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CASE 2017-0032: EXPRESS PADALA (ITALIA) S.P.A. NOW BDO REMITTANCE (ITALIA) S.P.A. VS. HELEN M. OCAMPO (G.R. NO. 202505, 06 SEPT 2017, JARDELEZA, J.) (SUBJECT/S: SUBSTITUTED SERVICE OF SUMMONS) (BRIEF TITLE: EXPRESS PADALA VS OCAMPO)

 

 DISPOSITIVE:

  

“WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED. The Decision dated January 5, 2012 and Resolution dated June 27, 2012 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 113475 are AFFIRMED insofar as there was no valid service of summons. The Decision dated September 14, 2009 of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 212, Mandaluyong City in Civil Case No. MCOS-3775 is declared VOID.

 

SO ORDERED.”

 

SUBJECTS/DOCTRINES/DIGEST:

 

WHAT HAPPENED IN THIS CASE?

 

RESPONDENT OCAMPO, A REMITTANCE PROCESSOR OF BDO REMITTANCE  WAS DISMISSED FOR MISAPPROPRIATING EURO 24,035.60 AND WAS CONVICTED OF A CRIME IN ITALY.   PETITIONER BDO REMITTANCE FILED IN MANDALUYONG RTC CASE FOR RECOGNITION OF JUDGMENT IN ITALY AND FOR CANCELLATION OF THE PASSPORT OF RESPONDENT. SUMMONS WAS SERVED BY SUBSTITUTED SERVICE BECAUSE THE PRESENT OCCUPANT OF THE LAST ADDRESS OF OCAMPO SAID THAT HE IS ONLY A CARETAKER OF THE HOUSE AND THAT OCAMPO IS NOW LIVING IN ITALY. RTC RECEIVED EVIDENCE EX PARTE AND ISSUED A DECISION AGAINST OCAMPO. C.A. REVERSED THE DECISION ON GROUND THAT THERE WAS NO VALID SERVICE OF SUMMONS. S.C. AFFIRMED.

 

WHAT IS THE GENERAL RULE IN SERVICE OF SUMMONS?

 

THAT SUMMONS MUST BE SERVED PERSONALLY ON THE DEFENDANT.

 

“Section 6, Rule 14 of the Rules of Court provides:

 

Sec. 6. Service in person on defendant. -Whenever practicable, the summons shall be served by handing a copy thereof to the defendant in person, or, if he refuses to receive and sign for it, by tendering it to him.

 

WHAT ARE THE EXCEPTIONS?

 

BY SUBSTITUTED SERVICE AND BY PUBLICATION.

 

 “For justifiable reasons, however, other modes of serving summons may be resorted to. When the defendant cannot be served personally within a reasonable time after efforts to locate him have failed, the rules allow summons to be served by substituted service. Substituted service is effected by leaving copies of the summons at the defendant’s residence with some person of suitable age and discretion then residing therein, or by leaving the copies at defendant’s office or regular place of business with some competent person in charge thereof.21

 

When the defendant’s whereabouts are unknown, the rules allow service of summons by publication.22 As an exception to the preferred mode of service, service of summons by publication may only be resorted to when the whereabouts of the defendant are not only unknown, but cannot be ascertained by diligent inquiry. The diligence requirement means that there must be prior resort to personal service under Section 7 and substituted service under Section 8, and proof that these modes were ineffective before summons by publication may be allowed. 23 This mode also requires the plaintiff to file a written motion for leave of court to effect service of summons by publication, supported by affidavit of the plaintiff or some person on his behalf, setting forth the grounds for the application.24”

 

WHAT WAS THE RULING OF THE CA?

 

SINCE OCAMPO’S WHEREABOUTS ARE UNKNOWN AND CANNOT BE ASCERTAINED BY DILIGENT INQUIRY THE SERVICE OF SUMMONS MAY BE EFFECTED ONLY BY PUBLICATION.

 

“In the present case, the sheriff resorted to substituted service upon Ocampo through her uncle, who was the caretaker of Ocampo’s old family residence in Tanauan, Batangas. The CA held that substituted service was improperly resorted to. It found that since Ocampo’ s “whereabouts are unknown and cannot be ascertained by diligent inquiry x x x service may be effected only by publication in a newspaper of general circulation.”25

 

WHAT DOES SUBSTITUTED SERVICE PRESUPPOSES?

 

THAT THE PLACE WHERE THE SUMMONS IS BEING SERVED IS THE DEFENDANT’S CURRENT RESIDENCE OR OFFICE/REGULAR PLACE OF BUSINESS.

