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RULES 25-27

OF THE RULES OF COURT

A Written Report for the


Subject (LLB 231):
CIVIL PROCEDURE

Submitted to:

JUDGE RONALD S. TOLENTINO

by:

ROMMEL O. MONDILLA, JR.


ELEAZAR P. CAGULA
ELOISA OLIVEROS
ALEXANDER BESA
MICHELLE JUEVES
FEBBIE MARIANO
JEFFERSON G. NUÑEZA
KHARREL GRACE N. ABREA

7 March 2019
RULE 25
INTERROGATORIES

Section 1. Interrogatories to parties; service thereof. — Under the same conditions


specified in section 1 of Rule 23, any party desiring to elicit material and relevant facts from any
adverse parties shall file and serve upon the latter written interrogatories to be answered by the
party served or, if the party served is a public or private corporation or a partnership or association,
by any officer thereof competent to testify in its behalf.

Section 2. Answer to interrogatories. — The interrogatories shall be answered fully in


writing and shall be signed and sworn to by the person making them. The party upon whom the
interrogatories have been served shall file and serve a copy of the answers on the party submitting
the interrogatories within fifteen (15) days after service thereof unless the court on motion and for
good cause shown, extends or shortens the time.

Section 3. Objections to interrogatories. — Objections to any interrogatories may be


presented to the court within ten (10) days after service thereof, with notice as in case of a motion;
and answers shall be deferred until the objections are resolved, which shall be at as early a time as
is practicable.

Section 4. Number of interrogatories. — No party may, without leave of court, serve


more than one set of interrogatories to be answered by the same party.

Section 5. Scope and use of interrogatories. — Interrogatories may relate to any matters
that can be inquired into under section 2 of Rule 23, and the answers may be used for the same
purposes provided in section 4 of the same Rule.

Section 6. Effect of failure to serve written interrogatories. — Unless thereafter allowed


by the court for good cause shown and to prevent a failure of justice, a party not served with written
interrogatories may not be compelled by the adverse party to give testimony in open court, or to
give a deposition pending appeal.

**********

What is interrogatories?
Interrogatories in civil action is a list of questions one party sends to another as part of the
discovery process. The recipient must answer the questions under oath and according to the case’s
schedule (www.law.cornell.edu).

Why need interrogatories when there is already an answer?


An answer only contains defenses which are statement of ultimate facts, i.e., payment.
Interrogatories allow the parties to find out the evidentiary facts, i.e., when or where you
paid and to whom did you make payment.

How is this different from written interrogatories in Rule 23, Sec. 25?
In Rule 23, questions prepared are submitted to a deposition officer who will propound the
questions to the deponent and record the answer under oath. Also, interrogatories under this rule
may be made to a third party who may or may not be a party to the case.
In Rule 25, depositions are submitted directly to the adverse party, and the same may only
be made exclusively to the parties of the case.
How do you make interrogatories?
Section 1: Interrogatories to parties; service, thereof – Under the same conditions specified
in section 1 of Rule 23, any party desiring to elicit material and relevant facts from any adverse
parties shall file and serve upon the latter written interrogatories to be answered by the party
served, or if the party served is a public or private corporation or a partnership or association, by
any officer thereof competent to testify in its behalf.

What are the requirements in case of a response to interrogatories?

The interrogatories shall be:

1. Answered fully in writing; and


2. Shall be signed and sworn to by the person making them

When to file an answer to interrogatories?

The party upon whom the interrogatories have been served shall:

1. File and serve a copy of the answers on the party submitting the interrogatories
within fifteen (15) days after service thereof;
2. Unless the court, on motion and for good cause shown, extends or shortens the time.

What are the procedure and consequences if party refuses to answer?

1. Upon refusal of a party to answer any interrogatory, the proponent may apply to the court
for an order compelling an answer.

If the application is granted, the court shall require the refusing party or deponent to answer
the question or interrogatory and if it also finds that the refusal was without substantial
justification, it may further require the refusing party or deponent or the attorney advising the
refusal, or both of them, to pay the examining party the amount of the reasonable expenses incurred
in obtaining the order including reasonable attorney’s fees.

