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INTERVENTION extrajudicial foreclosure proceedings, but solely to oppose the claims of


respondents. The higher the claims awarded to respondents in the collection case,
NORDIC ASIA LTD. V. CA which would be recovered from the attached vessel, the lesser the amount
petitioners can obtain from their extrajudicial foreclosure proceedings given that
DOCTRINE: respondents lien is superior to petitioners mortgage lien.

The purpose of intervention is not to obstruct nor Petitioners failed to meet both requirements. Thus, SC ruled that the
unnecessarily delay the placid operation of the machinery complaint-in-intervention failed to state a cause of action. They only merely
of trial, but merely to afford one not an original party, yet alleged that they possess a mortgage lien and that they are as to be adversely
having a certain right or interest in the pending case, the affected by the collection case.
opportunity to appear and be joined so he could assert or
protect such right or interest. SALANDANAN v. SPS MENDEZ

Nordic Asia and Bankers Trust loaned money to Sextant Maritime, S.A. DOCTRINE:
and the amount was used to purchase M/V Fylyppa. Sextant defaulted on the loan
so the lenders extrajudicially foreclosed the same. Nam Ung Marine Co. Ltd. and Intervention is allowed at any time before rendition of
crew members of the vessel filed a complaint for sum of money against the vessel judgment by the trial court. After the lapse of this period, it
to claim their preferred maritime liens. Then, the lenders filed a motion for leave to will not be warranted anymore because intervention is not
intervene, alleging their possession of a Panamanian First Preferred Ship Mortgage an independent action but is ancillary and supplemental to
over the vessel and their purpose for intervention is to merely oppose the an existing litigation.
unfounded and/or grossly exaggerated claim. The motion for leave to intervene
was granted and the complaint-in-intervention was filed. FACTS

ISSUE: Sps Mendez filed an ejectment suit against the Sps Fernandez over a
house and lot. Sps Fernandez denied the allegations and averred that Sps
WoN whether a claimant or creditor should be allowed to intervene in a collection Salandanan were the registered owners of the property and improvements. The
case filed by a co-claimant/co-creditor possessing a superior lien or preferred MeTC, RTC and CA ruled in favor of Sps Mendez and ordered Fernandez to vacate
credit, solely for the purpose of opposing such claims in order that the intervenors the premises.
share may not be diminished substantially, or to prevent it from being diminished
at all. Sofia Salandanan filed a Motion for Clarification and Intervention and
attached a MR. She alleged that she and her deceased husband were the real
HELD: owners of the property and that by fraud, she signed papers that were purportedly
copies of a SPA but were actually a deed of donation.
NO.
ISSUE:
A cursory reading of their complaint-in-intervention plainly shows that
Nordic Asia’s intention in intervening in the collection case was not to enforce their WoN Salandanan’s motion for intervention should still be allowed even if it was
maritime lien against the defendants therein, it already being enforced through filed after the CA rendered a decision

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The other heirs of Mioza filed a Motion for Intervention, with an attached
HELD: complaint-in-intervention contesting the ownership of the lots. The RTC denied the
motion saying that ownership was merely a collateral issue. The CA reversed the
NO. RTC’s decision, saying that the determination of the true heirs is the focal issue of
the case, for if the intervenors can prove that they are indeed the true heirs of
The permissive tenor of the provision on intervention shows the intention Estanislao, there would be no more need to determine whether the right to buy
of the Rules to give to the court the full measure of discretion in permitting or back the lots exists.
disallowing the same, but under S1R19 of the ROC, the courts are nevertheless
mandated to consider several factors in determining whether or not to allow The SC ruled that the legal interest needed in an Intervention must be
intervention. The factors that should be reckoned are whether intervention will actual, substantial, material, direct and immediate, and not simply contingent or
unduly delay or prejudice the adjudication of the rights of the original parties and expectant. It must be of such direct and immediate character that the intervenor
whether the intervenors rights may be fully protected in a separate will either gain or lose by the direct legal operation and effect of the judgment.
proceeding. Moreover, the intervenors’ contentions would unnecessarily complicate and change
the nature of the proceedings therefore would cause unjust delay in the
The SC ruled that Salandanan’s intervention at the late stage of the adjudication of the rights claimed by the original parties, which primarily hinges
ejectment proceedings would only cause undue delay without affording her the only on the issue of whether or not the heirs represented by Leila have a right to
relief sought since the issue of ownership cannot be determined with finality in the repurchase the subject properties from the MCIAA.
UD case.
GSIS v. NOCOM
MACTAN-CEBU INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT AUTHORITY (MCIAA) v.
HEIRS OF ESTANISLAO MIOZA DOCTRINE:

DOCTRINE: A party has the right to intervene when he has an interest


in the outcome of the case before the trial court; the legal
An independent controversy cannot be injected into a suit interest which entitles a person to intervene must be in the
by intervention, hence, such intervention will not be matter in litigation and of such direct and immediate
allowed where it would enlarge the issues in the issues in character that the intervenor will either gain or lose by
the action and expand the scope of the remedies; direct legal operation and effect of judgment.
Intervention is not intended to change the nature and
character of the action itself, or to stop or delay the placid Previously, the SC remanded the cases of GSIS v. Bengson Commercial
operation of the machinery of the trial. Buildings, Inc. and GSIS v. CA to the trial court. Mariano Nocom filed a motion for
intervention in the course of the proceedings and GSIS opposed the same. The
Leila Hermosisima filed a complaint for herself and on behalf of the heirs RTC denied the Opposition and admitted the Complaint-in-Intervention. GSIS filed
of Estanislao Mioza. She claimed that her predecessors-in-interest executed a Deed a petition for Certiorari and Prohibition with the CA, contending grave abuse of
of Sale over the lots on the assurance that they can buy the properties back if the discretion in allowing Nocom to intervene. The CA denied the petition of GSIS.
lots are no longer needed. More than 40 years later, they informed MCIAA that
they were exercising the buy-back option but the latter refused. The SC ruled that the trial court correctly allowed the intervention of
Nocom as the records show that Bengson transferred and assigned 2,406,666 SMC

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Class A shares to respondent, as evidenced by their Memorandum of Agreement


and Deed of Assignment executed on August 24, 1999. We recall that these shares It is an established doctrine that judges should detach themselves from
of stock in question were sold to BENGSON to satisfy the costs of suit awarded to cases where their decisions are appealed to a higher court for review. The raison
it by the trial court in its April 6, 1995 Order. Clearly, respondent has an interest in detre for such a doctrine is the fact that judges are not active combatants in such
the outcome of the case before the trial court. proceeding and must leave the opposing parties to contend their individual
positions and the appellate court to decide the issues without the judges active
OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN v. MAXIMO SISON participation. When judges actively participate in the appeal of their judgment,
they, in a way, cease to be judicial and have become adversarial instead.
DOCTRINE:
Likewise, the facts reveal that this case was elevated to the CA via a
The Office of the Ombudsman is not an appropriate party verified Petition for Review under Rule 43 of the Rules of Court and Supreme Court
to intervene in the case as it must remain partial and Administrative Circular No. 1-95, which govern appeals to the CA from judgments
detached. More importantly, it must be mindful of its role or final orders of quasi-judicial agencies.
as an adjudicator, not an advocate.
Rule 43, as well as Admin. Cir. No. 1-95, provides that the petition for
A letter-complaint was filed at the Office of the Ombudsman accusing the review shall state the full names of the parties to the case without impleading
governor and other local public officials of Samar of highly anomalous transactions. the court or agencies either as petitioners or respondents. Thus, the only
Respondent Sison was the provincial budget officer. The Ombudsman found basis parties kin such an appeal are the appellant as petitioner and appellee as
to proceed with the administrative case against the impleaded provincial officials. A respondent. The court or, in this case, the administrative agency that rendered the
decision was rendered finding the officials guilty of grave misconduct, dishonesty, judgment appealed from, is not a party in the said appeal.
and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service and dismissing him from
service. Sison appealed to the CA and the CA reversed the decision the Therefore, the Office of the Ombudsman does not have the legal interest
Ombudsman against him. The Ombudsman filed an Omnibus Motion for to intervene.
Intervention and to Admit Attached Motion for Reconsideration, which was
subsequently denied. PAJARILLAGA v. CA

ISSUE: DOCTRINE:

WoN the Office of the Ombudsman has the right to intervene in the appeal of its Deposition should be allowed absent any showing that
decision taking it would prejudice any party. There is no rule that
limits deposition-taking only to the period of pre-trial or
HELD: before it; no prohibition exists against the taking of
depositions after pre-trial. There can be no valid objection
NO. to allowing them during the process of executing final and
executory judgments, when the material issues of fact
The Office of the Ombudsman is not an appropriate party to intervene in have become numerous or complicated.
the instant case. It must remain partial and detached. More importantly, it must be
mindful of its role as an adjudicator, not an advocate. FACTS:

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A collection for sum of money case was filed by Kalengeg against DOCTRINE:
Pajarillaga. At several instances, Pajarillaga and his counsel did not appear during
scheduled hearings. Kalengeg was then allowed by the court to present his Request for Admission as a mode of discovery
witnesses and formally offer his evidence. Pajarillaga again moved to reset the contemplates of interrogatories that would clarify and tend
hearing and days before the scheduled December 15 hearing, he filed a Motion to shed light on the truth or falsity of the allegations in the
for Leave of Court to Take the Deposition of the Defendant Upon Written pleading.
Interrogatories on the grounds that Pajarillaga resides in Manila which is more
than 400 km from Bontoc, Mt. Province and that he is suffering from an illness ISSUE:
which prohibits him from doing strenuous activities. The RTC dismissed the Motion
and the same was affirmed by the CA. WoN the Request for Admission should have been granted

ISSUE: HELD:

Whether or not the Motion for Leave of Court to take Deposition was properly NO.
denied
A request for admission is a remedy which allows the party to
HELD: serve upon any other party a written request for the admission of: (i) the
genuineness of any material and relevant document described in and
YES. exhibited with the request; or (ii) the truth of any material and relevant
matter of fact set forth in the request. Their Request for Admission does not
There is no rule that limits deposition-taking only to the period of pre-trial fall under the R26 of the ROC because the same contained matters which are
or before it; no prohibition exists against the taking of depositions after pre- precisely the issues in the consolidated cases, and/or irrelevant matters.
trial.thing in the ROC that restricts the taking of a deposition to the sole function
of being a mode of discovery before trial. Under certain conditions and for limited Otherwise stated, petitioners’ request constitutes an utter redundancy
certain purposes, it may be taken even after trial has commenced and may be and a useless, pointless process which the respondent should not be subjected to.
used without the deponent being actually called on the witness stand. The same is intended to expedite trial and to relieve the parties of the costs of
proving facts which will not be disputed on trial and the truth of which can be
However, due to the numerous postponements made by Pajarillaga for ascertained by reasonable inquiry.
the initial presentation of evidence, the SC views that his timing is suspect and
finds that he has not sufficiently shown an exceptional or unusual case to reverse DISCOVERY
the decisions of the lower courts. - COMPULSORY PROCESS WHEREIN LITIGANTS ARE FORCED, BY COURT RULES OR ORDERS,
TO DISGORGE PRIVATE INFORMATION TO ADVERSE PARTY
While the rules on discovery are liberally constructed so as to ascertain - PURPOSE OF DISCOVERY IS TO:
truth and expedite the disposal of cases, the trial court may disallow a deposition if A. OBTAIN KNOWLEDGE OF MATERIAL FACTS WITHIN THE KNOWLEDGE
there are valid reasons for so ruling. OF THE ADVERSE PARTY OR THIRD PARTIES;
B. OBTAIN ADMISSIONS FROM ADVERSE PARTIES
SIME DARBY EMPLOYEES ASSOCIATION v. NLRC C. TO INSPECT RELEVANT DOCUMENTS , OBJECTS AND PROPERTY.

