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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
 

   
March-1997 Jurisprudence                 

  • G.R. No. 51765 March 3, 1997 - REPUBLIC PLANTERS BANK v. ENRIQUE A. AGANA, SR., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 93397 March 3, 1997 - TRADERS ROYAL BANK v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 99425 March 3, 1997 - ANTONIO RAMOS, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 100487 & 100607 March 3, 1997 - ARTURO JULIANO v. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 106581 March 3, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RENATO FLORES, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 110419 March 3, 1997 - UERM-MEMORIAL MEDICAL CENTER, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 114383 March 3, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JOEL COREA

  • G.R. No. 116437 March 3, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. PABLITO ANDAN

  • G.R. No. 117161 March 3, 1997 - RAMON INGLES v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 120704 March 3, 1997 - BARTOLOME C. CARALE, ET AL. v. PAMPIO A. ABARINTOS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 123321 March 3, 1997 - ROMAN CATHOLIC ARCHBISHOP OF MANILA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 123361 March 3, 1997 - TEOFILO CACHO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 125198 March 3, 1997 - MSCI-NACUSIP v. NWPC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 84449 March 4, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BENEDICTO JAVIER, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 102876 March 4, 1997 - BATAAN SHIPYARD AND ENG’G CORP. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 118607 March 4, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JULITO FRANCO

  • Adm. Matter No. RTJ-96-1335 March 5, 1997 - INOCENCIO BASCO v. LEO H. RAPATALO

  • G.R. No. 126576 March 5, 1997 - RICARDO M. ANGOBUNG v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 83598 March 7, 1997 - LEONCIA BALOGBOG, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 94994-95 March 7, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LILIBETH CACO

  • G.R. No. 106212 March 7, 1997 - PROGRESS HOMES, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 108395 March 7, 1997 - HEIRS OF TEODORO GUARING, JR. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 108604-10 March 7, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FEDERICO A. BURCE

  • G.R. No. 113420 March 7, 1997 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL. v. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 113905 March 7, 1997 - LEOPOLDO ALICBUSAN v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116211 March 7, 1997 - MEYNARDO POLICARPIO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116512 March 7, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. WILLIAM O. CASIDO, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. RTJ-96-1353 March 11, 1997 - DANILO B. PARADA v. LORENZO B. VENERACION

  • G.R. No. 127066 March 11, 1997 - REYNALDO O. MALONZO v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 117169 March 12, 1997 - PHILTREAD WORKERS UNION, ET AL. v. NIEVES R. CONFESOR, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 121917 March 12, 1997 - ROBIN CARIÑO PADILLA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 99301 & 99343 March 13, 1997 - VICTOR KIERULF, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 100333 March 13, 1997 - HILARIO MAGCALAS, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 103611 March 13, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CESAR HERBIETO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 107131 March 13, 1997 - NFD INT’L. MANNING AGENTS, INC. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 108454 March 13, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. TEDDY QUINAO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 109779 March 13, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. NESTOR MAÑOZCA

  • G.R. No. 110067 March 13, 1997 - LINDA T. ALMENDRAS v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 111478 March 13, 1997 - GEORGE F. SALONGA, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 111567 March 13, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. TEODORICO AVILLANO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116123 March 13, 1997 - SERGIO NAGUIAT, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116228 March 13, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EPIFANIO GAYON, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116352 March 13, 1997 - J. & D.O. AGUILAR CORP. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 116596-98 March 13, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LORENZO TOPAGUEN

  • G.R. No. 117266 March 13, 1997 - CONTEMPT PROCEEDINGS AGAINST VENTURA O. DUCAT, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 117955-58 March 13, 1997 - HERMINIGILDO TOMARONG, ET AL. v. ANTONIO C. LUBGUBAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 119058 March 13, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ERLINDA VILLARAN

  • G.R. No. 120853 March 13, 1997 - RUDY ALMEDA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 122427 March 13, 1997 - BENJAMIN LAZA, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 123881 March 13, 1997 - VIVA PRODUCTIONS, INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 91694 March 14, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. SABAS CALVO, JR., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 97626 March 14, 1997 - PHIL. BANK OF COMMERCE, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 114387 March 14, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALEJANDRO DEVILLERES

  • G.R. No. 120592 March 14, 1997 - TRADERS ROYAL BANK EMPLOYEES UNION v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 121765 March 14, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RANDOLF B. MONTEALTO

