Philippine Supreme Court Jurisprudence


Philippine Supreme Court Jurisprudence > Year 1988 > May 1988 Decisions > G.R. No. L-59801 May 31, 1988 - LEONOR P. FERNANDEZ, ET AL. v. FRANCIS J. MILITANTE, ET AL.:




PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

EN BANC

[G.R. No. L-59801. May 31, 1988.]

LEONOR P. FERNANDEZ, CONNIE P. HALL, BERNARDO PERALTA and MARIANO FERNANDEZ, Petitioners, v. THE HONORABLE FRANCIS J. MILITANTE, in his capacity as Judge, Court of First Instance of Cebu, Branch XII, ESTRELITO P. CAPUTOLAN, GONZALO P. CAPUTOLAN, RAQUEL C. ANIBAN, ESTANISLAO L. CAPUTOLAN and WILFREDO ANIBAN, Respondents.

Fernando B. Yu, for Petitioners.

Valeriano S. Carrillo for Respondents.


SYLLABUS


1. REMEDIAL LAW; KATARUNGANG PAMBARANGAY; NON-COMPLIANCE WITH CONCILIATION PROCESS COULD AFFECT PLAINTIFF’S CAUSE OF ACTION. — This Court has repeatedly ruled that the conciliation process at the Barangay level is a condition precedent for filing of actions before the regular trial courts and ordinarily, non-compliance therewith could affect the sufficiency of plaintiff’s cause of action and make his complaint vulnerable to dismissal on the ground of lack of cause of action or prematurity.

2. ID.; ID.; CONDITION PRECEDENT; SUBJECT TO WAIVER. — Failure to raise it as a defense in the answer or in a timely motion to dismiss is deemed a waiver of such precondition.

3. ID.; ID.; CONCILIATION PROCEDURE; NOT A JURISDICTIONAL REQUIREMENT. — The conciliation procedure under Pres. Dec. No. 1508 is not a jurisdictional requirement and its non-compliance cannot affect the jurisdiction which the court has already acquired over the subject matter or over the person of the defendant.

4. ID.; KATARUNGAN PAMBARANGAY; LUPON HAS NO AUTHORITY OVER DISPUTES WHERE PARTIES RESIDES IN DIFFERENT CITIES OR MUNICIPALITIES. — Section 2 (of Pres. Dec. No. 1508) specifies the conditions under which the Lupon of a barangay "shall have authority" to bring together the disputants for amicable settlement of their dispute: The parties must be "actually residing in the same city or municipality." At the same time, Section — while reiterating that the disputants must be "actually residing in the same barangay" or in "different barangays within the same city or municipality unequivocably declares that the Lupon shall have "no authority" over disputes "involving parties who actually reside in barangays of different cities or municipalities," except where such barangays adjoin each other.


D E C I S I O N


CORTES, J.:


The case at bar involves the assumption of jurisdiction by a trial court over a complaint without prior conciliation proceedings between the parties before the Lupong Tagapayapa as prescribed by Pres. Dec. No. 1508 (Katarungang Pambarangay Law). This Court issued a Temporary Restraining Order on March 9, 1982 enjoining respondent Judge from taking further action in the case during the pendency of the petition.

The facts are simple. Private respondents brought action against petitioners before the then Court of First Instance of Cebu, Branch XII, for "Declaration of Nullity of Deed of Sale and of Transfer Certificates of Title" and docketed as Civil Case No. R-20105. Petitioners filed on March 9, 1981 their answer raising special and affirmative defenses including a counterclaim. Subsequently, the case was set for pre-trial and on April 15, 1981, the first pre-trial conference was held.

On May 27, 1981, petitioners filed a Motion to Dismiss on the ground that the court never acquired jurisdiction over the case for non-compliance with the requirement of conciliation before the Lupong Tagapayapa. The trial court overruled the arguments raised by the petitioners and denied their motion on June 17, 1981. Motion for reconsideration was also denied for being filed out of time. Hence, this petition for certiorari and prohibition with preliminary injunction.

The present petition is premised on the argument that inasmuch as the complaint before the trial court is a proper subject of conciliation before the Lupong Tagapayapa, non-compliance with such requirement is a jurisdictional defect which renders the complaint vulnerable to dismissal.

