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1997 Rules on Civil Procedure

2001 Edition <draft copy. pls. check for errors>

Rule 36 Judgments, Final Orders


And Entry Thereof

Rule 36

JUDGMENTS, FINAL ORDERS AND ENTRY THEREOF


There are three (3) important stages in a civil action.
Q: What are these three (3) stages?
A: The following:
1.) First stage: Issue Formulation Stage
It is the stage in which we are trying to find out what are the issues we are
quarreling about. This is done by filing a complaint, answer to know the
defenses, counterclaim, answer to counterclaim, third party complaint. This is
the stage of formulation of issues.
After the last pleading is filed, we go to pre-trial where we will discuss the
simplification of issues, advisability of amending the pleadings, etc. Therefore,
during pre-trial we are still formulating issues to be tackled. When the pre-trial is
terminated and there is no settlement, we proceed to stage 2:
2.) Second stage: Stage of Proof (Rule 30 on Trial)
We are now on trial where the parties will now offer their evidence. It is
called the stage of proof. Plaintiff presents evidence to prove his claim.
Defendant presents evidence to prove his defense. Parties present rebutting
evidence. So this is the stage where the parties will prove their respective
contentions.
After the case has been tried and everything has been argued under Rule 30,
the last stage is. [sound plis tadadadan!tadan!]
3.) Third stage: Judgment Stage (Rule 36)
This is the stage where the court will now decide and render judgment.
Q: Define Judgment.
A: Judgment is the final consideration and determination by a court of the rights of the
parties as those rights presently exists, upon matters submitted to it in an action or
proceeding. (Gotamco vs. Chan Seng, 46 Phil. 542)
Q: What are the requisites of a valid judgment?
A: There are five (5) requisites for a valid judgment:
1.) the court rendering judgment must have jurisdiction over the subject matter;
2.) the court rendering judgment must have jurisdiction over the person of the
defendant, and in case the defendant is a non-resident, the court rendering
judgment must have jurisdiction over the res;
3.) the court rendering judgment must have jurisdiction over the issues, that is, the
judgment shall decide only the issues raised by the parties in their pleadings;
4.) the court rendering judgment must be validly constituted court and the judge
thereof, a judge de jure or de facto; Thus, the court has not been abolished; the
judge has been appointed and has not retired nor separated from service. That is
why there is a rule even in criminal cases that if the judgment is promulgated
after the judge has already retired, the judgment is void. There must be another
promulgation.
EXAMPLE: Judge tries a case, prepares the decision and signs it. Before the
decision is promulgated, the judge died or retired. In this case, any
promulgation to be made cannot be valid. The next judge must be the one to

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Rule 36 Judgments, Final Orders


And Entry Thereof

promulgate it write the decision again and sign it. What is important is the
judge who rendered.
ABC DAVAO AUTO SUPPLY vs. COURT OF APPEALS
284 SCRA 218 [January 16, 1998]
FACTS: The case was tried by a judge (Agton) who was temporarily
assigned to Mati. He wrote the decision and had it released but by that
time, he was already back in Mati. The losing party contended that the
judgment was not valid.
HELD: The judgment is VALID because when the new judge denied the
motion for reconsideration, he effectively adopted in toto the decision of
the Mati judge. And besides, the Mati judge was still a judge when he
rendered his decision.
The subsequent motion for reconsideration of Judge Agton's decision
was acted upon by Judge Marasigan himself and his denial of the said
motion indicates that he subscribed with and adopted in toto Judge
Agton's decision. Any incipient defect was cured. Branches of the trial
court are not distinct and separate tribunals from each other. Jurisdiction
does not attach to the judge but to the court.
5.) the judgment must be rendered after lawful hearing, meaning that due process
must be observed. (Busacay vs. Buenaventura, 50 O.G. 111, Jan. 1954; Rueda
vs. Juan, L-13764, Jan. 30, 1960; Rojas vs. Villanueva, 57 O.G. 7339, Oct. 9,
n1961; Rayray vs. Chae Kyung Lee, L-18176, Oct. 26, 1966)
There must be a trial where both sides are given the chance to be heard. In
case of a defaulted defendant, due process was observed because he was given
the opportunity to defend himself. But he did not file an answer. The essence of
due process is the fact that you are given the opportunity to be heard.
Sec. 1.
Rendition of judgments and final orders. - A judgment or final
order determining the merits of the case shall be in writing personally and
directly prepared by the judge, stating clearly and distinctly the facts and the
law on which it is based, signed by him, and filed with the clerk of the court.
(1a)

Q: What are the FORMAL requisites of a valid judgment?


