G.R. No. 173616, June 25, 2014
AIR TRANSPORTATION OFFICE (ATO), Petitioner, v. HON. COURT OF APPEALS (NINETEENTH DIVISION) AND BERNIE G. MIAQUE, Respondents.
D E C I S I O N
LEONARDO-DE CASTRO, J.:
WHEREFORE, judgment is rendered finding [Miaque] to be unlawfully detaining the following premises and orders [him], his men and privies to:RTC of Iloilo City: Civil Case No. 02-27292
a. vacate the 800[-]square meter Refreshment Parlor fronting the New Terminal Building-Iloilo Airport. [Miaque] is further ordered to pay [the ATO] the rental and concessionaire privilege fee[s] accruing from November 1986 to October 2000, totaling P460,060.70, plus differential billings from January 1990 to July 1993 for P4,652.60 and interest charges from January 2000 to October 2000 for P2,678.38 or a total amount of P467,397.68 as of October 2000, less the payments made by [Miaque] under Official Receipt No. 4317842 dated December 1998, and the monthly current lease/concession privilege fee from November 2000 until [Miaque] shall have vacated the premises;
(b) vacate the 310[-]square meter Restaurant/Gift Shop inside the Iloilo Terminal Building which was reduced to a total of 183 square meters in 1998 (51.56 square meters inside the pre-departure area and 126.72 square meters outside the pre-departure area). [Miaque] is also ordered to pay [the ATO] rentals/concessionaire’s privilege fee[s] from January 16, 1992 to October 15, 2000 in the total amount of P719,708.43 and from October 16, 2000, to pay the current monthly lease/concessionaire privilege fees until [Miaque] shall have vacated the premises; and
(c) vacate the area occupied or used by [Miaque] incident to his operation of the Porterage Service within the Iloilo Airport. [Miaque] is further ordered to pay Tender Offer Fee due from March 1992 to October 2000 in the total amount of P108,997.07. [Miaque] is further ordered to pay the current monthly concession privilege fee from October 2000 until such time that [Miaque] shall have vacated the premises.
Costs against [Miaque].5
Wherefore, in view of the above consideration, the court finds merit [i]n the reasons given in the motion of [the ATO] and hereby Grants the issuance of a Writ of Execution.Miaque sought reconsideration of the above Order but the RTC denied the motion in an Order16 dated August 13, 2004. Thereafter, the RTC issued a Writ of Execution dated August 16, 2004.17cralawred
Pursuant to Section 21, Rule 70 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, which mandates that the judgment of this Court being immediately executory in cases of this nature, let a writ of execution shall issue, ordering the sheriff of this Court to effect its Decision dated June 7, 2003, affirming the Decision of the MTCC, Branch 3, Iloilo City.
Furnish copies of this order to the Asst. Solicitor Almira Tomampos of the Office of the Solicitor General and Atty. Rex Rico, counsel for [Miaque].15
the Restaurant/Gift Shop inside the Iloilo Terminal Building in the reduced area of 183 square meters; and
the area which Miaque occupied or used incident to his operation of the Porterage Service within the Iloilo Airport.
