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RepublicofthePhilippines

SUPREMECOURT
Manila
FIRSTDIVISION
G.R.No.202651August28,2013
LUCENAB.RALLOS,PETITIONER,
vs.
CITY OF CEBU, HONORABLE MICHAEL RAMA, HONORABLE JOY AUGUSTUS YOUNG, HONORABLE
SISINIO ANDALES, HONORABLE RODRIGO ABELLANOSA, HONORABLE ALVIN ARCILLA, HONORABLE
RAUL ALCOSEBA, HONORABLE MA. NIDA CABRERA, HONORABLE ROBERTO CABARRUBIAS,
HONORABLE ALVIN DIZON, HONORABLE RONALD CUENCO, HONORABLE LEA JAPSON, HONORABLE
JOSE DALUZ III, HONORABLE EDGARDO LABELLA, HONORABLE MARGARITA OSMEA, HONORABLE
AUGUSTUS PE, HONORABLE RICHARD OSMEA, HONORABLE NOEL WENCESLAO, HONORABLE
EDUARDO RAMA, JR., HONORABLE MICHAEL RALOTA, HONORABLE JOHN PHILIP ECHAVEZPO, ATTY.
JOSEPHBERNALDEZ,ATTY.JUNEMARATAS,ATTY.JERONECASTILLO,ATTY.MARYANNSUSON,ATTY.
LESLIE ANN REYES, ATTY. CARLO VINCENT GIMENA, ATTY. FERDINAND CAETE, ATTY. ISMAEL
GARAYGAYIII,ATTY.LECELLLAMEDOANDATTY.MARIEVELLEABELLA,RESPONDENTS.
RESOLUTION
REYES,J.:
OneoftheHeirsofReverendFatherVicenteRallos(HeirsofFr.Rallos),LucenaB.Rallos1(Lucena),isnowbefore
this Court with a petition2 praying for the citation for indirect contempt of the City of Cebu, Mayor Michael Rama
(MayorRama),thepresidingofficerandmembersoftheSangguniangPanlungsod,andlawyersfromtheOfficeof
theCityAttorney(respondents).TheinstantpetitionisanchoredonLucena'sallegationthattherespondentsimpede
theexecutionoffinalandexecutoryjudgmentsrenderedbythisCourtinG.R.Nos.1796623and1941114.G.R.Nos.
179662and194111wereamongastringofsuitswhichoriginatedfromaComplaintforForfeitureofImprovementsor
PaymentofFairMarketValuewithMoralandExemplaryDamages5filedin1997bytheHeirsofFr.Rallosbeforethe
RegionalTrialCourt(RTC)ofCebuCity,Branch9,againsttheCityofCeburelativetotwoparcelsofland6with a
total area of 4,654 square meters located in Barangay Sambag I which were expropriated in 1963 for road
constructionpurposes.
AntecedentFacts
At the root of the controversy are Lots 485D and 485E of the Banilad Estate, Sambag I, Cebu City, which were
expropriatedtobeusedasapublicroadin1963.TheHeirsofFr.RallosallegedthattheCityofCebuoccupiedthe
lots in bad faith sans the authority of the former's predecessorsininterest, who were the registered owners of the
subjectparcelsofland.
On June 11, 1997, the Heirs of Fr. Rallos filed before the RTC a Complaint for Forfeiture of Improvements or
PaymentofFairMarketValuewithMoralandExemplaryDamagesagainsttheCityofCebu.
InitsAnswerfiledonOctober6,1997,theCityofCebucontendedthatthesubjectparcelsoflandareroadlotsand
arenotresidentialincharacter.TheyhavebeenwithdrawnfromthecommerceofmenandwereoccupiedbytheCity
ofCebuwithoutexpropriationproceedingspursuanttoOrdinanceNo.416whichwasenactedin1963ormorethan
35yearsbeforetheHeirsofFr.Rallosinstitutedtheircomplaint.
On January 14, 2000, the RTC rendered a Decision,7which found the City of Cebu liable to pay the Heirs of Fr.
Rallos just compensation in the amount still to be determined by a board of three commissioners, one each to be
designatedbythecontendingpartiesandthecourt.
ToassailtheDecisionrenderedonJanuary14,2000,theCityofCebufiledaMotionforReconsideration,whichwas
howeverdeniedbytheRTConFebruary5,2001.8
The members of the Board of Commissioners thereafter submitted their respective appraisal reports. On July 24,
2001,theRTCrenderedaDecision,9thedispositiveportionofwhich,inpart,reads:

