Tuesday, June 21, 2011
LIBERAL CONSTRUCTION PRINCIPLE: The cases should be determined on the merits in order to give the parties full opportunity to ventilate their causes and defenses, rather than on technicalities or procedural imperfections. In that way, the ends of justice would be served better. Rules of procedure are mere tools designed to expedite the decision or resolution of cases and other matters pending in court. A strict and rigid application of rules, resulting in technicalities that tend to frustrate rather than promote substantial justice, must be avoided. In fact, Section 6 of Rule 1 states that the Rules shall be liberally construed in order to promote their objective of ensuring the just, speedy and inexpensive disposition of every action and proceeding (DEVELOPMENT BANK OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. FAMILY FOODS MANUFACTURING CO. LTD. G.R. No. 180458, July 30, 2009, Third Division, Nachura, J.).
Corollary to this, it is settled that liberal construction of the rules may be invoked in situations where there may be some excusable formal deficiency or error in a pleading, provided that the same does not subvert the essence of the proceeding and connotes at least a reasonable attempt at compliance with the rules. After all, rules of procedure are not to be applied in a very rigid, technical sense; they are used only to help secure substantial justice (MEDISERV, INC. vs. COURT OF APPEALS, G.R. No. 161368, April 5, 2010, First Division, Villarama, Jr., J.)
Thus, in Republic vs. Jennifer Cagandahan, G.R. No. 166676, September 12, 2008, 2nd Division, the Supreme Court agreed that there is substantial compliance with Rule 108 (which requires the civil registrar and all persons who have or claim any interest which would be affected by the Petition shall be made parties to the proceedings) when respondent furnished a copy of the petition to the local civil registrar. The High Court invoked Section 6, Rule 1 of the Rules of Court which states that courts shall construe the Rules liberally to promote their objectives of securing to the parties a just, speedy and inexpensive disposition of the matters brought before it.
Posted by Christian G. Villasis at 12:03 PM