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RULE 18 "last pleading," the Court held that "under the rules of

pleading and practice, the answer ordinarily is the last


ALFONSO A. CHAN, petitioner, vs. THE HON. JUDGE pleading, but when the defendant's answer contains a
OTILLO G. ABAYA, as Presiding Judge of Branch 11, counterclaim, plaintiff's answer to it is the last pleading."
Court of First Instance of Surigao del Sur, and Following the rule, the "last pleading" in the case would be the
SOFRONIA AGAO respondents. answer of the plaintiff to the counterclaim of the defendant.
But, no answer to the counterclaim had been filed because of
the unresolved motion for a bill of particulars. Obviously, the
FACTS:
calling of a pre-trial conference was premature since there has
yet to be filed the "last pleading".
The petitioner, Alfonso A. Chan, filed a complaint against the
herein private respondent, Sofronia Agao, with the Court of
First Instance of Surigao del Sur, for indemnification, under FILOIL MARKETING CORPORATION (now Petrophil
Articles 20 and 21 of the Civil Code of the Philippines, in Corporation), plaintiff/appellee, vs. DY PAC & CO., INC.,
relation to Articles 2199, 2208 (par. 3), 2219 (par. 8) and 2229 defendant/appellant.
thereof, for the damages suffered by him and his willful as a
result of the family and malicious prosecution of the petitioner FACTS:
by the private respondent.
An action for collection of a sum of money with interest was
The private respondent filed her answer thereto, denying the commenced by plaintiff Filoil Marketing Corporation (now
material allegations in the complaint, and interposed a Petrophil Corporation) in the City Court of Manila against
counterclaim for damages, attorney's fees, and costs, as well as defendant Dy Pac & Co., Inc., alleging that, plaintiff had sold
the payment of back rentals on a building which the petitioner and delivered on credit petroleum products to defendant, who
failed to pay despite demands. became indebted to it in the total amount of P 2,123.69; that
notwithstanding repeated demands, defendant refused to pay.
Instead of filing a responsive pleading, the petitioner filed a
motion for a bill of particulars, asking for a more definite In its Answer with Counterclaim, defendant Dy Pac & Co.,
statement on the alleged lease contract. Inc., admitted the credit transactions alleged by plaintiff but
denied indebtedness, alleging lack of cause of action, payment
and prescription.
The respondent judge, however, did not take action on the
motion for a bill of particulars and set the pre-trial
conference of the case. Counsel for the petitioner asked At the hearing set, neither defendant nor his counsel appeared;
that the pre-trial conference be reset to another date until plaintiff was allowed to present its evidence ex parte, and
his motion for a bill of particulars shall have been accordingly, the City Court of Manila, rendered a decision on
resolved. But, the case was called for a pre-trial conference the same date ordering defendant to pay plaintiff the sum of
as scheduled. Noting the absence of the petitioner and his P2, 123.69 plus 6% interest thereon.
counsel, the attorney for the private respondent asked the court
that the petitioner be ordered to pay the private respondent her Upon denial of its motion for reconsideration, defendant
expenses in coming to court. The respondent judge granted the appealed to the Court of First Instance of Manila. The lower
motion and issued an order directing the petitioner and/or his court immediately set the case for pre-trial.
counsel to pay damages suffered by the private respondent and
her counsel in the amount of P200.00, the same to be paid not In a subsequent Order, the trial court dismissed
later than the next hearing of the case. The pretrial conference defendant's appeal for failure of the parties to submit the
was re-set. required stipulation of facts and ordered the immediate
return of the records to the City Court for execution.
ISSUE:
ISSUE:
Whether the calling of a pre-trial conference was
premature since the respondent judge had not yet resolved Whether the trial court erred in dismissing its appeal on the
the petitioner's motion for a bill of particulars. ground that the parties failed to submit a stipulation of facts.

RULING: RULING:

Yes. To begin with, the calling of a pre-trial conference was Yes. There is no law which compulsorily requires litigants
untimely. to stipulate at pre-trial on the facts and issues that may
possibly crop up in a particular case, upon pain of
As will be seen, the court is directed to hold the pre-trial of the dismissal of such case. The process of securing admissions
case after the last pleading has been filed. Construing the term whether of facts or evidence is essentially voluntary, since

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stipulations of facts, like contracts, bind the parties thereto authority to declare him as "non-suited", or more correctly, as
who are not allowed to controvert statements made therein. in default, for his failure to appear at the said pre-trial; (b)
The trial court may, of course, advise and indeed urge the assuming that there was a valid pre-trial, the trial court could
parties during the pre-trial conference to try to arrive at a not legally declare the petitioner as in default due to his failure
stipulation of facts principally for their own convenience to be present threat inasmuch as the private respondent itself
and to simplify subsequent proceedings by identifying made no valid appearance at said pre-trial because only its
those facts which are not really controverted and do not counsel appeared without any special authority to represent his
need to be proved. Courts, however, cannot compel the client at the said pre-trial; and (c) it was a grave abuse of
parties to enter into an agreement upon the facts. Where discretion on the part of the trial court to deny the petitioner's
the parties are unable to arrive at a stipulation of agreed urgent motion for postponement despite the merit of the
facts and do not reach an amicable settlement of their ground alleged therein, and the same thing is true with the
controversy, the court must close the pre-trial proceedings denial of his motion to set aside or lift the order declaring him
and go forward with the trial of the case. in default.

RULING:

ANDRES C. SARMIENTO, petitioner, vs. THE HON. No. The pre-trial was not prematurely scheduled on the
CELESTINO C. JUAN, PRESIDING JUDGE, BRANCH supposed ground that the last pleading had not been filed. The
X, COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE OF MANILA and requirement that the pre-trial shall be scheduled "after the last
BELFAST SURETY & INSURANCE CO., INC., pleading has been filed" is intended to fully appraise the court
respondents. and the parties of all the issues in the case before the pre-trial
is conducted. It must be remembered that the issues may only
FACTS: be ascertained from the allegations contained in the pleadings
filed by the parties. The last permissible pleading that a party
may file would be the reply to the answer to the last pleading
A Civil Case was filed by private respondent Belfast Surety &
of claim that had been filed in the case, which may either be
Insurance Co., Inc. against herein petitioner and his father
the complaint, a cross-claim, a counterclaim or a third party
Benjamin R. Sarmiento, Sr. for indemnification under an
complaint, etc. Any pleading asserting a claim must be
Indemnity Agreement executed by them in connection with a
bail bond. answered, and the failure to do so by the party against whom
the claim is asserted renders him liable to be declared in
default in respect of such claim. There are, however,
After the petitioner filed an answer with compulsory recognized exceptions to the rule, making the failure to answer
counterclaim, private respondent filed a motion to dismiss the a pleading of claim as a ground for a default declaration, such
case against defendant Benjamin R. Sarmiento, Sr., and to as the failure to answer a complaint in intervention, or a
schedule the case for pre-trial. This motion was granted by compulsory counterclaim so intimately related to the
Judge Juan and the pre-trial was set. complaint such that to answer to same would merely require a
repetition of the allegations contained in the complaint.
At the said pre-trial, nobody appeared except Atty. Federico T.
Castillo, Jr., counsel for the private respondent. However, the In the case presently considered, the nature of the
petitioner sent to the Court on the same date an urgent motion counterclaim in the petitioner's answer has not been made
for postponement stating therein that when he was preparing clear, except to categorize it as a compulsory counterclaim.
to go to the Court, he felt severe stomach pain followed by Such being the case, it is likely to be one where the answering
loose bowel movements, and he accordingly prayed that the thereof is not necessary, and the failure to do so would not be
pre-trial be postponed to another date. a ground to be declared in default. In any event, the private
respondent's failure to answer the petitioner's counterclaim
The urgent motion for postponement filed by the petitioner after the period to file the answer had lapsed is no obstacle to
was denied in the order of Judge Juan. On motion of Atty. holding a pre-trial. The requirement that the last pleading must
Castillo, the petitioner was "declared non-suited" (should have have been filed before a pre-trial may be scheduled should
been "as in default") and the private respondent allowed to more appropriately be construed to mean not only if the last
present its evidence ex-parte. pleading had been actually filed, but also if the period for
filing the same had expired.
ISSUE:

Whether the pre-trial was premature inasmuch as, there


having been no answer filed by the private respondent to CITIBANK, N.A., petitioner, vs. HON. SEGUNDINO G.
the petitioner's counterclaim alleged in his answer, the CHUA, SANTIAGO M. KAPUNAN and LUIS L.
"last pleading" has not yet been filed so as to authorize a VICTOR, ASSOCIATE JUSTICES OF THE HON.
pre-trial to be conducted in accordance with the Rules of COURT OF APPEALS, THIRD DIVISION, MANILA,
Court; there being no valid pre-trial, the trial court had no HON. LEONARDO B. CANARES, Judge of Regional,
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Trial Court of Cebu, Branch 10, and SPOUSES manager's check to his various current accounts in other
CRESENCIO AND ZENAIDA VELEZ, respondents. commercial banks to cover his previously deposited unfunded
personal checks with petitioner bank. Naturally, petitioner
bank and its officers never discovered that his personal check
deposits were unfunded. On the contrary, it gave the petitioner
bank the false impression that private respondent's
FACTS:
construction business was doing very well and that he was one
big client who could be trusted. This deceptive and criminal
Petitioner is a foreign commercial banking corporation duly scheme he did every banking day without fail from September
licensed to do business in the Philippines. Private respondents, 4, 1985 up to March 11, 1986. The amounts that he was
spouses Cresencio and Zenaida Velez, were good clients of depositing and withdrawing during this period (September 4,
petitioner bank's branch in Cebu until March 14, 1986 when 1985 to March 11, 1986) progressively became bigger. It
they filed a complaint for specific performance and damages started at P46, 000.00 on September 4, 1985 and on March 11,
against it in a Civil Case before the Regional Trial Court of 1986 the amount of deposit and withdrawal already reached
Cebu, Branch 10. over P3, 000,000.00. At this point in time (March 11, 1986),
the private respondent Cresencio Velez presumably already
Private respondents alleged in their complaint that the feeling that sooner or later he would be caught and that he
petitioner bank extended to them credit lines sufficiently already wanted to cash in on his evil scheme, decided to run
secured with real estate and chattel mortgages on equipment. away with petitioner's money. On March 11, 1986, he
They claim that petitioner offered them special additional deposited various unfunded personal checks totaling
accommodation of Five Million Pesos (P5, 000,000.00). P3,095,000.00 and requested a bank officer that the same be
credited as cash and after securing the approval of said bank
This arrangement started on September 4, 1985 until March officer, deposited his various personal checks in the amount of
11, 1986, when private respondents tried to exchange with P3,095,000.00 with his current account and at the same time
petitioner bank six checks amounting to P3, 095,000.00 but withdrew the sum of P3,244,000.00 in the form of petitioner's
petitioner bank allegedly refused to continue with the manager's check. Instead of using the proceeds of his
arrangement even after repeated demands. Instead, petitioner withdrawals to cover his unfunded personal checks, he ran
bank suggested to private respondents that the total amount away with petitioner bank's money. Thus, private respondent
covered by the "arrangement be restructured to thirty (30) Cresencio Velez's personal checks deposited with petitioner
months with prevailing interest rate on the diminishing bank on March 11, 1986 in the total aggregate amount of P3,
balance". Private respondents agreed to such a proposal. Then 095,000.00 bounced. The checks bounced after said personal
as a sign of good faith, they issued and delivered a check for checks were made the substantial basis of his withdrawing the
P75, 000.00 in favor of petitioner bank which was refused by sum of P3, 244,000.00 from his current account with
the latter demanding instead full payment of the entire petitioner bank."
amount.
Subsequently, petitioner bank filed a criminal complaint
For the failure of petitioner bank to comply with this against private respondents for violation of Batas Pambansa
restructuring agreement private respondents sued for specific Blg. 22 (Bouncing Checks Law) and estafa (six counts) under
performance and damages. Article 315 par. 2(d) of the Revised Penal Code. The
investigating fiscal recommended the filing of information
Petitioner bank has a different version of the business against private respondents for violations of the mentioned
relationship that existed between it and private respondents. laws.
Thus, starting sometime on September 4 of 1985, he (private
respondent Crescencio Velez) deposited his unfunded personal Petitioner bank submitted its answer to the complaint filed
checks with his current account with the petitioner. But prior by private respondents. In the Order, the case was set for
to depositing said checks, he would present his personal pre-trial and petitioner bank was directed to submit its
checks to a bank officer asking the latter to have his personal pre-trial brief at least 3 days before the pre-trial
checks immediately credited as if it were a cash deposit and at conference.
the same time assuring the bank officer that his personal
checks were fully funded. Having already gained the trust and On the date of the pre-trial conference, counsel for petitioner
confidence of the officers of the bank because of his past bank appeared, presenting a special power of attorney
transactions, the bank's officer would always accommodate his executed by Citibank officer Florencia Tarriela in favor of
request. After his requests are granted which is done by way petitioner bank's counsel, the J.P. Garcia & Associates, to
of the bank officer affixing his signature on the personal represent and bind petitioner bank at the pre-trial conference
checks, private respondent Cresencio Velez would then of the case at bar.
deposit his priorly approved personal checks to his current
account and at the same time withdraw sums of money from In spite of this special power of attorney, counsel for
said current account by way of petitioner bank's manager's private respondents orally moved to declare petitioner
check. Private respondent would then deposit petitioner bank's bank as in default on the ground that the special power of
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attorney was not executed by the Board of Directors of 2. The "By-Laws" of petitioner which on its face authorizes
Citibank. Petitioner bank was then required to file a (sic) the appointment of an attorney-in-fact to represent it in
written opposition to this oral motion to declare it as in any litigation, has not been approved by the Securities and
default. In said opposition petitioner bank attached Exchange Commission, as required by Section 46 of the
another special power of attorney made by William W. Corporation Code of the Philippines. Apparently, the "By-
Ferguson, Vice President and highest ranking officer of Laws" in question was (sic) approved under the laws of the
Citibank, Philippines, constituting and appointing the J.P. United States, but there is no showing that the same was given
Garcia & Associates to represent and bind the BANK at the required imprimatur by the Securities and Exchange
the pre-trial conference and/or trial of the case of Commission. Since petitioner is a foreign corporation doing
"Cresencio Velez, et al. vs. Citibank, N.A." In an Order, business in the Philippines, it is bound by all laws, rules and
respondent judge denied private respondents' oral motion to regulations applicable to domestic corporations (Sec. 129,
declare petitioner bank as in default and set the continuation of Corporation Code).
the pre-trial conference.
3. No special power of attorney was presented authorizing
On the scheduled pre-trial conference, private respondents petitioner's counsel of record, Atty. Julius Neri and/or J.P.
reiterated, by way of asking for reconsideration, their oral Garcia Associates, to appear for and in behalf of petitioner
motion to declare petitioner bank as in default for its failure to during the pre-trial.
appear through an authorized agent and that the documents
presented are not in accordance with the requirements of the 4. What petitioner exhibited to the court a quo was a general
law. Petitioner bank again filed on its opposition thereto. power of attorney given to one William W. Ferguson who in
turn executed a power of attorney in favor of five (5) Citibank
Respondent judge issued an order declaring petitioner bank as employees to act as attorney-in-fact in Civil Case. Yet, during
in default. This order, received by petitioner bank, cited the the pre-trial not one of said employees appeared, except
following as reason for the declaration of default: counsel who is not even a bank employee.

"Defendant-bank, although a foreign corporation, is Furthermore, even assuming the validity of the power of
bound by Philippine laws when doing and conducting attorney issued by petitioner in favor of Ferguson as well as
business in the Philippines (Sec. 129, B.P. Blg. 68), and its the power of attorney he issued to five (5) Citibank
corporate powers could only be exercised by its Board of employees, said power of attorney has not been shown to be a
Directors (Sec. 23, B.P. Blg. 68). The exercise by the Board Special Power of Attorney precisely intended not only to
of Directors of such power could only be valid if it bears represent the bank at the pre-trial of the case on a certain date
the approval of the majority of the Board (Sec. 25, par. 2, but also to enter into any compromise as required in Article
Corporation Code). The records does not show the 1878 of the Civil Code and Rules of Court.
requisite document. The alleged authority (Special Power
of Attorney, Annex "A") executed by Mr. William W. Petitioner bank contends that no board resolution was
Ferguson in favor of the alleged Citibank employees, necessary for its legal counsel, Atty. Julius Z. Neri, or
assuming the same to be a delegable authority, to Citibank employees to act as its attorney-in-fact in the case at
represent the defendant in the pre-trial conference, made bar because petitioner bank's by-laws grant to its Executing
no mention of J.P. Garcia & Associates as one of the Officer and Secretary Pro-Tem the power to delegate to a
employees of the defendant. Citibank officer, in this case William W. Ferguson, the
authority to represent and defend the bank and its interests.
It stands to reason therefore, that the defendant-bank has
no proper representation during the pre-trial conference Furthermore, it contends that the Court of Appeals erred in
for purposes of the Rules of Court." holding that the by-laws of petitioner bank cannot be given
effect because it did not have the imprimatur of the Securities
Petitioner bank then filed a petition for certiorari, prohibition and Exchange Commission (SEC) as required by Section 46 of
and mandamus with preliminary injunction and/or temporary the Corporation Code of the Philippines.
restraining order with the Court of Appeals. The Court of
Appeals dismissed the petition on the following grounds: Private respondents refute both contentions. They assail the
authority of petitioner bank's legal counsel to appear at the
1. Petitioner admitted that it did not and could not present a pre-trial conference on two grounds, namely: first, that the
Board resolution from the bank's Board of Directors authority did not come from the Board of Directors which has
appointing its counsel, Atty. Julius Z. Neri, as its attorney-in- the exclusive right to exercise corporate powers; and second,
fact to represent and bind it during the pre-trial conference of that the authority granted to the Executing Officer in the by-
this case. This admission is contained on pages 12 and 13 of laws was ineffective because the same were not submitted to,
the instant petition. nor approved by, the SEC.

ISSUE:

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There are thus two issues in this case. First, whether a Ferguson, a resident of the Philippines, as its Attorney-in-Fact
resolution of the board of directors of a corporation is empowering the latter, among other things, to represent
always necessary for granting authority to an agent to petitioner bank in court cases. In turn, William W. Ferguson
represent the corporation in court cases. And second, executed a power of attorney in favor of J.P. Garcia &
whether the by-laws of the petitioner foreign corporation Associates (petitioner bank's counsel) to represent petitioner
which has previously been granted a license to do business in bank in the pre-trial conference before the lower court. This
the Philippines, are effective in this jurisdiction. If the by-laws act of delegation is explicity authorized by paragraph XXI of
are valid and a board resolution is not necessary as petitioner his own appointment, which we have previously cited.
bank claims, then the declaration of default would have no
basis. It is also error for the Court of Appeals to insist that the
special power of attorney, presented by petitioner bank
RULING: authorizing its counsel, Atty. Julius Neri and/or J.P. Garcia &
Associates, to appear for and in behalf of petitioner bank
No. It is clear that corporate powers may be directly conferred during the pre-trial, is not valid.
upon corporate officers or agents by statute, the articles of
incorporation, the by-laws or by resolution or other act of the Finding that the authority of William W. Ferguson to delegate
board of directors. In addition, an officer who is not a director his authority to act for and in behalf of the bank in any civil
may also appoint other agents when so authorized by the by- suit is limited to individuals who are employees of the bank
laws or by the board of directors. Such are referred to as the petitioner again on May 23, 1990 presented another special
express powers. There are also powers incidental to express power of attorney dated May 16, 1990 wherein William W.
powers conferred. It is a fundamental principle in the law of Ferguson appointed as attorney-in-fact the following
agency that every delegation of authority, whether general or employees of petitioner, namely: Roberto Reyes, Nemesio
special, carries with it, unless the contrary be expressed, Solomon, Aimee Yu and Tomas Yap. The said special power
implied authority to do all of those acts, naturally and of attorney was filed and presented by the petitioner through
ordinarily done in such cases, which are reasonably necessary its Manifestation filed in the Trial Court on May 23, 1990."
and proper to be done in order to carry into effect the main
authority conferred. Under the Rules of Court, an attorney has authority to bind his
client in any case by an agreement in relation thereto made in
Since the by-laws are a source of authority for corporate writing, and this authority would include taking appeals and
officers and agents of the corporation, a resolution of the all matters of ordinary judicial procedure. But he cannot,
Board of Directors of Citibank appointing an attorney in without special authority, compromise his client's litigation or
fact to represent and bind it during the pre-trial receive anything in discharge of a client's claim but the full
conference of the case at bar is not necessary because its amount in cash. The special powers of attorney separately
by-laws allow its officers, the Executing Officer and the executed by Florencia Tarriela and William W. Ferguson
Secretary Pro-Tem, ** to execute a power of attorney to a granted to J.P. Garcia & Associates are very explicit in their
designated bank officer, William W. Ferguson in this case, terms as to the counsel's authority in the case at bar.
clothing him with authority to direct and manage
corporate affairs. It is also error on the part of the Court of Appeals to state that
the power of attorney given to the four (4) Citibank employees
This brings us to the second query: whether petitioner bank's is not a special power of attorney as required in paragraph 3,
by-laws, which constitute the basis for Ferguson's special Article 1878 of the Civil Code and Section 1 (a), Rule 20 of
power of attorney in favor of petitioner bank's legal counsel the Rules of Court. In the case of Tropical Homes, Inc. vs.
are effective, considering that petitioner bank has been Villaluz, the special power of attorney executed by petitioner
previously granted a license to do business in the bank therein contained the following pertinent terms — "to
Philippines. appear for and in its behalf in the above-entitled case in all
circumstances where its appearance is required and to bind it
Yes. Since the SEC will grant a license only when the foreign in all said instances".
corporation has complied with all the requirements of law, it
follows that when it decides to issue such license, it is satisfied In fact, there was no need for the third power of attorney
that the applicant's by-laws, among the other documents, meet because we believe that the second power of attorney was
the legal requirements. This, in effect, is an approval of the sufficient under the by-law provision authorizing Fersugon to
foreign corporations by-laws. It may not have been made in delegate any of his functions to any one or more employees of
express terms, still it is clearly an approval. Therefore, the petitioner bank. A reasonable interpretation of this
petitioner bank's by-laws, though originating from a foreign provision would include an appointment of a legal counsel to
jurisdiction, are valid and effective in the Philippines. represent the bank in court, for, under the circumstances, such
legal counsel can be considered, and in fact was considered by
In pursuance of the authority granted to him by petitioner the petitioner bank, an employee for a special purpose.
bank's by-laws, its Executing Officer appointed William W. Furthermore, Fersugon, who heads the Philippine office
thousands of miles away from its main office in the United
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States, must be understood to have sufficient powers to act share not having been brought within the jurisdiction of the
promptly in order to protect the interests of his principal. court.

