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G.R. No. 134998. July 19, 1999.

SILVESTRE TIU, petitioner, vs. DANIEL MIDDLETON and REMEDIOS P. MIDDLETON, respondents.

Actions; Pre-Trials; Pleadings and Practice; Although pre-trial was discretionary under the 1940 Rules of Court, it was made
mandatory under the 1964 Rules and the subsequent amendments in 1997.—Pre-trial is an answer to the clarion call for the
speedy disposition of cases. Although it was discretionary under the 1940 Rules of Court, it was made mandatory under the 1964
Rules and the subsequent amendments in 1997. Hailed as “the most important procedural innovation in Anglo-Saxon justice in the
nineteenth century,” pre-trial seeks to achieve the following: “(a) The possibility of an amicable settlement or of a submission to
alternative modes of dispute resolution; (b) The simplification of the issues; (c) The necessity or desirability of amendments to the
pleadings; (d) The possibility of obtaining stipulations or admissions of facts and of documents to avoid unnecessary proof; (e) The
limitation of the number of witnesses; (f) The advisability of a preliminary reference of issues to a commissioner; (g) The propriety of
rendering judgment on the pleadings, or summary judgment, or of dismissing the action should a valid ground therefor be found to
exist; (h) The advisability or necessity of suspending the proceedings; and (i) Such other matters as may aid in the prompt
disposition of the action.”

Same; Same; Same; Pre-Trial Briefs; Requisite Contents of a Pre-Trial Brief.—In light of these objectives, the parties are also
required to submit a pre-trial brief, which must contain the following: “(a) A statement of their willingness to enter into amicable
settlement or alternative modes of dispute resolution, indicating the desired terms thereof; (b) A summary of admitted facts and
proposed stipulation of facts; (c) The issues to be tried or resolved; (d) The documents or exhibits to be presented, stating the
purpose thereof; (e) A manifestation of their having availed or their intention to avail themselves of discovery procedures or referral
to commissioners; and (f) The number and names of the witnesses, and the substance of their respective testimonies.”

Same; Same; Same; Same; Pre-trial and its governing rules are not technicalities which the parties may ignore or trifle with.—The
Court emphasizes that pre-trial and its governing rules are not technicalities which the parties may ignore or trifle with. As earlier
stated, pre-trial is essential in the simplification and the speedy disposition of disputes. Thus, the Court has observed: “Everyone
knows that a pre-trial in civil actions is mandatory, and has been so since January 1, 1964. Yet to this day its place in the scheme
of things is not fully appreciated, and it receives but perfunctory treatment in many courts. Some courts consider it a mere
technicality, serving no useful purpose save perhaps, occasionally to furnish ground for non-suiting the plaintiff, or declaring a
defendant in default, or, wistfully, to bring about a compromise. The pre-trial device is not thus put to full use. Hence it has failed in
the main to accomplish the chief objective for it: the simplification, abbreviation and expedition of the trial, if not indeed its
dispensation. This is a great pity, because the objective is attainable, and with not much difficulty, if the device were more
intelligently and extensively handled.”

Same; Same; Same; Same.—In light of the objectives of a pretrial and the role of the trial court therein, it is evident that judges
have the discretion to exclude witnesses and other pieces of evidence not listed in the pre-trial brief, provided the parties are given
prior notice to this effect.

Same; Same; Same; Where a party did not challenge before the trial a Pre-Trial Order allowing the presentation of unnamed
witnesses, nor invoke the power of the trial court to compel the other party to submit the names of his witnesses and summaries of
their testimonies, he is deemed to have acquiesced to such Pre-Trial Order; Modifying a pre-trial order during the trial or, worse,
when the defendant is about to present witnesses will indubitably result in manifest injustice.—The provision in the Pre-trial Order
allowing petitioner to present six witnesses “shall control the subsequent course of action.” The court a quo proceeded with the trial
without modifying the Order. In the same vein, respondents did not challenge it before the trial. Neither did they invoke the power of
the trial court to compel the petitioner to submit the names of his witnesses and summaries of their testimonies. By their silence,
respondents acquiesced to the Pre-trial Order allowing the presentation of petitioner’s unnamed witnesses. Modifying a pre-trial
order during the trial or, worse, when the defendant is about to present witnesses will indubitably result in manifest injustice. This
could not have been the intention of the Rules.
G.R. No. 199781. February 18, 2013.*

LICOMCEN, INC., petitioner, vs. ENGR. SALVADOR ABAINZA, doing business under the name and style “ADS INDUSTRIAL
EQUIPMENT,” respondent.

Remedial Law; Civil Procedure; Pleadings and Practice; Evidence; Defenses and objections not pleaded either in a motion to
dismiss or in the answer are deemed waived, with the following exceptions: (1) lack of jurisdiction over the subject matter; (2) litis
pendentia; (3) res judicata; and (4) prescription of the action.—Under Section 1, Rule 9 of the Rules of Court, defenses and
objections not pleaded either in a motion to dismiss or in the answer are deemed waived, with the following exceptions: (1) lack of
jurisdiction over the subject matter; (2) litis pendentia; (3) res judicata; and (4) prescription of the action. Clearly, petitioner cannot
change its defense after the termination of the period of testimony and after the exhibits of both parties have already been admitted
by the court. The non-inclusion of this belated defense in the pre-trial order barred its consideration during the trial. To rule
otherwise would put the adverse party at a disadvantage since he could no longer offer evidence to rebut the new theory. Indeed,
parties are bound by the delimitation of issues during the pre-trial.

Same; Same; Pre-Trial; Although a pre-trial order is not meant to catalogue each issue that the parties may take up during the trial,
issues not included in the pre-trial order may be considered only if they are impliedly included in the issues raised or inferable from
the issues raised by necessary implication.—As held in Villanueva v. Court of Appeals: Pre-trial is primarily intended to insure that
the parties properly raise all issues necessary to dispose of a case. The parties must disclose during pre-trial all issues they intend
to raise during the trial, except those involving privileged or impeaching matters. Although a pre-trial order is not meant to catalogue
each issue that the parties may take up during the trial, issues not included in the pre-trial order may be considered only if they are
impliedly included in the issues raised or inferable from the issues raised by necessary implication. The basis of the rule is simple.
Petitioners are bound by the delimitation of the issues during the pre-trial because they themselves agreed to the same.
No. L-29636. September 30, 1982.*

FILOIL MARKETING CORPORATION, plaintiff-appellee, vs. MARINE DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION OF THE PHILIPPINES,
defendant-appellant.

