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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
 

   
April-2003 Jurisprudence                 

  • A.C. No. 4984 April 1, 2003 - JULITO D. VITRIOLO, ET AL. v. FELINA DASIG

  • A.M. No. MTJ-03-1485 April 1, 2003 - FIDEL ISIP, JR. v. VALENTINO B. NOGOY

  • A.M. Nos. P-02-1620, P-02-1621, P-02-1622 & P-96-1194 April 1, 2003 - MELINDA F. PIMENTEL v. PERPETUA SOCORRO M. DE LEOZ

  • A.M. No. P-02-1643 April 1, 2003 - DIMAS ABALDE v. ANTONIO ROQUE

  • G.R. No. 137782 April 1, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ARTURO R. NICOLAS

  • G.R. No. 138470 April 1, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ARTEMIO GARCIA

  • G.R. No. 143084 April 1, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JOSE TORELLOS

  • G.R. No. 148635 April 1, 2003 - MARILLA MAYANG CAVILE, ET AL. v. HEIRS OF CLARITA CAVILE, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 149453 April 1, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL., ET AL. v. PANFILO M. LACSON

  • A.M. No. 01-1-13-RTC April 2, 2003 - RE: Report on the Examination of the Cash and Accounts

  • A.M. No. P-02-1545 April 2, 2003 - ZENAIDA C. GUTIERREZ, ET AL. v. RODOLFO V. QUITALIG

  • G.R. No. 139412 April 2, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RONALD CASTILLANO, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 149028-30 April 2, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ARMANDO CABALLERO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 149893 April 2, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MELCHOR RABAGO

  • A.C. No. 4958 April 3, 2003 - FIDEL D. AQUINO v. OSCAR MANESE

  • A.M. No. MTJ-02-1436 April 3, 2003 - JAIME C. TARAN v. JOSE S. JACINTO

  • A.M. No. P-02-1595 April 3, 2003 - TIMOTEO M. CASANOVA, JR. v. FELIZARDO P. CAJAYON

  • A.M. No. P-02-1650 April 3, 2003 - ZENAIDA REYES-MACABEO v. FLORITO EDUARDO V. VALLE

  • G.R. Nos. 111098-99 April 3, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. PIO BISO

  • G.R. Nos. 143976 & 145846 April 3, 2003 - SPS. OSCAR and HAYDEE BADILLO v. ARTURO G. TAYAG, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 144444 April 3, 2003 - STATE INVESTMENT TRUST v. DELTA MOTORS CORP.

  • G.R. No. 150978 April 3, 2003 - POWTON CONGLOMERATE v. JOHNNY AGCOLICOL

  • G.R. No. 155875 April 3, 2003 - AGAPITO CRUZ FIEL, ET AL. v. KRIS SECURITY SYSTEMS, INC., ET AL.

  • A.M. No. MTJ-03-1482 April 4, 2003 - ILUMINADA SANTILLAN VDA. DE NEPOMUCENO v. NICASIO V. BARTOLOME

  • A.M. No. P-03-1690, MTJ-01-1363 & 01-12-02-SC April 4, 2003 - ESTRELLITA M. PAAS v. EDGAR E. ALMARVEZ

  • G.R. No. 108405 April 4, 2003 - JAIME D. VIERNES, ET AL. v. N;RC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 117020 April 4, 2003 - VIRON TRANSPORTATION CO. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 125938 April 4, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JOEL JANSON, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 140756 April 4, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JUAN GONZALES ESCOTE, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 141631 April 4, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FERDINAND FRANCISCO

  • G.R. No. 143135 April 4, 2003 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL. v. DAMAYAN NG PUROK 14, INC.

  • G.R. No. 143779 April 4, 2003 - FRANCISCA L. MARQUEZ v. SIMEON BALDOZ

  • G.R. Nos. 145309-10 April 4, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. VIRGILIO FLORES

  • G.R. Nos. 144476 & 144629 April 8, 2003 - ONG YONG, ET AL. v. DAVID. S. TIU, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 149022 April 8, 2003 - CARMENCITA D. CORONEL v. ANIANO A. DESIERTO, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. MTJ-02-1428 April 9, 2003 - ARFRAN L. QUIÑONES v. FRANCISCO H. LOPEZ

