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FORTUNE CORPORATION VS.

CA AND INTER-MERCHANTS CORPORATION Facts: This is a petition for certiorari of the decision of the respondent CA affirming the decision of the RTC of San Pablo City disallowing the taking of the oral deposition of Juanito A. Teope who was the chairman of the Board Directors of private respondent. An action for breach of contract was filed by the petitioner against the private respondent and after the latter filed its answer petitioner served them with written interrogatories pursuant to Rule 25 of the ROC. The pre-trial was scheduled for January 9, February 12 and April 22, 1992. On March 26, 1992, petitioner served the private respondent a Notice to Take Deposition Upon Oral Examination notifying the latter that petitioner would take the deposition of the chairman in accordance with Section 15, Rule 24. Private Respondent filed an Urgent Motion Not to Take Deposition/Vehement Opposition to Plaintiffs Notice to Take Deposition Upon Oral Examination alleging that: a) petitioner has previously availed of one mode of discovery, b) there is absolutely no sound reason or justification advanced for the taking of the oral deposition, c) such taking would cause annoyance, embarrassment and oppression upon the prospective deponent, d) deponent has no intention of leaving the country, e)the intended deponent is available to testify in open court if required during the trial on the merits. Trial court ruled that the deposition should not be taken on the grounds that the deposition of Juanito A. Teope appears unwarranted since the proposed deponent had already responded to the written interrogatories of the plaintiff and has signified his availability to testify in court. The petitioner filed an original action for certiorari before the SC and was referred to the CA for further adjudication on the merits. CA ruled dismissing the petition holding that the RTC has jurisdiction to direct, in its discretion, that a deposition shall not be taken, if there are valid reasons for the ruling. This is provided for in Sections 16 and 18, Rule 24 of the ROC which imply that the right of the party to take depositions as means of discovery is not absolute. They reasoned that: a)proposed deponent had earlier responded to the written interrogatories; b)deponent had signified his availability to testify in court; c)to allow the deposition would deprive the trial court of the opportunity to ask clarificatory question. With the denial of the petitioners MFR the instant petition was filed with the SC. ISSUE: 1.WON that the decision of respondent court dismissing its petition on the ground that appeal and not certiorari is the proper remedy in this case, is erroneous for the reason that such ruling is based on facts which are not obtaining in the case at bar, viz.: (a) that petitioner had already obtained a deposition, which it had not; (b) that said deposition was offered as evidence, which was not done because there was nothing yet to offer, and (c) that said offer was rejected, which did not happen because there was nothing to reject as nothing was offered. 2. WONthe trial court gravely abused its discretion in ordering that the deposition be not taken in the absence of good cause therefor. It asserts that the reasons advanced by the trial court cannot be considered "good cause" within the contemplation of the law, which reasons, to repeat, are: (a) that the proposed deponent had earlier responded to written interrogatories; (b) that the proposed deponent had signified his availability to testify in court; and (c) that to allow the deposition would deprive the trial court of the opportunity to ask clarificatory questions to the vital witness. RULING: The SC discussed that the finer attributed of the rules of discovery would contribute immensely to the attainment of the judiciarys primordial goal of expediting the disposition of cases. The deposition-discovery procedure was designed to remedy the conceded inadequacy and cumbersomeness of the pre-trial functions of notice-giving, issue formulation and face revelation theretofore performes primarily by the pleadings. The various modes or instruments of discovery are meant to serve 1) as a device, along with the pre trial hearing under Rule 20, to narrow and clarify the basic issues between the parties and 2) as a device for ascertaining the facts relative to those issues. The evident purpose is to enable the parties consistent with recognized privileges to obtain the fullest possible knowledge of the issues and facts before civil trials and thus prevent that said trials are carried on in the dark. To this end , the field of inquiry that may be covered by depositions or interrogatories is as broad as when the interrogated party is called as witness to testify orally at trial. I. 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. Pursuant to this rule, it has been held that certiorari will not lie to review or correct discovery orders made prior to trial. 11 This is because, like other discovery orders, orders made under Section 16, Rule 24 are interlocutory and

not appealable, 12 considering that they do not finally dispose of the proceeding or of any independent offshoot of it. However, such rules are subject to the exception that discretionary acts will be reviewed where the lower court or tribunal has acted without or in excess of its jurisdiction, where an interlocutory order does not conform to essential requirements of law and may reasonably cause material injury throughout subsequent proceedings for which the remedy of appeal will be inadequate, or where there is a clear or serious abuse of discretion. It is our considered opinion that on the bases of circumstances obtaining in the case at bar, and which will hereinafter be discussed, certiorari may be availed of to review the questioned order of the trial court. SC ruled that certiorari may be availed of to review the questioned order of the trial court. II. It is true that to ensure that availment of the modes of discovery would be untrammeled and efficacious, Rule 29 imposes serious sanctions on the party who refuses to comply with or respond to the modes of discovery, such as dismissing his action or proceeding or part thereof, or rendering judgment by default against the disobedient party; contempt of court, or arrest of the party or agent of the party; payment of the amount of reasonable expenses incurred in obtaining a court order to compel discovery; taking the matters inquired into as established in accordance with the claim of the party seeking discovery; refusal to allow the disobedient party to support or oppose designated claims or defenses; striking out his pleadings or parts thereof; or staying further proceedings. Section 16 of Rule 24 clearly states that it is only upon notice and for good cause shown 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. The requirement, however, that good cause be shown for a protective order puts the burden on the party seeking relief to show some plainly adequate reasons for the order. A particular and specific demonstration of facts, as distinguished from conclusory statements, is required to establish good cause for the issuance of a protective order. 16 What constitutes good cause furthermore depends upon the kind of protective order that is sought. The allegation that the deponent knows nothing about the matters involved does not justify prohibiting the taking of the deposition, nor that whatever the witness knows is protected by the "work product doctrine," nor that privileged information or trade secrets will be sought in the course of the examination, nor that all the transactions were either conducted or confirmed in writing. 18 In the present case, private respondent failed to sufficiently establish that there is good cause to support the order of the trial court that the deposition shall not be taken. 1. On the question of whether an oral deposition might be taken after service of interrogatories, the courts took a relatively liberal view. In Howard v. States Marine Corp., the first case in which this question was raised, Judge Hilbert said that: "Where it develops that examination by interrogatories has been inadequate, the court unquestionably has, and in a proper case should exercise, discretion to permit an oral examination. But it should be made to clearly appear that the relevant subject matter will not involve the interrogation of the witness with respect to those particulars upon which he was examined by interrogatories." It is quite clear, therefore, and we so hold that under the present Rules the fact that a party has resorted to a particular method of discovery will not bar subsequent use of other discovery devices, as long as the party is not attempting to circumvent a ruling of the court, or to harass or oppress the other party. As a matter of practice, it will often be desirable to resort to both interrogatories and depositions in one or the other sequence. 2. The availability of the proposed deponent to testify in court does not constitute "good cause" to justify the court's 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. 25 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. Regardless of the development of devices for pre-trial fact investigation, our legal system is now thoroughly committed to the notion that on the trial itself the adducing of facts by viva voce testimony of witnesses whose demeanor and manner are subject to the observation of the judge is superior to the use of written statements of the same witnesses. Preference for oral testimony has dictated most of the limitations on the use of depositions as evidence. And since their use as evidence was originally conceived as the sole function of depositions proper, the limitations on their taking dovetailed with the limitations on their use. But 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. 3. The main reason given in support of the contested order is that, if the deposition were taken, the court could not observe the behavior of the deponents. The insufficiency of this circumstance to justify the interdiction of the taking of a deposition becomes apparent when we consider that, otherwise, no deposition could ever be taken, said objection or handicap being common to all depositions alike. Finally, in the absence of proof, the allegation that

