Archive for October, 2016


CASE 2016-0071: J.O.S. MANAGING BUILDERS VS UNITED OVERSEAS BANK PHILIPPINES (FORMERLY KNOWN AS WESTMONT BANK), EMMANUEL T. MANGOSING AND DAVID GOH CHAI ENG, (G.R. NO. 219815, 14 SEPT 2016, JARDELEZA, J.) (SUBJECT/S:: 3-DAY NOTICE RULE; FILING MOTION TO DISMISS AFTER FILING ANSWER; INDIRECT CONTEMPT) (BRIEF TITLE: J.O.S. MANAGING BUILDERS VS. UNITED OVERSEAS BANK ET AL)

 

 DISPOSITIVE:

 

“WHEREFORE, the petition is PARTIALLY GRANTED. The October 7, 2014 and July 20, 2015 Orders of the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City, Branch 87 in Civil Case No. Q-11-69413 are hereby REVERSED. The case is REMANDED to the court a quo for continuance of the trial of the case.

 

SO ORDERED.”

 

SUBJECTS/DOCTRINES/DIGEST:

 

RTC DISMISSED THE CONTEMPT CHARGE FOR BEEING MOOT. IT ALSO GRANTS RESPONDENTS’ MOTION TO EXPUNGE PETITIONER’S MR FOR BEING VIOLATIVE OF THE THREE DAY NOTICE RULE. PETITIONER THEN FILED PETITION DIRECTLY TO SC (NOT PASSING CA) RAISING QUESTIONS OF LAW. DID PETITIONER VIOLATE THE RULE ON HIERARCHY OF COURTS?

 

NO.

 

THE RULES PROVIDES THAT IN ALL CASES WHERE ONLY QUESTIONS OF LAW ARE RAISED OR INVOLVED, THE APPEAL SHALL BE BEFORE SC.

 

 HEARING WAS SET FOR NOV 7. RESPONDENTS ONLY RECEIVED NOTICE FROM PETITIONER ON NOV 6. RTC EXPUNGED PETITIONER’S MR BECAUSE IT VIOLATED THE 3 DAY RULE ON MOTIONS. WAS RTC CORRECT?

 

NO.

 

THE THREE-DAY NOTICE REQUIREMENT IS NOT A HARD-AND-FAST RULE. A LIBERAL CONSTRUCTION OF THE PROCEDURAL RULES IS PROPER WHERE THE LAPSE IN THE LITERAL OBSERVANCE OF A RULE OF PROCEDURE HAS NOT PREJUDICED THE ADVERSE PARTY AND HAS NOT DEPRIVED THE COURT OF ITS AUTHORITY.

 

WHAT IS THE BASIS OF THE THREE DAY NOTICE RULE?

 

SECTION 4, RULE 15 OF THE RULES, PROVIDES THAT:

 

SEC. 4. HEARING OF MOTION. -EXCEPT FOR MOTIONS WHICH THE COURT MAY ACT UPON WITHOUT PREJUDICING THE RIGHTS OF THE ADVERSE PARTY, EVERY WRITTEN MOTION SHALL BE SET FOR HEARING BY THE APPLICANT.

 

EVERY WRITTEN MOTION REQUIRED TO BE HEARD AND THE NOTICE OF THE HEARING THEREOF SHALL BE SERVED IN SUCH A MANNER AS TO ENSURE ITS RECEIPT BY THE OTHER PARTY AT LEAST THREE (3) DAYS BEFORE THE DATE OF HEARING, UNLESS THE COURT FOR GOOD CAUSE SETS THE HEARING ON SHORTER NOTICE.

 

WHAT IS THE NATURE OF THIS RULE??

 

IT IS MANDATORY.

 

IT IS AN INTEGRAL COMPONENT OF PROCEDURAL DUE PROCESS.

 

WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF THE RULE?

 

TO AVOID SURPRISES UPON RESPONDENT  AND TO GRANT IT SUFFICIENT TIME TO STUDY THE MOTION AND TO ENABLE IT TO MEET THE ARGUMENTS INTERPOSED.

