Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 11

SERAFIN TIJAM, ET AL., petitioner, vs. MAGDALENO SIBONGHANOY, ET AL., respondent G.R. No.

L-21603, April 15, 1968 FACTS: Tijam filed for recovery of P1,908 plus legal interest from Sibongahanoy. Defendants filed a counter bond with Manila Surety and Fidelity Co (Surety). Judgement was in favour of the plaintiffs, a writ of execution was issued against the defendant. Defendants moved for writ of execution against surety which was granted. Surety moved to quash the writ but was denied, appealed to CA without raising the issue on lack of jurisdiction. CA affirmed the appealed decision. Surety then filed Motion to Dismiss on the ground of lack of jurisdiction against CFI Cebu in view of the affectivity of Judiciary Act of 1948 a month before the filing of the petition for recovery. Act placed original exclusive jurisdiction of inferior courts all civil actions for demands not exceeding 2,000 exclusive of interest. CA set aside its earlier decision and referred the case to SC since it has exclusive jurisdiction over "all cases in which the jurisdiction of any inferior court is in issue. ISSUE: WON Surety bond is estopped from questioning the jurisdiction of the CFI Cebu for the first time upon appeal. HELD: Yes, SC believes that that the Surety is now barred by laches from invoking this plea after almost fifteen years before the Surety filed its motion to dismiss raising the question of lack of jurisdiction for the first time - A party may be estopped or barred from raising a question in different ways and for different reasons. Thus we speak of estoppel in pais, or estoppel by deed or by record, and of estoppel by laches. Laches, in a general sense is failure or neglect, for an unreasonable and unexplained length of time, to do that which, by exercising due diligence, could or should have been done earlier - Furthermore, it has also been held that after voluntarily submitting a cause and encountering an adverse decision on the merits, it is too late for the loser to question the jurisdiction or power of the court -"undesirable practice" of a party submitting his case for decision and then accepting the judgment, only if favorable, and attacking it for lack of jurisdiction, when adverse. Other merits on the appeal : The surety insists that the lower court should have granted its motion to quash the writ of execution because the same was issued without the summary hearing - Summary hearing is "not intended to be carried on in the formal manner in which ordinary actions are prosecuted" (83 C.J.S. 792). It is, rather, a procedure by which a question is resolved "with dispatch, with the least possible delay, and in preference to ordinary legal and regular judicial proceedings" (Ibid, p. 790). What is essential is that "the defendant is notified or summoned to appear and is given an opportunity to hear what is urged upon him, and to interpose a defense, after which follows an adjudication of the rights of the parties - In the case at bar, the surety had been notified of the plaintiffs' motion for execution and of the date when the same would be submitted for consideration. In fact, the surety's counsel was present in court when the motion was called, and it was upon his request that the court a quo gave him a period of four days within which to file an answer. Yet he allowed that period to lapse without filing an answer or objection. The surety cannot now, therefore, complain that it was deprived of its day in court. The orders appealed from are affirmed.

