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UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT JURISPRUDENCE
 

 
PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT JURISPRUDENCE
 

   
March-1996 Jurisprudence                 

  • G.R. No. 91935 March 4, 1996 - RODOLFO QUIAMBAO v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 106043 March 4, 1996 - CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY LANDLESS RESIDENTS ASSOCIATION INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 109645 March 4, 1996 - ORTIGAS AND COMPANY LIMITED PARTNERSHIP v. TIRSO VELASCO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 115365 March 4, 1996 - ESMENIO MADLOS v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 118126 March 4, 1996 - TRANS-ASIA SHIPPING LINES v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. MTJ-94-921 March 5, 1996 - AMPARO A. LACHICA v. ROLANDO A. FLORDELIZA

  • Adm. Matter No. MTJ-94-1009 March 5, 1996 - ALBERTO NALDOZA v. JUAN LAVILLES, JR.

  • G.R. No. 111501 March 5, 1996 - PHIL. FUJI XEROX CORPORATION, ET AL. v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION

  • G.R. No. 113930 March 5, 1996 - PAUL G. ROBERTS, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 115548 March 5, 1996 - STATE INVESTMENT HOUSE INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS

  • Adm. Matter No. P-94-1039 March 6, 1996 - FE ALBANO MADRID v. RAYMUNDO RAMIREZ

  • G.R. Nos. 112858-59 March 6, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RALPHY ALCANTARA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 120193 March 6, 1996 - LUIS MALALUAN v. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, ET AL.

  • Adm. Case No. CBD-174 March 7, 1996 - GIOVANI M. IGUAL v. ROLANDO S. JAVIER

  • G.R. No. 66555 March 7, 1996 - LEONCIO MEJARES, ET AL. v. JUAN Y. REYES, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 95353-54 March 7, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. PAULINO PAT

  • G.R. No. 109390 March 7, 1996 - JGB and ASSOCIATES v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 112445 March 7, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CARLOS V. PATROLLA, JR.

  • G.R. No. 113710 March 7, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FERDINAND V. JUAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116011 March 7, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RHODESA B. SILAN

  • G.R. No. 117650 March 7, 1996 - SULPICIO LINES v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 120905 March 7, 1996 - RENATO U. REYES v. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 95260 March 8, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. WILFREDO C. PRADO

  • G.R. No. 110983 March 8, 1996 - REYNALDO GARCIA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • Adm. Case No. 2024 March 11, 1996 - SALVADOR T. CASTILLO v. PABLO M. TAGUINES

  • G.R. No. 108625 March 11, 1996 - ALLIANCE OF DEMOCRATIC FREE LABOR ORGANIZATION v. BIENVENIDO LAGUESMA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 113194 March 11, 1996 - NATIONAL POWER CORPORATION v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 119381 March 11, 1996 - MARCOPPER MINING CORPORATION v. JOSE BRILLANTES

  • G.R. No. 96882 March 12, 1996 - EUTIQUIANO PAGARA, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 109800 March 12, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. WILFREDO N. BAUTISTA

  • G.R. No. 114388 March 12, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DOMINGO TRILLES, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. RTJ-94-4-156 March 13, 1996 - IN RE: FERNANDO P. AGDAMAG

  • Adm. Matter No. RTJ-96-1344 March 13, 1996 - VERONICA GONZALES v. LUCAS P. BERSAMIN

  • G.R. No. 101332 March 13, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CLARO BERNAL

  • G.R. No. 101699 March 13, 1996 - BENJAMIN A. SANTOS v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 104088-89 March 13, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. VICENTE JAIN, ET AL

  • G.R. No. 108743 March 13, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ARNALDO B. DONES

  • G.R. No. 112193 March 13, 1996 - JOSE E. ARUEGO, JR., ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 112546 March 13, 1996 - NORTH DAVAO MINING CORPORATION, ET AL. v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 119073 March 13, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALBERTO DIAZ

  • G.R. No. 120223 March 13, 1996 - RAMON Y. ALBA v. DEPUTY OMBUDSMAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 101070 March 14, 1996 - BALAYAN COLLEGES, ET AL. v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 102062 March 14, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CAMILO FERRER, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 104685 March 14, 1996 - SABENA BELGIAN WORLD AIRLINES v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 119706 March 14, 1996 - PHILIPPINE AIRLINES, INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 73592 March 15, 1996 - JOSE CUENCO BORROMEO v. INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 94494 March 15, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DIONISIO C. LAPURA

