Digested Cases on Certiorari Prohibition and Mandamus

November 28, 2017 | Author: lonitsuaf | Category: Mandamus, Certiorari, Writ Of Prohibition, Judgment (Law), Jurisdiction
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4. G.R. No. 110280 October 12, 1993 UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES BOARD OF REGENTS and DR. OLIVIA C. CAOILI in her capacity as Secretary of the Board, petitioners, vs. HON. ELSIE LIGOT-TELAN in her capacity as Presiding Judge of Branch 87, Regional Trial Court of Quezon City and RAMON P. NADAL, respondents. U.P. Office of Legal Services for petitioners. Bonifacio A. Alentajon for private respondent. ROMERO, J In an effort to make the University of the Philippines (U.P.) truly the university of the people, the U.P. administration conceptualized and implemented the socialized scheme of tuition fee payments through the Socialized Tuition Fee and Assistance Program (STFAP), popularly known as the "Iskolar ng Bayan" program. Facts: Among those who applied for STFAP benefits for School Year 198990 was Ramon P. Nadal, a student enrolled in the College of Law. On March 14, 1991, a team did an investigation, Nadal's aunt, was interviewed and the team submitted a home visit report founding discrepancies between the report and Nadal's application form. The committee on discipline wrote Nadal informing him that the investigation showed that he had failed to declare, not only the fact that he had been maintaining a 1977 Corolla car which was owned by his brother but also the income of his mother who was supporting his brothers Antonio and Federico. Nadal was likewise informed that the Diliman Committee had reclassified him to Bracket 9 (from Bracket 4), retroactive to June 1989, unless he could submit "proofs to the contrary." Nadal was

required "to pay back the equivalent amount of full school fees" with "interest based on current commercial rates." Failure to settle his account would mean the suspension of his registration privileges and the withholding of clearance and transcript of records. He was also warned that his case might be referred to the Student Disciplinary Tribunal for further investigation. Noting further discrepancies between Nadal's application form and the certification, the U.P. charged Nadal before the Student Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT) on August 23, 1991 with voluntarily and willfully withholding and not declaring that he has and maintains a car and the income of his mother (Natividad Packing Nadal) in the U.S.A., which tantamounts to acts of dishonesty in relation to his studies, in violation of paragraph (a), Section 2, of the Rules and Regulations on Student Conduct and Discipline, as amended. On October 27, 1992, after hearing, the SDT rendered a decision finding him guilty of "wilfully and deliberately withholding information about the income of his mother, who is living abroad, and imposed upon Nadal the penalty of expulsion from the University and required him to reimburse all STFAP benefits he had received but if he does not voluntarily make reimbursement, it shall be "effected by the University thru outside legal action." In executive session, the BOR (Board of Regents) found Nadal "guilty" and imposed on Nadal the penalties of suspension for one (1) year effective March 29, 1993, non-issuance of any certificate of good moral character during the suspension and/or as long as Nadal has not reimbursed the STFAP benefits he had received with 12% interest per annum from march 30, 1993 and non-issuance of his transcript of records until he has settled his financial obligations with the university. On April 22, 1993, Nadal filed with the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City a petition for mandamus with preliminary injunction and prayer for a temporary restraining order against President Abueva, the BOR, Oscar M. Alfonso, Cesar A. Buenaventura, Armand


V. Fabella and Olivia C. Caoili. The petition prayed: After trial on the merits, judgment be rendered as follows: a. Making the preliminary injunction permanent; b. Ordering respondents 'to uphold and implement their decision rendered on 28 March 1993, exonerating petitioner from all the charges against him, and accordingly dismissing SDT No. 91-026; c. Ordering respondents jointly and severally to pay petitioner litigation expenses of at least P150,000.00. Other just and equitable reliefs are likewise prayed for. 17 After hearing, the trial court the decision: IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, and so as not to render moot the issues in the instant proceedings, let a writ of preliminary injunction be issued restraining the respondents, their officers, agent(s), representatives, and all persons acting in their behalf, from further proceeding with SDT Case No. 91-026, and from suspending petitioner, upon the latter's filing a bond in the amount of P3,000.00. IT IS SO ORDERED. Dispensing with the filing of a motion for reconsideration, the petitioners filed the instant petition for certiorari and prohibition with prayer for the issuance of an injunction or temporary restraining order. Issue: 1. W/N Nadal’s right to due process was violated. NO In any event it is gross error to equate due process in the