Considering further that petitioner bank has a meritorious ISSUE:


defense and that the amount in contest is substantial, the
litigants should be allowed to settle their claims on the arena Whether or not the trial court may order the inclusion of Mary
of the court based on a trial on the merits rather than on mere L. Martin as co-heir entitled to participate in the partition of
technicalities. the property considering that she was neither a party plaintiff
nor a party defendant in Civil Case for partition and
accounting of the aforesaid property and that the decision
rendered in said case has long become final and executory.
RULE 19
RULING:
LUISA LYON NUÑAL, herein represented by ALBERT
NUÑAL, and ANITA NUÑAL HORMIGOS, petitioners, 1. REMEDIAL LAW; CIVIL PROCEDURE; JUDGMENT;
vs. THE COURT OF APPEALS and EMMA LYON DE ONCE IT BECOMES FINAL, MAY NO LONGER BE
LEON in her behalf and as guardian ad litem of the MODIFIED IN ANY RESPECT; EXCEPTIONS. — In the
minors HELEN SABARRE and KENNY SABARRE, case of Manning International Corporation v. NLRC, (195
EDUARDO GUZMAN, MERCEDEZ LYON TAUPAN, SCRA 155, 161 [1991]) We held that ". . ., nothing is more
WILFREDO GUZMAN, MALLY LYON settled in the law than that when a final judgment becomes
ENCARNACION and DORA LYON DELAS PEÑAS, executory, it thereby becomes immutable and unalterable. The
respondents. judgment may no longer be modified in any respect, even if
the modification is meant to correct what is perceived to be an
FACTS: erroneous conclusion of fact or law, and regardless of whether
the modification is attempted to be made by the Court
rendering it or by the highest Court of land. The only
This case originated from a suit filed by Emma Lyon de Leon
recognized exceptions are the correction of clerical errors or
in her behalf and as guardian ad litem of the minors Helen
Sabarre and Kenny Sabarre, Eduardo Guzman, Mercedes the making of so-called nunc pro tunc entries which cause no
prejudice to any party, and, of course, where the judgment is
Lyon Taupan, Wilfredo Guzman, Mally Lyon Encarnacion
void." Furthermore, "(a)ny amendment or alteration which
and Dona Lyon de las Peñas, (herein private respondents)
substantially affects a final and executory judgment is null and
against Luisa Lyon Nuñal, now deceased and herein
void for lack of jurisdiction, including the entire proceedings
represented by her heirs, Albert Nuñal and Anita Nuñal
Hormigos (herein petitioners), for partition and accounting held for that purpose."
of a parcel of land located in Isabela, Basilan City. Subject
parcel of land was formerly owned by Frank C. Lyon and May 2. REMEDY OF AGGRIEVED PARTY. — In the case at bar,
Ekstrom Lyon, deceased parents of Helen, Dona, Luisa, Mary, the decision of the trial court in Civil Case No. 872 has
Frank and William James. Private respondents claimed that become final and executory. Thus, upon its finality, the trial
said parcel of land, in the name of Frank C. Lyon, has been in judge lost his jurisdiction over the case. Consequently, any
possession of petitioner Luisa Lyon Nuñal and that she made modification that he would make, as in this case, the inclusion
no accounting of the income derived therefrom, despite of Mary Lyon Martin would be in excess of his authority. The
demands made by private respondents for the partition and remedy of Mary Lyon Martin is to file an independent suit
delivery of their shares. against the parties in Civil Case No. 872 and all other heirs for
her share in the subject property, in order that all the parties in
The Court of First Instance (now Regional Trial court) interest can prove their respective claims.
rendered its judgment in favor of private respondents and
ordered the partition of the property but dismissing private
respondents' complaint for accounting. An order for the
issuance of the writ of execution was issued by the court. ROMEO J. ORDOÑEZ, Petitioner, vs. THE HON.
ALFREDO J. GUSTILO, in his capacity as presiding
Mary Lyon Martin, daughter of the late Frank C. Lyon and judge of Regional Trial Court of Cavite, Branch XVI,
Mary Ekstrom Lyon, assisted by her counsel filed a motion to Cavite City, Municipality of Rosario, Cavite, former
quash the order of execution with preliminary injunction. In Mayor Calixto D. Enriquez of Rosario, Cavite, and
her motion, she contends that not being a party to the above- Valeriano Espiritu of Mabolo, Bacoor, Cavite,
entitled case her rights, interests, ownership and participation Respondents.
over the land should not be affected by a judgment in the said FACTS:
case; that the order of execution is unenforceable insofar as
her share, right, ownership and participation is concerned, said

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Valeriano Espiritu, herein private respondent filed a complaint ISSUE:
for Specific Performance and Damages, against respondents
Whether or not the lower court erred in stopping/preventing
Municipality of Rosario, Cavite and Calixto Enriquez, the
the intervenors from further presenting their evidence in
latter in his capacity as Mayor of said municipality, to enforce
support of their Answer-in-Intervention.
their agreement contained in a Reclamation Contract. In his
complaint, Espiritu prayed that the Municipality of Rosario,
together with Enriquez, be ordered to convey to him 323,996
RULING:
square meters of the reclaimed portion of the foreshore land of
the town. Espiritu filed the action in his capacity as the No. Intervention is defined as a "proceeding in a suit or
assignee of the Salinas Development Corporation (SADECO), action by which a third person is permitted by the court to
the entity which reclaimed the area in question by virtue of a make himself a party, either joining plaintiff in claiming
Reclamation Contract entered into between it and the what is sought by the complaint, or uniting with defendant
Municipality of Rosario, represented by Enriquez as in resisting the claims of plaintiff, or demanding something
Municipal Mayor. adversely to both of them; the act or proceeding by which
In its answer, defendant municipality resisted plaintiff's claim a third person becomes a party in a suit pending between
stating that it was barred by the statute of limitation; the others; the admission, by leave of court, of a person not an
contract has been substantially amended, modified and original party to pending legal proceedings, by which such
supplemented; and plaintiff has not performed his reciprocal person becomes a party thereto for the protection of some
obligation. right or interest alleged by him to be affected by such
proceedings." (Metropolitan Bank & Trust Co. v. the
The barangay captain of Tejeros Convention, Rosario, Presiding Judge, RTC Manila, Branch 39, et al., G.R. No.
Cavite, herein petitioner Romeo J. Ordoñez, together with 89909, September 21, 1990)
seven (7) other municipal and barangay officials
intervened, and in their Answer-in-Intervention, they An intervention has been regarded as "merely collateral or
accessory or ancillary to the principal action and not an
alleged that no actual reclamation was done by the
independent proceeding; an interlocutory proceeding
plaintiff and the area being claimed by the plaintiff came
dependent on or subsidiary to, the case between the original
about by natural accretion; the reclamation contract
parties." The main action having ceased to exist, there is no
between the contractor and the municipality is either void,
pending proceeding whereon the intervention may be based.
voidable or disadvantageous to the defendant municipality.
There is no question that intervention is only collateral or
The issues having been joined the trial court set the case
ancillary to the main action. Hence, it was previously ruled
for the mandatory pre-trial conference. In said conference,
that the final dismissal of the principal action results in the
plaintiff Espiritu and defendant municipality, manifested
dismissal of said ancillary action."
to the court that having arrived at a satisfactory
settlement, they would submit a compromise agreement. A judgment approving a compromise agreement is final and
immediately executory. All pending issues will become moot
On the other hand, the intervenors asked the court that
and academic once a compromise submitted by the parties is
they be allowed to present their evidence to prove their
approved by the trial court.
defense asserted in their answer-in-intervention.
In the case at bar, the compromise agreement submitted by the
The principal litigants filed with respondent trial court
plaintiff and the defendants and the decision approving the
their promised compromise agreement. The parties agreed
that 208,664 square meters of the reclaimed area were to be same recognized the validity of the Reclamation Contract and
alloted to the plaintiff and 211,311 square meters thereof were the fact that the tract of land involved was the result of the
reclamation done by SADECO. In their answer-in-
to be given to defendant municipality.
intervention, petitioner alleges that there was no reclamation
The trial court approved the compromise agreement and undertaken by SADECO, that the land in question was the
rendered a decision in accordance therewith. The intervenors result of accretion from the sea and that the Reclamation
received their copy of the decision. The decision being already Contract is null and void. Clearly then, the compromise
final, it was duly executed to the satisfaction of the principal agreement and the decision had in effect resolved the
litigants. aforementioned issues raised by the intervenors. As aptly
observed by the trial court, the continuation of the reception of
The intervenors filed a motion to set aside the compromise
the intervenors' evidence would serve no purpose at all.
agreement. This was denied by the trial court and held that it is
Should intervenors fail to prove that the Reclamation Contract
settled that a judgment approving a compromise agreement is
is null and void and that no actual reclamation was made, the
final and immediately executory. Further trial in this case will
correctness and propriety of the decision based on the
be an exercise in futility, considering that the issues raised by
compromise agreement would be strengthened. Upon the other
the intervenors have become moot and academic in view of
hand, should they succeed in proving that the contract is null
the decision of the Court based on the Compromise
and void, and that the area in question came into being
Agreement submitted by the plaintiff and the defendants.
through the natural action of the sea, still the decision of the
lower court could no longer be set aside, inasmuch as it has
already become final and executed.
7
METROPOLITAN BANK AND TRUST COMPANY, Petitioner filed a petition for certiorari and mandamus
petitioner, vs. THE PRESIDING JUDGE, REGIONAL with respondent Court of Appeals contending that the
TRIAL COURT, Manila Branch 39, RAYCOR lower court committed a grave abuse of discretion
AIRCONTROL SYSTEM, INC. and COURT OF amounting to lack of jurisdiction in allowing the
APPEALS, respondent. intervention suit to survive despite the dismissal of the
main action and also in admitting the amended complaint
FACTS: in intervention.

