DIGESTED CASES OF CIVIL PROCEDURE

TABLE OF CONTENTS
TITLE OF THE CASE
1. MA. IMELDA M. MANOTOC, vs. HON. C. A. & AGAPITA TRAJANO on behalf of the Estate of ARCHIMEDES TRAJANO, G.R. No. 130974 August 16, 2006 -

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2. MANCHESTER DEV. CORP., ET AL., vs. C.A. CITY LAND DEV. CORP., STEPHEN ROXAS, ANDREW LUISON, GRACE LUISON and JOSE DE MAISIP, G.R. No. 75919 May 7, 1987 -

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3. ASS. OF PHIL. COCONUT DESICCATORS, VS PHIL COCONUT AUTHORITY,. G.R. No. 110526 February 10, 1998 -

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4. AYALA CORP., LAS PIÑAS VENTURES, INC., and FIL. LIFE ASS. COM., INC., vs. HON. JOB B. MADAYAG, PRES. JUDGE, RTC, NAT. CAPITAL JUDICIAL REGION, BR. 145 and SPOUSES CAMILO AND MA. MARLENE SABIO. G.R. No. 88421 January 30, 1990 -

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5. SPS ROLANDO M. ZOSA and LUISA Y. ZOSA, vs.HON. SANTIAGO ESTRELLA, Pres Judge, R T C of Pasig City, Br. 67, CHINATRUST (PHILS.) COMMERCIAL BANK CORP, NOTARY PUBLIC JAIME P. PORTUGAL, REG. OF DEEDS FOR PASIG CITY, CHAILEASE FINANCE CORPORATION, G.R. No. 149984 November 28, 2008 x - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -x SPS ROLANDO M. ZOSA and LUISA Y. ZOSA, vs. C.A., HON. SANTIAGO ESTRELLA, PreS Judge, R T C of Pasig City, Br. 67, CHINATRUST (PHILS.) COMMERCIAL BANK CORP., NOTARY PUBLIC JAIME P. PORTUGAL , CHAILEASE FINANCE CORPORATION, G.R. No. 154991 November 28, 2008 3

6. DOLORES MONTEFALCON & LAURENCE MONTEFALCON, vs. RONNIE S. VASQUEZ, . G.R. No. 165016 June 17, 2008 -

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7. GUIGUINTO CREDIT COOP., INC. (GUCCI), vs. AIDA TORRES, NONILO TORRES and SHERYL ANN TORRES-HOLGADO. G.R. No. 170926 September 15, 2006 -

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8. AUGUSTO A. CAMARA AND FELICIANA CAMARA, vs. HON. C. A. AND CELINA R. HERNAEZ,. G.R. No. 100789 July 20, 1999 -

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9. PROV. OF ZAMBOANGA DEL NORTE, rep by GOV. ISAGANI S. AMATONG, Versus C. A. and ZAMBOANGA DEL NORTE ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE, INC., .

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10. MELODY PAULINO LOPEZ, vs. NAT. LABOR REL. COMMISSION, LETRAN COLLEGE-MANILA, FR. ROGELIO ALARCON, O.P., FR. EDWIN LAO, O.P. and MS. PERLY NAVARRO, G.R. No. 124548 October 8, 1998 -

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11. PEDRO SEPULVEDA, SR., subs. by SOCORRO S. LAWAS, Admin. of His Estate, , vs. ATTY. PACIFICO S. PELAEZ, . G.R. No. 152195 January 31, 2005 -

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12. RADIO COMMS. OF THE PHILS, INC. VS. C. A. 386 SCRA 67. August 1, 2002 -

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13. NG SOON, vs. HON. ALOYSIUS ALDAY, RTC, QUEZON CITY, BILLIE GAN AND CHINA BANKING CORPORATION, G.R. No. 85879 September 29, 1989 -

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14. MODESTA CALIMLIM AND LAMBERTO MAGALI IN HIS CAP. AS ADMIN. OF THE ESTATE OF DOMINGO MAGALI, vs. HON. PEDRO A. RAMIREZ G.R. No. L-34362 November 19, 1982 -

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15. LA NAVAL DRUG CORP., vs. C A and WILSON C. YAO. G.R. No. 103200 August 31, 1994 -

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16. BRGY. SAN ROQUE, TALISAY, CEBU, vs. Heirs of FRANCISCO PASTOR namely: EUGENIO SYLIANCO, TEODORO SYLIANCO, TEODORO SYLIANCO, ISABEL SYLIANCO, EUGENIA S. ONG, LAWRENCE SYLIANCO, LAWSON SYLIANCO, LAWINA S. NOTARIO, LEONARDO SYLIANCO JR. and LAWFORD SYLIANCO. G.R. No. 138896 June 20, 2000 -

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17. MIGUELITO LIMACO, ET AL. VS. SHONAN GAKUEN CHILDREN'S HOUSE PHILIPPINES, INC. G.R. No. 158245. June 30, 2005 -

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18. FILOMENA DOMAGAS, vs. VIVIAN LAYNO JENSEN. G.R. No. 158407 January 17, 2005 -

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19. ROXAS & CO., INC., vs. C.A., DEP. OF AGR. REFORM, SEC. OF AGR. REFORM, DAR REG. DIR. FOR REG. IV, MUN. AGR.REFORM OFFICER OF NASUGBU, BATANGAS DEP. OF AGR. REFORM ADJUDICATION BOARD,. G.R. No. 127876. December 17, 1999 -

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20. SUN INSURANCE OFFICE, LTD., (SIOL), E.B. PHILIPPS and D.J. WARBY, vs. HON. MAXIMIANO C. ASUNCION, Pres. Judge, Br 104, R T C, Quezon City and MANUEL CHUA UY PO TIONG. G.R. Nos. 79937-38 February 13, 1989 -

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21. SPOUSES PATRICK AND RAFAELA JOSE

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VS. SPOUSES HELEN AND ROMEO BOYON G.R. No. 147369. October 23, 2003 -

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22. FRANCISCO S. HERNANDEZ and JOSEFA U. ATIENZA, vs. RURAL BANK OF LUCENA, INC., CENTRAL BANK OF THE PHILIPPINES, and JOSE S. MARTINEZ in his capacity as Receiver of Rural Bank of Lucena, G.R. No. L-29791 January 10, 1978 -

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23. NILO H. RAYMUNDO, vs .C A, HON. APOLINARIO B. SANTOS, Pres. Judge, RTC, Br. 67, Pasig City, and JUAN MARCOS ARELLANO. G.R. No. 137793. September 29, 1999 -

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24. LAFARGE CEMENT PHILIPPINES, INC., (formerly Lafarge Philippines, Inc.), LUZON CONTINENTAL LAND CORP, CONTINENTAL OPERATING CORP. and PHILIP ROSEBERG, vs. CONTINENTAL CEMENT CORPORATION, GREGORY T. LIM and ANTHONY A. MARIANO, G.R. No. 155173 November 23, 2004 -

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25. ABRAHAM GEGARE, vs. C.A, and SPS. MELENCIO and SOTERA C. LAVARES, G.R. No. 132264. October 8, 1998 -

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26. COLUMBIA PICTURES ENT., INC., MGM ENT. CO., ORION PICTURES CORP, PARAMOUNT PICTURES CORP., UNIVERSAL CITY STUDIOS, INC., THE WALT DISNEY COMP and WARNER BROTHERS, INC., vs. C. A., and JOSE B. JINGCO of SHOWTIME ENTERPRISES., INC., G.R. No. 111267. September 20, 1996 -

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27. DAVAO LIGHT & POWER CO., INC., Vs C. A., HON. RODOLFO M. BELLAFLOR, PreS. Judge of Branch 11, RTC-Cebu and FRANCISCO TESORERO,. G.R. No. 111685. August 20, 2001 -

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28. ROMEO C. GARCIA, vs. DIONISIO V. LLAMAS, G.R. No. 154127. December 8, 2003 -

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29. ASIAN CONST. & DEV. CORP. vs. C. A and MONARK EQUIPMENT CORP., G.R. No. 160242 May 17, 2005 -

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30. WOOD TECH. CORP. (WTC), CHI TIM CORDOVA AND ROBERT TIONG KING YOUNG, vs. EQUITABLE BANKING CORP. G.R. No. 153867 February 17, 2005 -

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31. ASSOCIATED BANK, vs. SPS JUSTINIANO S. MONTANO, SR., LIGAYA MONTANO and TRES CRUCES AGRO-INDUSTRIAL CORP. G.R. No. 166383 October 16, 2009 -

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32. PERKIN ELMER SINGAPORE PTE LTD., versus DAKILA TRADING CORP., G.R. No. 172242 August 14, 2007 -

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33. MIGUELITO B. LIMACO, ROGELIO LIMACO, JR., and ISIDRO LIMACO, vs. SHONAN GAKUEN CHILDREN'S HOUSE PHILS, INC., G.R. No. 158245 June 30, 2005 -

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34. LAGRIMAS PACAÑA-GONZALES, one of the heirs of Luciano Pacaña, vs. C.AP. and MANUEL CARBONELL PHUA, G.R. No. 150908 January 21, 2005 -

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35. PEDRO T. SANTOS, JR., VS. PNOC EXPLORATION CORPORATION, G.R. No. 170943, September 23, 2008 -

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36. NICASIO P. RODRIGUEZ JR., ANTONIO P. EREÑETA, JUANITO A. MAGNO, VICTOR C. PINEDA, BITUIN V. SALCEDO, CESAR R. SAN DIEGO, VICTOR V. TANTOCO and AMADOR C. DE LA MERCED, vs. ANTONIO L. AGUILAR SR.. G.R. No. 159482. August 30, 2005 -

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37. EDWIN N. TRIBIANA, vs. LOURDES M. TRIBIANA, G.R. No. 137359 September 13, 2004 -

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38. LEONARDO ARCENAS, rep. by his attorney-in-fact CARMELITA ARCENAS VILLANUEVA, vs. C.A., Hon. ARMIE E. ELMA, Pres. Judge of Br. 153, RTC of Pasig City, and JOSE DELA RIVA, G.R. No. 130401 December 4, 1998 -

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39. JOSEPHINE B. NG and JESSE NG, vs. SPOUSES MARCELO and MARIA FE SOCO, and MARVIN J. SOCO, G.R. No. 149132 May 9, 2002 -

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40. AYALA LAND, INC., vs. HON. LUCENITO N. TAGLE, in his capacity as Pres. Judge, RTC-Imus, Br. 20, ASB REALTY CORP., and E. M. RAMOS & SONS, INC.,

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41. SALVADOR D. BRIBONERIA, vs. C. A, GERTRUDES B. MAG-ISA, married to and assisted by PEDRO MAG-ISA, G.R. No. 101682 December 14, 1992 -

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42. LUDWIG H. ADAZA, vs. SANDIGANBAYAN (the First DIVISION composed of Justices GREGORIO S. ONG, CATALINO R. CASTANEDA, JR. and FRANCISCO H. VILLARUZ, JR. and THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES represented by SPECIAL PROSECUTION OFFICE, G.R. No. 154886. July 28, 2005 -

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43. CALIFORNIA AND HAWAIIAN SUGAR COM; PACIFIC GULF MARINE, INC.; and C.F. SHARP & COMPANY, vs. PIONEER INSURANCE AND SURETY CORPORATION, -

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JONATHAN LANDOIL INTERNATIONAL CO., INC., vs. Sps. SUHARTO MANGUDADATU and MIRIAM SANGKI MANGUDADATU, G.R. No. 155010 August 16, 2004 45. LUCIANO ELLO and GAUDIOSA ELLO, vs. CA, SPRINGFIELD DEV. CORP. and CONSTANTINO G. JARAULA, G.R. No. 141255 June 21, 2005 -

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46. MANILA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT AUTHORITY VS. ALA INDUSTRIES CORPORATION G.R. No. 147349. February 13, 2004 -

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47. BAILINANG MAROHOMBSAR VS. JUDGE SANTOS ADIONG G.R. No. RTJ-02-1674. January 22, 2004

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48. MARIO SIASOCO, ANGELITA E. SIASOCO, MA. BELLA SIASOCO, ESTER SIASOCO-LAMUG, MA. LOURDES SIASOCO LAMUG-BARRIOS, MA. RAMONA SIASOCO-LAMUG, MA. VICTORIA SIASOCO LAMUG-DOMINGUEZ, BELEN SIASOCO-JOSE, RAFAEL SIASOCO JOSE, CYNTHIA SIASOCO JOSE, CRISTINA SIASOCO JOSE, ROBERTO SIASOCO JOSE, CARIDAD SIASOCO JOSE, RAMON SIASOCO JOSE, OSCAR SIASOCO, RUBEN SIASOCO, SALOME SIASOCO-PAZ, MEDARDO PAZ SIASOCO, ROLANDO PAZ SIASOCO, JESUS PAZ SIASOCO, NELLY STO. DOMINGO NARIO, MARY GRACE STO. DOMINGO NARIO and MARY ANNE STO. DOMINGO NARIO, vs. COURT OF APPEALS; HON. MARCELINO BAUTISTA JR., Pres. Judge, Br. 215, R T C, Quezon City; and the IGLESIA NI CRISTO, G.R. No. 132753 February 15, 1999 -

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49. NORA A. BITONG, vs. C.A (FIFTH DIVISION), EUGENIA D. APOSTOL, JOSE A. APOSTOL, MR. & MS. PUBLISHING CO., LETTY J. MAGSANOC, AND ADORACION G. NUYDA, NORA A. BITONG, vs. C.A. (FIFTH DIVISION) and EDGARDO B. ESPIRITU, G.R. No. 123553. July 13, 1998 -

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50. MARCIANA SERDONCILLO, vs. SPS. FIDEL and EVELYN BENOLIRAO, MELITON CARISIMA, and COURT OF APPEALS,. G.R. No. 118328 October 8, 1998 -

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51. ALLIED AGRI-BUSINESS DEV. CO., INC., vs. C. A. and CHERRY VALLEY FARMS LIMITED, G.R. No. 118438 December 4, 1998 -

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52. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, vs. ROMEO HILLADO, G.R. No. 122838. May 24, 1999 -

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53. ASIAVEST LIMITED, vs. C. A and ANTONIO HERAS, G.R. No. 128803 September 25, 1998 -

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G.R. No. 130974 August 16, 2006 MA. IMELDA M. MANOTOC, Petitioner, vs. HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS and AGAPITA TRAJANO on behalf of the Estate of ARCHIMEDES TRAJANO, Respondents.

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FACTS: In the case of Trajano vs. Manotoc for wrongful death of the deceased Archimedes Trajano committed by Military Intelligence under the command of Ma. Imelda M. Manotoc. Based upon the complaint the Regional Trial Court issued a summons at the house of Manotoc. The said Mackey dela Cruz (caretaker) received the summons. Manotoc was declared in default for failure to answer.

ISSUE: Whether or not the RTC acquire a valid jurisdiction for the service of summons over the petitioner.

HELD: The Regional Trial Court did not acquire jurisdiction over the petitioner, because the substituted service of summons was defective in nature or invalid at the first place. The main fact that the summons was not sent in the petitioner’s dwelling, The said caretaker was not a person of suitable age and discretion and was not resided in the said address. Hence the requisites of substituted summons was not followed, therefore the RTC did not acquire jurisdiction over the petitioner at the first place.

G.R. No. 75919 May 7, 1987 MANCHESTER DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, ET AL., petitioners, vs. COURT OF APPEALS, CITY LAND DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, STEPHEN ROXAS, ANDREW LUISON, GRACE LUISON and JOSE DE MAISIP, respondents. FACTS: This was originally a case of an action for torts and damages and specific performance with a prayer for temporary restraining order. The damages were not specifically stated in the prayer but the body of the complaint assessed a P 78.75 M. damages suffered by the petitioner. The amount of docket fee paid was only P410.00. The petitioner then amended the complaint and reduced the damages to P10 M only. ISSUES: When does a court acquire jurisdiction? Does an amended complaint vest jurisdiction in the court? HELD: The court acquires jurisdiction over any case only upon the payment of the prescribed docket fee. An amendment of the complaint or similar pleading will not vest jurisdiction in the court, much less the payment of the docket fee based on the amounts sought in the amended pleading. All complaints, petitions, answers and other similar pleadings should specify the amount of damages being prayed for. Damages shall be considered in the assessment of the filing fees in any case.

G.R. No. 110526 February 10, 1998 ASSOCIATION OF PHILIPPINE COCONUT DESICCATORS, petitioner, VS PHILIPPINE COCONUT AUTHORITY, respondent.

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FACTS: Petitioner alleged that the issuance of licenses to the applicants would violate PCA's Administrative Order, the trial court issued a temporary restraining order and, writ of preliminary injunction, while the case was pending in the Regional Trial Court, the Governing Board of the PCA issued a Resolution for the withdrawal of the Philippine Coconut Authority from all regulation of the coconut product processing industry. While it continues the registration of coconut product processors, the registration would be limited to the "monitoring" of their volumes of production and administration of quality standards. The PCA issue "certificates of registration" to those wishing to operate desiccated coconut processing plants, prompting petitioner to appeal to the Office of the President of the Philippines for not to approve the resolution in question. Despite follow-up letters sent petitioner received no reply from the Office of the President. The "certificates of registration" issued in the meantime by the PCA has enabled a number of new coconut mills to operate.

ISSUES: At issue in this case is the validity of a resolution, of the Philippine Coconut Authority in which it declares that it will no longer require those wishing to engage in coconut processing to apply to it for a license or permit as a condition for engaging in such business.

HELD: The petition is GRANTED. PCA Resolution and all certificates of registration issued under it are hereby declared NULL and VOID for having been issued in excess of the power of the Philippine Coconut Authority to adopt or issue. The PCA cannot rely on the memorandum of then President Aquino for authority to adopt the resolution in question. The President Aquino approved the establishment and operation of new DCN plants subject to the guidelines to be drawn by the PCA. In the first place, it could not have intended to amend the several laws already mentioned, which set up the regulatory system, by a mere memoranda to the PCA. In the second place, even if that had been her intention, her act would be without effect considering that, when she issued the memorandum in question on February 11, 1988, she was no longer vested with legislative authority.

