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Civil Procedure Digests (Rule 30, Trial), Arbues 2018

G.R. No. L-17427 July 31, 1962 RODRIGO ACOSTA v PEOPLE relative; it is consistent with delays, and whether such a trial is afforded must be
determined in the light of the circumstances of each particular case as a matter of
Facts: judicial discretion.
On January 2, 1951, an information for malversation of public funds thru
reckless negligence was filed against petitioner Rodrigo Acosta, for having allegedly It is generally said that a speedy trial is one had as soon after indictment as the
made, as Provincial Treasurer of Bukidnon, "irregular and excessive purchases of prosecution can with reasonable diligence prepare for it, regard being had to the terms of
supplies, materials, equipment and printed forms from private dealers for the use of the court, a trial conducted according to fixed rules, regulations and proceedings of law, free
province. from vexations, capricious, and oppressive delays. One accused of crime is not entitled
to a trial immediately on his arrest or accusation, he must wait a regular term of the court
The prosecution filed a second amended information. The trial under this until an indictment is found and presented if the case is one wherein the trial is on
second amended information, in connection with which Acosta and Avila had entered a indictment, and until the prosecution has had reasonable time to prepare for the trial.
plea of not guilty, began on June 19, 1952 and ended on July 28, of the same year.
Under constitutional provision securing to accused "the right to a public trial",
Trial Judge, Hon. Jose P. Veluz, retired from the service without having or a "speedy trial", is has been held that the formal declaration of sentence is no part of
decided the case. His successor in office, Hon. Vicente Abad Santos, Judge, "found the the trial.
transcript of 482 pages prepared by stenographer Celestino Suarez" replete with
"omissions and also inaccuracies. Judge Abad Santos directed, therefore, said Moreover, the delay in the rendition of the decision of the court of first
stenographer "to re-transcribe his notes. Meanwhile, Judge Abad Santos had resigned instance was due to circumstances beyond the control of the judges who presided the
leaving the case undecided. He was succeeded in office by Hon. Abudio Arrieta, Judge, same. Upon the other hand, we cannot, in the exercise of our jurisdiction on appeal by
who, on October 27, 1958, rendered a decision convicting the defendants. certiorari, absolve the petitioner of the crime charged against him, for there are no
findings of fact in the decision of the Court of Appeals upon which this Court could base
Acosta appealed from this decision to the CA claiming that his constitutional a judgement of acquittal.
right to a speedy trial had been violated. CA held that since the irregularities in the
transcription makes it impossible to convict or acquit the petitioners and thus further We are not unaware of the possible disadvantages to which petitioner might be
proceedings should be taken. Upon motion of the opposing counsel, the case was placed in the event of a retrial, but we are not in a position now to determine the facts of
remanded to the RTC for a new trial. such disadvantages. In fact, the very petitioner has not particularized the evidence which
not be available to him at a retrial, aside from the circumstances that the prosecution
Acosta opposed the new trial for alleged violation on his Constitutional right may then be similarly handicapped. In any event, when the retrial takes place, petitioner
for speedy trial. may point out what evidence he can no longer present and why, and the Court should
then considered the effect thereof upon the question of guilt or innocence of petitioner
Issue: herein.
WON order for a new trial is proper.

Held: Yes.

True enough that judgment was pronounced after almost six years. But "the
constitutional right to a public and speedy trial does not extend to the act of
pronouncement of sentenced”. It has been said that "trial and judgment are two different
stages of a judicial proceeding. The period of the trial terminates when the judgment
begins". Therefore, and since the accused did not avail themselves of the writ of
mandamus to compel the trial judge or his successor to pronounce the corresponding
judgement, it may be said that they had waived their right to a speedy trial.

