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Karl Anthony T. Dionisio

Special Proceedings


Petitioners, vs. LUCIO TAN, Respondent.
Date: Sept. 23, 2005
A complaint for moral and exemplary damages were filed by Lucio Tan
for alleged malicious and defamatory imputations against him in 2
articles of the Philippine Daily Inquirer. Petitioners Inquirer and reporter
Nocum , and ALPAP and Capt. Umali, in their respective joint answers
alleged that the complaint stated no cause of action. ALPAP and Capt.
Umali also alleged that the venue was improperly laid. The complaint
failed to state the residence of complainant Lucio Tan at the time of the
alleged commission of the offense and the place where the libelous
article was printed and first published.
RTC of Makati held that the Complaint was dismissed without prejudice
on the ground of improper venue.
Lucio Tan filed an omnibus motion seeking reconsideration and
admission of the amended complaint now alleging that "This article was
printed and first published in the City of Makati" and that " This
caricature was printed and first published in the City of Makati."
RTC then set aside the previous order of dismissal stating that the
defect in the original complaint has already been cured in the Amended
complaint which can still be properly admitted purusuant to Rule 10 of
the 1997 Rules of CivPro since the Order of Dismissal was not yet final.
Also, the amendment was merely formal.
2 petitions for certiorari were then filed (one by Nocum and PDI, one by
ALPAP and Umali) but CA dismissed the petition. The motions for
reconsideration were likewise denied. Thus, the appeal at the SC. After
the filing of comment by Tan and the reply filed by PDI and Nocum, SC
resolved to give due course to the petition.
PDI and Nocum give the arguments that Art 360 of RPC vests
jurisdiction over all civil and criminal complaints for libel on the RTC of
the place (1) where the libelous article was printed and first published; or
(2) where the complainant, if pirivate person, resides; or (3) where the

complaint, if a public official, holds office. Thus, since the original

lcomplaint stated only the business adress of Lucio Tan and not his
actual residence or the place of printing and first publication, the original
complaint failed to confer jurisdiction on the RTC.
Whether or not the RTC had jurisdiction over the case on the basis of the
original complaint? YES.
Venue vs Jurisdiction.
The authority to hear and determine a case is the definition of
Jurisdiction, whilst, the place where the case is to be heard or tried is
defined as the Venue. Jurisdiction is a matter of substantive law on
the other hand Venue is matter of procedural law
Jurisdiction is fixed by law and cannot be conferred by the parties.
While may be conferred by the act or agreement of the parties.
In the case at bar, the additional allegations in the Amended
Complaint that the article and the caricature were printed and first
published in the City of Makati referred only to the question of venue
and not jurisdiction. These additional allegations would neither confer
jurisdiction on the RTC nor would respondents failure to include the
same in the original complaint divest the lower court of its jurisdiction
over the case. Respondents failure to allege these allegations gave
the lower court the power, upon motion by a party, to dismiss the
complaint on the ground that venue was not properly laid.

RUDOLF LIETZ HOLDINGS, INC., petitioner, vs.

[G.R. No. 133240. November 15, 2000]
An amendment in the Articles of Incorporation by the Petitioner corporation
to change its name from Rudolf Lietz, Incorporated to Rudolf Lietz
Holdings, Inc. and such was approved by SEC. As a consequence of its
change of name, petitioner sought the amendment of the transfer
certificates of title over real properties owned by them, all of which were
under the old name. For this purpose, petitioner instituted a petition for
amendment of titles with the RTC Paraaque City.
The Registry of Deeds Impleaded as respondent of Pasay City by the
Petition, apparently because the titles sought to be amended, all state that
they were issued by the Registry of Deeds of Pasay City. Petitioner
likewise inadvertently alleged in the body of the petition that the lands
covered by the subject titles are located in Pasay City. Subsequently,
petitioner learned that the subject titles are in the custody of the Register of
Deeds of Paraaque City. Hence, petitioner filed an Ex-Parte Motion to
Admit Amended Petition impleading instead as respondent the Registry of
Deeds of Paraaque City, and alleged that its lands are located in
Paraaque City.
In the meantime, however, the court a quo had dismissed the petition motu
proprio on the ground of improper venue, it appearing therein that the
respondent is the Registry of Deeds of Pasay City and the properties are
located in Pasay City. Petitioner filed with the lower court a Motion for
Reconsideration but was denied. On the other hand, in view of the
dismissal of the petition, the lower court also denied the Ex-Parte Motion to
Admit Amended Petition.
The Solicitor General filed his Comment contending that the trial court did
not acquire jurisdiction over the res because it appeared from the original
petition that the lands are situated in Pasay City; hence, outside the
jurisdiction of the Paraaque court. Since it had no jurisdiction over the
case, it could not have acted on the motion to admit amended petition.

