ChanRobles™ Virtual Law Library | chanrobles.com™  
Main Index Law Library Philippine Laws, Statutes & Codes Latest Legal Updates Philippine Legal Resources Significant Philippine Legal Resources Worldwide Legal Resources Philippine Supreme Court Decisions United States Jurisprudence
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)
 

 
Chan Robles Virtual Law Library
 









 

 
UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT JURISPRUDENCE
 

 
PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT JURISPRUDENCE
 

   
November-2006 Jurisprudence                 

  • A.C. No. 6266 - ESTELA ANASTACIO-BRIONES vs ATTY. ALFREDO A. ZAPANTA

  • A.C. No. 7123 - MARIA DIVINA CRUZ-VILLANUEVA vs ATTY. CARLOS P. RIVERA, ET AL.

  • A.C. No. 7214 - AILEEN A. FERANCULLO vs ATTY. SANCHO M. FERANCULLO, JR.

  • A.C. No. 6266 - ESTELA ANASTACIO-BRIONES vs ATTY. ALFREDO A. ZAPANTA

  • A.C. No. 7123 - MARIA DIVINA CRUZ-VILLANUEVA vs ATTY. CARLOS P. RIVERA, ET AL.

  • A.C. No. 7214 - AILEEN A. FERANCULLO vs ATTY. SANCHO M. FERANCULLO, JR.

  • A.C. No. 6266 - ESTELA ANASTACIO-BRIONES vs ATTY. ALFREDO A. ZAPANTA

  • A.C. No. 7123 - MARIA DIVINA CRUZ-VILLANUEVA vs ATTY. CARLOS P. RIVERA, ET AL.

  • A.C. No. 7214 - AILEEN A. FERANCULLO vs ATTY. SANCHO M. FERANCULLO, JR.

  • Adm. Case No. 7252 - CBD 05-1434 - JOHNNY NG vs ATTY. BENJAMIN C. ALAR

  • A.C. No. 7280 - DAHLIA S. GACIAS vs ATTY. ALEXANDER BULAUITAN

  • A.M. No. 06-4-219-RTC - RE: REPORT ON THE JUDICIAL AUDIT AND PHYSICAL INVENTORY

  • A.M. No. 2004-15-SC - PROSECUTOR AGAPITO B. ROSALES vs ENGR. CELERINO BUENAVENTURA

  • A.M. No. 2005-26-SC - RE: LOST CHECKS ISSUED TO THE LATE RODERICK ROY P. MELLIZA, ETC.

  • A.M. No. MTJ-03-1503 - NATIONAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION vs JUDGE LUISITO T. ADAOAG

  • A.M. No. MTJ-06-1660 - Formerly A.M. No. OCA IPI 04-1519-MTJ - SPOUSES TREFIL AND LINA A. UMALE vs JUDGE NICOLAS V. FADUL, JR.

  • A.M. No. P-03-1731 - PNB MANAGEMENT AND DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION vs CARMELO CACHERO

  • A.M. No. P-03-1737 - Formerly OCA IPI No. 01-1250-P - NICOLAS PACLIBAR vs RENAN V. PAMPOSA

  • A.M. No. P-05-2092 - ATTY. PERFECTO A.S. LAGUIO, JR. vs MILA AMANTE-CASICAS

  • A.M. No. P-05-1979 - JUDGE LEONARDO P. CARREON vs ERIC ANTHONY S. ORTEGA

  • A.M. No. P-06-2109 - LIGAYA V. REYES vs MARIO PABLICO

  • A.M. No. P-06-2204 - NYDIA S. SERVINO vs MA. MAWILYNN CONCEPCION B. ADOLFO

  • A.M. No. P-06-2266 - ENCARNACION FLORES vs ROMEO S. GATCHECO, JR.

  • A.M. No. P-06-2257 - SPS. ARTHUR and LEONORA STILGROVE vs ERIBERTO R. SABAS, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. P-06-2268 - BIENVENIDO L. PUNZALAN vs RUMEL M. MACALISANG

  • A.M. No. RTJ-05-1901 - FORTUNE LIFE INSURANCE, COMPANY, INC. vs JUDGE JIMMY H. F. LUCZON, JR.

  • A.M. No. RTJ-06-2002 - ROCKLAND CONSTRUCTION CO., INC. vs JUDGE MARIANO M. SINGZON, JR.

