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Page 1

Outline: RULE 2 - Cause of Action CIVIL PROCEDURE



Lesson for August 2, 2014, Saturday

Judge Mike Asuncion

- Felipe Sr. v. Hon. Leuterio, G.R. No. L-4606, May 30, 1952

Cause of Action - the act or omission by which a party violates a right of another - Sec. 2, Rule 2

- Du v. Jayoma, G.R. No. 175042, April 23, 2012


- Ma-ao Sugar Central Co. v. Barrios, G.R. No. L-1539, December 3, 1947

Right of Action vs. Cause of Action

- Marquez v. Varela, G.R. No. L-4845, December 24, 1952

Failure to state a cause of action

- Remitere v. Montinola Vda. De Yulo,. G.R. No. L-19751, February 28, 1966

Test of the sufficiency of a cause of action

- Misamis Occidental II Cooperative, Inc. v. David, G.R. No. 129928, August 25, 2005

Splitting a single cause of action

- Quadra v. CA, G.R. No. 147593, July 31, 2006
- Bachrach Motor v. Icarangal, G.R. No. L-45350, May 29, 1939
- City of Bacolod v. San Miguel Brewery, G.R. No. L-25134, October 30, 1969

Joinder and mis-joinder of causes of action

- Ada v. Baylon, G.R. No. 182435, August 13, 2012

- Sps. Perez v. Hermano, G.R. No. 147417, July 8, 2005

Page 2

Case Digest: RULE 2 – Cause of Action CIVIL PROCEDURE



G.R. No. L-4606, 30 May 1952


A benefit inter-collegiate oratorical contest was held in

Naga City. The contestants were eight, among them Nestor Nosce,

Emma Imperial, and Luis General, Jr.

There were five judges of the competition, the petitioner

Ramon B. Felipe, Sr. being the Chairman.

After the orators had delivered their respective pieces, and

after the judges had expressed their votes, the Chairman publicly

announced their decision awarding first price to Nestor Nosce,

second price to Emma Imperial, third price to Menandro Benavides

and fourth place to Luis General, Jr.

Imperial addressed a letter to the Board of Judges

protesting the verdict and alleging that one of the Judges had

committed a mathematical mistake, resulting in her second place

only instead of the first.

Upon refusal of the Board to amend their award, she filed

a complaint in the court of first instance.

At the contest the five judges were each furnished a blank

form wherein he gave the participants grades according to his

estimate of their abilities, giving number 1 to the best, number 2 to

the second best etc., down to number 8. Then the grades were

added, and the contestant receiving the lowest number got first

prize, the next second prize, etc.

The sums for the first four winners were: Nosce 10;

Imperial 10; Benevides 17, General 17.

It appearing that Nosce and Imperial had tied for the first

place, the Chairman, apparently with the consent of the board,

broke the tie awarding first honors to Nosce and second honors to


It was discovered later that the form filed by Delfin

Rodriguez, one of the Judges, gave Imperial a total score of 94 (4

place) and General a total score of 95 (3


Imperial asserts that her total should be 95 instead of 94

and therefore should rank 3rd place in Rodriguez' vote. And if she

got 3 from Rodriguez, her total vote should have been 9 instead of

ten, with the result that she copped first place in the speaking joust.

Rodriguez testified that he made a mistake in adding up

Imperial's ratings; that she should have been given a total of 95, or

placed no. 3, the same as General; that he was not disposed to

break the tie between her and General and insisted that he wanted

to give rank 3 to Imperial and rank 3 also to General.

The situation then is this: Days after a contest has been

conducted and the winners announced, one of the judges confesses

he made a mistake, that the ratings he gave the second place winner

should have been such as would entitle her to first place. The other

judges refuse to alter their verdict.


May the matter be brought to the court to obtain a new

award, reversing the decision of the board of judges? No.


For more than thirty years oratorical tilts have been held

periodically by schools and colleges in these islands. Inter-collegiate

oratorical competitions are of more recent origin. Members of this

court have taken part in them either as contestants in their school

days, or as members of the board of judges afterwards. They know

some (few) verdicts did not reflect the audience's preference and

that errors have sometimes been ascribed to the award of the

judges. Yet no party ever presumed to invoke judicial intervention;

for it is unwritten law in such contests that the board's decision is

final and unappealable.

Incidentally, these school activities have been imported

from the United States. We found in American jurisprudence no

litigation questioning the determination of the board of judges.

SC observes that in assuming jurisdiction over the matter,

the respondent judge reasoned out that where there is a wrong

there is a remedy and that courts of first instance are courts of

general jurisdiction.