If the application is denied and the court finds that it was made without substantial
justification, it shall require the examining party or his attorney or both of them to pay to the
refusing party the amount of the reasonable expenses incurred in opposing the application,
including reasonable attorney’s fees. (Sec. 1, Rule 29)

2. If a party or other witness refuses to be sworn or refuses to answer any question after being
directed to do so by the court of the place in which the deposition is being taken, the refusal
may be considered a contempt of that court. ( Sec. 2, Rule 29)
3. If a party refuses to answer designated questions after being ordered by the court to do so,
the court may issue an order:
a. That the matters regarding which questions are asked shall be taken to be established for
the purpose of the action in accordance with the claim of the party obtaining the order.
(Sec. 3(a), Rule 29)
b. Refusing to allow the disobedient party to support or oppose designated claims or defences
(Sec. 3(b), Rule 29)
c. Striking out pleadings or parts thereof or staying further proceedings until the order is
obeyed, or dismissing the action or proceeding or any part thereof, or rendering a judgment
by default against the disobedient party. (Sec. 3(c), Rule 29)
d. In lieu of any of the foregoing orders or in addition thereto, directing the arrest of any party
or agent of a party for disobeying any of such orders. (Sec. 3(d), Rule 29)

Note: The cited provisions refer to a situation where a particular question in the set of written
interrogatories served upon a party is concerned but where the whole set of written interrogatories
is ignored and none of the questions is answered, the sanction is found in sec. 5, rule 29.
“Section 5. Failure of party to attend or serve answers. — If a party or an officer or
managing agent of a party wilfully fails to appear before the officer who is to take his deposition,
after being served with a proper notice, or fails to serve answers to interrogatories submitted under
Rule 25 after proper service of such interrogatories, the court on motion and notice, may strike out
all or any part of any pleading of that party, or dismiss the action or proceeding or any part thereof,
or enter a judgment by default against that party, and in its discretion, order him to pay reasonable
expenses incurred by the other, including attorney's fees.”

What are the grounds for objection and effect thereof?

The party served can present objections to the court instead of filing an answer within
fifteen (15) days after service thereof with notice to the proponent of the written interrogatories as
in case of a motion.

The objections could be: 1 Those provisions referring to the effects of errors and
irregularities in depositions (Sec. 29, Rule 23 and Rule 130); 2 The provisions regarding the rules
on admissibility of evidence, if relevant; 3 and those measures involving the protection of the
parties under sections 16 and 18 of Rule 23. The effect of presenting the objections shall defer the
filing of answer until the objections are resolved. (Sec. 3, Rule 25)

G.R. No. L-34897; July 15, 1975


RAUL ARELLANO v. COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE OF SORSOGON, BRANCH I,
and SANTIAGO UY-BARRETA

Facts:
Uy-Barreta filed a civil case with respondent court against Arellano and a certain Emilio
B. Bayona for reconveyance, with damages, of a certain parcel of land located in Sorsogon,
Sorsogon, alleging as cause of action that the defendants had successfully maneuvered in bad faith,
thru a supposedly false extrajudicial partition, to secure the issuance of a certificate of title which
enabled them to ultimately have the cancellation thereof in the name of Arellano.

After being served with summons, Arellano filed on May 5,1967, instead of an answer, a
motion to dismiss based on the ground of failure of the complaint to state a cause of action.

Simultaneously, pursuant to Rule 25 of the Rules of Court, Arellano dispatched written


interrogatories to Barreta.

"WRITTEN INTERROGATORIES

Mr. Santiago Uy-Barreta

Sorsogon, Sorsogon
Sir:

In accordance with the provisions of Rule 25 of the new Rules of Court, you are hereby
served the following interrogatories, to be answered by you, separately and fully in writing, under
oath. The answers shall be signed by you, and copy thereof served on the undersigned within
fifteen (15) days from receipt of these interrogatories.

1) Do you have a certificate of title registered in your name over the property, subject of this
litigation?

2) If so, what is the number of the title?

3) If not, under what title do you claim the property?

Manila for Sorsogon, Sorsogon, May 5, 1967"

Since Arellano had not received any answer to the foregoing written interrogatories as of
June 9, 1967, on this date, his counsel filed a motion praying for leave that his Written
Interrogatories be given due course and plaintiff be required to send his Answers thereto within
five (5) days from receipt of the order and that plaintiff’s complaint be dismissed if he fails to
comply with the aforesaid order sought for. For reasons not appearing in the record, nothing
happened relative to either the motion to dismiss of May 5, 1967 or the subsequent motion of June
9, 1967 until February 12, 1969, over one and a half years later, when respondent court motu
proprio set both motions for hearing for February 28, 1969, on which date, upon request of Barreta,
the court gave him ten (10) days within which “to file the corresponding opposition after which
the said motion will be deemed submitted for resolution.” In an order dated March 25, 1969, the
court noted the failure of Barreta to comply with the promise to file an opposition to the written
interrogatories within ten (10) days.

As nothing again was heard from Barreta as of April 7, 1969, on this date, Arellano filed a
motion reiterating “his prayer for the dismissal of plaintiff’s complaint pursuant to Section 5, Rule
29 and Section 3, Rule 17”, alleging that Barreta had failed to serve answers to the interrogatories
sent to him despite the periods previously given to him by the court.

Issue:
Whether the failure to answer interrogatories would merit dismissal of the case?

