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Monthly Archives: October 2013

Golden Sun Finance Corporation v. Albano [A.M. P-11-2888. July 27, 2011]

GOLDEN SUN FINANCE CORPORATION represented by Rachelle L. Marmitocomplainant,
vs.
RICARDO R. ALBANO, Sheriff III, Metropolitan Trial Court, Branch 62, Makati City, respondent.

[A.M. P-11-2888. July 27, 2011]

FACTS:

Respondent was charged of negligence and grave misconduct for levying a Honda Civic Sedan by virtue of a writ of execution. The complainant averred that the levy and sale of the motor vehicle by the respondent was illegal.  It claimed that the respondent was negligent when he levied upon the motor vehicle and proceeded with the auction sale without looking into the car’s Certificate of Registration to determine whether it was encumbered or not. The encumbrance on the motor vehicle having been made prior to the suit filed by the Royal Makati Credit Resource, the complainant posited that its claim should have priority over the former’s claims. Required by the Office of the Court Administrator (OCA) to comment on the charges against him, the respondent contended that he had no knowledge that the car was encumbered because the Certificate of Registration was never shown to him.  He also had no knowledge that the car was the subject of a writ of replevin in another Civil Case. Thus, the respondent asked for the dismissal of the complaint, stressing that he had acted within the scope of his duty as sheriff when he enforced the writ of execution. The OCA recommended that the respondent be charged administratively.

ISSUES:

Remedial Law

(1)  Whether or not the recommendation of the OCA is proper on the ground of negligence on the part of the respondent.

RULINGS:

Remedial Law

(1)  No. The Court failed to find sufficient basis to declare the respondent administratively liable for simple neglect of duty. Section 9(b), Rule 39 of the Rules of Court states the manner by which judgments for money may be satisfied by levy. It is to emphasize that a sheriff’s duty to execute a writ is simply ministerial, and he is bound to perform only those tasks stated under the Rules of Court and no more.  Any interest a third party may have on the property levied upon by the sheriff to enforce a judgment is the third party’s responsibility to protect through the remedies provided under Rule 39 of the Rules of Court.  Thus, [the Court] cannot hold the respondent liable on the ground that the complainant cites. If at all, the respondent should have required, as a matter of sound established practice, the production of the certificate of registration, but this is an altogether different matter that [the Court] do not here pass upon.

 
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Posted by on October 3, 2013 in Case Digests, Civil Law, Remedial Law

 

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Fe Mah-Arevalo v. Mape [A.M. P-09-2622. April 07, 2009]

DOROTHY FE MAH-AREVALOcomplainant,
vs.
ELMER P. MAPE, Legal Researcher III, RTC Branch 17, respondent.

[A.M. P-09-2622. April 07, 2009]

FACTS:

Complainant accused respondent (to the Office of the Court Administrator or OCA) of gross ignorance of the law and incompetence relative to a Special Proceeding. The complainant faulted the respondent for issuing an entry of judgment and a certificate of finality certifying that the decision in the Special Proceeding Case became final and executory on the very same day the decision was rendered.  For this reason, the complainant prayed that the permanent appointment of respondent as Legal Researcher III be denied. Additionally, the complainant objected to the change of status of the respondent’s appointment from probationary to permanent on the following grounds: (1) Falsification of daily time record (DTR) – the respondent made it appear in his DTR that he was present when he was actually in Cebu City on that day; (2) Grave threats –the respondent threatened to kill the complainant and her family, taking out his .45 caliber gun and pointing it upwards; (3) Grave misconduct – the respondent is always seen in court with a .45 caliber gun, creating fear among the court employees. Respondent submitted his comment, disputing the charges against him. At the same time, he accused the complainant of dishonesty and malversation of court funds.  He claimed that the complainant’s grievances against him stemmed from his discovery of the shortage she incurred in the collection of Judiciary Development Fund and Special Allowance for the Judiciary.

ISSUES:

Political Law (Administrative Law)

(1)  Whether or not the respondent is liable of the charges against him.

(2)  Whether or not the complainant is liable of the counter-charges against her.

RULINGS:

Political Law (Administrative Law)

(1)  No. Complaint against respondent was dismissed. (1) On the falsification charges, the Judge concluded that there was no such falsification, the incident being a product of inadvertence as someone may have by accident punched his time card that day. The prior filing of Leave of Absence negates bad faith on the part of the respondent. The Court also concurred with the Judge’s finding that there was no evidence other than the complainant’s bare allegation, showing that the respondent committed the imputed acts of grave threats and grave misconduct. Finally, the Court found no basis exists to hold the respondent liable for gross ignorance of the law in immediately issuing an entry of judgment and certificate of finality in the Special Proceedings.

