You are on page 1of 24

G.R. No.

130316 January 24, 2007

ERNESTO V. YU and ELSIE O. YU, Petitioners,

The present petition filed under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court originated from an
action for forcible entry and damages filed by petitioners Ernesto and Elsie Yu
against respondent Baltazar Pacleb.
in September 1992, Ruperto Javier allegedly offered to sell Lot No. 6853-D to
petitioners (ERNESTO V. YU and ELSIE O. YU) for P75 per The lot
was approximately 18,000 square meters and was located in Barangay Langkaan,
Dasmarias, Cavite. Javier supposedly purchased the lot from one Rebecca del
Rosario who, in turn, acquired it from respondent (BALTAZAR PACLEB) and his wife.
The title of the property (Transfer Certificate of Title [TCT] No. T-118375), however,
remained in the names of respondent and his wife. The instruments in support of
the series of alleged sales were not registered.
On September 11, 1992, petitioners accepted the offer and gave Javier P200,000 as
downpayment for the lot. Javier then delivered his supposed muniments of title to
petitioners. After the execution of a contract to sell, he formally turned over the
property to petiti oners.
At the time of the turn-over, a portion of the lot was occupied by Ramon C. Pacleb,
respondents son, and his wife as tenants. On September 12, 1992, Ramon and his
wife allegedly surrendered possession of their portion to petitioners. Later on,
petitioners appointed Ramon as their trustee over the subject lot. Petitioners also
caused the annotation on TCT No. T-118375 of a decision rendered in their favor in
Civil Case No. 741-93.2 This decision attained finality on April 19, 1995.
Petitioners alleged that they exercised ownership rights as well as enjoyed open,
public and peaceful possession over the property from September 12, 1992 until the
early part of September 1995. During this time, respondent was in the United
Upon respondents return to the Philippines in May 1995, he allegedly entered the
property by means of force, threat, intimidation, strategy and stealth thereby
ousting petitioners and their trustee, Ramon.
Despite repeated demands, respondent, asserting his rights as registered owner of
the property, refused to vacate the premises and surrender its possession to
Petitioners filed an action for forcible entry 3 in the Municipal Trial Court (MTC) of
Dasmarias, Cavite on November 23, 1995.

MTC: the [respondent] and other persons claiming right under him are hereby
ordered to surrender physical possession of Lot No. 6853-D in favor of the
[petitioners] and to pay the sum of TWENTY-FIVE THOUSAND (P25,000.00) PESOS as
attorneys fees.
RTC: rendered a decision affirming the MTC decision in toto.6
CA: the Decision of the [MTC] of Dasmarias, Cavite in Civil Case No. 182 are SET
ASIDE; and Civil Case No. 182 for Forcible Entry and Damages is hereby ordered
ISSUE: W/N the appellate court erred in finding that respondent had prior physical
possession of the subject property
Held: No. petitioners failed to establish that they had prior physical possession to
justify a ruling in their favor in the complaint for forcible entry against respondent.
The Civil Code states that possession is the holding of a thing or the enjoyment of a
right.12 In the grammatical sense, to possess means to have, to actually and
physically occupy a thing, with or without right. 13 "Possession always includes the
idea of occupation x x x. It is not necessary that the person in possession should
himself be the occupant. The occupancy can be held by another in his
name."14 Without occupancy, there is no possession.15
Art. 538. Possession as a fact cannot be recognized at the same time in two
different personalities except in the cases of co-possession. Should a question arise
regarding the fact of possession, the present possessor shall be preferred; if there
are two possessors, the one longer in possession; if the dates of the possession are
the same, the one who presents a title; and if all these conditions are equal, the
thing shall be placed in judicial deposit pending determination of its possession or
ownership through proper proceedings.
In Gaza v. Lim, we held that: Where a dispute over possession arises between two
persons, the person first having actual possession is the one who is entitled to
maintain the action granted by law; otherwise, a mere usurper without any right
whatever, might enter upon the property of another and, by allowing himself to be
ordered off, could acquire the right to maintain the action of forcible entry and
detainer, however momentary his intrusion might have been. 27
Petiotioners claim that the lot was turned over to them in 1992 is not sufficient. On
the other hand, the tax declarations and receipts in the name of respondent in 1994
and 1995 established the possession of respondent. 19 The payment of real estate
tax is one of the most persuasive and positive indications showing the will of a
person to possess in concepto de dueo or with claim of ownership Further, the title
of the land in question (TCT No. T-118375) remained in the name of
respondent.25 "As the registered owner, respondent had a right to the possession of
the property, which is one of the attributes of ownership." 26

[G.R. No. 146594. June 10, 2002]


On December 3, 1996, herein respondent Landcenter Construction & Development
Corporation, represented by Wilfredo B.Maghuyop -- entered into an
Agreement[4] with Petitioner Rebecca Cabutihan.The Agreement stipulates:
WHEREAS, [respondent corporation], x x x is the absolute owner, x x x of a parcel of
land situated at Kay-biga, Paranaque, Metro Manila
WHEREAS, [respondent corporation] decided to engage the assistance of
[petitioner] and x x x herein called the FACILITATOR for the purpose of facilitating
and arranging the recovery of the property in question, as well as the financing of
such undertakings necessary in connection thereto
WHEREFORE, premises considered and of the mutual covenants of the parties, they
have agreed, as follows:
As compensation for the undertaking of the FACILITATOR, [she] shall be entitled to
Twenty [Percent] (20%) of the total area of the property thus recovered for and in
behalf of [respondent corporation].
An action for specific performance with damages was filed by petitioner on October
14, 1999 before the RTC of Pasig City, Branch 263. She alleged:
[6.] [Petitioner] accomplished her undertakings under the subject Agreement and
the Undertaking. So in a letter dated 18 April 1997, x x x, [respondent corporation]
was informed accordingly thereof.Simultaneously, [petitioner] demanded upon
[respondent corporation] to execute the corresponding Deed of Assignment of the
lots in the subject property, as compensation for the services rendered in favor of
the [respondent corporation].
Respondent corporation] failed and refused to act on x x x said demand of

Petitioner prayed, inter alia, that respondent corporation be ordered to execute the
appropriate document assigning, conveying, transferring and delivering the
particular lots in her favor. The lots represented compensation for the undertakings
she performed and accomplished, as embodied in the Agreement.
In the Motion, respondent sought the dismissal of the Complaint on the grounds of
(1) improper venue, (2) lack of jurisdiction over the subject matter, and (3)
nonpayment of the proper docket fees.Specifically, it contended:
RTC: The RTC further ruled that, since the suit would affect the title to the property,
it should have been instituted in the trial court where the property was situated. [12]

Furthermore, the action was filed only by petitioner. There was no allegation that
she had been authorized by Forro, Radan and Anave to represent their respective
shares in the compensation.

