Remedial Law

Recent Rulings on [Conclusiveness of Judgment, Harmless Error Rule, Doctrine of Immutability of Judgments, Judgment on Compromise, Finality of Judgment, Execution of Judgment]

Annulment of judgment, as provided for in Rule 47, is based only on the grounds of extrinsic fraud and lack of jurisdiction; jurisprudence, however, recognizes lack of due process as an additional ground to annul a judgment; it is unlike a motion for reconsideration, appeal or even a petition for relief from judgment, because annulment is not a continuation or progression of the same case, as in fact the case it seeks to annul is already final and executory; rather, it is an extraordinary remedy that is equitable in character and is permitted only in exceptional cases. (Frias vs. Alcayde, G.R. No. 194262, Feb. 28, 2018)

For purposes of summons, the Court holds that the nature of a petition for annulment of judgment is in personam; a petition for annulment of judgment is an original action, which is separate, distinct and independent of the case where the judgment sought to be annulled is rendered; it is not a continuation or progression of the same case; thus, regardless of the nature of the original action in the decision sought to be annulled, be it in personam, in rem or quasi in rem, the respondent should be duly notified of the petition seeking to annul the court’s decision over which the respondent has a direct or indirect interest; a petition for annulment of judgment and the court’s subsequent decision thereon will affect the parties alone. (Frias vs. Alcayde, G.R. No. 194262, Feb. 28, 2018)

Conclusiveness of judgment, a species of the principle of res judicata, bars the re-litigation of any right, fact or matter in issue directly adjudicated or necessarily involved in the determination of an action before a competent court in which judgment is rendered on the merits; for purposes of res judicata, only substantial identity of parties is required and not absolute identity; substantial identity of parties, when existent. (Rep. Lagman vs. Senate Pres. Pimentel III, G.R. No. 235935, Feb. 06, 2018)

One of the aspects of res judicata, known as “conclusiveness of judgment,” ordains that issues actually and directly resolved in a former suit cannot again be raised in any future case between the parties involving a different cause of action; conclusiveness of judgment does not require identity of the causes of action; instead, it requires identity of issues; but the adjudication of an issue in the first case is not conclusive of an entirely different and distinct issue arising in the second; hence, facts and issues actually and directly resolved in a former suit cannot again be raised in any future case between the same parties, even if the latter suit may involve a different claim or cause of action. (Excellent Essentials Int’l. Corp. vs. Extra Excel Int’l. Phils., Inc., G.R. No. 192797, April 18, 2018)

Conflict between the dispositive portion or fallo and the text or body –– When there is a conflict between the dispositive portion or fallo of a decision and the opinion of the court contained in the text or body of the judgment, the former prevails over the latter; this rule rests on the theory that the fallo is the final order, while the opinion in the body is merely a statement ordering nothing; thus, an order of execution is based on the disposition, not on the body, of the Decision; the Court finds inapplicable the exception to the foregoing rule which states that the body of the decision will prevail in instances where the inevitable conclusion from the body of the decision is so clear as to show that there was a mistake in the dispositive portion; here, the mistake lies not in the fallo or dispositive portion but in the body thereof. (San Miguel Pure Foods Co., Inc. vs. Foodsphere, Inc., G.R. No. 217781, June 20, 2018) 

Doctrine of immutability of final judgments –– A decision that has acquired finality becomes immutable and unalterable, and may no longer be modified in any respect, even if the modification is meant to correct erroneous conclusions of fact and law, and whether it is made by the court that rendered it or by the Highest Court of the land; any act which violates this principle must immediately be struck down. (Philippine Airlines, Inc. vs. Airline Pilots Assoc. of the Phils., G.R. No. 200088, Feb. 26, 2018)

A judgment on compromise agreement is immediately final and executory; this general rule, however, allows for exceptions: (1) the correction of clerical errors; (2) the so-called nunc pro tunc entries which cause no prejudice to any party; (3) void judgments; and (4) whenever circumstances transpire after the finality of the decision rendering its execution unjust and inequitable; the last exception, the presence of a supervening event, prevents the execution of the judgment on compromise agreement. (Nat’l. Electrification Administration (NEA) vs. Maguindanao Electric Coop., Inc., G.R. Nos. 192595-96, April 11, 2018)

     A judgment, once it has attained finality, can never be altered, amended, or modified, even if the alteration, amendment or modification is to correct an erroneous judgment. (Rep. of the Phils. vs. Heirs of Cirilo Gotengco, G.R. No. 226355, Jan. 24, 2018)

––      It is axiomatic that final and executory judgments can no longer be attacked by any of the parties or be modified, directly or indirectly, even by the highest court of the land; the noble purpose is to write finis to dispute once and for all. (Banco De Oro Unibank, Inc. vs. VTL Realty, Inc., G.R. No. 193499, April 23, 2018)

––      Precludes modification of a final and executory judgment: a decision that has acquired finality becomes immutable and unalterable; this quality of immutability precludes the modification of a final judgment, even if the modification is meant to correct erroneous conclusions of fact and law; the only exceptions to the rule on the immutability of final judgments are: (1) the correction of clerical errors; (2) the so-called nunc pro tunc entries which cause no prejudice to any party; and (3) void judgments. (People vs. Alapan, G.R. No. 199527, Jan. 10, 2018)

––      When a decision has acquired finality, the same becomes immutable and unalterable; resultantly, the implementation and execution of judgments that had attained finality are already ministerial on the courts. (Frias vs. Alcayde, G.R. No. 194262, Feb. 28, 2018)

––      When petitioner failed to timely file its appeal by certiorari, the Court of Appeals Decision and Resolution became final and executory, pursuant to Rule 39, Sec. 1 of the Rules of Court; no court, not even this Court, may thereafter modify, alter, or let alone reverse a final and immutable judgment; the only exceptions are the correction of clerical errors, nunc pro tunc entries that cause no prejudice to the parties, and void judgments; even when there are facts or circumstances that would render the execution of a final judgment unjust and inequitable, it must be shown that they arose after the finality as to warrant a court’s modification or alteration; petitioner concedes that the Court of Appeals Decision has become final. (Dept. of Agrarian Reform Multi-Purpose Cooperative (DARMPC) vs. Diaz, G.R. No. 206331, June 04, 2018)

Doctrine of stare decisis –– It enjoins adherence to judicial precedents; it requires our courts to follow a rule already established in a final decision of the Supreme Court; that decision becomes a judicial precedent to be followed in subsequent cases by all courts in the land; the doctrine of stare decisis is based on the principle that once a question of law has been examined and decided, it should be deemed settled and closed to further argument. (United Coconut Planters Bank vs. Sps. Uy, G.R. No. 204039, Jan. 10, 2018)

