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12. Belamala vs.

G.R. L-24098 November 18, 1967
Buenaventura Belamala filed a complaint for Frustrated Murder against
Mauricio Polinar and other accused. The court rendered a decision convicting
the said Mauricio Polinar of the crime of serious physical injuries and
sentenced him to pay to the offended party Buenaventura Belamala, now
claimant herein, the amount of P990.00, plus the amount of P!."0 as
indemnity and the amount of P#,000.00 as moral damages.
The accused Mauricio Polinar appealed to the $ourt of %ppeals &ut he died.
There was no 'otification of his death filed in the said $ourt of %ppeals. The
$ourt of %ppeals affirmed the decision of the lower court.
The late Mauricio Polinar was survived &y his wife, Bal&ina Bongato and his
seven ()* children in which Marcelino Polinar was one among them. +e
&ecame the administrator of the estate of his father. Marcelino appealed the
decision of the $ourt of %ppeals.
,hether the civil lia&ility of an accused of physical injuries who dies &efore
final judgment is e-tinguished &y his death to the e-tent of &arring any claim
against his estate.
'o. The $ourt finds that the civil lia&ility has not &een e-tinguished citing the
provisions of the $ivil $ode of the Philippines of #9!0 (.ep. %ct 'o. "/*.
%rticle of the $ivil $ode esta&lishes a civil action for damages on account
of physical injuries, entirely separate and distinct from the criminal action.
%rt. . 0n cases of defamation, fraud, and physical injuries, a civil
action for damages, entirely separate and distinct from the criminal
action, may &e &rought &y the injured party. 1uch civil action shall
proceed independently of the criminal prosecution, and shall re2uire
only a preponderance of evidence.
%ssuming that for lac3 of e-press reservation, Belamala4s civil action for
damages was to &e considered instituted together with the criminal action,
still, since &oth proceedings were terminated without final adjudication, the
civil action of the offended party under %rticle may yet &e enforced
separately. 1uch claim in no way contradicts %rticle #0", of the Penal $ode,
that imposes the o&ligation to indemnify upon the deceased offender4s heirs,
&ecause the latter ac2uired their decedents o&ligations only to the e-tent of
the value of the inheritance ($ivil $ode, %rt. ))5*. +ence, the o&ligation of the
offender4s heirs under %rticle #0" ultimately &ecomes an o&ligation of the
offender4s estate.
The appellant, however, is correct in the contention that the claim should have
&een prosecuted &y separate action against the administrator, as permitted &y
sections # and 6 of .evised .ule "), since the claim is patently one 7to
recover damages for an injury to person or property7 (.ule "), sec. #*.
Belamala4s action can not &e enforced &y filing a claim against the estate
under .ule "/, &ecause section ! of that rule e-plicitly limits the claims to
those for funeral e-penses, e-penses for last sic3ness, judgments for money
and 7claims against the decedent, arising from contract, e-press or implied87
and this last category (the other three &eing inapposite* includes only 7all
purely personal o&ligations other than those which have their source
in delict or tort7 and Belamala4s damages manifestly have a tortious origin.
Furthermore, the $ourt also finds that the award of the trial $ourt was &ased
on evidence su&mitted to it, relying merely on the findings in the criminal case,
as em&odied in decisions that never &ecame final &ecause the accused died
during the pendency of said case.
The $ourt reversed the decision under appeal and set aside &ut without
prejudice to the action of appellee Belamala against the %dministrator of the
9state of Mauricio Polinar.
20. Bos)on &*+i), Reso+r-es, $n-. vs. o+r) o. A//eals
G.R. No. 170946 1+ne 19, 2010
Petitioner Boston 92uity .esources, 0nc. (B9.0, for short* filed a complaint for
sum of money with a prayer for the issuance of a writ of preliminary
attachment against the spouses Manuel and :olita Toledo.
.espondents filed an %nswer dated #9 March #99" &ut on ) May #99", :olita
Toledo filed a Motion for :eave to %dmit %mended %nswer

in which she
alleged, among others, that her hus&and and co;defendant, Manuel Toledo
(Manuel*, is already dead.
