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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
 

   
February-2006 Jurisprudence                 

  • A.C. No. 6353 - SPS. DAVID AND MARISA WILLIAMS v. ATTY. RUDY T. ENRIQUEZ

  • A.C. No. 5653 - JOHN SIY LIM v. ATTY. CARMELITO A. MONTANO

  • A.C. No. 6651 - EDUARDO P. MENESES v. ATTY. RODOLFO P. MACALINO

  • A.C. No. 6712 - CRISANTA JIMENEZ v. ATTY. JOEL JIMENEZ

  • A.C. No. 6963 - VICTORINA BAUTISTA v. ATTY. SERGIO E. BERNABE

  • A.C. No. 6971 - QUIRINO TOMLIN II v. ATTY. SALVADOR N. MOYA II

  • A.C. No. 6973 - ROBERT FRANCIS F. MARONILLA, ET AL. v. ATTYS. EFREN N. JORDA, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. 04-6-313-RTC - LETTER OF ATTY. SOCORRO M. VILLAMER-BASILLA ETC.

  • A.M. No. 05-11-320-MCTC - REPORT ON THE FINANCIAL AUDIT ETC.

  • A.M. No. MTJ-02-1465 - CONSUELO VDA. DE CASTRO VS. JUDGE ALFONSO R. CAWALING ETC.

  • A.M. No. MTJ-02-1440 - OFFICE OF THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR v. JUDGE RICARDO P. LIWANAG, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. MTJ-05-1608 - BERNARDO P. BETOY, SR. v. JUDGE MAMERTO Y. COLIFLORES

  • A.M. No. MTJ-05-1609 - TRINIDAD O. LACHICA v. JUDGE ROSABELLA M. TORMIS

  • A.M. No. MTJ-05-1615 - ERLINDA P. VARCAS v. JUDGE RAFAEL P. OROLA, JR., ETC.

  • A.M. NO. P-04-1786 - ADELAIDA ESCOBAR VDA. DE LOPEZ v. ATTY. ANALIZA M. LUNA, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. P-04-1822 - SINFOROSO P. ANG VS. ARNIEL E. CRUZ ETC.

  • A.M. No. P-05-1987 - DR. EDWIN FONGHE, ET AL. v. CYNTHIA BAJARIAS-CARTILLA ETC.

  • A.M. No. P-06-2110 & A.M. No. P-03-1692 - SPS. ROMULO AND ESTIFANA ARELLANO v. CLERK OF COURT JESUS P. MANINGAS, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. P-06-2115 - ANGELES MANGUBAT v. JOEL FRANCIS C. CAMINO ETC.

  • A.M. No. RTJ-03-1796 - GARY P. ROSAURO v. JUDGE ALFREDO E. KALLOS ETC.

  • A.M. No. RTJ-05-1950 - RE: JUDICIAL AUDIT ETC.

  • G.R. No. 125283 - PAN PACIFIC INDUSTRIAL SALES CO., INC., v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 130260 - HILARIA RAMOS VDA. DE BRIGINO v. DOMINADOR RAMOS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 130871 - FIL-ESTATE MANAGEMENT INC., ET AL. v. GEORGE H. TRONO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 132284 - TELENGTAN BROTHERS & SONS, INC. v. UNITED STATES LINES, INC. ET AL .

  • G.R. No. 134154 - SPS. PEDRO M. REGALADO, ET AL. v. ABRAHAM M. REGALADO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 134617 - SPS. LUIS K.S. LIM AND CHUA SIAM ETC, ET AL. v. THE COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 134728 - RICARDO O. MONTINOLA, JR, ET AL. v. REPUBLIC PLANTERS BANK, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 138381 & G.R. No. 141625 - Government Service Insurance System v. Commission On Audit

  • G.R. No. 138033 - RENATO BALEROS, JR. v. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES

  • G.R. No. 138592 - ELSA TAGUNICAR, ET AL. v. LORNA EXPRESS CREDIT CORP.