The flaw in his reasoning lies in the assumption that

Imperial suffered some wrong at the hands of the board of judges. If

at all, there was error on the part of one judge, at most. Error and

wrong do not mean the same thing. "Wrong" as used in the

aforesaid legal principle is the deprivation or violation of a right. As

stated before, a contestant has no right to the prize unless and until

he or she is declared winner by the board of referees or judges.

Granting that Imperial suffered some loss or injury, yet in

law there are instances of "damnum absque injuria". This is one of

them. If fraud or malice had been proven, it would be a different

proposition. But then her action should be directed against the

individual judge or judges who fraudulently or maliciously injured

her. Not against the other judges.

The judiciary has no power to reverse the award of the

board of judges of an oratorical contest. For that matter it would not

interfere in literary contests, beauty contests and similar


Cause of Action - the act or omission by which a party violates a right

of another - Sec. 2, Rule 2


G.R. No. 175042, 23 April 2012


The Sangguniang Bayan of the Municipality of Mabini,

Bohol, enacted Municipal Ordinance No. 1, series of 1988, requiring

the conduct of a public bidding for the operation of a cockpit in the

said municipality every four years.

For the period January 1, 1989 to December 31, 1992, the

winning bidder was Engr. Edgardo Carabuena. Due to his failure to

comply with the legal requirements for operating a cockpit, the

Sangguniang Bayan adopted Resolution authorizing petitioner Danilo

Du to continue his cockpit operation until the winning bidder

complies with the legal requirements.

Page 21

Full Text Cases – Cause of Action CIVIL PROCEDURE


At common law, in order that two or more persons may
join in an action upon a contract, there must be
community of interest between them; that is, they must
be parties to the contract and jointly interested in therein.
(47 . C. J. 54)

Persons subsequently admitted to the benefit of a
contract, without the privity or assent of the promisor, can
not join in a suit on the contract. (47 C.J., 55)

But we did not import into this jurisdiction the common law
procedure. Our original code of civil Procedure (Act 190) was taken
mainly from the code of Civil Procedure of California, and this in turn
was based upon the Code of Civil procedure of New York adopted in
that stated in 1948. Our system of pleading is Code Pleading that
system used in the states of the Union that had adopted codes of
procedure. The code system of pleading adopted in substance the
rules of equity practice as to parties, under which "all persons having
an interest in the subject of the action, and in obtaining the relief
demanded, may be joined as plaintiffs". (Phillips, Code Pleading,
section 251, page 247.) In New York and California interest in the
subject matter, or in any relief growing out of the same transaction
or series of transactions is sufficient to allow joinder. (Ibid, footnote
10a. page 247.)

Under the former Code of civil procedure "every action must be
prosecuted in the name of the real party in interest," and "all
persons having an interest in the subject of the action and in
obtaining the relief demanded shall be joined as plaintiffs, " and " if
any person having an interest and in obtaining the relief demanded
refuses to join as plaintiff, he may be made a defendant and the fact
of his interest and refusal to join to be stated in the complaint." (
Section 114, Act 190) The principle underlying the rule is that all
persons having a material interest under the substantive law should
be made parties, as distinguished from that of the common law
which allowed only a two-sided controversy, each party to be
opposed to the other. Phillips, Code Pleading, 2d ed. section 228,
page 216.)

The above principles have not been changed by the reforms in the
rules in 1940 and 1941. The action is still to be prosecuted in the
name of the real party in interest. Under section 6 of Rule 3, "All
persons in whom . . . any right to relief in respect to or arising out of
the same transaction . . . is alleged to exist, whether jointly,
severally, or in the alternative, may, . . . join as plaintiffs . . . where
any question of law or fact common to all such plaintiffs . . . may
arise in the action; Plaintiff Marquez, in the case at bar, clearly falls
under the above rule. He is entitled to be paid his commission out of
the very contract of agency between Lora and the defendants; Lora
and he acted jointly in rendering services to defendants under Lora's
contract, and the same questions of law and fact govern their
claims. The rules do not require the existence of privity of contract
between Marquez and the defendants as required under the
common law; all that they demand is that Marquez has a material
interest in the subject of the action, the right to share in the broker's
commission to be paid Lora under the latter's contract, which right
Lora does not deny. This is sufficient to justify the joinder of
Marquez as a party plaintiff, even in the absence of privity of
contract between him and the defendants.

We find, therefore, that the complaint of Marquez was improperly
dismissed. The order of dismissal is hereby reversed, with costs
against defendants.

Page 22

Full Text Cases – Cause of Action CIVIL PROCEDURE


G.R. No. L-19751 February 28, 1966

ALFREDO REMITERE, ET AL., plaintiff-appellants,

E.M. Almario for the plaintiffs-appellants.
Eduardo Arboleda for the defendants-appellees.


