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RepublicofthePhilippines
SUPREMECOURT
Manila

FIRSTDIVISION

G.R.No.170281January18,2008

REPUBLICOFTHEPHILIPPINES,representedbytheANTIMONEYLAUNDERINGCOUNCIL,petitioner,
vs.

GLASGOWCREDITANDCOLLECTIONSERVICES,INC.andCITYSTATESAVINGSBANK,INC.,respondents.

DECISION

CORONA,J.:

This is a petition for review1 of the order2 dated October 27, 2005 of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Manila,
Branch47,dismissingthecomplaintforforfeiture3filedbytheRepublicofthePhilippines,representedbytheAnti
Money Laundering Council (AMLC) against respondents Glasgow Credit and Collection Services, Inc. (Glasgow)
andCitystateSavingsBank,Inc.(CSBI).

OnJuly18,2003,theRepublicfiledacomplaintintheRTCManilaforcivilforfeitureofassets(withurgentpleafor
issuance of temporary restraining order [TRO] and/or writ of preliminary injunction) against the bank deposits in
account number CA005100001215 maintained by Glasgow in CSBI. The case, filed pursuant to RA 9160 (the
AntiMoneyLaunderingActof2001),asamended,wasdocketedasCivilCaseNo.03107319.

ActingontheRepublicsurgentpleafortheissuanceofaTRO,theexecutivejudge4ofRTCManilaissueda72
hourTROdatedJuly21,2003.ThecasewasthereafterraffledtoBranch47andthehearingontheapplicationfor
issuanceofawritofpreliminaryinjunctionwassetonAugust4,2003.

After hearing, the trial court (through then Presiding Judge Marivic T. BalisiUmali) issued an order granting the
issuanceofawritofpreliminaryinjunction.TheinjunctivewritwasissuedonAugust8,2003.

Meanwhile,summonstoGlasgowwasreturned"unserved"asitcouldnolongerbefoundatitslastknownaddress.

OnOctober8,2003,theRepublicfiledaverifiedomnibusmotionfor(a)issuanceofaliassummonsand(b)leaveof
courttoservesummonsbypublication.InanorderdatedOctober15,2003,thetrialcourtdirectedtheissuanceof
aliassummons.However,nomentionwasmadeofthemotionforleaveofcourttoservesummonsbypublication.

InanorderdatedJanuary30,2004,thetrialcourtarchivedthecaseallegedlyforfailureoftheRepublictoservethe
aliassummons.TheRepublicfiledanexparteomnibusmotionto(a)reinstatethecaseand(b)resolveitspending
motionforleaveofcourttoservesummonsbypublication.

InanorderdatedMay31,2004,thetrialcourtorderedthereinstatementofthecaseanddirectedtheRepublicto
servethealiassummonsonGlasgowandCSBIwithin15days.However,itdidnotresolvetheRepublicsmotionfor
leaveofcourttoservesummonsbypublicationdeclaring:

Untilandunlessareturnismadeonthealiassummons,anyactionon[theRepublics]motionforleaveof
courttoservesummonsbypublicationwouldbeuntenableifnotpremature.

OnJuly12,2004,theRepublic(throughtheOfficeoftheSolicitorGeneral[OSG])receivedacopyofthesheriffs
return dated June 30, 2004 stating that the alias summons was returned "unserved" as Glasgow was no longer
holdingofficeatthegivenaddresssinceJuly2002andleftnoforwardingaddress.

Meanwhile,theRepublicsmotionforleaveofcourttoservesummonsbypublicationremainedunresolved.Thus,
onAugust11,2005,theRepublicfiledamanifestationandexpartemotiontoresolveitsmotionforleaveofcourtto
servesummonsbypublication.
OnAugust12,2005,theOSGreceivedacopyofGlasgows"MotiontoDismiss(ByWayofSpecialAppearance)"
datedAugust11,2005.Itallegedthat(1)thecourthadnojurisdictionoveritspersonassummonshadnotyetbeen
served on it (2) the complaint was premature and stated no cause of action as there was still no conviction for
estafa or other criminal violations implicating Glasgow and (3) there was failure to prosecute on the part of the
Republic.

