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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
 

   
February-1997 Jurisprudence                 

  • G.R. No. 99039 February 3, 1997 - FORD PHIL., ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 100748 February 3, 1997 - JOSE BARITUA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 108547 February 3, 1997 - FELICIDAD VDA. DE CABRERA, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 112761-65 February 3, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. PORFERIO M. PEPITO

  • G.R. No. 114183 February 3, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JESUS BORJA

  • G.R. No. 119310 February 3, 1997 - JULIETA V. ESGUERRA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 119935 February 3, 1997 - UNITED SOUTH DOCKHANDLERS, INC. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 122156 February 3, 1997 - MANILA PRINCE HOTEL v. GSIS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 123332 February 3, 1997 - AUGUSTO GATMAYTAN v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 118915 February 4, 1997 - CAPITOL MEDICAL CENTER-ACE-UFSW v. BIENVENIDO LAGUESMA, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. P-94-1110 February 6, 1997 - MELENCIO S. SY v. CARMELITA S. MONGCUPA

  • Adm. Matter No. P-96-1203 February 6, 1997 - ERNESTO A. REYES v. NORBERTO R. ANOSA

  • G.R. No. 110668 February 6, 1997 ccc zz

    SMITH, BELL & CO., INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 111682 February 6, 1997 - ZENAIDA REYES v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 117982 February 6, 1997 - COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 118843 February 6, 1997 - ERIKS PTE. LTD. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 118950-54 February 6, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LUCRECIA GABRES

  • G.R. No. 119322 February 6, 1997 - COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 98252 February 7, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RENE JANUARIO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 110391 February 7, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DOLORES DE LEON

  • G.R. No. 112191 February 7, 1997 - FORTUNE MOTORS (PHILS.) CORP., ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 112714-15 February 7, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ANTONIO SAGARAL

  • G.R. No. 117472 February 7, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LEO ECHEGARAY

  • G.R. No. 119657 February 7, 1997 - UNIMASTERS CONGLOMERATION, INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 119772-73 February 7, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. NIGEL RICHARD GATWARD

  • G.R. No. 125249 February 7, 1997 - JIMMY S. DE CASTRO v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. P-95-1161 February 10, 1997 - JESUS N. BANDONG v. BELLA R. CHING

  • G.R. No. 108894 February 10, 1997 - TECNOGAS PHIL. MFG. CORP. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 109887 February 10, 1997 - CECILIA CARLOS v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 117702 February 10, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CRISPIN YPARRAGUIRRE

  • G.R. No. 124553 February 10, 1997 - ROSARIO R. TUASON v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. MTJ-95-1070 February 12, 1997 - MARIA APIAG, ET AL. v. ESMERALDO G. CANTERO

  • Adm. Matter No. P-87-100 February 12, 1997 - FELISA ELIC VDA. DE ABELLERA v. NEMESIO N. DALISAY

  • Adm. Matter No. P-96-1231 February 12, 1997 - ISAIAS P. DICDICAN v. RUSSO FERNAN, JR., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 68166 February 12, 1997 - HEIRS OF EMILIANO NAVARRO v. INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 104666 February 12, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BIENVENIDO OMBROG

  • G.R. No. 115129 February 12, 1997 - IGNACIO BARZAGA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116511 February 12, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. COLOMA TABAG, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 118025 February 12, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. REBECCO SATOR

  • G.R. No. 120769 February 12, 1997 - STANLEY J. FORTICH v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 125531 February 12, 1997 - JOVAN LAND v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 126013 February 12, 1997 - HEINZRICH THEIS, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 107554 February 13, 1997 - CEBU INT’L. FINANCE CORP. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 108763 February 13, 1997 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 112968 February 13, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ARSENIO LETIGIO

  • G.R. No. 114144 February 13, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FLORENTINO ABAD

  • G.R. Nos. 114711 & 115889 February 13, 1997 - GARMENTS and TEXTILE EXPORT BOARD v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 122728 February 13, 1997 - CASIANO A. ANGCHANGCO v. OMBUDSMAN, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. RTJ-96-217 February 17, 1997 - MANUEL F. CONCEPCION v. JESUS V. AGANA, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. RTJ 97-1369 February 17, 1997 - OCTAVIO DEL CALLAR v. IGNACIO L. SALVADOR, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 103501-03 & 103507 February 17, 1997 - LUIS A. TABUENA v. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 119247 February 17, 1997 - CESAR SULIT v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 119536 February 17, 1997 - GLORIA S. DELA CRUZ v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 121017 February 17, 1997 - OLIVIA B. CAMANAG v. JESUS F. GUERRERO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 122165 February 17, 1997 - ALA MODE GARMENTS, INC. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 123823 February 17, 1997 - MODESTO G. ESPAÑO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 96249 February 19, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALIPIO QUIAMCO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 114396 February 19, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. WILLIAM ROBERT BURTON

