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Reyes vs Lim

G.R. No. 134241. August 11, 2003

[Equity Jurisdiction]
Facts: Petitioner David Reyes filed before the trial court a complaint for annulment of contract and
damages against respondents Jose Lim, Chuy Cheng Keng, and Harrison Lumber, Inc.
Reyes as seller and Lim as buyer entered into a contract to sell a parcel of land located along F.B.
Harrison Street, Pasay City. Harrison Lumber occupied the Property as lessee with a monthly rental of
P35,000. Reyes had informed Harrison Lumber to vacate the Property before the end of January 1995
and that if they failed to vacate he would hold them liable for the penalty of P400,000 a month as
provided in the Contract to Sell. Lim filed his Answer stating that he was ready and willing to pay the
balance of the purchase but Reyes kept postponing their meeting. Reyes offered to return the P10
million down payment to Lim because Reyes was having problems in removing the lessee from the
Property. Lim rejected Reyes offer and proceeded to verify the status of Reyes title to the Property and
learned that Reyes had already sold the Property to Line One Foods Corporation for P16,782,840. In his
Amended Answer Lim prayed for the cancellation of the Contract to Sell and for the issuance of a writ of
preliminary attachment against Reyes. The trial court denied the prayer for a writ of preliminary
Lim requested in open court that Reyes be ordered to deposit the P10 million down payment with the
cashier of the Regional Trial Court of Parañaque. The trial court granted this motion.
Reyes filed a Motion to Set Aside the Order. The trial court denied Reyes’ motion.
The trial court denied Reyes’ Motion for Reconsideration. In the same order, the trial court directed
Reyes to deposit the P10 million down payment with the Clerk of Court.
Reyes filed a Petition for Certiorari with the Court of Appeals and prayed that the orders of the trial
court be set aside for having been issued with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of
jurisdiction. But the Court of Appeals dismissed the petition for lack of merit.
Hence, this petition for review.

Issue: WON the trial court in the exercise of its equity jurisdiction may order the deposit of P10 M

Held: YES.
The trial court in the exercise of its equity jurisdiction may validly order the deposit of the P10 million
down payment in court. The purpose of the exercise of equity jurisdiction in this case is to prevent
unjust enrichment and to ensure restitution. Equity jurisdiction aims to do complete justice in cases
where a court of law is unable to adapt its judgments to the special circumstances of a case because of
the inflexibility of its statutory or legal jurisdiction. Equity is the principle by which substantial justice
may be attained in cases where the prescribed or customary forms of ordinary law are inadequate.

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G.R. No. 182311
[Forum Shopping]
Petitioner Chua is president of co-petitioner Filiden, a domestic corporation, engaged in the realty
business. Respondent Metropolitan Bank and Trust a domestic corporation and a duly licensed
banking institution.
Petitioners obtained from respondent Metrobank a loan of P4,000,000.00, which was secured by a real
estate mortgage on parcels of land registered in petitioner Chua. Since the value of the collateral was
more than the loan, petitioners were given an open credit line for future loans. Petitioners obtained
other loans from respondent Metrobank, and the real estate mortgages were repeatedly amended in
accordance with the increase in petitioner’s liabilities. Having failed to fully pay their obligations,
petitioners entered into a Debt Settlement Agreement.
Respondent Metrobank demanded that petitioners fully pay and settle their liabilities, including interest
and penalties, in the total amount of P103,450,391.
When petitioners still failed to pay their loans, respondent Metrobank sought to extra-judicially
foreclose the REM constituted on the subject properties.
Petitioner Chua filed before Regional Trial Court (RTC 257) a Complaint for Injunction with Prayer for
Issuance of Temporary Restraining Order, Preliminary Injunction and Damages. On 13 February 2002,
petitioners filed also filed a Motion to Admit Amended Complaint and also sought the issuance of a TRO
or a writ of preliminary injunction to enjoin respondent Atty. Celestra and all other persons from
proceeding with the foreclosure sale. RTC 257 denied petitioners application for injunction
Petitioners filed with Branch 195 of the Regional Trial Court of Paranaque a Verified Complaint for
Damages against respondents and also filed a Motion to consolidate the action for damages pending
before said court with the injunction case.
Respondents filed with RTC-Branch 195 an Opposition to Motion to Consolidate with Prayer for
Sanctions, praying for the dismissal of the Complaint for Damages on the ground of forum shopping
RTC-Branch 195 granted the Motion to Consolidate.
After the two cases were consolidated, respondents filed a Motion for Reconsideration of the Order
which granted the Motion to Consolidate of petitioners and Manifestation and Motion raising the
ground of forum shopping, among the affirmative defenses of respondents. RTC-Branch 258 issued an
Order granting the first Motion of respondents dismissing Civil Case No. CV-05-0402 on the ground of
forum shopping. Petitioners filed a Petition for Review on Certiorari with the Court of Appeals. Court of
Appeals affirmed the Order of RTC-Branch 258.
Petitioners filed a Motion for Reconsideration of the afore-mentioned Decision which the Court of
Appeals denied. Hence this Petition.

ISSUE: Whether or not there is forum shopping.

Forum shopping exists when a party repeatedly avails himself of several judicial remedies in different
courts, simultaneously or successively, all substantially founded on the same transactions and the same
essential facts and circumstances, and all raising substantially the same issues either pending in or
already resolved adversely by some other court.

Ultimately, what is truly important in determining whether forum shopping exists or not is the vexation
caused the courts and party-litigant by a party who asks different courts to rule on the same or related
causes and/or to grant the same or substantially the same reliefs, in the process creating the possibility
of conflicting decisions being rendered by the different fora upon the same issue.

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Forum shopping can be committed in three ways:
(1) filing multiple cases based on the same cause of action and with the same prayer, the previous case
not having been resolved yet (where the ground for dismissal is litis pendentia);
(2) filing multiple cases based on the same cause of action and the same prayer, the previous case
having been finally resolved (where the ground for dismissal is res judicata); and
(3) filing multiple cases based on the same cause of action, but with different prayers (splitting of causes
of action, where the ground for dismissal is also either litis pendentia or res judicata)

Petitioners committed forum shopping by filing multiple cases based on the same cause of action,
although with different prayers.

Sections 3 and 4, Rule 2 of the Rules of Court proscribe the splitting of a single cause of

Section 3. A party may not institute more than one suit for a single cause of action.

Section 4. Splitting a single cause of action; effect of.If two or more suits are instituted
on the basis of the same cause of action, the filing of one or a judgment upon the merits
in any one is available as a ground for the dismissal of the others.

Forum shopping occurs although the actions seem to be different, when it can be seen that there is a
splitting of a cause of action. A cause of action is understood to be the delict or wrongful act or
omission committed by the defendant in violation of the primary rights of the plaintiff. It is true that a
single act or omission can violate various rights at the same time, as when the act constitutes juridically
a violation of several separate and distinct legal obligations. However, where there is only one delict or
wrong, there is but a single cause of action regardless of the number of rights that may have been
violated belonging to one person.

Petitioners would like to make it appear that Civil Case No. CV-01-0207 was solely concerned with the
nullification of the auction sale and certification of sale, while Civil Case No. CV-05-0402 was a totally
separate claim for damages. But the Court observes that the damages being claimed by petitioners in
their Complaint in Civil Case No. CV-05-0402 were also occasioned by the supposedly fictitious
November 2001 foreclosure sale.
There is no question that the claims of petitioners for damages in Civil Case No. CV-01-0207 and Civil
Case No. CV-05-0402 are premised on the same cause of action, i.e., the purportedly wrongful conduct
of respondents in connection with the foreclosure sale of the subject properties.

