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Van Dorn vs CA

G.R. No. L-68470

The petitioner is a Filipino citizen while respondent Romillo is an American citizen. They
married in Hong Kong in 1972 and after their marriage, established a residence in the Philippines.
The parties were divorced in Nevada in 1982 and now, petitioner is married to Theodore Van
Dorn. Respondent Romillo, Jr. Filed a suit against petitioner in RTC Pasay stating that petitioners
business in Ermita, Manila is conjugal property of the parties and that the petitioner ordered to
render an accounting of that business and that the private respondent be declared with a right to
manage the conjugal property. Petitioner moved to dismiss the case on the ground that the case
of the action is barred of the judgment in the divorce proceeding in the Nevada Court wherein
the respondent had acknowledged that he and the petitioner had no common property as of
June 11, 1982.
Whether there is an effect of the foreign divorce on the parties and their alleged
conjugal property in the Philippines.
It is not necessary to determine the property relations between petitioner and private
respondent after their marriage, whether absolute or relative community property, complete
separation of property or any other regime. The pivotal fact in this case is that the Nevada
divorce of the parties that the Nevada Court obtained jurisdiction over the petitioner and private

11) Quita vs Court of Appeals

GR 124862
Fe D. Quita, the petitioner, and Arturo T. Padlan, both Filipinos, were married in the
Philippines on May 18, 1941. They got divorce in San Francisco on July 23, 1954. Both of them
remarried another person. Arturo remarried Bladina Dandan, the respondent herewith. They were
blessed with six children. On April 16, 1972, when Arturo died, the trial court was set to declared
as to who will be the intestate heirs. The trial court invoking Tenchavez vs Escano case held that
the divorce acquired by the petitioner is not recognized in our country. Private respondent
stressed that the citizenship of petitioner was relevant in the light of the ruling in Van Dorn v.
Rommillo Jr that aliens who obtain divorce abroad are recognized in the Philippnes provided they
are valid according to their national law. The petitioner herself answered that she was an
American citizen since 1954. Through the hearing she also stated that Arturo was a Filipino at the
time she obtained the divorce. Implying the she was no longer a Filipino citizen. The Trial court
disregarded the respondents statement. The net hereditary estate was ordered in favor the Fe D.
Quita and Ruperto, the brother of Arturo. Blandina and the Padlan children moved for
reconsideration. On February 15, 1988 partial reconsideration was granted declaring the Padlan
children, with the exception of Alexis, entitled to one- half of the estate to the exclusion of
Ruperto Padlan, and the other half to Fe Quita. Private respondent was not declared an heir for
her marriage to Arturo was declared void since it was celebrated during the existence of his
previous marriage to petitioner. Blandina and her children appeal to the Court of Appeals thatthe
case was decided without a hearing in violation of the Rules of Court.
(1) Whether or not Blandinas marriage to Arturo void ab initio. (2) Whether or not Fe D.
Quita be declared the primary beneficiary as surviving spouse of Arturo.

No. The marriage of Blandina and Arturo is not void. The citizenship of Fe D. Quita at the
time of their divorce is relevant to this case. The divorce is valid here since she was already an
alien at the time she obtained divorce, and such is valid in their countrys national law. Thus, Fe
D. Quita is no longer recognized as a wife of Arturo. She cannot be the primary beneficiary or will
be recognized as surviving spouse of Arturo
Ducat obtained two separate loans from Ayala and Philsec in the sum of $2.5M secured by shares of
stock owned by Ducat.
In order to facilitate the payment of the loans, 1488 Inc. undertook the obligation to pay by virtue of
a Warranty Deed with a Vendors Lien. Through the latter, 1488 Inc. sold to Athona Holdings
(Athona) a parcel of land in Texas while Philsec and Ayala extended a $2.5M loan to Athona to
partially cover the value of the $2.8M lot.
Athona executed a promissory note in favour of 1488 Inc. worth $.3M to complete the payment for
the lot. After all these transactions, Ducat was released by Philsec and Ayala of his loan.
Athona failed to pay the $.3M promissory note.
1488 Inc. sued Athona, Philsec and Ayala for the payment of the $.3M.
The case was filed in Texas. While the Texas case was pending, Philsec filed a complaint to recover
a sum of money with damages in a Makati RTC against Ducat.
Ducat, on the other hand, filed and was granted a MTD on the basis of litis pendentia and forum
non conveniens.
The trial court also held that it had no jurisdiction over 1488 Inc. because the action was neither in
rem nor quasi in rem, accompanied by the fact that the said defendant was a non-resident.
The Court of Appeals affirmed the decision.
1. Did CA err in dismissing the case based on the principle of forum non conveniens?
1. Yes.
First, a MTD is limited to the grounds under Rule 16, 1, which does not include forum non
conveniens. The propriety of dismissing a case based on this principle requires a factual
determination, hence, it is more properly considered a matter of defense.
Second, while it is within the discretion of the trial court to abstain from assuming jurisdiction on
this ground, it should do so only after vital facts are established, to determine whether special
circumstances require the courts desistance.
The trial court arbitrarily dismissed the case even after finding that Ducat was not a party in the
U.S. case.