  • G.R. No. 122646 March 14, 1997 - ADELIA C. MENDOZA v. ANGELITO C. TEH, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 112229 March 18, 1997 - RAYMOND PE LIM v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 114924-27 March 18, 1997 - DANTE NACURAY, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 119321 March 18, 1997 - CATALINO F. BAÑEZ, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • Bar Matter No. 712 March 19, 1997 - PETITION OF AL ARGOSINO TO TAKE THE LAWYER’S OATH

  • G.R. Nos. 100382-100385 March 19, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MARIO TABACO

  • G.R. No. 111157 March 19, 1997 - ITOGON-SUYOC MINES, INC. v. OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 117029 March 19, 1997 - PELTAN DEVELOPMENT, INC., ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 121112 March 19, 1997 - FELICIDAD MIRANO, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 127325 March 19, 1997 - MIRIAM DEFENSOR SANTIAGO, ET AL. v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. P-95-1159 March 20, 1997 - COURT ADMINISTRATOR v. WILLIAM C. SEVILLO

  • G.R. No. 88684 March 20, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CESAR LACBANES

  • G.R. No. 95551 March 20, 1997 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL. v. CONCEPCION S. ALARCON VERGARA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 107019 March 20, 1997 - FRANKLIN M. DRILON, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116404 March 20, 1997 - FRANCISCO LUNA, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 117218 March 20, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. GERRY NALANGAN

  • G.R. No. 119599 March 20, 1997 - MALAYAN INSURANCE CORP. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 127456 March 20, 1997 - JESUS A. JARIOL, ET AL. v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. MTJ-96-1091 March 21, 1997 - WILFREDO NAVARRO v. DEOGRACIAS K. DEL ROSARIO

  • G.R. No. 107699 March 21, 1997 - ALEX JACOBO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116692 March 21, 1997 - SAMAR II ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 117097 March 21, 1997 - SAMAHAN NG OPTOMETRISTS SA PILIPINAS, ET AL. v. ACEBEDO INTL. CORP., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 118436 March 21, 1997 - HEIRS OF MANUEL A. ROXAS, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 118836 March 21, 1997 - FEDERICO DORDAS, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 122728 March 21, 1997 - CASIANO A. ANGCHANGCO, JR. v. OMBUDSMAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 123037 March 21, 1997 - TEODORO Q. PEÑA v. HRET, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. P-96-1184 March 24, 1997 - NBI, ET AL. v. RODOLFO TULIAO

  • G.R. No. 106588 March 24, 1997 - RAUL H. SESBREÑO v. CENTRAL BOARD OF ASSESSMENT APPEALS, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. RTJ-89-318 March 25, 1997 - LUCIANA Vda. DE ARAGO v. PATERNO T. ALVAREZ

  • G.R. No. 96229 March 25, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. GLORIOSA S. NAVARRO

  • G.R. No. 124137 March 25, 1997 - ROY M. LOYOLA v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 126298 March 25, 1997 - PATRIA C. GUTIERREZ v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 99032 March 26, 1997 - RICARDO A. LLAMADO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 101817 March 26, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FELIPE IMMACULATA

  • G.R. No. 107801 March 26, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROSARIA V. IGNACIO

  • G.R. No. 110613 March 26, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EDGAR VILLANUEVA

  • G.R. No. 113470 March 26, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DANILO CORBES, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 115951 March 26, 1997 - ZEBRA SECURITY AGENCY, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 117378 March 26, 1997 - GIL CAPILI, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 117408 March 26, 1997 - NATIONAL INVESTMENT AND DEV. CORP. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 117604 March 26, 1997 - CHINA BANKING CORP. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 118332 March 26, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. IRENEO PEREZ

  • G.R. No. 119528 March 26, 1997 - PAL, INC. v. CIVIL AERONAUTICS BOARD, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 121031 March 26, 1997 - ROSAURO I. TORRES v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 122013 March 26, 1997 - JOSE C. RAMIREZ v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 124333 March 26, 1997 - NATIVIDAD P. ARAGON v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 119877 March 31, 1997 - BIENVENIDO ONGKINGCO, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  •  




     
     

    G.R. No. 126298   March 25, 1997 - PATRIA C. GUTIERREZ v. COMELEC, ET AL.

     
    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    EN BANC

    [G.R. No. 126298. March 25, 1997.]

    PATRIA C. GUTIERREZ, Petitioner, v. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS AND VICENTE TOMAS VERA III, Respondents.

    Felix D. Garao, Jr. and Sixto S. Brillantes, Jr. for Petitioner.

    Lawenko Law Office and Betito, Feble & Associates for Private Respondent.