Remedial Law; Civil Procedure; Summons; Service of summons to a corporation upon counsel as the corporation's agent, valid.—It
is admitted that in this case the summons and copy of the complaint were served upon Atty. Paulino Al. Aquino, an Assistant
Attorney in the Syquia Law Offices and who, in three or four instances, had already appeared in court in connection with the
Motions to Dismiss on the ground of improper service of summons. Section 13, Rule 14 of the Revised Rules of Court, provides
that service of summons upon a domestic corporation may be made on its agent. In the case at bar, where defendant-corporation's
counsel received the summons, he was acting for and in behalf of the defendant in connection with the Motions to Dismiss on the
ground of lack of jurisdiction on the person of the defendant due to improper service of summons. Perforce, he was the defendant's
agent and under the aforecited rule, service upon him is sufficient.
G.R. No. 78051. November 8, 1989.*

ISAGANI M. JUNGCO, petitioner, vs. HON. COURT OF APPEALS, and G. A. MACHINERIES, INC., respondents.

Pre-trial; Default; Appearance of parties at the scheduled pretrial, mandatory.—Mainly, petitioner argues that the trial court gravely
abused its discretion in considering him as in default. We do not think so. Pursuant to Section 1, Rule 20 of the Rules of Court, the
appearance of the parties at the scheduled pre-trial conference is mandatory. And to ensure the enforcement of such mandate,
Section 2 of the same Rule gives to the trial court the discretion to declare a party who fails to appear at said conference as in
default or non-suited.

Same; Same; Distinction between a party in default and as in default.—To pursue his argument that the lower court gravely abused
its discretion in declaring him in default, petitioner cites the case of Continental Leaf Tobacco (Phil.) Inc. v. IAC (140 SCRA 269)
and adds that he has a meritorious defense as he goes on to narrate the latter. Before disposing of this contention, a distinction first
must be made between a party in default (Sec. 1, Rule 18) and one declared as in default (Sec. 2, Rule 20). In the former case, one
is declared in default due to his failure to file his answer to the complaint within the period required by the Rules. On the other hand,
the latter contemplates a scenario wherein the defendant in a suit had already filed his answer (therefore had set up both his
negative and affirmative defenses) but failed to comply with the mandate of the Rules in not appearing at the scheduled pre-trial
hearing.

Same; Same; Same; Proper remedy in case a party is declared as in default for failure to appear during pre-trial.—Taking into
account the above distinction, reliance on the Continental Leaf Tobacco case (supra) is not in place since the said case involves a
defendant declared in default for failure to file an answer. In the case at bar, petitioner was declared as in default by the trial court
for failure to appear at the scheduled pre-trial hearing despite due notice thereof. Consequently, petitioner may not insist that the
trial court set aside its Order of default in view of his meritorious defense since such defense, as it appears in his answer (see p.
64, Rollo), is already within the knowledge of said court prior to the issuance of the disputed Order. In fact, present jurisprudence
show that a “Motion to Set Aside Order of Default” is not the proper remedy of a party who had been so declared as in default, a
Motion for Reconsideration being the relevant remedy (Lucero v. Dacayo, 22 SCRA 1004) without need for a recital of defendant’s
“meritorious defenses” simply because the said defenses of the defendant are already laid down in the answer (Regalado,
Remedial Law Compendium, 1986 ed., p. 167).
G.R. No. 177729. September 28, 2011.*

PHILIPPINE EXPORT AND FOREIGN LOAN GUARANTEE CORPORATION (now TRADE AND INVESTMENT DEVELOPMENT
CORPORATION OF THE PHILIPPINES), petitioner, vs. AMALGAMATED MANAGEMENT AND DEVELOPMENT
CORPORATION, FELIMON R. CUEVAS, AND JOSE A. SADDUL, JR., respondents.

Pre-Trial; A pre-trial order is not intended to be a detailed catalogue of each and every issue that is to be taken during the trial, for it
is unavoidable that there are issues that are impliedly included among those listed or that may be inferable from those listed by
necessary implication which are as much integral parts of the pre-trial order as those expressly listed.—It is true that the issues to
be tried between the parties in a case shall be limited to those defined in the pre-trial order, as Section 7, Rule 18 of the Rules of
Court explicitly provides: Section 7. Record of pre-trial.—The proceedings in the pre-trial shall be recorded. Upon the termination
thereof, the court shall issue an order which shall recite in detail the matters taken up in the conference, the action taken thereon,
the amendments allowed to the pleadings, and the agreements or admissions made by the parties as to any of the matters
considered. Should the action proceed to trial, the order shall explicitly define and limit the issues to be tried. The contents of the
order shall control the subsequent course of the action, unless modified before trial to prevent manifest injustice. (5a, R20)
However, a pre-trial order is not intended to be a detailed catalogue of each and every issue that is to be taken during the trial, for it
is unavoidable that there are issues that are impliedly included among those listed or that may be inferable from those listed by
necessary implication which are as much integral parts of the pre-trial order as those expressly listed.

Obligations and Contracts; In a solidary obligation, each debtor was liable for the entire obligation.—The deed of undertaking
specifically stated that the grant of the extension of the guaranty period did not extinguish or diminish the obligation of Cuevas and
Saddul under the guaranty. Hence, whether or not the guaranty period was extended, and whether or not they were notified of the
extension, Cuevas and Saddul remained liable under the guaranty. The stipulation, which was not illegal or immoral, necessarily
bound Cuevas and Saddul. It is worth noting, too, that a solidary obligation existed among AMDC, Cuevas and Saddul because
they had assented to be jointly and severally liable to the petitioner for whatever damages or liabilities that it might incur by virtue of
the guaranty. In a solidary obligation, each debtor was liable for the entire obligation.

Same; The obligor incurs in delay from the time the obligee judicially or extrajudicially demands the fulfillment of the obligation.—In
the deed of undertaking, Cuevas and Saddul bound themselves to reimburse or to pay to the petitioner their obligation under the
guaranty upon the latter’s demand. The Civil Code provides that the obligor incurs in delay from the time the obligee judicially or
extrajudicially demands the fulfillment of the obligation.

Same; Foreclosure of Mortgage; Deficiency Claims; Prescription; The 10-year period to recover a deficiency claim starts to run
upon the foreclosure of the property mortgaged.—In Quirino Gonzales Logging Concessionaire v. Court of Appeals, 402 SCRA 181
(2003), we have ruled that the 10-year period to recover a deficiency claim starts to run upon the foreclosure of the property
mortgaged, viz.: With respect to the first to the fifth causes of action, as can be gleaned from the complaint, the Bank seeks the
recovery of the deficient amount of the obligation after the foreclosure of the mortgage. Such suit is in the nature of a mortgage
action because its purpose is precisely to enforce the mortgage contract. A mortgage action prescribes after ten years from the
time the right of action accrued. The law gives the mortgagee the right to claim for the deficiency resulting from the price obtained in
the sale of the property at public auction and the outstanding obligation at the time of the foreclosure proceedings. In the present
case, the Bank, as mortgagee, had the right to claim payment of the deficiency after it had foreclosed the mortgage in 1965. In
other words, the prescriptive period started to run against the Bank in 1965. As it filed the complaint only on January 27, 1977,
more than ten years had already elapsed, hence, the action on its first to fifth causes had by then prescribed. No other conclusion
can be reached even if the suit is considered as one upon a written contract or upon an obligation to pay the deficiency which is
created by law, the prescriptive period of both being also ten years (citing Article 1144 of the Civil Code).

