You are on page 1of 15

Vergara v Suelto Of course, the (plaintiff's) discussion seeks to convince the court

that there is no more need of a trial because conclusively it is


FACTS: Petitioner commenced an action for illegal detainer
claimed that no genuine issue on a material fact was raised. But
against the private respondents. His complaint alleged that: 1.
it appears from the answer that the material allegations of facts
he is the owner of a commercial building consisting of three (3)
in the complaint constituting plaintiff's cause of action are
sections, each of which is separately occupied by the defendants
specifically denied and in addition thereto, defendants have put
(private respondents herein) as lessees 2. the defendants all
up affirmative defenses in avoidance of plaintiff's claims.
defaulted in the payment of their rentals for many months,
hence a demand letter for payment of unpaid rentals, The rule gives the court limited authority to enter summary
termination of the lease and a demand to vacate the leased judgment. Upon a motion for summary judgment, the court's
premises. 3. Defendants confirmed, through a joint letter, sole function is to determine whether there is an issue of fact to
commitment to leave the premises but requested for an be tried. It does not vest the court with authority to try the
extension of three months issues on depositions, pleadings, letters or affidavits. ... (I)f there
is a controversy upon any question of fact, there should be a trial
In their answer to the complaint, defendants 1) denied the
of the case upon its merits.
averments of the complaint relative to their and the plaintiff's
personal circumstances; 2) denied Vergara's ownership of the ISSUE: W/N the court’s ruling that there can be no Summary
building and the fact that it consisted of three sections Judgment is proper?
separately leased by him: 3) claimed that their lease contract
HELD: NO. The court has confused the summary judgment with
with Vergara were null and void; 4) denied having initially paid
judgment on the pleadings. The confusion is shared by the
rentals but thereafter defaulting, claiming that they had been
defendants (private respondents), this being revealed by their
"occupying the premises in the concept of an owner;" 5) denied
argument that in view of their denial of plaintiff's assertion of
knowledge and hence professed inability to form a belief
ownership over the premises in question, and their
regarding either their joint letter to Vergara. Vergara filed a
controversion of "the material facts of the adverse party," their
Motion for Summary Judgment to which the defendants filed an
answer did not only consist of a mere "general denial" but "
Opposition to Motion for Summary Judgment and Motion to
definitely tendered a genuine issue " "which cannot be resolved
Dismiss.
by resort to mere summary judgment."
The court issued the following order:
Section 1, Rule 19 of the Rules of Court provides that where an
answer "fails to tender an issue, or otherwise admits the
material allegation of the adverse party's pleading, the court In this case, the defendants' answer appears on its face to
may, on motion of that party, direct judgment on such tender issues. It purports to deal with each of the material
pleading." The answer would fail to tender an issue, of course, if allegations of the complaint, and either specifically denies, or
it does not comply with the requirements for a specific denial professes lack of knowledge or information to form a belief as
set out in Section 10 (or Section 8) of Rule 8; and it would admit to them. It also sets up affirmative defenses. But the issues thus
the material allegations of the adverse party's pleadings not only tendered are sham, not genuine, as illustrated below:
where it expressly confesses the truthfulness thereof but also if
1. defendants' denial of their own personal circumstances is
it omits to deal with them at all.
obviously sham. They are all residents of Davao City, doing
If an answer does in fact specifically deny the material business in which they have rented space and where they have
averments of the complaint in the manner indicated by said been maintaining their commercial establishments. They have
Section 10 of Rule 8, and/or asserts affirmative defenses been dealing with the plaintiff for years, and he being the owner
(allegations of new matter which, while admitting the material of the building occupied by them.
allegations of the complaint expressly or impliedly, would
2. Their disavowal of the plaintiff's ownership of the building
nevertheless prevent or bar recovery by the plaintiff) in
occupied by them, and also that the building is composed of
accordance with Sections 4 and 5 of Rule 6, a judgment on the
three (3) sections, also cannot be genuine. They had each been
pleadings would naturally not be proper.
occupying those three (3) sections for years and been paying
But even if the answer does tender issues and therefore a rentals therefor to the plaintiff.
judgment on the pleadings is not proper-a summary judgment
3. Also patently sham is their professed ignorance of the joint
may still be rendered on the plaintiff's motion if he can show to
letter sent by them to the plaintiff What they say is that "they
the Court's satisfaction that "except as to the amount of
have no knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief" as
damages, there is no genuine issue as to any material fact," 18
to it. This is ridiculous. Either they wrote the letter or they did
that is to say, the issues thus tendered are not genuine, are in
not. Either way, they cannot but have knowledge of it. To say
other words sham, fictitious, contrived, set up in bad faith,
that they are ignorant of it is palpable dishonesty.
patently unsubstantial. 19 The determination may be made by
the Court on the basis of the pleadings, and the depositions, 4. So, too, their denial of ever having paid rents to the plaintiff is
admissions and affidavits that the movant may submit, as well fictitious. The facts on record, to which the plaintiff has drawn
as those which the defendant may present in his turn. 20 attention, inclusive of the official receipt issued to defendant
Montebon, prove they're beyond cavil.