WHEREFORE,the[RTC]herebyrendersjudgment,ordering[theCityofCebu]topay[theHeirsofFr.
Rallos]asjustcompensationforLots485Dand485EtheamountofPhp34,905,000.00plusinterestat
12%perannumtostart40daysfrom[the]dateofthisdecisionandtocontinueuntilthewholeamount
shall have been fully paid. [The City of Cebu] is further ordered to pay [the Heirs of Fr. Rallos] the
followingamounts:
1.Php50,000.00asreimbursementforattorney'sfees
2.Php50,000.00asreimbursementforlitigationexpenses.10
ThecontendingpartiesbothmovedforthereconsiderationoftheDecisionrenderedonJuly24,2001.TheCityof
Cebu argued that the reckoning period for the computation of just compensation should be at least not later than
1963whenthesaidlotswereinitiallyoccupied.Ontheotherhand,theHeirsofFr.Rallosinsistedthattheamountof
justcompensationpayablebytheCityofCebushouldbeincreasedfromPhp7,500.00toPhp12,500.00persqm,
thelatterbeingthefairmarketvalueofthesubjectlots.Theyalsoprayedfortheawardofdamagesintheamountof
Php16,186,520.00,whichwasallegedlythevalueofthelossofusageofthepropertiesinvolvedfrom1963to1997
ascomputedbyAtty.FidelKwan,thecommissionerappointedbytheRTC.
OnMarch21,2002,theRTCissuedaConsolidatedOrder11denyingtheMotionforReconsiderationfiledbytheCity
of Cebu, but modifying the Decision rendered on July 24, 2001. Through the said order, the RTC increased the
amountofjustcompensationpayabletotheHeirsofFr.RallosfromPhp7,500.00toPhp9,500.00persqm.
TheCityofCebufiledwiththeRTCaNoticeofAppeal,whichwasopposedbytheHeirsofFr.Rallos.
IntheDecision12renderedonMay29,2007,whichresolvedtheappeal13filedbytheCityofCebu,theCAopined
that the RTC erred in holding that the reckoning point for the determination of the amount of just compensation
should be from 1997, the time the complaint for just compensation was filed by the Heirs of Fr. Rallos.
Notwithstandingtheforegoing,theCAstilldismissedonproceduralgroundstheappealfiledbytheCityofCebu.The
CA pointed out that pursuant to Sections 214and9,15Rule 41 and Section 1,16Rule 50 of the Rules of Court, a
recordonappealandnotanoticeofappealshouldhavebeenfiledbeforeitbytheCityofCebutoassailtheRTC's
DecisionsrenderedonJanuary14,2000andJuly24,2001andtheOrdersissuedonFebruary5,2001andMarch
21,2002.
TheCityofCebufiledbeforethisCourtaPetitionforReviewonCertiorari17toassailtheDecisionrenderedbythe
CAonMay29,2007.ThisCourtdeniedthesamethroughaMinuteResolution18issuedonDecember5,2007.The
saidMinuteResolutionwasrecordedintheBookofEntriesofJudgmentsonApril21,2008.19
TheHeirsofFr.RallosthereafterfiledbeforetheRTCaMotionforExecutionrelativetotheDecisionrenderedon
July 24, 2001. They claimed that in 2001, the City of Cebu paid them Php 34,905,000.00, but there remained a
balance of Php 46,546,920.00 left to be paid, computed as of September 2, 2008. On its part, the City of Cebu
admittedstillowingtheHeirsofFr.RallosbutonlyintheamountofPhp16,893,162.08.20
OnDecember4,2008,theRTCissuedawritofexecutioninfavoroftheHeirsofFr.Rallos,whichinpart,reads:
NOW, THEREFORE, you are hereby commanded to serve a copy hereof to judgment obligor City of
Cebu and demand for the immediate payment of Php 44,213,000.00, less the partial payment of Php
34,905,000.00plusinterestat12%perannumtostart40daysfromdateoftheJuly24,2001Decision
andtocontinueuntilthewholeamounthasbeenfullypaidPhp50,000.00asattorney'sfeesandPhp
50,000.00aslitigationexpenses.xxx.21
SheriffAntonioBellones(SheriffBellones)thenservedupontheCityofCebuademandletter,datedDecember4,
2008,andwhichwasamendedonJanuary26,2009,indicatingthat:
DEMANDisherebymadeforthejudgmentobligorCityofCebuxxxtofacilitatethepromptpaymentof
thefollowing:(a)justcompensationofLots485Dand485EintheamountofPhp44,213,000.00plus
interest of 12% per annum starting 40 days from the July 24, 2001 Decision and to continue until the
wholeamounthasbeendulypaidlesspartialpaymentofPhp34,905,000.00xxx.22
TheCityofCebusoughtthereiterationofthedirectivesstatedintheWritofExecutionissuedonDecember4,2008
andthesettingasideoftheamendeddemandletterserveduponitbySheriffBellones.

