[G.R. No. 158617. January 21, 2004] <




Quoted hereunder, for your information, is a resolution of this Court dated JAN 21 2004.

G.R. No. 158617 (Judy Muyco-Rio and Ephraim Rio vs. People of the Philippines.)

Dissatisfied with the decision of the Regional Trial Court of Makati City, Branch 66, in Criminal Case Nos. 91-6813 and 91-6814, which convicted them of violating Batas Pambansa Blg. 22 [1] cralaw , petitioners Judy Muyco-Rio and Ephraim Rio appealed to the Court of Appeals. However, this appeal, docketed as CA G.R. CR No. 21680, was denied by the Court of Appeals on November 13, 2002. [2] cralaw

After receiving a copy of this decision on November 22, 2002, the petitioners filed a motion for reconsideration, which the appellate court also denied in a Resolution dated June 12, 2003. Petitioners received a copy of this resolution on June 16, 2003.

At this point, the petitioners sought to elevate the case to this Court. On June 30, 2003, they filed a Motion for Extension of Time (to file appeal via a Petition for Review under Sec. 2, Rule 45, Rules of Court). [3] cralaw But "for lack of sufficient showing that petitioners have not lost the fifteen (15)-day reglementary period to appeal pursuant to Section 2, Rule 45 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, as amended, in view of the lack of statement of the material date of filing of the motion for reconsideration of the assailed judgment," before the appellate court, their motion for extension was denied by us in our Resolution [4] cralaw of August 11, 2003. The petitioners' second motion for extension of time, filed on July 30, 2003, [5] cralaw was also denied.

On September 24, 2003, the petitioners sought the reconsideration [6] cralaw of the August 11, 2003, Resolution. They contend that they have not lost their right to file the petition because the notice of appeal they filed in the Court of Appeals and the first motion for extension to file the petition they filed in this Court have both been filed within the reglementary period of 15 days counted from June 16, 2003, when they received a copy of the June 12, 2003, Resolution of the Court of Appeals. [7] cralaw

In a Resolution [8] cralaw dated October 20, 2003, the Court denied the petitioners' motion with finality for the petitioners' failure to adduce compelling reason to warrant the reconsideration sought. Also denied were the petitioners' third [9] cralaw and fourth [10] cralaw motions for extension of time totaling 60 days from August 29, 2003, for lack of merit and in view of the denial with finality of their motion for reconsideration. On October 27, 2003, prior to their receipt of the Court's October 20, 2003, Resolution, the petitioners again filed another motion for extension of time to file a petition for review. [11] cralaw

Then on December 9, 2003, the petitioners filed the present "Second Motion For Reconsideration (With Leave of Court)," [12] cralaw attaching their petition for review. [13] cralaw

On December 22, 2003, [14] cralaw petitioner Judy M. Rio wrote separately to Associate Justice Reynato S. Puno, Chairman of the Second Division of this Court, and Associate Justice Leonardo A. Quisumbing, imploring them to grant the second motion for reconsideration on the grounds stated in the motion. Insisting on the propriety of their first motion for extension, and urging the reconsideration of the Court's Resolution of August 11, 2003, petitioner Judy M. Rio wrote again to Justice Quisumbing, Justice Puno and also to Chief Justice Hilario G. Davide, Jr., on January 9, 2004. This last letter was endorsed to the Second Division on January 15, 2004.

It is a well-settled rule that in a motion for extension of time to file a petition for review on certiorari, the petitioner must specifically allege the date of receipt of the assailed decision or resolution subject of the petition as well as the actual date of filing the motion for reconsideration thereof in the court below. Petitioners' statement that their "motion for reconsideration was denied by the [Court of Appeals] in a Resolution issued on June 12, 2003," which was received by their counsel on June 16, 2003, [15] cralaw is therefore insufficient compliance with the procedural requirements of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure. [16] cralaw Absent a properly filed motion for extension of time, the period to appeal lapsed on July 1, 2003, fifteen days after the petitioners received a copy of the appellate court's resolution denying their motion for reconsideration. The petition for review on certiorari filed on December 9, 2003, was therefore filed way beyond the reglementary period of fifteen (15) days fixed in Section 2, Rule 45 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure.

