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December 22, 1916, Manila
Philippine Bill of 1902
Act No. 1874, Employer’s Liability Act

An action for damages against Gsell (employer) for personal injuries suffered by Braulio
Tamayo, minor son of plaintiff asking for P 400, without costs except P 25 for the attorney of the
Bureau of Labor. Braulio is a minor about 11 or 12 years old who is employed as a workman in
the match factory located in Sta. Ana, Manila. He met an accident which consisted of an injury
caused by the knife of one of the machines of the factory which cut the little ring fingers on the
right hand, the latter of which was severed. The accident arose by reason of him being assigned
by Eugenio Murcia, a foreman employed in the same factory to perform work which he was not
accustomed. He was not given any instruction and was put in the new task only on the day of
the accident. He was assigned to clean the part of the machine where pieces of wood from the
strips were stuck, he was caught by the knife of the machine and his righ finer was served. He
was thereupon brought to the General Hospital.

Whether or not the trial court erred in rejecting the defenses of assumption of risk and
contributory interpose by the defendant and whether or not damages should be awarded to

Applying the foregoing principles (cited in the decision are many American cases in relation to
the case and Act No. 1874, Employer’s Liability Act), which are founded upon reason and
justice, it is concluded that the trial court did not err in rejecting the defense’ claim. Tamayo is
also awarded damages for the injury cost on him on the negligence of the part of the foremen to
warn Tamayo or to give instructions and consideration to his age, skills and capabilities & for
pecuniary loss occasioned by the injury as well as his diminished capacity resulting from the

Judicial construction and interpretation of a statutes acquires the force of the law
A patent ambiguity cannot be cleared up by extrinsic evidence
 Anything that can shed light should be used
A passage will be best interpreted by reference to that which precedes and follows it.


Petitioner was charged before the Court of First Instance of Manila with two statutory offenses,
namely, (1) with a violation of Commonwealth Act No. 606... in that he knowingly chartered a
vessel of Philippine registry to an alien... without the approval of the President of the Philippines
and (2) with a violation of section 129 in relation to section 2713 of the Revised Administrative
Code... in that he failed to submit to the Collector of Customs the manifests... and certain
authenticated documents for the vessel "Antarctic" and failed to obtain the necessary clearance
from the Bureau of Customs prior to the departure of said vessel for a foreign port.

On April 23, 1952, before the trial of said criminal cases, petitioner filed a motion praying that
assessors be appointed to assist the court in considering the questions of fact involved in said
cases... as authorized by section 49 of Republic Act No. 409... which provides that "the aid of
assessors in the trial of any civil or criminal action in the Municipal Court, or the Court of First
Instance, within the City, may be invoked in the manner provided in the Code of Civil

This motion was opposed by the City Fiscal who appeared for the People of the Philippines.

On April 28, 1952, the court issued an order denying the motion holding in effect that with the
promulgation of the Rules of Court by the Supreme Court, which became effective on July 1,
1940, all rules concerning pleading, practice and procedure in all courts of the Philippines...
previously existing were not only superseded but expressly repealed... that the Supreme Court,
having been vested with the rule-making power, expressly omitted the portions of the Code of
Civil Procedure regarding assessors in said Rules of Court

Believing that this order is erroneous, petitioner now comes to this court imputing abuse of
discretion to the respondent Judge.


I. The right of the petitioner to a trial with the aid of assessors is an absolute substantive right,
and the duty of the court to provide assessors is mandatory.

"II. The right to trial with the aid of assessors, being a substantive right, cannot be impaired by
this court in the exercise of its rule-making power.

"III. Section 154 of the Code of Civil Procedure and Section 2477 of the Old Charter of Manila,
creating the right to trial with the aid of assessors, are substantive law and were not repealed by
Rules of Court.

