THE Supreme Court (SC) has junked an administrative complaint against several magistrates of the Court of Appeals (CA) and other court judges and employees in connection with an unlawful detainer case filed by a plaintiff.
In an August 25, 2015 ruling promulgated by Clerk of Court Felipa Anama that was released to the media just recently, the SC en banc dismissed for being judicial in nature the complaint against appellate court Justices Sesinando Villon, Remedios Salazar-Fernando and Rosalinda Vicente and some judges and employees of Pasig City and Taguig City courts.
The complaint stemmed 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 on 29-A Luzon Street, Zone 5, Signal Village, Taguig City, Metro Manila.
Alex, however, failed to pay the monthly rental fee, prompting Tuazon to seek redress with the court via an ejectment case.
The case was dismissed because of failure of the complainant to exhaust the remedy of prior barangay (village) conciliation.
Since no amicable settlement was reached, Tuazon filed another case before the Metropolitan Trial Court (MeTC) but 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 P456,000 representing rentals in arrears from September 1,1995 to August 31,1999.
The court also directed the Escovers to pay Tuazon the sum of P30,000 as attorney’s fees and the amount of P9,500 a month starting September 1, 1999 and every month thereafter until they finally vacate the premises.
Because of this, the Escovers elevated the case to the appeals court.
On June 6, 2008, the CA partly granted their appeal, as it held that Tuazon shall file claims amounting to P476,267.00 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 with the High Court as they raised grave abuse of discretion on the part of the appellate court and the court a quo.
In its ruling, the SC held that “the complainants’ allegations were limited only [to]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,” it said.
“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.”