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1997 Rules on Civil Procedure Rule 6

2001 Edition < DRAFT COPY; Please check for errors > Kinds of Pleadings

PROCEDURE IN THE REGIONAL TRIAL COURTS


Rule 6
KINDS OF PLEADINGS

SECTION 1. Pleadings Defined. Pleadings are the written statements of the


respective claims and defenses of the parties submitted to the court for
appropriate judgment. (1a)

Actually, we already touched the word “PLEADING” before. In the Constitution when we were
asking what is the basis of the authority of the Supreme Court to enact the Rules of Court or Procedural
Law. The Constitution says, the Supreme Court shall have the authority to promulgate Rules on
pleadings, practice and procedure. Then we discussed jurisdiction over the issues. Jurisdiction over the
issues is determined by the allegations in the pleadings.

Q: Define pleadings?
A: PLEADINGS are the written statements of the respective claims and defenses of the parties
submitted to the court for appropriate judgment. (Section 1)

This is the document where a party will state his claim against the defendant; or where the
defendant will state also his defense. Pleadings merely tell a story. You tell your story there, the other
party will tell his story.

And how do you assert your claim in court? Not by calling up a judge over the telephone or writing
a letter to the judge, “Dear judge….” but through the appropriate pleadings. How do they look like? The
rules are laid down. It becomes clearer in the 3rd year subject known as Legal Forms. In that subject
you will study particular forms. They have patterns. In pleadings, you do it in legal manner. You do
not say, “Once upon a time…”

The counterpart of pleadings in criminal procedure is information, or the criminal complaint where
a prosecutor will tell what crime you are being accused – what you did, time, the victim, etc.

Sec. 2 – Pleadings allowed – The claims of a party are asserted in a


complaint, counterclaim, cross-claim, third (fourth, etc.) – party complaint, or
complaint-in-intervention.
The defenses of a party are alleged in the answer to the pleading asserting
a claim against him.
An answer may be responded to by a reply. (n)

Section 2 tells us what are the pleadings allowed by the Rules of Court. In a civil case, there are
actually two (2) contending parties: (1) the person suing or filing claim; and (2) the person being sued.

Q: If you are the claimant or the plaintiff, in what pleading do you assert your claim?
A: Complaint, counterclaim, cross-claim, third-party complaint or fourth-party complaint, etc.

These are the different pleadings allowed by the Rules. Of course, maybe, the only thing that you
are familiar with is the complaint. As we go over the Rules, you will understand what do you mean by
those pleadings.

On the other hand, if you are the party sued, you also have to file your pleading or your defense. It
is known as the ANSWER. The defenses of a party are alleged in the answer to the pleading asserting a
claim against him. If I file a complaint against you, in response, you will file an answer.

In last paragraph, an answer may be responded by a REPLY. I file a complaint. You file an answer
invoking your defenses. If I want to respond to your defenses, I will file a REPLY.

COMPLAINT ANSWER REPLY

That is the pattern.

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Q: Summarizing all of them, what are the know pleadings recognized by the law on Civil
Procedure?
A: There are seven (7) types of pleadings:
1.) Complaint;
2.) Answer;
3.) Counterclaim;
4.) Cross-claim;
5.) Reply
6.) Third (Fourth, Fifth, etc.) – Party Complaint;
7.) Complaint-in-Intervention.

Let us go over each one of them. How do they function?

A.) COMPLAINT

Sec. 3. Complaint – The complaint is the pleading alleging the plaintiff’s


cause or causes of action. The names and residences of the plaintiff and
defendant must be stated in the complaint.

Q: Define complaint.
A: COMPLAINT is the pleading where the plaintiff will allege his cause or causes of action. A
complaint is also called the INITIATORY PLEADING. Because it is actually the first pleading filed in
court. It is the pleading that starts the ball rolling. It is the pleading that initiates the civil action.

Of course, the names and residences of the defendants must be stated in the complaint. Do you
know the pattern for a complaint?

For EXAMPLE: Mr. Pito wants to sue Mr. Peloton to collect an unpaid loan. Mr. Peloton borrowed
money from Mr. Pito and refused to pay. Normally, it starts with an introduction: “Plaintiff, through
counsel, respectfully alleges that…” Then it is followed by paragraphs which are numbered. For
instance:

Illustration:

1.) Plaintiff Mr. Pito, of legal age, is a resident of Matina, Davao City; whereas
defendant Mr. Peloton also of legal age, a resident of Bajada, Davao City;
2.) On Nov. 7, 1996, defendant secured a loan from plaintiff the sum of P30,000.00
payable within one (1) year form said date with legal interest;
3.) The account is already due. Despite repeated demands, defendant failed to and
refused to pay;
PRAYER

WHEREFORE, it is respectfully prayed that judgment be rendered against


the defendant ordering him to pay the loan of P30,000.00 and interest in favor of the
plaintiff.

It is simple. The complaint is composed of 3 paragraphs only – humiram siya ng pera, ayaw magbayad.
That’s all. That is the pattern of a complaint. Your allegations must contain the four (4) elements of a
Cause of Action – the Right, the Obligation, the Delict or Wrong or Violation of Your Right, and the
Damage. Hindi kailangang mahaba ang complaint.

It becomes clearer in the subject of Legal Forms. That is the last subject in the Bar Exam, Legal
Ethics & Practical Exercises. The examinee will be asked, for instance, to prepare a Contract of
Mortgage, or prepare a Complaint for Unlawful Detainer. There are hundreds of forms and you must
be prepared to write down a sample.

B.) ANSWER

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Sec. 4 – Answer – An answer is a pleading in which a defending party sets


forth his defenses. (4a)

I am the plaintiff. I file the complaint. You received the complaint. You are now required to
respond.

Q: What is the pleading where you respond?


A: It is called the ANSWER. That is where you will state your defenses. That is why an ANSWER is
called a Responsive Pleading.

Q: Why is it called “Responsive Pleading”?


A: Because it is the pleading which is filed in response to the complaint. It is where you respond to
the cause of action. That is where you state your defenses.

It is something which is not found in Criminal Procedure. A: NO, there is no such thing as Answer
in Criminal Procedure.

Q: If you are charged with a crime, how do you answer?


A: By pleading guilty or not guilty. That is the answer. When you plead guilty, tapos na! If you say
not guilty, trial will proceed. No writing of defenses. No written answer in criminal cases. It (pleadings)
only applies to civil cases where you allege your defenses.

Q: What are the defenses under the Rules?


A: That is Section 5.

Sec. 5 – Defenses – Defenses may either be negative or affirmative.


A NEGATIVE DEFENSE – is the specific denial of the material fact or facts
alleged in the pleading of the claimant essential to his cause or causes of
action.
An AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE – is an allegation of a new matter which, while
hypothetically admitting the material allegations in the pleading of the
claimant, would nevertheless prevent or bar recovery by him.

Defenses may either be negative or affirmative.

b.) Answer; NEGATIVE DEFENSES;

Q: Define an NEGATIVE defense.


A: Paragraph [a]: Briefly, it is a defense of specific denial where you deny the statement in the
complaint and you state the facts and the reason/s on which your denial is based. In a negative
defense, the defendant specifically denies a material fact or facts alleged in the pleading of the claimant
essential to his cause of action.

EXAMPLE: The complaint says in paragraph 2, “On November 6, 1996, defendant secured a loan
from plaintiff in the amount of P30,000.00 payable one (1) year from November 6, 1996. The defendant
will say in his answer:

“Defendant specifically denies the allegation in Paragraph 2 of the complaint. The truth
of the matter being he never secured any loan from plaintiff because he does not even know
the plaintiff and he did not see his face before.”

That is a negative defense. You said I borrowed money from you. “No, I don’t even know you. I
have not seen you before.” He denies the existence of the loan. That is known as the negative defense. It
is a denial of a material fact which constitutes the plaintiff’s cause of action. That’s why it is briefly
called a “Defense of Specific Denial”.

b.) Answer; AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSES

Q: Define an AFFIRMATIVE defense.