No general principle fixes the exact time within which a trial must be had to
satisfy the requirement of a speedy trial. The right to a speedy trial is necessarily

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Civil Procedure Digests (Rule 30, Trial), Arbues 2018

JESUS V. TIOMICO v CA G.R. No. 122539. March 4, 1999 When an accused is accorded a chance to present evidence on his behalf but
due to his repeated unjustifiable failure to appear at the trial without any justification,
Facts: the lower court orders the case submitted for decision on the basis of the evidence on
On 29th day of October, 1982, petitioner executed a Trust Receipt Agreement record, said judicial action is not tainted with grave abuse of discretion because in such a
for and in behalf of Paramount Calibrators Merchandising of which he is the sole case, the accused is deemed to have waived the right to adduce evidence on his behalf.
proprietor in favor of the Bank of the Philippine Islands in consideration of the receipt
by the said accused of 3 machineries. The accused agreed to sell the same and with the Furthermore, records show that in this case the defense counsel did not even
express obligation to remit to the complainant-bank the proceeds of the sale, and/or to bother to appear for the scheduled reception of evidence for his client on January 7,
turn over the same if not sold, on demand. However, the petitioner failed and refused to 1991, notwithstanding the fact that the trial court did not act upon, much less grant, the
account for and/or remit the proceeds of the sale thereof, to the damage and prejudice of Urgent Motion for Postponement which he filed on January 4, 1991. Lawyers should
the said complainant-bank. never presume that their motions for postponement would be granted.

A motion for continuance or postponement is not a matter of right. It is


After the People rested its case, petitioner begged leave to file a demurrer to addressed to the sound discretion of the Court. Action thereon will not be disturbed by
the evidence, theorizing that the evidence on record does not suffice to prove beyond appellate courts, in the absence of clear and manifest abuse of discretion resulting in a
reasonable doubt the accusation against him. But instead of granting the said motion of denial of substantial justice.
the defense, the trial court ordered a re-opening of the case, so as to enable the
prosecution to adduce more evidence. The defense objected but to no avail. The trial Motions for postponement are generally frowned upon by Courts if there is
court proceeded with the continuation of trial in the interest of justice. evidence of bad faith, malice or inexcusable negligence on the part of the movant. The
inadvertence of the defense counsel in failing to take note of the trial dates and in
On September 5, 1990, the lower court denied the demurrer to evidence. The belatedly informing the trial court of any conflict in his schedules of trial or court
Motion for Reconsideration of the defense met the same fate. It was denied. The case appearances, constitutes inexcusable negligence. It should be borne in mind that a client
was then set for continuation of trial on December 12, 1990. Reception of evidence for is bound by his counsels conduct, negligence and mistakes in handling the case.
the defense was set on January 7, 1991. But on January 4, 1991, three days before the
scheduled continuation of trial, the defense counsel filed an Urgent Motion for A lawyer as an officer of the court is part of the judicial machinery in the
Postponement for the given reason that he had to appear before Branch 12 of the administration of justice. As such, he has a responsibility to assist in the proper and
Metropolitan Trial Court of Manila on January 7, 1991. sound administration of justice. Like the court itself, he is an instrument to advance its
ends and the speedy, efficient, impartial, correct and inexpensive adjudication of cases.
On January 7, 1991, the lower court denied the Urgent Motion for A lawyer should not only help to attain these objectives. He should also avoid improper
Postponement and adjudged petitioner to have waived the right to introduce evidence on practices that impede, obstruct or prevent their realization, charged as he is with the
his behalf. On January 30, 1991, the trial court promulgated its decision finding primary task of assisting the court in the speedy and efficient administration of justice.
petitioner guilty of a violation of PD 115, and sentencing him accordingly. On appeal,
the Court of Appeals came out with a judgment of affirmance.

Petitioner thinks that the lower court should have at least granted him another
trial date so as to enable him to present his evidence, so that the denial of his Urgent
Motion for Postponement infringed his constitutional right to be heard by himself and by
counsel.

Issue:
WON a new trial may be granted.

Held: No.

