You are on page 1of 14

ANNOTATION

THE NEED FOR ACCURACY IN THE ALLEGATIONS OF A


COMPLAINT AND A CRIMINAL INFORMATION
by
MAURICIO C. ULEP*

___________________

1. Definition, office and function of a complaint, p. 685


2. Ultimate facts and evidentiary facts defined, p. 686
3. The object of pleadings, p. 687
4. What determines the nature of an action is the allegation and
not the caption or the prayer, p. 687
5. Test to determine the sufficiency of the facts alleged in the
complaint, p. 690
6. Case where the allegations of the complaint were considered and
not the caption thereof, p. 691
7. Jurisdiction cannot be made to depend on the allegations of the
Answer, p. 691
8. Exception to the general rule that the sufficiency of a cause of
action in a complaint must be limited to the facts, p. 692
9. If the allegations of a complaint is vague, the proper remedy is
not a motion to dismiss but a motion for bill of particulars, p. 692
_______________

* Former Associate Dean, UE College of Law, Professor of Law, Author of Law Books, former
President, IBP Manila Chapter III.
685
VOL.736,SEPTEMBER29,2014 685
TheNeedforAccuracyintheAllegationsofaComplaintandaCriminal
Information

10. If the allegations in a pleading are not denied, the same is


deemed admitted, p. 693
11. It is the averments in the information which characterize the
crime to be prosecuted, p. 693
12. The allegations in the criminal Information is controlling for
purposes of complying with the right to be informed of the
accusation, p. 694
13. The parties are not allowed to agree on the conferment of
jurisdiction, p. 695
14. Courts are not bound by the title or name given to a contract by
the parties, p. 695
15. If the averments of a complaint shows that the court has no
jurisdiction, the case will be dismissed, p. 696
16. To determine which body will have jurisdiction to hear a case,
it must look at the subject of the controversy, p. 696
17. A defectively drafted allegation must be construed liberally, p.
697
18. In determining the sufficiency of the allegations of a complaint,
the complaint need not allege facts proving the existence of a cause
of action, p. 697
19. The phrase among others cannot confer a cause of action, p.
698
___________________

1. Definition, office and function of a complaint

A complaint is defined as a concise statement of the ultimate facts


constituting the plaintiffs cause or causes of action. Like all other pleadings
allowed by the Rules of Court, the complaint shall contain in a methodical
and logical form a plain, concise and direct statement of the ultimate facts on
which the plaintiff relies his claim, omitting the statement of
686
686 SUPREMECOURTREPORTSANNOTATED
TheNeedforAccuracyintheAllegationsofaComplaintandaCriminal
Information

mere evidentiary facts. Its office, purpose or function is to inform the


defendant clearly and definitely of the claims made against him so that he
may be prepared to meet the issues at the trial. (Tantuico, Jr. v. Republic, 204
SCRA 428 [1991]). On its face, the complaint must show enough ground for
the court to assume jurisdiction without resort to parol testimony. (Lopez v.
David, Jr., 426 SCRA 535 [2004]; Canlas v. Tubil, 601 SCRA 147
[2009]; Delos Reyes v. Odones, 646 SCRA 328 [2011])
It is axiomatic that the averments of the complaint determine the nature
of the action, and consequently, the jurisdiction of the courts. This is because
the complaint must contain a concise statement of the ultimate facts
constituting the plaintiffs cause of action and must specify the relief sought.
No rule is better established than that which requires the complaint to
contain a statement of all the facts constituting the plaintiffs cause of action.
(Abad v. CFI of Pangasinan, Br. VIII, 206 SCRA 567 [1992];Tolosa v.
National Labor Relations Commission, 401 SCRA 291 [2003]; Heirs of
Susana De Guzman Tuazon v. Court of Appeals, 420 SCRA 219 [2004]) Where
the averments in a complaint are altogether imprecise, they cannot be
dignified as constituting a legally sufficient statement of the ultimate facts
required in the formulation of a cause of action. (Serrano v. Muoz [HI]
Motors, Inc., 21 SCRA 1085 [1967])

