THE COURT OF APPEALS DEPARTED FROM THE ACCEPTED AND USUAL COURSE OF JUDICIAL PROCEEDINGS IN THAT IT ISSUED THE FIRST AND SECOND RESOLUTIONS IN VIOLATION OF THE RULE ON LIBERAL CONSTRUCTION OF THE RULES OF COURT

The petition filed before the Court of Appeals did not contain an explanation as to why service upon the Office of the Solicitor General (0SG) and Atty. Omar M.C. Alam, counsel for respondents, was not made personally, albeit an affidavit of service by registered mail was attached thereto. The failure to make such written explanation, in violation of Section 11, Rule 13 of the 1997 Rules of Court, was the second ground for the dismissal of the petition.

Section 11, Rule 13 states:

SEC. 11. Priorities in modes of service and filing. – Whenever practicable, the service and filing of pleadings and other papers shall be done personally. Except with respect to papers emanating from the court, a resort to other modes must be accompanied by a written explanation why the service or filing was not done personally. A violation of this Rule may be cause to consider the paper as not filed.

The requirement for personal service is mandatory such that Section 11, Rule 13 gives the court the discretion to consider a pleading or paper as not filed if the other modes of service of filing were resorted to and no written explanation was made as to why personal service was not done. In the seminal case of Solar Team Entertainment, Inc. v. Judge Ricafort, we stressed that strictest compliance with Section 11 of Rule 13 is mandated beginning one (1) month from the promulgation of said decision; i.e. one month from 05 August 1998.

The subject petition was filed on 26 March 2000. Petitioners explain, however, that their omission was due to inadvertence and was not a product of any malevolent scheme to prejudice respondents in any way. Thus, the evil sought to be avoided by the requirement of an explanation – to curb the practice of delaying the receipt of a pleading by a party through the simple expedient of serving the same by mail – was not present. Petitioners thus pray for a liberal construction of the provision in question following Section 6, Rule 1 of the Rules of Court.

We are not persuaded.

In Solar, as reiterated in the recent case of Ello v. Court of Appeals, we explained that the court’s discretionary power to consider a pleading or paper as not filed for violation of Section 11, Rule 13 must be exercised properly and reasonably, taking into account the following factors: (1) the practicability of personal service; (2) the importance of the subject matter of the case or the issues involved therein; and (3) the prima facie merit of the pleading sought to be expunged for violation of Section 11.

We find that the Court of Appeals did not err in dismissing the petition for failure to observe the requirement of a written explanation why service was not made personally to the OSG and to Atty. Omar M.C. Alam, counsel for respondents.

First, it cannot be said that serving the petition on the OSG and Atty. Alam through personal service was not practical nor realistic under the circumstances. We note that the office of petitioners’ counsel, the firm of Bocobo Rondain Mendiola Cruz and Formoso, is in Pasig City while that of the OSG is in Makati City and that of Atty. Alam is in Quezon City. Considering that the law firm has for its client one of the biggest corporations in the country, it is safe to presume – precisely because of the absence of an explanation why service was not made personally – that the Pasig firm has in its employ enough people to effect personal service. Moreover, the NLRC Resolution denying petitioners’ motion for reconsideration was received by their counsel on 10 February 2000. Petitioners, therefore, had until 11 April 2000 within which to file their petition for certiorari. From the records of the case, the petition was filed as early as 29 March 2000. Thus, petitioners had all the time in the world to serve their petition upon the OSG and respondents’ counsel by personal service and their failure to do so becomes inexcusable under the circumstances.

We have also considered the fact that the issue presented before the Court of Appeals is not one of first impression nor is it of such importance as to justify the relaxation of the rules of court on the ground of inadvertence. Likewise, from a reading of the petition, it does not appear that petitioners have a prima facie case. It is to be recalled that the sole issue presented by the Court of Appeals is whether or not the NLRC, under the facts of the case, gravely abused its discretion in vacating and setting aside the decision of the Labor Arbiter and remanding the case to the arbitral branch of origin for further proceedings. In Sevillana v. I.T. (International) Corp., we had already enunciated that the NLRC is not precluded by the rules to allow the parties to submit additional evidence to prove their respective claims even on appeal or to order the remand of the case to the administrative agency concerned for further study and investigation upon such issues.

IN SUM, we stress that petitioners’ claim of inadvertence as their reason for their failure to provide a written explanation why service of their petition was not made personally cannot and does not justify its omission. Such inadvertence does not constitute excusable negligence especially since said rule had already been in effect for three years before petitioners filed their petition before the Court of Appeals. That petitioners blithely expect this Court to turn a blind eye to their procedural blunder underscores their utter disregard of the requirement in Section 11, Rule 13. Verily, such disregard of the rule cannot justly be rationalized by harking on the policy of liberal construction and substantial compliance. To paraphrase Solar, if any controversy regarding a violation of Section 11 of Rule 13 were to be indiscriminately resolved under Section 6 of Rule 1 or Alonso v. Villamor and other analogous cases, then Section 11 would become meaningless and its sound purpose negated.

WHEREFORE, premises considered, the instant petition is DENIED. The Resolutions of the Court of Appeals dated 25 April 2000 and 12 July 2000, respectively, are AFFIRMED. With costs.

SO ORDERED.

SOURCE: [ G.R. NO. 144180, January 30, 2006 ]COCA COLA BOTTLERS PHILS., INC., NATALE J. DICOSMO, STEVE HEATH, MARY CHUA, ALBERTO FAJARDO, JESS BANGSIL, LITO GARCIA, NOEL ROXAS, CHITO ENRIQUEZ, FREDERICK KERULF, ARMANDO CANLAS AND DANILO DAUZ, PETITIONERS, VS. RODOLFO CABALO, JUANITO GERONA, LUIS GERONA, LUIS DE OCAMPO AND MARIO NILO MECUA, RESPONDENTS. Tags: property warehouse for rent for lease marc Christian yncierto ruz jan Edmond yncierto ruz Kristin Villanueva ruz Edmond mabalot ruz marriage certificate timber land forest land watershed agricultural lot land use Alcantara Alcoy moral damages Alegria actual damages Aloguinsan Argao Asturias Badian Balamban Bantayan Barili Boljoon Borbon Carmen Catmon Compostela Consolacion Cordova Daanbantayan Dumaguete Bais Sibulan Tampi Bacong Negros Bacolod Separation pay Resign Resignation conversion hearing trial illegal drugs trial lawyer business corporate lawyer labor lawyer immigration law bureau of immigration cebu 9g visa search warrant warrant of arrest motion to quash information complaint police officers buy bust physical suffering shocked horrified mental anguish fright serious anxiety besmirched reputation sleepless nights wounded feelings moral shock social humiliation similar injuries Real Estate Broker nominal damages Sales Agent Properties for Sale Looking for Buyers Design Build House and Lot for Sale for Rent Talisay City Mandaue City Lapu Lapu Lapu-Lapu City Yncierto Sesante Villanueva Ruz Jan Edmond Marc Tim Timothy temperate damages Luz liquidated damages Kristin tct transfer certificate of title tax declaration birth certificate relocation survey surveying judicial titling administrative titling patent title denr cenro foreshore lease ecc environmental compliance certificate design build architect cebu engineer interior design designer residential commercial cebu Back wages Backwages Length of service pay benefit employee employer relationship Silay Kabankalan Daan Bantayan Dalaguete Dumanjug Ginatilan Liloan compensatory damages Madridejos Malabuyoc Medellin Minglanilla Moalboal Oslob Pilar Pinamungajan Poro Ronda Samboan San Fernando San Francisco San Remigio Sante Fe Santander Sibonga Sogod Tabogon Tabuelan Tuburan attorney’s fees Tudela exemplary damages Camotes General Luna Siargao Cagayan Davao Kidapawan Attorney Abogado Lawyer Architect

