Principle of judicial hierarchy


Save for the single specific instance provided by the Constitution under Section 18, Article VII, cases the resolution of which depends on the determination of questions of fact cannot be brought directly before the [the Supreme Court] because we are not a trier of facts. [The Supreme Court is] not equipped, either by structure or rule, to receive and evaluate evidence in the first instance; these are the primary functions of the lower courts or regulatory agencies. This is the raison d'etre behind the doctrine of hierarchy of courts. It operates as a constitutional filtering mechanism designed to enable this Court to focus on the more fundamental tasks assigned to it by the Constitution. It is a bright-line rule which cannot be brushed aside by an invocation of the transcendental importance or constitutional dimension of the issue or cause raised. (In Re: Habeas Corpus of Inmates Reyes et al., G.R. No. 251954, 10 June 2020)


General Rule: Under the principle of hierarchy of courts, direct recourse to [the Supreme Court] is improper because the Supreme Court is a court of last resort and must remain to be so in order for it to satisfactorily perform its constitutional functions, thereby allowing it to devote its time and attention to matters within its exclusive jurisdiction and preventing the overcrowding of its docket. (Dy v. Bibat-Palamos, G.R. No. 196200, 11 September 2013Exception: … Nonetheless, the invocation of this Court’s origina...


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