LA NAVAL DRUG CORPORATION, petitioner, vs. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS and WILSON C. YAO, respondents. G.R. No. 103200 August 31, 1994 FACTS: Respondent Yao, owner of a commercial building which is leased to petitioner under acontract of lease executed. But later the petitioner and respondent Yao disagreed on the rentalrate, their disagreement were submitted to arbitration, respondent Yao appointed DomingoAlamarez, Jr. as his arbitrator, while petitioner chose Atty. Casiano Sabile as its arbitrator. Theconfirmation of the appointment of Aurelio Tupang, as third arbitrator, was held in abeyancebecause petitioner instructed Atty. Sabile to defer the same until its Board of Directors couldconvene and approve Tupang's appointment. Respondent Yao prayed that after summary hearingto proceed with the arbitration in accordance with Contract of Lease and the applicable provisionsof the Arbitration law, by appointing and confirming the appointment of the Third Arbitrator; andthat the Board of Three Arbitrators be ordered to immediately convene and resolve thecontroversy before it.The respondent court announced that the two arbitrators chose Mrs. Eloisa R. Narciso asthe third arbitrator. And ordered the parties to submit their position papers on the issue as towhether or not respondent Yao's claim for damages may be litigated upon in the summaryproceeding for enforcement of arbitration agreement. In moving for reconsideration of the saidOrder, petitioner argued that in Special Case No. 6024, the respondent court sits as a special courtexercising limited jurisdiction and is not competent to act on respondent Yao's claim for damages,which poses an issue litigable in an ordinary civil action. But the respondent court was notpersuaded by petitioner's submission. It denied the motion for reconsideration.While the appellate court has agreed with petitioner that, under Section 6 of Republic ActNo. 876, a court, acting within the limits of its special jurisdiction, may in this case solely determinethe issue of whether the litigants should proceed or not to arbitration, it, however, consideredpetitioner in estoppel from questioning the competence of the court to additionally hear anddecide in the summary proceedings private respondent's claim for damages, it (petitioner) havingitself filed similarly its own counterclaim with the court a quo. ISSUE: WON the court has jurisdiction over the person and subject matter. .HELD: Jurisdiction over the person must be seasonably raised, i.e., that it is pleaded in a motion todismiss or by way of an affirmative defense in an answer. Voluntary appearance shall bedeemed a waiver of this defense. The assertion, however, of affirmative defenses shall notbe constructed as an estoppel or as a waiver of such defense. Where the court itself clearly has no jurisdiction over the subject matter or the nature of the action, the invocation of this defense may be done at any time. It is neither for thecourts nor the parties to violate or disregard that rule, let alone to confer that jurisdiction,this matter being legislative in character. Barring highly meritorious and exceptionalcircumstances, such as hereinbefore exemplified, neither estoppel nor waiver shall apply.The court must then refrain from taking up the claims of the contending parties for damages, which, upon the other hand, may be ventilated in separate regular proceedingsat an opportune time and venue.