 

PETITIONERS REQUESTED FOR CERTIFIED TRUE COPIES OF THE 30 SEPTEMBER 1999 DECISION AND 29 DECEMBER 1999 RESOLUTION BOTH ISSUED BY THE NLRC BUT ONLY CERTIFIED XEROX COPIES WERE GIVEN

The Court of Appeals based its denial of the petition on Section 1, Rule 65 of the Rules of Court which provides that any petition filed under Rule 65 should be accompanied by a certified true copy of the judgment, order or resolution subject thereof and that, in this particular case, the petition was not so accompanied by a certified true copy of the NLRC resolution dated 29 December 1999 but only by a “mere photocopy.”

The problem presented is not novel. In fact, it is a fairly recurrent one in petitions for certiorari of NLRC decisions as it seems to be the practice of the NLRC to issue certified “xerox copies” only instead of certified “true copies.” We have, however, put an end to this issue in Quintano v. NLRC when we declared that there is no substantial distinction between a photocopy or a “Xerox copy” and a “true copy” for as long as the photocopy is certified by the proper officer of the court, tribunal, agency or office involved or his duly-authorized representative and that the same is a faithful reproduction of the original. We held therein:

The submission of the duplicate original or certified true copy of judgment, order, resolution or ruling subject of a petition for certiorari is essential to determine whether the court, body or tribunal, which rendered the same, indeed, committed grave abuse of discretion. The provision states that either a legible duplicate original or certified true copy thereof shall be submitted. If what is submitted is a copy, then it is required that the same is certified by the proper officer of the court, tribunal, agency or office involved or his duly-authorized representative. The purpose for this requirement is not difficult to see. It is to assure that such copy is a faithful reproduction of the judgment, order, resolution or ruling subject of the petition.

Indeed, for all intents and purposes, a “certified Xerox copy” is no different from a “certified true copy” of the original document. The operative word in the term “certified true copy” under Section 3, Rule 46 of the Rules of Court is “certified”. The word means “made certain.” It comes from the Latin word certificare – meaning, to make certain. Thus, as long as the copy of the assailed judgment, order, resolution or ruling submitted to the court has been certified by the proper officer of the court, tribunal, agency or office involved or his duly-authorized representative and that the same is a faithful reproduction thereof, then the requirement of the law has been complied with. It is presumed that, before making the certification, the authorized representative had compared the Xerox copy with the original and found the same a faithful reproduction thereof.

A perusal of the attached NLRC Decision easily discloses that it is not a “mere photocopy” but is, in fact, a certified photocopy of said decision. Each page of the decision has been certified by the NLRC Third Division’s Deputy Clerk of Court, Atty. Catalino R. Laderas, who is undoubtedly a proper officer to make the said certification. Moreover, there seems to be no question that the attached copy of the NLRC decision is a faithful reproduction thereof.

The Court of Appeals, however, zeroed in on the copy of the NLRC Resolution denying petitioners’ motion for reconsideration. As correctly pointed out by it, said copy is neither a certified true copy nor a certified photocopy of the NLRC resolution but seems to be a mere photocopy of the duplicate original copy sent to petitioners’ counsel.

SOURCE: [ G.R. NO. 144180, January 30, 2006 ]COCA COLA BOTTLERS PHILS., INC., NATALE J. DICOSMO, STEVE HEATH, MARY CHUA, ALBERTO FAJARDO, JESS BANGSIL, LITO GARCIA, NOEL ROXAS, CHITO ENRIQUEZ, FREDERICK KERULF, ARMANDO CANLAS AND DANILO DAUZ, PETITIONERS, VS. RODOLFO CABALO, JUANITO GERONA, LUIS GERONA, LUIS DE OCAMPO AND MARIO NILO MECUA, RESPONDENTS. Tags: conversion hearing trial illegal drugs trial lawyer business corporate lawyer labor lawyer immigration law bureau of immigration cebu 9g visa search warrant warrant of arrest motion to quash information complaint police officers buy bust physical suffering shocked horrified mental anguish fright serious anxiety besmirched reputation sleepless nights wounded feelings moral shock social humiliation similar injuries Real Estate Broker nominal damages Sales Agent Properties for Sale Looking for Buyers Design Build House and Lot for Sale for Rent Talisay City Mandaue City Lapu Lapu Lapu-Lapu City Yncierto Sesante Villanueva Ruz Jan Edmond Marc Tim Timothy temperate damages Luz liquidated damages Kristin tct transfer certificate of title tax declaration birth certificate relocation survey surveying judicial titling administrative titling patent title denr cenro foreshore lease ecc environmental compliance certificate design build architect cebu engineer interior design designer residential commercial cebu property warehouse for rent for lease marc Christian yncierto ruz jan Edmond yncierto ruz Kristin Villanueva ruz Edmond mabalot ruz marriage certificate timber land forest land watershed agricultural lot land use Alcantara Alcoy moral damages Alegria actual damages Aloguinsan Argao Asturias Badian Balamban Bantayan Barili Boljoon Borbon Carmen Catmon Compostela Consolacion Cordova Daanbantayan Dumaguete Bais Sibulan Tampi Bacong Negros Bacolod Separation pay Resign Resignation Back wages Backwages Length of service pay benefit employee employer relationship Silay Kabankalan Daan Bantayan Dalaguete Dumanjug Ginatilan Liloan compensatory damages Madridejos Malabuyoc Medellin Minglanilla Moalboal Oslob Pilar Pinamungajan Poro Ronda Samboan San Fernando San Francisco San Remigio Sante Fe Santander Sibonga Sogod Tabogon Tabuelan Tuburan attorney’s fees Tudela exemplary damages Camotes General Luna Siargao Cagayan Davao Kidapawan Attorney Abogado Lawyer Architect

Are they entitled to 13th month pay, backwages, separation pay as well as unpaid salaries?

In view of the valid dismissal, there is, thus, no basis for awarding the spouses P12,787.50 as 13th month pay.

