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G.R. No. 108119 January 19, 1994 FORTUNE CORPORATION vs. HON.

COURT OF APPEALS FACTS: An action for breach of contract was filed by Fortune Corporation against Inter-Merchants Corporation, before the Regional Trial Court of San Pablo City. After respondent corporation had filed its Answer, petitioner served the former with written interrogatories pursuant to Rule 25 of the Rules of Court. The interrogatories were answered by respondent corporation through its board chairman, Juanito A. Teope. The pre-trial conference was thereafter scheduled. However, petitioner then served upon private respondent a Notice to Take Deposition Upon Oral Examination of Juanito A. Teope, 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 inter alia that : (a) herein petitioner has previously availed of one mode of discovery, that is, the written interrogatories which practically covered all the claims, counterclaims and defenses in the case; (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, Juanito A. Teope; (d) Mr. Teope has no intention of leaving the country; and (e) the intended deponent is available to testify in open court if required during the trial on the merits. The trial court thereafter issued an order that the requested deposition shall not be taken. Its motion for reconsideration having been denied, petitioner filed an original action for certiorari before the Supreme Court which was referred to the Court of Appeals for consideration and adjudication on the merits. Ca affirmed the order of the Regional Trial Court disallowing the taking of the oral deposition of Juanito S. Teope. Hence, this petition. ISSUE: Whether or not, absent the requisite element of "good cause", a trial court has unbridled discretion to forbid the taking of deposition upon oral HELD: No. Section 16 of Rule 24 provides that after notice is served for taking a deposition by oral examination, upon motion seasonably made by any party or by the person to be examined and upon notice and for good cause shown, the court in which the action is pending may, among others, make an order that the deposition shall not be taken. This provision explicitly vests in the court the power to order that the deposition shall not be taken and this grant connotes the authority to exercise discretion in connection therewith. It is well settled, however, that the discretion conferred by law is not unlimited: that it must be exercised, not arbitrarily, capriciously, or oppressively, but in a reasonable manner and in consonance with the spirit of the law, to the end that its purpose may be attained. Section 16 of Rule 24 clearly states that it is only upon notice and for good cause that the court may order that the deposition shall not be taken. The matter of

good cause is to be determined by the court in the exercise of judicial discretion. Good cause means a substantial reason - one that affords a legal excuse. Whether or not substantial reasons exist is for the court to determine, as there is no hard and fast rule for determining the question as to what is meant by the term "for good cause shown." The availability of the proposed deponent to testify in court does not constitute good cause to justify the courts order that his deposition shall not be taken. That the witness is unable to attend or testify is one of the grounds when the deposition of a witness may be used in court during the trial. But the same reason cannot be successfully invoked to prohibit the taking of his deposition. The right to take statements and the right to use them in court have been kept entirely distinct. The utmost freedom is allowed in taking depositions; restrictions are imposed upon their use. As a result, there is accorded the widest possible opportunity for knowledge by both parties of all the facts before the trial. Such of this testimony as may be appropriate for use as a substitute for viva voce examination may be introduced at the trial; the remainder of the testimony, having served its purpose in revealing the facts to the parties before trial, drops out of the judicial picture. x x x [U]nder the concept adopted by the new Rules, the deposition serves the double function of a method of discovery - with use on trial not necessarily contemplated - and a method of presenting testimony. Accordingly, no limitations other than relevancy and privilege have been placed on the taking of depositions, while the use at the trial is subject to circumscriptions looking toward the use of oral testimony wherever practicable. The petition was granted and judgment was rendered ordering the trial court to allow Fortune Corporation to take the deposition upon oral examination of Juanito S. Teope. REPUBLIC V SANDIGANBAYAN (G.R. NO. 90478) FACTS: Private respondents are defendants in Civil Case No. 0008 of the Sandiganbayan. The complaint which initiated the action was denominated one "for reconveyance, reversion, accounting, restitution and damages, "and was avowedly filed pursuant to Executive Order No. 14. Tantoco Jr and Santiago filed a MOTION TOSTRIKE OUT SOME PORTIONS OF THE COMPLAINT AND FOR BILL OF PARTICULARS OF OTHER PORTIONS. PCGG filed an opposition thereto and an order by Sandiganbayan in order to expedite proceedings and accommodate the defendants, gave the PCGG forty-five (45) days to expand its complaint to make more specific certain allegations. Tantoco and Santiago then presented a "motion for leave to file interrogatories under Rule 25 of the Rules of Court. PCGG filed a motion to strike out said motion and interrogatories but filed an expanded complaint. Still Tantoco and Santiago reiterated their motion for bill of particulars through a manifestation. SB denied the motion to strike out for bill of particulars (PCGG) and for leave to file interrogatories (Tantoco) holding them to be without legal and factual basis. It declared inter alia the complaint to be sufficiently definite and clear enough, there are adequate allegations which portray the supposed involvement and/or alleged participation of defendant-movants in the transactions described in detail in said

complaint. PCGG submitted to pre trial and was subsequently required to file a pre trial briefs. Tantoco & Santiago filed with SB a pleading for Interrogatories to Plaintiff and Amended Interrogatories to Plaintiff as well as Motion for Production and Inspection of Documents. SB admitted the Amended Interrogatories and granted Motion for Production and Inspection of Documents . Motion for Reconsideration by the PCGG, denied. Petition for Certiorari, claiming that SB acted with grave abuse of discretion amounting to excess of jurisdiction in granting the two pleadings of Tantoco. ISSUE: Is the granting of amended interrogatories and motion for production and inspection of documents allowed? HELD: Yes. Involved in the present proceedings are two of the modes of discovery provided in the Rules of Court: interrogatories to parties, and production and inspection of documents and things. The ascertainment of all the material and relevant facts from the pleadings and from the evidence adduced by the parties, and second, after that determination of the facts has been completed, by the application of the law thereto to the end that the controversy may be settled authoritatively, definitely and finally. Contending party fully and fairly lays before the court the facts in issue and then brushing aside as wholly trivial and indecisive all imperfections of form and technicalities of procedure, asks that justice be done on the merits. It is the duty of each contending party to lay before the court the facts in issue-fully and fairly; i.e., to present to the court all the material and relevant facts known to him, suppressing or concealing nothing, nor preventing another party, by clever and adroit manipulation of the technical rules of pleading and evidence, from also presenting all the facts within his knowledge. Only "ultimate facts" are set forth in the pleadings; hence, only the barest outline of the factual basis of a party's claims or defenses is limned in his pleadings. The law says that every pleading "shall contain in a methodical and logical form, a plain, concise and direct statement of the ultimate facts on which the party pleading relies for his claim or defense, as the case may be, omitting the statement of mere evidentiary facts. "The truth is that "evidentiary matters" may be inquired into and learned by the parties before the trial. Civil trials should not be carried on in the dark; and the Rules of Court make this ideal possible through the deposition-discovery mechanism set forth in Rules 24 to 29. 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. 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, 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. The inquiry extends to all facts which are relevant, whether they be ultimate or evidentiary, excepting only those matters which are privileged. 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. Either party may compel the other to disgorge whatever facts he has in his possession. 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 the law. Petitioner's first contention that the interrogatories in question are defective because they (a) do not name the particular individuals to whom they are propounded, being addressed only to the PCGG, and (b) are "fundamentally the same matters . . (private respondents) sought to be clarified through their aborted Motion for Bill of Particulars" are untenable and quickly disposed of. Petitioner's objections to the interrogatories served on it in accordance with Rule 25 of the Rules of Court cannot be sustained. 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. Interrogatories are addressed only to the PCGG, without naming any specific commissioner or 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. Bill of particulars may elicit only ultimate facts, not so-called evidentiary facts. Interrogatories deal with factual matters which will be part of the PCGG's proof upon trial, is not ground for suppressing them either. A party may . . . call an adverse party or an officer, director, or managing agent of a public or private corporation or of a partnership or association which is an adverse party, and interrogate him by leading questions and contradict and impeach him in all respects.

G.R. No. 156605 August 28, 2007 EDWARD T. MARCELO vs. SANDIGANBAYAN FACTS: The Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCCG) filed a suit of recovery of ill-gotten wealth with damages against Marcelo Fiberglass Corporation, represented by its president, Mr. Edward T. Marcelo, in the Sandiganbayan. PCCG claimed that Marcelo Fiberglass Corporation unlawfully acquired their contract with the Philippine Navy by taking advantage of their relationship with the Marcoses. The contract covered the construction of 55units of 16.46 fiberglass high-speed boats. PCCGs complaint to the Sandiganbayan was amended thrice, wherein in their third amended complaint, PCCG impleaded 2 additional defendants and other 16 corporations claiming that said corporations were dummies of the individual defendants.

Petitioners filed three separate Motions for Summary Judgement. Marcelos motion was based on two major arguments that there is no genuine issue of fact or cause of action against him, and Republics failure and continued refusal to answer the written interrogatories and reply to the request for admission of certain facts set forth in its pre-trial brief. Other petitioner corporations submit their entitlement to a summary judgment on the same grounds invoked by Marcelo in their own pre-trial brief and they further argue that the matters set forth in their written interrogatories are deemed established, more particularly the following: that they are not parties or signatories to the contract and neither involved in obtaining the PN-MFC contract in question; were not involved in and did not do any act in securing the approval of direct payment for the subject boats, in violation of the stipulation in the contract that payment should be made by Confirmed Irrevocable and Divisible Letter of Credit ; did not receive or collect anything from the Republic of the Philippines and there is no document showing they ever received anything; and were not involved in the procurement of the alleged aforementioned foreign loan. Sandiganbayan denied the separate Motions for Summary Judgment filed by Marcelo and MFC, as well as the collective motion for summary judgment interposed by the other defending corporations. Subsequently, petitioners motion for reconsideration was also denied. ISSUE: Whether or not Sandiganbayan committed grave abuse of discretion in denying the separate motion for summary judgment filed by the petitioners? RULING: Republic of the Philippines through PCCG cannot plausibly evade the consequences of its failure to answer interrogatories and requests for admission. Failure to answer interrogatories is a good basis for the dismissal of a complaint unless he can justify such failure or refusal. To ensure the availment of the modes of discovery, the law imposes serious sanctions on the party who refuses to make discovery such as: dismissing the action or proceeding or part thereof; taking the matters inquired into as established in accordance with the claim of the party seeking discovery; refusal to allow disobedient party to support or to oppose designated claims of defenses. Republic of the Philippines through PCCGs failure to respond to MFCs interrogatories, the Republic veritable conceded the regularity of the PN-MFC contract, that no wrongdoing was committed and that the separate personality of MFC was not used for unlawful means to activate the piercing of corporate veil principle. WHEREFORE, Sandiganbayan committed grave abuse of discretion in dismissing the motion for summary judgment and its decision was reversed and set aside. G. R. N0. 102390. February 1, 2002 REY LAADA vs. COURT OF APPEALS

