FEDERICO D. TOMAS, PETITIONER, VS. ANN G. SANTOS, RESPONDENT. G.R. No. 190448, July 26, 2010. - The Lawyer's Post.
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With the RTC deciding against him, Tomas would necessarily resort to an appeal to the Court of Appeals. Accordingly, Tomas filed his Notice of Appeal and correspondingly paid the required fees on July 21, 2009, or 12 days from July 9, 2009, the date of his receipt of a copy of the RTC Decision. The following day, July 22, 2009, Tomas filed his appellate pleading with the Court of Appeals, but it was mistakenly entitled “Petition for Review.” Because of this improper title, his appeal was docketed not as an ordinary appeal but as a special civil action for certiorari docketed as CA-G.R. SP No. 109646. However, a perusal of the allegations in his “Petition for Review” would readily show that what was filed was actually an ordinary appeal from the RTC Decision. There was no allegation whatsoever of grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of the RTC, but rather merely a recitation of what Tomas perceived as a reversible error committed by the RTC based on the issues raised and the discussions made in his appeal.
It is true that the Court of Appeals dismissed Tomas’ “Petition for Review” on three grounds, namely: improper remedy, lack of certification on non-forum shopping, and failure to append important documents in support of his allegations. It is, however, observed that the Court of Appeals, after considering Tomas’ motion for reconsideration of the July 29, 2009 Resolution, ruled in its November 26, 2009 Resolution that Tomas was able to rectify two of the defects of his “Petition for Review”; but maintained that the same was still an inappropriate remedy and, thus, denied the motion. To our mind, if the Court of Appeals accepted the rectification of these two procedural defects after Tomas moved to reconsider the July 29, 2009 Resolution, it should have also treated the “Petition for Review” as an ordinary appeal from the RTC Decision, especially considering that the required Notice of Appeal and the appellate pleading were timely filed. The allegations of the pleading prevail over its title in determining the character of the action taken. The nature of the issues to be raised on appeal can be gleaned from appellant’s notice of appeal filed with the trial court and in appellant’s brief in the appellate court.1
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