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2.

Golden Country v. Sanvar

THIRD DIVISION [G.R. No. 58027. September 28, 1992.] THE GOLDEN COUNTRY FARMS, INC., petitioner, vs. SANVAR DEVELOPMENT CORP., respondent. B.C. De los Santos & Associates Law Offices for petitioner. Yolando F. Busmente for respondent. SYLLABUS 1. REMEDIAL LAW; CIVIL PROCEDURE; SUMMONS; SERVICE UPON PRIVATE CORPORATION; RULE WHEN EFFECTED THROUGH A CLERKTYPIST. — In G & G Trading Corp. vs. Court of Appeals, (158 SCRA 466, 469), we had occasion to rule: "Although it may be true that the service of summons was made on a person not authorized to receive the same in behalf of the petitioner, nevertheless since it appears that the summons and complaint were in fact received by the corporation through its said clerk, the Court finds that there was substantial compliance with the rule on service of summons. Indeed the purpose of said rule as above stated to assure service of summons on the corporation had thereby been attained. The need for speedy justice must prevail over a technicality." There was, substantial compliance with the rules on service of summons since it appears that the summons and complaint were actually received by the petitioner corporation through its clerk, thereby satisfying the purpose of notice (Rebollido vs. Court of Appeals, 170 SCRA 800, 811). 2. ID.; ID.; DEFAULTS; MAY BE ORDERED FOR FAILURE TO FILE AN ANSWER WITHIN THE REGLEMENTARY PERIOD. — We do not agree with petitioner's claim that it cannot be declared in default for not filing an answer while resolution of its joint motion for reconsideration of the order denying its motion to dismiss was held in abeyance by the lower court. Petitioner received the denial order of its motion to dismiss on May 15, 1980; hence, by mathematical computation, the 15-day period to file an answer provided in Section 1, Rule 77 of the Revised Rules of Court expired on May 30, 1980. However, on May 30, 1980, which was the last day to file its answer, petitioner filed a joint motion for reconsideration, instead of filing an answer. In this regard, we share the opinion of the lower court that petitioner's joint motion for reconsideration which merely reiterated the grounds in its motion to dismiss was pro forma and did not toll the running of the period to file an answer. In the case of PCIB vs. Escolin (67 SCRA 202) this Court rule that a motion for reconsideration which does not make out a new matter sufficiently persuasive to induce modification of judgment will be denied and that a repetition of arguments or grounds already discussed in prior incidents may properly be categorized as merely for purposes of delay. 3. ID.; ID.; ID.; RELIEF FROM ORDER OF DEFAULT; RULE. — As we have ruled in the case of Philippine Bank of Commerce vs. Jose M. Aruego (102 SCRA 530, 537): "It has been held that to entitle a party to relief from a judgment taken against him through his mistake, inadvertence, surprise or excusable neglect, he must show to the court that he has a meritorious defense. In other words, in order to set aside the order of default, the defendant must not only show that his failure to answer was due to fraud, accident, mistake or excusable negligence but also that he has a meritorious defense." In the case of Development Insurance Corp. vs. Intermediate Appellate Court (143 SCRA 62), this Court also ruled that a default judgment will not be lifted if defendant has no valid defense. DECISION