Ruling:
YES. Dismissal of action as ground of failure of plaintiff to answer written interrogatories
is justified.—To be sure, We can uphold the order of dismissal in question on the strength of the
basic principles of discovery procedure, more specifically, for failure of Barreta to serve any
answer to Arellano’s interrogatories. The contention of respondent that it was erroneous for the
trial court to dismiss the action without first ordering Barreta to answer the interrogatories of
Arellano and waiting for his failure to do so has no merit.

To begin with, instead of seeing to it that every step is expeditiously taken so that his
complaint may be placed in the calendar for trial, by his own transparent dilatory moves, plaintiff
in this case contributed actively to the unreasonable and unexplained delay of the preliminary
incidents. His excuses in relation to the written interrogatories are flimsy and groundless. As can
be seen, the interrogatories are proper, contrary to the observations of plaintiff that they deal with
"facts clearly seen from the allegations of the complaint . . . (hence) frivolous and need not be
answered." The interrogatories sought specific details of the title relied upon by plaintiff, which is
certainly proper, there being no mention of any title of the plaintiff in the complaint. In other
words, it can be said that somehow plaintiff was guilty of failure to prosecute his case for an
unreasonable length of time, by failing to keep the progress thereof in motion for almost two years.
Under the rules, it is the duty of a plaintiff to always take the initiative in keeping the proceedings
active and going until it is terminated, otherwise his case may he dismissed either upon motion of
his adversary or of the court itself.

What made the dismissal of Barreta’s complaint more justified is that his inaction was
manifested by paying no heed at all to various periods given to him by the court to file his
opposition or "whatever pleading he may desire" to enable the court to act on the incidents pending
before it. All practitioners must know that when the court gives a party a period to file any pleading
or paper, it is because such pleading or paper is needed to enable it to act justly and fairly No party
may regard such periods as inconsequential and, therefore, treat them with nonchalance and
indifference, without sacrificing the public interest, considering that understandably their
observance is indispensable to the proper administration of justice. Failure to comply with them
must, therefore, be satisfactorily explained to be excusable. Accordingly, the repeated unexplained
failure of plaintiff herein to comply with the orders of the trial court is definitely a valid and legal
ground for the dismissal of his case, for failure to prosecute.

Objections to interrogations

● May be presented to the court within 10 days after service;


● With notice to the parties;
● Answers shall be deferred until the objections are resolved

The possible grounds for objections are:

● Impropriety
● Immateriality
● Inadmissibility of privilege

Deposition upon written interrogatories Interrogatories to parties


Objections made in the course of the deposition taking are taken Objections are presented
note by the deposition officer. He does not rule on it. directly to the court.

Number of interrogatories

Sending additional interrogatories to a party after an interrogatory was finished is not


allowed unless with leave of court.

What are the matters that can inquired into interrogatories?

Any matter which is:

● Not privileged; and


● Relevant to the subject of the pending action, whether relating to the claim or defense of
any other party, including the existence, description, nature, custody, condition, and
location of any books, documents, or other tangible things and the identity and location of
persons having knowledge of relevant facts. (Section 2, Rule 23)

USE OF INTERROGATORIES

● Against any party who was present or represented at the taking of the deposition or who
had due notice thereof;
● For the purpose of contradicting or impeaching the testimony of deponent as a witness;
● By any adverse party for any purpose, the deposition of a party or of any one who at the
time of taking the deposition was an officer, director, or managing agent of a public or
private corporation, partnership, or association which is a party;
● By any party, the deposition of a witness, whether or not a party, for any purpose if the
court finds:
● that the witness is dead; or
● 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
● that the witness is unable to attend or testify because of age, sickness, infirmity, or
imprisonment; or
● that the party offering the deposition has been unable to procure the attendance of
the witness by subpoena; or
● upon application and notice, that such exceptional circumstances exist as to make
it desirable, in the interest of justice and with due regard to the importance of
presenting the testimony of witnesses orally in open court, to allow the deposition
to be used.

G.R. No. 185145;February 5, 2014


SPOUSES VICENTE AFULUGENCIA and LETICIA AFULUGENCIA vs.
METROPOLITAN BANK & TRUST CO. and EMMANUEL L. ORTEGA, Clerk of
Court, Regional Trial Court and Ex-Officio Sheriff, Province of Bulacan

Doctrine: Section 6, Rule 25 of the Rules of Court (Rules) provides that “a party not served with
written interrogatories may not be compelled by the adverse party to give testimony in open court,
or to give a deposition pending appeal.” The provision seeks to prevent fishing expeditions and
needless delays. Its goal is to maintain order and facilitate the conduct of trial.