A: There are four (4) formal requisites:
1.) The judgment shall be in writing;
2.) It shall be personally and directly prepared by the judge;
3.) It shall state clearly and distinctly the facts and the law on which it is based; and
4.) It shall be signed by the judge and filed with the clerk of court.
First formal requisite: THE JUDGMENT SHALL BE IN WRITING
There is no such thing as an oral judgment.
BAR QUESTION: After the parties presented their evidence, the judge asked the
lawyers, Are you going to argue? The parties said, No more, Your honor. We are
waiving our right to argue. So the judge dictated the decision to the clerk of court. The
judgment was against the defendant. The defendant appealed next day. Do you count
the period of appeal from that date when he heard the decision?
ANSWER: NO. You still have to wait for the written decision. Presumably, what is
dictated by the judge will be transcribed. From the time you receive it is the reckoning
period for appeal, notwithstanding the hearing of such decision in open court. That is not
yet the formal decision because under the law, there is no such thing as oral decision. The
judgment must be in writing.
Officially the decision is known to you on the date you received the written judgment.
Not the date when he dictated it in your presence. There are judges before who could do

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Rule 36 Judgments, Final Orders


And Entry Thereof

that. Even now those judges in Manila who became justices today do practice such type of
judgment. At present, judges no longer possess such skill. They are given 90 days to
decide the issue and yet at times, they could not do so within the period mandated by law.
How much more on the spot decision?
Second formal requisite: IT SHALL BE PERSONALLY AND DIRECTLY PREPARED
BY THE JUDGE
It is presumed that the judgment will be made by the judge himself. Although
sometimes it happens otherwise. The judge should not delegate the writing to other
people. There must be no ghost writer.
Third formal requisite: IT SHALL STATE CLEARLY AND DISTINCTLY THE FACTS AND THE
LAW ON WHICH IT IS BASED
The most important the decision should state clearly and distinctly, the facts and the
law on which it is based. Meaning, there must be a justification for the dispositive portion.
The judge must argue why the party won or lost.
Normally in the facts, either the facts presented by plaintiff are right and the facts
presented by the defendant are wrong or vice-versa. If you think the facts as presented by
the plaintiff are correct or not, you have to state why do you believe that it is correct or
not, and also with the evidence of the defendant. The same thing with legal questions
because the plaintiff or the defendant relies on the provisions of the laws or decided cases.
You have to state
why the position of the defendant is wrong, why is the law that
he cited not applicable. You have to state your facts and conclusions of law.
In the SCRA, the Supreme Court will discuss both sides, According to the plaintiff like
thisAccording to the defendant like this..and so forth. Then the decision will start by
saying, While the petitioner is correct or, While the defendant is correct
It is called the discussion of the facts and the law on which the decision is based. It is a
requirement in the Constitution, Article VIII, Section 14:
Sec. 14. No decision shall be rendered by any court without expressing
therein clearly and distinctly the facts and the law on which it is based. xxx
(Article. VIII, 1987 Constitution)

If a judge will render a decision like this: This is a civil action to collect an unpaid loan.
According to the plaintiff: He borrowed money for the sum of P80,000.00 payable on this
date and despite demands, he did not pay. According to the defendant in his answer: the
obligation is fully paid. ISSUE: Whether the loan has been paid or not yet paid. Plaintiff, to
prove his cause of action presented the following witnesses and evidence. On the other
hand, the defendant, to prove his defense presented the following evidence. WHEREFORE,
the court renders judgment dismissing the complaint.
Such decision has no discussion on the findings of facts and the law. There is no basis
of the dismissal of the complaint. MY GOLLY! What kind of decision is that? There is no
discussion on why is the evidence of the plaintiff believable and why is the position of the
defendant is like that. So there is no discussion of the facts and the law on which it is
based. That is a decision which violates the Constitution and Rule 36.
Another Illustration:
In an action for sum of money, plaintiff is unpaid. Defendant claims the loan has been
paid. The following is the evidence of the plaintiff and the following is the evidence of the
defendant. Then the court now says: After the meticulous study and analysis of the
evidence offered by both sides, the court is of the opinion that plaintiffs evidence is more
logical, acceptable, probable and worthy of credit. THEREFORE, judgment is hereby
rendered ordering the defendant to pay the loan.

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Rule 36 Judgments, Final Orders


And Entry Thereof

Q: Is this decision correct?


A: NO. It still violates the law. There are no findings of facts or conclusions of the law.
Therefore, when the court said, plaintiffs evidence is more logical, acceptable, probable
and worthy of credit those are conclusions. They are not findings of facts. Meaning you
have to argue why is it logical, why is it acceptable, why is it probable, why is it worthy of
credit. You must state it and rebut the other side.
If that is how decisions are prepared, you just recite what the plaintiff said or what the
defendant said, and you will conclude, Therefore, find the plaintiff is logical, then
every nincompoop person is qualified to be a judge everybody can write a decision.
It is just like asking questions in the examinations. You will not answer that A is correct
because his argument is correct (period!). You have to state why he is correct. That is
also the case in the decision. You must support your answer with details.
Now, every decision of every court must state the facts and the law on which it is
based.
It must be in every court, no exceptions, whether SC or an MTC.
The
Constitutional provision on this requirement applies to all courts from the highest to the
lowest.
However, the Judiciary Law allows the appellate court to make a Memorandum
Decision. If you are the appellate court (CA), you either affirm or reverse the decision of
the lower court. If the CA will reverse the findings of the RTC, definitely the CA has to
justify why the findings of the RTC is wrong.
But suppose the CA will affirm, so there is nothing wrong with the judgment of the RTC.
Now, in order to shorten the period for waiting for the decision and in order to hasten it,
Section 40 of BP 129 allows the appellate court to simply quote verbatim the findings and
conclusion of the trial court and adopt it as its own.
This is what is called the Memorandum Decision. The concept of memorandum
decision which is found in Section 40, BP 129 is now in Rule 51, Section 5 of the 1997
Rules, to wit:
Sec. 5.
Form of decision.- Every decision or final resolution of the court
in appealed cases shall clearly and distinctly state the findings of fact and
the conclusions of law on which it is based, which may be contained in the
decision or final resolution itself, or adopted from those set forth in the
decision, order, or resolution appealed from. (Sec. 40, BP Blg. 129) (n)

