The only 'four-year' rule in civil procedure

Pursuant to the provisions of section 5 (5) of Article VIII of the Constitution, the Supreme Court has adopted and promulgated the Rules of Court (effective July 1, 1997) concerning the protection and enforcement of constitutional rights, pleading, practice and procedure in all courts, the admission to the practice of law, the Integrated Bar, and legal assistance to the underprivileged. (Per Resolution of the Supreme Court in Bar Matter No. 803 Adopted in Baguio City on April 8, 1997)

The following provisions are under Rule 47.

Section 1. Coverage. — This Rule shall govern the annulment by the Court of Appeals of judgments or final orders and resolutions in civil actions of Regional Trial Courts for which the ordinary remedies of new trial, appeal, petition for relief or other appropriate remedies are no longer available through no fault of the petitioner.

Section 2. Grounds for annulment. — The annulment may be based only on the grounds of extrinsic fraud and lack of jurisdiction.

Extrinsic fraud shall not be a valid ground if it was availed of, or could have been availed of, in a motion for new trial or petition for relief.

Section 3. Period for filing action. — If based on extrinsic fraud, the action must be filed within four (4) years from its discovery; and if based on lack of jurisdiction, before it is barred by laches or estoppel. (Rule 47 of the Rules of Court on Annulment of Judgments of Final Orders and Resolutions)