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L-17828 August 31, 1963 HELD: YES

guardian-ad-litem, plaintiffs-appellants, INDISPENSABLE PARTY. — Appellants' contention that the dismissal of the
vs. complaint in the previous action was "at the indirect instance of the
ANTONIA PACSON, CRISPINO MEDINA and CRESENCIA MINA, defendants- plaintiffs through inaction or omission," is not supported by the facts of the
appellees. case, because the order of the court dismissing the complaint in the first
case contained the warning that should the plaintiffs fail to comply with its
LABRADOR, J.: order to implead the surviving widow of the deceased and other necessary
parties, the case would be dismissed, and it was because of plaintiffs'
FACTS: refusal to comply with this express mandate that the dismissal was
ordered. The dismissal was, therefore, justified under Rule 30, Section 3 of
-Plaintiffs, all surnamed Mina, are alleged to be the illegitimate children of the Rules of Court
the deceased Joaquin Mina with plaintiff Pilar Lazo from 1933-1958, while
-Joaquin Mina died in August, 1958, leaving no descendants nor previous order of dismissal bars the present complaint only as to matters
ascendants except his widow, the defendant herein Antonia Pacson. already presented in the previous care, like the action for annulment of the
-On April 9, 1958, Joaquin Mina, then still living, executed a deed of deeds of sale as regards the defendants named therein, but matters not
absolute sale of three parcels of land situated in the municipality of raised and parties not included in the previous case are not barred, like the
Muñoz, Nueva Ecija, in favor of the defendants Crispino Medina and action for the recognition of the filiation of the plaintiffs against the
Cresencia Mina for the sum of P12,000. defendant widow of the deceased alleged father.
-On April 15, 1958 again he executed another deed of sale of parcels of
land covered by 12 transfer certificates of title to the same spouses
Crispino Medina and Cresencia Mina. Both deeds of sale bear the
conformity of his wife Antonia Pacson
-COURT ORDER: Plaintiffs are hereby directed to amend their complaint
within fifteen (15) days from receipt hereof by including as party
defendant the surviving widow of the deceased Joaquin Mina and other
necessary parties.
-Plaintiffs failed to do so  Court dismissed

ISSUE: WON the failure to comply with the order of the court warrants
CASEÑAS vs. ROSALES G.R. No. L-18707 February 28, 1967 HELD: No, the SC remanded the case to the court of origin.
When certain of the parties to Civil Case No. 261 died and due notice thereof
FACTS: Arañas and Caseñas filed with the CFI of Agusan, a complaint for was given to the trial court, it devolved on the said court to order, not the
specific performance and enforcement of their alleged right under a certain amendment of the complaint, but the appearance of the legal representatives
deed of sale, and damages against the spousesRosales. They alleged that of the deceased in accordance with the procedure and manner outlined in
sometime in 1939, Agustin O. Caseñas acquired from Rodolfo Arañas under Rule 3, Section 17 of the Rules of Court.
a deed of assignment, the latter's rights and interest over a parcel of land ,
that Rodolfo Arañas in turn, acquired the said property from the spouses In the case of Barrameda vs. Barbara, 90 Phil. 718, the SC held that an order
Jose A. Rosales and Concepcion Sanchez under a deed of sale ,under the to amend the complaint, before the proper substitution of parties as directed
terms of which, however, the actual transfer of the aforesaid land unto the by the aforequoted rule has been effected, is void and imposes upon the
vendee would be made only on or before February 18, 1941; and that plaintiff no duty to comply therewith to the end that an order dismissing the
despite the above documented transactions, and despite the arrival of the said complaint, for such non-compliance, would similarly be void.
stipulated period for the execution of the final deed of transfer, the vendors
spouses refused to fulfill their obligation to effect such transfer of the said lot In a subsequent case, Ferriera et al. vs. Gonzalez, et al., G.R. No. L-11567,
to the vendee, Rodolfo Arañas or his assignee, the herein appellant, Agustin July 17, 1958, this court affirmed a similar conclusion on the determination
O. Caseñas. that the continuance of a proceedings during the pendency of which a party
thereto dies, without such party having been validly substituted in
After the defendants-spouses had filed their answer to the above complaint, accordance with the rules, amounts to a "lack of jurisdiction."
but before trial, the counsel for the plaintiffs gave notice to the trial court that
plaintiff Rodolfo Arañas and defendant Jose A. Rosales had both died. The facts of this case fit four squares into the Barrameda case abovecited,
save for the minor variance that in the former two of the litigants died while
In view of the said manifestation, the lower court, directed the surviving only one predeceased the case in Barrameda. Here, as in Barrameda, during
plaintiff, Agustin O. Caseñas, to amend the complaint to effect the necessary the pendency of civil case, notice was given to the trial court of the deaths of
substitution of parties thereon. The said surviving plaintiff, however, failed one of the plaintiffs and one of the defendants in it. Instead of ordering the
altogether to comply with the aforementioned order. substitution of the deceased's legal representatives in accordance with Rule
3, section 17 of the Rules of Court, the trial court directed the surviving
LC dismissed the case for failure on the part of the counsel for the plaintiffs plaintiff to amend the complaint and when the latter failed to comply
to comply with the order of this Court which shows abandonment and lack of therewith, the said court dismissed the complaint for such non-compliance.
interest on the part of the plaintiffs.
We must hold, therefore, as We did in Barrameda that inasmuch as there
Casenas, filed with the same CFI of Agusan, another complaint against the was no obligation on the part of the plaintiff-appellant herein to amend his
widow and heirs of the late Jose A. Rosales "to quiet, and for reconveyance complaint in Civil Case No. 261, any such imposition being void, his failure to
of, title to real property, with damages. This suit referred itself to the very comply with such an order did not justify the dismissal of his complaint.
same property litigated under Civil Case No. 261 and asserted exactly the Grounded as it was upon a void order, the dismissal was itself void.
same . Consequently, as the dismissal of Civil Case No. 261 was void, it clearly may
not be asserted to bar the subsequent prosecution of the same or identical
The defendants filed a motion to dismiss on several grounds, namely: res claim.
judicata, prescription, lack of cause of action, failure to include indispensable
parties, and that the contract subject of the complaint was void ab initio. After A cause of action is an act or omission of one party in violation of the legal
the plaintiff had filed his opposition to the above motion, the lcissued the right or rights of the other (Ma-ao Sugar Central vs. Barrios, 79 Phil. 666) and
order under appeal dismissing the complaint. both these elements were clearly alleged in the aforesaid complaint.

