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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. 153758 - FELICITAS YCONG, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

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

    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    THIRD DIVISION

    [G.R. NO. 153758 : February 22, 2006]

    FELICITAS YCONG and TERESA POLAN, Petitioners, v. COURT OF APPEALS and MOLLER LENDING INVESTOR, Respondents.

    D E C I S I O N

    CARPIO, J.:

    The Case

    Before the Court is a petition for certiorari 1 assailing the 21 May 2001 Decision2 and the 15 March 2002 Resolution3 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CV No. 64751. The Court of Appeals reversed and set aside the Decision4 of the Regional Trial Court of Lapu-Lapu City, Branch 54 ("trial court"), which dismissed the complaint filed by Moller Lending Investor ("respondent") against Felicitas Ycong ("Ycong") and Teresa Polan ("Polan") in Civil Case No. 4167-L.

    The Antecedent Facts

    Respondent alleged that on 28 July 1994, Ycong and Polan ("petitioners") obtained a loan of P125,000 from respondent. Petitioners executed a promissory note with maturity date on 30 September 1994. Ycong signed as principal borrower while Polan signed as co-maker. Respondent further alleged that petitioners received P105,000 out of the P125,000 loan. Respondent deducted the 8% monthly interest for the first three months, amounting to P20,000, from the principal amount.

    Under the promissory note, petitioners undertook to pay the loan on installment at P600 daily for 60 days, with the balance due on 30 September 1994. Petitioners also agreed to pay 12% interest a month on any outstanding balance after the maturity date. Respondent alleged that petitioners made a total payment of P32,700 from July to September 1994. After the loan's maturity date, petitioners paid P48,000 in October and November 1994. Petitioners failed to pay the outstanding balance despite repeated demands, prompting respondent to file an action for sum of money and damages against petitioners.

    Ycong, on the other hand, alleged that in August 1993, she obtained a loan ("first loan") from respondent. She paid the first loan in full by November 1993. Ycong obtained a second loan ("second loan"). This time, she was unable to pay the second loan in full. In January 1994, respondent granted her a third loan ("third loan") amounting to P50,000 to enable her to pay the second loan. Of the P50,000 third loan, Ycong only received about P30,000 because part of the third loan was applied to pay the second loan. When the third loan matured in March 1994, Ycong had an outstanding balance of P5,000. In March 1994, respondent granted Ycong a fourth loan ("fourth loan") amounting to P30,000. Ycong received P21,000 because the P5,000 balance from the third loan plus interest was deducted from the fourth loan. The fourth loan matured in May 1994. Again, Ycong failed to pay the fourth loan in full although she allegedly continued paying the installments after the fourth loan's maturity.

    On 28 July 1994, Joy Moller5 ("Moller"), the proprietress of Moller Lending Investor, summoned Ycong to respondent's office to discuss the subsisting fourth loan. Moller instructed her employees to block Ycong's Toyota Tamaraw to prevent Ycong from taking it out of the Moller compound. Later, Ycong fetched Polan and brought her to respondent's office. Moller then forced petitioners to sign a blank promissory note. The principal amount of P125,000 and the interest rate were allegedly filled out after petitioners signed the promissory note. Ycong denied that she received in full or in part the P125,000 indicated in the promissory note.

    The Ruling of the Trial Court

    In its 21 January 1999 Decision, the trial court dismissed respondent's complaint. The trial court ruled that the 28 July 1994 promissory note did not involve any new loan and that Ycong did not receive the amount of P125,000. According to the trial court, Moller "intimidated, pressured and coerced" petitioners to sign the promissory note. The trial court also ruled that respondent was not a holder in due course because Moller acted in bad faith.

    The trial court concluded that the last loan granted to Ycong was the fourth loan. Upon the fourth loan's maturity, Ycong only had an outstanding balance of P5,000. Applying the legal rate of interest at 12% a year, the trial court ruled that petitioners had fully paid the fourth loan since all payments made after May 1994, whether before or after the execution of the promissory note, should be applied to the fourth loan.

    Respondent moved for the reconsideration of the trial court's decision. In its Order6 dated 12 April 1999, the trial court denied respondent's motion for reconsideration for lack of merit.

    Respondent appealed to the Court of Appeals.

    The Ruling of the Court of Appeals

    In its 21 May 2001 Decision, the Court of Appeals set aside the trial court's decision. The Court of Appeals ruled that respondent's cause of action was based on a promissory note. Petitioners admitted the validity of the promissory note although they claimed that it was an update of a previous loan. The Court of Appeals ruled that the partial payments made based on the promissory note amount to petitioners' express acknowledgment of the obligation. The Court of Appeals rejected the trial court's finding that duress and intimidation attended the execution of the promissory note.

    The dispositive portion of the Decision of the Court of Appeals states:

    WHEREFORE, the decision appealed from is REVERSED and SET ASIDE. Defendants are ordered to pay plaintiff the sum of P77,000 with 12% interest per annum effective October 1, 1994 until fully paid.

    SO ORDERED.7

    In its 15 March 2002 Resolution, the Court of Appeals denied petitioners' motion for reconsideration.

    Hence, the petition before this Court.