MELO, J p: Before us is an appeal by certiorari from the decision of the then Court of First Instance of Rizal, Branch XX, Pasig, Metro Manila, at that time Presided over by the Honorable Celso L. Magsino, and the order dated February 16, 1981 denying petitioner's and its co-defendant's joint motion for reconsideration wherein petitioner Golden Country Farm, Inc. (GCFI, for short) was declared in default. The factual background of this case may be stated as follows: On February 28, 1980, respondent Sanvar Development Corporation (Sanvar, for short) sued petitioner GCFI and its President, Armando T. Romualdez, for a sum of money representing the unpaid balance of construction materials purchased by petitioner from respondent. Per return of the sheriff, summons and copy of the complaint were served on March 5, 1980 upon petitioner at its principal office through a certain Miss I.E. Lagrimas, clerk-typist of petitioner. On March 20, 1980, petitioner filed a motion to dismiss on the ground that summons was not properly served in accordance with Section 13, Rule 14 of the Revised Rules of Court. Petitioner's motion to dismiss was denied by the lower court on May 2, 1980 and copy of the denial order was received by petitioner on May 15, 1980. On May 30, 1980, petitioner, together with its president, filed a joint motion for reconsideration, the resolution of which was held in abeyance by the lower court. Subsequently, respondent filed an omnibus motion praying that the joint motion for reconsideration be denied and that petitioner be declared in default. On February 16, 1981, the lower court issued an omnibus order denying the joint motion for reconsideration and declaring petitioner in default for failure to file an answer within the reglementary period. Pursuant to the order of default, respondent Sanvar presented its evidence ex-parte and based on said evidence, the lower court adjudged petitioner GCFI liable to respondent Sanvar in the principal sum of P105,362.50. The complaint against petitioner's president was, however, dismissed because he was sued in his capacity as president of petitioner. A copy of the decision was received by petitioner on August 14, 1981. Hence, the instant appeal wherein petitioner raises the following issues: 1) Whether or not summons directed to petitioner corporation which was served through Miss Lagrimas, clerk-typist of the petitioner, is sufficient service for the trial court to acquire jurisdiction over said corporation. 2) Whether or not petitioner can be declared in default for not filing an answer to the complaint while its joint motion for reconsideration of the order denying its motion to dismiss remained pending for the court's consideration. Service of process on a corporation is controlled by Sec. 13, Rule 14 of the Revised Rules of Court, thus — "SECTION 13. Service upon private domestic corporation or partnership. — If the defendant is a corporation organized under the laws of the Philippines or a partnership duly registered, service may be made on the president, manager, secretary, cashier, agent, or any of its directors." Petitioner claims that the foregoing enumeration is exclusive and service of summons is without force and effect unless made upon any one of those enumerated. So in the case at bar, it is argued, the lower court did not acquire jurisdiction over petitionercorporation since service of summons was effected through a mere clerk, a person who is not one of those authorized officers mentioned in the aforequoted Section 13 upon whom valid service of summons can be made. LibLex We cannot accept the strict and literal interpretation of petitioner. Thus, in G & G Trading Corp. vs. Court of Appeals (158 SCRA 466, 469), we had occasion to rule:

"Although it may be true that the service of summons was made on a person not authorized to receive the same in behalf of the petitioner, nevertheless since it appears that the summons and complaint were in fact received by the corporation through its said clerk, the Court finds that there was substantial compliance with the rule on service of summons. Indeed the purpose of said rule as above stated to assure service of summons on the corporation had thereby been attained. The need for speedy justice must prevail over a technicality." In the case at bar, the fact that summons was received by petitioner through Miss Lagrimas, is not disputed; rather, petitioner admits that on March 18, 1980, the corporation and its legal counsel were informed by Miss Lagrimas of the summons she received (pp. 8 and 9, Rollo). And indeed, by virtue of the receipt of the summons, petitioner even filed a motion to dismiss. We, therefore, agree with the lower court's findings that: ". . . The actual receipt by the clerk-typist of the correct address of the corporation must be construed as receipt on behalf of the officer of the corporation holding office at that address. Mr. Romualdez, the general manager was holding office at that address, he received the summons, and that summons must be binding on him personally and on the corporation of which he is the general manager. It is to be observed that the law firm of Avila, de los Santos and Associates is the same counsel for both defendants, and it is simply absurd to split the personality of defendant Romualdez between himself as general manager of defendant corporation and the defendant corporation of which he is the general manager for purposes of service of summons." (Annex H, pp. 38-39, Rollo) The court a quo thereupon concluded: ". . . inasmuch as the spirit and purpose of the rule is 'to bring home to the corporation notice of the filing of the action' . . . and it appearing that said defendant had actually received the summons and a copy of the complaint albeit thru its clerk-typist Miss Iluminada E. Lagrimas, and in fact has filed this instant motion, the Court hereby considers the same as substantial compliance with the rules and therefore denies the aforesaid motion." (Annex B, p. 22, Rollo). There was, therefore, substantial compliance with the rules on service of summons since it appears that the summons and complaint were actually received by the petitioner corporation through its clerk, thereby satisfying the purpose of notice (Rebollido vs. Court of Appeals, 170 SCRA 800, 811). We do not agree with petitioner's claim that it cannot be declared in default for not filing an answer while resolution of its joint motion for reconsideration of the order denying its motion to dismiss was held in abeyance by the lower court. cdrep Petitioner received the denial order of its motion to dismiss on May 15, 1980; hence, by mathematical computation, the 15-day period to file an answer provided in Section 1, Rule 77 of the Revised Rules of Court expired on May 30, 1980. However, on May 30, 1980, which was the last day to file its answer, petitioner filed a joint motion for reconsideration, instead of filing an answer. In this regard, we share the opinion of the lower court that petitioner's joint motion for reconsideration which merely reiterated the grounds in its motion to dismiss was pro forma and did not toll the running of the period to file an answer. In the case of PCIB vs. Escolin (67 SCRA 2023 this Court ruled that a motion for reconsideration which does not make out a new matter sufficiently persuasive to induce modification of judgment will be denied and that a repetition of arguments or grounds already discussed in prior incidents may properly be categorized as merely for purposes of delay. An answer, not a motion for reconsideration of the order denying its motion to dismiss, should have been filed within the reglementary period. The record does not

