On Whether Manna Properties Sufficiently Established Possession of the Land For the Period Required by Law

Petitioner asserts that Manna Properties has failed to prove its possession of the land for the period of time required by law.  Petitioner alleges that the trial court and the Court of Appeals based their findings solely on their evaluation of the tax declarations presented by Manna Properties.

The jurisdiction of this Court under Rule 45 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure is limited to the review and revision of errors of law. This Court is not bound to analyze and weigh evidence already considered in prior proceedings. Absent any of the established grounds for exception, this Court is bound by the findings of fact of the trial and appellate courts.

The issue of whether Manna Properties has presented sufficient proof of the required possession, under a bona fide claim of ownership, raises a question of fact. It invites an evaluation of the evidentiary record. Petitioner invites us to re-evaluate the evidence and substitute our judgment for that of the trial and appellate courts. Generally, Rule 45 does not allow this.  Matters of proof and evidence are beyond the power of this Court to review under a Rule 45 petition, except in the presence of some meritorious circumstances. We find one such circumstance in this case. The evidence on record does not support the conclusions of both the trial court and the Court of Appeals.

Petitioner claimed in its opposition to the application of Manna Properties that, as a private corporation, Manna Properties is disqualified from holding alienable lands of the public domain, except by lease. Petitioner cites the constitutional prohibition in Section 3 of Article XII in the 1987 Constitution. Petitioner also claims that the land in question is still part of the public domain.

On the other hand, Manna Properties claims that it has established that the land in question has been in the open and exclusive possession of its predecessors-in-interest since the 1940s. Thus, the land was already private land when Manna Properties acquired it from its predecessors-in-interest.

The governing law is Commonwealth Act No. 141 (“CA 141”) otherwise known as the “Public Land Act.” Section 48(b) of the said law, as amended by Presidential Decree No. 1073, provides:

(b) Those who by themselves or through their predecessors-in-interest have been in open, continuous, exclusive, and notorious possession and occupation of agricultural lands of the public domain, under a bona fide claim of acquisition of ownership, since June 12, 1945 or earlier, immediately preceding the filing of the application for confirmation of title except when prevented by war or force majeure. These shall be conclusively presumed to have performed all the conditions essential to a Government grant and shall be entitled to a certificate of title under the provisions of this chapter.  (Emphasis supplied)

Lands that fall under Section 48 of CA 141 are effectively segregated from the public domain by virtue of acquisitive prescription. We have held that open, exclusive and undisputed possession of alienable public land for the period prescribed by CA 141 ipso jure converts such land into private land. Judicial confirmation in such cases is only a formality that merely confirms the earlier conversion of the land into private land, the conversion having occurred in law from the moment the required period of possession became complete.

Under CA 141, the reckoning point is June 12, 1945.  If the predecessors-in-interest of Manna Properties have been in possession of the land in question since this date, or earlier, Manna Properties may rightfully apply for confirmation of title to the land.  Following our ruling in Director of Lands v. IAC, Manna Properties, a private corporation, may apply for judicial confirmation of the land without need of a separate confirmation proceeding for its predecessors-in-interest first.

We rule, however, that the land in question has not become private land and remains part of the public domain.

Under the Regalian doctrine, the State is the source of any asserted right to ownership of land. This is premised on the basic doctrine that all lands not otherwise appearing to be clearly within private ownership are presumed to belong to the State. Any applicant for confirmation of imperfect title bears the burden of proving that he is qualified to have the land titled in his name. Although Section 48 of CA 141 gives rise to a right that is only subject to formal recognition, it is still incumbent upon any claimant to first prove open, continuous and adverse possession for the requisite period of time. It is only when the applicant complies with this condition that he may invoke the rights given by CA 141.

The evidence submitted by Manna Properties to prove the required length of possession consists of the testimony of one of its predecessors-in-interest, Manuel Sobrepeña (“Manuel”), transferee’s affidavits, and several tax declarations covering the land in question.

We have ruled that while a tax declaration by itself is not sufficient to prove ownership, it may serve as sufficient basis for inferring possession. However, the tax declarations presented by Manna Properties do not serve to prove their cause. Although Manna Properties claimed during trial that they were presenting the tax declaration proving possession since 12 June 1945, a scrutiny of the tax declaration reveals that it is not the tax declaration Manna Properties claimed it to be. Exhibit Q-16 was in fact a substitute tax declaration allegedly issued on 28 November 1950.  The annotation at the back of this tax declaration indicates that it was issued to replace the 1945 tax declaration covering the land in question. A substitute is not enough.

The 1945 tax declaration must be presented considering that the date, 12 June 1945, is material to this case.  CA 141 specifically fixes the date to 12 June 1945 or earlier.  A tax declaration simply stating that it replaces a previous tax declaration issued in 1945 does not meet this standard.  It is unascertainable whether the 1945 tax declaration was issued on, before or after 12 June 1945.  Tax declarations are issued any time of the year.  A tax declaration issued in 1945 may have been issued in December 1945.  Unless the date and month of issuance in 1945 is stated, compliance with the reckoning date in CA 141 cannot be established.

There is another reason why the application for registration of Manna Properties must fail. The tax declaration allegedly executed in 1950 and marked as Exhibit Q-16 bears several irregularities. A small annotation found at the bottom of the back page of Exhibit Q-16 states it cancels a previous tax declaration. Beyond stating that the cancelled tax declaration was issued in 1945, Exhibit Q-16 does not provide any of the required information that will enable this Court or any interested party to check whether the original 1945 tax declaration ever existed.19 The blanks left by Exhibit Q-16 render any attempt to trace the original tax declaration futile. Moreover, on its face Exhibit Q-16 lacks any indication that it is only a substitute or reconstituted tax declaration. The net effect is an attempt to pass off Exhibit Q-16 as the original tax declaration.