FACTS: The family of the deceased Dr. Hermedez filed a civil case against Nestle, Jesus Alimagno, Francis Santos, Pacifico Galasao, and PC/Capt. Rey Laada, wherein they prayed for the award of indemnity, loss of earnings for the deceased , actual compensation for the destruction of the deceaseds car, moral and exemplary damages, and attorneys fees. Dr. Hermedez died due to intra-thoraic hemorrhage massive, which is due to the severe impact of a vehicular accident. The 16-wheeler truck that hit Dr. Hermedez was owned by Jesus Alimango and was driven by Pacifico Galasco. The truck was loaded with Nestle products. The family of the deceased served the defendants a request for admission of truth of the facts set forth in their complaint and the genuineness of each of the documents appended thereto through their respective counsel. Nestle and Santos in their answer to the request of admission, denied liability for the death of Dr. Hermedez by interposing special and affirmative defences that Belltown Transport Services, their independent trucking and hauling contractor, should assumed liability since they have an agreement stipulating that. They further claimed that the accident happened in the course of an illegal strike and hence, the proximate cause of Hemedez death was the violent assault by the strikers against the truck. They averred that the complaint should be dismissed for failure to implead UFE, its officers and striking members, as indispensable parties. They alleged further that the incident happened outside of Nestles premises and that when they came to know about it, they ordered the lifting of the truck by Nestles own forklift. The delayed unloading of the cargo from the truck thus rested upon Belltowns sole judgment. They set up a cross-claim against Galasao in order that he could reimburse them should they be adjudged liable, and a counterclaim for attorneys fees for what they called an unfounded suit. The family of the deceased then questioned the validity of the answer to their request for admission since it was not the parties themselves that answered their request and they further moved to strike the answer. But the trial court denied their motion and pushed for the full blown trial on the merit where parties could amply support their respective claim. The family sought for reconsideration on that order and seek for permission to amend the complaint to implead other defendants as indispensable parties. The lower court denied the omnibus motion except the prayer to amend the complaint. It stressed that in that particular stage of the proceedings, the court could not make a categorical ruling as to the veracity of the denials made by defendants of certain facts based on immateriality, irrelevancy or for lack of information until after it has considered in a full blown trial all the evidence presented and pertinent to the issue of the case. The Hermedez family sought the review of both Orders of the lower court via a petition for certiorari in the Court of Appeals. The Court of Appeals annulled the lower courts orders and granted the motion to strike the answers in the request for admission and declared each of the matters to be implied admitted and thus remanded the case to the court a quo for proper proceedings. Hence, this consolidated petition for review on certiorari. ISSUES:

Do the parties themselves and not their counsel should personally answer the request for admission? Does the answer filed by their counsel in their behalf be considered as hearsay and has to be strike? RULING: It was unfair and unreasonable for Hermedez Family to expect that Nestle and Santos to answer the requests for admission that they in fact did not personally received. The failure to serve copies of the request for admission directly upon Nestle and Santos themselves suffices to warrant denial of the motion to strike the responses made to the request for admission. Moreover, neither there was a showing that Nestle and Santos did not authorize their respective counsel to file their respective answers in their behalf. Moreover, a party should not be compelled to admit matters of fact already admitted in his pleading and concerning which there was no issue nor should be required to make a second denial of those already denied in his answer to the complaint. A request for admission is not intended to merely reproduce or reiterate the allegations of the requesting partys 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 partys cause of action or defense. 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. Thus, if the request for admission only serves to delay the proceedings by abetting redundancy in the pleadings, the intended purpose for the rule will certainly be defeated. Hermedez familys unwittingly caused the delay of the disposition of the case by moving into a request for admission that only achieved nothing but further delay in the proceedings. WHEREFORE, the consolidated petitions for review on certiorari are GRANTED. The questioned Decision of the Court of Appeals dated July 24, 1991 is SET ASIDE, and the Regional Trial Court of Laguna is ordered to proceed with dispatch in the resolution of Civil Case. G.R. No. 153667, August 11, 2005 AYALA LAND, INC. vs. HON. LUCENITO N. TAGLE FACTS: ASB Reality Corporation alleged that E.M. Ramos and Sons (EMRASON) entered into a Letter Agreement with ASB for the conditional sale of sixty-five percent (65%) of the land located in Dasmarias, Cavite City, for a consideration of Php 400,000,000.00 payable in five installments. ASB, received a letter from the children of Emerito Ramos, Sr., informing them that, they entered into a Contract to Sell said real estate properties with Ayala Land, Inc. (ALI). ASB confirmed the contract of the Ramos children with ALI when it found out that the same was annotated on the Transfer Certificates of Title of the real estate properties in dispute. ASB filed a

complaint before the trial court. ALI, filed its Answer with Compulsory Counterclaim and Cross-claim. Plaintiff ASB subsequently filed a Motion for Leave to take the testimony by deposition upon oral examination of Emerito Ramos, Sr., ASB then obtained the deposition upon oral examination of Emerito Ramos, Sr., on six different occasions. ALI filed a "Motion to Resolve Objections (In deposition proceedings with Omnibus Motion)" on the propriety, admissibility and conformity of the deposition proceedings to the Rules. The trial court, cancelled the cross-examination of Emerito Ramos, Sr. The trial court again directed that the cross-examination of Emerito Ramos, Sr., be scheduled. ALI filed a Manifestation and Motion praying that the date set be cancelled and re-scheduled to another date. The trial court reset the hearing. Emerito Ramos, Sr. died at the age of 92 years old. Plaintiff then filed before the trial court a motion to introduce in evidence his deposition. The motion was opposed by ALI. ASB filed its Reply. ALI thereafter filed its Rejoinder and ASB its Surrejoinder. The trial court issued its Order setting aside the opposition of ALI and admitting in evidence the deposition of Emerito Ramos, Sr. ALI again elevated the case to the Court of Appeals by way of Petition for Review on Certiorari. The Court of Appeals dismissed the petition for lack of merit. ALI filed a Motion for Reconsideration which was opposed by private respondents ASB and EMRASON. The motion was denied in a resolution, hence, this Petition.

ISSUES: Whether or not, the alleged deposition of the witness Emerito M. Ramos, Sr. is admissible under the Rules. RULING: It must be noted that the depositions of Emerito Ramos, Sr., taken on the dates earlier mentioned, were substantially made in accordance with the requirements of the Rules. In fact, in its Petition before the Court of Appeals, ALI confirmed the taking of deposition on said dates and that it was duly represented by its counsel during the proceedings. As to whether the manner by which the deposition was taken faithfully complied with the requirements under the Rules of Court, it is not disputed that the deposition was taken inside the courtroom of the trial court, before the clerk of court. A stenographer was present, tape recorders and a video camera were even utilized to record the proceedings, in the presence of all the opposing counsels of record including ALIs. Thus, the requirements that the deposition has to be sealed, examined and signed by the deponent, and also certified, sealed and signed by the deposition officer would be, to the mind of the court, already superfluous. Strict compliance with the formal requirements of Rule 23 would hold true in cases of depositions taken outside the Court. As intimated earlier, the rules on discovery should not be unduly restricted; otherwise, the perceived advantage of a liberal discovery procedure in ascertaining the truth and expediting the disposal of litigation would be defeated.

It has been repeatedly held that the deposition discovery rules are to be 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 the law, as in the case at bar. G.R. No. 145542, June 4, 2004 ELENA S. ONG vs. HON. FRANCISCO V. MAZO FACTS: Respondents Elvira C. Lanuevo (Lanuevo) and Charito A. Tomilloso (Tomilloso) filed a complaint for damages against petitioner along with Iluminado J. Caramoan (Caramoan) before the Regional Trial Court. The complaint which arose from a vehicular accident whereby a bus owned by petitioner and driven by Caramoan allegedly bumped a jeep owned and driven by respondent Lanuevo, with respondent Tomilloso as her passenger at the time. After petitioner filed her Answer with Counterclaim, and later a motion to dismiss the complaint, respondents filed a motion for leave of court to file an amended complaint which was granted. Subsequently, petitioner served written interrogatories upon respondents and then she filed a "Manifestation and Omnibus Motion" seeking, among other things, an order from the trial court directing respondents to answer the interrogatories. Respondents filed their objection to the motion bearing on the written interrogatories. The trial court denied the motion to compel respondents to answer the interrogatories upon the ground that it constituted a "fishing expedition" which would be more properly ventilated in a pre-trial conference. Following petitioners receipt of said Order, she filed a motion for reconsideration. The motion for reconsideration was denied. After her receipt of the aforesaid Order, petitioner filed with the Court of Appeals a petition captioned as "Petition for Certiorari" assailing the above twin orders of the trial court as having been issued with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction. By the now assailed Resolution, the appellate court dismissed petitioners Petition for Certiorari on the ground that it was belatedly filed. Petitioner moved to reconsider the appellate courts dismissal of her petition, arguing that what was filed was a special civil action for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court, not an appeal, which special civil action was timely brought within the 60-day reglementary period. By Resolution, the appellate court denied petitioners motion for reconsideration. Hence, the present petition. ISSUE: Whether or not, the availment of written interrogatories was proper. RULING:

The appeal is impressed with merit. This Court has long espoused the policy of encouraging the availment of the various modes or instruments of discovery as embodied in Rules 24 to 29 of the Revised Rules of Court. Thus, in Republic v. Sandiganbayan, it held: . . . Indeed it is the purpose and policy of the law that the parties before the trial if not indeed even before the pre-trial should discover or inform themselves of all the facts relevant to the action, not only those known to them individually, but also those known to their adversaries; in other words, the desideratum is that civil trials should not be carried on in the dark; and the Rules of Court make this ideal possible through the deposition-discovery mechanism set forth in Rules 24 to 29. The thrust of the Rules is to even make the availment of the modes of discovery depositions, interrogatories and requests for admissions without much court intervention since leave of court is not necessary to put into motion such modes after an answer to the complaint has been served. The rationale behind the recognition accorded the modes of discovery is that they enable a party to discover the evidence of the adverse party and thus facilitate an amicable settlement or expedite the trial of the case. Thus, to deny a party the liberty to have his written interrogatories answered by his opponent, as what the trial court did, on the premise that the interrogatories were a "fishing expedition," is to disregard the categorical pronouncement in aforementioned case of Republic vs. Sandiganbayan that the time-honored cry of fishing expedition can no longer provide a reason to prevent a party from inquiring into the facts underlying the opposing partys case through the discovery procedures.

