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October 9, 2018
JDA (MW 7:30-9pm)



RULE 5 Uniform Procedure in Trial Courts

G.R. No. 154096, August 22, 2008

Irene and several co-plaintiffs filed a case before the RTC of Batac, Ilocos Norte against
Benedicto and his business associates for conveyance of shares of stocks. Irene alleges that
several years back, Benedicto created two companies where 65% of the shareholdings were
being held by Benedicto and associates in trust for Irene. Benedicto filed a motion to dismiss on
the ground that 0the venue is improperly laid. He was claiming that Irene is not a resident of
Batac but rather, a resident of Makati City. Irene, on the other hand, claims that her co-
plaintiffs are residing in Batac.
RTC: Venue improperly laid since Irene is a resident of Makati City and not in Batac.
CA: Since co-plaintiffs are residents of Batac, venue is not improperly laid.
Whether or not the venue is improperly laid.
YES. Motion to dismiss granted.
First of all, all the action is one in personam. The fact that the companies’ assets include
properties does not materially change the nature of the action.
Second, there can be no serious dispute that the real party-in-interests plaintiff is Irene. As self-
styled beneficiary of the disputed trust, she stands to be benefited or entitled to the avails of
the present suit. It is undisputed too that three other persons, all from Ilocos Norte, were
included as co-plaintiffs in the complaint as Irene’s new designated trustees. As trustees, they
can only serve as mere representatives of Irene.
Sec. 2 of Rule 4 indicates quite clearly that when there is more than one plaintiff in a
personal action case, the residences of the principal parties should be the basis for determining
proper venue. According to the late Justice Jose Y. Feria, the word principal has been added [in
the uniform procedure rule] in order to prevent the plaintiff from choosing the residence of a
minor plaintiff or defendant as the venue. Eliminate the qualifying term principal and the
purpose of the Rule would, to borrow from Justice Regalado, be defeated where a nominal or
formal party is impleaded in the action since the latter would not have the degree of interest in
the subject of the action which would warrant and entail the desirably active participation
expected of litigants in a case.

RULE 9 Effect of Failure to Plead

G.R. No. 139018, April 11, 2005

Petitioner filed a complaint for annulment of title, with prayer for preliminary
mandatory injunction against respondent, claiming that she is the sole heir of Cruz, thus she is
the sole owner of the lot, which was fraudulently sold to Lopez, who subsequently sold such to
Respondent filed an Answer with Compulsory Counterclaim. Petitioner filed a motion to
dismiss respondent’s counterclaim for lack of certificate of non-forum shopping. Trial court
denied the motion. Upon petitioner’s Motion for Reconsideration, trial court reversed itself,
dismissing respondent’s counterclaim. However, the trial court again recalled its order
dismissing the counterclaim.
Whether or not a compulsory counterclaim requires a certificate of non-forum
NO. A compulsory counterclaim is any claim for money or other relief, which a
defending party may have against an opposing party, which at the time of suit arises out of, or
is necessarily connected with, the same transaction or occurrence that is the subject matter of
plaintiff’s complaint.It is compulsory in the sense that it is within the jurisdiction of the court,
does not require for its adjudication the presence of third parties over whom the court cannot
acquire jurisdiction, and will be barred in the future if not set up in the answer to the complaint
in the same case. Any other counterclaim is permissive.
Respondent’s counterclaim as set up in its answer states:
That because of the unwarranted, baseless, and unjustified acts of the plaintiff, herein
defendant has suffered and continue to suffer actual damages in the sum of at
least P400,000,000.00 which the law, equity, and justice require that to be paid by the plaintiff
and further to reimburse the attorney’s fees of P2,000,000.00;
It is clear that the counterclaim set up by respondent arises from the filing of plaintiff’s
complaint. The counterclaim is so intertwined with the main case that it is incapable of
proceeding independently. The counterclaim will require a re-litigation of the same evidence if
the counterclaim is allowed to proceed in a separate action. Even petitioner recognizes that
respondent’s counterclaim is compulsory. A compulsory counterclaim does not require a
certificate of non-forum shopping because a compulsory counterclaim is not an initiatory

RULE 14 Summons
G.R. No. 205249, October 15, 2014


This resolves a petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45

On December 21, 2009, respondent Ramon Ong (Ong) filed with the Regional Trial
Court, La Trinidad, Benguet, a complaint for accion reivindicatoria. Ong charged the Spouses
Manuel with having constructed improvements through force, intimidation, strategy, threats,
and stealth on a property he supposedly owned. On January 19, 2010, Ong filed an "amended
complaint." On February 3, 2010, summons was issued directed to the Spouses Manuel. On
April 23, 2010, Ong filed with the Regional Trial Court a motion to declare the Spouses Manuel
in default.