disclose that the proper answer was in fact filed. Withal, there can be no serious challenge to the reception of evidence for the plaintiff thereafter. Moreover, notwithstanding its receipt of the order of default on March 6, 1981, petitioner did not even bother to take any steps to lift said order of default, but it simply folded its arms for five months until the decision was handed down on July 15, 1981. Further weakening the position of the petitioner is the absence of a viable defense against the documented claims of respondent for unpaid construction materials purchased by petitioner. As we have ruled in the case of Philippine Bank of Commerce vs. Jose M. Aruego (102 SCRA 530, 537): prLL "It has been held that to entitle a party to relief from a judgment taken against him through his mistake, inadvertence, surprise or excusable neglect, he must show to the court that he has a meritorious defense. In other words, in order to set aside the order of default, the defendant must not only show that his failure to answer was due to fraud, accident, mistake or excusable negligence but also that he has a meritorious defense." In the case of Development Insurance Corp. vs. Intermediate Appellate Court (143 SCRA 62), this Court also ruled that a default judgment will not be lifted if defendant has no valid defense. It is to be noted in this regard that not even once, not in its motion to dismiss and not now in its appeal has there been the least intimation on petitioner's part that the claim of respondent has been paid. All that petitioner can harp at is the alleged defective service of summons. WHEREFORE, the decision and order appealed from are hereby affirmed, with costs against petitioner. SO ORDERED.

3.

E.B. Villarosa v. Benito

THIRD DIVISION [G.R. No. 136426. August 6, 1999.] E.B. VILLAROSA & PARTNER CO., LTD., petitioner, vs. HON. HERMINIO I. BENITO, in his capacity as Presiding Judge, RTC, Branch 132, Makati City and IMPERIAL DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, respondent. SYNOPSIS In this instant petition, E.B. Villarosa and Partner Co., Ltd. contended that the trial court did not acquire jurisdiction over its person because the summons intended for it was improperly served on its Branch Manager. cDTSHE The Court agreed with petitioner. Designation of persons or officers who are authorized to accept summons for a domestic corporation or partnership is now limited and more clearly specified in the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure. The rule must be strictly observed, service must be made to one named in the statute. Petitioner's filing of a motion to dismiss, precisely objecting to the jurisdiction of the court over the person of the defendant, can by no means be deemed a submission to the jurisdiction of the court. SYLLABUS 1. REMEDIAL LAW; CIVIL PROCEDURE; SUMMONS; "AGENTS" NO LONGER AUTHORIZED TO RECEIVE SUMMONS FOR CORPORATION. — Earlier cases have uphold service of summons upon a construction project manager; a corporation's assistant manager; ordinary clerk of a corporation; private secretary of corporate executives; retained counsel; officials who had charge or control of the operations of the corporation, like the assistant general manager; or the corporations Chief Finance and Administrative Officer. In these cases, these persons were considered as "agent" within the contemplation of the old rule. Notably, under the new Rules, service of summons upon an agent of the corporation is no longer authorized. 2. ID.; ID.; ID.; DESIGNATION OF PERSONS OR OFFICERS AUTHORIZED TO RECEIVE SUMMONS FOR DOMESTIC CORPORATIONS, LIMITED. — The designation of persons or officers who are authorized to accept summons for a domestic corporation or partnership is now limited and more clearly specified in Section 11, Rule 14 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure. The rule now states "general manager" instead of only "manager"; "corporate secretary" instead of "secretary"; and "treasurer" instead of "cashier." The phrase "agent, or any of its directors" is conspicuously deleted in the new rule, . . . It should be noted that even prior to the effectivity of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, strict compliance with the rules has been enjoined. (Delta Motor Sales Corporation vs. Mangosing, 70 SCRA 598 [1976])

