G.R. No. 209143. January 20, 2014

SECOND DIVISION [ G.R. No. 209143, January 20, 2014 ] LARA'S GIFTS AND DECORS, INC. AND/OR SPOUSES LUIS RAYMUND F. VILLAFUERTE, JR. AND LARA MARIA R. VILLAFUERTE V. BANCO DE ORO UNIVERSAL BANK, INC. G.R. No. 209143 (Lara's Gifts and Decors, Inc. and/or Spouses Luis Raymund[1] F. Villafuerte, Jr. and Lara Maria R. Villafuerte v. Banco de Oro Universal Bank, Inc.).

After a judicious perusal of the records, the Court resolves to DENY the instant petition and AFFIRM the March 5, 2013 Decision[2] and September 10, 2013 Resolution[3] of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-G.R. SP No. 121954 for failure of Lara's Gifts and Decors, Inc. and/or Spouses Luis Raymund F. Villafuerte, Jr. and Lara Maria R. Villafuerte (petitioners) to show that the CA committed any reversible error in sustaining the Order declaring them in default and in granting the application for the issuance of a writ of preliminary attachment in favor of Banco de Oro Universal Bank, Inc. (respondent).

Rules of procedure must be faithfully complied with and should not be discarded with the mere expediency of claiming substantial merit, and rules prescribing the time for doing specific acts or for taking certain proceedings are considered absolutely indispensable to prevent needless delays and to promptly discharge judicial business.[4] In this case, petitioners failed to file any responsive pleading before the lapse of the non-extendible 15-day additional time granted to them. Hence, as correctly ruled by the CA, they were properly declared in default. Moreover, a special civil action for certiorari is not the proper remedy to question an Order of Default, there being the adequate remedy of first filing a motion to set aside the Order of Default.[5]

Likewise, the writ of preliminary attachment issued in favor of respondent was proper, having been granted after the conduct of hearings and reception of evidence in support thereof, and in view of the factual finding of the trial court that petitioners were guilty of fraud in the performance of their obligations, which can no longer be disturbed.


[1] Referred to as "Raymond" in some parts of the records.[2] Rollo, pp. 39-51. Penned by Associate Justice Normandie B. Pizarro, with Associate Justices Florito S. Macalino and Manuel M. Barrios, concurring.
[3] Id. at 72-73.
[4] Bolos v. Bolos, G.R. No. 186400, October 20, 2010, 634 SCRA 429, 437-438. (Citations omitted)
[5] Section 3(b), Rule 9 of the Rules of Court provides:
SEC. 3. Default; declaration of.-xxx
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(b) Relief from order of default.- A party declared in default may at any time after notice thereof and before judgment file a motion under oath to set aside the order of default upon proper showing that his failure to answer was due to fraud, accident, mistake or excusable negligence and that he has meritorious defense. In such case, the order of default may be set aside on such terms and conditions as the judge may impose in the interest of justice.
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