Per the sheriffs return on summons, on February 12, 2010, Sheriff Joselito Sales, along
with Ong's counsel, Atty. Christopher Donaal, and a... certain Federico Laureano, attempted to
personally serve summons on the Spouses Manuel at their address in Lower Bacong, Loacan,
Itogon, Benguet.

The Spouses Manuel, however, requested that service be made at another time
considering that petitioner. Sandra Manuel's mother was then critically ill. The sheriffs return
further indicates that on March 16, 2010, another attempt at personal service was made.

After Sheriff Joselito Sales had personally explained to petitioner Sandra Manuel the
content of the summons and the complaint, the latter refused to sign and receive the summons
and the complaint.

Sheriff Joselito Sales was thus prompted to merely tender the summons and complaint
to petitioner Sandra Manuel and to advise her to file their answer within fifteen days. As the
Spouses Manuel failed to file their answer within this period, Ong asked that they be declared
in default.

On June 28, 2010, the Regional Trial Court issued an order granting Ong's motion to
declare the Spouses Manuel in default. Following this, Ong moved for the ex parte presentation
of evidence, which the Regional Trial Court granted. On September 13, 2010, the Spouses
Manuel filed a motion to lift the order of default. They alleged that it is the siblings of petitioner
Sandra Manuel who resided in Lower Bacong, Itogon, Benguet, while they resided in Ambiong,
La Trinidad, Benguet. Thus, summons could not have been properly served on them in the
former address.

They surmised that Ong and his companions mistook petitioner Sandra Manuel's siblings
as the defendants in Civil Case No. 09-CV-2582. They further claimed that they only
subsequently received via registered mail copies of (1) a compliance and manifestation filed by
Ong and (2) the Regional Trial Court's order scheduling the ex parte presentation of evidence.
Attached to the Spouses Manuel's motion to lift order of default was their answer.

In its order dated November 30, 2010, the Regional Trial Court denied the Spouses
Manuel's motion to lift order of default. First, their motion was not sworn to, as required by the
1997 Rules of Civil Procedure. Second, they did not show that their failure to timely file an
answer was due to fraud, accident, mistake or excusable negligence. The Spouses Manuel's
motion for reconsideration was denied.

Aggrieved, the Spouses Manuel filed a petition for certiorari before the Court of


Whether the Spouses Manuel may be granted relief from the Regional Trial Court's June
28, 2010 order of default.


Rule 14, Section 6 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure provides:

SEC. 6. Service in person on defendant. Whenever practicable, the summons shall be

served by handing a copy thereof to the defendant in person, or, if he refuses to receive
and sign for it, by tendering it to him.

Tendering summons is itself a means of personal service as it is contained in Rule 14,

Section 6. Personal service, as provided by Rule 14, Section 6, is distinguished from its
alternative : substituted service as provided by Rule 14, Section 7:
SEC. 7. Substituted service. If, for justifiable causes, the defendant cannot be served
within a reasonable time as provided in the preceding section, service may be effected
(a) by leaving copies of the summons at the defendant's residence with some... person
of suitable age and discretion then residing therein, or (b) by leaving the copies at
defendant's office or regular place of business with some competent person in charge

In this case, the sheriffs return on summons indicated that Sheriff Joselito Sales
endeavored to personally hand the summons and a copy of the complaint to the Spouses
Manuel on two (2) separate occasions. He relented from doing so on the first occasion in
deference to the medical condition of petitioner Sandra Manuel's mother. On the second
occasion, he was constrained to tender the summons and copy of the complaint as petitioner
Sandra Manuel refused to accept them.

The Spouses Manuel did not deny the occurrence of the events narrated in the sheriffs
return but claimed that no valid service of summons was made. They claimed that they did not
reside in Lower Bacong, Loacan, Itogon, Benguet, where the service of summons, was made.
From this, they surmised that the "Sandra Manuel" who was specifically identified in the
sheriffs return was someone other than petitioner Sandra Manuel.

The Spouses Manuel cannot capitalize on the supposed variance of address. Personal
service of summons has nothing to do with the location where summons is served. A
defendant's address is inconsequential. Rule 14, Section 6 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure
is clear in what it requires: personally handing the summons to the defendant (albeit tender is
sufficient should the defendant refuse to receive and sign). What is determinative of the
validity of personal service is, therefore, the person of the defendant, not the locus of service.

In any case, the Court of Appeals is correct in pointing out that the Spouses Manuel's
self-serving assertion must crumble in the face of the clear declarations in the sheriffs return.

RULE 15 Motions
G.R. No. 193650, October 8, 2014


Both complaints in Civil Case No. 116028 and in Civil Case No. 129829 were filed by
petitioner Republic Planters Bank against private respondent, for the collection of a sum of
money based on a promissory note dated January 26, 1970, in the amount of P100,000.00.
Judge Alfredo C. Florendo dismissed Civil Case No. 116028 for failure of the petitioner "to
prosecute its case within a reasonable length of time.