 

THUS, WHERE THE DEFENDANT NEITHER RESIDES NOR HOLDS OFFICE IN THE ADDRESS STATED IN THE SUMMONS, SUBSTITUTED SERVICE CANNOT BE RESORTED TO.

 

“As we explained in Keister v. Navarro:

 

Under the Rules, substituted service may be effect[ ed] (a) by leaving copies of the summons at the defendant’s dwelling house or residence with some person of suitable age and discretion then residing therein, or (b) by leaving the copies at defendant’s office or regular place of business with some competent person in charge thereof The terms “dwelling house” or “residence” are generally held to refer to the time of service, hence it is not sufficient “to leave the copy at defendant’s former dwelling house, residence, or place of abode, as the case may be, after his removal therefrom.” They refer to the place where the person named in the summons is living at the time when the service is made, even though he may be temporarily out of the country at the time. Similarly, the terms “office” or “regular place of business” refer to the office or place of business of defendant at the time of service. Note that the rule designates the persons to whom copies of the process may be left. The rule presupposes that such a relation of confidence exists between the person with whom the copy is left and the defendant and, therefore, assumes that such person will deliver the process to defendant or in some way give him notice thereof.27 (Italics in the original, citations omitted.)”

 

WHY WAS OCAMPO’S CURRENT ADDRESS UNCERTAIN?

 

BASED ON THE REPORT OF THE SHERIFF AND AVERMENT OF BDO REMITTANCE.

 

“The report categorically stated that “defendant Helen M. Ocampo and her family were already in Italy,”28 without, however, identifying any specific address. Even BDO Remittance itself admitted in its petition for recognition that Ocampo’ s “whereabouts in Italy are no longer certain.”29 This, we note, is the reason why in alleging the two addresses of Ocampo, one in Italy and one in the Philippines, BDO Remittance used the phrase “last known [address ]”30 instead of the usual “resident of.” Not being a resident of the address where the summons was served, the substituted service of summons is ineffective.”

 

BUT BDO CITED THE CASE OF PALMA VS. GALVEZ. IS THIS CASE NOT APPLICABLE?

 

NOT APPLICABLE BECAUSE IN THAT CASE SERVICE OF SUMMONS WAS SERVED (BY SUBSTITUTED SERVICE) TO A PERSON WHO WAS TEMPORARILY OUT OF THE COUNTRY.

 

“BDO Remittance’s reliance on Palma v. Galvez31 is misplaced for the simple reason that the case involved service of summons to a person who is temporarily out of the country. In this case, however, Ocampo’s sojourn in Italy cannot be classified as temporary considering that she already resides there, albeit her precise address was not known.”

 

HOW SHALL THE MODES OF SERVICE OF SUMMONS BE OBSERVED?

 

MUST BE STRICTLY FOLLOWED.

 

“The purpose of this is to afford the defendant an opportunity to be heard on the claim against him.”

 

. . . . .

 

“The service of summons is a vital and indispensable ingredient of a defendant’s constitutional right to due process. As a rule, if a defendant has not been validly summoned, the court acquires no jurisdiction over his person, and a judgment rendered against him is void.34 Since the RTC never acquired jurisdiction over the person of Ocampo, the judgment rendered by the court could not be considered binding upon her.”

 

TO READ THE DECISION, JUST CLICK/DOWNLOAD THE FILE BELOW.

 

SCD-2017-0032-Express Padala (Italia) S.P.A. now BDO Remittance (Italia) S.P.A. Vs. Helen M. Ocampo

 

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CASE 2017-0031: SOCIETE DES PRODUITS, NESTLE, S.A., PETITIONER, VERSUS PUREGOLD PRICE CLUB INC. (G.R NO. 217194, 06 , CARPIO, ACTING C.J.) (SUBJECT/S: CERTIFICATION ON NON-FORUM SHOPPING BY CORPORATION MUST HAVE BOARD RESOLUTION; WHEN IS TRADEMARK NOT REGISTRABLE; TWO TESTS TO DETERMINE WHETHER CONFUSION OCCURS AMONG COMPETING TRADEMARKS) (BRIEF TITLE: NESTLE VS PUREGOLD)

 

DISPOSITIVE:

 

“WHEREFORE, we DENY the petition. We AFFIRM the 15 May 2014 Resolution and the 14 October 2014 Resolution of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 134592.

 

SO ORDERED.”

 

SUBJECTS/DOCTRINES/DIGEST:

 

WHAT HAPPENED IN THIS CASE?

