You are on page 1of 69


Distinction between Civil Action and Special Proceeding


2001-10-02 | G.R. No. 133000
Private respondents filed a complaint against petitioner Patricia Natcher alleging
that upon the death of their father Graciano del Rosario, petitioner Natcher, through the
employment of fraud, misrepresentation and forgery, acquired TCT No. 107443 by making
it appear that Graciano executed a deed of sale in favour of Natcher. As a consequence of
such alleged fraudulent sale, private respondents legitimes have been impaired.
Natcher averred that she was legally married to Graciano and thus under the law,
she was likewise considered a compulsory heir of the latter. She also alleged that during
Gracianos lifetime, the latter already distributed in advance, properties to his children,
hence, private respondents may not anymore claim against Gracianos estate or against
Natchers property.
The RTC of Manila rendered a decision holding that the deed of sale executed by
late Graciano in favour of Natcher is prohibited by law and thus a complete nullity. It
cannot also be regarded as a donation as it was equally prohibited by law. The deed of sale
may however be regarded as an extension of advance inheritance of Natcher being a
compulsory heir of late Graciano. The Court of Appeals reversed and set aside the RTCs

May the RTC, acting as a court of general jurisdiction in an action for reconveyance
and annulment of title with damages, adjudicate matter relating to the settlement of the
estate of a deceased person particularly in questions as to advancement of property made
by the decedent to any of the heirs?


Page | 1
The Supreme Court in resolving the issue in the instant case distinguish an action
from a special proceeding. An action is a formal demand of one's right in a court of justice
in the manner prescribed by the court or by the law. It is the method of applying legal
remedies according to definite established rules. The term "special proceeding" may be
defined as an application or proceeding to establish the status or right of a party, or a
particular fact. Usually, in special proceedings, no formal pleadings are required unless the
statute expressly so provides. In special proceedings, the remedy is granted generally upon
an application or motion.
Citing American Jurisprudence, a noted authority in Remedial Law expounds
"It may accordingly be stated generally that actions include those proceedings
which are instituted and prosecuted according to the ordinary rules and provisions relating
to actions at law or suits in equity, and that special proceedings include those proceedings
which are not ordinary in this sense, but is instituted and prosecuted according to some
special mode as in the case of proceedings commenced without summons and prosecuted
without regular pleadings, which are characteristics of ordinary actions. X X X A special
proceeding must therefore be in the nature of a distinct and independent proceeding for
particular relief, such as may be instituted independently of a pending action, by petition
or motion upon notice.
Applying these principles, an action for reconveyance and annulment of title with
damages is a civil action, whereas matters relating to settlement of the estate of a deceased
person such as advancement of property made by the decedent, partake of the nature of a
special proceeding, which concomitantly requires the application of specific rules as
provided for in the Rules of Court. Clearly, matters which involve settlement and
distribution of the estate of the decedent fall within the exclusive province of the probate
court in the exercise of its limited jurisdiction.
Thus, under Section 2, Rule 90 of the Rules of Court, questions as to advancement
made or alleged to have been made by the deceased to any heir may be heard and
determined by the court having jurisdiction of the estate proceedings; and the final order
of the court thereon shall be binding on the person raising the questions and on the heir.

Page | 2
In this case, the RTC was not properly constituted as a probate court so as to validly
pass upon the question of advancement made by the decedent Graciano to Natcher. Before
a court can make a partition and distribution of the estate of a deceased, it must first settle
the estate in a special proceeding instituted for the purpose. Trial courts trying an ordinary
action cannot resolve to perform acts pertaining to a special proceeding because it is subject
to specific prescribed rules. Thus, the court a quo erred in regarding the subject property
as an advance inheritance.
The Supreme Court holds that a probate court, in the exercise of its limited
jurisdiction, is indeed the best forum to ventilate and adjudge the issue of advancement as
well as other related matters involving the settlement of Grcianos estate.

II. Payment of Docket Fees

G.R. No. 125683. March 2, 1999

Eden Ballatan, together with other petitioners, is living in and registered owners of
Lot No. 24. Respondent Winston Go is living in and registered owners of Lot No. 25 and
26. And Li Ching Yao is living in and the registered owner of Lot. 27. The Lots are adjacent
to each other. When Ballatan constructed her house in her lot, she noticed that the concrete
fence and side pathway of the adjoining house of respondent Winston Go encroached on
the entire length of the eastern side of her property. She was informed by her contractor of
this discrepancy, who then told respondent Go of the same. Respondent, however, claims
that his house was built within the parameters of his fathers lot; and that this lot was
surveyed by engineer Jose Quedding, the authorized surveyor of Araneta Institute of
Agriculture (AIA). Petitioner called the attention of AIA on the matter and so the latter

Page | 3
authorized another survey of the land by Engineer Quedding. The latter then did the survey
twice which led to the conclusion that Lots Nos 25, 26 (owned by respondent Go) and 27
(owned by Li Ching Yao) moved westward to the eastern boundary of Lot 24 (owned by
petitioner Ballatan.) (it was later on discovered by the courts that Go encroached 42 square
meters from the property of Ballatan and Yao encroached 37 square meters on Gos
property, all of which were in GOOD FAITH) Ballatan made written demands to the
respondent to dismantle and move their improvements and since the latter wasnt
answering the petitioner filed accion publiciana in court. Gos filed their Answer with
Third-Party Complaint impleading as third party defendants respondents Li Ching Yao,
the AIA and Engineer Quedding.
RTC ruled in favor of the petitioner ordering respondent Go to demolish their
improvements and pay damages to Petitioner but dismissing the third-party complaint. CA
affirmed the dismissal of the third party-complaint as to AIA but reinstated the the
complaint against Yao and the Engineer. CA also affirmed the demolition and damages
awarded to petitioner and added that Yao should also pay respondent for his encroachment
of respondent Gos property. Jose Quedding was also ordered to pay attorneys fees for his
negligence which caused all this fuzz.

What is the proper remedy in this situation where everyone was in good faith?

Art 448 is the proper remedy (Lower Courts are wrong in awarding the damages).
It was established in the case that the parties had no knowledge of the encroachment until
Ballatan noticed it there all of them were builders in Good faith. In that scenario they have
two options. 1st option is that the land owner will buy the improvements and the 2nd option
is to oblige the builders to buy the land given that the value of the land is not considerably
more than the buildings or tree; otherwise the owner may remove the improvements
The builder, planter or sower, however, is not obliged to purchase the land if its
value is considerably more than the building, planting or sowing. In such case, the builder,

Page | 4
planter or sower must pay rent to the owner of the land. If the parties cannot come to terms
over the conditions of the lease, the court must fix the terms thereof. The right to choose
between appropriating the improvement or selling the land on which the improvement of
the builder, planter or sower stands, is given to the owner. If the option chooses is to sell
the lot, the price must be fixed at the prevailing market value at the time of payment.
Petitioner was given by SC 30 days to decide on what to do or which right to
exercise. Likewise, Go was also given time to do the regarding Yaos encroachment.
Engineer Quedding was still asked to pay attorneys fees.

III. Cause of Action

ARBA vs. NICOLAS, et al.

G.R. No. 168394
Oct. 06, 2008

The Philippine Banking Corporation (PhilBanking) was the registered owner of two
parcels of land located in Barangay Mintal, Davao City.
On September 7, 1989, the DAR issued a notice of coverage to PhilBanking and declared
that subject parcels of land fall within the coverage of the CARL or RA No.
6657. PhilBanking immediately filed its protest and despite its objections, the DAR caused
the cancellation of the titles of the subject parcels of land and ownership was transferred to
the Republic of the Philippines. This was followed by the distribution of said land to the
farmer-beneficiaries belonging to ARBA by virtue of a CLOA, more particularly described
as TCT No. CL-143.
On March 24, 1994, PhilBanking executed a deed of assignment in favor of
respondents, Loreto G. Nicolas and Olimpio R. Cruz. As assignees and successors-in-
interest, respondents continued PhilBankings protest over DARs takeover of their lands.
Respondents filed their complaint before the local DARAB in Tagum City, Davao del

Page | 5
Norte. PhilBanking instituted before the RTC a complaint for reinstatement of title and
recovery of possession. In their complaint with the DARAB, respondents prayed for the
cancellation of the CLOA and reinstatement of titles previously registered under the name
of PhilBanking. The DARAB found the subject landholdings clearly beyond the coverage
of CARL as according to them the lands have already been re-classified as within the
Urban/Urbanizing Zone (UR/URB) as per City Ordinance No. 363, Series of 1982. The
reclassification was subsequently approved by the City Zoning Administrator and the
HLURB Regional Office. Later, the reclassification was reflected in the Official
Comprehensive Zoning Map of Davao City. Petitioner appealed to the DARAB Central
Office and the latter overturned the decision of its local office as it pointed out that
the DAR followed proper procedures to effect compulsory land acquisition, from the
issuance of a notice of coverage to the actual distribution of CLOAs. It noted that
PhilBanking did not even pose any objection to the acquisition of the property for inclusion
in the CARP; and that as PhilBankings assignees, respondents could not argue that they
were not accorded due process. Respondents then filed a motion for reconsideration and a
supplemental motion for reconsideration but both were subsequently denied by the
DARAB. Dissatisfied with the Central DARAB ruling, respondents elevated the matter to
the CA as they contended, among others, that the DARAB erred in ruling that the subject
parcels of lands were within the coverage of RA No. 6657.
On October 12, 2004, the CA granted the appeal reiterated that the subject parcels
of lands have long been reclassified as being within an urban zone before the enactment of
RA No. 6657. Not being agricultural land, the subject lands are clearly not within the scope
of the CARL. Thus, petitioners have resorted to the present recourse.

Whether or not the CA erred in not dismissing forthwith the present case for lack
of cause of action.

NO, the CA was correct in not dismissing forthwith the present case for lack of
cause of action. A cause of action is defined as an act or omission of one party in violation

Page | 6
of the legal right or rights of the other; and its essential elements are legal right of the
plaintiff, correlative obligation of the defendant, and act or omission of the defendant in
violation of said legal right. The elements of a cause of action: (1) a right in favor of
plaintiff by whatever means and under whatever law it arises or is created; (2) an obligation
on the part of the named defendant to respect or not to violate the right; and (3) an act or
omission on the part of defendant violative of the right of plaintiff or constituting a breach
of an obligation to the latter. It is only when the last element occurs that a cause of action
arises. The test of sufficiency of facts alleged in the complaint as constituting a cause of
action is whether or not admitting the facts alleged, the court could render a valid verdict
in accordance with the prayer of the complaint, and that in determining sufficiency of cause
of action, the court takes into account only the material allegations of the complaint and no
other, is not a hard and fast rule. In some cases, the court considers the documents attached
to the complaint to truly determine sufficiency of cause of action. The Court ruled that a
complaint should not be dismissed for insufficiency of cause of action if it appears clearly
from the complaint and its attachments that plaintiff is entitled to relief. The converse is
also true that the complaint may be dismissed for lack of cause of action if it is obvious
from the complaint and its annexes that plaintiff is not entitled to any relief. Respondents
as lawful assignees and successors-in-interest of PhilBanking, stand to be directly benefited
or injured from the resolution of this case. Hence, they have a valid cause of action.

IV. Test to Determine Cause of Action

Bacolod-Murcia Milling Co. Inc. v. First Farmers Milling Co. Inc.

103 SCRA 436 (1981)

Bacolod-Murcia Milling Co. filed an action for injunction and prohibition with
damages against First Farmer Milling Co, (FFMC) and others, alleging that the defendant
FFMC established and operated a sugar central known as the First Farmer Sugar Central

Page | 7
(FFSC) and for the crop years 1964-1966, the defendants transferred their quota A
allotments to FFSC and are actually milling their sugar with the said entity, and constitutes
an illegal transfer with the illegal approval of the Sugar Quota Administration.
Subsequently, a motion to admit amended and supplemental complaint was filed, including
PNB and National Investment and Development Corp (NIDC) as defendants, alleging that
they have extended loans to FFMC amounting to Php16,210 000, to assist in the illegal
creation and operation of the said mill and thus, a joint tortfeasor in violation of the
plaintiffs rights. In answer to this, PNB and NIDC contends that the granting of loans in
favor of FFMC were intended in the ordinary and usual course of business, and that they
have no participation on the alleged illegal transactions complained of.

Whether or not the allegations of the Amended and Supplemental Complaint
constituted a sufficient cause of action against the PNB and NIDC.

No, PNB and NIDC granted loans in the ordinary and usual course of business
after the borrowing entity had established itself as capable of being treated as anew milling
district as it could already operate and had its array of adhering planters. The doing of an
act which is in itself perfectly lawful will not render one liable as for a tort, simply because
the unintended effect of such act is to enable or assist another person to do or accomplish
a wrong, assuming that there was such a wrong. The subject Amended and Supplemental
Complaint fails to meet the test. It should be noted that it charges PNB and NIDC with
having assisted in the illegal creation and operation of defendant sugar mill. Granting, for
the sake of argument, that, indeed, assistance in the "illegal" act was rendered, the same,
however, is not supported by well- pleaded averments of facts. This absence is fatal and
buoy-up instead the PNB-NIDC's position of lack of cause of action.

Page | 8
V. Joinder of Causes of Action


capacity as Presiding Judge, Regional Trial Court, Branch 158, Pasig City and
G.R. No. 117209, February 9, 1996

The Regional Trial Court decided the petition for adoption of Kevin Earl
Bartolome Moran and simultaneously granted the prayer therein for the change of the first
name of said adoptee to Aaron Joseph, to complement the surname Munson y Andrade
which he attained consequent to his adoption.
Petitioner argues the inclusion of the relief for change of name in the same
petition for adoption objecting to the joinder of the petition for adoption and the petitions
for the change of name in a single proceeding, arguing that these petitions should be
conducted and pursued as two separate proceedings.
Petitioner contends that a petition for adoption and a petition for change of name
are two special proceedings which, in substance and purpose, are different from and are
not related to each other, being respectively governed by distinct sets of law and rules.
Petitioner further contends that what the law allows is the change of the surname of the
adoptee, as a matter of right, to conform to that of the adopter and as a natural consequence
of the adoption thus granted. If what is sought is the change of the registered given or
proper name, and since this would involve a substantial change of ones legal name, a
petition for change of name under Rule 103 should accordingly be instituted, with the
substantive and adjective requisites therefor being conformably satisfied.
Private respondents, on the contrary, admittedly filed the petition for adoption
with a prayer for change of name predicated upon Section 5, Rule 2 which allows
permissive joinder of causes of action in order to avoid multiplicity of suits and in line with
the policy of discouraging protracted and vexatious litigations. It is argued that there is no

Page | 9
prohibition in the Rules against the joinder of adoption and change of name being pleaded
as two separate but related causes of action in a single petition.

