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EMMANUEL C.

OATE and ECON HOLDINGS CORPORATION, petitioners,


vs.
HON. ZUES C. ABROGAR, as Presiding Judge of Branch 150 of the Regional
Trial Court of Makati, and SUN LIFE ASSURANCE COMPANY OF
CANADA, respondents.
G.R. No. 107303 February 21, 1994

Facts:
Respondent Sun Life filed a complaint for a sum of money with a prayer for the
immediate issuance of a writ of attachment against petitioners, and Noel L. Dio.
The respondent Judge issued an order granting the issuance of a writ of attachment.
Upon Sun Life's ex-parte motion, the trial court amended the writ of attachment to
reflect the alleged amount of the indebtedness. Deputy Sheriff Arturo C. Flores,
accompanied by a representative of Sun Life, attempted to serve summons and a
copy of the amended writ of attachment upon petitioners at their known office
address but was not able to do so since there was no responsible officer to receive
the same. Nonetheless, Sheriff Flores proceeded, over a period of several days, to
serve notices of garnishment upon several commercial banks and financial
institutions, and levied on attachment a condominium unit and a real property
belonging to petitioner Oate. Summons was eventually served upon petitioners.
Petitioners and their co-defendants filed an "Urgent Motion to Discharge/Dissolve
Writ of Attachment." That same day, Sun Life filed an ex-parte motion to examine
the books of accounts and ledgers of petitioner and to obtain copies thereof.
Petitioners filed another motion to nullify the proceedings taken thereat since they
were not present.
The respondent Judge issued an order (1) denying petitioners' and the codefendants' motion to discharge the amended writ of attachment, (2) approving Sun
Life's additional attachment, (3) granting Sun Life's motion to examine the books of
accounts and ledgers, and (4) denying petitioners' motion to nullify the proceedings.
Issues:
(1) Whether or not Judge had acted with grave abuse of discretion amounting to
lack or in excess of jurisdiction in issuing ex parte the original and amended writs of
preliminary attachment and the corresponding notices of garnishment and levy on
attachment since the trial court had not yet acquired jurisdiction over them - NO
(2) Whether or not Judge had acted with grave abuse of discretion amounting to
lack or in excess of jurisdiction in allowing the examination of the bank records
though no notice was given to them. - NO
Held:
(1) NO. It is well-settled that a writ of preliminary attachment may be validly applied
for and granted even before the defendant is summoned or is heard from.
(2) NO. Notice need only be given to the garnishee, but the person who is holding
property or credits belonging to the defendant. The provision does not require

that notice be furnished the defendant himself, except when there is a need to
examine said defendant "for the purpose of giving information respecting his
property.