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Civil Procedure Digests (Rule 30, Trial), Arbues 2018

Heirs of Pasag v Sps Lorenzo Parocha evidence made after a lapse of 3 months because to do so would condone an inexcusable
Gr No. 155483 April 27, 2007 laxity if not non-compliance with a court order which, in effect, would encourage
needless delays and derail the speedy administration of justice.
Facts:
The instant case arose from a Complaint for Declaration of Nullity of Despite several extensions of time to make their formal offer, petitioners
Documents and Titles, Recovery of Possession and Ownership, Reconveyance, Partition failed to comply with their commitment and allowed almost five months to lapse before
and Damages filed by petitioners against respondents. Petitioners alleged a share over finally submitting it. Petitioners failure to comply with the rule on admissibility of
properties owned by respondents, which formed part of the estate of petitioners deceased evidence is anathema to the efficient, effective, and expeditious dispensation of justice.
grandparents, Benito and Florentina Pasag. They averred that Benito and Florentina Under the Rule on guidelines to be observed by trial court judges and clerks of court in
Pasag died intestate, thus, leaving behind all their properties to their 8 children. the conduct of pre-trial and case of deposition and discovery measures, it is provided
However, Severino, the predecessor of respondents, claimed in an affidavit of self- that:
adjudication that he is the sole, legal, and compulsory heir of Benito and Florentina
Pasag. On the last hearing day allotted for each party, he is required to make his
formal offer of evidence after the presentation of his last witness and the
The trial of the case commenced on March 19, 1996. On March 9, 1999, opposing party is required to immediately interpose his objection thereto.
petitioners rested their case and were granted 10 days within which to submit their Thereafter the judge shall make the ruling on the offer of evidence in open
formal offer of documentary exhibits. However, petitioners failed to submit the said court. However, the judge has the discretion to allow the offer of evidence in
pleading within the required period. On April 19, 1999, petitioners asked the trial court writing in conformity with Section 35, Rule 132.
to give them until May 11, 1999 to submit their offer of evidence; and it subsequently
granted their motion. However, on May 11, 1999, they again failed to submit their offer On the other hand, Section 35 of Rule 132 of the Rules of Court provides that
of evidence and moved for another extension of 5 days. Unfortunately, petitioners still documentary and object evidence shall be offered after the presentation of a party’s
failed to submit their formal offer of evidence within the extended period. Consequently, testimonial evidence. It requires that such offer shall be done orally unless allowed by
in its June 17, 1999 Order, the trial court deemed waived petitioners right to make their the Court to be done in writing.
formal offer of evidence. On July 27, 1999, petitioners moved for the admission of their
offer of evidence. On September 1, 1999, however, the trial court issued an Order The pre-trial guidelines and Sec. 35 of Rule 132 jointly considered, it is made
denying petitioners formal offer of evidence for their consistent failure to submit it. On clear that the party who terminated the presentation of evidence must make an oral offer
October 28, 1999, respondents filed a Motion to Dismiss on Demurrer to Evidence. On of evidence on the very day the party presented the last witness. Otherwise, the court
February 24, 2000, in its Resolution, the trial court granted respondents demurrer to may consider the party’s documentary or object evidence waived. While Sec. 35 of Rule
evidence and ordered the dismissal of the Complaint. 132 says that the trial court may allow the offer to be done in writing, this can only be
tolerated in extreme cases where the object evidence or documents are large in
Issue: numbersay from 100 and above, and only where there is unusual difficulty in preparing
WON the there was valid waver of documentary evidence. the offer.

