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G.R.No.L51841

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RepublicofthePhilippines
SUPREMECOURT
Manila
FIRSTDIVISION
G.R.No.L51841June30,1987
REMIGIOQUIQUI,EMILIANAQ.ARELLANO,TURCUATAQ.DIPUTADO,APOLONIAQ.SALCEDOR,
LORETOQUIQUI,SUPLICIAQ.CHAN,ELDEGUNDAQ.MONASTERIO,ELSAQ.ARBONandANTIPASQ.
YANG,petitioners
vs.
TheHonorableJudgeALEJANDROR.BONCAROSofBranchV,CourtofFirstInstanceofNegrosOriental,
ESTEFANIAG.AMOLO,LOPEAMOLO,SOFIAG.ALBON,PASTORGADINGAN,ANGELGADINGAN,
ANTEROGADINGAN,TEOFILOGADINGANandFELICITASGADINGAN,respondents.

GANCAYCO,J.:
This is a Petition for certiorari, prohibition and mandamus. It concerns a parcel of agricultural land situated in
BarangayCabangan,Siaton,NegrosOrientalwithanareaofabout450squaremeters.Thesaidparceloflandis
aportionofLotNo.3217,Pls659DcoveredbyFreePatentTitleNo.FV13703.Theimprovementsontheparcel
oflandinquestionincludeseveralfruittreesandamodestresidentialhouse.
TherecordofthecaserevealsthatonMay22,1973,thehereinprivaterespondentsEstefaniaG.Amolo,Lope
Amolo, Sofia G. Albon, Pastor Gadingan, Angel Gadingan, Antero Gadingan, Teofilo Gadingan and Felicitas
Gadingan were able to secure Free Patent Title No. FV13703 in their names. The 450square meter lot in
questionwasincludedinthesurveyoftheentireparceloflandcoveredbythesaidTitle.
Ontheotherhand,itisthepositionofthehereinpetitionersRemigioQuiqui,EmilianaQ.Arellano,TurcuataQ.
Diputado,ApoloniaQ.Salcedor,LoretoQuiqui,SupliciaQ.Chan,EldegundaQ.Monasterio,ElsaQ.Arbonand
Antipas Q.Yang that the 450square meter lot in question belongs to them and not to the private respondents.
Theycontendthatthesaidlotwaspurchasedbytheirlatefathersometimein1920andthateversincethen,they
havebeeninactualpossessionthereof,peacefully,openlycontinuouslyandadversely,foraperiodof56years
already.Theyalsocontendthattheprivaterespondentssucceededinputtingthesaidpropertyintheirnameby
clandestinelyincludingthesaidlotinthesurveyofthepremisesundertakenbytheGovernmentsometimeinthe
1970s.
On November 9, 1976, the petitioners, assisted by the Citizens LegalAssistance Office of the then Ministry of
Justice,filedaComplaintintheCourtofFirstInstanceofNegrosOrientalfor"reconveyanceand/orannulmentof
Title with damages" against the private respondents. 1 The said Complaint was anchored on the theory that the title to the lot in
questionobtainedbytheprivaterespondentsintheirnamewassecuredthroughfraud.ThecasewasdocketedasCivilCaseNo.6606.

On December 5, 1976, the private respondents filed theirAnswer to the Complaint, alleging, interalia, that the
petitioners have no cause of action against them. By way of Counterclaim, the private respondents sought the
paymenttothemofmoraldamagesandattorney'sfees.2
Thereafter, a pretrial conference was scheduled by the trial court. Inasmuch as the parties could not reach an
amicable settlement of their case, the pretrial conference was terminated and the case was set for trial on the
merits. In the course of the proceedings, more particularly on May 10, 1979, the private respondents filed a
Motiontodismissthecaseonthegroundoflackofjurisdictiononthepartofthetrialcourt.3
OnJune7,1979,thepetitionerssubmittedtheirOppositiontothesaidMotion,stressingthatthetrialcourthas
jurisdiction over cases for reconveyance. 4 In its Order dated July 16, 1979, the trial court, with respondent Judge
Alejandro R. Boncaros presiding, dismissed the Complaint for reconveyance on the ground that it had no jurisdiction over
thecase.5CounselforthepetitionersreceivedacopyofthesaidOrderonJuly17,1979.6