Of the above grounds, though, the lower court relied alone on the The resolution of the issue of prescription may be deferred until after the
defendants' plea of res judicata, lack of cause of action and prescription. case is tried on the merits where the defense pleaded against said issue is
the existence of a trust over the property in dispute.
ISSUE: WON the dismissal of the lower court was proper.
a more speedy remedy in questioning said orders by filing this petition
AV.11 Republic Planters Bank v. Molina, GR. NO. 54287, September for certiorari before this Court.
28, 1988, 166 SCRA 39 (1988) ISSUE: Whether the trial court committed a grave abuse of discretion when it
TITLE Republic Planters Bank v. Molina | GR. NO. 54287 ordered Civil Case No. 129829 dismissed on the ground of res judicata
MAIN For the court to have authority to dispose of the case on the merits, it it appearing that Civil Case No. 116028 was dismissed on May 21,
POINT must acquire jurisdiction over the subject matter and the parties. If it 1979, for failure of petitioner to prosecute within a reasonable length
did not acquire jurisdiction over the private respondents, it cannot of time, although in the said case, the trial court never acquired
render any binding decision, favorable or adverse to them, or dismiss jurisdiction over the persons of private respondents.
the case with prejudice which, in effect, is an adjudication on the RULING: The questioned orders of the trial court in Civil Case No. 129829
merits. supporting private respondent's motion to dismiss on the ground of res
FACTS Republic Planters Bank filed a complaint against private respondent, judicata are without cogent basis. We sustain petitioner's claim that
for the collection of a sum of money based on a promissory note dated respondent trial judge acted without or in excess of jurisdiction when
January 26, 1970, in the amount of P100,000.00. On May 21, 1979, he issued said orders because he thereby traversed the constitutional
Judge Alfredo C. Florendo dismissed Civil Case No. 116028 for failure precept that "no person shall be deprived of property without due
of the petitioner "to prosecute its case within a reasonable length of process of law" and that jurisdiction is vitally essential for any order or
time. A motion for reconsideration of that order was denied on January adjudication to be binding. Justice cannot be sacrificed for technicality.
15, 1979. Originally, the action for collection of the loan, evidenced by a
promissory note, was only for P100,000.00 but petitioner claims that as
of March 5, 1981, the obligation was already P429,219.74. It is a
When Civil Case No. 129829 was filed by petitioner, a motion to cardinal rule that no one must be allowed to enrich himself at the
dismiss was submitted by private respondents on the ground that the expense of another without just cause.
cause of action is barred by a prior judgment (res judicata) in Civil
Case No. 116028. Private respondents opined that said order was an
adjudication upon the merits. Petitioner opposed the motion to dismiss, In the very order of dismissal of Civil Case No. 116028, the trial court
claiming that res judicata does not apply because the summons and admitted that it did not acquire jurisdiction over the persons of private
complaint in Civil Case No. 116028 were never served upon private respondents and yet, it held that it was of no moment as to the
respondents and, as such, the trial court never acquired jurisdiction dismissal of the case. We disagree. For the court to have authority to
over private respondents and, consequently, over the case. Petitioner dispose of the case on the merits, it must acquire jurisdiction over the
maintains that the order of dismissal in Civil Case No. 11 6028 never subject matter and the parties. If it did not acquire jurisdiction over the
became final as against private respondents. private respondents as parties to Civil Case No. 116028, it cannot
render any binding decision, favorable or adverse to them, or dismiss
RTC: Dismissed the complaint on the ground that the orders issued by Judge
the case with prejudice which, in effect, is an adjudication on the
Alfredo C. Florendo, dismissing Civil Case No. 116028, had become
merits. The controverted orders in Civil Case No. 116028 disregarded
final. The trial court ruled that the dismissal of Civil Case No. 116028
the fundamental principles of remedial law and the meaning and the
had the effect of an adjudication upon the merits, that the dismissal was
effect of jurisdiction. A judgment, to be considered res judicata, must
with prejudice since the order was unconditional, and that the lack of
be binding, and must be rendered by a court of competent jurisdiction.
jurisdiction over defendants (private respondents) in Civil Case No.
Otherwise, the judgment is a nullity.
116028 was of no moment. 3

