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CASE 2019-0015: JOAQUINA ZAMBALES ET AL VS SALVACION VILLON ZAMBALES (G.R. No. 216878, 03 April 2019, PERALTA, J) (SUBJECT/S: FACTUAL FINDINGS OF THE COURT OF APPEALS GENERALY CONCLUSIVE; EVIDENCE NOT OFFERED CANNOT BE CONSIDERED) (BRIEF TITLE: ZAMBALES VS ZAMBALES)

 

DISPOSITIVE:

 

“WHEREFORE, the petition is hereby DENIED for lack of merit. The September 30, 2013 Decision and the December 12, 2014 Resolution of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CV No. 97079 are AFFIRMED.



SO ORDERED.”

 

SUBJECTS/DOCTRINES/DIGEST:

 

LIMIT TO THE JURISDICTION OF THE SC:

 

REVIEW OF ERRORS OF LAW ALLEGEDLY COMMITTED BY THE APPELLATE COURT.

 

“It bears emphasis that the factual findings of the appellate court generally are conclusive, and carry even more weight when said court affirms the findings of the trial court, absent any showing that the findings are totally devoid of support in the records, or that they are so glaringly erroneous as to constitute grave abuse of discretion.[19]E As a rule, the jurisdiction of this Court is limited to a review of errors of law allegedly committed by the appellate court. It is not bound to analyze and weigh all over again the evidence already considered in the proceedings below.”

 

EXCEPTIONS TO THE ABOVE RULE:

 

“In several cases, however, it has been repeatedly held that the rule that factual findings of the appellate are binding on the Court are subject to the following exceptions: (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.

 

WHY IS EVIDENCE NOT FORMALLY CANNOT BE CONSIDERED?

 

 

BECAUSE THE COURT CANNOT DETERMINE THE VERACITY OF THE CLAIMS OF THE WITNESSES.

 


“In this case, the records show that apart from the fact that the Extrajudicial Settlement Among Heirs with Waiver of Rights and Sale sought to be annulled and the titles sought to be cancelled were not offered in evidence,[26] the Extrajudicial Settlement itself alluded to in the testimonial evidence presented was not offered in order to allow the trial court to determine the veracity of the claims of the witnesses.

 

 

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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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CASE 2019-0012: DOMINGO CREBELLO VS OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN AND TIMOTEO T. CAPOQUIAN, JR. (G.R. NO. 232325, 10 APRIL 2019, BERSAMIN, C.J.) (SUBJECT/S: CONDONATION AS DEFENSE) (BRIEF TITLE: CREBELLO VS OMBUDSMAN)

 

DISPOSITIVE:

 

“WHEREFORE, the Court GRANTS the petition for review on certiorari; REVERSES and SETS ASIDE the resolution promulgated by the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 148977 on January 16, 2017; DECLARES and FINDS respondent TIMOTEO T. CAPOQUIAN, JR. guilty of NEPOTISM (in violation of Section 59, in relation to Section 67, of Presidential Decree No. 807, also known as the Administrative Code of 1987, and Section 49, in relation to Section 55, of Executive Order No. 292, also known as the Civil Service Law); IMPOSES on respondent TIMOTEO T. CAPOQUIAN, JR. the accessory penalties of cancellation of eligibility, forfeiture of retirement benefits, perpetual disqualification from holding public office, and bar from taking civil service examinations; and ORDERS him to pay the costs of suit.

 

SO ORDERED.”

 

SUBJECTS/DOCTRINES/DIGEST:

 

PETITIONER CREBELLO CHARGED MAYOR CAPOQUIAN OF NEPOTISM FOR APPOINTING THE LATTER’S  WIFE AS MEMBER OF THE BOARD OF THEIR WATER DISTRICT. OMB DISMISSED THE CASE ON THE GROUND THAT THE REELECTION OF MAYOR CAPOQUIAN ABSOLVED HIM OF ADMINISTRATIVE LIABILITY. CREBELLO APPEALED CASE TO CA WHICH DISMISSED THE APPEAL ON THE GROUND THAT THE APPEAL SHOULD HAVE BEEN FILED UNDER RULE 43 NOT UNDER RULE 65 OF THE RULES OF COURT.

 

WAS  CA CORRECT?

 

NO. THE DECISION OF THE OMBUDSMAN MAY BE REVIEWED IF THERE IS GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION. THE RESOLUTION OF THE OMB BEING FINAL AND UNAPPEALABLE COULD BE CHALLENGED THROUGH CERTIORARI. SAID THE SC;

 

“……. Decisions of administrative or quasi-administrative agencies which are declared by law final and unappealable are subject to judicial review if they fail the test of arbitrariness, or upon proof of gross abuse of discretion, fraud or error of law. When such administrative or quasi-judicial bodies grossly misappreciate evidence of such nature as to compel a contrary conclusion, the Court will not hesitate to reverse the factual findings. Thus, the decision of the Ombudsman may be reviewed, modified or reversed via petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court, on a finding that it had no jurisdiction over the complaint, or of grave abuse of discretion amounting to excess or lack of jurisdiction.[12] (Emphasis supplied)

 

In view of the foregoing, we find and hold to be correct the petitioner’s stance that the resolution absolving respondent Capoquian, Jr. of the charge of nepotism, being final and unappealable, could still be challenged or assailed through the petition for certiorari. Plainly enough, the CA wrongly dismissed the petition for certiorari for being the wrong remedy on the notion that the decisions of the OMB in administrative cases should be assailed before the CA by petition for review under Rule 43.”

 

WAS OMB CORRECT IN ABSOLVING CAPOQUIAN OF ADMINISTRATIVE LIABILITY BECAUSE OF CONDONATION SINCE THE ABANDONMENT OF THE DOCTRINE OF CONDONATION TOOK EFFECT 12 APRIL 2016 WHILE ITS RESOLUTION WAS ISSUED 31  MARCH 2016?

 

THE OMB WAS NOT CORRECT BECAUSE CAPOQUIAN DID NOT INVOKE THE DOCTRINE OF CONDONATION AS A DEFENSE. THE APPLICATION OF SUCH DOCTRINE REQUIRES THAT RESPONDENT MUST INVOKE IT IN HIS DEFENSE. CAPOQUIAN FAILED TO SUBMIT COUNTER-AFFIDAVIT AND VERIFIED POSITION PAPER. SAID THE SC:

 

“We sustain the insistence of the OMB. The ruling promulgated in Morales v. Court of Appeals on the abandonment of the doctrine of condonation had, indeed, become final only on April 12, 2016, and thus the abandonment should be reckoned from April 12, 2016. Under the circumstances, the decision of the OMB dated March 31, 2016 absolving respondent Capoquian, Jr. by reason of the application of the doctrine of condonation might have been justified.

 

However, the petitioner has assailed the application of the doctrine of condonation precisely because respondent Capoquian, Jr. had not invoked the doctrine of condonation as a defense. This omission on his part appears to be confirmed by the records, which indicated that he did not submit or file his counter-affidavit and verified position paper despite being required to do so. Worse, the omission to submit or file, according to the petitioner, amounted to his waiver of his right to controvert the charge of nepotism brought against him.”

 

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

 

SC-2019-0012-SC CASE G.R. NO 232325-10 APR 2019-DOMINGO CREBELLO VS OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN ET AL 

 

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