OnAugust17,1979,thepetitionersfiledaMotionforthereconsiderationoftheOrderofthetrialcourtdismissing
theComplaint.7ThesaidMotionforReconsiderationisdatedAugust16,1979.
The private respondents opposed the Motion for Reconsideration, stating that the same had been filed beyond
the 30 day reglementary period under the Rules. The private respondents maintain that inasmuch as the
petitionersreceivedtheircopyoftheOrderofdismissalonJuly17,1979,theyhaduptoAugust16,1979tofile
the Motion for reconsideration, computed on the basis of the 30day reglementary period. They contend that
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sincethesaidMotionwasfiledbeyondthe30dayperiod,theOrderofdismissalhasbecomefinalandexecutory
andcouldnolongerbethesubjectofaMotionforreconsideration.8InitsOrderdatedAugust21,1979,thetrialcourt
deniedtheMotionforReconsiderationonthegroundassertedbytheprivaterespondents.9

On August 23, 1979, the petitioners filed a Notice of Appeal, seeking relief from the Court of Appeals. They
sought theAppeal on the ground that the Orders of the trial court dismissing their Complaint and denying their
MotionforReconsiderationarecontrarytolawandtheevidencesubmitted. 10OnAugust24,1979,thepetitionersfiledtheir
AppealBond,togetherwiththeirMotiontoapprovethesame.

InitsOrderdatedAugust28,1979,thetrialcourtdeniedtheNoticeofAppeal,includingtheMotiontoapprovethe
AppealBond.ThepertinentportionofthesaidOrderareasfollows
TheorderofdismissalofthisCourtwhichwasdatedJuly16,1979wasreceivedbytheplaintiffs(the
herein petitioners) on July 17, 1979. Under Section 3, Rule 41 of the Revised Rules of Court, the
periodtoappealisthirty(30)days,sowiththemotionforareconsiderationsothat(sic)underArt.13
of the Civil Code that in the computation of the period exclude the first (day), include the last (sic),
August16,1979thereforewasthelastdaytofilethemotionforreconsiderationbutitwasfiledon
August17oronedaylateandthismotionforreconsiderationwasdeniedbythisCourtonAugust21,
1979 (sic).The reason for the denial was the motion for reconsideration was filed (sic) beyond the
reglementary period, in which case, the notice of appeal ... (was) likewise filed beyond the
reglementaryperiod....
xxxxxxxxx11
Findingtheactiontakenbythetrialcourtunsatisfactory,thepetitionersbroughttheircasedirectlytothisCourtby
way of the instant Petition for certiorari,prohibition and mandamus under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court. They
maintain that the Order of the trial court dated July 16, 1979 is illegal and void for having been "issued without
jurisdictionorinexcessofjurisdictionorwithgraveabuseofdiscretion,forthesocalled"onedaylate"(ground)
uponwhichitisbaseddoesnotactuallyexist." 12Theypray,interalia,thatthetrialcourtbeorderedtoapprovetheirNoticeofAppeal.
13

ComplyingwiththeinstructionsofthisCourt,theprivaterespondentssubmittedtheirCommentonthePetition.14
IntheResolutionofthisCourtdatedJanuary14,1980,WegaveduecoursetotheinstantPetition. 15 The parties
submittedtheirrespectiveMemorandaafterwhichthecasewasdeemedsubmittedfordecisiononJune11,1980.

