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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-1997 Jurisprudence                 

  • G.R. No. 96649-50 July 1, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LYNDON V. MACOY

  • G.R. No. 109660 July 1, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROMEO NELL

  • G.R. No. 124914 July 2, 1997 - JESUS UGADDAN v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 123074 July 4, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FERNANDO M. FERNANDEZ

  • Adm. Matter No. MTJ-94-1017 July 7, 1997 - OSCAR B. LAMBINO v. AMADO A. DE VERA

  • Adm. Matter No. P-97-1245 July 7, 1997 - BENIGNO G. GAVIOLA v. NOEL NAVARETTE

  • G.R. No. 105760 July 7, 1997 - PNB v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 107193 July 7, 1997 - EUGENIO TENEBRO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 112006 July 7, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROBERTO S. DE VERA

  • G.R. No. 114275 July 7, 1997 - IÑIGO F. CARLET v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116962 July 7, 1997 - MARIA SOCORRO CACA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 118940-41 & 119407 July 7, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. GREGORIO MEJIA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 119872 July 7, 1997 - REMEDIOS NAVOA RAMOS v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 122206 July 7, 1997 - RAFAEL ARCEGA, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 105284 July 8, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. IGNACIO ZUMIL

  • G.R. No. 106099 July 8, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. AGUSTIN SOTTO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 109814 July 8, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FERNANDO MAALAT

  • G.R. No. 112797 July 8, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. NIDA ALEGRO

  • G.R. No. 114265 July 8, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. GREGORIO MAGALLANES

  • G.R. No. 115307 July 8, 1997 - MANUEL LAO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 115703 July 8, 1997 - EPIFANIO L. CASOLITA, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 117501 July 8, 1997 - SOLID HOMES, INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 122308 July 8, 1997 - PURITA S. MAPA, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. SC-96-1 July 10, 1997 - DAMASO S. FLORES v. BERNARDO P. ABESAMIS

  • Adm. Matter No. P-97-1236 July 11, 1997 - MADONNA MACALUA v. DOMINGO TIU, JR.

  • Adm. Matter No. P-97-1249 July 11, 1997 - PACITA SY TORRES v. FROILAN S. CABLING

  • G.R. No. 104865 July 11, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. VICTORIANO PONTILAR, JR.

  • G.R. Nos. 113511-12 July 11, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DANILO SINOC

  • G.R. No. 115033 July 11, 1997 - PONCIANO T. MATANGUIHAN, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 123204 July 11, 1997 - NATIONWIDE SECURITY AND ALLIED SERVICES, INC. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. P-95-1158 July 14, 1997 - EUFEMIA BERCASIO v. HERBERTO BENITO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 106153 July 14, 1997 - FLORENCIO G. BERNARDO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 108838 July 14, 1997 - PAGCOR v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 116528-31 July 14, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MARIETO ADORA

  • G.R. No. 108492 July 15, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. NOEL BANIEL, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 118078 July 15, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. OSCAR VILLANUEVA

  • G.R. No. 123379 July 15, 1997 - BAROTAC SUGAR MILLS, INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 115439-41 July 16, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 120437-41 July 16, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ARMANDO ALVARIO

  • Adm. Matter No. RTJ-97-1382 July 17, 1997 - REXEL M. PACURIBOT v. RODRIGO F. LIM, JR.

  • G.R. No. 105002 July 17, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DIARANGAN DANSAL

  • G.R. No. 108634 July 17, 1997 - ANTONIO P. TAN v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 111165 July 17, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROGELIO MERCADO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 113257 July 17, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JOHNNY LASCOTA

  • G.R. No. 114742 July 17, 1997 - CARLITOS E. SILVA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 118860 July 17, 1997 - ROLINDA B. PONO v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 120262 July 17, 1997 - PAL, INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 125195 July 17, 1997 - SAMAHAN NG MGA MANGGAGAWA SA BANDOLINO, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. RTJ-96-1362 July 18, 1997 - DSWD, ET AL. v. ANTONIO M. BELEN, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. RTJ-95-1283 July 21, 1997 - DAVID C. NAVAL, ET AL. v. JOSE R. PANDAY, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 108488 July 21, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RODENCIO NARCA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 111002 July 21, 1997 - PACIFIC MARITIME SERVICES, INC., ET AL. v. NICANOR RANAY, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 117402 July 21, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROLLIE L. ALVARADO

  • G.R. No. 119184 July 21, 1997 - HEIRS OF FELICIDAD CANQUE v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 121768 July 21, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DOMINGO CASTILLO, JR.

