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RULE 16

EQUITABLE PHILIPPINE COMMERCIAL INTERNATIONAL BANK and RAFAEL B.


BUENAVENTURA,petitioners,
vs.
HON. COURT OF APPEALS and SANTA ROSA MINING CO., INC., respondents.

DOCTRINE: doctrines in this case are the specific grounds for motion to dismiss
(requisites of forum shopping, no cause of action, and res judicata). But the RTC and CA
said something important about a motion to dismiss. RTC: A motion for
reconsideration which merely reiterates the grounds in the motion to dismiss is
pro forma and will not toll the running of the period to file an Answer. CA: A
motion for reconsideration cannot be deemed pro forma although it merely
reiterated grounds previously relied upon in a motion to dismiss, provided it sets
forth further pertinent facts and plausible arguments.

SUMMARY: Sta. Rosa has an account with Equitable. Equitable refused to issue
checkbooks (kasi binawalan daw sila ng SEC). Because of this refusal, di nabayaran ni
Sta. Rosa si Sa Amin. So Sa Amin filed a case (Case Y) against Sta. Rosa. In that case,
RTC granted a garnishment in favor of Sa Amin. Sta. Rosa discovered that the order
from SEC only reached Equitable on Oct 27, while Equitable’s refusal to issue was on
Oct 26. So Sta. Rosa filed for damages (Case X) against Equitable. Equitable filed a
motion to dismiss (forum shopping, no cause of action). SC says, no forum shopping
because no identity of parties. There is cause of action because if allegations deemed
admitted, Sta. Rosa might have a cause of action.

FACTS:
 Sta. Rosa Mining Co., Inc., opened a Savings Account with Equitable by
depositing a check amounting to 6M.
 Sta. Rosa informed Equitable of its intention to convert its account into a
savings/current/time deposit account. Sta. Rosa sought to obtain checkbooks on
October 26.
 Equitable refused to issue the checkbooks allegedly due to a restraining order
issued by SEC, enjoining the officers of Sta. Rosa from withdrawing the funds
deposited.
 Sta. Rosa filed a complaint for sum of money and damages (lets name this Case
X) against Equitable, Buenaventura (bank’s former President), and Lota
(manager of the Cubao Branch).
-Sta. Rosa alleged that due to the bank’s refusal to issue checkbooks, Sta. Rosa
lost income opportunity from its joint venture with Sa Amin sa San Jose
Panganiban (Sa Amin).
 Sta. Rosa alleged that in refusing to issue checkbooks, Lota was guilty of
misrepresentation as verification with SEC showed that a copy of the SEC order
was served on the bank only on October 27.
-take note, oct 26 nagrefuse magissue ng checkbooks yung equitable kasi may
SEC order daw na bawal. Eh 27 pa pala nila natanggap yung order.
 Sta. Rosa was claiming actual damages of 9M as unrealized profits
 Equitable filed a Motion to Dismiss on the grounds that Sta. Rosa was guilty of
forum shopping and that the complaint stated no cause of action.
-forum shopping: kasi daw the amount claimed was already subject of litigation
in Civil Case No. 6014 (lets name this Case Y) entitled “Sa Amin v. Sta. Rosa”. In

CHUA CHU DE CHAVEZ SAMONTE SANTOS VILLAROSA YEE YU


this civil case, Sta. Rosa was the judgment debtor and the funds deposited have
been garnished by the RTC in favor of the judgment creditor, Sa Amin.
-garnishment: a court order directing that money of a third party
(Equitable) be seized to satisfy a debt owed by a debtor (Sta. Rosa) to a
plaintiff creditor (Sa Amin)
-in Case Y, in which Equitable was a forced intervenor, the RTC Daet ordered
the garnishment of the funds despite a TRO issued by the SEC.
-so Equitable filed a petition for certiorari with the CA seeking the annulment of
the garnishment order.
-CA dismissed the petition.
-No cause of action: kasi daw, Sta. Rosa has lost all rights over the funds
deposited since the funds had already been garnished in favor of Sa Amin.
-RTC denied the motion to dismiss.
-Sta. Rosa did not engage in forum shopping to obtain a favorable opinion
because, when the CA upheld the orders of garnishment, Sta. Rosa, in
effect, was able to obtain a favorable judgment which settled the case.
(ang gusto lang naman talaga ni Sta. Rosa is mawithdraw yung funds
para mabayaran niya si Sa Amin._Since na-garnish na yung funds, edi
mababayaran na si Sa Amin. Solb na si Sta. Rosa sa Case Y. So Sta.
Rosa did not go to the RTC to obtain a favorable judgment.
 Equitable filed an MR.
-denied for being dilatory and pro forma
 Sta. Rosa filed a motion to declare Equitable in default for failure to file their
Answer
-motion to declare Equitable in default granted.
-sabi ng RTC, when Equitable received the denial of its motion to dismiss,
it should have filed an Answer within 15 days and not a Motion for
Reconsideration which reiterated the ground set forth in the Motion to
dismiss. The court ruled that an MR which merely reiterates the
grounds in the motion to dismiss is pro forma and will not toll the
running of the period to file an Answer.

 Equitable filed a motion to set aside the order of default


-denied
 Equitable filed a petition for relief from the order of default
-denied
 Equitable filed a petition for certiorari with the CA
-granted. CA set aside the order of default and directed the lower court to admit
Equitable’s Answer and proceed to hear the case on the merits
-CA: while the MR reiterated grounds previously relied upon, it also set forth
further pertinent facts and plausible arguments, hence it cannot be deemed pro
forma.
 Even if it was granted, ayaw parin ni Equitable! Ayaw niya ng trial on the merits!
Gusto talaga niya ma-grant yung motion to dismiss niya on the ground of forum
shopping and no cause of action!
 Hence, this petition.
ISSUE:
1. WON Sta. Rosa was guilty of forum shopping
2. WON Sta. Rosa’s complaint failed to state a cause of action (o dito naging failure
to state na, kanina no cause of action lang)

CHUA CHU DE CHAVEZ SAMONTE SANTOS VILLAROSA YEE YU


3. WON the complaint of Sta. Rosa is barred by Res Judicata (because of Case Y)

HELD/RATIO:
1. NO. For a charge of forum shopping to prosper, there must exist between an
action pending in one court and another action before another court:
a. identity of parties, or at least such parties as represent the same
interests in both actions;
b. identity of rights asserted and relief prayed for, the relief being
founded on the same facts; and
c. the identity of the two preceding particulars is such that any
judgment rendered in the other action will, regardless of which
party is successful, amount to res judicata in the action under
consideration
-In Case X (for sum of money and damages) and Case Y (garnishment) no
identity of parties and reliefs
-parties in Case Y: Sa Amin (plaintiff), Sta. Rosa (defendant), Equitable
(intervenor)
-parties in Case X: Sta. Rosa (plaintiff), Equitable (defendant)
-relief in Case Y: collection case by Sa Amin against Sta. Rosa. Garnishment
-relief in Case X: damages against Equitable

2. NO. When a motion to dismiss is grounded on the failure to state a cause of


action, a ruling thereon should be based only on the facts alleged in the
complaint
-test: whether or not, admitting the facts alleged, the court can render a valid
judgment upon the same in accordance with the prayer in the complaint.
-in this case, if the factual allegations in the complaint are deemed admitted, Sta.
Rosa might be entitled to relief.
a) The main allegation: Oct 26 dineny yung release of checkbooks
but Oct 27 pa nila natanggap yung Order na bawal i-release.
Based on this, Sta. Rosa might be entitled to damages!
b) That Equitable may have a valid justification in refusing to release
is a matter best ventilated during a full blown trial.

3. NO. As earlier stated, no identity of parties. Therefore, no res judicata.


-elements of res judicata:
a) There must be a final judgment
b) The court rendering it must have jurisdiction over the subject matter and
the parties
c) It must be a judgment on the merits
d) There must be identity of parties, subject matter, and causes of
action

WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED. The decision dated November 23, 1999, of the
Court of Appeals in CA G.R. SP. No. 48187 ordering the lower court to admit petitioners’
Answer and proceed to hear the case on the merits and the Order dated November 7,
1995 of the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City, Branch 222, denying petitioners’ motion
to dismiss, are AFFIRMED.

NOTE: ako lang nag lagay ng case X and case Y.

CHUA CHU DE CHAVEZ SAMONTE SANTOS VILLAROSA YEE YU


Aldemita v. Heirs of Melquiades Silva

Doctrine: A motion to dismiss relying on the grounds listed in Rule 16 can only be filed
within the time for but before filing the answer to the complaint or pleading asserting a
claim except the grounds of lack of jurisidiction over the subject matter, litis pendentia, res
judicata, and prescription in accordance with Rule 9, Sec. 1.

Summary: The heirs filed a complaint for quieting of title against Aldemita. After the pre-
trial and consideration of the court regarding the questioned document report submitted
by the PNP, both parties manifested to submit the case for decision without need for trial.
However, Aldemita changed counsel and filed a motion to dismiss on the ground that the
complaint failed to state a cause of action. The RTC and CA denied the motion on the
ground that it was filed out of time and the ground of failure to state a cause of action is
not one of the exceptions under Rule 9. The SC upheld the decision of the RTC and CA.

Facts:

- Heirs of Melquiades Silva (Heirs) filed a verified complaint for quieting of title
against Heirs of Dionisia Vda. de Zabate, represented by Emelia Deiparine and
Benzon Aldemita.
- Aldemita filed an answer with special and affirmative defenses, counterclaim, and
crossclaim.
- The heirs filed a motion to set case for pre-trial.
- A pre-trial was conducted by the trial court setting forth the following stipulations of
facts and/or admissions:
o Aldemita admitted that Lot 11330 of Pcs-945 located in Minglanilla, Cebu has
been registered in the name of Melquiades Silva as shown by a TCT and
covered by a tax declaration;
o Aldemita also admitted that the Heirs in this case have been the ones in actual
physical possession of Lot 11330 of Pcs-945 except a portion thereof with an
area of 2,000 square meters which said Heirs is claiming to be possessed by
him;
o Aldemita admitted that a document denominated as Kalig-onan sa Palit
(Exhibit C) which was purportedly executed on March 15, 1949 by Melquiades
Silva in favor of Dionisia Vda. De Zabate involving the land in question is
actually a forged document. However, Aldemita contended that another
document denominated as Kalig-onan sa Panagpalit nga Dayon was executed
by Melquiades Silva in favor of Dionisia Vda. De Zabate and that thereafter this
was confirmed by Proferia Silva and Emeliana Zabate Paran in a Deed of
Confirmation of Previous Deed of Sale executed on February 20, 1979.
- The trial court issued an order tasking the PNP Regional Crime Lab to determine
whether the purported signature of Melquiades Silva was forgery. The PNP Crime Lab
submitted a questioned document report establishing that the signatures in the two
documents (“Kalig-onan” documents) are forgery.
- The court issued an order considering the questioned document report as findings of
fact. Afterwards, the parties, through their counsel, manifested that they would submit
the case for decision without need for trial in light of the report. Nonetheless, the court
still gave the parties 15 days within which to file their respective memoranda.

CHUA CHU DE CHAVEZ SAMONTE SANTOS VILLAROSA YEE YU


- Aldemita changed his counsel and through this new counsel, they filed a motion to
dismiss for lack of cause of action. It was argued that the heirs should be declared first
as heirs of Melquiades Silva in a special proceeding before they can be considered as
real parties in interest to institute the case.
- The RTC denied the motion on the ground that the said motion was not filed within the
proper time, i.e., within the time for filing the answer to the complaint as provided
Section 1 of Rule 16. A motion to dismiss cannot be filed anytime except if the grounds
therefor are lack of jurisdiction over the subject matter, pendency of another action
between the same parties for the same cause and bar by prior judgment or statute of
limitations. The motion filed in this case is not on account of any of the said exceptional
three grounds. (On the issue of being a real parties in interest, the court held that there
is already an on-going special proceeding wherein the declaration of heirship of the
plaintiffs is being sought. So, Aldemita should not insist that the plaintiffs should first
be declared as heirs of Melquiades Silva before they can be considered as real parties
in interest to institute the action in this case.)
- The RTC promulgated its decision in favor of the heirs ruling that the heirs have a
cause of action, that Aldemita expressly admitted the invalidity of the Kalig-onan
documents, therefore, Aldmeita has no basis to enforce his “right”, and Aldemita also
admitted that the heirs are the ones are in actual possession of the land.
- The CA affirmed the decision of the RTC. It held that the question of whether the
respondents are real parties-in-interest was raised for the first time on appeal
considering that this issue was never raised in the RTC before the case was submitted
for decision and, hence, it cannot be resolved without offending basic rules of fair play,
justice and due process.
- Hence, the instant petition.

Issue: W/N the RTC and CA erred in denying the motion to dismiss. – NO

Held:

1. Under Section 1(g), Rule 161 of the Rules of Court, the Motion to Dismiss should have
been filed within the time for but before filing the answer to the complaint or pleading
asserting a claim. As it appears, the motion was filed in the RTC after the case has been
submitted for decision. Aldemita must have relied on the old rules2 wherein failure to state
a cause of action is a non-waivable ground. However, under the present rules, only 4
grounds are non-waivable (lack of jurisdiction over subject matter, litis pendentia, res

1
SECTION 1. Grounds. Within the time for but before filing the answer to the complaint or pleading
asserting a claim, a motion to dismiss may be made on any of the following grounds:
xxxx
(g) That the pleading asserting the claim states no cause of action;
2
Rule 9, SEC. 2. Defenses and objections not pleaded deemed waived. - Defenses and objections not
pleaded either in a motion to dismiss or in the answer are deemed waived; except the failure to state a
cause of action which may be alleged in a later pleading, if one is permitted, or by motion for judgment
on the pleadings, or at the trial on the merits; but in the last instance, the motion shall be disposed of as
provided in Section 5 of Rule 10 in the light of any evidence which may have been received. Whenever it
appears that the court has no jurisdiction over the subject-matter, it shall dismiss the action.

CHUA CHU DE CHAVEZ SAMONTE SANTOS VILLAROSA YEE YU


judicata, prescription)3. Thus, under Section 1, Rule 16, petitioner is deemed to have
waived this ground and cannot now raise it after the case in the RTC had been submitted
for decision or on appeal to the CA.