Rule 23 G.R. No. 155010, August 16, 2004 JONATHAN LANDOIL INTERNATIONAL CO., INC. vs. Spouses SUHARTO MANGUDADATU and MIRIAM SANGKI MANGUDADATU FACTS: Respondents-Spouses Suharto and Miriam Sangki Mangudadatu filed with the Regional Trial Court a Complaint for damages against Petioner Jonathan Landoil International Co., Inc. (JLI). The petitioner had countered with a Motion to Dismiss; but when this was denied, it filed its Answer. The parties submitted their respective Pre-trial Briefs. Trial proceeded without the participation of petitioner, this led the trial court to declare it in default. Petitioner received a copy of the RTCs Decision. It then filed an Omnibus Motion for a New Trial and Change of Venue. This Motion was deemed submitted for resolution but was eventually denied by the trial court. Alleging that it had yet to receive a copy of an Order resolving the Omnibus Motion for New Trial, petitioner filed a Motion to Quash/Recall Writ of Execution. Its counsels, Attys. Jaime L. Mario, Jr. and Dioscoro G. Peligro, submitted

separate withdrawals of appearance. On the same date, the law firm of Ong Abad Santos & Meneses filed an Entry of Appearance with Supplemental to Motion to Quash/Recall Writ of Execution. Petitioner attached the Affidavits of Attys. Mario and Peligro attesting that they had not yet received a copy of the Order resolving the Omnibus Motion for New Trial. On the same day, petitioner received a Sheriffs Notice, regarding the public auction sale of its properties. By reason of the immediate threat to implement the Writ of Execution, it filed with the CA a Petition for Prohibition seeking to enjoin the enforcement of the Writ until the Resolution of the Motion to Quash. The RTC issued an Order directing respondents to file their written comment on the Motion to Quash and scheduled the hearing. Respondents Vigorous Opposition was served to Petitioner. Then, petitioner personally served counsel for respondents a Notice to Take Deposition Upon Oral Examination of Attys. Mario and Peligro. The Deposition was intended to prove that petitioner had not received a copy of the Order denying the Omnibus Motion for New Trial. The deposition-taking proceeded as scheduled before Atty. Ana PeraltaNazareno, a notary public acting as deposition officer. Separate Notices were sent by Atty. Nazareno to Attys. Mario and Peligro, as witnesses, for them to examine the transcript of their testimonies. On the same date, Atty. Nazareno filed via registered mail a Submission to the RTC attaching (1) a Certification that the witnesses had been present and duly sworn to by her; (2) a transcript bearing their signatures, attesting that it was a true record of their testimonies; (3) a copy of the Notice to Take Deposition delivered to her; and (4) a copy of the Notice signed by respondents counsel. During the hearing on the Motion to Quash, petitioner submitted its (1) Formal Offer of Exhibits, together with the documentary exhibits marked during the deposition-taking; (2) Reply to respondents Vigorous Opposition to the Motion to Quash; and (3) Opposition ad Cautelam to respondents Motion to Strike the Notice to Take Deposition. Petitioner received a copy of the RTCs Resolution, denying the Motion to Quash. Subsequently, petitioner filed with the CA a Petition for Certiorari and Prohibition, seeking to hold in abeyance the Resolution. Petitioner alleged that since it had not received the Order denying its Motion for New Trial, the period to appeal had not yet lapsed. It thus concluded that the judgment, not being final, could not be the subject of a writ of execution. The CA issued the assailed Decision denying JLIs Petition. It ruled that petitioner could no longer avail itself of a deposition under Rule 23 of Rules of Court, since trial had already been terminated. Hence, this Petition. ISSUE: Whether or not, the taking of the Oral Depositions was proper under the circumstances. RULING: Depositions may be used for the trial or for the hearing of a motion or an interlocutory proceeding, under the circumstances specified hereunder: Section 4. Use of Depositions. -- At the trial or upon the hearing of a motion or an interlocutory proceeding, any part or all of a deposition, so far as admissible under

the rules of evidence, may be used against any party who was present or represented at the taking of the deposition or who had due notice thereof, in accordance with any one of the following provisions: (a) Any deposition may be used by any party for the purpose of contradicting or impeaching the testimony of deponent as a witness; (b) The deposition of a party or of anyone who at the time of taking the deposition was an officer, director, or managing agent of a public or private corporation, partnership, or association which is a party may be used by an adverse party for any purpose; (c) The deposition of a witness, whether or not a party, may be used by any party for any purpose if the court finds: (1) that the witness is dead; or (2) that the witness resides at a distance more than one hundred (100) kilometers from the place of trial or hearing, or is out of the Philippines, unless it appears that his absence was procured by the party offering the deposition; or (3) that the witness is unable to attend or testify because of age, sickness, infirmity, or imprisonment; or (4) that the party offering the deposition has been unable to procure the attendance of the witness by subpoena; or (5) upon application and notice, that such exceptional circumstances exist as to make it desirable, in the interest of justice and with due regard to the importance of presenting the testimony of witnesses orally in open court, to allow the deposition to be used; and (d) If only part of a deposition is offered in evidence by a party, the adverse party may require him to introduce all of it which is relevant to the part introduced, and any party may introduce any other parts. The present case involved a circumstance that fell under the above-cited Section 4(c)(2) of Rule 23 -- the witnesses of petitioner in Metro Manila resided beyond 100 kilometers from Sultan Kudarat, the place of hearing. Petitioner offered the depositions in support of its Motion to Quash (the Writ of Execution) and for the purpose of proving that the trial courts Decision was not yet final. As previously explained, despite the fact that trial has already been terminated, a deposition can still be properly taken. The RTC did not totally disregard petitioners depositions. The trial court considered and weighed -- against all other evidence -- that its Order denying the Motion for New Trial filed by petitioner had not been received by the latters counsels. Despite their depositions, petitioner failed to prove convincingly its denial of receipt. HYATT INDUSTRIAL MANUFACTURING CORP. vs. LEY CONSTRUCTION AND DEVELOPMENT CORP. (G.R. No. 147143; March 10, 2006) FACTS: Ley Construction and Development Corporation (LCDC) filed a complaint for specific performance and damages with the RTC of Makati against Hyatt Industrial Manufacturing Corporation (Hyatt) claiming that Hyatt reneged in its obligation to transfer 40% of the pro indiviso share of a real property in Makati in favor of LCDC despite LCDCs full payment of the purchase price of P2,634,000.00; and that Hyatt failed to develop the said property in a joint venture, despite LCDCs payment of 40%

of the pre-construction cost. LCDC filed amended complaints impleading Princeton Development Corporation (Princeton) and Yu He Ching (Yu) President of Hyatt as additional defendants claiming that Hyatt sold the subject property to Princeton in fraud of LCDC and alleging that LCDC paid the purchase price of P2, 634,000.00 to Hyatt through Yu. LCDC filed notices to take the depositions of Yu; Pacita Tan Go, Account Officer of Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC); and Elena Sy, Finance Officer of Hyatt. Hyatt also filed notice to take deposition of Manuel Ley, President of LCDC, while Princeton filed notice to take the depositions of Manuel and Janet Ley. The RTC ordered the deposition-taking to proceed. However, at the scheduled deposition of Elena Sy, 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. The RTC agreed and on the same day ordered all depositions cancelled and pre-trial to take place. LCDC moved for reconsideration which the RTC denied due to the following reasons 1) said depositions will only delay the early termination of the case; 2) had the Court set the case for pre-trial conference and trial thereafter, the case would have been terminated earlier; 3) what the parties would like to elicit from their deponents would probably be elicited at the pre-trial conference; 4) no substantial rights of the parties would be prejudiced, if pre-trial conference is held, instead of deposition. On the scheduled date of the pre-trial, LCDC filed an Urgent Motion to Suspend Proceedings Due to Pendency of Petition for Certiorari in the Court of Appeals (12th Division), which sought to annul the order regarding the cancellation of the deposition-taking. RTC denied plaintiffs motion to suspend proceedings and gave LCDC two (2) options: enter into a pre-trial conference, advising plaintiff that what it would like to obtain at the deposition may be obtained at the pre-trial conference; and, terminate the pre-trial conference and apply for deposition later on. The pre-trial proceeded as scheduled and with the refusal of LCDC to enter into pre-trial, Hyatt, Yu and Princeton moved to declare LCDC non-suited which the RTC granted. For LCDCs failure to enter into pre-trial conference without any valid reason the complaint and the counterclaims were dismissed by the RTC. LCDC filed a motion for reconsideration which was also denied compelling it file an appeal with CA (7th Division). CAs 12th Division denied LCDCs petition for certiorari declaring that the granting of the petition and setting aside of the RTC Orders are manifestly pointless considering that the complaint itself had already been dismissed. Meanwhile CAs 7th Division finds the appeal meritorious and remanded the case to the RTC for further hearing and to proceed with the deposition taking. Hyatt and Princeton filed their respective motions for reconsideration which the CA denied. Hence, 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. RULING: 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 (Section 4, Rule 23, Rules of Court). The rules on discovery should not be unduly restricted; otherwise, the advantage of a liberal discovery procedure in ascertaining the truth and expediting the disposal of litigation would be defeated. Sec. 1, Rule 23 of the 1997 Rules of Court which provides as follows: SECTION 1. Depositions pending action, when may be taken.--- By leave of court after jurisdiction has been obtained over any defendant or over property which is the subject of the action, or without such leave after an answer has been served, the testimony of any person, whether a party or not, may be taken, at the instance of any party, by deposition upon oral examination or written interrogatories. The attendance of witnesses may be compelled by the use of a subpoena as provided in Rule 21. Depositions shall be taken only in accordance with these Rules. The deposition of a person confined in prison may be taken only by leave of court on such terms as the court prescribes. (Emphasis supplied). LCDC complied with the above quoted provision as it made its notice to take depositions after the answers of the defendants have been served, thus, erred in canceling the previously scheduled depositions. While it is true that depositions may be disallowed by trial courts if the examination is conducted in bad faith; or in such a manner as to annoy, embarrass, or oppress the person who is the subject of the inquiry, or when the inquiry touches upon the irrelevant or encroaches upon the recognized domains of privilege, such circumstances, however are absent in the case at bar. The taking of depositions would not cause unnecessary duplicity even though the intended deponents shall also be called as witnesses during trial, as explained in Fortune Corp. v. Court of Appeals: The availability of the proposed deponent to testify in court does not constitute good cause to justify the courts order that his deposition shall not be taken. That the witness is unable to attend or testify is one of the grounds when the deposition of a witness may be used in court during the trial. But the same reason cannot be successfully invoked to prohibit the taking of his deposition. x x x Under the concept adopted by the new Rules, the deposition serves the