(OCTOBER 13, 2000), 343 SCRA 1

Marcelo Santos was employed as a printer in a printing press in Oman when he received a job offer
from Palace Hotel in China for the same position and a higher pay.
Santos remained in correspondence with Palace Hotel while he was still in employed in Oman.
After negotiations, Santos accepted the offer and signed the contract with Palace Hotel (while still in
Oman). His contract provided that he will receive a monthly salary of $900 and the employment
contract should last for two years.
After he resigned from his Oman job, he went back to the Philippines. Thereafter, he left for China.
When Santos arrived in China, he signed an amended employment agreement (terms were not stated
in the case), and the agreement was also signed by Mr. Schmidt of Palace Hotel and noted by the VP of
Manila Hotel International Company Limited (MHICL). Santos commenced employment immediately.
After a short vacation leave, Santos returned to Palace Hotel and he was informed that he was going to
be terminated due to business reverses suffered by the company.
After a month, he was indeed terminated and all his benefits were paid to him. When Santos came back
to the Philippines, he filed a suit in the NLRC, naming Manila Hotel Corporation (MHC) and MHICL as
To clarify the relationship of Palace Hotel and MHICL and MHC:

The NLRC awarded damages to Santos, but MHC and MHICL assailed NLRCs jurisdiction over the case.
Did the NLRC have jurisdiction over the case at bar?
NO. The main aspects of the case transpired in two foreign jurisdictions and the case involves purely
foreign elements. The only link that the Philippines has with the case is that Santos is a Filipino citizen.
The employment contract. SANTOS WAS HIRED DIRECTLY BY THE PALACE HOTEL, a foreign employer,
through correspondence sent to the Sultanate of Oman, where respondent Santos was then employed.
(1) that the Philippine court is one to which the parties may conveniently resort to;
(2) that the Philippine court is in a position to make an intelligent decision as to the law and the
facts; and
(3) that the Philippine court has or is likely to have power to enforce its decision.