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- WHAT ARE DISCOVERABLE? b. It is only when an answer has not yet been filed
A. LIMITATIONS ON DISCOVERABILITY (but jurisdiction has been obtained over any
- MODE DISCOVERY
OF defendant or over the property subject of the
A. DEPOSITION action) that prior leave is required.
I. FUNCTIONS i. Before filing the answer, the issues are
II. WHEN MAY DEPOSITIONS BE AVAILED OF not yet joined and disputed facts are not
III. DE BENE ESSE ( PENDING ACTION) clear.
IV. PERPETUAM REI MEMORIAM ( PRIOR TO ACTION)
V. WHO DO YOU DEPOSE 3. A plaintiff may not be permitted to take depositions
B. INTERROGATORIES TO PARTIES before answer is served.
I. EFFECT OF FAILURE TO SERVE WRITTEN INTERROGATORIES a. Plaintiff must await the joinder of issues because
C. REQUESTS FOR ADMISSION if the discovery is to deal with matters relevant
D. PRODUCTION AND INSPECTION OF THINGS to the case, it is difficult to know exactly what is
E. EXAMINATION OF PERSONS relevant until some progress has been made
toward developing the issues.
b. Ordinarily the issues are made up before the
REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES V. SANDIGANBAYAN need for discovery arises, hence prior to the time
GR NO. 112710 MAY 30 2001 of delineation of the issues, the matter is in
control of the court.
Doctrines:
4. There are instances when a deposition is allowed to be
1. A deposition, in its technical and appropriate sense, is taken before service of answer once jurisdiction has been
the written testimony of a witness given in the course of acquired over the person or thing.
the proceeding, in advance of the trial or hearing upon a. Leave of court may be granted only in
oral examination or in response to written exceptional or unusual cases and the decision is
interrogatories and where an opportunity is given for entirely within the discretion of the court
cross-examination. A deposition may be taken at any i. It should be granted only under special
time after the institution of any action, whenever circumstances where conditions point to
necessary or convenient. the necessity of presenting a strong case
for allowance of the motion.
2. Depositions pending action may be conducted by oral ii. There must be some necessity or good
examination or written interrogatories, and may be taken reason for taking the testimony
at the instance of any party, with or without leave of immediately or that it would be
court. prejudicial to the party seeking the order
a. Leave of court is not necessary to take a to be compelled to await the joinder of
deposition after an answer to the complaint has issue
been served. iii. If the witness is age or infirm or about to
leave the court’s jurisdiction, or is only

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temporarily in the jurisdiction, leave may


granted. Held:

5. A general examination by deposition before answer is Yes.


premature and ordinarily not allowed, and neither is
mere avoidance of delay a sufficient reason. 1. The case at bar involved two sets of defendants. While the
parties in the original complaint have been served with
Facts summons, and had filed their answers, not all of the defendants
additionally impleaded in the amended complaint had been
Republic of the Philippines filed a complaint for reversion, reconveyance, served with summons and filed their answer. As for the corporate
restitution accounting and damages against a number of respondents involved in defendants who received the summons, they only filed a motion
the Sps Marcos systematic plan of accumulating wealth while serving their term as for a more definite statement or bill of particulars, not an
President and First lady of the Republic. answer.
2. the allegations between two sets of defendants are different
During the proceedings, the Republic filed a motion of leave to take the too.
deposition of Rolando C Gapud upon oral examination in hongkong, pointing out a. The second amended complaint rests on entirely
that Mr. Gapud, the former financial adviser of sps marcos, was willing to testify on different facts, was made on different occasions and is
matters subject of the case. It also noted that Mr. Gapud executed sworn separate and distinct from the other. The acts
statements setting forth the business interest of the Marcoses and their cronies. In committed by 22 parties in the original complaint are
view of the indispensability of these statements in establishing the unlawful different too.
business practices, the desire of Mr Gapud to help the government recover the i. The allegations against additional defendants
hidden wealth, and the nature of his testimony and personal risks, the Republic do not arise from their having acted as
prayed that Mr Gapud’s testimony be taken by deposition upon oral examination in dummies or alter-egos of the Marcoses but as
any Philippine Consulate in HK or in other Phiippine Foreign Office. government officials who facilitated Lucio Tan’s
acquisition of private corporation despite non-
In a resolution, Sandiganbayan denied the Republic’s prayer with respect compliance with legal requirements.
to taking the deposition of Mr Gapud, averring that the taking of deposition is ii. The allegations in the second amended
premature because not all defendants have been summoned or have filed their complaint are not clear for they have adopted
answers to the complaint. No special circumstances existed that warranted the the motion for a more definite statement or bill
taking of the deposition because not all defendants have summons or have filed of particulars.
their answers to the complaint. b. The additional defendants should at the very least be
given the opportunity to respond to the allegations
against them and clarify the disputed facts before
Issue: discovery procedures may be resorted to.

1. Does the deposition of Mr. Gapud require prior leave of court? No.
2. Did the Sandiganbayan err when it denied the Republic’s Motion
for leave to take the deposition of Gapud?

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1. No special circumstances exist that warrant the taking of deposition before by a person or officer as may be appointed by commission or
answer is served. under letters rogatory.
a. The Republic has not cited any fact other than Mr. a. A commission may be defined as an instrument
Gapud’s cooperation with the Philippine government in the issued by a court of justice or other competent
recovery of ill-gotten wealth that would support the tribunal, to authorize a person to take the
deponent’s claim of fear for his safety. depositions, or do any act or by authority of such
b. The reasons cited by the Republic do not amount to an court or tribunal.
exceptional or unusual case to grant the leave and reverse b. Letters rogatory is an instrument sent in the name
the Sandiganbayan. and by authority of a judge or court to another,
c. It has not no sufficiently shown the necessity of taking Mr. requesting that court to cause to be examined, upon
Gapud’s deposition at this point in time before the other interrogatories filed in a cause pending before the
defendants have served their answers. former, a witness who is within the jurisdiction of the
d. It has not alleged that Mr. Gapud is old, sick or infirm as judge or court to whom such letters are addressed.
to necessitate the taking of his deposition. c. A commission is addressed to “officers designated …
e. No urgency has been cited and no ground given that either by name or descriptive title”, while letters
would make it prejudicial for the Republic to await the rogatory are addressed to some appropriate judicial
joinder of issues. authority in the foreign state”.
f. The Court also noted that the Republic could have worked i. Noteworthy is the indication in the rules that
on summoning all the defendants and have their answers letters may be applied for and issued only
filed. after a commission has been returned
unexecuted as is apparent from the “judicial
DASMARINAS GARMENTS INC V. HON RUBEN REYES standard forms” appended to the Rules of
GR NO. 108229 AUGUST 24, 1993 Court.

Doctrine Facts

1. the deposition of any person may be taken wherever he may American President Lines filed a collection case against Dasmarinas
be, in the PH or abroad. If the party or witness is in the Garments. During the course of trial, APL filed a motion praying that it intended to
Philippines, his deposition shall be taken before any judge, take the depositions of H. Lee and Yeong Fang Yeh in Taipai Taiwan, and prayed
municipal or notary public. that for this purpose, a “commission or letters rogatory be issued addressed to the
2. If in a foreign state or country, the deposition shall be taken consul, vice-consul or consular agent of the Republic of PH in taipai. APL amended
before a secretary or embassy or legation, consul general, its motion stating that in view of the one china policy, it prayed that letters
consul, vice consul, or consular agent of the Republic of rogatory be issued addressed to Director Joaquin Roces, the executive director of
Philippines or before such person or officer as may be the office that APL set up, Asian Executive Exchange Center at taipai to hear and
appointed by commission or under letters rogatory. take the oral depositions of H Lee and Yeong Fang Yeh.
3. where the deposition is to be taken in a foreign country were
the Philippines has no secretary or embassy, legation, consul The trial court granted the motion. It held that the “asian exchange
general, vice consul or consular agent, it may be taken only center being the authorized PH representative in Taiwan may take the testimonies

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the APL”s witnesses residing there by deposition, but only upon written of Foreign Affairs)— a prima facie showing of compliance
interrogatories as to give Dasmarinas the opportunity to cross-examine the witness therewith not rebutted by petitioner.
by serving cross-examination. Dasmarinas filed a motion for reconsideration which c. It further appears that the commission is to be coursed
was denied, as it was filed out of time. through the Department of Foreign Affairs conformably with
Circular No. 4 issued by Chief Justice Claudio Teehankee on
Dasmarinas filed a petition for certiorari before the CA. CA only denied April 6, 1987, pursuant to the suggestion of the Department
the petition. of Foreign Affairs — directing "ALL JUDGES OF THE
REGIONAL TRIAL COURTS, METROPOLITAN TRIAL COURTS,
Issue MUNICIPAL TRIAL COURTS IN CITIES, MUNICIPAL TRIAL
COURTS AND MUNICIPAL CIRCUIT TRIAL COURTS" "to
Did the trial court err in granting the motion to take the depositions of H Lee and course all requests for the taking of deposition of witnesses
Yeong Fany Yeh? residing abroad through the Department of Foreign Affairs"
to enable it and "the Philippine Foreign Service
Held establishments to act on the matter in a judicious and
expeditious manner;" this, "in the interest of justice," and to
No. avoid delay in the deposition-taking.

1. where the deposition is to be taken in a foreign country where the Philippines 2. deposition-taking is a departure from the accepted and usual judicial
has no secretary, embassy or legation, consul, vice-consul or consular agent, proceedings of examining the witnesses in open court where their demeanor
it may be taken only by a person or officer as may be appointed by could be observed by trial judge, but the procedure is not on account
commission or under letters rogatory. rendered illegal nor is the deposition thereby taken, inadmissible.
a. Letters rogatory may be applied for and issued only after a a. It precisely falls within the exceptions where the law permits
commission has been "returned unexecuted" as is apparent such a situation.
from Form 21 of the "Judicial Standard Forms" appended to b. However, the deposition should be taken:
the Rules of Court, which requires the inclusion in a "petition i. in accordance with the applicable provisions of the
for letters rogatory" in the commission. Rules of Court and
b. the Regional Trial Court has issued a commission to the ii. the existence of the exceptions for its admissibility:
"Asian Exchange Center, Inc. thru Director Joaquin R. 1. that the witness if out of the province and at a greater distance
Roces" "to take the testimonies of . . . Kenneth H. Lee and than 50 km from the place of trial or hearing or
Yeong Fah Yeh, by deposition (upon written 2. is out of the Philippines unless it appears that the witness’ absence
interrogatories) . . . ." It appears that said Center may, was procured by the party offering the deposition, or the witness is
"upon request and authority of the Ministry (now unable to attend to testify by reason of age, sickness, infirmity or
Department) of Foreign Affairs, Republic of the Philippines" imprisonment.
issue a "Certificate of Authentications" attesting to the
identity and authority of Notaries Public and other public 3. The trial court saw it fit to permit the taking of the depositions of the witness
officers of the Republic of China, Taiwan (eg., the Section in question only by written interrogatories, removing the proponent’s option to
Chief, Department of Consular Affairs of the latter's Ministry take them by oral examination i.e. by going to Taipei and questioning the

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witnesses verbally with the questions and answers, and observations of the b. The deponent must as a rule be presented for oral
parties being recorded stenographically. examination in open court at the trial or hearing. This is a
a. The imposition of such a limitation and the determination of requirement of the rules of evidence.
the cause therefore are within the court’s discretion. 4. Any deposition offered to prove the facts therein set out during a trial
b. The ostensible reason given by the trial court for the or hearing, in lieu of the actual oral testimony of the deponent in
condition that deposition be taken only upon written open court, may be opposed and excluded on the ground that it is
interrogatories is to give Dasmarinas the opportunity to hearsay; the party against whom it is offered has no opportunity to
cross-examine the witness by serving cross-interrogatories. cross-examine the deponent at the time that his testimony is offered.
c. Even if the depositions were to be taken on oral examination a. It matters not that that opportunity for cross-examination
in Taipei, the adverse party is still accorded full right to cross was afforded during the taking of the deposition; for
examine the deponents by the law, either by proceeding to normally, the opportunity for cross-examination must be
Taipei and conduct the cross-examination orally, or opting to accorded a party at the time that the testimonial evidence is
conduct the cross-examination merely by serving counter- actually presented against him during the trial or hearing.
interrogatories. 5. However, depositions may be used without the deponent being
actually called to the witness stand by the proponent, under certain
Notes: conditions and for certain limited purposes.
6. The principle conceding admissibility to a deposition when the
1. Depositions are chiefly a mode of discovery. They are intended as a deponent is dead, out of the Philippines, or otherwise unable to come
means to compel disclosure of facts resting in the knowledge of a to court to testify, is consistent with another rule of evidence1.
party or other person which are relevant in some suit or proceeding 7. Leave of court is not necessary where the deposition is to be taken
in court. before "a secretary or embassy or legation, consul general, consul,
2. Depositions, and the other modes of discovery (interrogatories to vice-consul, or consular agent of the Republic of the Philippines ," and
parties; requests for admission by adverse party; production or the defendant's answer has already been served (Sec. 1 Rule 24).
inspection of documents or things; physical and mental examination a. After answer, whether the deposition-taking is to be
of persons) are meant to enable a party to learn all the material and accomplished within the Philippines or outside, the law does
relevant facts, not only known to him and his witnesses but also not authorize or contemplate any intervention by the court in
those known to the adverse party and the latter's own witnesses. the process, all that is required being that "reasonable
a. In fine, the object of discovery is to make it possible for all notice" be given "in writing to every other party to the action
the parties to a case to learn all the material and relevant . . . (stating) the time and place for taking the deposition
facts, from whoever may have knowledge thereof, to the and the name and address of each person to be examined, if
end that their pleadings or motions may not suffer from known, and if the name is not known, a general description
inadequacy of factual foundation, and all the relevant facts sufficient to identify him or the particular class or group to
may be clearly and completely laid before the Court, without which he belongs. . . . " (Sec. 15, Rule 24).
omission or suppression
3. Depositions are principally made available by law to the parties as a
means of informing themselves of all the relevant facts;
1 Sec. 47. Testimony or deposition at a former proceeding. — The testimony or deposition of a
witness deceased or unable to testify, given in a former case or proceeding, judicial or
a. they are not therefore generally meant to be a substitute for administrative, involving the same parties and subject matter, may be given in evidence against
the actual testimony in open court of a party or witness. the adverse party who had the opportunity to cross-examine him