2. The complaint for quieting of title states a sufficient cause of action. The heirs alleged
that they are the heirs of the late Melquiades Silva who died on July 3, 1961 and are thus
the true owners of a parcel of land registered in the name of the latter (first and second
elements); that the private documents allegedly executed by the late Melquiades Silva in
favor of the predecessors-in-interest of the petitioner are forged documents (third
element); and that the existence of these documents casts a cloud over the title of the
respondents as owners of the property (fourth element).

3. It is not disputed that the parties manifested to the RTC that they were submitting the
case without the need of trial. Aldemita did not complain in the RTC about the capability
of the Heirs of Melquiades Silva in his Position Paper. It is only after the case had already
been submitted for decision of the RTC that the issue on the capacity of the Heirs was
raised through a new counsel. As appropriately denied by the RTC in its Orders dated
April 20, 2001 and August 17, 2001, petitioners motion is without merit, as said ground
was raised belatedly.

3
Rule 9, SECTION 1. Defenses and objections not pleaded. - Defenses and objections not pleaded either in
a motion to dismiss or in the answer are deemed waived. However, when it appears from the pleadings or
the evidence on record that the court has no jurisdiction over the subject matter, that there is another
action pending between the same parties for the same cause, or that the action is barred by a prior
judgment or by statute of limitations, the court shall dismiss the claim.

CHUA CHU DE CHAVEZ SAMONTE SANTOS VILLAROSA YEE YU


Westmont Bank vs. Funai Philippines Corporation, Spouses Antonio and Sylvia
Yutingco, Panamax Corporation, Pepito Ong Ngo, Richard Yu, Aimee R. Alba,
Annabelle Baesa, Nenita Resane and Maria Ortiz (original defendants) (G.R. No.
175733)
Carmelo V. Cachero (additional defendants) vs. United Overseas Bank Phils.
And/Or Westmont Bank (G.R. No. 180162)
July 8, 2015

Doctrine: While the facts alleged in the complaint are hypothetically admitted by the
defendant, who moves to dismiss the complaint on the ground of failure to state cause of
action, it must be remembered that the hypothetical admission extends only to the
relevant and material facts well pleaded in the complaint, as well as inferences fairly
deductible therefrom.

Summary:
Funai Corp and Sps. Yutingco obtained loans from Westmont Bank. They defaulted so
Westmont filed for the collection fo money with preliminary attachment. Westmont also
filed an Amended and Second Amended Complaints impleading additional defendants
claiming that they are dummies or alter egos of the Sps. Yutingco to defraud Westmont.
The additional defendants filed a Motion to Dismiss stating that Westmont had no cause
of action against them. RTC granted the motion to dismiss for failure to state cause of
action. SC held that the Westmont failed to state a cause of action against the additional
defendants because the allegations of Westmont involve conclusions of law.

Facts:
Funai Philippines Corporation and Spouses Antonio and Sylvia Yutingco (original
defendants) obtained loans from Westmont Bank (Westmont), now United Overseas
Bank Phils.secured by several promissory notes with different maturity dates. The PNs
commonly provide that in case the same are referred to an attorney-at-law or a collection
agency, or a suit is instituted in court for collection, Sps. Yutingco will be liable to pay
20% of the total amount due as attorney's fees, exclusive of costs of suit and other
expenses.

However, Funai and Sps. Yutingco defaulted in the payment of the said loan obligations
when they fell due, and ignored Westmont's demands for payment. Hence, the
Westmont filed a complaint for sum of money, with prayer for the issuance of a writ of
preliminary attachment before the RTC. After an ex-parte hearing, the RTC issued a Writ
of Preliminary Attachment ordering the attachment of the personal and real properties of
the original defendants.

Furthermore, the RTC issued another Order, directing the attachment of properties
appearing under the names of other persons, but which were under the control of the
original defendants. In view of the foregoing directives, Sheriff Gerry C. Duncan and
Sheriff Cachero levied and seized the properties situated at: (a) No. 9 Northpark
Avenue, Bellevue, Grace Village, Quezon City; and (b) 2nd Level, Phase III, Sta. Lucia
East Grand Mall, Cainta, Rizal. Pepito Ong Ngo, as Acting President of Panamax
Corporation, filed an Affidavit of Third-Party Claim over the properties seized in Sta.
Lucia, claiming that Panamax is the true and lawful owner.

Westmont filed an Amended Complaint impeding additional defendants, Panamax,


Ngo, Aimee R. Alba, Richard N. Yu, Annabelle Baesa, and Nenita

CHUA CHU DE CHAVEZ SAMONTE SANTOS VILLAROSA YEE YU


Resane (additional defendants), and praying that they be declared as mere alter
egos, conduits, dummies, or nominees of Sps. Yutingco to defraud their creditors,
including Westmont. –IMPORTANT

Westmont filed a Second Amended Complaint adding Maria Ortiz to the additional
defendants.

Original Defendants submitted their Answer explaining their non-payment was due to
circumstances beyond their control and occasioned by Westmont’s sudden treacherous
manipulation and interposing a counterclaim for actual and moral damages and
attorney's fees for the alleged irregular levy.

Additional defendants moved to dismiss the complaints and filed their Answer alleging
that: (a) the complaints stated no cause of action against them, considering the
lack of legal tie or vinculum juris with Westmont, (b) they were not parties-in-
interest in the case absent any proof linking them to the transaction between
Westmont and the original defendants. They interposed a counterclaim for actual,
moral, and exemplary damages, as well as atty’s fees, and costs of suit.

Not important events in between:


-Public auction sale of seized properties- profits= P1,030,000
-RTC: original defendants liable to Westmont for 10,000,000 less the profits from
auction.

RTC:
 dismissed the amended and second amended complaints for failure to
state a cause of action against the additional defendants.
 the additional defendants had no participation or any corresponding duty
relative to the subject PNs, which were executed only by the original
defendants in favor of Westmont
 Westmont's imputation that the additional defendants acted as dummies,
conduits, and alter egos of the original defendants are mere inferences of fact,
and not a narration of specific acts or set of facts or ultimate facts required
in a complaint to entitle the plaintiff to a remedy in law. Thus, it concluded that
the complaint failed to state a cause of action against the additional
defendants.

Westmont filed a Partial reconsideration from the RTC Decision for dismissing the
complaints against the additional defendants.

CA:
 Westmont has no cause of action against the additional defendants as they had
no participation whatsoever in the execution of the subject PNs.

Issue: Whether or not the dismissal of the Amended complaints were proper? –YES

Held:
THE SC affirmed the RTC’s decision and held that the Amended Complaints
impleading the additional defendants failed to state a cause of action.

CHUA CHU DE CHAVEZ SAMONTE SANTOS VILLAROSA YEE YU


In the case at bar, both the RTC and the CA were one in dismissing Westmont's
Amended and Second Amended Complaints as to the additional defendants, but differed
on the grounds therefor i.e., the RTC held that said complaints failed to state a cause of
action, while the CA ruled that there was no cause of action, as to the additional
defendants.

"Failure to state a cause of action and lack of cause of action are distinct grounds
to dismiss a particular action. The former refers to the insufficiency of the allegations in
the pleading, while the latter to the insufficiency of the factual basis for the action.
Dismissal for failure to state a cause of action may be raised at the earliest stages of the
proceedings through a motion to dismiss under Rule 16 of the Rules of Court, while
dismissal for lack of cause of action may be raised any time after the questions of fact
have been resolved on the basis of stipulations, admissions or evidence presented by
the plaintiff.”

"A complaint states a cause of action if it sufficiently avers the existence of the
three (3) essential elements of a cause of action, namely: (a) a right in favor of the
plaintiff by whatever means and under whatever law it arises or is created; (b) an
obligation on the part of the named defendant to respect or not to violate such right; and
(c) an act or omission on the part of the named defendant violative of the right of the
plaintiff or constituting a breach of the obligation of defendant to the plaintiff for which the
latter may maintain an action for recovery of damages. If the allegations of the complaint
do not state the concurrence of these elements, the complaint becomes vulnerable to a
motion to dismiss on the ground of failure to state a cause of action."

Judicious examinations of Westmont's Amended and Second Amended


Complaints readily show their failure to sufficiently state a cause of action as the
allegations therein do not proffer ultimate facts which would warrant an action
against the additional defendants for the collection of the amount due on the
subject PNs.
In imputing liability to the additional defendants, Westmont merely alleged in its Second
Amended Complaint:
"Panamax, Ngo, Alba, Yu, Baesa and Resane are impleaded herein for being mere alter
egos, conduits, dummies or nominees of defendants spouses Antonio and Sylvia
Yutingco to defraud creditors, including herein plaintiff [Westmont].
xxxx
Maria Ortiz is impleaded herein for being mere alter ego, conduit, dummy or nominee of
defendants spouses Antonio and Sylvia Yutingco to defraud creditors, including herein
plaintiff [Westmont]."

The allegations partake of the nature of mere conclusions of law, unsupported by a


particular averment of circumstances that will show why or how such inferences or
conclusions were arrived at as to bring the controversy within the trial court's jurisdiction.
There is no explanation or narration of facts that would disclose why the additional
defendants are mere alter egos, conduits, dummies or nominees of the original
defendants to defraud creditors, contrary to the requirement of Section 5, Rule 8 of the
Rules of Court that the circumstances constituting fraud must be stated with particularity,
thus, rendering the allegation of fraud simply an unfounded conclusion of law. It must be
pointed out that, in the absence of specific averments, the complaint presents no basis
upon which the court should act, or for the defendant to meet it with an intelligent answer
and must, perforce, be dismissed for failure to state a cause of action, as what the RTC

CHUA CHU DE CHAVEZ SAMONTE SANTOS VILLAROSA YEE YU


did.

It bears to stress that "while the facts alleged in the complaint are hypothetically admitted
by the defendant, who moves to dismiss the complaint on the ground of failure to state a
cause of action, it must, nevertheless, be remembered that the hypothetical admission
extends only to the relevant and material facts well pleaded in the complaint, as
well as inferences fairly deductible therefrom."91 Verily, the filing of the motion to
dismiss assailing the sufficiency of the complaint "does not admit the truth of mere
epithets of fraud; nor allegations of legal conclusions; nor an erroneous statement of law;
nor mere inferences or conclusions from facts not stated; nor mere conclusions of law;
nor allegations of fact the falsity of which is subject to judicial notice; nor matters of
evidence; nor surplusage and irrelevant matter; nor scandalous matter inserted merely
to insult the opposing party; nor to legally impossible facts; nor to facts which appear
unfounded by a record incorporated in the pleading, or by a document referred to; nor to
general averments contradicted by more specific averments."

Additional Notes: Consolidated case to so ito yung other case just in case magtanong
si sir.
Facts:
The additional defendants filed with the RTC a Motion for Execution Pending Appeal
praying for the return of the seized items which were in dangers of becoming
obsolescent and useless, and whose value had considerably gone down in the market. –
GRANTED by RTC

Westmont refused to release. W filed with CA a TRO against the implementation of the
Order -GRANTED

RTC issued a Break-Open Order to be carried out by Sheriff Cachero and Duncan.
Cachero ignored the TRO.

Westmont filed a case for indirect contempt against Sheriff Cachero, Duncan and Ngo (

Issue: Whether or not Sheriff Cachero is guilty of indirect contempt in implementing writ
of execution and Break Open Order despite the TRO? -YES

Held: Sheriff has a sensitive role in dispensation of justice. He is duty bound to know the
basic rules. He intended to defy the TRO despite being notified of the TRO. Punished by
a fine of P30,000.

CHUA CHU DE CHAVEZ SAMONTE SANTOS VILLAROSA YEE YU


AQUINO V. QUIAZON

DOCTRINE:
The ground of "lack of cause of action," is not one of the grounds for a motion to dismiss
under Rule 16, and hence, not proper for resolution during a preliminary hearing held
pursuant to Section 6. It is the ground of “failure to state a cause of action” that is one of
the grounds for a motion to dismiss.

In a preliminary hearing on a motion to dismiss or on the affirmative defenses raised in an


answer, the parties are allowed to present evidence except when the motion is based on
the ground of insufficiency of the statement of the cause of action which must be
determined on the basis only of the facts alleged in the complaint and no other.

SUMMARY:
Aqunio et al filed a complaint for quieting of title agains the Quiazons. The Quiazons in
their answer alleged one of the affirmative defenses of lack of cause of action. RTC
ordered preliminary hearing on the affirmative defenses. The Quiazons presented
evidence of their TCT, OCT etc. Aquino et al refused to present evidence since they were
saying that the court should only look at the averments in the complaint to determine
whether or not they were able to sufficiently state a cause of acton. Relying on the
evidence presented by the Quaizons, RTC dismissed the complaint of Aquino et al. They
appealed to CA. CA affirmed RTC’s decision stating that Section 6 Rule 6 permits
presentation of evidence in a preliminary hearing on the affirmative defenses contained in
the Answer. SC held taht RTC and CA were wrong. SC held that the Quiazons forwarded
the defense of “lack of cause of action” and not “failure to state a cause of action”. Lack of
cause of action is not a ground to dismiss under Rule 16. Even assuming that what was
used as a defense was failure to state a cause of action, dismissal of the complaint would
still be improper since the court admitted the evidence or matters outside the complaint.
In determining whether there is failure to state a cause of action, you only look at the
sufficiency of the allegations.