TIU PO, GERARDO LEDONIO III and EUSEBIO S. MILLAR, petitioners, vs. HON. PEDRO JL. BAUTISTA, in his capacity as District Judge Presiding Branch III, CFI of Rizal, Pasay City and JUAN PAMBUAN, JR., respondents. G.R. No. L-55514, March 17, 1981 FACTS: P400,000.00 against petitioners before the Court of First Instance of Rizal, Pasay City (Civil Case No. 5023P) for an alleged wrongful sale at public auction of a certain real property. Petitioners presented their Answer with a counter-claim, on account of the 11 malicious and unfounded action," for moral damages in the amount of P600,000.00; actual and compensatory damages of P100,000.00; exemplary damages of P50,000.00; attorney's fees of P30,000.00, plus P200.00 per appearance of counsel as representation and travelling expenses. On the same day that they filed their Answer, petitioners filed an ex- parte Motion for exemption from payment of legal fees on their counterclaim alleging that it was compulsory in nature and that under section 5(a), Rule 141, only a permissive counterclaim is subject to payment of legal fees. Since the Branch Clerk of Court required petitioners to deposit the amount of P1,410.00 pending resolution by the Court, petitioners complied subject to refund. That was on March 15, 1976. Petitioners' Motion remained unresolved notwithstanding reiterations made on May 5, 1978, January 12, 1979 and on August 20, 1979. Eventually, on December 28, 1979, respondent Judge denied petitioners' Motion for refund on the ground that petitioners' counterclaim is permissive and not compulsory. The reconsideration prayed for by petitioners was denied by respondent Judge on August 26, 1980. It is these two Orders that are assailed in this Petition, to which we gave due course on February 2, 1981. ISSUE: WON petitioners' claim for moral, actual, compensatory and exemplary damages, together with attorney's fees and costs, constitutes a compulsory counterclaim. HELD: Under section 4, Rule 9, a counterclaim is compulsory in nature 1) if it arises out of, or is necessarily connected with the transaction or occurrence that is the subject matter of the opposing party's claim; 2) if it does not require for its adjudication the presence of third parties over whom the Court cannot acquire jurisdiction; and 3) if the Court has jurisdiction to entertain the claim A compulsory counterclaim is barred if not set up. Conversely, a counterclaim is permissive where it has no necessary connection with the transaction or occurrence that is the subject matter of the opposing party's claim, or even where there is such connection, the Court has no jurisdiction to entertain the claim, or if it requires for its adjudication the presence of third persons over whom the Court acquire jurisdiction. Petitioners' counterclaim for damages fulfills the necessary requisites of a compulsory counterclaim. They are damages claimed to have been suffered by petitioners as a consequence of the action filed against them. They have to be pleaded in the same action; otherwise, petitioners would be precluded by the judgment from invoking the same in an independent action. The pronouncement in Papa vs. Banaag, is in point: Compensatory, moral and exemplary damages, allegedly suffered by the creditor in consequence of the debtor's action, are also compulsory counterclaim barred by the dismissal of the debtor's action. They cannot be claimed in a subsequent action by the creditor against the debtor. Aside from the fact that petitioners' counterclaim for damages cannot be the subject of an independent action, it is the same evidence that sustains petitioners' counterclaim that win refute private respondent's own claim for damages. This is an additional factor that characterizes petitioners' counterclaim as compulsory. Defendants' counterclaim is compulsory not only because the same evidence to sustain it will also refute the cause or causes of action alleged in plaintiff's complaint, but also because from its very nature, it is obvious that the same cannot remain pending for independent adjudication by the court. (Section 2, Rule 17; Lim Tanhu vs. Ramolete, No. L-40098, August 29,1975,66 SCRA 426). In respect of attorney's fees, it should be held that where a claim therefore arises out of the filing of the complaint they, too, should be considered as in the nature of a compulsory counterclaim. They should be pleaded or prayed for in the answer to the complaint in order to be recoverable, otherwise, they would be barred. WHEREFORE, the challenged Orders of December 28, 1979 and August 26, 1980 are hereby set aside; the countered contained in petitioners' Answer is hereby declared a compulsory countered and respondent Judge is hereby directed to order the refund to petitioners of the amount of P1,410.00, which they were compelled to pay on their compulsory counterclaim. No costs. SO ORDERED.