3. ID.. ID.; ID.; JURISDICTION NOT ACQUIRED WHERE SERVICE OF SUMMONS WAS MADE ON BRANCH MANAGER. — Accordingly, we rule that the service of summons upon the branch manager of petitioner at its branch office at Cagayan de Oro, instead of upon the general manager at its principal office at Davao City is improper. Consequently, the trial court did not acquire jurisdiction over the person of the petitioner. 4. ID.; ID.; ID.; INEFFECTIVE SERVICE OF SUMMONS; FILING OF MOTION TO DISMISS DOES NOT CONSTITUTE VOLUNTARY APPEARANCE. — The fact that defendant filed a belated motion to dismiss did not operate to confer jurisdiction upon its person. There is no question that the defendant's voluntary appearance in the action is equivalent to service of summons. Before, the rule was that a party may challenge the jurisdiction of the court over his person by making a special appearance through a motion to dismiss and if in the same motion, the movant raised other grounds or invoked affirmative relief which necessarily involves the exercise of the jurisdiction of the court, the party is deemed to have submitted himself to the jurisdiction of the court. This doctrine has been abandoned in the case of La Naval Drug Corporation vs. Court of Appeals, et al.; which became the basis of the adoption of a new provision in the former Section 23, which is now Section 20 of Rule 14 of the 1997 Rules, Section 20 now provides that "the inclusion in a motion to dismiss of other grounds aside from lack of jurisdiction over the person of the defendant shall not be deemed a voluntary appearance." The emplacement of this rule clearly underscores the purpose to enforce strict enforcement of the rules on summons. Accordingly, the filing of a motion to dismiss, whether or not belatedly filed by the defendant, his authorized agent or attorney, precisely objecting to the jurisdiction of the court over the person of the defendant can by no means be deemed a submission to the jurisdiction of the court. There being no proper service of summons, the trial court cannot take cognizance of a case for lack of jurisdiction over the person of the defendant. Any proceeding undertaken by the trial court will consequently be null and void. cDCaHA DECISION GONZAGA-REYES, J p: Before this Court is a petition for certiorari and prohibition with prayer for the issuance of a temporary restraining order and/or writ of preliminary injunction seeking to annul and set aside the Orders dated August 5, 1998 and November 20, 1998 of the public respondent Judge Herminio I. Benito of the Regional Trial Court of Makati City, Branch 132 and praying that the public respondent court be ordered to desist from further proceeding with Civil Case No. 98-824. LLjur Petitioner E.B. Villarosa & Partner Co., Ltd. is a limited partnership with principal office address at 102 Juan Luna St., Davao City and with branch offices at 2492 Bay View Drive, Tambo, Parañaque, Metro Manila and Kolambog, Lapasan, Cagayan de Oro City. Petitioner and private respondent executed a Deed of Sale with Development Agreement wherein the former agreed to develop certain parcels of land located at Barrio Carmen, Cagayan de Oro belonging to the latter into a housing subdivision for the construction of low cost housing units. They further agreed that in

case of litigation regarding any dispute arising therefrom, the venue shall be in the proper courts of Makati. On April 3, 1998, private respondent, as plaintiff, filed a Complaint for Breach of Contract and Damages against petitioner, as defendant, before the Regional Trial Court of Makati allegedly for failure of the latter to comply with its contractual obligation in that, other than a few unfinished low cost houses, there were no substantial developments therein. 1 Summons, together with the complaint, were served upon the defendant, through its Branch Manager Engr. Wendell Sabulbero at the stated address at Kolambog, Lapasan, Cagayan de Oro City 2 but the Sheriff's Return of Service 3 stated that the summons was duly served "upon defendant E.B. Villarosa & Partner Co., Ltd. thru its Branch Manager Engr. WENDELL SABULBERO on May 5, 1998 at their new office Villa Gonzalo, Nazareth, Cagayan de Oro City, and evidenced by the signature on the face of the original copy of the summons." On June 9, 1998, defendant filed a Special Appearance with Motion to Dismiss 4 alleging that on May 6, 1998, "summons intended for defendant" was served upon Engr. Wendell Sabulbero, an employee of defendant at its branch office at Cagayan de Oro City. Defendant prayed for the dismissal of the complaint on the ground of improper service of summons and for lack of jurisdiction over the person of the defendant. Defendant contends that the trial court did not acquire jurisdiction over its person since the summons was improperly served upon its employee in its branch office at Cagayan de Oro City who is not one of those persons named in Section 11, Rule 14 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure upon whom service of summons may be made. Meanwhile, on June 10, 1998, plaintiff filed a Motion to Declare Defendant in Default 5 alleging that defendant has failed to file an Answer despite its receipt allegedly on May 5, 1998 of the summons and the complaint, as shown in the Sheriff's Return. On June 22, 1998, plaintiff filed an Opposition to Defendant's Motion to Dismiss 6 alleging that the records show that defendant, through its branch manager, Engr. Wendell Sabulbero actually received the summons and the complaint on May 8, 1998 as evidenced by the signature appearing on the copy of the summons and not on May 5, 1998 as stated in the Sheriff's Return nor on May 6, 1998 as stated in the motion to dismiss; that defendant has transferred its office from Kolambog, Lapasan, Cagayan de Oro to its new office address at Villa Gonzalo, Nazareth, Cagayan de Oro; and that the purpose of the rule is to bring home to the corporation notice of the filing of the action. On August 5, 1998, the trial court issued an Order 7 denying defendant's Motion to Dismiss as well as plaintiff's Motion to Declare Defendant in Default. Defendant was given ten (10) days within which to file a responsive pleading. The trial court stated that since the summons and copy of the complaint were in fact received by the corporation through its branch manager Wendell Sabulbero, there was substantial compliance with the rule on service of summons and consequently, it validly acquired jurisdiction over the person of the defendant. cdasia

