The Supreme Court has been asked to cite in contempt officials of the United Coconut Planters Bank and Asset Pool A and their lawyers for committing contumacious acts for wantonly defying its decision on a case that it had long been resolved not only with finality but, in fact, with an entry of judgment.
In a 26-page petition for cite for contempt, petitioner Felix A. Chua asked the SC to discipline respondents UCPB represented by its officer-in-charge Ludivino Geron, Atty. Ismael Andrew P. Isip , Asset Pool A (SPV-AMC), represented by its President Siu Hung Hung, and Atty. Hortensio G. Domingo for filing several four motions for reconsiderations seeking to revive a “dead case.”
The petitioner accused officials of the UCPB and the Asset Pool A for alleged blatantly disregarding the rule of law by filing multiple pleadings despite that the case had been closed and terminated.
Chua said the petition for contempt was filed under Rule 71 of the Rules of Court, on the basis of the respondents disregard to the SC’s final ruling and entry of judgment and for resorting to dilatory tactics to prolong and revive their case which the Court had already ruled on with finality.
“All of the respondents’ motions that had been denied, noted without action or expunged by the Honorable Court prayed that the implementation of the final and executory decision be restrained, enjoined and/or nullified raising the same-old arguments that had long been denied by the Honorable Court. In a manner of speaking, respondents are fielding the same dog but decorating it with different dollars,” Chua said.
Chua said that the high court should cite the respondents in contempt and penalize them with imprisonment and fine “in order to preserve the orderly administration of justice and litigants’ respect for the High Court’s dignity.”
The controversy started when the SC’s Third Division issued a decision in August 16, 2017 that reversed a Court of Appeals decision which favored UCPB on the controversy involving the mortgage of Revere Realty and Development Corporation owned by businessman Jose Go in UCPB over properties in Lucena City belonging to spouses Felix and Carmen Chua with whom he had a joint venture that did not materialize.
The SC’s Third Division reversed the CA ruling that affirmed the UCPB mortgage of Revere over the property of the Chua couple.
Records showed that in 1997, Go and the Chuas had entered into a joint venture to develop the 44-hectare property in Ilayang Dupay into a subdivision but the project did not push through.
Despite this, several deeds of absolute sale were executed putting the lands in Revere’s name to hold in trust for the Chuas.
In the meantime, the Chuas executed a mortgage with UCPB to secure their personal loans and corporate obligations for the Lucena Grand Central Terminal, Inc.
Unknown to the Chuas, Go and Revere took out a mortgage over the properties too.
When the land was foreclosed, the Chuas were prompted to ask UCPB to apply the proceeds only to their obligations and not Go’s, but the bank did not heed the request, prompting the Chuas to seek redress from the courts.
In reversing the CA decision, the SC’s Third Division reinstated the ruling of the Regional Trial Court of Lucena City declaring that the loan obligations of the Chuas were fully paid and asking for more from the Chuas would result to “unjust enrichment.”
Prior to this, the respondents filed its first motion for reconsideration of the August 16, 2017 decision penned by then Chief Justice Lucas Bersamin on December 17, 2018.
On July 24, 2019, the Court ruled that no further pleadings, motions or letters or other communications would be entertained in connection with the case.
However, the respondents apparently filed a third motion for reconsideration as the Court’s Special 3rdDivision issued another resolution on January 29, 2020 ordering to Expunge from the records of the case the Joint 3rd Motion for Reconsideration of UCPB and Asset Pool A for being a prohibited pleading.
According to the petitioner, the respondents continued to ignore the SC when it filed a fourth MR on June 16, 2020 in a bid to revive the case by asking for the issuance of a temporary restraining order/status quo ante order to stop the execution of the August 2017 decision.
The SC ruled that the case is already final and executory and the entry of judgment was already issued, thus, no further pleadings shall be entertained and any reconsideration made must be removed from the records of the case.
“All these, singly or collectively, constitute contumacious defiance of the authority of this Honorable Court and impede the speedy administration of justice. The defiance is all too willful and deliberate as to amount to an assault to the competence and integrity of the magistrates that comprise the Highest Court of the land,” the petitioner said.