  • G.R. No. 118140 February 19, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DANTE PIANDIONG, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 121084 February 19, 1997 - TOYOTA MOTOR PHILS. CORP. v. TOYOTA MOTOR PHILS. CORP. LABOR UNION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 107916 February 20, 1997 - PERCIVAL MODAY, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 112288 February 20, 1997 - DELSAN TRANSPORT LINES, INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. P-94-1034 February 21, 1997 - LEWELYN S. ESTRELLER v. SOFRONIO MANATAD, JR.

  • G.R. No. 73399 February 21, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RAMON ABEDES

  • G.R. No. 117394 February 21, 1997 - HINATUAN MINING CORP. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. SDC-97-2-P February 24, 1997 - SOPHIA ALAWI v. ASHARY M. ALAUYA

  • G.R. No. 110427 February 24, 1997 - CARMEN CAÑIZA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. RTJ-94-1195 February 26, 1997 - ROMEO NAZARENO, ET AL. v. ENRIQUE M. ALMARIO

  • G.R. No. 94237 February 26, 1997 - BUILDING CARE CORP. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 105294 February 26, 1997 - PACITA DAVID-CHAN v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 107671 February 26, 1997 - REMMAN ENTERPRISES v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 109849 February 26, 1997 - MAXIMINO FUENTES v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 110098 February 26, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BUENAFE AZUGUE

  • G.R. No. 111538 February 26, 1997 - PARAÑAQUE KINGS ENTERPRISES, INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116033 February 26, 1997 - ALFREDO L. AZARCON v. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 123404 February 26, 1997 - AURELIO SUMALPONG v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. RTJ-97-1368 February 27, 1997 - ERNESTO RIEGO, ET AL. v. EMILIO LEACHON, JR.

  •  





     
     

    G.R. No. 125249   February 7, 1997 - JIMMY S. DE CASTRO v. COMELEC, ET AL.

     
    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    EN BANC

    [G.R. No. 125249. February 7, 1997.]

    JIMMY S. DE CASTRO, Petitioner, v. THE COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS and AMADO A. MEDRANO, Respondents.

    Garcia de la Peña & Partners for Petitioner.

    Brillantes Nachura Navarro Jumamil Arcilla & Bello Law Offices for Private Respondents.


    SYLLABUS


    1. POLITICAL LAW; PUBLIC OFFICE; NOT A PROPERTY TRANSMISSIBLE TO HIS HEIR UPON HIS DEATH. — It is true that a public office is personal to the public officer and is not a property transmissible to his heirs upon death. Thus, applying the doctrine of actio personalis moritur cum persona, upon the death of the incumbent, no heir of his may be allowed to continue holding his office in his place.

    2. ID.; ELECTIONS; ELECTION PROTEST; PROCEEDING IMBUED WITH PUBLIC INTEREST; PROCEEDINGS NOT ABATED BY DEATH OF PARTY. — But while the right to a public office is personal and exclusive to the public officer, an election protest is not purely personal and exclusive to the protestant or to the protestee such that the death of either would oust the court of all authority to continue the protest proceedings. An election contest, after all, involves not merely conflicting private aspirations but is imbued with paramount public interests. The death of the protestant, as in this case, neither constitutes a ground for the dismissal of the contest nor ousts the trial court of its jurisdiction to decide the election contest.