double function of a method of discovery - with use on trial not necessarily contemplated - and a method of presenting testimony. Accordingly, no limitations other than relevancy and privilege have been placed on the taking of depositions, while the use at the trial is subject to circumscriptions looking toward the use of oral testimony wherever practicable. In Republic v. Sandiganbayan the Court held: 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 opponents 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. The trial court erred in forcing LCDC to choose only from the options given by the trial court and in dismissing the complaint upon LCDCs refusal to choose either of the two. The information LCDC seeks to obtain through the depositions, may not be obtained at the pre-trial conference, as the said deponents are not parties to the pre-trial conference. As also pointed out by the CA: x x x To unduly restrict the modes of discovery during trial, would defeat the very purpose for which it is intended, as a pre-trial device. By then, the issues would have been confined only on matters defined during pre-trial. The importance of the modes of discovery cannot be gainsaid in this case in view of the nature of the controversy involved and the conflicting interest claimed by the parties. 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. Further, in Republic v. Sandiganbayan the Court explained that: The truth is that evidentiary matters may be inquired into and learned by the parties before the trial. Indeed, it is the purpose and policy of the law that the parties - before the trial if not indeed even before the pre-trial - should discover or inform themselves of all the facts relevant to the action, not only those known to them individually, but also those known to their adversaries; in other words, the desideratum is that civil trials should not be carried on in the dark; and the Rules of Court make this ideal possible through the deposition- discovery mechanism set forth in Rules 24 to 29. The experience in other jurisdictions has been the ample discovery before trial, under proper regulation, accomplished one of the most necessary ends of modern

procedure; it not only eliminates unessential issues 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. 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 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. In this case, the information sought to be obtained through the depositions of Elena and Pacita are necessary to fully equip LCDC in determining what issues will be defined at the pre-trial. Without such information before pre-trial, LCDC will be forced to prosecute its case in the dark --- the very situation which the rules of discovery seek to prevent. Indeed, the rules on discovery seek to make trial less a game of blind mans bluff and more a fair contest with the basic issues and facts disclosed to the fullest practicable extent. Petition is denied for lack of merit. SALES vs. SABINO FACTS: Respondent Cyril A. Sabino filed an amended complaint for damages against, among others, herein petitioner Jowel Sales, driver of the vehicle involved in the accident which ultimately caused the death of respondents son. Before any responsive pleading could be filed, respondent, as plaintiff a quo, notified the defendants that he will take the deposition of one Buaneres Corral before the Clerk of Court, RTC- Pasig City. On December 27, 1995 and resumed on January 3, 1996, the deposition on oral examination of Buaneres Corral was taken before the Clerk of Court of Pasig, in the presence and with the active participation of petitioners counsel, who even lengthily cross-examined the deponent. In the course of trial, respondent had the deposition of Buaneres Corral marked as her Exhibits DD and EE. Upon conclusion of her evidentiary presentation, respondent made a Formal Offer of Exhibits, among which are Exhibits DD and EE. Likewise offered in evidence as Exhibit BB is a certification from the Bureau of Immigration attesting to the May 28, 1996 departure for abroad of Buaneres Corral. Petitioner opposed the admission of Exhs. DD and EE and even asked that they be expunged from the records on the ground that the jurisdictional requirements for their admission under Section 4, Rule 23 of the Rules of Court, were not complied with. However, the trial court admitted, among other evidence, respondents Exhibits DD, EE and BB. With his motion for reconsideration having been denied by the court in its subsequent order, petitioner went on certiorari to the Court of Appeals, imputing grave abuse of discretion on the part of the trial court in admitting in evidence the deposition in question (Exhibits DD and EE). The

appellate court upheld the findings of the trial court. Hence, this petition. ARGUMENTS: It is petitioners posture that none of the above conditions exists in this case to justify the admission in evidence of respondents Exhibits DD and EE. Hence, it was error for the appellate court to have upheld the admission thereof by the trial court. Petitioner argues that certification from the Bureau of Immigration merely proves the fact of Corral having left the country on the date therein mentioned. It does not, however, establishes that he has not returned since then and is unavailable to be present in court to personally testify. Thus, petitioner contends that, while depositions may be used as evidence in court proceedings, they are generally not meant to be a substitute for the actual testimony in open court of a party or witness. Stated a bit differently, a deposition is not to be used when the deponent is at hand. Indeed, any deposition offered during a trial to prove the facts therein set out, in lieu of the actual oral testimony of the deponent in open court, may be opposed and excluded on the ground of hearsay. ISSUES: Whether or not the requirements of Section 4, Rule 24 (now Section 3) of the Revised Rules of Court were satisfied by the respondent when it presented a certification attesting to the fact that deponent has left the country but silent as to whether or not at the time his deposition was offered in evidence is in the Philippines. Whether or not the petitioner in cross-examining the deponent during the taking of his deposition waived any and all objections in connection therewith. RULING: The petition lacks merit. With regard to the first issue, depositions may be used without the deponent being called to the witness stand by the proponent, provided the existence of certain conditions is first satisfactorily established. Five (5) exceptions for the admissibility of a deposition are listed in Section 4, Rule 23 (now Section 3), of the Rules of Court. Among these is when the witness is out of the Philippines. The trial court had determined that deponent Bueneres Corral was abroad when the offer of his deposition was made. This factual finding of absence or unavailability of witness to testify deserves respect, having been adequately substantiated. As it were, the certification by the Bureau of Immigration Exh. BBprovides that evidentiary support. It has been said to be customary for courts to accept statements of parties as to the unavailability of a witness as a predicate to the use of depositions. Had deponent Buaneres Corral indeed returned to the Philippines subsequent to his departure, petitioner could have presented evidence to show that such was the case. As it is, however, the petitioner does not even assert the return as a fact, only offering it as a possibility since no contrary proof had been adduced. As to the second issue of whether or not petitioner is estopped from objecting to the use of Corrals deposition as part of respondents evidence is really no longer determinative of the outcome of the case. Suffice it to state that, as a rule, the inadmissibility of testimony taken by deposition is anchored on the ground that such testimony is hearsay, i.e., the party against whom it is offered has no opportunity to cross-examine the deponent at the time his testimony is offered. However, the act of

cross-examining the deponent during the taking of the deposition cannot, without more, be considered a waiver of the right to object to its admissibility as evidence in the trial proper. In participating, therefore, in the taking of the deposition, but objecting to its admissibility in court as evidence, petitioner did not assume inconsistent positions. He is not, thus, estopped from challenging the admissibility of the deposition just because he participated in the taking thereof. Moreover, Section 29, Rule 23 of the Rules of Court provides that, while errors and irregularities in depositions as to notice, qualifications of the officer conducting the deposition, and manner of taking the deposition are deemed waived if not objected to before or during the taking of the deposition, objections to the competency of a witness or the competency, relevancy, or materiality of testimony may be made for the first time at the trial and need not be made at the time of the taking of the deposition, unless they could be obviated at that point. Lastly, certiorari will not lie against an order admitting or rejecting a deposition in evidence, the remedy being an appeal from the final judgment. For this singular reason alone, the appellate court could have had already dismissed herein petitioners invocation of its certiorari jurisdiction. JONATHAN D. CARIAGA, petitioner, vs. COURT OF APPEALS, PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES and DAVAO LIGHT and POWER CO., respondents. FACTS : JONATHAN CARIAGA was convicted of the crime of QUALIFIED THEFT in the Trial Court. On appeal, the Court of Appeals affirmed the decision of the trial court. One of the witnesses of prosecution, Ricardo Cariaga did not appear on open court and presented only sworn statement. The Court of Appeals reasoned out that that the sworn statement of Ricardo Cariaga who did not testify in open court during the criminal proceedings against petitioner is admissible in evidence and properly considered by the trial court as this was annexed as part of DLPCs position paper submitted to the National Labor Relations Commission in Case No. RAB-11-05-0030889, a complaint filed by the accused for illegal dismissal, as an exception to the hearsay rule under Section 47, Rule 130 of the Revised Rules of Court. The petitioner argued that the Court of Appeals erred in admitting in evidence the sworn statement of Ricardo Cariaga without him taking the witness stand since it violates the fundamental right of the accused to meet the witnesses against him face to face. Hence, Ricardo Cariagas sworn statement is not admissible under Section 1(f), Rule 115 of the Revised Rules of Court for failure of the prosecution to comply with the strict requirements of said rule, to wit: a] Ricardo Cariaga did not orally testify in the labor case; b] Inability to testify must be for a grave cause almost amounting to death and the prosecution must exhaust all available remedies to secure the presence of its witnesses at the trial; c] That the former proceeding must also be criminal in nature. ISSUE :

