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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
 

   
June-2001 Jurisprudence                 

  • A.M. No. P-00-1446 June 6, 2001 - PATERNO R. PLANTILLA v. RODRIGO G. BALIWAG

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  • G.R. No. 139313 June 19, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FLORANTE LEAL

  • G.R. No. 140690 June 19, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. NAZAR U. CHAVEZ

  • G.R. No. 141441 June 19, 2001 - JOSE SUAN v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. 00-10-230-MTCC June 20, 2001 - RE: JULIAN C. OCAMPO III AND RENATO C. SAN JUAN

  • A.M. No. 00-11-521-RTC June 20, 2001 - RE: AWOL OF MS. LILIAN B. BANTOG

  • A.M. No. P-99-1346 June 20, 2001 - RESTITUTO L. CASTRO v. CARLOS BAGUE

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  • G.R. No. 84831 June 20, 2001 - PACENCIO ABEJARON v. FELIX NABASA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 109666 June 20, 2001 - ROGERIO R. OLAGUER, ET AL. v. EUFEMIO DOMINGO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 113564 June 20, 2001 - INOCENCIA YU DINO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 115851 June 20, 2001 - LA JOLLA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 127129 June 20, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROLANDO CABAYA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 128617 June 20, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CESAR BACUS

  • G.R. Nos. 129292-93 June 20, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ARLENGEN DEGALA

  • G.R. No. 130524 June 20, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RUDY MADIA

  • G.R. No. 131036 June 20, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DONATO DEL ROSARIO

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  • G.R. No. 138629 June 20, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RAMON CAMACHO

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  • G.R. Nos. 139445-46 June 20, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RODRIGO GONZALES

  • G.R. No. 142304 June 20, 2001 - CITY OF MANILA v. OSCAR SERRANO, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. MTJ-01-1342 June 21, 2001 - BISHOP CRISOSTOMO A. YALUNG, ET AL. v. ENRIQUE M. PASCUA

  • G.R. No. 108558 June 21, 2001 - ANDREA TABUSO, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 109197 June 21, 2001 - JAYME C. UY, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 111580 & 114802 June 21, 2001 - SHANGRI-LA INTERNATIONAL HOTEL MNGT. LTD. ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 116200-02 June 21, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ELEUTERIO TAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 131131 June 21, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ABELARDO SALONGA

  • G.R. No. 134138 June 21, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EDMUNDO BRIONES AYTALIN

  • G.R. Nos. 135552-53 June 21, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ABEL ABACIA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 139542 June 21, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. INOCENCIO GONZALEZ

  • G.R. No. 140206 June 21, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RODOLFO MATYAONG

  • G.R. No. 142023 June 21, 2001 - SANNY B. GINETE v. SUNRISE MANNING AGENCY, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 103068 June 22, 2001 - MEAT PACKING CORP. OF THE PHIL. v. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. MTJ-96-1110 June 25, 2001 - MANUEL N. MAMBA, ET AL. v. DOMINADOR L. GARCIA

  • G.R. No. 116710 June 25, 2001 - DANILO D. MENDOZA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 117857 June 25, 2001 - LUIS S. WONG v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 128126 June 25, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RAFAEL M. CATAPANG

  • G.R. No. 132051 June 25, 2001 - TALA REALTY SERVICES CORP. v. BANCO FILIPINO SAVINGS AND MORTGAGE BANK

  • G.R. No. 134068 June 25, 2001 - UNION BANK OF THE PHIL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 136221 June 25, 2001 - EQUATORIAL REALTY DEVELOPMENT v. MAYFAIR THEATER

  • G.R. No. 136382 June 25, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FIDEL ALBORIDA

  • G.R. Nos. 138439-41 June 25, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MARIO PANGANIBAN