Finally, since this case was an action in rem, it was imperative for petitioner to pay
the appropriate docket or filing fees equivalent to the pecuniary value of her claim,
a duty she failed to discharge.Consequently, following Manchester Development
Corp. v. Court of Appeals,[13] the trial court never acquired jurisdiction over the case.
ISSUE: W/N RTC erred in dismissing petitioners Complaint on the grounds of (1)
improper venue, (2) non-joinder of necessary parties, and (3) non-payment of
proper docket fees.
Proper Venue

PETITIONERS CONTENTION: Maintaining that the action is in personam, not in

rem, petitioner alleges that the venue was properly laid. The fact that she ultimately
sought the conveyance of real property not located in the territorial jurisdiction of
the RTC of Pasig is, she claims, an anticipated consequence and beyond the cause
for which the action was instituted.
RESPONDENTS CONTENTION: (b) In other words, the present case filed by
[petitioner] is for her recovery (and for her companions) of 36.5% of [respondent
corporations] land (Fourth Estate Subdivision) or her interest therein. x x x
therefore, x x x the present case filed x x x is a real action or an action in rem.
(c) x x x [Following] Section 1, Rule 4 of the Rules of Court, as amended x x x the
present case should have been filed by [petitioner] with the proper court in
Paranque City which has jurisdiction over the x x x Fourth Estate Subdivision
because said subdivision is situated in Paranaque City. Since [petitioner] filed the
present case with this x x x [c]ourt in Pasig City, she chose a wrong venue x x x.

xxx xxx xxx

9. That the [c]ourt has no jurisdiction over the subject matter of the claim
RTC: , the RTC ruled that since the primary objective of petitioner was to recover
real property -- even though her Complaint was for specific performance and
damages -- her action should have been instituted in the trial court where the
property was situated

We agree with petitioner. Sections 1 and 2, Rule 4 of the Rules of Court provide an
answer to the issue of venue.[17] Actions affecting title to or possession of real
property or an interest therein (real actions), shall be commenced and tried in the
proper court that has territorial jurisdiction over the area where the real property is
situated. On the other hand, all other actions, (personal actions) shall be
commenced and tried in the proper courts where the plaintiff or any of the principal
plaintiffs resides or where the defendant or any of the principal defendants resides.
In the present case, petitioner seeks payment of her services in accordance with the
undertaking the parties signed. Breach of contract gives rise to a cause of action for
specific performance or for rescission.[23] If petitioner had filed an action in rem for
the conveyance of real property, the dismissal of the case would have been proper
on the ground of lack of cause of action.
Non-Joinder of Proper Parties
PETITIONERS CONTENTION: Petitioner claims that she was duly authorized and
empowered to represent the members of her group and to prosecute their claims on
their behalf via a Special Power of Attorney executed by Forro, Radan and
Anave. Besides, she argues that the omission of her companions as plaintiffs did not
prevent the RTC from proceeding with the action, because whatever judgment
would be rendered would be without prejudice to their rights. In the alternative, she
avers that the trial court may add or drop a party or parties at any stage of the
action and on such terms as are just.
RESPONDENTS CONTENTION: (c) x x x Wenifredo P. Forro, Nicanor Radan, Sr. and
Atty. Prospero A. Anave are not named as plaintiffs in the complaint. [Petitioner] x x
x is not named as representative of Forro, Radan and Anave by virtue of a Special
Power of Attorney or other formal written authority. According to the Rules, where
the action is allowed to be prosecuted or defended by a representative or someone
acting in a fiduciary capacity, the beneficiary shall be included in the title of the
case and shall be deemed to be the real party in interest
RTC: The RTC ruled that there was no allegation anywhere in the records that
petitioner had been authorized to represent Forro, Radan and Anave, who were real
parties-in-interest with respect to their respective shares of the 36.5 percent
claim. Such being the case, the trial court never acquired jurisdiction over the
subject matter of their claims.

Again, we side with petitioner. Neither a misjoinder nor a non-joinder of parties is a

ground for the dismissal of an action. Parties may be dropped or added by order of
the court, on motion of any party or on the courts own initiative at any stage of the
action.[24] The RTC should have ordered the joinder of such party, and noncompliance
with the said order would have been ground for dismissal of the action.
Although the Complaint prayed for the conveyance of the whole 36.5 percent claim
without impleading the companions of petitioner as party-litigants, the RTC could
have separately proceeded with the case as far as her 20 percent share in the claim
was concerned, independent of the other 16.5 percent. This fact means that her
companions are not indispensable parties without whom no final determination can
be had.[25] At best, they are mere necessary parties who ought to be impleaded for a
complete determination or settlement of the claim subject of the action. [26] The non-
inclusion of a necessary party does not prevent the court from proceeding with the
action, and the judgment rendered therein shall be without prejudice to the rights of
such party.[27]

Correct Docket Fees

PETITIONERS CONTENTION: Petitioner insists that the value of the real property,
which was the subject of the contract, has nothing to do with the determination of
the correct docket or filing fees.
RESPONDENTS CONTENTION: Obviously, [petitioner] has not paid the docket or
filing fees on the value of her land claim x x x. Thirty-six percent (36%) x x x
is P180,000,000.00, x x x.[11]
RTC: The RTC ruled that although the amount of damages sought had not been
specified in the body of the Complaint, one can infer from the assessed value of the
disputed land that it would amount to P50 million. Hence, when compared to this
figure, the P210 paid as docket fees would appear paltry.
the Court has already clarified that the Rule does not apply to an action for specific
performance,[28] which is classified as an action not capable of pecuniary estimation.

payment of the docket fee, the court may allow payment of the fee within a
reasonable time but in no case beyond the applicable prescriptive or reglementary
[G.R. No. L-32170. March 31, 1971.]


DACANAY, Respondents.

Petitioner Citizens Surety & Insurance Company, Inc. seeks review of an order of
respondent Judge in Civil Case No. 77134 of the Court of First Instance of Manila,
Branch XVII, entitled "Citizens Surety & Insurance Co., Inc. v. Santiago Dacanay and
Josefina Dacanay," dismissing the complaint for lack of proper service of summons
upon defendants.

