Republic of the Philippines

CENTRAL BOARD OF ASSESSMENT APPEALS Manila

CAMARINES MINERALS, INC., Petitioner-Appellant,

– versus –

CBAA Case No. L-16-95 THE PROVINCIAL BOARD OF ASSESSMENT
APPEALS OF CAMARINES NORTE, Appellee,

– and –

THE MUNICIPAL ASSESSOR OF JOSE PANGANIBAN, CAMARINES NORTE,
Respondent-Appellee,

x – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – x

R E S O L U T I O N

On August 1, 1995, Camarines Minerals, Inc., Petitioner-Appellant,

appealed before this Board the dismissal of its appeal before the Provincial

Board of Assessment Appeals of Camarines Norte, Appellee, for Prescription of

Action.

The Resolution to dismiss the appeal states:

“In a string of rulings promulgated by the Central Board of Assessment Appeals ruled (sic) that compliance to the prescriptive period of filing an appeal is not only mandatory but jurisdictional.

“An evaluation and perusal of the records show that the aforementioned statutory requirement has not been substantially complied, with, hence, the Board has no alternative but to dismiss the instant appeal. The issue has been thoroughly discussed and deliberated upon as to whether or not the appeal was pursued on time which must be determined in order for us to lawfully decide on the petition. It is an undeniable fact that Mrs. Remedios Puerto, Officer-in-Charge of the Municipal Treasurer (sic) Office of Jose Panganiban, Camarines has categorically stated in her affidavit, which form part of the records and in the hearing on April 4, 1995, as to the time of her receipt of the appeal on assessment which time is clearly out of the period to perfect the appeal. In view of the prescription of action, it is but logical to dismiss the instant appeal without further discussion on the matter advising the petitioner to go on whatever remedial measures available before other forum to pursue their action.”

Herein appellant assigns a number of errors, to wit:

I. The Provincial Board erred in dismissing the appeal on the ground that the same was filed out of time;

II. The Provincial Board erred in not holding that the notice of assessment on petitioner-appellant’s mining claims is without legal basis and is therefore invalid and without legal effect.

Reference: Book VIII, pp. 208-214

III. Assuming but not conceding that the notice of assessment is valid, the Provincial Board erred in not holding that the increase in assessment is unjust, excessive and confiscatory.

Appellee Board dismissed the appeal based substantially on the affidavit

of Mrs. Remedios Puerto, Officer-in-Charge of the Municipal Treasurer’s Office

of Jose Panganiban, Camarines Norte, stating that she did not receive the

appeal on August 25, 1994 but on November 28, 1994, endorsing the same

Appeal to the Board of Assessment Appeals of Camarines Norte on the same

day, Nov. 28, 1994. Mrs. Puerto’s affidavit is not substantiated by any evidence

at all, hence it is self-serving and proves nothing at all. The ultimate fact of

receipt on November 28, 1994, the factum probandum was arrived at without

having been established by evidentiary facts, the factum probans.

On the other hand, an affidavit for Petitioner-Appellant was executed by

one Engineer Teodorico C. Constantino stating that he filed the Appeal on

August 25, 1994 with Mrs. Remedios B. Puerto of the Office of the Municipal

Treasurer of Jose Panganiban, Camarines Norte. This was given no

consideration or appreciation by Appellee Local Board.

In Sapida vs. De Villanueva, 48 SCRA 27, the Supreme Court has this to

say:

“X x x if the affidavits contradict each other on matters of fact, a Court practically can have no basis to make its findings of fact; x x x.”

The best evidence would be the date of receipt on the copy of Petitioner-

Appellant but the date, 8-25-94 appearing thereon is disowned by the receiving

officer, Mrs. Puerto, alleging “that petitioner intentionally inserted the date after

the signature of Mrs. Puerto (Petitioner’s Copy of the Assessment Appeal) to

make it appear that appeal was made on time.”