  • A.M. No. P-02-1580 April 9, 2003 - RENE ESPINA v. JUAN A. GATO

  • A.M. No. RTJ-01-1630 April 9, 2003 - HEINZ R. HECK v. ANTHONY E. SANTOS

  • G.R. No. 119255 April 9, 2003 - TOMAS K. CHUA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 126968 April 9, 2003 - RICARDO BALUNUECO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 128568 April 9, 2003 - SPS. REYNALDO and ESMERALDA ALCARAZ v. PEDRO M. TANGGA-AN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 132371 April 9, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DANILO Q. SIMBAHON

  • G.R. No. 133003 April 9, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LAWRENCE MACAPANPAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 141258 April 9, 2003 - TOMASA SARMIENTO v. SPS. LUIS & ROSE SUN-CABRIDO ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 141314 & 141369 April 9, 2003 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL. REPRESENTED BY ENERGY REGULATORY BOARD v. MERALCO

  • G.R. No. 143004 April 9, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DANTE CLIDORO

  • G.R. No. 143432 April 9, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. TERENCIO L. FUNESTO

  • G.R. No. 146034 April 9, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LASTIDE A. SUBE, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 146815 April 9, 2003 - HEIRS OF PEDRO, ET AL. v. STERLING TECHNOPARK III ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 147468 April 9, 2003 - SPS. EDUARDO & JOSEFINA DOMINGO v. LILIA MONTINOLA ROCES, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 147745 April 9, 2003 - MARIA BUENA OBRA v. SOCIAL SECURITY SYSTEM

  • G.R. No. 148727 April 9, 2003 - SPS. HERMOGENA AND JOSE ENGRESO v. NESTORIA DE LA CRUZ, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 149038 April 9, 2003 - PHIL. AMERICAN GENERAL INSURANCE COMPANY v. PKS SHIPPING COMPANY

  • G.R. No. 149110 April 9, 2003 - NATIONAL POWER CORPORATION v. CITY OF CABANATUAN

  • G.R. No. 149422 April 10, 2003 - DEPARTMENT OF AGRARIAN REFORM v. APEX INVESTMENT AND FINANCING CORP.

  • G.R. No. 149578 April 10, 2003 - EVELYN TOLOSA v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 143540 April 11, 2003 - JOEL G. MIRANDA v. ANTONIO C. CARREON, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 148138 April 11, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JOHNNY VIAJEDOR

  • A.M. No. P-02-1645 April 21, 2003 - GILBERT HOWARD M. ATIENZA v. JOSEPHINE V. DINAMPO

  • A.M. No. P-03-1695 April 21, 2003 - ARTEMIO H. QUIDILLA v. JUNAR G. ARMIDA

  • A.M. No. RTJ-03-1756 April 22, 2003 - AURORA S. GONZALES v. VICENTE A. HIDALGO

  • G.R. No. 127745 April 22, 2003 - FELICITO G. SANSON, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 129163 April 22, 2003 - VOLTAIRE ARBOLARIO, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 138650-58 April 22, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. IGNACIO SINORO

  • G.R. No. 140707 April 22, 2003 - NORGENE POTENCIANO, ET AL. v. DWIGHT "IKE" B. REYNOSO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 146942 April 22, 2003 - CORAZON G. RUIZ v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 152329 April 22, 2003 - ALEJANDRO ROQUERO v. PHILIPPINE AIRLINES, INC.

  • A.M. No. RTJ-03-1763 April 24, 2003 - JOSE B. TIONGCO v. FLORENTINO P. PEDRONIO

  • A.M. No. RTJ-03-1770 April 24, 2003 - MELISSA E. MAÑO v. CAESAR A. CASANOVA

  • G.R. No. 123968 April 24, 2003 - URSULINA GANUELAS, ET AL. v. ROBERT T. CAWED, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 137182 April 24, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ABDILA L. SILONGAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 137458-59 April 24, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JESUS G. BATOCTOY, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 137601 April 24, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. WINCHESTER ABUT, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 139230 April 24, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MANUEL DANIELA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 143672 April 24, 2003 - COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE v. GENERAL FOODS (PHILS.), INC.

  • G.R. No. 145915 April 24, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. VILMA Z. ALMENDRAS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 147038 April 24, 2003 - RICHARD TEH v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. MTJ-01-1370 April 25, 2003 - OFFICE OF THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR v. AGUSTIN T. SARDIDO

  • G.R. No. 118749 April 25, 2003 - SPS LORENZO and LORENZA FRANCISCO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 141187 April 28, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RONNIE A. MACTAL

  • A.C. No. 5225 April 29, 2003 - SPS. WILFREDO & LYDIA BOYBOY v. VICTORIANO R. YABUT, JR.

