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G.R.No.175514.February14,2011.

PHILIPPINE BANK OF COMMUNICATIONS, petitioner, vs.


SPOUSESJOSEC.GOandELVYT.GO,respondents.

Remedial Law Civil Procedure Summary Judgments Summary or


accelerated judgment is a procedural technique aimed at weeding out sham
claims or defenses at an early stage of litigation thereby avoiding the
expense and loss of time involved in a trial Under the Rules, summary
judgmentisappropriatewhentherearenogenuineissuesoffactwhichcall
forthepresentationofevidenceinafullblowntrialMeaningofGenuine
Issue.UnderRule35ofthe1997RulesofProcedure,asamended,except
as to the amount of damages, when there is no genuine issue as to any
material fact and the moving party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of
law,summaryjudgmentmaybeallowed.Summaryoracceleratedjudgment
isaproceduraltechniqueaimedatweedingoutshamclaimsordefensesatan
early stage of litigation thereby avoiding the expense and loss of time
involvedinatrial.UndertheRules,summaryjudgmentisappropriatewhen
therearenogenuineissuesoffactwhich

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*SECONDDIVISION.

694

694 SUPREMECOURTREPORTSANNOTATED

PhilippineBankofCommunicationsvs.Go.

694 SUPREMECOURTREPORTSANNOTATED

PhilippineBankofCommunicationsvs.Go.

call for the presentation of evidence in a fullblown trial. Even if on their


facethepleadingsappeartoraiseissues,whentheaffidavits,depositionsand
admissions show that such issues are not genuine, then summary judgment
asprescribedbytheRulesmustensueasamatteroflaw.Thedeterminative
factor, therefore, in a motion for summary judgment, is the presence or
absenceofagenuineissueastoanymaterialfact.Agenuineissue is an
issue of fact which requires the presentation of evidence as distinguished
fromasham,fictitious,contrivedorfalseclaim.Whenthefactsaspleaded
appear uncontested or undisputed, then there is no real or genuine issue or
questionastothefacts,andsummaryjudgmentiscalledfor.Thepartywho
moves for summary judgment has the burden of demonstrating clearly the
absenceofanygenuineissueoffact,orthattheissueposedinthecomplaint
ispatentlyunsubstantialsoasnottoconstituteagenuineissuefortrial.Trial
courts have limited authority to render summary judgments and may do so
onlywhenthereisclearlynogenuineissueastoanymaterialfact.Whenthe
facts as pleaded by the parties are disputed or contested, proceedings for
summaryjudgmentcannottaketheplaceoftrial.
Same Same Same Pleadings and Practice To specifically deny a
materialallegation,adefendantmustspecifyeachmaterialallegationoffact
the truth of which he does not admit, and whenever practicable, shall set
forththesubstanceofthemattersuponwhichhereliestosupporthisdenial.
To specifically deny a material allegation, a defendant must specify each
material allegation of fact the truth of which he does not admit, and
wheneverpracticable,shallsetforththesubstanceofthemattersuponwhich
hereliestosupporthisdenial.Whereadefendantdesirestodenyonlyapart
of an averment, he shall specify so much of it as is true and material and
shall deny only the remainder. Where a defendant is without knowledge or
informationsufficienttoformabeliefastothetruthofamaterialaverment
made in the complaint, he shall so state, and this shall have the effect of a
denial.
SameSameSameSameModesofSpecificDenial.Rule8,Section
10oftheRulesofCivilProcedurecontemplatesthree(3)modesofspecific
denial, namely: 1) by specifying each material allegation of the fact in the
complaint, the truth of which the defendant does not admit, and whenever
practicable,settingforththesubstanceofthematterswhichhewillrelyupon
tosupporthis

695

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denial(2)byspecifyingsomuchofanavermentinthecomplaintasistrue
and material and denying only the remainder (3) by stating that the
defendantiswithoutknowledgeorinformationsufficienttoformabeliefas
tothetruthofamaterialavermentinthecomplaint,whichhastheeffectofa
denial.
SameSameSameSamePurposeofRequiringtheDefendanttoMake
a Specific Denial.The purpose of requiring the defendant to make a
specific denial is to make him disclose the matters alleged in the complaint
whichhesuccinctlyintendstodisproveatthetrial,togetherwiththematter
whichhereliedupontosupportthedenial.Thepartiesarecompelledtolay
theircardsonthetable.
Same Same Same Same Allegations made in pleadings must be
contextualizedandinterpretedinrelationtotherestofthestatementsinthe
pleading.Again,indraftingpleadings,membersofthebarareenjoinedto
be clear and concise in their language, and to be organized and logical in
their composition and structure in order to set forth their statements of fact
and arguments of law in the most readily comprehensible manner possible.
Failing such standard, allegations made in pleadings are not to be taken as
standalone catchphrases in the interest of accuracy. They must be
contextualizedandinterpretedinrelationtotherestofthestatementsinthe
pleading.
Same Same Same Same As held in Philippine Bank of
Communications v. Court of Appeals, 195 SCRA 567 (1991), the Court
ruled that the defendants contention that it had no truth or information
sufficient to form a belief as to the truth of the deed of exchange was an
invalidorineffectualdenialpursuanttotheRulesofCourt,asitcouldhave
easilyassertedwhetherornotithadexecutedthedeedofexchangeattached
tothepetition.InPhilippineBankofCommunicationsv.CourtofAppeals,
195SCRA567(1991),theCourtruledthatthedefendantscontentionthatit
hadnotruthorinformationsufficienttoformabeliefastothetruthofthe
deed of exchange was an invalid or ineffectual denial pursuant to the Rules
ofCourt,asitcouldhaveeasilyassertedwhetherornotithadexecutedthe
deed of exchange attached to the petition. Citing Capitol Motors
Corporationsv.Yabut, the Court stated that: x x x The rule authorizing an
answer to the effect that the defendant has no knowledge or information
sufficient to form a belief as to the truth of an averment and giving such
answertheeffectofadenial,doesnot

696

696 SUPREMECOURTREPORTSANNOTATED

PhilippineBankofCommunicationsvs.Go.

696 SUPREMECOURTREPORTSANNOTATED

PhilippineBankofCommunicationsvs.Go.
applywherethefactastowhichwantofknowledgeisasserted,issoplainly
and necessarily within the defendants knowledge that his averment of
ignorancemustbepalpablyuntrue.