  • G.R. Nos. 122250 & 122258 July 21, 1997 - EDGARDO C. NOLASCO v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 124347 July 21, 1997 - CMS STOCK BROKERAGE, INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 125510 July 21, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RENATO LISING

  • G.R. No. 111933 July 23, 1997 - PLDT v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 112429-30 July 23, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RODOLFO P. CAYETANO

  • G.R. Nos. 118736-37 July 23, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. TANG WAI LAN

  • Adm. Matter No. P-96-1205 July 24, 1997 - OSCAR P. DE LOS REYES v. ESTEBAN H. ERISPE, JR.

  • Adm. Matter No. RTJ-97-1383 July 24, 1997 - JOSE LAGATIC v. JOSE PEÑAS, JR., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 104663 July 24, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DAVID SALVATIERRA

  • G.R. No. 105004 July 24, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DIONISIO MAROLLANO

  • G.R. No. 107723 July 24, 1997 - EMS MANPOWER & PLACEMENT SERVICES v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 111211 July 24, 1997 - ABS-CBN EMPLOYEES UNION, ET AL., v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 113235 July 24, 1997 - VICTORINA MEDINA, ET AL. v. CITY SHERIFF, MANILA, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 113366-68 July 24, 1997 - GREGORIO ISABELO, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116635 July 24, 1997 - CONCHITA NOOL, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116736 July 24, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BENJAMIN ORTEGA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 118458 July 24, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RICKY DELA CRUZ

  • G.R. No. 120276 July 24, 1997 - SINGA SHIP MANAGEMENT PHILS., INC. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 121075 July 24, 1997 - DELTA MOTORS CORP. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 121867 July 24, 1997 - SMITH KLINE & FRENCH LAB., LTD. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 127262 July 24, 1997 - HUBERT WEBB, ET AL. v. PEOPLE OF THE PHIL., ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter Nos. 95-6-55-MTC & P-96-1173 July 28, 1997 - REPORT ON AUDIT IN THE MTC OF PEÑARANDA, NUEVA ECIJA

  • G.R. No. 102858 July 28, 1997 - DIRECTOR OF LANDS v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 103209 July 28, 1997 - APOLONIO BONDOC, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 110823 July 28, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROCHEL TRAVERO

  • G.R. No. 112323 July 28, 1997 - HELPMATE, INC. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 113344 July 28, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ATANACIO LUTO

  • G.R. No. 116668 July 28, 1997 - ERLINDA A. AGAPAY v. CARLINA V. PALANG, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116726 July 28, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LEONARDO P. DE LA CRUZ

  • G.R. No. 118822 July 28, 1997 - G.O.A.L., INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 119000 July 28, 1997 - ROSA UY v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 119649 July 28, 1997 - RICKY GALICIA, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 119868 July 28, 1997 - PAL, INC. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 120072 July 28, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FLORENTINO I. MESA

  • G.R. No. 123361 July 28, 1997 - TEOFILO CACHO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 126556 July 28, 1997 - NELSON C. DAVID v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 117742 July 29, 1997 - GEORGE M. TABERRAH v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • SBC Case No. 519 July 31, 1997 - PATRICIA FIGUEROA v. SIMEON BARRANCO, JR.

  • G.R. No. 97369 July 31, 1997 - P.I. MANPOWER PLACEMENTS, INC. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 99030 July 31, 1997 - PLDT v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 106582 July 31, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RUPERTO BALDERAS

  • G.R. No. 107802 July 31, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JASON NAREDO

  • G.R. No. 108399 July 31, 1997 - RAFAEL M. ALUNAN III, ET AL. v. ROBERT MIRASOL, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 108619 July 31, 1997 - EPIFANIO LALICAN v. FILOMENO A. VERGARA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 113689 July 31, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FELIPE SANGIL, SR.

