G.R. No. 176260, 24 November 2010
In her complaint, Lucia alleged that her deceased husband, Eugenio, left two (2) parcels of land located in San Nicolas, Baao, Camarines Sur, each with an area of 357 square meters; that on March 6, 1995, without her knowledge and consent, her children executed a deed of extrajudicial partition and waiver of the estate of her husband wherein all the heirs, including Lucia, agreed to allot the two parcels to Rico Ballesteros (Rico); that, still, without her knowledge and consent, Rico mortgaged Parcel B of the estate in favor of RBCI which mortgage was being foreclosed for failure to settle the loan secured by the lot; and that Lucia was occupying Parcel B and had no other place to live. She prayed that the deed of extrajudicial partition and waiver, and the subsequent mortgage in favor of RBCI be declared null and void having been executed without her knowledge and consent. She also prayed for damages.
In its Answer, RBCI claimed that in 1979, Lucia sold one of the two parcels to Rico which represented her share in the estate of her husband. The extrajudicial partition, waiver and mortgage were all executed with the knowledge and consent of Lucia although she was not able to sign the document. RBCI further claimed that Parcel B had already been foreclosed way back in 1999 which fact was known to Lucia through the auctioning notary public. Attorney’s fees were pleaded as counterclaim.
Whether a liquidation court can take cognizance of a case wherein the main cause of action is not a simple money claim against a bank ordered closed, placed under receivership of the PDIC, and undergoing a liquidation proceeding.
No. The court has jurisdiction over the case but Lucia’s claim cannot be given priority as the corporation is undergoing liquidation.
For sure, Section 30, R.A. 7653 is curative in character when it declared that the liquidation court shall have jurisdiction in the same proceedings to assist in the adjudication of the disputed claims against the Bank. The interpretation of this Section (formerly Section 29, R.A. 265) becomes more obvious in the light of its intent. In Manalo v. Court of Appeals (366 SCRA 752, ), the Supreme Court says:
xxx The requirement that all claims against the bank be pursued in the liquidation proceedings filed by the Central Bank is intended to prevent multiplicity of actions against the insolvent bank and designed to establish due process and orderliness in the liquidation of the bank, to obviate the proliferation of litigations and to avoid injustice and arbitrariness (citing Ong v. CA, 253 SCRA 105 ). The lawmaking body contemplated that for convenience, only one court, if possible, should pass upon the claims against the insolvent bank and that the liquidation court should assist the Superintendents of Banks and regulate his operations (citing Central Bank of the Philippines, et al. v. CA, et al., 163 SCRA 482 ).
As regards Lucia’s contention that jurisdiction already attached when Civil Case No. IR-3128 was filed with, and jurisdiction obtained by, the RTC-Iriga prior to the filing of the liquidation case before the RTC-Makati, her stance fails to persuade this Court. In refuting this assertion, respondent PDIC cited the case of Lipana v. Development Bank of Rizal where it was held that the time of the filing of the complaint is immaterial.
A liquidation proceeding is commenced by the filing of a single petition by the Solicitor General with a court of competent jurisdiction entitled, “Petition for Assistance in the Liquidation of e.g., Pacific Banking Corporation.” All claims against the insolvent are required to be filed with the liquidation court. Although the claims are litigated in the same proceeding, the treatment is individual. Each claim is heard separately. And the Order issued relative to a particular claim applies only to said claim, leaving the other claims unaffected, as each claim is considered separate and distinct from the others.
It is clear, therefore, that the liquidation court has jurisdiction over all claims, including that of Lucia against the insolvent bank. As declared in Miranda v. Philippine Deposit Insurance Corporation, regular courts do not have jurisdiction over actions filed by claimants against an insolvent bank, unless there is a clear showing that the action taken by the BSP, through the Monetary Board, in the closure of financial institutions was in excess of jurisdiction, or with grave abuse of discretion. The same is not obtaining in this present case.
*Case Digest by Claudette Anne G. Sayson JD IV, S.Y. 2019-2020