This is an appeal from the order of the Court of First Instance of
Negros Occidental dismissing the complaint in its Civil Case No.

On December 6, 1961 the plaintiffs-appellants, Alfredo Remitere, et
al., filed a complaint against the defendants-appellees, Remedies
Montinola Viuda de Yulo and the Register of Deeds of Negros
Occidental, the pertinent allegations of which complaint, for the
purposes of this decision, are as follows:

2. In Cadastral Decrees Nos. 69518 and 69515 issued by
the Court of First Instance of Negros Occidental on August
21, 1918, copies of which are herewith attached as
Annexes "A" and "B" and made an integral part of this
complaint, Gregorio Remitere was declared and registered
owner of Lots Nos. 35 and 52 of the Cadastral Survey of
Isabela, with areas of 4.4731 and 29.7398 hectares,
respectively. These lots were issued the corresponding
Original Certificates of Title under the Land Registration
Act, being 10894 and 10898.

3. Upon the demise of Gregorio Remitere on January 1,
1914, the Court of First Instance of Negros Occidental, in
Civil Case No. 1661, Re-Application for Letters of
Administration, appointed his wife as administratrix of his
estate, among which are the two lots in question.

During this period, the provincial sheriff of Negros
Occidental conducted a public auction sale over the said
parcels of land, and on the same day, September 23, 1918,
he issued thereof a deed of sale in favor of Mariano Yulo
of Binalbagan, Negros Occidental, for the total
consideration of P20,000.00. Copy of the deed of sale is
herewith attached as Annex "C" and formed part of this

4. As a result, series of cancellations to the Original
Certificates of Title mentioned in paragraph 2 hereof had

First, they were cancelled by Transfer Certificates of Title Nos. 2819
and 2820, registered in the name of Mariano C. Yulo by virtue of the
Certificates of Sale issued by the provincial sheriff of Negros
Occidental. They were in turn cancelled by R-T 602 and R-T 4706, by
virtue of reconstitution of titles. Then these were cancelled by T-532
and T-2979, by virtue of deeds of sales registered in the name of
Remedios Montinola Vda. de Yulo, the defendant herein..

5. The public sale mentioned in Article 3 of this complaint,
however, was and still is absolutely a void sale, and
certainly did not pass titles and ownership of said lots,
starting from its primitive owner, now being represented
by the plaintiffs herein, as surviving heirs thereto, until it
reaches the possession by the defendant.

That by reason of its invalidity, all and every benefits that
the transferees, including the defendant herein, had
acquired from the parcels of land in question, should be
indemnified to the plaintiffs.

And that, in order to justify their rights and interests
pursuant to the mandates prescribed by law over said lots
and discontinue the irreparable losses and damages that
they are still sustaining, on account of the perversed
transfer of September 23, 1918, the same should be
reverted to their immediate possessions and titles.

The complaint prayed that the defendants be ordered to reconvey
the two lots in question to the plaintiffs; that the defendant Register
of Deeds be ordered to cancel the certificates of title in the name of
the defendant Remedios Montinola Viuda de Yulo and to issue new
ones in the names of the plaintiffs; and that the defendants pay the

The defendants-appellees filed a motion to dismiss the complaint on
the grounds (1) that the complaint does not state a cause of action,
and (2) that even assuming that a cause of action exists, the same
has already prescribed.

The lower court dismissed the complaint precisely on the grounds
relied upon by the defendants-appellees. Hence this appeal.

In this appeal, the plaintiffs-appellants contend that the trial court
erred: (1) in declaring that the complaint contains no narration of
facts; (2) in holding that complaint states no cause of action; and (3)
in holding that the plaintiffs' cause of action, if any, has already

We find that the lower court had correctly dismissed the

The lack of a cause of action as a ground for dismissal must appear
on the face of the complaint, and to determine whether the
complaint states a cause of action only the facts alleged therein, and
no other, should be considered. A reading of the complaint in this
case will readily impress one that no ultimate facts which may
constitute the basis of plaintiffs-appellants rights which had been
violated are alleged. Neither are there allegations of ultimate facts
showing acts or omissions on the part of the defendants-appellees
which constitute a violation of the rights of plaintiffs-appellants.
Apparently, the plaintiffs-appellants rely on the allegations of
paragraphs 3 and 5 of the complaint for their cause of action.
Paragraph 3 states:

3. Upon the demise of Gregorio Remitere on January 1,
1914 the Court of First Instance of Negros Occidental, in
Civil Case No. 1661, Re-Application for Letters of
Administration, appointed his wife as administratrix of his
estate, among which the two lots in question.