    SYLLABUS


    1. POLITICAL LAW; CONSTITUTION; DUE PROCESS; PARTY NOT DENIED THEREOF WHERE HE SUBMITTED AN OPPOSITION TO MOTION FOR EXECUTION PENDING APPEAL WHICH THE COURT CONSIDERED BEFORE ISSUANCE OF WRIT OF EXECUTION. — On the supposed denial of due process, suffice it to say that Vera, in fact, submitted an opposition to the motion for execution pending appeal. In turn, the 16th July 1996 order of the trial court would show that Vera’s opposition was duly considered before the writ of execution was finally issued. An opportunity to be heard was given, and Vera made use of it.

    2. REMEDIAL LAW; ACTIONS; APPEALS; EXECUTION PENDING APPEAL UNDER SECTION 2, RULE 39 OF THE RULES OF COURT APPLICABLE TO ELECTION CONTESTS DECIDED BY COURTS. — The rule is now settled that Section 2, Rule 39, of the Rules of Court, which allows Regional Trial Courts to order executions pending appeal upon good reasons stated in a special order, can be applied, pursuant to Rule 41 of the COMELEC Rules of Procedure, to election contests decided by the courts.

    3. ID.; ID.; ID.; COURT, WITH JURISDICTION TO ENTERTAIN MOTION FOR EXECUTION PENDING APPEAL BEFORE PERFECTION OF APPEAL TO THE COMELEC; CASE AT BAR. — A motion for execution pending appeal may be filed at any time before the period for the perfection of the appeal. Such an appeal, when made, is deemed perfected on the last day for any of the parties to appeal or, in this particular case, on 16 July 1996. Petitioner and private respondent both received their respective copies of the decision on 11 July 1996. An appeal therefrom may thus be filed within five (5) days from 11 July 1996 or until 16 July 1996. On 12 July 1996, the same date that Petitioner filed her motion for execution pending appeal, private respondent filed his notice of appeal and furnished the COMELEC, through its Electoral Contest Adjudication Department, with a copy thereof on 15 July 1996. The corresponding fee was paid, and the appeal was docketed EAC NO. 30-96. Given the circumstances, the trial court undoubtedly still had jurisdiction when, on 16 July 1996, it acted on the motion for immediate execution of the judgment pending appeal and issued its order granting the motion.

    4. ID.; ID.; ID.; EXECUTION PENDING APPEAL; GRANT THEREOF ALLOWED WHERE ONE-THIRD OF THE TERM OF THE CONTESTED POSITION HAD EXPIRED. — Contrary to Vera’s claim, the 16th July 1996 order of the trial court granting execution pending appeal is not without valid and special reasons considering that, as the trial court so pointed out-." . . the protestee died on April 6, 1996 and it is the Vice-Mayor who acted as Mayor after the protestee died and during the pendency of this case before this Court, the protestant having been found to be the true winner in the mayoralty race for Tiwi, Albay and should have been sitting as such from July 1, 1995 to the present but was not able to sit; that as of today, one-third of the term has already expired; that public interest will be better served and it would be giving true meaning to the electoral will of Tiwi, Albay that their chosen Mayor, the protestant herein, should immediately sit as the Mayor and govern them instead of the Vice-Mayor." The wisdom of immediate execution has been upheld in the past by this Court in similar cases (Gahol v. Riodique, 64 SCRA 494. Malaluan v. Commission on Elections, 254 SCRA 397.


    D E C I S I O N


    VITUG, J.:


    A special civil action for certiorari and prohibition, with a prayer for the issuance of a writ of temporary restraining order ("TRO") and/or preliminary injunction, has been filed with this Court to nullify the TRO, 1 dated 26 July 1996, and writ of preliminary injunction, 2 dated 04 September 1996, issued by respondent Commission on Elections ("COMELEC") (a) commanding herein petitioner Patria Gutierrez to cease and desist from performing the duties and functions of Mayor of Tiwi, Albay, and (b) enjoining the presiding Judge of the Regional Trial Court ("RTC"), Branch 5, Legaspi City, from enforcing the order/writ of execution pending appeal of his decision in Election Case No. 01-95. 3

    In the last concluded local elections of 08 May 1995, Patria Gutierrez and Naomi Corral ran for the position of Municipal Mayor of the Municipality of Tiwi, Albay. The results of the canvass of election returns showed that Corral garnered a total of nine thousand ninety seven (9,097) votes and led Gutierrez by one thousand fifty six (1,056) votes who only obtained a total of eight thousand forty one (8,041) votes. On the basis of these results, Corral was proclaimed elected Mayor of Tiwi, Albay, on 30 June 1995 and assumed the office in due time.

