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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
 

   
August-2003 Jurisprudence                 

  • A.M. No. P-02-1651 August 4, 2003 - ALEJANDRO ESTRADA v. SOLEDAD S. ESCRITOR

  • G.R. No. 138924 August 5, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CRISANTO D. MANAHAN

  • G.R. No. 139767 August 5, 2003 - FELIPE SY DUNGOG v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 140868-69 August 5, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. NAZARIO B. BUATES

  • G.R. No. 142691 August 5, 2003 - HEIRS OF AMADO CELESTIAL v. HEIRS OF EDITHA G. CELESTIAL

  • G.R. No. 144317 August 5, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MICHAEL A. MONTE

  • G.R. No. 148848 August 5, 2003 - JACINTO RETUYA, ET. AL. v. SALIC B. DUMARPA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 152611 August 5, 2003 - LAND BANK OF THE PHIL. v. SEVERINO LISTANA, SR.

  • G.R. No. 152845 August 5, 2003 - DRIANITA BAGAOISAN, ET AL. v. NATIONAL TOBACCO ADMINISTRATION

  • A.M. No. MTJ-03-1502 August 6, 2003 - ANASTACIO E. GAUDENCIO v. EDWARD D. PACIS

  • A.M. No. P-03-1675 August 6, 2003 - ELENA F. PACE v. RENO M. LEONARDO

  • A.M. No. RTJ-00-1545 August 6, 2003 - ANTONIO J. FINEZA v. BAYANI S. RIVERA

  • G.R. No. 133926 August 6, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RUBEN H. DALISAY

  • G.R. Nos. 137256-58 August 6, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RUFINO V. ERNAS

  • G.R. No. 142740 August 6, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROBERTO A. TAMPOS

  • G.R. No. 142843 August 6, 2003 - OCTAVIO ALVAREZ, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 144428 August 6, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JUAN M. ROSARIO

  • G.R. No. 144595 August 6, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DANTE ILAGAN

  • G.R. Nos. 145383-84 August 6, 2003 - RUDY M. VILLAREÑA v. COMMISSION ON AUDIT

  • A.M. No. P-02-1627 August 7, 2003 - CARIDAD RACCA, ET AL. v. MARIO C. BACULI, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 127210 August 7, 2003 - ALVIN TAN v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 138956 August 7, 2003 - LOADSTAR SHIPPING CO., ET AL. v. ROMEO MESANO

  • G.R. No. 146341 August 7, 2003 - AQUILA LARENA v. FRUCTUOSA MAPILI, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 146382 August 7, 2003 - SYSTEMS PLUS COMPUTER COLLEGE OF CALOOCAN CITY v. LOCAL GOVERNMENT OF CALOOCAN CITY

  • G.R. No. 148557 August 7, 2003 - FELICITO ABARQUEZ v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 149075 August 7, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RODRIGO P. BALLENO

  • G.R. No. 151833 August 7, 2003 - ANTONIO M. SERRANO v. GALANT MARITIME SERVICES

  • G.R. No. 153087 August 7, 2003 - BERNARD R. NALA v. JESUS M. BARROSO

  • G.R. No. 154183 August 7, 2003 - SPS. VICKY TAN TOH and LUIS TOH v. SOLID BANK CORP., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 134241 August 11, 2003 - DAVID REYES v. JOSE LIM, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 139177 August 11, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALVIN VILLANUEVA

  • A.M. No. 00-3-48-MeTC August 12, 2003 - REPORT ON THE JUDICIAL AUDIT AND PHYSICAL INVENTORY OF CASES IN THE MTC OF MANILA, BR. 2

  • A.M. No. MTJ-02-1388 August 12, 2003 - FELISA TABORITE, ET AL. v. MANUEL S. SOLLESTA, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. P-02-1588 August 12, 2003 - RUBY M. GONZALES v. ALMA G. MARTILLANA

  • G.R. No. 120474 August 12, 2003 - ANICETO W. NAGUIT, JR. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 133796-97 August 12, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BERNANDINO M. ALAJAY

  • G.R. No. 133858 August 12, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. HERMINIANO SATORRE

  • G.R. No. 133892 August 12, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JOVITO B. LLAVORE, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 137792 August 12, 2003 - SPS RICARDO ROSALES, ET AL. v. SPS ALFONSO and LOURDES SUBA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 145951 August 12, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 151908 & 152063 August 12, 2003 - SMART COMMUNICATIONS, INC. v. NATIONAL TELECOMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION

  • G.R. No. 152807 August 12, 2003 - HEIRS OF LOURDES SAEZ SABANPAN, ET AL. v. ALBERTO C. COMORPOSA, ET AL.