 

 PUREGOLD FILED APPLICATION FOR TRADEMARK “COFFEE MATCH”. NESTLE OPPOSSED ON THE GROUND THAT IT HAS ALREADY REGISTERED THE MARK “COFFEE-MATE”.

 

IPO DISMISSED THE OPPOSITION OF NESTLE ON THE GROUND THAT THE CERTIFICATION OF NON-FORUM SHOPPING WAS NOT SUPPORTED BY BOARD RESOLUTION. FURTHER, THAT THE MARKS ARE DIFFERENT AND NOT CONFUSING. CA AFFIRMED. SC AFFIRMED.

 

SPECIFICALLY WHAT WAS THE OPPOSITION OF NESTLE?

 

NESTLE ALLEGED THAT IT IS THE EXCLUSIVE OWNER OF THE “COFFEE-MATE” TRADEMARK AND THAT THERE IS CONFUSING SIMILARITY BETWEEN THE “COFFEE-MATE” TRADEMARK AND PUREGOLD’S “COFFEE MATCH” TRADEMARK. NESTLE ALLEGED THAT “COFFEE-MATE” HAS BEEN DECLARED AN INTERNATIONALLY WELL-KNOWN MARK AND PUREGOLD’S USE OF “COFFEE MATCH” WOULD INDICATE A CONNECTION WITH THE GOODS COVERED IN NESTLE’S “COFFEE-MATE” MARK BECAUSE OF ITS DISTINCT SIMILARITY. NESTLE CLAIMED THAT IT WOULD SUFFER DAMAGES IF THE APPLICATION WERE GRANTED SINCE PUREGOLD’S “COFFEE MATCH” WOULD LIKELY MISLEAD THE PUBLIC THAT THE MARK ORIGINATED FROM NESTLE.10

 

WHAT WAS THE DECISION OF THE IPO?

 

IPO DISMISSED THE OPPOSITION OF NESTLE FIRST BECAUSE NESTLE’S OPPOSITION WAS DEFECTIVE BECAUSE THE VERIFICATION AND CERTIFICATION AGAINST FORUM SHOPPING ATTACHED TO NESTLE’S OPPOSITION DID NOT INCLUDE A BOARD OF DIRECTORS’ RESOLUTION OR SECRETARY’S CERTIFICATE STATING MR. DENNIS JOSE R. BAROT’S (BAROT) AUTHORITY TO ACT ON BEHALF OF NESTLE.

 

AND SECOND BECAUSE THE WORD “COFFEE” AS A MARK, OR AS PART OF A TRADEMARK, WHICH IS USED ON COFFEE AND SIMILAR OR CLOSELY RELATED GOODS, IS NOT UNIQUE OR HIGHLY DISTINCTIVE. NESTLE COMBINED THE WORD “COFFEE” WITH THE WORD “-MATE,” WHILE PUREGOLD COMBINED THE WORD “COFFEE” WITH THE WORD “MATCH.” WHILE BOTH NESTLE’S “-MATE” AND PUREGOLD’S “MATCH” CONTAIN THE SAME FIRST THREE LETTERS, THE LAST TWO IN PUREGOLD’S MARK RENDERED A VISUAL AND AURAL CHARACTER THAT MAKES IT EASILY DISTINGUISHABLE FROM NESTLE’S “COFFEE-MATE.”13 ALSO, THE LETTER “M” IN PUREGOLD’S MARK IS WRITTEN AS AN UPPER CASE CHARACTER AND THE EYES OF A CONSUMER WOULD NOT BE CONFUSED OR DECEIVED BY NESTLE’S “COFFEEMATE” WHERE THE LETTER “M” IS WRITTEN IN LOWER CASE. CONSEQUENTLY, THE CONSUMER CANNOT MISTAKE THE MARK AND THE PRODUCTS OF NESTLE AS THOSE OF PUREGOLD’S.14

 

WHAT WAS THE DECISION OF THE CA?

 

IT AFFIRMED THE DECISION OF THE IPO.

  

ON THE NON-FORUM SHOPPING CERTIFICATION WHAT WAS THE EXPLANATION OF NESTLE AND IS THEIR EXPLANATION SUFFICIENT?

 

NESTLE EXPLAINED THAT THE AUTHORITY OF BAROT TO SIGN THE CERTIFICATION WAS BASED ON AN SPA EXECUTED BY CELINE GEORGE.

 

THE SPA IS NOT SUFFICIENT BECAUSE IT WAS NOT ACCOMPANIED  BY A BOARD RESOLUTION OR SECRETARY’S CERTIFICATE FROM NESTLE SHOWING THAT CELINE JORGE WAS AUTHORIZED BY THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF NESTLE TO EXECUTE THE POWER OF ATTORNEY IN FAVOR OF BAROT.