petitioner merely intended to annoy, harass or oppress the proposed deponent cannot ably support the setting aside of a notice to take deposition. Orders to protect the party or witness from annoyance, embarrassment or oppression may be issued if the following requirements are complied with: (a) that there is a motion made by any party or by the person to be examined; (b) that the motion has been seasonably filed; (c) that there is good cause shown; and (d) that notice of such motion has been served to the other party. 4. Finally, in the absence of proof, the allegation that petitioner merely intended to annoy, harass or oppress the proposed deponent cannot ably support the setting aside of a notice to take deposition. Orders to protect the party or witness from annoyance, embarrassment or oppression may be issued if the following requirements are complied with: (a) that there is a motion made by any party or by the person to be examined; (b) that the motion has been seasonably filed; (c) that there is good cause shown; and (d) that notice of such motion has been served to the other party. Inconvenience to the party whose deposition is to be taken is not a valid objection to the taking of his deposition. 32 No doubt, private respondent and its representative who is to be examined will be inconvenienced as are all parties when required to submit to examination but this is no ground for denial of the deposition-discovery process. On the bases of the foregoing disquisitions, we find and so hold that the trial court committed a grave abuse of discretion in issuing an order that the deposition shall not be taken in this case, and that respondent court erred in affirming the same. WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED. The questioned decision of respondent Court of Appeals is hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE, and judgment is hereby rendered ORDERING the court a quo to allow herein petitioner to take the deposition upon oral examination of Juanito S. Teope in and for purposes of Civil Case No. SP-3469 pending before it. SO ORDERED. Republic vs. Sandiganbayan GR no. 90478 Facts: PCGG filed a complaint against private respondents Tantoco , Jr. and Santiago together with the Marcoses for reconveyance, reversion, accounting, restitution and damages, and was avowedly filed pursuant to Executive Order no. 14 of President Corazon Aquino before the Sandiganbayan. After the case was set for pre-trial, the defendant filed a pleading denominated interrogatories to the plaintiff, amended interrogatories to plaintiff, as we ll as Motion for Production and Inspection of Documents relevant to the issue of the case. Subsequently, the plaintiff filed an opposition to the pleading contending that the interrogatories are defective because they do not name the particular individuals to whom they are propounded, being only addressed to the PCGG and are the same matters(private respondents) sought to be clarified through their Bill of Particulars. Secondly, it contended that the interrogatories deal with factual matters which will be part of the PCGGs proof upon trial. As to the Motion for Production and Inspections of Documents, the plaintiff prayed for the nullity of the pleading contending there is no good cause in the production of the documents sought for. Furthermore, it contended that some of the documents are non-existent. The Court decided in favor of the defendants motion. Hence, this petition. Issue: Whether or not the interrogatories to the plaintiff and Motion for the Production and Inspection of Documents were in accordance with the Rules of Court as to consider it to be valid HELD: YES. The Court ruled in favor of the defendant. The various modes or instruments of discovery are meant to serve (1) as a device, along with the pre-trial hearing under Rule 20, to narrow and clarify the basic issues between the parties, and (2) as a device for ascertaining the facts relative to those issues. The evident purpose is, to repeat, to enable parties, consistent with recognized privileges, to obtain the fullest possible knowledge of the issues and facts before trials and thus prevent that said trials are carried on in the dark. The inquiry extends to all facts which are relevant, whether they be ultimate or evidentiary, excepting only those matters which are privileged The first part of petitioner's submission is adequately confuted by Section 1, Rule 25 which states that if the party served with interrogatories is a juridical entity such as "a public or private corporation or a partnership or association," the same shall be "answered . . by any officer thereof competent to testify in its behalf." As to the second contention, the Court opined that as already pointed out, it is the precise purpose of discovery to ensure mutual knowledge of all the relevant facts on the part of all parties even before trial, this being deemed essential to proper litigation. This is why either party may compel the other to disgorge whatever facts he has in his possession; and the stage at which disclosure of evidence is made is advanced from the time of trial to the period preceding it. As to the Motion for the Production and Inspection of Documents, the court ruled that t, contrary to the petitioner's theory, there is good cause for the production and inspection of the documents subject of the motion dated August 3, 1989. 53 Some of the documents are, according to the verification of the amended complaint, the basis of several of the material allegations of said complaint. Others, admittedly, are to be used in evidence by the plaintiff. It is matters such as these into which inquiry is precisely allowed by the rules of discovery, to the end that the parties may adequately prepare for pre-trial and trial. The only other documents sought to be produced are needed in relation to the allegations of the counterclaim. Their relevance is indisputable; their disclosure may not be opposed.

MARCELO G. R. N0. 102390. February 1, 2002 REY LAADA, petitioner, vs. COURT OF APPEALS and SPS. ROGELIO and ELIZA HEMEDEZ, respondents. G. R. No. 102404. February 1, 2002 NESTLE PHILIPPINES, INC. and FRANCIS SANTOS, petitioners, vs. COURT OF APPEALS and SPS. ROGELIO and ELIZA HEMEDEZ, respondents. FACTS: Spouses Hemedez filed an action for damages against several persons for the death of Dr. ViedVemir Garcia Hemedez which happened in a dispersal operation during a strike staged by the Union of Filipino Employees on account of alleged unfair labor practices committed by Nestle Philippines, Inc. The Hemedez spouses served the defendants a request for admission of truth of the facts set forth in their complaint and the genuiness of each of the documents appended therto. Through their respective counsel, defendants filed a verified answer to the request for admission. ISSUE:

Whether or not an answer to a request for admission signed and sworn to by the counsel of the party so requested is sufficient compliance with the provisions of Rule 26 of the Rules of Court. HELD:

The provision of Rule 26 of the Rules of Court, the matrix upon which the resolution of these petitions rests, state: SEC. 2. Implied admission. Each of the matters of which an admission is requested shall be deemed admitted unless, within a period designated in the request, which shall not be less than ten (10) days after service thereof, or within such further time as the court may allow on motion and notice, the party to whom the request is directed serves upon the party requesting the admission a sworn statement either denying specifically or setting forth in detail the reasons why he cannot truthfully either admit or deny those matters. The issue for resolution thus calls for an interpretation of the phrase the party to whom the request is directed. This is not the first time that the Court is faced with the issue of whether a party requested to make admissions may reply or answer through his counsel. In PSCFC Financial Corporation v. Court of Appeals. (R.138) SEC. 21. Authority of attorney to appear. An attorney is presumed to be properly authorized to represent any cause in which he appears, and no written power of attorney is required to authorize him to appear in court for his client.. Also in Section 23 of Rule 138 provides that (a)ttorneys have authority to bind their clients in any case by any agreement in relation thereto made in writing, and in taking appeals, and in all matters of ordinary judicial procedure.. Neither is there a showing that petitioners Nestle and Santos did not authorize their respective counsel to file in their behalf the respective answers requested of them by private respondents in the latters written request for admission. As this Court has said, there is no reason to strictly construe the phrase the party to whom the request is directed to refer solely or personally to the petitioners themselves. Moreover, as correctly observed by the lower court, the subject matters of the request for admission are the same as the ultimate facts alleged in the complaint for which private respondents have filed their respective answers. Private respondents thus desired the petitioners to admit once again the very matters they had dealt with in their respective answers. The Court reiterated that ruling in Briboneria v. Court of Appeals and in Concrete Aggregates Corporation v. Court of Appeals. In the latter case, the Court emphasized that 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. [G.R. No. 153667. August 11, 2005.] AYALA LAND, INC., petitioner, vs. HON. LUCENITO N. TAGLE, in his capacity as Presiding Judge, RTCImus, Branch 20, ASB REALTY CORP., and E. M. RAMOS & SONS, INC., respondents. FACTS: ASB alleged that EMRASON entered into letter-agreement with the former for the conditional sale of a lot. ASB subsequently received letter from children of EMRASON chairman and president, Emerito Ramos, Sr., informing the former of an existing contract to sell between EMRASON and herein petitioner, ALI. ASB filed complaint. ALI filed answer with compulsory counterclaim and crossclaim.

Plaintiff ASB subsequently filed a Motion for Leave to take testimony by deposition upon oral examination of Emerito Ramos, Sr., citing Section 4(c), Rule 24 of the Revised Rules of Court stating that Emerito Ramos, Sr. was already 87 years old and although he was of sound mind there is always the possibility that he may not be able to testify on plaintiffs behalf in the course of the trial on the merits. In the Omnibus Order of the trial court dated 17 October 1994, plaintiffs motion was granted. ASB then obtained the deposition upon oral examination of Emerito Ramos, Sr. ALI objected on the ground of on the propriety, admissibility and conformity of the deposition proceedings to the Rules. Specifically, ALI sought rulings on its objections to leading questions, violations of the best-evidence rule, rule on presentation of secondary evidence, incompetence of the deponent, opinion rule, manner of presentation of evidence, and testimonies not forming part of the offer. The trial court ruled on the objections of ALI sustaining some of its objections, overruling the others and upholding the propriety of the presentation of evidence made by plaintiff through deposition. In the same Order, the trial court directed the setting of the cross-examination of the deponent. ALI filed a Motion for Reconsideration of the Order setting the hearing of the case for cross-examination. The trial court again directed that the crossexamination of Emerito Ramos, Sr., be scheduled. The same was thus set on 06 October 1995. Before this date, however, 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. Thereafter, ALI filed before the Court of Appeals a Petition for Certiorari and Prohibition with urgent application for Temporary Restraining Order and Writ of Preliminary Injunctio to restrain the public respondent, Judge Lucenito Tagle, from implementing the Order and to declare null and void and expunging the entire deposition proceedings taken. CA denied. Ruled: In the instant case, Atty. Emerito Ramos, Sr. testified on matters of his personal knowledge, even if in the course of his testimony, he referred to certain documents in court, being the President and Chairman of EMRASON. In that capacity, he carried on negotiations relative to the sale of the Dasmarias property. Indeed, "all persons who can perceive, and perceiving, can make known their perception to others, may be witnesses" (Sec. 20, Rule 130, Rules of Court). Sec. 16, Rule 132, as contended by petitioner, is not applicable to the case at bench as Atty. Ramos was not refreshing his memory on a fact or transaction with the aid of memoranda. Rather, he was freely recollecting and testifying on matters within the ambit of his own personal competence, and merely referring to the letter that he received from Mr. Fernando Ayala, and another letter written by a Victor Manarang to his son, Emerito Ramos, Jr., both letters being now in his possession by reason of his duties as President and Chairman of EMRASON. Emerito Ramos, Sr. died at the age of 92. ASB then filed before the trial court a motion to introduce in evidence the deposition of Emerito Ramos, Sr. and was opposed by ALI. 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 onCertiorari. Court of Appeals dismissed the petition for lack of merit. ISSUES: I. WHETHER OR NOT THE ALLEGED DEPOSITION OF THE WITNESS EMERITO M. RAMOS, SR. IS ADMISSIBLE UNDER THE RULES. SC: Petition is denied for lack of merit. "Deposition" is sometimes used in a broad sense to describe any written statement verified by oath. In its more technical and appropriate sense, the meaning of the word is limited to written testimony of a witness given in the course of a judicial proceeding in advance of the trial or hearing upon oral examination. A deposition is the testimony of a witness, put or taken in writing, under oath or affirmation, before a commissioner, examiner or other judicial officer, in answer to interlocutory and cross-interlocutory, and usually subscribed by the witnesses. The purposes of taking depositions are to: 1) Give greater assistance to the parties in ascertaining the truth and in checking and preventing perjury; 2) Provide an effective means of detecting and exposing false, fraudulent claims and defenses; 3) Make available in a simple, convenient and inexpensive way, facts which otherwise could not be proved except with great difficulty; 4) Educate the parties in advance of trial as to the real value of their claims and defenses thereby encouraging settlements; 5) Expedite litigation; 6) Safeguard against surprise; 7)Prevent delay; 8) Simplify and narrow the issues; and 9) Expedite and facilitate both preparation and trial. In this case, the trial court permitted the taking of Emerito Ramos, Sr.s deposition chiefly because of his advance age which ground is considered valid and justified under the Rules of Court.