The Appeal before the Local Board of Assessment Appeals of Camarines

Norte is as contained in Judicial Form No. 139-A “APPEAL ON

ASSESSMENT”, supra. For Petitioner-Appellant, it is marked Annex “B”, for

Respondent-Appellee, Annex “A”. Both Annexes (“A” & “B”) have the signature

of a Remedios B. Puerto as receiving officer but neither of them is dated on the

Reference: Book VIII, pp. 208-214

space provided therefor. In Annex “B”, the date 8-25-94 appears right after the

signature of Mrs. Puerto but in ink lighter than that of signature, Mrs. Puerto’s

name and official designation, not found in Annex “B”, are typewritten in Annex

“A” viz: “CASHIER II/ICO”; handwritten and duly initiated, top right of the Appeal

are the following: “CNBAA RECEIVED 12.01.94”.

But for Mrs. Puerto’s allegation that Petitioner-Appellant inserted the date

8-25-94, no proof to that effect has been given. The following, however may be

inferred:

1. The Appeal was filed with Mrs. Puerto at the Municipal Treasurer’s Office. Mrs. Puerto signed the same, as would have constituted receipt thereof, handing back to Petitioner-Appellant’s representative its copy and retaining for herself the copies for submission to the Local Board of Assessment Appeals of Camarines Norte.

2. The date, 8-25-94 (on Annex “B”) may or may not have been written by Mrs. Puerto and may have been written on or after August 25, 1994 with a pen available at the time when it was written, hence the difference in ink. The date, if written by somebody else, not by Mrs. Puerto, may have been written with or without her authorization.

3. Mrs. Puerto’s typewritten name and designation (on Annex “A”) may have been made on the copies with said Mrs. Puerto sometime after receipt thereof.

4. The inscription and initial, top-right of Annex “A” may have been written sometime after receipt or shortly before transmission thereof to the LBAA of Camarines Norte.

The burden of persuasion rests upon the part who, as determined by the

pleadings or the nature of the case, asserts the affirmative of an issue.

According to Sec. 5(b) Rule 6 of the Revised Rules of Court of the

Philippines:

“An affirmative defense is an allegation of new matter which, while admitting the material allegations of the complaint, expressly or impliedly, would nevertheless prevent or bar recovery by plaintiff. The affirmative defenses include x x x all other matter by way of confession and avoidance.”

In Taligaman Lumber Co. Inc. vs. The Collector of Internal Revenue, 4

SCRA 842, the Supreme Court held:

“It is incumbent upon a taxpayer, who wants to avail of the benefits of Section 331 of the Tax Code by setting up prescription as an affirmative defense, to prove that he submitted a return.” (underscoring supplied.)

In the case at bar, it is the Respondent-Appellee who asserts the

affirmative defense. It is the Respondent-Appellee, therefore, who should have

Reference: Book VIII, pp. 208-214

adduced evidence, valid and necessary to prove the date of receipt of the

Appeal. Without such evidence to prove otherwise, and in the light of

circumstances prevailing, this Board may now, justifiably sustains the date 8-

25-94, appearing on Petitioner-Appellant’s Annex “B” as the logical date of

receipt therefor, hence the appeal thereto has not prescribed.

Appellee Local Board dismissed the herein case for Prescription of Action

without resolving the issues appealed from, on the merits. Contrary thereto,

however, this Board finds that no prescriptive period on the appeal has been

violated. It is for the Local Board of Assessment Appeals of Camarines Norte

therefore, to resolve the case at bar on the merits.

WHEREFORE, the Resolution appealed from in CBAA Case No. L-16-95

(LBAA Case No. 95-01), Camarines Minerals, Inc., vs. Board of Assessment

Appeals of Camarines Norte, Appellee and the Municipal Assessor of Jose

Panganiban, Camarines Norte, Respondent-Appellee is hereby set aside and

remanded to the Local Board of Assessment Appeals of the Province of

Camarines Norte for further proceedings on the merits.

Furthermore, this Board directs that the Provincial Assessor of

Camarines Norte be included as Respondent in this case because without

his/her approval, assessments made by Municipal Assessors are ineffective

save those in the Municipalities within Metropolitan Manila area as provided in

Section 200 of Title Two, Book II of the Local Government Code of 1991.

SO ORDERED.

Manila, Philippines, December 14, 1998.

(Signed) MARGARITA G. MAGISTRADO
Chairman

(Signed)
ANGEL P. PALOMARES Member

(Signed) BENJAMIN M. KASALA
Member

Reference: Book VIII, pp. 208-214