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PHILIPPINE COMMERCIAL INTERNATIONAL BANK V.

ALEJANDRO ISSUE:
GR NO. 175587, SEPTEMBER 21, 2007
YNARES-SANTIAGO, J. Whether or not issuance of writ of preliminary attachment is the proper remedy

Even on the allegation that respondent is a resident temporarily out of the Philippines, RULING:
petitioner is still not entitled to a writ of attachment because the trial court could acquire
jurisdiction over the case by substituted service instead of attaching the property of the No. Where the defendant is a resident who is temporarily out of the Philippines, attachment of
defendant. his/her property in an action in personam, is not always necessary in order for the court to
acquire jurisdiction to hear the case. Section 16, Rule 14 of the Rules of Court reads:
FACTS:
Sec. 16. Residents temporarily out of the Philippines. – When an action is commenced
Petitioner filed against respondent a complaint for sum of money with prayer for the issuance against a defendant who ordinarily resides within the Philippines, but who is temporarily out of
of a writ of preliminary attachment. Said complaint alleged that respondent, a resident of it, service may, by leave of court, be also effected out of the Philippines, as under the
Hong Kong, executed in favor of petitioner a promissory note obligating himself to pay preceding section.
P249,828,588.90 plus interest. The preceding section referred to in the above provision is Section 15 which provides for
extraterritorial service – (a) personal service out of the Philippines, (b) publication coupled
In praying for the issuance of a writ of preliminary attachment under Section 1 paragraphs (e) with the sending by registered mail of the copy of the summons and the court order to the last
and (f) of Rule 57 of the Rules of Court, petitioner alleged that (1) respondent fraudulently known address of the defendant; or (c) in any other manner which the court may deem
withdrew his unassigned deposits notwithstanding his verbal promise to PCIB Assistant Vice sufficient.
President Corazon B. Nepomuceno not to withdraw the same prior to their assignment as
security for the loan; and (2) that respondent is not a resident of the Philippines. The trial In Montalban v. Maximo, however, the Court held that substituted service of summons (under
court granted the application and issued the writ ex parte. The bank deposits of respondent the present Section 7, Rule 14 of the Rules of Court) is the normal mode of service of
with Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC) were garnished. Respondent filed a summons that will confer jurisdiction on the court over the person of residents temporarily out
motion to quash the writ contending that the withdrawal of his unassigned deposits was not of the Philippines. Meaning, service of summons may be effected by (a) leaving copies of the
fraudulent as it was approved by petitioner. He also alleged that petitioner knew that he summons at the defendant’s residence with some person of suitable discretion residing
maintains a permanent residence at Calle Victoria, Ciudad Regina, Batasan Hills, Quezon therein, or (b) by leaving copies at the defendant’s office or regular place of business with
City, and an office address in Makati City at the Law Firm Romulo Mabanta Buenaventura some competent person in charge thereof. Hence, the court may acquire jurisdiction over an
Sayoc & De los Angeles, where he is a partner. Respondent added that he is the managing action in personam by mere substituted service without need of attaching the property of the
partner of the Hong Kong branch of said Law Firm; that his stay in Hong Kong is only defendant.
temporary.
In the instant case, it must be stressed that the writ was issued by the trial court mainly on the
The trial court issued an order quashing the writ and holding that the withdrawal of representation of petitioner that respondent is not a resident of the Philippines. Obviously, the
respondent’s unassigned deposits was not intended to defraud petitioner. It concluded that trial court’s issuance of the writ was for the sole purpose of acquiring jurisdiction to hear and
petitioner misrepresented and suppressed the facts regarding respondent’s residence decide the case. Had the allegations in the complaint disclosed that respondent has a
considering that it has personal and official knowledge that for purposes of service of residence in Quezon City and an office in Makati City, the trial court, if only for the purpose of
summons, respondent’s residence and office addresses are located in the Philippines. acquiring jurisdiction, could have served summons by substituted service on the said
addresses, instead of attaching the property of the defendant. The rules on the application of
Meanwhile, respondent filed a claim for damages in the amount of P25 Million on the a writ of attachment must be strictly construed in favor of the defendant. It should be resorted
attachment bond. The trial court awarded damages to respondent in the amount of P25 to only when necessary and as a last remedy.
Million without specifying the basis thereof. Petitioner elevated the case to the Court of
Appeals which affirmed the findings of the trial court. It held that in claiming that respondent It is clear from the foregoing that even on the allegation that respondent is a resident
was not a resident of the Philippines, petitioner cannot be said to have been in good faith temporarily out of the Philippines, petitioner is still not entitled to a writ of attachment because
considering that its knowledge of respondent’s Philippine residence and office address goes the trial court could acquire jurisdiction over the case by substituted service instead of
into the very issue of the trial court’s jurisdiction which would have been defective had attaching the property of the defendant. The misrepresentation of petitioner that respondent
respondent not voluntarily appeared before it. does not reside in the Philippines and its omission of his local addresses was thus a
deliberate move to ensure that the application for the writ will be granted.
Davao Light & Power Co. Inc. v CA (204 SCRA 343)
Facts:
Davao Light and Power Inc, Co. filed a complaint for recovery of sum of money and damages
against Queensland Hotel and Teodorico Adarna. The complaint contained an ex parte
application for a writ of preliminary attachment.

