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VAN DORN vs. ROMILLO G.R. No.

L-68470 October 8, 1985

PILAPIL VS IBAY-SOMERA G.R. No. 80116 June 30, 1989 FACTS

FACTS 1. Petitioner Alice Reyes is a citizen of the Philippines while private respondent is a citizen of the United States; they were married in Hongkong. Thereafter, they established their residence in the Philippines and begot two children. Subsequently, they were divorced in Nevada, United States, and that petitioner has re-married also in Nevada, this time to Theodore Van Dorn. Private respondent filed suit against petitioner, stating that petitioner s business in Manila is their conjugal property; that petitioner he ordered to render accounting of the business and that private respondent be declared to manage the conjugal property. Petitioner moved to dismiss the case contending that the cause of action is barred by the judgment in the divorce proceedings before the Nevada Court. The denial now is the subject of the certiorari proceeding.

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Imelda M. Pilapil, a Filipino citizen, was married with private respondent, Erich Ekkehard Geiling, a German national before the Registrar of Births, Marriages and Deaths at Friedensweiler, Federal Republic of Germany. They have a child who was born on April 20, 1980 and named Isabella Pilapil Geiling. Conjugal disharmony eventuated in private respondent and he initiated a divorce proceeding against petitioner in Germany before the Schoneberg Local Court in January 1983. The petitioner then filed an action for legal separation, support and separation of property before the RTC Manila on January 23, 1983. The decree of divorce was promulgated on January 15, 1986 on the ground of failure of marriage of the spouses. The custody of the child was granted to the petitioner. On June 27, 1986, private respondent filed 2 complaints for adultery before the City Fiscal of Manila alleging that while still married to Imelda, latter had an affair with William Chia as early as 1982 and another man named Jesus Chua sometime in 1983.

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ISSUE 1. Whether or not the divorce obtained by the parties is binding only to the alien spouse.

ISSUE 1. RULING It is true that owing to the nationality principle embodied in Article 15 of the Civil Code, only Philippine nationals are covered by the policy against absolute divorces the same being considered contrary to our concept of public policy and morality. However, aliens may obtain divorces abroad, which may be recognized in the Philippines, provided they are valid according to their national law. In this case, the divorce in Nevada released private respondent from the marriage from the standards of American Law, under which divorce dissolves the marriage. Thus, pursuant to his national law, private respondent is no longer the husband petitioner. He would have no standing to sue in the case below as petitioners husband entitled to exercise control over conjugal assets. As he is bound by the decision of his own countrys court, which validly exercised jurisdiction over him, and whose decision he does not repudiate, he is stopped by his own representation before said court from asserting his right over the alleged conjugal property. 1. The law specifically provided that in prosecution for adultery and concubinage, the person who can legally file the complaint should be the offended spouse and nobody else. Though in this case, it appeared that private respondent is the offended spouse, the latter obtained a valid divorce in his country, the Federal Republic of Germany, and said divorce and its legal effects may be recognized in the Philippines in so far as he is concerned. Definitely, it cannot be logically inferred therefrom that the complaint can still be filed after the declaration of nullity because such declaration that the marriage is void ab initio is equivalent to stating that it never existed. There being no marriage from the beginning, any complaint for adultery filed after said declaration of nullity would no longer have a leg to stand on. Moreover, what was consequently contemplated and within the purview of the decision in said case is the situation where the criminal action for adultery was filed before the termination of the marriage by a judicial declaration of its nullity ab initio. The same rule and requisite would necessarily apply where the termination of the marriage was effected, as in this case, by a valid foreign divorce. Thus, under the same consideration and rationale, private respondent is no longer the husband of petitioner and has no legal standing to commence the adultery case under the imposture that he was the offended spouse at the time he filed suit. Whether private respondent can prosecute petitioner on the ground of adultery even though they are no longer husband and wife as decree of divorce was already issued

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ARTICLE 15 (Nationality Principle Civil Code) Laws relating to family rights and duties or to the status, condition and legal capacity are binding upon citizens of the Philippines, even though living abroad.

ARTICLE 344 (Revised Penal Code) The crimes of adultery and concubinage shall not be prosecuted except upon a complaint filed by the offended spouse.

LLORENTE vs COURT OF APPEALS G.R. No. 124371. November 23, 2000 FACTS 1. Lorenzo Llorente and petitioner Paula Llorente were married in 1937 in the Philippines. Lorenzo was an enlisted serviceman of the US Navy. Soon after, he left for the US where through naturalization, he became a US Citizen. Upon his visitation of his wife, he discovered that she was living with his brother and a child was born. The child was registered as legitimate but the name of the father was left blank. Llorente filed a divorce in California, which later on became final. He married Alicia and they lived together for 25 years bringing 3 children. He made his last will and testament stating that all his properties will be given to his second marriage. He filed a petition of probate that made or appointed Alicia his special administrator of his estate. Before the proceeding could be terminated, Lorenzo died. Paula filed a letter of administration over Llorentes estate. The trial granted the letter and denied the motion for reconsideration. An appeal was made to the Court of Appeals, which affirmed and modified the judgment of the Trial Court that she be declared co-owner of whatever properties, she and the deceased, may have acquired during their 25 years of cohabitation.

GARCIA vs RECIO G.R. No. 124371. November 23, 2000 FACTS 1. Rederick A. Recio, a Filipino, was married to Editha Samson, an Australian Citizen, in Malabon, Rizal on March 1, 1987. They lived as husband and wife in Australia. However, an Australian family court issued purportedly a decree of divorce, dissolving the marriage of Rederick and Editha on May 18, 1989. On January 12, 1994, Rederick married Grace J. Garcia where it was solemnized at Our lady of Perpetual Help Church, Cabanatuan City. Since October 22, 1995, the couple lived separately without prior judicial dissolution of their marriage. As a matter of fact, while they were still in Australia, their conjugal assets were divided on May 16, 1996, in accordance with their Statutory Declarations secured in Australia. Grace filed a Complaint for Declaration of Nullity of Marriage on the ground of bigamy on March 3, 1998, claiming that she learned only in November 1997, Redericks marriage with Editha Samson.

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ISSUE 1. Whether the divorce between respondent and Editha Samson was proven Whether respondent was proven to be legally capacitated to marry petitioner

ISSUE 1. Whether or not Paula is entitled to the late Lorenzo Llorentes inheritance 1. Whether or not the foreign divorce was valid (Article 15) 2. Whether or not the will was valid (Article 17)

2. RULING 1.

RULING 1. Lorenzo Llorente was already an American citizen when he divorced Paula. Such was also the situation when he married Alicia and executed his will. As stated in Article 15 of the Civil Code, aliens may obtain divorces abroad, provided that they are validly required in their National Law. Thus the divorce obtained by Llorente is valid because the law that governs him is not Philippine Law but his National Law since the divorce was contracted after he became an American citizen. Furthermore, his National Law allowed divorce. The case was remanded to the court of origin for determination of the intrinsic validity of Lorenzo Llorentes will and determination of the parties successional rights allowing proof of foreign law.

The Philippine law does not provide for absolute divorce; hence, our courts cannot grant it. In mixed marriages involving a Filipino and a foreigner, Article 26 of the Family Code allows the former to contract a subsequent marriage in case the divorce is validly obtained abroad by the alien spouse capacitating him or her to remarry. A divorce obtained abroad by two aliens, may be recognized in the Philippines, provided it is consistent with their respective laws. Therefore, before our courts can recognize a foreign divorce, the party pleading it must prove the divorce as a fact and demonstrate its conformity to the foreign law allowing it. In this case, the divorce decree between the respondent and Samson appears to be authentic, issued by an Australian family court. Although, appearance is not sufficient; and compliance with the rules on evidence regarding alleged foreign laws must be demonstrated, the decree was admitted on account of petitioners failure to object properly because he objected to the fact that it was not registered in the Local Civil Registry of Cabanatuan City, not to its admissibility.

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CIVIL CODE PROVISIONS ARTICLE 15 Laws relating to family rights and duties or to the status, condition and legal capacity are binding upon citizens of the Philippines, even though living abroad. ARTICLE 16 (par 2) However, intestate and testamentary successions, both with respect to the amount of succession rights and to the intrinsic validity of testamentary provisions, shall be governed by the national law of the person whose succession is under consideration, whatever may be the nature of the property and regardless of the country wherein said property may be found. ARTICLE 17 (par 1) The forms and solemnities of contracts, wills and other public instruments shall be governed by the laws of the country in which they are executed. 2. Respondent claims that the Australian divorce decree, which was validly admitted as evidence, adequately established his legal capacity to marry under Australian law. However, there are two types of divorce, absolute divorce terminating the marriage and limited divorce merely suspending the marriage. In this case, it is not known which type of divorce the respondent procured. Even after the divorce becomes absolute, the court may under some foreign statutes, still restrict remarriage. Under the Australian divorce decree a party to a marriage who marries again before this decree becomes absolute commits the offense of bigamy. This shows that the divorce obtained by the respondent might have been restricted. Respondent also failed to produce sufficient evidence showing the foreign law governing his status. Together with other evidences submitted, they dont absolutely establish his legal capacity to remarry according to the alleged foreign law.

Case remanded to the court a quo. The marriage between the petitioner and respondent cannot be declared null and void based on lack of evidence conclusively showing the respondents legal capacity to marry petitioner. With the lack of such evidence, the court a quo may declare nullity of the parties marriage based on two existing marriage certificates.

