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Law Of The Case Is The Opinion Delivered On A Former Appeal

Genalyn, the legitimate daughter George and Lilia, filed a complaint


against spouses Manuel and Victoria. According to her, when George
died, he left an unregistered land. Lilia then executed a Supplemental
To the Deed of Extrajudicial Partition which adjudicated the property
solely in her favour. She represented Genalyn, then still a minor. Lilia
then mortgaged the property to the spouses Manuel and Victoria.
Because Lilia was unable to pay the loan, the spouses foreclosed the
property, registered the certificate of sale, and obtained a tax
declaration in their name.
Thus, Genalyn filed the complaint, alleging that the partition was
unenforceable since she was only a minor at the time of its execution,
contrary to the Rules of Court, and the spouses entered into the
mortgage knowing that Lilia was unauthorised.
Genalyn then filed a Motion to Admit Supplemental Complaint, invoking
her right to exercise legal redemption as a co-owner of the disputed
property. The RTC denied it, ruling that her cause of action under the
Supplemental Complaint was entirely different from the first complaint.
Genalyn elevated the denial to the Court of Appeals, which however,
affirmed the RTC ruling. This denial of the petition by the CA was
elevated to the Supreme Court as G.R. No. 157955.
While her petition was pending in the upper courts, the RTC proceeded
with the hearing of the case. Genalyn moved to suspend the
proceedings, but the same was denied. On August 29, 2001, Genalyn
moved to cancel the hearing, but the RTC denied it and issued an order
on August 30, 2001 dismissing her complaint for non-suit.
She thus filed her appeal before the CA (CA-GR. 74045), questioning
the orders dismissing her complaint. In the same vein, she also filed a
petition for certiorari to annul the same RTC order subject of the
appeal, but the petition was denied,
hence it went up to the Supreme Court as G.R. No. 157745, which
eventually was consolidated with G.R. No. 157955. The Supreme Court,
ruling on the consolidated cases, granted G.R. No. 157955, but denied
G.R. No. 157745 for lack of merit.
In G.R. 157955, it ruled that Genalyns right to legal redemption flows
out of her right as co-owner, thus it ordered the RTC to admit the
supplemental complaint.

In G. R. 157745, it ruled that Genalyn engaged in forum shopping when


she filed a petition for certiorari despite the pendency of an appeal
(CA-GR. 74045), thus the petition for certiorari should be dismissed.
With respect to the appeal filed by Genalyn on the order dismissing her
case (CA-G.R. 74045), the CA granted it and remanded the case to the
RTC for further proceedings.
Thus, the spouses Manuel and Victoria filed their own petition for
review with the Supreme Court, questioning the CA decision granting
Genalyns appeal.
The Supreme Court:
We deny the petition.
The present action is barred by the law of the case
In denying the petition, we necessarily must reiterate our ruling in
Young which constitutes as the controlling doctrine or the law of the
case in the present case.
Law of the case has been defined as the opinion delivered on a former
appeal. It means that whatever is once irrevocably established the
controlling legal rule of decision between the same parties in the same
case continues to be the law of the case whether correct on general
principles or not, so long as the facts on which such decision was
predicated continue to be the facts of the case before the court.[1]
We point out in this respect that the law of the case does not have the
finality of res judicata. Law of the case applies only to the same case,
whereas res judicata forecloses parties or privies in one case by what
has been done in another case. In law of the case, the rule made by an
appellate court cannot be departed from in subsequent proceedings in
the same case. Furthermore, law of the case relates entirely to
questions of law while res judicata is applicable to the conclusive
determination of issues of fact. Although res judicata may include
questions of law, it is generally concerned with the effect of
adjudication in a wholly independent proceeding.[2]
The rationale behind this rule is to enable an appellate court to
perform its duties satisfactorily and efficiently, which would be
impossible if a question, once considered and decided by it, were to be
litigated anew in the same case upon any and every subsequent
appeal. Without it, there would be endless litigation. Litigants would be
free to speculate on changes in the personnel of a court, or on the
chance of our rewriting propositions once gravely ruled on solemn
argument and handed down as the law of a given case.[3]

In Young, we directed the RTC to admit Genalyns supplemental


complaint. In so ruling, we also vacated the RTC Orders which
dismissed Genalyns complaint for failure to prosecute. Moreover,
Genalyns move to suspend the proceedings which led to the dismissal
of her complaint stemmed essentially from the RTCs erroneous refusal
to admit the supplemental complaint. On the second issue, we
unequivocably also settled that Genalyn committed forum shopping
when she filed an appeal and a petition for certiorari successively. This
ruling we uphold as the ruling that should apply.
Petition denied.
SECOND DIVISION, G.R. No. 169214, June 19, 2013, SPOUSES MANUEL
SY AND VICTORIA SY, PETITIONERS, VS. GENALYN D. YOUNG,
RESPONDENT.