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Jimlan S.

Ismael Saturday 8am-12nn


Remedial Review 1 Atty. Jose A. Parungo

PART I

Res Judicata, Stare Decisis and Case Law Distinguished

Res judicata means "a thing adjudicated"; "a case already decided"; or "a matter settled by a
decision or judgment" whereas Stare decisis means "to stand by decided cases", "to uphold precedents",
"to maintain former adjudications", or "not to disturb settled law". Those things which have been so often
adjudged ought to rest in peace.

Res judicata and Stare decisis are members of the same family. Both relate to adjudication of
matters. Both deal with final determination of contested questions and have the binding effect in future
litigation. Both the doctrines are the result of decisions of a competent court of law and based on public
policy.

There is, however, distinction between the two. Whereas res judicata is based upon
conclusiveness of judgment and adjudication of prior findings, stare decisis rests on legal principles.

Res judicata binds parties and privies, while stare decisis operates between strangers also and
binds courts from taking a contrary view on the point of law already decided.

Res judicata relates to a specific controversy, stare decisis touches legal principles.

Res judicata presupposes judicial finding upon the same facts as involved in subsequent litigation
between the same parties. Stare decisis applies to same principle of law to all parties.

Case law is a set of past rulings by tribunals that meet their respective jurisdictions' rules to be
cited as precedent. These interpretations are distinguished from statutory law, which are the statutes and
codes enacted by legislative bodies, and regulatory law, which are regulations established by executive
agencies based on statutes. The term "case law" is applied to any set of previous rulings by an
adjudicatory tribunal that guides future rulings; for example, patent office case law.

Res Judicata, Stare Decisis and Case Law related Cases

Case No. 1
Teresita Lee v.Lui Man Chong
FACTS:

On January 17, 2006, Conrado Romero died intestate leaving various properties. Lui Man Chong,
claiming Romero’s nephew adjudicated himself as the sole and exclusive heir of Romero’s whole estate
which consequently transferred to his name. Teresita Lee, who claimed to be Romero’s common law wife
filed her Petition for Letters of Administration of the Estate of Romero which was eventually dismissed.
Lee filed an Annulment case on Affidavit of Self Adjudication against Chong claiming to own half of
Romero’s properties alleging that she is a co-owner of the properties of Romero which was later
dismissed for lack of cause of action and legal personality for not having matrimonial bond with Romero.
This case was dismissed.

Lee filed a Recovery Case alleging that she was common law wife and a business partner of Romero and
they ran various businesses together and that she is entitled of ½ share of Romero’s estates. This case was
dismissed and attained finality.

Chong moved for the dismissal of the Recovery Case for lack of jurisdiction and lack of cause of action.
Later, he added res judicata, as a ground invoking the final and executory judgment in the previous cases
which she had earlier filed against him involving the subject properties. He stressed that the causes of
action in the Annulment Case and the Recovery Case were both anchored on her claim that she was
Romero’s common-law spouse.

ISSUE:

WON that res judicata had set in so as to bar by a prior judgment in the Annulment Case the present
Recovery Case

HELD:

Res judicata means "a matter adjudged; a thing judicially acted upon or decided; a thing or matter settled
by judgment." It lays the rule that an existing final judgment or decree rendered on the merits, without
fraud or collusion, by a court of competent jurisdiction, upon any matter within its jurisdiction, is
conclusive of the rights of the parties or their privies, in all other actions or suits in the same or any other
judicial tribunal of concurrent jurisdiction on the points and matters in issue in the first suit.

The doctrine of res judicata embodied in Section 47, Rule 39 of the Rules of Court.

The above-quoted provision embraces two concepts of res judicata: (1) bar by prior judgment; and (2)
conclusiveness of judgment.

Significantly, the elements of res judicata are: (1) the judgment sought to bar the new action must be
final; (2) the decision must have been rendered by a court having jurisdiction over the subject matter and
the parties; (3) the disposition of the case must be a judgment on the merits; and (4) there must be as
between the first and second action, identity of parties, subject matter, and causes of action. Should
identity of parties, subject matter, and causes of action be shown in the two cases, then res judicata in its
aspect as a “bar by prior judgment” would apply. If as between the two cases, only identity of parties can
be shown, but not identical causes of action, then res judicata as “conclusiveness of judgment” applies.

