G.R. No. 193592, February 05, 2014
PASIG PRINTING CORPORATION, Petitioner, v. ROCKLAND CONSTRUCTION COMPANY, INC., Respondent.
[G.R. No. 193610]
REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, REPRESENTED BY THE PRESIDENTIAL COMMISSION ON GOOD GOVERNMENT (PCGG) AND MID–PASIG LAND DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION (MPLDC), Petitioner, v. ROCKLAND CONSTRUCTION COMPANY, INC., Respondent.
[G.R. No. 193686]
MID–PASIG LAND DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, (MPLDC), Petitioner, v. ROCKLAND CONSTRUCTION COMPANY, INC., Respondent.
R E S O L U T I O N
WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED. The assailed Resolution of the Court of Appeals are REVERSED and SET ASIDE. However, in view of the developments which have rendered the issue of the right of possession over the subject property moot and academic, the main case is hereby considered CLOSED AND TERMINATED.Despite its mootness as held in Tablante, the issue of possession again surfaced in the third case, an indirect contempt case pending before the RTC docketed as SCA Case No. 2673. This was filed against MPLDC for its refusal to reconnect the electric supply in the subject property. On September 17, 2004, this case was dismissed. The RTC, however, awarded the possession to MPLDC with Rockland being ordered to refrain from exercising any possessory rights over the same.
No pronouncement as to costs.
WHEREFORE, premises considered, the Motion for Reconsideration, dated September 27, 2004, is denied and the dispositive portion of this Court’s Resolution, dated September 17, 2004, is hereby reiterated and re–affirmed.On November 16, 2004, the above resolution was implemented by the Sheriff, thus, possession of the subject property was turned over to PPC on the basis of the option to lease agreement with MPLDC.
Moreover, the instant Urgent Motion to Intervene, filed by Intervenor Pasig Printing Corporation, is hereby granted. Likewise, the prayer for immediate execution of the Resolution of this Court, dated September 17, 2004, is also hereby granted.
Consequently, pursuant to the Intervenor’s prayer, the Court’s Sheriff is hereby directed to implement forthwith the subject Resolution, dated September 17, 2004, employing reasonable force, if necessary, including the padlocking of the MC Home Depot premises, located at Ortigas Avenue corner Meralco Avenue, Pasig City, Metro Manila and make the corresponding return thereon immediately. Let the Clerk of Court issue the corresponding Writ of Execution for the implementation of the subject Resolution dated September 17, 2004.
WHEREFORE, the assailed Resolution dated September 17, 2004 and the Omnibus Order dated November 12, 2004 are hereby partially AFFIRMED, that is, only insofar as they dismissed the charge for indirect contempt against Mid–Pasig Land Development Corporation, Ernesto R. Jalandoni, Manila Electric Company and Alfonso Y. Lacap. The same Resolution and Omnibus Order are ANNULLED and SET ASIDE in all other respects, specifically insofar as they 1) declared Mid–Pasig as the rightful possessor of the subject property; 2) ordered Rockland to refrain from exercising any possessory right over the same; and 3) granted Pasig Printing Corporation’s Motion to Intervene and for Immediate Execution. Accordingly, the Writ of Execution issued on November 16, 2004, by virtue of which the possession of the subject property was turned over to private respondent Pasig Printing Corporation, is likewise NULLIFIED and SET ASIDE.Again, the above decision of the CA reached the Court. In its resolution on the petition, dated August 31, 2005, and in another resolution on the motion for reconsideration, dated December 7, 2005, the CA’s ruling was affirmed.
No pronouncement as to costs.
ACCORDINGLY, the petition is GRANTED. The Order dated August 10, 2007 is NULLIFIED and SET ASIDE, and the Order dated March 29, 2007 REINSTATED. Respondent Judge is directed to immediately implement the Order dated March 29, 2007, without any further delay. Costs against Mid–Pasig Land Development Corporation and Pasig Printing Corporation.11ChanRoblesVirtualawlibraryWith movants’ motion for reconsideration denied by the CA on August 27, 2010, petitions for certiorari under Rule 45 were filed before this Court.