  • G.R. No. 140102 - UNION INDUSTRIES, INC. v. GASPAR VALES, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 143185 - NESTOR MENDIZABEL, ET AL. v. FERNANDO APAO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 143361 - PAULO BALLESTEROS v. ROLANDO ABION

  • G.R. No. 144723 - LARRY ESTACION v. NOE BERNARDO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 143487 - TOMMY FERRER v. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES

  • G.R. No. 144732 - ROLANDO LIMPO v. COURT OF APPEALS, AT AL.

  • G.R. No. 145938 - OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN v. THE HONORABLE AUGUSTO V. BREVA, ET AL.

  • G.R. NOS. 146653-54 and G.R. NOS. 147407-08 - WESTMONT PHARMACEUTICALS, INC., ET AL. v. RICARDO C. SAMANIEGO

  • G.R. No. 146818 - JAN-DEC CONSTRUCTION CORPORATION v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 146853 - SALVADOR COMILANG v. FRANCISCO BURCENA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 147989 - ROLANDO CLAVECILLA v. TERESITO QUITAIN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 149118 - FLAVIANA LIM CAJAYON, ET AL. v. SPS. SANTIAGO AND FORTUNATA BATUYONG

  • G.R. No. 149138 - TPI PHILIPPINES CEMENT CORPORATION, ET AL. v. BENEDICTO A. CAJUCOM VII

  • G.R. No. 149449 - DANIEL C. VALENZUELA, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 150910 - BIENVENIDO GONZALUDO v. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES

  • G.R. No. 151376 - FILOMENO G. GONZALES v. QUIRINO G. GONZALES ETC.

  • G.R. No. 152133 - ROLLIE CALIMUTAN v. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 153758 - FELICITAS YCONG, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 152644 - JOHN ERIC LONEY, ET AL. v. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES

  • G.R. No. 153860 - VALERIANO B. CANO v. SPS. VICENTE AND SUSAN JUMAWAN

  • G.R. No. 153979 - REGINO SY CATIIS v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 154286 - MAGDALENA CORU A, ET AL. v. SATURNINO CINAMIN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 154665 - MANUEL LEYCANO, JR. v. COMMISSION ON AUDIT

  • G.R. No. 155027 - THE VETERANS FEDERATION OF THE PHILIPPINES ETC. v. HON. ANGELO T. REYES, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 155076 - LUIS MARCOS P. LAUREL v. HON. ZEUS C. ABROGAR, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 156402 - SPS. ALFREDO MENDOZA, ET AL. v. MARIA CORONEL ETC.

  • G.R. No. 157307 - Agustin Rivera, et al. v. Nemesio David

  • G.R. No. 157696-97 - MARICALUM MINING CORPORATION v. HON. ARTURO D. BRION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 157977 - EDUARDO TOLENTINO RODRIGUEZ, ET AL. v. THE HONORABLE PRESIDING JUDGE, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 158613-14 - EMMANUEL T. PONTEJOS v. OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 158149 - BOSTON BANK OF THE PHILIPPINES v. PERLA P. MANALO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 158791 - CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION v. DEPARTMENT OF BUDGET AND MANAGEMENT

  • G.R. No. 158895 - SPS. THELMA AND GREGORIO, ET AL. v. HEIRS OF AUGUSTO F. SALAS, JR. ETC.

  • G.R. No. 159200 - PHILIPPINE PORTS AUTHORITY, ET AL. v. COMMISSION ON AUDIT, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 159654 - NICANOR T. SANTOS DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION v. HON. SECRETARY DAR, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 159296 - ALLGEMEINE-BAU-CHEMIE PHILS., INC., v. METROPOLITAN BANK TRUST CO., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 159660 - SPOUSES ANTONIO AND SOLIDAD DIVINAGRACIA, ET AL. v. LEONIDISA N. COMETA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 159949 - VADM. MARIANO J. DUMANGCAS, JR. v. HON. SIMEON V. MARCELO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 160016 - ABACUS SECURITIES CORPORATION v. RUBEN U. AMPIL

  • G.R. No. 160065 - FELINO EBREO, ET AL. v. GIL EBREO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 160445 - JOSE TEOFILO T. MERCADO, ET AL. v. SECURITY BANK CORPORATION