Execution and satisfaction of –– All three members of the audit panel have determined that the legitimate corporate expenses of petitioner for the years 1998 up to 2011, coupled with the taxes and expenses related to the sale and the 3% share already distributed to the FWBs, far exceed the proceeds of the sale of the adverted 580.51-hectare lot; in net effect, there is no longer any unspent or unused balance of the sales proceeds available for distribution. (Hacienda Luisita, Inc. vs. Presidential Agrarian Reform Council, G.R. No. 171101, April 24, 2018)

Execution of –– A final and executory judgment may be executed by motion within five years or by action for revival of judgment within ten years reckoned from the date of entry of judgment. (Villareal, Jr. vs.Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System, G.R. No. 232202, Feb. 28, 2018)

––      A judgment may be executed on motion within five years from the date of its entry or from the date it becomes final and executory; thereafter, before barred by the statute of limitations, by action; instances where this Court allowed execution by motion even after the lapse of five years upon meritorious grounds; Yau v. Silverio, Sr., cited. (Villareal, Jr. vs.Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System, G.R. No. 232202, Feb. 28, 2018)

By jurisprudence, for execution by motion to be valid, the judgment creditor must ensure the accomplishment of two acts within the five-year prescriptive period, as follows: (a) the filing of the motion for the issuance of the writ of execution; and (b) the court’s actual issuance of the writ; Olongapo City v. Subic Water and Sewerage Co., Inc., cited. (Villareal, Jr. vs.Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System, G.R. No. 232202, Feb. 28, 2018)

––      Execution by motion is only available if the enforcement of the judgment was sought within five (5) years from the date of its entry; this is a matter of right; on the other hand, execution by independent action is mandatory if the five-year prescriptive period for execution by motion had already elapsed; the said judgment is reduced to a right of action which must be enforced by the institution of a complaint in a regular court. (Villareal, Jr. vs.Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System, G.R. No. 232202, Feb. 28, 2018)

––      The court cannot refuse to issue a writ of execution upon a final and executory judgment, or quash it, or stay its implementation; neither may the parties object to the execution by raising new issues of fact or law; the only exceptions thereto are when: “(i) the writ of execution varies the judgment; (ii) there has been a change in the situation of the parties making execution inequitable or unjust; (iii) execution is sought to be enforced against property exempt from execution; (iv) it appears that the controversy has been submitted to the judgment of the court; (v) the terms of the judgment are not clear enough and there remains room for interpretation thereof; or (vi) it appears that the writ of execution has been improvidently issued, or that it is defective in substance, or issued against the wrong party, or that the judgment debt has been paid or otherwise satisfied, or the writ was issued without authority.” (Salazar vs. Felias,G.R. No. 213972, Feb. 05, 2018)

––      The family home is a real right which is gratuitous, inalienable and free from attachment, constituted over the dwelling place and the land on which it is situated; petitioner’s claim must be backed with evidence showing that the home was indeed (i) duly constituted as a family home, (ii) constituted jointly by the husband and wife or by an unmarried head of a family, (iii) resided in by the family (or any of the family home’s beneficiaries), (iv) forms part of the properties of the absolute community or the conjugal partnership, or of the exclusive properties of either spouse with the latter’s consent, or property of the unmarried head of the family, and (v) has an actual value of ₱300,000.00 in urban areas, and ₱200,000.00 in rural areas. (Salazar vs. Felias,G.R. No. 213972, Feb. 05, 2018)

––      Under Sec. 6, Rule 39 of the Rules of Court, a judgment may be executed within five (5) years from the date of its entry or from the date it becomes final and executory; after the lapse of such time, and before it is barred by the statute of limitations, a judgment may be enforced by action. (Sps. Davis vs. Sps. Davis, G.R. No. 233489, March 07, 2018)

Execution pending appeal –– Under Rule 39, Sec. 2(a), a judgment appealed before the Court of Appeals may still be executed by the Regional Trial Court, provided there are good reasons for the judgment’s execution. (Land Bank of the Phils. vs. Manzano, G.R. No. 188243, Jan. 24, 2018)

Final and executory judgment –– It is an elementary principle of procedure that the resolution of the court in a given issue, as embodied in the dispositive part of a decision or order, is the controlling factor as to settlement of rights of the parties; the dispositive portion or the fallo is the decisive resolution and is the subject of execution; therefore, the writ of execution must conform to the judgment to be executed, particularly with that which is ordained or decreed in the dispositive portion of the decision, and adhere strictly to the very essential particulars; the Decision of the CA already became final and executory; as such, it is immutable and unalterable. (Fernandez, Jr. vs. MERALCO, G.R. No. 226002, June 25, 2018)

Judgments or orders become final and executory by operation of law and not by judicial declaration; the finality of a judgment becomes a fact upon the lapse of the reglementary period of appeal if no appeal is perfected or no motion for reconsideration or new trial is filed; the court need not even pronounce the finality of the order as the same becomes final by operation of law. (Phil. Savings Bank vs. Papa, G.R. No. 200469, Jan. 15, 2018)

Foreign judgments –– The recognition of the foreign divorce decree may be made in a Rule 108 proceeding itself, as the object of special proceedings (such as that in Rule 108 of the Rules of Court) is precisely to establish the status or right of a party or a particular fact; Rule 108 of the Rules of Court can serve as the appropriate adversarial proceeding by which the applicability of the foreign judgment can be measured and tested in terms of jurisdictional infirmities, want of notice to the party, collusion, fraud, or clear mistake of law or fact. (Rep. of the Phils. vs. Cote, G.R. No. 212860, March 14, 2018)

Harmless error rule –– Obtains during review of the things done by either the trial court or by any of the parties themselves in the course of trial, and any error thereby found does not affect the substantial rights or even the merits of the case; the Court has had occasions to apply the rule in the correction of a misspelled name due to clerical error; the signing of the decedents’ names in the notice of appeal by the heirs; the trial court’s treatment of the testimony of the party as an adverse witness during cross­-examination by his own counsel; and the failure of the trial court to give the plaintiffs the opportunity to orally argue against a motion. (Flight Attendants and Stewards Assoc. of the Phils. (FASAP) vs. Phil. Airlines, Inc., G.R. No. 178083, March 13, 2018)

