237-Republic v. Enriquez G.R. No. 78391 October 21, 1988

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   Republic v. EnriquezG.R. No. 78391 1 of 3 Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT ManilaSECOND DIVISION G.R. No. 78391 October 21, 1988REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES,  petitioner, vs. RMON G. ENRI!UE , #e$%t& S'er()) o) M*+(*, respondent. The Solicitor General for petitioner. Sison, Ortiz & Associates for petitioner. P#ILL,  J.: ppeal b! a! of certiorari fro# the decision - of the Court of ppeals in C$%.R. SP. No. &'()*, dated +& pril')-, dis#issin the petition for prohibition ith preli#inar! in/unction, filed b! petitioner Republic of thePhilippines aainst respondent Ra#on %. Enri0ue1, Deput! Sheriff of Manila. On *) 2anuar! ')(, the petitioner, throuh the Co##issioner of Internal Revenue, served a 3arrant of Distraintof Personal Propert! on the Mariti#e Co#pan! of the. Philippines to satisf! various deficienc! ta4es of saidco#pan! in the total a#ount of P-,*)5,))*.5(, pursuant to unappealed and final ta4 assess#ents. On 6 pril')(, a Receipt for %oods, and 7hins Sei1ed 8nder uthorit! of the National Internal Revenue Code ase4ecuted, herein 9ead0uarters, :irst Coast %uard District, :arola Co#pound, ;inondo, Manila, ac<no lededreceipt fro# the Co##issioner of Internal Revenue of several bares, vehicles and t o =*> bodeas of spare parts belonin to the ta4pa!er =Mariti#e Co#pan! of the Philippines>. On 5 October ')(, the correspondin Notice of Sei1ure of Personal Propert!, a cop! of hich as received b! a respresentative of the Mariti#e Co#pan! of thePhilippines, as issued b! the Co##issioner of Internal Revenue. #on the properties sei1ed ere si4 =6> bares, ;are MCP$ to ;are MCP$6. On  2une ')6, respondent sheriff levied on t o =*> bares of the Mariti#e Co#pan! of the Philippines, pursuant to a rit of e4ecution issued on ' :ebruar! ')6 b! the Reional 7rial Court of Manila, ;ranch +, inCivil Case No. )($+&+5, entitled ? Genstar Container Corporation vs. Maritime Company of the Philippines ?, infavor of the plaintiff therein. Respondent sheriff scheduled a public auction sale, of the levied bares on *+ 2une')6. 7he bares, particularl! ;are MCP$ and ;are MCP$5, ere a#on the afore#entioned propertiesdistrained and sei1ed b! petitioner, throuh the Co##issioner of Internal Revenue. On ) 2une ')6, the Co##issioner of Internal Revenue rote respondent sheriff infor#in the latter that ;areMCP$ and ;are MCP$5 ere no loner o ned b! the Mariti#e Co#pan! of the Philippines as said bares had been distrained and sei1ed b! the ;ureau of Internal Revenue in satisfaction of various deficienc! ta4es of Mariti#e Co#pan! of the Philippines, thereb! reisterin its adverse clai# over said bares. 7he letter, toether  ith the affidavit of adverse clai# and other supportin papers, as filed on ' 2une ')6 at the office of respondent deput! sheriff and as received b! one @enri0ue1, 6$'$)6, Staff II.?On *+ 2une ')6, respondent deput! sheriff sold at public auction the t o =*> bares, MCP$ and MCP$5, andissued the correspondin sheriffs certificate of sale on the sa#e date to the hihest bidder hich as the lev!increditor. On *5 2ul! ')6, petitioner filed before the Court of ppeals the afore#entioned petition for prohibition ith preli#inar! in/unction, allein that respondent sheriff, Ra#on %. Enri0ue1, acted in e4cess of his authorit!   Republic v. EnriquezG.R. No. 78391  of 3 or ith rave abuse of discretion hen he levied on e4ecution and subse0uentl! auctioned the abovesaid t o =*> bares hich ere the sub/ect of a arrant of distraint and notice of sei1ure b! the Co##issioner of InternalRevenue. Petitioner pra!ed that respondent be ordered to desist and refrain fro# further proceedins in connection ith the e4ecution and that respondentAs notice of lev! be declared null and void. In its decision, dated +& pril ')-, the Court of ppeals dis#issed the petition after findin that ?=9>e appears tohave acted in accordance ith la and in <eepin ith his duties. 7here is no perceived abuse of authorit! or raveabuse of discretion.? 9ence, this appeal. 