So the appellate court is now authorized to simply copy or refer the true findings of fact
and conclusions at the trial court if it is affirming the latters decision. This is what we call
memorandum decision. The SC said that it is only allowed in simple cases, not in
complicated ones. Otherwise the CA will be very lazy they will just affirm and affirm.
Affirm para walang trabaho. Reverse, madami. To reverse means to argue for the opposite,
rebut everything that the trial court said, it takes time to study, etc. Hence the limitation,
which we will discuss later.
Q: Does the law require a particular style of writing a decision?
A: NO, style is based on every individual, so long as the facts and the law are
distinctively stated. That is the minimum requirement. The law does not care how you do it
because the manner of presenting the facts and the law and the discussion is a matter of
style. Every person has his own style, and whether it is good or bad does not matter as
long as you comply with the law.
As a matter of fact, there are many instances where the SC commented on the writing
styles of judges. The most vehement critics on sloppy style of decision writing is retired
Justice Isagani Cruz, because he is a very effective writer. He is intolerant of poorly written
decisions. Kaya from time to time although not necessary, he will criticize poorly written
decisions. He makes sub-comments. Like in the cases of

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Rule 36 Judgments, Final Orders


And Entry Thereof

NICOS INDUSTRIAL CORP. vs. COURT OF APPEALS


206 SCRA 127 [1992]
HELD: Kilometric decisions without much substance must be avoided, to be
sure, but the other extreme, where substance is also lost in the wish to be brief,
is no less unacceptable either. Too long is bad, too short is bad either. The ideal
decision is that which, with welcome economy of words, arrives at the factual
findings, reaches the legal conclusions, renders its ruling and, having done so,
ends. This means, brief but comprehensive.
PEOPLE vs. GONZALES
215 SCRA 592
HELD: Every judge has his own writing style, some tedious, some terse,
some pedestrian, some elegant, depending upon his training and outlook. Each
is acceptable as long as the factual and legal bases are clearly and distinctly
stated therein.
PEOPLE vs. AMONDINA
220 SCRA 6
HELD: The decision of the trial court is exceedingly long, without any effort
to trim the fat and keep it lean. Judges are not stenographers transcribing the
testimony of the witnesses word for word. Judges must know how to synthesize,
to summarize, to simplify. Their failure to do so is one of the main reasons for the
delay in the administration of justice. It also explains the despair of the public
over the foot-dragging of many courts and their inability to get to the point and
to get there fast.
There is one MTC judge here, who is very fond of quoting the allegations of the parties:
An action for collection of money. Plaintiff filed a complaint quoted as follows. Every
paragraph is quoted. Defendant filed an answer quoted as follows Evidence of plaintiff,
quoted as follows Then his decision is only one paragraph. My golly! How long will it
take your stenographer to type it. Can it not be reduced to 3 pages? This is what we call
writing with style.
One of the best writers in the SC right now is Justice Panganiban. As a matter of fact, in
one of the latest volumes of the Lawyers Review, he has an article entitled, My Style of
Decision Writing. Very nice. Every judge must read that. He is giving tips on how to write
elegant decisions.
But of course what applies to decision writing also applies to answering questions in
the Bar. Some elegant, some tedious. The same answer but different styles of
presentation. Other get high scores, low scores because of style. So you must also know
how to answer. Especially in the Bar exams where the corrector is correcting more than
4,000 notebooks and he has a deadline, your notebook must project itself as if your
notebook is telling the corrector: Read me! Read me!!
Q: How do you distinguish a judgment from a decision?
A: Actually, the decision is the entire written effort from the first sentence, This is an
action for a sum of money until the end. It contains everything from the findings of facts,
discussion of evidence.
The judgment is usually the last paragraph yung WHEREFORE the dispositive
portion or the decretal portion. Sometimes it is called the fallo of the case.