  • A.C. No. 4650 August 14, 2003 - ROSALINA BIASCAN v. MARCIAL F. LOPEZ

  • A.M. No. 00-6-09-SC August 14, 2003 - RE: IMPOSITION OF CORRESPONDING PENALTIES FOR HABITUAL TARDINESS, ETC.

  • A.M. No. RTJ-01-1631 August 14, 2003 - OFFICE OF THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR v. JAIME F. BAUTISTA

  • G.R. No. 126627 August 14, 2003 - SMITH KLINE BECKMAN CORP. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 140023 August 14, 2003 - RUDY LAO v. STANDARD INSURANCE CO.

  • G.R. Nos. 140034-35 August 14, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RODOLFO B. ZABALA

  • G.R. No. 144402 August 14, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROMEO ECLERA, SR.

  • G.R. No. 156039 August 14, 2003 - KARINA CONSTANTINO-DAVID, ET AL. v. ZENAIDA D. PANGANDAMAN-GANIA

  • A.M. No. MTJ-02-1401 August 15, 2003 - ARSENIA LARIOSA v. CONRADO B. BANDALA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 115925 August 15, 2003 - SPS. RICARDO PASCUAL, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 127128 August 15, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROEL C. MENDIGURIN

  • G.R. No. 133841 August 15, 2003 - CAROLINA P. RAMIREZ, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 135697-98 August 15, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. PEDRITO C. ANDRES, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 137520-22 August 15, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALFREDO BAROY, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 138074 August 15, 2003 - CELY YANG v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 138862 August 15, 2003 - MANUEL CAMACHO v. RICARDO GLORIA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 139895 August 15, 2003 - CIPRIANO M. LAZARO v. RURAL BANK OF FRANCISCO BALAGTAS (BULACAN), INC., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 143258 August 15, 2003 - PHILIPPINE AIRLINES v. JOSELITO PASCUA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 144618 August 15, 2003 - JORGE CHIN, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 147662-63 August 15, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FREDDIE FONTANILLA

  • G.R. No. 148222 August 15, 2003 - PEARL & DEAN (PHIL.) v. SHOEMART, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 151941 August 15, 2003 - CHAILEASE FINANCE CORP. v. SPS. ROMEO and MARIAFE MA

  • G.R. Nos. 153714-20 August 15, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MARIO K. ESPINOSA

  • G.R. No. 154448 August 15, 2003 - PEDRITO F. REYES v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 154920 August 15, 2003 - RODNEY HEGERTY v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. RTJ-03-1744 August 18, 2003 - ROBERT M. VISBAL v. ROGELIO C. SESCON

  • A.C. No. 5299 August 19, 2003 - ISMAEL G. KHAN v. RIZALINO T. SIMBILLO

  • G.R. No. 138945 August 19, 2003 - FELIX GOCHAN AND SONS REALTY CORP., ET AL. v. HEIRS OF RAYMUNDO BABA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 144331 August 19, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CRISTITO LATASA

  • G.R. No. 145930 August 19, 2003 - C-E CONSTRUCTION CORP. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 147246 August 19, 2003 - ASIA LIGHTERAGE AND SHIPPING, INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 148877 August 19, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ANGELITO B. BAGSIT