Lastly, the Labor Arbiter and the NLRC found that the spouses’ advances exceeded their unpaid salaries by P43,402.54. The NLRC even noted that Annexes 18 to 341 of the petitioners’ Position Paper contained the petty cash vouchers evidencing payment of their salaries up to December 29, 1997. Interestingly, the spouses argued in their Position Paper that they were not paid their monthly salary of P15,000 from March 1997 to January 8, 1998. Their total claim for unpaid salaries therefore amounted to P129,488.93, minus the P13,125 which Allado paid to them. Yet, in their Motion for Partial Clarification/Reconsideration, they admitted that their total advances amounted to P178,075.95. Hence, based on their admitted advances, they were overpaid by P48,587.02. This is even a larger amount than what was arrived at by the Labor Arbiter and the NLRC. Said amount of P48,587.02 should be paid back to petitioners, to prevent unjust enrichment.

WHEREFORE, the instant petition is PARTIALLY GRANTED. Accordingly, the assailed Decision dated April 16, 2002, as well as the Resolution dated January 15, 2003, of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 66733, are SET ASIDE, and a new one entered upholding the legality of the dismissal. Petitioners are ORDERED to pay each of the private respondents the amount of P40,000, or a total of P80,000 for the spouses representing nominal damages. Private respondents, however, are also ORDERED to refund to petitioners the amount of P48,587.02, which is the amount of admitted advances taken by the Veruasa spouses exceeding the amount of their unpaid salaries.

SO ORDERED.

SOURCE: [ G.R. NO. 157133, January 30, 2006 ]BUSINESS SERVICES OF THE FUTURE TODAY, INC. AND RAMON F. ALLADO, PETITIONERS, VS. COURT OF APPEALS, GILBERT C. VERUASA AND MA. CELESTINA A. VERUASA, RESPONDENTS. Tags: Remigio Sante Fe Santander Sibonga Sogod Tabogon Tabuelan Tuburan attorney’s fees Tudela exemplary damages Camotes General Luna Siargao Cagayan Davao Kidapawan Attorney Abogado Lawyer Architect Real Estate Broker nominal damages Sales Agent Properties for Sale Looking for Buyers Design Build House and Lot for Sale for Rent Talisay City Mandaue City Lapu Lapu Lapu-Lapu City Yncierto Sesante Villanueva Ruz Jan Edmond Marc Tim Timothy temperate damages Luz liquidated damages Kristin tct transfer certificate of title tax declaration birth certificate relocation survey surveying judicial titling administrative titling patent title denr cenro foreshore lease ecc environmental compliance certificate design build architect cebu engineer interior design designer residential commercial cebu property warehouse for rent for lease marc Christian yncierto ruz jan Edmond yncierto ruz Kristin Villanueva ruz Edmond mabalot ruz marriage certificate timber land forest land watershed agricultural lot land use conversion hearing trial illegal drugs trial lawyer business corporate lawyer labor lawyer immigration law bureau of immigration cebu 9g visa search warrant warrant of arrest motion to quash information complaint police officers buy bust physical suffering shocked horrified mental anguish fright serious anxiety besmirched reputation sleepless nights wounded feelings moral shock social humiliation similar injuries Alcantara Alcoy moral damages Alegria actual damages Aloguinsan Argao Asturias Badian Balamban Bantayan Barili Boljoon Borbon Carmen Catmon Compostela Consolacion Cordova Daanbantayan Dumaguete Bais Sibulan Tampi Bacong Negros Bacolod Separation pay Resign Resignation Back wages Backwages Length of service pay benefit employee employer relationship Silay Kabankalan Daan Bantayan Dalaguete Dumanjug Ginatilan Liloan compensatory damages Madridejos Malabuyoc Medellin Minglanilla Moalboal Oslob Pilar Pinamungajan Poro Ronda Samboan San Fernando San Francisco San

If they were employees of BSFTI, were they validly dismissed?

Were private respondents validly dismissed?

Article 283 of the Labor Code is the applicable law. It states,

ART. 283. Closure of establishment and reduction of personnel. –The employer may also terminate the employment of any employee due to the installation of labor saving devices, redundancy, retrenchment to prevent losses or the closing or cessation of operation of the establishment or undertaking unless the closing is for the purpose of circumventing the provisions of this Title, by serving a written notice on the worker and the Ministry of Labor and Employment at least one (1) month before the intended date thereof. In case of termination due to the installation of labor saving devices or redundancy, the worker affected thereby shall be entitled to a separation pay equivalent to at least his one (1) month pay or to at least one (1) month pay for every year of service, whichever is higher. In case of retrenchment to prevent losses and in cases of closures or cessation of operations of establishment or undertaking not due to serious business losses or financial reverses, the separation pay shall be equivalent to one (1) month pay or at least one-half (1/2) month pay for every year of service, whichever is higher. A fraction of at least six (6) months shall be considered as one (1) whole year.

For the cessation of business operations due to serious business losses or financial reverses to be valid, the employer must give the employee and the DOLE written notices 30 days prior to the effectivity of his separation.

In Agabon v. National Labor Relations Commission, we ruled that where the dismissal is for an authorized cause, the lack of statutory due process should not nullify the dismissal, or render it illegal, or ineffectual. However, the employer should indemnify the employee, in the form of nominal damages, for the violation of his right to statutory due process. The amount of such damages is addressed to the sound discretion of the Court, taking into account the relevant circumstances. In Jaka Food Processing Corporation v. Pacot, we noted that the sanction should be stiffer because the dismissal process was initiated by the employer’s exercise of its management prerogative.

The NLRC and the Court of Appeals were unanimous in finding that BSFTI’s closure was bona fide. The records before us revealed that it suffered losses from 1996 to 1998. juxtaposing the facts of this case vis the applicable law and jurisprudence, P40,000 as nominal damages would be sufficient to vindicate each respondent’s right to due process. A violation of that right suffices to support an award of nominal damages.

SOURCE: [ G.R. NO. 157133, January 30, 2006 ]BUSINESS SERVICES OF THE FUTURE TODAY, INC. AND RAMON F. ALLADO, PETITIONERS, VS. COURT OF APPEALS, GILBERT C. VERUASA AND MA. CELESTINA A. VERUASA, RESPONDENTS. Tags: Alcantara Alcoy moral damages Alegria actual damages Aloguinsan Argao Asturias Badian Balamban Bantayan Barili Boljoon Borbon Carmen Catmon Compostela Consolacion Cordova Daanbantayan Dumaguete Bais Sibulan Tampi Bacong Negros Bacolod Separation pay Resign Resignation Back wages Backwages Length of service pay benefit employee employer relationship Silay Kabankalan Daan Bantayan Dalaguete Dumanjug Ginatilan Liloan compensatory damages Madridejos Malabuyoc Medellin Minglanilla Moalboal Oslob Pilar Pinamungajan Poro Ronda Samboan San Fernando San Francisco San Remigio Sante Fe Santander Sibonga Sogod Tabogon Tabuelan Tuburan attorney’s fees Tudela exemplary damages Camotes General Luna Siargao Cagayan Davao Kidapawan Attorney Abogado Lawyer Architect Real Estate Broker nominal damages Sales Agent Properties for Sale Looking for Buyers Design Build House and Lot for Sale for Rent Talisay City Mandaue City Lapu Lapu Lapu-Lapu City Yncierto Sesante Villanueva Ruz Jan Edmond Marc Tim Timothy temperate damages Luz liquidated damages Kristin tct transfer certificate of title tax declaration birth certificate relocation survey surveying judicial titling administrative titling patent title denr cenro foreshore lease ecc environmental compliance certificate design build architect cebu engineer interior design designer residential commercial cebu property warehouse for rent for lease marc Christian yncierto ruz jan Edmond yncierto ruz Kristin Villanueva ruz Edmond mabalot ruz marriage certificate timber land forest land watershed agricultural lot land use conversion hearing trial illegal drugs trial lawyer business corporate lawyer labor lawyer immigration law bureau of immigration cebu 9g visa search warrant warrant of arrest motion to quash information complaint police officers buy bust physical suffering shocked horrified mental anguish fright serious anxiety besmirched reputation sleepless nights wounded feelings moral shock social humiliation similar injuries

Were the spouses employees or stockholders of BSFTI?

