THE Court of Appeals has junked a plea filed by the former partner of celebrity cosmetic surgeon Victoria “Vicky” Belo to be declared a co-owner of her properties, because of the non-payment of docket fees.
In a 16-page ruling penned by Associate Justice Ramon Bato, Jr. and concurred in by Associate Justices Manuel Barrios and Maria Elisa Sempio Diy, the court’s 12th Division dismissed Joel Santos’ petition for lack of merit.
On April 9, 2008, Santos filed a Petition for Declaration of Co-ownership in which he said that sometime in August 1990, he entered into an exclusive romantic relationship with Belo.
Santos and Belo were already separated from their spouses and would later pursue the nullification of their respective marriages.
The relationship turned sour and Belo eventually broke up with Santos.
Santos argued that he had rights over Belo’s properties, because he spent his own money to put up her businesses.
The Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Taguig City earlier junked the case, noting that Santos failed to pay docket fees. This prompted the litigant to go to the appeals court.
In its June 14, 2016 ruling released to the media only recently, the appeals court affirmed the RTC ruling.
The appeals court said the lower court was right when it dismissed the case for lack of jurisdiction.
“Thus, the docket fees prescribed for real actions should have been paid,” it said.