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Monthly Archives: May 2013

Yakult Phils. and Larry Salvado vs. Court of Appeals (G.R. No. 91856. October 05, 1990)

YAKULT PHILIPPINES AND LARRY SALVADO, petitioner,
vs.
COURT OF APPEALS, WENCESLAO M. POLO, in his capacity as Presiding Judge of Br. 19 of the RTC of Manila, and ROY CAMASO, respondents.

Tomas R. Leonidas for petitioners.

David B. Agoncillo for private respondent.

Ponente: GANCAYCO

FACTS:

Petitioner was charged with the crime of reckless imprudence resulting in slight physical injuries. Later, a complaint for damages was filed by respondent represented by his father, against petitioners in the Regional Trial Court. Trial court rendered decision awarding damages to respondents. Petitioners’ appealed on the thesis  that the civil action for damages for injuries arising from alleged criminal negligence of Salvado, being without malice, cannot be filed independently of the criminal action under Article 33 of the Civil Code. Further, it is contended that under Section 1, Rule 111 of the 1985 Rules on Criminal Procedure such a separate civil action may not be filed unless reservation thereof is expressly made. The appeal was dismissed.

ISSUE:

Whether or not a civil action instituted after the criminal action was filed, before presentation of evidence by the prosecution, would prosper even if there was no reservation to file a separate civil action.

HELD:

YES. Petition was denied. Decision of the Court of Appeals was affirmed.

RATIO:

[T]he civil action for the recovery of civil liability is impliedly instituted with the criminal action unless the offended party waives the civil action, reserves his right to institute it separately or institutes the civil action prior to the criminal action. Such civil action includes recovery of indemnity under the Revised Penal Code, and damages under Articles 32, 33, 34 and 2176 of the Civil Code of the Philippines arising from the same act or omission of the accused. The purpose of this rule requiring reservation is to prevent the offended party from recovering damages twice for the same act or omission.

Although the separate civil action filed in this case was without previous reservation in the criminal case, nevertheless since it was instituted before the prosecution presented evidence in the criminal action, and the judge handling the criminal case was informed thereof, then the actual filing of the civil action is even far better than a compliance with the requirement of an express reservation that should be made by the offended party before the prosecution presents its evidence.

Procedural laws have retroactive application.

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Albino Co vs. Court of Appeals (G.R. No. 100776. October 28, 1993)

ALBINO S. CO, petitioner,
vs.
COURT OF APPEALS and PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, respondents.

Antonio P. Barredo for petitioner.

The Solicitor General for the people.

Ponente: NARVASA

FACTS:

A criminal complaint for violation of Batas Pambansa Bilang 22 was filed by the salvage company against petitioner with the Regional Trial Court. The case eventuated in petitioner’s conviction of the crime charged on the basis that a check issued merely to guarantee the performance of an obligation is nevertheless covered by B.P. Blg. 22. Pending litigation, Ministry of Justice Circular No. 4 (which excludes guarantee check from application of B.P. Blg. 22) was subsequently reversed by Ministry Circular No. 12 which ruled that a check issued merely to guarantee the performance of an obligation is nevertheless covered by B.P. Blg. 22. Petitioner appealed to the Court of Appeals. There he sought exoneration upon the theory that it was reversible error for the Regional Trial Court but the Court of Appeals affirmed his conviction.

ISSUE:

Whether or not Ministry Circular No. 12 dated August 8, 1984 declaring the guarantee check will no longer be considered as a valid defense be retroactively applied.

HELD:

NO. Decision of the Court of Appeals and RTC were set aside. Criminal prosecution against accused-petitioner was dismissed.

RATIO:

It would seem that the weight of authority is decidedly in favor of the proposition that the Court’s decision of September 21, 1987 in Que v. People, 154 SCRA 160 (1987) that a check issued merely to guarantee the performance of an obligation is nevertheless covered by B.P. Blg. 22 — should not be given retrospective effect to the prejudice of the petitioner and other persons situated, who relied on the official opinion of the Minister of Justice that such a check did not fall within the scope of B.P. Blg. 22.