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Rule 36 Judgments, Final Orders


And Entry Thereof

The fallo is yung WHEREFORE Iyung discussions, findings of facts, conclusion of law
to justify the fallo is called the ratio decidendi the reasoning. (Contreras vs. Felix, 78 Phil.
570)
Q: In case of conflict between judgment and decision, which shall prevail?
A: The judgment shall prevail in case of such conflict, for it is an elementary rule of
procedure that the resolution of the court in a given issue, as embodied in the dispositive
part of the decision, is the controlling factor that determines and settles the rights of the
parties and the issues presented therein. (Manalang vs. Rickards, 55 O.G. 5780, July 27,
1959)
ASIAN CENTER vs. NLRC
297 SCRA 727 [October 12, 1998]
FACTS: A vs. B. In the ratio decidendi, A is correct. Pero pagdating sa
WHEREFOR (judgment), As action is dismissed! And there was no statement in
favor of B. A appeals. B contended that the judgment prevails. Is B correct?
HELD: The general rule is that where there is a conflict between the
dispositive portion or the fallo and the body of the decision, the fallo controls.
This rule rests on the theory that the fallo is the final order while the opinion in
the body is merely a statement ordering nothing. However, where the inevitable
conclusion from the body of the decision is so clear as to show that there was a
mistake in the dispositive portion, the body of the decision will prevail.
TYPES OF JUDGMENTS:
A.) Sin Perjuicio judgment
B.) Conditional judgment
C.) Incomplete judgement
D.) Nunc pro tunc judgment
E.) Judgment upon a compromise or Judgment upon an amicable settlement
F.) Judgment upon a confession
A.) SIN PERJUICIO JUDGMENT
Q: What is an SIN PERJUICIO judgment?
A: A sin perjuicio is one which contains only the dispositive portion of the decision and
reserves the making of findings of fact and conclusions of law in a subsequent judgment.
(Dir. of Lands vs. Sanz, 45 Phil. 117) So, there is a WHEREFORE without a ratio
decidendi. It does not state how the court arrived at a certain decision.
Q: Is a SIN PERJUICIO judgment valid?
A: A sin perjuicio judgment is a VOID judgment for it violates the constitutional
provision that no decision shall be rendered by any court of record without expressing
therein clearly and distinctly the facts and the law on which it is based (Sec. 14, Art. VIIII),
and the provision of the Rules of Court that the judgment shall state clearly and distinctly
the facts and the law on which it is based. (Rule 36, Section 1)
B.) CONDITIONAL JUDGMENT
Q: What is a CONDITIONAL judgment?
A: A conditional judgment is one which is subject to the performance of a condition
precedent and is not final until the condition is performed. (Jaucian vs. Querol, 38 Phil.
707)
EXAMPLE: A sued B. Then the court said: The A is correct because so and so.
However, there is another case now pending before the SC where the same issue is
being raised. In the meantime, A is correct. But in the event that SC decision

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comes out and is not favorable to A, then this decision should also be automatically
changed in favor of B. So, this is a conditional judgment. Is it a valid judgment?
Q: Is a conditional judgment valid?
A: It is NOT valid. In truth, such judgment contains no disposition at all and is a mere
anticipated statement of what the court shall do in the future when a particular event
should happen. For this reason, as a general rule, judgments of such kind, conditioned
upon a contingency, are held to be NULL and VOID. (Cu Unjieng y Hijos vs. Mabalacat
Sugar Co., 70 Phil. 380)
C.) INCOMPLETE JUDGMENT
Q: What is an INCOMPLETE judgment? What is its effect?
A: An incomplete judgment is one which leaves certain matters to be settled in a
subsequent proceeding. (Ignacio vs. Hilario, 76 Phil. 605) There is a decision but there is
still other matters to be incorporated later in such decision. Parang interlocutory judgment.
EXAMPLE: There is judgment against B for a damage suit, Wherefore, judgment
is hereby rendered ordering defendant to indemnify the plaintiff, moral and
exemplary damages (period!). It does not state how much. Mamaya na natin
malaman kung magkano. So kulang pa ang decision.
My golly! What is there to execute? You do not even know how much is the award. It
does not settle any question that may be the subject of execution. (Araneta, Inc. vs.
Tuason, 49 O.G. 45) The judgment can never become final, it having left certain matters to
be settled for its completion in a subsequent proceeding. (Ignacio vs. Hilario, 76 Phil. 605)
So, the judgment is again defective.
D.) NUNC PRO TUNC JUDGMENT
Q: (Bar Question) What is a judgment NUNC PRO TUNC and what is its function?
A: A judgment nunc pro tunc literally means a judgment now for then.
Its function
is to record some act of the court done at a former time which was then carried into the
record. And the power to make such entries is restricted to placing upon the record
evidence of judicial action which has actually been taken. It may be used to make the
record speak the truth, but not to make it speak what it did not speak but ought to have
spoken. (Lichauco vs. Tan Pho, 51 Phil. 862)
Example: When a judge renders a decision, he must base his findings on what
happened on the trial or on the evidence presented. Normally, the judge cites facts as
bases for his findings. Suppose, the judge, in his hurry, made some findings but forgot to
incorporate all those other important matters which can support his findings. Na-overlook
ba! He rendered his decision which was lacking in something inadvertently omitted. The
judge may now amend his judgment by including the matters missed such matters that
have been admitted on record. Then, the judge now has an improved decision the
judgment now is NUNC PRO TUNC. What are to be added are things which really
happened. The judge has no power to include something which did not actually happen.
That would be irregular. How could you quote something which never transpired during
the trial.
So it is an amended judgment where certain matters which are contained in the
records and transpired in court were not incorporated. So when you made the decision,
parang kulang. So in order to make it clearer, we will incorporate those matters which
should have been incorporated in the amended decision. That is known as judgment nunc
pro tunc. But you can only place there matters which transpired, not matters which did
not transpire.
Q: In what cases is a judgment nunc pro tunc NOT proper?

