Yu v. Philippine Commercial International Bank

G.R. No. 147902, 17 March 2006

FACTS:

Petitioners Vicente Yu and Demetria Lee-Yu mortgaged their title, interest, and participation over several parcels of land located in Dagupan City and Quezon City, in favor of the Philippine Commercial International Bank, respondent and highest bidder, as security for the payment of a loan.

As petitioners failed to pay the loan and the interest and penalties due thereon, respondent filed petition for extra-judicial foreclosure of real estate mortgage on the Dagupan City properties on July 21, 1998. City Sheriff issued notice of extra-judicial sale on August 3, 1998 scheduling the auction sale on September 10, 1998.

Certificate of Sale was issued on September 14, 1998 in favor of respondent, the highest bidder. The sale was registered with the Registry of Deeds in Dagupan City on October 1, 1998. After two months before the expiration of the redemption period, respondent filed an ex-parte petition for writ of possession before RTC of Dagupan. Petitioners’ complaint on annulment of certificate of sale and motion to dismiss and to strike out testimony of Rodante Manuel was denied by said RTC. Motion for reconsideration was then filed on February 14, 2000 arguing that the complaint on annulment of certificate of sale is a prejudicial issue to the filed ex-parte petition for writ of possession, the resolution of which is determinative of propriety of the issuance of a Writ of Possession.

ISSUE:

Whether prejudicial question exist in a civil case for annulment of a certificate of sale and a petition for the issuance of a writ of possession.

RULING:

The Court holds the rule on indivisibility of the real estate mortgage cannot be equated with the venue of foreclosure proceedings on mortgaged properties located in different provinces since these two are unrelated concepts. Also,no prejudicial question can arise from the existence of a civil case for annulment of a certificate of sale and a petition for the issuance of a writ of possession in a special proceeding since the two cases are both civil in nature which can proceed separately and take their own direction independently of each other.

A prejudicial question is “one that arises in a case the resolution of which is a logical antecedent of the issue involved therein, and the cognizance of which pertains to another tribunal. It generally comes into play in a situation where a civil action and a criminal action are both pending and there exists in the former an issue that must be preemptively resolved before the criminal action may proceed because issue raised in civil action would be determinative de jure of the guilt or innocence of the accused in a criminal case”.

Any question regarding the validity of the mortgage of its foreclosure cannot be a legal ground for refusing the issuance of writ of possession. Regardless of the pending suit for annulment of the certificate of sale, respondent is entitled to a writ of possession, without prejudice of course to the eventual outcome of the said case.

* Case digest by Aileen B. Buenafe, LLB-1, Andres Bonifacio Law School, SY 2017-2018

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