FACTS:
 A complaint for Annulment and Quieting of Title was filed before the RTC by the
petitioners, namely, Leticia Naguit Aquino, ET AL (madami sila).
 They alleged that they were the heirs of the late Epifanio Makam and Severina
Bautista, who acquired a house and lot situated in Magalang, Pampanga by virtue of
a Deed of Sale, dated April 20, 1894; that since then, they and their predecessors-in-
interest had been in open, continuous, adverse, and notorious possession for more
than a hundred years, constructing houses and paying real estate taxes on the
property
 June 2005- they received various demand letters from the Quiazons, claiming
ownership over the subject property and demanding that they vacate the same
 Upon inquiry with the Register of Deeds of San Fernando, Pampanga, they confirmed
that the property had been titled in the name of the Quiazons

CHUA CHU DE CHAVEZ SAMONTE SANTOS VILLAROSA YEE YU


 Aquino et al alleges that the said title was invalid, ineffective, voidable or
unenforceable; and that they were the true owners of the property. Hence, they prayed
that the title be cancelled and a new title be issued in their favor.
 In the Answer of the Quiazons they argue that: (a.) Aquino et al "have no valid, legal
and sufficient cause of action" against them, because their deed of sale was spurious
and could not prevail over Land Registration Decree by the Court of First Instance of
Pampanga, in favor of their predecessor-in-interest. (b) the action was barred by
prescription (c) the action was also barred by res judicata
 Aquino et al filed their Comment to Defendant's Affirmative Defenses. (a) the settled
rule was that to determine the sufficiency of the cause of action, only the facts alleged
in the complaint should be considered, and that the allegations in their complaint
sufficiently stated a cause of action. (b) an action to quiet title did not prescribe if the
plaintiffs were in possession of the property in question. (c) they were not the same
plaintiffs in the Civil Case mentioned by the Quiazons and that the case was
dismissed without prejudice.
 RTC set a preliminary hearing on the affirmative defenses.
 Quiazon’s presented the clerk of court of Pampanga in the cadastral case dated june
28, 1919, the registration examiner of the Registry of deeds who presented their OTC,
and the court interpreter who translated the june 28 1919 decision from spanish to
english.
 Aquino et al manifested that they were opting to submit the incident for resolution
without presenting evidence, relying on their position that only the facts alleged in the
complaint should be considered.
 RTC issued an order dismissing Aquino et al’s complaint. It found that based on the
decision, dated June 28, 1919, in Cadastral Case No. 5, the Baluyut siblings, the
Quiazons' predecessors-in-interest, were declared the absolute owners of the subject
property, over the claim of Jose Makam, the predecessor-in-interest of Aquino, who
was one of the oppositors in the said case.
 With regard to Aquino et al's argument that only the complaint may be considered in
determining the sufficiency of the cause of action, the RTC ruled that under Section 2
in relation to Section 6, Rule 16 of the Rules of Court, a preliminary hearing on the
affirmative defense in the answer might be had at the discretion of the court, during
which the parties could present their arguments and their evidence.
 RTC denied Aquino et al’s MR saying that the court may consider evidence presented
in hearings related to the case, which was an exception to the general rule that only
the complaint should be taken into consideration. It stated that petitioners were
without legal or equitable title to the subject property, thus, lacking the legal
personality to file an action for quieting of title and, therefore, "the complaint was
properly dismissed for failing to state a cause of action."
 CA ruled that it was within the trial court's discretion to receive and consider other
evidence aside from the allegations in the complaint in resolving a party's affirmative
defense. It held that this discretion was recognized under Section 6 of Rule 16 of the

CHUA CHU DE CHAVEZ SAMONTE SANTOS VILLAROSA YEE YU


Rules of Court, which allowed the court to conduct a preliminary hearing, motu
proprio, on the defendant's affirmative defense if no corresponding motion to dismiss
was filed.
 CA dismissed Aquino et al's appeal and affirmed RTC’s decision. It explained that
under Section 6, Rule 16 of the Rules of Court, a court is allowed to conduct a
preliminary hearing, motu proprio, on the defendant's affirmative defenses, including
the ground of "lack of cause of action or failure to state a cause of action."
 CA: because the rule spoke in general terms, its manifest intention was to apply it to
all grounds for a motion to dismiss under the rules which were pleaded as affirmative
defenses in the responsive pleading. Thus, it held that the trial court might consider
other evidence aside from the averments in the complaint in determining the
sufficiency of the cause of action.
 The CA gave credence to the evidence presented by the Quiazons and noted that,
except for Aquino et al’s bare allegation that respondents' title was invalid, there was
nothing more to support the same.
 Aquino et al argue that the CA gravely erred in considering external factors beyond
the allegations in the petition. They aver that it is a settled rule that to determine the
sufficiency of a cause of action, only facts alleged in the complaint shall be
considered, and it is error for the court to take cognizance of external facts or hold a
preliminary hearing to determine their existence.

ISSUE:
Whether the CA erred in affirming the dismissal of Aquino et al’s complaint on the ground
of lack of cause of action or failure to state a cause of action. (YES)

HELD:
 SC notes that the Quiazons raised the affirmative defense in their Answer that
petitioners "have no valid, legal and sufficient cause of action," raising factual matters,
which is effectively the ground of "lack of cause of action." Respondents' arguments
made no assertion that the complaint failed to state a cause of action. The ground of
"lack of cause of action" has been frequently confused with the ground of "failure to
state a cause of action," and this is the situation prevailing in the present case. The
terms were, in fact, used interchangeably by both the respondents and the lower
courts.
 DABUCO V. CA: As a preliminary matter, we wish to stress the distinction between
the two grounds for dismissal of an action: failure to state a cause of action, on the
one hand, and lack of cause of action, on the other hand. The former refers to the
insufficiency of allegation in the pleading, the latter to the insufficiency of factual basis
for the action. Failure to state a cause may be raised in a Motion to Dismiss under
Rule 16, while lack of cause may be raised any time. Dismissal for failure to state a
cause can be made at the earliest stages of an action. Dismissal for lack of cause is
usually made after questions of fact have been resolved on the basis of stipulations,
admissions or evidence presented.

CHUA CHU DE CHAVEZ SAMONTE SANTOS VILLAROSA YEE YU


 The trial court held a preliminary hearing resolving the ground of "lack of cause of
action" pursuant to Section 6 of Rule 16, which allows the court to hold a preliminary
hearing on grounds for dismissal provided in the same rule that have been raised as
an affirmative defense in the answer. The ground of "lack of cause of action," as
already explained, however, is not one of the grounds for a motion to dismiss under
Rule 16, and hence, not proper for resolution during a preliminary hearing held
pursuant to Section 6.
 On this point alone, the trial court clearly erred in receiving evidence on the ground of
"lack of cause of action" during the preliminary hearing. The factual matters raised by
the Quiazons in their affirmative defense arguing the non-existence of a cause of
action, should have been duly resolved during a trial on the merits of the case.
 In any case, even if the Court were to treat respondents' argument as a "failure to
state a cause of action," their defense would still fail.
 Rule 16 of the Rules of Court enumerates the grounds for a motion to dismiss. The
pertinent ground is found under Section 1(g), which reads as follows:
(g) That the pleading asserting the claim states no cause of action.
 The test for determining the existence of a cause of action was amply discussed in
Insular Investment and Trust Corporation v. Capital One Equities Corporation:
The familiar test for determining whether a complaint did or did not state a
cause of action against the defendants is whether or not, admitting
hypothetically the truth of the allegations of fact made in the complaint, a
judge may validly grant the relief demanded in the complaint.

In determining the existence of a cause of action, only the statements in the


complaint may properly be considered. It is error for the court to take cognizance
of external facts or hold preliminary hearings to determine their existence.
 Thus, in determining the existence of a cause of action, only the allegations in the
complaint may properly be considered. For the court to do otherwise would be a
procedural error and a denial of the plaintiffs right to due process.
 It is readily apparent from the complaint that Aquino et al alleged that (1) they had an
interest over the subject property by virtue of a Deed of Sale, dated April 20, 1894;
and that (2) the title of the Quiazons under TCT No. 213777-R was invalid, ineffective,
voidable or unenforceable. Hypothetically admitting these allegations as true, as is
required in determining whether a complaint fails to state a cause of action, Aquino et
al may be granted their claim. Clearly, the complaint sufficiently stated a cause of
action. In resolving whether or not the complaint stated a cause of action, the trial
court should have limited itself to examining the sufficiency of the allegations in the
complaint. It was proscribed from inquiring into the truth of the allegations in the
complaint or the authenticity of any of the documents referred or attached to the
complaint, as these were deemed hypothetically admitted by the respondents.
 The trial court may indeed elect to hold a preliminary hearing on affirmative defenses
as raised in the answer under Section 6 of Rules 16 of the Rules of Court. It has been
held, however, that such a hearing is not necessary when the affirmative defense is

CHUA CHU DE CHAVEZ SAMONTE SANTOS VILLAROSA YEE YU


failure to state a cause of action, and that it is, in fact, error for the court to hold a
preliminary hearing to determine the existence of external facts outside the complaint.
 The reception and the consideration of evidence on the ground that the complaint fails
to state a cause of action, has been held to be improper and impermissible. Thus, in
a preliminary hearing on a motion to dismiss or on the affirmative defenses raised in
an answer, the parties are allowed to present evidence except when the motion is
based on the ground of insufficiency of the statement of the cause of action which
must be determined on the basis only of the facts alleged in the complaint and no
other.
 Section 6, therefore, does not apply to the ground that the complaint fails to state a
cause of action. The trial court, thus, erred in receiving and considering evidence in
connection with this ground.
 CASE WAS REMANDED TO RTC

ADDITIONAL SHIT:
The lower courts also relied on the exception that external evidence may be considered
when received "in the course of hearings related to the case," which is rooted in the case
of Tan v. Director of Forestry (Tan). In said case, a hearing was conducted on the prayer
for preliminary injunction where evidence was submitted by the parties. In the meantime,
a motion to dismiss was filed by the defendant, citing as one of the grounds that the petition
did not state a cause of action. The trial court resolved the prayer for the issuance of a
writ of preliminary injunction simultaneously with the motion to dismiss. It dismissed the
petition for failure to state a cause of action on the basis of the evidence presented during
the hearing for preliminary injuction. On appeal, SC ruled that the trial court was correct in
considering the evidence already presented and in not confining itself to the allegations in
the petition. - BUT SC said it does not apply in this case since sa Tan case, evidence was
presented in the preliminary hearing in an injunction and not on a hearing on a motion to
dismiss. Plaintiff in Tan had readily availed of his opportunity to introduce evidence during
the hearing and, as a result, was estopped from arguing that the court is limited to the
allegations in the complaint. The documentary evidence given credence by the trial court
had effectively been admitted by stipulation during the hearing, and another had been an
annex to the complaint.

CHUA CHU DE CHAVEZ SAMONTE SANTOS VILLAROSA YEE YU


Heirs of Dolleton v Fil-estate || Gr no. 170750 || 7 April 2009

Doctrines (Sorry guys sobrang daming doctrines nung case. The complete ones are in the
held portion): If the allegations in the complaint furnish sufficient basis on which it can be maintained,
it should not be dismissed regardless of the defense that may be presented by the defendant.

To sustain a motion to dismiss for lack of cause of action, the complaint must show that the claim for
relief does not exist, rather than that a claim has been defectively stated, or is ambiguous, indefinite
or uncertain.

An allegation of prescription can effectively be used in a motion to dismiss only when the Complaint
on its face shows that indeed the action has already prescribed. Laches is evidentiary in nature, a
fact that cannot be established by mere allegations in the pleadings and cannot be resolved in a
motion to dismiss.

Res judicata refers to the rule that a final judgment or decree on the merits by a court of competent
jurisdiction is conclusive of the rights of the parties or their privies in all later suits on all points and
matters determined in the former suit; Two Concepts of Res Judicata: “Bar by Prior Judgment” and
“Conclusiveness of Judgment.

Summary: Petitioners Heirs filed for quieting of title and/or recovery of ownership and possession
with preliminary injunction/restraining order and damages against respondents Fil-Estate
Management Inc. They claimed that they have been in open, exclusive, and notorious possession of
parcels of land for more than 90 years until Fil- Estate forcibly ousted them. Fil-Estate contended that
that have in their possession numerous certificates covering the parcels of land and can only be
attacked collaterally pursuant to PD 1529. The respondents also filed a motion to dismiss based on
prescription, laches, lack of cause of action, and res judicata. The court held the RTC erred in granting
the motion to dismiss as the Complaints sufficiently stated a cause of action and that they are not
barred by prescription, laches, and res judicata.

Facts: Petitioners Heirs of Tomas Dolleton et al. (Heirs) filed for quieting of title and/or recovery of
ownership and possession with preliminary injunction/restraining order and damages against
respondents Fil-Estate Management Inc. et al. (FilEstate) The eight Complaints were similarly worded
and contained substantially identical allegations. The heirs claimed in their Complaints that they had
been in continuous, open, and exclusive possession of the afore-described parcels of land for more
than 90 years until they were forcibly ousted by armed men hired by respondents in 1991. They had
cultivated the subject properties and religiously paid the real estate taxes for the same. They also
claim that FilEstate cannot rely on their TCTs issued by the Registry of Deeds of Las Pinas in their
names since the subject properties were not covered by said certificates. The heirs also alleged that
said TCTs, purportedly derived from an OCT issued in favor of Jose Velasquez, were spurious.

To support their narration of facts, the Heirs cited Vda. de Cailles v. Mayuga and Orosa v. Migrino,
which both involved the parcel of land referred to as Lot 9. They stressed, that in those cases, the
land that was transferred was Lot 9, measuring 53 hectares, which was only a portion of the entire
Lot 9, with a total area of 119.8 hectares. And FilEstate’s TCTs, derived from an OCT in the name of
Jose Velasquez, covered only 26.44 hectares or roughly half of Lot 9. Petitioners averred that the
subject properties were not included in the 53 hectares of Lot 9, adjudicated to Dominador Mayuga.

The Heirs thus sought from the RTC that an order be issued enjoining respondents from making any
developments on the subject properties, to recognize their rights on said lands, and to vacate and
surrender the same.

CHUA CHU DE CHAVEZ SAMONTE SANTOS VILLAROSA YEE YU


FilEstate filed before the RTC a Motion to Dismiss and Opposition to Application for a
Temporary Restraining Order/Writ of Preliminary Injunction. They moved for the dismissal of
the eight Complaints on the grounds of (1) prescription; (2) laches; (3) lack of cause of action;
and (4) res judicata.

FilEstate argued that the Complaints sought the annulment of the certificates of title that were issued
in their names. The Property Registration Decree provides that the decree of registration and the
certificate of title issued pursuant thereto can only be nullified on the ground of fraud within one year
after the entry of such decree of registration. Their TCTs could be traced back to the decree/s of
registration entered in 1966/1967, which resulted in the issuance of an OCT in the name of Jose
Velasquez, FilEstate’s predecessor-in-interest. Hence, the filing of the Complaints only in October
1997 was made beyond the prescription period. Additionally, the Complaints were actions for
reconveyance of the subject properties based on implied trust, the filing of which prescribes after 10
years from the time said properties were first registered under the Torrens system. Since the subject
properties were first registered in 1966/1967, then the actions for their reconveyance, instituted only
in 1997 or 30 years later, should be dismissed on the ground of prescription.