Same; Interest Rates; In contracts, the law empowers the courts to reduce interest rates and penalty charges that are iniquitous,
unconscionable and exorbitant.—In contracts, the law empowers the courts to reduce interest rates and penalty charges that are
iniquitous, unconscionable and exorbitant. Whether an interest rate or penalty charge is reasonable or excessive is addressed to
the sound discretion of the courts. In determining what is iniquitous and unconscionable, courts must consider the circumstances of
the case.
G.R. No. 73077. December 29, 1995.*

ESCOLASTICA MONTESCLAROS SON, and HEIRS OF ANASTACIO SON, petitioners, vs. CARMELINO SON, TEOFISTA SON,
PRIMITIVO SON, CIPRIANA SON, ANATALIA SON, LAREANO SON, GERARDA SON and THE HONORABLE INTERMEDIATE
APPELLATE COURT, respondents.

Evidence; Witnesses; The matter of giving credence to evidence presented is best addressed by the trial judge.—It is a time-
honored principle that the matter of giving credence to evidence presented is best addressed by the trial judge who is in a better
position than the appellate courts to appreciate the weight and evidentiary value of the testimonies of witnesses who have
appeared before him.

Actions; Pleadings and Practice; Pre-Trial; A party is deemed to have waived the delimitations in a pre-trial order if he failed to
object to the introduction of evidence on an issue outside of the pre-trial order, as well as in cross-examining the witness in regard
to said evidence.—Petitioners contend that the agreement to limit the issue to the validity of the alleged Deed of Absolute Sale
dated 5 November 1957, embodied in the pre-trial order, no longer controlled considering that private respondents failed to object
when petitioners introduced the 1951 Deed of Sale with Right of Repurchase as evidence and, instead, even actively cross-
examined Anastacio Son on his testimony regarding said deed. Private respondents’ lapse, petitioners assert, amounted to a
waiver.

Same; Same; Same; Pre-trial is primarily intended to make certain that all issues necessary to the disposition of a case are
properly raised, and the determination of issues at a pre-trial conference bars the consideration of other questions on appeal.—A
pre-trial hearing is meant to serve as a device to clarify and narrow down the basic issues between the parties, to ascertain the
facts relative to those issues and to enable the parties to obtain the fullest possible knowledge of the issues and facts before civil
trials and thus prevent that said trials are carried on in the dark. 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.

Same; Same; Same; Failure to object to the introduction of evidence on an issue not contained in the pre-trial order amounts to an
implied consent conferring jurisdiction on the court to try the said issue.—However, as previously intimated, the rules are not
applied with rigidity To prevent manifest injustice, some exceptions are admitted. The rules itself, specifically Section 5 of Rule 10
on Amended and Supplemental Pleadings, permits the amendment of pleadings to cause them to conform to the evidence. In
Velasco v. Apostol, 173 SCRA 228 (1989), we made the following qualification . . . . A pre-trial order is not meant to be a detailed
catalogue of each and every issue that is to be or may be taken up during the trial. Issues that are impliedly included therein or may
be inferable therefrom by necessary implication are as much integral parts of the pre trial order as those that are expressly
stipulated. In fact, it would be absurd and inexplicable for the respondent company to knowingly disregard or deliberately abandon
the issue of non-payment of the premium on the policy considering that it is the very core of its defense. Correspondingly, We
cannot but perceive here an undesirable resort to technicalities to evade an issue determinative of a defense duly averred.
Furthermore, as private respondent correctly points out, evidence to prove such late payment was introduced without any objection
by the adverse party. This lack of objection amounts to an implied consent conferring jurisdiction on the court to try said issue.
(italics ours)

Contracts; Filipino Family; Close family ties is a common Filipino trait.—We do not find peculiar Anastacio Son’s explanation that he
simply acceded to his brother’s plea to reduce the area of the disputed lot and the P350.00 given by Anastacio to Pedro to pay for
the latter’s food expenses be just considered as additional payment, close family ties being a common Filipino trait.
G.R. No. 183608. July 31, 2013.*

FAUSTINO T. CHINGKOE and GLORIA CHINGKOE, petitioners, vs. REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, represented by the
BUREAU OF CUSTOMS, respondent.

Remedial Law; Appeals; Certiorari; The Rules precludes recourse to the special civil action of certiorari if appeal by way of a
Petition for Review is available, as the remedies of appeal and certiorari are mutually exclusive and not alternative or successive.—
Respondent’s Petition for Certiorari filed before the CA was not the proper remedy against the assailed Order of the RTC. Pursuant
to Rule 65 of the Rules of Court, a special civil action for certiorari could only be availed of when a tribunal “acts in a capricious,
whimsical, arbitrary or despotic manner in the exercise of [its] judgment as to be said to be equivalent to lack of jurisdiction” or
when it acted without or in excess of its or his jurisdiction, or with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of
jurisdiction; and if there is no appeal or other plain, speedy, and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law. It is settled that the
Rules precludes recourse to the special civil action of certiorari if appeal by way of a Petition for Review is available, as the
remedies of appeal and certiorari are mutually exclusive and not alternative or successive.

Same; Same; Same; A petition for certiorari is not and cannot be a substitute for an appeal, especially if one’s own negligence or
error in one’s choice of remedy occasioned such loss or lapse.—A petition for certiorari is not and cannot be a substitute for an
appeal, especially if one’s own negligence or error in one’s choice of remedy occasioned such loss or lapse. When an appeal is
available, certiorari will not prosper, even if the basis is grave abuse of discretion. The RTC Order subject of the petition was a final
judgment which disposed of the case on the merits; hence, an ordinary appeal was the proper remedy.

Same; Civil Procedure; Dismissal of Actions; Pre-Trial; The rule is clear enough that an order of dismissal based on failure to
appear at pre-trial is with prejudice, unless the order itself states otherwise.—The rule is clear enough that an order of dismissal
based on failure to appear at pre-trial is with prejudice, unless the order itself states otherwise. The questioned Order of the trial
court did not specify that the dismissal is without prejudice. There should be no cause for confusion, and the trial court is not
required to explicitly state that the dismissal is with prejudice. The respondent is not then left without a remedy, since the Rules
itself construes the dismissal to be with prejudice. It should be considered as adjudication on the merits of the case, where the
proper remedy is an appeal under Rule 41. Regrettably, the respondent chose the wrong mode of judicial review. In not dismissing
the petition for certiorari outright, and in not ruling that such remedy is the wrong mode of judicial review, the CA committed grave
and reversible error.
G.R. No. 136051. June 8, 2006.*

ALFREDO P. ROSETE, OSCAR P. MAPALO and CHITO P. ROSETE, petitioners, vs. JULIANO LIM and LILIA LIM, respondents.

