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DISPOSITIVE:

SUBJECTS/DOCTRINES/DIGEST:

TO READ THE DECISION, JUST CLICK/DOWNLOAD THE FILE BELOW. IF FILE DOES NOT APPEAR ON SCREEN GO TO DOWNLOAD. IT IS THE FIRST ITEM. OPEN IT.

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DISPOSITIVE:

SUBJECTS/DOCTRINES/DIGEST:

WHAT HAPPENED IN THIS CASE?

PETITIONER MINING COMPANY CLAIMS THAT IT HAS MINING RIGHTS OVER CERTAIN PROPERTIES FOR WHICH PUBLIC RESPONDENTS ISSUED FREE PATENTS. SUPREME COURT SAID THERE ARE TWO REQUIREMENTS FOR DECLARING DECLARING NULL AND VOID THE FREE PATENTS. ONE: THE CLAIMANT PROVES ITS OWNERSHIP. TWO: THE OWNER OF THE FREE PATENTS OBTAINED THEIR TITLES BY MISREPRESENTATION OR MISTAKE. THE MINING COMPANY FAILED TO PROVE THESE REQUIREMENTS. RTC RULED THAT THE FREE PATENTS WERE VALID. CA AFFIRMED. WHEN BOTH LOWER COURTS RULED UNIFORMLY, SUPREME COURT CANNOT CHANGE THE DECISION BECAUSE IT IS NOT A TRIER OF FACTS.

……………

TO READ THE DECISION, JUST CLICK/DOWNLOAD THE FILE BELOW. IF FILE DOES NOT APPEAR ON SCREEN GO TO DOWNLOAD. IT IS THE FIRST ITEM. OPEN IT.

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DISPOSITIVE:

SUBJECTS/DOCTRINES/DIGEST:

WHAT HAPPENED IN THIS CASE?

IT WAS DISCOVERED THAT THE MEMBERS OF THE AWARDS COMMITTEE COLLUDED WITH EACH OTHER TO ENSURE THAT A COMPANY WOULD  GET THE CONTRACT TO SUPPLY AN OVERPRICED ORGANIC FERTILIZER.

WHAT WERE THE ACTS OR OMISSIONS COMMITTED BY RESPONDENTS?

HOW ABOUT THE PROVINCIAL ACCOUNTANT? SHE WAS NOT LIABLE SINCE THE DOCUMENTS PRESENTED TO HER FOR REVIEW WERE IN ORDER.

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DISPOSITIVE:

SUBJECTS/DOCTRINES/DIGEST:

WHAT HAPPENED IN THIS CASE?

PETITIONER IS A CONDOMINIUM RESIDENT. HE WAS QUESTIONING THE LEGALITY OF A BIR CIRCULAR IMPOSING INCOME TAX, VAT AND WITHHOLDING TAX ON CONDOMINIUM DUES. THE SUPREME COURT SAID IT WILL NOT RULE ON THE PETITION BECAUSE IT IS ALREADY MOOT. DECISIONS HAVE BEEN ISSUED DECLARING THE CIRCULAR INVALID.

WHEN IS A CASE CONSIDERED MOOT?

WHEN IT LOSES ITS JUSTICIABILITY DUE TO A SUPERVENING EVENT WHICH TAKES AWAY ITS PRACTICAL USE OR VALUE.

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DISPOSITIVE:

SUBJECTS/DOCTRINES/DIGEST:

WHAT HAPPENED IN THIS CASE?

PETITIONERS ENTERED INTO TRUST RECEIPT AGREEMENT WITH BDO. A NEW AGREEMENT WAS EXECUTED REVISING THE SCHEDULE OF PAYMENT. PETITIONERS CLAIM THEY CANNOT BE ACCUSED OF ESTAFA UNDER THE OLD AGREEMENT BECAUSE IT WAS ALREADY NOVATED OR SUPERSEDED BY A NEW AGREEMENT. SUPREME COURT SAID THERE IS NO NOVATION. THE NEW SCHEDULE OF PAYMENT IS MERELY SUPPLEMENTARY TO THE ORIGINAL OBLIGATION.

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DISPOSITIVE:

SUBJECTS/DOCTRINES/DIGEST:

THE DECISION OF THE COMMISSIONER’S REPRESENTATIVE CAN STILL BE APPEALED TO THE COMMISSIONER HIMSELF WHOSE DECISION CAN BE APPEALED TO THE COURT OF TAX APPEALS. THE IMPRESSION IS THAT THE DECISION OF COMMISSIONER’S REPRESENTATIVE IS THE DECISION OF THE COMMISSIONER HIMSELF. THE 30 DAY PERIOD WITHIN WHICH TO FILE PETITION FOR REVIEW AT CTA STARTS FROM RECEIPT OF THE DECISION OF THE COMMISSIONER, NOT FROM THE DATE OF RECEIPT OF THE DECISION OF COMMISSIONER’S REPRESENTATIVE.

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DISPOSITIVE:

SUBJECTS/DOCTRINES/DIGEST:

PETITIONER WAS CONVICTED OF BIGAMY UPON HER PLEA OF BEING GUILTY. CSC DISMISSED HER FROM THE SERVICE ON GROUND THAT SHE WAS CONVICTED OF A CRIME INVOLVING MORAL TURPITUDE. CAN SHE INVOKE MITIGATING CIRCUMSTANCES TO LESSEN HER PENALTY?

YES BUT THIS WOULD DEPEND ON THE MITIGATING CIRCUMSTANCES SHE PROVES.

SHE INVOKED THE MITIGATING CIRCUMSTANCE OF LENGTH OF SERVICE. SC RULED LENGTH OF SERVICE CANNOT BE CONSIDERED MITIGATING BECAUSE THE CRIME OF BIGAMY WHICH IS A CRIME OF MORAL TURPITUDE IS A GRAVE OFFENSE.

SHE ALSO INVOKED AS MITIGATING CIRCUMSTANCE THE FACT THAT IT WAS HER FIRST OFFENSE AND HER WORK PERFORMANCE WAS OUTSTANDING. SUPREME COURT THE RULE CLEARLY STATES THAT DISMISSAL CAN BE METED OUT ON FIRST OFFENSE AND OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE IS NOT AMONG THOSE ENNUMERATED AS MITIGATING.

SHE CITED CASES SHOWING THAT A DISMISSAL ORDER CAN BE REDUCED TO LIGHTER PENALTIES. SUPREME COURT SAID THE CASES SHE INVOKED DO NOT APPLY TO HER CASE. THOSE CASES DO NOT INVOLVED CONVICTING OF A CRIME INVOLVING MORAL TURPITUDE.

PETITIONER ALSO INVOKED HER RIGHT TO SPEEDY TRIAL. SUPREME COURT SAID SHE RAISED THIS DEFENSE LATE. SHE SHOULD HAVE RAISED THIS POINT WHILE THE CASE WAS STILL WITH CSC, NOT WHEN IT IS ALREADY IN THE SUPREME COURT.

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DISPOSITIVE:

SUBJECTS/DOCTRINES/DIGEST:

RTC AWARDED MORAL DAMAGES AND EXEMPLARY DAMAGES IN THIS EJECTMENT CASE. SUPREME COURT RULED THAT IN EJECTMENT CASE THE ONLY DAMAGES THAT CAN BE AWARDED ARE THE UNPAID RENT, COSTS AND ATTORNEY’S FEES.

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DISPOSITIVE:

SUBJECTS/DOCTRINES/DIGEST:

IN  NATURALIZATION CASES, WHAT SHOULD WITNESSES TESTIFY ABOUT?

WITNESSES ARE EXPECTED TO HAVE PERSONAL KNOWLEDGE OF THE FACTS THAT ESTABLISH AN APPLICANT’S QUALIFICATIONS FOR NATURALIZATIONS.

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DISPOSITIVE:

SUBJECTS/DOCTRINES/DIGEST:

WHAT HAPPENED IN THIS CASE?

DRIVER FEGARIDO, DRIVING A PUBLIC JEEP, HIT ALCANTARA WHO LATER DIED. REGISTERED OWNER WAS MILAN. IS MILAN LIABLE?

UNDER THE CIVIL CAUSE WHEN AN EMPLOYEE, IN PERFORMANCE OF HIS DUTY, CAUSED DAMAGE TO ANOTHER THE PRESUMPTION IS THAT THE EMPLOYER IS ALSO LIABLE FOR NEGLIGENCE. THE EMPLOYER MUST PRESENT EVIDENCE THAT SHE OBSERVED DUE DILIGENCE IN THE SELECTION AND SUPERVISION OF HIS EMPLOYEE. IN THIS CASE MILAN FAILED TO REBUT SUCH PRESUMPTION.