FilEstate also contended that petitioners were guilty of laches. Despite their alleged possession of
the subject properties for 90 years, petitioners failed to take any steps to oppose the land registration
cases involving the properties or to seek the nullification of the decrees of registration and certificates
of title which were entered and issued as early as 1966 and 1967.

Moreover, FilEstate maintained that the Complaints should be dismissed for failure to state a cause
of action. Even assuming that petitioners were able to prove their allegations of longtime possession
and payment of realty taxes on the subject properties, and to submit a sketch plan of the same, these
cannot defeat a claim of ownership over the parcels of land already registered under the Torrens
system.

Lastly, FilEstate insisted that the Complaints should be dismissed on the ground of res judicata. By
virtue of the decided cases Vda. de Cailles and Orosa, which petitioners themselves cited in their
Complaints, any claims to all portions of Lot 9 are barred by res judicata. In said cases, respondents
predecessors-in-interest were declared owners of Lot 9. They also referred to a Decision rendered
by the MTC of Las Pinas, entitled Heirs of Benito Navarro v. Fil-Estate Management Inc. In its
Decision, the MTC declared that therein plaintiffs were not in possession of the land, which it found
to belong to respondent Fil-Estate Management Inc.

On 8 September 2000, the RTC issued a Resolution granting respondents Motion to Dismiss. The
trial court determined that the subject properties were already registered in the names of respondents,
and that petitioners were unable to prove by clear and convincing evidence their title to the said
properties.

Upon appeal, the Court of Appeals denied the Heirs’ appeal and affirmed the RTC Resolutions. The
appellate court further decreed that the cases for quieting of title should be dismissed based on the
allegation of petitioners themselves that the parcels of land covered by respondents certificates of
title were not the subject properties which petitioners claimed as their own.

Issue: Whether the RTC properly granted respondents motion to dismiss. - No

Held: No, the RTC erred in granting respondents’ motion to dismiss.

CHUA CHU DE CHAVEZ SAMONTE SANTOS VILLAROSA YEE YU


1) Complaints sufficiently stated a cause of action. FilEstate mistakenly construe the allegations
in Heirs’ Complaints. What the heirs alleged in their Complaints was that while the subject properties
were not covered by FilEstate’s certificates of title, nevertheless, FilEstate forcibly evicted the heirs
therefrom. Hence, it is not simply a question of whether the heirs’ possession can defeat FilEstate’s
title to registered land. Instead, an initial determination has to be made on whether the subject
properties were in fact covered by FilEstate’s certificates of title.

A cause of action as the act or omission by which a party violates the right of another. Its essential
elements are: (1) a right in favor of the plaintiff (2) an obligation on the part of the named defendant
to respect or not to violate such right; and (3) an act or omission on the part of such defendant in
violation of the right of the plaintiff or constituting a breach of the obligation of the defendant to the
plaintiff. The elementary test for failure to state a cause of action is whether the complaint alleges
facts which if true would justify the relief demanded. The inquiry is into the sufficiency, not the
veracity, of the material allegations. If the allegations in the complaint furnish sufficient basis on
which it can be maintained, it should not be dismissed regardless of the defense that may be
presented by the defendant.

This Court is convinced that each of the Complaints filed by petitioners sufficiently stated a
cause of action. The Complaints alleged that the Heirs are the owners of the subject properties by
acquisitive prescription. As owners thereof, they have the right to remain in peaceful possession of
the said properties and, if deprived thereof, they may recover the same.

The main concern of the Heirs is to prevent FilEstate from using or invoking their certificates of title
to deprive petitioners of their ownership and possession over the subject properties; and not to assert
a superior right to the land covered by the certificates of title. Admittedly, while the Heirs can seek the
recovery of the subject properties, they cannot ask for the cancellation of FilEstate’s TCTs since the
Heirs failed to allege any interest in the land covered thereby. Still, the other reliefs sought, i.e.,
recovery of the possession of the properties and damages, are still proper.

The Complaints should not have been dismissed despite the seeming error made by petitioners in
their prayer. To sustain a motion to dismiss for lack of cause of action, the complaint must show that
the claim for relief does not exist, rather than that a claim has been defectively stated, or is
ambiguous, indefinite or uncertain.

2) Complaints are not barred by prescription and laches. In their Motion to Dismiss, FilEstate
argued that the Heirs’ cases were barred by prescription, in accordance with the Property Registration
Decree and Articles 1144(2) and 1456 of the Civil Code. In both instances, the land of which a person
was deprived should be the same land which was fraudulently or erroneously registered in another
persons name, which is not the case herein, if the Court considers the allegations in petitioners
Complaints.

The Heirs’ main contention is that the subject properties and the land registered in FilEstate are not
identical. Consequently, they do not have any interest in challenging the registration of the land in the
name of FilEstate.

While the Heirs improperly prayed for the cancellation of respondents TCTs in their Complaints, there
is nothing else in the said Complaints that would support the conclusion that they are either petitions
for reopening and review of the decree of registration under the Property Registration Decree or
actions for reconveyance based on implied trust under Article 1456 of the Civil Code. Instead, the
Complaints may be said to be in the nature of an accion reivindicatoria, an action for recovery of
ownership and possession of the subject properties, from which they were evicted sometime between

CHUA CHU DE CHAVEZ SAMONTE SANTOS VILLAROSA YEE YU


1991 and 1994 by respondents. An accion reivindicatoria may be availed of within 10 years from
dispossession. There is no showing that prescription had already set in when petitioners filed their
Complaints in 1997.

Furthermore, the affirmative defense of prescription does not automatically warrant the
dismissal of a complaint under Rule 16 of the Rules of Civil Procedure. An allegation of
prescription can effectively be used in a motion to dismiss only when the Complaint on its face shows
that indeed the action has already prescribed. If the issue of prescription is one involving evidentiary
matters requiring a full-blown trial on the merits, it cannot be determined in a motion to dismiss. In the
case at bar, FilEstate must first be able to establish by evidence that the subject properties are indeed
covered by their certificates of title before they can argue that any remedy assailing the registration
of said properties or the issuance of the certificates of title over the same in the names of respondents
or their predecessors-in-interest has prescribed.

Neither can the Court sustain FilEstate’s assertion that heirs’ Complaints were barred by laches.
Since the subject properties are distinct from the land covered by FilEstate’s certificates of title, then,
petitioners would have no standing to oppose the registration of the latter property in the names of
FilEstate or their predecessors- in-interest, or to seek the nullification of the certificates of title issued
over the same. It also appears from the records that the RTC did not conduct a hearing to receive
evidence proving that the heirs were guilty of laches. Well-settled is the rule that the elements of
laches must be proven positively. Laches is evidentiary in nature, a fact that cannot be established
by mere allegations in the pleadings and cannot be resolved in a motion to dismiss.

3) Complaints are not barred by res judicata. Res judicata refers to the rule that a final judgment
or decree on the merits by a court of competent jurisdiction is conclusive of the rights of the parties
or their privies in all later suits on all points and matters determined in the former suit. Res judicata has
two concepts: (1) “bar by prior judgment” as enunciated in Rule 39, Section 47 (b) of the Rules of
Civil Procedure; and (2) “conclusiveness of judgment” in Rule 39, Section 47 (c). There is “bar by
prior judgment” when, as between the first case where the judgment was rendered, and the second
case that is sought to be barred, there is identity of parties, subject matter, and causes of action. But
where there is identity of parties and subject matter in the first and second cases, but no identity
of causes of action, the first judgment is conclusive only as to those matters actually and directly
controverted and determined and not as to matters merely involved therein. There is “conclusiveness
of judgment.” Under the doctrine of conclusiveness of judgment, facts and issues actually and directly
resolved in a former suit cannot again be raised in any future case between the same parties, even
if the latter suit may involve a different claim or cause of action. The identity of causes of action is not
required but merely identity of issues.

Vda. de Cailles and Orosa cannot bar the filing of the Heirs’ Complaints before the RTC under the
doctrine of conclusiveness of judgment, since they involve entirely different subject matters.

Hence, in all, this Court pronounces that respondents failed to raise a proper ground for the dismissal
of petitioners Complaints. Petitioners claims and respondents opposition and defenses thereto are
best ventilated in a trial on the merits of the cases. Thus the petition is Granted and the case is
ordered remanded to the RTC.

CHUA CHU DE CHAVEZ SAMONTE SANTOS VILLAROSA YEE YU


Intramuros Administration v. Contacto
Doctrine: Section 3: Resolution of motion- After the hearing, the court may dismiss the
action or claim, deny the motion, or order the amendment of the pleading. The court
shall not defer the resolution of the motion for the reason that the ground relied upon is
not indubitable. In every case, the resolution shall state clearly and distinctly the
reasons therefor.
Summary: Intramuros Administration (lessor) and Contacto (lessee) entered into a
lease contract. First case (complaint for preliminary injuction, with prayer for
SP+damages) is filed by Contacto to stop Intramuros from evicting her from the leased
premises. Also, to compel Intramuros to make good its promise to evict the sidewalk
vendors as it is disrupting Contacto’s fastfood business. Pending resolution of the 1st
case but after the expiration of the lease contract, 2nd case is filed by Intramuros
(collection case) alleging that Contacto failed to pay rentals and utilities. Contacto filed
a MTD on the ground of litis pendentia. RTC denied because it find no merit. SC
held the order of RTC insufficient for failure to state clearly and distinctly the
reasons for denying the MTD.
Facts: Intramuros Administration and Yvette Contacto entered into a lease contract
(term of 5 years from Feb 1 1993 to Jan 31 1998; 36k per month) over the Cantinas de
Aduana (Cantinas), where Contacto will put up her fastfood business. It was agreed that
Contacto is to pay water and other utilities and to secure appropriate licenses and
permits.
Contacto then began complaining of Inramuros’ failure to make good its promises with
regard to evicting the sidewalk vendors outside the Cantinas, from which she suffered
losses due to the presence of such vendors.
Contacto also complained of the inadequate facilities of the Cantinas, which caused the
suspension of her license and denial of permit by the Manila Health Department. She
claimed that in August 1995, she rehabilitated the Cantinas at her own expense which
led to an increased food sales. But, during this time, she was not able to pay the rent.
So, in 1994-1995, the 2 parties entered into 3 agreements with regard to restructuring
her unpaid rents. But still, she failed to pay the accrued rentals.
January 16, 1996: Contacto received an ultimatum letter asking her to vacate the leased
premises if payment is not made within 5 days. As per advice of the Secretary of Dep’t of
Tourism Pilapil, she had a conference with Intramuros Administration in order to prevent
closure but the negotiations failed.
On the supposed date pf closure, Contacto hurriedly file a complaint for preliminary
injunction, with a prayer of SP+damages, in RTC Manila, which the court granted the
following day. RTC issued a writ of PI ordering Intramuros Administration to reopen the
Cantinas and reconnect the water and electrical services.
Pending the resolution of the specific performance case but after expiration of the lease
contract, Intramuros Administration filed with RTC Manilaa complaint against Contacto
spouses alleging that they did not just fail to pay monthly rentals from May 1995-January
1998, they also left the leased premises without paying the water and electric bills.
Contacto filed a MTD on the ground of litis pendentia (considering that there’s a pending
complaint for preliminary injunction, with a prayer of SP+damages case). RTC denied
this MTD and also denied the MR.
“For resolution of this Court is a MTD filed by defendant through counsel, on
grounds that there is another action pending between the same parties for the same
cause.
Finding no merit therein, the MTD is hereby denied.” (eto yung order ng denial
ng MTD sa RTC)

CHUA CHU DE CHAVEZ SAMONTE SANTOS VILLAROSA YEE YU


Contacto then filed with the CA a special civil action for certiorari.
CA held in favor of Contacto and dismissed the case filed by Intramuros Administration.
Hence, this appeal.
Issue: WON the order of RTC denying the MTD of Contacto is compliant to Rule 16
Sec 3. NO.
Held: The order did not state clearly and distinctively the reason for denying the MTD, in
violation of Section 3 Rule 16. What was just stated by RTC is that they found no merit
therein. That is not enough. Rationale: it will create difficulty on the part of the aggrieved
party to take recourse and also difficulty on the part of the higher court to resolve the
issue.
Additional Info: Nonetheless, the MTD on the ground of litis pendentia cannot prosper.
There are 3 requisities that must concur, namely:
1. Identity of parties or at least the parties represent the same interests in both
actions
2. Identity of rights and reliefs prayed for; and
3. Effect of Res Judicata- Identity of the 2 preceding particulars is such that any
judgment rendered in the other action will amount to res judicata in the other
Only the 1st requisite is complied with. In this case, there is no identity of rights and
reliefs prayed for. The reliefs prayed for in the 1st case are anchored on the impending
closure of the Cantinas and the alleged failure of Intramuros Administration to evict the
sidewalk vendors. The 2nd case, on the other hand, is based on the refusal on Contacto
to pay monthly rentals and to pay the utilities. There is more to determining the identity
of causes of action than an in the identity of contract. More fundamental is whether the
cause of action in the 2nd case existed at the time of filing the 1st case. Also the effect of
res judicata only applies in a case wherein Contacto wins. CA failed to consider if
the res judicata effect will apply regardless of which party wins.

CHUA CHU DE CHAVEZ SAMONTE SANTOS VILLAROSA YEE YU


BENAVIDEZ v. SALVADOR

DOCTRINE:
Litis pendentia is a Latin term, which literally means “a pending suit” and is variously
referred to in some decisions as lis pendens and auter action pendant. As a ground for
the dismissal of a civil action, it refers to the situation where two actions are pending
between the same parties for the same cause of action, so that one of them becomes
unnecessary and vexatious. It is based on the policy against multiplicity of suits. Litis
pendentia exists when the following requisites are present: identity of the parties in the
two actions; substantial identity in the causes of action and in the reliefs sought by the
parties; and the identity between the two actions should be such that any judgment that
may be rendered in one case, regardless of which party is successful, would amount to
res judicata in the other.

Forum shopping exists when, as a result of an adverse decision in one forum, or in


anticipation thereof, a party seeks a favorable opinion in another forum through means
other than appeal or certiorari. There is forum shopping when the elements of litis
pendentia are present or where a final judgment in one case will amount to res judicata
in another.