 

THE COURTS ARE NOT EXPECTED TO TAKE JUDICIAL NOTICE OF BOARD RESOLUTIONS OR SECRETARY’S CERTIFICATES ISSUED BY CORPORATIONS.

 

WHAT IS A TRADEMARK?

 

A TRADEMARK IS ANY DISTINCTIVE WORD, NAME~ SYMBOL, EMBLEM, SIGN, OR DEVICE, OR ANY COMBINATION THEREOF, ADOPTED AND USED BY A MANUFACTURER OR MERCHANT ON HIS GOODS TO IDENTIFY AND DISTINGUISH THEM FROM THOSE MANUFACTURED, SOLD, OR DEALT BY OTHERS.

 

WHEN IS A TRADEMARK NOT REGISTRABLE?

 

SECTION 123 OF REPUBLIC ACT NO. 829346 (RA 8293) PROVIDES FOR TRADEMARKS WHICH CANNOT BE REGISTERED, TO WIT: THE MARK IS:

 

XX XX

 

( D) IS IDENTICAL WITH A REGISTERED MARK BELONGING TO A DIFFERENT PROPRIETOR OR A MARK WITH AN EARLIER FILING OR PRIORITY DATE, IN RESPECT OF: (I) THE SAME GOODS OR SERVICES, OR (II) CLOSELY RELATED GOODS OR SERVICES, OR (III) IF IT NEARLY RESEMBLES SUCH A MARK AS TO BE LIKELY TO DECEIVE OR CAUSE CONFUSION;

 

( E) IS IDENTICAL WITH, OR CONFUSINGLY SIMILAR TO, OR CONSTITUTES A TRANSLATION OF A MARK WHICH IS CONSIDERED BY THE COMPETENT AUTHORITY OF THE PHILIPPINES TO BE WELL KNOWN INTERNATIONALLY AND IN THE PHILIPPINES, WHETHER OR NOT IT IS REGISTERED HERE, AS BEING ALREADY THE MARK OF A PERSON OTHER THAN THE APPLICANT FOR REGISTRATION, AND USED FOR IDENTICAL OR SIMILAR GOODS OR SERVICES: PROVIDED, THAT IN DETERMINING WHETHER A MARK IS WELL-KNOWN, ACCOUNT SHALL BE TAKEN OF THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE RELEVANT SECTOR OF THE PUBLIC, RATHER THAN OF THE PUBLIC AT LARGE, INCLUDING KNOWLEDGE IN THE PHILIPPINES WHICH HAS BEEN OBTAINED AS A RESULT OF THE PROMOTION OF THE MARK;

 

(F) IS IDENTICAL WITH, OR CONFUSINGLY SIMILAR TO, OR CONSTITUTES A TRANSLATION OF A MARK CONSIDERED WELL-KNOWN IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PRECEDING PARAGRAPH, WHICH IS REGISTERED IN THE PHILIPPINES WITH RESPECT TO GOODS OR SERVICES WHICH ARE NOT SIMILAR TO THOSE WITH RESPECT TO WHICH REGISTRATION IS APPLIED FOR: PROVIDED, THAT USE OF THE MARK IN RELATION TO THOSE GOODS OR SERVICES WOULD INDICATE A CONNECTION BETWEEN THOSE GOODS OR SERVICES, AND THE OWNER OF THE REGISTERED MARK: PROVIDED FURTHER, THAT THE INTERESTS OF THE OWNER OF THE REGISTERED MARK ARE LIKELY TO BE DAMAGED BY SUCH USE;

 

(G) IS LIKELY TO MISLEAD THE PUBLIC, PARTICULARLY AS TO THE NATURE, QUALITY, CHARACTERISTICS OR GEOGRAPHICAL ORIGIN OF THE GOODS OR SERVICES;

 

(H) CONSISTS EXCLUSIVELY OF SIGNS THAT ARE GENERIC FOR THE GOODS OR SERVICES THAT THEY SEEK TO IDENTIFY;

 

WHAT IS THE GRAVAMEN OF TRADEMARK INFRINGEMENT?

 

THE LIKELIHOOD OF CONFUSION.

 

HOW DO YOU DETERMINE WHETHER THERE IS LIKELIHOOD OF CONFUSION?

 

THERE IS NO ABSOLUTE STANDARD FOR THE LIKELIHOOD OF CONFUSION.

 

ONLY THE PARTICULAR, AND SOMETIMES PECULIAR, CIRCUMSTANCES OF EACH CASE CAN DETERMINE ITS EXISTENCE.