IN THIS CASE ACTUAL OR COMPENSATORY DAMAGES WERE AWARDED.  THE RULING FOLLOWS:

MORAL DAMAGES WERE ALSO AWARDED. THE RULING FOLLOWS:

EXEMPLARY DAMAGES WERE ALSO AWARDED. RULING FOLLOWS:

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DISPOSITIVE:

SUBJECTS/DOCTRINES/DIGEST:

WHAT HAPPENED IN THIS CASE?

MR SIMACAS DIED DUE TO PROSTATE CANCER. HE WAS HELPING IN WELDING WORKS. HIS WIFE VIOLETA FILED CLAIMS AT THE EMPLOYEES COMPENSATION COMMISSION. SSS DENIED THE CLAIMS ON THE GROUND THAT PROSTATE CANCER IS NOT LISTED AS AN OCCUPATIONAL DISEASE AND THAT VIOLETA FAILED TO PROVE THE RELATION BETWEEN WORK OF HER HUSBAND AND HIS PROSTATE CANCER. COURT OF APPEALS REVERSED SSS. SUPREME COURT AFFIRMED C.A. INTERPRETATION OF THE LAW ON EMPLOYEES’ COMPENSATION COMMISSION (PD 626) MUST BE LIBERAL IN FAVOR OF THE WORKER.

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DISPOSITIVE:

SUBJECTS/DOCTRINES/DIGEST:

WHAT HAPPENED IN THIS CASE?

THE RULING OF THE ARBITRAL TRIBUNAL AS TO WHETHER THE CONTRACT WAS VALIDLY TERMINATED, WHETHER THE VARIATION ORDERS WERE PROVEN OR WHETHER PETITIONER COMPLIED WITH THE SCOPE OF WORKS MUST NOT BE REVIEWED BY THE COURTS. THERE IS NO LAW GRANTING THE JUDICIARY AUTHORITY TO REVIEW THE MERITS OF AN ARBITRAL AWARD.

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DISPOSITIVE:

SUBJECTS/DOCTRINES/DIGEST:

WHAT HAPPENED IN THIS CASE?

PETITIONER WAS ABSOLVED OF HER SOLIDARY LIABILITY TO RETURN THE DISALLOWED AMOUNT BECAUSE SHE DID NOT ACT IN BAD FAITH. THOSE THAT SHOULD BE HELD LIABLE MUST HAVE ACTED IN EVIDENT BAD FAITH, WITH MALICE, OR THEY WERE GROSSLY NEGLIGENT IN THE PERFORMANCE OF THEIR OFFICIAL DUTIES.

Madera also added that these badges of good faith should be considered first before holding these officers, whose participation in the disallowed transaction was in the performance of their official duties, liable; and that the presence of any of these factors in a case may tend to uphold the presumption of good faith in the performance of official functions accorded to the officers involved.33 Badges of good faith could be appreciated in favor of petitioner. No prior disallowance of the same benefit has been issued against ICAB. Also, there is no precedent disallowing a similar case in jurisprudence. As a matter of fact, the only other COA disallowance petition involving ICAB was a case also entitledAbejo v. Commission on Audit, and docketed as G.R. No. 254570. Said case was resolved by the Court on 29 January 2021, and it pertains to an entirely different incentive. Considering the foregoing, the Court chooses to uphold petitioner’s presumption of good faith.

WHAT ARE THE RULES ON EXEMPTING GOVT OFFICIALS FROM RETURNING EMPLOYEE BENEFITS DISALLOWED IN AUDIT?

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DISPOSITIVE:

SUBJECTS/DOCTRINES/DIGEST:

WHAT HAPPENED IN THIS CASE?

PETITIONERS FILED A REGULARIZATION CASE AGAINST ARMSCOR. WHILE THE CASE WAS ONGOING THEY WERE NOT ALLOWED ENTRY INTO COMPANY PREMISES. THEY FILED A CONSTRUCTIVE DISMISSAL CASE. THEIR CASE WAS DISMISSED ON GROUND OF FORUM SHOPPING. THE SUPREME COURT SAID THERE WAS NO FORUM SHOPPING. THE ISSUE IN THE REGULARIZATION CASE WAS WHETHER PETITIONERS ARE REGULAR EMPLOYEES AND THUS ENTITLED TO BENEFITS DUE REGULAR EMPLOYEES. THE ISSUE IN THE CONSTRUCTIVE DISMISSAL CASE IS WHETHER THEY WERE ILLEGALLY DISMISSED. THESE ISSUES ARE DIFFERENT AND EVIDENCES TO BE PRESENTED WOULD BE DIFFERENT.

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DISPOSITIVE:

SUBJECTS/DOCTRINES/DIGEST:

WHAT HAPPENED IN THIS CASE?

BUNCIO FILED AN ILLEGAL POSSESSION CASE AGAINST RESPONDENTS WHO ALLEGED THAT THEIR FOREBEARS HAVE LEASEHOLD AGREEMENT WITH THE PARENTS OF BUNCIO. RTC REFERRED THE CASE TO DAR. SUPREME COURT RULED THAT DAR HAS JURISDICTION OVER THE CASE. MERE ALLEGATION OF AN AGRARIAN DISPUTE IS SUFFICIENT BASIS FOR DAR TO HAVE JURISDICTION.

WHAT IS TENANCY RELATIONSHIP?

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DISPOSITIVE:

SUBJECTS/DOCTRINES/DIGEST:

WHAT HAPPENED IN THIS CASE?

PETITIONER HAS A SERVICE CONTRACT WITH PLDT. IT WAS ADJUDGED ENGAGED IN LABOR-ONLY CONTRACTING. IT DID NOT PROVIDE EQUIPMENT NOR PREMISES TO THE RESPONDENT EMPLOYEES. PLDT PROVIDED THESE.   ALSO, IT DID NOT HAVE POWER OF CONTROL OVER THE EMPLOYEES. PLDT EXERCISED SUCH CONTROL.

WHAT IS RIGHT OF CONTROL OVER THE EMPLOYEES?

WHAT IS LABOR-ONLY CONTRACTING?

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DISPOSITIVE:

SUBJECTS/DOCTRINES/DIGEST:

WHAT HAPPENED IN THIS CASE?

HERRERA COMMITTED INFRACTIONS STATED BELOW. HIS COLLECTIVE CONDUCT TARNISHES THE INTEGRITY OF THE LEGAL PROFESSION AND IS IN CLEAR DISREGARD OF HIS SWORN DUTIES IN THE LAWYER’S OATH.

THE SUPREME COURT CITED CASES WHERE PENALTY OF DISBARMENT WAS IMPOSED AND SAID THAT THE INFRACTIONS OF ATTY HERRERA ARE GRAVER THAN THE INFRACTIONS IN THOSE CASES.

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DISPOSITIVE:

SUBJECTS/DOCTRINES/DIGEST:

WHAT HAPPENED IN THIS CASE?

COMPLAINANTS FILED A QUIETING OF TITLE CASE AGAINST DIVINA SPOUSES. DIVINA SPOUSES FAILED TO ANSWER AND WERE DECLARED IN DEFAULT. RTC RULED IN FAVOR OF COMPLAINANTS. THE CASE WAS APPEALED TO CA AND CA AFFIRMED RTC DECISION. THE CA DECISION BECAME FINAL. THEN HERE COMES ATTY BRILLANTES AS COUNSEL OF DIVINA SPOUSES. HE FILED A CASE FOR ANNULMENT OF RTC DECISION ON GROUND THAT DIVINA SPOUSES BELATEDLY RECEIVED A COPY OF THE RTC DECISION. ATTY BRILLANTES SAID HE MERELY RELIED ON THE REPRESENTATION OF THIS CLIENT WHICH WAS NOT TRUE. AND ATTY BRILLANTES BY REVIEWING THE COURT RECORDS WOULD KNOW THAT HIS CLIENT’S REPRESENTATION WAS NOT TRUE. AND HE WAS AWARE OF WHAT WAS TRUE. HIS ACT DELAYED THE SETTLEMENT OF THE ESTATE OF REYES SPOUSES. DISBARMENT CASE WAS FILED AGAINST HIM. SUPREME COURT SAID HE BE JUST SUSPENDED FOR 6 MONTHS BECAUSE, AMONG OTHER THINGS, HE ADMITTED HIS MISDEMEANOR AND APOLOGIZED.

……………………..

WHAT WERE THE LEGAL GROUNDS FOR THE TRANSGRESSION OF ATTY BRILLANTES?

WHAT WERE THE REASONS ATTY BRILLANTES WAS NOT DISBARRED BUT WAS ONLY SUSPENDED FOR 6 MONTHS?

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DISPOSITIVE:

SUBJECTS/DOCTRINES/DIGEST:

WHAT HAPPENED IN THIS CASE?

