Republic of the Philippines
G.R. No. 196358 March 21, 2012
JANDY J. AGOY, Petitioner,
ARANETA CENTER, INC., Respondents.
R E S O L U T I O N
This case reiterates the Courtís ruling that the adjudication of a case by minute resolution is an exercise of judicial discretion and constitutes sound and valid judicial practice.
The Facts and the Case
On June 15, 2011 the Court denied petitioner Jandy J. Agoyís petition for review through a minute resolution that reads:
"G.R. No. 196358 (Jandy J. Agoy vs. Araneta Center, Inc.).- The Court resolves to GRANT petitionerís motion for extension of thirty (30) days from the expiration of the reglementary period within which to file a petition for review on certiorari.
The court further resolves to DENY the petition for review on certiorari assailing the Decision dated 19 October 2010 and Resolution dated 29 March 2011 of the Court of Appeals (CA), Manila, in CA-G.R. SP No. 108234 for failure to show that the CA committed reversible error when it affirmed the dismissal of petitioner Jandy J. Agoy. Petitionerís repeated delays in remitting the excess cash advances and admission that he spent them for other purposes constitute serious misconduct and dishonesty which rendered him unworthy of the trust and confidence reposed in him by respondent Araneta Center, Inc."
Apparently, however, Agoy doubted the authenticity of the copy of the above minute resolution that he received through counsel since he promptly filed a motion to rescind the same and to have his case resolved on its merits via a regular resolution or decision signed by the Justices who took part in the deliberation. In a related development, someone claiming to be Agoyís attorney-in-fact requested an investigation of the issuance of the resolution of June 15, 2011.
On September 21, 2011 the Court denied Agoyís motion to rescind the subject minute resolution and confirmed the authenticity of the copy of the June 15, 2011 resolution. It also treated his motion to rescind as a motion for reconsideration and denied the same with finality.
Upon receipt of the Courtís September 21, 2011 resolution, Agoy filed a motion to rescind the same or have his case resolved by the Court En Banc pursuant to Section 13 in relation to Sec. 4(3), Article VIII of the 1987 Constitution. Agoy reiterated his view that the Court cannot decide his petition by a minute resolution. He thus prayed that it rescind its June 15 and September 21, 2011 resolutions, determine whether it was proper for the Court to resolve his petition through a minute resolution, and submit the case to the Court en banc for proper disposition through a signed resolution or decision.
At the heart of petitionerís motions are the following questions:
1. Whether or not the copies of the minute resolutions dated June 15, 2011 and September 21, 2011 that Agoy received are authentic; and
2. Whether or not it was proper for the Court to deny his petition through a minute resolution.
The Courtís Rulings
One. The notices of the minute resolutions of June 15 and September 21, 2011 sent to Agoy, bearing the signatures of Assistant Clerk of Court Teresita Aquino Tuazon and Deputy Division Clerk of Court Wilfredo V. Lapitan, both printed on pink paper and duly received by counsel for petitioner as evidenced by the registry return cards, are authentic and original copies of the resolutions. The Court has given Tuazon and Lapitan the authority to inform the parties under their respective signatures of the Courtís actions on the incidents in the cases.
Minute resolutions are issued for the prompt dispatch of the actions of the Court. While they are the results of the deliberations by the Justices of the Court, they are promulgated by the Clerk of Court or his assistants whose duty is to inform the parties of the action taken on their cases by quoting verbatim the resolutions adopted by the Court.1 Neither the Clerk of Court nor his assistants take part in the deliberations of the case. They merely transmit the Courtís action in the form prescribed by its Internal Rules:
Sec. 7. Form of notice of a minute resolution.óA notice of minute resolution shall be embodied in a letter of the Clerk of Court or the Division Clerk of Court notifying the parties of the action or actions taken in their case. In the absence of or whenever so deputized by the Clerk of Court or the Division Clerk of Court, the Assistant Clerk of Court or Assistant Division Clerk of Court may likewise sign the letter which shall be in the following form:
(SUPREME COURT Seal)
REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES
EN BANC/____ DIVISION
Please take notice that the Court en banc/___ Division issued a Resolution dated _____, which reads as follows:
"G.R./UDK/A.M./A.C. No. ____ (TITLE).ó(QUOTE RESOLUTION)"
Very truly yours,
CLERK OF COURT/Division Clerk of Court
As the Court explained in Borromeo v. Court of Appeals,2 no law or rule requires its members to sign minute resolutions that deny due course to actions filed before it or the Chief Justice to enter his certification on the same. The notices quote the Courtís actual resolutions denying due course to the subject actions and these already state the required legal basis for such denial. To require the Justices to sign all its resolutions respecting its action on new cases would be unreasonable and unnecessary.
