is to avoid surprises upon the latter and to grant it sufficient time to study the motion and to enable it tomeet the arguments interposed therein."18"A motion that does not comply with the requirements of Sections 4 and 5 of Rule 15 of the Rules of Courtis a worthless piece of paper which the clerk of court has no right to receive and which the court has noauthority to act upon."19 "Being a fatal defect, in cases of motions to reconsider a decision, the running ofthe period to appeal is not tolled by their filing or pendency."20Nevertheless, the three-day notice requirement is not a hard and fast rule. When the adverse party had beenafforded the opportunity to be heard, and has been indeed heard through the pleadings filed in opposition tothe motion, the purpose behind the three-day notice requirement is deemed realized. In such case, therequirements of procedural due process are substantially complied with. Thus, in Preysler, Jr. v. ManilaSouthcoast Development Corporation,21 the Court ruled that:The three-day notice rule is not absolute. A liberal construction of the procedural rules is proper where thelapse in the literal observance of a rule of procedure has not prejudiced the adverse party and has notdeprived the court of its authority. Indeed, Section 6, Rule 1 of the Rules of Court provides that the Rulesshould be liberally construed in order to promote their objective of securing a just, speedy and inexpensivedisposition of every action and proceeding. Rules of procedure are tools designed to facilitate theattainment of justice, and courts must avoid their strict and rigid application which would result intechnicalities that tend to frustrate rather than promote substantial justice.Page 8of 94
REM1 I-X In Somera Vda. De Navarro v. Navarro, the Court held that there was substantial compliance of the rule onnotice of motions even if the first notice was irregular because no prejudice was caused the adverse partysince the motion was not considered and resolved until after several postponements of which the partieswere duly notified.Likewise, in Jehan Shipping Corporation v. National Food Authority, the Court held that despite the lack ofnotice of hearing in a Motion for Reconsideration, there was substantial compliance with the requirementsof due process where the adverse party actually had the opportunity to be heard and had filed pleadings inopposition to the motion. The Court held:This Court has indeed held time and again, that under Sections 4 and 5 of Rule 15 of the Rules of Court,mandatory is the requirement in a motion, which is rendered defective by failure to comply with therequirement. As a rule, a motion without a notice of hearing is considered pro forma and does not affect thereglementary period for the appeal or the filing of the requisite pleading.