HAULED OFF AND DUMPED AWAY

“Justice Oliver Holmes was the master in the art of packing within a sentence the phosphorescence of a page,” says Benjamin Cardozo, an equally eminent American magistrate who sat in the US Supreme Court in the 1930s. Holmes, as is known to all English-language legal systems, enriched the legal literature with his profound views clothed in a language unrivalled during his time. A Holmes sampler reads: “Legal obligations that exist but cannot be enforced are like ghosts that are seen in the law but are elusive to the grasps.” Cardozo, to whom (many observers consider) Holmes’ torch was passed, himself was a great contributor. In one of his works, he said that “form is not added to substance as a mere protruberant adornment,” adding that “the two are fused into a unity.” He said it best in his further language: “The strength that is born of form and the feebleness that is born of the lack of form are in truth qualities of the substance.”

In the years that I have been in law practice, I have read hundreds, if not thousands, of pleadings (these are the legal papers prepared by lawyers) filed by lawyers in court espousing their clients’ causes, containing arguments that their clients should win over those of their adversaries. Almost all these pleadings are true to their form: they are limited only to legal arguments—arguments that bear great relevance to the issues that are up for decision or resolution by courts where the cases are pending.  Laws and settled cases (decided by the Supreme Court that have previously interpreted those laws) are cited in support of one litigant’s side. In these arguments, the reader is told by the advocate of how the case has sprung into existence and of how it should it be disposed of in accordance with what the law prescribes. And so the judge eventually decides. The winning litigant gets his award, the lawyer gets his fees. And the case ends.

What happens to the court pleadings?

They end up as pure worthless papers. Heaps of bound papers—thick folders containing all the records of cases—are put in the large built-in or wall-mounted cabinets of the court’s staffroom there to age and gather dusts and to become yellowed over the years.  I think, after 5 years or so, these folders are taken out for eventual disposal as garbage.  In some local halls of justice, these folders are made to rot in the stairways or corridors (for lack of space in the court’s staffroom), there to be seen and ignored by the daily lawyers and court litigants passing by. Once the required period of time has arrived when these folders are legally deemed “of no value”, they are thrown away.

In every law practitioner’s heart, he well knows the great amount of time and attention he spends in preparing the pleading he files in court. He has to perfect the art of transcribing what his client has narrated to him, the art of researching the applicable law and previous court decisions laid down by the highest court, and more importantly, the art of eventually producing into a fine piece of written argumentation his client’s cause.  Once the pleading is filed in court, the task is done; the practitioner is paid, at times, handsomely.  (This is not to mention, though, the herculean task of doing the litigation work, but that is another topic.)  

Just as the case ends, so does the relevance of the court pleadings—these pleadings are relegated in the practitioner’s office corner. They remain there for future reference.  But when new cases come in, the old folders are shoved out of the office to make room. They are used as scratch papers, fed in the paper-shredder, or are just thrown away.

In our high-tech world nowadays, practitioners maintain electronic files of their court pleadings. When a similar case comes up, he just uses the old electronic file, changes the case title or caption, changes the litigant’s name, utilizes the same arguments and citations, and voila! a new pleading for the new client is ready for filing in court.  Billing the client is just an e-mail away.

In the busy world of the practitioner, he never minds the fate of the intellectual content of the pleading or argument in the pleading he makes. Once the case is concluded, his work product is deemed irrelevant.

Many of those pleadings which I had written ended up similar fate.

Like dead gladiators after some bloody joust in a Roman arena, these pleadings are hauled off and dumped away.

I had, for some time, thought about the sorry destiny of these unfortunate pleadings—the intellectual work product of a practitioner’s effort. The enormous amount of time the practitioner has exerted in coming up with the perfect argument is indescribable. Times there are when the practitioner skips meals, controls the urge of nature, ignores the lure of relaxation, fights off the call of nocturnal rest—all in the name of producing the very best espousement of his client’s cause. But then, all these perish in thin air soon as the case concludes. After years of practice, the intellectual product of the practitioner’s efforts is just a part of his fading memory. Indeed, one can just ask: Of what use will it be to preserve those arguments which a practitioner has brought up when there is no more case to speak of?

