Philippine Supreme Court Jurisprudence


Philippine Supreme Court Jurisprudence > Year 1974 > May 1974 Decisions > A.M. No. P-211 May 31, 1974 - QUINTIN DE DIOS SANTOS v. ALBERTO A. VALINO:




PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

SECOND DIVISION

[A.M. No. P-211. May 31, 1974.]

DR. QUINTIN DE DIOS SANTOS, Complainant, v. ALBERTO A. VALINO, Deputy Sheriff, Pasig, Rizal, Respondent.


R E S O L U T I O N


FERNANDEZ, J.:


We agree with the Judge Carolina C. Griño-Aquino 1 finding that, contrary to the complainant’s charge, there has been no injudicious implementation by the respondent of the order of demolition of the complainant’s house, and the recommendation that the administrative complaint against the respondent be dismissed.

In the case filed by the trustee of the heirs of Nieves Tuason de Barretto against Quintin De Dios Santos, present complainant, the Municipal Court of Marikina, Rizal, rendered a judgment ordering De Dios to vacate the lot belonging to the plaintiff and being occupied by him. This decision, rendered in City in the same year, and by the Court of Appeals in 1971. A petition for certiorari to review the decision of the Court of Appeals was denied by the Supreme Court in 1972.

On September 18, 1972, an order of demolition was issued by Judge Pacifico de Castro of the Court of First Instance of Rizal, Quezon City branch. Respondent gave the herein complainant one week within which to vacate the lot. On December 13, 19172, Judge De Castro rendered another order directing the Sheriff "to immediately enforce the order of demolition, dated September 18, 1972," Respondent notified the complainant of said order of the court on December 27, 1972 and informed him that the demolition order would be implemented on December 29, 1972. On the said date, demolition was began but not finished. On January 2, 1973, for humanitarian reasons, the Court gave the complainant thirty (30) days from January 27, 1973 within which to voluntarily demolish his improvements or what remained of them. In the meantime, complainant sold his house to the representative of the plaintiff in the ejectment suit.

As has been held by Judge Carolina C. Griño-Aquino, to which We concur:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

"Generally, litigants complain against the sluggishness or neglect of deputy sheriffs in enforcing writs and processes delivered to them for execution. In this case, the complaint is that the implementation of the order of demolition by Valino on December 29, 1972, at the peak of the Christmas holidays and with knowledge of the fact that a motion to hold it in abeyance was pending before the court which might possibly, as it did, grant it, was injudicious.

‘As a general rule a sheriff should execute a writ without delay and within a reasonable time after he receives it, although it has been held that in the absence of special circumstances a sheriff has until the return day in which to make service of process. At any rate, in the absence of directions by plaintiff in the writ, or knowledge of special circumstances requiring greater diligence, execution of the writ within the time allowed by law is sufficient. Where a sheriff has knowledge or reasonable ground to believe that there will be danger of loss to the creditor through delay in the execution of a writ, it is his duty to execute it immediately.’ (80 C.J.S. 216)

"While it is true that Valino, in the spirit of Christmas, could have postponed until after New Year’s Day the implementation of the order of demolition without much damage or prejudice to the plaintiff, nevertheless, since all that he did was to follow the letter and spirit of the order of the Court, as well as the advice of his immediate chief, Provincial Sheriff Salaysay (to give De Dios two days to vacate) it cannot be said, considering the antecedents and circumstances of the case, that he acted injudiciously in doing so.

"A sheriff is a ministerial officer. When the terms of a writ or order delivered to him for execution are clear, his duty is to enforce it. There is no room for the exercise of discretion on his part.

‘It is the sheriff’s duty to act promptly and in accordance with the mandate of the court. It is improper for a sheriff to modify the writ delivered to him for execution as to the time of such execution.’ (Skulason v. Pratt, 130 Pac. 2d 17).

"Valino committed no abuse in carrying out the order of demolition since, up to the time he enforced it, the order had not been countermanded or recalled by the Court that issued it. If the execution of a lawful writ, order or process of the courts can be postponed by the mere filing of a motion to hold it in abeyance, parties may, by the simple expedient of filing such motions, motions for reconsideration, motions for new trial, appeals, etc., however frivolous and unfounded, would be able to frustrate and delay the execution of final judgments of the courts. Through such tactics, despite the summary nature of an ejectment suit, the complainant De Dios was able to deprive the heirs of Nieves Tuason of the possession of their property of his intransigence of obduracy that the final implementation of the order of demolition caught him in the midst of the Christmas holidays. If there was abuse of the judicial process, it was committed by De Dios, not by Valino."cralaw virtua1aw library

IN VIEW OF ALL THE FOREGOING, the administrative complaint filed by the complainant against the respondent Alberto A. Valino is hereby dismissed.

Zaldivar (Chairman), Fernando, Barredo and Antonio, JJ., concur.

Aquino, J., did not take part.

Endnotes:



1. Of the Court of First Instance of Rizal, to whom the case was referred for investigation and report.




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