Respondent, Ortigas and Co. Ltd. Partnership, is the owner of a parcel of land, which was for road widening for the C-5 flyover project of the DPWH. The title was then inscribed with an encumbrance that it was for road widening and subject to Sec. 50 of P.D. No. 1529 or the Property Registration Decree.
The C-5-Ortigas Avenue flyover was completed, utilizing only 396 square meters of the 1,445-square-meter allotment for the project.
Ortigas filed with the RTC a petition for authority to sell to the government the unutilized portion. Respondent Ortigas alleged that the DPWH requested the conveyance of the property for road widening purposes.
The case was set for hearing, giving opportunity to any interested person to appear, oppose, and show cause why respondent Ortigas’ petition may not be granted.
Despite due notice to the public, including the OSG and the DPWH, no one appeared to oppose respondent Ortigas’ petition.
Finding merit in respondent Ortigas’ petition, the RTC authorized the sale of the lot to the Republic.
Petitioner Republic, represented by the OSG, filed an opposition, and a motion for reconsideration alleging that respondent Ortigas’ property can only be conveyed by way of donation to the government, citing Sec. 50 of P.D. No. 1529.
The RTC denied petitioner’s MR.
The OSG filed a Notice of Appeal before the CA.
The CA dismissed petitioner’s appeal on the ground that an order or judgment denying a motion for reconsideration is not appealable.
Petitioner Republic of the Philippines filed a MR of the CA Resolution.
The CA denied the motion for reconsideration on the ground of lack of jurisdiction because petitioner raised only a question of law.
Whether the CA gravely erred in denying petitioner Republic of the Philippines’ appeal based on technicalities
The Office of the Solicitor General argued that strict application of the rules of procedure overrides substantial justice, in this case, to the detriment of petitioner Republic of the Philippines.
This petition lacks merit.
Appeals from the Regional Trial Court to the Court of Appeals under Rule 41 must raise both questions of fact and law
Section 2 of Rule 50 of the Rules of Court provides that appeals taken from the Regional Trial Court to the Court of Appeals raising only pure questions of law are not reviewable by the Court of Appeals. In which case, the appeal shall not be transferred to the appropriate court. Instead, it shall be dismissed outright.
Appeals from the decisions of the Regional Trial Court, raising purely questions of law must, in all cases, be taken to the Supreme Court on a petition for review on certiorari in accordance with Rule 45. An appeal by notice of appeal from the decision of the Regional Trial Court in the exercise of its original jurisdiction to the Court of Appeals is proper if the appellant raises questions of fact or both questions of fact and questions of law.
There is a question of law when the appellant raises an issue as to what law shall be applied on a given set of facts. Questions of law do “not involve an examination of the probative value of the evidence presented.” Its resolution rests solely on the application of a law given the circumstances. There is a question of fact when the court is required to examine the truth or falsity of the facts presented. A question of fact “invites a review of the evidence.”
The sole issue raised by petitioner Republic of the Philippines to the Court of Appeals is whether respondent Ortigas’ property should be conveyed to it only by donation, in accordance with Section 50 of P.D. No. 1529. This question involves the interpretation and application of the provision. It does not require the CA to examine the truth or falsity of the facts presented. Neither does it invite a review of the evidence. The issue raised before the Court of Appeals was, therefore, a question purely of law. The proper mode of appeal is through a petition for review under Rule 45. Hence, the Court of Appeals did not err in dismissing the appeal on this ground.