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. On the objection of ALI owing to the lack of signature of the deponent, it should be noted that a deposition not signed does not preclude its use during the trial. A deponents signature to the deposition is not in all events indispensable since the presence of signature goes primarily to the form of deposition. The requirement that the deposition must be examined and signed by the witness is only to ensure that the deponent is afforded the opportunity to correct any errors contained therein and to ensure its accuracy.40 In any event, the admissibility of the deposition does not preclude the determination of its probative value at the appropriate time. The admissibility of evidence should not be equated with weight of evidence. The admissibility of evidence depends on its relevance and competence while the weight of evidence pertains to evidence already admitted and its tendency to convince and persuade. This Court has observed that the trial court has painstakingly gone over every objection of ALI contained in its Motion dated 30 January 1995 and ruled on every single objection in the Order dated 05 May 1995 and these objections were again taken up in the Order of the trial court dated 07 September 1995. On this point, we find no compelling reason to disturb the conclusions arrived at by the trial court. 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. CA decision is affirmed. [G.R. No. 155010. August 16, 2004.] JONATHAN LANDOIL INTERNATIONAL CO., INC., petitioner, vs. Spouses SUHARTO MANGUDADATU and MIRIAM SANGKI MANGUDADATU, respondents. FACTS: Respondent-Spouses Suharto and Miriam Sangki Mangudadatu filed with the (RTC) a Complaint for damages against Petitioner 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 Pretrial Briefs. Trial proceeded without the participation of petitioner, had led the trial court to declare it in default. Petitioner received a copy of the RTCs Decision. it filed an Omnibus Motion for New Trial and Change of Venue. This Motion was deemed submitted for resolution but was eventually denied by the trial court. Petitioner received a copy of a Writ of Execution. 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 Ong Abad Santos & Meneses filed an Entry of Appearance with Supplement 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. ISSUES: (1) Whether petitioner received the Order denying its timely filed Motion for New Trial; (2) Whether the taking of oral depositions was proper under the circumstances. HELD: (1) First Issue Appreciation of Facts

It is readily apparent that petitioner is raising factual issues that this Court does not review. While the rule admits of exceptions, petitioner has not satisfactorily shown any. No compelling reason to disturb the CA s factual findings. It may therefore not insist, contrary to the finding of the CA, that it did not receive the Order denying its timely filed Motion for New Trial. Motion for New Trial Improper The explanation offered by petitioner as regards the absence of its counsel from the pretrial is unacceptable. It should have also justified its own absence. Having failed to do so, it had no valid ground to request a new trial. Petitioner also failed to justify the absence of both its counsels. Until their formal withdrawal is granted, lawyers are deemed to be the representatives of their clients. Atty. Fernandez absence from the pretrial was still not excusable. While he could no longer represent petitioner, his presence would have afforded him an opportunity to make a formal withdrawal of appearance. An improvident termination of legal services is not an excuse to justify non-appearance at a pretrial. Otherwise, the rules of procedure would be rendered meaningless, as they would be subject to the counsels will. The Proper Remedy Under the new Rules, the consequence of non-appearance without cause at the pretrial is not for the petitioner to be considered "as in default," but "to allow the plaintiff to present evidence ex parte and [for] the court to render judgment on the basis thereof." To the trial courts order allowing the ex parte presentation of evidence by the plaintiff, the defendants remedy is a motion for reconsideration. An affidavit of merit is not required to be attached to such motion, because the defense has already been laid down in the answer. In the present case, petitioner did not file a motion for reconsideration after the trial court had allowed respondents ex parte presentation of evidence. The Rules of Court does not prohibit the filing of a motion for a new trial despite the availability of a motion for reconsideration. But the failure to file the latter motion -- without due cause -- is a factor in determining whether to apply the liberality rule in lifting an order that allowed the ex parte presentation of evidence. In its motions and petitions filed with this Court and the lower courts, petitioner did not explain why it had failed to file a motion for reconsideration. The lapse of time it shows the negligence of petitioner and its counsels. Non-Receipt of the Order Petitioner fails to convince us that it has not received the trial courts Order denying its Motion for New Trial. There is a disputable presumption that official duties have been regularly performed. On this basis, we have ruled that the postmasters certification prevails over the mere denial of a lawyer. This rule is applicable here. Petitioner has failed to establish its non-receipt of the trial courts Order denying its Motion for New Trial. (2) Second Issue The Taking of Depositions The present case involved a circumstance that fell under the 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. [G.R. No. 147143. March 10, 2006.] HYATT INDUSTRIAL MANUFACTURING CORP., and YU HE CHING, petitioners, vs. LEY CONSTRUCTION AND DEVELOPMENT CORP., and PRINCETON DEVELOPMENT CORP., respondents. Facts: Ley Construction and Development Corporation (LCDC) filed a complaint for specific performance and damages against petitioner 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 LCDC's 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 LCDC's payment of 40% of the pre-construction cost. Responsive pleadings were filed and 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. 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. Meanwhile, pre-trial proceeded at the RTC 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. LCDC moved to suspend pre-trial conference alleging pendency of a petition with the Court of Appeals and made it plain that it cannot proceed with the pre-trial because the issue on whether or not plaintiff may apply for depositions before the pre-trial conference is a prejudicial question. For failure of LCDC to enter into pre-trial conference without any valid reason, plaintiff's complaint is dismissed. Defendants' counterclaims are likewise dismissed. LCDC filed a motion for reconsideration which was denied however by the trial court. LCDC went to the CA on appeal. CA remanded LCDCs case to the court a quo for further hearing and directing the latter to allow the deposition taking without delay. The CA reasoned that: LCDC complied with Section 1, Rule 23 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure which expressly sanctions depositions as a mode of discovery without leave of court after the answer has been served; to unduly restrict the modes of discovery during trial would defeat the very purpose for which it is intended which is a pretrial device; that the trial court also erred in dismissing the complaint as LCDC appeared during the pre-trial conference and notified it of the filing of a petition before the CA; such is a legitimate justification to stall the pretrial conference, as the filing of the petition was made in good faith in their belief that the court a quo erred in canceling the deposition scheduled for no apparent purpose. Hyatt and Princeton filed their respective motions for reconsideration which the CA denied. Hence, this petition. Issue: Whether the CA erred in remanding the case to the trial court and ordering the deposition-taking to proceed. Held: CA was correct in remanding the case to the RTC and ordering the deposition-taking to proceed. 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. Indeed, the importance of discovery procedures is well recognized by the Court. It approved A.M. No. 03-1-09-SC on July 13, 2004 which provided for the guidelines to be observed by trial court judges and clerks of court in the conduct of pre-trial and use of deposition-discovery measures. Under A.M. No. 03-1-09-SC, trial courts are directed to issue orders requiring parties to avail of interrogatories to parties under Rule 45 and request for admission of adverse party under Rule 26 or at their discretion make use of depositions under Rule 23 or other measures under Rule 27 and 28 within 5 days from the filing of the answer. The parties are likewise required to submit, at least 3 days before the pre-trial, pre-trial briefs, containing among others a manifestation of the parties of their having availed or their intention to avail themselves of discovery procedures or referral to commissioners. Since the pertinent incidents of the case took place prior to the effectivity of said issuance, however, the depositions sought by LCDC shall be evaluated based on the jurisprudence and rules then prevailing, particularly 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). As correctly observed by the CA, LCDC complied with the above quoted provision as it made its notice to take depositions after the answers of the defendants have been served. LCDC having complied with the rules then prevailing, the trial court 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 RTC cites the delay in the case as reason for canceling the scheduled depositions. While speedy disposition of cases is important, such consideration however should not outweigh a thorough and comprehensive evaluation of cases, for 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. Records also show that the delay of the case is not attributable to the depositions sought by LCDC but was caused by the many pleadings filed by all the parties including petitioners herein. The argument that the taking of depositions would cause unnecessary duplicity as the intended deponents shall also be called as witnesses during trial, is also without merit. The case of Fortune Corp. v. Court of Appeals 46 which already settled the matter, explained that: The availability of the proposed deponent to testify in court does not constitute "good cause" to justify the court's 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. . . . [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. On this point, it is well to reiterate the Court's pronouncement in Republic v. Sandiganbayan : What is chiefly contemplated is the discovery of every bit of information which may be useful in the preparation for trial, such as the identity and location of persons having knowledge of relevant facts; those relevant facts themselves; and the existence, description, nature, custody, condition, and location of any books, documents, or other tangible things. Hence, "the deposition-discovery rules are to be accorded a broad and liberal treatment. No longer can the time-honored cry of 'fishing expedition' serve to preclude a party from inquiring into the facts underlying his opponent's case. Mutual knowledge of all the relevant facts gathered by both parties is essential to proper litigation. To that end, either party may compel the other to disgorge whatever facts he has in his possession. The deposition-discovery procedure simply advances the stage at which the disclosure can be compelled from the time of trial to the period preceding it, thus reducing the possibility, of surprise. 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. As just intimated, the deposition-discovery procedure was designed to remedy the conceded inadequacy and cumbersomeness of the pre-trial functions of notice-giving, issue-formulation and fact revelation theretofore performed primarily by the pleadings. The various modes or instruments of discovery are meant to serve (1) as a device, along with the pre-trial hearing under Rule 20, to narrow and clarify the basic issues between the parties, and (2) as a device for ascertaining the facts relative to those issues.