Before us for resolution is [Miaque]’s application for the issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction that would restrain the respondent judge, Sheriffs Marcial B. Lambuso, Winston T. Eguia, Camilo I. Divinagracia, Jr. and Eric George S. Luntao and all other persons acting for and in their behalves, from enforcing the orders issued by the respondent judge on March 20, 2006 and March 24, 2006, including the writ[s] of execution issued pursuant thereto, while the petition in the case at bench is still pending with us.The present petition
After examining judiciously the record in this case, together with the submissions and contentions of the parties, we have come up with a finding and so hold that there is a sufficient showing by [Miaque] that the grounds for the issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction enumerated in Section 3 of Rule 58 of the 1997 Revised Rules of Court exist. We find that [Miaque] has a right in esse to be protected and the acts against which the injunction is sought to be directed are violative of said right. To our mind, [Miaque] appears to have a clear legal right to hold on to the premises leased by him from ATO at least until such time when he shall have been duly ejected therefrom by a writ of execution of judgment caused to be issued by the MTCC in Iloilo City, which is the court of origin of the decision promulgated by this Court in CA-G.R. SP No. 79439 on April 29, 2005. Under the attendant circumstances, it appears that the respondent judge or the RTC in Iloilo City has no jurisdiction to order the issuance of such writ of execution because we gave due course to the petition for review filed with us in CA-G.R. SP No. 79439 and, in fact, rendered a decision on the merit in said case, thereby divesting the RTC in Iloilo City of jurisdiction over the case as provided for in the third paragraph of Section 8(a) of Rule 42 of the 1997 Revised Rules of Court. In City of Manila vs. Court of Appeals, 204 SCRA 362, as cited in Mocles vs. Maravilla, 239 SCRA 188, the Supreme Court held as follows:ChanRoblesVirtualawlibrary“The rule is that, if the judgment of the metropolitan trial court is appealed to the RTC and the decision of the latter itself is elevated to the CA whose decision thereafter became final, the case should be remanded through the RTC to the metropolitan trial court for execution.”WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing premises, a WRIT OF PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION is hereby ordered or caused to be issued by us enjoining the respondent judge, Sheriffs Marcial B. Lambuso, Winston T. Eguia, Camilo I. Divinagracia, Jr. and Eric George S. Luntao and all other persons acting for and in their behalves, from enforcing the orders issued by the respondent judge on March 20, 2006 and March 24, 2006, including the writ[s] of execution issued pursuant thereto, while the petition in the case at bench is still pending with us.
This is subject to the petitioner’s putting up of a bond in the sum of ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND PESOS (P100,000.00) to the effect that he will pay to the respondent ATO all damages which said office may sustain by reason of the injunctive writ if we should finally decide that [Miaque] is not entitled thereto.36
b) The legal issues raised by the petition [in CA-G.R. CEB-SP No. 01603] are very simple and not complicated. In fact, the threshold issue, i.e., whether or not respondent court (RTC) has jurisdiction to issue the writ of execution after the appeal over its decision had been perfected and the petition for review [in CA-G.R. SP No. 79439] given due course, is exactly the same one earlier raised by [the ATO itself in its] “Motion for Reconsideration” of the Resolution dated June 14, 2005, in CA G.R. No. 79439, entitled “Bernie G. Miaque vs. Hon. Danilo P. Galvez and Air Transportation Office (ATO)”, (same parties in this proceeding), then pending before the 20th Division, Court of Appeals, Cebu City.The ATO further contends that the subject premises form part of a public utility infrastructure and, pursuant to Presidential Decree No. 1818, the issuance of a TRO against a public utility infrastructure is prohibited.40cralawred
Hence, all that [the ATO has] to do is simply to reiterate [its] said arguments, the law and jurisprudence [it has] earlier invoked and, if [it wishes], add some more arguments, laws or jurisprudence thereto. Such an exercise would definitely not require a sixty (60) day period. A ten (10) day period is more than sufficient.39
Sec. 21. Immediate execution on appeal to Court of Appeals or Supreme Court. – The judgment of the Regional Trial Court against the defendant shall be immediately executory, without prejudice to a further appeal that may be taken therefrom. (Emphasis supplied.)This reflects Section 21 of the Revised Rule on Summary Procedure:ChanRoblesVirtualawlibrary
Sec. 21. Appeal. - The judgment or final order shall be appealable to the appropriate Regional Trial Court which shall decide the same in accordance with Section 22 of Batas Pambansa Blg. 129. The decision of the Regional Trial Court in civil cases governed by this Rule, including forcible entry and unlawful detainer, shall be immediately executory, without prejudice to a further appeal that may be taken therefrom. Section 10 of Rule 70 shall be deemed repealed. (Emphasis and underscoring supplied.)The above provisions are supplemented and reinforced by Section 4, Rule 39 and Section 8(b), Rule 42 of the Rules of Court which respectively provide:ChanRoblesVirtualawlibrary
Sec. 4. Judgments not stayed by appeal. – Judgments in actions for injunction, receivership, accounting and support, and such other judgments as are now or may hereafter be declared to be immediately executory, shall be enforceable after their rendition and shall not be stayed by an appeal taken therefrom, unless otherwise ordered by the trial court. On appeal therefrom, the appellate court in its discretion may make an order suspending, modifying, restoring or granting the injunction, receivership, accounting, or award of support.The totality of all the provisions above shows the following significant characteristics of the RTC judgment in an ejectment case appealed to it:
The stay of execution shall be upon such terms as to bond or otherwise as may be considered proper for the security or protection of the rights of the adverse party.