  • G.R. No. 74269 & 92137 - SOLID HOMES, INC., ET AL. vs HON. INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 127636 - E. ROMMEL REALTY AND DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, ET AL. vs STA. LUCIA REALTY DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION

  • G.R. No. 126890 - UNITED PLANTERS SUGAR MILLING COMPANY, INC. vs COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 129820 - PNOC-ENERGY DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION vs EMILIANO G. VENERACION, JR.

  • G.R. No. 132834 - RUPERTO LUCERO, JR., ET AL. vs CITY GOVERNMENT OF PASIG

  • G.R. No. 135817 - REYNALDO RODRIGUEZ, ET AL. vs CONCORDIA ONG LIM, ET AL.

  • G.R. NOS. 140371-72 - DY YIENG SEANGIO, ET AL. vs AMOR A. REYES, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 140833 - LACEPI T. MAGNANAO vs PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES

  • G.R. No. 141480 - CARLOS B. DE GUZMAN vs TOYOTA CUBAO, INC.

  • G.R. No. 142351 - ST. MARTIN FUNERAL HOMES vs NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 143219 - ASIAN TERMINALS, INC. vs RENATO P. VILLANUEVA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 143382 - SECURITY BANK and TRUST COMPANY vs MAR TIERRA CORPORATION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 144062 - THE BASES CONVERSION AND DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY, ET AL. vs ELPIDIO UY

  • G.R. No. 146707 - ERNESTO DUMLAO, JR., ET AL. vs RODOLFO PONFERRADA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 148090 - STRONGHOLD INSURANCE COMPANY, INC. vs NEMESIO S. FELIX, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 148490 - 7K CORPORATION vs NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. NOS. 148500-01 - TIMES TRANSPORTATION CO. INC. vs NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. NOS. 148839-40 - NAGKAHIUSANG MAMUMUO SA PICOP RESOURCES, INC. - SOUTHERN PHILIPPINES FEDERATION OF LABOR (NAMAPRI - SPFL), ET AL. vs COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 148971 - ALBERTO GARONG vs PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES

  • G.R. No. 149633 - EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GABRIEL S. CASAL, ET AL. v. COMMISSION ON AUDIT

  • G.R. No. 149748 - JANG LIM, ET AL vs COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 149753 - Miguel Cosme, Jr. v. People of the Philippines

  • G.R. NO. 149764 - PHILIPPINE OVERSEAS TELECOMMUNICATIONS CORPORATION vs ENRIQUE GUTIERREZ, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 150253 - DAVAO LIGHT AND POWER CORPORATION, INC. vs ANTONIO G. DIAZ, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 150402 - EPARWA SECURITY AND JANITORIAL SERVICES, INC. vs LICEO DE CAGAYAN UNIVERSITY

  • G.R. No. 152258 - ROGELIO P. ANTALAN vs ANIANO DESIERTO

  • G.R. No. 152984 - WILLIAM G. KWONG vs ATTY. RAMON GARGANTOS, ET AL.

  • G.R. NO. 154006 - STAR PAPER CORPORATION vs CARLITO ESPIRI TU, ET AL.

  • G.R. NO. 154565 - REMEDIOS RAMOS vs TESSIE PABAS

  • G.R. No. 154685 - METROPOLITAN BANK and TRUST COMPANY, ET AL. vs COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 155645 - PHILIPPINE LONG DISTANCE TELEPHONE COMPANY, INC. vs MAYFLOR T. YLAGAN

  • G.R. No. 155574 - TIMOTEO A. GARCIA vs SANDIGANBAYAN

  • G.R. No. 156294 - MELVA THERESA ALVIAR GONZALES vs RIZAL COMMERCIAL BANKING CORPORATION

  • G. R. No. 156888 - PEDRO R. SANTIAGO vs SUBIC BAY METROPOLITAN AUTHORITY

  • G.R. No. 156903 - SPOUSES CARLOS and TERESITA RUSTIA vs EMERITA RIVERA

  • G.R. No. 157107 - ALPINE LENDING INVESTORS, ET AL. vs ESTRELLA CORPUZ

  • G.R. No. 157117 - COASTAL SUBIC BAY TERMINAL, INC. vs DEPARTMENT OF LABOR and EMPLOYMENT, ET AL.