On August 19, 1998, defendant, by Special Appearance, filed a Motion for Reconsideration 8 alleging that Section 11, Rule 14 of the new Rules did not liberalize but, on the contrary, restricted the service of summons on persons enumerated therein; and that the new provision is very specific and clear in that the word "manager" was changed to "general manager", "secretary" to "corporate secretary", and excluding therefrom agent and director. On August 27, 1998, plaintiff filed an Opposition to defendant's Motion for Reconsideration 9 alleging that defendant's branch manager "did bring home" to the defendant-corporation the notice of the filing of the action and by virtue of which a motion to dismiss was filed; and that it was one (1) month after receipt of the summons and the complaint that defendant chose to file a motion to dismiss. On September 4, 1998, defendant, by Special Appearance, filed a Reply 10 contending that the changes in the new rules are substantial and not just general semantics. Defendant's Motion for Reconsideration was denied in the Order dated November 20, 1998. 11 Hence, the present petition alleging that respondent court gravely abused its discretion tantamount to lack or in excess of jurisdiction in denying petitioner's motions to dismiss and for reconsideration, despite the fact that the trial court did not acquire jurisdiction over the person of petitioner because the summons intended for it was improperly served. Petitioner invokes Section 11 of Rule 14 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure. Private respondent filed its Comment to the petition citing the cases of Kanlaon Construction Enterprises Co., Inc. vs. NLRC 12 wherein it was held that service upon a construction project manager is valid and in Gesulgon vs. NLRC 13 which held that a corporation is bound by the service of summons upon its assistant manager. The only issue for resolution is whether or not the trial court acquired jurisdiction over the person of petitioner upon service of summons on its Branch Manager. When the complaint was filed by Petitioner on April 3, 1998, the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure was already in force. 14 Section 11, Rule 14 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure provides that: "When the defendant is a corporation, partnership or association organized under the laws of the Philippines with a juridical personality, service may be made on the president, managing partner, general manager, corporate secretary, treasurer, or inhouse counsel." (underscoring supplied). This provision revised the former Section 13, Rule 14 of the Rules of Court which provided that:

