Republic of the Philippines
G.R. No. L-20063             April 30, 1965
PHILIPPINE RESOURCES DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, petitioner,
REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, MACARIO APOSTOL and EMPIRE INSURANCE COMPANY, respondents.
Vicente L. Santiago for petitioner.
Office of the Solicitor General for respondents.
R E S O L U T I O N*
BENGZON, J.P., J.:
Philippine Resources Development Corporation appealed by certiorari from a decision of the Court of Appeals which dismissed its complaint in intervention in the suit of the Republic of the Philippines against Apostol and Empire Insurance Co.
We promulgated, on March 31, 1965, our decision recognizing petitioner-intervenor's right to proceed against Apostol, thereby modifying, in petitioner's favor, the Court of Appeals decision.
The dispositive portion of our decision stated:
WHEREFORE, the judgment appealed from is hereby modified. Defendants Macario Apostol and Empire Insurance Company, jointly and severally, are ordered to pay plaintiff the sum of P34,015.06, with legal interest from the date of the filing of plaintiff's complaint, provided that defendant Empire Insurance Company's liability shall not exceed P10,000.00. The dismissal of the complaint in intervention is set aside as against defendant Macario Apostol, who is hereby ordered to return to petitioner Philippine Resources Development Corporation the properties therein specified, or in default thereof, to pay petitioner the value of P30,436.94, with legal interest from the date of the filing of the complaint in intervention. No pronouncement as to costs.
Petitioner-intervenor, however, stating that said decision "complicated the matter," moves for its reconsideration.
Petitioner-intervenor obviously seeks now to be in a position to recover not only from Apostol but also, in case it is necessary, from the Republic of the Philippines thru the Bureau of Prisons.
So the first point movant raises is that the Republic is not, in this case, immune from petitioner's suit in intervention, because the Republic allegedly performed proprietary functions herein, entered into a contract, and filed a suit in court (National Airport Corporation vs. Teodoro, 91 Phil. 203; Santos vs. Santos, 92 Phil. 281).
As stated in the decision, petitioner's suit in intervention was directed not against the Republic but against Apostol. The Republic, in effect, was not sued. Petitioner's action was plainly directed against its corporate president who allegedly disposed of its materials without its consent.
Secondly, movant contends that its suit in intervention was directed against the Republic also, since the latter in fact asserted an adverse interest over petitioner's goods.
In support of this contention movant cites letters of the Director of Prisons and of the Undersecretary of Justice purportedly admitting that the Republic had appropriated the goods or some of them. The letters, however, form no part of the record in this case. The very motion states that said letters were quoted verbatim in the corporation's brief in another case, No. L-10141, the records of which had never been made a part of this case. Therefore, the fact still is, as correctly stated in the decision, that nowhere in the record herein did the Republic assert an interest over petitioner's goods and that, instead, Apostol is the one who clearly did assert such interest. A suit in intervention, therefore, filed in this case, claiming an interest over the goods, can only be deemed a suit against Apostol and not the Republic.
It is urged for the applicant that no opposition has been registered against his petition on the issues above-discussed. Absence of opposition, however, does not preclude the scanning of the whole record by the appellate court, with a view to preventing the conferment of citizenship to persons not fully qualified therefor (Lee Ng Len vs. Republic, G.R. No. L-20151, March 31, 1965). The applicant's complaint of unfairness could have some weight if the objections on appeal had been on points not previously passed upon. But the deficiencies here in question are not new but well-known, having been ruled upon repeatedly by this Court, and we see no excuse for failing to take them into account.1äwphï1.ñët
Petitioner refers to the special and affirmative defenses in the Republic's answer to its complaint in intervention. The same, however, do not admit that the Republic appropriated the goods, but merely state hypothetically that "if there had been goods delivered by the defendant Macario Apostol to the Bureau of Prisons, an agency of the plaintiff, which had been disposed of one way or another by the said Bureau" the Bureau authorities "in any event" did not know that they were owned by petitioner and not by Apostol. (Record on Appeal, p. 83.) The special defenses, therefore, assume for the sake of argument, but do not admit, a disposal by the Republic of the goods.
Similarly, the fact that the Republic filed a suit against Apostol to collect the amount shown in Exhibit "Y" — to which petitioner also refers — shows that the Republic refused to credit in Apostol's favor the goods claimed by petitioner. As far as can be gathered from the record of this case, therefore, the interest of petitioner in the subject-matter of the suit is opposed not by the Republic but by Apostol. Petitioner's suit in intervention, perforce and in effect, is a suit not against the Republic but against Apostol.
WHEREFORE, finding no plausible reason therein, the motion for reconsideration is hereby denied. So ordered.
Bengzon, C.J., Bautista Angelo, Concepcion, Reyes, J.B.L., Paredes, Dizon, Regala and Zaldivar, JJ., concur.
Barrera and Makalintal, JJ., took no part.
*Editor's Note: See main decision on p. 518, ante.
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