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ZEDAKIAH NOTES

CONFLICTS OF LAW
I.

G.R. No. L-12105 January 30, 1960


TESTATE ESTATE OF C. O. BOHANAN, deceased.
PHILIPPINE TRUST CO. vs. MAGDALENA C.
BOHANAN, EDWARD C. BOHANAN, and MARY LYDIA
BOHANAN

JURISDICTION
1. TYPES OF JURISDICTION
G.R. No. L-18164 January 23, 1967
WILLIAM F. GEMPERLE vs. HELEN SCHENKER and
PAUL SCHENKER

1.
WHAT LAW GOVERNS; APPROVAL OF
PROJECT OF PARTITION. Article 10 of the old Civil
Code (Article 16, new Civil Code) provides that the validity of
testamentary dispositions are to be governed by the national
law of the person whose succession is in question. In case at
bar, the testator was a citizen of the State of Nevada. Since the
laws of said state allow the testator to dispose of all his
property according to his will, his testamentary dispositions
depriving his wife and children of what should be their
legitimes under the laws of the Philippines, should be
respected and the project of partition made in accordance with
his testamentary dispositions should be approved.

1.
JURISDICTION OVER A NON-RESIDENT
DEFENDANT; SERVICE OF SUMMONS UPON AN
ATTORNEY-IN-FACT; EFFECT. Where a non-resident
alien had constituted his wife as his attorney-in-fact had
authorized her to sue, and the latter in fact had sued on his
behalf, and as a result thereof a suit was brought against him
and a service of summons addressed to him on the latter case
was served personally on his wife, his attorney-in-fact; the
court had acquired jurisdiction over his person, he having
empowered her to sue, so that she was also in effect
empowered to represent him in suits filed against him.

2.
JUDICIAL NOTICE OF FOREIGN LAW IF
INTRODUCED IN EVIDENCE. The pertinent law of the
state of the testator may be taken judicial notice of without
proof of such law having been offered at the hearing of the
project of partition where it appears that said law was admitted
by the court as exhibit during the probate of the will; that the
same was introduced as evidence of a motion of one of the
appellants for withdrawal of a certain sum of money; and that
the other appellants do not dispute the said law.

G.R. No. 47517 June 27, 1941


IDONAH SLADE PERKINS vs. MAMERTO ROXAS, ET
AL.
1.
MEANING OF JURISDICTION OVER SUBJECT
MATTER; ADJUDICATION OF TITLE TO CERTAIN
SHARES OF STOCK. By jurisdiction over the the subject
matter is meant the nature of the cause of action and of the
relief sought, and this is conferred by the sovereign authority
which organizes the court, and is to be sought for in the
general nature of its power, or in authority specially conferred.
The respondent's action calls for the adjudication of title to
certain shares of stock of the Benguet Consolidated Mining
Company, and the granting of affirmative reliefs, which fall
within the general jurisdiction of the Court of First Instance of
Manila.

G.R. No. 120077 October 13, 2000


MANILA HOTEL CORP. ET AL. vs. NLRC, ET AL.
I. Forum Non-Conveniens
The NLRC was a seriously inconvenient forum.
We note that 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 respondent Santos is a Filipino citizen. The Palace
Hotel and MHICL are foreign corporations. Not all cases
involving our citizens can be tried here.

2.
CROSS-COMPLAINT. I. S. P. in her crosscomplaint brought suit against E. A. P. and the Benguet
Consolidated Mining Company upon the alleged judgment of
the Supreme Court of the State of New York and asked the
court below to render judgment enforcing that New York
judgment, and to issue execution thereon. This is a form of
action recognized by section 309 of the Code of Civil
Procedure (now section 47, Rule 39, Rules of Court) and
which falls within the general jurisdiction of the Court of First
Instance of Manila, to adjudicate, settle and determine.
2.

The employment contract. Respondent 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. He was hired without
the intervention of the POEA or any authorized recruitment
agency of the government.
Under the rule of forum non conveniens, a Philippine court or
agency may assume jurisdiction over the case if it chooses to
do so provided: (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. The conditions are
unavailing in the case at bar.

DEALING WITH A CONFLICTS PROBLEM

G.R. No. 32636 March 17, 1930


A.W. FLUEMER vs. ANNIE COUSINS HIX
1.
CONFLICT OF LAWS; CODE OF CIVIL PROCEDURE,
SECTIONS 300 AND 301, APPLIED. The laws of a foreign
jurisdiction do not prove themselves in our courts. The courts of the
Philippine Islands are not authorized to take judicial notice of the
laws of the various States of the American Union. Such laws must be
proved as facts. The requirements of sections 300 and 301 of the
Code of Civil Procedure must be met.

Not Convenient. We fail to see how the NLRC is a


convenient forum given that all the incidents of the case
from the time of recruitment, to employment to dismissal
occurred outside the Philippines. The inconvenience is
compounded by the fact that the proper defendants, the Palace

ZEDAKIAH NOTES
Hotel and MHICL are not nationals of the Philippines. Neither
.are they "doing business in the Philippines." Likewise, the
main witnesses, Mr. Shmidt and Mr. Henk are non-residents of
the Philippines.

(SEC). The jurisdiction of the latter is exclusively over matters


enumerated in Section 5, PD 902-A, 21 prior to its latest
amendment. If the foreign court did not really have
jurisdiction over the case, as petitioner claims, it would have
been very easy for him to show this. Since jurisdiction is
determined by the allegations in a complaint, he only had to
submit a copy of the complaint filed with the foreign court.
Clearly, this issue did not warrant trial.

No power to determine applicable law. Neither can an


intelligent decision be made as to the law governing the
employment contract as such was perfected in foreign soil.
This calls to fore the application of the principle of lex loci
contractus (the law of the place where the contract was made).

G.R. No. 120135 March 31, 2003


BANK OF AMERICA NT&SA, ET AL. vs. CA, ET AL

The employment contract was not perfected in the Philippines.


Respondent Santos signified his acceptance by writing a letter
while he was in the Republic of Oman. This letter was sent to
the Palace Hotel in the People's Republic of China.

