ChanRobles™ Virtual Law Library | chanrobles.com™  
Main Index Law Library Philippine Laws, Statutes & Codes Latest Legal Updates Philippine Legal Resources Significant Philippine Legal Resources Worldwide Legal Resources Philippine Supreme Court Decisions United States Jurisprudence
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)
 

 
Chan Robles Virtual Law Library
 









 

 
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. 107671   February 26, 1997 - REMMAN ENTERPRISES v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

     
    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    THIRD DIVISION

    [G.R. No. 107671. February 26, 1997.]

    REMMAN ENTERPRISES, INC., Petitioner, v. HON. COURT OF APPEALS and the PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Respondents.

    Emiliano S. Samson, R. Balderamma-Samson and Mary Anne B. Samson-Willis for Petitioner.

    The Solicitor General for Respondents.


    SYLLABUS


    1. REMEDIAL LAW; SPECIAL CIVIL ACTIONS; CONTEMPT; INDIRECT CONTEMPT; DISOBEDIENCE OR RESISTANCE TO A JUDGMENT OF THE COURT. — Disobedience or resistance to a lawful writ, process, order or judgment of a court or injunction granted by a court or judge constitutes indirect contempt punishable under Rule 71 of the Rules of Court.

    2. ID.; ID.; ID.; CHARACTER OF PROCEEDINGS DETERMINED BY RELIEF SOUGHT. — The real character of the proceedings in contempt cases is to be determined by the relief sought or by the dominant purpose. The proceedings are to be regarded as criminal when the purpose is primarily punishment, and civil when the purpose is primarily compensatory or remedial.

    3. ID.; ID.; ID.; CRIMINAL CONTEMPT DISTINGUISHED FROM CIVIL CONTEMPT. — In general, criminal contempt proceedings should be conducted in accordance with the principles and rules applicable to criminal cases, in so far as such procedure is consistent with the summary nature of contempt proceedings. Strict rules that govern criminal prosecutions apply to a prosecution for criminal contempt, the accused is to be afforded many of the protections provided in regular criminal cases, and proceedings under statutes governing them are to be strictly construed. However, criminal proceedings are not required to take any particular form so long as the substantial rights of the accused are preserved. Civil contempt proceedings, on the other hand, are generally held to be remedial and civil in nature; that is, for the enforcement of some duty, and essentially a remedy resorted to, to preserve and enforce the rights of a private party to an action and to compel obedience to a judgment or decree intended to benefit such a party litigant. The rules of procedure governing criminal contempt proceedings, or criminal prosecutions, ordinarily are inapplicable to civil contempt proceedings.

    4. ID.; ID.; ID.; INDIRECT CONTEMPT; PROCEDURAL REQUISITES. — Section 3, Rule 71, of the Rules of Court specifically outlines the procedural requisites before the accused may be punished for indirect contempt: (1) the filing of a written charge and (2) an opportunity given to the accused to be heard by himself or counsel. All that the law requires is that there be a charge in writing duly filed in court and an opportunity given to the person charged to be heard by himself or counsel. What is most essential is that the alleged contemner be granted an opportunity to meet the charges against him and to be heard in his defenses.

    5. ID.; ID.; ID.; ID.; ID.; COMPLIANCE THEREWITH IN CASE AT BAR. — In the instant case, a written charge of indirect contempt was duly filed by the spouses Ochoa before the Regional Trial Court of Lipa City. This is not contested by petitioner. A hearing was conducted and petitioner was heard in its defenses in court. Moreover, its vice-president and counsel were likewise present during the ocular inspection where they actively participated, as reported by the clerk of the trial court. Further, after the trial court promulgated its final order on June 15, 1990, and the spouses Ochoa filed an omnibus motion for its reconsideration, petitioner did not raise the question of not having been furnished a copy of the commissioner’s report. No mention thereof was made in its opposition to the omnibus motion. Neither did it do so in its rejoinder to movants’ reply. It is only an afterthought of petitioner to raise on appeal the alleged, though unsubstantiated, procedural defect. Anent the contention of petitioner that the plaintiffs below did not present evidence to support its complaint, we find sufficient the findings of the clerk of the trial court, which was likewise adopted by the appellate court, to support the allegations in the complaint and the trial court’s decision.

