[ G.R. No. 234401, December 05, 2019 ]




This Petition for Review on Certiorari assails the Resolution dated September 22, 2017, of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 152398 dismissing petitioner Connie L. Servo’s action for certiorari on ground of lack of jurisdiction


By Affidavit dated August 22, 2014, petitioner filed a claim for deposit insurance with respondent Philippine Deposit Insurance Corporation (PDIC). She essentially alleged that sometimes in October 2011, she lent Teresita Guiterrez Five Hundred Thousand Pesos (P500,000.00) for the repair of the latter’s bus units. On January 19, 2012, petitioner met with Guiterrez at the Rural Bank of San Jose Del Monte to receive the latter’s loan payment. For this purpose, petitioner opened a time deposit account with the bank under Special  Savings  Deposit   (SSD) Account  No.  001 03-00904-1. Per   her agreement with Gutierrez, the latter's  name was used as the account holder since she was a preferred bank client.1

A few years later, however, the bank was closed down. Consequently, petitioner  filed  with PDIC  her  claim for  deposit insurance,  together  with certain documents.

She claimed to have verbally informed Eliza Dela Peña, one of the bank tellers, that the Five Hundred  Thousand  Pesos (P500,00.00) deposited in SSD Account No. 001 03-00904-1 was held in trust for her by Gutierrez. She also categorically stated that she was the exclusive owner of SSD Account No. 001 03-00904-1.2

By letter dated August 27, 2014, PDIC, through its Claims Deposit Department, denied petitioner's claim for deposit insurance, citing as ground the absence of any bank records/ documents indicating that petitioner, not Gutierrez,  owned the account.

On October 30, 2014, petitioner filed a Request for Reconsideration (RFR). Under letter3 dated July 16, 2015, PDIC denied petitioner's  RFR, this time  citing  as  ground petitioner's   alleged  failure  to  submit  documents showing  that the  "break-up   and  transfer  of  Legitimate  Deposit  to  the transferee is for a Valid Consideration." PDIC emphasized that petitioner was not even a relative within the second degree of consanguinity  or affinity of Gutierrez.

Petitioner consequently filed the action below, imputing grave abuse of discretion on PDIC for denying her claim for deposit insurance, albeit she submitted  the necessary  documents  in support of her claim. Assuming the documents  were incomplete,   she  was  not  given  the  chance  to  submit additional documents nor  called to a clarificatory  meeting,  as provided in Sections 4(b) and 4(c) of Regulatory Issuance No. 2011-03,

On the other hand, PDIC riposted that the Regional Trial Court (RTC) has no jurisdiction over the subject matter of the petition as the same fell exclusively within its quasi-judicial jurisdiction. It emphasized that there was no grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction when after evaluation and analysis of available bank documents, it arrived at the conclusion that petitioner was not entitled to deposit insurance. 4

The Trial Court's Ruling

By Decision5  dated  July 27, 2017, the trial  court  sustained PDIC's argument and dismissed the case on ground of lack of jurisdiction, viz:

WHEREFORE,   in   view   of   the   foregoing   circumstances, judgment is rendered in favor of Philippine Deposit Insurance Corporation. For lack of jurisdiction, the instant case is ordered DISMISSED  without  prejudice.  Fittingly, the court holds its hands tightly in not passing upon the other issue.

SO ORDERED.6 (Emphasis in the  original)

The trial court recognized that since PDIC is a quasi-judicial agency which performed the assailed quasi-judicial  action, the case should have been brought up to the Court of Appeals.7

The trial court cited Section 5(g) of Republic Act (RA) 3591 (PDIC Charter), as amended by RA 10846, providing that actions of PDIC shall be final and executory, and may only be re trained or set aside by the Court of Appeals through a petition for certiorari.8

Proceedings before the Court of Appeals

In her subsequent special civil action for certiorari before the Court of Appeals, petitioner argued that PDIC was not among the quasi-judicial bodies enumerated under Section 1, Rule 43 of the Rules of Court whose decisions and rulings are appealable via a petition for review with the Court of Appeals. Also, the mere fact that PDIC performs quasi-judicial functions does not make it co-equal with the RTCs. Too, considering that the rulings of the Department of Finance are appealable to the Court of Tax Appeals, the latter having the same rank as the Court of Appeals, it cannot be said that the rulings of PDIC, an instrumentality operating under the Department of Finance, are appealable to the Court of Appeals alone.9 She also implored the Court of Appeals to treat her petition as a petition for certiorari against PDIC's denial of  her claim in the interest of substantial justice. 10    .