OnMarch16,2009,theRTCissuedanOrder23denyingtheCityofCebu'smotionforthereiterationofthewritof
execution. The RTC, however, set aside the demand letter served upon the City of Cebu by Sheriff Bellones and
interpretedthedirectivesofthewritofexecutionissuedonDecember4,2008as:
[T]he entire amount of Php 44,213,000.00 shall be subjected to a 12% interest per annum to start 40
daysfromthedatethedecisiononJuly24,2001[wasrendered]untiltheamountofPhp34,905,000.00
waspartiallypaidbytheCityofCebu.AfterthepaymentbytheCityofCebuofapartialamount,the
balanceshallagainbesubjectedto12%interestuntilthesameshallhavebeenfullypaid.24
The Heirs of Fr. Rallos assailed the abovementioned order on the ground that it effectively modified the final and
executoryDecisionrenderedonJuly24,2001.TheylikewisesoughttheapplicationofArticle221225oftheNewCivil
CodeandjurisprudencesoastoentitlethemtolegalinterestontheinterestduetothempursuanttotheDecision
renderedonJuly24,2001.IntheOrderissuedonMay20,2009,theRTCdidnotfavorablyconsiderthepreceding
claims.
APetition for CertiorariandMandamus26was then filed by the Heirs of Fr. Rallos before the CA to challenge the
OrdersissuedbytheRTConMarch16,2009andMay20,2009.TheCAgrantedthepetitionafterfindingthatthe
twoassailedorderseffectivelymodifiedthefinalandexecutorydispositionmadebytheRTConMarch21,2002.The
CAlikewiseruledthatthecasecallsfortheapplicationofArticle2212oftheNewCivilCode,hence,itdirectedthe
CityofCebutopayinterestattherateof12%perannumupontheinterestdue,tobecomputedfromthedateofthe
filingofthecomplaintuntilfullsatisfactionoftheobligation.TheCAstated:
Note that the final and executory consolidated decision of July 24, 2001 as modified by the final and
executoryorderofMarch21,2002,clearlydirectedhereinrespondentCebuCitytopayinterestatthe
rateof12%perannumbasedontheamountof[Php]9,500.00persquaremeterstarting40daysfrom
the date of the decision and to continue until the entire amount shall have been fully paid. Yet, the
assailedordersxxx,nowdirectedthatthe12%interestperannumbepaidonthedecliningbalance
contrarytothedirectiveinthefinalandexecutoryjudgmentxxx.
xxxx
xxx[TheHeirsofFr.Rallos]arewithoutadoubtentitledto12%interestperannumontheinterestdue
fromfinalityuntilitssatisfactionxxx.Thesameisproperevenifnotexpresslystatedinthefinaland
executoryjudgmentxxx.27
TheCityofCebuassailedtheDecisioninCAG.R.SPNo.04418bywayofaPetitionforReviewonCertiorari28filed
before this Court. The same was denied through a Minute Resolution29 issued on December 6, 2010. The said
resolutionwasrecordedinthisCourt'sBookofEntriesofJudgmentsonJune16,2011.30
TheHeirsofFr.RallosthenmovedforexecutionrelativetoCivilCaseNo.CEB20388.TheRTCgrantedthemotion
throughtheOrder31issuedonSeptember23,2011.
TheCityofCebuthereafterfiledthefollowing:(1)UrgentOmnibusMotionstoQuashtheWritofExecution,andto
SetAsidetheNoticeofGarnishment(2)SupplementalUrgentOmnibusMotionstoQuashtheWritofExecution,and
toSetAsidetheNoticeofGarnishment(3)MotionforIssuanceofStatusQuoOrderPendingResolutionof[theCity
of Cebu's] Urgent Omnibus Motions to Quash the Writ of Execution and to Set Aside the Notice of
Garnishment32and(4)MotiontoStrikeoutorExpungeUrgentOmnibusMotionandSupplementalUrgentOmnibus
MotionwithManifestationandReservation.TheRTCdeniedthefourmotionsintheOrder33issuedonOctober26,
2011. The RTC's Order34 issued on January 26, 2012 likewise did not favorably consider the motion for
reconsideration filed by the City of Cebu. The RTC emphasized that the Convenio35 already existed way back in
1940,hence,itcannotbeconsideredasasuperveningeventwhichtranspiredafterthejudgmentinCivilCaseNo.
CEB20388hadbecomefinalandexecutory.TheCityofCebunolongerfiledanymotionoractiontoassailtheRTC
OrdersissuedonOctober26,2011andJanuary26,2012.
Meanwhile,inresponsetoMayorRama'squery,theCommissiononAudit's(COA)RegionalDirectorDelfinP.Aguilar
wrotetheformeraletter36datedOctober27,2011opiningthat:
UnderAdministrativeCircularNo.10200037issuedbytheSupremeCourt,itwasclearlystatedthatthe
prosecution,enforcementorsatisfactionofstateliabilitymustbepursuedinaccordancewiththerules

