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G.R. No. 130339 December 22, 1998

Hyundai Engineering and Construction Co., Ltd., through its local agent, Omanfil International
Manpower Development Corporation, engaged Eduardo Felipe to work as a rigger in Malaysia
In February 1993. In June 1993, the ferry boat in which Eduardo was assigned met an accident.
His body was never found. A provision in the Malaysia labor law provides:

Where death has resulted from the injury, a lump sum equal to forty five months earnings or
fourteen thousand four hundred ringgit [RM], whichever is the less; A local labor office in
Malaysia then wrote a letter to Hyundai advising the latter of the computation it arrived at, to
wit; 45 months x US $620.04 (monthly salary of Eduardo) = US $27,902.02. RM14,400 which is
equivalent to US $5,393.29 is less than US $27,902.02, hence, Hyundai deposited the lesser
amount with the said labor office. The wife of Eduardo, Lora Felipe, does not agree that
Hyundai is liable for the lesser amount hence she filed a labor case against Hyundais agent,
Omanfil. The labor arbiter ordered Omanfil to pay $27,902.02 to Lora. This was affirmed by the
National Labor Relations Commission. It was ruled that the Malaysian labor law is susceptible to
two interpretations because it is vague; that in case of doubt of labor laws, it must be construed
in favor of the laborer.

Is the NLRC correct in ruling that the Malaysian labor law is vague?

No. The Malaysian Law in question is not vague. Clearly what is due to Lora as death benefit (for
her dead husband) is 14,400 Malaysian Ringgit since that amount is less than US
$27,902.02. Further, it appears that the Director General of Labor of Malaysia certified that
Eduardo is only entitled to a maximum of RM14,000.00 pursuant to the labor law in question.
This certification is duly authenticated by Mr. Bayani V. Mangibin, our Consul General in Kuala
Lumpur, Malaysia. Such authentication of the said Certification, which provides an
interpretation of said foreign labor law by none other than the Director of Labor of Malaysia is
proof of the foreign law. Further still, this was never contested by Lora.

G.R. No. 124862 December 22, 1998

On May 18, 1941, Fe D. Quita and Arturo T. Padlan, both Filipinos, got married in the
Philippines. No children were born out of their marriage. On July 23, 1954, petitioner obtained
a final judgment of divorce in San Francisco, California, U.S.A. On April 16, 1972, Arturo died
leaving no will. On August 31, 1972, Lino Javier Inciong filed a petition with the RTC for issuance
of letters of administration concerning the estate of Arturo in favor of the Philippine Trust
Company. Respondent Blandina Dandan, claiming to be the surviving spouse of Arturo Dandan
and the surviving children, all surnamed Padlan, opposed the petition. The RTC expressed that
the marriage between Antonio and petitioner subsisted until the death of Arturo in 1972, that
the marriage existed between private respondent and Arturo was clearly void since it was
celebrated during the existence of his previous marriage to petitioner. The Court of Appeals
remanded the case to the trial court for further proceedings.

Who is the proper heir of the decedent?

The decision of the Court of Appeals ordering the remand of the case is affirmed. If there is a
controversy before the court as to who are the lawful heirs of the deceased person or as to the
distributive shares to which each person is entitled under the law, the controversy shall be
heard and decided as in ordinary cases. No dispute exists as to the right of the six Padlan
children to inherit from the decedent because there are proofs that they have been duly
acknowledged by him and petitioner herself even recognizes them as heirs of Arturo Padlan,
nor as to their respective hereditary shares. Private respondent is not a surviving spouse that
can inherit from him as this status presupposes a legitimate relationship. Her marriage to
Arturo being a bigamous marriage considered void ab inito under Articles 80 and 83 of the Civil
Code renders her not a surviving spouse.

