Attorney’s fees not granted in the Decision of the CA already became final and executory. As such, it is immutable and unalterable. Generally, it may no longer be modified in any respect, even if the modification is meant to correct what is perceived to be an erroneous conclusion of law or fact.
Lino A. Fernandez, Jr. vs. Manila Electric Company (MERALCO)
G.R. No. 226002, June 25, 2018
On the issue of attorney’s fees, the SC held that Fernandez is not entitled thereto. It is an elementary principle of procedure that the resolution of the court in a given issue, as embodied in the dispositive part of a decision or order, is the controlling factor as to settlement of rights of the parties. The dispositive portion or the fallo is the decisive resolution and is the subject of execution. Therefore, the writ of execution must conform to the judgment to be executed, particularly with that which is ordained or decreed in the dispositive portion of the decision, and adhere strictly to the very essential particulars.
The Decision of the CA, which does not grant attorney’s fees to Fernandez, already became final and executory. As such, it is immutable and unalterable. Generally, it may no longer be modified in any respect, even if the modification is meant to correct what is perceived to be an erroneous conclusion of law or fact. In opting not to file a petition before the Supreme Court assailing the CA Decision, Fernandez is deemed to have acquiesced to the entirety of the ruling. It cannot be convincingly argued that the petition filed by MERALCO also inured to his benefit, for not only are their interests separate and distinct, but they are completely in conflict with each other.
Considering that the judgment on the issue of attorney’s fees is already final and executory against Fernandez who did not appeal, then MERALCO already acquired a vested right by virtue thereof. Indeed, just as the losing party has the privilege to file an appeal (or petition) within the prescribed period, so does the winner also have the correlative right to enjoy the finality of the decision.