Prescriptive period –– Villeza v. German Management and Services, Inc., et al., cited; although strict compliance with the rules of procedure is desired, liberal interpretation is warranted in cases where a strict enforcement of the rules will not serve the ends of justice; and that it is a better rule that courts, under the principle of equity, will not be guided or bound strictly by the statute of limitations or the doctrine of laches when to do so, manifest wrong or injustice would result; these though, remain exceptions to the general rule; rationale. (Villareal, Jr. vs.Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System, G.R. No. 232202, Feb. 28, 2018)

Rendition of –– A decision which failed to express clearly and distinctly the facts and the law on which it is based is void. (Go vs. East Oceanic Leasing and Finance Corp., G.R. Nos. 206841-42, Jan. 19, 2018)

––      The fact alone that the judge who heard the evidence was not the one who rendered the judgment, but merely relied on the record of the case, does not render his judgment erroneous or irregular; principle of regular performance of duties of public officers that the transcripts of stenographic notes were thoroughly scrutinized and evaluated by the judge himself; however, there are instances when a different judge might pen the decision because the predecessor judge has retired, died or has been reassigned. (People vs. Villalobos, G.R. No. 228960, June 11, 2018)

––      The correctness and efficacy of a decision is not necessarily impaired by the fact that its writer only took over from a colleague who had earlier presided at the trial, unless there is showing of grave abuse of discretion in the factual findings reached by him; the other reason for disregarding the findings of fact of the trial court is when there is a manifest indication that the trial court overlooked, misunderstood or misapplied some facts or circumstances of weight and substance which could have altered the conviction of the accused; no such reasons existent in this case. (People vs. Villalobos, G.R. No. 228960, June 11, 2018)

Rents, earnings and income of property pending redemption –– Under Sec. 32, Rule 39 of the Rules, on Execution, Satisfaction and Effect of Judgments, all rents, earnings and income derived from the property pending redemption shall belong to the judgment obligor, but only until the expiration of his period of redemption; thus, if petitioners leased out the property to third parties after their period for redemption expired, as was in fact the case here, the rentals collected properly belonged to respondent; petitioners had no right to collect them. (Sps. Teves vs. Integrated Credit & Corporate Services, Co., G.R. No. 216714, April 04, 2018)

Void judgment –– An order, decision, or resolution rendered with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction is a void judgment; a void judgment is no judgment at all in legal contemplation, it can never become final. (People vs. Sandiganbayan, G.R. Nos. 232197-98, April 16, 2018)

Writ of execution –– It is basic that there could be no demolition of building or structures without a writ of execution and demolition issued by the court; the Court in a number of decisions held that even if there is already a writ of execution, there must still be a need for a special order for the purpose of demolition issued by the court before the officer in charge can destroy, demolish or remove improvements over the contested property; explained. (Espanto vs. Atty. Belleza, A.C. No. 10756, Feb. 21, 2018)

––      The five-year prescriptive period reckoned from the entry of judgment mentioned in Sec. 6, Rule 39 of the Rules, should be observed both by the winning party who filed the motion, i.e.,judgmentobligee/creditor, and the court that will resolve the same; after the lapse of the five-year period, any writ issued by the court is already null and void, since the court no longer has jurisdiction over the issuance of the writ; application. (Villareal, Jr. vs.Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System, G.R. No. 232202, Feb. 28, 2018)

Annulment of — Grounds for a Rule 47 petition are: (i) extrinsic fraud; and (ii) lack of jurisdiction; extrinsic fraud cannot be a valid ground if it had been availed of, or could have been availed of, in a motion for new trial or petition for relief; lack of jurisdiction means either lack of jurisdiction over the subject matter or nature of the action, or lack of jurisdiction over the person of the defendant. (Yap vs. Lagtapon, G.R. No. 196347, Jan. 23, 2017)

—      Extrinsic fraud, defined; a lawyer’s mistake or gross negligence does not amount to extrinsic fraud that would grant a petition for annulment of judgment. (Baclaran Marketing Corp. vs. Nieva, G.R. No. 189881, April 19, 2017)

—      Requirements; annulment of final judgment is a recourse equitable in character, allowed only in exceptional cases where there is no available or other adequate remedy.  (Baclaran Marketing Corp. vs. Nieva, G.R. No. 189881, April 19, 2017)

––      Rule 47 does not apply to an action to annul the levy and sale at public auction; neither does it apply to an action to annul a writ of execution because a writ of execution is not a final order or resolution, but is issued to carry out the mandate of the court in the enforcement of a final order or of a judgment. (Mejia-Espinoza vs. Cariño, G.R. No. 193397, Jan. 25, 2017)

—      Rule 47, Sec. 1 limits the applicability of the remedy of annulment of judgment to finaljudgments, orders or resolutions; final judgment or order, defined. (Baclaran Marketing Corp. vs. Nieva, G.R. No. 189881, April 19, 2017)

—      Rule 47, Sec. 2 provides extrinsic fraud and lack of jurisdiction as the exclusive grounds for the remedy of annulment of judgment; case law, however, recognizes a third ground—denial of due process of law. (Baclaran Marketing Corp. vs. Nieva, G.R. No. 189881, April 19, 2017)

—      The only grounds for annulment of judgment are extrinsic fraud and lack of jurisdiction; lack of jurisdiction as a ground for annulment of judgment refers to either lack of jurisdiction over the person of the defending party or over the subject matter of the claim; in case of absence or lack of jurisdiction, a court should not take cognizance of the case; thus, the prevailing rule is that where there is want of jurisdiction over a subject matter, the judgment is rendered null and void. (Sebastian vs. Sps. Cruz, G.R. No. 220940, Mar. 20, 2017)

––      There are three requirements that must be satisfied before a Rule 47 petition can prosper: (1) the remedy is available only when the petitioner can no longer resort to the ordinary remedies of new trial, appeal, petition for relief or other appropriate remedies through no fault of the petitioner; (2) an action for annulment of judgment may be based only on two grounds: extrinsic fraud and lack of jurisdiction; and (3) the action must be filed within the temporal window allowed by the Rules; if based on extrinsic fraud, it must be filed within four years from the discovery of the extrinsic fraud; if based on lack of jurisdiction, it must be brought before it is barred by laches or estoppel. (Mejia-Espinoza vs. Cariño, G.R. No. 193397, Jan. 25, 2017)

—      When a petition for annulment of judgment is grounded on lack of jurisdiction, the petitioner need not allege that the ordinary remedy of new trial or reconsideration of the judgment sought to be annulled are no longer available through no fault of her own; this is because a judgment rendered without jurisdiction is fundamentally void. (Coombs vs. Castañeda, G.R. No. 192353, Mar. 15, 2017)