Facts: Petitioners, spouses Vicente and Leticia Afulugencia, filed a Complaint for nullification of
mortgage, foreclosure, auction sale, certificate of sale and other documents, with damages, against
respondents Metropolitan Bank & Trust Co. (Metrobank) and Emmanuel L. Ortega (Ortega)
before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Malolos City.

After the filing of the parties’ pleadings and with the conclusion of pre-trial, petitioners
filed a Motion for Issuance of Subpoena Duces Tecum Ad Testificandum to require Metrobank’s
officers to appear and testify as the petitioners’ initial witnesses during the August 31, 2006 hearing
for the presentation of their evidence-in-chief, and to bring the documents relative to their loan
with Metrobank, as well as those covering the extrajudicial foreclosure and sale of petitioners’
200-square meter land in Meycauayan, Bulacan.
Metrobank filed an Opposition arguing that:

● For lack of a proper notice of hearing, the Motion must be denied;


● Being a litigated motion, the failure of petitioners to set a date and time for the hearing
renders the Motion ineffective and pro forma;
● That pursuant to Sections 1 and 6 of Rule 25 of the Rules, Metrobank’s officers – who are
considered adverse parties – may not be compelled to appear and testify in court for the
petitioners since they were not initially served with written interrogatories;
● That petitioners have not shown the materiality and relevance of the documents sought to
be produced in court; and that petitioners were merely fishing for evidence.

The trial court denied the motion. The CA held that the trial court did not commit grave
abuse of discretion in issuing the assailed Orders.

Issue:
Whether the Court of Appeals committed (reversible) error in holding that the petitioners
must first serve written interrogatories to respondent bank’s officers before they can be
subpoenaed?

Ruling:
No. As a rule, in civil cases, the procedure of calling the adverse party to the witness stand
is not allowed, unless written interrogatories are first served upon the latter. This is embodied in
Section 6, Rule 25 of the Rules, which provides –
Section 6. Effect of failure to serve written interrogatories. Unless thereafter allowed by
the court for good cause shown and to prevent a failure of justice, a party not served with written
interrogatories may not be compelled by the adverse party to give testimony in open court, or to
give a deposition pending appeal.
One of the purposes of the above rule is to prevent fishing expeditions and needless delays;
it is there to maintain order and facilitate the conduct of trial. It will be presumed that a party who
does not serve written interrogatories on the adverse party beforehand will most likely be unable
to elicit facts useful to its case if it later opts to call the adverse party to the witness stand as its
witness. Instead, the process could be treated as a fishing expedition or an attempt at delaying the
proceedings; it produces no significant result that a prior written interrogatories might bring.
RULE 26
ADMISSION BY ADVERSE PARTY

Section 1. Request for admission. — At any time after issues have been joined, a party may file
and 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 or of the truth
of any material and relevant matter of fact set forth in the request. Copies of the documents shall
be delivered with the request unless copy have already been furnished.

Section 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
fifteen (15) days after service thereof, or within such further time as the court may allow on motion,
the party to whom the request is directed files and 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 to any request for admission shall be submitted to the court by the party
requested within the period for and prior to the filing of his sworn statement as contemplated in
the preceding paragraph and his compliance therewith shall be deferred until such objections are
resolved, which resolution shall be made as early as practicable.
Section 3. Effect of admission. — Any admission made by a party pursuant to such request is for
the purpose of the pending action only and shall not constitute an admission by him for any other
purpose nor may the same be used against him in any other proceeding.

Section 4. Withdrawal. — The court may allow the party making an admission under the Rule,
whether express or implied, to withdraw or amend it upon such terms as may be just.

Section 5. Effect of failure to file and serve request for admission. — Unless otherwise allowed
by the court for good cause shown and to prevent a failure of justice a party who fails to file and
serve a request for admission on the adverse party of material and relevant facts at issue which are,
or ought to be, within the personal knowledge of the latter, shall not be permitted to present
evidence on such facts.

**********

In the same way that the written interrogatories under Rule 25 is less burdening,
inexpensive, practical and expedient. This type of mode of discovery is not complicated to avail
compared to other modes of discovery measure as those under Rules 23 and 24.

Rule 26, as a mode of discovery, contemplates interrogatories seeking clarification in order


to determine the truth of the allegations in a pleading. A request for admission should not 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, for the
purpose of establishing the party’s cause of action or defense. On the other hand, the adverse party
should not be compelled to admit matters of fact already admitted in his pleading and concerning
which there is no issue, nor should he be required to make a second denial of those matters already
denied in his answer to the complaint. (Po vs. CA, GR L-34341, August 22, 1988)

What is a request for admission?