(2)  No, but complainant was admonished. There was insufficient evidence to support the charge of malversation against her, but found her liable for violation of confidentiality under Canon II, Sections 1, 2 and 3 of the of the Code of Conduct for Court Personnel. The violation occurred, according to the Judge, when the complainant, not being a party to Special Proceedings, or one authorized to do so, secured  copies of the decision, entry of judgment, and certificate of finality, and furnished these copies to the Office of the Solicitor General. The Court did not agree on these findings by the judge that there exists confidentiality. Even if the documents were to be considered as classified, the complainant still cannot be held liable for unauthorized disclosure of classified information under the Revised Uniform Rules on Administrative Cases in the Civil Service, Rule IV, Section 52, B(23) which provides:

Disclosing or misusing confidential or classified information officially known to him by reason of his office and not made available to the public, to further his private interests or give undue advantage to anyone, or to prejudice the public interests.

There is none on the records any indication that the complainant made the disclosure “to further (his) private interests or give undue advantage to anyone, or to prejudice the public interests.”  The Office of the Solicitor General, too, to which the copies were sent, represented a party to the case and, hence, has the right to access these records.

At best, the complainant was only guilty of releasing information without observance of the internal procedures of the court, and for undertaking the dissemination of the copies of the documents disclosed without being the staff member authorized to do so. These infractions may have been the reasons for the Judge’s strong reaction to the release of documents by the complainant. To be sure, the complainant’s action must be discouraged. It cannot be accepted, however, that her act was grave or contemptuous, and that it should be classified as a less grave offense under Rule IV, Section 52, B(23)  of the Revised Uniform Rules on Administrative Cases in the Civil Service.  The complainant’s lapse should merit only the warning that a repetition of the same or a similar offense in the future shall not go unpunished.

 

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Solidon v. Macalalad [A.C. 8158. February 24, 2010]

ATTY. ELMER C. SOLIDONcomplainant,
vs.
ATTY. RAMIL E. MACALALAD, respondent.

[A.C.8158. February 24, 2010]

FACTS:

Complainant, through a mutual acquaintance asked respondent to handle the judicial titling of a parcel of land owned by complainant’s relatives. Respondent accepted the task to be completed within a period of eight (8) months and received Fifty Thousand Pesos (P50,000.00) as initial payment; the remaining balance of Thirty Thousand Pesos (P30,000.00) was to be paid when complainant received the certificate of title to the property. Respondent has not filed any petition for registration over the property sought to be titled up to the filing of this case. In the Complaint, Position Papers and documentary evidence submitted, complainant claimed that he tried to contact respondent to follow-up on the status of the case six (6) months after he paid the initial legal fees.  He did this through phone calls and text messages to their known acquaintances and relatives, and, finally, through a letter sent by courier to the respondent.  However, he did not receive any return communication. Complainant sought the disbarment of respondent for violations of Rule 16.01, Rule 18.03, and Rule 18.04 of the Code of Professional Responsibility involving negligence in handling a case. Complainant argued that he had no intention of reneging from his obligation, as he already had prepared the draft petition, and he failed to file it because it lacked the needed documentary requirements that his clients should have furnished him.   The Investigating Commissioner of IBP made a finding negligence on the part of the respondent. This was affirmed by the IBP Commission on Bar Discipline.

ISSUE:

Legal Ethics

(1)  Whether or not the respondent’s excuse is exculpatory.

RULING:

Legal Ethics

(1)  No. Respondent’s excuse is not exculpatory. He was imposed the (modified) penalty of suspension for six (6) months from the practice of law and was ordered to return to the complainant the amount of Fifty Thousand Pesos (P50,000.00) with interest of twelve percent (12%) per annum from the date of promulgation of the Decision until the full amount is returned.

In administrative cases against lawyers, the quantum of proof required is preponderance of evidence which the complainant has the burden to discharge. We fully considered the evidence presented and we are fully satisfied that the complainant’s evidence, as outlined above, fully satisfies the required quantum of proof in proving respondent’s negligence. Rule 18.03, Canon 18 of the Code of Professional Responsibility provides for the rule on negligence and states:

Rule 18.03 – A lawyer shall not neglect a legal matter entrusted to him and his negligence in connection therewith shall render him liable.

