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ANSON TRADE CENTER, INC., ANSON EMPORIUM CORPORATION and TEDDY KENG SE CHEN vs.

PACIFIC BANKING CORPORATION, Represented by Its Liquidator, the President of the Philippine Deposit Insurance Corporation, G.R. No. 179999 March 17, 2009 FACTS:Petitioners are corporations engaged in retail and/or wholesale general merchandising and they obtained a loan from the respondent. Subsequently, the petitioners defaulted in the payment of their loan. Respondent made several demands for payment upon petitioners, to no avail. This prompted the respondent to file a collection case against the respondent. The petitioner moved for the dismissal of the case due to the non-appearance of the respondent in the pre-trial. The respondents filed a Petition for Certiorari under Rule 65, praying that the RTC committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or in excess of jurisdiction when it dismissed the case due to the respondents non appearance. The latter asserted that its absence is not intentional because they are undergoing liquidation process and the Monetary Board is ordering the closure of respondent due to insolvency. Respondent pleaded for the relaxation of the rules to avert irreparable damage to it. ISSUE: Whether or not the trial court committed grave abuse of discretion in dismissing respondents claim against the petitioner due to non-appe\arance in the pre trial. HELD: Yes, the trial court committed grave abuse of its discretion. The Court find that the petition of the petitioner is unmeritorious. Pertinent provisions of Rule 18 of the Revised Rules of Court on Pre-Trial read: SEC. 4. Appearance of parties. It shall be the duty of the parties and their counsel to appear at the pre-trial. The non-appearance of a party may be excused only if a valid cause is shown therefor or if a representative shall appear in his behalf fully authorized in writing to enter into an amicable settlement, to submit to alternative modes of dispute resolution, and to enter into stipulations or admissions of facts and of documents. Pursuant to the afore-quoted provisions, non-appearance by the plaintiff in the pre-trial shall be cause for dismissal of the action. However, every rule is not without an exception. In fact, Section 4, Rule 18 of the Revised Rules of Court explicitly provides that the non-appearance of a party may be excused if a valid cause is shown therefor. We find such a valid cause extant in the case at bar. There is no question that herein respondent received notice of the pre-trial conference scheduled on 10 October 2005, but it failed to attend the same. Such non-appearance notwithstanding, the Court Of Appeals annulled the 10 October 2005 Order of the RTC dismissing the case after finding that respondent did not intentionally snub the pre-trial conference. There is no reason to disturb such finding. The Monetary Board ordered the closure of respondent by reason of insolvency, and it has since been represented by its liquidator PDIC in all its undertakings. Still in the course of the liquidation of respondent, its liquidator PDIC was reorganized in the late 2004 to early 2005. The four departments in the PDIC handling litigation were reduced to one, with the new Litigation Department having only four in-house counsels who assumed thousands of cases arising from the closure by the Monetary Board of more than 400 banks. It is understandable how the notice for the pre-trial conference in the case could be lost or overlooked, as the PDIC was still coping and adjusting with the changes resulting from its reorganization. WHEREFORE, premises considered, the instant Petition for Review on Certiorari is hereby DENIED.

DOTMATRIX TRADING as represented by its proprietors, namely ROMY YAP CHUA,

RENATO ROLLAN and ROLANDO D.CADIZ vs. ROMMEL B. LEGASPI under the name and style of BIG J FARMS and RBL FARM G.R. No. 155622 October 26, 2009 FACTS:The petitioners are engaged in the business of buying and selling of commodities, including day-old chicks. Respondent, as the proprietor of Big J Farms and RBL Farm, was the petitioners supplier of dayold chicks. Sometime in May 2002, the respondent sent a demand letter to the petitioners for the payment of delivered day-old chicks. The petitioners, thru petitioner Cadiz, replied that they have paid P1,360,000.00, but the respondent was able to deliver onlyP1,136,150.00 worth of day-old chicks, leaving a deficiency of P223,850.00 worth of day-old chicks. The petitioners demanded the delivery of the deficiency, or the return of the overpayment made. When the parties refused to comply with each others demands, both went to court for judicial relief. Respondent filed a motion to dismiss before RTC-Tarlac. He argued that it should be dismissed on the ground of litis pendentia because it is merely anticipatory and defensive of the respondents claim for collection. ISSUE: Whether or not the case should be dismissed on the ground of litis pendentia. HELD: From every conceivable angle, no dispute exists that all the requisites of litis pendentia are present in this case. The parties in Civil Case No. 9354 and Civil Case No. 489-M-2002 are the same. They are suing each other for sums of money which arose from their supply contract of day-old chicks. The reliefs prayed for are based on the same facts and identity exists on the rights asserted. Any judgment rendered in one case would necessarily amount to res judicata in the other. The rule on litis pendentia does not require that the case later in time should yield to the earlier case; what is required merely is that there be another pending action, not a prior pending action. Neither is it required that the party be served with summons before lis pendens can apply; it is the filing of the action, not the receipt of summons, which determines priority in date.