    6. ID.; ACTIONS; APPEALS; ISSUES CANNOT BE RAISED FOR THE FIRST TIME ON APPEAL. — Well-entrenched and settled is the rule that points of law, theories, issues and arguments not brought to the attention of the trial court adequately and on time need not be, and ordinarily will not be, considered by a reviewing court as they cannot be raised for the first time on appeal. In petitions for review or appeal under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court, the appellate tribunal is limited to the determination of whether the lower court committed reversible error. In the case at bench, we find none.

    7. CIVIL LAW; NUISANCE; NATIONAL POLLUTION CONTROL COMMISSION; WITHOUT JURISDICTION TO FILE ACTIONS INVOLVING NUISANCES. — We uphold the contention of the Solicitor General that petitioner miscomprehended the law in applying PD No. 984 to this case. The original complaint antecedent to the case at bar was for abatement of nuisance and damages. As we have indeed ruled in Mead v. Argel, the last paragraph of Section 8 of said decree "delineates the authority to be exercised by the (National Pollution Control) Commission and by the ordinary courts in respect of preventing or remedying the pollution of the waters or atmospheric air of the Philippines. The provision excludes from the authority of the Commission only the determination of and the filing of court actions involving violations of the New Civil Code on nuisance." Hence, this case does not fall within the exclusive authority and jurisdiction of said Commission, which has been reorganized into the Environmental Management Bureau.


    D E C I S I O N


    PANGANIBAN, J.:


    In resolving this case, the Court distinguishes civil contempt from criminal contempt. It also holds that petitioner may be held liable for indirect contempt on the basis of a single hearing and an ocular inspection report rendered ex parte to the trial court by the clerk of court who was duly commissioned for the purpose.

    Assailed in this petition for review under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court are the Decision 1 and Resolution 2 of the Court of Appeals (Third Division) 3 promulgated on January 31, 1992 and October 14, 1992, respectively, in CA-G.R. No. 10926 entitled "People of the Philippines v. Remman Enterprises, Inc."cralaw virtua1aw library

    The challenged Decision affirmed in toto the orders 4 of the Regional Trial Court of Lipa City, Branch 12, 5 promulgated on June 15, 1990, and November 21, 1990, in Civil Case No. 2760 which found Remman Enterprises, Inc. guilty of "indirect contempt for having continuously ignored and defied the Decision of this Court dated August 29, 1984, . . ." The October 14, 1992 Resolution denied herein petitioner’s motion for reconsideration.

    The Facts


    The antecedent of the instant petition is a complaint filed in 1983 by the spouses Paulino and Purificacion Ochoa before the Regional Trial Court of Lipa City against Remman Enterprises, Inc. (herein petitioner) for abatement of nuisance and damages. After trial on the merits, said court rendered judgment 6 in favor of spouses Ochoa and against petitioner, ordering the latter to "stop and desist from draining their waste matter, solid and liquid, to the estate of the plaintiffs . . ." The Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s decision, and the petition to this Court was denied. Subsequently, a writ of execution 7 of the decision was issued by the trial court.

    However, on March 26, 1990, the spouses Ochoa filed another complaint 8 before the same trial court against Remman Enterprises, this time for indirect contempt. They alleged that a portion of their estate was still being flooded with wastes coming from petitioner’s hog farm, in defiance of the final and executory order of the court directing it to stop and desist from draining its waste matter into the Ochoa estate.

    A hearing was held on May 18, 1990, wherein petitioner denied the allegations of the complaint. In view of the conflicting claims of the parties, the trial court ordered an ocular inspection on the properties of the parties. The branch clerk of court was authorized by the court to conduct the ocular inspection and was directed to submit a report immediately upon termination thereof. The ocular inspection was conducted on the same day in the presence of both parties and their respective counsel.

    Thereafter, said clerk of court reported his findings 9 to the trial court, on the basis of which the court issued its order dated June 15, 1990. The dispositive portion thereof states:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "WHEREFORE, this Court finds defendant Remman Enterprises, Inc., guilty of indirect contempt for having continuously ignored and defied the Decision of this Court dated August 29, 1984, and hereby orders defendant Remman Enterprises, Inc.,:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    a) To pay a fine of ONE THOUSAND PESOS (P1,000.00); and

    b) To pay plaintiffs the amount of ONE THOUSAND PESOS (P1,000.00) monthly as damages occasioned by the continuous draining of the waste matters into plaintiff’s property until defendant does something effective to prevent the same." 10