It is a written request for admission of the

1. the genuineness of any material and relevant document described in and exhibited with the
request; or
2. the truth of any material and relevant matter of fact set forth in the request (Sec. 1, Rule 26,
Rules of Court)

The scope of matters that a party may request the adversary to admit are: (1) the
genuineness of any material and relevant document described in and exhibited with the request;
and (2) the truth of any material and relevant matter of fact set forth in the request. The rule
authorizing a party to call on the other party to make an admission implies the making of demands
for admission of relevant and material matters of facts and not for admission of matters of law,
conclusions, or opinions. (DBP vs. CA, G.R. No. 153034, September 20, 2005)

Any limitations?

Yes. No request for admission on matters which are:

1. Precisely the issues in the cases; or


2. Irrelevant matters; or
3. Opinions; or
4. Conclusions of law; or
5. Privileged matters; or
6. Merely reiterations of allegations in the complaint. (Sime Darby vs. NLRC, 2006;
DBP vs. CA, 2005; Limos vs. Spouses, 2011)

What is the purpose of the request for admission?

1. To allow one party to request the adverse in writing to admit certain material and relevant
matters which most likely will not be disputed during the trial.
2. To avoid unnecessary inconvenience to the parties in going through the rigors of proof,
before the trial.

When should it be filed?

It should be filed at any time after the issues have been joined. (Sec. 1, Rule 26, Rules of
Court)

What do you mean by joinder of issues?


According to Black’s Law Dictionary, it is the submission of an issue jointly for decision;
the acceptance or adoption of a disputed point as basis of argument in a controversy. At common
law, joinder of issues occurs when one party pleads that an allegation is true and the opposing
party denies it, such that both parties are accepting that the particular issues is in dispute.

To whom should the request be served?

The request for admission MUST BE SERVED ON THE PARTY and NOT ON THE
COUNSEL. This is an exception to the general rule that notices shall be served upon counsel and
not upon the party.

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. (Duque vs. CA, G.R. No. 125383. July 2, 2002)

Who may file and serve request for admission?

The party to the pending action, which could be the plaintiff or defendant, can file and
serve a request for admission.

May a party engage the service of counsel to make the response to a request for admission in
his behalf?
The Supreme Court held in the case of PSCFC FINANCIAL CORPORATION v.
COURT OF APPEALS (GR No. 106094, December 28,1992) that when Rule 26 states that a
party shall respond to the request for admission, it should not be restrictively construed to mean
that a party may not engage the service of counsel to make the response in his behalf, this is in
relation to Sections 21 and 23 of Rule 138.

What must the party to whom the request is directed do after receipt of the request?

The party to whom the request is directed must file and serve upon the party requesting the
admission a SWORN STATEMENT either -

1. denying specifically the matters of which an admission is requested, or


2. setting forth in detail the reasons why he cannot truthfully either admit or deny those
matters. (Sec. 2, Rule 26, Rules of Court)

When must the sworn statement be filed?

The sworn statement must be filed and served within a period designated in the request,
which shall not be less than 15 days after service thereof, or within such further time as the court
may allow on motion. (Sec. 2, Rule 26, Rules of Court)
What is the effect of non-compliance of the filing and service of the sworn statement?

If the party to whom the written request for admission does not file the required sworn
statement, each of the matters of which an admission is requested shall be deemed admitted (Sec.
2, Rule 26, Rules of Court). However, in Concrete Aggregates vs. CA, G.R. No. 117574 January
2, 1997, the Court ruled that it is not automatically deemed admitted. That the reply is not under
oath is merely a formal and not a substantive defect. This procedural lapse may be dispensed with
if the circumstances call for the dispensing of the rule in the interest of justice. While we commend
petitioner's zeal in promoting faithful adherence to the rules of procedure we cannot ignore the
well-entrenched doctrine that all pleadings should be liberally construed as to do substantial
justice.

May a party be compelled to admit matters of fact already admitted in his pleading?

We have held in Po v. Court of Appeals that [a] party should not be compelled to admit
matters of fact already admitted by his pleading and to make a second denial of those already
denied in his answer to the complaint.

The Po doctrine was brought a step further in Concrete Aggregates Co. v. Court of Appeals,
where we ruled that if the factual allegations in the complaint are the very same allegations set
forth in the request for admission and have already been specifically denied or otherwise dealt with
in the answer, a response to the request is no longer required. (DBP vs. CA)

How may the compliance of the filing and service of the sworn statement be deferred?

To avoid the implied admission, the party requested may have the compliance of the filing
and service of the sworn statement deferred. This deferment may be effected by the filing with the
court objections to the request for admission. Compliance shall be deferred until such objections
are resolved by the court (Sec. 2, par. 2, Rule 26, Rules of Court).

What is the effect of admission?