The record is to the effect that petitioner had filed its complaint in the Court below,
alleging that at request of defendant Santiago Dacanay, the plaintiff Surety
Company had issued its Surety Bonds Nos. 4942 and 4944, the first, in favor of
Gregorio Fajardo to guarantee payment of a P5,000-promissory note executed by
said Dacanay, and the second, in favor of Manufacturers Bank & Trust Co., to
guarantee payment of another promissory note in like amount; that in consideration
of said bonds, Santiago and Josefina Dacanay executed Indemnity Agreements,
binding themselves jointly and severally to indemnify plaintiff for any losses, costs
and expenses which it might sustain in connection with the issuance of the bonds
aforesaid, with interest at 12% per annum; that as additional security, the Dacanays
mortgaged to plaintiff a parcel of land in Baguio City, covered by Certificate of Title
No. T-8116, the mortgage having been duly recorded; that the promissory notes
were not paid .and as a result, plaintiff Surety was compelled to pay P5,000.00 to
Gregorio Fajardo and P4,081.69 to the Manufacturers Bank; that the Dacanays
failed to reimburse the Surety for such payments, whereupon the Surety caused the
extrajudicial foreclosure of the mortgage to pay its claim of P12,941.69 representing
its payments, interest and stipulated liquidated damages: that at the foreclosure
sale, the land mortgaged was sold to plaintiff, as highest bidder, for the sum of
P2,000.00 leaving an unsatisfied balance of P10,491.69, that plaintiff sought to
recover from defendants Dacanay, plus 10% thereof as attorneys fees, and the

At petitioners request, respondent Judge caused summons to be made by

publication in the newspaper Philippines Herald. But despite the publication and
deposit of a prepaid copy of the complaint at the Manila post office, defendants did
not appear within the period of 60 days from last publication, as required by the

Plaintiff then asked that defendants be declared in default; but :instead, the Judge,
by order of May 16, 1970, asked it to show cause why the action should not be
dismissed, the suit being in personam and defendants not having appeared. Then,
on May 29, 1970, respondent Judge dismissed the case, despite plaintiff Suretys
argument that the summons by publication was sufficient and valid under section
16 of Rule 14 of the Revised Rules of Court.

ISSUE: W/N the court validly acquire jurisdiction on a non-appearing defendant.

HELD: NO. We agree with respondent Judge that the action of plaintiff petitioner,
being in personam, the Court could not validly acquire jurisdiction on a non-
appearing defendant, absent a personal service of summons within the forum.
it is well-settled principle of Constitutional Law that, in an action strictly in
personam, like the one at bar, personal service of summons, within the forum. is
essential to the acquisition of jurisdiction over the person of the defendant, who
does not voluntarily submit himself to the authority of the court. In other words,
summons by publication cannot consistently with the due process clause in the
Bill of Rights confer upon the court jurisdiction over said defendants.

Due process of law requires personal service to support a personal judgment, and.
when the proceeding is strictly in personam brought to determine the personal
rights and obligations of the parties, personal service within the state or a voluntary
appearance in the case is essential to the acquisition of jurisdiction so as to
constitute compliance with the constitutional requirement of due process. . . .

The proper recourse for a creditor in the same situation as petitioner is to locate
properties, real or personal, of the resident defendant debtor with unknown address
and cause them to be attached under Rule 57, section 1(f), in which case, the
attachment converts the action into a proceeding in rem or quasi in rem and the
summons by publication may then accordingly be deemed valid and effective.

But because debtors who abscond and conceal themselves are also quite adept at
concealing their properties, the dismissal of the case below by respondent Judge
should be set aside and the case held pending in the courts archives, until
petitioner as plaintiff succeeds in determining the whereabouts of the defendants
person or properties and causes valid summons to be served personally or by
publication as the case may be. In this manner, the tolling of the period of
prescription for as long as the debtor remains in hiding would properly be a matter
of court records and he can not emerge after a sufficient lapse of time from the
dismissal of the case to profit from his own misdeed and claim prescription of his
just debt.

[G.R. No. 156187. November 11, 2004]

and ATTY. EDWARD MARTIN, respondents.
Before Us is a Petition for Review on Certiorari[1] assailing the Decision[2] dated 31
July 2002 of the Court of Appeals
Petitioner Jimmy T. Go and Alberto T. Looyuko are co-owners of Noahs Ark
International, Noahs Ark Sugar Carriers, Noahs Ark Sugar Truckers, Noahs Ark Sugar
Repacker, Noahs Ark Sugar Insurers, Noahs Ark Sugar Terminal, Noahs Ark Sugar
Building, and Noahs Ark Sugar Refinery. [4]
Sometime in August 1996, petitioner Jimmy T. Go and Alberto T. Looyuko applied for
an Omnibus Line accommodation with respondent United Coconut Planters Bank
(UCPB) in the amount of Nine Hundred Million (P900,000,000) Pesos