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Rule 36 Judgments, Final Orders


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A: A judgment nunc pro tunc is not proper in the following instances:


1. It cannot remedy errors or omission in an imperfect or improper judgment.
(Lichauco vs. Tan Pho, 51 Phil. 862)
2. It cannot change the judgment in any material respect. (Henderson vs. Tan, 87
Phil. 466) and
3. It cannot correct judicial errors, however flagrant and glaring they may be.
(Henderson vs. Tan, 87 Phil. 466)
E.) JUDGMENT UPON A COMPROMISE or
JUDGMENT UPON AN AMICABLE SETTLEMENT
Q: What is a JUDGMENT UPON A COMPROMISE?
A: A judgment upon a compromise is a judgment rendered with the consent of the
parties for the purpose of effecting a compromise or settlement of an action. (31 Am. Jur.
105-108)
This is the type of judgment which the law encourages because it is a judgment with
the consent of the parties for the purpose of effecting a compromise or settlement. Usually
mga collection cases ito tawaran like i-condone ang interests, or half of the amount na
lang, etc. The court will render judgment copying word for word what the parties say. So
the compromise agreement becomes the judgment and for a as long as the agreement is
not contrary to law, the court will approve it.
Q: In a compromise judgment, is the court required to make findings of fact and
conclusions of law? Why?
A: In a compromise judgment, the court is not required to make findings of fact and
conclusions of law. In contemplation of law, the court is deemed to have adopted the
statement of facts and conclusions of law made and resolved by the parties themselves in
their compromise agreement; and their consent has made it both unnecessary and
improper for the court to make a preliminary adjudication of the matters thereunder
covered. (Palarca vs. Anzon, L-14780, Nov. 29, 1960)
Q: How do you define a compromise?
A: Under Article 2028 of the New Civil Code:
Art. 2028. A compromise is a contract whereby
reciprocal concessions, avoid a litigation or put
commenced. (Civil Code)

the parties, by making


an end to one already

So the essence of compromise is reciprocal concessions give and take. It is a mutual


concession to avoid litigation or, if there is already, that which will put an end. There are
other definitions given by the SC although the essence or substance is the same. In the
case of
SMITH BELL AND CO. vs. COURT OF APPEALS
197 SCRA 201
HELD: A compromise is an agreement between two (2) or more persons
who, in order to forestall or put an end to a law suit, adjust their differences by
mutual consent, an adjustment which every one of them prefers to the hope of
gaining more, balanced by the danger of losing more.
If we go to trial, well, winner take all either the plaintiff wins or the defendant wins. If
you are not sure of your position, then you might as well get something out of it rather
than risk losing everything.
EXAMPLE: You sue me for P1 million. Then I say, I would like to offer a settlement.
You would say, How much do you offer? Well, my complaint is 1 million, so you pay me

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P1 million. That is not compromise, that is surrender. Kaya nga umaareglo ako para
makatawad. And if you will not receive anything less than a million, you are not asking for
a compromise, you are demanding total surrender. If that is so then, let us go to court and
find out if you will get your P1 million and let us find out how many years from now you
can get your money.
Kaya in a compromise agreement, there are no winners and there are no losers.
REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. SANDIGANBAYAN
226 SCRA 314
FACTS: This is a case involving a compromise between the government and
Benedicto, a crony of President Marcos. He entered into a compromise with the
PCGG and the Supreme Court approved it.
HELD: Any compromise has its very essence reciprocal concessions, one
must give and one must take. If only one takes all, then one must first win. But
in a compromise, all win by taking some and giving some.
Lets go back to the law on Obligations and Contracts. There are four (4) types of
defective contracts: (a) void; (b) voidable; (3) rescissible; and (4) unenforceable. Under the
Civil Code, if one party enters into a contract where he lacks the requisite authority, the
contract is unenforceable but it is a valid agreement.
Q: What is the effect of a compromise agreement entered into by a lawyer, without any
special authority from his client? Is it a null and void agreement?
A: A lawyer cannot, without special authority, compromise his clients litigation. A
judgment upon a compromise entered by the court, not subscribed by the party sought
to be bound by the compromise agreement, and in the absence of a special authority to
the lawyer to bind his client in the said agreement, is UNENFORCEABLE. (Dungo vs.
Lopena, L-18377, Dec. 29, 1962)
Q: Suppose in the above case, the client learned about what his lawyer did and he did
not reject the agreement, as a matter of fact he complied with it, what is now the effect on
such agreement?
A: The agreement is now perfectly VALID and ENFORCEABLE because the party himself
did not question his lawyers authority. When it appears that the client, on becoming
aware of the compromise and the judgment, failed to repudiate promptly the action of his
lawyer, he will not afterwards be heard to contest it. (Banco Espaol-Filipino vs. Palanca,
37 Phil. 921)
Q: What are the legal effects of a judgment based upon a compromise agreement?
A: A judgment upon a compromise agreement produces the following legal effects:
1.) The compromise judgment is not appealable and it is immediately executory.
(Reyes vs. Ugarte, 75 Phil. 505; Serrano vs. Miave, L-14687, March 31, 1965)
2.) It cannot be annulled unless it is vitiated with error, deceit, violence or forgery of
documents. (Morales vs. Fontanos, 64 Phil. 19; Article 2038, Civil Code)
3.) It constitutes res adjudicata. (Art. 2037, Civil Code; Sabino vs. Cuba, L-18328,
Dec. 17, 1966) Meaning, the same subject matter or cause of action can no
longer be reopened in the future in another litigation.
Q: Suppose you enter into a compromise agreement and there is a judgment. You want
to escape from the compromise judgment on the ground that your consent was vitiated by
mistake, error, deceit, violence. How do you question it? What is your remedy?
A: There are so many conflicting answers here. Some say you file a motion to set aside
the compromise judgment because your consent was vitiated. And if the motion is denied,