FRANCISCO I. CHAVEZ, in his capacity as Solicitor General, petitioner vs. THE HON. SANDIGANBAYAN (First Division) and JUAN PONCE ENRILE, respondents. G.R. No. 91391, January 24, 1991 FACTS: On July 31, 1987, the Republic of the Philippines, through the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) with the assistance of Solicitor General Francisco Chavez filed with the respondent Sandiganbayan a complaint docketed as Civil Case No. 0033 against Eduardo Cojuangco, Jr. and Juan Ponce Enrile, among others, for reconveyance, reversion and accounting, restitution and damages. After the denial of his motion to dismiss, respondent Enrile filed his answer with compulsory counterclaim and crossclaim with damages. The Republic filed its reply to the answer and motion to dismiss the counterclaim. The motion was opposed by respondent Enrile. On January 30, 1989, respondent Sandiganbayan issued a resolution, to wit: The resolution of the Motion to Dismiss the Counterclaim against the Plaintiff government is deferred until after trial, the grounds relied upon not appearing to be indubitable. On the matter of the additional parties (Solicitor General Chavez, Ex-PCGG Chairman Diaz, former Commissioners Doromal, Rodrigo, Romero and Bautista), the propriety of impleading them either under Sec. 14, Rule 6 or even under Sec. 12 as third-party defendant requires leave of Court to determine the propriety thereof. No such leave has been sought. Consideration thereof cannot be entertained at this time nor may therefore, the Motion to Dismiss the same be considered. ( Rollo, p. 329; Annex "H", Petition) Respondent Enrile then requested leave from the Sandiganbayan to implead the petitioner and the PCGG officials as party defendants for lodging this alleged "harassment suit" against him. The motion was granted in a resolution dated June 8, 1989, to wit: In respect to defendant Juan Ponce Enrile's Manifestation and Motion dated February 23, 1989, praying for leave to implead additional parties to his counterclaim, the Court, finding reason in the aforesaid Manifestation and Motion, grants leave to implead the defendants named in the counterclaim and admits defendant Juan Ponce Enrile's answer with counterclaim. This is without prejudice to the defenses which said defendants may put forth individually or in common, in their personal capacities or otherwise. ( Rollo, p. 27) In a later resolution dated November 2, 1989, respondent Sandiganbayan denied a motion to reconsider the June 8, 1989 resolution. The dispositive portion of the resolution states: WHEREFORE, the Motions for Reconsideration of the Solicitor General and former PCGG officials Ramon Diaz, Quintin Doromal, Orlando Romero, Ramon Rodrigo and Mary Concepcion Bautista are denied, but, considering these motions as in the nature of motions to dismiss counterclaim/answers, resolution of these motions is held in abeyance pending trial on the merits. (Rollo, p. 31) Thereafter, all the PCGG officials filed their answer to the counterclaims invoking their immunity from suits as provided in Section 4 of Executive Order No. 1. Instead of filing an answer, the petitioner comes to this Court assailing the resolutions as rendered with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction. ISSUE: WON the impleading of the petitioner as additional party defendant in the counterclaim filed by respondent Enrile in Civil Case No. 0033 is proper. HELD: Under the circumstances of this case, we rule that the charges pressed by respondent Enrile for damages under Article 32 of the Civil Code arising from the filing of an alleged harassment suit with malice and evident bad faith do not constitute a compulsory counterclaim. To vindicate his rights, Senator Enrile has to file a separate and distinct civil action for damages against the Solicitor General.