The parties do not dispute the fact that the case now before the lower court was never referred to the Lupong Tagapayapa for conciliation. This Court has repeatedly ruled that the conciliation process at the Barangay level is a condition precedent for filing of actions before the regular trial courts and ordinarily, non-compliance therewith could affect the sufficiency of plaintiff’s cause of action and make his complaint vulnerable to dismissal on the ground of lack of cause of action or prematurity [Royales v. Intermediate Appellate Court. G.R. No. 65072, January 31, 1984, 127 SCRA 470; Vda. de Borromeo v. Pogoy, G.R. No. 63277, November 29, 1983, 126 SCRA 217; Morata v. Go, G.R. No. 62339, October 27, 1983, 125 SCRA 444]. However, failure to raise it as a defense in the answer or in a timely motion to dismiss is deemed a waiver of such precondition.chanrobles law library : red

The record shows that petitioners’ answer to the complaint never raised the defense that the private respondents’ complaint did not comply with the conciliation process prescribed by Pres. Dec. No. 1508. The failure to raise said defense in the answer is deemed a waiver thereof which no belated motion to dismiss can rectify.

Moreover, there is no merit to the petitioners’ contention that private respondents’ failure to comply with the conciliation process is fatal to the trial court’s jurisdiction. The conciliation procedure under Pres. Dec. No. 1508 is not a jurisdictional requirement and its non-compliance cannot affect the jurisdiction which the court has already acquired over the subject matter or over the person of the defendant. [Gonzales v. Court of Appeals, G.R. Nos. L-59495-97, June 26, 1987, 151 SCRA 287; Millare v. Hernando, G.R. No. L-55480, June 30, 1987, 151 SCRA 484].

It is likewise noteworthy that petitioners have invoked the jurisdiction of the respondent trial court by filing an answer and seeking affirmative relief from it. They cannot now repudiate that jurisdiction to which they have submitted themselves voluntarily [Royales v. Intermediate Appellate Court, citing Tijam v. Sibonghanoy, G.R. No. L-21450, April 15, 1968, 23 SCRA 29].chanrobles virtualawlibrary chanrobles.com:chanrobles.com.ph

Even assuming that petitioners’ motion to dismiss had been filed on time, it is doubtful whether the Lupon has authority over the controversy considering allegations regarding the residence of the parties involved. Petitioners and private respondents are admittedly all residents of Jones Avenue, Cebu City, with the exception of petitioner Connie P. Hall who is a citizen of the United States of America and a resident of Greenberry Drive, La Puerte, California, U.S.A. The ruling in the case of Tavora v. Velasco [G.R. No. 60367, September 30, 1982, 117 SCRA 613] resolves this point.

. . . Section 2 (of Pres. Dec. No. 1508) specifies the conditions under which the Lupon of a barangay "shall have authority" to bring together the disputants for amicable settlement of their dispute: The parties must be "actually residing in the same city or municipality." At the same time, Section 3 — while reiterating that the disputants must be "actually residing in the same barangay" or in "different barangays within the same city or municipality unequivocably declares that the Lupon shall have "no authority" over disputes "involving parties who actually reside in barangays of different cities or municipalities," except where such barangays adjoin each other.

Thus, by express statutory inclusion and exclusion, the Lupon shall have no jurisdiction over disputes where the parties are not actual residents of the same city or municipality, except where the barangays in which they actually reside adjoin each other. [Emphasis supplied]

WHEREFORE, the petition is hereby DISMISSED and the order of the respondent trial court in Civil Case No. R-20105 denying petitioners’ motion to dismiss is AFFIRMED. The Temporary Restraining Order issued by this Court on March 9, 1982 is hereby LIFTED and SET ASIDE.

SO ORDERED.

Yap (C. J.), Fernan, Narvasa, Melencio-Herrera, Gutierrez, Jr., Cruz, Paras, Feliciano, Gancayco, Padilla, Bidin, Sarmiento and Griño-Aquino, JJ., concur.




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





May-1988 Jurisprudence                 

  • G.R. No. L-47717 May 2, 1988 - IGNACIO PASCUA, ET AL. v. HEIRS OF SEGUNDO SIMEON, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 76353 May 2, 1988 - SOPHIA ALCUAZ, ET AL. v. PHILIPPINE SCHOOL OF BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-43446 May 3, 1988 - FILIPINO PIPE AND FOUNDRY CORPORATION v. NATIONAL WATERWORKS AND SEWERAGE AUTHORITY

  • G.R. No. L-39272 May 4, 1988 - EUGENIA SALAMAT VDA. DE MEDINA v. FERNANDO A. CRUZ, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-66183 May 4, 1988 - RICARDO O. MONTINOLA, JR. v. REPUBLIC PLANTERS BANK, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-67451 May 4, 1988 - REALTY SALES ENTERPRISE, INC., ET AL. v. INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-74410 May 4, 1988 - PABLO MAYOR v. INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-53984 May 5, 1988 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EDUARDO V. ANTONIO

