The Supreme Court, pursuant to its rule-making power has the authority to lay down rules. Sometimes such rules even depart from the literal provisions of the Rules of Court. In fact, it is continuing power conferred upon it by the Constitution. The purpose of such rules is speedy disposition of cases and to afford the parties all opportunities to have their cases decided on the merits and not through technicalities.
One such rule is Domingo Neypes, et al. v. Court of Appeals, et al., 469 SCRA 633 providing for a fresh 15-day period to appeal from the time a party is furnished with a copy of the resolution denying a Motion for Reconsideration. Before such rule, a party had only the balance of the period of appeal from the time he received a copy of the order denying the Motion for Reconsideration.
The question however, is whether the “fresh 15-day period is applicable in administrative cases.” In San Lorenzo Ruiz Builders & Dev. Corp., Inc., et al. v. Maria Cristina Banya, G.R. No. 194702, April 20, 2015, the basic issue was this:
Whether the “fresh period rule” in Neypes applies to administrative appeals, such as an appeal filed from a decision of the HLURB Board of Commissioners to the Office to the President.
The Supreme Court said, No.
It is settled that the “fresh period rule” in Neypes applies only to judicial appeals and not to administrative appeals.
In Panolino v. Tajala, G.R. No. 183616, June 29, 2010, the Court was confronted with a similar issue of whether the “fresh period rule” applies to an appeal filed from the decision or order of the DENR regional office to the DENR Secretary, an appeal which is administrative in nature. We held in Panolino that the “fresh period rule” only covers judicial proceedings under the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure:
The “fresh period rule” in Neypes declares:
To standardize the appeal periods provided in the Rules and to afford litigants fair opportunity to appeal their cases, the Court deems it practical to allow a fresh period of15 days within which to file the notice of appeal in the Regional Trial Court, counted from receipt of the order dismissing a motion for a new trial or motion for reconsideration.
Henceforth, this “fresh period rule” shall also apply to Rule 40 governing appeals from the Municipal Trial Courts to the Regional Trial Courts; Rule 42 on petitions for review from the Regional Trial Courts to the Court of Appeals; Rule 43 on appeals from quasi-judicial agencies to the Court of Appeals; and Rule 45 governing appeals by certiorari to the Supreme Court. The new rule aims to regiment or make the appeal period uniform, to be counted from receipt of the order denying the motion for new trial, motion for reconsideration (whether full or partial) or any final order or resolution.
x x x x
As reflected in the above-quoted portion of the decision in Neypes, the “fresh period rule” shall apply to Rule 40 (appeals from the Municipal Trial Courts to the Regional Trial Courts); Rule 41 (appeals from the Regional Trial Courts to the Court of Appeals or Supreme Court); Rule 42 (appeals from the Regional Trial Courts to the Court of Appeals); Rule 43 (appeals from quasi-judicial agencies to the Court of Appeals); and Rule 45 (appeals by certiorari to the Supreme Court). Obviously, these Rules cover judicial proceedings under the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure.
Petitioner’s present case is administrative in nature involving an appeal from the decision or order of the DENR regional office to the DENR Secretary. Such appeal is indeed governed by Section 1 of Administrative Order No. 87, Series of 1990. As earlier quoted, Section 1 clearly provides that if the motion for reconsideration is denied, the movant shall perfect his appeal “during the remainder of the period of appeal, reckoned from receipt of the resolution of denial;” whereas if the decision is reversed, the adverse party has a fresh 15-day period to perfect his appeal.
In this case, the subject appeal, i.e., appeal from a decision of the HLURB Board of Commissioners to the OP, is not judicial but administrative in nature; thus, the “fresh period rule” in Neypes does not apply.
As aptly pointed out by the OP, the rules and regulations governing appeals from decisions of the HLURB Board of Commissioners to the OP are Section 2, Rule XXI of HLURB Resolution No. 765, series of 2004, in relation to Paragraph 2, Section 1 of Administrative Order No. 18, series of 1987:
Section 2, Rule XXI of the BLURB Resolution No. 765, series of 2004, prescribing the rules and regulations governing appeals from decisions of the Board of Commissioners to the Office of the President, pertinently reads:
Section 2. Appeal. - Any party may, upon notice to the Board and the other party, appeal a decision rendered by the Board of Commissioners to the Office of the President within fifteen (15) days from receipt thereof, in accordance with P.D. No. 1344 and A.O. No. 18 Series of 1987.
The pendency of the motion for reconsideration shall suspend the running of the period of appeal to the office of the President.
Corollary thereto, paragraph 2, Section 1 of Administrative Order No. 18, series of 1987, provides that in case the aggrieved party files a motion for reconsideration from an adverse decision of any agency/office, the said party has the only remaining balance of the prescriptive period within which to appeal, reckoned from receipt of notice of the decision denying his/her motion for reconsideration.
Thus, in applying the above-mentioned rules to the present case, it was found that the CA correctly affirmed the OP in dismissing the petitioners’ appeal for having been filed out of time.
Dean Ed Vincent S. Albano is the Bar Review Director of Albano Bar Review Center. He authored books/reviewers in Civil Law, Political, Law, Remedial Law and Legal Ethics.