    3. REMEDIAL LAW; ACTIONS; PARTIES; VICE-MAYOR ELECT, REAL PARTY IN INTEREST IN ELECTION PROTEST WHERE RIVAL CANDIDATE DIED DURING PENDENCY OF CONTEST. — The asseveration of petitioner that private respondent is not a real party in interest entitled to be substituted in the election protest in place of the late Jamilla, is utterly without legal basis. Categorical was our ruling in Vda. de Mesa and Lomugdang that: ". . . the Vice Mayor elect has the status of a real party in interest in the continuation of the proceedings and is entitled to intervene therein. For if the protest succeeds and the protestee is unseated, the Vice-Mayor succeeds to the office of Mayor that becomes vacant if the one duly elected can assume the post."cralaw virtua1aw library

    4. ID; RULES OF COURT; APPLIED TO ELECTION CASES IN A SUPPLETORY CHARACTER. — To finally dispose of this case, we rule that the filing by private respondent of his Omnibus Petition/Motion on January 15, 1996, well within a period of thirty days from December 19, 1995 when Jamilla’s counsel informed the trial court of Jamilla’s death, was in compliance with Section 17, Rule 3 of the Revised Rules of Court. Since the Rules of Court, though not generally applicable to election cases, may however be applied by analogy or in a suppletory character, private respondent was correct to rely thereon.


    D E C I S I O N


    HERMOSISIMA, JR., J.:


    Before us is a petition for certiorari raising twin issues as regards the effect of the contestant’s death in an election protest. Is said contest a personal action extinguished upon the death of the real party in interest? If not, what is the mandatory period within which to effectuate the substitution of parties?

    The following antecedent facts have been culled from the pleadings and are not in dispute:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Petitioner was proclaimed Mayor of Gloria, Oriental Mindoro during the May 8, 1995 elections.

    In the same elections, private respondent was proclaimed Vice-Mayor of the same municipality.

    On May 19, 1995, petitioner’s rival candidate, the late Nicolas M. Jamilla, filed an election protest 1 before the Regional Trial Court of Pinamalayan, Oriental Mindoro. 2

    During the pendency of said contest, Jamilla died. 3 Four days after such death or on December 19, 1995, the trial court dismissed the election protest ruling as it did that" [a]s this case is personal, the death of the protestant extinguishes the case itself. The issue or issues brought out in this protest have become moot and academic." 4

    On January 9, 1995, private respondent learned about the dismissal of the protest from one Atty. Gaudencio S. Sadicon, who, as the late Jamilla’s counsel, was the one who informed the trial court of his client’s demise.

    On January 15, 1996, private respondent filed his Omnibus Petition/Motion (For Intervention and/or Substitution with Motion for Reconsideration). 5 Opposition thereto was filed by petitioner on January 30, 1996. 6

    In an Order dated February 14, 1996, 7 the trial court denied private respondent’s Omnibus Petition/Motion and stubbornly held that an election protest being personal to the protestant, is ipso facto terminated by the latter’s death

    Unable to agree with the trial court’s dismissal of the election protest, private respondent filed a petition for certiorari and mandamus before the Commission on Elections (COMELEC); private respondent mainly assailed the trial court orders as having been issued with grave abuse of discretion.

    COMELEC granted the petition for certiorari and mandamus. 8 It ruled that an election contest involves both the private interests of the rival candidates and the public interest in the final determination of the real choice of the electorate, and for this reason, an election contest necessarily survives the death of the protestant or the protestee.

    We agree.

    It is true that a public office is personal to the public officer and is not a property transmissible to his heirs upon death. 9 Thus, applying the doctrine of actio personalis moritur cum persona, upon the death of the incumbent, no heir of his may be allowed to continue holding his office in his place.

    But while the right to a public office is personal and exclusive to the public officer, an election protest is not purely personal and exclusive to the protestant or to the protestee such that the death of either would oust the court of all authority to continue the protest proceedings.

    An election contest, after all, involves not merely conflicting private aspirations but is imbued with paramount public interests. As we have held in the case of Vda. de De Mesa v. Mencias: 10

    ". . . It is axiomatic that an election contest, involving as it does not only the adjudication and settlement of the private interests of the rival candidates but also the paramount need of dispelling once and for all the uncertainty that beclouds the real choice of the electorate with respect to who shall discharge the prerogatives of the offices within their gift, is a proceeding imbued with public interest which raises it onto a plane over and above ordinary civil actions. For this reason, broad perspectives of public policy impose upon courts the imperative duty to ascertain by all means within their command who is the real candidate elected in as expeditious a manner as possible, without being fettered by technicalities and procedural barriers to the end that the will of the people may not be frustrated (Ibasco v. Ilao, Et Al., G.R. L-17512, December 29, 1960; Reforma v. De Luna, G.R. L-13242, July 31, 1958). So inextricably intertwined are the interests of the contestants and those of the public that there can be no gainsaying the logic of the proposition that even the voluntary cessation in office of the protestee not only does not ipso facto divest him of the character of an adversary in the contest inasmuch as he retains a party interest to keep his political opponent out of the office and maintain therein his successor, but also does not in any manner impair or detract from the jurisdiction of the court to pursue the proceeding to its final conclusion (De Los Angeles v. Rodriguez, 46 Phil. 595, 597; Salcedo v. Hernandez, 62 Phil. 584, 587; Galves v. Maramba, G.R. L-13206).