  • G.R. NOS. 157236-45 - ROMEO D. LONZANIDA vs SANDIGANBAYAN

  • G.R. No. 157906 - JOAQUINITA P. CAPILI vs SPS. DOMINADOR CARDAÑA and ROSALITA CARDAÑA,

  • G.R. No. 158676 - BPI-FAMILY SAVINGS BANK, INC. vs SPS. ZENAIDA DOMINGO & ABUNDIO S. DOMINGO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 158707 - COMMUNITY RURAL BANK OF SAN ISIDRO (N.E.), INC. vs YSAGANI V. PAEZ

  • G.R. NOS. 157294-95 - JOSEPH VICTOR G. EJERCITO vs SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 158960 - LORNA FRANCES FILIPINO vs F. WALTER R. MACABUHAY

  • G.R. No. 159373 - JOSE R. MORENO, JR. vs PRIVATE MANAGEMENT OFFICE

  • G.R. No. 159991 - CARMELINO F. PANSACOLA vs COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE

  • G.R. No. 159734 and G.R. NO. 159745 - ROSARIO V. ASTUDILLO vs PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES

  • G.R. No. 160347 - ARCADIO and MARIA LUISA CARANDANG vs HEIRS OF QUIRINO A. DE GUZMAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 160618 - DENNIS D. SY vs METROPOLITAN BANK & TRUST COMPANY

  • G.R. No. 160805 - SPOUSES ADIEL DE LA CENA and CARIDAD AREVALO DE LA CENA vs SPOUSES JOSE BRIONES and HERMINIA LLEDO BRIONES

  • G.R. No. 161086 - CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION vs COURT OF APPEALS

  • G.R. No. 161136 - WILFREDO VAGILIDAD, ET AL. vs GABINO VAGILIDAD, JR., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 161115 - DOLE PHILIPPINES, INC. vs MEDEL ESTEVA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 162037 - Heirs of Enrique Diaz v. Elinor A. Virata

  • G.R. No. 162243, G.R. No. 164516 & G.R. No. 171875 - HEHERSON ALVAREZ vs PICOP RESOURCES, INC.

  • G.R. No. 162308 - G & M PHILIPPINES, INC. vs ROMIL V. CUAMBOT

  • G.R. No. 162331 - LEPANTO CONSOLIDATED MINING CO. vs WMC RESOURCES INT L. PTY. LTD., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 162366 - FEDERICA M. SERRANO, ET AL. vs SPOUSES ANSELMO GUTIERREZ AND CARMELITA GUTIERREZ

  • G.R. No. 163735 - GREEN ASIA CONSTRUCTION AND DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, ET AL. vs COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 163712 - METROPOLITAN BANK AND TRUST COMPANY, ET AL. vs JOSE B. TAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 163763 - MALAYAN REALTY, INC. vs UY HAN YONG

  • G.R. No. 164300 - SPOUSES BENJAMIN AND AGRIFINA SIM vs M.B. FINANCE CORPORATION

  • G.R. No. 164321 - SKECHERS, U.S.A., INC. vs INTER PACIFIC INDUSTRIAL TRADING CORP., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 164545 - LORBE REBUCAN y BALTAZAR vs PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES

  • G.R. No. 165038 - HEIRS OF EMILIO R. DOMINGO AND FELICIDAD CORNEJO, ET AL. vs THE HEIRS OF CLARITA D. MARTIN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 164858 - HENRY P. LANOT vs COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS

  • G.R. No. 165724 - ZAMORA REALTY and DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, ET AL. vs OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE PHILIPPINES, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 165879 - MARIA B. CHING vs JOSEPH C. GOYANKO, JR., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 166403 - BENZON O. ALDEMITA vs HEIRS OF MELQUIADES SILVA

  • G.R. NOS. 166143-47 and G.R. NO. 166891 - ABDUSAKUR M. TAN, ET AL. vs COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 166496 - JOSEFA BAUTISTA FERRER vs SPS. MANUEL M. FERRER, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 166501 - ERNESTO B. FRANCISCO, JR. vs HON. BAYANI F. FERNANDO