Petitioner Metropolitan Bank and Trust Co. (Metropolitan) in ISSUE:


whose favor a deed of chattel mortgage was executed by Good
Earth Emporium, Inc. (GEE) over certain air conditioning Whether the Court of Appeals erred in allowing the
units installed in the GEE building, filed a complaint for intervention suit to survive despite the dismissal of the main
replevin against Uniwide Sales, Inc. (Uniwide, for brevity) action and also in admitting the amended complaint in
and the BPI Investment Corporation and several other banks intervention.
collectively called BPI-Consortium, for the recovery of the
possession of the air-conditioning units or in the event they RULING:
may not be recovered, for the defendants which acquired the
GEE building in an auction sale, (to) be required, jointly and No. There is no final dismissal of the main case. The
severally, to pay the plaintiff the unpaid obligations on the aforementioned order of the lower court has the effect not only
units.
of allowing the intervention suit to proceed but also of
vacating its previous order of dismissal. The reinstatement of
Plaintiff Metrobank alleged that the air-conditioning units the case in order to try and determine the claims and
were installed on a loan of P4,900,000.00 it extended to Good rights of the intervenor is proper. The joint motion of
Earth Emporium & Supermarket, Inc. in its building located at therein plaintiff and the original defendants to dismiss the
Rizal Avenue, Sta. Cruz, Manila, after the land and building case, without notice to and consent of the intervenor, has the
had been foreclosed and purchased at public auction by the effect of putting to rest only the respective claims of the said
defendants, except Uniwide, and in order to secure repayment original parties inter se but the same cannot in any way affect
of the loan, a deed of chattel mortgage was constituted over the claim of private respondent which was allowed by the
the personal properties listed in the deed which included the court to intervene without opposition from the original parties.
air-conditioning units.
Intervention is defined as "a proceeding in a suit or action by
The loan proceeds were used by GEE to finance the which a third person is permitted by the court to make himself
acquisition of air-conditioning equipment from Reycor Air a party, either joining plaintiff in claiming what is sought by
Control System, Inc. under an Agreement of Sale. the complaint, or uniting with defendant in resisting the claims
of plaintiff, or demanding something adversely to both of
Reycor Air Control Systems, Inc. filed a motion for leave them; the act or proceeding by which a third person becomes a
to intervene alleging it has a direct and immediate interest party in a suit pending between others; the admission, by leave
on the subject matter of the litigation such that it will of court, of a person not an original party to pending legal
either gain or lose by the direct legal operation and effect proceedings, by which such person becomes a party thereto
of the judgment' and attached the 'Intervention for the protection of some right of interest alleged by him to
Complaint'. be affected by such proceedings."

Plaintiff Metrobank and defendants BPI Consortium filed a Any person who has or claims an interest in the matter in
joint motion to dismiss the complaint; the lower court issued litigation, in the success of either of the parties to an action, or
the order dismissing the complaint with prejudice. against both, may intervene in such action, and when he has
become a party thereto it is error for the court to dismiss the
Private respondent filed a motion for reconsideration of the action, including the intervention suit on the basis of an
order dismissing the complaint with prejudice, claiming it was agreement between the original parties to the action. Any
not furnished with copy of the joint motion for dismissal. The settlement made by the plaintiff and the defendant is
respondent court issued the order granting the motion for necessarily ineffective unless the intervenor is a party to it.
reconsideration filed by the intervenor.
By the very definition of "intervention," the intervenor is a
Private respondent filed a motion to admit amended party to the action as the original parties and to make his right
complaint. To this motion, plaintiff Metrobank filed an effectual he must necessarily have the same power as the
opposition and after the intervenor had filed their Reply, the original parties, subject to the authority of the court reasonably
respondent court issued the order admitting the amended to control the proceedings in the case.
complaint in intervention.

8
Having been permitted to become a party in order to better concerned, the controversy therein has not been fully settled
protect his interests, an intervenor is entitled to have the issues and the disposition of the case is definitely incomplete.
raised between him and the original parties tried and
determined. He had submitted himself and his cause of action Moreover, to require private respondent to refile another case
to the jurisdiction of the court and was entitled to relief as for the settlement of its claim will result in unnecessary delay
though he were himself a party in the action. and expenses and will entail multiplicity of suits and,
therefore, defeat the very purpose of intervention which is to
After the intervenor has appeared in the action, the plaintiff hear and determine at the same time all conflicting claims
has no absolute right to put the intervenor out of court by the which may be made on the subject matter in litigation, and to
dismissal of the action. The parties to the original suit have no expedite litigation and settle in one action and by a single
power to waive or otherwise annul the substantial rights of the judgment the whole controversy among the persons involved.
intervenor. When an intervening petition has been filed, a
plaintiff may not dismiss the action in any respect to the
prejudice of the intervenor.
OLD RULE: PRE-TRIAL Rule 18, Section 1. When
It has even been held that the simple fact that the trial court conducted. - After the last pleading has been served and filed,
properly dismissed plaintiff s action does not require dismissal it shall be the duty of the plaintiff to promptly move ex parte
of the action of the intervenor. An intervenor has the right to that the case be set for pre-trial.
claim the benefit of the original suit and to prosecute it to
judgment. The right cannot be defeated by dismissal of the suit
by the plaintiff after the filing of the petition and notice NEW RULE: A.M. No. 03-1-09-SC, dated August 16, 2004
thereof to the other parties. A person who has an interest in the (Rule on Guidelines to be Observed by Trial Court Judges and
subject matter of the action has the right, on his own motion, Clerks of Court in the Conduct of Pre-Trial and Use of
to intervene and become a party to the suit, and even after the Deposition - Discovery Measures) provides that within 5 days
complaint has been dismissed, may proceed to have any actual from date of filing of reply, the plaintiff must promptly move
controversy established by the pleadings determined in such ex-parte that the case be set for pre-trial conference. If the
action. The trial court's dismissal of plaintiffs action does not plaintiff fails to file said motion within the given period, the
require dismissal of the action of the intervenor. Branch Clerk of Court shall issue a notice of pre-trial.

The intervenor in a pending case is entitled to be heard like PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, petitioner, vs. HON.
any other party. A claim in intervention that seeks affirmative GREGORIO D. MONTEJO, Judge of the Court of First
relief prevents a plaintiff from taking a voluntary dismissal of Instance of Zamboanga City, and FELIX WEE SIT,
the main action. Where a complaint in intervention was filed respondent.
before plaintiff's action had been expressly dismissed, the
intervenor's complaint was not subject to dismissal on the G.R. No. L-24154 October 31, 1967
ground that no action was pending, since dismissal of
plaintiffs action did not affect the rights of the intervenor or FACTS:
affect the dismissal of intervenor's complaint. An intervenor's
petition showing it to be entitled to affirmative relief will be A Criminal Case was filed in the Court of First Instance of
preserved and heard regardless of the disposition of the Zamboanga City against Felix Wee Sit for homicide and
principal action. serious physical injuries thru reckless imprudence.

There is no question that intervention is only collateral or It was stated that Ernesto Uaje, "a permanent resident of
ancillary to the main action. Hence, it was previously ruled Montalban, Rizal," then a patrolman in the Montalban Police
that the final dismissal of the principal action results in the Department, "is a material and important witness in the case"
dismissal of said ancillary action. The main action having his affidavit having served as the basis for filing the
ceased to exist, there is no pending proceeding whereon the information as he "happened to be an eye-witness during the
intervention may be based. In the case at bar, however, there traffic incident wherein a Private Jeep driven recklessly by the
was no such final or complete dismissal but rather an approval accused Felix Wee Sit.
of a compromise agreement which was embodied in what was
specifically designated as a 'Partial Decision' affecting only
During the trial, the witness had returned to Montalban, Rizal.
the interests of herein petitioner and the defendant in said case
Respondent Judge Montejo issued a subpoena to patrolman
but not those of her co-plaintiff municipality and the
Uaje addressed at his known address at Montalban, Rizal, for
intervenor. The clear intent of the court below in making the
him to appear at the trial.
partial decision is to make a reservation to determine the rights
of the intervenor and, presumably, the plaintiff municipality.
There may be nothing much left to be done with respect to the Such subpoena was received by Uaje. However, he did not
main case but as far as the proceedings in the trial court are appear at the trial. The City Fiscal formally moved for an
order of arrest" or in the alternative "to cite him for contempt

9
for willful failure to appear at the trial of the case as a material elicit was irrelevant. The witness was therefore excused from
witness. However, such motion was denied by the respondent producing the papers mentioned in the subpoena duces tecum.
Judge.
ISSUE:
Hence, a petition was filed before the Supreme Court. In his
Answer, respondent Judge relied on Section 9 of Rule 23 Whether or not the trial court erred in granting the defendant’s
contending that the witness was not bound by a subpoena motion to vacate the subpoena duces tecum.
since his residence was admittedly not less than 50 kilometers
from the place of trial, the failure to obey the same or to
RULING:
comply with it could not in any manner whatsoever constitute
contempt of court. According to him, "an examination of the
placement on Section 9 of Rule 23 discloses that it would No. The plaintiff’s contention is untenable that he was entitled
include both criminal and civil cases. It will be noted further to a bonus the amount of which should be determined by the
that the provision of Section 9, Rule 23 makes no court with a view to the usefulness and efficiency which he
distinction between a criminal or civil case. had exhibited in the course of his employment; and he insists
that the profits earned by the defendant during the time he was
employed as superintendent of the Nagtahan factory are
ISSUE: relevant in determining the amount to be thus awarded. The
court committed no error in refusing to compel the
Whether a Court of First Instance possesses authority in a production of the documents and records in question. The
criminal case "to compel by subpoena the attendance of the right to the bonus was wholly independent of the profits,
witness who, as in this case, resides hundreds of miles away and the amount of the profits could not properly be taken
from the place of trial." into consideration by the court at all.

RULING: In determining whether the production of the documents


described in a subpoena duces tecum should be enforced by
Yes. Although Section 9 of Rule 23 is interpreted to apply the court, it is proper to consider;
solely to civil cases; under the circumstances, in view of the
serious handicap to which the prosecution would thus be 1. Whether the subpoena calls for the production of specific
subjected in proving its case, it would follow then that documents, or rather for specific proof; and
respondent Judge should decide said motion without taking
into consideration Section 9 of Rule 23.
2. Whether that proof is prima facie sufficiently relevant to
justify enforcing its production.
H. C. LIEBENOW, plaintiff-appellant, vs. THE
PHILIPPINE VEGETABLE OIL COMPANY, defendant-
A general inquisitorial examination of all the books, papers,
appellee.
and documents of an adversary, conducted with a view to
ascertain whether something of value may not show up, will
G.R. No. L-13463 November 9, 1918 not be enforced.