 

THUS, IN INFRINGEMENT CASES, PRECEDENTS MUST BE EVALUATED IN THE LIGHT OF EACH PARTICULAR CASE.49

 

WHAT ARE THE TWO TESTS OF DETERMINING THE LIKELIHOOD OF CONFUSION?

 

THE DOMINANCY TEST AND THE HOLISTIC TEST.

 

WHAT IS THE DOMINANCY TEST?

 

THE DOMINANCY TEST FOCUSES ON THE SIMILARITY OF THE PREVALENT FEATURES OF THE COMPETING TRADEMARKS THAT MIGHT CAUSE CONFUSION AND DECEPTION.

 

IF THE COMPETING TRADEMARK CONTAINS THE MAIN, ESSENTIAL, AND DOMINANT FEATURES OF ANOTHER, AND CONFUSION OR DECEPTION IS LIKELY TO RESULT, LIKELIHOOD OF CONFUSION EXISTS.

 

THE QUESTION IS WHETHER THE USE OF THE MARKS INVOLVED IS LIKELY TO CAUSE CONFUSION OR MISTAKE IN THE MIND OF THE PUBLIC OR TO DECEIVE CONSUMERS.

 

WHAT IS THE HOLISTIC TEST?

 

IT ENTAILS A CONSIDERATION OF THE ENTIRETY OF THE MARKS AS APPLIED TO THE PRODUCTS, INCLUDING THE LABELS AND PACKAGING, IN DETERMINING CONFUSING SIMILARITY.

 

THE DISCERNING EYE OF THE OBSERVER MUST FOCUS NOT ONLY ON THE PREDOMINANT WORDS BUT ALSO ON THE OTHER FEATURES APPEARING ON BOTH MARKS IN ORDER THAT THE OBSERVER MAY DRAW HIS CONCLUSION WHETHER ONE IS CONFUSINGLY SIMILAR TO THE OTHER.54

 

CAN “COFFEE” BE EXCLUSIVELY BE REGISTERED?

 

NO BECAUSE IT IS GENERIC OR DESCRIPTIVE OF THE GOODS THEY IDENTIFY.

 

THE RULE IS THAT GENERIC OR DESCRIPTIVE WORDS ARE NOT SUBJECT TO REGISTRATION AND BELONG TO THE PUBLIC DOMAIN.

 

SINCE COFFEE IS GENERIC HOW CAN THE REGISTRABILITY OF THE SUBJECT MARK “COFFEE MATCH” BE DETERMINED?

 

WE MUST LOOK AT THE WORD OR WORDS PAIRED WITH THE GENERIC OR DESCRIPTIVE WORD, IN THIS PARTICULAR CASE “-MATE” FOR NESTLE’S MARK AND “MATCH” FOR PUREGOLD’S MARK, TO DETERMINE THE DISTINCTIVENESS AND REGISTRABILITY OF PUREGOLD’S MARK “COFFEE MATCH.”

 

WHAT IS THE RULING OF THE SC IN THIS CASE:

 

THE DISTINCTIVE FEATURES OF BOTH MARKS ARE SUFFICIENT TO WARN THE PURCHASING PUBLIC WHICH ARE NESTLE’S PRODUCTS AND WHICH ARE PUREGOLD’S PRODUCTS.

 

WHILE BOTH “-MATE” AND “MATCH” CONTAIN THE SAME FIRST THREE LETTERS, THE LAST TWO LETTERS IN PUREGOLD’S MARK, “C” AND “H,” RENDERED A VISUAL AND AURAL CHARACTER THAT MADE IT EASILY DISTINGUISHABLE FROM NESTLE’S MARK. ALSO, THE DISTINCTIVENESS OF PUREGOLD’S MARK WITH TWO SEPARATE WORDS WITH CAPITAL LETTERS “C” AND “M” MADE IT DISTINGUISHABLE FROM NESTLE’S MARK WHICH IS ONE WORD WITH A HYPHENATED SMALL LETTER “-M” IN ITS MARK. IN ADDITION, THERE IS A PHONETIC DIFFERENCE IN PRONUNCIATION BETWEEN NESTLE’S “-MATE” AND PUREGOLD’S “MATCH.” AS A RESULT, THE EYES AND EARS OF THE CONSUMER WOULD NOT MISTAKE NESTLE’S PRODUCT FOR PUREGOLD’S PRODUCT.

 

TO READ THE DECISION, JUST CLICK/DOWNLOAD THE FILE BELOW.