Whether or not the respondent judge erred in granting the prayer for the change
of the given name of the adoptee.

No. Par (1), Art. 189 of the Family Code provides one of the legal effect of
(1) For civil purposes, the adopted shall be deemed to be a legitimate child of
the adopters and both shall acquire the reciprocal rights and obligations arising from the
relationship of parent and child, including the right of the adopted to use the surname of
the adopters;
The law allows the adoptee, as a matter of right and obligation, to bear the
surname of the adopter, upon issuance of the decree of adoption. It is the change of the
adoptees surname to follow that of the adopter which is the natural and necessary
consequence of a grant of adoption and must specifically be contained in the order of the
court, in fact, even if not prayed for by petitioner. However, the given or proper name, also
known as the first or Christian name, of the adoptee must remain as it was originally
registered in the civil register. The creation of an adoptive relationship does not confer
upon the adopter a license to change the adoptees registered Christian or first name. The
automatic change thereof, premised solely upon the adoption thus granted, is beyond the
purview of a decree of adoption. Neither is it a mere incident in nor an adjunct of an
adoption proceeding, such that a prayer therefor furtively inserted in a petition for adoption,
as in this case, cannot properly be granted.
The official name of a person whose birth is registered in the civil register is the
name appearing therein. If a change in ones name is desired, this can only be done by
filing and strictly complying with the substantive and procedural requirements for a special
proceeding for change of name under Rule 103 of the Rules of Court, wherein the

Page | 10
sufficiency of the reasons or grounds therefor can be threshed out and accordingly
A petition for change of name being a proceeding in rem, strict compliance with
all the requirements therefor is indispensable in order to vest the court with jurisdiction for
its adjudication. It is an independent and discrete special proceeding, in and by itself,
governed by its own set of rules. A fortiori, it cannot be granted by means of any other
proceeding. To consider it as a mere incident or an offshoot of another special proceeding
would be to denigrate its role and significance as the appropriate remedy available under
our remedial law system.
WHEREFORE, on the foregoing premises, the assailed order of respondent
judge is hereby MODIFIED. The legally adopted child of private respondents shall
henceforth be officially known as Kevin Earl Munson y Andrade unless a change thereof
is hereafter effected in accordance with law. In all other respects, the order is AFFIRMED.

VI. Verification and Non-Forum Shopping

Negros Oriental Planters Association vs. Presiding Judge of Negros

G.R. No. 179878, December 24, 2008

On March 17, 1999, Campos filed a Complaint for Breach of Contract with
Damages against Negros Oriental Planters Association (NOPA) for alleged failure of
delivering the agreed subject molasses. The said failure was due to disagreements as to the
quality of products partially delivered.
NOPA filed a motion to dismiss on the ground of an alleged failure to file the
correct filing fee. According to NOPA, the adverse party intentionally concealed the
correct amount of actual damages in order to circumvent the correct docket fees.
RTC denied the said motion. In turn, CA dismissed the petition for certiorari
because it said that there was no substantial compliance with the procedural requirements.

Page | 11
According to CA, there was a failure in submitting the proper verification, wanting a
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 in its pleadings
as required by Section 1, Rule 65, Rules in Civil Procedure.

Whether or not CA committed a reversible error when it ruled that there was no
substantial compliance with the procedural requirements concerning the proper verification
as required by the Rules of Court.

No. The CA was held to be correct in its decision. The amendment effected by AM
No. 00-2-10 to Sec. 4, Rule 7 has the intention of making it stricter. Following said
amendment, it would not be sufficient for the parties to just merely state under oath that
they believe their allegations to be true and correct. It should be based on personal
knowledge or at least based on authentic records. Otherwise, it would produce no legal
effect. This is without prejudice to the courts discretion of allowing the error to be
remedied. However, in the case at bar, the court refused to do so.

Vicar International Construction Inc. v. FEB Leasing and Finance Corp.,

G.R. No. 157195, April 22, 2005, 456 SCRA 588

This controversy originated from a Complaint for unjust enrichment and damages,
filed in the RTC of Makati by herein petitioner, Vicar International Construction, Inc.
(Vicar), against Respondent FEB Leasing and Finance Corporation (now BPI Leasing
Corporation) and the Far East Bank and Trust Company. In turn, FEB Leasing and Finance
Corporation filed a Complaint against Vicar, Carmelita Chaneco Lim and one John Doe,
for a sum of money, damages and replevin.

Page | 12
These Complaints stemmed from loans obtained from FEB by Vicar, a corporation
engaged in the construction business, for the purchase of certain heavy equipment. In
obtaining the loans, Deeds of Absolute Sale with a lease-back provision were executed by
the parties. In those Deeds, Vicar appears to have sold to FEB the equipment purchased
with the loan proceeds and, at the same time, leased them back. For the total loan of P30,
315,494, Vicar claims to have paid FEB an aggregate amount of P19, 042,908 in monthly
Nevertheless, FEB maintains that Vicar still had an outstanding balance of about
P22, 000,000, despite the extrajudicial foreclosure of sixty-three (63) subdivision lots.
These lots, comprising an aggregate area of 20,300 square meters in Calamba, Laguna,
were used by the corporation as additional collateral. As a consequence, the auction sale
produced P17, 000,000 which, Vicar claims, should have been applied to its loans.
In the course of the second (replevin) case, the trial court issued several Orders
pertaining to the possession/custody of eight (8) units of the subject equipment. In an Order
dated August 2, 2002, the RTC quashed the property counterbond filed by Vicar and denied
the latters Motion to Dismiss the Complaint, which was grounded on forum shopping. In
an Order dated September 30, 2002, the RTC denied the corporations Motion for
Reconsideration and Motion for Voluntary Inhibition of the trial judge.
On October 3, 2002, Vicar filed a Petition for Certiorari before the Court of
Appeals, to stop the implementation of the Writ of Replevin issued against the subject
The Petition was, however, instantly dismissed by the CA in its herein assailed
Resolution dated October 23, 2002, because the Verification and the Certification against
forum shopping had been executed by Petitioner Carmelita V. Lim without any showing
that she had the authority to sign for and on behalf of petitioner-corporation.
On November 23, 2003, the day after receiving its copy of the Resolution, Vicar
filed an Omnibus Motion for Reconsideration and for Admission of the Attached
Secretarys Certificate. Nevertheless, the CA denied the Omnibus Motion in this wise.
The belated filing by the petitioners of the Certification of their Corporate
Secretary, to the effect that petitioner Carmelita Lim has been duly authorized by petitioner
corporation to file the subject petition for certiorari, did not cure the defect of said petition.

Page | 13
Absent any compelling reason for petitioners failure to comply at the first instance with
the required certification, we cannot, therefore, accept their subsequent compliance.

Whether petitioners subsequent submission of the secretarys certificate is a
sufficient compliance with the requirement of the law.

Petitioners candidly admit that they inadvertently failed to attach the above
Resolution to their CA Petition. In preparing the Petition, their counsel supposedly worked
overnight without sleep. She wanted to file it immediately to avoid the trial courts quashal
of their counterbond and, thus, the immediate seizure of their equipment -- their only means
of livelihood.
Their counsel allegedly believed in good faith that the secretarys Certificate was
attached to the Petition. When they received a copy of the October 23, 2002 CA Resolution
on November 11, 2002, they lost no time in filing the following day their Omnibus Motion
for Reconsideration and for Admission of the Attached Secretarys Certificate.
Petitioners merely missed attaching to their Petition a concrete proof of Lims
authority from Vicar to execute the said Verification/Certification on its behalf. The latter,
however, lost no time in submitting its corporate secretarys Certificate attesting to the fact
that, indeed, Petitioner Vicars board of directors had unanimously approved a Resolution
on October 2, 2002, authorizing its president and general manager, Carmelita V. Lim, to
file the Petition and to execute and sign x x x the verification and certification against forum
The Certificate was submitted to the CA on the day right after it had denied the
Petition. Such swiftness of action indicates that the Resolution -- authorizing Petitioner
Lim to file the Petition and execute the Verification and the Certification against forum
shopping on behalf of Petitioner Vicar -- did exist at the time the Petition was filed. Such
fact also lends credence to the assertion of petitioners that it was only due to inadvertence
and oversight that they failed to attach the Secretarys Certificate to their Petition for

Page | 14
In closing, the Court stresses once more that technical rules of procedure should be
used to promote, not frustrate, justice. While the swift unclogging of court dockets is a
laudable objective, the granting of substantial justice is an even more urgent ideal. Rules
of procedure are but tools designed to facilitate, not obstruct, the attainment of justice.
WHEREFORE, the Petition is GRANTED, and the appealed Resolutions are
REVERSED and SET ASIDE. The case is REMANDED to the Court of Appeals, which
is directed to continue the proceedings in CA-GR SP No. 73117 with deliberate speed. No


GR No. 134217, May 11, 2000

Petitioners Kenneth Roy Savage and K Angelin Export Trading seek to nullify the
search warrant issued by respondent Judge Aproniano B. Taypin of the Regional Trial
Court, Br. 12 Cebu City, which resulted in the seizure of certain pieces of wrought iron
furniture from the factory of petitioners located in Biasong, Talisay, Cebu. Their motion to
quash the search warrant was denied by respondent Judge as well as their motion to
reconsider the denial.
The complaint was lodged by private respondent Eric Ng Mendoza, president and
general manager of Mendco Development Corporation (MENDCO), Supervising Agent
Jose Ermie Monsanto of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) filed an application
for search warrant with the Regional Trial Court of Cebu City. The application sought the
authorization to search the premises of K Angelin Export International located in Biasong,
Talisay, Cebu, and to seize the pieces of wrought iron furniture found therein which were
allegedly the object of unfair competition involving design patents, punishable under Art.
189 of the Revised Penal Code as amended. The assailed Search Warrant No. 637-10-1697-
12 was issued by respondent Judge on 16 October 1997.
On 30 October 1997 petitioners moved to quash the search warrant alleging that:
(a) the crime they were accused of did not exist; (b) the issuance of the warrant was not

Page | 15
based on probable cause; (c) the judge failed to ask the witnesses searching questions; and,
(d) the warrant did not particularly describe the things to be seized.
On 10 November 1997 petitioners filed a Supplemental Motion to Quash where
they additionally alleged that the assailed warrant was applied for without a certification
against forum shopping. On 30 January 1998 respondent Judge denied the Motion to Quash
and the Supplemental Motion to Quash. On 2 March 1998 petitioners moved to reconsider
the denial of their motion to quash and alleged substantially the same grounds found in
their original Motion to Quash but adding thereto two (2) new grounds, namely: (a)
respondent court has no jurisdiction over the subject-matter; and, (b) respondent court
failed to "substantiate" the order sought to be reconsidered. The denial of their last motion
prompted petitioners to come to this Court.

1. Whether the respondent judge had authority/jurisdiction to issue the said search
2. Whether the instant case be dismissed out rightly since it was not accompanied by
a certification of non-forum shopping.

1. No. Supreme Court Administrative Order No. 113-95 designating certain branches
of the Regional Trial Courts, Metropolitan Trial Courts and Municipal Trial Courts in
Cities as Special Courts for IPR. The courts enumerated therein are mandated to try and
decide violations of IPR including Art. 189 of the Revised Penal Code committed within
their respective territorial jurisdictions. Subsequently, Supreme Court Administrative
Order No.104-96 was issued providing that jurisdiction over all violations of IPR was
thereafter confined to the Regional Trial Courts.
The power to issue search warrants for violations of IPR has not been exclusively
vested in the courts enumerated in Supreme Court Administrative Order No.113-95. But
the Court has consistently ruled that a search warrant is merely a process issued by the
court in the exercise of its ancillary jurisdiction and not a criminal action which it may

Page | 16
entertain pursuant to its original jurisdiction. The authority to issue search warrants is
inherent in all courts and may be effected outside their territorial jurisdiction.
2. No. Petitioners cited as authority therefor Washington Distillers, Inc. v. Court of
Appeals. In that case, the court sustained the quashal of the search warrant because the
applicant had been guilty of forum shopping as private respondent sought a search warrant
from the Manila Regional Trial Court only after he was denied by the courts of Pampanga.
The instant case differs significantly, for here there is no allegation of forum-shopping,
only failure to acquire a certification against forum-shopping. The Rules of Court, as
amended, requires such certification only from initiatory pleadings, omitting any mention
of "applications." In contrast, Supreme Court Circular 04-94, the old rule on the matter,
required such certification even from "applications." Hence, the absence of such
certification will not result in the dismissal of an application for search warrant.

Philippine Airlines, Inc. v. Flight Attendants and Stewards Association of the

Philippines (FASAP)
G.R. No. 143088, January 24, 2006, 497 SCRA 605

Petitioners are before the Court seeking the reversal of the resolution of the CA in
dismissing their appeal and the resolution denying their motion for reconsideration.
When the petitioners filed for a subsequent appeal to the Court of Appeals, it was
accompanied by a Certificate of Non-Forum Shopping executed by non-parties to the case.
The CA dismissed the case for failure to show the authority of the affiants to sign for PAL
and for the failure of other petitioners to join in the execution of the certification. A motion
for reconsideration was filed with a Secretarys certificate attached evidencing that affiants
have been authorized by Board Resolution No. 00-02-03 to initiate and/or cause to be filed
on behalf of PAL petitions and pleadings in all labor-related cases. As to the other
petitioners, it was argued that they are mere nominal parties so that their failure to execute
the certification does not justify dismissal of the petition. Despite this submission, the Court
of Appeals denied the motion for reconsideration. Hence, this petition.

Page | 17
Whether or not the petition is with merit.