PETITIONER PERFORMED POORLY IN HER WORK. SHE WAS NOT ABLE TO CREATE A NEW CENTER OR DISBURSE LOAN. FURTHER, SHE DEFIED COMPANY RULES. THERE IS THEREFORE GROUND TO TERMINATE HER PROBATIONARY EMPLOYMENT EVEN BEFORE THE PROBATIONARY PERIOD HAS NOT YET EXPIRED.

IS PETITIONER ENTITLED TO SALARY FOR THE REMAINING PERIOD OF HER PROBATIONARY EMPLOYMENT?

SHE IS NOT ENTITLED BECAUSE OF THE VALIDITY OF HER DISMISSAL PREDICATED ON HER FAILURE TO MEET THE STANDARDS MADE KNOWN TO HER.

PETITIONER PROBATIONARY EMPLOYEE WAS NOT ABLE TO ACCOMPLISH THE PURPOSE SOUGHT BY THE EMPLOYER WITHIN THE TRIAL PERIOD. CAN EMPLOYER TERMINATE HER SERVICES.

YES, THE EMPLOYER IS NOT PRECLUDED FROM TERMINATING THE PROBATIONARY EMPLOYMENT ON JUSTIFIABLE GROUND.

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DISPOSITIVE:

SUBJECTS/DOCTRINES/DIGEST:

WHAT HAPPENED IN THIS CASE?

PETITIONER’S TITLE PERTAINS TO A DIFFERENT PROPERTY AND WAS REGISTERED IN THE NAME OF ANOTHER PERSON AND WAS ALREADY CANCELLED. THUS, HE HAS NO LEGAL OR EQUITABLE TITLE OVER THE SUBJECT PROPERTY. THUS HIS COMPLAINT MUST BE DISMISSED.

…………………………………

WHAT ARE THE REQUISITES IN ORDER THAT THE COMPLAINT FOR QUIETING OF TITLE MAY PROSPER?

FIRST, THAT THE PLAINTIFF HAS LEGAL TITLE OR EQUITABLE INTEREST ON THE PROPERTY. SECOND THAT THE CLAIM OVER THE PROPERTY IS INVALID.

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DISPOSITIVE:

SUBJECTS/DOCTRINES/DIGEST:

WHAT HAPPENED IN THIS CASE?

A CIVIL CASE WAS FILED AGAINST PETITIONER FOR P4M PLUS. THEN RESPONDENT FILED A CRIMINAL BP 22 CASE AGAINST PETITIONER FOR BOUNCED CHECKS WITH FACE VALUE OF P1.2M. IN THE CIVIL CASE RESPONDENT MANIFESTED THAT THE AMOUNT OF P1.2M BE DEDUCTED FROM HIS CLAIM SINCE HE INTENDS TO RECOVER THE P1.2M IN THE BP 22 CASE. WAS THERE FORUM SHOPPING ON THE PART OF RESPONDENT?

NO BECAUSE THE COURT IN THE CIVIL CASE WAS INFORMED ABOUT THE FILING OF THE CRIMINAL CASE.

WHAT IS THE RULE ON LEGAL INTEREST?

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DISPOSITIVE:

SUBJECTS/DOCTRINES/DIGEST:

WHAT HAPPENED IN THIS CASE?

RESPONDENTS WON IN A LABOR CASE. DECISION BECAME FINAL AND EXECUTORY. THEY LEVIED A PARCEL OF LAND. DMCI OPPOSED. AN ISSUE WAS RAISED AT LRA ON WHETHER THE CLAIM OF THE RESPONDENTS IS REGISTRABLE. LRA SAID YES AND DIRECTED REGISTER OF DEEDS TO ANNOTATE SUCH CLAIM. DMCI FAILED TO APPEAL ON TIME THE LRA CONSULTA. SUPREME COURT SAID THE CONSULTA OF LRA CANNOT BE ALTERRED. THE JUDGMENT OF NLRC WHICH BECAME FINAL AND EXECUTORY REMAINS AS SUCH AND CANNOT BE ALTERED.

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DISPOSITIVE:

SUBJECTS/DOCTRINES/DIGEST:

WHAT HAPPENED IN THIS CASE?

RODRIGUEZ DONATED PROPERTY TO REPUBLIC TO BE USED FOR BUILDING AND OPERATING MENTAL HOSPITAL. ONE CONDITION IS THAT THE REPUBLIC SHALL NOT CONVEY OR DISPOSE OF THE PROPERTY TO ANY OTHER PERSON. THERE WERE SQUATTERS IN THE AREA. THE REPUBLIC FILED AN EJECTMENT CASE AGAINST THE SQUATTERS BUT FAILED TO EXECUTE THE JUDGMENT WITHIN THE PERIOD ALLOWED FOR EXECUTION. IS SUCH ACT A DISPOSAL OF THE PROPERTY IN VIOLATION OF THE DEED OF DONATION. SUPREME COURT SAID NO. THE PROPERTY IS COVERED BY THE TORRENS SYSTEM  AND THEREFORE IT CANNOT BE ACQUIRED BY THE SQUATTERS BY PRESCRIPTION OR ADVERSE POSSESSION.

THE PROPERTY DONATED CONSISTED OF 32 HECTARES. THE AREA UTILIZED WAS ONLY 5 HECTARES. THE DEED STATES THAT DONEE ERECT BUILDINGS ON THE PROPERTY. WAS THERE VIOLATION OF THE DEED OF DONATION. NO BECAUSE THE DOES NOT REQUIRE THAT BUILDINGS BE ERECTED ON THE WHOLE AREA.

THERE IS A PROHIBITION IN THE DEED OF DONATION THAT THE REPUBLIC CANNOT LEASE, LET, CONVEY, DISPOSE OR ENCUMBER THE DONATED PROPERTY WITHOUT SPECIFYING THE DURATION OF THE RESTRICTION. IS THIS LEGAL? NO. THE PROHIBITION MAY BE VIEWED AS PERMANENT WHICH CONSTITUTES AN UNDUE RESTRICTION FOR AN UNREASONABLE PERIOD OF TIME.

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 DISPOSITIVE:

SUBJECTS/DOCTRINES/DIGEST:

WHAT HAPPENED IN THIS CASE?

BOTH PARTIES PRESENTED EVIDENCES OF EQUAL WEIGHT. PETITIONER WORKERS PROVED THAT THEY WERE EMPLOYEES. EMPLOYER RESPONDENT PROVED THAT THE PETITIONERS WERE NOT EMPLOYEES. SC RESOLVED THE DOUBT IN FAVOR OF THE EMPLOYEES.

THE WORK OF PETITIONER IS JUST TO TRANSFER RUBBER LUMPS FROM THE BAGOL OR SMALL CONTAINERS ATTACHED TO THE RUBBER TREE TRUNK AND PLACE THEM IN ANOTHER CONTAINER. IT IS HARD TO DETERMINE WHETHER THE EMPLOYER HAS CONTROL OVER THE MEANS AND METHODS OF THE EMPLOYER’S WORK. SUPREME COURT SAID THERE IS AN ALTERNATIVE TEST, THE UNDERLYING ECONOMIC REALITIES TEST.

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DISPOSITIVE:

SUBJECTS/DOCTRINES/DIGEST:

WHAT HAPPENED IN THIS CASE?

CFI ORDERED ISSUANCE OF TITLE IN THE NAME OF RESPONDENTS. PETITIONERS FILED A CASE AT RTC TO ANNUL CFI JUDGMENT. CA DISMISSED THE CASE. PETITIONERS’ ACTION IS NOT PROPER. THE RTC CANNOT ANNUL THE JUDGMENT OF AN EQUAL COURT. PETITIONERS SHOULD EITHER FILE A CASE OF RECONVEYANCE OR A CASE AT CA FOR ANNULMENT OF JUDGMENT.

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DISPOSITIVE:

SO ORDERED.

SUBJECTS/DOCTRINES/DIGEST:

WHAT HAPPENED IN THIS CASE?

MONDEJAR FALSIFIED MINUTES OF SESSION OF SANGGUNIANG PANLALAWIGAN. AS A RESULT HE WAS ABLE TO ENTER INTO MOA WITH IBC WITH RESPECT TO THE CHANNELING OF TIGUM RIVER. THIS ALLOWED IBC TO GET SURPLUS SUPPLY OF SAND AND GRAVEL EXTRACTED FROM THE RIVER DESPITE NOT HAVING A PERMIT AND NOT PAYING FEES AND TAXES. THIS IS GROSSLY DISADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVT.

HOW IS FALSIFICATION OF PUBLIC DOCUMENT COMMITTED?

WHEN THE PUBLIC DOCUMENT IS SIMULATED IN A MANNER AS TO GIVE IT THE APPEARANCE OF A TRUE AND GENUINE INSTRUMENT, THUS, LEADING OTHERS TO ERRORS AS TO ITS AUTHENTICITY.