A motion for reconsideration of that order was denied. When Civil Case No. 129829 was
filed by petitioner, a motion to dismiss was submitted by private respondents on the ground
that the cause of action is barred by a prior judgment (res judicata) in Civil Case No. 116028.
Private respondents opined that said order was adjudication upon the merits. Petitioner
opposed the motion to dismiss, claiming that res judicata does not apply because the summons
and complaint in Civil Case No. 116028 were never served upon private respondents and, as
such, the trial court never acquired jurisdiction over private respondents and, consequently,
over the case. Petitioner maintains that the order of dismissal in Civil Case No. 11 6028 never
became final as against private respondents. But the same was dismissed, on the ground that
judgment on the previous complaint had become final. Therefore, petitioner appealed to the
Court of Appeals both questioned orders of respondent court in Civil Case No. 129829.

But then, petitioner sought a more speedy remedy in questioning said orders by filing
this petition for certiorari before this Court.


Whether the trial court committed a grave abuse of discretion when it ordered Civil
CaseNo. 129829 dismissed on the ground of res judicata it appearing that Civil Case No. 116028
was dismissed on May 21, 1979, for failure of petitioner to prosecute within a reasonable
length of time, although in the said case, the trial court never acquired jurisdiction over the
persons of private respondents.


The questioned orders of the trial court in Civil Case No. 129829 supporting private
respondent’s motion to dismiss on the ground of res judicata are without cogent basis. We
sustain petitioner's claim that respondent trial judge acted without or in excess of jurisdiction
when he issued said orders because he thereby traversed the constitutional precept that "No
person shall be deprived of property without due process of law" and that jurisdiction is vitally
essential for any order or adjudication to be binding. Justice cannot be sacrificed
for technicality. It is a cardinal rule that no one must be allowed to enrich himself at the
expense of another without just cause.

For the court to have authority to dispose of the case on the merits, it must acquire
jurisdiction over the subject matter and the parties. If it did not acquire jurisdiction over the
private respondents as parties to Civil Case No. 116028, it cannot render any binding decision,
favorable or adverse to them, or dismiss the case with prejudice which, in effect, is adjudication
on the merits. The controverter orders in Civil Case No. 116028 disregarded the fundamental
principles of remedial law and the meaning and the effect of jurisdiction.

A judgment, to be considered res judicata, must be binding, and must be rendered by a

court of competent jurisdiction. Otherwise, the judgment is a nullity. The order of dismissal in
Civil Case No. 116028 does not have the effect of adjudication on the merits of the case
because the court that rendered the same did not have the requisite jurisdiction over the
persons of the defendants therein. This being so, it cannot be the basis of res judicata and it
cannot be a bar to a lawful claim. If at all, such a dismissal may be considered as one without

RULE 16 Motion to Dismiss

G.R. No. 185922, January 15, 2014


Dr. Mariano Favis, Sr. (Dr. Favis) was married to Capitolina Aguilar (Capitolina) with
whom he had seven children. When Capitolina died in March 1994. Dr. Favis married Juana
Gonzalez (Juana), his common-law wife with whom he sired one child, Mariano G. Favis
(Mariano), he executed an affidavit acknowledging Mariano as one of his legitimate children.
Mariano is married to Larcelita D. Favis (Larcelita), with whom he has four children.

Dr. Favis died intestate on July 29, 1995. On October 16, 1994, prior his death, he
allegedly executed a Deed of Donation transferring and conveying properties in favor of his
grandchildren with Juana. Claiming the said donation prejudiced their legitime, Dr. Favis
children with Capitolina, petitioners herein, filed an action for annulment of the Deed of
Donation, inventory, liquidation, liquidation and partition of property before the RTC against
Juana, Sps. Mariano and Larcelita and their grandchildren as respondents.

RTC nullified the Deed of Donation. The trial court found that Dr. Favis, at the age of 92
and plagued with illnesses, could not have had full control of his mental capacities to execute a
valid Deed of Donation.

The Court of Appeals ordered the dismissal of the petitioners nullification case. The CA
motu proprioproprio ordered the dismissal of the complaint for failure of petitioners to make
an averment that earnest efforts toward a compromise have been made, as mandated by
Article 151 of the Family Court.


Whether or not the appellate court dismiss the order of dismissal of the complaint for
failure to allege therein that earnest efforts towards a compromise have been made.


The appellate court committed egregious error in dismissing the complaint. The
appellate court committed egregious error in dismissing the complaint. The appellate courts
decision hinged on Article 151 of the Family Code, Art.151.No suit between members of the
same family shall prosper unless it should appear from the verified complaint or petition that
earnest efforts toward a compromise have been made, but that the same have failed. If it is
shown that no such efforts were in fact made, the case must be dismissed.

