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Consolidated Bank vs Del Monte Motor Works recovery of the money allegedly loaned to the defendants

GR 143338 | 465 SCRA 117 | July 29, 2005 (respondents herein).

Petition: Review on Certiorari
Facts: W/N the application of the best evidence rule which led to the exclusion of exhibit E
- CBTC filed a complaint for recovery of sum of money against Sps Morales for was proper
a P1Million loan that was extended to the latter, as evidenced by a
promissory note, where the Morales defaulted in the payment thereof. Ruling:
- CBTC attached to its complaint a photocopy of the promissory note - No. The best evidence rule as stated in our Revised Rules of Civil Procedure
supposedly executed by respondents, a copy of the demand letter it sent is not absolute.
respondents dated 20 January 1983, and statement of account. - The rule accepts of exceptions one of which is when the original of the
- During the trial, CBTC presented Lavarino, then the manager of its Collection subject document is in the possession of the adverse party. As pointed out
Department. Lavarino stated that Morales obtained the loan, but failed to by CBTC in its motion, had it been given the opportunity by the court a quo,
pay a single monthly installment on this loan, CBTC a demand letter. it would have sufficiently established that the original of Exhibit A was in the
Lavarino also identified the following exhibits for CBTC: photocopy of the possession of respondents which would have called into application one of
duplicate original of the promissory note attached to the complaint as the exceptions to the best evidence rule.
Exhibit A; petitioners 20 January 1983 demand letter marked as Exhibit B; - Significantly, respondents failed to deny specifically the execution of the
Tolentinos letter to petitioner dated 10 February 1983 and marked as promissory note. This being the case, there was no need for petitioner to
Exhibit C; and the 09 March 1984 statement of account sent to respondents present the original of the promissory note in question. Their judicial
marked as Exhibit D. admission with respect to the genuineness and execution of the promissory
- CBTC made its formal offer of evidence. However, as the original copy of note sufficiently established their liability to petitioner regardless of the fact
Exhibit A could no longer be found, CBTC instead sought the admission of that petitioner failed to present the original of said note.
the duplicate original of the promissory note which was identified and - Indeed, when the defendant fails to deny specifically and under oath the
marked as Exhibit E. due execution and genuineness of a document copied in a complaint, the
- The trial court initially admitted into evidence Exhibit E. plaintiff need not prove that fact as it is considered admitted by the
- Del Monte filed a manifestation and motion for reconsideration of the trial defendant.
courts order admitting into evidence Exhibit E, claiming that it was
immaterial, irrelevant, was not properly identified and hearsay evidence. REVERSED and SET ASIDE. Respondents are ordered to pay One Million Pesos
Del Monte insists that Exhibit E was not properly identified by Lavarino who (P1,000,000.00) plus 23% interest per annum, penalty charge of 3% interest per
testified that he had nothing to do in the preparation and execution of annum, and 10% of the amount due as attorneys fees together with a 1% interest per
petitioners exhibits, one of which was Exhibit E. Further, as there were month until fully paid. The sum of P220,020.00 which was the value of the postdated
markings in Exhibit A which were not contained in Exhibit E, the latter could check given by respondents to petitioner as partial payment should be deducted
not possibly be considered an original copy of Exhibit A. from the amount due from respondents.
- Respondents separately filed their motions to dismiss on the similar ground
that with the exclusion of Exhibits A and E, petitioner no longer possessed
any proof of respondents alleged indebtedness.
- RTC: Dismissed the case.
- CA: RTC ruling affirmed.
o The best evidence rule or primary evidence must be applied as the
purpose of the proof is to establish the terms of the writing
meaning the alleged promissory note as it is the basis of the