Preliminarily, it bears stressing that the prior existence of an employer-employee relationship is an indispensable precondition for a claim of illegal dismissal to prosper. Here, both parties admitted that Gilbert and Celestina were hired as BSFTI’s manager and assistant manager, respectively, with P15,000 monthly salary. The petitioners would have us believe, however, that Gilbert was also a stockholder, hence, there was no need to notify DOLE of the closure since as stockholder, he was presumed to have taken part in the decision to close the business.

Notice of closure to the DOLE is mandatory. It allows the DOLE to ascertain whether the closure and/or dismissals were done in good faith and not a pretext for evading obligations to the employees. This requirement protects the workers’ right to security of tenure. Failure to comply with this requirement taints the dismissal. This rule, however, admits of exceptions. If the employee consented to his retrenchment due to the closure or cessation of operation, the required prior notice to the DOLE is not necessary as the employee thereby acknowledges the existence of a valid cause for termination of his employment.

Did respondent Gilbert Veruasa consent to his dismissal?

The evidence shows that he did not. Although only his correspondences with the petitioners suggest that he was a stockholder of BSFTI, there is no showing that he participated in the alleged stockholders’ meeting where the company’s closure was discussed. The self-serving Joint Affidavit of Allado and Dominguez attesting that Gilbert participated in the meeting discussing the closure is insufficient. The minutes of such meeting would have been better. Further, the SEC certification dated November 9, 1999, provided that BSFTI did not submit any communication signifying the termination of its corporate life nor its non-operation for 1998, giving rise to serious doubts that such meeting ever took place. Hence, there is no convincing evidence to show that Gilbert consented to his dismissal and for these reasons the petitioners should have submitted a written notice of BSFTI’s closure to the DOLE.

SOURCE: [ G.R. NO. 157133, January 30, 2006 ]BUSINESS SERVICES OF THE FUTURE TODAY, INC. AND RAMON F. ALLADO, PETITIONERS, VS. COURT OF APPEALS, GILBERT C. VERUASA AND MA. CELESTINA A. VERUASA, RESPONDENTS. Tags: conversion hearing trial illegal drugs trial lawyer business corporate lawyer labor lawyer immigration law bureau of immigration cebu 9g visa search warrant warrant of arrest motion to quash information complaint police officers buy bust physical suffering shocked horrified mental anguish fright serious anxiety besmirched reputation sleepless nights wounded feelings moral shock social humiliation similar injuries Real Estate Broker nominal damages Sales Agent Properties for Sale Looking for Buyers Design Build House and Lot for Sale for Rent Talisay City Mandaue City Lapu Lapu Lapu-Lapu City Yncierto Sesante Villanueva Ruz Jan Edmond Marc Tim Timothy temperate damages Luz liquidated damages Kristin tct transfer certificate of title tax declaration birth certificate relocation survey surveying judicial titling administrative titling patent title denr cenro foreshore lease ecc environmental compliance certificate design build architect cebu engineer interior design designer residential commercial cebu property warehouse for rent for lease marc Christian yncierto ruz jan Edmond yncierto ruz Kristin Villanueva ruz Edmond mabalot ruz marriage certificate timber land forest land watershed agricultural lot land use Alcantara Alcoy moral damages Alegria actual damages Aloguinsan Argao Asturias Badian Balamban Bantayan Barili Boljoon Borbon Carmen Catmon Compostela Consolacion Cordova Daanbantayan Dumaguete Bais Sibulan Tampi Bacong Negros Bacolod Separation pay Resign Resignation Back wages Backwages Length of service pay benefit employee employer relationship Silay Kabankalan Daan Bantayan Dalaguete Dumanjug Ginatilan Liloan compensatory damages Madridejos Malabuyoc Medellin Minglanilla Moalboal Oslob Pilar Pinamungajan Poro Ronda Samboan San Fernando San Francisco San Remigio Sante Fe Santander Sibonga Sogod Tabogon Tabuelan Tuburan attorney’s fees Tudela exemplary damages Camotes General Luna Siargao Cagayan Davao Kidapawan Attorney Abogado Lawyer Architect

Upon a person over fifteen and under eighteen years of age the penalty next lower than that prescribed by law shall be imposed, but always in the proper period.

Thus, the imposable penalty on James Andrew, by reason of his minority, is one degree lower than the statutory penalty. The penalty for the special complex crime of kidnapping and serious illegal detention with homicide and rape, being death, one degree lower therefrom is reclusion perpetua. On the other hand, the penalty for simple kidnapping and serious illegal detention is reclusion perpetua to death. One degree lower therefrom is reclusion temporal. There being no aggravating and mitigating circumstance, the penalty to be imposed on James Andrew is reclusion temporal in its medium period. Applying the Indeterminate Sentence Law, he should be sentenced to suffer the penalty of twelve (12) years of prision mayor in its maximum period, as minimum, to seventeen (17) years of reclusion temporal in its medium period, as maximum.

Accordingly, in Criminal Case No. CBU-45303, the penalty of reclusion perpetua should be imposed upon James Andrew; while in Criminal Case No. CBU-45304, the imposable penalty upon him is twelve (12) years of prision mayor in its maximum period, as minimum, to seventeen (17) years of reclusion temporal in its medium period, as maximum.

WHEREFORE, the motion for reconsideration is hereby GRANTED. Our Decision dated February 3, 2004 is AFFIRMED with the MODIFICATION that in Criminal Case No. CBU-45303, James Andrew Uy is sentenced to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua; while in Criminal Case No. CBU-45304, the penalty of twelve (12) years of prision mayor in its maximum period, as MINIMUM, to seventeen (17) years of reclusion temporal in its medium period, as maximum.

SO ORDERED.