ROEHR vs RODRIGUEZ G.R. No. 142820. June 20, 2003

FACTS FAMILY CODE PROVISIONS 1. Petitioner Wolfgang, a German citizen and resident of Germany, married private respondent Carmen, a Filipina, on 11 December 1980 in Hamburg, Gemany. Early 1981, the marriage was ratified in Tayasan, Negros Oriental. They had two daughters, Carolyne and Alexandria Kristine. Private respondent filed a petition for the declaration of nullity of marriage before the Regional Trial Court of Makati on 28 August 1996. Petitioner filed a motion to dismiss but was denied by trial court. A motion for reconsideration was filed by private respondent but was again denied by the trial court. In 1997, petitioner obtained a decree of divorce from the Court of First Instance of Hamburg-Blankenese and granting the custody of the children to the father. It was June 14, 1999 when public respondent issued an order granting the petitioners motion to dismiss, but was partially set aside on September 1999 for the purpose of tackling issues regarding property relations of the spouses as well as support and custody of their children. Petitioner assailed for the trial courts lack of jurisdiction, and grave abuse of discretion on the part of the respondent judge. Whether or not respondent judge gravely abused her discretion in issuing her order dated September 30, 1999, which partially modified her order dated July 14, 1999 (Section 3 in relation to Section 7, Rule 37 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure) Whether or not respondent judge gravely abused her discretion when she assumed and retained jurisdiction over the present case despite the fact that petitioner has already obtained a divorce decree from a German court

ART. 11. Where a marriage license is required, each of the contracting parties shall file separately a sworn application for such license with the proper local civil registrar which shall specify the following: (5) If previously married, how, when and where the previous marriage was dissolved or annulled; ART. 13. In case either of the contracting parties has been previously married, the applicant shall be required to furnish, instead of the birth or baptismal certificate required in the last preceding article, the death certificate of the deceased spouse or the judicial decree of the absolute divorce, or the judicial decree of annulment or declaration of nullity of his or her previous marriage. . . . . ART. 52. The judgment of annulment or of absolute nullity of the marriage, the partition and distribution of the properties of the spouses, and the delivery of the children's presumptive legitimes shall be recorded in the appropriate civil registry and registries of property; otherwise, the same shall not affect their persons. ART. 26. All marriages solemnized outside the Philippines, in accordance with the laws in force in the country where they were solemnized, and valid there as such, shall also be valid in this country, except those prohibited under Articles 35(1), (4), (5) and (6), 36, 37 and 38. Where a marriage between a Filipino citizen and a foreigner is validly celebrated and a divorce is thereafter validly obtained abroad by the alien spouse capacitating him or her to remarry, the Filipino spouse shall likewise have capacity to remarry under Philippine law.

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RULING RULES OF COURT RULE 132 Section 24. Proof of official record. The record of public documents of a foreign country, when admissible for any purpose, may be evidenced by an official publication thereof or by a copy attested by the officer having the legal custody of the record, or by his deputy, and accompanied, if the record is not kept in the Philippines, with a certificate that such officer has the custody. If the office in which the record is kept is in foreign country, the certificate may be made by a secretary of the embassy or legation, consul general, consul, vice consul, or consular agent or by any officer in the foreign service of the Philippines stationed in the foreign country in which the record is kept, and authenticated by the seal of his office. Section 25. What attestation of copy must state. Whenever a copy of a document or record is attested for the purpose of evidence, the attestation must state, in substance, that the copy is a correct copy of the original, or a specific part thereof, as the case may be. The attestation must be under the official seal of the attesting officer, if there be any, or if he be the clerk of a court having a seal, under the seal of such court. 1. It is clear from the foregoing rules that a judge can order a partial reconsideration of a case that has not yet attained finality. Considering that private respondent filed a motion for reconsideration within the reglementary period, the trial court's decision of July 14, 1999 can still be modified. In our view, there are even more compelling reasons to do so when, as in this case, judgment has not yet attained finality. As a general rule, divorce decrees obtained by foreigners in other countries are recognizable in our jurisdiction, but the legal effects thereof must still be determined by our courts. Before our courts can give the effect of res judicata to a foreign judgment, it must be shown that the parties opposed to the judgment had been given ample opportunity to do so on grounds allowed under Rule 39, Section 50 of the Rules of Court (now Rule 39, Section 48, 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure). The decree did not touch on the issue as to who the offending spouse was. Absent any finding that private respondent is unfit to obtain custody of the children, the trial court was correct in setting the issue for hearing to determine the issue of parental custody, care, support and education mindful of the best interests of the children. This is in consonance with the provision in the Child and Youth Welfare Code that the child's welfare is always the paramount consideration in all questions concerning his care and custody. In sum, we find that respondent judge may proceed to determine the issue regarding the custody of the two children born of the union between petitioner and private respondent.

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Private respondent erred, however, in claiming cognizance to settle the matter of property relations of the parties, which is not at issue.

REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES vs CRASUS L. IYOY G.R. No. 152577. September 21, 2005

FAMILY CODE PROVISIONS ART. 26. All marriages solemnized outside the Philippines, in accordance with the laws in force in the country where they were solemnized, and valid there as such, shall also be valid in this country, except those prohibited under Articles 35(1), (4), (5) and (6), 36, 37 and 38. Where a marriage between a Filipino citizen and a foreigner is validly celebrated and a divorce is thereafter validly obtained abroad by the alien spouse capacitating him or her to remarry, the Filipino spouse shall likewise have capacity to remarry under Philippine law. ART. 43. The termination of the subsequent marriage referred to in the preceding Article shall produce the following effects:

FACTS 1. The case is a petition for review by the RP represented by the Office of the Solicitor General on certiorari praying for the reversal of the decision of the CA dated July 30, 2001 affirming the judgment of the RTC declaring the marriage of Crasus L. Iyoy (respondent) and Ada RosalIyoy null and void based on Article 36 of the Family Code. On December 16, 1961 Crasus Iyoy and Ada Rosal-Iyoy married each other, they had 5 children. In 1984, Fely went to the US, in the same year she sent letters to Crasus asking him to sign divorce papers. In 1985, Crasus learned that Fely married an American and had a child. Fely went back to the Philippines on several occasions, during one she attended the marriage of one of her children in which she used her husbands last name as hers in the invitation. March 25, 1997, Crasus filed a complaint for declaration of nullity alleging that Felys acts brought danger and dishonor to the family and were manifestations of her psychological incapacity. Crasus submitted his testimony, the certification of the recording of their marriage contract, and the invitation where Fely used her new husbands last name as evidences. Fely denied the claims and asserted that Crasus was a drunkard, womanizer, had no job, and that since 1988 she was already an American citizen and not covered by our laws. The RTC found the evidences sufficient and granted the decree; it was affirmed in the CA.

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3. Sec. 2. The absolute community of property or the conjugal partnership, as the case may be, shall be dissolved and liquidated, but if either spouse contracted said marriage in bad faith, his or her share of the net profits of the community property or conjugal partnership property shall be forfeited in favor of the common children or, if there are none, the children of the guilty spouse by a previous marriage or in default of children, the innocent spouse ART. 50. The effects provided for by paragraphs (2), (3), (4) and (5) of Article 43 and by Article 44 shall also apply in the proper cases to marriages which are declared ab initio or annulled by final judgment under Articles 40 and 45. ISSUES Par. 2.The final judgment in such cases shall provide for the liquidation, partition and distribution of the properties of the spouses, the custody and support of the common children, and the delivery of third presumptive legitimes, unless such matters had been adjudicated in previous judicial proceedings. ART. 52. The judgment of annulment or of absolute nullity of the marriage, the partition and distribution of the properties of the spouses and the delivery of the children's presumptive legitimes shall be recorded in the appropriate civil registry and registries of property; otherwise, the same shall not affect third persons. 1.

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Whether or not the divorce obtained abroad by the Filipino wife is recognized as valid in the Philippines

RULING 1. Article 26 of the Family Code provides: ART. 26. All marriages solemnized outside the Philippines, in accordance with the laws in force in the country where they were solemnized, and valid there as such, shall also be valid in this country, except those prohibited under Articles 35(1), (4), (5) and (6), 36, 37 and 38. Where a marriage between a Filipino citizen and a foreigner is validly celebrated and a divorce is thereafter validly obtained abroad by the alien spouse capacitating him or her to remarry, the Filipino spouse shall likewise have capacity to remarry under Philippine law. The rationale behind the second paragraph of the above-quoted provision is to avoid the absurd and unjust situation of a Filipino citizen still being married to his or her alien spouse, although the latter is no longer married to the Filipino spouse because he or she has obtained a divorce abroad. In the case at bench, the defendant has undoubtedly acquired her American husbands citizenship and thus has become an alien as well. This Court cannot see why the benefits of Art.26 aforequoted cannot be extended to a Filipino citizen whose spouse eventually embraces another citizenship and thus becomes herself an alien. It would be the height of unfairness if, under these circumstances, plaintiff would still be considered as married to defendant, given her total incapacity to honor her marital covenants to the former.

RULES OF CIVIL PROCEDURE Section 3 in relation to Section 7, Rule 37 Sec. 3. Action upon motion for new trial or reconsideration. The trial court may set aside the judgment or final order and grant a new trial, upon such terms as may be just, or may deny the motion. If the court finds that excessive damages have been awarded or that the judgment or final order is contrary to the evidence or law, it may amend such judgment or final order accordingly. Sec. 7. Partial new trial or reconsideration. If the grounds for a motion under this Rule appear to the court to affect the issues as to only a part, or less than all of the matters in controversy, or only one, or less than all, of the parties to it, the court may order a new trial or grant reconsideration as to such issues if severable without interfering with the judgment or final order upon the rest.