 

WHAT IS THE TEST OF THE OBSERVANCE OF THE 3 DAY NOTICE RULE?

 

THE TEST IS THE PRESENCE OF OPPORTUNITY TO BE HEARD, AS WELL AS TO HAVE TIME TO STUDY THE MOTION AND MEANINGFULLY OPPOSE OR CONTROVERT THE GROUNDS UPON WHICH IT IS BASED.35

 

THUS WHEN RESPONDENT FILED OPPOSITION AND RAISED ARGUMENTS AGAINST THE CONTENTS OF THE MOTION HE WAS AFFORDED OPPORTUNITY TO PRESENT HIS SIDE.

 

WHEN THE ADVERSE PARTY HAD BEEN AFFORDED SUCH OPPORTUNITY, AND HAS BEEN INDEED HEARD THROUGH THE PLEADINGS FILED IN OPPOSITION TO THE MOTION, THE PURPOSE BEHIND THE THREE-DAY NOTICE REQUIREMENT IS DEEMED REALIZED.

 

IN SUCH CASE, THE REQUIREMENTS OF PROCEDURAL DUE PROCESS ARE SUBSTANTIALLY COMPLIED WITH.

 

AFTER RESPONDENT  FILED ANSWER TO THE CONTEMPT CHARGE, THEY FILED MOTION TO DISMISS ON THE GROUND THAT THE CA IN THE FORECLOSURE ANNULMENT CASE REVERSED THE RTC DECISION AND THEREFORE THERE IS NO MORE BASIS FOR THE CONTEMPT CASE. PETITIONER SAID RESPONDENT’S ACTION WAS IMPROPER BECAUSE THE RULES PROVIDE THAT MOTION TO DISMISS MUST BE FILED ONLY BEFORE AN ANSWER IS FILED. IS PETITIONER CORRECT?

 

 NO.

 

IN OBANDO V. FIGUERAS,41 WE HELD THAT THE PERIOD TO FILE A MOTION TO DISMISS DEPENDS UPON THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE CASE.

 

EVEN AFTER AN ANSWER HAS BEEN FILED, THE COURT HAS ALLOWED A DEFENDANT TO FILE A MOTION TO DISMISS ON THE FOLLOWING GROUNDS: (1) LACK OF JURISDICTION, (2) LITIS PENDENTIA, (3) LACK OF CAUSE OF ACTION, AND (4) DISCOVERY DURING TRIAL OF EVIDENCE THAT WOULD CONSTITUTE A GROUND FOR DISMISSAL.

 

RESPONDENTS’ MOTION TO DISMISS WAS BASED ON AN EVENT THAT TRANSPIRED AFTER IT FILED ITS ANSWER. THIS EVENT WAS THE DISMISSAL BY CA OF THE ANNULMENT OF FORECLOSURE CASE.

 

THE CONTEMPT CASE IS BASED ON PETITIONER’S SELLING THE PROPERTY DESPITE AN INJUNCTION PROHIBITING SUCH ACT. BUT THE MAIN CASE WAS LATER DISMISSED BY CA. RESPONDENT THEN FILED A MOTION TO DISMISS CONTEMPT CASE BECAUSE THE INJUNCTION VIOLATED IS ALREADY DISSOLVED. RTC AGREED AND IMMEDIATELY DISMISSED THE CONTEMPT CASE EVEN THOUGH IT WAS JUST ON PRE-TRIAL STAGE ON THE GROUND THAT THE CASE WAS MOOT. WAS RTC CORRECT?

 

NO.

 

A CASE IS MOOT WHEN IT CEASES TO PRESENT A , JUSTICIABLE CONTROVERSY BY VIRTUE OF SUPERVENING EVENTS SO THAT A DECLARATION THEREON WOULD BE OF NO PRACTICAL VALUE.47 COURTS DECLINE JURISDICTION OVER IT AS THERE IS NO SUBSTANTIAL RELIEF TO WHICH PETITIONER WILL BE ENTITLED AND WHICH · WILL ANYWAY BE NEGATED BY THE DISMISSAL OF THE PETITION.

