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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
 

   
September-2003 Jurisprudence                 

  • A.M. No. P-03-1705 September 2, 2003 - BALDOMERO DE VERA SOLIMAN, JR. v. PRINCESITO D. SORIANO

  • G.R. No. 138238 September 2, 2003 - EDUARDO BALITAOSAN v. SECRETARY OF EDUCATION, CULTURE AND SPORTS

  • G.R. No. 146980 September 2, 2003 - LUZ E. TAGANAS, ET AL. v. MELITON G. EMUSLAN, ET AL.

  • A.C. No. 3967 September 3, 2003 - ARTEMIO ENDAYA v. WILFREDO OCA

  • A.C. No. 6084 September 3, 2003 - FELICITAS BERBANO v. WENCESLAO BARCELONA

  • A.M. No. 02-10-614-RTC September 3, 2003 - RE: EDITORIAL OF THE NEGROS CHRONICLE AND OTHER CHARGES OF A CONCERNED CITIZEN AGAINST JUDGE ROGELIO CARAMPATAN

  • A.M. No. OCA-01-6 September 3, 2003 - DOMINADOR V. ASPIRAS v. ESMERALDA ABALOS

  • A.M. No. P-01-1466 September 3, 2003 - EDUARDO F. BAGO v. JOEL FERAREN

  • A.M. No. RTJ-99-1501 September 3, 2003 - ROMEO E. EJERCITO v. ILDEFONSO B. SUERTE

  • G.R. No. 131915 September 3, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EDDIE LACHICA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 136274 September 3, 2003 - SUNFLOWER NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 139400 September 3, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MAURICIO WATIWAT

  • G.R. No. 140652 September 3, 2003 - OLIVERIO LAPERAL v. PABLO V. OCAMPO

  • G.R. No. 144312 September 3, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CHUA TAN LEE

  • G.R. No. 145737 September 3, 2003 - CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION v. EVELYN P. CAYOBIT

  • G.R. No. 149617 September 3, 2003 - MARIANO JOAQUIN S. MACIAS v. MARGIE CORPUS MACIAS

  • G.R. No. 141527 September 4, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RANDY G. BOCALAN

  • A.M. No. RTJ-03-1788 September 5, 2003 - JORGE F. ABELLA v. FRANCISCO L. CALINGIN

  • A.M. No. MTJ-02-1430 September 8, 2003 - ROMEO B. SENSON v. HERIBERTO M. PANGILINAN

  • G.R. No. 128296 September 8, 2003 - NASIPIT LUMBER CO., ET AL. v. NATIONAL WAGES AND PRODUCTIVITY COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 152957 September 8, 2003 - FAUSTINO ESQUIVEL v. EDUARDO REYES

  • A.M. No. MTJ-03-1480 September 10, 2003 - TRINIDAD CABAHUG v. JASPER JESSE G. DACANAY

  • G.R. No. 91486 September 10, 2003 - ALBERTO G. PINLAC, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 107271 September 10, 2003 - CITY OF CALOOCAN, ET AL. v. MAURO T. ALLARDE, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 125329 September 10, 2003 - ANN BRIGITT LEONARDO, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 140762 September 10, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROGER C. ROXAS

  • G.R. No. 148912 September 10, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. TIMOTEO ESCARLOS

  • G.R. No. 151212 September 10, 2003 - TEN FORTY REALTY AND DEVELOPMENT CORP. v. MARINA CRUZ

  • A.M. No. P-02-1562 September 11, 2003 - ROMULO SG. VILLANUEVA v. CHARLIE C. LARCENA

  • A.M. No. RTJ-02-1742 September 11, 2003 - AVELINA MADULA v. RUTH CRUZ SANTOS

  • G.R. Nos. 136286-89 September 11, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EFREN G. DE TAZA

  • G.R. No. 138366 September 11, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RUBEN CAÑETE, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 138569 September 11, 2003 - CONSOLIDATED BANK and TRUST CORP. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 144785 September 11, 2003 - YOLANDA GARCIA v. PEOPLE OF THE PHIL.

  • G.R. No. 145407 September 11, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LEONITO HEREVESE

  • G.R. No. 151081 September 11, 2003 - TOP RATE CONSTRUCTION & GENERAL SERVICES v. PAXTON DEV’T. CORP., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 153126 September 11, 2003 - MONTEREY FOODS CORP., ET AL. v. VICTORINO E. ESERJOSE

  • G.R. No. 153845 September 11, 2003 - EFREN P. SALVAN v. PEOPLE OF THE PHIL.

