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of Laws Case Digest: HASEGAWA vs KITAMURA 538 SCRA 26 (2007)

KITAMURA G.R. No. 149177 November 23, 2007

FACTS: Nippon Engineering Consultants (Nippon), a Japanese consultancy firm providing
technical and management support in the infrastructure projects national permanently residing
in the Philippines. The agreement provides that Kitamaru was to extend professional services to
Nippon for a year. Nippon assigned Kitamaru to work as the project manager of the Southern
Tagalog Access Road (STAR) project. When the STAR project was near completion, DPWH
engaged the consultancy services of Nippon, this time for the detailed engineering & construction
supervision of the Bongabon-Baler Road Improvement (BBRI) Project. Kitamaru was named as
the project manger in the contract.
Hasegawa, Nippons general manager for its International Division, informed Kitamaru that the
company had no more intention of automatically renewing his ICA. His services would be
engaged by the company only up to the substantial completion of the STAR Project.
Kitamaru demanded that he be assigned to the BBRI project. Nippon insisted that Kitamarus
contract was for a fixed term that had expired. Kitamaru then filed for specific performance &
damages w/ the RTC of Lipa City. Nippon filed a MTD.
Nippons contention: The ICA had been perfected in Japan & executed by &
between Japanese nationals. Thus, the RTC of Lipa City has no jurisdiction. The claim for
improper pre-termination of Kitamarus ICA could only be heard & ventilated in the proper
courts of Japan following the principles of lex loci celebrationis & lex contractus. The RTC denied
the motion to dismiss. The CA ruled hat the principle of lex loci celebrationis was not applicable
to the case, because nowhere in the pleadings was the validity of the written agreement put in
issue. It held that the RTC was correct in applying the principle of lex loci solutionis.

ISSUE: Whether or not the subject matter jurisdiction of Philippine courts in civil cases for
specific performance & damages involving contracts executed outside the country by foreign
nationals may be assailed on the principles of lex loci celebrationis, lex contractus, the state of
the most significant relationship rule, or forum non conveniens.

HELD: NO. In the judicial resolution of conflicts problems, 3 consecutive phases are involved:
jurisdiction, choice of law, and recognition and enforcement of judgments. Jurisdiction & choice
of law are 2 distinct concepts. Jurisdiction considers whether it is fair to cause a defendant to
travel to this state; choice of law asks the further question whether the application of a
substantive law w/c will determine the merits of the case is fair to both parties. The power to
exercise jurisdiction does not automatically give a state constitutional authority to apply forum
law. While jurisdiction and the choice of the lex fori will often coincide, the minimum contacts
for one do not always provide the necessary significant contacts for the other. The question of
whether the law of a state can be applied to a transaction is different from the question of

whether the courts of that state have jurisdiction to enter a judgment. In this case, only the 1st
phase is at issue

jurisdiction. Jurisdiction, however, has various aspects. For a court to validly exercise its power to
adjudicate a controversy, it must have jurisdiction over the plaintiff/petitioner, over the
defendant/respondent, over the subject matter, over the issues of the case and, in cases involving
property, over the res or the thing w/c is the subject of the litigation.In assailing the trial court's
jurisdiction herein, Nippon is actually referring to subject matter jurisdiction. Jurisdiction over
the subject matter in a judicial proceeding is conferred by the sovereign authority w/c
establishes and organizes the court. It is given only by law and in the manner prescribed by law.
It is further determined by the allegations of the complaint irrespective of whether the plaintiff is
entitled to all or some of the claims asserted therein. To succeed in its motion for the dismissal of
an action for lack of jurisdiction over the subject matter of the claim, the movant must show that
the court or tribunal cannot act on the matter submitted to it because no law grants it the power
to adjudicate the claims.

In the instant case, Nippon, in its MTD, does not claim that the RTC is not properly vested by law
w/ jurisdiction to hear the subject controversy for a civil case for specific performance &
damages is one not capable of pecuniary estimation & is properly cognizable by the RTC of Lipa
City.What they rather raise as grounds to question subject matter jurisdiction are the principles
lex loci celebrationis and lex contractus , and the state of the most significant relationship
rule. The Court finds the invocation of these grounds unsound.
Lex loci celebrationis relates to the law of the place of the ceremonyor the law of the place
where a contract is made. The doctrine of lex contractus or lex loci contractus means the law of
the place where a contract is executed or to be performed. It controls the nature, construction,
and validity of the contract and it may pertain to the law voluntarily agreed upon by the parties
or the law intended by them either expressly or implicitly. Under the state of the most
significant relationship rule, to ascertain what state law to apply to a dispute, the court should
determine which state has the most substantial connection to the occurrence and the parties. In a
case involving a contract, the court should consider where the contract was made, was
negotiated, was to be performed, and the domicile, place of business, or place of incorporation of
the parties.This rule takes into account several contacts and evaluates them according to their
relative importance with respect to the particular issue to be resolved. Since these 3 principles in
conflict of laws make reference to the law applicable to a dispute, they are rules proper for the
2nd phase, the choice of law. They determine which state's law is to be applied in resolving the
substantive issues of a conflicts problem. Necessarily, as the only issue in this case is that of
jurisdiction, choice-of-law rules are not only inapplicable but also not yet called for. Further,
Nippons premature invocation of choice -of-law rules is exposed by the fact that they have not
yet pointed out any conflict between the laws of Japan and ours. Before determining which law
should apply, 1st there should exist a conflict of laws situation requiring the application of the
conflict of laws rules. Also, when the law of a foreign country is invoked to provide the proper
rules for the solution of a case, the existence of such law must be pleaded and proved. It should
be noted that when a conflicts case, one involving a foreign element, is brought before a court or
administrative agency, there are 3 alternatives open to the latter in disposing of it: (1) dismiss
the case, either because of lack of jurisdiction or refusal to assume jurisdiction over the case; (2)

assume jurisdiction over the case and apply the internal law of the forum; or (3) assume
jurisdiction over the case and take into account or apply the law of some other State or States.
The courts power to hear cases and controversies is derived from the Constitution and the laws.
While it may choose to recognize laws of foreign nations, the court is not limited by foreign
sovereign law short of treaties or other formal agreements, even in matters regarding rights
provided by foreign sovereigns. Neither can the other ground raised, forum non conveniens , be
used to deprive the RTC of its jurisdiction. 1st, it is not a proper basis for a motion to dismiss
because Sec. 1, Rule 16 of the Rules of Court does not include it as a ground. 2nd, whether a suit
should be entertained or dismissed on the basis of the said doctrine depends largely upon the
facts of the particular case and is addressed to the sound discretion of the RTC. In this case, the
RTC decided to assume jurisdiction. 3rd, the propriety of dismissing a case based on this
principle requires a factual determination; hence, this conflicts principle is more
properly considered a matter of defense

Saudi Arabian Airlines vs Court of Appeals

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 premises.
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
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).

Conflicts Of Laws Case Digest: Saudi Arabian Airlines V. CA

G.R. No. 122191 October 8, 1998
Laws Applicable: Art 19 and 21 of Civil Code
Lessons Applicable: Conflict of Laws, factual situation, connecting factor,
characterization, choice of law, State of the most significant relationship
Saudi Arabian Airlines (SAUDIA), foreign airlines corporation doing
business in the Philippines and may be served summons in agent in
Makati, hired Milagros P. Morada as a flight attendant for its airlines based
in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
April 27, 1990: While on a lay-over in Jakarta, Indonesia, Morada went to
a disco dance with fellow crew members Thamer Al-Gazzawi and Allah AlGazzawi, both Saudi nationals. It was almost morning when they returned
to their hotels so they agreed to have breakfast together at the room of
Thamer. Shortly after Allah left the room, Thamer attempted to rape
Morada. Fortunately, a roomboy and several security personnel heard her
cries for help and rescued her. Indonesian police arrested Thamer and
Allah Al-Gazzawi, the latter as an accomplice.
When Morada returned to Jeddah, SAUDIA officials interrogated her about
the Jakarta incident and requested her to go back to Jakarta to help
arrange the release of Thamer and Allah. In Jakarta, SAUDIA Legal
Officers negotiated with the police for the immediate release of the
detained crew members but did not succeed. Afraid that she might be
tricked into something she did not want because of her inability to
understand the local dialect, Morado refused to cooperate and declined to
sign a blank paper and a document written in the local dialect. Eventually,
SAUDIA allowed Morada to return to Jeddah but barred her from the
Jakarta flights.
Indonesian authorities agreed to deport Thamer and Allah and they were
again put in service. While, Morada was transferred to Manila.
January 14, 1992: Morada was asked to see Mr. Ali Meniewy, Chief Legal
Officer of SAUDIA, in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. He brought her to the police
station where the police took her passport and questioned her about the
Jakarta incident. The police pressured her to drop the case against
Thamer and Allah. Not until she agreed to do so did the police return her
passport and allowed her to catch the afternoon flight out of Jeddah.
June 16, 1993: Morada, while in Riyadh Saudi Arabia, was not allowed to

board the plane to Manila and instead ordered to take a later flight to
Jeddah to see Mr. Miniewy. Khalid of the SAUDIA office brought her to a
Saudi court where she was asked to sign a document written in Arabic.
They told her that this was necessary to close the case against Thamer
and Allah but it was actually a notice for her to appear before the court on
June 27, 1993. Plaintiff then returned to Manila.
June 27, 1993: SAUDIA's Manila manager, Aslam Saleemi, assured
Morada that the investigation was routinary and that it posed no danger to
her so she reported to Miniewy in Jeddah for further investigation. She
was brought to the Saudi court.
June 28, 1993: Saudi judge interrogated Morada through an interpreter
about the Jakarta incident for an hour and let her go. SAUDIA officers
forbidden her to take flight. She was told to go the Inflight Service
Office where her passport was taken and they told her to remain in
Jeddah, at the crew quarters, until further orders.
July 3, 1993: She was brought to court again and to her astonishment and
shock, rendered a decision, translated to her in English, sentencing her to
five months imprisonment and to 286 lashes. The court tried her, together
with Thamer and Allah, and found her guilty of (1) adultery (2) going to a
disco, dancing and listening to the music in violation of Islamic laws and
(3) socializing with the male crew, in contravention of Islamic tradition.
Failing to seek the assistance of her employer, SAUDIA, she asked the
Philippine Embassy in Jeddah to help her while her case is on
appeal. She continued to workon the domestic flight of SAUDIA, while
Thamer and Allah continued to serve in the international flights.
Because she was wrongfully convicted, the Prince of Makkah dismissed
the case against her and allowed her to leave Saudi Arabia. Before her
return to Manila, she was terminated from the service by SAUDIA, without
her being informed of the cause.
November 23, 1993: Morada filed a Complaint for damages against
SAUDIA, and Khaled Al-Balawi, its country manager.
January 19, 1994: SAUDIA filed an Omnibus Motion To Dismiss on
following grounds: (1) that the Complaint states no cause of action against
SAUDIA (2) that defendant Al-Balawi is not a real party in interest (3) that
the claim or demand set forth in the Complaint has been waived,
abandoned or otherwise extinguished and (4) that the trial court has no
jurisdiction to try the case.
After opposition to the motion to dismiss by Morada and reply by SAUDIA,
Morada filed an Amended Complaint dropping Al-Balawi. SAUDIA filed its
Manifestation, Motion to Dismiss Amended Complaint, subsequently
motion for reconsideration which were all denied.
SAUDIA filed its Petition for Certiorari and Prohibition with Prayer for

Issuance of Writ of Preliminary Injunction and/or Temporary Restraining

Order with the Court of Appeals. TRO was granted but Writ of Preliminary
Injunction was denied.
CA: Philippines is an appropriate forum considering that the Amended
Complaint's basis for recovery of damages is Article 21 of the Civil Code,
and thus, clearly within the jurisdiction of respondent Court. It further held
that certiorari is not the proper remedy in a denial of a Motion to Dismiss,
inasmuch as the petitioner should have proceeded to trial, and in case of
an adverse ruling, find recourse in an appeal.
SAUDIA filed its Supplemental Petition for Review with Prayer for
Temporary Restraining Order:
o It is a conflict of laws that must be settled at the outset:
Morada's claim for alleged abuse of rights occurred in the Kingdom of Saudi
Existence of a foreign element qualifies the instant case for the application of
the law of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, by virtue of the lex loci delicti commissi
Morada: Amended Complaint is based on Articles 19 and 21 of the Civil
Code which is a matter of domestic law
ISSUE: W/N the RTC of Quezon City has jurisdiction over the case and it is the
proper forum for recovery of damages under Art. 21 of the Civil Code which
should govern.
HELD: YES. petition for certiorari is hereby DISMISSED. REMANDED to RTC of
Quezon City, Branch 89 for further proceedings
Where the factual antecedents satisfactorily establish the existence of a
foreign element, the problem could present a "conflicts" case
A factual situation that cuts across territorial lines and is affected by the
diverse laws of two or more states is said to contain a "foreign element".
o Morada is a resident Philippine national
o SAUDIA is a resident foreign corporation
o by virtue of the employment of Morada with the SAUDIA as a flight
stewardess, events did transpire during her many occasions of travel across
national borders, particularly from Manila, Philippines to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia,
and vice versa, that caused a "conflicts" situation to arise
Forms of foreign element:
o Simple: one of the parties to a contract is an alien or has a foreign domicile,
or that a contract between nationals of one State involves properties situated in
another State
o Complex

Violations of Articles 19 and 21 are actionable, with judicially enforceable

remedies in the municipal forum. RTC of Quezon City possesses
jurisdiction over the subject matter of the suit.
Pragmatic considerations, including the convenience of the parties, also
weigh heavily in favor of the RTC Quezon City assuming jurisdiction:
o private interest of the litigant
o enforceability of a judgment if one is obtained
o relative advantages and obstacles to a fair trial
Plaintiff may not, by choice of an inconvenient forum, "vex", "harass", or
"oppress" the defendant, e.g. by inflicting upon him needless expense or
disturbance. but unless the balance is strongly in favor of the defendant, the
plaintiffs choice of forum should rarely be disturbed.
Weighing the relative claims of the parties, the court a quo found it best to
hear the case in the Philippines. Had it refused to take cognizance of the
case, it would be forcing plaintiff (private respondent now) to seek
remedial action elsewhere, i.e. in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia where she
no longer maintains substantial connections. That would have caused a
fundamental unfairness to her. Moreover, by hearing the case in the
Philippines no unnecessary difficulties and inconvenience have been
shown by either of the parties.
Trial court possesses jurisdiction over the persons of the parties
o By filing her Complaint and Amended Complaint with the trial court, private
respondent has voluntary submitted herself to the jurisdiction of the court
o SAUDIA has effectively submitted to the trial court's jurisdiction by praying for
the dismissal of the Amended Complaint on grounds other than lack of
As to the choice of applicable law, it seeks to answer 2 important
o (1) What legal system should control a given situation where some of the
significant facts occurred in two or more states
o (2) to what extent should the chosen legal system regulate the situation
Although ideally, all choice-of-law theories should intrinsically advance
both notions of justice and predictability, they do not always do so. The
forum is then faced with the problem of deciding which of these two
important values should be stressed.
Before a choice can be made, it is necessary for us to determine under
what category a certain set of facts or rules fall
o "characterization" or the "doctrine of qualification
process of deciding whether or not the facts relate to the kind of question
specified in a conflicts rule
purpose: to enable the forum to select the proper law