Afteracarefulexaminationoftheentirerecordofthecase,WefindtheinstantPetitiondevoidofmerit.
Atthetimethislitigationwasinstitutedinthetrialcourt,Section3,Rule41oftheRulesofCourtwastheprovision
governingtheperiodwithinwhichanAppealmaybetakentotheCourtofAppeals,towit
SEC.3.Howappealistaken.Appealmaybetakenbyservingupontheadversepartyandfiling
with the trial court within thirty (30) days from notice of order or judgment, a notice of appeal, an
appealbond,andarecordonappeal.Thetimeduringwhichamotiontosetasidethejudgmentor
orderorforanewtrialhasbeenpendingshallbededucted,unlesssuchmotionfailstosatisfythe
requirementsofRule37.
But where such a motion has been filed during office hours of the last day of the period herein
provided, the appeal must be perfected within the day following that in which the party appealing
receivednoticeofthedenialofsaidmotion.
Underthiscitedprovision,theAppealmaybetakenwithin30daysfromnoticeofthejudgmentororderofthetrial
court.16IntheeventthatthepartyaggrievedbythejudgmentororderofthetrialcourtfilesaMotiontosetasidethejudgmentororder,i.eaMotionfor
Reconsideration,thetimeduringwhichsuchMotionispendingresolutionshall,asarule,bedeductedfromthe30dayperiod.17Inrelationthereto,the
NewCivilCodestatesthatincomputingaperiod,thefirstdayshallbeexcludedandthelastdayincluded.18

ThepetitionersadmitthattheyreceivedtheircopyoftheOrderofdismissaloftheirComplaintonJuly17,1979.
Under Section 3, Rule 41, they had 30 days within which to appeal their case or to file a Motion for
Reconsiderationofthejudgmentororderofthetrialcourt.Incomputingthe30dayperiod,July17,1979(thefirst
day)isexcluded,pursuanttoArticle13oftheNewCivilCode.Counting30daysthereafter,beginningonJuly18,
1979, the petitioners had up to August 16, 1979 to file their Motion for Reconsideration. Their Motion for
Reconsideration, although datedAugust 16, 1979, was filed with the trial court onAugust 17, 1979 or one day
beyondthe30dayreglementaryperiodprescribedbySection3ofRule41.
Underthesecircumstances,theorderofthetrialcourtdismissingtheComplainthasbecomefinalandexecutory.
Assuch,itisbeyondthereachofaMotionforconsideration. 19TheNoticeofAppeal,therefore,wasproperlydenied.Perfectionof

anappealinthemannerandwithintheperiodlaiddownbylawisnotonlymandatorybutalsojurisdictionalandfailuretoperfectanappealasrequiredby
theruleshastheeffectofrenderingthejudgmentfinalandexecutory.Astrictobservanceofthereglementaryperiodwithinwhichtoexercisethestatutory
rightofappealhasbeenconsideredasabsolutelyindispensabletothepreventionofneedlessdelays.20