Reading some of Cardozo’s excellent writings has somewhat fed a seed of thought in me: Why not put in some measure of “form” in pleadings which I would make for filing in court? Some literary content in the argument? Some language that would, to my mind, make me keep the “end product” for myself (or even for posterity) after the case had long been concluded? By the time I would be done in law practice, I could at least look back at something that I could consider as the intellectual product of my years in practice.  

I watered the seed; the growth sprung into existence and protruded. The effort took form in the language of my pleadings. To any other reader’s eye, the end product is feeble, with the reader possibly stigmatizing my effort as a gradeschool attempt to be in the company of those great legal minds in the profession. Hardly. The collection is a personal matter, for my personal enjoyment. To me, the finished task has enormous, priceless content: it is a practitioner’s cherished masterpiece on the canvass wrought out of blood, sweat and tears.

Below are some of my end products:

Cases there are that genuflect in the temple of justice prodding the gods thereat to heed their besought entreaties and shield them from the tentacles of injurious injustice.  On the other hand, cases there are also that wear the spurious masks of compassion before the halls of the temple, also egging on the gods to bequeath to them heavenly raiments against the supposed inroads treading on their supposed rights.  Take away these masks and what are exposed are the faces of the knaves.  They excel in the art of casuistry and sophistry and nothing more.

To the latter classification belongs the present case.

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Chiseled in the architraves of the granite pavilions of jurisprudence is the familiar norm that justice is that which breathes life to every letter of the law.

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Jurisprudence, not being a hardened substance as to be resistant to the attributes of malleability, has to undergo continuous pounding on the judicial anvil to adopt to the dictates of broader interests of substantial justice.

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Tested in the crucible of the foregoing authorities, we just do not see how can the individual defendants escape from the clutches of the rule on waiver of objections to jurisdiction over the person, anymore than we see how a felon could escape from the clutches of the iron bars into which he has just been thrown.

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What we are beholding is a spectacle fraught with legal levity.  And what makes the scene more appealing is the present motion’s effort at spiking the arguments contained therein with a modicum of totally irrelevant and inapplicable caselaw prescriptions.  The effort is there but the result is plain legal theatrics.  It plainly leaves a comic taste to an otherwise monotonous procedural landscape.

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There can scarcely be any denying to the conclusion that the present motion is to jurisprudence what the character of Don Quixote de la Mancha is to literature: both are delusion-lulled that served as fodder for the reader’s levity.

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In fine, what one sees in the present motion is something like a legal pyrotechnics that attempt, rather quixotically, to create a cacophony of noise in the procedural sky which, after spending their last sparks, now find their way plunging to the judicial abyss to form part of oblivion’s sorry, worthless refuse.

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The problem with the defendants is that they subject the allegations in the complaint to a scalpel with they themselves had crudely crafted and use the same to incise the said allegations into separate pieces.  Thus asunder, these pieces, juxtaposed with jurisprudence cited by defendants, are then discussed by them out of context.  The ingenuity exhibited by them is very much evident.

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The present motion—indicative of the fact that the plaintiff is out of sync with procedural reality—is nothing more and nothing less than a mere faint, if not inaudible, echo in the grand orchestra of jurisprudence.

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The objective mind is easily engulfed with a sense of frustration upon reading the said decision.  For, the said decision is shorn of any judiciousness; worse, it traversed the path of narrow-mindedness, discarding in the process the elementary cannon of judicial receptiveness to jurisprudence-wrought injunctions.

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Though the objective mind may easily find itself stricken with paroxysms of merriment over the “not-worth-the-paper” and “poor-attempt-at-being-cute” accusations for being indicative of some measure of immaturity, far from it from us from sharing the same reaction as, on the contrary, we are deeply saddened by the accusations for having been made sans any basis whatsoever.

Plaintiff would do well to take a look at the dirt on himself before trying to even look at the speck of dust on another.

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Should justice be crucified on the cross of procedural precepts?

More so, if we allow these presumptions to prevail and predominate over the admittedly void act perpetrated by the respondent, then, as what we have said at the outset, we will be crucifying justice on the cross of procedural precepts. 

Thus to address the query we have propounded at the outset, we believe that in no case should justice be made subservient to the dictates of mere procedural fiats.

