OLIVAREZ REALTY CORPORATION AND DR. PABLO R. OLIVAREZ VS. BENJAMIN CASTILLO, G.R. No. 196251, July 09, 2014.
“x x x.
Summary judgment in this case is proper.
A motion for summary judgment is filed either by the claimant or the defending party. The trial court then hears the motion for summary judgment. If indeed there are no genuine issues of material fact, the trial court shall issue summary judgment. Section 3, Rule 35 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure provides:
SEC. 3. Motion and proceedings thereon. – The motion shall be served at least ten (10) days before the time specified for the hearing. The adverse party may serve opposing affidavits, depositions, or admission at least three (3) days before the hearing. After the hearing, the judgment sought shall be rendered forthwith if the pleadings, supporting affidavits, depositions, and admissions on file, show that, except as to the amount of damages, there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law.
An issue of material fact exists if the answer or responsive pleading filed specifically denies the material allegations of fact set forth in the complaint or pleading. If the issue of fact “requires the presentation of evidence, it is a genuine issue of fact.” However, if the issue “could be resolved judiciously by plain resort” to the pleadings, affidavits, depositions, and other papers on file, the issue of fact raised is sham, and the trial court may resolve the action through summary judgment.
A summary judgment is usually distinguished from a judgment on the pleadings. Under Rule 34 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, trial may likewise be dispensed with and a case decided through judgment on the pleadings if the answer filed fails to tender an issue or otherwise admits the material allegations of the claimant’s pleading.
Judgment on the pleadings is proper when the answer filed fails to tender any issue, or otherwise admits the material allegations in the complaint. On the other hand, in a summary judgment, the answer filed tenders issues as specific denials and affirmative defenses are pleaded, but the issues raised are sham, fictitious, or otherwise not genuine.
In this case, Olivarez Realty Corporation admitted that it did not fully pay the purchase price as agreed upon in the deed of conditional sale. As to why it withheld payments from Castillo, it set up the following affirmative defenses: First, Castillo did not file a case to void the Philippine Tourism Authority’s title to the property; second, Castillo did not clear the land of the tenants; third, Castillo allegedly sold the property to a third person, and the subsequent sale is currently being litigated before a Quezon City court.
Considering that Olivarez Realty Corporation and Dr. Olivarez’s answer tendered an issue, Castillo properly availed himself of a motion for summary judgment.
However, the issues tendered by Olivarez Realty Corporation and Dr. Olivarez’s answer are not genuine issues of material fact. These are issues that can be resolved judiciously by plain resort to the pleadings, affidavits, depositions, and other papers on file; otherwise, these issues are sham, fictitious, or patently unsubstantial.”
X x x.”