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G.R. No. 140746. March 16, 2005
[Permissive Joinder of Parties]

FACTS: Crispin Gicale was driving the passenger jeepney owned by his mother Martina Gicale. Alexander
Buncan, on the other hand, was driving a bus owned by Pantranco North Express Inc. Both drivers were
travelling along the National Highway of Talavera, Nueva Ecija in a rainy afternoon. Buncan was driving
the bus northbound while Cripin was trailing behind. When the two vehicles were negotiating a curve
along the highway, the passenger bus overtook the jeepney. In so doing, the passenger bus hit the left
rear side of the jeepney and sped away.
Crispin reported the incident to the police and to the insurer of their jeepney, Standard Insurance
Co. The total cost of the repair amounted to P21, 415. Standard only paid P8,000 while Martina Gicale
shouldered the remaining P13,415. Thereafter, Standard and Martina demanded reimbursements from
Pantranco and Buncan, but the bus company and the driver refused. Thus, Standard and Martina were
prompted to file a complaint for sum of money with the RTC of Manila.
Pantranco and Buncan denied the allegations of the complaint and asserted that it is the MeTC
which has jurisdiction over the case.
RTC: The trial court ruled in favor of Standard and Martina, and ordered Pantranco and Buncan to pay
the former reimbursements with interests due thereon plus attorney's fees, and litigation expenses.
Pantranco and Buncan: The RTC has no jurisdiction over the complaint.
1) Martina Gicale was claiming P13,415, while Standard was claiming P8,000. Their individual
claims are below P20,000. Thus, the case falls under the exclusive jurisdiction of the MTC.
2) There was a misjoinder of parties.
CA: The appellate court affirmed the decision of the RTC.
Pantranco and Buncan's motion for reconsideration was denied by the CA.

ISSUE: WON there was a misjoinder of parties in the case.

HELD: No. Sec. 6, Rule 3 of the Revised Rules of Court provides the following requirements for a
permissive joinder of parties: (a) the right to relief arises out of the same transaction or series of
transactions; (b) there is a question of law or fact common to all the plaintiffs or defendants; and (c)
such joinder is not otherwise proscribed by the provisions of the Rules on jurisdiction and venue.

In this case, there is a single transaction common to all, that is, Pantranco’s bus hitting the rear side of
the jeepney. There is also a common question of fact, that is, whether petitioners are negligent. There
being a single transaction common to both respondents, consequently, they have the same cause of
action against petitioners.

To determine identity of cause of action, it must be ascertained whether the same evidence which is
necessary to sustain the second cause of action would have been sufficient to authorize a recovery in
the first. Here, had respondents filed separate suits against petitioners, the same evidence would have
been presented to sustain the same cause of action. Thus, the filing by both respondents of the
complaint with the court below is in order. Such joinder of parties avoids multiplicity of suit and
ensures the convenient, speedy and orderly administration of justice.

There is NO MISJOINDER OF PARTIES if the money sought to be claimed is in favor of the same plaintiff/s
and against the same defendant/s.

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MVRS Publications vs. Islamic Da’wah Council of the Philippines
G.R. No. 135306, Jan. 28, 2003
[Class Suit]

FACTS: Islamic Da’Wah Council of the Philippines, Inc., a local federation of more than 70 Muslim
religious organizations, filed a complaint for damages against MVRS Publications, Inc., arising from an
article, which reads:


Na ang mga baboy at kahit anong uri ng hayop sa Mindanao ay hindi kinakain ng mga Muslim?

Para sa kanila ang mga ito ay isang sagradong bagay. Hindi nila ito kailangang kainin kahit na sila pa ay
magutom at mawalan ng ulam sa tuwing sila ay kakain. Ginagawa nila itong Diyos at sinasamba pa nila
ito sa tuwing araw ng kanilang pangingilin lalung-lalo na sa araw na tinatawag nilang 'Ramadan'."

MVRS PUBLICATIONS, INC., and AGUSTINO G. BINEGAS, JR., in their defense, contended that the article
did not mention respondents as the object of the article and therefore were not entitled to damages;
and, that the article was merely an expression of belief or opinion and was published without malice nor
intention to cause damage, prejudice or injury to Muslims.

The Trial court dismissed the complaint holding that the plaintiffs failed to establish their cause of action
since the persons allegedly defamed by the article were not specifically identified
On 27 August 1998 the Court of Appeals reversed the decision of the trial court.
Hence, the instant petition for review assailing the findings of the appellate court.

WON the respondents may institute a class suit

NO. As correctly pointed out by Mr. Justice Jose C. Vitug, "an element of a class suit is the adequacy of
representation. In determining the question of fair and adequate representation of members of a class,
the court must consider (a) whether the interest of the named party is coextensive with the interest of
the other members of the class; (b) the proportion of those made parties as it so bears to the total
membership of the class; and, (c) any other factor bearing on the ability of the named party to speak for
the rest of the class.

The rules require that courts must make sure that the persons intervening should be sufficiently
numerous to fully protect the interests of all concerned. In the present controversy, Islamic Dawah
Council of the Philippines, Inc., seeks in effect to assert the interests not only of the Muslims in the
Philippines but of the whole Muslim world as well. Private respondents obviously lack the sufficiency of
numbers to represent such a global group; neither have they been able to demonstrate the identity of
their interests with those they seek to represent. Unless it can be shown that there can be a safe
guaranty that those absent will be adequately represented by those present, a class suit, given its
magnitude in this instance, would be unavailing.

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G.R. No. 150135 October 30, 2006
[Indigent Parties]
Facts: In 1999, the City of Naga demolished a portion of the house owned by spouses Antonio and
Lorencita Algura for allegedly being a nuisance as the said portion of the house was allegedly blocking
the road right of way.
In September, the spouses then sued Naga for damages arising from the said demolition (loss of income
from boarders), which to the spouses is an illegal demolition. Simultaneous to their complaint was an
ex-parte motion for them to litigate as indigent litigants. The motion was granted and the spouses were
exempted from paying the required filing fees.
In February 2000, during pre-trial, the City of Naga asked for 5 days within which to file a Motion to
Disqualify Petitioners as Indigent Litigants. Under the Rules of Court (then Sec. 16, Rule 141), a party
may be qualified as a pauper litigant (for those residing outside Metro Manila) if he submits an affidavit
attesting that a.) his gross monthly income does not exceed P1,500.00 (now not more than double the
monthly minimum wage) and b.) he should not own property with an assessed value of not more than
P18,000.00 (now not more than P300k market value). The City asserted that the combined income of
the Alguras is at least P13,400 which is way beyond the threshold P1.5k. The City presented as proof
Antonio’s pay slip as a policeman (P10,400) and Lorencita’s estimated income from her sari-sari store.
The claim of the spouses that they were property-less, as proven by the City Assessors’ Certification, was
not disputed by the City.
The spouses argued that since the boarding house was demolished by the city, they only relied on the
income of Antonio which was barely enough to cover their family’s need like food, shelter, and other
basic necessities for them and their family (they have 6 children).
The judge, however, granted the motion of the City and so the spouses were disqualified as pauper-
litigants. Subsequently, the case filed by the spouses against the City was dismissed for the spouses’
failure to pay the required filing fees.

