G.R.No. 862. September 27, 1905

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5 Phil. 56

[ G.R.No. 862. September 27, 1905 ]




This case was tried in the Court of First Instance of Bacolod,
Occidental Negros, under the provisions of the old Code of Civil
Procedure relating to actions involving more than 500 and less than
2,500 pesetas (juicios de menor cuantia).

The complaint was filed in the month of May, 1901, and when the
present Code of Civil Procedure went into effect on the 1st of October
of the same year the trial was still in progress for the reason that
the parties had theretofore failed to agree upon the disputed facts of
the case. Both parties had offered to present their evidence and the
only thing remaining to be done was the taking of same. The case being
in such a condition, the court below had authority, under paragraph 3
of section 795 of the present Code of Civil Procedure, to apply to it
the provisions of this code; it does not appear, however, that he did
so. It appears that he proceeded with the case in accordance with the
provisions of the old Code of Civil Procedure, as shown by the fact
that the court cited the parties for judgment, and further allowed the
appeal taken by the defendant, without requiring the presentation of a
bill of exceptions, having sent the original record of the case to this
court for the purposes of that appeal.

This method of procedure was in strict accord with the provisions of
the old and not with the new Code of Civil Procedure now in force.
Under the old Code of Civil Procedure the evidence should have been
reduced to writing, attached to the record, and sent to this court in
case an appeal had been taken. There is no doubt that evidence was
taken in this case. The court refers to it in its judgment, saying that the testimony given during four sessions held in the case was heard.
It seems that this testimony was given orally, and that it was not
reduced to writing. The fact is that there is no record of such
testimony in the case, and it is impossible for ius to determine this
action upon its merits. Furthermore, this constitutes an error which
vitiates the whole proceedings. This court can not decide in a case
tried under the old Code of Civil Procedure without having before it
the original evidence received at the trial. (Maria del Carmen, widow
of Bustillos, vs. Roque Garbanzos,[1] decided December 4, 1902.)

On the other hand the judgment appealed from contains no finding of
fact. This also constitutes a serious defect, all the more so in this
case where there is no evidence in the record. There is absolutely no
basis on which to determine with certainty whether the conclusions of
law and the judgment of the court below are correct. The judgment of
the trial court is hereby set aside and the case is remanded to the
Court of First Instance of Occidental Negros, for a new trial, without
special condemnation as to the costs of this instance.

After the expiration of ten days let judgment be entered in accordance herewith. So ordered.

Arellano, C. J., Torres, Johnson, Carson, and Willard, JJ., concur.

[1] 1 Phil. Rep., 532.

Date created: April 25, 2014


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