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LARENA vs. VILLANUEVA permitted to split up a single cause of action and make it the basis for several suits. But
that is not this case.
DOCTRINE: A party will not be permitted to split a cause of action and make it the
basis of several suits, but that rule applies only to cases where the cause When a contract of lease provides for the payment of the rent in separate installments, each
is in existence at the time the action is brought. installment may be considered an independent cause of action, but in an action upon such a
lease for the recovery of rent, the installments due at the time the action was brought must
CASE: Appeal from a judgment of the CFI of Negros Oriental be included in the complaint, and failure to do so constitutes a bar to a subsequent action for
such overdue rent.
The aforesaid action, G. R. No. 21706, was brought on August 23, 1922, the plaintiff
In 1924, the CFI ordered the rescission of a lease of the Tacgajan Sugar Plantation and the demanding payment of the then due rent in addition to the rescission of the lease. On July
payment by the defendant-lessee of the unpaid balance of the rent for the agricultural years 27, 1923, the plaintiff filed a motion for an amendment to paragraph 6 of the complaint.
1920-1922 and 1921-1923. The Decision also provided that the possession of the leased land
be delivered to plaintiff. Before levy was made, the parties came to an agreement that The plaintiff also amended the prayer of the complaint by asking judgment for rent for years
judgment be satisfied by payment of cash and transfer to the plaintiff of a dwelling house. subsequent to 1922. The motion was granted, and the case came up for trial on July 30,
1923, and on September 8, 1923, the trial court rendered its decision giving judgment for
The last amended complaint set forth 3 causes of action: rent up to and including the rent for the agricultural year ending in 1923. The lease did not
provide for payment of rent in advance or at any definite time, and it appears plainly from
FIRST CAUSE OF ACTION- Since the lease was declared rescinded, the defendant knew that the record that the rent for an agricultural year was not considered due until the end of the
he was not entitled to the possession of the hacienda but nevertheless, in bad faith y in such corresponding year. It follows that the rent for the agricultural year 1922-1924 had not
possession and appropriated to himself the cane harvest. The defendant refused to pay the become due at the time of the trial of the case and that consequently the trial court could
plaintiff the value of the piculs of sugar. not render judgment therefor. The action referred to is, therefore, no bar to the first cause
of action in the present litigation.
SECOND CAUSE OF ACTION- Defendant failed to return all the properties used in the
hacienda which was his obligation in the said lease.

THIRD CAUSE OF ACTION- Plaintiff alleges that the harvest of sugar cane illegally made by the
defendant in 1924 and subsequently selling for his own benefit.
st rd
Defendant alleges that the 1 and 3 cause of action must be considered res judicata, For
the 2 cause of action, the properties were lost due to its total extinction by ordinary use.
For all 3 causes of action, the defendant sets up as a special defense the document executed
by the plaintiff acknowledging the satisfaction of the judgment in their previous case.

As to the first cause of action the defendant argues that it was included in the prayer of an
amended complaint filed in case G. R. No. 21706 and that, although no express
determination thereof was made in the decision of the case, it must, nevertheless, be
regarded as res adjudicata.

But the defendant maintains that the plaintiff having had an opportunity to ventilate the
matter in the former case, she cannot now enforce the same cause of action in the present


Properly speaking, this argument does not involve the doctrine of res adjudicata, but rests on
the wellknown and, in American law, firmly established principle that a party will not be



In its complaint of March 3, 1927, plaintiff Blossom & Company seeks to recover damages
accrued since November 23, 1923, for a wilful breach of a contract for the sale and delivery CASE: Petition for review on certiorari of the decision and resolution of the CA
of water gas and coal gas tar at stipulated prices. In its Answer, defendant Manila Gas
Corporation alleges that in the former action in the CFI of the City of Manila the same FACTS:
plaintiff brought against the defendant and founded upon the same cause of action, alleged
in the complaint that plaintiff recovered judgment against the defendant on the merits, Sometime in 1996 and 1997, petitioner Swagman Hotels and Travel, Inc. Through its
decreeing a breach of the same contract and awarding damages in favor of the plaintiff in the president and vice-president obtained from private respondent Neal B. Christian loans
sum of P26,119.08 with legal interest from November 23, 1923, which judgment became and evidence by 3 promissory notes, each of which payable after 3 years from its date (August
is now final. 1996, March 1997, July 1997).