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With this in mind, one should not be judgmental in assessing an action of a public officer, as was so wantonly exhibited by the petitioner.  Indeed, petitioner was quick to level the gratuitous accusation   x  x  x.   This is quite understandable, though, in the face of the fugitive-styled flight which the petitioner had displayed in evading to discharge his obligation to the private respondent antecedent to the filing by the latter of its complaint against the former, a cat-and-mouse chase that went all throughout the proceedings a quo culminating in the fiction-like denouement of an on-the-run fugitive finally falling into the grasps of the law.

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The present case does not profess to contain the trappings of a great case that would necessitate the intervention of the great legal minds in this side of the legal world.  Rather, this case offers a simple case of justice being turned the-other-way-around as will be seen in the text of the decision of the lower court and as will be discussed by the defendant-appellant later on, with herein defendant-appellant finding itself the affronted victim of the legal joust it had engaged with the plaintiff-appellee whose victory was made possible via some misapplication of laws by the lower court. 

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This attempt of defendants (to have “the plaintiff and its counsel” cited and punished for contempt, even citing Rule 10.02 of the Code of Professional Responsibility) exhibits a fine case of utterly failing to grasp the bounds of advocacy — an attempt which makes us express our extreme dismay to the defendants.  But no, we will not include the defendants’ counsel in our expression of dismay, as to do so would be to exhibit an extreme case of immaturity, a stuff that rightly belongs to gradeschoolers.  For, as we know it, the client is not the advocate and vice-versa.  There is a fine dividing line that separates the two.  Defendants’ counsel of record can hardly be faulted for representing said defendants and advocating the latter’s cause before the hallowed portals of this honorable court, anymore than the loudspeaker or microphone can be faulted for being the medium which the speaker uses to get the attention of, and speak clearer to, a crowd of people gathered in an assembly.  For the hearer or listener to condemn not only the speaker but also the loudspeaker or microphone which this speaker uses is, as we have said above, gradeschool stuff.

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This utterly preposterous act of plaintiff in impleading defendant in this case without any basis, both substantive and jurisprudential, brings to fore the need to cut off the hydra-headed propensities of some party-litigants to drag to the courts strangers that have nothing to do with the case.

Having been unnecessarily dragged in this case, defendant has every right and duty to protect its interest against the baseless act of plaintiff in filing this case against it.  Obviously, defendant can hardly afford to let this case dragged on without it raising any finger to extricate itself from this legal mire.  For, to just let this case remain and thus, for defendant to keep mum on this case, and just face this lawsuit, the consequence could evidently be disastrous on the part of defendant.  For, it is a certainty that this case will drag on for a number of years before it can finally be concluded; in that event, the untold time and effort and expenses that will be wrought on defendant will surely be beyond description.  Why must defendant be forced to carry a Calvary which, in the first place, does not rightly belong to it?

If plaintiff  —  if we make an assessment of even the last drop of pathos in his jeremiad which he has essayed in his present amended complaint  —  wants to make it appear that he has been, or is being, allegedly shortchanged by the defendants in this case, then why is he making a deliberate violation of clear and simple provision of the law? 

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But the primordial ground upon which plaintiff-appellant anchors the present appeal is that the failure of its counsel of record to attend the pre-trial conference set by the lower court was due to the alleged “monstrous traffic jam” that got in the way along the National Road (which allegedly “was completely in state of dilapidation and disrepair”) in Tunasan, Muntinlupa, “aggravated by a jeepney which was stalled in the middle of the road, thus doubling the traffic.” Plaintiff-appellant further continues that when its afore-said counsel “thought that he would be already late even if he arrives in court, he did not anymore proceed which resulted to the dismissal of the case.”

One is right away pierced by the skewer of doubt at this very obvious puerile excuse.

This honorable court can easily take judicial notice of the fact that the metropolis is always fraught with endless traffic.  Wherever one goes, he is bound to be caught in a traffic at whatever time in the day.  If one were in a situation where, in going to his place of destination, he would be meeting traffic along the way, considerations of elementary judgment would compel him to leave early from where he would depart so as to avoid being caught, or taken aback, by any ensuing traffic along the way.  This is as it should be.  This is a lesson too elementary to be told to anyone with common sense.  In other words, it is a rule that need not even be lectured to anyone in his right mind.

