On 2 October 1985. suppliant San Miguel Village School filed a ailment for breach of contract with amendss against answering Christina Trino. before the Regional Trial Court. Branch 3. Lanao del Norte. the ailment being docketed as Civil Case No. L-111-577. A Certificate to File Action. signed by the Barangay Captain of Barangay Palao. Iligan City. dated 17 September 1985. bearing the notation that the “respondent can non be contacted. ” was filed along with the ailment. Summons was served upon the private respondent through her hubby. On 22 November 1985. private respondent holding failed to register an reply within the reglementary period. the petitioner School moved to declare her in default. The test tribunal granted the gesture. declared private respondent in default and designated the Branch Clerk of Court to have the grounds of the suppliant and thenceforth to describe back to the tribunal.
From the grounds received by the Branch Clerk of Court from the suppliant. the undermentioned facts emerged: On 9 May 1985. suppliant. a punctually commissioned private school located at Barangay Palao. Iligan City. entered into a contract of services with private respondent Christina Trino. Under that contract. Christina Trino would learn at the petitioner School during the schoolyear 1985-1986. which would get down in June 1985 and stop in March 1986. She was assigned to take charge of Grade VI. Intermediate Department. The contract besides provided that any party desiring to end the contract before its scheduled termination. would give the other party at least one month notice of expiration in composing. Sometime in August 1985. while the contract was in full force and consequence. and during a concluding scrutiny period. private respondent all of a sudden stopped learning at the suppliant School. without giving notice of expiration and thereby doing non inconsiderable troubles for the School.
Petitioner School instantly sought the aid of the Barangay Captain of Palao and the beginning of conciliation proceedings. This effort failed because private respondent could non be contacted. she holding left Iligan City and holding secured a better paying occupation at the Philippine Refugee Center based in Manila. On 26 January 1986. the test tribunal so presided over by Judge Magadapa Rasuman rendered a determination against private respondent. the dispositive part of which read as follows: WHEREFORE. based on the foregoing consideration. judgement is herewith rendered in favour of the complainant. San Miguel Village School and against suspect. Christina Trino as follows ; 1. Ordering suspect to pay all compensatory amendss to the complainant. the sum of P8. 400. 00 ; 2. To pay complainant. the sum of P5. 000. 00. as moral amendss ; 3. To pay attorney’s fees of P5. 000. 00. and
4. To pay the costs of this suit.So ORDERED.Four ( 4 ) months subsequently. on 15 May 1986. private respondent filed a Request for Relief from Judgment with the test tribunal. avering that the tribunal had no legal power to render its determination dated 26 January 1986 for failure of suppliant to travel through the compulsory conciliation process prescribed by Sections 2 and 6 of P. D. No. 1508. Private answering argued that the enfranchisement of the Barangay Captain of Palao dated 17 September 1985 was unequal conformity with P. D. No. 1508. private respondent being a occupant. non of Barangay Palao. Iligan City. but instead of Barangay Tomas Cabili. Iligan City. Almost a twelvemonth subsequently. on 6 April 1987. the test tribunal. this clip presided over by respondent Judge Amir Pukunum D. Pundogar. issued an order continuing private respondent’s contentions and puting aside the assailed determination of 26 January 1986. In his order. while Judge Pundogar acknowledged the improperness of the Petition for Relief from Judgment. he however in consequence granted the alleviation sought. keeping that the Regional Trial Court in rendering the determination dated 26 January 1986. acted without legal power “over the parties and the capable affair of the action” 1for failure of suppliant to follow with the demands of P. D. No. 1508. A Gesture for Reconsideration by suppliant was denied by the respondent Judge.