Award of relief — A judgment or final order must state clearly and distinctly the facts and the law on which the judgment or final order is based; effect of violation. (Martinez vs. Buen, G.R. No. 187342, April 05, 2017)

—      Courts cannot grant a relief not prayed for in the pleadings or in excess of what is being sought by the party. (Martinez vs. Buen, G.R. No. 187342, April 05, 2017)

Conclusiveness of judgment — Following the doctrine of conclusiveness of judgment, the parties are already bound by the ruling on that specific issue. (Pacasum, Sr. vs. Atty. Zamoranos, G.R. No. 193719, Mar. 21, 2017)

— A decision or final order that has acquired finality may no longer be modified in any respect; purpose. (Lanto vs. COA, G.R. No. 217189, April 18, 2017)

—      A decision that has acquired finality becomes immutable and unalterable and may no longer be modified in any respect even if the modification is meant to correct erroneous conclusions of fact or law and whether it will be made by the court that rendered it or by the highest court of the land; rationale. (Emerald Garment Mfg. Corp. vs. H.D. Lee Co., Inc., G.R. No. 210693, June 07, 2017)

—      Exceptions; when there is a supervening event occurring after the judgment becomes final and executory, which renders the decision unenforceable. (Dutch Movers, Inc. vs. Lequin, G.R. No. 210032, April 25, 2017)

—      The doctrine on immutability of judgments applies to compromise agreements approved by the courts in the same manner that it applies to judgments that have been rendered on the basis of a full-blown trial. (Chiquita Brands, Inc. vs. Hon. Omelio, G.R. No. 189102, June 07, 2017)

— The only exceptions to the rule on the immutability of final judgments are: (1) the correction of clerical errors; (2) the so-called nunc pro tunc entries that cause no prejudice to any party; and (3) void judgments. (Lanto vs. COA, G.R. No. 217189, April 18, 2017)

Doctrine of law of the case — Precludes departure from a rule previously made by an appellate court in a subsequent proceeding essentially involving the same case. (Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) vs. Nasipit Integrated Arrastre and Stevedoring Services, Inc. (NIASSI), G.R. No. 214864, Mar. 22, 2017)

Effect of — No person can be affected by any proceeding to which he or she is a stranger. (Heirs of Leonilo P. Nuñez, Sr. vs. Heirs of Gabino Villanoza, G.R. No. 218666, April 26, 2017)

Execution of — A writ of execution may be stayed or quashed when “facts and circumstances transpire” after judgment has been rendered that would make “execution impossible or unjust”; another exception is when the writ of execution alters or varies the judgment; discussed. (Chiquita Brands, Inc. vs. Hon. Omelio, G.R. No. 189102, June 07, 2017)

—      A writ of execution should strictly conform to every particular of the judgment to be executed; when violated. (Castro vs. Mendoza, Sr., G.R. No. 212778, April 26, 2017)

—      An execution pending appeal is deemed an exception to the general rule, which allows an execution as a matter of right only in any of the following instances: (a) when the judgment has become final and executory; (b) when the judgment debtor has renounced or waived his right of appeal; (c) when the period for appeal has lapsed without an appeal having been filed; or (d) when, having been filed, the appeal has been resolved and the records of the case have been returned to the court of origin. (Abenion vs. Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp., G.R. No. 200749, Feb. 06, 2017)

––      An execution sale that had been declared void produces no legal and binding effect. (Gonzalez, Jr. vs. Peña, G.R. No. 214303, Jan. 30, 2017)

 It was well within the right of petitioner to move for the execution of the MTC’s decision pursuant to Sec. 19, Rule 70 of the Rules of Court; the rule allows for the immediate execution of judgment in the event that judgment is rendered against the defendant in an unlawful detainer or forcible entry case, provided that certain conditions are met. (Santos-Yllana Realty Corp. vs. Sps. Deang, G.R. No. 190043, June 21, 2017)

––      Judgments declared to be immediately executory are enforceable after their rendition; similar to judgments or orders that become final and executory, the execution of the decision in the case at bar is already a matter of right; the judgment obligee may file a motion for the issuance of a writ of execution in the court of origin as provided for under Rule 39, Sec. 1, of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure. (Camino vs. Atty. Pasagui, A.M. No. 11095, Jan. 31, 2017)

—      Ordinarily, courts have the ministerial duty to grant the execution of a final judgment; they have jurisdiction to entertain motions to quash previously issued writs of execution; they “have the inherent power, for the advancement of justice, to correct the errors of their ministerial officers and to control their own processes.” (Chiquita Brands, Inc. vs. Hon. Omelio, G.R. No. 189102, June 07, 2017)

—      Stranger or third-party claimant of property under execution may vindicate his claim to the property in a separate action in another court; the husband who was not a party to the suit but whose conjugal property was executed on account of the other’s spouse debt is a stranger to the suit if such debt did not redound to the benefit of the conjugal partnership. (Borlongan vs. Banco de Oro (formerly Equitable PCI Bank), G.R. No. 217617, April 05, 2017)

—      The parties’ non-execution of the Court’s Decision constitutes an abandonment of their rights; bare allegations, unsubstantiated by evidence, are not equivalent to proof, as the one alleging a fact has the burden of proving it. (Heirs of Leonilo P. Nuñez, Sr. vs. Heirs of Gabino Villanoza, G.R. No. 218666, April 26, 2017)

—      The Regional Trial Court committed grave abuse of discretion in ordering the immediate execution of its decision even before the lapse of the period for appeal; execution issues as a matter of right only upon the expiration of the period to appeal if no appeal has been duly perfected. (Rep. of the Phils. vs. Hon. Cortez, G.R. No. 187257, Feb. 07, 2017)

Final and executory judgment — Once a judgment becomes final, the court or tribunal loses jurisdiction and any modified judgment that it issues, as well as all proceedings taken for this purpose are null and void. (Gatmaytan vs. Dolor, G.R. No. 198120, Feb. 20, 2017)

—      When a final judgment becomes executory, it thereby becomes immutable and unalterable; the judgment may no longer be modified in any respect, even if the modification is meant to correct what is perceived to be an erroneous conclusion of fact or law. (Rep. of the Phils. vs. Phil. Int’l. Corp., G.R. No. 181984, Mar. 20, 2017)