G.R. No. 88421 January 30, 1990 AYALA CORPORATION, LAS PIÑAS VENTURES, INC., and FILIPINAS LIFE ASSURANCE COMPANY, INC., petitioners vs. THE HONORABLE JOB B. MADAYAG, PRESIDING JUDGE, REGIONAL TRIAL COURT, NATIONAL CAPITAL JUDICIAL REGION, BRANCH 145 and THE SPOUSES CAMILO AND MA. MARLENE SABIO, respondents. FACTS: Private respondents filed against petitioners an action for specific performance with damages in the Regional Trial Court of Makati. Petitioners filed a motion to dismiss on the ground that the lower court has not acquired jurisdiction over the case as private respondents failed to pay the prescribed docket fee and to specify the amount of exemplary damages both in the body and prayer of the amended and supplemental complaint. The trial court denied the motion. A motion for reconsideration filed by petitioners was likewise denied. The main thrust of the petition is that private respondent paid only the total amount of P l,616.00 as docket fees instead of the amount of P13,061.35 based on the assessed value of the real properties involved as evidenced by its tax declaration. Further, petitioners contend that private respondents failed to specify the amount of exemplary damages sought both in the body and the prayer of the amended and supplemental complaint. 7

ISSUES: Whether or not the RTC acquire jurisdiction for not specifying the correct amount of docket fees. HELD: The trial court may either order said claim to be expunged from the record as it did not acquire jurisdiction over the same or on motion, it may allow, within a reasonable time, the amendment of the amended and supplemental complaint so as to state the precise amount of the exemplary damages sought and require the payment of the requisite fees therefore within the relevant prescriptive period. The trial court is directed either to expunge from the record the claim for exemplary damages in the amended and supplemental complaint, the amount of which is not specified, or it may otherwise, upon motion, give reasonable time to private respondents to amend their pleading by specifying its amount and paying the corresponding docketing fees within the appropriate reglementary or prescriptive period.

G.R. No. 149984

November 28, 2008

SPOUSES ROLANDO M. ZOSA and LUISA Y. ZOSA,petitioners, vs. HON. SANTIAGO ESTRELLA, in his capacity as Presiding Judge, Regional Trial Court of Pasig City, Branch 67, CHINATRUST (PHILS.) COMMERCIAL BANK CORPORATION, NOTARY PUBLIC JAIME P. PORTUGAL, THE REGISTER OF DEEDS FOR PASIG CITY, and CHAILEASE FINANCE CORPORATION,respondents. x - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -x G.R. No. 154991 November 28, 2008 SPOUSES ROLANDO M. ZOSA and LUISA Y. ZOSA,petitioners, vs. COURT OF APPEALS, HON. SANTIAGO ESTRELLA, in his capacity as Presiding Judge, Regional Trial Court of Pasig City, Branch 67, CHINATRUST (PHILS.) COMMERCIAL BANK CORPORATION, NOTARY PUBLIC JAIME P. PORTUGAL FOR PASIG CITY, and CHAILEASE FINANCE CORPORATION, respondents.

FACTS: This is the two (2) cases, involved by the same parties, for the same cause of action, which is filed successively for the same purpose of obtaining a favorable relief. ISSUE: Whether or not the trial court’s dismissal order for non suit constitutes forum shopping. HELD: The appeal for the dismissal order for non suit constitutes forum shopping and it is proper to dismiss because it would constitute different and unfavorable result, to avoid the resultant confusion the court strictly against forum shopping and my violation constitutes dismissal of the case. G.R. No. 165016 June 17, 2008

DOLORES MONTEFALCON & LAURENCE MONTEFALCON, petitioners, vs. RONNIE S. VASQUEZ, respondent. FACTS:

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Dolores filed a complaint complaint for acknowledgment and support against respondent Ronnie Vasquez for his son Laurence Montefalcon. ISSUES: 1. Was there a valid substituted service of summons on Vasquez? 2. Was the respondent obliged to give support to Laurence? HELD: 1. There was a valid substituted service of summons because it was sent to his last known address and it was received by Raquel Bejer a caretaker of his resident. A person who is of suitable age and discretion and is also residing at Vasquez’s dwelling. All of the requisites for substituted service were followed by the petitioner. 2. Ronnie Vasquez was obliged to give support because it was recognized by him. The fact itself that the respondent knows that the said Laurence Montefalcon was his son and that he was previously gave support to Laurence before he went abroad.

G.R. No. 170926

September 15, 2006

GUIGUINTO CREDIT COOPERATIVE, INC. (GUCCI), petitioner, vs. AIDA TORRES, NONILO TORRES and SHERYL ANN TORRES-HOLGADO, respondents.

FACTS: Respondents availed loan from the cooperative but were unable to pay on due dates specified. The cooperative filed a complaint in the Regional Trial Court for sum of money and damages. The respondents were given summons and it is received by Benita Paglawanan, the said to be the secretary of the defendants. ISSUE: Whether or not the summons was validly served on the respondents HELD: If the personal service of summons cannot be resorted then the substituted service of summons may follow. It is effected by leaving copies of summons at the defendant’s dwelling with some person suitable of age and discretion residing therein, or by leaving the copies in defendants office or business with a competent person in charge. A competent person must have a trust and confidence relationship with the respondent. Benita Pagtalunan who received the summons and who is alleged to be the secretary of the three (3) respondents did not have any relationship of Trust and confidence with the said respondents. Therefore such service of summons is not binding and is not valid.

G.R. No. 100789 July 20, 1999 AUGUSTO A. CAMARA AND FELICIANA CAMARA, petitioners, vs. HON. COURT OF APPEALS AND CELINA R. HERNAEZ, respondents. FACTS: 9

Zulueta sold a parcel of land in favor of Camara. After the execution of the deed of sale, the latter found out that the title was burdened with two encumbrances. He then filed an action for specific performance against Zulueta to remove the encumbrances. The trial court ordered Zulueta to cancel the mortgages or return the purchase price of P15,000. When Zulueta died, Camara availed of the alternative remedy by presenting a money claim as creditor in the intestate estate of the former. He was granted partial execution of P10,000. Hernaez, the mortgagee of the lot appearing on the title, filed an action for judicial foreclosure of the contract of mortgage against the former’s heirs. The trial court ruled in favor of Hernaez. The property involved was sold in a public auction and a corresponding certificate of sale was awarded to Hernaez as the highest bidder and a judicial confirmation of ownership was issued. Camara then instituted a case for quieting of title against Hernaez before the Makati RTC which dismissed the case. The Court of Appeals affirmed the dismissal and ruled that Camara has no cause of action against Hernaez. ISSUE: Whether or not the action for quieting of title should be dismissed on the ground of lack of cause of action. HELD: A cause of action is defined as an act or omission by which a party violates a right of another. Camara’s cause of action arose from the contract of sale executed by Zulueta in his favor. The act of the vendor Zulueta of selling a property burdened with encumbrances, in violation of the warranty that it was free from liens and encumbrances, was already atoned when Camara obtained a decision in the action for specific performance where Camara opted to present a money claim against the estate of Zulueta and was granted partial execution. Consequently, Camara cannot again rely on the same violation of warranty as a cause of action for quieting of title.

PROVINCE OF ZAMBOANGA DEL NORTE, represented by GOV. ISAGANI S. AMATONG, petitioner, Versus COURT OF APPEALS and ZAMBOANGA DEL NORTE ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE, INC., respondents.

FACTS: Petitioner Province of Zamboanga del Norte (represented by Gov. Isagani S. Amatong) filed with the Regional Trial Court, a complaint against Zamboanga del Norte Electric Cooperative (ZANECO) for “Illegal Collection Of Power Bills And Preliminary Injunction With Restraining Order.” Petitioner alleged that as per electric bills issued by ZANECO increased the Fuel Compensating Charge (FCC) Petitioner claimed that the increase was arbitrary and illegal, and that the Energy Regulatory Board (ERB) did not sanction the collections. Petitioner also alleged that ZANECO cannot increase the bills since the power rate increase from the National Power Corporation (NPC) was not implemented yet due to a restraining order issued by the Supreme Court. The trial court issued a writ of preliminary injunction ordering respondent to desist from imposing, charging, billing and collecting the FCC and other additional charges upon its end-users in Zamboanga del Norte and to refrain from cutting off the electric lines of those who refused to pay the questioned charges, pending determination of the litigation. Petitioner submits that jurisdiction is vested with the Energy Regulatory Board or the regular trial courts, while respondents position is that jurisdiction lies with the National Electrification Administration. What is before the Court is a petition for review on certiorari assailing the decision of the Court of Appeals, that reversed the orders of the Regional Trial Court, Zamboanga del Norte denying petitioner’s motion for dismissal of the complaint.

ISSUE:

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Which government agency has jurisdiction over a complaint for illegal collection of power bills by an electric cooperative? HELD: The regulation and fixing of power rates to be charged by electric cooperatives remain within the jurisdiction of the National Electrification Administration, despite the enactment of Executive Order No. 172, creating the Energy Regulatory Board. The issue raised in the complaint is the legality of the imposition of the FCC or ICC. Despite the fact that diesel fuel was used to run its machinery, the fact is that respondent charged its consumers to compensate for the increase in the price of fuel. Petitioner did not question the price of diesel fuel. Rather, it questioned the charges passed on to its end users as a result of increase in the price of fuel. And the body with the technical expertise to determine whether or not the charges are legal is the NEA. The doctrine of primary jurisdiction does not warrant a court to arrogate unto itself the authority to resolve a controversy the jurisdiction over which is initially lodged with an administrative body of special competence. In fact, a party with an administrative remedy must not merely initiate the prescribed administrative procedure to obtain relief, but also pursue it to its appropriate conclusion before seeking judicial intervention. The underlying principle of the rule on exhaustion of administrative remedies rests on the presumption that when the administrative body, or grievance machinery, is afforded a chance to pass upon the matter, it will decide the same correctly. The premature invocation of the jurisdiction of the trial court warrants the dismissal of the case. It AFFIRM in toto with the decision of the Court of Appeals.

G.R. No. 124548 October 8, 1998 MELODY PAULINO LOPEZ, petitioner, vs. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, LETRAN COLLEGE-MANILA, FR. ROGELIO ALARCON, O.P., FR. EDWIN LAO, O.P. and MS. PERLY NAVARRO, respondents.

FACTS: For allegedly uttering indecent and obscene remarks against a member of administration, Melody Lopez was placed under preventive suspension for thirty (30) days. She later found out that employment file contained several unsavory reports without her being given the chance to defend her side. Thereafter, she was dismissed from her employment based on that incident and other past misconducts appearing in employment file. She filed a case for illegal dismissal. ISSUE: Whether or not the dismissal is warranted based on the evidence presented. HELD: The dismissal was illegal. The past infractions cannot be collectively taken as a justification for her dismissal from the service. The petitioner is not required to prove her innocence on the charges leveled against her but the burden rests upon the respondent to establish the valid cause of termination. Where there is absence of clear, valid and legal cause of termination, the law considers it a case of illegal dismissal. In termination cases, the burden of proving the just cause of dismissing an employee rests on the employer, and his failure to do so would result in a finding that the dismissal is not justified. Having failed to establish by concrete and direct evidence, no substantial basis exists for petitioner’s dismissal.

G.R. No. 152195

January 31, 2005

PEDRO SEPULVEDA, SR., substituted by SOCORRO S. LAWAS, Administratrix of His Estate, petitioner, vs. ATTY. PACIFICO S. PELAEZ, respondent. 11

FACTS: Atty. Pacifico Pelaez filed a complaint against his granduncle, Pedro Sepulveda, Sr., for the recovery of possession and ownership of his share of several parcels of land; and for the partition thereof among the co-owners. In his complaint, the private respondent alleged that his mother Dulce died intestate and aside from himself, was survived by her husband Rodolfo Pelaez and her mother Carlota Sepulveda. Dulce’s grandfather Vicente Sepulveda died intestate and Dulce was then only about four years old. The private respondent alleged that he himself demanded the delivery of his mother’s share in the subject properties on so many occasions, the last of which was in 1972, to no avail. The private respondent further narrated that his granduncle executed an affidavit stating that he was the sole heir of Dionisia when in fact, the latter was survived by her three sons, Santiago, Pedro and Vicente. Pedro Sepulveda, Sr. also executed a Deed of Absolute Sale in favor of the City of Danao for P7,492.00. According to the private respondent, his granduncle received this amount without his (private respondent’s) knowledge. The trial court ruled that the private respondent’s action for reconveyance based on constructive trust had not yet prescribed when the complaint was filed; that he was entitled to a share in the proceeds of the sale of the property to Danao City; and that the partition of the subject property among the adjudicatees thereof was in order. The petitioner appealed the decision to the CA, which rendered judgment on January 31, 2002, affirming the appealed decision with modification. The petitioner now comes to the Court via a petition for review on certiorari, contending that the appellate court erred:

ISSUES: Whether or not the RTC’S judgment was validly rendered HELD: Rodolfo Pelaez is an indispensable party he being entitled to a share in usufruct, equal to the share of the respondent in the subject properties. The plaintiff is mandated to implead all the indispensable parties, considering that the absence of one such party renders all subsequent actions of the court null and void for want of authority to act, not only as to the absent parties but even as to those present. Without the presence of all the other heirs as plaintiffs, the trial court could not validly render judgment and grant relief in favor of the private respondent. The failure of the private respondent to implead the other heirs as parties-plaintiffs constituted a legal obstacle to the trial court and the appellate court’s exercise of judicial power over the said case, and rendered any orders or judgments rendered therein a nullity. To reiterate, the absence of an indispensable party renders all subsequent actions of the court null and void for want of authority to act, not only as to the absent parties but even as to those present. Hence, the trial court should have ordered the dismissal of the complaint.

386 SCRA 67. August 1, 2002 RADIO COMMUNICATIONS OF THE PHILIPPINES, INC. VS. COURT OF APPEALS FACTS: Private respondent Manuel Dulawon filed with the Regional Trial Court a complaint for breach of contract of lease with damages against petitioner Radio Communications of the Philippines, Inc. (RCPI). Petitioner filed a motion to dismiss the complaint for lack of jurisdiction contending that it is the Municipal Trial Court which has jurisdiction as the

12

complaint is basically one for collection of unpaid rentals.

ISSUE: Whether or not the RTC has jurisdiction over the complaint filed by private respondent. HELD: RTC has jurisdiction over the complaint. The averments in the complaint reveal that the suit filed by private respondent was primarily one for specific performance as it was aimed to enforce their three-year lease contract which would incidentally entitle him to monetary awards if the court should find that the subject contract of lease was breached. As alleged therein, petitioner’s failure to pay rentals due for the period from January to March 1997, constituted a violation of their contract which had the effect of accelerating the payment of monthly rentals for the years 1997 and 1998. Clearly, the action for specific performance, irrespective of the amount of the rentals and damages sought to be recovered, is incapable of pecuniary estimation, hence, cognizable exclusively by the RTC.

G.R. No. 85879 September 29, 1989 NG SOON, petitioner, vs. HON. ALOYSIUS ALDAY, REGIONAL TRIAL COURT, QUEZON CITY, BILLIE GAN AND CHINA BANKING CORPORATION, respondents.

FACTS: A savings account was allegedly maintained with the China Banking Corporation (CBC) by Gan Bun Yaw, both of whom are respondents herein. Petitioner, Ng Soon, claims to be the latter's widow. For the filing of the Complaint, petitioner paid the sum of P3,600.00 as docket fees. Respondent Billie Gan and the Bank, respectively, moved for the dismissal of the Complaint. Subsequently, respondent Gan, joined by the Bank, moved to expunge the said Complaint from the record for alleged non-payment of the required docket fees. During the pendency of this case, respondent Gan filed a Manifestation alleging, among others, that petitioner is an impostor and not the real Ng Soon, wife of Gan Bun Yaw, since the real Mrs. Gan Bun Yaw (Ng Soon) died. This allegation was, however, denied by petitioner. The respondent Judge issued the questioned Order granting the "Motion to Expunge Complaint Petitioner's Motion for the reconsideration of the said Order having been denied, she asks for its review, more properly for a Writ of Certiorari.

ISSUES: 1. Whether or not the doctrine laid down in the Manchester case was incorrectly applied by respondent Judge; 2. Whether or not the Respondent Judge acted with grave abuse of discretion when he ordered the Complaint expunged from the record although petitioner had paid the necessary filing fees. . HELD: 1. It is true that Manchester laid down the rule that all Complaints should specify the amount of damages prayed for not only in the body of the complaint but also in the prayer; that said damages shall be considered in the assessment of the filing fees in any case; and that any pleading that fails to comply with such requirement shall not be accepted nor 13

admitted, or shall, otherwise, be expunged from the record. The pattern in Manchester to defraud the Government of the docket fee due, the intent not to pay the same having been obvious not only in the filing of the original complaint but also in the filing of the second amended complaint, is patently absent in this case. Petitioner demonstrated her willingness to abide by the Rules by paying the assessed docket fee of P 3,600.00. She had also asked the lower Court to inform her of the deficiency, if any, but said Court did not heed her plea. 2. A final determination is still to be made by the Court, and the fees ultimately found to be payable will either be additionally paid by the party concerned or refunded to him, as the case may be.The respondent Judge, hereby directed to reinstate Civil Case No. Q-52489 for determination and proper disposition of the respective claims and rights of the parties, including the controversy as to the real identity of petitioner.