Any admission made by a party pursuant to such request is for the purpose of the pending
action only and shall not constitute an admission by him for any other purpose nor may the same
be used against him in any other proceeding. (Sec. 3, Rule 26, Rules of Court)

To reiterate, the failure to file and serve the sworn statement will have the effect of implied
admission of each of the matters of which an admission is requested. In Allied Afri-Business
Development Co. Inc. v. Court of Appeals, the Supreme Court held that, “The burden of
affirmative action on the party upon whom notice is served to avoid admission rather than upon
the party seeking the admission. Hence, when petitioner failed to reply to a request to admit, it
may not argue that the adverse party has the burden of proving the facts sought to be admitted.
Petitioner’s silence is an admission of the facts stated in the request.” The effect of such implied
admission is what is provided for by Section 3, Rule 26 of the Rules of Court.

May the party making the admission withdraw or amend the admission?

Admissions made under this mode of discovery, whether express or implied, are not final
and irrevocable. The court may allow the party making the admission to withdraw or amend the
admission upon such terms as may be just (Sec. 4, Rule 26, Rules of Court). To effect the
withdrawal, the admitting party should file a motion to be relieved of the effects of his admission.
Whether express or implied, the rules allow the party making an admission to withdraw or amend
it.

What is the effect of amendment of pleading on request for admission?

In Spouses Village v. Kelly Hardware and Construction Supply, Inc., the Supreme Court,
in resolving the first assigned error that respondent’s Request for Admission is not deemed
abandoned or withdrawn by the filing of the Second Amended Complaint, that all motions or
requests based on the complaint, which was amended, should no longer be considered, it held that
the petition lacks merit. The Court agrees with the CA in holding that respondent’s Second
Amended Complaint supersedes only its Amended Complaint and nothing more.
Section 8, Rule 10 of the Rules of Court provides:

Section 8. Effect of amended pleadings. — An amended pleading supersedes the pleading


that it amends. However, admissions in superseded pleadings may be received in evidence against
the pleader, and claims or defenses alleged therein not incorporated in the amended pleading shall
be deemed waived.

From the foregoing, it is clear that respondent’s Request for Admission is not deemed abandoned
or withdrawn by filing of the Second Amended Complaint.

What is the effect of failure to file and serve request for admission?
A party, although not compelled by the Rules, is advised to file and serve a written request for
admission on the adverse party of those material and relevant facts at issue which are, or ought to
be, within the personal knowledge of said adverse party. The party who fails to file and serve the
request shall not be permitted to present evidence on such facts unless otherwise allowed by the
court for good cause shown and to prevent a failure of justice. (Sec. 5, Rule 26, Rules of Court)
This is somewhat similar in Section 6 of Rule 25. A party who fails to file and serve the request
shall not be permitted to present evidence on such facts. However, despite such failure, if the party
can show good cause and to prevent a failure of justice the court can allow the said party to present
evidence on such facts. This can be done by filing a motion.

What is the effect of failure to file and serve request for admission?

A party, although not compelled by the Rules, is advised to file and serve a written request
for admission on the adverse party of those material and relevant facts at issue which are, or ought
to be, within the personal knowledge of said adverse party. The party who fails to file and serve
the request shall not be permitted to present evidence on such facts unless otherwise allowed by
the court for good cause shown and to prevent a failure of justice. (Sec. 5, Rule 26, Rules of Court)

Illustration:

A and B are litigating over a piece of land. The claim of A is that he bought this lot from D as
evidenced by a deed of sale purportedly signed by D. This document however, is a private
document. A also claimed that he has declared this lot for tax purposes (tax declaration) and A
have paid the taxes on this land.

Let us assume that the answer of B has already been served. In his answer, B denied the material
allegations of the complaint.

So, A will have to prove that he is the owner. If A follows the rules in evidence, he has to prove
every facts in accordance with the rules in evidence. For instance, we have a rule on how to prove
a private document. The Rule says, Sec. 20, Rule 138, “No document offered as authentic
document shall be admitted in evidence unless the genuineness and due execution of that document
is proven.

Q. How will these rules on discovery have shortened the time for proving facts in accordance with
these rules in Evidence?
A. After A have already received for instance, the answer and issues having been joined, this is
what he will do, he will address a request for admission, B defendant.

Greetings!!

You are hereby requested to admit under oath within 15 days from receipt thereof the truth of the
following facts:

1. A declared a lot for tax purposes per tax declaration #1234, City of Manila.
2. A has been paying the taxes of his lot as evidenced by tax receipts, copies of which are
annexes A, B and C.
3. The genuineness of the document, copy of which is attached as annex “D”
Copies of these private documents are now attached for admission.
More particularly this is what A ask B in that request for admission.
“You are hereby requested to admit that the signature over the name B in Annex B is the genuine
signature of B.”

A now is in possession of these documents (The request for admission to which was attached a
copy of the documents.)

