"x x x.
Third, the OCA belies the complainants’ allegation that the respondent entertained Angangco’s oral motion to declare defendants in default. While the complainants were correct that a motion to declare defendants in default is a prohibited pleading under the 1991 Revised Rules on Summary Procedure; the respondent, in issuing the assailed joint order dated February 26, 2009, did not rule on the basis of the oral motion but relied on Section 8, Rule 70, in relation to Section 6, Rule 18 of the Rules of Court, which provides:
Sec. 8. Preliminary conference; appearance of parties. – Not later than thirty (30) days after the last answer is filed, a preliminary conference shall be held. The provisions of Rule 18 on pre-trial shall be applicable to the preliminary conference unless inconsistent with the provisions of this Rule.
The failure of the plaintiff to appear in the preliminary conference shall be cause for the dismissal of the complaint. The defendant who appears in the absence of the plaintiff shall be entitled to judgment on his counterclaim in accordance with the next preceding section. All cross- claims shall be dismissed.
If a sole defendant shall fail to appear, the plaintiff shall likewise be entitled to judgment in accordance with the next preceding section. This procedure shall not apply where one of two or more defendants sued under a common cause of action who had pleaded a common defense shall appear at the preliminary conference.
Sec. 6. Pre-trial brief. - The parties shall file with the court and serve on the adverse party, in such manner as shall ensure their receipt thereof at least three (3) days before the date of the pre-trial, their respective pre-trial briefs which shall contain, among others:
Failure to file the pre-trial brief shall have the same effect as failure to appear at the pre-trial.
And even assuming that the respondent erred in issuing the assailed joint order, the OCA opines that errors committed in the exercise of adjudicative functions cannot be corrected through administrative proceedings where judicial remedies are available; that there must be a final declaration by the appellate court that the assailed order is manifestly erroneous or impelled by ill-will, malice or other similar motive.
x x x."