  • G.R. No. 149724 August 19, 2003 - DENR v. DENR REGION 12 EMPLOYEES

  • G.R. No. 150060 August 19, 2003 - PRIMARY STRUCTURES CORP. v. SPS. ANTHONY and SUSAN T. VALENCIA

  • A.M. No. MTJ-02-1437 August 20, 2003 - JAIME E. CONTRERAS v. EDDIE P. MONSERATE

  • A.M. No. MTJ-03-1473 August 20, 2003 - MYRA M. ALINTANA DE PACETE v. JOSEFINO A. GARILLO

  • A.M. No. RTJ-03-1745 August 20, 2003 - UNITRUST DEVELOPMENT BANK v. JOSE F. CAOIBES, JR., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 125799 August 21, 2003 - DANILO CANSINO, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 148864 August 21, 2003 - SPS EDUARDO and EPIFANIA EVANGELISTA v. MERCATOR FINANCE CORP., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 149495 August 21, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 150590 August 21, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. WILLIE A. ALMEDILLA

  • A.M. No. P-03-1673 August 25, 2003 - LOUIE TRINIDAD v. SOTERO S. PACLIBAR

  • G.R. No. 114172 August 25, 2003 - JUANITA P. PINEDA, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 129368 August 25, 2003 - LAND BANK OF THE PHIL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 129961-62 August 25, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. VIRGILIO CAABAY, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 137326 August 25, 2003 - ROSARIO TEXTILE MILLS, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 138334 August 25, 2003 - ESTELA L. CRISOSTOMO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 142856-57 August 25, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROBERTO NEGOSA

  • G.R. No. 151026 August 25, 2003 - SOLIDBANK CORP. v. CA, ET. AL.

  • G.R. No. 152221 August 25, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL v. JACINTO B. ALVAREZ, JR.

  • A.M. No. 01-4-133-MTC August 26, 2003 - RE: ELSIE C. REMOROZA

  • A.M. No. MTJ-03-1492 August 26, 2003 - DOMINGO B. MANAOIS v. LAVEZARES C. LEOMO

  • A.M. No. MTJ-03-1504 August 26, 2003 - FELICITAS M. HIMALIN v. ISAURO M. BALDERIAN

  • G.R. Nos. 146097-98 August 26, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JUAN CARIÑAGA

  • A.C. No. 5474 August 28, 2003 - REDENTOR S. JARDIN v. DEOGRACIAS VILLAR

  • A.C. No. 5535 August 28, 2003 - SPS. STEVEN and NORA WHITSON v. JUANITO C. ATIENZA

  • A.M. No. MTJ-03-1506 August 28, 2003 - PABLO B. MABINI v. LORINDA B. TOLEDO-MUPAS

  • A.M. No. P-01-1507 August 28, 2003 - OFFICE OF THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR v. ROLANDO SAA

  • A.M. No. P-02-1579 August 28, 2003 - LETICIA L. NICOLAS v. PRISCO L. RICAFORT

  • A.M. No. P-02-1631 August 28, 2003 - RENATO C. BALIBAG v. HERMITO C. MONICA

  • A.M. No. P-02-1659 August 28, 2003 - OFFICE OF THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR v. LIZA MARIA E. SIRIOS

  • A.M. No. P-03-1710 August 28, 2003 - EDGARDO ANGELES v. BALTAZAR P. EDUARTE

  • A.M. No. RTJ-02-1676 August 28, 2003 - OFFICE OF THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR v. GUILLERMO R. ANDAYA

  • A.M. No. RTJ-03-1786 August 28, 2003 - ALFREDO Y. CHU v. CAMILO E. TAMIN

  • G.R. No. 134604 August 28, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ERNESTO HUGO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 138295 August 28, 2003 - PILIPINO TELEPHONE CORP. v. NTC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 143826 August 28, 2003 - IGNACIA AGUILAR-REYES v. SPS. CIPRIANO and FLORENTINA MIJARES

  • G.R. No. 146501 August 28, 2003 - FLORDELIZA RIVERA v. GREGORIA SANTIAGO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 149810 August 28, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CRISPIN T. RUALES

  • G.R. No. 154049 August 28, 2003 - RAMON P. JACINTO, ET AL. v. FIRST WOMEN’S CREDIT CORP.