The Cout of Appeals' Ruling

By  Resolution11    dated  September    22,  2017,  the  Court of  Appeals dismissed the petition for lack of jurisdiction. It ruled that the jurisdictional issue involved, being a pure legal question, should have been filed with this Court pursuant to Rule 45 of the Revised Rules of Court.12

The Present Petition

Petitioner now prays that the aforesaid resolution be reversed and set aside, and the main case be remanded to the proper court for resolution on the merits.


Did the Court of Appeals err in dismissing the petition for certiorari on ground of lack of jurisdiction?


Under Section 9 of Batas Pambansa Bilang 129 (BP 129), the Court of Appeals has jurisdiction over petitions for certiorari, viz :

Section 9. Jurisdiction.- The Court of Appeals shall exercise:

1. Original jurisdiction to  issue writs  of mandamus, prohibition, certiorari, habeas   corpus, and quo warranto, and auxiliary writs or processes, whether or not in aid of its appellate jurisdiction;

2. Exclusive original jurisdiction over actions for annulment of judgements of Regional Trial Courts; and

3. Exclusive appellate jurisdiction over all final judgements, resolutions, orders or awards of Regional Trial  Courts and quasi- judicial   agencies,   instrumentalities, boards   or commission, including    the    Securities  and    Exchange Commission, the Social Security Commission, the Employees Compensation Commission and the Civil Service Commission, Except those falling within the appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court in accordance with the Constitution, the Labor Code of the Philippines under Presidential Decree No. 442, as amended, the provisions of this Act, and of subparagraph (1) of the third paragraph and subparagraph 4 of the fourth paragraph of Section 17 of the Judiciary Act of 1948.

The Court of Appeals shall have the power to try cases and conduct hearings, receive evidence and perform any and all acts necessary to resolve factual issues raised in cases falling within its original and appellate jurisdiction, including the power to grant and conduct new trials or Appeals must be continuous and must be completed within three (3) months, unless extended by the Chief Justice. (as amended by R.A. No. 7902) (emphasis supplied)

Verily, the Court of Appeals here erred when it dismissed petitioner's special civil action for certiorari on ground that since the case involves a pure question of law, the same falls within this Court's  exclusive jurisdiction.

For one, Section 9 of BP 129 vests concurrent jurisdiction in the regional trial courts, the Court of Appeals, and the Supreme Court over special civil actions  and  auxiliary  writs  and  processes. The  law  does  not  distinguish whether the issues involved are pure fact  al or legal issues or mixed issues of fact and law for the purpose of determining which of the courts should take cognizance of the case.

For     another,   the   jurisdiction     of   the   Court     of     Appeals to issue extraordinary writs, such as a petition for  certiorari vis-a- vis the hierarchy of courts, was eloquently enunciated in Gios - Samar, Inc., etc. v. Department of Transportation and Communications, et  al.,13 viz:

In 1981, this Court's original jurisdiction over extraordinary writs became concurrent  with the CA, pursuant to Batas Pambansa Bilang 129 (BP 129) or the Judiciary Reorganization Act of 1980. BP 129 repealed RA No. 296 and  granted  the  CA  with "[o]riginal   jurisdiction  to  issue writs of mandamus, prohibition, certiorari,  habeas   corpus,   and quo warranto, and auxiliary  writs or processes, whether  or  not in aid of its appellate jurisdiction." x x x

XXX     XXX     XXX

This so-called "policy" was reaffirmed two years later in People v. Cuaresma, which involved a petition for   certiorari challenging the quashal by    the    City    Fiscal    of an Information    for defamation     on    the ground of prescription.   In  dismissing  the petition,  this  Court  reminded litigants  to  refrain  from  directly filing petitions  for  extraordinary  writs before the Court, unless there were special and important reasons therefor. We then introduced the concept of "hierarchy of courts," to wit:

