Res judicata DOESN'T arise from dismissal based on technicality

Next we proceed to determine the issue of whether or not the petition of LBP before the Court of Appeals is barred by the disposition of the Petition for Review filed by the DAR in CA-G.R. SP No. 74879 on the ground of res judicata. The following are the elements of res judicata:

(a) The former judgment must be final;
(b) The court which rendered judgment must have jurisdiction over the parties and the subject matter;
(c) It must be a judgment on the merits; and
(d) There must be between the first and second actions identity of parties, subject matter, and cause of action.
In this case, the third element of res judicata, i.e., that the former judgment must be on the merits, is not present. It must be remembered that the dismissal of CA-G.R. SP No. 74879 was based on technicality, that is, for failure on the part of the DAR to state material dates required by the rules. Having been dismissed based on a technicality and not on the merits, the principle of res judicata does not apply. Res judicata applies only where judgment on the merits is finally rendered on the first. (G.R. No. 164195; December 19, 2007)