Category: LATEST SUPREME COURT CASES


 

DISPOSITIVE:

WHEREFORE, the instint Petition is DENIED. The August 13, 2014 Decision and February 11, 2015 Resolution of the Court of Appeals in CA[1]G.R. SP No. 04133-MIN holding that Duma.ran failed to meet the requirements of the law regarding fraud to sµstain the issuance of a writ of preliminary attachment are hereby AFFIRMED.

SO ORDERED.

SUBJECTS/DOCTRINES/DIGEST:

WHAT HAPPENED IN THIS CASE?

DUMARAN WAS OPERATING GAS STATIONS. HE SUPPLIED LLAMEDO ET AL WITH GASOLINE AND DIESEL. THE LATTER OWNED DUMARAN P7M PLUS. THEIR CHECK BOUNCED. DUMARAN WAS ABLE TO SECURE WRIT OF PRELIMINARY ATTACHMENT FROM RTC. BUT CA QUASHED THE WRIT. SUPREME COURT SAID QUASHAL IS PROPER BECAUSE DUMARAN FAILED TO ALLEGED SPECIFICS SHOWING THAT AT THE BEGINNING HE WAS DEFRAUDED INTO SUPPLYING THEM WITH GASONLINE AND DIESEL.

The CA rightfully held that Dumaran’s allegations in both his Complaint and Affidavit failed to show that Dumaran was defrauded into accepting the offer of Llamedo, Magallanes and Cubeta; and that Llamedo, Magallanes and Cubeta intended from the beginning to not pay their obligations. The Complaint and Affidavit did not specifically show wrongful acts or willful omissions that Llamedo, Magallanes and Cubeta knowingly committed to deceive Dumaran to enter into the contract or to perform the obligation. The pleadings filed lacked the particulars of time, persons and places to support the serious assertions that Llamedo, Magallanes and Cubeta were disposing of their properties to defraud Dumaran.

………………………………

The Court, though not a trier of facts, perused through the records of the case and agrees with the findings of the CA that the allegations ofDumaran do not meet the requirements of the law regarding fraud. The case of Republic v. Mega Pacific eSolutions, Inc. 28 explained the term “fraud” as related to the above-mentioned legal provision in this wise:

Fraud may be characterized as the voluntary execution of a wrongful act or a willful omission, while knowing and intending the effects that naturally and necessarily arise from that act or omission. In its general sense, fraud is deemed to comprise anything calculated to deceive – including all acts and omission and concealment involving a breach of legal or equitable duty, trust, or confidence justly reposed – resulting in damage to or in undue advantage over another. Fraud is also described as embracing all multifarious means that human ingenuity can device, and is resorted to for the purpose of securing an advantage over another by false suggestions or by suppression of truth; and it includes all surprise, trick, cunning, dissembling, and any other unfair way by which another is cheated.

While fraud cannot be presumed, it need not be proved by direct evidence and can well be inferred from attendant circumstances. Fraud by its nature is not a thing susceptible of ocular observation or readily demonstrable physically; it must of necessity be proved in many cases by inferences from circumstances shown to have been involved in the transaction in question.29 (Emphasis supplied)

DUMARAN SAID THAT THE WRIT CANNOT BE QUASHED BECAUSE RESPONDENTS DID NOT FILE COUNTER-BOND. SUPREME COURT SAID COUNTER-BOND IS NOT NECESSARY. THE CA HAD ALREADY RULED THAT DUMARAN FAILED TO PROVE THAT FRAUD EXISTED, THUS, THE WRIT OF PRELIMINARY ATTACHMENT ISSUED BY THE RTC WAS A ”TOO HARSH” PROVISIONAL REMEDY THAT MUST BE DENIED.

On the other hand, Llamedo, Magallanes and Cubeta averred that the cited FCY Construction case is not applicable to their case because the parties in FCY Construction had not yet proven the falsity of the factual averments in the applicant’s application for a writ of preliminary attachment and supporting affidavits. Thus, a regular full-blown trial to prove the falsity of the factual averments and subsequently, the irregularity of the writ of preliminary attachment in accordance with Rule 57, Section 13 was still necessary to allow the discharge of the writ of preliminary attachment. Otherwise, absent a regular full-blown trial, the only way a writ of preliminary attachment can be dissolved is by filing a counter-bond or cash deposit u11der Rule 57, Section 12.

However, in the case at bar, Llarnedo, Magallanes a.’ld Cubeta alleged that the CA had aln;;ady found and ruled that the writ of preliminary attachment was improperly issued. The CA had already ruled that Dumaran failed to prove that fraud existed, thus, the writ of preliminary attachment issued by the RTC was a ”too harsh” provisional remedy that must be denied.

The Court agrees with the contention of Llamedo, Magalhmes and Cubeta. . . .

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DISPOSITIVE:

WHEREFORE, the Resolution dated September 3, 2014 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 136807 is SET ASIDE. Respondents Senator Crewing (MANILA), Inc., et al. are ORDERED to pay petitioner Dino S. Palo:

1) US$60,000.00 representing permanent and total disability benefits under the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration-Standard Employment Contract;

2) Sickness allowance, if none had been paid; and 3) Attorney’s fees at ten percent (10%) of the monetary award. All amounts shall earn six percent ( 6%) interest per annum from finality of this Decision until full satisfaction. 63 64 65

SO ORDERED.

