Province of Bataan v Villafuerte, Jr.; G.R. No. 129995; 19 Oct 2001; 367 SCRA 620

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Respondent court ordered petitioner province to remit the lease rentals of a real property under litigation. The said amount was to be deposited in the name and/or account of the court to be held in escrow for the person or persons, natural or juridical, who may be finally adjudged lawfully entitled thereto.

Whether or not a trial court may issue escrow orders.

YES. The court’s authority proceeds from its jurisdiction and power to decide, adjudicate and resolve the issues raised in the principal suit. The deposit of the rentals in escrow with the bank, in the name of the lower court, “is only an incident in the main proceeding.” Placing property in litigation under judicial possession, whether in the hands of a receiver, and administrator, or as in this case, in a government bank, is an ancient and accepted procedure.

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