Thursday, February 26, 2015


     In contemplation of law, it is non-existent. Such judgment or order may be resisted in any action or proceeding whenever it is involved. It is not even necessary to take any steps to vacate or avoid a void judgment or final order; it may simply be ignored. Accordingly, a void judgment is no judgment at all. It cannot be the source of any right nor of any obligation. All acts performed pursuant to it and all claims emanating from it have no legal effect. Hence, it can never become final, and any writ of execution based on it is void: “x x x it may be said to be a lawless thing which can be treated as an outlaw and slain at sight, or ignored wherever and whenever it exhibits its head.”

Monday, February 23, 2015


The value of the opinion of a handwriting expert depends not upon his mere statements of whether a writing is genuine or false, but upon the assistance he may afford in pointing out distinguishing marks, characteristics and discrepancies in and between genuine and false specimens of writing which would ordinarily escape notice or detection from an unpracticed observer.

Thursday, February 19, 2015


     Only when the COA has acted without or in excess of jurisdiction, or with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction, may the Court entertain and grant a petition for certiorari brought to assail its actions. Section 1 of Rule 65, Rules of Court, demands that the petitioner must show that, one, the tribunal, board or officer exercising judicial or quasi-judicial functions acted without or in excess of jurisdiction or with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction, and, two, there is neither an appeal nor any plain, speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law for the purpose of amending or nullifying the proceeding. Inasmuch as the sole office of the writ of certiorari is the correction of errors of jurisdiction, which includes the commission of grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction, the petitioner should establish that the COA gravely abused its discretion. The abuse of discretion must be grave, which means either that the judicial or quasi-judicial power was exercised in an arbitrary or despotic manner by reason of passion or personal hostility, or that the respondent judge, tribunal or board evaded a positive duty, or virtually refused to perform the duty enjoined or to act in contemplation of law, such as when such judge, tribunal or board exercising judicial or quasi-judicial powers acted in a capricious or whimsical manner as to be equivalent to lack of jurisdiction. Mere abuse of discretion is not enough to warrant the issuance of the writ.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015


     If adopting parent should die before adopted child, the latter cannot represent the adopter in the inheritance from the parents and ascendants of the adopter. Adopted child is not related to the deceased in that case because filiation created by fiction of law is exclusive between adopted and adopter. By adoption, the adopters can make for themselves an heir but they cannot make one for their relatives.

Friday, February 13, 2015


     An extradition proceeding being sui generis, the standard of proof required in granting or denying bail can neither be the proof beyond reasonable doubt in criminal cases nor the standard of proof of preponderance of evidence in civil cases. While administrative in character, the standard of substantial evidence used in administrative cases cannot likewise apply given the object of extradition law which is to prevent the prospective extraditee from fleeing our jurisdiction. In his Separate Opinion in Purganan, then Associate Justice, now Chief Justice Reynato S. Puno, proposed that a new standard which he termed "clear and convincing evidence" should be used in granting bail in extradition cases. According to him, this standard should be lower than proof beyond reasonable doubt but higher than preponderance of evidence. The potential extraditee must prove by "clear and convincing evidence" that he is not a flight risk and will abide with all the orders and processes of the extradition court.