  • A.M. No. RTJ-03-1799 September 12, 2003 - MARIA CRISTINA OLONDRIZ PERTIERRA v. ALBERTO L. LERMA

  • G.R. No. 127206 September 12, 2003 - PERLA PALMA GIL v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 135029 September 12, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. NESTOR CARRIAGA

  • G.R. No. 141600 September 12, 2003 - ROBERTO FULGENCIO, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 144639 September 12, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BENNY GO

  • G.R. Nos. 144972-73 September 12, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RODOLFO JUNAS

  • G.R. No. 133365 September 16, 2003 - PLATINUM TOURS AND TRAVEL, INC. v. JOSE M. PANLILIO

  • G.R. Nos. 147814-15 September 16, 2003 - RAUL ZAPATOS v. PEOPLE OF THE PHIL.

  • G.R. No. 155278 September 16, 2003 - PRUDENCIO J. TANJUAN v. PHIL. POSTAL SAVINGS BANK

  • A.M. No. P-03-1740 September 17, 2003 - FRANKLIN Q. SUSA v. TEOFILA A. PEÑA

  • A.M. No. RTJ-01-1656 September 17, 2003 - EDGARDO D. BALSAMO v. PEDRO L. SUAN

  • G.R. No. 141120 September 17, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FERNANDO BUENAVIDEZ

  • G.R. No. 146125 September 17, 2003 - NOVELTY PHIL., INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. MTJ-01-1347 September 18, 2003 - BENJAMIN TUDTUD v. MAMERTO Y. COLIFLORES

  • A.M. No. P-00-1370 September 18, 2003 - ALEJANDRO PAREDES, ET AL. v. JERRY MARCELINO

  • A.M. No. P-01-1510 September 18, 2003 - MARY ANN PADUGANAN-PEÑARANDA v. GRACE L. SONGCUYA

  • A.M. No. P-03-1691 September 18, 2003 - JOSE S. SAÑEZ v. CARLOS B. RABINA

  • A.M. No. P-03-1703 September 18, 2003 - EDNA FE F. AQUINO v. JOSE R. MARTIN

  • A.M. No. P-03-1724 September 18, 2003 - VICENTE ALVAREZ, Jr. v. JOSE R. MARTIN

  • A.M. No. P-03-1742 September 18, 2003 - SALVADOR L. BERNABE v. WINSTON T. EGUIA

  • G.R. No. 135559 September 18, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MORENO OCUMEN

  • G.R. No. 135563 September 18, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BOBBY P. SANCHEZ

  • G.R. No. 144913 September 18, 2003 - PEOPLE OF PHIL. v. GERONIMO C. CENIZA

  • G.R. No. 149627 September 18, 2003 - KENNETH O. NADELA v. CITY OF CEBU, ET AL..

  • G.R. No. 152351 September 18, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JAMIL MALA

  • G.R. No. 152604 September 18, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LEONCIO S.PEDRIGAL

  • G.R. No. 153571 September 18, 2003 - BENGUET MANAGEMENT CORP. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 156259 September 18, 2003 - GROGUN, INC. v. NAPOCOR

  • G.R. No. 157957 September 18, 2003 - CHARITO NAVAROSA v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 142974 September 22, 2003 - SPS. SHEM G. ALFARERO and AURELIA TAGALOG v. SPS. PETRA and SANCHO SEVILLA

  • G.R. No. 152529 September 22, 2003 - SPS. HENDRIK and ALICIA S. BIESTERBOS v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. MTJ-02-1450 September 23, 2003 - RAMIRO S. DE JOYA v. AUGUSTUS C. DIAZ

  • A.M. No. MTJ-03-1509 September 23, 2003 - HELEN GAMBOA-MIJARES v. MANUEL Q. LIMSIACO, JR., ET AL.

  • A.M. No. P-03-1732 September 23, 2003 - ROSENINA O. UY, ET AL. v. LOLITA R. EDILO

  • G.R. No. 123140 September 23, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BERNARDO CORTEZANO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 135446 September 23, 2003 - COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE v. BPI

  • G.R. No. 136729 September 23, 2003 - ASTRO ELECTRONICS CORP., ET AL. v. PHIL. EXPORT AND FOREIGN LOAN GUARANTEE CORP.