8) Civil Law Conflict of Laws Processual Presumption Forum Non Conveniens

Remedial Law Civil Procedure Rule 34 Summary Judgment
Gil Miguel Puyat, a foreigner, lost a collection suit filed against him by Ron Zabarte in a court in California, USA. The
California court ordered Puyat to pay the amount of $241k. Puyat was only able to pay $5k.
In January 1994, Zabarte filed an action to enforce the California judgment here in the Philippines against Puyat. Puyat
filed an Answer where he alleged, among others, that the California court had no jurisdiction over the case, hence, the
foreign judgment is void. He likewise averred that the trial court had no jurisdiction because the issue involved are
partnership matters which are under the jurisdiction of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Zabarte then filed a motion for summary judgment as he argued that Puyats Answer tendered no issue. The trial court
granted the motion and eventually gave a favorable judgment for Zabarte. The Court of Appeals affirmed the decision of
the trial court.
On appeal, Puyat now avers that the trial court should have never taken cognizance of the case because it had no
jurisdiction over the case pursuant to the forum non conveniens rule. He averred that under this principle, since all the
transaction involved in this case occurred in California, he being aforeigner, and the California law was not properly
determined, the trial court had no jurisdiction. He also assailed the validity of the trial courts act in granting the motion for
summary judgment filed by Zabarte.
ISSUE: Whether or not Puyat is correct.
HELD: No. The allowance of summary judgment is proper. In this case, Puyats Answer did not really tender an
issue. Summary judgment is resorted to in order to avoid long drawn out litigations and useless delays. When affidavits,
depositions and admissions on file show that there are no genuine issues of fact to be tried, the Rules allow a party to
pierce the allegations in the pleadings and to obtain immediate relief by way of summary judgment. In short, since the
facts are not in dispute, the court is allowed to decide the case summarily by applying the law to the material facts. In this
case, Puyats Answer merely alleged that the California court, a civil court, had no jurisdiction because the case involved
was a partnership issue. He however admitted that the issue involved is the payment of money upon promissory notes
with damages. Puyat also did not attach a copy of the complaint filed by Zabarte with the California court. As such, the
trial court properly presumed, applying the principle of processual presumption, that the California law is the same as
Philippine law that cases involving collection of money is cognizable by civil courts. And by applying the principle of
processual presumption, theres no longer a need to try the facts in this case, hence, a summary judgment was in order.
Anent the issue of forum non conveniens, such does not exist in this case. Under the principle of forum non
conveniens, even if the exercise of jurisdiction is authorized by law, courts may nonetheless refuse to entertain a case for
any of the following practical reasons:
1) The belief that the matter can be better tried and decided elsewhere, either because the main aspects of the case
transpired in a foreign jurisdiction or the material witnesses have their residence there;
2) The belief that the non-resident plaintiff sought the forum[,] a practice known as forum shopping[,] merely to secure
procedural advantages or to convey or harass the defendant;
3) The unwillingness to extend local judicial facilities to non-residents or aliens when the docket may already be
4) The inadequacy of the local judicial machinery for effectuating the right sought to be maintained; and
The difficulty of ascertaining foreign law.


[ G.R. NO. 139325, April 12, 2005 ]
Invoking the Alien Tort Act, petitioners Mijares, et al.*, all of whom suffered human rights violations
during the Marcos era, obtained a Final Judgment in their favor against the Estate of the late

Ferdinand Marcos amounting to roughly $1.9B in compensatory and exemplary damages for tortuous
violations of international law in the US District Court of Hawaii. This Final Judgment was affirmed by
the US Court of Appeals.
As a consequence, Petitioners filed a Complaint with the RTC Makati for the enforcement of the Final
Judgment, paying P410 as docket and filing fees based on Rule 141, 7(b) where the value of the
subject matter is incapable of pecuniary estimation. The Estate of Marcos however, filed a MTD
alleging the non-payment of the correct filing fees. RTC Makati dismissed the Complaint stating that
the subject matter was capable of pecuniary estimation as it involved a judgment rendered by a
foreign court ordering the payment of a definite sum of money allowing for the easy determination of
the value of the foreign judgment. As such, the proper filing fee was P472M, which Petitioners had not
Issue: Whether or not the amount paid by the Petitioners is the proper filing fee.
Yes, but on a different basisamount merely corresponds to the same amount required for other
actions not involving property. RTC Makati erred in concluding that the filing fee should be computed
on the basis of the total sum claimed or the stated value of the property in litigation. The Petitioners
Complaint was lodged against the Estate of Marcos but it is clearly based on a judgment, the Final
Judgment of the US District Court. However, the Petitioners err in stating that the Final Judgment is
incapable of pecuniary estimation because it is so capable. On this point, Petitioners state that this
might lead to an instance wherein a first level court (MTC, MeTC, etc.) would have jurisdiction to
enforce a foreign judgment. Under the B.P.129, such courts are not vested with such jurisdiction. 33
of B.P.129 refers to instances wherein the cause of action or subject matter pertains to an assertion of
rights over property or a sum of money. But here, the subject matter is the foreign judgment itself. 16
of B.P.129 reveals that the complaint for enforcement of judgment even if capable of pecuniary
estimation would fall under the jurisdiction of the RTCs. Thus, the Complaint to enforce the US District
Court judgment is one capable of pecuniary estimations but at the same time, it is also an action
based on judgment against an estate, thus placing it beyond the ambit of 7(a) of Rule 141. What
governs the proper computation of the filing fees over Complaints for the enforcement of foreign
judgments is 7(b)(3), involving other actions not involving property.