2. Ultimate facts and evidentiary facts defined

Ultimate facts means the essential facts constituting the plaintiffs cause
of action. A fact is essential if it cannot be stricken out without leaving the
statement of the cause of action insufficient. Ultimate facts are important and
substantial facts which either directly make up the wrongful acts or
omissions of the defendant. The term does not refer to the details of the
probative matter or particulars of evidence by which these material elements
are to be established. It refers to principal, determinate, constitutive facts,
upon the exis-

687
VOL.736,SEPTEMBER29,2014 687
TheNeedforAccuracyintheAllegationsofaComplaintandaCriminal
Information

tence of which, the entire cause of action rests. (Salita v. Magtolis, 233 SCRA
100 [1994]; Barcelona v. Court of Appeals, 412 SCRA 41 [2003]; Caete v.
Genuino Ice Company, Inc., 542 SCRA 206 [2008]; Belle Corporation v. De
Leon-Banks, 681 SCRA 351 [2012])
Evidentiary fact has been defined as those facts which are necessary for
determination of the ultimate facts; they are the premises upon which
conclusions of ultimate facts are based. Facts which furnish evidence of
existence of some other fact. (Tantuico, Jr. v. Republic, 204 SCRA 428
[1991]; Nacua-Jao v. China Banking Corporation, 505 SCRA 56 [2006])

3. The object of pleadings

The object of pleadings is to draw the lines of battle between the litigants
and to indicate fairly the nature of the claims or defenses of both parties.
(Catungal v. Rodriguez, 646 SCRA 130 [2011])

4. What determines the nature of an action is the allegation and


not the caption or the prayer

What determines the nature and character of an action is not the prayer
but the essential basic allegations of fact set forth in the pertinent pleading.
(Padre v. Badillo, 640 SCRA 50 [2011]; Delos Reyes v. Odones, 646 SCRA 328
[2011]; Gustilo v. Gustillo III, 659 SCRA 619 [2011]; D.M. Ferrer & Associates
Corporation v. University of Santo Tomas, 664 SCRA 784 [2012]; Bank of the
Philippine Islands v. Hong, 666 SCRA 71 [2012]; Bases Conversion
Development Authority v. Provincial Agrarian Reform Officer of Pampanga,
675 SCRA 7 [2012]; Padlan v. Dinglasan, 694 SCRA 91 [2013]; Cacayorin v.
Armed Forces and Police Mutual Benefit Association, Inc., 696 SCRA 311
[2013]; Cabrera v. Francisco, 704 SCRA 103 [2013];Medical Plaza Makati
Condominium Corporation v. Cullen, 709 SCRA 110 [2013]; Optimum
Development Bank v.
688
688 SUPREMECOURTREPORTSANNOTATED
TheNeedforAccuracyintheAllegationsofaComplaintandaCriminal
Information

Jovellanos, 711 SCRA 548 [2013]; Surviving Heirs of Alfredo R. Bautista v.


