CTA's jurisdiction over local tax case

It is the Court of Tax Appeals (CTA) which has the power to rule on a Petition for Certiorari assailing an interlocutory order of the Regional Trial Court relating to a local tax case.Jurisdiction over the subject matter is required for a court to act on any controversy. It is conferred by law and not by the consent or waiver upon a court. As such, if a court lacks jurisdiction over an action, it cannot decide the case on the merits and must dismiss it.[1]

With respect to the CTA, its jurisdiction was expanded and its rank elevated to that of a collegiate court with special jurisdiction by virtue of Republic Act No. 9282.[2] This expanded jurisdiction of the CTA includes its exclusive appellate jurisdiction to review by appeal the decisions, orders or resolutions of the RTC in local tax cases originally decided or resolved by the RTC in the exercise of its original or appellate jurisdiction.[3]

In the recent case of City of Manila v. Grecia-Cuerdo,[4] the Supreme Court ruled that the CTA likewise has the jurisdiction to issue writs of certiorari or to determine whether there has been grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of the RTC in issuing an interlocutory order in cases falling within the CTA's exclusive appellate jurisdiction, thus:

The foregoing notwithstanding, while there is no express grant of such power, with respect to the CTA, Section 1, Article VIII of the 1987 Constitution provides, nonetheless, that judicial power shall be vested in one Supreme Court and in such lower courts as may be established by law and that judicial power includes the duty of the courts of justice to settle actual controversies involving rights which are legally demandable and enforceable, and to determine whether or not there has been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or instrumentality of the Government.

On the strength of the above constitutional provisions, it can be fairly interpreted that the power of the CTA includes that of determining whether or not there has been grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of the RTC in issuing an interlocutory order in cases falling within the exclusive appellate jurisdiction of the tax court. It, thus, follows that the CTA, by constitutional mandate, is vested with jurisdiction to issue writs of certiorari in these cases.[5] (Citations omitted and emphasis supplied)

Further, the High Court in City of Manila, citing J. M. Tuason & Co., Inc. v. Jaramillo,[6] De Jesus v. Court of Appeals,[7] as well as the more recent cases of Galang, Jr. v. Hon. Judge Geronimo[8] and Bulilis v. Nuez[9] held that:

Consistent with the above pronouncement, [the High] Court has held as early as the case of J.M. Tuason & Co., Inc. v. Jaramillo, et al. that 'if a case may be appealed to a particular court or judicial tribunal or body, then said court or judicial tribunal or body has jurisdiction to issue the extraordinary writ of certiorari, in aid of its appellate jurisdiction.' This principle was affirmed in De Jesus v. Court of Appeals, where the Court stated that 'a court may issue a writ of certiorari in aid of its appellate jurisdiction if said court has jurisdiction to review, by appeal or writ of error, the final orders or decisions of the lower court.' The rulings in J.M. Tuason and De Jesus were reiterated in the more recent cases of Galang, Jr. v. Geronimo and Bulilis v. Nuez.

Furthermore, Section 6, Rule 135 of the present Rules of Court provides that when by law, jurisdiction is conferred on a court or judicial officer, all auxiliary writs, processes and other means necessary to carry it into effect may be employed by such court or officer.[33] (Citations omitted)


[1] Nippon Express (Philippines) Corporation v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue, G.R. No. 185666, February 4, 2015.

[2] An Act Expanding the Jurisdiction of the Court of Tax Appeals (CTA), Elevating Its Rank to the Level of a Collegiate Court with Special Jurisdiction and Enlarging Its Membership, Amending for the Purpose Certain Sections of Republic Act No. 1125, As Amended, Otherwise Known as the Law Creating the Court of Tax Appeals, and for Other Purposes.

[3] REPUBLIC ACT NO. 9282, Sec. 7(3).

[4] G.R.No. 175723, Februarys 2014.

[5] Id. at 202.

[6] 118 Phil. 1022 (1963).

[7] G.R. No. 101630, August 24, 1992.

[8] 659 Phil. 65 (2011).

[9] 670 Phil. 665 (2011).

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