A: In paragraph (b), it is briefly called a defense of confession and avoidance because, while the
defendant may admit the material allegation in the complaint, however, he will plead a new matter

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which will prevent a recovery by the plaintiff. I admit what you are saying in the complaint but still
you are not entitled to recover from me.

EXAMPLE: The defendant may admit what you are saying in your complaint. I borrowed money
from you – admitted! The account is due – admitted! I have not paid you – admitted. “However, you
cannot collect from me because the account has already prescribed.” Meaning, I will admit what you
are saying but just the same, I am not liable. Kaya nga, you confess, eh. I confess to what you say but I
still avoid liability.

Examples of affirmative defenses are: fraud, statute of limitations, release, payment, illegality,
statute of frauds, estoppel, former recovery, discharge in bankruptcy, and any other matter by way of
confession and avoidance.

Suppose, you sue me for damages arising from breach of contract. I admit I entered into a contract
but I have no obligation to comply because the contract is null and void. Or, the contract is illegal. Or,
the stipulation is contrary to public policy, therefore, I am not bound. I admit what you say but I am
not liable because of the illegality of the subject matter of the contract.

Or, you sue me because according to you, I entered into a contract and I refused to comply. So, you
file a case against me for specific performance or for damages. Then I say: “It’s true that I entered into
a contract with you. It’s true I did not comply. But there is nothing you can do because the contract is
oral and the contract is covered by the statute of frauds. In order to be enforceable, we should have
reduced it into writing. Since we never reduced it into writing, I am not bound to comply.”

c.) COUNTERCLAIMS

Sec. 6. Counterclaim. - A counterclaim is any claim which a defending party


may have against an opposing party. (6a)

EXAMPLE: You file a case against me for damages to your car. According to you in your
complaint, while you were driving your car along the highway carefully. I came along driving
recklessly and bumped your car causing damages amounting to P50,000.00 for repair. Your allegation
is based on negligence on my part.

My answer is denial: “That is not true! I deny that! I was the one driving carefully and you were
driving carelessly and negligently. Therefore, if you are the proximate cause of the accident, I’m not
liable for the damage of your car.” That’s my answer – I’m not liable because you are negligent.
Because you were the one negligent, my car was also damaged. I am not liable for the damage on your
car. As a matter of fact, you are the one that should be held liable to pay for the damage of my car. I am
now claiming for the damage of P50,000.00. That is called COUNTERCLAIM.

According to a lawyer who is fluent in Cebuano, he called it balos. He was explaining to his client
that they have counterclaim. That’s a legal term, eh.

Therefore, there is one civil case but there are two (2) causes involved – the main cause of action in
the complaint and that in the counterclaim. There are two (2) issues to be resolved by the court.

Q: If your complaint against me is to recover a sum of money, should my counterclaim also involve
recovery of sum of money?
A: NO. There is no such rule that these two (2) cases should be similar in nature. (De Borja vs. De
Borja, 101 Phil. 911) It is possible for you to file case for recovery of a piece of land and my counterclaim
is recovery of damages arising from a vehicular accident.

Q: Suppose your claim against me is One (1) Million, is it possible that my counterclaim against
you is Two (2) Million?
A: YES. There is no rule which limits my counterclaim to the same amount you are claiming. A
counterclaim need not diminish or defeat the recovery sought by the opposing party, but may claim
relief exceeding in amount or different I kind from that sought by the opposing party. (De Borja vs. De
Borja, 101 Phil. 911)

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Q: You file a case against me for recovery of unpaid loan. My counterclaim is, rescission of
partnership contract. Is the counterclaim proper?
A: Yes although there is no connection between what you are asking and what my answer is. But
what is important is tayong dalawa ang naglalaban. If you will not allow me to file my counterclaim
against you, that will be another case in the future. Since nandito na rin tayo, so lahat ng ating
reklamo, we might as well have to finish it. That is allowed.

Q: Why is it that law allows the defendant to counter sue by way of counterclaim the plaintiff?
A: The purpose there is apparently TO AVOID MULTIPLICITY OF SUITS. If you have a cause of
action against me, I will sue you, in the future it will also lead to another case where you will also sue
me.

DEBORJA vs. DEBORJA


101 Phil 911

FACTS: A died, of course, what survives after that is the estate. X was appointed as
administrator or legal representative. W owes a sum of money to the estate of A and X filed
a case against W to collect the unpaid loan. X is called the REPRESENTATIVE PARTY under
Rule 3, Section 3. W filed an answer and that W has a claim against X. W filed a
counterclaim against X in the case.

HELD: The counterclaim is improper. When X sued W, X is not suing in his own
personal capacity. He is acting as administrator of the estate of A. The real plaintiff is the
estate of A. X is just the legal representative. Therefore, you cannot file a counterclaim
against X in the latter’s personal capacity when X is suing W in a representative capacity.

The SC said that the plaintiff should be sued in a counterclaim in the SAME CAPACITY that he is
suing the defendant. That’s a principle to remember.

PERMISSIVE & COMPULSORY COUNTERCLAIMS

Sec. 7 – Compulsory counterclaim – A compulsory counterclaim is one which,


being cognizable by the regular courts of justice, arises out of or is connected
with the transaction or occurrence constituting the subject matter of the
opposing party’s claim and does not require for its adjudication the presence of
third parties of who the court cannot acquire jurisdiction. Such a counterclaim
must be within the jurisdiction of the court both as to the amount and the
nature thereof, except that in the original action before the Regional Trial
Court, the counterclaim may be considered compulsory.

Under the Rules, there are two types of counterclaim. 1) COMPULSORY COUNTERCLAIM and,
2) PERMISSIVE COUNTERCLAIM.

Q: How do you distinguish one from the other? When is a counterclaim compulsory and when is it
permissive?
A: The ELEMENTS of a COMPULSORY COUNTERCLAIM are found in Section 7. If we will
outline Section 7, we will see that a counterclaim is compulsory if the following requisites are present:

1.) It is cognizable by the regular courts of justice;


2.) It arises out of or it is connected with a transaction or occurrence constituting a subject matter of
the opposing party’s claim;
3.) It does not require for its adjudication the presence of third parties of who the court cannot
acquire jurisdiction;
4.) It must be within the jurisdiction of the court, both as to the amount and the nature thereof,
except that in an original action before the RTC, the counterclaim may be considered
compulsory regardless of the amount; and
5.) The defending party has a counterclaim at the time he files his answer.

The fifth requisite is not found in Section 7 but in Rule 11, Section 8:

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Rule 11, Sec. 8. Existing counterclaim or cross-claim. - A compulsory


counterclaim or a cross-claim that a defending party has at the time he files
his answer shall be contained therein. (8a, R6)

Another way of saying it is, the counterclaim has already matured at the time he files his answer.
That is the fifth requisite.

Q: What happens if one of these requisites is missing?


A: If one of the five requisites is missing, the counterclaim is permissive in nature.

We will discuss the elements of a compulsory counterclaim one by one.

First Element: A COUNTERCLAIM TO BE COMPULSORY MUST BE COGNIZABLE BY THE


REGULAR COURTS.

In other words, if you file a complaint against me and I have a counterclaim against you in the
Labor Code, then it cannot be classified as a compulsory claim because how can I invoke against you a
claim which is cognizable by the NLRC before the RTC?

Second Element: IT ARISES OUT OF OR IT IS CONNECTED WITH A TRANSACTION


OR OCCURRENCE CONSTITUTING A SUBJECT MATTER OF THE OPPOSING
PARTY’S CLAIM

The second requisite is the most important. A counterclaim, to be compulsory, must arise out of or
connected with the transaction or occurrence constituting a subject matter of the opposing party
concerned. It must arise out of or is connected with a transaction or occurrence constituting a subject
matter of the opposing party’s claim. It must be logically related to the subject matter of the main
action.