Lindo, 718 SCRA 321 [2014])
This is irrespective of whether the plaintiff is entitled to recover upon all
or some of the claims asserted therein. (Serrano v. Muoz [Hi] Motors, Inc.,
21 SCRA 1085 [1967];Caparros v. Court of Appeals, 170 SCRA 758
[1989];Bernarte v. Court of Appeals, 263 SCRA 323 [1996];Santiago v.
Guingona, Jr., 298 SCRA 756 [1998]; Intestate Estate of Alexander T. Ty v.
Court of Appeals, 356 SCRA 661 [2001]; Herrera v. Bollos, 374 SCRA 107
[2002]; Tan v. Commission on Elections, 417 SCRA 532 [2003]; R.V. Marzan
Freight, Inc. v. Court of Appeals, 424 SCRA 596 [2004]; Dimo Realty &
Development, Inc. v. Dimaculangan, 425 SCRA 376 [2004]; Sumawang v. De
Guzman, 437 SCRA 622 [2004]; Barangay Piapi v. Talip, 469 SCRA 409
[2005]; Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company, Inc. v. Paguio, 472
SCRA 453 [2005]; Heirs of Magpily v. De Jesus, 474 SCRA 366 [2005]; Reyes
v. Solemar Development Corporation, 484 SCRA 1 [2006]; Barrazona v.
Regional Trial Court, Br. 61, Baguio City, 486 SCRA 555 [2006];Galo v.
Commission on Elections, 487 SCRA 548 [2006];Trans Middle East (Phils.) v.
Sandiganbayan, 490 SCRA 455 [2006]; General Milling Corporation v.
Uytengsu, III, 494 SCRA 241 [2006]; Encarnacion v. Amigo, 502 SCRA 172
[2006]; Philippine Stock Exchange, Inc. v. Manila Banking Corporation, 559
SCRA 352 [2008]; Salmorin v. Zaldivar, 559 SCRA 564 [2008]; Sison v.
Cariaga, 594 SCRA 661 [2009]; Halaguea v. Philippines Airlines,
Incorporated, 602 SCRA 297 [2009]; Home Guaranty Corporation v. R-II
Builders, Inc., 645 SCRA 219 [2011];Strategic Alliance Development
Corporation v. Star Infrastructure Development Corporation, 647 SCRA 545
[2011]; Republic v. Roman Catholic Archbishop of Manila, 685 SCRA 216
[2012])
Hence, under the rules on pleadings, it only requires the allegation of
ultimate facts and not the provisions of law or contract relied upon. (Sea-
Land Service, Inc. v. Court of Appeals, 223 SCRA 316 [1993]) Moreover, the
focus is on the
689
VOL.736,SEPTEMBER29,2014 689
TheNeedforAccuracyintheAllegationsofaComplaintandaCriminal
Information

sufficiency, not the veracity of the material allegations. The determination is


confined to the four corners of the complaint and nowhere else (Philippine
Crop Insurance Corp. v. Court of Appeals, 567 SCRA 1 [2008]), as in fact, the
designation or caption of the complaint is not controlling. It is not even an
indispensable part of the complaint (Munsalud v. National Housing
Authority, 575 SCRA 144 [2008], citing Hernudd v. Lofgren, 534 SCRA 205
[2007]) and the court should grant the relief warranted by the allegations and
the proof even if no such relief is prayed for. (Anadon v. Herrera, 527 SCRA 90
[2007]; citingLeonardo v. Court of Appeals, 438 SCRA 201 [2004])
x x xx x xx x x
The purpose of an action or suit and the law to govern it, including the
period of prescription, is to be determined not by the claim of the party filing
the action, made in his argument or brief, but rather by the complaint itself,
its allegations and the prayer for relief. (Rone v. Claro, 91 Phil. 250
[1952], Piano v. Cayanong, 7 SCRA 397 [1963])
x x xx x xx x x
Hardly disputable is that the jurisdiction of the court and the nature of the
action must be determined by the averments in the complaint and the
character of the relief sought vis--vis the corresponding provisions of the law
involved. (Movers-Baseco Integrated Port Services, Inc. v. Cyborg Leasing
Corporation, 317 SCRA 327 [1999])
x x xx x xx x x
It is a basic rule that jurisdiction is determined by the allegations in the
complaint. The BCDAs complaints did not contain any allegation that would
even in the slightest, imply that the issue to be resolved in this case involved
an agrarian dispute. In the action filed by the BCDA, the issue to be resolved
was who between the BCDA and the private respondents and their purported
predecessors-in-interest, have a valid title over the subject properties in light
of the relevant