Under the circumstances herein set forth at some length, the Diman v Alumbres
fitness and propriety of a summary judgment cannot be
FACTS: The Heirs of Veronica Lacalle (represented by Jose
disputed. The failure of the respondent Judge to render such a
Lacalle) filed a complaint for "Quieting of Title and Damages"
judgment was due solely to his unfortunate unfamiliarity with
against the petitioners in the RTC of Las Piñas. They claimed that:
the concept of a summary judgment. No genuine issue having
a) their mother, the late Veronica Lacalle was the owner of a
been tendered by the defendants, judgment should be directed
land in Las Piñas covered by TCT No. 273301 of the ROD of the
as a matter of right in the plaintiff's favor. To yet require a trial
Province of Rizal; b) Veronica had acquired the land in 1959 by
notwithstanding the pertinent allegations of the pleadings and
virtue of a deed of absolute sale, and retained as caretakers the
the other facts indubitably appearing on record would be a
persons she found in occupancy of the lot at the time of the sale
waste of time, and an injustice to the plaintiff whose obtention
the sps. Nario with arrangement to share the agricultural fruits"
of the relief to which he is plainly and patently entitled would be
until the former would have need of the property; c) the
further delayed. The remedy properly available to the petitioner
caretakers of the lot were served with a notice for them to
in the premises, however, is not the writ of mandamus. Well
vacate the land (dated November 22, 1994) and an alias writ of
known is the rule that mandamus issues only to compel
demolition (dated June 7, 1994) issued by the MTC in the case
performance of a mandatory, ministerial duty. The
for "ejectment with damages" filed by the Dimans against the
determination that under the facts and circumstances obtaining
Narios, judgment in which, commanding the Narios' ouster, had
in a case a summary judgment is proper, and the motion
supposedly been affirmed by the Makati RTC; d) neither the
therefor should be granted and summary judgment
deceased Veronica nor any of her heirs had been made parties
consequently rendered, rests in the sound discretion of a trial
to said ejectment action; e) the complaint for ejectment
court and cannot be regarded as a duty of ministerial function
contains false assertions, and had caused them injury for which
compellable by the extraordinary writ of mandamus. In this
the Dimans should be made to pay damages.
case, the respondent Judge had discretion to make that
determination. What happened was that His Honor made that In their answer with counterclaim, the Dimans alleged that: a)
determination with grave abuse of discretion. Despite the plain they are the registered and absolute owners of the land in Pasay
and patent propriety of a summary judgment, he declined to registered in their names, and have no knowledge of the land
render such a verdict. The writ of certiorari will lie to correct that claimed by the Lacalle Heirs; b) they are entitled to eject from
grave abuse of discretion. their land the Nario Spouses, who were falsely claiming to be
their lessees; c) if the Heirs' theory is that the land in their title,
No 273301, is the same as that covered by the Dimans' titles,
then said title No. 2733101 is spurious; d) they are entitled to for admission, a copy of which was personally delivered to the
damages on their counterclaim. latter's lawyer; but again, no response whatever was made.
After joinder of the issues, the Dimans served on the heirs a The Dimans then submitted a "MOTION FOR SUMMARY
REQUEST FOR ADMISSION of the truth of the following specified JUDGMENT" dated April 17, 1995. In that motion they drew
matters of fact: a) the Heirs' TCT 273301 (Rizal) is not recorded attention to the Heirs' failure to file any Pre-Trial Brief, and the
in the Registry of Rizal, or of Pasay City, or of Parañaque, or of several instances when the Heirs failed to appear at scheduled
Las Pinas; b) the Dimans' transfer certificates of title are all duly hearings resulting in the dismissal of their complaint, which was
registered in their names in Pasay City, as alleged in their however later reinstated. They argued that because the Heirs
answer; c) in the Index Records of Registered Property Owners had failed to respond to their REQUEST FOR ADMISSION, each
under Act No. 496 in the Office of the Land Registration of the matters of which an admission was requested, was
Authority, there is no record of any property situated in Las deemed admitted pursuant to Section 2, Rule 26. On this basis,
Piñas in the name of Veronica Lacalle, more particularly and on the basis of the joint affidavit of Clarissa Diman de los
described in TCT 273301; 4) the Heirs cannot produce a certified Reyes and Florina Diman Tan — attached to the motion and
true copy of TCT 273301: 5) neither Veronica nor any of her heirs substantiating the facts recited in the request for admission —
ever declared the property under TCT 273301 for taxation the Dimans asserted that no genuine issue existed and prayed
purposes since its alleged acquisition on February 24, 1959 or that "a summary judgment be entered dismissing the case for
since the issuance of said title on August 7, 1959; 6) not a single lack of merit."