PETITIONforreviewoncertiorariofthedecisionandresolutionof
theCourtofAppeals.
ThefactsarestatedintheopinionoftheCourt.
M.Z.Baaga,Jr.andAssociatesLawOfficesforpetitioner.
PachecoLawOfficeforrespondents.

MENDOZA,J.:
ThisisapetitionforreviewoncertiorariunderRule45filedby
petitionerPhilippineBankofCommunications(PBCom)seekingto
set aside the July 28, 2006 Decision,1 and the November 27, 2006
Resolution2 of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CAG.R. CV No.
77714.TheCAdecisionreversedandsetasidetheJanuary25,2002
Decision of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 42, Manila (RTC),
which granted the motion for summary judgment and rendered
judgmentonthebasisofthepleadingsandattacheddocuments.

TheFacts

On September 30, 1999, respondent Jose C. Go (Go) obtained


two loans from PBCom, evidenced by two promissory notes,
embodyinghiscommitmenttopayP17,982,222.22forthefirstloan,
andP80millionforthesecondloan,withinatenyearperiodfrom
September30,1999toSeptember30,2009.3
Tosecurethetwoloans,Goexecutedtwo(2)pledgeagreements,
bothdatedSeptember29,1999,coveringsharesof

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1Rollo,pp.3342.
2Id.,atpp.4445.
3Id.,atp.34.

697

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stock in Ever Gotesco Resources and Holdings, Inc. The first


pledge,valuedatP27,827,122.22,wastosecurepaymentofthefirst
loan, while the second pledge, valued at P70,155,100.00, was to
securethesecondloan.4
Twoyearslater,however,themarketvalueofthesaidsharesof
stock plunged to less than P0.04 per share. Thus, PBCom, as
pledgee, notified Go in writing on June 15, 2001, that it was
renouncingthepledgeagreements.5
Later, PBCom filed before the RTC a complaint6 for sum of
moneywithprayerforawritofpreliminaryattachmentagainstGo
andhiswife,ElvyT.Go(SpousesGo),docketedasCivilCaseNo.
01101190. PBCom alleged that Spouses Go defaulted on the two
(2) promissory notes, having paid only three (3) installments on
interest paymentscovering the months of September, November
and December 1999. Consequently, the entire balance of the
obligations of Go became immediately due and demandable.
PBCommaderepeateddemandsuponSpousesGoforthepayment
of said obligations, but the couple imposed conditions on the
payment,suchastheliftingofgarnishmenteffectedbytheBangko
SentralngPilipinas(BSP)onGosaccounts.7
Spouses Go filed their Answer with Counterclaim8 denying the
material allegations in the complaint and stating, among other
matters,that:

8.Thepromissorynotereferredtointhecomplaintexpresslystatethat
theloanobligationispayablewithintheperiodoften(10)years.Thus,from
theexecutiondateofSeptember30,1999,itsduedatefallsonSeptember30,
2009 (and not 2001 as erroneously stated in the complaint). Thus, prior to
September 30, 2009, the loan obligations cannot be deemed due and
demandable.

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4Id.
5Id.
6Id.,atpp.4656.
7Id.,atp.35.
8Id.,atpp.3536.

698

698 SUPREMECOURTREPORTSANNOTATED
PhilippineBankofCommunicationsvs.Go.

698 SUPREMECOURTREPORTSANNOTATED
PhilippineBankofCommunicationsvs.Go.


In conditional obligations, the acquisition of rights, as well as the
extinguishment or loss of those already acquired, shall depend upon the
happening of the event which constitutes the condition. (Article 1181, New
CivilCode)
9. Contrary to the plaintiffs proferrence, defendant Jose C. Go had
made substantial payments in terms of his monthly payments. There is,
therefore,aneedtodosomeaccountingworks(sic)toreconciletherecords
ofbothparties.
10.Whiledemandisanecessaryrequirementtoconsiderthedefendant
tobeindelay/default,suchhasnotbeencompliedwithbytheplaintiffsince
the former is not aware of any demand made to him by the latter for the
settlementofthewholeobligation.
11. Undeniably, at the time the pledge of the shares of stock were
executed,theirtotalvalueismorethantheamountoftheloanoratthevery
least,equaltoit.Thus,plaintiffwasfullysecuredinsofarasitsexposureis
concerned.
12.And even assuming without conceding, that the present value of
said shares x x x went down, it cannot be considered as something
permanent since the prices of stocks in the market either increases (sic) or
decreases(sic)dependingonthemarketforces.Thus,itishighlyspeculative
fortheplaintifftoconsidersaidsharestohavesufferedtremendousdecrease
initsvalue.Moreso,itisunfairfortheplaintifftorenounceorabandonthe
pledgeagreements.

On September 28, 2001, PBCom filed a verified motion for


summaryjudgment9anchoredonthefollowinggrounds:

I.MATERIAL AVERMENTS OF THE COMPLAINT ADMITTED


BY DEFENDANTSPOUSES IN THEIR ANSWER TO OBVIATE THE
NECESSITYOFTRIAL
II.NOREALDEFENSESANDNOGENUINEISSUESASTOANY
MATERIAL FACT WERE TENDERED BY THE DEFENDANT
SPOUSESINTHEIRANSWER

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9Id.,atp.64.

699

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III.PLANTIFFS CAUSES OF ACTIONS ARE SUPPORTED BY
VOLUNTARY ADMISSIONS AND AUTHENTIC DOCUMENTS
WHICHMAYNOTBECONTRADICTED.10

PBComcontendedthattheAnswerinterposednospecificdenials
on the material averments in paragraphs 8 to 11 of the complaint
suchasthefactofdefault,theentireamountbeingalreadydueand
demandable by reason of default, and the fact that the bank had
made repeated demands for the payment of the
obligations.11Spouses Go opposed the motion for summary
judgment arguing that they had tendered genuine factual issues
calling for the presentation of evidence.12The RTC granted
PBComs motion in its Judgment13 dated January 25, 2002, the
dispositiveportionofwhichstates:

WHEREFORE, in view of all the foregoing, judgment is rendered for the


plaintiff and against the defendants ordering them to pay plaintiff jointly and
severallythefollowing:
1.The total amount of P117,567,779.75, plus interests and penalties as
stipulatedinthetwopromissorynotes
2.Asumequivalentto10%oftheamountinvolvedinthiscase,bywayof
attorneysfeesand
3.hecostsofsuit.
SOORDERED.14

Spouses Go moved for a reconsideration but the motion was


deniedinanorder15datedMarch20,2002.