Should the complaint be dismissed on the ground of forum


non-conveniens?
No. The doctrine of forum non-conveniens, literally meaning
'the forum is inconvenient', emerged in private international
law to deter the practice of global forum shopping, that is to
prevent non-resident litigants from choosing the forum or
place wherein to bring their suit for malicious reasons, such as
to secure procedural advantages, to annoy and harass the
defendant, to avoid overcrowded dockets, or to select a more
friendly venue. Under this doctrine, a court, in conflicts of law
cases, may refuse impositions on its jurisdiction where it is not
the most "convenient" or available forum and the parties are
not precluded from seeking remedies elsewhere.

No power to determine the facts. Neither can the NLRC


determine the facts surrounding the alleged illegal dismissal as
all acts complained of took place in Beijing, People's Republic
of China. The NLRC was not in a position to determine
whether the Tiannamen Square incident truly adversely
affected operations of the Palace Hotel as to justify respondent
Santos' retrenchment.
Principle of effectiveness, no power to execute decision.
Even assuming that a proper decision could be reached by the
NLRC, such would not have any binding effect against the
employer, the Palace Hotel. The Palace Hotel is a corporation
incorporated under the laws of China and was not even served
with summons. Jurisdiction over its person was not acquired.

Whether a suit should be entertained or dismissed on the basis


of said doctrine depends largely upon the facts of the
particular case and is addressed to the sound discretion of the
trial court. 44 In the case of Communication Materials and
Design, Inc. vs. CA, 45 this Court held that ". . . [a] Philippine
Court may assume jurisdiction over the case if it chooses to do
so; provided, that the following requisites are met: (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." 46 Evidently, all these requisites are present in
the instant case.

This is not to say that Philippine courts and agencies have no


power to solve controversies involving foreign employers.
Neither are we saying that we do not have power over an
employment contract executed in a foreign country. If Santos
were an "overseas contract worker", a Philippine forum,
specifically the POEA, not the NLRC, would protect him. He
is not an "overseas contract worker" a fact which he admits
with conviction.
Even assuming that the NLRC was the proper forum, even on
the merits, the NLRC's decision cannot be sustained.

Moreover, this Court enunciated in Philsec. Investment


Corporation vs. CA, 47 that the doctrine of forum non
conveniens should not be used as a ground for a motion to
dismiss because Sec. 1, Rule 16 of the Rules of Court does not
include said doctrine as a ground. This Court further ruled that
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 court's desistance; and that the
propriety of dismissing a case based on this principle of forum
non conveniens requires a factual determination, hence it is
more properly considered a matter of defense.

G.R. No. 141536 February 26, 2001


GIL MIGUEL T. PUYAT vs. RON ZABARTE
Petitioner alleges that jurisdiction over Case No. C21-00265,
which involved partnership interest, was vested in the
Securities and Exchange Commission, not in the Superior
Court of California, County of Contra Costa.
We disagree. In the absence of proof of California law on the
jurisdiction of courts, we presume that such law, if any, is
similar to Philippine law. We base this conclusion on the
presumption of identity or similarity, also known as processual
presumption. The Complaint, which respondent filed with the
trial court, was for the enforcement of a foreign judgment. He
alleged therein that the action of the foreign court was for the
collection of a sum of money, breach of promissory notes, and
damages.
In our jurisdiction, such a case falls under the jurisdiction of
civil courts, not of the Securities and Exchange Commission

ZEDAKIAH NOTES
II.

PROOF AND APPLICATION OF FOREIGN LAW


1. PROOF OF FOREIGN LAW

provides that "(a)ll marriages performed outside of the


Philippines in accordance with the laws in force in the country
where they were performed, and valid there as such, shall also
be valid in this country . . ." And any doubt as to the validity
of the matrimonial unity and the extent as to how far the
validity of such marriage may be extended to the
consequences of the coverture is answered by Art. 220 of the
Civil Code in this manner: "In case of doubt, all presumptions
favor the solidarity of the family. Thus, every intendment of
law or facts leans toward the validity of marriage, the
indissolubility of the marriage bonds, the legitimacy of
children, the community of property during marriage, the
authority of parents over their children, and the validity of
defense for any member of the family in case of unlawful
aggression." Bearing in mind the "processual presumption"
enunciated in Miciano and other cases, he who asserts that the
marriage is not valid under our law bears the burden of proof
to present the foreign law.

G.R. No. 12767 November 16, 1918


IN RE: EMIL H. JOHNSON
1.
AMERICAN CITIZEN RESIDING IN PHILIPPINE
ISLANDS. The authority expressed in Section 636 of the
Code of Civil Procedure for the probate of the will of a citizen
of another state or country is applicable to the case of a citizen
of a State of the American Union domiciled in the Philippine
Islands.
2.
CONCLUSIVENESS OF PROBATE; INTRINSIC
VALIDITY. While the probate of a will is conclusive as to
compliance with all formal requisites necessary to the lawful
execution of the will, such probate does not affect the intrinsic
validity of the provisions of the will. With respect to the latter
the will is governed by the substantive law relative to descent
and distribution.

G.R. No. 119602 October 6, 2000


WILDVALLEY SHIPPING CO. vs. COURT OF APPEALS,
ET AL.

3.
WILL OF AMERICAN CITIZEN. The intrinsic
validity of the provisions of the will of a citizen of one of the
American States, proved under Section 636 of the Code of
Civil Procedure, is governed by the laws of the State of which
he is a citizen.

Nevertheless, we take note that these written laws were not


proven in the manner provided by Section 24 of Rule 132 of
the Rules of Court.

4.
CITIZENSHIP; AMERICANS RESIDENT IN
PHILIPPINE ISLANDS. When a person who is a citizen of
the United States and therefore also a citizen of the State in
which he was born or naturalized becomes a resident of the
Philippine Islands, he cannot acquire a new citizenship here;
and he must be assumed to retain his State citizenship along
with his status as a citizen of the United States.