Criminal Procedure; Rights of the Accused; Self-Incrimination; The right against self-incrimination is accorded to every person who
gives evidence, whether voluntary or under compulsion of subpoena, in any civil, criminal or administrative proceeding.—The right
against self-incrimination is accorded to every person who gives evidence, whether voluntary or under compulsion of subpoena, in
any civil, criminal or administrative proceeding. The right is not to be compelled to be a witness against himself. It secures to a
witness, whether he be a party or not, the right to refuse to answer any particular incriminatory question, i.e., one the answer to
which has a tendency to incriminate him for some crime. However, the right can be claimed only when the specific question,
incriminatory in character, is actually put to the witness. It cannot be claimed at any other time. It does not give a witness the right
to disregard a subpoena, decline to appear before the court at the time appointed, or to refuse to testify altogether. The witness
receiving a subpoena must obey it, appear as required, take the stand, be sworn and answer questions. It is only when a particular
question is addressed to which may incriminate himself for some offense that he may refuse to answer on the strength of the
constitutional guaranty.

Same; Same; Same; Under the Rules of Court, in all criminal prosecutions the defendant is entitled among others, to the
following.—An accused “occupies a different tier of protection from an ordinary witness.” Under the Rules of Court, in all criminal
prosecutions the defendant is entitled among others—1) to be exempt from being a witness against himself, and 2) to testify as
witness in his own behalf; but if he offers himself as a witness he may be cross-examined as any other witness; however, his
neglect or refusal to be a witness shall not in any manner prejudice or be used against him.

Same; Same; Same; As long as the suit is criminal in nature, the party thereto can altogether decline to take the witness stand—it
is not the character of the suit involved but the nature of the proceedings that controls.—It is clear, therefore, that only an accused
in a criminal case can refuse to take the witness stand. The right to refuse to take the stand does not generally apply to parties in
administrative cases or proceedings. The parties thereto can only refuse to answer if incriminating questions are propounded. This
Court applied the exception—a party who is not an accused in a criminal case is allowed not to take the witness stand—in
administrative cases/ proceedings that partook of the nature of a criminal proceeding or analogous to a criminal proceeding. It is
likewise the opinion of the Court that said exception applies to parties in civil actions which are criminal in nature. As long as the
suit is criminal in nature, the party thereto can altogether decline to take the witness stand. It is not the character of the suit involved
but the nature of the proceedings that controls.

Actions; Pleadings and Practice; Issues; Issues are joined when all the parties have pleaded their respective theories and the terms
of the dispute are plain before the court.—Issues are joined when all the parties have pleaded their respective theories and the
terms of the dispute are plain before the court. In the present case, the issues have, indeed, been joined when petitioners, as well
as the other defendants, filed their answers. The respective claims and defenses of the parties have been defined and the issues to
be decided by the trial court have been laid down.
G.R. No. 112710. May 30, 2001.*

REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, petitioner, vs. SANDIGANBAYAN (Second Division) and LUCIO TAN, ESTATE OF
FERDINAND E. MARCOS (represented by IMELDA R. MARCOS, IMEE M. MANOTOC, IRENE M. ARANETA and FERDINAND
MARCOS, JR.), IMELDA R. MARCOS, CARMEN KHAO TAN, FLORENCIO T. SANTOS, NATIVIDAD P. SANTOS, DOMINGO
CHUA, TAN HUI NEE, MARIANO TAN ENG LIAN, ESTATE OF BENITO TAN KEE HIONG (represented by TARCIANA C. TAN),
FLORENCIO N. SANTOS, JR., HARRY C. TAN, TAN ENG CHAN, CHUNG POE KEE, MARIANO KHOO, MANUEL KHOO,
MIGUEL KHOO, JAIME KHOO, ELIZABETH KHOO, CELSO C RANOLA, WILLIAM T. WONG, ERNESTO B. LIM, BENJAMIN T.
ALBACITA, DON FERRY, WILLY CO, FEDERICO MORENO, PANFILO O. DOMINGO, ESTATE/HEIRS OF GREGORIO LITUNE
TOBACCO CORP., MARANAW HOTELS & RESORT CORP., VIRGINIA TOBACCO REDRYING PLANT, NORTHERN TOBACCO
REDRYING PLANT, ASIA BREWERY, INC., SIPALAY TRADING CORP., HIMMEL INDUSTRIES, GRANDSPAN DEVELOPMENT
CORP., BASIC HOLDINGS CORP., PROGRESSIVE FARMS, INC., MANUFACTURING SERVICES AND TRADE CORP., ALLIED
LEASING & FINANCE CORPORATION, JEWEL HOLDINGS, INC., IRIS HOLDINGS AND DEVELOPMENT CORP., VIRGO
HOLDINGS AND DEVELOPMENT CORP., POLO NOMINEES LTD., LIMITED SERVICES LTD., RED SEAL LTD., COMMONS
SEAL LTD., SPLENDID NOMINEES LTD., YOUNG TAI LTD., YOUNG JIN LTD., CO FINANCE NOMINEES LTD., CORPORATE
FINANCES (D.C.T.) LTD., HARRIS SECRETARIES, ALLIED PACIFIC CORP., B & MCKAY NOMINEES LTD., ZANITH
ESTABLISHMENT, ARINSI, S.A., COTTON CORP. (B.V.I.) LTD., BARTONDALE LTD., HONG-KONG, OCEANIC BANK, SAN
FRANCISCO, THE STERLING CARPET MAN LTD., THE STERLING CARPET SALES LTD., THE STERLING CARPET
DISTRIBUTORS LTD., MERCURY DRUG STORES LTD., CALGARY, ALBERTA, MERCURY ENERGY RESOURCES LTD.,
respondents.

Remedial Law; Civil Procedure; Depositions; A deposition may be taken at any time after the institution of any action, whenever
necessary or convenient.—First of all, a “deposition,” in its technical and appropriate sense, is the written testimony of a witness
given in the course of a judicial proceeding, in advance of the trial or hearing upon oral examination or in response to written
interrogatories and where an opportunity is given for cross-examination. A deposition may be taken at any time after the institution
of any action, whenever necessary or convenient.

Same; Same; Same; Depositions pending action may be conducted by oral examination or written interrogatories, and may be
taken at the instance of any party, with or without leave of court; Leave of court not necessary to take a deposition after an answer
to the complaint has been served.—Depositions pending action may be conducted by oral examination or written interrogatories,
and may be taken at the instance of any party, with or without leave of court. Leave of court is not necessary to take a deposition
after an answer to the complaint has been served, It is only when an answer has not yet been filed (but jurisdiction has been
obtained over any defendant or over property subject of the action) that prior leave of court is required. The reason for this is that
before filing of the answer, the issues are not yet joined and the disputed facts are not clear.

