When can SC review facts?

A Rule 45 petition is a mode of appeal. As such, it is a continuation of the case subject of the appeal. It is a component of the appeal process, part of the trial which resulted in the rendition of the judgment complained of. The exercise of the High Court's appellate jurisdiction refers to a process which is but a continuation of the original suit.[1]The general rule is only questions of law may be raised in a petition under Rule 45. While the Supreme Court is not a trier of facts and its role is to decide cases based on the findings of fact before it,[2] factual issues may be determined if any of the following situations is present:
  1. the conclusion is a finding grounded entirely on speculation, surmise and conjecture;
  2. the inference made is manifestly mistaken;
  3. there is grave abuse of discretion;
  4. the judgment is based on a misapprehension of facts;
  5. the findings of fact are conflicting;
  6. the collegial appellate courts went beyond the issues of the case, and their findings are contrary to the admissions of both appellant and appellee;
  7. the findings of fact of the collegial appellate courts are contrary to those of the trial court;
  8. said findings of fact are conclusions without citation of specific evidence on which they are based;
  9. the facts set forth in the petition as well as in the petitioner's main and reply briefs are not disputed by the respondents;
  10. the findings of fact of the collegial appellate courts are premised on the supposed evidence, but are contradicted by the evidence on record; and
  11. all other similar and exceptional cases warranting a review of findings of fact.[3]
Indeed, although not a trier of facts, the Supreme Court may analyze, review, and even reverse findings of facts if there is compelling reason to do so.[4] When the trial court overlooked, misunderstood or misapplied some facts or circumstances of weight and substance which can affect the result of the case, the Court is duty-bound to correct this palpable error for the right to liberty, which stands second only to life in the hierarchy of constitutional rights, cannot be lightly taken away.[5]

[1] Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) v. City Advertising Ventures Corporation, G.R. No. 182944, November 9, 2016, 808 SCRA 53, 65.
[2] Section 2, Rule 3, A.M. No. 10-4-20-SC.
[3] Section 4, Rule 3, A.M. No. 10-4-20-SC.
[4] Digan v. Malines, G.R. No. 183004, December 6, 2017.
[5] Rimando v. People, G.R. No. 229701, November 29, 2017.


[1] Only questions of law via Rule 45 petition; exceptions.
[2] Credibility of witnesses; trial courts - Project Jurisprudence.
[3] GIOS-SAMAR v. DOTC (G.R. No. 217158, March 12, 2019).
[4] Dimagan v. Dacworks (G.R. No. 191053. November 28, 2011).
[5] Valiao v. Republic (G.R. No. 170757; November 28, 2011).
[6] Reconveyance based on void contract; prescription.