  • G.R. No. 160652 - HON. TOMAS N. JOSON III, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 160858 - ROLITO RABANAL v. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 160871 - TRIAD SECURITY & ALLIED SERVICES, INC, ET AL. v. SILVESTRE ORTEGA, JR., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 160922 - JEANY-VI G. KIANI v. THE BUREAU OF IMMIGRATION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 161836 - MANILA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT AUTHORITY, ET AL. v. JOAQUIN RODRIGUEZ

  • G.R. No. 163087 - SILAHIS INTERNATIONAL HOTEL, INC., ET AL. v. ROGELIO S. SOLUTA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 163935 - NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF ELECTRICITY CONSUMERS FOR REFORMS (NASECORE), ET AL. v. ENERGY REGULATORY COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 164171 - HON. EXECUTIVE SECRETARY, ET AL. v. SOUTHWING HEAVY INDUSTRIES, INC., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 164317 - ALFREDO CHING v. THE SECRETARY OF JUSTICE, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 164797 - JOSEFINA M. CRUZ, ET AL. v. THE HON. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 164953 - JOHN JOSEPH LUMANLAW Y BULINAO v. HON. EDUARDO B. PERALTA JR. ETC.

  • G.R. No. 165265 - MARIBEL B. JARDELEZA v. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES

  • G.R. No. 165341 - GILBERTO M. DE LOS REYES v. THE HONORABLE SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 165403 - INTERNATIONAL EXCHANGE BANK v. HON. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 165546 - SOCIAL SECURITY SYSTEM v. ROSANNA H. AGUAS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 165570 - EDWIN SALUSIANO MATUTINA v. PHILIPPINE NATIONAL BANK

  • G.R. No. 165580 - MONEYTREND LENDING CORPORATION, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 165606 - DEUTSCHE BANK MANILA v. SPS. CHUA YOK SEE, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 166429 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, ET AL. v. HON. HENRICK F. GINGOYON, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 165644 - MANUEL B. ALORIA ETC. v. ESTRELLITA B. CLEMENTE

  • G.R. No. 166479 - RODOLFO C. VELASCO v. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES

  • G.R. No. 167234 - TEODORO C. BORLONGAN v. RAFAEL B. BUENAVENTURA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 167405 - ANA JOYCE S. REYES v. HON. CESAR M. SOTERO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 167412 - JUANITA NAVAL v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 167900 - SPS CRISOLOGO & PRISCILLA O. ABINES v. BANK OF THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 168052 - POSEIDON FISHING/TERRY DE JESUS v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 168101 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. GREGORIO CORPUZ Y ESPIRITU

  • G.R. No. 168237 - THELMA BUDUHAN v. CURSON PAKURAO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 168267 - HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES ETC. v. ATTY. VICTORIA V. LOANZON

  • G.R. No. 168696 - MA. LUTGARDA P. CALLEJA, ET AL. v. JOSE PIERRE A. PANDAY, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 168719 - PHILIPPINE CARPET EMPLOYEES ASSOCIATION ETC. v. HON. PATRICIA STO. TOMAS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 169091 - DATU EDUARDO AMPO v. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 168237 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. EDGARDO BARCENA Y POCA

  •  





     
     

    G.R. No. 151376 - FILOMENO G. GONZALES v. QUIRINO G. GONZALES ETC.

      G.R. No. 151376 - FILOMENO G. GONZALES v. QUIRINO G. GONZALES ETC.

    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    FIRST DIVISION

    [G.R. NO. 151376 : February 22, 2006]

    FILOMENO G. GONZALES, Petitioner, v. QUIRINO G. GONZALES, represented by EUFEMIA GONZALES, Respondent.

    D E C I S I O N

    CHICO-NAZARIO, J.:

    The Case

    Before us is a Petition for Review on Certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court, seeking to reverse and set aside, in part, the Decision1 dated 26 August 1999, and the Resolution2 dated 08 January 2002, both promulgated by the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-G.R. SP No. 47348, in so far as the aforesaid decision 1) reversed and set aside the portion of the Order3 dated 11 November 1997 of Honorable Apolinario D. Bruselas, Jr., presiding judge of Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Quezon City, Branch 93, dismissing the appeal filed by herein respondent Quirino G. Gonzales for failure to file the Memorandum of Appeal within the reglementary period provided for under Sec. 7 (b) of Rule 40 of the Rules of Civil Procedure; and 2) directed the RTC to give due course to respondent's appeal and decide the case based on the records.