WHETHER OR NOT, the sworn statement of Ricardo Cariaga which was attached to DLPCs position paper in the labor case filed by him against it for illegal dismissal should be admitted as evidence ? RULING : NO. In Toledo, Jr. vs. People, this Court emphasized that the preconditions set forth in Section 47, Rule 130 for the admission of testimony given by a witness out of court must be strictly complied with and that there is more reason to adopt such a strict rule in the case of Section 1(f) of Rule 115, for apart from being a rule of evidence with additional specific requisites to those prescribed by Section 47, more importantly, said provision is an implementing translation of the constitutional right of an accused person to meet the witnesses (against him) face to face. In Tan vs. Court of Appeals,[8] it was ruled that unable to testify or for that matter unavailability, does not cover the case of witnesses who were subpoenaed but did not appear. It may refer to inability proceeding from a grave cause, almost amounting to death, as when the witness is old and has lost the power of speech. It does not refer to tampering of witnesses. The records reveal that witness Ricardo Cariaga was subpoenaed only once and did not appear to testify in the criminal case against petitioner. Concededly, this witness was not deceased or out of the Philippines. In fact, the private prosecutor informed the court that he is in Sultan Kudarat, and previously, his wife informed the sheriff that he was in Sultan Kudarat which is in Cotabato, a mere four hours drive from Davao City. Against this backdrop, can this witness be categorized as one that cannot be found despite due diligence, unavailable or unable to testify. We are inclined to rule in the negative and reverse the Court of Appeals on this point. It must be emphasized that this rule is strictly complied with in criminal cases, hence, mere sending of subpoena and failure to appear is not sufficient to prove inability to testify. The Court must exercise its coercive power to arrest. In the instant case, no efforts were exerted to have the witness arrested which is a remedy available to a party-litigant in instances where witnesses who are duly subpoenaed fail to appear. On this score alone, the sworn statement of Ricardo Cariaga should not have been admitted as evidence for the prosecution, and we shall no longer delve into the other aspects of this rule. DULAY VS. DULAY G.R. No. 158857 November 11, 2005 FACTS: The instant petition seeks the review of the Decision dated 30 May 2002 and Resolution dated 28 May 2003 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 66993 entitled Pfeger R. Dulay v. Hon. Alicia B. Gonzales-Decano, etc. and Rodrigo S. Dulay. In a complaint for recovery of his bank deposit with prayer for a writ of attachment and damages, Rodrigo S. Dulay, a naturalized American citizen, alleged that upon his petition sometime in October of 1996, his brother Godofredo S. Dulay, Sr. and nephew Pfeger R. Dulay immigrated to the United States of America. Having

nurtured affection, love and trust for his nephew Pfeger, Rodrigo opened a trust account with the Bank of Boston on 27 January 1997 with a deposit of Two Hundred Thirty Thousand U.S. Dollars ($230,000.00), naming Pfeger as trustee thereof. Five months later, Pfeger left Rodrigos house allegedly to join his girlfriend in California. Rodrigo learned only later that Pfeger actually went back to the Philippines. Upon knowing this, Rodrigo verified the status of his account with the Bank of Boston, and to his shock and dismay discovered that Pfeger had already emptied the account. Rodrigo additionally claimed that Pfeger used the money from said account to buy several vehicles, loan money to several people, open bank accounts for his siblings, and buy a house and lot and jewelry for his wife. Whatever was left of the account was allegedly transferred to Pfegers father, Godofredo Respondent claimed that the money deposited in the name of Pfeger was his own money and not Rodrigos. Rodrigo filed a petition for the issuance of letters rogatory in order to get the depositions of several witnesses residing abroad. Petitioners, on the other hand, moved to be allowed to file cross-examination questions to respondents written interrogatories, which the trial court granted. Meanwhile, petitioners filed a motion to dismiss the complaint on the ground of failure to prosecute. This was however denied by the trial court, which instead allowed Rodrigo to complete his depositions. As it turned out, however, the depositions could not be taken before the Clerk of Court of Massachusetts, but were taken instead before a notary public in New York. Thereafter, petitioners filed their Motion Reiterating Motion to Dismiss Dated July 10, 2000, which the trial court denied in its 28 September 2000 Order. In the same Order, the trial court directed respondent to have the written and cross interrogatories taken by the notary public authenticated by the consulate. Thus, respondent filed a motion to withdraw the answers so that he could have them authenticated by a Philippine consul in the United States. On 10 January 2001, petitioners filed an Omnibus Motion, praying that the written interrogatories be declared inadmissible and reiterating their prayer for the dismissal of the complaint, which the lower court denied. Anent the objection to the admission of the answers to the written interrogatories, the trial court stated that the deposition taken before the Notary Public from New York, whose authority was duly certified by the Philippine Consul in New York, substantially complied with the Rules of Court. Thus, on 31 August 2001, the trial court ordered the admission of the assailed documents. Petitioners moved for the reconsideration of the order but the motion was denied. ISSUES: Whether or not the Court of Appeals erred when it refused to dismiss the case at the trial court level despite respondents failure to prosecute his case with reasonable diligence Whether or not the Court of Appeals erred when it ruled that the documents were taken in substantial compliance with the directive of the trial court and whether it is in violation of Sections 11,12, and 14 of Rule 23 of the Rules of Court RULING: Deposition is chiefly a mode of discovery, the primary function of which is to

supplement the pleadings for the purpose of disclosing the real points of dispute between the parties and affording an adequate factual basis during the preparation for trial. It may be taken with leave of court after jurisdiction has been obtained over any defendant or over property that is the subject of the action; or, without such leave, after an answer has been served. A partys right to avail itself of this procedure 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 the law. Nevertheless, the use of discovery procedures is directed to the sound discretion of the trial courts, which, in general, are given wide latitude in granting motions for discovery in order to enable the parties to prepare for trial or otherwise to settle the controversy prior thereto Respondent cannot be faulted for the resultant delay brought about by this circumstance. Neither can the trial court be faulted for allowing the admission of the depositions taken not in strict adherence to its original directive, nor for directing the petitioner to have the depositions authenticated. After all, while a court had the authority to entertain a discovery request, it is not required to provide judicial assistance thereto. This reality was recognized by the trial court when it ordered respondent to have the questioned depositions authenticated by the Philippine consulate. Indeed, refusing the allowance of the depositions in issue would be going directly against the purpose of taking the depositions in the first place, that is, the disclosure of facts, which are relevant to the proceedings in court. More importantly, the Court finds that respondent substantially complied with the requirements for depositions taken in foreign countries. In our jurisdiction, depositions in foreign countries may be taken: (a) on notice before a secretary of embassy or legation, consul general, consul, vice consul, or consular agent of the Republic of the Philippines; (b) before such person or officer as may be appointed by commission or under letters rogatory; or (c) before any person authorized to administer oaths as stipulated in writing by the parties. While letters rogatory are requests to foreign tribunals, commissions are directives to officials of the issuing jurisdiction. Leave of court is not required when the deposition is to be taken before a secretary of embassy or legation, consul general, consul, vice-consul or consular agent of the Republic of the Philippines and the defendants answer has already been served. However, if the deposition is to be taken in a foreign country where the Philippines has no secretary of embassy or legation, consul general, consul, viceconsul or consular agent, it may be taken only before such person or officer as may be appointed by commission or under letters rogatory. In the instant case, the authentication made by the consul was a ratification of the authority of the notary public who took the questioned depositions. The deposition was, in effect, obtained through a commission, and no longer through letters rogatory. It must be noted that this move was even sanctioned by the trial court by virtue of its Order dated 28 September 2000. With the ratification of the depositions in issue, there is no more impediment to their admissibility. The ends of justice are reached not only through the speedy disposal of cases, but more importantly, through a meticulous and comprehensive evaluation of the merits of the case. The parties right to be given full opportunity to ventilate their cases should not be hindered by a strict adherence to technicalities. After all, as this Court has so often enunciated, rules of procedure are not inflexible tools designed to hinder or delay, but to facilitate and promote the administration of justice. A strict and rigid application of rules, resulting in technicalities that tend to frustrate rather than promote substantial justice, must be avoided.

WHEREFORE, premises considered, the petition is DENIED. petitioners. SO ORDERED.

Costs against

American Airlines vs. CA (GR 116044-45, 9 March 2000) FACTS: Before us is a petition for review of the decision dated December 24, 1993 rendered by the Court of Appeals in the consolidated cases docketed as CA-G.R. SP nos. 30946 and 31452. Democrito Mendoza purchased from Singapore Airlines in Manila conjunction tickets for ManilaSingapore-Athens-Larnaca-Rome-Turin-Zurich-Geneva-CopenhagenNew York. American Airlines was not a participating airline in any of the segments in the itinerary under the said conjunction tickets. In Geneva, Mendoza decided to forego his trip to Copenhagen and to go straight to New York and in the absence of a direct flight under his conjunction tickets from Geneva to New York, Mendoza on 7 June 1989 exchanged the unused portion of the conjunction ticket for a one-way ticket from Geneva to New York from American Airlines. American Airlines issued its own ticket to Mendoza in Geneva and claimed the value of the unused portion of the conjunction ticket from the IATA clearing house in Geneva. In September 1989, Mendoza filed an action for damages before the RTC Cebu for the alleged embarrassment and mental anguish he suffered at the Geneva Airport when American Airlines s security officers prevented him from boarding the plane, detained him for about an hour and allowed him to board the plane only after all the other passengers have boarded. American Airlines filed a motion to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction of Philippine courts to entertain the said proceedings under Art. 28 (1) of the Warsaw Convention. The trial court denied the motion, holding that the suit may be brought in the Philippines under the pool partnership agreement among the IATA members, which include Singapore Airlines and American Airlines, wherein the members act as agents of each other in the issuance of tickets to those who may need their services; and that the contract of carriage perfected in Manila between Mendoza and Singapore Airlines binds American Airlines as an agent of Singapore Airlines and considering that American Airlines has a place of business in Manila, the third option of the plaintiff under the Warsaw Convention. The order of denial was elevated to the Court of Appeals which affirmed the ruling of the trial court. Hence the petition for review. ISSUES: Whether or not the trial court lack jurisdiction under Section 28(1) of the Warsaw Convention in SP no. 30946 Whether or not the trial court is correct in ordering to strike off from the record the deposition of its security officer taken in Geneva, Switzerland for failure of the said security officer to answer the cross interrogatories propounded by Mendoza I

