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Case study: an ethical dilemma involving a dying patient

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IV
Republic of the Philippines
SUPREME COURT
Manila
SECOND DIVISION
G.R. No. L-39086 June 15, 1988
ABRA VALLEY COLLEGE, INC., represented by PEDRO V. BORGONIA, petitioner,
vs.
HON. JUAN P. AQUINO, Judge, Court of First Instance, Abra; ARMIN M. CARIAGA, Provincial Treasurer, Abra; GASPAR V. BOSQUE,
Municipal Treasurer, Bangued, Abra; HEIRS OF PATERNO MILLARE,respondents.
PARAS, J.:
This is a petition for review on certiorari of the decision * of the defunct Court of First Instance of Abra, Branch I, dated June 14, 1974, rendered in
Civil Case No. 656, entitled "Abra Valley Junior College, Inc., represented by Pedro V. Borgonia, plaintiff vs. Armin M. Cariaga as Provincial
Treasurer of Abra, Gaspar V. Bosque as Municipal Treasurer of Bangued, Abra and Paterno Millare, defendants," the decretal portion of which
reads:
IN VIEW OF ALL THE FOREGOING, the Court hereby declares:
That the distraint seizure and sale by the Municipal Treasurer of Bangued, Abra, the Provincial Treasurer of said province
against the lot and building of the Abra Valley Junior College, Inc., represented by Director Pedro Borgonia located at Bangued,
Abra, is valid;
That since the school is not exempt from paying taxes, it should therefore pay all back taxes in the amount of P5,140.31 and
back taxes and penalties from the promulgation of this decision;
That the amount deposited by the plaintaff him the sum of P60,000.00 before the trial, be confiscated to apply for the payment of
the back taxes and for the redemption of the property in question, if the amount is less than P6,000.00, the remainder must be
returned to the Director of Pedro Borgonia, who represents the plaintiff herein;
That the deposit of the Municipal Treasurer in the amount of P6,000.00 also before the trial must be returned to said Municipal
Treasurer of Bangued, Abra;
And finally the case is hereby ordered dismissed with costs against the plaintiff.
SO ORDERED. (Rollo, pp. 22-23)
Petitioner, an educational corporation and institution of higher learning duly incorporated with the Securities and Exchange Commission in 1948, filed
a complaint (Annex "1" of Answer by the respondents Heirs of Paterno Millare; Rollo, pp. 95-97) on July 10, 1972 in the court a quo to annul and
declare void the "Notice of Seizure' and the "Notice of Sale" of its lot and building located at Bangued, Abra, for non-payment of real estate taxes and
penalties amounting to P5,140.31. Said "Notice of Seizure" of the college lot and building covered by Original Certificate of Title No. Q-83 duly
registered in the name of petitioner, plaintiff below, on July 6, 1972, by respondents Municipal Treasurer and Provincial Treasurer, defendants below,
was issued for the satisfaction of the said taxes thereon. The "Notice of Sale" was caused to be served upon the petitioner by the respondent
treasurers on July 8, 1972 for the sale at public auction of said college lot and building, which sale was held on the same date. Dr. Paterno Millare,
then Municipal Mayor of Bangued, Abra, offered the highest bid of P6,000.00 which was duly accepted. The certificate of sale was correspondingly
issued to him.
On August 10, 1972, the respondent Paterno Millare (now deceased) filed through counstel a motion to dismiss the complaint.
On August 23, 1972, the respondent Provincial Treasurer and Municipal Treasurer, through then Provincial Fiscal Loreto C. Roldan, filed their
answer (Annex "2" of Answer by the respondents Heirs of Patemo Millare; Rollo, pp. 98-100) to the complaint. This was followed by an amended
answer (Annex "3," ibid, Rollo, pp. 101-103) on August 31, 1972.