Held: Yes. The trial court is bound to consider only the testimonial evidence presented
and exclude the documents not offered. Documents which may have been identified and
The Rules of Court provides that the court shall consider no evidence which marked as exhibits during pre-trial or trial but which were not formally offered in
has not been formally offered. A formal offer is necessary because judges are mandated evidence cannot in any manner be treated as evidence. Neither can such unrecognized
to rest their findings of facts and their judgment only and strictly upon the evidence proof be assigned any evidentiary weight and value. It must be stressed that there is a
offered by the parties at the trial. Its function is to enable the trial judge to know the significant distinction between identification of documentary evidence and its formal
purpose or purposes for which the proponent is presenting the evidence. On the other offer. The former is done in the course of the pre-trial, and trial is accompanied by the
hand, this allows opposing parties to examine the evidence and object to its marking of the evidence as an exhibit; while the latter is done only when the party rests
admissibility. Moreover, it facilitates review as the appellate court will not be required its case. The mere fact that a particular document is identified and marked as an exhibit
to review documents not previously scrutinized by the trial court. does not mean that it has already been offered as part of the evidence. It must be
The formal offer of ones evidence is deemed waived after failing to submit it emphasized that any evidence which a party desires to submit for the consideration of
within a considerable period of time. It explained that the court cannot admit an offer of the court must formally be offered by the party; otherwise, it is excluded and rejected.

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Civil Procedure Digests (Rule 30, Trial), Arbues 2018

G.R. No. 152375 December 16, 2011 REPUBLIC v SANDIGANBAYAN resolution has attained finality and its effect cannot be undone by the simple expedient
of filing a motion, which though purporting to be a novel motion, is in reality a motion
Facts: for reconsideration of this court’s 1998 ruling.
On July 22, 1987, the petitioner Republic of the Philippines, through the
PCGG), filed a complaint against people collectively referred to as the respondents for Issue:
reconveyance, reversion, accounting, restitution, and damages before the WON the Sandiganbayan gravely abused its discretion in ultimately refusing
Sandiganbayan. The petitioner alleged, inter alia, that the respondents illegally to reopen the case for the purpose of introducing and admitting in evidence the Bane
manipulated the purchase of the major shareholdings of Cable and Wireless Limited in deposition.
Eastern Telecommunications Philippines, Inc. (ETPI), beneficially for respondents
Ferdinand E. Marcos and Imelda R. Marcos. Civil Case No. 0009 is the main case Held: Yes.
subject of the present petition and spawned numerous incidental cases. Although the Sandigan did not commit gradilej in erroneously ruling on the
finality of its 1998 resolution because there is absence of clear showing that its action
The testimony of Mr. Maurice V. Bane (former director and treasurer-in-trust was a capricious and whimsical exercise of judgment affecting its exercise of
of ETPI) was taken– at the petitioner’s instance and after serving notice of the jurisdiction, it committed gradilej on refusing to reopen the case.
deposition-taking on the respondents. In its Pre-Trial Brief dated August 30, 1996 of
Civil Case No. 0009, the petitioner filed a Motion to Admit (1st motion to, may 3 The basis for a motion to reopen a case to introduce further evidence is
motions dito) the Bane Deposition. On April 1, 1998, the Sandiganbayan denied the Section 5, Rule 30 of the Rules of Court, which reads:
Motion to Admit because Bane, according to the petitioner, is not available for cross-
examination in this Court by the respondents. Sec. 5. Order of trial. – Subject to the provisions of section 2 of Rule 31, and
unless the court for special reasons otherwise directs, the trial shall be limited
The petitioner did not in any way question the 1998 resolution, and instead to the issues stated in the pre-trial order and shall proceed as follows:
made its Formal Offer of Evidence on December 14, 1999. The Bane deposition was not
included as part of its offered exhibits. Rectifying the omission, the petitioner filed an (f) The parties may then respectively adduce rebutting evidence only, unless
Urgent Motion and/or Request for Judicial Notice34 (2nd motion) dated February 21, the court, for good reasons and in the furtherance of justice, permits them to
2000, with the alternative prayer that an order forthwith be issued re-opening the adduce evidence upon their original case.
plaintiff’s case and setting the same for trial any day in April 2000 for the sole purpose
of introducing additional evidence and limited only to the marking and offering of the Under this rule, a party who has the burden of proof must introduce, at the first
[Bane deposition] which already forms part of the records and used in Civil Case No. instance, all the evidence he relies upon and such evidence cannot be given piecemeal.
0130. On August 21, 2000, the Sandiganbayan denied the 2nd motion because judicial The obvious rationale of the requirement is to avoid injurious surprises to the other party
notice is found under Rule 129 which is titled "What Need Not Be Proved." Apparently, and the consequent delay in the administration of justice. A party’s declaration of the
this provision refers to the Court’s duty to consider admissions made by the parties in completion of the presentation of his evidence prevents him from introducing further
the pleadings, or in the course of the trial or other proceedings in resolving cases before evidence; but where the evidence is rebuttal in character, whose necessity, for instance,
it. The duty of the Court is mandatory and in those cases where it is discretionary, the arose from the shifting of the burden of evidence from one party to the other; or where
initiative is upon the Court. On the matter of the Bane deposition, its admission is done the evidence sought to be presented is in the nature of newly discovered evidence, the
through the ordinary formal offer of exhibits wherein the defendant is given ample party’s right to introduce further evidence must be recognized. Otherwise, the aggrieved
opportunity to raise objection on grounds provided by law. Definitely, it is not under party may avail of the remedy of certiorari.
Article 129 on judicial notice.
Largely, the exercise of the court’s discretion under the exception of Section
On November 16, 2001, the petitioner filed its 3rd Motion, seeking once more 5(f), Rule 30 of the Rules of Court depends on the attendant facts – i.e., on whether the
the admission of the Bane deposition. On February 7, 2002, Sandigan denied the 3rd evidence would qualify as a "good reason" and be in furtherance of "the interest of
motion because the resolution rendered on April 1, 1998 which already denied the justice." For a reviewing court to properly interfere with the lower court’s exercise of
introduction in evidence of Bane’s deposition (yung 1st motion) and which has become discretion, the petitioner must show that the lower court’s action was attended by grave
final in view of plaintiff’s failure to file any motion for reconsideration or appeal within abuse of discretion. Settled jurisprudence has defined this term as the capricious and
the 15-day reglementary period. Plaintiff has slept on its rights for almost two years. whimsical exercise of judgment, equivalent to lack of jurisdiction; or, the exercise of
Without plaintiff having moved for reconsideration within the reglementary period, the power in an arbitrary manner by reason of passion, prejudice, or personal hostility, so