Choice-of-law rules invariably consist of: (essential element of conflict

o factual situation/relationship or operative fact (such as property right, contract
claim); and
starting point of analysis
o test or connecting factor or point of contact (such as the situs of the res, the
place of celebration, the place of performance, or the place of wrongdoing)
could be:
(1) The nationality of a person, his domicile, his residence, his place of
sojourn, or his origin
(2) the seat of a legal or juridical person, such as a corporation
(3) the situs of a thing, that is, the place where a thing is, or is deemed to be
situated. In particular, the lex situs is decisive when real rights are involved
(4) the place where an act has been done, the locus actus, such as the place
where a contract has been made, a marriage celebrated, a will signed or a tort
committed. The lex loci actus is particularly important in contracts and torts
(5) the place where an act is intended to come into effect, e.g., the place of
performance of contractual duties, or the place where a power of attorney is to
be exercised
(6) the intention of the contracting parties as to the law that should govern their
agreement, the lex loci intentionis;
(7) the place where judicial or administrative proceedings are instituted or
done. The lex fori the law of the forum is particularly important because, as
we have seen earlier, matters of "procedure" not going to the substance of the
claim involved are governed by it; and because the lex fori applies whenever the
content of the otherwise applicable foreign law is excluded from application in a
given case for the reason that it falls under one of the exceptions to the
applications of foreign law; and
(8) the flag of a ship, which in many cases is decisive of practically all legal
relationships of the ship and of its master or owner as such. It also covers
contractual relationships particularly contracts of affreightment
Note that one or more circumstances may be present to serve as the
possible test for the determination of the applicable law.
Based on pleadings on record, including allegations in the Amended
o Morada was made to face trial for very serious charges, including adultery
and violation of Islamic laws and tradition
o SAUDIA may have acted beyond its duties as employer by handing over the
person of Morada to Jeddah officials which contributed to and amplified or even
proximately caused additional humiliation, misery and suffering. It also took
advantage of the trust, confidence and faith in the guise of authority as

o Conviction and imprisonment was wrongful but injury or harm was inflicted
upon her person and reputation which must be compensated or redress for the
wrong doing
Complaint involving torts
"connecting factor" or "point of contact" - place or places where the
tortious conduct or lex loci actus occurred = Philippines where SAUDIA
deceived Morada, a Filipina residing and working here.
"State of the most significant relationship" applied
o taken into account and evaluated according to their relative importance with
respect to the particular issue:
(a) the place where the injury occurred
(b) the place where the conduct causing the injury occurred
(c) the domicile, residence, nationality, place of incorporation and place of
business of the parties
(d) the place where the relationship, if any, between the parties is centered
v private respondent is a resident Filipina national, working here
v a resident foreign corporation engaged here in the business of international
air carriage


[ G.R. No. 162894, February 26, 2008 ]

Sometime in 1990, Brand Marine Services, Inc., a corporation duly organized
and existing under the laws of the State of Connecticut, United States of America, and
respondent Stockton W. Rouzie, Jr., an American citizen, entered into a contract
whereby BMSI hired respondent as its representative to negotiate the sale of services
in several government projects in the Philippines for an agreed remuneration of 10%
of the gross receipts. On 11 March 1992, respondent secured a service contract with
the Republic of the Philippines on behalf of BMSI for the dredging of rivers affected by
the Mt. Pinatubo eruption and mudflows.
On 16 July 1994, respondent filed before the Arbitration Branch of the National
Labor Relations Commission, a suit against BMSI and Rust International, Inc., Rodney
C. Gilbert and Walter G. Browning for alleged nonpayment of commissions, illegal
termination and breach of employment contract.
On 8 January 1999, respondent, then a resident of La Union, instituted an action
for damages before the Regional Trial Court of Bauang, La Union. The Complaint
named as defendants herein petitioner Raytheon International, Inc. as well as BMSI
and RUST, the two corporations impleaded in the earlier labor case.
Petitioner also referred to the NLRC decision which disclosed that per the
written agreement between respondent and BMSI and RUST, denominated as
Special Sales Representative Agreement, the rights and obligations of the parties
shall be governed by the laws of the State of Connecticut. Petitioner sought the
dismissal of the complaint on grounds of failure to state a cause of action and forum
non conveniens and prayed for damages by way of compulsory counterclaim.
Petitioner asserts that the written contract between respondent and BMSI
included a valid choice of law clause, that is, that the contract shall be governed by the
laws of the State of Connecticut. It also mentions the presence of foreign elements in
the dispute namely, the parties and witnesses involved are American corporations
and citizens and the evidence to be presented is located outside the Philippines that
renders our local courts inconvenient forums.


On the matter of jurisdiction over a conflicts-of-laws problem where the case is
filed in a Philippine court and where the court has jurisdiction over the subject matter,
the parties and the res, it may or can proceed to try the case even if the rules of
conflict-of-laws or the convenience of the parties point to a foreign forum. This is an
exercise of sovereign prerogative of the country where the case is filed.

As regards jurisdiction over the parties, the trial court acquired jurisdiction over
herein respondent (as party plaintiff) upon the filing of the complaint. On the other
hand, jurisdiction over the person of petitioner (as party defendant) was acquired by its
voluntary appearance in court.
That the subject contract included a stipulation that the same shall be governed
by the laws of the State of Connecticut does not suggest that the Philippine courts, or
any other foreign tribunal for that matter, are precluded from hearing the civil action.
Jurisdiction and choice of law are two distinct concepts. Jurisdiction considers whether
it is fair to cause a defendant to travel to this state; choice of law asks the further
question whether the application of a substantive law which will determine the merits
of the case is fair to both parties.The choice of law stipulation will become relevant
only when the substantive issues of the instant case develop, that is, after hearing on
the merits proceeds before the trial court.
Under the doctrine of forum non conveniens, a court, in conflicts-of-laws 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.
Petitioners averments of the foreign elements in the instant case are not sufficient to
oust the trial court of its jurisdiction over Civil Case No. No. 1192-BG and the parties
Moreover, the propriety of dismissing a case based on the principle of forum
non conveniens requires a factual determination; hence, it is more properly considered
as a matter of defense. 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


MARCH 28, 2013 ~ VBDIAZ
MHC AND MHICL vs. NLRC et al G.R. No. 120077 October 13, 2000
FACTS: private respondent Santos was an overseas worker employed as a printer at the Mazoon
Printing Press, Sultanate of Oman. Subsequently he was directly hired by the Palace Hotel,
Beijing, Peoples Republic of China and later terminated due to retrenchment.
Petitioners are the Manila Hotel Corporation (MHC) and the Manila Hotel International
Company, Limited (MHICL).
When the case was filed in 1990, MHC was still a government-owned and controlled corporation
duly organized and existing under the laws of the Philippines. MHICL is a corporation duly
organized and existing under the laws of Hong Kong. MHC is an incorporator of MHICL, owning
50% of its capital stock.
By virtue of a management agreement with the Palace Hotel, MHICL trained the personnel and
staff of the Palace Hotel at Beijing, China.
Now the facts.
During his employment with the Mazoon Printing Press, respondent Santos received a letter from
Mr. Shmidt, General Manager, Palace Hotel, Beijing, China. Mr. Schmidt informed respondent
Santos that he was recommended by one Buenio, a friend of his. Mr. Shmidt offered respondent
Santos the same position as printer, but with a higher monthly salary and increased benefits.
Respondent Santos wrote to Mr. Shmidt and signified his acceptance of the offer.
The Palace Hotel Manager, Mr. Henk mailed a ready to sign employment contract to respondent
Santos. Santos resigned from the Mazoon Printing Press. Santos wrote the Palace Hotel and
acknowledged Mr. Henks letter. The employment contract stated that his employment would be
for a period of two years. He then started to work at the Palace Hotel.
Subsequently, respondent Santos signed an amended employment agreement with the Palace
Hotel. In the contract, Mr. Shmidt represented the Palace Hotel. The Vice President (Operations
and Development) of petitioner MHICL Cergueda signed the employment agreement under the
word noted.
After working in the Palace hotel for less than 1 year, the Palace Hotel informed respondent
Santos by letter signed by Mr. Shmidt that his employment at the Palace Hotel print shop would
be terminated due to business reverses brought about by the political upheaval in China. The
Palace Hotel terminated the employment of Santos and paid all benefits due him, including his
plane fare back to the Philippines. Santos was repatriated to the Philippines.
Santos filed a complaint for illegal dismissal with the Arbitration Branch, NCR, NLRC. He prayed
for an award of AD, ED and AF for. The complaint named MHC, MHICL, the Palace Hotel and Mr.
Shmidt as respondents. The Palace Hotel and Mr. Shmidt were not served with summons and
neither participated in the proceedings before the LA.
The LA decided the case against petitioners. Petitioners appealed to the NLRC, arguing that the
POEA, not the NLRC had jurisdiction over the case. The NLRC promulgated a resolution, stating
that the appealed Decision be declared null and void for want of jurisdiction
Santos moved for reconsideration of the afore-quoted resolution. He argued that the case was not
cognizable by the POEA as he was not an overseas contract worker. The NLRC granted the
motion and reversed itself. The NLRC directed another LA to hear the case on the question of
whether private respondent was retrenched or dismissed. The La found that Santos was illegally
dismissed from employment and recommended that he be paid actual damages equivalent to his
salaries for the unexpired portion of his contract. The NLRC ruled in favor of private respondent.

Petitioners filed an MR arguing that the LAs recommendation had no basis in law and in fact,
however it was denied. Hence, this petition.
ISSUE: Is the NLRC a proper forum to decide this case?
HELD: petition granted; the orders and resolutions of the NLRC are annulled.
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
Santos is a Filipino citizen. The Palace Hotel and MHICL are foreign corporations. Not all cases
involving our citizens can be tried here.
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.
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
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
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
The employment contract was not perfected in the Philippines. 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 Peoples Republic of China.
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, Peoples 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 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.
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 NLRCs decision
cannot be sustained.

II. MHC Not Liable
Even if we assume two things: (1) that the NLRC had jurisdiction over the case, and (2) that
MHICL was liable for Santos retrenchment, still MHC, as a separate and distinct juridical entity
cannot be held liable.

True, MHC is an incorporator of MHICL and owns 50% of its capital stock. However, this is not
enough to pierce the veil of corporate fiction between MHICL and MHC. In Traders Royal Bank v.
CA, we held that the mere ownership by a single stockholder or by another corporation of all or
nearly all of the capital stock of a corporation is not of itself a sufficient reason for disregarding
the fiction of separate corporate personalities.
It is basic that a corporation has a personality separate and distinct from those composing it as
well as from that of any other legal entity to which it may be related. Clear and convincing
evidence is needed to pierce the veil of corporate fiction. In this case, we find no evidence to show
that MHICL and MHC are one and the same entity.
III. MHICL not Liable
Santos predicates MHICLs liability on the fact that MHICL signed his employment contract with
the Palace Hotel. This fact fails to persuade us.
First, we note that the Vice President (Operations and Development) of MHICL, Cergueda signed
the employment contract as a mere witness. He merely signed under the word noted.
When one notes a contract, one is not expressing his agreement or approval, as a party would.
In Sichangco v. Board of Commissioners of Immigration, the Court recognized that the term
noted means that the person so noting has merely taken cognizance of the existence of an act or
declaration, without exercising a judicious deliberation or rendering a decision on the matter.
Second, and more importantly, there was no existing employer-employee relationship between
Santos and MHICL. In determining the existence of an employer-employee relationship, the
following elements are considered:
(1) the selection and engagement of the employee;
(2) the payment of wages;
(3) the power to dismiss; and
(4) the power to control employees conduct.
MHICL did not have and did not exercise any of the aforementioned powers. It did not select
respondent Santos as an employee for the Palace Hotel. He was referred to the Palace Hotel by
his friend, Buenio. MHICL did not engage respondent Santos to work. The terms of employment
were negotiated and finalized through correspondence between Santos, Mr. Schmidt and Mr.
Henk, who were officers and representatives of the Palace Hotel and not MHICL. Neither did
Santos adduce any proof that MHICL had the power to control his conduct. Finally, it was the
Palace Hotel, through Mr. Schmidt and not MHICL that terminated respondent Santos services.
Likewise, there is no evidence to show that the Palace Hotel and MHICL are one and the same
entity. The fact that the Palace Hotel is a member of the Manila Hotel Group is not enough to
pierce the corporate veil between MHICL and the Palace Hotel.
Considering that the NLRC was forum non-conveniens and considering further that no employer-
employee relationship existed between MHICL, MHC and Santos, the LA clearly had no
jurisdiction over respondents claim in the NLRC case. In all the cases under the exclusive and

original jurisdiction of the LA, an employer-employee relationship is an indispensable

jurisdictional requirement.