  • G.R. No. 103695 March 15, 1996 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 105819 March 15, 1996 - MARILYN L. BERNARDO v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 106229-30 March 15, 1996 - LEOVIGILDO ROSALES v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 108001 March 15, 1996 - SAN MIGUEL CORPORATION, ET AL. v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 111651 March 15, 1996 - OSMALIK S. BUSTAMANTE, ET AL. v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 115106 March 15, 1996 - ROBERTO L. DEL ROSARIO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 114988 March 18, 1996 - CATALINO BONTIA, ET AL. v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION

  • G.R. No. 117667 March 18, 1996 - INLAND TRAILWAYS v. COURT OF APPEALS

  • Adm. Matter No. 94-5-42-MTC March 20, 1996 - QUERY OF JUDGE DANILO M. TENERIFE

  • G.R. No. 102360 March 20, 1996 - ROSITA DOMINGO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 111656 March 20, 1996 - MANUEL MANAHAN, JR. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116665 March 20, 1996 - MELQUIADES D. AZCUNA, JR. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. 95-1-07-RTC March 21, 1996 - JDF ANOMALY IN THE RTC OF LIGAO, ALBAY

  • Adm. Matter No. 95-10-06-SCC March 27, 1996 - IN RE: DEMASIRA M. BAUTE

  • Adm. Matter No. P-94-1071 March 28, 1996 - ELIZABETH ASUMBRADO v. FRANCISCO R. MACUNO

  • G.R. No. 104386 March 28, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. OSCAR L. LEVISTE, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 121424 March 28, 1996 - IN RE: MAURO P. MAGTIBAY v. VICENTE VINARAO

  • G.R. No. 90215 March 29, 1996 - ERNESTO ZALDARRIAGA, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 94594 March 29, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROMEO REDULOSA, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 96178-79 March 29, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EDUARDO ESMAQUILAN

  • G.R. No. 97785 March 29, 1996 - PHILIPPINE COMMERCIAL INTERNATIONAL BANK v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 99259-60 March 29, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EMILIO D. SANTOS

  • G.R. No. 103525 March 29, 1996 - MARCOPPER MINING CORPORATION v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 104296 March 29, 1996 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL. v. COURT OF APPEALS

  • G.R. Nos. 106083-84 March 29, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. QUINTIN T. GARRAEZ

  • G.R. No. 106600 March 29, 1996 - COSMOS BOTTLING CORPORATION v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 109312 March 29, 1996 - PLACIDO MIRANDA, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 109614-15 March 29, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ADRONICO GREGORIO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 112346 March 29, 1996 - EVELYN YONAHA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 112457-58 March 29, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROMEO CARTUANO, JR.

  • G.R. No. 112678 March 29, 1996 - EDUARDO M . ESPEJO v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 112708-09 March 29, 1996 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL. v. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 112718 March 29, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. VLADIMIR L. CANUZO

  • G.R. Nos. 113519-20 March 29, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DANILO F. PANLILIO

  • G.R. Nos. 114263-64 March 29, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JOHN JENN PORRAS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 115988 March 29, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LEO V. LIAN

  • G.R. No. 116734 March 29, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LARRY B. LAURENTE, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116792 March 29, 1996 - BANK OF THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 117055 March 29, 1996 - SAN MIGUEL CORPORATION v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION

  • G.R. No. 117618 March 29, 1996 - VIRGINIA MALINAO v. LUISITO REYES, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 118509 March 29, 1996 - LIMKETKAI SONS MILLING INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 118870 March 29, 1996 - NERISSA Z. PEREZ v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 119193 March 29, 1996 - NEMENCIO GALVEZ v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 120715 March 29, 1996 - FERNANDO R. SAZON v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 121527 March 29, 1996 - MARCELO L. ONGSITCO, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  •  




     
     

    G.R. No. 121527   March 29, 1996 - MARCELO L. ONGSITCO, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

     
    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    THIRD DIVISION

    [G.R. No. 121527. March 29, 1996.]

    MARCELO L. ONGSITCO, deceased, represented by his Heirs, namely, JOSEPH, JUNEWIN, FRANKLIN, IMELDA, all surnamed ONGSITCO, JOSEPHINE ONGSITCO-SY, and MARITES ONGSITCO-DUYALAON, Petitioners, v. COURT OF APPEALS, Hon. Presiding Judge Metropolitan Trial Court, Branch 19, Manila; Hon. Presiding Judge, Regional Trial Court, Branch 40, Manila, Deputy Sheriffs of both the MTC-Manila, Br. 19 and the RTC-Manila, Br. 40; and UNITED PLAZA REALTY CORPORATION, Respondents.