  • G.R. No. L-70987 May 5, 1988 - GREGORIO Y. LIMPIN, JR., ET AL. v. INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-78605 May 5, 1988 - NATIONAL POWER CORPORATION v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-53907 May 6, 1988 - MODERN FISHING GEAR LABOR UNION v. CARMELO C. NORIEL, ET AL

  • G.R. Nos. L-57719-21 May 6, 1988 - WILFREDO DAVID v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 76595 May 6, 1988 - PACIFIC ASIA OVERSEAS SHIPPING CORPORATION v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. R-254-MTJ and 88-1-2807-MCTC May 9, 1988 - COURT ADMINISTRATOR v. RICARDO M. MAGTIBAY

  • G.R. No. L-30964 May 9, 1988 - SY CHIE JUNK SHOP, ET AL. v. FOITAF, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-43825 May 9, 1988 - CONTINENTAL MARBLE CORP., ET AL. v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-46303 May 9, 1988 - VICENTE S. UMALI v. JORGE COQUIA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-47968 May 9, 1989

    LINA MONTILLA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-48064 May 9, 1988 - ANTHONY POWERS, ET AL. v. DONALD I. MARSHALL, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-49893 May 9, 1988 - DANIEL C. ASPACIO v. AMADO G. INCIONG, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-51278 May 9, 1988 - HEIRS OF RAMON PIZARRO, SR. v. FRANCISCO Z. CONSOLACION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-54090 May 9, 1988 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ABRAHAM P. SERANILLA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-56505 May 9, 1988 - MAXIMO PLENO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-56923 May 9, 1988 - RAMON J. ALEGRE v. MANUEL T. REYES, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-57061 May 9, 1988 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MANGUIGIN MACATANA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-57280 May 9, 1988 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE OF RIZAL, BRANCH IV, QUEZON CITY, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-68940 May 9, 1988 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MATEO ABAGON, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-77227 May 9, 1988 - COMMANDER REALTY, INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 78604 May 9, 1988 - BATAAN SHIPYARD and ENGINEERING CO., INC. v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-81190 May 9, 1988 - MATIAS B. AZNAR III, ET AL. v. JUANITO A. BERNAD, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. R-6-RTJ May 11, 1988 - PELAGIO SICAT v. FERNANDO S. ALCANTARA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-38426 May 11, 1988 - PEDRO DE VILLA v. ISMAEL MATHAY, SR.

  • G.R. No. L-48848 May 11, 1988 - FEDERATION OF FREE WORKERS, ET AL. v. AMADO G. INCIONG, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-48889 May 11, 1989

    DEVELOPMENT BANK OF THE PHILIPPINES v. MIDPANTAO L. ADIL

  • G.R. No. L-65680 May 11, 1988 - JOSE B. SARMIENTO v. EMPLOYEES’ COMPENSATION COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L79644 May 11, 1988 - LORENZO SHIPPING CORPORATION v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-53873 May 13, 1988 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALFREDO C. LAYA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-47379 May 16, 1988 - NATIONAL POWER CORPORATION v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • A.C. No. 3153 May 17, 1988 - JUANITO L. HAW TAY v. EDUARDO SINGAYAO

  • G.R. No. L-58652 May 20, 1988 - ALFREDO B. RODILLAS v. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-50242 May 21, 1988 - E. RAZON, INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-53966 May 21, 1988 - IN RE: JOSE B. YUSAY, ET AL. v. TERESITA Y. RAMOS

  • G.R. No. L-60487 May 21, 1988 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. L-72069 & L-72070 May 21, 1988 - COMMISSIONER OF CUSTOMS v. COURT OF TAX APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 77465 May 21, 1988 - UY TONG, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 78343 May 21, 1988 - HEIRS OF RICARDO OLIVAS v. FLORENTINO A. FLOR, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-37409 May 23, 1988 - NICOLAS VALISNO v. FELIPE ADRIANO

  • G.R. No. L-47414 May 23, 1988 - ELIODORO T. ISCALA v. REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 71863 May 23, 1988 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALEJANDRO POLICARPIO KHAN