Finality of — A decision that has acquired finality becomes immutable and unalterable. (Castro vs. Mendoza, Sr., G.R. No. 212778, April 26, 2017)

––      Once a judgment becomes final, executory, and unappealable, the prevailing party should not be denied the fruits of his victory by some subterfuge devised by the losing party; unjustified delay in the enforcement of a judgment sets at naught the role of courts in disposing justiciable controversies with finality. (Mejia-Espinoza vs. Cariño, G.R. No. 193397, Jan. 25, 2017)

—      The finality of the decision of the Regional Trial Court which absolved a party from any liability, necessarily means that it could not be prejudiced or adversely affected by the decision rendered in the appeal; rationale. (BDO Unibank, Inc. vs. Engr. Lao, G.R. No. 227005, June 19, 2017)

Interpretation of — The Court is not unmindful of the rule that the operative part in every decision is the dispositive portion or the fallo, and where there is conflict between the fallo and the body of the decision, the fallo controls; where the inevitable conclusion from the body of the decision is so clear as to show that there was a mistake in the dispositive portion, the body of the decision will prevail; this case falls squarely under the exception. (Santos-Yllana Realty Corp. vs. Sps. Deang, G.R. No. 190043, June 21, 2017)

Judgment on the pleadings — A judgment on the pleadings may be allowed in cases where an answer fails to tender an issue, or otherwise admits the material allegations of the adverse party’s pleading. (Rep. of the Phils. vs. Hon. Cortez, G.R. No. 187257, Feb. 07, 2017)

— Defined as a judicial decision that serves as a rule for future determination in similar or substantially similar cases; the facts and circumstances between the jurisprudence relied upon and the pending controversy should not diverge on material points; when not applicable. (Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp. vs. Commissioner of Customs, G.R. No. 195876, June 19, 2017)

Promulgation of judgment in absentia — If the judgment is for conviction and the failure of the accused to appear was without justifiable cause, he shall lose the remedies available in these rules against the judgment and the court shall order his arrest; within fifteen (15) days from promulgation of judgment, however, the accused may surrender and file a motion for leave of court to avail of these remedies; he shall state the reasons for his absence at the scheduled promulgation and if he proves that his absence was for a justifiable cause, he shall be allowed to avail of said remedies within fifteen (15) days from notice. (Javier vs. Gonzales, G.R. No. 193150, Jan. 23, 2017)

—      Sec. 6, Rule 120 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure allows a court to promulgate a judgmentin absentia and gives the accused the opportunity to file an appeal within a period of fifteen (15) days from notice to the latter or the latter’s counsel; otherwise, the decision becomes final; essential elements for its validity are as follows: (a) the judgment was recorded in the criminal docket; and (b) a copy thereof was served upon the accused or counsel. (Javier vs. Gonzales, G.R. No. 193150, Jan. 23, 2017)

—      The filing of a motion for reconsideration to question a decision of conviction can only be resorted to if the accused did not jump bail, but appeared in court to face the promulgation of judgment; if the judgment is for conviction and the failure of the accused to appear was without justifiable cause, he shall lose the remedies available in the Rules against the judgment, and the court shall order his arrest. (Javier vs. Gonzales, G.R. No. 193150, Jan. 23, 2017)

Service of judgments, final orders or resolutions —Under Sec. 9, Rule 13 of the Rules of Court, service of judgments, final orders or resolutions may be served either personally or by registered mail; in relation thereto, service by registered mail shall be made by depositing the copy in the post office in a sealed envelope addressed to the party or his counsel at his office, if known, otherwise at his residence, if known. (Riguer vs. Atty. Mateo, G.R. No. 222538, June 21, 2017)

Summary judgments — Summary judgment is a procedural technique that is proper under Sec. 3, Rule 35 of the Rules of Court only if there is no genuine issue as to the existence of a material fact, and that the moving party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law; it is a method intended to expedite or promptly dispose of cases where the facts appear undisputed and certain from the pleadings, depositions, admissions, and affidavits on record. (Sps. Pascual vs. First Consolidated Rural Bank [Bohol], Inc., G.R No. 202597, Feb. 08, 2017)

—      The filing of the motion for summary judgment may be done prior to the pre-trial; Sec. 1, Rule 35 of the Rules of Court permits a party seeking to recover upon a claim, counterclaim, or cross-claim or seeking declaratory relief to file the motion for a summary judgment upon all or any part thereof in his favor and its supporting affidavits, depositions or admissions at any time after the pleading in answer thereto has been served. (Sps. Pascual vs. First Consolidated Rural Bank [Bohol], Inc., G.R No. 202597, Feb. 08, 2017)

—      The pre-trial judge cannot motu proprio render the judgment on the pleadings or summary judgment; in the case of the motion for summary judgment, the adverse party is entitled to counter the motion. (Sps. Pascual vs. First Consolidated Rural Bank [Bohol], Inc., G.R No. 202597, Feb. 08, 2017)

—      The trial court could then determine the propriety of rendering a summary judgment dismissing the case based on the disclosures made at the pre-trial or a judgment based on the pleadings, evidence identified and admissions made during pre-trial. (Sps. Pascual vs. First Consolidated Rural Bank [Bohol], Inc., G.R No. 202597, Feb. 08, 2017)

Void judgments — A void judgment, being non-existent in legal contemplation, does not become final and executory even with the belated filing of an appeal; because a void judgment does not attain finality, a petition for certiorari to declare its nullity should not be dismissed for untimeliness. (Hon. Buenaflor vs. Ramirez, Jr., G.R. No. 201607, Feb. 15, 2017)

—      A void judgment for want of jurisdiction is no judgment at all; it cannot be the source of any right nor the creator of any obligation; all acts performed pursuant to it and all claims emanating from it have no legal effect; it can never become final and any writ of execution based on it is void. (Wesleyan University-Phils. vs. Maglaya, Sr., G.R. No. 212774, Jan. 23, 2017)

––      A void judgment is a lawless thing, which can be treated as an outlaw and slain at sight, or ignored wherever and whenever it exhibits its head; a void judgment creates no rights and imposes no duties; any act performed pursuant to it and any claim emanating from it has no legal effect. (Imperial vs. Hon. Armes, G.R. No. 178842, Jan. 30, 2017)

––      A void judgment is not entitled to the respect accorded to a valid judgment, but may be entirely disregarded or declared inoperative by any tribunal in which effect is sought to be given to it; it has no legal or binding effect or efficacy for any purpose or at any place. (Imperial vs. Hon. Armes, G.R. No. 178842, Jan. 30, 2017)

