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CIVIL PROCEDURE

RULE 30
TRIAL

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CIVIL PROCEDURE Rule 30

ARTURO H. TROCIO

v.

JORGE LABAYO

FACTS:

An action was lodged by Petitioner seeking to set aside his dismissal from the position of
Municipal Treasurer. Notices for Hearing were sent to the parties, however, Petitioner failed to appear.
Respondent moved for the conduct of the trial proper since no pre-trial can be conducted due to
Petitioner’s absence and his witness came all the way from Manila. Petitioner’s counsel insisted that the
Notice of Hearing was null and void since it was not stated therein that the hearing set was for purposes
of pre-trial. The lower court dismissed the case for lack of interest to prosecute since Petitioner had
1month from the sending of the notice to advice the court of the defect, which Petitioner Trocio did not
do.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the Notice of Hearing was defective.

HELD:

Hearings are not confined to a trial but embrace several stages of litigation. It does not preclude
pre-trial. A hearing "does not necessarily mean presentation of evidence." It could cover the
determination of a motion to dismiss, or any motion for that matter. Pre-trial is primarily intended to
make certain that all issues necessary to the disposition of a cause are properly raised. Thus, to obviate
the element of surprise, parties are expected to disclose at a pre-trial conference all issues of law and
fact which they intend to raise at the trial, except such as may involve privilege or impeaching matter."
The suspicion entertained by the lower court as to its being resorted to as a dilatory tactic by
Petitioner was not without basis. He had more than a month to seek clarification of the nature of the
scheduled hearing. What was even more revealing as to his lack of good faith was his absence on the
day of hearing.

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CIVIL PROCEDURE Rule 30

NIC V. GARCES and INES GARCIA-GARCES


v.
HON. JUDGE VICENTE P. VALENZUELA
and HERNAN MAGLUPAY

FACTS:

Respondent filed a complaint against Petitioners claiming that he was forcibly ejected from the
land belonging to the latter and his house therein was illegally demolished. Petitioner’s lawyer was able
to commence the cross-examination of Respondent’s witness but was unable to finish, thus, the parties
scheduled the resumption of trial on three dates.
Prior to the first of three scheduled hearings, however, Petitioner’s counsel filed for the
postponement for the reason that he was required to give his expert testimony before another court on
the same date. The motion was denied for being a dilatory tactic and the two other scheduled trial dates
were also cancelled.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the denial on the motion for postponement was proper.

HELD:

No circumstances could reasonably justify the conclusion that the Petitioner’s motion for
postponement was "manifestly dilatory," and was not occasioned by oversight, as claimed. In any case,
even conceding that His Honor was correct in denying the application for cancellation of the first of the
three prearranged hearing dates, it was grave abuse of discretion for him to cancel the other dates of
trial and thereby shut the door to the defendants' presentation of their proofs.
It is of paramount importance that as much as possible each party be accorded full opportunity
to ventilate his claims and defenses to the end that all the facts may be laid before the Court and the
case decided completely on its merits, even if in the process some delay may take place. This is
especially true where the delay will not work any substantial prejudice to the other party, as in this case,
where there were still have two other hearing dates left, and there was absolutely no reason to suppose
that the defendants would not appear on said dates.

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CIVIL PROCEDURE

RULE 32
TRIAL BY COMMISSIONER

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CIVIL PROCEDURE Rule 32

JUAN A. GOCHANGCO

v.

COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE OF NEGROS OCCIDENTAL


SY HO and MILAGROS MINORIA

FACTS:

C.N. Hodges lodged an action for unlawful detainer against Respondents. For Respondent Sy’s
failure to file an Answer, he was declared in default. The lots subject of the action, were sold to
petitioner Juan A. Gochangco. Petitioner Juan informed Respondents of his acquisition and he was
allowed by the court to present evidence ex-parte as regards Respondent Sy who was declared in
default. Respondent Sy then filed a motion to set aside order of default.
The trial court rendered a judgment against Respondents to vacate the premises which
prompted respondents to file a petition for certiorari seeking to nullify the proceedings and judgment
was rendered in their favor the court holding that the Clerk of Court is not legally authorized to receive
evidence ex-parte.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the Clerk of Court is not authorized t receive evidence ex-parte.

