The Supreme Court (SC) has dismissed an administrative complaint against three justices of the Court of Appeals (CA) and other court judges and employees in connection with an unlawful detainer case filed by a plaintiff.
In a ruling promulgated by Clerk of Court Atty. Felipa B. Anama, the SC En Banc dismissed for being judicial in nature the complaint against CA Associate Justices Sesinando Villon, Remedios Salazar-Fernando and Rosalinda Vicente and some judges and employees of the Pasig City and Taguig City courts.
The complaint arose from an unlawful detainer case filed by Fredevila Tuazon against Emilia Escover, other heirs of the late Alex Escover, and the latter’s estate.
In 1986, Tuazon and Alex entered into a contract of lease covering a 36-square-meter commercial and market stall located at 29-A Luzon St., Zone 5, Signal Village, Taguig City, Metro Manila.
However, Alex failed to pay the monthly rental fee, prompting Tuazon to seek redress with the Metropolitan Trial Court (MeTC) via an ejectment case.
The case was dismissed due to the failure of the complainant to exhaust the remedy of prior barangay conciliation.
Since no amicable settlement was reached, Tuazon filed another case before the MeTC, however, Alex died prior to its filing.
Tuazon ran after the heirs of Escover and the court sided with him.
The MeTC ordered Escover’s heirs to immediately vacate the property and pay Tuazon the sum of Php456,000 representing rentals in arrears from Sept. 1,1995 to Aug. 31, 1999.
It also ordered the Escovers to pay Tuazon the sum of Php30,000 as attorney’s fees and the amount of Php9,500 a month starting Sept. 1, 1999 and every month thereafter until they finally vacate the premises.
Because of this, the Escovers elevated the case to the CA.
On June 6, 2008, the CA partly granted their appeal.
The CA said that Tuazon shall file claims amounting to Php476,267 against the heirs of Alex Escover.
The order on payment of rentals was retained, while the attorney’s fees were deleted, thus the Escovers filed their administrative complaint before the SC as they raised grave abuse of discretion on the part of the CA and the “court a quo”.
In its ruling, the SC said that “the complainants’ allegations were limited only on the supposed lack of jurisdiction and abuse of authority on the part of the appellate court when it upheld the decision of the court a quo.”
“It is well-settled that in administrative cases, the complainant bears the onus of proving the averments of his complaint by substantial evidence,” the SC added.
“We note that while the complainants questioned the propriety of the assailed decisions through the administrative complaint, they, however, failed to establish respondent’s bad faith, malice or ill-will in rendering the assailed decisions,” the SC said. PNA