COMMUNICATION MATERIALS AND DESIGN, INC et al vs.CA et al. G.R. No. 102223 August
22, 1996
MULTI-TRADE INC., (ASPAC) are both domestic corporations.. Private Respondents ITEC, INC.
and/or ITEC, INTERNATIONAL, INC. (ITEC) are corporations duly organized and existing under
the laws of the State of Alabama, USA. There is no dispute that ITEC is a foreign corporation not
licensed to do business in the Philippines.
ITEC entered into a contract with ASPAC referred to as Representative Agreement. Pursuant to
the contract, ITEC engaged ASPAC as its exclusive representative in the Philippines for the sale
of ITECs products, in consideration of which, ASPAC was paid a stipulated commission. Through
a License Agreement entered into by the same parties later on, ASPAC was able to incorporate
and use the name ITEC in its own name. Thus , ASPAC Multi-Trade, Inc. became legally and
publicly known as ASPAC-ITEC (Philippines).
One year into the second term of the parties Representative Agreement, ITEC decided to
terminate the same, because petitioner ASPAC allegedly violated its contractual commitment as
stipulated in their agreements. ITEC charges the petitioners and another Philippine Corporation,
DIGITAL BASE COMMUNICATIONS, INC. (DIGITAL), the President of which is likewise petitioner
Aguirre, of using knowledge and information of ITECs products specifications to develop their
own line of equipment and product support, which are similar, if not identical to ITECs own, and
offering them to ITECs former customer.
The complaint was filed with the RTC-Makati by ITEC, INC. Defendants filed a MTD the complaint
on the following grounds: (1) That plaintiff has no legal capacity to sue as it is a foreign
corporation doing business in the Philippines without the required BOI authority and SEC license,
and (2) that plaintiff is simply engaged in forum shopping which justifies the application against
it of the principle of forum non conveniens. The MTD was denied.
Petitioners elevated the case to the respondent CA on a Petition for Certiorari and Prohibition
under Rule 65 of the Revised ROC. It was dismissed as well. MR denied, hence this Petition for
Review on Certiorari under Rule 45.
1. Did the Philippine court acquire jurisdiction over the person of the petitioner corp, despite
allegations of lack of capacity to sue because of non-registration?
2. Can the Philippine court give due course to the suit or dismiss it, on the principle of forum non
HELD: petition dismissed.
1. YES; We are persuaded to conclude that ITEC had been engaged in or doing business in the
Philippines for some time now. This is the inevitable result after a scrutiny of the different
contracts and agreements entered into by ITEC with its various business contacts in the country.
Its arrangements, with these entities indicate convincingly that ITEC is actively engaging in
business in the country.
A foreign corporation doing business in the Philippines may sue in Philippine Courts although
not authorized to do business here against a Philippine citizen or entity who had contracted with
and benefited by said corporation. To put it in another way, a party is estopped to challenge the
personality of a corporation after having acknowledged the same by entering into a contract with

it. And the doctrine of estoppel to deny corporate existence applies to a foreign as well as to
domestic corporations. One who has dealt with a corporation of foreign origin as a corporate
entity is estopped to deny its corporate existence and capacity.
In Antam Consolidated Inc. vs. CA et al. we expressed our chagrin over this commonly used
scheme of defaulting local companies which are being sued by unlicensed foreign companies not
engaged in business in the Philippines to invoke the lack of capacity to sue of such foreign
companies. Obviously, the same ploy is resorted to by ASPAC to prevent the injunctive action
filed by ITEC to enjoin petitioner from using knowledge possibly acquired in violation of fiduciary
arrangements between the parties.
2. YES; Petitioners insistence on the dismissal of this action due to the application, or non
application, of the private international law rule of forum non conveniens defies well-settled
rules of fair play. According to petitioner, the Philippine Court has no venue to apply its
discretion whether to give cognizance or not to the present action, because it has not acquired
jurisdiction over the person of the plaintiff in the case, the latter allegedly having no personality
to sue before Philippine Courts. This argument is misplaced because the court has already
acquired jurisdiction over the plaintiff in the suit, by virtue of his filing the original complaint.
And as we have already observed, petitioner is not at liberty to question plaintiffs standing to
sue, having already acceded to the same by virtue of its entry into the Representative Agreement
referred to earlier.
Thus, having acquired jurisdiction, it is now for the Philippine Court, based on the facts of the
case, whether to give due course to the suit or dismiss it, on the principle of forum non
convenience. Hence, the Philippine Court may refuse to assume jurisdiction in spite of its having
acquired jurisdiction. Conversely, the 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.
The aforesaid requirements having been met, and in view of the courts disposition to give due
course to the questioned action, the matter of the present forum not being the most convenient
as a ground for the suits dismissal, deserves scant consideration.

MARCH 28, 2013 ~ VBDIAZ
PHILSEC INVESTMENT et al vs.CA et al G.R. No. 103493 June 19, 1997
FACTS: Private respondent Ducat obtained separate loans from petitioners Ayala International
Finance Limited (AYALA) and Philsec Investment Corp (PHILSEC), secured by shares of stock
owned by Ducat.
In order to facilitate the payment of the loans, private respondent 1488, Inc., through its
president, private respondent Daic, assumed Ducats obligation under an Agreement, whereby
1488, Inc. executed a Warranty Deed with Vendors Lien by which it sold to petitioner Athona
Holdings, N.V. (ATHONA) a parcel of land in Texas, U.S.A., while PHILSEC and AYALA extended a
loan to ATHONA as initial payment of the purchase price. The balance was to be paid by means of
a promissory note executed by ATHONA in favor of 1488, Inc. Subsequently, upon their receipt of
the money from 1488, Inc., PHILSEC and AYALA released Ducat from his indebtedness and
delivered to 1488, Inc. all the shares of stock in their possession belonging to Ducat.
As ATHONA failed to pay the interest on the balance, the entire amount covered by the note
became due and demandable. Accordingly, private respondent 1488, Inc. sued petitioners
PHILSEC, AYALA, and ATHONA in the United States for payment of the balance and for damages
for breach of contract and for fraud allegedly perpetrated by petitioners in misrepresenting the
marketability of the shares of stock delivered to 1488, Inc. under the Agreement.
While the Civil Case was pending in the United States, petitioners filed a complaint For Sum of
Money with Damages and Writ of Preliminary Attachment against private respondents in the
RTC Makati. The complaint reiterated the allegation of petitioners in their respective
counterclaims in the Civil Action in the United States District Court of Southern Texas that private
respondents committed fraud by selling the property at a price 400 percent more than its true
Ducat moved to dismiss the Civil Case in the RTC-Makati on the grounds of (1) litis pendentia, vis-
a-vis the Civil Action in the U.S., (2) forum non conveniens, and (3) failure of petitioners PHILSEC
and BPI-IFL to state a cause of action.
The trial court granted Ducats MTD, stating that the evidentiary requirements of the
controversy may be more suitably tried before the forum of the litis pendentia in the U.S., under
the principle in private international law of forum non conveniens, even as it noted that Ducat
was not a party in the U.S. case.
Petitioners appealed to the CA, arguing that the trial court erred in applying the principle of litis
pendentia and forum non conveniens.
The CA affirmed the dismissal of Civil Case against Ducat, 1488, Inc., and Daic on the ground of
litis pendentia.
ISSUE: is the Civil Case in the RTC-Makati barred by the judgment of the U.S. court?
HELD: CA reversed. Case remanded to RTC-Makati
While this Court has given the effect of res judicata to foreign judgments in several cases, it was
after the parties opposed to the judgment had been given ample opportunity to repel them on
grounds allowed under the law. This is because in this jurisdiction, with respect to actions in
personam, as distinguished from actions in rem, a foreign judgment merely constitutes prima
facie evidence of the justness of the claim of a party and, as such, is subject to proof to the
contrary. Rule 39, 50 provides:

Sec. 50. Effect of foreign judgments. The effect of a judgment of a tribunal of a foreign country,
having jurisdiction to pronounce the judgment is as follows:
(a) In case of a judgment upon a specific thing, the judgment is conclusive upon the title to the
(b) In case of a judgment against a person, the judgment is presumptive evidence of a right as
between the parties and their successors in interest by a subsequent title; but the judgment may
be repelled by evidence of a want of jurisdiction, want of notice to the party, collusion, fraud, or
clear mistake of law or fact.
In the case at bar, it cannot be said that petitioners were given the opportunity to challenge the
judgment of the U.S. court as basis for declaring it res judicata or conclusive of the rights of
private respondents. The proceedings in the trial court were summary. Neither the trial court nor
the appellate court was even furnished copies of the pleadings in the U.S. court or apprised of the
evidence presented thereat, to assure a proper determination of whether the issues then being
litigated in the U.S. court were exactly the issues raised in this case such that the judgment that
might be rendered would constitute res judicata.
Second. Nor is the trial courts refusal to take cognizance of the case justifiable under the
principle of forum non conveniens:
First, a MTD is limited to the grounds under Rule 16, sec.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.

72494 August 11, 1989
FACTS: It appears that sometime in 1981, Eastern Book Supply Service PTE, Ltd. (COMPANY), a
company incorporated in Singapore applied with and was granted by HSBC Singapore branch an
overdraft facility in the maximum amount of Singapore dollars 200,000 with interest at 3% over
HSBC prime rate, payable monthly, on amounts due under said overdraft facility.
As a security for the repayment by the COMPANY of sums advanced by HSBC to it through the
aforesaid overdraft facility, in 1982, both private respondents and a certain Lowe, all of whom
were directors of the COMPANY at such time, executed a Joint and Several Guarantee in favor of
HSBC whereby private respondents and Lowe agreed to pay, jointly and severally, on demand all
sums owed by the COMPANY to petitioner BANK under the aforestated overdraft facility.
The Joint and Several Guarantee provides, inter alia, that:
This guarantee and all rights, obligations and liabilities arising hereunder shall be construed and
determined under and may be enforced in accordance with the laws of the Republic of Singapore.
We hereby agree that the Courts of Singapore shall have jurisdiction over all disputes arising
under this guarantee.
The COMPANY failed to pay its obligation. Thus, HSBC demanded payment and inasmuch as the
private respondents still failed to pay, HSBC filed A complaint for collection of a sum of money
against private respondents Sherman and Reloj before RTC of Quezon City.
Private respondents filed an MTD on the ground of lack of jurisdiction over the subject matter.
The trial court denied the motion. They then filed before the respondent IAC a petition for
prohibition with preliminary injunction and/or prayer for a restraining order. The IAC rendered

a decision enjoining the RTC Quezon City from taking further cognizance of the case and to
dismiss the same for filing with the proper court of Singapore which is the proper forum. MR
denied, hence this petition.
ISSUE: Do Philippine courts have jurisdiction over the suit, vis-a-vis the Guarantee stipulation
regarding jurisdiction?
One basic principle underlies all rules of jurisdiction in International Law: a State does not have
jurisdiction in the absence of some reasonable basis for exercising it, whether the proceedings
are in rem quasi in rem or in personam. To be reasonable, the jurisdiction must be based on some
minimum contacts that will not offend traditional notions of fair play and substantial justice
The defense of private respondents that the complaint should have been filed in Singapore is
based merely on technicality. They did not even claim, much less prove, that the filing of the
action here will cause them any unnecessary trouble, damage, or expense. On the other hand,
there is no showing that petitioner BANK filed the action here just to harass private respondents.
In the case of Neville Y. Lamis Ents., et al. v. Lagamon, etc., where the stipulation was [i]n case of
litigation, jurisdiction shall be vested in the Court of Davao City. We held:
Anent the claim that Davao City had been stipulated as the venue, suffice it to say that a
stipulation as to venue does not preclude the filing of suits in the residence of plaintiff or
defendant under Section 2 (b), Rule 4, ROC, in the absence of qualifying or restrictive words in
the agreement which would indicate that the place named is the only venue agreed upon by the
Applying the foregoing to the case at bar, the parties did not thereby stipulate that only the courts
of Singapore, to the exclusion of all the rest, has jurisdiction. Neither did the clause in question
operate to divest Philippine courts of jurisdiction. In International Law, jurisdiction is often
defined as the light of a State to exercise authority over persons and things within its boundaries
subject to certain exceptions. Thus, a State does not assume jurisdiction over travelling
sovereigns, ambassadors and diplomatic representatives of other States, and foreign military
units stationed in or marching through State territory with the permission of the latters
authorities. This authority, which finds its source in the concept of sovereignty, is exclusive
within and throughout the domain of the State. A State is competent to take hold of any judicial
matter it sees fit by making its courts and agencies assume jurisdiction over all kinds of cases
brought before them
The respondent IAC likewise ruled that:
In a conflict problem, a court will simply refuse to entertain the case if it is not authorized by
law to exercise jurisdiction. And even if it is so authorized, it may still refuse to entertain the case
by applying the principle of forum non conveniens.
However, whether a suit should be entertained or dismissed on the basis of the principle of
forum non conveniens depends largely upon the facts of the particular case and is addressed to
the sound discretion of the trial court. Thus, the IAC should not have relied on such principle

AZNAR vs. GARCIA G.R. No. L-16749 January 31, 1963

FACTS: EDWARD Christensen died testate. The estate was distributed by Executioner Aznar
according to the will, which provides that: Php 3,600 be given to HELEN Christensen as her
legacy, and the rest of his estate to his daughter LUCY Christensen, as pronounced by CFI Davao.
Opposition to the approval of the project of partition was filed by Helen, insofar as it deprives her
of her legitime as an acknowledged natural child, she having been declared by Us an
acknowledged natural child of the deceased Edward in an earlier case.
As to his citizenship, we find that the citizenship that he acquired in California when he resided in
Sacramento from 1904 to 1913, was never lost by his stay in the Philippines, and the deceased
appears to have considered himself as a citizen of California by the fact that when he executed his
will he declared that he was a citizen of that State; so that he appears never to have intended to
abandon his California citizenship by acquiring another. But at the time of his death, he was
domiciled in the Philippines.
ISSUE: what law on succession should apply, the Philippine law or the California law?
HELD: WHEREFORE, the decision appealed from is hereby reversed and the case returned to the
lower court with instructions that the partition be made as the Philippine law on succession
The law that governs the validity of his testamentary dispositions is defined in Article 16 of the
Civil Code of the Philippines, which is as follows:
ART. 16. Real property as well as personal property is subject to the law of the country where it is
However, intestate and testamentary successions, both with respect to the order of succession
and to the amount of successional rights and to the intrinsic validity of testamentary provisions,
shall be regulated by the national law of the person whose succession is under consideration,
whatever may be the nature of the property and regardless of the country where said property
may be found.
The application of this article in the case at bar requires the determination of the meaning of the
term national law is used therein.
The next question is: What is the law in California governing the disposition of personal
The decision of CFI Davao, sustains the contention of the executor-appellee that under the
California Probate Code, a testator may dispose of his property by will in the form and manner he
desires. But HELEN invokes the provisions of Article 946 of the Civil Code of California, which is
as follows:
If there is no law to the contrary, in the place where personal property is situated, it is deemed to
follow the person of its owner, and is governed by the law of his domicile.
It is argued on executors behalf that as the deceased Christensen was a citizen of the State of
California, the internal law thereof, which is that given in the Kaufman case, should govern the
determination of the validity of the testamentary provisions of Christensens will, such law being
in force in the State of California of which Christensen was a citizen. Appellant, on the other hand,
insists that Article 946 should be applicable, and in accordance therewith and following the
doctrine of the renvoi, the question of the validity of the testamentary provision in question
should be referred back to the law of the decedents domicile, which is the Philippines.
We note that Article 946 of the California Civil Code is its conflict of laws rule, while the rule
applied in In re Kaufman, its internal law. If the law on succ ession and the conflict of laws rules
of California are to be enforced jointly, each in its own intended and appropriate sphere, the
principle cited In re Kaufman should apply to citizens living in the State, but Article 946 should
apply to such of its citizens as are not domiciled in California but in other jurisdictions. 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.
Appellees argue that what Article 16 of the Civil Code of the Philippines pointed out as the
national law is the internal law of California. But as above explained the laws of California have
prescribed two sets of laws for its citizens, one for residents therein and another for those
domiciled in other jurisdictions.
It is argued on appellees (Aznar and LUCY) behalf that the clause if there is no law to the
contrary in the place where the property is situated in Sec. 946 of the California Civil Code refers
to Article 16 of the Civil Code of the Philippines and that the law to the contrary in the Philippines
is the provision in said Article 16 that the national law of the deceased should govern. This
contention can not be sustained.
As explained in the various authorities cited above, the national law mentioned in Article 16 of
our Civil Code is the law on conflict of laws in the California Civil Code, i.e., Article 946, which
authorizes the reference or return of the question to the law of the testators domicile. The
conflict of laws rule in California, Article 946, Civil Code, precisely 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 the domicile can not and should not refer the case back to California; such action
would leave the issue incapable of determination because the case will then be like a football,
tossed back and forth between the two states, between the country of which the decedent was a
citizen and the country of his domicile. The Philippine court must apply its own law as directed in
the conflict of laws rule of the state of the decedent, if the question has to be decided, especially
as the application of the internal law of California provides no legitime for children while the
Philippine law, Arts. 887(4) and 894, Civil Code of the Philippines, makes natural children legally
acknowledged forced heirs of the parent recognizing them.
We therefore find that as the domicile of the deceased Edward, a citizen of California, is the
Philippines, the validity of the provisions of his will depriving his acknowledged natural child, the
appellant HELEN, should be governed by the Philippine Law, the domicile, pursuant to Art. 946 of
the Civil Code of California, not by the internal law of California..
NOTES: There is no single American law governing the validity of testamentary provisions in the
United States, each state of the Union having its own private law applicable to its citizens only
and in force only within the state. The national law indicated in Article 16 of the Civil Code
above quoted can not, therefore, possibly mean or apply to any general American law. So it can
refer to no other than the private law of the State of California.

