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ADOLFOv.

ADOLFO
March18,2015|DelCastillo,J.|MotionforJudgmentonthePleadings|ClydeTan

PETITIONERS:TEOFILOB.ADOLFO
RESPONDENTS:FE.T.ADOLFO

SUMMARY:

DOCTRINE:
FACTS:

CIVILCASEMAN8241
TeofiloAdolfofiledapetitionforjudicialseparationofpropertyagainsthiswife,Fe,allegingthattheyboughtwithconjugalfunds
becausetheyhavebeenseparatedinfactandreunionisnowanimpossibilityduetoirreconcilabledifferences.

Inheranswer,Feallegedthatthepropertyisnotconjugal,butparaphernalpropertybelongingtoher.

CIVILCASEMAN2683
FessisterFlorenciaandherhusbandJuanito(Gingoyons)filedacivilcaseforpartitionwithdamages,allegingthatin1988,Fesolda
300squaremeterlotportionofthelottothespousesGingoyon,butthattheformerrefusedtosubdivideit.Thistime,Feallegedthat
thepropertywasconjugal,andthesalewasmadewithoutthesignatureofTeofilo,henceitwasnullandvoid.TheRTCruledin
favourofFeanddeclareditconjugalproperty,hence,theGingoyonsappealedtotheCA.

GoingbacktoCivilCaseNo.MAN4821
TeofilofiledaRequestforAdmissionof(amongothers)

respondentsdeclarationinsaidAnswerthatthesubjectpropertyconstitutedconjugalpropertyofthemarriage;and

thetrialcourtspronouncementinsaidcasethatthesubjectpropertyformspartoftheconjugalestate.

FefailedtoanswertheRequestforAdmission,hence,Teofliofiledamotiontorenderjudgmentonthepleadings,allegingthatsince
Fefailedtoanswertherequestforadmission,themattersincludedintherequestaredeemedadmittedpursuanttoRule26,Section2
oftheRulesofCourt,heisnowentitledtojudgmentonthepleadingbasedonRule34.

Feopposedthemotion,arguingthatthedecision,wasthesubjectofanappeal,hadnotyetbecomefinal.

TheRTCgrantedthemotionbyTeofilo,treatingitasamotionforsummaryjudgment.Itruledthatjudicialseparationwasproper,
takingjudicialnoticeofitsdecisioninCivilCaseNo.MAN2683thatthepropertyisconjugalproperty.WithFesfailuretoprovidea
verifiedanswerordenialunderoathtotherequestforadmissionofthedocuments,sheisdeemedtohaveadmittedthegenuinenessof
thesame.

GoingbacktoCivilCaseNo.MAN2683

TheGingoyonsappealtotheCA,wasresolvedintheirfavour,theCArulingthatthepropertyisparaphernalpropertyasestablished
bytherecordsandtheevidence.

Itbecamefinalandexecutory.

GoingbacktoCivilCaseMAN4821

FeappealedtotheCAsayingthattheTCwaswrongintreatinghismotionforjudgmentonthepleadingsasoneforsummary
judgment.ShealsoasksthecourttosubmittothefindingsoftheCAinCivilCase2683findingthepropertytobeparaphernal.

HerappealwasfavourablyacteduponbytheCA.TheCAheldthatthetrialcourtcannottreatAdolfosmotionforjudgmentonthe
pleadingsasoneforsummaryjudgment.Itstatedthatinapropercaseforjudgmentonthepleadings,therearenoostensibleissuesat
allonaccountofthedefendingpartysfailuretoraiseanissueinhisanswer,whileinapropercaseforsummaryjudgment,such
issuesexist,althoughtheyaresham,fictitious,ornotgenuineasshownbyaffidavits,depositionsoradmissions.Inotherwords,a
judgmentonthepleadingsisajudgmentonthefactsaspleaded,whileasummaryjudgmentisajudgmentonthefactsassummarily
provedbyaffidavits,depositions,oradmissions.ItaddedthatFesAnswerappearedonitsfacetotenderanissue;itdisputed
petitionersclaimthatthesubjectpropertyistheirconjugalproperty.Thenextthingtobedeterminediswhetherthisissueisfictitious
orshamastojustifyasummaryjudgment.TheCAaddedthatalthoughrespondentwasboundbytheresultingadmissionprompted
byherfailuretoreplytopetitionersrequestforadmission,herclaimsanddocumentaryexhibitsclearlycontradictwhatpetitioner
soughttobeadmittedinhisrequest;thatthetrialcourtdisregardedthefactthattheissueofwhetherthesubjectpropertyisconjugal
wasstillunresolvedasCAG.R.CVNo.78971wasstillpending;andthatfinally,thetrialcourtshouldhavebeenguidedbythe
principlesthattrialcourtshavebutlimitedauthoritytorendersummaryjudgmentsandthatsummaryjudgmentsshouldnotbe
renderedhastily.
TeofiloassailedtheCAdecisiontotheSupremeCourtviapetition

ISSUES/HELD: W/Nsummaryjudgmentisproperinthecase,consideringthefailureofFetoanswerordenyunderoaththe
RequestforAdmissioninCivilCaseNo.MAN4821.

RATIO:
Judgmentonthepleadingsisproperwhereananswerfailstotenderanissue,orotherwiseadmitsthematerialallegationsofthe
adversepartyspleading.
Summaryjudgment,ontheotherhand,willbegrantedifthepleadings,supportingaffidavits,depositions,andadmissionsonfile,
showthat,exceptastotheamountofdamages,thereisnogenuineissueastoanymaterialfactandthatthemovingpartyisentitledto
ajudgmentasamatteroflaw.

Ananswerwouldfailtotenderanissueifitdoesnotdenythematerialallegationsinthecomplaintoradmitssaidmaterial
allegationsoftheadversepartyspleadingsbyconfessingthetruthfulnessthereofand/oromittingtodealwiththematall.Now,ifan
answerdoesinfactspecificallydenythematerialavermentsofthecomplaintand/orassertsaffirmativedefenses(allegationsofnew
matterwhich,whileadmittingthematerialallegationsofthecomplaintexpresslyorimpliedly,wouldneverthelesspreventorbar
recoverybytheplaintiff),ajudgmentonthepleadingswouldnaturallybeimproper.