The evident purpose is, to repeat, to enable 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 pretrial, 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 man's bluff and more a fair contest with the basic issues and facts disclosed to the fullest practicable extent. Considering the foregoing, the Court finds that the CA was correct in remanding the case to the trial court and ordering the depositions to proceed. G.R. No. 143561 June 6, 2001 JONATHAN D. CARIAGA, petitioner, vs. COURT OF APPEALS, PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES and DAVAO LIGHT and POWER CO., respondents. FACTS: Jonathan Cariaga, herein petitioner, was the assigned driver of Davao Light & Power Company, Inc. (DLPC) Service Truck 'S-143'. Jonathan has been stealing electrical materials, equipments, and supplies kept in his truck for emergency operations at night. Respondent, DLPC, hired one Florencio Siton under pseudonym 'Canuto Duran' as its undercover agent to investigate such matter. Canuto struck an acquaintance with one Ricardo Cariaga, who offered to supply Canuto with electrical materials, saying that he has a cousin (Jonathan) from whom he can procure the same. Series of transaction took place between Canuto, Ricardo and Jonathan. Siton's undercover work came to an abrupt when members of SGt. Villlasis' team of the Theft & robbery Section apprehended Canuto. Canuto confessed in order to persuade Ricardo and the others involved to likewise come out with the truth. Thus, Ricardo and a certain Sergio Jimero confessed to teir as fence for Jonathan. But during the trail the prosecution was unable to present Ricardo as its witness as the subpoena could not be personally served upon him as he was in Sultan Kudarat four (4) hours drive from Davao City and the date of his return was not certain. As a result, the prosecution submitted the sworn statement of Ricardo, which was attached to respondent's position paper in the labor case filed by Jonathan against DLPC for illegal dismissal. The petitioner opposed the admission in evidence of the sworn statement of Ricardo for failure to present Ricardo as witness hence, inadmissible. The petitioner also argues that the testimony Canuto was not credible because it is allegedly inconsistent in very material and pivotal details from the sworn statement he made at the police station. According to petitioner, Canuto's testimony was overhauled and corrected to meet the crisis created by eyewitness Ricardo's non-appearance in court. The RTC ruled in favor of DLPC contending that the statements in the extrajudicial confessions of Ricardo Cariaga implicative of the accused as the source of the stolen articles, corroborated by Siton's testimony and the police records are formidable compared to the mere puny denial of the accused. Upon appeal, the CA affirmed the decision of the RTC, it reasoned out that the sworn statement of Ricardo 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 DLPC's position paper submitted to the National Labor Relations Commission in the labor case, 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. ISSUE: (1) Whether or not the sworn statement of Ricardo attached to DLPC's position paper in the labor case filed by Jonathan against the latter for illegal dismissal is admissible to the current case. (2) Whether or not the material inconsistency between the testimony of Canuto and his sworn statement made at the police station affects his credibility. RULING: The court ruled that the sworn statement of Ricardo is inadmissble to the case. Though ection 47, Rule 130 of the Rules on Evidence and Section 1(f), Rule 115 of the Rules on Criminal Procedure allows the admission of the testimony, but the court emphasized that this rule must be strictly complied with in criminal cases. Section 47 of Rule 130 reads: SEC. 47. Testimony or deposition at a former proceeding. The testimony or deposition of a witness deceased or unable to testify, given in a former case or proceeding, judicial or administrative, involving the same parties and subject matter, may be given in evidence against the adverse party who had the opportunity to cross-examine him. While Rule 115, Section 1(f) of the Rules of Court in respect of the admissibility in evidence in a criminal case of the previous testimony of unavailable witnesses provides: Section 1. Rights of accused at the trial. In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall be entitled: f) To confront and cross-examine the witnesses against him at the trial. Either party may utilize as part of its evidence the testimony of a witness who is deceased, out of or cannot with due diligence be found in the Philippines, unavailable or otherwise unable to testify, given in another case or proceeding, judicial or