Same; Same; Same; Generally a plaintiff may not be permitted to take depositions before answer is served.—The general rule is
that a plaintiff may not be permitted to take depositions before answer is served. Plaintiff must await joinder of issues because if the
discovery is to deal with matters relevant to the case, it is difficult to know exactly what is relevant until some progress has been
made toward developing the issues. Ordinarily, the issues are made up before the need for discovery arises, hence, prior to the
time of delineation of the issues, the matter is in the control of the court.

Same; Same; Same; There are instances when a deposition is allowed to be taken before service of answer once jurisdiction has
been acquired over the person or thing; A general examination by deposition before answer however is premature and ordinarily
not allowed, neither is mere avoidance of delay a sufficient reason.—There are instances, however, when a deposition is allowed to
be taken before service of answer once jurisdiction has been acquired over the person or thing. Leave of court may be granted only
in “exceptional” or “unusual” cases, and the decision is entirely within the discretion of the court. It should be granted only under
“special circumstances” where conditions point to the necessity of presenting a strong case for allowance of the motion. There must
be some “necessity” or “good reason” for taking the testimony immediately or that it would be prejudicial to the party seeking the
order to be compelled to await joinder of issue. If the witness is aged or infirm, or about to leave the court’s jurisdiction, or is only
temporarily in the jurisdiction, leave may be granted. A general examination by deposition before answer however is premature and
ordinarily not allowed, neither is mere avoidance of delay a sufficient reason.
G.R. No. 133154. December 9, 2005.*

JOWEL SALES, petitioner, vs. CYRIL A. SABINO, respondent.

Remedial Law; Evidence; Depositions; A deposition is not to be used when the deponent is at hand; Five (5) Exceptions for the
Admissibility of a Deposition are Listed in Section 4, Rule 23 of the Rules of Court.—While depositions may be used as evidence in
court proceedings, they are generally not meant to be a substitute for the actual testimony in open court of a party or witness.
Stated a bit differently, a deposition is not to be used when the deponent is at hand. Indeed, any deposition offered during a trial to
prove the facts therein set out, in lieu of the actual oral testimony of the deponent in open court, may be opposed and excluded on
the ground of hearsay. However, depositions may be used without the deponent being called to the witness stand by the
proponent, provided the existence of certain conditions is first satisfactorily established. Five (5) exceptions for the admissibility of a
deposition are listed in Section 4, Rule 23, supra, of the Rules of Court. Among these is when the witness is out of the Philippines.

Same; Same; Same; As a rule, the inadmissibility of testimony taken by deposition is anchored on the ground that such testimony
is hearsay, i.e., the party against whom it is offered has no opportunity to cross-examine the deponent at the time his testimony is
offered; The act of cross-examining the deponent during the taking of the deposition cannot, without more, be considered a waiver
of the right to object to its admissibility as evidence in the trial proper.—As a rule, the inadmissibility of testimony taken by
deposition is anchored on the ground that such testimony is hearsay, i.e., the party against whom it is offered has no opportunity to
cross-examine the deponent at the time his testimony is offered. But as jurisprudence teaches, it matters not that opportunity for
cross-examination was afforded during the taking of the deposition; for normally, the opportunity for cross-examination must be
accorded a party at the time the testimonial evidence is actually presented against him during the trial or hearing. In fine, the act of
cross-examining the deponent during the taking of the deposition cannot, without more, be considered a waiver of the right to object
to its admissibility as evidence in the trial proper. In participating, therefore, in the taking of the deposition, but objecting to its
admissibility in court as evidence, petitioner did not assume inconsistent positions. He is not, thus, estopped from challenging the
admissibility of the deposition just because he participated in the taking thereof.

Same; Same; Same; Section 29, Rule 23 of the Rules of Court in gist provides that while errors and irregularities in depositions as
to notice, qualifications of the officer conducting the deposition and manner of taking the deposition are deemed waived if not
objected to before or during the taking of the deposition, objections to the competency of a witness or the competency, relevancy or
materiality of testimony may be made for the first time at the trial and need not be made at the time of the taking of the deposition,
unless they could be obviated at that point.—Lest it be overlooked, Section 29, Rule 23 of the Rules of Court, no less, lends
support to the conclusion just made. In gist, it provides that, while errors and irregularities in depositions as to notice, qualifications
of the officer conducting the deposition, and manner of taking the deposition are deemed waived if not objected to before or during
the taking of the deposition, objections to the competency of a witness or the competency, relevancy, or materiality of testimony
may be made for the first time at the trial and need not be made at the time of the taking of the deposition, unless they could be
obviated at that point.

Same; Same; Same; Certiorari; Certiorari will not lie against an order admitting or rejecting a deposition in evidence, the remedy
being an appeal from the final judgment.—While perhaps a bit anti-climactic to state at this point, certiorari will not lie against an
order admitting or rejecting a deposition in evidence, the remedy being an appeal from the final judgment. For this singular reason
alone, the appellate court could have had already dismissed herein petitioner’s invocation of its certiorari jurisdiction.
No. L-62283. November 25, 1983.*

CARIDAD CRUZ VDA. DE SY-QUIA, petitioner, vs. COURT OF APPEALS and JOSE PEDRO REYNALDO SYQUIA, respondents.

Civil Law; Succession; Determination of status of a person whether as voluntarily recognized natural child or not decided under Art.
278 of the Civil Code; Article 278 of the Civil Code may be given retroactive effect.—We hold that whether Jose was a voluntarily
recognized natural child should be decided under article 278 of the Civil Code of the Philippines. Article 2260 of that Code provides
that “the voluntary recognition of a natural child shall take place according to this Code, even if the child was born before the
effectivity of this body of laws” or before August 30, 1950. Hence, article 278 may be given retroactive effect (p. 169, Report of
Code Commission; 7 Padilla, Civil Code, 1975, p. 709).

Same; Same; Status of a person as a voluntarily acknowledged natural child could be established by ordinary means of evidence
without limitations as to time; Actions based on voluntary acknowledgment may be brought even after the father’s death.—The
status of a person as a voluntarily acknowledged natural child “could be established by the ordinary means of evidence without any
limitations as to time” (Larena vs. Rubio, 43 Phil. 1017, 1019). “An action based on voluntary acknowledgment may be brought after
the death of the father” (Javelona vs. Monteclaro, 74 Phil. 393, 400; Guariña vs. Guariña-Casas, 109 Phil. 1111). Hence, Jose’s
motion in the testate proceeding to claim his alleged hereditary share is proper.

Same; Same; Remedial Law; Evidence; Depositions; Deposition of doctor who took blood tests on alleged claimants to the
disputed property, inadmissible evidence when doctor could have testified in court; Intermediate Appellate Court, which is now
empowered to receive evidence, is authorized to receive testimony of doctor.—We agree with the Court of Appeals that Doctor
Cue’s deposition is inadmissible under section 4, Rule 24 of the Rules of Court. But he should testify before the Appellate Court
which is now authorized to receive evidence by section 9 of the Judiciary Reorganization Law, Batas Pambansa Blg. 129.
G.R. No. 108229. August 24, 1993.*

DASMARIÑAS GARMENTS, INC., petitioner, vs. HON. RUBEN T. REYES, Judge, Regional Trial Court, Manila, Branch 50, and
AMERICAN PRESIDENT LINES, LTD., respondents.