  • G.R. No. 133733 August 29, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MAXIMO AQUINDE, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 136299 August 29, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ZOILO MAGALLANES

  • G.R. No. 137010 August 29, 2003 - ARK TRAVEL EXPRESS v. Presiding Judge of the Regional Trial Court of Makati, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 142383 August 29, 2003 - ASIAN TRANSMISSION CORP. v. CANLUBANG SUGAR ESTATES

  •  





     
     

    G.R. No. 152807   August 12, 2003 - HEIRS OF LOURDES SAEZ SABANPAN, ET AL. v. ALBERTO C. COMORPOSA, ET AL.

     
    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    THIRD DIVISION

    [G.R. No. 152807. August 12, 2003.]

    HEIRS OF LOURDES SAEZ SABANPAN: BERNARDO S. SABANPAN, RENE S. SABANPAN, DANILO S. SABANPAN and THELMA S. CHU; HEIRS OF ADOLFO SAEZ: MA. LUISA SAEZ TAPIZ, MA. VICTORIA SAEZ LAPITAN, MA. BELEN SAEZ and EMMANUEL SAEZ; and HEIRS OF CRISTINA SAEZ GUTIERREZ: ROY SAEZ GUTIERREZ and LUIS SAEZ JR., Petitioners, v. ALBERTO C. COMORPOSA, HERDIN C. COMORPOSA, OFELIA C. ARIEGO, 1 REMEDIOS COMORPOSA, VIRGILIO A. LARIEGO, 2 BELINDA M. COMORPOSA and ISABELITA H. COMORPOSA, Respondents.

    D E C I S I O N


    PANGANIBAN, J.:


    The admissibility of evidence should be distinguished from its probative value. Just because a piece of evidence is admitted does not ipso facto mean that it conclusively proves the fact in dispute.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    The Case


    Before us is a Petition for Review 2 under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court, seeking to set aside the August 7, 2001 Decision and the February 27, 2002 Resolution of the Court of Appeals 3 (CA) in CA-GR SP No. 60645. The dispositive portion of the assailed Decision reads as follows:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "WHEREFORE, in view of all the foregoing, the Court hereby AFFIRMS the Decision dated 22 June 2000 rendered by Branch 18 of the Regional Trial Court of Digos, Davao del Sur, REVERSING and SETTING ASIDE the Decision of the Municipal Trial Court of Sta. Cruz, Davao del Su[r]." 4

    The assailed Resolution 5 denied petitioners’ Motion for Reconsideration.

    The Facts


    The CA summarized the factual antecedents of the case as follows:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "A [C]omplaint for unlawful detainer with damages was filed by [petitioners] against [respondents] before the Santa Cruz, Davao del Sur Municipal Trial Court.

    "The [C]omplaint alleged that Marcos Saez was the lawful and actual possessor of Lot No. 845, Land 275 located at Darong, Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur with an area of 1.2 hectares. In 1960, he died leaving all his heirs, his children and grandchildren.

    "In 1965, Francisco Comorposa who was working in the land of Oboza was terminated from his job. The termination of his employment caused a problem in relocating his house. Being a close family friend of [Marcos] Saez, Francisco Comorposa approached the late Marcos Saez’s son, [Adolfo] Saez, the husband of Gloria Leano Saez, about his problem. Out of pity and for humanitarian consideration, Adolfo allowed Francisco Comorposa to occupy the land of Marcos Saez. Hence, his nipa hut was carried by his neighbors and transferred to a portion of the land subject matter of this case. Such transfer was witnessed by several people, among them, Gloria Leano and Noel Oboza. Francisco Comorposa occupied a portion of Marcos Saez’ property without paying any rental.

    "Francisco Comorposa left for Hawaii, U.S.A. He was succeeded in his possession by the respondents who likewise did not pay any rental and are occupying the premises through petitioners’ tolerance.

    "On 7 May 1998, a formal demand was made upon the respondents to vacate the premises but the latter refused to vacate the same and claimed that they [were] the legitimate claimants and the actual and lawful possessor[s] of the premises. A [C]omplaint was filed with the barangay office of Sta. Cruz[,] Davao del Sur, but the parties failed to arrive at an amicable settlement. Thus, the corresponding Certificate to File Action was issued by the said barangay and an action for unlawful detainer was filed by petitioners against respondents.