G.R. No. L-34362 November 19, 1982 MODESTA CALIMLIM AND LAMBERTO MAGALI IN HIS CAPACITY AS ADMINISTRATOR OF THE ESTATE OF DOMINGO MAGALI, petitioners, vs. HON. PEDRO A. RAMIREZ IN HIS CAPACITY AS PRESIDING JUDGE OF THE COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE OF PANGASINAN, BRANCH I, and FRANCISCO RAMOS, respondents. FACTS: Judgment for a sum of money and a writ of execution was rendered in favor of Independent Mercantile Corporation against a certain Manuel Magali by the Municipal Court of Manila, The Notice of Levy made on a parcel of land registered in the name of "Domingo Magali, married to Modesta Calimlim", specified that the said levy was only against "all rights, title, action, interest and participation of the defendant Manuel Magali over the parcel of land described in this title." However, when the Sheriff issued the final Deed of Sale, it was erroneously stated therein that the sale was with respect to "the parcel of land described in this title" (referring to TCT No. 9138) and not only over the rights and interest of Manuel Magali in the same. The execution of the said final Deed of Sale was annotated at the back of said title.

Petitioner Modesta Calimlim, surviving spouse of Domingo Magali, filed a petition with the respondent Court, sitting as a cadastral court, praying for the cancellation of TCT No. 68568. An opposition to the said petition was filed by Independent Mercantile Corporation. After the parties submitted their respective Memoranda, the respondent Court issued an Order dismissing the petition. The herein petitioners did not appeal the dismissal of the petition they filed in LRC Record No. 39492 for the cancellation of TCT No. 68568. Instead, they filed the complaint in Civil Case No. SCC-180 praying for the cancellation of the conveyances and sales that had been made with respect to the property, covered by TCT No. 9138 previously registered in the name of Domingo Magali, herein private respondent Francisco Ramos who claimed to have bought the property from Independent Mercantile Corporation. Private respondent Francisco Ramos, however, failed to obtain a title over the property in his name in view of the existence of an adverse claim annotated on the title thereof at the instance of the herein petitioners. Private respondent Francisco Ramos filed a Motion To Dismiss on the ground that the same is barred by prior judgement or by statute of limitations. Resolving the said Motion, the respondent Court, dismissed Civil Case No. SCC- 180 on the ground of estoppel by prior judgment. A Motion For Reconsideration filed by the petitioners was denied by the respondent Judge. A second Motion For Reconsideration was similarly denied. ISSUE:

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The dismissal of Civil Case No. SCC-180 filed by the herein petitioners in the respondent Court against the private respondent is sought to be annulled and set aside by this Petition For Review On Certiorari. HELD: It is neither fair nor legal to bind a party by the result of a suit or proceeding which was taken cognizance of in a court which lacks jurisdiction over the same irrespective of the attendant circumstances. The equitable defense of estoppel requires knowledge or consciousness of the facts upon which it is based. The same thing is true with estoppel by conduct which may be asserted only when it is shown, among others, that the representation must have been made with knowledge of the facts and that the party to whom it was made is ignorant of the truth of the matter. The inequity of barring the petitioners from vindicating their right over their property in Civil Case No. SCC-180 is rendered more acute in the face of the undisputed fact that the property in question admittedly belonged to the petitioners, and that the title in the name of the private respondent was the result of an error committed by the Provincial Sheriff in issuing the deed of sale in the execution proceeding. The Motion To Dismiss filed by the private respondent in Civil Case No. SCC-180 shall be deemed denied and the respondent Court is ordered to conduct further proceedings in the case.

G.R. No. 103200 August 31, 1994 LA NAVAL DRUG CORPORATION, petitioner, vs. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS and WILSON C. YAO, respondents. FACTS: Respondent Yao, owner of a commercial building which is leased to petitioner under a contract of lease executed. But later the petitioner and respondent Yao disagreed on the rental rate, their disagreement were submitted to arbitration, respondent Yao appointed Domingo Alamarez, Jr. as his arbitrator, while petitioner chose Atty. Casiano Sabile as its arbitrator. The confirmation of the appointment of Aurelio Tupang, as third arbitrator, was held in abeyance because petitioner instructed Atty. Sabile to defer the same until its Board of Directors could convene and approve Tupang's appointment. Respondent Yao prayed that after summary hearing to proceed with the arbitration in accordance with Contract of Lease and the applicable provisions of the Arbitration law, by appointing and confirming the appointment of the Third Arbitrator; and that the Board of Three Arbitrators be ordered to immediately convene and resolve the controversy before it. The respondent court announced that the two arbitrators chose Mrs. Eloisa R. Narciso as the third arbitrator. And ordered the parties to submit their position papers on the issue as to whether or not respondent Yao's claim for damages may be litigated upon in the summary proceeding for enforcement of arbitration agreement. In moving for reconsideration of the said Order, petitioner argued that in Special Case No. 6024, the respondent court sits as a special court exercising limited jurisdiction and is not competent to act on respondent Yao's claim for damages, which poses an issue litigable in an ordinary civil action. But the respondent court was not persuaded by petitioner's submission. It denied the motion for reconsideration. While the appellate court has agreed with petitioner that, under Section 6 of Republic Act No. 876, a court, acting within the limits of its special jurisdiction, may in this case solely determine the issue of whether the litigants should proceed or not to arbitration, it, however, considered petitioner in estoppel from questioning the competence of the court to additionally hear and decide in the summary proceedings private respondent's claim for damages, it (petitioner) having itself filed similarly its own counterclaim with the court a quo.

ISSUES: 15

1. Whether or not the court it has jurisdiction over the person 2. Whether or not the court a quo has jurisdiction over the subject matter. HELD: (1) Jurisdiction over the person must be seasonably raised, i.e., that it is pleaded in a motion to dismiss or by way of an affirmative defense in an answer. Voluntary appearance shall be deemed a waiver of this defense. The assertion, however, of affirmative defenses shall not be constructed as an estoppel or as a waiver of such defense. (2) Where the court itself clearly has no jurisdiction over the subject matter or the nature of the action, the invocation of this defense may be done at any time. It is neither for the courts nor the parties to violate or disregard that rule, let alone to confer that jurisdiction, this matter being legislative in character. Barring highly meritorious and exceptional circumstances, such as hereinbefore exemplified, neither estoppel nor waiver shall apply. The court must then refrain from taking up the claims of the contending parties for damages, which, upon the other hand, may be ventilated in separate regular proceedings at an opportune time and venue.

G.R. No. 138896 June 20, 2000 BARANGAY SAN ROQUE, TALISAY, CEBU, petitioner, vs. Heirs of FRANCISCO PASTOR namely: EUGENIO SYLIANCO, TEODORO SYLIANCO, TEODORO SYLIANCO, ISABEL SYLIANCO, EUGENIA S. ONG, LAWRENCE SYLIANCO, LAWSON SYLIANCO, LAWINA S. NOTARIO, LEONARDO SYLIANCO JR. and LAWFORD SYLIANCO, respondents.

FACTS: Petitioner filed before the Municipal Trial Court (MTC) a Complaint to expropriate a property of the respondents. In an Order the MTC dismissed the Complaint on the ground of lack of jurisdiction. It reasoned that "eminent domain is an exercise of the power to take private property for public use after payment of just compensation. The RTC also dismissed the Complaint when filed before it, holding that an action for eminent domain affected title to real property; hence, the value of the property to be expropriated, Concluding that the action should have been filed before the MTC since the value of the subject property was less than P20,000. Aggrieved, petitioner appealed directly to this Court, raising a pure question of law. In a Resolution, the Court denied the Petition for Review "for being posted out of time on July 2, 1999, the due date being June 2, 1999, as the motion for extension of time to file petition was denied in the resolution of July 14, 1999." 7 In a subsequent Resolution dated October 6, 1999, the Court reinstated the Petition.

ISSUE: Which court, MTC or RTC, has jurisdiction over cases for eminent domain or expropriation where the assessed value of the subject property is below Twenty Thousand (P20,000.00) Pesos? HELD: Jurisdiction over an Expropriation Suit In support of its appeal, petitioner cites Section 19 (1) of BP 129, which provides that RTCs shall exercise exclusive original jurisdiction over "all civil actions in which the subject of the litigation

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is incapable of pecuniary estimation; . . . . ." It argues that the present action involves the exercise of the right to eminent domain, and that such right is incapable of pecuniary estimation. We agree with the petitioner that an expropriation suit is incapable of pecuniary estimation. An expropriation suit does not involve the recovery of a sum of money. Rather, it deals with the exercise by the government of its authority and right to take private property for public use. True, the value of the property to be expropriated is estimated in monetary terms, for the court is duty-bound to determine the just compensation for it. This, however, is merely incidental to the expropriation suit. Indeed, that amount is determined only after the court is satisfied with the propriety of the expropriation. In addition, The government does not dispute respondents' title to or possession of the same. Indeed, it is not a question of who has a better title or right, for the government does not even claim that it has a title to the property. It merely asserts its inherent sovereign power to "appropriate and control individual property for the public benefit, as the public necessity, convenience or welfare may demand." The Regional Trial Court is directed to HEAR the case.

G.R. No. 158245. June 30, 2005 MIGUELITO LIMACO, ET AL. VS. SHONAN GAKUEN CHILDREN'S HOUSE PHILIPPINES, INC.

FACTS: Petitioners are the registered owners of three parcels of agricultural land. They entered into a Contract of Sale with respondent and agreed that "in the event that the parties herein are unable to effect the transfer and sale of the said properties in whole or in part in favor of the vendees, all the paid-in amounts shall be applied to another similar property also owned by the vendors in substitution of the above-described properties." Pursuant to the contract, respondent corporation paid the down payment however; it refused to remit any monthly installment due to petitioners' failure to obtain a clearance and/or approval of the sale of the subject land from the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR). Respondent demanded that petitioners either solve the problem with the land tenants or substitute the lots with another acceptable, suitable and untenanted land, pursuant to their agreement. Petitioners informed respondent that they were ready to finalize the transaction in accordance with the legal opinion of the DAR. In a letter, respondent informed petitioners that the scheme proposed in the DAR Opinion was "far from acceptable." Respondent offered to purchase the property on a direct sale basis. Petitioners did not respond to respondent hence, the latter, through counsel, requested the return of its down payment. As petitioners did not acquiesce, respondent filed a complaint for rescission with damages with the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Makati. As a countermove, petitioners filed the instant case for specific performance with the RTC of Laguna. Respondent filed a motion to dismiss on the ground of litis pendentia. Petitioners opposed contending that the instant complaint for specific performance was served on respondent ahead of the service of the complaint for rescission on petitioners. Later, however, respondent withdrew its motion to dismiss in view of the order of the RTC of Makati dismissing the complaint for rescission. In its Answer with Counterclaim, respondent alleged by way of affirmative defense that "specific performance is not possible because the respondent had already bought another property which is untenanted, devoid of any legal complications and now converted from agricultural to non-agricultural purpose in accordance with DAR Administrative Order. Thereafter, petitioners filed a Motion to Withdraw Complaint considering respondent's special defense that specific performance was no longer possible. They prayed that their complaint 17

and respondent's counterclaim be ordered withdrawn or dismissed, arguing that respondent's counterclaim would have no leg to stand on as it was compulsory in nature.

ISSUE: Whether respondent's counterclaim should be dismissed. HELD: There are two ways by which an action may be dismissed upon the instance of the plaintiff. First, dismissal is a matter of right when a notice of dismissal is filed by the plaintiff before an answer or a motion for summary judgment has been served on him by the defendant. Second, dismissal is discretionary on the court when the motion for the dismissal of the action is filed by the plaintiff at any stage of the proceedings other than before service of an answer or a motion for summary judgment. While the dismissal in the first mode takes effect upon the mere notice of plaintiff without need of a judicial order, the second mode requires the authority of the court before dismissal of the case may be effected. This is so because in the dismissal of an action, the effect of the dismissal upon the rights of the defendant should always be taken into consideration. In the case at bar, it is undisputed that petitioners filed a Motion to Withdraw Complaint after respondent already filed its answer with counterclaim. In fact, the reason for their motion for withdrawal was the special defense of respondent in its answer that substitution was no longer possible as it already bought another property in lieu of the subject lots under the contract. It is, therefore, inexplicable how petitioners could argue that their complaint was successfully withdrawn upon the mere filing of a Motion to Withdraw Complaint when they themselves alleged in this petition that "private respondent objected to the withdrawal and the Trial Court sustained the objection."

G.R. No. 158407

January 17, 2005

FILOMENA DOMAGAS, petitioner, vs. VIVIAN LAYNO JENSEN, respondent. FACTS: Filomena Domagas filed a complaint for forcible entry against respondent Vivian Jensen before the MTC of Calasiao, Pangasinan. The petitioner alleged that she was the registered owner of a parcel of land and the respondent, by means of force, strategy and stealth, gained entry into the petitioner’s property by excavating and constructing a fence. As such, the petitioner was deprived of a portion of her property along the boundary line. The petitioner prayed that, judgment be rendered in her favor and she further prays for other reliefs and remedies just and equitable in the premises. The summons and the complaint were not served on the respondent because the latter was apparently out of the country. This was relayed to the Sheriff by her (the respondent’s) brother, Oscar Layno, who was then in the respondent’s house. The Sheriff left the summons and complaint with Oscar Layno, who received the same. The court rendered judgment ordering the respondent and all persons occupying the property for and in the latter’s behalf to vacate the disputed area and to pay monthly rentals therefore, including actual damages, attorney’s fees, and exemplary damages. The respondent failed to appeal the decision. Consequently, a writ of execution was issued. The respondent filed a complaint against the petitioner before the RTC of Dagupan City for the annulment of the decision of the MTC on the ground that the Sheriff’s failure to serve the complaint and summons on her because she was in Oslo, Norway, the MTC never acquired 18

jurisdiction over her person. The respondent alleged therein that the service of the complaint and summons through substituted service on her brother, Oscar Layno, was improper. Judgment is rendered in favor of plaintiff Vivian Layno Jensen and against defendant Filomena Domagas. The trial court declared that there was no valid service of the complaint. The petitioner appealed the decision to the CA which, rendered judgment affirming the appealed decision with modifications. The CA ruled that the complaint in Civil Case No. 879 was one for ejectment, which is an action quasi in rem. The summons and the complaint should have been served via extraterritorial service under Section 15 in relation to Section 16, Rule 14 of the Rules of Court. ISSUE: Whether or not there was a valid service of the summons and complaint in Civil Case No. 879 on the respondent herein who was the defendant in the said case. The resolution of the matter is anchored on the issue of whether or not the action of the petitioner in the MTC against the respondent herein is an action in personam or quasi in rem. HELD: The respondent was not validly served with summons and the complaint in Civil Case No. 879 on April 5, 1999, by substituted service. Hence, the MTC failed to acquire jurisdiction over the person of the respondent; as such, the decision of the MTC in Civil Case No. 879 is null and void.

G.R. No. 127876. December 17, 1999 ROXAS & CO., INC., petitioner, vs. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS, DEPARTMENT OF AGRARIAN REFORM, SECRETARY OF AGRARIAN REFORM, DAR REGIONAL DIRECTOR FOR REGION IV, MUNICIPAL AGRARIAN REFORM OFFICER OF NASUGBU, BATANGAS and DEPARTMENT OF AGRARIAN REFORM ADJUDICATION BOARD, respondents. FACTS: Petitioner Roxas & Co. is a domestic corporation and is the registered owner of three haciendas, namely, Haciendas Palico, Banilad and Caylaway, all located in the Municipality of Nasugbu, Batangas. The events of this case occurred during the incumbency of then President Corazon C. Aquino who issued Proclamation No. 3 promulgating a Provisional Constitution. Before the law’s effectivity, petitioner filed with respondent DAR a voluntary offer to sell Hacienda Caylaway pursuant to the provisions of E.O. No. 229. Haciendas Palico and Banilad were later placed under compulsory acquisition by respondent DAR in accordance with the Republic Act No. 6657, the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law of 1988(CARL). In a letter, respondent DAR Secretary informed petitioner that a reclassification of the land would not exempt it from agrarian reform. Respondent Secretary also denied petitioner’s withdrawal of the Voluntary Offer to Sell (VOS) on the ground that withdrawal could only be based on specific grounds such as unsuitability of the soil for agriculture, or if the slope of the land is over 18 degrees and that the land is undeveloped. Despite the denial of the VOS withdrawal of Hacienda Caylaway, petitioner filed its application for conversion of both Haciendas Palico and Banilad. petitioner, through its President, Eduardo Roxas, reiterated its request to withdraw the VOS over Hacienda Caylaway Petitioner instituted Case with respondent DAR Adjudication Board (DARAB) praying for the cancellation of the CLOA’s issued by respondent DAR in the name of several persons. Petitioner alleged that the haciendas had been declared a tourist zone, is not suitable for agricultural production. DARAB held that the case involved the prejudicial question of whether the property was subject to agrarian reform, hence, this question should be submitted to the Office of the Secretary of Agrarian Reform for determination. Petitioner filed with the Court of Appeals. It 19

questioned the expropriation of its properties under the CARL and the denial of due process in the acquisition of its landholdings. Meanwhile, the petition for conversion of the three haciendas was denied by the MARO. Petitioner’s petition was dismissed by the Court of Appeals. Petitioner moved for reconsideration but the motion was denied by court of Appeals. ISSUES: Whether or not the DAR observes due process of the proceedings over the three haciendas HELD: The acquisition proceedings over the three haciendas are nullified for respondent DAR's failure to observe due process therein. In accordance with the guidelines set forth in this decision and the applicable administrative procedure, the case is hereby remanded to respondent DAR for proper acquisition proceedings and determination of petitioner's application for conversion. failure of respondent DAR to comply with the requisites of due process in the acquisition proceedings does not give this Court the power to nullify the CLOA’s already issued to the farmer beneficiaries. To assume the power is to short-circuit the administrative process, which has yet to run its regular course. Respondent DAR must be given the chance to correct its procedural lapses in the acquisition proceedings. In Hacienda Palico alone, CLOA's were issued to 177 farmer beneficiaries in 1993. Since then until the present, these farmers have been cultivating their lands. It goes against the basic precepts of justice, fairness and equity to deprive these people, through no fault of their own, of the land they till.

G.R. Nos. 79937-38 February 13, 1989 SUN INSURANCE OFFICE, LTD., (SIOL), E.B. PHILIPPS and D.J. WARBY, petitioners, vs. HON. MAXIMIANO C. ASUNCION, Presiding Judge, Branch 104, Regional Trial Court, Quezon City and MANUEL CHUA UY PO TIONG, respondents.