690
690 SUPREMECOURTREPORTSANNOTATED
TheNeedforAccuracyintheAllegationsofaComplaintandaCriminal
Information

facts and applicable laws. The case thus involves a controversy relating to the
ownership of the subject properties, which is beyond the scope of the phrase
agrarian dispute. The RTC, therefore, gravely erred when it dismissed the
complaints on the ground that they were prematurely filed. The action filed
by the BCDA was cognizable by regular courts. (Bases Conversion
Development Authority v. Provincial Agrarian Reform Officer of Pampanga,
675 SCRA 7 [2012]) Even in ejectment cases, jurisdiction is determined by the
allegations pleaded in the complaint. (Aquino v. Aure, 546 SCRA 71 [2008])
x x xx x xx x x

5. Test to determine the sufficiency of the facts alleged in the


complaint

In determining the sufficiency of the facts alleged in the complaint, the test
is whether admitting the facts alleged, the court can render a valid judgment
upon the same in accordance with the prayer of the plaintiff. (Feliciano v.
Court of Appeals, 287 SCRA 61 [1998]; Far East Bank and Trust Company v.
Court of Appeals, 341 SCRA 485 [2000];G & S Transport Corporation v.
Court of Appeals, 382 SCRA 262 [2002]; Sarming v. Dy, 383 SCRA 131
[2002];Equitable Philippine Commercial International Bank v. Court of
Appeals, 425 SCRA 544 [2004]; Jan-Dec Construction Corporation v. Court of
Appeals, 481 SCRA 556 [2006]; First Bancorp, Inc. v. Court of Appeals, 492
SCRA 221 [2006]; Universal Aquarius, Inc. v. Q.C. Human Resources
Management Corp., 533 SCRA 38 [2007]; Anchor Savings Bank [Formerly
Anchor Finance and Investment Corporation] v. Furigay, 693 SCRA 384
[2013])
To be taken into account are the material allegations in the complaint;
extraneous facts and circumstances or other matters aliunde are not
considered. (Aldemita v. Heirs of Melquiades Silva, 506 SCRA 607 [2006]) If
the allegations in the complaint furnish sufficient basis on which it can be
maintained, it should not be dismissed regardless of the de-
691
VOL.736,SEPTEMBER29,2014 691
TheNeedforAccuracyintheAllegationsofaComplaintandaCriminal
Information

fense that may be presented by the defendants. (Vda. de Daffon v. Court of


Appeals, 387 SCRA 427 [2002])

6. Case where the allegations of the complaint were considered and


not the caption thereof

Where the caption of the complaint is one for an action to recover property
but the averments are one for accion reinvindicatoria. (Valisno v. Plan, 143
SCRA 502 [1986])
7. Jurisdiction cannot be made to depend on the allegations of the
Answer

Jurisdiction over the subject matter is determined by the allegations of the


complaint, irrespective of whether or not plaintiff is entitled to recover upon
all or some of the claims asserted therein a matter that can be resolved
only after and as a result of the trial. Nor may the jurisdiction of the court be
made to depend upon the defense set up in the answer or upon the motion to
dismiss for, were we to be governed by such rule, the question of jurisdiction
would depend almost entirely upon the defendant. (Serrano v. Muoz [Hi]
Motors, Inc., 21 SCRA 1085 [1967]. See also Vencilao v. Camarenta, 29 SCRA
473 [1969]; Fuentes v. Bautista, 53 SCRA 420 [1973]; Ganadin v. Ramos, 99
SCRA 613 [1980]; Caparros v. Court of Appeals, 170 SCRA 758
[1989]; Philippine Feeds Milling Co., Inc. v. Court of Appeals, 174 SCRA 108
[1989]; Notre Dame de Lourdes Hospital v. Mallare-Philips, 197 SCRA 187
[1991]; Isidro v. Court of Appeals, 228 SCRA 503 [1993]; Sarmiento v. Court
of Appeals, 250 SCRA 108 [1995]; Sandel v. Court of Appeals, 262 SCRA 101
[1996];Caiza v. Court of Appeals, 268 SCRA 640 [1997];Serdoncillo v.
Benolirao, 297 SCRA 448 [1998]; Huibonhoa v. Court of Appeals, 320 SCRA
625 [1999]; Radio Communications of the Philippines, Inc. v. Court of
Appeals, 386 SCRA 67 [2002]; Hilado v. Chavez, 438 SCRA 623
[2004]; Department of Agrarian Reform v. Cuenca, 439 SCRA 15 [2004]; Dela
Cruz v.
692
692 SUPREMECOURTREPORTSANNOTATED
TheNeedforAccuracyintheAllegationsofaComplaintandaCriminal
Information

