[ G.R. No. 74108, February 27, 1987 ]
ROBERT L. SINGH AND DOMINADOR DIZON, PETITIONERS, VS. HON. INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT, FOURTH SPECIAL CASES DIVISION, AND VICENTE G. SANTOS, RESPONDENTS.
R E S O L U T I O N
In a suit for damages arising from a vehicular accident filed by private respondent against petitioners before the Regional Trial Court, Branch XXIII, at Roxas, Isabela, a summary judgment was rendered adverse to petitioners. Copy of the Decision was received by petitioners on July 23, 1985. On August 6, 1985, or one day before the end of the reglementary period to appeal, petitioners filed a Motion for Extension of Time within which to file a Motion for Reconsideration. The Trial Court denied the Motion on the ground that the period within which to file a motion for reconsideration cannot be extended. That ruling was affirmed by respondent Appellate Court on January 8, 1986, following the original Habaluyas vs. Judge Japzon case promulgated by this Court on August 5, 1985 (138 SCRA 46), where it was held that "the fifteen-day period for appealing or for filing a motion for reconsideration cannot be extended".
Subsequently, however, or on May 30, 1986, in the same entitled case (142 SCRA 208), this Court restated and clarified the rule on this point, as follows:
"1) Beginning one month after the promulgation of this Resolution, the rule shall be strictly enforced that no motion for extension of time to file a motion for new trial or reconsideration may be filed with the Metropolitan or Municipal Trial Courts, the Regional Trial Courts, and the Intermediate Appellate Court. Such a motion may be filed only in cases pending with the Supreme Court as the court of last resort, which may in its sound discretion either grant or deny the extension requested."
In other words, there is a one-month grace period from the promulgation on May 30, 1986 of this Court's Resolution in the clarificatory Habaluyas case, or up to June 30, 1986, within which the rule barring extensions of time to file motions for new trial or reconsideration is, as yet, not strictly enforceable (Bayaca vs. IAC, G. R. No. 74824, September 15, 1986).
Since petitioners herein filed their Motion for Extension on August 6, 1985, it was still within the grace period, which expired on June 30, 1986, and may still be allowed.
ACCORDINGLY, the petition is granted; the Appellate Court's Decision of January 8, 1986 is SET ASIDE, and this case is hereby remanded to the Regional Trial Court, Branch XXIII, Roxas, Isabela, which is hereby directed to grant the extension of time requested by petitioners for the filing of the Motion for Reconsideration, and to resolve the same.
SO ORDERED.Yap, (Chairman), Narvasa, Cruz, Feliciano, Gancayco, and Sarmiento, JJ., concur.