The Court finds that the subject case satisfies all the requisites of res judicata under the first concept of
bar by prior judgment.
Case No. 2
Rolando Ting v. Heirs of Diego Lirio

FACTS:

The Court of First Instance of Cebu granted an application filed by the Spouses Diego Lirio and Flora
Atienza for registration of a certain parcel of land. A certificate of titlewas thereafter issued to Spouses
Lirio. On February 12, 1997, Rolando Ting filed with the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Cebu
an application for registration of title over the same lot. The RTC dismissed Ting‘s application on
the ground of res judicata.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the application for land registration should be barred for being res judicata

HELD:

In a registration proceeding instituted for the registration of a private land, with or without opposition,
the judgment of the court confirming the title of the applicant or oppositor, as the case may be, and
ordering its registration in his name constitutes, when final, res judicata against the whole world. It
becomes final when no appeal within the reglementary period is taken from a judgment of confirmation
and registration. The land registration proceedings being in rem, the land registration court‘s approval in
LRC No. N-983 of spouses Diego Lirio and Flora Atienza‘s application for registration of the lot settled
its ownership, and is binding on the whole world including Ting.

Ting insists that the duty of the respondent land registration officials to issue the decree is purely
ministerial. It is ministerial in the sense that they act under the orders of the court and the decree must be
in conformity with the decision of the court and with the data found in the record, and they have no
discretion in the matter. However, if they are in doubt upon any point in relation to the preparation and
issuance of the decree, it is their duty to refer the matter to the court. They act, in this respect, as officials
of the court and not as administrative officials, and their act is the act of the court. They are specifically
called upon to “extend assistance to courts in ordinary and cadastral land registration proceedings.”

As for Ting‘s claim that under Section 6, Rule 39 of the Rules of Court reading: SEC. 6. Execution by
motion or by independent action. – A final and executory judgmentor order may be executed on motion
within five (5) years from the date of its entry. After the lapse of such time, and before it is barred by the
statute of limitations, a judgment may be enforced by action. The revived judgment may also
be enforced by motion within five (5) years from the date of its entry and thereafter by action before it is
barred by the statute of limitations, the December 10, 1976 decision became “extinct” in light of the
failure of respondents and/or of their predecessors-in-interest to execute the same within the prescriptive
period, the same does not lie.
Case No. 3
Tala Realty Service Corp. VS. Banco Filipino Savings AND MORTGAGE BANK

FACTS:

Respondent has a legal problem with regard to its real estate holdings. The law requires that respondent’s
real estate holdings should only be50% of its net worth. This constituted a bar to the planned expansion of
respondent. To solve the predicament of the respondent, it created

a separate entity, which is petitioner, wherein the existing branch sites would be unloaded and the said
petitioner would also acquire new branch sites for respondent and lease it to the latter. Pursuant to the
agreement between the two parties, the petitioner acquired properties from respondent and then leased
them to the latter. It was a part of the agreement that petitioner only holds properties for the respondent
and that the said properties would be returned to respondent at its pleasure. There came a time when there
was a disagreement between the two parties on which of the 2 lease contracts of lease presented by each
party governs them. Petitioner contends that it is the 11-year contract while the other presents a 20-year
contract. Both contracts have been allegedly notarized and executed on the same date.

Using the 11-year contract as basis, the petitioner filed a petition for ejectment against respondent.
However, the petitioner lost in all its cases and appealed the case to the Court of Appeals. The CA
mentioned in its decision that the lower courts erred in refusing to exercise jurisdiction, when the issue of
possession and issue of validity of contract is intertwined. Nonetheless, it dismissed the petition to
maintain judicial consistency and stability as other ejectment cases like the one at bar have already been
decided on. Petitioner filed MR and was granted by ordering respondent to pay the unpaid rentals.
Subsequently, the respondent filed an MR and the CA reversed its decision, which made petitioner file an
appeal to the SC saying that the CA erred in considering the ruling of the court in another case as the law
of the case between petitioner and respondent. Respondent then said that only decisions of the SC
establish jurisprudence or doctrines.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the principle of stare decisis should be applied to the case at bar even if the parties and
properties involved are different?

