G.R. No. 186589, July 18, 2014
RICARDO C. SILVERIO, SR. AND LORNA CILLAN-SILVERIO, Petitioners, v. RICARDO S. SILVERIO, JR., Respondent.
D E C I S I O N
DEL CASTILLO, J.:
WHEREFORE, above premises considered, this Court for the foregoing reasons resolves to grant the following:
(1) Partially reconsidering Nos. 1 and 5 of its Order dated December 12, 2005, thus upholding the granting of Letters of Administration to Ricardo S. Silverio, Jr. anent the Estate of Beatriz S. Silverio in lieu of Ricardo C. Silverio, Sr., who is removed as Administrator for gross violation of his duties and functions under Section 1, Rule 81 of the Rules of Court;
(2) Allowing Ricardo S. Silverio, Jr. to immediately take his oath as Administrator and exercise his duties and functions under his Administrator’s Bond Utassco No. JCL(1)-001-1001, if still valid, or upon posting a new Administrator’s Bond of PHP1,000,000.00;
(3) Allowing the sale of the properties located at (1) No. 82 Cambridge Circle, Forbes Park, Makati City, covered by T.C.T. No. 137155 issued by Register of Deeds of Makati City; (2) No. 3 Intsia Road, Forbes Park, Makati City covered by T.C.T. No. 137154 issued by the Register of Deeds of Makati City; and (3) No. 19 Taurus St., Bel-Air Subd., Makati City covered by TCT No. 137156 issued by the Register of Deeds of Makati City to partially settle the intestate estate of the late Beatriz S. Silverio, and authorizing the Administrator to undertake the proper procedure of transferring the titles involved to the name of the estate; and
(4) To apply the proceeds of the sale mentioned in Number 3 above to the payment of the taxes, interests, penalties and other charges, if any, and to distribute the residue among the heirs Ricardo [C.] Silverio, Sr., Ricardo S. Silverio, Jr., Ligaya S. Silverio represented by Legal Guardian Nestor S. Dela Merced II, Edmundo S. Silverio and Nelia S. Silverio-Dee in accordance with the law on intestacy.
1. A July 4, 2007 Resolution,6 with the following decretal portion:WHEREFORE, premises considered, the Private Respondents’ motion(s) for the reconsideration of Our February 5, 2007 Resolution are DENIED. The Petitioner’s application for a writ of injunction is hereby GRANTED.2. A February 29, 2008 Resolution,8 which decreed:
Accordingly, let a Writ of Preliminary Injunction issue upon posting of the bond in the amount of two million pesos (PhP2,000,000.00) enjoining the Respondents from enforcing the October 31, 2006 Omnibus Order issued in Sp. Proc. M-2629; and, allowing Ricardo [C.] Silverio, Sr. to continue as administrator, pending resolution of the instant petition.
It appearing that the required pleadings have already been filed and no other pleading may be forthcoming per the Judicial Records Division’s verification report of June 19, 2007, the main petition may be considered submitted for resolution.
SO ORDERED.7WHEREFORE, the ten million[-]peso (PhP10,000,000.00) bond posted by the Petitioner under PSIC Bond No. JCL (8) 00207102119 is APPROVED. Accordingly, by this WRIT OF PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION, the Respondents, their agents or anybody acting in their behalf, are ENJOINED from executing, enforcing or implementing any writ of execution, order, or resolution for the enforcement of the October 31, 2006 Omnibus Order issued by the Respondent Court in Sp. Proc. M-2629 thereby allowing Ricardo [C.] Silverio, Sr. to continue as administrator during the pendency of this case.
The Petitioner’s motion seeking the reconsideration of Our January 3, 2008 Resolution increasing the amount of the bond from two (2) million to ten (10) million pesos, having been rendered moot and academic by her subsequent submission of a bond in the increased amount, is DENIED.