The transaction was secured by Real Estate Mortgages over parcels of land, covered
by Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT) No. 64070, located at Mandaluyong City and
registered in the name of Mr. Looyuko; and TCT No. 3325, also located at
Mandaluyong City registered in the name of Noahs Ark Sugar Refinery.
On 21 July 1997, the approved Omnibus Line accommodation granted to petitioner
was subsequently cancelled [6] by respondent UCPB. As a consequence, petitioner
Jimmy T. Go demanded from UCPB the return of the two (2) TCTs (No. 64070 and No.
3325) covered by Real Estate Mortgages earlier executed. UCPB refused to return
the same and proceeded to have the two (2) pre-signed Real Estate Mortgages
notarized on 22 July 1997 and caused the registration thereof before the Registry of
Deeds of Mandaluyong City on 02 September 1997.
On 15 June 1999, respondent UCPB filed with the Office of the Clerk of Court and Ex-
Officio Sheriff of Mandaluyong City an extrajudicial foreclosure of real estate
mortgage[7] covered by TCT No. 64070, for nonpayment of the obligation secured by
said mortgage. As a result, the public auction sale of the mortgaged property was
set on 11 April 2000 and 03 May 2000.
SHORT FACTS: that petitioner Jimmy T. Go is a co-owner of the property covered by
TCT No. 64070, although the title is registered only in the name of Looyuko; that
respondent bank was aware that he is a co-owner as he was asked to sign two
deeds of real estate mortgage covering the subject property; that the approved
omnibus credit line applied for by him and Looyuko did not materialize and was
cancelled by respondent bank on 21 July 1997, so that the pre-signed real estate
mortgages were likewise cancelled; that he demanded from respondent bank that
TCTs No. 64070 and No. 3325 be returned to him, but respondent bank refused to do
so; that despite the cancellation of the omnibus credit line on 21 July 1997,
respondent bank had the two deeds of real estate mortgage dated and notarized on
22 July 1997 and caused the extrajudicial foreclosure of mortgage constituted on
TCT No. 64070; AND THAT To protect his interest, petitioner Jimmy T. Go filed a
complaint for Cancellation of Real Estate Mortgage and damages, with prayer for
temporary restraining order and/or writ of preliminary injunction, with the Regional
Trial Court of Pasig City
On 07 June 2000, respondent bank, instead of filing an answer, filed a motion to
dismiss[9] based on the following grounds: 1) that the court has no jurisdiction over
the case due to nonpayment of the proper filing and docket fees; 2) that the
complaint was filed in the wrong venue; 3) an indispensable party/real party in
interest was not impleaded and, therefore, the complaint states no cause of action;
4) that the complaint was improperly verified; and 5) that petitioner is guilty of
forum shopping and submitted an insufficient and false certification of non-forum
RTC: trial court issued an order[10] granting petitioners application for a writ of
preliminary injunction. Correspondingly, the auction sale, scheduled on 11 April
2000 and 03 May 2000, was enjoined.
the trial court denied[11] respondent banks motion to dismiss
Respondent bank questioned said orders before the Court of Appeals via a petition
for certiorari[14] dated 03 January 2001, alleging that the trial court acted without or
in excess of jurisdiction or with grave abuse of discretion in issuing an order denying
the motion to dismiss and the motion for reconsideration thereof.
CA: the Court of Appeals[15] set aside the Orders dated 07 June 2000, 09 August
2000 and 08 November 2000 issued by the trial court and directed the trial court to
dismiss Civil Case No. 67878 on the ground of improper venue.
motion for reconsideration was filed by petitioner, [16] which was denied
Hence, this petition for review on certiorari.
ISSUE: whether petitioners complaint for cancellation of real estate mortgage is a
personal or real action for the purpose of determining venue.
In a real action, the plaintiff seeks the recovery of real property, or as provided for in
Section 1, Rule 4,[20] a real action is an action affecting title to or possession of real
property, or interest therein. These include partition or condemnation of, or
foreclosure of mortgage on, real property. The venue for real actions is the same for
regional trial courts and municipal trial courts -- the court which has territorial
jurisdiction over the area where the real property or any part thereof lies. [21]
Personal action is one brought for the recovery of personal property, for the
enforcement of some contract or recovery of damages for its breach, or for the
recovery of damages for the commission of an injury to the person or property.
The venue for personal actions is likewise the same for the regional and
municipal trial courts -- the court of the place where the plaintiff or any of the
principal plaintiffs resides, or where the defendant or any of the principal
defendants resides, at the election of the plaintiff, as indicated in Section 2 of Rule
It is quite clear then that the controlling factor in determining venue for cases of the
above nature is the primary objective for which said cases are filed.
PETITIONERS CONTENTION: Petitioner in this case contends that a case for
cancellation of mortgage is a personal action and since he resides at Pasig City,
venue was properly laid therein.
In a relatively recent case, Asset Privatization Trust v. Court of Appeals,[34] it was
succinctly stated that the prayer for the nullification of the mortgage is a prayer
affecting real property, hence, is a real action.
In sum, the cancellation of the real estate mortgage, subject of the instant petition,
is a real action, considering that a real estate mortgage is a real right and a real
property by itself.[35]An action for cancellation of real estate mortgage is necessarily
an action affecting the title to the property. It is, therefore, a real action which
should be commenced and tried in Mandaluyong City, the place where the subject
property lies.
[G.R. No. 146089. December 13, 2001]
GOCHAN, respondents.
This is a petition for review seeking to set aside the decision of the Court of Appeals
Respondents were stockholders of the Felix Gochan and Sons Realty Corporation
and the Mactan Realty Development Corporation. Sometime in 1996, respondents
offered to sell their shares in the two corporations to the individual petitioners, the
heirs of the late Ambassador Esteban Gochan, for and in consideration of the sum of
P200,000,000.00. Petitioners accepted and paid the said amount to
respondents. Accordingly, respondents issued to petitioners the necessary Receipts.
In addition, respondents executed their respective Release, Waiver and Quitclaim,
wherein they undertook that they would not initiate any suit, action or complaint
against petitioners for whatever reason or purpose.
In turn, respondents, through Crispo Gochan, Jr., required individual petitioners to
execute a promissory note,[5] undertaking not to divulge the actual consideration
they paid for the shares of stock. For this purpose, Crispo Gochan, Jr. drafted a
document entitled promissory note in his own handwriting and had the same signed
by Felix Gochan, III, Louise Gochan and Esteban Gochan, Jr.
Unbeknown to petitioners, Crispo Gochan, Jr. inserted in the promissory note a
phrase that says, Said amount is in partial consideration of the sale. [6]
On April 3, 1998, respondents filed a complaint against petitioners for specific
performance and damages with the Regional Trial Court of Cebu City
Respondents alleged that sometime in November 1996, petitioner Louise Gochan,
on behalf of all the petitioners, offered to buy their shares of stock, consisting of 254
shares in the Felix Gochan and Sons Realty Corporation and 1,624 shares of stock in
the Mactan Realty Development Corporation; and that they executed a Provisional
Memorandum of Agreement
Petitioners filed their answer, raising the following affirmative defenses: (a) lack of
jurisdiction by the trial court for non-payment of the correct docket fees; (b)
unenforceability of the obligation to convey real properties due to lack of a written
memorandum thereof, pursuant to the Statute of Frauds; (c) extinguishment of the
obligation by payment; (d) waiver, abandonment and renunciation by respondent of
all their claims against petitioners; and (e) non-joinder of indispensable parties.
The rule is well-settled that the court acquires jurisdiction over any case only upon
the payment of the prescribed docket fees. In the case of Sun Insurance Office, Ltd.
(SIOL) v. Asuncion,[12] this Court held that it is not simply the filing of the complaint
or appropriate initiatory pleading, but the payment of the prescribed docket fee that
vests a trial court with jurisdiction over the subject matter or nature of the action.
Respondents maintain that they paid the correct docket fees in the amount of
P165,000.00 when they filed the complaint with the trial court. Petitioners, on the
other hand, contend that the complaint is in the nature of a real action which affects
title to real properties; hence, respondents should have alleged therein the value of
the real properties which shall be the basis for the assessment of the correct docket
The Court of Appeals found that the complaint was one for specific performance and
incapable of pecuniary estimation. We do not agree.
It is necessary to determine the true nature of the complaint in order to resolve the
issue of whether or not respondents paid the correct amount of docket fees
therefor. In this jurisdiction, the dictum adhered to is that the nature of an action is
determined by the allegations in the body of the pleading or complaint itself, rather
than by its title or heading.[13] The caption of the complaint below was denominated
as one for specific performance and damages. The relief sought, however, is the
conveyance or transfer of real property, or ultimately, the execution of deeds of
conveyance in their favor of the real properties enumerated in the provisional
memorandum of agreement. Under these circumstances, the case below was
actually a real action, affecting as it does title to or possession of real property.
It has also been held that where a complaint is entitled as one for specific
performance but nonetheless prays for the issuance of a deed of sale for a parcel of
land, its primary objective and nature is one to recover the parcel of land itself and,
thus, is deemed a real action. In such a case, the action must be filed in the proper
court where the property is located
This contention has no merit. Although appellants complaint is entitled to be one for
specific performance, yet the fact that he asked that a deed of sale of a parcel of
land situated in Quezon City be issued in his favor and that a transfer certificate of
title covering said parcel of land be issued to him shows that the primary objective
and nature of the action is to recover the parcel of land itself
Hence, the action must be commenced in the province where the property is
situated pursuant to Section 3, Rule 5, of the Rules of Court, which provides that
actions affecting title to or recovery of possession of real property shall be
commenced and tried in the province where the property or any part thereof lies.