The form used to prepare the tax declaration marked as Exhibit Q-16 states that it was “FILED UNDER SECTION 202 OF R.A. 7160.” Republic Act No. 7160 is the Local Government Code of 1991. The sworn undertaking by the Deputy Assessor who allegedly prepared the tax declaration reads, “Subscribed and sworn before me this 28 (sic) day of Nov. 1950…” This means that the tax declaration was issued more than forty (40) years before the form used came into existence. Manna Properties gave no explanation why its tax declaration used a form that did not exist at the time of the alleged issuance of the tax declaration.  The totality of these circumstances leads this Court to conclude that Exhibit Q-16 was fabricated for the sole purpose of making it appear that Manna Properties’ predecessors-in-interest have been in possession of the land in question since 12 June 1945.

The earliest of the “un-cancelled” tax declarations presented by Manna Properties is dated 1950.  This is clearly insufficient to prove possession of the land since 12 June 1945.  The same can be said of the transferee’s affidavit, which was dated 1955. Manna Properties’ reliance on Manuel’s testimony is similarly misplaced. Not only is such evidence insufficient and self-serving on its own but, Manuel did not also specifically testify that he, or his parents or predecessors-in-interest were in possession of the land since 12 June 1945 or earlier.  The only clear assertion of possession made by Manuel was that his family used to plant rice on that piece of land.20

Other than the mentioned pieces of evidence, Manna Properties did not present sufficient proof that its predecessors-in-interest have been in open, continuous and adverse possession of the land in question since 12 June 1945. At best, Manna Properties can only prove possession since 1952.  Manna Properties relied on shaky secondary evidence like the testimony of Manuel and substitute tax declarations. We have previously cautioned against the reliance on such secondary evidence in cases involving the confirmation of an imperfect title over public land.21 Manna Properties’ evidence hardly constitutes the “well-nigh incontrovertible” evidence necessary to acquire title through adverse occupation under CA 141.22

WHEREFORE, we GRANT the instant petition. We REVERSE the Decision of the Court of Appeals dated 20 December 2000 in CA-G.R. CV No. 52562.  The Application for Registration filed by Manna Properties, Inc. over Lots No. 9515 and 1006 of Cad. 539-D, with a total area of One Thousand Four Hundred Eighty (1,480) square meters situated in Barangay Pagdaraoan, San Fernando, La Union, is DENIED.

SOURCE: [ G.R. NO. 146527, January 31, 2005 ] REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, PETITIONER, VS. MANNA PROPERTIES, INC., REPRESENTED BY ITS PRESIDENT, JOSE TANYAO, 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

On Whether Manna Properties Failed to Comply with the Jurisdictional Requirements for Original Registration

Petitioner contends that PD 1529 sets a 90-day maximum period between the court order setting the initial hearing date and the hearing itself. Petitioner points out that in this case, the trial court issued the order setting the date of the initial hearing on 15 March 1995, but the trial court set the hearing date itself on 18 July 1995. Considering that there are 125 days in between the two dates, petitioner argues that the trial court exceeded the 90-day period set by PD 1529. Thus, petitioner concludes “the applicant [Manna Properties] failed to comply with the jurisdictional requirements for original registration.”

The petitioner is mistaken.

The pertinent portion of Section 23 of PD 1529 reads:

Sec. 23. Notice of initial hearing, publication etc. – The court shall, within five days from filing of the application, issue an order setting the date and hour of initial hearing which shall not be earlier than forty-five days nor later than ninety days from the date of the order.

xxx

The duty and the power to set the hearing date lies with the land registration court. After an applicant has filed his application, the law requires the issuance of a court order setting the initial hearing date. The notice of initial hearing is a court document. The notice of initial hearing is signed by the judge and copy of the notice is mailed by the clerk of court to the LRA. This involves a process to which the party applicant absolutely has no participation.

Petitioner is correct that in land registration cases, the applicant must strictly comply with the jurisdictional requirements. In this case, the applicant complied with the jurisdictional requirements.

The facts reveal that Manna Properties was not at fault why the hearing date was set beyond the 90-day maximum period. The records show that the Docket Division of the LRA repeatedly requested the trial court to reset the initial hearing date because of printing problems with the National Printing Office, which could affect the timely publication of the notice of hearing in the Official Gazette.  Indeed, nothing in the records indicates that Manna Properties failed to perform the acts required of it by law.

We have held that “a party to an action has no control over the Administrator or the Clerk of Court acting as a land court; he has no right to meddle unduly with the business of such official in the performance of his duties.” A party cannot intervene in matters within the exclusive power of the trial court.  No fault is attributable to such party if the trial court errs on matters within its sole power.  It is unfair to punish an applicant for an act or omission over which the applicant has neither responsibility nor control, especially if the applicant has complied with all the requirements of the law.

Petitioner limited itself to assailing the lapse of time between the issuance of the order setting the date of initial hearing and the date of the initial hearing itself. Petitioner does not raise any other issue with respect to the sufficiency of the application. Petitioner does not also question the sufficiency of the publication of the required notice of hearing. Consequently, petitioner does not dispute the real jurisdictional issue involved in land registration cases — compliance with the publication requirement under PD 1529. As the records show, the notice of hearing was published both in the Official Gazette and a newspaper of general circulation well ahead of the date of hearing.  This complies with the legal requirement of serving the entire world with sufficient notice of the registration proceedings.