    Finding merit in the omnibus motion for reconsideration of plaintiffs, the trial court, on November 21, 1990, modified/amended its previous order to read as follows:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "WHEREFORE, this Court finds defendant Remman Enterprises, Inc., guilty of indirect contempt for having continuously ignored and defied the Decision of this Court dated August 29, 1984, and hereby orders defendant Remman Enterprises, Inc.

    a) To pay a fine of ONE THOUSAND PESOS (P1,000.00); and

    b) To construct or put up structure/device in its premises which would prevent the draining of waste matter to plaintiffs’ estate within thirty (30) days from receipt of this order. Failure on the part of the defendant to do so will authorize the plaintiff to construct or put up structure or device in their estate at the expense of defendant." 11

    As mentioned earlier, the Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s orders, finding them to be "in accordance with law and evidence." Petitioner’s motion for reconsideration was denied. Hence, the present recourse.

    Issues


    Petitioner imputes the following errors 12 against the trial and appellate courts:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    (a) declaring petitioner guilty of contempt without any evidence adduced by the prosecution/Ochoas; and

    (b) declaring petitioner guilty of contempt on the sole basis of the commissioner’s report, copy of which was never furnished petitioner and which was never set for hearing.

    The principal issue is whether petitioner may be held liable for indirect contempt after a single hearing and on the basis of an ocular inspection report which was not furnished the parties nor set for hearing.

    Petitioner impugns the trial court’s reliance on the report of the branch clerk of court, alleging that no evidence was presented by the spouses Ochoa in the presence of, or with notice to, Petitioner. It claims that" (w)here no hearing was held, as required by law, the Court acquires no jurisdiction to declare a person guilty of indirect or constructive contempt.

    Petitioner thus insists that it was denied due process, specifically its right to be heard. Citing Sections 10 13 and 11, 14 Rule 33 of the Rules of Court and relevant jurisprudence on the matter, petitioner indignantly argues that it was not given opportunity to be heard or any chance to file its objections or comment to the commissioner’s report, or present evidence in contravention thereof.

    Petitioner likewise assails the conclusion made by the trial and appellate courts in adopting the findings of the commissioner that the waste matter coming from its property flowing into the Ochoa estate was "stinking and foul-smelling," practically declaring it to be polluted. Petitioner maintains that the power to determine the existence of pollution is vested in the National Pollution Control Commission, now the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB), under P.D. No. 984. Contrarily, petitioner flaunts a "Permit to Operate" issued by said agency. It further claims that, without the determination by the EMB of the existence of pollution as defined by law, no court action may be initiated on the matter.

    The Solicitor General, on behalf of public respondents, asserts that petitioner was not deprived of its right to be heard since a hearing was held on May 8, 1990, 15 where both parties appeared before the court through their respective counsel, and petitioner (defendant therein) denied the allegations of the complaint. In addition, during the ocular inspection conducted pursuant to the order of the court in view of the conflicting claims of the parties, the counsel 16 and-vice-president 17 of petitioner were present and participated actively. 18

    As regards petitioner’s contention that a finding of the existence of pollution can only be made by the EMB, the Solicitor General avers that this case is specifically exempt from the coverage of P.D. No. 984 since the original action in this case was for abatement of nuisance and damages.chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

    Petitioner substantially raises the same issues adduced before the Court of Appeals. In disposing of its arguments, the appellate court said:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "The accused-appellant was given more than ample opportunity to be heard. The procedural requisites for indirect contempt proceedings are: (a) a complaint in writing or motion of a party, or an order of the court requiring a person to appear and explain and (b) an opportunity for the person charged to appear and explain his conduct (Montalban v. Canonoy, Adm. Case No. 179-J, 38 SCRA 1). All these requirements have been complied with in the case at bar.

    It is to be stressed that a contempt proceeding is of a criminal nature and of (sic) summary in character which the court exercises but limited jurisdiction (In re Mison, Jr. v. Subido, 33 SCRA 30; The Insurance Commissioner v. Globe Assurance Company, Inc., 111 SCRA 202). Due process does not always require a trial-type proceeding.

    x       x       x


    Contempt proceeding, being summary in nature the mere failure to furnish the parties of the commissioner’s report described in Section 10 of Rule 33, of the Rules of Court does not constitute an infringement on due process. The requirements of due process are satisfied even if the court failed to set the commissioner’s report for hearing, as long as the parties were given an opportunity to be heard.

