Republic of the Philippines

CENTRAL BOARD OF ASSESSMENT APPEALS 7th Floor, EDPC Building, BSP Complex Roxas Boulevard, Manila

THE PROVINCIAL ASSESSOR PROVINCE OF BATANGAS,
Respondent-Appellant,

– versus –

THE LOCAL BOARD OF ASSESSMENT CBAA CASE NO. L-39 APPEALS, PROVINCE OF BATANGAS,
Appellee,

– and –

PUYAT STEEL CORPORATION, Province of Batangas,
Petitioner-Appellee. x – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – x

R E S O L U T I O N

Anchored on the ground that it did not sleep on its rights, Petitioner-

Appellee Puyat Steel Corporation is seeking a reversal and setting aside of this

Board’s April 19, 2005 decision, thru a Motion for Reconsideration filed on May

25, 2005. Petitioner-Appellee contends that in fact, it assailed and questioned

the assessments made by the Respondent-Appeellee, Provincial Assessor of

Batangas in a letter dated December 13, 1999, addressed to the respondent but

coursed thru a local mayor, thereby effectively tolling the running of the

reglementary period to appeal. Faithfully reproduced is the allegedly

“lost”/undelivered” letter to Respondent-Appellant for our perusal:

December 13, 1999

Mr. Lauro C. Andaya Provincial Assessor Batangas

Thru: Mayor Rodolfo Villar Rosario, Batangas

Dear Mr. Andaya,

We acknowledge receipt of the Notice of Assessment and Tax Bill dated November 3, 1999 and the copies of Tax Declaration Nos. 027-0586, 027-0588, 027-0589 and 027-0590.

However, we would like to appeal for the re-evaluation and re-assessment of the property involved particularly on the machineries.

Reference: Book XII, pp. 44-46

Hoping for your consideration on this.

Very truly yours,

Cristobal L. Inza-Cruz VP & Comptroller

[Annex “1”, Answer]

The contention holds no water and fails to impress.

A cursory glance even by a layman will reveal the obvious. This is not the

assessment appeal contemplated by law under Sec. 226 of RA 7160 that will

stop the running of the mandatory period to appeal. This is but an

acknowledgement letter of receipt of the Notice of Assessment and Tax Bill, with

a request for re-evaluation and reassessment, and “Hoping for kind

consideration”. Nowhere in the two paragraph letter was it shown/alleged that the

assessments were questioned or assailed for being erroneous, unjust, or illegal.

This “appeal for consideration” practice of property owners after receipt of the

notice of assessment, it is reiterated, was frowned upon and interdicted as a

remedy not sanctioned by law in the Callanta case by the Supreme Court.

Moreover, Petitioner-Appellee admits this infirmity in the motion itself but

implores this Board to disregard these “legal technicalities” to “prevent manifest

injustice, promote substantial justice,” etc., and other considerations in the name

of equity. On these pleas, the Highest Court ruled that “this court, while aware of

its equity jurisdiction, is first and foremost a court of law and while equity might tilt

on the side of one party, the same cannot be enforced so as to overrule positive

provisions of law in favor of the other.” National Housing Authority vs. Grace

Baptist Church, (424 SCRA 147, 151)

We fully understand the financial and economic predicament facing the

movant, including its dire consequences. But under the situation our hands are

tied by law and jurisprudence. R.A. 7160 is explicit that only assessment cases

decided by the Local Boards of Assessment Appeals (LBAA) can be appealed to

the CBAA. Settled jurisprudence consistently held that once the local boards lost

their jurisprudence on the original petition for review, so do we, in our appellate

Reference: Book XII, pp. 44-46

capacity. It is basic that a decision rendered without legal authority is a nullity,

and to appeal a nullity is both futile and absurd. In view of these we can no

longer discuss the other issues involved in this case.

WHEREFORE, the Motion for Reconsideration is DENIED, mainly and

principally for lack of jurisdiction on the part of this Board, and if we do have, the

same is DENIED for lack of merit.

SO ORDERED.

Manila, Philippines, 19 August 2005.

(Signed) CESAR S. GUTIERREZ
Chairman

(Signed)
ANGEL P. PALOMARES Member

(Signed) RAFAEL O. CORTES
Member

Reference: Book XII, pp. 44-46