 

HERE, THE CONSEQUENT DISSOLUTION OF THE 2000 WRIT DID NOT RENDER THE CONTEMPT CASE MOOT AND ACADEMIC.

 

THE ACT WAS COMMITTED WHILE THE INJUNCTION WAS STILL EFFECTIVE.

 

AN INJUNCTION OR RESTRAINING ORDER WHICH IS NOT VOID MUST BE OBEYED WHILE IT REMAINS IN FULL FORCE AND EFFECT, AND HAS NOT BEEN OVERTURNED, THAT IS, IN GENERAL, UNTIL THE INJUNCTION OR RESTRAINING ORDER HAS BEEN SET ASIDE, VACATED, OR MODIFIED.

 

THE INJUNCTION MUST BE OBEYED IRRESPECTIVE OF THE ULTIMATE VALIDITY OF THE ORDER, AND NO MATTER HOW UNREASONABLE AND UNJUST THE INJUNCTION MAY BE IN ITS TERMS.

 

ARE RESPONDENTS THEN ALREADY GUILTY OF INDIRECT CONTEMPT?

 

IT IS NOT FOR SC TO DECIDE.

 

IT MAY BE NOTED THAT THE CONTEMPT CASE WAS HOWEVER DISMISSED WHILE IT WAS ONLY IN THE PRE-TRIAL STAGE AND CLEARLY BEFORE THE PARTIES COULD PRESENT THEIR EVIDENCE.

 

PROCEEDINGS FOR INDIRECT CONTEMPT OF COURT REQUIRE NORMAL ADVERSARIAL PROCEDURES. IT IS NOT SUMMARY IN CHARACTER. THE PROCEEDINGS FOR THE PUNISHMENT OF THE CONTUMACIOUS ACT COMMITTED OUTSIDE THE PERSONAL KNOWLEDGE OF THE JUDGE GENERALLY NEED THE OBSERVANCE OF ALL THE ELEMENTS OF DUE PROCESS OF LAW, THAT IS, NOTICE, WRITTEN CHARGES, AND AN OPPORTUNITY TO DENY AND TO DEFEND SUCH CHARGES BEFORE GUILT IS ADJUDGED AND  SENTENCE IMPOSED.

 

THUS, THE CONTEMPT CASE WAS REFERRED TO RTC FOR FURTHER PROCEEDINGS.

 

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

 

scd-2016-0071-jos-managing-builders-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 2016-0056: CAMERON GRANVILLE & ASSET MANAGEMENT, INC., V. FIDEL 0. CHUA AND FILIDEN REALTY AND DEVELOPMENT CORP.,  (G.R. 191170, SEPTEMBER 2016, SERENO, CJ.) (SUBJECT/S: REJOINDER OF PARTIES; WHETHER THE SUBSTITUTED PARTY REMAIN AS PARTY OR BE DELETED) (BRIEF TITLE: CAMERON GRANVILLE VS CHUA ET AL.)

 

 DISPOSITIVE:

 

“WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED. The Court of Appeals Decision dated 26 August 2009 and Resolution dated 11 February 2010 in CA-G.R. SP No. 103809 are REVERSED and SET ASIDE. The Orders dated 28 December 2007 and 9 April 2008 issued by the Regional Trial Court of Parafiaque City, Branch 258, are REINSTATED.

 

 SO ORDERED”

 

SUBJECTS/DOCTRINES/DIGEST:

 

PETITIONER FILED MOTION TO BE JOINED AS PARTY IN LIEU OF METROBANK. RTC GRANTED THE MOTION PROVIDED THAT METROBANK WILL STILL BE A PARTY UNTIL EVIDENCES SHOW THAT IT BE OUT AS A PARTY. RESPONDENT QUESTIONED SUCH RULING AT CA ON GROUND THAT CA COMMITTED GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION. CA REVERSED RTC ON GROUND THAT THE RTC DECISION WAS A PROVISIONAL JOINDER/SUBSTITUTION OF PARTIES WHICH IS AGAINST THE BASIC RULE THAT EVERY ACTION MUST BE PROSECUTED OR DEFENDED IN THE NAME OF THE REAL PARTY IN INTEREST. IS CA CORRECT?