So the rule is, if the counterclaim did not arise out of or is not connected with the transaction or
occurrence constituting the subject matter of the opposing party’s concern, the counterclaim must be
permissive in nature.

PROBLEM: Emily filed a case against Regina for damages arising from a vehicle collision.
According to Emily, the case of the accident is the negligence of the defendant in driving her car. Her
car bumped the car of Emily and was damaged. So, Emily is holding Regina liable for the damage on
her car. Regina denied that she was negligent. According to Regina, “No, I am not negligent. As a
matter of fact, you (Emily) were the one negligent, and because of that negligence, my car was also
damaged. So you should be the one to pay damages.” Parang ganyan ba.
Q: Is the counterclaim of Regina arising out of or is connected with the transaction or occurrence
constituting the subject matter of the opposing party?
A: YES because we are talking of the same bumping. You bumped my car, you say I bumped your
car. So we are talking of the same event or transaction.

PROBLEM: Thea G. (as in ‘Gamay’) files a case against me for recovery of a piece of land.
According to her, she is the owner of the land which I’m occupying. Now, I file my answer, and then I
said, “Ms. Guadalope, I spent a lot of money for necessary expenses to preserve the land. You are also
liable to reimburse me for the necessary improvements expenses I introduced on the land.” Under the
law on Property, a defendant or possessor is entitled to reimbursement for necessary improvements
and expenses. So she is trying to recover the piece of land, I am now asking her to reimburse me for all
necessary expenses that I spent on the land.
Q: Is my counterclaim arising out of or connected with the subject matter of your claim or not?
A: YES. We are talking of the same subject matter. Thus, the counterclaim is compulsory.

PROBLEM: Thea G. files a case against me for recovery of a piece of land. My counterclaim against
her is damages arising from a vehicular collision.
Q: Is my counterclaim arising out of a subject matter of your action?
A: NO. It is completely different. Thus, that is a permissive counterclaim.
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So, those are the examples. That is why, the second requisite is the most important element – a
counterclaim must arise out of or is connected with the subject matter or a transaction or the event or
the main action. By the way, the second element is considered the most important element of
compulsory counterclaim because according to the SC in the 1992 case of

MELITON vs. COURT OF APPEALS


216 SCRA 485

HELD: “It has been postulated that while a number of criteria have been advanced for
the determination of whether the counterclaim is compulsory or permissive, the one
compelling test of compulsoriness is the logical relationship between the claim alleged in the
complaint and that in the counterclaim, that is, where conducting separate trials of the
respective claims of the parties would entail a substantial duplication of effort and time, as
where they involve many of the same factual and/or legal issues.”

Q: What is the importance of determining whether the claim is compulsory or permissive?


A: A compulsory counterclaim must be invoked in the same action. Iit cannot be the subject matter
of a separate action. Unlike in permissive where you have the choice of invoking it in the same case, or
in a separate action, compulsory counterclaim must be invoked in the same action otherwise it will be
barred. That is found in Rule 9, Section 2:

Rule 9, Sec. 2. Compulsory counterclaim, or cross-claim, not set up barred.


- A compulsory counter-claim or a cross-claim, not set up shall be barred. (4a)

So if I do not file a counterclaim against you in the same action, under Rule 9, the counterclaim is
barred forever. I cannot claim it against you in any other case in the future. But if the counterclaim is
permissive and I will not raise it as a counterclaim, it is not barred. It can still be invoked in another
case against you. It can be a subject matter of a separate action.

Let us try to apply that principle to the case cited.

PROBLEM: Vanessa files a case against me for damages arising from vehicular collision. Her car is
damaged, my car is damaged. In my answer, I denied negligence but I did not claim from her the
damage to my vehicle. After the trial, court found the plaintiff at fault. So, the complaint of Vanessa
was dismissed. So panalo ako. Balikan ko siya ngayon. This time I will file a case against her to recover
damages for the damage to my car since I was able to prove that she was negligent and not me.
Q: What will happen to my case now?
A: My case will be dismissed because I did not raise that cause of action as a counterclaim.
Compulsory yan eh. So since you did not raise, is barred forever.

PROBLEM: Aileen files a case against me for recovery of a piece of land. After trial, talo ako. The
court said that I should return the land to her. So isinauli ko na. Ngayon, kailangan bayaran niya
naman ako for the necessary expenses. So, I will file a case against her. She moved to dismiss – barred,
because I should have raised that as a counterclaim. I cannot file another case involving that cause of
action. That is the effect of failure to raise the compulsory counterclaim in the case filed against you.

PROBLEM: Now, suppose the counterclaim is PERMISSIVE. Pauline files case against me for
recovery of land. My cause of action against her is damages arising against a vehicular collision.
Obviously, the counterclaim is permissive.
Q: Is the counterclaim allowed?
A: Yes, allowed.

Q: Pauline will file a case against me for damages arising from vehicular collision. My decision is
not to file a counterclaim but to file another case against her. Is that allowed?
A: Yes, that is allowed. Meaning, I may or may not raise it as a counterclaim because it is
permissive. I am permitted to raise it as a counterclaim but I am not obliged. I may decided to file
another action against you. That is the importance between a compulsory counterclaim and a
permissive counterclaim.

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Third Requisite: IT DOES NOT REQUIRE FOR ITS ADJUDICATION PRESENCE OF THIRD
PARTIES OF WHOM THE COURT CANNOT ACQUIRE JURISDICTION.

Meaning, if my counterclaim against you will involve the presence of an indispensable party who
is, let’s say, abroad, and therefore, the court cannot acquire jurisdiction over him, and since it involves
an indispensable party, I will not raise it as a counterclaim.

Q: Will it be barred?
A: NO. If I will file my counterclaim, it will involve another party who is indispensable. The
trouble is, he is not around. Therefore, the counterclaim is not barred because the third element is
missing.

Fourth Element: THAT THE COUNTERCLAIM MUST BE WITHIN THE JURISDICTION OF THE
COURT BOTH AS TO THE AMOUNT AND NATURE THEREOF.

Q: I will file a case against you for forcible entry. I want to recover a piece of land. Where is the
jurisdiction of that case?
A: MTC. Squatting. I will recover a land from a squatter.

Review: In the Law on Property, even if you are a possessor in bad faith, he is entitled to
reimbursement for necessary expenses. The theory there is, even if he is a possessor in bad faith, the
expenses redounded to the benefit of the land owner. Anyway, you will spend them just the same as
the land owner will have to spend for them. So it will not be fair if he is not reimbursed. That’s our
premise, noh?

PROBLEM: Now, the defendant would like to claim for reimbursement for the necessary expenses
that he spent in my lot. The case I filed against you is forcible entry in the MTC. Your necessary
expenses amount to P300,000.
Q: Should you raise it as a compulsory counterclaim in the forcible entry case?
A: NO.

Q: Does it arise out of or connected with the transaction which is the subject matter of the main
action? Why not compulsory?
A: Because the MTC has no jurisdiction over the P300,000 amount for the necessary expenses. This
time, that is the missing element.

Q: How will the defendant claim reimbursement?


A: He has to file with the RTC a case for reimbursement. He cannot use that as a counterclaim for
the forcible entry case because the MTC has no jurisdiction on a counterclaim where the amount is over
P200,000.00.

I will reverse the problem:


PROBLEM: The plaintiff filed against the defendant an action for accion publiciana – recovery for a
piece of land where the value of the property is P1 million. So the case should be filed in the RTC. Now,
the defendant is claiming for the reimbursement of the improvements thereon (necessary expenses)
amounting to P50,000.
Q: Should the defendant raise that as a counterclaim in the accion publiciana case?
A: YES.