In the instant Request. it is smartly contended by suppliant that the test tribunal had legal power to render its determination of 26 January 1986. The Court notes. at the beginning. that respondent Judge in fact granted the Petition for Relief from Judgment non because he found one or more of the evidences specified in Section 2 of Rule 38 of the Revised Rules of Court ( fraud. accident. error or excusable carelessness ) but instead because respondent Judge found his predecessor in the same tribunal to hold acted without legal power. It is. nevertheless. steadfastly settled 2 that failure of a complainant to follow with the demands of P. D. No. 1508 does non impact the legal power of the tribunal that tried the action. In. e. g. . Millare v. Hernando. the Court stressed that “the conciliation process required under P. D. No. 1508 is non a jurisdictional demand in the sense that failure to hold anterior resort to such process would non strip a tribunal of its legal power either over the capable affair or over the individual of the suspect. ”
3 Failure of a complainant to travel through the conciliation process established by P. D. No. 1508 simply affects the sufficiency. or the adulthood or ripeness of the complainants cause of action and the ailment becomes vulnerable to a gesture to disregard. non on the land of deficiency of legal power. but instead for privation of cause of action or for prematureness. 4 Respondent Judge was therefore in tangible mistake in keeping his predecessor without legal power to render the assailed determination. Respondent Judge was every bit in mistake when he either disregarded or misconstrued the Certificate to File Action. dated 17 September 1985. which had been. issued by the Barangay Captain of Barangay Palao. Respondent Judge merely said apropos this Certificate to File Action. that no “confrontation” had taken topographic point between suppliant and private respondent before the Barangay governments and instantly concluded that the demands of P. D. No. 1508 had been violated. There is no inquiry that the “confrontation” or conciliation proceedings did non happen here. since private respondent did non look before the Lupon.
Where. nevertheless. the suspect in an action fails for one ground or another to react to a notice to look before the Lupon. the demand of P. D. No. 1508 must be regarded as holding been satisfied by the complainant. A suspect can non be allowed to thwart the demands of the legislative act by her ain refusal or failure to look before the Lupon and so subsequently to assault a judgement rendered in such action by puting up the really land of non-compliance with P. D. No. 1508. In simplest footings. a suspect can non be allowed to gain by her ain default. In the instant instance. private respondent. as celebrated earlier. had stated in her subsequent Request for Relief from Judgment that she resided non in Barangay Palao but in Barangay Cabili. in consequence suggesting that she had non received notice to look before the Lupon of Barangay Palao. We do non believe that the statement and suggestion of private respondent should be given much acceptance. In the first topographic point. the Barangay governments of Barangay Palao must be presumed to hold performed their official responsibilities and to hold acted on a regular basis in publishing the Certificate to File Action.
They must be presumed to hold sent a notice to Christina Trino to look before theLupon ; otherwise. they could non moderately have stated that Christina “could non be contacted. ” Second. petitioner School had already presented grounds during the hearing before the Commissioner appointed by Judge Rasuman that both suppliant and private respondent were occupants of Palao. Iligan City. Finally. and in any event. the alleged failure on the portion of a complainant to follow with the procedural demand established by P. D. No. 1508 must be raised in a timely mode. that is. at the first available chance. if such alleged failure is to supply legal footing for dismissal of the ailment. Such failure must be pleaded. in other words. in a timely gesture to disregard or in the reply. Failure to so put up that defence produces the consequence of release of such defence.
In the instant instance. private respondent was declared in default and that default order was ne’er set aside. Consequently. private respondent must be held to hold waived whatever right she may hold had to raise the defence of failure to follow with the compulsory conciliation process under P. D. No. 1508. Indeed. that was non the lone thing she waived ; she besides waived the right to look and to register an reply and at that place to put up that and other defences that she might hold had. It is merely excessively late to demand conciliation under P. D. No. 1508 after a judgement on the virtues ( albeit by default ) has been rendered and become concluding and executory. ACCORDINGLY. the Orders of respondent Judge Amir Pukunum D. Pundogar dated 6 April 1987 and 15 June 1987 in Civil Case No. L-111-577 are hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE and the Decision dated 26 January 1986 of Judge Magadapa Rasuman is herewith REINSTATED. Costss against private respondent. So ORDERED.