7he onl! issue to be resolved in this appeal is the validit! and effectiveness of the ;IR arrant of distraint andnotice of sei1ure of personal propert! as aainst the rit of e4ecution issued b! the Reional 7rial Court and thelev! on e4ecution and auction sale of the bares in 0uestion. It is settled that the clai# of the overn#ent predicated on a ta4 lien is superior to the clai# of a private litiant predicated on a /ud#ent. 7he ta4 lien attaches not onl! fro# the service of the arrant of distraint of personal propert! but fro# the ti#e the ta4 beca#e due and pa!able. ;esides, the distraint on the sub/ect properties of Mariti#e Co#pan! of the Philippines as ell as the notice of their sei1ure ere #ade b! petitioner, throuh theCo##issioner of Internal Revenue, lon before the rit of e4ecution as issued b! the Reional 7rial Court of Manila, ;ranch +. 7here is no 0uestion then that at the ti#e the rit of e4ecution as issued, the t o =*> bares,MCP$ and MCP$5, ere no loner properties of the Mariti#e Co#pan! of the Philippines. 7he po er of the courtin e4ecution of /ud#ents e4tends onl! to properties un0uestionabl! belonin to the /ud#ent debtor. E4ecutionsales affect the rihts of the /ud#ent debtor onl!, and the purchaser in an auction sale ac0uires onl! such riht asthe /ud#ent debtor had at the ti#e of sale. It is also ell$settled that the sheriff is not authori1ed to attach or lev!on propert! not belonin to the /ud#ent debtor.   3hile it is correct for the Court of ppeals to declare that there are other re#edies available to the overn#ent inconnection ith its ta4 clai#s, !et, the filin of a separate action, in accordance ith Section -, Rule +', of theRules of Court ould onl! dela! final satisfaction of the ta4 liabilities of the Mariti#e Co#pan! of the Philippines.7he purpose of said rule is to afford a clai#ant an opportunit! to vindicate his o nership over the propert! leviedupon b! the sheriff. In the case at bar, ho ever, there is no further need for petitioner to establish its rihts over thet o =*> bares in 0uestion as the evidence on record clearl! proves that the bares are under distraint and, in fact,sei1ed b! petitioner, throuh the Co##issioner of Internal Revenue, in satisfaction of various final deficienc!ta4es of the Mariti#e Co#pan! of the Philippines. 7he Court of ppeals ave #uch eiht to the clai# of respondent sheriff that he as una are of an! adverseclai# over the sub/ect bares. 7his clai# is belied b! receipt in the office of respondent b! one ?@enri0ue1, 6$'$)6, Staff II? of the letter dated ) 2une ')6, fro# the Co##issioner of Internal Revenue infor#in respondentthat the t o =*> bares ere under distraint and no loner o ned b! the Mariti#e Co#pan! of the Philippines. It as incu#bent upon respondent to have re#inded #e#bers of his staff to notif! hi# i##ediatel! of i#portantco##unications or papers affectin the dischare of his official duties. Proof of due receipt b! respondentAs officeof the petitionerAs adverse clai# prevails over respondentAs denial thereof. It as not necessar! that respondentAs  personal receipt of the ;IR Co##issionerAs letter be sho n on the face of the letter. It is standard operatin procedure in overn#ent offices to #aintain lo boo<s hich record the in ard and out ard flo of officialdocu#ents and papers. ;esides, respondent never denied that @enri0ue1 Staff II? as a #e#ber of his office staff on ' 2une ')6 hen the ;IR Co##issionerAs letter reisterin the petitionerAs adverse clai# to the sub/ect bares, as received in respondentAs office. HEREFORE,  the instant petition is GRNTE#,  7he appealed decision is  SET SI#E. 7he notice of lev!   Republic v. EnriquezG.R. No. 78391 3 of 3 upon as ell as e4ecution sale of ;ares MCP$ and MCP$5 are NNULLE#  and the respondent is EN/OINE# fro# further proceedin ith their sale in Civil Case No. )($+&+5 of the Reional 7rial Court of Manila, ;ranch+. In the event that the e4ecution sale, havin been consu##ated, results in non$recover! of the aforesaid bares,respondent is ordered to re#it to the ;ureau of Internal Revenue the proceeds of the e4ecution sale of said bares,to be applied in partial satisfaction of the ta4 liabilities of Mariti#e Co#pan! of the Philippines to the Philippineovern#ent. SO OR#ERE#.    Melencio! errera #Chairman$, Paras, Sarmiento, and  %eala'o, ((., concur.
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