Unformatted text preview: Chapter I GENERAL PRINCIPLES I. REMEDIAL LAW AND THE RULES OF COURT Concept
of remedial law
1. Remedial law is the traditional term given to the rules
which prescribe the procedure for the protection and enforcement of
all claims arising from the rights and duties created by law.
2. Stated in some other way, remedial law provides the
“means and methods whereby causes of action may be effectuated,
wrongs redressed and relief obtained” (Black’s, 5th Edition, 1162
citing Schmitt v. Jenkins Truck Lines, Inc., 260 Iowa 556,149
N.W.2d 789, 792).
Substantive law distinguished from remedial law (Bar 2006)
Substantive law creates, defines, and regulates rights and
duties concerning life, liberty or property (Primicias v. Ocampo, 93
Phil. 446, 452) the violation of which gives rise to a cause of action
(Bustos v. Lucero, 81 Phil. 640, 650).
Remedial law prescribes the methods of enforcing those rights
and obligations created by substantive law (Bustos v. Lucero, 81
Phil. 640, 653-654) by providing a procedural system for obtaining
redress for the invasion of rights and violations of duties and by
laying out rules as to how suits are filed, tried and decided upon by
The procedural rules under the Rules of Court are not laws
The Rules of Court as a whole has reference to the body of rules
governing pleading, practice and procedure promulgated by the
Supreme Court pursuant to its rule-making powers l 2 CIVIL PROCEDURE, VOLUME I
THE BAR LECTURES SERIES under the constitution. As they do not originate from the legislature,
they cannot be called laws in the strict sense of the word. However,
since they are promulgated by authority of law, they have the force
and effect of law (Alvero v. De la Rosa, 76 Phil. 428, 434) if not in
conflict with positive law. The Rules are subordinate to statute, and
in case of conflict, the statute will prevail (Shioji v. Harvey, 43 Phil.
333, 342; Inehausti v. De Leon, 24 Phil. 224, 226; Altavas v. Court
of Appeals, 106 Phil. 940, 943).
Prospective effect of the Rules of Court (Bar 2011)
The rules embodied in the Rules of Court are not penal laws
and are not to be given retroactive effect (Bermejo v. Barrios, 31
SCRA 764, 776) and are to govern cases brought after they take
effect, and also all further proceedings in cases then pending, except
to the extent that in the opinion of the court, their application would
not be feasible or would work injustice, in which event the former
procedure shall apply (Rule 144, Rules of Court).
Applicability to pending actions; retroactivity (Bar 2011)
1. Rules of procedure however, may be made applicable to
actions pending and undetermined at the time of their passage, and
are deemed retroactive in that sense and to that extent. As a general
rule, the retroactive application of procedural laws cannot be
considered violative of any personal rights because no vested right
may attach to nor arise therefrom (In the Matter to Declare in
Contempt of Court Hon. Simeon Datumanong, 497 SCRA 626, 636637). The rules are retroactive only in this sense (PCI Leasing and
Finance, Inc. v. Go Ko, 454 SCRA 586, 592).
Procedural laws may be given retroactive effect to actions
pending and to those which are yet undetermined at the time of their
passage because there are no vested rights in the rules of procedure
(Go v. Sunbanon, 642 SCRA 367, 383, February 9,2011).
Rule 144 expressly makes the rules under the Rules of Court
applicable also to “further proceedings in cases then pending” when
the Rules of Court took effect. CHAPTER I
GENERAL PRINCIPLES 3 2. For instance, the Court also applied to pending actions, a
rule promulgated through a case (Neypes v. Court of Appeals, G.R.
No. 141524, September 14, 2005) which standardized the period for
appeal by allowing a ‘fresh period’ of 15 days within which to file the
notice of appeal in the Regional Trial Court, counted from receipt of
the order dismissing a motion for a new trial or motion for
Declared the Court:
" . . . In the light of this decision, a party litigant may
now file his notice of appeal either within fifteen days from
receipt of the original decision or within fifteen days from
the receipt of the order denying the motion for
reconsideration. Being procedural in nature, Neypes is
deemed to be applicable to actions pending and
undetermined at the time of its effectivity and is thus
retroactive in that sense and to that extent” (First Aqua
Traders, Inc. v. Bank of the Philippine Islands, 514
SCRA 223, 226-227; See also Go v. Sunbanon, 642 SCRA
367, February 9, 2011).
