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Abaigar vs. Abaigar Case Digest


A certification by counsel and not by the principal party himself is no certification at all. It is a defective certification which is tantamount to non-compliance with the requirement prescribed by the Rules of Court and constitutes a valid cause for the dismissal of the petition. This is because it is the petitioner and not the counsel who is in the best position to know whether he actually filed or caused the filing of the petition.

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Facts: 

Panfilo filed a forcible entry case against his brother Jesus before the MTC of Calbiga, Samar. Panfilo won but the RTC reversed the decision. 

Panfilo filed a Petition for Review which the CA dismissed on the ground that the Certification against Forum Shopping has been signed merely by his counsel.

Panfilo moved for reconsideration of the appellate court‘s dismissal of his petition, explaining that he had left for the United States before the filing of the petition, which fact should be deemed “reasonable cause for failure to personally sign the certification;” and that he has a good and meritorious case and substantial justice could be better served if his petition is reinstated. The CA denied the Motion for reconsideration. Hence, this petition.


Issue: 

Whether or not the circumstances surrounding the case requires a relaxation of the rule that a Certification against Non-Forum Shopping be signed by the principal party himself


Held: 

A certification by counsel and not by the principal party himself is no certification at all. It is a defective certification which is tantamount to non-compliance with the requirement prescribed by the Rules of Court and constitutes a valid cause for the dismissal of the petition. This is because it is the petitioner and not the counsel who is in the best position to know whether he actually filed or caused the filing of the petition. The appellate court, strictly speaking, was, therefore, correct when it dismissed the petition in this case. 

There have been instances, however, that the Rule on the matter has been relaxed such as when the interest of substantial justice overrides the procedural lapse. Panfilo, in this case, did not specify ― the prevailing circumstances nor advance that he has or why he has a meritorious case to merit setting aside of technicalities. (Abaigar vs. Abaigar, G.R. NO. 167003, October 23, 2006)

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