When to use Rule 45 for questions of fact

As a general rule, under Rule 45, no questions of fact but only questions of law may be raised in a petition for review brought before the Supreme Court. Time and again, the Court has consistently declared that questions of facts are beyond the pale of a petition for review (National Power Corporation v. Court of Appeals, 479 Phil. 850, 865 (2009), citing Inland Trailways, Inc. v. Court of Appeals, 325 Phil. 457, 1996). Factual findings of the trial court, particularly when affirmed by the appellate courts, are generally binding on this Court.

But there are recognized exceptions to the rule that questions of fact may not be entertained by the Court in a petition for review, to wit:

(1)    When the factual findings of the Court of Appeals and the trial court are contradictory;

(2)    When the conclusion is a finding grounded entirely on speculation, surmises or conjectures;

(3)    When the inference made by the Court of Appeals from its findings of fact is manifestly mistaken, absurd or impossible;

(4)    When there is grave abuse of discretion in the appreciation of facts;

(5)    When the appellate court, in making its findings, went beyond the issues of the case, and such findings are contrary to the admissions of both appellant and appellee;

(6)    When the judgment of the Court of Appeals is premised on a misapprehension of facts;

(7)    When the Court of Appeals failed to notice certain relevant facts which, if properly considered, would justify a different conclusion;

(8)    When the findings of fact are themselves conflicting;

(9)    When the findings of fact are conclusions without citation of the specific evidence on which they are based; and

(10)    When the findings of fact of the Court of Appeals are premised on the absence of evidence but such findings are contradicted by the evidence on record.[1]

[1] Salcedo v. People, 400 Phil. 1302, 1308-1309, citing Fuentes v. Court of Appeals, 335 Phil. 1163 (1997); Castillo v. Court of Appeals, 329 Phil. 150 (1996); Solid Homes, Inc. v. Court of Appeals, 341 Phil. 261, (1997).

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