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 DISPOSITIVE:

SO ORDERED.

SUBJECTS/DOCTRINES/DIGEST:

WHAT IS THE MAIN RULINGS IN THIS CASE?

MARIA, AMONG OTHER GROUNDS, ALLEGED SEXUAL INFEDILITY AND ABANDONMENT. THERE ARE NOT SUFFICIENT GROUNDS.

FAILURE TO MEET RESPONSIBILITIES AND DUTIES AS MARRIED PERSONS ARE NOT SUFFICIENT GROUNDS.

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DISPOSITIVE:

SUBJECTS/DOCTRINES/DIGEST:

WHAT HAPPENED IN THIS CASE?

MEL CHANGCO CLAIMED THAT SHE WAS A REGULAR EMPLOYEE OF ABS-CBN. THE LATTER CLAIMS THAT MEL WAS AN INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR. THE SUPREME COURT, SPEAKING THROUGH JUSTICE ZALAMEDA, SAID MEL WAS AN INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR BECAUSE SHE PERFORMED THE JOB ACCORDING TO HER OWN MANNER AND METHOD, FREE FROM THE NETWORK’S CONTROL. FURTHER SHE POSSESSED UNIQUE SKILLS, EXPERTISE OR TALENT WHICH LED ABS CBN TO HIRE HER. SUCH FACT IS A PERSUATIVE ELEMENT PROVING THAT SHE IS AN INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR.

IS POSSESSION OF UNIQUE SKILLS, EXPERTISE AND TALENT CONCLUSIVE IN DETERMINING WHETHER ONE IS AN INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR?

NOT CONCLUSIVE BUT INDICATIVE.

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DISPOSITIVE:

SUBJECTS/DOCTRINES/DIGEST:

WHAT HAPPENED IN THIS CASE?

THE CTA ISSUED A RESOLUTION WHICH ENJOINED THE COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE FROM COLLECTING THE DEFICIENCY TAXES AGAINST QLDI ON THE GROUND THAT THE RIGHT TO COLLECT THE ASSESSED DEFICIENCT TAXES HAD ALREADY EXPIRED.  CIR FILED A PETITION FOR INJUNCTION TO RESTRAIN CTA’S ORDER. SUPREME COURT SAID CTA ORDER HAS LEGAL BASIS. CIR FAILED TO SHOW THE MATERIAL AND SUBSTANTIAL INVATION OF A RIGHT SOUGHT TO BE PROTECTED.

CIR ARGUES THAT CTA HAS NO POWER TO ISSUE WRIT OF INJUNCTION AND PROHIBITION BUT ONLY SUSPEND COLLECTION OF TAXES. SUPREME COURT SAID THAT THE GENERAL RULE THAT INJUNCTION IS NOT AVAILABLE TO RESTRAIN COLLECTION OF TAXES ADMITS OF AN EXCEPTION: WHEN COLLECTION MAY JEOPARDIZE THE INTEREST OF THE GOVERNMENT OR THE TAXPAYER.

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DISPOSITIVE:

SO ORDERED.

SUBJECTS/DOCTRINES/DIGEST:

WHAT HAPPENED IN THIS CASE?

THE FACTS ARE STATED BELOW:

PETITIONER THEN FILED A MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT. RTC RULED THAT IT IS NOT PROPER BECAUSE BASED ON THE CONTENTIONS OF THE PARTIES THERE IS NEED FOR TRIAL TO ASSESS THE FACTS. CA AFFIRMED. SUPREME COURT ALSO AFFIRMED.

WHAT IS SUMMARY JUDGMENT?

HOW TO DETERMINE WHETHER THERE ARE ISSUES OF FACT?

THE COURT MUST EXAMINE THE ALLEGATIONS OF FACTS OF THE PARTIES AND WHETHER THE ISSUE POSED IS PATENTLY INCONSEQUENTIAL AS TO CONSTITUTE A GENUINE ISSUE OF FACT.

PETITIONER CONTENDED THAT IN THEIR RESPONDENTS, THEY DID NOT MADE SPECIFIC DENIALS OF COMPLAINT’S ALLEGATIONS OF FACT. COURT SAID THEY NEED NOT USE THE WORD “SPECIFIC”.

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DISPOSITIVE:

SO ORDERED.

SUBJECTS/DOCTRINES/DIGEST:

WHAT HAPPENED IN THIS CASE?

BALLESTEROS WAS DISMISSED FROM EMPLOYMENT. THE GROUNDS WERE: SHE INCURRED TARDINESS, ABSENCES, FAILURE TO OBEY OFFICE PROCEDURES AND FAILURE TO ACCOUNT FOR P1,2000.00. THE LABOR ARBITER DISMISSED THE CASE. NLRC REVERSED LA DECISION AND GRANTED RELIEFS TO BALLESTEROS. CA AFFIRMED. SUPREME COURT AFFIRMED.

EMPLOYER ALLEGED THAT BALLESTEROS COMMITTED GROSS NEGLECT OF DULY BECAUSE OF HER HABITUAL LEAVES OF ABSENCE, HABITUAL TARDINESS AND UNDERTILE. CA FOUND THAT THE COMPANY FAILED TO PRESENT SUBSTANTIAL EVIDENCE.

WHAT IS THE STANDARD FOR ESTABLISHING GROSS NEGLECT OF DUTY AS JUST CAUSE FOR TERMINATION. HOW IS THIS APPLIED IN THE CASE?

EMPLOYER CONTENDS THAT BALLESTEROS DISMISSAL WAS DUE TO HER OPEN AND WILFULL DISOBEDINCE  OF COMPANY PROCEDURE IN THE PREPARATION OF DEPOSIT SLIPS. THE WILLFUL DISOBEDIENCE MUST BE CHARACTERIZED BY WRONGFUL AND PERVERSE ATTITUDE. NOT PRESENT HERE.

EMPLOYER SAID BALLESTEROS WAS DISMISSED BECAUSE OF LOSS OF TRUST AND CONFIDENCE DUE TO MONETARY SHORTAGE OF P1,100.00. SUCH SHORTAGE CANNOT BE CONSIDERED SUBSTANTIAL AND SEVERE. AND IN FACT THE MONEY WAS RETURNED.

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DISPOSITIVE:

SO ORDERED.

SUBJECTS/DOCTRINES/DIGEST:

WHAT HAPPENED IN THIS CASE?

SOCORRO SOLD SUBJECT REAL PROPERTY TO LORNA THROUGH A NOTARIZED DEED OF SALE. LATER SOCORRO OBTAINED BACK THE OWNER’S COPY OF THE TITLE AND SOLD THE PROPERTY TO ANOTHER. LORNA FILED A CASE FOR QUIETING OF TITLE. THE ISSUE IS: WHO OWNS NOW THE PROPERTY. SUPREME COURT SAID THE OWNER IS LORNA. THE DEED OF SALE IN HER FAVOR IS VALID.

SOCORRO SAID THAT THE SALE IF THERE WAS IS VOID BECAUSE THE CONSIDERATION WAS ONLY P10,000 WHILE THE VALUE OF THE PROPERTY IS MUCH MUCH MORE. SUPREME COURT SAID GROSS INADEQUACY OF PRICE DOES NOT AFFECT THE VALIDITY OF A CONTRACT OF SALE UNLESS IT SIGNIFIES DEFECT IN CONSENT.

SOCORRO SAID THE SALE IS NOT VALID BECAUSE SHE KEPT THE OWNER’S COPY OF THE TITLE AND TITLE WAS NEVER TRANSFERRED TO LORNA. SUPREME COURT SAID SUCH FACT DOES NOT AFFECT THE VALIDITY OF THE SALE. TRANSFER OF TITLE IS DIFFERENT FROM TRANSFER OF OWNERSHIP.

SOCORRO SAID SHE IS AN ILLITERATE AND THUS SHE DID NOT KNOW SHE WAS SIGNING A DEED OF SALE. SC SAID THAT ASIDE FROM HER SELF-SERVING ALLEGATION SHE FAILED TO PROVE THE SAME. BESIDES, THE DOCUMENT IS NOTARIZED AND THUS ENJOYS THE PRESUMPTION OF AUTHENTICITY.

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DISPOSITIVE:

SUBJECTS/DOCTRINES/DIGEST:

WHAT HAPPENED IN THIS CASE?

THE GOVERNMENT URGENTLY NEEDED HELICOPTERS FOR ITS OPERATIONS IN JOLO. PETITIONER, AS MEMBER OF THE NHQ-BAC FAILED TO DETERMINE THE ELIGIBILITY AND CAPABILITY OF SUPPLIER MAPTRA. IT HAS NO FINANCIAL CAPACITY. NO REQUIRED TRACK RECORD. IT HAD A DEAL WORTH P15M AND THE SUBJECT CONTRACT IS FOR P105M. THUS PETITIONER WAS HELD TO HAVE COMMITTED GRAVE MISCONDUCT, PUNISHABLE BY DISMISSAL.