x x x x
Sec. 8. Perfection of appeal; effect thereof. –
(a) Upon the timely filing of a petition for review and the payment of the corresponding docket and other lawful fees, the appeal is deemed perfected as to the petitioner.
The Regional Trial Court loses jurisdiction over the case upon the perfection of the appeals filed in due time and the expiration of the time to appeal of the other parties.
However, before the Court of Appeals gives due course to the petition, the Regional Trial Court may issue orders for the protection and preservation of the rights of the parties which do not involve any matter litigated by the appeal, approve compromises, permit appeals of indigent litigants, order execution pending appeal in accordance with Section 2 of Rule 39, and allow withdrawal of the appeal.
(b) Except in civil cases decided under the Rules on Summary Procedure, the appeal shall stay the judgment or final order unless the Court of Appeals, the law, or these Rules shall provide otherwise. (Emphases supplied.)
The judgment of the RTC against the defendant-appellant is immediately executory, without prejudice to a further appeal that may be taken therefrom; and
Such judgment of the RTC is not stayed by an appeal taken therefrom, unless otherwise ordered by the RTC or, in the appellate court’s discretion, suspended or modified.
Sec. 10. Stay of execution on appeal to Court of Appeals or Supreme Court. – Where defendant appeals from a judgment of the Court of First Instance, execution of said judgment, with respect to the restoration of possession, shall not be stayed unless the appellant deposits the same amounts and within the periods referred to in section 8 of this rule to be disposed of in the same manner as therein provided.Under the old provision, the procedure on appeal from the RTC’s judgment to the Court of Appeals was, with the exception of the need for a supersedeas bond which was not applicable, virtually the same as the procedure on appeal of the MTC’s judgment to the RTC. Thus, in the contemplated recourse to the Court of Appeals, the defendant, after perfecting his appeal, could also prevent the immediate execution of the judgment by making the periodic deposit of rentals during the pendency of the appeal and thereby correspondingly prevent restitution of the premises to the plaintiff who had already twice vindicated his claim to the property in the two lower courts. On the other hand, under the amendatory procedure introduced by the present Section 21 of Rule 70, the judgment of the RTC shall be immediately executory and can accordingly be enforced forthwith. It shall not be stayed by the mere continuing deposit of monthly rentals by the dispossessor during the pendency of the case in the Court of Appeals or this Court, although such execution of the judgment shall be without prejudice to that appeal taking its due course. This reiterates Section 21 of the Revised Rule on Summary Procedure which replaced the appellate procedure in, and repealed, the former Section 10, Rule 70 of the 1964 Rules of Court.46Teresa T. Gonzales La’O & Co., Inc. v. Sheriff Hatab47 states:ChanRoblesVirtualawlibrary
Unlike Rule 70 of the 1964 Revised Rules of Court where the defendant, after perfecting his appeal, could prevent the immediate execution of the judgment by taking an appeal and making a periodic deposit of monthly rentals during the pendency of the appeal thereby preventing the plaintiff from taking possession of the premises in the meantime, the present wording of Section 21, Rule 70 explicitly provides that the judgment of the regional trial court in ejectment cases appealed to it shall be immediately executory and can be enforced despite the perfection of an appeal to a higher court.48 (Emphasis supplied.)The RTC’s duty to issue a writ of execution under Section 21 of Rule 70 is ministerial and may be compelled by mandamus.49 Section 21 of Rule 70 presupposes that the defendant in a forcible entry or unlawful detainer case is unsatisfied with the RTC’s judgment and appeals to a higher court. It authorizes the RTC to immediately issue a writ of execution without prejudice to the appeal taking its due course.50 The rationale of immediate execution of judgment in an ejectment case is to avoid injustice to a lawful possessor.51 Nevertheless, it should be stressed that the appellate court may stay the writ of execution should circumstances so require.52cralawred