 

SCD-2017-0031-Societe Des Products, Nestle, S.A. Vs. Puregold Price Club, Inc.

 

NOTE: TO RESEARCH ON A TOPIC IN YAHOO OR GOOGLE SEARCH  JUST TYPE “jabbulao and the topic”. EXAMPLE: TO RESEARCH ON FORUM SHOPPING JUST  TYPE “jabbulao and forum shopping”.

 

 

CASE 2017-0030: EVERGREEN MANUFACTURING CORPORATION, PETITIONER, -VERSUS REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, REPRESENTED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS AND HIGHWAYS, RESPONDENT; REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, REPRESENTED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS AND HIGHWAYS PETITIONER, -VERSUS EVERGREEN MANUF’ACTURING CORPORATION (G.R. NO. 218628/ G.R. NO. 218631, 06 SEPT 2017, CARPIO, ACTING C.J.) (SUBJECT/S: SC TACKLES FACTS WHEN RTC AND CA HAVE DIFFERENT DECISIONS; EXPROPRIATION; DETERMINATION OF JUST COMPENSATION; DETERMINATION OF INTEREST) (BRIEF TITLE: EVERGREEN VS. REPUBLIC)

 

DISPOSITIVE:

 

“WHEREFORE, premises considered, the Court resolves as follows:

 

  1. The petition in G.R. No. 218631 is PARTIALLY GRANTED. The assailed decisions of the Court of Appeals and Regional Trial Court are AFFIRMED with MODIFICATION that the just compensation for the 173 .08 square meters of the expropriated property is P33,050.00 per square meter, or a total of PS,720,294.00.

 

  1. The petition in G.R. No. 218628 is PARTIALLY GRANTED.

 

(a) The claim for legal interest on the difference between the final amount of just compensation of PS,720,294.00 and the initial deposit made by the Republic of the Philippines, represented by the Department of Public Works and Highways, in the amount of Pl,038,480.00 shall earn legal interest of 12% per annum from the date of taking or 21 April 2006 until 30 June 2013.

 

(b) The difference between the total amount of just compensation and the initial deposit shall earn legal interest of 6% per annum from 1 July 2013 until the finality of the Decision.

 

(c) The total amount of just compensation shall earn legal interest of 6% per annum from the finality of this Decision until full payment thereof.

 

SO ORDERED.”

 

SUBJECTS/DOCTRINES/DIGEST:

 

WHAT HAPPENED IN THIS CASE?

 

THIS CASE INVOLVES EXPROPRIATION OF LAND BELONGING TO EVERGREEN. RTC PASIG APPOINTED COMMISSIONERS TO DETERMINE THE JUST COMPENSATION. RTC RULED THAT JUST COMPENSATION IS P25,000.00 PER SQUARE METER. ON APPEAL, CA RULED THAT IT SHOULD BE P35,000.00 PER SQUARE METER. BECAUSE OF CONFLICT IN RTC AND CA RULINGS, SUPREME COURT SAID IT SHALL RESOLVE THE FACTUAL ISSUES. SUPREME COURT DECIDED ON THE JUST COMPENSATION AND ALSO ON THE INTEREST DUE.

 

WHAT SHOULD BE RAISED IN A PETITION FOR REVIEW ON CERTIORARI UNDER RULE 45?

 

ONLY QUESTIONS OF LAW SHOULD BE RAISED IN A PETITION FOR REVIEW ON CERTIORARI UNDER RULE 45. FACTUAL FINDINGS OF THE LOWER COURTS WILL GENERALLY NOT BE DISTURBED.

 

WHAT ARE THE EXCEPTIONS TO THIS RULE?

 

EXCEPTIONS TO THE RULE THAT FACTUAL FINDINGS OF THE COURT OF APPEALS ARE BINDING ON THE COURT ARE:

 

(1) WHEN THE FINDINGS ARE GROUNDED ENTIRELY ON SPECULATIONS, SURMISES OR CONJECTURES;

 

(2) WHEN THE INFERENCE MADE IS MANIFESTLY MISTAKEN, ABSURD OR IMPOSSIBLE;

 

(3) WHEN THERE IS GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION;

 

(4) WHEN THE JUDGMENT IS BASED ON A MISAPPREHENSION OF FACTS;

 

(5) WHEN THE FINDINGS OF FACT ARE CONFLICTING;

 

(6) WHEN IN MAKING ITS FINDINGS THE COURT OF APPEALS WENT BEYOND THE ISSUES OF THE CASE, OR ITS FINDINGS ARE CONTRARY TO THE ADMISSIONS OF BOTH THE APPELLANT AND THE APPELLEE;