Court of Appeals, 442 SCRA 492 [2004]; Del Mundo v. Gutierrez-Torres, 471
SCRA 152 [2005]; Fernando v. Lim, 563 SCRA 147 [2008]; Cadimas v.
Carrion, 567 SCRA 101 [2008]; Heirs of Juanita Padilla v. Magdua, 630
SCRA 573 [2010]; Mendoza v. Germino, 635 SCRA 537 [2010]; Ching v.
Rodriguez, 661 SCRA 449 [2011])

8. Exception to the general rule that the sufficiency of a cause of


action in a complaint must be limited to the facts
Where a hearing was held and documentary evidence was presented, a
motion to dismiss for insufficiency of a cause of action will be granted if
documentary evidence admitted disclose fact sufficient to defeat the claim.
(Santiago v. Pioneer Savings and Loan Bank, 157 SCRA 100 [1988])

9. If the allegations of a complaint is vague, the proper remedy is


not a motion to dismiss but a motion for bill of particulars

Vagueness in the allegations of a complaint is not a ground for a motion to


dismiss. The proper recourse is a motion for a Bill of Particulars. (Ramos v.
Condez, 20 SCRA 1146 [1967]; Ilano v. Espaol, 478 SCRA 365 [2005])
Essential averments lacking in a pleading may not be construed into it,
nor facts not alleged by a plaintiff be taken as having no existence. Justice
requires that a man be apprised of the nature of the action against him so
that he may prepare his defense. A pleading must be construed most strictly
against the pleader. He is presumed to have stated all the facts involved, and
to have done so as favorably to himself as his conscience will permit. So, if
material allegations were omitted, it will be presumed in the absence of an
application to amend that those matters do not exist. This is a basic rule in
pleading. (International Flavors and Fragrances [Phils.], Inc. v. Argos, 364
SCRA 792 [2001])
693
VOL.736,SEPTEMBER29,2014 693
TheNeedforAccuracyintheAllegationsofaComplaintandaCriminal
Information

10. If the allegations in a pleading are not denied, the same is


deemed admitted

If a litigant does not directly traverse the allegations of the other party,
which are material to the existence of a cause of action, the allegation is
deemed admitted. (Banares v. Barican, 58 SCRA 145 [1974])

11. It is the averments in the information which characterize the


crime to be prosecuted
Settled is the rule that it is the averments in the information which
characterize the crime to be prosecuted and the court before which it must be
tried. Jurisdiction is vested by law and cannot be conferred or waived by the
parties. Even on appeal and even if the reviewing parties did not raise the
issue of jurisdiction, the reviewing court is not precluded from ruling that the
lower court had no jurisdiction over the case. The operation of the principle of
estoppel on the question of jurisdiction seemingly depends upon whether the
lower court had jurisdiction or not. If it had no jurisdiction, but the case was
tried and decided upon the theory it had jurisdiction, the parties are not
barred, on appeal, from assailing such jurisdiction, for the same must exist
as a matter of law, and may not be conferred by consent of the parties or by
estoppel. Thus, a question may be asked: Is the conviction of the accused by
the Regional Trial Court under an information falling within the jurisdiction
of the Municipal Trial Court valid? The answer is no, based on the above
ruling. (Pangilinan v. Court of Appeals, 321 SCRA 51 [1999]. See also People
v. Bayeng, 364 SCRA 667 [2001]; People v. Bernas, 377 SCRA 391
[2002]; Rodriguez v. Sandiganbayan, 424 SCRA 236 [2004]; Malto v. People,
533 SCRA 643 [2007]; Firaza v. People, 600 SCRA 674 [2009]; Flordeliz v.
People, 614 SCRA 225 [2010]; Miguel v. Sandiganbayan, 675 SCRA 560
[2012])
Likewise, controlling in an information should not be the title of the
complaint or the designation of the offense charged694
694 SUPREMECOURTREPORTSANNOTATED
TheNeedforAccuracyintheAllegationsofaComplaintandaCriminal
Information