S.P. no. 31452 RULING: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the appellate court in CA-GR SP 30946, and ordered the case remanded to the court of origin for further proceedings. The Warsaw Convention to which the Republic of the Philippines is a party and which has the force and effect of law in this country applies to all international transportation of persons, baggage or goods performed by an aircraft gratuitously or for hire.[5] As enumerated in the Preamble of the Convention, one of the objectives is "to regulate in a uniform manner the conditions of international transportation by air". The Supreme Court set aside the decision of the appellate court in CA-GR SP 31452. The deposition of American Airlines security officer is reinstated as part of the evidence. HEIRS OF PEDRO PASAG VS. PAROCHA ET. AL GR NO. 155483 April 27, 2007 FACTS: An action for Declaration of Nullity of Document and Title and Recovery of Possession and Ownership was filed by Petitioners against Spouses Lorenzo and Florentina Parocha. Petitioners alleged a share over three (3) properties owned by respondents, which formed part of the estate of petitioners deceased grandparents, Benito and Florentina Pasag Petitioners averred that their grandparents died intestate, thus leaving behind all their properties to their eight (8) children. However, Severino, the predecessor of the respondents, claimed and affidavit of self-adjudication that he is the sole, legal, and compulsory heir of Benito and Florentina Pasag. Thereafter, Severino executed deed of absolute sale over the said properties in favor of his daughter. Petitioners during trial were given ten (10) days to submit their formal offer of documentary exhibits. However, petitioners failed to submit the said pleading within the required period. The trial court considered such as a waiver of their right to make a formal offer of evidence. The Court of Appeals affirmed the decision of the trial court. ISSUE: Whether or not there was waiver of the right to make a formal offer of evidence. RULING: The Supreme Court denied the petition. The Rules of Court provides that the court shall consider no evidence which has not been formally offered. A formal offer is necessary because judges are mandated to rest their findings of facts and their judgment only and strictly upon the evidence offered by the parties at the trial. Its SPOUSES LORENZO AND FLORENTINA

function is to enable the trial judge to know the purpose or purposes for which the proponent is presenting the evidence. On the other hand it allows opposing parties to examine the evidence and object to its admissibility. Failure to submit within the considerable period of time is considered a waiver. Parties should obtain, gather, collate, and list all their respective pieces of evidence-whether testimonial, documentary, or object-even prior to the preliminary conference before the clerk of court or at the latest before the scheduled pre-trial conference. Otherwise, pieces of evidence not identified or marked during the pretrial proceedings are deemed waived and rendered inutile. The parties should strictly adhere to the principle of laying ones cards on the table. Thus, the trial court is bound to consider only the testimonial evidence presented and exclude the documents not offered. Documents which may have been identified and marked as exhibits during pre-trial or trial but which were not formally offered in evidence cannot in any manner be treated as evidence. Neither can such unrecognized proof be assigned any evidentiary weight and value. It must be stressed that there is a significant distinction between identification of documentary evidence and its formal offer. Rule 26 [G.R. No. 125383. July 2, 2002.] FORTUNATA N. DUQUE vs. COURT OF APPEALS FACTS: Petitioner Duque filed a complaint before the RTC of Valenzuela alleging that: respondents spouses Enrico and Edna Bonifacio negotiated with her certain checks in exchange for cash in the total amount of Two Hundred Seventy Thousand Pesos (P270,000.00); however, upon presentation of the checks on their respective dates of maturity, the same were dishonored. In their Answers, the respondents spouses specifically denied the allegations. Respondents dispute the true amount of their total liability to the respective petitioners as alleged in their separate complaints, claiming that "they do not owe that much" to either of them. The RTC issued a pre-trial order and petitioners filed a Request for Admission and furnished to counsel for private respondents, specifically requesting that they admit that: 1) they negotiated with plaintiffs for valuable consideration the checks annexed to the respective complaints; 2) defendant Edna M. Bonifacio signed separate promissory notes dated November 23, 1987, acknowledging that she is indebted to plaintiff Duque in the sum of Two Hundred Seventy Thousand Pesos (P270,000.00) and to plaintiff Valenzuela Four Hundred Thirty Two Thousand Pesos (P432,000.00), respectively; and 3) the plaintiffs in the two cases sent letters of demand to the defendants both dated November 28, 1987 which the latter received on December 5, 1987. Respondents fail to answer to the aforementioned request. The RTC held that "For failure of the defendants to make/submit sworn statement either denying

specifically the matters of which admission is requested or the reasons why they cannot truthfully either admit or deny those matters as required in Sections 1 and 2 of Rule 26 of the Rules of Court, upon motion of plaintiffs through counsel, the matters of which admission is requested are considered admitted and ruled in favor of plaintiff. Dissatisfied, the private respondents went to the Court of Appeals which ruled in favor of respondents on the grounds that, the matters of which admission by the appellants is being sought in the appellees' separate requests for admission are, or pertain to those already denied by the former in their respective Answers to the two Complaints filed against them; the lower court failed to appreciate the fact that the requests for admission in question were filed in court and not served directly on the appellants, as required in Section 1 of Rule 26; appellant's counsel were served copies of said requests. Hence the petition for review.

ISSUES: Whether or not the failure of the private respondents to respond to the request for admission by the petitioners is tantamount to an implied admission under Sections 1 and 2, Rule 26 of the Rules of Court; Whether or not there was personal service of the request on private respondents. RULING: The SC upheld the decision of the CA. Rule 26 of the Revised Rules of Court seeks to obtain admissions from the adverse party regarding the genuineness of relevant documents or relevant matters of fact through requests for admission to enable a party to discover the evidence of the adverse side thereby facilitating an amicable settlement of the case or expediting the trial of the same. However, if the request for admission only serves to delay the proceedings by abetting redundancy in the pleadings, the intended purpose for the rule will certainly be defeated. In this case, the Supreme Court held that to require an admission of matters even though they were already denied by the respondent spouses in their Answers would be superfluous. As expounded by this Court in Po vs. Court of Appeals: "A party should not be compelled to admit matters of fact already admitted by his pleading and concerning which there is no issue (Sherr vs. East, 71 A2d, 752, Terry 260, cited in 27 C.J.S. 91), nor should he be required to make a second denial of those already denied in his answer to the complaint. 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. Unless it serves that purpose, it is, as correctly observed by the Court of Appeals, 'pointless, useless' and 'a mere redundancy.' The Supreme Court further held that the summary judgment rendered by the RTC has no legal basis to support it. The general rule that all notices must be served upon

counsel and not upon the party cannot apply where the law expressly provides that notice must be served upon a definite person. In such cases, service made directly upon the person mentioned in the law and upon no other in order that the notice be valid. Consequently, the requests for admission made by petitioners were not validly served and therefore, respondent spouses cannot deemed to have admitted the truth of the matters upon which admission were requested. WHEREFORE, we DENY the petition and AFFIRM the decision of the Court of Appeals. DBP VS CA FACTS: On January 1977, Irene Canadalla obtained a loan on the amount of P 100, 000.00 from DBP. On January 19, 1977, a deed of real estate mortgage over two parcels of land was executed, covered with TCT no. T- 7609 and OCT n0. P- 4226. On August 10, 1979, another loan was obtained on the amount of P 150, 000.00 and secured by the same parcels of land plus a third one covered by OCT no.P-6679. Cadalla, however failed to pay her obligation which prompted DBP to extrajudicially foreclosed the properties, and sold to them at public auction, evidence with Certificate of Sale and registered on January 7, 1990.

She redeemed the property covered by TCT no. T- 7609 within one year. However, the two others which can be redeemed six years from Jan. 17, 1990, were only subjected for redemption on October 5, 1995 for the amount of P1.5M, but DBP countered that the redemption price was P 1, 927,729.50. Irene Canadalla assigned her right to redeem to her daughter Rosalinda Canadalla- Go. Go failed to redeem, and DBP consolidated its titles to other properties and a new certificates of title were issued in its name. On July 8, 1996, Go filed before RTC a Supplemental Complaint,to redeem the foreclosed properties and further filed a Request for Admission by Adverse Party, after DBP filed its answer but before trial.

During the hearing Go objected to DBPs comment, reasoning that it was not under oath as required by Sec. 2, Rule 26 of RC, and that it failed to state the reasons for the admission or denial of the matters.

DBP manifested that:

The statements, allegations and documents contained in the Request for Admission as substantially the same as those in the Supplemental Compliant.

They had already been either specifically denied or admitted by the DBP in its answer The reasons for the denial or admission had been specifically stated therein.

RTC , granted Gos motion. DBP, filed before CA a petition for Certiorari after its MR was denied, but the same was dismissed by CA for lack of merit. DBPs MR again was dismissed. Hence this case. ISSUE: Whether matters requested to be admitted under Rule 26 of RC- which are mere reiterations of the allegations in the compliant and are specifically denied in the answer- may be deemed impliedly admitted on the ground that the response thereto is not under oath. RULING: NO.