centavo has been paid by the Heirs as real estate taxes; and 7)
The Trial Court denied the Dimans' motion for summary
no steps have been taken by the Heirs to ascertain the
judgment. In its Order of June 14, 1995, the Court declared that
genuineness and authenticity of the conflicting titles.
a "perusal of the Complaint and the Answer will clearly show
The REQUEST FOR ADMISSION was received by Jose Lacalle. that material issue is raised in that both plaintiffs and
However, no response was made to the request by Lacalle, his defendants claimed ownership over the land in dispute,
lawyer, or anyone else, despite the lapse of the period therefor presenting their respective titles thereto and accused each
fixed by Section 2 of Rule 26 (not less than ten days after other of possessing false title to the land." It stressed that a
service). The Dimans thereupon filed with the Court a summary judgment "is not proper where the defendant
"MANIFESTATION WITH MOTION TO REOUIRE PLAINTIFFS TO presented defenses tendering factual issues which call for the
ANSWER REQUEST FOR ADMISSION," dated March 28, 1995, presentation of evidence."
giving the Heirs 10 more days to file their answer to the request
Shortly after the Heirs rested their case, the Dimans filed a is requested or (2) setting forth in detail the reason why cannot
Motion for Judgment on Demurrer to Evidence dated June 25, truthfully either admit or deny those matters. If the party served
1996. does not respond with such a sworn statement, each of the
matters of which an admission is requested shall be deemed
The Trial Court denied their motion to dismiss. What Dimans did
admitted.
was to commence a special civil action of certiorari, mandamus
and prohibition in the Court of Appeals praying (a) that it set It is the law which determines when a summary judgment is
aside the Orders of June 14, 1995 (denying summary judgment), proper. It declares that although the pleadings on their face
of December 2, 1996 (denying demurrer to evidence), and appear to raise issues of fact — e. g., there are denials of, or a
February 28, 1997 (denying reconsideration); (b) that the Trial conflict in, factual allegations — if it is shown by admissions,
Judge be commanded to dismiss the case before it; and (c) that depositions or affidavits, that those issues are sham, fictitious,
said judge be prohibited from conducting further proceedings in or not genuine, or, in the language of the Rules, that "except as
the case, which the CA denied. to the amount of damages, there is no genuine issue as to any
material fact and that the moving party is entitled to a judgment
ISSUE: WON the denial of the Demurrer to evidence and
as a matter of law." The Court shall render a summary judgment
Summary Judgment was valid.
for the plaintiff or the defendant as the case may be.
HELD: No. Not a valid denial. A Trial Court has no discretion to
determine what the consequences of a party's refusal to allow
or make discovery should be; it is the law which makes that Distinction Summary Judgment & Judgment of the Pleadings
determination; and it is grave abuse of discretion for the Court
• a judgment on the facts as summarily proven by affidavits,
to refuse to recognize and observe the effects of that refusal as
depositions or admissions.
mandated by law. Particularly as regards requests for admission
under Rule 26 of the Rules of Court, the law ordains that when • Existence of judgment issues but such are sham, fictitious, and
a party is served with a written request that he admit: (1) the not genuine.
genuineness of any material and relevant document described
• REMEDY: may be applied for by either a claimant or a
in and exhibited with the request, or (2) the truth of any material
defending party.
and relevant matter of fact set forth in the request, said party is
bound within the period designated in the request, to file and • judgment on the facts as pleaded
serve on the party requesting the admission a sworn statement
either (1) denying specifically the matters of which an admission
• No ostensible issues in the pleadings because of the In fine, the Heirs had proven nothing whatever to justify a
defendant’s failure to raise such in the answer. judgment in their favor. They had not presented any copy
whatever of the title they wished to be quieted. They had not
• REMEDY: may be sought only by a claimant (one seeking to
adduced any proof worthy of the name to establish their
recover upon a claim, counterclaim, or cross-claim or to obtain
precedessors' ownership of the land. On the contrary, their own
a declaratory relief, supra)
evidence, from whatever aspect viewed, more than persuasively
These basic distinctions escaped the lower court judge. • He indicated their lack of title over the land, or the spuriousness of
denied the Dimans' motion for summary judgment in his Order their claim of ownership thereof. The evidence on record could
of June 14, 1995, opining that a "perusal of the Complaint and not be interpreted in any other way, and no other conclusion
the Answer will clearly show that material issue is raised in that could be drawn therefrom except the unmeritoriousness of the
both plaintiffs and defendants claimed ownership over the land complaint. The case at bar is a classic example of the eminent
in dispute, presenting their respective titles thereto and accused propriety of a summary judgment, or a judgment on demurrer
each other of possessing false title to the land." • He added that to evidence.
a summary judgment "is not proper where the defendant
It was indeed grave abuse of discretion on the part of the Trial
presented defenses tendering factual issues which call for the
Court to have refused to render a summary judgment or one on
presentation of evidence." Such a ratiocination is grossly
demurrer to evidence.
erroneous.
