Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Philippine Economic Zone Authority, represented herein by Dir. Gen. Lilia B. De Lima vs. Joseph Jude Carantes and all the other heirs of Maximino Carantes, G.R. No. 181274. June 23, 2010

Appeals; late filing excused in interest of substantial justice. It is settled that an appeal must be perfected within the reglementary period provided by law; otherwise, the decision becomes final and executory. Before the Supreme Court, a petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, as amended, must be filed within fifteen (15) days from notice of the judgment or final order or resolution appealed from, or of the denial of the petitioner’s motion for new trial or reconsideration filed in due time after notice of the judgment. Even then, review is not a matter of right, but of sound judicial discretion, and may be granted only when there are special and important reasons therefor. In the case at bar, the Docket Division of the OSG received a copy of the CA decision on November 7, 2007. It was not until February 1, 2008 or almost three (3) months however, that the OSG, for petitioner, filed a petition for review on certiorari with this Court. The OSG pleads for understanding considering the scarcity of its lawyers and the inadvertence of the temporarily-designated OIC of Division XV in overlooking that the CA decision was adverse to PEZA. 

While the Court realizes the OSG’s difficulty in having only three (3) lawyers working full time on its cases, the OSG could have easily asked for an extension of time within which to file the petition. More importantly, as the government agency tasked to represent the government in litigations, the OSG should perform its duty with promptness and utmost diligence. However, upon careful consideration of the merits of this case, the Court is inclined to overlook this procedural lapse in the interest of substantial justice. Although a party is bound by the acts of its counsel, including the latter’s mistakes and negligence, a departure from this rule is warranted where such mistake or neglect would result in serious injustice to the client. Indeed, procedural rules may be relaxed for persuasive reasons to relieve a litigant of an injustice not commensurate with his failure to comply with the prescribed procedure. More so, when to allow the assailed decision to go unchecked would set a precedent that will sanction a violation of substantive law. Such is the situation in this case. 


Injunction; requisites. Injunction is a judicial writ, process or proceeding whereby a party is directed either to do a particular act, in which case it is called a mandatory injunction or to refrain from doing a particular act, in which case it is called a prohibitory injunction. As a main action, injunction seeks to permanently enjoin the defendant through a final injunction issued by the court and contained in the judgment. Section 9, Rule 58 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, as amended, provides, 

SEC. 9. When final injunction granted. – If after the trial of the action it appears that the applicant is entitled to have the act or acts complained of permanently enjoined, the court shall grant a final injunction perpetually restraining the party or person enjoined from the commission or continuance of the act or acts or confirming the preliminary mandatory injunction. 

Two (2) requisites must concur for injunction to issue: (1) there must be a right to be protected and (2) the acts against which the injunction is to be directed are violative of said right. Particularly, in actions involving realty, preliminary injunction will lie only after the plaintiff has fully established his title or right thereto by a proper action for the purpose. To authorize a temporary injunction, the complainant must make out at least a prima facieshowing of a right to the final relief. Preliminary injunction will not issue to protect a right notinesse. These principles are equally relevant to actions seeking permanent injunction. Philippine Economic Zone Authority, represented herein by Dir. Gen. Lilia B. De Lima vs. Joseph Jude Carantes and all the other heirs of Maximino Carantes, G.R. No. 181274. June 23, 2010

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