    x       x       x


    Moreover, it is clear from the records that accused-appellant consistently failed to raise before the trial court the matter that it was not furnished with a copy of the commissioner’s report. If it really believed that it was deprived of due process by the omission, it should have, in the very least, brought out that fact in a motion for reconsideration and asked the court for a copy of the commissioner’s report and for sufficient time within which to file an objection thereto. It did not. Not only this, Accused-appellant should have raised the matter of not having been furnished a copy of the commissioner’s report in its Opposition to plaintiffs Omnibus Motion for Reconsideration filed on April 12, 1990 and its rejoinder to plaintiffs reply dated October 12, 1990. It is now late in the day for accused-appellant to bring up the question in this appeal." 19

    The Court’s Ruling


    We deny the petition for lack of merit.

    Main Issue: No Denial of Due Process

    There is no question that disobedience or resistance to a lawful writ, process, order or judgment of a court or injunction granted by a court or judge constitutes indirect contempt punishable under Rule 71 of the Rules of Court. What is put in issue here is the validity of the proceedings that found petitioner liable for such misconduct.

    The real character of the proceedings in contempt cases is to be determined by the relief sought or by the dominant purpose. The proceedings are to be regarded as criminal when the purpose is primarily punishment, and civil when the purpose is primarily compensatory or remedial. 20

    In general, criminal contempt proceedings should be conducted in accordance with the principles and rules applicable to criminal cases, in so far as such procedure is consistent with the summary nature of contempt proceedings. Strict rules that govern criminal prosecutions apply to a prosecution for criminal contempt; the accused is to be afforded many of the protection provided in regular criminal cases; and proceedings under statutes governing them are to be strictly construed. However, criminal proceedings are not required to take any particular form so long as the substantial rights of the accused are preserved. 21

    Civil contempt proceedings, on the other hand, are generally held to be remedial and civil in nature; that is, for the enforcement of some duty, and essentially a remedy resorted to, to preserve and enforce the rights of a private party to an action and to compel obedience to a judgment or decree intended to benefit such a party litigant. The rules of procedure governing criminal contempt proceedings, or criminal prosecutions, ordinarily are inapplicable to civil contempt proceedings. 22

    Section 3, Rule 71, of the Rules of Court specifically outlines the procedural requisites before the accused may be punished for indirect contempt: (1) the filing of a written charge and (2) an opportunity given to the accused to be heard by himself or counsel. All that the law requires is that there be a charge in writing duly filed in court and an opportunity given to the person charged to be heard by himself or counsel. 23 What is most essential is that the alleged contemner be granted an opportunity to meet the charges against him and to be heard in his defenses. 24

    The Court of Appeals has sufficiently disposed of the issue. As correctly excerpted in the assailed Decision, we have held in Mutuc v. Court of Appeals, 25 which was likewise a contempt proceeding, that:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "There is no question that the ‘essence of due process is a hearing before conviction and before an impartial and disinterested tribunal’ (Rollo, p. 173) but due process as a constitutional precept does not, always and in all situations, require a trial-type proceeding (Zaldivar v. Gonzales, 166 SCRA 316 [1988] citing the ruling in Torres v. Gonzales, 152 SCRA 272 [1987]). The essence of due process is to be found in the reasonable opportunity to be heard and submit any evidence one may have in support of one’s defense (Tajonera v. Lamaroza, 110 SCRA 438 [1981] and Richards v. Asoy, 152 SCRA 45 [1987]).’To be heard’ does not only mean verbal arguments in court; one may be heard also through pleadings. Where opportunity to be heard, either through oral arguments or pleadings, is accorded, there is no denial of procedural due process (Juanita Yap Say v. IAC, G.R. No. 73451, March 28, 1988.

    What the law prohibits is not the absence of previous notice but the absolute absence thereof and the lack of opportunity to be heard. (Tajonera v. Lamoroza, 110 SCRA 438 [1981])"

    In the instant case, a written charge of indirect contempt was duly filed by the spouses Ochoa before the Regional Trial Court of Lipa City. This is not contested by petitioner. Acting on the complaint, the trial court issued an order 26 requiring the defendant (herein petitioner) to "show cause/explain why a judgment of contempt should not be rendered against it." A hearing for the purpose was originally scheduled on May 11, 1990 which, upon motion of herein petitioner, was reset to May 18, 1990. On the latter date, as petitioner admits in its petition, it "vehemently denied the accusations in the motion for contempt" 27 (Emphasis supplied). We can draw no other conclusion than that a hearing was conducted and petitioner was heard in its defenses in court.

