G.R. No. 232050. August 30, 2017

FIRST DIVISION: [G.R. No. 232050, August 30, 2017]  PUREZA B. CARINGAL V. SMART COMMUNICATIONS, INC. (CALAMBA BRANCH) AND SHIRLEY N. DREYFUS.

The Court resolved to DENY the present Petition for Review on Certiorari for lack of explanation why service of the petition for review on certiorari sent to the Court of Appeals and adverse party was not done personally and because the assailed December 22, 2016 Decision of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-G.R. SP No. 141623 has attained finality and thus cannot be reviewed or modified anymore.

The Court agrees with the CA that its Decision has become final because petitioner's motion for reconsideration was filed out of time. Petitioner received a copy of the assailed CA Decision on December 29, 2016. On January 13, 2017 or on the last day of the fifteen-day (15) reglementary period, petitioner filed thru LBC Express Courier, San Pablo City Branch, her motion for reconsideration; the CA received the same on January 16, 2017. On June 1, 2017, the CA merely noted the motion for reconsideration for having been filed three days late.

The established rule is that the date of delivery of pleadings to a private letter-forwarding agency is not to be considered as the date of filing thereof in court, and that in such cases, the date of actual receipt by the court, and not the date of delivery to the private carrier, is deemed the date of filing of that pleading.[1] Therefore, the date of actual receipt by the CA of the motion for reconsideration, and not the date of delivery to LBC, is deemed to be the date of the filing of the motion. Since the CA received the motion on January 16, 2017, the motion was clearly filed out of time. Petitioner had thus lost the right to appeal the Decision of the CA.

Petitioner is mistaken in making as an excuse the declaration of January 13, 2016, the last day for the filing of the motion for reconsideration, as a special non-working holiday in the City of San Pablo by Presidential Proclamation No. 127. She averred that since the declaration resulted in the closure of all post offices in San Pablo City, her motion for reconsideration, which was received by the CA on Monday, January 16, 2017 (the next working day), was seasonably filed.

Based on Section 1, Rule 22 of the Rules of Court, where the last day of the period for doing any act required by law falls on a Saturday, a Sunday, or a legal holiday in the place where the court sits, the time shall not run until the next working day. In this case, the declaration of the special non-working holiday was not nationwide but only in San Pablo City. Hence, the aforementioned rule will not apply.

ACCORDINGLY, the Court resolved to DENY the Petition for Review on Certiorari. (CJ Sereno on leave; J. De Castro on official leave; J. Del Castillo designated Acting Chairperson of the First Division per S.O. No. 2476 dated August 29, 2017).

SO ORDERED." TIJAM, J., no part, GESMUNDO, J., designated additional member per raffle dated August 23, 2017.

[1] Charter Chemical and Coating Corporation v. Tan and Sonsing, 606 Phil. 75, 80-81 (2009).

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