    The Facts

    The present petition stemmed from a complaint4 for ejectment dated 11 December 1995 filed by herein petitioner Filomeno G. Gonzales against herein respondent Quirino G. Gonzales before the Metropolitan Trial Court (MTC) of Quezon City, Branch 35, docketed as Civil Case No. 35-14327.

    During the pendency of the case, on 30 April 1996, respondent Quirino B. Gonzales passed away. His wife, Eufemia Gonzales, was substituted in his stead as party defendant.

    In a Motion5 dated 10 April 1997, respondent moved to suspend the proceedings before the MTC on the ground that she instituted before the RTC of Quezon City, Branch 84, a case for annulment of title, docketed as Civil Case No. Q-97-30360, against petitioner.

    In an Order6 dated 28 April 1997, the MTC denied the aforementioned motion "as suits for annulment of sale and title does (sic) not abate ejectment actions respecting the same property (citations omitted);" and reiterated its earlier order submitting said case for decision.

    In a Decision7 dated 01 August 1997, the MTC rendered judgment in favor of petitioner, the dispositive part of which states that:

    WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing, judgment is hereby rendered in favor of the plaintiff Filomeno Gonzales against the defendant Eufemia Gonzales ordering the latter the following:

    1) Ordering the defendant Eufemia Gonzales, and all persons claiming rights under her to vacate and surrender peacefully the subject premises to the plaintiff;

    2) Ordering the defendant to pay rentals from November 22, 1995 up to the present in the amount of P5,000.00 a month until defendants have vacated the leased premises, as reasonable compensation of the use of the premises;

    3) To pay the amount of P10,000.00 as attorney's fees, and

    4) To pay the cost of suit.8

    Respondent seasonably appealed9 the foregoing decision to the RTC, which docketed the appeal as Civil Case No. Q-97-32061.

    In an Order dated 18 September 1997, the RTC of Quezon City, Branch 93, directed respondent to "x x x submit a memorandum which shall briefly discuss the errors imputed to the lower court, x x x."10 Further, it warned the party that "[f]ailure on the part of the defendant-appellant to file a memorandum as directed x x x shall be a cause for the dismissal of the appeal."11

    Instead of filing the necessary memorandum of appeal, however, respondent filed a motion to consolidate12 the present case with the one she instituted against petitioner for annulment of title filed before the RTC of Quezon City, Branch 84, docketed as Civil Case No. Q-97-30360.

    On 29 October 1997, petitioner filed a Motion for Execution Pending Appeal13 essentially moving for the immediate execution of the appealed judgment of the MTC, as provided for under Section 1914, Rule 70 Rules of Court. The motion alleged as basis respondent's failure to: 1) file a supresedeas bond; and 2) periodically deposit the rentals falling due during the pendency of the appeal.

    On 31 October 1997, the motion to consolidate the two abovementioned cases was, denied15 for lack of merit.

    On 07 November 1997, the court a quo (RTC) ordered16 the issuance of the writ of execution.

    On 11 November 1997, the court a quo then directed17 the dismissal of respondent's appeal for failing to file the necessary memorandum of appeal, to wit:

    Before this court is an Appeal from a decision rendered by the Metropolitan Trial Court, Branch 35, Quezon City, in an action for Ejectment filed by defendant-appellant through counsel.

    A perusal of the record reveals that defendant-appellant had failed to comply with the court order dated 18 September 1997 directing compliance with Section 7 (b), Rule 40 of the 1997 Rules of Court.

    In view thereof, the court hereby orders the dismissal of the appeal.ςηαñrοblεš νιr†υαl lαω lιbrαrÿ

    On 03 December 1997, respondent filed an Omnibus Urgent Motion for Reconsideration.18 In said omnibus motion, she prayed for the reconsideration of the 07 and 11 November 1997 Orders of the court a quo. As regards the 07 November 1997 Order directing the issuance of a writ of execution, respondent's counsel argued that respondent's failure to deposit a supersedeas bond was because of the exorbitant amount earlier fixed by the MTC for which said counsel filed a motion to fix supersedeas bond. As regards the 11 November 1997 Order of Dismissal, respondent's counsel explained the he inadvertently failed to file said appeal memorandum due to his "voluminous" workload. Respondent's counsel prayed that he be allowed to submit the required appeal memorandum; or, since he had already fully discussed respondent's position in the memorandum19 filed before the MTC, that he be allowed to just adopt the same respondent's memorandum of appeal.

