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Motion To Dismiss Upheld

If the allegations of the complaint are sufficient in form and substance but their veracity and correctness are assailed, the court must deny the motion to dismiss and require the defendant to answer and go to trial to prove his defense.

JESSE U. LUCAS vs. JESUS S. LUCAS
G.R. No. 90710, June 6, 2011

“x x x.

The petition to establish filiation is sufficient in substance. It satisfies Section 1, Rule 8 of the Rules of Court, which requires the complaint to contain a plain, concise, and direct statement of the ultimate facts upon which the plaintiff bases his claim. A fact is essential if it cannot be stricken out without leaving the statement of the cause of action inadequate.[1] A complaint states a cause of action when it contains the following elements: (1) the legal right of plaintiff, (2) the correlative obligation of the defendant, and (3) the act or omission of the defendant in violation of said legal right.[2]

The petition sufficiently states the ultimate facts relied upon by petitioner to establish his filiation to respondent. Respondent, however, contends that the allegations in the petition were hearsay as they were not of petitioner’s personal knowledge. Such matter is clearly a matter of evidence that cannot be determined at this point but only during the trial when petitioner presents his evidence.

In a motion to dismiss a complaint based on lack of cause of action, the question submitted to the court for determination is the sufficiency of the allegations made in the complaint to constitute a cause of action and not whether those allegations of fact are true, for said motion must hypothetically admit the truth of the facts alleged in the complaint.[3]
The inquiry is confined to the four corners of the complaint, and no other.[4] The test of the sufficiency of the facts alleged in the complaint is whether or not, admitting the facts alleged, the court could render a valid judgment upon the same in accordance with the prayer of the complaint.[5]

If the allegations of the complaint are sufficient in form and substance but their veracity and correctness are assailed, it is incumbent upon the court to deny the motion to dismiss and require the defendant to answer and go to trial to prove his defense. The veracity of the assertions of the parties can be ascertained at the trial of the case on the merits.[6]

X x x.”

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