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b. The court intervenes in the process only if a party moves g. Prevent delay;
i. to "enlarge or shorten the time" stated in the h. Simplify and narrow the issues; and
notice (id.), or i. Expedite and facilitate both preparation and trial
ii. "upon notice and for good cause shown," to 3. Depositions maybe taken at anytime after the institution of
prevent the deposition-taking, or impose conditions any action, whenever necessary or convenient.
therefor, e.g., that "certain matters shall not be a. A deposition not signed does not preclude its use
inquired into" or that the taking be "held with no during trial
one present except the parties to the action and i. A deponent’s signature to the deposition
their officers or counsel," etc. (Sec. 16, Rule 24), or is not in all events indispensable since
iii. to terminate the process on motion and upon a the presence of the signature goes
showing that "it is being conducted in bad faith or primarily to the form of deposition.
in such manner as unreasonably to annoy, 1. That the deposition must be
embarrass, or oppress the deponent or party" (Sec examined and signed by the
18, Rule 24). witness only ensures that the
deponent is given the
AYALA LAND INC. V. TAGLE opportunity to correct any errors
GR NO. 153667 AUGUST 11 2005 therein and ensure the
deposition’s accuracy.
Doctrine ii. In any event, the admissibility of the
deposition does not preclude the
1. A deposition is the testimony of a witness, put or taken in determination of its probative value at
writing, under oath or affirmation, before a commissioner, the appropriate time.
examiner or other judicial officer, in answer to interlocutory 4. deposition discovery rules are to be accorded a broad and
and cross-interlocutory, and usually subscribed by the liberal treatment and the liberty of a party to make a
witnesses. discovery is well-nigh unrestricted if the matters inquired
2. the purposes of taking depositions are to: into are otherwise relevant and not privileged, and the
a. Give greater assistance to the parties in ascertaining inquiry is made in good faith and within the bounds of the
the truth and in checking and preventing perjury; law.
b. Provide an effective means of detecting and exposing
false, fraudulent claims and defenses; Facts
c. Make available in a simple, convenient and
inexpensive way, facts which otherwise could not be ASB Realty and EM Ramos and Sons filed an action for nullification of
proved except with great difficulty; contract to sell the real properties, cancellation of annotations against Ayala Land (
d. Educate the parties in advance of trial as to the real ALI). After ALI filed its answer with compulsory counterclaim and cross-claim, ASB
value of their claims and defenses thereby filed a motion for leave to take testimony by deposition upon oral examination of
encouraging settlements; Emerito Ramos Sr as he was already 87 yrs old and that although he was of sound
e. Expedite litigation; mind, he may not be able to testify on the ASB’s behalf. The trial court granted the
f. Safeguard against surprise; motion. ALI objected to the depositions conducted with Emerito Ramos Sr with

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respect to their propriety, admissibility and conformity of the deposition i. A deponent’s signature to the deposition is not in all
proceedings. The trial court sustained some of its objections, while it overruled events indispensable since the presence of the
the others. It upheld the propriety of the presentation of evidence through signature goes primarily to the form of deposition.
deposition. 1. That the deposition must be examined and
signed by the witness only ensures that
ALI filed a petition for certiorari and prohibition with TRO and injunction the deponent is given the opportunity to
before the CA to restrain Judge Tagle from setting the case for cross examination correct any errors therein and ensure the
and to declare null and void the entire deposition proceedings. The CA rendered its deposition’saccuracy.
decision dismissing the petition. CA denied ALI’s motion for reconsideration as ii. In any event, the admissibility of the deposition
well. does not preclude the determination of its probative
value at the appropriate time.
When Emerito Ramos Sr died at the age of 92 yrs old, ASB filed before 2. deposition discovery rules are to be accorded a broad and liberal treatment
the RTC a motion to introduce in evidence the old man’s deposition. ALI filed its and the liberty of a party to make a discovery is well-nigh unrestricted if the
opposition. The trial court issued an order admitting in evidence the deposition. matters inquired into are otherwise relevant and not privileged, and the
Since ALI’s motion for reconsideration had been denied, it elevated the matter inquiry is made in good faith and within the bounds of the law.
before the CA via petition for certiorari. The Appellate court dismissed the petition.
Issue No.

1. Was there compliance with the requirements of valid deposition? 1. ALI was given more than enough opportunity to cross-examine the deponent
2. was ALI deprived of due process? and its failure to exercise such right is solely attributable to its own inaction.
a. ALI cannot feign prejudice and denial of due process.
Held b. The right to cross examine is not an absolute one which a
party can demand at all times. The right is a personal one
yes. which may be waived by conduct amounting to a
renunciation of the right to cross-examination.
1. The depositions of Ramos Sr were substantially made in accordance with the i. Despite knowledge of deponent’s old age and frail
requirements of the Rules. health, ALI chose to squander its right to subject
a. ALI confirmed the taking of depositions, and that it was duly under appropriate tests the assertions raised by the
represented by its counsel during the proceedings. witnesses in his deposition.
b. As to the manner by which the deposition was taken in ii. Following the termination of direct examination,
compliance with the rules, the deposition was taken inside Atty ramos requested for a setting of the cross
the courtroom of the trial court, before the clerk of court. A examination.
stenographer was present, tape recorders and a video 1. during the supposed date of cross-
camera were even utilized to record the proceedings, in the examination, instead of seizing the chance
presence of all the opposing counsels of record. to exercise the right to cross examine, ALI
c. A deposition not signed does not preclude its use during moved for the postponements of the
trial proceedings.

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HYATT INDUSTRIAL MANUFACTURING CORP AND YU HE CHING the trial is subject to circumscriptions looking toward the
GR NO. 147143 MAY 10 2006 use of oral testimony whenever practicable.

Doctrine Facts

1. Deposition is chiefly a mode of discovery, the primary LCDC filed a complaint for specific performance against Hyatt for reneging
function of which is to supplement the pleadings for the its obligation to transfer a pro-indiviso share of the property in its favour, Princeton
purpose of disclosing the real matters of dispute between as it bought the property in fraud of LCDC and Yu, President of Hyatt.
the parties and affording an adequate factual basis during
the preparation for trial; LCDC requested the depositions of Yu, the account officer of RCBC and
2. Evidentiary matters may be inquired into and learned by the Hyattt’s finance manager. Hyatt filed a notice to take the deposition of Ley,
the parties before the trial. Deposition-discovery president of LCDC while princeton filed notice to take the depositions of Manuel
mechanism makes this possible. It not only eliminates and Janet Ley. The RTC ordered the deposition taking to proceed. At the
unessential issues from trials thereby shortening them scheduled deposition of Sy, Hyatt and Yu prayed to cancel all the settings for
considerably, but also require parties to play the game with depositions and set the case for pre-trial instead, contending that the taking of
the cards on the table so that the possibility of fair depositions only delay the resolution of the case. The RTC ordered all depositions
settlement before trial is measurably increased. cancelled and proceeded with the pre-trial. LCDC’s motion for reconsideration had
3. the various modes of discovery are meant to serve: been denied. Upon denial of LCDC’s motion for reconsideration, the case reached
a. as a device, along with the pre-trial hearing under the CA via petition for certiorari. CA only denied the petition, averring that the
Rule 20, to narrow and clarify the basic issues orders questioned by LCDC have become pointless with the dismissal of its
between the parties; complaint.
b. as a device for ascertaining the acts relative to
those issues. At the scheduled date of pre-trial, LCDC filed an urgent motion to
4. Mutual knowledge of all the relevant facts gathered by suspend the proceedings due to pendency for certiorari in the court of appeals.
both parties is essential to proper liigation. Nonetheless, RTC continued with the pre-trial notwithstanding LCDC’s refusal to
a. To that end, either party may compel the other to enter into pre-trial. Upon motion of Hyatt, Yu and Princeton, LCDC was declared
disgorge whatever facts he has in his possession. non-suited. The court dismissed the complaint and all the corresponding
b. The deposition-discovery procedure simply counterclaims. Upon denial of LCDC’s motion for reconsideration, the case
advances the stage at which disclosure can be reached the CA via petition for certiorari. CA remanded the case for further
compelled from the time of trial to the period hearing, given that LCDC complied with Sec 1 Rule 23 of the Rules [on depositions
preceding it, thus reducing the possibility of without leave of court after the answer has been served].
surprise.
5. the deposition serves the double function of a method of
discovery – with use on trial not necessarily contemplated- Issue
and a method of presenting the testimony;
6. No limitations other than relevancy and privileged have Did the CA err when it remanded the case for further proceedings?
been placed on the taking of depositions, while the use at

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Held themselves; and the existence, descriptions, nature, custody, condition and
location of any books, documents, or other tangible things.

No. a. The deposition-discovery rules are to be accorded broad


and liberal treatment.
1. LCDC complied with Sec 1 Rule 23 of the Rules of court, as it made its i. No longer can the cry of fishing expedition serve to
notice to take depositions after answers of defendants have been served. preclude a party from inquiring into the facts
LCDC having complied with the rules then prevailing, the trial court erred in underlying his opponents case
cancelling the previously scheduled depositions. ii. Mutual knowledge of all the relevant facts gathered
by both parties is essential to proper liigation.
2. While it is true that depositions may be disallowed by trial courts if the iii. Either party may compel the other to disgorge
examination is conducted in bad faith, or in such manner as to annoy, whatever facts he has in his possession
embarrass or oppress the person who is the subject of the inquiry, or when b. The deposition-discovery procedure simply advances the
the inquiry touches upon the irrelevant or encroaches domains of privilege, stage at which disclosure can be compelled from the time
such circumstances are absent in the case at bar. of trial to the period preceding it, thus reducing the
a. While the speedy disposition of cases is important, such possibility of surprise.
consideration however should not outweigh a thorough c. the trial court, before dismissing LCDC’s complaint gave it
and comprehensive evaluation of cases, for the ends of two options: (a) to enter into a pre-trial conference, thus
justice are reached not only through speedy disposition of expediting the early termination of the case (b) terminate
cases but more importantly through meticulous and the pre-trial conference and apply for deposition early on.
comprehensive evaluation of the merits of the case. The trial court erred in forcing LCDC to choose only from
b. Records show that the delay of the case is not attributable these options and in dismissing the complaint upon LCDC
to the depositions sought by LCDC but was caused by chose neither.
many pleadings filed by all parties including Hyatt et al.
5. The information LCDC seeks to obtain through the depositions of Finance
3. That the taking of depositions would cause unnecessary duplicity as the officer of Hyatt and the account officer of RCBC may not be obtained at the
intended deponents shall be called as witnesses during trial has no merit. pre-trial conference, as they are not parties to the pre-trial conference.
a. the deposition serves the double function of a method of a. To unduly restrict the modes of discovery during trial,
discovery – with use on trial not necessarily contemplated- would defeat the very purpose for which it is intended, as
and a method of presenting the testimony; a pre-trial device.
b. No limitations other than relevancy and privileged have i. By then, the issues would have been confined only
been placed on the taking of depositions, while the use at on matters defined during pre-trial.
the trial is subject to circumscriptions looking toward the b. The importance of the modes of discovery cannot be
use of oral testimony whenever practicable. gainsaid in this case in view of the nature of the
controversy involved and the conflicting interest claimed
4. what is chiefly comtemplated is the discovery of every bit of information by the parties.
which may be useful in the preparation for trial i.e. identity and location of
persons having knowledge of relevant facts; those relevant facts

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6. the information sought to be obtained through the depositions of finance 1. The union’s request for admission does not fall under Rule 26 of the Rules
officer of hyatt and the account officer of RCBC are necessary to fully equip of Court.
LCDC in determining what issues will be defined at the pre-trial. a. It contained matters which are precisely the issues in the
consolidated cases and/or irrelevant matters;
i. i.e. reasons behind the lockout, the company’s
SIME DARBY EMPLOYEES V. NLRC motive in the CBA negotiation, lack of notice of
GR NO. 148021 DECEMBER 6 2006 dismissal, the validity of the release and quitclaim
b. Rule 26 as a mode of discovery contemplates of interrogatories
Doctrine that would clarify and tend to shed light on the truth or falsity of
the allegations in a pleading. This is its primary function.
A request for admission is a remedy provided by Rule 26 of the i. It does not refer to a mere reiteration of what
Rules of Court, which allows a party to file and serve upon any has already been alleged in the pleadings.
other party a written request for the admission of: 2. Their request constitutes “an utter redundancy and a useless, pointless
a. the genuineness of any material and relevant process that Sime Darby should not be subject to.
document described in and exhibited with the a. The rule on admission as a mode of discovery is intended
request; or to expedite the trial and to relieve the parties of the costs
b. the truth of any material and relevant matter of fact of proving facts which will not be disputed on trial and the
set forth in the request. Said request must be truth of which can only be ascertained by reasonable
answered under oath within the period indicated in inquiry.
the request, otherwise the matters of which b. If the request for admission only serves to delay the
admission were requested should be deemed abetting redundancy in the pleadings, the intended
admitted. purpose for the rule will certainly be defeated.
3. in view of the nature of the matters requested for admission by the union,
Facts the admission would have only served to delay the proceedings.

Entangled with a labor dispute against Sime Darby, the union avers among others, SECURITY BANK CORPORATION V. CA
that the labor arbiter erred when it denied their request for admission GR NO. 135874 JANUARY 25 2000
notwithstanding the fact that Sime Darby failed to filed a sworn reply or objection
on the request for admission. Doctrine

Issue: 1. Litigants, therefore, must welcome every opportunity to


achieve this goal; they must act in good faith to reveal
Must the request for admission be admitted? documents, papers and other pieces of evidence material to
the controversy.
Held 2. a party may be compelled to produce or allow the inspection
of documents if six procedural requisites are complied with:
No.