and procedures laid down in Presidential Decree No. 1445, otherwise known as the Government
Auditing Code of the Philippines, wherein it is provided that all money claims against the government
mustfirstbefiledwiththe[COA].xxx.
Clearly, based on the aforementioned Supreme Court issuance and in the line with the rulings of the
Supreme Court in various cases against garnishment of public funds or property to satisfy money
judgmentagainstthegovernment,weareoftheviewthattheissuanceofthewritofexecutionforthe
satisfactionofthemoneyjudgmentagainsttheCityofCebumaybeconsideredbeyondthepowersof
thecourt.
Ontheotherhand,Section1,RuleVIIIofthe2009RevisedRulesofProcedureoftheCOAprovides
that a money judgment is considered as a money claim which is within the original jurisdiction of the
CommissionProper(CP)oftheCOAandwhichshallbefileddirectlywiththeCommissionSecretaryxx
x.38
On February 27, 2012, the RTC issued another Order39 directing under pain of contempt the Cebu branches of
PhilippineVeteransBankandPostalSavingsBanktoreleasetotheconcernedRTCsheriffcertificationsindicating
thecorrectaccountnamesandnumbersmaintainedbytheCityofCebuinthesaidbanks.TheOrderalsodirected
the Sangguniang Panlungsod to enact an appropriation ordinance relative to the money judgment. Upon
presentmentoftheordinance,theabovementionedbankswereexpectedtoreleasetheamountsstatedthereinto
satisfy the judgment rendered in favor of the Heirs of Fr. Rallos. The City of Cebu filed a Motion for
Reconsideration40againsttheOrderdatedFebruary27,2012.
EvenbeforetheMotionforReconsiderationtotheOrderdatedFebruary27,2012canberesolvedbytheRTC,the
CityofCebufiledbeforetheCAaPetitionforAnnulmentofFinalDecision/sandOrder/swithprayerfortheissuance
ofinjunctivereliefs.41TheCityofCebuclaimedthattheactoftheHeirsofFr.Rallosofsuppressingtheexistenceof
the Convenio amounted to extrinsic fraud which would justify the annulment of the RTC's decisions and orders
relativetoCivilCaseNo.CEB20388.Inprayingfortheissuanceofinjunctivereliefs,theCityofCebustressedthatit
hadalreadypaidtheHeirsofFr.RallosPhp56,196,369.42fora4,654sqmpropertyoratapriceofPhp12,074.85
per sq m. Further, the procedures prescribed in Presidential Decree (P.D.) No. 1445, this Court's Administrative
Circular(Admin.Circular)No.102000andRuleVIIIoftheCOA'sRevisedRulesofProcedurewerenotyetcomplied
with, hence, public funds cannot be released notwithstanding the rendition of the decisions and issuance of the
ordersbytheRTCrelativetoCivilCaseNo.CEB20388.
On April 13, 2012, the CA, through a Resolution,42 granted the City of Cebu's application for the issuance of a
temporaryrestrainingorder(TRO)relativetoCAG.R.SPNo.06676.Subsequently,awritofpreliminaryinjunction
waslikewiseissuedthroughtheResolution43datedJune26,2012.
Lucenathenfiledthefollowingpetitionsforindirectcontempt,allofwhichinrelationwithCivilCaseNo.CEB20388:
Title

DocketNumber

DateFiled

Forum

LucinaC.Rallosv.
SCANo.CEB38121
MayorMichaelRama,
EileenMangubatand
DorisBongac44

October3,2011

RTCofCebuCity
Branch10

LucinaB.Rallosv.
NicanorValles,
RicardoBalbido,Jr.,
andMayorMichael
Rama45

SCANo.CEB38196

October25,2011

RTCofCebuCity,
Branch14

LucinaB.Rallosv.
PhilippineVeterans
Bank,etal.

SCANo.CEB3812

November4,2011

RTCofCebuCity,
Branch7

LucinaB.Rallosv.
CityofCebu,Michael
Rama,etal.46

SCANo.CEB38292

December6,2011

RTCofCebuCity,
Branch14

LucenaB.Rallosv.
HonorableJustices
GabrielT.Ingles,
PamelaAnnAbella
Maximoand
Carmelita
Salandanan
Manahan47

G.R.No.202515

July19,2012

ThisCourt

Theinstantpetition

G.R.No.202651

August1,2012

ThisCourt

IssueandtheContendingParties'Claims
LucenaanchorstheinstantpetitiononthesoleissueofwhetherornottheCityofCebu,MayorRama,thepresiding
officerandmembersoftheSangguniangPanlungsodandthelawyersfromtheOfficeoftheCityAttorneycommitted
several acts of indirect contempt all geared towards preventing the execution of final and executory judgments
renderedbythisCourtinG.R.Nos.179662and194111.
Lucenaenumeratestheallegedlycontumaciousactsoftherespondentsasthefiling:(a)withtheCAofaPetitionfor
AnnulmentofFinalDecision/sandOrder/s48againonthebasisoftheConvenio,whichwasalreadypresentedand
consideredintheproceedingsbeforetheRTC,anddespitethefinalityofthedecisionsandordersrenderedorissued
relativetoCivilCaseNo.CEB20388and(b)ofseveralmotions49beforetheRTCinCivilCaseNo.CEB20388for
thepurposeofpreventingordelayingtheexecutionofdecisionsandorderswhichhadalreadyattainedfinality.
The respondents, on the other hand, seek the dismissal of the instant action contending that: (a) the rules on litis
pendentiaandforumshoppingbarthisCourtfromgivingduecoursetoLucena'spetitionsincetherearefiveother
contemptproceedingsfiledinvolvingthesameissuesandparties(b)theinjunctivewritsgrantedtotheCityofCebu
by the CA in CAGR. SP No. 06676 relative to the execution of the decisions and orders in Civil Case No. CEB
20388renderedtheinstantactionasmootandacademic(c)thelegalremediestheyavailedofwereallpursuedto
protectpublicfunds(d)theRTCsheriff,inattemptingtoexecutethedecisionsandordersinCivilCaseNo.CEB
20388, miserably failed to comply with the requirements provided for by law, to wit, Section 305(a)50 of the Local
GovernmentCode,thisCourt'sAdmin.CircularNo.102000,51P.D.No.1445andRuleVIIIofCOA'sRevisedRules
of Procedure (e) in Parel v. Heirs of Simeon Prudencio,52 this Court declared that a writ of execution may be
assailed when it varies the judgment, where there has been a change in the situation of parties making execution
unjustorinequitable,orwhenthejudgmentdebthasbeenpaidorsatisfied(f)itwouldundulyoverburdentheCityof
Cebu to pay Php 133,469,962.55 for the subject lots the huge portions of which are now occupied by settlers and
establishmentsclaimingtobeowners,practicallyleavingaverysmallandinsignificantareaforuse(g)inthecaseof
CityofCaloocanv.Hon.Allarde,53thisCourtruledthatgovernmentfundsmaintainedinanyofficialdepositorymay
not be garnished in the absence of a corresponding appropriation as required by law and (h) the Sangguniang
PanlungsodcannotbecompelledtopassanappropriationsordinancetosatisfytheclaimsoftheHeirsofFr.Rallos
fortodootherwisewouldbetointrudeintotheexerciseofadiscretionaryauthoritytodecideapoliticalquestion.
ThisCourt'sDisquisition
Theinstantpetitionlacksmerit.
Lucenaengagedinforumshopping.
"Forumshoppingistheactoflitigantswhorepetitivelyavailthemselvesofmultiplejudicialremediesindifferentfora,
simultaneouslyorsuccessively,allsubstantiallyfoundedonthesametransactionsandthesameessentialfactsand
circumstancesandraisingsubstantiallysimilarissueseitherpendinginoralreadyresolvedadverselybysomeother
court or for the purpose of increasing their chances of obtaining a favorable decision, if not in one court, then in
another."54
"Forumshoppingexistswhentheelementsoflitispendentiaarepresentorwhereafinaljudgmentinonecasewill
amounttoresjudicatainanother.Litispendentiarequirestheconcurrenceofthefollowingrequisites:(1)identityof
parties, or at least such parties as those representing the same interests in both actions (2) identity of rights
assertedandreliefsprayedfor,thereliefsbeingfoundedonthesamefactsand(3)identitywithrespecttothetwo
precedingparticularsinthetwocases,suchthatanyjudgmentthatmayberenderedinthependingcase,regardless
ofwhichpartyissuccessful,wouldamounttoresjudicataintheothercase."55