Section 2. Discretionary execution. –Discretionary execution is authorized while the trial court, which rendered the judgment sought to be executed, still has jurisdiction over the case as the period to appeal has not yet lapsed and is in possession of either the original record or the record on appeal, as the case may be, at the time of the filing of the motion for execution. It is part of the trial court’s residual powers, or those powers which it retains after losing jurisdiction over the case as a result of the perfection of the appeal.53 As a rule, the judgment of the RTC, rendered in the exercise of its appellate jurisdiction, being sought to be executed in a discretionary execution is stayed by the appeal to the Court of Appeals pursuant to Section 8(b), Rule 42 of the Rules of Court. On the other hand, execution of the RTC’s judgment under Section 21, Rule 70 is not discretionary execution but a ministerial duty of the RTC.54 It is not governed by Section 2, Rule 39 of the Rules of Court but by Section 4, Rule 39 of the Rules of Court on judgments not stayed by appeal. In this connection, it is not covered by the general rule, that the judgment of the RTC is stayed by appeal to the Court of Appeals under Section 8(b), Rule 42 of the Rules of Court, but constitutes an exception to the said rule. In connection with the second characteristic of the RTC judgment in an ejectment case appealed to it, the consequence of the above distinctions between discretionary execution and the execution of the RTC’s judgment in an ejectment case on appeal to the Court of Appeals is that the former may be availed of in the RTC only before the Court of Appeals gives due course to the appeal while the latter may be availed of in the RTC at any stage of the appeal to the Court of Appeals. But then again, in the latter case, the Court of Appeals may stay the writ of execution issued by the RTC should circumstances so require.55City of Naga v. Hon. Asuncion56 explains:ChanRoblesVirtualawlibrary
(a) Execution of a judgment or a final order pending appeal. – On motion of the prevailing party with notice to the adverse party filed in the trial court while it has jurisdiction over the case and is in possession of either the original record or the record on appeal, as the case may be, at the time of the filing of such motion, said court may, in its discretion, order execution of a judgment or final order even before the expiration of the period to appeal.
After the trial court has lost jurisdiction, the motion for execution pending appeal may be filed in the appellate court.
Discretionary execution may only issue upon good reasons to be stated in a special order after due hearing.
(b) Execution of several, separate or partial judgments. – A several, separate or partial judgment may be executed under the same terms and conditions as execution of a judgment or final order pending appeal.
This is not to say that the losing defendant in an ejectment case is without recourse to avoid immediate execution of the RTC decision. The defendant may x x x appeal said judgment to the Court of Appeals and therein apply for a writ of preliminary injunction. Thus, as held in Benedicto v. Court of Appeals, even if RTC judgments in unlawful detainer cases are immediately executory, preliminary injunction may still be granted. (Citation omitted.)To reiterate, despite the immediately executory nature of the judgment of the RTC in ejectment cases, which judgment is not stayed by an appeal taken therefrom, the Court of Appeals may issue a writ of preliminary injunction that will restrain or enjoin the execution of the RTC’s judgment. In the exercise of such authority, the Court of Appeals should constantly be aware that the grant of a preliminary injunction in a case rests on the sound discretion of the court with the caveat that it should be made with great caution.57cralawred
1Rollo, pp. 45-46; penned by Associate Justice Isaias P. Dicdican with Associate Justices Vicente L. Yap and Apolinario D. Bruselas, Jr., concurring.
2 Id. at 47-49; penned by Associate Justice Isaias P. Dicdican with Associate Justices Ramon M. Bato, Jr. and Apolinario D. Bruselas, Jr., concurring.