This is after all a criminal action all doubts in which, pursuant to familiar, fundamental doctrine, must be resolved in favor of the accused. Everything considered, the Court sees no compelling reason why the doctrine of mala prohibita should override the principle of prospectivity, and its clear implications as herein above set out and discussed, negating criminal liability.

 

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Balatbat vs. Court of Appeals and Pasion (G.R. No. 36378. January 27, 1992)

PIO BALATBAT, petitioner,
vs.
COURT OF APPEALS and DOMINGO PASION, respondents.

Bureau of Agrarian Legal Assistance for petitioner.

Roberto Y. Miranda for private respondent.

Ponente: DAVIDE

FACTS:

Petitioner is the agricultural lessee of a parcel of land located at Santiago, Sta. Ana, Pampanga which is owned by Daniel Garcia. The latter sold the land to private respondent Domingo Pasion and had declared for taxation purposes. Sometime after the sale, respondent, on a claim that he will personally cultivate the land, filed with the Court of Agrarian Relations a complaint to eject petitioner alleging therein that he had notified petitioner of his intention to personally cultivate the landholding, but despite the lapse of one (1) agricultural year from receipt of the notice thereof, petitioner refused to vacate the land.

In his amended answer with counterclaim, petitioner denied having received any notice from the private respondent and by way of special and affirmative defenses. The trial court ruled against petitioner. The Court of Appeals affirmed the decision of the trial court.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the Court of Appeals correctly gave retroactive application to Section 7 of RA 6389.

HELD:

No. Petition was dismissed for want of merit.

RATIO:

The Supreme Court ruled that Section 7 of R.A. No. 6389 cannot be given retroactive effect because, while during the debates on the bill which was eventually enacted into Republic Act No. 6389, there were statements made on the floor that “the owner will lose the right to eject after the enactment of this measure” even in cases where the owner has not really succeeded in ejecting the tenants. Congress failed to express an intention to make Republic Act No. 6389 retroactive and to cover ejectment cases on the ground of personal cultivation then pending adjudication by the courts.

Since under the original provision of Section 36(1) of R.A. No. 3844, the dispossession of the agricultural lessee on the ground of personal cultivation by the agricultural lessor-owner can only take place when “authorized by the Court in a judgment that is final and executory,” it follows then that since the repeal of the provision took effect before the judgment in this case became final and executory, private respondent may no longer dispossess petitioner on that ground because it had been removed from the statute books.

 

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Gallardo vs. Borromeo (G.R. No. L-36007. May 25, 1988)

FERNANDO GALLARDO, petitioner-appellant,
vs.
JUAN BORROMEO, respondent-appellee.

Joselito Coloma for petitioner.

Bureau of Agrarian Legal Assistance for respondent.

Ponente: GRIÑO-AQUINO

FACTS:

Appeal by certiorari to review the decision of Court of Appeals affirming in toto the decision dated April 2, 1971 of the Court of Agrarian Relations, dismissing the complaint which the petitioner Fernando Gallardo filed on to terminate the leasehold of the respondent tenant so he (plaintfff) may cultivate it himself as he had retired from his government job as a letter carrier. The respondent alleged that the petitioner has no knowledge of filing and that his only purpose is to eject the respondent filing from the landholding. Applying Section 7, Republic Act 6389, it held that the landowner’s desire to cultivate the land himself is not a valid ground for dispossessing the tenant.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the Court of Appeals correctly gave retroactive application to Section 7 of RA 6389.

HELD:

NO. Decision of Court of Appeals  and Agrarian Court were set aside. Respondent-appellee ordered to vacate leasehold and surrender its possession to petitioner-appelant.