G.R. No. 138104
April 11, 2002

FACTS: Asian Development Bank (ADB), a multilateral development finance institution, agreed to extend to
respondent Marcopper Mining Corporation (Marcopper) a loan in the aggregate amount of US$40,000,000.00
to finance the latter's mining project at Sta. Cruz, Marinduque. To secure the loan, Marcopper executed in favor

of ADB a "Deed of Real Estate and Chattel Mortgage" covering substantially all of its (Marcopper's) properties
and assets in Marinduque. When Marcopper defaulted in the payment of its loan obligation, petitioner MR
Holdings, Ltd., assumed Marcopper's obligation to ADB in the amount of US$18,453,450.02. Consequently, in
an "Assignment Agreement", ADB assigned to petitioner all its rights, interests and obligations under the
principal and complementary loan agreements. Respondent Marcopper likewise executed a "Deed of
Assignment" in favor of petitioner.
In the meantime, respondent Solidbank Corporation obtained a Partial Judgment against Marcopper from the
RTC, Branch 26, Manila, in Civil Case No. 96-80083 entitled "Solidbank Corporation vs. Marcopper Mining
Corporation, John E. Loney, Jose E. Reyes and Teodulo C. Gabor, Jr.," Having learned of the scheduled auction
sale, petitioner filed an "Affidavit of Third-Party Claim" asserting its ownership over all Marcopper's mining
properties, equipment and facilities by virtue of the "Deed of Assignment." Upon the denial of its "Affidavit of
Third-Party Claim" by the RTC of Manila, petitioner commenced with the RTC of Boac, Marinduque, a
complaint for reivindication of properties, etc., with prayer for preliminary injunction and temporary restraining
order against respondents Solidbank, Marcopper, and the sheriffs assigned in implementing the writ of
execution. The trial court denied petitioner's application for a writ of preliminary injunction on the ground that
petitioner has no legal capacity to sue, it being a foreign corporation doing business in the Philippines without
Unsatisfied, petitioner elevated the matter to the Court of Appeals on a Petition for Certiorari, Prohibition
and Mandamus. The Court of Appeals affirmed the ruling of the trial court that petitioner has no legal capacity
to sue in the Philippine courts because it is a foreign corporation doing business here without license. Hence, the
present petition. Petitioner alleged that it is not "doing business" in the Philippines and characterized its
participation in the assignment contracts (whereby Marcopper's assets were transferred to it) as mere isolated
acts that cannot foreclose its right to sue in local courts.
ISSUE: Whether or not petitioner has no legal capacity to sue in the Philippine courts because it is a foreign
corporation doing business here without license
HELD: The Supreme Court ruled in favor of petitioner and granted the petition. The Court ruled that a foreign
corporation, which becomes the assignee of mining properties, facilities and equipment, cannot be automatically
considered as doing business, nor presumed to have the intention of engaging in mining business. According to
the Court, petitioner was engaged only in isolated acts or transactions. Single or isolated acts, contracts, or
transactions of foreign corporations are not regarded as a doing or carrying on of business. Typical examples are
the making of a single contract, sale, sale with the taking of a note and mortgage in the state to secure payment
therefor, purchase, or note, or the mere commission of a tort. In the said instances, there is no purpose to do any
other business within the country. The Court further ruled that the Court of Appeals' holding that petitioner was
determined to be "doing business" in the Philippines is based mainly on conjectures and speculation. No effort
was exerted by the appellate court to establish the nexus between petitioner's business and the acts supposed to
constitute "doing business." Thus, whether the assignment contracts were incidental to petitioner's business or
were continuation thereof is beyond determination.
G.R. No. 107314 September 17, 1998
FACTS: The complaint to recover damages for killing petitioner's husband Jose Villareal was filed with the
RTC of Makati, Metro Manila. It was found that prior to the filing of the complaint, the Sevillas had abruptly
left the country and had started disposing of their properties in the Philippines. On August 39, 1988,
petitioners filed a Motion for Leave to Serve Summons by Publication which was later granted by the trial
court. Meanwhile, at the instance of petitioner Patricia, an information charging private respondents with
murder was filed on October 10, 1988 with the RTC of Makati. Defendants were declared in Default for
failure to file their Answer within the 60-day period counted from the last day of publication and petitioners