  • G.R. No. 141141 June 25, 2001 - PAGCOR v. CARLOS P. RILLORAZA

  • G.R. No. 141801 June 25, 2001 - SOLOMON ALVAREZ v. COURT OF APPEALS

  • G.R. No. 143428 June 25, 2001 - SANDOVAL SHIPYARDS, ET AL. v. PRISCO PEPITO, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. 99-11-423-RTC June 26, 2001 - RE: Report on the Judicial Audit Conducted in the Regional Trial Court

  • A.M. No. RTJ-99-1461 June 26, 2001 - RICARDO DELA CRUZ v. HERMINIA M. PASCUA

  • A.M. No. RTJ-99-1486 June 26, 2001 - OFFICE OF THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR v. ISMAEL SANCHEZ

  • G.R. Nos. 110547-50 & 114526-667 June 26, 2001 - JOSE SAYSON v. SANDIGANBAYAN ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 120859 June 26, 2001 - METROPOLITAN BANK AND TRUST COMPANY v. FRANCISCO Y. WONG

  • G.R. No. 123542 June 26, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROGELIO BULOS

  • G.R. Nos. 132848-49 June 26, 2001 - PHILROCK v. CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY ARBITRATION COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 133990 June 26, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. HECTOR MARIANO

  • G.R. No. 134764 June 26, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL v. BENJAMIN FABIA

  • G.R. Nos. 139626-27 June 26, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DOMINGO DELA CRUZ

  • G.R. No. 143204 June 26, 2001 - HYATT TAXI SERVICES INC. v. RUSTOM M. CATINOY

  • G.R. Nos. 147589 & 147613 June 26, 2001 - ANG BAGONG BAYANI-OFW LABOR PARTY, ET AL. v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 130661 June 27, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DANILO I. TORRES, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 135882 June 27, 2001 - LOURDES T. MARQUEZ v. ANIANO A. DESIERTO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 140001 June 27, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EDUARDO BUENAFLOR

  • A.C. No. 3910 June 28, 2001 - JOSE S. DUCAT v. ARSENIO C. VILLALON, ET AL.

  • A.C. No. 4073 June 28, 2001 - ARACELI SIPIN-NABOR v. BENJAMIN BATERINA

  • A.M. No. P-01-1480 June 28, 2001.

    AMADO S. CAGUIOA v. CRISANTO FLORA

  • A.M. No. P-99-1343 June 28, 2001 - ORLANDO T. MENDOZA v. ROSBERT M. TUQUERO, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. RTJ-00-1576 June 28, 2001 - SIMPLICIO ALIB v. EMMA C. LABAYEN

  • G.R. No. 105364 June 28, 2001 - PHIL. VETERANS BANK EMPLOYEES UNION-N.U.B.E., ET AL. v. BENJAMIN VEGA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 110813 June 28, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ERNESTO PARDUA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 110914 June 28, 2001 - ALFREDO CANUTO; JR., ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 112453-56 June 28, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. GERARDO LATUPAN

  • G.R. Nos. 112563 & 110647 June 28, 2001 - HEIRS OF KISHINCHAND HIRANAND DIALDAS v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 120630 June 28, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MARCELO PALERMO

  • G.R. No. 131954 June 28, 2001 - ASELA B. MONTECILLO, ET AL v. CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION

  • G.R. Nos. 132026-27 June 28, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MARIO ABENDAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 132362 June 28, 2001 - PIO BARRETTO REALTY DEV’T. CORP. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 132837 June 28, 2001 - JO CINEMA CORP., ET AL. v. LOLITA C. ABELLANA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 133605 June 28, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BENJAMIN BARRIAS

  • G.R. No. 135846 June 28, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL v. NOEL ORTEGA

  • G.R. No. 138270 June 28, 2001 - SEA POWER SHIPPING ENTERPRISES INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 142314 June 28, 2001 - MC ENGINEERING, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 143723 June 28, 2001 - LITONJUA GROUP OF CO.’s., ET AL. v. TERESITA VIGAN

  • G.R. No. 144113 June 28, 2001 - EDWEL MAANDAL v. PEOPLE OF THE PHIL

  • G.R. No. 144942 June 28, 2001 - COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE v. LA SUERTE CIGAR.