ISSUE: Whether or not the spouses should be disqualified as pauper-litigants.

HELD: No, there was no hearing on the matter hence the case was remanded back to the lower court. In
this case, the Supreme Court reconciled the provisions of Sec. 21, Rule 3 and Sec. 19, Rule 141 (then Sec.
16, Rule 141).
Sec. 21, Rule 3, merely provides a general statement that indigent litigants may not be required to pay
the filing fees. On the other hand, Sec. 19, Rule 141 provides the specific standards that a party must
meet before he can be qualified as an indigent party and thus be exempt from paying the required fees.
If Sec. 19, Rule 141 (in this case, then Sec. 16, Rule 141) is strictly applied, then the spouses could not
qualify because their income exceeds P1.5k, which was the threshold prior to 2000. But if Sec. 21, Rule 3
is to be applied, the applicant (the Spouses) should be given a chance in a hearing to satisfy the court
that notwithstanding the evidence presented by the opposing party (Naga), they have no money or
property sufficient and available for food, shelter and other basic necessities for their family, and are
thus, qualified as indigent litigants under said Rule. Therefore, the court should have conducted a trial
in order to let the spouses satisfy the court that indeed the income they’re having, even though above
the P1.5k limit, was not sufficient to cover food, shelter, and their other basic needs.

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August 19, 2009
A.M. No. 09-6-9-SC
[Corporations cannot be exempt from payment of legal fees]

Facts: Mr. Roger C. Prioreschi, administrator of the Good Shepherd Foundation, Inc. wrote a letter
addressed to the Chief Justice requesting for an exemption from payment of legal fees granted to
indigent litigants because the foundation is working for indigent and underprivileged people.

Issue: WON the request of Mr. Prioreschi should be granted?

Held: NO. The basis for the exemption from legal and filing fees is the free access clause, embodied in
Sec. 11, Art. III of the 1987 Constitution.

In implementation of the right of free access under the Constitution, the Supreme Court promulgated
rules, specifically, Sec. 21, Rule 3, Rules of Court and Sec. 19, Rule 141, Rules of Court.

To be entitled to the exemption herein provided, the litigant shall execute an affidavit that he and his
immediate family do not earn a gross income abovementioned, and they do not own any real property
with the fair value aforementioned, supported by an affidavit of a disinterested person attesting to the
truth of the litigants affidavit. The current tax declaration, if any, shall be attached to the litigants

The clear intent and precise language of the Rules of Court indicate that only a natural party litigant may
be regarded as an indigent litigant. The Good Shepherd Foundation, Inc., being a corporation invested
by the State with a juridical personality separate and distinct from that of its members, is a juridical
person. Among others, it has the power to acquire and possess property of all kinds as well as incur
obligations and bring civil or criminal actions, in conformity with the laws and regulations of their
organization. As a juridical person, therefore, it cannot be accorded the exemption from legal and filing
fees granted to indigent litigants.

That the Good Shepherd Foundation, Inc. is working for indigent and underprivileged people is of no
moment. Clearly, the Constitution has explicitly premised the free access clause on a person’s poverty, a
condition that only a natural person can suffer.

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G.R. No. 118691. July 5, 1996
[MTC Procedure]

On 16 June 1973, petitioner Alejandro Bayog and private respondent Alberto entered into an
Agricultural Leasehold Contract. On 19 April 1983, then President Ferdinand E. Marcos issued a
Certificate of Agricultural Leasehold to MAGDATO. BAYOG, in consideration of P250,000.00, executed a
so-called Deed of Equitable Mortgage, with right of redemption within five years, in favor of Santiago
Pesayco. BAYOG asked MAGDATO to remove his house from BAYOG's land. BAYOG explained that the
house was an obstacle to the cultivation of the land by Jorge Pesayco, Jr., the brother and civil law
lessee of Santiago Pesayco.
As MAGDATO did not comply, BAYOG and Jorge Pesayco, Jr. filed with the MCTC a complaint for
"Ejectment and/or Abatement of Nuisance with Prayer for Demolition.
The MCTC declared that the case fell under the Rule on Summary Procedure and directed the issuance
of summons which, together with complaint, was served on MAGDATO.
MCTC issued an Order holding that MAGDATO's Answer was filed outside the reglementary period , it
could not take cognizance thereof without exceeding its jurisdiction under Section 36 of B.P. Blg. 129. It
then considered "needless" for the court to resolve all pleadings subsequently filed, such as the answer;
and then claiming authority under Section 5 14 of the Rule on Summary Procedure, the MCTC rendered
judgment in favor of plaintiffs BAYOG and Pesayco.

ISSUE: WON the MCTC should refrain from taking cognizance of Magdato’s answer for being filed
beyond the reglementary period

NO. It should not have refrained from taking cognizance of MAGDATO's Answer. Although filed late, the
Answer asserted that the MCTC had no jurisdiction over the case in light of the agricultural tenancy
relationship between BAYOG and MAGDATO, which is clearly evidenced by their Agricultural Leasehold
Contract and the Certificate of Agricultural Leasehold issued in MAGDATO's favor by then President
Marcos. While this assertion, per se, did not automatically divest the MCTC of its jurisdiction over the
ejectment case, nevertheless, in view of MAGDATO's defense, the MCTC should have heard and
received the evidence for the precise purpose of determining whether or not it possessed jurisdiction
over the case. And upon such hearing, if tenancy was shown to be at issue, the MCTC should have
dismissed the case for lack of jurisdiction. Verily, if indeed MAGDATO were an agricultural lessee under
agrarian law, then the MCTC was devoid of jurisdiction over the ejectment case.

The MCTC should have met and ruled squarely on the issue of jurisdiction, instead of simply adopting a
strange theory that it could not take cognizance of the answer belatedly filed without exceeding its
jurisdiction under Section 36 of B.P. Blg. 129. Plainly, there is nothing in the said section which bars the
MCTC from taking cognizance of the answer. The Revised Rule on Summary Procedure, as well as its
predecessor, do not provide that an answer filed after the reglementary period should be expunged
from the records. As a matter of fact, there is no provision for an entry of default if a defendant fails to
file his answer. It must likewise be pointed out that MAGDATO's defense of lack of jurisdiction may have
even be raised in a motion to dismiss as an exception to the rule on prohibited pleadings in the Revised
Rule on Summary Procedure. Such a motion is allowed under paragraph (a) of Section 19 thereof, which

Sec. 19. Prohibited pleadings and motions. — The following pleadings, motions, or petitions shall not be
allowed in the cases covered by this Rule:
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(a) Motion to dismiss the complaint or to quash the complaint or information except on the ground
of lack of jurisdiction over the subject matter, or failure to comply with the preceding section;

(b) Motion for a bill of particulars;

(c) Motion for new trial, or for reconsideration of a judgment, or for reopening of trial;

(d) Petition for relief from judgment;

(e) Motion for extension of time to file pleadings, affidavits or any other paper;

(f) Memoranda;

(g) Petition for certiorari, mandamus, or prohibition against any interlocutory order issued by the

(h) Motion to declare defendant in default;

(i) Dilatory motions for postponement;

(j) Reply;

(k) Third Party complaints;

(l) Interventions.