The appellate court correlated this provision with Section 1, par. (j), Rule 16 of the 1997
Rules of Civil Procedure, which provides: Section 1. Grounds. - Within the time for but before
filing the answer to the complaint or pleading asserting a claim, a motion to dismiss may be
made on any of the following grounds:(j) That a condition precedent for filing the claim has not
been complied with.
The appellate courts reliance on this provision is misplaced. Rule 16 treats of the
grounds for a motion to dismiss the complaint. It must be distinguished from the grounds
provided under Section 1, Rule 9 which specifically deals with dismissal of the claim by the court
motu proprio. Section 1, Rule 9 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure. Section 1, Rule 9 provides
for only four instances when the court may motu proprio dismiss the claim, namely: (a) lack of
jurisdiction over the subject matter; (b) litis pendentia; (c) res judicata; and (d) prescription of

Significantly, the Rule requires that such a motion should be filed “Within the time for
but before filing the answer to the complaint or pleading asserting a claim.” The time frame
indicates that thereafter, the motion to dismiss based on the absence of the condition
precedent is barred. It is so inferable from the opening sentence of section 1 or Rule 9 stating
that defense and objections not pleaded either in a motion to dismiss or in the answer are
deemed waived. There are, as just noted, only four exceptions to this Rule, namely, lack of
jurisdiction over the subject matter; litis pendentia; res judicata; and prescription of action.

Failure to allege in the complaint that earnest efforts at a compromise has been made
but had failed is not f the exceptions.
RULE 17 Dismissal of Actions
G.R. No. L-5189, September 21, 1953


Gaudencio Serrano was the lessee of a parcel of land while respondent Cabrera was the
lessor. The term of the lease was six agricultural years and the yearly rental agreed upon was
290 cavans of palay. The lessor brought an action to recover rentals due and unpaid for
agricultural years 1943 to1944.The complaint was dismissed upon a motion which contains a
provision stating that Gaudencio Serranoas lessee has already satisfied the claims of lessor
Cabrera against him and shall deem that complaint dismissed. Alleging and claiming that what
he had paid to her was in excess of what was due her for unpaid rentals the lessee brought an
action against the lessor and her husband to annul the proceedings in civil case No.141, to
recover such excess payment of rentals. Defendants moved for the dismissal of the complaint
on the ground of res judicata.

Court dismissed the complaint on the ground of res judicata.


Whether or not the dismissal of the complaint in the first action on the ground that
defendant had paid and satisfied all her claims before the filing of the answer was without

Section 1 Rule 30 only applies to the part of plaintiff (Cabrera) and not to herein
petitioners. Section 1, Rule 30, cannot be invoked in this case, because a dismissal of the action
without order of the Court, which is without prejudice, is one by the plaintiff before the filing of
an answer by the defendant. It means that such dismissal would not preclude the plaintiff from
bringing another action against the same defendant on the same subject matter. Such dismissal
under the rule does not bar institution of an action by the defendant which he could have
brought in the action against him by means of a counter-claim or cross-claim. The dismissal in
the first case was upon motion of the plaintiff consented to by the defendant and the ground
was that the latter had paid and satisfied all the claims of the former, as prayed for in her

Order appealed from is affirmed.

RULE 18 Pre-Trial
G.R. No. 97753, August 10, 1992

On various dates, Security Bank and Trust Company (SBTC), through its Sucat Branch
issued 280 certificates of time deposit (CTD) in favor of one Angel dela Cruz who later lost

Caltex (Phils.) Inc. went to the SBTCSucat branch and presented for verification the CTDs
declared lost by Angel dela Cruz alleging that the same were delivered to herein plaintiff “as
security for purchases made with Caltex Philippines, Inc.” by said depositor. SBTC rejected
Caltex’s demand and claim. Caltex sued SBTC but case was dismissed rationalizing that CTD’s
are non-negotiable instruments.


Whether or not there is determination of issues in pre-trial.


Pre-trial is primarily intended to make certain that all issues necessary to the disposition
of a case are properly raised.

Thus, to obviate the element of surprise, parties are expected to disclose at a pre-trial
conference all issues of law and fact which they intend to raise at the trial, except such as may
involve privileged or impeaching matters. The determination of issues at a pre-trial conference
bars the consideration of other questions on appeal.

RULE 19 Intervention
G.R. No. 182902, October 5, 2011


On 22 November 2000, VMGA, through its president, William Uy (Uy), requested from
Ortigas the renewal of the First Contract of Lease. VGMA secured two insurance policies to
protect Virra Mall against damage by fire and other causes. However, these insurance
coverages expired simultaneously with the First Contract of Lease on 15 November 2000.
Subsequently, on 13 March 2001, VGMA acquired new sets of insurance policies effective 10
January 2001 to 31 December 2001.