SOURCE: [ G.R. Nos. 138874-75, January 31, 2006 ]PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, APPELLEE, VS. FRANCISCO JUAN LARRAÑAGA ALIAS “PACO;” JOSMAN AZNAR; ROWEN ADLAWAN ALIAS “WESLEY;” ALBERT CAÑO ALIAS “ALLAN PAHAK;” ARIEL BALANSAG; DAVIDSON VALIENTE RUSIA ALIAS `TISOY TAGALOG;” JAMES ANTHONY UY ALIAS “WANGWANG;” AND JAMES ANDREW UY ALIAS “MM,” APPELLANTS. Tags: Remigio Sante Fe Santander Sibonga Sogod Tabogon Tabuelan Tuburan attorney’s fees Tudela exemplary damages Camotes General Luna Siargao Cagayan Davao Kidapawan Attorney Abogado Lawyer Architect Real Estate Broker nominal damages Sales Agent Properties for Sale Looking for Buyers Design Build House and Lot for Sale for Rent Talisay City Mandaue City Lapu Lapu Lapu-Lapu City Yncierto Sesante Villanueva Ruz Jan Edmond Marc Tim Timothy temperate damages Luz liquidated damages Kristin tct transfer certificate of title tax declaration birth certificate relocation survey surveying judicial titling administrative titling patent title denr cenro foreshore lease ecc environmental compliance certificate design build architect cebu engineer interior design designer residential commercial cebu property warehouse for rent for lease marc Christian yncierto ruz jan Edmond yncierto ruz Kristin Villanueva ruz Edmond mabalot ruz marriage certificate timber land forest land watershed agricultural lot land use conversion hearing trial illegal drugs trial lawyer business corporate lawyer labor lawyer immigration law bureau of immigration cebu 9g visa search warrant warrant of arrest motion to quash information complaint police officers buy bust physical suffering shocked horrified mental anguish fright serious anxiety besmirched reputation sleepless nights wounded feelings moral shock social humiliation similar injuries Alcantara Alcoy moral damages Alegria actual damages Aloguinsan Argao Asturias Badian Balamban Bantayan Barili Boljoon Borbon Carmen Catmon Compostela Consolacion Cordova Daanbantayan Dumaguete Bais Sibulan Tampi Bacong Negros Bacolod Separation pay Resign Resignation Back wages Backwages Length of service pay benefit employee employer relationship Silay Kabankalan Daan Bantayan Dalaguete Dumanjug Ginatilan Liloan compensatory damages Madridejos Malabuyoc Medellin Minglanilla Moalboal Oslob Pilar Pinamungajan Poro Ronda Samboan San Fernando San Francisco San

A JUDGE SHOULD AVOID IMPROPRIETY AND APPEARANCE OF IMPROPRIETY IN ALL ACTIVITIES

Rule 2.01 – A judge should so behave at all times as to promote public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary.

By demanding and receiving money from a litigant before his court in consideration of a favorable judgment, respondent performed acts of impropriety which did violence to the integrity of the judiciary and degraded public confidence in the courts. In Avanceña v. Liwanag, the Court articulated:

A judge should always be a symbol of rectitude and propriety, comporting himself in a manner that will raise no doubt whatsoever about his honesty (Office of the Court Administrator v. Barron, 297 SCRA 376, 392 [1998]; Yuson v. Noel, 227 SCRA 1, 7 [1993]). Integrity in a judicial office is more than a virtue; it is a necessity (Capuno v. Jaramillo, Jr., 234 SCRA 212, 232 [1994]).

Section 11 of Rule 140 of the Rules of Court enumerates the imposable sanctions for a serious charge as follows:

  1. Dismissal from the service, forfeiture of all or part of the benefits as the Court may determine and disqualification from reinstatement or appointment to any public office, including government-owned or controlled corporations: Provided, however, that the forfeiture of benefits shall in no case include accrued leave credits;
  2. Suspension from office without salary and other benefits for more than three (3) but not exceeding six (6) months; or
  3. A fine of more than P20,000.00 but not exceeding P40,000.00.

The Court has consistently imposed the penalty of dismissal on magistrates found guilty of bribery. In Office of the Court Administrator v. Bautista, the Court provides the rationale for imposing the severest penalty in such cases, as follows:

Bribery is classified as a serious charge punishable by, inter alia, dismissal from the service with forfeiture of benefits and disqualification from re-employment or appointment in any public office including government-owned or controlled corporations. (NBI v. Reyes, 326 SCRA 109 [2000]). It constitutes a serious misconduct in office, which this Court condemns in the strongest possible terms. It is this kind of gross and flaunting misconduct on the part of those who are charged with the responsibility of administering the law and rendering justice that so quickly and surely erodes the respect for the law and the courts without which government cannot continue and that tears apart the very bonds of our polity. (Calilung v. Suriaga, 339 SCRA 340 [2000] citing Haw Tay v. Singayao, 154 SCRA 107 [1987]). 

WHEREFORE, respondent, Judge Teodoro A. Dizon, is hereby DISMISSED FROM THE SERVICE with forfeiture of all benefits, except accrued leave credits, and with prejudice to re-employment in the Government or any of its subdivisions, instrumentalities or agencies including Government-owned and controlled corporations. Item “e” in the Court’s Resolution, dated October 21, 1998, which REQUIRED the Office of the Bar Confidant to conduct its own investigation, report and recommendation with respect to the actuations of Atty. Ricardo Barrios, Jr., is REITERATED. No costs.

SO ORDERED.

SOURCE: [ A.M. NO. RTJ-98-1426, January 31, 2006 ]MANUEL C. RAFOLS, JR. AND LOLITA B. RAFOLS, COMPLAINANTS, VS. JUDGE TEODORO A. DIZON, RESPONDENT. Tags: Alcantara Alcoy moral damages Alegria actual damages Aloguinsan Argao Asturias Badian Balamban Bantayan Barili Boljoon Borbon Carmen Catmon Compostela Consolacion Cordova Daanbantayan Dumaguete Bais Sibulan Tampi Bacong Negros Bacolod Separation pay Resign Resignation Back wages Backwages Length of service pay benefit employee employer relationship Silay Kabankalan Daan Bantayan Dalaguete Dumanjug Ginatilan Liloan compensatory damages Madridejos Malabuyoc Medellin Minglanilla Moalboal Oslob Pilar Pinamungajan Poro Ronda Samboan San Fernando San Francisco San Remigio Sante Fe Santander Sibonga Sogod Tabogon Tabuelan Tuburan attorney’s fees Tudela exemplary damages Camotes General Luna Siargao Cagayan Davao Kidapawan Attorney Abogado Lawyer Architect Real Estate Broker nominal damages Sales Agent Properties for Sale Looking for Buyers Design Build House and Lot for Sale for Rent Talisay City Mandaue City Lapu Lapu Lapu-Lapu City Yncierto Sesante Villanueva Ruz Jan Edmond Marc Tim Timothy temperate damages Luz liquidated damages Kristin tct transfer certificate of title tax declaration birth certificate relocation survey surveying judicial titling administrative titling patent title denr cenro foreshore lease ecc environmental compliance certificate design build architect cebu engineer interior design designer residential commercial cebu property warehouse for rent for lease marc Christian yncierto ruz jan Edmond yncierto ruz Kristin Villanueva ruz Edmond mabalot ruz marriage certificate timber land forest land watershed agricultural lot land use conversion hearing trial illegal drugs trial lawyer business corporate lawyer labor lawyer immigration law bureau of immigration cebu 9g visa search warrant warrant of arrest motion to quash information complaint police officers buy bust physical suffering shocked horrified mental anguish fright serious anxiety besmirched reputation sleepless nights wounded feelings moral shock social humiliation similar injuries

whether the defense of prescription is a question of fact or law

On the issue of whether the defense of prescription is a question of fact or law, the distinction is settled that there is a question of fact when the doubt or difference arises as to the truth or falsehood of the alleged facts. On the other hand, a question of law exists when there is a doubt or controversy as to what the law is on a certain state of facts. For a question to be one of law, the same must not involve an examination of the probative value of the evidence presented by the litigants or any of them. The resolution of the issue must rest solely on what the law provides on the given set of circumstances. Once it is clear that the issue invites a review of the evidence presented, the question posed is one of fact.