" (underscoring supplied).. officials who had charge or control of the operations of the corporation. as distinguished from an independent practitioner. . 13 of this Rule allowed service upon a defendant corporation to 'be made on the president. The purpose is to render it reasonably certain that the corporation will receive prompt and proper notice in an action against it or to insure that the summons be served on a representative so integrated with the corporation that such person will know what to do with the legal papers served on him. 27 it was held that the service of summons on the general manager of the insurance firm's Cebu branch was improper. Earlier cases have uphold service of summons upon a construction project manager 15 . Hon. "strictest" compliance with Section 11 of Rule 13 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure (on Priorities in modes of service and filing) is mandated and the Court cannot rule otherwise. for the guidance of the Bench and Bar. In First Integrated Bonding & Ins." (underscoring supplied) Retired Justice Oscar Herrera. summons may be made upon the clerk who is regarded as agent within the contemplation of the rule. Inc. The liberal construction rule cannot be invoked and utilized as a substitute for the plain legal requirements as to the manner in which summons should be served on a domestic corporation. In said case. ordinary clerk of a corporation 17. otherwise the service is insufficient. agent. strict compliance with the rules has been enjoined. thus: 23 ". et al. . stated that "(T)he rule must be strictly observed. Co. the then Sec. Estacio who managed and supervised the construction project in Iligan City (although the principal address of the corporation is in Quezon City) and supervised the work of the employees." (underscoring supplied). 'to bring home to the corporation notice of the filing of the action. service may be made on the president. We agree with petitioner. The particular revision under Section 11 of Rule 14 was explained by retired Supreme Court Justice Florenz Regalado. or any of its directors. . . In other words. 22 Notably. secretary. . under the new Rules. summons on the respondent shall be served personally or by registered mail on the party himself. It was held that as manager. . vs. The designation of persons or officers who are authorized to accept summons for a domestic corporation or partnership is now limited and more clearly specified in Section 11. or any of its directors" is conspicuously deleted in the new rule. cdrep The cases cited by private respondent are therefore not in point. retained counsel 19. involving the litigation lawyer of the corporation who precisely appeared to challenge the validity of service of summons but whose very appearance for that purpose was seized upon to validate the defective service is an illustration of the need for this revised section with limited scope and specific terminology. default order could have been obviated had the summons been served at the firm's principal office. cashier. manager. summons was served on one Engr. Mangosing. In the case of Delta Motor Sales Corporation vs. . lest we allow circumvention of the innovation by the 1997 Rules in order to obviate delay in the administration of justice. these persons were considered as "agent" within the contemplation of the old rule. he had sufficient responsibility and discretion to realize the importance of the legal papers served on him and to relay the same to the president or other responsible officer of petitioner such that summons for petitioner was validly served on him as agent and authorized representative of petitioner. The rule now states "general manager" instead of only "manager". In the Kanlaon case. — If the defendant is a corporation organized under the laws of the Philippines or a partnership duly registered. . or the corporation's Chief Finance and Administrative Officer 21. private secretary of corporate executives 18. . who is also a consultant of the Rules of Court Revision Committee.". . agent or any of its directors. this Court ruled that under the NLRC Rules of Procedure. 24 It should be noted that even prior to the effectivity of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure. 28 the Court succinctly clarified that. it could have easily done so by clear and concise language."SECTION 13. cashier. the summons was received by the clerk in the office of the Assistant Manager (at principal office address) and under Section 13 of Rule 14 (old rule). summons shall be served on such person. limited and exclusive" following the rule on statutory construction expressio unios est exclusio alterius and argues that if the Rules of Court Revision Committee intended to liberalize the rule on service of summons. like the assistant general manager 20. Service upon private domestic corporation or partnership. service upon a general manager of a firm's branch office has been held as improper as summons should have been served at the firm's principal office. Rule 14 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure. . secretary.' The aforesaid terms were obviously ambiguous and susceptible of broad and sometimes illogical interpretations. and "treasurer" instead of "cashier. And in the case of Solar Team Entertainment. Helen Bautista Ricafort. 25 the Court held: "A strict compliance with the mode of service is necessary to confer jurisdiction of the court over a corporation. if the party is represented by counsel or any other authorized representative or agent. Service of summons upon persons other than those mentioned in Section 13 of Rule 14 (old rule) has been held as improper. ." The phrase "agent. The officer upon whom service is made must be one who is named in the statute. vs. "corporate secretary" instead of "secretary". . especially the word 'agent' of the corporation. a corporation's assistant manager 16. 26 Even under the old rule. Inc. . . cdtai . service of summons upon an agent of the corporation is no longer authorized. In these cases. Service must be made to one named in (the) statute . The Filoil case. Also in the Gesulgon case cited by private respondent. Thus the absurd result in the Filoil case necessitated the amendment permitting service only on the in-house counsel of the corporation who is in effect an employee of the corporation.' . manager. Dizon. Petitioner contends that the enumeration of persons to whom summons may be served is "restricted.

Accordingly. which is now Section 20 of Rule 14 of the 1997 Rules. the petition is hereby GRANTED. precisely objecting to the jurisdiction of the court over the person of the defendant can by no means be deemed a submission to the jurisdiction of the court. et al. his authorized agent or attorney. the rule was that a party may challenge the jurisdiction of the court over his person by making a special appearance through a motion to dismiss and if in the same motion. the movant raised other grounds or invoked affirmative relief which necessarily involves the exercise of the jurisdiction of the court. There being no proper service of summons. Any proceeding undertaken by the trial court will consequently be null and void. we rule that the service of summons upon the branch manager of petitioner at its branch office at Cagayan de Oro. . 98-824. the trial court cannot take cognizance of a case for lack of jurisdiction over the person of the defendant. instead of upon the general manager at its principal office at Davao City is improper. The fact that defendant filed a belated motion to dismiss did not operate to confer jurisdiction upon its person. SO ORDERED..Accordingly. and all its orders and issuances in connection therewith are hereby ANNULLED and SET ASIDE. whether or not belatedly filed by the defendant." The emplacement of this rule clearly underscores the purpose to enforce strict enforcement of the rules on summons. Court of Appeals. the trial court did not acquire jurisdiction over the person of the petitioner. The public respondent Regional Trial Court of Makati. Branch 132 is declared without jurisdiction to take cognizance of Civil Case No. 29 Before. There is no question that the defendant's voluntary appearance in the action is equivalent to service of summons. the party is deemed to have submitted himself to the jurisdiction of the court. The assailed Orders of the public respondent trial court are ANNULLED and SET ASIDE. 32 WHEREFORE. 30 This doctrine has been abandoned in the case of La Naval Drug Corporation vs. Section 20 now provides that "the inclusion in a motion to dismiss of other grounds aside from lack of jurisdiction over the person of the defendant shall not be deemed a voluntary appearance. 31 which became the basis of the adoption of a new provision in the former Section 23. the filing of a motion to dismiss. Consequently.

