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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. 127141   April 30, 2003 - SPS. EMMANUEL and MELANIE LANTIN v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

     
    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    SECOND DIVISION

    [G.R. No. 127141. April 30, 2003.]

    SPOUSES EMMANUEL LANTIN and MELANIE LANTIN, Petitioners, v. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS (FIRST DIVISION) and the SPOUSES ROLAND B. BELTRAN and MA. VICTORIA REYES-BELTRAN, Respondents.

    D E C I S I O N


    CALLEJO, SR., J.:


    This is a petition for review on certiorari of the August 27, 1996 Decision, 1 and the November 12, 1996 Resolution 2 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 40047. The assailed decision reversed that of the Regional Trial Court of Parañaque City, Branch 259, 3 and ordered the petitioners to reimburse to the respondents, spouses Roland and Ma. Victoria Beltran, the sum of P1,587.90 for the payment made by them for the petitioners’ water consumption and homeowners’ association dues for the month of March 1994. The assailed resolution denied petitioners’ motion for reconsideration.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    The factual backdrop of the case is as follows:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    The petitioners, spouses Emmanuel Lantin and Melanie Lantin were former lessees of a residential house, owned by Esperanza C. Reyes, located at No. 12 Palm Spring Avenue, Merville Park Subdivision in Parañaque City. Some time in March 1994, the petitioners informed their lessor, Ms. Reyes, that they were terminating the lease contract. They vacated the leased premises on March 19, 1994 but retained the key to the house to enable them to remove the intercom unit which they installed therein. The petitioners turned over the key to the house to its owner on March 30, 1994. On even date, Ms. Reyes returned to the petitioners a check in the amount of P8,000.00 which they issued representing the one (1) month deposit on the house. Ms. Reyes issued another check in favor of the petitioners in the amount of P4,514.50 representing the balance of the other one (1) month deposit, after deducting the amount of P4,514.50 contained in an unsigned cash voucher turned over by Ms. Reyes to the petitioner:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    CASH VOUCHER

    MELANIE M. LANTIN*** DATE March 30, 1994

    PARTICULAR AMOUNT

    Balance — 1 month deposit — P8,000.00

    Less: Additional 4 days at P266.66/day -1,066.00

    —————

    P6,934.00

    Less: Electric Bill (2/03 – 3/04/94) 1,238.90

    —————

    P5,695.10

    Less: Water & MPHA dues (S/A — 3/01/94) 1,180.60

    Balance to be refunded P4,514.50

    vvvvvvvvvvv

    FOUR THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED FOURTEEN & 50/100**

    TOTAL P 4,514.50 4

    Ms. Reyes then leased the aforesaid house to the respondents who moved in on April 23, 1994. The respondents later discovered that there were utility bills pertaining to the house that were left unpaid. The billing statements received by the respondents included: electric bill covering the period of March and April 1994 in the amount of P1,238.90, water consumption and homeowners’ association dues also for March and April 1994 in the amount of P1,587.90; and a telephone bill in the amount of P1,906.24. Afraid that their telephone, electric and water supply would be cut off if they let the bills remain unpaid, the respondents were constrained to settle them on behalf of petitioners.

    Consequently, the respondents demanded from the petitioners reimbursement in the total amount of P4,733.04. However, the petitioners refused to pay the respondents. The matter was then brought to the barangay authorities for the requisite conciliation proceedings, as the parties reside in the same subdivision, to no avail.

    The respondents filed a complaint against the petitioners for the collection of the principal amount of P4,733.04 with the Metropolitan Trial Court (MeTC) of Parañaque City, Branch 77. As the case was within the purview of the Rules on Summary Procedure, the parties submitted their respective affidavits and documentary evidence. Thereafter, the MeTC rendered its judgment thereon.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    The MeTC ruled in favor of the petitioners upon finding that they had already paid the electric bill, Merville Park Homeowners’ Association (MPHA) water consumption and association dues to the owner of the house, Ms. Reyes, who deducted the corresponding amounts from the petitioners’ deposit. With respect to the telephone bill, the MeTC ruled that the respondents paid the same without the petitioners’ consent and that they had not benefited from the said payment as would entitle the respondents to claim for reimbursement. The decretal portion of the MeTC Decision, dated August 24, 1995, reads:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    WHEREFORE, this case is hereby ordered DISMISSED the same with defendants’ counterclaim. With cost against the plaintiff.

