D E C I S I O N
The issue in this case is whether the fifteen-day period within which a party may file a motion for reconsideration of a final order or ruling of the Regional Trial Court may be extended.
In Civil Case No. 82-3305 of the Manila Regional Trial Court, Shugo Noda & Co., Ltd., et al. vs. Habaluyas Enterprises, Inc., et al., the plaintiffs received on October 1, 1984 a copy of the order of September 3, 1984, denying their motion for execution of a judgment based on a compromise.
On October 16, the fifteenth day, the plaintiffs filed a motion for an extension of twenty days within which to submit their motion for reconsideration (p. 41, Rollo).
On October 23, the plaintiffs filed their motion for new trial and their "notice of appeal (conditional)" (pp. 42 and 44, Rollo).
Petitioners or defendants Habaluyas Enterprises, Inc. and Pedro J. Habaluyas opposed the motion for extension of the time for filing a motion for reconsideration and they moved to dismiss the conditional appeal.
Judge Maximo M. Japzon in his order of April 29, 1985 granted the motion for new trial. That order is assailed in the instant petition.
We hold that the trial court erred in granting the motion for new trial. The fifteen-day period for appealing or for filing a motion for reconsideration cannot be extended. Even under the existing Rules of Court the thirty-day period cannot be extended (Roque vs. Gunigundo, Adm. Case No. 1664, March 30, 1978, 89 SCRA 178, 182; Gibbs vs. Court of First Instance of Manila, 80 Phil. 160, 164).
The Judiciary Revamp Law, Batas Pambansa Blg. 129, is designed to avoid the procedural delays which plagued the administration of justice under the Rules of Court which were originally intended to assist the parties in obtaining a just, speedy and inexpensive administration of justice. That is why (with some exceptions) the record on appeal was dispensed with and the thirty-day period was reduced to fifteen days.
WHEREFORE, the petition is granted. The questioned order is reversed and set aside. No costs.
Concepcion, Jr., Escolin, Cuevas and Alampay, * JJ., concur.
* He was designated to sit in the Second Division.
HABALUYAS ENTERPRISES, INC. and PEDRO J. HABALUYAS, petitioners, vs. JUDGE MAXIMO M. JAPZON, Manila Regional Trial Court, Branch 36; SHUGO NODA & CO., LTD. and SHUYA NODA, respondents., G.R. No. 70895, 1985 Aug 5, 2nd Division)