WHAT IS MISCONDUCT? WHEN IS IT GRAVE?

Misconduct is the “transgression of some established and definite rule
of action, more particularly, unlawful behavior or gross neglect of duty by a
public officer.”86 It is considered grave when the elements of corruption,
willful intent to violate the law or disregard established rules are also
present.

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DISPOSITIVE:

SO ORDERED.

SUBJECTS/DOCTRINES/DIGEST:

WHAT HAPPENED IN THIS CASE?

REYES REFUSED TO CERTIFY THE REPORT ON CRIMES AND LOSSES. BUT THIS WAS NOT ATTENDED BY WRONGFUL ATTITUDE WHICH WARRANTS THE ULTIMATE PENALTY OF DISMISSAL.

THE SUPREME COURT RULED THAT THE PENALTY OF DISMISSAL IMPOSED ON REYES WAS TERRIBLY DISPROPORTIONATE TO HIS INFRACTION.

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DISPOSITIVE:

SO ORDERED.

SUBJECTS/DOCTRINES/DIGEST:

WHAT HAPPENED IN THIS CASE?

IN RAPE CASES CONVICTION MOST OFTEN RESTS SOLELY ON THE BASIS OF THE TESTIMONY OF THE VICTIM.

WHENEVER THERE IS INCONSISTENCY BETWEEN AFFIDAVIT AND TESTIMONY, THE LATTER IS ACCORDED GREATER WEIGHT.

ASSESSMENT OF CREDIBILITY OF WITNESSES IS BEST LEFT TO THE TRIAL COURT JUDGE BECAUSE HE OBSERVES THE DEPORTMENT AND DEMEANOR OF THE WITNESS.

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DISPOSITIVE:

SO ORDERED.

SUBJECTS/DOCTRINES/DIGEST:

WHAT HAPPENED IN THIS CASE?

JUDGE ATILLO POSTED PICTURES IN HIS FACEBOOK ACCOUNT SHOWING HIS HALF-DRESSED BODY AND TATTOOED TORSO. SUPREME COURT SAID THIS IS IMPROPER FOR A JUDGE.

………………………..

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DISPOSITIVE:

  SO ORDERED.

SUBJECTS/DOCTRINES/DIGEST:

THIS CASE INVOLVED A SALE OF PORTION OF UNDIVIDED LAND CO-OWNED BY SEVERAL OWNERS. A CO-OWNER SOLD A DEFINITE PORTION TO A BUYER. THE PRINCIPLE IS A SALE OF A PORTION OF UNDIVIDED LAND WITHOUT THE CONSENT OF ALL CO-OWNERS IS VOID. IN THIS CASE THIS PRINCIPLE WAS NOT APPLIED BECAUSE THE OTHER CO-OWNER WAS AWARE OF THE SALE AND DID NOT OBJECT TO IT. THUS WHEN THE SPECIFIC PORTION WAS SEGREGATED AND SOLD IT IS AS IF SAID CO-OWNER AGREED TO THE PARTITION AND SALE OF SUCH PORTION OF LAND.

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DISPOSITIVE:

SUBJECTS/DOCTRINES/DIGEST:

WHAT HAPPENED IN THIS CASE?

THE SC RULED THAT BASED ON EVIDENCES TAGUIG HAS A SUPERIOR CLAIM TO THE DISPUTED AREAS.

SINCE LONG TIME AGO, FORT BONIFACIO WAS CONSIDERED PART OF TAGUIG. BUT IN A PROCLAMATION ISSUED BY PRESIDENT MARCOS FORT BONIFACIO WAS ERRONEOUSLY MENTIONED AS PART OF MAKATI CITY. IF INDEED THERE WAS INTENTION TO ALTER THE BOUNDARIES OF TAGUIG AND MAKATI THERE SHOULD HAVE BEEN A PLEBISCITE. BUT THERE WAS NONE.

………….

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DISPOSITIVE:

SUBJECT/S:

WHAT HAPPENED IN THIS CASE?

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DISPOSITIVE:

SUBJECTS/DOCTRINES/DIGEST:

WHAT HAPPENED IN THIS CASE?

THE SUPREME COURT SAID THE PLAINTIFF HAS NOT PROVEN DAMAGE OR INJURY. IT WAS NOT PROVEN THAT AN ACCIDENT OCCURRED. THEREFORE, THEY CANNOT CLAIM UNDER THE DOCTRINE OF RES IPSA LOQUITUR.

WHAT IS THE DOCTRINE OF RES IPSA LOQUITUR?

WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS FOR RES IPSA LOQUITUR TO APPLY?

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DISPOSITIVE:

WHEREFORE, premises considered the instant petition is GRANTED.  The Decision dated January 29, 2020 and the Resolution dated July 23, 2020 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R.  CV No. 108313 are SET ASIDE. The tax we conducted on October 2, 2013 hereby declared NULL AND VOID.

So Ordered.

SUBJECTS/DOCTRINES/DIGEST:

WHAT HAPPENED IN THIS CASE?

THE SUBJECT PROPERTY INCURRED DILINQUENCY IN REAL ESTATE TAXES. PUBLIC AUCTION WAS HELD AND RESPONDENT WAS THE HIGHEST BIDDER. BUT IT APPEARS THAT THERE WAS NO VALID NOTICE TO FILINVEST THE REGISTERED OWNER NOR TO THE BUYER OF SUBJECT PROPERTY WHOSE PURCHASE OF THE SAME WAS DULY ANNOTATED IN THE TITLE. THE SUPREME COURT SAID THAT SINCE THERE WAS NO PROPER NOTICE REGARDING THE TAX SALE SAID TAX SALE WAS NOT VALID. THE RESPONDENT CANNOT BE DECLARED THE NEW OWNER.

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DISPOSITIVE:

       WHEREFORE,  the petition in G.R. Nos. 252578, 252579, 252580, 252585, 252613, 252623, 252624, 252646, 252702, 252726, 252733, 252736, 252741, 252747, 252755, 252759, 252765, 252767, 252768, 252802, 252809, 252903, 252904, 252905, 252916, 252921, 252984, 253018, 253100, 253124, 253242, 253252, 253254, 254191, (UDK No. 16714), and 253420 are GIVEN DUE COURSE and PARTIALLY GRANTED.

       The Court declares the following provisions of Republic Act No. 11479 UNCONSTITUTIONAL:

  1. The phrase in the proviso of Section 4 which states “which are not intended to cause death or serious physical harm to a person, to endanger a person’s life, or to create serious risk to public safety”,

2. The second mode of designation found in paragraph 2 of Section 25; and

3. As a necessary consequence, the corresponding reference/provisions in the Implementing Rules and Regulations of Republic Act No. 11479 relative to the foregoing items.

       Moreover, pursuant to the Court’s rule-making power, the Court of Appeals is DIRECTED to prepare the rules that will govern judicial proscription proceedings under Sections 26 and 27 of Republic Act No. 11479 based on the foregoing discussion for submission to the Committee on the Revision of the Rules Courts and eventual approval and promulgation of the Court En Banc.

       The petitions in G.R. 253118 (Balay Rehabilitation Center, Inc. v. Duterte) and UDK No, 16603 (Yerbo v. Officess of the Honorable Senate and the Honorable Speaker of the House of Representatives) are DISMISSED.

       So ORDERED.

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DISPOSITIVE:

WHEREFORE, the Petition is DENIED. The October 11 , 2016 Decision and December 28, 2016 Resolution of the Court of Appeals in CA[1]G.R. CV No. 105531 is AFFIRMED.

Petitioner Philippine National Bank is ordered to furnish respondents AIC Construction Corporation and the spouses Rodolfo and Aurora Bacani, within 30 days from finality of this judgment, a written detailed accounting of their outstanding loan obligation, with clear explanation of the computation thereof.

The computation of interest on the principal loan obligation of P65 million shall be at the rate of 12% per annum, computed from effectivity of the pertinent loan agreement up to November 17, 2003, the date of issuance of the certificate of sale by the Ex-Officio Sheriff of Mandaluyong City. Interest rate on the conventional interest shall be at the rate of 12% per annum from January 21, 2002, the date of judicial demand, to November 17, 2003.

 The penalty charge imposed on respondents’ loan obligation shall be excluded from the amount secured by the real estate mortgage.

SO ORDERED.

SUBJECTS/DOCTRINES/DIGEST:

WHAT HAPPENED IN THIS CASE?