INGENOHL vs. OLSEN AND COMPANY, INC G.R. No. L-22288 January 12, 1925
FACTS: In 1919, the acting Alien Property Custodian of the United States, by virtue of the Trading
with the Enemy Act as amended, required and caused to be conveyed to him the property and
business then belonging to the company known as Syndicat Oriente, formed under the laws of
Belgium, of which the plaintiff was the gestor, and an enemy as defined in said Act. The primary
purpose of the proceeding was to seize, sell and convey any and all of the property owned and
held by the company within the jurisdiction of the United States, as a war measure, upon the
ground that they were alien enemies of the United States.
During the public sale, defendant corporation was the highest bidder. The said Alien Property
Custodian of the United States having thereafter accepted said bid and received from the
defendant corporation in cash the amount of said bid, did execute in favor of the defendant
corporation a deed of conveyance. The defendant paid in good faith, and took over the property
and assets of the company, including its trade-marks and trade names and its business as a going
After obtaining the proceeds from the sale, the plaintiff in violation of the conveyance, wrongfully
instituted an action in the Supreme Court of Hongkong against the defendant in which the
plaintiff claimed to be the sole owner of the trade-marks for the exports of the business. The
Supreme Court of Hongkong ruled in favor of the plaintiff, allegedly through misrepresentation,
ordering defendant to pay the former for costs and AF. The Court ruled that the deed of
conveyance limited the sale of the business to the trademarks within the Philippines, implying
that the plaintiff is still entitled to the sell the cigars under the same trademarks through
exporting, which accounts to 95% of the total sales of the company. (This means that the plaintiff
paid the cash equivalent of the whole of the business but only entitled to 5% of the such, the sales
within the Philippines)- UNFAIR TALAGA!
The CFI rendered judgment for the plaintiff for the full amount of his claim, with interest, from
which the defendant appeals. Defendant company alleges that when he purchased the property
and business, all trademarks are included; that the subject of the sale is not only those
trademarks for sales within the Philippines.
ISSUE: Should the judgment rendered by the Hongkong court be enforced by Philippine courts?
HELD: NO; we do not hesitate to say that the judgment rendered in the Hongkong court was a
clear mistake of both law and fact, and that it ought not to be enforced in the Philippine Islands.
The business of the plaintiff is almost exclusively an export business, and that the transfer of the
goodwill thereof necessarily carried with it the transfer of said export business and of the trade-
marks and trade names which could not be disconnected therefrom
- It is conceded that the Hongkong court had jurisdiction and that the defendant appeared in
the action and contested the case on its merits. Hence, there was no collusion. Neither is it
claimed that there was any fraud, but it is vigorously contended that the Hongkong judgment was
a clear mistake of both law and fact. Exclusive of the provisions of section 311 of the Code of Civil
Procedure, it is very doubtful whether it could be sustained upon the ground of comity or the
Law of Nations. As between allied nations and under the law of comity, their mutual policy should
be to sustain and enforce the spirit and intention with which the seizure and sale of any property
of an alien enemy was made rather than to minimize, destroy or defeat them.
We are construing a deed of conveyance from the United States to the defendant. The primary
purpose of the whole proceeding was to seize and convey all of the property of the plaintiff or his
company within the jurisdiction of the United States, including trade names and trade-marks as
those of an alien enemy. To now give the defendant the use and benefit of only 5 per cent of such
trade names and trade-marks, and to permit the plaintiff to have and retain the other 95 per cent
to his own use and benefit after he has ratified and confirmed the sale, would impugn the honor

and good name of the United States in the whole proceeding and defeat the very purpose for
which it seized and sold the property of an alien enemy, to wipe Ingenohl and his company out of
existence and put them out of business in so far as the United States had the power to do so
Be that as it may, this court is bound be section 311 of the Code of Civil Procedure. That law was
enacted by the Legislature of the Philippine Islands, and as to the Philippine Islands, it is the law
of the land. In the absence of that statute, no matter how wrongful the judgment of the Hongkong
court may be, there would be strong reasons for holding that it should be enforced by this court.

MARCH 28, 2013 ~ VBDIAZ
PILAPIL vs. HON IBAY-SOMERA, VICTOR AND GEILING et al G.R. No. 80116 June 30, 1989
FACTS: Petitioner Imelda Pilapil, a Filipino citizen, and private respondent Erich Geiling, a
German national, were married in Germany. After about three and a half years of marriage, such
connubial disharmony eventuated in Geiling initiating a divorce proceeding against Pilapil in
Germany. The Local Court, Federal Republic of Germany, promulgated a decree of divorce on the
ground of failure of marriage of the spouses.
More than five months after the issuance of the divorce decree, Geiling filed two complaints for
adultery before the City Fiscal of Manila alleging in one that, while still married to said Geiling,
Pilapil had an affair with a certain William Chia. The Assistant Fiscal, after the corresponding
investigation, recommended the dismissal of the cases on the ground of insufficiency of evidence.
However, upon review, the respondent city fiscal Victor approved a resolution directing the filing
of 2 complaint for adultery against the petitioner. The case entitled PP Philippines vs. Pilapil and
Chia was assigned to the court presided by the respondent judge Ibay-Somera.
A motion to quash was filed in the same case which was denied by the respondent. Pilapil filed
this special civil action for certiorari and prohibition, with a prayer for a TRO, seeking the
annulment of the order of the lower court denying her motion to quash.
As cogently argued by Pilapil, Article 344 of the RPC thus presupposes that the marital
relationship is still subsisting at the time of the institution of the criminal action for adultery.
ISSUE: Did Geiling have legal capacity at the time of the filing of the complaint for adultery,
considering that it was done after obtaining a divorce decree?
HELD: WHEREFORE, the questioned order denying petitioners MTQ is SET ASIDE and another
one entered DISMISSING the complaint for lack of jurisdiction. The TRO issued in this case is
hereby made permanent.
Under Article 344 of the RPC, the crime of adultery cannot be prosecuted except upon a sworn
written complaint filed by the offended spouse. It has long since been established, with
unwavering consistency, that compliance with this rule is a jurisdictional, and not merely a
formal, requirement.
Corollary to such exclusive grant of power to the offended spouse to institute the action, it
necessarily follows that such initiator must have the status, capacity or legal representation to do
so at the time of the filing of the criminal action. This is a logical consequence since the raison
detre of said provision of law would be absent where the supposed offended party had ceased to
be the spouse of the alleged offender at the time of the filing of the criminal case.

Stated differently, the inquiry would be whether it is necessary in the commencement of a

criminal action for adultery that the marital bonds between the complainant and the accused be
unsevered and existing at the time of the institution of the action by the former against the latter.
In the present case, the fact that private respondent obtained a valid divorce in his country, the
Federal Republic of Germany, is admitted. Said divorce and its legal effects may be recognized in
the Philippines insofar as private respondent is concerned in view of the nationality principle in
our civil law on the matter of status of persons Under the same considerations and rationale,
private respondent, being no longer the husband of petitioner, had no legal standing to
commence the adultery case under the imposture that he was the offended spouse at the time he
filed suit.

BENGSON vs. HRET and CRUZ G.R. No. 142840 May 7, 2001
FACTS: The citizenship of respondent Cruz is at issue in this case, in view of the constitutional
requirement that no person shall be a Member of the House of Representatives unless he is a
natural-born citizen.
Cruz was a natural-born citizen of the Philippines. He was born in Tarlac in 1960 of Filipino
parents. In 1985, however, Cruz enlisted in the US Marine Corps and without the consent of the
Republic of the Philippines, took an oath of allegiance to the USA. As a Consequence, he lost his
Filipino citizenship for under CA No. 63 [(An Act Providing for the Ways in Which Philippine
Citizenship May Be Lost or Reacquired (1936)] section 1(4), a Filipino citizen may lose his
citizenship by, among other, rendering service to or accepting commission in the armed forces of
a foreign country.
Whatever doubt that remained regarding his loss of Philippine citizenship was erased by his
naturalization as a U.S. citizen in 1990, in connection with his service in the U.S. Marine Corps.
In 1994, Cruz reacquired his Philippine citizenship through repatriation under RA 2630 [(An Act
Providing for Reacquisition of Philippine Citizenship by Persons Who Lost Such Citizenship by
Rendering Service To, or Accepting Commission In, the Armed Forces of the United States
(1960)]. He ran for and was elected as the Representative of the 2nd District of Pangasinan in the
1998 elections. He won over petitioner Bengson who was then running for reelection.
Subsequently, petitioner filed a case for Quo Warranto Ad Cautelam with respondent HRET
claiming that Cruz was not qualified to become a member of the HOR since he is not a natural-
born citizen as required under Article VI, section 6 of the Constitution.
HRET rendered its decision dismissing the petition for quo warranto and declaring Cruz the duly
elected Representative in the said election.
ISSUE: WON Cruz, a natural-born Filipino who became an American citizen, can still be
considered a natural-born Filipino upon his reacquisition of Philippine citizenship.
HELD: petition dismissed
Filipino citizens who have lost their citizenship may however reacquire the same in the manner
provided by law. C.A. No. 63 enumerates the 3 modes by which Philippine citizenship may be
reacquired by a former citizen:
1. by naturalization,
2. by repatriation, and
3. by direct act of Congress.
Repatriation may be had under various statutes by those who lost their citizenship due to:
1. desertion of the armed forces;

2. services in the armed forces of the allied forces in World War II;
3. service in the Armed Forces of the United States at any other time,
4. marriage of a Filipino woman to an alien; and
5. political economic necessity
Repatriation results in the recovery of the original nationality This means that a naturalized
Filipino who lost his citizenship will be restored to his prior status as a naturalized Filipino
citizen. On the other hand, if he was originally a natural-born citizen before he lost his Philippine
citizenship, he will be restored to his former status as a natural-born Filipino.
R.A. No. 2630 provides:
Sec 1. Any person who had lost his Philippine citizenship by rendering service to, or accepting
commission in, the Armed Forces of the United States, or after separation from the Armed Forces
of the United States, acquired United States citizenship, may reacquire Philippine citizenship by
taking an oath of allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines and registering the same with Local
Civil Registry in the place where he resides or last resided in the Philippines. The said oath of
allegiance shall contain a renunciation of any other citizenship.
Having thus taken the required oath of allegiance to the Republic and having registered the same
in the Civil Registry of Magantarem, Pangasinan in accordance with the aforecited provision, Cruz
is deemed to have recovered his original status as a natural-born citizen, a status which he
acquired at birth as the son of a Filipino father. It bears stressing that the act of repatriation
allows him to recover, or return to, his original status before he lost his Philippine citizenship.

MARCH 28, 2013 ~ VBDIAZ
VAN DORN vs. HON. ROMILLO and RICHARD UPTON G.R. No. L-68470 October 8, 1985
FACTS: Petitioner Alice Van Dorn is a citizen of the Philippines while private respondent Richard
Upton is a citizen of the USA. They were married in Hongkong in 1972 and begot two children.
The parties were divorced in Nevada, USA in 1982. Alice has then re-married also in Nevada, this
time to Theodore Van Dorn.
In 1983, Richard filed suit against Alice in the RTC-Pasay, stating that Alices business in Ermita,
Manila is conjugal property of the parties, and asking that Alice be ordered to render an
accounting of that business, and that Richard be declared with right to manage the conjugal
Alice moved to dismiss the case on the ground that the cause of action is barred by previous
judgment in the divorce proceedings before the Nevada Court wherein respondent had
acknowledged that he and petitioner had no community property as of June 11, 1982.
The Court below (presiding judge: Judge Romillo) denied the MTD in the mentioned case on the
ground that the property involved is located in the Philippines so that the Divorce Decree has no
bearing in the case. The denial is now the subject of this certiorari proceeding.
ISSUE: What is the effect of the foreign divorce on the parties and their alleged conjugal property
in the Philippines?
HELD: Petition is granted, and respondent Judge is hereby ordered to dismiss the Complaint
For the resolution of this case, it is not necessary to determine whether the property relations
between Alice and Richard, after their marriage, were upon absolute or relative community
property, upon complete separation of property, or upon any other regime. The pivotal fact in
this case is the Nevada divorce of the parties.