SOURCE: [ G.R. NO. 146527, January 31, 2005 ]REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, PETITIONER, VS. MANNA PROPERTIES, INC., REPRESENTED BY ITS PRESIDENT, JOSE TANYAO, 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

On the Element of Deliberate Assertion of Falsehood

The third element of perjury requires that the accused willfully and deliberately assert a falsehood. Good faith or lack of malice is a valid defense. Here, the Court finds that respondent Pascua’s statement in his counter-affidavit in OMB-ADM-1-99-0387 that he called the 16 July 1998 meeting does not constitute a deliberate assertion of falsehood.  While it was Yabut and some unidentified ACNTS personnel who requested a dialogue with respondent Pascua, it was respondent Pascua’s consent to their request which led to the holding of the meeting.  Thus, respondent Pascua’s statement in question is not false much less malicious.  It is a good faith interpretation of events leading to the holding of the meeting.

Regarding respondent Pascua’s allegation in his counter-affidavit in OMB-ADM-1-99-0387 that petitioner’s complaint was a mere “rehash and duplication with a slight deviation of fact” of the DECS administrative case petitioner and Yabut filed against respondent Pascua, petitioner has not shown why this is false.  Petitioner again did not furnish the Court a copy of her and Yabut’s complaint with the DECS.

Respondent Turla’s statement in OMB-ADM-1-99-0387 that respondent Pascua called the 16 July 1998 meeting was a mere reiteration of what respondent Pascua told him. Consequently, it was correct for public respondent to hold that since respondent Turla merely repeated what he heard from respondent Pascua, he could not be held liable for making a false and malicious statement.

There is grave abuse of discretion where power is exercised in arbitrary or despotic manner by reason of passion or hostility.  The abuse must be so patent and gross as to amount to an evasion of positive duty or to a virtual refusal to perform the duty or to act at all in contemplation of law. No such conduct can be imputed on public respondent.  Public respondent disposed of petitioner’s complaint consistent with applicable law.

SOURCE: [ G.R. NO. 144692, January 31, 2005 ] CELSA P. ACUÑA, PETITIONER, VS. DEPUTY OMBUDSMAN FOR LUZON, PEDRO PASCUA AND RONNIE TURLA, (ANGELES CITY NATIONAL TRADE SCHOOL), 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

May an elder sister adopt a younger brother?

The text below are from an old Supreme Court Case –

The issue before Us is, whether or not an elder sister may adopt a younger brother.
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The trial court dismissed the petition reasoning thus:
“A critical consideration in this case is the fact that the parents of the minor to be adopted are also the parents of the petitioner-wife. The minor, therefore, is the latter’s legitimate brother.
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“In this proceeding, the adoption will result in an incongruous situation where the minor Edwin Villa, a legitimate brother of the petitioner-wife, will also be her son. In the opinion of the court, that incongruity, not neutralized by other circumstances absent herein, should prevent the adoption.”
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The petitioners moved to reconsider the decision but the same was denied. Hence, this appeal.
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The facts are not disputed.
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The above-named spouses filed the petition before the court a quo on January 8, 1963, praying that the minor Edwin Villa y Mendoza, 4 years old, be declared their (petitioners’) son by adoption. Evidence was presented that the order setting the case for hearing has been duly published, Exhibit A. There having been no opposition registered to the petition, the petitioners were permitted to adduce their evidence.
It was established that the petitioners are both 32 years of age, Filipinos, residing in the City of Manila. They were married in 1957 and have maintained a conjugal home of their own. They do not have a child of their own blood. Neither spouse has any legitimate, legitimated, illegitimate, acknowledged natural child, or natural child by legal fiction; nor has any one of them been convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude. Edwin Villa y Mendoza, 4 years old, is a child of Francisco Villa and Florencia Mendoza who are the common parents of the petitioner-wife Edipola Villa Santos and the minor. Luis E. Santos, Jr., is a lawyer, with business interests in a textile development enterprise and the IBA electric plant, and is the general manager of Medry, Inc. and the secretary-treasurer of Bearen Enterprises. His income is approximately P600.00 a month. His co-petitioner-wife, is a nurse by profession, with an average monthly earning of about P300.00.
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It was also shown that Edwin Villa y Mendoza was born on May 22, 1958, Exhibit C. He was a sickly child since birth. Due to the child’s impairing health, his parents entrusted him to the petitioners who reared and brought him up for the years thereafter, and as a result, there developed between the petitioners and the child, a deep and profound love for each other. The natural parents of the minor testified that they have voluntarily given their consent to the adoption of their son by the petitioners, and submitted their written consent and conformity to the adoption, and that they fully understand the legal consequences of the adoption of their child by the petitioners.
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We are not aware of any provision in the law, and none has been pointed to Us by the Solicitor General who argues for the State in this case, that relatives, by blood or by affinity, are prohibited from adopting one another. The only objection raised is the alleged “incongruity” that will result in the relation of the petitioner-wife and the adopted, in the circumstance that the adopted who is the legitimate brother of the adopter, will also be her son by adoption. The theory is, therefore, advanced that adoption among people who are related by nature should not be allowed, in order that dual relationship should not result, reliance being made upon the views expressed by this Court in McGee vs. Republic, L-5387, April 29, 1954, 94 Phil. 820.
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In that case, an American citizen, Clyde E. McGee, married to a Filipina by whom he had one child, instituted a proceeding for the adoption of two minor children of the wife had by her first husband. The lower court granted the petition of McGee to adopt his two minor step-children. On appeal by the State, We reversed the decision. We said:
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“The purpose of adoption is to establish a relationship of paternity and filiation where none existed before. Where therefore the relationship of parents and child already exists whether by blood or by affinity as in the case of illegitimate and step-children, it would be unnecessary and superfluous to establish and superimpose another relationship of parent and child through adoption. Consequently, an express authorization of law like article 338 is necessary, if not to render it proper and legal, at least, to remove any and all doubt on the subject matter. Under this view, article 338 may not be regarded as a surplusage. That may have been the reason why in the old Code of Civil Procedure, particularly its provisions regarding adoption, authority to adopt a step-child by a step-father was provided in section 766 notwithstanding the general authorization in section 765 extended to any inhabitant of the Philippines to adopt a minor child. The same argument of surplusage could plausibly have been advanced as regards section 766, that is to say, section 766 was unnecessary and superfluous because without it a step-father could adopt a minor step- child anyway.