In the first example, the counterclaim is above the jurisdiction of the MTC. This time, the amount
for the counterclaim is below the jurisdiction of the RTC. So the RTC can claim jurisdiction.

Q: How can the RTC try a counterclaim when the claim is only P50,000?
A: It is in accordance with the exception under Section 7: “except that in an original action before the
RTC, the counterclaim may be considered compulsory regardless of the amount.” This means that the main
action is accion publiciana—RTC. The counterclaim is reimbursement for necessary expenses with
arose out of the same land. Normally, the RTC cannot try that but the answer to this question is YES.

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The RTC can award a claim for damages even though the claim is below its jurisdiction. The
principle is: Since the counterclaim is compulsory, jurisdiction over the main action automatically
carries with it jurisdiction over the compulsory counterclaim. The compulsory counterclaim is merely
incidental to the main action. Jurisdiction of the RTC over the main action necessarily carries with it
jurisdiction over the compulsory counterclaim which is merely ancillary.

But the first example is baliktad. If the main action is with the MTC, it cannot try the counterclaim
with the RTC. It is beyond its jurisdiction. It is not covered by the exception. But if it is the main action
which is within the jurisdiction of the RTC, it can try a counterclaim which is below its jurisdiction
provided it arose out or is connected with the transaction.

That exception is not written in the prior rules but it is a recognized exception laid down by the SC
which is now written down in the law. In the case of

MACEDA vs. COURT OF APPEALS


176 SCRA 440

HELD: “The jurisdiction of the MTC in a civil action for sum of money is limited to a
demand that does not exceed P100,000 (now P200,000) exclusive of interest and costs. A
counterclaim beyond its jurisdiction and limit may be pleaded only by way of defense to
weaken the plaintiff’s claim, but not to obtain affirmative relief.”

Fifth Requisite: THE DEFENDING PARTY HAS A COUNTERCLAIM AT THE


TIME HE FILES HIS ANSWER.

How can I make a claim against you which is not yet existing? Even if all the other requisites are
present, the counterclaim would still not be compulsory because how can one invoke something now
which he can acquire in the future?

So, those are the five essential elements. You remove one, the counterclaim becomes permissive.

Q: Again. What is the importance of distinguishing whether the counterclaim is compulsory or


permissive?
A: If the counterclaim is compulsory, the defendant is obliged under the law to raise it as a
counterclaim in the action where he is being sued. If he fails to invoke it, it is barred forever (Rule 9
Section 2).
If the counterclaim is permissive, the defendant has a choice of raising it as a counterclaim in the
case filed against him or he may decide to file another action against the plaintiff, raising it as his cause
of action. It is permitted but not obliged.
COUNTERCLAIMS IN CRIMINAL CASES

JAVIER vs. IAC


171 SCRA 605

FACTS: The Javier spouses filed a criminal case against Leon Gutierrez Jr, under BP 22
or the Bouncing Check Law, for issuing a bad check. The criminal case was filed before the
RTC of Makati. The complainants did not reserve the civil action. The implication is that the
claim for civil liability is deemed instituted with the criminal case.
Gutierrez in turn filed a civil action for damages against the Javier spouses in the RTC of
Catarman, Northern Samar, where he accused spouses of having tricked him into signing
the check. According to him, “because you tricked me into signing the check for which you
are suing me, I’m holding you liable for damages”.
What happened now is that he was being criminally sued in Makati but defending
himself in Catarman, Northern Samar. He is explaining in the Samar court what he should
be doing in the Makati court.

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HELD: The civil case in Samar should be dismissed. It must be in the Makati court that
Gutierrez, as accused in the criminal charge of violation of BP 22, should explain why he
issued the bouncing check. He should explain that story in Makati and not in Samar.
This should have been done in the form of a counterclaim for damages for the alleged
deception by the Javier spouses. In fact, the counterclaim was compulsory and should have
been filed by Gutierrez upon the implied institution of the civil action for damages in the
criminal case.

What the SC is saying is, since the civil action for damages is impliedly instituted in the criminal
case, and he wants to hold you liable for filing this case, he should file a counterclaim against you in the
criminal case. What is unique was that for the first time in the Philippine Procedural Law, SC laid
down the rule that there is such thing as a counterclaim in a criminal case, because, normally,
counterclaims are only recognized in civil cases. But since the civil action is deemed instituted in the
criminal case, the accused can file a counterclaim against the offended party in the criminal action.

The trouble in this ruling is that, it has been subjected to a lot of criticisms by academicians –
professors of Remedial Law, authors – they criticized the ruling. It provokes more problems than
answers. A justice of the SC remarked, “I think we made a mistake (privately ba) in the Javier ruling.
Kaya it was never repeated.

The SC, in 1997, had another chance to comment on Javier in the case of—

CABAERO vs. CANTOS


271 SCRA 392, en banc

NOTE: Here, the Javier ruling was set aside.


HELD: “The logic and cogency of Javier notwithstanding, some reservations and
concerns were voiced out by members of the Court during the deliberations on the present
case. These were engendered by the obvious lacuna in the Rules of Court, which contains no
express provision for the adjudication of a counterclaim in a civil action impliedly instituted
in a criminal case.”
“By the foregoing discussion, we do not imply any fault in Javier. The real problem lies
in the absence of clear-cut rules governing the prosecution of impliedly instituted civil
actions and the necessary consequences and implications thereof. For this reason, the
counter-claim of the accused cannot be tried together with the criminal case because, as
already discussed, it will unnecessarily complicate and confuse the criminal proceedings.
Thus, the trial court should confine itself to the criminal aspect and the possible civil liability
of the accused arising out of the crime. The counter-claim (and cross-claim or third party
complaint, if any) should be set aside or refused cognizance without prejudice to their filing
in separate proceedings at the proper time.”
“At balance, until there are definitive rules of procedure to govern the institution,
prosecution and resolution of the civil aspect and the consequences and implications thereof
impliedly instituted in a criminal case, trial courts should limit their jurisdiction to the civil
liability of the accused arising from the criminal case.”

This means SC admitted that the Javier doctrine put more problems and confusions in the absence
of specific rules. The counterclaim should not be tried together in a criminal case. The trial court should
confine itself in the criminal action and that the counterclaim should be set aside without prejudice to
its right in setting up actions in the civil action.

NOTE: The ruling in the case of CABAERO is now incorporated in the last paragraph of Section 1,
paragraph [a], Rule 111 of the 2000 Revised Criminal Procedure:

“No counterclaim, cross-claim or third-party complaint may be filed by the


accused in the criminal case, but any cause of action which could have been the
subject thereof may be litigated in a separate civil action.”

D.) CROSS-CLAIMS

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Sec. 8. Cross-claim. A cross-claim is any claim by one party against a co-


party arising out of the transaction or occurrence that is the subject matter
either of the original action or of a counterclaim therein. Such cross-claim may
include a claim that the party against whom it is asserted is or may be liable
to the cross-claimant for all or part of a claim asserted in the action against
the cross-claimant.(7)

A cross claim is a claim by one party against a co-party. It may be a claim by defendant against his
co-defendant arising out of the subject matter of the main action.

EXAMPLE: Jet and Pao are solidary debtors for the sum of P100,000. Jet and Pao signed a
promissory note in favor of Dean to collect the sum of P100,000. However, although Jet signed the
promissory note, he did not get a single centavo. Everything went to Pao. Both of them are now sued.
According to Jet, “Actually there is a possibility that I will pay the P100,000 to Dean when actually I did
not even get a single centavo out of it. Everything went to Pao [bwiset!]!” Therefore, Jet will now file a
case against Pao where he will allege that if Jet will be held liable to Dean, Pao will reimburse him (Jet).
So, Jet will also file a claim in the same action against Pao.