FACTS: Petitioner Sun Insurance Office, Ltd. (SIOL for brevity) filed a complaint with the RTC of Makati, for the consignation of a premium refund on a fire insurance policy with a prayer for the judicial declaration of its nullity against private respondent Manuel Uy Po Tiong. Private respondent as declared in default for failure to file the required answer within the reglementary period. On the other hand, private respondent filed a complaint in the RTC of Quezon City for the refund of premiums and the issuance of a writ of preliminary attachment against petitioner SIOL, and including E.B. Philipps and D.J. Warby as additional defendants. The complaint sought, the payment of actual, compensatory, moral, exemplary and liquidated damages, attorney's fees, expenses of litigation and costs of the suit. Although the prayer in the complaint did not quantify the amount of damages sought said amount may be inferred from the body of the complaint to be about Fifty Million Pesos (P50,000,000.00). Only the amount of P210.00 was paid by private respondent as docket fee which prompted petitioners' counsel to raise his objection. Said objection was disregarded by respondent Judge Jose P. Castro who was then presiding over said case. The Court thereafter returned the said records to the trial court with the directive that they be re-raffled to the other judges to the exclusion of Judge Castro. Case was re-raffled to Branch 104, a sala which was then vacant. The Court en banc issued a Resolution in Administrative Case directing the judges to reassess the docket fees and requires all clerks of court to issue certificates of re-assessment of docket fees. All litigants were likewise required to specify in their pleadings the amount sought to be recovered in their complaints. Judge Maximiano C. Asuncion, to whom Civil Case No. Q41177 20

was thereafter assigned, after his assumption, issued a Supplemental Order requiring the parties in the case to comment on the Clerk of Court's letter-report signifying her difficulty in complying with the Resolution of this Court since the pleadings filed by private respondent did not indicate the exact amount sought to be recovered. Petitioners then filed a petition for certiorari with the Court of Appeals questioning the said order of Judge Asuncion. Court of Appeals rendered a decision ruling, among others, Denying due course to the petition in CA-G.R. SP No. 1, 09715 insofar as it seeks annulment of the order

ISSUE: Whether or not a court acquires jurisdiction over a case when the correct and proper docket fee has not been paid.

HELD: It is not simply the filing of the complaint or appropriate initiatory pleading, but the payment of the prescribed docket fee, that vests a trial court with jurisdiction over the subject matter or nature of the action. Where the filing of the initiatory pleading is not accompanied by payment of the docket fee, the court may allow payment of the fee within a reasonable time but in no case beyond the applicable prescriptive or reglementary period. It shall be the responsibility of the Clerk of Court or his duly authorized deputy to enforce said lien and assess and collect the additional fee. The petition is DISMISSED for lack of merit. The Clerk of Court of the court a quo is instructed to reassess and determine the additional filing fee that should be paid by private respondent considering the total amount of the claim sought in the original complaint and the supplemental complaint as may be gleaned from the allegations and the prayer thereof and to require private respondent to pay the deficiency.

G.R. No. 147369. October 23, 2003 SPOUSES PATRICK AND RAFAELA JOSE VS. SPOUSES HELEN AND ROMEO BOYON

FACTS: Petitioners lodged a complaint for specific performance against respondents to compel them to facilitate the transfer of ownership of a parcel of land subject of a controverted sale. The RTC issued a summons to respondents. As per return of the summons, substituted service was resorted to by the process server allegedly because efforts to serve personally to re respondents failed. Meanwhile, petitioners filed before the RTC an ex parte motion for leave of court to effect summons by publication and the judge issued an order granting the same. The respondents were declared in default and as a consequence of the declaration of default, petitioners were allowed to submit their evidence exparte. Helen Boyon, who was then in United Sates, was surprised to learn from her sister of the resolution issued by the court. Respondents filed an Ad Cautelam motion questioning, among others, the validity of the service of summons effected by the court a quo. The court issued an order denying the said motion on the basis of the defaulted respondent supposed loss of standing in court. Once again, the respondents raised the issue of the jurisdiction of the trial court via a 21

motion for reconsideration and the same was denied. The petitioners moved for the execution of the controverted judgment which the judge granted. Thereafter, respondents filed before the CA a petition for certiorari which held that the trial court had no authority to issue the questioned resolution and orders.

ISSUE: Whether or not summons by publication can validly serve in the instant case. HELD: In general, courts acquire jurisdiction over the person of the defendant by the service of summons, such service may be done personal or substituted service, where the action is in personam and the defendant is in the Philippines. However, extraterritorial service of summons or summons by publication applies only when the action is in rem or quasi in rem. That is, the action against the thing itself instead of against the defendant’s person if the action is in rem or an individual is named as defendant and the purpose is to subject the individual’s interest in a piece of property to the obligation or loan burdening it if quasi in rem. In the instant case, what was filed before the trial court was an action for specific performance directed against respondents. While the suit incidentally involved a piece of land, the ownership or possession thereof was not put in issue. Moreover, court has consistently declared that an action for specific performance is an action in personam. Hence, summons by publication cannot be validly served.

G.R. No. L-29791 January 10, 1978 FRANCISCO S. HERNANDEZ and JOSEFA U. ATIENZA, plaintiffs-appellees, vs. RURAL BANK OF LUCENA, INC., CENTRAL BANK OF THE PHILIPPINES, in its capacity as Liquidator of Rural Bank of Lucena, and JOSE S. MARTINEZ in his capacity as Receiver of Rural Bank of Lucena, defendants-appellants.

FACTS: This case is about the propriety of a separate action to compel a distress rural bank which is under Judicial liquidation, to accept a check in payment of a mortgage debt. Francisco S. Hernandez and Josefa U. Atienza obtained from the Rural Bank of Lucena, Inc. a loan of P6,000 the loan was cured by a mortgage on their two lots situated in Cubao, Quezon City. The interest for one year was paid in advance. Three months after that loan was obtained, the Lucena Bank became a distress bank, its officers, directors and employees had committed certain anomalies or had resorted to unsound and unsafe banking practices which were prejudicial to the government, its depositors and creditors. Before the expiration of the one-year term of the loan, Hernandez went to the Lucena bank and offered to pay the loan by means of a check for P6,000 which was drawn against the bank by a depositor, the San Pablo Colleges, and which was payable to Fernandez As the bank's executive vice president was not available, the payment was not consummated. The executive vice-president wrote to Hernandez and informed him that the check could not be honored for the time being because of adverse events that had disrupted the bank's operations. Hernandez and his wife filed an action in the Court of First Instance at Lipa City to compel the Rural Bank of Lucena, Inc., the Central Bank as liquidator, and Jose S. Martinez as receiver, to accept the check and to execute the cancellation of the real estate mortgage. The Hernandez spouses also asked for moral damages in the amount of P10.000 and attorney's fees of P3,000 the 22

Central Bank filed a motion to dismiss. It contended that there was improper venue. The motion was denied, it should be stated that the counsel for the Lucena offered to compromise the case by stipulating that the Central Bank would apply the check in question to the mortgage debt of Hernandez if the balance of the deposit of the San Pablo Colleges would be enough to cover the amount of the check of P6,000 and that, by virtue of that compromise, the complaint and counterclaim would be dismissed. That conditional and equivocal compromise offer fizzled out, because the lawyers of Hernandez and the Central Bank did not assent to it the lower court rendered an amended decision ordering the Lucena Bank or the Central Bank, as liquidator, to accept the honor the check, to cancel the mortage, and to pay Hernandez spouses (P25,000 as moral damages (not P10,000 as prayed for the complaint) plus P1,000 as attorney's fees.

ISSUE: Whether or not the separate action to compel a distress rural bank under judicial liquidation is proper to accept the check in payment of a mortgage debt.

HELD: The case is dismissed without prejudice to the right of the Hernandez spouses to take up with the liquidation court the settlement of their mortgage obligation. .In the instant case, the Hernandez spouses, after having become cognizant of the fact that the Lucena bank was under liquidation, chose to file a separate action against that bank for redemption and damages. Although residents of Cubao, Quezon City, where the mortgage lots are located and which was the address used by them in dealing with the Lucena bank, they chose Lipa City as the venue of their action. They ignored the liquidation court. Evidently, one of their objectives was to obtain against the Lucena bank a judgment for moral damages which they surmised would not be granted by the Manila liquidation court. They attained more than what they had originally desired because, instead of the moral damages of P10,00 indicated in their complaint, the trial court generously awarded them P25,000. On the other hand, the Hernandez spouses argue that their action in the Court of First Instance at Lipa City "deals with a sum of money which is still not in the possession, custody, and administration" of the Central Bank and the receiver; that their action had "nothing to do with the funds and property" held by the receiver; that the Lucena bank had not lost its juridical personality after it was placed under liquidation, and that the issue as to whether the Lucena bank should have accepted the chock in question was "not in anyway connected with the causes and grounds under which the liquidation proceedings were instituted nor with the administration of the property and funds under liquidation"

G.R. No. 137793. September 29, 1999 NILO H. RAYMUNDO, petitioner, vs. COURT OF APPEALS, Sixth Division, HON. APOLINARIO B. SANTOS, + Presiding Judge, RTC, Br. 67, Pasig City, and JUAN MARCOS ARELLANO, respondents.

FACTS: Juan Marcos Arellano, Jr. filed with the RTC, Pasig City, a complaint against petitioner for collection of a sum of money, petitioner filed his answer with counterclaim to the complaint. The trial court scheduled a pre-trial conference. It was nonetheless postponed in view of petitioner’s motion for leave to file an amended answer. Petitioner filed with the trial court his amended 23

answer with counterclaim together with a manifestation. Private respondent filed an opposition to the admission of the amended answer, to which petitioner filed a reply. The trial court issued an order striking out petitioner’s manifestation and amended answer with counterclaim for failure to comply with the provisions of Section 3, Rule 10 of the Rules of Court. The trial court scheduled the pre-trial conference petitioner did not attend the pre-trial conference scheduled on March 5, 1997. Later that day, petitioner learned that the trial court declared him in default for non-appearance at the pre-trial conference Petitioner filed with the trial court an urgent motion to set aside default order. Despite the motion, the trial court proceeded to receive private respondent’s evidence ex-parte. Petitioner filed with the trial court a motion to set aside respondent’s ex-parte evidence. The trial court, rendered a decision, in favor of plaintiff Juan Marco Arellano, Jr. and against defendant Nilo Raymundo. Petitioner filed with the trial court a motion for reconsideration of the decision, to which private respondent filed an opposition. Petitioner filed with the trial court an “ad cautelam” omnibus petition for relief from judgment, order or other proceedings. The trial court issued an order denying petitioner’s motion for reconsideration and “ad cautelam” omnibus petition. Petitioner filed with the trial court a notice of appeal to the Court of Appeals from the trial court’s decision, and the trial court approved. Petitioner filed with the Court of Appeals a special civil action for certiorari challenging the validity of the trial court’s decision and other proceedings as having been rendered with grave abuse of discretion. The court of Appeals promulgated its decision dismissing the petition outright ruling that certiorari lies only when there is no appeal or any other plain, speedy or adequate remedy available to petitioner. Also, certiorari will not issue to cure errors in proceedings or erroneous conclusions of law or fact. The Court of Appeals added that where appeal is the proper remedy, certiorari would not lie. The failure of the trial court to resolve petitioner’s motion to set aside default order and motion to set aside private respondent’s ex-parte evidence before rendering judgment is “purely errors/oversight in the proceedings, not necessarily an error of jurisdiction.” ISSUE: Whether or not the Court of Appeals erred in denying the issuance of a writ of certiorari because of the availability of appeal. HELD: An ordinary appeal is the proper remedy in questioning a judgment by default; appeal is also the proper remedy from an order denying a petition for relief of judgment. Hence, in the normal course of events, the Court of Appeals correctly denied the petition for certiorari before it, assailing the trial court’s decision by default and denial of the petition for relief, in view of the availability of appeal there from. Purportedly, the trial court declared petitioner as in default when he failed to attend the scheduled pre-trial conference. Petitioner, however, explained that he did not attend because he was awaiting resolution of his motion to admit amended answer. Thus, petitioner need not attend the pre-trial conference because the resolution of his motion to admit amended answer takes precedence over the pre-trial conference. The trial court gravely abused its discretion in declaring petitioner as in default when it was itself remiss in not resolving petitioner’s pending motions. Worse, the trial court acted despotically in allowing respondent to present evidence exparte even if petitioner could not be lawfully declared in default for non-appearance due to the trial court’s own failure to rule on the admission of his amended answer because the original answer was on record. More, in deciding the case without resolving petitioner’s motion to set aside default and motion to set aside ex-parte evidence, the trial court exercised its discretion capriciously, arbitrarily and whimsically.

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G.R. No. 155173

November 23, 2004

LAFARGE CEMENT PHILIPPINES, INC., (formerly Lafarge Philippines, Inc.), LUZON CONTINENTAL LAND CORPORATION, CONTINENTAL OPERATING CORPORATION and PHILIP ROSEBERG, petitioners, vs. CONTINENTAL CEMENT CORPORATION, GREGORY T. LIM and ANTHONY A. MARIANO, respondents. FACTS: Origins of the controversy can be traced to the Letter of Intent (LOI) executed by both parties, whereby Petitioner Lafarge Cement Philippines, Inc. (Lafarge) -- on behalf of its affiliates and other qualified entities, including Petitioner Luzon Continental Land Corporation (LCLC) -agreed to purchase the cement business of Respondent Continental Cement Corporation (CCC). Both parties entered into a Sale and Purchase Agreement (SPA). At the time of the foregoing transactions, petitioners were well aware that CCC had a case pending with the Supreme Court. In anticipation of the liability that the High Tribunal might adjudge against CCC, the parties, under Clause 2 (c) of the SPA, allegedly agreed to retain from the purchase price a portion of the contract price in the amount of P117,020,846.84 -- the equivalent of US$2,799,140. This amount was to be deposited in an interest-bearing account in the First National City Bank of New York (Citibank) for payment to APT, the petitioner in GR No. 119712. However, petitioners allegedly refused to apply the sum to the payment to APT, despite the subsequent finality of the Decision in favor of the latter and the repeated instructions of Respondent CCC. Fearful that nonpayment to APT would result in the foreclosure, not just of its properties covered by the SPA with Lafarge but of several other properties as well, CCC filed before the Regional Trial Court a "Complaint with Application for Preliminary Attachment" against petitioners. The Complaint prayed, that petitioners be directed to pay the "APT Retained Amount" referred to in Clause 2 (c) of the SPA.

ISSUES: 1. Whether or not the RTC gravely erred in refusing to rule that Respondent CCC has no personality to move to dismiss petitioners' compulsory counterclaims on Respondents Lim and Mariano's behalf. 2. Whether or not the RTC gravely erred in ruling. HELD: 1. Petitioners' Counterclaims Compulsory The procedural rules are founded on practicality and convenience. They are meant to discourage duplicity and multiplicity of suits. This objective is negated by insisting -- as the court a quo has done -- that the compulsory counterclaim for damages be dismissed, only to have it possibly re-filed in a separate proceeding. More important, as we have stated earlier, Respondents Lim and Mariano are real parties in interest to the compulsory counterclaim; it is imperative that they be joined therein. Section 7 of Rule 3 provides: "Compulsory joinder of indispensable parties. – Parties in interest without whom no final determination can be had of an action shall be joined either as plaintiffs or defendants." Moreover, in joining Lim and Mariano in the compulsory counterclaim, petitioners are being consistent with the solidary nature of the liability alleged therein. 2. The Trial Court is hereby ordered to take cognizance of the counterclaims pleaded in petitioners' Answer with Compulsory Counterclaims and to cause the service of summons on Respondents Gregory T. Lim and Anthony A. Mariano. The ambiguity in petitioners' counterclaims notwithstanding, respondents' liability, if proven, is solidary. This characterization finds basis in Article 1207 of the Civil Code, which provides that obligations are generally considered joint, except when otherwise expressly stated or when the law or the nature of the obligation requires solidarity. However, obligations arising from tort are, by their nature, always solidary. 25

G.R. No. 132264. October 8, 1998] ABRAHAM GEGARE, Petitioner, vs. HON. COURT OF APPEALS, (Former Special Twelfth Division), HON. PRESIDING JUDGE, RTC, BR. 217, QUEZON CITY, and SPS. MELENCIO and SOTERA C. LAVARES, Respondents.

FACTS: As a result of a complaint for recovery of possession and damages, the Regional Trial Court ordered the petitioner Gegare to turn over the possession of the leased premises and to pay reasonable compensation for its use and attorney’s fees. Dissatisfied with the decision, petitioner filed a Notice of Appeal to the Court of Appeals. Despite due notice, petitioner failed to pay docket fees within the given reglementary period of fifteen (15) days. Consequently, the Court of Appeals dismissed the appeal holding that for failure to pay docket fees, the said appeal was deemed abandoned, hence, dismissal is proper. ISSUE: Whether or not the dismissal of the appeal for failure to pay docket fees is proper. HELD: The dismissal is proper. It has consistently been held that payment in full of docket fees within the prescribed period is mandatory for such payment is an essential requirement before the court could acquire jurisdiction over a case. Under Section 1(c) of Rule 50 of the Revised Rules of Court, among the grounds for dismissal of appeal by the Court of Appeals is the failure of the appellant to pay the docket and other lawful fees as provided in Section 5 of Rule 40 and Section 4 of Rule 41 thereof.

G.R. No. 111267. September 20, 1996 COLUMBIA PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT, INC., MGM ENTERTAINMENT CO., ORION PICTURES CORPORATION, PARAMOUNT PICTURES CORP., UNIVERSAL CITY STUDIOS, INC., THE WALT DISNEY COMPANY and WARNER BROTHERS, INC., petitioners, vs. HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS, 14TH DIVISION and JOSE B. JINGCO of SHOWTIME ENTERPRISES., INC., respondents.