  • A.M. No. MTJ-02-1453 April 29, 2003 - EDITHA PALMA GIL v. FRANCISCO H. LOPEZ, JR.

  • A.M. No. P-02-1615 April 29, 2003 - PEDRO MAGNAYE v. ERIBERTO R. SABAS

  • G.R. No. 119858 April 29, 2003 - EDWARD C. ONG v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 122363 April 29, 2003 - VICTOR G. VALENCIA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 127002 April 29, 2003 - JEREMIAS L. DOLINO, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 135394 April 29, 2003 - JOSE V. DELA RAMA v. FRANCISCO G. MENDIOLA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 139841 April 29, 2003 - EMILIO C. VILLAROSA v. DEMOSTHENES L. MAGALLANES, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 141518 April 29, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CLARENCE ASTUDILLO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 142015 April 29, 2003 - RURAL BANK OF STA. IGNACIA v. PELAGIA DIMATULAC

  • G.R. No. 147230 April 29, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. REYNALDO R. REMERATA

  • G.R. No. 150656 April 29, 2003 - MARGARITA ROMUALDEZ-LICAROS v. ABELARDO B. LICAROS

  • A.C. No. 4724 April 30, 2003 - GORETTI ONG v. JOEL M. GRIJALDO

  • A.M. No. CA-99-9-P April 30, 2003 - MAGTANGGOL GABRIEL v. VIRGINIA C. ABELLA, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. P-00-1445 April 30, 2003 - MEDARDO M. PADUA v. IRENEO S. PAZ

  • A.M. No. P-02-1599 April 30, 2003 - LEANDRO T. LOYAO v. MAMERTO J. CAUBE, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. P-02-1600 April 30, 2003 - DOMINADOR. AREVALO, ET AL. v. EDGARDO S. LORIA, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. P-03-1696 April 30, 2003 - CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION v. ZENAIDA T. STA. ANA

  • A.M. RTJ No. 03-1761 April 30, 2003 - JOSE B. CUSTODIO v. JESUS V. QUITAIN

  • A.M. No. RTJ-03-1775 April 30, 2003 - ISAGANI A. CRUZ v. PHILBERT I. ITURRALDE

  • A.M. No. RTJ-03-1779 April 30, 2003 - JOVENCITO R. ZUÑO, ET AL. v. ARNULFO G. CABREDO

  • G.R. Nos. 107789 & 147214 April 30, 2003 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL. v. SANDIGANBAYAN ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116326 April 30, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROBERT LEE, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 121211 April 30, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RONETO DEGAMO

  • G.R. No. 121637 April 30, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EDGARDO GREFALDIA

  • G.R. No. 125761 April 30, 2003 - SALVADOR P. MALBAROSA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 126568 April 30, 2003 - QUIRINO GONZALES LOGGING CONCESSIONAIRE, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 126911 April 30, 2003 - PHIL. DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORP. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 127141 April 30, 2003 - SPS. EMMANUEL and MELANIE LANTIN v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 128378 April 30, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROBERT GOMEZ, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 128512 & 128963 April 30, 2003 - DARIO P. BELONGHILOT v. RTC OF ZAMBOANGA DEL NORTE

  • G.R. No. 129090 April 30, 2003 - RICARDO B. GONZALES v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 129895 April 30, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ARMANDO C. DALAG

  • G.R. No. 134940 April 30, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CATALINO MELENDRES

  • G.R. No. 138266 April 30, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. PEDRO CABRERA, JR.

  • G.R. No. 139876 April 30, 2003 - WILLIAM TIU and/or THE ROUGH RIDERS v. JULIO PASAOL, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 140753 April 30, 2003 - BENJAMIN S. SANTOS v. ELENA VELARDE, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 141375 April 30, 2003 - MUNICIPALITY OF KANANGA v. FORTUNITO L. MADRONA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 142435 April 30, 2003 - ESTELITA BURGOS LIPAT, ET AL. v. PACIFIC BANKING CORP., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 142591 April 30, 2003 - JOSEPH CHAN, ET AL. v. BONIFACIO S. MACEDA

  • G.R. Nos. 144445-47 April 30, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. GENARO BIONG

  • G.R. No. 146099 April 30, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JIMMEL SANIDAD, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 146481 April 30, 2003 - ARTURO G. RIMORIN, SR. v. PEOPLE OF THE PHIL.