The death certificate of Manuel states 7# <uly #99!7 as the date of death. %s
a result, petitioner filed a motion, dated ! %ugust #999, to re2uire respondent
to disclose the heirs of Manuel. 0n compliance with the ver&al order of the
court, respondent su&mitted the re2uired names and addresses of the heirs.
Petitioner then filed a Motion for 1u&stitution, praying that The motion was
granted &y the trial court in an =rder dated 9 =cto&er 6000.
The trial of the case then proceeded. +erein petitioner, as plaintiff, presented
its evidence and its e-hi&its were thereafter admitted.
=n 6/ May 6005, the reception of evidence for herein respondent was
cancelled upon agreement of the parties. =n 65 1eptem&er 6005, counsel for
herein respondent was given a period of fifteen days within which to file a
demurrer to evidence.
+owever, on ) =cto&er 6005, respondent instead filed a motion to dismiss the
complaint, citing the following as grounds> (#* that the complaint failed to
implead an indispensa&le party or a real party in interest8 hence, the case
must &e dismissed for failure to state a cause of action8 (6* that the trial court
did not ac2uire jurisdiction over the person of Manuel pursuant to 1ection !,
.ule "/ of the .evised .ules of $ourt8 (* that the trial court erred in ordering
the su&stitution of the deceased Manuel &y his heirs8 and (5* that the court
must also dismiss the case against :olita Toledo in accordance with 1ection
/, .ule "/ of the .ules of $ourt.
The trial court denied the motion to dismiss for having &een filed out of time,
.espondent filed a petition with the $ourt of %ppeals.
The $ourt of %ppeals granted the petition &ased on the following grounds> 0t is
elementary that courts ac2uire jurisdiction over the person of the defendant
only when the latter voluntarily appeared or su&mitted to the court or &y
coercive process issued &y the court to him. 0n this case, it is undisputed that
when petitioner Boston filed the complaint on ?ecem&er 65, #99), defendant
Manuel 1. Toledo was already dead. 1uch &eing the case, the court a
2uo could not have ac2uired jurisdiction over the person of defendant Manuel
1. Toledo. ,hen the complaint was filed, defendant Manuel 1. Toledo was
already dead. The complaint should have impleaded the estate of Manuel 1.
Toledo as defendant, not only the wife, considering that the estate of Manuel
1. Toledo is an indispensa&le party, which stands to &e &enefited or &e injured
in the outcome of the case.
.espondent@s motion to dismiss the complaint should have &een granted &y
pu&lic respondent judge as the same was in order. $onsidering that the
o&ligation of Manuel 1. Toledo is solidary with another de&tor, the claim
should &e filed against the estate of Manuel 1. Toledo, in conformity with the
provision of 1ection /, .ule "/ of the .ules of $ourt.
+ence, this petition.
#. ,hether the lower court ac2uired jurisdiction over the person of
defendant Manuel 1. Toledo.
6. ,hether the the estate of Manuel is not an indispensa&le party.
. ,hether or not the inclusion of Manuel as
party defendant is a misjoinder of party.
#. 'o. The $ourt finds that jurisdiction over the person of Manuel was never
ac2uired &y the trial court. % defendant is informed of a case against him
when he receives summons. 0t e-plained that 71ummons is a writ &y which
the defendant is notified of the action &rought against him. 1ervice of such
writ is the means &y which the court ac2uires jurisdiction over his person.7
0n the case at &ar, the trial court did not ac2uire jurisdiction over the person of
Manuel since there was no valid service of summons upon him, precisely
&ecause he was already dead even &efore the complaint against him and his
wife was filed in the trial court. The issues presented in this case are similar to
those in the case of Sarsaba v. Vda. de Te.
0n this case, the petitioner in the Sarsaba $ase claimed, as did respondent
herein, that since one of the defendants died &efore summons was served on
him, the trial court should have dismissed the complaint against all the
defendants and the claim should &e filed against the estate of the deceased
defendant. The petitioner in Sarsaba, therefore, prayed that the complaint &e
dismissed, not only against 1ereno, &ut as to all the defendants, considering
that the .T$ did not ac2uire jurisdiction over the person of 1ereno.

This is
e-actly the same prayer made &y respondent herein in her motion to dismiss.