FACTS: Alfredo G. Ramos, intelligence officer of the Videogram Regulatory Board (VRB), received information that private respondent Jose B. Jinco had in his possession pirated videotapes, posters, advertising materials and other items used or intended to be used for the purpose of sale, lease, distribution, circulation or public exhibition of the said pirated videotapes. Ramos ascertained the information to be true and filed a verified Application for Search Warrant with prayer for the seizure of the properties described in the search warrant. Hearing was conducted by Judge Florentino A. Flor of the RTC of Pasig, wherein Ramos and his two witnesses, Analie Jimenez and Rebecca Benitez-Cruz testified on the need for the issuance of search warrant. The prayer for the issuance of the search warrant was granted and, on the same date, Search Warrant was issued. ISSUE: 26

1. Whether or not petitioners have the legal personality and standing to file the appeal. 2. Whether or not the search warrant is valid.

HELD: 1. From the records it is clear that, as complainants, petitioners were involved in the proceedings which led to the issuance of Search Warrant No. 23. In People v. Nano, the Court declared that while the general rule is that it is only the Solicitor General who is authorized to bring or defend actions on behalf of the People or the Republic of the Philippines once the case is brought before this Court or the Court of Appeals, if there appears to be grave error committed by the judge or a lack of due process, the petition will be deemed filed by the private complainants therein as if it were filed by the Solicitor General. In line with this ruling, the Court gives this petition due course and will allow petitioners to argue their case against the questioned order in lieu of the Solicitor General. 2. Whether or not the Search Warrant No. 23 is valid, "To be valid, a search warrant must be supported by probable cause to be determined by the judge or some other authorized officer after examining the complainant and the witnesses he may produce. No less important, there must be a specific description of the place to be searched and the things to be seized, to prevent arbitrary and indiscriminate use of the warrant. Clearly, the items seized could not be anymore specific as the circumstances will allow since they are all used or intended to be used in the unlawful sale or lease of pirated tapes. Therefore, the finding of the appellate court that Search Warrant No. 23 is a "general" warrant is devoid of basis. Wherefore the assailed decision and resolution of respondent Court of Appeals, and necessarily inclusive of the order of the trial court, are hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE. The order of the trial court dated July 28, 1986 upholding the validity of Search Warrant No. 23 is hereby REINSTATED.

G.R. No. 111685. August 20, 2001 DAVAO LIGHT & POWER CO., INC., petitioner, Vs THE HON. COURT OF APPEALS, HON. RODOLFO M. BELLAFLOR, Presiding Judge of Branch 11, RTCCebu and FRANCISCO TESORERO, respondents. FACTS: Davao Light & Power Co., Inc. filed a complaint for damages against private respondent Francisco Tesorero before the R T C, the complaint prayed for damages in the amount of P11,000,000.00. In lieu of an answer, private respondent filed a motion to dismiss claiming that: (a) the complaint did not state a cause of action; (b) the plaintiff’s claim has been extinguished or otherwise rendered moot and academic; (c) there was non-joinder of indispensable parties; and (d) venue was improperly laid. Of these four (4) grounds, the last mentioned is most material in this case at bar. The trial court issued a Resolution dismissing petitioner’s complaint on the ground of improper venue. The plaintiff being a private corporation undoubtedly Banilad, Cebu City is the plaintiff’s principal place of business as alleged in the complaint and which for purposes of venue is considered as its residence. However, in defendant’s motion to dismiss, it is alleged and submitted that the principal office of plaintiff in Davao City, was borne out by the Contract of Lease and another Contract of Lease of Generating Equipment executed by the plaintiff with the NAPOCOR.

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The motion on the ground of improper venue is granted. Petitioner’s motion for reconsideration was denied. Court of Appeals rendered the assailed judgment denying due course and dismissing the petition. Petitioner filed the instant petition. ISSUE: Whether or not the venue was proper. HELD: It is private respondent’s contention that the proper venue is Davao City, and not Cebu City where petitioner filed. Private respondent argues that petitioner is estopped from claiming that its residence is in Cebu City, in view of contradictory statements made by petitioner prior to the filing of the action for damages. It cannot be disputed that petitioner’s principal office is in Cebu City, per its amended articles of incorporation and by-laws. Private respondent is not a party to any of the contracts presented. He is a complete stranger to the covenants executed between petitioner and NAPOCOR, despite his protestations that he is privy thereto, on the rather flimsy ground that he is a member of the public for whose benefit the electric generating equipment subject of the contracts were leased or acquired. We are likewise not persuaded by his argument that the allegation or representation made by petitioner in either the complaints or answers it filed in several civil cases that its residence is in Davao City should estopp it from filing the damage suit before the Cebu courts. Besides there is no showing that private respondent is a party in those civil cases or that he relied on such representation by petitioner.

G.R. No. 154127. December 8, 2003 ROMEO C. GARCIA, petitioner, vs. DIONISIO V. LLAMAS, respondent. FACTS: “The case is a complaint for sum of money and damages by Dionisio Llamas against Romeo Garcia and Eduardo de Jesus. Petitioner and de Jesus borrowed P400,000.00 from respondent, they executed a promissory note wherein they bound themselves jointly and severally to pay the loan with a 5% interest per month; The loan has long been overdue and, despite repeated demands, [petitioner and de Jesus] have failed and refused to pay it; and that, by reason of their unjustified refusal, [respondent] was compelled to engage the services of counsel to whom he agreed to pay 25% of the sum to be recovered from [petitioner and de Jesus], plus P2,000.00 for every appearance in court. “Petitioner Garcia, in his Answer, averred that he assumed no liability under the promissory note because he signed it as an accommodation party; and, is relieved from any liability as the loan had been paid by de Jesus by means of a check; and that, the issuance of the check and *respondent’s+ acceptance thereof novated or superseded the note. “Respondent tendered a reply to *Petitioner+ Garcia’s answer, thereunder asserting that the loan remained unpaid for the reason that the check issued by de Jesus bounced. (RTC) rendered in favor of [respondent] and against [petitioner and De Jesus], who are hereby ordered to pay, jointly and severally. The CA ruled that the trial court had erred when it rendered a judgment on the pleadings against De Jesus. According to the appellate court, his Answer raised genuinely contentious issues. Thus, respondent was not ipso facto entitled to the RTC judgment, even though De Jesus had been declared in default.

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ISSUES: 1.) Whether there was novation of the obligation; 2.) Whether the defense that petitioner was only an accommodation party had any basis; 3.) Whether the judgment against him -- be it a judgment on the pleadings or a summary judgment -- was proper.

HELD: 1. Novation The check could not have extinguished the obligation, because it bounced upon presentment. By law, the delivery of a check produces the effect of payment only when it is encashed. No novation took place. The parties did not unequivocally declare that the old obligation had been extinguished by the issuance and the acceptance of the check, or that the check would take the place of the note. There is no incompatibility between the promissory note and the check. As the CA correctly observed, the check had been issued precisely to answer for the obligation. More important, De Jesus was not a third person to the obligation. From the beginning, he was a joint and solidary obligor of the P400,000 loan; thus, he can be released from it only upon its extinguishment. Respondent’s acceptance of his check did not change the person of the debtor, because a joint and solidary obligor is required to pay the entirety of the obligation. Novation cannot be presumed. It must be clearly shown either by the express assent of the parties or by the complete incompatibility between the old and the new agreements. Petitioner herein fails to show either requirement convincingly; hence, the summary judgment holding him liable as a joint and solidary debtor stands. It must be noted that in a solidary obligation, the creditor is entitled to demand the satisfaction of the whole obligation from any or all of the debtors.

2. Accommodation Party Petitioner avers that he signed the promissory note merely as an accommodation party; and that, as such, he was released as obligor when respondent agreed to extend the term of the obligation. This reasoning is misplaced, because the note herein is not a negotiable instrument. The note was made payable to a specific person rather than to bearer or to order -- a requisite for negotiability under Act 2031, the Negotiable Instruments Law (NIL). Hence, petitioner cannot avail himself of the NIL’s provisions on the liabilities and defenses of an accommodation party. The promissory note is thus covered by the general provisions of the Civil Code, not by the NIL Negotiable Instruments Law (NIL). . 3. Propriety of Summary Judgment or Judgment on the Pleadings From the records, it also appears that petitioner himself moved to submit the case for judgment on the basis of the pleadings and documents. In a written Manifestation, he stated that “judgment on the pleadings may now be rendered without further evidence, considering the allegations and admissions of the parties.” The CA correctly considered as a summary judgment that which the trial court had issued against petitioner.

G.R. No. 160242

May 17, 2005 29

ASIAN CONSTRUCTION AND DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, petitioner, vs. COURT OF APPEALS and MONARK EQUIPMENT CORPORATION, respondents. FACTS: Monark Equipment Corporation (MEC) filed a Complaint for a sum of money with damages against the Asian Construction and Development Corporation (ACDC) with the Regional Trial Court (RTC). The complaint alleged the ACDC leased Caterpillar generator sets and Amida mobile floodlighting systems from MEC but failed, despite demands, to pay the rentals; various equipments from MEC were, leased by ACDC for the latter’s power plant in Mauban, Quezon, and that there was still a balance of P456,666.67; and ACDC also purchased and took custody of various equipment parts from MEC for the agreed price of P237,336.20 which, despite demands, ACDC failed to pay. MEC prayed that judgment be rendered in its favor,ACDC filed a motion to file and admit answer with third-party complaint against Becthel Overseas Corporation (Becthel). ACDC admitted its indebtedness to MEC but alleged special and affirmative defenses: ACDC prayed that judgment be rendered in its favor dismissing the complaint and ordering the third-party defendant (Becthel) to pay P456,666.67 plus interest thereon and attorney’s fees. MEC opposed the motion of ACDC to file a third-party complaint against Becthel on the ground that the defendant had already admitted its principal obligation to MEC in the amount of P5,071,335.86; the transaction between it and ACDC, on the one hand, and between ACDC and Becthel, on the other, were independent transactions. Furthermore, the allowance of the third-party complaint would result in undue delays in the disposition of the case.

ISSUES: I. WHETHER OR NOT A THIRD-PARTY COMPLAINT IS PROPER; AND II. WHETHER OR NOT JUDGMENT ON THE PLEADINGS IS PROPER.

HELD: As alleged in the Answer with Third-Party Complaint, it is admitted then by respondent, for purposes of judgment on the pleadings, that failure to pay respondent was in connection of Becthel Overseas Corporation’s and that the equipment leased was used in connection with the Becthel Overseas Corporation project. This tendered issue could not just be disregarded in the light of the third-party complaint filed by herein petitioner and third-party plaintiff which, as argued in the first discussion/argument, is proper and should have been given due course. All the rights of the parties concerned would then be adjudicated in one proceeding. This is a rule of procedure and does not create a substantial right. Neither does it abridge, enlarge, or nullify the substantial rights of any litigant. This right to file a third-party complaint against a thirdparty rests in the discretion of the trial court. The third-party complaint is actually independent of, separate and distinct from the plaintiff’s complaint, such that were it not for the rule, it would have to be filed separately from the original complaint. Considering that the petitioner admitted its liability for the principal claim of the respondent in its Answer with Third-Party Complaint, the trial court did not err in rendering judgment on the pleadings against it. G.R. No. 153867 February 17, 2005

WOOD TECHNOLOGY CORPORATION (WTC), CHI TIM CORDOVA AND ROBERT TIONG KING YOUNG, petitioners, vs. EQUITABLE BANKING CORPORATION, Respondent

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FACTS: WTC obtained from respondent a loan in the amount of US$75,000, with 8.75% interest per annum, as evidenced by a Promissory Note, signed by Cordova and Young as representatives of WTC. Cordova and Young executed a Surety Agreement binding themselves as sureties of WTC for the loan. Respondent bank made a final demand for WTC to pay its obligation, but petitioners failed to pay. Respondent prayed that petitioners be ordered to pay it $75,603.65 or P2,018,617.46 plus interest, penalty, attorney’s fees and other expenses of litigation; and the cost of suit. In their Answer, petitioners stated that WTC obtained the $75,000 loan; that Cordova and Young bound themselves as its sureties. They claimed that only one demand letter, dated was made by respondent. They added that the promissory note did not provide the due date for payment. Petitioners also claimed that the loan had not yet matured as the maturity date was purposely left blank, to be agreed upon by the parties at a later date. Since no maturity date had been fixed, the filing of the Complaint was premature, and it failed to state a cause of action. They further claimed that the promissory note and surety agreement were contracts of adhesion with terms on interest, penalty, charges and attorney’s fees that were excessive, unconscionable and not reflective of the parties’ real intent. Petitioners prayed for the reformation of the promissory note and surety agreement to make their terms and conditions fair, just and reasonable. They also asked payment of damages by respondent. The RTC, rendered decision that the judgment is rendered based on the pleadings filed by the opposing parties and the documents annexed thereto. The defendants are ordered to pay solidarily and to pay the stipulated interest of 8.75% per annum to be reckoned from the date that the obligation was contracted until the filing of this suit. Thereafter, the legal rate shall apply. Petitioners appealed, but the Court of Appeals affirmed the RTC’s judgment. The appellate court also denied petitioners’ motion for reconsideration.

ISSUE: Whether the appellate court erred when it affirmed the RTC’s judgment on the pleadings.

HELD: Petitioners argue that a judgment on the pleadings cannot be rendered because their Answer tendered genuine issues and disputed the material allegations in the Complaint. In this case, at issue is the propriety and validity of a judgment on the pleadings. Both the RTC and Court of Appeals recognize that issues were raised by petitioners in their Answer before the trial court. The essential question in such a case is whether there are issues generated by the pleadings. This is the distinction between a proper case of summary judgment, compared to a proper case for judgment on the pleadings. In sum, no cause to disturb the findings of fact the Court of Appeals, affirming those of the RTC as to the reasonableness of the interest rate of 8.75% per annum on the loan. No persuasive reason to contradict the ruling of both courts that the loan secured by petitioner WTC, with copetitioners as sureties, was payable on demand. Respondent’s complaint could not be considered premature. Nor could it be said to be without sufficient cause of action therein set forth. The judgment rendered by the trial court is valid as a summary judgment, and its affirmance by the Court of Appeals. G.R. No. 166383 October 16, 2009

ASSOCIATED BANK, Petitioner, vs. SPOUSES JUSTINIANO S. MONTANO, SR., AND LIGAYA MONTANO and TRES CRUCES AGROINDUSTRIAL CORPORATION, Respondents.

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FACTS: Spouses Justiniano and Ligaya Montano (the Montanos) owned three (3) parcels of land situated in Cavite. Justiniano was then serving as congressman for the lone district of Cavite and as minority floor leader. When the country was under martial law, Justiniano went to the United States of America (USA) to avoid the harassment and threats made against him by the dictator. While still in the USA, the Montanos transferred the said properties to Tres Cruces Agro-Industrial Corporation (TCAIC) in exchange for shares of stock in the company, allowing the Montanos to control 98% of the stockholdings of TCAIC. Thus, on the certificates of title registered in the name of the Montanos were cancelled and were replaced with transfer certificates of title (TCTs) in TCAIC’s name. A year later, TCAIC sold the properties to International Country Club, Inc. (ICCI) for P6,000,000.00. The sale resulted in the cancellation of the titles of TCAIC, and in their transfer to ICCI. ICCI immediately mortgaged the parcels of land to Citizens Bank and Trust Co. (later renamed as Associated Bank) for P2,000,000.00.The loan matured but remained unpaid, prompting Associated Bank to foreclose the mortgage. The properties were then put on public auction and were sold for P5,700,000.00 to Associated Bank, the sole and highest bidder. Ownership over the said properties was consolidated by Associated Bank and, new TCTs were issued in its name. Montanos returned to the country. After discovering the transfer of the properties, the Montanos immediately took physical possession of the same and began cultivating the land. Montanos filed an action for reconveyance of title against herein petitioner, praying, in sum, that the transfer of the properties from TCAIC to ICCI, and from ICCI to Associated Bank, be declared null and void.

ISSUES: 1. Whether it is proper to file a motion to dismiss after an answer has already been filed; 2. Whether the complaint should be dismissed on the grounds set forth therein.

HELD: 1. On the propriety of the motion to dismiss It is, therefore, inconsequential that petitioner had already filed an answer to the complaint prior to its filing of a motion to dismiss. The option of whether to set the case for preliminary hearing after the filing of an answer which raises affirmative defenses, or to file a motion to dismiss raising any of the grounds set forth in Section 1, Rule 16 of the Rules are procedural options which are not mutually exclusive of each other. Moreover, as petitioner correctly pointed out, respondents failed to oppose the motion to dismiss despite having been given the opportunity to do so by the RTC. Therefore, any right to contest the same was already waived by them. 2. On whether the complaint for reconveyance should be dismissed In their complaint for reconveyance, respondents alleged that the transfer of the three parcels of land from TCAIC to ICCI was facilitated through threat, duress and intimidation employed by certain individuals. On its face, the complaint clearly states a cause of action and raises issues of fact that can be properly settled only after a full-blown trial. On this ground, petitioner’s motion to dismiss must, perforce, be denied. However, the RTC’s ruling that the action has already prescribed was not correct. The RTC, however, seemed to have overlooked the fact that the basis of respondents’ complaint for reconveyance is not fraud but threat, duress and intimidation, allegedly employed by Marcos’ cronies upon the relatives of the Montanos while the latter were on selfexile. In fact, fraud was neither specifically alleged nor remotely implied in the complaint. The four-year prescriptive period must, be reckoned from the said date. Thus, when respondents filed their complaint for reconveyance on September 15, 1989, the period provided for by law had not yet prescribed. Therefore, petitioner’s motion to dismiss should be denied. 32

G.R. No. 172242 August 14, 2007 PERKIN ELMER SINGAPORE PTE LTD., Petitioner, - versus DAKILA TRADING CORPORATION, Respondent. FACTS: Petitioner is a corporation under Singapore. Respondent is a corporation organized and existing under Philippine laws, for selling & leasing laboratory instruments. Respondent entered into an agreement with the Perkin–Elmer Instruments Asia PTE LTD appointed respondent as sole distributor of its product under a Distribution Agreement. However the PEIA unilaterally terminated the distribution agreement. The respondent filed a complaint for collection of sum of money and damages. The Regional Trial Court denied the respondents prayer. Petitioner appealed, but the Court Of Appeals affirms the Regional Trial Court’s decision. ISSUES: 1. Whether or not there is a proper service of summons and acquisition of jurisdiction. 2. Whether or not it is a proper venue for respondents civil case.