The grounds relied on by the Judge are proper for the denial of
a motion for judgment on the pleadings — as to which the Nocom v Camerino
essential question, as already remarked, is: are there issues
FACTS:
arising from or generated by the pleadings? — but not as
regards a motion for summary judgment — as to which the Respondents are tenants of the lots which they were seeking to
crucial question is: issues having been raised by the pleadings, redeem from SMSC. They won but the case has not yet been
are those issues genuine, or sham or fictitious, as shown by fully executed since TCT's were not yet transferred to them.
affidavits, depositions or admissions accompanying the While all of these are pending, Atty. Santos, the counsel for
application therefor? Respondents in their case against SMSC, facilitated a deal
between Respondents and Nocom. The deal would transfer all
their inchoate rights to Nocom. The deal went through and
Respondents’ were paid after they executed and “Irrevocable
Power of Atty” in the name of Nocom. Respondents won their policy on the qualification of the beneficiaries of the agrarian
case and the court ordered the transfer of titles and the reform program. CA affirmed the Summary Judgment and
annotation of the Irrevocable Power of Atty to the titles. dismissed Nocom’s appeal. It found that the issues raised by the
petitioner is his appeal are questions of law.
However, Camerino filed a complaint against Nocom,
camptioned as “Petition to Revoke Power of Atty”, alleging that ISSUSE: WON the CA is correct in not voiding the assailed
the document was not explained to them and they were misled summary judgment.
by their counsel.
HELD: No. The present case involves certain factual issues which
On Jan. 30, 2006, respondent Camerino filed a Motion for remove it from the coverage of a summary judgment. Summary
Summary Judgment alleging that since the existence of the judgment is a procedural device resorted to in order to avoid
Irrevocable Power of Atty was admitted by petitioner, the only long drawn out litigations and useless delays. When the
issue to be resolved was whether the said document was pleadings on file show that there are no genuine issues of fact
coupled with interest and whether it was revocable in to be tried, the Rules allow a party to obtain immediate relief by
contemplation of law and jurisprudence; that Summary way of summary judgment, that is, when the facts are not in
Judgment was proper because petitioner did not raise any issue dispute, the court is allowed to decide the case summarily by
relevant to the contents of the Irrevocable Power of Atty; and applying the law to the material facts. Conversely, where the
that in an Affidavit dated Jan 23, 2005, he admitted receipt of a pleadings tender a genuine issue, summary judgment is not
check amounting to P500K which was given to him by petitioner proper.
as financial assistance.
Requisites for summary judgment to be proper: (1) there must
Nocom opposed Camerino’s motion on the ground that there be no genuine issue as to any material fact, except for the
were factual issues. Then, Nocom filed a MTD on the ground that amount of damages; (2) the party presenting the motion for
there’s NO Jurisdiction since it is a Real Action and that docket summary judgment must be entitled to a judgment as a matter
fees paid was insufficient. Camerino insisted that it was a of law. A summary judgment is permitted only if there is no
personal action because it’s a revocation of an Irrevocable genuine issue as to any material fact and a moving party is
Power of Atty. The RTC granted Motion for Summary Judgment entitled to a judgment as a matter of law. A summary judgment
since there’s no genuine issue of fact that needs to be tried in is proper if, while the pleadings on their face appear to raise
court. Camerino was also ordered to pay the balance of the issues, the affidavits, depositions, and admissions presented by
docket fees. It rendered a SUMMARY JUDGMENT annulling the the moving party show that such issues are not genuine.