Remedial Law; Depositions; Depositions are intended as a means to compel disclosure of facts resting in the knowledge of a party
or other person which are relevant in some suit or proceeding in court.—Depositions are chiefly a mode of discovery. They are
intended as a means to compel disclosure of facts resting in the knowledge of a party or other person which are relevant in some
suit or proceeding in court. Depositions, and the other modes of discovery (interrogatories to parties; requests for admission by
adverse party; production or inspection of documents or things; physical and mental examination of persons) are meant to enable a
party to learn all the material and relevant facts, not only known to him and his witnesses but also those known to the adverse party
and the latter’s own witnesses. In fine, the object of discovery is to make it possible for all the parties to a case to learn all the
material and relevant facts, from whoever may have knowledge thereof, to the end that their pleadings or motions may not suffer
from inadequacy of factual foundation, and all the relevant facts may be clearly and completely laid before the Court, without
omission or suppression.

Same; Same; Depositions are not generally meant to be a substitute for the actual testimony in open court of a party or witness.—
Depositions are principally made available by law to the parties as a means of informing themselves of all the relevant facts; they
are not therefore generally meant to be a substitute for the actual testimony in open court of a party or witness. The deponent must
as a rule be presented for oral examination in open court at the trial or hearing. This is a requirement of the rules of evidence.

Same; Same; Same; Any deposition offered to prove the facts therein set out during a trial or hearing in lieu of the actual oral
testimony of the deponent in open court may be opposed and excluded on the ground that it is hearsay.—Indeed, any deposition
offered to prove the facts therein set out during a trial or hearing, in lieu of the actual oral testimony of the deponent in open court,
may be opposed and excluded on the ground that it is hearsay; the party against whom it is offered has no opportunity to cross-
examine the deponent at the time that his testimony is offered. It matters not that that opportunity for cross-examination was
afforded during the taking of the deposition; for normally, the opportunity for cross-examination must be accorded a party at the
time that the testimonial evidence is actually presented against him during the trial or hearing.

Same; Same; Same; Depositions may be used without the deponent being actually called to the witness stand by the proponent
under certain conditions and for certain limited purposes.—However, depositions may be used without the deponent being actually
called to the witness stand by the proponent, under certain conditions and for certain limited purposes. These exceptional situations
are governed by Section 4, Rule 24 of the Rules of Court.

Same; Same; Depositions of any person may be taken wherever he may be, in the Philippines or abroad.—It is apparent then that
the deposition of any person may be taken wherever he may be, in the Philippines or abroad. If the party or witness is in the
Philippines, his deposition “shall be taken before any judge, municipal or notary public” (Sec. 10, Rule 24, Rules of Court). If in a
foreign state or country, the deposition “shall be taken: (a) on notice before a secretary or embassy or legation, consul general,
consul, vice-consul, or consular agent of the Republic of the Philippines, or (b) before such person or officer as may be appointed
by commission or under letters rogatory”.

Same; Same; Same; Leave of court not necessary where the deposition is to be taken before a secretary or embassy or legation,
consul general, consul, vice-consul or consular agent of the Republic of the Philippines and the defendant’s answer has already
been served.—Leave of court is not necessary where the deposition is to be taken before “a secretary or embassy or legation,
consul general, consul, vice-consul, or consular agent of the Republic of the Philippines,” and the defendant’s answer has already
been served (Sec. 1, Rule 24). After answer, whether the deposition-taking is to be accomplished within the Philippines or outside,
the law does not authorize or contemplate any intervention by the court in the process, all that is required being that “reasonable
notice” be given “in writing to every other party to the action ** (stating) the time and place for taking the deposition and the name
and address of each person to be examined, if known, and if the name is not known, a general description sufficient to identify him
or the particular class or group to which he belongs. **” (Sec. 15, Rule 24). The court intervenes in the process only if a party
moves (1) to “enlarge or shorten the time” stated in the notice (id.), or (2) “upon notice and for good cause shown,” to prevent the
deposition-taking, or impose conditions therefor, e.g., that “certain matters shall not be inquired into” or that the taking be “held with
no one present except the parties to the action and their officers or counsel,” etc. (Sec. 16, Rule 24), or (3) to terminate the process
on motion and upon a showing that “it is being conducted in bad faith or in such manner as unreasonably to annoy, embarrass, or
oppress the deponent or party”.

Same; Same; Commission and Letters rogatory defined.—A commission may be defined as “(a)n instrument issued by a court of
justice, or other competent tribunal, to authorize a person to take depositions, or do any other act by authority of such court or
tribunal” (Feria, J., Civil Procedure, 1969 ed., p. 415, citing Cyclopedic Law Dictionary, p. 200). Letters rogatory, on the other hand,
may be defined as “(a)n instrument sent in the name and by the authority of a judge or court to another, requesting the latter to
cause to be examined, upon interrogatories filed in a cause pending before the former, a witness who is within the jurisdiction of the
judge or court to whom such letters are addressed.”

Same; Same; Same; The commission is to be coursed through the Department of Foreign Affairs conformably with Circular No.
4.—It further appears that the commission is to be coursed through the Department of Foreign Affairs conformably with Circular No.
4 issued by Chief Justice Claudio Teehankee on April 6, 1987, pursuant to the suggestion of the Department of Foreign Affairs—
directing “ALL JUDGES OF THE REGIONAL TRIAL COURTS, METROPOLITAN TRIAL COURTS, MUNICIPAL TRIAL COURTS
IN CITIES, MUNICIPAL TRIAL COURTS AND MUNICIPAL CIRCUIT TRIAL COURTS” “to course all requests for the taking of
deposition of witnesses residing abroad through the Department of Foreign Affairs” to enable it and “the Philippine Foreign Service
establishments to act on the matter in a judicious and expeditious manner;” this, “in the interest of justice,” and to avoid delay in the
deposition-taking.

Same; Same; Depositions may be taken at any time after the institution of any action whenever necessary or convenient.—
Dasmariñas also contends that the “taking of deposition is a mode of pretrial discovery to be availed of before the action comes to
trial.” Not so. Depositions may be taken at any time after the institution of any action, whenever necessary or convenient. There is
no rule that limits deposition-taking only to the period of pre-trial or before it; no prohibition against the taking of depositions after
pre-trial. Indeed, the law authorizes the taking of depositions of witnesses before or after an appeal is taken from the judgment of a
Regional Trial Court “to perpetuate their testimony for use in the event of further proceedings in the said court” (Rule 134, Rules of
Court), and even during the process of execution of a final and executory judgment.