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On September 1, 1972 the respondent Paterno Millare filed his answer (Annex "5," ibid; Rollo, pp. 106-108).
On October 12, 1972, with the aforesaid sale of the school premises at public auction, the respondent Judge, Hon. Juan P. Aquino of the Court of
First Instance of Abra, Branch I, ordered (Annex "6," ibid; Rollo, pp. 109-110) the respondents provincial and municipal treasurers to deliver to the
Clerk of Court the proceeds of the auction sale. Hence, on December 14, 1972, petitioner, through Director Borgonia, deposited with the trial court
the sum of P6,000.00 evidenced by PNB Check No. 904369.
On April 12, 1973, the parties entered into a stipulation of facts adopted and embodied by the trial court in its questioned decision. Said Stipulations
reads:
STIPULATION OF FACTS
COME NOW the parties, assisted by counsels, and to this Honorable Court respectfully enter into the following agreed stipulation
of facts:
1. That the personal circumstances of the parties as stated in paragraph 1 of the complaint is admitted; but the particular person
of Mr. Armin M. Cariaga is to be substituted, however, by anyone who is actually holding the position of Provincial Treasurer of
the Province of Abra;
2. That the plaintiff Abra Valley Junior College, Inc. is the owner of the lot and buildings thereon located in Bangued, Abra under
Original Certificate of Title No. 0-83;
3. That the defendant Gaspar V. Bosque, as Municipal treasurer of Bangued, Abra caused to be served upon the Abra Valley
Junior College, Inc. a Notice of Seizure on the property of said school under Original Certificate of Title No. 0-83 for the
satisfaction of real property taxes thereon, amounting to P5,140.31; the Notice of Seizure being the one attached to the
complaint as Exhibit A;
4. That on June 8, 1972 the above properties of the Abra Valley Junior College, Inc. was sold at public auction for the satisfaction
of the unpaid real property taxes thereon and the same was sold to defendant Paterno Millare who offered the highest bid of
P6,000.00 and a Certificate of Sale in his favor was issued by the defendant Municipal Treasurer.
5. That all other matters not particularly and specially covered by this stipulation of facts will be the subject of evidence by the
parties.
WHEREFORE, it is respectfully prayed of the Honorable Court to consider and admit this stipulation of facts on the point agreed
upon by the parties.
Bangued, Abra, April 12, 1973.
Sgd. Agripino Brillantes
Typ AGRIPINO BRILLANTES
Attorney for Plaintiff
Sgd. Loreto Roldan
Typ LORETO ROLDAN
Provincial Fiscal
Counsel for Defendants
Provincial Treasurer of
Abra and the Municipal
Treasurer of Bangued, Abra
Sgd. Demetrio V. Pre
Typ. DEMETRIO V. PRE
Attorney for Defendant
Paterno Millare (Rollo, pp. 17-18)
Aside from the Stipulation of Facts, the trial court among others, found the following: (a) that the school is recognized by the government and is
offering Primary, High School and College Courses, and has a school population of more than one thousand students all in all; (b) that it is located
right in the heart of the town of Bangued, a few meters from the plaza and about 120 meters from the Court of First Instance building; (c) that the

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IV Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila SECOND DIVISION G.R. No. L-39086 June 15, 1988 ABRA VALLEY COLLEGE, INC., represented by PEDRO V. BORGONIA, petitioner,  vs. HON. JUAN P. AQUINO, Judge, Court of First Instance, Abra; ARMIN M. CARIAGA, Provincial Treasurer, Abra; GASPAR V. BOSQUE, Municipal Treasurer, Bangued, Abra; HEIRS OF PATERNO MILLARE,respondents.   PARAS, J.: This is a petition for review on certiorari of the decision * of the defunct Court of First Instance of Abra, Branch I, dated June 14, 1974, rendered in Civil Case No. 656, entitled "Abra Valley Junior College, Inc., represented by Pedro V. Borgonia, plaintiff vs. Armin M. Cariaga as Provincial Treasurer of Abra, Gaspar V. Bosque as Municipal Treasurer of Bangued, Abra and Paterno Millare, defendants," the decretal portion of which reads: IN VIEW OF ALL THE FOREGOING, the Court hereby declares: That the distraint seizure and sale by the Municipal Treasurer of Bangued, Abra, the Provincial Treasurer of said province against the lot and building of the Abra Valley Junior College, Inc., represented by Director Pedro Borgonia located at Bangued, Abra, is valid; That since the school is not exempt from paying taxes, it should therefore pay all back taxes in the amount of P5,140.31 and back taxes and penalties from the promulgation of this decision; That the amount deposited by the plaintaff him the sum of P60,000.00 before the trial, be confiscated to apply for the payment of the back taxes ...
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