instant case with the sending of notice of the March 29, 1993 BOR meeting to respondent. University rules do not require the attendance in BOR meetings of individuals whose cases are included as items on the agenda of the Board. This is not exclusive of students whose disciplinary cases have been appealed to the Board of Regents as the final review body. At no time did respondent complain of lack of notice given to him to attend any of the regular and special BOR meetings where his case was up for deliberation. He would make an exception of the March 29, 1993 meeting for it was "supposed to reconsider the decision made on March 28, 1993 exonerating respondent Nadal from all administrative charges against him." Unlike in criminal cases which require proof beyond reasonable doubt as basis for a judgment, in administrative or quasi-judicial proceedings, only substantial evidence is required, that which means more than a mere scintilla or relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion, even if other minds equally reasonable might conceivably opine otherwise. 35In light of the foregoing circumstances, we find that Nadal has been sufficiently proven to have violated his undertaking to divulge all information needed when he applied for the benefits of the STFAP. To revert to the instant case, inasmuch as it has been shown sufficiently that respondent has committed an act of dishonesty in withholding vital information in connection with his application for STFAP benefits, all in blatant violation of the Rules and Regulations on Student Conduct and Discipline of petitioner University, the latter's inherent power and authority to impose disciplinary sanction may be invoked and rightfully exercised. As a Bohemian proverb puts it: "A school without discipline is like a mill without water." Insofar as the water turns the mill, so does the school's disciplinary power assure its right to


survive and continue operating. In more relevant terms, through its power to impose disciplinary sanctions, an educational institution is able to exercise its academic freedom which is, in the case at bar, the right to suspend and refuse admission to a student who has subverted its authority in the implementation of the critically important STFAP. At the risk of being repetitious, the matter of admission to a University is encompassed by the right of academic freedom. In Garcia v. The Faculty Admission Committee, Loyola School of Theology 36 the Court stated that a school or college which is possessed of the right of academic freedom "decides for itself its aims and objectives and how best to attain them. It is free from outside coercion or interference save possibly when the overriding public welfare calls for some restraint. It has a wide sphere of autonomy certainly extending to the choice of students." 2. W/N the lower court gravely abused its discretion in issuing the writ of preliminary injunction. YES On the second issue presented for adjudication, the Court finds that the lower court gravely abused its discretion in issuing the writ of preliminary injunction of May 29, 1993. The issuance of the said writ was based on the lower court's finding that the implementation of the disciplinary sanction of suspension on Nadal "would work injustice to the petitioner as it would delay him in finishing his course, and consequently, in getting a decent and good paying job." Sadly, such a ruling considers only the situation of Nadal without taking into account the circumstances clearly of his own making, which led him into such a predicament. More importantly, it has completely disregarded the overriding issue of academic freedom which provides more than ample justification for the imposition of a disciplinary sanction upon an erring student of an institution of higher learning. From the foregoing arguments, it is clear that the lower court

should have restrained itself from assuming jurisdiction over the petition filed by Nadal. Mandamus is never issued in doubtful cases, a showing of a clear and certain right on the part of the petitioner being required. 38 It is of no avail against an official or government agency whose duty requires the exercise of discretion or judgment. 39 Hence, by issuing the writ of preliminary injunction, the lower court dared to tread upon legally forbidden grounds. For, by virtue of the writ, the University's exercise of academic freedom was peremptorily curtailed. Moreover, the door was flung wide open for Nadal to do exactly what the decision of the BOR prohibited him from doing and that is, to violate the suspension order by enrolling for the first semester of 19931994. It must have been with consternation that the University officials helplessly watching him complete his academic requirements for taking the Bar. 40 In the event that he be allowed to continue with his studies he would, in effect render moot and academic the disciplinary sanction of suspension legally imposed upon him by the BOR's final decision of March 29, 1993. What is to prevent other aspirants for STFAP scholarships from misleading the University authorities by misrepresenting certain facts or as in instant case, withholding vital information and stating downright falsehoods, in their application forms with impunity? Not only would this undermine the authority of the U.P. to discipline its students who violated the rules and regulations of the institution but, more importantly, subvert the very concept and lofty intent to give financial assistance to poor but deserving students through the STFAP which, incidentally, has not ceased refining and modifying it's operations. WHEREFORE, the instant petition is GRANTED and the lower