  • G.R. Nos. 138716-19 September 23, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JOSE PILLAS

  • G.R. No. 138725 September 23, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALBERTO OLIVAR

  • G.R. No. 139360 September 23, 2003 - HLC CONSTRUCTION AND DEV’T. CORP., ET AL. v. EHSHA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 140982 September 23, 2003 - MARIO GUTIERREZ v. SINGER SEWING MACHINE COMPANY, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 141434 September 23, 2003 - ANTONIO LO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 143132 September 23, 2003 - VAN MELLE PHILS. ET AL. v. VICTOR M. ENDAYA

  • G.R. No. 144533 September 23, 2003 - JIMMY L. BARNES v. TERESITA C. REYES, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 146786-88 September 23, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ANDRES T. DAÑO

  • G.R. No. 149295 September 23, 2003 - PHILIPPINE NATIONAL BANK v. GENEROSO DE JESUS

  • G.R. No. 149370 September 23, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MARTIN ALEJO

  • G.R. No. 150905 September 23, 2003 - CITIBANK v. EFREN S. TEODORO

  • G.R. No. 151072 September 23, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FELIPE NATIVIDAD, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 151931 September 23, 2003 - ANAMER SALAZAR v. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 152823-24 September 23, 2003 - RUFINA CHUA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 152998 September 23, 2003 - SIMON Q. AÑONUEVO, JR., ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 156295 September 23, 2003 - MARCELO R. SORIANO v. SPS. RICARDO and ROSALINA GALIT

  • G.R. No. 156983 September 23, 2003 - In the Matter of the Application for the Habeas Corpus of JOSE VICTOR RIGOR y DANAO v. The Superintendent

  • A.M. No. P-00-1418 September 24, 2003 - OFFICE OF THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR v. CELESTINA B. CORPUZ

  • G.R. No. 124293 September 24, 2003 - JG SUMMIT HOLDINGS v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 130087 September 24, 2003 - DIANA M. BARCELONA v. CA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 136726 September 24, 2003 - PANFILO V. VILLARUEL v. REYNALDO D. FERNANDO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 148924 September 24, 2003 - TOYOTA MOTOR PHILS. v. CA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 153781 September 24, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MATEO GREGORIO, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 153885 & 156214 September 24, 2003 - LEPANTO CONSOLIDATED MINING CO. v. WMC RESOURCES INTERNATIONAL PTY. LTD.

  • A.M. No. RTJ-03-1746 September 26, 2003 - ROGER F. BORJA v. ZORAYDA H. SALCEDO

  • G.R. No. 130330 September 26, 2003 - FERNANDO GO v. MICHAEL TAN and LOLITA TAN

  • G.R. No. 141217 September 26, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EUSEBIO DUBAN

  • G.R. No. 144037 September 26, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. NOEL P. TUDTUD, ET AL.

  • A.C. No. 5480 September 29, 2003 - LEILANI OCAMPO-INGCOCO, ET AL. v. ALEJANDRO G. YRREVERRE, JR.

  • G.R. Nos. 137370-71 September 29, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RAUL OCO

  • G.R. No. 139185 September 29, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALFONSO RIVERA

  • G.R. No. 148902 September 29, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DANILO ANDRADE

  • G.R. No. 149718 September 29, 2003 - MARIO VALEROSO v. PEOPLE OF THE PHIL.

  • G.R. No. 152057 September 29, 2003 - PT & T CORP. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • A.C. No. 5854 September 30, 2003 - NORA E. MIWA v. RENE O. MEDINA

  • G.R. No. 127593 September 30, 2003 - CLARA C. DE LA CRUZ, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 136742-43 September 30, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DANILO Y. ALFARO

  • G.R. Nos. 140514-15 September 30, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JUNE IGNAS

  • G.R. No. 142751 September 30, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RODRIGO OPELIÑA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 143010 September 30, 2003 - MIGUEL DANOFRATA v. PEOPLE OF THE PHIL.

  • G.R. No. 144230 September 30, 2003 - ARTURO G. MACKAY v. ADORACION G. ANGELES, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 148332 September 30, 2003 - NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT COMPANY v. MADRIGAL WAN HAI LINES CORP.

