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

     
    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    THIRD DIVISION

    [G.R. No. 153885. September 24, 2003.]

    LEPANTO CONSOLIDATED MINING COMPANY, Petitioner, v. WMC RESOURCES INTERNATIONAL PTY. LTD., and WMC (PHILIPPINES), INC., Respondents.

    [G.R. No. 156214. September 24, 2003.]

    LEPANTO CONSOLIDATED MINING COMPANY, Petitioner, v. WMC RESOURCES INTERNATIONAL, PTY. LTD., WMC (PHILIPPINES), INC., SOUTHCOT MINING CORPORATION, TAMPAKAN MINING CORPORATION and SAGITTARIUS MINES, INC., Respondents.

    D E C I S I O N


    CARPIO MORALES, J.:


    Elevated to this Court are twin petitions for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court which involve substantially the same parties and the same subject matter, hence, have been consolidated.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    The first case, G.R. No. 153885, is an appeal from the Court of Appeals Decision of February 22, 2002 in CA-G.R. Sp No. 65496, "WMC Resources Int’l. Pty. Ltd., and WMC (Philippines), Inc. v. Hon. Francisco B. Ibay, in his capacity as Presiding Judge, Regional Trial Court of Makati City, Branch 135 and Lepanto Consolidated Mining Company," and Resolution of June 6, 2002 denying reconsideration of said decision.

    The second case, G.R. No. 156214, is an appeal from the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Makati City, Branch 135 Orders dated September 9, 2002 and November 22, 2002 dismissing Civil Case No. 01-087, "Lepanto Consolidated Mining Company v. "WMC Resources Int’l. Pty. Ltd., and WMC (Philippines), Inc., Southcot Mining Corporation, Tampakan Mining Corporation and Sagittarius Mines, Inc."cralaw virtua1aw library

    The antecedents of the cases are as follows:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    In a contract denominated as "Tampakan Option Agreement" dated April 25, 1991, 1 WMC Resources International Pty. Ltd. (WMC), "a wholly owned subsidiary of Western Mining Corporation Holdings Limited, a publicly listed major Australian mining and exploration company," through its local subsidiary Western Mining Corporation (Philippines), Inc. (WMCP), a corporation organized under Philippine laws, acquired the mining claims in Tampakan, South Cotabato of Southcot Mining Corporation, Tampakan Mining Corporation, and Sagittarius Mines, Inc. (Tampakan Companies).

    The "Tampakan Option Agreement" was amended by subsequent agreements including Amendatory Agreement dated July 15, 1994 2 under which the Tampakan Companies were given preferential option to acquire the shares of WMC in WMCP and Hillcrest Inc. in the event it (WMC) decided to sell them.

    On March 22, 1995, then President Ramos on behalf of the Republic of the Philippines, entered into a Financial and Technical Assistance Agreement (FTAA) 3 with WMCP for the large scale exploration, development and commercial exploitation of mineral resources in 99,387 hectares of lands in South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Davao Del Sur and North Cotabato.

    On July 12, 2000, WMC, by a Sale and Purchase Agreement, 4 sold to herein petitioner Lepanto Consolidated Mining Company its shares of stock in WMCP and Hillcrest, Inc. for $10,000,000.00. The sale was subject to certain conditions including the Tampakan Companies’ failure to accept WMCP’s offer to sell the same shares, under the companies’ right of first refusal provided for in the "Tampakan Option Agreement" and its amendments.

    By letter of July 13, 2000, 5 WMCP tendered to the Tampakan Companies its offer for the latter to purchase WMC’s shares of stock in it (WMCP) and Hillcrest, Inc.

    In the meantime or by letter of August 28, 2000, 6 petitioner requested the approval by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary of the transfer to and acquisition by it of WMCP’s FTAA on account of its (petitioner’s) purchase of WMC’s shares of stock in WMCP, which approval of transfer was required in the FTAA agreement forged between then President Ramos and WMCP.

    As the Tampakan Companies later availed of their preferential right under the "Tampakan Option Agreement," 7 a Sale and Purchase Agreement 8 was concluded on October 6, 2000 between WMC and the Tampakan Companies over the same shares of stock priorly purchased by petitioner.

    On October 12, 2000, the Tampakan Companies notified the Director of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) of the DENR of the exercise of their preemptive right to buy WMC’s equity in WMCP and Hillcrest, Inc., seeking at the same time the MGB Director’s formal expression of support for the stock transfer transaction. 9

    Petitioner, getting wind of the Sale and Purchase Agreement between WMC and Tampakan Companies, wrote, by letter of October 13, 2000, 10 the DENR Secretary about the invalidity of said agreement and reiterated its request for the approval of its acquisition of the disputed shares. The MGB accordingly informed the Tampakan Companies of petitioner’s position on the matter and required the submission of a comment thereto. 11

    WMCP and WMC, respondents herein, by letters to the MGB, proffered their side. Several other letters or position papers were filed by the parties with the MGB or the DENR.

