G.R. No. 191694, December 03, 2014
NARCISO ZAPANTA, EDILBERTO CAPULONG AND CLARITA CAPULONG, Petitioners, v. CO KING KI AS REPRESENTED BY HIS ATTORNEY-IN-FACT WILLIAM CO, Respondent.
R E S O L U T I O N
VILLARAMA, JR., J.:
Petitioners assert that what was attached to the petition for certiorari which they filed before the CA was the copy of the September 18, 2008 Order that was furnished to them by the PARAD through registered mail. They also assert that the attached November 17, 2008 Joint Order had been signed by the officer having custody thereof. Thus, they submit that said petition for certiorari substantially complied with the requirements of the rules. Moreover, petitioners opine that appeal would be slow and inadequate in their case as they are under threat of the immediate execution of the assailed orders and of the demolition of their properties. Hence, they resorted to certiorari. Lastly, petitioners appeal for the liberal construction of the rules because they will suffer insurmountably if the case would be dismissed based on a technicality.21
- Whether the CA committed a serious reversible error in dismissing the petition for certiorari on the basis of a strict application of Section 3, Rule 46 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, as amended, on the attachment of clearly legible duplicate original/certified true copy of the judgment, order, resolution or ruling subject thereof; and
- Whether the CA committed a serious reversible error in ruling that petitioners’ remedy was to elevate their case to the DARAB and not through the petition for certiorari filed before the CA.20
However, petitioners failed to consider the effect on their appeal of the motion for reconsideration which they filed to assail the December 27, 2007 Decision. Section 12, Rule VIII of the same DARAB Rules clearly provides that if a motion for reconsideration is denied, the movant shall have the right to perfect his appeal during the remainder of the period for appeal, reckoned from receipt of the resolution of denial, to wit:
SECTION 1. Appeal to the Board. a) An appeal may be taken from an order, resolution or decision of the Adjudicator to the Board by either of the parties or both, orally or in writing, within a period of fifteen (15) days from the receipt of the order, resolution or decision appealed from, and serving a copy thereof on the adverse party, if the appeal is in writing.
b) An oral appeal shall be reduced into writing by the Adjudicator to be signed by the appellant, and a copy thereof shall be served upon the adverse party within ten (10) days from the taking of the oral appeal. (Emphasis supplied)
SECTION 12. Motion for Reconsideration. Within fifteen (15) days from receipt of notice of the order, resolution or decision of the Board or Adjudicator, a party may file a motion for reconsideration of such order or decision, together with the proof of service of one (1) copy thereof upon the adverse party. Only one (1) motion for reconsideration shall be allowed a party which shall be and based on the ground that: (a) the findings of facts in the said decision, order or resolution are not supported by substantial evidence, or (b) the conclusions stated therein are against the law and jurisprudence.In this case, petitioners received a copy of the December 27, 2007 Decision on February 15, 2008. They filed their Motion for Reconsideration thereof on February 29, 2008 or 14 days from their receipt of a copy of the Decision. On June 18, 2008, they received the Order/Resolution denying their motion for reconsideration. Hence, petitioners only had one more day or until June 19, 2008 within which to file their Notice of Appeal before the PARAD. However, it is evident that their new counsel Atty. Perez belatedly filed said Notice of Appeal on June 30, 2008. Clearly, petitioners’ Notice of Appeal in this case was filed out of time.23
The filing of a motion for reconsideration shall suspend the running of the period within which the appeal must be perfected. If a motion for reconsideration is denied, the movant shall have the right to perfect his appeal during the remainder of the period for appeal, reckoned from receipt of the resolution of denial. If the decision is reversed on reconsideration, the aggrieved party shall have fifteen (15) days from receipt of the resolution of reversal within which to perfect his appeal. (Emphasis supplied)
A special civil action of certiorari is an independent action, raising the question of jurisdiction where the tribunal, board or officer exercising judicial or quasi-judicial functions has acted without or in excess of jurisdiction, or with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction. The ultimate purpose of such action is to keep an inferior tribunal within the bounds of its jurisdiction or relieve parties from arbitrary acts of courts.Time and again, we held that rules of procedure exist for a noble purpose, and to disregard such rules, in the guise of liberal construction, would be to defeat such purpose. Procedural rules are not to be disdained as mere technicalities. They may not be ignored to suit the convenience of a party. Adjective law ensures the effective enforcement of substantive rights through the orderly and speedy administration of justice. Rules are not intended to hamper litigants or complicate litigation; they help provide a vital system of justice where suitors may be heard following judicial procedure and in the correct forum. Public order and our system of justice are well served by a conscientious observance by the parties of the procedural rules.28
A petition for certiorari was never meant as a mode of reviewing errors of judgment committed by an inferior tribunal. Thus, it has been settled that the remedy of certiorari is not a substitute for an appeal lost by the party entitled thereto especially if the right of appeal was lost through negligence. When the remedy of appeal is available but is lost due to petitioner’s own negligence or error in the choice of remedies, resort to certiorari is precluded.27 (Emphasis supplied)
* Designated additional member per Special Order No. 1896 dated November 28, 2014.
1Rollo, pp. 9-18.
2 CA rollo, pp. 92-95. Penned by Associate Justice Jane Aurora C. Lantion with Associate Justices Mario L. Guariña III and Mariflor P. Punzalan Castillo concurring.
3 Id. at 2-18.
4 Id. at 108-109.
5 Id. at 63-65.
6 Id. at 66.
7 Id. at 67-74.
8 Id. at 27-31.
9 Id. at 32-35.
10 Id. at 36-37.
11 Id. at 38-41.
12 Id. at 42.
13 Id. at 43-50.
14 Id. at 19-22.
15 Id. at 23-26.
16 Id. at 52-53.
17 Supra note 3.
18 Supra note 2.
19 Supra note 4.
20 Supra note 1, at 11-12.
21 Id. at 12-14.
22 Id. at 127-130.
23 See Plopenio v. Department of Agrarian Reform, G.R. Nos. 161090 & 161092, July 4, 2012, 675 SCRA 537, 544-545.
24Regional Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 165155, April 13, 2010, 618 SCRA 181, 199, citing Oro v. Judge Diaz, 413 Phil. 416, 426 (2001).
25Accessories Specialist, Inc. v. Alabanza, 581 Phil. 517, 530 (2008).
26 545 Phil. 535 (2007).
27 Id. at 540-541.
28Po v. Dampal, 623 Phil. 523, 529 (2009), citing Audi AG v. Judge Mejia, 555 Phil. 348, 354-355 (2007).