Now, the claim filed by Jet against his co-defendant Pao is called a CROSS-CLAIM where Jet is
called defendant in the case filed by Dean and a cross-claimant against Pao. Pao is also the defendant in
the case filed by Dean and a cross-defendant with respect to the cross-claim filed by Jet. So that is
another case which a defendant is filing against another defendant.

The law says that the “cross-claim arises out of the transaction or occurrence that is the subject
matter of the original action.” In other words, the cross-claimant will assert that the cross-defendant is
liable to him for all or part of the claim asserted in the main action against the cross-claimant.

Take note that the cross-claim of Jet against Pao is merely an off-short of the case filed by Dean
against Jet and Pao. Meaning, it arises out of the same transaction or occurrence that is the subject
matter of the case filed by Dean against them.

PROBLEM: Suppose Dean files a case against Jet and Pao to collect a promissory note signed by Jet
and Pao. Tapos, sinabi ni Jet in his cross-claim, “Well, since we are already here, I also have a claim
against Pao for damages arising from a vehicular collision.”
Q: Is the cross-claim allowed in the problem?
A: NO. The cross-claim is improper. It has no connection with the complaint of Dean against Jet and
Pao. A counter-claim must always arise out of a transaction or occurrence that is the subject matter of
the main action.

BAR QUESTION: Distinguish a COUNTERCLAIM from a CROSS-CLAIM.


A: The following are the distinctions:
1.) A COUNTERCLAIM is a complaint by the defendant against the plaintiff, whereas,
A CROSS-CLAIM is a claim by a defendant against a co-defendant;

2.) The life of the CROSS-CLAIM depends on the life of the main action. A cross-claim is
merely a consequence of the case filed by the plaintiff against the defendants. No main
action, no cross-claim (RUIZ, JR. vs. CA, infra). Whereas,
In a COUNTERCLAIM, you can kill the main action, still the counterclaim survives.

3.) A COUNTERCLAIM may be asserted whether or not it arises out of the same transaction or
occurrence that is the subject matter of the action, whereas,
A CROSS-CLAIM must always arise out of the same transaction or occurrence that is the
subject matter of the action.

Example: Pao case filed against Jet to collect a loan. Jet files a COUNTERCLAIM
against Pao to recover a piece of land. That is allowed and that is a permissive
counterclaim. But suppose Dean files a case to collect a loan against Jet and Pao. Jet
files a CROSS-CLAIM against Pao to recover a piece of land.
Q: Will it be allowed?
A: Not allowed! It has no connection with the subject matter of the main action.

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Take note that a cross-claim is any claim by one party against a co-party arising out of the
transaction of occurrence that is the subject matter of the original action or of a counterclaim therein.
So, a cross-claim may arise our either of the original action or counter-claim therein.

EXAMPLE: Jet and Pao file a case against Dean. Dean files his answer with a counterclaim against
the plaintiffs Jet and Pao. So Jet and Pao will now become defendants with respect to the counterclaim
filed by Dean. So Jet now can file a cross-claim against Pao arising out of the counterclaim. So this is an
example of a plaintiff filing a cross-claim against his co-plaintiff because of the counterclaim.

HYPOTHETICAL EXAMPLE:

1.) Mortz and Charles, plaintiffs, filed a case against Jet and Pao, defendants. There are two
plaintiffs suing two different defendants on a promissory note. Both Jet and Pao signed the
promissory note in favor of Mortz and Charles:

COMPLAINT (Collection case – Main Action):


MORTZ and CHARLES [total: 785 lbs.], plaintiffs
-versus-
JET and PAO, defendants

2.) Now, according to Jet, every centavo of the loan went to Pao. So Jet files a cross-claim against
Pao:
CROSS-CLAIM ON THE MAIN ACTION
Defendant JET [feather weight], now cross-claimant
-versus-
Defendant PAO [heavy weight], now cross-defendant

3.) Jet also says, “Actually may reklamo ako sa inyong dalawa (Mortz and Charles) because you
entered my land and gathered some of its product [mga patay gutom!!]”. Nag-file siya ng
counterclaim against both Mortz and Charles. In the counter-claim of Jet, ang defendants ay si
Mortz and Charles for the accounting of the improvements on the land:

COUNTERCLAIM OF JET
Defendant JET, now plaintiff
-versus-
Plaintiffs MORTZ and CHARLES, now co-defendants

4.) Mortz now will answer the counterclaim of Jet, “Actually, the damages on land was not caused
by me. Si Charles man ang may kasalanan ba! Yun ang patay gutom!!” So Mortz files a cross-
claim against co-plaintiff Charles arising out to the counterclaim of Jet:

CROSS-CLAIM ARISING FROM THE COUNTERCLAIM OF JET


Plaintiff MORTZ, now cross-claimant
-versus-
Plaintiff CHARLES, now cross-defendant

5.) Now, according to Pao, “Actually last month, a car owned by both of you (Mortz and Charles)
bumped my car and that my car was damaged.” So, nag-file naman si Pao ng counterclaim
against Mortz and Charles for the damage of the car.

COUNTERCLAIM OF PAO
Defendant PAO, now plaintiff
-versus-
Plaintiffs MORTZ and CHARLES, now defendants

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6.) Sabi ni Charles, “I’m not the owner of the car. Si Mortz ang owner. Gago!” So cross-claim
naman siya (Charles) kay Mortz:

CROSS-CLAIM ARISING FROM THE COUNTERCLAIM OF PAO


Plaintiff CHARLES, now cross-claimant
-versus-
Plaintiff MORTZ, now cross-defendant

Ilan lahat ang kaso? There are six (6) cases which are to be decided in the same action. This rarely
happens, but it is possible under the rules. The obvious PURPOSE of these is to avoid multiplicity of
suits and toward these ends. According to the SC, the rules allow in a certain cases and even compel a
petitioner to combine in one litigation these conflicting claims most particularly when they arise out of
the same transaction. The rule does not only allow a permissive counterclaim but the parties are even
compelled to raise them in a compulsory counter-claim.

RUIZ, JR. vs. COURT OF APPEALS


212 SCRA 660

FACTS: Dean files a case against Jet and Pao. Jet files a cross-claim against Pao. After a
while, the case against Jet and Pao was dismissed.

ISSUE: What happens to the cross-claim of Jet against Pao?

HELD: When the main action was dismissed, the cross-action must also be dismissed.
The life of a cross-claim depends on the life of the main action. If the main action is
dismissed, the cross-claim will have to be automatically dismissed.
“A cross-claim could not be the subject of independent adjudication once it lost the
nexus upon which its life depended. The cross-claimants cannot claim more rights than the
plaintiffs themselves, on whose cause of action the cross-claim depended. The dismissal of
the complaint divested the cross-claimants of whatever appealable interest they might have
had before and also made the cross-claim itself no longer viable”

Whereas, the counterclaim can exist alone without the complaint.

EXAMPLE: Pao filed a case against Jet for the recovery of a piece of land. Jet’s counterclaim is
damages arising from a vehicular accident. Na-dismiss ang kaso ni Pao – wala na yung recovery of a
piece of land. The counterclaim of Jet can still remain alive even if the main action is dead.

But in a cross-claim, once the main action is dead, the cross-claim is also automatically dead too.
What is there to reimburse when the complainant has been dismissed? Aber?!

COUNTER COUNTERCLAIM and COUNTER CROSS-CLAIM

Sec. 9. Counter-counterclaims and counter-cross-claims. A counterclaim may


be asserted against an original counter-claimant.
A cross-claim may also be filed against an original cross-claimant.(n)

Section 9 is a new provision. There is such a thing as counter-counterclaim and counter-cross-claim.


The concept of counter-counter-claim is not new. As a matter of fact, that was asked in the bar years
ago.