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a. the party must file a motion for the production or 1. courts are given wide latitude in granting motions for discover in order to
inspection of documents or things, showing good enable parties to prepare for trial or otherwise settle the controversy prior
cause therefore thereto.
b. notice of the motion must be served the documents, a. the lower court’s holding that the documents were not
papers, books, accounts, letters, photographs objects indispensable to the preparation of the answer of Uy to the
or tangible things which the party wishes to be cross-claim did not militate against his availment of the
produced and inspected. motion for inspection of documents.
c. Such documents are not privileged b. The subject documents are material and important to the
d. Such documents etc constitute or contain evidence issues raised in the case in general and as between Uy and
material to any matter involved in the action Security Bank.
e. Such documents etc are in the possession, custody or c. Since the documents would enable Uy to intelligently
control of the other party. prepare his defenses against the cross-claim of Security
Bank and not merely to formulate his answer.
Facts d. The motion filed by Sps Uy was indeed for a good cause,
because the documents are necessary for a full
Sps Uy filed a case annulling the two deeds of real estate mortgage determination of the issues raised in the civil case.
between Jackvivi and Security Bank, alleging that the purpose of SPA in Uy’s e. Litigation is essentially an abiding quest for truth undertaken
favour is to mortgage their property for their benefit. The SPAs are not intended to by the judge alone, but jointly with the parties.
secure the loans owed by jackvivi to Security Bank. Security bank filed a cross i. Litigants must welcome every opportunity to
claim against Uy as it relied on the representations and documents Uy submitted achieve this goal. They must act in good faith to
that prove his authority to mortgage the property. Sps Uy filed a motion for reveal documents, papers and other pieces of
production, inspection and copying of documents for them to inspect the evidence material to the controversy.
documents presented by Uy, which are in the bank’s possession. The trial court
granted the motion. Upon the denial of the motion for reconsideration, the bank 2. Sps Uy have shown that the subject documents are indeed material to the
filed a case before the CA, which only affirmed the lower court’s order. present action.
a. The relevance of the documents sought by sps uy is readily
Security Bank questions the CA for focusing only on the requirement of apparent.
“good cause” which Domingo Uy relied upon in filing his answer to the cross claim b. The papers executed by Security Bank in evaluating and
against him, while disregarding the prerequisite of relevancy. processing the real estate mortgage are manifestly useful in
his defense against the cross-claim.
Issue c. The trial court’s ruling that he could file his answer without
examining the documents does not prove that they are
Did the Court err in affirming the lower court’s ruling that there was good cause immaterial to the present action.
for the grant of the Motions for inspection of documents? i. Those documents enable him to intelligently
prepare his defenses against the cross claim of
Held Security bank.
No. d. The additional mortgage contracts executed by Jackvivi are
material to the present action.

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i. Because the witness of Security bank admitted in to be “established” in accordance with Solidbank’s claim, but only for the purpose
court that there was a 3rd mortgage contract of this action. Upon denial of Gateway’s motion for reconsideration, it filed a
between jackvivi and the bank, fair play demands petition for certiorari before the CA. The CA nullified the order of trial court on the
that Sps Uy be given a chance to examine the ground of the lower court’s failure to comply with the provisions of Sec 1 Rule 27
additional mortgage contracts. of the Rules of court. It also ruled that RTC erred when it held that matters
1. in so doing, they can determine why regarding the contents that Gateway failed to produced are deemed established, in
Security was going after the property accordance with Solidbank’s claim.
invalidly mortaged by Uy while the
properties of Jackvivi had been touched. Issue

SOLIDBANK CORPORATION V. GATEWAY ELECTRONICS 1. Was Solidbank’s motion for inspection of documents and things compliant with
GR NO. 164805 APRIL 30 2008 the rules?
2. did the lower court err in ruling that matters regarding the contents that
Doctrine gateway failed to produced are deemed established in accordance with
Solidbank’s claim?
1. a motion for production and inspection of documents should
not demand a roving inspection of a promiscuous mass of Held
documents. The inspection should be limited to those
documents designated with sufficient particularity in the No.
motion, such that the adverse party can easily identify the
documents he is required to produce. 1. solidbank’s motion was fatally defective and must be struck down because of
its failure to specify with particularity the documents it required gateway to
Facts produced.
a. The motion for production and inspection of documents
Solidbank filed a motion for production and inspection of documents on called for a blanket inspection
the ground that gateway has already received from Alliance the b. The request for inspection of all documents “pertaining to,
proceeds/payments of the Bank-end services agreement. The trial court granted arising from, in connection with or involving the back end
the motion. After several postponements, gateway presented the invoices service agreement” was simply too broad and too
representing the billings sent to Alliance in relation to the Back-end services generalized in scope.
agreement.
2. a motion for production and inspection of documents should not demand a
Unsatisfied with the documents gateway produced, Solidbank filed a roving inspection of a promiscuous mass of documents.
motion to cite Gateway and its responsible officers in contempt for the alleged a. The inspection should be limited to those documents designated with
refusal to produce the documents. Gateway parried, stating that the billings sent sufficient particularity in the motion, such that the adverse party can
to alliance are the only documents they have pertaining to the back-end services easily identify the documents he is required to produce.
agreement. The trial court issued an order denying the motion to cite gateway in 3. Solidbank, being the one who asserts that the proceeds of the Back-end
contempt. However, it ordered that matters regarding the contents of the services agreement were already received by gateway, has the burden of
documents sought to be produced which gateway failed to produce shall be taken proof, until it shall have discharged the same.

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b. Objections to the competency of a witness or the


yes. competency, relevancy, or materiality may be made
for the first time at the trial and need not be made at
1. it is not fair to penalize gateway for not complying with the request of the the time of the taking of deposition, unless they
production and inspection of documents, considering that the documents could be obviated at that point.
sought were not particularly described.
2. gateway and its officers can only be held liable for unjust refusal to comply Facts
with the modes of discovery of it is shown that the documents sought to
produced were specifically described, material to the action and in the Cyril Sabino filed an amended complaint for damages against Jowel Sales,
possession, custody or control of gateway. the driver of the vehicle involved in the accident which caused the death of his
3. neither can it be said the gateway did not exert effort, since it presented the son, Elbert. Before any responsive pleading could be filed, Sabino notified Sales et
invoices representing the billings it sent to Alliance. al that he will take the deposition of Buaneres Corral before the clerk of court. The
a. Good faith effort to produce the required documents must be deposition on oral examination of Buaneres Corral was taken before the clerk of
accorded to gateway, absent finding that it acted wilfully in bad faith. court in the presence and with active participation of Atty Villacorta, Sales counsel,
Note: who even lengthily cross-examined the deponent. Sabino had the depositions
marked, with submarkings.
1. In this case, the CA decision nullifying the orders of the trial court
was without prejudice to the filing a new motion for production and Sabino made a formal offer of exhibits of the deposition, along with a
inspection of Documents. certification from the Bureau of Immigration attesting that Buaneres Corral left the
country. Sales opposed the admission of these deposition, on the ground the sec
SALES V. SABINO 4 Rule 23 of the Rules have not been complied with.
GR NO. 133154 DECEMBER 9 2005
The trial court admitted the depositions. Upon denial of Sales motion for
Doctrine reconsideration, Sales filed a petition for certiorari before the CA. CA denied the
petition, averring that Sales counsel’s active participation in the taking of
1. While depositions may be used in court proceedings, they are deposition estopped Sales from assailing the admissibility of the depositions.
not generally meant to be a substitute for the actual
testimony in open court of a party or witness. A deposition is Issue
not to be used when the deponent is at hand.
2. The inadmissibility of testimony taken by deposition is Can the depositions be admitted in evidence?
anchored on the ground that such testimony is hearsay, as Was Sales estopped from questioning the admissibility of the depositions?
the party against whom the deposition is offered had no
opportunity to cross-examine the deponent. Held
a. The act of cross-examining the deponent during the
taken of deposition cannot without more be 1. yes
considered a waiver of the right to object to its a. while depositions may be used in court proceedings, they are not
admissibility as evidence in the trial proper. generally meant to be a substitute for the actual testimony in open

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court of a party or witness. A deposition is not to be used when the 2. no.


deponent is at hand. a.as a rule, the inadmissibility of testimony taken by deposition is
i. Any deposition offered during a trial to prove the anchored on the ground that such testimony is hearsay, as the party
facts set out in lieu of actual oral testimony of the against whom the deposition is offered had no opportunity to cross-
deponent in open court may be opposed and examine the deponent.
excluded on the ground of hearsay. b. The act of cross-examining the deponent during the taken of
b. However, depositions may be used without the deponent being called deposition cannot without more be considered a waiver of the right
to the witness stand by the proponent, provided any of the ff is to object to its admissibility as evidence in the trial proper.
present: i. He is not estopped from challenging the admissibility of the
i. Witness is dead deposition just because he participated in the taking
ii. Witness resides at a distance more than one thereof.
hundred (100) km from place of trial or hearing, or ii. Sec 29 Rule 23 of the Rules provides that, while errors and
is out of the Philippines, unless it appears that irregularities in depositions as to notice, qualifications of the
his absence is procured by the party offering the officer conducting the deposition, and the manner of taking
deposition; the deposition are deemed waived, if not objected to before
iii. The witness is unable to attend or testify because or during the taking of the deposition -
of age sickness, infirmity or imprisonment; 1. objections to the competency of a witness or
iv. That the party offering the deposition has been the competency, relevancy, or materiality
unable to procure the attendance of the witness by may be made for the first time at the trial
subpoena; and need not be made at the time of the
v. Upon application and notice, the such exceptional taking of deposition, unless they could be
circumstances exist and with due regard to the obviated at that point.
importance of presenting the testimony of witness ROSETE ET AL V. LIM
orally in open court, to allow the deposition to be GR NO. 136051 JUNE 8 2006
used.
c. RTC’s factual finding of absence or unavailability of witness to testify Doctrine
deserves respect, having been adequately substantiated.
i. As it were, the certification from BI provides 1. the fact that there are two criminal cases pending which are
evidentiary support. allegedly based on the same set of facts as that of the civil
1. it is customary for courts to accept case will not give the right to refuse to take the witness
statements of parties as to the stand and to give their depositions.
unavailability of a witness as a predicate 2. An answer exe abudanti cautela does not make their answer
to the use of depositions. less of an answer, given that they contain their respective
ii. Had Corral indeed returned to PH subsequent to his defenses.
departure, Sales could have presented evidence 3. Joinder of issues is required to avail of sec 1 rule 23.
showing it.
Facts

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Julia and Lilia Lim filed a complaint for annulment, specific performance b. They are not facing criminal charges in the civil case. Like an
with damages against AFP Retirement, Espreme Realty, Alfredo and Chito Roseta, ordinary witness, they can invoke the right against self-
Mapalo, BPI and RD of Mindoro Oriental with respect to several parcels of land incrimination only when the incriminating question is actually
registered in the name of Espreme. During the proceedings, Lims filed a notice to asked of them;
take the deposition upon oral examination as they will cause the deposition of c. Only if and when incriminating questions are thrown their
Oscar Mapalo and Chito Rosete. way can they refuse to answer on the ground of their right
to self-incrimination.
Rosete et al filed an urgent ex-parte motion and objection to take the
deposition upon oral examination. They argued that the deposition may not be 5. Once an answer has been served, the testimony of a person, whether a party
taken without leave of court as no answer has yet been served and the issues or not, may be taken by deposition upon oral examination or written
have not yet been joined since their answer was filed abundanti cautela, pending interrogatories.
the resolution of a petition for certiorari over orders denying Rosete et al motions
to dismiss and for reconsideration respectively. They also contend that since there a. Contrary the impression that Rosete et al does not consider
are two criminal cases pending before the city prosecutor of Mandaluyong and the answers filed ex abundanti cautela as the answer that
Pasif involving the same set of facts as in this case, to permit the taking of makes the deposition upon oral examination without leave of
deposition would violate their right against the self incrimination, because by court possible, the court finds the answer adequate.
means of oral deposition, Lim would seek to establish the allegations of fact in the i. Ex abundanti cautela means out of abundant
complaint which are the allegations of fact in the complaint affidavits in the said caution or to be on the safe side.
criminal cases. ii. An answer exe abudanti cautela does not make
their answer less of an answer, given that they
Issue contain their respective defenses.
1. An answer is a pleading in which a
1. Will the taking of depositions violate Rosete et als right against self- defending party sets forth his defenses
incrimination? and the failure to file one within the time
2. can the taking of oral depositions be allowed without leave of court allowed herefore may cause the defending
as in the case? party to be declared in default;
2. Lims , knowing full well the effect of non-
Held filing of an answer, filed their answers
despite of their appeal with CA on the
4. the case is civil it being a suit for annulment, specific performance with denial of their MTD.
damages. In order for Rosete et al to exercise the right to refuse to take the
witness stand and to give their depositions, the case must partake the nature b. Issues are joined when all the parties have pleaded their respective
of a criminal proceeding; theories and the terms of the dispute are plain before the court.
a. the fact that there are two criminal cases pending which are i. The issues have been joined when Rosetes et al as
allegedly based on the same set of facts as that of the civil other defendants filed their answers.
case will not give the right to refuse to take the witness ii. The respective claims and defenses of the parties
stand and to give their depositions. have been defined and the issues to be decided by
the trial court have been laid down.

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hearing on 13 March 1968, the defendant, as well as his counsel, failed to appear
c. Joinder of issues is required to avail of sec 1 rule 23. and the court scheduled the case for hearing ex parte on the same day.
i. A deposition pending action may be availed of
1. with leave of court when an answer has The Court ordered plaintiff to present his evidence but he refused by reason
not yet been filed but after jurisdiction has that he will submit his evidence on the pleading until after the defendant presents
been obtained over any defendant or his evidence. The court then deemed the case submitted for consideration and it
property subject of the action was dismissed for failure to prosecute.
2. without leave of court after an answer to
the complaint has been served. Issue:
ii. In this case, the taking of deposition may be
availed of even without leave of court because WoN the case was rightly dismissed for failure of plaintiff’s counsel to
Rosetes have already served their answers to the prosecute
complaint.
Held:
- SANCTIONS FOR REFUSAL TO MAKE DISCOVERY
NO.
TRIAL
- ORDER OF TRIAL Since the answer admitted defendant's obligation as stated in the
- REVERSE TRIAL WHEN THE COMPLAINT IS ADMITTED complaint, albeit special defenses were pleaded, plaintiff had every right to insist
- REVERSE TRIAL ALSO IN CRIMINAL CASES that it was for defendant to come forward with evidence in support of his special
- WHEN TRIAL IS DISPENSED WITH: ABSENCE OF PARTY defenses.