    "Respondents, in their Answer, denied the material allegations of the [C]omplaint and alleged that they entered and occupied the premises in their own right as true, valid and lawful claimants, possessors and owners of the said lot way back in 1960 and up to the present time; that they have acquired just and valid ownership and possession of the premises by ordinary or extraordinary prescription, and that the Regional Director of the DENR, Region XI has already upheld their possession over the land in question when it ruled that they [were] the rightful claimants and possessors and [were], therefore, entitled to the issuance of a title.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    "The Municipal Trial Court of Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur rendered judgment in favor of petitioners but the Regional Trial Court of Digos, Davao del Sur, on appeal, reversed and set aside the said decision. . . ." 6

    Ruling of the Court of Appeals


    Affirming the Regional Trial Court (RTC), the CA upheld the right of respondents as claimants and possessors. The appellate court held that — although not yet final — the Order issued by the regional executive director of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) remained in full force and effect, unless declared null and void. The CA added that the Certification issued by the DENR’s community environment and natural resources (CENR) officer was proof that when the cadastral survey was conducted, the land was still alienable and was not yet allocated to any person.

    According to the CA, respondents had the better right to possess alienable and disposable land of the public domain, because they have sufficiently proven their actual, physical, open, notorious, exclusive, continuous and uninterrupted possession thereof since 1960. The appellate court deemed as self-serving, and therefore incredible, the Affidavits executed by Gloria Leano Saez, Noel Oboza and Paulina Paran.

    Hence, this Petition. 7

    The Issue


    In their Memorandum, petitioners raise the following issues for the Court’s consideration:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    "I


    Did the Court of Appeals gravely abuse its discretion and [err] in sustaining the ruling of the Regional Trial Court giving credence to the Order dated 2 April 1998 issued by the regional executive director?

    "II


    Did the Court of Appeals gravely abuse its discretion and err in sustaining the Regional Trial Court’s ruling giving weight to the CENR Officer’s Certification, which only bears the facsimile of the alleged signature of a certain Jose F. Tagorda and, [worse], it is a new matter raised for the first time on appeal?

    "III


    Did the Court of Appeals gravely abuse its discretion and err in holding that the land subject matter of this case has been acquired by means of adverse possession and prescription?

    "IV


    Did the Court of Appeals gravely abuse its discretion, and err in declaring that, ‘neither is there error on the part of the Regional Trial Court, when it did not give importance to the affidavits by Gloria Leano Saez, Noel [Oboza], and Paulina Paran for allegedly being self serving?’" 8

    To facilitate the discussion, the fourth and the third issues shall be discussed in reverse sequence.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    The Court’s Ruling


    The Petition has no merit.

    First Issue:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    The DENR Order of April 2, 1998

    Petitioners claim that the reliance of the CA upon the April 2, 1998 Order issued by the regional director of the DENR was erroneous. The reason was that the Order, which had upheld the claim of respondents, was supposedly not yet final and executory. Another Order dated August 23, 1999, 9 issued later by the DENR regional director, allegedly held in abeyance the effectivity of the earlier one.

    Under the Public Land Act, 10 the management and the disposition of public land is under the primary control of the director of lands 11 (now the director of the Lands Management Bureau or LMB), 12 subject to review by the DENR secretary. 13 As a rule, then, courts have no jurisdiction to intrude upon matters properly falling within the powers of the LMB.

    The powers given to the LMB and the DENR to alienate and dispose of public land does not, however, divest regular courts of jurisdiction over possessory actions instituted by occupants or applicants to protect their respective possessions and occupations. 14 The power to determine who has actual physical possession or occupation of public land and who has the better right of possession over it remains with the courts. 15 But once the DENR has decided, particularly through the grant of a homestead patent and the issuance of a certificate of title, its decision on these points will normally prevail. 16

    Therefore, while the issue as to who among the parties are entitled to a piece of public land remains pending with the DENR, the question of recovery of possession of the disputed property is a matter that may be addressed to the courts.

