Republic of the Philippines

CENTRAL BOARD OF ASSESSMENT APPEALS Manila

PROVINCIAL ASSESSOR OF LEYTE AND MUNICIPAL ASSESSOR OF KANANGA, LEYTE,
Respondent-Appellant,

– versus –

CBAA CASE NO. V-08 LOCAL BOARD OF ASSESSMENT

APPEALS OF LEYTE,

THE PROVINCE OF

Appellee,

– and –

HIDECO SUGAR MILLING CO., INC., Petitioner-Appellee.
x – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – x

RESOLUTION

BEFORE this Board is a Motion for Reconsideration filed by Respondent-

Appellant through registered mail postmarked December 24, 1998 and received

by this Board on January 11, 1999. The motion seeks reconsideration of this

Board’s decision of October 3, 1998:

“1. Ordering the Provincial Assessor of Leyte and the Municipal Assessor of Kananga, Leyte; (a) as allowed under Section 214 of RA 7160, to recommend to, or make representations with, the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Leyte for the corresponding amendment of the Schedule of Fair Market Values, subject matter of Resolution No. 609-93; accordingly, to revise or amend the tax declarations effective 1994 for the subject eleven (11) parcels of land, using the amount of P100.00, instead of P160.00, as the base unit value or fair market value per square meter of said parcels of land, retroactive of January 1, 1994; and

“2. Declaring the revision of assessments on subject buildings and other improvements (including machineries and equipment) made effective 1994 as NULL and VOID ab initio.”

The instant motion does not state the date when the movant received a

copy of the decision sought to be reconsidered. It is noted, however, that a

copy of the “Notice of Decision” (together with a copy of said decision) attached

to the motion bears the notation “Received December 9, 1998 11:00 AM”.

Culled from the said motion for reconsideration, Respondent-Appellee

seems to convey that his motion is based on the following grounds:

Reference: Book IX, pp. 101-103

1. That the local board did not acquire jurisdiction over the case because the appeal before said board was filed out of time;

2. “That there is no stopped of jurisdiction because jurisdiction cannot be waived, it can even be raised for the first time on appeal x x x.”

3. That the real property taxes based on the questioned assessments were not paid;

4. That Sangguniang Panlalawigan Resolution No. 609-93 is valid;

5. That Resolution No. 609-93 is for lands; the evaluation of buildings is based on Assessment Regulation No. 1-92 dated October 6, 1992 of the Department of Finance; and the basis of the assessments for machinery is Department Order No. 22-73 dated June 18, 1973 and Assessment Regulation No. 1-80 dated December 9, 1981, both of the Department of Finance;

The first ground for the instant motion for reconsideration, i.e., that the

LBAA concerned did not acquire jurisdiction over the case, was thoroughly

discussed by this Board in its decision of October 3, 1998 (pp. 7-10, Decision).

This Board finds no cogent reason to disturb its findings.

Anent the second ground, this Board disagrees with Respondent-

Appellant that “there is no estoppel in Jurisdiction”. As this Board also stated in

its decision of October 3, 1998 (pp. 10-11, Decision), the Supreme Court said in

Suarez vs. Court of Appeals (G.R. No. 80199, June 6, 1990, 186 SCRA 339,

cited in Benguet Corporation vs. Central Board of Assessment Appeals, et al.,

June 29, 1992, In re CBAA Case No. 237, May 28, 1990):

“x x x t is settled that any decision rendered without jurisdiction is a total nullity and must be struck down at any time, even on appeal before this Court. The only exception is where the party raising the issue is barred by estoppels (Tijam vs. Sibonghanoy, 23 SCRA 29, reiterated in Solid Homes, Inc. vs. Payawal and Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 84811, August 29, 1989).” (Underscoring supplied)

The third ground, which is the alleged “non-payment of the taxes”

(required under Section 5, Rule 5 of LBAA Rules), was never raised, either

before the LBAA or this Board, by Respondent-Appellant before this instant

motion for reconsideration. The Supreme Court, in Suarez vs. Court of Appeal,

supra, also said:

“While petitioner could have prevented the trial court from exercising jurisdiction over the case by seasonably taking exception thereto, they instead invoked the very same jurisdiction by filing an answer and seeking affirmative relief from it. What is more, they participated in the trial of the case by cross-examining the respondent. Upon the premises, petitioner cannot now be allowed belatedly to adopt an inconsistent posture by

Reference: Book IX, pp. 101-103

attacking the jurisdiction of the court to which they had submitted themselves voluntarily (Tijam vs. Sibonghanoy, supra).”

The fourth and fifth grounds were also thoroughly discussed by this

Board in its decision of October 03, 1998 (pp. 11-22, Decision). This Board also

does not find any cogent reason to disturb its findings thereon.

WHEREFORE, this Board Resolved to DENY the instant motion for

reconsideration for lack of merit.

Manila, Philippines, February 19, 1999.

VACANT Chairman

(Signed)
ANGEL P. PALOMARES Member

(Signed) BENJAMIN M. KASALA
Member

Reference: Book IX, pp. 101-103