To condemn plaintiff to remain shackled in a marriage that in truth and in fact does not exist and to remain married to a spouse who is incapacitated to discharge essential marital covenants, is verily to condemn him to a perpetual disadvantage which this Court finds abhorrent and will not countenance. Justice dictates that plaintiff be given relief by affirming the trial courts declaration of the nullity of the marriage of the parties. Article 26, paragraph 2 of the Family Code of the Philippines is not applicable to the case at bar. As it is worded, Article 26, paragraph 2, refers to a special situation wherein one of the couple getting married is a Filipino citizen and the other a foreigner at the time the marriage was celebrated. By its plain and literal interpretation, the said provision cannot be applied to the case of respondent Crasus and his wife Fely because at the time Fely obtained her divorce, she was still a Filipino citizen. Although the exact date was not established, Fely herself admitted in her Answer filed before the RTC that she obtained a divorce from respondent Crasus sometime after she left for the United States in 1984, after which she married her American husband in 1985. In the same Answer, she alleged that she had been an American citizen since 1988. At the time she filed for divorce, Fely was still a Filipino citizen, and pursuant to the nationality principle embodied in Article 15 of the Civil Code of the Philippines, she was still bound by Philippine laws on family rights and duties, status, condition, and legal capacity, even when she was already living abroad. Philippine laws, then and even until now, do not allow and recognize divorce between Filipino spouses. Thus, Fely could not have validly obtained a divorce from respondent Crasus. Given the foregoing, at most, Fely's abandonment, sexual infidelity, and bigamy, give respondent Crasus grounds to file for legal separation under Article 55 of the Family Code of the Philippines, but not for declaration of nullity of marriage under Article 36 of the same Code. While this Court commiserates with respondent Crasus for being continuously shackled to what is now a hopeless and loveless marriage, this is one of those situations where neither law nor society can provide the specific answer to every individual problem. The marriage of respondent Crasus L. Iyoy and Fely Ada Rosal-Iyoy remains valid and subsisting.

RECTO vs HARDEN G.R. No. L-6897. November 29, 1956

Appellant's contention that the contract in question has for it purpose to secure of divorce allegedly in violation of Articles 1305, 1352 and 1409 of the Civil Code of the Philippines is not borne out either by the language of the contract between them or by the intent of the parties thereto. Its purpose was not to secure a divorce or facilitate or promote the procurement of a divorce. It merely sought to protect the interest of the wife in the conjugal partnership, during the pendency of a divorce suit she intended to file in the United States. What is more, inasmuch as the husband and wife are admittedly citizens of the United States, their status and the dissolution thereof are governed pursuant to Art. 9 of the Civil Code of Spain (which was in force in the Philippines at the time of the execution of the contract in question) and Article 15 of the Civil Code of the Philippines by the laws of the United States, which sanction divorce. In short, the contract of services, between the wife and her lawyer, is not contrary to law, morals, good customs, public order or public policy.

CIVIL CODE PROVISIONS ARTICLE 15 Laws relating to family rights and duties or to the status, condition and legal capacity are binding upon citizens of the Philippines, even though living abroad.

FAMILY CODE PROVISIONS ART. 26. All marriages solemnized outside the Philippines, in accordance with the laws in force in the country where they were solemnized, and valid there as such, shall also be valid in this country, except those prohibited under Articles 35(1), (4), (5) and (6), 36, 37 and 38. Where a marriage between a Filipino citizen and a foreigner is validly celebrated and a divorce is thereafter validly obtained abroad by the alien spouse capacitating him or her to remarry, the Filipino spouse shall likewise have capacity to remarry under Philippine law.

LAUREL vs GARCIA G.R. No. 92013. July 25, 1990

BANK OF AMERICA vs AMERICAN REALTY CORPORATION G.R. No. 133876. December 29, 1999 FACTS 1.

FACTS 1. The Roppongi Property is one of the four properties in Japan acquired by the Philippine government under the Reparations Agreement, as part of the indemnification to the Filipino people for their losses in life and property and their suffering during WWII. The Roppongi property became the site of the Philippine Embassy until the latter was transferred to another site when the Roppongi building needed major repairs. Due to the failure of our government to provide necessary funds, the Roppongi property has remained undeveloped since that time. After many years, the Aquino administration advanced the sale of the reparation properties, which included the Roppongi lot. This move was opposed on the ground that the Roppongi property is public in character. For their part, the proponents of the sale raised that Japanese law should apply, following the doctrine of lex loci rei sitae. Two petitions for prohibition were filed seeking to enjoin respondents, their representatives and agents from proceeding with the bidding for the sale of the 3,179 sq. m. of land at 306 Ropponggi, 5-Chome Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan scheduled on 21 February 1990; the temporary restaining order of which was granted by the court on 20 February 1990. In G.R. No. 92047, a writ of mandamus was prayed for to compel the respondents to fully disclose to the public the basis of their decision to push through with the sale of the Roppongi property inspite of strong public opposition and to explain the proceedings which effectively prevent the participation of Filipino citizens and entities in the bidding process.

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Petitioner Bank of America (BANTSA) is an international banking and financing institution duly licensed to do business in the Philippines, organized and existing under and by virtue of the laws of the State of California, USA while private respondent American Realty (ARC) is a domestic corporation. On numerous occasions, BANTSA and Bank of America International Limited (BAIL), organized under the laws of England, granted US Dollar loans to certain foreign corporate borrowers. These loans were later restructured, the restructured loans secured by two real estate mortgages with private respondent ARC as third-party mortgagor. When the corporate borrowers defaulted, BANTSA sued them for collection before foreign courts, without impleading ARC as party-defendant. While these civil suits are still pending before the foreign courts, BANTSA filed an extra-judicial foreclosure of real estate mortgage before the Office of the Provincial Sheriff of Bulacan, Philippines. The properties were sold at public auction, prompting ARC to file this action for damages against BANTSA. The trial court ruled in favour of ARC and this was affirmed by the CA. Hence, this appeal. Petitioner argues: a. that waiver of the remedy of foreclosure requires the concurrence of 2 requisites: i. an ordinary civil action for collection should be filed ii. subsequently a final judgment be correspondingly rendered therein. b. Under English law, which according to petitioner is the governing law with regard to the principal agreements, the mortgagee does not lose its security interest by simply filing civil actions for sums of money. Whether or not Philippine Law would prevail over English Law in the case at bar

ISSUE 1. 2. 3. RULING 1. The Court ruled in the negative. The nature of the Roppongi lot as property for public service is expressly spelled out. It is dictated by the terms of the Reparations Agreement and the corresponding contract of procurement which bind both the Philippine government and the Japanese government. There can be no doubt that it is of public dominion and is outside the commerce of man. And the property continues to be part of the public domain, not available for private appropriation or ownership until there is a formal declaration on the part of the government to withdraw it from being such (Ignacio vs. Director of Lands, 108 Phil 335). It is not for the President to convey valuable real property of the government on his or her own sole will. Any such conveyances must be authorized and approved by a law enacted by the Congress. It requires executive and legislative concurrence. There is no question that the property belongs to the Philippines. The issue is the authority of the respondent officials to validly dispose of property belonging to the State. And the validity of the procedures adopted to effect its sale. This is governed by Philippine Law. The rule of lex situs does not apply. Whether or not the Roppongi property and others of its kind can be alienated by the Philippine government Whether or not the Chief Executive, her officers and agents have the authority, and jurisdiction to sell the Roppongi property Whether or not the Doctrine of Lex Rae Sitae should be applied to resolve the issue of property right

ISSUE 1. RULING 1.

In the case at bench, Philippine law shall apply notwithstanding the evidence presented by petitioner to prove the English law on the matter. In a long line of decisions, this Court adopted the well-imbedded principle in our jurisdiction that there is judicial notice of any foreign law. A foreign law must be properly pleaded and proved as a fact. Thus, if the foreign law involved is not properly pleaded and proved, our courts will presume that the foreign law is the same as our local or domestic or internal law. This is what we refer to as the doctrine of processual presumption. In the instant case, assuming arguendo that the English Law on the matter were properly pleaded and proved xxx, said foreign law would still not find applicability. Thus, when the foreign law, judgment or contract is contrary to a sound and established public policy of the forum, the said foreign law, judgment or order shall not be applied. Additionally, prohibitive laws concerning persons, their acts or property, and those which have for their object public order, public policy and good customs shall not be rendered ineffective by laws or judgments promulgated, or by determinations or conventions agreed upon in a foreign country. The public policy sought to be protected in the instant case is the principle imbedded in our jurisdiction proscribing the splitting of a single cause of action. Moreover, foreign law should not be applied when its application would work undeniable injustice to the citizens or residents of the forum. To give justice is the most important function of law; hence, a law, or judgment or contract that is obviously unjust negates the fundamental principles of Conflict of Laws. Clearly then, English Law is not applicable.

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CADALIN vs PHILIPPINE OVERSEAS EMPLOYMENT ADMINISTRATION G.R. No. 104776. December 5, 1994

YAO KEE vs GONZALES G.R. No. 55960. November 24, 1988

FACTS 1. Cadalin et al. are Filipino workers recruited by Asia Intl Builders Co. (AIBC), a domestic recruitment corporation, for employment in Bahrain to work for Brown & Root Intl Inc. (BRII) which is a foreign corporation with headquarters in Texas. Plaintiff instituted a class suit with the POEA for money claims arising from the unexpired portion of their employment contract which was prematurely terminated. They worked in Bahrain for BRII and they filed the suit after 1 yr. from the termination of their employment contract. As provided by Art. 156 of the Amiri Decree aka as the Labor Law of the Private Sector of Bahrain: a claim arising out of a contract of employment shall not be actionable after the lapse of 1 year from the date of the expiry of the contract, it a ppears that their suit has prescribed. Plaintiff contends that the prescription period should be 10 years as provided by Art. 1144 of the Civil Code as their claim arise from a violation of a contract. The POEA Administrator holds that the 10 year period of prescription should be applied but the NLRC provides a different view asserting that Art 291 of the Labor Code of the Philippines with a 3 years prescription period should be applied. The Solicitor General expressed his personal point of view that the 1 yr period provided by the Amiri Decree should be applied.