In the case of Tiu Po v. Bautista, (103 SCRA 388 [1981]), we ruled that damages claimed to have been suffered as a consequence of an action filed against the petitioner must be pleaded in the same action as a compulsory counterclaim. We were referring, however, to a case filed by the private respondent against the petitioners or parties in the litigation. In the present case, the counterclaim was filed against the lawyer, not against the party plaintiff itself. To allow a counterclaim against a lawyer who files a complaint for his clients, who is merely their representative in court and not a plaintiff or complainant in the case would lead to mischievous consequences. A lawyer owes his client entire devotion to his genuine interest, warm zeal in the maintenance and defense of his rights and the exertion of his utmost learning and ability. (See Agpalo, Legal Ethics [1980] p. 147 citing Javier v. Cornejo, 63 Phil. 293 [1936]; In re Tionko, 43 Phil. 191 [1922]; In re: Atty. C. T. Oliva, 103 Phil. 312 [1958]; Lualhati v. Albert, 57 Phil. 86 [1932]; Toguib v. Tomol, Jr., G.R. Adm. Case No. 554, Jan. 3, 1969; People v. Macellones, 49 SCRA 529 [1973]; Tan Kui v. Court of Appeals, 54 SCRA 199 [1973]). A lawyer cannot properly attend to his duties towards his client if, in the same case, he is kept busy defending himself. We do not suggest that a lawyer enjoys a special immunity from damage suits. However, when he acts in the name of a client, he should not be sued on a counterclaim in the very same case he has filed only as counsel and not as a party. Any claim for alleged damages or other causes of action should be filed in an entirely separate and distinct civil action. WHEREFORE, the present petition is GRANTED. The questioned resolutions of the Sandiganbayan are SET ASIDE insofar as they allow the counterclaim filed against the petitioner. SO ORDERED.