Petitioner [Mid–Pasig Land Development Corporation], in its Memorandum dated October 28, 2005, alleged that respondents’ possessory claims had lapsed and, therefore, had become moot and academic. Respondent Rockland prayed that a three year–period be granted to it in order that it would be able to plan its activities more efficiently. Since the claimed “lease contract” had already expired as of July or August 2003, there appears no reason why respondents should continue to have any claim to further possession of the property.Although the above decision considered the “main case” or the issue of possession as moot and academic, as can be gleaned therefrom, the Court granted the petition and reversed the CA. In the process, the Court adjudicated on Rockland’s right to possess the subject property. The Court clearly stated that the said right was already extinguished by virtue of the expiration of Rockland’s leasehold rights way back in 2003.
Respondent Rockland also stated in its Memorandum dated March 16, 2006 that it was no longer in possession of the subject property considering that:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary50. In a Resolution dated 17 September 2004, in the case of “Rockland Construction Company, Inc. v. Mid–Pasig Land Development Corporation, et. al., docketed as SCA No. 2673 and the Omnibus Order dated 12 November 2004, affirming the aforesaid Resolution, Branch 67 Pasig City Regional Trial Court Presiding Judge Mariano M. Singzon awarded possession (albeit erroneously) of subject property to Pasig Printing Corporation, an intervenor in the SCA case.This allegation was confirmed by respondent MC Home Depot, in its Comment/Memorandum dated May 22, 2007 submitted to the Court. It stated therein that “the passage of time has rendered the issue of possession moot and academic with respect to respondent Rockland, as the three–year period has long been expired in 2003. Furthermore, respondent MC Home Depot, Inc. asserts that it is in the rightful possession of the land on the strength of a Memorandum of Agreement dated November 22, 2004 between the latter and Pasig Printing Corporation. By petitioner’s admission that while it remains the registered owner of the land, possession of the same had been adjudicated in favour of Pasig Printing Corporation, another entity without any contractual relationship with petitioner, on the strength of an Order from the RTC of Pasig City. Considering that Pasig Printing Corporation has the jus possessionis over the subject property, it granted the MC Home Depot, Inc. actual occupation and possession of the subject property for a period of four (4) years, renewable for another four (4) years upon mutual agreement of the parties.
51. At present, petitioner does not have a cause of action against herein respondent Rockland. Respondent is not unlawfully withholding possession of the property in question as in fact respondent is not in possession of the subject property. The issue of possession in this ejectment case has therefore been rendered moot and academic.
WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED. The assailed Resolution of the Court of Appeals are REVERSED and SET ASIDE. However, in view of the developments which have rendered the issue of the right of possession over the subject property moot and academic, the main case is hereby considered CLOSED AND TERMINATED.
No pronouncement as to costs.
It is a rule of universal application, almost, that courts of justice constituted to pass upon substantial rights will not consider questions in which no actual interests are involved; they decline jurisdiction of moot cases. And where the issue has become moot and academic, there is no justiciable controversy, so that a declaration thereon would be of no practical use or value. There is no actual substantial relief to which petitioners would be entitled and which would be negated by the dismissal of the petition.12ChanRoblesVirtualawlibraryAt the time the CA issued its assailed May 11, 2010 decision, the Court had already pronounced in Tablante the end of Rockland’s claim over the subject property because of the expiration of its lease. By that very fact, Rockland has no more possessory right over it.
1Rollo (G.R. No. 193592), p. 311.
2 Id. at 299.
3 Id. at 297.
4 G.R. No. 162924, February 4, 2010, 611 SCRA 528.
5Rollo (G.R. No. 193592), pp. 254–255.
6 As cited by the CA in its January 25, 2005 Decision, rollo (G.R. No. 193592), p. 134.
7Rollo (G.R. No. 193592), p. 121.
8 Id. at 146–147.
9 Id. at 224.
10 Id. at 36.
11 Id. at 48.
12Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company v. Eastern Telecommunications Philippines Inc., G.R. No. 163037, February 6, 2013, 690 SCRA 1.
13David v. Macapagal–Arroyo, 522 Phil. 806 (2004).