The petition is without merit. Under Rule 65, Section 1, in relation to Rule 46,
Section 3 of the Rules of Court, the necessity for a certification of non-forum shopping in
filing petitions for certiorari must be executed by the corresponding petitioner or
petitioners. As no distinction is made as to which party must execute the certificate, this
requirement is made to apply to both natural and juridical entities. When the petitioner is a
corporation, the certification should be executed by a natural person. Furthermore, not just
any person can be called upon to execute the certification, although such a person may
have personal knowledge of the facts to be attested to.
This Court has explained that a corporation has no power except those conferred
on it by the Corporation Code and those that are implied or incidental to its existence. The
exercise of these powers is done through the board of directors and/or duly authorized
officers and agents. Given these corporate features, the power of a corporation to sue in
any court is generally lodged with the board of directors. The board, in turn, can delegate
the physical acts needed to sue, which may be performed only by natural persons, to its
attorneys-in-fact by a board resolution, if not already authorized under the corporate by-
Thus, only individuals vested with authority by a valid board resolution may sign
the certificate of non-forum shopping in behalf of a corporation. In addition, the Court has
required that proof of said authority must be attached. Failure to provide a certificate of
non-forum shopping is sufficient ground to dismiss the petition. Likewise, the petition is
subject to dismissal if a certification was submitted unaccompanied by proof of the
signatorys authority.
In the present case, the petition filed with the Court of Appeals had a certification
of non-forum shopping but the certification was without proof of authority to sign. When
a motion for reconsideration was filed, a Secretarys Certificate was submitted as proof
that the board of directors of PAL had authorized the two to execute the certificate.

Page | 18
Nonetheless, the Court finds that this belated submission is an insufficient compliance with
the certification requirement. A perusal of the Secretarys Certificate submitted reveals that
the authority to cause the filing of the petition was granted on February 15, 2000. The
petition, on the other hand, was filed on January 24, 2000 and was dismissed by the Court
of Appeals on January 31, 2000. This means that at the time the certification was signed,
the executors were not duly authorized by the Board of Directors of PAL and,
consequently, their signing and attestations were not in representation of PAL. This
effectively translates to a petition that was filed without a certification at all.


G.R. No. 135042, September 23, 1999

Robern is the registered owner of a parcel of land which the National Power
Corporation (NPC) is seeking to expropriate. The property forms part of a proposed low-
cost housing project. NPC filed a Complaint for Eminent Domain against Robern. Instead
of filing an answer,Robern countered with a Motion to Dismiss, alleging (a)that the
Complaint suffered a jurisdictional defect for not showing that the action bore the approval
of the NPC board of directors; (b) that Nemesio S. Caete, who signed the verification and
certification in the Complaint, was not the president, the general manager or an officer
specifically authorized under the NPC charter (RA 6395);(c) that the choice of property to
be expropriated was improper, as it had already been intended for use in alow-cost housing
project, a public purpose within the contemplation of law; and the choice was also arbitrary,
as there were similar properties available within the area NPC filed a Motion for the
Issuance of Writ of Possession based on PD No. 42. NPC deposited 6,121.20at PNB.RTC
denied the petitioner's Motion to Dismiss. Robern filed a Motion for Reconsideration,
pointing out that (a) the issues raised in the Motion to Dismiss could be resolved without
trial, as they could be readily appreciated on the face of the Complaint itself vis--vis the
applicable provisions of law on the matter; and (b) the grounds relied upon for dismissing
the Complaint did not require evidence aliunde. RTC denied the Motion. Robern filed a

Page | 19
Motion for Reconsideration of the Order arguing among others that Section 15-A of RA
6395was virtually amended when Caete was allowed to verify and sign the certificate
of non-forum shopping in regard to the Complaint for expropriation filed by NPC.NPC
filed a Motion to Implement the Writ of Possession. In spite of Roberns opposition, RTC
issued a Writ of Possession. Before counsel for the petitioner received any order from the
trial court directing the implementation of the Writ of Possession, NPC occupied the
disputed property. Before the CA. Robern assailed the Writ on the following grounds: (a)
patent on the face of the complaint were its jurisdictional defect, prematurity and
noncompliance with RA 6395; and (b) the issuance of the Writ of Possession was irregular,
arbitrary and unconstitutional, as the trial court had yet to fix the appropriate value for
purposes of taking or entering upon the property to be expropriated.
CA upheld the RTC. The verification and certification of the Complaint by
someone other than the president or the general manager of NPC was not a
fatal jurisdictional defect. It was enough to allege that theexpropriating body had the right
of eminent domain. The issues of whether the expropriation was properly authorized by
the board of directors and whether Caetes verification and certification of the Complaint
was likewise authorized were evidentiary and could be ruled upon only after the reception
of evidence. Hence, this Petition.
Roberns argument:
RTC did not acquire jurisdiction over the case because, (1) Atty. Caete who signed
the verification and certification of non-forum shopping was neither the president nor the
general manager of NPC; and (2) under Section 15-A of RA 6395,only the NPC chief legal
counsel, under the supervision of the OSG is authorized to handle legal matters affecting
the government power corporation.
NPCs argument:
Caete, as its regional legal counsel in Mindanao, is authorized to prepare the
Complaint on its behalf.

Whether or not the verification and certification by Atty. Caete is valid.

Page | 20
SC found the disputed verification and certification to be sufficient in form
.Verification is intended to assure that the allegations therein have been prepared in good
faith or are true and correct, not mere speculations. Lack of verification is merely a formal
defect that is neither jurisdictional nor fatal. Its absence does not divest thetrial court of
jurisdiction. The trial court may order the correction of the pleading or act on the unverified
pleading, if the attending circumstances are such that strict compliance with the rule may
be dispensed with in order to serve the ends of justice. The certificate of non-forum
shopping directs the plaintiff or principal party to attest under oath that (1) no action or
claim involving the same issues have been filed or commenced in any court, tribunal or
quasi-judicial agency and that, to the best of the plaintiff's knowledge, no such other action
or claim is pending; (2) if there is such other pending action or claim, a complete statement
of its present status shall be made; and (3) if it should be learned that the same or a similar
action or claim has been filed or is pending, the plaintiff shall report this fact to the court
where the complaint or initiatory pleading was filed. This rule is rooted in the principle that
a party-litigant shall not be allowed to pursue simultaneous remedies in different forums,
as this practice is detrimental to orderly judicial procedure. Administrative Circular No.
04-94, which came before the 1997 Rules of Court, is deemed mandatory but not
jurisdictional, as jurisdiction over the subject or nature of the action isconferred by law.
The questioned verification stated that Atty.Caete was the acting regional legal counsel
of NPC at the Mindanao Regional Center in Iligan City. He was not merely a retained
lawyer, but an NPC in-house counsel and officer, whose basic function was to prepare legal
pleadings and to represent NPC-Mindanao in legal cases. As regional legal counsel for the
Mindanao area, he was the officer who was in the best position to verify the truthfulness
and the correctness of the allegations in the Complaint for expropriation in Davao City. As
internal legal counsel, he was also in the best position to know and to certify if an action
for expropriation had already been filed and pending with the courts .Atty. Caete was not
the only signatory to the Complaint; he was joined by Doromal, OIC-assistant general
counsel; and Pablo -- both of the NPC Litigation &Land and Land Rights Dept. They all
signed on behalf of the solicitor general in accordance with the NPC charter. Their
signatures prove that the NPC general counsel and the solicitor general approved the filing

Page | 21
of the Complaint for expropriation. Clearly then, the CA did not err inholding that the
Complaint was not dismissible on its face, simply because the person who had signed the
verification and certification of non-forum shopping was not the president or the general
manager of NPC.CA decision, affirmed. Verification and certification against forum
shopping -Secs. 4 & 5, Rule 7.


G.R. No. 149660, January 20, 2009

In 1955, Sheryl Oabel began working with Maranaw Hotels in one of the latters
hotel branches. In 1996, Maranaw Hotels contracted the services of Manila Resource
Development Corporation (MANRED), a manpower services provider. Maranaw Hotels
transferred Oabel to MANRED. Oable later filed a petition for regularization against
MANRED and MANRED thereafter dismissed her.
Oabel then filed a labor case against Maranaw Hotels, however, MANRED
intervened deporting itself as the real employer of Oabel. She lost in the labor arbiter but
the NLRC reversed the decision of the arbiter. Maranaw Hotels appealed before the Court
of Appeals but the latter court dismissed the petition because apparently Maranaw Hotels
failed to attach the board resolution authorizing their counsel to file said petition before the
Court of Appeals. Maranaw Hotels filed a Motion for Reconsideration with an appended
Certification of Non-Forum Shopping and board resolution but the CA denied the same.

Whether or not the Petition filed by Maranaw Hotels should prosper.

No. There is no substantial compliance in this case. The filing of a subsequent MFR
appended by the Certification of Non-Forum Shopping and the board resolution did not

Page | 22
cure the defect. It contradicts the very purpose for which the certification against forum
shopping is required to inform the Court of the pendency of any other case which may
present similar issues and involved similar parties as the one before it. The requirement
applies to both natural and juridical persons.
A lawyer acting for the corporation must specifically authorized to sign pleadings
for the corporation. Specific authorization could only come in the form of a board
resolution issued by the Board of Directors that specifically authorizes the counsel to
institute the petition and execute the certification, to make his actions binding on his
principal, i.e., the corporation.


G.R. No. 148846, September 25, 2007

Lot No. 3368 (subject property) located in Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu, is part of a larger
property under TCT No. 20626 (entire property) in the name of the late Go Kim Chuan.
The entire property was originally owned by Esteban Bonghanoy who had only one
child, Juana Bonghanoy-Amodia, mother of the late Leoncia Amodia and petitioners (the
Amodias). The entire property was brought under the operation of the Torrens System.
However, the title thereto was lost during the Second World War.
In 1964, the Amodias allegedly executed an Extra-Judicial Partition of Real Estate
with Deed of Absolute Sale over the estate of Esteban Bonghanoy and conveyed the subject
property to Aznar Brothers Realty Company (AZNAR) for a consideration of P10,200.
On August 10, 1964, the said Extra-Judicial Partition of Real Estate with Deed of Absolute
Sale was registered under Act 3344 as there was no title on file at the Register of Deeds of
Lapu-Lapu City. Thereafter, AZNAR made some improvements and constructed a beach
house thereon.

Page | 23
On February 18, 1989, the petitioners Amodias executed a Deed of Extra-Judicial
Settlement with Absolute Sale conveying the subject property in favor of Go Kim Chuan
in consideration of P70,000. The lost title covering the subject property was reconstituted
pursuant to Republic Act No. 26. A reconstituted title (OCT No. RO-2899) was issued in
the name of Esteban Bonghanoy, and, subsequently, a derivative title (TCT No. 20626)
was issued in the name of Go Kim Chuan on December 1, 1989. Thereafter, Go Kim Chuan
exercised control and dominion over the subject property in an adverse and continuous
manner and in the concept of an owner.
In 1990, a Notice of Adverse Claim was annotated by AZNAR on TCT No. 20626.
AZNAR also filed a case against petitioners Amodias and Go Kim Chuan for Annulment
of Sale and Cancellation of TCT No. 20626 alleging that the sale to Go Kim Chuan was an
invalid second sale of the subject property.
The RTC dismissed AZNAR's complaint and declared Go Kim Chuan as the real
owner of the subject property. The signatures of the Amodias in the Extra-Judicial Partition
of Real Estate with Deed of Absolute Sale executed in favor of AZNAR were found by the
document examiner of the Philippine Constabulary (PC) Crime Laboratory to be forged.
On appeal, the Court of Appeals reversed. The CA held that the Deed executed by
the Amodias in favor of AZNAR was registered ahead of the Deed in favor of Go Kim
Chuan, thus, pursuant to Article 1544 of the New Civil Code, the former deed should be
given preference over the latter. The CA also held that AZNAR's adverse claim was
annotated earlier than the execution of the Deed of Extra-Judicial Settlement with Absolute
Sale in favor of Go Kim Chuan; hence, the latter should have respected said adverse claim
and should have made inquiries as to possible defects in the title.
Hence, this Petition for Review on Certiorari filed in the name of the Amodias and
Go Kim Chuan. Counsel for petitioners later filed a Motion for Leave to Admit Amended
Petition for Review on Certiorari in order to implead the Heirs of the late Go Kim Chuan
as the new petitioners and to delete the names of petitioners Amodias because they could
no longer be located.
AZNAR opposes the Amended Petition because it was allegedly filed to cure a fatal
defect in the original petition - non-compliance with the rules on Verification and
Certification of Non-Forum Shopping. AZNAR argued that the Petition is dismissible

Page | 24
because the Verification and Certification of Non-forum Shopping in the Original Petition
were not signed by all the petitioners, and was signed only by one April Socorro Go,
daughter of the late Go Kim Chuan, who did not even appear to be authorized to file the
instant case in behalf of the other petitioners.

WON there is a valid certification and verification by only one of the plaintiffs.

Yes, the Court reiterated the ruling in the case of Iglesia ni Cristo, 505 SCRA 828,
that Commonality of interest is material and crucial to relaxation of the Rules. The Rules
may be reasonably and liberally construed to avoid a patent denial of substantial justice,
because it cannot be denied, that the ends of justice are better served when cases are
determined on the merits- after all parties are given full opportunity to ventile their causes
and defenses rather than on technicality or some procedural imperfections.
The same liberality should likewise be applied to the certification against forum
shopping. The general rule is that the certification must be signed by all plaintiffs in a case
and the signature of only one of them is insufficient. However, the Court has also stressed
in a number of cases that the rules on forum shopping were designed to promote and
facilitate the orderly administration of justice and thus should not be interpreted with such
absolute literalness as to subvert its own ultimate and legitimate objective. The rule of
substantial compliance may be availed of with respect to the contents of the certification.
This is because the requirement of strict compliance with the provisions merely
underscored its mandatory nature in that the certification cannot be altogether dispensed
with or its requirements completely disregarded.