 

(7) WHEN THE FINDINGS ARE CONTRARY TO THAT OF THE TRIAL COURT;

 

(8) WHEN THE FINDINGS ARE CONCLUSIONS WITHOUT CITATION OF SPECIFIC EVIDENCE ON WHICH THEY ARE BASED;

 

(9) WHEN THE FACTS SET FORTH IN THE PETITION AS WELL AS IN THE PETITIONER’S MAIN AND REPLY BRIEFS ARE NOT DISPUTED BY THE RESPONDENT;

 

(10) WHEN THE FINDINGS OF FACT ARE PREMISED ON THE SUPPOSED ABSENCE OF EVIDENCE AND CONTRADICTED BY THE EVIDENCE ON RECORD; OR

 

(11) WHEN THE COURT OF APPEALS MANIFESTLY OVERLOOKED CERTAIN RELEVANT FACTS NOT DISPUTED BY THE PARTIES, WHICH, IF PROPERLY CONSIDERED, WOULD JUSTIFY A DIFFERENT CONCLUSION.18

 

WHAT IS THE EXCEPTION APPLICABLE TO THIS CASE?

 

IN THIS CASE, GIVEN THAT THE FINDINGS ON THE AMOUNT OF JUST COMPENSATION OF THE RTC AND CA DIFFER, SC  FIND THAT A REVIEW OF THE FACTS IS IN ORDER.

 

WHAT IS THE DEFINITION OF JUST COMPENSATION?

 

IT IS FAIR AND FULL EQUIVALENT OF THE LOSS.


IN EXPROPRIATION CASES IT IS  DEFINED “AS THE FULL AND FAIR EQUIVALENT OF THE PROPERTY TAKEN FROM ITS OWNER BY THE EXPROPRIATOR.

 

WHAT IS THE TRUE MEASURE OF JUST COMPENSATION?

 

THE TRUE MEASURE IS NOT THE TAKER’S GAIN BUT THE OWNER’S LOSS. THE WORD ‘JUST’ IS USED TO MODIFY THE MEANING OF THE WORD ‘COMPENSATION’ TO CONVEY THE IDEA THAT THE EQUIVALENT TO BE GIVEN FOR THE PROPERTY TO BE TAKEN SHALL BE REAL, SUBSTANTIAL, FULL AND AMPLE.”20

 

SINCE ASCERTAINMENT OF JUST COMPENSATION IS A JUDICIAL PREROGATIVE CAN THE COURT DISPENSE WITH THE APPOINTMENT OF COMMISSIONERS?

 

THE APPOINTMENT OF COMMISSIONERS TO ASCERTAIN JUST COMPENSATION FOR THE PROPERTY SOUGHT TO BE TAKEN IS A MANDATORY REQUIREMENT IN EXPROPRIATION CASES.

 

CAN THE FINDINGS OF THE COMMISSIONERS BE DISREGARDED?

 

YES, FOR  VALID REASONS; THAT IS, WHERE THE COMMISSIONERS HAVE· APPLIED ILLEGAL PRINCIPLES TO THE EVIDENCE SUBMITTED TO THEM, WHERE THEY HAVE DISREGARDED A CLEAR PREPONDERANCE OF EVIDENCE, OR WHERE THE AMOUNT ALLOWED IS EITHER GROSSLY INADEQUATE OR EXCESSIVE.

 

AT WHAT POINT IN TIME SHOULD THE VALUE OF COMPENSATION BE DETERMINED?

 

AT THE TIME OF THE TAKING. IN THIS CASE IN 2004. TWO COMMISSIONERS CONSIDER DATA EXISTING IN 2000. THUS THEIR FIGURE IS WRONG.

 

SHOULD THE COMMISSIONERS CONFINE THEMSELVES TO DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE?

 

NO.

 

THEY MAY CONSIDER THE THE LOCATION OF THE SUBJECT PREMISES, AS WELL AS ITS SIZE AND PROSPECTIVE USES, THE NEIGHBORHOOD, AND THE NEARBY ESTABLISHMENTS.

 

THE REPUBLIC INSISTS THAT THE ZONAL VALUE OF THE PROPERTY AT THE TIME OF THE TAKING IS SUFFICIENT? IS THIS CORRECT?

 

NO. ZONAL VALUATION, ALTHOUGH ONE OF THE INDICES OF THE FAIR MARKET VALUE OF REAL ESTATE, CANNOT BY ITSELF BE THE SOLE BASIS OF JUST COMPENSATION IN EXPROPRIATION CASES.31

 

NOW THAT THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN DETERMINING JUST COMPENSATION, IS IT PROPER TO JUST REMAND THE CASE TO THE TRIAL COURT?

