[DEL CASTILLO, J.]
In an action for specific performance/sum of money with damages and prayer for the issuance of writs of preliminary attachment and preliminary injunction, the RTC rendered a decision in favor of plaintiff-petitioner Palileo dated July 15, 2006 and received by Palileo on July 17, 2006. Defendant-respondent PDB filed by private courier service – specifically LBC – an Omnibus Motion for Reconsideration and for New Trial, arguing therein that the trial court’s Decision was based on speculation and inadmissible and selfserving pieces of evidence; that it was declared in default after its counsel failed to attend the pre-trial conference on account of the distance involved and difficulty in booking a flight to General Santos City. Petitioners’ copy of the Omnibus Motion for Reconsideration and for New Trial was likewise sent courier service through LBC, but in their address of record – Tupi, South Cotabato – there was no LBC service at the time. On August 2, 2006, PDB filed with the RTC another copy of the Omnibus Motion for Reconsideration and for New Trial via registered mail; another copy thereof was simultaneously sent to petitioners by registered mail as well. Meanwhile, petitioners moved for the execution of the Decision pending appeal. In a petition for certiorari, the CA affirms the trial court decision but reversed itself upon MR, relaxing the Rules in favor of PDB.
Was the CA correct in relaxing the Rules notwithstanding that PBD’s late filing and improper service of its omnibus motion for reconsideration?
The proceedings in the instant case would have been greatly abbreviated if the court a quo and the CA did not overlook the fact that PDB’s Omnibus Motion for Reconsideration and for New Trial was filed one day too late. The bank received a copy of the trial court’s June 15, 2006 Decision on July 17, 2006; thus, it had 15 days – or up to August 1, 2006 – within which to file a notice of appeal, motion for reconsideration, or a motion for new trial, pursuant to the Rules of Court. Yet, it filed the omnibus motion for reconsideration and new trial only on August 2, 2006.
Indeed, its filing or service of a copy thereof to petitioners by courier service cannot be trivialized. Service and filing of pleadings by courier service is a mode not provided in the Rules. This is not to mention that PDB sent a copy of its omnibus motion to an address or area which was not covered by LBC courier service at the time. Realizing its mistake, PDB re-filed and re-sent the omnibus motion by registered mail, which is the proper mode of service under the circumstances. By then, however, the 15-day period had expired.