CITY OF MAKATI, JEJOMAR BINAY and ERNESTO S. MERCADO vs. MUNICIPALITY (NOW CITY) OFTAGUIG, METROPOLITANMANILA, THE EXECUTIVE SECRETARY, BASES CONVERSION ANDDEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY, FORT BONIFACIO DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, REGISTER OF DEEDS VICENTE A. GARCIA and THE LAND MANAGEMENT BUREAU DIRECTOR G.R. No. 163175 June 27, 2008 FACTS:Taguig filed in the RTC of Pasig City, an action for judicial confirmation of its territory and boundary limits against the Municipality (now City) of Makati. In its complaint, Taguig prayed for the declaration of the unconstitutionality and nullity of Presidential Proclamations Nos. 2475 and 518, which transferred to the City of Makati certain parts of Fort Bonifacio that were allegedly within the boundary of the Municipality of Taguig, despite the absence of authority on the part of the President and without the benefit of a plebiscite as required by applicable provisions of the Constitution. Taguig likewise sought a temporary restraining order and writ of preliminary injunction to restrain Secretary Alcala and Director Palad, Jr. from disposing of the lots covered by Proclamation No. 518, and to restrain the Municipality (now City) of Makati from exercising jurisdiction over, making improvements on, or

otherwise treating as part of its territory: (1) the area of 74 hectares that was uninhabited or otherwise consisted of farmlands or wide open spaces before the issuance of Proclamation No. 2475 in 1986; and, (2) the remaining portion of Parcel 4, Psu-2031, and a part of Parcel 3, Psu-2031 which together constitute the Inner Fort or military camp proper of Fort Bonifacio. The Municipality of Taguig also prayed that after due hearing, the injunction be made final and permanent and that judgment be rendered confirming the Fort Bonifacio military reservation, which consists of Parcels 3 and 4, Psu-2031, to be part of the Municipality of Taguig. In its complaint, the City of Makati, et al. prayed that a temporary restraining order be issued directing the Municipality of Taguig to cease and desist from requiring and accepting payment of real estate taxes and other taxes or fees on lands located in Fort Bonifacio. Municipality of Taguig moved to dismiss the case on the grounds that the RTC-Makati has no jurisdiction over the nature of the action; there is another action pending between the same parties for the same cause; the petition violates the rule on forum shopping, the petition states no cause of action; and the venue is improperly laid. ISSUE: Whether or not there is litis pendentia between the Makati City Petition and Taguig City petition. HELD: Litis pendentia as a ground for the dismissal of a civil action refers to that situation wherein another action is pending between the same parties for the same cause of action, such that the second action becomes unnecessary and vexatious. For litis pendentiato be invoked, the concurrence of the following requisites is necessary: (a) identity of parties or at least such as represent the same interest in both actions; (b) identity of rights asserted and reliefs prayed for, the reliefs being founded on the same facts; and (c) the identity in the two cases should be such that the judgment that may be rendered in one would, regardless of which party is successful, amount to res judicata in the other.[25] In this case, the first requisite, identity of parties or at least such as represent the same interest in both actions, is present. The Court of Appeals correctly ruled that the fact that there is no absolute identity of parties in both cases will not preclude the application of the rule of litis pendentia, since only substantial and not absolute identity of parties is required for litis pendentia to lie. Except for Antonio Sinchioco, who joined the action as citizen and taxpayer, the other petitioners in Civil Case No. 96-554 have a community of interest with the City of Makati. The second requisite, identity of rights asserted and reliefs prayed for, the reliefs being founded on the same facts, is also present. A review of the records would show that the reliefs sought by both parties are actually the same. Although petitioners insist that what they seek is a nullification of Special Patent Nos. 3595 and 3596 and that the issue boils down to whether or not then President Ramos committed grave abuse of discretion in issuing Special Patent Nos. 3595 and 3596, what petitioners wish to nullify is not Special Patent Nos. 3595 and 3596, but the wordings therein that the property is located in the Municipality of Taguig. To do so would entail going into the issue of boundaries of Makati and Taguig, which is the issue in Civil Case No. 63896. Likewise present is the third requisite that the identity of the two cases should be such that the judgment that may be rendered in one would, regardless of which party is successful, amount to res judicata in the other. WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED for lack of merit. The Decision and Resolution dated June 6, 2003 and March 26, 2004, respectively, of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 54692 are AFFIRMED. No pronouncement as to costs. SO ORDERED.