 

NO.

 

THERE WAS NO GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION ON THE PART OF RTC. ITS RULING WAS IN ACCORD WITH SECTION 11, RULE 3 OF THE RULES OF COURT.

THE RULE PROVIDES THAT PARTIES MAY BE DROPPED OR ADDED BY ORDER OF THE COURT ON MOTION OF ANY PARTY OR ON THE COURT’S OWN INITIATIVE AT ANY STAGE OF THE ACTION AND ON SUCH TERMS AS ARE JUST.

 

WHAT IS THE RATIONALE FOR ALLOWING PARTIES TO JOIN IN A PROCEEDING WHICH HAS A COMMON QUESTION OF LAW OR FACT CONCERNING THEM?

 

TRIAL CONVENIENCE, I.E. TO SAVE THE PARTIES UNNECESSARY WORK, TROUBLE AND EXPENSE.

 

TO ACHIEVE JUSTICE AND CONVENIENCE, THE RULE ON THE JOINDER OF PARTIES IS CONSTRUED WITH CONSIDERABLE FLEXIBILITY.

 

THE CA ALSO SAID THAT IT WAS NOT CLEAR WHETHER RESPONDENTS’ DEBT WAS INCLUDED IN THE PORTFOLIO OF NONPERFORMING LOANS SOLD TO ARC WHO ASSIGNED IT TO PETITIONER. IS THIS TRUE?

 

NO.

METROBANK BEFORE THE TRIAL COURT HAS CONFIRMED THE FACT OF THE TRANSFER OF INTEREST TO ARC WHICH THEN TRANSFERRED TO PETITIONER.

 

THE ADMISSION BY METROBANK SUFFICIENTLY SUPPLIED WHATEVER WAS OMITTED BY THE NON-PRESENTATION OF THE ENTIRE PORTFOLIO OF NONPERFORMING LOANS.


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

 

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CASE 2016-0069: SERGIO R. OSMENA Ill  VS  POWER SECTOR ASSETS AND LIABILITIES MANAGEMENT CORPORATION, EMMANUEL R. LEDESMA, JR., SPC POWER CORPORATION, and THERMA POWER VISAYAS, INC. (G.R. No. 212686, 05 OCT 2016,  VELASCO JR., J.) (SUBJECT/S: SC MODIFIES FINAL JUDGMENT;EFFECT OF  SEVERABILITY CLAUSE IN BIDDING GUIDELINES) (BRIEF TITLE: OSMENA VS. PSALM ET AL.)


DISPOSITIVE:

 

“WHEREFQRE, premises considered, the Manifestation/Motion dated March 16, 2016 of respondent TPVI is hereby GRANTED. The Entry of Judgment is LIFTED. The fa/lo of the September 28, 2015 Decision is hereby amended to include a directive that the April 30, 2014 Notice of Award in favor of said respondent be REINSTATED, excluding the portion therein granting to SPC the Right to Top. Respondent PSALM is further directed to execute the NPPC-APA and NPPC-LLA in favor of respondent TPVI with dispatch. As amended, the fa/lo of said Decision shall read:

 

WHEREFORE, the petition is hereby GIVEN DUE COURSE and the writ prayed for accordingly GRANTED. The right of first refusal (right to top) granted to Sakon Power Corporation (now SPC Power Corporation) under the 2009 Naga LBGT-LLA is hereby declared NULL and VOID. Consequently, the Asset Purchase Agreement (NPPC-APA) and Land Lease Agreement (NPPC-LLA) executed by the Power Sector Assets and · Liabilities Management Corporation and SPC are ANNULLED and SET ASIDE. The Notice of Award dated April 30, 2014 in favor of Therma Power Visayas, Inc. is hereby REINSTATED, excluding the portion therein granting to SPC the Right to Top. Respondent PSALM is directed to execute the NPPC-AP A and NPPCLLA in favor of TPVI with dispatch.