HELD:

The stare decisis principle should be upheld.

There had been previously a decision by the SC involving the same parties but different property, wherein
it was upheld and decided that the 20-year lease contract should prevail. It even mentioned in its decision
that the 11-year contract was forged and simulated as it was never really notarized nor submitted to the
Central Bank, as required by law.

In the light of the aforementioned decision, the Court doesn’t have any option but to uphold the 20-year
lease contract, following the principle of “stare decisis et non quieta movere (follow past precedents and
do not disturb what has been settled)”. It is the policy of the Court to maintain judicial stability in
accordance to stare decisis. As in this case, the same questions relating to the same even have been put
forward by parties similarly situated as in a previous case litigated and decided by a competent court, the
rule of stare decisis is a bar to any attempt to relitigate the same issue. The ruling is final even as to
parties who are strangers to the original proceedings and not bound by the judgment under the res judicata
doctrine. Stare decisis should apply if the facts are substantially the same even if the parties may be
different

PART II

Modes of Discovery related Cases

Case I:
FORTUNE CORPORATION vs. HON. COURT OF APPEALS and INTER-
MERCHANTSCORPORATION

FACTS:
This is a petition for certiorari of the decision of the respondent CA affirming the decision of the
RTC of San Pablo City disallowing the taking of the oral deposition of Juanito A. Teope who was the
chairman of the Board Directors of private respondent. An action for breach of contract was filed by the
petitioner against the private respondent and after the latter filed its answer petitioner served them with
written interrogatories pursuant to Rule 25 of the ROC. The pre-trial was scheduled for January 9,
February 12 and April 22, 1992.

On March 26, 1992, petitioner served the private respondent a Notice to Take Deposition Upon
Oral Examination notifying the latter that petitioner would take the deposition of the chairman in
accordance with Section 15, Rule 24. Private Respondent filed an Urgent Motion Not to Take
Deposition/Vehement Opposition to Plaintiff’s Notice to Take Deposition Upon Oral Examination
alleging that: a) petitioner has previously availed of one mode of discovery, b) there is absolutely no
sound reason or justification advanced for the taking of the oral deposition, c)such taking would cause
annoyance, embarrassment and oppression upon the prospective deponent, d) deponent has no intention
of leaving the country, e)the intended deponent is available to testify in open court if required during the
trial on the merits.

Trial court ruled that the deposition should not be taken on the grounds that the deposition of
Juanito A. Teope appears unwarranted since the proposed deponent had already responded to the written
interrogatories of the plaintiff and has signified his availability to testify in court. The petitioner filed an
original action for certiorari before the SC and was referred to the CA for further adjudication on the
merits. CA ruled dismissing the petition holding that the RTC has jurisdiction to direct, in its discretion,
that a deposition shall not be taken, if there are valid reasons for the ruling. This is provided for in
Sections 16 and 18, Rule 24 of the ROC which imply that the right of the party to take depositions as
means of discovery is not absolute. They reasoned that: a) proposed deponent had earlier responded to the
written interrogatories; b)deponent had signified his availability to testify in court; c)to allow the
deposition would deprive the trial court of the opportunity to ask clarificatory question.

With the denial of the petitioner’s MFR the instant petition was filed with the SC.
ISSUE:
Whether or not a party who has resorted to a particular method of discovery will be barred in
subsequently using other discovery devices.

HELD:
Petition is GRANTED. The questioned decision of respondent Court of Appeals is hereby
REVERSED and SET ASIDE, and judgment is hereby rendered ORDERING the court a quo to allow
herein petitioner to take the deposition upon oral examination of Juanito S. Teope.

