CASE 2019-0014: LEONORA RIVERA-AVANTE VS. MILAGROS RIVERA AND THEIR HEIRS WITH THE LATE ALEJANDRO RIVERA, AND ALL OTHER PERSONS WHO ARE DERIVING CLAIM OR RIGHTS FROM THEM (G.R. NO. 224137, 03 APRIL 2019, PERALTA J.) (SUBJECT/S: LATE FILING OF MOTION FOR RECON) (BRIEF TITLE: AVANTE VS RIVERA ET AL)

 

DISPOSITIVE:

 

“WHEREFORE, the instant petition is DENIED. The Decision and Resolution of the Court of Appeals, promulgated on March 5, 2015 and April 12, 2016, respectively, in CA-G.R. SP No. 120047, are hereby AFFIRMED.

 

SO ORDERED.”

 

SUBJECTS/DOCTRINES/DIGEST:

 

BEFORE A DECISION OF INFERIOR COURT IS APPEALED TO SUPERIOR COURT IS MOTION FOR RECON NECESSARY?

 

YES. FAILURE TO FILE MOTION FOR RECON WITHIN THE PERIOD TO APPEAL WILL FORECLOSE RIGHT TO APPEAL.

 

 As a step to allow an inferior court to correct itself before review by a higher court, a motion for reconsideration must necessarily be filed w thin the period to appeal.[26] When filed beyond such period, the motion for reconsideration ipso facto forecloses the right to appeal.[27]

 

SUPPOSE MOTION FOR RECON WAS FILED ONLY ONE DAY LATE, WILL SUCH RULE STILL APPLY?

 

YES BASED ON PAST DECISIONS OF THE SUPREME COURT.


In Ponciano Jr. v. Laguna Lake Development Authority, et al.,[28] the Court refused to admit a motion for reconsideration filed only one day ate, pointing out that the Court has, in the past, similarly refused to admit motions for reconsideration which were filed late without sufficient justification.

ARE THERE EXCEPTIONS?

 

YES BUT THESE EXCEPTIONS MUST BE SUFFICIENTLY JUSTIFIED BY MERITORIOUS AND EXCEPTIONAL CIRCUMSTANCES.

 


Indeed, there are cases where this Court allowed the liberal application of procedural rules, but these are exceptions, sufficiently justified by meritorious and exceptional circumstances attendant therein.[29] Not every entreaty for relaxation of rules of procedure, however, shall b so lightly granted by the Court for it will render such rules inutile.[30] Certainly, the relaxation of the application of the Rules in exceptional cases was never intended to forge a bastion for erring litigants to violate the rules with impunity.

 

PETITIONER INVOKED THE PRINCIPLE OF “IN THE INTEREST OF JUSTICE”. WILL THIS SUFFICE?

 

NO.

 


Petitioner’s bare invocation of “the interest of justice” is not a magic wand that will automatically compel this Court to suspend procedural rules. Procedural rules are not to be belittled or dismissed simply because their non-observance may have prejudiced a party’s substantive rights.[31] Like all rules, they are required to be followed except only for the most persuasive of reasons when they may be relaxed to relieve a litigant of an injustice not commensurate with the degree of his thoughtlessness in not complying with the procedure prescribed.[32]

 

PETITIONER FAILED TO FILE HER MOTION FOR RECON ON TIME. WHAT IS THE CONSEQUENCE?

 

 

HER FAILURE PREVENTS HER FROM EXERCISING HER RIGHT TO APPEAL.

 

Hence, since petitioner’s Motion for Reconsideration was belatedly filed, the Decision of the CA dated March 5, 2015 became final and executory by operation of law. In other words, the petitioner’s failure to timely file her Motion for Reconsideration foreclosed any right which she may have had under the rules not only to seek reconsideration of the CA’s assailed Decision but more importantly, such failure prevents her from exercising her right to assail the CA Decision before this Court.

 

WHAT IS THE REMEDY OF PETITIONER?

 

FILE ANOTHER ACTION TAKING INTO CONSIDERATION THE ASSESSED VALUE OF THE LOT AND THE FACT THAT DISPOSSESSION HAS LATED FOR MORE THAN ONE YEAR.

 


The foregoing being the case, all is not lost for petitioner as she can still opt to file another action to recover possession of the subject property which should be brought in the proper court, taking into consideration the assessed value of the lot and the fact that dispossession has lasted for more than one year.

 

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

 

SC-2019-0014-SC CASE G.R. NO 224137-03 APR 2019-LEONORA RIVERA AVANTE VS MILAGROS RIVERA ET AL

 

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