EXAMPLE: Chams filed against you an action to collect a loan. You filed a counterclaim against her
to recover a piece of land. Of course, she have to answer your counterclaim. But she will say, “Actually
you have been molesting me with your claim when actually you have no right over my land.” So, nag-
file siya ng injunction to stop you from molesting her. In other words, based on your counter-claim
against her to recover my land, she will file a counterclaim to stop you from molesting her. In effect,
there is counter-claim to a counter-claim.
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COUNTER-CROSS-CLAIM. Nag cross-claim ka sa akin, mag cross-claim din ako sa iyo.

E.) REPLY

Sec. 10. Reply. A reply is a pleading, the office or function of which is to


deny, or allege facts in denial or avoidance of new matters alleged by way of
defense in the answer and thereby join or make issue as to such new matters. If
a party does not file such reply, all the new matters alleged in the answer are
deemed controverted.
If the plaintiff wishes to interpose any claims arising out of the new
matters so alleged, such claims shall be set forth in an amended or supplemental
complaint.(11)

ILLUSTRATION: Plaintiff files a complaint against a defendant to collect an unpaid loan. D files his
answer and raises a new matter, affirmative defense. According to the defendant, the obligation is
already paid. Plaintiff said that you have paid the other loan. In other words, the plaintiff would like to
deny or dispute the defendant’s affirmative defense of payment.

Q: Can I file a pleading to dispute your defense?


A: Yes, that pleading is called a REPLY.

Q: How do you classify a reply?


A: It is a responsive pleading because it is the response of the plaintiff to the affirmative defense
raised in the defendant’s answer.

An answer is a response to the complaint and the reply is a response to the answer.

Q: Halimbawa, you would like to answer my reply, what pleading would you file?
A: None. That is the last pleading. Otherwise, walang katapusan and pleading natin. So, reply is
considered as the last pleading.

Q: Suppose I filed a complaint, you filed an answer invoking payment. I failed to reply. What is the
effect if the plaintiff fails to reply? Is he admitting the correctness of the defense?
A: No. The failure to file a reply has no effect. Section 10 says that if a party does file such reply, all
the new matters alleged in the answer are deemed controverted. Meaning, all the affirmative defenses
raised in the answers are automatically denied.
So, whether you file a reply or not, the defenses are deemed automatically disputed. The filing of a
reply is OPTIONAL.

A reply should not be confused with the answer to a counterclaim which is also filed by the
plaintiff.

Q: Give the distinctions between ANSWER TO COUNTER-CLAIM and REPLY.


A: The following:
1.) A REPLY is a response to the defenses interposed by the defendant in his answer, whereas
An ANSWER TO A COUNTERCLAIM is a response to a cause of action by the defendant
against the plaintiff;

2.) The filing of a REPLY is generally optional, whereas


The filing of an ANSWER TO A COUNTERCLAIM is generally mandatory under Rule 11
because if the plaintiff fails to file an answer to the counterclaim, he will be declared in
default on the counterclaim.

OUTLINE OF FLOW OF PLEADINGS

PLAINTIFF DEFENDANT

1. Complaint

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2. a.) Answer
b.) Counterclaim
3. a.) Reply to answer
b.) Answer to counterclaim
4. Reply to answer to counterclaim

F. THIRD (FOURTH, ETC.) – PARTY COMPLAINT

Sec. 11. Third, (fourth, etc.) - party complaint. A third (fourth, etc.)
party complaint is a claim that a defending party may, with leave of court, file
against a person not a party to the action, called the third (fourth, etc.)
party defendant, for contribution, indemnity, subrogation or any other relief,
in respect of his opponent's claim. (12a)

THIRD PARTY COMPLAINT is the procedure for bringing into a case a third person who is not a
party to the case.

So, plaintiff files a case against the defendant. Defendant believes that a stranger or somebody else
should be brought into the case and therefore files a motion in court that he be allowed to file a third-
party complaint against such person and therefore the defendant is called third party plaintiff and that
third person is a third-party defendant.

EXAMPLE : A plaintiff files a case against a defendant to collect a loan when there are two debtors
and one of them is compelled to pay everything so the defendant will drag into the picture the co-
debtor for contribution or indemnity. Well, you already learned if there are two of them all he has to
do is to file a cross-claim against his co-defendant. BUT since he is the only one, the remedy is to avail
of Section 11.

Take note that filing a third-party complaint is not a matter of right. THERE MUST BE LEAVE OF
COURT. So unlike counterclaim or cross-claim, you do not need any motion or leave of court. Just file
your answer to the counterclaim of cross-claim and that will do, but not a third-party complaint.

The purpose of third-party complaint is for contribution, indemnity, subrogation and other relief in
respect of his opponent’s claim.

That is why there is a close relationship between a cross-claim and a third-party complaint because
a cross-claim must also be arising out of the subject matter of the main action. A third-party complaint
must be also related to the main action. It cannot be a cause of action which has no relation to the main
action.

EXAMPLE: The plaintiff files a case against the surety and the principal debtor, so both of them are
defendants, and the surety seeks reimbursement for whatever amount he may be compelled to pay the
plaintiff. What kind of pleading would he file against his co-defendant (the principal debtor)? CROSS-
CLAIM.

BUT if the plaintiff file a case ONLY against the surety, because anyway the principal debtor is not
an indispensable party and the surety would like to seek reimbursement from the person who
benefited from the loan, he cannot file a cross-claim against anybody because he is the lone defendant.
It is possible for him to just file an answer . If he loses and pays the plaintiff, then he will file another
case against the principal debtor for reimbursement.

But if he wants everything to be resolved in the same case, what kind pleading will he file? He must
resort a THIRD-PARTY COMPLAINT and implead the principal debtor.

The PURPOSE of a third-party complaint is for the third party plaintiff to ask the third party
defendant for:
1.) Contribution;
2.) Indemnity;

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3.) Subrogation; or
4.) any other relief in respect to the opponent’s claim.

CONTRIBUTION:

Example #1: Two debtors borrowed P100,000 from Janis (creditor) and they shared the money 50-
50. When the debt fell due, the creditor filed a case against one of them. So, one of them is being made
to pay the P100,000. Not only his share but also his co-solidary debtor. So if I am the one liable when
actually my real liability is only 50,000. What will I do? I will file a third party complaint against my
co-debtor for contribution.

Example #2: If Andrew and Carlo are guilty of a quasi-delict and the injured party files an action
for damages against Andrew only, Andrew may file a third-party complaint against Carlo for
contribution, their liability being solidary (Article 2194, New Civil Code)

INDEMNIFICATION:

Example #1: Two people signed a promissory note in favor of the creditor. But actually the entire
amount went to you and none for me. When the note fell due, I was the one sued. So I will file a third-
party complaint against you for indemnity. You have to return to me every centavo that I will pay the
creditor.

Example #2: A surety sued for recovery of debt by the creditor may file a third-party complaint
against the principal debtor for indemnity. (Article 2047, New Civil Code)

SUBROGATION:

Subrogation - You step into the shoes of someone else. Your obligation is transferred to me.

EXAMPLE: Where a contract is leased by a lessee and he subleased the property to a third person
who is now occupying the property. In effect, the sub-lessee stepped into the shoes of the original
lessee. If the property is damaged and the lessor sues the lessee for damages to his leased property, the
lessee or sub-lessor can file a third-party complaint and have the sub-lessee for subrogation because
actually, you stepped into the shoes when you occupied the leased property. (Articles 1651 and 1654,
New Civil Code)

For ANY OTHER RELIEF IN RESPECT TO THE OPPONENTS CLAIM, very broad:

EXAMPLE: When I buy the property of Mr. Cruz and after a while, here comes Mr. Dee filing a case
against me to claim ownership of the land. But I bought it from Mr. Cruz who warranted that he is the
real owner. So I will now file third-party complaint against Mr. Cruz to enforce his warranty –
warranty against eviction. (Article 1548, New Civil Code)

Take note that there is always a connection between the main complaint and the third-party
complaint because the condition is “contribution, indemnification, subrogation and any other relief in
respect to your opponents claim.” There is always a relation between the third party-complaint and the
main complaint against you. Here is a bar question...