In the case at bar, therefore, the complaint filed with the trial court was in the
nature of a real action, although ostensibly denominated as one for specific
performance. Consequently, the basis for determining the correct docket fees shall
be the assessed value of the property, or the estimated value thereof as alleged by
the claimant.
Respondents accuse petitioners of forum-shopping when they filed two petitions
before the Court of Appeals. Petitioners, on the other hand, contend that there was
no forum-shopping as there was no identity of issues or identity of reliefs sought in
the two petitions.
We agree with petitioners that they are not guilty of forum-shopping. The deplorable
practice of forum-shopping is resorted to by litigants who, for the purpose of
obtaining the same relief, resort to two different fora to increase his or her chances
of obtaining a favorable judgment in either one. In the case of Golangco v. Court of
Appeals,[18] we laid down the following test to determine whether there is forum-
Ultimately, what is truly important to consider in determining whether forum-
shopping exists or not is the vexation caused the courts and the parties-litigant by a
person who asks different courts and/or administrative agencies to rule on the same
or related causes and/or grant the same or substantially the same reliefs, in the
process creating the possibility of conflicting decisions being rendered by the
different fora upon the same issues.
In sum, two different orders were questioned, two distinct causes of action and
issues were raised, and two objectives were sought; thus, forum shopping cannot be
said to exist in the case at bar.
Likewise, we do not find that there is forum-shopping in the case at bar. The first
petition, docketed as CA-G.R. SP. No. 49084, which is now the subject of the instant
petition, involved the propriety of the affirmative defenses relied upon by
petitioners in Civil Case No. CEB-21854. The second petition, docketed as CA-G.R.
SP No. 54985, raised the issue of whether or not public respondent Judge Dicdican
was guilty of manifest partiality warranting his inhibition from further hearing Civil
Case No. CEB-21854.
More importantly, the two petitions did not seek the same relief from the Court of
G.R. No. 75919 May 7, 1987
MAISIP, respondents.
Petitioners in support of their contention that the filing fee must be assessed on the
basis of the amended complaint cite the case of Magaspi vs. Ramolete. 1 They
contend that the Court of Appeals erred in that the filing fee should be levied by
considering the amount of damages sought in the original complaint.
A complaint for specific performance was filed by Manchester Development
Corporation against City Land Development Corporation to compel the latter to
execute a deed of sale in favor Manchester. Manchester also alleged that City Land
forfeited the formers tender of payment for a certain transaction thereby causing
damages to Manchester amounting to P78,750,000.00. This amount was alleged in
the BODY of their Complaint but it was not reiterated in the PRAYER of same
complaint. Manchester paid a docket fee of P410.00 only. Said docket fee is
premised on the allegation of Manchester that their action is primarily for specific
performance hence it is incapable of pecuniary estimation. The court ruled that
there is an under assessment of docket fees hence it ordered Manchester to amend
its complaint. Manchester complied but what it did was to lower the amount of claim
for damages to P10M. Said amount was however again not stated in the PRAYER.

ISSUE: Whether or not the amended complaint should be admitted.

HELD: No. The docket fee, its computation, should be based on the original
complaint. A case is deemed filed only upon payment of the appropriate docket fee
regardless of the actual date of filing in court. Here, since the proper docket fee was
not paid for the original complaint, its as if there is no complaint to speak of. As a
consequence, there is no original complaint duly filed which can be amended. So,
any subsequent proceeding taken in consideration of the amended complaint is
Manchesters defense that this case is primarily an action for specific performance
is not merited. The Supreme Court ruled that based on the allegations and the
prayer of the complaint, this case is an action for damages and for specific
performance. Hence, it is capable of pecuniary estimation.
Further, the amount for damages in the original complaint was already provided in
the body of the complaint. Its omission in the PRAYER clearly constitutes an attempt
to evade the payment of the proper filing fees. To stop the happenstance of similar
irregularities in the future, the Supreme Court ruled that from this case on, all
complaints, petitions, answers and other similar pleadings should specify the
amount of damages being prayed for not only in the body of the pleading but also in
the prayer, and said damages shall be considered in the assessment of the filing
fees in any case. Any pleading that fails to comply with this requirement shall not
bib accepted nor admitted, or shall otherwise be expunged from the record.
G.R. Nos. 79937-38 February 13, 1989
WARBY, petitioners,
HON. MAXIMIANO C. ASUNCION, Presiding Judge, Branch 104, Regional
Trial Court, Quezon City and MANUEL CHUA UY PO TIONG, respondents.

In 1984, Sun Insurance Office, Ltd. was sued by Manuel Tiong before the Quezon
City RTC. In the body of his complaint, Tiong claimed damages amounting to Php50
million. But said amount was not mentioned in his prayer. He paid a docket fee of
Php210.00 therefor.
At that time, courts in Quezon City were being investigated by the Supreme Court
for under-assessment of docket fees. In 1986, Judge Maximiano Asuncion ordered
Tiong to amend his complaint so that the proper docket fee may be computed.
Tiong complied and in his amended complaint, the body thereof discussed a
damage amounting to Php44 million but the prayer asked for damages not less
than Php10 million.
Based on the not less than Php10 million prayer, the clerk of court assessed a
docket fee of P39,786.00 which Tiong paid.
Later, Tiong filed a supplemental complaint where he was asking an additional
Php20 million in damages. e later paid an additional docket fee therefor of
Php80,396.00. The same was admitted by Judge Asuncion.

Sun Insurance invoked the ruling in Manchester Development vs CA where it was ruled
that the court does not acquire jurisdiction over a case if the proper docket fee was
not paid; that the defect cannot be cured by a supplemental complaint because if
the proper docket fee was not paid in the first place, then there is no original
complaint to supplement nor amend.
The issue raised the Court of Appeals where the CA ruled that Judge Asuncion is
correct but Tiong must pay an additional docket fee of Php62,432.90, which Tiong

ISSUE: Whether or not the court acquired jurisdiction over the foregoing case
considering that the correct and proper docket fee has not been paid in the first

HELD: Yes. The ruling in Manchester was relaxed in this case because Tiong showed
his willingness to pay the additional docket fees unlike in the case
of Manchester where Manchester Development intended to defraud the government
by intentionally omitting the amount of damages it claimed in the prayer of their
The Supreme Court also laid down the following rules on docket fees:
1. It is not simply the filing of the complaint or appropriate initiatory pleading, but
the payment of the prescribed docket fee, that vests a trial court with jurisdiction
over the subject matter or nature of the action. Where the filing of the initiatory
pleading is not accompanied by payment of the docket fee, the court may allow
payment of the fee within a reasonable time but in no case beyond the applicable
prescriptive or reglementary period.
2. The same rule applies to permissive counterclaims, third party claims and similar
pleadings, which shall not be considered filed until and unless the filing fee
prescribed therefor is paid. The court may also allow payment of said fee within a
reasonable time but also in no case beyond its applicable prescriptive or
reglementary period.
3. Where the trial court acquires jurisdiction over a claim by the filing of the
appropriate pleading and payment of the prescribed filing fee but, subsequently,
the judgment awards a claim not specified in the pleading, or if specified the same
has been left for determination by the court, the additional filing fee therefor shall
constitute a lien on the judgment. It shall be the responsibility of the Clerk of Court
or his duly authorized deputy to enforce said lien and assess and collect the
additional fee.