RESPONDENTS BORROWED FROM PNB. IN 1998 THE PRINCIPAL WAS P40M. BECAUSE OF INTEREST THIS BALOONED TO P162M. PNB THEN FORCLOSED THE PROPERTIES OF RESPONDENTS. RESPONDENTS FILED A CASE FOR ANNULMENT OF INTEREST AND PENALTY INCREASES, ACCOUNTING, EXEMPTION OF FAMILY HOME AND DAMAGES ALLEGING THAT THE INTERESTS WERE EXORBITANT. RTC RULED AGAINST RESPONDENTS. COURT OF APPEALS FOUND THE INTERESTS AS EXORBITANT AND REDUCED THE INTEREST TO THE LEGAL RATE OF 12% PER ANNUM. THE SUPREME COURT AFFIRMED C.A. JUDGMENT.

In this case, this Court notes that petitioner did not contest respondents’ allegations as to the breakdown of the amounts due to it: (i) that respondents’ obligation of P65 million when the loan matured was composed of their actual loan availment of P40 million and P25 million for interest charges; (ii) that at around May 2000, without any additional availments, the amount due became P92 million; (iii) that by April 30, 2001, respondents’ obligation increased to more than Pl 40 million; (iv) that when the amount due became P 162,553,680.50 and after petitioner foreclosed the mortgaged properties, it still wanted to collect deficiency judgment in the amount of Pl 57 million. 63
This Court also notes that respondents have already argued against the loss of
their family home.

DISCUSSION ON WHY THE INTERESTS OF PNB ARE EXORBITANT:

THE INTEREST RATE WAS IMPOSED BY PNB AND RESPONDENTS WERE LEFT WITH NO CHOICE BUT TO AGREE TO IT. THIS VIOLATES REPUBLIC ACT NO.  3765 OR THE TRUTH IN LENDING ACT, WHICH REQUIRES CREDITORS TO FULLY DISCLOSE TO THE DEBTOR ALL AMOUNTS INCIDENTAL TO THE EXTENSION OF THE CREDIT, INCLUDING INTERESTS, DISCOUNTS OR FEES, TO PROTECT DEBTORS FROM A LACK OF AWARENESS OF THE TRUE COST OF CREDIT.

The facts of this case are similar to the facts in Spouses Silos. The interest rates are yet to be determined through a subjective and one-sided criterion. These rates are no longer subject to the approval of respondents. The parties did not agree on the interest rate. Rather, the interest rate was imposed by petitioner, and respondents were left with no choice but to agree to it. This arrangement violates Republic Act No. 3765 or the Truth in Lending Act, which requires creditors to fully disclose to the debtor all amounts incidental to the extension of the credit, including interests, discounts or fees, to protect debtors from a lack of awareness of the true cost of credit.61

RESPONDENTS ARE NOT BOUND BY THE INTEREST RATES UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES:

It also cannot be argued that respondents are bound by the interest rates. Spouses Silos also discussed the inequality between the parties in loan and credit arrangements:

The fact that petitioners later received several statements of account detailing its outstanding obligations does not cure respondent’s breach. To repeat, the belated discovery of the true cost of credit does not reverse the ill effects of an already consummated business decision. Neither may the statements be considered proposals sent to secure the petitioners’ conformity; they were sent after the imposition and application of the interest rate, and not before. And even if it were to be presumed that these are proposals or offers, there was no acceptance by petitioners. “No one receiving a proposal to modify a loan contract, especially regarding interest, is obliged to answer the proposal.”

BORROWERS SUCCUMED TO WHATEVER CHARGES THE LENDERS IMPOSE BECAUSE THEY DREAD LEGAL COMPLICATIONS AND CANNOT AFFORD LITIGATIONS. BUT BORROWERS SHOULD BE CHARGED RIGHTLY.

Loan and credit arrangements may be made entlcmg by, or “sweetened” with, offers of low initial interest rates, but actually accompanied by provisions written in fine print that allow lenders to later on increase or decrease interest rates unilaterally, without the consent of the borrower, and depending on complex and subjective factors. Because they have been lured into these contracts by initially low interest rates, borrowers get caught and stuck in the web of subsequent steep rates and penalties, surcharges and the like. Being ordinary individuals or entities, they naturally dread legal complications and cannot afford com1 litigation; they succumb to whatever charges the lenders impose. At the very least, borrowers should be charged rightly; but then again this is not possible in a one-sided credit system where the temptation to abuse is strong and the willingness to rectify is made weak by the eternal desire for profit.

………………………

Besides, that petitioners are given the right to question the interest rates imposed is, under the circumstances, irrelevant; we have a situation where the petitioners do not stand on equal footing with the respondent. It is doubtful that any borrower who finds himself in petitioners’ position would dare question respondent’s power to arbitrarily modify interest rates at any time. In the second place, on what basis could any borrower question such power, when the criteria or standards – which are really one-sided, arbitrary and subjective – for the exercise of such power are precisely lost on him?62 (Emphasis in the original, citations omitted).

INTEREST SHOULD BE CONSISTENT WITH THE DEMANDS FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE.

In a concurring and dissenting opinion in Lara’s G(fts & Decors, Inc. v. Midtown Industrial Sales, Inc. 64 it was discussed how interest should be consistent with the demands of social justice:

As a matter of principle, money itself should not beget money. Money is only generally a store of value. It “has value because people are willing to accept it in exchange for goods and services and in payment for debts.”

Allowing money to produce more money – for instance, lending money at excessive interest rates as a way of increasing money – lays the foundation for a growing wealth disparity, since loans are usually extended by those who are richer (with capital) to those who are poorer (without capital). This does not serve the demands of social justice; that is, “the humanization of laws and the equalization of social and economic forces by the State so that justice in its rational and objectively secular conception may at least be approximated.”

Money should be put to productive use so that the owner, the society, and the less privileged may all share in the benefits to be derived from it. Passive income “adds no new good or service into the market that would be of use to real persons. Instead, it has the tendency to alter the price of real goods and services to the detriment of those who manufacture, labor, and consume products.” The practice of making money out of money skews the economy in favor of speculation and provides a disincentive for real economies.65 (Citations omitted)

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DISPOSITIVE:

WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED. The assailed Decision dated March 27, 2014 and Resolution dated July 11, 2014 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 122846 are hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE. The Resolution of the Department of Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board dated December 16, 2011 which declared Lot No. 554-D-3 EXEMPT from the coverage of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program and consequently ordered the CANCELLATION of the Certificates of Land Ownership Award issued in the name of respondents is hereby REINSTATED.

SO ORDERED.

SUBJECTS/DOCTRINES/DIGEST:

WHAT HAPPENED IN THIS CASE?

IN THIS CASE RESPONDENT AND CA RELIED ON AN ORDER OF THE DAR SECRETARY WHICH PERTAINS TO OTHER LOTS. THE LOT IN QUESTION WAS ALREADY DECLARED AS EXEMPTED FROM DAR COVERAGE AND IN FACT WAS ALREADY EXPROPRIATED AND IS NOW PART OF SCTEX.

To the Court’s mind, the resolution of the DAR Secretary in DARCO Order No. EX-0712-489 was precisely the reason why the DARAB reversed its earlier decision and upheld the exemption granted to SVHFI. As correctly found by the DAR Secretary, respondents could not have derived any vested right over the subject property despite the issuance of CLOAs in their favor because the coverage of the property was erroneous to begin with. SVHFI, as original owner of Lot No. 554-D-3, was never divested of its rights over the same, including the right to apply for exemption. What is more, the results of the ocular inspection revealed that majority of the portions of Lot No. 554-D[1]3 have already been developed into what is now known as the SCTEX. This, in itself, is a clear indication that the land had indeed been reclassified into non-agricultural purposes and no longer feasible for agricultural production. To hold otherwise would not only be a waste of government resources, but also expand the scope of the agrarian reform program which has been limited to lands devoted to or suitable for agriculture.

As pronounced by the CA itself, the findings of the DAR Secretary are accorded great weight and respect. Considering his technical expertise on the matter, courts cannot simply brush aside his pronouncements regarding status of a land, a subject well within his field, absent palpable and overriding error or grave abuse of discretion that would result in manifest injustice and grave misapplication of the law.

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DISPOSITIVE:

WHEREFORE, premises considered, the petition is GRANTED. The Decision dated April 16, 2015 and Resolution dated February 4, 2016 of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-G.R. SP No. 131302 are hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE. The formal charge and order of suspension are hereby declared invalid and without legal effect.

The payment of back salaries owed to Stefani C. Sano shall be either in the form of leave credits, ifhe is still active in government service, OR leave credits monetized at the current rate for the position he formerly occupied, at his option.

SO ORDERED.

SUBJECTS/DOCTRINES/DIGEST:

WHAT HAPPENED IN THIS CASE?