    Moreover, its vice-president and counsel were likewise present during the ocular inspection where they actively participated, as reported by the clerk of the trial court. 28 The effect of this was discussed in Apurillo v. Graciano, 29 which the appellate court correctly cited, thus:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "Equally without merit is petitioner’s claim that the proceeding was tainted with irregularity because he was not given an opportunity to object to the findings of the Commissioner. Otherwise stated, petitioner stated that there was non-observance of the procedure prescribed by sections 10 and 11 of Rule 33 of the Rules of Court, that is, notice to the parties of the filing of the report of the Commissioner and the setting of such report for hearing. In one case, this Court dismissed such claim in this wise:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    ‘. . . In Manila Trading & Supply Co. v. Philippine Labor Union, 71 Phil. 539, it was held:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    When the Court of Industrial Relations refers the case to a commissioner for investigation, report and recommendation, and at such investigation the parties are duly represented by counsel, heard or at least given an opportunity to be heard, the requirements of due process has been satisfied, even if the Court failed to set the report for hearing, and a decision on the basis of such report, with the other evidence of the case, is a decision which meets the requirements of a fair and open hearing.’

    While the foregoing ruling was made in a case elevated to this Court from the Court of Industrial Relations, in the proceedings of which the Rules of Court have suppletory application, We find no legal bar to the application of the principle evolved in said ruling to cases similarly situated before the ordinary courts of justice."cralaw virtua1aw library

    Further, after the trial court promulgated its final order on June 15, 1990, and the spouses Ochoa filed an omnibus motion for its reconsideration, petitioner did not raise the question of not having been furnished a copy of the commissioner’s report. No mention thereof was made in its opposition to the omnibus motion. Neither did it do so in its rejoinder to movants’ reply. It is only an afterthought of petitioner to raise on appeal the alleged, though unsubstantiated, procedural defect.

    Anent the contention of petitioner that the plaintiffs below did not present evidence to support its complaint, we find sufficient the findings of the clerk of the trial court, which was likewise adopted by the appellate court, to support the allegations in the complaint and the trial court’s decision. The clerk of court made the following detailed observations:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "The first to be inspected was the property of defendant. It was devoted to a piggery business. A concreted waterway was found wherein hogwastes are being made to pass leading to a laggoon (sic) where they are finally disposed and converted to gas with the aid of methane gas tank situated just above the laggoon (sic).

    Thereafter, the property of the plaintiffs was inspected. The land was primarily devoted to a poultry farm. At the back potion of the property were fruit trees and various kinds of plants. On this area can be found a big foul-smelling swamp about five (5) meters in length, one and a half (1 1/2) meter wide and about two (2) feet deep. The swamp has developed near the boundary of the properties of both parties. From that point, we can see the methane gas tank of defendant. This is so because the property of defendant is higher in elevation than that of the plaintiffs. And just below the gas tank is the supposed laggoon (sic).chanroblesvirtual|awlibrary

    There has been no rainfall on the place for quite some time for understandably, it is still a (sic) dry season.

    The representative and counsel of defendant corporation deny that the swamp on plaintiffs’ property was caused by the hogwastes as they insist that there is a laggoon (sic) in its property to corner the liquid wastes coming from its piggery business.

    It is our observation that the foul-smelling and stinky swamp that has developed on plaintiffs’ property is still being caused by the continuous flow of liquid matter mixed with fine solid refuse (known as hogwastes) coming from the improvised canal situated at the estate of the defendant. No conclusion can be reached other than this considering that there is no rainfall yet and the smell of the swamp approximates that of the smell of hogwastes.

    Defendant corporation was already enjoined by a final decision of this Court not to dispose its waste materials coming from its piggery business to the property of plaintiffs but it seems that defendant has not done anything concrete to remedy the problem." 30

    Well-entrenched and settled is the rule that points of law, theories, issues and arguments not brought to the attention of the trial court adequately and on time need not be, and ordinarily will not be, considered by a reviewing court as they cannot be raised for the first time on appeal." 31 In petitions for review or appeal under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court, the appellate tribunal is limited to the determination of whether the lower court committed reversible error. In the case at bench, we find none.

