rules of court

Spouses Magtoto vs CA (GR No. 175792 November 21, 2012)

Spouses Magtoto vs Court of Appeals
GR No. 175792 November 21, 2012

Facts: Private respondent Leonila sold her 3 parcels of land located in Pampanga to herein petitioners as evidenced by a deed of absolute sale which was paid by the latter partially in cash and the balance by postdated checks. Upon its due and presentment, said checks were dishonored by the bank which prompted Leonila to send demands to make good the same. However, no action was taken on the part of spouses Magtoto compelling private respondent to file a complaint before the Regional Trial Court. After receiving summons, petitioners failed to file their answer causing a court’s judgement by default.

Issue: Whether or not the default judgement is valid.

Held: Yes. The spouses Magtoto are unable to show  that their failure to timely  file an Answer was due to fraud,  accident,  mistake or  excusable negligence and,  more importantly, that they have  a meritorious defense  pursuant to Section 3(b), Rule 9 of the Rules of Court,  viz: 

(b)   Relief from order  of  default. –  A party declared  in default  may  at any time  after notice thereof and before judgment file a  motion under oath to set aside the order of default upon proper showing that his failure to answer was due to fraud, accident, mistake or excusable negligence  and  that he has a meritorious defense.  In such case,  the  order of  default  may  be set aside on such terms and conditions as the judge  may impose in the interest of  justice. 

Negligence to be excusable must be one which ordinary diligence and prudence could not have guarded against. Certainly, this is not the kind of negligence committed by the spouses Magtoto in this case. More significantly, a review of the records does not convince the court that the Spouses Magtoto have a meritorious defense. At most, the allegations in their answer and the attached affidavit of merit. To wit: that the agreed purchase price is only P10,000,000 that they provided financial support to Leonila for the settlement of the estate of the latter – the latter’s predecessor-in-interest and for the transfer of title in her name and that they already paid the total amount of P4,500,000 are mere allegations not supported by evidence they, at the outset supposed to present.

We agree with the CA that the RTC correctly declared the spouses Magtoto in default.  The records show that after receipt of the summons, the spouses Magtoto thrice requested for  extensions  of time to  file  their Answer.  The RTC granted these requests.  For their  final  request for extension,  the RTC gave  the spouses Magtoto until August 2,  2003 within which to file  their Answer.  But still, no Answer was filed.  Instead,  on August 4, 2003, or two  days after the deadline for filing their Answer,  the spouses Magtoto filed a Motion to Dismiss the Complaint.  Despite  its belated filing,  the RTC acted on  the  motion and resolved the same, albeit not in favor of the said spouses.  Thereafter, Atty. Canlas, petitioners’ former counsel,  filed  a motion to withdraw  his appearance since he could no longer effectively defend spouses Magtoto  because he had lost communication  with  them.  

At the outset, it must be pointed out  that petitioners’ resort to a Petition for Certiorari  under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court is inappropriate.  Petitioners’ remedy from the adverse Decision  of the CA  lies in  Rule 45 which is a Petition for Review on  Certiorari.  As such, this petition should  have been dismissed outright for being a wrong mode of appeal.  Even if  the petition is to be  treated as filed under Rule 45, the same must still be denied for late filing and there being no reversible error on the part of the CA.   Records show  that petitioners received a copy of the CA Resolution denying their  Motion for Reconsideration on October 30, 2006.   They therefore had 15  days or until November  14, 2006 within which to file their Petition for Review on  Certiorari  before this Court.   However,  they filed  their Petition for  Certiorari  on December 29, 2006,  after the period  to file a Petition for Review on  Certiorari  under Rule 45 had expired.   Hence, this Petition for  Certiorari  under Rule 65 was resorted  to as a substitute for a lost appeal which is not allowed. 