  • G.R. No. 113958 July 31, 1997 - BANANA GROWERS COLLECTIVE, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116060 July 31, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CLEMENTE DE LA PEÑA

  • G.R. No. 116292 July 31, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JIMMY PEÑERO

  • G.R. No. 119068 July 31, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DANTE CASTRO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 121027 July 31, 1997 - CORAZON DEZOLLER TISON, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 121157 July 31, 1997 - HEIRS OF SEGUNDA MANINGDING, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 123561 July 31, 1997 - DELIA R. NERVES v. CSC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 124678 July 31, 1997 - DELIA BANGALISAN, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  •  





     
     

    G.R. No. 108634   July 17, 1997 - ANTONIO P. TAN v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

     
    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    THIRD DIVISION

    [G.R. No. 108634. July 17, 1997.]

    ANTONIO P. TAN, Petitioner, v. THE COURT OF APPEALS and DPG DEVELOPMENT and MANAGEMENT CORP., Respondent.

    Hermino, Ramos & Ortega for Petitioner.

    Formoso & Quimpo Law Office for Private Respondent.

    SYNOPSIS


    As a result of private respondent DPG Development and Management Corporation’s failure to file its answer in Civil Case No. 90-51767 filed by petitioner, DPG was declared in default. Petitioner thereafter presented evidence and the trial court rendered a decision in favor of the petitioner. Nine (9) days after private respondent a copy of the trial court’s decision respondent through its new counsel filed a notice of appearance as a new counsel and a motion for new trial and to admit the answer with counterclaim. The trial court in an order denied the motion for new trial. Private respondent DPG questioned the order through a petition for certiorari before public respondent Court of Appeals claiming that the trial court gravely abused its discretion and exceeded its jurisdiction in failing to take action on and/or in denying its motion for new trial and admit answer, and in granting petitioner’s omnibus motion to strike out the motion for new trial and prayer for the issuance of a writ of execution. The Court of Appeals ruled for private respondent DPG.

    In this petition for certiorari, petitioner argues that the filing of the motion for new trial did not interrupt the finality of the trial court’s Decision inasmuch as there was no valid substitution between DPG’s previous counsel of record Atty. Bello and new counsel Atty. Formoso who filed the said motion for new trial. The Supreme Court ruled that Atty. Formoso’s appearance as second attorney, which bears the conformity of DPG, does not authorize the presumption that the authority of the first attorney (Atty. Bello) has been withdrawn, because a party may have two or more lawyer working in collaboration as his counsel in a given litigation. DPG cannot be denied the prerogative to employ additional counsel to protect his rights. The Court further stated that even granting that Atty. Formoso’s appearance was really intended to be a substitution and that there was lack of strict observance of the requisites thereof, the attendant circumstances in the present case are compelling enough to validate the substitution.


    SYLLABUS


    1. REMEDIAL LAW; SPECIAL CIVIL ACTIONS; CERTIORARI; REQUIRES PRIOR FILING OF MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION; EXCEPTIONS; QUESTIONS RAISED IN CERTIORARI PROCEEDINGS DULY RAISED AND PASSED UPON BY LOWER COURT; CASE AT BAR. — The special civil action of certiorari will not lie unless a motion for reconsideration is first filed before the respondent court to allow it an opportunity to correct its errors. However, this rule admits of certain recognized exceptions such as (a) where the order is a patent nullity, as where the Court a quo had no jurisdiction; (b) where the questions raised in the certiorari proceeding have been duly raised and passed upon by lower court, or are the same as those raised and passed upon in the lower court; (c) where there is an urgent necessity for the resolution of the question and any further delay would prejudice the interests of the Government or of the petitioner or the subject matter of the action is perishable; (d) where, under the circumstances, a motion for reconsideration would be useless; (e) where petitioner was deprived of due process and there is extreme urgency for relief; (f) where, in a criminal case, relief from an order of arrest is urgent and the granting of such relief by the trial Court is improbable; (g) where the proceedings in the lower court are a nullity for lack of due process; (h) where the proceedings was ex parte or in which the petitioner had no opportunity to object; and (i) where the issue raised is one purely of law or where public interest is involved. It is exceptive circumstance (b) that justified DPG’s non-filing of a motion for reconsideration, inasmuch as DPG’s petition for certiorari before the CA involved a similar issue or question passed upon by the trial court in its November 23, 1990 Order, i.e., the propriety of the motion for new trial filed by DPG’s new counsel (Atty. Formoso).

