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VOL. 38, MARCH 31, 1971 369 RespondentJudgeforandinhisownbehalf.

Citizens Surety & Insurance Co., Inc. vs. Melencio-


Herrera REYES,J.B.L.,J.:
No.L32170.March31,1971.
CITIZENS SURETY &INSURANCE COMPANY,INC., PetitionerCitizensSurety&InsuranceCompany,Inc.seeksreview
petitioner,vs.HON.JUDGE A. MELENCIO of an order of respondent Judge in Civil Case No. 77134 of the
HERRERA,SANTIAGO DACANAY, and JOSEFINA DACANAY, CourtofFirstInstanceofManila,BranchXVII,entitledCitizens
respondents. Surety & Insurance Co., Inc. vs. Santiago Dacanay and Josefina
Remedial law;Summons;Service of summons;Jurisdiction over Dacanay, dismissing the complaint for lack of proper service of
summonsupondefendants.
defendantinactionsinpersonam,howacquired.Inanactionstrictlyin
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personam,personalserviceofsummons,withintheforum,isessentialto 370 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED
theacquisitionofjurisdictionoverthepersonofthedefendant,whodoes
Citizens Surety & Insurance Co., Inc. vs. Melencio-
not voluntarily submit himself to the authority of the court. In other
Herrera
words,summonsbypublicationcannotconsistentlywiththedueprocess
Therecordistotheeffectthatpetitionerhadfileditscomplaintin
clauseintheBillofRightsconferuponthecourtjurisdictionoversaid
defendants. the Court below, alleging that at request of defendant Santiago
Same;Due process;Personal service required to support a personal
Dacanay,theplaintiffSuretyCompanyhadissueditsSuretyBonds
Nos. 4942 and 4944, the first, in favor of Gregorio Fajardo to
judgment.Due process of law requirespersonalservice to support
guaranteepaymentofaP5,000promissorynoteexecutedbysaid
apersonaljudgment, and, when the proceeding is strictlyin
Dacanay,andthesecond,infavorofManufacturersBank&Trust
personambroughttodeterminethepersonalrightsandobligationsofthe
Co., to guarantee payment of another promissory note in like
parties,personalservicewithinthestateoravoluntaryappearanceinthe
amount;thatinconsiderationofsaidbonds,SantiagoandJosefina
case isessential to the acquisition of jurisdiction so as to constitute Dacanay executed Indemnity Agreements, binding themselves
compliancewiththeconstitutionalrequirementofdueprocess. jointlyandseverallytoindemnifyplaintiffforanylosses,costsand
Same;Prescription;Effect of.The tolling of the period of expenseswhichitmightsustaininconnectionwiththeissuanceof
prescriptionforaslongasthedebtorremainsinhidingwouldproperlybe the bonds aforesaid, with interest at 12% per annum; that as
amatterofcourtrecord,andhecannotemergeafterasufficientlapseof additionalsecurity,theDacanaysmortgagedtoplaintiffaparcelof
timefromthedismissalofthecasetoprofitfromhisownmisdeedand
landinBaguioCity,coveredbyCertificateofTitleNo.T8116,the
claimprescriptionofhisjustdebt.
mortgage having been duly recorded; that the promissory notes
PETITIONtoreviewanorderoftheCourtofFirstInstanceof werenotpaidandasaresult,plaintiffSuretywascompelledtopay
Manila,BranchXVII.MelencioHerrera,J. P5,000.00toGregorioFajardoandP4,081.69totheManufacturers
Bank;thattheDacanaysfailedtoreimbursetheSuretyforsuch
ThefactsarestatedintheopinionoftheCourt. payments, whereupon the Surety caused the extrajudicial
Dayos,Tesoro&Gloria,Jr.forpetitioner. foreclosure of the mortgage to pay its claim of P12,941.69
representing its payments, interest and stipulated liquidated
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damages:thatattheforeclosuresale,thelandmortgagedwassold one at bar,personalservice of summons,withinthe forum, is
toplaintiff,ashighestbidder,forthesumofP2,000.00leavingan essential to the acquisition of jurisdiction over the person of the
unsatisfiedbalanceofP10,491.69,thatplaintiffsoughttorecover defendant,whodoesnotvoluntarilysubmithimselftotheauthority
fromdefendantsDacanay,plus10%thereofasattorneysfees,and of the court. In other words, summons by publication cannot