_______________

10Id.
11Id.,atp.36.
12Id.
13Id.,atpp.8086.
14Id.,atp.86.
15Id.,atp.37.

700

700 SUPREMECOURTREPORTSANNOTATED
PhilippineBankofCommunicationsvs.Go.

700 SUPREMECOURTREPORTSANNOTATED
PhilippineBankofCommunicationsvs.Go.


RulingoftheCourtofAppeals
In its Decision dated July 28, 2006, the CA reversed and set
asidetheassailedjudgmentoftheRTC,deniedPBComsmotionfor
summary judgment, and ordered the remand of the records to the
courtoforiginfortrialonthemerits.Thedispositiveportionofthe
decisionstates:
WHEREFORE, premises considered, the assailed judgment of the
RegionalTrialCourt,Branch42ofManilainCivilCaseNo.01101190is
hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE, and a new one entered denying
plaintiffappellees motion for summary judgment. Accordingly, the records
ofthecaseareherebyremandedtothecourtoforiginfortrialonthemerits.
SOORDERED.16

The CA could not agree with the conclusion of the RTC that
Spouses Go admitted paragraphs 3, 4 and 7 of the complaint. It
foundthesupposedadmissiontobeinsufficienttojustifyarendition
ofsummaryjudgmentinthecaseforsumofmoney,sincetherewere
otherallegationsanddefensesputupbySpousesGointheirAnswer
whichraisedgenuineissuesonthematerialfactsintheaction.17
TheCAagreedwithSpousesGothatparagraphs3and4ofthe
complaint merely dwelt on the fact that a contract of loan was
enteredintobytheparties,whileparagraph7simplyemphasizedthe
termsofthepromissorynotesexecutedbyGoinfavorofPBCom.
Thefactofdefault,theamountoftheoutstandingobligation,andthe
existence of a prior demand, which were all material to PBComs
claim,werehardlyadmitted18bySpousesGointheirAnswerand
were, in fact, effectively questioned in the other allegations in the
Answer.19

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16Id.,atp.41.
17Id.,atp.39.
18Id.
19Id.,atpp.3940.

701

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PBComsmotionforreconsiderationwasdeniedinaresolution20
datedNovember27,2006.
Thus,thispetitionforreview.

TheIssues
I
WHETHER THE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED OR ACTED IN
GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION AMOUNTING TO LACK, OR
EXCESSOFJURISDICTIONINRULINGTHATTHEREEXISTSA
GENUINE ISSUE AS TO MATERIAL FACTS IN THE ACTION IN
SPITE OF THE UNEQUIVOCAL ADMISSIONS MADE IN THE
PLEADINGSBYRESPONDENTSAND
II
WHETHER THE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED OR ACTED IN
GRAVE ABUSE OF JURISDICTION [DISCRETION] IN HOLDING
THAT ISSUES WERE RAISED ABOUT THE FACT OF DEFAULT,
THEAMOUNTOFTHEOBLIGATION,ANDTHEEXISTENCEOF
PRIOR DEMAND, EVEN WHEN THE PLEADING CLEARLY
POINTSTOTHECONTRARY.

PetitionerPBComsPosition:
Summaryjudgmentwasproper,
astherewerenogenuineissues
raisedastoanymaterialfact.
PBCom argues that the material averments in the complaint
categoricallyadmittedbySpousesGoobviatedthenecessityoftrial.
IntheirAnswer,SpousesGoadmittedtheallegationsinparagraphs
3and4oftheComplaintpertainingtothesecurityfortheloansand
thedueexecutionofthe

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20Id.,atpp.4445.PennedbyAssociateJusticeRodrigoV.Cosico,withAssociate
Justices Edgardo F. Sundiam and Apolinario D. Bruselas, Jr. (in lieu of Associate
Justice Japar B. Dimaampao who was on leave per Office Order No. 30006RTR
datedNovember14,2006),concurring.

702

702 SUPREMECOURTREPORTSANNOTATED
PhilippineBankofCommunicationsvs.Go.

702 SUPREMECOURTREPORTSANNOTATED
PhilippineBankofCommunicationsvs.Go.

promissory notes,21 and those in paragraph 7 which set forth the


acceleration clauses in the promissory note. Their denial of
paragraph 5 of the Complaint pertaining to the Schedules of
Payment for the liquidation of the two promissory notes did not
constituteaspecificdenialrequiredbytheRules.22
EvenintheComment23ofSpousesGo,theclear,categoricaland
unequivocal admission of paragraphs 3, 4, and 7 of the Complaint
hadbeenconceded.24
PBComfaultstheCAforhavingformulatednonexistentissues
pertaining to the fact of default, the amount of outstanding
obligationandtheexistenceofpriordemand,noneofwhichisborne
bythepleadingsortherecords.25
The Spouses Go, PBCom argues, cannot negate or override the
legaleffectoftheaccelerationclausesembodiedineachofthetwo
promissory notes executed by Go. Moreover, the nonpayment of
arrearages constituting default was admitted by Go in his letters to
PBComdatedMarch3andApril7,2000,respectively.26Therefore,
by such default, they have lost the benefit of the period in their
favor,pursuanttoArticle119827oftheCivilCode.

