Public Interest, Expeditious Justice as Basis NOT to Remand Case

Having disposed of the procedural issues involved herein, we shall now proceed to resolve the substantive questions in this case.

This Court is aware that in the instant case, since LBP’s appeal before the Court of Appeals is to be given due course, the normal procedure is for us to remand the case to the appellate court for further proceedings. However, when there is enough basis on which a proper evaluation of the merits of petitioner’s case may be had, the Court may dispense with the time-consuming procedure in order to prevent further delays in the disposition of the case. Indeed, remand of the case to the lower court for further reception of evidence is not conducive to the speedy administration of justice and it becomes unnecessary where the Court is in a position to resolve the dispute based on the records before it. On many occasions, the Court, in the public interest and expeditious administration of justice, has resolved action on the merits, instead of remanding them for further proceedings, as where the ends of justice would not be subserved by the remand of the case or where the trial court had already received all the evidence of the parties. Briefly stated, a remand of the instant case to the Court of Appeals would serve no purpose save to further delay its disposition contrary to the spirit of fair play.
It is already an accepted rule of procedure for us to strive to settle the entire controversy in a single proceeding, leaving no root or branch to bear the seeds of future litigation. If, based on the records, the pleadings, and other evidence, the dispute can be resolved by us, we will do so to serve the ends of justice instead of remanding the case to the lower court for further proceedings.

The complete records of this case have already been elevated to this Court. The pleadings on record will fully support this adjudication. We have painstakingly gone over all of LBP’s representations and arguments, and we found that the material and decisive facts are hardly disputable. From another perspective, due consideration should also be given to AFC and HPI for having voluntarily offered to sell their properties, a clear indication of AFC and HPI’s willingness to participate in the agrarian reform program of the government. In turn, they must be given compensation that is just and timely. Records indicate that the case has been dragging on for more than ten years now without the landowners having been fully compensated. We cannot countenance such a glaring indifference to AFC and HPI’s rights as land owners – they should be afforded all that is just and due them. To be sure, they deserve nothing less than full compensation to give effect to their substantive rights. (G.R. No. 164195; December 19, 2007)