Jurisdiction over action for enforcement of barangay amicable settlement

MTC has exclusive jurisdiction over action for enforcement of an amicable settlement executed before the Barangay regardless of amount involved pursuant to Sec. 417 of the LGC.

The Court also finds that the CA correctly upheld the MCTC's jurisdiction to enforce any settlement or arbitration .award issued by the Lupon.

We again draw attention to the provision of Section 417 of the Local Government Code that after the lapse of the six (6) month period from the date of the settlement, the agreement may be enforced by action in the appropriate city or municipal court.
The law, as written, unequivocally speaks of the "appropriate city or municipal court" as the forum for the execution of the settlement or arbitration award issued by the Lupon. Notably, in expressly conferring authority over these courts, Section 417 made no distinction with respect to the amount involved or the nature of the issue involved. Thus, there can be no question that the law's intendment was to grant jurisdiction over the enforcement of settlement/arbitration awards to the city or municipal courts regardless of the amount. A basic principle of interpretation is that words must be given their literal meaning and applied without attempted interpretation where the words of a statute are clear,' plain and free from ambiguity. (Sebastian v. Lagmay; April, 22 2015)

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