Pineda was the owner of a parcel of land measuring 790 square meters, his
ownership being evidenced by TCT No. T-46560; (2) the previous owner had allowed
the defendants to occupy portions of the land by mere tolerance; (3) having himself
need to use the property, Pineda had made demands on the defendants to vacate
the property and pay reasonable rentals therefor, but these demands had been
refused; and (4) the last demand had been made more than a year prior to the
commencement of suit. The complaints prayed for the same reliefs, to wit:
1) that plaintiff be declared owner of the areas occupied by the defendants; 2) that
defendants and their "privies and allies" be ordered to vacate and deliver the
portions of the land usurped by them; 3) that each defendant be ordered to pay: 1 )
P 2,000 as monthly rents from February, 1987; 2 ) Actual damages, as proven; 3 )
Moral and nominal damages as the Honorable Court may fix ; 4) P30,000.00, "as
attorney's fees, and representation fees of P5,000.00 per day of appearance;" 4 and
4) that he (Pineda) be granted such "further relief and remedies ... just and
equitable in the premises.
The complaint was challenged in the Motions to Dismiss filed by each defendant
alleging that it did not specify the amounts of actual, nominal, and exemplary
damages, nor the assessed value of the property, that being bars the determination
of the RTCs jurisdiction in deciding the case.

The Motions to Dismiss were denied but the claims for damages in the complaint
were expunged for failure to specify the amounts. Thus, the defendants filed a Joint
Petition for certiorari, mandamus, prohibition, and temporary restraining order
against the RTC.
HELD: Yes. Where the action involves real property and a related claim for damages
as well, the legal fees shall be assessed on the basis of both (a) the value of the
property and (b) the total amount of related damages sought. The Court acquires
jurisdiction over the action if the filing of the initiatory pleading is accompanied by
the payment of the requisite fees, or, if the fees are not paid at the time of the filing
of the pleading, as of the time of full payment of the fees within such reasonable
time as the court may grant, unless, of course, prescription has set in the
But where-as in the case at bar-the fees prescribed for an action involving real
property have been paid, but the amounts of certain of the related damages
(actual, moral and nominal) being demanded are unspecified, the action
may not be dismissed. The Court undeniably has jurisdiction over the action
involving the real property, acquiring it upon the filing of the complaint or similar
pleading and payment of the prescribed fee. And it is not divested of that authority
by the circumstance that it may not have acquired jurisdiction over the
accompanying claims for damages because of lack of specification thereof. What
should be done is simply to expunge those claims for damages as to which no
amounts are stated, which is what the respondent Courts did, or allow, on motion, a
reasonable time for the amendment of the complaints so as to allege the precise
amount of each item of damages and accept payment of the requisite fees
therefore within the relevant prescriptive period.
G.R. No. 88421 January 30, 1990
Private respondents filed against petitioners an action for specific performance with
damages in the Regional Trial Court of Makati. Petitioners filed a motion to dismiss
on the ground that the lower court has not acquired jurisdiction over the case as
private respondents failed to pay the prescribed docket fee and to specify the
amount of exemplary damages both in the body and prayer of the amended and
supplemental complaint. The trial court denied the motion. A motion for
reconsideration filed by petitioners was likewise denied.
The main thrust of the petition is that private respondent paid only the total amount
P l,616.00 as docket fees instead of the amount of P13,061.35 based on the
assessed value of the real properties involved as evidenced by its tax declaration.
Further, petitioners contend that private respondents failed to specify the amount of
exemplary damages sought both in the body and the prayer of the amended and
supplemental complaint.
ISSUES: Whether or not the RTC acquire jurisdiction for not specifying the correct
amount of docket fees.
HELD: In the latest case Tacay vs. Regional Trial Court of Tagum, 3 this Court had
occasion to make the clarification that the phrase "awards of claims not specified in
the pleading" refers only to "damages arising after the filing of the complaint or
similar pleading . . . as to which the additional filing fee therefor shall constitute a
lien on the judgment." The amount of any claim for damages, therefore, arising on
or before the filing of the complaint or any pleading, should be specified. While it is
true that the determination of certain damages as exemplary or corrective damages
is left to the sound discretion of the court, it is the duty of the parties claiming such
damages to specify the amount sought on the basis of which the court may make a
proper determination, and for the proper assessment of the appropriate docket fees.
The exception contemplated as to claims not specified or to claims although
specified are left for determination of the court is limited only to any damages that
may arise after the filing of the complaint or similar pleading for then it will not be
possible for the claimant to specify nor speculate as to the amount thereof.
The amended and supplemental complaint in the present case, therefore, suffers
from the material defect in failing to state the amount of exemplary damages
prayed for.
As ruled in Tacay the trial court may either order said claim to be expunged from the
record as it did not acquire jurisdiction over the same or on motion, it may allow,
within a reasonable time, the amendment of the amended and supplemental
complaint so as to state the precise amount of the exemplary damages sought and
require the payment of the requisite fees therefor within the relevant prescriptive
period. 4
G.R. No. 179878
Facts: Campos and NOPA entered into two separate contracts denominated as
Molasses Sales Agreement. Campos allegedly paid in full, but was only able to
receive a partial delivery of the molasses because of a disagreement as to the
quality of the products being delivered. More than six years after NOPA filed its
answer, NOPA filed a motion to dismiss on the ground of an alleged failure of
Campos to file the correct filing fee. According to NOPA, Campos deliberately
concealed in his complaint the exact amount of actual damages by opting to
estimate the value of the unwithdrawn molasses in order to escape the payment of
the proper docket fees. RTC denied the motion to dismiss. CA dismissed petition for
certiorari ruling that there was no substantial compliance with the procedural
requirements because petitioner failed to allege in its verification that the
allegations therein are true and correct of his personal knowledge or based on
authentic records and failure to attach the necessary documents on its pleadings as
required by Section 1, Rule 65, Rules in Civil Procedure.
Issue: Whether or not CA committed error?
Ruling: No. Clearly, the amendment introduced by A.M. No. 00-2-10 to Sec. 4, Rule 7
was in order to make the verification requirement stricter, such that the party
cannot now merely state under oath that he believes the statements made in the
pleading. He cannot even merely state under oath that he has knowledge that such
statements are true and correct. His knowledge must be specifically alleged under
oath to be either personal knowledge or at least based on authentic records. A
pleading, therefore, wherein the verification is merely based on the partys
knowledge and belief produces no legal effect, subject to the discretion of the court
to allow the deficiency to be remedied. In the case at bar, the Court of Appeals, in
the exercise of this discretion, refused to allow the deficiency in the Verification to
be remedied, by denying NOPAs motion for reconsideration with attached amended
petition for certiorari.
The case at bar demonstrates a situation in which there is no effect on the
substantial rights of a litigant. NOPAs petition for certiorari is seeking the reversal
of the orders of the RTC denying NOPAs motion to dismiss on the ground of failure
to pay the proper docket fees. The alleged deficiency in the payment of docket fees
by Campos, if there is any, would not inure to the benefit of NOPA. There is
therefore no substantive right that will be prejudiced by the Court of Appeals
exercise of discretion in the case at bar. While the payment of docket fees is
jurisdictional, it is nevertheless unmistakably also a technicality. Ironically, in
seeking the leniency of this Court on the basis of substantial justice, NOPA is
ultimately praying for a Writ of Certiorari enjoining the action for breach of contract
from being decided on the merits. Whats sauce for the goose is sauce for the
gander. A party cannot expect its opponent to comply with the technical rules of
procedure while, at the same time, hoping for the relaxation of the technicalities in
its favor.

