Sunday, December 15, 2013

A pleading filed by ordinary mail or by private messengerial service x x x is deemed filed on the day it is actually received by the court, and not on the day it was mailed or delivered to the messengerial service.

''x x x.

Petition was filed late

It is stated under Section 3, Rule 1 of the Revised Rules of the Court of Tax Appeals that the Rules of Court shall apply suppletorily. Thus, the manner in which petitions are filed before the CTA is also covered by the relevant provision of the Rules of Court, to wit:

          Rule 13. x x x.

            x x x x

Sec. 3. Manner of filing.  The filing of pleadings, appearances, motions, notices, orders, judgments and all other papers shall be made by presenting the original copies thereof, plainly indicated as such, personally to the clerk of court or by sending them by registered mail.  In the first case, the clerk of court shall endorse on the pleading the date and hour of filing.  In the second case, the date of the mailing of motions, pleadings, or any other papers or payments or deposits, as shown by the post office stamp on the envelope or the registry receipt, shall be considered as the date of their filing, payment, or deposit in court.  The envelope shall be attached to the record of the case.  (Emphases ours.)

To recall, PNB filed its petition with the CTA En Banc four days beyond the extended period granted to it to file such petition.  PNB argues that it was filed on time since it was mailed on the last day of the extended period, which was on December 23, 2005.  It has been established that a pleading “filed by ordinary mail or by private messengerial service x x x is deemed filed on the day it is actually received by the court, and not on the day it was mailed or delivered to the messengerial service.”[34]  In Benguet Electric Cooperative, Inc. v. National Labor Relations Commission,[35] we said:

The established rule is that the date of delivery of pleadings to a private letter-forwarding agency is not to be considered as the date of filing thereof in court, and that in such cases, the date of actual receipt by the court, and not the date of delivery to the private carrier, is deemed the date of filing of that pleading.[36]

It is worthy to note that PNB already asked for an additional period of 15 days within which to file its petition for review with the CTAEn Banc.  This period expired on December 23, 2005.  Knowing fully well that December 23, 2005 not only fell on a Friday, followed by three consecutive non-working days, but also belonged to the busiest holiday season of the year, PNB should have exercised more prudence and foresight in filing its petition. 

It is, however, curious why PNB chose to risk the holiday traffic in an effort to personally file its petition with the CTA En Banc, when it already filed a copy to the other party, the CIR, via registered mail.[37]  Considering the circumstances, it would have been more logical for PNB to send its petition to the CTA En Banc on the same occasion it sent a copy to the CIR, especially since that day was already the last day given to PNB to file its petition.  Moreover, PNB offered no justification as to why it sent its petition via ordinary mail instead of registered mail.  “Service by ordinary mail is allowed only in instances where no registry service exists.”[38]  Rule 13, Section 7 reads:

Sec. 7. Service by mail.  Service by registered mail shall be made by depositing the copy in the post office, in a sealed envelope, plainly addressed to the party or his counsel at his office, if known, otherwise at his residence, if known, with postage fully pre-paid, and with instructions to the postmaster to return the mail to the sender after ten (l0) days if undelivered.  If no registry service is available in the locality of either the sender or the addressee, service may be done by ordinary mail. (Emphasis ours.)

x x x."

Read - 


versus -


G.R. No. 172458


        CORONA, C.J.,
        DEL CASTILLO, and
        VILLARAMA, JR., JJ.


December 14, 2011
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