or the particular law or part thereof allegedly violated, these being, by and
large, mere conclusions of law made by the prosecutor, but the description of
the crime charged and the particular facts therein recited. (People v.
Quemeggen, 594 SCRA 94 [2009])
An information, under Section 6, Rule 110 of the 2000 Revised Rules on
Criminal Procedure is deemed sufficient if it states the name of the accused;
the designation of the offense given by the statute; the acts or omissions
complained of as constituting the offense; the name of the offended party; the
approximate date of the commission of the offense; and the place where the
offense was committed. (People v. Teodoro, 607 SCRA 307 [2009])
12. The allegations in the criminal Information is controlling for
purposes of complying with the right to be informed of the
accusation

It is not the designation of the offense in the Information that is


controlling but the allegations therein which directly apprise the accused of
the nature and cause of the accusation against him. This is in conformity
with the right of the accused to be informed of the charge or accusation
against him. (People v. Banihit, 339 SCRA 86 [2000])
Corollarily, an accused may be convicted of a crime and sentenced to a
penalty prescribed so long as the facts alleged in the information and proved
at the trial shall constitute the crime for which he is convicted even though
different from the crime designated and charted in the said information.
(People v. Almendral, 433 SCRA 440, 452-453 [2004])
Moreover, judicial proceedings and determination should never be the
victims of the tyranny of labels. (Concurring and Dissenting Opinion of
Justice Regalado inPeople v. Pineda, 219 SCRA 1, 25 [1993])695
VOL.736,SEPTEMBER29,2014 695
TheNeedforAccuracyintheAllegationsofaComplaintandaCriminal
Information

13. The parties are not allowed to agree on the conferment of


jurisdiction

It is a fundamental axiom in adjective law that jurisdiction is conferred by


law and where there is none, no agreement of the parties can
vest competencia. (Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center-Aquaculture
Department v. NLRC, 206 SCRA 283 [1992]; Leonor v. Court of Appeals, 256
SCRA 69 [1996]; Department of Health v. NLRC, 251 SCRA 700 [1995]; Dela
Rosa v. Roldan, 501 SCRA 34 [2006]. Cf. Sante v. Claravall, 613 SCRA 333
[2010]) Moreover, jurisdiction of a court is conferred by the Constitution and
by the laws in force at the time of the commencement of the action (People v.
Mariano, 71 SCRA 600 [1976]; Villamayor v. Luciano, 88 SCRA 156 [1979])
and that jurisdiction cannot be made to depend on the exclusive
characterization or theory of the case by one of the parties. (Pilipinas Bank v.
Court of Appeals, 326 SCRA 147 [2000]; Ramos v. Stateland Investment
Corporation, 474 SCRA 726 [2005]; Larano v. Calendacion, 525 SCRA 57
[2007])
Likewise, a court cannot be divested of jurisdiction by the ingenuous
omission by a plaintiff of any reference to a matter which clearly shows that
the said court has jurisdiction, nor can a court be conferred with jurisdiction
where it has none by a contrived wording by a plaintiffs allegation in the
complaint in order to impress that it is within said courts jurisdiction.
(Lacierda v. Platon, 468 SCRA 650 [2006])