Judge Nartatez granted the writ and fixed the attachment bond at around P4Million. The
summons, copy of complaint, writ of attachment, copy of attachment bond were served upon
Queensland and Adarna. Pursuant to the writ, the Sheriff seized the properties of the latter.

Queensland and Adarna filed a motion to discharge the attachment for lack of jurisdiction to
issue the same because at the time the order of attachment was promulgated (May 3, 1989)
and the attachment writ issued (May 11,1989), the Trial Court had not yet acquired
jurisdiction over cause and person of defendants.

Trial Court denied the motion to discharge.

CA annulled the Trial Court’s Order. Davao seeks to reverse CA’s order.

Issue:
Whether or not preliminary attachment may issue ex parte against a defendant before
acquiring jurisdiction over his person.

Held:
Yes. Rule 57 speaks of the grant of the remedy “at the commencement of the action or at any
time thereafter” What the rule is saying is that after an action is properly commenced (by filing
of the complaint and payment of all requisite docket and other fees), the plaintiff may apply
for and obtain a writ of preliminary attachment. This he may do so, before or after, the
summons to the defendant.
The CA decision is reversed and the writ of attachment issued by Judge Nartatez is
reinstated.

**
Preliminary Attachment – provisional remedy in virtue of which a plaintiff or other party may,
at the commencement of the action or at any time thereafter, have the property of the adverse
party taken into custody of court as security for satisfaction of judgment to be recovered.

Nature of Attachment: a remedy which is purely statutory in respect of which the law requires
a strict of construction of the provisions granting it. No principle, whether statutory or through
jurisprudence, prohibits its issuance by any court before the acquisition of jurisdiction over
the person.

GROUNDS FOR PRELIMINARY ATTACHMENT:


The circumstances under which a writ of preliminary attachment may be issued are set forth
in Section 1, Rule 57 of the Rules of Court, to wit:
SEC. 1. Grounds upon which attachment may issue. — At the commencement of the action
or at any time before entry of judgment, a plaintiff or any proper party may have the property
of the adverse party attached as security for the satisfaction of any judgment that may be
recovered in the following cases:

(a) In an action for the recovery of a specified amount of money or damages, other than
moral and exemplary, on a cause of action arising from law, contract, quasi-contract,
delict or quasi-delict against a party who is about to depart from the Philippines with
intent to defraud his creditors;

(b) In an action for money or property embezzled or fraudulently misapplied or converted


to his own use by a public officer, or an officer of a corporation or an attorney, factor,
broker, agent, or clerk, in the course of his employment as such, or by any other
person in a fiduciary capacity, or for a willful violation of duty;

(c) In an action to recover the possession of personal property unjustly or fraudulently


taken, detained, or converted, when the property, or any part thereof, has been
concealed, removed, or disposed of to prevent its being found or taken by the
applicant or an authorized person;

(d) In an action against a party who has been guilty of a fraud in contracting the debt or
incurring the obligation upon which the action is brought, or in the performance
thereof;

(e) In an action against a party who has removed or disposed of his property, or is about
to do so, with intent to defraud his creditors;

(f) In an action against a party who resides out of the Philippines, or on whom summons
may be served by publication.

The purposes of preliminary attachment are: (1) to seize the property of the debtor in
advance of final judgment and to hold it for purposes of satisfying said judgment, as in the
grounds stated in paragraphs (a) to (e) of Section 1, Rule 57 of the Rules of Court; or (2) to
acquire jurisdiction over the action by actual or constructive seizure of the property in those
instances where personal or substituted service of summons on the defendant cannot be
effected, as in paragraph (f) of the same provision (PHILIPPINE COMMERCIAL
INTERNATIONAL BANK vs. JOSEPH ANTHONY M. ALEJANDRO, G.R. No. 175587,
September 21, 2007, YNARES-SANTIAGO, J.).