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21Id.,atp.236.
22Id.,atp.237
23Id.,atp.174.
24Id.,atp.240.
25Id.,atp.241.
26Id.,atp.242.
27Article1198oftheCivilCodeprovides:Thedebtorshallloseeveryrightto
makeuseoftheperiod:
(1)Whenaftertheobligationhasbeencontracted,hebecomesinsolvent,unless
hegivesaguarantyorsecurityforthedebt
(2)Whenhedoesnotfurnishtothecreditortheguarantiesorsecuritieswhichhe
haspromised
(3)Whenbyhisownactshehasimpairedsaidguarantiesorsecuritiesaftertheir
establishment, and when through a fortuitous event they disappear, unless he
immediatelygivesnewonesequallysatisfactory

703

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Further,PBComclaimsthatitscausesofactionaresupportedby
authentic documents and voluntary admissions which cannot be
contradicted. It cites the March 3 and April 7, 2000 letters of Go
requesting deferment of interest payments on his past due loan
obligations to PBCom, as his assets had been placed under
attachmentinacasefiledbytheBSP.28PBComemphasizesthatthe
said letters,inaddition to its letters of demand duly acknowledged
andreceivedbyGo,negatedtheirclaimthattheywerenotawareof
anydemandhavingbeenmade.29
Respondentspousesposition:
Summaryjudgmentwasnotproper.
The core contention of Spouses Go is that summary judgment
was not proper under the attendant circumstances, as there exist
genuineissueswithrespecttothefactofdefault,theamountofthe
outstanding obligation, and the existence of prior demand, which
were duly questioned in the special and affirmative defenses set
forth in the Answer. Spouses Go agree with the CA that the
admissionsinthepleadingspertainedtothehighlightofthetermsof
thecontract.Suchadmissionsmerelyrecognizedtheexistenceofthe
contract of loan and emphasized its terms and conditions.30
Moreover,althoughtheyadmittedparagraphs3,4,and7,thespecial
andaffirmativedefensescontainedintheAnswertenderedgenuine
issueswhichcouldonlyberesolvedinafullblowntrial.31

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(4)When the debtor violates any undertaking, in consideration of which the


creditoragreedtotheperiod
(5)Whenthedebtorattemptstoabscond.
28Rollo,pp.242243.
29Id.,atp.244.
30Id.,atp.210.
31Id.,atp.211.

704

704 SUPREMECOURTREPORTSANNOTATED
PhilippineBankofCommunicationsvs.Go.

704 SUPREMECOURTREPORTSANNOTATED
PhilippineBankofCommunicationsvs.Go.

Onthematterofspecificdenial,SpousesGopositthattheCourt
decisions cited by PBCom32 do not apply on all fours in this case.
Moreover,thesubstanceoftherepaymentschedulewasnotsetforth
in the complaint. It, therefore, follows that the act of attaching
copies to the complaint is insufficient to secure an implied
admission. Assuming arguendo that it was impliedly admitted, the
existence of said schedule and the promissory notes would not
immediatelymakeprivaterespondentsliablefortheamountclaimed
by PBCom.33 Before respondents may be held liable, it must be
established, first, that they indeed defaulted and second, that the
obligationshasremainedoutstanding.34
SpousesGoalsostatethatalthoughtheyadmittedparagraphs3,4
and 7 of the Complaint, the fact of default, the amount of
outstandingobligationandtheexistenceofpriordemandwerefully
questionedinthespecialandaffirmativedefenses.35
RulingoftheCourt

TheCourtagreeswiththeCAthat[t]hesupposedadmissionof
defendantsappellants on the x x x allegations in the complaint is
clearlynotsufficienttojustifytherenditionofsummaryjudgmentin
the case for sum of money, considering that there are other
allegations embodied and defenses raised by the defendants
appellants in their answer which raise a genuine issue as to the
materialfactsintheaction.36
TheCAcorrectlyruledthatthereexistgenuineissuesastothree
materialfacts,whichhavetobeaddressedduringtrial:

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32PhilippineBankofCommunicationsv.CourtofAppeals,G.R.No.92067,March
22,1991,195SCRA567andMoralesv.CourtofAppeals,274Phil.674197SCRA
391(1991).
33Rollo,p.215.
34Id.
35Id.,atp.213.
36Id.,atp.39.

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first, the fact of default second, the amount of the outstanding


obligation,andthird,theexistenceofpriordemand.
UndertheRules,followingthefilingofpleadings,if,onmotion
of a party and after hearing, the pleadings, supporting affidavits,
depositions and admissions on file show that, except as to the
amountofdamages,thereisnogenuineissueastoanymaterialfact,
and that the moving party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of
law,37 summary judgment may be rendered. This rule was
expoundedinAsian Construction and Development Corporation v.
PhilippineCommercialInternationalBank,38whereitwaswritten:

UnderRule35ofthe1997RulesofProcedure,asamended,exceptasto
the amount of damages, when there is no genuine issue as to any material
fact and the moving party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law,
summaryjudgmentmaybeallowed.39Summaryoracceleratedjudgmentisa
procedural technique aimed at weeding out sham claims or defenses at an
early stage of litigation thereby avoiding the expense and loss of time
involvedinatrial.40
Under the Rules, summary judgment is appropriate when there are no
genuine issues of fact which call for the presentation of evidence in a full
blowntrial.Evenifontheirfacethepleadingsappeartoraiseissues,when
the affidavits, depositions and admissions show that such issues are not
genuine,thensummaryjudgmentasprescribedbytheRulesmustensueasa
matteroflaw.Thedeterminativefactor,therefore,inamotionforsummary
judgment, is the presence or absence of a genuine issue as to any material
fact.
Agenuineissueisanissueoffactwhichrequiresthepresentationof
evidence as distinguished from a sham, fictitious, contrived or false claim.
Whenthefactsaspleadedappearuncontestedorundisputed,thenthereisno
realorgenuineissueorquestionasto

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37Rule35,RulesofCivilProcedure.
38G.R.No.153827,April25,2006,488SCRA192.
39CitingNorthwestAirlinesv.CourtofAppeals,348Phil.438,449284SCRA408,417
(1998).
40CitingExcelsaIndustries,Inc.v.CourtofAppeals,317Phil.664,671247SCRA560,
566(1995).

706

706 SUPREMECOURTREPORTSANNOTATED
PhilippineBankofCommunicationsvs.Go.

706 SUPREMECOURTREPORTSANNOTATED
PhilippineBankofCommunicationsvs.Go.

the facts, and summary judgment is called for. The party who moves for
summary judgment has the burden of demonstrating clearly the absence of
anygenuineissueoffact,orthattheissueposedinthecomplaintispatently
unsubstantial so as not to constitute a genuine issue for trial. Trial courts
have limited authority to render summary judgments and may do so only
whenthereisclearlynogenuineissueastoanymaterialfact.Whenthefacts
aspleadedbythepartiesaredisputedorcontested,proceedingsforsummary
judgmentcannottaketheplaceoftrial.41(Underscoringsupplied.)

