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EN BANC motion to cancel was set for hearing on October 26, 1957.

When defendants arrived in


court on that day they learned that an order of default had been issued, so they
[G.R. No. L-15808. April 23, 1963.] immediately filed a motion asking that the same be set aside, that their pending motion
FAUSTA AGCANAS, JUAN MIGUEL, JUANITA MIGUEL, assisted by her husband ULPIANO for a bill of particulars be resolved and that they be given a reasonable period thereafter
PASION, assisted by her husband JUAN PASCUAL, plaintiffs-appellees, vs. BRUNO within which to file their answer to the complaint. On December 13, 1957 the court
MERCADO, and ANTONIO DASALLA, defendants-appellants. denied the motion and rendered its decision in favor of plaintiffs and against defendants.
On January 4, 1958 it denied defendants' motion for reconsideration of the order of denial.
Melanio T. Singson for plaintiffs-appellees. On January 24, defendants filed their record on appeal (to this Court from the order of
December 13, 1957), but as they subsequently filed a petition for relief from the judgment
Adriano D. Dasalla and Antonio F. Dasalla for defendants-appellants.
by default, they asked that consideration and approval of their record on appeal be held
SYLLABUS in abeyance until said petition had been resolved. The request was granted. Defendant's
petition for relief, which was filed on January 28, 1958, was denied on March 21, as was
1. PLEADING AND PRACTICE; DENIAL OF MOTION TO DISMISS WHILE MOTION FOR also, on September 20, 1958, their motion for reconsideration of the order of denial. On
BILL OF PARTICULARS REMAINED PENDING; FILING OF ANSWER SUSPENDED. Upon the October 4, 1958 the court denied likewise their motion for a writ of preliminary injunction
denial of a defendant's motion to dismiss the reglementary period within which to file an to restrain execution of the judgment by default. Hence this appeal.
answer remains suspended until the motion for a bill of particulars previously filed by the
same defendant is denied or, if it is granted, until the bill is served on him. Appellant's eighteen assignments of error may be reduced to a single proposition:
Whether or not upon denial of a defendants' motion to dismiss the reglementary period
DECISION within which to file an answer resumes running even though the motion for a bill of
particulars of the same defendants is still pending and unresolved.
MAKALINTAL, J p:
Both a motion to dismiss and a motion for a bill of particulars interrupt the time to file a
Appeal by defendants from the Court of First Instance of Isabela on a question of law.
responsive pleading. In the case of a motion to dismiss, the period starts running again as
On November 25, 1956 plaintiffs filed this action to recover portions of a parcel of land in soon as the movant receives a copy of the order of denial. 1 In the case of a motion for a
Isabela, and damages. Under date of December 4, 1956 defendants filed a motion for a bill of particulars, the suspended period shall continue to run upon service on the movant
bill of particulars, with notice of hearing on December 8, but since the motion was actually of the bill of particulars, if the motion is granted, or of the notice of its denial, but in any
received in court only on December 12 the court set it for hearing on December 22. On event he shall have not less than five days within which to file his responsive pleading. 2
December 17, however, defendants filed a motion to dismiss the complaint, with a prayer
When appellants filed a motion to dismiss, they requested that resolution of their
that consideration of their motion for a bill of particulars be held in abeyance pending
previous motion for a bill of particulars be held in abeyance. This was but practical,
resolution of their motion to dismiss. On December 22, 1956, the date set by the court
because if the court had granted the motion to dismiss there would have been no need
for the hearing of the motion for a bill of particulars and by defendants for the hearing of
for a bill of particulars. Resolution of the motion for the purpose was necessary only in
their motion to dismiss, the court issued an order postponing "consideration" of both
the event that court should deny, as it did, the motion to dismiss, in which case the period
motions to December 29. On March 7, 1957 the court denied the motion to dismiss and
to file an answer remained suspended until the motion for a bill of particulars is denied
ordered defendants "to answer the complaint within the reglementary period provided
or, it is granted, until the bill is served on the moving party.
for by the Rules of Court." Hearing of the case on the merits was set for October 29, 1957,
notice of which was duly received by defendants. Defendants not having filed their The lower court deemed appellants to have "tacitly waived their right to push through
answer, plaintiffs, on October 17, 1957, moved to have them declared in default. On the the hearing of the motion for bill of particulars," because of their failure to set it for
same day the court issued the order of default, together with another order hearing or to ask the clerk of court to calendar it after denial of the motion to dismiss.
commissioning the clerk of court to receive plaintiffs' evidence. On October 21, 1957 Appellants did set the motion for hearing on December 8, 1956, although it was not heard
defendants moved to cancel the hearing scheduled for October 29, on two grounds, one on that day because it arrived in court only on December 12. Thereafter they did not have
of which was that their motion for a bill of particulars had not yet been resolved. The to reset it, as the clerk of court scheduled it for hearing on December 22, 1956. And on

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that day the court issued an order that "the consideration of the motion to dismiss, as
well as the bill of particulars, is hereby postponed to December 29, 1956." As to whether
or not both motions were actually heard on December 29 does not appear of record. But
heard or not, the motions should be considered submitted, and it was the clear duty of
the court to resolve the motion for a bill of particulars, as it did the motion to dismiss. No
action having been taken thereon until the present, the period to answer has not yet
expired. The lower court, therefore, erred in declaring appellants in default and in taking
all the subsequent actions it did in the case.

