[G.R. No. 151301. April 21, 2003]




Quoted hereunder, for your information, is a resolution of this Court dated APR 21 2003.

G.R. No. 151301.( St. Louis Realty Corporation vs. Ronaldo B. Zamora, In His Capacity As The Executive Secretary, Office Of The President; Dunstan T. Vicente, In His Capacity As Arbiter, Housing And Land Use Regulatory Board; Alejandro Loquinario, In His Capacity As Sheriff, Regional Trial Court, Pasig City, And Brookside Hills Residents' Association, Inc.)

Before us is a Petition for Review on Certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court filed by petitioner St. Louis Realty Corporation assailing the February 13, 2001 Decision [1] cralaw of the Court of Appeals which in turn upheld the January 8, 1999 and April 22, 1999 Orders of the Office of the President. These two Orders respectively (1) granted private respondent Brookside Residents Association, Inc.'s motion for the remand of the records of the case to the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLRUB) for the issuance of a writ of execution and (2) denied petitioner's motion for reconsideration.

The present controversy stems from a complaint for incomplete development of Brookside Hills Subdivision filed by private respondent against petitioner before the HLURB docketed as HLURB Case No. REM-A-012794-5778.

On January 2, 1995, the HLURB Housing and Land Use Arbiter rendered a decision declaring petitioner guilty of violating sections 19 and 20 of PD 957 and ordering the latter to complete the development of the Brookside Hills Subdivision:

WHEREFORE, premises considered, judgment is hereby rendered ordering respondent St. Louis Realty Corporation within six months, as follows:

1.� To provide at all times adequate water supply by rehabilitating/repairing all water pumps and tanks;

2.� Provide adequate lighting facilities by the immediate installation, restoration of lacking/existing streetlights;

3.� Refund to the Homeowners Association all paid electric bills on the street lights;

4.� Repair and maintain all existing streets, and provide the same with sidewalks, curbs and gutters;

5.� Construct and maintain an efficient drainage system;

6.� Construct rip-raps along creeks and brooks;

7.� Clear all unsold vacant lots of tall grasses; and

8.� Construct a perimeter fence along the subdivision boundaries.

For violation of Section(s) 19 and 20 of P. D. 957, an administrative fine of Twenty Thousand (P20,000.00) is hereby imposed upon the respondent payable to this Board. [2] cralaw

On September 12, 1995 the HLURB Board of Commissioners denied petitioner's appeal.

Petitioner appealed the HLURB Board decision to the Office of the President. But, on August 31, 1998, the Office of the President, thru then Executive Secretary Ronaldo B. Zamora, dismissed the appeal and affirmed the HLURB Board decision.

On January 5, 1999, petitioner filed with the Office of the President an urgent motion asking for the approval of a Compromise Agreement allegedly entered by the parties on November 4, 1998.

However, private respondent, invoking the final and executory decision of the Office of the President dated August 31, 1998, filed an ex parte motion for the remand of records of the case to the HLURB for the issuance of a writ of execution.

On January 8, 1999, the Office of the President issued the first assailed order granting private respondent's motion.

On February 25, 1999, petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration pointing out that its motion for the approval of the Compromise Agreement still remained to be resolved. Petitioner also filed an urgent manifestation with motion for the Office of the President to direct the HLURB to desist from execution of its decision and to return the records of the case to the Office of the President; and for said Office to take cognizance of the Compromise Agreement. On April 22, 1999, the Office of the President, in its second assailed order, denied both.

Unfazed, petitioner elevated the matter to the Court of Appeals via petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court.

In its decision dated February 13, 2001, the Court of Appeals affirmed the ruling of the Office of the President remanding the records of the case to the HLURB for execution of its decision. Petitioner's motion for reconsideration was likewise denied. Thus, the instant petition.

Petitioner insists that the Court of Appeals committed reversible error when it declared that the August 31, 1998 decision of the Office of the President had become final and executory; that it defaulted in its obligation under the Compromise Agreement and that it was estopped from questioning the finality of the decision of the Office of the President.

The petition has no merit.

Petitioner claims that the subject August 31, 1998 decision of the Office of the President did not attain finality because there was no proper service of a copy of said decision on petitioner or its counsel.

However, the records reveal that a certified true copy of the subject decision was sent to petitioner's counsel by registered mail on September 29, 1998. Under Section 10, Rule 13 of the Rules of Court, service on petitioner's counsel is deemed complete after the lapse of five days from the date the registered mail is delivered to the given address. Thus, on October 5, 1998, service on petitioner was deemed complete. Consequently, when petitioner failed to either file an appeal or a motion for reconsideration of the subject decision within fifteen days thereafter or on October 20, 1998, said decision became final and executory.

With respect to the second assigned error the question of whether or not petitioner was guilty of breach of the Compromise Agreement is one of fact. Time and again, this Court has ruled that the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court in appeals filed under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court is limited to a review of errors of law only. [3] cralaw

Finally, petitioner itself admitted the finality of the August 31, 1998 decision in the third "Whereas" clause of the subject Compromise Agreement that "the HLURB decision after appeal to the Office of the President is now final." [4] cralaw Thus, the Court of Appeals correctly declared petitioner estopped from questioning its finality.

Accordingly, the Court finds no reversible error committed by the Court of Appeals in the assailed February 13, 2001 Decision.

WHEREFORE , the petition is hereby denied.


Very truly yours,

Clerk of Court



Asst. Division Clerk of Court


[1] cralaw Penned by Associate Justice Edgardo P. Cruz and concurred in by Associate Justices Ramon Mabutas Jr. and Roberto A. Barrios of the sixth Division.

[2] cralaw Rollo, pp. 222-223.

[3] cralaw Industrial Insurance Company, Inc. vs. Bondad, 330 SCRA 706 [2000]

[4] cralaw Rollo, p. 173.

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