CHUA KIONG, as special attorney-in-fact for Chua Yu, plaintiff-appellee, vs. PHILIP C. WHITAKER, ET AL., defendants. PHILIP C. WHITAKER, appellant. G.R. No. L-22388, December 2, 1924 FACTS: On June 7, 1922, Chua Kiong, as attorney-in-fact for Chino Chua Yu, brought an action against Philip C. Whitaker and Venancio Conception on the following document, alleging that of the amount therein mentioned only the sum of P3,903.16 has been paid leaving a balance still due from said defendants to the plaintiff in the sum of P11,640.06: CENTRAL PALMA Ilog, Negros Occidental, I. F. WHITAKER Y. CONCEPCION, Propietarios. Recibi del chino Chua Yu de Ilog la cantidad de quince mil quinientos cuarenta y tres pesos con 22/100 (P15,543.22) como prestamo sin interes por cuenta de la "Central Palma." Ilog, 29 de junio de 1921. CENTRAL PALMA (Sgd.) Por TIMOTEO LAUREANO Cajero (Sgd.) S. CONCEPCION Gerente The defendants answered by a general denial but did not appear at the trial of the case and judgment was rendered against them and in favor of the plaintiff for the sum of P11, 640.06, with legal interest from June 13, 1922, and with the costs. From this judgment the defendant Philip C. Whitaker appealed. After the case had been docketed in this court the plaintiff presented a motion to amend his complaint by changing the title of the case to read as follows: CHUA YU, represented by his special attorney-in-fact, CHUA KIONG, plaintiff, vs. PHILIP C. WHITAKER and VENANCIO CONCEPCION, defendants. The appellant filed an opposition to the motion on technical grounds but did not allege that he had a good defense and did not present an affidavit of merit. The writer, then on duty as Vacation Justice, therefore overruled the objection and granted the appellee's motion under the provisions of section 110 of the Code of Civil Procedure. The defendant-appellant has now presented a motion asking that the case be reopened for the sole purpose of receiving his evidence. The motion is accompanied by an affidavit to the effect that said defendant-appellant did not appear at the trial of the case, for the reason that the action was commenced and prosecuted and decision rendered therein in the name of "Chua Kiong, as special attorney-in-fact for Chua Yu;" that he was informed that an action so commenced, prosecuted, and decided, could in no way affected his interests and that it was not necessary for him to appear at the trial or present any defense whatsoever and, acting on that information, he did not appear at the trial nor present any defense; that he has a good and valid defense consisting in this: that Severiano Concepcion had absolutely no authority to borrow the money referred to in the complaint and that the power of the attorney executed by defendant-appellant in favor of said Severiano Concepcion prohibited him from borrowing money in excess of P1,000. The affidavit is accompanied by a copy of said power of attorney. ISSUE: WON the changing of the title of the case constitute a formal amendment in the case. HELD: Counsel for the defendant-appellant intimates that the aforesaid amendment to the complaint was improperly allowed by this court and very confidently and rather emphatically asserts that his court never applied the provisions of section 110 and allowed the amendment of the pleadings; In this counsel is mistaken; in the case of Alonso vs. Villamor (16 Phil., 315), the complaint was amended by substituting one party-plaintiff for another even after the case had been-submitted to this court for decision upon the merits. In that case the court, speaking through Mr. Justice Moreland, says:

It is undoubted that the bishop of the diocese or the Roman Catholic Apostolic Church itself is the real party in interest. The plaintiff personally has no interest in the cause of action. Section 114 of the Code of Civil Procedure requires that every action must be prosecuted in the name of the real party in interest. The plaintiff is not such party. After quoting section 110 and 503 of the Code of Civil Procedure, the court continues: We are confident under these provisions that this court has full power, apart from that power and authority which is inherent, to amend the process, pleadings, proceedings, and decision in this case by substituting, as party plaintiff, the real party in interest. Not only are we confident that we may do so, but we are convinced that we should do so. Such an amendment does not constitute, really, a change in the identity of the parties. The plaintiff asserts in his complaint, and maintains that assertion all through the record, that he is engaged in the prosecution of this case, not for him, but for the bishop of the diocese not by his own right, but by right of another. He seeks merely to do for the bishop what the bishop might do for himself. His own personality is not involved. His own rights are not presented. He claims no interest whatever in the litigation. He seeks only the welfare of the great church whose servant he is. He gladly permits his identity to be wholly swallowed up in that of his superior. The substitution, then, of the name of the bishop of the diocese, or the Roman Catholic Apostolic Church, for that of Padre Alonso, as party plaintiff, is not in reality the substitution of one identity for another, of one party for another, but is simply to make the form express the substance. The substance is there. It appears all through the proceedings. No one is deceived for an instant as to whose interests are at stake. The form of its expression is alone defective. The substitution, then, is not substantial but formal. Defect in mere form cannot possibly prejudice so long as the substantial is clearly evident. Form is a method of speech used to express substance and made it clearly appear. It the form be faulty and still the substance shows plainly through, no harm can come by making the form accurately expressive of the substance. Numerous decisions both from Federal and State courts are cited in support of the opinion. As a matter of fact, amendments to pleadings are frequently allowed after the case has been entered upon the docket. It is true that such matters are usually disposed of by minute-orders which do not appear in the reports, but there is enough in the reports to show that it is never safe for a party in a civil action to rely on purely technical defenses; under our liberal Code of Civil Procedure but scant consideration is ordinarily given such defenses by this court. In the present case counsel for the defendant-appellant in resisting the amendment of the complaint gave the court no intimation that his client had any defense on the merits nor was there anything in the record showing such defense. In these circumstances the court was fully justified in authorizing the amendment in question, and might well decline to entertain the motion now under consideration. It seems evident that counsel deliberately refrained from calling the attention of the court below to the mistake of his adversary, apparently with the intention of lying in ambush until the proceedings had reached a stage where the error would be beyond correction. Such practice leads only to delay in the administration of justice and is no longer encouraged by the courts. We feel, however, that under the circumstances of the present case the client should not be made to suffer for the mistake of his counsel and that he should be afforded another opportunity for his day in court. The case will therefore be remanded to the court below for the reception of the evidence of the defendant-appellant and such additional evidence as the plaintiff may offer and for judgment upon all of the evidence. No costs will be allowed in this instance. SO ORDERED.

