Philippine Supreme Court Resolutions


Philippine Supreme Court Resolutions > Year 2008 > April 2008 Resolutions > [G.R. NO. 148747 : April 30, 2008] THE INTERNATIONAL HARVARDIAN UNIVERSITY, INC. REPRESENTED BY ITS PRESIDENT, DRA. VIRGINIA KING VDA. DE YAP, ET AL., PETITIONERS, V. DEVELOPMENT BANK OF THE PHILIPPINES AND ATTY. MARILOU D. ALDEVERA, RESPONDENTS. :




FIRST DIVISION

[G.R. NO. 148747 : April 30, 2008]

THE INTERNATIONAL HARVARDIAN UNIVERSITY, INC. REPRESENTED BY ITS PRESIDENT, DRA. VIRGINIA KING VDA. DE YAP, ET AL., PETITIONERS, V. DEVELOPMENT BANK OF THE PHILIPPINES AND ATTY. MARILOU D. ALDEVERA, RESPONDENTS.

Sirs/Mesdames:

Quoted hereunder, for your information, is a resolution of the First Division of this Court dated 30 April 2008

G.R. NO. 148747: THE INTERNATIONAL HARVARDIAN UNIVERSITY, INC. represented by its President, DRA. VIRGINIA KING VDA. DE YAP, ET AL., Petitioners, v. DEVELOPMENT BANK OF THE PHILIPPINES AND ATTY. MARILOU D. ALDEVERA, Respondents.

This petition for review on certiorari[1] assails the 20 November 2000[2] Decision and the 21 June 2001[3] Resolution of the Court of Appeals (appellate court) in CA-G.R. CV No. 59829.  The appellate court dismissed the petition to set aside the orders dated 9 June 1997[4] and 23 October 1997[5] in Civil Case No. 24,952-97 of Branch 8 of the Regional Trial Court of Davao City (trial court).  The trial court granted the Development Bank of the Philippines' (DBP) motion to dismiss on the ground of forum shopping.

The trial court and the appellate court established the following facts.

International Harvardian University (IHU) obtained a loan from DBP worth P3.26 million.  IHU secured the loan with a real estate mortgage on three parcels of land in Davao recorded under TCT Nos. T-83350, T-83351, and T-83352 (three parcels of land).

IHU failed to pay its loan.  DBP then filed with the Office of the Provincial Sheriff of Davao City an application for extrajudicial foreclosure of the mortgage over the three parcels of land.

IHU, together with Kore Development Corporation (Kore), IHU's prospective successor-in-interest, filed four seperate cases to prevent the foreclosure of the three parcels of land.  These four cases were raffled to different branches of the trial court.

IHU filed the first case on 29 June 1990.  Nicholas Ildefonso K. Yap (Mr. Yap), then Executive Vice President and Treasurer of IHU, filed Civil Case No. 20,190-90 against DBP and Marilou Dureza-Aldevera (Aldevera), as Clerk of court and as Ex-Officio Provincial Sheriff.  Mr. Yap wanted to enjoin Aldevera from continuing with the foreclosure proceedings.  On 26 October 1990, Branch 9 of the trial court (Branch 9) dismissed Civil Case No. 20,190-90.  Branch 9 stated that IHU, and not Mr. Yap, has the personality to file the complaint.  IHU appealed Branch 9's order of dismissal to the appellate court.  As of 9 June 1997,[6] the resolution remained pending before the appellate court.

IHU filed the second case on 26 November 1992.  This time, Dra. Virginia King Vda. de Yap (Dra. Yap), IHU President, filed on behalf of IHU Civil Case NO. 21, 713-92 against DBP and Aldevera.  The complaint also sought to enjoin Aldevera from continuing with the foreclosure proceedings.  On 13 September 1994, Branch 13 of the trial court (Branch 13) dismissed the complaint.  Branch 13 found that IHU failed to establish IHU's clear and positive right which should be judically protected through the writ of injunction and DBP's commission of acts which endanger the existence of IHU's right.  IHU's appeals to the appellate court and to this Court were subsequently denied.

On 25 March 1996, IHU entered into a Memorandum of Agreement-(MOA) with Kore.  IHU offered to sell to Kore the three parcels of land.  The offer to sell was dependent on IHU's successful negotiation with DBP regarding IHU's efforts to redeem the three parcels of land.