  • G.R. Nos. 146685-86 April 30, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BENJAMIN M. HILET

  • G.R. Nos. 146862-64 April 30, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. GAUDENCIO D. UMBAÑA

  • G.R. No. 146886 April 30, 2003 - DEVORAH E. BARDILLON v. BARANGAY MASILI of Calamba, Laguna

  • G.R. No. 146923 April 30, 2003 - BANK OF THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 147033 April 30, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MARIO UMAYAM

  • G.R. Nos. 148394-96 April 30, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROGER ELIARDA

  • G.R. No. 150179 April 30, 2003 - HEIRS OF WILLIAM SEVILLA, ET AL. v. LEOPOLDO SEVILLA, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 150820-21 April 30, 2003 - SPS. ANTONIO and GENOVEVA BALANON-ANICETE, ET AL. v. PEDRO BALANON

  • G.R. No. 154037 April 30, 2003 - IN THE MATTER OF THE PETITION FOR HABEAS CORPUS OF BENJAMIN VERGARA, ET AL.

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    G.R. No. 143779   April 4, 2003 - FRANCISCA L. MARQUEZ v. SIMEON BALDOZ

     
    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    SECOND DIVISION

    [G.R. No. 143779. April 4, 2003.]

    FRANCISCA L. MARQUEZ and GASPAR M. MARQUEZ, Petitioners, v. SIMEON BALDOZ, Respondent.

    R E S O L U T I O N


    QUISUMBING, J.:


    This petition for review seeks to reverse the decision 1 dated April 24, 2000, of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 55068, affirming the orders in Civil Case No. 9-97, dated April 6, 1999 and August 4, 1999, of the Regional Trial Court of Taal, Batangas City, Branch 86. The trial court denied herein petitioners’ motion to dismiss in Civil Case No. 9-97, based on alleged prescription and failure to state a cause of action, as well as their motion for reconsideration.

    The facts of this case are culled from the records.

    Respondent Simeon Baldoz is the son of Spouses Dionisia Leonor and Aurelio Baldoz. They died intestate, leaving behind a parcel of land with an area of 33,675 square meters in Halang, Taal, Batangas. The lot was purchased by them from Emiliano Baldoz on January 17, 1937, as evidenced by a deed of sale issued on the same date. 2 The second paragraph of the deed of sale bears the following statement:chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    Said property is owned in common by the herein vendor (Emiliano Baldoz) and by Gregorio Leonor (father of petitioners) of Taal, Batangas. 3

    On March 24, 1997, Simeon’s co-heirs waived their rights over the lot in his favor by virtue of a Deed of Extrajudicial Settlement with Waiver of Rights. 4 Later, however, Simeon discovered that Francisca Leonor and Candelaria Orlina declared certain portions of the same land in their name, as evidenced by Tax Declaration Nos. 0056 to 0058. 5

    Simeon made several demands upon Francisca, Gaspar and Candelaria urging them to vacate the premises and to surrender possession thereof, but his demands remained unheeded. On September 3, 1997, Simeon filed Civil Case No. 9-97, entitled "Simeon Baldoz v. Spouses Francisca Leonor and Gaspar Marquez, and Candelaria Orlina," for accion reivindicatoria and quieting of title, with preliminary writ of injunction and damages.

    On October 27, 1997, Francisca, Gaspar and Candelaria filed a motion to dismiss on the ground of prescription and failure to state a cause of action. In an order dated April 6, 1999, the RTC denied the motion to dismiss. It ruled that the complaint has sufficiently alleged a cause of action. On the issue of prescription, the RTC stated that it involves evidentiary matters which should be threshed out in a full-blown trial on the merits and cannot be determined in a motion to dismiss as the question has become a matter of proof. 6 The motion for reconsideration filed with the RTC was likewise denied.

    Seasonably, petitioners Francisca and Gaspar Marquez filed a petition for certiorari with the Court of Appeals ascribing grave abuse of discretion to the RTC for denying their motion to dismiss. On April 24, 2000, the appellate court dismissed the petition for lack of merit. Petitioners then moved to reconsider the order of the Court of Appeals, but it was denied in a resolution dated June 20, 2000.