    Ambrosio M. Katly, for Petitioners.

    Syquia Law Offices for Private Respondent.


    SYLLABUS


    1. REMEDIAL LAW; APPEAL AND CERTIORARI; DISTINGUISHED; WHEN AVAILABLE OR PROPER. — "Where appeal is the proper remedy, certiorari will not lie." The writs of certiorari and prohibition are remedies to correct lack or excess of jurisdiction or grave abuse of discretion equivalent to lack of jurisdiction committed by a lower court.." . . Certiorari is not a remedy for errors of judgment. Errors of judgment are correctible by appeal, errors of jurisdiction are reviewable by certiorari." Rule 65 is very clear. The extraordinary remedies of certiorari, prohibition and mandamus are available only when "there is no appeal or any plain, speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law . . ." That is why they are referred to as "extraordinary." In the instant case, the Regional Trial Court has rendered a final ‘judgment. The remedy of the aggrieved party was a petition for review.

    2. CIVIL LAW; PROPERTY; OWNERSHIP; RIGHT OF ACCESSION IN IMMOVABLE PROPERTY; LESSEE AS BUILDER. — Ongsitco was not entitled to recover the P5 million expense." . . for the substantial and valuable improvements introduced on the leased premises . . ." A lessee cannot be considered as a builder in good faith because he knows or should know he is not the owner of the property where he builds. "Good faith consists in the belief of the builder that the land he is building on is his and his ignorance of any defect or flaw in his title."


    D E C I S I O N


    PANGANIBAN, J.:


    The well-settled rule that certiorari is not a substitute for a lost appeal (or, more accurately, a petition for review in ejectment cases) is reiterated in resolving this petition under Rule 45 seeking to set aside the Decision 1 of the Court of Appeals 2 promulgated on June 9, 1995 in CA-G.R. SP No. 37033 and the Resolution denying the Motion for Reconsideration. 3

    The Facts


    The petition alleges that Marcelo L. Ongsitco was the lessee of a property identified as 2044 Velasquez, Tondo, Manila from its "original owner", Catalino Luciano. The land was foreclosed by China Banking Corporation for failure of Luciano to pay his loan. The property was subsequently purchased from the bank by herein private respondent United Plaza Realty Corporation (United). No written contract of lease was executed between Ongsitco and United.

    For failure to pay rentals and other grounds, United filed an ejectment; suit against Ongsitco before the Metropolitan Trial Court of Manila 4 docketed as Civil Case No. 137411-CV. After trial, judgment 5 was rendered with the following disposition:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "WHEREFORE, judgment is hereby rendered for the PLAINTIFF. The defendant and all persons claiming under him are hereby —

    (a) ORDERED to VACATE the premises commonly known as 2044 Velasquez Street, Tondo, Manila and surrender its possession to the plaintiff;

    (b) ORDERED to PAY the plaintiff, the following amounts:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    1. P640,000.00 as unpaid rent from October 1982 to August 1991 inclusive;

    2. P27,000.00 per month from September 1991 and every month thereafter until the premises is completely vacated, as fair rental value for the use and occupancy thereof;

    3. P10,000.00 for and as attorney’s fees; and,

    4. The costs of suit."cralaw virtua1aw library

    On the appeal of petitioner, a decision 6 dated September 2, 1994 was issued by the Regional Trial Court of Manila, 7 Branch 40, affirming the lower court, except as to the amount of monthly rental, which was reduced, thusly:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "From the foregoing, the judgment of the lower court is hereby modified as follows:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "Defendant Marcelo L. Ongsitco and all persons claiming under him are hereby;

    a. ordered to vacate the premises commonly known as 2044 Velasquez St., Tondo, Manila, and surrender his possession to the plaintiff;

    b. ordered to pay the plaintiff the following amounts:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    (1) P640,000.00 as rentals from October 1982 to August 1991;

    (2) to pay monthly rental of P6,000.00 thereafter until the premises is completely vacated;

    (3) P10,000.00 for and as attorney’s fees; and

    (4) the costs of this suit."cralaw virtua1aw library

    Thereafter, petitioners filed on April 18, 1995 (which is way beyond the 15-day reglementary period for petitions for review) in the respondent appellate court a "Petition for Certiorari, Prohibition and Mandamus" docketed as CA-G.R. No. 37033. Subsequent to the filing of the petition, counsel for petitioner filed a "Motion for Substitution of Heirs", petitioner Ongsitco having died on April 14, 1995. In its comment before the respondent Court, private respondent "submitted that while the petition itself is dated April 10, 1995; the Certification of the supposed affiant (petitioner in this case) and the subscription (sic) thereof appears to be dated April 18, 1995 or four days after the petitioner Marcelo Ongsitco died/passed away." 8

    In the assailed Decision with the following disposition.