Irrevocable Power of Atty for being contrary to law and public
The present case should not be decided via a summary necessary to determine the validity and legality of the
judgment. Summary judgment is not warranted when there are "Irrevocable Power of Attorney," dated December 18, 2003,
genuine issues which call for a full blown trial. The party who executed by the respondents in favor of the petitioner. From
moves for summary judgment has the burden of demonstrating said main factual issue, other relevant issues spring therefrom,
clearly the absence of any genuine issue of fact, or that the issue to wit: whether the said "Irrevocable Power of Attorney" was
posed in the complaint is patently unsubstantial so as not to coupled with interest; whether it had been obtained through
constitute a genuine issue for trial. Trial courts have limited fraud, deceit, and misrepresentation or other vices of consent;
authority to render summary judgments and may do so only whether the five (5) Philtrust Bank Manager’s checks given by
when there is clearly no genuine issue as to any material fact. petitioner to the respondents amounting to P500,000 each were
When the facts as pleaded by the parties are disputed or in consideration of the "inchoate and contingent rights" of the
contested, proceedings for summary judgment cannot take the respondents in favor of the petitioner; whether Atty. Santos
place of trial. connived with petitioner in causing the preparation of the said
document and, therefore, should be impleaded as party-
Summary judgment is generally based on the facts proven
defendant together with the petitioner; whether respondents
summarily by affidavits, depositions, pleadings, or admissions of
deposited the amount of P9,790,612.00 plus P147,059.18 with
the parties. In this present case, while both parties acknowledge
the RTC of Muntinlupa City, Branch 256; and whether the sale of
or admit the existence of the "Irrevocable Power of Attorney,"
respondents’ inchoate and contingent rights amounted to a
the variance in the allegations in the pleadings of the petitioner
champertous contract.
vis-à-vis that of the respondents require the presentation of
evidence on the issue of the validity of the "Irrevocable Power
of Attorney" to determine whether its execution was attended
Evangelista v Mercator
by the vices of consent and whether the respondents and their
spouses did not freely and voluntarily execute the same. In his FACTS: Petitioners Sps Evangelist filed a complaint for
Answer with Counterclaim, petitioner denied the material annulment of titles against respondents. Petitioners claimed
allegations of respondent Oscar Camerino’s complaint for being being the registered owners of 5 parcels of land contained in the
false and baseless as respondents were informed that the REM executed by them and Embassy Farms. They alleged that
document they signed was the "Irrevocable Power of Attorney" they executed the REM in favor of Respondent Mercator only as
in his favor and that they had received the full consideration of officers of Embassy Farms. They did not receive the proceeds of
the transaction and, thus, had no legal right over the three the loan evidenced by a PN, as all of it went to Embassy Farms.
parcels of land. Indeed, the presentation of evidence is Thus, they contended that the mortgage was without any
consideration as to them since they did not personally obtain ownership of petitioners of the subject parcels of land, but
any loan or credit accommodations. There being no principal alleged that they are the present registered owner. Both
obligation on which the mortgage rests, the real estate respondents likewise assailed the long silence and inaction by
mortgage is void. With the void mortgage, they assailed the petitioners as it was only after a lapse of almost 10 years from
validity of the foreclosure proceedings conducted by Mercator, the foreclosure of the property and the subsequent sales that
the sale to it as the highest bidder in the public auction, the they made their claim. Thus, Salazar and Lamecs averred that
issuance of the transfer certificates of title to it, the subsequent petitioners are in estoppel and guilty of laches.
sale of the same parcels of land to respondent Salazar and the
After pre-trial, Mercator moved for summary judgment on the
transfer of the titles to her name, and lastly, the sale and
ground that except as to the amount of damages, there is no
transfer of the properties to respondent Lamecs.
factual issue to be litigated. Morever, the petitioners had
Mercator admitted that petitioners were the owners of the admitted in their pre-trial brief the existence of the promissory
subject parcels of land. It, however, contended that on February note, the continuing suretyship agreement and the subsequent
16, 1982, the spouses executed a Mortgage in favor of Mercator promissory notes restructuring the loan, hence, there is no
for and in consideration of certain loans, and/or other forms of genuine issue regarding their liability. The mortgage, foreclosure
credit accommodations obtained from the Mortgagee proceedings and the subsequent sales are valid and the
(Mercator) amounting to P844,625.78 and to secure the complaint must be dismissed. However, the motion was
payment of the same and those others that the MORTGAGEE opposed by the Petitioners claiming that because their personal
may extend to the Spouses. It contended that since the spouses liability to Mercator is at issue, there is a need for a full-blown
and Embassy Farms signed the promissory note as co-makers, trial. The trial court granted MOTION FOR SUMMARY
aside from the Continuing Suretyship Agreement subsequently JUDGMENT and DISMISSED THE COMPLAINT. It held that a
executed to guarantee the indebtedness of Embassy Farms, and reading of the PNs shows that the liability of the signatories is
the succeeding PNs restructuring the loan, then petitioners are solidary (“jointly and severally”). It is crystal clear then that the
jointly and severally liable with Embassy Farms. Due to their spouses signed the promissory note not only as officers of
failure to pay the obligation, the foreclosure and subsequent Embassy Farms but in their personal capacity as well. MR-
sale of the mortgaged properties are valid. DENIED. CA affirmed, it Held that the fact that they signed the
subject promissory notes in their personal capacities and as
Respondents Salazar and Lamecs asserted that they are
officers of the said debtor corporation is manifest on the very
innocent purchasers for value and in good faith, relying on the
face of the said documents of indebtedness. Even assuming
validity of the title of Mercator. Lamecs admitted the prior
arguendo that they did not, the appellants lose sight of the fact
that third persons who are not parties to a loan may secure the forestall summary judgment, it is essential for the non-moving
latter by pledging or mortgaging their own. In constituting a party to confirm the existence of genuine issues where he has
mortgage over their own property in order to secure the substantial, plausible and fairly arguable defense, i.e., issues of
purported corporate debt of Embassy Farms, the appellants fact calling for the presentation of evidence upon which a
undeniably assumed the personality of persons interested in the reasonable finding of fact could return a verdict for the non-
fulfillment of the principal obligation who, to save the subject moving party. The proper inquiry would therefore be whether
realities from foreclosure and with a view towards being the affirmative defenses offered by petitioners constitute
subrogated to the rights of the creditor, were free to discharge genuine issue of fact requiring a full-blown trial.
