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  • Writer's pictureZiggurat Realestatecorp

Barangay proceedings are essential prior to filing a case; exceptions

As a rule, barangay conciliation proceedings must be endeavored before a dispute between parties who reside in the same barangay can be brought to the court or a quasi-judicial body. This is in consonance with Republic Act 7160 (RA 7160), otherwise known as the "Local Government Code of 1991," which provides:

"Section 409. Venue.– (a) Disputes between persons actually residing in the same barangay shall be brought for amicable settlement before the Lupon of said barangay.

"Section 412. Conciliation. — (a) Pre-condition to Filing of Complaint in Court. — No complaint, petition, action, or proceeding involving any matter within the authority of the lupon shall be filed or instituted directly in court or any other government office for adjudication, unless there has been a confrontation between the parties before the lupon chairman or the pangkat, and that no conciliation or settlement has been reached as certified by the lupon secretary or pangkat secretary as attested to by the lupon or pangkat chairman or unless the settlement has been repudiated by the parties thereto."

Nevertheless, our laws recognize instances where barangay conciliation proceedings are no longer necessary, particularly Administrative Circular 14-93, dated July 15, 1993, re: Guidelines on the Katarungang Pambarangay Conciliation Procedure to Prevent Circumvention of the Revised Katarungang Pambarangay Law. As provided therein, the following cases are not covered by the mandatory barangay conciliation:

"1. Where one party is the government, or any subdivision or instrumentality thereof;

"2. Where one party is a public officer or employee, and the dispute relates to the performance of his official functions;

"3. Where the dispute involves real properties located in different cities and municipalities, unless the parties thereto agree to submit their difference to amicable settlement by an appropriate Lupon;

"4. Any complaint by or against corporations, partnership or juridical entities, since only individuals shall be parties to Barangay conciliation proceedings either as complainants or respondents (Sec. 1, Rule VI, Katarungang Pambarangay Rules);

"5. Disputes involving parties who actually reside in barangays of different cities or municipalities, except where such barangay units adjoin each other and the parties thereto agree to submit their differences to amicable settlement by an appropriate Lupon;

"6. Offenses for which the law prescribes a maximum penalty of imprisonment exceeding one (1) year or a fine over five thousand pesos (P5,000.00);

"7. Offenses where there is no private offended party;

"8. Disputes where urgent legal action is necessary to prevent injustice from being committed or further continued, specifically the following:

'a. Criminal cases where accused is under police custody or detention (see Sec. 412 (b) (1), Revised Katarungang Pambarangay Law);

'b. Petitions for habeas corpus by a person illegally deprived of his rightful custody over another or a person illegally deprived or on acting in his behalf;

'c. Actions coupled with provisional remedies such as preliminary injunction, attachment, delivery of personal property and support during the pendency of the action; and

'd. Actions which may be barred by the Statute of Limitations.'

"9. Any class of disputes which the President may determine in the interest of justice or upon the recommendation of the Secretary of Justice;

"10. Where the dispute arises from the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law (CARL) (Sec. 46 & 47, R.A. 6657);

"11. Labor disputes or controversies arising from employer-employee relations (Montoya vs. Escayo, et al., 171 SCRA 442; Art. 226, Labor Code, as amended, which grants original and exclusive jurisdiction over conciliation and mediation of disputes, grievances or problems to certain offices of the Department of Labor and Employment);

"12. Actions to annul judgment upon a compromise which may be filed directly in court (See Sanchez vs. Tupaz, 158 SCRA 459)."

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