G.R. No. 139465 January 18, 2000

On June 18, 1999, the Department of Justice received from the Department of Foreign Affairs of
the United States requesting for the extradition of Mark Jimenez for various crimes in violation
of US laws. In compliance with the related municipal law, specifically Presidential Decree No.
1069 Prescribing the Procedure for Extradition of Persons Who Have committed Crimes in a
Foreign Country and the established Extradition Treaty Between the Government of the
Philippines and the Government of the United States of America, the department proceeded
with the designation of a panel of attorneys to conduct a technical evaluation and assessment
as provided for in the presidential decree and the treaty.
The respondent requested for a copy of the official extradition request as well as the
documents and papers submitted therein. The petitioner denied the request as it alleges that
such information is confidential in nature and that it is premature to provide such document as
the process is not a preliminary investigation but a mere evaluation. Therefore, the
constitutional rights of the accused are not yet available.

1.Whether or not private respondent, Mark B. Jimenez, be granted access to the official
extradition request and documents with an opportunity to file a comment on or opposition
2.Whether or not private respondents entitlement to notice and hearing during the evaluation
stage of the proceedings constitute a breach of the legal duties of the Philippine Government
under the RP-US Extradition Treaty

The Supreme Court ruled that the private respondent be furnished a copy of the extradition
request and its supporting papers and to give him a reasonable period of time within which to
file his comment with supporting evidence. In this case, there exists a clear conflict between the
obligation of the Philippine Government to comply with the provisions of the treaty and its
equally significant role of protection of its citizens of its right of due process.
The processes outlined in the treaty and in the presidential decree already pose an impending
threat to a prospective extraditees liberty as early as the evaluation stage. It is not an imagined
threat to his liberty, but a very imminent one. On the other hand, granting due process to the
extradition case causes delay in the process.
The rule of pacta sunt servanda, one of the oldest and most fundamental maxims of
international law, requires the parties to a treaty to keep their agreement therein in good faith.
The doctrine of incorporation is applied whenever municipal tribunals are confronted with
situations in which there appears to be a conflict between a rule of international law and the
provisions of the constitution or statute of a local state. Efforts should be done to harmonize
them. In a situation, however, where the conflict is irreconcilable and a choice has to be made
between a rule of international law and municipal law, jurisprudence dictates that municipal
law should be upheld by the municipal courts. The doctrine of incorporation decrees that rules
of international law are given equal standing, but are not superior to, national legislative
In this case, there is no conflict between international law and municipal law. The United States
and the Philippines share a mutual concern about the suppression and punishment of crime in
their respective jurisdictions. At the same time, both States accord common due process
protection to their respective citizens. In fact, neither the Treaty nor the Extradition Law
precludes the rights of due process from a prospective extradite.

G.R. No. 118843 February 6, 1997

Eriks Pte. Ltd. is a non-resident foreign corporation engaged in the manufacture and sale of
elements used in sealing pumps, valves and pipes for industrial purposes, valves and control
equipment used for industrial fluid control and PVC pipes and fittings for industrial uses. On
various dates covering the period January 17 August 16, 1989, Delfin Enriquez, Jr., doing
business under the name and style of Delrene EB Controls Center and/or EB Karmine
Commercial, ordered and received from Eriks Pte. Ltd. various elements used in sealing pumps,
valves, pipes and control equipment, PVC pipes and fittings. The transfers of goods were
perfected in Singapore, for Enriquez's account, F.O.B. Singapore, with a 90-day credit term.
Subsequently, demands were made by Eriks upon Enriquez to settle his account, but the latter
failed/refused to do so. On 28 August 1991, Eriks filed with the Regional Trial Court of Makati,
Branch 138, Civil Case 91-2373 for the recovery of S$41,939.63 or its equivalent in Philippine
currency, plus interest thereon and damages. Enriquez responded with a Motion to Dismiss,
contending that Eriks had no legal capacity to sue. In an Order dated 8 March 1993, the trial
court dismissed the action on the ground that Eriks is a foreign corporation doing business in
the Philippines without a license.
On appeal and on 25 January 1995, the appellate court (CA GR CV 41275) affirmed said order as
it deemed the series of transactions between Eriks and Enriquez not to be an "isolated or casual
transaction." Thus, the appellate court likewise found Eriks to be without legal capacity to sue.
Eriks filed the petition for review.

Whether a foreign corporation which sold its products 16 times over a five-month period to the
same Filipino buyer without first obtaining a license to do business in the Philippines, is
prohibited from maintaining an action to collect payment therefor in Philippine courts.