Juxtaposing the Complaint and the Answer discloses that the


materialfactsherearenotundisputedsoastocallfortherendition
of a summary judgment. While the denials of Spouses Go could
have been phrased more strongly or more emphatically, and the
Answer more coherently and logically structured in order to
overthrowanyshadowofdoubtthatsuchdenialswereindeedmade,
the pleadings show that they did in fact raise material issues that
havetobeaddressedandthreshedoutinafullblowntrial.
PBComanchorsitsargumentsontheallegedimpliedadmission
by Spouses Go resulting from their failure to specifically deny the
materialallegationsintheComplaint,citingasprecedentPhilippine
Bank of Communications v. Court of Appeals,42 and Morales v.
Court of Appeals. Spouses Go, on the other hand, argue that
although admissions were made in the Answer, the special and
affirmativedefensescontainedthereintenderedgenuineissues.
Under the Rules, every pleading must contain, in a methodical
and logical form, a plain, concise and direct statement of the
ultimate facts on which the party pleading relies for his claim or
defense, as the case may be, omitting the statement of mere
evidentiaryfacts.43

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41 Supra note 38 at pp. 202203, citing Evadel Realty and Development


Corporationv.Soriano,409Phil.450,461357SCRA395,401(2001).
42G.R.No.92067,March22,1991,195SCRA567.
43Section1,Rule8,RulesofCivilProcedure.

707

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To specifically deny a material allegation, a defendant must


specify each material allegation of fact the truth of which he does
notadmit,andwheneverpracticable,shallsetforththesubstanceof
the matters upon which he relies to support his denial. Where a
defendant desires to deny only a part of an averment, he shall
specifysomuchofitasistrueandmaterialandshalldenyonlythe
remainder.Whereadefendantiswithoutknowledgeorinformation
sufficienttoformabeliefastothetruthofamaterialavermentmade
inthecomplaint,heshallsostate,andthisshallhavetheeffectofa
denial.44
Rule8,Section10oftheRulesofCivilProcedurecontemplates
three (3) modes of specific denial, namely: 1) by specifying each
material allegation of the fact in the complaint, the truth of which
the defendant does not admit, and whenever practicable, setting
forththesubstanceofthematterswhichhewillrelyupontosupport
his denial (2) by specifying so much of an averment in the
complaint as is true and material and denying only the remainder
(3) by stating that the defendant is without knowledge or
information sufficient to form a belief as to the truth of a material
avermentinthecomplaint,whichhastheeffectofadenial.45
Thepurposeofrequiringthedefendanttomakeaspecificdenial
istomakehimdisclosethemattersallegedinthecomplaintwhich
hesuccinctlyintendstodisproveatthetrial,togetherwiththematter
which he relied upon to support the denial. The parties are
compelledtolaytheircardsonthetable.46
Again,indraftingpleadings,membersofthebarareenjoinedto
beclearandconciseintheirlanguage,andtobe

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44Section10,Rule8,RulesofCivilProcedure.
45SpousesGazav.RamonJ.LimandAgnesJ.Lim,443Phil.337,345395SCRA
261,266(2003).
46Aquinteyv.Tibong,G.R.No.166704,December20,2006,511SCRA414,432.

708

708 SUPREMECOURTREPORTSANNOTATED
PhilippineBankofCommunicationsvs.Go.

708 SUPREMECOURTREPORTSANNOTATED
PhilippineBankofCommunicationsvs.Go.

organizedandlogicalintheircompositionandstructureinorderto
set forth their statements of fact and arguments of law in the most
readily comprehensible manner possible. Failing such standard,
allegations made in pleadings are not to be taken as standalone
catchphrases in the interest of accuracy. They must be
contextualized and interpreted in relation to the rest of the
statementsinthepleading.
In Spouses Gaza v. Lim, the Court ruled that the CA erred in
declaring that the petitioners therein impliedly admitted
respondents allegation that they had prior and continuous
possessionoftheproperty,aspetitionersdidinfactenumeratetheir
specialandaffirmativedefensesintheirAnswer.Theyalsospecified
thereineachallegationinthecomplaintbeingdeniedbythem.The
Courtthereinstated:

TheCourtofAppealsheldthatspousesGaza,petitioners,failedtodeny
specifically, in their answer, paragraphs 2, 3 and 5 of the complaint for
forcibleentryquotedasfollows:
xxxxxxxxx
2.Thatplaintiffsaretheactualandjointoccupantsandinprior
continuous physical possession since 1975 up to Nov. 28, 1993 of a
certaincommercialcompounddescribedasfollows:
A certain parcel of land situated in Bo. Sta. Maria, Calauag,
Quezon.BoundedontheN.,&E.,byJuliandeClaroontheW.,by
Luis Urrutia. Containing an area of 5,270 square meters, more or
less.DeclaredunderRamonJ.LimsTaxDec.No.4576withanAss.
ValueofP26,100.00
3.That plaintiffs have been using the premises mentioned for
combined lumber and copra business. Copies of plaintiffs Lumber
Certificate of Registration No. 2490 and PCA Copra Business
RegistrationNo.6265/76areheretoattachedasAnnexesAandB
respectively the Mayors unnumbered copra dealers permit dated
Dec.31,1976heretoattachedasAnnexC
xxxxxxxxx
5. That defendants invasion of plaintiffs premises was
accomplishedillegallybydetainingplaintiffscaretakerEmilio