0n this case, the $ourt resolved that the complaint against the other
defendants should have not &een dismissed, considering that the .T$ never
ac2uired jurisdiction over the person of 1ereno. Failure to serve summons on
1ereno@s person will not &e a cause for the dismissal of the complaint against
the other defendants, considering that they have &een served with copies of
the summons and complaints and have long su&mitted their respective
responsive pleadings. 0n fact, the other defendants in the complaint were
given the chance to raise all possi&le defenses and o&jections personal to
them in their respective motions to dismiss and their su&se2uent answers.
+ence, the 1upreme $ourt affirmed the dismissal &y the trial court of the
complaint against 1ereno only.
Based on the foregoing e-planation, the $ourt finds no &asis for dismissing
the complaint against respondent herein. Thus, as already emphasiAed
a&ove, the trial court correctly denied her motion to dismiss.
6. Bes. The estate of Manuel is not an indispensa&le party to the collection
case, for the simple reason that the o&ligation of Manuel and his wife,
respondent is solidary. $iting .ule , 1ection ) of the #99) .ules of $ourt
which states>
C19$. ). $ompulsory joinder of indispensa&le parties. D Parties;in;interest
without whom no final determination can &e had of an action shall &e joined
either as plaintiffs or defendants.E
%n indispensa&le party is one who has such an interest in the controversy or
su&ject matter of a case that a final adjudication cannot &e made in his or her
a&sence, without injuring or affecting that interest. +e or she is a party who
has not only an interest in the su&ject matter of the controversy, &ut 7an
interest of such nature that a final decree cannot &e made without affecting
FthatG interest or leaving the controversy in such a condition that its final
determination may &e wholly inconsistent with e2uity and good conscience. 0t
has also &een considered that an indispensa&le party is a person in whose
a&sence there cannot &e a determination &etween the parties already &efore
the court which is effective, complete or e2uita&le.7 Further, an indispensa&le
party is one who must &e included in an action &efore it may properly
=n the other hand, a 7person is not an indispensa&le party if his interest in the
controversy or su&ject matter is separa&le from the interest of the other
parties, so that it will not necessarily &e directly or injuriously affected &y a
decree which does complete justice &etween them. %lso, a person is not an
indispensa&le party if his presence would merely permit complete relief
&etween him or her and those already parties to the action, or if he or she has
no interest in the su&ject matter of the action.7 0t is not a sufficient reason to
declare a person to &e an indispensa&le party simply &ecause his or her
presence will avoid multiple litigations.
The contract &etween petitioner, on the one hand and respondent and
respondent@s hus&and, on the other, states>
CF=. H%:I9 .9$90H9?, 0J,e 2oin)l, an3 severall, (in solemn* promise to
pay B=1T=' 9KI0TB .91=I.$91, 0'$. - - - the sum of P91=1> F='9
M0::0=' F=I. +I'?.9? (P#,500,000.00*G - - -.E
The provisions and stipulations of the contract were then followed &y the
respective signatures of respondent as 7M%L9.7 and her hus&and as 7$=;
M%L9..7 Thus, pursuant to %rticle #6#/ of the $ivil $ode, petitioner may
collect the entire amount of the o&ligation from respondent only. The
aforementioned provision states> 7The creditor may proceed against any one
of the solidary de&tors or some or all of them simultaneously. The demand
made against one of them shall not &e an o&stacle to those which may
su&se2uently &e directed against the others, so long as the de&t has not &een
fully collected.
0n other words, the collection case can proceed and the demands of petitioner
can &e satisfied &y respondent only, even without impleading the estate of
Manuel. $onse2uently, the estate of Manuel is not an indispensa&le party to
petitioner@s complaint for sum of money.
The $ourt further e-plained that %rticle #6#/ of the 'ew $ivil $ode is the
applica&le provision in this matter. 1aid provision gives the creditor the right to
7proceed against anyone of the solidary de&tors or some or all of them
simultaneously.7 The choice is undou&tedly left to the solidary creditor to
determine against whom he will enforce collection. 0n case of the death of one
of the solidary de&tors, he (the creditor* may, if he so chooses, proceed
against the surviving solidary de&tors without necessity of filing a claim in the
estate of the deceased de&tors. 0t is not mandatory for him to have the case
dismissed as against the surviving de&tors and file its claim against the estate
of the deceased solidary de&tor. For to re2uire the creditor to proceed against
the estate, ma3ing it a condition precedent for any collection action against
the surviving de&tors to prosper, would deprive him of his su&stantive rights
provided &y %rticle #6#/ of the 'ew $ivil $ode.