The evident purpose of modes of discovery is to enable the parties, consistent with recognized
privileges, to obtain the fullest possible knowledge of the issues and facts before civil trials and thus
prevent that said trials are carried on in the dark. To this end, the field of inquiry that may be covered by
depositions or interrogatories is as broad as when the interrogated party is called as witness to testify
orally at trial as long as it touches matters which are not privileged, relevant to the case, done in good
faith and in accordance to the rules.

Although limited, the scope of discovery is to be liberally construed so as to provide the litigants
with information essential to the expeditious and proper litigation of each of the facts in dispute.
Moreover, it cannot be disputed that the various methods of discovery as provided for in the Rules are
clearly intended to be cumulative, as opposed to alternative or mutually exclusive.

It is quite clear, therefore, and we so hold that under the present Rules the fact that a party has
resorted to a particular method of discovery will not bar subsequent use of other discovery devices, as
long as the party is not attempting to circumvent a ruling of the court, or to harass or oppress the other
party. As a matter of practice, it will often be desirable to resort to both interrogatories and depositions in
one or the other sequence. Additional lines of inquiry may come to light after the deposition has been
taken, as to which written interrogatories probably would be adequate, and there is no reason why the
examining party should not be entitled to obtain all the relevant information he desires if no substantial
prejudice is done to the party from whom discovery is sought. On the other hand, interrogatories may well
be used as a preliminary to the taking of depositions, in order to ascertain what individuals have the
information sought. And, of course, if the answers to interrogatories are evasive or unsatisfactory, the
interrogating party should be able to utilize the more effective method of oral examination rather than
have to reframe interrogatories. Ordinarily, however, there will be no occasion for a party to use both
methods at the same time, at least to obtain the same information. Most of the times, oral interrogatories
are resorted than written interrogatories because it is more efficient, effective even when it entails greater
expenses.
Case II:
Republic vs. Sandiganbayan

FACTS:
Private respondents are defendants in a Civil Case of the Sandiganbayan commenced by the
Presidential Commission on Good Government in behalf of the Republic of the Philippines. The
complaint which initiated the action was denominated one "for reconveyance, reversion, accounting,
restitution and damages.

Private respondents filed "motion for leave to file interrogatories under Rule 25 of the Rules of
Court". They sought an answer to the question: "Who were the Commissioners of the PCGG (aside from
its Chairman, Hon. Ramon Diaz, who verified the complaint) who approved or authorized the inclusion of
defendants in the case?" The PCGG responded by filing a motion dated February 9, 1988 to strike out
said motion and interrogatories as being impertinent, "queer," "weird," or "procedurally bizarre as the
purpose thereof lacks merit as it is improper, impertinent and irrelevant under any guise."

The Sandiganbayan denied the motion to strike out, for bill of particulars, and for leave to file
interrogatories, holding them to be without legal and factual basis. Also denied was the PCGG's motion to
strike out impertinent pleading dated February 9, 1988. The Sandiganbayan declared inter alia the
complaint to be "sufficiently definite and clear enough," there are adequate allegations which clearly
portray the supposed involvement and/or alleged participation of defendants-movants in the transactions
described in detail in said Complaint," and "the other matters sought for particularization are evidentiary
in nature which should be ventilated in the pre-trial or trial proper . ." It also opined that "service of
interrogatories before joinder of issue and without leave of court is premature absent any special or
extraordinary circumstances which would justify the same.”

The case was set for pre-trial on July 31, 1989. On July 25, 1989, the PCGG submitted its PRE-
TRIAL. The pre-trial was however reset to September 11, 1989, and all other parties were required to
submit pre-trial briefs on or before that date.

On July 27, 1989 Tantoco and Santiago filed with the Sandiganbayan a pleading denominated
"Interrogatories to Plaintiff," and on August 2, 1989, an "Amended Interrogatories to Plaintiff" as well as
a Motion for Production and Inspection of Documents.

The Sandiganbayan admitted the Amended Interrogatories and granted the motion for production
and inspection of documents, respectively.

PCGG filed a Motion for Reconsideration against Resolution of the Sandiganbayn admitting the
interrogatories and opposition to the Amended Interrogatories. After hearing, the Sandiganbayan
promulgated two Resolutions on September 29, 1989, the first, denying reconsideration and the second,
reiterating by implication the permission to serve the amended interrogatories on the plaintiff (PCGG).

