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VOL.

336,JULY27,2000 475
Garciavs.CourtofAppeals
*
G.R.No.117032.July27,2000.

MA. PATRICIA GARCIA, BELEN G. GUTIERREZ, NICANOR


GUTIERREZ, GRACE M.B. GUTIERREZ, CAROLYN M.B.
GUTIERREZ, GERWIN GARCIA, GERSON GARCIA, and
GILMERGARCIA,petitioners,vs. COURT OF APPEALS, HON.
PEDRO M. ICAMINA, Judge of the Regional Trial Court, 6th
Judicial Region, Branch 9, Kalibo, Aklan RURAL BANK OF
SARA, INC., RAFAEL C. DINGLASAN, JR., MARIA ELENA I.
DINGLASAN, ANTHONY CABUGSO and LEDA SUELLO,
respondents.

Actions Pleadings and Practice Summary Judgments Words and


Phrases.A summary judgment is one granted upon motion by a party for
an expeditious settlement of the case, there appearing from the pleadings,
depositions,admissions,andaffidavitsthattherearenoimportantquestions
orissuesoffactposed(exceptastotheamountofdamages)andtherefore,
themovingpartyisentitledtoajudgmentasamatteroflaw.

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*THIRDDIVISION.

476

476 SUPREMECOURTREPORTSANNOTATED

Garciavs.CourtofAppeals

Same Same Same Upon a motion for summary judgment, the sole
functionofthecourtistodeterminewhetherornotthereisanissueoffact
to be tried, and any doubt as to the existence of an issue of fact must be
resolved against the movantcourts are quite critical of the papers
presentedbythemovingpartybutnotofthepapersinoppositiontheretoIf
the defense relied upon by the defendant is legally sufficient and does not
appear patently sham, the motion for summary judgment should be denied.
The aforecited rule does not vest in the trial court jurisdiction to
summarily try the issues on depositions and affidavits but gives it limited
authority to render summary judgment only when there is no genuine issue
of material fact at bar. Upon a motion for summary judgment, the sole
functionofthecourtistodeterminewhetherornotthereisanissueoffact
to be tried, and any doubt as to the existence of an issue of fact must be
resolvedagainstthemovant.Courtsarequitecriticalofthepaperspresented
by the moving party but not of the papers in opposition thereto. Thus, in
rulingonamotionforsummaryjudgment,thecourtshouldtakethatviewof
theevidencemostfavorabletothepartyagainstwhomitisdirected,giving
such party the benefit of all favorable inferences. That one may surmise
from plaintiffs showing that defendant is unlikely to prevail upon a trial is
not a sufficient basis to assume that the allegations of defendant are sham,
frivolous or unsubstantial. If the defense relied upon by the defendant is
legally sufficient and does not appear patently sham, the motion for
summaryjudgmentshouldbedenied.

PETITIONforreviewoncertiorariofadecisionoftheCourtof
Appeals.

ThefactsarestatedintheopinionoftheCourt.
RamonA.GonzalesandEstrellaM.Brionesforpetitioners.
StephenC.Arcenoforprivaterespondents.

PURISIMA,J.:

BeforetheCourtisaPetitionforReviewonCertiorariunderRule
45oftheRulesofCourtseekingtoannulandsetasidetheDecision
1
oftheCourtofAppeals datedAugust31,1994,inCAG.R.SP.No.
31231,whichsustainedtheMarch30,1993Orderof

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1 Thirteenth Division, composed of Associate Justices: Ma. Alicia Austria


Martinez(ponente),AlfredoM.MarigomenandRubenT.Reyes.

477

VOL.336,JULY27,2000 477
Garciavs.CourtofAppeals

Branch 9, Regional Trial Court of Kalibo, Aklan, denying herein


petitionersmotionforsummaryjudgment.
Theantecedentfactsthatmatterareasfollows:
On October 5, 1987, Florencio Junior Garcia, representing
himself as attorney in fact of the herein petitioners, brought in the
nameofthelatter,anactionforcollectionofsumofmoney,against
the private respondents, docketed as Civil Case No. 3777 before
Branch9,RegionalTrialCourtofKalibo,Aklan.Thesaidcomplaint
allegedinteralia:

3. That sometime on February 10, 1984, on representations, of


defendant Spouses Rafael and Elena DINGLASAN, plaintiffs,
through their then Attorney in fact, Florencio Junior Garcia, were
prevailed upon to time deposit the following amounts of money
issuingtothemthefollowingimedepositcertificates:

Name TimeDeposit Amount Maturity


Cert.No. Date
Ma.PatriciaGarcia 1275 P35,000 February
11,1986
NicanorGutierrez 1276 40,000 do
BelenB.Gutierrez 1277 35,000 do
GraceM.B.Gutierrez 1278 40,000 do
CarolineM.B.Gutierrez 1279 35,000 do
GerwinGarcia 1280 33,000 do
GersonGarcia 1281 35,788 do
GilmerGarcia 1282 30,000 do
Total P283,788

(XeroxcopiesattachedheretoasAnnexA,B,C,D,E,F,GandH)
with interest at 17% per annum starting from Feb. 10, 1984, all
defendants assuring plaintiffs that on the maturity dates (Feb. 11,
1986) of the aforesaid Time Deposit Certificates, the same, upon
surrender,willbepaidincash
4. That on Feb. 11, 1986, plaintiffs through their Attorney in fact,
(Florencio Junior Garcia) went to defendant Rural Bank, for the
purpose of surrendering said Time Deposit Certificates, and to
receive the payment from defendants of the amounts therein stated
totaling P283,788, plus interest thereon at 17% per annum for 731
daysortwoyears,the

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478 SUPREMECOURTREPORTSANNOTATED
Garciavs.CourtofAppeals

interest then amounting to P96,487.92 as of Feb. 11, 1986, for a


totalofP380,275.92asofFeb.11,1986
5. That defendants acting through Anthony Casugbo and Leda Suelo
(sic), Manager and Cashier respectively of defendant Rural Bank,
refused to pay, and told plaintiffs attorney in fact, to return after
one month, which said attorney in fact did, not only one month
thereafter, but on several other occasions thereafter either by
himself (attorney in fact), or through other authorized
representatives on all of these occasions the promises to pay the
timedepositsandinterestthereonwerenotfulfilled
6. That impatient at waiting, plaintiffs, on August 27, 1987, through
counsel,sentaletterofdemandtodefendants,givingtodefendants
30daysfromreceiptwithinwhichtopaytheTimeDepositplusthe
interestincrementsthereof,whichletter(AnnexI)wasreceivedby
themonSept.4,1987(Annex11)

However,untilthedateofthefilingofthiscomplaint,whichismorethan
30daysfromSept.4,1987defendantshavenotevenbotheredtoreplyorto
makeanyarrangementsacceptabletoplaintiffs
2
xxx

Respondent Rural Bank of Sara, Inc., Anthony Cabugso, and Leda


Suello, (manager and cashier, respectively, of respondent bank),
filed their answer contending by way of special and affirmative
defensesthat:

4. The Complaint states no cause of action against the


defendants in as much as the deposits (sic) named in
paragraph3oftheComplainthavenotatallauthorizedand
empowered alleged attorneyinfact, Florencio Junior
Garcia, to transact with the defendant bank, Rural bank of
Sara (Iloilo), Inc.. Neither have they authorized him to
withdrawtheirdepositswithdefendantbank
5. Thesaiddepositorsnamedinparagraph3ofthecomplaint
neverinthepastnoruptothepresenttimeapproachedthe
bank for withdrawal of their deposits, and (sic) reason of
andincompliancewiththelawonsecrecyofdeposits,the
defendant bank cannot divulge to anybody who has not
been properly authorized, anything about their deposits.
Besides the bank has to be strict with the requirements of
specimen signatures of its depositors so that it usually
requires proper authorizations duly notarized by a Notary
Public.Ifanybodyapproachesdefendantbank

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2Complaint,Rollo,pp.5556.

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for and in behalf of a depositors (sic) the bank would


requiresuchauthorization,otherwisenotransactionwillbe
madewithhim
6. Since no applications for withdrawal were received by
defendantbankfromitsdepositorsnamedinparagraph3of
the complaint, there was no reason at all to allow alleged
attorneyinfact, Florencio Junior Garcia, who never was
properly authorized, to transact for and in behalf of said
depositors
7. Thehereinattorneyinfact,FlorencioJuniorGarcia,hasno
capacitytosueandbesued,beingnottherealpartyinterest
(sic) nor has the (sic) authority from the alleged plaintiffs
sue(sic)andbesued
8. Therewasnovalidorlegalwithdrawalmadebythealleged
plaintiffsoftheirallegeddeposits,henceitwasnotlegally
possible for defendant bank to act with respect to such
depositsinviewoftheprohibitionmandatedbythelawon
3
secrecyofdeposits.

The respondent spouses, Rafael Dinglasan and Maria Elena


Dinglasan,likewisefiledtheiranswercontendingbywayofspecial
andaffirmativedefenses,that:

4. Thecomplaintstatesnocauseofactionagainstdefendants
5. There is no privity of contract between plaintiffs and
defendants
6. AttorneyinFact Florencio Junior Garcia has no apparent
4
authorityfromplaintiffstofiletheinstantcomplaint.