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Civil Procedure Digests (Rule 30, Trial), Arbues 2018

patent or so gross as to amount to an evasion of a positive duty, to a virtual refusal to Agreement." On April 17, 1975, respondent judge issued an order resetting the hearing
perform the mandated duty, or to act at all in contemplation of the law. Grave abuse of or the motion for judgment on the basis of the compromise agreement and at the same
discretion goes beyond the bare and unsupported imputation of caprice, whimsicality or time making the observation motu proprio that "there are certain objectionable features
arbitrariness, and beyond allegations that merely constitute errors of judgment or mere concerning the compromise agreement, as submitted, such as matters pertaining to a
abuse of discretion. proposed compromise involving the criminal aspect of the case, 'Which is contrary to
law. On April 26, 1975, the parties filed a manifestation and motion in order to have the
So, generally, additional evidence is allowed when it is newly discovered, or phrase "and criminal charge hereinabove mentioned" and "and criminal charge" supra,
where it has been omitted through inadvertence or mistake, or where the purpose of the deleted and — praying that judgment be rendered on the basis of the Compromise
evidence is to correct evidence previously offered. The proper rule for the exercise of Agreement as thus modified.
this discretion is, that material testimony should not be excluded because offered by the
plaintiff after the defendant has rested, although not in rebuttal, unless it has been kept Respondent judge further advanced his own appraisal that the compromise
back by a trick, and for the purpose of deceiving the defendant and affecting his case agreement was "unfair" and "one-sided", and directed the parties once more to
injuriously. "reconsider and reform" the waiver because there is no such acknowledgment on the
part of the other defendants. On the other hand, defendants Yu Chiao Chin and Paulino
*Note: L. How admitted sole and exclusive liability for the misdeeds, and absolved the other
Although the word "rested" nowhere appears in the Rules of Court, ordinary defendants. Thereafter, PBCOM filed its written comments on July 24, 1975, reiterating
court procedure has inferred it from an overview of trial sequence under Section 5, Rule its stand on the validity of the compromise agreement.
30 (which capsulizes the order of presentation of a party’s evidence during trial), read in
relation to Rule 18 on Pre-Trial,64 both of the Rules of Court. Under Section 5, Rule 30, On July 25, 1975, respondent court handed down its "partial decision"
after a party has adduced his direct evidence in the course of discharging the burden of approving in toto (without modification and alteration) the compromise agreement as to
proof, he is considered to have rested his case, and is thereafter allowed to offer defendant Paulino L. How and finding therein "nothing contrary to law, morals and
rebutting evidence only. Whether a party has rested his case in some measure depends public policy. On September 30, 1975, respondent judge rendered a decision as to au the
on his manifestation in court on whether he has concluded his presentation of evidence. other defendants, repeating the observations he made in his earlier order dated July 3,
1975.