There was therefore no grave abuse of discretion on the part of the Court of Appeals
warranting this Courts reversal of the exercise of discretion by the former. However,
even if we decide to brush aside the lapses in technicalities on the part of NOPA in
its petition for certiorari, we nevertheless find that such petition would still fail.
Furthermore, NOPA seeks for the application of this Courts ruling in Manchester
case wherein we ruled that the court acquires jurisdiction over any case only upon
payment of the prescribed docket fee. An amendment of the complaint or similar
pleading will not thereby vest jurisdiction in the court, much less the payment of the
docket fee based on the amount sought in the amended pleading. In denying
NOPAs motion to dismiss, the RTC cited Sun Insurance Office, Ltd. v. Asuncion,
wherein we modified our ruling in Manchester and decreed that where the initiatory
pleading is not accompanied by the payment of the docket fee, the court may allow
payment of the fee within a reasonable period of time, but in no case beyond the
applicable prescriptive or reglementary period. The aforesaid ruling was made on
the justification that, unlike in Manchester, the private respondent in Sun Insurance
Office, Ltd. (SIOL) demonstrated his willingness to abide by the rules by paying the
additional docket fees required.
NOPA claims that Sun is not applicable to the case at bar, since Campos deliberately
concealed his claim for damages in the prayer. In the case at bar, the circumstances
clearly show that there was no deliberate intent to defraud the Court in the
payment of docket fees, the case of Sun should be applied, and the Motion to
Dismiss by NOPA should be
Tamano vs. Ortiz, G.R. NO. 126603, June 29, 1998
In 1958, Senator Tamano married private respondent Zorayda Tamano in civil rites.
Prior to his death, particularly in 1993, Tamano also married petitioner Estrelita
Tamano in civil rites in Malabang, Lanao del Sur.
In 1994, private respondent Zorayda joined by her son Adib Tamano filed a
Complaint for Declaration of Nullity of Marriage of Tamano and Estrelita on the
ground that it was bigamous. Private respondent claimed that Tamano and Estrelita
misrepresented themselves as divorced and single, respectively, thus making the
entries in the marriage contract false and fraudulent.
Estrelita filed a motion to dismiss alleging that the Regional Trial Court of Quezon
City was without jurisdiction over the subject and nature of the action alleging that
only a party to marriage could file an action for annulment of marriage against the
other spouse. Petitioner likewise contended that since Tamano and Zorayda were
both Muslims and married in Muslim rites the jurisdiction to hear and try the instant
case was vested in the sharia courts pursuant to Art. 155 of the Code of Muslim.
The lower court denied the petition and ruled that it has jurisdiction since Estrelita
and Tamano were married in accordance with the Civil Code and not exclusively
under PD. No. 1083. The motion for reconsideration was likewise denied.
Petitioner referred the case to the Supreme Court where a resolution was issued to
refer the case to the CA for consolidation. Respondents Zorayda however filed a
motion, which the CA granted, to resolve the Complaint for the Declaration of
Nullity of Marriage ahead of other consolidated cases.
The CA ruled that the instant case would fall under the exclusive jurisdiction of
sharia courts only when filed in places where there are sharia courts. But in places
where there not sharia courts, like Quezon City, the instant case could properly be
filed before the Regional Trial Courts.
Hence, the petition
Whether or not the Sharia Court and not the Regional Trial Court has jurisdiction
over the subject case and the nature of action?
The Court held that the Regional Trial Court has jurisdiction over the subject case.
Under the Judiciary Reorganization Act of 1980, the Regional Trial Courts have
jurisdiction over all actions involving the contract of marriage and marital relations.
There should be no question by now that what determines the nature of an action
and correspondingly the court which has jurisdiction over it are the allegations
made by the plaintiff in this case.

The Regional Trial Court was not divested of jurisdiction to hear and try the instant
case despite the allegation in the Motion for Reconsideration that Estrellita and
Taman were likewise married in Muslim rites. This is because a courts jurisdiction
cannot be made to depend upon defenses set up in the answer, in a motion to
dismiss, or in a motion for reconsideration, but only upon allegations of the
Further, the court held that assuming that indeed the petitioner and Tamano were
likewise married under Muslim laws, the same would still fall under the general
original jurisdiction of the Regional Trial Courts.
Article 13 of PD No. 1083 does not provide for a situation where the parties were
married both in civil and Muslim rites. Consequently, the sharia courts are not
vested with original and exclusive jurisdiction when it comes to marriages
celebrated under both civil and Muslim laws. Consequently, the Regional Trial Courts
are not divested of their general original jurisdiction under Sec. 19, par. (6) of BP
Blg. 129 which provides -
Sec. 19. Jurisdiction in Civil Cases. - Regional Trial Courts shall exercise exclusive
original jurisdiction: x x x (6) In all cases not within the exclusive jurisdiction of any
court, tribunal, person or body exercising judicial or quasi-judicial functions x x x x."