    Asseverating fraud, misappreciation of ballots and other election irregularities, Gutierrez filed a timely protest contesting the results of the elections in fifty-nine (59) precincts of Tiwi, Albay. In her answer, Corral denied the allegations of Gutierrez and counter-protested the remaining twenty-six (26) precincts of Tiwi, Albay.

    The case was initially heard before the RTC Branch 15, of Tabaco, Albay. When the revision of ballots had concluded, the parties were directed by the court to submit their respective position papers.

    In compliance with an order later issued by this Court, the election case was transferred to the RTC of Legaspi City, raffled to Branch 5, and there so docketed as Election Case No. 01-95. The parties stipulated that the only issue for resolution was "whether or not the contested ballots were properly and correctly appreciated and counted in favor of either the protestant (Gutierrez) or (the) protestee (Corral)." The parties agreed to dispense with all other issues.

    Naomi Corral unexpectedly died on 06 April 1996, following her demise, the Vice-Mayor, herein respondent Vicente Tomas Vera III ("Vera") assumed the office of Municipal Mayor. With leave of court, Vera was allowed to intervene in Election Case No. 01-95. Vera filed a complaint/answer where he joined and adopted Corral’s answer along with the counter-protest. Gutierrez and Vera submitted their respective position papers.

    On 11 July 1996, Vera’s counsel received a copy of the decision, dated 10 July 1996, of the trial court in Election Case No. 01-95, which concluded:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "WHEREFORE, premises considered, and it being the finding of this court that the protestant Patria C. Gutierrez garnered a total of Eight Thousand Twenty (8,020) votes while the protestee, the late mayor Naomi C Corral garnered Seven Thousand Three Hundred Ten (7,310) votes, thus, leading over the protestee by Seven Hundred Ten (710) votes, decision is hereby rendered, declaring as null and void the proclamation of the late Naomi C. Corral as the elected mayor of Tiwi, Albay on June 30, 1995, and instead, hereby proclaim and declare Patria C. Gutierrez as the duly elected mayor of Tiwi, Albay in the last concluded local elections of May 8, 1995.

    "The intervenor Vicente Tomas Vera, the duly elected Vice-Mayor of Tiwi, Albay who acted as Mayor after the death of Naomi C. Corral on April 6, 1996, and during the pendency of this protest is hereby ordered to vacate the position and surrender the same peacefully to the protestant Patria C. Gutierrez. Costs against the protestee and Intervenor.

    "SO ORDERED." 4

    The next day, or on 12 July 1996, Gutierrez moved for an immediate execution of the decision citing, among other things, the following reasons for the grant thereof, viz:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "2. It is well-settled that all election cases, especially protest cases, are imbued with PUBLIC INTEREST and, ‘it is neither fair nor just to keep in office for an uncertain period, one whose right is under suspicion. It is imperative that his claim be immediately cleared not only for the benefit of the winner, but for the sake of public interest’ (Unda v. COMELEC, 190 SCRA 820).

    "3. The instant election protest case was initiated as far back as July 7, 1995, and ONE (1) FULL YEAR had elapsed since then. The term of office of local elective officials is SHORT, only THREE (3) years to be exact, and one third (1/3) of said term had already been used by the protestee and/or intervenor who turned out to be the LOSER and not the person elected by the people of Tiwi, Albay." 5

    On even date, Vera filed before the trial court a notice of appeal, together with an "Opposition to Motion for Execution with Urgent Motion for Continuance," claiming that "there (was) no legal and factual basis for an execution pending appeal particularly under the COMELEC Rules and Regulations . . . (governing) all election contests even before regular courts" 6 and that "the execution of judgment of election case could only be made after decision by the COMELEC EN BANC." 7 On 15 July 1996, he furnished the COMELEC with a copy of his notice of appeal, through its Electoral Contests Adjudication Department, and paid the corresponding fee. The appeal was docketed EAC No. 30-96.

    On 16 July 1996, after the trial court had denied Vera’s motion for postponement, the motion for execution was heard and thereafter submitted for resolution. Forthwith, the trial court granted the motion for execution pending appeal and ordered the issuance of the corresponding writ of execution 8 fixing a P400,000.00 bond therefor. Gutierrez posted a cash surety bond of P400,000.00, and the writ of execution was forthwith issued to enforce the judgment in the election protest.chanrobles.com:cralaw:red

    On 17 July 1996, Gutierrez took her oath of office and assumed office.