HELD: 1. The proper service of summons differs depending on the nature of the civil case instituted by the plaintiff or petitioner: whether it is in personam, in rem, or quasi in rem. When the case instituted is an action in rem or quasi in rem, Philippine courts already have jurisdiction to hear and decide the case because, in actions in rem and quasi in rem, jurisdiction over the person of the defendant is not a prerequisite to confer jurisdiction on the court, provided that the court acquires jurisdiction over the res. Thus, in such instance, extraterritorial service of summons can be made upon the defendant. The said extraterritorial service of summons is not for the purpose of vesting the court with jurisdiction, but for complying with the requirements of fair play or due process, so that the defendant will be informed of the pendency of the action against him and the possibility that property in the Philippines belonging to him or in which he has an interest may be subjected to a judgment in favor of the plaintiff, and he can thereby take steps to protect his interest if he is so minded. There was no proper service of summons, because the territorial service of summons was not proper for action in personam and the attachment of the property does not constitutes or even convert it into quasi in rem. 2. It is proper venue for civil case base on Distribution Agreement it was stipulated that if dispute arises it will be resolved either in Singapore or in the Philippines.

G.R. No. 158245

June 30, 2005

MIGUELITO B. LIMACO, ROGELIO LIMACO, JR., and ISIDRO LIMACO, petitioners, vs. SHONAN GAKUEN CHILDREN'S HOUSE PHILIPPINES, INC., respondent. FACTS: 33

Petitioners are the registered owners of three parcels of agricultural land. They entered into a Contract of Sale with respondent and agreed that "in the event that the parties herein are unable to effect the transfer and sale of the said properties in whole or in part in favor of the vendees, all the paid-in amounts shall be applied to another similar property also owned by the vendors in substitution of the above-described properties." Pursuant to the contract, respondent corporation paid the down payment however; it refused to remit any monthly installment due to petitioners' failure to obtain a clearance and/or approval of the sale of the subject land from the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR). Respondent demanded that petitioners either solve the problem with the land tenants or substitute the lots with another acceptable, suitable and untenanted land, pursuant to their agreement. Petitioners informed respondent that they were ready to finalize the transaction in accordance with the legal opinion of the DAR. In a letter, respondent informed petitioners that the scheme proposed in the DAR Opinion was "far from acceptable." Respondent offered to purchase the property on a direct sale basis. Petitioners did not respond to respondent hence, the latter, through counsel, requested the return of its down payment. As petitioners did not acquiesce, respondent filed a complaint for rescission with damages with the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Makati. As a countermove, petitioners filed the instant case for specific performance with the RTC of Laguna. Respondent filed a motion to dismiss on the ground of litis pendentia. Petitioners opposed contending that the instant complaint for specific performance was served on respondent ahead of the service of the complaint for rescission on petitioners. Later, however, respondent withdrew its motion to dismiss in view of the order of the RTC of Makati dismissing the complaint for rescission. In its Answer with Counterclaim, respondent alleged by way of affirmative defense that "specific performance is not possible because the respondent had already bought another property which is untenanted, devoid of any legal complications and now converted from agricultural to nonagricultural purpose in accordance with DAR Administrative Order. Thereafter, petitioners filed a Motion to Withdraw Complaint considering respondent's special defense that specific performance was no longer possible. They prayed that their complaint and respondent's counterclaim be ordered withdrawn or dismissed, arguing that respondent's counterclaim would have no leg to stand on as it was compulsory in nature. ISSUE: Whether respondent's counterclaim should be dismissed.

HELD: There are two ways by which an action may be dismissed upon the instance of the plaintiff. First, dismissal is a matter of right when a notice of dismissal is filed by the plaintiff before an answer or a motion for summary judgment has been served on him by the defendant. Second, dismissal is discretionary on the court when the motion for the dismissal of the action is filed by the plaintiff at any stage of the proceedings other than before service of an answer or a motion for summary judgment. While the dismissal in the first mode takes effect upon the mere notice of plaintiff without need of a judicial order, the second mode requires the authority of the court before dismissal of the case may be effected. This is so because in the dismissal of an action, the effect of the dismissal upon the rights of the defendant should always be taken into consideration. In the case at bar, it is undisputed that petitioners filed a Motion to Withdraw Complaint after respondent already filed its answer with counterclaim. In fact, the reason for their motion for withdrawal was the special defense of respondent in its answer that substitution was no longer possible as it already bought another property in lieu of the subject lots under the contract. It is, therefore, inexplicable how petitioners could argue that their complaint was successfully withdrawn upon the mere filing of a Motion to Withdraw Complaint when they themselves alleged in this petition that "private respondent objected to the withdrawal and the Trial Court sustained

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the objection."

G.R. No. 150908

January 21, 2005

LAGRIMAS PACAÑA-GONZALES, as one of the heirs of Luciano Pacaña, petitioner, vs. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS and MANUEL CARBONELL PHUA, respondents.

FACTS: Spouses Amarillo registered owners of subject lot 7746 located in Cebu, it was conveyed to Manuel Carbonell Phua and Amarillo’s title was cancelled. More than a decade later heirs of Pacaña claim the lot and filed a complaint for Nullity of Title and Annulment of Deed of Sale. Summons together with the complaint was served to the spouses Amarillo but not to the Phua who was unknown at his given address at Salinas Compound Lahug, Cebu City. Service of summons to Phua by postal service was served but the same failed, then summons by publication was resorted. It was publish once a week for (3) three consecutive weeks. No answer recievd by Phua within reglementary period. The RTC declared him in default and the heirs of Pacaña were allowed to present their evidence exparte. Decision was served against the defendant by publication and the Register of Deeds of Cebu City issue a new transfer certificate of title to Pacaña. Phua filed for annulment of judgment in Court Of Appeals, because when the case was filed by the Pacaña he did not receive any summons because he was outside the country. CA granted the petition and the RTC’c decision were declared null and void, for lack of jurisdiction over the person.

ISSUE: 1. Whether or not the service of summons to Phua was valid. 2. Whether or not the publisher is of general circulation. 3. Whether or not RTC acquire jurisdiction.

HELD: 1. In rule 14 SEC. 21. Proof of service by publication. — If the service has been made by publication, service may be proved by the affidavit of the printer, his foreman or principal clerk, or of the editor, business or advertising manager, to which affidavit a copy of the publication shall be attached, and by an affidavit showing the deposit of a copy of the summons and order for publication in the post office, postage prepaid, directed to the defendant by registered mail to his last known address. Since Phua’s whereabouts were unknown and could not be ascertained by diligent inquiry, service of summons by publication was correctly availed of by the Heirs of Pacaña. But such service of summons to Phua by publication was not supported by an affidavit therefore it is invalid. 2. The Visayan Herald is published for the dissemination of local news and general information, that it has a bona fide subscription list of paying subscribers and that it is published at regular intervals. The Visayan Herald publishing was not considered a newspaper of general circulation because their publications were by intervals and is only by their bona fide subscription list of paying subscribers, literally not for public and thus not qualified as general circulation.

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3. Regional Trial Court failed to acquire jurisdiction for not diligently following required necessary requisites. Hence the issuance of new certificate is null and void.

G.R. No. 170943, September 23, 2008 PEDRO T. SANTOS, JR., PETITIONER, VS. PNOC EXPLORATION CORPORATION, RESPONDENT

FACTS: PNOC Exploration Corporation filed a complaint for sum of money for Pedro Santos’ unpaid balance of the car loan. Personal service of summons to the petitioner failed, because he could not be located. The RTC allowed service of summons by publication. Petitioner failed to file his answer within prescribed period. Respondent proceeded with the exparte presentation and formal offer of its evidence, and declared submitted for decision. Petitioner sought for motion for reconsideration but was denied. Petitioner appealed for petition for certiorari, he contended that the orders of the RTC were issued with grave abuse of discretion, for improper service of summons, failing for furnish with copies of its orders and processes and the service of publication was improper. The Court of Appeals denied his reconsideration and dismisses his petition. ISSUES: 1. Whether or not RTC erred in failing to admit petitioner’s answer. 2. Whether or not RTC erred for not furnishing him a copy of its order. 3. Whether service by publication was improper for actions in personam (sum of money).

HELD:

1. The Regional Trial Court was correct for non admittance of his (petitioner’s) answer
because it was filed late or beyond the reglementary period. 2. The Regional Trial Court was correct for not granting him the copy of orders, because when the RTC send the copies to his last known address he was not found in the address. 3. Service by publication was proper because he was not found in his last known address and is it is proper because according to ruleRule 14 (on Summons) of the Rules of Court provides: SEC. 14. Service upon defendant whose identity or whereabouts are unknown. - In any action where the defendant is designated as an unknown owner, or the like, or whenever his whereabouts are unknown and cannot be ascertained by diligent inquiry, service may, by leave of court, be effected upon him by publication in a newspaper of general circulation and in such places and for such times as the court may order. This particular provision does not prohibit of whetever action it may be for it is applicable for any action.

G.R. No. 159482. August 30, 2005 NICASIO P. RODRIGUEZ JR., ANTONIO P. EREÑETA, JUANITO A. MAGNO, VICTOR C. PINEDA, BITUIN V. SALCEDO, CESAR R. SAN DIEGO, VICTOR V. TANTOCO and AMADOR C. DE LA MERCED, petitioners, vs. ANTONIO L. AGUILAR SR., respondent. 36

FACTS: Petitioners are members of the Board of Directors of the Philippine Postal Savings Bank, and respondent Antonio Aguilar was employed as vice president of its Finance and Administrative Group, when his service were terminated. Antonio Aguilar filed against petitioners with the Regional Trial Court for his illegal dismissal and prayed for award of damages and the issuance of temporary restraining order enjoining the petitioners and to be reinstated. The judge dismissed the complaint for lack of jurisdiction that the case lies within the Labor Arbiter of National Labor Relation Commission. Private respondent filed a Motion for Reconsideration, an exparte to withdraw motion for reconsideration of the dismissal. Reinstatement be deleted. ISSUES: 1. Was the motion for reconsideration valid 2. Was the court has jurisdiction to decide the case HELD: 1. The filing of the motion for reconsideration interrupted the running of the 15 day reglementary period, its withdrawal left respondent in exactly the same position as the no motion had been filed at all, it erases the tolling of reglementary period. 2. National Labor Relation Commission has the exclusive jurisdiction to decide regarding any labor disputes, while the RTC has the jurisdiction and the effective means and also the adequate tool for arriving at a just accurate assessment of damages.

G.R. No. 137359

September 13, 2004

EDWIN N. TRIBIANA, petitioner, vs. LOURDES M. TRIBIANA, respondent FACTS: Edwin Tribiana & Lourdes Tribiana are husband and wife. Lourdes filed a petition for habeas corpus before the Regional Trial Court claiming that Edwin left their conjugal home with their daughter Khriza Mae 1 year and 4 months old it turned out that it being held by Edwin’s mother, Rosalina Tribiana. Edwin moved to dismiss Lourdes petition on the ground that it failed to allege that earnest efforts at a compromise Lourdes filed her opposition to Edwin’s motion to dismiss that there were prior efforts at a compromise but failed. Lourdes attached the Certification to file Action from their barangay. RTC denied Edwin’s motion to dismiss and reiterated a previous order requiring Edwin and his mother to bring Khriza Mae before the RTC. Edwin filed with the Court of Appeals a petition for prohibition and certiorari. The CA denied Edwin’s petition and also the motion for reconsideration. ISSUE: Whether the Trial Court and the Appellate Court, should have dismissed the petition for habeas corpus on the ground of failure to comply with the condition precedent under art. 151 of Family code. HELD: The petition is lack of merit, for the habeas corpus on the ground of failure to comply with the article 151 of Family Code, can not be allowed such to dismiss such with the compliance of art.151 because they are both different in nature. The petition for habeas corpus is a valid ground or contention of the respondent because she was deprived of personal liberty. The art. 151 cannot 37

be applied with this present case, if ever it were supposed to be applied, Lourdes validly answer it with its compliance when she attached the court to file action from their Barangay.

G.R. No. 130401 December 4, 1998 LEONARDO ARCENAS, represented by his attorney-in-fact CARMELITA ARCENAS VILLANUEVA, petitioner, vs. THE COURT OF APPEALS, Hon. ARMIE E. ELMA, Presiding Judge of Branch 153, Regional Trial Court of Pasig City, and JOSE DELA RIVA, respondent. FACTS: The case takes its roots from an action for annulment of the foreclosure sale of a barge. The trial court rendered judgment in favor of respondent Jose Dela Riva. After the Court of Appeals affirmed the decision, the respondent filed a motion for the execution of judgment which was granted by said court. However, respondents failed to enforce the judgment despite the writ of execution. After five years from the time of entry of judgment, private respondent filed a complaint for revival of judgment. The summons was unserved due to absence of petitioner Arcenas. Thereafter, on motion of the respondent Dela Riva, the sheriff effected the service of summons by substituted service to petitioner’s mother who refused to receive and acknowledge the same. The petitioner was declared in default for his failure to file his answer. Thereafter, private respondent was allowed to adduce his evidence ex parte. The lower court rendered a decision against petitioner.

ISSUE: Whether or not the decision of the trial court is correct. HELD: Having failed to serve the summons to the petitioner personally, the lower court did not validly~acquire jurisdiction over him. Consequently, the proceedings held was null and void. Service of summons upon the herein petitioner is essential in order for the court to acquire jurisdiction over his person. Petitioner is no longer residing and found in the Philippines. As he left for the United States. Hence, summons may be served on him either personally or by publication. However, since the complaint filed against him is one in personam (a personal action) and does not involve the personal status of the private respondent, nor any property in the Philippines in which petitioner has a claim, or an interest, or which the private respondent has attached, summons should be served on him personally. The deputy sheriff can not serve the summons by substituted service.

G.R. No. 149132

May 9, 2002

JOSEPHINE B. NG and JESSE NG, petitioners, vs. SPOUSES MARCELO and MARIA FE SOCO, and MARVIN J. SOCO, respondents. FACTS: Petitioners filed a complaint for accounting, injunction, and damages with writ of preliminary injunction and temporary restraining order against the respondent. Petitioners were 38

the owners of Jo’s Chicken Barbeque (Chicken Inato) secret recipe, and that the said recipe is used by petitioner’s chain of restaurants in some cities in Visayas and Mindanao. They both entered into a partnership agreement that if their partnership dissolved on account for disagreement and ownership thereof shall revert back to petitioners. Petitioners learned that Magno Garcia operating a restaurant and that was merely used as a dummy by respondents in order to evade their contractual obligation. Petitioner filed with the Trial court a motion to admit amended complaint to implead Garcia as one of the defendants. ISSUE: The Honorable Court of Appeals gravely erred in holding: that the amended complaint which merely seeks to include the dummy of the respondents could not be admitted because petitioners' theory of the case is thereby changed and because said dummy is not an indispensable party HELD: Formal and substantial amendments to a pleading may be made at anytime before a responsive pleading has been filed. Such amendment is a matter of right. Thereafter, and during trial, amendments may only be done with the permission of the court. The Court has invariably held that amendments are not proper and should be denied when delay would arise, or when amendments would result in a change of cause of action or theory of the case, or would be inconsistent with the allegations in the original complaint. The court a quo denied petitioners' amended complaint upon finding that it will substantially alter "the cause of action or defense or theory of the case

AYALA LAND, INC., petitioner, vs. HON. LUCENITO N. TAGLE, in his capacity as Presiding Judge, RTC-Imus, Branch 20, ASB REALTY CORP., and E. M. RAMOS & SONS, INC., respondents.

FACTS: ASB Reality Corporation alleged that E. M. Ramos and Sons (EMRASON) entered into a Letter-Agreement with ASB for the conditional sale of sixty-five percent (65%) of the said land for a consideration of P400,000,000.00 payable in five installments. ASB, received a letter from the children of Emerito Ramos, Sr., informing him that, they entered into a Contract to Sell said real estate properties with Ayala Land, Inc. (ALI). ASB confirmed the contract of the Ramos children with ALI when it found out that the same was annotated on the Transfer Certificates of Title of the real estate properties in dispute. ASB file a Complaint before the trial court. ALI, filed its Answer with Compulsory Counterclaim and Cross-claim. Plaintiff ASB subsequently filed a Motion, for Leave to take testimony by deposition upon oral examination of Emerito Ramos, Sr., ASB then obtained the deposition upon oral examination of Emerito Ramos, Sr. on six different occasions, ALI filed a “Motion to Resolve Objections ” that in violations of the best-evidence rule, rule on presentation of secondary evidence, incompetence of the deponent, opinion rule, manner of presentation of evidence, and testimonies not forming part of the offer. The trial court, cancelled the cross-examination of Emerito Ramos, Sr. The trial court again directed that the cross-examination of Emerito Ramos, Sr., be scheduled. ALI filed a Manifestation and Motion praying that the date set be cancelled and re-scheduled to another date. The trial court reset the hearing. Emerito Ramos, Sr. died at the age of 92 years old. Plaintiff then filed before the trial court a motion to introduce in evidence the deposition of Emerito Ramos, Sr. The motion was opposed by ALI. ASB filed its Reply. ALI thereafter filed its Rejoinder and ASB its Sur-rejoinder. The trial court issued its Order setting aside the opposition of ALI and admitting in evidence the deposition of 39

Emerito Ramos, Sr. ALI again elevated the case to the Court of Appeals by way of Petition for Review on Certiorari. the Court of Appeals dismissed the petition for lack of merit. ALI filed a Motion for Reconsideration which was opposed by private respondents ASB and EMRASON. The motion was denied in a resolution. ISSUE: I. WHETHER OR NOT THE ALLEGED DEPOSITION OF THE WITNESS EMERITO M. RAMOS, SR. IS ADMISSIBLE UNDER THE RULES. II. WHETHER OR NOT PETITIONER HAD WAIVED ITS RIGHT TO CROSS-EXAMINE THE DEPONENT, EMERITO M. RAMOS, SR. III. WHETHER OR NOT RESPONDENT APPELLATE COURT COMMITTED GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION AMOUNTING TO LACK OR EXCESS OF JURISDICTION WHEN IT SUSTAINED THE RULING OF THE LOWER COURT IN FINDING THE DEPOSITION OF WITNESS EMERITO M. RAMOS, SR. AS ADMISSIBLE IN EVIDENCE.