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We do not know that petitioner is a fiction writer—indeed, his claim comes out straight from a comic book. 

As we have said above, petitioner is blessed with a shrewd legal mind, having placed 9th in the bar exams, a consistent honor student in his grade and high school years, and twice a cum laude graduate (both in the undergraduate course and in the law course).  How then could he possibly be a victim of a supposed “blackmail”? 

Petitioner had worked in a prestigious—and one of the best—law firm in the country. He had been with the government agency as a lawyer for seventeen (17) years.  How could he now pretend to be a mere sheep that is so helpless as to be unable to go about a supposed “blackmail” to “cough up P30,000,000.00”?  The amount is staggering, the charge mind-boggling, to say the least. 

Anyone who may have found himself in a situation similar to what petitioner may have been in would have surely right off warded the same via appropriate legal court case against the supposed “blackmailer”.  Petitioner is no ordinary man; he is a lawyer; he knows the law.  Not only that; petitioner is a bar topnotcher; he graduated cum laude in the State University, both the pre-law course and the law course.  Not only that; petitioner had been a consistent honor student in his grade and high school years.  Not only that again; he had worked in the prestigious law firm for a number of years. And further, not only that again; petitioner has been with the government agency as a lawyer for at least seventeen (17) years;  to be in that kind of work for that long a time one must totally be courageous, with nerves of steel, and be protective of his rights and duties as a public servant, given the fact that that government agency, as is the perception of the public, is one of the most graft-ridden in the government. 

Petitioner, in other words, is a gifted man, with a brilliant mind, conversant with the ways and trades of the world.

Now, petitioner is telling us that he was being “blackmailed” by private respondent?  Who is private respondent anyway?  She is not a lawyer; she is not a bar topnotcher; she is not a cum laude graduate of the State University; she has not worked in a prestigious law firm.  What possible power does she have over and above petitioner and his wife to make her capable of supposedly “blackmailing” them?

What we are saying is that petitioner’s version of the facts is obviously the product of a wild imagination—concocted by a desperate man now being hounded by the ghosts he himself has created.

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This case brings into focus the conduct of banks in their dealings with the public.

Are banks on the same level with individuals and ordinary private firms?  In the handling of their affairs and in their dealings with their clients, that is, with the public, do they have to observe the same kind of standard of care or diligence observed by ordinary private firms? 

Admittedly, banks are no ordinary institutions in the present economic world.  They play a significant role in the life of every member of society.   From the fly-infested public market in the far-flung barrio to the busiest business district in the modern metropolis, one is sure to find a bank either lurking in a corner street juxtaposed with a sari-sari store, or stodgily located along a peopled park, or competing with other establishments for attention inside a mall, or conspicuously standing beside a fastfood restaurant, or proudly housed in an ultra modern skyscraper, or complacently located on the school facade, etc.  Banks, in other words, are everywhere; in a sense, they are omnipresent.  Their being ubiquitous is what makes them a part of every person in the community.

But why do we deal with banks?

We can ask a man in the street, or a straphanger in the bus, or a taxi driver feeding his hunger-panged stomach on a sidewalk carinderia, or a stall owner in a flea market, or a tyronic Chinese trader manning his niggling establishment in the downtown area, or a Croesus-like business executive attending a meeting in a posh city building, or for that matter, we can ask the stranger whom we may first meet along the way: they will right away tell us their reasons why do they deal with banks, which particular banks they patronize and the reasons for their choice.

We deal with banks simply because of utter necessity.

Indeed, who can deny the fact that tucked inside our own wallets is an ATM card which we carry with us wherever we go every second of every minute of every hour of the day?  Banks have truly become indispensable in our daily dealings in life.

In our need to deal with banks, must we perforce repose to them our trust? 

When we speak of banks, we speak of money  –  handing over to them our money (or property) for safekeeping, for deposit, for profit;  borrowing from them money by way of loans for our use; buying from them repossessed cars or foreclosed properties, etc.  Undoubtedly, why will we deal with somebody, especially handing or parting with our money to him, if we do not trust him?   It is plainly automatic for us, in dealing with banks, to give to the latter our trust and confidence: that they will manage and safekeep our money once we give it to them; and that they will not violate any existing law, rule or regulation. 