IntheVerificationandNonForumShoppingCertification56attachedtotheinstantpetitionandexecutedbyLucena,
sheadmittedthattherearefiveotherpendingactionsforindirectcontemptwhichshefiledrelativetoCivilCaseNo.
CEB20388.She,however,claimsthattheissuesintheotherfivepetitionsaredifferentfromthatraisedbeforethis
Courtnow.
Lucena'sclaimcannotbesustained.
A comparison of the instant petition with SCA No. CEB3829257 filed before the RTC of Cebu City, Branch 14
follows:
InstantPetition

SCANo.CEB38292

NatureofAction

PetitionforIndirect
ContemptofCourt

PetitionforIndirectContempt

Petitioner

LucenaB.Rallos

LucinaB.Rallos

Respondents

CityofCebu
MayorMichaelRama
CityCouncilors
JoyAugustusYoung
SisinioAndales
RodrigoAbellanosa
AlvinArcilla
RaulAlcoseba
Ma.NidaCabrera
RobertoCabarrubias
AlvinDizon
RonaldCuenco
LeaJapson
JoseDaluzIII
EdgardoLabella
MargaritaOsmena
AugustusPe
RichardOsmena
NoelWenceslao
EduardoRama,Jr.
MichaelRalota
JohnPhilipEchavezPo
CityAttorney
Atty.JosephBernaldez
Atty.JunMaratas
Atty.JeroneCastillo
Atty.MaryAnnSuson
Atty.LeslieAnnReyes
Atty.CarloVincentGimena
Atty.FerdinandCanete
Atty.IsmaelGaraygayIII
Atty.LecelLlamedo
Atty.MarieVelleAbella

CityofCebu
MayorMichaelRama
CityCouncilors
JoyAugustusYoung
SisinioAndales
RodrigoAbellanosa
AlvinArcilla
RaulAlcoseba
Ma.NidaCabrera
RobertoCabarrubias
AlvinDizon
RonaldCuenco
LeaJapson
JoseDaluzIII
EdgardoLabella
MargaritaOsmena
AugustusPe
RichardOsmena
NoelWenceslao
EduardoRama,Jr.
MichaelRalota
JohnPhilipEchavezPo

Prayer

PrayerRespondentsbe
declaredguiltyofindirect
contemptinrelationtotheir
noncompliancewiththe
directivescontainedinthe
dispositiveportionofthe
ConsolidatedOrderissued
onMarch21,2002bythe
RTCinCivilCaseNo.CEB
20388.58

Respondents,excepttheCity
ofCebu,beimprisoneduntil
theyperformthesaidactof
complyingorcausingthe
compliancewiththespecific
directivescontainedinthe
dispositiveportionofthefinal
andexecutoryConsolidated
OrderdatedMarch21,
2002.59