  • G.R. No. L-73491 May 23, 1988 - CONCEPCION B. TUPUE v. JOSE URGEL, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 74907 May 23, 1988 - PEDRO S. LACSA v. INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-76258 May 23, 1988 - JUANITO S. AMANDY v. PEOPLE OF THE PHIL., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 79010 May 23, 1988 - GENEROSO CORTES v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-30751 May 24, 1988 - PHILIPPINE NATIONAL BANK v. GENERAL ACCEPTANCE AND FINANCE CORPORATION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-38570 May 24, 1988 - DOMINGO PADUA v. VICENTE ERICTA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-57145 May 24, 1988 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. VALENTIN ATUTUBO

  • G.R. No. L-66575 May 24, 1988 - ADRIANO MANECLANG, ET AL. v. INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 71909 May 24, 1988 - JANE CUA, ET AL. v. CARMEN LECAROS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 80066 May 24, 1988 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MAXIMIANO ASUNCION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-36007 May 25, 1988 - FERNANDO GALLARDO v. JUAN BORROMEO

  • G.R. No. L-61093 May 25, 1988 - ELIGIO P. MALLARI, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-65483 May 25, 1988 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. SILVINO T. VILLANUEVA

  • G.R. No. 74451 May 25, 1988 - EQUITABLE BANKING CORPORATION v. INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 77859 May 25, 1988 - CENTURY TEXTILE MILLS, INC., ET AL. v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-64349 May 27, 1988 - CARLOS CARPIO v. PEOPLE OF THE PHIL.

  • G.R. No. L-46188 May 28, 1988 - HELENA ALMAZAR v. PEDRO D. CENZON, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-46556 May 28, 1988 - NAPOLEON O. CARIN v. EMPLOYEES’ COMPENSATION COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-51101 May 28, 1988 - RUFINO NAZARETH, ET AL. v. RENATO S. SANTOS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-53650 May 28, 1988 - VIRGINIA M. RAMOS v. ABDUL-WAHID A. BIDIN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-56362 May 28, 1988 - TOMASITA AQUINO v. PEDRO T. SANTIAGO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-56429 May 28, 1988 - BANCO FILIPINO SAVINGS AND MORTGAGE BANK v. FIDEL PURISIMA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-58997 May 28, 1988 - MARCELINO TIBURCIO v. JOSE P. CASTRO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-60937 May 28, 1988 - WALTER ASCONA LEE, ET AL. v. MANUEL V. ROMILLO, JR., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-61223 May 28, 1988 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CONRADO L. MERCADO

  • G.R. No. L-61464 May 28, 1988 - BA FINANCE CORPORATION v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-66884 May 28, 1988 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. VICENTE TEMBLOR

  • G.R. No. 77047 May 28, 1988 - JOAQUINA R-INFANTE DE ARANZ, ET AL. v. NICOLAS GALING, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-38303 May 30, 1988 - HONGKONG & SHANGHAI BANKING CORPORATION v. RALPH PAULI, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-43866 May 30, 1988 - PETRONIO COLLADO, ET AL. v. HAROLD M. HERNANDO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-48757 May 30, 1988 - MAURO GANZON v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. L-67158, 67159, 67160, 67161, & 67162 May 30, 1988 - CLLC E.G. GOCHANGCO WORKERS UNION, ET AL. v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-24842 May 31, 1988 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL. v. ALEJANDRO CARDENAS

  • G.R. No. L-36480 May 31, 1988 - ANDREW PALERMO v. PYRAMID INSURANCE CO., INC.

  • G.R. No. L-36773 May 31, 1988 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL. v. COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE OF CAMARINES SUR, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-54290 May 31, 1988 - DON PEPE HENSON ENTERPRISES, ET AL. v. IRINEO PANGILINAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-57650 May 31, 1988 - CATALINO Y. TINGA v. PEOPLE OF THE PHIL.

  • G.R. No. L-59801 May 31, 1988 - LEONOR P. FERNANDEZ, ET AL. v. FRANCIS J. MILITANTE, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-67948 May 31, 1988 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. NAPOLEON MONTEALEGRE

  • G.R. No. 78775 May 31, 1988 - JOSE UNCHUAN v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 80774 May 31, 1988 - SAN MIGUEL CORPORATION v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-81805 May 31, 1988 - VAR-ORIENT SHIPPING CO., INC., ET AL. v. TOMAS D. ACHACOSO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 82330 May 31, 1988 - DIAL CORPORATION, ET AL. v. CLEMENTE M. SORIANO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 82568 May 31, 1988 - ALFREDO R.A. BENGZON, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.