 

No costs.

 

SO ORDERED.”

 

SUBJECTS/DOCTRINES/DIGEST:


WHAT HAPPENED IN THIS CASE?

 

THE POWER SECTOR ASSETS AND LIABILITIES MANAGEMENT CORP (PSALM) CONDUCTED BIDDING FOR THE SALE OF NPPC POWER PLANT. BIDDERS WERE THERMA POWER VISAYAS INC AND SPC POWER CORP. THERMA POWER WON. PSALM ISSUED NOTICE OF AWARD TO THERMA POWER BUT SUBJECT TO THE CONDITION THAT SPC WILL NOT EXERCISE ITS RIGHT OF FIRST REFUSAL. THEN SPC EXERCISED ITS RIGHT OF FIRST REFUSAL BY PROPOSING TO PSALM THAT IT WILL EXECUTE LEASE AGREEMENT AND PURCHASE AGREEMENT OVER THE NPCC POWER PLANT. PSALM AND SPC EXECUTED SAID AGREEMENTS AND PSALM  CANCELLED THE  NOTICE OF AWARD. IN ITS PREVIOUS DECISION SC RULED THAT THE PROVISION IN THE BIDDING GUIDELINES RE RIGHT OF FIRST REFUSAL OF SPC WAS ILLEGAL AND THE LEASE AND PURCHASE AGREEMENTS WERE ALSO ILLEGAL. BUT IT WAS SILENT ON THE EFFECT OF THE DECISION ON THE NOTICE OF AWARD. THERMA POWER THEN ASKED FOR CLARIFICATION WITH PRAYER TO REINSTATE THE NOTICE OF AWARD. SC IN THIS RESOLUTION REINSTATED THE NOTICE OF AWARD.

 

WHAT WAS THE BASIS FOR THE REINSTATEMENT OF THE NOTICE OF AWARD?

 

THE BASIS IS THE SEVERABILITY CLAUSE IN THE BIDDING GUIDELINES WHICH STATES: IF ANY ONE OR MORE OF THE PROVISIONS OF THE BIDDING PROCEDURES OR ANY PART OF THE BIDDING PACKAGE IS HELD TO BE INVALID, ILLEGAL OR UNENFORCEABLE, THE VALIDITY, LEGALITY, OR ENFORCEABILITY OF THE REMAINING PROVISIONS WILL NOT BE AFFECTED THEREBY AND SHALL REMAIN IN FULL FORCE AND EFFECT.

 

BUT WAS IT PROPER FOR SC TO AMEND A FINAL JUDGMENT?

 

YES.

 

THE COURT IS NOT PRECLUDED FROM RENDERING A NUNC PRO TUNC JUDGMENT TO AMEND THE DISPOSITIVE PORTION OF THE SEPTEMBER 28, 2015 DECISION IN ORDER TO TRULY REFLECT THE ACTION OF THE COURT.

 

THE LACK OF DIRECTIVE IN THE DECISION  ON HOW TO PROCEED FROM THE NULLIFICATION OF SPC’S RIGHT TO TOP AND ITS NPPC-APA AND NPPC-LLA CONTRACTS, NOTHING MORE, LEFT THE PARTIES AT A QUANDARY, PROMPTING THEM TO SEEK JUDICIAL INTERVENTION ANEW.

 

THE COURT MUST, THEREFORE, SUPPLY HEREIN WHAT WAS INADVERTENTLY OMITTED IN THE DECISION. OTHERWISE, A REJECTION OF THE PLEA OF THERMA POWER WILL RESULT TO  MULTIPLICITY OF SUITS AND CLOGGING OF THE COURT DOCKET. THIS CONSEQUENCE IS AGAINST THE ESTABLISHED POLICY OF THE COURT TO PROVIDE IN ITS RULES OF PROCEDURE A JUST, SPEEDY, AND INEXPENSIVE DISPOSITION OF EVERY ACTION AND PROCEEDING.

 

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

 

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