    Second Issue:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    CENR Officer’s Certification

    Petitioners contend that the CENR Certification dated July 22, 1997 is a sham document, because the signature of the CENR officer is a mere facsimile. In support of their argument, they cite Garvida v. Sales Jr. 17 and argue that the Certification is a new matter being raised by respondents for the first time on appeal.

    We are not persuaded.

    In Garvida, the Court held:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "A facsimile or fax transmission is a process involving the transmission and reproduction of printed and graphic matter by scanning an original copy, one elemental area at a time, and representing the shade or tone of each area by a specified amount of electric current. . . ." 18

    Pleadings filed via fax machines are not considered originals and are at best exact copies. As such, they are not admissible in evidence, as there is no way of determining whether they are genuine or authentic. 19

    The Certification, on the other hand, is being contested for bearing a facsimile of the signature of CENR Officer Jose F. Tagorda. The facsimile referred to is not the same as that which is alluded to in Garvida. The one mentioned here refers to a facsimile signature, which is defined as a signature produced by mechanical means but recognized as valid in banking, financial, and business transactions. 20

    Note that the CENR officer has not disclaimed the Certification. In fact, the DENR regional director has acknowledged and used it as reference in his Order dated April 2, 1998:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    ". . . . CENR Officer Jose F. Tagorda, in a ‘CERTIFICATION’ dated 22 July 1997, certified among others, that: . . . per records available in his Office, . . . the controverted lot . . . was not allocated to any person . . . ." 21

    If the Certification were a sham as petitioner claims, then the regional director would not have used it as reference in his Order. Instead, he would have either verified it or directed the CENR officer to take the appropriate action, as the latter was under the former’s direct control and supervision.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    Petitioners’ claim that the Certification was raised for the first time on appeal is incorrect. As early as the pretrial conference at the Municipal Trial Court (MTC), the CENR Certification had already been marked as evidence for respondents as stated in the Pre-trial Order. 22 The Certification was not formally offered, however, because respondents had not been able to file their position paper.

    Neither the rules of procedure 23 nor jurisprudence 24 would sanction the admission of evidence that has not been formally offered during the trial. But this evidentiary rule is applicable only to ordinary trials, not to cases covered by the rule on summary procedure — cases in which no full-blown trial is held.25cralaw:red

    Third Issue:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Affidavit of Petitioners’ Witnesses

    Petitioners assert that the CA erred in disregarding the Affidavits of their witnesses, insisting that the Rule on Summary Procedure authorizes the use of affidavits. They also claim that the failure of respondents to file their position paper and counter-affidavits before the MTC amounts to an admission by silence.

    The admissibility of evidence should not be confused with its probative value. Admissibility refers to the question of whether certain pieces of evidence are to be considered at all, while probative value refers to the question of whether the admitted evidence proves an issue. 26 Thus, a particular item of evidence may be admissible, but its evidentiary weight depends on judicial evaluation within the guidelines provided by the rules of evidence. 27

    While in summary proceedings affidavits are admissible as the witnesses’ respective testimonies, the failure of the adverse party to reply does not ipso facto render the facts, set forth therein, duly proven. Petitioners still bear the burden of proving their cause of action, because they are the ones asserting an affirmative relief. 28

    Fourth Issue:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Defense of Prescription

    Petitioners claim that the court a quo erred in upholding the defense of prescription proffered by respondents. It is the former’s contention that since the latter’s possession of the land was merely being tolerated, there was no basis for the claim of prescription. We disagree.

    For the Court to uphold the contention of petitioners, they have first to prove that the possession of respondents was by mere tolerance. The only pieces of evidence submitted by the former to support their claim were a technical description and a vicinity map drawn in accordance with the survey dated May 22, 1936. 29 Both of these were discredited by the CENR Certification, which indicated that the contested lot had not yet been allocated to any person when the survey was conducted. 30 The testimony of petitioners’ witnesses alone cannot prevail over respondents’ continued and uninterrupted possession of the subject lot for a considerable length of time.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    Furthermore, this is an issue of fact that cannot, as a rule, be raised in a petition for review under Rule 45. 31

    WHEREFORE, the Petition is DENIED and the assailed Decision AFFIRMED. Costs against petitioners.