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you appeal from the order denying your motion to set aside. But definitely, you cannot
appeal from the compromise judgment because it is not appealable. You appeal from the
order denying your motion to set aside the compromise judgment. However, under the
new rules, you cannot anymore appeal an order denying a motion to set aside a judgment
by consent, confession or compromise on the ground of fraud, mistake, or duress or any
other ground vitiating consent (Section 1, Rule 41)
So an order denying a motion to set aside a judgment by compromise on the ground of
fraud, mistake, or duress or any other ground vitiating consent is not appealable.
Therefore, whatever the answers before are not anymore true now. So what is the REMEDY
now?
It would seem that the correct remedy based on the new rules in relation to some new
cases, among which was the case of:
DOMINGO vs. COURT OF APPEALS
255 SCRA 189 [1996]
HELD: The correct remedy is for the party to file an action for annulment of
judgment before the Court of Appeals pursuant to Section 9, par. 2, of the
Judiciary Law. (now incorporated in Rule 47)
A compromise may however be disturbed and set aside for vices of consent
or forgery. Hence, where an aggrieved party alleges mistake, fraud, violence,
intimidation, undue influence, or falsity in the execution of the compromise
embodied in a judgment, an action to annul it should be brought before the
Court of Appeals, in accordance with Section 9(2) of Batas Pambansa Bilang 129,
which gives that court (CA) exclusive original jurisdiction over actions for
annulment of judgments of regional trial courts.
F.) JUDGMENT UPON A CONFESSION (COGNOVIT JUDGMENT)
Q: What is a judgment upon a confession?
A: A judgment upon a confession is a one entered against a person upon his
admission or confession of liability without the formality, time and expense involved in an
ordinary proceeding. (Natividad vs. Natividad, 51 Phil. 613)
A judgment upon a confession is also known as cognovit judgment. (Pronounced as
konyuvit)
EXAMPLE: You file a case against me. Without filing an answer, I simply appeared in
court and tell the court that I am not contesting the claim. I am admitting the complaint to
be true and I am willing to have judgment rendered against me. Or, I can also file my
answer kunwari lang ba, and then in court I will admit my liability. That would be the basis
of the judgment upon a confession.
As distinguished from judgment on the pleadings (Rule 34), in judgment on the
pleadings you have to go through the process of filing an answer but actually your answer
puts up no defense. In judgment upon a confession, I may not even file an answer. Hindi
talaga ako maglaban. Upon receiving the complaint, I just say that I am admitting liability.
So there is no need of a default order. In American Law, they call it no lo contendere,
meaning no contest. Sa criminal case pa, I am pleading guilty.
Judgment upon a confession, Judgment upon the pleadings, Default judgment
Magkahawig sila. Only they vary a little bit. In default judgment, the defendant failed to
file an answer. So, he is declared in default. In judgment upon the pleadings, defendant
filed an answer but the answer contains no defense. In judgment upon a confession, he
will not file an answer but will tell the court that he is admitting liability. So, lahat will end
up on the same thing: There will be a judgment rendered against the defendant.

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Rule 36 Judgments, Final Orders


