One day late pe­ti­tion

The right to ap­peal is nei­ther a nat­u­ral right nor is it a com­po­nent of due process. It is a mere statu­tory priv­i­lege, and may be ex­er­cised only in the man­ner and in ac­cor­dance with the pro­vi­sions of law.

Sun.Star Cebu - - BUSINESS - DOMINADOR ALMIRANTE da_almi­rante@ya­hoo.com

Re­spon­dent Robert S. El­vas filed a pe­ti­tion for re­view from the de­ci­sion of the Court of Ap­peals (CA). The 30th day of the ad­di­tional pe­riod granted him was on July 5, 2010. He failed to file his pe­ti­tion. In­stead, he filed it on July 6, 2010.

In jus­ti­fy­ing the de­lay, re­spon­dent claimed that he was able to ob­tain funds for print­ing and pho­tograph­ing of the pe­ti­tion and its at­tach­ments only on the last day of fil­ing the pe­ti­tion, or on July 5, 2010. By then, it was too late to com­plete the pho­to­copy­ing and col­la­tion of doc­u­ments for sub­mis­sion on the same day as in fact, he was able to per­son­ally de­liver the com­pleted pe­ti­tion be­fore the Supreme Court only on the fol­low­ing day.

Does this jus­ti­fi­ca­tion find merit?

Rul­ing: No.

The right to ap­peal is nei­ther a nat­u­ral right nor is it a com­po­nent of due process. It is a mere statu­tory priv­i­lege, and may be ex­er­cised only in the man­ner and in ac­cor­dance with the pro­vi­sions of law.

El­vas calls for our com­pas­sion to over­look the one day de­lay in the fil­ing of his pe­ti­tion; how­ever, we have ruled time and again that our kind con­sid­er­a­tion is not for the un­de­serv­ing. While it is within our power to re­lax the rule on time­li­ness of ap­peals, the cir­cum­stances ob­tain­ing in this case do not war­rant our lib­er­al­ity.

xxx

In ad­di­tion, the fact that the de­lay in the fil­ing of the pe­ti­tion was only one day is not a le­gal jus­ti­fi­ca­tion for non- com­pli­ance with the rule re­quir­ing that it be filed within the re­gle­men­tary pe­riod. Thus, in the re­cent case of Visayan Elec­tric Com­pany Em­ploy­ees Union-ALU-TUCP v. Visayan Elec­tric Corn­pany, Inc., G.R. No. 205575, July 22, 2015, 763 SCRA 566, 578, we af­firmed the CA’s de­nial of a pe­ti­tion for cer­tio­rari filed 61 days in­stead of 60 days from no­tice of the judg­ment or res­o­lu­tion, viz: When the law fixes thirty days xx x, we can­not take it to mean also thirty- one days. If that dead­line could be stretched to thirty- one days in one case, what would pre­vent its be­ing fur­ther stretched to thirty-two days in another case, and so on, step by step, un­til the orig­i­nal line is for­got­ten or buried in the grow­ing con­fu­sion re­sult­ing from the al­ter­ations? That is in­tol­er­a­ble. We can­not fix a pe­riod with the solem­nity of a statute and dis­re­gard it like a joke. If law is founded on rea­son, whim and fancy should play no part in its ap­pli­ca­tion.

Con­se­quently, we deny El­vas’ pe­ti­tion for be­ing filed be­yond the re­gle­men­tary pe­riod ( Jardeleza, J., SC Third Di­vi­sion, Maria Vic­to­ria Tolentino-Pri­eto vs. Robert S. El­vas, G.R. No. 192369, Robert S. El­vas, vs. Inns­bruck In­ter­na­tional Trad­ing and/or Marivic Tolentino (A.K. A. Maria Vic­to­ria Tolentino-Pri­eto), G.R. No. 193685, Novem­ber 09, 2016).

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