What the petitioners did was to present a Motion for Summary


Judgment, asseverating that they are entitled to a judgment as a
matter of law, since the pleadings and supporting affidavits
submitted are barren of any genuine issue which may be
controverted.
OnMarch30,1993,thetrialcourtissueditsOrderunderattack
denyingthemotionforsummaryjudgment.
Dissatisfiedtherewith,petitionerswenttotheCourtofAppeals,
theorizingthatthetrialcourtgravelyabuseditsdiscretionindenying
their subject motion. On August 31, 1994, however, the Court of
Appeals came out with its assailed Decision upholding the March
30,1993Orderofthelowercourt.

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3Decision,Rollo,pp.4748.

4Rollo,pp.5859.

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480 SUPREMECOURTREPORTSANNOTATED
Garciavs.CourtofAppeals

Undaunted,petitionersfoundtheirwaytothisCourtviathepresent
Petitionanchoredonthegrounds,that:

I. THE COURT OF APPEALS HAS DECIDED A


QUESTION OF SUBSTANCE NOT IN ACCORD WITH
LAW AND APPLICABLE DECISIONS OF THE
SUPREME COURT IN HOLDING THAT THERE ARE
GENUINE ISSUES AS TO MATERIAL FACTS THAT
BARRENDITIONOFSUMMARYJUDGMENT.
II. THE COURT OF APPEALS HAS DECIDED A
QUESTION OF SUBSTANCE NOT IN ACCORD WITH
LAW AND APPLICABLE DECISIONS OF THE
SUPREMECOURTINNOTORDERINGRESPONDENT
COURT TO 5GRANT THE MOTION FOR SUMMARY
JUDGMENT.

ThePetitionisdevoidofmerit.
Sections1and3,Rule34,oftheRulesofCourtprovide:

SECTION1.Summaryjudgmentforclaimant.Apartyseekingtorecover
upon a claim, counterclaim, or crossclaim or to obtain a declaratory relief
may,atanytimeafterthepleadinginanswertheretohasbeenserved,move
with supporting affidavits for a summary judgment in his favor upon all or
anypartthereof.
SEC.3.Motionandproceedingsthereon.Themotionshallbeserved
atleastten(10)daysbeforethetimespecifiedforthehearing.Theadverse
party prior to the day of hearing may serve opposing affidavits. After the
hearing, the judgment sought shall be rendered forthwith if the pleading,
depositions, and admissions on file together with the affidavits, show that,
except as to the amount of damages, there is no genuine issue as to any
materialfactandthatthemovingpartyisentitledtoajudgmentasamatter
**
oflaw.

Asummaryjudgmentisonegranteduponmotionbyapartyforan
expeditious settlement of the case, there appearing from the
pleadings, depositions, admissions, and affidavits that there are no
importantquestionsorissuesoffactposed(exceptastothe

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5Rollo,p.12.

**NowSections1and3,Rule35ofthe1997RulesofCivilProcedure.

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VOL.336,JULY27,2000 481
Garciavs.CourtofAppeals

amountofdamages)andtherefore,themovingpartyisentitledtoa
6
judgmentasamatteroflaw.
Theaforecitedruledoesnotvestinthetrialcourtjurisdictionto
summarily try the issues on depositions and affidavits but gives it
limitedauthoritytorendersummaryjudgmentonlywhenthereisno
genuine issue of material fact at bar. Upon a motion for summary
judgment,thesolefunctionofthecourtistodeterminewhetheror
not there is an issue of fact to be tried, and any doubt as to the
existence of an issue of fact must be resolved against the movant.
Courtsarequitecriticalofthepaperspresentedbythemovingparty
but not of the papers in opposition thereto. Thus, in ruling on a
motionforsummaryjudgment,thecourtshouldtakethatviewofthe
evidence most favorable to the party against whom it is directed,
giving such party the benefit of all favorable inferences. That one
may surmise from plaintiffs showing that defendant is unlikely to
prevail upon a trial is not a sufficient basis to assume that the
allegationsofdefendantaresham,frivolousorunsubstantial.Ifthe
defense relied upon by the defendant is legally sufficient and does
notappearpatentlysham,themotionforsummaryjudgmentshould
7
bedenied.
In the case under consideration, the pleadings and exhibits on
recordrevealthatthereexistgenuineissuesonmaterialorpertinent
facts sufficient to preclude a rendition of summary judgment. As
correctly found by the Court of Appeals, the pleadings submitted
belowbythepartiesraisethefollowingissues:

1. Whether or not Florencio Junior Garcia is properly


authorizedtofilethecomplaintfortheplaintiffsnamedin
thetitleofthecomplaint.
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6ArmyandNavyClubofManila,Inc.vs.CourtofAppeals,271 SCRA 36 p. 49

(1997) citing: Secs. 1, 2, 3, Rule 34. Philippine National Bank v. Noahs Ark Sugar
Refinery,226SCRA36(1993)Vergara,Sr.v.Suelto,156SCRA753(1987)Mercado
vs.CourtofAppeals,162SCRA75(1988).
7Gatchalian vs. Pavilin,6 SCRA 508, pp. 511512 citing: Morans Comments on

theRulesofCourt,Vol.I,p.600,2ndEd.

