. FERNANDEZ, Associate Editor; and JOHN PAUL TIA, Assistant Editor of a regional newspaper known as "Panay News" which has considerable circulation in Panay Island and throughout Western Visayas, including Roxas City and Capiz Province, conspiring, confederating together and mutually helping one another, did then and there, willfully, unlawfully and feloniously, and with malicious intent of impeaching the integrity, credibility, honor, and reputation of DELIA MANUEL, and with the further malicious intent (to expose) DELIA MANUEL to public hatred, contempt, disrespect and ridicule, prepare, write, arrange, and publish, or cause to be prepared, written, arranged and published in the regular issue of the said Panay News for the period September 20-22, 1991, as Article in the front page and/or headline entitled "LOCAL SHABU PEDDLER NOW A MILLIONAIRE" the text of which is quoted hereunder:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "LOCAL SHABU PEDDLER NOW A MILLIONAIRE"

    BY: FELIPE V. CELINO

    ROXAS CITY — A middle-aged woman here has joined the ranks of millionaires after several years of selling shabu in the island of Panay.

    Named by Narcom agents as "Delia" this woman is the alleged "shabu Queen" in Western Visayas and has been (raking) in millions of pesos since she started peddling shabu, marijuana and other prohibited drugs in this part of the country.

    According to reliable sources, Delia has been transporting about 750 grams of shabu weekly from Manila to Panay. A gram of this poor man’s Cocaine has a street value of P1,000 more or less.

    What makes her business prosper almost unscathed and very productive is the protection provided her by a top ranking military officer in Manila, they said.

    At present, the (sources) said, the shabu Queen is residing near one of the private schools in this City. She has three brand new cars. Her house’s outside walls are made of bamboo but it is fully air-conditioned and complete with luxurious household appliances, PN sources added.

    In Iloilo, Delia is known as "Madam-Ex." She doesn’t deal with small time users. "She specializes in deals with scions of rich businessmen and even local politicians."cralaw virtua1aw library

    The Narcom has allegedly been monitoring the activities of the shabu queen but has not nailed her down yet because of lack of cooperation from the public.

    which newspaper issues containing the abovequoted article were sent and circulated to, or caused to be sent or circulated to, and actually read by subscribers and other readers, especially those in the City of Roxas and Province of Capiz.

    That said accused intended to convey, as in fact (have) actually conveyed in said article, false imputations and malicious insinuations against the said DELIA MANUEL that is, that said Delia Manuel is the alleged "SHABU QUEEN" in Western Visayas and has been raking in millions of pesos since she started peddling shabu, marijuana and other prohibited drugs in this part of the country, with no good intention or justifiable motives, thereby (unjustly) and unlawfully besmirching the good name, character, and reputation of said Delia Manuel as a private person and as a businesswoman.

    That as a direct consequence of the publication of the said article, said Delia Manuel suffered actual, moral and exemplary damages in the amount of TEN MILLION PESOS (P10,000,000.00)." (Emphasis supplied)

    After trial, the respondent judge rendered the assailed Decision finding three of the accused guilty and acquitting a fourth. However," (t)he civil indemnity by way of moral damages (was) dismissed for lack of jurisdiction" on the ground that petitioner did not pay the filing fees therefor. In the words of the respondent court:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    ". . ., close scrutiny of the record disclose that while the offended party seeks to enforce civil liability against the accused by way of moral damages in the amount of P10,000,000.00 which is alleged in the information, there was no payment of the filing fees corresponding thereto at the time of the filing of the information on January 9, 1992. For failing on this requisite, the court did not acquire jurisdiction on the civil indemnity thus claimed. Hence, the claim for recovery of moral damages by the offended party is dismissed."cralaw virtua1aw library

    The respondent court cited General v. Claravall 4 in support of its action.

    Reconsideration having been denied, petitioner sought to overturn the above dismissal via the instant petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45.

    The Issues


    Petitioner argues that "under the new Rules on Criminal Procedure . . . the filing fees, when moral, nominal, temperate or exemplary damages are claimed in the criminal case, shall constitute a first lien in the judgment, and thus need not be paid upon the filing of the information, (and therefore) the filing fees herein was (sic) not assessed by the Clerk of Court, nor paid by herein petitioner at the time of the filing of the information." Petitioner further insists that "it is only when the amount of damages other than actual, has been specified in the information that the filing fees is (sic) required to be paid upon the filing of the information, . . . and that since in (this) case the amount of damages stated in the information partakes firstly of actual damages and is not entirely other than actual, then this case does not fall under the last par. of sec. 1 Rule III" of the 1988 Rules on Criminal Procedure.

    In their comment and subsequently in their memorandum, private respondents counter that the present petition is erroneously filed. As the questioned Decision is a final judgment, the appropriate remedy would have been ordinary appeal, not appeal by certiorari. They also argue that" (t)he present petition is pre-mature because the questioned decision is pending appeal with the Honorable Court of Appeals. . . . (I)f the questioned decision be reversed ahead by the Court of Appeals . . . (there) would then be no more basis for the present petition." The accused — herein private respondent — had gone to the Court of Appeals seeking a reversal of the judgment of conviction.

    The Court’s Ruling


    The petition is devoid of merit.

    While petitioner may be correct in asserting that a direct petition may, under appropriate circumstances, be taken to this Court from the final judgment of the Regional Trial Court on pure questions of law in the form and manner provided for in the Revised Rules of Court, 5 nevertheless, in view of the factual environment of this case, particularly that private respondents herein had already taken an appeal to the Court of Appeals to question the trial court’s judgment of conviction, the proper remedy for petitioner is simply ordinary appeal to the said tribunal.