YU v. MAGPAYO REPUBLIC v. VDA DE NERI


G.R. No. L-29742, March 29, 1972 G.R. No. 139588, March 4, 2004

Doctrine: Doctrine:

A party has every right to insist that the other party come A court may dispense with a full-blown trial when the same
forward with evidence to support his special defenses was agreed upon by the parties to the case.
because of the judicial admission he made in his Answer.
Facts:
Facts:
The heirs of Graciano Neri Sr. filed an application for judicial confirmation
Vincent Yu filed a case against Emilio Magpayo to recover the unpaid of imperfect or incomplete title with the CFI Misamis Oriental. The application was
balance of a Gray Marine Engine. The City Court, after trial, disallowed the later amended and the OSG as well as Director of Bureau of Lands failed to file an
defenses and ordered Magpayo to pay plaintiff P2,500.00 and costs. Magpayo opposition so the CFI granted the application. OCT No. 0662 was then issued by
appealed to the CFI wherein he filed an answer that was a reproduction of his the Register of Deeds and the OSG & Bureau of Lands filed a complaint for
previous defenses. When, after several continuances, the case was called for annulment of the same and the reversion of the property covered by it.

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cannot be declared in default, the trial, however, may


During the hearing of March 27, 1989, the parties agreed to forego a full- proceed without his presence. And if the absence of a party
blown trial and to instead file their respective "Memorandum of Authority" and to during the hearing was due to his own fault, he cannot
submit evidence in support of their respective contentions. The court issued an later on complain that he was deprived of his day in court.
order on the said date, giving the parties thirty days to submit their respective
memoranda and evidence.
Lydia Tan entered into a Joint Venture Agreement with Raymundo Calo, and
Then the Court dismissed the complaint on the ground that the Republic four others regarding a small scale mining business. Calo then applied for a loan
failed to prove the factual averments. with DBP for P500K, using as collateral several equipment purchased by Tan for
the business without the latter’s knowledge. Calo defaulted so the chattel
Issue: mortgage was foreclosed.

WoN the court may render a decision when a full-blown trial was dispensed with Sps Tan filed a complaint for replevin and damages against Sps Calo. Sps
upon agreement by the parties Calo and DBP fled a Joint MTD and Supplemental MTD but the court deferred
judgment in the same. Trial ensued but it was constantly set and reset on motion
Held: of the parties. Another MTD was filed by Calo and DBP, on the ground of failure to
pay additional filing and docket fees for the amended complaint that was admitted
YES. but the same was denied by the court.

The trial court dispensed with a full-blown trial because, precisely, the They filed a Joint MR but it was also denied because the motion did not
parties themselves agreed thereto, on the claim that the issues raised may be contain a notice of hearing and that the docket fee had already been paid. Sps
resolved on the basis of the pleadings, the memoranda and the appended Calo and their counsel also failed to appear at the hearing scheduled on even date
documents, without need of presenting witnesses thereon. A party may waive its and were deemed to have waived their right to present evidence so the case was
right to present testimonial evidence and opt to adduce documentary evidence and deemed submitted for decision. The RTC ruled in favor Sps Tan, relying only on
thereafter, submit the case for resolution based solely on their pleadings and the testimony of Tan because Calo failed to appear during the hearings set for the
documentary evidence. In this case, no less than the petitioner, represented by presentation of their evidence.
the Office of the Solicitor General through Special Attorney Vicente Seriña, agreed
to dispense with a full-blown trial. Issue:

SPS CALO v. SPS TAN WoN Sps Calo were denied their right to due process when the RTC
G.R. No. 151266, Nov. 29, 2005 waived their right to present evidence due to their non-appearance in
the hearing on 3 Aug. 1992
Doctrine:
Held:
The absence of a party during trial constitutes waiver of his
right to present evidence and cross-examine the NO.
opponent’s witnesses. Although a defendant who answered
the complaint but fails to appear at the scheduled trial

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Sps Calo explained that they failed to appear because they believed that until Branch XX resolved the issue of validity of the mortgage raised in Civil Case
their motion to dismiss and motion for reconsideration would be heard first, i.e., No. 6518-M.
respondent spouses would be required to comment first on the motions before
they would be resolved. They contend that there was no clear evidence of intent to Judge Villajuan held in abeyance resolution of State Investment's petition
abandon their right. and directed that said LRC Case No. P-39-84 pending in his branch be consolidated
with Civil Case No. 6518-M pending in respondent Judge's branch provided the
SC ruled that the absence of Sps Calo and their counsel at the aforesaid latter would not object. However, the respondent Judge issued his new assailed
hearings cannot be justified by their belief that the trial court would first require order returning the LRC Case No. P-39-84 to Branch XIV obviously signifying his
respondent spouses to comment to or oppose the motions before resolving them. objection to the proposed consolidation of that case with the case pending in his
The Rules of Court requires only that the motion be heard; it does not direct the branch. Active Wood's motion for reconsideration of the order denying
court to order the filing of comments or oppositions to the motion before the consolidation was also denied by respondent Judge in his now second challenged
motion is resolved. order of January 9, 1985.

Issue: WoN consolidation of the cases is allowed


CONSOLIDATION
- TEST IS COMMON QUESTIONS OF FACT OR OF LAW Held:
YES.
ACTIVE WOOD PRODUCTS CO., INC. v. CA
G.R. No. 86603, Feb. 5, 1990 The rationale for consolidation is to have all cases, which are intimately
related, acted upon by one branch of the court to avoid the possibility of
DOCTRINE: conflicting decisions being rendered that will not serve the orderly administration
of justice. The consolidation of cases becomes mandatory because it involves the
A technical difference between an action and a proceeding same parties and the same subject matter which is the same parcel of land. Such
becomes insignificant when consolidation is the logical consolidation is desirable to avoid confusion and unnecessary costs and expenses
conclusion to thresh out thoroughly all related issues. with the multiplicity of suits.

Two cases were pending in two different branches: the first being Civil Thus the rules do not distinguish between cases filed before the same
Case No. 6518-M and the second LRC Case No. P-39-48, a petition for the issuance branch or judge and those that are pending in different branches, or before
of a writ of possession over Active Wood’s two parcels of land. Active Wood filed different judges of the same court, in order that consolidation may be proper, as
the civil case due to the foreclosure of the mortgage and the same was declared long as the cases involve the resolution of questions of law or facts in common
null and void by Judge Legaspi. State Investment then filed a petition for a writ of with each other. Therefore it appears that the respondent court in denying the
possession pending redemption of the lands by Active Wood. Judge Villajuan of motion for consolidation, has sanctioned the departure of the trial court from the
Branch XIV granted the writ upon filing of a bond but he later set aside this Order. usual course of judicial proceedings, thus calling for the exercise of the power of
supervision of the Supreme Court. The respondent court has, indeed, committed a
Active Wood filed a motion in LRC Case No. P-39-84 for the consolidation reversible error.
of said case with Civil Case No. 6518-M. Moreover, Active Wood filed a motion in
said LRC Case No. P-39-84 to dismiss and/or suspend the proceedings of that case SUPERLINES TRANSPORTATION CO., INC. v. HON. VICTOR
G.R. No. L-64250, Sept. 30, 1983

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DOCTRINE:
Facts:
Consolidation is proper wherever the subject matter
A collision transpired between the buses of Pantranco and Superlines that involved and relief demanded in the different suits make it
caused the death of a passenger. Superlines then filed a complaint for damages expedient for the court to determine all of the issues
against Pantranco and its driver with the CFI Gumaca, Quezon alleging the involved and adjudicate the rights of the parties by hearing
recklessness and negligence of the driver to be the proximate cause of the the suits together.
accident. Thereafter, the widow and children of the deceased passenger filed a
complaint for damages with the RTC of Cavite against Superlines and Pantranco as Facts:
well as its respective drivers.
Steel Corporation of the Philippines (SCP), a corporation engaged in the
Superlines and its driver filed a MTD in Civil Case No. N-4338 on the manufacture and distribution of cold-rolled and galvanized steel sheets and coils,
ground of pendency of another action, obviously referring to Civil Case No. 1671-G suffered grave financial difficulties. Equitable PCI Bank filed a creditor-initiated
pending before the Regional Trial Court of Quezon, Gumaca Branch. Judge Luis petition to place SCP under corporate rehabilitation.
Victor found that the two cases involved different parties as well as different
causes of action so he denied the MTD. The IAC denied the appeal of Superlines. The RTC approved the Modified Rehabilitation Plan that was prepared by
Atty. Gabionza and conformed to by BDO-EPCIB & other creditors. Several
Issue: creditors then went to the CA via separate Petitions for Certiorari. The CA
consolidated the petitions of SCP and IFPI but it denied the BDO-EPCIB’s motion to
WoN the MTD filed by Superlines was proper as the decision of the case would consolidate with another case.
result in res judicata
Issue:
Held:
WoN CA’s decision to not consolidate the four cases was improper
NO.
Held:
While the SC ruled that Superlines’ contention was in line with its decision
in a previous case, it ruled that a more pragmatic solution to the case at bar was YES.
consolidation. Considerations of judicial economy and administration, as well as
the convenience of the parties for which the rules on procedure and venue were In the instant case, all four (4) cases involve identical parties, subject matter, and
formulated, dictate that it is the Cavite court, rather than the Gumaca court, which issues. In fact, all four (4) arose from the same decision rendered by the
serves as the more suitable forum for the determination of the rights and Rehabilitation Court. As such, it became imperative upon the CA to consolidate the
obligations of the parties concerned. cases. Even though consolidation of actions is addressed to the sound discretion of
the court and normally, its action in consolidating will not be disturbed in the
STEEL CORPORATION OF THE PHILIPPINES v. EQUITABLE PCI BANK, absence of manifest abuse of discretion, in this instance, we find that the CA
INC. gravely erred in failing to order the consolidation of the cases.
G.R. No. 190462, Nov. 17, 2010

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By refusing to consolidate the cases, the CA, in effect, dispensed a form of


piecemeal judgment that has veritably resulted in the multiplicity of suits. Such 1. for consolidation to be proper, the cases sought to be consolidated must be
action is not regarded with favor, because consolidation should always be ordered related.
whenever it is possible. a. when two or more cases involve the same parties and affect
closely related subject matters, they must be consolidated
DEUTSCHE BANK AG V. CA and jointly tried, in order to serve the best interests of the
GR NO. 1933065 FEBRUARY 27 2012 parties and to settle expeditiously the issues involved.
b. Consolidation is proper wherever the subject matter
Facts involved and relief demanded in the different suits make it
expedient for the court to determine all of the issues
Steel Corporation was in the process of corporate rehabilitation. Three of involved and adjudicate the rights of the parties by hearing
its creditors [Deutsche bank, Investments 2234 and EPCIB] filed petitions for the suits together.
certiorari respectively before the CA. Steel Corp filed a motion for consolidation of
the three petitions for certiorari with the petition for certiorari filed by Vitarich on the 2. there is no sufficient justification to order the consolidation inasmuch as the
ground that the cases involved the same question of law : whether creditors could be Deutsche Bank AG petition has no relation whatsoever to the Vitarich
compelled to disclose the actual assignment price for credits in litigation which were petition.
assigned by virtue of the corp rehab proceeding. The CA granted the consolidation of a. To recall, the Deutsche Bank Petition is an appeal on
Deutsche Bank and Vitarich petitions. certiorari from the order of RTC Batangas in a special
proceeding while the vitarich case is an appeal on certiorari
Deutsche bank filed a motion for reconsideration of the CA resolution, and mandamus from the order of RTC Bulacan in a civil
arguing that the petitions were not related cases that merit consolidation. It stressed case.
that consolidation requires the petitions sought to be consolidated have a common b. That Deutsche Bank AG is party to both cases does not
question of law and are related. make the proceedings intimately related.
c. There is no factual relation between the two proceedings.
Nonetheless the CA agreed with SteelCorp’s conclusion that when two SteelCorp proceedings originated from SteelCorps rehab
cases involved the same parties, or related questions of fact or related questions of proceedings while vitarich came from Vitarich’s rehab
law, these cases are considered “related cases” for purposes of consolidation. proceedings.
d. Neither are there interconnected transactions nor identical
Issue: subject matter in Deutsche bank and Vitarich petitions. The
former involved an issue resulting from the assignment of
Can the two petitions be consolidated? credits of RCBC to Deutsche Bank AG whereas in the latter,
the issue arose from the assignment of receivables of
Held: various creditors of Vitarich to several corporations and
SPVs.
No. The two petitions having no factual relationship with and no interconnected
transactions on the same subject matter, they cannot be deemed related cases. 3. the rationale for consolidation is to have all cases intimately related acted
The necessity to consolidate does not become imperative. The order of upon by one Court/Division to avoid the possibility of conflicting decisions
consolidation by CA is not in order. being rendered. The purpose of the rule on consolidation is to avoid