    2. ID.; ID.; ID.; PROPRIETY THEREOF. — What is determinative of the propriety of certiorari is the danger of failure of justice without the writ, not the mere absence of all other legal remedies. Thus, even when appeal is available and is the proper remedy, a writ of certiorari has been allowed when the orders of the lower court were issued either in excess of or without jurisdiction. Certiorari may also be availed of where an appeal would be slow, inadequate and insufficient and that to strictly observe the general rule would result in a miscarriage of justice. This is especially true when the petition, such as DPG’s certiorari petition before the CA, appears to be meritorious and the trial judge indeed seems to have committed grave abuse of discretion.

    3. ID.; CIVIL PROCEDURE; NEW TRIAL; PERIOD FOR FILING; COMPLIED WITH REGARDLESS OF CHANGE OF COUNSEL WITHOUT PROPER SUBSTITUTION. — A motion for new trial was filed on behalf of DPG within the 15-day appeal period. However, petitioner insists on the correctness of the trial court’s finding that the motion for new trial filed by DPG’s new counsel Atty. Formoso did not interrupt the finality of the trial court’s Decision since there was no proper substitution of DPG’s original counsel of record Atty. Bello by Atty. Formoso, it appearing that Atty. Formoso’s notice of appearance did not contain Atty. Bello’s written consent to the substitution and that said notice of appearance even preceded Atty. Bello’s notice of withdrawal as DPG’s counsel. Atty Formoso’s appearance as second attorney, which bears the conformity of DPG, does not authorize the presumption that the authority of the first attorney has been withdrawn, because a party may have two or more lawyers working in collaboration as his counsel in a given litigation. Even granting that Atty. Formoso’s appearance was really intended to be a substitution and that there was lack of strict observance of the requisites thereof, the attendant circumstances here are compelling enough to validate the substitution.

    4. ID.; ID.; ID.; GROUNDS; NEGLIGENCE OF COUNSEL. — DPG is entitled to a new trial it prays for inasmuch as negligence or incompetency of counsel is a well-recognized ground for new trial.


    D E C I S I O N


    FRANCISCO, J.:


    Petitioner Antonio P. Tan was the lessee of a piece of property located at 3658 Ramon Magsaysay Boulevard, Sampaloc, Manila when on April 21, 1986, respondent DPG Development and Management Corporation (DPG for brevity) acquired ownership thereof by purchase from one Manuel J. Gonzales. Subsequently, DPG filed with the Metropolitan Trial Court of Manila on April 13, 1989 an ejectment suit for nonpayment of rentals against Vermont Packaging, Inc. which was managed by petitioner.

    During the pendency of said suit, Petitioner, on January 24, 1990, filed Civil Case No. 90-51767 against the Register of Deeds of Manila and DPG for cancellation/annulment of TCT No. 169146 issued in the name of DPG. In a nutshell, this complaint challenges the validity of TCT No. 169146 which, according to petitioner, emanated from TCT No. 165501 that covered parcels of land outside of Manila.

    DPG received summons and the copy of the complaint on February 6, 1990. More than a month later or on March 22, 1990 DPG’s then counsel, Atty. Abundio Bello, filed a motion for extension of time to file its answer to the complaint. The motion was granted. However, instead of filing the answer within the extended period, Atty. Bello filed a second motion for more time to file answer. The court granted the motion but only for fifteen (15) days from April 25, 1990.