SEGUNDINO TORIBIO, EUSEBIA TORIBIO, and the HEIRS OF OLEGARIO TORIBIO, represented by his widow, ADELA DE LOS REYES, petitioners, vs. THE HON. JUDGE ABDULWAHID A. BIDIN, in his capacity as Presiding Judge, Branch I, Court of First Instance, City of Zamboanga, DALMACIO RAMOS, and JUANITO CAMACHO, respondents. G.R. No. L-57821, January 17, 1985 FACTS: Engracio Francisco and Juliana Esteban were the registered owners of the parcel of land Zamboanga. At the death of said spouses, they were survived by their ten (10) children who inherited their state in equal pro indiviso shares. Subsequently, the property was subdivided among the heirs and a portion designated as Lot No. 1943-B was allotted to the Justa Francisco. Justa died and was survived among by eight (8) children namely: Dionoso, Eufremia, Alfonso, Rafael, Petrona, Olegario, Segundino and Eusebia, all surnamed Toribio, who eight heirs, Eufremia, Alfonso and Petrona, sold their in the property to Ramon Ledesma. Rafael also sold his share to Dinisio who, in turn, sold the same to Ramon Ledesma. Thus, the latter acquired four (4) shares out of eight (8) shares, or a pro indiviso share of Lot 1943-B. Subsequently, Dionisio sold his own hereditary share in the aforesaid estate of his mother to Juanito Camacho, who by said sale acquired a 1/8 pro indiviso share of the property. The three other heirs, petitioners Segundino Eusebia and Olegario alleging that their shares had never been sold nor in any wise transferred or disposed to others filed a case against herein private respondents for recovery of hereditary rights. How Juanito Camacho, who was entitled to only a total area of 931 square meters, nor, how one Dalmacio Ramos, Jr., acquired share of the property was allegedly not known to them. In their answer, the defendants-respondents alleged that the shares of plaintiffs-petitioners had likewise been sold to Dionisio Toribio, their brother, who, in turn, sold the same to Juanito Camacho and Dalmacio Ramos. The alleged sale from petitioners to Dionisio and the sale from Dionisio to the respondents were evidenced by deeds of sale, xerox copies of which were appended to and made an integral part of the respondents' partition agreement between the respondents and also a xerox copy of the respondents' transfer certificates of title. While testifying during the trial, Eusebia Toribio was asked whether she executed any sale of her share in the parcel of land in litigation. The counsel for private respondents objected, raising the proper mode of contesting the genuineness of an actionable document pursuant to Sections 7 and 8, Rule 8 of the Revised Rules of Court. The trial court sustained the objection. Petitioners, thereupon, filed a constancia with a motion for reconsideration stating that the documents submitted by the respondents were merely evidentiary in nature, not a cause of action or defense, the due execution and genuineness of which they had to prove. They alleged that the subject of litigation was the hereditary shares of plaintiffs-petitioners, not any document. They stated that the defense consisting mainly of transfer certificates of titles in the respondents' names originating from the sale from petitioners to Dionisio and from the latter to the respondents were merely evidentiary in nature. They argued that a simple specific denial without oath is sufficient. The court denied the motion for reconsideration. The documents attached to the respondents' answer and made an integral part thereof were declared to be the very foundation or basis of the respondents' defense and not merely evidentiary in nature. Hence, this petition for review on certiorari. ISSUE: WON the deeds of sale allegedly executed by the petitioners in favor of their brother Dionisio Toribio and appended to the respondents' answer are merely evidentiary in nature or the very foundation of their defense which must be denied under oath by the petitioner. HELD: The records show that the deeds of sale are actionable documents. The situation obtaining in the case at bar is not a common one. The usual case is between plaintiff and defendant where, the latter, as his defense, would present a document to which both parties are parties and which states that the former relinquishes his rights to the defendant. In the case at bar, we have a situation where the defendant presented a document in his defense, a document to which the plaintiff is a party but to which defendant is not. The petitioners alleged that this case falls under the exception to Section 8, Rule 8 which provides:

SECTION 8. ... but this provision does not apply when the adverse party does not appear to be a party to the instrument. As early as Lim-Chingco v. Terariray (5 Phil. 120), this Court gave the reason for the rule on contesting actionable documents. The purpose is: Reasonably construed, the purpose of the enactment (sec. 103) appears to have been to relieve a party of the trouble and expense of proving in the first instance an alleged fact, the existence or nonexistence of which is necessarily within the knowledge of the adverse party, and of the necessity (to his opponent's case) of establishing which such adverse party is notified by his opponent's pleading. This being so, the documents have to be treated in like manner. The petitioners are themselves parties to the deeds of sale which are sought to be enforced against them. The complaint was filed by the petitioners. They filed suit to recover their hereditary properties. The new owners introduced deeds of sale as their main defense. In other words, the petitioners brought the issue upon themselves. They should meet it properly according to the Rules of Court. Sections 7 and 8 of Rule 8, therefore, apply. The proper procedure was for the petitioners to specifically deny under oath the genuineness and due execution of the questioned deeds of sale and to set forth what they claim to be the facts. However, the oversight or negligence of petitioners' counsel in not properly drafting a reply to the answer and an answer to the counter claim is not necessarily fatal to their cause. The complaint was verified under oath by the petitioners. The petitioners' counsel was obviously lulled into complacency by two factors. First, the plaintiffs, now petitioners, had already stated under oath that they never sold, transferred, or disposed of their shares in the inheritance to others. Second, the usual procedure is for a defendant to specifically deny under oath the genuineness and due execution of documents set forth in and annexed to the complaint. Somehow, it skipped counsel's attention that the rule refers to either an action or a defense based upon a written instrument or document. It applies to both plaintiffs and defendants. It bears repeating that rules of procedure should be liberally construed to the end that substantial justice may be served. An interpretation of a rule of procedure which would not deny to the petitioners their rights to their inheritance is warranted by the circumstances of this case. WHEREFORE, the order of the respondent court dated July 20, 1981 is hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE. The Regional Trial Court which took over the cases of the respondent court is ordered to receive the petitioners' evidence regarding the genuineness and due execution of the disputed deeds of sale. SO ORDERED.

