The rule on accelerated judgment

In Excelsa Industries, Inc. v. Court of Appeals, the Supreme Court described summary judgment or accelerated judgment as:
x x x a device for weeding out sham claims or defenses at an early stage of the litigation, thereby avoiding the expense and loss of time involved in a trial. The very object of the device is to separate what is formal or pretended in denial or averment from what is genuine and substantial, so that only the latter may subject a suitor to the burden of a trial. The term "genuine issue" has been defined as an issue of fact that calls for the presentation of evidence as distinguished from an issue that is sham, fictitious, contrived, set up in bad faith and patently unsubstantial so as not to constitute a genuine issue for trial. The court can determine this on the basis of the pleadings, admissions, documents, affidavits and counter-affidavits submitted by the parties to the court. Where the facts pleaded by the parties are disputed or contested, proceedings for a summary judgment cannot take the place of a trial.
The Court also observed in Carcon Development Corporation v. Court of Appeals, that:
The theory of summary judgment is that although an answer may on its face appear to tender issues — requiring trial - yet if it is demonstrated by affidavits, depositions, or admissions that those issues are not genuine, but sham or fictitious, the court is justified in dispensing with the trial and in rendering summary judgment for the plaintiff. The court is expected to act chiefly on the basis of the affidavits, depositions, admissions submitted by the movant, and those of the other party in opposition thereto. The hearing contemplated (with 10-day notice) is for the purpose of determining whether the issues are genuine or not, not to receive evidence on the issues set up in the pleadings. In other words, a hearing is not de rigueur. x x x This is not to say that such a hearing may be regarded as a superfluity. It is not, and the court has plenary discretion to determine the necessity therefor.
A party who moves for summary judgment has the burden of demonstrating clearly the absence of any genuine issue of fact, or that the issue posed in the complaint is so patently unsubstantial as not to constitute a genuine issue for trial. In case of doubt as to the propriety of a summary judgment, the doubt shall be resolved against the moving party. The court should take that view of evidence most favorable to the party against whom it is directed and give that party the benefit of all favorable inferences. Indeed, the trial courts have limited authority to render summary judgments, and they may do so only in cases where there is clearly no genuine issue as to any material fact. The rule does not invest the court with jurisdiction summarily to try the factual issues on affidavits, but authorizes summary judgment only if it clearly appears that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact.In the case of Spouses Amiana v. DBP (G.R. No. 157832. January 15, 2014), petitioners contend that DBP made either general denials or admissions, implied or express, and that there was no more genuine issue as to any material fact except as to the amount of damages.

Under Section 10, Rule 8 of the Rules of Court, a defendant may specifically deny a material allegation of the plaintiff in any of three ways. (For more details, click here.)
An examination of the pleadings submitted by the parties to the trial court belies the petitioners' contention that DBP did not dispute their allegation on the lack of any demand and on DBP's right to extrajudicially foreclose the mortgage having already prescribed because of its failure to foreclose within 10 years from the due date of the loan.

In paragraph 1 (b) of the complaint, the petitioners stated as follows:
x x x x

b. That the above-named mortgagee or defendant failed to make a demand upon plaintiffs, judicially or extra-judicially, for the payment of the aforestated loan and to foreclose the said mortgage within ten (10) years from its due date aforestated, for which reason defendant's right of action on said loan and mortgage had long prescribed and/or become unenforceable under the law. 
x x x x
Traversing the petitioners' allegation, DBP countered in its paragraph 3 of its answer thus:
x x x x

3. Paragraph (b) thereof is specifically denied, the truth being that several written demands were made by defendant upon plaintiffs but the latter refused to heed said demands, the allegation as to the prescription of the defendant's right to foreclose the mortgage is denied, the same being a mere conclusion without any basis in law.

x x x x
By averring "that several written demands were made by defendant upon plaintiffs but the latter refused to heed said demands, the allegation as to the prescription of the defendant's right to foreclose the mortgage is denied, the same being a mere conclusion without any basis in law," DBP effectively denied the material allegations of the petitioners' complaint on the lack of demands and prescription through the first of the three ways of specific denial under Section 10, Rule 8 of the Rules of Court.

Considering that proceedings for a summary judgment could not take the place of a trial where the facts pleaded by the parties were disputed or contested, a trial was thus necessary to ascertain which of the conflicting allegations were true. The denial by the RTC of the petitioners' Motion for Summary Judgment was consequently correct, and did not constitute an abuse of its discretion, least of all grave.

The dismissal of the petition should be directed because the writ of certiorari issues only when grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction is committed by a lower court. Grave abuse of discretion means either that the judicial or quasi-judicial power was exercised in an arbitrary or despotic manner by reason of passion or personal hostility, or that the respondent judge, tribunal or board evaded a positive duty, or virtually refused to perform the duty enjoined or to act in contemplation of law, such as when such judge, tribunal or board exercising judicial or quasi-judicial powers acted in a capricious or whimsical manner as to be equivalent to lack of jurisdiction.

ADDITIONAL READINGS:

[1] 143 things to know before reading SC cases - Project Jurisprudence.
[2] G.R. No. 105455, August 23, 1995, 247 SCRA 560, 566.
[3] G.R. No. 88218, December 19, 1989, 180 SCRA 348, 352.
[4] Archipelago Builders v. Intermediate Appellate Court, G.R. No. 75282, February 19, 1991, 194 SCRA 207, 212-213.
[5] Viajar v. Estenzo, No. L-43882, April 30, 1979, 89 SCRA 684, 696-697.
[6] Delos Santos v. Metropolitan Bank and Trust Company, G.R. No. 153852, October 24, 2012, 68 SCRA 410, 422-423.

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