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Marantan vs Diokno (G.R. No. 205956 February 12, 2014)

Marantan vs Diokno
G.R. No. 205956 February 12, 2014
 
Facts: Petitioner P/Supt. Hansel M. Marantan (Marantan) is the respondent in G.R. No. 199462, a petition filed on December 6, 2011, but already dismissed although the disposition is not yet final. Respondent Monique Cu-Unjieng La’O (La ‘O) is one of the petitioners in the said case, while respondent Atty. Jose Manuel Diokno (Atty. Diokno) is her counsel therein. G.R. No. 199462 relates to Criminal Case Nos. 146413-PSG, 146414-PSG and 146415-PSG, entitled “People of the Philippines v. P/SINSP Hansel M. Marantan, et al.,” pending before the Regional Trial Court of Pasig City, Branch 265 (RTC), where Marantan and his co-accused are charged with homicide. The criminal cases involve an incident which transpired on November 7, 2005, where Anton Cu-Unjieng (son of respondent La‘O), Francis Xavier Manzano, and Brian Anthony Dulay, were shot and killed by police officers in front of the AIC Gold Tower at Ortigas Center, which incident was captured by a television crew from UNTV 37 (Ortigas incident). In G.R. No. 199462, La‘O, together with the other petitioners, prayed, among others, that the resolution of the Office of the Ombudsman downgrading the charges from murder to homicide be annulled and set aside; that the corresponding informations for homicide be withdrawn; and that charges for murder be filed. In the meantime, on January 6, 2013, a shooting incident occurred in Barangay Lumutan, Municipality of Atimonan, Province of Quezon, where Marantan was the ground commander in a police-military team, which resulted in the death of thirteen (13) men (Atimonan incident). This encounter, according to Marantan, elicited much negative publicity for him. Marantan alleges that, riding on the unpopularity of the Atimonan incident, La‘O and her counsel, Atty. Diokno, and one Ernesto Manzano, organized and conducted a televised/radio broadcasted press conference. During the press conference, they maliciously made intemperate and unreasonable comments on the conduct of the Court in handling G.R. No. 199462, as well as contumacious comments on the merits of the criminal cases before the RTC, branding Marantan and his coaccused guilty of murder in the Ortigas incident. 
Issue: Whether or not the petition for contempt is meritorious.
Held: No. The sub judice rule restricts comments and disclosures pertaining to the judicial proceedings in order to avoid prejudging the issue, influencing the court, or obstructing the administration of justice. A violation of this rule may render one liable for indirect contempt under Sec. 3(d), Rule 71 of the Rules of Court,4 which reads: 
Section 3. Indirect contempt to be punished after charge and hearing. – x x x a person guilty of any of the following acts may be punished for indirect contempt: x x x 
(d) Any improper conduct tending, directly or indirectly, to impede, obstruct, or degrade the administration of justice.
The proceedings for punishment of indirect contempt are criminal in nature. This form of contempt is conduct that is directed against the dignity and authority of the court or a judge acting judicially; it is an act obstructing the administration of justice which tends to bring the court into disrepute or disrespect. Intent is a necessary element in criminal contempt, and no one can be punished for a criminal contempt unless the evidence makes it clear that he intended to commit it.
For a comment to be considered as contempt of court “it must really appear” that such does impede, interfere with and embarrass the administration of justice. What is, thus, sought to be protected is the all-important duty of the court to administer justice in the decision of a pending case. The specific rationale for the sub judice rule is that courts, in the decision of issues of fact and law should be immune from every extraneous influence; that facts should be decided upon evidence produced in court; and that the determination of such facts should be uninfluenced by bias, prejudice or sympathies.
The power of contempt is inherent in all courts in order to allow them to conduct their business unhampered by publications and comments which tend to impair the impartiality of their decisions or otherwise obstruct the administration of justice. As important as the maintenance of freedom of speech, is the maintenance of the independence of the Judiciary. The “clear and present danger” rule may serve as an aid in determining the proper constitutional boundary between these two rights.
The “clear and present danger” rule means that the evil consequence of the comment must be “extremely serious and the degree of imminence extremely high” before an utterance can be punished. There must exist a clear and present danger that the utterance will harm the administration of justice. Freedom of speech should not be impaired through the exercise of the power of contempt of court unless there is no doubt that the utterances in question make a serious and imminent threat to the administration of justice. It must constitute an imminent, not merely a likely, threat.