    Two days later, or on 19 July 1996, Vera filed with the COMELEC a petition for certiorari with preliminary mandatory injunction and restraining order, docketed SPR No. 28-96, assailing the order of the trial court granting execution pending appeal.

    The COMELEC, on 25 July 1996, issued, ex parte, a temporary restraining order directing Gutierrez "to cease and desist from performing the duties of the office of Mayor, Tiwi, Albay, until (after the) resolution of the application." 9 Gutierrez promptly filed with the COMELEC an "Urgent Motion to Lift Temporary Restraining Order" contending, among other grounds, that the execution pending appeal is allowed under Section 2 Rule 39, of the Rules of Court.

    After a hearing on the petition, the COMELEC, on 04 September 1996, issued its other questioned order.

    Hence, this petition.

    In a resolution, dated 08 October 1996, the Court resolved to issue the temporary restraining order prayed for. 10

    Petitioner argues that respondent COMELEC has committed grave abuse of discretion in discarding the trial court’s authority to execute its decision pending appeal The Solicitor General counters that the issuance of the TRO and preliminary injunction by the COMELEC "appeals to be justified" against the backdrop of argument raised by respondent Vera that he was denied due process, i.e, an opportunity to be heard anent the motion for execution pending appeal.

    The Court rules in favor of petitioner.

    On the supposed denial of due process, suffice it to say that Vera, in fact, submitted an opposition to the motion for execution pending appeal. In turn, the 16th July 1996 order of the trial court would show that Vera’s opposition was duly considered before the writ of execution was finally issued. An opportunity to be heard was given, and Vera made use of it.

    The rule is now settled that Section 2, Rule 39, of the Rules of Court, which allows Regional Trial Courts to order executions pending appeal upon good reasons stated in a special order, can be applied, pursuant to Rule 41 11 of the COMELEC Rules of Procedures, 12 to election contests decided by the court.

    A motion for execution pending appeal may be filed at any time before the period for the perfection of the appeal. Such an appeal, when made, is deemed perfected on the last day for any of the parties to appeal 13 or, in this particular case, on 16 July 1996. Petitioner and private respondent both received their respective copies of the decision on 11 July 1996. An appeal therefrom may thus be filed within five (5) days 14 from 11 July 1996 or until 16 July 1996. On 12 July 1996, the same date that petitioner filed her motion for execution pending appeal private respondent filed his notice of appeal and furnished the COMELEC, through its Electoral Contest Adjudication Department, with a copy thereof on 15 July 1996. The corresponding fee was paid, and the appeal was docketed EAC No. 30-96.

    Given the circumstances, the trial court undoubtedly still had jurisdiction when, on 16 July 1996, it acted on the motion for immediate execution of the judgment pending appeal and issued its order granting the motion.

    Ostensibly, in order to clothe the COMELEC with jurisdiction on his petition for certiorari, Vera has argued that the trial court "committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to excess or absence of jurisdiction in issuing the execution pending appeal without any legal and factual basis, particularly for non-compliance with the requirement that there be a good and special reason to justify execution pending appeal." 15 A thorough perusal of the petition, 16 however, would indicate that, in substance, it merely refutes the merits of the decision of the trial court, specifically in the appreciation of the contested ballots, that should properly be threshed out in his appeal in EAC No. 30-96 (entitled, "Vicente Tomas Vera III v. Patria C. Gutierrez") now pending with the COMELEC.

    Contrary to Vera’s claim, the 16th July 1996 order of the trial court granting execution pending appeal is not without valid and special reasons considering that, as the trial court so pointed out —

    ". . . the protestee died on April 6, 1996 and it is the Vice-Mayor who acted as Mayor after the protestee died and during the pendency of this case before this Court, the protestant having been found to be the true winner in the mayoralty race for Tiwi, Albay and should have been sitting as such from July 1, 1995 to the present but was not able to sit; that as of today, one-third of the term has already expired; that public interest will be better served and it would be giving true meaning to the electoral will of Tiwi, Albay that their chosen Mayor, the protestant herein, should immediately sit as the Mayor and govern them instead of the Vice-Mayor." 17