InArevalo,60thisCourtenumeratedthethreerequisitesoflitispendentia.Thereisaconfluenceoftheserequisites
relativetotheinstantpetitionandSCANo.CEB38292.
Litispendentiadoesnotrequiretheexactidentityofpartiesinvolvedintheactions.Althoughthelawyersfromthe
OfficeoftheCityAttorneyarepartieshereinbutarenotmaderespondentsinSCANo.CEB38292,theydonotin
any way represent any interest distinct or separate from that of the City of Cebu and the public officers involved.
Further, the instant petition superficially makes reference to the Minute Resolutions rendered by this Court in G.R.
Nos. 179662 and 194111 which Lucena claims had lapsed into finality and should thus be executed. However,
strippedoftheunnecessarydetails,thereliefssalientlysoughtinboththeinstantpetitionandSCANo.CEB38292
are founded on the same set of facts, to wit, the alleged non compliance by the respondents with the directives
containedinthedispositiveportionoftheConsolidatedOrderissuedbytheRTConMarch21,2002relativetoCivil
Case No. CEB20388. Finally, citation for indirect contempt in either the instant petition or SCA No. CEB38292
wouldamounttoresjudicataintheotherconsideringtheidentitiesofthepartiesandissuesinvolved.
Since the elements of litis pendentia concur in the instant petition and SCA No. CEB38292, this Court so holds
Lucenaguiltyofforumshopping.
"[T]hegraveevilsoughttobeavoidedbytheruleagainstforumshoppingistherenditionbytwocompetenttribunals
oftwoseparateandcontradictorydecisions.Toavoidanyconfusion,thisCourtadheresstrictlytotherulesagainst
forumshopping,andanyviolationoftheserulesresultsinthedismissalofacase."61
Further,"oncethereisafindingofforumshopping,thepenaltyissummarydismissalnotonlyofthepetitionpending
beforethisCourt,butalsooftheothercasethatispendinginalowercourt.Thisissobecausetwindismissalisa
punitivemeasuretothosewhotriflewiththeorderlyadministrationofjustice."62
Even if in the higher interest of justice, this Court were to be exceptionally liberal and gloss over Lucena's act of
forumshopping,theinstantpetitionwouldstillbesusceptibletodismissal.
While this Court does not intend to downplay the rights accruing to the owners of properties expropriated by the
government,itbearsstressingthattheexerciseandenforcementofthoserightsaresubjecttocompliancewiththe
requirementsprovidedforbylawtoprotectpublicfunds.
Lucenaaversthattherespondentswillfullyandmaliciouslydefytheexecutionoffinalandexecutorydecisionsand
ordersrenderedorissuedrelativetoCivilCaseNo.CEB20388.
Suchavermentisuntenable.
TherespondentsallegeandLucenadoesnotrefute,thattheCityofCebuhadalreadypaidtheHeirsofFr.Rallos
Php56,196,369.42fora4,654sqmpropertyoratapriceofPhp12,074.85persqm.Thecontroversyremainsand
thepartiesresorttoalllegalmaneuveringsbecausetheHeirsofFr.Rallosobduratelyinsistthattheyarestillentitled
tocollectfromtheCityofCebuabalanceofPhp133,469,962.55.
TheHeirsofFr.RallosarebentoncollectingtheamountallegedlystillunpaidbytheCityofCebuinaccordancewith
thecomputationsstatedinthedecisionsandordersinCivilCaseNo.CEB20388.However,theHeirsofFr.Rallos
areimpervioustotherequisiteslaiddownbylawinenforcingtheirclaims.Therequisitesaretwofoldasdiscussed
below.
Anappropriationordinanceshouldbepassedpriortothedisbursementofpublicfunds.
"Eventhoughtheruleastoimmunityofastatefromsuitisrelaxed,thepowerofthecourtsendswhenthejudgment
isrendered.Althoughtheliabilityofthestatehasbeenjudiciallyascertained,thestateisatlibertytodeterminefor
itselfwhethertopaythejudgmentornot,andexecutioncannotissueonajudgmentagainstthestate.Suchstatutes
donotauthorizeaseizureofstatepropertytosatisfyjudgmentsrecovered,andonlyconveyanimplicationthatthe
legislaturewillrecognizesuchjudgmentasfinalandmakeprovisionforthesatisfactionthereof."63
Section 4(1) of P.D. No. 1445 and Section 305(a) of the Local Government Code both categorically state that no
money shall be paid out of any public treasury or depository except in pursuance of an appropriation law or other
specific statutory authority. Based on considerations of public policy, government funds and properties may not be
seized under writs of execution or garnishment to satisfy judgments rendered by the courts and disbursements of
publicfundsmustbecoveredbythecorrespondingappropriationasrequiredbylaw.64

Inthecaseatbar,noappropriationordinancehadyetbeenpassedrelativetotheclaimsoftheHeirsofFr.Rallos.
Suchbeingthecase,therespondents,aspublicofficers,areactingwithinlawfulboundsinrefusingtheexecutionof
thedecisionsandordersinCivilCaseNo.CEB20388.
Despitetherenditionofafinalandexecutoryjudgmentvalidatingamoneyclaimagainstanagencyorinstrumentality
oftheGovernment,itsfilingwiththeCOAisasinequanonconditionbeforepaymentcanbeeffected.
Section26ofP.D.No.1445statesthattheCOAhasjurisdictiontoexamine,auditandsettlealldebtsandclaimsof
any sort due from or owing to the Government or any of its subdivisions, agencies and instrumentalities. Under
Section5(b),RuleIIofCOA'sRevisedRulesofProcedure,localgovernmentunitsareexpresslyincludedasamong
the entities within the COA's jurisdiction. Section 2,65 Rule VIII lays down the procedure in filing money claims
against the Government. Section 4, Rule X provides that any case brought to the COA shall be decided within 60
daysfromthedateitissubmittedfordecisionorresolution.Section1,RuleXIIallowstheaggrievedpartytofilea
petition for certiorari before this Court to assail any decision, order or resolution of the COA within 30 days from
receiptofacopythereof.
ThisCourt,inthecaseofUniversityofthePhilippinesv.Dizon,66thusheldthatdespitetheexistenceofafinaland
executory judgment validatingtheclaim againstanagencyorinstrumentalityofthe Government, the settlement of
the said claim is still subject to the primary jurisdiction of the COA. Ineluctably, the claimant has to first seek the
COA'sapprovalofthemonetaryclaim.67
Without compliance by Lucena and the Heirs of Fr. Rallos with the provisions of P.D. No. 1445 and the COA's
Revised Rules of Procedure, their lamentations that the respondents are unjustly refusing the execution of the
decisionsandordersinCivilCaseNo.CEB20388donotholdanywater.
IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, the instant petition is DISMISSED. Further, on account of Lucena Rallos' act of
forum shopping, the Regional Trial Court of Cebu City, Branch 14, is likewise directed to dismiss her petition for
contempt,docketedasSCANo.CEB38292,whichshefiledagainsttherespondents.
SOORDERED.
BIENVENIDOL.REYES
AssociateJustice
WECONCUR:
MARIALOURDESP.A.SERENO
ChiefJustice
Chairperson
TERESITAJ.LEONARDODECASTRO
AssociateJustice