    This is so because the award of moral and exemplary damages by the trial court is inextricably linked to and necessarily dependent upon the factual finding of basis therefor, viz., the existence of the crime of libel. Inasmuch as the very same Decision herein assailed is already pending review by the Court of Appeals, there is a distinct possibility that said court may, if the facts and the law warrant, reverse the trial court and acquit the accused. In such event, the appellate court’s action could collide with a ruling finding merit in petitioner’s contentions before this Court. Such a situation would lead to absurdity and confusion in the ultimate disposition of the case. Obviously, this possibility must be avoided at all cost. This is (at least partly) the raison d ‘etre for the rule against forum-shopping. 6 Clearly, then, petitioner ought to have brought her challenge in the Court of Appeals.

    In connection with the foregoing discussion, we note petitioner’s vehement insistence that Art. 33 of the Civil Code allows an independent civil action for damages in cases of defamation, fraud, and physical injuries to be instituted separately and independently from the criminal. She then concludes that the civil aspect of the case is not dependent on the criminal, but rather, may proceed independently thereof, and that therefore, the review of the civil aspect by this Court may take place simultaneously with and separately from the review of the criminal aspect by the Court of Appeals.

    Such reasoning is misplaced. Sec. 1 of Rule 111 provides that the civil action for recovery of civil liability is impliedly instituted with the criminal action unless the offended party waives the civil action, reserves his right to institute it separately, or institutes the civil action prior to the criminal action. In the present case, the civil action had been actually (not just impliedly) instituted with the criminal prosecution, as shown by the fact that petitioner took an active part in the prosecution of the criminal case. As admitted in the petition, "the private prosecutor, counsel for . . . the petitioner herein" was allowed "upon prior authority and under the supervision of the City Prosecutor, to handle the prosecution, by presenting all the prosecution’s evidence" and even filing the Prosecution’s Memorandum. Obviously then, there can no longer be any independent civil action to speak of, as the civil aspect had previously been included in the criminal. And petitioner, by attempting to have recourse to this Court with the criminal aspect still pending with the Court of Appeals, was effectively trying to split a single cause of action. This we cannot allow.

    Petitioner also posits the non-necessity of paying the filing and docket fees by reason of the non-specification of the amounts of moral and exemplary damages being claimed by her, purportedly on the authority of this Court’s ruling in General v. Claravall (supra.). For the sake of clarity, we quote from General:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "This Court’s plain intent — to make the Manchester doctrine requiring payment of filing fees at the time of the commencement of an action applicable to impliedly instituted civil actions under Section 1, Rule 111 only when ‘the amount of damages, other than actual, is alleged in the complaint or information’ — has thus been made manifest by the language of the amendatory provisions (adopted by this Court with effect on October 1, 1988).

    In any event, the Court now makes that intent plainer, and in the interests of clarity and certainty, categorically declares for the guidance of all concerned that when a civil action is deemed impliedly instituted with the criminal in accordance with Section 1, Rule 111 of the Rules of Court — because the offended party has NOT waived the civil action, or reserved the right to institute it separately, or instituted the civil action prior to the criminal action — the rule is as follows:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    1) when the ‘amount of damages, other than actual, is alleged in the complaint or information’ filed in court, then ‘the corresponding filing fees shall be paid by the offended party upon the filing thereof in Court for trial;’

    2) in any other case, however — i.e., when the amount of damages is not so alleged in the complaint or information filed in court, the corresponding filing fees need not be paid and shall simply ‘constitute a first lien on the judgment, except in an award for actual damages."cralaw virtua1aw library

    We hold that said General ruling, especially the last subparagraph above-quoted, was actually intended to apply to a situation wherein either (i) the judgment awards a claim not specified in the pleading, or (ii) the complainant expressly claims moral, exemplary, temperate and/or nominal damages but has not specified ANY amount at all, leaving the quantification thereof entirely to the trial court’s discretion, 7 and NOT to a situation where the litigant specifies some amounts of parameters for the awards being sought, even though the different types of damages sought be not separately or individually quantified. Were we to hold otherwise, the result would be to permit litigants to continue availing of one more loophole in the rule on payment of filing fees, and would not serve to attain the purpose of the revised Sec. 1 of Rule 111, which is "to discourage the ‘gimmick of libel complainants of using the fiscal’s office to include in the criminal information their claim for astronomical damages in multiple millions of pesos without paying any filing fees.’" 8

    WHEREFORE, for utter lack of merit, the instant petition is DISMISSED.

    SO ORDERED.

    Narvasa, C.J., Davide, Jr., Melo and Francisco, JJ., concur.

    Endnotes:



    1. Rollo, pp. 19-30.

    2. Rollo, pp. 32-33.

    3. Rollo, pp. 19-21.

    4. 195 SCRA 623 (March 22, 1991).

    5. Southern Negros Development Bank, Inc. v. Court of Appeals, 233 SCRA 460 (June 27, 1994).

    6. Cf. First Phil. International Bank v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No 115849, January 24, 1996, citing inter alia, Buan v. Lopez, 145 SCRA 34 (October 13, 1986).

    7. Cf. Sun Insurance Office, Ltd., (SIOL) v. Asuncion, 170 SCRA 274, 285 (February 13, 1989), quoted in Pantranco North Express, Inc. v. Court of Appeals, 224 SCRA 477, 487-488 (July 5, 1993).

    8. General v. Claravall, supra, at p. 627.

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


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