GARCIA ISSUED A FORMAL CHARGE AGAINST SANO FOR GRAVE MISCONDUCT, GROSS NEGLECT OF DUTY  ETC WITHOUT CONDUCTING PRELIMINARY INVESTIGATION SINCE HE SAID HE PERSONALLY WITNESSED THE ACTS OF PETITIONER. SUPREME COURT SAID THIS IS IN VIOLATION OF DUE PROCESS. THERE SHOULD BE A SHOW CAUSE ORDER FIRST AND THEN A PRELIMINARY INVESTIGATION.

In the present case, Garcia gravely deviated from the procedure outlined in the RRACCS .. Garcia issued a formal charge arid order of preventive suspension charging petitioner with grave misconduct, gross neglect of duty, dishonesty and cj:mduct prejudicial to the interest of the · service without undergoing preliminary investigation. Garcia claimed that he need not conduct preliminary investigation since he personallywitnessed the acts of petitioner, hence, there is already a prima facie case to support a formal charge.

To recapitulate, if it is the disciplining authority that initiated the administrative process, there is a need to issue a show-cause order directing the person complained of, to explain the acts complained of. Then there should be a preliminary investigation to determine whether there is a clear-cut case.

WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF THE REQUIRED PROCEDURE OF PRELIMINARY INVESTIGATION?

TO PROTECT THE CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT OF A PERSON CHARGED OF AN ADMINISTRATIVE OFFENSE TO BE HEARD.

After the determination of a prima facie case, a formal charge will be issued, and the person charged will be made to submit an answer. These procedural steps are anchored on protecting the constitutional right of a person charged of an administrative offense, to be heard. This is because a violation of such process raises a serious jurisdictional issue that cannot be glossed over or disregarded at will. The constitutional guarantee that no man shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process is unqualified by the type of proceedings where he/she stands to lose the same.

WHAT IS THE EFFECT OF VIOLATING THE DUE PROCESS PROCEDURE?

THE FORMAL CHARGE AND ORDER OF PREVENTIVE SUSPENSION ARE INVALID AND WITHOUT LEGAL EFFECT.

In the present case, the procedural faux pas committed by Garcia consists in committing a shortcut on the administrative process by issuing a formal charge and the order of suspension without issuing a show cause order and subsequently conducting a preliminary investigation. As a result of violating the constitutional right of petitioner to due process, the formal charge and the order of preventive suspension has no legal leg to stand on. Thus, the formal charge and the order of preventive suspension are declared to be invalidly issued and without legal effect.

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DISPOSITIVE:

WHEREFORE, the Petition is hereby DENIED. The July 10, 2013 Decision and November 4, 2013 Resolution of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP. No. 126064 are AFFIR.t’1.ED. Petitioner Evelina E. Belarso’s dismissal is valid. No pronouncement as to cost.

SO ORDERED.

SUBJECTS/DOCTRINES/DIGEST:

WHAT HAPPENED IN THIS CASE?

APPELLANT WAS CAUGHT STEALING BELT BUCKLE, COMPANY PROPERTY. SHE WAS DISMISSED ON THE GROUND OF LOSS OF TRUST.

Further, while Belarso insists that the charge imputed  against her defies logic and common experience, ti.’w records show that she had a propensity to violate company rules and regulations.

APPELLANT ALSO QUESTIONS THE AFFIDAVITS EXECUTED BY THE GUARDS AND HER CO-EMPLOYEES. BUT THESE WERE DEEMED TO CARRY WEIGHT BECAUSE THEY WERE NOTARIZED.

Belarso also assails the affidavits executed by the guards and her co[1]employees for being similarly worded a..nd executed on the same day, and for being dated two months after the incident. However, these do not automatically invalidate the contents of the affidavits. Being duly notarized, they carry with them the presu..’!lption of regularity aJJ.d authenticity which may be rebutted only by “strong, complete and conclusive proof.”57 This, Belarso was unable to present.

BELARSO ARGUES THAT THE PENALTY IS TOO HARSH CONSIDERING HER 34 YEARS OF SERVICE. LENGTH OF SERVICES IS NOT A BARGAINING CHIP.

Belarso finally argues that the penalty is too harsh considering her 34 years of service in the company. However, length of service is not a bargaining chip that can simply be stacked against the employer. 59 Under the present circumstances, length of service only aggravates Belarso’s offense. First, she held a position of trust and confidence, overseeing the custody of the raw materials she tried to steal. As a supervisor, greater trust was placed on her by QHI. Second, her infraction affected the very essence of loyalty and honesty which all employees owe to their employers. It was serious, grave, and reflected adversely on her character.

AN EMPLOYER CANNOT BE COMPELLED TO CONTINUE THE EMPLOYMENT OF AN EMPLOYEE IN WHOM THERE HAS BEEN A LEGITIMATE LOSS OF TRUST AND CONFIDENCE.

In fine, vVe find Belarso’s dismissal for loss of trust and confidence valid. Indeed, “[w]hile the State can regulate the right of an employer to select and discharge his or her employees, an. employer cannot be compelled to continue the employment of an employee in whom there has been a legitimate loss of trust and confidence.”60

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DISPOSITIVE:

WHEREFORE, the Petition is DISMISSED for lack of merit. The Decision dated May 23, 2019 and Resolution dated June 27, 2019 of the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal are AFFIRMED.

SO ORDERED.

SUBJECTS/DOCTRINES/DIGEST:

WHAT HAPPENED IN THIS CASE?

PICCIO ALLEGED THAT HRET GRAVELY ABUSES ITS DISCRETION BY COMMITTING MOSAIC PLAGIARISM.

THE COURT SAID THERE WAS NO PLAGIARISM.

Piccio submits that the assailed Decision is an “obnoxious example of simple and mosaic plagiarism. “207 He quotes portions of the assailed Decision and compares them to quoted portions of Vergara’s Verified Answer and Memorandum, and concludes that as they are the same, the BRET had committed “mosaic plagiarism/patchwork plagiarism.”208 He submits that this is “unacceptable, unethical[,] and open[s] [the BRET] to suspicion as to its fairness, impartiality[,] and integrity.” 209 He alleges that “such callous and dishonest conduct endangers the credibility and integrity of the Tribunal,”210 and then cites the case of In the Matter of the Charges of Plagiarism, Etc., Against Associate Justice Mariano C. Del Castillo211 (In re Del Castillo).

The Court rejects these submissions.Foremost, it bears stressing that the charge of plagiarism in the In re Del Castillo case cited by Piccio was dismissed for lack of merit. In essence, the Court found therein that Justice Del Castillo (and his researcher) lacked any motive or reason for omitting attribution for the lifted passages to their authors.212 The Court stressed the element of fraudulent intent in plagiarism which it defined as ‘”to take (ideas, writings, etc.) from (another) and pass them off as one’s own.’ The passing off of the work of another as one’s mvn is thus an indispensable element ofplagiarism.

In the subsequent Resolution of the petitioners’ motion for reconsideration in In re Del Castillo,214 the Court had occasion to clarify and distinguish judges from the academe where the element of malicious intent in plagiarism is disregarded – in the academe, original scholarship is highly valued because the writing is intended to earn for the student an academic degree, honor or distinction. In contrast, court decisions are not written to earn merit as an original piece of work or art. Rather, deciding disputes is a service rendered for the public good.2 15

Moreover, as accuracy of words in law is foremost, the tendency to copy of judges and lawyers is explicable. Hence, the Court recognized the right of judges to use legal materials which belong to the public domain, even without attribution, including liftings from a party’s pleading.

WHAT WAS THE CONTENTION OF PICCIO AGAINST VERGARA?

THAT VERGARA DID NOT COMPLY WITH THE REQUIREMENTS OF RA 9225 FOR REAQUISITION OF FILIPINO CITIZENSHIP.

SUPREME COURT SAID THE BURDEN OF PROOF LIES WITH PICCIO AND THAT HE UTTERLY PROVED HIS CONTENTION.

In light of the above discussion, petitioners before the HRET clearly and utterly failed to prove their assertion that Vergara did not comply with the requirements of R.A. 9225 for the re-acquisition of her Filipino citizenship. All of the evidence they adduced have been, and are, debunked by contrary evidence presented by Vergara and the relevant laws.

……….

Nevertheless, Vergara, while not carrying any burden of evidence as the burden of proof had not shifted from Piccio, proved, by sufficient and substantial evidence, that she had duly taken her oath and duly executed an affidavit of renunciation in compliance with the requirements ofR.A. 9225.

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DISPOSITIVE:

“WHEREFORE, the instant Petition is hereby DENIED. The assailed August 2, 2012 Decision and the January 30, 2013 Resolution of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CV No. 91686 are hereby AFF’IRMED.

Respondcnts’Motion for Prior Leave of Court (to file [l] Notice of Death of }\;farina S. Valero; [2] Motion to Allow Substitution of Movants as Compulsory Heirs of the Decedent; and [3] Entry of Appearance of Undersigned Counsel for Movants) is NOTED.

No pronouncement as to costs.