  • G.R. No. 166649 - ROBERT B. CABUYOC vs INTER-ORIENT NAVIGATION SHIPMANAGEMENT, INC., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 166833 - FELIXBERTO CUBERO, ET AL. vs LAGUNA WEST MULTI-PURPOSE COOPERATIVE, INC., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 166837 - LIGAYA S. ORBETA vs RUBEN P. ORBETA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 167680 - SAMUEL PARILLA, ET AL. vs DR. PROSPERO PILAR

  • G.R. No. 167723 - CLUB FILIPINO, INC. vs ROMEO ARAULLO

  • G.R. No. 167743 - HILARIO P. SORIANO vs OMBUDSMAN SIMEON V. MARCELO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 167844 - OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN vs COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 168035 - MELANIE M. MESINA, ET AL. vs GLORIA C. GARCIA

  • G.R. No. 168718 - OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN vs FARIDA T. LUCERO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 168694 - THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs SAIDAMIN MACABALANG y MALAMAMA

  • G.R. No. 169193 - SPOUSES ILUMINADA CAPITLE and CIRILO CAPITLE vs FORTUNATA ELBAMBUENA, ET AL.

  • G.R. NOS. 169295-96 - REMINGTON INDUSTRIAL SALES CORPORATION vs ERLINDA CASTANEDA

  • G.R. No. 169341 - City of Cebu v. Vicente B. Del Rosario

  • G.R. No. 169578 - TERESITA DIO vs ST. FERDINAND MEMORIAL PARK, INC., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 169698 - LUPO ATIENZA vs YOLANDA DE CASTRO

  • G.R. No. 169891 - PHILIPPINE NATIONAL RAILWAYS vs ETHEL BRUNTY, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 170220 - JOSEFINA S. LUBRICA, ET AL. vs LAND BANK OF THE PHILIPPINES

  • G.R. No. 170522 - CELSO LOPEZ OCATE vs COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 170829 - Perla G. Patricio v. Marcelino G. Dario III, et al.

  • G.R. No. 171102 - ATP TECHNOLOGIES INTERNATIONAL, INC. vs MICRON PRECISION PHILS., INC.

  • G.R. No. 170840 - THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs GREGORIO CARPIO @ "GORIO"

  • G.R. No. 171144 - SANTOS L. NACAYTUNA vs PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES

  • G.R. NOS. 171322-24 - MARIANITO S. VICTORIANO vs PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES

  • G.R. No. 172274 - ROMEO D. CABARLO vs PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES

  • G. R. No. 171447 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs FEDERICO ARNAIZ y ARMONIO

  • G.R. No. 173290 - ZENAIDA M. LIMBONA vs JUDGE RALPH S. LEE, ET AL.

  •  





     
     

    G.R. No. 173290 - ZENAIDA M. LIMBONA vs JUDGE RALPH S. LEE, ET AL.

      G.R. No. 173290 - ZENAIDA M. LIMBONA vs JUDGE RALPH S. LEE, ET AL.

    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    FIRST DIVISION

    [G.R. NO. 173290 : November 20, 2006]

    ZENAIDA M. LIMBONA, Petitioner, v. HON. JUDGE RALPH S. LEE of Regional Trial Court-Quezon City, Br. 83, MAYOR ANWAR BERUA BALINDONG, LT. COL. JALANDONI COTA, MAYOR AMER ODEN BALINDONG & ALI BALINDONG, Respondents.

    D E C I S I O N

    YNARES-SANTIAGO, J.:

    This is a petition for indirect contempt in connection with respondents' alleged defiance of the December 16, 2004 Decision1 rendered by this Court in G.R. No. 159962, entitled Balindong v. Limbona, as well as the Resolutions2 dated June 6, August 15, and December 12, 2005.

    The facts as stated in G.R. No. 159962 are as follows:

    Investigating prosecutor Ringcar Pinote conducted the preliminary investigation and found probable cause to indict the private [respondents] for the offense of Double Murder with Multiple Frustrated Murder. As a result, an Information was filed in the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Malabang, Lanao del Sur, Branch 12, charging [them] with the crime of Double Murder with Multiple Frustrated Murder.

    The herein [private respondents] filed an urgent motion for reinvestigation. In an Order dated 23 July 1998, Acting Presiding Judge Rasad Balindong granted the petition and ordered the records returned to the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor, Marawi City.