FACTS 1. 2. 3. Sy Kiat, a Chinese national, died on January 17, 1977 leaving behind properties here in the Philippines. Thereafter, Aida Sy-Gonzales et al filed a petition for the grant of letters of administration alleging that they are the children of the deceased with Asuncion Gillego. The petition was opposed by Yao Kee et al alleging that Yao Kee is the lawful wife of the deceased whom he married in China. The trial court rendered decision in favor of the opposition. On appeal, the Court of Appeals rendered a decision, modifying the decision declaring the marriage of Sy Kiat to Yao Kee as not has been proven valid in accordance with the laws of China. Hence, both parties moved for reconsideration to which the Supreme Court granted.

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Whether or not the marriage of Yao Kee and Sy Kiat is valid in accordance with Philippine laws.

ISSUE 1. Whether it is the Bahrain law on prescription of action based on the Amiri Decree No. 23 of 1976 or a Philippine law on prescription that shall be the governing law

1.

Well-established in this jurisdiction is the principle that Philippine courts cannot take judicial notice of foreign laws. They must be alleged and proven as any other fact. To establish the validity of marriage, the existence of foreign law as a question of fact and the alleged marriage must be proven by clear and convincing evidence. For failure to prove the foreign law or custom and consequently of the marriage, the marriage between Yao Kee and Sy Kiat in China cannot be recognized in the jurisdiction of Philippine courts.

2. RULING 1. Philippines may adopt foreign procedural law under the Borrowing Statute such as Sec. 48 of the Civil Procedure Rule stating if by the laws of the State or country where the cause of action arose the action is barred, it is also barred in the Philippines. Thus, Bahrain law must be applied. However, the court contends that Bahrains law on prescription cannot be applied because the court will not enforce any foreign claim that is obnoxious to the forums public policy and the 1 yr. rule on prescription is against public policy on labor as enshrined in the Philippine Constitution. The court ruled that the prescription period applicable to the case should be ART. 291 of the Labor Code of the Philippines with a 3 years prescription period since the claim arose from labor employment.

CIVIL CODE PROVISIONS ARTICLE 12

A custom must be proven as a fact, in accordance with the rules of evidence.


RULES OF COURT RULE 132
Section 24. Proof of official record. The record of public documents of a foreign country, when admissible for any purpose, may be evidenced by an official publication thereof or by a copy attested by the officer having the legal custody of the record, or by his deputy, and accompanied, if the record is not kept in the Philippines, with a certificate that such officer has the custody. If the office in which the record is kept is in foreign country, the certificate may be made by a secretary of the embassy or legation, consul general, consul, vice consul, or consular agent or by any officer in the foreign service of the Philippines stationed in the foreign country in which the record is kept, and authenticated by the seal of his office. Section 25. What attestation of copy must state. Whenever a copy of a document or record is attested for the purpose of evidence, the attestation must state, in substance, that the copy is a correct copy of the original, or a specific part thereof, as the case may be. The attestation must be under the official seal of the attesting officer, if there be any, or if he be the clerk of a court having a seal, under the seal of such court.

EDWARD E. CHRISTENSEN vs AZNAR G.R. No. L-16749 . January 31, 1963

Meaning of Domicile and Residence Goodrich: The terms residence and domicile might well be taken to mean the same thing, a place of permanent abode. But domicile, as has been shown, has acquired a technical meaning. Thus one may be domiciled in a place where he has never been. And he may reside in a place where he has no domicile. The man with two homes, between which he divides his time, certainly resides in each one, while living in it. But if he went on business which would require his presence for several weeks or months, he might properly be said to have sufficient connection with the place to be called a resident. It is clear, however, that, if he treated his settlement as continuing only for the particular business in hand, not giving up his former home, he could not be a domiciled New Yorker. Acquisition of a dom icile of choice requires the exercise of intention as well as physical presence. Residence simply requires bodily presence of an inhabitant in a given place, while domicile requires bodily presence in that place and also an intention to make it ones domicile. Residence, however, is a term used with shades of meaning, from the merest temporary presence to the most permanent abode, and it is not safe to insist that any one use is the only proper one. Nationality Principle The law that governs the validity of his testamentary dispositions is defined in Article 16 of the Civil Code of the Philippines. The application of this article in the case at bar requires the determination of the meaning of the term national law as used therein. There is no single American law governing the validity of testamentary provisions in the United States, each state of the Union having its own private law applicable to its citizens only and in force only within the state. The national law indicated in Article 16 of the Civil Codecannot, therefore, possibly mean or apply to any general American law. So it can refer to no other than the private law of the State of California. The next question is: What is the law in California governing the disposition of personal property? appellant invokes the provisions of Article 946 if the Civil Code of California: If there is no law to the contrary, in the place where personal property is situated, it is deemed to follow the person of its owner, and is governed by the law of his domicile. .It is argued on executors behalf that as the deceased Christensen was a citizen of the State of California, the internal law thereof should govern the determination of the validity of the testamentary provisions of Christensens will, such law being in force in the State of California of which Christensen was a citizen. Appellant, on the other hand, insists that Article 946 should be applicable, and in accordance therewith and following the doctrine of renvoi, the question of the validity of the testamentary provision in question should be referred back to the law of the decedents domicile, which is the Philippines. Renvoi Doctrine One type of renvoi. A jural matter is presented which the conflict-of-laws rule of the forum refers to a foreign law, the conflict-of-laws rule of which, in turn, refers back the matter back again to the law of the forum. This is renvoi in the narrower sense. The German term for this judicial process is Ruckverweisung. (Renvoyer to send back; or Weiterverweisung) Another theory, known as the doctrine of renvoi, has been advanced. The theory of the doctrine of renvoi is that the court of the forum, in determining the question before it, must take into account the whole law of the other jurisdiction, but also its rules as to conflict of laws, and then apply the law to the

FACTS 1. Edward E. Christensen, though born in New York, migrated to California, where he resided and consequently was considered a California citizen. In 1913, he came to the Philippines where he became a domiciliary until his death. However, during the entire period of his residence in this country he had always considered himself a citizen of California. In his will executed on March 5, 1951, he instituted an acknowledged natural daughter, Maria Lucy Christensen as his only heir, but left a legacy of sum of money in favor of Helen Christensen Garcia who was rendered to have been declared acknowledged natural daughter. Counsel for appellant claims that California law should be applied; that under California law, the matter is referred back to the law of the domicile; that therefore Philippine law is ultimately applicable; that finally, the share of Helen must be increased in view of the successional rights of illegitimate children under Philippine law. On the other hand, counsel for the heir of Christensen contends that inasmuch as it is clear that under Article 16 of our Civil Code, the national law of the deceased must apply, our courts must immediately apply the internal law of California on the matter; that under California law there are no compulsory heirs and consequently a testator could dispose of any property possessed by him in absolute dominion and that finally, illegitimate children not being entitled to anything and his will remain undisturbed.

2.

3.

4.

ISSUE 1. Whether or not the Philippine law should prevail in administering the estate of Christensen?

RULING 1. The court in deciding to grant more successional rights to Helen said in effect that there are two rules in California on the matter: the internal law which should apply to Californians domiciled in California; and the conflict rule which should apply to Californians domiciled outside of California. The California conflict rule says: If there is no law to the contrary in the place where personal property is situated, is deemed to follow the person of its owner and is governed by the law of his domicile. Christensen being domiciled outside California, the law of his domicile, the Philippines, ought to be followed. Where it is referred back to California, it will form a circular pattern referring to both country back and forth.

THOUGHTS There is no question that Edward E. Christensen was a citizen of the United States and of the State of California at the time of his death. But there is also no question that at the time of his death he was domiciled in the Philippines.

actual question which the rules of the other jurisdiction prescribe. This may be the law of the forum. The doctrine of the renvoi has generally been repudiated by the American authorities. Renvoi Doctrine as Applied by the Court in this case We note that Article 946 of the California Civil Code is its conflict of laws rule , while the rule applied in In Re Kaufman, supra, its internal law. If the law on succession and the conflict of laws rules of California are to be enforced jointly, each in its own intended and appropriate sphere, the principle cited In Re Kaufman should apply to citizens living in the State, but Article 946 should apply to such of its citizens as are not domiciled in California but in other jurisdictions. The rule laid down of resorting to the law of the domicile in the determination of matters with foreign element involved is in accord with the general principle of American law that the domiciliary law should govern in most matters or rights which follow the person of the owner. Appellees argue that what Article 16 of the Civil Code of the Philippines pointed out as the national law is the internal law of California. But as above explained, the laws of California have prescribed two sets of laws for its citizens, one for residents therein and another for those domiciled in other jurisdictions.

RCPI vs CA G.R. No. L-44748. August 29, 1986

FACTS 1.