    On 26 November 1997, the court a quo issued the writ of execution.20

    On 10 March 1998, the court a quo denied21 respondent's Omnibus Urgent Motion for Reconsideration dated 03 December 1997, for lack of merit and for being merely dilatory. The court also noted the branch Sheriff's Return indicating implementation of the issued writ of execution.

    On 13 March 1998, petitioner filed an Omnibus Motion22 praying that the court command the branch Sheriff to fully enforce and execute the 01 August 1997 Decision of the MTC; and for the court to also deny and declare respondent's Omnibus Urgent Motion for Reconsideration as nothing but a dilatory tactic.

    On 20 March 1998, an Order23 was issued partially denying the foregoing omnibus motion for being moot in view of the 10 March 1998 Order. The court a quo, however, granted the prayer to command the deputy sheriff to fully enforce and execute the MTC decision considering that the money judgment aspect of the decision does not appear to have been enforced and executed.

    On the same date, 20 March 1998, respondent filed a Motion for Reconsideration of the Order of the Honorable Court Dated 10 (March) 199824 praying for the reconsideration of the order of the court a quo denying her Omnibus Urgent Motion for Reconsideration.

    The preceding motion was likewise denied25 by the court a quo for lack of merit and for being in the nature of a second motion for reconsideration, which is a prohibited pleading.

    Undaunted, respondent subsequently filed a Petition for Review on Certiorari26 before the CA essentially seeking to annul and set aside: 1) the 10 March 1998 Order of the court a quo denying her Omnibus Urgent Motion for Reconsideration; and 2) the 27 March 1998 Order denying her second motion for reconsideration.

    In her petition, respondent assigned two errors allegedly committed by the court a quo: 1) that "the court a quo erred and exercised grave abuse of its discretion in granting execution pending appeal there being a pending motion to fix Supersedeas (sic) bond which is still unresolved by the Court;" and 2) that "the court a quo erred and gravely abused its discretion in dismissing the appeal there being a prayer on the part of the defendants-appellants that instead of filing an appeal brief defendants-appellants will instead adopt the position paper filed in the Metropolitan Trial Court as their brief on appeal."

    Six days later, or on 14 April 1998, respondent's counsel filed a Manifestation and Motion to Admit Certified True Xerox Copies of Annexes27 alleging that he inadvertently failed to file the certified true copies of the annexes; and moved that he be allowed to submit the same.

    On 26 August 1999, the CA promulgated the assailed Decision,28 the dispositive part of which states thus:

    WHEREFORE, the instant petition is partially GRANTED. Accordingly, the Order dated November 7, 1997 is hereby AFFIRMED and the Order dated November 11, 1997 is hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE. The public respondent is directed to decide the case on the basis of the records of the case.

    The motion for reconsideration filed by petitioner was subsequently denied by the CA in its assailed Resolution dated 08 January 2002.

    Hence, this petition.

    The Issues

    Petitioner now comes to this Court via a Petition for Review on Certiorari under Rule 45 of the Revised Rules of Court predicated on the following errors.

    I.

    THE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN GRANTING DUE COURSE TO THE PETITION AS IT WAS FILED OUT OF TIME, AND THERE WAS NO COMPLIANCE WITH MANDATORY REQUIREMENTS; and

    II.

    ASSUMING ARGUENDO THAT THE APPEAL WAS PROPERLY ALLOWED, THE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN SETTING ASIDE THE REGIONAL TRIAL COURT'S DISMISSAL OF THE APPEAL FILED BEFORE IT BY RESPONDENT, DUE TO RESPONDENT'S FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH THE ORDER OF THE REGIONAL TRIAL COURT TO FILE A MEMORANDUM.

    Simply put, the present petition raises as a primary issue the question of whether or not the CA committed reversible error in reversing and setting aside the order of the court a quo dismissing respondent's appeal for failure to file the memorandum of appeal. And, in the event that said order of dismissal is proper, whether or not the CA committed reversible error in granting due course to respondent's petition despite its numerous procedural defects.

