Disallowing correction of notice of appeal constitutes grave abuse of discretion

In this petition, petitioner contends that the notice of appeal in this case was clearly intended as a notice of appeal of petitioner, considering that in addition to the law office of Santiago, Jr., Vidad, Corpus and Associates, it bore the name of Atty. Jesus L. Lagrimas who had theretofore been petitioner's counsel and that the notice correctly gave the title and case number of the case and the date of the judgment. It was further pointed out that PNB was not a party to the case, and hence, the notice could not have been intended to be filed on behalf of the bank. x x x Given these facts, we hold that it was a grave abuse of discretion for respondent judge to disallow the correction of the notice and dismiss the appeal of petitioner. Respondent judge should have given petitioner's attorneys the benefit of the doubt and allowed them to file a corrected notice of appeal on behalf of petitioner. It is hardly necessary to state that the policy of the Court is to encourage decisions based on the merits rather than on dubious technicality which only contributes to the clogged dockets of courts. [G.R. No. 108574. November 19, 1996]