    The Tampakan Companies later opted to acquire the disputed shares of stock through Sagittarius Mines, Inc. WMC and Tampakan Companies thus entered into a Sale and Purchase Agreement dated January 10, 2001 12 which paved the way for the forging of two deeds of absolute sale of the shares of stock, those of WMC in WMCP and in Hillcrest, Inc., both in favor of Sagittarius Mines, Inc. 13

    On January 22, 2001, petitioner filed before the Makati RTC a complaint against herein respondents WMC, WMCP, and the three corporations comprising the Tampakan Companies, for specific performance, annulment of contracts, contractual interference and injunction (Civil Case No. 01-087). The suit principally sought the enforcement of the July 12, 2000 Sale and Purchase Agreement between petitioner and WMC and the consequent nullification of the latter’s agreements with the Tampakan Companies.

    Therein defendants-herein respondents filed before the Makati RTC a Joint Motion to Dismiss 14 petitioner’s complaint on the ground that the court was without jurisdiction over the subject matter of the case; that petitioner’s complaint had no cause of action; that petitioner was guilty of forum shopping due to the pendency of its claim with the MGB; and that petitioner also failed to exhaust administrative remedies.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    Branch 135 of the Makati RTC denied herein respondents’ Motion to Dismiss as it did respondents’ Motion for Reconsideration. 15 Hence, respondents lodged on July 6, 2001 a special civil action for certiorari and prohibition 16 (CA-G.R. SP No. 65496) with the Court of Appeals which was granted by February 22, 2002 Decision, 17 the dispositive part of which reads:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    WHEREFORE, the petition for certiorari is hereby GRANTED. The assailed Order dated March 21, 2001 and May 2, 2001 are hereby declared null and void and SET ASIDE. Respondent court is directed to desist from proceeding with Civil Case No. 01-087 and to dismiss the same on ground of forum shopping committed by private Respondent. (Emphasis supplied)

    Petitioner’s motion for reconsideration of the appellate court’s judgment was denied by Resolution of June 6, 2002, 18 hence, it filed on June 28, 2002 a petition for review on certiorari 19 before this Court (G.R. No. 153885), the first case subject of the present decision.

    In the meantime, Branch 135 of the Makati RTC, upon receipt of the above-said February 22, 2002 Decision of the Court of Appeals, dismissed petitioner’s complaint-Civil Case No. 01-087 by Order of March 1, 2002. 20 On petitioner’s motion, the trial court, by Order of April 23, 2002, 21 suspended the effectivity of its March 1, 2002 Order in light of the pendency of petitioner’s motion for reconsideration of the decision of the Court of Appeals.

    The appellate court subsequently, as reflected above, denied petitioner’s motion for reconsideration by Resolution of June 6, 2002 following which the trial court issued its Order of September 9, 2002 22 dismissing Civil Case No. 02-087, it holding that petitioner’s appeal from the appellate court decision before this Court (G.R. No. 153885, the first case) does not interrupt the course of said civil case unless a temporary restraining order or a writ of preliminary injunction is issued against it, citing Section 7 of Rule 65, Rules of Court.

    Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration of the September 9, 2002 Order of the trial court which it denied by Order of November 22, 2002, 23 it holding that the dismissal of petitioner’s complaint was merely in compliance with the Court of Appeals ruling and is deemed final until set aside by the Supreme Court. From these Orders, petitioner appealed to this Court by petition for review on certiorari 24 (G.R. No. 156214), the second case subject of the present decision.

    Petitioner’s appeal in the first case is premised on the following grounds:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    I. THE COURT OF APPEALS GRAVELY ERRED IN FINDING THAT PETITIONER WAS GUILTY OF FORUM SHOPPING. THE ELEMENTS OF FORUM SHOPPING ARE NOT PRESENT IN THE CASE AT BAR.

    II. THE COURT OF APPEALS GRAVELY ERRED IN NOT DISMISSING THE PETITION FOR CERTIORARI FOR LACK OF PROPER VERIFICATION.

    Petitioner claims that the issues/matters raised before the RTC of Makati and those before the MGB are not dependent on each other. It argues that in bringing its July 12, 2000 Sale and Purchase Agreement with WMC to the knowledge of the DENR, it was merely requesting for the consent of the Secretary to the transfer of WMCP’s FTAA to it, it not having raised any contentious issues before said office; and that the request merely called for MGB to review the respective financial and technical qualifications of both petitioner and respondent Tampakan Companies to determine who between them is fit to become the transferee of the FTAA.