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G.R. No. 194880 June 20, 2012
[MTC Proceure]

Petitioners, Republic and NAPOCOR leased the four parcels of land, including the subject property, to
the Technology Resource Center Foundation, Inc., (TRCFI). TRCFI consequently subleased a majority of
the subject property to respondent Sunvar through several sublease agreements.
During the period of its sublease, respondent Sunvar introduced useful improvements, consisting of
several commercial buildings, and leased out the spaces therein. Following a reorganization of the
government, TRCFI was dissolved. In its stead, the Philippine Development Alternatives Foundation
(PDAF) was created. Less than a year before the expiration of the main lease contract and the sublease
agreements, respondent Sunvar wrote to PDAF as successor of TRCFI to expressed its desire to exercise
the option to renew the sublease over the subject property. PDAF informed respondent that the notice
of renewal of the lease had already been sent to petitioners. NPC notified PDAF of its decision not to
renew the contract of lease. In turn, PDAF notified respondent Sunvar of NPC’s decision.
Petitioner Republic, through the Office of the Solicitor General advised respondent Sunvar to completely
vacate the subject property within thirty (30) days but failed to vacate and remained on the property.
Respondent Sunvar received from respondent OSG a final notice to vacate within 15 days. When the
period lapsed, respondent Sunvar again refused to vacate the property and continued to occupy it.
Petitioners filed the Complaint dated for unlawful detainer with the Metropolitan Trial Court (MeTC) of
Makati City. Respondent Sunvar moved to dismiss the Complaint.
MeTC denied the Motion to Dismiss and directed respondent Sunvar to file an answer to petitioners’
Complaint. The lower court likewise denied the Motion for Reconsideration filed by respondent.
Respondent later on filed its Answer to the Complaint. Despite the filing of its Answer in the summary
proceedings for ejectment, respondent Sunvar filed a Rule 65 Petition for Certiorari with the RTC of
Makati City to assail the denial by the MeTC of respondent’s Motion to Dismiss. Petitioners prayed for
the outright dismissal of the certiorari of respondent Sunvar on the ground that the Rules on Summary
Procedure expressly prohibited the filing of a petition for certiorari against the interlocutory orders of
the MeTC. The RTC denied the motion for dismissal and ruled that extraordinary circumstances called
for an exception to the general rule on summary proceedings. Petitioners filed a Motion for
Reconsideration, which was subsequently denied by the RTC.

Hence, the instant Rule 45 Petition filed by petitioners

ISSUE: WON the RTC correctly taken cognizance of the Rule 65 Petition of respondent Sunvar

HELD: No. Under the Rules on Summary Procedure, a certiorari petition under Rule 65 against an
interlocutory order issued by the court in a summary proceeding is a prohibited pleading. The
prohibition is plain enough, and its further exposition is unnecessary verbiage. The RTC should have
dismissed outright respondent Sunvar’s Rule 65 Petition, considering that it is a prohibited pleading.
Petitioners have already alerted the RTC of this legal bar and immediately prayed for the dismissal of the
certiorari Petition. Yet, the RTC not only refused to dismiss the certiorari Petition,55 but even proceeded
to hear the Rule 65 Petition on the merits.
Consequently, the assailed RTC Decision is annulled.

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G.R. No. 139018. April 11, 2005

On 18 March 1996, petitioner filed a Complaint for annulment of title with prayer for preliminary
mandatory injunction against respondent.
Respondent seasonably filed its Answer with compulsory counterclaim. Petitioner moved to dismiss
respondents counterclaim for lack of a certificate of non-forum shopping.
In an Order dated 11 March 1999, the trial court denied petitioners motion to dismiss respondents
counterclaim. The trial court reasoned that respondent’s counterclaim is compulsory and therefore
excluded from the coverage of Section 5, Rule 7 of the Rules of Court. Petitioner moved that the trial
court reconsider its Order invoking the mandatory nature of a certificate of non-forum shopping under
Supreme Court Administrative Circular No. 04-94. On 25 May 1999, the trial court reversed its 11 March
1999 Order and dismissed respondents counterclaim for lack of a certificate of non-forum shopping.
Respondent seasonably filed a motion for reconsideration arguing that Administrative Circular No. 04-94
does not apply to compulsory counterclaims following the ruling in Santo Tomas University Hospital v.
Surla. On 4 June 1999, the trial court again reversed itself and recalled its Order dismissing respondents
Hence this petition.

Issue: WON compulsory counterclaim pleaded in an Answer be dismissed on the ground of a failure to
accompany it with a certificate of non-forum shopping

Held: Yes.
In the case of Santo Tomas University Hospital v. Surla, the court held that the violation of the anti-
forum shopping rule shall not be curable by mere amendment but shall be cause for the dismissal of the
case without prejudice, being predicated on the applicability of the need for a certification against
forum-shopping, obviously does not include a claim which cannot be independently set up.
In Ponciano v. Judge Parentela, Jr. the court held that “Administrative Circular No. 04-94 does not apply
to compulsory counterclaims. The circular applies to initiatory and similar pleadings. A compulsory
counterclaim set up in the answer is not an initiatory or similar pleading. The initiatory pleading is the
plaintiffs complaint. A respondent has no choice but to raise a compulsory counterclaim the moment the
plaintiff files the complaint. Otherwise, respondent waives the compulsory counterclaim. In short, the
compulsory counterclaim is a reaction or response, mandatory upon pain of waiver, to an initiatory
pleading which is the complaint.”
It is clear that the counterclaim set up by respondent arises from the filing of plaintiff’s complaint. The
counterclaim is so intertwined with the main case that it is incapable of proceeding independently. The
counterclaim will require a re-litigation of the same evidence if the counterclaim is allowed to proceed
in a separate action. Even petitioner recognizes that respondent’s counterclaim is compulsory. A
compulsory counterclaim does not require a certificate of non-forum shopping because a compulsory
counterclaim is not an initiatory pleading.

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G.R. No. 114331. May 27, 1997
[Bill of Particulars]

FACTS: Cesar Virata is one of the defendants in the case of Republic vs Romualdez which was filed by the
PCGG. The case involves the recovery of ill-gotten wealth allegedly amassed by the defendants in that
case during the Marcos years. The complaint was amended three times.
Virata filed a bill of particulars asserting that these allegations are vague and not averred with sufficient
definiteness to enable him to effectively prepare his responsive pleadings. Sandiganbayan partially
granted the motion. Only with regard to par.17 and 18 was the republic required to file a bill of
particulars. As to the others, Sandiganbayan declared them to be clear and specific enough to allow
Virata to file an intelligent responsive pleading. OSG submitted the bill of particulars relating to par17
and 18. Virata filed a motion to strike out this bill of particular and to defer the filing of his answer. It is
alleged that the bill of particulars aver for the first time new actionable wrongs allegedly committed by
him in various official capacities and that the allegations do not indicate that he was a dummy, nominee
or agent (which was the allegation in the complaint) but rather a government officer acting in his own
name. Meanwhile, Virata filed a petition for certiorari with the SC with regard to the denial of his bill of
particulars with regard to par.14 and sections b,g and m. SC granted the petition. OSG filed a
manifestation that since PCGG is the investigating body with the complete records of the case, it is in a
better position to supply the bill of particulars. Thus, PCGG submitted a bill of particulars (no.2) in
relation to par.14 and subparagraphs b,g and m. Virata filed a comment with a motion to dismiss.
According to him, bill of particulars no.2 is merely a rehash of the assertions made in the last amended
complaint hence, it is not the bill of particulars required by the court. As to the 1st bill of particulars, it
allegedly shows that new imputations are being made which are different from the charge in the
complaint. Sandiganbayan found the bill of particulars to be sufficient, hence, this recourse to the SC.