Based on last yearís figures, the Court docketed a total of 5,864 new cases, judicial and administrative. The United States Supreme Court probably receives lesser new cases since it does not have administrative supervision of all courts. Yet, it gives due course to and decides only about 100 cases per year. Agoyís demand that this Court give due course to and decide all cases filed with it on the merits, including his case, is simply unthinkable and shows a lack of discernment of reality.
Two. While the Constitution requires every court to state in its decision clearly and distinctly the fact and the law on which it is based, the Constitution requires the court, in denying due course to a petition for review, merely to state the legal basis for such denial.
Sec. 14. No decision shall be rendered by any court without expressing therein clearly and distinctly the facts and the law on which it is based. No petition for review or motion for reconsideration of a decision of the court shall be refused due course or denied without stating the legal basis therefor.3 (Emphasis supplied)
With the promulgation of its Internal Rules, the Court itself has defined the instances when cases are to be adjudicated by decision, signed resolution, unsigned resolution or minute resolution.4 Among those instances when a minute resolution shall issue is when the Court "denies a petition filed under Rule 45 of the [Rules of Court], citing as legal basis the absence of reversible error committed in the challenged decision, resolution, or order of the court below."5 The minute resolutions in this case complied with this requirement.
The Court has repeatedly said that minute resolutions dismissing the actions filed before it constitute actual adjudications on the merits.6 They are the result of thorough deliberation among the members of the Court.7 When the Court does not find any reversible error in the decision of the CA and denies the petition, there is no need for the Court to fully explain its denial, since it already means that it agrees with and adopts the findings and conclusions of the CA. The decision sought to be reviewed and set aside is correct.8 It would be an exercise in redundancy for the Court to reproduce or restate in the minute resolution denying the petition the conclusions that the CA reached.1‚wphi1
Agoy questions the Courtís act of treating his motion to rescind as a motion for reconsideration, arguing that it had no basis for doing so. But the Court was justified in its action since his motion to rescind asked the Court to review the merits of his case again.
WHEREFORE, the Court DENIES petitioner Jandy J. Agoyís motion to rescind dated December 21, 2011 and the Motion for Clarification and to Resolve Pending Incidents dated January 31, 2012 for lack of merit.
The Court shall not entertain further pleadings or motions in this case. Let entry of judgment be issued.
ROBERTO A. ABAD
PRESBITERO J. VELASCO, JR.
|DIOSDADO M. PERALTA
|JOSE CATRAL MENDOZA
ESTELA M. PERLAS-BERNABE
A T T E S T A T I O N
I attest that the conclusions in the above Decision had been reached in consultation before the case was assigned to the writer of the opinion of the Courtís Division.
PRESBITERO J. VELASCO, JR.
Chairperson, Third Division
C E R T I F I C A T I O N
Pursuant to Section 13, Article VIII of the Constitution and the Division Chairpersonís Attestation, I certify that the conclusions in the above Decision had been reached in consultation before the case was assigned to the writer of the opinion of the Courtís Division.
RENATO C. CORONA
1 Borromeo v. Court of Appeals, 264 Phil. 388, 393 (1990).
2 Id. at 394.
3 Constitution (1987), Art. VIII, Sec. 14.
4 See The Internal Rules of the Supreme Court, Rule 13, Sec. 6.
5 The Internal Rules of the Supreme Court, Rule 13, Sec. 6(d).
6 Smith Bell & Co. (Phils.), Inc. v. Court of Appeals, 274 Phil. 472, 479 (1991).
7 See also The Internal Rules of the Supreme Court, Rule 13, Sec. 3.
8 Smith Bell & Co. (Phils.), Inc. v. Court of Appeals, supra note 6, at 479-480.
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