Frilou Construction Inc. vs. Aegis Integrated Structure Corp.
G.R. No. 191088, 2016.
Frilou Construction engaged the services of Aegis Integrated to supply and fabricate structural steel requirements. Aegies instituted a suit against Frilou for its failure to pay the balance despite of repeated demands.The complaint includes four (4) material averments: (1) petitioner contracted with respondent to fabricate and deliver the former’s structural steel requirements in amount of P6,024,306.00; (2) respondent completely performed the agreement under the Purchase Orders; (3) petitioner has only paid the amount of P4,490,014.32; and (4) thus, petitioner had an unpaid balance to respondent in the amount of P1,534,291.68.
Petitioner did not make specific denial of each material averments but a general one to the effect that it no longer has any remaining liability to respondent. It asserted that respondent failed to show evidence of its supposed remaining liability.
The trial court dismissed the complaint for insufficiency of evidence sustaining petitioner’s contention that respondent failed to show evidence of petitioner’s supposed remaining liability for the balance amount of P1,534,291.68.
Whether or not the failure to specifically deny respondent’s allegation that respondent supplied, delivered and erected the structural steel requirements, Frilou Construction is deemed to have admitted the same.
Yes. Petitioner did not state “the facts and circumstances surrounding the case,” the matters which it relies on to support its denial of its liability in the amount of P1,534,291.68. Its statement that the respondent does not have evidence to prove its claim is not an assertion of the truth and substance of the matter. The generality of the denial betrays the absence of specific facts that can prove payment. Petitioner simply avoided a direct answer to the allegations of respondent.
Petitioner should have, and could have easily, specifically denied each and every averment under the foregoing paragraph as required by Section 10 of Rule 8 and then asserted the substance of the matter which it relies on to support its denial. As a result of its failure to make a specific denial, it was deemed to have admitted all the material averment in paragraph 4. Consequently, the judicial admission of petitioner’s remaining liability need not be proved
The purpose of requiring the defendant to make a specific denial is to make him disclose the matters alleged in the complaint which he succinctly intends to disprove at the trial, together with the matter which he relied upon to support the denial.
Section 10, Rule 8 of the Rules of Court on Manner of Making Allegations in Pleading contemplates three (3) modes of specific denial: 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 forth the substance of the matters which he will rely upon to support 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 averment in the complaint, which has the effect of a denial.