    "IN VIEW OF ALL THE FOREGOING, the petition at bench is DENIED COURSE and is ordered dismissed."cralaw virtua1aw library

    respondent Court held (1) that with the death of Ongsitco, "the lease in his favor is legally terminated and his heirs do not have any colorable right to occupy the apartment thereafter" ; and (2) the RTC decision has become final since no appeal was taken by petitioner and" certiorari will not lie as a substitute for the lost remedy of appeal."cralaw virtua1aw library

    The Issues


    The instant petition before this Court raises the following "assignment of errors" : 9

    "Respondent Court of Appeals erred in not applying to the case at bar but instead misappreciated the doctrine enunciated in Fausta Dimaculangan v. Intermediate Appellate Court (170 SCRA 393) when it held that with the death of lessee Marcelo L. Ongsitco, the lease becomes legally terminated and his heirs do not have any colorable right to occupy the leased premises, considering that the doctrine held in said case is that a leasehold right is clearly inheritable.

    "In holding that certiorari cannot be taken as a substitute for a lost appeal, respondent Court. of Appeals erred in refusing to apply the exceptions to the said rule which are applicable to this case and considering the environmental circumstances of the case.

    "Respondent Court of Appeals erred in holding that the gross negligence of petitioner Ongsitco’s former counsel in pursuing the wrong mode of appeal which prevented him from recovering the substantial, valuable improvements worth P5 Million does not fall under the exceptions to the general rule.

    ‘Respondent Court of Appeals erred in holding that the deceased Marcelo L. Ongsitco was not entitled to recover the P5 Million expense incurred by the deceased petitioner Marcelo Ongsitco for the substantial and valuable improvements he introduced on the leased premises in good faith, the non-recovery of which would amount to unjust enrichment on the part of the private respondent corporation."cralaw virtua1aw library

    In its Comment, United traversed all the above alleged errors" .

    The ultimate issue in this case can really be summed up as follows: —

    Did the respondent Court commit a reversible error in dismissing the petition on the ground that" certiorari will not lie as a substitute for the lost remedy of appeal" ?

    The other alleged "errors" attributed by petitioner against the Court of Appeals, particularly the effect of the "gross negligence of petitioner Ongsitco’s former counsel", the claim for recovery of P5 Million worth of improvements and the transmissibility of leasehold rights will be taken up in connection with the disposition of said main issue.

    The Court’s Ruling


    It is not disputed that petitioner Ongsitco did not file a petition for review in the Court of appeals. What he filed was a petition for certiorari, prohibition and mandamus. Ruling on this point, respondent Court held:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "Moreover, this petition virtually seeks to review the modified decision rendered by the respondent court in Civil Case No. 94-69374 dated September 2 1994 (Annex B, Petition) by reinstating the wrong mode of appeal taken by the petitioner in the said case. Apparently, said decision had already attained finality as a result of the mistake committed in taking the proper appeal. Under the pretext of a certiorari proceeding against the order remanding the case to the Metropolitan Trial Court for possible execution, petitioner hopes to attain what could no longer be achieved because of a lost appeal. Well entrenched is the rule that a client is bound by the negligence and mistake of his counsel (Ilasco, Jr. v. CA, 228 SCRA 413 [1993]) who is duty bound by law to follow scrupulously the requisites for appeal prescribed by law, ever aware that any error or imprecision in compliance may as well be fatal to his client’s cause (Supreme Court Circular No. 2-90). In effect, a wrong or inappropriate mode of appeal is inefficacious and should be dismissed (Circular No. 2-90, supra.)

    "As a logical consequence, petitioner cannot seek refuge in this proceedings because of the time-honored jurisprudential doctrine that certiorari will not lie as a substitute for the lost remedy (of) appeal (Sy v. Romero, 214 SCRA 187; Salas v. Castro, 216 SCRA 198; Antonio v. IAC, 216 SCRA 214 [1991])."cralaw virtua1aw library

    We agree with the above holding. Countless times in the past, this Court has held that ‘’where appeal is the proper remedy, certiorari will not lie." 10 The writs of certiorari and prohibition are remedies to correct lack or excess of jurisdiction or grave abuse of discretion equivalent to lack of jurisdiction committed by a lower court. 11 "Where the proper remedy is appeal, the action for certiorari will’ not be entertained. . . . Certiorari is not a remedy for errors of judgment. Errors of judgment are correctible by appeal, errors of jurisdiction are reviewable by certiorari." 12

