Slip-on store’s case fails to gain a foothold

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Sunday, May 25, 2014


OWNERS of a store in Cebu City filed a civil case because they believed a judge and a former Provincial Board member connived to get back at the management for selling allegedly defective footwear.

But Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 12 Judge Estela Alma Singco dismissed the petition for certiorari filed by Crocs Island Stores, Inc.

She said the “remedy of certiorari will not lie to annul or reverse the decision” of Municipal Trial Court in Cities (MTCC) Branch 7 Francisco Seville Jr., who had ordered the store to pay P19,862 in damages to lawyer Ramon Ceniza.

Certiorari is not issued to “cure errors of the trial court in its appreciation of the evidence of the parties, or its conclusions anchored on the said findings and its conclusions of law.” The court, the decision added, cannot “re-examine conflicting evidence, re-evaluate the credibility of the witnesses or substitute the findings” of Seville, said Singco.

The store had said in its petition that Seville “reached a conclusion without any basis and committed grave abuse of discretion” by favoring Ceniza.

‘No cause of action’

Ceniza, in his original complaint, alleged that his son bought him a pair of slippers from the store. But the slippers broke after more than two months of use; he bought a new pair but eventually ended up incurring legal expenses of P15,000.

Judge Sevilla ruled in Ceniza’s favor last Dec. 18, 2012.

The store, however, filed the civil case last year, asking the court to reverse Seville’s decision.

“Until now, the (store) is still uncertain what cause of action the respondent judge based his award for damages on. There is no indication of whether the award was based on negligence committed by the (store) or on a breach of the warranty against hidden defect,” the petition read.

In her ruling, Judge Singco said that the store “clearly seeks a review of the factual findings and evidence of the case.”

“Any error committed in the evaluation of evidence is merely an error of judgment that cannot be remedied by certiorari,” the judge added.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on May 26, 2014.

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