Saturday, January 23, 2016

Torbela vs. Spouses Rosario [GR No. 140528, December 7, 2011]

FACTS: Petitioner Torbela siblings filed before the RTC of Urdaneta, Pangasinan a Complaint for recovery of ownership and possession of a parcel of land in Urdaneta City, Pangasinan, plus damages, against the spouses Rosario. RTC and CA, on appeal, ordered Rosario to reconvey land to Torbela siblings and to pay damages. Rosario, on appeal to SC, avers that Torbela siblings failed to avail of barangay conciliation, a pre-requisite to filing above civil case.

ISSUE: Whether or not the case is covered by barangay conciliation requirement

RULING: No. Sections 2 and 3 of PD No. 1508, which was then still in effect when the case was instituted, state that the Lupon of each barangay shall have the authority to bring together the parties actually residing in the same barangay for amicable settlement, or in different barangays within the same city or municipality. Lupon shall have no authority over disputes “involving parties who actually reside in barangays of different cities or municipalities,” except where such barangays adjoin each other. Torbela siblings and the spouses Rosario do not reside in the same barangay, or in different barangays within the same city or municipality, or in different barangays of different cities or municipalities but are adjoining each other. The Lupon had no jurisdiction over the dispute and barangay conciliation was not a pre-condition for the filing of the said civil case.

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