asked it to show cause why the action should not be dismissed. until petitioner as plaintiff succeed in determining the whereabouts of the defendants' person or properties and causes valid summons to be served personally or by publication as the case may be. REMEDY AGAINST ABSCONDING DEBTORS. CREDITORS. 1971. within the forum. the mortgage having been duly recorded. Branch XVII. Santiago Dacanay and Josefina Dacanay. We agree with respondent Judge that the action of plaintiff petitioner.4.081. .] CITIZENS' SURETY & INSURANCE COMPANY. alleging that at request of defendant Santiago Dacanay.941. 105 Phil. OBLIGATIONS AND CONTRACTS. the plaintiff Surety Company had issued its Surety Bonds Nos. the suit being in personam and defendants not having appeared. and the second. the enactment converts the action into a proceeding in rem or quasi in rem and the summons by publication may then accordingly be deemed valid and effective But because debtors who abscond and conceal themselves are also quite adept at concealing their properties. In other words. SYLLABUS 1. We have explicitly so ruled in Pantaleon vs. and he can not emerge after a sufficient lapse of time from the dismissal of the case to profit from his own misdeed and claim prescription of his just debt. But despite the publication and deposit of a prepaid copy of the complaint at the Manila post office. that plaintiff sought to recover from defendants Dacanay. vs. personal service within the state or a voluntary .. The record is to the effect that petitioner had filed its complaint in the Court below. service by publication on resident defendants who are personally within the state and can be found therein is not "due process of law. . for petitioner. plus 10% thereof as attorneys' fees. 1970. 765. that in consideration of said bonds. In this manner. Asuncion. Santiago and Josefina Dacanay executed Indemnity Agreements. Melencio-Herrera EN BANC [G. through Justice Roberto Concepción.69 representing its payments. respondent Judge caused summons to be made by publication in the newspaper Philippines Herald. it has been held that in actions in personam . ruled as follows: "Apart from the foregoing. pp.S. any judgment on a non-appearing defendant would be violative of due process. HON. when the proceeding is strictly in personam brought to determine the personal rights and obligations of the parties. J p: Petitioner Citizens' Surety & Insurance Company. through Justice Roberto Concepcion. summons by publication cannot — consistently with the due process clause in the Bill of Rights — confer upon the court jurisdiction over said defendants. Plaintiff then asked that defendants be declared in default. 'Due process of law requires personal service to support a personal judgment. Tesoro & Gloria. MELENCIO-HERRERA. 765. personal service of summons. 786. SANTIAGO DACANAY. Jr. summons by publication cannot — consistently with the due process clause in the Bill of Rights — confer upon the court jurisdiction over said defendants. as required by the summons. the tolling of the period of prescription for as long as the debtor remains in hiding would properly be a matter of court record. and JOSEFINA DACANAY. INC.L.000.69.' (16A C.00 — leaving an unsatisfied balance of P10. Emphasis our)" 2. any judgment on a non-appearing defendant would be violative of due process. Dayos. and. now Chief Justice. Then. personal service of summons. "It is a well-settled principle of Constitutional Law that. in an action strictly in personam. Sec. 1970. respondent Judge dismissed the case. T-8116. Asunción..491. . We have explicitly so ruled in Pantaleon vs. In the aforecited case this Court. REMEDIAL LAW. l(f). who does not voluntary submit himself to the authority of the court. 'Due process of law requires personal service to support a personal judgment. . vs.000. within the forum. 105 Phil. the first. Respondent Judge for and in his own behalf. plaintiff Surety was compelled to pay P5. March 31. with interest at 12% per annum. respondents.000-promissory note executed by said Dacanay. absent a personal service of summons within the forum. whereupon the Surety caused the extrajudicial foreclosure of the mortgage to pay its claim of P12. real or personal. . pointing out without such personal service. in favor of Gregorio Fajardo to guarantee payment of a P5. like the one at bar. No.R. CIVIL LAW. the land mortgaged was sold to plaintiff. that the promissory notes were not paid . and the costs. defendants did not appear within the period of 60 days from last publication. personal service within the state or a voluntary appearance in the case is essential to the acquisition of jurisdiction so as to constitute compliance with the constitutional requirement of due process. that the Dacanays failed to reimburse the Surety for such payments. — We agree with respondent Judge that the action of plaintiff petitioner.69 to the Manufacturers' Bank. for the sum of P2. it is well-settled principle of Constitutional Law that. Citizens’ Surety v. the Judge. JURISDICTION. despite plaintiff Surety's argument that the summons by publication was sufficient and valid under section 16 of Rule 14 of the Revised Rules of Court. PERSONAL SERVICE OF SUMMONS REQUIRED. entitled "Citizens' Surety & Insurance Co. is essential to the acquisition of jurisdiction over the person of the defendant. the dismissal of the case below by respondent Judge should be set aside and the case held pending in the court's archives. At petitioner's request. as highest bidder.J. binding themselves jointly and severally to indemnify plaintiff for any losses. now Chief Justice. that as additional security. Inc. 'Although a state legislature has more control over the form of service on its own residents than nonresidents. the Court could not validly acquire jurisdiction on a non-appearing defendant." dismissing the complaint for lack of proper service of summons upon defendants. absent a personal service of summons within the forum. when the proceeding is strictly in personam brought to determine the personal rights and obligations of the parties. petitioner. ACTION IN PERSONAM. like the one at bar. is essential to the acquisition of jurisdiction over the person of the defendant. J. in favor of Manufacturers Bank & Trust Co.00 to Gregorio Fajardo and P4. costs and expenses which it might sustain in connection with the issuance of the bonds aforesaid. the Dacanays mortgaged to plaintiff a parcel of land in Baguio City. JUDGE A. the Court could not validly acquire jurisdiction on a non-appearing defendant. . to guarantee payment of another promissory note in like amount. in which case. DECISION REYES. 789. on May 29." and statute allowing it is unconstitutional. In the aforecited case this Court. of the resident defendant debtor with unknown address and cause them to be attached under Rule 57. pointing out without such personal service. — The proper recourse for a creditor in the same situation as petitioner is to locate properties. covered by Certificate of Title No. and.and as a result. but :instead. who does not voluntarily submit himself to the authority of the court. being in personam. interest and stipulated liquidated damages: that at the foreclosure sale. being in personam. In other words. by order of May 16. seeks review of an order of respondent Judge in Civil Case No. Inc.. ruled as follows: . in an action strictly in personam.. L-32170. 77134 of the Court of First Instance of Manila.B.. 4942 and 4944. .