FACTS: LOURDES CAMUS DE LOPEZ, on her behalf and as


guardian ad litem of the minors,
An action was instituted by the plaintiff, H. C. Liebenow, in SALVADOR C. LOPEZ, JR., and LUIS CARLOS
the Court of First Instance of Manila against the defendant, the LOPEZ, petitioners,
Philippine Vegetable Oil Company, a corporation engaged in vs.
the manufacture of coconut oil. The purpose of the proceeding HON. CIRILO G. MACEREN, Judge of the Court of First
is to recover a sum of money to which the plaintiff considers Instance of Davao,
himself entitled by way of a bonus in addition to the salary MARIA N. VDA. DE LOPEZ, ENRIQUE LOPEZ,
earned by him while in the employment of the defendant SALVADOR LOPEZ, JR., LEOPOLDO LOPEZ,
company as superintendent of its factory. During the trial, RODOLFO LOPEZ and the guardian ad litem for the
plaintiff moved for the issuance of a subpoena duces tecum. minor FLORDELIZ LOPEZ, respondents.
Said subpoena was directed to the managing director of the
Philippine Vegetable Oil Company and commanded him to G.R. No. L-7424 August 31, 1954
produce in court documents, records, and papers relative to the
company's business.
FACTS:

However, the attorney for the defendant moved to vacate this


Petitioner Lourdes Camus de Lopez, on her behalf and as
subpoena on the ground that the plaintiff was not entitled to guardian ad litem of her minor children, Salvador C. Lopez,
require the production of the documents called for. The trial Jr., and Luis Carlos Lopez, filed a civil case the purpose of
court ruled that the evidence which the plaintiff sought to
10
which is to secure delivery of some property of the deceased the name of Aleja Glodoveza, mother and grandmother of said
Salvador Lopez, Sr., as alleged share of the petitioner, who petitioners, against the respondent Primitiva Villareal, who
claims to be his widow in the Court of First Instance of Davao. died during the pendency of this action and was substituted
accordingly.
After the filing of the answer of said respondents, petitioner
through her counsel filed a "notice for the taking" of her Petitioners alleged in the complaint that they only allowed the
deposition and that of one Pilar Cristobal, at Azcarraga Street, respondent, being a cousin, to erect her house on a portion of
Manila. However, upon an urgent motion of the respondents, the land in dispute, which they inherited from Aleja
Judge Maceren issued an order prohibiting the taking of said Glodoveza, who in turn received it as her share from her
deposition. mother's estate. Said respondent, however, refused to vacate
the lot when demanded to do so repeatedly, claiming co-
ISSUE: ownership also by inheritance from their common ancestor,
the mother of Aleja Glodoveza. Thus, in the amended answer,
Whether or not the respondent Judge committed a grave abuse respondent interposed an special defenses that the land was
originally owned pro-indiviso and in common by the late
of discretion in prohibiting the taking of said deposition.
Leocadia Glodoveza, respondent's mother, the deceased Aleja
Glodoveza, petitioners' predecessor, and the late Ladislawa
RULING: Glodoveza, all children of Cornelio Glodoveza and Filomena
Padilla, after whose death their children above-mentioned
Yes. Petitioner was permitted to institute and maintain the orally partitioned said land, by virtue of which the portion
civil case as a pauper. As such, she cannot afford to meet the occupied by the respondent was given and received by her
expenses to make, with her witnesses, the trip or trips from from her predecessor, and the other portion by the petitioners
Manila to Davao, and to stay in said province for the time and other co-heirs over said realty.
necessary for the hearing of the case. Hence, the order in
question tended, in effect, to deprive her, not only of her right, In the meantime, she filed a protest to the Director of Lands
under the Rules of Court, to take the deposition in question, after she learned that the petitioners through fraud, deceit,
but also, of the opportunity to prove her claim and, misrepresentation, by illegal means and irregularly obtained
consequently, of the due process guaranteed by the their free patent.
Constitution. Upon the other hand, the records indicate that the
defendants — who are the widow of Salvador Lopez, Sr. and
Because of the pendency of the administrative case as
their legitimate children are well-off financially, for the estate
mentioned in the answer, the trial of the case was suspended
of the deceased Salvador Lopez, Sr., which has already been
indefinitely on petition of both parties. However, when the
partitioned among them, appears to be worth approximately
petitioners changed their counsel, the latter moved for the
half a million pesos. The main reason given in support of the
contested order is that, if the deposition were taken, the court setting of the case for trial after almost four years when the
could not observe the behaviour of the deponents. The complaint was filed, the motion was granted, but for failure of
the respondent to appear on the date set for hearing, petitioners
insufficiency of this circumstance to justify the interdiction of
were allowed to present their evidence ex-parte, after which
the taking of a deposition becomes apparent when we consider
decision was rendered in favor of the petitioners. Upon a
that, otherwise, no deposition could ever be taken, said
motion for reconsideration, the decision was set aside in order
objection or handicap being common to all depositions alike.
In other words, the order of respondent Judge cannot be to allow the respondent to present her evidence.
sustained without nullifying the right to take depositions, and,
therefore, without, in effect repealing the Rules of Court, Respondent offered as part of her evidence the deposition of
which, clearly, was not intended by the framers of the same Apolonia Glodoveza, but it was denied admission by the trial
rule. court on the ground that no proof was submitted to show that
the witness was so old and infirm as not to be able to come to
court to testify, as contended by the petitioners in their
SILVERIO VERAN, LUIS VERAN, CRISTINA VERAN,
opposition to the deposition-taking. After trial, judgment was
LEON VERAN, GREGORIO SALAMERA, and
rendered in favor of the petitioners declaring them owners pro
GENEROSA SALAMERA, petitioners,
indiviso of the land. On appeal, the Court of Appeals reversed
vs.
the decision of the trial court.
The HON. COURT OF APPEALS and PRIMITIVA
VILLAREAL, respondents.
ISSUE:
G.R. No. L-41154 January 29, 1988
Whether or not the Court of Appeals erred in finding the
rejection by the trial court of witness Apolonia Glodoveza’s
FACTS:
deposition as erroneous.
Petitioners brought this action to recover possession of a
parcel of land located in Atimonan, Quezon and registered in RULING:

11
No. Considering that the deposition was taken long after the REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES (PRESIDENTIAL
answer had been filed and served, there was therefore no need COMMISSION ON GOOD GOVERNMENT), petitioner,
to seek the approval of the trial court for the taking of the vs.
deposition, notice of such taking being sufficient. In the SANDIGANBAYAN, BIENVENIDO R. TANTOCO, JR.
instant case, it is not disputed that notice of the deposition- and DOMINADOR R. SANTIAGO, respondents.
taking was received by petitioners well before the intended
date and that although petitioners filed an opposition, this was G.R. No. 90478 November 21, 1991
not acted upon by the trial court before the taking of the
deposition.
FACTS:

Leave of court for taking depositions should, however, be


Private respondents Bienvenido R. Tantoco, Jr. and
distinguished from the approval of the court for the use of the
Dominador R. Santiago — together with Ferdinand E. Marcos,
deposition Under the Revised Rules of Court, which was Imelda R. Marcos, Bienvenido R. Tantoco, Sr., Gliceria R.
already in force and effect when the deposition was offered in Tantoco, and Maria Lourdes Tantoco-Pineda are defendants in
evidence:
a civil case commenced by the Presidential Commission on
Good Government (PCGG) in behalf of the Republic of the
(c) The deposition of a witness, whether or Philippines before the Sandiganbayan. The complaint which
not a party, may be used by any party for initiated the action was denominated one "for reconveyance,
any purpose if the court finds: reversion, accounting, restitution and damages," and was
avowedly filed pursuant to Executive Order No. 14 of
(3) That the witness is President Corazon C. Aquino.
unable to attend or testify
because of age, sickness, After having been served with summons, Tantoco, Jr. and
infirmity, or Santiago, instead of filing their answer, jointly filed a
imprisonment; "MOTION TO STRIKE OUT SOME PORTIONS OF THE
COMPLAINT AND FOR BILL OF PARTICULARS OF
Thus, with regard to the use of a deposition, there is occasion OTHER PORTIONS". The Sandiganbayan, in order to
for the court to exercise its discretion, the proper time being expedite proceedings and accommodate the defendants, gave
when the deposition is formally offered in evidence. In the the PCGG forty-five (45) days to expand its complaint to
instant case, the trial court did not admit the deposition when make more specific certain allegations.
it was formally offered, on the ground that petitioners were
denied their right to cross-examine the deponent. However, Tantoco and Santiago then presented a "motion for leave to
the Court of Appeals, in deciding to admit the deposition, file interrogatories under the Rules of Court", and
observed that to reject such a deposition on the ground "Interrogatories." Basically, they sought an answer to the
considered by the trial court smacks of a technicality which question: "Who were the Commissioners of the PCGG (aside
does not serve the ends of substantial justice. The counsel of from its Chairman, Hon. Ramon Diaz, who verified the
the petitioners was notified sufficiently in advance of the complaint) who approved or authorized the inclusion of
deposition-taking, and the opposition was not acted upon Messrs. Bienvenido R. Tantoco, Jr. and Dominador R.
favorably before the day set for the taking of the deposition. If Santiago as defendants in the case?" The PCGG responded by
he failed to appear on that day, as he could have done if he filing a motion to strike out said motion and interrogatories as
exerted diligent efforts, he did so at his own risk. being impertinent, "queer," "weird," or "procedurally bizarre
as the purpose thereof lacks merit as it is improper,
The findings of fact supporting this conclusion of the Court of impertinent and irrelevant under any
Appeals not being disputed, the court agree that, under the guise."
circumstance, petitioners' contention that they were denied
their right to cross-examine the deponent is unfounded. In compliance, the PCGG filed an Expanded Complaint. As
Further, as pointed out by respondent, before the deposition this expanded complaint, Tantoco and Santiago reiterated their
was formally offered, respondent had already testified as to motion for bill of particulars, through a Manifestation.
the age of deponent who indicated that Apolonia Glodoveza of
Atimonan, Quezon is very old, more or less, ninety years of Afterwards, the Sandiganbayan denied the motion to strike
age. Apparently, this was overlooked by the trial court when it
out, for bill of particulars, and for leave to file interrogatories,
denied admission of the deposition.
holding them to be without legal and factual basis. The
Sandiganbayan declared the complaint to be "sufficiently
With the admission of the deposition, a very significant fact definite and clear enough." It also opined that "service of
gets into the records which is that the assignment of the lot in interrogatories before joinder of issue and without leave of
question was to the three sisters, not to Aleja alone, and the court is premature absent any special or extraordinary
segregation or apportionment thereof among the said sisters circumstances which would justify the same."
was made by their eldest sister, Ruperta Glodoveza in 1905.