The Republic opposed Glasgows motion to dismiss. It contended that its suit was an action quasi in rem where
jurisdictionoverthepersonofthedefendantwasnotaprerequisitetoconferjurisdictiononthecourt.Itassertedthat
priorconvictionforunlawfulactivitywasnotapreconditiontothefilingofacivilforfeiturecaseandthatitscomplaint
allegedultimatefactssufficienttoestablishacauseofaction.Itdeniedthatitfailedtoprosecutethecase.

OnOctober27,2005,thetrialcourtissuedtheassailedorder.Itdismissedthecaseonthefollowinggrounds:(1)
impropervenueasitshouldhavebeenfiledintheRTCofPasigwhereCSBI,thedepositorybankoftheaccount
sought to be forfeited, was located (2) insufficiency of the complaint in form and substance and (3) failure to
prosecute. It lifted the writ of preliminary injunction and directed CSBI to release to Glasgow or its authorized
representativethefundsinCA005100001215.

Raisingquestionsoflaw,theRepublicfiledthispetition.

On November 23, 2005, this Court issued a TRO restraining Glasgow and CSBI, their agents, representatives
and/or persons acting upon their orders from implementing the assailed October 27, 2005 order. It restrained
Glasgowfromremoving,dissipatingordisposingofthefundsinaccountno.CA005100001215andCSBIfrom
allowinganytransactiononthesaidaccount.

The petition essentially presents the following issue: whether the complaint for civil forfeiture was correctly
dismissedongroundsofimpropervenue,insufficiencyinformandsubstanceandfailuretoprosecute.

TheCourtagreeswiththeRepublic.

TheComplaintWasFiled
InTheProperVenue

Initsassailedorder,thetrialcourtcitedthegroundsraisedbyGlasgowinsupportofitsmotiontodismiss:

1.Thatthis[c]ourthasnojurisdictionoverthepersonofGlasgowconsideringthatno[s]ummonshasbeen
serveduponit,andithasnotentereditsappearancevoluntarily

2.Thatthe[c]omplaintforforfeitureisprematurebecauseoftheabsenceofapriorfindingbyanytribunalthat
Glasgow was engaged in unlawful activity: [i]n connection therewith[,] Glasgow argues that the [c]omplaint
statesnocauseofactionand

3.Thatthereisfailuretoprosecute,inthat,uptonow,summonshasyettobeserveduponGlasgow.5

ButinasmuchasGlasgowneverquestionedthevenueoftheRepublicscomplaintforcivilforfeitureagainstit,how
couldthetrialcourthavedismissedthecomplaintforimpropervenue?InDacoycoyv.IntermediateAppellateCourt6
(reiteratedinRudolfLietzHoldings,Inc.v.RegistryofDeedsofParaaqueCity),7thisCourtruled:

Themotupropriodismissalofpetitionerscomplaintby[the]trialcourtonthegroundofimpropervenue
isplainerror.(emphasissupplied)

Atanyrate,thetrialcourtwasapropervenue.

OnNovember15,2005,thisCourtissuedA.M.No.051104SC,theRuleofProcedureinCasesofCivilForfeiture,
Asset Preservation, and Freezing of Monetary Instrument, Property, or Proceeds Representing, Involving, or
RelatingtoanUnlawfulActivityorMoneyLaunderingOffenseunderRA9160,asamended(RuleofProcedurein
CasesofCivilForfeiture).TheorderdismissingtheRepublicscomplaintforcivilforfeitureofGlasgowsaccountin
CSBIhasnotyetattainedfinalityonaccountofthependencyofthisappeal.Thus,theRuleofProcedureinCases
ofCivilForfeitureappliestotheRepublicscomplaint.8Moreover,GlasgowitselfjudiciallyadmittedthattheRuleof
ProcedureinCasesofCivilForfeitureis"applicabletotheinstantcase."9

Section3,TitleII(CivilForfeitureintheRegionalTrialCourt)oftheRuleofProcedureinCasesofCivilForfeiture
provides:

Sec.3.Venueofcasescognizablebytheregionaltrialcourt.A petition for civilforfeitureshallbefiledin


any regional trial court of the judicial region where the monetary instrument, property or proceeds
representing, involving, or relating to an unlawful activity or to a money laundering offense are
locatedprovided,however,thatwherealloranyportionofthemonetaryinstrument,propertyorproceedsis
locatedoutsidethePhilippines,thepetitionmaybefiledintheregionaltrialcourtinManilaorofthejudicial
region where any portion of the monetary instrument, property, or proceeds is located, at the option of the
petitioner.(emphasissupplied)

UnderSection3,TitleIIoftheRuleofProcedureinCasesofCivilForfeiture,therefore,thevenueofcivilforfeiture
casesisanyRTCofthejudicialregionwherethemonetaryinstrument,propertyorproceedsrepresenting,involving,
orrelatingtoanunlawfulactivityortoamoneylaunderingoffensearelocated.PasigCity,wheretheaccountsought
tobeforfeitedinthiscaseissituated,iswithintheNationalCapitalJudicialRegion(NCJR).Clearly,thecomplaint
forcivilforfeitureoftheaccountmaybefiledinanyRTCoftheNCJR.SincetheRTCManilaisoneoftheRTCsof
theNCJR,10itwasapropervenueoftheRepublicscomplaintforcivilforfeitureofGlasgowsaccount.

TheComplaintWasSufficientInFormAndSubstance

In the assailed order, the trial court evaluated the Republics complaint to determine its sufficiency in form and
substance:

Attheoutset,this[c]ourt,beforeitproceeds,takestheopportunitytoexaminethe[c]omplaintanddetermine
whetheritissufficientinformandsubstance.

Beforethis[c]ourtisa[c]omplaintforCivilForfeitureofAssetsfiledbythe[AMLC],representedbytheOffice
oftheSolicitorGeneral[,]againstGlasgowand[CSBI]asnecessaryparty.The[c]omplaintprincipallyalleges
thefollowing:

(a) Glasgow is a corporation existing under the laws of the Philippines, with principal office address at Unit
703,7thFloor,CitystateCenter[Building],No.709ShawBoulevard[,]PasigCity

(b)[CSBI]isacorporationexistingunderthelawsofthePhilippines,withprincipalofficeatCitystateCenter
Building,No.709ShawBoulevard,PasigCity

(c)GlasgowhasfundsintheamountofP21,301,430.28depositedwith[CSBI],underCA005100001215

(d) As events have proved, aforestated bank account is related to the unlawful activities of Estafa and
violationofSecuritiesRegulationCode

(e)ThedeposithasbeensubjectofSuspiciousTransactionReports

(f) After appropriate investigation, the AMLC issued Resolutions No. 094 (dated July 10, 2002), 096 (dated
July12,2002),101(datedJuly23,2002),and108(datedAugust2,2002),directingtheissuanceoffreeze
ordersagainstthebankaccountsofGlasgow

(g)PursuanttosaidAMLCResolutions,FreezeOrdersNos.008010,011and013wereissuedondifferent
dates,addressedtotheconcernedbanks

(h) The facts and circumstances plainly showing that defendant Glasgows bank account and deposit are
relatedtotheunlawfulactivitiesofEstafaandviolationofSecuritiesRegulationCode,aswellastoamoney
launderingoffense[which][has]beensummarizedbytheAMLCinitsResolutionNo.094and

(i) Because defendant Glasgows bank account and deposits are related to the unlawful activities of Estafa
and violation of Securities Regulation Code, as well as [to] money laundering offense as aforestated, and
being the subject of covered transaction reports and eventual freeze orders, the same should properly be
forfeitedinfavorofthegovernmentinaccordancewithSection12,R.A.9160,asamended.11

Inamotiontodismissforfailuretostateacauseofaction,thefocusisonthesufficiency,nottheveracity,ofthe
materialallegations.12Thedeterminationisconfinedtothefourcornersofthecomplaintandnowhereelse.13

Inamotiontodismissacomplaintbasedonlackofcauseofaction,thequestionsubmittedtothecourtfor
determinationisthesufficiencyoftheallegationsmadeinthecomplainttoconstituteacauseofactionand
notwhetherthoseallegationsoffactaretrue,forsaidmotionmusthypotheticallyadmitthetruthofthefacts
allegedinthecomplaint.