709

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Herreraandhisdaughterinsidethecompound,thenproceededtosaw
the chain that held plaintiffs padlock on the main gate of the
compound and then busted or destroyed the padlock that closes the
backyard gate or exit. Later, they forcibly opened the lock in the
upstairs room of plaintiff Agnes J. Lims quarters and defendants
immediately filled it with other occupants now. Copy of the
caretakers (Emilio Herrera) statement describing in detail is hereto
attachedasAnnexD
xxxxxxxxx.7
TheCourt of Appeals then concluded that since petitioners did not deny
specifically in their answer the abovequoted allegations in the complaint,
they judicially admitted that Ramon and Agnes Lim, respondents, were in
priorphysicalpossessionofthesubjectproperty,andtheactionforforcible
entry which they filed against private respondents (spouses Gaza) must be
decided in their favor. The defense of private respondents that they are the
registeredownersofthesubjectpropertyisunavailing.
We observe that the Court of Appeals failed to consider paragraph 2 of
petitionersanswerquotedasfollows:
2.Thatdefendantsspecificallydenytheallegationsinparagraph
2 and 3 of the complaint for want of knowledge or information
sufficient to form a belief as to the truth thereof, the truth of the
matter being those alleged in the special and affirmative defenses of
thedefendants8
Clearly, petitioners specifically denied the allegations contained in
paragraphs 2 and 3 of the complaint that respondents have prior and
continuous possession of the disputed property which they used for their
lumber and copra business. Petitioners did not merely allege they have no
knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as to truth of those
allegationsinthecomplaint,butaddedthefollowing:
SPECIALANDAFFIRMATIVEDEFENSES
That defendants hereby reiterate, incorporate and restate the
foregoingandfurtherallege:
5.Thatthecomplaintstatesnocauseofaction
Fromtheallegationsofplaintiffs,itappearsthattheirpossession
of the subject property was not supported by any concrete title or
right,nowhereinthecomplaintthattheyal

710

710 SUPREMECOURTREPORTSANNOTATED
PhilippineBankofCommunicationsvs.Go.

710 SUPREMECOURTREPORTSANNOTATED
PhilippineBankofCommunicationsvs.Go.

leged either as an owner or lessee, hence, the alleged possession of


plaintiffsisquestionablefromallaspects.DefendantsSps.Napoleon
Gaza and Evelyn Gaza being the registered owner of the subject
propertyhasalltherighttoenjoythesame,touseit,asanownerand
in support thereof, a copy of the transfer certificate of title No. T
47263 is hereto attached and marked as Annex AGaza and a copy
oftheDeclarationofRealPropertyislikewiseattachedandmarkedas
AnnexBGazatoformanintegralparthereof
6.That considering that the aboveentitled case is an ejectment
case,andconsideringfurtherthatthecomplaintdidnotstateorthere
isnoshowingthatthematterwasreferredtoaLuponforconciliation
undertheprovisionsofP.D.No.1508,theRevisedRuleonSummary
Procedureof1991,particularlySection18thereofprovidesthatsuch
afailureisjurisdictional,hencesubjecttodismissal
7.ThattheHonorableCourthasnojurisdictionoverthesubject
oftheactionorsuit
Thecomplaintisforforcibleentryandtheplaintiffswerepraying
for indemnification in the sum of P350,000.00 for those copra,
lumber, tools, and machinery listed in par. 4 of the complaint and
P100,000.00 for unrealized income in the use of the establishment,
consideringtheforegoing amounts not to be rentals, Section 1 A (1)
and (2) of the Revised Rule on Summary Procedure prohibits
recovery of the same, hence, the Honorable Court can not acquire
jurisdiction over the same. Besides, the defendants Napoleon Gaza
andEvelynGazabeingtheownersofthosepropertiescitedinpar.4
of the complaint except for those copra and two (2) live carabaos
outside of the subject premises, plaintiffs have no rights whatsoever
in claiming damages that it may suffer, as and by way of proof of
ownership of said properties cited in paragraph 4 of the complaint
attachedherewitharebunche[s]ofdocumentstoformanintegralpart
hereof
8. That plaintiffs allegation that Emilio Herrera was illegally
detained together with his daughter was not true and in support
thereof, attached herewith is a copy of said Herreras statement and
markedasAnnexCGaza.
xxxxxxxxx.9

711

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The abovequoted paragraph 2 and Special and Affirmative Defenses
containedinpetitionersanswerglaringlyshowthatpetitionersdidnotadmit
impliedlythatrespondentshavebeeninpriorandactualphysicalpossession
of the property. Actually, petitioners are repudiating vehemently
respondents possession, stressing that they (petitioners) are the registered
ownersandlawfuloccupantsthereof.
Respondents reliance on Warner Barnes and Co., Ltd. v. Reyes10 in
maintaining that petitioners made an implied admission in their answer is
misplaced.Inthecitedcase,thedefendantsanswermerelyallegedthatthey
werewithoutknowledgeorinformationsufficienttoformabeliefastothe
truthofthematerialavermentsoftheremainderofthecomplaintandthat
they hereby reserve the right to present an amended answer with special
defenses and counterclaim.11 In the instant case, petitioners enumerated
their special and affirmative defensesin their answer. They also specified
therein each allegation in the complaint being denied by them. They
particularlyalleged they are the registered owners and lawful possessors of
the land and denied having wrested possession of the premises from the
respondents through force, intimidation, threat, strategy and stealth. They
asserted that respondents purported possession is questionable from all
aspects. They also averred that they own all the personal properties
enumerated in respondents complaint, except the two carabaos. Indeed,
nowhere in the answer can we discern an implied admission of the
allegations of the complaint, specifically the allegation that petitioners have
priorityofpossession.
Thus, the Court of Appeals erred in declaring that herein petitioners
impliedly admitted respondents allegation that they have prior and
continuouspossessionoftheproperty.47(Underscoringsupplied.)

Inthiscase,asinGaza,theadmissionsmadebySpousesGoare
tobereadandtakentogetherwiththerestoftheallegationsmadein
theAnswer,includingthespecialandaffirmativedefenses.
Forinstance,onthefactofdefault,PBComallegesinparagraph
8oftheComplaintthatGodefaultedinthepayment

_______________

47Supranote45.