HELD:

No provision of law or principle of public policy prohibits a court from authorizing its clerk of
court to receive the evidence of a party litigant. After all, the reception of evidence by the clerk of court
constitutes but a ministerial task. The declaration that reception of evidence ex parte is null and void
does not reflect long observed and established judicial practice with respect to default cases. It is not
quite consistent, too, with the several explicitly authorized instances under the Rules where the function
of receiving evidence may be delegated to commissioners, inclusive of the Clerk of Court in particular
situations. Rule 136 empowers the clerk of court, when directed by the judge inter alia to receive
evidence relating to the accounts of executors, administrators, guardians, trustees and receivers, or
relative to the settlement of the estates of deceased persons, or to guardianships, trusteeships, or
receiverships. In some instances, the competence of the clerk of court is assumed.

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CIVIL PROCEDURE

RULE 33
DEMURRER TO EVIDENCE

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CIVIL PROCEDURE Rule 33

REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES

v.

JUAN C. TUVERA, VICTOR P. TUVERA


and TWIN PEAKS DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION

FACTS:

Respondent Twin Peaks Development Corporation was granted the award of the Timber License
Agreement (TLA) to operate logging operations on forest land. Petitioner Republic filed a complaint for
restitution and damages and had Presidential Commission on Good Government issue a Writ of
Sequestration on all assets Respondent Twin Peaks on the ground that all assets are ill-gotten wealth for
having been acquired through fraudulent means. Petitioner Republic alleged that at the time the TLA
was issued, Respondent lacks the qualification to be a grantee for lack of sufficient logging equipment
and that it was incorporated to engage in a real estate business, not logging operations. Petitioner
Republic presented on trial three witnesses. Respondents filed a Demurrer to Evidence contending that
the case of Ysmael v. Secretary of Environment effectively bars Petitioner from pursuing. Petitioner
opposed claiming that a demurrer is not based on the insufficiency of its evidence but on the strength of
evidence of respondents as shown by their own exhibits. Sandiganbayan sustained the Demurrer on the
basis of Res judicata.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the Sandiganbayan dismissal due to the demurrer was proper.

HELD:

Res judicata is an inappropriate ground for sustaining a demurrer to evidence, even as it stands
as a proper ground for a motion to dismiss. A demurrer may be granted if, after the presentation of
plaintiff’s evidence, it appears upon the facts and the law that the plaintiff has shown no right to relief.
In contrast, the grounds for res judicata present themselves even before the presentation of evidence,
and it should be at that stage that the defense of res judicata should be invoked as a ground for
dismissal.
A motion to dismiss based on lack of cause of action is filed by the defendant after the plaintiff
has presented his evidence on the ground that the latter has shown no right to the relief sought. While a
motion to dismiss under Rule 16 is based on preliminary objections which can be ventilated before the
beginning of the trial, a motion to dismiss under Rule 33 is in the nature of a demurrer to evidence on
the ground of insufficiency of evidence and is presented only after the plaintiff has rested his case. The
Sandiganbayan’s Resolution shows that dismissal of the case on demurrer to evidence was principally
anchored on the Republic’s failure to show its right to relief because of the existence of a prior judgment
which consequently barred the relitigation of the same issue. Therefore, Sandiganbayan based its
dismissal on the existence of the Ysmael case which, according to it, would render the case barred by res
judicata.

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CIVIL PROCEDURE Rule 33

RADIOWEALTH FINANCE COMPANY

vs.

DEL ROSARIO
FACTS:

Spouses Vicente & Maria Del Rosario jointly and severally executed, signed and delivered in
favor of Radiowealth Finance Company a promissory note. Thereafter, respondents defaulted on the
monthly installments. Despite repeated demands, they failed to pay their obligation. Petitioner claims
that respondents are liable for the whole amount of their debt and the interest thereon, after they
defaulted on the monthly installments. Respondents counter that the installments were not yet due and
demandable. They theorize that the action for immediate enforcement of their obligation is premature
because its fulfillment is dependent on the sole will of the debtor. Hence, they consider that the proper
court should first fix a period for payment, pursuant to Articles 1180 and 1197 of the Civil Code.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the installments had already became due and demandable.

