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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. 139360   September 23, 2003 - HLC CONSTRUCTION AND DEV’T. CORP., ET AL. v. EHSHA, ET AL.

     
    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    THIRD DIVISION

    [G.R. No. 139360. September 23, 2003.]

    HLC CONSTRUCTION AND DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION AND HENRY LOPEZ CHUA, Petitioners, v. EMILY HOMES SUBDIVISION HOMEOWNERS ASSOCIATION (EHSHA), LUCIO ABBOT, JAIME ABRIS, MARINA ACUÑA, PATROCENIO ALCOBA, MARCILINA ALFAFARA, JOSE ALMARIO, CELISTINO AMBAYEN, PERLITA ANDRADE, ALBINO ANGELES, RONALDO ANGELES, REYNALDO ANGELITUD, ROMEO ANITO, NICASIO ARENDAIN, ERNESTO ARENDAIN, MAGELLAN ARO, ROSCIANA ASILUM, PURIFICACION BALGUE, WILFREDA BALO, HILARION BENTILANON, JUDITH BERNAL, AURELIA BERNAT, GEMMA BORNON, VIRGINIA BOYOSE, SAMAON BUAT, ANNETE BUESA, ZENAIDA CADOYAS, MARIA GILDA CALAMBA, FLORDELIZ CALLIDO, MANUEL CAMAHALAN, MARIA LOURDES CANO, NOEL CAPINPIN, ANNIE CAMPOREDONDO, REBECCA CARBELLIDO, SHIRLEY CARTALABA, BRIGGITTE CARVAJAL, ANNIE CENTINA, SILVERIO CHUAN, JOSEPHINE CONOMAN, VICTOR CORRAL, REZIE CRISPINO, OFELIA CUSTODIO, ALEJANDRO DERECHO, MERLYN DIAZ, PAQUITO DOMINGO, EFREN DURANO, FELECIDAD ESCALARIS, VIOLETA ESPIJA, EUGENE FERNANDEZ, DOMINADOR FLORENTINO, GALILEO FLORES, HERMINIGILDO FLORES, PETE FLORES, GLORIA FONTILLA, WILLIAM GALIDO, RENE ELPIDIO GALILIA, RENATO GAZO, CESAR GEGARE JR., ANGELI GELIA, MONINA GENTICA, PEDRO GERSALIA, ARACELI GIMAY, ARTHUR GOC-ONG, RICARDO GONZAGA, WILMA GONZALES, ALSON GRANADA, MERLIE GUILLERMO, GABRIEL HERNANDEZ JR., ANTONIO IBIS, HOMER IMPERIAL, ROMEO JANOTO, EDGAR JERA, ROMEO LITO JESURO, RODRIGO JUMALIN, FURTONATO JUSON, ARLYN LABOR, LETICIA LAGUNSAY, HAZEL MARIE LAINGO, ROSIELYN DE LEON, WILMA LIMBURAN, JEANA LINAO, VICENTA MIGUELITA LLOREN, MYRNA LOFRANCO, ESTELA LOVITOS, LORNA MACATUAL, NELIA MADELO, MARIO MAGHANOY, GILBERT MAGHANOY, MARY ANN MANALO, ROGER MANAPOL, QUIRICO MARI, EMELITA MARTINEZ, MIRRIAM MASUELA, MILAGROS MEDINA, SUSAN MELCHOR, AMELIA MONDEJAR, PABLO MORENO JR., LAZARO NAMOCO, DARWIN NARAGA, FEDERICO NARAGA, GRACE NECOR, MARY JEAN JAURIGUE NONOL, DANILO NOVERO SR., BERNARDO NUÑEZ JR., RICARDO OBTINARIO, JOJO CAESAR OCAMPO, THELMA OLAC, JENNIFER OLARTE, ANTONIO PACE JR., RODRIGO PACHORO, NOLI PADASAY, EVA PALMA, IMELDA PALMA, REUBEN PANCER, CORAZON RAMA PEDROSA, MELODIA PEPITO, IRENE PIAMONTE, GEORGE POPA, MARINA QUIÑONEZ, JOSEPHINE QUITAYEN, CERINA RABOR, HAIDE RAMOS, SABAS RELACION III, ERICSON RELATADO, VICTORINO RELATORRES, RAQUEL RELLON, EDUARDO REVILLIEZA, RONNIE RIOJA, LUNESTO ROJAS, TEODORA DEL ROSARIO, LILIA ROSIL, FLORECITA SALERA, CARLITO SANORIA, DELINO SARDIDO, JOSELITO SARMIENTO, GLADYS JOY SEGISMUNDO, RENATO SELMA, NORMA SULTAN, PRESCILLA TABAR, ANDRES TAC-AN JR., RODOLFO TAJONERA JR., ELVIRA TALON, ALBERTO TAMBA, LILIA TAMBA, SOLITA TAPANG, TERESA VALDEZ, ALEXANDER VILLARBA, DANILO WONG, MANUEL YOLORES, NAPOLEON FEROLIN, AGNES CRISPINO and HILARIO I. MAPAYO, in his capacity as Presiding Judge of Regional Trial Court, Branch 19, Digos, Davao del Sur, Respondents.