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However, the inserting of section 766 was not entirely without reason. It seems to be an established principle in American jurisprudence that a person may not adopt his own relative, the reason being that it is unnecessary to establish a relationship where such already exists (the same philosophy underlying our codal provisions on adoption).

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So some states have special laws authorizing the adoption of relatives such as a grandfather adopting a grandchild and a father adopting his illegitimate of natural child.”
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Notwithstanding the views thus expressed, a study of American precedents would reveal that there is a variance in the decisions of the courts in different jurisdictions regarding the matter of adoption of relatives. It cannot be stated as a general proposition that the adoption of a blood relative is contrary to the policy of the law, for in many states of the Union, no restriction of that sort is contained in the statutes authorizing adoption, although laws of other jurisdictions expressly provide that adoption may not take place within persons within a certain degree of relationship (1 Am. Jur. 628-629). Courts in some states hold that in the absence of express statutory restriction, a blood relationship between the parties is not a legal impediment to the adoption of one by the other, and there may be a valid adoption where the relation of parent and child already exists by nature (2 Am. Jur. 2d 869). Principles vary according to the particular adoption statute of a state under which any given case is considered. It would seem that in those states originally influenced by the civil law countries where adoption originated, the rules are liberally construed, while in other states where common law principles predominate, adoption laws are more strictly applied because they are regarded to be in derogation of the common law.
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Article 335 of the Civil Code enumerates those persons who may not adopt, and it has been shown that petitioners-appellants herein are not among those prohibited from adopting. Article 339 of the same code names those who cannot be adopted, and the minor child whose adoption is under consideration, is not one of those excluded by the law. Article 338, on the other hand, allows the adoption of a natural child by the natural father or mother, of other illegitimate children by their father or mother, and of a step-child-by the step-father or step-mother. This last article is, of course, necessary to remove all doubts that adoption is not prohibited even in these cases where there already exist a relationship of parent and child between them by nature. To say that adoption should not be allowed when the adopter and the adopted are related to each other, except in these cases enumerated in Article 338, is to preclude adoption among relatives no matter how far removed or in whatever degree that relationship might be, which in our opinion is not the policy of the law. The interest and welfare of the child to be adopted should be of paramount consideration. Adoption statutes, being humane and salutary, and designed to provide homes, care and education for unfortunate children, should be construed so as to encourage the adoption of such children by person who can properly rear and educate them (In re Havsgord’s Estate, 34 S.D. 131, 147 N.W. 378).
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With respect to the objection that the adoption in this particular case will result in a dual relationship between the parties, that the adopted brother will also be the son of the adopting elder sister, that fact alone should not prevent the adoption. One is by nature, while the other is by fiction of law. The relationship established by the adoption is limited to the adopting parents and does not extend to their other relatives, except as expressly provided by law. Thus, the adopted child cannot be considered as a relative of the ascendants and collaterals of the adopting parents, nor of the legitimate children which they may have after the adoption except that the law imposes certain impediments to marriage by reason of adoption. Neither are the children of the adopted considered as descendants of the adopter (Tolentino, Civil Code, Vol. I, 1960 Ed., p. 652, citing 1 Oyuelos 284; Perez Gonzales and Castan; 4-11 Enneccerus, Kipp & Wolff 177; Muñoz, p. 104). So even considered in relation to the rules on succession which are in pari materia, the adoption under consideration would not be objectionable on the ground alone of the resulting dual relationship between the adopter and the adopted. Similar dual relationships also result under our law on marriage when persons who are already related, by blood or by affinity, marry each other. But as long as the relationship is not within the degrees prohibited by law, such marriages are allowed, notwithstanding the resulting dual relationship. And as We do not find any provision in the law that expressly prohibits adoption among relatives, they ought not to be prevented.
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For all the foregoing considerations, the decision appealed from is set aside, and the petition for the adoption of the subject minor, granted. No pronouncement as to costs.

SC Case IN THE MATTER OF THE ADOPTION OF THE MINOR, EDWIN VILLA Y MENDOZA, LUIS E. SANTOS, JR. and EDIPOLA V. SANTOS, petitioners-appellants,

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

When is the payment of damages as well as attorney’s fees proper?

In a Supreme Court case, the following damages were awarded:

“xxx

The RTC awarded moral damages, exemplary damages, attorney’s fees, plus P2,000.00 for every appearance, and costs of litigation.

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Moral damages are meant to compensate the claimant for any physical suffering, mental anguish, fright, serious anxiety, besmirched reputation, wounded feelings, moral shock, social humiliation, and similar injuries unjustly caused. Petitioner Rosalina has adequately established the factual basis for the award of moral damages when she testified that she felt shocked and horrified upon knowing of the foreclosure sale.

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However, we find the RTC’s award of P2,000,000.00 excessive and unconscionable, and reduce the salve to P100,000.00.
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Exemplary damages are imposed by way of example for the public good, in addition to moral, temperate, liquidated or compensatory damages. We reduce the RTC’s award of P500,000.00 to P30,000.00.
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Attorneys fees are allowed when exemplary damages are awarded and when the party to a suit is compelled to incur expenses to protect his interest. We find the RTC’s award of attorney’s fees in the amount of P100,000.00 proper.

xxx”

From the case of SPOUSES GILDARDO LOQUELLANO and ROSALINA JULIET B. LOQUELLANO, petitioners, xxx

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

Case on the validity of an extrajudicial foreclosure and auction sale of debtor’s property

Petitioner Rosalina Juliet Loquellano used to be a regular employee in the Financial Central Department of respondent Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation, Ltd. (respondent bank). As such, she became an automatic member of respondent Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation-Staff Retirement Plan (HSBC-SRP) that provides retirement, disability and loan benefits to the bank’s employees. In 1988, petitioner Rosalina applied with respondent HSBC-SRP a housing loan in the amount of P400,000.00 payable in twenty-five (25) years at six percent (6%) per annum, through monthly salary deduction from petitioner Rosalina’s salary savings account with respondent HSBC. It was provided in the loan application that the loan was secured by setting-off petitioner Rosalina’s retirement benefits and chattel mortgage. She executed a promissory note for the payment of the said loan.