The Court has consistently held, in construing this Rule, that the mere failure of the lawyer to perform the obligations due to the client is considered per se a violation. (underscoring provided)

In addition to the above finding of negligence, [Court] also [found]  respondent guilty of violating Rule 16.01 of the Code of Professional Responsibility which requires a lawyer to account for all the money received from the client.  In this case, respondent did not immediately account for and promptly return the money he received from complainant even after he failed to render any legal service within the contracted time of the engagement.

 
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Posted by on October 3, 2013 in Case Digests, Legal Ethics

 

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Calang v. People [G.R. No. 190696. August 3, 2010]

ROLITO CALANG and PHILTRANCO SERVICE ENTERPRISE, INC.petitioners,
vs.
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, respondent.

[G.R. No. 190696. August 3, 2010]

FACTS:

Petitioner Calang was driving a bus owned by Philtranco when its rear left side hit the front left portion of a Sarao jeep coming from the opposite direction. As a result of the collision, the jeep’s driver, lost control of the vehicle, and bumped and killed a bystander who was standing along the highway’s shoulder. The jeep turned turtle three (3) times before finally stopping at about 25 meters from the point of impact. Two of the jeep’s passengers were instantly killed, while the other passengers sustained serious physical injuries. The prosecution charged Calang with multiple homicide, multiple serious physical injuries and damage to property thru reckless imprudence before the RTC. RTC found Calang guilty beyond reasonable doubt of reckless imprudence resulting [in] multiple homicide, multiple physical injuries and damage to property. The Court of Appeals affirmed in toto the decision of RTC.

ISSUES:

Remedial Law

(1)  Whether or not factual issues may be raised on petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Revised Rules of Court.

Civil Law

(1)  Whether or not Philtranco may be held jointly and severally liable with Calang.

Criminal Law

(1)  Whether or not Philtranco may be held subsidiary liable with Calang.

RULINGS:

Remedial Law

(1)  No. The finding of negligence on his part by the trial court, affirmed by the CA, is a question of fact that [the Court] cannot pass upon without going into factual matters touching on the finding of negligence.  In petitions for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Revised Rules of Court, this Court is limited to reviewing only errors of law, not of fact, unless the factual findings complained of are devoid of support by the evidence on record, or the assailed judgment is based on a misapprehension of facts.

Civil Law

(1)  No. The RTC and the CA both erred in holding Philtranco jointly and severally liable with Calang. He was charged criminally before the RTC. Undisputedly, Philtranco was not a direct party in this case. Since the cause of action against Calang was based on delict, both the RTC and the CA erred in holding Philtranco jointly and severally liable with Calang, based on quasi-delict under Articles 2176 and 2180 of the Civil Code. Articles 2176 and 2180 of the Civil Code pertain to the vicarious liability of an employer for quasi-delicts that an employee has committed. Such provision of law does not apply to civil liability arising from delict.

Criminal Law

(1)  Yes. Philtranco’s liability may only be subsidiary. Article 102 of the Revised Penal Code states the subsidiary civil liabilities of innkeepers, tavernkeepers and proprietors of establishments, as follows:

In default of the persons criminally liable, innkeepers, tavernkeepers, and any other persons or corporations shall be civilly liable for crimes committed in their establishments, in all cases where a violation of municipal ordinances or some general or special police regulations shall have been committed by them or their employees.

Innkeepers are also subsidiary liable for the restitution of goods taken by robbery or theft within their houses from guests lodging therein, or for the payment of the value thereof, provided that such guests shall have notified in advance the innkeeper himself, or the person representing him, of the deposit of such goods within the inn; and shall furthermore have followed the directions which such innkeeper or his representative may have given them with respect to the care of and vigilance over such goods.  No liability shall attach in case of robbery with violence against or intimidation of persons unless committed by the innkeeper’s employees.

The foregoing subsidiary liability applies to employers, according to Article 103 of the Revised Penal Code, which reads:

The subsidiary liability established in the next preceding article shall also apply to employers, teachers, persons, and corporations engaged in any kind of industry for felonies committed by their servants, pupils, workmen, apprentices, or employees in the discharge of their duties.