    In this petition for review, petitioners seek the reversal of the CA decision on two grounds:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    A. THE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED AND ACTED WITH GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION WHEN IT COMPLETELY DISREGARDED THE EVIDENCE PRESENTED BY THE PARTIES AND MERELY BASED ITS RULING THAT RESPONDENT’S RIGHT OF ACTION HAS NOT PRESCRIBED ON THE ALLEGATIONS IN THE COMPLAINT IN CONTRAVENTION OF SECTIONS 2 AND 3, RULE 16 OF THE 1997 RULES OF CIVIL PROCEDURE; AND

    B. THE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED WHEN IT RULED THAT THE TRIAL COURT DID NOT COMMIT GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION DESPITE ITS FAILURE TO LIKEWISE CONSIDER THE EVIDENCE ON RECORD AND TO RULE CATEGORICALLY ON THE ISSUE OF PRESCRIPTION IN FLAGRANT DISREGARD OF THE EXPRESS PROVISION OF SECTIONS 2 AND 3, RULE 16 OF THE 1997 RULES OF CIVIL PROCEDURE. 7

    The issue in this petition is whether the Court of Appeals committed grave abuse of discretion as well as a reversible error in affirming the trial court’s orders. Resolution of this issue depends on whether the trial court had violated Sections 2 and 3 of Rule 16, of the Rules of Court, in denying petitioners’ motion to dismiss the complaint as well as their motion for reconsideration.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    In Sections 2 and 3 of Rule 16, the Rules of Court provides:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    SEC. 2. Hearing of motion. — At the hearing of the motion, the parties shall submit their arguments on the questions of law and their evidence on the questions of fact involved except those not available at that time. Should the case go to trial, the evidence presented during the hearing shall automatically be part of the evidence of the party presenting the same.

    SEC. 3. Resolution of motion. — After the hearing, the court may dismiss the action or claim, deny the motion, or order the amendment of the pleading.

    The court shall not defer the resolution of the motion for the reason that the ground relied upon is not indubitable. (Emphasis supplied.)

    In every case, the resolution shall state clearly and distinctly the reasons therefore.

    Petitioners insist that the appellate court erred when it held that no grave abuse of discretion was committed by the trial court when it deferred the resolution of the issue of prescription raised in their motion to dismiss. According to petitioners, deferring the resolution of this issue violates the abovecited provisions of the Rules which provide that the court must either grant, deny or order the amendment of the pleadings, but must not defer the resolution of the motion.

    Considering the submissions of the parties on record, we find that the instant petition lacks merit. In its Order dated April 6, 1999, the trial court did not violate Sections 2 and 3 of Rule 16.

    First. Section 2 of Rule 16 requires hearing in resolving the motion to dismiss. From the records, it is clear that the trial judge conducted a hearing to resolve petitioners’ motion to dismiss. In compliance with this requirement, both testimonial and documentary evidence were submitted by the parties to resolve the issues raised in the motion to dismiss. However, the summary hearing on the motion to dismiss did not persuade the trial court that petitioners had proved the respondent’s claim had already prescribed. Hence, the trial court resolved to require a more in-depth and thorough determination of this issue, which could be done only in a full-blown trial of the case.

    Neither was there a circumvention of Section 3 of Rule 16. The trial court did not defer the resolution of the motion to dismiss; in fact, the motion was expressly denied. Said the Order dated April 6, 1999:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    The above allegations in the complaint sufficiently state a cause of action against the defendants. The complaint does not have to establish or allege the facts proving the existence of a cause of action at the outset, this will have to be done at the trial on the merits of the case. In fact, the complaint is not supposed to contain evidentiary matters. Rule 6, section 3 of the Rules of Court provides that the complaint must be limited to "a concise statement of the plaintiff’s cause of action." Consequently, the motion to dismiss must be denied.

    The above conclusion finds support in the cases of Republic Bank v. Cuaderno, 19 SCRA 677; Boncato v. Siasan, 138 SCRA 414 and Sumalinong v. Doronio, 184 SCRA 187 where the Supreme Court has repeatedly held that so rigid is the norm prescribed that if the Court should doubt the truth of the facts averred, it must not dismiss the complaint but require an answer and proceed to hear the case on the merits.

    On the issue of prescription raised in the said motion, the Court finds the same evidentiary matters which should be threshed out in a full-blown trial on the merits and cannot be determined in a motion to dismiss as the question has become a matter of proof. 8

    Petitioners palpably misinterpreted the trial court’s Order, particularly in regard to the matter of prescription. It ruled that the prescription issue is "one involving evidentiary matters which must be threshed out in a full-blown trial on the merits and cannot be determined in a motion to dismiss as the question has become a matter of proof." Petitioners misconstrued the trial court’s ruling as one tantamount to deferring the resolution of the motion to dismiss itself. This reading of the Order is flawed. By denying the motion expressly, the Order resolved the motion to dismiss as required by Section 3 of Rule 16.

