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September 25, 2016

Quileste vs. People

Facts:
  • Virgilio Quileste is a public officer found liable by the RTC for malversation.
  • He appealed with the CA.
  • The CA dismissed outright the appeal because Quileste. (Reason: Failure to furnish the Office of the Solicitor General a copy of his Motion for Extension to File Appellant’s Brief and his Appellant’s Brief in violation of Rule 124, Section 3.)
  • He moved to reconsider the said CA resolution.
  • The motion was denied by the CA on the finding that despite allegation that a copy of the motion was served upon the OSG via a registered mail, the registry receipt was not attached to the motion in violation of Sections 5 and 13 of Rule 13.
  • Furthermore, the affidavit of service attached to the motion to rectify the defect in appellant’s brief showed that it was filed via a registry mail and the registry receipt was not attached to the said affidavit. 
  • There was no explanation why the registered mail was resorted to in the service of appellant’s brief upon the OSG in violation of Section 11 and 13 of Rule 13.


Issue: WON the act of the CA in dismissing the appeal is proper based on mere technicality despite showing of substantial compliance with the requirements. 

Held: 

The Court did not really discuss whether or not there was a violation of Section 11 of Rule 13 of the Rules.

It only ruled that Quileste should have appealed the RTC Decision of conviction to the Sandiganbayan within 15 days from the promulgation of the judgment or from the notice of the final order appealed from.

By lodging his appeal with the CA, which in turn erred in taking cognizance of the same, although it dismissed the appeal on technical grounds, the period within which to appeal with the proper court, the Sandiganbayan, lapsed.

Thus, Quileste lost his right to appeal. 

The RTC decision became final and executory upon the expiration of the period to appeal.

_______

Rule 124, Section 3: When brief for the appellant to be filed – Within 30 days from receipt by the appellant or his counsel of the notice from the clerk of court of the Court of Appeals that the evidence, oral and documentary, is already attached to the record, the appellant shall file seven copies of his brief with the clerk of court which shall be accompanied by proof of service of two copies thereof upon the appellee.

Thus, Quileste lost his right to appeal.  Consequently, he cannot come before this Court to question the dismissal of his appeal, the RTC Decision having become final and executory upon the expiration of the period to appeal.

Rule 13 Section 11. Priorities in modes of service and filing. — Whenever practicable, the service and filing of pleadings and other papers shall be done personally. Except with respect to papers emanating from the court, a resort to other modes must be accompanied by a written explanation why the service or filing was not done personally. A violation of this Rule may be cause to consider the paper as not filed. (n)

Citation:
  • G.R. No. 180334
  • February 18, 2009
  • VIRGILIO V. QUILESTE, Petitioner, - versus - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Respondent.

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