    The Issue

    Petitioners raise this sole issue before the Court:

    Whether the Court of Appeals committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction in reversing the factual findings of the trial court.

    The Ruling of This Court

    The petition has no merit.

    The Proper Remedy

    Petitioners assail the 21 May 2001 Decision and the 15 March 2002 Resolution of the Court of Appeals through a petition for certiorari . For a writ of certiorari under Rule 65 to issue, petitioners must show that they have no plain, speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law against their perceived grievance.8 Certiorari cannot be a substitute for an appeal where the latter remedy is available.9 In A.F. Sanchez Brokerage, Inc. v. Court of Appeals,10 the Court explained:

    In another vein, the rule is well settled that in a petition for certiorari, the petitioner must prove not merely reversible error but also grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction.

    Petitioner alleges that the appellate court erred in reversing and setting aside the decision of the trial court based on its finding that petitioner is liable for the damage to the cargo as a common carrier. What petitioner is ascribing is an error of judgment, not of jurisdiction, which is properly the subject of an ordinary appeal.

    Where the issue or question involves or affects the wisdom or legal soundness of the decision - not the jurisdiction of the court to render said decision - the same is beyond the province of a petition for certiorari . The supervisory jurisdiction of this Court to issue a cert writ cannot be exercised in order to review the judgment of lower courts as to its intrinsic correctness, either upon the law or the facts of the case. (Emphasis in the original)

    Hence, factual issues are beyond the scope of certiorari because they do not involve any jurisdictional issue.11

    Factual Findings of the Court of Appeals

    are Supported by Evidence

    In any event, the evidence on record supports the factual findings of the Court of Appeals.ςηαñrοblεš νιr†υαl lαω lιbrαrÿ

    Petitioners allege that respondent failed to show any receipt to show that they received the P125,000. Ycong claims she did not receive the amount indicated in the promissory note. Petitioners also allege that the promissory note did not cover a new loan but was merely an updating of the fourth loan.

    The Court sustains the Court of Appeals in reversing the factual findings of the trial court.

    The Court of Appeals correctly ruled that the basis of the action was the promissory note signed by Ycong as principal borrower and Polan as a co-maker. The promissory note is the best evidence to prove the existence of the loan. There is no need for respondent to submit a separate receipt to prove that Ycong received the money because the promissory note states:

    I, Felicitas Ycong and Teresa Polan, a resident of Sacred Heart Village, Gun-ob, Lapu-Lapu City hereby promise to pay to the order of MOLLER LENDING INVESTOR the sum of PESOS One hundred twenty five thousand (P125,000) for a loan received today x x x.12 (Emphasis supplied)cralawlibrary

    The Court finds no merit in the allegation that Ycong did not receive any amount from respondent. Granting that petitioners executed the promissory note to "update" the fourth loan, the usual practice of the parties was to deduct from the new loan the outstanding balance of the last loan incurred and to release the remaining amount to petitioners.

    In their answer to the complaint, petitioners clearly stated that they "do not deny that they owe the plaintiff a balance of their obligation, but the latter's claim of P92,300 is exorbitantly erroneous."13 They alleged that "[t]heir balance is much lesser than claimed, but the exact amount can only be ascertained if the plaintiff agrees to a proper accounting."14 Petitioners also stated that they are willing to pay the lawful balance. This only shows that petitioners admit the existence of the loan.

    Further, from the tenor of the cross-examination of Moller, petitioners' counsel tried to make it appear that the obligation was only P105,000. Thus:

    Q. In this particular case Madam Witness, since the obligation as appearing in the contract is P125,000.00, how much interest did you deduct from the actual amount that was received by the defendant[s]?cralawlibrary

    A. P20,000.00.

    Q. In other words Madam Witness, the actual amount that was received by the defendants as of the time he [sic] contracted the obligation is only P105,000.00?cralawlibrary

    A. Yes.

    Q. Now, besides the interest, is it not a fact that when an applicant is in your Office and his application was approved, there are other expenses other than the interest as you have already computed, now, that is deducted to the money that is actually received by the defendants?cralawlibrary

    A. In our case, no, we don't have any expenses.

    Q. But you will agree with me as what you have already stated that the amount of P20,000.00 was already deducted from the principal obligation of P125,000.00?cralawlibrary

    A. Yes.

    Q. So, to make it more clear, these subsequent alleged payments that is reflected in your balance sheet, these amounts were paid by the defendants and these amounts are to be deducted not on the P125,000.00 because what was actually received by the defendants was only the amount of P105,000.00 so, this installment should be deducted not on the P125,000.00 but on the P105,000.00?cralawlibrary

    A. It should not be.

    Q. Why?cralawlibrary

    A. Because how about the business, the business will not go on, P125,000.00 minus the interest, that is our profit, so, in business you cannot make business without any profit.

    Q. I understand, that is why I deducted P20,000.00 because you are in business, otherwise, if you are not in business then you should have died already to the mud by now, am I right?cralawlibrary

    A. Yes.

    Q. So, the amount of the installment payments that is reflected in your accounts as your Exhibit "A" should be deducted on the P105,000.00 and not on the P125,000.00 because you already admitted that what was received by the defendants is only P105,000.00?15

    Thus, this disproves petitioners' allegation that Ycong did not receive any money from respondent.

