Genuineness, due execution of documents

The genuineness and due execution of documents are deemed admitted under the parameters of Section 8, Rule 8 of the Rules of Court which provides:
SEC. 8. How to contest such documents. — When an action or defense is founded upon a written instrument, copied in or attached to the corresponding pleading as provided in the preceding Section, the genuineness and due execution of the instrument shall be deemed admitted unless the adverse party, under oath, specifically denies them, and sets forth what he claims to be the facts; but the requirement of an oath does not apply when the adverse party does not appear to be a party to the instrument or when compliance with an order for an inspection of the original instrument is refused. (Emphasis supplied)
In Permanent Savings & Loan Bank v. Velarde[1] (Permanent Savings & Loan Bank), citing the earlier case of Songco v. Sellner,[2] the Supreme Court expounded on how to deny the genuineness and due execution of an actionable document, viz.:
This means that the defendant must declare under oath that he did not sign the document or that it is otherwise false or fabricated. Neither does the statement of the answer to the effect that the instrument was procured by fraudulent representation raise any issue as to its genuineness or due execution. On the contrary such a plea is an admission both of the genuineness and due execution thereof, since it seeks to avoid the instrument upon a ground not affecting either.[3] (Emphasis supplied)
To add, Section 8, Rule 8 of the Rules further requires that the defendant "sets forth what he claims to be the facts," which requirement, likewise, remains absent from the Answer in this case.

To this, case law enlightens that "[t]he admission of the genuineness and due execution of a document means that the party whose signature it bears admits that he voluntarily signed the document or it was signed by another for him and with his authority; that at the time it was signed it was in words and figures exactly as set out in the pleading of the party relying upon it; that the document was delivered; and that any formalities required by law, such as a seal, an acknowledgment, or revenue stamp, which it lacks, are waived by him. Also, it effectively eliminated any defense relating to the authenticity and due execution of the documente.g., that the document was spurious, counterfeit, or of different import on its face as the one executed by the parties; or that the signatures appearing thereon were forgeries; or that the signatures were unauthorized."[4]

In Permanent Savings & Loan Bank, "[w]hile Section [20],[5] Rule 132 of the [Rules] requires that private documents be proved of their due execution and authenticity before they can be received in evidence, i.e., presentation and examination of witnesses to testify on this fact; there is no need for proof of execution and authenticity [if there is] implied admission thereof."[6]
 
The High Court clarifies that while the "[f]ailure to deny the genuineness and due execution of an actionable document does not preclude a party from arguing against it by evidence of fraud, mistake, compromise, payment, statute of limitations, estoppel and want of consideration [nor] bar a party from raising the defense in his answer or reply and prove at the trial that there is a mistake or imperfection in the writing, or that it does not express the true agreement of the parties, or that the agreement is invalid or that there is an intrinsic ambiguity in the writing."[7] If none of these defenses are adequately argued or proven during the proceedings of a case, the genuineness and due execution of documents are deemed admitted.

[1] 482 Phil. 193 (2004).

[2] 37 Phil. 254, 256 (1917).

[3] Permanent Savings & Loan Bank v. Velarde, supra note 1, at 202.

[4] Id. at 202-203; emphasis supplied.

[5] SEC. 20. Proof of private document. — Before any private document offered as authentic is received in evidence, its due execution and authenticity must be proved either:

(a) By anyone who saw the document executed or written; or

(b) By evidence of the genuineness of the signature or handwriting of the maker.
Any other private document need only be identified as that which it is claimed to be.

[6] Permanent Savings & Loan Bank v. Velarde, supra note 1, at 203; emphasis supplied.

[7] Republic of the Phils, v. CA, 357 Phil. 174, 186 (1998).

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