HELD:

The installments had already become due and demandable is bolstered by the fact that
respondents started paying installments on the promissory note. The obligation of the respondents had
matured & they clearly defaulted when their checks bounced. Per the acceleration clause, the whole
debt became due one month after the date of the note because the check representing their first
installment bounced.

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CIVIL PROCEDURE Rule 33

MANILA BANKING CORPORATION


v.
UNIVERSITY OF BAGUIO, INC.

FACTS:

Petitioner granted a credit line secured by promissory notes and continuing suretyship
agreements in favor of Respondent for construction of additional buildings and purchase of new
equipment. The loan was not paid and it was subsequently discovered that the proceeds of the loan
were diverted to Respondent Group Developers. Hence, a complaint was lodged for sum of money.
Respondent University prayed by way of cross-claim that Respondent GDI be ordered to pay the amount
it would have to pay Petitioner. Respondent GDI subsequently executed a dacion en pago deed by
transferring to Petitioner MBC a parcel of land to settle the loan. Respondent University filed a Motion
to Dismiss since there was no more cause of action as the loan had already been settled. However, said
motion was denied and it was ruled that due to the execution of the dacion en pago deed, the bank had
no cause of action against Respondent University for the claim for the sum of money had already been
satisfied.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the dismissal of the case without trial was proper.

HELD:

Respondent University’s motion to dismiss the amended complaint was improper since it was
filed after it filed its answer. It can also be noted that such motion cannot be sustained based solely on
the allegations of the initiatory pleading since the motion was based on the deed of dacion en pago,
which was not even alleged in the complaint. A motion to dismiss based on lack of cause of action is
filed after the plaintiff has presented his evidence on the ground plaintiff has shown no right to the relief
sought. While a motion to dismiss under Rule 16 is based on preliminary objections which can be
ventilated before the beginning of the trial, a motion to dismiss under Rule 33 is in the nature of a
demurrer to evidence on the ground of insufficiency of evidence and is presented only after the plaintiff
has rested his case.

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CIVIL PROCEDURE

RULE 34
JUDGMENT ON THE PLEADINGS

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CIVIL PROCEDURE Rule 34

ANACLETO R. MENESES
v.
SECRETARY OF AGRARIAN REFORMS

FACTS:

Anacleto Meneses, et al. co-owned of a parcel of rice land, which was distributed to farmer-
beneficiaries through the government’s land reform program. Petitioners then lodged a claim for
payment of just compensation rentals had not been paid since the distribution to the farmer-
beneficiaries.. Respondent Department of Agrarian Reform contends that the filing of the case is
premature because valuation has to be determined before any resort to the court. Farmer-beneficiaries
claimed that they had no unpaid rents and the jurisdiction over the case belongs to the Department of
Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board (DARAB). The parties during the hearing agreed that the sole issue
to be resolved is whether or not Petitioners were entitled to just compensation. Thus, the trial court
issued an order giving the parties a period within which to file their respective motions for judgment on
the pleadings or comments, after which the case shall be deemed submitted for resolution. The trial
court dismissed the complaint while Court of Appeals affirmed the said decision.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the motion for judgment on pleadings was appropriate.

HELD:

Judgment on the pleadings is proper when an answer fails to render an issue or otherwise
admits the material allegations of the adverse party's pleading according to Section 1 Rule 34 of the
Rules of Court. The essential question is whether there are issues generated by the pleadings. A
judgment on the pleadings may be sought only by a claimant, who is the party seeking to recover upon a
claim, counterclaim or cross-claim; or to obtain a declaratory relief. Respondents filed separate answers
which by themselves tendered issues, as it made specific denials of the material allegations in the
complaint and asserted affirmative defenses, which would bar recovery by petitioners. Furthermore, it
was erroneous for the trial court to require a motion for judgment on the pleadings filed by the
Secretary of Agrarian Reform since it has no legal standing. It was clearly meant by the trial court that a
motion for summary judgment was the more proper recourse, which is designed for the prompt
disposition of actions and may be rendered if the pleadings on file show that, after a summary hearing,
there is no genuine issue regarding any material fact. The moving party is thus entitled to a judgment as
a matter of law.