ISSUE: Whether or not the plaintiff is barred by the rendition of the former judgment to In 1998, Christian informed the petitioner corporation that he was terminating the loans and
recover damages arising from the breach of the same contract demanded from the latter payment. In 1999, he filed with the RTC of Baguio City a complaint
for a sum of money and damages against the petitioner. The petitioner corporation filed an
HELD: YES Answer raising the defenses lack of cause of action and novation of the principal obligations.
According to them, Christian had no cause of action because the 3 promissory notes were
That the judgment which the plaintiff obtained in the former action founded upon a breach not yet due and demandable.
of the same contract is a bar to this action.
According to the trial court, and sustained by the Court of Appeals, Section 5, Rule 10 of the
As a general rule, a contract to do several things at several times is divisible, and a judgment 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure allows a complaint that does not state a cause of action to be
for a single breach of a continuing contract is not a bar to a suit for a subsequent breach. But cured by evidence presented without objection during the trial. Thus, it ruled that even if the
where the contract is .entire, and the breach total, there can be only one action in which private respondent had no cause of action when he filed the complaint for a sum of money
plaintiff must recover all damages. and damages because none of the three promissory notes was due yet, he could
nevertheless recover on the first two promissory notes dated 7 August 1996 and 14 March
When the defendant terminated a continuing contract by absolute refusal In bad faith to 1997, which became due during the pendency of the case in view of the introduction of
perform, a claim for damages for a breach is an indivisible demand, and where, as in this evidence of their maturity during the trial.
case, a former final judgment was rendered, it is a bar to any damages which plaintiff may
thereafter sustain. ISSUE:
1. Whether or not private respondent had a cause of action against petitioner
In an indivisible contract plaintiff should prove in the first action not only such. damages as it corporation
has then actually sustained, but also such prospective damages as it may be legally entitled
to recover by reason of the breach. 2. Whether or not a complaint that lacks a cause of action at the time it was filed may
be cured by the accrual of a cause of action during the pendency of the case

1. NO inexpensive manner without regard to technicalities, and that all other matters included in
the case may be determined in a single proceeding, thereby avoiding multiplicity of suits.
Cause of action, as defined in Section 2, Rule 2 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, is the act Section 5 thereof applies to situations wherein evidence not within the issues raised in the
or omission by which a party violates the right of another. Its essential elements are as pleadings is presented by the parties during the trial, and to conform to such evidence the
follows: pleadings are subsequently amended on motion of a party.

a. A right in favor of the plaintiff by whatever means and under whatever law it arises Thus, a complaint which fails to state a cause of action may be cured by evidence presented
or is created; during the trial.
b. An obligation on the part of the named defendant to respect or not to violate such
right; and However, the curing effect under Section 5 is applicable only if a cause of action in fact exists
c. Act or omission on the part of such defendant in violation of the right of the at the time the complaint is filed, but the complaint is defective for failure to allege the
plaintiff or constituting a breach of the obligation of the defendant to the plaintiff essential facts. For example, if a complaint failed to allege the fulfillment of a condition
for which the latter may maintain an action for recovery of damages or other precedent upon which the cause of action depends, evidence showing that such condition
appropriate relief. had already been fulfilled when the complaint was filed may be presented during the trial,
and the complaint may accordingly be amended thereafter.
It is, thus, only upon the occurrence of the last element that a cause of action arises, giving
the plaintiff the right to maintain an action in court for recovery of damages or other It thus follows that a complaint whose cause of action has not yet accrued cannot be cured
appropriate relief. or remedied by an amended or supplemental pleading alleging the existence or accrual of a
cause of action while the case is pending. Such an action is prematurely brought and is,
At the time the complaint was filed with the trial court on 2 February 1999, none of the three therefore, a groundless suit, which should be dismissed by the court upon proper motion
promissory notes was due yet; although, two of the promissory notes with the due dates of 7 seasonably filed by the defendant. The underlying reason for this rule is that a person should
August 1999 and 14 March 2000 matured during the pendency of the case with the trial not be summoned before the public tribunals to answer for complaints which are immature.
court. Both courts also found that the petitioner had been religiously paying the private
respondent US$750 per month from January 1998 and even during the pendency of the case
before the trial court and that the private respondent had accepted all these monthly

With these findings of facts, it has become glaringly obvious that when the complaint for a
sum of money and damages was filed with the trial court on 2 February 1999, no cause of
action has as yet existed because the petitioner had not committed any act in violation of the
terms of the three promissory notes as modified by the renegotiation in December 1997.
Without a cause of action, the private respondent had no right to maintain an action in court,
and the trial court should have therefore dismissed his complaint.