G.R. NO. 152272, MARCH 5, 2012
FACTS: The petitioners, JCHA, together with individual residents of Juana Complex I
and other neighboring subdivisions (JCHA et al) instituted a complaint with the RTC for
damages in its own behalf and as a class suit representing the regular commuters and
motorists who were deprived of the use of La Paz Road, against Fil-Estate et al.
The complaint alleged that JCHA, et al. constantly travelled towards the direction of
Manila and Calamba and that they used the entry and exit toll gates of South Luzon
Expressway (SLEX) by passing through right-of-way public road known as La Paz Road
for more than 10 years. It also alleged that Fil-Estate excavated and deliberately ruined
La Paz Road so JCHA et al would not be able to pass thru that road. Also alleged is that
the act of Fil-estate caused damage, loss of precious hours, etc. to JCHA and
commuters and motorists because traffic was re-routed to narrow streets that caused
terrible traffic and hazard. Finally, that its permanent closure would not only prejudice
their right to free and unhampered use of the property but would also cause great
damage and irreparable injury.
JCHA prayed for an issuance of a TRO or a WPI to enjoin Fil-estate from stopping and
intimidating JCHA in their use of La Paz. TRO was issued for a period of 20 days.
Fil-Estate, et al. filed a motion to dismiss arguing that the complaint failed to state a
cause of action and that it was improperly filed as a class suit.
RTC issued an Order granting the WPI and required JCHA, et al. to post a bond.
Fil-estate filed MR arguing, among others, that JCHA, et al. failed to satisfy the
requirements for the issuance of a WPI.
RTC then issued its June 16, 2000 Omnibus Order, denying both the motion to dismiss
and the motion for reconsideration filed by Fil-Estate, et al.
Fil-Estate, et al. filed a petition for certiorari and prohibition before the CA to annul
1. Order of RTC granting WPI
2. Omnibus order of RTC denying the motion to dismiss and MR
They contended that the complaint failed to state a cause of action and that it was
improperly filed as a class suit.
CA annulled the Order granting WPI and upheld the denial of motion to dismiss.
The CA ruled that the complaint sufficiently stated a cause of action when JCHA, et al.
alleged in their complaint that they had been using La Paz Road for more than ten (10)
years and that their right was violated when Fil-Estate closed and excavated the road. It
sustained the RTC ruling that the complaint was properly filed as a class suit as it was
shown that the case was of common interest and that the individuals sought to be
represented were so numerous that it was impractical to include all of them as parties.
The CA, however, annulled the WPI for failure of JCHA, et al. to prove their clear and
present right over La Paz Road. The CA ordered the remand of the case to the RTC for
a full-blown trial on the merits.
Hence the petition.

ISSUE: (1) whether or not the complaint states a cause of action;

(2) whether or not the complaint has been properly filed as a class suit.

RULING: (1) the Court finds the allegations in the complaint sufficient to establish a
cause of action.
(2) the Court finds that the complaint was properly instituted as a class suit.
Section 12, Rule 3 of the Rules of Court defines a class suit, as follows:
Sec. 12. Class suit. When the subject matter of the controversy is one of common or
general interest to many persons so numerous that it is impracticable to join all as
parties, a number of them which the court finds to be sufficiently numerous and
representative as to fully protect the interests of all concerned may sue or defend for the
benefit of all. Any party in interest shall have the right to intervene to protect his
individual interest.
The necessary elements for the maintenance of a class suit are:
1) the subject matter of controversy is one of common or general interest to many persons;
2) the parties affected are so numerous that it is impracticable to bring them all to court; and
3) the parties bringing the class suit are sufficiently numerous or representative of the class and
can fully protect the interests of all concerned
In this case, the suit is clearly one that benefits all commuters and motorists who
use La Paz Road. Following the statement of CA:
The subject matter of the instant case, i.e., the closure and excavation of the La Paz
Road, is initially shown to be of common or general interest to many persons. The
records reveal that numerous individuals have filed manifestations with the lower court,
conveying their intention to join private respondents in the suit and claiming that they
are similarly situated with private respondents for they were also prejudiced by the acts
of petitioners in closing and excavating the La Paz Road. Moreover, the individuals
sought to be represented by private respondents in the suit are so numerous that it is
impracticable to join them all as parties and be named individually as plaintiffs in the
WHEREFORE, the petitions are DENIED. Accordingly, the Decision and Resolution of
the CA are AFFIRMED. The case should be further heard by the RTC so that the
parties can fully prove their respective positions on the issues.

G.R. No. L-41423 February 23, 1989

LUIS JOSEPH, petitioner


Respondent Patrocinio Perez is the owner of a cargo truck with Plate No. 25-2 YT Phil. '73 for
conveying cargoes and passengers for a consideration from Dagupan City to Manila. On January
12, 1973, said cargo truck driven by defendant Domingo Villa was on its way to Valenzuela, Bulacan
from Pangasinan. Petitioner, with a cargo of livestock, boarded the cargo truck at Dagupan City after
paying the sum of P 9.00 as one way fare to Valenzuela, Bulacan. While said cargo truck was
negotiating the National Highway proceeding towards Manila, defendant Domingo Villa tried to
overtake a tricycle likewise proceeding in the same direction. At about the same time, a pick-up truck
with Plate No. 45-95 B, supposedly owned by respondents Antonio Sioson and Jacinto Pagarigan,
then driven by respondent Lazaro Villanueva, tried to overtake the cargo truck which was then in the
process of overtaking the tricycle, thereby forcing the cargo truck to veer towards the shoulder of the
road and to ram a mango tree. As a result, petitioner sustained a bone fracture in one of his legs. 1

The following proceedings thereafter took place: 2

Petitioner filed a complaint for damages against respondent Patrocinio Perez, as owner of the cargo
truck, based on a breach of contract of carriage and against respondents Antonio Sioson and Lazaro
Villanueva, as owner and driver, respectively, of the pick-up truck, based on quasi-delict.

Whether or not two causes of action embodied in petitioner's complaint,
one based on quasidelict and the other one is breach of contract of

If only one injury resulted from several wrongful acts, only one cause of
action arises. In the case at bar, there is no question that the petitioner
sustained a single injury on his person. That vested in him a single cause
of action
The argument that there are two causes of action embodied in petitioner's complaint, hence the
judgment on the compromise agreement under the cause of action based on quasi-delict is not a bar
to the cause of action for breach of contract of carriage, is untenable.

A cause of action is understood to be the delict or wrongful act or omission committed by the
defendant in violation of the primary rights of the plaintiff. 3 It is true that a single act or omission can be
violative of various rights at the same time, as when the act constitutes juridically a violation of several
separate and distinct legal obligations. However where there is only one delict or wrong, there is but a
single cause of action regardless of the number of rights that may have been violated belonging to one
person. 4

The singleness of a cause of action lies in the singleness of the- delict or wrong violating the rights of
one person. Nevertheless, if only one injury resulted from several wrongful acts, only one cause of
action arises. 5 In the case at bar, there is no question that the petitioner sustained a single injury on his
person. That vested in him a single cause of action, albeit with the correlative rights of action against the
different respondents through the appropriate remedies allowed by law.

The trial court was, therefore, correct in holding that there was only one cause of action involved
although the bases of recovery invoked by petitioner against the defendants therein were not
necessarily Identical since the respondents were not identically circumstanced. However, a recovery
by the petitioner under one remedy necessarily bars recovery under the other. This, in essence, is
the rationale for the proscription in our law against double recovery for the same act or omission
which, obviously, stems from the fundamental rule against unjust enrichment.