12
Tantoco and Santiago then filed an Answer with Compulsory contents of the document which "are clearly described in the
Counterclaim. In response, the PCGG presented a "Reply to Pre-Trial Brief. The documents are "privileged in character"
Answer with Motion to Dismiss Compulsory Counterclaim." since they are intended to be used against the PCGG and/or its
Commissioners in violation of Section 4, Executive Order No.
Tantoco and Santiago filed with the Sandiganbayan a pleading 1:
denominated "Interrogatories to Plaintiff" and an "Amended
Interrogatories to Plaintiff"' as well as a Motion for Production (a) No civil action shall lie against the
and Inspection of Documents. Commission or any member thereof for
anything done or omitted in the discharge of
The amended interrogatories chiefly sought factual details the task contemplated by this Order.
relative to specific averments of PCGG's amended complaint,
through such questions, for instance, as— (b) No member or staff of the Commission
shall be required to testify or produce
1. In connection with the allegations in evidence in any judicial, legislative, or
paragraph 1, what specific property or administrative proceeding concerning
properties does the plaintiff claim it has the matters within its official cognizance.
right to recover from defendants Tantoco,
Jr. and Santiago for being ill-gotten? It also filed an opposition to the Amended Interrogatories. The
opposition alleged the interrogatories "are not specific and do
2. In connection with the allegations in not name the person to whom they are propounded," or "who
paragraph 10 (a) what specific act or acts in the PCGG, in particular should answer the interrogatories.
were committed by defendants Tantoco, Jr. The interrogatories "are frivolous" since they inquire about
and Santiago in "concert with" defendant "matters of fact which defendants sought to extract through
Ferdinand Marcos and in furtherance or their aborted Motion for Bill of Particulars."
pursuit, of the alleged systematic plan of
said defendant Marcos to accumulate ill- After hearing, the Sandiganbayan promulgated denying
gotten wealth?" reconsideration of the Resolution allowing production of
documents and reiterating by implication the permission to
3. In connection with paragraph 13, what serve the amended interrogatories on the plaintiff (PCGG).
specific act or acts of the defendants
Tantoco, Jr. and Santiago were committed ISSUE:
by said defendants as part, or in
furtherance, of the alleged plan to conceal Whether or not the Sandiganbayan committed grave abuse of
assets of defendants Ferdinand and Imelda discretion amounting to excess of jurisdiction in allowing the
Marcos? amended interrogatories to the plaintiff PCGG and granting
the motion for production of documents.
4. In connection with paragraph 15(c) is it
plaintiff's position or theory of the case that RULING:
Tourist Duty Free Shops, Inc., including all
the assets of said corporation, are
Involved in the present proceedings are two of the modes of
beneficially owned by either or both
discovery provided in the Rules of Court:
defendants Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos
and that the defendants Tantoco, Jr. and
Santiago, as well as, the other stockholders 1. Interrogatories to parties.
of record of the same corporation are mere
"dummies" of said defendants Ferdinand 2. Production and inspection of documents and things.
and /or Imelda R. Marcos?
The various modes or instruments of discovery are meant to
The Sandiganbayan admitted the Amended Interrogatories and serve’
granted the motion for production and inspection of
documents. (1) As a device, along with the pre-trial hearing under Rule 20,
to narrow and clarify the basic issues between the parties; and
The PCGG filed a Motion for Reconsideration of the
Resolution allowing production and inspection of documents. (2) As a device for ascertaining the facts relative to those
It argued that since the documents subject thereof would be issues.
marked as exhibits during the pre-trial anyway, the order for
their production and inspection, are purposeless and The evident purpose is, to repeat, to enable parties, consistent
unnecessary. Movants already know of the existence and with recognized privileges, to obtain the fullest possible
13
knowledge of the issues and facts before trials and thus 7. Staying further proceedings.
prevent that said trials are carried on in the dark.
No. The petitioner's objections to the interrogatories served on
In line with this principle of according liberal treatment to the it in accordance with the Rules of Court cannot be sustained.
deposition-discovery mechanism, such modes of discovery as;
It should initially be pointed out — as regards the private
(a) Depositions (whether by oral examination or written respondents "Motion for Leave to File Interrogatories"— that
interrogatories) under Rule 24; it was correct for them to seek leave to serve interrogatories,
because discovery was being availed of before an answer had
(b) Interrogatories to parties under Rule 25; and been served. In such a situation, i.e., "after jurisdiction has
been obtained over any defendant or over property subject of
(c) Requests for admissions under Rule 26, may be availed of the action" but before answer, Section 1 of Rule 24 (treating of
without leave of court, and generally, without court depositions), in relation to Section 1 of Rule 25 (dealing with
interrogatories to parties) explicitly requires "leave of court."
intervention.
But there was no need for the private respondents to seek such
leave to serve their "Amended Interrogatories to Plaintiff"
The Rules of Court explicitly provide that leave of court is not after they had filed their answer to the PCGG's complaint, just
necessary to avail of said modes of discovery after an answer as there was no need for the Sandiganbayan to act thereon.
to the complaint has been served. It is only when an answer
has not yet been filed (but after jurisdiction has been obtained
1. The petitioner's first contention — that the interrogatories in
over the defendant or property subject of the action) that prior
question are defective because they (a) do not name the
leave of court is needed to avail of these modes of discovery,
particular individuals to whom they are propounded, being
the reason being that at that time the issues are not yet joined
and the disputed facts are not clear. addressed only to the PCGG, and (b) are "fundamentally the
same matters (private respondents) sought to be clarified
through their aborted Motion for Bill of Particulars" — are
On the other hand, leave of court is required as regards untenable.
discovery by;
The first part of petitioner's submission is adequately confuted
(a) Production or inspection of documents or things in by Section 1, Rule 25 which states that if the party served with
accordance with Rule 27; or interrogatories is a juridical entity such as "a public or private
corporation or a partnership or association," the same shall be
(b) Physical and mental examination of persons under Rule "answered by any officer thereof competent to testify in its
28, which may be granted upon due application and a showing behalf." There is absolutely no reason why this proposition
of due cause. should not be applied by analogy to the interrogatories served
on the PCGG. That the interrogatories are addressed only to
To ensure that availment of the modes of discovery is the PCGG, without naming any specific commissioner o
otherwise untrammeled and efficacious, the law imposes officer thereof, is utterly of no consequence, and may not be
serious sanctions on the party who refuses to make discovery, invoked as a reason to refuse to answer. As the rule states, the
such as; interrogatories shall be answered "by any officer thereof
competent to testify in its behalf."
1. Dismissing the action or proceeding or part thereof, or
rendering judgment by default against the disobedient party; That the matters on which discovery is desired are the same
matters subject of a prior motion for bill of particulars
2. Contempt of court, or arrest of the party or agent of the addressed to the PCGG's amended complaint — and denied
party; for lack of merit — is beside the point. Indeed, as already
pointed out above, a bill of particulars may elicit only ultimate
facts, not so-called evidentiary facts. The latter are without
3. Payment of the amount of reasonable expenses incurred in
doubt proper subject of discovery.
obtaining a court order to compel discovery;
Neither may it be validly argued that the amended
4. Taking the matters inquired into as established in
interrogatories lack specificity. The merest glance at them
accordance with the claim of the party seeking discovery;
disproves the argument. The interrogatories are made to relate
to individual paragraphs of the PCGG's expanded complaint
5. Refusal to allow the disobedient party support or oppose and inquire about details of the ultimate facts therein alleged.
designated claims or defenses; What the PCGG may properly do is to object to specific items
of the interrogatories, on the ground of lack of relevancy, or
6. Striking out pleadings or parts thereof; or privilege, or that the inquiries are being made in bad faith, or

14
simply to embarass or oppress it. But until such an objection is be bound by rule applicable to the parties it has sued, e.g., the
presented and sustained, the obligation to answer subsists. rules of discovery.

2. That the interrogatories deal with factual matters which will So, too, the PCGG's postulation that none of its members may
be part of the PCGG's proof upon trial, is not ground for be "required to testify or produce evidence in any judicial
suppressing them either. As already pointed out, it is the proceeding concerning matters within its official cognizance,"
precise purpose of discovery to ensure mutual knowledge of has no application to a judicial proceeding it has itself
all the relevant facts on the part of all parties even before trial, initiated. As just suggested, the act of bringing suit must entail
this being deemed essential to proper litigation. This is why a waiver of the exemption from giving evidence; by bringing
either party may compel the other to disgorge whatever facts suit it brings itself within the operation and scope of all the
he has in his possession; and the stage at which disclosure of rules governing civil actions, including the rights and duties
evidence is made is advanced from the time of trial to the under the rules of discovery. Otherwise, the absurd would
period preceding it. have to be conceded, that while the parties it has impleaded as
defendants may be required to "disgorge all the facts" within
3. Also unmeritorious is the objection that the interrogatories their knowledge and in their possession, it may not itself be
would make PCGG Commissioners and officers witnesses, in subject to a like compulsion.
contravention of Executive Order No. 14 and related
issuances. In the first place, there is nothing at all wrong in a The Court also finds itself unable to sustain the PCGG's other
party's making his adversary his witness. This is expressly principal contention, of the nullity of the Sandiganbayan's
allowed by Section 6, Rule 132 of the Rules of Court on the Order for the production and inspection of specified
direct examination of unwilling or hostile witnesses. documents and things allegedly in its possession.

The PCGG insinuates that the private respondents are engaged The Court gives short shrift to the argument that some
on a "fishing expedition," apart from the fact that the documents sought to be produced and inspected had already
information sought is immaterial since they are evidently been presented in Court and marked preliminarily as PCGG's
meant to establish a claim against PCGG officers who are not exhibits, the movants having in fact viewed, scrutinized and
parties to the action. It suffices to point out that "fishing even offered objections thereto and made comments thereon.
expeditions" are precisely permitted through the modes of Obviously, there is nothing secret or confidential about these
discovery. Moreover, a defendant who files a counterclaim documents. No serious objection can therefore be presented to
against the plaintiff is allowed by the Rules to implead persons the desire of the private respondents to have copies of those
(therefore strangers to the action) as additional defendants on documents in order to study them some more or otherwise use
said counterclaim. This may be done pursuant to Section 14, them during the trial for any purpose allowed by law.
Rule 6 of the Rules.
The PCGG says that some of the documents are non-existent.
The PCGG's assertion that it or its members are not amenable This it can allege in response to the corresponding question in
to any civil action "for anything done or omitted in the the interrogatories, and it will incur no sanction for doing so
discharge of the task contemplated by Executive Order No. 1 unless it is subsequently established that the denial is false.
is not a ground to refuse to answer the interrogatories. The
disclosure of fact relevant to the action and which are not self- The claim that use of the documents is proscribed by
incriminatory or otherwise privileged is one thing; the matter Executive Order No. 1 has already been dealt with. The PCGG
of whether or not liability may arise from the facts disclosed in is however at liberty to allege and prove that said documents
light of Executive Order No. 1, is another. No doubt, the latter fall within some other privilege, constitutional or statutory.
proposition may properly be set up by way of defense in the
action.
The Court finally finds that, contrary to the petitioner's theory,
there is good cause for the production and inspection of the
The apprehension has been expressed that the answers to the documents subject of the motion dated August 3, 1989. Some
interrogatories may be utilized as foundation for a of the documents are, according to the verification of the
counterclaim against the PCGG or its members and officers. amended complaint, the basis of several of the material
They will be. The private respondents have made no secret allegations of said complaint. Others, admittedly, are to be
that this is in fact their intention. Withal, the Court is unable to used in evidence by the plaintiff. It is matters such as these
uphold the proposition that while the PCGG obviously feels into which inquiry is precisely allowed by the rules of
itself at liberty to bring actions on the basis of its study and discovery, to the end that the parties may adequately prepare
appreciation of the evidence in its possession, the parties sued for pre-trial and trial. The only other documents sought to be
should not be free to file counterclaims in the same actions produced are needed in relation to the allegations of the
against the PCGG or its officers for gross neglect or counterclaim. Their relevance is indisputable; their disclosure
ignorance, if not downright bad faith or malice in the may not be opposed.
commencement or initiation of such judicial proceedings, or
that in the actions that it may bring, the PCGG may opt not to

15
G.R. No. L-29742 March 29, 1972 law. The court below is directed to enter judgment in favor of
plaintiff and against the defendant for the sum of P2, 800.00.
VICENTE YU, plaintiff-appellant, vs. EMILIO MAPAYO,
defendant-appellee. G.R. No. L-20089 December 26, 1964

FACTS: BEATRIZ P. WASSMER, plaintiff-appellee, vs.