ROBERTO S. BENEDICTO and TRADERS ROYAL BANK vs. MANUEL LACSON, ET. AL. G.R. No. 141508 May 5, 2010 FACTS:The case stems from a Complaint, filed by respondents, individual sugar planters and agricultural corporations Manuel Lacson et al.,.Respondents complaint was premised on a claim for unpaid shares. The claims cover the sugar export sales supposedly undervalued by NASUTRA and coursed through Traders Royal Bank, the total amount of which is claimed by respondents to be $33,907,172. Petitioner, as President and concurrent Chairman of both Traders Royal Bank and NASUTRA, was charged by respondents with fraud and bad faith, not only in refusing to furnish them accurate data on NASUTRAs export sugar sales, but, more importantly, in under-reporting and under-declaring the true prices of the shipments. Respondents, thus, prayed for a refund of their shares in the undervalued shipments. On December 27, 1995, petitioner filed a Motion to Dismiss, arguing that there is litis pendentia. Petitioner argued that the issues posed by respondents are barred by res judicata and/or rendered moot by the decisions in the following cases, viz.: (a) G.R. No. 55798, entitled Corazon Zayco, et al. v. NASUTRA et al.; (b) Civil Case No. Q- 33723, entitled Hortensia Starke v. NASUTRA, et al.; (c) Civil Case No. 3265, entitled Cecilia Magsaysay, et al. v. NASUTRA et al.; and (d) Civil Case No. 16439, entitled John Keng Seng v. NASUTRA, et al. ISSUE: Whether or not there is litis pendentia HELD: Petitioner contends that the CA erred when it refused to apply the principle of litis pendentia notwithstanding the similarities in the circumstances of the plaintiffs, the identities of the defendants and the similarities in some of the antecedent issues in the Bacolod Case, the Hector Lacson Case and Ramon Monfort Case. The requisites of litis pendentia are: (a) the identity of parties, or at least, such as representing the same interests in both actions; (b) the identity of rights asserted and relief prayed for, the relief being founded on the same facts; and (c) the identity of the two cases, such that judgment in one, regardless of which party is successful, would amount to res judicata in the other. The underlying principle of litis pendentia is the theory that a party is not allowed to vex another more than once regarding the same subject matter and for the same cause of action. This theory is founded on the public policy that the same subject matter should not be the subject of controversy in courts more than once, in order that possible conflicting judgments may be avoided for the sake of the stability of the rights and status of persons. The CA was correct when it opined that: Our perusal of the record reveals that forum shopping cannot, indeed, be attributed to the appellants. While it may be readily conceded that the plaintiffs in the instant case are more or less similarly situated as the plaintiffs in the cases previously filed and that the defendants, or at least the interest they represent, are basically the same, the fact remains that there is no identity of causes of action and issues in the cases so far filed against the latter. The instant suit, as may be gleaned from the complaint, concerns the supposed undervaluation by the appellees of fifteen (15) sugar export sales of the appellants export sugar production for the

crop years 1979-1980 and 1980-1981 (pp. 3-32, Orig. Rec.). In contrast, Civil Case No. 4301, entitled Hector Lacson, et al. vs. National Sugar Trading Corporation, et al. concerns the overcharging of trading costs for the plaintiffs export sugar production for the crop years 1981-1982 and 1982-1983, underpayment resulting from the defendants use of an erroneous peso-dollar exchange rate and reimbursement for amounts alleged to have been wrongfully withheld by the latter (pp. 163-171, ibid.) On the other hand, Civil Case No. 8846368 entitled Ramon Monfort, et al. vs. Philippine Sugar Commission, et al. concerned the deficiency due the plaintiffs therein from sugar export sales for which a lower exchange rate was allegedly used by the defendants, the recovery, among others, of excessive trading costs charged, unauthorized deductions, damages, premiums and other sums supposedly still due from the defendants, as well as a detailed accounting of the sales of the export sugar produced by the plaintiffs therein. While the amended complaint filed in the case also sought to claim differentials for three (3) under-valued/under-declared NASUTRA export sales from the crop year 1980-1981 harvest, the same significantly pertained to different shipments and were coursed not through appellee Traders Royal Bank but through the Republic Planters Bank (pp. 246-271, ibid). The variance in the subject matters of the instant case and the aforesaid cases are even conceded in the brief filed by appellee Roberto Benedicto (pp. 153-155, Rollo). The test to determine identity of causes of action is to ascertain whether the same evidence necessary to sustain the second cause of action is sufficient to authorize a recovery in the first, even if the forms or the nature of the two (2) actions are different from each other. If the same facts or evidence would sustain both, the two (2) actions are considered the same within the rule that the judgment in the former is a bar to the subsequent action; otherwise, it is not. This method has been considered the most accurate test as to whether a former judgment is a bar in subsequent proceedings between the same parties. It has even been designated as infallible. While the plaintiffs in the Bacolod Case are more or less similarly situated as the plaintiffs in the Hector Lacson Case and Ramon Monfort Case, the CA was correct when it ruled that there was no identity of causes of action and issues as it cannot be said that exactly the same evidence are needed to prove the causes of action in all three cases. Thus, in the Bacolod Case, the evidence needed to prove that petitioner undervalued fifteen sugar export sales of respondents export sugar production for the crop years 1979-1980 and 1980-1981 is not the same evidence needed in the Hector Lacson Case to prove the over-charging of trading costs for respondents export sugar production for the crop years 1981-1982 and 1982-1983, underpayment resulting from the petitioners use of an erroneous peso-dollar exchange rate and reimbursement for amounts alleged to have been wrongfully withheld by the latter. The same holds true for the Ramon Monfort Case where the same significantly pertained to different shipments and were coursed not thru the Traders Royal Bank, but thru the Republic Planters Bank. The Court of Appeals, therefore, did not abuse its discretion in finding that no litis pendentia existed in the case at bar.