The order of dismissal in Civil Case No. 116028 does not have the
In a motion for reconsideration, petitioner reiterated its allegation that
effect of an adjudication on the merits of the case because the court
in Civil Case No. 116028, the court did not acquire jurisdiction over
that rendered the same did not have the requisite jurisdiction over the
private respondents and that at the time the court ordered its dismissal,
persons of the defendants therein.
a motion for an alias writ of summons was pending resolution
inasmuch as the sheriff had not acted on the same. The motion for
reconsideration was denied by the trial court. This being so, it cannot be the basis of res judicata and it cannot be a
CA: Petitioner appealed to the Court of Appeals both questioned orders of bar to a lawful claim. If at all, such a dismissal may be considered as
respondent court in Civil Case No. 129829. But then, petitioner sought one without prejudice. Trial courts have the duty to dispose of
prejudice. Two motions for reconsideration were filed, the first on 15 November
controversies after trial on the merits whenever possible. 1955 and the second on 28 November 1955, but both were denied, the last for
lack of merit. .
Republic of the Philippines
The issue now hinges on whether or not the petition for the probate of a will filed
in this special proceedings is barred by a previous special proceedings No. 3628,
the petition of which was dismissed for failure of the petitioner and his counsel to
appear on the date set for the hearing thereof. .
The appellant contends that the dismissal of the petition in the previous case
G.R. No. L-15814 February 28, 1962 (spec. proc. No. 3628) does not bar the present (spec. proc. No. 3883), both for
the probate of the same last will and testament of the late Candelaria Benguan,
IN THE MATTER OF THE ESTATE OF CANDELARIA BENGUAN, deceased. because the dismissal for failure of the petitioner and his counsel to appear at the
SUSANA ABAY DE ARROYO, petitioner-appellant, hearing set by the Court was not an adjudication on the merits of the case and is
vs. not res judicata, because the parties in the previous and present proceedings are
ABAY, opponents-appellees.
The appellant's contention that the dismissal of the petition for probate in the
PADILLA, J.: previous special proceedings due to failure of the then petitioner and his counsel
to appear on the date and time set for the hearing thereof is not an adjudication
On 5 January 1956 Susana Abay de Arroyo filed in the Court of First Instance of on the merits must be upheld. In arriving at this conclusion the Court has not
Negros Occidental a petition for the probate of the will of her deceased first- overlooked the provisions of sections 3 and 4, Rule 30, and section 2, Rule 73, of
degree cousin Candelaria Benguan (special proceedings No. 3883). On 28 May, the Rules of Court. The probate of a will may be the concern of one person or
the Court ordered that the petition be published once a week for three several persons as usually is the case. The fault of one such person may be
consecutive weeks in Civismo, a newspaper of general circulation in Negros imputed to him alone who must suffer the consequences of his act. Such fault
Occidental, setting the date of hearing thereof for the 23rd day of June 1956. On cannot be imputed to other persons. Hence, the failure of Felix Abay and his
the date and time set for the hearing of the petition attorney Rolando Medalla, counsel to appear on the date and time set for the hearing of the petition for the
representing some of the heirs hereinafter referred to as opponents, moved for probate of a will claimed to have been executed by the late Candelaria Benguan
the postponement of the hearing to give him time and opportunity to file a written during her lifetime which brought about the dismissal of the petition filed in that
objection to the petition. Whereupon, the hearing was postponed to 30 June special proceedings (No. 3628) cannot prejudice the right of Susana Abay de
1956. On 28 June, the opponents filed a motion to dismiss on the ground that a Arroyo, the petitioner, in a subsequent petition filed for the probate of the same
petition for the probate of the same last will and testament had been dismissed will and last testament. So the provisions of the Rules cited and invoked by the
by the same Court in a previous special proceedings No. 3628 and constitutes a opponents-appellees cannot be made to apply to proceedings for the probate of
bar to the present proceedings (No. 3883). On 7 July, the petitioner answered the wills, because as already stated other parties interested in the probate of a will
motion to dismiss. By an order entered on 14 July, the Court dismissed the for transmission of property rights to them should not be prejudiced by the act or
petition. After considering the motion for reconsideration filed by the petitioner on fault of another and because it is the policy of the State to have such last wills
31 July 1956 and the answer thereto filed by the opponents on 3 August 1956, and testaments submitted to Court for their probate or legalization, as shown or
the Court denied the motion for reconsideration. The petitioner appealed to the indicated or evidenced by or in the punishment provided for persons who are in
Court of Appeals which certified the appeal to this Court for only questions of law possession of last wills and testaments of deceased persons and fail or neglect
are raised. . to deliver or present them to Court for probate or to deliver them to the executor
named in the will within twenty days after they know of the death of the testators
or within the same period of time after they know that they were named
The previous proceedings invoked by the opponents to bar the present is special executors of the will (sections 2 to 5, Rule 76). The underlying reason for the rule
proceedings No. 3623 filed in the Court of First Instance of Negros Occidental on that a dismissal of an action or complaint in a civil case may be a bar to a
27 September 1955 by one Felix Abay, a brother of Susana Abay de Arroyo, the subsequent action unless the dismissal is without prejudice is lack of interest or
herein petitioner and appellant. The last will and testament involved therein is the inaction of the one who brought the action in court by his complaint and for such
same involved herein. However, upon failure of Felix Abay and his counsel Pio B. lack of interest or inaction he should be made to suffer. .
Japitana to appear at the hearing on 5 November 1955, despite due notice, the
Court there dismissed the petition, without stating that it was a dismissal with
The order of dismissal appealed from is set aside and the petition for probate of a Acting, however, upon an urgent motion of the defendants in said Civil Case No.
will filed in special proceedings No. 3883 remanded to the Court of First Instance 1035, respondent Hon. Cirilo C. Maceren, as Judge of First Instance of Davao,
of Negros Occidental for further proceedings as provided for in the Rules of issued an order, dated January 11, 1954, prohibiting the taking of said deposition.
Court, without special pronouncement as to costs.
Accordingly, petitioner instituted the present case for the purpose of annulling
Republic of the Philippines said order of January 11, 1954, and of having no restraint to the taking of the
SUPREME COURT aforementioned deposition.
EN BANC Whether or not the respondent Judge committed a grave abuse of discretion in
forbidding the taking of said deposition, she being entitled thereto as a matter of
G.R. No. L-7424 August 31, 1954 right, without leave of court, after the filing of the answer of the defendants.