were then allowed to present evidence ex-parte. After presenting their evidence, petitioners amended their
complaint to make it conform to the evidence. The trial court admitted the Amended Complaint and
granted petitioners' Motion for Extra-territorial Service of Summons. Accordingly, summons was published
once a week for three consecutive weeks in the newspaper Abante. Copies of the Amended Complaint, the
summons, and the order were sent by registered mail to the last known addresses of private respondents
at Paraaque, Metro Manila and the United States. On February 7, 1990, counsel for private respondents,
Teresita Marbibi, filed a Notice of Appearance on their behalf. On February 14, 1990, again through
counsel, private respondents filed a verified Motion to Lift Order of Default with Motion for Reconsideration .
On March 27, 1990, the trial court issued an order denying the Motion to Lift Order of Default with Motion
for Reconsideration, on the ground that private respondents herein failed to comply with the requirements
of Rule 18. On April 2, 1990, the trial court rendered a decision finding private respondents liable for the
killing of Jose Villareal. Subsequent motions, without questioning courts jurisdiction, were later filed by the
private respondents but were also later denied by the trial court. Thus on September 11, 1991, private
respondents filed in the CA a petition for certiorari, prohibition, and mandamus with preliminary
injunction, alleging (1) that the trial court never acquired jurisdiction over them since they are nonresident defendants and petitioners' action is purely in personam and (2) that they were denied due
process of law. CA granted the petition. Petitioners moved for reconsideration, but their motion was
denied by the appellate court in a resolution dated September 30, 1992. Hence, this petition for review.
ISSUE: Whether or not the trial court acquired jurisdiction over the private respondents.
RULING: It is true that where the defendant in an action in personam is a non-resident, as in this case,
and refuses to appear and submit to the jurisdiction of the court, the jurisdiction of the latter is limited to
the property within the country which the court may have ordered attached. In such a case, the property
itself is "the sole thing which is impleaded and is the responsible object which is the subject of the judicial
power." Accordingly, "the relief must be confined to the res, and the court cannot lawfully render a
personal judgment against him." But the Court also acknowledged in Banco Espaol-Filipino that if
property is attached and later the defendant appears, "the cause becomes mainly a suit in personam, with
the added incident that the property attached remains liable, under the control of the court, to answer to
any demand which may be established against the defendant by the final judgment of the court." In this
case, not only was property in the Philippines of private respondents attached, but, what is more, private
respondents subsequently appeared in the trial court and submitted to its jurisdiction. Consequently, the
jurisdiction of the trial court to render a judgment in personam against them is undoubted. There can be
no question regarding the trial court's acquisition of jurisdiction over the persons of respondents when the
latter's counsel entered her appearance on their behalf on February 7, 1990. Through counsel, private
respondents voluntarily appeared by filing a Notice of Appearance without qualification and a Motion to Lift
Order of Default with Motion for Reconsideration, in which they prayed for affirmative reliefs, thus
submitting to the jurisdiction of the court. The following instances have been considered voluntary
submission to the jurisdiction of the court: the filing by defendant of a motion to admit answer; the filing of
a motion for reconsideration of the judgment by default; and the filing of a petition to set aside the
judgment of default. Not only did private respondents voluntarily submit themselves to the jurisdiction of
the trial court, they never questioned the validity of the mode of service of summons, that is, by
extraterritorial service upon them. As already stated, private respondents filed a notice of appearance
without qualification.


HELEN CHRISTENSEN GARCIA, G.R. No. L-16749 January 31,
7 SCRA 95 Civil Law Application of Laws Foreign Law Nationality Principle Internal and Conflict
Application of the Renvoi Doctrine
Edward Christensen was born in New York but he migrated to California where he resided for a period of 9
years. In 1913, he came to the Philippines where he became a domiciliary until his death. In his will, he
instituted an acknowledged natural daughter, Maria Lucy Christensen (legitimate), as his only heir, but left
a legacy sum of money in favor of Helen Christensen Garcia (illegitimate). Adolfo Aznar was the executor
of the estate. Counsel for Helen claims that under Article 16, paragraph 2 of the Civil Code, California law
should be applied; that under California law, the matter is referred back to the law of the domicile. On the
other hand, counsel for Maria, averred that the national law of the deceased must apply, illegitimate
children not being entitled to anything under California law.
ISSUE: Whether or not the national law of the deceased should be applied in determining the
successional rights of his heirs.
HELD: The Supreme Court 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 applies to Californians domiciled in
California and the conflict rule for Californians domiciled outside of California. Christensen being domiciled
in the Philippines, the law of his domicile must be followed. The case was remanded to the lower court for
further proceedings the determination of the successional rights under Philippine law only.