The basis of the complaint against the defendant corporation is a telegram sent through its Manila Office to the offended party, Loreto Dionela, reading as follows: SA IYOWALANG PAKINABANG DUMATING KA DIYAN-WALA-KANG PADALA DITO KAHIT BULBUL MO Loreto Dionela alleges that the defamatory words on the telegram sent to him not only wounded his feelings but also caused him undue embarrassment and affected adversely his business as well because other people have come to know of said defamatory words. Defendant corporation as a defense, alleges that the additional words in Tagalog was a private joke between the sending and receiving operators and that they were not addressed to or intended for plaintiff and therefore did not form part of the telegram and that the Tagalog words are not defamatory. The telegram sent through its facilities was received in its station at Legaspi City. Nobody other than the operator manned the teletype machine which automatically receives telegrams being transmitted. The said telegram was detached from the machine and placed inside a sealed envelope and delivered to plaintiff, obviously as is. The additional words in Tagalog were never noticed and were included in the telegram when delivered. RTC ruled in favor of Dionela, holding that the additional Tagalog words are libelous. It ruled that there was sufficient publication because the office file of the defendant containing copies of telegrams received are open and held together only by a metal fastener. Moreover, they are open to view and inspection by third parties. RTC also held that the defendant issued directly not as an employer. The business of the defendant is to transmit telegrams. It will open the door to frauds and allow the defendant to act with impunity if it can escape liability by the simple expedient of showing that its employees acted beyond the scope of their assigned tasks. Hence the appeal. Whether or not the Court of Appeals erred in holding that the liability of RCPI is predicated under Article 19 and 20 of the Civil Code The cause of action of the private respondent is based on Arts. 19 and 20 of the New Civil Code as well as on respondent's breach of contract thru the negligence of its own employees. Petitioner is a domestic corporation engaged in the business of receiving and transmitting messages. Every time a person transmits a message through the facilities of the petitioner, a contract is entered into. Upon receipt of the rate or fee fixed, the petitioner undertakes to transmit the message accurately. There is no question that in the case at bar, libelous matters were included in the message transmitted, without the consent or knowledge of the sender. There is a clear case of breach of contract by the petitioner in adding extraneous and libelous matters in the message sent to the private respondent. As a corporation, the petitioner can act only through its employees. Hence the acts of its employees in receiving and transmitting messages are the acts of the petitioner. To hold that the petitioner is not liable directly for the acts of its employees in the pursuit of petitioner's business is to deprive the general public availing of the services of the petitioner of an effective and adequate remedy. In most cases, negligence must be proved in order that plaintiff may recover. However, since negligence may be hard to substantiate in some cases, we may apply the doctrine of RES IPSA LOQUITUR (the thing speaks for itself), by considering the presence of facts or circumstances surrounding the injury.

2.

3.

4. Reason demands that We should enforce the California internal law prescribed for its citizens residing therein, and enforce the conflict of laws rules for the citizens domiciled abroad. If we must enforce the law of California as in comity we are bound to do, as so declared in Article 16 of our Civil Code, then we must enforce the law of California in accordance with the express mandate thereof and as above explained, i.e., apply the internal law for residents therein, and its conflict-of-laws rule for those domiciled abroad. It is argued on appellees' behalf that the clause "if there is no law to the contrary in the place where the property is situated" in Sec. 946 of the California Civil Code refers to Article 16 of the Civil Code of the Philippines and that the law to the contrary in the Philippines is the provision in said Article 16 that the national law of the deceased should govern. This contention cannot be sustained. As explained in the various authorities cited above the national law mentioned in Article 16 of our Civil Code is the law on conflict of laws in the California Civil Code, i.e., Article 946, which authorizes the reference or return of the question to the law of the testator's domicile. The conflict of laws rule in California, Article 946, Civil Code, precisely refers back the case, when a decedent is not domiciled in California, to the law of his domicile, the Philippines in the case at bar. The court of the domicile cannot and should not refer the case back to California; such action would leave the issue incapable of determination because the case will then be like a football, tossed back and forth between the two states, between the country of which the decedent was a citizen and the country of his domicile. The Philippine court must apply its own law as directed in the conflict of laws rule of the state of the decedent, if the question has to be decided, especially as the application of the internal law of California provides no legitime for children while the Philippine law, Arts. 887(4) and 894, Civil Code of the Philippines, makes natural children legally acknowledged forced heirs of the parent recognizing them.

5.

ISSUE 1. RULING 1.

BUNAG vs CA G.R. No. 101749. July 10, 1992

ISSUE 1.

Whether or not the trial court erred in awarding damages since action involves a breach of promise to marry

FACTS I.

RULING Background Zenaida and Bunag are lovers and two weeks before the incident they had a fight. On the afternoon of Sept. 8, 1973, the following incident occurred A. Zenaida Cirilos version of the story 1. 2. 3. 4. Bunag, together with an unidentified male companion, abducted her in the vicinity of the San Juan de Dios Hospital in Pasay City She was brought in to a motel where due to her natural weakness, being a woman and her small stature, she was raped After being deflowered against her will and consent, she once again asked Bunag to let her go home but the latter would not agree until they get married They proceeded to the house of Juana de Leon, Bunags grandmother in Pamplona, Las Pinas, Metro Manila, where the father of Bunag later arrived and assured Zenaida that the following day, they will go to Bacoor, to apply for a marriage license, which they did After filing their applications for a marriage license, they both returned to Juanas house and lived there as husband and wife until Sept. 29, 1973 (21days) However, after some time, Bunag never returned and Zenaida was forced to go back to her parents home Generally, therefore, a breach of promise to marry per se is not actionable, except where the plaintiff has actually incurred expenses for the wedding and the necessary incidents thereof. However, the award of moral damages is allowed in cases specified in or analogous to those provided in Article 2219 of the Civil Code. Correlatively, under Article 21 of said Code, in relation to paragraph 10 of said Article 2219, any person who willfully causes loss or injury to another in a manner that is contrary to morals, good customs or public policy shall compensate the latter for moral damages. Article 21 was adopted to remedy the countless gaps in the statutes which leave so many victims of moral wrongs helpless even though they have actually suffered material and moral injury, and is intended to vouch safe adequate legal remedy for that untold number of moral wrongs which is impossible for human foresight to specifically provide for in the statutes. Under the circumstances obtaining in the case at bar, the acts of petitioner in forcibly abducting private respondent and having carnal knowledge with her against her will, and thereafter promising to marry her in order to escape criminal liability, only to thereafter renege on such promise after cohabiting with her for twenty-one days, irremissibly constitutes acts contrary to morals and good customs. These are grossly insensate and reprehensible transgressions which indisputably warrant and abundantly justify the award of moral and exemplary damages, pursuant to Article 21, in relation to paragraphs 3 and 10, Article 2219, and Articles 2229 and 2234 of the Civil Code. Generally, the basis of civil liability from crime is the fundamental postulate of our law that every person criminally liable for a felony is also civilly liable. In other words, criminal liability will give rise to civil liability ex delicto only if the same felonious act or omission results in damage or injury to another and is the direct and proximate cause thereof. Hence, extinction of the penal action does not carry with it the extinction of civil liability unless the extinction proceeds from a declaration in a final judgment that the fact from which the civil might arise did not exist. 1. It is true that in this jurisdiction, we adhere to the time-honored rule that an action for breach of promise to marry has no standing in the civil law, apart from the right to recover money or property advanced by the plaintiff upon the faith of such promise.

5. 6.

B.

Conrado Bunag Jr.s version of the story 1. 2. He claims that they have had earlier plans to elope and get married, and this fact was known to their friends, among them, Architect Chito Rodriguez The couple made good their plans to elope on the afternoon of Sept. 8,1973, where together with their officemate (Lydia), together with Guillermo Ramos, Jr., they had some snacks in a foursome When Lydia and Guillermo took off, they took a taxi to the Golden Gate and Flamingo Hotels to try to get a room but it was full and they finally got a room at Holiday Hotel After checking out, they proceeded to the house of Juana de Leon at Pamplona, Las Pinas where they stayed until Sept. 29, 1973 They had bitter disagreements over money and the threats made to his life prompted him to break off their plan to get married

3.

4. 5.

FAMILY CODE PROVISIONS II. Zenaida filed a claim for damages for the breach of promise to marry and the lower courts ruled in her favor granting damages. Bunag filed a petition claiming the award of damages was excessive and improper but was denied, hence the present petition for review on certiorari ARTICLE 21 Any person who willfully causes loss or injury to another in a manner that is contrary to morals, good customs or public policy shall compensate the latter for the damage.

III.

NIKKO HOTEL MANILA GARDEN vs REYES G.R. No. 154259. February 28, 2005 CIVIL CODE PROVISIONS ARTICLE 2219 Moral damages may be recovered in the following and analogous cases: (3) Seduction, abduction, rape, or other lascivious acts; (10) Acts and actions referred to in Articles 21, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 32, 34, and 35. 2. FACTS 1. In the evening of October 13, 1994, while drinking coffee at the lobby of Hotel Nikko, respondent was invited by a friend, Dr. Filart to join her in a party in celebration of the birthday of the hotels manager. During the party and when respondent was lined-up at the buffet table, he was stopped by Ruby Lim, the Executive Secretary of the hotel, and asked to leave the party. Shocked and embarrassed, he tried to explain that he was invited by Dr. Filart, who was herself a guest. Not long after, a Makati policeman approached him and escorted him out of her party. Ms. Lim admitted having asked respondent to leave the party but not under the ignominious circumstances painted by Mr. Reyes, that she did the act politely and discreetly. Mindful of the wish of the celebrant to keep the party intimate and exclusive, she spoke to the respondent herself when she saw him by the buffet table with no other guests in the immediate vicinity. She asked him to leave the party after he finished eating. After she had turned to leave, the latter screamed and made a big scene. Dr. Filart testified that she did not want the celebrant to think that she invited Mr. Reyes to the party. Respondent filed an action for actual, moral and/or exemplary damages and attorneys fees. The lower court dismissed the complaint. On appeal, the Court of Appeals reversed the ruling of the trial court, consequently imposing upon Hotel Nikko moral and exemplary damages and attorneys fees. On motion for reconsideration, the Court of Appeals affirmed its decision. Thus, this instant petition for review.

ARTICLE 2229 Exemplary or corrective damages are imposed, by way of example or correction for the public good, in addition to the moral, temperate, liquidated or compensatory damages.

3. ARTICLE 2234 While the amount of the exemplary damages need not be proved, the plaintiff must show that he is entitled to moral, temperate or compensatory damages before the court may consider the question of whether or not exemplary damages should be awarded. In case liquidated damages have been agreed upon, although no proof of loss is necessary in order that such liquidated damages may be recovered, nevertheless, before the court may consider the question of granting exemplary in addition to the liquidated damages, the plaintiff must show that he would be entitled to moral, temperate or compensatory damages were it not for the stipulation for liquidated damages. 4. 5.