thecosts. consistently with the due process clause in the Bill of Rights
Atpetitionersrequest,respondentJudgecausedsummonstobe conferuponthecourtjurisdictionoversaiddefendants.
made by publication in the newspaper Philippines Herald. But Due process of law requirespersonalservice to support
despite the publication and deposit of a prepaid copy of the apersonaljudgment, and, when the proceeding is strictlyin
complaint at the Manila post office, defendants did not appear personambroughttodeterminethepersonalrightsandobligationsofthe
withintheperiodof60daysfromlastpublication,asrequiredby
parties,personalservicewithinthestateoravoluntaryappearanceinthe
thesummons.
case isessential to the acquisition of jurisdiction so as to constitute
Plaintiffthenaskedthatdefendantsbedeclaredindefault;but
compliancewiththeconstitutionalrequirementofdueprocess.***
instead,theJudge,byorderofMay16,1970,askedittoshowcause
Althoughastatelegislaturehasmorecontrolovertheformofservice
why the action should not be dismissed, the suit beingin onitsownresidentsthannonresidents,ithasbeenheldthatinactionsin
personamanddefendantsnothavingappeared.Then,onMay29, personam ** *service by publication on resident defendants,who are
1970,respondentJudge personallywithinthestateandcanbefoundthereinisnotdueprocessof
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law,andastatuteallowingitisunconstitutional.(16AC.J.S.,pp.786,
VOL. 38, MARCH 31, 1971 371
789;Italicsours.)
Citizens Surety & Insurance Co., Inc. vs. Melencio-
The proper recourse for a creditor in the same situation as
Herrera
petitioneristolocateproperties,realorpersonal,oftheresident
dismissed the case, despite plaintiff Suretys argument that the
defendant debtor with unknown address and cause them to be
summonsbypublicationwassufficientandvalidundersection16
attachedunderRule57,section1(f),inwhichcase,theattachment
ofRule14oftheRevisedRulesofCourt.
We agree with respondent Judge that the action of plaintiff convertstheactionintoaproceedinginremorquasiinremandthe
summonsby
petitioner,beinginpersonam,theCourtcouldnotvalidlyacquire
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jurisdiction on a nonappearing defendant, absent 372 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED
apersonalserviceofsummonswithintheforum.Wehaveexplicitly Philippine Air Lines Employees Asso. (PALEA) vs.
so ruled inPantaleon vs. Asuncin,105 Phil. 765, pointing out Philippine Air Lines, Inc.
without such personal service, anyjudgment ona nonappearing publicationmaythenaccordinglybedeemedvalidandeffective.
defendantwouldbeviolativeofdueprocess.Intheaforecitedcase But because debtors who abscond and conceal themselves are
thisCourt,throughJusticeRobertoConcepcion,nowChiefJustice, alsoquiteadeptatconcealingtheirproperties,thedismissalofthe
ruledasfollows: casebelowbyrespondentJudgeshouldbesetasideandthecase
Apart from the foregoing, it is wellsettled principle of held pending in the courts archives, until petitioner as plaintiff
ConstitutionalLawthat,inanactionstrictlyinpersonam,likethe succeedsindeterminingthewhereaboutsofthedefendantsperson

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orpropertiesandcausesvalidsummonstobeservedpersonallyor
bypublicationasthecasemaybe.Inthismanner,thetollingofthe
periodofprescriptionforaslongasthedebtorremainsinhiding
wouldproperlybeamatterofcourtrecord,andhecannotemerge
after a sufficient lapse of time from the dismissal of the case to
profitfromhisownmisdeedandclaimprescriptionofhisjustdebt.
WHEREFORE,theorderofdismissalofthecaseissuedbythe
Courtbelowisherebysetaside,andintheinterestofjustice,the
proceedings are ordered suspended, to be held pending until the
plaintiffpetitionersucceedsinascertainingthewhereaboutsofthe
defendantsand/orlocatingpropertiesofthesame,toenableproper
summonstobeissuedconformablytothisOpinion.Nocosts.
Concepcion,C.J.,Makalintal,Zaldivar,Fernando,Teehanke
e,Barredo,VillamorandMakasiar,JJ.,concur.
DizonandCastro,JJ.,reservetheirvotes.
Ordersetaside.