JOANIE SURPOSA UY, PETITIONER, VS. JOSE NGO CHUA, RESPONDENT. G.R. No. 183965, September 18, 2009.
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Demurrer to Evidence is governed by Rule 33 of the Rules of Court, Section 1 of which is reproduced in full below:
SECTION 1. Demurrer to evidence. – After the plaintiff has completed the presentation of his evidence, the defendant may move for dismissal on the ground that upon the facts and the law the plaintiff has shown no right to relief. If his motion is denied, he shall have the right to present evidence. If the motion is granted but on appeal the order of dismissal is reversed he shall be deemed to have waived the right to present evidence.
Demurrer to evidence authorizes a judgment on the merits of the case without the defendant having to submit evidence on his part, as he would ordinarily have to do, if plaintiff’s evidence shows that he is not entitled to the relief sought. Demurrer, therefore, is an aid or instrument for the expeditious termination of an action, similar to a motion to dismiss, which the court or tribunal may either grant or deny.15
The Court has recently established some guidelines on when a demurrer to evidence should be granted, thus:
A demurrer to evidence may be issued when, upon the facts and the law, the plaintiff has shown no right to relief. Where the plaintiff’s evidence together with such inferences and conclusions as may reasonably be drawn therefrom does not warrant recovery against the defendant, a demurrer to evidence should be sustained. A demurrer to evidence is likewise sustainable when, admitting every proven fact favorable to the plaintiff and indulging in his favor all conclusions fairly and reasonably inferable therefrom, the plaintiff has failed to make out one or more of the material elements of his case, or when there is no evidence to support an allegation necessary to his claim. It should be sustained where the plaintiff’s evidence is prima facie insufficient for a recovery.16
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