Thetestofthesufficiencyofthefactsallegedinthecomplaintiswhetherornot,admittingthefacts
alleged,thecourtcouldrenderavalidjudgmentuponthesameinaccordancewiththeprayerofthe
complaint.14(emphasisours)

Inthisconnection,Section4,TitleIIoftheRuleofProcedureinCasesofCivilForfeitureprovides:
Sec.4.Contentsofthepetitionforcivilforfeiture.Thepetitionforcivilforfeitureshallbeverifiedandcontain
thefollowingallegations:

(a)Thenameandaddressoftherespondent

(b) A description with reasonable particularity of the monetary instrument, property, or proceeds, and
theirlocationand

(c)TheactsoromissionsprohibitedbyandthespecificprovisionsoftheAntiMoneyLaunderingAct,
as amended, which are alleged to be the grounds relied upon for the forfeiture of the monetary
instrument,property,orproceedsand

[(d)]Thereliefsprayedfor.

Here,theverifiedcomplaintoftheRepubliccontainedthefollowingallegations:

(a)thenameandaddressoftheprimarydefendanttherein,Glasgow15

(b) a description of the proceeds of Glasgows unlawful activities with particularity, as well as the location
thereof,accountno.CA005100001215intheamountofP21,301,430.28maintainedwithCSBI

(c)theactsprohibitedbyandthespecificprovisionsofRA9160,asamended,constitutingthegroundsfor
theforfeitureofthesaidproceeds.Inparticular,suspicioustransactionreportsshowedthatGlasgowengaged
inunlawfulactivitiesofestafaandviolationoftheSecuritiesRegulationCode(underSection3(i)(9)and(13),
RA9160,asamended)theproceedsoftheunlawfulactivitiesweretransactedanddepositedwithCSBIin
accountno.CA005100001215therebymakingthemappeartohaveoriginatedfromlegitimatesourcesas
such, Glasgow engaged in money laundering (under Section 4, RA 9160, as amended) and the AMLC
subjectedtheaccounttofreezeorderand

(d)thereliefsprayedfor,namely,theissuanceofaTROorwritofpreliminaryinjunctionandtheforfeitureof
theaccountinfavorofthegovernmentaswellasotherreliefsjustandequitableunderthepremises.

TheformandsubstanceoftheRepublicscomplaintsubstantiallyconformedwithSection4,TitleIIoftheRuleof
ProcedureinCasesofCivilForfeiture.

Moreover,Section12(a)ofRA9160,asamended,provides:

SEC.12.ForfeitureProvisions.

(a)CivilForfeiture.Whenthereisacoveredtransactionreportmade,andthecourthas,inapetitionfiledfor
thepurposeorderedseizureofanymonetaryinstrumentorproperty,inwholeorinpart,directlyorindirectly,
relatedtosaidreport,theRevisedRulesofCourtoncivilforfeitureshallapply.

Inrelationthereto,Rule12.2oftheRevisedImplementingRulesandRegulationsofRA9160,asamended,states:

RULE12

ForfeitureProvisions

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Rule12.2.WhenCivilForfeitureMaybeApplied.WhenthereisaSUSPICIOUSTRANSACTIONREPORT
OR A COVERED TRANSACTION REPORT DEEMED SUSPICIOUS AFTER INVESTIGATION BY THE
AMLC,andthecourthas,inapetitionfiledforthepurpose,orderedtheseizureofanymonetaryinstrument
orproperty,inwholeorinpart,directlyorindirectly,relatedtosaidreport,theRevisedRulesofCourtoncivil
forfeitureshallapply.

RA9160,asamended,anditsimplementingrulesandregulationslaydowntwoconditionswhenapplyingforcivil
forfeiture:

(1) when there is a suspicious transaction report or a covered transaction report deemed suspicious after
investigationbytheAMLCand

(2) the court has, in a petition filed for the purpose, ordered the seizure of any monetary instrument or
property,inwholeorinpart,directlyorindirectly,relatedtosaidreport.