Hence, this petition for certiorari.

ISSUE:
Whether or not the Sandiganbayan committed grave abuse of discretion in admitting the motion of
the private respondents to avail of the two modes of discovery.

HELD:
The experience in other jurisdictions has been that ample discovery before trial, under proper
regulation, accomplished one of the most necessary of modern procedure: it not only eliminates
unessential issue from trials thereby shortening them considerably, but also requires parties to play the
game with the cards on the table so that the possibility of fair settlement before trial is measurably
increased.

As just intimated, the deposition-discovery procedure was designed to remedy the conceded
inadequacy and cumbersomeness of the pre-trial functions of notice-giving, issue-formulation and fact
revelation theretofore performed primarily by the pleadings.

The various modes or instruments of discovery are meant to serve (1) as a device, along with the
pre-trial hearing under Rule 20, to narrow and clarify the basic issues between the parties, and (2) as a
device for ascertaining the facts relative to those issues. The evident purpose is, to repeat, to enable
parties, consistent with recognized privileges, to obtain the fullest possible knowledge of the issues and
facts before trials and thus prevent that said trials are carried on in the dark.

What is chiefly contemplated is the discovery of every bit of information which may be useful in
the preparation for trial, such as the identity and location of persons having knowledge of relevant facts;
those relevant facts themselves; and the existence, description, nature, custody, condition, and location of
any books, documents, or other tangible things. Hence, "the deposition-discovery rules are to be accorded
a broad and liberal treatment. No longer can the time-honored cry of "fishing expedition" serve to
preclude a party from inquiring into the facts underlying his opponent's case. Mutual knowledge of all the
relevant facts gathered by both parties is essential to proper litigation. To that end, either party may
compel the other to disgorge whatever facts he has in his possession. The deposition-discovery procedure
simply advances the stage at which the disclosure can be compelled from the time of trial to the period
preceding it, thus reducing the possibility, of surprise.

To ensure that availment of the modes of discovery is otherwise untrammeled and efficacious, the
law imposes serious sanctions on the party who refuses to make discovery, such as dismissing the action
or proceeding or part thereof, or rendering judgment by default against the disobedient party; contempt of
court, or arrest of the party or agent of the party; payment of the amount of reasonable expenses incurred
in obtaining a court order to compel discovery; taking the matters inquired into as established in
accordance with the claim of the party seeking discovery; refusal to allow the disobedient party support or
oppose designated claims or defenses; striking out pleadings or parts thereof; staying further proceedings.

Of course, there are limitations to discovery, even when permitted to be undertaken without leave
and without judicial intervention. "As indicated by (the) Rules, limitations inevitably arise when it can be
shown that the examination is being conducted in bad faith or in such a manner as to annoy, embarrass, or
oppress the person subject to the inquiry. And further limitations come into existence when the inquiry
touches upon the irrelevant or encroaches upon the recognized domains of privilege."

The petitioner's objections to the interrogatories served on it in accordance with Rule 25 of the
Rules of Court cannot be sustained.

It should initially be pointed out — as regards the private respondents "Motion for Leave to File
Interrogatories" dated February 1, 1988 — that it was correct for them to seek leave to serve
interrogatories, because discovery was being availed of before an answer had been served. In such a
situation, i.e., "after jurisdiction has been obtained over any defendant or over property subject of the
action" but before answer, Section 1 of Rule 24 (treating of depositions), in relation to Section 1 of Rule
25 (dealing with interrogatories to parties) explicitly requires "leave of court." But there was no need for
the private respondents to seek such leave to serve their "Amended Interrogatories to Plaintiff" (dated
August 2, 1989) after they had filed their answer to the PCGG's complaint, just as there was no need for
the Sandiganbayan to act thereon.
The first part of petitioner's submission is adequately confuted by Section 1, Rule 25 which states
that if the party served with interrogatories is a juridical entity such as "a public or private corporation or
a partnership or association," the same shall be "answered . . by any officer thereof competent to testify in
its behalf." There is absolutely no reason why this proposition should not be applied by analogy to the
interrogatories served on the PCGG. That the interrogatories are addressed only to the PCGG, without
naming any specific commissioner o officer thereof, is utterly of no consequence, and may not be invoked
as a reason to refuse to answer. As the rule states, the interrogatories shall be answered "by any officer
thereof competent to testify in its behalf."