    As DPG still failed to file its answer, petitioner filed a motion to declare the former in default. On May 22, 1990, the trial court granted the motion and accordingly declared DPG in default. Petitioner thereafter presented evidence.

    On October 5, 1990, the trial court rendered a decision in Civil Case No. 90-51767 favoring petitioner, the dispositive portion of which reads:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "WHEREFORE, it is hereby ordered that TCT No. 169146 registered in the name of defendant DPG Development & Management Corporation be cancelled with the consequential effect that the land reverts to the government disposable to qualified applicants. It is further ordered that the Bureau of Lands consider the application of the plaintiff for the purchase of the area occupied by him pursuant to the recommendation of the land investigator on the matter.

    Attorney’s fees in the amount of P5,000.00.

    Cost of suit." 1

    DPG received a copy of the trial court’s decision on October 25, 1990. Nine (9) days later or on November 3, 1990, Atty. Benjamin S. Formoso filed a notice of appearance as new counsel for DPG. On the same day, said counsel filed a motion for new trial and to admit answer with counterclaim.

    Petitioner filed a comment thereon with an omnibus motion to strike out DPG’s motion for new trial, coupled with a prayer for the issuance of a writ of execution.

    On November 23, 1990, the trial court issued an Order denying, in effect, the motion for new trial, the entirety of which reads:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "ORDER

    Today is the consideration of the Motion for New Trial and Motion to Admit Answer of DPG Dev. & Mgt. Corp. filed by Atty. Benjamin Formoso. The plaintiff opposed the Motion for New Trial on the following grounds:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    1) Defendant is represented by counsel of record in the person of Atty. Abundio Bello and that there is no substitution of counsel by the mere filing of Notice of Appearance by Atty. Benjamin Formoso;

    2) Defendant did not even file the requisite motion to lift order of default to regain its standing or personality before the Court and that the mere filing of motion by the alleged new counsel did not automatically suspend the running of the period; and

    3) That the decision in the above-entitled case had not become final and executory.

    The records will show that Atty. Abundio Bello filed a Withdrawal of Appearance (sic) on November 5, 1990 after the defendant DPG Dev. & Mgt. Corp. had already been furnished with a copy of the decision by this Court, and that the Notice of Appearance of Atty. Benjamin Formoso on November 2, 1990 was actually ahead of the withdrawal of appearance by Atty. Abundio Bello on November 5, 1990. Such being the case, the appearance of new counsel Atty. Benjamin Formoso, granting that he is the authorized counsel for the defendant, did not actually stop the running of the period within which to appeal the adverse decision of the court.

    The Decision of the Court dated October 5, 1990 had already become final and executory, and the Motion for New Trial need not be acted upon by the Court.

    WHEREFORE, let there be issued a Writ og (sic) Execution in the above-entitled case, the same to be implemented by Branch Sheriff Ramon G. Enriquez of this Court.

    SO ORDERED."cralaw virtua1aw library

    DPG questioned this Order through a petition for certiorari before public respondent Court of Appeals (CA) claiming that the trial court gravely abused its discretion and exceeded its jurisdiction in failing to take action on and/or in denying its motion for new trial and to admit answer, and in granting petitioner’s omnibus motion to strike out said motion for new trial and prayer for the issuance of a writ of execution.

    In its Decision of October 23, 1992 disposing of DPG’s petition for certiorari, 2 the CA ruled for DPG, the dispositive portion of which reads:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "WHEREFORE, the petition is hereby GRANTED. As prayed for, the ORDER of the respondent judge issued on November 23, 1990, is hereby ANNULLED and SET ASIDE.

    As a consequence,

    (1) The writ of execution and alias writ of execution that have been issued are likewise declared null and void;

    (2) Petitioner’s motion for new trial and for admission of answer that the order of November 23, 1990 has, in effect, denied is considered GRANTED;

    (3) Petitioner’s Answer to the private respondent’s complaint in Civil Case No. 90-51767 is, accordingly, considered ADMITTED; and

    (4) The DECISION of respondent judge in said case is hereby VACATED, and respondent judge is hereby ordered to conduct a new trial in said civil case. Conformably to Section 5 of Rule 37 however, the recorded evidence taken upon the former trial so far as the same is material and competent to establish the issues, shall be used at the new trial without retaking the same.