That petitioners filed a notice of appeal with the Court of Appeals is of no moment, contrary to the petitioners' assertion. The proper mode of appeal is through a timely petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, not ordinary appeal through a notice of appeal.

In not a few cases, we have relaxed the rigid application of the rules of procedure to afford the parties the opportunity to fully ventilate their cases on the merits. [17] cralaw This is in fine with the time-honored principle that cases should be decided only after giving all parties the chance to argue their causes and defenses. Technicality and procedural imperfections should thus not serve as basis of decisions. In that way, the ends of justice would be better served. [18] cralaw

However, such liberality in the application of rules of procedure may not be invoked if it will result in the wanton disregard of the rules or cause needless delay in the administration of justice. [19] cralaw Procedural law ensures the effective enforcement of substantive rights through the orderly and speedy administration of justice. [20] cralaw Rules are not intended to hamper litigants or complicate litigation. But they help provide for a vital system of justice where litigants may be heard in the correct form and manner, at the prescribed time in a peaceful way though adversarial confrontation before a judge whose authority they acknowledge. [21] cralaw Public order and our system of justice are well served by a conscientious observance of the rules of procedure. [22] cralaw Save for the most persuasive of reasons, strict compliance is enjoined to facilitate the orderly administration of justice. [23] cralaw Here, we find the petitioners' belated compliance in the second motion for reconsideration and their assertion that their failure was due to inadvertence unpersuasive to warrant liberality in the application of rules.

We emphasize that the right to appeal is a mere statutory privilege. [24] cralaw Not being a natural right or a part of due process, the right to appeal may be exercised only in the manner and in accordance with the rules provided for it. Failure to bring an appeal in the manner and within the period prescribed by the rules renders the judgment appealed from final and executory. [25] cralaw

WHEREFORE, the petitioners' second motion for reconsideration dated December 9, 2003, is DENIED for lack of merit. Moreover, a second motion for reconsideration is a prohibited pleading under Section 2, Rule 52 in relation to Section 4, Rule 56 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure. The petitioners' petition for review on certiorari is DENIED for their failure to take the appeal within the reglementary period of fifteen (15) days in accordance with Section 2, Rule 45 in relation to Section 5(a), Rule 56. The petitioners' fifth motion for extension of thirty (30) days from the time they received a copy of the Resolution dated October 20, 2003, and the letters dated December 22, 2003, and January 9, 2004, of petitioner Judy M. Rio are NOTED WITHOUT FURTHER ACTION.

No further pleadings will be entertained.

Let entry of judgment be made in due course.


Very truly yours,


Asst. Div. Clerk of Court


[1] cralaw Bouncing Checks Law.

[2] cralaw Rollo, pp. 99-109.

[3] cralaw Id. at 3-5.

[4] cralaw Id. at 18-19.

[5] cralaw Id. at 12-15.

[6] cralaw Id. at 20-23.

[7] cralaw Id. at 22.

[8] cralaw Id . at 49-50.

[9] cralaw Id. at 46-47.

[10] cralaw Id . at 42-44.

[11] cralaw Id. at 51-53.

[12] cralaw Id. at 58-62.

[13] cralaw Id. at 64-96.

[14] cralaw Id. at 55.

[15] cralaw Id. at 3.

[16] cralaw See NLRC v. CA, G.R. No. 146820, 2 July 2001.

[17] cralaw El Reyno Homes Inc., v. Ong, G.R. No. 142440, 17 February 2003, p. 9.

[18] cralaw Republic v. Court of Appeals , G.R. No. 130118, 9 July 1998, 292 SCRA 243, 251-252.

[19] cralaw Supra, note 17 at 10.

[20] cralaw Commissioner of Internal Revenue v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 110003, 9 February 2001, 351 SCRA 436, 444.

[21] cralaw Ibid .

[22] cralaw Ibid .

[23] cralaw Sebastian v. Morales, G.R. No. 141116, 17 February 2003, p. 8.

[24] cralaw People v. Paradeza, G.R. No. 144590, 7 February 2003, p. 7.

[25] cralaw Supra, note 17 at 13.

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