Page | 25
VII. Independent Civil Action

San Ildefonso Lines, Inc. vs. Court of Appeals

G.R. No. 119771, April 24, 1998

At around 3:30 in the afternoon of June 24, 1991, a passenger bus of San Ildefonso
Lines, Inc. (SILI) figured in a vehicular mishap at the intersection of Julia Vargas Avenue
and Rodriguez Lanuza Avenue in Pasig City totally wrecking the Toyota Lite Ace Van
being driven by its owner Annie U. Jao and injuring Ms. Jao and her two passengers in the
A criminal case was filed with the RTC of Pasig charging the driver of the bus,
Eduardo Javier, with reckless imprudence resulting in damage to property with multiple
physical injuries
About four months later, Pioneer Insurance and Surety Corporation (PISC), as
insurer of the van and subrogee, filed a case for damages against petitioner SILI with the
RTC of Manila, seeking to recover the sums it paid the assured under a motor vehicle
insurance policy as well as other damages.
SILI filed a Manifestation and Motion to Suspend Civil Proceedings grounded on
the pendency of the criminal case against Javier in the Pasig RTC and the failure of PISC
to make a reservation to file a separate damage suit in said criminal action. This was denied
by the Manila RTC.
The matter was raised to the Court of Appeals (CA) which affirmed the Manila
RTC. Both lower courts treated the suit of PISC as an independent civil action which does
not depend on the outcome of the criminal case.

Whether or not an independent civil action based on quasi-delict under Article 2176
of the Civil Code be filed if no reservation was made in the said criminal case.

Page | 26
No. Prior reservation is still required before an independent civil action can be
instituted. Section 3, Rule 111 of the (1988) Rules of Court which reads:
Sec. 3. When civil action may proceed independently. - In the cases provided for
in Articles 32, 33, 34 and 2176 of the Civil Code of the Philippines, the independent civil
action which has been reserved may be brought by the offended party, shall proceed
independently of the criminal action and shall require only a preponderance of evidence
The so-called 'independent civil actions' based on the aforementioned Civil Code
articles are the exceptions to the primacy of the criminal action over the civil action as set
forth in Section 2 of Rule 111. However, it is easily deducible from the present wording of
Section 3 as brought about by the 1988 amendments to the Rules on Criminal Procedure -
particularly the phrase . . . "which has been reserved" - that the "independent" character of
these civil actions does not do away with the reservation requirement. In other words, prior
reservation is a condition sine qua non before any of these independent civil actions can be
instituted and thereafter have a continuous determination apart from or simultaneous with
the criminal action.
A reservation of the right to institute these separate civil actions is required,
otherwise, said civil actions are impliedly instituted with the criminal action, unless the
former are waived or filed ahead of the criminal action.
PISC, as subrogee under Article 2207 of the Civil Code, is not exempt from the
reservation requirement with respect to its damages suit based on quasi-delict arising from
the same act or omission of Javier complained of in the criminal case. As PISC merely
stepped into the shoes of Ms. Jao (as owner of the insured Toyota van), then it is bound to
observe the procedural requirements which Ms. Jao ought to follow had she herself
instituted the civil case.

Page | 27
VIII. Joinder of Parties

Remedio V. Flores v. Hon. Judge Heilia S. Mallare-Phillipps,

Ignacio Binongcal and Fernando Calion
G.R. No. L-66620

Petitioner has appealed by certiorari from the order of Judge Heilia S. Mallare-
Phillipps of the Regional Trial Court of Baguio City and Benguet Province which
dismissed his complaint for lack of jurisdiction. The order appealed from states that the
first cause of action alleged in the complaint was against respondent Ignacion Binongcal
for refusing to pay the amount of P11,643.00 representing the cost of truck tires which he
purchased on credit from petition on various occasions; and the second cause of action was
against respondent Fernando Calion for allegedly refusing to pay the amount of P10,212.00
representing the cost of truck tires which he purchased on credit from petitioner on various
The counsel for respondent Binongcal filed a Motion to Dismiss on the ground of
lack of jurisdiction since the amount of the demand against said respondent is less than
P20,000.00 which is the jurisdictional amount in order for RTC to exercise original
jurisdiction of the case under section 19(8) of BP 129. It was further averred in said motion
that although another person, Calion, was allegedly indebted to petitioner in the amount of
P10,212.00, his obligation was separate and distinct from that of the other respondent. At
the hearing, counsel for respondent Calion joined in moving for the dismissal of the
complaint on the grounf of lack of jurisdiction. The trial court dismissed the complaint for
lack of jurisdiction. Hence, the instant petition for certiorari.

Whether or not the regional trial court has jurisdiction over the case.

Page | 28
The regional trial court has no jurisdiction over the case The Court rules that the
lower court correctly held that the jurisdictional test is subject to the rules on joinder of
parties pursuant to Section 5 of Rule 2 and Section 6 of Rule 3 of the Rules of Court and
that, after a careful scrutiny of the complaint, it appears that here is a misjoinder of parties
for the reason that the claims against the respondents Binongcal and Calion are separate
and distinct and neither of which falls within its jurisdiction.
The application of the totality rule under Section 33(i) of Batas Pambansa Blg. 129
and Section 11 of the Interim Rules is subject to the requirements for the permissive joinder
of parties under Section 6 of Rule 3.
The Court held that there is no difference between Section 88 of the Judiciary Act
of 1948 (former rule), and Section 33(i) of Batas Pambansa Blg. 129 and Section 11 of the
Interim Rules (present rule) in cases where a plaintiff sues a defendant on two or more
separate causes of action. In such cases, the amount of the demand shall be the totality of
the claims in all the causes of action irrespective of whether the causes of action arose out
of the same or different transactions. Needless to state, if the causes of action are separate
and independent, their joinder in one complaint is permissive and not mandatory, and any
cause of action where the amount of the demand is equal to or less than the jurisdictional
amount may be the subject of a separate complaint filed with a metropolitan or municipal
trial court.
Under the present law, the totality rule is applied also to cases where two or more
plaintiffs having separate causes of action against a defendant join in a single complaint,
as well as to cases where a plaintiff has separate causes of action against two or more
defendants joined in a single complaint. However, the causes of action in favor of the two
or more plaintiffs or against the two or more defendants should arise out of the same
transaction or series of transactions and there should be a common question of law or fact,
as provided in Section 6 of Rule 3.
In cases of permissive joinder of parties, whether as plaintiffs or as defendants,
under Section 6 of Rule 3, the total of all the claims shall now furnish the jurisdictional
test. Needless to state also, if instead of joining or being joined in one complaint separate

Page | 29
actions are filed by or against the parties, the amount demanded in each complaint shall
furnish the jurisdictional test.

IX. Jurisdiction over Parties


LUCILA L. VDA. DE JAVA (Deceased) Substituted by the Heirs ESTELLA
JAVA BACALLA, Assisted by her husband APOLONIO BACALLA and JAIME
G.R. No. 114243, February 23, 2000

In 1965, Luneta Motor Company filed an action for recovery of a jeep and for
recovery of sum of money against Lucila Java. Java did not appear in court nor did she file
responsive pleadings despite notice hence she was declared in default. As a result, LMC
won the case and eventually a writ of execution was issued in their favor. Pursuant to said
writ certain properties of Java were sold in a public auction including a parcel of land which
LMC was able to buy in said action. LMC then sold said parcel of land to spouses Miranda.
In 1977, Java filed an action to annul the previous judgment, the auction
proceedings, and the subsequent transfers of the auctioned property. Java alleged that the
reason why she did not appear in court and why she never filed an ANSWER was because
she never received any summons from the trial court.
The Court Sheriff however testified that he handed a copies of the summons and
the complaint to a certain Ernesto Elizondo (son in law of Java) in the compound where
Java resides; that said service was by way of substituted service.
The trial court ruled that there is a proper service of summons. The Court of Appeals
however reversed the judgment of the trial court.

Page | 30
Whether or not there is a valid service of summons.

No, there is none. The Sheriffs report did not fully explain why he did a substituted
service. Particularly, sheriff did not explain why personal service was not done. Substituted
service can only be effected if personal service, under certain circumstances, cannot be
effected. Service of summons upon the defendant is essential for the court to acquire
jurisdiction over his person. The modes of service should be strictly followed in order that
the court may acquire jurisdiction over the person. Thus, it is only when a defendant cannot
be served personally within a reasonable time that substituted service may be made.
Another glaring defect in the service of summons is that assuming that substituted
service can be effected, still the service of summons in this case is invalid because said
service was upon Elizondo who testified in court that though he lives in the same compound
as Java, he does not reside in the same dwelling as Java (they live in different houses)
hence, this is a violation to the strict requirements of the Rules of Court.
As a result, the judgment of the trial court, as well as the public auction and the
subsequent transfers of the properties involved are all void. The trial court never acquired
jurisdiction over Java.

Jose v. Boyon,
G.R. No. 147369, October 23, 2003, 414 SCRA 216

Petitioners lodged a complaint before the RTC for specific performance against
respondents to compel them to facilitate the transfer of ownership of a parcel of land subject
of a controverted sale. Respondent judge, through the acting Branch Clerk of Court issued
summons to the [respondents]. As per return of the summons, substituted service was
resorted to by the process server allegedly because efforts to serve the summons personally
to the [respondents] failed. Petitioners filed before the trial court an Ex-parte Motion for

Page | 31
Leave of Court to Effect Summons by Publication which was granted. The respondent
judge, sans a written motion, issued an Order declaring herein [respondents] in default for
failure to file their respective answers. As a consequence of the declaration of default,
[petitioners] were allowed to submit their evidence ex-parte. The lower court ruled in favor
of petitioners. On appeal, the CA held that the trial court had no authority to issue the
questioned Resolution and Orders. According to the appellate court, the RTC never
acquired jurisdiction over respondents because of the invalid service of summons upon

WON there was valid service of summons.

NO. In general, trial courts acquire jurisdiction over the person of the defendant by
the service of summons. Where the action is in personam and the defendant is in the
Philippines, such service may be done by personal or substituted service, following the
procedures laid out in Sections 6 and 7 of Rule 14 of the Revised Rules of Court. As can
be gleaned from the rules, personal service of summons is preferred to substituted service.
Only if the former cannot be made promptly can the process server resort to the latter.
Moreover, the proof of service of summons must (a) indicate the impossibility of service
of summons within a reasonable time; (b) specify the efforts exerted to locate the
defendant; and (c) state that the summons was served upon a person of sufficient age and
discretion who is residing in the address, or who is in charge of the office or regular place
of business, of the defendant. It is likewise required that the pertinent facts proving these
circumstances be stated in the proof of service or in the officers return. The failure to
comply faithfully, strictly and fully with all the foregoing requirements of substituted
service renders the service of summons ineffective. In the instant case, it appears that the
process server hastily and capriciously resorted to substituted service of summons without
actually exerting any genuine effort to locate respondents. Summons by publication in this
case was also improper. It must be noted that extraterritorial service of summons or
summons by publication applies only when the action is in rem or quasi in rem.

Page | 32
1987-12-11 | G.R. No. 77760
Nieves Senoran (now private respondent) filed a complaint against spouses Violeta
Venturanza and Romy Venturanza (now petitioners) with the Metropolitan Trial Court in
Manila for collection of sum of money. Summons was issued against the petitioners and
served on Augosto Soan, father of Petitioner Violeta Venturanza at the address of spouses
Venturanza stated in the complaint. For failure of the petitioners to file their answer, the
court rendered a decision in favor of Senoran. Spouses Venturanza filed a motion to set
aside the decision and declare past proceedings null and void for lack of jurisdiction,
alleging that there has been no proper and valid service of summons and that the court a
quo never acquired jurisdiction over the person of the petitioners. Such motion was denied.
The RTC of Manila affirmed the decision of Metropolitan Trial Court in Manila. Likewise
the Court of Appeals also affirmed the RTCs decision.

Whether or not the Metropolitan Trial Court in Manila acquired jurisdiction over
the persons of the petitioners when the summons was served upon the father of petitioner
Violeta Venturanza which address is no longer the residence nor the place of business of

It is the general rule that finding of facts of the Court of Appeals when supported
by substantial evidence, are beyond the Supreme Courts power of review. However, in the
instant case, there is no substantial evidence that the petitioners were bona fide residents
of the address where the summons was served upon Augosto Soan.
Under Rule 14 of the Rules of Court, there are three methods of service of summons
in civil actions, namely: 1) personal service; 2) substituted service; and 3) service by
publication. Strict compliance with these modes of service is required in order that the court

Page | 33
may require jurisdiction over the person of the defendant. The case at bar is an action for
collection of sum of money which is an action in personam thereby requiring personal
service of summons on defendants.
It is only when a defendant cannot be personally served with summons within a
reasonable time that a substituted service may be availed of. It is further required by law
that an effort or attempt should first be made to personally serve the summons and after
this has failed, a substituted service may be caused upon the defendant, and the same must
be reflected in the proof of service. Upon careful examination of the sheriff's Return in this
case, no statement is made that an effort or attempt was exerted to personally serve the
summons on the defendants and that the same had failed. In fact, said Return does not even
indicate the address of the defendants to whom summons was supposed to have been
served. The presumption of regularity in the performance of official functions by the sheriff
is not applicable in this case where it is patent that the sheriff's return is defective.
The Supreme Court reversed and set aside the Court of Appeals decision and
remanded the court of origin for further proceedings, including a valid service of summons.

Cezar v. Ricafort-Bautista
G.R. No. 136415, October 31, 2006, 506 SCRA 322

A complaint was filed by Specified Material Corp praying for collection of sum of
money P1,860,000 plus 3% monthly interest against petitioner Cezar due to the latters
failure to pay the construction materials it purportedly purchased under a credit line from
Cezar had expressed willingness to pay Specified after an inventory is made and
the parties conflicting records as to materials delivered and actual materials used are
reconciled. After Cezar failed to show up in meetings for verification of documents,
Specified sent a final demand letter and later on filed the complaint. Sheriff Marquez served
the summons to Robles, an alleged employee of Cezar.

Page | 34
As Cezar failed to answer the complaint, the respondent judge declared him in
default. Specified filed an amended complaint, raising the obligation to P2,005,000, a copy
of the which was personally received by Cezar. Cezar, by way of special appearance, filed
a motion to set aside decision arguing that the trial court did not acquire jurisdiction over
his person. After RTC denied the motion, he filed a petition for annulment of judgment and
preliminary injunction with CA, which was dismissed. SC also denied the certiorari due
to non-compliance with procedural requirements.
After SCs resolution became final and executor, Specified moved for execution
however the scheduled hearing on was reset after Cezar filed an Urgent Ex-Parte Motion
to Re-Set Hearing.

WON RTC acquired jurisdiction over the case.