The Nevada District Court, which decreed the divorce, had obtained jurisdiction over petitioner
who appeared in person before the Court during the trial of the case. It also obtained jurisdiction
over private respondent who authorized his attorneys in the divorce case to agree to the divorce
on the ground of incompatibility in the understanding that there were neither community
property nor community obligations.
As explicitly stated in the Power of Attorney he executed in favor of the law firm of KARP & GRAD
LTD. to represent him in the divorce proceedings:
xxx xxx xxx
You are hereby authorized to accept service of Summons, to file an Answer, appear on my behalf
and do all things necessary and proper to represent me, without further contesting, subject to the
1. That my spouse seeks a divorce on the ground of incompatibility.
2. That there is no community of property to be adjudicated by the Court.
3. That there are no community obligations to be adjudicated by the court.
xxx xxx xxx
There can be no question as to the validity of that Nevada divorce in any of the States of the
United States. The decree is binding on private respondent as an American citizen. What he is
contending in this case is that the divorce is not valid and binding in this jurisdiction, the same
being contrary to local law and public policy.
It is true that owing to the nationality principle embodied in Article 15 of the Civil Code, only
Philippine nationals are covered by the policy against absolute divorces the same being
considered contrary to our concept of public police and morality. However, aliens may obtain
divorces abroad, which may be recognized in the Philippines, provided they are valid according
to their national law. In this case, the divorce in Nevada released private respondent from the
marriage from the standards of American law, under which divorce dissolves the marriage.
Thus, pursuant to his national law, private respondent is no longer the husband of petitioner. He
would have no standing to sue in the case below as petitioners husband entitled to exercise
control over conjugal assets. As he is bound by the Decision of his own countrys Court, which
validly exercised jurisdiction over him, and whose decision he does not repudiate, he is estopped
by his own representation before said Court from asserting his right over the alleged conjugal

MARCH 28, 2013 ~ VBDIAZ
G. R. No. 2935
March 23, 1909

FACTS: In 1903, in the city of Chicago, Illinois, Frank entered into a contract for a period of 2
years with the Plaintiff, by which Frank was to receive a salary as a stenographer in the service of
the said Plaintiff, and in addition thereto was to be paid in advance the expenses incurred in
traveling from the said city of Chicago to Manila, and one-half salary during said period of travel.

Said contract contained a provision that in case of a violation of its terms on the part of Frank, he
should become liable to the Plaintiff for the amount expended by the Government by way of

expenses incurred in traveling from Chicago to Manila and the one-half salary paid during such

Frank entered upon the performance of his contract and was paid half-salary from the date until
the date of his arrival in the Philippine Islands.

Thereafter, Frank left the service of the Plaintiff and refused to make a further compliance with
the terms of the contract.

The Plaintiff commenced an action in the CFI-Manila to recover from Frank the sum of money,
which amount the Plaintiff claimed had been paid to Frank as expenses incurred in traveling from
Chicago to Manila, and as half-salary for the period consumed in travel.

It was expressly agreed between the parties to said contract that Laws No. 80 and No. 224 should
constitute a part of said contract.

The Defendant filed a general denial and a special defense, alleging in his special defense that
(1) the Government of the Philippine Islands had amended Laws No. 80 and No. 224 and had
thereby materially altered the said contract, and also that
(2) he was a minor at the time the contract was entered into and was therefore not responsible
under the law.
the lower court rendered a judgment against Frank and in favor of the Plaintiff for the sum of
265. 90 dollars


1. Did the amendment of the laws altered the tenor of the contract entered into between Plaintiff
and Defendant?
2. Can the defendant allege minority/infancy?

HELD: the judgment of the lower court is affirmed

1. NO; It may be said that the mere fact that the legislative department of the Government of the
Philippine Islands had amended said Acts No. 80 and No. 224 by Acts No. 643 and No. 1040 did
not have the effect of changing the terms of the contract made between the Plaintiff and the
Defendant. The legislative department of the Government is expressly prohibited by section 5 of
the Act of Congress of 1902 from altering or changing the terms of a contract. The right which the
Defendant had acquired by virtue of Acts No. 80 and No. 224 had not been changed in any respect
by the fact that said laws had been amended. These acts, constituting the terms of the contract,
still constituted a part of said contract and were enforceable in favor of the Defendant.

2. NO; The Defendant alleged in his special defense that he was a minor and therefore the
contract could not be enforced against him. The record discloses that, at the time the contract
was entered into in the State of Illinois, he was an adult under the laws of that State and had full
authority to contract. Frank claims that, by reason of the fact that, under that laws of the
Philippine Islands at the time the contract was made, made persons in said Islands did not reach
their majority until they had attained the age of 23 years, he was not liable under said contract,
contending that the laws of the Philippine Islands governed.

It is not disputed upon the contrary the fact is admitted that at the time and place of the
making of the contract in question the Defendant had full capacity to make the same. No rule is
better settled in law than that matters bearing upon the execution, interpretation and validity of
a contract are determined b the law of the place where the contract is made. Matters connected
with its performance are regulated by the law prevailing at the place of performance. Matters
respecting a remedy, such as the bringing of suit, admissibility of evidence, and statutes of
limitations, depend upon the law of the place where the suit is brought.

G.R. No. 112573 February 9, 1995

FACTS: Petitioner Northwest Orient Airlines, Inc. (NORTHWEST), a corporation organized under
the laws of the State of Minnesota, U.S.A., sought to enforce in the RTC- Manila, a judgment
rendered in its favor by a Japanese court against private respondent C.F. Sharp & Company, Inc.,
(SHARP), a corporation incorporated under Philippine laws.

factual and procedural antecedents of this controversy:

On May 9, 1974, Northwest Airlines and Sharp, through its Japan branch, entered into an
International Passenger Sales Agency Agreement, whereby the former authorized the latter to
sell its air transportation tickets. Unable to remit the proceeds of the ticket sales made by
defendant on behalf of the plaintiff under the said agreement, plaintiff on March 25, 1980 sued
defendant in Tokyo, Japan, for collection of the unremitted proceeds of the ticket sales, with claim
for damages.

On April 11, 1980, a writ of summons was issued by the 36th Civil Department, Tokyo District
Court of Japan against defendant at its office at the Taiheiyo Building, 3rd floor, 132, Yamashita-
cho, Naka-ku, Yokohoma, Kanagawa Prefecture. The attempt to serve the summons was
unsuccessful because the bailiff was advised by a person in the office that Mr. Dinozo, the person
believed to be authorized to receive court processes was in Manila and would be back on April
24, 1980.

On April 24, 1980, bailiff returned to the defendants office to serve the summons. Mr. Dinozo
refused to accept the same claiming that he was no longer an employee of the defendant.

After the two attempts of service were unsuccessful, the judge of the Tokyo District Court
decided to have the complaint and the writs of summons served at the head office of the
defendant in Manila. On July 11, 1980, the Director of the Tokyo District Court requested the
Supreme Court of Japan to serve the summons through diplomatic channels upon the defendants
head office in Manila.
On August 28, 1980, defendant received from Deputy Sheriff Rolando Balingit the writ of
summons (p. 276, Records). Despite receipt of the same, defendant failed to appear at the
scheduled hearing. Thus, the Tokyo Court proceeded to hear the plaintiffs complaint and on
[January 29, 1981], rendered judgment ordering the defendant to pay the plaintiff the sum of

83,158,195 Yen and damages for delay at the rate of 6% per annum from August 28, 1980 up to
and until payment is completed (pp. 12-14, Records).

On March 24, 1981, defendant received from Deputy Sheriff Balingit copy of the judgment.
Defendant not having appealed the judgment, the same became final and executory.

Plaintiff was unable to execute the decision in Japan, hence, on May 20, 1983, a suit for
enforcement of the judgment was filed by plaintiff before the Regional Trial Court of Manila
Branch 54.

defendant filed its answer averring that the judgment of the Japanese Court: (1) the foreign
judgment sought to be enforced is null and void for want of jurisdiction and (2) the said judgment
is contrary to Philippine law and public policy and rendered without due process of law.

In its decision, the Court of Appeals sustained the trial court. It agreed with the latter in its
reliance upon Boudard vs. Tait wherein it was held that the process of the court has no
extraterritorial effect and no jurisdiction is acquired over the person of the defendant by serving
him beyond the boundaries of the state. To support its position, the Court of Appeals further
In an action strictly in personam, such as the instant case, personal service of summons within
the forum is required for the court to acquire jurisdiction over the defendant (Magdalena Estate
Inc. vs. Nieto, 125 SCRA 230). To confer jurisdiction on the court, personal or substituted service
of summons on the defendant not extraterritorial service is necessary.

ISSUE: whether a Japanese court can acquire jurisdiction over a Philippine corporation doing
business in Japan by serving summons through diplomatic channels on the Philippine
corporation at its principal office in Manila after prior attempts to serve summons in Japan had


A foreign judgment is presumed to be valid and binding in the country from which it comes, until
the contrary is shown. It is also proper to presume the regularity of the proceedings and the
giving of due notice therein. 6
The judgment may, however, be assailed by evidence of want of jurisdiction, want of notice to the
party, collusion, fraud, or clear mistake of law or fact.(See Sec. 50, R 39)

Being the party challenging the judgment rendered by the Japanese court, SHARP had the duty to
demonstrate the invalidity of such judgment.

It is settled that matters of remedy and procedure such as those relating to the service of process
upon a defendant are governed by the lex fori or the internal law of the forum. 8 In this case, it is
the procedural law of Japan where the judgment was rendered that determines the validity of the
extraterritorial service of process on SHARP. As to what this law is is a question of fact, not of law.
It was then incumbent upon SHARP to present evidence as to what that Japanese procedural law
is and to show that under it, the assailed extraterritorial service is invalid. It did not. Accordingly,
the presumption of validity and regularity of the service of summons and the decision thereafter
rendered by the Japanese court must stand.

Alternatively in the light of the absence of proof regarding Japanese law, the presumption of
identity or similarity or the so-called processual presumption may be invoked. Applying it, the
Japanese law on the matter is presumed to be similar with the Philippine law on service of
summons on a private foreign corporation doing business in the Philippines.

Section 14, Rule 14 of the Rules of Court provides that if the defendant is a foreign corporation
doing business in the Philippines, service may be made: (1) on its resident agent designated in
accordance with law for that purpose, or, (2) if there is no such resident agent, on the
government official designated by law to that effect; or (3) on any of its officers or agents within
the Philippines.

Where the corporation has no such agent, service shall be made on the government official
designated by law, to wit: (a) the Insurance Commissioner in the case of a foreign insurance
company; (b) the Superintendent of Banks, in the case of a foreign banking corporation; and (c)
the Securities and Exchange Commission, in the case of other foreign corporations duly licensed
to do business in the Philippines.

Nowhere in its pleadings did SHARP profess to having had a resident agent authorized to receive
court processes in Japan.
While it may be true that service could have been made upon any of the officers or agents of
SHARP at its three other branches in Japan, the availability of such a recourse would not preclude
service upon the proper government official, as stated above.
As found by the respondent court, two attempts at service were made at SHARPs Yokohama
branch. Both were unsuccessful.
The Tokyo District Court requested the Supreme Court of Japan to cause the delivery of the
summons and other legal documents to the Philippines. Acting on that request, the Supreme
Court of Japan sent the summons together with the other legal documents to the Ministry of
Foreign Affairs of Japan which, in turn, forwarded the same to the Japanese Embassy in Manila .
Thereafter, the court processes were delivered to the Ministry (now Department) of Foreign
Affairs of the Philippines, then to the Executive Judge of the Court of First Instance (now Regional
Trial Court) of Manila, who forthwith ordered Deputy Sheriff Rolando Balingit to serve the same
on SHARP at its principal office in Manila. This service is equivalent to service on the proper
government official under Section 14, Rule 14 of the Rules of Court, in relation to Section 128 of
the Corporation Code. Hence, SHARPs contention that such manner of service is not valid under
Philippine laws holds no water.

We find NORTHWESTs claim for attorneys fees, litigation expenses, and exemplary damages to
be without merit. We find no evidence that would justify an award for attorneys fees and
litigation expenses under Article 2208 of the Civil Code of the Philippines. Nor is an award for
exemplary damages warranted.

WHEREFORE, the instant petition is partly GRANTED, and the challenged decision is AFFIRMED
insofar as it denied NORTHWESTs claims for attorneys fees, litigation expenses, and exemplary
damages but REVERSED insofar as in sustained the trial courts dismissal of NORTHWESTs
complaint in Civil Case No. 83-17637 of Branch 54 of the Regional Trial Court of Manila, and
another in its stead is hereby rendered ORDERING private respondent C.F. SHARP L COMPANY,
INC. to pay to NORTHWEST the amounts adjudged in the foreign judgment subject of said case,

with interest thereon at the legal rate from the filing of the complaint therein until the said
foreign judgment is fully satisfied.

MARCH 28, 2013 ~ VBDIAZ
FACTS: The appellant Emilie Boudard, in her capacity as widow of Marie Theodore Boudard and
as guardian of her coappellants, her children born during her marriage with the deceased,
obtained a judgment in their favor from the civil division of the CFI of Hanoi, French Indo-China
for a sum, plus interest. The judgment was rendered against Stewart Tait who had been declared
in default for his failure to appear at the trial before said court.
The judgment, was based on the fact that Marie Theodore Boudard, who was an employee of
Stewart Eddie Tait, was killed in Hanoi by other employees of said Tait, although outside of the
fulfillment of a duty.
Trial court (in the Philippines) dismissed the action for enforcement of the Hanoi decision based
principally on the lack of jurisdiction of the Court of Hanoi to render the judgment in question, for
the execution of which this action was instituted in this jurisdiction. The lack of jurisdiction was
discovered in the decision itself of the Court of Hanoi which states that the appellee was not a
resident of, nor had a known domicile in, that country.
The evidence adduced at the trial conclusively proves that neither the appellee nor his agent or
employees were ever in Hanoi, French Indo-China; and that the deceased Marie Theodore
Boudard had never, at any time, been his employee. The appellees first intimation of his having
been sued and sentenced to pay a huge sum by the civil division of the Court of First Instance of
Hanoi was when he was served with summons in the present case.
ISSUE: WON the decision in Hanoi can be executed here.
The appellants failed to show that the proceedings against the appellee in the Court of Hanoi
were in accordance with the laws of France then in force; and as to the second point, it appears
that said documents are not of the nature mentioned in sections 304 and 305 of Act No. 190.
They are not copies of the judicial record of the proceedings against the appellee in the Court of
Hanoi, duly certified by the proper authorities there, whose signatures should be authenticated
by the Consul or some consular agent of the United States in said country.
Moreover, the evidence of record shows that the appellee was not in Hanoi during the time
mentioned in the complaint of the appellants, nor were his employees or representatives. The
rule in matters of this nature is that judicial proceedings in a foreign country, regarding payment
of money, are only effective against a party if summons is duly served on him within such foreign
country before the proceedings.
It can not be said that the decision rendered by the Court of Hanoi should be conclusive to such
an extent that it cannot be contested, for it merely constitutes, from the viewpoint of our laws,
prima facie evidence of the justness of appellants claim, and, as such, naturally admits proof to
the contrary.