    Rule 65 is very clear. The extraordinary remedies of certiorari, prohibition and mandamus are available only when "there is no appeal or any plain, speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law . . .." That is why they are referred to as "extraordinary." In the instant case, there is no question that the Regional Trial Court of Manila has rendered a final judgment where the remedy of the aggrieved party (Ongsitco) was a petition for review — which clearly was available to him but which he did not take advantage of. Even petitioner admits this, but he faults his former counsel for "negligence, gross ignorance and dereliction of duty," and otherwise insists that his case falls among the exceptions to the general rule."cralaw virtua1aw library

    We carefully pored over the submissions of petitioner, particularly the Petition and the Reply but we are not convinced that the respondent Court committed any reversible error in considering counsel’s mistake as binding on the petitioner himself (or his successors in interest for that matter). Since petitioner alleges an error of the Court of Appeals, he has the burden of showing such error. And he has miserably failed to do so. Indeed, to agree with him would open the door to improvident petitions all anchored upon "mistake of counsel." And the concepts of finality of judgments and stability of judicial doctrines would be swept away needlessly.

    Petitioner also contends that respondent Court erred in holding that the deceased Marcelo Ongsitco was not entitled to recover the P5 million expense . . . for the substantial and valuable improvements introduced in the leased premises . . ."cralaw virtua1aw library

    We see no error in the respondent Court’s ruling. It taking up the question in its Resolution promulgated on August 17, 1995 denying the motion for reconsideration, respondent Court said:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "The lower court’s decision stated that petitioner was unable to establish that he introduce the claimed improvement. But, granting for argument’s sake, that he really did, he will not be entitled for the reimbursements thereof simply because he is merely a lessee of the land and such, is not a builder/possessor in good faith.

    Substantially, there is no error in the foregoing holding. A lessee cannot be considered as a builder in good faith because he knows or should know he is not the owner of the property where he builds.

    "Good faith consists in the belief of the builder that the land he is building on is his and his ignorance of any defect or flaw in his title." 13

    Be that as it may, petitioners should really have no reason to complain against respondent Court, which went out of its way to make the above ruling. Inasmuch as the above error attributed to it was not jurisdictional in nature, but in fact merely an alleged error of judgment correctible in a petition for review and not in a petition for certiorari, respondent Court could have refused to pass upon it in view of the limited extent of its power under the extraordinary remedy of certiorari.

    The petitioner tenaciously argues that the respondent Court erred in holding "that leasehold right is not inheritable." Again, the resolution of this issue — like petitioner’s claim of reimbursement — is really not necessary in the ultimate disposition of this case. The stubborn fact is that the decision of the regional trial court has become final, no petition for review 14 therefrom having been perfected within the reglementary period and certiorari not being a valid substitute therefor. Hence, the question of whether a "leasehold right is inheritable or not" or whether the heirs of Ongsitco could be substituted in his place as petitioners in the proceedings in the Court of Appeals is an academic question and will thus not be passed upon in this Decision.

    WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED DUE COURSE for lack of merit. Costs against petitioner.

    SO ORDERED.

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

    Endnotes:



    1. Rollo, 52-55.

    2. Special Seventh Division composed of J. Conrado M. Vasquez. Jr., ponente; JJ. Emeterio C. Cui, chairman and Delilah Vidallon Magtolis, member.

    3. Rollo, pp. 56-60.

    4. Presided over by Judge Ernesto A. Reyes.

    5. Rollo, pp. 61-73.

    6. Rollo, pp. 75-78.

    7. Presided over by Judge Felipe G. Pacquing.

    8. Rollo, p. 137.

    9. Rollo, p. 22.

    10. Mondoñedo v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 113349 (January 18, 1996).

    11. Cf. Rule 65, Sections 1 & 2.

    12. Regalado, Remedial Law Compendium, Vol. I, 1988 ed.

    13. Pleasantville Development Corporation v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 79688, February 1, 1996, citing Floreza v. Evangelista, 96 SCRA 130.

    14. Under Supreme Court Circular No. 2-90, item 3, "Appeals to the (Court of Appeals) from Regional Trial Courts may be taken: . . . (b) by petition for review — where the judgment was rendered by the regional trial court in the exercise of its appellate jurisdiction."

    G.R. No. 121527   March 29, 1996 - MARCELO L. ONGSITCO, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.




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