The Reglamento General de la Ley de Pilotaje was published


in the Gaceta Oficial Of the Republic of Venezuela. A
photocopy of the Gaceta Oficial was presented in evidence as
an official publication of the Republic of Venezuela.
The Reglamento Para la Zona de Pilotaje No 1 del Orinoco is
published in a book issued by the Ministerio de
Comunicaciones of Venezuela. Only a photocopy of the said
rules was likewise presented as evidence.

5.
JUDICIAL NOTICE. The courts of the Philippine
Islands are not authorized to take judicial notice of the laws of
the various States of the American Union, although they may
take judicial notice of the laws enacted by Congress.
2.

Both of these documents are considered in Philippine


jurisprudence to be public documents for they are the written
official acts, or records of the official acts of the sovereign
authority, official bodies and tribunals, and public officers of
Venezuela.

EFFECT OF FAILURE TO PLEAD AND


PROVE FOREIGN LAW

For a copy of a foreign public document to be admissible, the


following requisites are mandatory: (1) It must be attested by
the officer having legal custody of the records or by his
deputy; and (2) It must be accompanied by a certificate by a
secretary of the embassy or legation, consul general, consul,
vice consular or consular agent or foreign service officer, and
with the seal of his office. The latter requirement is not a mere
technicality but is intended to justify the giving of full faith
and credit to the genuineness of a document in a foreign
country.

G.R. Nos. 95122-23 & 95612-13 May 31, 1991


BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS (CID), ET AL. vs.
JOSELITO DELA ROSA, ET AL.
1.
FOREIGN LAW PRESUMED THE SAME WITH
PHILIPPINE LAW ABSENCE OF PROOF TO THE
CONTRARY. In Miciano vs. Brimo,this Court held that in
the absence of evidence to the contrary, foreign laws on a
particular subject are presumed to be the same as those of the
Philippines. In the case at bar, there being no proof of Chinese
law relating to marriage, there arises the presumption that it is
the same as that of Philippine law.

It is not enough that the Gaceta Oficial, or a book published by


the Ministerio de Comunicaciones of Venezuela, was
presented as evidence with Captain Monzon attesting it. It is
also required by Section 24 of Rule 132 of the Rules of Court
that a certificate that Captain Monzon, who attested the
documents, is the officer who had legal custody of those
records 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

2.
MARRIAGE; DOCTRINE OF "PROCESSUAL
PRESUMPTION" APPLIED IN PHILIPPINE LAW.
Philippine law, following the lex loci celebrationis, adheres to
the rule that a marriage formally valid where celebrated is
valid everywhere. Referring to marriages contracted abroad,
Art. 71 of the Civil Code (now Art. 26 of the Family Code)

ZEDAKIAH NOTES
Venezuela, and authenticated by the seal of his office
accompanying the copy of the public document. No such
certificate could be found in the records of the case.
With respect to proof of written laws, parol proof is
objectionable, for the written law itself is the best evidence.
According to the weight of authority, when a foreign statute is
involved, the best evidence rule requires that it be proved by a
duly authenticated copy of the statute.

Philippines in between their assigned flights to the Middle


East and Europe. All the above contacts point to the Philippine
courts and administrative agencies as a proper forum for the
resolution of contractual disputes between the parties. Under
these circumstances, paragraph 10 of the employment
agreement cannot be given effect so as to oust Philippine
agencies and courts of the jurisdiction vested upon them by
Philippine law. Finally, and in any event, the petitioner PIA
did not undertake to plead and prove the contents of Pakistan
law on the matter; it must therefore be presumed that the
applicable provisions of the law of Pakistan are the same as
the applicable provisions of Philippine law.

At this juncture, we have to point out that the Venezuelan law


was not pleaded before the lower court.
A foreign law is considered to be pleaded if there is an
allegation in the pleading about the existence of the foreign
law, its import and legal consequence on the event or
transaction in issue.

III.

G.R. No. 104776 December 5, 1994


BIENVENIDO M. CADALIN, ET
ADMINISTRATOR

A review of the Complaint revealed that it was never alleged


or invoked despite the fact that the grounding of the M/V
Philippine Roxas occurred within the territorial jurisdiction of
Venezuela.

AL.

vs.

POEA

"These money claims (under Article 291 of the Labor Code)


refer to those arising from the employer's violation of the
employee's right as provided by the Labor Code.

We reiterate that under the rules of private international law, a


foreign law must be properly pleaded and proved as a fact. In
the absence of pleading and proof, the laws of a foreign
country, or state, will be presumed to be the same as our own
local or domestic law and this is known as processual
presumption.
3.

NATURE OF CONFLICTS RULES AND PROBLEM


OF CHARACTERIZATION

In the instant case, what the respondents violated are not the
rights of the workers as provided by the Labor Code, but the
provisions of the Amiri Decree No. 23 issued in Bahrain,
which ipso facto amended the worker's contracts of
employment. Respondents consciously failed to conform to
these provisions which specifically provide for the increase of
the worker's rate. It was only after June 30, 1983, four months
after the brown builders brought a suit against B & R in
Bahrain for this same claim, when respondent AIBC's
contracts have undergone amendments in Bahrain for the new
hires/renewals.

EXCEPTION TO APPLICATION OF FOREIGN


LAW

G.R. No. 61594 September 28, 1990


PAKISTAN INTERNATIONAL AIRLINES CORPORATION
vs. BLAS F. OPLE, ET AL.
Petitioner PIA cannot take refuge in paragraph 10 of its
employment agreement which specifies, firstly, the law of
Pakistan as the applicable law of the agreement and, secondly,
lays the venue for settlement of any dispute arising out of or in
connection with the agreement "only [in] courts of Karachi,
Pakistan". The first clause of paragraph 10 cannot be invoked
to prevent the application of Philippine labor laws and
regulations to the subject matter of this case, i.e., the
employer-employee relationship between petitioner PIA and
private respondents. We have already pointed out that
relationship is much affected with public interest and that the
otherwise applicable Philippine laws and regulations cannot be
rendered illusory by the parties agreeing upon some other law
to govern their relationship. Neither may petitioner invoke the
second clause of paragraph 10, specifying the Karachi courts
as the sole venue for the settlement of disputes between the
contracting parties. Even a cursory scrutiny of the relevant
circumstances of this case will show the multiple and
substantive contacts between Philippine law and Philippine
courts, on the one hand, and the relationship between the
parties, upon the other: the contract was not only executed in
the Philippines, it was also performed here, at least partially;
private respondents are Philippine citizens and residents, while
petitioner, although a foreign corporation, is licensed to do
business (and actually doing business) and hence resident in
the Philippines; lastly, private respondents were based in the

