Manner of Making Allegations in Pleadings: Summary/Discussion re 2019 Proposed Amendments to the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure

There are significant changes provided in the 2019 Proposed Amendments to the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure (hereinafter, “2019 Amendments”), which takes effect on 1 May 2020. This is a summary/discussion of Rule 8 (Manner of Making Allegations in Pleadings). The summary of other Rules may be tracked through the Menu.


Every pleading shall contain in a methodical and logical form, a plain, concise and direct statement of the ultimate facts, including the evidence on which the party pleading relies for his or her claim or defense, as the case may be. 

The old 1997 Rules provides that if the defense relied on is based on law, the pertinent provisions thereof and their applicability to him or her shall be clearly and concisely stated. The 2019 Amendments now covers both cause of actions and defenses, such that if a cause of action or defense relied on is based on law, the pertinent provisions thereof and their applicability to him or her shall be clearly and concisely stated. 


The 2019 Amendments inserts a new section on affirmative defenses, which was previously found in Rules 6 (Kinds of Pleadings) in the old 1997 Rules. The are substantial changes in the provisions on affirmative defenses. [See Affirmative Defenses]


Material averments in a pleading asserting a claim or claims, other than those as to the amount of unliquidated damages, shall be deemed admitted when not specifically denied.

There are a number of changes made in the 2019 Amendments. The 1997 Rules expressly covers only a complaint, while the 2019 Amendments covers any pleading asserting a claim. Moreover, this sentence has been deleted in the 2019 Amendments: “Allegations of usury in a complaint to recover usurious interest are deemed admitted if not denied under oath.”


In pleading a judgment or decision of a domestic or foreign court, judicial or quasi-judicial tribunal, or of a board or officer, it is sufficient to aver the judgment or decision without setting forth matter showing jurisdiction to render it. This is a reproduction of the old 1997 Rules. However, the 2019 Amendments adds the requirement that an authenticated copy of the judgment or decision shall be attached to the pleading. 

[A good example is pleading/attaching a divorce decree in petitions for recognition of a foreign divorce decree.]


Except the change of “he” to “he/she”, the 2019 Amendments retains the rest of the provisions in the old 1997 Rules. These are:

i. Alternative causes of action or defenses

A party may set forth two or more statements of a claim or defense alternatively or hypothetically, either in one cause of action or defense or in separate causes of action or defenses. When two or more statements are made in the alternative and one of them if made independently would be sufficient, the pleading is not made insufficient by the insufficiency of one or more of the alternative statements.

ii. Conditions precedent

In any pleading, a general averment of the performance or occurrence of all conditions precedent shall be sufficient.

iii. Capacity

Facts showing the capacity of a party to sue or be sued or the authority of a party to sue or be sued in a representative capacity or the legal existence of an organized association of persons that is made a party, must be averred. A party desiring to raise an issue as to the legal existence of any party or the capacity of any party to sue or be sued in a representative capacity, shall do so by specific denial, which shall include such supporting particulars as are peculiarly within the pleader’s knowledge.

iv. Fraud, mistake, condition of the mind

In all averments of fraud or mistake, the circumstances constituting fraud or mistake must be stated with particularity. Malice, intent, knowledge, or other condition of the mind of a person may be averred generally.

v. Action or defense based on document

Whenever an action or defense is based upon a written instrument or document, the substance of such instrument or document shall be set forth in the pleading, and the original or a copy thereof shall be attached to the pleading as an exhibit, which shall be deemed to be a part of the pleading.

vi. How to contest such documents

When an action or defense is founded upon a written instrument, 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 denies them, and sets forth what he or she claims to be the facts; but the requirement of an oath does not apply when

  • the adverse party does not appear to be a party to the instrument, or 
  • when compliance with an order for an inspection of the original instrument is refused.

vii. Official document or act

In pleading an official document or official act, it is sufficient to aver that the document was issued or the act was done in compliance with law.

viii. Specific denial

A defendant must specify each material allegation of fact the truth of which he or she does not admit and, whenever practicable, shall set forth the substance of the matters upon which he or she relies to support his or her denial. 

Where a defendant desires to deny only a part of an averment, he or she shall specify so much of it as is true and material and shall deny only the remainder. 

Where a defendant is without knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as to the truth of a material averment made to the complaint, he or she shall so state, and this shall have the effect of a denial. 

ix. Striking out of pleading or matter contained therein

Upon motion made by a party before responding to a pleading or, if no responsive pleading is permitted by these Rules, upon motion made by a party within 20 calendar days after the service of the pleading upon him or her, or upon the court’s own initiative at any time, the court may order any pleading to be stricken out or that any sham or false, redundant, immaterial, impertinent, or scandalous matter be stricken out therefrom

[Note the ruling of the Supreme Court in a similar case, involving a motion to strike which was in reality a motion to dismiss, a prohibited pleading. (Pascual vs. Jovellanos, A.M.No. MTC-02-1429, 4 October 2002)]


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