When procedural rules do not apply to pending actions
While a procedural rule may be made applicable to actions
pending and undetermined at the time of their passage and is
retroactive in that sense, the rule does not apply:
(a) where the statute itself or by necessary implication
provides that pending actions are excepted from its operation;
(b) if applying the rule to pending proceedings would
impair vested rights;
(c) when to do so would not be feasible or would work
(d) if doing so would involve intricate problems of due
process or impair the independence of the courts (Tan v. Court
of Appeals, 373 SCRA 524, 537).
Applicable actions or proceedings
The Rules of Court shall govern the procedure to be observed in
civil actions, criminal actions, and special proceed 4 CIVIL PROCEDURE, VOLUME I
THE BAR LECTURES SERIES ings (Sec. 3, Rule 1, Rules of Court) and shall also apply in all courts,
except as otherwise provided by the Supreme Court (Sec. 2, Rule 1,
Rules of Court).
Inapplicable actions or proceedings
1. Sec. 4, Rule 1 of the Rules of Court clearly provides that
the Rules shall not apply to the following cases:
(a) election cases; (b) land registration cases;
(c) cadastral cases;
(d) naturalization cases; and
(e) insolvency proceedings (Sec. 4, Rule 1, Rules of Court).
2. The Rules may, however, apply to the above cases
by (a) analogy or (b) in a suppletory character and whenever
practicable and convenient (Sec. 4, Rule 1, Rules of Court).
3. It is well-settled that the rules of evidence are not strictly
applied in proceedings before administrative bodies such as the
Board of Medicine (Atienza v. Board of Medicine, 642 SCRA 523,
529, February 9, 2011).
4. Jurisprudence discloses that the rules in the Rules of
Court do not also apply to non-judicial proceedings.
(a) For instance, one case declared that although as a
rule, affidavits are hearsay, the argument that the affidavits
attached to the case are hearsay because the affiants were not
presented in court for cross-examination is not persuasive. The
rules of evidence are not strictly observed in proceedings before
administrative bodies like the NLRC where decisions may be
reached on the basis of position papers only. Rules that prevail
in judicial proceedings are not controlling before the labor
arbiter and the NLRC (Bantolino v. Coca-Cola Bottlers, Phil.,
Inc., 403 SCRA 699, 703). CHAPTER I
GENERAL PRINCIPLES 5 (b) Technicalities have no room in labor cases where the
Rules of Court are applied only in a suppletory manner and
only to effectuate the objectives of the Labor Code and not to
defeat them (Panuncillo v. CAP, Phils., Inc., 515 SCRA 323,
Labor disputes are not governed by the strict and
technical rules of evidence and procedure observed in the
regular courts of law. Technical rules of procedure are not
applicable in labor cases, but may apply only by analogy or in a
suppletory character, for instance, when there is a need to
attain substantial justice and an expeditious, practical and
convenient solution to a labor problem (Sime Darby Employees
Association v. NLRC, 510 SCRA 204, 222). That is why a
reliance on the technical rules of evidence in labor cases is
misplaced. To apply the concept of judicial admissions for
instance, in such cases is to exact compliance with technicalities
contrary to the demands of substantial justice (Mayon Hotel
and Restaurant v. Adana, 458 SCRA 609, 629).
(c) In labor cases, rules should not be applied in a very
rigid and technical sense. Technicialities should not be made to
stand in the way of equitably and completely resolving the
rights and obligations of the parties.
Respecting the lack of verification in labor cases, the Court
instructs in Millenium Erectors Corporation v. Magallanes, 634
SCRA 708, 713-714, November 15, 2010:
“As to the defective verification in the appeal memorandum before the NLRC, the same liberality applies.
After all, the requirement regarding verification of a
pleading is formal, not jurisdictional. Such requirement is
simply a condition affecting the form of pleading, the noncompliance of which does not necessarily render the
pleading fatally defective. Verification is simply intended
to secure an assurance that the allegations in the pleading
are true and correct and not the product of the imagination or a matter of speculation, and that the pleading is
filed in good faith. The court or tribunal may order the 6 CIVIL PROCEDURE, VOLUME I
THE BAR LECTURES SERIES correction of the pleading if verification is lacking or act on
the pleading although it is not verified, if the attending
circumstances are such that strict compliance with the
rules may be dispensed with in order that the ends of
justice may thereby be served.” (Citation omitted)
As for the requirement of proof of service, it may also be
dispensed with since in appeals in labor cases, non-service of copy of
the appeal or appeal memorandum to the adverse party is not a
jurisdictional defect which calls for the dismissal of the appeal
(Millenium Erectors Corporation v. Magallanes, 634 SCRA 708,
713-714, November 15, 2010). 5.