The provisions of the Revised Penal Code on subsidiary liability – Articles 102 and 103 – are deemed written into the judgments in cases to which they are applicable. Thus, in the dispositive portion of its decision, the trial court need not expressly pronounce the subsidiary liability of the employer. Nonetheless, before the employers’ subsidiary liability is enforced, adequate evidence must exist establishing that (1) they are indeed the employers of the convicted employees; (2) they are engaged in some kind of industry; (3) the crime was committed by the employees in the discharge of their duties; and (4) the execution against the latter has not been satisfied due to insolvency.  The determination of these conditions may be done in the same criminal action in which the employee’s liability, criminal and civil, has been pronounced, in a hearing set for that precise purpose, with due notice to the employer, as part of the proceedings for the execution of the judgment.

 

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Philippine Guardians Brotherhood, Inc. (PGBI) v. Commission on Elections [G.R. No. 190529. April 29, 2010]

PHILIPPINE GUARDIANS BROTHERHOOD, INC. (PGBI) represented by its Secretary General George “FGBF George” Duldulaopetitioner,
vs.
COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, respondent.

[G.R. No. 190529. April 29, 2010]

FACTS:

Respondent delisted petitioner, a party list organization, from the roster of registered national, regional or sectoral parties, organizations or coalitions under the party-list system through its resolution, denying also the latter’s motion for reconsideration, in accordance with Section 6(8) of Republic Act No. 7941 (RA 7941), otherwise known as the Party-List System Act, which provides:

Section 6. Removal and/or Cancellation of Registration. – The COMELEC may motu proprio or upon verified complaint of any interested party, remove or cancel, after due notice and hearing, the registration of any national, regional or sectoral party, organization or coalition on any of the following grounds:

x  x  x  x

(8) It fails to participate in the last two (2) preceding elections or fails to obtain at least two per centum (2%) of the votes cast under the party-list system in the two (2) preceding elections for the constituency in which it has registered.[Emphasis supplied.]

Petitioner was delisted because it failed to get 2% of the votes cast in 2004 and it did not participate in the 2007 elections.  Petitioner filed its opposition to the resolution citing among others the misapplication in the ruling of MINERO v. COMELEC, but was denied for lack of merit. Petitioner elevated the matter to SC showing the excerpts from the records of Senate Bill No. 1913 before it became the law in question.

ISSUES:

Political Law

(1)  Whether or not there is legal basis in the delisting of PGBI.

(2)  Whether or not PGBI’s right to due process was violated.

Civil Law (Statutory Construction)

(1)  Whether or not the doctrine of judicial precedent applies in this case.

RULINGS:

Political Law

(1)  No. The MINERO ruling is an erroneous application of Section 6(8) of RA 7941; hence, it cannot sustain PGBI’s delisting from the roster of registered national, regional or sectoral parties, organizations or coalitions under the party-list system. First, the law is in the plain, clear and unmistakable language of the law which provides for two (2) separate reasons for delisting. SecondMINERO is diametrically opposed to the legislative intent of Section 6(8) of RA 7941, as PGBI’s cited congressional deliberations clearly show. MINERO therefore simply cannot stand.

(2)  No. On the due process issue, petitioner’s right to due process was not violated for [it] was given an opportunity to seek, as it did seek, a reconsideration of [COMELEC resolution].  The essence of due process, consistently held, is simply the opportunity to be heard; as applied to administrative proceedings, due process is the opportunity to explain one’s side or the opportunity to seek a reconsideration of the action or ruling complained of.  A formal or trial-type hearing is not at all times and in all instances essential.  The requirement is satisfied where the parties are afforded fair and reasonable opportunity to explain their side of the controversy at hand. What is frowned upon is absolute lack of notice and hearing x  x  x. [It is] obvious [that] under the attendant circumstances that PGBI was not denied due process.

Civil Law (Statutory Construction)

(1)  No. This case is an exception to the application of the principle of stare decisis. The doctrine of stare decisis et non quieta movere (to adhere to precedents and not to unsettle things which are established) is embodied in Article 8 of the Civil Code of the Philippines which provides, thus:

ART. 8. Judicial decisions applying or interpreting the laws or the Constitution shall form a part of the legal system of the Philippines.

The doctrine enjoins adherence to judicial precedents.  It requires courts in a country to follow the rule established in a decision of its Supreme Court.  That decision becomes a judicial precedent to be followed in subsequent cases by all courts in the land.  The doctrine of stare decisis is based on the principle that once a question of law has been examined and decided, it should be deemed settled and closed to further argument.

The doctrine though is not cast in stone for upon a showing that circumstances attendant in a particular case override the great benefits derived by [SC’s] judicial system from the doctrine of stare decisis, the Court is justified in setting it aside. MINERO did unnecessary violence to the language of the law, the intent of the legislature, and to the rule of law in general.  Clearly, [SC] cannot allow PGBI to be prejudiced by the continuing validity of an erroneous ruling.  Thus, [SC] now abandons MINERO and strike it out from [the] ruling case law.