ISSUE 1. 2. RULING 1. The Court found more credible the lower courts findings of facts. There was no proof of motive on the part of Ms. Lim to humiliate Mr. Reyes and to expose him to ridicule and shame. Mr. Reyes version of the story was unsupported, failing to present any witness to back his story. Ms. Lim, not having abused her right to ask Mr. Reyes to leave the party to which he was not invited, cannot be made liable for damages under Articles 19 and 21 of the Civil Code. Necessarily, neither can her employer, Hotel Nikko, be held liable as its liability springs from that of its employees. When a right is exercised in a manner which does not conform with the norms enshrined in Article 19 and results in damage to another, a legal wrong is thereby committed for which the wrongdoer must be responsible. Article 21 states that any person who willfully causes loss or injury to another in a manner that is contrary to morals, good customs or public policy shall compensate the latter for the damage. Without proof of any ill-motive on her part, Ms. Lims act cannot amount to abusive conduct. The maxim Volenti Non Fit Injuria (self-inflicted injury) was upheld by the Court, that is, to which a person assents is not esteemed in law as injury, that consent to injury precludes the recovery of damages by one who has knowingly and voluntarily exposed himself to danger. Whether or not Ms. Ruby Lim is liable under Articles 19 and 21 of the Civil Code in asking Mr. Reyes to leave the party as he was not invited by the celebrant thereof Whether or not Hotel Nikko, as the employer of Ms. Lim, be solidarily liable with her

BAKSH vs CA G.R. No. 97336. February 19, 1993

LONTOC vs MD TRANSIT G.R. No. L-48949. April 15, 1988

FACTS 1.

This is an appeal by certiorari. On October 27, 1987, without the assistance of counsel, private respondent filed with the aforesaid trial court a complaint for damages against petitioner for the alleged violation of their agreement to get married. She alleges in said complaint that she is 20 years old, single, Filipino and a pretty lass of good moral character and reputation duly respected in her country; other petitioner, on the other hand, is an Iranian citizen residing at Lozano Apartments, Guilig, Dagupan City, and is an exchange student, before August 20, 1987 the latter courted and proposed to marry her, she accepted his love on the condition that they get married; they therefore agreed to get married. The petitioner forced her to live with him in the Lozano apartments. She was a virgin at that time; after a week before the filing of complaint, petitioners attitude towards her started to change. He maltreated and threatened to kill her; as a result of the complaint. Petitioner repudiated the marriage agreement and asked her not to live with him anymore and that the petitioner is already married to someone in Bacolod City. Private respondent then prayed for judgment ordering petitioner to pay her damages. On the other hand, petitioner claimed that he never proposed marriage to or agreed to be married with the private respondent and denied all allegations against him. After trial on the merits, the lower court ordered petitioner to pay the private respondent damages. Thus the instant petition.

FACTS 1.

2.

On October 31, 1970 at about 8:30 in the morning a vehicular accident happened along Taft Avenue, Manila, involving a Holden car (Kingswood Plate No. 23-80 `70) driven by Rodolfo Defeo and owned by Jose Lontoc and an MD Bus bearing Plate No. 48-1 (4-PUB-70) driven by Ignacio dela Cruz. As a result of this accident, Ignacio dela Cruz, the driver of the MD Bus was charged with the crime of damage to property with physical injuries thru reckless imprudence before the Court of First Instance of Manila. The case was docketed as Crim. Case No. 70-24847. After trial on the merits, the court rendered judgment "finding the accused not guilty, because his guilt has not been proven beyond reasonable doubt and is hereby acquitted." Jose Lontoc, the owner of the Holden car then filed a complaint for recovery of damages against MD Transit and Taxi Co., Inc., and Ignacio dela Cruz before the Court of First Instance of Rizal, Seventh Judicial District (Quezon City). The case was docketed as Civil Case No. Q19145. Instead of filing an answer, the defendants filed a motion to dismiss on the ground "that the complaint fails to state a sufficient cause of action and that the cause of action as alleged in the complaint is barred by a prior final judgment rendered in Criminal Case No. 3774 entitled People of the Philippines v. Ignacio dela Cruz y Pine and rendered by Branch XIX of the Court of First Instance of Manila and which in the same case plaintiff ventilated his claim for damages against the defendants." The trial court then issued an order dismissing the civil case because there was no reservation made by the complainant to file a separate civil action and the complainant through counsel intervened in the prosecution of the criminal case which led to the acquittal of the accused. The plaintiff appealed the order to the Court of Appeals. As stated earlier, the appellate court certified the case to this Court on the ground that the issues raised are purely questions of law.

2.

3. 4.

3.

4. 5.

5.

6. ISSUE 1.

6. Whether or not Article 21 of the Civil Code applies to the case at bar 7.

RULING 1. The existing rule is that a breach of promise to marry per se is not an actionable wrong. Notwithstanding, Article 21, which is designed to expand the concepts of torts and quasidelicts in this jurisdiction by granting adequate legal remedy for the untold number of moral wrongs which is impossible for human foresight to specifically enumerate and punish in the statute books. Article 2176 of the Civil Code, which defines quasi-delicts thus: Whoever by act or omission causes damage to another, there being fault or negligence, is obliged to pay for the damage done. Such fault or negligence, if there is no pre-existing contractual relation between the parties, is called a quasi-delict and is governed by the provisions of this Chapter. In the light of the above laudable purpose of Article 21, the court held that where a mans promise to marry in fact the proximate cause of the acceptance of his love by a woman and his representation to fulfill that promise thereafter becomes the proximate cause of the giving of herself unto him in sexual congress, proof that he had, in reality, no intention of marrying her and that the promise was only subtle scheme or deceptive device to entice or inveigle her to accept him and obtain her consent to sexual act could justify the award of damages pursuant to Article 21 not because of such breach of promise of marriage but because of the fraud and deceit behind it, and the willful injury to her honor and reputation which followed thereafter. It is essential however, that such injury should have been committed in a manner contrary to morals, good customs, or public policy. ISSUE 1. 2.

Whether or not the plaintiff-appellant's non-reservation to file a separate action for damages is fatal to this action for damages Whether or not the judgment of acquittal of Ignacio dela Cruz in the criminal case wherein through a private prosecutor, the plaintiff-appellant presented evidence to prove damages is a bar to the institution of a separate civil action for damages against both the operator of MD Transit and Taxi Co., Inc., and its driver, Ignacio dela Cruz. The failure of the plaintiff-appellant to reserve his right to file a separate civil case is not fatal. The fact that the plaintiff-appellant intervened in the criminal case did not bar him from filing a separate civil action for damages especially considering that the accused in the criminal case, Ignacio dela Cruz, was acquitted "because his guilt was not proven beyond reasonable doubt" The two cases were anchored on two different causes of action. The criminal case was based solely on Ignacio dela Cruz's violation of Article 365 of the Penal Code. Any doubt as to the nature of the action is erased by the trial court's statement in Criminal Case No. 3774 that "The Court finds that the guilt of the accused has not been proven beyond reasonable doubt; that the owner of the bus is not included in this case being a criminal case " (emphasis

RULING 1.

2.

supplied). On the other hand, the complaint for damages was based on quasi-delict and both the driver and bus owner are defendants. In view of the fact that defendant appellee dela Cruz was acquitted on the ground that "his guilt was not proven beyond reasonable doubt, the plaintiff-appellant has the right to institute a separate civil action to recover damages from the defendants-appellants. The well-settled doctrine is that a person, while not criminally liable, may still be civilly liable. "The judgment of acquittal extinguishes the civil liability of the accused only when it includes a declaration that the facts from which the civil liability might arise did not exist." The ruling is based on Article 29 of the Civil Code which provides:

NEPLUM, INC vs. ORBESO G.R. No. 141986. July 11, 2002

FACTS 1.

29 October 1999, the trial court promulgated its judgment (the 'Judgment') in Criminal Case No. 96-246 acquitting the accused of the crime of estafa on the ground that the prosecution failed to prove the guilt of the accused beyond reasonable doubt. The accused and her counsel as well as the public and private prosecutors were present during such promulgation. On 29 November 1999, petitioner filed its 25 November 1999 Motion for Reconsideration (Civil Aspect) of the Judgment. Considering that 27 November 1999 was a Saturday, petitioner filed its Motion for Reconsideration on 29 November 1999, a Monday. On 28 January 2000, a Friday, petitioner received its copy of the 24 January 2000 Order of the Trial Court denying for lack of merit petitioner's Motion for Reconsideration. On 31 January 2000, a Monday, petitioner filed its 28 January 2000 Notice of Appeal from the Judgment. On the same day, petitioner filed by registered mail its 28 January 2000 Amended Notice of Appeal which was denied The RTC refused to give due course to petitioner's Notice of Appeal Amended Notice of Appeal. It accepted respondent's arguments that the Judgment from which the appeal was being taken had become final, because the Notice of Appeal and the Amended Notice of Appeal were filed beyond the reglementary period. The 15-day period was counted by the trial court from the promulgation of the Decision sought to be reviewed. Hence, this Petition.

2. When the accused in a criminal prosecution is acquitted on the ground that his guilt has not been proven beyond reasonable doubt, a civil action for damages for the same act or omission may be instituted. Such action requires only a preponderance of evidence. . . .

3.

It is plain from the judgment in the criminal case that the aspect of civil liability was not passed upon and resolved.

4.

ISSUE 1. RULING At the outset, we must explain that the 2000 Rules on Criminal Procedure deleted the requirement of reserving independent civil actions and allowed these to proceed separately from criminal ones. Thus, the civil actions referred to in Articles 32, 33, 34 and 2176 of the Civil Code shall remain "separate, distinct and independent" of any criminal prosecution based on the same act. Here are some direct consequences of such revision and omission: 1. 2. 3. The right to bring the foregoing actions based on the Civil Code need not be reserved in the criminal prosecution, since they are not deemed included therein. The institution or waiver of the right to file a separate civil action arising from the crime charged does not extinguish the right to bring such action. The only limitation is that the offended party cannot recover more than once for the same act or omission. Whether or not there is a need to reserve independent civil action in the case at bar?