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CIVIL PROCEDURE

RULE 35
SUMMARY JUDGMENTS

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CIVIL PROCEDURE Rule 35

LEY CONSTRUCTION AND DEVELOPMENT CORP.

v.

UNION BANK OF THE PHILIPPINES

FACTS:

A suit for collection of sum of money against Petitioners Ley Construction et al. was lodged by
Respondent Union Bank on several promissory notes. The amount incurred was admitted by Petitioners
in its answer. However, they averred that an additional time was given them to pay their obligations and
further claimed that the promissory notes were in fact renewals of the previous promissory notes.
Respondent Bank filed a motion for partial summary judgment on the ground that Petitioner’s Answer
failed to raise a genuine issue, which necessitates a trial on the merits. A summary judgment was
granted.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the order for summary judgment is proper

HELD:

Petitioners asserted that no hearing was carried out prior to the granting of said judgment. In
summary judgment proceeding, the court is simply likely to act on the basis of what is in the records of
the case and that the hearing contemplated by the Rules has for its purpose a determination of whether
there is a genuine issue, not to receive evidence.In the instant case, Answer to Respondent Bank's
Complaint had no verification and no affidavit to support its allegation that Petitioners were given an
extension of time to settle their obligation. Having admitted that they incurred the obligation, a hearing
cannot serve any relevant objective. The records already provide sufficient basis for the court to decide
on Respondent’s motion. Thus, this Court finds that even if the trial court did not conduct a hearing, this
fact would not affect the validity of the summary judgment. The Rule 35 requirement of furnishing a
copy of the motion 10 days before the hearing applies to a motion for summary judgment and not to a
motion to resolve such motion. Quite notably, Petitioners already filed its opposition to Respondent's
motion for summary judgment. Twice did they seek reconsideration of the resolution or summary
judgment, which were denied by the court. That they were deprived of the opportunity to question the
motion could not be said in this case.

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CIVIL PROCEDURE Rule 35

RAY VELASCO

v.

COURT OF APPEALS,
FIRMWOOD DEVELOPMENT
and STA. CLARA HOUSING INDUSTRIES

FACTS:

A complaint for accounting with preliminary injunction and enjoining the disposal of partnership
properties filed by Petitioners against Respondent Sta. Clara Housing Industries and several of the its
former partners. Injunction was issued against Respondent who allegedly violated such order.
Respondent Firmwood subsequently filed a complaint for the delivery of personal property and
damages against Petitioners contending that it owned such seized crates and it had the right to the
possession thereof. The Supreme Court then set aside the restraining order. Petitioners, in its answer,
claimed that Respondent Firmwood is not the owner of the crates but Respondent Sta. Clara.
Petitioners, by virtue of the restraining order, asserted their authority to seize the crates. A complaint in
intervention was filed by Respondent Sta. Clara alleging that it has a legal interest since it is answerable
to Respondent Firmwood for damages arising from a warranty to deliver the crates which belongs to the
latter. Both respondents thereafter filed a motion for summary judgment. The trial court and the Court
of Appeals upheld the propriety of the summary judgment.

ISSUE:

Whether or not summary judgment is proper.

HELD:

A relief by summary judgment expedites or promptly disposes of cases where the facts appear
undisputed and certain from the pleadings, admissions and affidavits. This rule does not vest in the
court summary jurisdiction to try the issues on pleadings and affidavits, but gives the court limited
authority to enter summary judgment only if it clearly appears that there is no genuine issue of material
fact. In the answer to the complaint in intervention, petitioners had deemed admitted the ownership
and right of possession of Sta. Clara over the property taken by them and the fact that the temporary
restraining order by this Court by virtue of which the seizure was effected had already been lifted. The
remaining issue raised by petitioners in objecting to the reliefs prayed for in the complaints of private
respondents is whether petitioners possessed the authority to seize and hold under their custody the
crates of plywood by virtue of the temporary restraining order of this Court which undisputedly had
been lifted and of no more force and effect. There is therefore absent in this case any genuine issue of
fact but a question purely of law.

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