Yes. A court can acquire jurisdiction over the defendant or respondent either
through service of summons or voluntary appearance. The service of summons is intended
to give official notice to the defendant or respondent that an action had been commenced
against it.Whenever practicable, summons must be served by handing a copy thereof to the
defendant in person and he refuses to receive and sign it, by tendering the summons to him.
It is only when the defendant cannot be served personally within a reasonable time
that a substituted service may be made. Impossibility of prompt service should be shown
by stating the efforts made to find the defendant personally and the fact that such efforts
failed in the proof service. In the case, the sheriffs return is patently defective for failure
to state impossibility of personal service.
However, the defect in service was cured and the RTC acquired jurisdiction by
virtue of Cezars voluntary through his motion for re-setting the courts hearing on the
motion for execution.
An appearance in whatever form without expressly objecting to the jurisdiction of
the court over the person, is a submission to the jurisdiction of the court over the person of

Page | 35
the defendant or respondent. A voluntary appearance is a waiver of the necessity of a formal


G.R. No. 94980, May 15, 1996

Litton Mills, Inc (Litton) filed a complaint for specific performance and sought the
issuance of the writ of preliminary injunction to compel Empire Sales Philippines
Corporation (Empire) to issue certificate of inspection pursuant to an agreement. Litton
agreed to supply Gelhaar Uniform Company (Gelhaar) of 7,700 dozens of soccer jerseys,
and Empire, as a local agent of Gelhaar, would inspect the goods and issue a certificate of
inspection before Litton could collect from the bank on the letter credit. Litton sent five
shipments but Empire refused to issue the required certificate of inspection for the fifth
shipment. Empire only issued the inspection certificate pursuant to the writ issued by the
trial court, so that the cargo was shipped on time.
Atty. Remie Noval filed an answer as well as pre-trial brief in behalf of defendants
Empire and Gelhaar but the law firm of Sycip, Salazar, Feliciano and Hernandez moved to
dismiss and to quash the summons on the ground that Gelhaar was a foreign corporation
not doing business in the Philippines, and as such, was beyond the reach of the local courts.
It also contended that Atty. Noval's filing of answer did not amount to Gelhaar's submission
to the jurisdiction of the court for it denied the authority of the former to appear for the
latter. Atty. Noval withdrew his appearance with respect to Gelhaar and claimed that he
had been authorized by Gelhaar to appear for it but the belated repudiation of such authority
was caused by the problems that occured between Gelhaar and Empire.
The trial court denied Gelhaar's motion to dismiss and to quash the summons and
held that the service of summons on Gelhaar was valid. The Court of Appeals held that it
was an error for the trial court to rely on the mere allegations of the complaint that Gelhaar
was doing business in the Philippines because under the doctrine of Pacific Micronisian,

Page | 36
the fact of doing business must first be established before summons can be served upon its
agent pursuant to Rule 14 of Rules of Court.

Whether or not the trial court acquired jurisdiction over Gelhaar by the service of
summons through Gelhaar's agent and by the voluntary appearance of Atty. Noval as
counsel of Gelhaar.

The Supreme Court held that the trial court acquired jurisdiction over Gelhaar by
service of summons upon its agent pursuant to Rule 14. Jurisdiction and venue of actions
are initially determined by the allegations of the complaint. The fact of doing business must
then, in the first place, be established by appropriate allegations in the complaint. In the
case at bar, the allegation that Empire, for and in behalf of Gelhaar, ordered 7,770 dozens
of soccer jerseys from Litton and for this purpose Gelhaar caused the opening of an
irrevocable letter of credit in favor of Litton is a sufficient allegation that Gelhaar was
doing business in the Philippines. The trial court was certainly correct in holding that
Gelhaar's act in purchasing soccer jerseys to be within the ordinary course of business of
the company considering that it was engaged in the manufacture of uniforms.
In accordance with Rule 14, service upon Gelhaar could be made in three ways: (1)
by serving upon the agent designated in accordance with law to accept service of summons;
(2) if there is no resident agent, by service on the government official designated by law to
that effect; and (3) by serving on any officer or agent of said corporation within the
Philippines. Here, service was made through Gelhaar's agent, the Empire. There was,
therefore, a valid service of summons on Gelhaar, sufficient to confer on the trial court
jurisdiction over the person of Gelhaar.
The Supreme Court further held that the appearance of Atty. Noval in behalf of
Gelhaar was not binding on the latter. Atty. Noval admits that he was not appointed by
Gelhaar as its counsel. What he claims is simply that Gelhaar knew of the filing of the case
in the trial court and of his representation but Gelhaar did not object. Atty. Noval contends
that there was thus a tacit confirmation of his authority. No voluntary appearance by

Page | 37
Gelhaar can, therefore, be inferred from the acts of Atty. Noval. Nor can Atty. Noval's
representations in the answer he considered binding on Gelhaar. Gelhaar should be allowed
a new period for filing its own answer.

Obana vs. Court of Appeals

G.R. No. 78635, April 27, 1989

Rafael G. Suntay was the former counsel of Liberty H. Dizon and her minor
children, Nicolas and Noel Patrick, both surnamed Torio, in an intestate proceeding and in
the petition for guardianship over said minors. Suntay claimed P10,000 as attorney's fees.
The Juvenile and Domestic Court (guardianship court) ruled that the entire amount was too
burdensome for the wards to shoulder alone and the guardian should be able to be
responsible for half of it. Hence, Liberty Dizon was ordered to pay P5,000 out of the ward's
guardianship estate.
Atty. Suntay thereafter filed with the CFI of Bulacan an action for a sum of money
(Civil Case 4238) against Liberty Dizon and the wards, claiming that his attorney's fees
was not paid by his former clients, despite repeated demands. He moved for the issuance
of an order of attachment upon a certain parcel of land belonging to Liberty Dizon and her
wards, located at 48 Damar Village, Quezon City. By virtue of the Writ of Attachment
issued, a levy was made on said property, which levy was annotated at the back of TCT
No. 173792.
Due to the failure of the sheriff to serve the summons issued in Civil Case 4238 for
the reason that Mrs. Dizon and her wards no longer resided at their last known address at
34-H Kaingin Road, Cypress Village, Quezon City, and that their present address cannot
be ascertained, Atty. Suntay filed a 'Motion for Service of Summons by Publication' which
was granted by the court. Accordingly, summons were served upon Mrs. Dizon and her
wards through publication.
Meanwhile, a Deed of Absolute Sale was executed between Liberty Dizon and
Leonora Obana involving the attached property. The Register of Deeds of Quezon City

Page | 38
issued in favor of Leonora Obana a new TCT No. 191059 necessarily transferring in the
process the encumbrance consisting of notice of levy in favor of appellant.
In Civil Case No. 4238, Liberty Dizon et al were declared in default. Decision was
rendered in favor of Atty. Suntay and the property attached was levied on and sold at
execution sale, with Atty. Suntay being the highest bidder. Mrs. Dizon and her wards and
Leonora Obana failed to redeem the property within the prescribed period. Consequently,
the LRC Court issued an order cancelling TCT No. 191059 and directing the Register of
Deeds of Quezon to issue a new title in the name of Rafael G. Suntay.
In response, Leonora Obana filed an action for annulment of judgment rendered in
Civil Case No. 4238, contending that the decision rendered in said case is null and void for
the reason that CFI Bulacan did not acquire jurisdiction over Liberty Dizon and her wards,
since they were not properly served with summons.
The court nullified the judgment in Civil Case No. 4238 on the ground that no
jurisdiction was acquired over the persons of defendants therein, the action being strictly
in personam and summons by publication is insufficient; and that no valid attachment and
levy were made by the sheriff as no personal service of the copy of the notice to the
occupant of the property was made.
On appeal, the Court of Appeals dismissed Obana's complaint on the grounds of
lack of cause of action and res judicata. Hence, this petition.

Whether or not the court acquired jurisdiction over the parties thru Service of
Summons by Publication.

No. An action for collection of a sum of money is an action in personam thereby
requiring personal service of summons on the defendants. Civil Case No. 4238 was an
action for sum of money filed by Atty. Suntay against Liberty Dizon and her minor children
in an effort to collect attorney's fees in the guardianship case he handled for them.
The sheriff's sale was effected without any personal notice to Liberty Dizon on the
ground that she had moved out of her old address and her "present address" was unknown.

Page | 39
No notice was served on Obana because she was not a party in the collection case. All
notices and summonses in the collection case were served through mail to defendant Dizon
at 34-H Caingin Road, Cypress Village Quezon City. As earlier stated, because the Sheriff
could not serve the complaint and the summons on Dizon who had moved out of the above
address, service by Publication upon Dizon was authorized by the court in the collection
An action for collection of a sum of money is an action in personam thereby
requiring personal service of summons on the defendants. The creditor, however, in an
action in personam can take the recourse to locate properties, real or personal of the resident
defendant-debtor with unknown address and causing said properties to be attached under
Rule 57 of 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 be deemed valid and
It should be noted that Section 7 of Rule 57 requires that in attaching real property
a copy of the order, description, and notice must be served on the occupant, in this case the
occupant at 48 Damortiz Street, Damar Village, Quezon City. [in this case, the notice of
levy on attachment of the disputed property, the notice of levy on execution and the notice
of sheriff's sale were served through mail to Dizon at 34-H Caingin Road, Cypress Village
Quezon City.] The trial court in the annulment case ruled that the attachment was void
from the beginning. The action in personam which required personal service was never
converted into an action in rem where service by publication would have been valid.
The order of the land registration court which directed the cancellation of Obana's
transfer certificate of title cannot assume finality. The CA committed reversible error in
using it as a basis for res judicata. There is the added factor that a land registration court in
a cancellation of title case could not possibly inquire into the controversial matters raised
in the annulment of judgment case.

Page | 40
Lourdes A. Valmonte and Alfredo D. Valmonte vs. Court of Appeals, Third Division
and Rosita Dimalanta
G.R. No. 108538 January 22, 1996

Petitioners Lourdes A. Valmonte and Alfredo D. Valmonte are husband and wife.
They are both residents of 90222 Carkeek Drive South Seattle, Washington, U.S.A.
On March 9, 1992, private respondent Rosita Dimalanta, who is the sister of petitioner
Lourdes A. Valmonte, filed a complaint for partition of real property and accounting of
rentals against petitioners Lourdes A. Valmonte and Alfredo D. Valmonte before the
Regional Trial Court of Manila, Branch 48.
Service of summons was then made upon petitioner Alfredo D. Valmonte, who at
the time, was at his office in Manila. Petitioner Alfredo D. Valmonte accepted the
summons, insofar as he was concerned, but refused to accept the summons for his wife,
Lourdes A. Valmonte, on the ground that he was not authorized to accept the process on
her behalf. Accordingly the process server left without leaving a copy of the summons and
complaint for petitioner Lourdes A. Valmonte.
Petitioner Alfredo D. Valmonte thereafter filed his Answer with Counterclaim.
Petitioner Lourdes A. Valmonte, however, did not file her Answer. For this reason private
respondent moved to declare her in default. Petitioner Alfredo D. Valmonte entered a
special appearance in behalf of his wife and opposed the private respondents motion.
In its Order dated July 3, 1992, the trial court, denied private respondents motion
to declare petitioner Lourdes A. Valmonte in default. A motion for reconsideration was
similarly denied on September 23, 1992. Whereupon, private respondent filed a petition
for certiorari, prohibition and mandamus with the Court of Appeals.
On December 29, 1992, the Court of Appeals rendered a decision granting the
petition and declaring Lourdes A. Valmonte in default. A copy of the appellate courts
decision was received by petitioner Alfredo D. Valmonte on January 15, 1993 at his Manila
office and on January 21, 1993 in Seattle, Washington. Hence, this petition.

Page | 41
Whether or not petitioner Lourdes A. Valmonte was validly served summons.

The Court held that there was no valid service of summon.
The Court determined that the action instituted against the petitioner which is for partition
and accounting under Rule 69, is in nature of action quasi in rem. Accordingly, since
Lourdes A. Valmonte is a non-resident who is not found in the Philippines her service of
summons must be in accordance with Rule 14 Sec. 14 (17a). Such service, to be effective
outside the Philippines, must be made either (1) by personal service; (2) by publication in
a newspaper of general circulation in such places and for such time as the court may order,
in which case a copy of the summons and order of the court should be sent by registered
mail to the last known address of the defendant; or (3) in any other manner which the court
may deem sufficient.


G.R. No. L-22997 March 15, 1968

The chronological order of events spawned the present case:
August 15, 1958. Plaintiffs commenced suit against Fr. Gerardo Maximo
who, according to the complaint, was residing at the parish church at Concepcion,
Malabon, Rizal. Plaintiffs' cause of action for damages sprang from a motor vehicle
accident which occurred at Padre Faura St., Manila, on December 16, 1957. Paul
Hershell Montalban, son of plaintiffs, suffered injuries.
August 15, 1958. On this same day that the complaint was filed, summons
was served on defendant Fr. Gerardo Maximo at the parish church of Concepcion,
Malabon, Rizal, through Fr. Arsenio Bautista - a priest in the same parish church.
August 23, 1958. Fr. Arsenio Bautista sent a letter (dated August 21) to
Macario M. Ofilada, Clerk of Court of the Court of First Instance of Manila,

Page | 42
informing him that defendant Fr. Gerardo Maximo left for Europe on August 7, and
"will be back on the first week of November." Actually, Fr. Maximo returned from
abroad "about the second week of October, 1958."
September 20, 1958. The lower court declared defendant in default, on
plaintiffs' motion of September 13, 1958.
June 8, 1959. Upon plaintiffs' evidence, the court rendered judgment in
favor of plaintiff.
December 16, 1959. Plaintiffs themselves wrote defendant Fr. Gerardo
Maximo, at the Malabon Catholic Church, informing the latter of the lower court's
decision, quoting therein the dispositive part of the decision just transcribed,
requesting prompt compliance therewith and suggesting that he communicate with
or personally see their lawyer, Jose W. Diokno, at the latter's address, 332 Regina
Building, Escolta, Manila.
December 20, 1959. Defendant, through his legal counsel, Dr. Nicanor T.
Santos, answered the foregoing letter expressing regret that he could not comply
with plaintiffs' request, because he (defendant) was not aware of the said civil case,
and that, in the criminal action arising out of the same incident, said defendant was
acquitted by the Municipal Court of Manila.
January 14 1960. Deputy Sheriff Liberato C. Manalo of Rizal notified
defendant of the issuance of the writ of execution dated January 7, 1960, and
demanded payment of the amount set forth therein. The Sheriff's return to the writ
shows that in response to such demand, defendant alleged that he was then
"financially hard up," and that the Sheriff found no property that could be subject
to execution.
January 30, 1962. An alias writ of execution was issued. Copy thereof was
received by defendant on February 9, 1962.
February 1, 1962. The Deputy Sheriff attached and levied on a residential
house located in Caloocan City and purportedly belonging to defendant.
February 20, 1962. Two years and two months after defendant admittedly
learned of the lower court's decision from counsel for plaintiffs herein, said
defendant, by counsel, filed a verified motion in the same case praying for the

Page | 43
annulment of the entire proceedings. His ground is this: Summons was not duly
served upon him "as provided under Sec. 7, Rule 7 of the Rules of Court";
accordingly, the lower court "did not acquire jurisdiction over his person"; and "the
trial and decision by default" are "null and void."
March 3 1962. The court denied this motion.
March 24 1962. Defendant's move to reconsider was rejected by the court.
Hence, this appeal from the orders of March 3 and March 24, 1962, duly certified
to this Court by the Court of Appeals.
September 2, 1965. After the case was submitted for decision, defendant's
lawyer informed this Court of the death of defendant on August 1, 1965.
October 18, 1967. Following extensive efforts to have the deceased
defendant substituted by any of his heirs or the executor or administrator of his
estate, which were to no avail, this Court appointed the Clerk of Court of the Court
of First Instance of Manila, representative of the deceased defendant.