x   x   x   This   Court's   original   jurisdiction   to   issue writs of certiorari (as     well     as         prohibition, mandamus, quo warranto, habeas corpus and injunction) is not exclusive. It is shared  by  this  Court  with  Regional  Trial  Courts  (formerly Courts of First Instance), which may   issue the writ, enforceable in any part of their respective  regions. It is also shared by this Court,     and     by      the         Regional     Trial     Court, with     the Court of Appeals   (formerly,   Intermediate Appellate   Court), although prior to the effectivity of Batas Pambansa Bilang 129 on  August   14,   1981,  the  latter's competence   to  issue  the extraordinary writs was restricted to those "in aid of its appellate jurisdiction." This concurrence of jurisdiction  is not, however, to be taken as according  to parties seeking any of the writs an absolute,  unrestrained  freedom of choice of the court to which application  therefore   will  be   directed. There   is   after   all  a hierarchy of courts.   That   hierarchy is determinative  of the venue of appeals,     and should     also serve     as     a     general determinant of the appropriate   forum for   petitions   for   the extraordinary   writs.   A   becoming   regard   for   that   judicial hierarchy   most   certainly   indicates   that   petitions   for   the issuance of extraordinary  writs  against  first  level  ("inferior") courts  should  be filed  with  the  Regional Trial Court, and those against the latter, with  the Court of Appeals. A direct invocation of the Supreme Court's original jurisdiction to issue these writs should be allowed only when there are special and important reasons therefor, clearly and specifically set out in the petition. This is established policy. x x x (Citations omitted; emphasis supplied

Too,     Saint     Mary     Crusade     to   Alleviate     Poverty     of Brethren Foundation, Inc. v. Judge Riel14  ordained:

Fourthly, the filing of the instant special civil action directly in this Court is in disregard of the doctrine of hierarchy of courts. Although the Court has concurrent jurisdiction with the Court of Appeals in issuing the writ of certiorari, direct resort is allowed only when there are special, [extraordinary] or  compelling reasons  that   justify  the  same.   The  Court enforces the observance of the hierarchy of courts in order to free itself from unnecessary, frivolous and impertinent  cases and thus afford time for it to deal with the more fundamental and more essential tasks that the Constitution  has assigned to . it. There being no special, important or compelling reason, the petitioner thereby violated the observance of the hierarchy of courts,  warranting  the dismissal of the petition for certiorari. (Citations omitted)

There is no compelling  reason for the Court of Appeals here not to adhere to and observe the hierarchy of courts.

In any event, although  the Court of Appeals erred in dismissing the case, we will no longer remand the case to the Court of Appeals to avert any further  delay  in  its resolution.  The . Court, therefore,  deems  it prudent  to resolve once and for all, here and now, the issue of .jurisdiction involving PDIC.

Petitioner  asserts  that  the  amendatory  provisions  under  RA 10846 should not be applied to her case considering that her claim was denied on July 16,2015 or prior to the effectivity of RA 10846 on June 11, 2016.

In truth,  however,  when petitioner  initiated  the action for certiorari before the trial  court on August 19; 2016, RA  10846 was already effective Verily, petitioner  should  have complied with the procedures  laid down thereunder, among them, the grant of exclusive original jurisdiction to PDIC on matters involving bank deposits and insurance; and the remedy granted to the claimants in case of an adverse PDIC ruling.

On this score, Section 5(g) of RA 3591, as amended by RA 10846, provides that the actions of PDIC on matters relating to insured deposits and deposit  liabilities  may only be assailed before the Court  of Appeals via a Petition for Certiorari under Rule 65 of the Revised Rules of Court, viz:

SECTION 7. Section  4 of the same Act is accordingly renumbered  as Section 5, and is hereby amended to read   as follows:


SEC. 5. As used in this Act-


(g)  XXX                    XXX                        XXX                           XXX

The actions of the Corporation taken under Section 5(g) shall be final and executory,  and may  only  be  restrained or  set  aside by the  Court  of Appeals, upon  appropriate petition for certiorari on the ground that the action was taken in excess of jurisdiction or with such grave abuse of discretion as to amount to a lack or excess of jurisdiction. The petition for certiorari may only be filed within thirty(30) days from  notice of denial of claim for deposit insurance. (Emphasis supplied)

In  Peter L. So  v. Philippine  Deposit Insurance  Corp., 15 the Court pronounced that the Court of Appeals is   vested with jurisdiction over matters relating to the dispositions of PDIC, viz:

We      proceed      to      determine      where      such      petition for certiorari should   be  filed.  In  this  matter,   We  cite  the very provision   invoked   by  the  petitioner,  i.e.,  Section   4, Rule  65 of the Rules, as amended by A.M. No. 07-7-12-SC:

Sec. 4. When and where to file the petition. -The petition shall be /    filed not later than sixty (60) days from notice of the judgment, order or resolution.  In case  a motion  for reconsideration  or new  trial is timely filed, whether such motion is required or not, the petition shall be filed not later than sixty (60) days counted from the notice of the denial of the motion.

