Philippine Supreme Court Jurisprudence


Philippine Supreme Court Jurisprudence > Year 1965 > June 1965 Decisions > G.R. No. L-18569 June 22, 1965 - PLACIDO ANTONIO, ET AL. v. PETRONILO JACINTO:




PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

EN BANC

[G.R. No. L-18569. June 22, 1965.]

PLACIDO ANTONIO, ET AL., Plaintiffs-Appellees, v. PETRONILO JACINTO, Defendant-Appellant.

Villarta Law Firm for Plaintiffs-Appellees.

S. P. Tabangay, for Defendant-Appellant.


SYLLABUS


1. APPEALS; PARTY IN DEFAULT MAY APPEAL EVEN IF NO PETITION FOR RELIEF PRESENTED UNDER REVISED RULES OF COURT. — Under Rule 41, Section 2, paragraph 3, Revised Rules of Court, a party who has been declared in default may appeal from the judgment rendered against him as contrary to the evidence or to the law, even if no petition for relief to set aside the order of default has been presented by him in accordance with Rule 38.

2. PLEADINGS AND PRACTICE; DEFENDANT SHOULD FILE ANSWER PENDING ACTION ON MOTION FOR EXTENSION. — Where a motion for extension to file answer continues unacted upon by the court for some time, the least the attorney for defendant could do in the meantime is to file the answer.


D E C I S I O N


REGALA, J.:


This is an appeal brought by the defendant from the order of the Court of First Instance of Isabela, denying his motion for relief from a default order and judgment of that court. The appeal was taken to the Court of Appeals but, considering that only questions of law are raised, the appeal was certified to this Court.

The facts that led to the issuance of the disputed order are as follows: On March 28, 1958, the plaintiffs sued the defendant in the Court of First Instance of Isabela for the recovery of possession of a portion of land registered in the names of the deceased spouses Mariano Antonio and Micaela Cudiamat. Plaintiffs are the children and grandchildren of the registered owners. In their complaint, the plaintiffs alleged that the defendant had unlawfully taken possession of a portion of about 2 1/2 hectares of the land in question and prayed the court to restore them in possession and award them damages as a result thereof.

Accordingly, summons was issued to the defendant who received it, together with a copy of the complaint, on April 12, 1958.

On April 26, that is, the day before the last day for filing an answer, Attorney S. P. Tabangay filed a motion for extension of the time to answer on the pretext that he needed time to prepare the answer, his services having been engaged by the defendant only on that day. He therefore asked for 10 days from April 28 within which to answer the complaint. (Actually, the last day for the answer was April 27, not April 28).

The case was assigned to Branch II of the court whose seat was at Cauayan, Isabela. It happened, however, that the judge of Branch II had gone on leave and did not come back until the end of April, 1958. In his absence, Judge Manuel Arranz of Branch I, whose seat was at Ilagan, Isabela, acted as vacation judge and took charge of interlocutory matters. For this reason, defendant’s motion and the rest of the records of the case were mailed to him in Ilagan on April 30. Anticipating favorable action on the motion, the clerk of Branch II even prepared for the judge’s signature a draft of an order giving defendant 10 days from April 27 within which to file his answer.

On account of a strike at the Rural Transit, which took charge of the transportation of mails, the records of this case did not reach Branch I until May 14. By then the regular judge of Branch II, Hon. Pedro C. Quinto, had returned to his post. For this reason, Judge Arranz took no action on the motion and instead returned it together with the other records of the case to Branch II on June 23.

Thereafter, on motion of the plaintiffs, the court declared the defendant in default. It subsequently denied his motion for reconsideration for lack of verification and affidavit of merit. Still later, on July 16, 1958, the court rendered judgment against defendant, ordering him to vacate the portion occupied by him and to pay damages.

On July 28, defendant filed a petition for relief from judgment. The petition was verified by the defendant and was supported by the affidavits of merit which in substance recited that the portion occupied by the defendant was bought by him from the deceased spouses Mariano Antonio and Micaela Cudiamat. Defendant also attached his answer. This petition was opposed by the plaintiffs.

On March 10, 1959, the court denied the defendant’s petition for relief. Hence this appeal, the defendant contending (1) that it was error for the lower court to declare default without first resolving his motion for extension of time to answer (Mapua v. Mendoza, 45 Phil. 424); (2) that his failure to answer the complaint was an honest mistake because he was "laboring on the honest and sincere belief" that his motion "would be resolved by the trial Court;" and (3) that he had a valid defense against the plaintiffs’ complaint.

On the question as to whether or not a party in default may appeal the judgment on the merits against him, the rulings were to the effect that a defendant who is declared in default cannot appeal, unless he files a motion under Rule 38 to set aside the order of default upon the ground of fraud, accident, error or mistake or excusable neglect, and if his motion is denied, he may then appeal from the order denying such motion, and he may, in the meantime, apply for a writ of preliminary injunction to stay the execution of the judgment on the merits. And if the motion to stay is denied, the motion may be renewed on appeal.