Since the petitioner did not renege on its obligation to pay the monthly installments
conformably with their new agreement and even continued paying during the pendency of
the case, the private respondent had no cause of action to file the complaint. It is only upon
petitioner’s default in the payment of the monthly amortizations that a cause of action
would arise and give the private respondent a right to maintain an action against the

2. NO

Such interpretation of Section 5, Rule 10 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure is erroneous.

Amendments of pleadings are allowed under Rule 10 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure in
order that the actual merits of a case may be determined in the most expeditious and
joinder in one complaint or their being tried in a single proceeding to avoid confusion in
determining what rules shall govern the conduct of the proceedings as well as in the
determination of the presence of requisite elements of each particular cause of action.

Nevertheless, misjoinder of causes of action is not a ground for dismissal. Indeed, the courts
have the power, acting upon the motion of a party to the case or sua sponte, to order the
severance of the misjoined cause of action to be proceeded with separately. However, if
there is no objection to the improper joinder or the court did not motu proprio direct a
severance, then there exists no bar in the simultaneous adjudication of all the erroneously
joined causes of action.

ADA vs. BAYLON It should be emphasized that the foregoing rule only applies if the court trying the case has
jurisdiction over all of the causes of action therein notwithstanding the misjoinder of the
DOCTRINE: MISJOINDER OF CAUSES OF ACTION IS NOT A GROUND FOR DISMISSAL same. If the court trying the case has no jurisdiction over a misjoined cause of action, then
such misjoined cause of action has to be severed from the other causes of action, and if not
CASE: Petition for review on certiorari of decision of the CA so severed, any adjudication rendered by the court with respect to the same would be a
Here, Florante posed no objection, and neither did the RTC direct the severance of the
The complaint filed by the petitioners with the RTC involves two separate, distinct and petitioners’ action for rescission from their action for partition. While this may be a patent
independent actions— partition and rescission. First, the petitioners raised the refusal of omission on the part of the RTC, this does not constitute a ground to assail the validity and
their co-heirs, Florante, Rita and Panfila, to partition the properties which they inherited correctness of its decision. The RTC validly adjudicated the issues raised in the actions for
from Spouses Baylon. Second, in their supplemental pleading, the petitioners assailed the partition and rescission filed by the petitioners.
donation inter vivos of Lot No. 4709 and half of Lot No. 4706 made by Rita in favor of
Florante pendente lite. 2. YES

In its Decision dated October 26, 2007, the CA pointed out that the said action for rescission A supplemental pleading may raise a new cause of action as long as long as it has some
should have been filed by the petitioners independently of the proceedings in the action for relation to the original cause of action set forth in the original complaint.
partition. It opined that the action for rescission could not be lumped up with the action for
partition through a mere supplemental pleading. As its very name denotes, a supplemental pleading only serves to bolster or add something
to the primary pleading; Its usual office is to set up new facts which justify, enlarge or change
ISSUE: the kind of relief with respect to the same subject matter as the controversy referred to in
the original complaint.—Section 6, Rule 10 of the Rules of Court reads: Sec. 6. Supplemental
1. Whether or not the actions of partition and rescission can be joined in a single Pleadings.
2. Whether or not a supplemental pleading may raise a new cause of action Thus, a supplemental pleading may properly allege transactions, occurrences or events which
had transpired after the filing of the pleading sought to be supplemented, even if the said
HELD: supplemental facts constitute another cause of action.