the same by payment.
The agreement was signed by petitioners on February 16, 1982.
ISSUE: WON the granting of the motion for summary judgment The promissory notes subsequently executed by petitioners and
was proper despite the existence of genuine issues as to Embassy Farms, restructuring their loan, likewise prove that
material facts. petitioners are solidarily liable with Embassy Farms.
HELD: Affirmed. No genuine issues raised by petitioners. Petitioners further allege that there is an ambiguity in the
wording of the promissory note and claim that since it was
Petitioners do not deny that they obtained a loan from
Mercator who provided the form, then the ambiguity should be
Mercator. They merely claim that they got the loan as officers of
resolved against it.
Embassy Farms without intending to personally bind themselves
or their property. However, a simple perusal of the promissory Courts can interpret a contract only if there is doubt in its letter.
note and the continuing suretyship agreement shows otherwise. But, an examination of the promissory note shows no such
These documentary evidence prove that petitioners are solidary ambiguity.
obligors with Embassy Farms. Summary judgment "is a
procedural technique aimed at weeding out sham claims or
defenses at an early stage of the litigation." The crucial question Monterey Foods Corp v Eserjose
in a motion for summary judgment is whether the issues raised
FACTS: It is alleged in the petition that for 12 years, respondent
in the pleadings are genuine or fictitious, as shown by affidavits,
bought from petitioner live cattle and hogs which he in turn sold
depositions or admissions accompanying the motion. A genuine
and distributed to his customers. The transactions were covered
issue means "an issue of fact which calls for the presentation of
by invoices and delivery receipts and were payable within 10
evidence, as distinguished from an issue which is fictitious or
days from invoice date. Due to respondent’s inability to pay for
contrived so as not to constitute a genuine issue for trial."20 To
his purchases, his overdue account amounted to Petitioners opposed the manifestation and motion, stating that
P87,434,689.37, and as a consequence, petitioner ceased its the reverse trial order has no basis since the amount allegedly
transactions with respondent. admitted was dramatically less than the total of P1,280,000.00
claimed by respondent.
Sometime in 1998, during the existence of the contractual
relations between the parties, they entered into a contract At the initial hearing of the case, petitioners confirmed in open
growing agreement whereby petitioner supplied livestock for court that they indeed entered into a contract growing
respondent to grow, care for and nurture in his farm located in agreement with respondent and that the latter was entitled to a
Batangas. After 5 months of operation, petitioner withdrew net compensation of P482,766.88 under the said contract. The
from the contract without paying respondent for his services, trial court rendered partial summary judgment, acting of
alleging that respondent failed to post the requisite bond under petitioner’s judicial admission, concerning the amount of
the contract and poorly performed his farm management P482,766.88. The case was set for trial for the presentation of
functions to the detriment of the animals. evidence on petitioners’ claim for damages.
Respondent repeatedly demanded that petitioner corporation Respondent moved for the execution of the partial summary
pay him for his services under the contract, amounting to judgment which was granted. On Dec 15, 1999 the court issued
P1,280,000.00. His demands went unheeded; thus, he filed with a Writ of Execution directing the sheriff to cause the execution
the RTC an action for sum of money and damages against of the partial summary decision. Petitioners filed a petition for
petitioner corporation and its President, petitioner Ramon F. certiorari before the CA –which was Dismissed
Llanes. During the pre-trial conference, petitioners failed to
ISSUE: WON summary judgment is proper in the case at bar.
appear, and an order declaring them in default was issued. RTC:
Ruled in favor of respondent. Petitioners then filed a Motion for HELD: Yes. A summary judgment or accelerated judgment is a
new trial which was granted. Case set for a pre-trial again. procedural technique to promptly dispose of cases where the
facts appear undisputed and certain from the pleadings,
After the pre-trial, respondent submitted a manifestation and
depositions, admissions and affidavits on record, or for weeding
motion alleging that petitioners have admitted their liability
out sham claims or defenses at an early stage of the litigation to
under the contract growing agreement at least to the extent of
avoid the expense and loss of time involved in a trial.