  • G.R. No. 146062 June 28, 2001 - SANTIAGO ESLABAN v. CLARITA VDA. DE ONORIO

  • A.M. No. 00 4-166-RTC June 29, 2001 - Re: Report on the Judicial Audit

  • A.M. No. 01-4-03-SC June 29, 2001 - HERNANDO PEREZ, ET AL. v. JOSEPH E. ESTRADA, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. P-00-1380 June 29, 2001 - GLORIA O. DINO v. FRANCISCO DUMUKMAT

  • G.R. No. 110480 June 29, 2001 - BANGKO SILANGAN DEVELOPMENT BANK v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 111860 June 29, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JESUS CLEDORO

  • G.R. No. 116092 June 29, 2001 - SUSANA VDA. DE COCHINGYAN, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 118251 June 29, 2001 - METROPOLITAN BANK AND TRUST COMPANY v. REGINO T. VERIDIANO II, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 121597 June 29, 2001 - PHIL. NATIONAL BANK v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 125944 June 29, 2001 - DANILO SOLANGON, ET AL. v. JOSE AVELINO SALAZAR

  • G.R. No. 126396 June 29, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL v. FELIXBERTO LAO-AS

  • G.R. No. 128705 June 29, 2001 - CONRADO AGUILAR v. COMMERCIAL SAVINGS BANK, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 129782 June 29, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BALWINDER SINGH, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 131968 June 29, 2001 - ERNESTO PENGSON, ET AL v. MIGUEL OCAMPO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 132059 June 29, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. WENEFREDO DIMSON ASOY

  • G.R. No. 138598 June 29, 2001 - ASSET PRIVATIZATION TRUST v. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 144542 June 29, 2001 - FRANCISCO DELA PEÑA, ET AL v. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

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    G.R. No. 125944   June 29, 2001 - DANILO SOLANGON, ET AL. v. JOSE AVELINO SALAZAR

     
    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    THIRD DIVISION

    [G.R. No. 125944. June 29, 2001.]

    SPOUSES DANILO SOLANGON and URSULA SOLANGON, Petitioners, v. JOSE AVELINO SALAZAR, Respondent.

    D E C I S I O N


    SANDOVAL-GUTIERREZ, J.:


    Petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, as amended, of the decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CV No. 37899, affirming the decision of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 16, Malolos, Bulacan, in Civil Case No. 375-M-9 1, "Spouses Danilo and Ursula Solangon v. Jose Avelino Salazar" for annulment of mortgage. The dispositive portion of the RTC decision reads:chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    "WHEREFORE, judgment is hereby rendered against the plaintiffs in favor of the defendant Salazar, as follows:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    1. Ordering the dismissal of the complaint;

    2. Ordering the dissolution of the preliminary injunction issued on July 8, 1991;

    3. Ordering the plaintiffs to pay the defendant the amount of P10,000.00 by way of attorney’s fees; and

    4. To pay the costs.

    SO ORDERED." 1

    The facts as summarized by the Court of Appeals in its decision being challenged are:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "On August 22, 1986, the plaintiffs-appellants executed a deed or real estate mortgage in which they mortgaged a parcel of land situated in Sta. Maria, Bulacan, in favor of the defendant-appellee, to secure payment of a loan of P60,000.00 payable within a period of four (4) months, with interest thereon at the rate of 6% per month (Exh. "B").

    On May 27, 1987, the plaintiffs-appellants executed a deed of real estate mortgage in which they mortgaged the same parcel of land to the defendant-appellee, to secure payment of a loan of P136,512.00, payable within a period of one (1) year, with interest thereon at the legal rate (Exh. "1").