 

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Labao v. Flores [G.R. No. 187894. November 15, 2010]

FRANCISCO A. LABAOpetitioner,
vs.
LOLITA N. FLORES et al., respondents.

[G.R. No. 187894. November 15, 2010]

FACTS:

Petitioner is the proprietor and general manager of a licensed security-service contractor.  Respondents were security guards assigned to the National Power Corporation (NPC-Mindanao). Petitioner issued a memorandum requiring all security guards to submit their updated personal data files, security guard professional license, and other pertinent documents.  When respondents failed to comply with the petitioner’s directive, despite several notices to do so, the petitioner relieved them. Respondents filed individual complaints with Labor Arbiter (LA) for illegal dismissal and money claims, claiming they were constructively dismissed when they were not given new assignments for a period of over 6 months, despite their repeated requests. Petitioner countered that the respondents’ relief from duty was a valid exercise of its management prerogative. Furthermore, petitioner issued a notice directing the respondents to report to SMPSA’s main office for new assignments, but the latter failed or refused to comply without any valid reasons. The LA ruled in favor of the petitioner. On appeal, the NLRC affirmed the LA decision. Counsel for the respondents appealed with the Court of Appeals (CA) outside the reglementary period, yet the ruling was in favor of respondents. The petitioner and SMPSA moved for reconsideration, arguing that the CA should have dismissed the petition outright for late filing, and that there was no compelling reason for the reversal of the LA and the NLRC’s factual findings. CA considered the respondents’ petition as timely filed and also opined that disregarding any procedural lapses best served substantial justice.

ISSUES:

Labor Law

(1)  Whether or not the ruling of the Labor Arbiter is proper in the sense that petitioner was validly exercising a management prerogative.

Remedial Law

(1)  Whether or not the Court of Appeals erred in acting on the respondents’ petition despite of its late filing.

(2)  Whether or not the Court of Appeals erred in reversing the LA and NLRC decisions.

Legal Ethics

(1)  Whether or not the negligence of counsel binds the respondents.

RULINGS:

Labor Law

(1)  Yes. The LA dismissed the consolidated complaints for lack of merit.  He held that the respondents’ relief from NPC-MRC duty was due to their failure to comply with SMSPA’s requirement for its employees to submit updated documents to meet NPC-MRC contract renewal requirements.  According to the LA, this was a legitimate exercise of NPC-MRC’s management prerogative, in light of the information it received that some security guards carried falsified documents.

Remedial Law

(1)  Yes. Late filing should not be allowed. Under Section 4 of Rule 65 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, certiorari should be instituted within a period of 60 days from notice of the judgment, order, or resolution sought to be assailed. The 60-day period is inextendible to avoid any unreasonable delay that would violate the constitutional rights of parties to a speedy disposition of their case. Procedural rules do not exist for the convenience of the litigants; the rules were established primarily to provide order to, and enhance the efficiency of, our judicial system. While procedural rules are liberally construed, the provisions on reglementary periods are strictly applied, indispensable as they are to the prevention of needless delays, and are necessary to the orderly and speedy discharge of judicial business. The timeliness of filing a pleading is a jurisdictional caveat that even this Court cannot trifle with.

(2)  Yes. The NLRC’s resolution became final ten (10) days after counsel’s receipt, and the respondents’ failure to file the petition within the required (60)-day period rendered it impervious to any attack through a Rule 65 petition for certiorari.  Thus, no court can exercise jurisdiction to review the resolution. A decision that has acquired finality becomes immutable and unalterable and may no longer be modified in any respect, even if the modification is meant to correct erroneous conclusions of fact or law and whether it will be made by the court that rendered it or by the highest court of the land. All the issues between the parties are deemed resolved and laid to rest once a judgment becomes final and executory; execution of the decision proceeds as a matter of right as vested rights are acquired by the winning party.  Just as a losing party has the right to appeal within the prescribed period, the winning party has the correlative right to enjoy the finality of the decision on the case. After all, a denial of a petition for being time-barred is tantamount to a decision on the merits. Otherwise, there will be no end to litigation, and this will set to naught the main role of courts of justice to assist in the enforcement of the rule of law and the maintenance of peace and order by settling justiciable controversies with finality. Petition was granted and the decision of Labor Arbiter is reinstated.