    The Court's Ruling

    We grant the petition.

    Petitioner faults the appellate court for overlooking "x x x the significant fact that respondent manifested her intention to adopt the Position Paper filed before the Metropolitan Trial Court as her memorandum in the Regional Trial Court, only after the Regional Trial Court had already issued an order dismissing respondent's appeal and long after the period to file a Memorandum on (sic) Appeal had expired."29 For such reason, in issuing said order, the court a quo only acted in accord with and in compliance to, the clear and mandatory provisions of the Rules of Court.

    Further, petitioner reduces respondent's manifestation as a mere afterthought; an attempt at circumventing the effects of the Rules.

    Respondent, on the other hand, counters that there is nothing in the Rules of Court that prohibits a party to adopt pleadings and arguments which were already embodied in the record, fully discussed and supported by evidence, the appeal in the RTC being a review of evidence presented before the MTC. She went on further to rationalize that "(r)ules must not be strictly construed to defeat substantial right of the litigants. The rules must be interpreted liberally."

    In passing judgment on the petition, the CA agreed in respondent's assertion that the court a quo erred in dismissing her appeal considering that she has opted to adopt her position paper filed before the MTC as her memorandum of appeal.

    Moreover, the CA ratiocinated that "[n]othing in the Rules of Court prohibits adoption of some pleading and arguments which are already embodied in the record, fully discussed and supported by evidence, the instant appeal being a review of evidences (sic) presented before the Metropolitan Trial Court." Adding further, that "[a]ppeal from the Metropolitan Trial Court to the Regional Trial Court is merely a review of the records, facts and evidence submitted (sic) before the Metropolitan Trial Court, hence, if the parties desire to adopt (the) same argument and evidence submitted before the Metropolitan Trial Court the appellate court may consider the same facts and evidence adopted by the party, the Regional Trial Court being an appellate court and no new evidence will be presented in the appeal."

    The issue of whether or not the CA committed reversible error in reversing and setting aside the order of the court a quo dismissing respondent's appeal for failing to file the memorandum of appeal is best answered by the Rules of Court, specifically, Section 7 (b) of Rule 40 of the 1997 Revised Rules of Court, to wit:

    SEC. 7. Procedure in the Regional Trial Court.'

    x x x x.

    (b) Within fifteen (15) days from such notice, it shall be the duty of the appellant to submit a memorandum which shall briefly discuss the errors imputed to the lower court, a copy of which shall be furnished by him to the adverse party. Within fifteen (15) days from receipt of the appellant's Memorandum, the appellee may file his memorandum. Failure of the appellant to file a memorandum shall be a ground for dismissal of the appeal.

    x x x x. [Emphasis supplied.]

    The present fundamental issue vexing the parties has already been squarely addressed by this Court in the case of Enriquez v. Court of Appeals.30 In said case, we had the occasion to elucidate on the meaning and consequence of the aforequoted provision. For this reason, we deem it apt to quote in toto pertinent portions of the ponencia, viz:

    The use of the word "shall" in a statute or rule expresses what is mandatory and compulsory (citation omitted). Further, the Rule imposes upon an appellant the "duty" to submit his memorandum. A duty is a "legal or moral obligation, mandatory act, responsibility, charge, requirement, trust, chore, function commission, debt, liability, assignment, role, pledge, dictate, office, (and) engagement (citation omitted)." Thus, under the express mandate of said Rule, the appellant is duty-bound to submit his memorandum on appeal. Such submission is not a matter of discretion on his part. His failure to comply with this mandate or to perform said duty will compel the RTC to dismiss his appeal.

    In rules of procedure, an act which is jurisdictional, or of the essence of the proceedings, or is prescribed for the protection or benefit of the party affected is mandatory (citation omitted).

    The raison d'être for such necessity was likewise made clear in the same case. The ponencia put it in plain words:

    [I]n appeals from inferior courts to the RTC, the appellant's brief is mandatory for the assignment of errors is vital to the decision of the appeal on the merits. This is because on appeal only errors specifically assigned and properly argued in the brief or memorandum will be considered except those affecting jurisdiction over the subject matter as well as plain and clerical errors (citation omitted). Otherwise stated, an appellate court has no power to resolve an unassigned error, which does not affect the court's jurisdiction over the subject matter, save for a plain or clerical error (citation omitted).