Same; Same; Same; Even if the depositions were to be taken on oral examination in Taipei, the adverse party is still accorded full
right to cross-examine the deponents by the law, either by proceeding to Taipei and there conducting the cross-examination orally
or opting to conduct said cross-examination merely by serving cross-interrogatories.—The ostensible reason given by the Trial
Court for the condition—that the depositions be taken “only upon written interrogatories”—is “so as to give defendant (Dasmariñas)
the opportunity to cross-examine the witnesses by serving cross-interrogatories.” The statement implies that opportunity to cross-
examine will not be accorded the defendant if the depositions were to be taken upon oral examination, which, of course, is not true.
For even if the depositions were to be taken on oral examination in Taipei, the adverse party is still accorded full right to cross-
examine the deponents by the law, either by proceeding to Taipei and there conducting the cross-examination orally, or opting to
conduct said cross-examination merely by serving cross-interrogatories.
G.R. No. 147143. March 10, 2006.*

HYATT INDUSTRIAL MANUFACTURING CORP., and YU HE CHING, petitioners, vs. LEY CONSTRUCTION AND
DEVELOPMENT CORP., and PRINCETON DEVELOPMENT CORP., respondents.

Civil Procedure; Modes of Discovery; Depositions; Deposition is allowed as a departure from the accepted and usual judicial
proceedings of examining witnesses in open court where their demeanor could be observed by the trial judge, consistent with the
principle of promoting just, speedy and inexpensive disposition of every action and proceeding, provided it is taken in accordance
with the provisions of the Rules of Court.—A deposition should be allowed, absent any showing that taking it would prejudice any
party. It is accorded a broad and liberal treatment and the liberty of a party to make discovery is well-nigh unrestricted 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. It is
allowed as a departure from the accepted and usual judicial proceedings of examining witnesses in open court where their
demeanor could be observed by the trial judge, consistent with the principle of promoting just, speedy and inexpensive disposition
of every action and proceeding; and provided it is taken in accordance with the provisions of the Rules of Court, i.e., with leave of
court if summons have been served, and without such leave if an answer has been submitted; and provided further that a
circumstance for its admissibility exists (Section 4, Rule 23, Rules of Court). The rules on discovery should not be unduly restricted,
otherwise, the advantage of a liberal discovery procedure in ascertaining the truth and expediting the disposal of litigation would be
defeated.

Same; Same; Same; The Supreme Court approved A.M. No. 03-1-09-SC on July 13, 2004 which provided for the guidelines to be
observed by trial court judges and clerks of court in the conduct of pre-trial and use of deposition-discovery measures.—The
importance of discovery procedures is well recognized by the Court. It approved A.M. No. 03-1-09-SC on July 13, 2004 which
provided for the guidelines to be observed by trial court judges and clerks of court in the conduct of pre-trial and use of deposition-
discovery measures. Under A.M. No. 03-1-09-SC, trial courts are directed to issue orders requiring parties to avail of interrogatories
to parties under Rule 45 and request for admission of adverse party under Rule 26 or at their discretion make use of depositions
under Rule 23 or other measures under Rule 27 and 28 within 5 days from the filing of the answer. The parties are likewise
required to submit, at least 3 days before the pre-trial, pre-trial briefs, containing among others a manifestation of the parties of their
having availed or their intention to avail themselves of discovery procedures or referral to commissioners.

Same; Same; Same; The right to take statements and the right to use them in court have been kept entirely distinct.—The
argument that the taking of depositions would cause unnecessary duplicity as the intended deponents shall also be called as
witnesses during trial, is also without merit. The case of Fortune Corp. v. Court of Appeals, 229 SCRA 335 (1994), which already
settled the matter, explained that: x x x The right to take statements and the right to use them in court have been kept entirely
distinct. The utmost freedom is allowed in taking depositions; restrictions are imposed upon their use. As a result, there is accorded
the widest possible opportunity for knowledge by both parties of all the facts before the trial. Such of this testimony as may be
appropriate for use as a substitute for viva voce examination may be introduced at the trial; the remainder of the testimony, having
served its purpose in revealing the facts to the parties before trial, drops out of the judicial picture.

Same; Same; Same; Deposition is chiefly a mode of discovery, the primary function of which is to supplement the pleadings.—
Deposition is chiefly a mode of discovery, the primary function of which is to supplement the pleadings for the purpose of disclosing
the real matters of dispute between the parties and affording an adequate factual basis during the preparation for trial.
[No. L-5924. October 28, 1953]

Isabela Sugar Co., Inc. and Enrique J. C. Montilla, petitioners, vs. Judge Higinio B. Macadaeg, Ellias Jereos, and heirs of Jose
Ytilo, namely, Alicia Yulo de Laurel, Herminia Yulo de Villa Conchita Yulo de Jalandoni, and Maria Fe Vda. de Yulo, respond-ents.

1.Pleading and Practice, Depositions; Incriminating Question in Depositions.—When the deposition of a witness is being taken
under the provisions of Rule 18 of the Rules of Court, the party objecting to a question claimed to be immaterial or ir-relevant may
object thereto, but such party cannot prevent the witness from answering the question (section 17, Rule 18) be- cause the
relevancy or materiality will only be decided upon the trial when the deposition is introduced as evidence (section 29, Rule 18) . An
exception to this general rule obtains when the questions propounded are annoying, embarrassing, or oppres. sive to the deponent
(section 18, Rule 18), in which case the matter may be submitted to the trial judge for a ruling, or when the constitutional privilege
against self-incrimination is invoked by the deponent or by counsel on his behalf, to enforce the constitutional privilege defined in
section 79, Rule 123, in which latter case also the staying hand of the trial judge may also be demanded.

2. Id. ; Id.; Id.;—"Many links frequently compose that chain of testimony which is necessary to convict any individual of a crime. It
appears to the court to be the true sense of the rule that no witness is compellable to furnish any one of them against himself. It is
certainly not only a possible but a probable case that a witness, by disclosing a single fact, may complete the testimony against
himself, and to every effectual purpose accuse himself as entirely as he would be stating every circumstance which would be
required for his conviction. That fact of itself might be unavailing; but all other facts without it would be insufficient. W hile that
remains concealed within his booms, he is safe; but draw it from thence, and he is exposed to a prosecution. The rule which
declares that no man is compellable to accuse himself would most obviously be infringed by compelling a witness to disclose a fact
of this description. * * * It would seem, then, that the court ought never to compel a witness to give an answer which discloses
a fact that would form a necessary and essential part of a crime which is punishable by the laws." (Marshall in Aaron Burr's Trial,
Rotertsons Rep. I, 208, 244, quoted in VIII Wigmore, p. 355.)

3. Id.; Id; Id; Waiver.—Where the witness, in answer to pre. vious incriminating questions, said, "I do not remember," that is clearly
a refusal to answer, and the privilege is not deemed waived thereby.
No. L-18928. December 28, 1963.

