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WHAT IS A JUDICIAL ADMISSION?

A: A judicial admission is a formal statement made either by a party or his or her attorney,
in the course of judicial proceeding which removes an admitted fact from the field of
controversy. It is a voluntary concession of fact by a party or a party’s attorney during
such judicial proceedings including admissions in pleadings made by a party. It may occur
at any point during the litigation process. An admission in open court is a judicial
admission. A judicial admission binds the client even if made by his counsel.

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Admission made by the parties in the pleadings, or in the course of the trial or other
proceedings do not require proof and cannot be contradicted unless previously shown to
have been made through palpable mistake (Yu v. Magpayo, 44 SCRA 163). There is no
showing in this case of such fact. In another case, the Supreme Court ruled that an
admission made in the pleadings cannot be controverted by the party making such
admission and are conclusive as to him. All proofs submitted by him contrary thereto and
inconsistent therewith should be ignored, whether or not objection is interposed (Elayda v.
Court of Appeals, 199 SCRA 349).

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G.R. No. 108028 July 30, 1996


PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. vs. CRISTINA M HERNANDEZ

THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN NOT GIVING CREDENCE OR WEIGHT TO THE


DEFENSE OF THE ACCUSED. 6

". . . an attorney who is employed to manage a party's conduct of a lawsuit . . .


has prima facie authority to make relevant admissions by pleadings, by oral or
written stipulation, . . . which unless allowed to be withdrawn are conclusive."
24
(Emphasis supplied.) In fact, "judicial admission are frequently those of
counsel or of the attorney of record, who is, for the purpose of the trial, the
agent of his client. When such admissions are made . . . for the purpose of
dispensing with proof of some fact, . . . they bind the client, whether made
during, or even after, the trial." 25

The foregoing find basis in the general rule that a client is bound by the acts of
his counsel who represents him. 26 For all intents and purposes, the acts of a
lawyer in the defense of a case are the acts of his client. The rule extends even
to the mistakes and negligence committed by the lawyer except only when
such mistakes would result in serious injustice to the client. 27 No cogent
reason exists to make such exception in this case. It is worth noting that Atty.
Ulep, appellant's counsel in the lower court, agreed to the stipulation of facts
proposed by the prosecution not out of mistake nor inadvertence, but
obviously because the said stipulation of facts was also in conformity of
defense's theory of the case. It may be recalled that

In view of the foregoing, the stipulation of facts proposed during trial by


prosecution and admitted by defense counsel is tantamount to a judicial
admission by the appellant of the facts stipulated on. Controlling, therefore, is
Section 4, Rule 129 of the Rules of Court which provides that:

An admission, verbal or written, made by a party in the course of the


proceedings in the same case, does not require proof. The admission may be
contradicted only by showing that it was made through palpable mistake or
that no such admission was made.

Anent the last assignment of error, suffice it to say that we do not find any
compelling reason to reverse the findings of the lower court that appellant's
bare denials cannot overthrow the positive testimonies of the prosecution
witnesses against her.

Well established is the rule that denials if unsubstantiated by clear and


convincing evidence are negative, self-serving evidence which deserve no
weight in law and cannot be given greater evidentiary weight over the
testimony of credible witnesses who testify on affirmative matters. 38 That she
did not merely deny, but likewise raised as an affirmative defense her
appointment as mere nominee-president of Philippine-Thai is a futile attempt at
exculpating herself and is of no consequence whatsoever when weighed
against the positive declarations of witnesses that it was the appellant who
executed the acts of illegal recruitment as complained of.
24 McCormick on Evidence 2nd Ed. p. 641.
25 31 C.J.S. 537
26 People vs. Ravelo, 202 SCRA 655; Ayllon vs. Sevilla, 156 SCRA 257.
27 Villa Rhecar Bus vs. De La Cruz, 157 SCRA 13; De La Cruz vs. C.A., June 29, 1989.
38 People v. Guibao, 217 SCRA 64; People vs. Marti, 193 SCRA 57; People vs. Song, et al., 204
SCRA 135.

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Aguenza vs Metropolitan Bank & Trust Co. : [G.R. No. 74336. April 7, 1997]

"THE RESPONDENT COURT ERRED IN REVERSING AND [SETTING] ASIDE THE


FINDING OF THE TRIAL COURT THAT THE LOAN OF P500,000.00 PROCURED 21
MARCH 1978 BY RESPONDENTS VITALIADO ARRIETA AND LILIA PEREZ IS NOT A
CORPORATE LIABILITY OF RESPONDENT INTERTRADE AND THAT PETITIONER IS
NOT LIABLE THEREON UNDER THE 'CONTINUING SURETYSHIP AGREEMENT'
DATED 4 MARCH 1977.

THE CONCLUSION OF THE RESPONDENT COURT THAT THE LOAN OF


P500,000.00 PROCURED 21 MARCH 1978 BY RESPONDENT VITALIADO ARRIETA
AND LILIA PEREZ IS A CORPORATE LIABILITY OF RESPONDENT INTERTRADE AND
CONSEQUENTLY RENDERING PETITIONER LIABLE IN HIS PERSONAL CAPACITY
AS A SURETY UNDER THE 'CONTINUING SURETYSHIP' OF 4 MARCH 1977, IS
GROSSLY ERRONEOUS AND PREMISED ON A MISAPPREHENSION OF FACTS.

THE CONCLUSIONS AND CONSTRUCTION REACHED BY RESPONDENT COURT


FROM THE FACTS AND EVIDENCE OF RECORD, ARE INCORRECT RESULTING IN
AN ERRONEOUS DECISION GRAVELY PREJUDICIAL TO THE SUBSTANTIAL RIGHTS
OF PETITIONER."[5]

The petition has merit.

The principal reason for respondent appellate court's reversal of the trial
court's absolution of petitioner is its finding that the loan made by private
respondent Arrieta and Lilia Perez were admitted by Intertrade to be its own
obligation.

After a careful scrutiny of the records, however, we find and we so rule that
there is neither factual nor legal basis for such a finding by respondent
Appellate Court.

First, the general rule that "the allegations, statements, or admissions


contained in a pleading are conclusive as against the pleader"[6] is not an
absolute and inflexible rule[7] and is subject to exceptions. Rule 129, Section 4,
of the Rules of Evidence, provides:
"Section 4. Judicial admissions. — An admission, verbal or written, made by a party
in the course of the proceedings in the same case, does not require proof. The
admission may be contradicted only by showing that it was made through palpable
mistake or that no such admission was made." (Underlining supplied)

In other words, an admission in a pleading on which a party goes to trial may


be contradicted by showing that it was made by improvidence or mistake or
that no such admission was made, i.e., "not in the sense in which the
admission was made to appear or the admission was taken out of context."[8]

In the case at bench, we find that the respondent Court of Appeals committed
an error in appreciating the "Answer" filed by the lawyer of Intertrade as an
admission of corporate liability for the subject loan. A careful study of the
responsive pleading filed by Atty. Francisco Pangilinan, counsel for Intertrade,
would reveal that there was neither express nor implied admission of corporate
liability warranting the application of the general rule. Thus, the alleged
judicial admission may be contradicted and controverted because it was taken
out of context and no admission was made at all.

[5] Memorandum of Petitioner dated July 15, 1988, pp. 10-11, Rollo, pp.132-133.
[6] Cunanan v. Amparo, 80 Phil. 227 [1948].
[7] Gardner v. Court of Appeals, 131 SCRA 585 [1984], citing Granada v. Philippine National
Bank, 18 SCRA 1 [1966].
[8] Evidence of Francisco, 2nd edition [1994], p. 36.

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