    SO ORDERED."cralaw virtua1aw library

    Hence, this petition, with the following principal arguments raised by petitioner in support thereof:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    1) the CA should not have entertained DPG’s petition for certiorari considering that no motion for reconsideration of the trial court’s October 5, 1990 Decision was first filed by DPG and that the proper remedy is an appeal;

    2) the filing of the motion for new trial did not interrupt the finality of the trial court’s Decision inasmuch as there was no valid substitution between DPG’s previous counsel on record Atty. Bello and new counsel Atty. Formoso who filed the said motion for new trial.

    The petition must fail.

    On the first argument, as a rule, the special civil action of certiorari will not lie unless a motion for reconsideration is first filed before the respondent court to allow it an opportunity to correct its errors. 3 However, this rule admits of certain recognized exceptions such as (a) where the order is a patent nullity, 4 as where the Court a quo had no jurisdiction; 5 (b) where the questions raised in the certiorari proceeding have been duly raised and passed upon by the lower court, 6 or are the same as those raised and passed upon in the lower court; 7 (c) where there is an urgent necessity for the resolution of the question and any further delay would prejudice the interests of the Government 8 or of the petitioner 9 or the subject matter of the action is perishable; 10 (d) where, under the circumstances, a motion for reconsideration would be useless; 11 (e) where petitioner was deprived of due process and there is extreme urgency for relief; 12 (f) where, in a criminal case, relief from an order of arrest is urgent and the granting of such relief by the trial Court is improbable; 13 (g) where the proceedings in the lower court are a nullity for lack of due process; 14 (h) where the proceedings was ex parte or in which the petitioner had no opportunity to object; 15 and (i) where the issue raised is one purely of law or where public interest is involved. 16 It is exceptive circumstance (b) that justified DPG’s non-filing of a motion for reconsideration, inasmuch as DPG’s petition for certiorari before the CA involved a similar issue or question passed upon by the trial court in its November 23, 1990 Order, i.e., the propriety of the motion for new trial filed by DPG’s new counsel (Atty. Formoso).

    It must also be stressed that what is determinative of the propriety of certiorari is the danger of failure of justice without the writ, not the mere absence of all other legal remedies. 17 Thus, even when appeal is available and is the proper remedy, a writ of certiorari has been allowed when the orders of the lower court were issued either in excess of or without jurisdiction. 18 Certiorari may also be availed of where an appeal would be slow, inadequate and insufficient 19 and that to strictly observe the general rule would result in miscarriage of justice. 20 This is especially true when the petition, such as DPG’s certiorari petition before the CA, appears to be meritorious and the trial judge indeed seems to have committed grave abuse of discretion.

    This brings us to the second argument which touches on the heart of the matter. There is no question that the remedy against a judgment by default is a motion for new trial under Rule 37 of the Rules of Court which should be filed within the period for perfecting an appeal, and that the timely filing thereof interrupts the 15-day reglementary period. The CA has thus correctly observed that:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "It is settled in Our jurisprudence that a motion for new trial is the appropriate remedy when the defendant discovers that he has been declared in default and that a judgment has already been rendered, which has not, however, become final and executory as yet. (Leyte v. Cusi, Jr. 152 SCRA 496; Tiburcio v. Castro, 161 SCRA 583; Dolos v. Court of Appeals, 188 SCRA 413; Circle Finance Corp. v. Court of Appeals, 196 SCRA 166). It is not required that the defendant file first a motion to lift the order of default ‘to regain his standing.’