LOURDES CAMUS DE LOPEZ, on her behalf and as guardian ad litem of the
It is well-settled, however, that the discretion conferred by law is not unlimited;
that it must be exercised, not arbitrarily, capriciously or oppressively, but in a
reasonable manner and in consonance with the spirit of the law, to the end that
HON. CIRILO G. MACEREN, Judge of the Court of First Instance of Davao,
its purpose may be attained. Referring to the objective of section 16 of Rule 18 of
the Rules of Court
LEOPOLDO LOPEZ, RODOLFO LOPEZ and the guardian ad litem for the
minor FLORDELIZ LOPEZ, respondents.
It is not claimed that the order complained of sought to avert any of the evils
which said section 16 was meant to prevent or arrest. Moreover, petitioner was
Petitioner Lourdes Camus de Lopez, on her behalf and as guardian ad litem of
permitted to institute and maintain Civil Case No. 1035 as a pauper. As such, she
her minor children, Salvador C. Lopez, Jr., and Luis Carlos Lopez, is the plaintiff
can ill afford to meet the expenses to make, with her witnesses, the trip or trips
in Civil Case No. 1035 of the Court of First Instance of Davao.
from Manila to Davao, and to stay in said province for the time necessary for the
hearing of the case, which might not take place on the first date set therefor.
Respondents Maria N. Vda. de Lopez, Enrique Lopez, Salvador Lopez, Jr., Hence, the order in question tended, in effect, to deprive her, not only of her right,
Leopoldo Lopez, Rodolfo Lopez and Flordeliz Lopez are the defendants in said under section 1 of Rule 18, to take the deposition in question, but also, of the
case No. 1035, the purpose of which is to secure delivery of some property of the opportunity to prove her claim and, consequently, of the due process guaranteed
deceased Salvador Lopez, Sr., as alleged share of the petitioner, who claims to by the Constitution. Upon the other hand, the records indicate that the
be his widow. defendants in Civil case No. 1035 — who are the widow of Salvador Lopez, Sr.
and their legitimate children — must be well-off financially, for the estate of the
She contends that, although his previous marriage with respondent Maria N. de deceased Salvador Lopez, Sr., which has already been partitioned among them,
Lopez, which was unknown to petitioner, had not been dissolved and was still appears to be worth approximately half a million pesos. The main reason given in
subsisting, and acting in bad faith, and without advising petitioner of such first support of the contested order is that, if the deposition were taken, the court
marriage, Salvador Lopez, Sr., wedded the latter in 1938, and, thereafter, lived as could not observe the behaviour of the deponents. The insufficiency of this
husband and wife with her; and that, as a consequence of said union, Salvador circumstance to justify the interdiction of the taking of a deposition becomes
C. Lopez, Jr., and Luis Carlos Lopez were born in Manila on December 6, 1939, apparent when we consider that, otherwise, no deposition could ever be taken,
and November 25, 1940, respectively, and then christened as legitimate children said objection or handicap being common to all depositions alike. In other words,
of Salvador Lopez, Sr. and the petitioner, as set forth in their respective birth and the order of respondent Judge cannot be sustained without nullifying the right to
baptismal certificates. take depositions, and, therefore, without, in effect repealing section 1 of Rule 18
of the Rules of Court, which, clearly, was not intended by the framers of section
After the filing of the answer of said respondents, as defendants in said Civil 16 of the same rule.
Case No. 1035, or on December 8, 1953, petitioner herein through her counsel
filed a "notice for the taking" of her deposition and that of one Pilar Cristobal, at It is, consequently, clear that a grave abuse of discretion was committed by
Room 202 of the Vasquez Building, 1865 Azcarraga Street, Manila, on January respondent Judge in issuing the aforesaid order of January 11, 1954, for which
16, 1954, at 2:00 p.m.
reason the same should be, as it is hereby annulled and set aside, with cost submitted to show that the witness was so old and infirm as not to be able to
against the respondents, except the Hon. Cirilo C. Maceren. come to court to testify, as contended by plaintiffs in their opposition to the
So ordered.
The Trial Court rendered judgement in favor of the plaintiffs and against the
Republic of the Philippines defendant, declaring the former owners pro indiviso of the Lot.
SUPREME COURT On appeal, the Court of Appeals reversed the decision of the trial court.


GREGORIO SALAMERA, and GENEROSA SALAMERA, petitioners, The deposition of Apolonia Glodoveza was taken on January 21, 1961. At that
vs. time the applicable rules of procedure were provided in the (old) Rules of Court,
The HON. COURT OF APPEALS and PRIMITIVA VILLAREAL, respondents. Section I of Rule 18 of which states:

Plaintiffs brought this action to recover possession of a parcel of land located in Section 1. Deposition pending action, when may be taken.-By leave of court after
Atimonan, Quezon and registered in the name of a Aleja Glodoveza, mother and jurisdiction has been obtained over any defendant or over property which is the
grandmother of said plaintiffs, against the defendant Primitiva Villareal, who died subject of the action, or without such leave after an answer has been served, the
during the pendency of this action and was subsitituted accordingly. testimony of any person, whether a party or not, may be taken, at the instance of
any party, by deposition upon oral examination or written interrogatories. ...
It is alleged in the complaint that plaintiffs only allowed the afore-named
defendant, being a cousin, to erect her house on a portion of the and in dispute, Considering that the deposition was taken long after the answer had been filed
which they inherited from Aleja Glodoveza, who in turn received it as her share and served, there was therefore no need to seek the approval of the trial court for
from her mother's estate. Said defendant, however, refused to vacate the lot the taking of the deposition, notice of such taking being sufficient. In the instant
when demanded to do so repeatedly, claiming co-ownership also by inheritance case, it is not disputed that notice of the deposition-taking was received by
from their common ancestor, the mother of Aleja Glodoveza. petitioners well before the intended date and that although petitioners filed an
opposition, this was not acted upon by the trial court before the taking of the
Because of the pendency of the administrative case as mentioned in the answer, deposition.
the trial of the case was suspended indefinitely on petition of both parties.
However, when the plaintiffs changed their counsel, the latter moved for the Leave of court for taking depositions should, however, be distinguished from the
setting of the case for trial after almost four years from Dec. 5, 1955 when the approval of the court for the use of the deposition Under Section 4 of Rule 24 of
complaint was filed, the motion was granted, but for failure of the defendants to the Revised Rules of Court, which was already in force and effect when the
appear on the date set for hearing, plaintiffs were allowed to present their deposition was offered in evidence:
evidence ex-parte, after which decision was rendered on Dec. 15, 1959 in favor
of the plaintiff and against the defendant. Upon a motion for reconsideration, the (c) The deposition of a witness, whether or not a party, may be used by any
decision was set aside in order to allow the defendant to present her evidence, party for any purpose if the court finds:
after filing an amended answer, on the advice of the trial court itself, so as to
include a prayer for the reconveyance of the disputed portion of the lot, said lot, (3) that the witness is unable to attend or testify because of age, sickness,
described as Lot 1744, having been already registered in the name of Aleja infirmity, or imprisonment;
Glodoveza, the predecessor of plaintiffs.
Thus, with regard to the use of a deposition, there is occasion for the court to
Defendant offered as part of her evidence the deposition of Apolonia Glodoveza, exercise its discretion, the proper time being when the deposition is formally
but it was denied admission by the trial court on the ground that no proof was offered in evidence.
In the instant case, the trial court did not admit the deposition when it was (c) such taking would cause annoyance, embarrassment and oppression
formally offered, on the ground that petitioners were denied their right to cross- upon the prospective deponent, Juanito A. Teope;
examine the deponent. However, the Court of Appeals, in deciding to admit the (d) Mr. Teope has no intention of leaving the country; and
deposition, observed: (e) the intended deponent is available to testify in open court if required
during the trial on the merits.
The rejection of said deposition is assigned as one of the errors of the trial court.
From the facts sufficiently disclosed by the records, We find no irregularity in its The trial court ordered that the requested deposition shall not be taken. Its
execution. The reason for the taking was disclosed not only in the notice, but also motion for reconsideration having been denied, petitioner filed an original
in the deposition itself. To reject such a deposition on the ground considered by action for certiorari before the Supreme Court.
the trial court smacks of a technicality which does not serve the ends of
substantial justice. The counsel of the plaintiffs was notified sufficiently in However, in a resolution dated May 20, 1992, this Court referred the case to
advance of the deposition-taking, and his opposition was not acted upon the Court of Appeals for consideration and adjudication on the merits.
favorably before the day set for the taking of the deposition. If he failed to appear
on that day, as he could have done if he exerted diligent efforts, he did so at his
Respondent Court of Appeals promulgated a decision dismissing the petition:
own risk. (p. 7, Decision).
Hence this petition.
The findings of fact supporting this conclusion of the Court of Appeals not being Issues:
disputed, We agree that, under the circumstance, petitioners' contention that they I. Whether or not availing one mode of discovery will bar the party in availing
were denied their right to cross-examine the deponent is unfounded.
the other modes?
In view of the foregoing, it cannot be argued that the Court of Appeals committed Ruling:
a reversible error when it decided to admit the deposition of Apolonia Glodoveza. No. As a general rule, the scope of discovery is to be liberally construed so
as to provide the litigants with information essential to the expenditious and
proper litigation of each of the facts in dispute.
G.R. No. 108119; January 19, 1994 Moreover, it cannot be disputed that the various methods of discovery as
provided for in the Rules are clearly intended to be cumulative, as opposed
Facts: to alternative or mutually exclusive.
An action for breach of contract was filed by petitioner Fortune Corporation
against respondent Inter-Merchants Corporation, docketed as Civil Case No. Supreme Court held that under the present Rules the fact that a party has
SP-3469. resorted to a particular method of discovery will not bar subsequent use of
other discovery devices, as long as the party is not attempting to circumvent
After respondent corporation had filed its Answer, petitioner served the a ruling of the court, or to harass or oppress the other party. As a matter of
former with written interrogatories pursuant to Rule 25 of the Rules of Court. practice, it will often be desirable to resort to both interrogatories and
The interrogatories were answered by respondent corporation through its depositions in one or the other sequence.
board chairman, Juanito A. Teope. Petitioner served upon private respondent
a Notice to Take Deposition Upon Oral Examination in accordance with Additional lines of inquiry may come to light after the deposition has been
Section 15, Rule 24. taken, as to which written interrogatories probably would be adequate, and
there is no reason why the examining party should not be entitled to obtain
Private respondent filed an Urgent Motion Not To Take Deposition/Vehement all the relevant information he desires if no substantial prejudice is done to
Opposition to Plaintiff's Notice to Take Deposition Upon Oral Examination, the party from whom discovery is sought.
dated March 27, 1992, alleging inter alia that :
(a) herein petitioner has previously availed of one mode of discovery, that is, Petition Granted.
the written interrogatories which practically covered all the claims,
counterclaims and defenses in the case;
(b) there is absolutely no sound reason or justification advanced for the
taking of the oral deposition;
The pre-trial proceeded as scheduled and with the refusal of LCDC to enter
into pre-trial, Hyatt, Yu and Princeton moved to declare LCDC non-suited
which the RTC granted.
For LCDC’s failure to enter into pre-trial conference without any valid reason
HYATT INDUSTRIAL MANUFACTURING CORP. vs.LEY CONSTRUCTION the complaint and the counterclaims were dismissed by the RTC.
AND DEVELOPMENT CORP.(G.R. No. 147143; March 10, 2006)
LCDC filed a motion for reconsideration which was also denied compelling it
Facts: file an appeal with CA (7th Division).
Ley Construction and Development Corporation (LCDC) filed a complaint for
specific performance and damages with the RTC of Makati against Hyatt CA’s 12th Division denied LCDC’s petition for certiorari declaring that the
Industrial Manufacturing Corporation (Hyatt) claiming that Hyatt reneged in granting of the petition and setting aside of the RTC Orders are manifestly
its obligation to transfer 40% of the pro indiviso share of a real property in pointless considering that the complaint itself had already been dismissed.
Makati in favor of LCDC despite LCDC’s full payment of the purchase price
of P2,634,000.00; and that Hyatt failed to develop the said property in a joint Meanwhile CA’s 7th Division finds the appeal meritorious and remanded the
venture, despite LCDC’s payment of 40% of the pre-construction cost. LCDC case to the RTC for further hearing and to proceed with the deposition taking.
filed amended complaints impleading Princeton Development Corporation
(Princeton) and Yu He Ching (Yu) President of Hyatt as additional defendants Hyatt and Princeton filed their respective motions for reconsideration which
claiming that Hyatt sold the subject property to Princeton in fraud of LCDC the CA denied. Hence, this petition for review on certiorari.
and alleging that LCDC paid the purchase price of P2, 634,000.00 to Hyatt
through Yu. Issues:
Whether or not the CA erred in remanding the case to the trial court and
LCDC filed notices to take the depositions of Yu; Pacita Tan Go, Account
order the deposition-taking to proceed.
Officer of Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC); and Elena Sy,
Finance Officer of Hyatt. Hyatt also filed notice to take deposition of Manuel
Ley, President of LCDC, while Princeton filed notice to take the depositions
of Manuel and Janet Ley. The RTC ordered the deposition-taking to proceed.
No. A deposition should be allowed; absent any showing that taking it would
However, at the scheduled deposition of Elena Sy, Hyatt and Yu prayed that prejudice any party. It is accorded a broad and liberal treatment and the
all settings for depositions be disregarded and pre-trial be set instead, liberty of a party to make discovery is well-nigh unrestricted if the matters
contending that the taking of depositions only delay the resolution of the inquired into are otherwise relevant and not privileged, and the inquiry is
case. The RTC agreed and on the same day ordered all depositions made in good faith and within the bounds of law. It is allowed as a departure
cancelled and pre-trial to take place. from the accepted and usual judicial proceedings of examining witnesses in
open court where their demeanor could be observed by the trial judge,
LCDC moved for reconsideration which the RTC denied due to the following consistent with the principle of promoting just, speedy and inexpensive
reasons 1) said depositions will only delay the early termination of the case; disposition of every action and proceeding; and provided it is taken in
2) had the Court set the case for pre-trial conference and trial thereafter, the accordance with the provisions of the Rules of Court, i.e., with leave of court
case would have been terminated earlier; 3) what the parties would like to if summons have been served, and without such leave if an answer has been
elicit from their deponents would probably be elicited at the pre-trial submitted; and provided further that a circumstance for its admissibility exists
conference; 4) no substantial rights of the parties would be prejudiced, if pre- (Section 4, Rule 23, Rules of Court). The rules on discovery should not be
trial conference is held, instead of deposition. unduly restricted; otherwise, the advantage of a liberal discovery procedure
On the scheduled date of the pre-trial, LCDC filed an Urgent Motion to in ascertaining the truth and expediting the disposal of litigation would be
Suspend Proceedings Due to Pendency of Petition for Certiorari in the Court defeated.
of Appeals (12th Division), which sought to annul the order regarding the Sec. 1, Rule 23 of the 1997 Rules of Court which provides as follows:
cancellation of the deposition-taking. RTC denied plaintiff’s motion to
suspend proceedings and gave LCDC two (2) options: enter into a pre-trial SECTION 1. Depositions pending action, when may be taken.---
conference, advising plaintiff that what it would like to obtain at the deposition By leave of court after jurisdiction has been obtained over any
may be obtained at the pre-trial conference; and, terminate the pre-trial defendant or over property which is the subject of the action, or
conference and apply for deposition later on. without such leave after an answer has been served, the
testimony of any person, whether a party or not, may be taken, discovery rules are to be accorded a broad and liberal treatment. No
at the instance of any party, by deposition upon oral examination longer can the time-honored cry of ‘fishing expedition’ serve to
or written interrogatories. The attendance of witnesses may be preclude a party from inquiring into the facts underlying his
compelled by the use of a subpoena as provided in Rule 21. opponent’s case. Mutual knowledge of all the relevant facts
Depositions shall be taken only in accordance with these Rules. gathered by both parties is essential to proper litigation. To that end,
The deposition of a person confined in prison may be taken only either party may compel the other to disgorge whatever facts he has
by leave of court on such terms as the court prescribes. in his possession. The deposition-discovery procedure simply
(Emphasis supplied). advances the stage at which the disclosure can be compelled from
the time of trial to the period preceding it, thus reducing the
LCDC complied with the above quoted provision as it made its notice to take possibility, of surprise.
depositions after the answers of the defendants have been served, thus, The trial court erred in forcing LCDC to choose only from the options given
erred in canceling the previously scheduled depositions. by the trial court and in dismissing the complaint upon LCDC’s refusal to
choose either of the two.
While it is true that depositions may be disallowed by trial courts if the
examination is conducted in bad faith; or in such a manner as to annoy, The information LCDC seeks to obtain through the depositions, may not be
embarrass, or oppress the person who is the subject of the inquiry, or when obtained at the pre-trial conference, as the said deponents are not parties to
the inquiry touches upon the irrelevant or encroaches upon the recognized the pre-trial conference.
domains of privilege, such circumstances, however are absent in the case at
bar. As also pointed out by the CA:

The taking of depositions would not cause unnecessary duplicity even x x x To unduly restrict the modes of discovery during trial, would defeat the
though the intended deponents shall also be called as witnesses during trial, very purpose for which it is intended, as a pre-trial device. By then, the
as explained in Fortune Corp. v. Court of Appeals: issues would have been confined only on matters defined during pre-trial.
The importance of the modes of discovery cannot be gainsaid in this case in
The availability of the proposed deponent to testify in court does not view of the nature of the controversy involved and the conflicting interest
constitute “good cause” to justify the court’s order that his deposition claimed by the parties.
shall not be taken. That the witness is unable to attend or testify is
one of the grounds when the deposition of a witness may be used in Deposition is chiefly a mode of discovery, the primary function of which is to
court during the trial. But the same reason cannot be successfully supplement the pleadings for the purpose of disclosing the real matters of
invoked to prohibit the taking of his deposition. dispute between the parties and affording an adequate factual basis during
the preparation for trial.
x x x Under the concept adopted by the new Rules, the deposition serves the
double function of a method of discovery - with use on trial not necessarily The various modes or instruments of discovery are meant to serve (1) as a
contemplated - and a method of presenting testimony. Accordingly, no device, along with the pre-trial hearing under Rule 20, to narrow and clarify
limitations other than relevancy and privilege have been placed on the taking the basic issues between the parties, and (2) as a device for ascertaining the
of depositions, while the use at the trial is subject to circumscriptions looking facts relative to those issues. The evident purpose is, to repeat, to enable
toward the use of oral testimony wherever practicable. the parties, consistent with recognized privileges, to obtain the fullest
possible knowledge of the issues and facts before civil trials and thus prevent
In Republic v. Sandiganbayan the Court held: that said trials are carried on in the dark.
What is chiefly contemplated is the discovery of every bit of In this case, the information sought to be obtained through the depositions of
information which may be useful in the preparation for trial, such as Elena and Pacita are necessary to fully equip LCDC in determining what
the identity and location of persons having knowledge of relevant issues will be defined at the pre-trial. Without such information before pre-
facts; those relevant facts themselves; and the existence, trial, LCDC will be forced to prosecute its case in the dark --- the very
description, nature, custody, condition, and location of any books, situation which the rules of discovery seek to prevent. Indeed, the rules on
documents, or other tangible things. Hence, “the deposition- discovery seek to make trial less a game of blind man’s bluff and more a fair
contest with the basic issues and facts disclosed to the fullest practicable On 17 August 2000, the CA dismissed the petition due to late filing. Petitioner
extent. moved to reconsider arguing that what was filed was a special civil action for
certiorari under Rule 65, not an appeal.
Petition is denied for lack of merit.
On 10 October 2000, the CA denied petitioner’s motion for reconsideration.

Hence, the present petition.

Whether or not the RTC’s denial of petitioner’s “Manifestation and Omnibus
Motion” to seek an order from RTC to compel respondents to answer the
interrogatories is proper.

NO. Petition is Impressed with Merit.

