Solid Homes Inc.

CA (1997)

v.

Solid Homes executed in favor of State Financing a Real Estate Mortgage on its properties in order to secure the payment of a loan. When the loan matured and Solid Homes was not able to pay, State Financing filed a petition for extrajudicial foreclosure of the mortgages. The foreclosure was deferred due to an agreement between the parties. The agreement however was not complied with by Solid homes. State Financing transferred the titles of the property to its name pursuant to the agreement. Solid Finance failed to exercise the repurchase clause. Solid Homes’ theory of the case: 1. Claims damages allegedly arising from the non-annotation of its right of repurchase in the consolidated titles issued to private respondent. 2. Reiterates its attack against the inclusion of 30% interest per annum as part of the redemption price. It asserts that Art 1616 Civil Code authorizes only the return of the (1) price of the sale, (2) expenses of the contract and any other legitimate payments by reason of the sale and (3) necessary and useful expenses made on the thing sold. Considering that the transfer of titles was null and void, it was thus erroneous to charge petitioner the registration fees, documentary stamp taxes and other incidental expenses incurred by State Financing in the transfer and registration of the subject properties via the dacion en pago (agreement).

This is an illustrative case regarding the theory of the case. Solid Homes’ petition denied. On damages: To resolve the issue of damages, an examination of factual circumstances would be necessary, a task that is clearly beyond this Court’s dominion. It is elementary that in petitions for review on certiorari, only questions of law may be brought by the parties and passed upon by this Court. Findings of fact of lower courts are deemed conclusive and binding upon the Supreme Court except when the findings are grounded on speculation, surmises or conjectures; when the inference made is manifestly mistaken, absurd or impossible; when there is grave abuse of discretion in the appreciation of facts; when the factual findings of the trial and appellate courts are conflicting; when the Court of Appeals, in making its findings, has gone beyond the issues of the case and such findings are contrary to the admissions of both appellant and appellee; when the judgment of the appellate court is premised on a misapprehension of facts or when it has failed to notice certain relevant facts which, if properly considered, will justify a different conclusion; when the findings of fact are conclusions without citation of specific evidence upon which they are based; and when findings of fact of the Court of Appeals are premised on the absence of evidence but are contradicted by the evidence on record The trial court found, and the Court of Appeals affirmed, that petitioner’s claim for actual damages was baseless. Solid Homes utterly failed to prove that respondent corporation had maliciously and in bad faith caused the non-annotation of petitioner’s right of repurchase so as to prevent the latter from exercising such right. On the contrary, it is admitted by both parties that State Financing informed petitioner of the registration with the Register of Deeds of Pasig of their Memorandum of Agreement/Dacion en Pago and the issuance of new certificates of title in the name of the respondent corporation. Petitioner exchanged communications and held conferences with private respondent in order to draw a mutually acceptable payment arrangement for the former’s repurchase of the subject properties. A written offer from another corporation alleging willingness to avail itself of petitioner’s right of repurchase was even attached to one of these communications. Clearly, petitioner was not prejudiced by the non-annotation of such right in the certificates of titles issued in the name of State Financing. On Redemption price: Another fundamental principle of procedural law precludes higher courts from entertaining matters neither alleged in the pleadings nor raised during the proceedings below, but ventilated for the first time only in a motion for reconsideration or on appeal. The single issue raised by petitioner in its appeal of the RTC decision to the Court of Appeals concerned only the denial of its claim for damages. In the interest of justice, the question posed will still be resolved. Petitioner argues that such total redemption price is in contravention of Art. 1616 of the Civil Code. We do not, however, find said legal provision to be restrictive or exclusive, barring additional amounts that the parties may agree upon. Said provision should be construed together with Art. 1601 of the same Code which provides as follows:

and the latter’s rights were amply protected by the issuance of new certificates of title in its name. Virata Sandiganbayan. The deputization of PCGG lawyers to file the bill of particulars 2. That the allegations in the bill of particulars avers for the first time new actionable wrongs allegedly committed by him in various official capacities and that the allegations therein do not indicate that Virata acted as dummy. It is basic that in a pacto de retro sale. He filed a motion for bill of particulars which was partially granted. “Art. the vendee has a right to the immediate possession of the property sold. 1992 signed by Ramon Felipe IV and the Bill of Particulars dated November 3. (2) an obligation on the part of the named defendant to respect or not to violate such right. unless otherwise agreed upon. The OSG (counsel of Republic) pursuant to the order. On Possession during period of redemption: In a contract of sale with pacto de retro.” (emphasis supplied) It is clear. deputized a counsel from PCGG to file the bill of particulars and subsequently filed a bill of particulars incorporating by reference the first bill. On the bill of particulars: The rule is that a complaint must contain the ultimate facts constituting plaintiff's cause of action. subject only to the [31] resolutory condition of repurchase by the vendor a retro within the stipulated period. A cause of action has the following elements.3. acting as such in his own name. 1601 require petitioner to “comply with x x x the other stipulations” of the Memorandum of Agreement/Dacion en Pago it freely entered into with private respondent. 1992 are couched in such general and uncertain terms as would make it difficult for . Argues that there is no need for the immediate turnover of the properties to State Financing since the same was not stipulated under their Agreement. nominee or agent but rather as a government officer. A bill of particulars is a complementary procedural document consisting of an amplification or more particularized outline of a pleading. In this case. On deputization (Virata’s attack against the deputization is without merit): We are of the opinion that the Limited Bill of Particulars dated October 22. 3. and being in the nature of a more specific allegation of the facts recited in the pleading. and (3) an act or omission on the part of such defendant violative of the right of the plaintiff or constituting a breach of the obligation of the defendant to the plaintiff for which the latter may maintain an action for recovery of damages. 1993 and the Limited Bill of Particulars of October 22. the title and ownership of the property sold are immediately vested in the vendee a retro. It is the office of the bill of particulars to inform the opposite party and the court of the precise nature and character of the cause of action or defense which the pleader has attempted to set forth and thereby to guide his adversary in his preparations for trial. that the provisions of Art. therefore. Virata was one of the defendants in a civil case which involves the recovery of illgotten wealth amassed by the defendants during the twenty year reign of former President Ferdinand Marcos. (1997) v. Conventional redemption shall take place when the vendor reserves the right to repurchase the thing sold. Illustrative case regarding theory of the case Virata’s petition for dismissal of the charges against him is meritotious. to wit: (1) a right in favor of the plaintiff by whatever means and under whatever law it arises or is created. 1993 signed by Reynaldo Ros are valid pleadings which are binding upon the Republic because the two lawyer-signatories are legally deputized and authorized by the Office of the Solicitor General and the Presidential Commission on Good Government to sign and file the bills of particulars concerned. Virata assails: 1. and reasonably to protect him against surprise at the trial. with the obligation to comply with the provisions of article 1616 and other stipulations which may have been agreed upon. Questions the Sandiganbayan's denial of his motion for a bill of particulars as regards the other three charges. both the bill of particulars dated November 3. 1601.