––      Rule 47 of the Rules of Court states that an action for the annulment of judgment may be filed before the CA to annul a void judgment of regional trial courts even after it has become final and executory; if the ground invoked is lack of jurisdiction, as pertaining to both lack of jurisdiction over the subject matter and over the person, the action for the annulment of the judgment may be filed at any time for as long as estoppel has not yet set in. (Imperial vs. Hon. Armes, G.R. No. 178842, Jan. 30, 2017)

Action for revival of judgment — A revival suit is a new action, having for its cause of action the judgment sought to be revived; revival of judgment is premised on the assumption that the decision to be revived, either by motion or by independent action, is already final and executory.(Anama vs. Citibank, N.A., G.R. No. 192048, Dec. 13, 2017)

Issuance of — Execution of a judgment can only be issued against one who is a party to the action, and not against one who, not being a party to the action, has not yet had his day in court; that execution may only be effected against the property of the judgment debtor, who must necessarily be a party to the case; application. (Zaragoza vs. Tan, G.R. No. 225544, Dec. 04, 2017)

Writ of execution — The writ of execution must conform to the judgment which is to be executed, as it may not vary the terms of the judgment it seeks to enforce; nor may it go beyond the terms of the judgment which is sought to be executed; where the execution is not in harmony with the judgment which gives it life and exceeds it, it has pro tanto no validity; rationale. (Zaragoza vs. Tan, G.R. No. 225544, Dec. 04, 2017)

Annulment of — A remedy in equity so exceptional in nature that it may be availed of only when other remedies are wanting and only if the judgment, final order or final resolution sought to be annulled was rendered by a court lacking jurisdiction or through extrinsic fraud; safeguards are by limiting the grounds for the annulment to lack of jurisdiction and extrinsic fraud, and by prescribing in Sec. 1 of Rule 47 of the Rules of Court that the petitioner should show that the ordinary remedies of new trial, appeal, petition for relief or other appropriate remedies are no longer available through no fault of the petitioner; the grounds for the remedy of annulment of judgment under Rule 47 of the Rules of Court were limited to extrinsic fraud and lack of jurisdiction. (Estrellado vs. Presiding Judge of the MTC in Cities, 11th Judicial Region, Br. 3, Davao City, G.R. No. 164482, Nov. 08, 2017)

—    Only extrinsic fraud is recognized as a ground; fraud is extrinsic when it prevents a party from having a trial or from presenting his entire case to the court, or where it operates upon matters pertaining not to the judgment itself, but to the manner in which the judgment is procured. (Estrellado vs. Presiding Judge of the MTC in Cities, 11th Judicial Region, Br. 3, Davao City, G.R. No. 164482, Nov. 08, 2017)

—      Petition for annulment of judgment, explained; the Court has instituted safeguards by limiting the grounds for the annulment to lack of jurisdiction and extrinsic fraud, and by prescribing in Sec. 1 of Rule 47 of the Rules of Court that the petitioner should show that the ordinary remedies of new trial, appeal, petition for relief or other appropriate remedies are no longer available through no fault of the petitioner; not present in this case; explained. (Heirs of Fermin Arania vs. Intestate Estate of Magdalena R. Sangalang, G.R. No. 193208, Dec. 13, 2017)

Conclusiveness of judgment — Bars the relitigation of issues already litigated and settled in litigation between identical parties in different causes of action.  (Escobar vs. People, G.R. No. 205576, Nov. 20, 2017)

Dispositive portion — When there is a conflict between the body of the decision and the dispositive portion or the  fallo; as a rule, the fallo controls in such a situation on the theory that the fallo is the final order, while the opinion stated in the body is a mere statement ordering nothing; however, where the inevitable conclusion from the body of the decision is so clear as to show that there was a mistake in the dispositive portion, the body of the decision should prevail. (United Coconut Chemicals, Inc. vs. Valmores, G.R. No. 201018, July 12, 2017)

Doctrine of finality of judgment — A judgment that has lapsed into finality is immutable and unalterable. (NPC Drivers and Mechanic Assoc. (NPC DAMA) vs. Nat’l. Power Corp. (NPC), G.R. No. 156208, Nov. 21, 2017)

—      Once a decision has attained finality, not even the Supreme Court could have changed the trial court’s disposition absent any showing that the case fell under one of the recognized exceptions. (Torres vs. Aruego, G.R. No. 201271, Sept. 20, 2017)

—      The Court finds that it is still necessary to reopen the instant case and recall the Entry of Judgment of the Sandiganbayan, not for further reception of evidence, however, as petitioner prays for, but in order to modify the penalty imposed by said court; the general rule is that a judgment that has acquired finality becomes immutable and unalterable, and may no longer be modified in any respect even if the modification is meant to correct erroneous conclusions of fact or law and whether it will be made by the court that rendered it or by the highest court of the land; exceptions; expounded. (Hernan vs. Hon. Sandiganbayan, G.R. No. 217874, Dec. 05, 2017)

—      The doctrine of finality of judgment is grounded on the fundamental principle of public policy and sound practice that, at the risk of occasional error, the judgment of courts and the award of quasi-judicial agencies must become final on some definite date fixed by law; the only exceptions to the general rule are the correction of clerical errors, the so-called nunc pro tunc entries which cause no prejudice to any party, void judgments, and whenever circumstances transpire after the finality of the decision which render its execution unjust and inequitable; none of the exceptions is present in this case. (Hernan vs. Hon. Sandiganbayan, G.R. No. 217874, Dec. 05, 2017)

––      The OP Clarificatory Resolution did not modify but merely clarified the ambiguity in the dispositive portion of the Decision of the HLURB-NCRFO; when a final judgment is executory, it becomes immutable and unalterable; however, where there is an ambiguity caused by an omission or a mistake in the dispositive portion of the decision, the Court may clarify such an ambiguity by an amendment even after the judgment has become final. (Multinational Village Homeowners’ Assoc., Inc. vs. Gacutan, G.R. No. 188307, Aug. 02, 2017)

Equity –– Equity is “justice outside legality”; it is applied only in the absence of and never against statutory law or, as in this case, appropriate AFP regulations. (Ocampo vs. RearAdmiral Enriquez, G.R. No. 225973, Aug. 08, 2017)

