JOANIE SURPOSA UY vs. JOSE NGO CHUA, G.R. No. 183965, September 18, 2009.
“x x x.
It must be kept in mind that substantial justice must prevail . When there is a strong showing that grave miscarriage of justice would result from the strict application of the Rules, this Court will not hesitate to relax the same in the interest of substantial justice. The Rules of Court were conceived and promulgated to set forth guidelines in the dispensation of justice but not to bind and chain the hand that dispenses it, for otherwise, courts will be mere slaves to or robots of technical rules, shorn of judicial discretion. That is precisely why courts in rendering real justice have always been, as they in fact ought to be, conscientiously guided by the norm that when on the balance, technicalities take backseat against substantive rights, and not the other way around.
X x x.”
1 People v. Flores, 336 Phil. 58, 64 (1997), citing De Guzman v. Sandiganbayan, 326 Phil. 182, 188 (1996).