RATIO:

Since Congress failed to express intention to make RA 6389 retroactive, it may not apply to ejectment cases then already pending adjudication by the courts. A sound canon of statutory construction is that statute operates prospectively only and never retroactively, unless the legislative intent to threatened contrary is made manifest either by the express terms of the statute or by necessary implication. … No court will hold a statute to be retroactive when the legislature has not said so.

Article 4 of the New Civil Code provides that “laws shall have no retroactive effect unless therein otherwise provided,”

 

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CIR vs. Lingayen Gulf Electric (G.R. No. L-23771. August 04, 1988)

THE COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE, petitioner,
vs.
LINGAYEN GULF ELECTRIC POWER CO., INC. and THE COURT OF TAX APPEALS, respondents.

Angel Sanchez for Lingayen Electric Power Co., Inc.

Ponente: SARMIENTO

FACTS:

The respondent taxpayer operates an electric power plant serving the adjoining municipalities of Lingayen and Binmaley, both in the province of Pangasinan, pursuant to the municipal franchise granted it by their respective municipal councils, under Resolution Nos. 14 and 25 of June 29 and July 2, 1946, respectively. Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) assessed against and demanded from the private respondent deficiency franchise taxes and surcharges for the years 1946 to 1954 applying the franchise tax rate of 5% on gross receipts from March 1, 1948 to December 31, 1954 as prescribed in Section 259 of the National Internal Revenue Code, instead of the lower rates as provided in the municipal franchises.  Respondent submits that R.A. No. 3843 is unconstitutional insofar as it provides for the payment by the private respondent of a franchise tax of 2% of its gross receipts, while other taxpayers similarly situated were subject to the 5% franchise tax imposed in Section 259 of the Tax Code, thereby discriminatory and violative of the rule on uniformity and equality of taxation. Court of tax Appeals ruled in favor of respondent.

ISSUE:

Whether or not Section 4 of R.A. No. 3843, assuming it is valid, could be given retroactive effect so as to render uncollected taxes in question which were assessed before its enactment.

HELD:

YES. Appealed decision was affirmed.

RATIO:

A tax is uniform when it operates with the same force and effect in every place where the subject of it is found. Uniformity means that all property belonging to the same class shall be taxed alike The Legislature has the inherent power not only to select the subjects of taxation but to grant exemptions. Tax exemptions have never been deemed violative of the equal protection clause. It is true that the private respondents municipal franchises were obtained under Act No. 667 of the Philippine Commission, but these original franchises have been replaced by a new legislative franchise, i.e. R.A. No. 3843.

Given the validity of said law, it should be applied retroactively so as to render uncollectible the taxes in question which were assessed before its enactment. The question of whether a statute operates retrospectively or only prospectively depends on the legislative intent. In the instant case, Act No. 3843 provides that “effective … upon the date the original franchise was granted, no other tax and/or licenses other than the franchise tax of two per centum on the gross receipts … shall be collected, any provision to the contrary notwithstanding.” Republic Act No. 3843 therefore specifically provided for the retroactive effect of the law.

 

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DSM Construction and Development Corp. vs CA and Megaworld Globus Asia Inc. (G.R. No. 166993. December 19, 2005)

DSM CONSTRUCTION AND DEVELOPMENT CORPORATIONpetitioner,

vs.

COURT OF APPEALS and MEGAWORLD GLOBUS ASIA, INC.respondents.

Ponente: PUNO

FACTS:

[P]etitioner and respondent entered into agreements for the construction of a condominium project owned by respondent called “The Salcedo Park”, with petitioner as contractor. In the course of the project’s construction, differences with respect to billings arose between the parties. Petitioner thus filed a complaint for compulsory arbitration before the CIAC claiming payment for approximately P97 Million as the outstanding balance due from respondent pursuant to the agreements. The CIAC rendered a decision partially granting both petitioner’s and respondent’s claims in favor of petitioner. This award was affirmed by the Court of Appeals. Thereafter, the Supreme Court promulgated its Decision affirming the judgment of the Court of Appeals and lifting the TRO that was then still in effect.It became final and executory. Petitioner centers on attempts, regrettably entertained by respondent Court of Appeals, to thwart the execution of a final and executory decision of the Supreme Court.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the Court of Appeals gravely abused its discretion when it issued a Resolution enjoining the enforcement of Alias Writ of Execution.