And Entry Thereof

Now, during the commonwealth era, there were many American lawyers who practiced
law in the Philippines. Many judges were Americans, even Justices of the Supreme Court
many of them were Americans. American lawyers brought to the Philippines types of
agreements in American contracts. There was one particular agreement known as
Warrant of Attorney to Confess Judgment. That is a standard clause in American
contracts.
EXAMPLE: I am a bank. You borrow money from me and you sign a promissory note
which contains stipulations normally to the advantage and in favor of the bank. They
usually insert the American clause Warrant of Attorney to Confess Judgment that in the
event that the bank will sue you on this promissory note, you are entering into a
confession judgment immediately. Meaning, I am not going to defend myself and I am
immediately confessing judgment to the court. And who will confess judgment to the
court? The debtor will say I hereby appoint the bank as my representative to confess
judgment to the court in my behalf. Parang Special Power of Attorney ba. The bank will
go to the court and say, Under this paragraph, I represent the defendant-debtor because
he appointed me as his attorney-in-fact. And in behalf of the defendant, I am confessing.
The Supreme Court ruled that such stipulation is null and void in the old case of:
NATIONAL BANK vs. MANILA OIL
43 Phil 444
HELD: Such type of clause is null and void for being contrary to public policy
because the defendant waives his right in advance to defend himself. That is
unfair because even before you are sued, you have already waived your right to
defend yourself.
But the judgment of confession is still allowed but one has to do it himself,
and must not be done in advance. Meaning, it must not be done like the above
acts of American lawyers as such is against public policy. One must be first be
given a chance for defense which right be later on waived through voluntary
confession.
Q: Distinguish a judgment upon a COMPROMISE from a judgment upon a
CONFESSION.
A: The following are the distinctions:
1.) In a judgment upon a COMPROMISE, the liability of the defendant is to be
determined in accordance with the terms of the agreement of the parties;
whereas
In a judgment upon a CONFESSION, the defendant confesses the action and
consents to the judgment that the court may render in accordance with the
compromise and the prayer therein (31 Am. Jur. 108); and
2.) In a judgment upon a COMPROMISE, there is give and take; the parties haggle,
bargain and agree on the terms of the judgment; there is mutual or reciprocal
concessions; whereas
A judgment upon a CONFESSION is unilateral. It comes from the defendant who
admits his liability and accepts that judgment be rendered against him.
Sec. 2. Entry of judgments and final orders. - If no appeal or motion for
new trial or reconsideration is filed within the time provided in these Rules,
the judgment or final order shall forthwith be entered by the clerk in the book
of entries of judgments. The date of finality of the judgment or final order
shall be deemed to be the date of its entry.
The record shall contain the
dispositive part of the judgment or final order and shall be signed by the
clerk, with a certificate that such judgment or final order has become final
and executory. (2a, 10, R51)

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Rule 36 Judgments, Final Orders


And Entry Thereof

If you lose a case, what are your options? I can either appeal within the time provided
by the Rules. Or, within the same period, I will file a motion for a new trial or a motion for
reconsideration. In any case, the finality of the judgment will be stopped.
Q: Suppose the prescribed period has lapsed, there is no appeal, no motion for new
trial or reconsideration, what happens to the judgment?
A: The judgment now becomes final and executory.
According to Section 2, once the judgment has become final, it shall be entered by the
clerk of court in the Book of Entries of Judgments. If you go to the office of the RTC, you
will find an official book which contains a chronological arrangement of cases, based on
the date of filing. Malaking libro yan.
Now, the second sentence is new and its effects are also significant, the date of the
finality of judgment or final order shall be deemed to be the date of its entry. The rule is,
when does a judgment become final? After the lapse of the period to appeal and no
appeal is filed.
EXAMPLE: Today, March 4, the lawyer for the defendant received a copy of the
judgment. The last day to appeal is March 19. Suppose there is no appeal, then March 20
is the date of finality. On March 20 or immediately thereafter, the clerk of court should
know the judgment became final on March 20. Suppose the clerk of court placed it in the
book on March 30. So, the date of finality is March 20 but the date of entry is March 30.
Sometimes the clerk of court forgets to make the date of entry. That is why under the
old rules, the date of finality of judgment does not coincide with the date of entry of
judgment because the clerk of court may do that thing months later. This creates a lot of
trouble. So to cure the discrepancy, the second sentence is now inserted by the new law:
the date of finality of judgment shall be deemed to be the date of its entry.
Meaning, the judgment became final on March 20 although the clerk of court noted it
on March 30. Under the new rules, the date of entry (March 30) retroacts to March 20.
That is the significance of the second sentence, they will automatically coincide. Kahit ienter pa yan next month, everything will retroact to the date of finality. It is simplier now.
Q: When the judgment becomes final and executory, what are the effects?
A: The finality of a judgment produces three (3) effects, to wit:
1.) The prevailing party is entitled to have the judgment executed as a matter of right
and the issuance of the corresponding writ of execution becomes a ministerial duty
of the court (Rule 39);
2.) The court rendering the judgment loses jurisdiction over the case so that it can no
longer correct the judgment in substance, except to make corrections of clerical
errors and omissions plainly due to inadvertence or negligence. (Locsin vs. Paredes,
63 Phil. 87; Manaois vs. Natividad, L-13927, Feb. 28, 1960; Maramba vs. Lozano, L21533, June 29, 1967)
If after the judgment is rendered, you file a motion for reconsideration or new
trial, there is a possibility for the court to change its mind and its judgment. But
once the judgment has become final, the court has no more power to change its
judgment substantially. The error will also become final, you can no longer
change anything substantial.
EXCEPTION: There is one type of judgment which can be changed
substantially even long after it became final as an exception to this rule. In the
study of Persons, Judgment for Support. The judgment for support, which can be
modified at any time because the obligation to give support depends not only on
the resources of the obligor, but also on the ever-changing needs of the obligee.
(Malabana vs. Abeto, 74 Phil. 13)

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Rule 36 Judgments, Final Orders