    Upon the same principle, the death of the protestee De Mesa did not abate the proceedings in the election protest filed against him, and it may be stated as a rule that an election contest survives and must be prosecuted to final judgment despite the death of the protestee." 11

    The death of the protestant, as in this case, neither constitutes a ground for the dismissal of the contest nor ousts the trial court of its jurisdiction to decide the election contest. Apropos is the following pronouncement of this court in the case of Lomugdang v. Javier: 12

    "Determination of what candidate has been in fact elected is a matter clothed with public interest, wherefore, public policy demands that an election contest, duly commenced, be not abated by the death of the contestant. We have squarely so rule in Sibulo Vda. de Mesa v. Judge Mencias, G.R. No. L-24583, October 29, 1966, in the same spirit that led this Court to hold that the ineligibility of the protestant is not a defense (Caesar v. Garrido, 53 Phil. 57), and that the protestee’s cessation in office is not a ground for the dismissal of the contest nor detract the Courts jurisdiction to decide the case (Angeles v. Rodriguez, 46 Phil. 595; Salcedo v. Hernandez, 62 Phil. 584)." 13

    The asseveration of petitioner that private respondent is not a real party in interest entitled to be substituted in the election protest in place of the late Jamilla, is utterly without legal basis. Categorical was our ruling in Vda. de Mesa and Lomugdang that:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    ". . . the Vice Mayor elect has the status of a real party in interest in the continuation of the proceedings and is entitled to intervene therein. For if the protest succeeds and the protestee is unseated, the Vice-Mayor succeeds to the office of Mayor that becomes vacant if the one duly elected can assume the post." 14chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

    To finally dispose of this case, we rule that the filing by private respondent of his Omnibus Petition/Motion on January 15, 1996, well within a period of thirty days from December 19, 1995 when Jamilla’s counsel informed the trial court of Jamilla’s death, was in compliance with Section 17, Rule 3 of the Revised Rules of Court. Since the Rules of Court, though not generally applicable to election cases, may however be applied by analogy or in a suppletory character, 15 private respondent was correct to rely thereon.

    The above jurisprudence is not ancient; in fact these legal moorings have been recently reiterated in the 1991 case of De la Victoria v. COMELEC. 16 If only petitioner’s diligence in updating himself with case law is as spirited as his persistence in pursuing his legal asseverations up to the highest court of the land, no doubt further derailment of the election protest proceedings could have been avoided.

    WHEREFORE, premises considered, the instant petition for certiorari is hereby DISMISSED.

    Costs against petitioner.

    SO ORDERED.

    Narvasa, C.J., Padilla, Regalado, Davide, Jr., Romero, Bellosillo, Melo, Puno, Vitug, Kapunan, Mendoza, Francisco, Panganiban and Torres, Jr., JJ., concur.

    Endnotes:



    1. Election Protest Case No. 8-95.

    2. Branch 41 presided by Judge Antonio R. Quizon.

    3. Jamilla died on December 15, 1995.

    4. Order dated December 19, 1995; Rollo, p. 26.

    5. Rollo, pp. 78-83.

    6. Id., pp. 85-86.

    7. Id., p. 27.

    8. Resolution of the COMELEC dated May 28, 1996, penned by Commissioner Julio F. Desamito; Rollo, pp. 19-24.

    9. Santos v. Secretary of Labor, 22 SCRA 848, 850 [1968].

    10. 18 SCRA 533 [1966].

    11. Id., p. 538.

    12. 21 SCRA 402 [1967].

    13. Id., p. 407.

    14. Ibid.

    15. Vda. De Mesa v. Mencias, 18 SCRA 533, 539 [1966].

    16. 199 SCRA 561.

    G.R. No. 125249   February 7, 1997 - JIMMY S. DE CASTRO v. COMELEC, ET AL.


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