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Alfelor vs. Halasan Case Digest


 A party who judicially admits a fact cannot later challenge that fact as judicial admissions are a waiver of proof; production of evidence is dispensed with. A judicial admission also removes an admitted fact from the field of controversy. Consequently, an admission made in the pleadings cannot be controverted by the party making such admission and are conclusive as to such party, and all proofs to the contrary or inconsistent therewith should be ignored, whether objection is interposed by the party or not.

 The allegations, statements or admissions contained in a pleading are conclusive as against the pleader. A party cannot subsequently take a position contrary of or inconsistent with what was pleaded. 


Facts:

The children and heirs of the late spouses Telesforo and Cecilia Alfelor filed a Complaint for Partition. Among the plaintiffs were Teresita Sorongon and her two children, Joshua and Maria Katrina, who claimed to be the surviving spouse of Jose Alfelor, one of the children of the deceased Alfelor Spouses.

Josefina H. Halasan filed a Motion for Intervention alleging that she has legal interest in the matter of litigation for partition, she being the surviving spouse and primary compulsory heir of Jose. Josefina attached to said motion her Complaint-in-Intervention wherein she alleged that the second marriage to Teresita was void ab initio for having been contracted during the subsistence of a previous marriage. Josefina further alleged that Joshua and Maria Katrina were not her husband’s children. Josefina attached to her pleading a copy of the marriage contract which indicated that she and Jose were married.

Since petitioners opposed the motion, the judge set the motion for hearing. Josefina presented the marriage contract as well as the Reply-in-Intervention filed by the heirs of the deceased, where Teresita declared that she knew of the previous marriage of the late Jose with that Josefina. However, Josefina did not appear in court.

Teresita testified that she and Jose were married. While she did not know Josefina personally, she knew that her husband had been previously married to Josefina and that the two did not live together as husband and wife. She knew that Josefina left Jose in 1959. Jose’s relatives consented to her (Teresita’s) marriage with Jose because there had been no news of Josefina for almost ten years.

Judge denied the motion and dismissed intervenor’s complaint, ruling that respondent was not able to prove her claim. The trial court pointed out that the intervenor failed to appear to testify in court to substantiate her claim. Moreover, no witness was presented to identify the marriage contract as to the existence of an original copy of the document or any public officer who had custody thereof. Teresita and her children, Joshua and Maria Katrina, were the legal and legitimate heirs of the late Jose, considering that the latter referred to them as his children in his Statement of Assets and Liabilities, among others.

Josefina filed a Motion for Reconsideration which was denied. CA reversed the ruling of the trial court. It held that Teresita had already admitted (both verbally and in writing) that Josefina had been married to the deceased, and under Section 4, Rule 129 of the Revised Rules of Evidence, a judicial admission no longer requires proof. Consequently, there was no need to prove and establish the fact that Josefa was married to the decedent.


Issues:

1. Was there need to prove the existence of Josefina's marriage to Jose?

2. Should Josefina be allowed to intervene in the action for partition?


Held:

1. No. The fact of the matter is that Teresita Alfelor and her co-heirs, petitioners herein, admitted the existence of the first marriage in their Reply- in-Intervention filed in the RTC. Teresita admitted several times that she knew that her late husband had been previously married to another. This admission constitutes a “deliberate, clear and unequivocal” statement; made as it was in the course of judicial proceedings, such statement qualifies as a judicial admission. A party who judicially admits a fact cannot later challenge that fact as judicial admissions are a waiver of proof; production of evidence is dispensed with. A judicial admission also removes an admitted fact from the field of controversy. Consequently, an admission made in the pleadings cannot be controverted by the party making such admission and are conclusive as to such party, and all proofs to the contrary or inconsistent therewith should be ignored, whether objection is interposed by the party or not. The allegations, statements or admissions contained in a pleading are conclusive as against the pleader. A party cannot subsequently take a position contrary of or inconsistent with what was pleaded.


2.  Yes. Intervention shall be allowed when a person has (1) a legal interest in the matter in litigation; (2) or in the success of any of the parties; (3) or an interest against the parties; (4) or when he is so situated as to be adversely affected by a distribution or disposition of property in the custody of the court or an officer thereof.

Considering this admission of Teresita, petitioners’ mother, the Court rules that respondent Josefina Halasan sufficiently established her right to intervene in the partition case. She has shown that she has legal interest in the matter in litigation. (Alfelor vs. Halasan, G.R. No. 165987, March 31, 2006)

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