Failure to transmit appeal; appellant's duty to prosecute

Under the Rules of Court (Section 3 of Rule 44), if the original record, or the record on appeal, is not transmitted to the CA within 30 days after the perfection of the appeal, either party may file a motion with the trial court for the transmittal of that record. It is an established rule that appellants have the duty to prosecute their appeal with reasonable diligence.

In the recent case Spouses Lee v. Land Bank of the Philippines (G.R. No. 218867), it was held that even if the prescribed fees have already been paid, the appellant still has the duty to exercise diligence and prudence in ascertaining that the records of the case have been transmitted to the CA and that the appeal has been given due course. Appellants who fail to exercise that duty shall be considered to have abandoned their appeal and to have consequently failed to prosecute it.

In the case of PNCC v. Lopez (G.R. No. 228321), it was held beyond debate that PNCC failed to file a motion for the transmittal of the records to the CA. In fact, petitioner waited for almost eight years for respondent Lopez to file a Motion for Reconstitution before the former acted again on its appeal.
The destruction of the records caused by the fire in the City Hall of Muntinlupa cannot be used as a justification, because the destruction occurred three years after the issuance of the Decision of the RTC. Definitely, the lapse of even a year without any word from the appellate court should have alerted PNCC to the possibility that its appeal might not have been transmitted. The PNCC had more than sufficient time to see to it that the records had been transmitted; however, it chose to remain passive.

In sum, petitioner PNCC failed to exercise due diligence in prosecuting its appeal, signifying its abandonment thereof. (G.R. No. 228321, August 14, 2017)