act alone in approving the Resolution? Who really approved the Resolution. It is true that a single act or omission can be violative of various rights at the same time. b) What were these outstanding loan obligations of the three corporations concerned? Who were the creditors and debtors of these loan obligations? How much were involved in the restructuring of the loan obligations? What made the transaction a 'sweetheart' or 'behest' accommodation?. Inc. only one cause of 5 action arises. The trial court was. In the case at bar. there is but a single cause of action regardless of the number of rights that may have been violated belonging to one person. therefore. is the rationale for the proscription in our law against double recovery for the same act or omission which. petitioner to submit an intelligent responsive pleading to the complaint and to adequately prepare for trial. Virata or the Monetary Board?. after such payment made by the other respondents. Bautista (1989) Perez is the owner of a cargo truck. in essence. and c) How was the acquisition of MERALCO by Meralco Foundation.delict or wrong violating the rights of one person. and the purported illegal acts imputed to Virata have not been averred with sufficient definiteness so as to inform Virata of the factual and legal basis thereof. who was only one of the members of the Board. Thus the judge dismissed the case. petitioner who was onboard the cargo truck sustained a bone fracture in one of his legs. a pick-up truck tried to overtake the cargo truck which was then in the process of overtaking the tricycle. if only one injury resulted from several wrongful acts. obviously. Nevertheless.4. While said cargo truck was trying to to overtake a tricycle likewise proceeding in the same direction. A cause of action is understood to be the delict or wrongful act or omission committed by the defendant in violation of the primary rights of the plaintiff. Petitioner was paid by the insurer of some of the defendants thus he executed a release of claim releasing from liability all the defendants except the owner of the cargo truck Perez argued that due to the fact that the release of claim executed by petitioner in favor of the other respondents inured to his benefit as well. That vested in him a single cause of action. Petitioner’s theory: there are two causes of action embodied in Illutractive case regarding theoy of the case Petition lacks merit. The singleness of a cause of action lies in the singleness of the. there is no question that the petitioner sustained a single injury on his person. As a result. a recovery by the petitioner under one remedy necessarily bars recovery under the other. There is nothing in the records to show. either . The claim that there was an agreement entered into between the parties during the pre-trial conference that. Republic did not furnish Virata the following material matters which are indispensable for him to be placed in such a situation wherein he can properly be informed of the charges against him: a) Did Virata. the case shall proceed as against respondent Perez is both incredible and unsubstantiated. However where there is only one delict or wrong. thereby forcing the cargo truck to veer towards the shoulder of the road and to ram a mango tree. general and ambiguous. Petitioner maintains the view that the allegations in the bill of particulars remain vague. albeit with the correlative rights of action against the different respondents through the appropriate remedies allowed by law. correct in holding that there was only one cause of action involved although the bases of recovery invoked by petitioner against the defendants therein were not necessarily Identical since the respondents were not identically circumstanced. as when the act constitutes juridically a violation of several separate and distinct legal obligations. However. related to the Resolution restructuring the loan obligations of the three corporations? Joseph v. This. considering that all the respondents are solidarity liable to herein petitioner. stems from the fundamental rule against unjust enrichment.

It is the filing of separate complaints for these several reliefs that constitutes splitting up of the cause of action. Bacolod instituted an action to recover the penalties and surcharge. when a passenger of a common carrier. SEC. several rights of the passenger are violated. Again the violation of a single right may give rise to more than one relief. SMCs theory: (1) the cause of action is barred by a prior judgment. Effect of splitting. On the other hand. There is no question that appellee (Bacolod) split up its cause of action when it filed the first complaint seeking the recovery of only the bottling taxes or charges plus legal interest.03 per case of soft drinks. The violation of each of these rights is a cause of action in itself. inter alia. In other words. but under the Ordinance. by way of a pre-trial order. the plaintiff may be entitled to several reliefs. 1959. this rule against the splitting up of a cause of action is an old one. minutes or a transcript of the notes of the alleged pre-trial hearing. In fact. The ordinance was sustained by the SC in a decision which became final and SMC was ordered to pay the amount corresponding to the ordinace. for a single cause of action or violation of a right. Illutractive case regarding theoy of the case SMC’s argument is meritorious. such a passenger has at least three causes of action arising from the same act. appellee became entitled.01 to P0. In the case at bar. a cause of action is basically an act or an omission or several acts or omissions. such act of appellant in violation of the right of appellee to be paid said charges in full under the Ordinance. Sections 3 and 4 of Rule 2 of the Rules of Court of 1940 which were still in force then provided: SEC. said decision failed to include the penalties and surcharges provided for in the ordinances. This happens. the filing of the first may be pleaded in abatement of the others. — A single cause of action cannot be split up into two or more parts so as to be made the subject of different complaints. (1) the right to be safe from the negligent acts of either or both the drivers under the law on culpa-acquiliana or quasi-delict. A single act or omission can be violative of various rights at the same time. however. In such a case. 3. Hence. . is injured in a collision thereof with another vehicle due to the negligence of the respective drivers of both vehicles. — If separate complaints were brought for different parts of a single cause of action. SMC refused to pay the additional fee and challenged the validity of the whole ordinance. Indeed. (2) the right to be safe from criminal negligence of the said drivers under the penal laws. for example. Judgment based o the compromise agreement in the quasi delict case is not a bar to the prosecution of the breach of contract case. This is what is prohibited by the rule. as a . and (3) the right to be safely conducted to his destination under the contract of carriage and the law covering the same. not counting anymore the provisions of Article 33 of the Civil Code. when appellant failed and refused to pay the difference in bottling charges from July 1. in which case. it preceded the Rules of Court or any statutory provision. it can happen also that several acts or omissions may violate only one right. The rule on the matter is clear. was one single cause of action. without mentioning in any manner the surcharges. Bacolod imposed a fee on soft drinks and increased it from P0. and a judgment upon the merits in either is available as a bar in the others. such as a taxi. SM Brewery (1969) petitioner's complaint.City of Bacolod v. forbidden. there would be only one cause of action. Splitting a cause of action. as when the act constitutes juridically a violation of several separate and distinct legal obligations. 4. and (2) a party may not institute more than one suit for a single cause of action. that there was indeed such as agreement.