Hence, premises considered, the applicable law of prescription


to this instant case is Article 1144 of the Civil Code of the
Philippines, which provides:
'Art. 1144.
The following actions may be brought
within ten years from the time the cause of action accrues:
(1)
Upon a written contract;
(2)
Upon an obligation created by law;'
Thus, herein money claims of the complainants against the
respondents shall prescribe in ten years from August 16, 1976.
Inasmuch as all claims were filed within the ten-year
prescriptive period, no claim suffered the infirmity of being
prescribed".
In overruling the POEA Administrator, and holding that the
prescriptive period is three years as provided in Article 291 of
the Labor Code of the Philippines, the NLRC argued as
follows:
"The Labor Code provides that 'all money claims arising from
employer-employee relations . . . shall be filed within three
years from the time the cause of action accrued; otherwise
they shall be forever barred' (Art. 291, Labor Code, as
amended). This three-year prescriptive period shall be the one
applied here and which should be reckoned from the date of
repatriation of each individual complainant, considering the
fact that the case is having (sic) filed in this country. We do

ZEDAKIAH NOTES
not agree with the POEA Administrator that this three-year
prescriptive period applies only to money claims specifically
recoverable under the Philippine Labor Code. Article 291
gives no such indication. Likewise, We can not consider
complainants' cause/s of action to have accrued from a
violation of their employment contracts. There was no
violation; the claims arise from the benefits of the law of the
country where they worked.

Claimants in G.R. Nos. 104911-14 are of the view that Article


291 of the Labor Code of the Philippines, which was applied
by NLRC, refers only to claims "arising from the employer's
violation of the employee's right as provided by the Labor
Code." They assert that their claims are based on the violation
of their employment contracts, as amended by the Amiri
Decree No. 23 of 1976 and therefore the claims may be
brought within ten years as provided by Article 1144 of the
Civil Code of the Philippines. To bolster their contention, they
cite PALEA v. Philippine Airlines, Inc.

Anent the applicability of the one-year prescriptive period as


provided by the Amiri Decree No. 23 of 1976, NLRC opined
that the applicability of said law was one of characterization,
i.e., whether to characterize the foreign law on prescription or
statute of limitation as "substantive" or "procedural." NLRC
cited the decision in Bournias v. Atlantic Maritime Company,
where the issue was the applicability of the Panama Labor
Code in a case filed in the State of New York for claims
arising from said Code. In said case, the claims would have
prescribed under the Panamanian Law but not under the
Statute of Limitations of New York. The U.S. Circuit Court of
Appeals held that the Panamanian Law was procedural as it
was not "specifically intended to be substantive," hence, the
prescriptive period provided in the law of the forum should
apply. The Court observed:
". . . And where, as here, we are dealing with a statute of
limitations of a foreign country, and it is not clear on the face
of the statute that its purpose was to limit the enforceability,
outside as well as within the foreign country concerned, of the
substantive rights to which the statute pertains, we think that
as a yardstick for determining whether that was the purpose
this test is the most satisfactory one. It does not lead American
courts into the necessity of examining into the unfamiliar
peculiarities and refinements of different foreign legal
systems. . ."

AIBC and BRII, insisting that the actions on the claims have
prescribed under the Amiri Decree No. 23 of 1976, argue that
there is in force in the Philippines a "borrowing law," which is
Section 48 of the Code of Civil Procedure and that where such
kind of law exists, it takes precedence over the common-law
conflicts rule.
First to be determined is 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.
Article 156 of the Amiri Decree No. 23 of 1976 provides:
"A claim arising out of a contract of employment shall not be
actionable after the lapse of one year from the date of the
expiry of the contract".
As a general rule, a foreign procedural law will not be applied
in the forum. Procedural matters, such as service of process,
joinder of actions, period and requisites for appeal, and so
forth, are governed by the laws of the forum. This is true even
if the action is based upon a foreign substantive law.
A law on prescription of actions is sui generis in Conflict of
Laws in the sense that it may be viewed either as procedural or
substantive, depending on the characterization given such a
law.

The court further noted:


xxx
xxx
xxx
"Applying that test here it appears to us that the libelant is
entitled to succeed, for the respondents have failed to satisfy
us that the Panamanian period of limitation in question was
specifically aimed against the particular rights which the
libelant seeks to enforce. The Panama Labor Code is a statute
having broad objectives, viz: 'The present Code regulates the
relations between capital and labor, placing them on a basis of
social justice, so that, without injuring any of the parties, there
may be guaranteed for labor the necessary conditions for a
normal life and to capital an equitable return to its investment.'
In pursuance of these objectives the Code gives laborers
various rights against their employers. Article 623 establishes
the period of limitation for all such rights, except certain ones
which are enumerated in Article 621. And there is nothing in
the record to indicate that the Panamanian legislature gave
special consideration to the impact of Article 623 upon the
particular rights sought to be enforced here, as distinguished
from the other rights to which that Article is also applicable.
Were we confronted with the question of whether the
limitation period of Article 621 (which carves out particular
rights to be governed by a shorter limitation period) is to be
regarded as 'substantive' or 'procedural' under the rule of
'specifity' we might have a different case; but here on the
surface of things we appear to be dealing with a 'broad,' and
not a 'specific,' statute of limitations".

Thus in Bournias v. Atlantic Maritime Company, supra, the


American court applied the statute of limitations of New York,
instead of the Panamanian law, after finding that there was no
showing that the Panamanian law on prescription was
intended to be substantive. Being considered merely a
procedural law even in Panama, it has to give way to the law
of the forum on prescription of actions.
However, the characterization of a statute into a procedural or
substantive law becomes irrelevant when the country of the
forum has a "borrowing statute." Said statute has the practical
effect of treating the foreign statute of limitation as one of
substance. A "borrowing statute" directs the state of the forum
to apply the foreign statute of limitations to the pending claims
based on a foreign law. While there are several kinds of
"borrowing statutes," one from provides that an action barred
by the laws of the place where it accrued, will not be enforced
in the forum even though the local statute has not run against
it. Section 48 of our Code of Civil Procedure is of this kind.
Said Section provides:
"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 Islands."

