G.R. No. 156605. August 28, 2007.
MAIN TOPIC – Rule 25
The PCGG, on behalf of the Republic, filed a Complaint for the recovery of ill-gotten wealth with the Sandiganbayan against Marcelo who allegedly took advantage of he’s relationship with the Marcoses to obtain the “favored contract”. The Republic, though the Philippine Navy (PN) entered into a contract with Marcelo Fiberglass Corporation (MFC) for the construction of 55 units of 16.46 fiberglass high-speed boats, at the unit price of P7,200,000.00. The Republic served a Request for Admission on Marcelo, and in response, Marcelo included his own counter-request for admission on matters stated in his response. Republic filed a Third Amended Complaint impleading additional (16) corporations which allegedly are beneficially owned and are dummies of Marcelo. In defense, the other petitioner corporations denied that they are owned, controlled or were acquired by Marcelo who is merely an officer/stockholder.
Petitioners filed a motion for Summary Judgment and argued that (1) there is no cause of action (2) Republic’s failure and continued refusal to answer the written interrogatories and reply to the request for admission of certain facts set forth in its pre-trial brief.
The Sandiganbayan denied the motions of Marcelo and other petitioners for summary judgment.
Whether or not Sandiganbayan committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction in denying the motion for summary judgment of Marcelo, MFC and the other petitioner corporations.
Yes, there is really no more genuine issues to be tried in this case, the Republic having failed or refused to answer the requests for admission and the written interrogatories of the petitioners. Marcelo’s interrogatories clearly show that there was nothing irregular with the boat supply contract. Neither were the circumstances leading to the contract award tainted with irregularity.The Republic has veritably acknowledged the regularity of the boat construction contract by its failure to answer written interrogatories and the request for admission propounded by petitioner MFC. It also did not answer the written interrogatories of the other defendant corporations. In effect, the Republic admitted the non-participation of the other defendant corporations in the contracts in question.
The Republic cannot plausibly evade the consequences of its failure to answer written interrogatories and requests for admission. If the plaintiff fails or refuses to answer the interrogatories, it may be a good basis for the dismissal of his complaint for non-suit unless he can justify such failure or refusal.
The Rules of Court requires every pleading to contain in a methodical and logical form, a plain, concise and direct statement of the ultimate facts on which the party pleading relies for his claim or defense.