14. Courts are not bound by the title or name given to a contract by
the parties

To determine the nature of the contract, courts do not have or are not
bound to rely upon the name or title given it by the contracting parties,
should there be a controversy as to what they really had intended to enter
into, but the way the contracting parties do or perform their respective
obligations stipulated or agreed upon be shown and inquired into, and 696
696 SUPREMECOURTREPORTSANNOTATED
TheNeedforAccuracyintheAllegationsofaComplaintandaCriminal
Information

should such performance conflict with the name or title given the contract
by the parties, the former must prevail over the latter. (Balbas v. Domingo, 21
SCRA 444 [1967])

15. If the averments of a complaint shows that the court has no


jurisdiction, the case will be dismissed

The very complaint filed in the municipal trial court which is


determinative of its jurisdiction over the case alleged the existence of a
leasehold relationship between the parties in connection with the cultivation
of an agricultural land devoted to the planting of palay. It was apparent,
therefore, from the record before the judge of the court of first instance, before
he rendered his decision, that the jurisdiction of the municipal court was in
issue therein, that said court had no jurisdiction over the subject matter of
the case, and that, on appeal from the decision of the municipal court, the
court of first instance, consequently had no jurisdiction to pass upon the
merits of the action for unlawful detainer. (Lagman v. Court of Appeals, 44
SCRA 228 [1972])
On the other hand, if the allegations in the complaint furnish sufficient
basis on which it can be maintained, it should not be dismissed regardless of
the defense that may be presented by the defendants. (Vitangcol v. New Vista
Properties, Inc., 600 SCRA 82 [2009])

16. To determine which body will have jurisdiction to hear a case,


it must look at the subject of the controversy

Well-settled is the rule that in determining which body has jurisdiction


over a case, we should consider not only the status or relationship of the
parties, but also the nature of the question that is the subject of their
controversy. To determine the nature of the action and which court has
jurisdiction, courts must look at the averments of the complaint or petition 697
VOL.736,SEPTEMBER29,2014 697
TheNeedforAccuracyintheAllegationsofaComplaintandaCriminal
Information

and the essence of the relief prayed for. (Eristingcol v. Court of Appeals,
582 SCRA 139 [2009])

17. A defectively drafted allegation must be construed liberally

Sec. 15, Rule 6 explicitly ordains that all pleading shall be liberally
construed so as to do substantial justice; so although a pleading is awkwardly
drafted and may be the subject to criticism with respect to incidental
particulars, it must be deemed sufficient if it fairly apprises the adverse party
of the claims or contentions therein stated and does not mislead him to his
surprise or injury or when from the allegations therein, taken together, the
matters required to be averred may be gathered. (Supio v. Garde, 45 SCRA
429 [1972])

18. In determining the sufficiency of the allegations of a complaint,


the complaint need not allege facts proving the existence of a cause
of action
Contrary to the contention of petitioners, respondents did not have to
present or append proof of their allegations in the complaint to establish a
sufficient cause of action forreinvindicacion and/or reconveyance in their
Amended Complaint. The Court has held that in determining whether the
allegations of a complaint are sufficient to support a cause of action, it must
be borne in mind that the complaint does not have to establish or allege facts
proving the existence of a cause of action at the outset; this will have to be
done at the trial on the merits of the case. (Heirs of Antonio Santos v. Heirs of
Crispulo Beramo, 627 SCRA 27 [2010])

19. The phrase among others cannot confer a cause of action

The use of the opaque phrase among others, cannot confer causes of
action other than that specifically averred in the698
698 SUPREMECOURTREPORTSANNOTATED
TheNeedforAccuracyintheAllegationsofaComplaintandaCriminal
Information

Expanded Complaint. Smart pleaders resort to said artful phrase only to


gain more leeway in presenting their evidence. (Republic v. Sandiganbayan,
230 SCRA 710 [1994])
o0o