Republic of the Philippines


G.R. No. L-13579             March 8, 1961

EPIFANIO ALFORQUE, ET AL., plaintiffs-appellees,
MINDANAO MOTOR LINES, INC., defendant-appellant.

Cesar E. Nitorreda for plaintiffs-appellees.
Carlos Dominguez, Jr., for defendant-appellant.



This is an appeal from a decision of the Court of First Instance of Davao, dated December 23, 1957, sentencing defendant-appellant Mindanao Motor Lines, Inc., to pay the total sum of P157,560.79 to the plaintiffs herein, numbering fifty-three (53), in the proportion set forth in Annex A of said decision, and the additional sum of P10,600.00, as attorney's fees and expenses of litigation, part from the costs. As prayed for by said defendant-appellant, its record on appeal was certified to this Court, together with all the evidence introduced in the case, seemingly under the impression that the same is within the appellate jurisdiction of this Court, inasmuch as the aggregate amount adjudicated to the plaintiffs-appellees exceeds P50,000.00.

This appeal is, however, within the exclusive appellate jurisdiction of the Court of Appeals, for: (a) the same extends, since the enactment of Republic Act No. 2613, approved on August 1, 1959, to all civil cases in which the value in controversy does not excess P200,000.00, exclusive of interests and costs, and the total sum awarded in the decision appealed from is less than said amount; (b) he cause of action of each of the plaintiffs is separate and distinct from that of the others, and the amount of the judgment in favor of each of them varies, ranging from P125.00 to P3,685.00 (A. Soriano y Cia vs. Jose, 47 O.G. Supp., 156; International Colleges, Inc. vs. Argonza, L-3884, Nov. 29, 1951; Abrasaldo vs. Compania Maritima, G. R. No. L-11918, July 31, 1958; R.C. Pangilinan & Co., Inc, vs. J. Pasicolan, L-13317, April 25, 1960; Cajilig, et al. vs. Co, L-12800, August 5, 1960); and (c) appellant's brief questions the sufficiency of the evidence in support of the findings of fact of the lower court.

WHEREFORE, pursuant to section 31 of Republic Act No. 296, as amended, let the record of this case be remanded to the Court of Appeals for disposition thereof in accordance with law. It is so ordered.

Bengzon, Actg. C.J., Padilla, Bautista Angelo, Labrador, Reyes, J.B.L., Barrera, Paredes and Dizon, JJ., concur.

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