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multiplicity of suits, guard against oppression and abuse; prevent delays; clear 1. Where all except one of several actions are stayed
congested dockets and simplify the work of the trial court. Consolidation aims until one is tried, in which case the judgment in the
to attain justice with the least expense and vexation to the parties litigants. one trial is conclusive as to the others. This is not
actually consolidation but is referred to as
a. the consolidation of Deutsche Bank AG petition with such. (quasi-consolidation)
Vitarich’s does not appear a prudent move ass it serves none
of the purposes above. It will only complicate the resolution 2. Where several actions are combined into one, lose
of cases as CA would have to consider the different factual their separate identity, and become a single action
antecedents of the petitions. in which a single judgment is rendered. This is
b. The consolidation would unduly prejudice the banks and illustrated by a situation where several actions are
would lead to complications, delay or restriction on the right pending between the same parties stating claims
of banks to immediate dismissal of Vitarich proceedings, which might have been set out originally in one
since the question of whether vitarich creditors have become complaint. (actual consolidation)
law of the case.
c. The consolidation will only subject the parties to added 3. Where several actions are ordered to be tried
expenses and unjust vexation. The number of parties will together but each retains its separate character
substantially increase so as the cost of furnishing the parties and requires the entry of a separate judgment. This
with pleadings thereby defeating the very rationale behind type of consolidation does not merge the suits into
the consolidation. a single action, or cause the parties to one action
to be parties to the other. (consolidation for trial)[
4. consolidation of actions is addressed to the sound discretion of the court and
its action in consolidating will not be disturbed in the absence of manifest Facts
abuse of discretion. The CA may prescribe reasonable rules governing the
assignment of cases with similar questions of law of facts to one justice. In Excelsa Industries filed an action for the annulment of extrajudicial
case of consolidation, it may be effected only if the said cases are related. foreclosure with prayer for preliminary injunction and damages against Producers
Assignment is different from consolidation. and RD before RTC Rizal. Producers filed a petition for the issuance of a writ of
possession before the same court. RTC Rizal ordered the consolidation of these
cases and ruled on them in one judgment. However, Excelsa treated the cases
PRODUCERS BANK OF THE PHILIPPINES V EXCELSA INDUSTRIES separately and availed of two remedies, namely an appeal on one [ re: the validity
GR NO. 173820 APRIL 16 2012 of the foreclosure ] and a petition on certiorari on the other [ re: the issuance of a
writ of possession].
Doctrine
Issue
The effect of consolidation would greatly depend on the
sense in which the consolidation is made. Consolidation of Did Excelsa commit an error in treating the consolidated cases separately and
cases may take place in any of the following ways: availing of separate remedies?

Held

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yes. No.

1. when the two cases were consolidated and a joint decision was rendered, the 1. although both cases which were raffled to the same branch of RTC mandate (
cases lost their identities. Br 48), involve the prayer for determination and payment of just
2. The effect of consolidation would greatly depend on the sense in which the compensation and petitioner are represented by the same counsel, there are
consolidation is made. no real identity of parties, facts or rights asserted..
3. in this case, there was a joint hearing and the RTC eventually rendered a joint 2. A perusal of the complaints plainly shows that the colarina claims ownership
decision disposing of the cases both as to the validity of the foreclosure and as redemptioner while the petion claims ownership as buyer.
the propriety of the issuance of a writ of possession. This being so, the two 3. consolidation should be denied when prejudice would result to any of the
cases ceased to be separate and the parties are left with a single remedy to parties or would cause complications, delay, cut off or restrict the rights of a
elevate the issues to the appellate court. party.
a. this is bolstered by the fact that when the appeal was a. A perusal of the complaints shows that Coligado claims
disposed of by the CA by reversing the RTC decision, the ownership as redemptioner while Dr claims ownership as the
appellate court not only declared the foreclosure of the buyer. Causes of action in the two case (arose from
mortgage invalid but likewise annulled the issuance of the different from events or transactions that involve different
writ of possession events or transportation involving the different issues, and
b. when the court finally settled the issues in Producers Bank v such ultimate will depend on different evidence.
Excelsa GR No 152071 May 8 2009, it reversed and set aside
the CA decision and reinstated that of the RTC thereby GREGORIO ESPINOZA V UOB
disposing of the said two issues. GR NO. 175380 MARCH 22 2010

TESTON V. DBP Doctrine


GR NO. 144374 NOVEMBER 11 2005
1. the SC cannot allow a party scheming to defeat the right to a
Facts writ of possession of a buyer in a foreclosure sale who had
already consolidated his ownership over the property subject
Teston filed a complaint against DBP, LBP, Secretary of Agrarian Reform of the foreclosure sale to simply resort to the subterfuge of
for his just compensation for the lands subject of this case. Another case has been filing a petition for nullification of foreclosure proceedings
filed this time against the GSIS. Both cases are raffled to RTC Masbate, without any with motion for consolidation of the petition for issuance of a
order of the RTC consolidating the actions, a notice of hearing to both cases was writ of possession.
sent by the clerk RTC to the parties. a. It will render nugatory the presumed right of
ownership, as well as the right of possession, of a
issue buyer in a foreclosure sale, rights which are
supposed to be implemented in an ex party petition
was the consolidation proper? for the issuance of a writ of possession.

Held

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2. Consolidation cannot be allowed if it would defeat its b. By its very nature, a petition for nullification or annulment of
purpose and derogate the substantial right of possession as foreclosure proceedings contests the presumed right of
an incident of ownership. ownership of the buyer in a foreclosure sale and puts in
issue such presumed right of ownership
3. Petitions for the issuance of writs of possession, a land
registration proceeding, do not fall within the ambit of the 2. the SC cannot allow a party scheming to defeat the right to a writ of
rules of Court. Hence, the rules on consolidation should not possession of a buyer in a foreclosure sale who had already consolidated his
be applied. ownership over the property subject of the foreclosure sale to simply resort to
the subterfuge of filing a petition for nullification of foreclosure proceedings
Facts with motion for consolidation of the petition for issuance of a writ of
possession.
UOB filed an ex parte petition for the issuance of writ of possession
before RTC br 124 Caloocan. Espinosa et al opposed and moved for the consolidation a. It will render nugatory the presumed right of ownership, as
of this petition with another action filed before RTC 120 Caloocan praying for the well as the right of possession, of a buyer in a foreclosure
nullification of the extrajudicial foreclosure proceedings and certificate of sale over sale, rights which are supposed to be implemented in an ex
the property subject of these cases. RTC 124 granted the motion for consolidation, party petition for the issuance of a writ of possession.
provided the judge did not object. Upon the denial of UOB’s motion for
reconsideration, it filed a petition for certiorari and mandamus before the CA. CA 3. The mere fact that the presumed right of ownership is contested and made
granted the petition. the basis of another basis of another action does not by itself mean that the
proceedings for the issuance of the writ of possession will become groundless.
Issue The grant of a complaint for nullification of foreclosure proceedings is a
resolutory condition.
Can the case for the issuance of a writ of possession be consolidated with the
proceedings for nullification of extrajudicial foreclosure? 4. The title to the litigated property had already been consolidated in UOB’s
name, making the issuance of writ of possession as a matter of right.
Held a. To allow the consolidation would only defeat its purpose ( to
avoid delay) and affect the substantial right of possession as
no. in incident of ownership.

1. there are no common questions of fact and law between the two cases. 5. petitions for the issuance of writs of possession, a land registration
a. By its very nature, an ex parte petition for issuance of writ of proceeding, do not fall within the ambit of the rules of Court. Hence, the rules
possession is a non-litigious proceeding. It is a judicial on consolidation should not be applied.
proceeding for the enforcement of one’s right of possession
as purchaser in a foreclosure sale. It is not an ordinary suit - CONSOLIDATION OF CIVIL AND CRIMINAL CAES
filed in court, by which one party sues another for the - CONSOLIDATION OF CASES ON APPEAL
enforcement of a wrong or protection of a right or redress of
a wrong. DEMURRER TO EVIDENCE
- CONCEPT OF DEMURRER

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- EFFECT OF DENIAL OR GRANT OF DEMURRER TO EVIDENCE Otherwise stated, it authorizes a judgment on the merits of the case
without the defendant having to submit evidence on his part as the relief sought.
NEPOMUCENO v. COMELEC The demurrer, therefore, is an aid or instrument for the expeditious termination of
G.R. No. L-60601, Dec. 29, 1983 an action, similar to a motion to dismiss, which the court or tribunal may either
grant or deny.
Doctrine:
The requirement of S1R36 would only apply if the demurrer is granted,
The demurrer is an aid or instrument for the expeditious for in this event, there would in fact be an adjudication on the merits of the case,
termination of an action, similar to a motion to dismiss, leaving nothing more to be done, except perhaps to interpose an appeal.
which the court or tribunal may either grant or deny; However, a denial of the demurrer is not a final judgment, but merely
thus if the demurrer is denied, there is no need to state interlocutory in character as it does not finally dispose of the case, the
the facts and the law the denial is based on in the order. defendant having yet the right to present his evidence, as provided for
under Section 1 of Rule 35. The challenged order being merely an interlocutory
Facts: order and not a final judgment or decision, no abuse of discretion was committed
by Comelec in its failure to state the facts and the law on which its order denying
The Comelec proceeded to hear PDC Case No. 35 after the SC resolving petitioners' demurrer to evidence is based.
to remand the case to the former in two previous petitions. There, Oscar Laserna
finished presenting his evidence and Nepomuceno et al. thereafter filed their RADIOWEALTH FINANCE COMPANY v. SPS DEL ROSARIO
respective Motions to Dismiss/Demurrer to Evidence. Comelec denied the G.R. No. 138739, July 6, 2000
demurrers as it would rather the complete facts and evidence of the parties upon
which to reach a decision than prematurely go into it now upon the facts and Doctrine:
evidence of the petitioner only.
When a demurrer to evidence granted by a trial court is
Issue: reversed on appeal, the reviewing court cannot remand
the case for further proceedings. Rather, it should render
WoN the Order dismissing Nepomuceno et al.’s demurrer was incomplete for judgment on the basis of the evidence proffered by the
failure to state the facts and the law the resolution was based on plaintiff. Inasmuch as defendants in the present case
admitted the due execution of the Promissory Note both
Held: in their Answer and during the pretrial, the appellate
court should have rendered judgment on the bases of
NO. that Note and on the other pieces of evidence adduced
during the trial.
Nepomuceno et al. were obviously misled by the title of R35 of ROC. Said
Rule allows the defendant to move for dismissal of the case after the plaintiff has Facts:
presented his evidence on the ground of insufficiency of evidence, and provides for
the effects of the dismissal or non-dismissal, as the case may be, on the right of Sps Del Rosario executed a promissory note in favor of Radiowealth. The
the defendant to present his cause. spouses defaulted on the payment of monthly installments and did not pay despite
repeated demands. Radiowealth then filed a complaint for sum of money with the

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RTC Manila. Radiowelath presented evidence and rested its case after formally same must be made; otherwise, the genuineness and due
offering its evidence and exhibits. Thereafter, the spouses filed a demurrer to execution of the document is deemed admitted and
evidence for alleged lack of cause of action and the court later dismissed the case should be considered in resolving the demurrer to
for failure of Radiowealth to substantiate its claims as the evidence it presented evidence.
was merely hearsay. The CA reversed the RTC’s decision and remanded the case
for further proceedings. Casent Realty Dev’t. Corp. issued two promissory notes to Rare Realty
Corp., who then assigned the same by a Deed of Assignment to Philbanking
Issue; Corporation. Casent did not pay the promissory notes upon its maturity despite
repeated demands by Philbanking so the latter filed a complaint for collection of
WoN the CA was incorrect in remanding the case to the trial court instead of sum of money.
rendering a decision based on Radiowealth’s evidence
Philbanking then presented its evidence and formally offered its exhibits.
Held: On the other hand, Casent filed a Motion for Judgment on Demurrer to the
Evidence, pointing out that the plaintiffs failure to file a Reply to the Answer which
YES. raised the Dacion and Confirmation Statement constituted an admission of the
genuineness and execution of said documents; and that since the Dacion
In the case at bar, the trial court, acting on the spouses’ demurrer to obliterated petitioners obligation covered by the promissory notes, the bank had
evidence, dismissed the Complaint on the ground that the plaintiff had adduced no right to collect anymore.
mere hearsay evidence.However, on appeal, the CA reversed the trial court
because the genuineness and the due execution of the disputed pieces of evidence The RTC ruled in favor of Casent and dismissed the complaint but the CA
had in fact been admitted by defendants. ruled that the RTC erred when it considered the Answer which alleged the Dacion,
and that its genuineness and due execution were not at issue.
Applying Rule 33, Section 1 of the 1997 Rules of Court, the CA should
have rendered judgment on the basis of the evidence submitted by the petitioner. Issue:
While the CA correctly ruled that the documentary evidence submitted by the
[petitioner] should have been allowed and appreciated xxx, and that the petitioner WoN judicial admissions should be considered in resolving a demurrer to evidence
presented quite a number of documentary exhibits xxx enumerated in the
appealed order, we agree with petitioner that the CA had sufficient evidence on Held:
record to decide the collection suit. A remand is not only frowned upon by the
Rules, it is also logically unnecessary on the basis of the facts on record. YES.

CASENT REALTY DEV’T. CORP. v. PHILBANKING CORPORATION What should be resolved in a motion to dismiss based on a demurrer to
G.R. No. 150731, Sept. 14, 2007 evidence is whether the plaintiff is entitled to the relief based on the facts and
the law.The evidence contemplated by the rule on demurrer is that which
Doctrine: pertains to the merits of the case, excluding technical aspects such as capacity to
sue. However, the plaintiffs evidence should not be the only basis in resolving a
Where the defense in an Answer is based on an demurrer to evidence. The facts referred to in Section 8 should include all the
actionable document, a Reply specifically denying the means sanctioned by the ROC in ascertaining matters in judicial proceedings.