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On September 5, 1990, petitioners spouses Gildardo and Rosalina Loquellano and Manuel S. Estacion, the managing trustee for and in behalf of the respondent HSBC-SRP, entered into a contract of real estate mortgage wherein petitioners constituted a mortgage over their house and lot covered by TCT No. 95422 (44867) of the Register of Deeds of Pasay City to secure the payment of their housing loan. Petitioner Rosalina had been religiously paying the monthly installments and interests due on the housing loan through automatic salary deductions.

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Subsequently, a labor dispute arose between the respondent bank and the bank union, to which petitioner Rosalina was a member, which culminated in a strike staged on December 22, 1993. Petitioner Rosalina, together with other bank employees, were dismissed from the service for abandonment, among others. Petitioner Rosalina and the other dismissed employees filed with the Labor Arbiter (LA) an illegal dismissal case against the respondent bank. The LA declared the strike illegal and dismissed the complaint. The labor case had reached us through a petition for review on certiorari filed by the dismissed concerned employees and had already been decided by us on January 11, 2016. While we declared the strike illegal, we also held that the mere finding of such did not justify the wholesale termination of the strikers from their employment. We found that there was illegal dismissal and ordered the bank, among others, to pay the backwages and separation pay of the 18 employees named in the decision, which included petitioner Rosalina, in lieu of reinstatement.

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In the meantime, due to petitioner Rosalina’s termination from employment with the bank on December 27, 1993, petitioners were unable to make any payments of the amortizations due in Rosalina’s salary savings account beginning January 1994. Respondent HSBC-SRP sent demand letters dated June 13, 1994 and November 28, 1994, respectively, to petitioner Rosalina for the payment of her outstanding obligation in full. Petitioner Rosalina offered to make partial payment of her housing loan arrears in the amount of P69,205.99, which respondent HSBC-SRP rejected.
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Subsequently, petitioner Rosalina received an Installment Due Reminder dated July 26, 1995 issued by respondent HSBC-SRP on her housing loan, wherein it was shown that the monthly installment overdue, the interest overdue and the interest accrued on the overdue installment amounted to P55,681.85 and the outstanding loan balance was P315,958.00. On August 11, 1995, petitioner Rosalina, through her salary savings account which was still existing, deposited the payments for all her monthly installment arrears and interests, and penalties from January 1994 up to August 1995. Respondent bank accepted the payments and credited them to her housing loan account. Thereafter, petitioner Rosalina received an Installment Due Reminder dated August 28, 1995, wherein it already reflected the payments she had made as her outstanding housing loan obligation was already reduced to P289,945.00.
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In a letter dated September 25, 1995 to petitioner Rosalina, respondent HSBC-SRP demanded for the payment of the entire housing loan obligation in the amount of P289,945.00. Notwithstanding, petitioner Rosalina received an Installment Due Reminder dated September 27, 1995, reflecting the then current monthly installment and interest due thereon. Petitioner Rosalina, subsequently, received more installment due reminders showing a reduction in the outstanding balance of her housing loan. She continuously made deposits to her salary savings account with the respondent bank for the payment of her monthly amortizations. Respondent bank debited petitioner Rosalina’s savings account and credited the payments to the balance of the installment and the interest due on the housing loan up to June 1996.
On May 20, 1996, petitioners’ mortgaged property was extrajudicially foreclosed by respondent HSBC-SRP and was sold at public auction for the amount of P324,119.59, with respondent Manuel S. Estacion as the highest bidder. A Certificate of Sale dated June 5, 1996 was issued.

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On August 22, 1996, petitioners filed with the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Parañaque City, Branch 274, a Complaint for Annulment of Sale with Damages and Preliminary Injunction against Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation, Ltd.; Manuel S. Estacion; Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation-Staff Retirement Plan, as represented by Atty. Manuel G. Montecillo, Mr. Stuart P. Milne and Mr. Alejandro L. Custodio; Leonarda Leilani Amurao and Benedicto G. Hebron, in their capacities as Clerk of Court/Ex-Officio Sheriff and Sheriff-in-Charge of the RTC of Parañaque. Petitioners alleged, among others, that the foreclosure of their mortgaged property was tainted with bad faith, considering that they had paid all the arrears, interests and penalties due on their housing loan since August 1995, and were updated with their loan obligations up to June 1996.

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In their Answer, respondents HSBC-SRP and Estacion argued that the entire loan obligations accelerated when petitioner Rosalina was terminated and ceased to be an employee of respondent bank as provided in the HSBC-SRP Rules and Regulations, and she failed to pay the entire balance of the housing loan. Also, petitioners were in default, having failed to pay the amortizations beginning January 1994 up to July 1995; thus, they had the right to extrajudicially foreclose the mortgaged property under their mortgage contract.
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Respondent bank claimed that it should not have been impleaded in the complaint, since it was not privy to the real estate mortgage nor to the extrajudicial foreclosure proceedings.