Thus, deemed instituted in every criminal prosecution is the civil liability arising from the crime or delict per se (civil liability ex delicto), but not those liabilities from quasi-delicts, contracts or quasi-contracts. In fact, even if a civil action is filed separately, the ex delicto civil liability in the criminal prosecution remains, and the offended party may subject to the control of the prosecutor still intervene in the criminal action in order to protect such remaining civil interest therein. By the same token, the offended party may appeal a judgment in a criminal case acquitting the accused on reasonable doubt, but only in regard to the civil liability ex delicto. And this is precisely what herein petitioner wanted to do: to appeal the civil liability arising from the crime the civil liability ex delicto.

JARANTILLA vs CA G.R. No. 80194. March 21, 1989

HEIRS OF THE LATE TEODORO GUARING, JR vs CA G.R. No. 108395. March 7, 1997

FACTS 1.

Private Respondent, Jose Kuan Sing was side swiped by a Volkswagon Beetle driven by Edgar Jarantilla in the evening of July 7, 1971 in Iznart Street, Iloilo City. Edgar Jarantilla was charged with Physical Injuries through Reckless Imprudence in Criminal Case Number 47207. Private Respondent did not reserved his right to institute a separate civil and Jarantilla was eventually acquitted because of reasonable doubt. On October 30, 1974 Sing filed a complaint against Jarantilla in the Court of First Instance as Civil Case in which Civil action involves the previous Criminal Case and complained of the dismissal of the Criminal Case. RTC wanted to enrich our jurisprudence, so RTC denies motion to dismiss, grants damages to Sing, proposed that the case be elevated to the Supreme Court by certiorari. Court of Appeals affirmed.

FACTS 1.

2.

3.

This case arose from an unfortunate vehicular accident which happened on November 7, 1987, along the North Expressway in San Rafael, Mexico, Pampanga. Involved in the accident were a Mitsubishi Lancer car driven by Teodoro Guaring, Jr., who died as a result of the mishap, Philippine Rabbit Bus No. 415, driven by Angeles Cuevas, and a Toyota Cressida car, driven by Eligio Enriquez. The Mitsubishi Lancer was heading north, at the speed of 80 to 90 kilometers per hour. Following it was the Philippine Rabbit Bus No. 415, with Plate No. CVD584. On the other hand, the Toyota Cressida was cruising on the opposite lane, bound for Manila. Petitioners, heirs of Teodoro Guaring, Jr., brought this action for damages, based on quasi delict, in the Regional Trial Court of Manila. Their evidence tended to show that the Rabbit bus tried to overtake Guarings car by passing on the right shoulder of the road and that in so doing it hit the right rear portion of Guarings Mitsubishi Lancer. The impact caused the Lancer to swerve to the south-bound lane, as a result of which it collided with the Toyota Cressida car coming from the opposite direction. Killed in the collision were Teodoro Guaring, Jr., who was driving the Lancer, and Dolores Enriquez, who was riding in the Cressida, while injured were Bonifacio Clemente and the occupants of the Toyota Cressida. Private respondents, on the other hand, presented evidence tending to show that the accident was due to the negligence of the deceased Guaring. They claimed that it was Guaring who tried to overtake the vehicle ahead of him on the highway and that in doing so he encroached on the south-bound lane and collided with the oncoming Cressida of U.S. Air Force Sgt. Enriquez. Private respondents claim that as a result of the collision the Lancer was thrown back to its lane where it crashed into the Rabbit bus. RTC ruled in favor of Guaring. Ordering the petitioners to pay the former. Petitioners appealed to CA and CA set aside the decision of the Regional Trial Court of Manila in the civil action for damages and dismissing the complaint against private respondents, Philippine Rabbit Bus Lines, Inc. and Cuevas on the strength of a decision rendered by the Regional Trial Court at San Fernando, Pampanga, in the criminal case, acquitting the bus driver Angeles Cuevas of reckless imprudence resulting in damage to property and double homicide. The appellate court held that since the basis of petitioners action was the alleged negligence of the bus driver, the latters acquittal in the criminal case rendered the civil case based on quasi delict untenable. Although it did not say so expressly, the appellate court appears to have based its ruling on Rule 111, Sec 2(b) of the Rules of Criminal Procedure, which provides: (b) Extinction of the penal action does not carry with it extinction of the civil, unless the extinction proceeds from a declaration in a final judgment that the fact from which the civil might arise did not exist

4.

2.

5.

ISSUE 1.

3. Whether or not the respondent can file a separate and distinct civil action for a civil liability arising from the same act 4. Yes, because the Civil Action here is not based in DELICT but on QUASI DELICT. It is settled the rule that the same act or omission can create two kinds of liability on the part of the offender, that is civil liability ex delicto and civil liability ex quasi delicto. Since the same negligence can give rise either to a delict or crime or to a quasi-delict or tort, either of these two types of civil liability may be enforced against the culprit, subject to Article 2177 of the Civil Code that the offended party cannot recover damages under both types of liability. Where the offended party elected to claim damages arising from the offense charged in the criminal case through her intervention as a private prosecutor, the final judgment rendered therein constituted a bar to the subsequent civil action based upon the same cause. The well-settled doctrine is that a person, while not criminally liable may still be civilly liable. The judgment of acquittal extinguishes the civil liability of the accused only when it includes a declaration that the facts from which the civil liability might arise did not exist. Another consideration in favor of Sing is the doctrine that the failure of the court to make any pronouncement, favorable or unfavorable as to the civil liability of the accused amounts to a reservation of the right to have the civil liability litigated and determined in a separation action. The rules nowhere provide that if the court fails to determine the civil liability it becomes no longer enforceable. ISSUE 1.

RULING 1.

5.

Whether or not the judgment in the criminal case extinguishes the liability of private respondent Philippine Rabbit Bus Lines, Inc. and its driver, Angele Cuevas, for damages for the death of Teodoro Guaring, JR

RULING Art. 2176. Whoever by act or omission causes damage to another, there being fault or negligence, is obliged to pay for the damage done. Such fault or negligence, if there is no pre-existing contractual relation between the parties, is called a quasi-delict and is governed by the provisions of this Chapter. It is now settled that acquittal of the accused, even if based on a finding that he is not guilty, does not carry with it the extinction of the civil liability based on quasi delict. In other words, the extinction of civil liability referred to in Par. (c), Section 3, Rule 111 [now Rule 111, Sec 2(b)], refers exclusively to civil liability founded on Article 100 of the Revised Penal Code, whereas the civil liability for the same act considered as a quasi-delict only and not as a crime is not extinguished even by a declaration in the criminal case that the criminal act charged has not happened or has not been committed by the accused.

HEIRS OF PEDRO TAYAG vs. ALCANTARA G.R. No. 50959. July 23, 1980

FACTS 1.

On September 2, 1974, while Pedro Tayag Sr. was riding on a bicycle along MacArthur Highway at Bo. San Rafael, Tarlac, Tarlac on his way home, he was bumped and hit by a Philippine Rabbit Bus, driven by Romeo Villa, as a result of which he sustained injuries which caused his instantaneous death. The heirs of Pedro Tayag then filed damages against the private respondents Philippine Rabbit Bus Lines, Inc. and Romeo Villa y Cunanan docketed therein as Civil Case No. 5114. The private respondents filed a motion to suspend the Civil Case trial dated April 30, 1975, on the ground that the criminal case against the driver of the bus Romeo Villa was still pending in said court. The respondent Judge granted the motion, and consequently, suspended the hearing of Civil Case No. 5114. On October 25, 1977, the respondent Judge rendered a decision in Criminal Case No. 836, acquitting the accused Romeo Villa of the crime of homicide on the ground of reasonable doubt. Thereafter, the private respondents filed a motion to dismiss Civil Case No. 5114 on the ground that the petitioners have no cause of action against them, the driver of the bus having been acquitted in the criminal action. The petitioners opposed the motion alleging that their cause of action is not based on crime but on quasi-delict. Acting upon the said motion as well as the opposition thereto, the respondent Judge issued an order dated April 13, 1978, dismissing the complaint in Civil Case No. 5114. The petitioners moved to reconsider; however, the same was denied by respondent Judge in his order dated May 30, 1979. Hence, the petitioners interposed the present petition for certiorari, to annul and set aside the order of respondent Judge

2.

3.

4.

5. 6. 7.

ISSUE 1. Whether or not the respondent Judge acted without or in excess of his jurisdiction and/or with grave abuse of discretion in dismissing Civil Case No. 5114?

RULING 1. Article 31 of the Civil Code refers to a civil action based, not on the act or omission charged as a felony in a criminal case, but one based on an obligation arising from other sources, like quasi delict. In the case at bar, the allegations of the complaint clearly show that petitioners' cause of action was based upon a quasi delict. All the essential averments for a quasi delictual action are present, namely: a. b. c. d. an act or omission constituting fault or negligence on the part of private respondent; damage caused by the said act or omission; direct causal relation between the damage and the act or omission; and no pre-existing contractual relation between the parties.

BOBIS vs BOBIS G.R. No. 138509. July 31, 200

requisiteusually the marriage licenseand thereafter contract a subsequent marriage without obtaining a declaration of nullity of the first on the assumption that the first marriage is void. Such scenario would render nugatory the provisions on bigamy. As succinctly held in Landicho v. Relova, 22 SCRA 731(1968):

FACTS 1.