LUCASP.BERSAMIN
AssociateJustice

JOSECATRALMENDOZA*
AssociateJustice
CERTIFICATION
PursuanttoSection13,ArticleVIIIoftheConstitution,IcertifythattheconclusionsintheaboveResolutionhadbeen
reachedinconsultationbeforethecasewasassignedtothewriteroftheopinionoftheCourt'sDivision.
MARIALOURDESP.A.SERENO
ChiefJustice

Footnotes
*ActingMemberperSpecialOrderNo.1502datedAugust8,2013.
1Sometimesappearsintherecordsas"LucinaB.Rallos".

2Rollo,pp.356.
3 On December 5, 2007, this Court issued a Minute Resolution (id. at 111112) denying due to (a) lack of

properly executed verification and certification of nonforum shopping, and (b) failure to show any reversible
errorthePetitionforReviewonCertiorarifiledbytheCityofCebuagainsttheHeirsofFr.Rallostoassailthe
decisionrenderedbytheCourtofAppealsinCAG.R.CVNo.76656.
4OnDecember6,2010,thisCourtissuedaMinuteResolution(id.at129)denyingduetofailuretoshowany

reversibleerrorthePetitionforReviewoncertiorarifiledbytheCityofCebuagainstLucinaB.Rallos,etal.to
assailthedecisionrenderedbytheCourtofAppealsinCAG.R.SPNo.04418.
5DocketedasCivilCaseNo.CEB20388.
6NowpartsofM.H.AznarStreet,CebuCity.
7WiththenPresidingJudgeBenignoG.Gaviolarollo,pp.5773.
8Id.at7476.
9Id.at7781.
10Id.at81.
11Id.at8287.
12PennedbyAssociateJusticeAntonioL.Villamor,withAssociateJusticesIsaiasP.DicdicanandStephenC.

Cruz,concurringid.at88106.
13DocketedasCAG.R.CVNo.76656
14Sec.2.Modesofappeal.

(a)Ordinaryappeal.TheappealtotheCourtofAppealsincasesdecidedbytheRegionalTrialCourtin
the exercise of its original jurisdiction shall be taken by filing a notice of appeal with the court which
renderedthejudgmentorfinalorderappealedfromandservingacopythereofupontheadverseparty.
No record on appeal shall be required except in special proceedings and other cases of multiple or
separateappealswherethelawortheseRulessorequire.Insuchcases,therecordonappealshallbe
filedandservedinlikemanner.
xxxx
15Sec.9.Perfectionofappealeffectthereof.xxx

Aparty'sappealbyrecordonappealisdeemedperfectedastohimwithrespecttothesubjectmatter
thereofupontheapprovaloftherecordonappealfiledinduetime.
xxxx
16Sec.1.Groundsfordismissalofappeal.AnappealmaybedismissedbytheCourtofAppeals,onitsown

motionoronthatoftheappellee,onthefollowinggrounds:
xxxx
(b)Failuretofilethenoticeofappealortherecordontheappealwithintheperiodprescribedbythese
Rules
xxxx
17DocketedasG.R.No.179662.
18Rollo,pp.111112.

19Id.at113114.
20CulledfromtheDecisionrenderedbytheCourtofAppealsonJune11,2010inCAG.R.SPNo.04418id.

at118.
21Id.
22Id.at119.
23IssuedbyHonorableGeraldineFaithEcong.
24Rollo,p.119.
25 Art. 2212. Interest due shall earn legal interest from the time it is judicially demanded, although the

obligationmaybesilentuponthispoint.
26DocketedasCAG.R.SPNo.04418.
27Rollo,pp.121124.
28DocketedasG.R.No.194111.
29Rollo,p.129.
30Id.at130.
31IssuedbyHonorableJamesStewartRamonE.HimalaloanasActingPresidingJudgeid.at134135.
32Inthismotion,itwasallegedthata1940Conveniowasdiscoveredwhereinthepredecessorsininterestof

the Heirs of Fr. Rallos supposedly obligated themselves to donate the two lots subject of the instant
controversytotheCityofCebu.
33Rollo,pp.136137.
34Id.at138.
35Id.at298313,314332.
36Id.at333336.
37ExerciseofUtmostCaution,PrudenceandJudiciousnessintheIssuanceofWritsofExecutiontoSatisfy

