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89.) ROBINSON v.

MIRALLES that authorized by the Rules is considered ineffective, the Court frowns upon an overly strict
application of the Rules. It is the spirit, rather than the letter of the procedural rules, that
DOCTRINE: governs.
Although the SC have ruled that the statutory requirements of substituted service must be Obviously, it was impossible for the sheriff to effect personal or substituted service
followed strictly, faithfully, and fully and any substituted service other than that authorized by of summons upon petitioner. We note that she failed to controvert the sheriffs declaration.
the Rules is considered ineffective, the Court frowns upon an overly strict application of the Nor did she deny having received the summons through the security guard. Considering her
Rules. It is the spirit, rather than the letter of the procedural rules, that governs. strict instruction to the security guard, she must bear its consequences. Thus, we agree with
Obviously, it was impossible for the sheriff to effect personal or substituted service the trial court that summons has been properly served upon petitioner and that it has
of summons upon petitioner. We note that she failed to controvert the sheriffs declaration. acquired jurisdiction over her.
Nor did she deny having received the summons through the security guard. Considering her
strict instruction to the security guard, she must bear its consequences. Thus, we agree with Where the action is in personam and the defendant is in the Philippines, the service
the trial court that summons has been properly served upon petitioner and that it has of summons may be made through personal or substituted service in the manner provided for
acquired jurisdiction over her. in Sections 6 and 7, Rule 14 of the 1997 Rules of Procedure, as amended.

FACTS: SEC. 6. Service in person on defendant. Whenever practicable, the summons shall
o Respondent Celita Miralles filed a complaint for collection of sum of money against be served by handing a copy thereof to the defendant in person, or if he refuses to
petitioner Remelita Robinson, alleging that $20,054 was borrowed by Robinson, as receive and sign for it, by tendering it to him.
shown in the MOA they both executed.

o Summons was served on Robinson at her given address. However, per return of service SEC. 7. Substituted service. If, for justifiable causes, the defendant cannot be
of the Sheriif, petitioner no longer resides there. Thus, the trial court issued an alias served within a reasonable time as provided in the preceding section, service may be
summons to be served at Muntinlupa City, petitioners new address. effected (a) by leaving copies of the summons at the defendants residence with
some person of suitable age and discretion then residing therein; or (b) by leaving
o Again, the Sheriff reported twice thereafter that the summons could not be served on the copies at the defendants office or regular place of business with some
petitioner. Sheriff Pontente, who was to serve the summons interposed that he was competent person in charge thereof.
stopped by the Security Guard of Alabang Hills Village because they were allegedly
told by Robinson not to let anyone proceed to her house if she is not around. Despite Under our procedural rules, personal service is generally preferred over substituted
the explanations of the Sheriff, the guards didnt let him in. Thereafter, the Sheriff just service, the latter mode of service being a method extraordinary in character. For substituted
left a copy of the complaint to A.H. GEROCHE (THE SECURITY GUARD), who service to be justified, the following circumstances must be clearly established:
refused to affix his signature on the original copy, so he will be the one to give the (a) personal service of summons within a reasonable time was impossible;
summons to petitioner Robinson. (b) efforts were exerted to locate the party; and
(c) the summons was served upon a person of sufficient age and discretion residing at the
o Eventually, petitioner Robinson was declared in default for her failure to file an answer partys residence or upon a competent person in charge of the partys office or place of
seasonably despite service of summons. The trial court rendered its decision in favor of business.
Miralles ordering Robinson to pay her obligations plus cost of damages. A copy of the Failure to do so would invalidate all subsequent proceedings on jurisdictional grounds.
court Order was sent to petitioner by registered mail at her new address and a writ of
execution was also issued.

o Robinson filed a petition for relief from the judgment by default. She claimed that
summons was improperly served upon her, thus, the trial court never acquired jurisdiction
over her and that all its proceedings are void. Petitioner Robinson contends that the
service of the summons upon the subdivision guard is not in compliance with
Section 7, Rule 14 since he is not related to her or staying at her residence, as
required by the rule.

ISSUE: whether the trial court correctly ruled that a substituted service of summons upon
petitioner has been validly effected?

RULING:
YES. Although the SC have ruled that the statutory requirements of substituted
service must be followed strictly, faithfully, and fully and any substituted service other than