BAR QUESTION: Janis files a case against Nudj to recover an unpaid load. Now the reason is that
Carlo also owes Nudj. Nudj says, “I cannot pay you because there is a person who has also utang to
me. What I will pay you depends on his payment to me.” File agad si Nudj ng third-party complaint
against Carlo. Is the third-party complaint proper?
A: NO. There is no connection between the main action and the 3rd-party complaint – the loan of
Nudj to Janis and the loan of Andrew to Nudj. Walang connection. Anong pakialam ni Janis sa utang
ni Andrew kay Nudj? Not in respect to his opponent’s claim.

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BAR QUESTION: How do you determine whether a 3rd-party complaint is proper or improper?
What are the tests to determine its propriety?
A: Case of

CAPAYAS vs. COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE


77 PHIL. 181

HELD: There are four (4) possible tests to determine the propriety of a third-party
complaint. In order for it to be allowed, it must pass one of them. That is the reason when you
file it, you need the permission of the court to determine whether it is proper or not and the
original plaintiff may object to the propriety of the third-party complaint.

There are the FOUR TESTS (any one will do):

1. A third-party complaint is proper if it arises out of the same transaction on which plaintiff is
based;

EXAMPLE: A creditor sued only one solidary debtor. So you can file a third-party
complaint for contribution. Anyway, there is only one loan and our liability arises out of
the same promissory note

2. A third-party complaint is proper if the third-party’s complaint, although arising out of


another transaction, is connected with the plaintiff’s claim.

EXAMPLE: The car owner is sued for culpa aquiliana for damages arising from
vehicular collision and he files a third-party complaint against the insurance company
for indemnity based on the contract of insurance. So it is connected with plaintiff’s
claim, and that is precisely the purpose of my insurance coverage.

3. Third party defendant would be liable to the original plaintiff's claim. Although the third
party defendant's liability arises out of another transaction.

EXAMPLE: Sublease. Roy leased his property to Eric. Eric subleased it to Rudolph. If
Roy’s property is damaged, Roy will sue Eric. But Eric will also sue Rudolph. The sub-
lessor has the right to file a third-party complaint against the sub-lessee for the damaged
leased property which is now occupied by the sub-lessee. The third-party defendant
Rudolph would be liable to plaintiff’s (Roy’s) claim. Rudolph will be liable to Roy for
Roy’s claim against Eric although the liability of Rudolph arises out of another
transaction (Sub-lease contract)

4. The third party defendant may assert any defense which the third party plaintiff has or may
have against plaintiff’s claim.

EXAMPLE: Tato is a registered owner of a car and then sold it to Philip. Philip is the
actual owner. However, Philip did not register the sale to the LTO. The registered
owner is si Tato lang gihapon although he is no longer the real owner. While Philip was
driving that car it bumped the car of Lewee Tanduay. Lewee researched the owner of
the car at LTO and ang lumabas ay si Tato. So ang ginawa ni Lewee, ang kinasuhan nya
ay si Tato na walang malay...under the law, the registered owner is liable. Of course,
when Tato got the complaint, “Wala akong alam sa sinasabi nyo, that car is no longer
mine. I sold that two years ago, I have no idea what happened.”
So obviously, Tato arrived at the conclusion that si Philip and nakabangga. Tato
filed a third-party complaint against Philip because he is the real owner. When Philip
got the third-party complaint, and because he knows the story, in fact he was the one
driving, ang ginawa niya, nilabanan niya ng diretso si Lewee. Meaning, instead of Tato
fighting Lewee, Philip fought Lewee directly. Frontal na ba. Sabi ni Philip, “I was not at
fault, you (Lewee) are at fault.” So here is a situation where Lewee sues Tato, Tato sues

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Philip but Philip fights Lewee, as if he is the real defendant, then the third party
complaint must be proper. It must be related.

So those are the samples of third party complaint which are correct.

Take note that there is a close similarity between a third-party complaint and a cross-claim because
as we have learned, a cross-claim must also be related to the same action. So we will go to some
interesting case on third-party complaint.

SAMALA vs. VICTOR


170 SCRA 453

FACTS: This case involves a vehicular accident. Philip, while riding on a passenger jeep
owned by Tato, the jeep was bumped by the truck of Lewee, injuring Philip. Philip filed a
case for damages arising from breach of contract against Tato. Tato filed a third-party
complaint against Lewee. After trial, the court found that Tato has not at fault. The fault is
entirely against Lewee . So the action against Tato was dismissed, but the court held that
Lewee be directly liable to Philip.
It was questioned by Lewee. Lewee claims that is should be Tato who is liable to Philip
because Philip did not sue me (Lewee), “Bakit ako ang ma-liable hindi naman ako ang
dinemanda ni Philip? So procedurally, I am liable to Tato, Tato is liable to Philip.”

ISSUE #1: Can Lewee, a third-party defendant, be held liable directly to Philip, the
original plaintiff?
HELD: YES, that is possible. In a third-party complaint, normally Lewee is liable to
Tato. But Lewee can be made liable to Philip, or Lewee can be made liable to both Philip and
Tato because that is covered by the phrase “OR ANY OTHER RELIEF” – so broad that it
cover a direct liability of a third party defendant to the original plaintiff.

ISSUE #2: How can the court award damages to Philip based on the theory of culpa
aquiliana when his complaint is based on culpa contractual? Can Lewee be held liable for
culpa-contractual?
HELD: YES. That is also possible because “the primary purpose of this rule is to avoid
circuitry of action and to dispose of in one litigation, the entire subject matter arising from a
particular set of fact it is immaterial that the third-party plaintiff asserts a cause of action
against the third party defendant on a theory different from that asserted by the plaintiff
against the defendant. It has likewise been held that a defendant in a contract action may
join as third-party defendants those liable to him in tort for the plaintiff’s claim against him
or directly to the plaintiff.”

Another interesting case which is to be compared with the abovementioned case is the 1989 case of

SHAFER vs. JUDGE OF RTC OF OLONGAPO CITY


167 SCRA 386

NOTE: This case although it refers to third-party complaint is related to criminal


procedure. This is similar to the case of JAVIER where the issue is, is there such a thing as a
counterclaim in a criminal case where the offended party did not make a reservation. In
SHAFER, is there such a thing as a third-party complaint in a criminal case?

FACTS: Shafer while driving his car covered by TPL, bumped another car driven by T.
T filed a criminal case against S for physical injuries arising from reckless imprudence. T
did not make any reservation to file a separate civil action. So obviously, the claim for civil
liability is deemed instituted.
Shafer was covered by the insurance, so he filed a third-party complaint against the
insurance company insofar as the civil liability is concerned. The insurance company
questioned the propriety of d third-party complaint in a criminal case, because according to

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the insurance company, the third-party complaint is entirely different from the criminal
liability.

ISSUE: Whether or not the filing of a third-party complaint in a criminal case is


procedurally correct.

HELD: Yes, it is proper. There could be a third party complaint in a criminal case
because an offense causes two classes of injuries – the SOCIAL and the PERSONAL injury.
In this case, the civil aspect of the criminal case is deemed impliedly instituted in the
criminal case. Shafer may raise all defenses available to him in so far as the criminal and
civil aspects are concerned. Shafer’s claim of indemnity against the insurance company are
also the claim by the victim in the criminal claim. Therefore Shafer’s claim against the
insurance company is related to the criminal case. So similar to Javier that an accused may
also file a compulsory counterclaim in a criminal case when there is no reservation.