administrative, involving the same parties and subject matter, the adverse party having had the opportunity to cross-examine him; Mere sending of subpoena and failure to appear is not sufficient to prove inability to testify. 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, 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. The court was inclined to rule in the negative and reverse the Court of Appeals on this point. 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. The Court must exercise its coercive power to arrest. On this score alone, the sworn statement of Ricardo Cariaga should not have been admitted as evidence for the prosecution. With regards to the second issue, the court ruled that the testimony of Canuto is still credible. The rule has always been that the contradictions between the contents of an affiant's affidavit and his testimony on the witness stand do not always militate against the witness' credibility because the court have long taken judicial notice that affidavits, which are usually taken ex parte, are often incomplete and inaccurate. Indeed, a sworn statement taken ex parte is generally considered to be inferior to a testimony given in open court as the latter is subject to the test of cross examination. There is no rule of evidence to the effect that omission of certain particulars in a sworn statement would estop an affiant from making an elaboration thereof or from correcting inaccuracies during the trial. in addition the trial judge who sees and hears witnesses testify has exceptional opportunities to form a correct conclusion as to the degree of credit which should be accorded their testimonies. People vs. Webb GR 132577 / August 17, 1999 Facts: Respondent is one of the accused in a rape with homicide case pending before the RTC. During the course of the proceeding of the trial court, respondent filed a motion to take testimony by oral deposition of five additional witnesses all located in America. The trial court denied the motion on the ground that it is not allowed by Sec. 4, Rule 24 and Sec. 4 & 5 of Rule 119 of the Revised Rules of Court. Respondent assailed the trial court decision which was eventually reversed by the CA. Petitioner then elevated the case to the SC hence this petition for review on certiorari. Issue: WON the trial judge gravely abused her discretion in denying the motion to take testimony by oral deposition of additional witnesses located outside the country Ruling: A circumspect scrutiny of the record discloses that the evidence to be obtained through the depositiontaking would be superfluous or corroborative at best. A careful examination of exhibits 218 and 219 readily shows that these are of the same species of documents which have been previously introduced and admitted into evidence by the trial court. It need not be overemphasized that the foregoing factual circumstances only serves to underscore the immutable fact that the depositions proposed to be taken from the five U.S. based witnesses would be merely corroborative or cumulative in nature and in denying respondent's motion to take them, the trial court was but exercising its judgment on what it perceived to be a superfluous exercise on the belief that the introduction thereof will not reasonably add to the persuasiveness of the evidence already on record. In this regard, it bears stressing that under Section 6, Rule 113 of the Revised Rules of Court: "SECTION 6. Power of the court to stop further evidence. The court may stop the introduction of further testimony upon any particular point when the evidence upon it is already so full that more witnesses to the same point cannot be reasonably expected to be additionally persuasive. But this power should be exercised with caution." Needless to state, the trial court can not be faulted with lack of caution in denying respondent's motion considering that under the prevailing facts of the case, respondent had more than ample opportunity to adduce evidence in his defense. The use of discovery procedures is directed to the sound discretion of the trial judge. The deposition taking cannot be based nor can it be denied on flimsy reasons. Discretion has to be exercised in a reasonable manner and in consonance with the spirit of the law. There is no indication in this case that in denying the motion of respondent-accused, the trial judge acted in a biased, arbitrary, capricious or oppressive manner. Under the circumstances, We sustain the proposition that the trial judge commits no grave abuse of discretion if she decides that the evidence on the matter sought to be proved in the United States could not possibly add anything substantial to the defense evidence involved. There is no showing or allegation that the American public officers and the bicycle store owner can identify respondent Hubert Webb as the very person mentioned in the public and private documents. Neither is it shown in this petition that they know, of their own personal knowledge, a person whom they can identify as the respondent-accused who was actually present in the United States and not in the Philippines on the specified dates.

Petition granted.

SYNOPSIS Webb, an accused in the crime of Rape with Homicide, filed a Motion to Take Testimony by Oral Deposition, to take the testimonies of some vital witnesses residing in the U.S., before the proper Philippine consular authorities. The trial court denied the motion, but the Court of Appeals allowed the same. The only reason why respondent was seeking the deposition of the foreign witnesses was to foreclose any objection to the admissibility of two defense exhibits which had already been admitted. Further, the evidence sought to be obtained through the deposition-taking would be superfluous as there are exhibits of the same species previously introduced and admitted in evidence by the trial court. Hence, the same would be merely corroborative or cumulative in nature and will not reasonably add to the persuasiveness of the evidence already in hand. The use of discovery procedures is directed to the sound discretion of the trial judge. Here, the Court found no indication of grave abuse of discretion in the denial of the motion. G.R. No. 133154 December 9, 2005 JOWEL SALES, Petitioner, vs. CYRIL A. SABINO, Respondent. FACTS: On February 20, 1995, in the Regional Trial Court (RTC) at Pasig City, Metro Manila, 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, Elbert. 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, Atty. Roldan Villacorta, who even lengthily cross examined the deponent. Upon conclusion of her evidentiary presentation, respondent made a Formal Offer of Exhibits; petitioner opposed the admission 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. The trial court admitted, among other evidence, and his motion for reconsideration having been denied by the court, petitioner went on certiorari to the Court of Appeals, but was also denied. ISSUE: 1. 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 2. Whether or not the petitioner in cross-examining the deponent during the taking of his deposition waived any and all objections in connection therewith. HELD: 1. SEC. 4. Use of depositions.- At the trial . . . 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 of the following provisions: (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 exception circumstances exist and with due regard to the importance of presenting the testimony of witnesses orally in open court, to allow the deposition to be used. 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. However, 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, of the Rules of Court. Among these is when the witness is out of the Philippines. 2. But as jurisprudence teaches, it matters not that opportunity for cross-examination was afforded during the taking of the deposition; for normally, the opportunity for cross-examination must be accorded a party at the time the testimonial evidence is actually presented against him during the trial or hearing. In fine, the act of crossexamining 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. BRIBONERIA V. COURT OF APPEALS FACTS: Salvador D. Briboneria, as plaintiff, filed a complaint for Annulment of Document and Damages against private respondent Gertrudes B. Mag-isa. He alleged that he acquired a parcel of land through his hard-earned salaries abroad in which he built a residential house. And that his wife sold the house to Mag-isa without authority. He was then denied use and enjoyment of his properties which caused him mental anguish and sleepless nights. Mag-isa, in due time, filed her answer admitting in part and denying in part of the alleged facts set forth in the complaint. At some time, petitioner served on the counsel of respondent a request for admission. After more than 10 days, respondents filed their answer denying in part and admitting in part the request for admission. Petitioner filed a motion for summary judgment claiming that the Answer to Request for Admission was filed by private respondents beyond the 10 day period fixed in the request and that the answer was not under oath; that, consequently the private respondents are deemed to have admitted the material facts and documents. ISSUE: Is respondent deemed to have impliedly admitted the material and relevant facts? Was there a valid service of request for admission? HELD: The material matters and documents set forth in the request for admission are the same as those set forth in the complaint which private respondents either admitted or denied in their answer. A party should not be compelled to admit matters of fact already admitted by his pleading and concerning which there is no issue, nor should he be required to make a second denial of those already denied in his answer to the complaint. Moreover, under Section 1, Rule 26 of the Rules of Court, the request for admission must be served directly upon the party. The general rule as provided for under Section 2, Rule 13 of the Rules of Court is that all notices must be served upon counsel and not upon party. This is so because the attorney of a party is the agent of the party and is the one responsible for the conduct of the case in all its procedural aspects; hence, notice to counsel is notice to party. The purpose of the rule is obviously to maintain a uniform procedure calculated to place in competent hands the orderly prosecution of a party's case. However, the general rule cannot apply where the law expressly provides that notice must be served upon a definite person. In such cases, service must be made directly upon the person mentioned in the law and upon no other in order that the notice be valid. She, therefore, cannot be deemed to have admitted the facts and documents subject of the request for admission [G.R. No. 125383. July 2, 2002.] FORTUNATA N. DUQUE, petitioner, vs. COURT OF APPEALS, SPS. ENRICO BONIFACIO and DRA. EDNA BONIFACIO, respondents. MARCOSA D. VALENZUELA, assisted by her husband, ABELARDO VALENZUELA, petitioner, vs. COURT OF APPEALS, SPOUSES EDNA BONIFACIO and ENRICO BONIFACIO, respondents. Facts: Petitioners Duque and Valenzuela separately filed a complaint against respondent spouses Enrico and Edna Bonifacio alleging that respondents spouses Enrico and Edna Bonifacio negotiated with her certain checks in exchange for cash but upon presentation of the checks on their respective dates of maturity, the same were dishonored; that notwithstanding repeated demands, respondents refused and continued to refuse to honor said checks or replace it with cash. In their Answers, the respondent spouses specifically denied petitioners' allegations in the complaints. Thereafter, petitioners filed a Request for Admission and furnished to counsel for respondent spouses specifically requesting the admission of three things: (1) that respondent spouses negotiated with petitioners for valuable consideration certain checks; (2) that respondent Edna Bonifacio executed promissory notes in favor of petitioners acknowledging therein her indebtedness to them in the amount of P270,000.00 and P432,000.00; and (3) that petitioners sent demand letters on November 28, 1987 which respondent spouses allegedly received on December 5, 1987. For failure of the respondent spouses to respond to the aforementioned request, the Regional Trial Court held that there was an implied admission by the respondent spouses of the allegations in the request for admission. Thereafter, the trial court ruled in favor of petitioners. On appeal, the Court of Appeals vacated and set aside the decision of the trial court ruling that the matters of which admission by the respondent spouses was being sought in the petitioners' separate requests for admission pertained to those already denied by the former in their respective Answers to the two Complaints filed against them. The appellate court also held that there was no service of the request for admission on respondent spouses as required by the Rule. Hence, this petition.