On 5 May 2001, Virra Mall was gutted by fire, requiring substantial repair and
restoration. VMGA thus filed an insurance claim through the insurance broker, respondent
Winternitz Associates Insurance Company, Inc. (Winternitz). Thereafter, the proceeds of the
insurance were released to VMGA. On 3 September 2001, Ortigas entered into a Contract of
Lease (Second Contract of Lease) with Uy effective 2 November 2001 to 31 December 2004. On
11 September 2001, the latter assigned and transferred to petitioner Virra Mall Tenants
Association (VMTA) all his rights and interests over the property.

On 7 February 2003, Ortigas filed a Complaint for Specific Performance with Damages
and Prayer for Issuance of a Writ of Preliminary Attachment against several defendants,
including herein respondents. It accused them of fraud, misappropriation and conversion of
substantial portions of the insurance proceeds for their own personal use unrelated to the
repair and restoration of Virra Mall. To secure the subject insurance proceeds, Ortigas also
sought the issuance of a writ of preliminary attachment against herein respondents. The case
was docketed as Civil Case No. 69312, and raffled to the Regional Trial Court, National Capital
Judicial Region, Pasig City, Branch 67 (RTC Br. 67), which issued a Writ of Preliminary
Attachment on 12 February 2003.

On 17 February 2003, VMTA filed a Complaint-in-Intervention. It claimed that as the

assignee or transferee of the rights and obligations of Uy in the Second Contract of Lease, and
upon the order of Ortigas, it had engaged the services of various contractors. These contractors
undertook the restoration of the damaged area of Virra Mall amounting to ₱18,902,497.75.
Thus, VMTA sought the reimbursement of the expenses it had incurred in relation thereto. RTC
Br. 67 admitted the Complaint-in-Intervention in its Order dated 8 January 2004.

On 5 March 2004, herein respondents moved for the dismissal of the Complaint-in-
Intervention on the ground that it stated no cause of action. In its Omnibus Order dated 2
August 2005, RTC Br. 67 denied this Motion to Dismiss. The trial court based its Decision on the
grounds that (a) by filing the said motion, herein respondents hypothetically admitted the truth
of the facts alleged in the Complaint-in-Intervention, and (b) the test of sufficiency of the facts
alleged was whether or not the court could render a valid judgment as prayed for, accepting as
true the exclusive facts set forth in the Complaint. Thus, RTC Br. 67 held that if there are doubts
as to the truth of the facts averred, and then the court must not dismiss the Complaint, but
instead require an answer and proceed to trial on the merits. On a Rule 65 Petition for
Certiorari alleging grave abuse of discretion, the CA reversed the ruling of RTC Br. 67 and
dismissed the Complaint-in-Intervention on the following grounds: (a) VMTA failed to state a
cause of action; (b) VMTA has no legal interest in the matter in litigation; and (c) the Complaint-
in-Intervention would cause a delay in the trial of the action, make the issues more
complicated, prejudice the adjudication of the rights of the parties, stretch the issues, and
increase the breadth of the remedies and relief.


Whether or not the Court of Appeals committed grave error in declaring that the
complaint in intervention failed to state a cause of action against private respondents when it
declared that the complaint in intervention belies any correlative obligation on the part of
private respondents vis-à-vis the legal right of petitioner for reimbursement.


According to VMTA, it has a legal interest in Civil Case No. 69312, which is rooted in the
alleged failure of VMGA to turn over the insurance proceeds for the restoration and
rehabilitation of Virra Mall, in breach of the latter’s contractual obligation to Ortigas. However,
the CA ruled against this position taken by VMTA not only because, in the CA’s view, VMTA’s
Complaint-in-Intervention failed to state a cause of action, but also because it has no legal
interest in the matter in litigation. We rule in favor of VMTA.

Section 1, Rule 19 of the Rules of Court provides:

Who may intervene. – A person who has a legal interest in the matter in litigation, or in the
success of either of the parties, or an interest against both, or is so situated as to be adversely
affected by a distribution or other disposition of property in the custody of the court or of an
officer thereof may, with leave of court, be allowed to intervene in the action. The court shall
consider whether or not the intervention will unduly delay or prejudice the adjudication of the
rights of the original parties, and whether or not the intervenor’s rights may be fully protected
in a separate proceeding.

Applying the foregoing points to the case at bar, VMTA may be allowed to intervene, and the
ruling of RTC Br. 67 allowing intervention was wrongly reversed by the CA because such a ruling
does not constitute grave abuse of discretion.
RULE 22 Computation of Time
GR No. L-28841, Jun 24, 1983


On February 1, 1965, the fiscal filed information for slight physical injuries allegedly
committed by the petitioner on December 2, 1964. Since the information was filed after the
prescribed 60-day period, petitioner moved to quash the criminal prosecution on the ground of
prescription. Respondent contended that it was filed within the prescriptive period since the
last day fell on a Sunday or legal Holiday, therefore, should not be counted.


