Alinsugay vs Cagampang

143 SCRA 146

G.R. No. L-69334

July 28, 1986

 

Facts:

Alinsugay instituted an action in the RTC of Bukidnon against respondents Cajes for the annulment of title & recovery of possession and ownership of a parcel of land located in Barangay Dologon, Maramag, Bukidnon.

Respondents Cajes filed a Motion to Dismis on the grounds that: (1) the trial court did not acquire jurisdiction because the dispute was not brought before the barangay for amicable settlement in accordance with PD 1508, (2) the complaint was premature, and (3) the action was barred by prescription and laches. Specifically, respondents argued that petitioners did not follow the process of going through a Pangkat in the settlement of his dispute, after mediation before the barangay chairman had failed. On November 13, 1984, respondent Judge ordered the dismissal of the complaint “without prejudice to the filing of the same after the provisions of PD 1508 shall have been complied properly as prayed for in the Motion to Dismiss…and without passing upon the merits on the other grounds alleged in the same Motion to Dismiss”. Assailing the order of dismissal as a patent nullity & having been issued with grave abuse of discretion, petitioners filed the instant special civil action for certiorari.

The controversy was referred to the Punong Barangay of Dologon, Maramag, Bukidnon. Summons was served upon the parties. For one reason or another, respondent Esther Cajes failed to appear before the Barangay Chairman, prompting the latter to issue on July 31, 1983 the certification to file action for the complainant, petitioner Alinsugay. There is no mention in the records of the reason for Cajes’ non-appearance.

 

Issue:

Whether referral to the Pangkat ng Tagapagkasundo under PD 1508 is mandatory even where the failure at conciliation is due to the non-appearance of one party.

 

Held:

Rule VI, Sec.7 of the Katarungang Pambarangay Rules provide that “The complaint may be dismissed when complainant, after due notice, willfully fails or refuses to appear on the date set for mediation, conciliation or arbitration. Such dismissal…shall bar the complainant from seeking judicial recourse for the same cause of action as that dismissed. Upon a similar failure of the respondent to appear, any counterclaim he has made that arises from or in necessarily connected with complainant’s action, may be dismissed. Such dismissal..shall bar the respondent from filing such counterclaim in court: and it shall likewise be a sufficient basis for the issuance of a certification for filing complainant’s cause of action in court or with the proper government agency or office…such willful failure or refusal to appear may subject the recalcitrant party or witness to punishment as for contempt of court…”

The willful refusal or failure to appear on the part of respondent is sufficient basis for the complainant present to be given a certification to file action. This means that the complainant may already bring his case to court or other government office for adjudication.

Where one party fails to appear for no justifiable reason, convening the Pangkat as a necessary second step will serve no useful purpose. It will accomplish nothing in view of a party’s unwillingness to settle the dispute outside the regular courts. The only feasible alternative for the Lupon is to issue the certification allowing complainant to bring the controversy to court.

Respondents have not come to court with clean hands. The desired conciliation at the barangay failed due to their non-appearance. They should not be allowed to frustrate petitioner’s cause of action by invoking that situation which they themselves created.

Respondent Cagampang acted arbitrarily with grave abuse of discretion in dismissing petitioner’s complaint. Petitioner complied with PD 1508. The issuance of the certification to file action is warranted by the Rules in view of respondent’s unexplained refusal to appear.

 

Peregrina vs Panis

133 SCRA 72

G.R. No. L-56011

October 31, 1984

Facts:

Spouses Sanchez filed a Civil Action for Damages against Petitioners Peregrina for alleged disrespect for the dignity, privacy and peace of mind of the Spouses under Art.26 of the Civil Code, and for alleged defamation under Art.33 of the same code.

The parties are neighbors in a barangay in Olongapo City. However, no conciliation proceedings were filed before the Lupon.

Petitioners moved for the dismissal of the Complaint.

Before filing an Opposition, Spouses applied for a Writ of Preliminary Attachment. Thereafter, Spouses presented their Opposition claiming that under Sec.6(3), PD 1508, the parties may go directly to the Courts if the Action is coupled with a provisional remedy such as a Preliminary Attachment.

In resolving the Motion to Dismiss, respondent Judge initially dismissed the Complaint for Spouse’s failure to comply with the precondition for amicable settlement under PD 1508. However, on Motion for Reconsideration, respondent Judge denied the Petitioner’s Motion to Dismiss on the ground that under Rule 57, Sec.1 of the Rules of Court, the application for attachment can be made at the commencement of the action or any time thereafter.

 

Issue:

Whether respondent court’s assumption of jurisdiction, without prior conciliation proceedings between the parties in the Lupon Tagapamayapa, is valid.

 

Held:

Sec.3 of PD 1508 specifically provides that “disputes between or among persons actually residing in the same barangay shall be brought for amicable settlement before the Lupon of said barangay”.

Sec.6 of the same law also mandates that “no complaint, petition, action or proceeding involving any matter within the authority of the Lupon…shall be filed or instituted in court or any government office for adjudication unless there has been confrontation of the parties before the Lupon Chairman or the Pangkat and no conciliation or settlement has been reached as certified by the Lupon Secretary or Pangkat Secretary, attested by the Lupon or Pangkat Chairman, or unless the settlement has been repudiated…”

PD 1508 makes the conciliation process at the Barangay level a condition precedent for the filing of a complaint in court. Non-compliance with that condition precedent could affect the sufficiency of the plaintiff’s cause of action and make his complaint vulnerable to dismissal on the ground of lack of cause of action or prematurity. The condition is analogous to exhaustion of administrative remedies, or the lack of earnest efforts to compromise suits between family members, lacking which, the case can be dismissed.

The parties therein fall squarely within the ambit of PD 1508. They are actual residents in the same barangay and their dispute does not fall under any of the excepted cases.