Sps Campos vs Republic (G.R. No. 184371 March 5, 2014)

Spouses Campos vs Republic of the Philippines
G.R. No. 184371 March 5, 2014
 
Facts: On November 17, 2003, the petitioners applied for the registration of a 6,904 square meter-parcel of land situated in Baccuit, Bauang, La Union, particularly described as Lot No. 3876, Cad-474-D, Case 17, Bauang Cadastre. The petitioners bought the subject land from Roberto Laigo, as evidenced by a Deed of Absolute Sale executed by the parties on July 26, 1990. On December 29, 2004, the MTC rendered a decision granting the petitioners‘ application for registration. The Republic appealed to the CA on the ground that the MTC erred in granting the petitioners‘ application for registration because of discrepancies in the area of the subject land as applied for and indicated in the tax declarations and the parties‘ deed of sale. Also, discrepancies in the description of the subject land appeared in the tax declarations, as the land was sometimes described as “swampy” and, in others, “sandy.” The CA, in its assailed April 30, 2007 decision, reversed and set aside the MTC‘s decision and dismissed the petitioners‘ application for registration of title. It ruled that, contrary to the MTC‘s findings, the evidence failed to prove the nature and duration of the petitioners‘ possession and that of their predecessors-in-interest; that the petitioners failed to prove that they and their predecessors-in-interest have been in open, continuous, exclusive, notorious and adverse possession of Lot 3876 since June 12, 1945 or earlier. The CA further held that the petitioners failed to establish when the subject land became alienable; that while the DENRCENRO La Union certified that “Lot 3876 falls within the Alienable and Disposable land of the Public Domain as per Project No. 9, L.C. Map No. 3330 of Bauang Cadastre as certified on January 21, 1987,” such certification (as annotated in the lot‘s Advance Plan) was inadequate to prove that the subject land was classified as alienable and disposable on said date. Lastly, the CA noted the discrepancies in the area of the subject land indicated in the tax declarations and deed of sale presented by the petitioners, which put in doubt the lot‘s identity.
Issue: Whether or not the CA erred in ruling on issues not raised on appeal.
Held: No. Section 8, Rule 51 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure expressly provides: 
SEC. 8. Questions that may be decided. – No error which does not affect the jurisdiction over the subject matter or the validity of the judgment appealed from or the proceedings therein will be considered unless stated in the assignment of errors, or closely related to or dependent on an assigned error and properly argued in the brief, save as the court pass upon plain errors and clerical errors. 
The general rule that an assignment of error is essential to appellate review and only those errors assigned will be considered applies in the absence of certain exceptional circumstances. As exceptions to the rule, the Court has considered grounds not raised or assigned as errors in instances where: (1) grounds not assigned as errors but affecting jurisdiction over the subject matter; (2) matters not assigned as errors on appeal but are evidently plain or clerical errors within the contemplation of the law; (3) matters not assigned as errors on appeal, whose consideration is necessary in arriving at a just decision and complete resolution of the case or to serve the interest of justice or to avoid dispensing piecemeal justice; (4) matters not specifically assigned as errors on appeal but raised in the trial court and are matters of record having some bearing on the issue submitted which the parties failed to raise or which the lower court ignored; (5) matters not assigned as errors on appeal but are closely related to the assigned error/s; and (6) matters not assigned as errors on appeal, whose determination is necessary to rule on the question/s properly assigned as errors. The present case falls into the exceptions. 
No error by the CA in resolving the issues on the nature and duration of the petitioners‘ possession and on the alienable character of the subject land. These issues were apparently not raised by the Republic in its appeal before the CA, but are crucial in determining whether the petitioners have registrable title over the subject land. In Mendoza v. Bautista, the Court held that the appellate court reserves the right, resting on its public duty, to take cognizance of palpable error on the face of the record and proceedings, and to notice errors that are obvious upon inspection and are of a controlling character, in order to prevent a miscarriage of justice due to oversight.