2. That the interrogatories deal with factual matters which will be part of the PCGG's proof upon
trial, is not ground for suppressing them either. As already pointed out, it is the precise purpose of
discovery to ensure mutual knowledge of all the relevant facts on the part of all parties even before trial,
this being deemed essential to proper litigation. This is why either party may compel the other to disgorge
whatever facts he has in his possession; and the stage at which disclosure of evidence is made is advanced
from the time of trial to the period preceding it.

The Court also finds itself unable to sustain the PCGG's other principal contention, of the nullity of
the Sandiganbayan's Order for the production and inspection of specified documents and things allegedly
in its possession.

The Court finally finds that, contrary to the petitioner's theory, there is good cause for the
production and inspection of the documents subject of the motion dated August 3, 1989. Some of the
documents are, according to the verification of the amended complaint, the basis of several of the material
allegations of said complaint. Others, admittedly, are to be used in evidence by the plaintiff. It is matters
such as these into which inquiry is precisely allowed by the rules of discovery, to the end that the parties
may adequately prepare for pre-trial and trial. The only other documents sought to be produced are
needed in relation to the allegations of the counterclaim. Their relevance is indisputable; their disclosure
may not be opposed.

The petition was dismissed.


Case III:
Marcelo vs Sandiganbayan

FACTS:
On July 27, 1987, the PCGG, on behalf of the Republic, filed a Complaint with the Sandiganbayan
against Marcelo, Fabian Ver (Ver), now deceased, and Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos for recovery of ill-
gotten or unexplained wealth which they allegedly acquired in unlawful concert with one another. The
complaint, underwent several amendments.

On November 20, 1987, the Republic filed its Second Amended Complaint to rectify its error in
making reference to the "Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation", when it should properly be
"Philippine Casino Operators Corporation

On May 17, 1989, Marcelo filed his Answer to the Second Amended Complaint attaching thereto a
copy of the PN-MFC boat-building contract, the alleged "favored contract" adverted to. The Republic
filed its Reply on June 30, 1989, followed later by his Rejoinder.

Subsequently, the Republic served a Request for Admission dated June 5, 1991 on plaintiff. In his
August 15, 1991Response to PCGG's Request for Admission, plaintiff included his own counter-request
for admission on matters stated in his response.

Following the filing by the Republic of its Pre-Trial Brief,plaintiff submitted his own Pre-Trial
Brief With Written Interrogatories, First Set and Request for Admission (to admit the truth of the matters
of fact stated in his August 15, 1991 reply to the Republic's June 5, 1991 request for admission). On
October 15, 1996, MFC filed its Pre-Trial Brief With Written Interrogatories, First Set and Request for
Admission; the other petitioner corporations, as defendants a quo, filed their Pre-Trial Briefs with Written
Interrogatories First Set on the same day.

On August 15, 1997, the petitioners filed three separate Motion for Summary Judgment. Plaintiff’s
motion was based on two major arguments A.)There is no genuine issue of fact/cause of action against
him; and, B.) the Republic did not reply to the request. Thus, pursuant to Sec. 2, Rule 26 of the Rules of
Court, "each of the matters of which an admission is requested shall be deemed admitted". According to
the petitioners, "the pleadings of the parties, and the admissions and documentary evidence of the
[Republic] show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that [they] are entitled to a
[summary] judgment as a matter of law".