Itisthepreliminaryseizureofthepropertyinquestionwhichbringsitwithinthereachofthejudicialprocess.16Itis
actuallywithinthecourtspossessionwhenitissubmittedtotheprocessofthecourt.17Theinjunctivewritissuedon
August8,2003removedaccountno.CA005100001215fromtheeffectivecontrolofeitherGlasgoworCSBIor
theirrepresentativesoragentsandsubjectedittotheprocessofthecourt.

Since account no. CA005100001215 of Glasgow in CSBI was (1) covered by several suspicious transaction
reportsand(2)placedunderthecontrolofthetrialcourtupontheissuanceofthewritofpreliminaryinjunction,the
conditionsprovidedinSection12(a)ofRA9160,asamended,weresatisfied.Hence,theRepublic,representedby
theAMLC,properlyinstitutedthecomplaintforcivilforfeiture.

Whether or not there is truth in the allegation that account no. CA005100001215 contains the proceeds of
unlawful activities is an evidentiary matter that may be proven during trial. The complaint, however, did not even
have to show or allege that Glasgow had been implicated in a conviction for, or the commission of, the unlawful
activitiesofestafaandviolationoftheSecuritiesRegulationCode.

A criminal conviction for an unlawful activity is not a prerequisite for the institution of a civil forfeiture proceeding.
Statedotherwise,afindingofguiltforanunlawfulactivityisnotanessentialelementofcivilforfeiture.

Section6ofRA9160,asamended,provides:

SEC.6.ProsecutionofMoneyLaundering.

(a)Anypersonmaybechargedwithandconvictedofboththeoffenseofmoneylaunderingandtheunlawful
activityashereindefined.

(b) Any proceeding relating to the unlawful activity shall be given precedence over the prosecution of any
offense or violation under this Act without prejudice to the freezing and other remedies provided.
(emphasissupplied)

Rule6.1oftheRevisedImplementingRulesandRegulationsofRA9160,asamended,states:

Rule6.1.ProsecutionofMoneyLaundering

(a)Anypersonmaybechargedwithandconvictedofboththeoffenseofmoneylaunderingandtheunlawful
activityasdefinedunderRule3(i)oftheAMLA.

(b) Any proceeding relating to the unlawful activity shall be given precedence over the prosecution of any
offenseorviolationundertheAMLAwithoutprejudicetotheapplicationexpartebytheAMLCtotheCourt
ofAppealsforafreezeorderwithrespecttothemonetaryinstrumentorpropertyinvolvedthereinandresort
tootherremediesprovidedundertheAMLA,theRulesofCourtandotherpertinentlawsandrules.
(emphasissupplied)

Finally,Section27oftheRuleofProcedureinCasesofCivilForfeitureprovides:

Sec.27.Nopriorcharge,pendencyorconvictionnecessary.No prior criminal charge, pendency of or


convictionforanunlawfulactivityormoneylaunderingoffenseisnecessaryforthecommencementor
theresolutionofapetitionforcivilforfeiture.(emphasissupplied)

Thus, regardless of the absence, pendency or outcome of a criminal prosecution for the unlawful activity or for
moneylaundering,anactionforcivilforfeituremaybeseparatelyandindependentlyprosecutedandresolved.

ThereWasNoFailure
ToProsecute

ThetrialcourtfaultedtheRepublicforitsallegedfailuretoprosecutethecase.Nothingcouldbemoreerroneous.

Immediatelyafterthecomplaintwasfiled,thetrialcourtordereditsdeputysheriff/processservertoservesummons
andnoticeofthehearingontheapplicationforissuanceofTROand/orwritofpreliminaryinjunction.Thesubpoena
toGlasgowwas,however,returnedunservedasGlasgow"couldnolongerbefoundatitsgivenaddress"andhad
movedoutofthebuildingsinceAugust1,2002.

Meanwhile,afterduehearing,thetrialcourtissuedawritofpreliminaryinjunctionenjoiningGlasgowfromremoving,
dissipating or disposing of the subject bank deposits and CSBI from allowing any transaction on, withdrawal,
transfer,removal,dissipationordispositionthereof.