It is clear that the failure of a party to appear at the pre-trial has adverse consequences.
If the absent party is the plaintiff, then his case shall be dismissed. If it is the defendant
who fails to appear, then the plaintiff is allowed to present his evidence ex parte and the
court shall render judgment on the basis thereof. Thus, the plaintiff is given the privilege
to present his evidence without objection from the defendant, the likelihood being that
the court will decide in favor of the plaintiff, the defendant having forfeited the opportunity
to rebut or present its own evidence.

The rule explicitly provides that both parties and their counsel are mandated to appear
thereat except for: (1) a valid excuse; and (2) appearance of a representative on behalf
of a party who is fully authorized in writing to enter into an amicable settlement, to submit
to alternative modes of dispute resolution, and to enter into stipulations or admissions of
facts and documents. In this case, Benavidez’s lawyer was already negligent, but she
compounded this by being negligent herself. She was aware of the scheduled pre-trial
conference, but she did not make any move to prevent the prejudicial consequences of
her absence or that of her counsel. If she knew that her lawyer would not appear and
could not because she was ill, she should have sent a representative in court to inform
the judge of her predicament. Also, her failure to file the pre-trial brief warranted the
same effect because the rules dictate that failure to file a pre-trial brief shall have the
same effect as failure to appear at the pre-trial. Settled is the rule that the negligence of
a counsel binds his clients.

SUMMARY: Benavides loaned 1.5M from Salvador. Benavides failed to pay so Salvador
filed a complaint for a sum of money before the RTC-Antipolo. Benavides moved to
dismiss the case on the ground of litis pendentia because she filed a prior case, which
was to annul the contracts. The RTC and CA denied the Motion to dismiss claiming that
there was no litis pendentia because reliefs prayed for were different. SC held that there
was litis pendentia because all elements concurred.

CHUA CHU DE CHAVEZ SAMONTE SANTOS VILLAROSA YEE YU


FACTS:
Florpina Benavidez obtained a 1.5M loan (1M in check, 500k in check) from Nestor
Salvador. The loan was to be used by Benavidez for the repurchase of her property,
which was foreclosed by Farmers Savings and Loan bank.

Salvador agreed to the loan upon certain conditions. The conditions were a REM, a
promissory note and a deed of sale would be executed. An SPA was also required by
Salvador, the SPA was under the name of Florence Baning (Benavidez’s daughter),
which showed that Baning ordered her mother to obtain a loan. In the deed of sale, the
vendee was Baning.

Benavidez failed to deliver the required SPA and also to pay her dues under the
promissory notes.

Salvador sent a demand letter but no payment was still made, so Salvador filed a
complaint before RTC-Antipolo for a sum of money with damages and a prayer for
issuance of preliminary attachment (2nd case filed).

Benavidez filed a motion to dismiss on the ground of litis pendentia. Benvides averred
that prior to the filing of the case before the RTC-Antipolo, she had filed a Complaint for
Collection for Sum of Money, Annulment of Contract and Checks with Prayer for
Preliminary Injunction and Temporary Restraining Order against Salvador (1st case
filed).

The motion to dismiss, however, was denied by RTC-Antipolo.

Benavidez filed her answer with counterclaim. (walang sinabing details)

A pre-trial conference was scheduled on May 2, 2001 but Benavides and her counsel
failed to appear despite due notice. Resultantly, upon motion, Salvador was allowed by
the trial court to present evidence ex parte.

RTC-Antipolo ordered Benavides to pay 4.8M for the total accrued debt. (5% interest per
month eh)

Benavides filed a MR but was still denied for lack of merit.

Benavides then appealed to the CA, she contends that there was litis pendentia and that
there was an erroneous certification of forum shopping.

Benavides claims that there was substantial identity in the causes of action and any
result of her complaint for annulment would necessarily affect the complaint for collection
of sum of money filed against her.

She added that Salvador never informed RTC-Antipolo about the pending case before
RTC-Morong, rendering his certification on forum shopping erroneous.

Also, Benavides said that the absence of her counsel on the scheduled pre-trial
conference caused her substantial prejudice. Although, the general rule is that a client
was bound by the mistake or negligence of her counsel, she insisted that since the
incompetence or ignorance of her counsel was so great which prejudiced her and denied

CHUA CHU DE CHAVEZ SAMONTE SANTOS VILLAROSA YEE YU


her day in court, the litigation should have been reopened to give her the opportunity to
present her case.

CA affirmed the decision of the RTC. CA said no litis pendentia because the reliefs
prayed for were different.

ISSUE:
W/N there was litis pendentia.

HELD: (crucial din alamin yung additional doctrine kasi yun yung bulk ng case, please
note that the case that was dismissed was the 1st case)
YES. The court held that there was litis pendentia.

As a ground for the dismissal of a civil action, Litis Pendentia refers to the situation
where two actions are pending between the same parties for the same cause of action,
so that one of them becomes unnecessary and vexatious. It is based on the policy
against multiplicity of suits.

On the other hand, forum shopping exists when, as a result of an adverse decision in
one forum, or in anticipation thereof, a party seeks a favorable opinion in another forum
through means other than appeal or certiorari.

There is forum shopping when the elements of litis pendentia are present or where a
final judgment in one case will amount to res judicata in another.

In this case, all the elements are present: first, both Benavidez and Salvador are
parties in both cases; second, both complaints are concerned with the same
promissory note; and third, the judgment in either case would be determinative of
the other.

The court also said that that the failure of a party to appear at the pre-trial has adverse
consequences. If the absent party is the plaintiff, then his case shall be dismissed. If it is
the defendant who fails to appear, then the plaintiff is allowed to present his evidence ex
parte and the court shall render judgment on the basis thereof. Thus, the plaintiff is given
the privilege to present his evidence without objection from the defendant, the likelihood
being that the court will decide in favor of the plaintiff, the defendant having forfeited the
opportunity to rebut or present its own evidence.

The rule explicitly provides that both parties and their counsel are mandated to appear
thereat except for: (1) a valid excuse; and (2) appearance of a representative on behalf
of a party who is fully authorized in writing to enter into an amicable settlement, to submit
to alternative modes of dispute resolution, and to enter into stipulations or admissions of
facts and documents.

In this case, Benavidez’s lawyer was already negligent, but she compounded this by
being negligent herself. She was aware of the scheduled pre-trial conference, but she
did not make any move to prevent the prejudicial consequences of her absence or that
of her counsel. If she knew that her lawyer would not appear and could not because she
was ill, she should have sent a representative in court to inform the judge of her
predicament.

CHUA CHU DE CHAVEZ SAMONTE SANTOS VILLAROSA YEE YU


ADDITIONAL DOCTRINES: (sorry di ko nilagay mga cases na cinite, mga 20 cases
cinite niya tapos halo2 pero yung sinabi is kung ano yung 2 cases na finile tapos
may litis pendentia and if anong rule ginamit sa pagpili ng case na ididismiss)

BULK OF THE CASE TALKED ABOUT WHAT CASE SHOULD BE DISMISSED


WHEN LITIS PENDENTIA EXISTS

The following considerations predominate in the ascending order of importance in


determining which action should prevail: (1) the date of filing, with preference generally
given to the first action filed to be retained; (2) whether the action sought to be dismissed
was filed merely to preempt the later action or to anticipate its filing and lay the basis for
its dismissal; and (3) whether the action is the appropriate vehicle for litigating the issues
between the parties.

There are three rules:


1. priority-in-time rule
2. more appropriate action test
3. anticipatory test

The "more appropriate action test" considers the real issue raised by the pleadings and
the ultimate objective of the parties; the more appropriate action is the one where the
real issues raised can be fully and completely settled.

In the "anticipatory test," the bona fides or good faith of the parties is the critical element.
If the first suit is filed merely to preempt the later action or to anticipate its filing and lay
the basis for its dismissal, then the first suit should be dismissed.

Abines v. Bank of the Philippine Islands in 2006 - saw the application of both the
"priority-in-time rule" and the "more appropriate action test." In this case, the respondent
filed a complaint for collection of sum of money against the petitioners to enforce its
rights under the promissory notes and real estate mortgages, while the petitioners
subsequently filed a complaint for reformation of the promissory notes and real estate
mortgages. We held that the first case, the collection case, should subsist because it is
the first action filed and the more appropriate vehicle for litigating all the issues in the
controversy.

CHUA CHU DE CHAVEZ SAMONTE SANTOS VILLAROSA YEE YU


G.R. No. 170281 January 18, 2008
REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, represented by the ANTI-MONEY LAUNDERING
COUNCIL, petitioner,
vs.
GLASGOW CREDIT AND COLLECTION SERVICES, INC. and CITYSTATE SAVINGS
BANK, INC., respondents.

DOCTRINE: The motu proprio dismissal of the complaint on the ground of improper
venue is plain error. In a motion to dismiss for failure to state a cause of action, the focus
is on the sufficiency, not the veracity, of the material allegations. The test of the
sufficiency of the facts alleged in the complaint is whether or not, admitting the facts
alleged, the court could render a valid judgment upon the same in accordance with the
prayer of the complaint.

SUMMARY: Republic filed a complaint for civil forfeiture of assets against the bank
deposits maintained by Glasgow in CSBI. Glasgow filed a motion to dismiss (no
jurisdiction, no cause of action, and failure to prosecute). Trial court dismissed motu
proprio on the ground of improper venue. SC says bawal yan. See doctrine

FACTS:
 The Republic of the Philippines filed a complaint for civil forfeiture of assets (with
urgent plea for issuance of TRO and/or writ of preliminary injunction) against the
bank deposits maintained by Glasgow in Citystate Savings Bank, Inc. (CSBI).
 The writ of preliminary injunction was issued. (semi-important for later)
 Summons to Glasgow was returned “unserved” as it could no longer be found at
its last known address.
 Republic filed a verified omnibus motion for
-issuance of alias summons
-leave of court to serve summons by publication
 Di pinapansin ng court yung leave of court to serve summons by publication
-but it ordered the issuance of alias summons.
 The trial court archived the case for failure of Republic to serve alias summons.
-Republic filed an ex parte omnibus motion to
-reinstate the case, and
-resolve its pending motion for leave of court to serve summons by
publication (tangina pansinin niyo ko!!!!)
 The trial court ordered the reinstatement of the case and directed the Republic to
serve alias summons. But it still did not resolve Republic’s motion for leave of
court to serve summons by publication (putangina naman oh).
-trial court: until and unless a return is made on the alias summons, summons by
publication would be untenable if not premature.
 The Republic, through the OSG, received a copy of the sheriff’s return stating
that the alias summons was returned “unserved” as Glasgow was no longer
holding office at his given address.
 Republic filed a manifestation and ex parte motion to resolve its motion for leave
of court to serve summons by publication (putangina court oh ayan may return
na. pansinin niyo na motion ko mga puki ng ina niyo)
 OSG received a copy of Glasgow’s Motion to Dismiss (by way of special
appearance)

CHUA CHU DE CHAVEZ SAMONTE SANTOS VILLAROSA YEE YU


a) court had no jurisdiction over its person as summons had not yet been
served on it
b) complaint was premature and stated no cause of action as there was still
no conviction for estafa or other criminal violations implicating Glasgow
c) there was failure to prosecute on the part of the Republic
 The trial court dismissed the case on the following grounds:
a) Improper venue, dapat sa RTC Pasig where CSBI was located. (huh san
nanggaling to)
-Republic filed in RTC Manila
b) Insufficiency of the complaint in form and substance
c) Failure to prosecute
 Hence, this petition

ISSUE:
1. WON the complaint for civil forfeiture was correctly dismissed on grounds of
a) improper venue
b) insufficiency in form and substance
c) failure to prosecute

HELD/RATIO:
1. NO.
a) The complaint was filed in the proper venue.
-first of all, Glasgow never questioned venue. (check his grounds above).
The motu proprio dismissal of the complaint on the ground of improper
venue is plain error!
-at any rate, the trial court was a proper venue.
-the Rule of Procedure in Cases of Civil Forfeiture provide that the
venue shall be in any RTC of the judicial region where the
monetary instrument, property, or proceeds representing,
involving, or relating to an unlawful activity or to a money
laundering offense are located.
-Pasig City, where the account sought to be forfeited in this case
is situated, is within the National Capital Judicial Region (NCJR).
So, the complaint may be filed in any RTC of the NCJR. RTC
Manila is one of the RTCs of the NCJR. Therefore proper venue!
b) The complaint was sufficient in form and substance
- In a motion to dismiss for failure to state a cause of action, the focus is
on the sufficiency, not the veracity, of the material allegations.
- The test of the sufficiency of the facts alleged in the complaint is
whether or not, admitting the facts alleged, the court could render a valid
judgment upon the same in accordance with the prayer of the complaint.
-the Rules of Procedure in Cases of Civil Forfeiture provides that the
petition shall contain the following allegations:
(a) The name and address of the respondent; (meron! Pasig)
(b) A description with reasonable particularity of the monetary
instrument, property, or proceeds, and their location; (meron! 21M
in CSBI Pasig) and
(c) The acts or omissions prohibited by and the specific provisions
of the Anti-Money Laundering Act, as amended, which are alleged
to be the grounds relied upon for the forfeiture of the monetary
instrument, property, or proceeds; (meron! suspicious transaction

CHUA CHU DE CHAVEZ SAMONTE SANTOS VILLAROSA YEE YU


reports showed that Glasgow engaged in unlawful activities of
estafa and violation of the Securities Regulation Code, the
proceeds of the unlawful activities were transacted and deposited
with CSBI thereby making them appear to have originated from
legitimate sources, as such, Glasgow engaged in money
laundering and the AMLC subjected the account to freeze order.
and
(d) The reliefs prayed for (meron! TRO, writ of preliminary
injunction, and the forfeiture)

-for the Rules of Civil Forfeiture to apply, 2 conditions:


i. There is a suspicious transaction report (yes! The account of
Glasgow in CSBI was covered by several suspicious transaction
reports)
ii. The court has ordered the seizure of any monetary instrument
related to said report (yes! They were placed under the control of
the trial court upon the issuance of the writ of preliminary
injunction… see sabi sa inyo semi important eh)
 So, a criminal conviction for an unlawful activity or estafa is
not a pre-requisite for the institution of a civil forfeiture
proceeding
c) There was no failure to prosecute
-immediately after the complaint was filed, the trial court ordered the
service of summons, but it was returned unserved.
-Republic continued to exert efforts to obtain information from other
government agencies on the whereabouts or current status of Glasgow
-tapos tangina paulit ulit nagttry mag summons by publication pero di
pinapansin ng court! Di na kasalanan ni Republic yun!
- We see no pattern or scheme on the part of the Republic to delay the
disposition of the case or a wanton failure to observe the mandatory
requirement of the rules. The trial court should not have so eagerly
wielded its power to dismiss the Republic’s complaint.