The order of default issued and the decision rendered by the trial court are set aside and
the case is remanded for further proceedings, pursuant to the Rules. Costs against
plaintiffs- appellees.

Bengzon, C.J., Padilla, Bautista Angelo, Concepcion, Reyes, J.B.L., Barrera, Paredes, Dizon
and Regala, JJ., concur.

Labrador, J., took no part.

Footnotes

1. Sec. 4, Rules 8, Rules of Court.

2. Sec. 2, Rules 16, Rules of Court.

2
G.R. No. L-24238 November 28, 1980 pleading and to clarify issues and aid the court In an orderly and expeditious disposition
tion in the case.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library
JOSE SANTOS, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. LORENZO J. LIWAG, Defendant-Appellee.
The present action is one for the annulment of documents which have been allegedly
CONCEPCION, JR., J.: executed by reason of deceit, machination, false pretenses, misrepresentation, threats,
Appeal from the order of the Court of First Instance of Manila, dated October 17, 1964, and other fraudulent means. Deceit, machination, false pretenses, misrepresentation,
which dismissed the, complaint filed in Civil Case No. 57282, for failure of the plaintiff to and threats, however, are largely conclusions of law and mere allegations thereof without
submit a bill of particulars within 10 days from notice a statement of the facts to which such terms have reference are not sufficient The
thereof.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library allegations must state the facts and circumstances from which the fraud, deceit,
machination, false pretenses, misrepresentation, and threats may be inferred as a
The record shows that on June 8, 1964 the appellant -Jose Santos filed a complaint against conclusions In his complaint, the appellant merely averred that all the documents sought
Lorenzo J. Liwag with the Court of First Instance of Manila, docketed therein as Civil Case to be annulled were all executed through the use of deceits, machination, false pretenses,
No. 57282, seeking the annulment of certain documents, attached to the complaint and misrepresentations, threats, and other fraudulent means without the particular-facts on
marked as Annexes "A", "B", and "C", as having been executed by means of which alleged fraud, deceit, machination, or misrepresentations are predicated. Hence, it
misrepresentations, machination, false pretenses, threats, and other fraudulent means, was proper for the trial court to grant the defendant's motion for a bill of particulars, and
as well as for damages and costs. 1chanrobles virtual law library when the plaintiff failed to comply with the order, the trial court correctly dismissed the
complaint. 7chanrobles virtual law library
Claiming that the allegations in the complaint are indefinite and uncertain, as well as
conflicting, the defendant filed a motion tion on July 4, 1964, asking the trial court that WHEREFORE, the judgment appealed from should be, as it is hereby, affirmed. Without
the plaintiff be ordered to submit a more definite statement or bill of particulars on pronouncement as to costs in this instance.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual
certain allegations of the complaint, as well as the facts constituting the law library
misrepresentations, machinations, and frauds employed by the defendant in the
execution of the documents in question in order that he could be well informed of the SO ORDERED.
charges filed against him, for him to prepare an intelligent and proper pleading necessary Barredo (Chairman), Aquino, Abad Santos and De Castro, * JJ, concur.
and appropriate in the premises. 2chanrobles virtual law library

The plaintiff opposed the motion saying that the allegations in his complaint are sufficient
and contain ultimate facts con- constituting his causes of action and that the subject of Endnotes:
the defendant's motion is evidentiary in nature. 3chanrobles virtual law library
1 Record on Appeal, pp. 2-17.chanrobles virtual law library
The trial court, however, granted the motion and directed the plaintiff "to submit a bill of
particulars with respect to the paragraphs specified in defendant's motion", 4 and when 2 Id, pp. 20-24.chanrobles virtual law library
the plaintiff failed to comply with the order, the court, acting upon previous motion of 3 Id., pp. 25-31.chanrobles virtual law library
the defendant, 5 dismissed the complaint with costs against the plaintiff. 6 Hence, the
present appeal.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library 4 Id., p. 33.chanrobles virtual law library

We find no merit in the appeal. The allowance of a motion for a more definite statement 5 Id, pp. 33-34.chanrobles virtual law library
or bill of particulars rests within the sound judicial discretion of the court and, as usual in
6 Id., pp. 39-40.chanrobles virtual law library
matters of a discretionary nature, the ruling of the trial court in that regard will not be
reversed unless there has been a palpable abuse of discretion or a clearly erroneous order. 7 Sec. 1(c), Rule 12 and and Sec. 3, Rule 17, Revised Rules of Court; Matias de Bautista vs.
In the instant case, the complaint is without doubt imperfectly drawn and suffers from Teodoro, Jr., 101 Phil. 701.
vagueness and generalization to enable the defendant properly to prepare a responsive