    SO ORDERED.

    Puno, Sandoval-Gutierrez, Corona and Morales, JJ., concur.

    Endnotes:



    *. Footnoting as followed in the original.

    1. Also spelled "Ariega" in the pleadings.

    2. Also spelled "Lariega" in the pleadings.

    2. Rollo, pp. 11–37.

    3. Eighth Division. Written by Justice Perlita J. Tria Tirona and concurred in by Justices Eugenio S. Labitoria (Division chairman) and Eloy R. Bello Jr. (member).

    4. Assailed Decision, p. 6; rollo, p. 49.

    5. Rollo, p. 52.

    6. Assailed Decision, pp. 2–3; rollo, pp. 45–46.

    7. This case was deemed submitted for decision on January 15, 2003, upon the Court’s receipt of respondents’ Memorandum, signed by Atty. William U. Carpentero. Petitioners’ Memorandum, filed on January 10, 2003, was signed by Atty. Oswaldo A. Macadangdang.

    8. Petitioners’ Memorandum, p. 8; rollo, p. 283. Original in upper case.

    9. Annex 1; rollo, pp. 91–92.

    10. Commonwealth Act 141 as amended.

    11. 4 of CA 141 as amended.

    12. The LMB absorbed the functions of the Bureau of Lands, which was abolished by Executive Order No. 131, except those line functions that were transmitted to the regional field offices.

    13. 3 of CA 141 as amended.

    14. Omandam v. Court of Appeals, 349 SCRA 483, January 18, 2001; Solis v. Intermediate Appellate Court, 198 SCRA 267, June 19, 1991; Rallon v. Ruiz, Jr., 138 Phil. 347, May 26, 1969; Molina Et. Al. v. Bacud Et. Al., 126 Phil. 166, April 27, 1967; Bohayang v. Maceren, 96 Phil. 390, December 29, 1954; Pitargue v. Sorilla, 92 Phil. 5, September 17, 1952.

    15. Solis v. Intermediate Appellate Court, supra, citing National Development Company v. Hervilla, 151 SCRA 520, June 30, 1987; Espejo v. Malate, 205 Phil. 216, January 27, 1983.

    16. Omandam v. Court of Appeals, supra.

    17. 338 Phil. 484, April 18, 1997.

    18. Id., p. 496, per Puno, J., citing Webster’s Third New International Dictionary (1976), p. 813.

    19. Ibid.

    20. "Facsimile signature," Webster’s Third New International Dictionary (1976), p. 813.

    21. Rollo, p. 104.

    22. Id., p. 121.

    23. 34, Rule 132 of the Rules of Court.

    24. People v. Carino, 165 SCRA 664, September 26, 1988; Veran v. Court of Appeals, 157 SCRA 438, January 29, 1988.

    25. Republic of the Philippines v. Court of Appeals, 277 SCRA 633, August 18, 1997; De los Reyes v. Intermediate Appellate Court, 176 SCRA 394, August 11, 1989.

    26. PNOC Shipping & Transport Corporation v. Court of Appeals, 358 Phil. 38, October 8, 1998.

    27. Id., p. 59.

    28. People v. Villar, 322 SCRA 393, January 19, 2000; Pacific Banking Corporation Employees Organization v. Court of Appeals, 351 Phil. 438, March 27, 1998; Rivera v. Court of Appeals, 348 Phil. 734, January 23, 1998; Ramcar Incorporated v. Garcia, 114 Phil. 1026, April 25, 1962.

    29. Rollo, pp. 83–84.

    30. Id., p. 105.

    31. 1 of Rule 45 of the Rules of Court; Heirs of Anastacio Fabela v. Court of Appeals, 414 Phil. 838, August 9, 2001; American President Lines Ltd. v. Court of Appeals, 336 SCRA 582, July 31, 2000; Liberty Construction and Development Corporation v. Court of Appeals, 327 Phil. 490, June 28, 1996.

    G.R. No. 152807   August 12, 2003 - HEIRS OF LOURDES SAEZ SABANPAN, ET AL. v. ALBERTO C. COMORPOSA, ET AL.


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