Whether summons in a suit in personam against a resident of the Philippines
temporarily absent therefrom may be validly effected by substituted service under
Section 8, Rule 14 (formerly Section 8, Rule 7) of the Rules of Court.

The court rules in the affirmative. For, plaintiffs make the point that even
with defendant temporarily abroad, substituted service is valid under Section 8 by
leaving a copy of the summons "at the defendant's dwelling house or residence with
some person of suitable age and discretion then residing therein." Plaintiffs argue
that if the ordinary method prescribed by the rules that is, personal service under
Section 7, Rule 14, is not feasible, then the substituted service in Section 8 aforesaid
comes into play. Section 8 says:
Sec. 8. Substituted service. If the defendant cannot be served
within a reasonable time as provided in the preceding section,
service may be effected (a) by leaving copies of the summons at the

Page | 44
defendant's dwelling house or residence with some person of
suitable age and discretion then residing therein, or (b) by leaving
the copies at defendant's office or regular place of business with
some competent person in charge thereof.

It is now long recognized, that domiciliaries of a state, though temporarily

out of its territorial jurisdiction, are always amenable to suits in personam therein.
And this precept is the foundation for the American rule that declares substituted
service binding on absent residents. The leading case Milliken vs. Meyer, furnishes
the rationale:

. . . the authority of a state over one of its citizens is not

terminated by the mere fact of his absence from the state. The state
which accords him privileges and affords protection to him and his
property by virtue of his domicile may also exact reciprocal duties.
"Enjoyment of the privileges of residence within the state, and the
attendant right to invoke the protection of its laws, are inseparable"
from the various incidences of state citizenship. . . . The
responsibilities of that citizenship arise out of the relationship to the
state which domicile creates. That relationship is not dissolved by
mere absence from the state. The attendant duties, like the rights and
privileges incident to domicile, are not dependent on continuous
presence in the state. One such incident of domicile is amenability
to suit within the state even during sojourns without the state, where
the state has provided and employed a reasonable method for
apprising such an absent party of the proceedings against him.

There should be no doubt, therefore, that in suits in personam, courts have

jurisdiction over residents temporarily out of the country.
When the framers of our Rules adapted Section 8, it is to be implied that
they intended to give the provision the same meaning shaped out by the

Page | 45
jurisprudence of the jurisdiction from whence it was patterned. Section 8 is to be
viewed in the same context it is understood in the American legal system. The word
"defendant" in that provision is to be construed as including any resident of this
country. By comparative construction, Section 8 is to be applied to all resident
defendants without distinction as to whether he is physically present in this
country or not.
This construction is but fair. It is in accord with substantial justice. The
burden on a plaintiff is not to be enlarged with a restrictive construction as desired
by defendant. Under the rules, a plaintiff, in the initial stage of suit, is merely
required to know the defendant's "dwelling house or residence" or his "office or
regular place of business" and no more. He is not asked to investigate where a
resident defendant actually is at the precise moment of filing suit. Once defendant's
dwelling house or residence or office or regular place of business is known, he can
expect valid service of summons to be made on "some person of suitable age and
discretion then residing" in defendant's dwelling house or residence, or on "some
competent person in charge" of his office or regular place of business. By the terms
of the law, plaintiff is not even duty-bound to see to it that the person upon whom
service was actually made delivers the summons to defendant or inform him about
it. The law presumes that for him.
Reasons for the views just expressed are not wanting. A man temporarily
absent from this country leaves a definite place of residence, a dwelling where he
lives, a local base, so to speak, to which any inquiry about him may be directed and
where he is bound to return. Where one temporarily absents himself, he leaves his
affairs in the hands of one who may be reasonably expected to act in his place and
stead; to do all that is necessary to protect his interests; and to communicate with
him from time to time any incident of importance that may affect him or his
business or his affairs. It is usual for such a man to leave at his home or with his
business associates information as to where he may be contacted in the event a
question that affects him crops up. If he does not do what is expected of him, and a
case comes up in court against him, he cannot in justice raise his voice and say that
he is not subject to the processes of our courts. He cannot stop a suit from being

Page | 46
filed against him upon a claim that he cannot be summoned at his dwelling house
or residence or his office or regular place of business.
The judgment has long since become final. It enjoys the presumption of
regularity. It is, unless stricken down, entitled to respect. Non quieta movere.
Because "public policy and sound practice demand that, at the risk of occasional
errors, judgments of courts should become final at some definite date fixed by law.

Montefalcon vs. Vasquez

G.R. No. 165016, June 17, 2008

In 1999, petitioner Dolores P. Montefalcon filed a Complaint for acknowledgment
and support against respondent Ronnie S. Vasquez before the RTC of Naga City. Alleging
that her son Laurence (co-petitioner) is the illegitimate child of Vasquez, she prayed that
Vasquez be obliged to give support to their son, whose certificate of live birth he signed as
According to petitioners, Vasquez only gave a total of P19, 000 as support for
Laurence since Laurence was born in 1993, and allegedly refused to give him regular
school allowance despite repeated demands. Petitioner Dolores added that she and Vasquez
are not legally married, and that Vasquez has his own family.
A sheriff tried to serve the summons and complaint on Vasquez in Aro-aldao,
Nabua, Camarines Sur. Vasquezs grandfather received them as Vasquez was in Manila.
Vasquez mother returned the documents to the clerk of court, who informed the court of
the non-service of summons . Petitioners then filed a motion to declare Vasquez in default.
The court denied it for lack of proper service of summons.
An alias summon was served in 2000 at the Taguig address of Vasquez, and was
received by his caretaker Bejer but the Sheriffs return incorrectly stated Lazaro as
Vasquezs surname. Another alias summon was served this time with the correct name of
Vasquez, received by Bejer and Sheriff in turn issued a certificate that summon was duly

Page | 47
On petitioners motion, the trial court declared Vasquez in default for failure to file
an answer despite the substituted service of summons. Vasquez was furnished with court
orders and notices of the proceedings at his last known address. Noting that Vasquez is a
seafarer and left the country on January 24, 2000 and came back on October 12, 2000.
Vasquez filed a petition on appeal contending that the court never acquired
jurisdiction over his person and the awarding of support as excessive. CA granted his
appeal ruling on the service of summons was defective as there was no proof of
impossibility in personal service and an attempt to effect such.
Vasquez countered that because he was abroad; service of summons should have
been personal or by publication as substituted service is proper only if a defendant is in the
country, Vasquez also added that the Sheriffs return did not state that he exerted efforts to
personally serve the summons.
In their reply, petitioners insisted that a substituted service is the normal method if
one is temporarily away from the country as personal service abroad or by publication are
not ordinary means of service.

Whether there is a valid substitution service of summons on Vasquez to clothe the
trial court with jurisdiction over his person.

Yes. To acquire jurisdiction over the person of a defendant, service of summons
must be personal, or if this not feasible within a reasonable time, then by substituted
service. It is of judicial notice that overseas Filipino seafarers are contractual Employees.
They go back to the country one their contracts expire,and wait for the signing of
another contract with the same or new manning agency and principal if the wish. It is
therefore common knowledge that a Filipino seaman often has a temporary residence in
the urban areas like Metro Manila, where Majority of the manning agencies hold offices,
aside from his home address in the province where he originates. In this case, respondent
Vasquez hails form Camarines Sur but he lived in Taguig City when the complaint was
filed. Notice may then be taken that he has established a residence in ether place. Residence

Page | 48
is a place where the person named in the summons is living at the time when the service
was made, even though he was temporarily abroad at the time. As an overseas
seafarer,Vasquez was a Filipino resident temporarily out of the country. Hence. Service of
summons on him is governed by Rule 14, Section 16 of the Rules of Court.
Because Section 16 of Rule 14 uses the words may and also, it not
mandatory. Other methods of service of summons allowed under the Rules may also be
availed of by the serving officer on a defendant-seaman.
Ideally, Vasquez must be personally served summons. But was personal service of
summons practicable Conversely, was substituted service of summons justified?
Obviously, personal service of summons was not practicable since the defendant
was temporarily out of the country. To proceed with personal services of summons on a
defendant-seaman who went on overseas contract work-would not only be impractical and
futile-it would also be absurd.
The impossibility of prompt personal service was shown by the fact that Naga City
-based sheriff purposely went to a barrio in Camarines Sur to serve the summons personally
on Vasquez when service of summons failed, said sheriff ascertained the whereabouts of
Vasquez Upon being informed that Vasquez was in Manila the Naga court commissioned
a Taguig City-based sheriff to service the summons. Both the Naga and Taguig sheriff
inquired about Vasquezs whereabouts, signifying that they did not immediately resort to
substituted service. There was no undue haste in effecting substituted services. The fact
that the Naga court allowed a reasonable time to locate Vasquez to as far Taguig shows
that there was indeed no precipitate haste in serving the summons.
Residence is the place where the person named in the summons is living at the
time when the service is made, even though he may be temporarily out of the country at
the time. A plaintiff is merely required to know the defendants residence, office or regular
business place. He need not know where a resident defendant actually is at the very moment
of filling suit. He is not even duty-bound to ensure that the person upon whom service was
actually made delivers the summons to the defendant or inform him about it. The law
presumes that for him. It is immaterial that defendant does not receive actual notice.
As well said in Montalban:

Page | 49
A man temporarily absent form this country leaves a definite place of residence, a
dwelling where he lives, a local base, so to speak, to which any inquiry about him may be
directed and where he is bound to return. Where one temporarily absents himself, he leave
his affairs in the hands of one who may be reasonably expected to act in his place and stead;
to do all that is necessary to importance that may affect him or his business or his affairs.
It is usual for such a man to leave at his home or with his business associate information
as to where he may be contacted in the event a question that affects him crops up. If he
does not do what is expected of him, and a case comes up in court against him, he cannot
in justice raise his voice and say that he is not subject to be processes of our court. He
cannot stop a suit from being filed against him upon a claim that he cannot be summoned
at his dwelling house or residence or his office or regular place of business.
Not that he cannot be reached within a reasonable time to enable him to contest a
suit against him. There are now advanced facilities of communication. Long distance
telephone calls and cablegrams make it easy for one he left behind to communicate with
Aside from, at present, various forms of texting and short message services by the
ubiquitous cellular phones.
More importantly, the letter of the law must yield to its spirit. The absence in the
final sheriffs return of a statement about the impossibility of personal service does not
conclusively prove that the service is invalid. Such failure should not unduly prejudice
petitioner if what was undisclosed was in fact done.
Proof of prior attempts at personal service may have been submitted by the plaintiff
during the hearing of any incident assailing the validity of the substituted service had
Vasquez surface when the case was heard. In fact, he was declared in default. It was only
when a judgment against him was rendered by the trial court that he questioned the validity
of service of summons before the appellate court. Such failure to appear, and then later to
question the courts jurisdiction over his person, should not be taken against herein
Between Vasquezs self-serving assertion that he only came to know of the case
when his mother told him about the trial courts decision and the sheriffs return on the
substituted service which carries a presumption of regularity, the latter is undoubtedly

Page | 50
deserving of more faith and credit. The sheriffs certificate of service of summons is prima
facie evidence of the fact set out in it. Only clear and convincing evidence may overcome
its presumption of regularity. Given the circumstances in the present case, we agree that
the presumption of regularity in the performance of duty on the part of the sheriff stand.


G.R. No. 126321, October 23, 1997

Petitioner Toyota Cubao, Inc., undertook repairs on the car owned by private
respondent Danilo Guevarra. The repair cost of P76,800.47 was paid by means of BPI
Check No. 17819, dated 12 March 1991, drawn by Guevarra in favor of Toyota. When
presented for payment, the check was dishonored, i.e., "Drawn Against Insufficient Funds
('DAIF')." Petitioner thereupon requested that Guevarra should make good the check.
When Guevarra failed to heed the demand, petitioner filed a civil case for collection of the
unpaid account. On 07 January 1993, the trial court issued the summons to Guevarra at his
address in 29 Burgos Street, Calamba, Laguna.
On 02 February 1993, Process Server Antonio Rimas of the Regional Trial Court
of Calamba, Laguna, submitted to the trial court a return on the service; it read in full:
"Respectfully returned to the Branch Clerk of Court, Regional Trial Court,
National Capital Judicial Region, Branch 92, Quezon City, the herein attached
original summon in the above entitled case with the information that it was duly
served to the defendant DANILO A. GUEVARRA, thru her sister-in-law, GLORIA
CABALLES, by leaving a copy of the summons and complaint but refused to sign.
"Serve[d] Feb. 2, 1993."

On 19 March 1993, the trial court granted petitioner's Motion To Declare Defendant
In Default and allowed an ex-parte presentation of petitioner's evidence, because Guevarra

Page | 51
had failed to file an ANSWER within the reglementary period. A writ of execution was
issued to implement the decision.
The notice of levy was served on Guevarra personally but he refused to sign the
receipt thereof, expressed surprise over it, and stated that he was not aware of any case
instituted against him. The Sheriff issued a notice of auction sale of the levied vehicle. The
vehicle was sold at public auction to Christopher Alex Sillano, the highest bidder, for
Guevarra asked in a certiorari petition before the Court of Appeals, for the
nullification of the ex-parte judgment, he claimed that the trial court did not acquire
jurisdiction over his person because of a defective service of summons on him. The
appellate court, finding merit in the petition, annulled and set aside the default judgment,
the writ of execution, the levy upon execution and the sale at public auction of the vehicle.