In a much earlier case, the petitioner contended that
under Sec. 34, Rule 132 of the Rules of Court, only evidence which
has been formally offered shall be considered by the court. Under
this rule, a formal offer of evidence is made in the trial court and not
for the first time in the appellate court. The contention however, of
the petitioner that the Court of Appeals erred in deciding against his
petition on the basis of documentary evidence presented only for the
first time on appeal and which do not form part of the records of the
trial court, was ruled by the Supreme Court as bereft of merit. The
rule on formal offer of evidence is not applicable to a case involving a
petition for naturalization (Ong Chia v. Republic, 328 SCRA 749,
Administrative bodies are not bound by the technical
niceties of the rules obtaining in a court of law. Hence,
administrative due process cannot be fully equated with due process
in strict judicial terms (Samalio v. Court of Appeals, 454 SCRA 462,
Technical rules of procedure imposed in judicial
proceedings are unavailing in cases before administrative bodies.
Administrative bodies are not bound by the technical niceties of law
and procedure and the rules obtaining in the courts of law. Rules of
procedure are not to be applied in a very rigid and technical manner,
as they are used only to help secure and not to override substantial
justice (Department of Agrarian Reform v. Uy, 515 SCRA 376, 399). CHAPTER I
GENERAL PRINCIPLES 7 8. Another case, Sasan, Sr. v. NLRC, 569 SCRA 670, 686687, further illustrates the rule on the non-applicability of the Rules
of Court to non-judicial proceedings.
In this case, Respondent, in support of its material allegations,
submitted before the NLRC several documents which it did not
present before the Labor Arbiter. Largely on the basis of those
documents presented for the first time on appeal, the NLRC
promulgated its decision modifying the ruling of the Labor Arbiter.
Distressed by the decision of the NLRC, Petitioners sought
recourse with the Court of Appeals by filing a Petition for Certiorari
under Rule 65 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure. In its Decision,
the Court of Appeals affirmed the findings of the NLRC.
In the Supreme Court, the Petitioners raised as one of the
issues the acceptance and consideration by the NLRC of the evidence
presented for the first time on appeal. The Supreme Court ruled that
the issue is not a novel procedural issue, and that Philippine
jurisprudence is accordingly already replete with cases allowing the
NLRC to admit evidence, not presented before the Labor Arbiter,
and submitted to the NLRC for the first time on appeal.
Explained the Court:
“Technical rules of evidence are not binding in labor
cases. Labor officials should use every reasonable means
to ascertain the facts in each case speedily and objectively,
without regard to technicalities of law or procedure, all in
the interest of due process. The submission of additional
evidence before the NLRC is not prohibited by its New
Rules of Procedure. After all, rules of evidence prevailing
in courts of law or equity are not controlling in labor cases.
The NLRC and labor arbiters are directed to use every
and all reasonable means to ascertain the facts in each
case speedily and objectively, without regard to
technicalities of law and procedure all in the interest of
substantial justice. In keeping with this directive, it has
been held that the NLRC may consider evidence, such as 8 CIVIL PROCEDURE, VOLUME I
THE BAR LECTURES SERIES documents and affidavits, submitted by the parties for the
first time on appeal. The submission of additional evidence on appeal does not prejudice the other party for the
latter could submit counter-evidence. ”
Citing a previous case, Clarion Printing House, Inc. v.
National Labor Relations Commission, 461 SCRA 289, the Court
reiterated what had in the past already been emphasized:
“The NLRC is not precluded from receiving evidence,
even for the first time on appeal, because technical rules of
procedure are not binding in labor cases.
The settled rule is that the NLRC is not precluded
from receiving evidence on appeal as technical rules of
evidence are not binding in labor cases. In fact, labor officials are mandated by the Labor Code to use every and
all reasonable means to ascertain the facts in each case
speedily and objectively, without regard to technicalities of
law or procedure, all in the interest of due process. Thus,
in Lawin Security Services v. NLRC, and Bristol
Laboratories Employees’ Association-DFA v. NLRC, [th]e
[Court] held that even if the evidence was not submitted
to the labor arbiter, the fact that it was duly introduced on
appeal to the NLRC is enough basis for the latter to be
more judicious in admitting the same, instead of falling
back on the mere technicality that said evidence can no
longer be considered on appeal. Certainly, the first course
of action would be more consistent with equity and the
basic notions of fairness” (Sasan, supra at 686).