  •  





     
     

    G.R. No. 149617   September 3, 2003 - MARIANO JOAQUIN S. MACIAS v. MARGIE CORPUS MACIAS

     
    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    THIRD DIVISION

    [G.R. No. 149617. September 3, 2003.]

    JUDGE MARIANO JOAQUIN S. MACIAS, Petitioner, v. MARGIE CORPUS MACIAS, Respondent.

    D E C I S I O N


    SANDOVAL-GUTIERREZ, J.:


    Due process is the very essence of justice itself. Where the rule of law is the bedrock of our free society, justice is its very lifeblood. Denial of due process is thus no less than a denial of justice. 1chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    Before us is a petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, as amended, assailing the Decision 2 dated July 13, 2001 and the Resolution 3 dated August 30, 2001, both rendered by the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 64733, "Margie Corpus Macias v. Hon. Wilfredo G. Ochotorena and Hon. Judge Mariano Joaquin S. Macias."cralaw virtua1aw library

    The factual antecedents as borne by the records are:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    On February 6, 2001, Judge Mariano Joaquin S. Macias (herein petitioner) filed with the Regional Trial Court, Branch 11, Sindangan, Zamboanga del Norte, a petition for declaration of nullity of marriage against Margie Corpus Macias (herein respondent), docketed as Civil Case No. S-695.

    The sheriff exerted earnest efforts to personally serve copies of the summons and complaint upon the respondent, but to no avail. Hence, the trial court, upon petitioner’s motion, issued an Order dated March 7, 2001 directing that summons be effected by publication in a newspaper of general circulation in the province of Zamboanga del Norte and the twin cities of Dapitan and Dipolog and thereafter requiring the respondent to file her answer within a period of thirty (30) days from notice.

    Subsequently, the summons and complaint were published in the March 11 to 17, 2001 issues of the Dipolog-based newspaper "Tingog Peninsula."cralaw virtua1aw library

    Instead of filing an answer, respondent, through counsel, on April 10, 2001, filed a motion to dismiss the petition on the following grounds: (1) the cause of action is barred by the statute of limitations; (2) the trial court has no jurisdiction because it is not among those designated to act as a family court under Resolution A.M. No. 99-11-07-SC; and (3) the parties failed to resort to barangay conciliation prior to the filing of the petition.

    On April 19, 2001, the trial court issued an Order denying respondent’s motion to dismiss. Incidentally, in the same Order, the trial court granted respondent’s request (via long distance telephone call) to set the hearing on April 30, 2001.

    The hearing set on April 30, 2001 was cancelled for failure of respondent and counsel as well as the expert witness to appear. On the same day, the trial court issued an Order setting the hearing anew on May 2 and 3, 2001. Respondent received a copy of this Order only on May 8, 2001. Thus, when the case was called for hearing as scheduled, respondent and counsel, not being duly notified, did not appear. Surprisingly, the trial court allowed the petitioner to present his evidence ex parte.

    After the petitioner rested his case, the trial court issued an Order dated May 3, 2001 (1) directing the public prosecutor to submit a Certification containing his assent or opposition to the petition; (2) directing the petitioner and the public prosecutor to submit their respective memoranda within a non-extendible period of ten (10) days; and (3) declaring the case submitted for decision.

    On May 5, 2001, respondent still unaware that the case had been submitted for decision, filed a motion for reconsideration of the Order dated April 19, 2001 denying her motion to dismiss. The trial court merely noted the motion for reconsideration in his Order dated May 16, 2001.

    Consequently, on May 18, 2001, respondent filed with the Court of Appeals a petition for certiorari with prayer for issuance of a temporary restraining order and/or a writ of preliminary injunction challenging the trial court’s Order dated April 19, 2001 which denied her motion to dismiss; and Order dated April 30, 2001 cancelling the April 30, 2001 hearing and resetting it on May 2 and 3, 2001.

    Acting thereon, the Court of Appeals, in a Resolution dated May 23, 2001, enjoined the trial court from conducting further proceedings in Civil Case No. S-695.

    Meanwhile, on May 15, 2001 or barely twelve (12) days from submission of the case for decision, the trial court rendered its Decision declaring the nullity of the marriage between the parties on the ground of psychological incapacity on the part of herein Respondent. Thereupon, she filed a motion for reconsideration. This motion has not been acted upon.