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The issues for resolution are (1) whether the extrajudicial foreclosure and auction sale of petitioners’ property by respondent HSBC-SRP on May 20, 1996 was valid; and (2) whether petitioners are entitled to the payment of damages as well as attorney’s fees.
xxx

We find that respondent HSBC-SRP’s filing of the extrajudicial foreclosure proceedings on May 20, 1996 has no basis and, therefore, invalid.
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It is established that petitioners failed to pay the monthly amortizations of their housing loan secured by a real estate mortgage on their property since January 1994, i.e., after petitioner Rosalina was terminated by the bank on December 27, 1993. Thus, respondent HSBC-SRP sent demand letters dated June 13, 1994 and November 28, 1994 to petitioner Rosalina asking her to pay the outstanding housing loan obligation in full. Petitioner Rosalina’s offer of partial payment was rejected by respondent HSBC-SRP. In the meantime, no foreclosure proceedings was yet filed by respondent HSBC-SRP against petitioners’ mortgaged property. Subsequently, petitioner Rosalina received an Installment Due Reminder dated July 26, 1995, informing her of the overdue monthly amortizations, interests and penalty in the amount of P55,681.85, with an outstanding balance of P315,958.00. On August 11, 1995, petitioner Rosalina then deposited in her salary savings account the payment for all the principal and interest arrearages from January 1994 up to August 1995. The payments she made in her account were accepted by respondent bank and credited them to the payment of the overdue monthly amortizations of her housing loan.

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While respondent HSBC-SRP wrote petitioner Rosalina a letter dated September 25, 1995 demanding payment of the latter’s entire unpaid housing loan obligation, now with a reduced balance in the amount of P289,945.00, however, petitioner Rosalina still received an Installment Due Reminder dated September 27, 1995 reminding her of her monthly installment and interest due, sans penalty charge, which she paid.

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Thereafter, petitioner Rosalina continuously received Installment Due Reminders for the housing loan, to wit: dated December 21, 1995, February 26, 1996, March 13, 1996 and April 11, 1996, which showed a diminishing loan balance by reason of respondent HSBC-SRP’s acceptance of payments of her monthly installments and interests due from September 1995 up to June 1996. Therefore, respondent HSBC-SRP is now estopped from foreclosing the mortgage property on May 20, 1996.
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Article 1431 of the Civil Code defines estoppel as follows:
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Art. 1431. Through estoppel an admission or representation is rendered conclusive upon the person making it, and cannot be denied or disproved as against the person relying thereon.
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And Section 2 (a), Rule 131 of the Rules of Court provides:
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SEC. 2. Conclusive presumptions. — The following are instances of conclusive presumptions:
(a) Whenever a party has, by his own declaration, act, or omission, intentionally and deliberately led another to believe a particular thing is true, and to act upon such belief, he cannot, in any litigation arising out of such declaration, act or omission, be permitted to falsify it.
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Estoppel is a doctrine that prevents a person from adopting an inconsistent position, attitude, or action if it will result in injury to another. One who, by his acts, representations or admissions, or by his own silence when he ought to speak out, intentionally or through culpable negligence, induces another to believe certain facts to exist and such other rightfully relies and acts on such belief, can no longer deny the existence of such fact as it will prejudice the latter. The doctrine of estoppel is based upon the grounds of public policy, fair dealing, good faith and justice. It springs from equitable principles and the equities in the case. It is designed to aid the law in the administration of justice where, without its aid, injustice might result.

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To stress, respondent HSBC-SRP continuously sent out monthly Installment Due Reminders to petitioner Rosalina despite its demand letter dated September 25, 1995 to pay the full amount of the loan obligation within 3 days from receipt of the letter. It, likewise, continuously accepted petitioner Rosalina’s subsequent monthly amortization payments until June 1996; thus, making their default immaterial. Moreover, there was no more demand for the payment of the full obligation afterwards. Consequently, petitioners were made to believe that respondent HSBC-SRP was applying their payments to their monthly loan obligations as it had done before. It is now estopped from enforcing its right to foreclose by reason of its acceptance of the delayed payments.

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Also, Article 1235 of the Civil Code provides that when the creditor accepts performance, knowing its incompleteness and irregularity without protest or objection, the obligation is deemed complied with. Respondent HSBC-SRP accepted Rosalina’s payment of her housing loan account for almost one year without any objection.
Respondent HSBC-SRP argues that estoppel is not applicable since the payments upon which petitioners rely were made without its knowledge and consent; that the updated balances were automatically generated by the system; that petitioner Rosalina made unilateral payments to her salary savings account knowing that any amount she deposited therein will be automatically credited as payments for her loan obligations.
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We are not persuaded.
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It is respondent HSBC-SRP, not petitioner Rosalina, which has access and control of the computer system with regard to the crediting of the housing loan payments. It cannot now deny its action of continuously accepting petitioner Rosalina’s monthly amortizations, coupled with the sending out of installment due reminders, and statements of her updated housing loan account to prejudice petitioners who relied thereon.
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We find that petitioners are entitled to damages for the invalid foreclosure of their property. The RTC held respondent bank HSBC-SRP and Estacion solidarily liable for the payment of damages. However, we only find respondent HSBC-SRP liable as it was the one which illegally foreclosed petitioners’ mortgaged property. However, respondent HSBC, as correctly pointed out by the CA, was not a party to the real estate mortgage executed between respondent HSBC-SRP and petitioners nor it had participation in the foreclosure proceedings. On the other hand, Estacion was only a trustee of respondent HSBC-SRP acting within the scope of its authority.
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The RTC awarded moral damages, exemplary damages, attorney’s fees, plus P2,000.00 for every appearance, and costs of litigation.

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Moral damages are meant to compensate the claimant for any physical suffering, mental anguish, fright, serious anxiety, besmirched reputation, wounded feelings, moral shock, social humiliation, and similar injuries unjustly caused. Petitioner Rosalina has adequately established the factual basis for the award of moral damages when she testified that she felt shocked and horrified upon knowing of the foreclosure sale. However, we find the RTC’s award of P2,000,000.00 excessive and unconscionable, and reduce the salve to P100,000.00.

