Period of appeal to the SC

Section 3(e), Rule 122 of the Rules of Criminal Procedure, in relation to Section 2, Rule 45 of the Rules of Civil Procedure, provides that a losing party may file a petition for review on certiorari within 15 days from receipt of the notice of the decision appealed from or of the denial of the party's motion for reconsideration.

In Mustera v. People (G.R. No. 233373. November 20, 2017), Mustera received the order denying her motion for reconsideration on August 11, 2017, thus, she had until August 26, 2017 to file a verified petition for review on certiorari. As the due date fell on a Saturday, Mustera had until the immediate following Monday or August 28, 2017 to file her petition. However, instead of filing a petition, Mustera asked for a 30-day extension to file a petition. Thus, reckoned from the original period, Mustera had until September 25, 2017 within which to file a petition. As the instant petition was filed on September 26, 2017, the petition, therefore, was filed out of time.

The fact that the petition was filed one (1) day after the due date is of no moment. It is a well-entrenched doctrine that the right to appeal is a statutory right and the one who seeks to avail that right must comply with the rules, as the requirement for perfecting an appeal within the reglementary period is not only mandatory but jurisdictional. In several cases, the Court has relaxed the application of the rules in the interest of substantial justice. However, the exception does not obtain in the present case. Mustera, despite the 30-day extension granted by the Court, was remiss in her duty and still failed to file the petition on time.

[1] Section 3(e), Rule 122, Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure; Section 2, Rule 45, Rules of Court.
[2] De la Cruz v. Maersk Filipinos Crewing, Inc., et al., G.R. No. 172038, April 14, 2008.
[3] De Leon v. Hercules Agro Industrial Corporation, et al., G.R. No. 183239, June 2, 2014.
[4] Franco v. People, G.R. No. 171328, February 16, 2011.