The above procedure, however, was changed by the Revised Rules of Court. Under Rule 41, section 2, paragraph 3, a party who has been declared in default may likewise appeal from the judgment rendered against him as contrary to the evidence or to the law, even if no petition for relief to set aside the order of default has been presented by him in accordance with Rule 38. (Moran Comments on the Rules of Court 453 [1963 ed.])

The Court agrees with the observation of the lower court that the least that the attorney for the defendant in this case should have done was to file his answer while the motion for extension was pending before the court. As stated also by the lower court, the motion for reconsideration on the order of default did not comply with the Rules of Court as it lacked the necessary verification and affidavit of merit.

Considering that a motion for relief is addressed to the sound discretion of the court, We, find that the lower court has not committed any abuse of discretion in denying the relief considering the nature and circumstances of the case.

WHEREFORE, the order appealed from is hereby affirmed. Costs against the defendant-appellant.

Bengzon, C.J., Bautista Angelo, Concepcion, Reyes. J.B.L., Paredes, Dizon, Makalintal, Bengzon, J.P., and Zaldivar, JJ., concur.

Barrera, J., is on leave.




Back to Home | Back to Main


chanrobles.com



ChanRobles Professional Review, Inc.

ChanRobles Professional Review, Inc. : www.chanroblesprofessionalreview.com
ChanRobles On-Line Bar Review

ChanRobles Internet Bar Review : www.chanroblesbar.com
ChanRobles CPA Review Online

ChanRobles CPALE Review Online : www.chanroblescpareviewonline.com
ChanRobles Special Lecture Series

ChanRobles Special Lecture Series - Memory Man : www.chanroblesbar.com/memoryman





June-1965 Jurisprudence                 

  • G.R. No. L-17647 June 16, 1965 - HERMINIA GODUCO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL

  • G.R. No. L-19201 June 16, 1965 - REV. FR. CASIMIRO LLADOC v. COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-17214 June 21, 1965 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CIRIACO ALIPIS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-19836 June 21, 1965 - GO A. LENG v. REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL.

  • G.R. No. L-16999 June 22, 1965 - IN RE: CHENG KIAT GIAM v. REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL.

  • G.R. No. L-19111 June 22, 1965 - IN RE: CHIU BOK v. REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL.

  • G.R. No. L-20379 June 22, 1965 - IN RE: JOSE BERMAS, SR., ET AL

  • G.R. No. L-20489 June 22, 1965 - BOMBAY DEPT. STORE v. COMMISSIONER OF CUSTOMS

  • G.R. No. L-20716 June 22, 1965 - AGUSTIN DE AUSTRIA, ET AL v. HON. AGAPITO CONCHU

  • G.R. Nos. L-20847-9 June 22, 1965 - SERREE INVESTMENT CO. v. COMMISSIONER OF CUSTOMS

  • G.R. No. L-17189 June 22, 1965 - ANDRES CASTILLO v. JUAN RODRIGUEZ, ET AL

  • G.R. No. L-17644 June 22, 1965 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LAMBERTO Y. GUEVARRA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-17650 June 22, 1965 - KAPISANAN NG MGA MANGGAGAWA SA MANILA RAILROAD CO. v. HON. JESUS DE VEYRA, ET AL

  • G.R. No. L-17913 June 22, 1965 - MANILA RAILROAD CO. v. HON. JOSE M. MOYA, ET AL

  • G.R. No. L-18569 June 22, 1965 - PLACIDO ANTONIO, ET AL. v. PETRONILO JACINTO

  • G.R. No. L-20288 June 22, 1965 - JOSE CASARIA, ET AL v. RICARDO ROSALES, ET AL

  • G.R. No. L-22236 June 22, 1965 - GSIS v. GAUDENCIO CLORIBEL, ET AL

  • G.R. No. L-17323 June 23, 1965 - CLAUDIO GABUTAS v. GUIDO D. CASTELLANES

  • G.R. No. L-19432 June 23, 1965 - COTABATO TIMBERLAND CO. INC. v. PLARIDEL LUMBER CO., INC.

  • G.R. No. L-19913 June 23, 1965 - IN RE: YU TI v. REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL.

  • G.R. No. L-19914 June 23, 1965 - IN RE: TAN SANG v. REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL.

  • G.R. No. L-19915 June 23, 1965 - IN RE: TANG KONG KIAT v. REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL.

  • G.R. No. L-19916 June 23, 1965 - IN RE: ALEXANDER LIM UY v. REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL.

  • G.R. No. L-20021 June 23, 1965 - IN RE: SERGIO TAN v. REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL.