    The said office issued a Resolution dated 28 August 1998 modifying the offense charged against Anwar Balindong, Lt. Col. Jalandoni D. Cota, and PO1 Kennedy Balindong to double homicide with multiple frustrated homicide, and dropping the charges against Amer Oden Balindong and Ali Balindong. In the meantime, the Supreme Court transferred the venue from Lanao del Sur to Cotabato City x x x.

    The [petitioner] filed a Petition for Review of the Provincial Prosecutor's Resolution before the Department of Justice (DOJ) under then Secretary Serafin Cuevas. In a Resolution dated 04 August 1999, the latter modified the said Resolution and directed the filing of two informations for murder with attempted murder, two informations for frustrated murder and an information for attempted murder against all the private [respondents]. The [latter] filed a motion for reconsideration on 01 September 1999. Meanwhile, five amended informations were filed on 04 October 1999 for the aforementioned offenses before the RTC of Maguindanao, Cotabato City, docketed as Criminal Cases No. 2503, No. 2573, No. 2574, No. 2575, and No. 2576. On 01 December 1999, the DOJ denied the petitioners' motion for reconsideration.

    Subsequently, the venue was again transferred from Cotabato City to Cagayan de Oro City. x x x

    On 01 January 2000, the [private respondents] filed a second motion for reconsideration of Secretary Cuevas's Resolution dated 01 December 1999. This was denied with finality in a Resolution dated 16 March 2000 by then Acting DOJ Sec. Artemio Tuquero, with a warning that no further pleadings would be entertained. Seven months later, on 10 October 2000, the [private respondents] filed a third Motion for Reconsideration before the DOJ.

    In the meantime, x x x the venue of the above cases [was] transferred from Cagayan de Oro to a Special Criminal Court in Quezon City.

    x x x Criminal Cases No. 2503 and No. 2573 were re-raffled to the RTC of Quezon City, Branch 219 and re-docketed as Criminal Cases Nos. Q-01-99892 and Q-01-99893. Criminal Cases Nos. 2574 to 76 were re-raffled to the RTC of Quezon City, Branch 227, and re-docketed as Criminal Cases Nos. Q-01-100542 to 44.

    On 12 March 2001, then DOJ Secretary Hernando Perez resolved to grant the [private respondents'] third motion for reconsideration x x x

    x x x x

    Seeking to have Secretary Perez's 12 March 2001 Resolution annulled, [petitioner] filed her own motion for reconsideration with the DOJ. Upon denial of said motion, [she] filed a Petition for Certiorariunder Rule 65 in the Court of Appeals. In a Decision dated 22 May 2003, the latter granted the Petition for Certiorari, reversed the DOJ Resolution dated 12 March 2001 and reinstated the DOJ Resolutions dated 04 August 1999, 01 December 1999 and 16 March 2000.

    x x x x

    The petitioners thereupon filed the present petition [G.R. NO. 159462] for certiorari under Rule 45 before this Court. x x x

    [O]n 03 December 2003, Pairing Judge Jose Paneda of the RTC of Quezon City, Branch 219, caused the issuance of warrants of arrest against herein petitioners for the above-mentioned cases. The latter moved for the issuance of a temporary restraining order in this Court, which was granted on 18 February 2004 x x x.3

    On December 16, 2004, the Court thru Associate Justice Minita V. Chico-Nazario rendered a decision in G.R. No. 159962 affirming the decision of the Court of Appeals and sustaining the Resolution of the Department of Justice (DOJ) dated August 4, 1999 directing the filing of two Informations for Murder with Attempted Murder, two Informations for Frustrated Murder and an Information for Attempted Murder against all the private respondents; as well as the December 1, 1999 and March 16, 2000 Resolutions of the DOJ denying private respondents' motions for reconsideration. The Court also directed the implementation of the warrants of arrest issued against them. The dispositive portion thereof reads:

    WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED and the Decision of the Court of Appeals dated 22 May 2003 which annulled the DOJ Resolution dated 12 March 2001 and reinstated its Resolutions issued on 04 August 1999, 01 December 1999 and 16 March 2000 is AFFIRMED. The Temporary Restraining Order issued on 18 February 2004 by this Court is hereby LIFTED, and the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City, Branch 219, is ORDERED to implement its Resolution dated 03 December 2003 relative to the issuance of warrants of arrest against all the accused. The said Court is directed to submit a report thereon within ten (10) days from receipt hereof.

    Let a copy of this Decision be furnished the Department of Justice for its information and appropriate action.

