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63 Phil. 841

[ G. R. No. 42645, December 29, 1936 ]




The complaint in this case has been  dismissed upon motion of  the defendant after the evidence for  the  plaintiff-appellant  had  been presented.   It was prayed in the amended complaint (1) That the court declare the defendant  indebted to the plaintiff in the sum of P2,372.34 as a loan with interest at 10  per  cent per annum, from September 30, 1933, and  (2)  that the defendant be ordered to execute a document acknowledging the debt  in question, together with all the stipulated conditions.  The opinion of the court dismissing the  complaint was  based on the following  consideration:
"After examining the  evidence in this  case, the court really finds thit there is no written obligation signed by the defendant in favor of the plaintiff, neither is there  any other document that justifies the claim of the plaintiff in this case.   *  *  *   Such being the case,  the  court is of the opinion that the contention of the defendant is well founded in accordance with the provisions  of  article 1280 of the Civil Code and section 335 of the Code of Civil Procedure."
Upon appeal  from the court's  decision, the only  real question of law to be decided by this court  is the demurrer filed by the defendant to the evidence for the plaintiff-appellant.

The record shows that immediately after the attorney for the defendant had presented his oral motion  to  dismiss, he signified his intention to  call  his client  as a witness in the event that his motion to dismiss should be denied.   The court,  in such a situation, should  not have rendered its decision, but in order to avoid any possible delay of the case and enable it to  render its  decision with  all the  disputed questions in'view, it should have required the defendant to present his evidence.   In the case of Moody, Aronson & Co. vs. Hotel Bilbao (50 Phil., 198, 200),  this court said:
"*   *  *   The defendant who, after  the plaintiff  has submitted his evidence, makes a motion to dismiss which the trial court in a decision grants, and who, on  appeal of the plaintiff, has the judgment reversed, cannot then be permitted to produce evidence in defense.  The defendant in offering a motion to dismiss in effect elects to stand on the insufficiency of the plaintiff's case.   Otherwise, the result will be to invite unnecessary litigation.  *   *  *
"The efforts of the courts should be concentrated on providing rules which  will avoid lengthy and expensive litigation and which  will assist  in the speedy disposition of cases."
Now, after examining the evidence for the plaintiff-appellant, this court is of the opinion that it is sufficient to warrant the granting of the two remedies sought in the complaint, or  another  more  appropriate one, for which reason, by applying the ruling of this court in the decision above-cited, the appealed judgment should  not only be reversed but there should also adjudicate to the plaintiff what is due her under the law, were it  not for the fact that the defendant, in formulating his  motion to dismiss  the complaint after the presentation of the evidence for the plaintiff, reserved for himself the right to present his evidence.  This is the reason why this court is of the opinion that in cases like this the defendant should be required to. present  his evidence  instead of acting upon his motion to dismiss, so that should the court find the decision  to be  erroneous, it would not have to remand the case to the court of origin for further proceedings, by virtue of the defendant's  reservation, which he should not have  been permitted toi make, upon presenting his motion to dismiss.

The appealed judgment is reversed and the court is ordered  to  take the evidence for the defendant and render judgment after fully trying the case.   So ordered.

Avanceña, C. J., Villa-Real, Abad Santos, Imperial, Diaz, and Laurel, JJ., concur.