On October 21, 1985, respondent Isagani Bobis contracted a first marriage with Ma. Dulce Javier. With said marriage not yet annulled, nullified nor terminated, he contracted a second marriage with herein petitioner Imelda Marbella (on Jan. 25, 1996), and a third marriage with certain Julia Hernandez, thereafter. Petitioner then filed a case of bigamy against respondent on Feb. 25, 1998, at the RTC of Quezon City. Thereafter, respondent initiated a civil action for the declaration of absolute nullity of his first marriage license. He then filed a motion to suspend the criminal proceeding for bigamy invoking the civil case for nullity of the first marriage as a prejudicial question to the criminal case. The RTC granted the motion, while petitioners motion for reconsideration was denied. Hence the instant appeal.

2.

Parties to a marriage should not be permitted to judge for themselves its nullity, [as] only competent courts have such authority. Prior to such declaration of nullity of the first marriage is beyond question. A party who contracts a second marriage then assumes the risk of being prosecuted for bigamy. A prejudicial question does not conclusively resolve the guilt or innocence of the accused but simply tests the sufficiency of the allegations in the information in order to sustain the further prosecution of the criminal case. A party who raises a prejudicial question is deemed to have hypothetically admitted that all the essential elements of a crime have been adequately alleged in the information, considering that the prosecution has not yet presented single evidence on the indictment or may not yet have rested its case. A challenge of the allegations in the information on the ground of prejudicial question is in effect a question on the merits of the criminal charge through a non-criminal suit. Ignorance of the existence of Article 40 of the Family Code cannot be successfully invoked as an excuse. The contracting of a marriage knowing that the requirements of the law have not been complied with or that the marriage is in disregard of a legal impediment is an act penalized by the Revised Penal Code. The legality of a marriage is a matter of law and every person is presumed to know the law. As respondent did not obtain the judicial declaration of nullity when he entered into the second marriage, why should he be allowed to belatedly obtain that judicial declaration in order to delay his criminal prosecution and subsequently defeat it by his own disobedience of the law? If he wants to raise the nullity of the previous marriage, he can do it as a matter of defense when he presents his evidence during the trial proper in the criminal case. The elements of bigamy are: a. b. c. the offender has been legally married that the first marriage has not been legally dissolved, or in case his or her spouse is absent, the absent spouse has not been judicially declared presumptively dead that he contracts a subsequent marriage the subsequent marriage would have been valid had it not been for the existence of the first.

3.

4.

ISSUES 1. Whether or not the subsequent filing of a civil action for declaration of nullity of a previous marriage constitutes a prejudicial question to a criminal case for bigamy

RULING 1. Any decision in the civil case the fact that respondent entered into a second marriage during the subsistence of a first marriage. Thus, a decision in the civil case is not essential to the determination of the criminal charge. It is therefore not a prejudicial question. Respondent cannot be permitted to use his malfeasance to defeat the criminal action against him. A prejudicial question is one which arises in a case the resolution of which is a logical antecedent of the issue involved therein. It is a question based on a fact distinct and separate from the crime but so intimately connected with it that it determines the guilt or innocence of the accused. It must appear not only that the civil case involves facts upon which the criminal action is based, but also that the resolution of the issues raised in the civil action would necessarily be determinative of the civil case. Consequently, the defense must involve an issue similar or intimately related to the same issue raised in the criminal action and its resolution determinative of whether or not the latter action may proceed. Its two essential elements are d. a. b. the civil action involves an issue raised in the criminal action the resolution of such issue determines whether or not the criminal action may proceed.

The exceptions to prosecution for bigamy are those covered by Article 41 of the Family Code and by PD 1083 otherwise known as the Code of Muslim Personal Laws.

In the case at bar, the respondents clear intent is to obtain a judicial declaration of nullity of his first marriage and thereafter to invoke that very same judgment to prevent his prosecution for bigamy. He cannot have his cake and eat it too. Otherwise, all that an adventurous bigamist has to do is disregard Article 40 of the Family Code, contract a subsequent marriage and escape a bigamy charge by simply claiming that the first marriage is void and the subsequent marriage is equally void for lack of a prior judicial declaration of nullity of the first. A party may even enter into a marriage aware of the absence of a

SABANDAL vs. TONGCO G.R. No. 124498. October 5, 2001

APA vs. FERNANDEZ G.R. No. 112381. March 20, 1995

FACTS 1.

Petitioner entered into a memorandum of agreement on dealership with respondent Philippines Today, Inc. In order to make partial payments for items delivered, petitioner issued to respondent several checks amounting to ninety thousand (P90,000.00) pesos. When respondent presented petitioner's checks to the drawee banks for payment, the bank dishonored the checks for insufficiency of funds and/or account closed. Consequently, respondent made oral and written demands for petitioner to make good the checks. However, petitioner failed to pay despite demands. On the basis of a complaint-affidavit filed by respondent Philippines Today, Inc., the assistant city prosecutor of Manila filed eleven informations for violation of Batas Pambansa Bilang 22 against petitioner. While the cases are still pending, petitioner filed with the Regional Trial Court in Negros Occidental, a complaint against Philippines Today, Inc. for specific performance, recovery of overpayment and damages. Petitioner also filed with the Regional Trial Court, Manila, Branch 42, a motion to suspend trial in the criminal cases against him based on a prejudicial question. The trial court denied petitioner's motion to suspend trial based on a prejudicial question. Petitioner moved for reconsideration but was denied. Hence, the present petition.

FACTS 1.

2.

3.

On February 1990, or prior thereto, in Agus, Lapulapu City, Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused/petitioners, conspiring, confederating and mutually helping with one another, without the knowledge and consent of the owner, ROSITA TIGOL, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously take advantage of the absence or tolerance of the said owner by occupying or possessing a portion of her real property, Lot No. 3635-B of Opon Cadastre, covered by Transfer Certificate of Title No. 13250, situated in Agus Lapulapu City, whereon they constructed their respective residential houses against the will of Rosita Tigol, which acts of the said accused have deprived the latter of the use of a portion of her land, to her damage and prejudice because despite repeated demands the said accused failed and refused, as they still fail and refuse to vacate the premises above-mentioned. Petitioners moved for the suspension of their arraignment on the ground that there was a prejudicial question pending resolution in another case being tried in Branch 27 of the same court. The case, docketed as Civil Case No. 2247-L and entitled "Anselmo Taghoy and Vicente Apa versus Felixberto Tigol, Jr. and Rosita T. Tigol, et al.," concerns the ownership of Lot No.3635-B. On August 25, 1993, the trial court denied the petitioners' motion and proceeded with their arraignment. Petitioners, therefore, had to enter their plea (not guilty) to the charge. On September 2, 1993, petitioners filed a motion for reconsideration but their motion was denied by the court in its order dated September 21, 1993. Hence, this petition.

4.

2.

5.

3. 4. ISSUE 1.

6. ISSUE 1.

Whether or not a prejudicial question exists to warrant the suspension of the trial of the criminal cases for violation of Batas Pambansa Bilang 22 against petitioner until after the resolution of the civil action for specific performance, recovery of overpayment, and damages

RULING 1.

Whether the question of ownership of Lot No. 3635-B, which was pending, in Civil Case No. 2247-L, is a prejudicial question justifying suspension of the proceedings in the criminal case against petitioners.

The petition has no merit. The two (2) essential elements of a prejudicial question are: (a) the civil action involves an issue similar or intimately related to the issue raised in the criminal action; and (b) the resolution of such issue determines whether or not the criminal action may proceed. In this case, the issue in the criminal cases for violation of Batas Pambansa Bilang 22 is whether the accused knowingly issued worthless checks. The issue in the civil action for specific performance, overpayment, and damages is whether complainant Sabandal overpaid his obligations to Philippines Today, Inc. If, after trial in the civil case, petitioner is shown to have overpaid respondent, it does not follow that he cannot be held liable for the bouncing checks he issued, for the mere issuance of worthless checks with knowledge of the insufficiency of funds to support the checks is itself an offense. Furthermore, the peculiar circumstances of the case clearly indicate that the filing of the civil case was a ploy to delay the resolution of the criminal cases. Petitioner filed the civil case three years after the institution of the criminal charges against him. Apparently, the civil action was instituted as an afterthought to delay the proceedings in the criminal cases. Petitioner's claim of overpayment to respondent may be raised as a defense during the trial of the cases for violation of Batas Pambansa Bilang 22 charged against him. The civil action for recovery of civil liability is impliedly instituted with the filing of the criminal action. Hence, petitioner may invoke all defenses pertaining to his civil liability in the criminal action.

RULING 1. We hold that it is. A prejudicial question is a question which is based on a fact distinct and separate from the crime but so intimately connected with it that its resolution is determinative of the guilt or innocence of the accused. To justify suspension of the criminal action, it must appear not only that the civil case involves facts intimately related to those upon which the criminal prosecution is based but also that the decision of the issue or issues raised in the civil case would be decisive of the guilt or innocence of the accused. In fact it appears that on February 23, 1994, the court trying the civil case rendered a decision nullifying TCT No. 13250 of private respondent and her husband and declared the lot in question to be owned in common by the spouses and the petitioners as their inheritance from their parents Filomeno and Rita Taghoy. While private respondents claim that the decision in that case is not yet final because they have filed a motion for new trial, the point is that whatever may be the ultimate resolution of the question of ownership, such resolution will be determinative of the guilt or innocence of petitioners in the criminal case. Surely, if petitioners are co-owners of the lot in question, they cannot be found guilty of squatting because they are as much entitled to the use and occupation of the land as are the private respondent Rosita T. Tigol and her family.

Private respondents argue that even the owner of a piece of land can be ejected from his property since the only issue in such a case is the right to its physical possession. Consequently, they contend, he can also be prosecuted under the Anti-Squatting Law. The contention misses the essential point that the owner of a piece of land can be ejected only if for some reason, e.g., he has let his property to the plaintiff, he has given up its temporary possession. But in the case at bar, no such agreement is asserted by private respondent. Rather private respondent claims the right to possession based on her claim of ownership. Ownership is thus the pivotal question. Since this is the question in the civil case, the proceedings in the criminal case must in the meantime be suspended.