    Meantime, on July 13, 2001, the Court of Appeals rendered a Decision granting respondent’s petition for certiorari, thus:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "The issue that now comes to fore is whether or not the Petitioner was deprived, by the Respondent Court, of her right to due process enshrined in Article III, Section 1 of the 1987 Constitution, via its Orders, Annexes ‘L’ and ‘O’ of the Petition, and its Decision.

    x       x       x


    "In the present recourse, the hearings of the complaint of the Private Respondent, on its merits, before the issues were joined was a farce, a blatant transgression by the Respondents of the fundamental right of the Petitioner to due process. Taking stock of the antecedental milieu in the present recourse, We are convinced, beyond cavil, that either the Respondent Court was ignorant of the basic rudiments of Civil Procedure or if he was aware of said Rules as he should, he simply ignored the same, ran roughshod over the rights of the Petitioner, railroaded the hearing of the case and rendered judgment even before the Petitioner had the opportunity to defend herself and adduce her evidence.

    x       x       x


    "There is no evidence on record when the Petitioner was served with the complaint and summons by registered mail. However, the Petitioner learned of the complaint and summons about the first week of April, 2001 on the basis of the March 11–17, 2001 issue of the ‘Tingog Peninsula.’ Even if the thirty-day period fixed by the Respondent Court was reckoned from the March 11–17, 2001 issue of the ‘Tingog Peninsula,’ the Petitioner had until April 16, 2001 within which to file a ‘Motion to Dismiss’ under Section 1, Rule 16 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure or file an Answer to the complaint. However, she opted to file, on April 10, 2001, a ‘Motion to Dismiss,’ instead of filing an Answer to the complaint. The filing of said motion suspended the period for her to file her Answer to the complaint. Until said motion is resolved by the Respondent Court with finality, it behooved the Respondent Court to suspend the hearings of the case on the merits. The Respondent Court, on April 19, 2001, issued its Order denying the ‘Motion to Dismiss’ of the Petitioner. Under Section 6, Rule 16 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, the Petitioner had the balance of the period provided for in Rule 11 of the said Rules but in no case less than five (5) days computed from service on her of the aforesaid Order of the Respondent Court within which to file her Answer to the complaint:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    x       x       x


    "The Petitioner may file a ‘Motion for Reconsideration’ of said Order conformably with Section 5, Rule 135 of the Rules of Court.

    "Until then, a hearing of the case on its merits is impermissible and a travesty. However, even before the Petitioner could be served with a copy of the order of the Respondent Court (Annex ‘L’ of the Petition) denying her ‘Motion to Dismiss,’ the Respondent Court proceeded with the hearing of the case on its merits and received the evidence of the Private Respondent on May 2 and 3, 2001. As it was, Petitioner, through counsel, received only on May 3, 2001 the Order of the Respondent Court (Annex ‘L’ of the Petition) denying her ‘Motion to Dismiss’ and, on May 5, 2001, the Petitioner filed a ‘Motion for Reconsideration’ of the Order of the Respondent Court, dated April 19, 2001.

    "What is so trite is that the Respondent Court violated its own Order dated February 27, 2001, declaring that the hearing of the case on its merits will ensue only after the Petitioner shall have filed her ‘Answer’ to the complaint.

    "Equally worrisome is the fact that the Petitioner reminded the Respondent Court, in her ‘Manifestation and Motion,’ dated April 18, 2001, that the case was not ripe for hearing on its merits and prayed that the hearing of the case on its merits be suspended until after final resolution by the Respondent Court of her ‘Motion to Dismiss’:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    x       x       x


    "Even if the Petitioner failed to file her Answer to the complaint, after the period therefor had lapsed, the Respondent Court was not authorized to conduct a hearing of the case on its merits. This is so because Section 3 (e), Rule 9 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure specifically provides that:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    ‘(c) Where no defaults allowed. — If the defending party in an action for annulment or declaration of nullity of marriage or for legal separation fails to answer, the court shall order the prosecuting attorney to investigate whether or not a collusion between the parties exists, and if there is no collusion, to intervene for the State in order to see to it that the evidence submitted is not fabricated.’ (idem, supra.)

