Exceptions when failure to deny genuineness of document deemed admitted

The failure 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.[1]

It is a basic rule in evidence that the burden of proof lies on the party who makes the allegations[2] – ei incumbit probatio, qui dicit, non qui negat; cum per rerum naturam factum negantis probatio nulla sit.[3] If he claims a right granted by law, he must prove it by competent evidence, relying on the strength of his own evidence and not upon the weakness of that of his opponent.

More specifically, allegations of a defect in or lack of valid consent to a contract by reason of fraud or undue influence are never presumed but must be established not by mere preponderance of evidence but by clear and convincing evidence.[4] For the circumstances evidencing fraud and misrepresentation are as varied as the people who perpetrate it in each case, assuming different shapes and forms and may be committed in as many different ways.[5]
[1] Republic v. Court of Appeals, 296 SCRA 171, 181-182 (1998); Bough and Bough v. Cantiveros and Hanopol, 40 Phil. 209, 213-214 (1919); Hibberd v. Rohde and McMillian, 32 Phil. 476, 480 (1915).

[2] Citibank, N.A. Mastercard v. Teodoro, 411 SCRA 577, 583 (2003); Manongsong v. Estimo, 404 SCRA 683, 693 (2003); Noceda v. Court of Appeals, 313 SCRA 504, 520 (1999); Pimentel v. Court of Appeals, 307 SCRA 38, 46 (1999); Luxuria Homes, Inc. v. Court of Appeals, 302 SCRA 315, 325 (1999); Pacific Banking Corporation Employees Organization v. Court of Appeals, 288 SCRA 197, 206 (1998); Jison v. Court of Appeals, 286 SCRA 495, 532 (1998); P.T. Cerna Corporation v. Court of Appeals, 221 SCRA 19, 25 (1993).

[3] The proof lies upon him who affirms, not upon him who denies; since by the nature of things, he who denies a fact cannot produce any proof. (Black’s Law Dictionary 516 [1991], 6th ed.)

[4] Heirs of William Sevilla v. Sevilla, 402 SCRA 501, 511 (2003); Cenido v. Apacionado, 318 SCRA 688, 702 (1999); Palmares v. Court of Appeals, 288 SCRA 422, 434 (1998); Inciong, Jr. v. Court of Appeals, 257 SCRA 578, 586 (1996); Samson v. Court of Appeals, 238 SCRA 397, 408 (1994); Cu v. Court of Appeals, 195 SCRA 647, 657 (1991); Carenan v. Court of Appeals, 173 SCRA 711, 715 (1989).

[5] Spouses Morandarte v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 123586, August 12, 2004.