ISSUE: Whether the bill of particulars filed by Republic is sufficient

NO. The rule is that a complaint must contain the ultimate facts constituting plaintiff's cause of action. A
cause of action has the following elements: (1) a right in favor of the plaintiff; (2) an obligation on the
part of the named defendant to respect or not to violate such right; and (3) an act or omission on the
part of such defendant violating the plaintiff’s right. As long as the complaint contains these three
elements, a cause of action exists. Even though the allegations are vague, dismissal is not the proper
remedy. Thus, the rules of court provide that a party may move for more definite statement or for a bill
of particulars of any matter which is not averred with sufficient definiteness or particularity to enable
him properly to prepare his responsive pleading or to prepare for trial. Such motion shall point out the
defects complained of and the details desired. An order directing the submission of such statement or
bill is proper where it enables the party asking for it to intelligently prepare a responsive pleading, or
adequately to prepare for trial.
It is the office of the bill of particulars to inform the opposite party and the court of the precise nature
and character of the cause of action or defense which the pleader has attempted to set forth and
thereby to guide his adversary in his preparations for trial, and reasonably to protect him against
surprise at the trial. It gives information of the specific proposition for which the pleader contends, in
respect to any material and issuable fact in the case, and it becomes a part of the pleading which it
supplements. It has been held that a bill of particulars must inform the opposite party of the nature of
the pleader's cause of action or defense, and it must furnish the required items of the claim with
reasonable fullness and precision. Generally, it will be held sufficient if it fairly and substantially gives
the opposite party the information to which he is entitled. It should be definite and specific and not

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contain general allegations and conclusions. It should be reasonably certain and as specific as the
circumstances will allow.
 Par14 (b): Complaint alleges virata’s alleged active collaboration in reducing taxes. Yet, there is
nothing in the bill of particular about this active collaboration. It is silent as to what acts of
Virata that establish that he collaborated in reducing the taxes.
 Par14(g): BOP (bill of particular) on this also failed to set forth particularly or specifically the
charges against virata. It is full of generalizations and indefinite statements. So many questions
about the alleged acts which were not answered.
 Par14(m): BOP is merely a restatement of the charge in the complaint. Clearly, republic failed to
amplify the charges against Virata. The important question as to what particular acts of Virata
that constituted support and assistance in the formation of Erectors Holdings is left
With regard to the 1st bill of particular, basically SC had the same findings. That is, BOP failed to supply
Virata with material matters which he needs in order to file a responsive pleading. Further, the 1st BOP
contains new matters which are not covered by the charges in the complaint. The complaint alleges that
he was acting as a dummy but the BOP state that he acted in his official capacity. Therefore, under the
BOP he acted as agent of the government whereas in the complaint he allegedly acted as agent of his
co-defendants. The two bills of particulars filed by the Republic failed to properly amplify the charges
leveled against Virata because, not only are they mere reiteration or repetition of the allegations set
forth in the expanded Second Amended Complaint, but, to the large extent, they contain vague,
immaterial and generalized assertions which are inadmissible under our procedural rules.
As a result, SC orders the dismissal of the complaint in so far as the charges against Virata are
concerned. This is justified under the rules of court (failure to prosecute –plaintiff... fails to comply with
these rules or any order of the court)

Side issues: Whether PCGG can file the BOP in behalf of the republic (contention is that only OSG can act
in behalf of republic)?
YES. Admin code gives power to the OSG to deputize legal officers and to call on any dep’t...etc., as may
be necessary to fulfil its functions. Here, OSG called PCGG for assistance and authorized it to file the BOP.

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G.R. No. 166216; March 14, 2012
[Rule 13]
Several suspected subversives who were arrested and detained by the military filed a complaint for
damages with the Regional Trial Court against Gen. Fabian Ver and the some subordinate officers.
Defendants-appellants, through their counsel, the then Solicitor General Estelito Mendoza, filed a
motion to dismiss. The trial court granted their motion to dismiss.
Plaintiffs-appellees went to the Supreme Court on a petition for review on certiorari, seeking to annul
and set aside the orders of the trial court. While the case was pending in the Supreme Court, the so-
called EDSA revolution took place. As a result, the defendants-appellants lost their official positions and
were no longer in their respective office addresses as appearing in the record. The Supreme Court
rendered a decision annulling and setting aside the assailed orders and remanded the case to the trial
court for further proceedings. However, trial could not proceed immediately because the record of the
case was destroyed when fire razed the City Hall of Quezon City. The plaintiffs-appellees sought a
reconstitution of the record of the case. The record shows that the petition for reconstitution was set
for hearing on October 27, 1989. However, there is nothing in the record to show that defendants-
appellants or their counsel were notified. For lack of an opposition, the petition for reconstitution was
granted. The plaintiffs-appellees then filed a motion praying that defendants-appellants be required to
file their answer. Plaintiffs-appellees were directed to report to the trial court the addresses and
whereabouts of defendants-appellants so that they could be properly notified. Instead of complying
with the order of court the plaintiffs-appellees filed a motion to declare defendants-appellants in
default. The trial court denied plaintiffs-appellees motion to declare defendants-appellants in default,
emphatically pointing out that defendants-appellants were not duly notified of the decision of the
Supreme Court. For failure of the plaintiffs-appellees to comply with the orders dated August 17, 1990
and December 27, 1990, the trial court dismissed the case without, however, it set aside the order of
dismissal and reinstated the case. It also approved plaintiffs-appellees request to serve the notice to file
answer or responsive pleading by publication.

Plaintiffs-appellees informed the trial court that the following notice was published in the Tagalog
newspaper BALITA in its issues of August 29, 1991 and September 5, 1991.

No answer was filed by defendants-appellants within the period stated in the notice. On motion of
plaintiffs-appellees, the trial court in its order dated December 5, 1991 declared defendants-appellants
in default and directed plaintiffs-appellees to present their evidence ex-parte. RTC handed down a
decision in favor of the petitioners. CA rendered a decision reversing and setting aside the RTC decision
and ordering the case remanded to the RTC for further proceedings and held that the respondents were
completely deprived of due process when they were declared in default based on a defective mode of
service service of notice to file answer by publication.

ISSUE: WON respondents were completely deprived of due process based on a defective mode of
service service of notice to file answer by publication.

Held: Yes.
Rule 13, Sections 5 ,6 ,7 and 8 of the Rules of Court prescribe the modes of service of pleadings,
motions, notices, orders, judgments, and other papers, namely: (1) personal service; (2) service by mail;
and (3) substituted service, in case service cannot be effected either personally or by mail.

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It was laid down to insure the orderly conduct of litigation and to protect the substantive rights of all
party litigants. It is for this reason that the basic rules on the modes of service provided under Rule 13 of
the Rules of Court have been made mandatory and, hence, should be strictly followed.
In Solar Team Entertainment, Inc. v. Judge Ricafort, the Court held that section 11 of Rule 13, service and
filing of pleadings and other papers must, whenever practicable, be done personally; and if made
through other modes, the party concerned must provide a written explanation as to why the service or
filing was not done personally. Section 11 is mandatory.
In the case at bench, the respondents were completely deprived of due process when they were
declared in default based on a defective mode of service service of notice to file answer by publication.
The rules on service of pleadings, motions, notices, orders, judgments, and other papers were not
strictly followed in declaring the respondents in default. The Court agrees with the CA that the RTC
committed procedural lapses in declaring the respondents in default and in allowing the petitioners to
present evidence ex-parte. At any rate, the Court is of the view that personal service to the respondents
was practicable under the circumstances considering that they were well-known persons who used to
occupy high government positions.