    D E C I S I O N


    CORONA, J.:


    Assailed in the instant petition for certiorari under Rule 65 1 of the Rules of Court is the March 15, 1999 order 2 of the Regional Trial Court of Davao del Sur, Branch 19, denying the motion to dismiss of petitioners HLC Construction and Development Corporation and Henry Lopez Chua, on the ground of lack of jurisdiction and a defective certification against non-forum shopping.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    Respondents Emily Homes Subdivision Homeowners Association (EHSHA) and the 150 individual members thereof filed on October 21, 1998 a civil action for breach of contract, damages and attorney’s fees with the Regional Trial Court of Davao del Sur, Branch 19, against petitioners, the developers of low-cost housing units like Emily Homes Subdivision. Respondents alleged that petitioners used substandard materials in the construction of their houses, like coco lumber and termite-infested door jambs. Petitioners furthermore allegedly did not adhere to the house plan specifications because the ceiling lines were sagging and there were "deviations from the plumb line of the mullions, door jams (sic) and concrete columns." 3 Respondents asked petitioners to repair their defective housing units but petitioners failed to do so. Respondents had to repair their defective housing units using their own funds. Hence, they prayed for actual and moral damages arising from petitioners’ breach of the contract plus exemplary damages and attorney’s fees.

    On December 11, 1998, petitioners filed a motion to dismiss the complaint, claiming that it was the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB) and not the trial court which had jurisdiction over the case. They also cited the defective certification on non-forum shopping which was signed only by the president of EHSHA and not by all its members; such defect allegedly warranted the dismissal of the complaint.

    The trial court denied petitioners’ motion to dismiss on the ground that the case fell within its jurisdiction, not with the HLURB, and that respondents’ certificate of non-forum shopping substantially complied with Rule 7, Section 5 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure. It also denied petitioners’ motion for reconsideration.

    Aggrieved, petitioners filed the instant petition for certiorari, alleging that the trial court committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or in excess of jurisdiction in holding (1) that the case between petitioners and respondents fell within the jurisdiction of the civil courts and (2) that respondents had substantially complied with the rules on forum shopping despite the fact that only one of the 150 respondents had signed the certificate therefor.

    Petitioners are correct that the case between them and respondents fell within the jurisdiction of the HLURB, not the trial court. However, we cannot sustain petitioners’ contention that respondents’ certificate of non-forum shopping was defective, thus allegedly warranting the outright dismissal thereof by the trial court.

    The general rule is that the certificate of non-forum shopping must be signed by all the plaintiffs in a case and the signature of only one of them is insufficient. 4 However, the Court has also stressed that the rules on forum shopping were designed to promote and facilitate the orderly administration of justice and thus should not be interpreted with such absolute literalness as to subvert its own ultimate and legitimate objective. 5 The strict compliance with the provisions regarding the certificate of non-forum shopping merely underscores its mandatory nature in that the certification cannot be altogether dispensed with or its requirements completely disregarded. It does not thereby prohibit substantial compliance with its provisions under justifiable circumstances. 6

