Procedural Rules

considered by the Court as meriting a relaxation of the rules in order to serve substantial justice. These are: (1) matters of life, liberty, honor or property; (2) the existence of special or compelling circumstances; (3) the merits of the case; (4) a cause not entirely attributable to the fault or negligence of the party favored by the suspension of the rules; (5) a lack of any showing that the review sought is merely frivolous and dilatory; and (6) the other party will not be unjustly prejudiced thereby.[20]  We find that Danilo’s situation merits a relaxation of the rules since special circumstances are involved; to determine if his allegation were true would allow a final resolution of the case.


Applicable, too, is what Sec. 5, Rule 135 of the Rules of Court states as one of the powers of a court:


Section 5. Inherent powers of the courts.¾Every court shall have power:


x x x x


(g) To amend and control its process and orders so as to make them conformable to law and justice.




Thus, the Court ruled in Mejia v. Gabayan:[21]



x x x The inherent power of the court carries with it the right to determine every question of fact and law which may be involved in the execution. The court may stay or suspend the execution of its judgment if warranted by the higher interest of justice. It has the authority to cause a modification of the decision when it becomes imperative in the higher interest of justice or when supervening events warrant it. The court is also vested with inherent power to stay the enforcement of its decision based on antecedent facts which show fraud in its rendition or want of jurisdiction of the trial court apparent on the record. (Emphasis supplied.)

Obedience to the requirements of procedural rules is needed if the parties are to expect fair results therefrom, and utter disregard of the rules cannot justly be rationalized by harping on the policy of liberal construction.[31] Procedural rules are tools designed to facilitate the adjudication of cases. Courts and litigants alike are thus enjoined to abide strictly by the rules. And while the Court, in some instances, allows a relaxation in the application of the rules, this was never intended to forge a bastion for erring litigants to violate the rules with impunity.  The liberality in the interpretation and application of the rules applies only in proper cases and under justifiable causes and circumstances. While it is true that litigation is not a game of technicalities, it is equally true that every case must be prosecuted in accordance with the prescribed procedure to ensure an orderly and speedy administration of justice.[32]

Time and again, this Court has ruled that dismissal of appeals on purely technical grounds is not encouraged. The rules of procedure ought not to be applied in a very rigid and technical sense, for they have been adopted to help secure, not override, substantial justice. Judicial action must be guided by the principle that a party-litigant should be given the fullest opportunity to establish the merits of his complaint or defense rather than for him to lose life, liberty, honor or property on technicalities. When a rigid application of the rules tends to frustrate rather than promote substantial justice, this Court is empowered to suspend their operation.[62]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s