court is hereby ordered to DISMISS the petition for mandamus. SO ORDERED. 5. G.R. No. 70484 January 29, 1988 ROMAN C. TUASON vs. REGISTER OF DEEDS, CALOOCAN City By NAVARRO, CHERYL M.

Government. 

Said PD 293 made the finding that Carmel had failed to complete payment of the price.

Upon this adjudgment, Mr. Marcos invalidated the titles of Carmel Farms, Inc. and all those derived therefrom, and declared as aforestated "the members of the Malacanang Homeowners Association, Inc. the present bona fide occupants" of the lots which, in consequence, thereby became open to them for "disposition and sale ... pursuant to CA 32, as amended."

The Tuasons filed a petition for certiorari assailing the Marcos decree as an arbitrary measure which deprived them of their property in favor of a selected group, in violation not only of the constitutional provisions on due process and eminent domain 5 but also of the provisions of the Land Registration Act on the indefeasibility of Torrens titles; 6 and they prayed that the Register of Deeds be directed to cancel the derogatory inscription on their title and restore its efficacy, or in the alternative, that they be compensated for the loss from the Assurance Fund.

Facts: 

Petitioner spouses, the Tuasons, were retired public school teachers.

On April 6, 1965, they bought from Carmel Farms, Inc. (Carmel) a piece of land in the latter's subdivision. By virtue of this sale, Carmel's Torrens title over the lot was cancelled and a new one issued in the name of the Tuasons. The Tuasons took possession of their property.

Some 8 years thereafter, the Tuasons discovered that by PD 293, they were no longer the owners of the land they had purchased and that their land and the other lots in the subdivision had been "declared open for disposition and sale to the members of the Malacanang Homeowners Association, Inc., the present bona fide occupants thereof."

The decree invalidated the title of the Tuasons' vendor, Carmel, which had earlier purchased from the Government the land it had subsequently subdivided into several lots for sale to the public (the Tuasons being among the buyers. Carmel had bought the land under Act No. 1120 and C.A. No. 32, as amended under which a bona fide settler or occupant was allowed to purchase (if he did not wish to lease) the portion occupied by him at the price fixed by the Government, in cash or on installment and that until the price was fully paid however, title was reserved in the

Issue: W/N the petition for certiorari against Marcos was proper Held: It is true that the extraordinary writ of certiorari 9 may properly issue to nullify only judicial or quasi-judicial acts, unlike the writ of prohibition which may be directed against acts either judicial or ministerial. Section 1, Rule 65 of the Rules of Court deals with the writ of certiorari in relation to "any tribunal, board or officer exercising judicial functions, while Section 2 of the same Rule treats of the writ