Teñido vs People (G.R. No. 211642 March 09, 2016)

Teñido vs People of the Philippines
G.R. No. 211642 March 09, 2016
 
Facts: This resolves the Petition for Review on Certiorari1 under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court, from the Decision dated September 20, 2013 of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-G.R. CR No. 34325 which affirmed with modification the Decision dated May 23, 2011 of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Manila, Branch 25, in Criminal Case No. 88-67398 finding Nelson Teñido y Silvestre (Teñido) guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of Robbery in the manner, date and circumstances stated in the criminal information accusing him and his co-accused, Rizaldo Alvarade y Valencia (Alvarade), as follows: That on or about June 22, 1988, in the City of Manila, Philippines, the said accused, conspiring and confederating together and helping each other, did then and there wilfully, unlawfully and feloniously, with intent of gain and without the knowledge and consent of the owner thereof, by means of force upon things, break into and enter house no. 1250, Kahilom I, Pandacan, Manila, inhabited by Lolita Sus de Enriquez, by the[n] and there destroying the chicken wire of their door at the store and removing a small piece of lawanit nailed to it, and passing through the same, an opening not intended for entrance or egress, and once inside, took, stole and carried away therefrom cash money amounting to P600.00, one (1) male wristwatch (Rolex) worth P2,000.00, one (1) Citizen wristwatch worth P995, one (1) gold ring with stone (brillante) worth P1,500.00, one (1) wallet containing cash money of P1,200.00, and one (1) gold[-]plated Seiko 5 watch worth P1,200.00 with a total value of P7,495.00, belonging to Lolita Sus de Enriquez, to the damage and prejudice of the said owner in the aforesaid amount of P7,495.00, Philippine currency. Contrary to law.
Issue: Whether or not a review on the credibility of a witness is a question of fact outside the bounds of a petition for certiorari under Rule 45.
Held: Yes. Questions pertaining to the credibility of a witness are factual in nature and are, generally, outside the ambit of the Court’s appellate jurisdiction. It is a settled rule that a petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court shall raise only questions of law. “A question that invites a review of the factual findings of the lower tribunals or bodies is beyond the scope of this Court’s power of review and generally justifies the dismissal of the petition.”
Moreover, it is axiomatic that absent any showing that the trial court overlooked substantial facts and circumstances that would affect the final disposition of the case, appellate courts are bound to give due deference and respect to its evaluation of the credibility of an eyewitness and his testimony as well as its probative value as it was certainly in a better position to rate the credibility of the witnesses after hearing them and observing their deportment and manner of testifying during the trial. 
The Court finds no cogent reason to depart from the foregoing tenets especially in view of the absence of any exceptional circumstances that will justify a re-evaluation of the RTC’s factual findings. 
The fact of delay attributed to a prosecution witness cannot be taken against her. What is important is that her testimony regarding the incident bears the earmarks of truth and dependability. Time and again, the Court has stressed: 
Delay in revealing the identity of the perpetrators of a crime does not necessarily impair the credibility of a witness, especially where sufficient explanation is given. No standard form of behavior can be expected from people who had witnessed a strange or frightful experience. Jurisprudence recognizes that witnesses are naturally reluctant to volunteer information about a criminal case or are unwilling to be involved in criminal investigations because of varied reasons. Some fear for their lives and that of their family; while others shy away when those involved in the crime are their relatives or townmates. And where there is delay, it is more important to consider the reason for the delay, which must be sufficient or well-grounded, and not the length of delay.
Guinto sufficiently explained that she got nervous and frightened. Further, there is no showing that Guinto was impelled by any ill motive to fabricate facts and attribute a serious offense against Teñido. Where there is no evidence to indicate that the prosecution witness was actuated by improper motive, the presumption is that she was not so actuated and that her testimony is entitled to full faith and credit.