    "The filing of a motion for new trial suspends the reglementary period for the attainment by the decision of finality. (Rule 41, Section 3; PCIBank v. Ortiz, 150 SCRA 383) for

    ‘If a new trial be granted, . . . the judgment shall be vacated, and the action shall stand for trial de novo, . . .’ (rule 37, Section 5) "21

    There is also no dispute that a motion for new trial (and to admit answer with counterclaim) was filed on behalf of DPG within the 15-day appeal period, i.e., on November 3, 1990 or just nine (9) days from DPG’s receipt (on October 25, 1990) of a copy of the trial court’s October 5, 1990 Decision. Petitioner insists on the correctness of the trial court’s finding (contained in its November 23, 1990 Order earlier quoted in this Decision) that the motion for new trial filed by DPG’s new counsel Atty. Formoso did not interrupt the finality of the trial court’s October 5, 1990 Decision since there was no proper substitution of DPG’s original counsel of record Atty. Bello by Atty. Formoso, it appearing that Atty. Formoso’s notice of appearance did not contain Atty. Bello’s written consent to the substitution and that said notice of appearance even preceded Atty. Bello’s notice of withdrawal as DPG’s counsel. And so petitioner argues that the CA erred in reversing the trial court and in allowing a new trial to be conducted.

    Petitioner’s and the trial court’s position, indeed, cannot be sustained. Atty. Formoso’s appearance as second attorney, which bears the conformity of DPG, does not authorize the presumption that the authority of the first attorney (Atty. Bello) has been withdrawn, because a party may have two or more lawyers working in collaboration as his counsel in a given litigation. 22 Certainly, DPG cannot be denied the prerogative to employ additional counsel to protect his rights. Even granting that Atty. Formoso’s appearance was really intended to be a substitution and that there was a lack of strict observance of the requisites thereof, to wit:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "a) upon written application;

    b) with written consent of the client;

    c) upon written consent of the attorney to be substituted; and

    d) in case the consent of attorney to be substituted cannot be obtained, there must be at least a proof of notice that the motion for substitution has been served upon him in the manner prescribed by the rules (Section 26, Rule 138, Rules of Court)" 23

    the attendant circumstances here are compelling enough to validate the substitution.

    Note that DPG was declared in default (and was thus denied opportunity to present evidence and participate in the trial) by reason of Atty. Bello’s negligence. Said counsel failed to file an answer despite being given by the trial court two (2) extensions of time to file it. True, the general rule is that the client is bound by the mistakes of counsel. But this is not a hard and fast rule. In "De Guzman v. Sandiganbayan" 24 for instance, this Court, ever mindful of the supremacy of substantive rights over technicalities and invoking its power to suspend the rules, relieved petitioner De Guzman from the "costly importunings" of his previous lawyers who filed a demurrer to evidence despite leave for that purpose having been denied by the trial court. We thus said:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    ". . . Under the circumstances, higher interests of justice and equity demand that petitioner be not penalized for the costly importunings of his previous lawyers based on the same principles why this Court had, on many occasions where it granted new trial, excused parties from the negligence or mistakes of counsel. To cling to the general rule in this case is only to condone rather than rectify a serious injustice to petitioners whose only fault was to repose his faith and entrust his innocence to his previous lawyers.

    x       x       x


    "Let us not forget that the rules of procedure should be viewed as mere tools designed to facilitate the attainment of justice. Their strict and rigid application, which would result in technicalities that tend to frustrate rather than promote substantial justice, must always be avoided. Even the Rules of Court envision this liberality.

    x       x       x


    "The Rules of Court was conceived and promulgated to set forth guidelines in the dispensation of justice but not to bind and chain the hand that dispenses it, for otherwise, courts will be mere slaves to or robots of technical rules, shorn of judicial discretion. That is precisely why courts in rendering real justice have always been as they in fact ought to be, conscientiously guided by the norm that when on the balance, technicalities take a backseat against substantive rights, and not the other way around. Truly then, technicalities, in the appropriate language of Justice Makintal, ‘should give way to the realities of the situation.’" 25 (Emphasis ours)

    Being similarly situated, DPG should also benefit from the liberal application of the rules specifically pertaining to substitution of counsels.

    Of course, it would have been different if the appearance of a new counsel was, for instance, occasioned by the death of the original counsel of record. In which case, all the requirements of a proper substitution must be met, one of which is a verified proof of the death of such attorney. The party seeking substitution, therefore, cannot escape the effects of new counsel’s error in failing to furnish the required proof of death, as such negligence does not result in deprivation of due process to said party.