Legal Ethics

(1)  Yes. The Court cannot sustain the respondents’ argument that they cannot be bound by their counsel’s negligence since this would set a dangerous precedent. It would enable every party-litigant to render inoperative any adverse order or decision of the courts or tribunals, through the simple expedient of alleging his/her counsel’s gross negligence. The general rule is that a client is bound by the acts, even mistakes, of his counsel in the realm of procedural technique. The exception to this rule is when the negligence of counsel is so gross, reckless and inexcusable that the client is deprived of his day in court. The failure of a party’s counsel to notify him on time of the adverse judgment, to enable him to appeal therefrom, is negligence that is not excusable.  [Court had] repeatedly held that notice sent to counsel of record is binding upon the client, and the neglect or failure of counsel to inform him of an adverse judgment resulting in the loss of his right to appeal is not a ground for setting aside a judgment valid and regular on its face.

 

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St. Louis University, Inc. v. Cobarrubias [G.R. No. 187104. August 03, 2010]

ST. LOUIS UNIVERSITY, INC.petitioner,
vs.
EVANGELINE C. COBARRUBIAS, respondent.

[G.R. No. 187104. August 03, 2010]

FACTS:

Respondent is an associate professor of the petitioner and an active member of the union of faculty and employees. The Collective Bargaining Agreements contained the following provision that for teaching employees in college who fail the yearly evaluation, who are retained for three (3) cumulative years in five (5) years, shall be on forced leave for one (1) regular semester during which period all benefits due them shall be suspended. Petitioner placed respondent on forced leave for failing to achieve the required rating points. Respondent sought recourse from the CBA’s grievance machinery, but to no avail. Respondent filed a case with DOLE but circulation and mediation again failed. The parties submitted the issues between them for voluntary arbitration before Voluntary Arbitrator (VA). Respondent argued that the CA already resolved the forced leave issue in a prior case between the parties, ruling that the forced leave for teachers who fail their evaluation for three (3) times within a five-year period should be coterminous with the CBA in force during the same five-year period. Petitioner argued that said CA decision is not yet final. The VA dismissed the complaint. Respondent filed with the CA a petition for review under Rule 43 of the Rules of Court but failed to pay the filing fees and to attach the material portion of the records. Motion for reconsideration was filed, complying with the procedural lapses, and CA reinstated the petition.

ISSUES:

Remedial Law

(1)  Whether or not the Court of Appeals erred in reinstating respondent’s petition despite her failure to appeal (docket) fee within the reglementary period.

RULINGS:

Remedial Law

(1)  Yes. The CA erred in its ruling. Appeal is not a natural right but a mere statutory privilege, thus, appeal must be made strictly in accordance with the provision set by law.  Rule 43 of the Rules of Court provides that appeals from the judgment of the VA shall be taken to the CA, by filing a petition for review within fifteen (15) days from the receipt of the notice of judgment. Furthermore, upon the filing of the petition, the petitioner shall pay to the CA clerk of court the docketing and other lawful fees; non-compliance with the procedural requirements shall be a sufficient ground for the petition’s dismissal. Thus, payment in full of docket fees within the prescribed period is not only mandatory, but also jurisdictional. It is an essential requirement, without which, the decision appealed from would become final and executory as if no appeal has been filed. Here, the docket fees were paid late, and without payment of the full docket fees, Cobarrubias’ appeal was not perfected within the reglementary period.

There are, however, there are recognized exceptions to their strict observance, such as: (1) most persuasive and weighty reasons; (2) to relieve a litigant from an injustice not commensurate with his failure to comply with the prescribed procedure; (3) good faith of the defaulting party by immediately paying within a reasonable time from the time of the default; (4) the existence of special or compelling circumstances; (5) the merits of the case; (6) a cause not entirely attributable to the fault or negligence of the party favored by the suspension of the rules; (7) a lack of any showing that the review sought is merely frivolous and dilatory; (8) the other party will not be unjustly prejudiced thereby; (9) fraud, accident, mistake or excusable negligence without the appellant’s fault; (10) peculiar, legal and equitable circumstances attendant to each case; (11) in the name of substantial justice and fair play; (12) importance of the issues involved; and (13) exercise of sound discretion by the judge, guided by all the attendant circumstances. Thus, there should be an effort, on the part of the party invoking liberality, to advance a reasonable or meritorious explanation for his/her failure to comply with the rules.

NOTE: There is no justiciable issue here in Labor Law.

 
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Posted by on October 3, 2013 in Case Digests, Remedial Law