 Additional note: Service of summons may be by publication


-forfeiture proceedings are actions in rem.
-no need for jurisdiction over the person, provided the court acquires jurisdiction
over the res.
-Summons needed only for due process. This service may be made by
publication.
-Rules of Procedure in cases of civil forfeiture: whenever his whereabouts are
unknown and cannot be ascertained by diligent inquiry, service may, by leave of
court, be effected upon him by publication of the notice of the petition in a
newspaper of general circulation in such places and for such time as the court
may order. In the event that the cost of publication exceeds the value or amount
of the property to be forfeited by ten percent, publication shall not be required.

WHEREFORE, the petition is hereby GRANTED. The October 27, 2005 order of the
Regional Trial Court of Manila, Branch 47, in Civil Case No. 03-107319 is SET ASIDE.
The August 11, 2005 motion to dismiss of Glasgow Credit and Collection Services, Inc.
is DENIED. And the complaint for forfeiture of the Republic of the Philippines,
represented by the Anti-Money Laundering Council, is REINSTATED.

CHUA CHU DE CHAVEZ SAMONTE SANTOS VILLAROSA YEE YU


The case is hereby REMANDED to the Regional Trial Court of Manila, Branch 47 which
shall forthwith proceed with the case pursuant to the provisions of A.M. No. 05-11-04-
SC. Pending final determination of the case, the November 23, 2005 temporary
restraining order issued by this Court is hereby MAINTAINED.

CHUA CHU DE CHAVEZ SAMONTE SANTOS VILLAROSA YEE YU


Heirs of Dr. Mariano Favis, Sr. v. Gonzales

Doctrine: Non-compliance with Art. 151 of the Family Code regarding “earnest efforts to
compromise” among family members is not a ground which the court can rely on to motu
proprio dismiss the complaint. It is a waivable ground and not one of the exceptions
listed in Rule 9.

Summary: The heirs of Dr. Favis filed an action for annulment of deed of donation,
inventory, liquidation, and partition of property against Juana et al. Juana et al relied on
a deed of donation purportedly executed b Dr. Favis during his sick years. RTC declared
the deed of donation null and void because of vitiated consent. CA motu proprio ordered
to dismiss the case for failure to comply with Art. 151 of the Family Code. SC held that
CA erred because non-compliance with Art. 151 is not a jurisdictional defect. It is merely
a defect in the statement of a cause of action which is waivable. Since Juana et al never
raised such ground only until the CA declared it, it is deemed they have waived such
ground. Also, non-compliance with Art. 151 is merely a failure to comply with a condition
precedent and not one of the grounds wherein the court can motu proprio dismiss the
case.

Facts:
- Dr. Mariano Favis, Sr. (Dr. Favis) was married to Capitolina Aguilar (Capitolina) with
whom he had seven children named Purita A. Favis, Reynaldo Favis, Consolacion
Favis-Queliza, Mariano A. Favis, Jr., Esther F. Filart, Mercedes A. Favis, and Nelly
Favis-Villafuerte (Heirs). When Capitolina died in March 1944, Dr. Favis took Juana
Gonzales (Juana) as his common-law wife with whom he sired one child, Mariano G.
Favis (Mariano). When Dr. Favis and Juana got married in 1974, Dr. Favis executed
an affidavit acknowledging Mariano as one of his legitimate children. Mariano is
married to Larcelita D. Favis (Larcelita), with whom he has four children, named Ma.
Theresa Joana D. Favis, Ma. Cristina D. Favis, James Mark D. Favis and Ma. Thea
D. Favis.
- Dr, Favis died intestate leaving the following properties:
1. Residential land in Vigan
2. Commercial building erected in said land
3. Another residential land in Vigan
4. A house
5. Orchard land in Vigan
- Beginning 1992 until his death in 1995, Dr. Favis was beset by various illnesses.
- On 16 October 1994, he allegedly executed a Deed of Donation transferring and
conveying properties described in (1) and (2) in favor of his grandchildren with
Juana.
- The children of Dr. Favis with Capitolina filed an action for annulment of deed of
donation, inventory, liquidation, and partition of property against Juana, Spouses
Mariano and Larcelita and their grandchildren (Juana et al). They claim that the
donation prejudiced their legitime.
- In their Answer with Counterclaim, Juana et al assert that the properties donated do
not form part of the estate of the late Dr. Favis because said donation was made
inter vivos, hence petitioners have no stake over said properties.

CHUA CHU DE CHAVEZ SAMONTE SANTOS VILLAROSA YEE YU


- The RTC, in its Pre-Trial Order, limited the issues to the validity of the deed of
donation and whether or not respondent Juana and Mariano are compulsory heirs of
Dr. Favis.
- In its decision, the RTC nullified the deed of donation on the ground that due to the
circumstances of Dr. Favis, he could not have complete control of his mental
faculties when he made the donation (vitiated consent) but still Juana et al are still
compulsory heirs.
- The CA motu proprio ordered the dismissal of the nullification case for failure of the
heirs to make an averment that earnest efforts toward a compromise have been
made, as mandated by Article 151 of the Family Code4. The appellate court justified
its order of dismissal by invoking its authority to review rulings of the trial court even
if they are not assigned as errors in the appeal.
- Thus, the heirs filed the instant petition.
- In Juana et al’s comment, they relied on the ruling of the CA regarding the dismissal
of the case instead of relying on the merits of their case such as validity of the
donation.

Issue: W/N the CA erred in dismissing the complaint for failure to allege therein that
earnest effort towards a compromise have been made. – YES

Held:

1. The appellate court’s reliance on this provision is misplaced. Rule 16 treats of the
grounds for a motion to dismiss the complaint. It must be distinguished from the grounds
provided under Section 1, Rule 9 which specifically deals with dismissal of the claim by
the court motu proprio. Section 1, Rule 9 provides for only four instances when the court
may motu proprio dismiss the claim, namely: (a) lack of jurisdiction over the subject
matter; (b) litis pendentia ; (c) res judicata ; and (d) prescription of action. Outside of
these instances, any motu proprio dismissal would amount to a violation of the right of
the plaintiff to be heard. Thus, a failure to allege earnest but failed efforts at a
compromise in a complaint among members of the same family, is not a jurisdictional
defect but merely a defect in the statement of a cause of action which is waivable.

2. In the case at hand, the proceedings before the trial court ran the full course. The
complaint of the heirs was answered by Juana et al without a prior motion to dismiss
having been filed. The decision in favor of the heirs was appealed by Juana et al on the
basis of the alleged error in the ruling on the merits, no mention having been made
about any defect in the statement of a cause of action. In other words, no motion to
dismiss the complaint based on the failure to comply with a condition precedent was filed
in the trial court; neither was such failure assigned as error in the appeal that respondent
brought before the Court of Appeals.

Therefore, the rule on deemed waiver of the non-jurisdictional defense or objection is


wholly applicable to Juana et al. If the Juana et al as parties-defendants could not, and

4
Art. 151. No suit between members of the same family shall prosper unless it should appear from the
verified complaint or petition that earnest efforts toward a compromise have been made, but that the same
have failed. If it is shown that no such efforts were in fact made, the case must be dismissed.
This rule shall not apply to cases which may not be the subject of compromise under the Civil Code.

CHUA CHU DE CHAVEZ SAMONTE SANTOS VILLAROSA YEE YU


did not, after filing their answer to the heir’s complaint, invoke the objection of absence
of the required allegation on earnest efforts at a compromise, the appellate court
unquestionably did not have any authority or basis to motu propio order the dismissal of
the heir’s complaint.

3. Furthermore, the impossibility of compromise instead of litigation was shown not alone
by the absence of a motion to dismiss but on the Juana et al’s insistence on the validity
of the donation in their favor of the subject properties. Nor could it have been otherwise
because the Pre-trial Order specifically limited the issues to the validity of the deed and
whether or not Juana and Mariano are compulsory heirs of Dr. Favis. Juana et al not
only confined their arguments within the pre-trial order; after losing their case, their
appeal was based on the proposition that it was error for the trial court to have relied on
the ground of vitiated consent on the part of Dr. Favis. The Court of Appeals ignored the
facts of the case that clearly demonstrated the refusal by the respondents to
compromise.

CHUA CHU DE CHAVEZ SAMONTE SANTOS VILLAROSA YEE YU


Heirs of Maramag v. Maramag (I find the case Malabo but I tried sooo..  )

Doctrine: GR is the hypothetical admission of allegations. When a MTD is


premised on the ground that there’s failure to state a cause of action, the ruling
should be based on the facts alleged in the complaint. Except in cases where the
court will not admit allegations as true, such as in this case. (See held for the
enumeration of exceptions)

Summary: The legitimate heirs of Maramag filed a case against the illegitimate
family (respondents) for the revocation and reduction of insurance proceeds
awarded to them. Legitimate heirs are saying that Eva the concubine is the
suspect murderer of Loreto Maramag and so she should be disqualified. They
also allege that the illegitimate children should just be entitled to ½ of the legitime
the legitimate heirs are entitled to and so the proceeds given to them are
inofficious. Insular Life and Grepalife (the insurance companies) filed a MTD
saying that there’s no cause of action. MTD was granted even if the finding that
Eva was disqualified or revoked as beneficiary was raised only on the answers
and MR of Insular and Grepalife. Now, the legitimate heirs contend that for a
MTD to prosper on the ground of failure to state a COA, only the allegations in
the complaint should be considered. SC said that the hypothetical admission
of allegations is only a general rule. Hence, it is subject to exceptions. SC
used the 5th exception (there is evidence presented to the court by
stipulation of the parties or in the course of the hearings related to the
case) since it was an insurance case and the heirs were not beneficiaries,
so under the Insurance Code, they couldn’t recover even if the facts
alleged were deemed hypothetically admitted.

Facts: Heirs of Maramag filed a case against Maramag for revocation and/or
reduction of insurance proceeds for being void, with prayer for a TRO and writ for
preliminary injunction. It is alleged that petitioners are the legitimate family of
Loreto Maramag while respondents are Loreto’s illegitimate family; and that Eva
Maramag is the concubine of Loreto and a suspect for the latter’s killing and so
disqualified to receive any proceeds from his insurance from Insular Life and
Grepalife; and that the illegitimate children are only entitled to ½ of the legitime of
the legitimate children and so what was released to them were inofficious as to
the excess; petitioners as the legitimate family should not be deprived of their
legitime as this should be satisfied first.

In support of the prayer for TRO and writ of PI, petitioners allege that part of the
proceeds were already released in favor of Odessa and the rest of the proceeds
are to be released to Karl and Trisha through their legal guardian since they’re
still minors.

In its answer, Insular admitted that Loreto misrepresented Eva as his legitimate
wife and Odessa, Karl and Trisha as his legitimate children but when it found out
that Eva is not the legitimate wife, it disqualified her as a beneficiary and divided

CHUA CHU DE CHAVEZ SAMONTE SANTOS VILLAROSA YEE YU


the proceeds to the remaining beneficiary. It released Odessa’s share since she
is already of age but withheld those belonging to Karl and Trisha pending
submission of letters of guardianship. Insular now allege that the complaint failed
to state a cause of action in so far as it sought to declare void Eva’s designation
as beneficiary because Loreto already revoked her designation and Insular
disqualified her already; and insofar as it sought to declare inofficious the shares
of Odessa, Karl and Trisha, Insular is bound to honor the policies designating the
children of Loreto with Eva as beneficiaries pursuant to the Insurance Code.

In its own answer with compulsory claim, Grepalife alleged that Eva was not
designated as beneficiary and that the claims of the illegitimate children were
denied because of Loreto’s misrepresentation on his application that he was born
on December 10, 1936 and so he’s not more than 65 y/o when he signed it on
September 2001; and also the case is premature because there is no claim yet
by the legitimate family and also because law on succession does not apply
when the designation of insurance beneficiaries is clear.

Summons was served by publication because of unknown whereabouts of the


illegitimate children. Upon motion of the legitimate family, on May 7, 2004, the
illegitimate family were declared in default for failure to answer.

During pre-trial, Insular and Grepalife both moved that the issues raised in their
answers be resolved first. TC ordered the legitimate family to comment within 15
days.

In their comment, the legitimate family says that the issues raised were purely
legal.

In reply, Insular and Grepalife said that the insurance proceeds belong
exclusively to the beneficiaries and not to the estate.
TC issued a resolution saying that the MTD of Insular Life and Grepalife is
granted with respect to the illegitimate children but the action shall proceed with
respect to Eva, Insular and Grepalife.

Insular and Grepalife filed their respective motions for reconsideration saying that
the legitimate family failed to state a cause of action. Insular states that the
proceeds were divided among the 3 children as the remaining beneficiaries.
Grepalife also alleged that the premiums paid had already been refunded.

The legitimate family reiterated in their comment that WON the complaint may be
dismissed for failure to state a COA should be determined solely on the basis of
the allegations in the complaint and so the defenses of Insular and Grepalife
should be threshed out during trial.

TC issued a resolution granting the MR filed by Grepalife and Insular also


dismissing the case against Eva, Insular and Grepalife.

CHUA CHU DE CHAVEZ SAMONTE SANTOS VILLAROSA YEE YU


The legitimate family appealed to the CA but CA dismissed the appeal for lack of
jurisdiction given that the decision of the TC dismissing the complaint for failure
to state a cause of action is a pure question of law. CA also noticed that the
legitimate family did not file within the reglementary period a MR of the TC’s
resolution and so it already attained finality.

Hence, this petition.

Issue: WON the court may consider matters not alleged in the complaint in
determining the merits of a motion to dismiss for failure to state a COA.

Held: The grant of the MTD was based on TC’s finding that the petition failed to
state a COA, as provided in Rule 16 Section 1(g) which states that a MTD may
be made on the ground that the pleading asserting the claim states no cause of
action.