HEIRS OF AMPARO DEL ROSARIO, plaintiffs-appellees, vs. AURORA O. SANTOS, JOVITA SANTOS GONZALES, ARNULFO O. SANTOS, ARCHIMEDES O. SANTOS, ERMELINA SANTOS RAVIDA, and ANDRES O. SANTOS, JR., defendants-appellants. G.R. No. L-46892, September 30, 1981 FACTS: On January 14, 1974, Amparo del Rosario filed a complaint against the spouses Andres F. Santos and Aurora O. Santos, for specific performance and damages allegedly for failure of the latter to execute the Deed of Confirmation of Sale of an undivided 20,000 square meters of land, part of Lot 1, Psu-206650, located at Barrio Sampaloc, Tanay, Rizal, in malicious breach of a Deed of Sale (Exhibit A or 1) dated September 28, 1964. Amparo del Rosario died on Sept. 21, 1980 so that she is now substituted by the heirs named in her will still undergoing probate proceedings. Andres F. Santos also died, on Sept. 5, 1980, and he is substituted by the following heirs: Jovita Santos Gonzales, Arnulfo O. Santos, Archimedes O. Santos, Germelina Santos Ravida, and Andres O. Santos, Jr. Plaintiff claimed fulfillment of the conditions for the execution of the Deed of Confirmation of Sale, namely: the release of the title of the lot and the approval of the subdivision plan of said lot by the Land Registration Commission. She even enumerated the titles with their corresponding land areas derived by defendants from the aforesaid lot, to wit: (a) TCT 203580 30,205 sq. meters (b) TCT 203581 19, 790 sq. meters (c) TCT 167568 40,775 sq. meters

JESUS DACOYCOY, petitioner, vs. HON. INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT, HON. ANTONIO V. BENEDICTO, Executive Judge, Regional Trial Court, Branch LXXI, Antipolo, Rizal, and RUFINO DE GUZMAN, respondents. G.R. No. 74854 April 2, 1991 FACTS: On March 22, 1983, petitioner Jesus Dacoycoy, a resident of Balanti, Cainta, Rizal, filed before the Regional Trial Court, Branch LXXI, Antipolo, Rizal, a complaint against private respondent Rufino de Guzman praying for the annulment of two (2) deeds of sale involving a parcel of riceland situated in Barrio Estanza, Lingayen, Pangasinan, the surrender of the produce thereof and damages for private respondent's refusal to have said deeds of sale set aside upon petitioner's demand. On May 25, 1983, before summons could be served on private respondent as defendant therein, the RTC Executive Judge issued an order requiring counsel for petitioner to confer with respondent trial judge on the matter of venue. After said conference, the trial court dismissed the complaint on the ground of improper venue. It found, based on the allegations of the complaint, that petitioner's action is a real action as it sought not only the annulment of the aforestated deeds of sale but also the recovery of ownership of the subject parcel of riceland located in Estanza, Lingayen, Pangasinan, which is outside the territorial jurisdiction of the trial court. Petitioner appealed to the Intermediate Appellate Court, now Court of Appeals, which in its decision of April 11, 1986, affirmed the order of dismissal of his complaint. Petitioner claims that the right to question the venue of an action belongs solely to the defendant and that the court or its magistrate does not possess the authority to confront the plaintiff and tell him that the venue was improperly laid, as venue is waivable. In other words, petitioner asserts, without the defendant objecting that the venue was improperly laid, the trial court is powerless to dismiss the case motu proprio. ISSUE: WON the trial court motu proprio dismiss a complaint on the ground of improper venue. HELD: Dismissing the complaint on the ground of improper venue is certainly not the appropriate course of action at this stage of the proceeding, particularly as venue, in inferior courts as well as in the courts of first instance (now RTC), may be waived expressly or impliedly. Where defendant fails to challenge timely the venue in a motion to dismiss as provided by Section 4 of Rule 4 of the Rules of Court, and allows the trial to be held and a decision to be rendered, he cannot on appeal or in a special action be permitted to challenge belatedly the wrong venue, which is deemed waived. Thus, unless and until the defendant objects to the venue in a motion to dismiss, the venue cannot be truly said to have been improperly laid, as for all practical intents and purposes, the venue, though technically wrong, may be acceptable to the parties for whose convenience the rules on venue had been devised. The trial court cannot preempt the defendant's prerogative to object to the improper laying of the venue by motu proprio dismissing the case. Indeed, it was grossly erroneous for the trial court to have taken a procedural short-cut by dismissing motu proprio the complaint on the ground of improper venue without first allowing the procedure outlined in the Rules of Court to take its proper course. Although we are for the speedy and expeditious resolution of cases, justice and fairness take primary importance. The ends of justice require that respondent trial court faithfully adhere to the rules of procedure to afford not only the defendant, but the plaintiff as well, the right to be heard on his cause. WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing, the decision of the Intermediate Appellate Court, now Court of Appeals, dated April 11, 1986, is hereby nullified and set aside. The complaint filed by petitioner before the Regional Trial Court of Antipolo, Branch LXXI is revived and reinstated. Respondent court is enjoined to proceed therein in accordance with law. SO ORDERED.