In the case of Concrete Aggregates Co. vs. CA, where Po Doctrine was reiterated, SC ruled that where the factual allegations in the complaint are the very same allegation set forth in the request for admission and have already been specifically denied or otherwise dealt with in the answer, a response to the request is no longer required . It becomes, therefore unnecessary to dwell on the issue of the propriety of an unsworn response to the request for admission. The reason is obvious, a request for admission that merely reiterates the allegations in an earlier pleading is inappropriate under Rule 26 of the RC which, as a mode of discovery, contemplates of interrogatories that would clarify and tend to shed light on the truth and falsify of the allegations in the pleading. Rule 26 does not refer to a mere reiteration of what has already been alleged in the pleadings. Even assuming that a reply to the request is needed, it is undisputed that DBP filed its Comment either admitting or specifically denying again the matters sought to be admitted and stating the reasons therefore. That the Comment was not under oath is not a substantive, but merely a formal, defect which can be excused in the interest of justice conformably to the well- entrenched doctrine that all pleadings should be liberally construed as to the substantial justice. Consequently, the DBP cannot be deemed to have impliedly admitted the matters set forth in the Request for Admission for the reason that its Comment was not under oath. BAY VIEW HOTEL, INC VS. KER & CO. LTD., AND PHOENIX ASSURANCE CO., LTD

FACTS: On January, 1958 Bay View Hotel( Bay), the lessee and operator of Manila Hotel, secured a fidelity guarantee bond for its accountable employees against act of fraud and dishonesty from Ker & Co, Ltd (Ker). Ker is the Philippine general agent of Phoenix Assurance Co., ltd (Phoenix) a foreign corporation duly license to do insurance business in the Philippines. Bays bonded employee, Tomas E. Ablaza, acting his capacity as cashier, incurred a cash shortage and unremitted collections in the amount of P42, 490.95. Bay then claimed for payment from Ker for the fidelity guarantee bond however, the latter denied and refused indemnification and payment. In consequence, on August 30, 1965, Bay filed a complaint against Ker. claim: In its answer, Ker raised the ff. reasons as its justification for denying the said o o Non- compliance with the conditions stipulated in the insurance policy. Non- presentation of evidence regarding the various charges of dishonesty and misrepresentation against Ablaza. Non- production of the documents to prove the alleged loss. That Ker was merely an agent and as such it was not liable under the policy.

o o

On June 22, 1966, Ker Request for Admission of the ff. facts:

On Feb. 14, 1967, the Bay applied to the Phoenix, for a fidelity guarantee bond through a proposal form, true copy of which is annexed Such a policy was actually issued on January 22, 1958, by Phoenix, in favor of Bay and was renewed from time to time with amendments. A true copy of the policy as it finally stood at the time of the alleged defalcation This claim was file by Bay, under this policy was denied on behalf of the Phoenix, by letter dated 8th June, 1965 sent to x C hereof.

Bay failed to answer the Request for Admission within the period prescribed by the rules. Ker filed a Motion to Dismiss on affirmative Defense- insisting that under Sec 2 of Rule 26 of RC, Bay was deemed to have impliedly admitted each of the matters enumerated in the Request for Admission, it followed that the proper party in interest against whom Bay have a claim was the Phoenix (principal) and not the agent. Bay then filed an opposition, arguing that the proper remedy is to amend

and not to dismiss.

On August 1, 1966, Bay then filed a Motion for Leave to Admit Amended Complaint, impleading therewith Phoenix as party- defendant and in said date, Ker and Phoenix filed their joint answer to amend the complaint. Ker then filed a Motion for Summary Judgment on August 4, 1966, which was granted thereby, the court ordered the dismissal of the case on its order November 4, 1966. ISSUE: Whether lower court erred and acted with grave abuse of discretion in extending the legal effects, if any, of the Request for Admission filed by Ker to Phoenix which was not a party- defendant at the time said Request was filed and for whom no similar request was never filed. RULING: NO. Admission is in the nature of evidence and its legal effects were already part of the records of the case and therefore could be availed of by any party even by one subsequently impleaded. The amendment of the complaint per se cannot set aside the legal effects of the request for admission since its materiality has not been affected by the amendment. If a fact is admitted to be true at any stage of the proceedings, it is not stricken out through the amendment of the complaint. To allow a party to alter the legal effects of the request for admission by the mere amendment of a pleading would constitute a dangerous and undesirable precedent. Rule 27 G.R. No. 164805 SOLIDBANK CORPORATION, NOW KNOWN AS METROPOLITAN BANK AND TRUST COMPANY - versus GATEWAY ELECTRONICS CORPORATION FACTS: In May and June 1997, Gateway Electronics Corporation (Gateway) obtained from Solidbank Corporation (Solidbank) four foreign currency denominated loans to be used as working capital for its manufacturing operations. The loans were covered by promissory notes (PNs). Two (out of four) PNs were secured by assignment of proceeds of Gateways Back-end Services Agreement dated June 25, 2000 with Alliance Semiconductor Corporation (Alliance).

Gateway failed to comply with its loan obligations, which already amounted to US$1,975,835.58 by January 31, 2000. After Solidbanks numerous demands to pay, which were not heeded by Gateway, Solidbank filed a Complaint for collection of sum of money against Gateway on February 21, 2000. On October 11, 2000, on the basis of an information received from Mr. David Eichler, Chief Financial Officer of Alliance, that Gateway has already received from Alliance the proceeds/payment of the Back-end Services Agreement, Solidbank filed a Motion for Production and Inspection of Documents. The pertinent portions of the motion read: xxx 8. Therefore, plaintiffs request that this Honorable Court Order requiring defendant GEC, through its Treasurer/Chief Officer, Chief Accountant, Comptroller or any such officer, before this Honorable Court for inspection and copying the documents: issue an Financial to bring following

a) The originals, duplicate originals and copies of all documents pertaining to, arising from, in connection with or involving the Back-end Services Agreement of defendant GEC and Alliance Semiconductors; b) The originals, duplicate originals and copies of all books of account, financial statements, receipts, checks, vouchers, invoices, ledgers and other financial/accounting records and documents pertaining to or evidencing financial and money transactions arising from, in connection with or involving the Back-end Services Agreement of defendant GEC and Alliance Semiconductors; and c) The originals, duplicate originals and copies of all documents from whatever source pertaining to the proceeds/payments received by GEC from Alliance Semiconductors. xxx On January 30, 2001, the trial court issued an Order granting the motion for production and inspection of documents. Gateway was able to present the invoices representing the billings sent by Gateway to Alliance in relation to the Back-end Services Agreement. On December 13, 2001, unsatisfied with said documents, Solidbank filed a motion to cite Gateway and its responsible officers in contempt for their refusal to produce the documents subject of the order. In opposition thereto, Gateway claimed that they had complied with the Order and that the billings sent to Alliance are the only documents that they have pertaining to the Back-end Services Agreement. On April 15, 2002, the trial court issued an Order denying the motion to cite Gateway for contempt. However, the trial court chastised Gateway for exerting no diligent efforts to produce the documents evidencing the payments received by Gateway from Alliance in relation to the Back-end Services Agreement. It ordered, in accordance with Sec. 3(a), Rule 29 of the Rules of Court, that the matters regarding the contents of the documents sought to be produced but which were not otherwise

produced by Gateway, shall be taken to be established in accordance with plaintiffs claim, but only for the purpose of this action. Gateway filed a partial motion for reconsideration but was denied in an Order dated August 27, 2002. On November 5, 2002, Gateway filed a petition for certiorari before the Court of Appeals (CA) seeking to nullify the Orders of the trial court dated April 15, 2002 and August 27, 2002. On June 2, 2004, the CA rendered a Decision nullifying the Orders of the trial court dated April 15, 2002 and August 27, 2002. The CA ruled that both the Motion for Production of Documents and the January 30, 2001 Order of the trial court failed to comply with the provisions of Section 1, Rule 27 of the Rules of Court. It further held that the trial court committed grave abuse of discretion in ruling that the matters regarding the contents of the documents sought to be produced but which were not produced by Gateway shall be deemed established in accordance with Solidbanks claim. Solidbank filed a motion for reconsideration of the Decision of the CA. On July 29, 2004, the CA rendered a Resolution denying the same. Thus, Solidbank petitioned for review on certiorari before the Supreme Court. ISSUES: I. Whether Solidbanks motion for production and inspection of documents and the Order of the trial court dated January 30, 2001 failed to comply with Section 1, Rule 27 of the Rules of Court; and II. Whether the trial court committed grave abuse of discretion in holding that the matters subject of the documents sought to be produced but which were not produced by Gateway shall be deemed established in accordance with Solidbanks claim. RULING: The Supreme Court resolved to deny the petition for lack of merit. I. Section 1, Rule 27 of the Rules of Court provides the mechanics for the production of documents and the inspection of things during the pendency of a case. It also deals with the inspection of sources of evidence other than documents, such as land or other property in the possession or control of the other party. This remedial measure is intended to assist in the administration of justice by facilitating and expediting the preparation of cases for trial and guarding against undesirable surprise and delay; and it is designed to simplify procedure and obtain admissions of facts and evidence, thereby shortening costly and time-consuming trials. It is based on ancient principles of equity. More specifically, the purpose of the statute is to enable a party-litigant to discover material information which, by reason of an opponent's control, would otherwise be unavailable for judicial scrutiny, and to provide a convenient and summary method of obtaining material and competent documentary evidence in the custody or under the control of an adversary. It is a further extension of the concept of pretrial. The modes of discovery are accorded a broad and liberal treatment.

Rule 27 of the Revised Rules of Court permits fishing for evidence, the only limitation being that the documents, papers, etc., sought to be produced are not privileged, that they are in the possession of the party ordered to produce them and that they are material to any matter involved in the action. The lament against a fishing expedition no longer precludes a party from prying into the facts underlying his opponents case. Mutual knowledge of all 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. However, fishing for evidence that is allowed under the rules is not without limitations. In Security Bank Corporation v. Court of Appeals , the Court enumerated the requisites in order that a party may compel the other party to produce or allow the inspection of documents or things, viz.: (a) The party must file a motion for the production or inspection of documents or things, showing good cause therefor; (b) Notice of the motion must be served to all other parties of the case; (c) The motion must designate the documents, papers, books, accounts, letters, photographs, objects or tangible things which the party wishes to be produced and inspected; (d) Such documents, etc., are not privileged; (e) Such documents, etc., constitute or contain evidence material to any matter involved in the action, and (f) Such documents, etc., are in the possession, custody or control of the other party. Solidbank was able to show good cause for the production of the documents. It had also shown that the said documents are material or contain evidence relevant to an issue involved in the action. However, Solidbanks motion was fatally defective and must be struck down because of its failure to specify with particularity the documents it required Gateway to produce. Solidbanks motion for production and inspection of documents called for a blanket inspection. Solidbanks request for inspection of all documents pertaining to, arising from, in connection with or involving the Back-end Services Agreement was simply too broad and too generalized in scope. A motion for production and inspection of documents should not demand a roving inspection of a promiscuous mass of documents. The inspection should be limited to those documents designated with sufficient particularity in the motion, such that the adverse party can easily identify the documents he is required to produce. Furthermore, Solidbank, being the one who asserts that the proceeds of the Back-end Services Agreement were already received by Gateway, has the burden of proof in the instant case. Burden of proof is the duty of a party to present evidence on the facts in issue necessary to establish his claim or defense by the amount of evidence required by law.