712

712 SUPREMECOURTREPORTSANNOTATED
PhilippineBankofCommunicationsvs.Go.

712 SUPREMECOURTREPORTSANNOTATED
PhilippineBankofCommunicationsvs.Go.

for both promissory notes, having paid only three interest


installments covering the months of September, November, and
December1999.
In paragraph 6 of the Answer, Spouses Go denied the said
allegation, and further alleged in paragraphs 8 to 13 that Go made
substantialpaymentsonhismonthlyloanamortizations.
Theportionsofthepleadingsreferredtoarejuxtaposedbelow:

Complaint Answer
8.Thedefendantdefaultedinthepayment 6.Defendantsdenythe
of the obligations on the two (2) allegationsinparagraphs8,
promissory notes (Annexes A and B 9,10and11ofthe
hereof) as he has paid only three (3) Complaint
installments on interests (sic) payments
xxx
covering the months of September,
November and December, 1999, on both 8.Thepromissorynotes
promissory notes, respectively. As a referredtointhecomplaint
consequence of the default, the entire expresslystatethattheloan
balance due on the obligations of the obligationispayablewithin
defendant to plaintiff on both promissory theperiodoften(10)years.
notes immediately became due and Thus,fromtheexecution
demandable pursuant to the terms and dateofSeptember30,1999,
conditions embodied in the two (2) itsduedatefallson
promissorynotes48 September3o,2009(andnot
2001aserroneouslystatedin
thecomplaint).Thus,prior
toSeptember30,2009,the
loanobligationscannotbe
deemeddueanddemandable.
In conditional obligations,
the acquisition of rights, as
well as the extinguishment
or loss of those already
acquired, shall depend upon
thehap
_______________

48Rollo,p.50.

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peningoftheeventwhichconstitutesthecondition.(Article1181,New
CivilCode)
9. Contrary to the plaintiffs preference, defendant Jose C. Go has
madesubstantialpaymentsintermsofhismonthlypayments.Thereis
therefore, a need to do some accounting works (sic) just to reconcile
therecordsofbothparties.

10.Whiledemandisanecessaryrequirementtoconsiderthedefendant
tobeindelay/default,suchhasnotbeencompliedwithbytheplaintiff
sincetheformerisnotawareofanydemandmadetohimbythelatter
forthesettlementofthewholeobligation.

11. Undeniably, at the time the pledge of the shares of stocks were
executed,theirtotalvalueismorethantheamountoftheloan,oratthe
very least, equal to it. Thus, plaintiff was fully secured insofar as its
exposureisconcerned.49

12. And even assuming without conceding, that the present value of
saidshareshaswent(sic)down,itcannotbeconsideredassomething
permanentsince,thepricesof

_______________

49Id.,atp.59.

714

714 SUPREMECOURTREPORTSANNOTATED
PhilippineBankofCommunicationsvs.Go.

714 SUPREMECOURTREPORTSANNOTATED
PhilippineBankofCommunicationsvs.Go.


stocksinthemarketeitherincreases(sic)or(sic)decreases
dependingonthemarketforces.Thus,itishighlyspeculativeforthe
plaintifftoconsidersaidsharestohavesufferedtremendous
decreaseinitsvalue.Moreso(sic),itisunfairfortheplaintiffto
renounceorabandonthepledgeagreements.
13.Asaptlystated,itisnotawareofanyterminationofthepledge
agreementinitiatedbytheplaintiff.

Moreover, in paragraph 10 of the Answer, Spouses Go also


denied the existence of prior demand alleged by PBCom in
paragraph 10 of the Complaint. They stated therein that they were
notawareofanydemandmadebyPBComforthesettlementofthe
wholeobligation.Bothsectionsarequotedbelow:

Complaint Answer
10.Plaintiffmaderepeateddemandsfrom 10. While demand is a
(sic)defendantforthepaymentofthe necessary requirement to
obligationswhichthelatteracknowledged consider the defendant to be
tohaveincurredhowever,defendant in delay/default, such has
imposedconditionssuchas[that]his not been complied with by
[effecting]paymentsshalldependuponthe theplaintiffsincetheformer
liftingofgarnishmenteffectedbythe is not aware of any demand
BangkoSentralonhisaccounts. madetohimbythelatterfor
Photocopiesofdefendantscommunication the settlement of the whole
datedMarch3,2000 obligation.

715

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and April 7, 2000, with plaintiff are hereto attached as Annexes F


and G hereof, as well as its demand to pay dated April 18, 2000.
Demand by plaintiff is hereto attached as Annex H hereof.50
[Emphasessupplied]

Finally, as to the amount of the outstanding obligation, PBCom


allegedinparagraph9oftheComplaintthattheoutstandingbalance
onthecouplesobligationsasofMay31,2001wasP21,576,668.64
forthefirstloanandP95,991,111.11,forthesecondloanoratotal
ofP117,567,779.75.
In paragraph 9 of the Answer, however, Spouses Go, without
stating any specific amount, averred that substantial monthly
payments had been made, and there was a need to reconcile the
accountingrecordsoftheparties.

Complaint Answer
9.Defendants outstanding 9.Contrary to the plaintiffs
obligations under the two (2) preference,defendantJoseC.Go
promissory notes as of May 31, 2001 has made substantial payments
are: P21,576,668.64 (Annex A) and in terms of his monthly
P95,991,111.11 (Annex B), or a payments. There is therefore, a
total of P117,567,779.75. Copy of the need to do some accounting
Statement of Account is hereto works just to reconcile the
attachedasAnnexEhereof.51 recordsofbothparties.52

Clearlythen,whentakenwithinthecontextoftheentiretyofthe
pleading,itbecomesapparentthattherewasnoim

_______________

50Id.,atp.50.
51Id.
52Id.,atp.59.

716

716 SUPREMECOURTREPORTSANNOTATED
PhilippineBankofCommunicationsvs.Go.

716 SUPREMECOURTREPORTSANNOTATED
PhilippineBankofCommunicationsvs.Go.

plied admission and that there were indeed genuine issues to be


addressed.
As to the attached March 3, 2000 letter, the Court is in accord
withtheCAwhenitwrote:

The letter dated March 3, 2000 is insufficient to support the material


averments in PBComs complaint for being equivocal and capable of
different interpretations. The contents of the letter do not address all the
issuesmaterialtothebanksclaimandthusdonotconclusivelyestablishthe
cause of action of PBCom against the spouses Go. As regards the letter
dated April 7, 2000, the trial court itself ruled that such letter addressed to
PBCom could not be considered against the defendantsappellants simply
becauseitwasnotsignedbydefendantappellantJoseGo.
Notably, the trial court even agreed with the defendantappellants on the
followingpoints:
The alleged default and outstanding obligations are based on the
Statement of Account. This Court agrees with the defendants that
sincethesubstanceofthedocumentwasnotsetforthinthecomplaint
although a copy thereof was attached thereto, or the said document
was not set forth verbatim in the pleading, the rule on implied
admissiondoesnotapply.53

ItmustalsobepointedoutthatthecasescitedbyPBComdonot
apply to this case. Those two cases involve denial of lack of
knowledge of facts so plainly and necessarily within [the
knowledge of the party making such denial] that such averment of
ignorance must be palpably untrue.54 Also, in both cases, the
documentsdeniedwerethesamedocumentsordeedssueduponor
madethebasisof,andattachedto,thecomplaint.