9) GR 23678 Civil Law Application of Laws Nationality Principle

Succession Nationality of the Decedent Legitimes
Amos Bellis was a citizen of the State of Texas, and of the United States. By his first wife whom he
divorced he had five legitimate children (Edward Bellis et al), by his second wife, who survived him, he
had three legitimate children. He, however, also had three illegitimate children in the Philippines (Maria
Cristina Bellis et al). Before he died, he made two wills, one disposing of his Texas properties and the
other disposing his Philippine properties. In both wills, his illegitimate children were not given anything.
The illegitimate children opposed the will on the ground that they have been deprived of their legitimes to
which they should be entitled, if Philippine law were to be applied.
Whether Texan Law of Philippine Law must apply.
The parties admit that the decedent, Amos Bellis, was a citizen of the State of Texas, USA and that under the
Laws of Texas, there are no forced heirs or legitimates. Accordingly, since the intrinsic validity of the provision of the will
and the amount of successional rights has to be determined under Texas Law, the Philippine Law on legitimates can not
be applied to the testate of Amos Bellis.

6) BONCO DO BRASIL VS COURT OF APPEALS GR 121576-78 Conflict of Laws Private International

Law Service of Summons in In Personam Cases
In 1989, Cesar Urbino, Sr. sued Poro Point Shipping Services for damages the former incurred when one
of the latters ship ran aground causing losses to Urbino. Urbino impleaded Banco Do Brasil (BDB), a
foreign corporation not engaged in business in the Philippines nor does it have any office here or any
agent. BDB was impleaded simply because it has a claim over the sunken ship. BDB however failed to
appear multiple times. Eventually, a judgment was rendered and BDB was adjudged to pay $300,000.00
in damages in favor of Urbino for BDB being a nuisance defendant.
BDB assailed the said decision as it argued that there was no valid service of summons because the
summons was issued to the ambassador of Brazil. Further, the other summons which were made through
publication is not applicable to BDB as it alleged that the action against them is in personam.
ISSUE: Whether or not the court acquired jurisdiction over Banco Do Brasil.
HELD: No. Banco Do Brasil is correct. Although the suit is originally in rem as it was BDBs claim on the
sunken ship which was used as the basis for it being impleaded, the action nevertheless became an in
personam one when Urbino asked for damages in the said amount. As such, only a personal service of
summons would have vested the court jurisdiction over BDB. Where the action is in personam, one
brought against a person on the basis of his personal liability, jurisdiction over the person of the defendant
is necessary for the court to validly try and decide the case. When the defendant is a non-resident,
personal service of summons within the state is essential to the acquisition of jurisdiction over the person.
This cannot be done, however, if the defendant is not physically present in the country, and thus, the court
cannot acquire jurisdiction over his person and therefore cannot validly try and decide the case against