Kore filed the third case, Civil Case No. 24,432-96, on 10 June 1996.  As in the previous two cases, Kore sued DBP and Aldevera.  Kore asked Branch 13 to enjoin Aldevera from issuing a final certificate of sale in favor of DBP over the three parcels of land, to direct DBP to accept IHU's P10,871,758 redemption price, and to enjoin DBP from disposing of the three parcels of land.  On 17 February 1997, Branch 13 dismissed Kore's complaint.  Branch 13 found that Kore's cause of action was merely a repetition of the facts and issues raised by IHU, its predecessor-in-interest, against DBP in Civil CAse No. 21,713-92.  Branch 13 further stated that IHU failed to exercise its right of redemption and that Branch 13's ruling was upheld by the appellate court when it denied IHU's petition for certiorari.

DBP executed an Affidavit of Non-Redemption for Consolidation of Ownership on 13 June 1996.  By virtue thereof, the Register of Deeds of Davao City cancelled TCT Nos. T-83350, T-83351 and T-83352 and issued TCT Nos. T-265912, T-265913 and T-265914 to DBP.

IHU filed the present case, Civil Case No. 24, 952-97, on 10 January 1997.  IHU, as represented by Dra. Yap and Mr. Yap, sued DBP and Aldevera and asked Branch 8 of the trial court (Branch 8) to annul the documents relating to the sale of the three parcels of land and the certificates of title issued to DBP.  DBP filed a Motion to Dismiss on the following grounds: (1) there is another action pending between the same parties for the same cause of action; (2) IHU ceased to be the real party in interest authorized to prosecute the intimated cause of action; and (3) IHU's complaint violates the provisions of Supreme Court's Revised Circular No. 28-91.

On 9 June 1997, the trial court dismissed IHU's complaint in Civil Case No. 24,952-97 based only on the third ground raised by DBP[7].  The trial court stated that IHU is not a party to Civil Case NO. 24,432-96 and that the MOA between IHU and Kore did not divest IHU of its rights over the three parcels of land.  The trial court relied on this Court's ruling in First Philippine International Bank v. Court of Appeals[8] and Buan v. Lopez, Jr.[9] and decreed that when the objective of the second case is identical to that of the first case, the act of filing a second case despite the existence of a first case constitutes forum shopping.

IHU filed an appeal, docketed as CA-G.R. CV No. 59829, before the appellate court on 12 January 1999.

In its decision[10] dated 20 November 2000, the appellate court affirmed the ruling of the trial court because there was no reversible error in the trial court's order of dismissal.  The appellate court stated that three of the four cases, Civil Case Nos. 20,190-90, 21,713-92, and 24,952-97, are identical because the ultimate relief sought is the same-the recovery of the three parcels of land that IHU mortgaged to DBP.

The appellate court denied IHU's motion for reconsideration in a resolution dated 21 June 2001.

On 20 August 2001, IHU filed its petition for review before this Court.

IHU asserted that the appellate court erred in its decision to dismiss its petition on the ground of forum shopping.  IHU argued that even if there is an appeal pending before the appellate court based on similar transactions, essential facts and circumstances, and subject matter, such similarities do not constitute forum shopping.  IHU also stated that IHU made a valid and legal redemption of the three parcels of land.

The petition has no merit.

The appellate court is correct in ruling that IHU engaged in forum shopping.

Forum shopping consists of filing multiple suits involving the same parties for the same cause of action, either simultaneously or successively, for the purpose of obtaining a favorable judgment.[11]  IHU insistedthat the cause of action in Civil Case No. 24,952-97, the fourth case, is different from the previous cases because the right to raise the issue on the validity of IHU's right of redemption was not availble at the time of filing Civil Case Nos. 21,713-92 and 24,432-96.  Moreover, Kore, and not IHU, is the plaintiff in Civil CAse No. 24,432-96

IHU's position is contrary to our ruling in Korea Exchange Bank v. Gonzales,[12] wherein we ruled that:
[T]here is forum shopping where a litigant sues the same party against whom another action or actions for the alleged violation of the same right and the enforcement of the same relief is/are still pending.  The defense of litis pendentia in one case is a bar to the other/others; and, a final judgment is one that would constitute res judicata and thus would cause the dismissal of the rest.  Absolutely identity of parties is not required.  It is enough that there is substantial identity of parties.  It is enough that the party against whom the estoppel is set up is actually a party to the former case.  There is identity of causes of action if the same evidence will sustain the second action.  The principle applies even if the relief sought in the two cases may be different.
Even if the acts which IHU and Kore sought to enjoin in Civil Case Nos. 21,713-92 and 24,432-96 took place anyway, those acts do not justify the filing of a separate complaint by IHU.  IHU should have filed an amended and supplemental pleading, and not another action in another forum.  We also reiterate the appellate court's ruling that when the objective of the second case is identical to that of the first case, the act of filing a second case despite the existence of a first case constitutes forum shopping.

WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED.  The Decision dated 20 November 2000 and the Resolution dated 21 June 2001 by the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CV No. 59829 are AFFIRMED.  Costs against the petitioners.  Corona, J., on leave.

SO ORDERED.

Very truly yours,

(Sgd.) ENRIQUETA ESGUERRA-VIDAL
Clerk of Court
First Division

Endnotes:


[1] Under Rule 45 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure.

[2] Rollo, pp. 62-74.  Penned by Associate Justice Portia Ali´┐Żo-Hormachuelos, with Associate Justice (now retired Supreme Court Justice) Angelina Sandoval-Gutierrez and Associate Justice Elvi John S. Asuncion, concurring.

[3] Id. at 83-84.

[4] Records, pp. 80-91.  Penned by Judge Salvador M. Ibarreta, Jr.

[5] Id. at 97-98.

[6] Branch 8 of the trial court issued its order dismissing IHU's complaint in Civil Case No. 24,952-97, the subject of the present petition, on 9 June 1997.

[7] Records, pp. 80-91.

[8] 322 Phil. 280 (1996).

[9] 229 Phil. 65 (1986).

[10] Rollo, pp. 62-74.

[11] Leyson, Jr. v. Office of the Ombudsman, 387 Phil. 241 (2000).

[12] G.R. Nos. 142286-87, 15 April 2005, 456 SCRA 224, 243-244.



Back to Home | Back to Main


chanrobles.com





ChanRobles On-Line Bar Review

ChanRobles Internet Bar Review : www.chanroblesbar.com

ChanRobles MCLE On-line

ChanRobles Lawnet Inc. - ChanRobles MCLE On-line : www.chanroblesmcleonline.com






April-2008 Jurisprudence                 

  • [A.M. No. MTJ-07-1681 (Formerly A.M. OCA IPI No. 07-1878-MTJ) : April 30, 2008] ALEXANDER NARANJO, COMPLAINT VS. ACTING PRESIDING JUDGE PIO M. PASIA, METROPOLITAN TRIAL COURT, BRANCH 79, LAS PIÑAS CITY [PRESIDING JUDGE, MUNICIPAL TRIAL COURT, SAN LUIS, BATANGAS], ARTURO S. BONDOC, BRANCH CLERK OF COURT, AND JEFFREY CABELIS, CLERK-IN-CHARGE OF CIVIL CASES, SAME COURT, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. NO. 148747 : April 30, 2008] THE INTERNATIONAL HARVARDIAN UNIVERSITY, INC. REPRESENTED BY ITS PRESIDENT, DRA. VIRGINIA KING VDA. DE YAP, ET AL., PETITIONERS, V. DEVELOPMENT BANK OF THE PHILIPPINES AND ATTY. MARILOU D. ALDEVERA, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 149635 : April 30, 2008] RED SEA CORPORATION, PETITIONER, V. LAGUNA LAKE DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY, RESPONDENT.

  • [A.M. No. 08-4-212-RTC : April 29, 2008] RE: DESIGNATION OF JUDGE FROM ANOTHER JURISDICTION TO HEAR AND DECIDE CIVIL CASE NO. 6088 PENDING AT RTC, BRANCH 6, DIPOLOG CITY.

  • [A.M. No. 08-2-94-RTC : April 29, 2008] RE: REQUEST FOR ADDITIONAL COURTS IN THE RTC OF VALENZUELA CITY.

  • [A.M. No. 08-4-232-RTC : April 29, 2008] RE: REQUEST FOR AN ADDITIONAL FAMILY COURTS IN PUERTO PRINCESA.

  • [A.M. OCA IPI No. 02-1638-RTJ : April 29, 2008] MRS. VIRGINIA V. SABELLANO VS. JUDGE MANUEL ARGEL, JR., RTC, BRANCH 65, LAOAG CITY

  • [G.R. No. 176155 : April 28, 2008] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES V. RAMON KIMUEL REGULASYON

  • [G.R. No. 181423 : April 28, 2008] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES V. MIGUEL YUHICO Y ADAO

  • [A.M. No. P-08-2461 [Formerly A.M. OCA I.P.I. No. 05-2265-P] : April 23, 2008] BONIFACIO M. CEBRIAN V. ROMEO M. MONTEROSO, SHERIFF IV, REGIONAL TRIAL COURT, BRANCH 34, CABADBARAN, AGUSAN DEL NORTE

  • [G.R. No. 175237 : April 23, 2008] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES V. BONIFACIO PAJARES

  • [G.R. No. 157966 : April 23, 2008] EDDIE P. PACQUING, RODERICK CENTENO, JUANITO M, GUERRA, JOVITO C. ESTOLONIO, CLARO DUPILAD, JR., LOUIE CENTENO, DAVID REBLORA AND RAYMUNDO ANDRADE V. COCA-COLA BOTTLERS PHILIPPINES, INC.

