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Holy See vs Rosario (1994


Petitioner: THE HOLY SEE
respondents: THE HON. ERIBERTO U. ROSARIO, JR., as
Presiding Judge of the Regional Trial Court of Makati, Branch 61

Ponente: Justice Quiason

G.R. No. 101949

December 1, 1994

TOPICS: Diplomatic Immunity;


Holy See exercises sovereignty over the Vatican City in Rome,
Italy, and is represented in the Philippines by the Papal Nuncio.

Holy See owns a parcel of land. This land was a donation from
Archdiocese of Manila. Such land was sold to Ramon Licup who
later on assigned his right to the sale to Starbright, a domestic
corporation engaged in the real estate business.

In view of the refusal of the squatters to vacate the lots sold to
Licup, a dispute arose as to who of the parties has the
responsibility of evicting and clearing the land of squatters.

Complicating the relations of the parties was the sale by Holy See
to Tropicana Properties and Development Corporation

Starbright filed a complaint for the annulment of the sale,
reconveyance of the lot and specific performance with damages.

Holy See, on the other hand, invoked sovereign immunity.

Certainly. . which in this case is the Holy See. the mere entering into a contract by a foreign state with a private party cannot be the ultimate test. RULING: Yes. a diplomatic envoy is granted immunity from the civil and administrative jurisdiction of the receiving state over any real action relating to private immovable property situated in the territory of the receiving state which the envoy holds on behalf of the sending state for the purposes of the mission. but for the use of petitioner to construct thereon the official place of residence of the Papal Nuncio. with all the more reason should immunity be recognized as regards the sovereign itself. The logical question is whether the foreign state is engaged in the activity in the regular course of business. Lot 5-A was acquired by petitioner as a donation from the Archdiocese of Manila.ISSUE: WON Holy See may invoke immunity. If this immunity is provided for a diplomatic envoy. Such an act can only be the start of the inquiry. The donation was made not for commercial purpose. In Article 31(a) of the Convention.