    Intimidation Was Not Proven

    Petitioners allege that Moller, through threats, forced them to sign the promissory note. Ycong testified that on 28 July 1994, Moller called her to respondent's office. Moller asked her employees to block Ycong's Toyota Tamaraw. Moller showed Ycong a handcuff and told her that she could go to prison if she failed to pay her outstanding obligation.16 Ycong then fetched Polan and brought her to respondent's office where petitioners signed the promissory note.

    The Court finds Ycong's testimony incredible. First, no one corroborated her testimony. Despite their counsel's manifestation that Polan would be the next witness,17 Polan never took the witness stand. On their way to respondent's office, Ycong told Polan that Moller threatened her.18 Yet, it never occurred to Polan to advise Ycong to report the threat to the police authorities. Ycong also claimed that Polan felt threatened by Moller19 although Polan had not talked to Moller at that time. Petitioners also failed to show how Moller threatened Polan to sign the promissory note as a co-maker.

    Second, the balance sheet showed that petitioners paid respondent from 28 July to 24 November 1994.20 Ycong estimated that they paid around P45,00021 during that period. Yet, it never occurred to either Ycong or Polan to question the promissory note or to ask the help of anyone despite the alleged threat of Moller who is not only Ycong's neighbor but also her relative.22

    Third, Ycong in her direct examination kept on admitting the existence of her obligation. Thus:

    Q. When you received the summons of this case, what did you feel?cralawlibrary

    A. I suffered sleepless nights, I felt worried because the fact is I paid my obligation and now a case was filed against me.

    x x x

    A. I should not be made to pay those things, sir, because I have not actually received that amount.

    Q. And besides you complied with your obligations?cralawlibrary

    A. Yes, I made payments so that I ll not be embarrassed.23 (Emphasis supplied)cralawlibrary

    Granting that Moller's intimidation vitiated petitioners' consent in signing the promissory note, the contract between the parties was only voidable, making the contract binding unless annulled by a proper action in court.24

    Finally, petitioners allege that the case of Vales v. Villa25 relied upon by the Court of Appeals is an outmoded case long abandoned by this Court. On the contrary, the ruling in Vales is still valid and the Court has reaffirmed Vales in several later cases.26 Petitioners failed to deny that Ycong was a department manager of a beach resort in Lapu-Lapu City. Yet, Ycong tried to make it appear that Moller's act of merely showing her a handcuff was enough to intimidate her notwithstanding that Moller is her relative. The Court finds it unlikely for someone in Ycong's position to sign a blank document, or for petitioners to pay for months, without any complaint and without doing anything to protect their rights if they did not in fact incur the obligation.

    WHEREFORE, we DISMISS the petition. We AFFIRM the 21 May 2001 Decision and the 15 March 2002 Resolution of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CV No. 64751.

    SO ORDERED.


    Endnotes:


    1 Under Rule 65 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure.

    2 Penned by Associate Justice Portia Aliño-Hormachuelos with Associate Justices Fermin A. Martin, Jr. and Mercedes Gozo-Dadole, concurring. Rollo, pp. 12-28.

    3 Penned by Associate Justice Portia Aliño-Hormachuelos with Associate Justices Hilarion L. Aquino and Mercedes Gozo-Dadole, concurring. Rollo, pp. 30-31.

    4 Penned by Judge Rumoldo R. Fernandez. Rollo, pp. 33-38.

    5 Also referred to as Marjorie Moller in the Transcript of Stenographic Notes.

    6 Records, p. 215.

    7 Rollo, p. 28.

    8 Chua v. Santos, G.R. No. 132467, 18 October 2004, 440 SCRA 365.

    9 Sevilla Trading Company v. Semana, G.R. No. 152456, 28 April 2004, 428 SCRA 239.

    10 G.R. No. 147079, 21 December 2004, 447 SCRA 427, 436-437.

    11 Ongpauco v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 134039, 21 December 2004, 447 SCRA 395.

    12 Records, p. 5.

    13 Id., p. 14.

    14 Id.

    15 TSN, 18 September 1995, pp. 19-21.

    16 TSN, 22 October 1996, pp. 9-10.

    17 Id., p. 13; TSN, 21 August 1997, p. 16.

    18 TSN, 21 August 1997, p. 14.

    19 Id.

    20 Records, p. 63.

    21 TSN, 21 August 1997, p. 5.

    22 TSN, 22 October 1996, p. 4.

    23 TSN, 21 August 1997, pp. 6-8.

    24 Article 1390, Civil Code.

    25 35 Phil. 769 (1916).

    26 Spouses Paguyo v. Astorga, G.R. No. 130982, 16 September 2005; Buenaventura v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 126376, 20 November 2003, 416 SCRA 263; Pastor v. Philippine National Bank, G.R. No. 141316, 20 November 2003, 416 SCRA 283; Melotindos v. Tobias, 439 Phil. 910 (2002); Vda. de Jayme v. Court of Appeals, 439 Phil. 192 (2002).

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


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