ZEDAKIAH NOTES
Section 48 has not been repealed or amended by the Civil
Code of the Philippines. Article 2270 of said Code repealed
only those provisions of the Code of Civil Procedures as to
which were inconsistent with it. There is no provision in the
Civil Code of the Philippines, which is inconsistent with or
contradictory to Section 48 of the Code of Civil Procedure.
In the light of the 1987 Constitution, however, Section 48
cannot be enforced ex proprio vigore insofar as it ordains the
application in this jurisdiction of Section 156 of the Amiri
Decree No. 23 of 1976.

citizens, an internal law for its citizens domiciled in other


jurisdiction. Hence, reason demands that the California
conflict of law rules should be applied in this jurisdiction in
the case at bar.
3.
FACTORS CONSIDERED IN DETERMINING
ALIEN'S DOMICILE IN THE PHILIPPINES. An
American citizen who was born in New York, migrated to
California, resided there for nine years, came to the Philippine
in 1913, and very rarely returned to California and only for
short visits, and who appears to have never owned or acquired
a home or properties in that state, shall be considered to have
his domicile in the Philippines.

The courts of the forum will not enforce any foreign claim
obnoxious to the forum's public policy. To enforce the oneyear prescriptive period of the Amiri Decree No. 23 of 1976 as
regards the claims in question would contravene the public
policy on the protection to labor.

4.
RULE OF RESORTING TO THE LAW OF THE
DOMICILE IN DETERMINING MATTERS WITH
FOREIGN ELEMENT INVOLVED. 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.

In the Declaration of Principles and State Policies, the 1987


Constitution emphasized that:
"The state shall promote social justice in all phases of national
development" (Sec. 10).
"The state affirms labor as a primary social economic force. It
shall protect the rights of workers and promote their welfare"
(Sec. 18).
In article XIII on Social Justice and Human Rights, the 1987
Constitution provides:
"Sec. 3. The State shall afford full protection to labor, local
and overseas, organized and unorganized, and promote full
employment and equality of employment opportunities for
all."
IV.

5.
COURT OF DOMICILE BOUND TO APPLY ITS
OWN LAW AS DIRECTED IN THE CONFLICT OF LAW
RULE OF DECEDENT'S STATE; APPLICATION OF THE
RENVOI DOCTRINE. The conflict of law rule in
California, Article 946, Civil Code, 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
domicile can not and should refer the case back to California,
as such action would leave the issue incapable of
determination, because the case will then be tossed back and
forth between the two states. If the question has to be decided,
the Philippine court must apply its own law as the Philippines
was the domicile of the decedent, as directed in the conflict of
law rule of the state of the decedent, California, and especially
because the internal law of California provides no legitime for
natural children, while the Philippine law (Articles 887 (4) and
894, Civil Code of the Philippines) makes natural children
legally acknowledged forced heirs of the parent recognizing
them.

THE PROBLEM OF RENVOI

G.R. No. L-16749 January 31, 1963


IN RE: EDWARD E. CHRISTENSEN
CHRISTENSEN GARCIA

vs.

HELEN

1.
PRIVATE
INTERNATIONAL
LAW;
DETERMINATION OF CITIZENSHIP; U.S. CITIZENSHIP
NOT LOST BY STAY IN PHILIPPINES BEFORE
INDEPENDENCE. The citizenship that the deceased
acquired in California when he resided there from 1904 to
1913 was never lost by his stay in the Philippines, for the latter
was a territory of the United States until 1946, and the
deceased appears to have considered himself as a citizen of
California by the fact that when he executed his will in 1951
he declared that he was a citizen of that State; so that he
appears never intended to abandon his California citizenship
by acquiring another.

6.
PHILIPPINE LAW TO BE APPLIED IN CASE AT
BAR. As the domicile of the deceased, who was a citizen
of California, was the Philippines, the validity of the
provisions of his will depriving his acknowledge natural child
of the latter's legacy, should be governed by the Philippine
law, pursuant to Article 946 of the Civil Code of California,
not by the law of California.

2.
VALIDITY OF TESTAMENTARY PROVISIONS;
MEANING OF "NATIONAL LAW" IN ARTICLE 16, CIVIL
CODE; CONFLICT OF LAW RULES IN CALIFORNIA TO
BE APPLIED IN CASE AT BAR. The "national law"
indicated in Article 16 of the Civil Code cannot possibly apply
to any general American law, because there is no such law
governing the validity of testamentary provisions in the United
States, each state of the union having its own private law
applicable to its citizen only and in force only within the state.
It can therefore refer to no other than the private law of the
state of which the decedent was a citizen. In the case at bar,
the State of California, prescribes two sets of laws for its

G.R. No. L-23678 June 6, 1967


MARIA CRISTINA BELLIS, ET AL. vs. EDWARD A.
BELLIS, ET AL.
In this regard, the parties do not submit the case on, nor even
discuss, the doctrine of renvoi, applied by this Court in Aznar
vs. Christensen Garcia, L-16749, January 31, 1963. Said
doctrine is usually pertinent where the decedent is a national
of one country, and a domicile of another. In the present case,
it is not disputed that the decedent was both a national of
Texas and a domicile thereof at the time of his death. So that

ZEDAKIAH NOTES
even assuming Texas has a conflict of law rule providing that
the domiciliary system (law of the domicile) should govern,
the same would not result in a reference back (renvoi) to
Philippine law, but would still refer to Texas law. Nonetheless,
if Texas has a conflict of law rule adopting the situs theory
(lex rei sitae) calling for the application of the law of the place
where the properties are situated, renvoi would arise, since the
properties here involved are found in the Philippines. In the
absence, however, of proof as to the conflict of law rule of
Texas, it should not be presumed different from ours.
3
Appellants' position is therefore not rested on the doctrine of
renvoi. As stated, they never invoked nor even mentioned it in
their arguments. Rather, they argue that their case falls under
the circumstances mentioned in the third paragraph of Article
17 in relation to Article 16 of the Civil Code.