ISSUE:
Whether or not The Republic’s non response to Plaintiff’s (Marcelo) written interrogatories
amounts to an admission

HELD:
There is really no more genuine issues to be tried in this case, the Republic having failed or
refused to answer the requests for admission and the written interrogatories of the petitioners. As it were,
the Republic only answered petitioner plaintiff’s request for admission or interrogatories. But then the
Republic's answer serves only to highlight and confirm the fact that petitioner plaintiff’s participation in
all the transactions subject of this case is as President of MFC. The Republic did not also answer the
written interrogatories of the other defendant corporations. In effect, the Republic admitted the non-
participation of the other defendant corporations in the contracts in question.
Case IV:
REY LAÑADA vs. COURT OF APPEALS and SPS. ROGELIO and ELIZA HEMEDEZ

FACTS:
The Union of Filipro Employees (UFE) declared a strike on account of alleged unfair labor
practices committed by Nestle Philippines, Inc. (Nestle) and put up a picket line in front of the company’s
Cabuyao, Laguna factory.

NLRC issued a TRO enjoining the UFE to desist from “blocking, barricading and obstructing the
points of ingress and egress” from Nestle’s Cabuyao plant. To enforce the TRO, Nestle sought the
assistance of the Philippine Constabulary and the fire brigade of Cabuyao. Seeking to transfer its products
from the Cabuyao factory to its warehouse in Taguig during the strike, Nestle hired 6 cargo trucks from
brothers Constancio and Jesus Alimagno.

Alexander Asinas of the UFE and Francis Santos of Nestle agreed to constitute a panel to discuss
said transfer of products, as the matter was not overed by the TRO. However, in bad faith, Santos instead
ordered the PC to disperse the strikers at the barricades in front of the plant gate so that the trucks can get
out of the plant. The PC and the fire brigade began hitting the strikers with truncheons and water cannons.
With gate cleared, the cargo trucks began leaving the compound.

Meanwhile, Dr. Vied Vemir Garcia Hemedez was on his way home from his masteral class at the
UP College of Public Health. He arrived at the Nestle factory while the dispersal was ongoing so he
stopped his car. At that time, the one of the cargo trucks, driven by Pacifico Galasao, was leaving the
Nestle compound at full speed. To avoid stones being thrown at his direction, the truck driver drove in a
crouching position. However, he lost control of the truck and bumped the car of Dr. Hemedez. Pinned
down by his overturned car, Dr. Hemedez asked someone to inform his parents and pleaded for help from
the people. While extricating Dr. Hemedez from the overturned car, his mother and brothers repeatedly
asked the help of PC soldiers, specifically to unload the cargo truck to speed up the rescue, but said
soldiers refused, saying that the truck might get looted if they did so.

Dr. Hemedez was pulled out from under his car 2 hours later by his family members and was
rushed to the hospital, where he died shortly after arrival. Spouses Rogelio and Eliza Hemedez, parents of
Dr. Hemedez, sued Nestle, Jesus Alimagno, Francis Santos, Pacifico Galasao, and PC/Capt. Rey Lañada
for damages. After defendants filed their answers to the complaint, the Hemedez spouses served the
defendants a request for admission of the truth of the facts set forth in their complaint and the genuineness
of each of the documents appended thereto. Through their respective counsel, defendants filed their
verified answer to the request for admission.

The Hemedez spouses moved to strike out said answers and to declare the matters sought to be
admitted as impliedly admitted, contending that defendants themselves and not their counsel should
personally answer the request for admission. TC denied the spouses’ motion as well as the MR. On
certiorari in the SC, the matter was referred to the CA. CA granted the motions to strike out the answers
subject of the requests for admission and declared each of the matters requested to be impliedly admitted.
It also remanded the case to the court a quo for proper proceedings.

ISSUE:
Should a person to whom a request for admission is addressed personally answer the request?

HELD:
NO. PSFC Financial Corp. V CA: Section 23 of Rule 138 provides that “(a)ttorneys have
authority to bind their clients in any case by any agreement in relation thereto made in writing, and in
taking appeals, and in all matters of ordinary judicial procedure x x x .” Thus, when Rule 26 states that a
party shall respond to the request for admission, it should not be restrictively construed to mean that a
party may not engage the services of counsel to make the response in his behalf. Indeed, the theory of
petitioner must not be taken seriously; otherwise, it will negate the principles on agency in the Civil Code,
as well as Sec. 23, Rule 138, of the Rules of Court.