HELD: 1. The first issue is not novel. It must be noted that the depositions of Emerito Ramos, Sr., taken on the dates earlier were substantially made in accordance with the requirements of the Rules. In fact, in its Petition before the Court of Appeals, ALI confirmed the taking of deposition on said dates and that it was duly represented by its counsel during the proceedings. It has been repeatedly held that the deposition – discovery rules are to be accorded a broad and liberal treatment and the liberty of a party to make discovery is wellnigh unrestricted if the matters inquired into are otherwise relevant and not privileged, and the inquiry is made in good faith and within the bounds of the law, as in the case at bar. 2. The second and third issues raised by ALI are that it was denied an opportunity to crossexamine the deponent consequently resulting in its denial of due process. The records reveal that ALI was given more than enough opportunity to cross-examine the deponent and its failure to exercise such right is solely attributable to its own inaction. At this instance, ALI cannot feign prejudice and denial of due process. Where a party has had the opportunity to cross-examine a witness but failed to avail himself of it, he necessarily forfeits the right to cross-examine. The Supreme Court does not inclined to indulge the PETITIONER in its argument that it was deprived of its constitutional right to due process. Verily, the PETITIONER was afforded several opportunities to cross-examine the deponent ATTY. RAMOS. However, despite its knowledge of deponent’s old age and frail health, PETITIONER chose to squander its right to subject under appropriate test the assertions raised by the witness in his deposition.

G.R. No. 101682 December 14, 1992 SALVADOR D. BRIBONERIA, petitioner, vs. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS, GERTRUDES B. MAG-ISA, married to and assisted by PEDRO MAG-ISA, respondents. FACTS: Petitioner Salvador D. Briboneria, filed a complaint for Annulment of Document and Damages, with prayer for preliminary injunction and/or temporary restraining order against private respondent Gertrudes B. Mag-isa, with the Regional Trial Court of Pasig. In due time, private respondent Gertrudes B. Mag-isa, as defendant, filed her answer, after issues in the case had been joined, petitioner served on the private respondent Mag-isa a request for admission

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Petitioner filed a Motion for summary Judgment, claiming that the Answer to Request for Admission was filed by private respondents beyond the ten (10) day period fixed in the request and that the answer was not under oath; that, consequently the private respondents are deemed to have admitted the material facts and documents subject of the request for admission. The private respondents filed an opposition to the motion for summary judgment, while the petitioner filed a reply to said opposition. The petitioner thereupon filed with the Court of Appeals a petition for certiorari, prohibition and mandamus to annul and set aside the order of the court a quo, alleging that the said order was issued with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction. The Court of Appeals dismisses the petition. Petitioner's motion for reconsideration having been likewise denied. ISSUE: Whether or not the appellate court erred in holding that the matters of fact and the documents requested to be admitted are mere reiterations and/or reproductions of those alleged in the complaint.

HELD: He claims that the material facts and documents described in the request for admission are relevant evidentiary matters supportive of his cause of action. He further argues that the private respondents have impliedly admitted the material facts and documents subject of the request for admission on account of their failure to answer the request for admission within the period fixed therein, and for said answer not being under oath. The petition cannot be upheld; the petitioner's contentions are devoid of merit. "The material matters and documents set forth in the request for admission are the same as those set forth in the complaint which private respondents either admitted or denied in their answer." it will be noted that the request for admission was not served upon the private respondent Mag-isa but upon her counsel, Atty. Alfredo A. Alto. Private respondent Mag-isa, therefore, cannot be deemed to have admitted the facts and documents subject of the request for admission for having failed to file her answer thereto within the period fixed in the request. The petition should be, as it is hereby, DENIED. The decision of the Court of Appeals is AFFIRMED.

G.R. No. 154886. July 28, 2005] LUDWIG H. ADAZA, petitioner, vs. SANDIGANBAYAN (the First DIVISION composed of Justices GREGORIO S. ONG, CATALINO R. CASTANEDA, JR. and FRANCISCO H. VILLARUZ, JR. and THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES represented by SPECIAL PROSECUTION OFFICE, respondents. FACTS: Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) of 1st District of Zamboanga del Norte awarded to Parents and Teachers Association (PTA)of Manawan National High School (MNHS) a contract for the construction of a school building at an agreed consideration of P111,319.50. Upon the completion of the project, PTA failed to receive the last installment payment amounting to P20,847.17. PTA president Felix Mejorda (Mejorda) was informed by Hazel Peñaranda, DPWH Cashier, that the check for P20,847.17 had been released to Ludwig H. Adaza (Adaza). Subsequently, Mejorda found out that acknowledging receipt of the check bears his name and signature which was not his. He likewise noticed that Adaza‘s signature was affixed on the voucher. 41

During that time, Adaza was municipal mayor of Jose Dalman. Upon examination of DBP Check issued to payee, Mejorada noticed that there were two signatures at the dorsal portion of it, his forged signature and another which he found to be that of Aristela Adaza (Aristela), wife of Adaza. The Office of the Ombudsman filed two Informations against Adaza. The Sadiganbayan found Adaza guilty of the offense charged. It thereafter issued a Bench Warrant of Arrest. Hence, the filing of this petition. ISSUE: Whether or not Sandiganbayan has jurisdiction over the falsification case against Adaza which was not in relation to his position as municipal mayor HELD: In the instant case, there is no showing that the alleged falsification was committed by the accused, if at all, as a consequence of, and while they were discharging, official functions. The information does not allege that there was an intimate connection between the discharge of official duties and the commission of the offense. . . . Clearly therefore, as the alleged falsification was not an offense committed in relation to the office of the accused, it did not come under the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan. It follows that all its acts in the instant case are null and void ab initio.

CALIFORNIA AND HAWAIIAN SUGAR COMPANY; PACIFIC GULF MARINE, INC.; and C.F. SHARP & COMPANY, petitioners, vs. PIONEER INSURANCE AND SURETY CORPORATION, respondent. FACTS: MV “SUGAR ISLANDER” (vessel) arrived at the port of Manila carrying a cargo of soybean meal in bulk consigned to several consignees, one of which was the Metro Manila Feed Millers Association (Metro). The cargo was allegedly offloaded, rebagged and reloaded on consignee’s delivery trucks. Respondent, claims that based on a truck scale a shortage of 255.051 metric tons valued at P1,621,171.16 was discovered. The shipment was insured all risk in the amount of P19,976,404.00. Due to the alleged refusal of petitioners to settle their respective liabilities, respondent, as insurer, paid the consignee Metro Manila Feed Miller’s Association. Metro, private respondent filed a complaint for damages against herein petitioners. Within the reglementary period to file an Answer, petitioners filed a Motion to Dismiss the complaint on the ground that respondent’s claim is premature, the same being arbitrable. Private respondent filed its Opposition thereto and petitioners filed their Reply to Opposition. RTC issued an Order deferring the hearing on the Motion to Dismiss until the trial and directing petitioners to file their Answer. Petitioner moved to reconsider but is denied by RTC on the ground that it was a matter of defense which they must prove with their evidence. ISSUES: 1.Whether or not insurer, as subrogee of the consignee, is bound by the charter party which is incorporated and referred to in the bill of lading. 2. Whether or not the motion to dismiss should be granted on the ground that a condition precedent has not been complied with, based on the arbitration clause incorporated in the bill of lading. 3. Whether or not the Court of Appeals erred in holding that the trial court did not commit grave abuse of discretion in denying petitioners’ motion for preliminary hearing. 4. Whether or not the trial court can defer the resolution of a motion to dismiss on the ground that the ground relied upon is indubitable.

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5. Whether or not the petitioners have resorted to an improper remedy which makes them responsible for delaying the case.” In the denial of petitioners’ Motion for Preliminary Hearing.

HELD: First Issue: Preliminary Hearing of Affirmative Defense At the outset, we must emphasize that the crux of the present controversy is the trial court’s Order denying petitioner’s Motion to Set for Preliminary Hearing the affirmative defense of lack of cause of action. Not questioned here is the said court’s Order holding in abeyance the hearing of petitioner’s Motion to Dismiss. Affirmative Defense May Be Raised In the present case, however, the trial court did not categorically resolve petitioners’ Motion to Dismiss, but merely deferred resolution thereof. Indeed, the present Rules are consistent with Section 5, Rule 16 of the pre-1997 Rules of Court, because both presuppose that no motion to dismiss had been filed; or in the case of the pre1997 Rules, if one has been filed, it has not been unconditionally denied. Hence, the ground invoked may still be pleaded as an affirmative defense even if the defendant’s Motion to Dismiss has been filed but not definitely resolved, or if it has been deferred as it could be under the pre-1997 Rules. Denial of the Motion for a Preliminary Hearing Was a Grave Abuse of Discretion The more crucial question that we must settle here is whether the trial court committed grave abuse of discretion when it denied petitioners’ Motion for a Preliminary Hearing on their affirmative defense of lack of cause of action. Undeniably, a preliminary hearing is not mandatory, but subject to the discretion of the trial court. In the light of the circumstances in this case, though, we find that the lower court committed grave abuse of discretion in refusing to grant the Motion. We note that the trial court deferred the resolution of petitioners’ Motion to Dismiss because of a single issue. It was apparently unsure whether the charter party that the bill of lading referred to was indeed the Baltimore Berth Grain Charter Party submitted by petitioners. Considering that there was only one question, which may even be deemed to be the very touchstone of the whole case, the trial court had no cogent reason to deny the Motion for Preliminary Hearing. Indeed, it committed grave abuse of discretion when it denied a preliminary hearing on a simple issue of fact that could have possibly settled the entire case. Verily, where a preliminary hearing appears to suffice, there is no reason to go on to trial. One reason why dockets of trial courts are clogged is the unreasonable refusal to use a process or procedure, like a motion to dismiss, which is designed to abbreviate the resolution of a case.

G.R. No. 155010

August 16, 2004

JONATHAN LANDOIL INTERNATIONAL CO., INC., petitioner, vs. Spouses SUHARTO MANGUDADATU and MIRIAM SANGKI MANGUDADATU, respondents. FACTS: Respondent-Spouses Suharto and Miriam Sangki Mangudadatu filed with the (RTC) a Complaint for damages against Petitioner Jonathan Landoil International Co., Inc. ("JLI"). The petitioner had countered with a Motion to Dismiss; but when this was denied, it filed its Answer. The parties submitted their respective Pretrial Briefs. Trial proceeded without the participation of petitioner, had led the trial court to declare it in default. Petitioner received a copy of the RTC’s Decision. it filed an Omnibus Motion for New Trial and Change of Venue. This Motion was deemed submitted for resolution but was eventually denied by the trial court. Petitioner received a copy of a Writ of Execution. Alleging that it had yet to receive a copy of an Order resolving the Omnibus Motion for New Trial, petitioner filed a Motion to Quash/Recall Writ of Execution. 43

Its counsels -- Attys. Jaime L. Mario Jr. and Dioscoro G. Peligro -- submitted separate withdrawals of appearance. On the same date, the law firm Ong Abad Santos & Meneses filed an Entry of Appearance with Supplement to Motion to Quash/Recall Writ of Execution. Petitioner attached the Affidavits of Attys. Mario and Peligro attesting that they had not yet received a copy of the Order resolving the Omnibus Motion for New Trial.On the same day, petitioner received a Sheriff’s Notice, regarding the public auction sale of its properties. By reason of the immediate threat to implement the Writ of Execution, it filed with the CA a Petition for Prohibition seeking to enjoin the enforcement of the Writ until the resolution of the Motion to Quash. The RTC issued an Order directing respondents to file their written comment on the Motion to Quash and scheduled the hearing.

ISSUES: (1) Whether petitioner received the Order denying its timely filed Motion for New Trial; (2) Whether the taking of oral depositions was proper under the circumstances. HELD: (1) First Issue Appreciation of Facts It is readily apparent that petitioner is raising factual issues that this Court does not review. While the rule admits of exceptions, petitioner has not satisfactorily shown any. No compelling reason to disturb the CA’s factual findings. It may therefore not insist, contrary to the finding of the CA, that it did not receive the Order denying its timely filed Motion for New Trial. Motion for New Trial Improper The explanation offered by petitioner as regards the absence of its counsel from the pretrial is unacceptable. It should have also justified its own absence. Having failed to do so, it had no valid ground to request a new trial. Petitioner also failed to justify the absence of both its counsels. Until their formal withdrawal is granted, lawyers are deemed to be the representatives of their clients. Atty. Fernandez absence from the pretrial was still not excusable. While he could no longer represent petitioner, his presence would have afforded him an opportunity to make a formal withdrawal of appearance. An improvident termination of legal services is not an excuse to justify non-appearance at a pretrial. Otherwise, the rules of procedure would be rendered meaningless, as they would be subject to the counsel’s will. The Proper Remedy Under the new Rules, the consequence of non-appearance without cause at the pretrial is not for the petitioner to be considered "as in default," but "to allow the plaintiff to present evidence ex parte and [for] the court to render judgment on the basis thereof." To the trial court’s order allowing the ex parte presentation of evidence by the plaintiff, the defendant’s remedy is a motion for reconsideration. An affidavit of merit is not required to be attached to such motion, because the defense has already been laid down in the answer. In the present case, petitioner did not file a motion for reconsideration after the trial court had allowed respondents’ ex parte presentation of evidence. The Rules of Court does not prohibit the filing of a motion for a new trial despite the availability of a motion for reconsideration. But the failure to file the latter motion -- without due cause -- is a factor in determining whether to apply the liberality rule in lifting an order that allowed the ex parte presentation of evidence. In its motions and petitions filed with this Court and the lower courts, petitioner did not explain why it had failed to file a motion for reconsideration. The lapse of time it shows the negligence of petitioner and its counsels. Non-Receipt of the Order Petitioner fails to convince us that it has not received the trial court’s Order denying its Motion for New Trial. There is a disputable presumption that official duties have been regularly performed. On this basis, we have ruled that the postmaster’s certification prevails over the mere 44

denial of a lawyer. This rule is applicable here. Petitioner has failed to establish its non-receipt of the trial court’s Order denying its Motion for New Trial.

(2) Second Issue The Taking of Depositions The present case involved a circumstance that fell under the Section 4(c)(2) of Rule 23 -the witnesses of petitioner in Metro Manila resided beyond 100 kilometers from Sultan Kudarat, the place of hearing. Petitioner offered the depositions in support of its Motion to Quash (the Writ of Execution) and for the purpose of proving that the trial court’s Decision was not yet final. As previously explained, despite the fact that trial has already been terminated, a deposition can still be properly taken. The RTC did not totally disregard petitioner’s depositions. the trial court considered and weighed -- against all other evidence -- that its Order denying the Motion for New Trial filed by petitioner had not been received by the latter’s counsels. Despite their depositions, petitioner failed to prove convincingly its denial of receipt.

G.R. No. 141255

June 21, 2005

LUCIANO ELLO and GAUDIOSA ELLO, petitioners, vs. THE COURT OF APPEALS, SPRINGFIELD DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, and CONSTANTINO G. JARAULA, respondents.

FACTS: Respondent Springfield Development Corporation is the owner and actual possessor of a lot covered by Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT) No. T-92571, while respondent Constantino Jaraula is the owner and actual possessor of a covered by TCT No. T-63088, both situated at Cagayan de Oro City. The two lots adjoin each other and were originally parts of a 12-hectare lot which has been developed by respondents as the Mega Heights Subdivision. Sometime in 1996, petitioner spouses Luciano and Gaudiosa Ello and their hired personnel surreptitiously and stealthily occupied respondents’ lots, built a make-shift shed under the trees, and fenced the area they occupied. Respondents then demanded that petitioners and their hired personnel vacate the area but they refused. Instead, they threatened and prevented respondents from developing their lots into a subdivision. Thus, respondent Springfield Development Corporation and Constantino G. Jaraula, filed a complaint against them for forcible entry with application for preliminary mandatory injunction. ISSUE: Whether the Court of Appeals gravely abused its discretion when it dismissed outright petitioners’ petition for review on the sole technical ground that it does not contain the affidavit of service as required by Section 11 in relation to Section 13, Rule 13 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure. HELD: Sections 3 and 5, Rule 13 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, as amended, prescribe two modes of filing and service of pleadings, motions, notices, orders, judgments and other papers. These are: (a) by personal delivery, governed by Section 6 of the same Rule; and (b) by mail, under Section 7 thereof. However, Section 11 of Rule 13 requires that “whenever practicable,” the filing of pleadings and other papers in court, as well as the service of said papers on the adverse party or his counsel, must be done “personally.” But if such filing and service were through a different mode, the party concerned must submit a “written explanation” why they were not done 45

personally. There is no question that petitioners violated Section 11 of Rule 13 by failing to append the affidavit of service to their petition for review filed with the Court of Appeals. Petitioners, upon receipt of the Court of Appeals’ challenged Resolution dismissing outright their petition due to such omission, promptly filed a motion for reconsideration, readily acknowledging their procedural lapse and attaching therewith the required affidavit of service. Rules of procedure must be faithfully followed except only when for persuasive reasons, they may be relaxed to relieve a litigant of an injustice not commensurate with his failure to comply with the prescribed procedure.