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Exemplary damages are imposed by way of example for the public good, in addition to moral, temperate, liquidated or compensatory damages. 36 We reduce the RTC’s award of P500,000.00 to P30,000.00.
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Attorneys fees are allowed when exemplary damages are awarded and when the party to a suit is compelled to incur expenses to protect his interest. We find the RTC’s award of attorney’s fees in the amount of P100,000.00 proper.
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This is from a supreme court case SPOUSES GILDARDO LOQUELLANO and ROSALINA JULIET B. LOQUELLANO, petitioners xxx Tags: Resign Resignation Back wages Backwages Length of service pay benefit employee employer relationship Silay Kabankalan Daan Bantayan Dalaguete Dumanjug Ginatilan Liloan 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 Tudela Camotes General Luna Siargao Cagayan Davao Kidapawan Attorney Abogado Lawyer Architect Real Estate Broker 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 Luz 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 extra-judicial extrajudicial foreclosure

Alcantara Alcoy Alegria 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 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 Tudela Camotes General Luna Siargao Cagayan Davao Kidapawan Attorney Abogado Lawyer Architect Real Estate Broker 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 Luz Kristin tct transfer certificate of title tax declaration

Attacking a court decision

The attack against the validity of the decision is entirely bereft of merit and justification.

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For sure, every party-litigant has the right to an impartial and disinterested tribunal. In view of this right, every party may seek the inhibition or disqualification of a judge who does not appear to be wholly free, disinterested, impartial and independent in handling a case. Nonetheless, the invocation of the right is always weighed against the duty of the judge to decide cases without fear of repression.

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The motion by the litigant for the inhibition or disqualification of a judge is regulated by the Rules of Court. Section 1, first paragraph, Rule 137 of the Rules of Court stipulates that a judge or judicial officer shall be mandatorily disqualified to sit in any of the instances enumerated therein, namely: where he, or his wife or child is pecuniarily interested as heir, legatee, creditor or otherwise; or where he is related to either party within the sixth degree of consanguinity or affinity; or where he is related to counsel within the fourth degree; or where he has been executor, administrator, guardian, trustee or counsel; or where he has presided in any inferior court, and his ruling or decision is the subject of review. The second paragraph of the rule concerns voluntary inhibition, and allows the judge, in the exercise of his sound discretion, to disqualify himself from sitting in a case “for just or valid reasons other than those mentioned above.” The exercise of discretion for this purpose is a matter of conscience for him, and is addressed primarily to his sense of fairness and justice.

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The grounds for the mandatory inhibition of the Members of the Court, which are analogous to those mentioned in Rule 137 of the Rules of Court, are embodied in Section 1, Rule 8 of the Internal Rules of the Supreme Court, quoted as follows:
Section 1. Grounds for inhibition. — A Member of the Court shall inhibit himself or herself from participating in the resolution of the case for any of these and similar reasons:

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(a) The Member of the Court was the ponente of the decision or participated in the proceedings in the appellate or trial court;
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(b) The Member of the Court was counsel, partner, or member of a law firm that is or was the counsel in the case subject to Section 3(c) of this rule;
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(c) The Member of the Court or his or her spouse, parent or child is pecuniarily interested in the case;
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(d) The Member of the Court is related to either party in the case within the sixth degree of consanguinity or affinity;
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(e) The Member of the Court was executor, administrator, guardian or trustee in the case; and
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(f) The Member of the Court was an official or is the spouse of an official or former official of a government agency or private entity that is a party to the case, and the Justice or his or her spouse has reviewed or acted on any matter relating to the case.
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A Member of the Court may in the exercise of his or her sound discretion, inhibit himself or herself for a just or valid reason other than any of those mentioned above.
The inhibiting Member must state the precise reason for the inhibition.
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The grounds for seeking the inhibition of the Members of the Court must be stated in the motion. Yet, in now seeking the inhibition of all the Members of the Third Division who have ruled on the appeal, respondents neither advert to any of the grounds for mandatory inhibition nor point to the bias or partiality of said Members. Their motion only suggests that the earlier voluntary inhibition by Justice Velasco would not deter him from wielding undue influence over the remaining Members of the Third Division because he remained their Chairman.
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The suggestion assaults not only Justice Velasco’s character but also the character of the remaining Members of the Third Division. The assault is both unfair, and even worse, presumptuous. Indeed, Justice Velasco, following his self-disqualification, had nothing more to do with the case. At any rate, respondents ignore that the remaining Members of the Third Division would not be influenced by a disqualified Member upon matters involved in the case in which the latter no longer takes part.

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Moreover, respondents’ calling now for the inhibition of the Members of the Third Division only after they had rendered their decision adversely was no longer a viable remedy. Under Section 2, Rule 8 of the Internal Rules of the Supreme Court, the granting of any motion for the inhibition of a Division or a Member of the Court after a decision on the merits of the case had been rendered is forbidden except if there is some valid or just reason (such as a showing of graft and corrupt practice, or such as a valid ground not earlier apparent).
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Respondents’ motion to refer the case to the Court En Banc is equally unworthy of consideration. In this regard, the grounds to justify a referral of any case to the Banc are long recognized. Section 3, Rule 2 of the Internal Rules of the Supreme Court specifically enumerates the matters and cases that the Court En Banc shall act on, viz.:
SEC. 3. Court en banc matters and cases. — The Court en banc shall act on the following matters and cases:
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(a) cases in which the constitutionality or validity of any treaty, international or executive agreement, law, executive order, presidential decree, proclamation, order, instruction, ordinance, or regulation is in question;

(b) criminal cases in which the appealed decision imposes the death penalty or reclusion perpetua;