    It is true that the Rules should be interpreted so as to give litigants ample opportunity to prove their respective claims and that a possible denial of substantial justice due to legal technicalities should be avoided (citation omitted). But it is equally true that an appeal being a purely statutory right, an appealing party must strictly comply with the requisites laid down in the Rules of Court (citation omitted). In other words, he who seeks to avail of the right to appeal must play by the rules (citation omitted). This the petitioner failed to do when she did not submit her memorandum of appeal x x x. That she lost her case is not the trial court's fault but her own.

    Bearing in mind the prior discussion, it was obligatory on the part of respondent, being the appellant in the court a quo, to submit or file a memorandum of appeal within fifteen (15) days from receipt of the order enjoining the filing of said pleading. And failing such duty, consequently, it was incumbent upon the court a quo to dismiss the appeal as the Rules unmistakably commanded.

    Though, as pointed out by the CA in its decision, nothing in the aforecited provision prohibits the adoption of a party's position paper earlier filed, such option must be manifested to the court a quo during the period within which to file the required memorandum of appeal. In the case at bar, the records of the case bear out the fact that when respondent manifested her desire to adopt her position paper in the MTC, the dismissal of the appeal had already been ordered. In fact, said manifestation was contained in the same pleading praying for the reconsideration of the court a quo's order of dismissal.

    That the fundamental cause of the dismissal of respondent's appeal was due to her failure to file the obligatory memorandum of appeal within the period allotted was extremely palpable. Respondent's counsel, Atty. Arturo Z. Temanil, made no secret of the fact that he neglected to heed the order of the court a quo regarding the submission of the memorandum of appeal. In the Omnibus Urgent Motion for Reconsideration,31 filed on 03 December 1997, in praying for the reconsideration of the Order of Dismissal, among other things, respondent's counsel tried to excuse his inaction by saying that his failure to file the memorandum of appeal was inadvertent and, also, equally due to his "voluminous" workload. He then prayed that he be allowed to submit the required appeal memorandum; or, since he had already fully discussed respondent's position in the memorandum32 filed before the MTC, that he be allowed to just adopt aforesaid memorandum33 as her appeal memorandum.

    In the case at bar, respondent did not even come near to substantially complying with the requirement of the Rules of Court, as such, the court a quo had no basis upon which it could actually and completely dispose of the appeal in view of the absence of issues or errors raised for its consideration, specifically assigned and argued before it. All told, therefore, the court a quo, in dismissing the respondent's appeal, was only being subservient to the mandate of the Rules of Court, particularly Section 7 (b) of Rule 40.

    Verily, We feel the need to articulate a very disturbing observation. Just why an exceedingly significant fact - the failure of respondent to submit the mandatory memorandum of appeal within the period provided for as the fundamental cause of the dismissal of her appeal - was disregarded disturbs us no end.

    Respondent insists on a liberal construction and application of the Rules of Court so as not to defeat the ends of justice and deprive her of her substantial right.

    We think not.

    In extraordinary circumstances and for compelling grounds, we have disregarded procedural or technical defects in order to set right an arrant injustice. To our mind, though, respondent was the least prejudiced by the progression of events in the case at bar. She has shown no compelling reason or exceptional cause for us to relax the requirements of Section 7 (b) of Rule 40 of the Rules of Court, even if we could.

    As early as 1997, the dismissal of the respondent's appeal had already become a fact. By the undue delay of putting to rest the final judgment in his favor, petitioner has suffered an injustice. We must state here for the respondent and her counsel and all others similarly inclined to resort to the same or related scheme or stratagem that this Court cannot condone or tolerate any abuse of the judicial process.34

    "The Court views with disfavor the unjustified delay in the termination of cases. Litigation must end and terminate sometime and somewhere and it is essential to an effective and efficient administration of justice that, once a judgment has become final, the winning party be not, through a mere subterfuge, deprived of the fruits of the verdict. Courts must therefore guard against any scheme calculated to bring about that result. Constituted as they are to put an end to controversies, courts should frown upon any attempt to prolong them."35

