G.R. No. 192191. July 31, 2017


The Court resolves the instant petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court filed by petitioner E. Ganzon, Inc. (EGI), which assails the Resolutions dated December 9, 2009 and April 27, 2010 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 111517.

On October 25, 2001, EGI filed a complaint for estafa and/or other deceits against respondents Jeronimo U. Kilayko, Lorenzo V. Tan, Virgilio S. Jacinto, Enrique L. Gana, Jaime W. Jacinto, and Emily R. Lazaro, who were then corporate officers of the United Coconut Planters Bank (UCPB).

An information was filed before the Metropolitan Trial Court (MeTC) of Makati City, charging respondents with the aforementioned crime. The case was docketed as Criminal Case No. 312541.

On May 21, 2004, EGI filed a complaint for Annulment of Foreclosure, Annulment of Dacion en Pago, Rescission/ Amendment/ Annulment of Contract, Collection, Application for the Issuance of the Writs of Replevin and Attachment, and Damages, which was docketed as Civil Case No. 04-0318-CFM before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Pasay City. Said case was filed against UCPB itself, the notary public who conducted foreclosure proceedings involving properties belonging to EGI, and the Registry of Deeds of Pasay City.

Respondents then filed a motion to disqualify EGI's private prosecutor from intervening in the prosecution of the criminal case. They argued that EGI's civil case is based on the same cause of action as the present criminal case, i.e., the alleged fraud committed by the private respondents as then officers of UCPB in supposedly overcharging EGI for its loan obligations. As a separate civil action was already filed, the action for recovery of civil liability was no longer impliedly instituted with the present criminal case. Thus, respondents claimed that EGI can no longer intervene in the criminal case.

In an Order dated May 12, 2009, the MeTC granted the above motion. The prosecution moved for a reconsideration of the order, but the same was denied in the MeTC Order dated July 28, 2009.

EGI challenged the orders of the MeTC via a petition for certiorari filed before the Court of Appeals.

In the assailed Resolution dated December 9, 2009, the Court of Appeals dismissed the petition for being violative of the rule on hierarchy of courts. The appellate court held that petitions for the issuance of a writ of certiorari against first level courts should be filed before the RTC.

EGI filed a motion for reconsideration, but the Court of Appeals denied the same in the assailed Resolution dated April 27, 2010.

Undaunted, EGI filed the instant petition. It prays for the reversal of the rulings of the MeTC and the Court of Appeals and it entreats this Court to rule that the private prosecutor "still has standing to prosecute Criminal Case No. 312541" that was pending before the MeTC.

In the Resolution dated July 13, 2016, the parties were required to inform the Court of subsequent developments pertinent to the case, which may be of help in the immediate disposition of the case or may have rendered the case moot and academic.

Both parties manifested to the Court that in the MeTC Decision dated November 11, 2011 in Criminal Case No. 312541, respondents had been acquitted of the charge against them for failure of the prosecution to prove their guilt beyond reasonable doubt.

In light of this supervening event, the present petition has become moot and academic.

Verily, an issue is said to have become moot and academic when it ceases to present a justiciable controversy so that a declaration on the issue would be of no practical use or value.[1]

Moreover, in Go v. Tabanda,[2] the Court declared that:
It is axiomatic in this jurisdiction that where a decision on the merits in a case is rendered and the same has become final and executory, the action on procedural matters or issues is thereby rendered moot and academic. Therefore, an adjudication of the procedural issue presented for resolution would be a futile exercise in exegesis[.]

The court will neither determine an abstract proposition nor express an opinion in a case in which no practical relief may be granted in view of supervening events [.] (Citations omitted.)
In this case, there is no more practical value for this Court to determine, much less declare, whether the private prosecutor indeed has standing to prosecute Criminal Case No. 312541. The respondents' acquittal in said criminal case is a judgment that is final and no longer reviewable. There is no more criminal proceeding to speak of in which the private prosecutor may still appear and participate.

WHEREFORE, the petition is DISMISSED for having become moot and academic.


[1] King v. Court of Appeals, 514 Phil. 465, 470 (2005).

[2] 272-A Phil. 122, 126 (1991).