SUBJECTS/DOCTRINES/DIGEST:

WHAT HAPPENED IN THIS CASE?

THIS INVOLVES A CLAIM BY A SEAMAN FOR DISABILITY BENEFITS. HE DID NOT RECEIVE A COPY OF THE MEDICAL CERTIFICATE ISSUED BY THE COMPANY DESIGNATED PHYSICIAN. FOR LACK OF SUCH NOTICE HE WAS DECLARED ENTITLED TO SAID BENEFITS.

WHAT ARE SOME IMPORTANT  REQUIREMENTS TO CLAIM FOR DISABILITY BENEFITS?

AS A RULE, AWARD OF DISABILITY BENEFITS SHALL BE BASED FROM THE COMPANY-DESGINATED PHYSICIAN’S FINAL ASSESSMENT. AND THE COMPANY[1]DESIGNATED PHYSICIAN IS MANDATED TO ISSUE A MEDICAL CERTIFICATE, WHICH SHOULD BE PERSONALLY RECEIVED BY THE SEAFARER.

On that note, We now determine whether or not Palo is entitled to payment of full disability benefits. As a rule, award of disability benefits shall be based from the company-desginated physician’s final assessment. Section 20(B)49 of the POEA-SEC provides that, to constitute a final assessment, a company designated physician’s assessment should declare a seafarer fit to work or the degree of his disability. Further defined, a final, conclusive and definite assessment must clearly state whether the seafarer is fit to work or the exact disability rating, or whether such illness is work-related, and without any further condition or treatment.50 It should no longer require any further action on the part of the company-designated physician and it is issued by the company-designated physician after he or she has exhausted all possible treatment options within the periods mandated by law. 51 Relatedly, this final assessment shall be issued within 120 days from the date of the seafarer’s medical repatriation or within 240 days, if supported with justification for extension of medical treatment. 52 Failure to issue a final assessment within the foregoing periods renders a seafarer’s illness or injury permanent and total regardless of justification. 53

Moreover, this Court cannot emphasize enough that the company[1]designated physician is mandated to issue a medical certificate, which should be personally received by the seafarer, or, if not practicable, sent to him/her by any other means sanctioned by present rules.54 The seafarer must be fully and properly informed of his medical condition.55 The results of his/her medical exmninations, the treatments extended to him/her, the diagnosis and prognosis, if needed, and, of course, his/her disability grading must be fully explained to him/her by no less than the company-designated physician.56 The seafarer must be accorded proper notice and due process especially where his/her well-being is at stake.57 The effect of failure of the company to furnish the seafarer a copy of his medical certificate militates gravely against the company’s cause.58

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DISPOSITIVE:

WHEREFORE, the Petition for Review on Certiorari is DENIED. The September 30, 2013 Decision and June 2, 2014 Resolution of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CV No. 98861 are AFFIRMED.

So Ordered.

SUBJECTS/DOCTRINES/DIGEST:

WHAT HAPPENED IN THIS CASE?

A DEED OF DONATION OVER A PARCEL OF LAND APPEARS TO HAVE BEEN EXECUTED. BUT ONE OF THE SIGNATORIES WAS DEAD 36 YEARS EALIER. THE DEED OF DONATION WAS THEREFORE VOID.

Here, respondents successfully refuted said presumption of regularity. Rodriguez, the notary public, testified that all the parties personally appeared before him when the Deed of Donation was notarized. Interestingly, Eufrosina, the wife of Valentin and one of the signatories in the Deed, died in 1958, or 36 years before the Deed of Donation was executed. It is worthy to note that Isidro, one of the petitioners, admitted his mother’s demise during the trial.

Thus, Eufrosina could not have personally appeared before the notary public unless by some miracle she had risen from her grave to sign the Deed of Donation. The only plausible conclusion is that another person stood in her place, and that the notary public did not duly ascertain if the person who signed the Deed of Donation was actually Eufrosina.

WHAT HAPPENED NOW TO THE VOID DEED OF DONATION?

IT IS SUBJECT TO ATTACK AT ANY TIME. AN ACTION TO DECLARE THE EXISTENCE OF A VOID CONTRACT DOES NOT PRESCRIBE.

The Deed of Donation is an absolute nullity hence it is subject to attack at any time. Its defect, i. e., the absence of consent of respondents, is permanent and incurable by ratification or prescription.67 In other words, the action is imprescriptible. This is in accord with Article 1410 of the Civil Code which states that an action to declare the inexistence of a void contract does not prescribe.68

WHAT HAPPENED NOW TO THE LAND, SUBJECT OF THE DEED OF DONATION.

THE LAND IS HELD BY PETITIONERS IN TRUST FOR RESPONDENTS WHO ARE THE REAL OWNERS. RESPONDENTS CAN INSTITUTE A CASE AGAINST PETITIONERS FOR RECONVEYANCE OF THE PROPERTY ANYTIME.

Since the Deed of Donation is void ab initio due to the illegality in its execution, the disputed land is deemed to be simply held by petitioners in trust for respondents who are the real owners.69 Respondents therefore have the right to institute a case against petitioners for the reconveyance of the property at any time. 70 The well-settled rule is that “[a]s long as the land wrongfully registered under the Torrens system is still in the name of the person who caused such registration, an action in p ersonam will lie to compel him to reconvey the property to the real owner. ” 71

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