  • [A.M. No. 08-3-73-MeTC : April 22, 2008] RE: REPORT ON THE JUDICIAL AUDIT CONDUCTED AT THE METROPOLITAN TRIAL COURT (METC), BRANCH 55, MALABON CITY.

  • [Administrative Case No. 6768 : April 22, 2008] ABRA CRIMINAL AND DETECTION GROUP THROUGH PCI ROLANDO OSIAS, CAMP JUAN VILLAMOR, BANGUED, ABRA VS. JESSIE EMMANUEL A. VISCARRA

  • [G.R. No. 177745 : April 21, 2008] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES V. CRISTINO BUAN Y TUVERA @ "BANOG" OR "TINO"

  • [G.R. No. 177703 : April 21, 2008] VILMA G. ARRIOLA AND ANTHONY RONALD G. ARRIOLA V. JOHN NABOR C. ARRIOLA

  • [A.M. OCA IPI No. 08-125-CA-J : April 19, 2008] ABELARDO SILVERIO VS. ASSOCIATE JUSTICE RAMON BATO OF THE COURT OF APPEALS

  • [G.R. No. 176737 : April 16, 2008] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES V. MA. JULIE JOY CESAR AND JUN CESAR

  • [G.R. No. 173985 : April 15, 2008] ALIASGAR ALIPONTO DAYONDONG VS. COURTS OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • [A.M. No. 08-1-26-RTC : April 15, 2008] RE: LETTER OF JAMES D. BALAGTEY, OIC, CLERK OF COURT, REGIONAL TRIAL COURT, BAGUIO CITY, BRANCH 4 SEEKING CLARIFICATION ON THE EFFECTIVITY OF THE TERMINATION OF THE PROVISIONAL APPOINTMENT OF CHARLES A. CORPUZ

  • [G.R. No. 173397 : April 15, 2008] LIBERATO Z. VILLEGAS V. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS AND GERALD Z. GABUTAN

  • [G.R. No. 178772 : April 14, 2008] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES VS. GREGORIO SIBUG Y FORMENTERA

  • [A.M. OCA I.P.I. No. 06-2439-P : April 09, 2008] RE: HON. MARIA ELISA SEMPIO DIY, RTC BRANCH 225, QUEZON CITY IN HER CAPACITY AS THEN PRESIDING JUDGE, METROPOLITAN TRIAL COURT (METC), BRANCH 34, QUEZON CITY V. JOVENCIO G. OLIVEROS, JR. UTILITY WORKER, RTC, BRANCH 102, QUEZON CITY

  • [A.M. No. RTJ-08-2116 : April 09, 2008] OFFICE OF THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR V. JUDGE JULES A. MEJIA, FORMER PRESIDING JUDGE, RTC, BR. 54, ALAMINOS CITY, PANGASINAN

  • [G.R. No. 173025 : April 09, 2008] MANOLITO CRUZ V. EASTERN ENTERTAINMENT, INC. AND EASTERN FILMS, INC.

  • [G.R. No. 155688 : April 09, 2008] NATIVIDAD FIGURACION, FILMA RABOR AND CATHERINE MANALASTAS V. SPOUSES CRESENCIANO AND AMELITA LIBI

  • [A.M. No. 08-4-03-SB : April 08, 2008] RE: COURTESY RESIGNATION OF SANDIGANBAYAN JUSTICE FRANCISCO H. VILLARUZ, JR.

  • [A.M. No. 91-1-171-RTC : April 08, 2008] RE: REQUEST FOR THE REGIONAL TRIAL COURT, BRANCH 81, ROMBLON, ROMBLON TO HOLD COURT SESSIONS AT CAJIDIOCAN, ROMBLON.

  • [G.R. No. 178785 : April 02, 2008] IMELDA R. MARCOS V. COURT OF APPEALS [9TH] AND FRANCISCO CHAVEZ