When a MTD is premised on this ground, the ruling should be based on the facts
alleged in the complaint. The court may resolve the issue on the strength of such
allegations, assuming them to be true. The test of sufficiency of a COA rests on
WON, considering the hypothetical admissions, the court can render a valid
judgment in accordance with the relief prayed for. But it is to be noted that this is
the general rule. Hence, there are exceptions.

There is no hypothetical admission of the veracity of allegations if:


1. The falsity of the allegations is subject to judicial notice
2. Such allegations are legally impossible
3. Allegations refer to facts inadmissibile as evidence
4. By the record in the pleading, allegations appear unfounded; or
5. There is evidence presented to the court by stipulation of the
parties or in the course of the hearings related to the case. (this is
the one applicable in this case)
SC used the 5th exception since it was an insurance case and the heirs were not
beneficiaries, so under the Insurance Code, they couldn’t recover even if the
facts alleged were deemed hypothetically admitted.

CHUA CHU DE CHAVEZ SAMONTE SANTOS VILLAROSA YEE YU


RULE 17

Frederick Dael vs. Spouses Benedicto and Vilma Beltran


April 30, 2008

Doctrine: Upon the filing of the Notice of Dismissal by the plaintiff, the Motion to Dismiss
filed by respondents became moot and academic and the trial court should have
dismissed the case without prejudice based on the Notice of Dismissal filed by the
petitioner.

Summary: Dael filed a complaint for breach of contract and damages against Spouses
Benedicto and Beltran for selling to him a previously mortgaged land, which he had to
buy in an auction sale. Sps. Benedicto filed a Motion to Dismiss against his complaint
stating that Dael is not the person who bought the land from them. Dael filed a Notice of
Dismissal. The RTC ordered the dismissal of the complaint with prejudice. SC held that
the RTC’s decision was erroneous. The dismissal should be without prejudice because
see the doctrine.

Facts:
Frederick Dael filed a complaint for breach of contract and damages against Spouses
Benedicto and Vilma Beltran.

Dael alleged that the Beltrans sold him a parcel of land without disclosing that the land
was previously mortgaged. On Aug.6, 2001, Dael discovered that the extrajudicial
foreclosure had been instituted and that he was constrained to bid in the sale of the land.
Possession and ownership of the property was delivered to him when he paid the bid
price. Dael argued that Beltran’s non-disclosure of the extrajudicial foreclosure
constituted breach of contract on the implied warranties in a sale of property as provided
under Article 1547 of the New Civil Code. He likewise claimed that he was entitled to
damages because he had to pay for the property twice.

On Jan. 10, 2002, Sps. Benedicto filed a Motion to Dismiss on the ground that Dael had
no cause of action since the contract to sell stated that the vendor was Benedicto
Beltran and the vendee was Frederick George Ghent Dael, not Frederick Dael.

In a hearing on the motion, Atty. Dirkie Palma, Dael’s counsel, disclosed that petitioner
Dael is the father of Frederick George Ghent Dael whose name appears as the
contracting party in the Contract to Sell dated July 28, 2000. Atty. Palma moved to reset
the hearing to enable the petitioner to withdraw and have the complaint dismissed,
amended, or to enter into a compromise agreement with respondents.

RTC: ordered Dael to clarify whether or not he and Frederick George Ghent Dael were
one and the same person; whether or not they were Filipinos and residents of
Dumaguete City; and whether or not Frederick George Ghent Dael was of legal age, and
married, as stated in the Contract to Sell. Dael did not comply.

On Feb. 20, 2002, Dael filed a Notice of Dismissal praying that the case be ordered
dismissed without prejudice. The notice of Dismissal states:
Plaintiff, through counsel, unto this Honorable Court, respectfully files
this notice of dismissal of the above-captioned case without prejudice
by virtue of Rule 17, Section 1 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure.

CHUA CHU DE CHAVEZ SAMONTE SANTOS VILLAROSA YEE YU


By this notice, defendants[] Motion to Dismiss is then rendered moot
and academic.
WHEREFORE, plaintiff Frederick Dael respectfully prays that this Honorable Court
dismiss the above-captioned case without prejudice.

RTC: Ordered the dismissal of the complaint with prejudice


-Finding merit to Sps. Benedicto’s contention that Frederick Dael has no cause of action
against them since said he is not one of the contracting parties in the Contract to Sell

Dael filed an MR with the RTC on the decision of the RTC in dismissing the complaint
with prejudice based on Sps. Benedicto’s Motion to Dismiss instead of basing it on his
Notice of Dismissal, which should result to the dismissal of the complaint without
prejudice. -DENIED

Dael filed with the SC for a petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45.

Dael contend that the Rules of Civil Procedure expressly states that before the
defendant has served his answer or moved for a summary judgment, he has, as a
matter of right, the prerogative to cause the dismissal of a civil action filed, and such
dismissal may be effected by a mere notice of dismissal. He asserts it is the prerogative
of the plaintiff to indicate if the Notice of Dismissal filed is with or without prejudice and
the RTC cannot exercise its own discretion and dismiss the case with prejudice.

Sps. Beltran argue that the Motion to Dismiss they filed precedes the Notice of Dismissal
filed by Dael and hence, the trial court correctly gave it precedence and ruled based on
the motion.

Issue:
Whether or not the RTC err in dismissing the complaint with prejudice?

Held:
Yes. Section 1, Rule 17 of the Rules of Court provides:
SECTION 1. Dismissal upon notice by plaintiff. – A complaint may be dismissed by the
plaintiff by filing a notice of dismissal at any time before service of the answer or of a
motion for summary judgment. Upon such notice being filed, the court shall issue an order
confirming the dismissal. Unless otherwise stated in the notice, the dismissal is without
prejudice, except that a notice operates as an adjudication upon the merits when filed by
a plaintiff who has once dismissed in a competent court an action based on or including
the same claim.

Under this provision, it is mandatory that the trial court issue an order confirming such
dismissal and, unless otherwise stated in the notice, the dismissal is without prejudice
and could be accomplished by the plaintiff through mere notice of dismissal, and not
through motion subject to approval by the court. Dismissal is ipso facto upon notice,
and without prejudice unless otherwise stated in the notice. The trial court has no
choice but to consider the complaint as dismissed, since the plaintiff may opt for
such dismissal as a matter of right, regardless of the ground.

Sps. Beltran argue that the Motion to Dismiss they filed precedes the Notice of Dismissal
filed by petitioner and hence, the trial court correctly gave it precedence and ruled based
on the motion.

CHUA CHU DE CHAVEZ SAMONTE SANTOS VILLAROSA YEE YU


This argument is erroneous. Section 1 of Rule 17 does not encompass a Motion to
Dismiss. The provision specifically provides that a plaintiff may file a notice of dismissal
before service of the answer or a motion for summary judgment. Thus, upon the filing
of the Notice of Dismissal by the plaintiff, the Motion to Dismiss filed by
respondents became moot and academic and the trial court should have dismissed
the case without prejudice based on the Notice of Dismissal filed by the petitioner.

Moreover, to allow the case to be dismissed with prejudice would erroneously result in
res judicata and imply that petitioner can no longer file a case against respondents
without giving him a chance to present evidence to prove otherwise.

Additional Notes:
Dael cited the case of Serrano vs. Cabrera and Makabulo in his Memorandum, which
states that before the defendant has served his answer or moved for a summary
judgment, he has, as a matter of right, the prerogative to cause the dismissal of a civil
action filed, and such dismissal may be effected by a mere notice of dismissal. He
further argues that such dismissal is without prejudice, except (a) where the notice of
dismissal so provides; (b) where the plaintiff has previously dismissed the same case in
a court of competent jurisdiction; or (c) where the dismissal is premised on payment by
the defendant of the claim involved. He asserts it is the prerogative of the plaintiff to
indicate if the Notice of Dismissal filed is with or without prejudice and the RTC cannot
exercise its own discretion and dismiss the case with prejudice.

CHUA CHU DE CHAVEZ SAMONTE SANTOS VILLAROSA YEE YU


CHING V CHENG

DOCTRINE:
Rule 17 of the Rules of Civil Procedure governs dismissals of actions at the instance of
the plaintiff. Hence, the "two-dismissal rule" under Rule 17, Section 1 of the Rules of Civil
Procedure will not apply if the prior dismissal was done at the instance of the defendant.

SUMMARY:
Chengs and Santos filed a 1 st case- this was dismissed for lack of jurisdiction which was
a defense forwarded by Ching and Po Wing. Chengs filed a 2 nd case- filed a notice of
dismissal and since wala pa namang responsive pleading na finile si Ching at Po Wing,
the court dismissed second case without prejudice. NagMR si Ching at Po Wing kasi bakit
daw without prejudice eh 2 nd time na nadismiss yung case. Hbang pending yung MR,
nagfile ng 3rd case si Cheng at Santos. Nagfile ng motion to dismiss si Ching and Po Wing
sa 3rd case. By virtue of Rule 17, dapat bawal na yung 3 rd case daw. SC: 1st case- was
dismissed at the instance of Ching and Po Wing (like sila yung nagpadismiss ng case di
naman si Cheng at Santos. 2 nd case- dismissal was done as a matter of right and the court
said it was without prejudice and Rule 17 allows filing of notice of dismissal by plaintiffs
which is in this case are Cheng and Santos. Di pa barred yung 3 rd case since di naman
nag-apply pa yung two-dismissal rule and so without prejudice yung dismissal ng 2 nd case.

FACTS:
 Antonio Ching owned several businesses and properties, among which was Po Wing
Properties.
 Ramon Ching alleged that he was the only child of Antonio Ching with his common-
law wife, Lucina Santos
 Joseph Cheng and Jaime Cheng, on the other hand, claim to be Antonio Ching’s
illegitimate children with his housemaid, Mercedes Igne.
 Lucina Santos alleged that when Antonio Ching fell ill sometime in 1996, he entrusted
her with the distribution of his estate to his heirs if something were to happen to him.
She alleged that she handed all the property titles and business documents to Ramon
Ching for safekeeping. Fortunately, Antonio Ching recovered from illness and
allegedly demanded that Ramon Ching return all the titles to the properties and
business documents.
 Antonio Ching was murdered. Ramon Ching allegedly induced Mercedes Igne and
her children Chengs to waive their share in Antonio Ching’s estate for 22.5 M. But
Ramon Ching never paid them.
 Ramon Ching allegedly executed an affidavit of settlement of estate, naming himself
as the sole heir and adjudicating upon himself the entirety of Antonio Ching’s estate.
 After a year of investigation on the murder of Antonio Ching- Ramon Ching was the
primary suspect and a warrant of arrest was served.
 Joseph Cheng, Jaime Cheng, and Mercedes Igne (the Chengs) filed a complaint for
declaration of nullity of titles against Ramon Ching before the Regional Trial Court of
Manila. (1ST CASE- branch 6)

CHUA CHU DE CHAVEZ SAMONTE SANTOS VILLAROSA YEE YU


 The complaint was amended, with leave of court, to implead additional defendants,
including Po Wing Properties, of which Ramon Ching was a primary stockholder.
Lucina Santos filed a motion for intervention and was allowed to intervene.
 Po Wing Properties filed a motion to dismiss on the ground of lack of jurisdiction of
the subject matter.
 RTC granted the motion to dismiss. Upon motion of the Chengs’ counsel, however,
the Chengs and Lucina Santos were given fifteen (15) days to file the appropriate
pleading. They did not do so.
 April 19, 2002, the Chengs and Lucina Santos filed a complaint for "Annulment of
Agreement, Waiver, Extra-Judicial Settlement of Estate and the Certificates of Title
Issued by Virtue of Said Documents with Prayer for Temporary Restraining Order and
Writ of Preliminary Injunction" against Ramon Ching and Po Wing Properties. (2 nd
CASE- branch 20) when it learned of the 1 st case, they submitted the case to branch
6
 The Chengs and Lucina Santos filed a motion to dismiss their complaint in the second
case, praying that it be dismissed without prejudice.
 Branch 6 issued an order granting the motion to dismiss on the basis that the
summons had not yet been served on Ramon Ching and Po Wing Properties, and
they had not yet filed any responsive pleading. The dismissal of the second case was
made without prejudice.
 Ramon Ching and Po Wing Properties filed a motion for reconsideration. They argue
that the dismissal should have been with prejudice under the "two dismissal rule" of
Rule 17, Section 1 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, in view of the previous
dismissal of the first case.
 During the pendency of the motion for reconsideration, the Chengs and Lucina Santos
filed a complaint for "Disinheritance and Declaration of Nullity of Agreement and
Waiver, Affidavit of Extra judicial Agreement, Deed of Absolute Sale, and Transfer
Certificates of Title with Prayer for TRO and Writ of Preliminary Injunction" against
Ramon Ching and Po Wing Properties (3 RD CASE)
 Ramon Ching and Po Wing Properties filed their comment/opposition in the third case.
They also filed a motion to dismiss on the ground of res judicata, litis pendencia,
forum-shopping, and failure of the complaint to state a cause of action.
 The trial court denied the motion for reconsideration (2 nd case) and the motion to
dismiss (3rd case), holding that the dismissal of the second case was without prejudice
and, hence, would not bar the filing of the third case.
 NagMR sila sa 3rd case then yung 2nd case inappeal sa CA. CA: Ramon Ching and
Po Wing Properties’ reliance on the "two-dismissal rule" was misplaced since the rule
involves two motions for dismissals filed by the plaintiff only. In this case, it found that
the dismissal of the first case was upon the motion of the defendants, while the
dismissal of the second case was at the instance of the plaintiffs.