    SO ORDERED. 5

    The respondents elevated the case to the Regional Trial Court of Parañaque City, Branch 259, which affirmed in toto the decision of the MeTC. The decretal portion of the RTC Decision, dated December 21, 1995, reads:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    WHEREFORE, finding no reversible error the decision appealed from is hereby affirmed in toto.

    SO ORDERED. 6

    Undaunted, the respondents appealed to the Court of Appeals (CA) which rendered the assailed decision reversing and setting aside that of the RTC. The appellate court found that the respondents paid for the petitioners’ water consumption and homeowners’ association dues in the amount of P1,587.90 and the respondents are thus entitled to reimbursement for said payment. However, like the lower courts, the appellate court found that the respondents are not entitled to reimbursement for the electric bill and telephone bill payments. The dispositive portion of the assailed CA Decision, dated August 27, 1996, reads:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    WHEREFORE, IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, the petition is hereby GRANTED. The challenged Decision dated December 21, 1995 is REVERSED and SET ASIDE, and a new one is rendered ordering private respondents to pay petitioners only the sum of P1,587.90 as reimbursement for the MPHA water consumption and association dues for the month of March 1994. No pronouncement as to costs.

    SO ORDERED. 7

    Aggrieved, the petitioners come to this Court alleging that:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    RESPONDENT COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN HOLDING PETITIONERS LIABLE FOR THE MPHA WATER CONSUMPTION BILL AND ASSOCIATION DUES ALLEGEDLY PAID BY PRIVATE RESPONDENTS. 8

    The petitioners assert that, contrary to the appellate court’s finding, they already paid the water consumption and association dues to Ms. Reyes, the owner of the leased premises. As proof thereon, the petitioners point to the cash voucher 9 issued to them by Ms. Reyes showing that she deducted from the petitioners’ one month deposit of P8,000.00 the following amounts: P1,066.00 as payment for the extra four days in the leased premises; P1,238.90 as payment for the electric bill; and P1,180.60 as payment for the MPHA water consumption and association dues. Consequently, Ms. Reyes issued to the petitioners a check in the amount of P4,514.50 representing the balance of the one month deposit after deducting the said amounts.

    The petitioners further argue that the respondents had not presented proof that they actually paid the water consumption and association dues because the receipt for said payment was in Ms. Reyes’ name. Finally, they contend that no privity of contract existed between them and the respondents. Hence, granting arguendo that the petitioners had not paid the water consumption and association dues, it is Ms. Reyes, the owner of the leased premises, and not the respondents, who has the right to demand payment therefor.

    The sole issue that needs to be resolved in this case is whether the CA correctly ordered the petitioners to reimburse the respondents the amount of P1,587.90 for the payment made by the latter for the petitioners’ water consumption and homeowners’ association dues.

    The petition is partly meritorious.

    On the matter concerning the telephone and electricity bills, the MeTC, RTC and CA are unanimous in ruling that the respondents are not entitled to reimbursement for these particular utility bills. The Court shall thus defer to these courts’ findings on the matter considering that factual findings of the appellate court are given great weight especially when in complete accord with the findings of the lower court. 10

    Unlike the MeTC and RTC, however, the CA found the petitioners liable to the respondents for the payment of the water consumption and association dues for the month of March 1994. In so holding, the CA ruled that the cash voucher relied upon by the petitioners was insufficient to prove their payment of said dues. The CA observed:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    It is the contention of the private respondents [the petitioners herein] that they have paid all their bills through their lessor Mrs. Esperanza Reyes. The evidence on record, however, contains no sufficient proof to support this finding made by the trial court as affirmed by the respondent appellate court. The basis of their finding, besides the self-serving statements made by the private respondents, was merely a cash voucher prepared by Mrs. Reyes purportedly showing that she had paid all of private respondents’ bills by deducting them from the deposit they earlier gave, the difference of which she allegedly refunded to them,

    We are not convinced. The cash voucher is not a sufficient proof of private respondents’ claim that their obligations have been fully paid. As correctly pointed out by the petitioners [the respondents herein], they could have easily presented lessor Mrs. Esperanza Reyes’ affidavit to affirm and support their contention that she had fully discharged their obligations in their behalf. This they failed to do. In fact, all their statements are self-serving and unsupported by independent evidence.