of prohibition in relation to "proceedings of any tribunal, corporation, board, or person ... exercising functions judicial or ministerial." But the petition will be shown upon analysis to be in reality directed against an unlawful exercise of judicial power. The decree reveals that Mr. Marcos exercised a judicial function. He made a determination of facts, and applied the law to those facts, declaring what the legal rights of the parties were in the premises. These acts essentially constitute a judicial function, or an exercise of jurisdiction — which is the power and authority to hear or try and decide or determine a cause. He adjudged it to be an established fact that neither the original purchasers nor their subsequent transferees have made full payment of all installments of the purchase money and interest on the lots claimed by Carmel Farms, Inc., including those on which the dwellings of the members of ... (the) Association (of homeowners) stand." And applying the law to that situation, he made the adjudication that "title to said land has remained with the Government, and the land now occupied by the members of said association has never ceased to form part of the property of the Republic of the Philippines," and that 'any and all acts affecting said land and purporting to segregate it from the said property of the Republic ... (were) null and void ab initio as against the law and public policy. Since Mr. Marcos was never vested with judicial power, such power, being vested in the Supreme Court and such inferior courts as may be established by law — the judicial acts done by him were in the circumstances indisputably perpetrated without jurisdiction. The adjudication was patently and grossly violative of the right to due process to which the petitioners are entitled in virtue of the Constitution. Marcos not only arrogated unto himself a power never granted to him by the Constitution or the laws but had in addition exercised it unconstitutionally. This Court has it in its power to treat the petition for certiorari as one

for prohibition if the averments of the former sufficiently made out a case for the latter. Considered in this wise, it will also appear that an executive officer had acted without jurisdiction — exercised judicial power not granted to him by the Constitution or the laws — and had furthermore performed the act in violation of the constitutional rights of the parties thereby affected. The Court will grant such relief as may be proper and efficacious in the premises even if not specifically sought or set out in the prayer of the appropriate pleading, the permissible relief being determined after all not by the prayer but by the basic averments of the parties' pleadings. WHEREFORE, PD No. 293 is declared to be unconstitutional and void ab initio in all its parts. The public respondents are commanded to cancel the inscription on the titles of the petitioners and the petitioners in intervention of the memorandum declaring their titles null and void and declaring the property therein respectively described open for disposition and sale to the members of the Malacanang Homeowners Association, Inc. to do whatever else is needful to restore the titles to full effect and efficacy; and henceforth to refrain, cease and desist from implementing any provision or part of said Presidential Decree No. 293. No pronouncement as to costs. Yap, Fernan, Melencio-Herrera, Gutierrez, Jr., Cruz, Paras, Gancayco, Padilla, Bidin, Sarmiento and Cortes JJ., concur. EN BANC GR 191771 May 6 2010 LIBERAL PARTY vs COMELEC BRION, J.: This case poses to the Court, at this very late stage of our election period, issues involving the registration of political coalitions, the grant of accreditation to the dominant parties under the first time ever automated election system in the country, and validity of the COMELEC en banc’s (en banc) authority to act on the registration of


political coalitions. The challenged ruling is a Per Curiam Resolution of the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) dated April 12, 2010 in SPP-10-(DM) granting the application for registration of the Nacionalista Party– Nationalist People’s Coalition (NP-NPC or coalition) and deferring the question of the coalition’s dominant minority status to a future resolution. The challenge comes from the Liberal Party (LP)[ through a petition for certiorari and prohibition with a prayer for the issuance of a preliminary injunction or a status quo order. We issued a status quo order through our Resolution of April 20, 2010. FACTS: On July 14, 2009, the COMELEC promulgated Resolution No. 8646 setting August 17, 2009 as the last day for the filing of petitions for registration of political parties. On January 21, 2010, the COMELEC promulgated Resolution No. 8752, providing, among others, for the rules for the filing of petitions for accreditation for the determination of the dominant majority party, the dominant minority party, ten major national parties, and two major local parties for the May 10, 2010 elections. Resolution No. 8752 also set the deadline for filing of petitions for accreditation on February 12, 2010 and required that accreditation applicants be registered political parties, organizations or coalitions. On February 12, 2010, the LP filed with the COMELEC its petition for accreditation as dominant minority party. On the same date, the Nacionalista Party (NP) and the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) filed a petition for registration as a coalition (NP-NPC) and asked that “it be recognized and accredited as the dominant minority party for purposes of the May 10, 2010 elections.” It was docketed as an SPP (DM) case, indicating – pursuant to COMELEC Resolution No. 8752 – that it was an accreditation case. On February 23, 2010, the LP filed its Opposition to the NPNPC’s petition on the following grounds:


The NP-NPC’s petition should be denied since it was not a duly registered coalition of political parties at the time of filing of their petition for accreditation as dominant minority party; 2) The COMELEC en banc has no jurisdiction to entertain the petition for registration as a coalition because the petition should have been first brought before the proper Division; xxxx 4) The petition for registration as a coalition was filed beyond the August 17, 2009 deadline set by the COMELEC; and xxxxx On April 12, 2010, the en banc granted the NP-NPC’s petition for registration as a coalition through the Resolution assailed in the present case. In the same Resolution, the en banc deferred the resolution of the NP-NPC’s application for accreditation as dominant minority party. The LP now assails the April 12, 2010 COMELEC Resolution for having been issued with grave abuse of discretion, as follows: 1) The COMELEC en banc has no jurisdiction at the first instance to entertain petitions for registration of political coalitions; 2) The COMELEC gravely abused its discretion when it allowed the registration of the purported NP-NPC coalition despite the lapse of the deadline for registration; 3) The COMELEC gravely abused its discretion when it allowed the registration of the purported NP-NPC coalition despite patent and manifest violations of the NPC Constitution and By-Laws; and 4) The purported NP-NPC coalition is a bogus, sham and paper coalition that makes a mockery of the


electoral process.[17] The OSG argues that the present petition is premature. It notes that the petition’s real thrust is to foreclose the possibility that respondent NP-NPC would be declared the dominant minority party in the coming May 10, 2010 elections. The OSG emphasizes that the assailed COMELEC Resolution only affirmatively resolved the registration of the NP-NPC, not its accreditation. Thus, the petition’s core issue is not yet ripe for adjudication. As expressly indicated in the assailed Resolution, the accreditation has yet to be the subject of a coming separate resolution. The COMELEC’s comment is practically a reiteration of the rulings in the assailed Resolution, heretofore summarized. For this reason, we shall no longer reflect on and repeat the COMELEC’s positions in detail. ISSUE AND RULING

1. W/N petition’s cited grounds are mere errors of law and do not constitute grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction. This objection can be read as a facial objection to the petition or as a substantive one that goes into the merits of the petition. We will discuss under the present topic the facial objection, as it is a threshold issue that determines whether we shall proceed to consider the case or simply dismiss the petition outright. A facial objection is meritorious if, expressly and on the face of the petition, what is evident as cited grounds are erroneous applications of the law rather than grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction. After

due consideration, we conclude that the petition passes the facial objection test. In Madrigal Transport, Inc. v. Lapanday Holdings Corporation, the Court, through former Chief Justice Artemio V. Panganiban, gave a very succinct exposition of grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction in relation to errors of law. The Court then said: A writ of certiorari may be issued only for the correction of errors of jurisdiction or grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction. The writ cannot be used for any other purpose, as its function is limited to keeping the inferior court within the bounds of its jurisdiction. xxxx “Without jurisdiction” means that the court acted with absolute lack of authority. There is “excess of jurisdiction” when the court transcends its power or acts without any statutory authority. “Grave abuse of discretion” implies such capricious and whimsical exercise of judgment as to be equivalent to lack or excess of jurisdiction; in other words, power is exercised in an arbitrary or despotic manner by reason of passion, prejudice, or personal hostility; and such exercise is so patent or so gross as to amount to an evasion of a positive duty or to a virtual refusal either to perform the duty enjoined or to act at all in contemplation of law. Between an appeal and a petition for certiorari, there are substantial distinctions which shall be explained below. As to the Purpose. Certiorari is a remedy designed for