Issues: (1) 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. (2) whether or not there was personal service of the request on private respondents. Held: First Issue: The prevailing rule in 1988 at the time when the request for admission was made is Rule 26 of the Revised Rules of Court, which provides: "Sec. 1. Request for admission At any time after issues have been joined, a party may serve upon any other party 20 a written request for the admission by the latter of the genuineness of any relevant documents described in and exhibited with the request or of the truth of any relevant matters of fact set forth in the request. Copies of the documents shall be delivered with the request unless copies have already been furnished. "Sec. 2. Implied admission Each of the matters of which an admission is requested shall be deemed admitted unless, within a period designated in the request, which shall not be less than ten (10) days after service thereof, or within such further time as the court may allow on motion and notice, the party to whom the request is directed serves upon the party requesting the admission a sworn statement either denying specifically the matters of which an admission is requested or setting forth in detail the reasons why he cannot truthfully either admit or deny those matters. "Objections on the ground of irrelevancy or impropriety of the matter requested shall be promptly submitted to the court for resolution." This particular Rule seeks to obtain admissions from the adverse party regarding the genuineness of relevant documents or relevant matters of fact through requests for admissions 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 proceeding by abetting redundancy in the pleadings, the intended purpose for the rule will certainly be defeated. In the present case, petitioners requested the admission of three things: first, that respondents negotiated with the plaintiffs for valuable consideration the checks annexed to the respective complaints; second, that defendant Edna N. Bonifacio signed separate promissory notes, both dated November 23, 1987 acknowledging that she is indebted to plaintiff Fortunata Duque in the sum of Two Hundred Seventy Thousand Pesos (P270,000.00) and to plaintiff Marcosa Valenzuela in the sum of Four Hundred Thirty Two Thousand Pesos (P432,000.00); and third, that the plaintiffs in the two (2) cases sent letters of demand commonly dated November 28, 1987 which the latter received on December 5, 1987. The first matter sought to be admitted by the petitioners pertains to the checks supposedly negotiated by the respondents to the plaintiffs. As correctly observed by the appellate court, these are the same checks referred to and annexed in the Complaint, to wit: . . . . The corresponding denial thereof by the respondents in their Answer reads: . . . Clearly therefrom, to require an admission on this point even though it was already denied in the Answer 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, 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.' Second Issue: On the second matter requested, petitioners sought the admission of respondents that Edna Bonifacio executed promissory notes in favor of the petitioners acknowledging therein her indebtedness to them in the amount of Two Hundred Seventy Thousand Pesos (P270,000.00) and Four Hundred Thirty Two Thousand Pesos (P432,000.00). The appellate court held that the allegation of the private respondents in their Answers that "they do not owe that much" is sufficient and does not necessitate a reply to the admission. To this we disagree. The request for admission pertains to promissory notes while the allegation quoted by the appellate court simply refers to the amount allegedly owed by the respondents, not to the promissory notes which in the first place were not mentioned in the Complaint of petitioners. However, we find no cogent reason to deviate from the observations of the Court of Appeals that the request for admission regarding the alleged promissory notes is defective for failure of petitioners to attach copies of said notes to the request for admission; and that private respondents were not previously furnished copies of the same.