9. In the Sasan case, Petitioners likewise protested against
the documentary evidence submitted by the adverse party because
they were mere photocopies. Evidently, petitioners invoked the best
evidence rule, espoused in Sec. 3, Rulel30 of the Rules of Court
which provides that:
“Section 3. — Original document must be produced;
exceptions. - When the subject of inquiry is the contents of
a document, no evidence shall be admissible other than
the original document itself x x x.” CHAPTER I
GENERAL PRINCIPLES 9 The Court brushed aside the objection holding that even
assuming that petitioners were given mere photocopies, again, it was
stressed that proceedings before the NLRC are not covered by the
technical rules of evidence and procedure as observed in the regular
courts. Technical rules of evidence do not apply if the decision to
grant the petition proceeds from an examination of its sufficiency as
well as a careful look into the arguments contained in position
papers and other documents (Sasan, Sr. v. NLRC, supra).
Scope of civil procedure
Civil procedure includes:
(a) ordinary civil actions (Rules 1-56); (b) provisional remedies (Rules 57-61); and (c) special civil actions (Rules 62-71).
II. RULE-MAKING POWER OF
THE SUPREME COURT Constitutional authority to promulgate rules
1. Sec. 5(5), Art. VIII, Constitution of the Philippines
expressly confers upon the Supreme Court the power to:
“x x x Promulgate rules concerning the protection
and enforcement of constitutional rights, pleading, practice, and procedure in all courts, the admission to the
practice of law, the integrated bar, and legal assistance to
the under-privileged. Such rules shall provide a simplified
and inexpensive procedure for the speedy disposition of
cases, shall be uniform for all courts of the same grade,
and shall not diminish, increase, or modify substantive
rights. Rules of procedure of special courts and quasi-judicial bodies shall remain effective unless disapproved by
the Supreme Court.”
2. The rule-making power of the Court specifically includes
the constitutional power to promulgate rules concern 10 CIVIL PROCEDURE, VOLUME I
THE BAR LECTURES SERIES ing pleading, practice, and procedure (Sec. 5, Art. VIII,
Constitution of the Philippines).
Describing its rule-making power, the Supreme Court
“x x x The rule-making power of th[e] Court has
expanded. Th[e] Court for the first time, was given the
power to disapprove rules of procedure of special courts
and quasi-judicial bodies. But most important, the 1987
Constitution took away the power of Congress to repeal,
alter or supplement rules concerning pleading, practice
and procedure. In fine, the power to promulgate rules of
pleading, practice and procedure is no longer shared by
th[e] Court with Congress, more so with the executive x x
x” (Echegaray v. Secretary of Justice, 301 SCRA 96,
In another case, the Court, in describing its rule- making
“It has the sole prerogative to amend, repeal, or even
establish new rules for a more simplified and inexpensive
process, and the speedy disposition of cases” (Neypes v.
Court of Appeals, 469 SCRA 633, 643-644; Italics supplied).
Power to amend the rules
1. The Supreme Court has the power to amend, repeal or
even establish new rules for a more simplified and inexpensive
process, and the speedy disposition of cases (Neypes v. Court of
Appeals, 469 SCRA 633, 643-644; Makati Insurance Co., Inc. v.
Reyes, 561 SCRA 234,245).
2. The constitutional power of the Supreme Court to
promulgate rules of practice and procedure and to amend or repeal
the same necessarily carries with it the power to overturn judicial
precedents on points of remedial law through the amendment of the
Rules of Court (Pinga v. Heirs of Santiago, 494 SCRA 393, 398). CHAPTER I
GENERAL PRINCIPLES 11 Power to suspend the Rules; power to reverse itself
1. The courts have the power to relax or suspend technical or
procedural rules or to except a case from their operation when
compelling reasons so warrant or when the purpose of justice
requires it. What constitutes good and sufficient cause that would
merit suspension of the rules is discretionary upon the courts
(Commissioner of Internal Revenue v. Mirant Pagbilao Corporation,
504 SCRA 484, 496).
The Court, in the exercise of its rule-making power, can
suspend its rules with respect to a particular case (pro hac vice) (De
la Cruz v. Court of Appeals, 510 SCRA 103,124).
2. The Court views rules of procedure as mere tools designed
to facilitate the attainment of justice. Hence, their strict application
which would result in technicalities and tend to frustrate rather than
promote substantial justice must, accordingly, “always be eschewed.”
From the point of view of the Court, “[T]he power to suspend or
even disregard rules can be so pervasive and compelling as to
alter even that which the Court itself had already declared to be
final” (Apo Fruits Corporation v. Land Bank of the Philippines, 632
SCRA 727, 762-763, G.R. No. 164195, October 12, 2010, citing
Ginete v. Court of Appeals, 292 SCRA 38; Emphasis supplied).
3. The Rules itself expressly states in Sec. 2 of Rule 1 that
the rules shall be liberally construed in order to promote their objec...
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