Execution of –– Execution has been defined as a remedy afforded by law for the enforcement of a judgment, its object being to obtain satisfaction of the judgment on which the writ is issued; a writ of execution was never meant to be a prerequisite before a judgment may be enforced; with the finality of the decision in COCOFED, there is no question that the coconut levy assets are public funds; it does not deprive the courts with its power to issue writs of execution because the government may resort to it in case it encounters obstacles in the enforcement of the decision. (Confederation of Coconut Farmers Orgs. of the Phils., Inc. (CCFOP) vs. Pres. Aquino III, G.R. No. 217965, Aug. 08, 2017)

—      Granted that respondents can no longer enforce the judgment in the first unlawful detainer case due to the lapse of the reglementary period to execute the same, they can still file a similar action involving the same property based on the different cause of action; under Art. 1144 (3), in relation to Art. 1152of the New Civil Code and Sec. 6, Rule 39 of the Rules of Court, discussed. (Diaz, Jr. vs. Valenciano, Jr., G.R. No. 209376, Dec. 06, 2017)

––      Instances when writs of execution may be assailed: “(1) the writ of execution varies the judgment; (2) there has been a change in the situation of the parties making execution inequitable or unjust; (3) execution is sought to be enforced against property exempt from execution; (4) it appears that the controversy has been submitted to the judgment of the court; (5) the terms of the judgment are not clear enough and there remains room for interpretation thereof; or (6) it appears that the writ of execution has been improvidently issued, or that it is defective in substance, or issued against the wrong party, or that the judgment debt has been paid or otherwise satisfied, or the writ was issued without authority.” (Frondozo vs. Mla. Electric Co., G.R. No. 178379, Aug. 22, 2017)

––      There are cases that may be executed pending appeal or are immediately executory pursuant to the provisions of the Rulesand the statutes as well as by court order; the fact that a decision is immediately executory does not prevent a party from questioning the decision before a court of law; as regards the Status Quo Ante Order (SQAO), Buyco v. Baraquia, ruled that the lifting of a Writ of Preliminary Injunction due to the dismissal of the complaint is immediately executory even if the dismissal of the complaint is pending appeal; application. (Ocampo vs. RearAdmiral Enriquez, G.R. No. 225973, Aug. 08, 2017)

—      Two ways of executing a final and executory judgment: a final and executory judgment or order may be executed on motion within five (5) years from the date of its entry; after the lapse of such time, and before it is barred by the statute of limitations, a judgment may be enforced by action. (Piedad (Deceased) vs. Bobilles, G.R. No. 208614, Nov. 27, 2018)

Final judgment — A final judgment or order is one that finally disposes of a case, leaving nothing more to be done by the Court in respect thereto; an order that does not finally dispose of the case and does not end the Court’s task of adjudicating the parties’ contentions and determining their rights and liabilities as regards each other, but obviously indicates that other things remain to be done by the Court, is interlocutory. (Ignacio vs. Reyes, G.R. No. 213192, July 12, 2017)

Foreign judgments — The Court is not at liberty to take judicial notice of the ruling without contravening our own rules on evidence under which foreign judgments and laws are not considered as matters of a public or notorious nature that proved themselves; foreign judgments and laws, if relevant, have to be duly alleged and competently proved like any other disputed fact. (Gov’t. of Hongkong Special Administrative Region vs. Muñoz, G.R. No. 207342, Nov. 07, 2017)

Immutability of judgment — A decision that has acquired finality becomes immutable and unalterable, and may no longer be modified in any respect, even if the modification is meant to correct erroneous conclusions of fact and law and whether it be made by the court that rendered it or by the Highest Court of the land; this principle, known as the doctrine of immutability of judgment, has a two-fold purpose, namely: (a) to avoid delay in the administration of justice and thus, procedurally, to make orderly the discharge of judicial business; and (b) to put an end to judicial controversies, at the risk of occasional errors, which is precisely why courts exist. (Antone vs. People, G.R. No. 225146, Nov. 20, 2017)

(Uy vs. Del Castillo, G.R. No. 223610, July 24, 2017)

—    Has a two-fold purpose, namely: (a) to avoid delay in the administration of justice and thus, procedurally, to make orderly the discharge of judicial business; and (b) to put an end to judicial controversies, at the risk of occasional errors, which is precisely why courts exist. (Antone vs. People, G.R. No. 225146, Nov. 20, 2017)

Interest on the judgment award — Pursuant to Eastern Shipping, the Court of Appeals correctly imposed an interest on the judgment award; following Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas-Monetary Board Circular No. 796 dated May 16, 2013, the rate of legal interest is now 6%; when reckoned. (Torreon vs. Aparra, Jr., G.R. No. 188493, Dec. 13, 2017)

Interlocutory order — Orders denying respondents’ motion to allow the distribution of the estate’s and co-owners’ shares in the subject properties were interlocutory; this is because such denial was not a final determination of their alleged co-ownership. (Ignacio vs. Reyes, G.R. No. 213192, July 12, 2017)

Judgment based on compromise agreement –– Once a compromise agreement is approved by a final order of the court, it transcends its identity as a mere contract binding only upon the parties thereto, as it becomes a judgment that is subject to execution in accordance with the Rules of Court; in implementing a compromise agreement, the courts cannot modify, impose terms different from the terms of the agreement, or set aside the compromises and reciprocal concessions made in good faith by the parties without gravely abusing their discretion. (Cathay Land, Inc. vs. Ayala Land, Inc., G.R. No. 210209, Aug. 09, 2017)

––      The Ayala Group has no right, under the Compromise Agreement, to seek injunctive relief from the courts in case the Cathay Group commits an act contrary to its undertakings in the agreement; its right that is enforceable through a writ of execution is only the suspension or withdrawal of the grant of easement of right of way; the RTC gravely abused its discretion when it granted a remedy that is not available to the Ayala Group, thereby imposing terms different from what was agreed upon by the parties. (Cathay Land, Inc. vs. Ayala Land, Inc., G.R. No. 210209, Aug. 09, 2017)

––      The Ayala Group prematurelymoved for execution of the Compromise Agreement in order to prevent the Cathay Group from actually committing a breach of the terms of the agreement; the Ayala Group violated the terms of the agreement which afforded the Cathay Group a period of 30 days from notice to rectify a breach, should it indeed occur. (Cathay Land, Inc. vs. Ayala Land, Inc., G.R. No. 210209, Aug. 09, 2017)

Judgment of acquittal — A judgment of acquittal is final and unappealable; the rule barring an appeal from a judgment of acquittal is, however, not absolute; the following are the recognized exceptions thereto: (i) when the prosecution is denied due process of law; and (ii) when the trial court commits grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction in dismissing a criminal case by granting the accused’s demurrer to evidence. (S/Sgt. Paman vs. People, G.R. No. 210129, July 05, 2017)