    Thus in the recent case of Cavile, Et. Al. v. Heirs of Clarita Cavile, Et Al., 7 we ruled:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    [T]he execution by Thomas George Cavile, Sr., in behalf of all the other petitioners of the certificate of non-forum shopping constitutes substantial compliance with the Rules. All the petitioners, being relatives and co-owners of the properties in dispute, share a common interest thereon. They also share a common defense in the complaint for partition filed by respondents. Thus, when they filed the instant petition, they filed it as a collective, raising only one argument to defend their rights over the properties in question. There is sufficient basis, therefore, for Thomas George Cavile, Sr. to speak for and in behalf of his co-petitioners that they have not filed any action or claim involving the same issues in another court or tribunal, nor is there other pending action or claim in another court or tribunal involving the same issues. Moreover, it has been held that the merits of the substantive aspects of the case may be deemed as "special circumstances" for the Court to take cognizance of a petition for review although the certification against forum shopping was executed and signed by only one of the petitioners.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    The above ruling is squarely applicable to the present case. Respondents (who were plaintiffs in the trial court) filed the complaint against petitioners as a group, represented by their homeowners’ association president who was likewise one of the plaintiffs, Mr. Samaon M. Buat. Respondents raised one cause of action which was the breach of contractual obligations and payment of damages. They shared a common interest in the subject matter of the case, being the aggrieved residents of the poorly constructed and developed Emily Homes Subdivision. Due to the collective nature of the case, there was no doubt that Mr. Samaon M. Buat could validly sign the certificate of non-forum shopping in behalf of all his co-plaintiffs. In cases therefore where it is highly impractical to require all the plaintiffs to sign the certificate of non-forum shopping, it is sufficient, in order not to defeat the ends of justice, for one of plaintiffs, acting as representative, to sign the certificate provided that, as in Cavile Et. Al., the plaintiffs share a common interest in the subject matter of the case or filed the case as a "collective," raising only one common cause of action or defense.

    In any case, even if it was correct for the trial court to rule that respondents had substantially complied with the rules on forum shopping and thus, their complaint before it should not be dismissed, we find that the trial court should have nonetheless dismissed the complaint for a more important reason — it had no jurisdiction over it. It is the HLURB, not the trial court, which had jurisdiction over respondents’ complaint. The HLURB 8 is the government agency empowered to regulate the real estate trade and business, having exclusive jurisdiction to hear and decide cases involving:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    (a) unsound real estate business practices;

    (b) claims involving refunds and any other claims filed by subdivision lot or condominium unit buyers against the project owner, developer, dealer, broker or salesman; and

    (c) cases involving specific performance of contractual and statutory obligations filed by buyers of subdivision lots or condominium units against the owner, developer, dealer, broker or salesman. 9

    In this case, respondents’ complaint was for the reimbursement of expenses incurred in repairing their defective housing units constructed by petitioners. Clearly, the HLURB had jurisdiction to hear it. In the case of Arranza v. B. F. Homes, Inc., 10 this Court ruled that:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    . . . the HLURB has jurisdiction over complaints arising from contracts between the subdivision developer and the lot buyer or those aimed at compelling the subdivision developer to comply with its contractual and statutory obligations to make the subdivision a better place to live in. 11

    The fact that the subject matter of the complaint involved defective housing units did not remove the complaint from the HLURB’s jurisdiction. The delivery of habitable houses was petitioners’ responsibility under their contract with respondents. The trial court should have granted the motion to dismiss filed by petitioners so that the issues therein could be expeditiously heard and resolved by the HLURB.

    WHEREFORE, the petition is hereby GRANTED. The March 15, 1999 order of the Regional Trial Court of Davao del Sur, Branch 19, denying the petitioners’ motion to dismiss, is ANNULLED and Civil Case No. 3731 before it (trial court) is hereby DISMISSED for lack of jurisdiction. This is without prejudice to the re-filing of the respondents’ complaint in the HLURB.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    SO ORDERED.

    Puno, Panganiban, Sandoval-Gutierrez and Carpio Morales, JJ., concur.

    Endnotes:



    1. Given due course by this Court on September 27, 2000; Rollo, p. 51.

    2. Penned by Judge Hilario I. Mapayo.

    3. Complaint, Rollo, pp. 20, 25.

    4. Loquias v. Office of the Ombudsman, 388 SCRA 62 [2000]; Docena v. Lapesura, 355 SCRA 658 [2001].

    5. BPI v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 146923, April 30, 2003; Cavile Et. Al., v. Heirs of Clarita Cavile, Et Al., G.R. No. 148635, April 1, 2003; Twin Towers Condominium Corporation v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 123552, February 27, 2003.

    6. Cavile Et. Al., v. Heirs of Clarita Cavile, Et Al., G.R. No. 148635, April 1, 2003.

    7. Ibid.

    8. Formerly the Human Settlements Regulatory Commission (HSRC), it was renamed Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB) by virtue of Executive Order No. 90 dated December 17, 1986. The regulatory and quasi judicial functions of the National Housing Authority (NHA) were transferred to it by virtue of Executive Order No. 648 dated February 7, 1981.

    9. Presidential Decree No. 957 (The Subdivision and Condominium Buyers’ Protective Decree), as amended by Presidential Decree No. 1344 (Empowering the National Housing Authority to Issue Writ of Execution in the Enforcement of its Decision under Presidential Decree No. 957).

    10. 333 SCRA 799, 817 [2000].

    11. Ibid. at p. 814.

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


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