Whether the substituted service of summons effected on private respondent was

The substituted service of summons effected on private respondent was invalid.
Section 7, Rule 14, of the Rules of Court requires that summons must be served
personally by "handing a copy thereof to the defendant in person or, if he refuses to receive
it, by tendering it to him." If, however, this mode of service cannot be effected within a
reasonable time, substituted service may be resorted to under Section 8 of the same Rule.
Evidence must in such a case be duly presented that would prove proper compliance with
the rules on substituted service. Unfortunately in these instant cases, the private respondent
failed to present evidence during the hearings of the petitioner's separate motions to dismiss
and set aside judgment to prove that substituted service of summons was indeed effected
in strict compliance with Section 8, Rule 14 of the Rules of Court. During such hearings,
the private respondent could also have presented evidence to show that the petitioner did
in fact receive from Susan O. dela Torre the summonses, together with copies of the

Page | 52
complaints, in both cases. If indeed the petitioner received the same, the requirement of
due process would have been complied with.


G.R. No. L-58036, 148 SCRA 541, March 16, 1987

Eliseo Boticano is the registered owner of a Bedford truck with plate No. QC-870,
T-Pilipinas '77 which he was using in hauling logs for a certain fee. At 11pm in the evening
of September 3, 1971, while loaded with logs, it was properly parked by its driver Maximo
Dalangin at the shoulder of the national highway in Barrio Labi, Nueva Ecija when it was
hit and bumped at the rear portion by a Bedford truck bearing plate No. QK-516, T-
Pilipinas, '77 owned by Manuel Chu, Jr. and driven by Jaime Sigua. Manuel Chu, Jr. agreed
to shoulder the expenses of the repair of the damaged truck of Botanico.
When Manuel Chu, Jr. failed to comply with the agreement as well as to pay
damages representing lost income despite Botanico's demands, the latter filed a complaint
in the CFI for damages against Manuel Chu, Jr. (truck owner) and Jaime Sigua (his driver).
Summons was issued but was returned unserved for Jaime Sigua because he was
no longer connected with San Pedro Saw Mill, Guagua, Pampanga, while another copy of
the summons for Manuel Chu, Jr. was returned duly served on him thru his wife Veronica
Chu at his dwelling house.
Botanico moved to dismiss the case against Jaime Sigua and to declare Manuel
Chu, Jr. in default for failure to file responsive pleadings within the reglementary period.
The motion was granted, allowing Botanico to adduce his evidence ex parte.
The CFI found Manuel Chu, Jr, liable for negligence and ordered him to pay P6,970
as actual damages and P73,700 representing unrealized income for the non-use of
Botanico's damaged truck for 11 months.
However, the Court of Appeals set aside the CFI judgment holding that Manuel
Chu, Jr. was not properly served with summons. Motion for reconsideration was denied.
Hence, this petition. Manuel Chu, Jr. does not deny receipt of the summons. The bone of

Page | 53
contention appears to be in the manner of service of said summons on the wife at their
dwelling instead of on Manuel Chu, Jr. himself personally.

Whether or not the question of jurisdiction over the person of the defendant can be
raised for the first time on appeal?

The question has been answered in the negative by the Supreme Court in a long
line of decisions. Upon general principles, defects in jurisdiction arising from irregularities
in the commencement of the proceedings, defective process or even absence of process
may be waived by a failure to make seasonable objections. One of the circumstances
considered by the Court as indicative of waiver by the defendant of any alleged defect of
jurisdiction over his person arising from defective or even want of process, is his failure to
raise the question of jurisdiction in the CFI and at the first opportunity.
It can be argued that the failure to question the lower court's jurisdiction cannot be
accounted against Chu for his having been declared in default gave him no chance to
participate in the court deliberations and therefore no chance to raise the jurisdictional
issue, but then, he could have done so, in the subsequent pleadings he filed. Besides, even
assuming that such failure cannot be taken against him, the fact is he had voluntarily
submitted himself to the court's jurisdiction. Manuel Chu, Jr. voluntarily appeared thru
counsel in the trial court. Not only did he submit pleadings and motions, but he likewise
appeared in person, thru counsel in the hearing and orally argued in open court.
Under Section 23, Rule 14 of the Rules of Court, the defendant's voluntary
appearance in the action shall be equivalent to service. Thus, under this principle, it has
been consistently held by the Supreme Court that the defect of summons is cured by the
voluntary appearance of the defendant.
There is no question that summons was timely issued and received by Manuel Chu,
Jr. In fact, he never denied actual receipt of such summons but confined himself to the
argument that the Sheriff should prove that personal service was first made before resorting
to substituted service.

Page | 54
The constitutional requirement of due process exacts that the service be such as
may be reasonably expected to give the notice desired. Once the service provided by the
rules reasonably accomplishes that end, the requirement of justice is answered; the
traditional notions of fair play are satisfied; due process is served."

X. Dead Person: No Legal Entity to Bring Action


Presiding Judge, Regional Trial Court, 7th Judicial District, Branch XII, Cebu City;
G.R. No. 63145 October 5, 1999
Private respondent filed a Complaint for a Sum of Money and Damages against
petitioner. However, petitioner moved to dismiss the foregoing complaint on the ground
that the estate of Carlos Ngo has no legal personality, the same being neither a natural
nor legal person in contemplation of law. The petitioner then filed an opposition to private
respondents Motion to Dismiss. The public respondent then gave private respondent 15
days to make the amendment of the complaint. Petitioner filed a MR of the order of public
respondent. First, she argued that the action instituted by the private respondent to recover
P48, 889.70, representing the unpaid price of the automotive spare parts purchased by her
deceased husband during his lifetime, is a money claim which, under Section 21, Rule 3 of
the Revised Rules of Court, does not survive, the same having been filed after Carlos Ngo
had already died. Second, she claimed that the public respondent never acquired
jurisdiction over the subject matter of the case which, being an action to recover a sum of
money from a deceased person, may only be heard by a probate court. Private respondent
opposed the foregoing motion. Public respondent then issued an Order giving private
respondent 24 hours to file his amended complaint. Private respondent then filed his
amended complaint. Petitioner then filed a Comment to Plaintiffs Amended Complaint.
Private respondent then filed A Rejoinder to Defendants Comment. Public respondent

Page | 55
then issued the herein assailed order. Hence, the present Petition for Certiorari assailing the
said Order.

WON a dead person or his estate may be a party plaintiff in a court action.

No. Firstly, neither a dead person nor his estate may be a party plaintiff in a court
action. A deceased person does not have such legal entity as is necessary to bring action so
much so that a motion to substitute cannot lie and should be denied by the court. An action
begun by a decedent's estate cannot be said to have been begun by a legal person, since an
estate is not a legal entity; such an action is a nullity and a motion to amend the party
plaintiff will not likewise lie, there being nothing before the court to amend. Considering
that capacity to be sued is a correlative of the capacity to sue, to the same extent, a decedent
does not have the capacity to be sued and may not be named a party defendant in a court
action. .
Secondly, it is clear that the original complaint of private respondent against the
estate of Carlos Ngo was a suit against Carlos Ngo himself who was already dead at the
time of the filing of said complaint. At that time, and this private respondent admitted, no
special proceeding to settle his estate had been filed in court. As such, the trial court did
not acquire jurisdiction over either the deceased Carlos Ngo or his estate. It is true that
amendments to pleadings are liberally allowed in furtherance of justice, in order that every
case may so far as possible be determined on its real facts, and in order to speed the trial
of causes or prevent the circuitry of action and unnecessary expense. But amendments
cannot be allowed so as to confer jurisdiction upon a court that never acquired it in the first
place. When it is evident that the court has no jurisdiction over the person and the subject
matter and that the pleading is so fatally defective as not to be susceptible of amendment,
or that to permit such amendment would radically alter the theory and the nature of the
action, then the court should refuse the amendment of the defective pleading and order the
dismissal of the case.

Page | 56
XI. Indispensable Parties


G.R. No. 125567

Petitioners are tenants in a landholding with an aggregate area of 10.4496 hectares,
more or less, in Malvar, Santiago, Isabela. The land belongs to Salud Aguila, whose
children are private respondents. It appears that the land in question was identified by the
Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR)-Region 2 as covered by the Operation Land
Transfer Program of the government. In 1976, Aguila, in behalf of her children, filed a
petition for exemption from the coverage of P.D. No. 27. Petitioners opposed the
application. The Regional Director granted the application for exemption. On appeal to the
DAR, the decision was affirmed in a decision dated September 28, 1992. However, on
motion of petitioners, the DAR reversed its ruling and denied private respondents'
application for exemption and declared petitioners the rightful farmer-beneficiaries of the
land. Private respondents appealed to the Office of the President which, in a decision,
setting aside the Order dated January 6, 1993 of DAR and confirming and reinstating the
Order dated September 28, 1992 of the said Department a modification that subject
landholdings are not covered by the OLT program of the government pursuant to P.D. No.
27. Petitioners appealed to the Court of Appeals, but their petition was dismissed.
Petitioners moved for reconsideration, however, their motion was denied. Hence, this
present Petition for review on certiorari.

Page | 57
WON the office of the president is an indispensable party in an appeal from its
decision and, therefore, must be impleaded pursuant to the rules of civil procedure.

No. An indispensable party is a party in interest without whom no final
determination can be had of an action without that party being impleaded. Indispensable
parties are those with such an interest in the controversy that a final decree would
necessarily affect their rights, or that the court cannot proceed without their presence.
Interests within the meaning of this rule, should be material, directly in issue and to be
affected by the decrees as distinguished from a mere incidental interest in the question
involved. On the other hand, a nominal or pro forma party is one who is joined as a plaintiff
or defendant, not because such party has any real interest on the subject matter or because
any relief is demanded, but merely because the technical rules of pleadings require the
presence of such party on the record. In the case at bar, the failure to implead the Office of
the President does not warrant the dismissal of the case as such is considered as a pro forma

XII. Class Suit

Re: Request of Heirs of Passengers of Doa Paz

159 SCRA 623 (1988)

In January 1988, a complaint for damages totalling to more than one and a half
billion pesos (1,500,000,000) was filed in the name and on behalf of the relatives or heirs
of the victims of the sinking of the vessel Doa Paz which was caused by its collision with
another vessel. The complaint, instituted as a "class suit" was prosecuted by 27 plaintiffs

Page | 58
in their behalf and in presentation of roughly around 4,000 persons who are all close
relatives and legal heirs of the passengers of the Doa Paz.
The plaintiffs also filed a "Motion for Leave to File Case as Pauper Litigant." They
alleged that majority of them are poor and have no sufficient means to finance the filing of
this case especially because, taking into account the extensive value of damages involved,
the expenses of the filing fee alone will amount to thousands of pesos.
Their counsel submitted a certification of the City Assessor of Quezon City to the
effect that there is no property for taxation purposes in the names of' seven (7) of the named
plaintiffs. The motion was granted by Judge Chingcuangco in his capacity as Executive
Judge only in so far as said seven (7) plaintiffs were concerned.
It is this order that the plaintiffs request this Court to set aside. They ask that all of
them instead be allowed to prosecute the case as pauper litigants and be exempted from
paying filing fees.
The defendants, Sulpicio Lines, Inc., et al, pointed out that there were only 1,493
passengers on board the Doa Paz at the time of the tragedy, not 4,000. And that it is
doubtful whether 27 plaintiffs are sufficiently numerous to fully protect the interests of all
the suit. Further, there are in truth only seven plaintiffs qualified to sue as pauper litigants
and that the claimants not authorized to sue as pauper litigants may continue with the

Whether the rule governing class suits under Section 12, Rule 3 of the Rules of
Court applies in the proceedings at bar?

No. In a class suit, what is contemplated is that (a) the subject matter in controversy
is of common or general interest to many persons, and (b) those persons are so numerous
as to make it impracticable to bring them all before the court.
However, if there are many persons who have distinct, separate rights against the
same party or group of parties, but those rights arise from the same transaction or series of

Page | 59
transactions and there are common questions of fact or law resulting therefrom, then those
affected may join as plaintiffs in one action against the same defendant. This is authorized
by the above mentioned permissive joinder-of- parties rule in Section 6 of Rule 3 of the
Rules of Court. The other factor that serves to distinguish the rule on class suits from that
of permissive joinder of parties is the numerousness of parties involved in the former. The
rule is that for a class suit to be allowed, it is needful inter alia that the parties be so
numerous that it would be impracticable to bring them all before the court.

XIII. Tests to Determine Whether Action Survives or Not


Instance of Abra,
G.R. No. L-41715, June 18, 1976

On March 31, 1975 Fortunata Barcena, mother of minors Rosalio Bonilla and
Salvacion Bonilla and wife of Ponciano Bonilla, instituted a civil action in the Court of
First Instance of Abra, to quiet title over certain parcels of land located in Abra. The herein
defendants then filed a written motion to dismiss the complaint, but before the hearing of
the said motion, the plaintiffs counsel moved to amend the complaint which was granted.
On August 4, 1975 the defendants filed another motion to dismiss the complaint on the
grounds that Fortunata Barcena is dead, and, therefore, has no legal capacity to sue. On
August 19, 1975, plaintiffs counsel received a copy of the order dismissing the complaint
and on the 23rd of the same month; he moved to set aside the said order. The court denied
the Motion for Reconsideration filed by the plaintiffs counsel for lack of merit, which the
counsel later on filed a written manifestation allowing the minor petitioners to be allowed

Page | 60
to substitute their deceased mother but was also denied. From the order, the plaintiffs
counsel filed a second Motion for Reconsideration of the order dismissing the complaint
but the same was denied. Hence, this present petition for review

Whether or not the action survives even after the death of a party during the
pendency of the case.