To stress, the only modes of service of pleadings, motions, notices, orders, judgments and other papers
allowed by the rules are personal service, service by mail and substituted service if either personal
service or service by mail cannot be made, as stated in Sections 6, 7 and 8 of Rule 13 of the Rules of
Court. Nowhere under this rule is service of notice to file answer by publication is mentioned, much less

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G.R. No. 192413 June 13, 2012
Sometime in 1990, a certain Teresita Millan offered to buy the 6 lots owned by Spouses Bakunawa.
Milan promised that she will take care of clearing whatever preliminary obstacles there may be to effect
a completion of the sale. Spouses Bakunawa agreed. Millan was not able to clear said obstacles. As a
result, the Spouses Bakunawa rescinded the sale and offered to return to Millan her down payment.
However, Millan refused to accept it. Consequently, the Spouses Bakunawa, through their company, the
Hi-Tri Development Corporation took out a Managers Check from RCBC-Ermita in the amount of
₱1,019,514.29, payable to Millans Company Rosmil Realty and Development Corporation and used this
as one of their basis for a complaint against Millan and Montemayor which they filed with the Regional
Trial Court of Quezon City. On the other hand, the Republic through the Office of the Solicitor General
filed with the RTC the action for Escheat.
The trial court rendered its assailed Decision declaring the deposits, credits, and unclaimed balances
escheated to the Republic. Among those included in the order of forfeiture was the amount of
₱1,019,514.29 held by RCBC as allocated funds intended for the payment of the Managers Check issued
in favor of Rosmil.
Respondents filed an Omnibus Motion seeking the partial reconsideration of the RTC Decision but it was
denied by the RTC explaining that the Republic had proven compliance with the requirements of
publication and notice, which served as notice to all those who may be affected and prejudiced by the
Complaint for Escheat.
CA reversed the order of the RTC and held that the banks failure to notify respondents deprived them of
an opportunity to intervene in the escheat proceedings and to present evidence to substantiate their
claim, in violation of their right to due process. Furthermore, the CA pronounced that the Makati City
RTC Clerk of Court failed to issue individual notices directed to all persons claiming interest in the
unclaimed balances, as well as to require them to appear after publication and show cause it should not
be deposited with the Treasurer of the Philippines. It explained that the jurisdictional requirement of
individual notice by personal service was distinct from the requirement of notice by publication.
Consequently, the CA held that the Decision and Order of the RTC were void for want of jurisdiction.

ISSUE: WON failure to personally serve the notices to respondents is a jurisdictional requirement.

HELD: No. Insofar as banks are concerned, service of processes is made by delivery of a copy of the
complaint and summons upon the president, cashier, or managing officer of the defendant bank. On the
other hand, as to depositors or other claimants of the unclaimed balances, service is made by
publication of a copy of the summons in a newspaper of general circulation in the locality where the
institution is situated. A notice about the forthcoming escheat proceedings must also be issued and
published, directing and requiring all persons who may claim any interest in the unclaimed balances to
appear before the court and show cause why the dormant accounts should not be deposited with the
Accordingly, the CA committed reversible error when it ruled that the issuance of individual notices
upon respondents was a jurisdictional requirement, and that failure to effect personal service on them
rendered the Decision and the Order of the RTC void for want of jurisdiction. Escheat proceedings are
actions in rem, whereby an action is brought against the thing itself instead of the person. Thus, an
action may be instituted and carried to judgment without personal service upon the depositors or other
claimants. Jurisdiction is secured by the power of the court over the res. Consequently, a judgment of
escheat is conclusive upon persons notified by advertisement, as publication is considered a general and
constructive notice to all persons interested.

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G.R. No. 144662. October 13, 2003
[Service of Summons]

Facts: Spouses Efren and Digna Mason owned 2 parcels of land. Petitioners and private respondent
Columbus Philippines Bus Corporation entered into a lease contract, under which Columbus undertook
to construct a building worth P10,000,000 at the end of the 3rd year of the lease. Because Columbus
failed to comply with this stipulation, the petitioners, filed a complaint for rescission of contract with
damages against Columbus before the RTC.
Summons was served upon Columbus through a certain Ayreen Rejalde. While the receiving copy of the
summons described Rejalde as a secretary of Columbus, the sheriff’s return described Rejalde as a
secretary to the corporate president, duly authorized to receive legal processes.
Columbus failed to file its answer or other responsive pleading, hence petitioners filed a motion to
declare Columbus in default. The motion was granted and petitioners were allowed to present evidence
ex-parte. The case was submitted for decision. RTC ruled in favor of the plaintiffs and against Columbus.
That decision became final on May 12, 1999. The following day, Columbus filed a motion to lift order of
default, which was opposed by petitioners. RTC ordered the parties to submit their respective
memoranda. However, without waiting for the same, RTC on May 26, 1999, denied the motion to lift
order of default. Columbus filed a motion for reconsideration, which was denied. Undaunted, Columbus
filed a manifestation and motion to lift the writ of execution. It suffered the same fate as the motion for
reconsideration for being dilatory. The branch sheriff was directed to proceed with the enforcement of
the decision.
Columbus appealed to the Court of Appeals, which ruled in its favor. Columbus was not properly served
with summons, thus it cannot be faulted if it failed to file an Answer. Hence, this petition for review.

Issue: Whether there was valid service of summons on private respondent.

Held: No. Petitioners contend that while Section 11, Rule 14 clearly specifies the persons authorized to
receive summons on behalf of a private juridical entity, said provision did not abandon or render
inapplicable the substantial compliance rule. The case law applicable, contends Columbus, is Villarosa
which squarely provides for the proper interpretation of the new rule on the service of summons upon
domestic corporation, thus: The designation of persons or officers who are authorized to accept
summons for a domestic corporation or partnership is now limited and more clearly specified in Section
11, Rule 14 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure. The rule now states "general manager" instead of only
"manager"; "corporate secretary" instead of "secretary"; and "treasurer" instead of "cashier." The
phrase "agent, or any of its directors" is conspicuously deleted in the new rule. Service through Ayreen
Rejalde, a mere filing clerk of private respondent and not one of those enumerated above, is invalid.
The question of whether the substantial compliance rule is still applicable under Section 11, Rule 14 of
the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure has been settled in Villarosa which applies squarely to the instant case.
Notice to enable the other party to be heard and to present evidence is not a mere technicality or a
trivial matter in any administrative or judicial proceedings. The service of summons is a vital and
indispensable ingredient of due process. We will deprive Columbus of its right to present its defense in
this multi-million peso suit, if we disregard compliance with the rules on service of summons.