_______________

53Id.,atp.40.
54WarnerBarnes&Co.,Ltd.v.Reyes,103Phil.662,665(1958),citingIclePlant
EquipmentCo.v.Marcello,D.C.Pa.1941,43F.Supp.281.

717

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InPhilippineBankofCommunicationsv.CourtofAppeals,55the
Court ruled that the defendants contention that it had no truth or
informationsufficienttoformabeliefastothetruthofthedeedof
exchangewasaninvalidorineffectualdenialpursuanttotheRules
of Court,56 as it could have easily asserted whether or not it had
executed the deed of exchange attached to the petition. Citing
CapitolMotorsCorporationsv.Yabut,57theCourtstatedthat:

xxxTheruleauthorizingananswertotheeffectthatthedefendanthas
noknowledgeorinformationsufficienttoformabeliefastothetruthofan
avermentandgivingsuchanswertheeffectofadenial,doesnotapplywhere
the fact as to which want of knowledge is asserted, is so plainly and
necessarilywithinthedefendantsknowledgethathisavermentofignorance
mustbepalpablyuntrue.58

The Warner Barnes case cited above sprung from a suit for
foreclosureofmortgage,wherethedocumentthatdefendantdenied
wasthedeedofmortgagesueduponandattachedtothecomplaint.
TheCourtthenruledthatitwouldhavebeeneasyforthedefendants
to specifically allege in their answer whether or not they had
executedtheallegedmortgage.
Similarly, in Capitol Motors, the document denied was the
promissory note sued upon and attached to the complaint. In said
case,theCourtruledthatalthoughastatementoflackofknowledge
orinformationsufficienttoformabeliefastothetruthofamaterial
avermentinthecomplaintwasoneofthemodesofspecificdenial
contemplatedundertheRules,paragraph2oftheAnswerinthesaid
casewasinsufficienttoconstituteaspecificdenial.59Followingthe
rulingintheWar

_______________

55PhilippineBankofCommunicationsv.CourtofAppeals,supranote32.
56Id.,atp.574.
57Id.
58Id.,citingWarnerBarnes&Co.,Ltd.v.Reyes,103Phil.662(1958).
59Id.

718

718 SUPREMECOURTREPORTSANNOTATED
PhilippineBankofCommunicationsvs.Go.

718 SUPREMECOURTREPORTSANNOTATED
PhilippineBankofCommunicationsvs.Go.

ner Barnes case, the Court held that it would have been easy for
defendanttospecificallyallegeintheAnswerwhetherornotithad
executedthepromissorynoteattachedtotheComplaint.60
In Morales v. Court of Appeals,61 the matter denied was
intervenorsknowledgeoftheplaintiffshavingclaimedownership
ofthevehicleincontention.TheCourtthereinstated:

Yet, despite the specific allegation as against him, petitioner, in his


Answer in Intervention with Counterclaim and Crossclaim, answered the
aforesaidparagraph11,andotherparagraphs,merelybysayingthathehas
no knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as to its truth.
WhileitmaybetruethatundertheRulesonecouldavailofthisstatementas
a means of a specific denial, nevertheless, if an allegation directly and
specifically charges a party to have done, performed or committed a
particularact,butthelatterhadnotinfactdone,performedorcommittedit,
acategoricalandexpressdenialmustbemade.Insuchacase,theoccurrence
or nonoccurrence of the facts alleged may be said to be within the partys
knowledge.Inshort,thepetitionerhereincouldhavesimplyexpresslyandin
no uncertain terms denied the allegation if it were untrue. It has been held
that when the matters of which a defendant alleges of having no knowledge
orinformationsufficienttoformabelief,areplainlyandnecessarilywithin
his knowledge, his alleged ignorance or lack of information will not be
considered as specific denial. His denial lacks the element of sincerity and
goodfaith,hence,insufficient.62

Borrowing the phraseology of the Court in the Capitol Motors


case, clearly, the fact of the parties having executed the very
documents sued upon, that is, the deed of exchange, deed or
mortgageorpromissorynote,issoplainlyandnecessarily

_______________

60Id.
61274Phil.674,686197SCRA391(1991).
62Id., at p. 674 p. 404, citing Gutierrez v. Court of Appeals, 165 Phil. 752 74
SCRA127(1976)andWarnerBarnes&Co.v.Reyes,103Phil.662(1958).

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within the knowledge of the denying parties that any averment of


ignoranceastosuchfactmustbepalpablyuntrue.
Inthiscase,however,SpousesGoarenotdisclaimingknowledge
of the transaction or the execution of the promissory notes or the
pledgeagreementssuedupon.Themattersincontentionare,asthe
CAstated,whetherornotrespondentswereindefault,whetherthere
was prior demand, and the amount of the outstanding loan. These
arethemattersthatthepartiesdisagreeonandbywhichreasonthey
set forth vastly different allegations in their pleadings which each
will have to prove by presenting relevant and admissible evidence
duringtrial.
Furthermore,instarkcontrasttothecitedcaseswhereoneofthe
parties disclaimed knowledge of something so patently within his
knowledge,inthiscase,respondentsSpousesGocategoricallystated
intheAnswerthattherewasnopriordemand,thattheywerenotin
default,andthattheamountoftheoutstandingloanwouldhaveto
beascertainedbasedonofficialrecords.
WHEREFORE,thepetitionisDENIED.
SOORDERED.

Carpio(Chairperson),Nachura,PeraltaandAbad,JJ.,concur.

Petitiondenied.
Note.In summary judgments, the trial court can determine a
genuineissueonthebasisofthepleadings,admissions,documents,
affidavitsorcounteraffidavitssubmittedbytheparties.(Bitangavs.
Pyramid Construction Engineering Corporation, 563 SCRA 544
[2008])
o0o

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