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Civil Procedure: Rule 22 - Computation of Time

RULE 22
Computation of Time

Section 1. How to compute time. — In computing any period of time prescribed or allowed by these Rules, or by order of the court, or by any applicable statute, the day of the act or event from which the designated period of time begins to run is to be excluded and the date of performance included. If the last day of the period, as thus computed, falls on a Saturday a Sunday, or a legal holiday in the place where the court sits, the time shall not run until the next working day. 

Section 2. Effect of interruption. — Should an act be done which effectively interrupts the running of the period, the allowable period after such interruption shall start to run on the day after notice of the cessation of the cause thereof.

The day of the act that caused the interruption shall be excluded in the computation of the period.


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Article 13 of the New Civil Code:

When the law speak of years, months, days or nights, it shall be understood that years are of three hundred sixty five days each; months of thirty days; days, of twenty-four hours; and nights, from sunset to sunrise.

If months are designated by their name, they shall be computed by the number of days, which they respectively have.

In computing a period, the first day shall be excluded, and the last day included.


Illustration:

A vs. B.

A was summoned Dec. 16, 1999. Under Sec. 1 of Rule 11, B has a period of fifteen (15) days from service of summons on him.

Under the provisions of Article 13 of the New Civil Code. “exclude the first and include the last” rule, you compute this 15-day period from Dec. 17, 1999. So you will have up to Dec. 31, 1999. But Dec. 31 is usually a legal holiday, so the next day will be Jan. 1, but Jan. 1 is also a holiday, so the 15-day period will expire on the following day, assuming that Jan. 2 is not a Saturday or is not a Sunday or is not a legal holiday in the place where the court sits.

Q.  What does Sec. 1 of Rule 22 say?
A.  In computing a period, the day of the act or event from which the period starts to run is excluded. This is what actually Article 13 of Civil Code is saying: “The day of performance is included.”

Q.  What is “the day of performance” here?
A.  The filing of the answer. But under Article 13, the day of performance here is the last day. “Exclude the first, include the last.”

Where an act effectively interrupts the running of a period, the allowable period shall start to run the day following the receipt of the notice of the cessation of the cause thereof.

Q.   What does this mean? (This provision is very complicated.)
A.   Sec. 2 Rule 22

Should an act be done which effectively interrupts the running of the period, the allowable period after such interruption shall start to run on the day after notice of the cessation of the cause thereof. The day of the act that caused the interruption shall be included in the computation of the period.

Example:

B was summoned Jan. 2, 1999. Under Sec. 1 of Rule 11, B has a period ending Jan. 17, 1999. This is the day of performance (Jan.17, 1999). Let us assume however that B filed on Jan. 7, 1999, a motion to dismiss.

Q. What is the effect of the filing on Jan. 7, 1999 on the running of this period starting Jan. 3 and ending Jan. 17?
A. It suspended the running of the period. Since there were five (5) days of the 15-day period under Sec. 1 Rule 11, there were ten (10) days remaining because between Jan. 2 and Jan. 7, a 5-day period has already elapsed. There was a period of ten (10) days remaining.

This10-day period remaining of the original 15-day period is the so-called “allowable period” referred to in Sec. 2 Rule 22.

On the assumption that this motion to dismiss is denied,

Q.  What is the effect of the denial of the motion to dismiss on the remaining  period within which to file the answer?
A. It will start to run. It will resume its running. Why? Because it started but when the motion to dismiss was filed, the running was interrupted but when the motion to dismiss was denied, the running must resume. (Hinto! …tapos… Takbo!)

Q.  When will this “allowable period” start to run?
A.  Let us assume that B received the order of denial on March 10, 1999. We say that when the order of denial the period of 10-day starts to run. Why? What interrupts it?  The period was interrupted by this order March 10, 1999. This is the cause of the cessation of the stopping of the running.

Q. What is the allowable period that starts to run after this order denying the motion to dismiss was issued?
A.  The law says, “this allowable period shall start to run the day following the receipt of the notice of the cessation of the period.”

So, in our example, this allowable period starts to run the day following the receipt. So, this starts to run March 11, 1999 (10 days starting March 11 is March 21, 1999).

This is still an application of Article 13 which is “exclude the first, include the last day.”

Conclusion: Rule 22 did not actually amend Art. 13 of NCC, except in one respect, there is now an expressed provision in the rules that when the last day of performance is a Saturday, a Sunday, or a legal holiday in the place where the court sits, the date of performance is moved to the next working day.

Take note that the legal holiday referred to here is the legal holiday in the place where the court sits. So if the court sits in Manila, and the last day in Manila is Dec. 20, which is not a holiday, but in Q.C., Dec. 20 is a holiday.

Q.  Will the last day of performance be moved to the next working day?

A.  No, because the holiday is not in the place where the court sits, which is in Manila. (Laggui Remedial Law Reviewer)


If a party files a motion for extension, and the same was granted, when should the due date for the extended period be counted?

In case a motion for extension is granted, the due date for the extended period shall be counted from the original due date, not from the next working day on which the motion for extension was filed. (Montajes vs. People, G.R. No. 183449, March 12, 2012)



Montajes vs. People
G.R. No. 183449, March 12, 2012

Facts: The original period for filing the petition for review with the CA was on May 19, 2007, a Saturday. On May 21, 2007, a Monday (the next working day which followed the last day for filing which fell on a Saturday), petitioner filed a motion for extension of time to file a petition for review wherein he prayed that he be granted 15 days from May 21, 2007 or up to June 5, 2007 within which to file his petition. He then filed his petition for review on June 5, 2007. Was the petition for review filed on time?

Held: The petition for review was filed out of time based on our clarification in A.M. No. 00-2-14-SC that the 15-day extension period prayed for should be tacked to the original period and commences immediately after the expiration of such period. Thus, counting 15 days from the expiration of the period which was on May 19, 2007, the petition filed on June 5, 2007 was already two days late. However, we find the circumstances obtaining in this case to merit the liberal application of the rule in the interest of justice and fair play.

Notably, the petition for review was already filed on June 5, 2007, which was long before the CA issued its Resolution dated September 21, 2007 dismissing the petition for review for being filed out of time. There was no showing that respondent suffered any material injury or his cause was prejudiced by reason of such delay. Moreover, the RTC decision which was sought to be reversed in the petition for review filed in the CA had affirmed the MTC judgment convicting petitioner of direct assault, hence, the petition involved no less than petitioners liberty. We do not find anything on record that shows petitioner's deliberate intent to delay the final disposition of the case as he had filed the petition for review within the extended period sought, although erroneously computed. These circumstances should have been taken into consideration for the CA not to dismiss the petition outright.

We have ruled that being a few days late in the filing of the petition for review does not automatically warrant the dismissal thereof. And even assuming that a petition for review is filed a few days late, where strong considerations of substantial justice are manifest in the petition, we may relax the stringent application of technical rules in the exercise of our equity jurisdiction.

Courts should not be so strict about procedural lapses that do not really impair the proper administration of justice. After all, the higher objective of procedural rule is to insure that the substantive rights of the parties are protected. Litigations should, as much as possible, be decided on the merits and not on technicalities. Every party-litigant must be afforded ample opportunity for the proper and just determination of his case, free from the unacceptable plea of technicalities.

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