G.R. No. 147349. February 13, 2004 MANILA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT AUTHORITY VS. ALA INDUSTRIES CORPORATION

FACTS: The contract for the structural repair and waterproofing of the IPT and ICT building of the NAIA airport was awarded, after a public bidding, to respondent ALA. Respondent made the necessary repair and waterproofing. After submission of its progress billings to the petitioner, respondent received partial payments. Progress billing remained unpaid despite repeated demands by the respondent. Meanwhile petitioner unilaterally rescinded the contract on the ground that respondent failed to complete the project within the agreed completion date. Respondent objected to the rescission made by the petitioner and reiterated its claims. The trial court directed the parties to proceed to arbitration. Both parties executed a compromise agreement and jointly filed in court a motion for judgment based on the compromise agreement. The Court a quo rendered judgment approving the compromise agreement. For petitioner’s failure to pay within the period stipulated, respondent filed a motion for execution to enforce its claim. Petitioner filed a comment and attributed the delays to its being a government agency. The trial court denied the respondent’s motion. Reversing the trial court, the CA ordered it to issue a writ of execution to enforce respondent’s claim. The appellate court ratiocinated that a judgment rendered in accordance with a compromise agreement was immediately executory, and that a delay was not substantial compliance therewith. ISSUES: 1) Whether or not decision based on compromise agreement is final and executory. 2) Whether or not delay by one party on a compromise justifies execution. HELD: 1. A compromise once approved by final orders of the court has the force of res judicata between the parties and should not be disturbed except for vices of consent or forgery. Hence, a decision on a compromise agreement is final and executory. Such agreement has the force of law and is conclusive between the parties. It transcends its identity as a mere contract binding only upon the parties thereto, as it becomes a judgment that is subject to execution in accordance with the Rules. Judges therefore have the ministerial and mandatory duty to implement and enforce it. 2. The failure to pay on the date stipulated was clearly a violation of the Agreement. Thus, non-fulfillment of the terms of the compromise justified execution. It is the height of absurdity for petitioner to attribute to a fortuitous event its delayed payment. Petitioner’s explanation is clearly a gratuitous assertion that borders callousness.

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G.R. No. RTJ-02-1674. January 22, 2004 BAILINANG MAROHOMBSAR VS. JUDGE SANTOS ADIONG

FACTS: Complainant Marohombsar was the defendant in the civil case for injunction. The case was filed by Yasmira Pangadapun questioning the legality of Marohombsar’s appointment as Provincial Social Welfare Officer of the DSWD-ARMM. Prior to his appointment, Pangadapun used to occupy said position. Upon the filing of the said complaint, respondent judge issued a TRO and set the hearing on the application for the issuance of the preliminary injunction. Summons, together with a copy of the complaint and a notice, was also served on both parties. Marohombsar filed an ex parte urgent motion to dissolve the TRO. Pangadapun was given the time to comment. Respondent judge issued an order stating that a preliminary conference had been held and that both parties had waived the raffle of the case and reset the hearing on the application for the issuance of a writ of injunction. The judge gave another time to file her comment again. During the hearing on the application for the issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction, none of the lawyers appeared. Hence, respondent judge considered it submitted for resolution and issued the preliminary injunction. Hence, this complaint for gross ignorance of law, abuse of discretion and conduct unbecoming a judge. ISSUES: 1) Whether or not TRO ex parte is allowed in the instant case. 2) Whether or not trial-type hearing is essential to due process. 3) Whether or not respondent judge erred in ordering the issuance of the writ of preliminary injunction.

HELD: 1) A TRO is generally granted without notice to the opposite party and is intended only as a restraint on him until the propriety of granting a temporary injunction can be determined. It goes no further than to preserve the status quo until that determination. Respondent judge was justified in issuing the TRO ex parte due to his assessment of the urgency of the relief sought. 2) In applications for preliminary injunction, the dual requirement of prior notice and hearing before injunction may issue has been relaxed to the point that not all petitions for preliminary injunction need undergo a trial-type hearing, it being doctrinal that a formal or trialtype hearing is not, at all times and in all instances, essential to due process. The essence of due process is that a party is afforded a reasonable opportunity to be heard and to present any evidence he may have in support of his defense. It is a rule that a party cannot claim that he has been denied due process when he was given the opportunity to present his position. 3) As a matter of public policy, the acts of a judge in his official capacity are not subject to disciplinary action even though such acts are erroneous, provided he acts in good faith and without malice. Respondent judge, or any other member of the bench for that matter, is presumed to have acted regularly and in the manner that preserves the ideal of the cold neutrality of an impartial judge implicit in the guarantee of due process.

G.R. No. 132753 February 15, 1999

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MARIO SIASOCO, ANGELITA E. SIASOCO, MA. BELLA SIASOCO, ESTER SIASOCO-LAMUG, MA. LOURDES SIASOCO LAMUG-BARRIOS, MA. RAMONA SIASOCO-LAMUG, MA. VICTORIA SIASOCO LAMUG-DOMINGUEZ, BELEN SIASOCO-JOSE, RAFAEL SIASOCO JOSE, CYNTHIA SIASOCO JOSE, CRISTINA SIASOCO JOSE, ROBERTO SIASOCO JOSE, CARIDAD SIASOCO JOSE, RAMON SIASOCO JOSE, OSCAR SIASOCO, RUBEN SIASOCO, SALOME SIASOCO-PAZ, MEDARDO PAZ SIASOCO, ROLANDO PAZ SIASOCO, JESUS PAZ SIASOCO, NELLY STO. DOMINGO NARIO, MARY GRACE STO. DOMINGO NARIO and MARY ANNE STO. DOMINGO NARIO, petitioners, vs. COURT OF APPEALS; HON. MARCELINO BAUTISTA JR., Presiding Judge, Branch 215, Regional Trial Court, Quezon City; and the IGLESIA NI CRISTO, respondents.

FACTS: Petitioners were the registered owners of nine parcels of land located in Montalban, Rizal. In December 1994, they began to offer the subject properties for sale. Petitioners made a final offer to the INC. The latter’s counsel sent a reply received by petitioner Mario Siasico on December 24, 1996, stating that the offer was accepted, but that the INC was “ not amenable to your proposal to an undervaluation of the total consideration.” In their letter dated January 8, 1997, petitioners claimed that the INC had not really accepted of the aforementioned reply on December 24, 1996, they had already “contracted” with Carissa for the sale of the said properties “due to the absence of ant response to their offer from INC.”Maintaining that a sale had been consummated, INC demanded that the corresponding deed be executed in its favor. Petitioners refused. Private respondents filed a civil suit for specific performance and damages against petitioners and Carissa Homes and Development & Properties. Pending resolution of petitioners’ Motion to Dismiss, private respondent negotiated with Carissa Homes which culminated in the purchase of the subject properties of Carissa Homes by private respondent. Private respondents filed an Amended Complaint, dropping Carissa Homes as one of the defendants and changing the nature of the case to a mere case for damages. CA ruled that although private respondent could no longer amend its original Complaint as a matter of right, it was not precluded that the RTC had not acted with grave abuse of discretion in admitting private respondent’s amended Complaint. ISSUE: Did the CA err in affirming the two Orders of the RTC which had allowed the amended Complaint? HELD: The petition is devoid of merit. We sustain the CA, but for reasons different from those given in the assailed Decision. Preliminary Issue: Propriety of Certiorari For the writ of Certiorari under Rule 65 to issue, the petitioner must show not only that the lower court acted with grave abuse of discretion, but also that “ there is no appeal, or any other plain speedy, and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law.” Since the questioned CA Decision was a disposition on the merits, and since said Court has no remaining issue to resolve, the proper remedy available to petitioners was a petition for review under Rule 45, not Rule 65. Main Issue: admission of amended Complaint The amendment did not prejudice the petitioners or delay the action. Au contraire , it simplified the case and tended to expedite its disposition. The Amended Complaint became simply an action for damages, since the claims for specific performance and declaration of nullity of the sale have been deleted. RTC Had Jurisdiction They maintain that the original action or specific performance involving parcels of land in Montalban, Rizal should have been filed in the RTC of that area. Thus, they chide the CA or allegedly 48

misunderstanding the distinction between territorial jurisdiction and venue, thereby erroneously holding that the RTC had jurisdiction over the original Complaint, although the venue was improperly laid. We disagree. True, an amendment cannot be allowed when the court has no jurisdiction over the original Complaint and the purpose of the amendment is to confer jurisdiction on the court. In the present case, however, the RTC had jurisdiction because the original Complaint involved specific performance with damages.

G.R. No. 123553. July 13, 1998] NORA A. BITONG, petitioner, vs. COURT OF APPEALS (FIFTH DIVISION), EUGENIA D. APOSTOL, JOSE A. APOSTOL, MR. & MS. PUBLISHING CO., LETTY J. MAGSANOC, AND ADORACION G. NUYDA, respondents. NORA A. BITONG, petitioner, vs. COURT OF APPEALS (FIFTH DIVISION) and EDGARDO B. ESPIRITU, respondents.

FACTS: Bitong was the treasurer and member of the BoD of Mr. & Mrs. Corporation. She filed a complaint with the SEC to hold respondent spouses Apostol liable for fraud, misrepresentation, disloyalty, evident bad faith, conflict of interest and mismanagement in directing the affairs of the corporation to the prejudice of the stockholders. She alleges that certain transactions entered into by the corporation were not supported by any stockholder’s resolution. The complaint sought to enjoin Apostol from further acting as president-director of the corporation and from disbursing any money or funds. Apostol contends that Bitong was merely a holder-in-trust of the JAKA shares of the corporation, hence, not entitled to the relief she prays for. SEC Hearing Panel issued a writ enjoining Apostol. After hearing the evidence, SEC Hearing Panel dissolved the writ and dismissed the complaint filed by Bitong. Bitong appealed to the SEC en banc. The latter reversed SEC Hearing Panel decision. Apostol filed petition for review with the CA. CA reversed SEC en banc ruling holding that Bitong was not the owner of any share of stock in the corporation and therefore, not a real party in interest to prosecute the complaint. Hence, this petition with the SC. ISSUE: Whether or not Bitong was the real party in interest. HELD: Based on the evidence presented, it could be gleaned that Bitong was not a bona fide stockholder of the corporation. Several corporate documents disclose that the true party in interest was JAKA. Although her buying of the shares were recorded in the Stock and Transfer Book of the corporation, and as provided by Sec. 63 of the Corp Code that no transfer shall be valid except as between the parties until the transfer is recorded in the books of the corporation, and upon its recording the corporation is bound by it and is estopped to deny the fact of transfer of said shares, this provision is not conclusive even against the corporation but are prima facie evidence only. Parol evidence may be admitted to supply the omissions in the records, explain ambiguities, or show what transpired where no records were kept, or in some cases where such records were contradicted. Besides, the provision envisions a formal certificate of stock which can be issued only upon compliance with certain requisites: (1) certificates must be signed by the president or vice president, countersigned by the secretary or assistant secretary, and sealed with the seal of the corporation, (2) delivery of the certificate; (3) the par value, as to par value shares, or the full subscription as to no par value shares, must be first fully paid; (4) the original certificate must be 49

surrendered where the person requesting the issuance of a certificate is a transferee from a stockholder. These considerations are founded on the basic principle that stock issued without authority and in violation of the law is void and confers no rights on the person to whom it is issued and subjects him to no liabilities. Where there is an inherent lack of power in the corporation to issue the stock, neither the corporation nor the person to whom the stock is issued is estopped to question its validity since an estoppel cannot operate to create stock which under the law cannot have existence.

G.R. No. 118328 October 8, 1998 MARCIANA SERDONCILLO, petitioner, vs. SPOUSES FIDEL and EVELYN BENOLIRAO, MELITON CARISIMA, and COURT OF APPEALS, respondents. FACTS: Petitioner is a tenant in the disputed land. In an action to recover possession filed by the private respondents as purchasers of the aforesaid property before the Regional Trial Court, petitioner was ordered to vacate the premises and to demolish all the improvements he constructed thereon. On appeal, petitioner assailed the jurisdiction of the RIO on ground that the action filed should have been unlawful detainer or forcible entry of which the municipal trial court has exclusive jurisdiction. This is predicated on the fact that the final demand was made on November 20,1990 and the action was filed on December 13, 1990, thus, the one-year period has not yet elapsed. The Court of Appeals deciding in favor of the private respondents, petitioner instituted this action. ISSUE: Whether the action to recover possession filed by private respondents is accion publiciana cognizable by the RIO or, unlawful detainer or forcible entry cognizable by the MTC. HELD: The allegations in the complaint are of the nature of accion publiciana of which the Regional Trial Court has jurisdiction. The averments of the complaint clearly show that private respondents clearly set up title to themselves, as being the absolute owner of the disputed premises by virtue of their Transfer Certificates of Title and pray that petitioner be ejected therefrom. There is nothing in the complaint alleging any of the means of dispossession that would constitute forcible entry, nor is there any assertion of petitioner’s possession which was originally lawful but ceased to be so upon the expiration of the right to possess. It does not allege whether the entry is legal or illegal. The action therefore is neither one of forcible entry nor of unlawful detainer but essentially involves a dispute relative to ownership of land allegedly encroached upon by petitioner. It is immaterial whether or not the complaint was instituted one month from the date of last demand or a year thereafter. G.R. No. 118438 December 4, 1998 ALLIED AGRI-BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT CO., INC., petitioner, vs. COURT OF APPEALS and CHERRY VALLEY FARMS LIMITED, respondents.

FACTS: A complaint was filed by respondent Cherry Valley for collection of sum of money against the petitioner Allied Agri-Business for its failure to pay for the value of orders made and received by 50

the latter. Cherry Valley served a Request for Admission of Facts to Agri-Business. The latter failed to submit a sworn answer to the request for admission within the allowed period. Thus, summary judgment ensued. Agri-Business alleged that Cherry Valley had the burden to prove through its own witness during the trial the matters for which admissions were requested, and subsequently questioned the summary judgment. ISSUE: Whether or not respondent’s failure to answer the Request for Admission shall mean admission of the mailers stated in the request which can be the basis for summary judgment. HELD: The purpose of the rule governing requests for admission of facts and genuineness of documents is to expedite trial and to relieve parties of the costs of proving facts which will not be disputed on trial and the truth of which can be ascertained by reasonable inquiry. The burden of affirmative action is on the party upon whom notice is served to avoid the admission rather than upon the party seeking the admission. Hence, when Agri-Business failed to reply to a request to admit, it may not argue that the adverse, party has the burden of proving the facts sought to be admitted. Agri-Business’ silence is an admission of the facts stated in the request. This now becomes the basis of a summary judgment.

G.R. No. 122838. May 24, 1999] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee, vs. ROMEO HILLADO, accused-appellant.

FACTS: The petitioner, Pacific Life Assurance Corp. was ordered by the trial court to pay the respondents damages amounting to Php 171,828.00 in its decision dated April 24,1992. Petitioner filed a notice of appeal to this original decision while the respondents filed a motion for reconsideration. The motion for reconsideration was decided in favor of said respondents. In the trial court’s modified decision of March 11, 1993, the award •of damages was increased to Php 457,154.00. Not satisfied, respondents appealed from the modified decision while Petitioner Pacific did not. Subsequently, petitioner filed its appellant’s brief which was filed with respect to the original decision. On the other hand, respondents withdrew their appeal to the modified decision and moved to dismiss petitioner’s appeal on ground that the latter did not appeal from the modified decision. This motion was granted by the Court of Appeals. ISSUE: Whether or not the respondents need to file another appeal as regards the modified decision.

HELD: The petitioner did not have to file another notice of appeal, having given notice of its intention to appeal the original decision. Petitioner’s failure to appeal from the amended order did not render its prior appeal from the original decision ineffective. The modified decision more than doubled petitioner’s liability, and there is no reason to believe that petitioner’s failure to appeal therefrom in any way indicated its acceptance thereof. Since the decision as modified substantially increased petitioner’s liability, the logical inference is that petitioner would all the more want to appeal from the decision modified. To deny petitioner’s appeal on the order to signify its objection to the modified decision would be to put premium on technicalities at the expense of a just resolution of the case. Dismissal of appeals purely on technical grounds is frowned upon and the 51

rules of procedure ought not to be applied in a very rigid, technical sense, for they are adopted to help secure, not override, substantial justice, and thereby defeat their very aims.

G.R. No. 128803 September 25, 1998 ASIAVEST LIMITED, petitioner, vs. THE COURT OF APPEALS and ANTONIO HERAS, respondents. FACTS: In an action for a specific amount of money, petitioner Asiavest Limited obtained a favorable judgment from the Hong Kong Court against private respondent, Antonio Heras. In view of ~he fact that the private respondent is now residing in the Philippines, an action was filed in order to seek enforcement of the said judgment. Private respondent. in his answer, admitted the existence of the foreign judgment but opposed its enforcement on the ground of foreign court’s lack of jurisdiction over his person. It appears that summons issued by the Hong Kong Court was served through defendant’s law office while he was already in the Philippines. He contended that notice sent outside the state to a non-resident is unavailing to give jurisdiction in a personal action against him for recovery of money. The RTC held that the Hong Kong Court judgment should be recognized and given effect in this jurisdiction for failure of Heras to overcome the legal presumption in favor of foreign judgment. The Court of Appeals reversed the decision on the ground of lack of jurisdiction. Hence, this petition. ISSUE: Whether or not the Hong Kong Court acquired jurisdiction. HELD: The Hong Kong Court did not acquire jurisdiction hence judgment is not enforceable. Although a foreign judgment is a presumptive evidence of a right as between the parties within the Philippines, it may be repelled by evidence of want of jurisdiction. Since the expert witness failed to testify on the law of Hong Kong concerning service of summons, it will thus be presumed that the Hong Kong law on the matter is similar to Philippine law. In an action in personam wherein the defendant is a non- resident who does not voluntarily submit himself to the authority of the court, personal service of summons within the state is essential to the acquisition of jurisdiction, If he is not present therein, the court cannot acquire jurisdiction over his person and therefore cannot validly try and decide the case against him. Accordingly, since Heras was not a resident: of Hong Kong and the action against him was one in personam, summons should have been personally served on him while in Hong Kong. The extraterritorial service in the Philippines was therefore invalid and did not confer on the Hong Kong Court jurisdiction over his person.

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