In the case at bar, there is no showing that petitioners did not authorize their respective counsels
to file in their behalf their respective answers to the Hemedez spouses’ written request for admission. As
this Court has said, there is no reason to strictly construe the phrase “the party to whom the request is
directed” to refer solely or personally to the petitioners themselves.
Moreover, the subject matters of the request for admission are the same as the ultimate facts alleged in the
complaint to which petitioners have already filed their respective answers.

Po v. CA: A request for admission is not intended to merely reproduce or reiterate the allegations
of the requesting party’s pleading but should set forth relevant evidentiary matters of fact, or documents
described in and exhibited with the request, whose purpose is to establish said party’s cause of action or
defense.”

Concrete Aggregates Corporation v. Court of Appeals: The rule on admission as a mode of


discovery is intended “to expedite trial and to relieve parties of the costs of proving facts which will not
be disputed on trial and the truth of which can be ascertained by reasonable inquiry.”

Case V:
Hyatt Industrial Manufacturing Corp. v. Ley Construction

FACTS:

Respondent LCDC filed a complaint for specific performance and damages against petitioner Hyatt
claiming that Hyatt reneged in its obligation to transfer 40% of its share of a real property despite
respondent’s full payment of the purchase price and that Hyatt failed to develop the said property in a
joint venture, despite LCDC's payment of 40% of the pre-construction cost. Respondent filed an amended
complaint impleading Princeton as additional defendant claiming that Hyatt sold the property in fraud of
defendant. LCDC filed a second amended complaint adding as defendant Yu He Ching, alleging that
LCDC paid to Hyatt through Yu.

Responsive pleadings were filed and LCDC filed notices to take depositions. During the scheduled
depositions, Hyatt and Yu prayed that all settings for depositions be disregarded and pre-trial be set
instead, contending that the taking of depositions only delay the resolution of the case. RTC agreed and
on the same day ordered all depositions cancelled and pre-trial to take place. LCDC moved for
reconsideration, RTC denied.

While pre-trial proceeded with the refusal of LCDC to enter in pre-trial, Hyatt, Yu and Princeton moved
to declare LCDC non-suited, which the RTC granted. Defendant filed an appeal, which the CA granted.
Hyatt and Princeton filed their respective motions for reconsideration which the CA denied, which leads
to this petition for review on certiorari.

ISSUE:
Whether or not the CA erred in remanding the case to the trial court and order the deposition-taking to
proceed.
HELD:
No. A deposition should be allowed, absent any showing that taking it would prejudice any party.
It is accorded a broad and liberal treatment and the liberty of a party to make discovery is well-nigh
unrestricted if the matters inquired into are otherwise relevant and not privileged, and the inquiry is made
in good faith and within the bounds of law. It is allowed as a departure from the accepted and usual
judicial proceedings of examining witnesses in open court where their demeanor could be observed by the
trial judge, consistent with the principle of promoting just, speedy and inexpensive disposition of every
action and proceeding; and provided it is taken in accordance with the provisions of the Rules of Court,
i.e., with leave of court if summons have been served, and without such leave if an answer has been
submitted; and provided further that a circumstance for its admissibility exists. The rules on discovery
should not be unduly restricted, otherwise, the advantage of a liberal discovery procedure in ascertaining
the truth and expediting the disposal of litigation would be defeated.

Indeed, the importance of discovery procedures is well recognized by the Court. Trial courts are directed
to issue orders requiring parties to avail of interrogatories to parties under Rule 45 and request for
admission of adverse party under Rule 26 or at their discretion make use of depositions under Rule 23 or
other measures under Rule 27 and 28 within 5 days from the filing of the answer. The parties are likewise
required to submit, at least 3 days before the pre-trial, pre-trial briefs, containing among others a
manifestation of the parties of their having availed or their intention to avail themselves of discovery
procedures or referral to commissioners.

Deposition is chiefly a mode of discovery, the primary function of which is to supplement the pleadings
for the purpose of disclosing the real matters of dispute between the parties and affording an adequate
factual basis during the preparation for trial.