Whether or not trial court motu proprio dismiss a complaint on the ground
of improper venue.
Venue of real actions
The dismissal of petitioners complaint by respondent trial court on the
ground of improper venue is plain error, obviously attributable to its inability
to distinguish between jurisdiction and venue.
Questions or issues relating to venue of actions are basically governed by
Rule 4 of the Revised Rules of Court. Jurisdiction over the subject matter or
nature of an action is conferred only by law. It may not be conferred by
consent or waiver upon a court which otherwise would have no jurisdiction
over the subject matter of an action. On the other hand, the venue of an
action as fixed by statute may be changed by the consent of the parties,
and an objection on improper venue may be waived by the failure of the
defendant to raise it at the proper time. In such an event, the court may still
render a valid judgment. Rules as to jurisdiction can never be left to the
consent or agreement of the parties. Venue is procedural, not
jurisdictional, and hence may be waived. It is meant to provide
convenience to the parties, rather than restrict their access to the courts as
it relates to the place of trial.
Dismissing the complaint on the ground of improper venue is certainly not
the appropriate course of action at this stage of the proceedings. Where
the defendant fails to challenge timely the venue in a motion to dismiss as
provided by Section 4 of Rule 4 of the Rules of Court, and allows the trial to
be held and a decision to be rendered, he cannot on appeal or in a special
action be permitted to belatedly challenge the wrong venue, which is
deemed waived. Indeed, it was grossly erroneous for the trial court to have
taken a procedural short-cut by dismissing motu proprio the complaint on
the ground of improper venue without first allowing the procedure outlined
in the rules of court to take its proper course.

Riera v. Palmaroli
40 Phil. 105 (1919)
G.R. No. 14851, September 13, 1919
A Spanish citizen, Juan Pons was a Spanis died in Manila. Juan was then
married to Antonia Rierra who, at the time of Pons death, was residing in
Spai. The Spanish Consul General in the Philippines produced a will and
asked that it be admitted to probate. Such will deprived Rierra of her
inheritance. Due to the distance of Manila from where Rierra resided in
spain coupled by the European War, the widow did not have any news until
sometime later. When she found out, she opposed the petition for probate
however this was denied on the ground that more than 6 months has
elapsed since the order of the court. The will deprives the widow
opportunity to oppose the probate and she alleges that the formalities
required by law were not complied with hence the case at bar.
Whether or not a rehearing can be ordered it being alleged that the widow
was prevented from participating in the probate of the will and that will was
not executed in the formalities required by law? NO.
A petition filed under section 513 of the code of Civil Procedure to set aside
a judgment and obtain a new trial in CFI will not be entertained by the
supreme court, where the former court can still grant relief upon the same
state of facts under section 113. The jurisdiction of the Supreme Court
depends upon the lack of remedy in the CFI. When, however, the CFI has,
by the expiration of six months, lost the power to
relieve from its own judgment under section 113, the remedy conceded by
section 513 to the Supreme Court may be resorted to, under the conditions
stated in that section; and apart from the restriction that the petition shall be
filed within sixty days after the party aggrieved first learns of the rendition of
the judgment, there is no positive limitation as to the time within which the
petition may be filed in the Supreme Court.

The SC may have the power to set aside any judgment, order or
proceeding under Sec. 113 however under Sec. 513 this power is limited to
granting a new trial upon judgments rendered upon default. The default
intended here can only arise in contentious litigations where a party has
been impleaded as a defendant and served with process but fails to appear
or to answer.
The proceeding to probate a will is NOT a contentious litigation because
nobody is impleaded or served with process. It is a special proceeding, and
although notice of the application is published, nobody is bound to appear
and no order for judgment by default is ever entered. Hence, Sec 513 has
no application to the case at bar involving the probate of a will.
The probate of a will, while conclusive as to its due execution, in no way
involves the intrinsic validity of its provisions. In the case at bar, if it should
appear later upon the distribution of the estate of Juan Pons that any
provision in the will is contrary to law then the law will prevail. The widow
can then go to court at the proper juncture and discuss


(625 SCRA 622)
Private respondent Gregory Ong, in lieu of the the promulgation of the
Courts Decision in Kilosbayan Foundation v. Ermita,
filed a petition under Rule 108 of the Rules Court for the
amendment/correction/supplementation or annotation of the entry on
citizenship in his Certificate of Birth, docketed as Sp. Proc. No. 11767-SJ
and raffled to Branch 264 of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Pasig City
over which public respondent Leoncio Janolo, Jr. presided. Via the present
recourse of certiorari and prohibition, petitioners Kilosbayan Foundation
and Bantay Katarungan Foundation assail four Orders and the Decision
Can substantial corrections to the nationality or citizenship of persons
recorded in the civil registry be effected through an ex parte application?
Jurisprudence has stated that the corrections to the nationality or citizenship
of persons recorded in the civil registry are effected through a petition filed in
court under Rule 108 of the Rules of Court. Jurisprudence as well has settled
that such proceedings are adversarial in nature or one having opposing
parties; contested, as distinguished from an ex parte application, one which
the party seeking relief has given legal warning to the other party, and
afforded the latter an opportunity to contest it.
The defendants impleaded in this case were were the Civil Registrar of San
Juan, Metro Manila and any other person having or claiming an interest
under the entry sought to be corrected. the Office of the Solicitor General
represented the interest of the State, while petitioners herein waved their
interest when they failed to appear and file a responsive pleading.