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G.R. No. 158275. June 28, 2005
Petitioner Domingo Roco purchased his supply of dressed chicken from private respondent Cals Poultry
Supply Corporation. As payment for his purchases, petitioner drew five checks payable to Cals
Corporation against his account with the PCIB. Cals Corporation deposited the checks in its account with
PCIB but the bank dishonored them for having been drawn against a closed account. Thereafter, Cals
Corporation filed criminal complaints against petitioner for violation of Batas Pambasa Blg. 22 otherwise
known as the Bouncing Checks Law. MTCC rendered a judgment of conviction against petitioner.
Petitioner went on appeal to the Regional Trial Court and the RTC vacated the MTCC decision and
remanded the cases to it for the reception of petitioners evidence. Petitioner then filed with the MTCC a
Request for Issuance of Subpoena Ad Testificandum and Subpoena Duces Tecum, requiring Vivian
Deocampo or Danilo Yap, both of Cals Corporation or their duly authorized representatives, to appear
and testify in court and to bring with them certain documents, records and books of accounts for the
years 1993-1999. The prosecution did not object to this request.
The MTCC, then presided by Acting Judge Geomer C. Delfin, issued an order granting petitioners
aforementioned request and accordingly directed the issuance of the desired subpoenas.
The prosecution filed its opposition and maintained that the production of the above-mentioned
documents was inappropriate because they are immaterial and irrelevant to the crimes for which the
petitioner was being prosecuted. MTCC, this time thru its regular Presiding Judge, Judge Edward B.
Contreras, denied petitioners request on the following grounds: (a) the requested documents, book
ledgers and other records were immaterial in resolving the issues posed before the court; and (b) the
issuance of the subpoenas will only unduly delay the hearing of the criminal cases.

ISSUE: WON the petitioners request for the issuance of subpoena ad testificandum and subpoena
duces tecum should be granted

Well-settled is the rule that before a subpoena duces tecum may issue, the court must first be satisfied
that the following requisites are present:
(1) The books, documents or other things requested must appear prima facie relevant to the issue
subject of the controversy (test of relevancy); and
(2) Such books must be reasonably described by the parties to be readily identified (test of definiteness).

The books and documents that petitioner requested to be subpoenaed are designated and described in
his request with definiteness and readily identifiable. The test of definiteness, therefore, is satisfied in
this case. It is, however, in the matter of relevancy of those books and documents to the pending
criminal cases that petitioner miserably failed to discharge his burden.
The gravamen of the offense under BP 22 is the act of making or issuing a worthless check or a check
that is dishonored upon its presentment for payment. The issuance of a subpoena duces tecum or ad
testificandum to compel the attendance of Vivian Deocampo or Danilo Yap of Cals Corporation or their
duly authorized representatives, to testify and bring with them the records and documents desired by
the petitioner, would serve no purpose but to further delay the proceedings in the pending criminal

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G.R. No. 153034 September 20, 2005
[Rule 26]
Facts: Irene Canadalla obtained a loan of P100,000 from petitioner Development Bank of the Philippines
(DBP) for purposes of financing her piggery business. As security she executed a Real Estate Mortgage
over two parcels of land. Canadalla procured another loan in the amount of P150,000 and executed
another REM. Canadalla failed to comply with her obligations to the DBP and subsequently, the DBP
extra judicially foreclosed the mortgages. The mortgaged properties were sold at public auction to the
DBP, which emerged as the only bidder. Canadalla was able to redeem one foreclosed property but
failed to redeem the two other properties. Go offered to redeem the properties for P526,882.40. In
response, the DBP advised Go that the acceptable redemption price was P1,814,700.58 representing its
total claim as of 17 January 1996. On 8 July 1996, Go filed with the Regional Trial Court a Supplemental
Complaint for the Exercise of Right of Redemption and Determination of Redemption Price. After the
DBP filed its Answerbut before the parties could proceed to trial, Go filed a Request for Admission by
Adverse Party. Thereafter, the DBP filed its Comment.
During the hearing, Go objected to the Comment reasoning that it was not under oath as required by
Section 2, Rule 26 of the Rules of Court, and that it failed to state the reasons for the admission or denial
of matters for which an admission was requested. For its part, the DBP manifested that, first, the
statements, allegations, and documents contained in the Request for Admission are substantially the
same as those in the Supplemental Complaint; second, they had already been either specifically denied
or admitted by the DBP in its Answer; and third, the reasons for the denial or admission had already
been specifically stated therein.

ISSUE: WON the matters requested to be admitted under Rule 26 of the Rules of Court may be
deemed impliedly admitted on the ground that the response thereto is not under oath.

The matters stated in Gos Request for Admission are the same as those alleged in her Supplemental
Complaint. They had already been either specifically denied or admitted in DBPs Answer to the
Supplemental Complaint. To require the DBP to admit these matters under Rule 26 of the Rules of Court
would be pointless and superfluous.
The Supreme Court held in Po v. Court of Appeals that a party should not be compelled to admit matters
of fact already admitted by his pleading and to make a second denial of those already denied in his
answer to the complaint. Hence, the DBP did not even have to file its Comment on Gos Request for
Admission, which merely reproduced the allegations in her complaint. DBPs Answer itself controverts
the averments in the complaint and those recopied in the request for admission.
Even assuming that a reply to the request is needed, it is undisputed that the DBP filed its Comment
either admitting or specifically denying again the matters sought to be admitted and stating the reasons
therefor. That the Comment was not under oath is not a substantive, but merely a formal, defect which
can be excused in the interest of justice conformably to the well-entrenched doctrine that all pleadings
should be liberally construed as to do substantial justice. The filing of such Comment substantially
complied with Rule 26. Consequently, the DBP cannot be deemed to have impliedly admitted the
matters set forth in the Request for Admission for the mere reason that its Comment was not under

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G.R. No. 194638 July 2, 2014
[Cancellation of Pre-Trial]

Facts: Petitioner filed a Complaint before the RTC against Santos and respondent David A. Raymundo to
whom Santos allegedly sold the leased premises for a consideration of P5,000,000.00, without giving
petitioner the opportunity to exercise its priority to buy the same. Petitioner argued that the sale was
simulated and that there was collusion between Santos and Raymundo (respondents).

Respondents respectively moved for the dismissal of the Complaint on the main ground that it stated no
cause of action. RTC dismissed petitioner's Complaint. Aggrieved, petitioner then filed a motion for
reconsideration which was, however, denied by the RTC. Petitioner then elevated the case on appeal
before the CA which rendered a Decision affirming the dismissal of the Complaint.
Eventually, the foregoing CA Decision was reversed on Petition for Review and the Court remanded the
case to the trial court for further proceedings..
The case was set for pre-trial but the petitioner filed a Motion to cancel Pre-Trial, claiming that it was
preparing a petition for certiorari and prohibition which was to be filed with the CA before the
scheduled pre-trial and it was intended to challenge the validity of the RTC's Orders by raising alleged
prejudicial questions that must be resolved first before the pre-trial and trial on the merits of the case
could proceed.
RTC denied petitioner's Motion to Cancel Pre-Trial. Petitioner went up to the CA but the CA upheld the
RTC’s decision. Hence this petition.

WON the CA correctly upheld the RTC's denial of petitioner's Motion to Cancel Pre-Trial

Held: Yes
The trial court has the discretion on whether to grant or deny a motion to postpone and/or reschedule
the pre-trial conference in accordance with the circumstances obtaining in the case. This must be so as it
is the trial court which is able to witness firsthand the events as they unfold during the trial of a case.
Postponements, while permissible, must not be countenanced except for clearly meritorious grounds
and in light of the attendant circumstances. The pattern to delay the pre-trial of the instant case is quite
evident. Petitioner clearly trifled with the mandatory character of a pre-trial, which is a procedural
device intended to clarify and limit the basic issues raised by the parties and to take the trial of cases out
of the realm of surprise and maneuvering. More significantly, a pre-trial has been institutionalized as the
answer to the clarion call for the speedy disposition of cases. It is, thus, mandatory for the trial court to
conduct pre-trial in civil cases in order to realize the paramount objective of simplifying; abbreviating,
and expediting trial.
Hence, the cancellation of the pre-trial on 'the ground of the impending filing of a petition for certiorari
and prohibition, as there was no proof at the time of the hearing that said petition was in fact filed, was
obviously a dilatory tactic designed for petitioner to control the proceedings of the court. The Court
finds nothing improper, irregular or jaundiced with the trial court's course of action. As the latter aptly
pointed out, since petitioner presented no copy of the petition for certiorari and prohibition duly
received by the appellate court, there was nothing with which it could evaluate the "merits and
demerits of the proposed postponement."