MARCH 28, 2013 ~ VBDIAZ
G.R. No. 186571, August 11, 2010
Facts: Petitioner (Gerbert Corpuz) is a former Filipino citizen who became a Canadian citizen
through naturalization. Subsequently, the petitioner married the respondent (Daisylyn Sto.
Tomas), a Filipina, in Pasig City. After the wedding, petitioner went back to Canada due to work
commitments; however, when he came back he was shocked to discover that the respondent is
having an affair with another man. Thus, petitioner went back to Canada and filed a petition for
divorce. The Superior Court of Justice, Windsor, Ontario, Canada granted the petitioners petition
for divorce. The divorce decree took effect a month later, January 8, 2006.
Two years later, the petitioner has already moved on and found another woman that he wants to
marry. Thus, for his love to his fiance; the petitioner went to the Pasig Civil Registry Office and
registered the Canadian divorce decree on his and the respondents marriage certificate. Despite
the registration of the divorce decree, an official of the National Statistics Office (NSO) informed
the petitioner that the marriage between him and the respondent still subsists under the
Philippine Law and to be enforceable, the foreign divorce decree must first be judicially
recognized by a competent Philippine court, pursuant to NSO Circular No. 4, Series of 1982.
Accordingly, the petitioner filed a petition for judicial recognition of foreign divorce and/or
declaration of marriage dissolved with the RTC. The RTC denied his petition, hence this recourse
by the petitioner.
Issue: Whether or not the second paragraph of Article 26 of the Family Code extends to aliens the
right to petition a court of this jurisdiction for the recognition of a foreign divorce decree.
Ruling: No.
Even though the trial court is correct in its conclusion that the alien spouse can claim no right
under the second paragraph of Article 26 of the Family Code as the substantive right it
establishes is in favor of the Filipino spouse due to the given the rationale and intent behind the
enactment, and as such the second paragraph of Article 26 of the Family Code limits its
applicability for the benefit of the Filipino spouse.
However, we qualify the above conclusion made by the trial court because in our jurisdiction, the
foreign divorce decree is presumptive evidence of a right that clothes the party with legal interest
to petitions for its recognition. Even though, the second paragraph of Article 26 of the Family
Code bestows no rights in favor of aliens- with the complementary statement that his conclusion
is not a sufficient basis to dismiss the petition filed by Corpuz before the RTC. the unavailability
of the second paragraph of Article 26 of the Family Code to aliens does not necessarily strip
Gerbert of legal interest to petition the RTC for the recognition of his foreign divorce decree. The
foreign divorce decree itself, after its authenticity and conformity with the aliens national law
have been duly proven according to our rules of evidence, serves as a presumptive evidence of
right in favor of Gerbert, pursuant to Section 48, Rule 39 of the Rules of Court which provides for
the effect of foreign judgments. This Section states:
SEC. 48. Effect of foreign judgments or final orders.The effect of a judgment or final order of a
tribunal of a foreign country, having jurisdiction to render the judgment or final order is as
(a) In case of a judgment or final order upon a specific thing, the judgment or final order is
conclusive upon the title of the thing; and

(b) In case of a judgment or final order against a person, the judgment or final order is
presumptive evidence of a right as between the parties and their successors in interest by a
subsequent title.
In either case, the judgment or final order may be repelled by evidence of a want of jurisdiction,
want of notice to the party, collusion, fraud, or clear mistake of law or fact.
To our mind, direct involvement or being the subject of the foreign judgment is sufficient to
clothe a party with the requisite interest to institute an action before our courts for the
recognition of the foreign judgment. In a divorce situation, we have declared, no less, that the
divorce obtained by an alien abroad may be recognized in the Philippines, provided the divorce is
valid according to his or her national law.
The starting point in any recognition of a foreign divorce judgment is the acknowledgment that
our courts do not take judicial notice of foreign judgments and laws. Justice Herrera explained
that, as a rule, no sovereign is bound to give effect within its dominion to a judgment rendered
by a tribunal of another country. This means that the foreign judgment and its authenticity must
be proven as facts under our rules on evidence, together with the aliens applicable national law
to show the effect of the judgment on the alien himself or herself. The recognition may be made in
an action instituted specifically for the purpose or in another action where a party invokes the
foreign decree as an integral aspect of his claim or defense.
In Gerberts case, since both the foreign divorce decree and the national law of the alien,
recognizing his or her capacity to obtain a divorce, purport to be official acts of a sovereign
authority, Section 24, Rule 132 of the Rules of Court comes into play. This Section requires proof,
either by (1) official publications or (2) copies attested by the officer having legal custody of the
documents. If the copies of official records are not kept in the Philippines, these must be (a)
accompanied by a certificate issued by the proper diplomatic or consular officer in the Philippine
foreign service stationed in the foreign country in which the record is kept and (b) authenticated
by the seal of his office.
The records show that Gerbert attached to his petition a copy of the divorce decree, as well as the
required certificates proving its authenticity, but failed to include a copy of the Canadian law on
divorce. Under this situation, we can, at this point, simply dismiss the petition for insufficiency of
supporting evidence, unless we deem it more appropriate to remand the case to the RTC to
determine whether the divorce decree is consistent with the Canadian divorce law.
We deem it more appropriate to take this latter course of action, given the Article 26 interests
that will be served and the Filipina wifes (Daisylyns) obvious conformity with the petition. A
remand, at the same time, will allow other interested parties to oppose the foreign judgment and
overcome a petitioners presumptive evidence of a right by proving want of jurisdiction, want of
notice to a party, collusion, fraud, or clear mistake of law or fact. Needless to state, every
precaution must be taken to ensure conformity with our laws before a recognition is made, as the
foreign judgment, once recognized, shall have the effect of res judicata between the parties, as
provided in Section 48, Rule 39 of the Rules of Court.
In fact, more than the principle of comity that is served by the practice of reciprocal recognition
of foreign judgments between nations, the res judicata effect of the foreign judgments of divorce
serves as the deeper basis for extending judicial recognition and for considering the alien spouse
bound by its terms. This same effect, as discussed above, will not obtain for the Filipino spouse
were it not for the substantive rule that the second paragraph of Article 26 of the Family Code
Considerations beyond the recognition of the foreign divorce decree.


G.R. No. 110263, July 20, 2001

Facts: Petitioner Asiavest Merchant Bankers (M) Berhad is a corporation organized under the
laws of Malaysia while private respondent Philippine National Construction Corporation is a
corporation duly incorporated and existing under Philippine laws.

Petitioner initiated a suit for collection against private respondent, then known as Construction
and Development Corporation of the Philippines, before the High Court of Malaya in Kuala
Lumpur entitled Asiavest Merchant Bankers (M) Berhad v. Asiavest CDCP Sdn. Bhd. and
Construction and Development Corporation of the Philippines.

Petitioner sought to recover the indemnity of the performance bond it had put up in favor of
private respondent to guarantee the completion of the Felda Project and the nonpayment of the
loan it extended to Asiavest-CDCP Sdn. Bhd. for the completion of Paloh Hanai and Kuantan By
Pass; Project.

The High Court of Malaya (Commercial Division) rendered judgment in favor of the petitioner
and against the private respondent. Following unsuccessful attempts to secure payment from
private respondent under the judgment, petitioner initiated the complaint before RTC of Pasig,
Metro Manila, to enforce the judgment of the High Court of Malaya.

Private respondent sought the dismissal of the case via a Motion to Dismiss, contending that the
alleged judgment of the High Court of Malaya should be denied recognition or enforcement since
on in face, it is tainted with want of jurisdiction, want of notice to private respondent, collusion
and/or fraud, and there is a clear mistake of law or fact. Dismissal was, however, denied by the
trial court considering that the grounds relied upon are not the proper grounds in a motion to
dismiss under Rule 16 of the Revised Rules of Court.

Subsequently, private respondent filed its Answer with Compulsory Counter claims and therein
raised the grounds it brought up in its motion to dismiss. In its Reply filed, the petitioner
contended that the High Court of Malaya acquired jurisdiction over the person of private
respondent by its voluntary submission the courts jurisdiction through its appointed counsel.
Furthermore, private respondents counsel waived any and all objections to the High Courts
jurisdiction in a pleading filed before the court.

In due time, the trial court rendered its decision dismissing petitioners complaint. Petitioner
interposed an appeal with the Court of Appeals, but the appellate court dismissed the same and
affirmed the decision of the trial court.

Issue: Whether or not the CA erred in denying recognition and enforcement to the Malaysian
Court judgment.

Ruling: Yes.

Generally, in the absence of a special compact, no sovereign is bound to give effect within its
dominion to a judgment rendered by a tribunal of another country; however, the rules of comity,
utility and convenience of nations have established a usage among civilized states by which final

judgments of foreign courts of competent jurisdiction are reciprocally respected and rendered
efficacious under certain conditions that may vary in different countries.

In this jurisdiction, a valid judgment rendered by a foreign tribunal may be recognized insofar as
the immediate parties and the underlying cause of action are concerned so long as it is
convincingly shown that there has been an opportunity for a full and fair hearing before a court
of competent jurisdiction; that the trial upon regular proceedings has been conducted, following
due citation or voluntary appearance of the defendant and under a system of jurisprudence likely
to secure an impartial administration of justice; and that there is nothing to indicate either a
prejudice in court and in the system of laws under which it is sitting or fraud in procuring the

A foreign judgment is presumed to be valid and binding in the country from which it comes, until
a contrary showing, on the basis of a presumption of regularity of proceedings and the giving of
due notice in the foreign forum Under Section 50(b), Rule 39 of the Revised Rules of Court, which
was the governing law at the time the instant case was decided by the trial court and respondent
appellate court, a judgment, against a person, of a tribunal of a foreign country having jurisdiction
to pronounce the same is presumptive evidence of a right as between the parties and their
successors in interest by a subsequent title. The judgment may, however, be assailed by evidence
of want of jurisdiction, want of notice to the party, collusion, fraud, or clear mistake of law or fact.
In addition, under Section 3(n), Rule 131 of the Revised Rules of Court, a court, whether in the
Philippines or elsewhere, enjoys the presumption that it was acting in the lawful exercise of its
jurisdiction. Hence, once the authenticity of the foreign judgment is proved, the party attacking a
foreign judgment, is tasked with the burden of overcoming its presumptive validity.

In the instant case, petitioner sufficiently established the existence of the money judgment of the
High Court of Malaya by the evidence it offered. Petitioners sole witness, testified to the effect
that he is in active practice of the law profession in Malaysia; that he was connected with Skrine
and Company as Legal Assistant up to 1981; that private respondent, then known as Construction
and Development Corporation of the Philippines, was sued by his client, Asiavest Merchant
Bankers (M) Berhad, in Kuala Lumpur; that the writ of summons were served on March 17, 1983
at the registered office of private respondent and on March 21, 1983 on Cora S. Deala, a financial
planning officer of private respondent for Southeast Asia operations; that upon the filing of the
case, Messrs. Allen and Gledhill, Advocates and Solicitors, with address at 24th Floor, UMBC
Building, Jalan Sulaiman, Kuala Lumpur, entered their conditional appearance for private
respondent questioning the regularity of the service of the writ of summons but subsequently
withdrew the same when it realized that the writ was properly served; that because private
respondent failed to file a statement of defense within two (2) weeks, petitioner filed an
application for summary judgment and submitted affidavits and documentary evidence in
support of its claim; that the matter was then heard before the High Court of Kuala Lumpur in a
series of dates where private respondent was represented by counsel; and that the end result of
all these proceedings is the judgment sought to be enforced.

In addition to the said testimonial evidence, petitioner also offered the documentary evidence to
support their claim.

Having thus proven, through the foregoing evidence, the existence and authenticity of the foreign
judgment, said foreign judgment enjoys presumptive validity and the burden then fell upon the

party who disputes its validity, herein private respondent, to prove otherwise. However, private
respondent failed to sufficiently discharge the burden that fell upon it to prove by clear and
convincing evidence the grounds which it relied upon to prevent enforcement of the Malaysian
High Court judgment.


MARCH 28, 2013 ~ VBDIAZ
SALVADOR, Judge, Court of First Instance of Rizal, Caloocan City, Branch XIV and LEVITON
G.R. No. L-40163 June 19, 1982
Facts: Private respondent Leviton Manufacturing Co. Inc. filed a complaint for unfair competition
against petitioners Leviton Industries before the CFI of Rizal (RTC), presided by respondent
Judge Serafin Salvador. The complaint substantially alleges that plaintiff (Leviton Manufacturing)
is a foreign corporation organized and existing under the laws of the State of New York, United
States of America with office located at 236 Greenpoint Avenue, Brooklyn City, State of New York,
U.S.A. That defendant Leviton Industries is a partnership organized and existing under the laws
of the Philippines with principal office at 382 10th Avenue, Grace Park, Caloocan City; while
defendants Nena de la Cruz Lim, Domingo Go and Lim Kiat are the partners, with defendant
Domingo Go acting as General Manager of defendant Leviton Industries. That plaintiff, founded in
1906 by Isidor Leviton, is the largest manufacturer of electrical wiring devices in the United
States under the trademark Leviton, which various electrical wiring devices bearing the
trademark Leviton and trade name Leviton Manufacturing Co., Inc. had been exported to the
Philippines since 1954; that due to the superior quality and widespread use of its products by the
public, the same are well known to Filipino consumers under the trade name Leviton
Manufacturing Co., Inc. and trademark Leviton; that long subsequent to the use of plaintiffs
trademark and trade name in the Philippines, defendants (Leviton Industries) began
manufacturing and selling electrical ballast, fuse and oval buzzer under the trademark Leviton
and trade name Leviton Industries Co.
That Domingo Go, partner and general manager of defendant partnership, had registered with
the Philippine Patent Office the trademarks Leviton Label and Leviton with respect to ballast and
fuse under Certificate of Registration Nos. SR-1132 and 15517, respectively, which registration
was contrary to paragraphs (d) and (e) of Section 4 of RA 166, as amended, and violative of
plaintiffs right over the trademark Leviton; that defendants not only used the trademark Leviton
but likewise copied the design used by plaintiff in distinguishing its trademark; and that the use
thereof by defendants of its products would cause confusion in the minds of the consumers and
likely to deceive them as to the source of origin, thereby enabling defendants to pass off their
products as those of plaintiffs. Invoking the provisions of Section 21-A of Republic Act No. 166,
plaintiff prayed for damages. It also sought the issuance of a writ of injunction to prohibit
defendants from using the trade name Leviton Industries, Co. and the trademark Leviton.
Defendants moved to dismiss the complaint for failure to state a cause of action, drawing
attention to the plaintiffs failure to allege therein its capacity to sue under Section 21-A of
Republic Act No. 166, as amended. After the filing of the plaintiffs opposition and the defendants