Gipa vs SLI (G.R. No.177425 June 18, 2014)

Gipa vs Southern Luzon Institute
G.R. No.177425 June 18, 2014
 
Facts: On February 26, 1996, respondent Southern Luzon Institute (SLI), an educational institution in Bulan, Sorsogon, filed a Complaint for Recovery of Ownership and Possession with Damages against petitioners Alonzo Gipa, Imelda Marollano, Juanito Ludovice, Demar Bitangcor, Virgilio Gojit, Felipe Montalban and four others namely, Arturo Rogacion, Virgilio Gracela, Rosemarie Alvarez and Rosita Montalban (Rosita). During trial, defendant Rosita executed a Special Power of Attorney in favor of her sister Daisy M. Placer (Placer) authorizing the latter to represent her in the case and to sign any and all papers in relation thereto. 
Finding SLI to have proven its ownership of the property by preponderance of evidence, the RTC rendered a Decision in its favor on January 5, 2005.
Petitioners and their co-defendants filed a Notice of Appeal which was granted by the RTC in its Order of January 27, 2005. The CA, however, dismissed the appeal in its Resolution of August 26, 2005 since it was not shown that the appellate court docket fees and other lawful fees were paid. Petitioners and their co-defendants promptly filed a Motion for Reconsideration to which they attached a Certification from the RTC that they paid the appeal fee in the amount of₱3,000.00 under Official Receipt No. 18091130 dated January 25, 2005. In view of this, the CA granted the said motion and consequently reinstated the appeal through a Resolution dated November 2, 2005. Subsequently, however, the CA further required petitioners and their codefendants, through a Minute Resolution dated March 1, 2006, to remit within ten days from notice the amount of ₱30.00 for legal research fund, which apparently was not included in the ₱3,000.00 appeal fee previously paid by them. Copy of the said resolution was received on March 13,2006 by petitioners‘ counsel, Atty. Jose G. Gojar of the Public Attorney‘s Office. Despite the lapse of nine months from their counsel‘s receipt of the said resolution, petitioners and their co-defendants, however, failed to comply with the CA‘s directive. Hence, the said court dismissed the appeal through its Resolution of December 20, 2006. Petitioners and their co-defendants filed a Motion for Reconsideration invoking the principle of liberality in the application of technical rules considering that they have paid the substantial amount of ₱3,000.00 for docket and other legal fees and fell short only by the meager amount of ₱30.00. As compliance, they attached to the said motion a postal money order in the sum of ₱30.00 payable to the Clerk of Court of the CA. The CA, however, was not swayed, hence, the denial of the Motion for Reconsideration in its Resolution  of March 30, 2007. 
Issue: Whether or not the CA erred in dismissing the appeal for the nonpayment of the ₱30.00.
Held: No. Payment of the full amount of appellate court docket and lawful fees is mandatory and jurisdictional; Relaxation of the rule on payment of appeal fee is unwarranted in this case. 
Section 4, Rule 41 of the Rules of Court provides: 
Sec. 4. Appellate court docket and other lawful fees. – Within the period for taking an appeal, the appellant shall pay to the clerk of court which rendered the judgment or final order appealed from, the full amount of the appellate court docket and other lawful fees. Proof of payment of said fees shall be transmitted to the appellate court together with the original record or the record on appeal.
In Far Corporation v. Magdaluyo, as with other subsequent cases of the same ruling, the Court explained that the procedural requirement under Section 4 of Rule 41 is not merely directory, as the payment of the docket and other legal fees within the prescribed period is both mandatory and jurisdictional. It bears stressing that an appeal is not a right, but a mere statutory privilege. An ordinary appeal from a decision or final order of the RTC to the CA must be made within 15 days from notice. And within this period, the full amount of the appellate court docket and other lawful fees must be paid to the clerk of the court which rendered the judgment or final order appealed from. The requirement of paying the full amount of the appellate docket fees within the prescribed period is not a mere technicality of law or procedure. The payment of docket fees within the prescribed period is mandatory for the perfection of an appeal. Without such payment, the appeal is not perfected. The appellate court does not acquire jurisdiction over the subject matter of the action and the Decision sought to be appealed from becomes final and executory. Further, under Section 1 (c), Rule 50, an appeal may be dismissed by the CA, on its own motion or on that of the appellee, on the ground of the non-payment of the docket and other lawful fees within the reglementary period as provided under Section 4 of Rule 41. The payment of the full amount of the docket fee is an indispensable step for the perfection of an appeal. In both original and appellate cases, the court acquires jurisdiction over the case only upon the payment of the prescribed docket fees.
Suffice it to say that “[c]oncomitant to the liberal interpretation of the rules of procedure should be an effort on the part of the party invoking liberality to adequately explain his failure to abide by the rules.” Those who seek exemption from the application of the rule have the burden of proving the existence of exceptionally meritorious reason warranting such departure. Petitioners‘ failure to advance any explanation as to why they failed to pay the correct docket fees or to complete payment of the same within the period allowed by the CA is thus fatal to their cause. Hence, a departure from the rule on the payment of the appeal fee is unwarranted. Neither do the cases cited by petitioners help because they are not in point. Unlike in this case, the CA in Camposagrado no longer required the petitioners therein to complete the payment of the appeal fee by remitting the ₱5.00 deficiency but just dismissed the appeal outright. Moreover, a justifiable reason for the insufficient payment was tendered by petitioners in the said case, i.e., that they relied on the assessment made by the collection officer of the court and honestly believed that the amount collected from them was that which is mandated by the Rules.

