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PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

FIRST DIVISION

[G.R. No. L-31115. February 24, 1978.]

LUCILO U. GARCIA, Petitioner, v. THE COURT OF APPEALS, HON. FILEMON H. MENDOZA, as Presiding Judge of the Municipal Court of the Capital of Batangas and SPOUSES LUIS OLMOS and ANASTACIA OLMOS, Respondents.


R E S O L U T I O N


MUÑOZ PALMA, J.:


The sole issue posed in thus Petition for Review is whether or not Civil Case No. 1223 pending before the Court of First Instance of Batangas raises a prejudicial question which is to be decided before Criminal Case No. 1286 may be tried and resolved by the municipal court of Batangas, Batangas, presided by Judge Filemon H. Mendoza.

Briefly stated, the facts which led to the filing of this Petition are as follows:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

In Criminal Case No. 1268 of the municipal court of Batangas, Batangas, an Information dated November 7, 1968, was filed against Lucilo Garcia Y Untalan accusing the latter of estafa, alleging that the accused received in trust as a deposit from the complainant, Mrs. Anastacia Olmos, the sum of P8,000 with obligation to return the same should her husband not consent to her purchasing a residential lot from L. U. Garcia Realty, Inc.; that the accused failed to return said amount to Mrs. Olmos and converted the same for his own purpose inspite of her demands for the return of said amount because of the refusal of her husband to approve the transaction.

A motion for suspension of a criminal action was filed by Lucilo Garcia claiming that he had filed Civil Case No. 1223 before the Court of First Instance of Batangas for "specific performance and damages" against Spouses Luis and Anastacia Olmos in connection with their purchase of a residential lot which case raises a prejudicial question to be decided before the criminal action may proceed. This motion of the accused was denied by municipal judge Filemon H. Mendoza on March 12, 1969.

Lucilo Garcia filed a petition for certiorari and/or prohibition with the Court of Appeals docketed therein as C.A. G.R. No. 43141-R, but in a decision promulgated on August 9, 1969, the Court of Appeals through its special fifth division, affirmed the order of the municipal court of Batangas . It is that decision which is now the subject of this Petition for review.

On November 25, 1977, private respondent-spouses Olmos through their counsel, Atty. Jesus Montalbo, filed a motion to dismiss this Petition on the Found that the same had become moot with the termination of Civil Case No. 1223 for "Specific Performance and Damages." chanrobles virtual lawlibrary

Complying with Our Resolution on January 13, 1978, petitioner’s counsel, Atty. Ponciano M. Mortera, filed his comment dated January 30, 1978, wherein it was admitted that Civil Case No. 1223 was decided adversely against the petitioner herein, Lucilo Garcia; that said decision of the trial court was appealed to the Court of Appeals under C.A. G.R. No. 69742-R, and on October 4, 1977, plaintiff-appellant, Lucilo Garcia, filed a "Motion to Withdraw Appeal" which was granted by the Appellate Court in its resolution of October 6, 1977.

IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, We find private respondents’ "Motion to Dismiss" to be in order, and We hereby dismiss this Petition for review, without pronouncement as to costs.chanrobles virtual lawlibrary

So Ordered.

Teehankee (Chairman), Makasiar, Fernandez and Guerrero, JJ., concur.

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