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

31 May

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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