Their being omnipresent, their being indispensable to us in our daily lives, and our act in giving to them our trust and confidence are the main reasons why banks in the conduct of their business are endowed with public interest. 

This is the plain reality.

This reality, in turn, is what places banks on a level higher than any private individual or ordinary private firms.  So that in the conduct of their business with the public at large, banks carry with them a very high standard of diligence and prudence.

This reality has found its way in the portals of our highest court. 

In a number of cases, the court has seen fit to put the blame on banks for the contretemps that have arisen despite the fact that their clients/depositors have inceptively failed to fully discharge their own duties as bank depositors.     The reason, no doubt about it, for the court’s attitude is this very high standard of prudence and diligence imposed upon banks in the conduct of their business.

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The espousement by petitioners of their cause by fine-spun language easily captures the reader’s attention.  Without doubt, credit is due to fine juxtaposition of words.

Form, however, is to be distinguished from substance.

The essentialness of a party’s cause lies beneath the veneer that shrouds this cause.  No matter how it is admirably embellished, this cause is bound to find its way into the judicial abyss once it is unmasked as nothing more and nothing less than a bodacious balderdash decked in pretentious linguistic ornamentation.

To the objective mind, the description made by petitioners of themselves belongs to this class.

The clarity of this all leads one to conclude what the present Petition speaks for itself:  it is a misleading plea for justice.

This statement, obviously, provides some comic touch to the otherwise monotonous procedural landscape.  It is simply preposterous to behold some such excuse to shroud a clear procedural faux pas now staring at our eyes. 

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The present motion obviously faces a formidable task of hurdling a tough procedural obstacle.

It is quite unfortunate, however, that even to this very day, the honorable Supreme Court refuses to lend a sympathetic ear to the supplication of the defendants.  No temporary restraining order was ever issued by the high court.

If the high court refused to budge, why should this honorable court act differently?  If the highest court of the land saw no reason for the issuance of a restraining order, why should this honorable court, a rung lower in the judicial echelon, see differently?  If the high court, the final dispenser of doctrinal precepts in the country, sees white, is there a particular reason why should its judicial sub-ordinate see black?

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May the law be utilized to satisfy one’s greed?

It is universally accepted that law has as its ethical basis, the social conscience.  Its purpose is basically happiness among men—the regulation of relations among men so that harmony can be maintained in the social group. Its creation is necessitated by the intention of the state to make men live in a state of peaceful equilibrium.  If and when one acts which is subversive of this equilibrium, a transgression of the law is committed.  In such cases, the strong arm of the state gets into the picture to stymie the hand of the wicked—the obvious purpose being to maintain order in human conduct. 

The same thing can be said if one uses the law to further his greed. To the argument that no law is ever violated by the act last supposed best exemplifies the reasoning of man who is not in his right mind. For, he deliberately refuses to see the very basis why law was created: to prevent a person from causing damage to his fellowmen.  What he wants to see is himself getting what he wants even to the extent of making a perversion of the law.  He cares not to the damage wrought to his fellowmen. To his mind, since he has not violated the law, he must not be held to account for the resultant injury caused by his wanton act.

This sort of thinking, however, has had difficulty in getting doctrinal acceptance, nay, recognition at the very least.  The corpus of our reports finds such thinking basically anathematic to the very concept of our law.  Once an act contravenes reason, it must not be allowed at all cost.

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If, in the above said case of Tijam vs. Sibonghanoy, this honorable court cast aside a provision of substantive law to serve the dictates of justice, why cannot the appellate court do the same—-more so when what is involved is not even a substantive law but a mere rule of procedure?

We are certainly forced to conclude that the decision of the Court of Appeals should be relegated to the genre of antiquated norms that have no place in modern jurisprudence.

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It is a jurisprudential reality that the doctrine on liberality in the application or interpretation of procedural rules has been found to be a convenient judicial tool in according every litigant the amplest opportunity to determine his cause in law.

 We have no quarrel on this.

