JUANITA SALAS, petitioner, vs. HON. COURT OF APPEALS and FIRST FINANCE & LEASING CORPORATION, respondents. Arsenio C. Villalon, Jr. for petitioner.
Labaguis, Loyola, Angara & Associates for private respondent. FERNAN, C.J.:
Assailed in this petition for review on certiorari is the decision of the Court of Appeals in C.A.-G.R. CV No. 00757 entitled "Filinvest Finance & Leasing Corporation v. Salas", which modified the decision of the Regional Trial Court of San Fernando, Pampanga in Civil Case No. 5915, a collection suit between the same parties. Records disclose that on February 6, 1980, Juanita Salas (hereinafter referred to as petitioner) bought a motor vehicle from the Violago Motor Sales Corporation (VMS for brevity) for P58,138.20 as evidenced by a promissory note. This note was subsequently endorsed to Filinvest Finance & Leasing Corporation (hereinafter referred to as private respondent) which financed the purchase. Petitioner defaulted in her installments beginning May 21, 1980 allegedly due to a discrepancy in the engine and chassis numbers of the vehicle delivered to her and those indicated in the sales invoice, certificate of registration and deed of chattel mortgage, which fact she discovered when the vehicle figured in an accident on 9 May 1980. This failure to pay prompted private respondent to initiate Civil Case No. 5915 for a sum of money against petitioner before the Regional Trial Court of San Fernando, Pampanga. In its decision dated September 10, 1982, the trial court held, thus: WHEREFORE, and in view of all the foregoing, judgment is hereby rendered ordering the defendant to pay the plaintiff the sum of P28,414.40 with interest thereon at the rate of 14% from October 2, 1980 until the said sum is fully paid; and the further amount of P1,000.00 as attorney's fees. The counterclaim of defendant is dismissed.
With costs against defendant. 1
Both petitioner and private respondent appealed the aforesaid decision to the Court of Appeals. Imputing fraud, bad faith and misrepresentation against VMS for having delivered a different vehicle to petitioner, the latter prayed for a reversal of the trial court's decision so that she may be absolved from the obligation under the contract. On October 27, 1986, the Court of Appeals rendered its assailed decision, the pertinent portion of which is quoted hereunder: The allegations, statements, or admissions contained in a pleading are conclusive as against the pleader. A party cannot subsequently take a position contradictory of, or inconsistent with his pleadings (Cunanan vs. Amparo, 80 Phil. 227). Admissions made by the parties in the pleadings, or in the course of the trial or other proceedings, do not require proof and cannot be contradicted unless previously shown to have been made through palpable mistake (Sec. 2, Rule 129, Revised Rules of Court; Sta. Ana vs. Maliwat, L-23023, Aug. 31, 1968, 24 SCRA 1018). When an action or defense is founded upon a written instrument, copied in or attached to the corresponding pleading as provided in the preceding section, the genuineness and due execution of the instrument shall be deemed admitted unless the adverse party, under oath, specifically denied them, and sets forth what he claims to be the facts (Sec. 8, Rule 8, Revised Rules of Court; Hibbered vs. Rohde and McMillian, 32 Phil. 476). A perusal of the evidence shows that the amount of P58,138.20 stated in the promissory note is the amount assumed by the plaintiff in financing the purchase of defendant's motor vehicle from the Violago Motor Sales Corp., the monthly amortization of winch is Pl,614.95 for 36 months. Considering that the defendant was able to pay twice (as admitted by the plaintiff, defendant's account became delinquent only beginning May, 1980) or in the total sum of P3,229.90, she is therefore liable to pay the remaining balance of P54,908.30 at l4% per annum from October 2, 1980 until full payment....