the correction of errors of jurisdiction, not errors of judgment. In Pure Foods Corporation v. NLRC, we explained the simple reason for the rule in this light: “When a court exercises its jurisdiction, an error committed while so engaged does not deprive it of the jurisdiction being exercised when the error is committed. If it did, every error committed by a court would deprive it of its jurisdiction and every erroneous judgment would be a void judgment. This cannot be allowed. The administration of justice would not survive such a rule. Consequently, an error of judgment that the court may commit in the exercise of its jurisdiction is not correct[a]ble through the original civil action of certiorari.” The supervisory jurisdiction of a court over the issuance of a writ of certiorari cannot be exercised for the purpose of reviewing the intrinsic correctness of a judgment of the lower court — on the basis either of the law or the facts of the case, or of the wisdom or legal soundness of the decision. Even if the findings of the court are incorrect, as long as it has jurisdiction over the case, such correction is normally beyond the province of certiorari. Where the error is not one of jurisdiction, but of an error of law or fact — a mistake of judgment — appeal is the remedy. [Emphasis supplied.] The most obvious ground cited in the petition that, if properly established, would constitute grave abuse of discretion is the alleged unwarranted action of the en banc in acting on the registration of the NP-NPC when the COMELEC’s own Rules of Procedure provides that registration is under the jurisdiction of the

Division at the first instance. This alleged error is more than an error of law. If this cited ground is correct, then the en banc acted without legal authority and thereby committed a jurisdictional transgression; [31] its action, being ultra vires, would be a nullity. In our view, these jurisdictional challenges to the en banc Resolution, if established, constitute ultra vires acts that would render the Resolution void. 2. Is the present petition premature, since its object is to foreclose a ruling on the unsettled NP-NPC accreditation issue? (Since COMELEC only ruled on NP-NPC registration and not yet on accreditation) ANS. NO The registration of a coalition and the accreditation of a dominant minority party are two separate matters that are substantively distinct from each other. Registration is the act that bestows juridical personality for purposes of our election laws; accreditation, on the other hand, relates to the privileged participation that our election laws grant to qualified registered parties. The present petition has openly stated its objective of forestalling the accreditation of the respondent NP-NPC; the petition expressly and frontally sought the issuance of a writ of prohibition and restraining order to prevent the COMELEC from accrediting a coalition that is not registered as a party. The combination of a petition for certiorari and for prohibition under the circumstances of the present case is fully justified, as the registration and the accreditation that the petition covers are linked with and in fact sequentially follow one another. Accreditation can only be granted to


a registered political party, organization or coalition; stated otherwise, a registration must first take place before a request for accreditation can be made. Once registration has been carried out, accreditation is the next natural step to follow. Where the registration is flawed for having been attended by grave abuse of discretion, as alleged in the petition, the filing of a petition for prohibition with a prayer for a preliminary injunction can only be expected as a logical remedial move; otherwise, accreditation, unless restrained, will follow. Thus, from the point of view of prohibition, there is absolutely no prematurity as its avowed intent is in fact to forestall an event – the accreditation – that according to the assailed Resolution shall soon take place. From the point of view of the petition forcertiorari questioning the registration made, no prematurity issue is involved as the nullification of a past and accomplished act is prayed for. 3. Is the NP-NPC petition before the COMELEC, viewed as a petition for registration, time-barred? Our short answer to the question posed is: yes, the NP-NPC’s petition for registration as a coalition is time-barred. Thus, the en banc was wrong in ordering the out-of-time registration of the NP-NPC coalition. Admittedly, Resolution No. 8646 simply states that August 17, 2009 is the “[L]ast day for filing petitions for registration of political parties,” without mentioning “organizations and coalitions” in the way that the three entities are separately mentioned under Section 2(5), Article IX-C of the Constitution and Rule 32, Section 1 of the COMELEC Rules. Resolution No. 8646, however, is simply a listing of electoral activities and deadlines for the May 10, 2010 elections; it is not in any way a resolution aimed at establishing distinctions among “political parties, organizations, and coalitions.” In the