    On December 29, 1990, the plaintiffs-appellants executed a deed of real estate mortgage in which they mortgaged the same parcel of land in favor of defendant-appellee, to secure payment of a loan in the amount of P230,000.00 payable within a period of four (4) months, with interest thereon at the legal rate (Exh. "2", Exh. "C").

    This action was initiated by the plaintiffs-appellants to prevent the foreclosure of the mortgaged property. They alleged that they obtained only one loan form the defendant-appellee, and that was for the amount of P60,000.00, the payment of which was secured by the first of the above-mentioned mortgages. The subsequent mortgages were merely continuations of the first one, which is null and void because it provided for unconscionable rate of interest. Moreover, the defendant-appellee assured them that he will not foreclose the mortgage as long as they pay the stipulated interest upon maturity or within a reasonable time thereafter. They have already paid the defendant-appellee P78,000.00 and tendered P47,000.00 more, but the latter has initiated foreclosure proceedings for their alleged failure to pay the loan P230,000.00 plus interest.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    On the other hand, the defendant-appellee Jose Avelino Salazar claimed that the above-described mortgages were executed to secure three separate loans of P60,000.00, P136,512.00 and P230,000.00, and that the first two loans were paid, but the last one was not. He denied having represented that he will not foreclose the mortgage as long as the plaintiffs-appellants pay interest."cralaw virtua1aw library

    In their petition, spouses Danilo and Ursula Solangon ascribe to the Court of Appeals the following errors:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    1. The Court of Appeals erred in holding that three (3) mortgage contracts were executed by the parties instead of one (1);

    2. The Court of Appeals erred in ruling that a loan obligation secured by a real estate mortgage with an interest of 72% per cent per annum or 6% per month is not unconscionable;

    4. The Court of Appeals erred in holding that the loan of P136,512.00 HAS NOT BEEN PAID when the mortgagee himself states in his ANSWER that the same was already paid; and

    5. The Court of Appeals erred in not resolving the SPECIFIC ISSUES raised by the appellants.

    In his comment, respondent Jose Avelino Salazar avers that the petition should not be given due course as it raises questions of facts which are not allowed in a petition for review on certiorari.

    We find no merit in the instant petition.

    The core of the present controversy is the validity of the third contract of mortgage which was foreclosed.

    Petitioners contend that they obtained from respondent Avelino Salazar only one (1) loan in the amount of P60,000.00 secured by the first mortgage of August 1986. According to them, they signed the third mortgage contract in view of respondent’s assurance that the same will not be foreclosed. The trial court, which is in the best position to evaluate the evidence presented before it, did not give credence to petitioners’ corroborated testimony and ruled:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    The testimony is improbable. The real estate mortgage was signed not only by Ursula Solangon but also by her husband including the Promissory Note appended to it. Signing a document without knowing its contents is contrary to common experience. The uncorroborated testimony of Ursula Solangon cannot be given weight." 2

    Petitioners likewise insist that, contrary to the finding of the Court of appeals, they had paid the amount of P136,512.00, or the second loan. In fact, such payment was confirmed by respondent Salazar in his answer to their complaint.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    It is readily apparent that petitioners are raising issues of fact in this petition. In a petition for review under Rule 45 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, as amended, only questions of law may be raised and they must be distinctly set forth. The settled rule is that findings of fact of the lower courts (including the Court of Appeals) are final and conclusive and will not be reviewed on appeal except: (1) when the conclusion is a finding grounded entirely on speculation, surmises or conjectures; (2) when the inference made is manifestly mistaken, absurd or impossible; (3) when there is grave abuse of discretion; (4) when the judgment is based on a misapprehension of facts; (5) when the findings of facts are conflicting; (6) when the Court of Appeals, in making its findings, went beyond the issues of the case and such findings are contrary to the admission of both appellant and appellee; (6) when the findings of the Court of Appeals are contrary to those of the trial court; and (7) when the findings of fact are conclusions without citation of specific evidence on which they are based. 3

    None of these instances are extant in the present case.

