G.R. No. 176570 : July 18, 2012

FACTS: A Complaint for a Sum of Money and Damages against petitioners was filed by respondents before RTC Cavite. In their Answer to Complaint, petitioners admitted having made purchases from respondent, but alleged that they do not remember the exact amount thereof as no copy of the documents evidencing the purchases were attached to the complaint. The respondent filed a Motion for Partial Judgment on the Pleadings contending that petitioners were deemed to have admitted in their Answer that they owed respondent the amount of P259,809.50 when they claimed that they made partial payments amounting to P130,301.80. Respondent filed a Request for Admission asking that petitioners admit the genuineness of various documents, such as statements of accounts, delivery receipts, invoices and demand letter attached thereto as well as the truth of the allegations set forth therein. The RTC ruled that the “Comments on the Request for Admission” dated 04 June 1996 is expunged from the record for being contrary to the Rules of Court. The CA dismissed the appeal. Hence, this petition.

ISSUE: Whether or not CA erred in denying petitioner’s motion for a summary judgment? NO.

HELD: NO. The CA was correct because the petition lacks merit. Summary judgment is a procedural device resorted to in order to avoid long drawn out litigations and useless delays.25 Such judgment is generally based on the facts proven summarily by affidavits, depositions, pleadings, or admissions of the parties. In the present case, it bears to note that in its original Complaint, as well as in its Amended Complaint, respondent did not allege as to how petitioners’ partial payments of P110,301.80 and P20,000.00 were applied to the latter’s obligations. In fact, there is no allegation or admission whatsoever in the said Complaint and Amended Complaint that such partial payments were made. Petitioners, on the other hand, were consistent in raising their affirmative defense of partial payment in their Answer to the Complaint and Answer to Amended Complaint. Having pleaded a valid defense, petitioners, at this point, were deemed to have raised genuine issues of fact. On the basis of the foregoing, petitioners’ defense of partial payment in their Answer to Second Amended Complaint, in effect, no longer raised genuine issues of fact that require presentation of evidence in a full-blown trial. Hence, the summary judgment of the RTC in favor of respondent is proper.


G.R. No. 185527 : July 18, 2012

FACTS: Petitioners were charged before the Metropolitan Trial Court (MeTC) of Manila for Other Deceits under Article 318 of the Revised Penal Code (RPC).The prosecution’s complaining witness, Li Luen Ping, a frail old businessman from Laos, Cambodia, traveled from his home country back to the Philippines in order to attend the hearing held on September 9, 2004. However, trial dates were subsequently postponed due to his unavailability. The private prosecutor filed with the MeTC a Motion to Take Oral Deposition of Li Luen Ping, alleging that he was being treated for lung infection at the Cambodia Charity Hospital in Laos, Cambodia and that, upon doctor’s advice, he could not make the long travel to the Philippines by reason of ill health. Notwithstanding petitioners’ Opposition, the MeTC granted the motion after the prosecution complied with the directive to submit a Medical Certificate of Li Luen Ping. Petitioners sought its reconsideration which the MeTC denied, prompting petitioners to file a Petition for Certiorari  before the RTC. Upon denial by the RTC of their motion for reconsideration through an Order dated March 5, 2006, the prosecution elevated the case to the CA. the CA denied petitioners’ motion for Reconsideration.

ISSUE: Whether or not CA erred in sustaining that the rules on deposition-taking in civil cases is also applicable to criminal cases? Yes.

Held: YES. Rules on deposition-taking in civil cases is not applicable to criminal cases because the examination of witnesses in criminal cases must be done orally before a judge in open court in order to allow the accused to meet the witness against him face to face. The Procedure for Testimonial Examination of an Unavailable Prosecution Witness is covered under Section 15, Rule 119. The requirement is the “safest and most satisfactory method of investigating facts” as it enables the judge to test the witness’ credibility through his manner and deportment while testifying. It is not without exceptions, however, as the Rules of Court recognizes the conditional examination of witnesses and the use of their depositions as testimonial evidence in lieu of direct court testimony. But for purposes of taking the deposition in criminal cases, more particularly of a prosecution witness who would foreseeably be unavailable for trial, the testimonial examination should be made before the court, or at least before the judge, where the case is pending.


G.R. NO. 171182; AUGUST 23 2012

FACTS: The University of the Philippines (UP) signed a General Construction Agreement (GCA) with respondent Stern Builders Corporation (Stern Builders) for the construction and refurbishment of structures on the UP’s Los Bas campus. UP was able to pay both its first and second bills. However, the third invoice of P273,729.47 was not paid since it was denied by the Commission on Audit (COA). As a result, Stern Builders filed a lawsuit against the UP to recover the outstanding amount.

The RTC issued its ruling on November 28, 2001, ordering UP to compensate Stern Builders. The UP then filed a request for reconsideration on January 16, 2002. The motion was refused by the RTC. The rejection of the aforementioned motion was served on Atty. On May 17, 2002, Felimon Nolasco (Atty.Nolasco) of the UPLB Legal Office. Specifically, Atty. Nolasco was the OLS at Diliman, Quezon City, not the UP’s counsel of record.

Following that, on June 3, 2002, the UP filed a notice of appeal. The RTC, however, refused due process to the notice of appeal since it was submitted out of time. The RTC issued the writ of execution on October 4, 2002, on the request of Stern Builders.

Both the CA and the High Court dismissed UP’s plea on appeal. The refusal became final and binding. As a result, Stern Builders filed a move for execution in the RTC, despite the fact that their earlier motion had already been approved and the writ of execution had already been issued. The RTC granted another request for execution filed on May 9, 2003 on June 11, 2003. (although the RTC had already issued the writ of execution on October 4, 2002). As a result, the sheriff issued garnishment orders on the UPs depositary banks, and the RTC ordered the cash to be released.

UP was aggrieved and took the case to the CA. The RTC was upheld by the CA. As a result, this petition.


  1. W/N UP’s funds were validly garnished?
  2. W/N UP’s appeal dated June 3, 2002, filed late?
  1. NO. Because UP’s funds are government monies, they are not susceptible to garnishment. (Suability vs. responsibility of the State; garnishment of public monies). The Constitution stated unequivocally that “no money shall be paid out of the Treasury unless in accordance of an appropriation authorized by legislation.” The execution of the monetary judgment against the UP was under the main competence of the COA. It made no difference that the claim against the UP had previously been approved by a final and executory judgement.
  2. NO. The term of appeal did not begin until the decision was effectively served on counsel of record. The denial of the motion for reconsideration was served on Atty. Nolasco of the UPLB Legal Office was invalid and ineffective since he was not the UP’s lawyer of record. The denial of the motion for reconsideration could only be lawfully served on the OLS at Diliman, and no other. It is established that if a party has appeared through counsel, service must be made on such counsel.