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[ GR No. L-13010, Dec 28, 1959 ]



106 Phil. 759

[ G. R. No. L-13010, December 28, 1959 ]



REYES, J.B.L., J.:

Petitioner Juanito Ferrer was  holding  the  position of Assistant Civil Engineer of Baguio  City,  in charge of the Waterworks system, at a  compensation  of  P3,720.00  per annum, having been appointed thereto sometime in 1954. In a letter of the  General Manager of the National Waterworks and Sewerage Authority, dated June 22, 1956, petitioner was authorized, in addition to  his duties as Assistant Civil  Engineer, to act as representative of the NAWASA, "to receive all records, properties, machinery, equipment, assets, choses  in  action liabilities, obligations and  sewerage, bonds, sinking funds and all unexpended funds of such waterworks, sewerage and  drainage  systems, including artesian wells in the City of Baguio", under Executive  Order No. 127,  dated September 1955, of  the  President  of  the Philippines.

While Ferrer was on an observation tour in the United States, the City Council of Baguio  City, by resolution of June  28, 1956  (Resolution No.  186, s. 1956), abolished his position,  apparently because of  the council's impression that  said  office was to be absorbed by and transferred to the National Waterworks and Sewerage  Authority as of July 1, 1956.   Accordingly,  Resolution No. 188,  passed by  the same council on July 5,  1956, expressly  excluded the position from the  annual budget of  the city.

On  October 1, 1956, petitioner  filed  with  the  Court of First  Instance of Baguio a petition  for "Mandamus with  Damages", docketed as Civil Case No.  643, wherein he  sought,  among  other  things,  the restoration of  his position or office by the respondents.

After  the parties had  submitted  their respective evidence, the court rendered judgment on  August 26, 1957, as follows:
"Judgment is, therefore, rendered declaring  Resolution No. 188, Series of 1956,  illegal, and ordering Respondents  to restore  Petitioner to  his position as Assistant Civil  Engineer in the Bureau of Public Works, Office of  the City Engineer, Baguio, as  of July 1, 1956,  and ordering  Respondents further,  jointly and severally, to pay petitioner the sum of P600.00  by  way of  attorney's fees for their unjustified  abolition  of his position, and to  pay  the  costs."
Hence, this appeal by the respondents.

The appeal must be dismissed, as the record shows that it  was perfected beyond  the fifteen-day period fixed for mandamus proceedings  by section 17 of Rule 41.

Notice of the decision was received by appellants  on August 27, 1957.   On September  11, 1957,  that is  to say, fifteen days after  receipt of notice of the judgment the appellants filed a motion  to reconsider in the following terms (Record, page 90) :
"COME NOW the respondents  in the above-entitled case, by the undersigned counsel, and to  this  Honorable Court respectfully allege:
  1. That on August 26, 1957, this Honorable Court rendered a decision in the above-entitled case in favor of the petitioner and  against the respondents;
  2. That said decision is not in  accordance with the evidence presented and  the facts adduced  during  the  hearing of this case; and
  3.  That said  decision  is  contrary to law.
Wherefore, it is respectfully prayed that the aforementioned decision be c6nsidered accordingly."
This motion for reconsideration did not suspend the running of the period of  appeal  since it did not, contrary to the provisions  of  section 2,  Rule 37 of the  Rules of Court, "point out  specifically the  findings  or conclusions of the judgment which are not supported by the evidence or which are contrary to law making express reference to the testimonial  or documentary evidence or to the provision of law alleged to  be  contrary to such findings or conclusions"  (Alvero vs.  De la  Rosa, 76  Phil., 428,  and case cited therein).   Appellants cannot  be excused from said requirement of  the Rules, because the legality or illegality of petitioner's ouster from office was not the only question of law raised  in the  lower court.  The  issue of whether or not the  petitioner refused to  render services to the City of Baguio and may  be deemed to have abandoned his  office was  likewise broached by the  parties and taken up  by the court below, and is in fact, also assigned as error  in this  appeal.  That  the  motion to reconsider was set for hearing does not determine  whether or not it is a pro forma motion, since the  rule clearly demands that the controverted findings be specified in  the motion itself.

It follows that as the notice of appeal was actually filed only on September 23, 1957, twenty-seven (27) days after notice of  judgment, the trial  court's  decision had been by then final  and could no  longer  be  appealed.  Hence, this Court acquired no jurisdiction to review the decision.

Wherefore the  appeal is dismissed,  with costs against appellants.

Paras,  C. J., Padilla,  Montemayor,  Bautista Angelo, Labrador, Concepcion,  Endencia,  Barrera, and Gutierrez David, JJ., concur.