    The wisdom of immediate execution has been upheld in the past by this Court in similar cases; thus, in Gahol v. Riodique, 18 we have said:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    ". . . (The board of canvassers is composed of persons who are less technically prepared to make an accurate appreciation of the ballots, apart from their being more apt to yield to extraneous considerations, and that the board must act summarily, practically racing against time, while, on the other hand, the judge has the benefit of all the evidence the parties can offer and of admittedly better technical preparation and background, apart from his being allowed ample time for conscientious study and mature deliberation before the rendering judgment, one cannot but perceive the wisdom of allowing the immediate execution of decisions in election cases adverse to the protestees, notwithstanding the perfection and pendency of appeals therefrom, as long as there are, in the sound discretion of the court, good reasons therefor." (Emphasis supplied) 19

    Gahol has been reiterated by the Court in the recent case of Malaluan v. Commission on Elections 20 which has also suggested that —

    ". . . as much recognition should be given to the value of the decision of a judicial body as a basis for the right to assume office as that given by law to the proclamation made by the Board of Canvassers.’

    ". . . Why should the proclamation by the board of canvassers suffice as basis of the right to assume office, subject to future contingencies attendant to a protest; and not the decision of a court of justice? Indeed . . . the board of canvassers is composed of persons who are less technically prepared to make an accurate appreciation of the ballots, apart from their being more apt to yield to extraneous considerations . . . the board must act summarily, practically raising (sic) against time, while, on the other hand, the judge has the benefit of all the evidence the parties can offer and of admittedly better technical preparation and background, apart from his being allowed ample time for conscientious study and mature deliberation before rendering judgment." 21

    All taken, the trial court, in our view, has acted correctly and judiciously in the exercise of its authority under the law in issuing its 16th July 1996 order, and the COMELEC gravely abused its discretion in disregarding that prerogative of the court.

    WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED. The questioned temporary restraining order of 25 July 1996 and the order/writ of preliminary injunction of 04 September 1996 of the Commission on Elections are hereby NULLIFIED, and this Court’s restraining order of 08 October 1996 is made permanent. No special pronouncement on costs.

    SO ORDERED.

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

    Endnotes:



    1. Rollo, pp. 37-38.

    2. Rollo, p. 39.

    3. Rollo, pp. 67-68.

    4. Rollo, p. 57.

    5. Rollo, p. 59.

    6. Rollo, p. 72.

    7. Ibid.

    8. Rollo, p. 66.

    9. Rollo, p. 14.

    10. Rollo, pp. 251-253.

    11. Sec. 1. The Rules of Court. — In the absence of any applicable provision in these Rules, the pertinent provisions of the Rules of Court in the Philippines shall be applicable by analogy or in suppletory character and effect.

    12. Garcia v. De Jesus, 206 SCRA 779.

    13. Relampagos v. Cumba, 243 SCRA 690.

    14. Sec. 3, Rule 22, in relation to Section 20, Rule 35, COMELEC Rules of Procedure.

    15. Rollo, p. 74.

    16. In his initial argument, Vera contends that the trial court judge was not in a position to judiciously render judgment on the execution of judgment pending appeal because he did not have the opportunity to hear the case. Thereafter, he went on to discuss several matters to explain why the ballots invalidated by the judge in his decision was grossly erroneous and baseless, to wit:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "As to the forty-six (46) ballots for the protestee found by the court to be patently written by two or more persons.

    "x       x       x

    "As to the 151 invalidated ballots for the protestee for having been allegedly written by one and the same person.

    "x       x       x

    "As to the 96 invalidated ballots for the protestee for allegedly being stray votes.

    "x       x       x

    "As to the 647 invalidated ballots for the protestee on grounds of distinctive or distinguishing marks (467), impertinent, irrelevant, unnecessary words/expressions (32), ballots with written names of local residents (71), and intentional repetition of candidate’s name (77).

    "x       x       x

    "As to the distinctive or distinguishing marks with 467 ballots invalidated.

    "x       x       x

    "As to the 71 invalidated ballots of the protestee for alleged writing of names of local residents.

    "x       x       x

    As to the 77 invalidated ballots of the protestee on the alleged markings of the same by intentional repetition.

    "x       x       x

    "As to the 32 invalidated ballots of the protestee on alleged impertinent, irrelevant, unnecessary words/expressions.

    "x       x       x

    As to the alleged marked ballots because of distinctive pattern of voting to identify the ballots or the voters were counted." (Rollo, pp. 279-287)

    17. Rollo, p. 66.

    18. 64 SCRA 494.

    19. At p. 515.

    20. 254 SCRA 397.

    21. At p. 413.

    G.R. No. 126298   March 25, 1997 - PATRIA C. GUTIERREZ v. COMELEC, ET AL.




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