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G.R. No. 191101 October 1, 2014
[Res Judicata]
Bernardino U. Dionisio (Dionisio) filed a complaint for forcible entry with the Municipal Trial Court
against Spouses Ocampo. Dionisio sought to recover the possession of a portion of his property alleging
that Mario and Felix built a piggery thereon without his consent. In his answer, Mario denied Dionisio’s
allegation, claiming that the disputed parcel of land is owned by his wife, Carmelita Ocampo, who
inherited the same from her father. Mario further claimed that they have been in possession of the said
parcel of land since 1969. MTC rendered a decision which dismissed the complaint for forcible entry. The
MTC opined that Dionisio failed to establish his prior possession of the disputed parcel of land. Dionisio’s
notice of appeal was denied by the MTC for having been filed beyond the reglementary period. Dionisio
died and consequently the heirs of Dionisio filed a complaint for recovery of possession with the MTC,
against the spouses Ocampo. In their answer, the petitioners maintained that the subject parcel of land
is owned by Carmelita, having acquired the same through inheritance and that they have been in
possession thereof since 1969. Additionally, the petitioners claimed that the respondents’ complaint for
recovery of possession of the subject property is barred by res judicata in the light of the finality of the
decision in the forcible entry case.
On February 18, 2008, the MTC rendered a decision dismissing the complaint for recovery of possession
filed by the respondents on the ground of res judicata.

Issue: WON the finality of the decision in the forcible entry case constitutes res judicata, which would
warrant the dismissal of the respondents’ complaint for recovery of possession

Held: No

For res judicata under the first concept, bar by prior judgment, to apply, the following requisites must
(a) Finality of the former judgment;
(b) The court which rendered it had jurisdiction over the subject matter and the parties;
(c) It must bea judgment on the merits; and
(d) There must be, between the first and second actions, identity of parties, subject matter and causes
of action.
The first three requisites are present in this case.

As to the fourth, judgment rendered in a forcible entry case will not bar an action between the same
parties respecting title or ownership because between a case for forcible entry and an accion
reinvindicatoria, there is no identity of causes of action. Such determination does not bind the title or
affect the ownership of the land; neither is it conclusive of the facts therein found in a case between the
same parties upon a different cause of action involving possession.
The decision in the forcible entry case is conclusive only as to the MTC’s determination that the
petitioners are not liable for forcible entry since the respondents failed to prove their prior physical
possession; it is not conclusive as to the ownership of the subject property. Besides, Section 18, Rule 70
of the Rules of Court expressly provides that a "judgment rendered in an action for forcible entry or
detainer shall be conclusive with respect to the possession only and shall in no wise bind the title or
affect the ownership of the land."

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G.R. No. 156474. August 16, 2005
[Judgment on the Pleadings]
A complaint for rescission and damages filed by petitioners, Spouses Pesane Animas against Pryce
Properties Corporation. The complaint alleged that petitioner Mongao and respondent corporation
executed a Memorandum of Agreement wherein the former agreed to sell to the latter a parcel of land.
In accordance with the terms and conditions of the Memorandum of Agreement, respondent
corporation allegedly paid petitioners the sum of Five Hundred Fifty Thousand Pesos as earnest money
considered as part of the purchase price. The complaint also denied that petitioner Mongao executed a
Deed of Absolute Sale in favor of Respondent Corporation.
Respondent corporation filed an answer and refuted petitioner’s allegations with a narration of the
factual antecedents leading to the perfection of the contract of sale. Respondent corporation averred
that the true agreement between respondent corporation and the Animas family was for the former to
purchase the two parcels of land belonging to the late Pedro Animas, father of petitioner Mongao. It
admitted the execution of the Memorandum of Agreement but qualified that respondent corporation
did not pay the earnest money directly and solely to petitioner Mongao. Said earnest money was
allegedly part of the amount directly paid by respondent corporation to the Development Bank of the
Philippines in order to redeem certain properties of the Animas family which were foreclosed and sold
at a public auction. Respondent corporation averred that petitioner Mongao executed simultaneously
the corresponding Deed of Sale and Memorandum of Agreement after respondent corporations
representative delivered the checks to the bank as payment for redemption of the properties. The
answer also admitted that due to the demands of both petitioner Mongao and the Animas family,
respondent corporation was constrained to deposit the payment with the Clerk of Court of the RTC of
Davao City.

Petitioners moved for judgment on the pleadings on the ground that the answer admitted the material
allegations of the complaint and, therefore, failed to tender an issue.
Respondent corporation opposed petitioners motion for judgment on the pleadings, arguing that two
material allegations in the complaint, namely: that petitioner Mongao did not execute the Deed of Sale
and that petitioner Mongao was the owner of the subject property, were disputed in the answer.

The trial court granted petitioners motion for judgment on the pleadings and considered the case
submitted for decision.

Issue: WON the respondent corporation’s allegation did not tender an issue.

Held: Yes
The Rules of Court provides that where an answer fails to tender an issue, or otherwise admits the
material allegations of the adverse party's pleading, the court may, on motion of that party, direct
judgment on such pleading. The answer would fail to tender an issue, of course, if it does not comply
with the requirements for a specific denial set out in Section 10 of Rule 8; and it would admit the
material allegations of the adverse party's pleadings not only where it expressly confesses the
truthfulness thereof but also if it omits to deal with them at all.

Thus, there is joinder of issues when the answer makes a specific denial of the material allegations in the
complaint or asserts affirmative defenses which would bar recovery by the plaintiff. Where there is
proper joinder of issues, the trial court is barred from rendering judgment based only on the pleadings
filed by the parties and must conduct proceedings for the reception of evidence.
Arellano Law Academic Society 2015
Learning is not attained by chance. It must be sought for with ardor and attended to with diligence. -- Abigail Adams
On the other hand, an answer fails to tender an issue where the allegations admit the allegations in
support of the plaintiff’s cause of action or fail to address them at all. In either case, there is no genuine
issue and judgment on the pleadings is proper.

Petitioner’s action for rescission is mainly based on the alleged breach by respondent corporation of its
contractual obligation under the Memorandum of Agreement when respondent refused to effect
payment of the purchase price solely to petitioner Mongao.
On the other hand, nothing from the allegations in respondent corporations answer makes out a proper
joinder of issues. Petitioner’s cause of action for rescission is founded mainly on a perfected contract of
sale allegedly entered into between petitioners and respondent corporation as embodied in the
Memorandum of Agreement attached to the complaint. First, the allegations in respondent corporations
answer do not make out a specific denial that a contract of sale was perfected between the parties.
Second, respondent corporation does not contest the due execution and/or genuineness of said
Memorandum of Agreement.

Arellano Law Academic Society 2015

Learning is not attained by chance. It must be sought for with ardor and attended to with diligence. -- Abigail Adams