14. [Last] June 20, 2008 at about 2:00 in the afternoon, respondent Silverio Jr., accompanied by his two lawyers: Attys. Efren Vincent M. Dizon and Charlie Mendoza and some John Does, without the benefit of a final court order or writ of execution and without the assistance of a sheriff, attempted to enforce the Decision of the Regional Trial Court of Makati City, Branch 145 which was appealed to the Court of Appeals by way of Notice of Appeal, by trying to forcibly evict against their will, the occupants of one of the residence(s) of his petitioner father Silverio Sr. at #21 Cruzada, Urdaneta Village, Makati City, covered by the Testate Intestate Case appealed to this Honorable Court which issued the aforementioned injunction. In the process, respondent Silverio Jr. created quite a commotion and public disturbance inside the subdivision. Only [with] the timely intervention of the officers of the homeowners association, barangay officials, some policemen and this representation was respondent Silverio Jr. prevailed upon to peacefully leave the place.
15. Such acts of respondent Ricardo S. Silverio, Jr. in trying to eject his father from his residence without the benefit of a final court order/writ of execution, [are] not only x x x illegal and show disrespect for elders, but also smack a lot of bad taste in contravention [of] our established customs and tradition[s].13
After a careful evaluation of the evidentiary records, this Court finds it inappropriate to make a ruling on whether or not the Respondent has committed certain acts, supra., violative of Revised Rule 71 of the Rules.
Records show that on 3 September 2007, the Respondent has interposed an appeal from the CA Resolution dated 4 July 2007, supra., before the Supreme Court questioning in essence said resolution as having been granted to the Petitioners with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or in excess of jurisdiction, hence, allegedly null and void.
Accordingly, in the light of the foregoing development, this Court is compelled to restrain itself from resolving the issues in the instant petition. Otherwise put, it is imperative that We instantly pull the plug and let the High Tribunal settle the controversy surrounding the propriety in the issuance of CA Resolution dated 4 July 2007, supra., from which order the Respondent has allegedly committed acts in defiance thereof.
As laid down by the High Tribunal in Manila Electric Company v. Phil. Consumers Foundation, Inc. et al., thus:…it is the duty of the lower courts to obey the Decisions of this Court and render obeisance to its status as the apex of the hierarchy of courts. “A becoming modesty of inferior courts demands conscious realization of the position that they occupy in the interrelation and operation of the integrated judicial system of the nation.” “There is only one Supreme Court from whose decisions all other courts should take their bearings”…WHEREFORE, premises considered, the instant Petition is hereby DISMISSED.
THE PENDENCY OF AN APPEAL BEFORE THE [SUPREME COURT] ON THE VALIDITY OF AN INJUNCTION ISSUED BY THE COURT OF APPEALS DOES NOT PRECLUDE THE [LATTER] FROM ADJUDICATING THE QUESTION OF WHETHER x x x SUPERVENING ACTS COMMITTED BY ONE OF THE PARTIES IN THE COURT OF APPEALS CASE CONSTITUTE INDIRECT CONTEMPT BASED ON THE PRINCIPLE OF RESPECT FOR HIERARCHY OF COURTS. THUS, THE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED WHEN IT INVOKED THE PRINCIPLE OF RESPECT FOR HIERARCHY OF COURTS IN DISMISSING THE PETITION FOR INDIRECT CONTEMPT.16
The court in which the petition is filed may issue orders expediting the proceedings, and it may also grant a temporary restraining order or a writ of preliminary injunction for the preservation of the rights of the parties pending such proceedings. The petition shall not interrupt the course of the principal case unless a temporary restraining order or a writ of preliminary injunction has been issued against the public respondent from further proceeding in the case.