absence of any note, explanation or reason why the deadline only mentions political parties, the term “political parties” should be understood in its generic sense that covers political organizations and political coalitions as well. XXXX we view the en banc’s position that the deadline for registration is only for “political parties” and not for “organizations and coalitions” to be preposterous, given the importance of the participation of political parties in the election process and the rigid schedules that have to be observed in order to implement automated elections as efficiently and as harmoniously as possible. We note that the COMELEC has not even bothered to explain why it imposed a deadline applicable only to political parties, but not to political organizations and coalitions. In our view, this kind of ruling was patently unreasonable, made as it was without basis in law, in fact or in reason; and was a grave abuse of discretion that fatally afflicted the assailed COMELEC Resolution. WHEREFORE, premises considered, we hereby GRANT the petition and, accordingly, NULLIFY and SET ASIDE the Resolution of the Commission on Elections dated April 12, 2010 in the application for registration of the Nacionalista Party-Nationalist People’s Coalition as a political coalition, docketed as SPP-10-(DM). The Commission on Elections is DECLARED BARRED from granting accreditation to the proposed NP-NPC Coalition in the May 10, 2010 elections for lack of the requisite registration as a political coalition. This Decision is declared immediately executory. No costs. ANGELES vs. The SECRETARY OF JUSTICE (MANDAMUS) (614 SCRA 478) FACTS:


1. Submitted for Decision is a petition for mandamus seeking respondents Secretary of Justice, the Administrator of the Land Registration Authority (LRA), and the Register of Deeds of Quezon City to comply with the Order of RTC of Caloocan City in a civil case which granted petitioner’s request partition and accounting of the subject property. Petitioner claims to be one of the heirs of a certain Maria de la Concepcion Vidal, and thus, is entitled to inherit her proportional share in the parcels of land. 2. Petitioner alleges that the RD of Caloocan City and Quezon City refused to comply with the RTC Order because they were still awaiting word from the LRA Administrator before proceeding. The LRA, however, contended that the request cannot be granted in view of the directive of the Department of Justice finding that there is only one OCT No. 994 which was issued by the Rizal Register of Deeds on 3 May 1917 (and not on 19 April 1917). Petitioner anchors her claim on OCT No. 994 which was dated earlier but which according to the Senate Committee Report is actually non-existent and was a fabrication perpetrated by the former Deputy Registrar of Deeds of Caloocan City. As found by the Senate Committees, this fabrication has resulted in the double, if not multiple, issuance of transfer certificates of title covering the subdivided portions of the Maysilo Estate, including the parcels of land mentioned in the subject Order. 3. Petitioner alleges that compliance with a final judicial order is a purely ministerial duty, that she and her co-plaintiffs in the civil case cannot avail of the benefits granted to them by the Order, and that she has no "plain, speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law, other than this action.

ISSUE: 1. Whether public respondents unlawfully neglected to perform their duties by their refusal to issue the questioned transfer certificates of title to petitioner and her co-plaintiffs or have unlawfully excluded petitioner from the use and enjoyment of whatever claimed right, as would warrant the issuance of a writ of mandamus against said public respondents? 2. Did public respondents have sufficient legal basis to refuse to grant petitioners request? RULING:


NO. Considering the factual background and recent jurisprudence related to this controversy, we find that it was not unlawful for public respondents to refuse compliance with the RTC Order, and the act being requested of them is not their ministerial duty; hence, mandamus does not lie and the petition must be dismissed. It is settled that mandamus is employed to compel the performance, when refused, of a ministerial duty, but not to compel the performance of a discretionary duty. Mandamus will not issue to enforce a right which is in substantial dispute or to which a substantial doubt exists. It is nonetheless likewise available to compel action, when refused, in matters involving judgment and discretion, but not to direct the exercise of judgment or discretion in a particular way or the retraction or reversal of an action already taken in the exercise of either.

2. YES. In this regard, we find our discussion in Laburada v. Land Registration Authority instructive, to wit:


That the LRA hesitates in issuing a decree of registration is understandable. Rather than a sign of negligence or nonfeasance in the performance of its duty, the LRA's reaction is reasonable, even imperative. Considering the probable duplication of titles over the same parcel of land, such issuance may contravene the policy and the purpose, and thereby destroy the integrity, of the Torrens system of registration. x x x Likewise, the writ of mandamus can be awarded only when the petitioners' legal right to the performance of the particular act which is sought to be compelled is clear and complete. Under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court, a clear legal right is a right which is indubitably granted by law or is inferable as a matter of law. If the right is clear and the case is meritorious, objections raising merely technical questions will be disregarded. But where the right sought to be enforced is in substantial doubt or dispute, as in this case, mandamus cannot issue. As can be gleaned from the above discussion, the issuance by the LRA officials of a decree of registration is not a purely ministerial duty in cases where they find that such would result to the double titling of the same parcel of land. In the same vein, we find that in this case, which involves the issuance of transfer certificates of title, the Register of Deeds