And Entry Thereof

EXAMPLE: The father refuses to support his minor child. After trial, the court
orders the father to support the child at P1,000 per month. Four years later, the
father is already well-off and the child is already in nursery or kindergarten. So
the child tells his lawyer that the amount for support must be increased from
P1,000 to P5,000. The father says, the court said P1,000 and if you change that
to P5,000, that would be substantial. The father is wrong. The amount for
support can be changed anytime. In the same manner. The amount can also be
lowered, as when the father loses his job.
3.) Res Adjudicata supervenes. (NLU vs. CIR, L-14975, May 15, 1962)
The same cause of action between the same parties can never be the subject
matter of another litigation in the future. Any subsequent case is barred by prior
judgment.
Sec. 3. Judgment for or against one or more of several parties. - Judgment
may be given for or against one or more of several plaintiffs, and for or
against one or more of several defendants. When justice so demands, the court
may require the parties on each side to file adversary pleadings as between
themselves and determine their ultimate rights and obligations. (3)

Q: Suppose there are 2 plaintiffs A and B, can the court render judgment in favor of
plaintiff A and against plaintiff B? Or, is it possible that in one case, one defendant will win
and the other defendant will lose?
A: YES, especially when the causes of action or defenses are not the same. One may
invoke a defense that is only applicable to him but not applicable to others.
Sec. 4. Several judgments. - In an action against several defendants, the
court may, when a several judgment is proper, render judgment against one or
more of them, leaving the action to proceed against the others. (4)

Same concept. When there are 2 or more defendants, normally the court renders
judgment sabay-sabay. That is possible.
Q. Is it possible that more than one judgment will arise in a civil action?
A. YES. Theres a judgment in favor of the plaintiff against the defendant and the trial
still continues with respect to other defendants. That would involve more than one
decision. Judgment in favor of one defendant is rendered already but the trial will continue
with respect to other defendants is possible under Section 4.
EXAMPLE: There was a case where the government filed a case for expropriation
against several landowners. The lands are adjoining each other and the government
would like to expropriate all these properties. The government had to file on complaint
against several landowners. One landowner asked that his case be tried ahead of the
others. He was allowed under Rule 31 on Separate Trial. His case was tried ahead. After
trial, the court rendered judgment against him. His land was ordered expropriated. Now,
what happened to the other defendants? The Supreme Court said let the case continue
against the other landowners. But there would be a judgment in so far as one defendant
is concerned. (Municipality of Bian vs. Garcia, 108 SCRA 576)
Sec. 5. Separate judgments. - When more than one claim for relief is
presented in an action, the court, at any stage, upon a determination of the
issues material to a particular claim and all counterclaims arising out of the
transaction or occurrence which is the subject matter of the claim, may render a
separate judgment disposing of such claim. The judgment shall terminate the
action with respect to the claim so disposed of and the action shall proceed as
to the remaining claims. In case a separate judgment is rendered, the court by
order may stay its enforcement until the rendition of a subsequent judgment or
judgments and may prescribe such conditions as may be necessary to secure the
benefit thereof to the party in whose favor the judgment is rendered. (5a)

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Rule 36 Judgments, Final Orders


And Entry Thereof

Section 5 is also similar to Section 4.


Q: Can there be judgments at periods or stages of proceedings?
A: YES. There can be judgment insofar as one cause of action and the proceedings will
continue as to other causes of action.
Let us go back to Rule 30 on Order of Trial. You will notice that there is order of trial
when there are several claims in one action.
EXAMPLE: Plaintiff files a complaint against several defendants. One defendant files a
cross-claim against another defendant. Two defendants file permissive counterclaims
against the plaintiff. One defendant will file a third-party complaint against a third-party
defendant. The court renders judgment. It may render judgment as far as complaint is
concerned, then the decision for the cross-claim, then for the counterclaim.
The normal procedure is you try the case, tapusin mo lahat, then you render one
judgment disposing of the complaint, counterclaim, cross-claim and third-party complaint.
Yet, separate judgments is also permissive under Section 5. If there are separate trials for
all these (counterclaim, cross-claim, etc), it is also possible that there would be separate
trials.
Distinctions:
Section 3 refers to an action by several parties
Section 4 refers to an action against several defendants
Section 5 refers to several claims for relief in an action
Sec. 6.
Judgment against entity without juridical personality. - When
judgment is rendered against two or more persons sued as an entity without
juridical personality, the judgment shall set out their individual or proper
names, if known. (6a)

Does that sound familiar? Two or more persons sued as an entity without juridical
personality. Lets go back to Rule 3 Section 15 and Rule 14 Section 8.
PROBLEM: Three people are members of an entity without juridical personality. They
transact business with Mr. Alama. Mr. Alama has no idea who are really the members of
the said entity. He wanted to sue the members of an entity.
Q1: How will he do it?
A: Rule 3, Section 15 Mr. Alama will file a case against the defendants by using the
name of the entity they are using.
Q2: How should summons served to these defendants?
A: Rule 14, Section 8 Summons may be served on anyone of them or to the person in
charge of the place of business.
Q3: How should judgment be rendered against them?
A: Rule 36, Section 6 when judgment is rendered, the judgment shall set out their
individual and proper names.

published by
LAKAS ATENISTA 1997 1998: FOURTH YEAR: Anna Vanessa Angeles Glenda Buhion

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Joseph Martin Castillo Aaron Philip Cruz Pearly Joan Jayagan Anderson Lo Yogie Martirizar
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