The test of whether a question is one of law or of fact is not the appellation given to such question by the party raising the same; rather, it is whether the appellate court can determine the issue raised without reviewing or evaluating the evidence, in which case, it is a question of law; otherwise it is a question of fact. 

In the case of Santos, et al. v. Aranzanso, this Court has held that the question of prescription of the action involves the ascertainment of factual matters such as the date when the period to bring the action commenced to run. In Lim v. Chan, this Court has again decreed that prescription is a factual matter when it held that without conducting trial on the merits, the trial court cannot peremptorily find the existence of estoppel, laches, fraud or prescription of actions as these matters require presentation of evidence and determination of facts.

At first glance, applying these jurisprudence as bases, it may seem that the Court of Appeals acted correctly in denying the petition. However, while we agree with the Court of Appeals that the issue of prescription is a factual matter, we deem it erroneous on its part to have dismissed the petition on this ground. The Court of Appeals could have squarely ruled if the trial court committed grave abuse of discretion in denying the motion to dismiss the Complaint filed by the petitioners considering that the facts from which the issue of prescription can be adduced are available to the appellate court, they being extant from the records.

The records disclose that the date of registration of the subject property in the name of the petitioners was 16 November 1993 while the Deed of Sale executed in favor of the respondent was dated 24 September 1986. The complaint for the reconveyance and cancellation of TCT was filed by the respondent on 20 June 2002.

Moreover, a motion to dismiss based on prescription hypothetically admits the truth of the facts alleged in the complaint. Such hypothetical admission is limited to the facts alleged in the complaint which relate to, and are necessary for, the resolution of the grounds stated in the motion to dismiss as preliminary matters involving substantive or procedural laws, but not to the other facts of the case. As applied herein, the hypothetical admission extends to the date of execution of the Deed of Sale in favor of the respondent and to the date of registration of title in favor of the petitioners.

The foregoing considered, the Court of Appeals was properly equipped with the tools to determine if the trial court abused its discretion in ruling that respondent’s cause of action had not prescribed. Nevertheless, instead of remanding this case to the Court of Appeals which is concededly a costly endeavor in terms of the parties’ resources and time, we shall rule on the issue of prescription.

Petitioners’ allegation that an action for the reconveyance of real property on the ground of fraud must be filed within four years from the discovery of the fraud is without basis.

The four-year prescriptive period relied upon by the petitioners apply only if the complaint seeks to annul a voidable contract under Article 1390 of the Civil Code. In such case, the four-year prescriptive period under Article 1391 begins to run from the time of discovery of the mistake, violence, intimidation, undue influence or fraud.

Generally, an action for reconveyance of real property based on fraud prescribes in four years from the discovery of fraud; such discovery is deemed to have taken place upon the issuance of the certificate of title over the property. Registration of real property is a constructive notice to all persons and, thus, the four-year period shall be counted therefrom.

In the case at bar, respondent’s action which is for Reconveyance and Cancellation of Title is based on an implied trust under Art. 1456 of the Civil Code since he averred in his complaint that through fraud petitioners were able to obtain a Certificate of Title over the property. He does not seek the annulment of a voidable contract whereby Articles 1390 and 1391 of the Civil Code would find application such that the cause of action would prescribe in four years.

Art. 1456 of the Civil Code provides:

Art. 1456. If property is acquired through mistake or fraud, the person obtaining it is, by force of law, considered a trustee of an implied trust for the benefit of the person from whom the property comes.

Thus, it was held that when a party uses fraud or concealment to obtain a certificate of title of property, a constructive trust is created in favor of the defrauded party.

Constructive trusts are “created by the construction of equity in order to satisfy the demands of justice and prevent unjust enrichment. They arise contrary to intention against one who, by fraud, duress or abuse of confidence, obtains or holds the legal right to property which he ought not, in equity and good conscience, to hold.”

When property is registered in another’s name, an implied or constructive trust is created by law in favor of the true owner. The action for reconveyance of the title to the rightful owner prescribes in 10 years from the issuance of the title.

An action for reconveyance based on implied or constructive trust prescribes in ten years from the alleged fraudulent registration or date of issuance of the certificate of title over the property.

It is now well-settled that the prescriptive period to recover property obtained by fraud or mistake, giving rise to an implied trust under Art. 1456 of the Civil Code, is 10 years pursuant to Art. 1144. This ten-year prescriptive period begins to run from the date the adverse party repudiates the implied trust, which repudiation takes place when the adverse party registers the land.

Clearly, the applicable prescriptive period is ten years under Art. 1144 and not four years under Arts. 1389 and 1391.

Applying the law and jurisprudential declaration above-cited to the allegations of fact in the complaint, it can clearly be seen that respondent has a period of 10 years from the registration of the title within which to file the action. Since the title was registered in the name of the petitioners on 16 November 1993, respondent had a period of 10 years from the time of the registration within which to file the complaint. Since the complaint was filed on 20 June 2002, the action clearly has not prescribed and was timely-filed.

WHEREFORE, premises considered, the instant petition is:

(1) GRANTED, with respect to the petitioners’ prayer that the Court of Appeals should have resolved the petition on the merits.

(2) DENIED, with respect to the prayer for the dismissal of Civil Case No. C-20128 before the Regional Trial Court of Caloocan City, Branch 121.

The case is ordered remanded to the trial court which is directed to continue with the hearing and proceed with Civil Case No. C-20128 with deliberate dispatch. No costs.
SO ORDERED.