 

NO. REMANDING THE CASE WOULD UNNECESSARILY DELAY THE PAYMENT OF JUST COMPENSATION DUE TO EVERGREEN, AND IT WOULD ALSO INCREASE THE AMOUNT OF INTEREST THAT WOULD ACCRUE AGAINST REPUBLIC-DPWH.

 

IS INTEREST DUE ON THE BALANCE OF THE UNPAID COMPENSATION?

 

YES COMPUTED FROM THE TIME OF FILING OF THE CASE UNTIL JUDGMENT ATTAINED FINALITY BECAUSE JUST COMPENSATION MEANS JUST AND TIMELY PAYMENT.

 

PROMPT PAYMENT MEANS THE PAYMENT IN FULL OF THE JUST COMPENSATION AS FINALLY DETERMINED BY THE COURTS.

 

ABSENT FULL PAYMENT, INTEREST ON THE BALANCE WOULD NECESSARILY BE DUE ON THE UNPAID AMOUNT.

 

INTEREST ON THE UNPAID COMPENSATION BECOMES DUE IF THERE IS NO FULL COMPENSATION FOR THE EXPROPRIATED PROPERTY, IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONCEPT OF JUST COMPENSATION.

 

WITHOUT PROMPT PAYMENT, THE PROPERTY OWNER SUFFERS THE IMMEDIATE DEPRIVATION OF BOTH HIS LAND AND ITS FRUITS OR INCOME. THE OWNER’S LOSS, OF COURSE, IS NOT ONLY HIS PROPERTY BUT ALSO ITS INCOME-GENERATING POTENTIAL.

 

IF FULL COMPENSATION IS NOT PAID. FOR THE PROPERTY TAKEN, THEN THE STATE MUST PAY FOR THE SHORTFALL IN THE EARNING POTENTIAL IMMEDIATELY LOST DUE TO THE TAKING, AND THE ABSENCE OF REPLACEMENT PROPERTY FROM WHICH INCOME CAN BE DERIVED.

 

INTEREST ON THE UNPAID COMPENSATION BECOMES DUE AS COMPLIANCE WITH THE CONSTITUTIONAL MANDATE ON EMINENT DOMAIN AND AS A BASIC MEASURE OF FAIRNESS.

 

THUS, INTEREST IN EMINENT DOMAIN CASES “RUNS AS A MATTER OF LAW AND FOLLOWS AS A MATTER OF COURSE FROM THE RIGHT OF THE LANDOWNER TO BE PLACED IN AS GOOD A POSITION AS MONEY CAN ACCOMPLISH, AS OF THE DATE OF TAKING.

 

IN THE CASE OF UNLIQUIDATED DAMAGES, THESE DO NOT EARN INTEREST UNTIL THE AMOUNT IS ASCERTAINED. CAN THIS PRINCIPLE BE NOT APPLIED?

 

NO BECAUSE INTEREST AWARD IS NOT ANCHORED ON LAW OF CONTRACTS BUT ON THE OWNER’S CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT TO JUST COMPENSATION.

 

WHAT INTEREST RATES SHALL APPLY?

 

WITH RESPECT TO THE AMOUNT OF INTEREST ON THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE INITIAL PAYMENT AND FINAL AMOUNT OF JUST COMPENSATION AS ADJUDGED BY THE COURT, WE HAVE UPHELD IN EASTERN SHIPPING LINES, INC. V. COURT OF APPEALS, 45 AND IN SUBSEQUENT CASES THEREAFTER,46 THE IMPOSITION OF 12% INTEREST RATE FROM THE TIME OF TAKING WHEN THE PROPERTY OWNER WAS DEPRIVED OF THE PROPERTY, UNTIL 1 JULY 2013, WHEN THE LEGAL INTEREST ON LOANS AND FORBEARANCE OF MONEY WAS REDUCED FROM 12% TO 6% PER ANNUM BY BSP CIRCULAR NO. 799. ACCORDINGLY, FROM 1 JULY 2013 ONWARDS, THE LEGAL INTEREST ON THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE FINAL AMOUNT AND INITIAL PAYMENT IS 6% PER ANNUM.

 

TO READ THE DECISION, JUST CLICK/DOWNLOAD THE FILE BELOW.

 

SCD-2017-0030-Evergreen Manufacturing Corporation Vs Republic of the Philippines et al – Republic vs Evergreen Manufacturing Corporation

 

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