SO ORDERED.”

SUBJECTS/DOCTRINES/DIGEST:

WHAT HAPPENED IN THIS CASE?

THIS IS A CASE FOR RECONSTITUTION OF TITLE. APPELLANTS ARGUE THAT THERE WAS NO PUBLICATION OF THE REVISIONS OF THE ORIGINAL PETITION AND THUS RTC DID NOT ACQUIRE JURISDICTION OVER THE CASE. SUPREME COURT SAID THAT THE REVISIONS MERELY REFER TO THE SUBSTITUTION OF THE PARTIES IN VIEW OF THE DEATHS OF SPOUSES MANALO AND THE MENTION OF RA 26 AS THE APPLICABLE LAW. THESE ARE MINOR MATTERS. NEW PUBLICATION IS NOT NECESSARY.

This Court finds, as the CA did, that the foregoing does not affect the nature of the action that necessitates another posting and publication, 25 The revisions merely refer to the substitution of the parties in view of the deaths of the spouses Manalo and the mention of RA 26 as the applicable law. These are minor matters that simply tend to assist and guide the RTC in conducting the proceeding. Hence, the earlier posting and publication of the petition for reconstitution prior to the second amendment w~re sufficient for the RTC to acquire jurisdiction on the subject matter of the case.

WHAT ARE THE REQUISITES TO BE COMPLIED WITH FOR AN ORDER FOR RECONSTITUTION TO BE ISSUED?

In Sebastian v. Spouses Cruz, 19 We pointed out that the following
requisites must be complied with for an order for reconstitution to be
issuE:d: (a) that the certificate of title had been lost or destroyed; (b) that the
documents presented by petitioner are sufficient and proper to
wanant reconstitution of the lost or destroyed certificate of title; (c) that the
petitioner is the regist~red owner of the property or had an interest
therein; ( d) that the certificate of title was in force at the time it was lost and
destroyed; and (e) that the description~ area and boundaries of the property are
substantially the same as those contained in the lost or destroyed
certificate of title. Petitioner claims that the RTC did not acquire jurisdiction
over the case because the second amended petition contained substantial
changes and annexes and yet said petition was not posted and published as
required under Sections 12 and 13 of RA 26.

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DISPOSITIVE:

WHEREFORE, the Petition for Review on Certiorari is DENIED. The October 1, 2013 Decision and June 30, 2014 Resolution of the Court of Appeals in CA-GR. SP No. 117835 are AFFIRMED.

So Ordered.

SUBJECTS/DOCTRINES/DIGEST:

WHAT HAPPENED IN THIS CASE?

THE SUPREME COURT SAID THERE IS PROBABLE CAUSE AGAINST PETITIONER FOR UNFAIR COMPETITION. HIS PRODUCT, A MEDICATED FACIAL CREAM SOLD TO THE PUBLIC IS CONTAINED IN THE SAME OVAL-SHAPED CONTAINER WHICH HAD THE MARK CHIN CHUN SU AS THAT OF RESPONDENT.

BUT PETITIONER INDICATED IN HIS LABEL THE NAME OF THE MANUFACTURER?

EVEN THEN. AN ORDINARY PURCHASER WOULD NOT NORMALLY INQUIRE ABOUT THE MANUFACTURER.

Here, petitioners’ product which is a medicated facial cream sold to the public is contained in the same pink oval-shaped container which had the mark “Chin Chun Su,” as that of respondent. While petitioners indicated in their product the manufacturer’s name, the same does not change the fact that it is confusingly similar to respondent’s product in the eyes of the public. As aptly found by the appellate court, an ordinary purchaser would not normally inquire about the manufacturer of the product. 55 Petitioners’ product and that solely distributed by respondent are similar in the following respects “l. both are medicated facial creams; 2. both are contained in pink, oval-shaped containers; and 3. both contain the trademark “Chin Chun Su” x x x The similarities far outweigh the differences. The general appearance of (petitioners’) product is confusingly similar to (respondent).”56 Verily, the acts complained of against petitioners constituted the offense of Unfair Competition and probable cause exists to hold them for trial, contrary to the findings ofRTC Branch 46.

WHAT ARE THE ESSENTIAL ELEMENTS OF UNFAIR COMPETITION?

THEY ARE: CONFUSING SIMILARITY IN THE GENERAL APPEARANCE OF THE GOODS AND INTENT TO DECEIVE THE PUBLIC AND DEFRAUD A COMPETITOR.

HOW TO DETERMINE CONFUSING SIMILARITY?

NOT NECESSARILY FROM THE MARKS BUT FROM OTHER FACTORS LIKE IN PACKAGING OR PRESENTATION OF THE GOODS?

HOW TO DETERMINE LIKELIHOOD OF CONFUSION?

BASED ON PECULIAR CIRCUMSTANCES OF EACH CASE.

HOW TO DETERMINE INTENT TO DECEIVE AND DEFRAUD?

FROM SIMILARITY OF THE APPEARANCE OF THE GOODS.

The essential elements of an action for unfair competlt10n are: (1) confusing similarity in the general appearance of the goods, and (2) intent to deceive the public and defraud a competitor. 52 The confusing similarity may or may not result from similarity in the marks, but may result from other external factors in the packaging or presentation of the goods. Likelihood of confusion of goods or business is a relative concept, to be determined only according to peculiar circumstances of each case. 53 The element of intent to deceive and to defraud may be inferred from the similarity of the appearance of the goods as offered for sale to the public.54

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DISPOSITIVE:

ACCORDINGLY, the Decision No. 2020-127 dated January 27, 2020 of the Commission on Audit is AFFIRMED with MODIFICATION. Petitioner Bernadette Lourdes B. Abejo is ABSOLVED from solidary liability to return the entire disallowed amount, as well as from personal liability to return the excess amount she received under Notice of Disallowance No. 2012-002-101-(1 l) dated February 28, 2012.

So Ordered.

SUBJECTS/DOCTRINES/DIGEST:

WHAT HAPPENED IN THIS CASE?

PETITIONER APPROVED AND GRANTED COLLECTIVE NEGOTIATIONS AGREEMENT (CNA) INCENTIVES  TO EMPLOYEES FROM AGENCY SAVINGS BEFORE END OF THE YEAR. THE DBM BUDGET CIRCULAR STATES THAT SUCH INCENTIVES SHALL BE GIVEN AT END OF THE YEAR. IS PETITIONER LIABLE FOR INCENTIVES PAID. SUPREME COURT SAID NO BECAUSE PETITIONER ACTED IN GOOD FAITH. THE DBM CIRCULAR ALSO STATES THAT THE GIVING OUT OF  INCENTIVES REQUIRES THAT PLANNED PROGRAMS HAVE BEEN ACCOMPLISHED AND THESE PROGRAMS WERE ACCOMPLISHED BEFORE THE END OF THE YEAR. PETITIONER THOUGHT THAT SINCE THE PROGRAMS HAVE ALREADY BEEN ACCOMPLISHED THE INCENTIVES CAN ALREADY BE PAID EVEN IF NOT AT THE END OF THE YEAR.

5.7. The CNA Incentive for the year shall be paid as a one-time benefit after the end of the year, provided that the planned programs/activities/projects have been implemented and completed in accordance with the performance targets of the year.

…………………..

To be sure, the present case bears striking similarity, if it is not in all fours with Montejo v. Commission on Audit.30 There, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) paid CNA Incentives in the middle of 2010 and 2011, and again at the end of the same year in 2010. Montejo claimed that there was substantial compliance with the requirements of DBM BC No. 2006-1. For although said issuance provides that the CNA Incentives should be granted after the end of the year, it was qualified by a provision that the grant shall be released only after the planned activities and projects of the concerned agency have been implemented in accordance with the performance targets for the year. As it was, the DOST had been submitting documents proving that they had achieved their targets and corresponding savings were generated. Thus, the grant of CNA Incentives was compliant with the proviso in Section 5.7 of DBM BC No. 2006-1, albeit payments were released twice in the middle of the year.

Though the Court rejected Montejo’s argument and upheld the notice of disallowance, as here, it nevertheless, excused Montejo from paying the disallowed amount, thus:

Petitioner’s erroneous interpretation of the DBM circular aside, the action of petitioner was indicative of good faith because he acted in an honest belief that the grant of the CNA Incentives had legal bases. It is unfair to penalize public officials based on overly stretched and strained interpretations of rules which were not that readily capable of being understood at the time such functionaries acted in good faith. Ifthere is any ambiguity, which is actually clarified years later, then it should only be applied prospectively. A contrary rule would be counterproductive.

Thus, although this Court considers the questioned Notices of Disallowance valid, this Court also considers it to be in the better interest of justice and prudence that petitioner, other officials concerned and the employees who benefited from the CNA Incentives be relieved of any personal liability to refund the disallowed amount. 31

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