The public respondent shall proceed with the principal case within ten (10) days from the filing of a petition for certiorari with a higher court or tribunal, absent a temporary restraining order or a preliminary injunction, or upon its expiration. Failure of the public respondent to proceed with the principal case may be a ground for an administrative charge. (Emphasis supplied)
Sections 3 and 4, Rule 71 of the Rules of Court, specifically [outline] the procedural requisites before the accused may be punished for indirect contempt. First, there must be an order requiring the respondent to show cause why he should not be cited for contempt. Second, the respondent must be given the opportunity to comment on the charge against him. Third, there must be a hearing and the court must investigate the charge and consider respondent's answer. Finally, only if found guilty will respondent be punished accordingly. The law requires that there be a charge in writing, duly filed in court, and an opportunity given to the person charged to be heard by himself or counsel. What is most essential is that the alleged contemner be granted an opportunity to meet the charges against him and to be heard in his defenses. This is due process, which must be observed at all times.
x x x x
In contempt proceedings, the prescribed procedure must be followed. To be sure, since an indirect contempt charge partakes the nature of a criminal charge, conviction cannot be had merely on the basis of written pleadings. A respondent in a contempt charge must be served with a copy of the motion/petition. Unlike in civil actions, the Court does not issue summons on the respondent. While the respondent is not required to file a formal answer similar to that in ordinary civil actions, the court must set the contempt charge for hearing on a fixed date and time on which the respondent must make his appearance to answer the charge. x x x20 (Emphasis supplied)
* Per Raffle dated July 17, 2014.
1Rollo, pp. 10-31.
2 CA rollo, pp. 278-284; penned by Associate Justice Myrna Dimaranan Vidal and concurred in by Associate Justices Martin S. Villarama, Jr. (now a member of this Court) and Rosalinda Asuncion-Vicente.
3 Records of Spec. Proc. M-2629, Vol. VI, pp. 3684-3695; penned by Judge Reinato G. Quilala.
4 Id. at 3694-3695.
5 Entitled “Nelia Silverio Dee, Petitioner, versus Hon. Renato Quilala, Presiding Judge, Regional Trial Court, Br. 57, Makati City, et al., Respondents.”
6 CA rollo, pp. 120-122; penned by Associate Justice Normandie B. Pizarro and concurred in by Associate Justices Edgardo P. Cruz and Fernanda Lampas Peralta.
7 Id. at 122.
8 Id. at 123-124.
9 Id. at 124.
10Rollo, pp. 74-121; entitled “Ricardo S. Silverio, Jr., Petitioner, versus Court of Appeals (Former 13th Division) and Nelia S. Silverio-Dee, Respondents.”
11 Id. at 122-125.
12 Id. at 46-56.
13 Id. at 20.
14 Sec. 3. Indirect contempt to be punished after charge and hearing.
After a charge in writing has been filed, and an opportunity given to the respondent to comment thereon within such period as may be fixed by the court and to be heard by himself or counsel, a person guilty of any of the following acts may be punished for indirect contempt:
(a) Misbehavior of an officer of a court in the performance of his official duties or in his official transactions;
(b) Disobedience of or resistance to a lawful writ, process, order, or judgment of a court, including the act of a person who, after being dispossessed or ejected from any real property by the judgment or process of any court of competent jurisdiction, enters or attempts or induces another to enter into or upon such real property, for the purpose of executing acts of ownership or possession, or in any manner disturbs the possession given to the person adjudged to be entitled thereto;
(c) Any abuse of or any unlawful interference with the processes or proceedings of a court not constituting direct contempt under section 1 of this Rule;
(d) Any improper conduct tending, directly or indirectly, to impede, obstruct, or degrade the administration of justice;
(e) Assuming to be an attorney or an officer of a court, and acting as such without authority;
(f) Failure to obey a subpoena duly served;
(g) The rescue, or attempted rescue, of a person or property in the custody of an officer by virtue of an order or process of a court held by him.
But nothing in this section shall be so construed as to prevent the court from issuing process to bring the respondent into court, or from holding him in custody pending such proceedings.
15 CA rollo, pp. 283-284.
16Rollo, p. 22.
17 Id. at 162-169.
18Philippine Veterans Bank v. Solid Homes, Inc., G.R. No. 170126, June 9, 2009, 589 SCRA 40, 49.
19Esperida v. Jurado, G.R. No. 172538, April 25, 2012, 671 SCRA 66, 72-74; Aquino v. Ng, 555 Phil. 253, 259-261 (2007); Soriano v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 128938, June 4, 2004, 431 SCRA 1, 6-8.
20 Esperida v. Jurado, supra at 72-76.