NG MENG TAM vs. BANK CHINA.pdf - THIRD DIVISION G.R No 214054 NG MENG TAM PETITIONER VS CHINA BANKING CORPORATION RESPONDENT DECISION VILLARAMA JR J

NG MENG TAM vs. BANK CHINA.pdf - THIRD DIVISION G.R No...

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THIRD DIVISION [ G.R. No. 214054, August 05, 2015 ] NG MENG TAM, PETITIONER, VS. CHINA BANKING CORPORATION, RESPONDENT. D E C I S I O N VILLARAMA, JR., J.: Before this Court is a direct recourse from the Regional Trial Court (RTC) via petition [1] for review on the question of whether Section 5 [2] of the Judicial Affidavit Rule (JAR) applies to hostile or adverse witnesses. The petition seeks to annul and set aside the May 28, 2014 [3] and August 27, 2014 [4] Orders of the RTC, Branch 139, Makati City in Civil Case No. 08-1028. This case stemmed from a collection suit filed by China Banking Corporation (China Bank) against Ever Electrical Manufacturing Company Inc. (Ever), the heirs of Go Tong, Vicente Go, George Go and petitioner Ng Meng Tam sometime in December 2008. China Bank alleged that it granted Ever a loan amounting to P5,532,331.63. The loan was allegedly backed by two surety agreements executed by Vicente, George and petitioner in its favor, each for P5,000,000.00, and dated December 9, 1993 and May 3, 1995, respectively. When Ever defaulted in its payment, China Bank sent demand letters collectively addressed to George, Vicente and petitioner. The demands were unanswered. China Bank filed the complaint for collection docketed as Civil Case No. 08-1028, which was raffled off to RTC Branch 62, Makati City. In his Answer, petitioner alleged that the surety agreements were null and void since these were executed before the loan was granted in 2004. Petitioner posited that the surety agreements were contracts of adhesion to be construed against the entity which drafted the same. Petitioner also alleged that he did not receive any demand letter. In the course of the proceedings, petitioner moved that his affirmative defenses be heard by the RTC on the ground that the suit is barred by the statute of limitations and laches. [5] The motion was denied by the court. [6] On appeal, the Court of Appeals (CA) in its December 22, 2010 Decision [7] ruled that a preliminary hearing was proper pursuant to Section 6, [8] Rule 16 of the Rules of Court due to the grounds cited by petitioner. There being no appeal, the decision became final and
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executory on August 28, 2011. [9] On March 15, 2011, petitioner served interrogatories to parties [10] pursuant to Sections 1 [11] and 6, [12] Rule 25 of the Rules of Court to China Bank and required Mr. George C. Yap, Account Officer of the Account Management Group, to answer. On June 22, 2011, George Yap executed his answers to interrogatories to parties. [13] In the meantime, having failed mediation and judicial dispute resolution, Civil Case No. 08-1028 was re-raffled off to RTC Branch 139, Makati City. Petitioner again moved for the hearing of his affirmative defenses. Because he found Yap’s answers to the interrogatorie s to parties evasive and not responsive, petitioner applied for the issuance of a subpoena duces tecum and ad testificandum against George Yap pursuant to Section 6, [14] Rule 25 of the Revised Rules of Court.
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