482

482 SUPREMECOURTREPORTSANNOTATED
Garciavs.CourtofAppeals
Whether or not defendants (private respondents) spouses
2. Dinglasan may be held jointly and severally liable with
8
theircodefendant(coprivaterespondent)ruralbank.

Verily, there is a need to find out whether Florencio Junior Garcia


wasdulyauthorizedbytheplaintiffsnamedinCivilCaseNo.3777
tofilethecomplaintagainsttheprivaterespondents.Itisworthyto
note that while the complaint states that the plaintiffs therein
mentioned empowered Florencio Junior Garcia to collect the sums
duethemfromtherespondentbank,therecordsonhandshowthat
9
onlyfour oftheeightplaintiffsexecutedaspecialpowerofattorney
authorizing Florencio Junior Garcia to deal with respondent bank.
Contrarily, it is argued that the absence of a special power of
attorneytowithdrawthetimedepositisofnomoment,considering
that the present case for collection in the name of the plaintiffs
sufficiently shows the latters intention to collect their money
throughFlorencioJuniorGarcia.Apparently,theforegoingtheoryis
meritorious.Buttheundeniablefact,however,isthatnotoneofthe
plaintiffs verified the contents of the complaint and neither was
there in the records a special power of attorney authorizing
Florencio Junior Garcia to institute the present case against private
respondents.Thustheissueofwhetherornottheplaintiffsnamedin
Civil Case No. 3777, constituted Florencio Junior Garcia as their
attorneyinfactwithauthoritytobringsubjectsuitforcollectionof
sumofmoneyagainsttheprivaterespondents.
Thentoo,theissueofwhetherornotpetitionershaveacauseof
action against the spouses, Rafael Dinglasan and Maria Elena
Dinglasan,callsforatrialonthemerits.Whilethesaidrespondent
spousesinsistthatthereisnoprivityofcontractbetweenthemand
the petitioners, the latter claim that the former prevailed upon
themtotimedeposittheirmoneywiththerespondentbank.Indeed,
it is only upon presentation of evidence during the trial can it be
determinedwhethertherespondentspousesmaybeheldjointlyand
severallyliablewithrespondentbank.

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8Rollo,pp.5051.

9 Ma. Patricia B. Garcia, Gilmer L. Garcia, Gerson L. Garcia, and Gerwin L.

Garcia(SeeRollo,pp.7578).

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Garciavs.CourtofAppeals

Premisesstudiedlyconsideredandviewedinproperperspective,the
Courtisoftheineluctableconclusion,andsoholds,thattheCourtof
AppealserrednotinaffirmingtheOrder,datedMarch30,1993,of
Branch9,RegionalTrialCourtofKalibo,Aklan,inCivilCaseNo.
3777.
WHEREFORE,thePetitionisDENIEDandtheDecisionofthe
Court of Appeals, dated August 31, 1994, in CAGR. SP. No.
31231AFFIRMED.NoPronouncementastocosts.
SOORDERED.

Melo(Chairman),Vitug,Panganiban and GonzagaReyes,


JJ.,concur.

Petitiondenied,judgmentaffirmed.

Notes.Asummaryjudgmentisonegrantedbythecourtupon
motion by a party for an expeditious settlement of a case, there
appearing from the pleadings, depositions, admissions, and
affidavits that there are no important questions or issues of fact
involved, and that therefore the moving party is entitled to a
judgmentasamatteroflaw.(ArmyandNavyClubofManila,Inc.
vs.CourtofAppeals,271SCRA36[1997])

Summary judgments are now governed by Rule 35 of the 1987


RulesofCivilProcedure,withtheamendmentsallowingtheparties
to submit not only affidavits but also depositions or admissions in
supportoftheirrespectivecontentions.(NorthwestAirlines,Inc.vs.
CourtofAppeals,284SCRA408[1998])
UnderRule34,eitherpartymaymoveforasummaryjudgment
the claimant by virtue of Section 1 and the defending party by
virtue of Section 2. (Garcia vs. Court of Appeals, 312 SCRA 180
[1999])

o0o

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