Upon these facts. Bayang filed a second case. Should not have been decided summarily 2. A long line of decisions has consistently held that for res judicata to apply: a) the former judgment must be final. Stated differently. Bayang’s contentions are not meritorious. to two reliefs. Res judicata is inapplicable result of such non-payment. admissions and affidavits. but the Court of Appeals on reversed the trial court. CA (1987) Bayang filed a complaint for quieting of title with damages against Benigno Biong. That defense is sustained. b) it must have been rendered by a court having jurisdiction over the subject matter and the parties. seeking to recover from Biong the incomes earned from the same land from the time he was dispossessed up until the property was delivered to him. The procedure may be availed of not only by claimants. We hold that there was no genuine or triable issue of fact raised by the parties. The petitioner would draw a distinction between the land in dispute in Civil Case No. but also by defending parties who may be the object of unfounded claims. 2589. Summary judgment is one of the methods sanctioned in the present Rules of Court for a prompt disposition of civil actions wherein there exists no serious controversy. and should have been raised by Bayang in his earlier claim for. identity of subject matter and Identity of cause of action. Bayangs theory: 1. or that there is no genuine issue as to any material facts or where the facts appear undisputed and certain from the pleadings.Bayang v. the latter being merely a consequence of the failure to pay the former. The subject-matter is essentially the same in both cases as the income is only a consequence or accessory of the disputed property. the petitioner made no move at all to amend his complaint to include a claim for the income supposedly received by the private respondent during that period. thereby splitting up the said cause of action. and d) there must be between the first case and the second case identity of parties. the obligation of appellant to pay the surcharges arose from the violation by said appellant of the same right of appellee from which the obligation to pay the basic charges also arose. While the case was pending. . depositions. therefore. A motion for summary judgment assumes that scrutinizing of the facts will disclose that the issues presented by the pleadings need not be tried because they are so patently unsubstantial as not to be genuine issues. the case was decided in favor of Biong. Biong filed a motion for summary judgment. reiterating the affirmative defense of res judicata. Biong succeeded in dispossessing the plaintiff of the land in question and remained there. c) it must be a judgment on the merits. We cannot agree that there are involved here two causes of action calling for two separate cases. For about seven years. 1892 and the income from that land being claimed in Civil Case No. The claim for the income from the land was incidental to. But that is in our view splitting hairs to split a cause of action. and (2) the payment of the corresponding surcharges. it is obvious that appellee has filed separate complaints for each of two reliefs related to the same single cause of action. namely: (1) the recovery of the balance of the basic charges. ownership of the land. in view particularly of the affirmative defense of res judicata invoked by the private respondent.