    Let it be stressed once again that "[t]here should be a greater awareness on the part of litigants that the time of the judiciary, much more so of this Court, is too valuable to be wasted or frittered away by efforts, far from commendable, to evade the operation of a decision final and executory, especially so, where, as shown in the present case, the clear and manifest absence of any right calling for vindication, is quite obvious and indisputable. x x x. The aim of a lawsuit is to render justice to the parties according to law. Procedural rules are precisely designed to accomplish such worthy objective. Necessarily, therefore, any attempt to pervert the ends for which they are intended deserves condemnation."36

    Lawyers, as officers of the court, have an obligation to aid in the proper administration of justice. They fail to carry out this sworn duty by filing pointless petitions that only add to the workload of the judiciary. A prudent examination or analysis of the facts and the law should advise them when a case, such as this, should not be permitted to be filed to merely clutter the already congested judicial dockets. Petitions such as the one filed before the CA in the case at bar, assailing the order of dismissal by the court a quo, do nothing to advance the cause of law or their clients for the sheer lack of merit hardly deserve the attention of the courts as they are not even worth the paper they are printed on.

    Prescinding from all of the above, we see no reason to further discuss the procedural issue raised in the petition. In fine, it was extremely grave error for the CA to reverse and set aside the court a quo's 11 November 1997 Order of Dismissal which was in full accord with law and jurisprudence.

    WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing, the instant petition is GRANTED. The Decision dated 26 August 1999, and the Resolution dated 08 January 2002, both rendered by the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 47348, are hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE. Accordingly, the Order of Dismissal of the Regional Trial Court dated 11 November 1997 is REINSTATED. Costs against respondent Eufemia Gonzales.

    SO ORDERED.


    Endnotes:


    1 Penned by Associate Justice Demetrio G. Demetria and concurred in by Associate Justices Jesus M. Elbinias and Ramon A. Barcelona; Annex "D" of the Petition; rollo, pp. 23-29.

    2 Annex "E" of the Petition; rollo, pp. 30-31.

    3 Records, p. 246.

    4 Id., pp. 1-7.

    5 Records, pp. 138-139.

    6 Id., p. 158.

    7 Penned by Hon. Gregorio D. Dayrit, Presiding Judge, MTC, Br. 35 - Q.C.; Id., pp. 172-176.

    8 Id., p. 176.

    9 Notice of Appeal dated 11 August 1997; Id., p. 177.

    10 Id., p. 185.

    11 Id.

    12 Id., pp. 186-187

    13 Id., pp. 238-240.

    14 Section 19. Immediate execution of judgment. xxx

    x x x x

    x x x Should the defendant fail to make the payment above prescribed from time during the pendency of the appeal, the appellate court, upon motion of the plaintiff, and upon proof of such failure, shall order the execution of the judgment appealed from with respect to the restoration of possession, x x x.

    15 Records, p. 237.

    16 Id., p. 245.

    17 Id., p. 246.

    18 Id., pp. 248-252.

    19 Position paper.

    20 Records, pp. 253(a) -253(b).

    21 Id., p. 262.

    22 Id., pp. 265-270.

    23 Id., p. 276.

    24 Id., pp. 277-282.

    25 In an Order dated 27 March 1998; Id., p. 284.

    26 CA rollo, pp. 08-52.

    27 Id., pp. 56-65.

    28 Id., pp. 164-169.

    29 Petition, p. 13; rollo, p. 48.

    30 444 Phil. 419, 428 (2003).

    31 Records, pp. 248-252.

    32 Position paper.

    33 Id.

    34 Chua Huat, et al., v. Courtof Appeals, et al., GR No. 53851 & 63863, July 09, 1991, 199 SCRA 1, 15.

    35 Lim v. Jabalde, G.R. No. 36786, April 17, 1989, 172 SCRA 211, 224, citing Banogan v. Serna, G.R. No. L-35469, October 09, 1987, 154 SCRA 593, 597.

    36 Rubenito v. Lagata, G.R. No. 140959, December 21, 2004, 447 SCRA 417, 426.

    G.R. No. 151376 - FILOMENO G. GONZALES v. QUIRINO G. GONZALES ETC.


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