Two requisites must concur for a person to be considered as


such: (1) a person must be a Filipino citizen from birth and (2)
he does not have to perform any act to obtain or perfect his
Philippine citizenship.
Under the 1973 Constitution definition, there were two
categories of, Filipino citizens which were not considered
natural-born: (1) those who were naturalized and (2) those
born before January 17, 1973, 28 of Filipino mothers who,
upon reaching the age of majority, elected Philippine
citizenship. Those "naturalized citizens" were not considered
natural-born obviously because they were not Filipinos at birth
and had to perform an act to acquire Philippine citizenship.
Those born of Filipino mothers before the effectivity of the
1973 Constitution were likewise not considered natural-born
because they also had to perform an act to perfect their
Philippine citizenship.

Article 16, par. 2, and Art. 1039 of the Civil Code, render
applicable the national law of the decedent, in intestate or
testamentary successions, with regard to four items: (a) the
order of succession; (b) the amount of successional rights; (c)
the intrinsic validity of the provisions of the will; and (d) the
capacity to succeed.

The present Constitution, however, now considers those born


of Filipino mothers before the effectivity of the 1973
Constitution and who elected Philippine citizenship upon
reaching the majority age as natural-born. After defining who
are natural-born citizens, Section 2 of Article IV adds a
sentence: "Those who elect Philippine citizenship in
accordance with paragraph (3), Section 1 hereof shall be
deemed natural-born citizens." Consequently, only naturalized
Filipinos are considered not natural-born citizens. It is
apparent from the enumeration of who are citizens under the
present Constitution that there are only two classes of citizens:
(1) those who are natural-born and (2) those who are
naturalized in accordance with law. A citizen who is not a
naturalized Filipino, i.e., did not have to undergo the process
of naturalization to obtain Philippine citizenship, necessarily is
a natural-born Filipino. Noteworthy is the absence in said
enumeration of a separate category for persons who, after
losing Philippine citizenship, subsequently reacquire it. The
reason therefor is clear: as to such persons, they would either
be natural-born or naturalized depending on the reasons for the
loss of their citizenship and the mode prescribed by the
applicable law for the reacquisition thereof. As respondent
Cruz was not required by law to go through naturalization
proceedings in order to reacquire his citizenship, he is perforce
a natural-born Filipino. As such, he possessed all the necessary
qualifications to be elected as member of the House of
Representatives.

Appellants would also point out that the decedent executed


two wills one to govern his Texas estate and the other his
Philippine estate arguing from this that he intended
Philippine law to govern his Philippine estate. Assuming that
such was the decedent's intention in executing a separate
Philippine will, it would not alter the law, for as this Court
ruled in Miciano vs. Brimo, 50 Phil. 867, 870, a provision in a
foreigner's will to the effect that his properties shall be
distributed in accordance with Philippine law and not with his
national law, is illegal and void, for his national law cannot be
ignored in regard to those matters that Article 10 now
Article 16 of the Civil Code states said national law should
govern.
The parties admit that the decedent, Amos G. Bellis, was a
citizen of the State of Texas, U.S.A., and that under the laws
of Texas, there are no forced heirs or legitimes. Accordingly,
since the intrinsic validity of the provision of the will and the
amount of successional rights are to be determined under
Texas law, the Philippine law on legitimes cannot be applied
to the testacy of Amos G. Bellis.
V.

PERSONAL LAW
1. NATIONAL LAW

G.R. Nos. 161434, 161634 & 161824 March 3, 2004


MARIA JEANETTE C. TECSON, ET AL. vs. COMELEC,
ET AL.

G.R. No. 142840 May 7, 2001


ANTONIO BENGSON III vs. HRET, ET AL.

In ascertaining, in G.R. No. 161824, whether grave abuse


of discretion has been committed by the COMELEC, it is
necessary to take on the matter of whether or not respondent
FPJ is a natural-born citizen, which, in turn, depended on
whether or not the father of respondent, Allan F. Poe, would
have himself been a Filipino citizen and, in the affirmative,
whether or not the alleged illegitimacy of respondent prevents
him from taking after the Filipino citizenship of his putative
father. Any conclusion on the Filipino citizenship of Lorenzo
Pou could only be drawn from the presumption that having
died in 1954 at 84 years old, Lorenzo would have been born
sometime in the year 1870, when the Philippines was under

Petitioner's contention that respondent Cruz is no longer a


natural-born citizen since he had to perform an act to regain
his citizenship is untenable. As correctly explained by the BET
in its decision, the term "natural-born citizen" was first defined
in Article III, Section 4 of the 1973 Constitution as follows:
SECTION 4.
A natural-born citizen is one who is a citizen
of the Philippines from birth without having to perform any
act to acquire or perfect his Philippine citizenship.

ZEDAKIAH NOTES
Spanish rule, and that San Carlos, Pangasinan, his place of
residence upon his death in 1954, in the absence of any other
evidence, could have well been his place of residence before
death, such that Lorenzo Pou would have benefited from the
"en masse Filipinization" that the Philippine bill had effected
in 1902. That citizenship (of Lorenzo Pou), if acquired, would
thereby extend to his son, Allan F. Poe, father of respondent
FPJ. The 1935 Constitution, during which regime respondent
FPJ has seen first light, confers citizenship to all persons
whose fathers are Filipino citizens regardless of whether such
children are legitimate or illegitimate.
2.

the mere absence of an individual from his permanent


residence without the intention to abandon it does not result in
a loss or change of domicile. The deliberations of the 1987
Constitution on the residence qualification for certain elective
positions have placed beyond doubt the principle that when
the Constitution speaks of "residence" in election law, it
actually means only "domicile."
6.
ABSENCE FROM LEGAL RESIDENCE OR
DOMICILE OF A TEMPORARY OR SEMI-PERMANENT
NATURE DOES NOT CONSTITUTE LOSS OF
RESIDENCE. We have stated, many times in the past, that
an individual does not lose his domicile even if he has lived
and maintained residences in different places. Residence, it
bears repeating, implies a factual relationship to a given place
for various purposes. The absence from legal residence or
domicile to pursue a profession, to study or to do other things
of a temporary or semi-permanent nature does not constitute
loss of residence. Thus, the assertion by the COMELEC that
"she could not have been a resident of Tacloban City since
childhood up to the time she filed her certificate of candidacy
because she became a resident of many places" flies in the
face of settled jurisprudence in which this Court carefully
made distinctions between (actual) residence and domicile for
election law purposes.