FRANCISCO X. VELEZ, defendant-appellant.
Vicente Yu filed a suit against Emilio Mapayo to recover the
sum of P 2,800 representing the unpaid balance of the FACTS:
purchase price of a Gray Marine Engine sold by the plaintiff to
the defendant in the City Court of Davao. Francisco X. Velez and Beatriz P. Wassmer, following their
mutual promise of love, decided to get married and set
The answer admitted the transaction and the balance due but September 4, 1954 as the big day. On September 2, 1954
contended that by reason of hidden defects of the article sold, Velez left this note for his bride-to-be:
the defendant had been forced to spend P2, 800 for repairs and
labor, wherefore plaintiff had agreed to waive the balance due Dear Bet —
on the price of the engine, and counterclaimed for damages
and attorneys' fees.
Will have to postpone wedding — My
mother opposes it. Am leaving on the
The City Court, after trial, disallowed the defenses and Convair today.
ordered the defendant to pay plaintiff P2, 500.00 and costs.
Please do not ask too many people about the
Defendant Mapayo appealed to the Court of First Instance of reason why — That would only create a
Davao. When, after several continuances, the case was called scandal.
for hearing on 13 March 1968, the defendant, as well as his
counsel, failed to appear and the court scheduled the case for Paquing
hearing ex parte on the same day. The Court ordered plaintiff
to present his evidence. However, the attorney for the plaintiff
refuses to present evidence, either oral or documentary, when But the next day, September 3, he sent her the following
required by the Court. The case was dismissed for lack of telegram:
prosecution.
NOTHING CHANGED REST ASSURED
ISSUE: RETURNING VERY SOON APOLOGIZE
MAMA PAPA LOVE .
Whether or not the plaintiff’s counsel is correct when it
refused to comply the order of the trial court to present PAKING
evidence and demanded that he would introduce evidence
only in rebuttal. Thereafter Velez did not appear nor was he heard from again.

RULING: Beatriz filed an action for breach of promise to marry with


damages. Velez filed no answer and was declared in default.
Yes. Since the answer admitted defendant's obligation as Plaintiff adduced evidence before the clerk of court as
stated in the complaint, albeit special defenses were pleaded, commissioner, and on April 29, 1955, judgment was rendered
plaintiff had every right to insist that it was for defendant to ordering defendant to pay plaintiff P2, 000.00 as actual
come forward with evidence in support of his special defenses. damages; P25, 000.00 as moral and exemplary damages;
Section 2 of Revised Rule of Court 129 plainly supports P2,500.00 as attorney's fees; and the costs.
appellant:
On June 21, 1955 defendant filed a "petition for relief from
Sec. 2. Judicial admissions.— Admissions orders, judgment and proceedings and motion for new trial
made by the parties in the pleadings, or in and reconsideration." Plaintiff moved to strike it cut. But the
the course of the trial or other proceedings court, on August 2, 1955, ordered the parties and their
do not require proof and cannot be attorneys to appear before it on August 23, 1955 "to explore at
contradicted unless previously shown to this stage of the proceedings the possibility of arriving at an
have been made through palpable mistake. amicable settlement." It added that should any of them fail to
appear "the petition for relief and the opposition thereto will
be deemed submitted for resolution."
Defendant not having supported his special defenses, the
dismissal of the case was manifestly untenable and contrary to

16
On August 23, 1955 defendant failed to appear before court. Article 21 of said Code provides that "any person who wilfully
Instead, on the following day his counsel filed a motion to causes loss or injury to another in a manner that is contrary to
defer for two weeks the resolution on defendant’s petition for morals, good customs or public policy shall compensate the
relief. The counsel stated that he would confer with defendant latter for the damage."
in Cagayan de Oro City — the latter's residence — on the
possibility of an amicable settlement. The court granted two Surely this is not a case of mere breach of promise to marry.
weeks counted from August 25, 1955. As stated, mere breach of promise to marry is not an
actionable wrong. But to formally set a wedding and go
Plaintiff manifested on June 15, 1956 that the two weeks given through all the above-described preparation and publicity,
by the court had expired on September 8, 1955 but that only to walk out of it when the matrimony is about to be
defendant and his counsel had failed to appear. solemnized, is quite different. This is palpably and
unjustifiably contrary to good customs for which defendant
Another chance for amicable settlement was given by the must be held answerable in damages in accordance with
court in its order of July 6, 1956 calling the parties and their Article 21.
attorneys to appear on July 13, 1956. This time, however,
defendant's counsel informed the court that chances of settling G.R. No. L-40098 August 29, 1975
the case amicably were nil.
ANTONIO LIM TANHU, DY OCHAY, ALFONSO
On July 20, 1956 the court issued an order denying LEONARDO NG SUA and CO OYO, petitioners, vs.
defendant's aforesaid petition. Defendant has appealed to this HON. JOSE R. RAMOLETE as Presiding Judge, Branch
Court. In his petition of June 21, 1955 in the court a quo III, CFI, Cebu and TAN PUT, respondents.
defendant alleged excusable negligence as ground to set aside
the judgment by default. Specifically, it was stated that FACTS:
defendant filed no answer in the belief that an amicable
settlement was being negotiated.
A complaint for accounting of the real and personal properties
of the Glory Commercial Company located in the Philippines
A petition for relief from judgment on grounds of fraud, and in Hong Kong was filed on February 9, 1971 by
accident, mistake or excusable negligence, must be duly respondent Tan Put against the spouses-petitioners Antonio
supported by an affidavit of merits stating facts constituting a Lim Tanhu and Dy Ochay as well as Alfonso Leonardo Ng
valid defense. Defendant's affidavit of merits attached to his Sua and Co Oyo.
petition of June 21, 1955 stated: "That he has a good and valid
defense against plaintiff's cause of action, his failure to marry
Tan alleged that she "is the widow of Tee Hoon Lim Po
the plaintiff as scheduled having been due to fortuitous event Chuan, who was a partner in the commercial partnership,
and/or circumstances beyond his control." An affidavit of Glory Commercial Company with the petitioners, through
merits like this stating mere conclusions or opinions instead of
fraud and machination, took actual and active management of
facts is not valid.
the partnership and although her husband was the manager of
Glory Commercial Company, defendants managed to use the
ISSUE: funds of the partnership to purchase lands and building's in the
cities of Cebu, Lapu-Lapu, Mandaue, and the municipalities of
Whether or not the defendant’s consent need to be Talisay and Minglanilla.
obtained to the procedure of adducing evidence before the
clerk of court. On February 3, 1973, however, the date set for the pre-trial,
both of the two defendants-spouses, did not appear, for which
RULING: reason, upon motion of plaintiff, in an order, they were all
"declared in DEFAULT when they failed to appear at the pre-
No. Defendant, however, would contend that the affidavit trial."
of merits was in fact unnecessary, or a mere surplusage,
because the judgment sought to be set aside was null and The hearing of the plaintiff's evidence ex-parte was set before
void, it having been based on evidence adduced before the the Branch Clerk of Court who is deputized for the purpose.
clerk of court. In Province of Pangasinan vs. Palisoc, L-
16519, October 30, 1962, this Court pointed out that the But the scheduled ex-parte reception of evidence did not take
procedure of designating the clerk of court as commissioner to place on November 20, 1974, for on October 28, 1974, upon
receive evidence is sanctioned by Rule 34 (now Rule 33) of verbal motion of plaintiff, the court issued the following self-
the Rules of Court. Now as to defendant's consent to said explanatory order: .
procedure, the same did not have to be obtained for he was
declared in default and thus had no standing in court.
Acting favorably on the motion of the plaintiff dated October
18, 1974, the Court deputized the Branch Clerk of Court to
receive the evidence of the plaintiff ex-parte to be made on
17
November 20, 1974. However, on October 28, 1974, the PHILIPPINE NATIONAL BANK, plaintiff-appellee, vs.
plaintiff, together with her witnesses, appeared in court and PHILIPPINE LEATHER CO. INC., ET AL., defendants-
asked, thru counsel that she be allowed to present her appellants.
evidence.
FACTS:
Considering the time and expenses incurred by the plaintiff in
bringing her witnesses to the court, the Branch Clerk of Court Philippine National Bank filed a complaint in the Court of
is hereby authorized to receive immediately the evidence of First Instance of Manila against Philippine Leather Co. Inc.
the plaintiff ex-parte. PNB alleged that Philippine Leather applied for a commercial
letter of credit in favor of the Turner Tanning Machinery Co.
Upon learning of these orders on October 23, 1973, the of Peabody, Massachusetts, U.S.A. to cover the value of
defendant Lim Teck Cheng, thru counsel, Atty. Sitoy, filed a certain machineries and their accessories as well as in favor of
motion for reconsideration thereof, and on November 1, 1974, Bay State Chemical Co., of Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A., to
defendant Eng Chong Leonardo, thru counsel Atty. Alcudia, pay for the importation of color dye. The defendant failed and
filed also his own motion for reconsideration and clarification refused to pay the amount of the draft and the charges due
of the same orders. These motions were denied in an order thereon.
dated December 6, 1974 but received by the movants only on
December 23, 1974. Meanwhile, respondent court rendered In its answer, Philippine Leather admitted PNB’s averments
the impugned decision on December 20, 1974. It does not except as to the correctness of the amounts due on the two
appear when the parties were served copies of this decision. drafts, the correctness of which they were still checking.

ISSUE: PNB filed a motion for summary judgment on the ground that
since the defendants had admitted the material averments of its
Whether or not the ex-parte reception of the evidence of complaint except as to the correctness of the amounts due, the
the plaintiff by the clerk of court can be the basis for the defendant's answer did not tender a genuine issue.
court rendition of a judgment.
The Court granted the plaintiff's motion and rendered
RULING: judgment ordering Philippine Leather to pay PNB.