    Parenthetically, petitioners are questioning the rate of interest involved here. They maintain that the Court of Appeals erred in decreeing that the stipulated interest rate of 72% per annum or 6% per month is not unconscionable.

    The Court of Appeals, in sustaining the stipulated interest rate, ratiocinated that since the Usury Law had been repealed by Central Bank Circular No. 905 there is no more maximum rate of interest and the rate will just depend on the mutual agreement of the parties. Obviously, this was in consonance with our ruling in Liam Law v. Olympic Sawmill Co. 4

    The factual circumstances of the present case require the application of a different jurisprudential instruction. While the Usury Law ceiling on interest rates was lifted by C.B. Circular No. 905, nothing in the said circular grants lenders carte blanche authority to raise interest rates to levels which will either enslave their borrowers or lead to a hemorrhaging of their assets. 5 In Medel v. Court of Appeals, 6 this Court had the occasion to rule on this question — whether or not the stipulated rate of interest at 5.5% per month on a loan amounting to P500,000.00 is usurious. While decreeing that the aforementioned interest was not usurious, this Court held that the same must be equitably reduced for being iniquitous, unconscionable and exorbitant, thus:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "We agree with petitioners that the stipulated rate of interest at 5.5% per month on the P500,000.00 loan is excessive, iniquitous, unconscionable and exorbitant. However, we can not consider the rate ‘usurious’ because this Court has consistently held that Circular No. 905 of the Central Bank, adopted on December 22, 1982, has expressly removed the interest ceilings prescribed by the Usury Law and that the Usury Law is now ‘legally inexistent.’

    In Security Bank and Trust Company v. Regional Trial Court of Makati, Branch 61 the Court held that CB Circular No. 905 did not repeal nor in any way amend the Usury Law but simply suspended the latter’s effectivity. Indeed, we have held that ‘a Central Bank Circular can not repeal a law. Only a law can repeal another law. In the recent case of Florendo v. Court of Appeals, the Court reiterated the ruling that ‘by virtue of CB Circular 905, the Usury Law has been rendered ineffective.’ ‘Usury Law has been legally non-existent in our jurisdiction. Interest can now be charged as lender and borrower may agree upon.’chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    Nevertheless, we find the interest at 5.5 % per month, or 66% per annum, stipulated upon by the parties in the promissory note iniquitous or unconscionable, and hence, contrary to morals (’contra bonos mores’), if not against the law. The stipulation is void. The courts shall reduce equitably liquidated damages, whether intended as an indemnity or a penalty if they are iniquitous or unconscionable." (Emphasis supplied)

    In the case at bench, petitioners stand on a worse situation. They are required to pay the stipulated interest rate of 6% per month or 72% per annum which is definitely outrageous and inordinate. Surely, it is more consonant with justice that the said interest rate be reduced equitably. An interest of 12% per annum is deemed fair and reasonable.

    WHEREFORE, the appealed decision of the Court of Appeals is AFFIRMED, subject to the MODIFICATION that the interest rate of 72% per annum is ordered reduced to 12 % per annum.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    SO ORDERED.

    Melo, Vitug, Panganiban and Gonzaga-Reyes, JJ., concur.

    Endnotes:



    1. Rollo, p. 85.

    2. Decision p. 6; Rollo, 83.

    3. Republic v. Court of Appeals, 258 SCRA 712 [1996].

    4. 129 SCRA 439 (1984).

    "Moreover, for sometime now, usury has been legally non-existent. Interest can now be charged as lender and borrower may agree upon. The Rules of Court in regards to allegations of usury’s procedural in nature, should be considered repealed with retroactive effect."cralaw virtua1aw library

    5. Almeda v. Court of Appeals, 256 SCRA 292 (1996).

    6. 299 SCRA 481(1998).

    G.R. No. 125944   June 29, 2001 - DANILO SOLANGON, ET AL. v. JOSE AVELINO SALAZAR


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