Issue:
WON the compromise agreement may omit the other defendants contrary to
the July 3, 1975 decision.

Held:Yes.
No law or authority was cited by respondent judge or respondents to justify or
support his erroneous assertion.

Be it remembered that these principal defendants as early- as the year 1970,


G.R. No. L-41795 August 29, 1980 PBCom v HON. JUAN F. ECHIVERRI long before the Complaint herein was filed, had admitted in writing and 'assumed full
responsibility for whatever consequences may arise and that we declare the bookkeepers
Facts: free from all responsibility. Far from being "one-sided" and "unfair", it thus appears that
On May 29, 1974, PBCOM filed a complaint for the recovery, jointly and in exchange of herein respondents' voluntary, herein respondents got a pretty good deal.
severally from therein defendants, of over P25 million allegedly embezzled from it over Petitioner in consideration thereof and probably realizing the futility of collecting any
a period of 16 years by its said employees defendants. amount from them, agreed to dismiss the case against them and discharge them from all
liability and required no assumption of monetary liability from them contenting itself
A compromise agreement between petitioner and the employees was signed with the much lesser amounts of P600,000.00 and P6,610,000.00 undertaken to be paid
providing that the bank will not prosecute the latter in exchange of the return of the it by the defendants Paulino How and Yu Chiao Chin alias Nelson Yu, respectively.
embezzled funds. On March 17, 1975, PBCOM on one hand, and the defendants on the This is the whole essence of a compromise as provided in Article 2028 of the Civil Code
other, jointly filed a "Motion for Judgment on the Basis of Attached Compromise whereby the parties, by making reciprocal concessions, whether of greater benefit or not

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Civil Procedure Digests (Rule 30, Trial), Arbues 2018

