No. L-28486. September 10, 1981.
MAIN TOPIC – Rule 37.
D.Vergara filed an action for annulment of judgment and of Writ of Execution before the Court of First Instance of Nueva Ecija against Magno and the Nueva Ecija Provincial Sheriff on the ground that judgment in the Bulacan Case was procured by means of extrinsic fraud. Vergara insisted that he was lured into inaction because of the assurances made by Magno that he will be excluded from the suit. Additionally, he alleged that he was never informed of the pre-trial thereby misleading the Bulacan Court into believing certain false allegations. Magno moved to dismiss the Annulment Suit on the principal ground that the Nueva Ecija Court had no jurisdiction to interfere by Injunction and to nullify a final judgment of the Bulacan Court, which is a Tribunal of concurrent and coordinate jurisdiction.
The CFI- Nueva Ecija granted the Injunction prayed for upon the filing of a bond of P1, 000.00. The Court of Appeals, upheld the jurisdiction of the Nueva Ecija Court.
Whether or not there exist an extrinsic fraud to justify CFI – Nueva Ecija in exercising its jurisdiction to interfere with and set aside the judgment of the Bulacan Court and to enjoin the execution thereof.
No, Vergara cannot be faulted with negligence for relying on the promises of Magno considering the close relationship between them. By moving to dismiss, petitioners, as defendants in the Annulment Suit hypothetically admitted the truth of the ultimate facts alleged in the Complaint therein. What petitioners hypothetically admitted are only ultimate facts because the law does not require probative or evidentiary facts to be alleged in the complaint.12 Evidentiary facts, at best factual, to prove the material elements of extrinsic fraud must still be established in a full-dress trial.
Extrinsic fraud is one which prevents the losing party from defending the action brought against him. Among the instances given in the books of extrinsic or collateral fraud are such as these: Keeping the unsuccessful party away from court by a false promise of compromise, or purposely keeping him in ignorance of the suit; or where an attorney fraudulently pretends to represent a party, and connives at his defeat, or being regularly employed, corruptly sells out his client’s interest.
Extrinsic fraud is one which prevents the losing party from defending the action brought against him.