    SO ORDERED.4

    Private respondents' motion for reconsideration of said Decision was denied with finality in a Resolution5 dated June 6, 2005, thus:

    The Court notes that [private respondents] have adduced no substantial or cogent arguments to warrant a modification of our Decision. They merely rehashed the arguments in their petition, which we have already passed upon. Wherefore, the Motion for Reconsideration and its supplement thereto are DENIED with FINALITY. NO FURTHER PLEADINGS WILL BE ENTERTAINED.

    In view of the denial with finality of the Motion for Reconsideration and acting on the clarificatory letter of Branch Clerk of Court Edwin Paredes of Quezon City RTC, Branch 219, which we noted in our Resolution dated 02 March 2005, there is no longer any obstacle to the implementation of the existing warrants of arrest.

    Unfazed, respondents filed an Urgent Motion for Clarification.6

    In a Resolution7 dated August 15, 2005, the Court expunged said motion from the records and resolved to:

    x x x (b) ADMONISH [private respondents] and their counsel to pay heed to the directives of this Court and against misrepresenting the import of its rulings and to desist from any further unauthorized pleadings UNDER PAIN OF CONTEMPT.

    Meanwhile, an Entry of Judgment8 was issued by the Court certifying that the aforesaid Decision rendered on December 16, 2004 had become final and executory on July 5, 2005.

    Due to the voluntary inhibition of Judge Paneda of RTC-QC Branch 219, Criminal Case Nos. Q-01-99892 and Q-01-99893 were re-raffled to RTC-QC Branch 100 presided by Judge Marie Christine A. Jacob (Judge Jacob). On September 1, 2005, private respondents filed before said trial court a Motion for Determination of Probable Cause and/or Motion to Dismiss the Case and Quash Warrant of Arrest.9 Pending the trial court's action on said motion, this Court issued another Resolution10 on December 12, 2005 ordering Judge Jacob to enforce the warrants of arrest issued by Judge Paneda on December 3, 2003 with utmost dispatch and to submit a report thereon.

    Pursuant thereto, Judge Jacob issued an Order dated January 4, 2006, denying private respondents' motion for determination of probable cause/to dismiss/quash and ordered the enforcement of the arrest warrants against them.11 Thereafter, Judge Jacob inhibited12 herself from the aforesaid cases and the same were re-raffled to Branch 83 of the trial court presided by respondent Judge Ralph S. Lee.

    Private respondents filed a motion for reconsideration13 of the January 4, 2006 Order of Judge Jacob and a Motion to Re-Determine the Existence or Non-Existence of Probable Cause which May Even Warrant Dismissal-Even of the Appropriate Charges of Homicides, Frustrated and Attempted Homicides.14

    In the meantime, petitioner secured copies of the arrest warrants in order to facilitate respondents' long overdue arrests and was dismayed to discover copies of such warrants stamped "EXPIRED".15 Thus on March 31, 2006, the prosecution filed a Motion for the Issuance of Alias Warrants of Arrest before Branch 83. When the trial court failed to act immediately on said motion, the prosecution filed a Motion for Inhibition of Judge Lee on May 23, 2006 not knowing that on May 12, 2006, respondent judge had issued an Order16 granting respondents' motion for re-determination of probable cause and ordered the down-grading of the subject offenses to Double Homicide with Attempted Homicide, Double Frustrated Homicide and Attempted Homicide, before eventually inhibiting17 himself from the aforesaid cases on July 14, 2006.

    Hence, the present recourse contending that private respondents are guilty of indirect contempt for stubbornly filing motions for the dismissal of the criminal cases and/or the re-determination of probable cause notwithstanding the Decision and Resolution of the Court as to the proper charge against them.

    Petitioner also avers that respondent judge set aside this Court's final Decision in G.R. No. 159962 by down-grading the offenses charged against respondents. His seeming indifference to look into the highly suspicious act of stamping the warrants "EXPIRED" as well as his failure to act on the prosecution's Manifestation with Motion for the Issuance of the Alias Warrants of Arrest as well as its subsequent Motion for Inhibition is an affront to this Court as an institution.18

    In their Comment, private respondents contend that while there is no dispute that this Court's Decision in G.R. No. 159962 was final and executory, it was not a decision on the merits but upon a mere technicality from which not even the principle of res judicatahas set in.19 They insist that the phrase "with which to charge the accused" found in the Decision clearly indicates that the issue of the appropriate crimes with which to charge the accused was left unresolved by this Court. They argue that resolving said issue is a task which lies with the trial court (Branch 83 in this case), as it involves evidentiary matters.20 Respondents likewise maintain that the instant petition should be dismissed on jurisdictional grounds because indirect contempt proceedings involve a full-blown trial which can only be had before the trial courts.21

    The sole issue for resolution is whether respondents are guilty of indirect contempt.