Page 42

Full Text Cases – Cause of Action CIVIL PROCEDURE


mortgage agreements, plaintiffs had been deprived of the beneficial
use of the proceeds and stood to lose, as they continue to lose, by
way of unearned profits at least P1,000,000.00.


In his Answer with (Compulsory) Counterclaim dated 15 May 1998,

Then, on 19
February 1999, respondent Hermano filed a civil case entitled
"Judicial Foreclosure of Real Estate Mortgage" against petitioner
Aviso docketed as Civil Case No. Q-99-36914 and raffled to Branch
216 of the RTC of Quezon City. On 17 January 2000, respondent
Hermano filed a "Motion With Leave To Dismiss The Complaint
Against Defendant Antonio Hermano, Or Ordered Severed For
Separate Trial" before Branch 224. In said motion, respondent
Hermano argued that there was a mis-joinder of causes of action
under Rule 2, Section 6 of the Rules of Court. To quote respondent

Contract and Damages with Prayer for The Issuance of a Temporary
Restraining Order And/Or Preliminary Injunction against Zescon
Land, Inc., and/or its President Zenie Sales Contreras, may not,
under Rule 2, Section 6 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, join
defendant Hermano as party defendant to annul and/or rescind the
Real Estate Mortgages of subject properties. There is a misjoinder of
parties defendants under a different transaction or cause of action;
that under the said Rule 2, Section 6, upon motion of defendant
Hermano in the instant case, the complaint against defendant
Hermano can be severed and tried separately; . . . .


by the trial court in its Order dated 28 February 2000 on the
justification that:

. . . [D]efendant having filed a special civil action for judicial
foreclosure of mortgage and now pending before RTC Branch 216,
he should be dropped as one of the defendants in this case and
whatever claims plaintiffs may have against defendant Hermano,
they can set it up by way of an answer to said judicial foreclosure.


And, in an Order dated 25 May 2000, the trial court resolved


After going over the arguments of the parties, the Court believes
that defendant Hermano has nothing to do with the transaction
which the plaintiffs entered into with defendant Zescon Land, Inc.
Besides, the said motion raised matters and defenses previously
considered and passed upon by the Court.


It is these two Orders that were brought up by petitioners to the
Court of Appeals on petition for Certiorari under Rule 65. The pivotal
issue to be resolved, therefore, is whether or not respondent trial
court committed grave abuse of discretion in dismissing the
complaint against respondent Hermano in Civil Case No. Q-98-

As far as we can glean from the Orders of the trial court, respondent
Hermano was dropped from the complaint on the ground of
misjoinder of causes of action. Petitioners, on the other hand, insist
that there was no misjoinder in this case.

To better understand the present controversy, it is vital to revisit the
rules on joinder of causes of action as exhaustively discussed in
Republic v. Hernandez,


By a joinder of actions, or more properly, a joinder of causes of
action, is meant the uniting of two or more demands or rights of
action in one action; the statement of more than one cause of action
in a declaration. It is the union of two or more civil causes of action,
each of which could be made the basis of a separate suit, in the
same complaint, declaration or petition. A plaintiff may under
certain circumstances join several distinct demands, controversies or
rights of action in one declaration, complaint or petition.

As can easily be inferred from the above definitions, a party is
generally not required to join in one suit several distinct causes of
action. The joinder of separate causes of action, where allowable, is
permissive and not mandatory in the absence of a contrary statutory
provision, even though the causes of action arose from the same
factual setting and might under applicable joinder rules be joined.
Modern statutes and rules governing joinders are intended to avoid
a multiplicity of suits and to promote the efficient administration of
justice wherever this may be done without prejudice to the rights of
the litigants. To achieve these ends, they are liberally construed.

While joinder of causes of action is largely left to the option of a
party litigant, Section 5, Rule 2 of our present Rules allows causes of
action to be joined in one complaint conditioned upon the following
requisites: (a) it will not violate the rules on jurisdiction, venue and
joinder of parties; and (b) the causes of action arise out of the same
contract, transaction or relation between the parties, or are for
demands for money or are of the same nature and character.

The objectives of the rule or provision are to avoid a multiplicity of
suits where the same parties and subject matter are to be dealt with
by effecting in one action a complete determination of all matters in
controversy and litigation between the parties involving one subject
matter, and to expedite the disposition of litigation at minimum
cost. The provision should be construed so as to avoid such
multiplicity, where possible, without prejudice to the rights of the
litigants. Being of a remedial nature, the provision should be liberally
construed, to the end that related controversies between the same
parties may be adjudicated at one time; and it should be made
effectual as far as practicable, with the end in view of promoting the
efficient administration of justice.