DOMICILE

G.R. No. 119976 September 18, 1995


IMELDA ROMUALDEZ-MARCOS vs. COMMISSION ON
ELECTIONS, ET AL.
1.
DOMICILE; CONSTRUED. Article 50 of the
Civil Code decrees that "[f]or the exercise of civil rights and
the fulfillment of civil obligations, the domicile of natural
persons is their place of habitual residence." In Ong vs.
Republic this court took the concept of domicile to mean an
individual's "permanent home," "a place to which, whenever
absent for business or for pleasure, one intends to return, and
depends on facts and circumstances in the sense that they
disclose intent." Based on the foregoing, domicile includes the
twin elements of "the fact of residing or physical presence in a
fixed place" and animus manendi, or the intention of returning
there permanently.

7.
DOMICILE; A MINOR FOLLOWS THE
DOMICILE OF HIS PARENTS; CASE AT BENCH. A
minor follows the domicile of his parents. As domicile, once
acquired is retained until a new one is gained, it follows that in
spite of the fact of petitioner's being born in Manila, Tacloban,
Leyte was her domicile of origin by operation of law. This
domicile was not established only when her father brought his
family back to Leyte contrary to private respondent's
averments.

2.
RESIDENCE, CONSTRUED. Residence, in its
ordinary conception, implies the factual relationship of an
individual to a certain place. It is the physical presence of a
person in a given area, community or country.

8.
REQUISITES TO EFFECT CHANGE OF
DOMICILE. Domicile of origin is not easily lost. To
successfully effect a change of domicile, one must
demonstrate: 1. An actual removal or an actual change of
domicile; 2. A bona fide intention of abandoning the former
place of residence and establishing a new one; and 3. Acts
which correspond with the purpose.

3.
DIFFERENTIATED FROM RESIDENCE. The
essential distinction between residence and domicile in law is
that residence involves the intent to leave when the purpose
for which the resident has taken up his abode ends. One may
seek a place for purposes such as pleasure, business, or health.
If a person's intent be to remain, it becomes his domicile; if his
intent is to leave as soon as his purpose is established it is
residence. It is thus, quite perfectly normal for an individual to
have different residences in various places. However, a person
can only have a single domicile, unless, for various reasons, he
successfully abandons his domicile in favor of another
domicile of choice.

9.
CASE AT BENCH. In the absence of clear and
positive proof based on these criteria, the residence of origin
should be deemed to continue. Only with evidence showing
concurrence of all three requirements can the presumption of
continuity or residence be rebutted, for a change of residence
requires an actual and deliberate abandonment, and one cannot
have two legal residences at the same time. In the case at
bench, the evidence adduced by private respondent plainly
lacks the degree of persuasiveness required to convince this
court that an abandonment of domicile of origin in favor of a
domicile of choice indeed occurred. To effect an abandonment
requires the voluntary act of relinquishing petitioner's former
domicile with an intent to supplant the former domicile with
one of her own choosing (domicilium voluntarium).

4.
RESIDENCE USED SYNONYMOUSLY WITH
DOMICILE. For political purposes the concepts of
residence and domicile are dictated by the peculiar criteria of
political laws. As these concepts have evolved in our election
law, what has clearly and unequivocally emerged is the fact
that residence for election purposes is used synonymously
with domicile.
5.
ABSENCE FROM PERMANENT RESIDENCE
WITHOUT INTENTION TO ABANDON IT DOES NOT
RESULT IN LOSS OR CHANGE OF DOMICILE. So
settled is the concept (of domicile) in our election law that in
these and other election law cases, this Court has stated that

10.
MARRIAGE, NOT A CAUSE FOR LOSS OF
DOMICILE. In this connection, it cannot be correctly
argued that petitioner lost her domicile of origin by operation

ZEDAKIAH NOTES
of law as a result of her marriage to the, late President
Ferdinand E. Marcos in 1954. For there is a clearly established
distinction between the Civil Code concepts of "domicile" and
"residence." The presumption that the wife automatically gains
the husband's domicile by operation of law upon marriage
cannot be inferred from the use of the term "residence" in
Article 110 of the Civil Code because the Civil Code is one
area where the two concepts are well delineated. A survey of
jurisprudence relating to Article 110 or to the concepts of
domicile or residence as they affect the female spouse upon
marriage yields nothing which would suggest that the female
spouse automatically loses her domicile of origin in favor of
the husband's choice of residence upon marriage. Article 110
is a virtual restatement of Article 58 of the Spanish Civil Code
of 1889: La mujer esta obligada a seguir a su marido donde
quiera que fije su residencia. Los Tribunales, sin embargo,
podran con justa causa eximirla de esta obligacion cuando el
marido transende su residencia a ultramar o' a pais extranjero.
Note the use of the phrase "donde quiera su fije de residencia"
in the aforequoted article, which means wherever (the
husband) wishes to establish residence. This part of the article
clearly contemplates only actual residence because it refers to
a positive act of fixing a family home or residence. Moreover,
this interpretation is further strengthened by the phrase
"cuando el marido translade su residencia" in the same
provision which means, "when the husband shall transfer his
residence," referring to another positive act of relocating the
family to another home or place of actual residence. The
article obviously cannot be understood to refer to domicile
which is a fixed, fairly-permanent concept when it plainly
connotes the possibility of transferring from one place to
another not only once, but as often as the husband may deem
fit to move his family, a circumstance more consistent with the
concept of actual residence. Very significantly, Article 110 of
the Civil Code is found under Title V under the heading:
RIGHTS AND OBLIGATIONS BETWEEN HUSBAND
AND WIFE. Immediately preceding Article 110 is Article 109
which obliges the husband and wife to live together. The duty
to live together can only be fulfilled if the husband and wife
are physically together. This takes into account the situations
where the couple has many residences (as in the case of
petitioner). If the husband has to stay in or transfer to any one
of their residences, the wife should necessarily be with him in
order that they may "live together." Hence, it is illogical to
conclude that Art. 110 refers to "domicile" and not to
"residence." Otherwise, we shall be faced with a situation
where the wife is left in the domicile while the husband, for
professional or other reasons, stays in one of their (various)
residences.

