When is 2nd motion to reconsider allowed in the SC?

As a rule, a second motion for reconsideration is a prohibited pleading.[1]

However, when a motion for leave to file and admit a second motion for reconsideration is granted by the Supreme Court, the filing of the second motion for reconsideration is allowed and, in such case, said motion is no longer a prohibited pleading.[2]

Section 3, Rule 15 of A.M. No. 10-4-20-SC (Internal Rules of the Supreme Court) set forth the requirements that must be complied with for the High Court to entertain a second motion for reconsideration, to wit:
1. There is a vote of at. least two-thirds of the actual membership of the Court en banc.
2. The reconsideration is "in the higher interest of justice," i.e., when the assailed decision is not only legally erroneous but is likewise patently unjust and potentially capable of causing unwarranted and irremediable injury or damage to the parties.
3. The ruling sought to be reconsidered is not yet final by operation of law or by the Court's declaration.[3]
4. In the Division, a vote of three Members shall be required to elevate a second motion for reconsideration to the Court en banc.[4]
In several cases where a second motion for reconsideration was admitted, the Supreme Court has even gone to the extent of granting the relief sought by reversing and setting aside the assailed decision or resolution.[5] Certainly, the Court has the discretion to reverse itself upon the filing of a motion for reconsideration.[6]The inherent power of a court to amend and control its processes and orders so as to make them conformable to law and justice[7]includes the right to reverse itself, especially when in its honest opinion it has committed an error or mistake in judgment, and that to adhere to its decision will cause injustice to a party litigant.[8] Every court has the power and the corresponding duty to review, amend or reverse its findings and conclusions whenever its attention is seasonably called to any error or defect that it may have committed.[9]

[1] Section 2, Rule 52 of the Rules states:

SEC. 2. Second motion for reconsideration. -No second motion for reconsideration of a judgment or final resolution by the same party shall be entertained.

[2] See League of Cities of the Phils., et al. v. Commission on Elections, et al., 658 Phil. 275 (2011).

[3] A decision or resolution of the Court may be deemed final after the lapse of fifteen days from receipt by the parties of a copy of the same while the date of entry of judgment shall be the date such decision or resolution becomes executory, unless the Court directs its immediate execution. (Section 1 Rule 15 and Section 1, Rule 16, A.M. No. 10-4-20-SC).

[4] SEC. 3. Second motion for reconsideration. - The Court shall not entertain a second motion for reconsideration, and any exception to this rule can only be granted in the higher interest of justice by the Court en banc upon a vote of at least two-thirds of its actual membership. There is reconsideration "in the higher interest of justice" when the assailed decision is not only legally erroneous, but is likewise patently unjust and potentially capable of causing unwarranted and irremediable injury or damage to the parties. A second motion for reconsideration can only be entertained before the ruling sought to be reconsidered becomes final by operation of law or by the Court's declaration.

In the Division, a vote of three Members shall be required to elevate a second motion for reconsideration to the Court en banc.

[5] See Navarro, et al. v. Exec. Secretary Ermita, et al., 663 Phil. 546 (2011); League of Cities of the Phils., et al. v. Commission on Elections, et al., supra note 9; People v. Romualdez, et al., 605 Phil. 194 (2009); International Container Terminal Services, Inc. v. FGU Insurance Corp., et al., 604 Phil. 380 (2009); Ocampo v. Judge Bibat-Palamos, 546 Phil. 307 (2007); Sta. Rosa Really Development Corp. v. Amante, 493 Phil. 570 (2005); Galman v. Sandiganbayan, 228 Phil. 42 (1986); and Republic of the Philippine v. Keng, 145 Phil. 483 (1970).

[6] See Republic of the Philippines v. Yang Chi Hao, 617 Phil. 422, 431 (2009).

[7] Section 5, Rule 135, RULES OF COURT.

[8] Astraquillo, et al. v. Javier, et al., 121 Phil. 138, 144 (1965). See also Suplico v. Lokin, Jr., G.R. No. 199520, August 3, 2016 (Notice); Tegimenta Chemical Phils., et al. v. Oco, 705 Phil. 57, 68 (2013); D.B.T. Mar-Bay Construction, Inc. v. Panes, et al., 612 Phil. 93, 108-109 (2009); Republic of the Philippines v. Judge Gingoyon, 514 Phil. 657, 713 (2005); and Tocao v. Court of Appeals, 417 Phil. 794, 795(2001)

[9] Suplico v. Lokin, Jr., supra, and Herce, Jr. v. Municipality of Cabuyao, Laguna, 541 Phil. 318, 322 (2007).

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