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These include judicial admissions, matters of judicial notice, stipulations made - RENDITION RECKONED FROM FILING WITH CLERK
during the pre-trial and trial, admissions, and presumptions, the only exclusion - MUST BE SERVED ON PARTIES
being the defendants evidence. - MAY BE AMENDED BEFORE FINALITY UPON MOTION OR MOTU PROPRIO
- ENTRY UPON FINALITY
Petitioner points out that the defense of Dacion and Confirmation O ENTRY DETERMINES THE PRESCRIPTIVE PERIODS
Statement, which were submitted in the Answer, should have been specifically - FINAL JUDGMENTS ARE NOT SUBJECT TO AMENDMENT
denied under oath by respondent in accordance with Rule 8, Section 8 of the Rules - SEPERABILITY OF JUDGMENTS
of Court. Since respondent failed to file a Reply, in effect, respondent admitted the
genuineness and due execution of said documents. This judicial admission should VELARDE V SOCIAL JUSTICE SOCIETY
have been considered by the appellate court in resolving the demurrer to evidence. GR NO. 159357 APRIL 28 2004

JUDGMENT ON THE PLEADINGS Doctrine

- GENERALLY APPLICABLE WHEN THERE IS NO TENDER OF ISSUE 1. A decision that does not conform to the form and substance
- DENIAL IN ANSWER MAY NOT AMOUNT TO TENDER OF ISSUE required by the constitution and the law is void and deemed
legally inexistent. To be valid, decisions should comply with the
SUMMARY JUDGMENTS form, the procedure, and the substantive requirements laid out in
the constitution, the Rules of Court and relevant circulars/orders
- DISTINGUISHED FROM JUDGEMENT ON THE PLEADINGS of the Supreme Court.
- HOW MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT IS CONSIDERED 2. In a civil case as well as in a special civil action, the disposition
O HEARING ON MOTION IS ONLY FOR DETERMINING WHETHER ISSUES ARE should state whether the complaint or petition is granted or
GENUINE OR NOT, NOT TO RECEIVE EVIDENCE ON THE ISSUES SET UP IN denied, the specific relief granted, and the costs. The following
THE PLEADINGS test of completeness may be applied.
O MOTION IS PROVEN THROUGH AFFIDAVITS, DEPOSITIONS, AND a. First, the parties should know their rights and
ADMISSIONS SUBMITTED BY MOVANT obligations.
- PROPRIETY OF SUMMARY JUDGMENT b. Second, they should know how to execute the decision
- MOVANT MAY BE EITHER PARTY under alternative contingencies.
c. Third, there should be no need for further proceedings
DISTINGUISHED FROM JUDGMENT ON THE PLEADINGS to dispose of the issues.
d. Fourth, the case should be terminated by according the
JUDGEMENTS proper relief.
i. The "proper relief" usually depends upon what
- REQUIREMENTS the parties seek in their pleadings.
O WRITTEN AND SIGNED BY THE JUDGE ii. It may declare their rights and duties,
O MUST CONTAIN FINDINGS OF FACTS AND LAW APPLIED command the performance of positive
O MUST CONTAIN A DISPOSITIVE PORTION prestations, or order them to abstain from
O FILED WITH THE CLERK OF COURT
specific acts. The disposition must also
adjudicate costs.

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The decision also has the following problems:


Facts
1. there was no statement of facts;
A petition for declaratory relief was filed before RTC Manila against 2. the decision ends with the clause SO ORDERED without expressly
Velarde, Cardinal Sin et al for the resolutions of the question whether or not the stating the final conclusion she has reached or specifying the
act of a religious leader in endorsing the candidacy of a candidate for elective relief granted or denied.
office or in urging or requiring members of his flock to vote for a specified
candidate, violates the constitution. However, the petition was filed with the ff Issue
infirmities, to wit:
Was the decision valid?
1. there is no factual allegation that SJS’ rights are subjected to any
threatened, imminent and inevitable violation that could be Held
prevented by the petition;
a. SJS failed to disclose any explicit allegation that it had no.
any legal right or interest;
b. there is no allegation that tax payers money is being 1. The petition contained no statement of ultimate facts upon which the SJS
illegally disbursed or that SJS would be deprived of relied for its claim. It did not specify the relief it sought from the court,
votes due to the acts imputed against Velarde et al but merely asked it to answer a hypothetical question. The petition
2. it contained no statement of ultimate facts upon which the SJS evidently lacked the substantive requirements and should have been
relief for its claim. It did not specify the relief it sought from the dismissed outright.
court, but merely asked it to answer a hypothetical question; a. The petition does not even allege any indication or
manifest intent on the part of Velarde et al to champion
In the course of the proceedings, Velarde, Villanueva and Manalo filed an electoral candidate or to urge their so-called flock to
motions to dismiss; Cardinal Sin, a comment and Soriano, within a priorly granted vote or not to vote for a candidate.
extended period, an answer praying for the dismissal of the action. SJS filed a b. SJS merely sought the advisory opinion of the trial court
rejoinder to the Motion of Velarde who subsequently filed a sur-rejoinder. Before whether the speculated acts of religious leaders
ruling on the motions to dismiss, the trial court issued an order directing the endorsing elective candidates for political offices
parties to submit their memoranda. Shortly thereafter all the motions to dismiss violated the separation of church and state.
were denied without any hearing. The order did not even state any reason for c. The petition had no explicit allegation that SJS had any
their denial, much less a statement of the grounds relied upon, as well as the legal right in its favour to protect. There was no
court’s legal findings and conclusions. The Court also immediately proceeded to certainty that such right would be invaded by Velarde et
issue its decision, without even: al. Not even the alleged proximity of elections to the
time the petition was filed below would have provided
1. allowing the parties to file their answers the certainty that it had a legal right that would be
2. hearing the motions for reconsideration and the motion to jeopardized.
suspend the filing of parties memoranda d. the allegedly keen interest of its thousands of members
3. notifying the OSG. who are citizen taxpayers registered voters is too
general and beyond the standards set by our

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jurisprudence. Not only is the presumed interest ii. Then follows a brief explanation of the
impersonal in character, it is likewise to vague, highly constitutional provisions involved, and what the
speculative and uncertain to satisfy the requirement of Petition sought to achieve.
standing. iii. Thereafter, the ensuing procedural incidents
before the trial court are tracked.
2. The trial court acted with inexplicable haste, with total ignorance of law iv. The Decision proceeds to a full-length opinion
and in cavalier disregard of the rules of procedure. on the nature and the extent of the separation
of church and state.
a. Contrary to the requirement of Section 2 of Rule 16 of v. Without expressly stating the final conclusion
the Rules of Court, the Motions were not heard. Worse, she has reached or specifying the relief
the Order purportedly resolving the Motions to Dismiss granted or denied, the trial judge ends her
did not state any reason at all for their denial, in Decision with the clause SO ORDERED.
contravention of Section 3 of the said Rule 16. There
was not even any statement of the grounds relied upon b. The court did not include a resolutory or dispositive
by the Motions; much less, of the legal findings and portion in its so-called decision.
conclusions of the trial court.
b. Since the RTC issued its decision without allowing the i. The resolution of the court on a given issue as
parties to file their answers, there had been no joinder embodied in the dispositive part of the decision
of issues. or order is the investative or controlling factor
i. If it had allowed the filing of answers, the trial that determines and settles the rights of the
court would have known that Velarde et al had parties and the questions presented therein,
not committed or threatened to commit the act notwithstanding the existence of statements or
attributed to them- the act that was declaration in the body of said order that may
supposedly the factual basis of the suit. be confusing.
c. OSG which was entitled to be heard upon questions ii. SJS insists that the issue is disposed in the
involving the constitutionality or validity of statutes and body of the decision, which reads “
other measures. Endorsement of specific candidates in an
election to any public office is a clear violation
3. the assailed decision leaves us in the dark as to its final resolution of the of the separation clause.
petition. It had the temerity to label its issuance a decision, when nothing 1. the Court does not agree, since the
was in fact decided. dispositive portion is the final order,
while the opinion is merely a
a. the assailed Decision contains no statement of facts -- statement ordering nothing.
much less an assessment or analysis thereof -- or of the 2. thus, the disposition portion cannot
courts findings as to the probable facts. be deemed to be the statement
i. The assailed Decision begins with a statement quoted by SJS and embedded in the
of the nature of the action and the question or last paragraph of p 10 of the assailed
issue presented. 14 page decision.

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a. It at all, that statement is 4. The resolution of the Court on a given issue as embodied in the
merely an answer to a dispositive part of the decision or order is the investitive or
hypothetical question and controlling factor that determines and settles the rights of the
just a part of the opinion of parties and the questions presented therein, notwithstanding the
the court. existence of statements or declaration in the body of said order
b. It does not conclusively that may be confusing.
declare the rights or 5. Where there is a conflict between the dispositive part and
obligations of the parties to the opinion, the former must prevail over the latter on the theory
the petition. that the dispositive portion is the final order while the opinion is
c. Neither does it grant any- merely a statement ordering nothing.
much less, the proper relief
under the circumstances, as
required of a dispositive VICENTE MIRANDA V. CA
portion. GR NO. L-33007 JUNE 18 1976

Notes Caveat: refer to “held” and “notes”. The case is super long. My
apologies.
1. all judges are required to make a complete findings of facts in
their decisions, and scrutinize closely the legal aspects of the Facts
case in the light of the evidence presented. They cannot
generalize and form conclusions without detailing the facts from Miranda as the appointed administrator of estate of Dydongco, filed a
which such conclusions are deduced. case for recovery of properties against Dy Chun et al. After trial, Jose Mendoza
2. the decisions of courts must be in writing and that they must set rendered a decision ordered Dy Chun et al to deliver all the properties belonging to
forth clearly and distinctly the facts and the law on which they Dydongco’s estate and render a full, accurate and correct accounting of all the
are based serves many functions. fruits and proceeds of the properties during their period of possession and pay
a. It is intended, among other things, to inform the parties exemplary damage and attorney’s fees. Dy Chun et al filed a motion for
of the reason or reasons for the decision so that if any reconsideration which was denied by RTC under J. Mendoza.
of them appeals, he can point out to the appellate court
the finding of facts or the rulings on points of law with Dy Chun et al filed a petition for certiorari, prohibition and mandamus
which he disagrees. before the SC where it ruled that “although declaring that most of the properties
b. More than that, the requirement is an assurance to the involved in the litigation belong to the estate, the decision ordering them to render
parties that, in reaching judgment, the judge did so a full, accurate and complete accounting of all the fruits and proceeds of the
through the processes of legal reasoning. properties, is interlocutory in character, as it does not dispose of the action in it
3. Elementary due process demands that the parties to a litigation entirety and leaves something to do be done to complete the relief sought and
be given information on how the case was decided, as well as an that, accordingly, it is not appealable, until after the adjudications necessity the
explanation of the factual and legal reasons that led to the completion of said relief shall have. SC ordered that the case be remanded in the
conclusions of the court. lower court for the rendition of a full, accurate and complete of all fruits and
proceeds.

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b. The mere incident that accounting since 1941 of the fruits of the
The judge that was appointed to replace Judge Mendoza treated the properties adjudged to rightfully belong to the decedent's estate
decision of the merits of his predecessor as if it were an interlocutory order by has been ordered as a necessary consequence of the judgment
altering and changing the original decision i.e. excluding certain properties from on the merits — which is merely to implement the judgment, by
estate. He also ordered Dy Chun et al to submit the written inventory and no means makes the judgment an interlocutory one subject to
accounting for the remaining properties within the 60 days from receipt of change, alteration and reversion at the discretion and will of the
judgement for approval. He also fixed a period of 45 days from receipt of trial judge.
judgment for them to deliver all other properties not affected by the amendments
to the estate. c. When the SC ordered that it be remanded for accounting for the
“completion of said relief” could not be misconstrued as carte
blanche on any sitting judge to exercise reviewing if not
Issue supervisory authority over the judicial determination and findings
on the merits of his predecessor and to promulgate a decision in
1. was the judgement rendered by Judge Mendoza final and executory or lieu thereof as it J. Mendoza’s decision on the merits were a
mere interlocutory? mere interlocutory order.
2. can Judge Tantuico change, alter, amend his predecessor’s decision on i. SC in remanding the case for the rendition of
the merits for recovery of properties with accounting as if it were an the accounting for the completion of relief
interlocutory order? further ordered the dissolution of the
preliminary injunction it had granted against
Held the enforcement and execution of J Mendoza’s
ordered declaring his judgement final and
1. the judgment rendered by Judge Mendoza was final and executory executory.
a. the sixty-nine page decision of J. Mendoza rendered after a full ii. The trial court was left free to order execution
protracted trial wherein he received the full evidence of litigants of judgement on the merits for the recovery of
is a definite judgment that finally decides the rights of the properties pending appeal.
parties upon the issue submitted, by granting the remedy sought
be the action of recovery with accounting (as mere incident and d. Judge Tantuico could either grant or deny the motion for
logical consequence) of the properties of the decedent’s estate. execution pending appeal only.
i. A definite judgement is one that decides finally i. Judge Tantuico no longer had jurisdiction to
the rights of the parties upon the issue entertain motions for new trial and
submitted, by specifically denying or granting reconsideration, much less to set aside a
the remedy sought by the action. judgment and render an amended decision,
ii. A definitive judgement is no longer subject to since the thirty day period to move for MNT or
change, revision, amendment or reversal but MFR long expired.
must stand to serve as the basis of the ii. He is also barred by the omnibus motion rule
accounting ordered. from entertaining motions for new trial and
reconsideration, much less to grant them on