  • G.R. No. L-20136 June 23, 1965 - IN RE: JOSE A. SANTOS Y DIAZ v. ANATOLIO BUENCONSEJO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-20431 June 23, 1965 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EUGENIO LIBED, ET AL

  • G.R. No. L-20675 June 23, 1965 - BATANGAS TRANSPORTATION CO. v. TEODORO VELANDO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-20843 June 23, 1965 - EDWARD J. NELL CO. v. RICARDO CUBACUB, ET AL

  • G.R. No. L-20987 June 23, 1965 - PHIL. LAND-AIR SEA LABOR UNION, ET AL. v. CEBU PORTLAND CEMENT CO., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-21470 June 23, 1965 - CONSUELO VDA. DE PRIETO v. PACIENCIA REYES, ET AL

  • G.R. No. L-21856 June 23, 1965 - BENJAMIN BELISARIO v. MARCELO RAMIREZ

  • G.R. No. L-16636 June 24, 1965 - MLA. SURETY & FIDELITY CO., INC. v. BATH CONSTRUCTlON & CO., ET AL

  • G.R. No. L-19670 June 24, 1965 - PEDRO D. PAMINTUAN v. COURT OF APPEALS

  • G.R. No. L-16641 June 24, 1965 - FE RECIDO, ET AL v. ALFONSO T. REFASO, ET AL

  • G.R. No. L-19897 June 24, 1965 - JOAQUIN TAN v. REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL.

  • G.R. Nos. L-20824 & L-22218 June 24, 1965 - BERNARDINO GUERRERO & ASSOCIATES v. FRANCISCO TAN

  • G.R. No. L-19898 June 28, 1965 - IN RE: SEE YEK TEK v. REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL.

  • G.R. No. L-20830 June 28, 1965 - HILARIO GANANCIAL, ET AL v. LEONARDO ATILLO

  • G.R. No. L-12351 June 29, 1965 - COMMISSIONER OF CUSTOMS v. FELIX M. ICAMEN

  • G.R. No. L-18659 June 29, 1965 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ANTIPAS SAGARIO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-19851 June 29, 1965 - YU BAN CHUAN v. FIELDMEN’S INSURANCE CO., INC., ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. L-20787-8 June 29, 1965 - J. ANTONIO ARANETA v. ANTONIO PEREZ

  • G.R. No. L-21071 June 29, 1965 - MANILA RAILROAD CO. v. DANIEL PEREZ, ET AL

  • G.R. No. L-24406 June 29, 1965 - MANILA ELECTRIC CO. v. ENRIQUE MEDINA, ET AL

  • G.R. No. L-15938 June 30, 1965 - CARMELINO DADAY, ET AL v. PASTOR L. DE GUZMAN, ET AL

  • G.R. Nos. L-16078-79 June 30, 1965 - DIRECTOR OF LANDS v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL

  • G.R. No. L-16236 June 30, 1965 - IRINEO S. BALTAZAR v. LINGAYEN GULF ELECTRIC POWER CO., INC., ET AL

  • G.R. No. L-16767 June 30, 1965 - IN RE: TAN NGA KOK v. REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL.

  • G.R. No. L-16829 June 30, 1965 - OLEGARIO BRITO, ET AL v. COMMISSIONER OF IMMIGRATION

  • G.R. No. L-17287 June 30, 1965 - JAIME HERNANDEZ, ET AL v. EPIFANIO T. VILLEGAS, ET AL

  • G.R. No. L-17885 June 30, 1965 - GABRIEL P. PRIETO v. MEDEN ARROYO, ET AL

  • G.R. No. L-18682 June 30, 1965 - NICOLAS DE LOS SANTOS v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL

  • G.R. No. L-19157 June 30, 1965 - INDIAN COMMERCIAL CO. v. CENTRAL BANK OF THE PHIL.

  • G.R. No. L-19281 June 30, 1965 - IN RE: PEDRO SATILLON, ET AL v. PERFECTA MIRANDA, ET AL

  • G.R. No. L-19348 June 30, 1965 - IN RE: SEE HO KIAT v. REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL.

  • G.R. No. L-19380 June 30, 1965 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. GASPAR ASILUM, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-19636 June 30, 1965 - IN RE: ANTONIO SY v. REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL.

  • G.R. No. L-19780 June 30, 1965 - BENGUET CONSOLIDATED, INC. v. CECILIO MONTEMAYOR, ET AL

  • G.R. No. L-19844 June 30, 1965 - IN RE: FRANK YU TIU v. REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL.

  • G.R. No. L-20145 June 30, 1965 - IN RE: ONG SO v. REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL.

  • G.R. No. L-20208 June 30, 1965 - IN RE: ANTONIO UY v. REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL.

  • G.R. No. L-20462 June 30, 1965 - CALTEX (PHILIPPINES) INC. v. COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE

  • G.R. No. L-20499 June 30, 1965 - BALANGA POWER PLANT CO. v. COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE

  • G.R. No. L-20503 June 30, 1965 - PHIL. ASSO. OF GOV. RETIREES, INC. v. GSIS, ET AL

  • G.R. No. L-23004 June 30, 1965 - MAKATI STOCK EXCHANGE, INC. v. SECURITIES & EXCHANGE COMMISSION, ET AL

  • G.R. No. L-23244 June 30, 1965 - CHAMBER OF AGRI. & NATURAL RESOURCES OF THE PHILS., ET AL v. CENTRAL BANK OF THE PHILS.

  • G.R. No. L-24671 June 30, 1965 - FELICULO ISRAEL v. NUMERIANO G. ESTENZO, ET AL