    With respect to the case before the RTC, petitioner asserts that what are principally raised therein are the non-performance by respondent WMC of its obligations to petitioner under their contract of sale and the validity of WMC’s subsequent agreements with the Tampakan Companies.

    Petitioner adds that the MGB is not being made to exercise quasi-judicial power or function but only recommendatory or administrative functions in contrast to what the RTC is being called upon to do.

    Petitioner thus concludes that there could be no forum shopping in light of the difference in the nature of the proceedings before the two fora.

    Finally, petitioner underscores that the petition brought by respondents before the Court of Appeals should have been dismissed for not having been properly verified by WMC.

    Petitioner’s ratiocinations do not persuade. It is clear from the proceedings before the DENR, specifically before the MGB, that the issue of which — between petitioner and respondent Tampakan Companies — possesses the better right to acquire the mining rights, claims and interests held by WMC through its local subsidiary WMCP, especially with respect to the 1995 FTAA, had been brought to the fore. The MGB cannot just assess the qualifications of petitioner and of the Tampakan Companies as potential transferee or assignee of the rights and obligations of WMCP under the FTAA without also resolving the issue of which has priority of right to become one.

    True, the questioned agreements of sale between petitioner and WMC on one hand and between WMC and the Tampakan Companies on the other pertain to transfer of shares of stock from one entity to another. But said shares of stock represent ownership of mining rights or interest in mining agreements. Hence, the power of the MGB to rule on the validity of the questioned agreements of sale, which was raised by petitioner before the DENR, is inextricably linked to the very nature of such agreements over which the MGB has jurisdiction under the law. Unavoidably, there is identity of reliefs that petitioner seeks from both the MGB and the RTC.

    Forum shopping exists when both actions involve the same transactions, same essential facts and circumstances and raise identical causes of actions, subject matter, and issues. 25 Such elements are evidently present in both the proceedings before the MGB and before the trial court. The case instituted with the RTC was thus correctly ordered dismissed by the appellate court on the ground of forum shopping. Besides, not only did petitioner commit forum shopping but it also failed to exhaust administrative remedies by opting to go ahead in seeking reliefs from the court even while those same reliefs were appropriately awaiting resolution by the MGB.

    As for petitioner’s assailing of respondents’ petition for certiorari before the Court of Appeals for not being properly verified by WMC, the same fails. The verification and certification against forum shopping of the petition was signed by a duly authorized officer of WMC in the person of Terence Gardner, Chairman of the Board and President of WMCP, who was the signing representative of WMC in the July 12, 2000 Sale and Purchase Agreement with petitioner.

    With respect to the second case (G.R. No. 156214), this Court sets aside the appealed Orders of the trial court dismissing Civil Case No. 01-087. The orders are patently erroneous for the appellate court’s decision directing the dismissal of the said civil case had not yet become final and executory, the appeal therefrom by petitioner to this Court-subject of the herein first case having been duly perfected.

    WHEREFORE, judgment is hereby rendered in 1) G.R. No. 153885 AFFIRMING the assailed Decision of the Court of Appeals, and 2) G.R. No. 156214 SETTING ASIDE the assailed Orders of Branch 135 of the Makati Regional Trial Court.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    SO ORDERED.

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

    Endnotes:



    1. Rollo at 153–171, G.R. No. 153885.

    2 Id at 195–213.

    3. Id. at 65–121.

    4. Rollo at 44–64, G.R. No. 153885.

    5. Id. at 292.

    6. Id at 293.

    7. Id. at 295.

    8. Id. at 300–308.

    9. Rollo at 296–299, G.R. No. 153885.

    10. Id. at 310.

    11. Id. at 350.

    12. Rollo at 398–420, G.R. No. 153885.

    13. Id. at 433–436.

    14. Rollo at 25–53, G.R. No. 156214.

    15. Id. at 54–58.

    16. Rollo at 471–508, G.R. No. 153885.

    17. Id. at 33–41.

    18. Id. at 42–43.

    19. Id. at 3–32.

    20. Rollo at 80, G.R. No. 156214.

    21. Id. at 95–96.

    22. Rollo at 19–21, G.R. No. 156214.

    23 Id. at 22–24.

    24. Id. at 3–18.

    25. Valencia v. Court of Appeals, 263 SCRA 275 [1996].

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


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