The statutory intent behind the provisions on joinder of causes of
action is to encourage joinder of actions which could reasonably be
said to involve kindred rights and wrongs, although the courts have
not succeeded in giving a standard definition of the terms used or in
developing a rule of universal application. The dominant idea is to
permit joinder of causes of action, legal or equitable, where there is
some substantial unity between them. While the rule allows a
plaintiff to join as many separate claims as he may have, there
should nevertheless be some unity in the problem presented and a
common question of law and fact involved, subject always to the
restriction thereon regarding jurisdiction, venue and joinder of
parties. Unlimited joinder is not authorized.

Our rule on permissive joinder of causes of action, with the proviso
subjecting it to the correlative rules on jurisdiction, venue and
joinder of parties and requiring a conceptual unity in the problems
presented, effectively disallows unlimited joinder.

Page 43

Full Text Cases – Cause of Action CIVIL PROCEDURE


Section 6, Rule 2 on misjoinder of causes of action provides:

Sec. 6. Misjoinder of causes of action. - Misjoinder of causes of
action is not a ground for dismissal of an action. A misjoined cause
of action may, on motion of a party or on the initiative of the court,
be severed and proceeded with separately.

There is misjoinder of causes of action when the conditions for
joinder under Section 5, Rule 2 are not met. Section 5 provides:

Sec. 5. Joinder of causes of action. - A party may in one pleading
assert, in the alternative or otherwise, as many causes of action as
he may have against an opposing party, subject to the following

(a) The party joining the causes of action shall comply with the rules
on joinder of parties;

(b) The joinder shall not include special civil actions or actions
governed by special rules;

(c) Where the causes of action are between the same parties but
pertain to different venues or jurisdictions, the joinder may be
allowed in the Regional Trial Court provided one of the causes of
action falls within the jurisdiction of said court and the venue lies
therein; and

(d) Where the claims in all the causes of action are principally for
recovery of money, the aggregate amount claimed shall be the test
of jurisdiction.

As far as can be gathered from the assailed Orders, it is the first
condition - on joinder of parties - that the trial court deemed to be
lacking. It is well to remember that the joinder of causes of action
may involve the same parties or different parties. If the joinder
involves different parties, as in this case, there must be a question of
fact or of law common to both parties joined, arising out of the
same transaction or series of transaction.


In herein case, petitioners have adequately alleged in their
complaint that after they had already agreed to enter into a contract
to sell with Zescon Land, Inc., through Sales-Contreras, the latter
also gave them other documents to sign, to wit: A Deed of Absolute
Sale over the same properties but for a lower consideration, two
mortgage deeds over the same properties in favor of respondent
Hermano with accompanying notes and acknowledgment receipts
for Ten Million pesos (P10,000,000) each. Petitioners claim that
Zescon Land, Inc., through Sales-Contreras, misled them to
mortgage their properties which they had already agreed to sell to
the latter.

From the above averments in the complaint, it becomes reasonably
apparent that there are questions of fact and law common to both
Zescon Land, Inc., and respondent Hermano arising from a series of
transaction over the same properties. There is the question of fact,
for example, of whether or not Zescon Land, Inc., indeed misled
petitioners to sign the mortgage deeds in favor of respondent
Hermano. There is also the question of which of the four contracts
were validly entered into by the parties. Note that under Article
2085 of the Civil Code, for a mortgage to be valid, it is imperative
that the mortgagor be the absolute owner of the thing mortgaged.
Thus, respondent Hermano will definitely be affected if it is

subsequently declared that what was entered into by petitioners
and Zescon Land, Inc., was a Contract of Sale (as evidenced by the
Deed of Absolute Sale signed by them) because this would mean
that the contracts of mortgage were void as petitioners were no
longer the absolute owners of the properties mortgaged. Finally,
there is also the question of whether or not Zescon Land, Inc., as
represented by Sales-Contreras, and respondent Hermano
committed fraud against petitioners as to make them liable for

Prescinding from the foregoing, and bearing in mind that the joinder
of causes of action should be liberally construed as to effect in one
action a complete determination of all matters in controversy
involving one subject matter, we hold that the trial court committed

cause of action against respondent Hermano.

WHEREFORE, premises considered, the Resolution of the Court of

certiorari and its Resolution dated 02 March 2001 denying

ASIDE. The petition for certiorari is hereby GRANTED. The Orders of
the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City, Branch 224, dated 28
February 2000 and 25 May 2000 are ANNULLED and SET ASIDE. The
RTC is further ordered to reinstate respondent Antonio Hermano as
one of the defendants in Civil Case No. Q-98-34211. No costs.


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