 However, we take issue to the all-encompassing application of this doctrine in every case that reaches the portals of the courts where, as in the case at hand, a flagrant violation of both the judicial directives and the rules of procedure has been exhibited by a party-litigant.  In other words, the doctrine of liberality finds application only in extreme cases where the circumstances therein justify its application.  The proverbial euphemism—-“to afford every party litigant the amplest opportunity for the proper and just determination of his cause, free from the constraints of technicalities”—-should not be applied to cases where the party concerned has been guilty of deliberately violating both the judicial directives and procedural rules, and thus, wasting away his opportunity to be heard or opportunity to have his cause in law heard and determined.

Indeed, if we were to accept at face value the reasoning by the petitioners, are we to hide behind the doctrine of liberality every time we have committed a deliberate act of ditching our right to due process?

Petitioners have wasted their opportunity; they had made a mockery of their right to due process.   For such condemnable act of theirs, are we to get the impression that they still are entitled to a judicial premium? 

Our reading of the events in the case at hand tells us that there exist no exceptional circumstances that would compel any court of law to apply the doctrine of liberality in the application of procedural rules—contrary to the stance of petitioners. What should instead be applied here is the equally-accepted principle of stringent application of procedural rules where the circumstances so justify.

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Procedural nitpicking can best be ascribed to the plaintiff’s hollow arguments.  For, the plaintiff simply proceeded put at issue the reason behind the failure of the defendant’s counsel to attend the pre-trial conference.  While the objective mind is loath to impute any motive for such aberrant arguments put forth by the plaintiff, it is plainly beyond one’s control to easily stigmatize such arguments as ad hominem, those which are illogical digressions from the matters dealt with.

No less emblazoned in the plaintiff’s tendentious arguments is the plaintiff’s implicit admission that the defendant’s counsel’s failure to attend the pre-trial conference (i) was hardly dilatory as the defendant itself is greatly interested in having this case be promptly disposed of by this honorable court, and (ii) scarcely caused any prejudice to the substantial rights of the plaintiff.

Reduced in simpler language, plaintiff, implicitly, is out to grab every available opportunity to take a dubious procedural short-cut in foisting its equally questionable claims upon the defendant at the expense of rudimentary procedural fair play.

And in its avowal to take the path of narrow-mindedness, plaintiff, arguing as if it had acquired a vested right over the default order of this honorable court, even went forth to the extent of being extremely judgmental, characterizing the meritorious defense of the defendant as “not really as meritorious as it is made out to be.”

In synthesized conclusion, it is defendant’s submission that there is the compelling need for this honorable court to loosen itself from the fetters of procedural technicalities and allow the parties to take the regular evidentiary route in substantiating their respective claims and defenses in this case, which, undeniably involves complex and complicated issues and in view of the substantial amounts involved herein.

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We certainly see the evident fact that petitioners are slowly sinking in the slough of confusion.

But the legal implication of this admission of petitioners scarcely escapes us: they are chained by the equitable doctrine of estoppel from assuming a different stand.  We need not bother to discuss herein the basic concept of estoppel as we can rightly presume that petitioners are not grade school pupils “unconversant” with the trappings of estoppel as a civil law principle; we definitely can rightly and justifiably presume that petitioners are knowledgeable of the same.  But what we want to impress to this honorable court is that they are barred from assuming a stand which is different from their previous one.

This afternoon, respondent received a copy of their 7-page comment to the motion to dismiss of respondent.  We are stricken with surprise with this development in view of the fact, as intimated above, the period for them to file this comment has already lapsed.  This right of petitioners to so file their intended comment had already carved a permanent niche 6-feet under the ground.  It would simply be incredible and impossible for this right to dig its way up back to the surface without running afoul with the law of order and equilibrium.  In simple words, they could no longer file the same; a procedural barrier has already crystallized that now bars them from filing any comment or opposition to respondent motion to dismiss.  This comment which they filed should rightly be stricken out form the records of this case.

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Banks, like the plaintiff herein, are no ordinary institutions in the present economic world.  They are, as has been aptly considered by jurisprudence, endowed with public interest, playing as they do significant role in the life of every member of society.  For this reason, and always foremost in their mind the trust and confidence reposed to them by the public at large, banks always see to it that they exercise prudence and meticulousness in the running of their affairs to the end that no damage, as much as possible, be wrought on their clients in consequence of any unavoidable oversight.  This compelling concern has crystallized the need for banks to put in black and white every transaction they do with the public by necessary documents/papers delineating with specificity the terms and conditions called for by the intent of the transacting parties.

