1 1. KUKAN INTERNATIONAL CORPORATION, Petitioner, vs. HON. AMOR REYES, in her capacity as Presiding Judge of the Regional Trial Court of Manila, Branch 21, and ROMEO M. MORALES, doing business under the name and style "RM Morales Trophies and Plaques," Respondents. G.R. No. 182729 | 2010-09-29 D E C I S I O N VELASCO, JR., J.: The Case This Petition for Review on Certiorari under Rule 45 seeks to nullify and reverse the January 23, 2008 Decision1 and the April 16, 2008 Resolution2 rendered by the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-G.R. SP No. 100152. The assailed CA decision affirmed the March 12, 20073 and June 7, 20074 Orders of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Manila, Branch 21, in Civil Case No. 99-93173, entitled Romeo M. Morales, doing business under the name and style RM Morales Trophies and Plaques v. Kukan, Inc. In the said orders, the RTC disregarded the separate corporate identities of Kukan, Inc. and Kukan International Corporation and declared them to be one and the same entity. Accordingly, the RTC held Kukan International Corporation, albeit not impleaded in the underlying complaint of Romeo M. Morales, liable for the judgment award decreed in a Decision dated November 28, 20025 in favor of Morales and against Kukan, Inc. The Facts Sometime in March 1998, Kukan, Inc. conducted a bidding for the supply and installation of signages in a building being constructed in Makati City. Morales tendered the winning bid and was awarded the PhP 5 million contract. Some of the items in the project award were later excluded resulting in the corresponding reduction of the contract price to PhP 3,388,502. Despite his compliance with his contractual undertakings, Morales was only paid the amount of PhP 1,976,371.07, leaving a balance of PhP 1,412,130.93, which Kukan, Inc. refused to pay despite demands. Shortchanged, Morales filed a Complaint6 with the RTC against Kukan, Inc. for a sum of money, the case docketed as Civil Case No. 99-93173 and eventually raffled to Branch 17 of the court. Following the joinder of issues after Kukan, Inc. filed an answer with counterclaim, trial ensued. However, starting November 2000, Kukan, Inc. no longer appeared and participated in the proceedings before the trial court, prompting the RTC to declare Kukan, Inc. in default and paving the way for Morales to present his evidence ex parte. On November 28, 2002, the RTC rendered a Decision finding for Morales and against Kukan, Inc., disposing as follows: WHEREFORE, consistent with Section 5, Rule 18 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, and by preponderance of evidence, judgment is hereby rendered in favor of the plaintiff, ordering Kukan, Inc.: 1. to pay the sum of ONE MILLION TWO HUNDRED ONE THOUSAND SEVEN HUNDRED TWENTY FOUR PESOS (P1,201,724.00) with legal interest at 12% per annum from February 17, 1999 until full payment; 2. to pay the sum of FIFTY THOUSAND PESOS (P50,000.00) as moral damages; 3. to pay the sum of TWENTY THOUSAND PESOS, (P20,000.00) as reasonable attorney's fees; and 4. to pay the sum of SEVEN THOUSAND NINE HUNDRED SIXTY PESOS and SIX CENTAVOS (P7,960.06) as litigation expenses.
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