(c) cases raising novel questions of law;

(d) cases affecting ambassadors, other public ministers, and consuls;
(e) cases involving decisions, resolutions, and orders of the Civil Service Commission, the Commission on Elections, and the Commission on Audit;
(f) cases where the penalty recommended or imposed is the dismissal of a judge, the disbarment of a lawyer, the suspension of any of them for a period of more than one year, or a fine exceeding forty thousand pesos;
(g) cases covered by the preceding paragraph and involving the reinstatement in the judiciary of a dismissed judge, the reinstatement of a lawyer in the roll of attorneys, or the lifting of a judge’s suspension or a lawyer’s suspension from the practice of law;
(h) cases involving the discipline of a Member of the Court, or a Presiding Justice, or any Associate Justice of the collegial appellate courts;
(i) cases where a doctrine or principle laid down by the Court en banc or by a Division may be modified or reversed;
(j) cases involving conflicting decisions of two or more divisions;
(k) cases where three votes in a Division cannot be obtained;
(l) Division cases where the subject matter has a huge financial impact on businesses or affects the welfare of a community;
(m) subject to Section 11 (b) of this rule, other division cases that, in the opinion of at least three Members of the Division who are voting and present, are appropriate for transfer to the Court en banc;
(n) cases that the Court en banc deems of sufficient importance to merit its attention; and
(o) all matters involving policy decisions in the administrative supervision of all courts and their personnel.
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None of the aforecited matters and cases is applicable to this case, for respondents did not show in their motion how, if at all, this case came under any of the matters and cases listed in Section 3, Rule 2 of the Internal Rules of the Supreme Court.
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Respondents did not also demonstrate how the Third Division could have contravened the procedures for handling the appeal set in the Internal Rules of the Supreme Court. Their insistence that Justice Martires and Justice Gesmundo had not studied the case prior to the deliberations and voting held on August 16, 2017 was speculative, if not outrightly false. The truth is that the four deciding Members of the Third Division deliberated and unanimously voted on the result. The fifth Member, Justice Caguioa, was absent because he was then on leave, but his absence did not render the deliberation and voting irregular. Far to the contrary, the deliberation and voting conformed to Section 4, second paragraph, Rule 8 of the Internal Rules of the Supreme Court, which reads:

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Section 4. x x x
xxx xxx xxx
When a Member of the Division is on leave, he/she shall no longer be replaced as long as there is a quorum of at least three (3) members, and said absent Member who participated in the deliberation of the case shall be allowed to leave his or her vote pursuant to Section 4 of Rule 12.
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Worthy to stress is that the Court is composed of 15 Members who are assigned to the three Divisions. The assignment of the Members to the Divisions pursuant to the Internal Rules of the Supreme Court is based on seniority and on the vacancies to be filled. All the decisions promulgated and actions taken in Division cases rest upon the concurrence of at least three Members of the Division who actually take part in the deliberations and vote. The decisions or resolutions of each Division are not any less the decisions or resolutions of the Court itself. In short, the Court En Banc is not appellate in respect of the Divisions, for each Division is like the Court En Banc itself, not the inferior to the Court En Banc.

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Lastly, respondents point to the initial dismissal of the appeal. However, such initial dismissal no longer matters considering that the Court already reconsidered it and reinstated the appeal as a consequence. As such, the decision on the merits promulgated herein was entirely valid and effective.

Tags: Sesante Villanueva Ruz Jan Edmond Marc Tim Timothy Luz 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 employment visa

Alcantara Alcoy Alegria Aloguinsan Argao Asturias Badian Balamban Bantayan Barili Boljoon Borbon Carmen Catmon Compostela Consolacion Cordova Daanbantayan Dumaguete Bais Sibulan Tampi Bacong Negros Bacolod Silay Kabankalan Daan Bantayan Dalaguete Dumanjug Ginatilan Liloan 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 Tudela Camotes General Luna Siargao Cagayan Davao Kidapawan Attorney Abogado Lawyer Architect Real Estate Broker 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

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AN ACTION FOR RECONVEYANCE IS NOT AFFECTED BY AN ALLEGATION SEEKING THE APPOINTMENT OF ADMINISTRATRIX OF THE ESTATE

In an action for reconveyance, an allegation seeking appointment as administratrix of an estate, would not oust the RTC of its jurisdiction over the whole case. An action for reconveyance, which involves title to property worth millions of pesos, such as the lots subject of this case, is cognizable by the RTC. Likewise falling within its jurisdiction are actions “incapable of pecuniary estimation,” such as the appointment of an administratrix for an estate. Even the Rules on Venue of estate proceedings (Section 1 of Rule 73 impliedly recognizes the jurisdiction of the RTC over petitions for granting of letters of administration. On the other hand, probate proceedings for the settlement of estate are within the ambit of either the RTC or MTC depending on the net worth of the estate.

[G.R. No. 122646. March 14, 1997.]
ADELIA C. MENDOZA, for herself and Administratrix of the Intestate Estate of the late NORBERTO B. MENDOZA, petitioners, vs. HON. ANGELITO C. TEH, Presiding Judge, Branch 87, RTC, Rosario, Batangas, SPS. HERMINIO & CLARITA TAYAG @ SPS. GEORGE T. TIGLAO & CLARIZZA T. TIGLAO and/or @ TEOFILO M. ESGUERA, LEONOR M. ESGUERA, LETICIA M. ESGUERA, JOEL M. ESGUERA, RICARDO M. ESGUERA, VOLTAIRE E. TAYAG, BENITO I. TAYAG, MERLIE MALIG, ALBERTO T. TAYAG, ROSEMARIE T. TAYAG, LETICIA E. LULU and the REGISTER OF DEEDS FOR THE PROVINCE OF BATANGAS, respondents.