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Tulabut (Short title) PROVISION

GR # 161904 | April 26, 2005 Rule 131
Petitioner: Asian Construction and Development Corporation (ACDC) Section 1. Burden of proof. — Burden of proof is the duty of a party to
Respondent: Noel T. Tulabut, doing business under the name and style of present evidence on the facts in issue necessary to establish his claim or
N.T. Tulabut Construction Supply defense by the amount of evidence required by law.
(Rule 131, Section 1)
FACTS 1. Yes.
1. ACDC was awarded the development of a theme park in 1. Tulabut was obliged to establish the material averments of his
Pampanga. It contracted the services of Tulabut to supply labor, complaint by a preponderance of evidence. ACDC as the defendant
materials, tools, equipment and supervision for for the construction was burdened to prove its defenses that Tulabut had failed to
of two cafeterias, two fast food take-out stands and a snack stand. complete the project.
2. ACDC bound and obliged to pay the price of P3M through progress 2. While Tulabut adduced testimonial and documentary evidence,
billing . Construction ensued and ACDC had paid save for P3K. ACDC opted not to adduce a morsel of evidence in its behalf thus,
3. ACDC again contracted the services of Tulabut for the construction must bear the consequence.
of two additional cafeterias via Purchase Order (P.O.) for P400K. 3. He who alleges the affirmative of the issue has the burden of
ACDC drew and issued a Land Bank Check which was dishonored proof, and upon the plaintiff in a civil case, the burden of proof
because of insufficient funds. never parts. However, in a civil case, once plaintiff makes out a
4. Tulabut was able to complete the project and turned the same over prima facie case in his favor, the duty or the burden of
to ACDC. Despite demand for payment, ACDC failed to settle. evidence shifts to defendant to controvert plaintiffs prima facie
5. Tulabut then filed for collection with the RTC and prayed for the case, otherwise, a verdict must be returned in favor of plaintiff.
issuance of a writ of preliminary attachment which was granted. 4. Moreover, in civil cases, the party having the burden of proof must
6. In its answer with counterclaim, ACDC calimed that Tulabut had not produce a preponderance of evidence thereon, with plaintiff having
yet fully completed nor turned over the project and that it had to rely on the strength of his own evidence and not upon the
settled its outstanding account equivalent to or even more than the weakness of the defendants.
percentage of the work actually accomplished. Also, that settlement 5. Thus, the terms and conditions of the contract unequivocally
of the billings was dependent upon ACDC's receipt of payment from expressed in the purchase orders and progress billings must
the government and the government had not yet paid. govern the contractual relation of the parties, for these serve as the
7. Tulabut adduced testimonial and documentary evidence, and terms of the agreement, which are binding and conclusive.
admitted having received partial payment. On the other hand, 6. When the words of the contract are clear and readily
ACDC opted not to adduce any evidence in its behalf. understandable, there is no room for construction. The contract is
8. RTC ruled in favor of the Tulabut the law between the parties.
9. ACDC appealed to the CA, contending that if it was liable, the same 7. ACDC is estopped from evading its pecuniary obligation by merely
should be reckoned only from the lapse of one year after the asserting without proof that Tulabut failed to complete the projects
issuance of a certificate of completion, as was the standard practice and the non-payment of its principal as explained by the CA.
in the construction industry and that Tulabut was not able to
establish that the project had been fully completed. DISPOSITION
10. CA dismissed the appeal ruling that ACDC was estopped from IN LIGHT OF ALL THE FOREGOING, the instant petition is DENIED for lack
denying liability since its officers had approved the pertinent of merit. Costs against the petitioner. SO ORDERED.
purchase orders and billings and that it failed to prove the alldged
common practice.

1. W/N ACDC failed to adduce evidence to controvert Tulabut's evidence
which proved that the project had been completed and turned over