Q. What is the duty of B upon receipt of the request?


A. Within the period granted to him under the written request, but no less than 15 days, B, if he
denies the truth of these facts, he denies that A has declared his land for tax purposes, if he denies
that the signature over the name of B is his signature, he will say there, “B denies the truth of the
matters stated in the written request an denies that the signature over the name B in annex “D” is
his signature. B serves his answer to A.

Q. What will B do with that copy of answer?


A. He must file it in court.

So, B will file his answer to the request and serve a copy thereof on A.

Q. What would be the effect of the failure of B to deny under oath the truth of these matters of
facts, (the genuineness of the signature) etc.?
A. He is deemed to have admitted the truth of those matters of facts. He is deemed to have admitted
that the signature over the name of B is the genuine signature of him.

Q. Will A still have to prove during the trial that he declared the land for tax purposes, that he
paid the taxes, that the signature over the name of B is the genuine signature of B?
A. No more. Why? Because these are admissions of facts judicially made. The rule is, facts
judicially admitted do not require proof and cannot be contradicted, under the party making the
admission is allowed to withdraw the admission because he can show that the admission that he
made was a result of a palpable mistake or that he did not actually make an admission.

Let us assume that B after he failed to deny made oath the genuineness of that document.

Q. Can B now prove during the trial that the signature is a forgery, that he did not affix that
signature?
A. No, why? Because you are not allowed to contradict your admission.

So you will now appreciate how this request for admission can help discover the facts. This request
for admission will shorten the proceedings. Why? Because if there is no denial under oath of the
genuineness of that signature, there is no need for A to prove it, if there is no denial of he truth that
A has declared the lot for tax purposes, there is no denial of the truth of the fact that A paid the
taxes, A does not have to prove these facts anymore. They are deemed proven.

Take note however, that there is a limited use for an admission. This admission of B is only for
the purpose, in this case (A vs. B). It cannot be used as evidence against B in another proceeding.

Under the rules on evidence, A cannot present B as his witness. This is allowed but this right of a
party to utilize the adverse party as a witness is no longer absolute in the sense that there may be
instances when a party cannot call on the adverse party as his witness.
For instance in our example, A called on B as his witness, B objected. Reason: A did not send me
any request for admission. B said, “Under Rule 26, I cannot be compelled to be a witness of A. I
can only be compelled to be a witness of A if A sent one request for admission on matters of facts
of which I have of personal knowledge.” Ruling object of B is sustained. He cannot be compelled.

Q. Is the ruling correct?


A. Yes. Why? Because under the new rule now modifying the rules on evidence, before A can call
on B as his witness, A should have first addressed to B request for admission of matters in issue
of which B has personal knowledge. So A cannot call B to prove these matters within the
knowledge of B unless A previously sent a request for admission to B on this matter. (Source:
Laggui Remedial Law Reviewer)
RULE 27
PRODUCTION OR INSPECTION OF DOCUMENTS OR THINGS

Section 1. Motion for production or inspection; order. — Upon motion of any party showing
good cause therefor, the court in which an action is pending may (a) order any party to produce
and permit the inspection and copying or photographing, by or on behalf of the moving party, of
any designated documents, papers, books, accounts, letters, photographs, objects or tangible
things, not privileged, which constitute or contain evidence material to any matter involved in the
action and which are in his possession, custody or control, or (b) order any party to permit entry
upon designated land or other property in his possession or control for the purpose of inspecting,
measuring, surveying, or photographing the property or any designated relevant object or operation
thereon. The order shall specify the time, place and manner of making the inspection and taking
copies and photographs, and may prescribe such terms and conditions as are just.

***********

What is the purpose of Rule 27?

The purpose of the rule is to enable a party-litigant to discover material information which,
by reason of an opponent’s control, would otherwise be unavailable for judicial scrutiny, and to
provide a convenient and summary method of obtaining material and competent documentary
evidence in the custody or under the control of an adversary.

This rule is not intended for use as a dragnet or any fishing expedition. This is also not
intended to open all of a party’s records to other party on vague chance that they might contain
some material relevant to some theory advanced by the other party.

When may a motion be filed?


Although as a general rule, the various modes of discovery provided by Rules 23, 25, 26,
27 and 28 cannot be availed of until the issues are joined by the filing of an answer, a motion for
production or inspection of an actionable document may be filed before the answer. However,
since such a motion does not suspend the time to answer, it is necessary to concurrently ask for an
extension of the time to plead.

Requisites:

● The party must file a MOTION FOR THE PRODUCTION OR INSPECTION OR


INSPECTION OF DOCUMENTS OR THINGS, showing good cause therefor;
● Notice of the motion must be served to all other parties of the case;
● The motion must designate the documents, papers, books, accounts, letters,
photographs, objects or tangible things which the party wishes to be produced and
inspected;
● Such documents, etc., are not privileged;
● Such documents, etc., constitute or contain evidence material to any matter
involved in the action, and
● Such documents, etc., are in the possession, custody or control of the other party.