reply, the respondent judge denied the motion on the ground that the same did not appear to be
The motion for reconsideration having likewise been denied, defendants instituted the instant
petition for certiorari and prohibition, charging respondent judge with grave abuse of discretion
in denying their motion to dismiss.
Issue: Whether or not the plaintiff (Leviton Manufacturing) herein respondents, failed to allege
the essential facts bearing its capacity to sue before Philippine courts.
Ruling: Yes.
We agree with petitioners that respondent Leviton Marketing Co., Inc. had failed to allege the
essential facts bearing upon its capacity to sue before Philippine courts. Private respondents
action is squarely founded on Section 21-A of Republic Act No. 166, as amended, which we quote:
Sec. 21-A. Any foreign corporation or juristic person to which a mark or tradename has been
registered or assigned under this Act may bring an action hereunder for infringement, for unfair
competition, or false designation of origin and false description, whether or not it has been
licensed to do business in the Philippines under Act numbered Fourteen Hundred and Fifty-Nine,
as amended, otherwise known as the Corporation Law, at the time it brings the complaint;
Provided, That the country of which the said foreign corporation or juristic person is a citizen, or
in which it is domiciled, by treaty, convention or law, grants a similar privilege to corporate or
juristic persons of the Philippines. (As amended by R.A. No. 638)
Undoubtedly, the foregoing section grants to a foreign corporation, whether or not licensed to do
business in the Philippines, the right to seek redress for unfair competition before Philippine
courts. But the said law is not without qualifications. Its literal tenor indicates as a condition sine
qua non the registration of the trade mark of the suing foreign corporation with the Philippine
Patent Office or, in the least, that it be an asignee of such registered trademark. The said section
further requires that the country, of which the plaintiff foreign corporation or juristic person is a
citizen or domicilliary, grants to Filipino corporations or juristic entities the same reciprocal
treatment, either thru treaty, convention or law,
All that is alleged in private respondents complaint is that it is a foreign corporation. Such bare
averment not only fails to comply with the requirements imposed by the aforesaid Section 21-A
but violates as well the directive of Section 4, Rule 8 of the Rules of Court that facts showing the
capacity of a party to sue or be sued or the authority of a party to sue or be sued in a
representative capacity or the legal existence of an organized association of persons that is made
a party, must be averred
In the case at bar, private respondent has chosen to anchor its action under the Trademark Law
of the Philippines, a law which, as pointed out, explicitly sets down the conditions precedent for
the successful prosecution thereof. It is therefore incumbent upon private respondent to comply
with these requirements or aver its exemption therefrom, if such be the case. It may be that
private respondent has the right to sue before Philippine courts, but our rules on pleadings
require that the necessary qualifying circumstances which clothe it with such right be
affirmatively pleaded. And the reason therefor, as enunciated in Atlantic Mutual Insurance Co., et
al. versus Cebu Stevedoring Co., Inc. 4 is that
these are matters peculiarly within the knowledge of appellants alone, and it would be unfair to
impose upon appellees the burden of asserting and proving the contrary. It is enough that foreign
corporations are allowed by law to seek redress in our courts under certain conditions: the
interpretation of the law should not go so far as to include, in effect, an inference that those
conditions had been met from the mere fact that the party sued is a foreign corporation.
It was indeed in the light of this and other considerations that this Court has seen fit to amend the
former rule by requiring in the revised rules (Section 4, Rule 8) that facts showing the capacity

of a party to sue or be sued or the authority of a party to sue or be sued in a representative

capacity or the legal existence of an organized association of persons that is made a party, must
be averred,
IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, the instant petition is hereby granted and, accordingly, the order
of the respondent judge dated September 27, 1974 denying petitioners motion to dismiss is
hereby set aside. The Court of First Instance of Rizal (Caloocan City), the court of origin, is hereby
restrained from conducting further proceedings in Civil Case No. C-2891, except to dismiss the
same. No costs.

MARCH 28, 2013 ~ VBDIAZ
THE UNITED STATES vs. BULL G.R. No. L-5270, January 15, 1910
Facts: The information alleged the following: That on and for many months to December 2, 1908,
H. N. Bull was the master of a steam sailing known as the steamship Standard, the said vessel is
engaged in carrying and transporting cattle, carabaos, and other animals from a foreign port and
city of Manila, Philippines. That the accused Bull while being the master of the said vessel on or
about the 2nd day of December 1908, wilfully, and wrongfully carry, transport and bring into the
port and city of Manila 677 head of cattle and carabaos from the port of Ampieng, Formosa,
without providing suitable means for securing said animals while in transit, so as to avoid cruelty
and unnecessary suffering to the said animals. In this, to wit, the accused as the master of the
vessel, did then and there fail to provide stalls for said animals so in transit and suitable means
for trying and securing said animals in a proper manner, and did then and there cause some of
said animals to be tied by means of rings passed through their noses, and allow and permit others
to be transported loose in the hold and on the deck of said vessel without being tied or secured in
stalls, and all without bedding; that by reason of the aforesaid neglect and failure of the accused
to provide suitable means for securing said animals while so in transit, the noses of some of said
animals were cruelly torn, and many of said animals were tossed about upon the decks and hold
of said vessel, and cruelly wounded, bruised, and killed.
All contrary to the provisions of Acts No. 55 and No. 275 of the Philippine Commission.
1. The complaint does not state facts sufficient to confer jurisdiction upon the court.
2. That under the evidence the trial court was without jurisdiction to hear and determine the
1. Act No. 55 confers jurisdiction over the offense created thereby on Courts of First Instance or
any provost court organized in the province or port in which such animals are disembarked, and
there is nothing inconsistent therewith in Act No. 136, which provides generally for the
organization of the courts of the Philippine Islands. Act No. 400 merely extends the general
jurisdiction of the courts over certain offenses committed on the high seas, or beyond the
jurisdiction of any country, or within any of the waters of the Philippine Islands on board a ship
or water craft of any kind registered or licensed in the Philippine Islands, in accordance with the
laws thereof. (U.S. vs. Fowler, 1 Phil. Rep., 614.) This jurisdiction may be exercised by the Court of
First Instance in any province into which such ship or water upon which the offense or crime was

committed shall come after the commission thereof. Had this offense been committed upon a ship
carrying a Philippine registry, there could have been no doubt of the Jurisdiction of the court,
because it is expressly conferred, and the Act is in accordance with well recognized and
established public law. But the Standard was a Norwegian vessel, and it is conceded that it was
not registered or licensed in the Philippine Islands under the laws thereof. We have then the
question whether the court had jurisdiction over an offense of this character, committed on
board a foreign ship by the master thereof, when the neglect and omission which constitutes the
offense continued during the time the ship was within the territorial waters of the United States.
No court of the Philippine Islands had jurisdiction over an offenses or crime committed on the
high seas or within the territorial waters of any other country, but when she came within 3 miles
of a line drawn from the headlines which embrace the entrance to Manila Bay, she was within
territorial waters, and a new set of principles became applicable.
The ship and her crew were then subject to the jurisdiction of the territorial sovereign subject
through the proper political agency. This offense was committed within territorial waters. From
the line which determines these waters the Standard must have traveled at least 25 miles before
she came to anchor. During that part of her voyage the violation of the statue continued, and as
far as the jurisdiction of the court is concerned, it is immaterial that the same conditions may
have existed while the vessel was on the high seas. The offense, assuming that it originated at the
port of departure in Formosa, was a continuing one, and every element necessary to constitute it
existed during the voyage across the territorial waters. The completed forbidden act was done
within American waters, and the court therefore had jurisdiction over the subject-matter of the
offense and the person of the offender.
The offense then was thus committed within the territorial jurisdiction of the court, but the
objection to the jurisdiction raises the further question whether that jurisdiction is restricted by
the fact of the nationality of the ship. Every state has complete control and jurisdiction over its
territorial waters. According to strict legal right, even public vessels may not enter the ports of a
friendly power without permission, but it is now conceded that in the absence of a prohibition
such ports are considered as open to the public ship of all friendly powers. The exemption of such
vessels from local jurisdiction while within such waters was not established until within
comparatively recent times.
Such vessels are therefore permitted during times of peace to come and go freely. Local official
exercise but little control over their actions, and offenses committed by their crew are justiciable
by their own officers acting under the laws to which they primarily owe allegiance. This
limitation upon the general principle of territorial sovereignty is based entirely upon comity and
convenience, and finds its justification in the fact that experience shows that such vessels are
generally careful to respect local laws and regulation which are essential to the health, order, and
well-being of the port. But comity and convenience does not require the extension of the same
degree of exemption to merchant vessels. There are two well-defined theories as to extent of the
immunities ordinarily granted to them, According to the French theory and practice, matters
happening on board a merchant ship which do not concern the tranquillity of the port or persons
foreign to the crew, are justiciable only by the court of the country to which the vessel belongs.
The French courts therefore claim exclusive jurisdiction over crimes committed on board French
merchant vessels in foreign ports by one member of the crew against another.
Moreover, the Supreme Court of the United States has recently said that the merchant vessels of
one country visiting the ports of another for the purpose of trade, subject themselves to the laws
which govern the ports they visit, so long as they remain; and this as well in war as in peace,
unless otherwise provided by treaty. (U. S. vs. Diekelman, 92 U. S., 520-525.)

The treaty does not therefore deprive the local courts of jurisdiction over offenses committed on
board a merchant vessel by one member of the crew against another which amount to a
disturbance of the order or tranquility of the country, and a fair and reasonable construction of
the language requires us to hold that any violation of criminal laws disturbs the order or
tranquility of the country. The offense with which the appellant is charged had nothing to so with
any difference between the captain and the crew. It was a violation by the master of the criminal
law of the country into whose port he came. We thus find that neither by reason of the nationality
of the vessel, the place of the commission of the offense, or the prohibitions of any treaty or
general principle of public law, are the court of the Philippine Islands deprived of jurisdiction
over the offense charged in the information in this case.
It is further contended that the complaint is defective because it does not allege that the animals
were disembarked at the port of Manila, an allegation which it is claimed is essential to the
jurisdiction of the court sitting at that port. To hold with the appellant upon this issue would be
to construe the language of the complaint very strictly against the Government. The
disembarkation of the animals is not necessary in order to constitute the completed offense, and
a reasonable construction of the language of the statute confers jurisdiction upon the court
sitting at the port into which the animals are bought. They are then within the territorial
jurisdiction of the court, and the mere fact of their disembarkation is immaterial so far as
jurisdiction is concerned. This might be different if the disembarkation of the animals constituted
a constitutional element in the offense, but it does not.
The evidence shows not only that the defendants acts were knowingly done, but his defense
rests upon the assertion that according to his experience, the system of carrying cattle loose
upon the decks and in the hold is preferable and more secure to the life and comfort of the
animals. It was conclusively proven that what was done was done knowingly and intentionally.
2. Whether a certain method of handling cattle is suitable within the meaning of the Act cannot be
left to the judgment of the master of the ship. It is a question which must be determined by the
court from the evidence. On December 2, 1908, the defendant Bull brought into and disembarked
in the port and city of Manila certain cattle, which came from the port of Ampieng, Formosa,
without providing suitable means for securing said animals while in transit, so as to avoid cruelty
and unnecessary suffering to said animals, contrary to the provisions of section 1 of Act No. 55, as
amended by section 1 of Act No. 275. The trial court found the abovementioned facts true and all
of which are fully sustained by the evidence.
The defendant was found guilty, and sentenced to pay a fine of two hundred and fifty pesos, with
subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency, and to pay the costs. The sentence and judgment
is affirmed. So ordered.
Section 1 of Act No. 55, which went into effect January 1, 1901, provides that
The owners or masters of steam, sailing, or other vessels, carrying or transporting cattle, sheep,
swine, or other animals, from one port in the Philippine Islands to another, or from any foreign
port to any port within the Philippine Islands, shall carry with them, upon the vessels carrying
such animals, sufficient forage and fresh water to provide for the suitable sustenance of such
animals during the ordinary period occupied by the vessel in passage from the port of shipment
to the port of debarkation, and shall cause such animals to be provided with adequate forage and
fresh water at least once in every twenty-four hours from the time that the animals are embarked
to the time of their final debarkation.
By Act No. 275, enacted October 23, 1901, Act No. 55 was amended by adding to section 1 thereof
the following:

The owners or masters of steam, sailing, or other vessels, carrying or transporting cattle, sheep,
swine, or other animals from one port in the Philippine Islands to another, or from any foreign
port to any port within the Philippine Islands, shall provide suitable means for securing such
animals while in transit so as to avoid all cruelty and unnecessary suffering to the animals, and
suitable and proper facilities for loading and unloading cattle or other animals upon or from
vessels upon which they are transported, without cruelty or unnecessary suffering. It is hereby
made unlawful to load or unload cattle upon or from vessels by swinging them over the side by
means of ropes or chains attached to the thorns.
Section 3 of Act No. 55 provides that
Any owner or master of a vessel, or custodian of such animals, who knowingly and willfully fails
to comply with the provisions of section one, shall, for every such failure, be liable to pay a
penalty of not less that one hundred dollars nor more that five hundred dollars, United States
money, for each offense.
Prosecution under this Act may be instituted in any Court of First Instance or any provost court
organized in the province or port in which such animals are disembarked.

MARCH 28, 2013 ~ VBDIAZ
104235 November 18, 1993
Petitioners-spouses Cesar Zalamea and Suthira Zalamea, and their daughter, Liana purchased 3
airline tickets from the Manila agent of respondent TransWorld Airlines, Inc. for a flight to New
York to Los Angeles. The tickets of petitioners-spouses were purchased at a discount of 75%
while that of their daughter was a full fare ticket. All three tickets represented confirmed
On the appointed date, however, petitioners checked in but were placed on the wait-list because
the number of passengers who had checked in before them had already taken all the seats
available on the flight. Out of the 42 names on the wait list, the first 22 names were eventually
allowed to board the flight to Los Angeles, including petitioner Cesar Zalamea. The two others
were not able to fly. Those holding full-fare tickets were given first priority among the wait-listed
passengers. Mr. Zalamea, who was holding the full-fare ticket of his daughter, was allowed to
board the plane; while his wife and daughter, who presented the discounted tickets were denied
Even in the next TWA flight to Los Angeles Mrs. Zalamea and her daughter, could not be
accommodated because it was also fully booked. Thus, they were constrained to book in another
flight and purchased two tickets from American Airlines. Upon their arrival in the Philippines,
petitioners filed an action for damages based on breach of contract of air carriage before the RTC-
Makati. The lower court ruled in favor of petitioners . CA held that moral damages are
recoverable in a damage suit predicated upon a breach of contract of carriage only where there is
fraud or bad faith. Since it is a matter of record that overbooking of flights is a common and
accepted practice of airlines in the United States and is specifically allowed under the Code of
Federal Regulations by the Civil Aeronautics Board, no fraud nor bad faith could be imputed on