SOURCE: [ G.R. NO. 164787, January 31, 2006 ]MARLENE CRISOSTOMO & JOSE G. CRISOSTOMO, PETITIONERS, VS. FLORITO M. GARCIA, JR., RESPONDENT. Tags: conversion hearing trial illegal drugs trial lawyer business corporate lawyer labor lawyer immigration law bureau of immigration cebu 9g visa search warrant warrant of arrest motion to quash information complaint police officers buy bust physical suffering shocked horrified mental anguish fright serious anxiety besmirched reputation sleepless nights wounded feelings moral shock social humiliation similar injuries Real Estate Broker nominal damages Sales Agent Properties for Sale Looking for Buyers Design Build House and Lot for Sale for Rent Talisay City Mandaue City Lapu Lapu Lapu-Lapu City Yncierto Sesante Villanueva Ruz Jan Edmond Marc Tim Timothy temperate damages Luz liquidated damages Kristin tct transfer certificate of title tax declaration birth certificate relocation survey surveying judicial titling administrative titling patent title denr cenro foreshore lease ecc environmental compliance certificate design build architect cebu engineer interior design designer residential commercial cebu property warehouse for rent for lease marc Christian yncierto ruz jan Edmond yncierto ruz Kristin Villanueva ruz Edmond mabalot ruz marriage certificate timber land forest land watershed agricultural lot land use Alcantara Alcoy moral damages Alegria actual damages Aloguinsan Argao Asturias Badian Balamban Bantayan Barili Boljoon Borbon Carmen Catmon Compostela Consolacion Cordova Daanbantayan Dumaguete Bais Sibulan Tampi Bacong Negros Bacolod Separation pay Resign Resignation Back wages Backwages Length of service pay benefit employee employer relationship Silay Kabankalan Daan Bantayan Dalaguete Dumanjug Ginatilan Liloan compensatory damages Madridejos Malabuyoc Medellin Minglanilla Moalboal Oslob Pilar Pinamungajan Poro Ronda Samboan San Fernando San Francisco San Remigio Sante Fe Santander Sibonga Sogod Tabogon Tabuelan Tuburan attorney’s fees Tudela exemplary damages Camotes General Luna Siargao Cagayan Davao Kidapawan Attorney Abogado Lawyer Architect

Whether the COMELEC committed grave abuse of discretion when it ordered the MBC to reconvene to rectify its errors and to proclaim the winner in the vice-mayoralty race in Alicia, Isabela

The petitioner avers that when he filed the motion for reconsideration of the November 23, 2004 Resolution of the COMELEC Second Division, the order to reconvene the MBC was, in effect, suspended by virtue of Section 2, Rule 19 of the COMELEC Rules of Procedure which reads:

Sec. 2. Period for Filing Motions for Reconsideration.—A motion to reconsider a decision, resolution, order, or ruling of a Division shall be filed within five (5) days from the promulgation thereof. Such motion, if not pro-forma, suspends the execution or implementation of the decision, resolution, order or ruling.

The petitioner maintains that his motion for reconsideration was timely filed on December 1, 2004, or within the five-day reglementary period, since he received a copy of the November 23, 2004 Resolution of the COMELEC Second Division on November 26, 2004. This contention is not quite correct. The petitioner cannot count the five-day reglementary period from November 26, 2004, the date he received a copy of the November 23, 2004 Resolution of the COMELEC Second Division. Section 2, Rule 19 of the COMELEC Rules of Procedure clearly provides that the motion for reconsideration should be “xxx filed within five (5) days from the promulgation thereof.”  The rationale for reckoning the period from the date of promulgation was explained, thus: “A party cannot feign ignorance of the date of promulgation of a decision or resolution because it is previously fixed and notice is served upon him in advance.”  Section 5, Rule 18 of the COMELEC Rules of Procedure provides:

Sec. 5. Promulgation. – The promulgation of a decision or resolution of the Commission or a Division shall be made on a date previously fixed, of which notice shall be served in advance upon the parties or their attorneys personally or by registered mail or by telegram.

The petitioner’s motion for reconsideration was thus filed late on December 1, 2004 as more than five days had lapsed from the promulgation of the November 23, 2004 Resolution of the COMELEC Second Division. Worse, the filing fee therefor was paid only on December 13, 2004. Given these defects, the petitioner’s motion for reconsideration could not have the effect of suspending the execution of the November 23, 2004 Resolution of the COMELEC Second Division.

In any case, the COMELEC Second Division justified the reconvening of the MBC in this wise:

On June 21, 2004, public respondent Election Officer Teresita B. Angangan, Chairman of the Board, submitted her answer. She admitted that there were indeed manifest errors committed by the Board in the preparation of the Statement of Votes but denied that “dagdag-bawas was done, practiced, perpetrated and repeated several times over by the Municipal Board of Canvassers.” She maintained that there was no dagdag-bawas but a mere error in tabulation or tallying.

EO Angangan also submitted a table comparing the figures in the Election Returns and in the Statement of Votes in all 156 clustered precincts. In this table (Annex 1 of public respondent’s Answer), she pointed out that based on the Election Returns, petitioner [private respondent herein] should have won the elections after garnering 11,401 votes as against the 11,152 votes for private respondent.

xxx


There is no question that errors were committed regarding the copying of the results of the elections from the Election Returns to the Statement of Votes. Both the public and private respondent admitted that errors were indeed made. They just differ as to who will be the real winner if these errors are corrected. According to public respondent, petitioner won; private respondent maintains he would still have won even if the errors were corrected.

What is involved here is a simple problem of arithmetic. The Statement of Votes involved in this case does not match the entries made in the election returns.

It is thus imperative that a Municipal Board of Canvasser be immediately convened to correct with dispatch the errors committed in the tallying of votes. 

The COMELEC en banc upheld the reconvening of the MBC, thus:

xxx “The teaching of past experience is that every effort should be strained, every means should be explored, to ascertain the true returns with the end in view that upon the basis thereof, proclamation untainted by force, fraud, forgery, mistake and the like, may be made. It is true indeed that after proclamation, the losing candidate may yet have the remedy of an election protest. But that may not prove effective. A number of factors, such as the almost illimitable resources of lawyers and the delay that may be occasioned may well frustrate the ends of the protest. Victory may just be in sound, and not in substance.” While it is true that as a general rule, the Board of Canvassers becomes functus officio after it has performed its last task, which is to proclaim the winning candidates, the Highest Tribunal had the opportunity to cite an exception to such general rule in Javier vs. COMELEC, where it stated that “it may be conceded as a general proposition that when a Board of Canvassers has fully performed its duty and proclaimed the result of the election according to law and adjourned sine die, it may be deemed functus officio in the sense that the members of the board have no power voluntarily to reassemble and re-canvass the returns. But the foregoing pronouncement finds no application in this case where as already ruled, the canvass and proclamation were made in violation of the lawful order of the COMELEC.

Furthermore, where an election return has been amended by court order or the election return from a certain precinct has been wrongfully or erroneously excluded by the Board of Canvassers, We held that the COMELEC has the power to order a new canvass of the election returns even after a proclamation had already been made. The underlying theory therefore, it was said, is the ministerial duty of the Board of Canvassers to base the proclamation on the election returns of all the precincts of the municipality. Where the Board of Canvassers, as in this instance with knowledge that the return from one precinct is undoubtedly vitiated by clerical mistake, continued the canvass and proclaimed a winner based on the result of such canvass, the proclamation cannot be said to have been in faithful discharge of its ministerial duty under the law. 

We find no grave abuse of discretion in the foregoing COMELEC pronouncements. There is no controversy that discrepancies exist in the statement of votes and that reflected in the questioned election returns. Considering that any error in the statement of votes would affect the proclamation made on the basis thereof, the resolution of the COMELEC directing the MBOC to reconvene to rectify the errors it committed in tallying the votes for the vice-mayoralty race in Alicia, Isabela should be upheld. Indeed, “above and beyond all, the determination of the true will of the electorate should be paramount. It is their voice, not ours or of anyone else, that must prevail. This, in essence, is the democracy we continue to hold sacred.” 