ANGELES CASON, substituted by ANTONIO C. GARRETERO, plaintiff-appellee, vs. VICENTE SAN PEDRO, and CARMEN
FAVILA, defendants-appellants.

Pleadings and Practice; Written interrogatories; Effect of failure to answer; Judgment by Default.—Section 5, Rule 24, of the Rules
of Court, expressly authorizes the Court to render a default judgment against a party who fails to serve answers to written
interrogatories submitted under Rule 20 after proper service of such interrogatories, upon motion of the serving party.

Same; Same; Same; Same; Party in default loses standing in court.—At the time the appellants in the case at bar filed their motion
to declare appellee in default for failure to answer the former’s counterclaim, said appellants were already declared in default by the
trial court for failure to answer the latter’s written interrogatories. Held: Having been declared in default, said appellants have lost
their standing in court, and the trial court was justified in refusing or failing to act on their aforementioned motion to declare appellee
in default.
G.R. No. 190818. June 5, 2013.*

METRO MANILA SHOPPING MECCA CORP., SHOEMART, INC., SM PRIME HOLDINGS, INC., STAR APPLIANCES CENTER,
SUPER VALUE, INC., ACE HARDWARE PHILIPPINES, INC., HEALTH AND BEAUTY, INC., JOLLIMART PHILS. CORP., and
SURPLUS MARKETING CORPORATION, petitioners, vs. MS. LIBERTY M. TOLEDO, in her official capacity as the City Treasurer
of Manila, and THE CITY OF MANILA, respondents.

Taxation; Revised Rules of the Court of Tax Appeals; Appeals; In City of Manila v. Coca-Cola Bottlers Philippines, Inc., 595 SCRA
299 (2009), the Supreme Court held that the original period for filing the petition for review may be extended for a period of fifteen
(15) days, which for the most compelling reasons, may be extended for another period not exceeding fifteen (15) days.—Although
the RRCTA does not explicitly sanction extensions to file a petition for review with the CTA, Section 1, Rule 7 thereof reads that in
the absence of any express provision in the RRCTA, Rules 42, 43, 44 and 46 of the Rules of Court may be applied in a suppletory
manner. In particular, Section 9 of Republic Act No. 9282 makes reference to the procedure under Rule 42 of the Rules of Court. In
this light, Section 1 of Rule 42 states that the period for filing a petition for review may be extended upon motion of the concerned
party. Thus, in City of Manila v. Coca-Cola Bottlers Philippines, Inc., 595 SCRA 299 (2009), the Court held that the original period
for filing the petition for review may be extended for a period of fifteen (15) days, which for the most compelling reasons, may be
extended for another period not exceeding fifteen (15) days. In other words, the reglementary period provided under Section 3,
Rule 8 of the RRCTA is extendible and as such, CTA Division’s grant of respondents’ motion for extension falls squarely within the
law.

Same; Same; Same; It is well-settled that dismissal of appeals based purely on technical grounds is frowned upon as every party
litigant must be afforded the amplest opportunity for the proper and just determination of his cause, free from the unacceptable plea
of technicalities.—Neither did respondents’ failure to comply with Section 4, Rule 5 and Section 2, Rule 6 of the RRCTA militate
against giving due course to their Petition for Review. Respondents’ submission of only one copy of the said petition and their
failure to attach therewith a certified true copy of the RTC’s decision constitute mere formal defects which may be relaxed in the
interest of substantial justice. It is well-settled that dismissal of appeals based purely on technical grounds is frowned upon as every
party litigant must be afforded the amplest opportunity for the proper and just determination of his cause, free from the
unacceptable plea of technicalities. In this regard, the CTA Division did not overstep its boundaries when it admitted respondents’
Petition for Review despite the aforementioned defects “in the broader interest of justice.”

Same; Local Government Code; Local Taxation; Tax Credit; Tax Refund; Procedural Requirements in Order to be Entitled to a
Refund/Credit of Local Taxes.—A perusal of Section 196 of the LGC reveals that in order to be entitled to a refund/credit of local
taxes, the following procedural requirements must concur: first, the taxpayer concerned must file a written claim for refund/credit
with the local treasurer; and second, the case or proceeding for refund has to be filed within two (2) years from the date of the
payment of the tax, fee, or charge or from the date the taxpayer is entitled to a refund or credit.

Remedial Law; Civil Procedure; Modes of Discovery; Request for Admission; Once a party serves a request for admission
regarding the truth of any material and relevant matter of fact, the party to whom such request is served is given a period of fifteen
(15) days within which to file a sworn statement answering the same.—Once a party serves a request for admission regarding the
truth of any material and relevant matter of fact, the party to whom such request is served is given a period of fifteen (15) days
within which to file a sworn statement answering the same. Should the latter fail to file and serve such answer, each of the matters
of which admission is requested shall be deemed admitted. The exception to this rule is when the party to whom such request for
admission is served had already controverted the matters subject of such request in an earlier pleading. Otherwise stated, if the
matters in a request for admission have already been admitted or denied in previous pleadings by the requested party, the latter
cannot be compelled to admit or deny them anew. In turn, the requesting party cannot reasonably expect a response to the request
and thereafter, assume or even demand the application of the implied admission rule in Section 2, Rule 26.

Taxation; Tax Credit; Tax Refund; it is hornbook principle that a claim for a tax refund/credit is in the nature of a claim for an
exemption and the law is construed in strictissimi juris against the one claiming it and in favor of the taxing authority.—Indeed, it is
hornbook principle that a claim for a tax refund/credit is in the nature of a claim for an exemption and the law is construed in
strictissimi juris against the one claiming it and in favor of the taxing authority. Consequently, as petitioners have failed to prove that
they have complied with the procedural requisites stated under Section 196 of the LGC, their claim for local tax refund/credit must
be denied.
No. L-14495. September 29, 1962.

VICENTE UY CHAO, plaintiff-appellant, vs. DE LA RAMA STEAMSHIP CO., INC., defendant-appellee.

Pleading and Practice; Requests for admission of facts and genuineness of documents; When they must be made.—Requests for
admission of facts and genuineness, of documents must be made after the pleadings are closed. The reason for this requirement is
that the questions of fact involved in a case are inquired into only when it reaches the state of proof. Where this stage, as to any
particular relevant fact, is accelerated by a motion to dismiss which cannot be fairly resolved without evidence thereon being
received, the purpose of the rule comes into play. In so far as that fact is concerned the issue is already joined and the pleadings
may be deemed to be closed within the meaning of Rule 23 of the Rules of Court.

Same; Dismissal of Complaint; Indubitability of Ground of Motion to Dismiss.—The fact that in dismissing the complaint the court
did not make a definite finding as to whether or not appellee was a war sufferer and had filed a war damage claim, leaving the
question unresolved, shows that the ground of the motion to dismiss does not appear to be indubitable, for which reason the court
would have been justified in allowing an amendment of the complaint so as to include therein the necessary allegation on that
question of fact, or in deferring the determination of the motion until the trial.