HELD:

YES. Petition was granted. The CIAC is ordered to proceed with the execution of its Decision.

RATIO:

Rule 1, Section 6 of the Rules of Court provides that the Rules shall be liberally construed in order to promote their objective of securing a just, speedy and inexpensive disposition of every action and proceeding. We have at times relaxed procedural rules in the interest of substantial justice.

But from the outset, it bears stressing that the subject of petitioner and respondent’s petitions is the execution of a final judgment was affirmed by no less than this Court. This being so, the appellate court should have been doubly careful about entertaining an obviously dilatory petition intended merely to delay the satisfaction of the judgment. Any lower court or tribunal that trifles with the execution of a final and executory judgment of the Supreme Court flirts with insulting the highest court of the land. While we do not diminish the availability of judicial remedies to the execution of final judgments of this Court, as may be sanctioned under the Rules of Court, such actions could only prosper if they have basis in fact and in law. Any court or tribunal that entertains such baseless actions designed to thwart the execution of final judgments acts with grave abuse of discretion tantamount to lack of jurisdiction. It is the positive duty of every court of the land to give full recognition and effect to final and executory decisions, much less those rendered by the Supreme Court.

The abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction in this case was made manifest by the fact that the appellate court not only took cognizance of the case and issued the assailed restraining order. It eventually decided the case in petitioner’s (respondent herein) favor as well notwithstanding the dearth of any basis for doing so.

 

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Pahilan vs. Tabalba, COMELEC and Judge Tabano Jr. (G.R. No. 110170. February 21, 1994)

ROLETO A. PAHILAN, petitioner,
vs.
RUDY A. TABALBA, COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, and HONORABLE JUDGE SINFOROSO V. TABAMO, JR., BRANCH 28, MAMBAJAO, CAMIGUIN, respondents.

Pimentel, Apostol, Layosa & Sibayan Law Office for petitioner.

Marciano Ll. Aparte, Jr. for Rudy A. Tabalba.

Ponente: REGALADO

FACTS:

Petitioner Pahilan and private respondent Tabalba were candidates for Mayor during the local elections. The Municipal Board of Canvassers proclaimed Tabalba as the duly elected Mayor. Petitioner filed an election protest which he sent by registered mail, addressed to the Clerk of Court of the Regional Trial Court , attaching thereto P200.00 in cash as payment for docket fees. In a letter dated May 28, 1992, the OIC-Clerk of Court informed Pahilan that the correct fees that where supposed to be paid amounted to P620.00, and that, accordingly, the petition would not be entered in the court docket and summons would not be issued pending payment of the balance of P420.00. On June 16, 1992, petitioner paid the required balance in the total amount P470.00 after learning.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the notice of appeal can be validly substituted by an appeal brief.

HELD:

YES. Order of the Commission on Elections and the Order of the RTC in Election Case No. 3(92) are hereby reversed and set aside.

RATIO:

The rules which apply to ordinary civil actions may not necessarily serve the purpose of election cases, especially if we consider the fact that election laws are to be accorded utmost liberality in their interpretation and application, bearing in mind always that the will of the people must be upheld. Ordinary civil actions would generally involve private interests while all elections cases are, at all times, invested with public interest which cannot be defeated by mere procedural or technical infirmities.

[I]n the present case, the docket fee was paid (P200.00) except that the amount given was not correct. Considering the fact that there was an honest effort on the part of herein petitioner to pay the full amount of docket fees, we are not inclined to insist on a stringent application of the rules.

 

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