As the summons on Glasgow was returned "unserved," and considering that its whereabouts could not be
ascertaineddespitediligentinquiry,theRepublicfiledaverifiedomnibusmotionfor(a)issuanceofaliassummons
and (b) leave of court to serve summons by publication on October 8, 2003. While the trial court issued an alias
summonsinitsorderdatedOctober15,2003,itkeptquietontheprayerforleaveofcourttoservesummonsby
publication.
Subsequently, in an order dated January 30, 2004, the trial court archived the case for failure of the Republic to
causetheserviceofaliassummons.TheRepublicfiledanexparteomnibusmotionto(a)reinstatethecaseand(b)
resolveitspendingmotionforleaveofcourttoservesummonsbypublication.

InanorderdatedMay31,2004,thetrialcourtorderedthereinstatementofthecaseanddirectedtheRepublicto
causetheserviceofthealiassummonsonGlasgowandCSBIwithin15days.However,itdeferreditsactiononthe
Republicsmotionforleaveofcourttoservesummonsbypublicationuntilareturnwasmadeonthealiassummons.

Meanwhile, the Republic continued to exert efforts to obtain information from other government agencies on the
whereabouts or current status of respondent Glasgow if only to save on expenses of publication of summons. Its
efforts, however, proved futile. The records on file with the Securities and Exchange Commission provided no
information.Otherinquiriesyieldednegativeresults.

On July 12, 2004, the Republic received a copy of the sheriffs return dated June 30, 2004 stating that the alias
summonshadbeenreturned"unserved"asGlasgowwasnolongerholdingofficeatthegivenaddresssinceJuly
2002andleftnoforwardingaddress.Still,noactionwastakenbythetrialcourtontheRepublicsmotionforleaveof
courttoservesummonsbypublication.Thus,onAugust11,2005,theRepublicfiledamanifestationandexparte
motiontoresolveitsmotionforleaveofcourttoservesummonsbypublication.

It was at that point that Glasgow filed a motion to dismiss by way of special appearance which the Republic
vigorouslyopposed.Strangely,tosaytheleast,thetrialcourtissuedtheassailedordergrantingGlasgowsmotion.

Given these circumstances, how could the Republic be faulted for failure to prosecute the complaint for civil
forfeiture?Whiletherewasadmittedlyadelayintheproceeding,itcouldnotbeentirelyorprimarilyascribedtothe
Republic.ThatGlasgowswhereaboutscouldnotbeascertainedwasnotonlybeyondtheRepublicscontrol,itwas
also attributable to Glasgow which left its principal office address without informing the Securities and Exchange
Commission or any official regulatory body (like the Bureau of Internal Revenue or the Department of Trade and
Industry) of its new address. Moreover, as early as October 8, 2003, the Republic was already seeking leave of
courttoservesummonsbypublication.

InMarahayv.Melicor,18thisCourtruled:

While a court can dismiss a case on the ground of non prosequitur, the real test for the exercise of such
power is whether, under the circumstances, plaintiff is chargeable with want of due diligence in failing to
proceedwithreasonablepromptitude.Intheabsenceofapatternorschemetodelaythedispositionof
the case or a wanton failure to observe the mandatory requirement of the rules on the part of the
plaintiff,asinthecaseatbar,courtsshoulddecidetodispensewithratherthanwieldtheirauthority
todismiss.(emphasissupplied)

WeseenopatternorschemeonthepartoftheRepublictodelaythedispositionofthecaseorawantonfailureto
observe the mandatory requirement of the rules. The trial court should not have so eagerly wielded its power to
dismisstheRepublicscomplaint.

ServiceOfSummons
MayBeByPublication

InRepublicv.Sandiganbayan,19thisCourtdeclaredthattheruleissettledthatforfeitureproceedingsareactionsin
rem. While that case involved forfeiture proceedings under RA 1379, the same principle applies in cases for civil
forfeitureunderRA9160,asamended,sincebothcasesdonotterminateintheimpositionofapenaltybutmerely
intheforfeitureofthepropertieseitheracquiredillegallyorrelatedtounlawfulactivitiesinfavoroftheState.