Section 133 of the Corporation Code provides that "No foreign corporation transacting business
in the Philippines without a license, or its successors or assigns, shall be permitted to maintain
or intervene in any action, suit or proceeding in any court or administrative agency of the
Philippines; but such corporation may be sued or proceeded against before Philippine courts or
administrative tribunals on any valid cause of action recognized under Philippine laws." The
provision prohibits, not merely absence of the prescribed license, but it also bars a foreign
corporation "doing business" in the Philippines without such license access to Philippine courts.
A foreign corporation without such license is not ipso facto incapacitated from bringing an
action. A license is necessary only if it is "transacting or doing business" in the country.
However, there is no definitive rule on what constitutes "doing," "engaging in," or "transacting"
business. The Corporation Code itself does not define such terms. To fill the gap, the evolution
of its statutory definition has produced a rather all-encompassing concept in Republic Act 7042
in this wise: "The phrase 'doing business' shall include soliciting orders, service contracts,
opening offices, whether called 'liaison' offices or branches; appointing representatives or
distributors domiciled in the Philippines or who in any calendar year stay in the country for a
period or periods totaling one hundred eight(y) (180) days or more; participating in the
management, supervision or control of any domestic business, firm, entity or corporation in the
Philippines; and any other act or acts that imply a continuity of commercial dealings or
arrangements, and contemplate to that extent the performance of acts or works, or the
exercise of some of the functions normally incident to, and in progressive prosecution of,
commercial gain or of the purpose and object of the business organization: Provided, however,
That the phrase 'doing business' shall not be deemed to include mere investment as a
shareholder by a foreign entity in domestic corporations duly registered to do business, and/or
the exercise of rights as such investor; nor having a nominee director or officer to represent its
interests in such corporation; nor appointing a representative or distributor domiciled in the
Philippines which transacts business in its own name and for its own account." The accepted
rule in jurisprudence is that each case must be judged in the light of its own environmental
circumstances. It should be kept in mind that the purpose of the law is to subject the foreign
corporation doing business in the Philippines to the jurisdiction of Philippine courts. It is not to
prevent the foreign corporation from performing single or isolated acts, but to bar it from
acquiring a domicile for the purpose of business without first taking the steps necessary to
render it amenable to suits in the local courts. Herein, more than the sheer number of
transactions entered into, a clear and unmistakable intention on the part of Eriks to continue
the body of its business in the Philippines is more than apparent. As alleged in its complaint, it
is engaged in the manufacture and sale of elements used in sealing pumps, valves, and pipes for
industrial purposes, valves and control equipment used for industrial fluid control and PVC
pipes and fittings for industrial use.

Thus, the sale by Eriks of the items covered by the receipts, which are part and parcel of its
main product line, was actually carried out in the progressive prosecution of commercial gain
and the pursuit of the purpose and object of its business, pure and simple. Further, its grant
and extension of 90-day credit terms to Enriquez for every purchase made, unarguably shows
an intention to continue transacting with Enriquez, since in the usual course of commercial
transactions, credit is extended only to customers in good standing or to those on whom there
is an intention to maintain long-term relationship. The series of transactions in question could
not have been isolated or casual transactions. What is determinative of "doing business" is not
really the number or the quantity of the transactions, but more importantly, the intention of an
entity to continue the body of its business in the country. The number and quantity are merely
evidence of such intention. The phrase "isolated transaction" has a definite and fixed meaning,
i.e. a transaction or series of transactions set apart from the common business of a foreign
enterprise in the sense that there is no intention to engage in a progressive pursuit of the
purpose and object of the business organization. Whether a foreign corporation is "doing
business" does not necessarily depend upon the frequency of its transactions, but more upon
the nature and character of the transactions. Given the facts of the case, the Court cannot see
how Eriks' business dealings will fit the category of "isolated transactions" considering that its
intention to continue and pursue the corpus of its business in the country had been clearly
established. It has not presented any convincing argument with equally convincing evidence for
the Court to rule otherwise. Accordingly and ineluctably, Eriks must be held to be incapacitated
to maintain the action a quo against Enriquez.