    We rule in the affirmative.

    Pertinent portions of Section 3, Rule 71 of the Rules of Court, read:

    Sec. 3. Indirect contempt to be punished after charge and hearing. - After a charge in writing has been filed, and an opportunity given to the respondent to comment thereon within such period as may be fixed by the court and to be heard by himself or counsel, a person guilty of any of the following acts may be punished for indirect contempt:

    x x x

    (b) Disobedience of or resistance to a lawful writ, process, order or judgment of a court, x x x.

    x x x

    (d) Any improper conduct tending, directly or indirectly, to impede, obstruct, or degrade the administration of justice;

    x x x

    Contempt of court is defined as a disobedience to the Court by acting in opposition to its authority, justice and dignity. It signifies not only a willful disregard or disobedience of the court's orders, but such conduct which tends to bring the authority of the court and the administration of law into disrepute or in some manner to impede the due administration of justice. Contempt of court is a defiance of the authority, justice or dignity of the court; such conduct as tends to bring the authority and administration of the law into disrespect or to interfere with or prejudice party litigants or their witnesses during litigation. The power to punish for contempt is inherent in all courts and is essential to the preservation of order in judicial proceedings and to the enforcement of judgments, orders, and mandates of the court, and consequently, to the due administration of justice.22

    The charge must be filed before the court against which the indirect contempt was committed.23 Respondents' contention that the petition should be dismissed on jurisdictional grounds because indirect contempt proceedings involve a full-blown trial which can only be had before the trial court lacks merit. It is a well-established rule that the power to determine the existence of contempt of court rests exclusively with the court contemned.24

    Section 5, Rule 71 of the Rules of Court, clearly provides that:

    Sec. 5. Where charge to be filed. - Where the charge for indirect contempt has been committed against a Regional Trial Court or a court of equivalent or higher rank, or against an officer appointed by it, the charge may be filed with such court. x x x. (Emphasis supplied)cralawlibrary

    In the present case, private respondents are guilty of indirect contempt for filing the following:

    (1) Urgent Motion for Clarification of the dispositive portion of the December 16, 2004 Decision in G.R. No. 159962;

    (2) Motion for Determination of Probable Cause and/or Motion to Dismiss the Case and to Quash Warrant of Arrest (with prayer for suspension of the enforcement of warrant of arrest pending hearing) filed on September 1, 2005 before Branch 100 of the RTC of Quezon City presided by Judge Christine Jacob;

    (3) Motion for Reconsideration of Judge Jacob's January 4, 2006 Order denying their motion dated September 1, 2005 filed on January 24, 2006;

    (4) Motion to Re-Determine the Existence or Non-Existence of Probable Cause Which May Even Warrant Dismissal - Even of the Appropriate Charges of Homicide, Frustrated and Attempted Homicide filed before Branch 83 on February 21, 2006.

    The December 16, 2004 Decision of the Court in G.R. No. 159962 clearly sustained the filing of two Informations for Murder with Attempted Murder, two Informations for Frustrated Murder and an Information for Attempted Murder against private respondents. The Court even directed the implementation of the arrest warrants against them. This, notwithstanding, private respondents filed a motion for determination of probable cause and/or the dismissal of the case against them. Worse, this was done after being admonished by the Court to pay heed to its directives under pain of contempt.

    With the finality of this Court's Decision, all issues relative to the determination of the proper offenses with which to charge private respondents had been laid to rest. In continuing to file pleadings and motions purportedly seeking for the clarification of the proper charges against them, respondents merely rehashed their tired arguments and unavailing assertions. They did not only succeed in delaying the conduct of the trial of the aforesaid cases but also willfully and deliberately flouted this Court's directives with their stubborn refusal to abide by our pronouncement and their incessant nit-picking of issues already resolved with finality.

