Sunday, July 15, 2012

Hierarchy of courts: The present petition should have been filed with the Court of Appeals (CA), which has concurrent jurisdiction with the Supreme Court to issue the extra-ordinary writ of certiorari. - G.R. No. 155996

G.R. No. 155996

"x x x.



b.     
The doctrine of hierarchy of courts not inflexible


          Conceding the remedial propriety of the present petition, the respondents nevertheless assert that under the doctrine of hierarchy of courts, the present petition should have been filed with the Court of Appeals (CA), which has concurrent jurisdiction with the Supreme Court to issue the extra-ordinary writ of certiorari

          We agree with the respondents.

In Vergara, Sr. v. Judge Suelto,[112] the Court laid down the judicial policy expressly disallowing a direct recourse to this Court because it is a court of last resort. The Court stressed that “[w]here the issuance of an extraordinary writ is also within the competence of [another court], it [must be in that court] that the specific action for the writ’s procurement must be presented.” The rationale behind the policy arises from the necessity of preventing (i) inordinate demands upon the Court's time and attention which are better devoted to those matters within its exclusive jurisdiction, and (ii) further overcrowding of the Court's docket.[113]

People v. Cuaresma[114] and subsequent jurisprudence later reaffirmed this policy, stating that a direct invocation of the Court’s original jurisdiction may be allowed only if there are special and important reasons clearly and specifically set out in the petition or where exceptional and compelling circumstances justify availment of a remedy within and calling for the exercise of our primary jurisdiction.[115]

In the present case, the petitioners have not advanced any special and important reason or reasons why direct recourse to this Court should be allowed, considering the availability of a certiorari petition with the CA; nor do we find exceptional and compelling circumstances in the present petition to apply the exception to the judicial policy.[116] However, if only to avoid further delay – by leniently reading the petition, and assuming import to, the allegation that the respondents falsified a document that forms part of the PCGG’s official records of its correspondence with a Philippine diplomatic official – we deem it of practical necessity to resolve the case on its merits.[117]
x x x."

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