Parties’ Arguments
THIRD DIVISION To the present petition, respondents filed their Comment, explaining that the
G.R. No. 145542, June 04, 2004 appellate court considered petitioner’s petition thereat as an appeal because it
ELENA S. ONG, Petitioner, found the assailed orders of the trial court as not warranting the remedy of the
vs. special civil action of certiorari.
TRIAL COURT, GUIUAN, EASTERN SAMAR, BRANCH 3, ELVIRA C. On the denial by the trial court of petitioner’s motion to direct respondents to
LANUEVO AND CHARITO A. TOMILLOSO, Respondents. answer the written interrogatories, respondents justified the same, it contending
PONENTE: CARPIO MORALES, J. that the trial court had jurisdiction to pass upon the propriety of such mode
of discovery under Section 3, Rule 26 of the Rules of Court and that the remedy
Facts: of certiorari is unavailing since what is traversed is an error of law or fact that is
Private respondents filed a complaint for damages against petitioner in RTC properly the subject of an appeal.
Eastern Samar which arose from a vehicular accident whereby a bus owned by
petitioner allegedly bumped a jeep owned and driven by respondent Lanuevo, Insisting that the trial court erred in refusing to compel respondents to answer her
with Tomilloso as her passener at the time. After petitioner filed her Answer with written interrogatories, petitioner, in her Reply to respondents’ Comment, invokes
Counterclaim, and later a motion to dismiss the complaint, respondents filed a this Court’s plenary power to resolve not only the issue of the appellate court’s
motion for leave of court to file an amended complaint which was granted. dismissal of her petition but also the question of whether the trial court gravely
abused its discretion in disallowing the written interrogatories.
On 14 November 1996, petitioner served written interrogatories upon
respondents and on 21 November 1996, she filed a “Manifestation and Omnibus In their respective memoranda, both parties raise the issue of the propriety of
Motion” seeking an order from the trial court directing respondents to answer the availment of written interrogatories.
interrogatories. Respondents objected to the motion.
Meanwhile, on February 28, 2001, the trial court suspended indefinitely the
On 6 May 1999, the RTC denied the motion on the ground that it constituted a proceedings in the initiatory civil case between the parties in light of petitioner’s
“fishing expedition” which would be more properly ventilated in a pre-trial appeal before this Court. The appeal is impressed with merit.
conference. Petitioner moved to reconsider but was denied on 4 July 2000.
On August 4, 2000, when petitioner filed her petition for certiorari before the
On 4 August 2000, petitioner filed a petition for certiorari with CA assailing RTC appellate court, Section 4 of Rule 65, as amended by Circular No. 39-98 read:
orders as having been issued with graveabuse of discretion amounting to lack or
excess of jurisdiction. SEC. 4. Where petition filed. — The petition may be filed not later than sixty (60)
days from notice of the judgment, order or resolution sought to be assailed in the
Supreme Court or, if it relates to the acts or omissions of a lower court or of a
corporation, board, officer or person inthe Regional Trial Court exercising
jurisdiction over the territorial area as defined by the Supreme Court. It may also No doubt, the twin orders denying the written interrogatories were interlocutory in
be filed in the Court of Appeals whether or not the same is in aid of its appellate nature for they leave something more to be done on the merits of the case. And
jurisdiction, or in the Sandiganbayan if it is in aid of its appellate jurisdiction. If it the extraordinary writ of certiorari is generally not available to challenge an
involves the acts or omissions of a quasi-judicial agency, and unless otherwise interlocutory order of a trial court, the proper remedy in such cases being an
provided by law or these rules, the petition shall be filed in and cognizable only ordinary appeal from an adverse judgment where incorporated in said appeal are
by the Court of Appeals. the grounds for assailing the interlocutory order. Nonetheless, this by no means
is an absolute rule. If the assailed interlocutory order is patently erroneous and
If the petitioner had filed a motion for new trial or reconsideration in due time after the remedy of appeal would not afford adequate and expeditious relief, certiorari
notice of said judgment, order or resolution, the period herein fixed shall be may be allowed as a mode of redress.
This Court finds that the orders disallowing petitioner’s written interrogatories are
If the motion is denied, the aggrieved party may file the petition within the patently erroneous, hence, the resort to certiorari is warranted. In denying
remaining period, but which shall not beless than five (5) days in any event, petitioner’s availment of interrogatories, the trial court was of the view that —
reckoned from such notice of denial. No extension of time to file the petition shall . . . in as much that the written interrogatories is (sic) a sort of fishing expedition,
be granted except for the most compelling reason and in no case to exceed said questions and answer would be properly ventilated in a pre-trial conference
fifteen (15) days. (Underscoring supplied) for which this court direct the defendant Elena Ong to file her answer to the
amended complaint anent thereto, both parties are required to file their
Under the foregoing rule, when petitioner’s counsel received on July 18, 2000 the respective pre-trial briefs after which this case will be calendared for pre-trial
trial court’s order of July 4, 2000 denying her motion for reconsideration of the conference.
Order of May 6, 1999, she still had 15 days left of the 60-day period to file the
petition for certiorari. This Court has long espoused the policy of encouraging the availment of the
various modes or instruments of discovery as embodied in Rules 24 to 29 of the
Section 4 of Rule 65 was subsequently further amended, however, by A.M. No. Revised Rules of Court.
00-2-03-SC which took effect onSeptember 1, 2000 as follows:
The thrust of the Rules is to even make the availment of the modes of discovery
SEC. 4. When and where petition filed. – The petition shall be filed not later than – depositions, interrogatories and requests for admissions – without much court
sixty (60) days from notice of the judgment, order or resolution. In case a motion intervention since leave of court is not necessary to put into motion such
for reconsideration or new trial is timely filed, whether such motion is required or modes after an answer to the complaint has been served.
not, the sixty (60) day period shall be counted from notice of the denial of said
motion. (Emphasis supplied) The rationale behind the recognition accorded the modes of discovery is that
they enable a party to discover the evidence of the adverse party and thus
Contrary then to petitioner’s protestation that the appellate court erred in treating facilitate an amicable settlement or expedite the trial of the case.
her petition for certiorari as an appeal which was filed beyond the 15-day
reglementary period, as reflected above, the 15-day period left for petitioner to Thus, to deny a party the liberty to have his written interrogatories answered by
file the petition referred to the remaining number of days left after computation of his opponent, as what the trial court did, on the premise that the interrogatories
the 60-day period in Section 4 of Rule 65 of the Rules of Court, as then were a “fishing expedition,” is to disregard the categorical pronouncement in
amended by Circular No. 39-98 With the setting aside of the appellate court’s aforementioned case of Republic vs. Sandiganbayan that the time-honored cry of
questioned orders, the resolution of the present petition should have been ‘fishing expedition’ can no longer provide a reason to prevent a party
accomplished. Nonetheless, considering that the relatively simple case for from inquiring into the facts underlying the opposing party’s case through the
damages, which was instituted by respondents against petitioner way back in discovery procedures.
1996 or eight long years ago, had virtually come to a halt due to the lingering
legal issue respecting the trial court’s order stopping petitioner from availing of The trial court’s orders, not being in accordance with law and jurisprudential
her written interrogatories as a mode of discovery, instead of remanding this case dictum, are therefore correctible by writ of certiorari.
to the appellate court as anyway both parties have advanced and argued the
sole issue which is purely one of law, in the overriding interest of justice,
this Court shall now resolve the issue as if it had been raised via a special civil
action for certiorari with this Court.
Plaintiff, as the duly registered owner, never authorized or empowered Nonita A.
Briboneria or anybody for or on his behalf, stead or representation to enter into any
transaction regarding the sale, transfer or conveyance of the abovedescribed house
and lot.

