Republic of the Philippines
G.R. No. L-20089             February 26, 1965
BEATRIZ P. WASSMER, plaintiff-appellee,
FRANCISCO X. VELEX, defendant-appellant.
R E S O L U T I O N
BENGZON, J.P. J.:
Defendant-appellant has filed a motion for reconsiderationof this Court's decision promulgated December 26, 1964. The only point movant raises is the alleged validity of his affidavit of merits attached to his petition for relief in the lower court.
The affidavit of merits in question states "that he (defendant)has a good and valid defense, his failure to marry plaintiff as scheduled having been due to a fortuitous event and/or circumstances beyond his control." The movant contends that this is not a mere opinion or conclusion but positive and categorical statement of a valid defense; that it state there are fortuitous event, i.e., fortuitous facts, which defendant puts forward as valid defense. The previous rulings of this Court, movant further contends, held invalid only affidavits of merits that disclosed no defense.
The rulings of this Court require affidavits of merits to state not mere conclusion or opinions but facts (Vaswani vs. Tarachand Bros., L-15800, Dec. 29, 1960). An affidavit is a statement under oath of facts. Defendant's affidavit of merits stated no facts, but merely an inference that defendant's failure was due to fortuitous event under circumstances beyond his control. This is a conclusion of fact, not a fact.
An affidavit of merits is required to avoid waste of the court's time if the defense turns out to be ineffective (Vda. de Yulo vs. Chua Chuco, 48 O.G. 554, 555). Statements too vague or merely general do not — as movant admits — serve the afore-stated purpose.
Defendant's affidavit of merits provides no means for the court to see the merits of his defense and determine whether reopening the case would be worth its time. Said affidavit revealed nothing of the "event" or "circumstances" constituting the defense. It stated, in substance, only defendant's opinion that the event was "fortuitous" and that the circumstances were "beyond his control"; and his conclusion that his failure to marry plaintiff on schedule was "due to" them. The court, not the defendant, should form such opinions and draw such conclusions on the basis of facts provided in the affidavit. As it is, defendant's affidavit leaves the court guessing as to the facts.1äwphï1.ñët
Conformably to previous rulings of this Court, therefore, the affidavit of merits aforementioned is not valid. To repeat, it state a conclusion of facts, not facts themselves; it leaves the court guessing as to the fact; it provides no basis for determining the probable merits of the defense as a justification for reopening the case.
WHEREFORE, the motion for reconsideration is hereby denied. So Ordered.
Bengzon, C.J., Bautista Angelo, Concepcion, Reyes, J.B.L., Barrera, Paredes, Dizon, Regala, Makalintal and Zaldivar, JJ., concur.
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