Cervantes vs City Service (G.R. No. 191616 April 18, 2016)

Cervantes vs City Service Corporation
G.R. No. 191616 April 18, 2016
 
Facts: The instant petition stemmed from a Complaint for illegal dismissal dated December 19, 2007 filed before the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) by petitioner Francis C. Cervantes against respondents City Service Corporation and/or Valentin Prieto, Jr. for illegal dismissal, underpayment of salaries/wages, overtime pay, holiday pay, holiday premium, rest day premium, service incentive leave, separation pay, ECOLA, moral and exemplary damages, and attorney’s fees. On June 30, 2008, the Labor Arbiter, in NLRC-NCR-12-14080-07, dismissed the complaint for lack of merit. It found that it was Cervantes who refused to work after he was transferred to another client of City Service. The Labor Arbiter stressed that employees of local manpower agencies, which are assigned to clients, do not become employees of the client. Cervantes appealed the Labor Arbiter’s decision, but was denied in a Resolution dated February 5, 2008. Undaunted, Cervantes moved for reconsideration, but was denied anew in a Resolution dated July 22, 2009. Procedurally, petitioner insists that he filed the petition for certiorari on time, which should be reckoned from the moment his counsel was informed about the Resolution denying his motion for reconsideration, and not from the date his mother received a copy of the NLRC Resolution. 
Issue: Whether or not the petition for certiorari was filed on time.
Held: Yes. In practice, service means the delivery or communication of a pleading, notice or some other paper in a case, to the opposite party so as to charge him with receipt of it and subject him to its legal effect. The purpose of the rules on service is to make sure that the party being served with the pleading, order or judgment is duly informed of the same so that he can take steps to protect his interests; i.e., enable a party to file an appeal or apply for other appropriate reliefs before the decision becomes final.
The rule is – where a party appears by attorney in an action or proceeding in a court of record, all notices required to be given therein must be given to the attorney of record; and service of the court’s order upon any person other than the counsel of record is not legally effective and binding upon the party, nor may it start the corresponding reglementary period for the subsequent procedural steps that may be taken by the attorney. Notice should be made upon the counsel of record at his exact given address, to which notice of all kinds emanating from the court should be sent in the absence of a proper and adequate notice to the court of a change of address. When a party is represented by counsel of record, service of orders and notices must be made upon said attorney; and notice to the client and to any other lawyer, not the counsel of record, is not notice in law.
In the instant case, it is not disputed that during the NLRC proceedings, petitioner was represented by counsel, Atty. Romeo S. Occena, as in fact the NLRC albeit belated, furnished a copy of its July 29, 2009 Resolution to Atty. Occena on November 19, 2009. Petitioner’s several motions during the proceedings before the NLRC were likewise all signed by Atty. Occena as counsel. Consequently, following the policy that the period to appeal shall be counted from receipt of resolution by the counsel of record, considering that petitioner is represented by a counsel, the latter is considered to have received notice of the NLRC Resolution dated July 22, 2009 on November 19, 2009, the date when his representative and counsel, Atty. Occena was served notice thereof and not on July 30, 2009, or the date when petitioner’s mother received the same decision. 