P482,766.88 when they alleged in their Joint Answer: In
accordance with the standard contract growing fee provision
respondent was entitled to a compensation of net P482,766.88.
Respondent thus prayed that reverse trial be conducted.
OBJECT/PURPOSE: To separate what is formal or pretended in to decide the case summarily by applying the law to the material
denial or averment from what is genuine and substantial so that facts.
only the latter may subject a party in interest to the burden of
Clearly, the judgment finally disposed of all the reliefs sought in
trial. It must be premised on the absence of any other triable
the complaint. The order granting summary judgment was akin
genuine issues of fact. Otherwise, the movant cannot be allowed
to a judgment on the merits made after a full-blown trial. Its
to obtain immediate relief. A genuine issue is such issue of fact
consequent execution, therefore, may issue as a matter of right
which requires presentation of evidence as distinguished from a
in favor of respondent unless appeal was seasonably made
sham, fictitious, contrived or false claim.
therein, which petitioners failed to do. Instead of filing a notice
(Rule 35, Sec 3 ROC) 2 requisites for summary judgment to be of appeal with the trial court, petitioners elevated the matter to
proper: (1) there must be no genuine issue as to any material the Court of Appeals via petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of
fact, except for the amount of damages; and (2) the party the Rules of Court, which is not a substitute for the lost remedy
presenting the motion for summary judgment must be entitled of appeal.
to a judgment as a matter of law. The record shows that at the
Petitioners maintain that the order granting partial summary
hearing on November 25, 1999, petitioners admitted liability
judgment was merely interlocutory in nature and did not
under the contract growing agreement in the amount of
dispose of the action in its entirety. - Petitioners position is
P482,766.88. As a result, respondent agreed to waive all his
untenable. In the case at bar, other than the admitted liability of
other claims in the complaint, including his claim for
petitioners to respondents under the contract growing
consequential damages. Correspondingly, insofar as the
agreement, all other reliefs sought under the complaint had
complaint was concerned, there was no other genuine issue left
already been expressly waived by respondent before the trial
for which the complaint for sum of money and damages may be
court. Accordingly, the assailed Order of the trial court which
prosecuted. Also by reason of such admission, petitioners, in
granted partial summary judgment in favor of respondent was
effect, likewise waived whatever defenses they may have to
in the nature of a final order which leaves nothing more for the
deter recovery by respondent under the said contract. Thus,
court to adjudicate in respect to the complaint.
respondent became entitled, as a matter of law, to the
execution of the partial summary judgment. When there are no A party cannot successfully invoke deprivation of due process if
genuine issues of fact to be tried, the Rules of Court allows a he was accorded the opportunity of a hearing, through either
party to obtain immediate relief by way of summary judgment. oral arguments or pleadings. Contrary to petitioners’ claims, the
In short, since the facts are not in dispute, the court is allowed record shows that petitioners were duly represented by counsel
when the motion for summary judgment as well as the
execution of the same were heard by the trial court. Petitioners Grand Farms v CA
counsel did not register any opposition to respondents’ oral
FACTS: Sometime on April 15, 1988, petitioners filed a case in
motion for summary judgment, saying that under the
the RTC for annulment and/or declaration of nullity of the
Rules of Court it should be furnished a written motion for extrajudicial foreclosure proceedings over their mortgaged
summary judgment at least 10 days before it is heard. We find, properties, with damages, against respondent clerk of court,
however, that the absence of the written notice did not divest deputy sheriff and PR Banco Filipino Savings and Mortgage Bank.
the trial court of authority to pass on the merits of the motion Soon after the PR bank had filed its answer to the complaint,
made in open court. The order of the court granting the motion petitioners filed a request for admission by PR bank of the
for summary judgment and its execution thereof despite allegation, inter alia , that no formal notice of intention to
absence of a notice of hearing, or proof of service thereof, is foreclose the real estate mortgage was sent by private
merely an irregularity in the proceedings. It cannot deprive the respondent to petitioners.
court of its authority to pass on the merits of the motion. The
PR bank, through its deputy liquidator, responded under oath to
remedy of the aggrieved party in such cases is either to have the
the request and countered that petitioners were notified of the
order set aside or the irregularity otherwise cured by the court,
auction sale by the posting of notices and the publication of
or to appeal from the final judgment, and not thru certiorari.
notice in the Metropolitan Newsweek, a newspaper of general
In fact, the counsel for petitioners actively participated in circulation in the province where the subject properties are
disposing of the reliefs prayed for in the complaint when he located and in the Philippines on February 13, 20 and 28, 1988.
sought the reduction in respondents claim to P482,766.88.
