Wednesday, March 15, 2017

CASE IN POINT by Dean Ed Vincent Albano | Second motion for reconsideration; effect; judgment becomes final and executory


Once again the SC in Heirs of Gamaliel Albano v. Sps. Ravanes, G.R. No. 183645, July 20, 2016, Jardeleza, J, had the occasion to say that this motion for reconsideration partakes of the nature of a second motion for reconsideration. In Tagaytay City v. Sps. De Los Reyes, G.R. No. 166679, January 27, 2010, it was ruled that a motion for reconsideration, even if it was not designated as a second motion for reconsideration, is a disguised second motion for reconsideration if it is merely a reiteration of the movant’s earlier arguments. Here, petitioners’ Motion for Reconsideration is just that-a mere rehash of the arguments raised in their earlier Manifestation and Motion to Stay Execution of Judgment, which we found previously to be their (first) motion for reconsideration.

The filing of a second motion for reconsideration is prohibited under Rule 52, Section 2 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, as amended (Rule 52, Section 2) and the prevailing 1999 Internal Rules of the Procedure of the CA (IRCA). Being a prohibited pleading, a second motion for reconsideration does not have any legal effect and does not toll the running of the period to appeal. (Securities and Exchange Commission v. PICOP Resources, Inc., G.R. No. 164314, September 26, 2008, 566 SCRA 451, 468, citing Land Bank o/ the Philippines v. Ascot Holdings and Equities, Inc., G.R. No. 175163, October 19, 2007, 537 SCRA 396, 405)

In Securities and Exchange Commission v. PJCOP Resources, Inc., G.R. No. 164314, September 26, 2008, 566 SCRA 451, the Court explained why the period to appeal should not be reckoned from the denial of a second motion for reconsideration:

To rule that finality of judgment shall be reckoned from the receipt of the resolution or order denying the second motion for reconsideration would result to an absurd situation whereby courts will be obliged to issue orders or resolutions denying what is a prohibited motion in the first place, in order that the period for the finality of judgments shall run, thereby, prolonging the disposition of cases. Moreover, such a ruling would allow a party to forestall the running of the period of finality or judgments by virtue or filing a prohibited pleading; such a situation is not only illogical but also unjust to the winning party.

The same principle is likewise applicable by analogy in the determination of the correct period to appeal. Reckoning the period from the denial of the second motion for reconsideration will result in the same absurd situation where the courts will be obliged to issue orders or resolutions denying a prohibited pleading in the first place. (Dinglasan, Jr. v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 145420, September 19, 2006, 502 SCRA 253, 265)
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