Wednesday, October 9, 2019
Appeals - "Section 2 of Rule 50 of the Rules of Court provides that appeals taken from the Regional Trial Court to the Court of Appeals raising only pure questions of law are not reviewable by the Court of Appeals. In which case, the appeal shall not be transferred to the appropriate court. Instead, it shall be dismissed outright."
G.R. No.171496 March 3, 2014
REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, represented by the DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS AND HIGHWAYS (DPWH), Petitioner,
ORTIGAS AND COMPANY LIMITED PARTNERSHIP, Respondents.
"x x x.
Appeals from the Regional Trial Court to the Court of Appeals under Rule 41 must raise both questions of fact and law
Section 2 of Rule 50 of the Rules of Court provides that appeals taken from the Regional Trial Court to the Court of Appeals raising only pure questions of law are not reviewable by the Court of Appeals. In which case, the appeal shall not be transferred to the appropriate court. Instead, it shall be dismissed outright.
Appeals from the decisions of the Regional Trial Court, raising purely questions of law must, in all cases, be taken to the Supreme Court on a petition for review on certiorari in accordance with Rule 45.37 An appeal by notice of appeal from the decision of the Regional Trial Court in the exercise of its original jurisdiction to the Court of Appeals is proper if the appellant raises questions of fact or both questions of fact and questions of law.38
There is a question of law when the appellant raises an issue as to what law shall be applied on a given set of facts.39 Questions of law do "not involve an examination of the probative value of the evidence presented."40 Its resolution rests solely on the application of a law given the circumstances.41 There is a question of fact when the court is required to examine the truth or falsity of the facts presented.42 A question of fact "invites a review of the evidence."43
The sole issue raised by petitioner Republic of the Philippines to the Court of Appeals is whether respondent Ortigas’ property should be conveyed to it only by donation, in accordance with Section 50 of Presidential Decree No. 1529. This question involves the interpretation and application of the provision. It does not require the Court of Appeals to examine the truth or falsity of the facts presented. Neither does it invite a review of the evidence. The issue raised before the Court of Appeals was, therefore, a question purely of law. The proper mode of appeal is through a petition for review under Rule 45. Hence, the Court of Appeals did not err in dismissing the appeal on this ground.
Nevertheless, we take time to emphasize that Rule 41, Section 1, paragraph (a) of the Rules of Court, which provides that "[n]o appeal may be taken from [a]n order denying a x x x motion for reconsideration," is based on the implied premise in the same section that the judgment or order does not completely dispose of the case. The pertinent portion of Rule 41, Section 1 provides:
Section 1. Subject of appeal. – An appeal may be taken from a judgment or final order that completely disposes of the case, or of a particular matter therein when declared by these Rules to be appealable.
In other words, what Section 1 of Rule 41 prohibits is an appeal taken from an interlocutory order. An interlocutory order or judgment, unlike a final order or judgment, does "not completely dispose of the case [because it leaves to the court] something else to be decided upon."44 Appeals from interlocutory orders are generally prohibited to prevent delay in the administration of justice and to prevent "undue burden upon the courts."45
Orders denying motions for reconsideration are not always interlocutory orders. A motion for reconsideration may be considered a final decision, subject to an appeal, if "it puts an end to a particular matter,"46 leaving the court with nothing else to do but to execute the decision.
"An appeal from an order denying a motion for reconsideration of an order of dismissal of a complaint is effectively an appeal of the order of dismissal itself."47 It is an appeal from a final decision or order.
The trial court’s order denying petitioner Republic of the Philippines’ motion for reconsideration of the decision granting respondent Ortigas the authority to sell its property to the government was not an interlocutory order because it completely disposed of a particular matter. An appeal from it would not cause delay in the administration of justice. Petitioner Republic of the Philippines’ appeal to the Court of Appeals, however, was properly dismissed because the former used the wrong mode of appeal.
x x x."