Whether period of prescription is interrupted by Sundays or Legal Holidays.


NO. A Sunday or legal holiday does not interrupt nor stop the running of the prescriptive
period as a matter of statutory articulation. According to Article 91, the only exception is the
offender’s physical absence and no other cause can be sufficient to interrupt prescription.

The Court ruled that “

Where the sixtieth and last day to file information falls on a Sunday or legal holiday, the sixty-
day period cannot be extended up to the next working day. Prescription has automatically set

The fiscal cannot file the information on the next following working day as it would tantamount
to extending the prescriptive period fixed by law. Therefore, the motion to quash the criminal
prosecution was granted on the valid ground of prescription.

RULE 26 Admission by Adverse Party

G.R. No. 119205, April 15, 1988

Sime Darby Pilipinas (the Company) declared and implemented a lockout against all the
hourly employees of its tire factory on the ground of sabotage and work slowdown. This after
failed negotiations with Sime Darby Employees Association (the Union) for the remaining two
years of their CBA. The Union contested the lockout before the DOLE-NLRC. Subsequently the
company decided to sell its tire manufacturing assets and close the business. As a result, all
employees were terminated, including the petitioners. The company later found a buyer of its
assets and business in Goodyear Philippines,Inc.

Petitioners filed a complaint for Illegal Dismissal before the DOLE and later a complaint
for Unfair Labor Practice (ULP), both cases eventually consolidated. The labor arbiter ordered
the parties to submit their respective memorandum but instead of doing this, the Union filed an
Appeal Memorandum with a petition for injunction and/or a TRO before the NLRC. The labor
arbiter later dismissed the case for lack of merit. It found the lockout valid and legal, and
justified by the incidents of continued work slowdown, mass absences, and consistent low
production output, high rate of waste and scrap tires and machine breakdown. It also
considered the mass termination of all the employees valid as an authorized termination of
employment due to closure of the establishment, the company having complied with due
Petitioners appealed the labor arbiter’s Decision to the NLRC which was also dismissed
for lack of merit. It also ruled that that the labor arbiter could not have lost jurisdiction over the
case when petitioners appealed the former’s order since the order was interlocutory in nature
and cannot be appealed separately. In the Court of Appeals, the petition was similarly denied.
Petitioners reiterate that they were denied due process when they were dismissed right on the
day they were handed down their termination letters, without the benefit of the thirty (30)-day
notice as required by law, and invoke the Court’s ruling in Serrano v. NLRC; that the labor
arbiter had lost jurisdiction over the issue when have already perfected their appeal to the
NLRC; and that labor arbiter deprived petitioners of the chance to present their evidence during
the formal trial.

Whether petitioner’s Request for Admission should have been granted and the evidence
included therein should have been admitted since respondent’s reply/objection thereto were
not made under oath.
NO. A request for admission is a remedy provided by Rule 26 of the Rules of Court,
which allows aparty to file and serve upon any other party a written request for the admission
of: (i) the genuineness of any material and relevant document described in and exhibited with
the request; or (ii) the truth of any material and relevant matter of fact set forth in the request.
Said request must be answered under oath within the period indicated in the request, therwise
the matters of which admission were requested should be deemed admitted. Petitioners claim
that respondents, instead of filling an answer under oath, filed an unsworn reply/objection
thereto. Thus, the admission should be deemed admitted in their favor.
Petitioner’s Request for Admission does not fall under Rule 26 of the Rules of Court. A
review of said Request for Admission shows that it contained matters which are precisely the
issues in the consolidated cases, and/or irrelevant matters; for example, the reasons behind the
lockout, the company’s motive in the CBA negotiations, lack of notice of dismissal, the validity
of the release and quitclaim.

RULE 27 Production or Inspection of Documents or Things

G.R. No. 179786, July 24, 2017


Petitioner wife filed against respondent husband a petition for the declaration of nullity
of marriage, with the dissolution of their conjugal partnership of gains, and the award of
custody of their children to her, claiming that respondent husband failed to care for and
support his family and that a psychiatrist diagnosed him as mentally deficient due to incessant
drinking and excessive use of prohibited drugs.

Respondent husband claims that it was the wife who failed in her duties. And that he
initially agreed to marriage counseling to save their marriage, but upon arriving at the hospital,
two men forcibly held him by both arms while another gave him an injection. He attached a
Philhealth Claim Form to his answer as proof that he was forcibly confined at the rehabilitation
unit of a hospital. However, that same form carried a physician's handwritten note that the
husband suffered from methamphetamine and alcohol abuse.

Based on the physician's handwritten statement, petitioner wife requested for the
issuance of a subpoena duces tecum addressed to Medical City, for the production of the
Husband's medical records. The husband opposed, arguing that the medical records were
covered by physician-patient privilege. The request of the wife was denied by the trial court. CA

Whether or not CA erred in ruling that the trial court correctly denied the issuance of a
subpoena duces tecum covering the husband's hospital records on the ground that these are
covered by the privileged character of the physician-patient communication?


