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Philippine Business Bank v.

Chua 264
GR No. 178899, 15 Nov 2010, Brion, J.
Digested by JERIC ABESAMIS Law 125 Civil Procedure

Petitioners: Philippine Business Bank


Respondents: Chua
Nature of the case: Petition for Review on Certiorari (Rule 45)

DOCTRINE(s):

1) A summary judgment, or accelerated judgment, is a procedural technique to promptly


dispose of cases where the facts appear undisputed and certain from the pleadings,
depositions, admissions or affidavits on record, or for weeding out sham claims or defenses
at an early stage of the litigation to avoid the expense and loss of time involved in a trial.

2) The appeal from the partial summary judgment shall be taken together with the judgment
that may be rendered in the entire case after a trial is conducted on the material facts on
which a substantial controversy exists.

In a cross-claim by PBB against its co-defendant Chua, RTC rendered a partial summary judgment
in favor of PBB and found Chua liable for the PNs. Chua failed to timely file a certiorari so RTC
found the order to be final and executory. CA reversed RTC because a partial summary judgment is
only an interlocutory order and cannot attain finality. SC agreed with CA and held that the appeal
for a partial summary judgment must be taken together with a judgment in the entire case.

FACTS
Tomas Tan, a stockholder and director of CST Enterprises (CST), turned over to Felipe
Chua, a director and President of CST, original copies of TCTs of properties owned by CST.
Tan discovered that a certain Atty. Soriano issued a secretarys certificate which stated that
John Dennis Chua was authorized during a CST board meeting to open a bank account and
obtain credit facilities under the name of CST with PBB. The certificate also authorized John
Chua to use CSTs properties as security for these loans. Felipe Chua signed as a co-maker.
Tan sued PBB, Chua and Chua to annul the mortgage and loans.
In its answer, PBB filed a cross-claim against Felipe Chua, demanding payment of the PNS
he signed as co-maker with John Chua.
Felipe Chua answered the cross claim admitting that he signed the PNs as co-maker.
PBB later filed Motion for Partial Summary Judgment claiming that since Chua already
admitted execution of the PNs, there was no genuine issue on any material fact on the issue
of his liability to PBB.
RTC issued a partial summary judgment finding Chua liable as signatory to the PNs and
ordered him to pay P 75M.
RTC denied Chuas Notice of Appeal because he could not do so under Rule 41and he
should have filed a Rule 65 certiorari. However, the period for filing a certiorari already
lapsed so the partial summary judgment has become final and executory.
CA ruled that RTC erred in holding that the partial judgment became final and executory
when Chua failed to timely avail of certiorari. It ruled that the partial summary judgment is
an interlocutory, not final, order.

ISSUES & HOLDING


WON the partial summary judgment is a final order. NO. A partial summary judgment
is not a final or appealable judgment. It is merely a pre-trial adjudication that said
issues in the case shall be deemed established for the trial of the case.

RATIO
A summary judgment, or accelerated judgment, is a procedural technique to promptly
dispose of cases where the facts appear undisputed and certain from the pleadings,
depositions, admissions or affidavits on record, or for weeding out sham claims or defenses
at an early stage of the litigation to avoid the expense and loss of time involved in a trial.
When the pleadings on file show that there are no genuine issues of fact to be tried, the Rules
allow a party to obtain immediate relief by way of summary judgment, that is, when the facts
are not in dispute, the court is allowed to decide the case summarily by applying the law to
the material facts.
Partial summary judgment (Rule 35, Sec. 4)
o Judgment is not rendered upon the whole case or for all the reliefs sought and a trial
is necessary.
o Court shall make an order specifying the facts that appear without substantial
controversy.
o The facts so specified shall be deemed established, and the trial shall be conducted on
the controverted facts accordingly.
Unlike a final judgment or order, which is appealable, an interlocutory order (such as partial
summary judgment) may not be questioned on appeal except only as part of an appeal that
may eventually be taken from the final judgment rendered in the case.
Guevara v. CA: The appeal from the partial summary judgment shall be taken together with
the judgment that may be rendered in the entire case after a trial is conducted on the material
facts on which a substantial controversy exists.
o PBB argued: Guevara not applicable because the partial summary judgment in this
case is a full adjudication because the award is for the whole claim.
o COURT: Disagrees. The partial summary judgment in this case only resolved the
cross claim made by PBB against Chua. The main issues in Tans complaint are still
unresolved.

DISPOSITIVE
Petition DENIED. CA affirmed.