El Reyno Homes, Inc. vs. Ong *In not a few instances, we relaxed the rigid application of the rules of procedure to afford the parties the opportunity to fully ventilate their cases on the merits. However, as correctly pointed out by the private respondents, such liberality in the application of rules of procedure may not be invoked if it will result in the wanton disregard of the rules or cause needless delay in the administration of justice. It is equally settled that, save for the most persuasive of reasons, strict compliance is enjoined to facilitate the orderly administration of justice FACTS: PETITION for review on certiorari of the resolutions of the Court of Appeals.
It appears that private respondents, Ernesto Ong and Ma. Sonia Tan Soon Ha purchased from petitioner, El Reyno Homes, Inc., a subdivision plan situated at Quezon City by Transfer Certificate of Title. For its failure to develop and deliver the title to the property, the private respondents filed an action against the petitioner for specific performance and for violation of Sections 19, 20, 25 and 29 of PD No. 957 3 on March 22, 1991 with the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB for brevity). After conducting the required hearings and an ocular inspection of the property, HLURB arbiter rendered judgment against the respondent EL REYNO HOMES, INC., From the said decision, the petitioner filed a notice of appeal with the HLURB Board of Commissioners. However, the petitioner failed to file its memorandum of appeal within the extended period prompting the private respondents to file a motion to dismiss the appeal. The Board issued an Order dismissing the appeal of the petitioner. Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration but was denied by the Board. The petitioner timely filed a notice of appeal with the Office of the President. On October 27, 1999, the Office of the President rendered a decision 9 dismissing the appeal of the petitioner. On November 25, 1999, the petitioner filed with the Court of Appeals a motion for an extension 10 of 15 days within which to file a petition for review. On December 9, 1999, which was within the requested period of extension, the petitioner filed a petition for review 11 with the Court of Appeals. In the questioned Resolution dated December 15, 1999 however, the Court of Appeals denied petitioner’s motion for extension of time to file a petition for review for not having been accompanied by an affidavit of service, consequently dismissing the case. The motion for reconsideration of the questioned resolution was denied by the appellate court on March 10, 2000. Hence, the instant petition. In their comment, 15 the private respondents contend that, while the rules of procedure may be liberally construed, such liberality should not apply in case of wanton disregard of said rules or if it will only cause needless delay.
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