    Secondary Issue: P.D. No. 984 Not Applicable

    We uphold the contention of the Solicitor General that petitioner miscomprehended the law in applying P.D. No. 984 to this case. The original complaint antecedent to the case at bar was for abatement of nuisance and damages. As we have indeed ruled in Mead v. Argel, 32 the last paragraph of Section 8 33 of said decree "delineates the authority to be exercised by the (National Pollution Control) Commission and by the ordinary courts in respect of preventing or remedying the pollution of the waters or atmospheric air of the Philippines. The provision excludes from the authority of the Commission only the determination of and the filing of court actions involving violations of the New Civil Code on nuisance." Hence, this case does not fall within the exclusive authority and jurisdiction of said Commission, which has been reorganized into the Environmental Management Bureau.

    WHEREFORE, premises considered, the petition is hereby DENIED. The assailed Decision of the Court of Appeals is AFFIRMED in toto. Costs against petitioner.

    SO ORDERED.

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

    Endnotes:



    1. Rollo, pp. 39-52.

    2. Ibid., p. 54.

    3. Composed of J. Santiago M. Kapunan (now Associate Justice of the Supreme Court), chairman and ponente, with JJ. Segundino G. Chua and Luis L. Victor, concurring.

    4. Rollo, pp. 63-67.

    5. Presided by Judge Delia H. Panganiban (not related to herein ponente).

    6. Records, pp. 67-69.

    7. Ibid., p. 104.

    8. Ibid., pp. 105-108.

    9. Records, pp. 114-115.

    10. Rollo, p. 64.

    11. Ibid., p. 67.

    12. Rollo, pp. 17 & 18.

    13. "Sec. 10. Notice to parties of the filing of report. — Upon the filing of the report, the parties shall be notified by the clerk, and they shall be allowed ten (10) days within which to signify grounds of objection to the findings of the report, if they so desire. Objections to the report based upon grounds which were available to the parties during the proceedings before the commissioner, other than objections to the findings and conclusions therein set forth, shall not be considered by the court unless they were made before the commissioner."cralaw virtua1aw library

    14. "Sec. 11. Hearing upon report. — Upon the expiration of the period of ten (10) days referred to in the preceding section, the report shall be set for hearing, after which the court shall render judgment by adopting, modifying, or rejecting the report in whole or in part or it may receive further evidence or may recommit it with instructions.

    15. Should be May 18, 1990.

    16. Atty. Emiliano Samson.

    17. Atty. Eliseo Lapid.

    18. Solicitor General’s Comment, pp. 8-9; rollo, pp. 88-89.

    19. Rollo, pp. 48-51.

    20. People v. Godoy, 243 SCRA 64, 78, March 29, 1995 citing 17 C.J.S., Contempt, Sec; 62(4), p. 152.

    21. Ibid., p. 79.

    22. Ibid.

    23. Gavieres v. Falcis, 193 SCRA 649, February 7, 1991 citing People v. Venturanza, Et Al., 98 Phil. 211, with the note that Rule 64, sec. 3, in force at that time, is the same as the present Rule 71, sec. 3).

    24. Santos v. Court of First Instance of Cebu, Branch VI, 185 SCRA 472, May 18, 1990; Castaños v. Escaño, Jr., 251 SCRA 174, December 12, 1995.

    25. 190 SCRA 43, 49, September 26, 1990.

    26. Records, p. 109.

    27. Petition, p. 8; rollo, p. 17.

    28. Supra note 9 at p. 4.

    29. 28 SCRA 1054, July 30, 1969.

    30. Records, p. 115; rollo, pp. 45-46.

    31. Tan Chun Suy v. Court of Appeals, 229 SCRA 151, January 7, 1994.

    32. 115 SCRA 256, July 20, 1982.

    33. "Sec. 8. Proceedings before the Commission. — . . .

    No investigation being conducted or ruling made by the Commission shall prejudice any action which may be filed in court by any person in accordance with the provisions of the New Civil Code on nuisance. On matters, however, not related to nuisance, no court action shall be initiated until the Commission shall have finally ruled thereon and no order of the Commission discontinuing the discharge of waste shall be stayed by the filing of said court action, unless the court issues an injunction as provided for in the Rules of Court."

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


    Back to Home | Back to Main

     

    QUICK SEARCH

    cralaw

       

    cralaw



     
      Copyright © ChanRobles Publishing Company Disclaimer | E-mail Restrictions
    ChanRobles™ Virtual Law Library | chanrobles.com™
     
    RED