3 Id. at 50-62.
4 Id. at 63-78.
5 Id. at 77-78.
6 Id. at 79-89.
7 Id. at 100-103.
8 Id. at 125-133.
9 Id. at 135-136.
10 Id. at 159.
11 Id. at 160. Upon finality, entry of judgment was made on July 10, 2006.
12 Id. at 161-162.
13 Id. at 163-171.
14 Id. at 172-174.
15 Id. at 174.
16 Id. at 175-176.
17 Id. at 177-180.
18 Id. at 181-184.
19 Id. at 186-194.
20 Id. at 195-200.
21 Id. at 201-207.
22 Id. at 210-212.
23 Id. at 213-216.
24 Id. at 208-209.
25 Id. at 249-256.
26 Id. at 257-262.
27 Id. at 263-264.
28 Id. at 217-219.
29 Id. at 243-244.
30 Id. at 272-273.
31 Id. at 265-277.
32 Id. at 278-285.
33 Id. at 302-305.
34 Id. at 306-327.
35 Id. at 329-365.
36 Id. at 47-49.
37 Id. at 21-25.
38 Id. at 28-29.
39 Id. at 26. Underscoring supplied in the ATO’s petition.
40 Id. at 28-29.
41 Id. at 34-36.
42 Id. at 682-687.
43 Id. at 691-695.
44 Id. at 420-421.
45 This is unlike the case of the execution of the judgment of the MTCC under Section 19, Rule 70 of the Rules of Court. (See City of Naga v. Hon. Asuncion, 579 Phil. 781, 797 . There, this Court said that “Section 21, Rule 70 of the Rules does not provide for a procedure to avert immediate execution of an RTC decision.”)
46 Regalado, Florenz, Remedial Law Compendium (10th edition), Vol. I, p. 906.
47 386 Phil. 88 (2000).
48 Id. at 92.
49See Uy v. Hon. Santiago, 391 Phil. 575, 578 (2000).
50City of Naga v. Hon. Asuncion, supra note 45 at 796-797.
51Bugarin v. Palisoc, 513 Phil. 59, 65 (2005).
52City of Naga v. Hon. Asuncion, supra note 45 at 797.
53See Section 9, Rule 41 and Section 8, Rule 42 of the Rules of Court.
54See Uy v. Santiago, supra note 49.
55City of Naga v. Hon. Asuncion, supra note 45 at 798-797.
56 Id. at 798.
57Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Monetary Board v. Antonio-Valenzuela, G.R. No. 184778, October 2, 2009, 602 SCRA 698, 722.
58Palm Tree Estates, Inc. v. Philippine National Bank, G.R. No. 159370, October 3, 2012, 682 SCRA 194, 213.
59 545 Phil. 138, 160-161 (2007).
60 Section 14, Rule 39 of the Rules of Court provides:
Sec. 14. Return of writ of execution. – The writ of execution shall be returnable to the court issuing it immediately after the judgment has been satisfied in part or in full. If the judgment cannot be satisfied in full within thirty (30) days after his receipt of the writ, the officer shall report to the court and state the reason therefor. Such writ shall continue in effect during the period within which the judgment may be enforced by motion. The officer shall make a report to the court every thirty (30) days on the proceedings taken thereon until the judgment is satisfied in full, or its effectivity expires. The returns or periodic reports shall set forth the whole of the proceedings taken, and shall be filed with the court and copies thereof promptly furnished the parties.
61 Section 6, Rule 39 of the Rules of Court provides:
Sec. 6. Execution by motion or by independent action. – A final and executory judgment or order may be executed on motion within five (5) years from the date of its entry. After the lapse of such time, and before it is barred by the statute of limitations, a judgment may be enforced by action. The revived judgment may also be enforced by motion within five (5) years from the date of its entry and thereafter by action before it is barred by the statute of limitations.
62Information Technology Foundation of the Philippines v. Commission on Elections, 464 Phil. 173, 190 (2004).
63Teresa T. Gonzales La’O & Co., Inc. v. Sheriff Hatab, supra note 47.
64Nisce v. Equitable PCI Bank, Inc., supra note 59.