"IV. Granting without admitting that the provisions on assessors of the Code of Civil Procedure
and the old Charter of Manila were impliedly repealed, nevertheless, the same provisions were
later reenacted by reference in section 49 of the Revised Charter of Manila which is now... the
source of the right to trial with the aid of assessors and which refers to the Code of Civil
Procedure merely to indicate the procedure for appointing assessors.

"V. Section 49 of the Revised Charter of Manila is not invalid class legislation and does not
violate the constitutional provision that the rules of pleading, practice and procedure 'shall be
uniform for all courts of the same grade.' "

The trial with the aid of assessors as granted by section 154 of the Code of Civil Procedure and
section 2477 of the old Charter of Manila are parts of substantive law and as such are not
embraced by the rule-making power of the Supreme Court.

It says that the aid may be invoked in... the manner provided in the Code of Civil Procedure.
And this right has been declared absolute and substantial by this Court in several cases where
the aid of assessors had been invoked... the intervention of the assessors is not an empty
formality which may be disregarded without violating either the letter or the spirit of the law. It
is... another security given by the law to the litigants, and as such, it is a substantial right of
which they cannot be deprived without vitiating all the proceedings.

bi jus ibi reme

Ubi jus ibi remedium.

The contention of respondents we reckon is predicated on the assumption that the provisions on
assessors of the Code of Civil Procedure had been impliedly repealed. Such is not the case.
We have already pointed out that the basic provisions on the matter partake of... the nature of
substantive law and as such they were left intact by the Supreme Court.

It is therefore our opinion that the... respondent Judge acted with abuse of discretion in denying
petitioner his right to the aid of assessors in the trial of the two criminal cases now pending in
the Court of First Instance of Manila.


G.R. No. L-2068, October 20, 1948

The petitioner herein, an accused in a criminal case, filed a motion with the Court of First
Instance of Pampanga after he had been bound over to that court for trial, praying that the
record of the case be remanded to the justice of the peace court of Masantol, the court of origin,
in order that the petitioner might cross-examine the complainant and her witnesses in
connection with their testimony, on the strength of which warrant was issued for the arrest of the
accused. The accused, assisted by counsel, appeared at the preliminary investigation. In that
investigation, the justice of the peace informed him of the charges and asked him if he pleaded
guilty or not guilty, upon which he entered the plea of not guilty. Then his counsel moved that the
complainant present her evidence so that she and her witnesses could be examined and cross-
examined in the manner and form provided by law. The fiscal and the private prosecutor
objected, invoking section 11 of rule 108, and the objection was sustained. In view thereof, the
accused's counsel announced his intention to renounce his right to present evidence, and the
justice of the peace forwarded the case to the court of first instance.
Whether or not the Justice of the Peace court of Masantol committed grave abuse of discretion
in refusing to grant the accused's motion to return the record.

Evidence is the mode and manner of proving competent facts and circumstances on which a
party relies to establish the fact in dispute in judicial proceedings. It is fundamentally a
procedural law. The Supreme Court that section 11 of Rule 108 does not curtail the sound
discretion of the justice of the peace on the matter. Said section defines the bounds of the
defendant's right in the preliminary investigation, there is nothing in it or any other law restricting
the authority, inherent in a court of justice, to pursue a course of action reasonably calculated to
bring out the truth.
The foregoing decision was rendered by a divided court. The minority went farther than the
majority and denied even any discretion on the part of the justice of the peace or judge holding
the preliminary investigation to compel the complainant and his witnesses to testify anew.
Upon the foregoing considerations, the present petition is dismissed with costs against the

CageDig: Jaime Tan Jr. vs CA

G.R. No. 136368; 16 Jan. 2002

Posted by: Diana Calipes Islo on July 19, 2018


On January 22, 1981, Tan, for a consideration of P59,200 executed a deed of absolute sale
over the property in question in favor of spouses Jose Magdangal and Estrella Magdangal.
Simultaneous with the execution of this deed, the same contracting parties entered into another
agreement whereunder Tan was given one (1) year within which to redeem or repurchase the
property. Tan failed to redeem the property until his death on January 4, 1988.