NO. The issuance of a subpoena duces tecum is premature. Petitioner wife made the
request before trial started. She will have to wait for trial to begin before making a request for
the issuance of a subpoena duces tecum covering her husband's hospital records. It is when
those records are produced for examination at the trial, that the husband may opt to object,
not just to their admission in evidence, but more so to their disclosure.

It is of course possible to treat Josielene’s motion for the issuance of a subpoena duces
tecum covering the hospital records as a motion for production of documents, a discovery
procedure available to a litigant prior to trial. Section 1, Rule 27 of the Rules of Civil Procedure
provides: x x x
But the above right to compel the production of documents has a limitation: the documents to
be disclosed are “not privileged.”

Petitioner wife, of course, claims that the hospital records subject of this case are not
privileged since it is the “testimonial” evidence of the physician that may be regarded as
privileged. Section 24(c) of Rule 130 states that the physician “cannot in a civil case, without the
consent of the patient, be examined” regarding their professional conversation. The privilege,
according to her, does not cover the hospital records, but only the examination of the physician
at the trial.

To allow, however, the disclosure during discovery procedure of the hospital records—
the results of tests that the physician ordered, the diagnosis of the patient’s illness, and the
advice or treatment he gave him— would be to allow access to evidence that is
inadmissible without the patient’s consent. Physician memorializes all these information in the
patient’s records. Disclosing them would be the equivalent of compelling the physician to
testify on privileged matters he gained while dealing with the patient, without the latter’s prior

RULE 28 Physical and Mental Examination of Persons

G.R. No. 179786 July 24, 2013

G.R. No. 179786, July 24, 2017

I concur but add the following points:

I agree that the hospital records of respondent Johnny Chan may not be produced in court
without his/her consent. Issuance of a subpoena duces tecum for its production will violate the
physician-patient privilege rule under Rule 130, Sec. 24(c)1 of the Rules of Civil Procedure.

However, this privilege is not absolute. The request of petitioner for a copy of the medical
records has not been properly laid.

Instead of a request for the issuance of a subpoena duces tecum, Josielene Lara Chan should
avail of the mode of discovery under Rule 28 of the Rules of Civil Procedure.

Rule 28 pertains to the physical or mental examination of persons. This may be ordered by the
court, in its discretion,2 upon motion and showing of good cause by the requesting party, in
cases when the mental and/or physical condition of a party is in controversy. Aside from
showing good cause, the requesting party needs only to notify the party to be examined (and
all other parties) and specify the time, place, manner, conditions, and scope of the examination,
including the name of the physician who will conduct the examination.

The examined party may obtain a copy of the examining physician's report concerning his/her
mental or physical examination. The requesting party shall deliver this report to him/her. After
such delivery, however, the requesting party becomes entitled to any past or future medical
report involving the same mental or physical condition.8 Upon motion and notice, the court
may order the examined party to deliver those medical reports to the requesting party if the
examined party refuses to do so.

Moreover, if the examined party requests a copy of the examining physician's report or if
he/she takes the examining physician's deposition, the request waives the examined party's
privileges when the testimony of any person who examined or will examine his/her mental of
physical status is taken in the action or in any action involving the same controversy.

Discovery procedures provide a balance between the need of the plaintiff or claimant to fully
and fairly establish her case and the policy to protect - to a certain extent - communications
made between a patient and his doctor. Hence, the physician-patient privilege does not cover
information discovered under Rule 28. This procedure is availed with the intention of making
the results public during trial.1âwphi1 Along with other modes of discovery; this would prevent
the trial from being carried on in the dark.
RULE 29 Refusal to Comply with Modes of Discovery
G.R. No. 153127, March 3, 2008


On July 12, 2001, Berdex International, Inc. (private respondent) filed with the Regional
Trial Court of Pasig City (RTC) a complaint for a sum of money against petitioner, docketed as
Civil Case No. 68530 alleging that: it is a foreign corporation organized and existing under the
laws of the United States of America with principal office in San Francisco, California, U.S.A.; it is
maintaining the present action only to enforce its rights by virtue of an isolated transaction
with petitioner; in June 1997, petitioner received from it certain amounts of money which were
meant partly as advances or loan and partly for the purchase of 40% shares in
both Seanet and Seabest Corporations, however, not a single share in those corporations was
transferred to private respondent by petitioner and the shares were retained by the latter; the
parties then agreed to treat all the payments/advances made by private respondent to
petitioner as the latter's loan; petitioner proposed the payment of the loan within a period of
three years, which proposal was accepted by private respondent with the agreement that in
case of non-payment of any installment on their due dates, the entire amount shall become
due and demandable; petitioner later refused to sign a formal contract of loan; petitioner
confirmed such loan to private respondent's auditors on August 8, 2000; and he had only paid
US$20,000.00 and no further payment was made despite repeated demands. Private
respondent prayed that petitioner be ordered to pay the amount of US$150,335.75 plus
interest until fully paid and attorney's fees.