1. NO Here, the issue as to the validity of the donation inter vivos of Lot No. 4709 and half of Lot
No. 4706 made by Rita in favor of Florante is a new cause of action that occurred after the
Here, there was a misjoinder of causes of action. The action for partition filed by the filing of the original complaint. However, the petitioners’ prayer for the rescission of the said
petitioners could not be joined with the action for the rescission of the said donation inter donation inter vivos in their supplemental pleading is germane to, and is in fact, intertwined
vivos in favor of Florante. Lest it be overlooked, an action for partition is a special civil action with the cause of action in the partition case. Lot No. 4709 and half of Lot No. 4706 are
governed by Rule 69 of the Rules of Court while an action for rescission is an ordinary civil included among the properties that were sought to be partitioned.
action governed by the ordinary rules of civil procedure. The variance in the procedure in the
special civil action of partition and in the ordinary civil action of rescission precludes their
The petitioners’ supplemental pleading merely amplified the original cause of action, on
account of the gratuitous conveyance of Lot No. 4709 and half of Lot No. 4706 after the filing The Court A Quo’s Ruling:
of the original complaint and prayed for additional reliefs, i.e., rescission. Indeed, the
petitioners claim that the said lots form part of the estate of Spouses Baylon, but cannot be The court a quo denied recovery on the subject PN. It found that the consideration for its
partitioned unless the gratuitous conveyance of the same is rescinded. Thus, the principal execution was Rafael’s indebtedness to petitioner, the extinguishment of which necessarily
issue raised by the petitioners in their original complaint remained the same. results in the consequent extinguishment of the cause therefor.

After petitioner’s motion for reconsideration:

It declared that the causes of action in the collection and foreclosure cases are distinct, and
By a joinder of actions, or more properly, a joinder of causes of action is meant the uniting respondent’s failure to comply with his obligation under the subject PN justifies petitioner to
of two or more demands or rights of action in one action, the statement of more than one seek judicial relief.
cause of action in a declaration. It is the union of two or more civil causes of action, each of
which could be made the basis of a separate suit, in the same complaint, declaration or The CA’s Ruling:
petition. A plaintiff may under certain circumstances join several distinct demands,
controversies or rights of action in one declaration, complaint or petition. It held that the doctrine of res judicata finds application in the instant case,27 considering
MARILAG vs. MARTINEZ that both the judicial foreclosure and collection cases were filed as a consequence of the
nonpayment of Rafael’s loan, which was the principal obligation secured by the real estate
DOCTRINE: SPLITTING A CAUSE OF ACTION IS A MODE OF FORUM SHOPPING BY mortgage and the primary consideration for the execution of the subject PN. Since res
FILING MULTIPLE CASES BASED ON THE SAME CAUSE OF ACTION, BUT judicata only requires substantial, not actual, identity of causes of action and/or identity of
WITH DIFFERENT PRAYERS, WHERE THE GROUND OF DISMISSAL IS LITIS issue, it ruled that the judgment in the judicial foreclosure case relating to Rafael’s obligation
PENDENTIA (OR RES JUDICATA, AS THE CASE MAY BE) to petitioner is final and conclusive on the collection case.


DEBTOR-MORTGAGOR—TO RECOVER THE DEBT THROUGH THE FILING 1. Whether or not the principle of res judicata is applicable
OF A PERSONAL ACTION FOR COLLECTION OF SUM OF MONEY OR THE 2. Whether or not petitioner can split her cause of action on Rafael’s obligation
INSTITUTION OF A REAL ACTION TO FORECLOSE ON THE MORTGAGE and respondent’s payment of the promissory note
CASE: Petition for review on certiorari of the decision and resolution of CA
1. NO
A case is barred by prior judgment or res judicata when the following elements concur:
In 1992, Rafael Martinez, respondent’s father, obtained from petitioner a loan which was
secured by a real estate mortgage over a parcel of land. Rafael failed to settle his obligation (a) the judgment sought to bar the new action must be final;
upon maturity thus, petitioner filed a complaint for the judicial foreclosure of real estate (b) the decision must have been rendered by a court having jurisdiction over the
mortgage before RTC Imus, Cavite. subject matter and the parties;
(c) the disposition of the case must be a judgment on the merits; and (d) there must
Prior to Rafael’s notice of the decision where he was ordered to pay petitioner, respondent be as between the first and second action, identity of parties, subject matter, and
agreed to pay said obligation to petitioner. Respondent paid in cash and executed a causes of action.
promissory note for the balance. After learning of the January 30, 1998 Decission,
respondent refused to pay the amount covered by the subject PN despite demands. The Court finds the principle of res judicata to be inapplicable to the present case. This is
Petitioner then filed a complaint for sum of money and damages. because the records are bereft of any indication that the August 28, 2003 Decision in the
judicial foreclosure case had already attained finality, evidenced, for instance, by a copy of
Respondent, in his Answer, contends that petitioner has no cause of action against him. He the entry of judgment in the said case. Accordingly, with the very first element of res judicata
averred that he has fully settled Rafael’s obligation and that he committed a mistake in missing, said principle cannot be made to obtain. This notwithstanding, the Court holds that
paying more than the amount due under the loan. petitioner’s prosecution of the collection case was barred, instead, by the principle of litis
pendentia in view of the substantial identity of parties and singularity of the causes of action survives the dismissal of petitioner’s collection suit, the same should be resolved based on its
in the foreclosure and collection cases, such that the prior foreclosure case barred own merits and evidentiary support.
petitioner’s recourse to the subsequent collection case.