CHUA CHU DE CHAVEZ SAMONTE SANTOS VILLAROSA YEE YU


 Ramon Ching and Po Wing Properties argue that the dismissal of the second case
was with prejudice since the non-filing of an amended complaint in the first case
operated as a dismissal on the merits. They also argue that the second case should
be dismissed on the ground of res judicata since there was a previous final judgment
of the first case involving the same parties, subject matter, and cause of action.
 Chengs and Lucina Santos argue that the "two-dismissal rule" and res judicata did
not apply since (1) the failure to amend a complaint is not a dismissal, and (2) they
only moved for dismissal once in the second case.
ISSUE:
I. Whether the trial court’s dismissal of the second case operated as a bar to the filing of
a third case, asper the "two-dismissal rule"; (NOPE)

II. Whether respondents committed forum shopping when they filed the third case while
the motion for reconsideration of the second case was still pending. (TECHNICALLY,
FORUM SHOPPING SIYA BUT COURT DISCUSSED THE XPNS WHEN THE RULE
SHOULD NOT STRICTLY APPLY)

HELD:
 In all instances, Rule 17 governs dismissals at the instance of the plaintiff, not of the
defendant. Dismissals upon the instance of the defendant are generally governed by
Rule 16, which covers motions to dismiss
 As a general rule, dismissals under Section 1 of Rule 17 are without prejudice except
when it is the second time that the plaintiff caused its dismissal. Accordingly, for a
dismissal to operate as an adjudication upon the merits, i.e, with prejudice to the re-
filing of the same claim, the following requisites must be present:
(1) There was a previous case that was dismissed by a competent court;
(2) Both cases were based on or include the same claim;
(3) Both notices for dismissal were filed by the plaintiff; and
(4) When the motion to dismiss filed by the plaintiff was consented to by the defendant
on the ground that the latter paid and satisfied all the claims of the former.

 The purpose of the "two-dismissal rule" is "to avoid vexatious litigation." When a
complaint is dismissed a second time, the plaintiff is now barred from seeking relief
on the same claim.
 Here, the first case was filed as an ordinary civil action. It was later amended to include
not only new defendants but new causes of action that should have been adjudicated
in a special proceeding. A motion to dismiss was inevitably filed by the defendants on
the ground of lack of jurisdiction. However, on motion of Atty. Mirardo Arroyo Obias,
counsel for the plaintiffs, he is given a period of fifteen (15) days from today, within
which to file an appropriate pleading, copy furnished to all the parties concerned.
 Ching and Po Wing are of the view that when Atty. Mirardo Arroyo Obias failed to file
the appropriate pleading within fifteen (15) days, he violated the order of the court.
This, they argue, made the original dismissal an adjudication upon the merits, in
accordance with Rule 17, Section 3, i.e., a dismissal through the default of the plaintiff.
Hence, they argue that when the Chengs and Santos filed the second case and then

CHUA CHU DE CHAVEZ SAMONTE SANTOS VILLAROSA YEE YU


caused its dismissal, the dismissal should have been with prejudice according to Rule
17, Section 1, i.e., two dismissals caused by the plaintiff on the same claim.
Unfortunately, Ching’s and Po Wing Prop’s theory is erroneous.
 Under Rule 17, Section 3, a defendant may move to dismiss the case if the plaintiff
defaults; it does not contemplate a situation where the dismissal was due to lack of
jurisdiction. Since there was already a dismissal prior to plaintiff’s default, the trial
court’s instruction to file the appropriate pleading will not reverse the dismissal. If the
plaintiff fails to file the appropriate pleading, the trial court does not dismiss the case
anew; the order dismissing the case still stands.
 When the Chengs and Santos filed the second case, they were merely refiling the
same claim that had been previously dismissed on the basis of lack of jurisdiction.
When they moved to dismiss the second case, the motion to dismiss can be
considered as the first dismissal at the plaintiff’s instance.
 Ching and Po Wing do not deny that the second dismissal was requested by
respondents before the service of any responsive pleadings. Accordingly, the
dismissal at this instance is a matter of right that is not subject to the trial court’s
discretion.
 When Cheng filed the third case on substantially the same claim, there was already
one prior dismissal at the instance of the plaintiffs and one prior dismissal at the
instance of the defendants. While it is true that there were two previous dismissals on
the same claim, it does not necessarily follow that the re-filing of the claim was barred
by Rule 17, Section 1 of the Rules of Civil Procedure. The circumstances surrounding
each dismissal must first be examined to determine before the rule may apply, as in
this case.
 In granting the dismissal of the second case, the trial court specifically orders the
dismissal to be without prejudice. It is only when the trial court’s order either is silent
on the matter, or states otherwise, that the dismissal will be considered an
adjudication on the merits.
 However, while the dismissal of the second case was without prejudice, respondents’
act of filing the third case while petitioners’ motion for reconsideration was still pending
constituted forum shopping.
 The rule on forum shopping will not strictly apply when it can be shown that (1) the
original case has been dismissed upon request of the plaintiff for valid procedural
reasons; (2) the only pending matter is a motion for reconsideration; and (3) there are
valid procedural reasons that serve the goal of substantial justice for the fresh new·
case to proceed.
 The motion for reconsideration filed in the second case has since been dismissed and
is now the subject of a petition for certiorari. The third case filed apparently contains
the better cause of action for the plaintiffs and is now being prosecuted by a counsel
they are more comfortable with. Substantial justice will be better served if respondents
do not fall victim to the labyrinth in the procedures that their travails led them. It is for
this reason that we deny the petition.

CHUA CHU DE CHAVEZ SAMONTE SANTOS VILLAROSA YEE YU


Shimizu Phils. Contractors v Magsalin || Gr no 170026 || 20 June 2012

Doctrine: Dismissals of actions for failure of the plaintiff to prosecute is authorized under
Section 3, Rule 17 of the Rules of Court; Procedurally, when a complaint is dismissed for
failure to prosecute and the dismissal is unqualified, the dismissal has the effect of an
adjudication on the merits.

Grounds for Dismissal of a Case Motu Proprio for Failure to Prosecute (S3R17) -
(a) Failure of the plaintiff, without justifiable reasons, to appear on the date of the
presentation of his evidence in chief;
(b) Failure of the plaintiff to prosecute his action for an unreasonable length of time; (c)
Failure of the plaintiff to comply with the Rules of Court; or
(d) Failure of the plaintiff to obey any order of the court.

Summary: Shimizu filed a complaint against both Magsalin and FGU Insurance. The
complaint sought Php 2,329,124.60 as actual damages for the breach of contract.
Thereafter, the RTC issued an Order of Dismissal for the case without citing the basis
nor the reasons therefor. The court held that when a complaint is dismissed for failure to
prosecute and the dismissal is unqualified, the dismissal has the effect of an adjudication
on the merits. A trial court should always specify the reasons for a complaints dismissal
so that on appeal, the reviewing court can readily determine the prima facie justification
for the dismissal. The dismissal order clearly violates this rule for its failure to disclose
how and why Shimizu failed to prosecute its complaint. Where the reasons are absent, a
decision (such as the dismissal order) has absolutely nothing to support it and is thus a
nullity.

Facts: The petitioner Shimizu claims that Leticia Magsalin, doing business as Karens
Trading, had breached their subcontract agreement for the supply, delivery, installation,
and finishing of parquet tiles for certain floors in the petitioners Makati City condominium
project called The Regency at Salcedo. The breach triggered the agreements
termination. When Magsalin also refused to return the petitioners unliquidated advance
payment and to account for other monetary liabilities despite demand, the petitioner sent
a notice to respondent FGU Insurance Corporation demanding damages pursuant to the
surety and performance bonds the former had issued for the subcontract.

Shimizu filed a complaint against both Magsalin and FGU Insurance at the RTC of
Makati. The complaint sought P2,329,124.60 as actual damages for the breach of
contract. FGU Insurance was duly served with summons. With respect to Magsalin,
however, the corresponding officers return declared that both she and Karens Trading
could not be located at their given addresses, and that despite further efforts, their new
addresses could not be determined.

FGU Insurance filed a motion to dismiss the complaint. The Shimizu filed its opposition
to the motion. The motion to dismiss was denied as well as the ensuing motion for
reconsideration, and FGU Insurance was obliged to file an answer. To assist the RTC in
acquiring jurisdiction over Magsalin, Shimizu filed a motion for leave to serve summons
on respondent Magsalin by way of publication. Shimizu then filed its reply to FGU
Insurances answer

FGU Insurance filed a motion for leave of court to file a third-party

CHUA CHU DE CHAVEZ SAMONTE SANTOS VILLAROSA YEE YU


complaint. Attached to the motion was the subject complaint, with Reynaldo Baetiong,
Godofredo Garcia and Concordia Garcia named as third-party defendants. FGU
Insurance claims that the three had executed counter-guaranties over the surety and
performance bonds it executed for the subcontract with Magsalin and, hence, should be
held jointly and severally liable in the event it is held liable in Civil Case No. 02-488.

RTC admitted the third-party complaint and denied the motion to serve summons by
publication on the ground that the action against respondent Magsalin was in personam.

The TC issued a notice setting the case for hearing on June 20, 2003. FGU Insurance
filed a motion to cancel the hearing on the ground that the third-party defendants
had not yet filed their answer. The motion was granted.

Baetiong filed his answer to the third-party complaint. He denied any personal
knowledge about the surety and performance bonds for the subcontract with Magsalin.
Of the (3) persons named as third-party defendants, only Baetiong filed an answer to the
third-party complaint; the officers returns on the summons to the Garcias state that both
could not be located at their given addresses. Incidentally, Shimizu claims, and
Baetiong does not dispute, that it was not served with a copy of Baetiongs
answer.

Shimizu now argues before us that FGU Insurance, which is the plaintiff in the third-party
complaint, had failed to exert efforts to serve summons on the Garcias. It suggests that a
motion to serve summons by publication should have been filed for this purpose. The
petitioner also asserts that the RTC should have scheduled a hearing to determine the
status of the summons to the third-party defendants

On Dec 16, 2003, the RTC issued a worded Order Of Dismissal, dismissing Civil
Case No. 02-488: “For failure of [petitioner] to prosecute, the case is hereby
DISMISSED”

The RTC denied Shimizu’s motion for reconsideration prompting the latter to elevate its
case to the CA via a Rule 41 petition for review

FGU Insurance moved for the dismissal of the appeal on the ground of lack of
jurisdiction. It argued that the appeal raised a pure question of law as it did not dispute
the proceedings before the issuance of the December 16, 2003 dismissal order.

Shimizu, on the other hand, insisted that it had raised questions of fact in the appeal
stating that “While, the instant appeal does not involve the merits of the case, the same
involves questions of fact based on the records of the case. It must be emphasized
that the lower courts dismissal of the case based on alleged failure to prosecute on the
part of plaintiff-appellant was too sudden and precipitate.”

The CA agreed with FGU Insurance and dismissed the appeal, and denied as well the
subsequent motion for reconsideration. The petitioner thus filed the present petition for
review on certiorari.

Issue: Whether or not the Order of Dismissal was valid and proper – No.

CHUA CHU DE CHAVEZ SAMONTE SANTOS VILLAROSA YEE YU


Held: No, the dismissal order is void.

The nullity of the dismissal order is patent on its face. It simply states its conclusion that
the case should be dismissed for non prosequitur, a legal conclusion, but does not state
the facts on which this conclusion is based.

Dismissals of actions for failure of the plaintiff to prosecute is authorized under Section
3, Rule 17 of the Rules of Court. A plain examination of the December 16, 2003
dismissal order shows that it is an unqualified order and, as such, is deemed to be a
dismissal with prejudice. “Dismissals of actions (under Section 3) which do not expressly
state whether they are with or without prejudice are held to be with prejudice.” As a
prejudicial dismissal, the dismissal order is also deemed to be a judgment on the merits
so that the petitioner’s complaint in Civil Case No. 02-488 can no longer be refiled on the
principle of res judicata. Procedurally, when a complaint is dismissed for failure to
prosecute and the dismissal is unqualified, the dismissal has the effect of an
adjudication on the merits.

As an adjudication on the merits, it is imperative that the dismissal order conform with
Section 1, Rule 36 of the Rules of Court on the writing of valid judgments and final
orders. A trial court should always specify the reasons for a complaints dismissal so that
on appeal, the reviewing court can readily determine the prima facie justification for the
dismissal. The dismissal order clearly violates this rule for its failure to disclose
how and why Shimizu failed to prosecute its complaint. Thus, neither Shimizu nor
the reviewing court is able to know the particular facts that had prompted the prejudicial
dismissal.

We thus agree with Shimizu that the dismissal constituted a denial of due process.
Elementary due process demands that the parties to a litigation be given information on
how the case was decided, as well as an explanation of the factual and legal reasons
that led to the conclusions of the court. Where the reasons are absent, a decision
(such as the dismissal order) has absolutely nothing to support it and is thus a
nullity.

Moreover, the Dismissal of Civil Case No. 02-488 is not Supported by the Facts of
the Case.

Based on available records and on the averments of the parties, the following events
were chronologically proximate to the dismissal of the Civil Case: (a) on March 24, 2003,
the court admitted FGU Insurances third-party complaint; (b) the trial court cancelled the
June 20, 2003 hearing upon FGU Insurances motion; and (c) on June 16, 2003,
Baetiong filed his Answer to the third-party complaint but did not serve it upon the
petitioner.
None of these events square with the grounds specified by Section 3, Rule 17 of the
Rules of Court for the motu proprio dismissal of a case for failure to prosecute.
These grounds are as follows:

(a) Failure of the plaintiff, without justifiable reasons, to appear on the date of the
presentation of his evidence in chief;
(b) Failure of the plaintiff to prosecute his action for an unreasonable length of time; (c)
Failure of the plaintiff to comply with the Rules of Court; or
(d) Failure of the plaintiff to obey any order of the court.

CHUA CHU DE CHAVEZ SAMONTE SANTOS VILLAROSA YEE YU


The developments in the present case do not satisfy the stringent standards set
in law and jurisprudence for a non prosequitur. The fundamental test for non prosequitur
is whether, under the circumstances, the plaintiff is chargeable with want of due
diligence in failing to proceed with reasonable promptitude. There must be
unwillingness on the part of the plaintiff to prosecute.

In this case, the parties own narrations of facts demonstrate Shimizu’s willingness to
prosecute its complaint. Indeed, neither FGU Insurance nor Baetiong was able to point
to any specific act committed by Shimizu to justify the dismissal of their case.

While it is discretionary on the trial court to dismiss cases, dismissals of actions should
be made with care. The repressive or restraining effect of the rule amounting to
adjudication upon the merits may cut short a case even before it is fully litigated; a ruling
of dismissal may forever bar a litigant from pursuing judicial relief under the same cause
of action. This court is thus of the opinion that the dismissal of Civil Case No. 02-488 is
not warranted. Neither facts, law or jurisprudence supports the RTCs finding of failure to
prosecute on the part of the petitioner. Hence, the petition is granted. The order of
dismissal is declared null and void.

CHUA CHU DE CHAVEZ SAMONTE SANTOS VILLAROSA YEE YU