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Banco do Brasil vs CA

G.R. Nos. 121576-78

June 16, 2000

Petitioner: BANCO DO BRASIL

Respondents: THE COURT OF APPEALS, HON. ARSENIO M.
GONONG, and CESAR S. URBINO, SR.

Topic: Extra-territorial service of summons;

Facts:

Cesar Urbino, Sr. sued Poro Point Shipping Services for
damages the former incurred when one of the latter’s ship ran
aground causing losses to Urbino. Urbino impleaded Banco Do
Brasil (BDB), a foreign corporation not engaged in business in
the Philippines nor does it have any office here or any agent.
BDB was impleaded simply because it has a claim over the
sunken ship. BDB however failed to appear multiple times.
Eventually, a judgment was rendered and BDB was adjudged to
pay $300,000.00 in damages in favor of Urbino for BDB being a
nuisance defendant.
BDB assailed the said decision as it argued that there was no
valid service of summons because the summons was issued to
the ambassador of Brazil. Further, the other summons which
were made through publication is not applicable to BDB as it
alleged that the action against them is in personam.
ISSUE: Whether or not the court acquired jurisdiction over Banco
Do Brasil.
HELD: No. Banco Do Brasil is correct. Although the suit is
originally in rem as it was BDB’s claim on the sunken ship which
was used as the basis for it being impleaded, the action
nevertheless became an in personam one when Urbino asked

the court cannot acquire jurisdiction over his person and therefore cannot validly try and decide the case against him. if the defendant is not physically present in the country. .for damages in the said amount. Significantly. one brought against a person on the basis of his personal liability. jurisdiction over the person of the defendant is necessary for the court to validly try and decide the case. personal service of summons within the state is essential to the acquisition of jurisdiction over the person. This cannot be done. and thus. only a personal service of summons would have vested the court jurisdiction over BDB. Where the action is in personam. however. When the defendant is a non-resident. As such. the publication of summons effected by private respondent is invalid and ineffective for the trial court to acquire jurisdiction over the person of petitioner.