%s correctly argued &y petitioner, if 1ection /, .ule "/ of the .evised .ules of
$ourt were applied literally, %rticle #6#/ of the 'ew $ivil $ode would, in effect,
&e repealed since under the .ules of $ourt, petitioner has no choice &ut to
proceed against the estate of Fthe deceased de&torG only. =&viously, this
provision diminishes the Fcreditor@sG right under the 'ew $ivil $ode to proceed
against any one, some or all of the solidary de&tors.
Based on the foregoing, the estate of Manuel is not an indispensa&le party
and the case can proceed as against respondent only. That petitioner opted to
collect from respondent and not from the estate of Manuel is evidenced &y its
opposition to respondent@s motion to dismiss asserting that the case, as
against her, should &e dismissed so that petitioner can proceed against the
estate of Manuel.
. Bes. The $ourt finds inclusion of Manuel as party defendant as misjoinder
of party. $iting 1ection ## of .ule of the .ules of $ourt with states that
7neither misjoinder nor non;joinder of parties is ground for dismissal of an
action. Parties may &e dropped or added &y order of the court on motion of
any party or on its own initiative at any stage of the action and on such terms
as are just. %ny claim against a misjoined party may &e severed and
proceeded with separately.7
Based on the last sentence of the afore;2uoted provision of law, a misjoined
party must have the capacity to sue or &e sued in the event that the claim &y
or against the misjoined party is pursued in a separate case. 0n this case,
therefore, the inclusion of Manuel in the complaint cannot &e considered a
misjoinder, as in fact, the action would have proceeded against him had he
&een alive at the time the collection case was filed &y petitioner. This &eing
the case, the remedy provided &y 1ection ## of .ule does not o&tain here.
The name of Manuel as party;defendant cannot simply &e dropped from the
+owever, the $ourt further e-plained has not ac2uired jurisdiction over the
person of Manuel citing Sarsaba v. Vda. de Te since there was indeed no
valid service of summons insofar as Mauel is concerned. +e died &efore the
summons, together with a copy of the complaint and its anne-es, could &e
served upon him. %s a result, the case, as against Manuel, must &e
0n addition, the dismissal of the case against Manuel is further warranted &y
1ection # of .ule of the .ules of $ourt, which states that> only natural or
juridical persons, or entities authoriAed &y law may &e parties in a civil action.7
Parties may &e either plaintiffs or defendants. 0n order to maintain an action in
a court of justice, the plaintiff must have an actual legal e-istence, that is, he,
she or it must &e a person in law and possessed of a legal entity as either a
natural or an artificial person, and no suit can &e lawfully prosecuted save in
the name of such a person.
The rule is no different as regards party defendants. 0t is incum&ent upon a
plaintiff, when he institutes a judicial proceeding, to name the proper party
defendant to his cause of action. 0n a suit or proceeding in personam of an
adversary character, the court can ac2uire no jurisdiction for the purpose of
trial or judgment until a party defendant who actually or legally e-ists and is
legally capa&le of &eing sued, is &rought &efore it. 0t has even &een held that
the 2uestion of the legal personality of a party defendant is a 2uestion of
su&stance going to the jurisdiction of the court and not one of procedure.
1ince the proper course of action against the wrongful inclusion of Manuel as
party;defendant is the dismissal of the case as against him, thus did the trial
court err when it ordered the su&stitution of Manuel &y his heirs. 1u&stitution
is proper only where the party to &e su&stituted died 3+rin4 )5e /en3en-, o.
)5e -ase, as e-pressly provided for &y 1ection #/, .ule of the .ules of
+ere, since Manuel was already dead at the time of the filing of the complaint,
the court never ac2uired jurisdiction over his person and, in effect, there was
no party to &e su&stituted.
The $ourt granted the petition and reversed the decision of the $ourt of
%ppeals. The =rders of the .egional Trial $ourt were reinstated. Further it
directed the .egional Trial $ourt with the trial of the civil case against :olita
Toledo only.