G.R. No. 150477 February 28, 2005


LAZARO C. GAYO vs. VIOLETA G. VERCELES
The issue in this case involves one of the essential
qualifications for running for public office, that is, the oneyear residency requirement prescribed under Section 39 of the
LGC, thus:
SECTION 39. Qualifications.
(a)
An elective local official must be a citizen of the
Philippines; a registered voter in the barangay, municipality,
city, or province or, in the case of a member of the
sangguniang panlalawigan, sangguniang panlungsod, or
sangguniang bayan, the district where he intends to be elected;
a resident therein for at least one (1) year immediately
preceding the day of the election; and able to read and write
Filipino or any local language or dialect.
In interpreting this requirement, our ruling in Papandayan, Jr.
v. Commission on Elections is instructive, thus:
The term "residence," as used in the election law, imports not
only an intention to reside in a fixed place but also personal
presence in that place, coupled with conduct indicative of such
intention. "Domicile" denotes a fixed permanent residence to
which when absent for business or pleasure, or for like
reasons, one intends to return. . . .
More recently in Coquilla v. Commission on Elections, we
further clarified the meaning of the term, and held as follows:
The term "residence" is to be understood not in its common
acceptation as referring to "dwelling" or "habitation," but
rather to "domicile" or legal residence, that is, the place where
a party actually or constructively has his permanent home,
where he, no matter where he may be found at any given time,
eventually intends to return and remain (animus manendi). A
domicile of origin is acquired by every person at birth. It is
usually the place where the child's parents reside and
continues (sic) until the same is abandoned by acquisition of
new domicile (domicile of choice).
In Caasi v. Court of Appeals, we held that a Filipino citizen's
immigration to a foreign country constitutes an abandonment
of his domicile and residence in the Philippines. In other
words, the acquisition of a permanent residency status in a
foreign country constitutes a renunciation of the status as a
resident of the Philippines. On the other hand, the Court
explained in another case that a new domicile is reacquired if
the following conditions concur:
. . . (1) [R]residence or bodily presence in the new locality; (2)
an intention to remain there; and (3) an intention to abandon
the old domicile. There must be animus manendi coupled with
animus non revertendi. The purpose to remain in or at the
domicile of choice must be for an indefinite period of time; the
change of residence must be voluntary; and the residence at
the place chosen for the new domicile must be actual.

11.
TERM RESIDENCE REFERS TO "ACTUAL
RESIDENCE." The term residence may mean one thing in
civil law (or under the Civil Code) and quite another thing in
political law. What stands clear is that insofar as the Civil
Code is concerned affecting the rights and obligations of
husband and wife the term residence should only be
interpreted to mean "actual residence." The inescapable
conclusion derived from this unambiguous civil law
delineation therefore, is that when petitioner married the
former President in 1954, she kept her domicile of origin and
merely gained a new home, not a domicilium necessatium.

Applying case law to the present case, it can be said that the
respondent effectively abandoned her residency in the
Philippines by her acquisition of the status of a permanent
U.S. resident. Nonetheless, we find that the respondent
reacquired her residency in the Philippines even before the
holding of the May 2001 elections. The records show that she
surrendered her green card to the Immigration and

ZEDAKIAH NOTES
Naturalization Service of the American Embassy way back in
1998. By such act, her intention to abandon her U.S. residency
could not have been made clearer. Moreover, when she
decided to relocate to the Philippines for good in 1993, she
continued living here and only went to the U.S.A. on periodic
visits to her children who were residing there. Moreover, she
was elected Mayor in the 1998 elections and served as such
for the duration of her term. We find such acts sufficient to
establish that the respondent intended to stay in the Philippines
indefinitely and, ultimately, that she has once again made the
Philippines her permanent residence.

has a house for vacation purposes in the City of Baguio, and


another house in connection with his business in the City of
Manila, he would have residence in all three places so that
one[']s legal residence or domicile can also be his actual,
personal or physical residence or habitation or place of abode
if he stays there with intention to stay there permanently.
In the instant case, since plaintiff has a house in Makati City
for the purpose of exercising his profession or doing business
and also a house in Ichon, Macrohon, Southern Leyte, for
doing business and/or for election or political purposes where
he also lives or stays physically, personally and actually then
he can have residences in these two places. Because it would
then be preposterous to acknowledge and recognize plaintiff
Aniceto G. Saludo, Jr. as congressman of Southern Leyte
without also recognizing him as actually, personally and
physically residing thereat, when such residence is required by
law.

G.R. No. 159507 April 19, 2006


ANICETO G. SALUDO, JR. vs. AMERICAN EXPRESS
INT'L. INC., ET AL.
The following ratiocination of the court a quo is apt:
Residence in civil law is a material fact, referring to the
physical presence of a person in a place. A person can have
two or more residences, such as a country residence and a city
residence. Residence is acquired by living in a place; on the
other hand, domicile can exist without actually living in the
place. The important thing for domicile is that, once residence
has been established in one place, there be an intention to stay
there permanently, even if residence is also established in
some other place.

The fact then that petitioner Saludo's community tax


certificate was issued at Pasay City is of no moment because
granting arguendo that he could be considered a resident
therein, the same does not preclude his having a residence in
Southern Leyte for purposes of venue. A man can have but one
domicile for one and the same purpose at any time, but he may
have numerous places of residence.

Thus, if a person lives with his family habitually in Quezon


City, he would have his domicile in Quezon City. If he also

10