Asalastrecourseinsupportoftheircase,thepetitionersinvokethefollowingobservationsmadebythisCourtin
DeLasAlasv.CourtofAppeals,21towit:
Regardless, however, of the above findings and even assuming that respondents' position were
correct, WE find that a oneday delay does not justify the dismissal of the appeal under the
circumstancesobtaininginthiscase.Therealpurposebehindthelimitationoftheperiodofappealis
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to forestall or avoid an unreasonable delay in the administration of justice and to put an end to
controversies...22
Unfortunatelyforthepetitioners,theobservationmadebythisCourtinDeLasAlasdoesnotapplytotheircase.
InDeLasAlas,theviewexpressedbythisCourttotheeffectthat"aonedaydelaydoesnotjustifythedismissal
of the appeal" is qualified by the phrase "under the circumstances obtaining in this case". Unlike the situation
facedbythehereinpetitioners,thereisnoshowingthatthepetitionersintheDeLasAlascasefailedtofiletheir
MotionforReconsiderationaswellastheirRecordonAppealwithinthereglementaryperiod.Onthecontrary,this
Courtnotedthereinthelackofdelayonthepartofthepetitionersinthatcase,viz
Furthermore, WE note from the records the absence or lack of the element of intent to delay the
administration of justice on the part of petitioners in this case. On the contrary, petitioners' counsel
have demonstrated cautiousness, concern and punctuality in the prosecution of the appeal. They
filedtheirmotionforreconsiderationOctober7,1972,eveniftherespondentlowercourtjudgehad
giventhemanextensionuptoOctober24,1972,withinwhichtofilethesaidmotion.Petitionershad
uptoDecember25,1972,withinwhichtosubmittheirrecordonappeal,yettheyfiledtheirrecordon
appealonDecember8,1972,or17daysbeforethedeadline.23
Moreover, a doubtful and controversial question of law confronted the parties in the De LasAlascase,i.e., the
matterofcomputingthereglementaryperiodforfilinganAppeal.Therespondentcourtfoundpetitionerhadonly
two (2) days left to perfect the appeal after the denial of the motion for reconsideration while this Court held
petitioners had three (3) days left deducting the period within which the motion for reconsideration has been
pending, excluding the first day in the computation of the period, but since the last day falls on a Sunday the
periodofappealisipsojureextendedtothefirstworkingdayimmediatelyfollowing. 24Inthecaseatbar,however,
thereisnosuchdoubtfulorcontroversialquestionoflawsubmittedforOurresolution.

For the petitioners to seek exception for their failure to comply strictly with the requirements for perfecting their
Appeal,strongcompellingreasons,likethepreventionofagravemiscarriageofjustice,mustbeshowntoexistin
ordertowarrantthisCourttosuspendtheRules. 25 No such reasons have been shown to exist in this case. In fact,
thepetitionersdidnotevenofferanyreasonableexplanationfortheirdelay.

Onthebasisoftheforegoingdiscussion,Wefindnojurisdictionalinfirmity,sufficienttocallfortheissuanceofthe
correctivewritofcertiorariintheactiontakenbythetrialcourt.Asstatedearlier,theinstantPetitionisdevoidof
merit.
WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing, the instant Petition for certiorari prohibition and mandamus is hereby
DISMISSEDforlackofmerit.Wemakenopronouncementastocosts.
SOORDERED.
Yap(Chairman),Narvasa,MelencioHerrera,Cruz,FelicianoandSarmiento,JJ.,concur.

Footnotes
1Pages13to16,Rollo.
2Page19,Rollo.
3Pages23to26,Rollo.
4Pages28to31,Rollo.
5Pages32to33,Rollo.
6Pages4and5,Petition.
7Page5,Petitionpages34to36,Rollo.
8Page37,Rollo.
9Page38,Rollo.
10Page39,Rollo.
11Page44,Rollo.
12Page7,Petition.
13Page9,Petition.
14Pages47to49,Rollo.
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15Page52,Rollo.
16Section3,Rule41hasbeenmodifiedbySection39ofBatasPambansaBlg.129,otherwise
knownasTheJudiciaryActof1981.TheperiodwithinwhichanAppealmaybetakenhasbeen
reducedto15days,exceptinhabeascorpuscases.
17Firstparagraph,Section3,Rule41.
18Article13,NewCivilCode.
19Elizalde&Co.,Inc.v.CourtofIndustrialRelations,25SCRA58,6162(1968).SeealsoCarreon
v.Workmen'sCompensationCommission,77SCRA297,300(1977).
20Macabingkilvs.People'sHomesiteandHousingCorp.,72SCRA339,L29080,Aug.17,1976
LuzonStevedoringCorp.vs.Reyes,71SCRA661,L43469,June30,1976.
2183SCRA200(1978).
22CitingDyCayv.Crossfield,38Phil.521(1918).
2383SCRAat215.
24Supra,applyingLlorenvs.DeVera,4SCRA637.
25Workmen'sInsuranceCo.,Inc.v.Augusto,40SCRA123,127(1971).SeealsoRonquillov.
Marasigan,5SCRA304,312313(1962).
TheLawphilProjectArellanoLawFoundation

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