respondent TransWorld Airlines. Thus petitioners raised the case on petition for review on
WON TWZ acted with bad faith and would entitle Zalameas to Moral and Examplary damages.
The U.S. law or regulation allegedly authorizing overbooking has never been proved. Foreign
laws do not prove themselves nor can the courts take judicial notice of them. Like any other fact,
they must be alleged and proved. Written law may be evidenced by an official publication thereof
or by a copy attested by the officer having the legal custody of the record, or by his deputy, and
accompanied with a certificate that such officer has custody. The certificate may be made by a
secretary of an embassy or legation, consul general, consul, vice-consul, or consular agent or by
any officer in the foreign service of the Philippines stationed in the foreign country in which the
record is kept, and authenticated by the seal of his office.
Respondent TWA relied solely on the statement of Ms. Gwendolyn Lather, its customer service
agent, in her deposition that the Code of Federal Regulations of the Civil Aeronautics Board
allows overbooking. No official publication of said code was presented as evidence. Thus,
respondent courts finding that overbooking is specifically allowed by the US Code of Federal
Regulations has no basis in fact.
Even if the claimed U.S. Code of Federal Regulations does exist, the same is not applicable to the
case at bar in accordance with the principle of lex loci contractus which require that the law of
the place where the airline ticket was issued should be applied by the court where the passengers
are residents and nationals of the forum and the ticket is issued in such State by the defendant
airline. Since the tickets were sold and issued in the Philippines, the applicable law in this case
would be Philippine law.
Existing jurisprudence explicitly states that overbooking amounts to bad faith, entitling the
passengers concerned to an award of moral damages. In Alitalia Airways v. Court of Appeals,
where passengers with confirmed bookings were refused carriage on the last minute, this Court
held that when an airline issues a ticket to a passenger confirmed on a particular flight, on a
certain date, a contract of carriage arises, and the passenger has every right to expect that he
would fly on that flight and on that date. If he does not, then the carrier opens itself to a suit for
breach of contract of carriage. Where an airline had deliberately overbooked, it took the risk of
having to deprive some passengers of their seats in case all of them would show up for the check
in. For the indignity and inconvenience of being refused a confirmed seat on the last minute, said
passenger is entitled to an award of moral damages.
For a contract of carriage generates a relation attended with public duty a duty to provide
public service and convenience to its passengers which must be paramount to self-interest or
Respondent TWA is still guilty of bad faith in not informing its passengers beforehand that it
could breach the contract of carriage even if they have confirmed tickets if there was
overbooking. Respondent TWA should have incorporated stipulations on overbooking on the
tickets issued or to properly inform its passengers about these policies so that the latter would be
prepared for such eventuality or would have the choice to ride with another airline.
Respondent TWA was also guilty of not informing its passengers of its alleged policy of giving less
priority to discounted tickets. Neither did it present any argument of substance to show that
petitioners were duly apprised of the overbooked condition of the flight or that there is a
hierarchy of boarding priorities in booking passengers. It is evident that petitioners had the right
to rely upon the assurance of respondent TWA, thru its agent in Manila, then in New York, that
their tickets represented confirmed seats without any qualification. The failure of respondent

TWA to so inform them when it could easily have done so thereby enabling respondent to hold
on to them as passengers up to the last minute amounts to bad faith. Evidently, respondent TWA
placed its self-interest over the rights of petitioners under their contracts of carriage. Such
conscious disregard of petitioners rights makes respondent TWA liable for moral damages. To
deter breach of contracts by respondent TWA in similar fashion in the future, we adjudge
respondent TWA liable for exemplary damages, as well.
In the case of Alitalia Airways v. Court of Appeals, this Court explicitly held that a passenger is
entitled to be reimbursed for the cost of the tickets he had to buy for a flight to another airline.
Thus, instead of simply being refunded for the cost of the unused TWA tickets, petitioners should
be awarded the actual cost of their flight from New York to Los Angeles.
WHEREFORE, the petition is hereby GRANTED and the decision of the respondent Court of
Appeals is hereby MODIFIED

MARCH 28, 2013 ~ VBDIAZ
Deputy Local Civil Registrar of Manila, respondent-appellee.
G.R. No. L-24006, November 25, 1967
Prior to October 21, 1958, proceedings for adoption were started before the CFI- Madrid, Spain
by Maria Garnier Garreau, then 84 years of age, adopting Josefina Juana de Dios Ramirez
Marcaida, 55 years, a citizen of the Philippines. Both were residents of Madrid, Spain. The court
granted the application for adoption and gave the necessary judicial authority, once the judgment
becomes final, to execute the corresponding adoption document.
On November 29, 1958, the notarial document of adoption which embodies the court order of
adoption whereunder Maria Garnier Garreau formally adopted petitioner, was executed
before Notary Public Braulio Velasco Carrasquedo of Madrid. In that document, Maria Gernier
Garreau instituted petitioner, amongst other conditions as here unica y universal heredera de
todos sus bienes, derechos y acciones, presentes y futuros.
In conformity with our law, this escritura de adopcion (deed of adoption) was, on December 10,
1953, authenticated by Emilio S. Martinez, Philippine Vice Consul, Philippine Embassy, Madrid,
who issued the corresponding certificate of authentication.
The document of adoption was filed in the Office of the Local Civil Registrar of Manila. The
Registrar refused to register it on the ground that under Philippine law, adoption can only be had
through judicial proceeding. And since the notarial document of adoption is not a judicial
proceeding, it is not entitled to registration. Petitioner went to CFI- Manila on mandamus. The
lower court dismissed said petition and decided that what is registrable is only adoption
obtained through a judgment rendered by a Philippine court.
Solicitor General argues that petitioners case does not come within the purview of Article 409 of
the Civil Code, which states that:
In cases of legal separation, adoption, naturalization and other judicial orders mentioned in the
preceding article it shall be the duty of the clerk of the court which issued the decree to ascertain
whether the same has been registered, and if this has not been done, to send a copy of said decree

to the civil registry of the city or municipality where the court is functioning, and Section 11 of
Act 3753, which reads:
Duties of clerks of court to register certain decisions. In cases of legitimation,
acknowledgment, adoption, naturalization, and change of given or family name, or both, upon the
decree of the court becoming final, it shall be the duty of the clerk of the court which issued the
decree to ascertain whether the same has been registered, and if this has not been done, to have
said decree recorded in the office of the civil registrar of the municipality where the court is
WON the order of adoption issued by the CFI- Madrid can be registered in the Philippines.
Yes. The cited provisions refer to adoptions effected in the Philippines.Article 409 of the Civil
Code and Section 10 of the Registry Law speak of adoption which shall be registered in the
municipality or city where the court issuing the adoption decree is functioning.
We perceive that Article 409 and Section 10 aforesaid were incorporated into the statute books
merely to give effect to our law which required judicial proceedings for adoption. Limitation of
registration of adoptions to those granted by Philippine courts is a misconception which a
broader view allows us now to correct. For, if registration is to be narrowed down to local
adoptions, it is the function of Congress, not of this Court, to spell out such limitation. We cannot
carve out a prohibition where the law does not so state. Excessive rigidity serves no purpose.
And, by Articles 407 and 408 of our Civil Code, the disputed document of adoption is registrable.
No suggestion there is in the record that prejudice to State and adoptee, or any other person for
that matter, would ensue from the adoption here involved. The validity thereof is not under
attack. At any rate, whatever may be the effect of adoption, the rights of the State and adoptee
and other persons interested are fully safeguarded by Article 15 of our Civil Code which, in terms
explicit, provides that: Laws relating to family rights and duties, or to the status, condition and
legal capacity of persons are binding upon citizens of the Philippines even though living abroad.
Private international law offers no obstacle to recognition of foreign adoption. This rests on the
principle that the status of adoption, created by the law of a State having jurisdiction to create it,
will be given the same effect in another state as is given by the latter state to the status of
adoption when created by its own law. It is quite obvious then that the status of adoption, once
created under the proper foreign law, will be recognized in this country, except where public
policy or the interests of its inhabitants forbid its enforcement and demand the substitution of
the lex fori. Indeed, implicit in Article 15 of our Civil Code just quoted, is that the exercise of
incidents to foreign adoption remains subject to local law.
We hold that an adoption created under the law of a foreign country is entitled to registration in
the corresponding civil register of the Philippines. It is to be understood, however, that the effects
of such adoption shall be governed by the laws of this country.
The lower courts decision is hereby reversed; and the Local Civil Registrar of Manila is hereby
directed to register the deed of adoption (Escritura de Adopcion) by Maria Garnier Garreau in
favor of petitioner Josefina de Dios Ramirez Marcaida.

MARCH 28, 2013 ~ VBDIAZ

G.R. No. L-18924, October 19, 1922
FACTS: Appellee is accused of having illegally smoked opium, aboard the merchant vessel
Changsa of English nationality while said vessel was anchored in Manila Bay two and a half miles
from the shores of the city. The demurrer filed by said appellee alleged lack of jurisdiction on the
part of the lower court, which so held and dismissed the case.
ISSUE: Whether the courts of the Philippines have jurisdiction over crime, like the one herein
involved, committed aboard merchant vessels anchored in our jurisdiction waters.
HELD: There are two fundamental rules on this particular matter in connection with
International Law; to wit, the French rule, according to which crimes committed aboard a foreign
merchant vessels should not be prosecuted in the courts of the country within whose territorial
jurisdiction they were committed, unless their commission affects the peace and security of the
territory; and the English rule, based on the territorial principle and followed in the United
States, according to which, crimes perpetrated under such circumstances are in general triable in
the courts of the country within territory they were committed. Of this two rules, it is the last one
that obtains in this jurisdiction, because at present the theories and jurisprudence prevailing in
the United States on this matter are authority in the Philippines which is now a territory of the
United States (we were still a US territory when this was decided in 1922).
We have seen that the mere possession of opium aboard a foreign vessel in transit was held by
this court not triable by or courts, because it being the primary object of our Opium Law to
protect the inhabitants of the Philippines against the disastrous effects entailed by the use of this
drug, its mere possession in such a ship, without being used in our territory, does not being about
in the said territory those effects that our statute contemplates avoiding. Hence such a mere
possession is not considered a disturbance of the public order.
But to smoke opium within our territorial limits, even though aboard a foreign merchant ship, is
certainly a breach of the public order here established, because it causes such drug to produce its
pernicious effects within our territory. It seriously contravenes the purpose that our Legislature
has in mind in enacting the aforesaid repressive statute.
Remanded to the lower court for further proceedings in accordance with law.

MARCH 28, 2013 ~ VBDIAZ
THE HOLY SEE vs. THE HON. ERIBERTO U. ROSARIO, JR., as Presiding Judge of the Regional
Trial Court of Makati, Branch 61 and STARBRIGHT SALES ENTERPRISES, INC. G.R. No.
101949 December 1, 1994

FACTS: Petitioner is the Holy See who exercises sovereignty over the Vatican City in Rome, Italy,
and is represented in the Philippines by the Papal Nuncio; Private respondent, Starbright Sales
Enterprises, Inc., is a domestic corporation engaged in the real estate business.
This petition arose from a controversy over a parcel of land consisting of 6,000 square meters
located in the Municipality of Paranaque registered in the name of petitioner. Said lot was
contiguous with two other lots registered in the name of the Philippine Realty Corporation (PRC).
The three lots were sold to Ramon Licup, through Msgr. Domingo A. Cirilos, Jr., acting as agent to
the sellers. Later, Licup assigned his rights to the sale to private respondent.
In view of the refusal of the squatters to vacate the lots sold to private respondent, a dispute
arose as to who of the parties has the responsibility of evicting and clearing the land of squatters.
Complicating the relations of the parties was the sale by petitioner of Lot 5-A to Tropicana
Properties and Development Corporation (Tropicana).
private respondent filed a complaint with the Regional Trial Court, Branch 61, Makati, Metro
Manila for annulment of the sale of the three parcels of land, and specific performance and
damages against petitioner, represented by the Papal Nuncio, and three other defendants:
namely, Msgr. Domingo A. Cirilos, Jr., the PRC and Tropicana
petitioner and Msgr. Cirilos separately moved to dismiss the complaint petitioner for lack of
jurisdiction based on sovereign immunity from suit, and Msgr. Cirilos for being an improper
party. An opposition to the motion was filed by private respondent.
the trial court issued an order denying, among others, petitioners motion to dismiss after finding
that petitioner shed off [its] sovereign immunity by entering into the business contract in
question Petitioner forthwith elevated the matter to us. In its petition, petitioner invokes the
privilege of sovereign immunity only on its own behalf and on behalf of its official representative,
the Papal Nuncio.
Whether the Holy See is immune from suit insofar as its business relations regarding selling a lot
to a private entity
The Republic of the Philippines has accorded the Holy See the status of a foreign sovereign. The
Holy See, through its Ambassador, the Papal Nuncio, has had diplomatic representations with the
Philippine government since 1957 (Rollo, p. 87). This appears to be the universal practice in
international relations.
There are two conflicting concepts of sovereign immunity, each widely held and firmly
established. According to the classical or absolute theory, a sovereign cannot, without its consent,
be made a respondent in the courts of another sovereign. According to the newer or restrictive
theory, the immunity of the sovereign is recognized only with regard to public acts or acts jure
imperii of a state, but not with regard to private acts or acts jure gestionis
If the act is in pursuit of a sovereign activity, or an incident thereof, then it is an act jure imperii,
especially when it is not undertaken for gain or profit.
In the case at bench, if petitioner has bought and sold lands in the ordinary course of a real estate
business, surely the said transaction can be categorized as an act jure gestionis. However,
petitioner has denied that the acquisition and subsequent disposal of Lot 5-A were made for
profit but claimed that it acquired said property for the site of its mission or the Apostolic
Nunciature in the Philippines. Private respondent failed to dispute said claim.
Lot 5-A was acquired by petitioner as a donation from the Archdiocese of Manila. The donation
was made not for commercial purpose, but for the use of petitioner to construct thereon the
official place of residence of the Papal Nuncio. The right of a foreign sovereign to acquire
property, real or personal, in a receiving state, necessary for the creation and maintenance of its

diplomatic mission, is recognized in the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations (Arts.
20-22). This treaty was concurred in by the Philippine Senate and entered into force in the
Philippines on November 15, 1965.
The decision to transfer the property and the subsequent disposal thereof are likewise clothed
with a governmental character. Petitioner did not sell Lot 5-A for profit or gain. It merely wanted
to dispose off the same because the squatters living thereon made it almost impossible for
petitioner to use it for the purpose of the donation. The fact that squatters have occupied and are
still occupying the lot, and that they stubbornly refuse to leave the premises, has been admitted
by private respondent in its complaint
Private respondent is not left without any legal remedy for the redress of its grievances. Under
both Public International Law and Transnational Law, a person who feels aggrieved by the acts of
a foreign sovereign can ask his own government to espouse his cause through diplomatic
Private respondent can ask the Philippine government, through the Foreign Office, to espouse its
claims against the Holy See. Its first task is to persuade the Philippine government to take up with
the Holy See the validity of its claims. Of course, the Foreign Office shall first make a
determination of the impact of its espousal on the relations between the Philippine government
and the Holy See (Young, Remedies of Private Claimants Against Foreign States, Selected
Readings on Protection by Law of Private Foreign Investments 905, 919 [1964]). Once the
Philippine government decides to espouse the claim, the latter ceases to be a private cause.
WHEREFORE, the petition for certiorari is GRANTED and the complaint in Civil Case No. 90-183
against petitioner is DISMISSED.