BUT in the light of the ruling in the case of

CABAERO vs. CANTOS, supra

The SHAFER ruling has to be set aside for the meantime because there is no such thing
as third-party complaint in criminal cases now. In other words, forget it in the meantime.
Also, forget counterclaims in criminal cases even if they arose out of the main action.
This case refers to JAVIER on whether or not there is such a thing as a compulsory
counterclaim in criminal cases. SC said, “Huwag muna samok!” If we will allow it in
criminal cases it will only complicate and confuse the case. The attention might be divested
to counterclaims or cross-claims or third-party complaints, etc.

HELD: “The trial court should confine itself to the criminal aspect and the possible civil
liability of the accused arising out of the crime. The counter-claim (and cross-claim or third
party complaint, if any) should be set aside or refused cognizance without prejudice to their
filing in separate proceedings at the proper time.”

We will go to the old case of

REPUBLIC vs. CENTRAL SURETY CO.


25 SCRA 641 [1968]

FACTS : Hannah filed a case against Rina for a liability amounting to P300,000. So it was
filed in RTC. Rina filed a third-party complaint against ConCon Insurance Company for
indemnity insurance but the maximum insurance is only P50,000. The insurance company
moved to dismiss on the ground that the court has no jurisdiction because third-party
complaint is only for P50,000 which is supposed to be within the competence of the MTC.

ISSUE: Is the insurance company correct?

HELD: NO. The insurance company is wrong. The third-party complaint is only
incidental. The third-party complaint need not be within the jurisdiction of the RTC where
the principal action is pending because the third-party complaint is really a continuation
and an ancillary to the principal action. If the court acquires jurisdiction over the main
action, automatically, it acquires jurisdiction over the third-party complain which is mainly
a continuation of the principal action.

Now, the same situation happened in another case. The case of

EASTER ASSURANCE vs. CUI


105 SCRA 642

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FACTS : Carol is a resident of Davao City. Cathy is a resident of Cebu City. Carol filed
a case before the RTC of Davao City against Cathy. Cathy files a third-party complaint
against Joy, a resident of Manila. Is the venue proper?
HELD: The venue is proper because the venue of the main action is proper. So
automatically third-party complaint is also proper. The third-party has to yield to the
jurisdiction and venue of the main action.

Now of course, if there’s such a thing as 3rd party complaint, there is also a 4th, 5th, 6th or 7th
complaint. That is possible but everything is with respect to his opponent’s claim.

EXAMPLE:

A B C D E
A files a complaint B files a 3rd party C files a 4th party D files a 5th party
against B complaint against C complaint against D complaint against E

A’s car was bumped by B. But B contented that the reason that he bumped A’s car was because he
was bumped by C and the same goes to C, D, E. B then files a 3rd party complaint against C. C files a
4th party complaint against D. D files a 5th party complaint against E. Meaning, pasahan, ba. They will
throw the liability to the one who did it. That is a good hypothetical example of how a fourth, fifth,
sixth party complaint can come into play.

Sec. 12. Bringing new parties. - When the presence of parties other than
those to the original action is required for the granting of complete relief in
the determination of a counterclaim or cross-claim, the court shall order them
to be brought in as defendants, if jurisdiction over them can be obtained.

The best example of Section 12 is the case of:

SAPUGAY vs. COURT OF APPEALS


183 SCRA 464

FACTS: Mobil Philippines filed a case against Sapugay, its gasoline dealer. Sapugay filed
a answer and interposed a counterclaim for damages against Mobil and included Cardenas
(the manager of Mobil) who is not a plaintiff.

ISSUE: Whether or not the inclusion of Cardenas in the counterclaim is proper where he
is not a plaintiff in the Mobil case.

HELD: The inclusion of Cardenas is proper. The general rule that the defendant cannot
by a counterclaim bring into the action any claim against persons other than the plaintiff,
admits of an exception under this provision (Section 12) – meaning, if it is necessary to
include a 3rd person in a counterclaim or cross-claim, the court can order him to be brought
in as defendants. In effect, the bringing of Cardenas in the case is sanctioned by the Rules.

The case of SAPUGAY should not be confused with the case of:

CHAVEZ vs. SANDIGANBAYAN


198 SCRA 282

FACTS: Petitioner Francisco Chavez (former solicitor general) represented the


government for PCGG. The case arose out of PCGG cases wherein Enrile was sued for
accumulation of his ill-gotten wealth. Enrile filed an answer to the complaint. Enrile
contends that the case is harassment suit whose mastermind was the Solicitor General
himself. Enrile files a counterclaim against Chavez. (Enrile’s lawyer maybe well aware of the

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Sapugay case the one sued is the lawyer.) Chavez questioned such counterclaim contending
that he was not a plaintiff. Sandiganbayan denied such contention.

HELD: The inclusion of plaintiff’s lawyer is improper.


“To allow a counterclaim against a lawyer who files a complaint for his clients, who is
merely their representative in court and not a plaintiff or complainant in the case would
lead to mischievous consequences. A lawyer owes his client entire devotion to his genuine
interest, warm zeal in the maintenance and defense of his rights and the exertion of his
utmost learning and ability. A lawyer cannot properly attend to his duties towards his client
if, in the same case, he is kept busy defending himself.”

Q: Is the SC suggesting that a lawyer who sued in a harassment case can get away with it? Does
that mean to say that the lawyer is immune from suit?
A: NO, the SC does not say a lawyer enjoys a special immunity from damage suits. However, when
he acts in the name of the client, he should not be sued in a counterclaim in the very same case where
he has filed only as a counsel and not as party. Only claims for alleged damages or other causes of
action should be filed in a separate case. Thus, if you feel that the lawyer is acting maliciously, you file
a complaint but in a separate case. That’s why the case of Sapugay should not be confused with Chavez.

Sec. 13. Answer to third (fourth, etc.) party complaint. - A third (fourth,
etc.)-party defendant may allege in his answer his defenses, counterclaims or
cross-claims, including such defenses that the third (fourth, etc.)-party
plaintiff may have against the original plaintiff in respect of the latter's
claim against the third-party plaintiff. (n)

ILLUSTRATIONS:

A files a case against B

B files a 3rd party complaint against C

A vs. B; B vs. C. Normally, B will defend himself against the complaint of A and C will defend
himself in the complaint of B. That is supposed to be the pattern. Normally, C does not file a direct
claim against A. But the law allows C in defending himself, to answer the claim of A. The law allows
him to file a direct counterclaim against A.

If C has the right to frontally meet the action filed by A – meaning, C will fight A directly – if C has
the right to assert any defense which B has against A and even for C to litigate against A, then it must
be a proper third party complaint. That has happened several times.

EXAMPLE: B owns a car which was already sold to C. The trouble is that B never registered the
transaction. On the record, B is still the registered owner. Then C, while driving the car, meets an
accident and injures A. When A looked at the record, the owner is B. So A files a case against B. So B
will file a third party complaint against the real owner (C). Now, C can frontally meet the complaint
filed by A. That is the best example where you have the right against the original plaintiff or even
assert a counterclaim against him. As a matter of fact, that last test is now incorporated as a new
provision (Section 13).

In the case of:

SINGAPORE AIRLINES vs. COURT OF APPEALS


243 SCRA 143 [1995]

FACTS: Aying filed a case against Bugoy. Bugoy filed a third party complaint against
and Cyle who wants to frontally meet the main complaint filed by Aying

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HELD: If that is your purpose, you have to file two (2) answers – you file an answer to
the third party complaint and you file a second answer to the main complaint filed by
Aying.
“A third-party complaint involves an action separate and distinct from, although related
to, the main complaint. A third-party defendant who feels aggrieved by some allegations in
the main complaint should, aside from answering the third-party complaint, also answer the
main complaint.”

Normally, Cyle answers the 3rd party complaint of Bugoy and does not answer to the complaint of
Aying. But according to SINGAPORE case, if Cyle feels aggrieved by the allegations of Aying, he
should also answer the main complaint of Aying. Practically, he shall answer the 3rd party complaint
and the main complaint.

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