NECESSITY OF SUFFICIENT DESCRIPTION AND IDENTIFICATION OF


DOCUMENT

A motion for production and inspection of documents should not demand a roving
inspection of a promiscuous mass of documents. The inspection should be limited to those
documents designated with sufficient particularity in the motion, such that the adverse party can
easily identify the documents he is required to produce, otherwise the petition cannot prosper.

The essential element of demand for production of documentary evidence is that it


designates documents desired to be inspected. Plaintiff’s request for an order compelling
defendants to produce “all of their books, documents, papers and records” relating to subject matter
of defendant’s examination before trial for inspection by plaintiff will be denied because of its
failure to designate documents desired to be inspected.

SOLIDBANK CORPORATION v. GATEWAY ELECTRONICS CORPORATION


G.R. NO. 164805; April 30, 2008

Facts:

● In May and June 1997, Gateway Electronics Corporation (Gateway) obtained from
Solidbank Corporation
● To secure the loans covered by PN 97-3755 and PN 97-408,6 Gateway assigned to
Solidbank the proceeds of its Back-end Services Agreement dated June 25, 2000 with
Alliance Semiconductor Corporation (Alliance)
● Gateway failed to comply with its loan obligations. By January 31, 2000, Gateway's
outstanding debt amounted to US$1,975,835.58. Solidbank’s numerous demands to pay
were not heeded by Gateway. Thus, on February 21, 2000, Solidbank filed a Complaint for
collection of sum of money against Gateway.
● On October 11, 2000, Solidbank filed a Motion for Production and Inspection of
Documents on the basis of an information received from Mr. David Eichler, Chief
Financial Officer of Alliance, that Gateway has already received from Alliance the
proceeds/payment of the Back-end Services Agreement.

Issue:
Whether Solidbank’s motion for production and inspection of documents and the Order of
the trial court dated January 30, 2001 failed to comply with Section 1, Rule 27 of the Rules of
Court?

Ruling:
Solidbank was able to show good cause for the production of the documents. It had also
shown that the said documents are material or contain evidence relevant to an issue involved in
the action. However, Solidbank’s motion was fatally defective and must be struck down because
of its failure to specify with particularity the documents it required Gateway to produce.
Solidbank’s motion for production and inspection of documents called for a blanket inspection.
Solidbank’s request for inspection of “all documents pertaining to, arising from, in connection
with or involving the Back-end Services Agreement” was simply too broad and too generalized in
scope.

INCOME TAX RETURNS

Defendants were entitled on motion to inspect plaintiff’s retained copies of federal income
tax returns where plaintiff alleged, that it has sustained damages and loss of profits as a result of
unlawful acts by defendants beginning in January, 1937, since on the issue of damages, plaintiff’s
income both before and after critical date was relevant ( Connecticut Importing Co. v. Continental
Distilling Corporation, et al., 1 F.R.D. 190 (1940)

BANK RECORDS

In a suit by a bank to collect the balance of an overdraft line, the bank may be ordered to
allow defendant to inspect and copy the bank records supporting the items in the bank of the
depositor. ( Mutuc v. Agloro. 105 SCRA 642, 1981)

ELECTION BALLOTS

Although the right to photocopy ballots is not specified in the COMELEC Rules of
Procedure or other related election laws, the Court authorized it on the basis of Rule 27. Just as the
court may allow, for good cause shown, the reproduction of relevant evidence in the custody of
any party, so may it allow the same with respect ot evidence in the court’s custody. Photocopying
the ballots is the only way by which the petitioner can secure the evidence needed to support his
claim that certain irregularities in the voting took place. (Alberto v. Commission on Elections,
G.R. NO. 132242, July 27, 1997)

TRADE SECRETS

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 as
evidence. Accordingly, the Court denied the petitioner’s request to obtain the chemical
composition and ingredients of respondent’s products. The Court ruled that the chemical
composition, formulation and ingredients of respondents special lubricants are trade secrets within
the contemplation of the law. Jurisprudence has consistently acknowledged the private character
of trade secrets: there is a privilege not to disclose one’s trade secrets; Moreover, the protection of
industrial secrets is inextricably linked to the advancement of our economy and fosters healthy
competition in trade. Thus, trade secrets should receive greater protection from discovery, because
they derive economic value from being generally unknown and not readily ascertainable by the
public.

SECOND PART OF RULE


This rule also provides for an order or entry upon designated land or property “for the
purpose of inspecting, measuring, surveying or photographing the property or any designated
relevant object or operation thereon.”

ORDER OF COURT INTERLOCUTORY

An order for the discovery and production by the defendant of documents for inspection,
copying and photographing by the plaintiff for use at trial of the action was interlocutory and not
appealable.