    It must be pointed that under the new Rules, deferment of the resolution of the motion to dismiss is no longer permitted. The court must either grant the motion to dismiss, deny it, or order the amendment of the pleadings. The purpose for the above rule is to avoid and end the common practice of perfunctorily denying motions to dismiss "for lack of merit." Such cavalier disposition often creates difficulty on the part of the aggrieved party in taking recourse therefrom and likewise on the part of the higher court called upon to resolve the issue, usually on certiorari. 9

    However, what is prohibited by the rules is the deferment until trial of the resolution of the motion to dismiss itself. Here, the trial court did not defer resolution of the motion itself but, in fact, categorically resolved to deny it based on its finding that: (1) the complaint showed a sufficient cause of action, and (2) the pleadings did not ipso facto establish prescription.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    As required by Section 3, Rule 16, the trial court’s Order also explains at length the basis for its finding that in his complaint, plaintiff has shown a sufficient cause of action. Corollary to its discussion on this issue, the trial court also touched on the issue on prescription with a pronouncement that such issue is better threshed after a full-blown trial on the merits. The trial court’s reasoning, in our view, sufficiently explained the reason for dismissing the motion to dismiss. It satisfactorily served the purpose behind the new Rules of Court as earlier explained.

    Moreover, the trial court’s ruling requiring a full-blown trial on the merits to resolve the issue of prescription, finds jurisprudential basis in our ruling in National Irrigation Administration (NIA) v. Court of Appeals, 10 reiterating Francisco v. Robles, 11 In the NIA case, we stated that:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    [A]n allegation of prescription can effectively be used in a motion to dismiss only when the complaint on its face shows that indeed the action has already prescribed. 12

    This precedent finds application in the present case. Nothing shows on the face of the complaint filed by herein respondent as plaintiff in Civil Case No. 9-97 that the action already prescribed at the time it was filed. The complaint merely averred that Gregorio Leonor, father of herein petitioners, was a tenant of respondent’s predecessor-in-interest. As observed by the Court of Appeals:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Notwithstanding the jurisprudence which states that prescription may be effectively pleaded in a motion to dismiss if the complaint shows on its face that the action had already prescribed at the time it was filed, We believe, however, that there is no sufficient and convincing showing that prescription as regards the subject property has set in already. The reason is simple: the court a quo noted on the face of the complaint in Civil Case No. 9-97 that Gregorio Leonor, father of herein petitioners, was the tenant of the parents of private respondent over the subject property. Obviously, perusing the complaint with an allegation that the subject property was a tenanted property, the contention of petitioners in establishing an uninterrupted adverse possession for more than thirty (30) years seems implausible. Besides, possession is not a definitive proof of ownership, nor is non-possession inconsistent therewith. 13

    Based on the pleadings, the issue of prescription was not clearly established. On this point, it is but logical and proper for the trial court to deny petitioners’ motion to dismiss and, additionally, to require a full-blown trial on the issue of prescription.

    Accordingly, the Court of Appeals committed no grave abuse of discretion, much less any reversible error, in affirming the Orders of the trial court.

    WHEREFORE, the instant petition is DENIED for lack of merit. The challenged decision of the Court of Appeals of April 24, 2000, in CA-G.R. SP No. 55068, and its resolution dated June 20, 2000, are hereby AFFIRMED. Costs against the petitioners.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    SO ORDERED.

    Bellosillo, Mendoza, Austria-Martinez and Callejo, Sr., JJ., concur.

    Endnotes:



    1. Rollo, pp. 33–36.

    2. CA Rollo, pp. 43–44; Records, p. 8.

    3. Records, p. 8.

    4. CA Rollo, pp. 43–44.

    5. Id. at 45–47.

    6. CA Rollo, p. 33.

    7. Rollo, p. 12.

    8. Rollo, p. 179. Stress supplied.

    9. Pefianco v. Moral, G.R. No. 132248, 19 January 2000, 322 SCRA 439, 446.

    10. G.R. No. 129169, 17 November 1999, 318 SCRA 255, 269.

    11. 94 Phil. 1035 (1954).

    12. Supra, note 10 at 269.

    13. Rollo, p. 35.

    G.R. No. 143779   April 4, 2003 - FRANCISCA L. MARQUEZ v. SIMEON BALDOZ


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