No. The delegation to the clerk of court of the function of The defendants appealed to the Court of Appeals. The latter
receiving plaintiff's evidence is irregular. And as regards the certified the case to this Court for the reason that only
ex-parte reception of plaintiff's evidence and subsequent questions of law are raised.
rendition of the judgment by default based thereon, it was
violative of the right of the petitioners, under the applicable ISSUE:
rules and principles on default, to a common and single fate
with their non-defaulted co-defendants.
Whether the trial court is correct in granting the motion
for summary judgment filed by PNB.
OLD RULE: Lim Tanhu vs. Ramolete - prohibits the
delegation of the power to receive evidence on Clerks of RULING:
Court.
Yes. The defendant's answer to the cause of action does not
NEW RULE: Section 9, Rule 30 of the 1997 Rules of Civil tender a genuine issue. In fact they admit that they are
Procedure - Judge to receive evidence; delegation to clerk of indebted to the plaintiff. As the affidavit subscribed and sworn
court. — The judge of the court where the case is pending to by the Manager of the Special Assets Department of the
shall personally receive the evidence to be adduced by the plaintiff, in charge of all outstanding accounts of its debtors,
parties. However, in default or ex parte hearings, and in any attached to the motion for summary judgment, furnishes the
case where the parties agree in writing, the court may delegate Court with the payments made by the defendants on their
account and the amount due from them, which they failed to
the reception of evidence to its clerk of court who is a member oppose by counter affidavits, the plaintiff is entitled to
of the bar. The clerk of court shall have no power to rule on summary judgment.
objections to any question or to the admission of exhibits,
which objections shall be resolved by the court upon G.R. No. L-17721 October 16, 1961
submission of his report and the transcripts within ten (10)
days from termination of the hearing. GREGORIO APELARIO, doing business under the style
"GREGORIO TRADING," plaintiff-appellee, vs. INES
CHAVEZ & COMPANY, LTD., doing business under the
G.R. No. L-10884 March 31, 1959
style "FIDELITY MOTOR SUPPLY COMPANY, LTD.,

18
and INES CHAVEZ, Defendants-Appellants. Presiding Judge of the Reg ional Trial Court, Branch III,
FACTS: Baguio City, Respondents.

Gregorio Apelario filed a complaint against Ines Chavez & FACTS:


Company, Ltd., a limited partnership, and its general partner,
Ines Chavez. The defendant partnership had purchased on
credit from plaintiff ten sets of axle assemblies for the sum of Marcelino, G. Rivera, Jr. was arrested and detained for he
P2, 400.00 allegedly was about to transport marijuana to Manila. A case
for violation of R. A. 6425 was filed against him with the
Defendant delivered in payment to the plaintiff two postdated
cash checks for P1, 200.00 each, drawn against the Philippine Regional Trial Court of Baguio City.
Bank of Commerce; that when the checks were presented for
payment, they were dishonored for lack of funds. Petitioner was arraigned. He pleaded not guilty to the crime
charged. The first witness for the prosecution, Cpl. Victorio
Plaintiff demanded payment in cash, but defendant refused to
pay. Afalla, partially testified on direct examination and reserved
the right to identify the marijuana specimen allegedly
Defendant filed an answer admitting the allegations of the confiscated from the petitioner.
complaint; admitting that plaintiff had demanded payment of
P2,400, but pleaded that defendants could not pay the plaintiff,
because they have so many accounts receivables which have On June 8, 1989, for the same reasons, the hearing was re-set
not yet been paid to them, of which fact the defendant, was to February 27, 1990. On February 27, 1990, Capt. Lina
duly informed by the plaintiff and thereby requested to wait a
Sarmiento, the Forensic Chemist, who will present the
while.
marijuana specimen, despite notice, failed to appear.
Upon motion of the plaintiff, and over the objection of Petitioner, through counsel, then moved for the dismissal of
defendants, the trial court rendered judgment on the pleadings,
the case. This was denied by respondent Judge and the hearing
sentencing defendants to pay P2, 400.
was re-set to March 28, 1990.
ISSUE:
On March 28, 1990, when the case was called at about 8:30
Whether the trial court erred in rendering judgement on
a.m. Capt. Lina Sarmiento despite notice, was not around
the pleadings.
thereby necessitating a second call. When the case was called
for the second time at around 9:00 a.m. Capt. Sarmiento was
RULING:
still not around. Hence, Atty. Tomas Gorospe, in behalf of
No. The defendants-appellants had admitted all the material petitioner, orally moved for the dismissal of the case invoking
allegations of the complaint concerning the existence of the the right to speedy trial as the petitioner stands confined and
debt and its non-payment. The pleaded excuse, that they had that the Government failed to prosecute or adduce evidence
requested plaintiff to, wait because appellants’ many accounts
receivable had not yet been collected, is clearly no defense, for due to the non-appearance of a vital prosecution witness.
a debtor cannot delay payment due just to suit its convenience.
The respondent Judge verbally granted the motion and ordered
the immediate release of the accused.
Lati vs. Valmores, G.R. No. L-6877, 30 March 1954.
While the subsequent calendared cases set for that day was in
Material averments in a complaint, other than those as to the progress, and in less than an hour after pronouncement of the
amount of damage, are deemed admitted when not specifically verbal order of dismissal, Capt. Lina Sarmiento arrived direct
denied. The court may render judgment upon the pleadings if from Quezon City. Upon a satisfactory explanation, the
material averments in the complaint are admitted.
respondent Judge issued his now assailed order setting aside
his previous verbal order of dismissal and re-scheduling Crim.
G. R. No. 93219 August 30, 1990 Case No. 6201-R for continuation of trial.
MARCELINO G. RIVERA, JR., Petitioner, vs. PEOPLE
OF THE PHILIPPINES and HON. MARCELINO F. ISSUE:
BAUTISTA, JR.,
19
Whether the verbal order of dismissal made in open court (1) That he is not the employer of Joselito Aizon, the
vehicle in question having been sold already to Isaac
amounted to the acquittal of petitioner and which order is Aizon, father of Joselito, but that the deed of transfer has
immediately final and executory, the respondent Judge not been executed because the full price has not yet been
paid; and
could no longer set it aside without violating petitioner's
constitutional right against double jeopardy. (2) That in case of insolvency, Joselito has to suffer
subsidiary imprisonment to satisfy the judgment insofar
as the indemnity is concerned.
RULING:
The court denied petitioner's motion for Subsidiary Writ of
No. The earlier verbal order of dismissal was not final, in fact, Execution on the ground that Felipe Aizon, alleged
employer of Joselito, was not a party in the aforesaid
was ineffective. The order of dismissal must be written in the criminal case.
official language, personally and directly prepared by the
judge and signed by him. In the instant case, it is very clear ISSUE:
that the order was merely dictated in open court by the trial
Whether the subsidiary civil liability established in
judge. There is no showing that this verbal order of dismissal Articles 102 and 103 of the Revised Penal Code may
was ever reduced to writing and duly signed by him. Thus, it be enforced in the same criminal case where the
award was made, or in a separate civil action.
did not yet attain the effect of a judgment of acquittal, so that
it was still within the powers of the judge to set it aside and RULING:
enter another order, now in writing and duly signed by him,
reinstating the case. The subsidiary civil liability may be enforced in the
same criminal case where the award was made.
LUCIA S. PAJARITO, petitioner, vs.
HON. ALBERTO V. SEÑERIS, Presiding Judge of Under Article 100 of the Revised Penal Code, a person
Branch II, Court of First Instance of Zamboanga; criminally liable for a felony is also civilly liable. As a
JOSELITO AIZON, and FELIPE AIZON, respondents. consequence, the institution of the criminal action carries
with it the institution of the civil action arising therefrom,
except when there is a separate civil action or reservation
FACTS: of the latter on the part of the complainant.

Joselito Aizon being the driver of an Isuzu Passenger Bus Pursuant to Article 103, in relation to Article 102, of the
owned and operated by FELIPE AIZON was involved in a Revised Penal Code, an employer may be subsidiary liable
vehicular accident. MYRNA PAJARITO DE SAN LUIS and for the employee's civil liability in a criminal action when:
MUSA BARING, both passengers on board the said Isuzu
passenger bus died. Thus, Joselito Aizon was charged
before the Court of First Instance of Zamboanga City with (1) The employer is engaged in any kind of industry;
Double Homicide Through Reckless Imprudence.
(2) The employee committed the offense in the discharge
Upon arraignment, said respondent entered a plea of of his duties; and
guilty. In view of said plea, the court rendered judgment
convicting him of the offense charged and sentencing him (3) He is insolvent and has not satisfied his civil liability.
"to indemnify the heirs of the late Myrna Pajarito de San
Luis the amount of P12, 000.00.
The subsidiary civil liability of the employer, however,
arises only after conviction of the employee in the criminal
After the judgment had become final and executory, a case.
Writ of Execution was issued against Joselito Aizon for the
indemnity of P12, 000.00, but the same was returned
A judgment of conviction sentencing a defendant
unsatisfied because of his insolvency.
employee to pay an indemnity in the absence of any
collusion between the defendant and the offended party,
Whereupon, petitioner Lucia S. Pajarito, mother of is conclusive upon the employer in an action for the
the late Myrna Pajarito de San Luis, filed with the enforcement of the latter's subsidiary liability.
court a motion for the issuance of Subsidiary Writ of
Execution and served a copy thereof to private
The employer becomes ipso facto subsidiarily liable upon
respondent Felipe Aizon, employer of Joselito Aizon
his driver's conviction and upon proof of the latter's
as alleged in the Information.
insolvency, in the same way that acquittal wipes out not
only the employee's primary civil liability but also his
Felipe Aizon opposed the motion on the grounds, to wit: employer's subsidiary liability for such criminal
negligence.

20
The decision convicting the employee is binding and
conclusive upon the employer, "not only with regard to
(the latter's) civil liability but also with regard to its
amount because the liability of an employer cannot be
separated but follows that of his employee. That is why
the law says that his liability is subsidiary (Article 103,
Revised Penal Code). To allow an employer to dispute the
civil liability fixed in the criminal case would be to amend,
nullify, or defeat a final judgment rendered by a
competent court."

The employer is in substance and in effect a party to the


criminal case, considering the subsidiary liability imposed
upon him by law.

Considering that Felipe Aizon does not deny that he was


the registered operator of the bus but only claims now
that he sold the bus to the father of the accused, it
would serve no important purpose to require
petitioner to file a separate and independent action
against the employer for the enforcement of the
latter's subsidiary civil liability. Under the
circumstances, it would not only prolong the litigation but
would require the heirs of the deceased victim to incur
unnecessary expenses. At any rate, the proceeding for the
enforcement of the subsidiary civil liability may be
considered as part of the proceeding for the execution of
the judgment. A case in which an execution has been
issued is regarded as still pending so that all proceedings
on the execution are proceedings in the suit. There is no
question that the court which rendered the judgment has
a general supervisory control over its process of
execution, and this power carries with it the right to
determine every question of fact and law which may be
involved in the execution.

The validity of the claim of Felipe Aizon that he is no


longer the owner and operator of the in fated bus as he
sold it already to Isaac Aizon, father of the accused
Joselito Aizon, is a matter that could be litigated and
resolved in the same criminal case. In support of his
opposition to the motion of the complainant, served upon
him, for the purpose of the enforcement of his subsidiary
liability Felipe Aizon may adduce all the evidence
necessary for that purpose. Indeed, the enforcement of
the employer's subsidiary civil liability may be
conveniently litigated within the same proceeding because
the execution of the judgment is a logical and integral
part of the case itself. This would certainly facilitate the
application of justice to the rival claims of the contending
parties.

The trial court is directed to hear and decide in the


same proceeding the subsidiary liability of the
alleged owner and operator of the passenger bus.

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