Petitioner filed his Answer contending that: he is a businessman engaged in the trading
of seafoods; he received from private respondent the total amount of US$141,944.71 with
instructions that petitioner first deduct therefrom the amount of US$23,748.00 representing
the latter's commission from private respondent in their other transaction; the money was
intended to be used to buy 70% of the outstanding shares of Seanet Corporation on behalf of
private respondent and the balance as private respondent's advances as Seanet's stockholder,
which he complied with; in view, however, of subsequent substantial losses incurred
by Seanet and petitioner's desire to maintain good business with private respondent, petitioner
offered that the amounts he received from private respondent be paid by Fuegomar Traders,
Inc. (Fuegomar), a company which he subsequently put up and which he substantially owned
and engaged in the same line of business as Seanet; Fuegomar will purchase at cost the stock
investment of private respondent in Seanet; while the documentation of such agreement was
being finalized, petitioner then gave US$20,000.00 to private respondent on behalf
of Fuegomar; however, private respondent then claimed that its investment in Seanet was
petitioner's personal loan and the amount of US$20,000.00 paid on behalf of Fuegomar was
maliciously interpreted as petitioner' admission of personal liability.


Whether or not the Petitioner claims that the right to take depositions upon written
interrogatories in lieu of oral testimony in open court would result in grave injustice to him, as
private respondent is seeking to establish the existence of an oral contract which requires
stricter standard in proving the same.

NO. While there are limitations to the rules of discovery, even when permitted to be
undertaken without leave and without judicial intervention, such limitations inevitably arise
when it can be shown that the examination is being conducted in bad faith; or in such a manner
as to annoy, embarrass, or oppress the person subject to the inquiry; or when the inquiry
touches upon the irrelevant or encroaches upon the recognized domains of privilege.

It has been repeatedly held that deposition discovery rules are to be accorded a broad and
liberal treatment and should not be unduly restricted if the matters inquired into are otherwise
relevant and not privileged, and the inquiry is made in good faith and within the bounds of law.
Otherwise, the advantage of a liberal discovery procedure in ascertaining the truth and
expediting the disposal of litigation would be defeated. In fact, we find nothing in the rules on
deposition that limits their use in case of oral contract as alleged by petitioner.

In any event, the admissibility of the deposition does not preclude the determination of its
probative value at the appropriate time. The admissibility of evidence should not be equated
with weight of evidence. The admissibility of evidence depends on its relevance and
competence while the weight of evidence pertains to evidence already admitted and its
tendency to convince and persuade.

Petitioner argues that to allow such deposition-taking will prevent the RTC from observing the
witnesses' demeanor and credibility; and that petitioner's right to cross-examine the witnesses
would be curtailed if not denied as he is limited to cross-interrogatories and re-cross
interrogatories based on written interrogatories.
RULE 30 Refusal to Comply with Modes of Discovery
G.R. No. L-29742 March 29, 1972

Appellant filed a complaint in the City Court of Davao to recover from defendant
Mapayo the sum of P2, 800, which represented an unpaid balance of the purchase price of an
engine (Gray Marine), sold to defendant.
The defendant admitted the said transaction in his answer but he alleged that the
engine had hidden defects causing him to spend the same amount for the repairs and
labor, wherefore plaintiff had agreed to waive the balance due on the price of the engine and
counterclaimed for damages and attorneys' fees.
The Court disallowed the defenses and ordered the defendant to pay plaintiff P2, 500.00
and costs.
Defendant Mapayo appealed to CFI and filed an answer that was a virtual reproduction
of his original defenses in the City Court.
The defendant, as well as his counsel, failed to appear and the court scheduled the case
for hearing ex parte on the same day. The Court ordered plaintiff to present his evidence but it
failed to do so. The plaintiff's counsel refused to comply and instead of calling his witnesses, he
moved the Court to present them after the defendant had presented their evidence. The court
asked said counsel twice whether he would present his evidence for the plaintiff, but said
counsel refused to do so and sticked to his demand that he would introduce his witnesses only
in rebuttal.
This prompted the court to dismiss the case on ground of failure of the plaintiff to
prosecute, hence this appeal.

Whether or not the CFI validly dismissed the case on ground of plaintiff's failure to

NO. The court held that the dismissal in untenable and contrary to law. The defendant
was not able to support his special defenses. The answer admitted defendant's obligation as
stated in the complaint, and pleaded special defenses hence the plaintiff had every right to
insist that it was for the defendant to come forward with evidence in support of his special
Judicial admissions do not require proof.