This dire duty of banking entities is observed indiscriminately, whether the client be an ordinary person with modest means or one with privileged wealth.

It is a fact beyond dispute that plaintiff here is a huge banking entity, having as it does numerous branches spread over the entire archipelago.  And because of this, plaintiff sees to it that every transaction it does with each and every client be done with care, attention and fidelity.

More so, when the amounts involved in the transaction are huge and substantial, plaintiff acts with deliberate caution and prudence.  As much as possible, plaintiff herein sees to it that the transaction be documented with pertinent and appropriate papers to eschew litigious affairs in the morrow.

With the foregoing in mind, there is every probability, not mere possibility, that plaintiff herein would surely have issued corresponding receipts to the defendants had they indeed made payments to the plaintiff in settlement of their obligations covered by the subject dishonored checks.  For, this is the standing operating procedure of the plaintiff, a practice which it usually follows in the ordinary course of business.  And presumably, not only by the plaintiff, but likewise by other banking entities, where huge or not.  The rule is, and has always been, “that the ordinary course of business has been followed.”

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The uncertainties and inexplicable mysteries of human emotions refuse to be shackled by the fetters of the mind. Almost always, the dictates of the heart overwhelm whatever effort of the mind tries to exert in an attempt to check, and put sanity in, human emotions.  Relations borne out of such unrestrained human affairs at times eventuate to consequences detrimental to one’s freedom. 

The case at hand exemplifies this tableau.

In the heart of loneliness the inscrutable hands of love set out a trap for petitioner.  She was a twenty-five-year-old professional and single, and was working in the far-off land of Saudi Arabia.  The year was 1989.  There she met the man whom destiny had willed to play a big role in the trap.  Cunning and wily, [this man] donned the posture of a man in shining armor.  He befriended petitioner; he sought out petitioner via phone calls; he courted petitioner.

Shrouded in a penumbra of homesickness, petitioner found shelter in the company of this man.  The constant companionship brought forth by him gave petitioner profound comfort against the onslaught of loneliness in the alien land.  Then, companionship led to intimacy. Before long, petitioner and [this man] found their hearts intertwined.

Petitioner unconsciously fell victim to this trap set out by human emotions.

Lulled by the indescribable happiness her heart has found, petitioner trusted every word that came from the lips of [this man].  Chief among those that [this man] uttered was that supposedly he was single, that no legal impediment existed between him and petitioner. In the days, weeks, months and years that followed, petitioner lived blissfully in the belief that they would eventually live in marital union.

Fate, however, was not to be kind to petitioner.

It was only until after the marriage rites that she got shoved to face the painful reality: [this man] lied to her.  He was in fact had been previously married to a woman. He had performed a dastardly deed which only a wicked felon could possibly exhibit: For not only did he swim in the sea of sexual pleasure whenever he was in the arms of petitioner, he also ditched her to fall into a legal ravine that now threatens to shear her of her freedom.

Petitioner seeks justice to this honorable court. 

Her future has now been shattered into tatters, her dreams splintered into smithereens.  She fears for her life now that her freedom is on the brink of being taken away.  For what would her life be if the place of her abode would be sheltered by the cold iron bars of prison?

If at all, petitioner could be faulted only for having succumbed to the call of the complex, if not chaotic, human emotions that drew her to the deep abyss of great misfortune.  But this, however, is not enough, that is, should not be a reason for her to lose her freedom.  This birthright of hers undoubtedly weighs much more than the fault that should be attributed to her.  She should not be made to suffer a Calvary that she never had intended to bear.

What makes petitioner’s misery doubly painful is that [this man] is nowhere to be found, as he seemed to have been devoured by the darkness of nocturnity.  He has cleverly seen to it that not even his shadow would be held to account for the dastardly deed he had done. [This man], beyond the clutches of Philippine jurisdiction, continues to swagger scot-free, endlessly showing his masculine vanity to the world, waiting for another prey to fall to his trap.

Petitioner is now all alone with nowhere to turn to except to herself in the face of this great misfortune.

Petitioner earnestly urges this honorable court to extend to her a helping hand to enable her to climb out of the legal ravine.

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