to one or the other party, avoid a litigation or put an end to one already commenced. The G.R. No. 202243, August 07, 2013 ROMULO L. NERI v SANDIGANBAYAN
parties therefore have every freedom to enter into a compromise agreement, as in any
other contract, the only exceptions being certain prohibited subjects of compromise such Facts:
as the civil status of persons as provided in Article 2035 of the Civil Code (none of In connection with what had been played up as the botched Philippine-ZTE3
which is applicable here) and the general restriction in Article 1306 of the Civil Code. National Broadband Network (NBN) Project, the Office of the Ombudsman (OMB), on
May 28, 2010, tiled with the Sandiganbayan 2 criminal Informations, the first against
Thus, the provisions in question which are neither prohibited by law nor Benjamin Abalos, for violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act and was
condemned by judicial decision nor contrary to morals and good customs cannot be said raffled to Sandigan 4th division. The second Information against Neri, also for violation
to contravene any public policy or to militate against the public good. of same law, in relation to Sec. 13, Article VII of the 1987 Constitution and was raffled
to Sandigan 5th division.
Pursuant to Article 2037 of the Civil Code, 'A compromise has upon the
parties the effect and authority of res judicata and this is true even if the compromise is By Resolution dated February 3, 2012, the 2 cases were consolidated by
not judicially approved." Article 2032 of the Civil Code provides only that "the court's Sandigan 5th division. Sandigan held that consolidation is proper inasmuch as the subject
approval is necessary in compromises entered into by guardians, parents, absentee's matter of the charges in both the Abalos and Neri cases revolved around the same ZTE-
representatives, and administrators or executors of decedents' estates," and in no other NBN Project. And following the movant’s line, the anti-graft court stated that
case. Procedurally, it is preferable that such approval be obtained, since the agreement consolidation would allow the government to save unnecessary expenses, avoid
has upon the parties the effect and authority of res judicata, and the judgment rendered multiplicity of suits, prevent delay, clear congested dockets, and simplify the work of
thereon has the authority of res judicata from the moment it is rendere and such the trial court without violating the parties’ rights. The consolidated case is to be handled
judgment is more than a mere contract binding the parties because having the sanction of by the Sandigan 4th division.
the court, and entered as its determination of the controversy, it has all the force and
effect of any other judgment, it being conclusive upon the parties and their privies" and Issue:
as provided by Article 2037, execution lies to exact compliance only with a judicial WON the consolidation is proper.
compromise. Article 2029 of the Civil Code provides further that "The court shall
endeavor to persuade the litigants in a civil case to agree upon some fair compromise," Held: No.
and Articles 2039 and 2031 thereof provide for the suspension of pending actions and
mitigation of damages to the losing party who has shown a sincere desire for a The assailed resolution of the Sandiganbayan 5th Division ordering the
Compromise, in line with the Code's policy of encouraging amicable settlements. consolidation of the Neri case with the Abalos case pending with the 4th Division, was
subject to the conformity of the said 4th Division. On October 19, 2012, the 4th
It is settled jurisprudence that neither the courts nor quasi-judicial bodies can Division, on the premise that consolidation is addressed to the sound discretion of both
impose upon the parties a judgment different from their compromise agreement (which the transferring and receiving courts, but more importantly the latter as the same
as a valid contract is the law between the parties themselves) or against the very terms transferred case would be an added workload, issued a Resolution refusing to accept the
and conditions of their agreement. Neri case.

The only case where the court may validly intervene is "ff the parties and their Kahit na pwede ng idismiss yung case kasi na solve na yung issue ng
counsel are to do it ... to assist them in attaining precision and accuracy of language that consolidation, nag decide pa rin ang SC na mag rule sa kaso “for the interest of justice”.
would more or less make it certain that any dispute as to the matters being settled would
not recur, much less give rise to a new controversy. Consolidation is a procedural device granted to the court as an aid in deciding
how cases in its docket are to be tried so that the business of the court may be dispatched
expeditiously while providing justice to the parties. Toward this end, consolidation and a
single trial of several cases in the court’s docket or consolidation of issues within those
cases are permitted by the rules.

Consolidation is used in three (3) different senses or concepts, thus:

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Civil Procedure Digests (Rule 30, Trial), Arbues 2018

(1) Where all except one of several actions are stayed until one is tried, in G.R. No. 201061 July 3, 2013
which case the judgment [in one] trial is conclusive as to the others. This is SALLY GO-BANGAYAN v BENJAMIN BANGAYAN, JR
not actually consolidation but is referred to as such. (quasi consolidation)
Facts:
(2) Where several actions are combined into one, lose their separate identity, On 15 March 2004, Benjamin Bangayan, Jr. filed a petition for declaration of
and become a single action in which a single judgment is rendered. This is a non-existent marriage and/or declaration of nullity of marriage against wife Azucena
illustrated by a situation where several actions are pending between the same Alegre. In 1979, Benjamin developed a romantic relationship with Sally Go-Bangayan.
parties stating claims which might have been set out originally in one On 7 March 1982, Sally and Benjamin signed a purported marriage contract. Sally,
complaint. (actual consolidation) knew Benjie was married and assured him that the contract would not be registered.