    x       x       x


    We note that contrary to the contention of the private respondents, it was not Mrs. Reyes who settled their account with the MPHA for water consumption and membership dues, but it was petitioner Roland Beltran. This is clearly shown in the receipt issued therefor. While seemingly the amount received from "E. Reyes", We cannot totally disregard the notation therein that the amount was paid with RCBC [C]heck No. 063635 from the account of petitioner Roland Beltran (Annexes "F" and "G", p. 43, Rollo). Primarily, the reason why the receipt was issued in the name of "E. Reyes" was that she was the recorded homeowner and, as such, it is but proper that the receipt be issued in her name. Hence, petitioners are entitled to recover the amount paid for the water consumption and membership fee due to the MPHA pursuant to Art. 1236 of the New Civil Code, which provides in part as follows:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "Whoever pays for another may demand from the debtor what he has paid, except that if he paid without the knowledge or against the will of the debtor, he can recover only insofar as the payment has been beneficial to the debtor."cralaw virtua1aw library

    x       x       x 11

    The Court agrees with the finding of the CA. A perusal of the records reveal that the cash voucher relied upon by the petitioners indicated that the water consumption and association dues paid by them were for the period of February 2, 1994 to March 1, 1994 (02/02–03/01) in the amount of P1,180.60. 12 Thus, the petitioners’ evidence consisting of the cash voucher showed that the owner deducted, among others, the amount of P1,180.60 from their deposit.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    The reimbursement being claimed by the respondents from the petitioners pertained to the water consumption and association dues for the month of March 1994. It cannot be gainsaid that the petitioners occupied the leased premises until March 19, 1994 and retained constructive possession thereof when they kept the key to the house until March 30, 1994. Thus, it is only just and equitable that the petitioners assume the obligation to pay the water consumption and association dues of the leased premises for the said month.

    However, the amount adjudged by the CA to be reimbursed by the petitioners to the respondents has to be reduced from P1,587.90 to P1,062.90. The receipt 13 issued by the homeowners’ association (MPHA) shows that the respondents paid by check (RCBC Check No. 063635) the following amounts: P525.00 for the homeowners’ association dues for April 1994 and P1,062.90 for the water consumption for March 1994. The CA thus should not have included the amount of P525.00 as the same pertained to the homeowners’ association dues for the month of April 1994. At the time, the petitioners no longer occupied, constructively or otherwise, the leased premises.

    In fine, the respondents are entitled to reimbursement in the sum of P1,062.90 for the payment made by them for the petitioners’ water consumption for the month of March 1994 pursuant to Art. 1236 of the New Civil Code, which provides in part as follows:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "Whoever pays for another may demand from the debtor what he has paid, except that if he paid without the knowledge or against the will of the debtor, he can recover only insofar as the payment has been beneficial to the debtor."cralaw virtua1aw library

    The petitioners had been clearly benefited from the payment made by the respondents because, by reason of such payment, the petitioners had been relieved from their obligation to pay the same to the owner of the leased premises. Following the Court’s ruling in Eastern Shipping Lines, Inc. v. Court of Appeals, 14 the petitioners are, likewise, liable to pay 12% interest computed from the time this decision becomes final and executory.

    WHEREFORE, the Decision, dated August 27, 1996, and Resolution, dated November 12, 1996, of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 40047 are AFFIRMED with MODIFICATION. The petitioners are ordered to pay the respondents the sum of P1,062.90 as reimbursement for the water consumption for the month of March 1994. A twelve per cent (12%) interest shall be imposed on such amount upon finality of this decision until payment thereof.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    SO ORDERED.

    Bellosillo, Quisumbing and Austria-Martinez, JJ., concur.

    Endnotes:



    1. Penned by Associate Justice Fermin A. Martin, Jr., with Presiding Justice Nathanael P. De Pano, Jr. and Associate Justice Maximiano C. Asuncion, concurring.

    2. Annex "D" of Petition.

    3. Records, pp. 81–84.

    4. Annex "B" of Answer, Rollo, p. 126.

    5. Rollo, p. 17.

    6. Id., at 21.

    7. Id., at 29.

    8. Id., at 45.

    9. See note 4, supra.

    10. Sendon v. Ruiz, 363 SCRA 155 (2001).

    11. Rollo, p. 62.

    12. Annex "A" of Answer, id., at 125.

    13. Annex "D" of Complaint, id., at 107.

    14. 234 SCRA 78 (1994).

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


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