Petitioner failed to comply with the requirements under Section 1 of Rule 26 which provides that a party may serve upon any other party a written request for the admission by the latter of the genuineness of any material and relevant document described in and exhibited with the request; and that copies of the documents should be delivered with the request unless copies have already been furnished. Except for the bare allegation of the petitioners that they also furnished private respondents said promissory notes, their requests do not show that there was indeed such previous or simultaneous service of the said documents on the petitioners. The petitioners claim that respondents were personally served requests for admission as required by the Rules; and that granting that they were not, service on the counsel would be sufficient. Records show that only the counsel of the respondents, Atty. H.G. Domingo, Jr. was furnished copies of the requests. This is not sufficient compliance with the Rules. As elucidated by the Court in the Briboneria case: "The general rule as provided for under Section 2 of Rule 27 ( now Section 2, Rule 13) of the Rules of Court is that all notices must be served upon counsel and not upon the party. This is so because the attorney of a party is the agent of the party and is the one responsible for the conduct of the case in all its procedural aspects; hence, notice to counsel is notice to party. The purpose of the rule is obviously to maintain a uniform procedure calculated to place in competent hands the orderly prosecution of a party's case. However, the general rule cannot apply where the law expressly provides that notice must be served upon a definite person. In such cases, service must be 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 the petitioners were not validly served and therefore, private respondents cannot be deemed to have admitted the truth of the matters upon which admissions were requested. Thus, the summary judgment rendered by the RTC has no legal basis to support it. [G.R. No. 172835. December 13, 2007.] AIR PHILIPPINES CORPORATION, petitioner, vs. PENNSWELL, INC., respondent. FACTS: Petitioner Air Philippines Corporation is a domestic corporation engaged in the business of air transportation services. On the other hand, respondent Pennswell, Inc. was organized to engage in the business of manufacturing and selling industrial chemicals, solvents, and special lubricants. On various dates, respondent delivered and sold to petitioner sundry goods in trade. Under the contracts, petitioner's total outstanding obligation amounted to P449,864.98 with interest at 14% per annum until the amount would be fully paid. For failure of the petitioner to comply with its obligation under said contracts, respondent filed a Complaint for a Sum of Money. In its Answer, petitioner contended that its refusal to pay was not without valid and justifiable reasons. In particular, petitioner alleged that it was defrauded in the amount of P592,000.00 by respondent for its previous sale of four items. Said items were misrepresented by respondent as belonging to a new line, but were in truth and in fact, identical with products petitioner had previously purchased from respondent. Moreover, petitioner alleged that when the purported fraud was discovered, a conference was held between petitioner and respondent, whereby the parties agreed that respondent would return to petitioner the amount it previously paid. However, petitioner was surprised when it received a letter from the respondent, demanding payment of the amount of P449,864.94, which later became the subject of respondent's Complaint for Collection of a Sum of Money against petitioner. During the pendency of the trial, petitioner filed a Motion to Compel 10 respondent to give a detailed list of the ingredients and chemical components of the following products, to wit: (a) Contact Grease and Connector Grease; (b) Thixohtropic Grease and Di-Electric Strength Protective Coating; and (c) Dry Lubricant and Anti-Seize Compound. 11 It appears that petitioner had earlier requested the Philippine Institute of Pure and Applied Chemistry (PIPAC) for the latter to conduct a comparison of respondent's goods. RTC granted the petition. Respondent sought reconsideration of the foregoing Order, contending that it cannot be compelled to disclose the chemical components sought because the matter is confidential and would constitute as a trade secret which respondent cannot be forced to divulge. The RTC gave credence to respondent's reasoning, and reversed itself. Alleging grave abuse of discretion on the part of the RTC, petitioner filed a Petition for Certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court with the Court of Appeals, which denied the Petition and affirmed the Order. Petitioner's Motion for Reconsideration was denied. Hence, this petition.

ISSUE: WHETHER THE COURT OF APPEALS RULED IN ACCORDANCE WITH PREVAILING LAWS AND JURISPRUDENCE WHEN IT UPHELD THE RULING OF THE TRIAL COURT THAT THE CHEMICAL COMPONENTS OR INGREDIENTS OF RESPONDENT'S PRODUCTS ARE TRADE SECRETS OR INDUSTRIAL SECRETS THAT ARE NOT SUBJECT TO COMPULSORY DISCLOSURE. RULING: Supreme Court affirmed the ruling of the Court of Appeals. The chemical composition, formulation, and ingredients of respondent's special lubricants are trade secrets within the contemplation of the law. Respondent was established to engage in the business of general manufacturing and selling of, and to deal in, distribute, sell or otherwise dispose of goods, wares, merchandise, products, including but not limited to industrial chemicals, solvents, lubricants, acids, alkalies, salts, paints, oils, varnishes, colors, pigments and similar preparations, among others.

It is clear that the manufacture and production of respondent's products proceed from a formulation of a secret list of ingredients. In the creation of its lubricants, respondent expended efforts, skills, research, and resources. What it had achieved by virtue of its investments may not be wrested from respondent on the mere pretext that it is necessary for petitioner's defense against a collection for a sum of money. By and large, the value of the information to respondent is crystal clear. The ingredients constitute the very fabric of respondent's production and business. No doubt, the information is also valuable to respondent's competitors. To compel its disclosure is to cripple respondent's business, and to place it at an undue disadvantage. If the chemical compositions of respondents lubricants are opened to public scrutiny, it will stand to lose the backbone on which its business is founded. This would result in nothing less than the probable demise of respondent's business. Respondent's proprietary interest over the ingredients which it had developed and expended money and effort on is incontrovertible. Supreme Courts conclusion is that the detailed ingredients sought to be revealed have a commercial value to respondent. Not only do the SC acknowledge the fact that the information grants it a competitive advantage; they also find that there is clearly a glaring intent on the part of respondent to keep the information confidential and not available to the prying public. Section 1, Rule 27 of the Rules of Court, which permits parties to inspect documents or things upon a showing of good cause before the court in which an action is pending. Its entire provision reads:

SECTION 1. Motion for production or inspection order. Upon motion of any party showing good cause therefore, 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. Rule 27 sets an unequivocal proviso that the documents, papers, books, accounts, letters, photographs, objects or tangible things that may be produced and inspected should not be privileged. The documents must not be privileged against disclosure. On the ground of public policy, the rules providing for production and inspection of books and papers do not authorize the production or inspection of privileged matter; that is, books and papers which, because of their confidential and privileged character, could not be received in evidence. Such a condition is in addition to the requisite that the items be specifically described, and must constitute or contain evidence material to any matter involved in the action and which are in the party's possession, custody or control. Section 24 of Rule 130 draws the types of disqualification by reason of privileged communication, to wit: (a) communication between husband and wife; (b) communication between attorney and client; (c) communication between physician and patient; (d) communication between priest and penitent; and (e) public officers and public interest. There are, however, other privileged matters that are not mentioned by Rule 130. Among them are the following: (a) editors may not be compelled to disclose the source of published news; (b) voters may not be compelled to disclose for whom they voted; (c) trade secrets; (d) information contained in tax census returns; and (d) bank deposits.

SC ruled against the petitioner and affirmed the ruling of the Court of Appeals which upheld the finding of the RTC that there is substantial basis for respondent to seek protection of the law for its proprietary rights over the detailed chemical composition of its products. Clearly, in accordance with our statutory laws, the Court has declared that intellectual and industrial property rights cases are not simple property cases. Without limiting such industrial property rights to trademarks and trade names, the Supreme Court has ruled that all agreements concerning intellectual property are intimately connected with economic development. The protection of industrial property encourages investments in new ideas and inventions and stimulates creative efforts for the satisfaction of human needs. It speeds up transfer of technology and industrialization, and thereby brings about social and economic progress. Verily, the protection of industrial secrets is inextricably linked to the advancement of our economy and fosters healthy competition in trade. Jurisprudence has consistently acknowledged the private character of trade secrets. There is a privilege not to disclose one's trade secrets. Foremost, this Court has declared that trade secrets and banking transactions are among the recognized restrictions to the right of the people to information as embodied in the Constitution. The privilege is not absolute; the trial court may compel disclosure where it is indispensable for doing justice. However, the SC finds reason to except respondent's trade secrets from the application of the rule on privilege. The revelation of respondent's trade secrets serves no better purpose to the disposition of the main case pending with the RTC, which is on the collection of a sum of money.