Judgment of the Court of Appeals –– The CA’s decision did not amount to a judgment of acquittal; the statement must be read alongside the immediately succeeding directive of the appellate court, remanding the case to the RTC for further proceedings pursuant to Sec. 14, Rule 110 and Sec. 19, Rule 119 of the Rules of Court; not consistent with the concept of acquittal which denotes a discharge, a formal certification of innocence, a release or an absolution. (People vs. Caoili, G.R. No. 196342, Aug. 08, 2017)

Judgment on the merits — A judgment is said to be “on the merits” when it amounts to a legal declaration of the respective rights and duties of the parties based upon disclosed facts; it is that which rendered by the court after the parties have introduced their respective evidence, with the primary objective in view of concluding controversies or determining the rights of the parties; merits, defined. (Diaz, Jr. vs. Valenciano, Jr., G.R. No. 209376, Dec. 06, 2017)

Law of the case doctrine — Applies in a situation where an appellate court has made a ruling on a question on appeal and thereafter remands the case to the lower court for further proceedings; the question settled by the appellate court becomes the law of the case at the lower court and in any subsequent appeal; it means that whatever is irrevocably established as the controlling legal rule or decision between the same parties in the same case continues to be the law of the case, whether correct on general principles or not, so long as the facts on which the legal rule or decision was predicated continue to be the facts of the case before the court. (Virata vs. Ng Wee, G.R. No. 220926, July 05, 2017)

—      Defined as that principle under which determinations of questions of law will generally be held to govern a case throughout all its subsequent stages where such determination has already been made on a prior appeal to a court of last resort; it is merely a rule of procedure and does not go to the power of the court and will not be adhered to where its application will result in an unjust decision; It relates entirely to questions of law, and is confined in its operation to subsequent proceedings in the same case. (Philtranco Service Enterprises, Inc. vs. Cual, G.R. No. 207684, July 17, 2017)

Relief not prayed — Courts cannot grant a relief not prayed for in the pleadings or in excess of what is being sought by the party. (Chinatrust [Phils.] Commercial Bank vs. Turner, G.R. No. 191458, July 03, 2017)

Service of judgments — Time and again, the Court has held that in the absence of a proper and adequate notice to the court of a change of address, the service of the order or resolution of a court upon the parties must be made at the last address of their counsel on record; it is the duty of the party and his counsel to device a system for the receipt of mail intended for them, just as it is the duty of the counsel to inform the court officially of a change in his address; if counsel moves to another address without informing the court of that change, such omission or neglect is inexcusable and will not stay the finality of the decision. (Hernan vs. Hon. Sandiganbayan, G.R. No. 217874, Dec. 05, 2017)

Stare decisis — A doctrine which means to adhere to precedents and not to unsettle things which are established; once a question of law has been examined and decided, it should be deemed settled and closed to further argument; when a court has laid down a principle of law as applicable to a certain state of facts, it will adhere to that principle and apply it to all future cases in which the facts are substantially the same. (Umali vs. JBC, G.R. No. 228628, July 25, 2017)

Supervening event — Consists of facts that transpire after the judgment became final and executory or of new circumstances that develop after the judgment attained finality, including matters that the parties were not aware of prior to or during the trial because such matters were not yet in existence at that time; in that event, the interested party may properly seek the stay of execution or the quashal of the writ of execution or he may move the court to modify or alter the judgment in order to harmonize it with justice and the supervening event. (Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. vs. Serra, G.R. No. 216124, July 19, 2017)

Variance doctrine –– Applying the variance doctrine under Sec. 4, in relation to Sec. 5 of Rule 120 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure, the accused can be held guilty of the lesser crime of acts of lasciviousness performed on a child, i.e., lascivious conduct under Sec. 5(b) of R.A. No. 7610, which was the offense proved, because it is included in rape, the offense charged; this echoes the Court’s pronouncement in Leonardo. (People vs. Caoili, G.R. No. 196342, Aug. 08, 2017)

—      The language of paragraphs 1 and 2 of Art. 266-A of the RPC, as amended by R.A. No. 8353, provides the elements that substantially differentiate the two forms of rape, i.e., rape by sexual intercourse and rape by sexual assault; given the material distinctions between the two modes of rape introduced in R.A. No. 8353, the variance doctrine cannot be applied to convict an accused of rape by sexual assault if the crime charged is rape through sexual intercourse, since the former offense cannot be considered subsumed in the latter. (People vs. Caoili, G.R. No. 196342, Aug. 08, 2017)

––      The variance doctrine, which allows the conviction of an accused for a crime proved which is different from but necessarily included in the crime charged, is embodied in Sec. 4, in relation to Sec. 5 of Rule 120 of the Rules of Court; by jurisprudence, however, an accused charged in the Information with rape by sexual intercourse cannot be found guilty of rape by sexual assault, even though the latter crime was proven during trial. (People vs. Caoili, G.R. No. 196342, Aug. 08, 2017)

Void judgments — It is well-settled that “where there is want of jurisdiction over a subject matter, the judgment is rendered null and void; a void judgment is in legal effect no judgment, by which no rights are divested, from which no right can be obtained, which neither binds nor bars any one, and under which all acts performed and all claims flowing out are void; it is not a decision in contemplation of law and, hence, it can never become executory; such a void judgment cannot constitute a bar to another case by reason of res judicata,” as in this case. (Casanas vs. People, G.R. No. 223833, Dec. 11, 2017)

Writ of possession — A writ of possession is a writ of execution employed to enforce a judgment to recover the possession of land; it commands the sheriff to enter the land and give its possession to the person entitled under the judgment; it may be issued under the following instances: (1) in land registration proceedings under Sec. 17 of Act 496; (2) in a judicial foreclosure, provided the debtor is in possession of the mortgaged realty and no third person, not a party to the foreclosure suit, had intervened; (3) in an extrajudicial foreclosure of a real estate mortgage under Sec. 7 of Act No. 3135, as amended; and (4) in execution sales (last paragraph of Sec. 33, Rule 39 of the Rules of Court).  (Sps. Reyes, Jr. vs. Sps. Chung, G.R. No. 228112, Sept. 13, 2017)

—      The issuance of a writ of possession in favor of a subsequent purchaser must be made only after hearing and after determining that the subject property is still in the possession of the mortgagor. (Sps. Reyes, Jr. vs. Sps. Chung, G.R. No. 228112, Sept. 13, 2017)

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