Accordingly, the 60-day period for filing the petition for certiorari with the CA should be counted from the receipt by the petitioner’s counsel of a copy of the NLRC Decision dated July 22, 2009 on November 19, 2009. It should be stressed that the NLRC sent the notice of Resolution to petitioner’s counsel only on November 19, 2009. While there was a notice of Resolution dated July 22, 2009, said notice was not served upon petitioner’s counsel. Thus, strictly speaking, the running of the 60-day period to appeal should be counted from November 19, 2009 when the notice of Resolution dated July 22, 2009 was served on petitioner’s counsel. Considering that petitioner filed his petition for certiorari on October 7, 2009, the same was well within the prescribed period to appeal. The petition for certiorari was filed on time. 

Jamaca vs People (G.R. No. 183681, July 27, 2015)

Jamaca vs People of the Philippines
G.R. No. 183681, July 27, 2015
Facts: Private complainant Atty. Emilie Bangot filed a complaint for Grave Threats against petitioner with the Office of the Deputy Ombudsman for the Military, docketed as OMB-MIL-CRIM-97-0754. He likewise filed a similar complaint before the Office of the City Prosecutor of Cagayan de Oro City. In a Resolution dated January 26, 1998, the Office of the Deputy Ombudsman for the Military dismissed the complaint on the ground that the accusation against petitioner was unfounded, based solely on the statement of one Rustom Roxas that there were no threatening words uttered by petitioner. A petition for certiorari was filed with this Court to assail said ruling of the Office of the Deputy Ombudsman for the Military, but the same was dismissed in a Resolution dated July 29, 1998. On the other hand, private complainant’s complaint before the Office of the City Prosecutor prospered and led to the filing of an Information against petitioner. He was charged with grave threats defined and penalized under paragraph 1 of Article 282 of the Revised Penal Code.
Issue: Whether or not non-compliance on non-forum shopping may be raised for the first time on appeal.
Held: No. It is well-settled that no question will be entertained on appeal unless it has been raised in the proceedings below. Points of law, theories, issues and arguments not brought to the attention of the lower court, administrative agency or quasi-judicial body, need not be considered by a reviewing court, as they cannot be raised for the first time at that late stage. Basic considerations of fairness and due process impel this rule. Any issue raised for the first time on appeal is barred by estoppel. x x x x 
In Young v. John Keng Seng, it was also held that the question of forum shopping cannot be raised in the CA and in the Supreme Court, since such an issue must be raised at the earliest opportunity in a motion to dismiss or a similar pleading. The high court even warned that [i]nvoking it in the later stages of the proceedings or on appeal may result in the dismissal of the action x x x.