Throughout the trial, the burden of proof remains with the party upon whom it is imposed, until he shall have discharged the same. II We hold that the trial court committed grave abuse of discretion in issuing the Order that matters regarding the contents of the documents sought to be produced but which were not produced by Gateway, shall be considered as having been established in accordance with Solidbanks claim. It is not fair to penalize Gateway for not complying with the request of Solidbank for the production and inspection of documents, considering that the documents sought were not particularly described. Gateway and its officers can only be held liable for unjust refusal to comply with the modes of discovery if it is shown that the documents sought to be produced were specifically described, material to the action and in the possession, custody or control of Gateway. Neither can it be said that Gateway did not exert effort in complying with the order for production and inspection of documents since it presented the invoices representing the billings sent by Gateway to Alliance in relation to the Back-end Services Agreement. Good faith effort to produce the required documents must be accorded to Gateway, absent a finding that it acted willfully, in bad faith or was at fault in failing to produce the documents sought to be produced. The CA decision nullifying the orders of the trial court was without prejudice to the filing by herein petitioner of a new motion for Production and Inspection of Documents in accordance with the Rules. It would have been in the best interest of the parties, and it would have saved valuable time and effort, if the petitioner simply heeded the advice of the CA. G.R. No. 135874 January 25, 2000 SECURITY BANK CORPORATION vs. COURT OF APPEALS FACTS: The case was instituted by Petitioner in a Civil Case No. Q-97-30330 entitled Spouses Agustin P. Uy and Pacita Tang Sioc Ten versus Security Bank Corporation, Domingo P. Uy and the Ex-Oficio City Sheriff of Quezon City, for injunction and damages with an application for the issuance of a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction. Plaintiffs Spouses Agustin P. Uy and Pacita Tang Sioc Ten sought to enjoin Security Bank Corporation (SBC for brevity) and the Ex-Oficio Sheriff of Quezon City from proceeding with the extra-judicial foreclosure of a mortgage over a piece of property registered under the respondent spouses' names. A temporary restraining order was issued but subsequently lifted when the Judge resolved to deny the spouses' application for a preliminary injunction. This denial prompted the said plaintiffs to file a motion for the inhibition of the Judge and the case was re-raffled to another branch. The parties filed their answers and reply with compulsory counterclaim and cross-claim while defendant Domingo P. Uy before filing his answer to defendant SBC's cross-claim, filed an Omnibus Motion (Production of Documents and Suspension and/or Extension of Time to File Answer to Cross-Claim) on the ground that all documents, papers and instruments made and executed by SBC on the

evaluation, processing and approval of the loans of Jackivi Trading Center, Inc., the real estate mortgages (REM) and the Special Power of Attorney (SPA) themselves must first be produced before he could prepare and file the answer to SBC's crossclaim. The trial court issued an Order denying the motion and moved for the reconsideration of denial. On the other hand, plaintiffs also filed the same Motion which the defendant SBC opposed the motion and so with Domingo Uy's motion for reconsideration. The trial court issued the first assailed Order granting the motions and to be done during usual business hours and day after at least three (3) days notice in advance. SBC filed a motion for partial reconsideration of the Order, claiming that said order did not explain the basis for requiring it to produce the requested documents, and that there was no good cause for their production, hence, it cannot be compelled to produce the same. The Motion for Partial Reconsideration was denied. The case reached the Court of Appeals and affirming the trial courts decision. Hence, this Petition.

ISSUE: Whether or not the Honorable Court of Appeals committed grave abuse of discretion when it sustained the Orders of the Respondent Regional Trial Court which granted the respective Motions [For Production, Inspection and Copying of Documents] of Respondents Spouses Agustin P. Uy and Pacita Tang Sioc Ten and Domingo Uy. RULING: The Petition is bereft of merit. Section 1, Rule 27 of the 1997 Rules of Court provides: Sec. 1. Motion for production or inspection; order. Upon motion of any party showing good cause therefor, the court in which an action is pending may (a) order any party to produce and permit the inspection and copying or photographing, by or on behalf of the moving party, of any designated documents, papers, books, accounts, letters, photographs, objects or tangible things not privileged, which constitute or contain evidence material to any matter involved in the action and which are in his possession, custody or control; or (b) order any party to permit entry upon designated land or other property in his possession or control for the purpose of inspecting, measuring, surveying, or photographing the property or any designated relevant object or operation thereon. The order shall specify the time, place and manner of making the inspection and taking copies and photographs, and may prescribe such terms and conditions as are just. The significance of the various modes of discovery aims to enable the parties to inform themselves, even before the trial, of all the facts relevant to the action, including those known only to the other litigants. It not only eliminates unessential issues 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. 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. 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, thus reducing the possibility, of surprise. In the present case, the CA did not err in affirming the trial court ruling that there was "good cause" for the grant of the Motions for inspection of documents. The latter's holding that the documents were not indispensable to the preparation of the answer of Uy to the cross-claim did not militate against respondents' availment of this important mode of discovery. As he himself averred in his Motion, the subject documents were "material and important to the issues raised in the case in general, and as between defendant and SBC in particular. For Respondent Uy to "intelligently prepare his defenses against the cross-claim of petitioner SBC, and not merely to formulate his answer and for Spouses Agustin Uy and Pacita Tang Sioc Ten was for a good cause, because the said documents were necessary for a determination of the issues raised in Civil Case No. Q-97-30330. A litigation is not a game of technicalities in which one, more deeply schooled and skilled in the subtle art of movement and position, entraps and destroys the other. It is, rather a contest in which each contending party fully and fairly lays before the court the facts in issue and then, brushing aside as wholly trivial and indecisive all imperfections of form and technicalities of procedure, asks that justice be done on the merits. Petitioner points out that a party may be compelled to produce or allow the inspection of documents if six procedural requisites are complied with, viz.: (a) The party must file a motion for the production or inspection of documents or things, showing good cause therefor; (b) Notice of the motion must be served to all other parties of the case; (c) The motion must designate the documents, papers, books, accounts, letters, photographs, objects or tangible things which the party wishes to be produced and inspected; (d) Such documents, etc. are not privileged; (e) Such documents, etc. constitute or contain evidence material to any matter involved in the action; and (f) Such documents, etc. are in the possession, custody or control of the other party.14 Petitioner contends that Requisite "e" has not been satisfied, arguing that respondents have not shown the relevancy or materiality of the documents subject of the Motions. These arguments are not persuasive. Indeed, the factual backdrop of the case strengthens respondent's cause. The civil action instituted by the Spouses Uy sought the annulment of two deeds of Real Estate Mortgage between Jackivi and petitioner. They allegedly issued a Special Power of Attorney to Respondent Uy to mortgage their property only for their benefit, not for that Jackivi. Because he mortgaged the property as security for Jackivi's loan, they contend that he exceeded his authority and that the contracts of real estate mortgage were consequently invalid. Petitioner, on the other hand, filed a cross-claim against him, because it "relied on the representations and documents submitted by the latter that he was duly authorized to mortgage the subject property. In this light, the relevance of the documents sought by Respondent Domingo Uy is readily apparent. The papers executed by the petitioner bank in evaluating and processing the real estate mortgage are manifestly useful in his defense against its cross-claim.

So also, the additional mortgage contracts executed by Jackivi are material to the present action. Because a witness of petitioner admitted in court that there was a third mortgage contract between Jackivi and the bank, fair play demands that herein respondents must be given the chance to examine such additional mortgage contracts. In so doing, they can determine why petitioner was going after their property which was invalidly mortgaged by Respondent Uy, while the properties of the actual borrower, Jackivi, have not been touched or foreclosed by the bank. All in all, petitioner failed to show any reversible error on the party of the Court of Appeals. The Motions of respondents were for a good cause, and the documents sought were material to the action pending before the trial court. WHEREFORE, the Petition is DENIED and the assailed Decision is AFFIRMED. Costs against petitioner. SO ORDERED. ROGER MANZANO VS. LUZ DESPABILADERAS GR NO. 148786 December 16, 2004 FACTS: Respondent Luz Despabiladeras obtained on credit from Petitioner Roger Manzano various construction materials which she used in her construction project at the Camarines Sur Polytechnic Colleges (CSPC). Petitioner claim that he delivered to Respondent a total of Php307,140 worth of construction materials payable upon Respondents initial collection from CSPC, to bear 8% monthly interest until fully paid. An action for the recovery of a sum of money against respondent was filed by petitioner. In her answer with counterclaim, respondent alleged that petitioner had substantially altered the prices of the construction materials delivered to her; and that she had already made a payment to petitioner via two checks for Php130,000 and Php 14,000. Petitioner filed a reply and answer to counterclaim alleging that the two checks represented payment for the past obligations other than that subject of the case. The court, after pre-trial, acknowledged a mutual agreement entered into by the parties and that the petitioner shall submit an offer to stipulate showing an itemized list of construction materials delivered to the defendant together with the cost claimed by the plaintiff. Instead petitioner filed a Request for Admission. No response to the Request for Admission was proferred by respondent. For such failure to respond to the Request for Admission, petitioner moved for Partial Judgment and Execution alleging an implied admission by Respondent. An order by the trial court stated that matters not answered under oath are deemed admitted and rendered a decision in favor of Petitioner. On appeal, the Court of Appeals set aside the decision of the trial court holding that if at all there was failure by the appellant to file a sworn statement denying the request for admission, it was precisely because the agreement by the parties during the pre-trial period at the appellant would only file a comment, which she did by submitting a list of items,

either admitting receipt of construction materials or denying receipt thereof. ISSUE: Whether or not there is implied admission upon failure to answer a Request for Admission. RULING: The Supreme Court in petition for certiorari reinstated the decision of the trial court holding that the agreement of the parties during the pre-trial conference that the Petitioner shall submit an offer to stipulate showing an itemized list of construction materials delivered to the respondent together with the cost claimed by the petitioner. In substantial compliance with the said agreement, petitioner chose to instead file a request for admission, a remedy afforded by a party under Rule 26. After having failed to discharge what is incumbent upon the respondent under Rule 26, to deny under oath the facts bearing on the main issue contained in the Request for Admission, respondent was deemed to have admitted that she received the construction materials, the cost of which was indicated in the request.