MoneyJudgmentsAgainstGovernmentAgenciesandLocalGovernmentUnits,issuedonOctober25,2000.
38Rollo,pp.334.
39 No copy of the Order is attached to the rollo. This Court referred to the City of Cebu's Motion for

Reconsideration (id. at 139 Only the first page of the motion is found in the rollo.) to the said order to
determinethelatter'scontents.
40Id.
41DocketedasCAG.R.SPNo.06676id.at141163.
42PennedbyAssociateJusticeRamonPaulL.Hernando,withAssociateJusticesPampioA.Abarintosand

VictoriaIsabelA.Paredes,concurringid.at339341.
43 Penned by Associate Justice Gabriel T. Ingles, with Associate Justices Pamela Ann Abella Maxino and

CarmelitaS.Manahan,concurringid.at345347.

44Id.at256271.TherespondentsarethepublisherandchiefofreportersofCebuDailyNews.
45Id.at272280.TherespondentsarebankofficersofPhilippineVeteransBank.
46Id.at281297.Therespondentsaremostlythesameonesnowinvolvedintheinstantpetitionbeforethis

Court.
47Id.at363393.TherespondentsarejusticesfromtheCACebuStation.
48Id.at141163.
49(1)UrgentOmnibusMotionstoQuashtheWritofExecutionandtoSetAsidetheNoticeofGarnishment(2)

Supplemental Urgent Omnibus Motions to Quash the Writ of Execution, and to Set Aside the Notice of
Garnishment and (3) Motion for Issuance of Status Quo Order Pending Resolution of [the City of Cebu's]
UrgentOmnibusMotionstoQuashtheWritofExecutionandtoSetAsidetheNoticeofGarnishment.
50Nomoneyshallbepaidoutofthelocaltreasuryexceptinpursuanceofanappropriationsordinanceorlaw.
51Supranote37.
52G.R.No.192217,March2,2011,644SCRA496.
53457Phil.543(2003).
54Arevalov.PlantersDevelopmentBank,G.R.No.193415,April18,2012,670SCRA252,264,citingPilipino

TelephoneCorp.v.RadiomarineNetwork,Inc.,G.R.No.152092,August4,2010,626SCRA702,728729.
55Id.at264265,citingYuv.Lim,G.R.No.182291,September22,2010,631SCRA172,184.
56Rollo,p.56.
57Id.at281297.
58Id.at4850.
59Id.at295.
60Supranote54.
61Id.at267,citingDyv.MandyCommoditiesCo.,Inc.,G.R.No.171842,July22,2009,593SCRA440,450.
62Dyv.MandyCommoditiesCo.,Inc.,idat453.
63Supranote53,at553,citingRepublicofthePhilippinesv.Hon.Palacio,etal.,132Phil.369,375(1968).
64SeeUniversityofthePhilippinesv.Dizon,G.R.No.171182,August23,2012,679SCRA54,81.
65Sec. 2. Money claim.A money claim against the government shall be filed directly with the Commission

Secretaryinaccordancewiththefollowing:
a) Petition.A claimant for money against the Government, whose claim is cognizable by the
CommissionProper,mayfileapetition.Thepartyseekingreliefshallbereferredtoas"Petitioner"and
the government agency or instrumentality against whom a claim is directed shall be referred to as
"Respondent".ThepetitionshallalsobeassignedadocketnumberasprovidedintheseRules.
b)ContentsofPetition.Thepetitionshallcontainthepersonalcircumstancesorjuridicalpersonalityof
thepetitioner,aconcisestatementoftheultimatefactsconstitutinghiscauseofaction,acitationofthe
law and jurisprudence upon which the petition is based and the relief sought. The petition shall be
accompanied by certified true copies of documents referred therein and other relevant supporting
papers.

c)FilingofPetition.ThepetitionshallbefiledwiththeCommissionSecretary,acopyofwhichshallbe
servedontherespondent.Proofofserviceofthepetitionontherespondenttogetherwithproofofthe
paymentoffilingfeeshallbeattachedtothepetition.
d) Order to Answer.Upon the receipt of the petition, the Commission Secretary shall issue an Order
requiringrespondenttoanswerthepetitionwithinfifteen(15)daysfromreceiptthereof.
e) Answer.Within fifteen (15) days from receipt of the said Order, the respondent shall file with
Commission Secretary an Answer to the petition. The answer shall be accompanied by certified true
copies of documents referred to therein together with other supporting papers. The answer shall (a)
pointoutinsufficienciesorinaccuraciesinthepetitioner'sstatementoffactsandissuesand(b)statethe
reasonswhythepetitionshouldbedeniedordismissedorgranted.Copyoftheanswershallbeserved
onthepetitionerandproofofservicethereofshallbeattachedtotheanswer.
f)Reply.PetitionermayfileaReply,copyfurnishedtherespondent,withinfifteen(15)daysfromreceipt
oftheAnswer.
g) Comment by Concerned Offices.Money claims, except courtadjudicated claims, shall first be
assignedbytheCommissionSecretarytotheappropriateCentralorRegionalOffice,forcommentand
recommendationpriortoreferraltotheLegalServicesSectorforpreparationofthedecisionandformal
deliberationbytheCommissionProper.
66G.R.No.171182,August23,2012,679SCRA54.
67Id.at80.