The answer is in the affirmative. The question as to whether an action survives or
not depends on the nature of the action and the damage sued for. The claim of the deceased
plaintiff which is an action to quiet title over the parcels of land in litigation affects
primarily and principally property and property rights and therefore is one that survives
even after her death. Following the foregoing criterion the claim of the deceased plaintiff
which is an action to quiet title over the parcels of land in litigation affects primarily and
principally property and property rights and therefore survives even after her death. While
it is true that a person who is dead cannot sue in court, yet he can be substituted by his heirs
in pursuing the case up to its completion. The records of this case show that the death of
Fortunata Barcena took place on July 9, 1975 while the complaint was filed March 31,
1975. This means that when the complaint was on March 31, 1975, Fortunata Barcena was
still alive, and therefore, the court had acquired jurisdiction over her person. If thereafter
she died, the Rules of Court prescribes the procedure whereby a party who died during the
pendency of the proceeding can be substituted. Under Section 16, Rule 3of the Rules of
Court "whenever a party to a pending case dies, it shall be the duty of his attorney to inform
the court promptly of such death, and to give the name and residence of his executor,
administrator, guardian or other legal representatives." Moreover, Article 777 of the Civil
Code provides "that the rights to the succession are transmitted from the moment of the
death of the decedent." When Fortunata Barcena, therefore, died her claim or right to the
parcels of land in litigation in Civil Case No. 856, was not extinguished by her death but
was transmitted to her heirs upon her death. Her heirs have thus acquired interest in the
properties in litigation and became parties in interest in the case. In addition, under Section

Page | 61
17, Rule 3 of the Rules of Court, it is the duty of the court, to order the opposing party to
procure the appointment of a legal representative of the deceased. It is, therefore, the duty
of the respondent Court to order the legal representative of the deceased plaintiff to appear
and to be substituted for her. Unquestionably, the respondent court has gravely abused its
discretion in not complying with the clear provision of the Rules of Court in dismissing the
complaint of the plaintiff in Civil Case no. 856. Order of the respondent court, was
therefore, set aside.

XIV. Nullity of Proceedings in Case of Non-Substitution


G.R. No. L-45809, December 12, 1986

Pacifico Pelaez, the private respondent, filed a Complaint against petitioner's father,
Pedro Sepulveda, for ownership and partition of certain parcels of land. Pedro Sepulveda,
the defendant, filed his Answer resisting the claim and raising the special defenses. The
defendant died. The counsels for the deceased defendant then filed a notice of death
wherein were enumerated the thirteen children and surviving spouse of the deceased.
Petitioner filed a petition for letters of administration and she was appointed judicial
administratrix of the estate of her late father. At the hearing of the case former counsels for
the deceased defendant, manifested in open court that with the death of their client, their
contract with him was also terminated and none of the thirteen children nor the surviving
spouse had renewed the contract, but instead they had engaged the services of other lawyers
in the intestate proceedings.
Notwithstanding the manifestation of the former counsels of the deceased defendant, the
respondent trial judge set the case for hearing. The respondent trial judge then issued three
orders. On January 28, 1976, the respondent trial judge rendered a decision against the

Page | 62
heirs of the deceased defendant. Petitioner, who had been appointed judicial administratrix
of the estate, filed a motion to intervene and/or substitute the deceased defendant which
was denied by the respondent trial judge. Petitioner then filed a special civil action
of certiorari with the Court of Appeals which was dismissed. Hence, this appeal.

Whether or not respondent court gravely erred in not following the rule and
requiring the appearance of the legal representative of the deceased and instead dismissing
the appeal of the deceased who yet had to be substituted in the pending appeal.

Yes. In the case at bar, in view of the pendency of Special Proceeding No. 37-SF,
Intestate Estate of Pedro Sepulveda, and the pending application of petitioner to be
appointed judicial administratrix of the estate, the respondent trial judge should have
awaited the appointment of petitioner and granted her motion to substitute the deceased
defendant. In the case at bar, in view of the pendency of Special Proceeding No. 37-SF,
Intestate Estate of Pedro Sepulveda, and the pending application of petitioner to be
appointed judicial administratrix of the estate, the respondent trial judge should have
awaited the appointment of petitioner and granted her motion to substitute the deceased
defendant. It has been held that when a party dies in an action that survives and no order is
issued by the court for the appearance of the legal representative or of the heirs of the
deceased in substitution of the deceased, and as a matter of fact no such substitution has
ever been effected, the trial held by the court without such legal representatives or heirs
and the judgment rendered after such trial are null and void because the court acquired
no jurisdiction over the persons of the legal representatives or of the heirs upon whom the
trial and the judgment would be binding.

XV. Meaning of Residence for Venue Purposes

Page | 63
Raymund v. Court of Appeals,
166 SCRA 50, 54 (1988)

A complaint for damages was filed with the Regional Trial Court of Iloilo by
Santiago Bitera against Carlos Bell Raymond and Agustin Alba. The latter moved to
dismiss the action on the ground of improper venue. They argued that although Bitera's
complaint gives his address as 240-C Jalandoni Street, Iloilo City, he is, and for many years
has been actually residing at the so-called UPSUMCO Compound, Bais City, he being the
officer-in-charge of the business firm known as UPSUMCO, which has offices at Bais and
Manjuyod Negros Oriental, and that, indeed, his affidavit, appended to his complaint,
contains his affirmation that he is a resident of the UPSUMCO Compound, City of Bais
and shows that his residence certificate had been issued at Manjuyod Negros Oriental. The
Trial Court however denied their motion to dismiss. They then filed a special civil action
of certiorari and prohibition with the Court of Appeals.

Whether or not the complaint was properly filed.

No. Based on Section 2, Rule 4 of the Rules of Court, personal actions may be
commenced and tried where the defendant or any of the defendants resides or may be
found, or where the plaintiff or any of the plaintiffs resides, at the election of the plaintiff.
Thus, it is held that the venue was improperly laid in a case where the complaint was file
in the Court of First Instance by the plaintiff who was born and reared in the province of
Ilocos Norte, but whose actual residence at time of the suit was admittedly at Quezon City.
The Trial Court committed legal error, if not grave abuse of discretion, in not dismissing
Biteras action despite the fact that it was the venue had clearly been improperly laid and
had been seasonably objected to on that ground by petitioners in a motion to dismiss.

Page | 64
G.R. No. 104175, June 25, 1993

On 28 October 1987, Young Auto Supply Co. Inc. (YASCO) represented by
Nemesio Garcia, its president, Nelson Garcia and Vicente Sy, sold all of their shares of
stock in Consolidated Marketing & Development Corporation (CMDC) to George C.
Roxas. The purchase price was P8,000,000.00 payable as follows: a down payment of
P4,000,000.00 and the balance of P4,000,000.00 in four postdated checks of P1,000,000.00
each. Immediately after the execution of the agreement, Roxas took full control of the four
markets of CMDC. However, the vendors held on to the stock certificates of CMDC as
security pending full payment of the balance of the purchase price. The first check of
P4,000,000.00, representing the down payment, was honored by the drawee bank but the
four other checks representing the balance of P4,000,000.00 were dishonored. In the
meantime, Roxas sold one of the markets to a third party. Out of the proceeds of the sale,
YASCO received P600,000.00, leaving a balance of P3,400,000.00. Subsequently, Nelson
Garcia and Vicente Sy assigned all their rights and title to the proceeds of the sale of the
CMDC shares to Nemesio Garcia.
On 10 June 1988, YASCO and Garcia filed a complaint against Roxas in the
Regional Trial Court, Branch 11, Cebu City, praying that Roxas be ordered to pay them
the sum of P3,400,000.00 or that full control of the three markets be turned over to YASCO
and Garcia. The complaint also prayed for the forfeiture of the partial payment of
P4,600,000.00 and the payment of attorney's fees and costs. Failing to submit his answer,
and on 19 August 1988, the trial court declared Roxas in default. The order of default was,
however, lifted upon motion of Roxas. On 22 August 1988, Roxas filed a motion to
dismiss. After a hearing, wherein testimonial and documentary evidence were presented
by both parties, the trial court in an Order dated 8 February 1991 denied Roxas' motion to
dismiss. After receiving said order, Roxas filed another motion for extension of time to
submit his answer. He also filed a motion for reconsideration, which the trial court denied
in its Order dated 10 April 1991 for being pro-forma. Roxas was again declared in default,
on the ground that his motion for reconsideration did not toll the running of the period to

Page | 65
file his answer. On 3 May 1991, Roxas filed an unverified Motion to Lift the Order of
Default which was not accompanied with the required affidavit of merit. But without
waiting for the resolution of the motion, he filed a petition for certiorari with the Court of
Appeals. The Court of Appeals dismissal of the complaint on the ground of improper
venue. A subsequent motion for reconsideration by YASCO was to no avail. YASCO and
Garcia filed the petition

Whether or not the venue for the case against YASCO and Garcia in Cebu City was
improperly laid.

A corporation has no residence in the same sense in which this term is applied to a
natural person. But for practical purposes, a corporation is in a metaphysical sense a
resident of the place where its principal office is located as stated in the articles of
incorporation. The Corporation Code precisely requires each corporation to specify in its
articles of incorporation the "place where the principal office of the corporation is to be
located which must be within the Philippines." The purpose of this requirement is to fix the
residence of a corporation in a definite place, instead of allowing it to be ambulatory.
Actions cannot be filed against a corporation in any place where the corporation maintains
its branch offices. The Court ruled that to allow an action to be instituted in any place where
the corporation has branch offices, would create confusion and work untold inconvenience
to said entity. By the same token, a corporation cannot be allowed to file personal actions
in a place other than its principal place of business unless such a place is also the residence
of a co-plaintiff or a defendant. With the finding that the residence of YASCO for purposes
of venue is in Cebu City, where its principal place of business is located, it becomes
unnecessary to decide whether Garcia is also a resident of Cebu City and whether Roxas
was in estoppel from questioning the choice of Cebu City as the venue. The decision of the
Court of Appeals was set aside.

Page | 66
XVI. Stipulation of Venue by the Parties

Unimaster Conglomeration Inc. vs. Court of Appeals

267 SCRA 759 (1997)

Kubota Agri-Machinery Philippines, Inc. and Unimasters Conglomeration, Inc.
entered into a Dealership Agreement for Sales and Services of the former's products in
Samar and Leyte Provinces. The Dealership Agreement contained a stipulation that All
suits arising out of this Agreement shall be filed with / in the proper Courts of Quezon
City. Five years later, Unimasters filed an action in the RTC of Tacloban against Kubota,
Reynaldo Go and Metrobank for damages and breach of contracts, and injunction with
prayer for temporary restraining order.
Kubota filed two motions One for the dismissal of the case on the ground of
improper venue. The other prayed for the transfer of the injunction hearing its counsel was
not available.The court issued an order allowing the issuance of preliminary injunction and
a motion denying the motion to dismiss on the reason that Unimasters place of business is
in Tacloban City while Kubotas principal place of business is in Quezon City. In accord
with the Rules of Court, the proper venue would either be Quezon City or Tacloban City
at the election of the plaintiff. Hence, the filing in the RTC of Tacloban is proper.
Kubota appealed both orders on the grounds they were issued with grave abuse of
discretion in a special action for certiorari and prohibition filed with the CA. Kubota
asserted that RTC of Tacloban had no jurisdiction was improperly laid. The Court of
Appeals decided in favor of Kubota and it held that: the stipulation respecting venue in its
Dealership Agreement with UNIMASTERS did in truth limit the venue of all suits rising
thereunder only and exclusively to the proper courts of Quezon City. Subsequently,
Unimasters filed a motion for reconsideration but was turned down by the appellate court.


Page | 67
WON the venue stipulations in a contract has the effect of limiting the venue to a
specified place.

NO. The Polytrade doctrine was applied in the case at bar. This doctrine enunciated
that as long as the stipulation does not set forth qualifying or restrictive words to indicate
that the agreed place alone and none other is the venue of the action, the parties do not lose
the option of choosing the venue absence of qualifying or restrictive words, venue
stipulations in a contract should be considered merely as agreement on additional forum,
not as limiting venue to the specified place.
As mentioned in the case, Rule 4 of the Rules of Court sets forth the principles
generally governing the venue of actions, whether real or personal, or involving persons
who neither reside nor are found in the Philippines or otherwise. Agreements on venue are
explicitly allowed. "By written agreement of the parties the venue of an action may be
changed or transferred from one province to another." Parties may by stipulation waive the
legal venue and such waiver is valid and effective being merely a personal privilege, which
is not contrary to public policy or prejudicial to third persons. It is an established principle
that a person may renounce any right which the law gives unless such renunciation would
be against public policy.
Written stipulations may either be restrictive or permissive. Stipulations as to venue
may be restrictive in the sense that the suit may be filed only in the place agreed upon, or
merely permissive in that the parties may file their suit not only in the place agreed upon
but also in the places fixed by law (Rule 4, specifically). As in any other agreement, what
is essential is the ascertainment of the intention of the parties respecting the matter.
Since convenience is reason of the rules of venue, it is easy to understand the
proposition that normally, venue stipulations should be deemed permissive merely, and
that interpretation should be adopted which most serves the parties' convenience. In other
words, stipulations designating venues other than those assigned by Rule 4 should be
interpreted as designed to make it more convenient for the parties to institute actions arising
from or in relation to their agreements; that is to say, as simply adding to or expanding the
venues indicated in said Rule 4.

Page | 68
The record of the case at bar expresses that UNIMASTERS has its principal place
of business in Tacloban City, and KUBOTA, in Quezon City. Under Rule 4, the venue of
any personal action between them is "where the defendant or any of the defendants resides
or may be found, or where the plaintiff or any of the plaintiffs resides, at the election of the
plaintiff." In other words, Rule 4 gives UNIMASTERS the option to sue KUBOTA for
breach of contract in the Regional Trial Court of either Tacloban City or Quezon City.
On the other hand, because restrictive stipulations are in derogation of this general
policy, the language of the parties must be so clear and categorical as to leave no doubt of
their intention to limit the place or places, or to fix places other than those expressed in
Rule 4, for their actions. This is easier said than done, however, as an examination of
precedents involving venue covenants will immediately disclose.
Absent additional words and expressions definitely and unmistakably denoting the
parties' desire and intention that actions between them should be ventilated only at the place
selected by them, Quezon City -- or other contractual provisions clearly evincing the same
desire and intention -- the stipulation should be construed, not as confining suits between
the parties only to that one place, Quezon City, but as allowing suits either in Quezon City
or Tacloban City, at the option of the plaintiff (UNIMASTERS in this case).

Page | 69