WHEREFORE, premises considered, the petition is hereby DISMISSED and the Resolutions of the COMELEC Second Division and en banc dated November 23, 2004 and February 22, 2005, respectively, are AFFIRMED. The status quo order heretofore issued is hereby ordered LIFTED.

SO ORDERED.

SOURCE: [ G.R. NO. 167101, January 31, 2006 ]MANUEL A. ALEJANDRO, PETITIONER, VS. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, DAMIAN L. CO, AND THE MUNICIPAL BOARD OF CANVASSERS OF ALICIA, ISABELA, RESPONDENTS. Tags: Remigio Sante Fe Santander Sibonga Sogod Tabogon Tabuelan Tuburan attorney’s fees Tudela exemplary damages Camotes General Luna Siargao Cagayan Davao Kidapawan Attorney Abogado Lawyer Architect Real Estate Broker nominal damages Sales Agent Properties for Sale Looking for Buyers Design Build House and Lot for Sale for Rent Talisay City Mandaue City Lapu Lapu Lapu-Lapu City Yncierto Sesante Villanueva Ruz Jan Edmond Marc Tim Timothy temperate damages Luz liquidated damages Kristin tct transfer certificate of title tax declaration birth certificate relocation survey surveying judicial titling administrative titling patent title denr cenro foreshore lease ecc environmental compliance certificate design build architect cebu engineer interior design designer residential commercial cebu property warehouse for rent for lease marc Christian yncierto ruz jan Edmond yncierto ruz Kristin Villanueva ruz Edmond mabalot ruz marriage certificate timber land forest land watershed agricultural lot land use conversion hearing trial illegal drugs trial lawyer business corporate lawyer labor lawyer immigration law bureau of immigration cebu 9g visa search warrant warrant of arrest motion to quash information complaint police officers buy bust physical suffering shocked horrified mental anguish fright serious anxiety besmirched reputation sleepless nights wounded feelings moral shock social humiliation similar injuries Alcantara Alcoy moral damages Alegria actual damages Aloguinsan Argao Asturias Badian Balamban Bantayan Barili Boljoon Borbon Carmen Catmon Compostela Consolacion Cordova Daanbantayan Dumaguete Bais Sibulan Tampi Bacong Negros Bacolod Separation pay Resign Resignation Back wages Backwages Length of service pay benefit employee employer relationship Silay Kabankalan Daan Bantayan Dalaguete Dumanjug Ginatilan Liloan compensatory damages Madridejos Malabuyoc Medellin Minglanilla Moalboal Oslob Pilar Pinamungajan Poro Ronda Samboan San Fernando San Francisco San

whether the COMELEC committed grave abuse of discretion in not conducting a hearing for the examination of the disputed election documents

The petitioner contends that he and the private respondent have different versions of the correct computation. He insists that the COMELEC should have conducted hearings to determine where the alleged tabulation errors lie. By failing to conduct hearings, the petitioner asserts that he was denied due process and was not given the opportunity to prove that the manifest errors in the election documents in fact do not exist.

The petitioner’s claim of denial of due process does not persuade. We quote hereunder the pertinent portion of the November 23, 2004 Resolution of the COMELEC Second Division:

Despite the admission of private respondent [petitioner Alejandro herein] that there were indeed errors in the tallying of votes, pursuant to the ruling by the Supreme Court in Bince, Jr. v. Comelec, We cannot annul the proclamation of private respondent without notice and hearing. This requirement will be satisfied when the Municipal Board of Canvassers convenes and corrects the errors committed in the original tallying of votes. 

In his motion for reconsideration filed with the COMELEC en banc, the petitioner averred that he was notified, through the undated Notice signed by Angangan, that “the Municipal Board of Canvassers of Alicia, Isabela, will reconvene on December 8, 2004, at nine o’clock in the morning at the Session Hall, Sangguniang Bayan, Alicia, Isabela. xxx” 

In administrative proceedings, the essence of due process is simply an opportunity to be heard, or an opportunity to explain one’s side or opportunity to seek a reconsideration of the action or ruling complained of.  A formal trial-type hearing is not at all times and in all situations essential to due process. Verily, “to be heard” does not only mean presentation of testimonial evidence. One may also be heard through pleadings and where opportunity to be heard through pleadings is accorded, there is no denial of due process. 

This opportunity was made completely available to the petitioner who not only participated in the proceedings before the MBC but also sought reconsideration of the resolution of the COMELEC Second Division. In fact, the issues raised by the petitioner in his motion for reconsideration were extensively passed upon by the COMELEC en banc in the assailed resolution.

SOURCE: [ G.R. NO. 167101, January 31, 2006 ]MANUEL A. ALEJANDRO, PETITIONER, VS. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, DAMIAN L. CO, AND THE MUNICIPAL BOARD OF CANVASSERS OF ALICIA, ISABELA, RESPONDENTS. Tags: Alcantara Alcoy moral damages Alegria actual damages Aloguinsan Argao Asturias Badian Balamban Bantayan Barili Boljoon Borbon Carmen Catmon Compostela Consolacion Cordova Daanbantayan Dumaguete Bais Sibulan Tampi Bacong Negros Bacolod Separation pay Resign Resignation Back wages Backwages Length of service pay benefit employee employer relationship Silay Kabankalan Daan Bantayan Dalaguete Dumanjug Ginatilan Liloan compensatory damages Madridejos Malabuyoc Medellin Minglanilla Moalboal Oslob Pilar Pinamungajan Poro Ronda Samboan San Fernando San Francisco San Remigio Sante Fe Santander Sibonga Sogod Tabogon Tabuelan Tuburan attorney’s fees Tudela exemplary damages Camotes General Luna Siargao Cagayan Davao Kidapawan Attorney Abogado Lawyer Architect Real Estate Broker nominal damages Sales Agent Properties for Sale Looking for Buyers Design Build House and Lot for Sale for Rent Talisay City Mandaue City Lapu Lapu Lapu-Lapu City Yncierto Sesante Villanueva Ruz Jan Edmond Marc Tim Timothy temperate damages Luz liquidated damages Kristin tct transfer certificate of title tax declaration birth certificate relocation survey surveying judicial titling administrative titling patent title denr cenro foreshore lease ecc environmental compliance certificate design build architect cebu engineer interior design designer residential commercial cebu property warehouse for rent for lease marc Christian yncierto ruz jan Edmond yncierto ruz Kristin Villanueva ruz Edmond mabalot ruz marriage certificate timber land forest land watershed agricultural lot land use conversion hearing trial illegal drugs trial lawyer business corporate lawyer labor lawyer immigration law bureau of immigration cebu 9g visa search warrant warrant of arrest motion to quash information complaint police officers buy bust physical suffering shocked horrified mental anguish fright serious anxiety besmirched reputation sleepless nights wounded feelings moral shock social humiliation similar injuries