SC clarifies difference between FINAL orders, interlocutory orders

Concerning respondents' contention that the challenged orders are now immutable, having become final and executory for failure of the prosecution to take an appeal therefrom, it suffices to advert to the familiar and uniformly applied axiom that only final orders - i.e., those that finally dispose of a case, leaving nothing more to be done by the court respecting the merits of a case - can become final and executory- in the sense of becoming unalterable through an appeal or review proceeding. Interlocutory orders, on the other hand - i.e., those which resolve incidental motions or collateral matters but do not put an end to the case - never become final in the sense of becoming unchangeable and impervious to impugnation after expiration of the period prescribed for taking an appeal from a final judgment. [G.R. No. 123263. December 16, 1996]