Reglementary period in filing petition for certiorari; exceptions

As a general rule, a petition for certiorari must be filed strictly within 60 days from notice of judgment or from the order denying a motion for reconsideration.[1] This is in accordance with the amendment introduced by A.M. No. 07-7-12-SC where no provision for the filing of a motion for extension to file a petition for certiorari exists, unlike in the previous Section 4, Rule 65[2] of the Rules of Court which allowed the filing of such a motion but only for compelling reasons and in no case exceeding 15 days.[3] Under exceptional cases, however, the Supreme Court has held that the 60-day period may be extended subject to the court’s sound discretion.[4]

Eventually, in Labao v. Flores,[5] the Supreme Court laid down the following recognized exceptions to the strict observance of the 60-day reglementary period
(1) most persuasive and weighty reasons; 
(2) to relieve a litigant from an injustice not commensurate with his failure to comply with the prescribed procedure; 
(3) good faith of the defaulting party by immediately paying within a reasonable time from the time of the default; 
(4) the existence of special or compelling circumstances; 
(5) the merits of the case; 
(6) a cause not entirely attributable to the fault or negligence of the party favored by the suspension of the rules; 
(7) a lack of any showing that the review sought is merely frivolous and dilatory; 
(8) the other party will not be unjustly prejudiced thereby; 
(9) fraud, accident, mistake or excusable negligence without appellant’s fault; 
(10) peculiar legal and equitable circumstances attendant to each case; 
(11) in the name of substantial justice and fair play; 
(12) importance of the issues involved; and 
(13) exercise of sound discretion by the judge guided by all the attendant circumstances. 
Thus, there should be an effort on the part of the party invoking liberality to advance a reasonable or meritorious explanation for his/her failure to comply with the rules.[6]

[1] Laguna Metts Corp. v. CA, 611 Phil. 530, 537 (2009).

[2] Section 4, Rule 65 of the Rules of Court previously provides:
Sec. 4. When and where petition filed. – The petition shall be filed not later than sixty (60) days from notice of the judgment, order or resolution. In case a motion for reconsideration or new trial is timely filed, whether such motion is required or not, the sixty (60) day period shall be counted from notice of the denial of said motion.

The petition shall be filed in the Supreme Court or, if it relates to the acts or omissions of a lower court or of a corporation, board, officer or person, in the Regional Trial Court exercising jurisdiction over the territorial area as defined by the Supreme Court. It may also be filed in the Court of Appeals whether or not the same is in aid of its appellate jurisdiction, or in the Sandiganbayan if it is in aid of its appellate jurisdiction. If it involves the acts or omissions of a quasi-judicial agency, unless otherwise provided by law or these rules, the petition shall be filed in and cognizable only by the Court of Appeals.

No extension of time to file the petition shall be granted except for compelling reason and in no case exceeding fifteen (15) days. (Per A.M. No. 00-2-03-SC effective September 1, 2000.)

[3] Laguna Metts Corp. v. CA, 611 Phil. 530, 537 (2009).

[4] See Domdom v. Third & Fifth Divisions of the Sandiganbayan, 627 Phil. 341, 346-348 (2010).

[5] G.R. No. 187984, November 15, 2010.

[6] Id. at 732, cited in Thenamaris Philippines, Inc. v. CA, G.R. No. 191215, February 3, 2014.