10) GR. 128803 ASIAVEST LIMITED vs CAConflict of Laws Private International Law Service of
Summons to a Non Resident Processual Presumption
In 1984, a Hong Kong court ordered Antonio Heras to pay US$1.8 million or its equivalent, with interest, to
Asiavest Ltd. Apparently, Heras guaranteed a certain loan in Hong Kong and the debtor in said loan
defaulted hence, the creditor, Asiavest, ran after Heras. But before said judgment was issued and even
during trial, Heras already left for good Hong Kong and he returned to the Philippines. So when in 1987,
when Asiavest filed a complaint in court seeking to enforce the foreign judgment against Heras, the latter
claim that he never received any summons, not in Hong Kong and not in the Philippines. He also claimed
that he never received a copy of the foreign judgment. Asiavest however contends that Heras was actually
given service of summons when a messenger from the Sycip Salazar Law Firm served said summons by
leaving a copy to one Dionisio Lopez who was Heras son in law.
ISSUE: Whether or not the foreign judgment can be enforced against Heras in the Philippines.
HELD: No. Although the foreign judgment was duly authenticated (Asiavest was able to adduce evidence
in support thereto) and Heras was never able to overcome the validity of it, it cannot be enforced against
Heras here in the Philippines because Heras was not properly served summons. Hence, as far as
Philippine law is concerned, the Hong Kong court has never acquired jurisdiction over Heras. This means
then that Philippine courts cannot act to enforce the said foreign judgment.
The action against Heras is an action in personam and as far as Hong Kong is concerned, Heras is a non
resident. He is a non resident because prior to the judgment, he already abandoned Hong Kong. The
Hong Kong law on service of summons in in personam cases against non residents was never presented
in court hence processual presumption is applied where it is now presumed that Hong Kong law in as far
as this case is concerned is the same as Philippine laws. And under our laws, in an action in
personam wherein the defendant is a non-resident who does not voluntarily submit himself to the authority
of the court, personal service of summons within the state is essential to the acquisition of jurisdiction over
her person. This method of service is possible if such defendant is physically present in the country. If he
is not found therein, the court cannot acquire jurisdiction over his person and therefore cannot
validly try and decide the case against him. Without a personal service of summons, the Hong
Kong court never acquired jurisdiction. Needless to say, the summons tendered to Lopez was an invalid
service because the same does not satisfy the requirement of personal service.

14) GR. 122191 SAUDI ARABIAN AIRLINES VS CA Conflict of Laws Private International Law
Situs Locus Actus
Milagros Morada was working as a stewardess for Saudia Arabian Airlines. In 1990, while she and some
co-workers were in a lay-over in Jakarta, Indonesia, an Arab co-worker tried to rape her in a hotel room.
Fortunately, a roomboy heard her cry for help and two of her Arab co-workers were arrested and detained
in Indonesia. Later, Saudia Airlines re-assigned her to work in their Manila office. While working in Manila,
Saudia Airlines advised her to meet with a Saudia Airlines officer in Saudi. She did but to her surprise, she
was brought to a Saudi court where she was interrogated and eventually sentenced to 5 months
imprisonment and 289 lashes; she allegedly violated Muslim customs by partying with males. The Prince
of Makkah got wind of her conviction and the Prince determined that she was wrongfully convicted hence
the Prince absolved her and sent her back to the Philippines. Saudia Airlines later on dismissed Morada.
Morada then sued Saudia Airlines for damages under Article 19 and 21 of the Civil Code. Saudia Airlines
filed a motion to dismiss on the ground that the RTC has no jurisdiction over the case because the
applicable law should be the law of Saudi Arabia. Saudia Airlines also prayed for other reliefs under the
ISSUE: Whether or not Saudia Airlines contention is correct.
HELD: No. Firstly, the RTC has acquired jurisdiction over Saudia Airlines when the latter filed a motion to
dismiss with petition for other reliefs. The asking for other reliefs effectively asked the court to make a
determination of Saudia Airliness rights hence a submission to the courts jurisdiction.
Secondly, the RTC has acquired jurisdiction over the case because as alleged in the complaint of Morada,
she is bringing the suit for damages under the provisions of our Civil Law and not of the Arabian Law.
Morada then has the right to file it in the QC RTC because under the Rules of Court, a plaintiff may elect
whether to file an action in personam (case at bar) in the place where she resides or where the defendant
resides. Obviously, it is well within her right to file the case here because if shell file it in Saudi Arabia, it
will be very disadvantageous for her (and of course, again, Philippine Civil Law is the law invoked).
Thirdly, one important test factor to determine where to file a case, if there is a foreign element involved, is
the so called locus actus or where an act has been done. In the case at bar, Morada was already
working in Manila when she was summoned by her superior to go to Saudi Arabia to meet with a Saudia
Airlines officer. She was not informed that she was going to appear in a court trial. Clearly, she was
defrauded into appearing before a court trial which led to her wrongful conviction. The act of defrauding,
which is tortuous, was committed in Manila and this led to her humiliation, misery, and suffering. And
applying the torts principle in a conflicts case, the SC finds that the Philippines could be said as a situs of
the tort (the place where the alleged tortious conduct took place).