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the very same grounds already previously expenses incurred by the appellant
rejected by his predecessor. could be awarded.
1. this prescinds from his lack of
authority to review or alter the iii. If a judgement which directs solely an
standing judgment on the merits accounting is appealable notwithstanding that
which was already in the stage of it does not finally dispose of the action and the
appeal, but merely remanded for accounting has yet to be rendered to complete
implementation of the accounting the relief sought, much more so is a judgment
phase to complete the relief granted which orders the recovery or delivery of
for purposes of single appeal. properties as a principal relief and accounting a
mere incident appealable
2. no, he cannot. 1. because the judgement which orders
the judgement orders the delivery of
a. the judge went overboard as the Supreme Court pursuant to properties does not finally dispose of
the Rules of Court only held that the decision was not the action on its merits.
appealable until after the accounting was rendered and
approved so as to complete the relief granted. b. a judge who succeeds another as presiding judge does not
i. the only remaining or residual authority of assume reviewing and appellate authority over his
Judge Tantuico was not to review, revise or predecessor’s judgement on the merits including the credibility
reverse Judge Mendoza’s original decision by of the witnesses. He is also bound by the doctrine that the trial
submitting his own appreciation of the judge’s findings of fact and on the credibility of witnesses are
evidence and witness credibility but to enforce, entitled to great weight and respect and will be upheld in the
receive and act on the accounting as ordered absence of a clear and convincing showing of taint, mistake or
in the decision for the completion of the relief arbitrariness.
granted.
ii. In actions involving the rendition of an c. The cause of an impersonal and orderly administration of
accounting, an appeal may be taken from the justice and system of adjudication of court litigation would be
judgment ordering the accounting and directs greatly if not irreparably set back if parties are subjected to the
that during the pendency of the appeal or spectacle of one judge’s judgement being radically altered, if
even before the appeal is taken, the rendition not reversed by the successor without any new trial or
of accounting shall not be stayed, unless evidence simply because the successor reads the record in
otherwise stayed by court thus: another light than his predecessor who tried the case and
1. if the judgement directing an chooses to believe witnesses disbelieved by the predecessor.
accounting is upheld on appeal, there
would be no time lost Notes:
2. if the judgement were reversed on
appeal, reimbursement of the actual 1. the test to ascertain whether or not an order or a judgment is
interlocutory or final is: Does it leave something to be done in

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the trial court with respect to the merits of the case? If it does it Nolasco filed a petition for the issuance of TRO and/or preliminary
is interlocutory, if it does not it is final. injunction with RTC Manila against DPWH and BAC as regards the Agno River
a. an interlocutory order is something intervening between Flood Control Project and prayed that they be restrained from awarding the
the commencement and end of a suit which decides contract to Daewoo, and for the latter’s disqualification as bidder. The TRO was
some point or matter but is not a final decision of the granted for 20 days. BAC filed a motion to dismiss as well as a motion for the
whole controversy. dissolution of the TRO. The RTC dismissed Nolasco’s petition, after the parties had
i. Examples include orders denying motions for been given opportunity to argue their case. Nolasco filed a motion for
dismissal, annulment of preliminary attachment reconsideration on the order of dismissal [1st]. After the OSG filed its
or injunction, alimony pendente lite, default. opposition/comment/manifestation and prayed that it be allowed to adopt its
ii. These examples deal with preliminary matters earlier motion to dismiss as its opposition to Nolasco’s MFR. As new motions was
and has yet to be held judgement on the submitted before the RTC during a hearing, Nolasco suddenly filed a motion
merits rendered. seeking the rendition of partial judgment [ that china international be awarded the
b. The decision is a final adjudication on the main issue project] and dismissal of his own petition [1 st], based on the previous proceedings
submitted to the court and cannot be considered as during the hearing before RTC.
“interlocutory”.
2. The only stage where nothing more can be done in the trial court The RTC issued an order dismissing the motion for reconsideration of the
to complete the relief sought is after the judgement has been petition. Note in this order, the RTC has the ff statement not found in the fallo:
executed. All judgements are interlocutory before they
are actually executed and satisfied. “the Honorable Simeon P. Datumanong must now
seriously consider and effect the award of Package 2,
PHASE II, of the Agno River Floor Control Project, as duly
REPUBLIC V. NOLASCO recommended by the Consultants and the Technical
GR NO. 155108 APRIL 27 2005 Working Group, DPWH, to China International Water &
Electric Corporation being the lowest evaluated responsive
Doctrine bid”.

1. partial judgment with regard to one of the reliefs is warranted only after The republic alleges that RTC erred in taking notice of and resolving
a determination of issues material to a particular claim and all Nolasco’s motion to issue partial judgement and motion to dismiss petition.. It
counterclaims arising out of the transaction or occurrence which is the asserts that RTC erred in directing DPWH to perform an affirmative act even
subject matter of the claim. though the court had not mo jurisdiction.
2. While the allowance of partial judgments may expedite the litigation of
claims, it cannot be sanctioned at a stage when the trial judge has not Issue
had the opportunity to hear all sides to the claim.
1. Did the court award the project to China International?
2. assuming the award to China international is granted, can the court grant
Facts the petition for partial or separate judgments?

Held

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those sufficiently segregate from each other that the


No. allowance of one at a preliminary stage will not preclude
litigation on the merits of others
1. the controverted portion of the order, urging the DPWH secretary to
consider awarding the project to China International does not form part 4. the rule is explicit that partial judgment with regard to one of the reliefs
of the dispositive portion or fallo. What should be deemed as the is warranted only after a determination of issues material to a particular
dispositive portion is the final paragraph of the resolution which reads: claim and all counterclaims arising out of the transaction or occurrence
“WHEREFORE, in view of all the foregoing, the Motion for Reconsideration which is the subject matter of the claim.
of the petition is hereby DISMISSED”. a. Here, the partial judgement was sought even before
the respondents had the chance to file their answer to
2. The respondent judge did not intend to make his conclusions on who the petition.
should be awarded the project as part of the dispositive portion of his b. It was prayed for at a point when, at even such a
order. The trial court only noted that DPWH secretary must think about preliminary stage, the claimant was actually somehow
effecting an award to China International. able to already present evidence in support of his claim,
but before the respondents had the change to rebut this
no. claim or support countervailing evidence.

3. there is no merit in allowing for such relief in this case. 5. at bare minimum, the allowance of a partial judgment at this stage would
constitute a denial of constitutional due process. It would condemn before
a. Section 5, Rule 36 states that when more than one hearing, and render judgment before trial.
claim for relief is presented in an action, the court, at a. While the allowance of partial judgments may expedite
any stage, upon a determination of the issues material the litigation of claims, it cannot be sanctioned at a
to a particular claim and all counterclaims arising out of stage when the trial judge has not had the opportunity
the transaction or occurrence which is the subject to hear all sides to the claim.
matter of the claim, may render a separate judgment b. In fact, it is highly imprudent for the judge to have
disposing of such claim. The judgment shall terminate concluded as he did in the order, that it was an
the action with respect to the claim so disposed of and admitted fact that the BAC had strayed from from fairly
the action shall proceed as to the remaining claims. applying bidding laws etc, considering that the Republic
had not even filed an answer or been allowed the
b. On paper, Nolasco’s petition prays for two (2) reliefs: opportunity to present evidence on its behalf.
i. BAC be restrained from awarding the project to
DAEWOO 6. as of the moment the assailed order was rendered, Nolasco’s petition
ii. DAEWOO be disqualified as bidder and its bid had already been dismissed by an earlier order.
be rejected. a. In order that the prayer for partial judgment could have
been granted by the RTC, it would have been first
c. Yet these reliefs, are intertwined for the allowance of necessary to reinstate Nolasco’s dismissed petition
one would necessarily lead to the grant of the other. which stood dismissed for a long time.
The multiple reliefs referred to in the provision refer to

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b. Thus, none of the reliefs prayed for in his petition, much


less the prayer for partial judgment could have ever Is the judgement that briones sought a nunc pro tunc judgement?
been granted by the judge.
Held
LUISA BRIONES-VASQUEZ V CA
GR NO. 144882 FEBRUARY 04 2005 No.

Doctrine 1. as a rule, final and executory judgments are immutable and unalterable
except under the three exceptions
1. a nunc pro tunc judgement cannot correct judicial errors or supply non- a. clerical errors
action by the court. b. nunc pro tunc entries which cause no prejudice to any
party
Facts c. void judgements
2. in the present case, Briones claims the second exception i.e. that her
Under an agreement denominated as a pacto de retro sale, Maria motion for clarificatory judgment is for the purpose of obtaining nunc pro
Mendoza vda de Ocampo acquired a parcel of land from Briones. Briones had until tunc amendment of the final and executory decision of the CA.
December 31 1979 to repurchase the property. When Maria died on 1979, her a. the office of a judgment nunc pro tunc is to record
heirs Hipolita and Eusebio filed a petition for consolidation of ownership, given that some act of the court done at a former time which was
Briones failed to exercise her privilege to redeem the property. RTC ruled in 1992 not then carried into the record and the power of a
in favour of Briones. Hipolita and Eusebio appealed the decision to the CA where it court to make such entries is restricted to placing upon
ruled that the transaction between their mother and Briones was an equitable the record evidence of judicial action which has been
mortgage. They filed a motion for reconsideration before the CA but was denied actually taken.
through a resolution. The CA decision became final and executory. i. A court in entering a judgment nunc pro tunc
has no power to construe what the judgment
Both parties filed motions for writ of execution. The RTC issued the writ means, but only to enter of record such
but was returned unserved by the sheriff. The sheriff also failed to serve the alias judgement as had been formally rendered but
writ of execution. which had not been entered of record as
rendered.
Unable to effect the execution of the CA decision, Briones filed with the ii. The exercise of the power to enter judgments
RTC an omnibus motion praying that an order be issued declaring the transaction nunc pro tunc presupposes the actual rendition
between her and Maria as an equitable mortgage and directing the issuance of writ of a judgment, and a mere right to a judgment
of possession against the heirs of Maria for the delivery of the land subject of the will not furnish the basis for such an entry.
transaction. RTC denied the omnibus. Upon denial of her motion for iii. Its office is not supply omitted action by the
reconsideration, she filed a motion for clarificatory judgment with the CA. CA court, but to supply an omission in the record
denied the motion, stating that as the issue was whether the 1970 sale with right of action really had, but omitted through
of repurchase was actually an equitable mortgage, there is nothing to clarify. inadvertence or mistake.
3. from [2], it is clear that the judgement Briones seeks through the motion
Issue for clarificatory judgment is outside its scope.

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a. Briones did not allege that CA actually took judicial Clarita filed another action for the declaration of nullity of the TCTs in the
action and that such action was not included in the CA name of MBTC and damages. The complaint for this action is basically a reiteration
decision by inadvertence of Clarita’s allegation. MBTC moved to dismiss the complaint on the ground that it
b. A nunc pro tunc judgment cannot correct judicial errors was barred by the prior judgment and that her claim had already been paid,
or supply non-action by the court. waived, abandoned or extinguished. RTC denied the motion. Upon the denial of
4. since the judgement sought through the motion for clarificatory the MR for lack of merit, it filed a petition for certiorari before the CA.
judgement is not a nunc pro tunc one, the general rule regarding final
and executory decision applies. Finding merit in MBTC’s petition, the CA rendered a decision holding that
the dismissal of the first case on the ground of laches should preclude the filing of
case 2 because civil case 1 had the effect of an adjudication on the merits. It also
Notes: pointed out that the two civil cases suffer the effect of laches. Lastly, Clarita failed
to prosecute her claim citing 3 Rule 17 of the Rules of Court.
1. when a final judgement becomes executory, it thereby becomes
immutable and unalterable. The judgement may no longer be Issue
modified in any respect, even if the modification is meant to
correct what is unalterable. did the court err when it dismissed civil case 2?
2. the only recognized exceptions are the correction of clerical
errors or the making of so-called nunc pro tunc entries which Held
cause no prejudice to any party and of course, where the
judgment is void. 1. While the court agrees that an action to declare the nullity of contracts is
not barred by the statute of limitation, the fact that Clarita was barred by
NAVARRO V METROPOLITAN BANK AND TRUST COMPANY laches from bringing such action had already been settled in the first case
GR NO. 165697 AUGUST 4 2009 filed before the CA.
2. At this point, the court takes notice that the decision rendered re: laches
Doctrine and imprescriptibility of Clarita’s cause of action had already become final
without any motion for reconsideration being filed or an appeal being
taken therefrom. The decision has become immutable.
Facts 3. the underlying reason for the principle that once a judgment becomes
final, it is no longer subject to change, revision, amendment or reversal is
Sps Antonio and Clarita Navarro acquired several lots. Antonio had the two-fold:
lots mortgaged in favour of MBTC to secure his loans. He failed to pay and the lots a. to avoid delay in the administration of justice and thus
had been judicially foreclosed with MBTC as the lone bidder. Clarita filed a make orderly discharge of judicial business;
declaration of nullity of real estate mortgage and the foreclosure sale. The b. to put judicial controversies at an end, at the risk of
complaint alleged the lots were mortgaged without her knowledge. MBTC prayed a occasional errors.
MTD on the ground of laches as it was filed 11 years since the issuance of the i. Controversies cannot be allowed to drag on
titles in MBTC’s favour. Upon the denial of the motion, MBTC filed a petition for indefinitely and the rights and obligations of
certiorari before the CA, which ruled in its favour. every litigant must not hang in suspense for an
indefinite period of time.

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GMDP- LCD DIGESTS SESSION VII [UNTIL 3.18 OF CIVIL PROCEDURE SYLLABUS]
REMEDIAL LAW REVIEW
ATTY CUSTODIO.

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