Sambillon v. Gaspardis (G.R. No. 227649. February 15, 2017)


Records show that on August 12, 2016, the Court of Appeals rendered a Resolution, to wit:
Considering the report of the Civil Docket Section that no appellant's brief has been filed within the extended period granted per Resolution of April 18, 2016, We DEEM the appeal as ABANDONED and DISMISSED pursuant to Sec. 1 (e), Rule 50 of the Rules of Court.
The records further show that petitioner moved for reconsideration to the afore-quoted Resolution with Motion to Admit Attached Appellant's Brief but said motion was denied by the Court of Appeals per its Resolution dated October 19, 2016. The Court of Appeals found the explanation of petitioner's counsel that the intended appellant's brief, though already prepared as early as June 22, 2016, was not filed because it was inadvertently inserted in petitioner's folder for a different case, not worthy of credence and without evidentiary support.

ISSUE: Should the procedural rules be relaxed in favor of petitioner?

HELD: Petition DENIED. ACCORDINGLY, the Court resolved to DENY the instant Petition for Review on Certiorari.Petitioner and her counsel do not deny their procedural infraction; but they ask this Court's indulgence to relax the rules and seek liberality in their application. There is no rule more settled than the principle that an appeal, whether in the form of an ordinary appeal or an appeal by certiorari, not being a natural right but a mere statutory privilege, must be perfected according to the mode and within the period prescribed by the law and the rules. The party who seeks to avail herself of the privilege must comply with the requirements of the rule; failing to do so, as in this case, results in the loss of the right to appeal. Procedural rules are not to be disdained as mere technicalities, nor ignored to suit the convenience of a party. While procedural irregularities are on occasion set aside in the interest of justice, it must be stressed that the procedures regulating appeals as laid down in the Rules of Court must be followed because strict compliance with them is indispensable for the orderly and speedy disposition of justice.

Indeed, procedural rules may be relaxed in the interest of justice. However, the force and effect of procedural rules such as those that prescribe the period and manner by which appeal should be perfected, should not be undermined without the most compelling of reasons. There is no such compelling reason to warrant a liberal application of the rules. The cause of the delay in the filing of the appellant's brief, as explained by petitioner's counsel, was not due to gross negligence.

[READ:] Estrellado-Mainar vs. People, G.R. No. 184320, July 29, 2015, 764 SCRA 90, 96.