    In granting respondents' motions for reconsideration and re-determination of probable cause, and consequently down-grading the charges against respondents in his Order dated May 12, 1006, Judge Lee contravened this Court's directive in G.R. No. 159962 and in the subject Resolutions. He impudently substituted his own judgment for that of this Court. Had he thoroughly reviewed the records of the case, it would have been impossible for him to misread the import of said Decision and Resolutions.ςηαñrοblεš νιr υαl lαω lιbrαrÿ

    In sum, we find that private respondents' persistent attempts to raise issues long since laid to rest by a final and executory judgment constitute contumacious defiance of the authority of this Court and impede the speedy administration of justice.25

    Under Section 7 of Rule 71, if the respondent is adjudged guilty of indirect contempt committed against a Regional Trial Court or a court of equivalent or higher rank, he may be punished by a fine not exceeding P30,000.00 or imprisonment not exceeding six months, or both.

    In Alcantara v. Ponce,26 this Court found the incessant filing by the respondents and their counsels of pleadings and motions with the ultimate purpose of convincing the Court to give due course to their petition despite its categorical and final resolve to deny the same as constituting indirect contempt and ordered them to pay a fine of P2,000.00 each.

    In Heirs of Trinidad De Leon v. Court of Appeals,27 we held that respondent corporation's insistent filing of an action for reconveyance, quieting of title and damages involving the same parcels of land which this Court already decided with finality as constituting indirect contempt and fined it in the amount of P10,000.00.

    We are well aware of the legal precept that the power of the court to punish contemptuous acts should be exercised on the preservative and not on the vindictive principle. However, where there is clear and contumaciousdefiance of, or refusal to obey this Court's Decision, as in the instant case, we will not hesitate to exercise our inherent power if only to maintain respect to this Court, for without which the administration of justice may falter or fail.28 Under the circumstances attendant in the instant case, we find the fine of Five Thousand Pesos (P5,000.00) to be meted upon each respondent to be in order.

    WHEREFORE, private respondents Mayor Anwar Berua Balindong, Lt. Col. Jalandoni Cota, Mayor Amer Oden Balindong and Ali Balindong and public respondent Judge Ralph S. Lee of the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City, Branch 83 are found guilty of INDIRECT CONTEMPT and ordered to pay a FINE of FIVE THOUSAND PESOS (P5,000.00) each payable in full within five days from receipt of this Decision.

    SO ORDERED.


    Endnotes:


    1 Penned by Associate Justice Minita V. Chico-Nazario and concurred in by Associate Justices Reynato S. Puno, Ma. Alicia Austria-Martinez, and Dante O. Tinga; 447 SCRA 201.

    2 Rollo, pp. 36-37; 44 and 58.

    3 Supra note 1 at 202-207.

    4 Id. at 213.

    5 Rollo, pp. 36-37.

    6 Id. at 38-43.

    7 Id. at 44.

    8 Id. at 46-47.

    9 Id. at 48-57.

    10 Id. at 58-59.

    11 Id. at 60-62.

    12 Id. at 63-64.

    13 Id. at 65-79.

    14 Id. at 80-106.

    15 Id. at 107-110.

    16 Id. at 117-125.

    17 Id. at 438-439.

    18 Id. at 10.

    19 Id. at 298.

    20 Id. at 299.

    21 Id. at 287.

    22 Lu Ym v. Mahinay, G.R. No. 169476, June 16, 2006, SC E-library.

    23 Igot v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 150794, August 17, 2004, 436 SCRA 668, 674.

    24 Id. at 675, citing San Luis v. Court of Appeals, 417 Phil. 598, 606-607 (2001).

    25 Pacquing v. Court of Appeals, 200 Phil. 516, 523 (1982).

    26 G.R. No. 131547, December 15, 2005, 478 SCRA 27, 48 & 60.

    27 G.R. No. 138660, February 5, 2004, 422 SCRA 101, 114 & 121.

    28 Province of Camarines Norte v. Province of Quezon, 419 Phil. 372, 389 (2001).

    G.R. No. 173290 - ZENAIDA M. LIMBONA vs JUDGE RALPH S. LEE, ET AL.


    Back to Home | Back to Main

     

    QUICK SEARCH

    cralaw

       

    cralaw



     
      Copyright © ChanRobles Publishing Company Disclaimer | E-mail Restrictions
    ChanRobles™ Virtual Law Library | chanrobles.com™
     
    RED