2. NO

In this relation, it must be noted that the question of whether a cause of action is single and
entire or separate is not always easy to determine and the same must often be resolved, not
by the general rules, but by reference to the facts and circumstances of the particular case.
The true rule, therefore, is whether the entire amount arises from one and the same act or
contract which must, thus, be sued for in one action, or the several parts arise from distinct
and different acts or contracts, for which a party may maintain separate suits

In loan contracts secured by a real estate mortgage, the rule is that the creditor-mortgagee
has a single cause of action against the debtor -mortgagor, i.e., to recover the debt, through
the filing of a personal action for collection of sum of money or the institution of a real action
to foreclose on the mortgage security. The two remedies are alternative, not cumulative or
successive, and each remedy is complete by itself. Thus, if the creditormortgagee opts to
foreclose the real estate mortgage, he waives the action for the collection of the unpaid
debt, except only for the recovery of whatever deficiency may remain in the outstanding
obligation of the debtormortgagor after deducting the bid price in the public auction sale of
the mortgaged properties. Accordingly, a deficiency judgment shall only issue after it is
established that the mortgaged property was sold at public auction for an amount less than NOTE:
the outstanding obligation.
litis pendentia, as a ground for the dismissal of a civil action, refers to that situation wherein
In the present case, records show that petitioner, as creditor -mortgagee, instituted an action another action is pending between the same parties for the same cause of action, such that
for judicial foreclosure pursuant to the provisions of Rule 68 of the Rules of Court in order to the second action becomes unnecessary and vexatious.
recover on Rafael’s debt. In light of the foregoing discussion, the availment of such remedy
thus bars recourse to the subsequent filing of a personal action for collection of the same For the bar of litis pendentia to be invoked, the following requisites must concur:
debt, in this case, under the principle of litis pendentia, considering that the foreclosure case
only remains pending as it was not shown to have attained finality. (a) identity of parties, or at least such parties as represent the same interests in both actions;

Petitioner’s contention that the judicial foreclosure and collection cases enforce independent (b) identity of rights asserted and relief prayed for, the relief being founded on the same
rights must, therefore, fail because the Deed of Real Estate Mortgage and the subject PN facts; and
both refer to one and the same obligation, i.e., Rafael’s loan obligation. As such, there exists
only one cause of action for a single breach of that obligation. Petitioner cannot split her (c) the identity of the two preceding particulars is such that any judgment rendered in the
cause of action on Rafael’s unpaid loan obligation by filing a petition for the judicial pending case, regardless of which party is successful would amount to res judicata in the
foreclosure of the real estate mortgage covering the said loan, and, thereafter, a personal other.
action for the collection of the unpaid balance of said obligation not comprising a deficiency
arising from foreclosure, without violating the proscription against splitting a single cause of
action, where the ground for dismissal is either res judicata or litis pendentia, as in this case.

As petitioner had already instituted judicial foreclosure proceedings over the mortgaged
property, she is now barred from availing herself of an ordinary action for collection,
regardless of whether or not the decision in the foreclosure case had attained finality. In fine,
the dismissal of the collection case is in order. Considering, however, that respondent’s claim
for return of excess payment partakes of the nature of a compulsory counterclaim and, thus,