cannot be compelled by mandamus to comply with the RTC Order since there were existing transfer certificates of title covering the subject parcels of land and there was reason to question the rights of those requesting for the issuance of the TCTs. Neither could respondent LRA Administrator be mandated by the Court to require the Register of Deeds to comply with said Order, for we find sufficient basis for public respondents to refuse to comply with the RTC Order, given the finding, contained in the cited documents, that OCT No. 994 dated April 19, 1917, on which petitioner and her coplaintiffs in the civil case clearly anchored their rights, did not exist. The requirements under Rule 65 for the issuance of the writ of mandamus not having been proven by petitioner to exist, we dismiss the petition for lack of merit.


Facts: On Sept. 20, 97 Innovatech secured its 25m loan from security Bank (SB) with a mortgage on 14 condo. Units. On July 1 97, Innovatech informed SB that the 14 condo units were sold by it to Indiana Aerospace Univ. Innovatech provided SB with copies of the Deed of Sale with Assumption of Mortgage. The loan matured on Sept. 19, 97 without payment either from Innovatech or Indiana, SB filed a petition for notarial foreclosure of the 14 condo units of which the RTC granted, were SB became the higest bidder. Innovatech filed for the Annulment of the Foreclosure and filed for a TRO and Writ of P.I., The RTC granted the WRIT of PI in favour of Innovatech. However upon a petition for certiorari to the C.A. the appellate court reversed the ruling of the RTC.


For its part Indiana filed a Complaint-in-Intervention with a prayer for the issuance of TRO and P.I. On Feb. 1, 1999, the RTC issued an order Granting the prayer of the Writ of P.I. SB moved for reconsideration of the Order. However the RTC, denied such M.R. in its order dated Nov. 3, 1999. SB went to C.A. for relief, the appellate court denied due course to SB petition for the reason that it did not comply with the requirements provided for on Sec. 3 , Rule 46 regarding material dates. That the petition was not able to indicate the dates when SB received a copy of the Order of Feb. 1, 99 or when the M.R. was filed, thus in violation of the abovementioned Rule.

Issue: W/N the C.A. erred in dismissing SB petition on mere technicality despite the banks substantial compliance with the Rules.

Held: Yes. Although the Rule provides that non-compliance with any of the req. shall be sufficient ground for dismissal. The Court in the exercise of its equity jurisdiction may disregard procedural lapses so that a case may be resolved on its merits. Hence the court may opt to apply the Rules liberally.

2. The date of filing of the motion for new trial or for recon. 3. The date receipt of the notice of denial of the motion In the case at bar, SB correctly asserted that page 13 of the petition states the date of the filing of the M.R. The petition also states the date of receipt of notice of denial of the M.R., The rationale for requiring the statement of material dates is to determine the timeliness of filing of the petition. Clearly, Security Bank filed the motion for reconsideration with the trial court on time. Security Bank also filed the petition before the Court of Appeals within the reglementary period. The Court reiterates that there is ample jurisprudence holding that the subsequent and substantial compliance of a party may call for the relaxation of the rules of procedure. The failure to comply with the rule on a statement of material dates in the petition may be excused since the dates are evident from the records.” The more material date for purposes of appeal to the Court of Appeals is the date of receipt of the trial court’s order denying the motion for reconsideration, which date is admittedly stated in the petition in the present case. The other material dates may be gleaned from the records of the case if reasonably evident. Thus, in this case the Court deems it proper to relax the Rules to give all the parties the chance to argue their causes and defenses.

The material dates required to be stated in the petition for certiorari under Rule 65 are. 1. The date of receipt of the notice of the judgment or final order or resolution


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