Plaintiff had all along been expecting that the house and lot shall be for his family,
particularly his children.

As a result of the unauthorized sale, plaintiff was denied the use and enjoyment of
his properties since defendant Gertrudis B. Mag-isa had even leased the premises to
another who in turn had prohibited plaintiff from entering the premises.

By reason of the unlawful deprivation from him of his properties, plaintiff suffered
serious anxiety, fright, mental anguish and wounded feelings and further subjected
him to social humiliation and embarassment, particularly considering that the
abovementioned properties came from his hard-earned salaries and emoluments from
his employment abroad.
vs. ISSUE: whether or not a request for admission must be served directly on a party,
THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS, GERTRUDES B. MAG-ISA, and not his counsel, in order that said request can be considered as validly served
married to and assisted by PEDRO MAG-ISA, respondents.
On 23 May 1988, petitioner Salvador D. Briboneria, as plaintiff, filed a complaint 2
for Annulment of Document and Damages, with prayer for preliminary injunction In our decision which is sought to be reconsidered, we held that a request for
and/or temporary restraining order against private respondent Gertrudes B. Mag-isa, admission may be validly served upon party's counsel. After a further review of the
with the Regional Trial Court of Pasig. facts of the case and the circumstances surrounding the same, we are now fully
Plaintiff, together with his wife Nonita A. Briboneria, are the registered owners (of) a convinced that it should not be so.
parcel of land located at 59 Amsterdam Street Provident Village, J. de la Peña,
Marikina, Metro-Manila,
The general rule as provided for under Section 2 of Rule 27 (now Section 2, Rule 13)
of the Rules of Court is that all notices must be served upon counsel and not upon
Among the improvements on this parcel of land is plaintiff's residential house where party. This is so because the attorney of a party is the agent of the party and is the
his wife and children used to stay until they migrated to the United States. one responsible for the conduct of the case in all its procedural aspects; hence, notice
to counsel is notice to party. The purpose of the rule is obviously to maintain a
The abovementioned parcel of land was acquired and the residential house was uniform procedure calculated to place in competent hands the orderly prosecution of
constructed through plaintiff's hard-earned salaries and benefits from his a party's case (Chainani v. Judge Tancinco, G.R. No. L-4782, Feb. 29, 1952; Capili v.
employment abroad. Badelles, G.R. No. L-17786, Sept. 29, 1962). However, the general rule cannot apply
where the law expressly provides that notice must be served upon a definite person.
Plaintiff, as the duly registered owner, has declared the above-described parcel of In such cases, service must be made directly upon the person mentioned in the law
land and residential house for tax purposes under P.D. No. 464. and upon no other in order that the notice be valid.

Of late, plaintiff was surprised to learn that his wife Nonita A. Briboneria sold to Whenever notice is necessary, it must appear that it was served on the proper person,
defendant Gertrudis B. Mag-isa by means of a Deed of Absolute Sale, and there must be strict compliance with a statute requiring service on a particular
person, so that service on another person is not sufficient.
In general, service of notice of a modal or formal step in a proceeding on the attorney ISSUE: Whether or not the earlier decision of dismissing the case was
of record is sufficient, if not otherwise specifically provided by statute or rule of null and void.
court. (66 C.J.S. 658)

HELD: The decision of the appellate court is affirmed.

1. The omissions of the counsel are not fatal to its cause in view of the
defective procedure which resulted in its dismissal.
2. The rules on discovery are intended to enable a party to obtain
knowledge of material facts within the knowledge of the adverse
party or third parties through depositions; to obtain knowledge of
material facts or admissions from the adverse party through written
interrogatories; to obtain admissions from the adverse party
regarding the genuineness of relevant documents or relevant
matters of fact through requests for admission; to inspect relevant
documents or objects and lands or other property in the possession
or control of the adverse party; and to determine the physical or
Koh vs. IAC mental condition of a party when such is controversy.
1. Koh’s father sent her $500 through the Metropolitan Bank & trust 3. Trial judges should therefore, encourage the proper utilization of
Company which is the remitting bank of respondent First Interstate rules in discovery. However, recourse to discovery of procedures is
Bank of California. But due to a computer mistake, respondent not mandatory. If the parties do not choose to resort to such
Bank’s Los Angeles office erroneously overstated the amount of procedures, the pre-trial conference should be set.
$8500 instead of $500.
2. It was deposited to her account and she subsequently withdrew it.
3. Koh admitted that what happened was true and that she’s offering
the bank to pay it in installments of $100 but the offer was rejected.
4. The Officer in Charge of RTC Makati sent the following “NOTICE OF
CASE STATUS” to the parties through their respective lawyers. Stated
on it, “If a party believes that those modes of discovery are not
applicable, necessary or feasible with respect to him, he shall file a
manifestation to that effect.”
5. No manifestation was filed by the parties’ lawyers. And for the non-
compliance with Order the case was dismissed.
6. The respondent Bank refilled its case but Koh invoked res adjudicate
and filed for a motion to dimiss. It was denied by the judge.
7. Elevated to the IAC, it was also denied.