[G.R. No. 149567.January 28, 2002]
NATAS-YA ENTERPRISES, INC., vs. INTESTATE
ESTATE OF ELIZALDE, JR.
Quoted hereunder, for your information, is a
resolution of this Court dated 28 JAN 2002.
G.R. No. 149567(Natas-Ya Enterprises, Inc., petitioner vs. Intestate Estate
of Manuel Elizalde, Jr., Miguel Elizalde, Administrator, respondent.)
This is an appeal by certiorari from the
decision of the Court of Appeals dated May 16, 2001 in CA-GR SP No. 56698 denying due course and dismissing
the petition for certiorari filed by herein petitioner against the Intestate
Estate of Manuel Elizalde, Jr.
The spouses Manuel Elizalde, Jr. and Maria
Marti Elizalde, a Spanish citizen, had three children, namely, Miguel Elizalde,
Manuel Elizalde III and Maria del Carmen Elizalde. In 1975, Maria Marti Elizalde filed and was granted a divorce from
her husband by the Superior Court of California, County of San Diego. Two years
after, or in 1977, she filed a petition for dissolution of conjugal partnership
of gains and separation of properties with the Regional Trial Court of Makati.
The petition was granted and judgment became final and executory.
On May 2, 1997, Manuel Elizalde, Jr. died
intestate survived by his three children. On May 6, 1997, Miguel Elizalde filed
a petition for the settlement of estate of his father with the Regional Trial
Court of Pasig. During the hearing, Miguel adduced evidence that his father and
mother were divorced and the conjugal partnership of gains had been dissolved.
With a special power of attorney given him by
his sister Maria del Carmen, Miguel Elizalde filed a petition for letters of
administration, docketed as S.P. Proc. No. 10750, and prayed that he be
appointed regular administrator of the estate of Manuel Elizalde, Jr. This was
granted on July 30, 1997.
On October 28, 1997, Miguel, as regular
administrator, executed a deed of absolute sale over 4 parcels of land
belonging to the estate in favor of Philippine Commercial International Bank.
Meanwhile, Maria Marti Elizalde returned to
the Philippines and in 1999, she executed an unnotarized "deed of assignment
with irrevocable special power of attorney" in favor of herein petitioner
Natas-Ya Enterprises, Inc. authorizing the latter to, among others, prosecute
assignor's claim to the assets of the conjugal partnership of gains, including
the choice of attorney to handle the prosecution of her claim. Maria Marti
Elizalde constituted petitioner as her attorney-in-fact with power and
authority to receive her share in the conjugal partnership of gains and retain
40% thereof. The deed of assignment also provided that the "assignee shall have
exclusive control in the prosecution of any legal action or proceedings to be
commenced for the purpose of recovering the Assignor's shares in the assets of
the aforementioned conjugal partnership of gains xxx."
5, 1999, Maria Marti Elizalde filed, through Attys. Vicente Chuidian and
Cesar Uy, an Amended Motion for Removal of Administrator with Counter- Petition
claiming that she was a lawful heir of her deceased husband. Miguel opposed
On April 19, 1999, Maria Marti Elizalde wrote
counsels instructing them to withdraw from the case. Instead, petitioner
Natas-Ya, Inc. filed an omnibus motion for the removal of Miguel as administrator
and prayed for its appointment as administrator, attaching thereof a copy of
the deed of assignment executed by Maria Marti Elizalde in its favor.
On April 23, 1999, Maria Marti Elizalde,
through a new counsel, filed a Motion for Withdrawal of the Amended Motion for
Removal of Administrator. Petitioner manifested to the court that she was no
longer a legitimate widow and heir of deceased Manuel Elizalde, Jr., because
she has already obtained a divorce in the Superior Court of California. Petitioner
opposed such motion arguing that it was an interested party as an assignee;
that it held an irrevocable power of attorney; and that the withdrawal cannot
prejudice 40% of the hereditary claim contractually assigned to it by Maria
On May 7, 1999, Maria Marti Elizalde
reiterated her desire to withdraw her previous Motion for Withdrawal of Amended
Motion for Removal of Administrator, the effect of which is the retention of
Miguel Elizalde as administrator of the intestate estate of Manuel Elizalde,
Jr. On September 7, 1999, the trial court granted her motion and the motion for
removal of administrator was deemed withdrawn. Petitioner filed a motion for
reconsideration of the said order but the same was denied.
Hence, petitioner Natas-Ya, Inc. filed a
petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of
the Rules of Court with the Court of Appeals attributing grave abuse of
discretion to the trial court for granting Maria Marti Elizalde's motion for
retention of Miguel Elizalde, as administrator and denying petitioner's motion
On May 16, 2001, the Court of Appeals denied
due course to the petition and dismissed the same for (1) failure to implead
Maria Marti Elizalde as an indispensable party; and (2) for being a wrong mode
of appeal. The Court of Appeals ruled that petitioner erred in resorting to a
petition for certiorari under Rule 65 because
a plain and adequate remedy is an ordinary appeal under Rule 41. Hence, this
The petition has no merit.
Petitioner assails the resolution of the trial
court granting Maria Marti Elizalde's Motion to Withdraw the Motion for Removal
of Administrator claiming that the latter cannot renounce her share in the
conjugal partnership in view of the deed of assignment she executed in
petitioner's favor. However, as pointed out by the Court of Appeals, petitioner
failed to implead Maria Marti as an indispensable party in its petition.
Section 7, Rule 3 of the Rules of Court mandates that "parties in interest
without whom no final determination can be had of an action shall be joined
either as plaintiffs or defendants." The Joinder of indispensable parties is
compulsory; consequently, no action can proceed unless they are joined.cralawIn this case, Maria Marti is an
indispensable party because petitioner bases its action on the deed of
assignment with irrevocable special power of attorney executed by said Maria
Marti in its favor. No final resolution of the issue raised by petitioner can
be had without joining Maria Marti as a party, the latter being the assignor in
the subject deed of assignment relied upon by petitioner. Hence, the petition
was properly dismissed for failure to implead Maria Marti. Moreover, a plain,
speedy, and adequate remedy from the assailed Order is an appeal under Rule 41
and not a petition for certiorari. The Court of Appeals, thus, committed no
error in dismissing the petition.
Finally, we also note that the petition was
filed out of time. Petitioner received the Court of Appeals' denial of its
motion for reconsideration on August 29, 2001 and had until September 13, 2001
to file the petition. On September 12, 2001, petitioner asked for an extension
of 30 days from September 13, 2001 to file its petition. This was granted by
this Court and petitioner had until October 15, 2001 to file the
petition. However, said petition was filed only on October 17, 2001, hence, the
same must be denied for being filed out of time.
IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, the petition is hereby
denied and the decision of the Court of Appeals affirmed.
Very truly yours,
(Sgd.) VIRGINIA ANCHETA-SORIANO
Clerk of Court