    Finally, and as correctly ruled by the CA, DPG is entitled to a new trial it prays for inasmuch as negligence or incompetency of counsel is a well-recognized ground for new trial. 26 This would rectify the serious error committed by DPG’s former counsel Atty. Bello, give the DPG the opportunity to present its evidence with the assistance of a hopefully more vigilant counsel (Atty. Formoso), and thus level the playing filed.chanroblesvirtual|awlibrary

    WHEREFORE, premises considered, the instant petition is hereby DENIED. The assailed Decision of the Court of Appeals dated October 23, 1992 is AFFIRMED in toto. Let this case be REMANDED to the court of origin for further proceedings.

    SO ORDERED.

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

    Endnotes:



    1. Rollo, p. 44.

    2. Rollo, pp. 7-16.

    3. Lasco v. United Nations Revolving Fund for Natural Resources Exploration, G.R. Nos. 109095-109107, February 23, 1995, 241 SCRA 681, 684.

    4. Vigan Electric Light Co., Inc. v. Public Service Commission, L-19850, Jan. 30, 1964; Luzon Surety Co. v. Marbella, et. al., L-16088, Sept. 30, 1960; Dir. of Lands v. Santamaria, 44 Phil. 594, cited in Regalado, Remedial Law Compendium, Vol. 1, 4th Ed., 1986, p. 418.

    5. Malayang Manggagawa sa Esso v. Esso Standard, Inc., L-24224, July 20, 1965, Id.

    6. Fortich-Celdran v. Celdran, L-22677, Feb. 28, 1967, Id.

    7. Pajo, etc., et. al., v. Ago, et. al., 108 Phil. 905; Legaspi Oil Co. v. Geronimo, L-28101, Mar. 31, 1977, Id.

    8. Vivo v. Cloribel, L-23239, Nov. 23, 1966; National Electrification Adm. v. C.A., et. al., L-32490, Dec. 29, 1983, Id.

    9. Bache & Co. [Phil.], Inc. v. Ruiz, L-42409, Feb. 27, 1971; Gonzales, et. al., v. IAC, et. al., L-63614, Aug. 28, 1984, Id.

    10. Matute v. Bullecer, L-26085, Jan. 31, 1969, Id.

    11. People v. Palacio, L-13933, Mar. 26, 1960, Id.

    12. Luzon Surety Co. v. Marbella, L-16088, supra, Id.

    13. Matutina v. Buslon, L-14637, Aug. 1960, Id.

    14. Matute v. CA, L-26751, Jan. 31, 1969, Id., p. 419.

    15. Republic v. Maglanoc, L-16848, Feb. 27, 1963, Id.

    16. PALEA v. Phil. Air Lines, Inc., et. al., L-31396, Jan. 30, 1982, Id.

    17. Seven Brothers Shipping Corporation v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 109573, July 13, 1995, 246 SCRA 33, 41 citing Lansang, Jr. v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 76028, April 6, 1990, 184 SCRA 230.

    18. Secretary of Health v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 112243, February 23, 1995, 241 SCRA 688, 693 citing PNB v. Florendo, G.R. No. 62082, February 26, 1992, 206 SCRA 582.

    19. Rodriguez v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 85723, June 19, 1995, 245 SCRA 150 citing Presco v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 82215, December 10, 1990, 192 SCRA 232 and Saludes v. Pajarillo, 78 Phil. 754 (1974).

    20. De la Paz v. Panis, G.R. No. 57023, June 22, 1995, 245 SCRA 242, 250.

    21. CA Decision, pp. 5-6; Rollo, pp. 67-68.

    22. Ong Ching v. Ramolete, 51 SCRA 13.

    23. Rinconada Telephone Co. v. Buenviaje, 184 SCRA 701.

    24. 256 SCRA 171.

    25. De Guzman v. Sandiganbayan, 256 SCRA 171, pp. 178-180.

    26. De Guzman v. Sandiganbayan, supra, citing U .S . v. Gimenez, 34 Phil. 74.

    G.R. No. 108634   July 17, 1997 - ANTONIO P. TAN v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.


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