(3) Where several actions are ordered to be tried together but each retains its The relationship of Benjamin and Sally ended in 1994 when Sally left for
separate character and requires the entry of a separate judgment. This type of Canada. She then filed criminal actions for bigamy and falsification of public documents
consolidation does not merge the suits into a single action, or cause the parties against Benjamin, using their simulated marriage contract as evidence
to one action to be parties to the other. (consolidation for trial).
After Benjamin presented his evidence, Sally filed a demurrer to evidence
Consolidation for civil cases is found in Rule 31, while for criminal cases is which the trial court denied. Sally filed a motion for reconsideration which the trial court
found in Rule 119. Whether as a procedural tool to aid the court in dispatching its also denied. Sally filed a petition for certiorari before the CA and asked for the issuance
official business in criminal or civil cases, the rule allowing consolidatio in whatsoever of a temporary restraining order and/or injunction which the CA never issued. Sally then
sense it is taken, be it as a merger of several causes of actions/cases, in the sense of refused to present any evidence before the trial court citing the pendency of her petition
actual consolidation, or merely joint trial is designed, among other reasons, to avoid before the Court of Appeals. The trial court gave Sally 6 opportunities to present her
multiplicity of suits, guard against oppression and abuse, attain justice with the least evidence. Despite repeated warnings from the trial court, Sally still refused to present
expense and vexation to the litigants. her evidence, prompting the trial court to consider the case submitted for decision.

Jurisprudence has laid down the requisites for consolidation of trial. Joint trial Issue:
is permissible where the actions arise from the same act, event or transaction, involve WON Sally waved her right to present evidence.
the same or like issues, and depend largely or substantially on the same evidence,
provided that the court has jurisdiction over the cases to be consolidated and that a joint Held: Yes.
trial will not give one party an undue advantage or prejudice the substantial rights of any
of the parties. A grant of a motion for continuance or postponement is not a matter of right
but is addressed to the discretion of the trial court. In this case, there were six resettings
As for the Neri and Abalos cases, the inculpatory acts complained of, the of the case all made at Sally’s instance. Before the scheduled hearing of 28 November
particulars and specifications for each of the cases are dissimilar, even though they were 2008, the trial court warned Sally that in case she still failed to present her evidence, the
allegedly done in connection with the negotiations for and the implementation of the case would be submitted for decision. On the date of the scheduled hearing, despite the
NBN Project. Due to this variance, the prosecution witnesses listed in the pre-trial order presence of other available witnesses, Sally insisted on presenting Benjamin who was
in the Neri case are also different from the list of the people’s witnesses lined up to not even subpoenaed on that day. Sally’s counsel insisted that the trial court could not
testify in the Abalos case, albeit some names appear in both the pre-trial orders. A dictate on the priority of witnesses to be presented, disregarding the trial court’s prior
consolidation of the Neri case to that of Abalos would expose petitioner Neri to warning due to the numerous resettings of the case. Sally could not complain that she
testimonies which have no relation whatsoever in the case against him and the had been deprived of her right to present her evidence because all the postponements
lengthening of the legal dispute thereby delaying the resolution of his case. were at her instance and she was warned by the trial court that it would submit the case
for decision should she still fail to present her evidence on 28 November 2008.

Sally’s continued failure to present her evidence despite the opportunities


given by the trial court showed her lack of interest to proceed with the case. Further, it
was clear that Sally was delaying the case because she was waiting for the decision of
the CA on her petition questioning the trial court’s denial of her demurrer to evidence.