On the basis of the alleged implied admission by PR bank that no
Besides, we find from the records that petitioners expressly
formal notice of foreclosure was sent to petitioners, the latter
agreed to the summary judgment and to the execution of the
filed a motion for summary judgment contending that the
same after respondent posts a bond in an amount fixed by the
foreclosure was violative of the provisions of the mortgage
court. In short, petitioners were never deprived of their day in
contract, specifically paragraph (k) thereof which provides: k) All
court. Thus, they cannot now be allowed to claim that they were
correspondence relative to this Mortgage, including demand
denied due process. The Rules of Court should be liberally
letters, summons, subpoena or notifications of any judicial or
construed in order to promote their objective of securing a just,
extrajudical actions shall be sent to the Mortgagor at the
speedy and inexpensive disposition of every action and
address given above or at the address that may hereafter be
proceeding.
given in writing by the Mortgagor to the Mortgagee, and the
mere act of sending any correspondence by mail or by personal
delivery to the said address shall be valid and effective notice to permission of power to collect rents, to eject tenants, to lease
the Mortgagor for all legal purposes, and the fact that any or sell the mortgaged property, or any part thereof, at public or
communication is not actually received by the Mortgagor, or private sale without previous notice or advertisement of any
that it has been returned unclaimed to the Mortgagee, or that kind and execute the corresponding bills of sale, lease or other
no person was found at the address given, or that the address is agreement that may be deemed convenient, to make repairs or
fictitious, or cannot be located, shall not excuse or relieve the improvement to the mortgaged property and pay for the same
Mortgagor from the effects of such notice; The motion was and perform any other act which the Mortgagor may deem
opposed by PR bank which argued that petitioners' reliance on convenient . . . the trial court denied Motion for summary
said paragraph (k) of the mortgage contract fails to consider judgment, while the CA dismissed the petition, holding that no
paragraphs (b) and (d) of the same contract, which respectively personal notice was required to foreclose since private
provide as follows: b) . . . For the purpose of extra-judicial respondent was constituted by petitioners as their attorney-in-
foreclosure, the Mortgagor (plaintiff) hereby appoints the fact to sell the mortgaged property.
Mortgagee (BF) his attorney-in-fact to sell the property
ISSUE: WON denial of the Motion for Summary Judgment is
mortgaged, to sign all documents and perform any act requisite
proper.
and necessary to accomplish said purpose and to appoint its
substitutes as such attorney-in-fact, with the same powers as HELD: Yes. The Rules of Court authorize the rendition of a
above-specified. The Mortgagor hereby expressly waives the summary judgment if the pleadings, depositions and admissions
term of thirty (30) days or any other term granted or which may on file, together with the affidavits, show that, except as to the
hereafter be granted him by law as the period which must elapse amount of damages, there is no issue as to any material fact and
before the Mortgagee shall be entitled to foreclose this that the moving party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of
mortgage, it being specifically understood and agreed that the law. Although an issue may be raised formally by the pleadings
said Mortgagee may foreclose this mortgage at any time after but there is no genuine issue of fact, and all the facts are within
the breach of any conditions hereof. . . . x x x xxx xx the judicial knowledge of the court, summary judgment may be
x d) Effective upon the breach of any conditions of the mortgage granted.
and in addition to the remedies herein stipulated, the
The real test of a motion for summary judgment is whether the
Mortgagee is hereby likewise appointed attorney-in-fact of the
pleadings, affidavits and exhibits in support of the motion are
Mortgagor with full powers and authority, with the use of force,
sufficient to overcome the opposing papers and to justify a
if necessary, to take actual possession of the mortgaged
finding as a matter of law that there is no defense to the action
property, without the necessity for any judicial order or any
or that the claim is clearly meritorious.
Applying said criteria to the case at bar, we find petitioners'
action in the court below for annulment and/or declaration of
nullity of the foreclosure proceedings and damages ripe for
summary judgment. Private respondent tacitly admitted in its
answer to petitioners' request for admission that it did not send
any formal notice of foreclosure to petitioners. There has been
no denial by private respondent that no personal notice of the
extrajudicial foreclosure was ever sent to petitioners prior
thereto. This omission, by itself, rendered the foreclosure
defective and irregular for being contrary to the express
provisions of the mortgage contract. There is thus no further
necessity to inquire into the other issues cited by the trial court,
for the foreclosure may be annulled solely on the basis of such
defect.
While private respondent was constituted as their attorney-in-
fact by petitioners, the inclusion of the aforequoted paragraph
(k) in the mortgage contract nonetheless rendered personal
notice to the latter indispensable. While publication of the
foreclosure proceedings in the newspaper of general circulation
was complied with, personal notice is still required, as in the
case at bar, when the same was mutually agreed upon by the
parties as additional condition of the mortgage contract. Failure
to comply with this additional stipulation would render illusory
Article 1306 of the New Civil Code of the Philippines.