On May 2, 1988, Tan's heirs filed before the RTC at Davao City a suit against the Magdangals
for reformation of instrument alleging that while Tan and the Magdangals denominated their
agreement as deed of absolute sale, their real intention was to conclude an equitable mortgage.

RTC rendered judgment finding for Tan, portion of which reads:

1) The Deed of Absolute Sale is, in accordance with the true intention of the parties, hereby
declared and reformed an equitable mortgage;

2) The plaintiff is ordered to pay the defendants within 120 days after the finality of this decision
P59,200 plus interest at the rate of 12% per annum from May 2, 1988, the date the complaint
was filed, until paid;

On Sept. 28, 1995, CA affirmed the decision of the RTC in toto. Both parties received the
decision of the appellate court on Oct. 5, 1995. On March 13, 1996, the clerk of court of the
appellate court entered in the Book of Entries of Judgement the decision xxx and issued the
corresponding Entry of Judgment which, on its face, stated that the said decision has on Oct.
21, 1995 become final and executory.

Magdangals filed in the RTC a Motion for Consolidation and Writ of Possession alleging that the
120-day period of redemption of the petitioner has expired.

On June 10, 1996, the RTC allowed the petitioner to redeem the lot in question. It ruled that the
120-day redemption period should be reckoned from the date of Entry of Judgment in the CA or
from March 13, 1996. The redemption price was deposited on April 17, 1996.


What rule should govern the finality of judgment favorably obtained in the trial court by the


From 1991-1996, the years relevant to the case at bar, the rule that governs finality of judgment
is Rule 51 of the Revised Rules of Court. Its sections 10 and 11 provide:

SEC. 10. Entry of judgments and final resolutions. If no appeal or motion for new trial or
reconsideration is filed within the time provided in these Rules, the judgment or final resolution
shall forthwith be entered by the clerk in the book of entries of judgments. The date when the
judgments or final resolution becomes executory shall be deemed as the date of its entry. The
record shall contain the dispositive part of the judgment or final resolution and shall be signed
by the clerk, with a certificate that such judgment or final resolution has become final and

SEC.11. Execution of judgment. Except where the judgment or final order or resolution, or a
portion thereof, is ordered to be immediately executory, the motion for its execution may only be
filed in the proper court after its entry.

The 1997 Revised Rules of Civil Procedure, however, amended the rule on finality of judgment
by providing in section 1, Rule 39 as follows:
Section 1. Execution upon judgments or final orders. Execution shall issue as a matter of right,
on motion, upon a judgment or order that disposes of the action or proceeding upon the
expiration of the period to appeal therefrom if no appeal has been duly perfected.

If the appeal has been duly perfected and finally resolved, the execution may forthwith be
applied for in the court of origin, on motion of the judgment obligee, submitting therewith
certified true copies of the judgment or judgments or final order or orders sought to be enforced
and of the entry thereof, with notice to the adverse party.

The appellate court may, on motion in the same case, when the interest of justice so requires,
direct the court of origin to issue the writ of execution.

SC hold that section 1, Rule 39 of the 1997 Revised Rules of Procedure should not be given
retroactive effect in this case as it would result in great injustice to the petitioner. Undoubtedly,
petitioner has the right to redeem the subject lot and this right is a substantive right. Petitioner
followed the procedural rule then existing as well as the decisions of this Court governing the
reckoning date of the period of redemption when he redeemed the subject lot. Unfortunately for
petitioner, the rule was changed by the 1997 Revised Rules of Procedure which if applied
retroactively would result in his losing the right to redeem the subject lot. It is difficult to reconcile
the retroactive application of this procedural rule with the rule of fairness. Petitioner cannot be
penalized with the loss of the subject lot when he faithfully followed the laws and the rule on the
period of redemption when he made the redemption.