Respondent Judge erred in reconsidering his previous Order of Dismissal on the ground that the provisional remedy of attachment was seasonably filed. Not only was the application for that remedy merely an afterthought to circumvent the law, but also, a writ of attachment is not available in a suit for damages where the amount, including moral damages, is contingent or unliquidated. Prior referral to the Lupon for conciliation proceedings, therefore, was indubitably called for.

Mondano vs Silvosa

G.R. No. L-7708
May 30, 1955

FACTS:
The petitioner is the duly elected and qualified mayor of the municipality of Mainit, province of Surigao. Consolación Vda. de Mosende filed a sworn complaint with the Presidential Complaints and Action Committee accusing him of (1) rape committed on her daughter Caridad Mosende; and (2) concubinage for cohabiting with her daughter in a place other than the conjugal dwelling. The Assistant Executive Secretary indorsed the complaint to the respondent provincial governor for immediate investigation, appropriate action and report. The provincial governor issued Administrative Order No. 8 suspending the petitioner from office. Thereafter, the Provincial Board proceeded to hear the charges preferred against the petitioner over his objection. The petitioner prays for a writ of prohibition with preliminary injunction to enjoin the respondents from further proceeding with the hearing of the administrative case against him and for a declaration that the order of suspension issued by the respondent provincial governor is illegal and without legal effect.

ISSUE:
Whether or not the investigation of the charges against petitioner by the provincial board and the the consequent suspension of the petitioner as mayor of the municipality of Mainit is unauthorized and illegal.

 

HELD:
Sec. 79 (c) of the Revised Administrative Code and 37 of Act No. 4007 expressly and specifically lodged the provincial supervision over municipal officials in the provincial governor who is authorized to “receive and investigate complaints made under oath against municipal officers for neglect of duty, oppression, corruption or other form of maladministration of office, and conviction by final judgment of any crime involving moral turpitude.” And if the charges are serious, “he shall submit written charges touching the matter to the provincial board, furnishing a copy of such charges to the accused either personally or by registered mail, and he may in such case suspend the officer pending action by the board, if in his opinion the charge be one affecting the official integrity of the officer in question.”

In the instant case, the charges preferred against the respondent are not malfeasances or any of those enumerated or specified in section 2188 of the Revised Administrative Code, because rape and concubinage have nothing to do with the performance of his duties as mayor nor do they constitute or involve “neglect of duty, oppression, corruption or any other form of maladministration of office.” The Court ruled that before the provincial governor and board may act and proceed in accordance with the provisions of the Revised Administrative Code referred to, a conviction by final judgment must precede the filing by the provincial governor of  charges and trial by the provincial board. Even the provincial fiscal cannot file an information for rape without a sworn complaint of the offended party who is 28 years of age and the crime of concubinage cannot be prosecuted but upon a sworn complaint of the offended spouse.

Hence, the charges preferred against the petitioner, Municipal Mayor of Mainit, province of Surigao, not being those or any of those specified in Sec.2188 of the Revised Administrative Code, the investigation of such charges by the provincial board is unauthorized and illegal. Consequently, the suspension of the petitioner, as Mayor of the Municipality of Mainit, is unlawful and without authority of law.

De La Paz Masikip vs City of Pasig GR 136349 (Jan 23, 2006)

Lourdes De La Paz Masikip v City of Pasig
G.R. No. 136349
January 23, 2006

FACTS
Petitioner Lourdes Dela Paz Masikip is the registered owner of a parcel of land with an area of 4,521 square meters located at Pag-Asa, Caniogan, Pasig City, Metro Manila. The then Municipality of Pasig, now City of Pasig, respondent, notified petitioner of its intention to expropriate a 1,500 square meter portion of her property to be used for the sports development and recreational activities of the residents of Barangay Caniogan. This was pursuant to Ordinance No. 42, Series of 1993 enacted by the then Sangguniang Bayan of Pasig.

Again, respondent wrote another letter to petitioner, but this time the purpose was allegedly in line with the program of the Municipal Government to provide land opportunities to deserving poor sectors of our community. Petitioner sent a reply to respondent stating that the intended expropriation of her property is unconstitutional, invalid, and oppressive, as the area of her lot is neither sufficient nor suitable to provide land opportunities to deserving poor sectors of our community.

Respondent filed with the trial court a complaint for expropriation and petitioner filed a Motion to Dismiss the complaint alleging that plaintiff has no cause of action for the exercise of the power of eminent domain considering that: (1) there is no genuine necessity for the taking of the property sought to be expropriated; and (2) plaintiff has arbitrarily and capriciously chosen the property sought to be expropriated. The trial court issued an Order denying the Motion to Dismiss, on the ground that there is a genuine necessity to expropriate the property for the sports and recreational activities of the residents of Pasig. The Court of Appeals affirmed the decision of the trial court. Hence, this petition.

 

ISSUE:
Whether or not there is a genuine necessity for the taking of the property of petitioner.
HELD:
The Supreme Court held that respondent City of Pasig has failed to establish that there is a genuine necessity to expropriate petitioner’s property. The records show that the Certification issued by the Caniogan Barangay Council the basis for the passage of Ordinance No. 42 s. 1993 authorizing the expropriation, indicates that the intended beneficiary is the Melendres Compound Homeowners Association, a private, nonprofit organization, not the residents of Caniogan. It can be gleaned that the members of the said Association are desirous of having their own private playground and recreational facility. Petitioner’s lot is the nearest vacant space available. The purpose is, therefore, not clearly and categorically public. The necessity has not been shown, especially considering that there exists an alternative facility for sports development and community recreation in the area, which is the Rainforest Park, available to all residents of Pasig City, including those of Caniogan. Therefore, the petition for review was Granted.