    "The Report of the Public Prosecutor is a condition sine qua non to further proceedings of the case on its merits. The Respondent Court ignored the aforequoted Rule. It bears stressing that the Petitioner had already filed her ‘Motion to Dismiss’ and, hence, can be notified by the Public Prosecutor of his investigation.

    x       x       x


    "IN LIGHT OF ALL THE FOREGOING, the Petition is GIVEN DUE COURSE and GRANTED. The hearings of the case on the merits on May 2 and 3, 2001, including the Decision of the Respondent Court, are NULLIFIED. The Respondent Court is hereby ordered to resolve the ‘Motion for Reconsideration’ of the Petitioner dated May 5, 2001, after the Private Respondent shall have filed his ‘Comment’ or ‘Opposition’ to said motion and, thereafter, to proceed with the case as provided for by the Rules of Court.

    "SO ORDERED."cralaw virtua1aw library

    From the said Decision, petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration, but it was denied.

    Hence, this petition for review on certiorari.

    Petitioner vehemently asserts that the Court of Appeals seriously erred in holding that the trial court deprived respondent of her right to due process; and in nullifying, not only the May 2 and 3, 2001 hearings, but also the trial court’s Decision dated May 15, 2001.

    We agree with the Court of Appeals.

    This Court will not countenance a denial of one’s fundamental right to due process, which is a cornerstone of our legal system. 4

    In the case at bar, the trial court did not observe the rudimentary principle of due process enshrined in our Constitution. Neither did it comply with pertinent procedural rules.

    More to the point, the trial court, without even waiting for respondent’s motion for reconsideration of the April 19, 2001 Order denying her motion to dismiss, hurriedly set the case for hearing. Also, without allowing the respondent to file her answer to the petition and knowing there was no joinder of issues as yet, the trial court hastily authorized petitioner to present his evidence ex parte.

    Pursuant to Section 3 (e), Rule 9 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, as amended, where the defending party fails to file his or her answer to the petition, the trial court should order the prosecutor to intervene for the State by conducting an investigation to determine whether or not there was collusion between the parties. Here, the trial court disregarded such procedure. Obviously, the summary proceeding is a patent nullity.

    And assuming arguendo that there was an answer filed by the respondent, still, the hearing of the case on May 2 and 3, 2001 is a procedural flaw. As stated at the outset, respondent received the notice of hearing only on May 8, 2001. So how could she be present in court on May 2 and 3?

    We are convinced that respondent’s fundamental right to due process was blatantly transgressed by the trial court. And resultantly, the proceedings conducted, including the trial court’s Decision, are void for lack of due process.

    We have consistently held that a denial of due process suffices to cast on the official act taken by whatever branch of the government the impress of nullity. 5

    In Uy v. Court of Appeals, we ruled that" (a) decision is void for lack of due process if, as a result, a party (as in this case) is deprived of the opportunity of being heard. A void decision may be assailed or impugned at any time either directly or collaterally by means of a separate action, or by resisting such decision in any action or proceeding where it is invoked." 6

    Indeed, in depriving respondent her constitutional and procedural right to due process, the trial court gravely abused its discretion. It is, therefore, imperative that the instant case for declaration of nullity of marriage be litigated anew in accordance with the Rules.

    WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED. The assailed Decision dated July 13, 2001 and Resolution dated August 30, 2001 of the Court of Appeals are hereby AFFIRMED.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    SO ORDERED.

    Puno, Panganiban, Corona and Carpio-Morales, JJ., concur.

    Endnotes:



    1. J. Panganiban, Separate Opinion in Serrano v. NLRC, G.R. No. 117040, January 27, 2000, 323 SCRA 445, 545.

    2. Annex "A", Petition, Rollo at 22–44.

    3. Annex "B", id. at 46.

    4. Pinlac v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 91486, January 19, 2001, 349 SCRA 635, 653, citing; Fabella v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 110379, November 28, 1997, 282 SCRA 256.

    5. Uy v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 109557, November 29, 2000, 346 SCRA 246, 254, citing DBP v. Bautista, G.R. No. L-21362, November 29, 1968, 26 SCRA 366, 371.

    6. Id., citing Ang Lam v. Rosillosa, 86 Phil. 447, 452 (1950).

    G.R. No. 149617   September 3, 2003 - MARIANO JOAQUIN S. MACIAS v. MARGIE CORPUS MACIAS


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