If the petition relates to an act or an omission of a municipal trial court or of a corporation, a board, an officer or a person, it shall be filed with  the   Regional   Trial   Court   exercising jurisdiction over  the territorial area as defined by the Supreme Court. It may also be filed with the Court of Appeals or with the Sandiganbayan, whether or not the same is in aid of the court's appellate jurisdiction. If the petition involves  an  act  or  an omission  of  a quasi-judicial  agency,  unless otherwise  provided by law or these  rules, the petition  shall be filed with and be cognizable only by the Court of Appeals. x x x

Clearly, a  petition  for certiorari,  questioning the  PDIC's denial of a deposit insurance claim should be filed before  the CA, not the RTC. This further finds support in Section 22 of the PDIC's Charter, as amended, which states that Section 22. No court, except  the Court of Appeals,  shall issue any temporary restraining order, preliminary injunction or preliminary mandatory  injunction  against the Corporation for any action under this Act. x x x.

This prohibition shall apply in all cases, disputes or controversies instituted by a private party, the insured bank, or any shareholder of the insured bank. x x x.

XXX     XXX     XXX

Finally, the new amendment in PDIC's Charter under RA 10846, specifically Section 5(g) thereof, confirms such conclusion, viz:

The actions of the Corporation taken under Section  5(g) shall be final and executory, and may only be restrained or set aside by the Court of Appeals, upon appropriate petition for certiorari on the ground that the action was taken in excess of jurisdiction or with such grave  abuse  of  discretion  as  to  amount  to  a Lack  or excess  of jurisdiction. The petition for certiorari may only be filed within thirty (30) days from notice of denial of claim for deposit insurance.  x x x

As it stands, the controversy as to which court has jurisdiction over  a  petition for certiorari filed  to  question the  PDIC's action is already settled.LaW㏗iL Therefore, We find no reversible error from the findings and conclusion of the court a quo. (Emphasis supplied)

Finally, petitioner argues that the Court of Appeals should have treated her petition for certiorari as an original action against the assailed PDIC dispositions. She has, in fact, allegedly included in her petition an alternative prayer, thus:

In the alternative, petitioner respectfully prays that the instant petition be treated as a petition for certiorari from the PDIC's denial of petitioner's claim  for  deposit  insurance  and that  said x x x  petition  be granted  by ordering PDIC to pay petitioner the insured amount of P500,000.00  under Special Savings Deposit Account No. 001 03-00904-1.16

The argument must fail. The Court of Appeals could not have granted petitioner's  prayer to consider her petition to have been filed in accordance with the PDIC rules simply because the petition was filed beyond the thirty (30)-day reglementary period prescribed under RA 10846.

Notably, petitioner's RFR was denied on July 16, 2015. She filed her petition for certiorari with the Court of Appeals  only on September 7, 2017 or more than two (2) years from PDIC's denial of her claim. When the case was brought before the Court of Appeals, there was nothing more for it to act on since the assailed trial court's ruling had already lapsed into finality.

ACCORDINGLY, the petition is     DENIED.


Peralta, C.J., (Chairperson), Caguioa, J. Reyes, Jr., Lazaro-Javier, and Inting, JJ.,* concur


* Additional member per Special Order No. 2726.

1  Rollo, p. 40.

2 Id

3  Id at 28.

4 Id at 41.

5  Penned by Acting Presiding Judge Phoeve C. Meer; Id at 40-44.

6 Id at 43.

7 Id at 42.

8 Id at 43.

9 Id at 50-53.

10 Id. at 54.

11 Penned by Associate Justice Ma. Luisa C. Quijano-Padilla and concurred in by Now Supreme Court Associate Justice Rodil Zalameda and Associate Justice Camelita Salandanan  Manahan; Id. at 22-24.

12  Id. at 23.

13 G.R. No. 217158, March 12,2019.

14 750 Phil. 57, 68 (2015).

15  G.R. No. 230020, March 19, 2018.

16  Rollo, p. 56.

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