Asanactioninrem,itisaproceedingagainstthethingitselfinsteadofagainsttheperson.20Inactionsinremor
quasiinrem,jurisdictionoverthepersonofthedefendantisnotaprerequisitetoconferringjurisdictiononthecourt,
provided that the court acquires jurisdiction over the res.21 Nonetheless, summons must be served upon the
defendant in order to satisfy the requirements of due process.22 For this purpose, service may be made by
publicationassuchmodeofserviceisallowedinactionsinremandquasiinrem.23

Inthisconnection,Section8,TitleIIoftheRuleofProcedureinCasesofCivilForfeitureprovides:

Sec.8.Noticeandmannerofservice.(a)Therespondentshallbegivennoticeofthepetitioninthesamemanner
asserviceofsummonsunderRule14oftheRulesofCourtandthefollowingrules:

1.Thenoticeshallbeservedonrespondentpersonally,orbyanyothermeansprescribedinRule14ofthe
RulesofCourt
2.Thenoticeshallcontain:(i)thetitleofthecase(ii)thedocketnumber(iii)thecauseofactionand(iv)the
reliefprayedforand

3.Thenoticeshalllikewisecontainaprovisothat,ifnocommentoroppositionisfiledwithinthereglementary
period,thecourtshallhearthecaseexparte and render such judgment as may be warranted by the facts
allegedinthepetitionanditssupportingevidence.

(b) Where the respondent is designated as an unknown owner or whenever his whereabouts are
unknown and cannot be ascertained by diligent inquiry, service may, by leave of court, be
effected upon him by publication of the notice of the petition in a newspaper of general
circulationinsuchplacesandforsuchtimeasthecourtmayorder.Intheeventthatthecostof
publicationexceedsthevalueoramountofthepropertytobeforfeitedbytenpercent,publicationshall
notberequired.(emphasissupplied)

WHEREFORE,thepetitionisherebyGRANTED.TheOctober27,2005orderoftheRegionalTrialCourtofManila,
Branch47,inCivilCaseNo.03107319isSETASIDE.TheAugust11,2005motiontodismissofGlasgowCredit
and Collection Services, Inc. is DENIED. And the complaint for forfeiture of the Republic of the Philippines,
representedbytheAntiMoneyLaunderingCouncil,isREINSTATED.

ThecaseisherebyREMANDEDtotheRegionalTrialCourtofManila,Branch47whichshallforthwithproceedwith
thecasepursuanttotheprovisionsofA.M.No.051104SC.Pendingfinaldeterminationofthecase,theNovember
23,2005temporaryrestrainingorderissuedbythisCourtisherebyMAINTAINED.

SOORDERED.

Puno,C.J.,Chairperson,SandovalGutierrez,Azcuna,LeonardodeCastro,JJ.,concur.

Footnotes
1UnderRule45oftheRulesofCourt.

2PennedbyJudgeAugustoT.Gutierrez.Rollo,pp.4958.

3DocketedasCivilCaseNo.03107319.

4JudgeEnricoA.Lanzanas.

5OrderdatedOctober27,2005,supranote2,p.49.

6G.R.No.74854,02April1991,195SCRA641.

7398Phil.626(2000).

8Section59,TitleIX(CommonProvisions)oftheRuleofProcedureinCasesofCivilForfeitureprovides:

Sec.59.Transitoryprovision.ThisRuleshallapplytoallpendingcivilforfeiturecasesorpetitionsfor
freezeorder.

9MemorandumdatedJanuary11,2007forGlasgow.Rollo,pp.329347.

10Section3ofBP129(theJudiciaryReorganizationActof1980,asamended)provides:

Section13.CreationofRegionalTrialCourts.Thereareherebycreatedthirteen(13)RegionalTrial
Courts,oneforeachofthefollowingjudicialregions:

xxxxxxxxx

TheNationalCapitalJudicialRegion,consistingofthecitiesofManila,Quezon,Pasay,Caloocan
andMandaluyong,andthemunicipalitiesofNavotas,Malabon,SanJuan,Makati,Pasig,Pateros,
Taguig,Marikina,Paraaque,LasPias,Muntinlupa,andValenzuela[.](emphasissupplied)

11OrderdatedOctober27,2005,supranote2,pp.5253.

12Malicdemv.Flores,G.R.No.151001,08September2006,501SCRA248.