of the resident defendant debtor with unknown address and cause them to be attached under Rule 57.)" The proper recourse for a creditor in the same situation as petitioner is to locate properties. in which case. pp. section 1(f). . the proceedings are ordered suspended." and a statute allowing it is unconstitutional. No costs. . In this manner.appearance in the case is essential to the acquisition of jurisdiction so as to constitute compliance with the constitutional requirement of due process. 789. But because debtors who abscond and conceal themselves are also quite adept at concealing their properties. ..J. and in the interest of justice. to enable proper summons to be issued conformably to this Opinion. until petitioner as plaintiff succeeds in determining the whereabouts of the defendants' person or properties and causes valid summons to be served personally or by publication as the case may be. . to be held pending until the plaintiff petitioner succeeds in ascertaining the whereabouts of the defendants and/or locating properties of the same. service by publication on resident defendants. Emphasis ours. the attachment converts the action into a proceeding in rem or quasi in rem and the summons by publication may then accordingly be deemed valid and effective. WHEREFORE. the order of dismissal of the case issued by the Court below is hereby set aside. the dismissal of the case below by respondent Judge should be set aside and the case held pending in the court's archives.' (16A C. it has been held that in actions in personam .S. 786. 'Although a state legislature has more control over the form of service on its own residents than nonresidents. real or personal. . who are personally within the state and can be found therein is not "due process of law. the tolling of the period of prescription for as long as the debtor remains in hiding would properly be a matter of court records and he can not emerge after a sufficient lapse of time from the dismissal of the case to profit from his own misdeed and claim prescription of his just debt. .

ID. 579. together with the corresponding interest.000. P11. Melencio-Herrera.00.J. 3. 38 SCRA 369. Plaintiff wrote defendants a letter of demand calling the attention of the latter about the installments in arrears under the terms and conditions of the promissory notes. defendants-appellants. until the same shall have been fully paid. and on the third day of each month thereafter. 1983. who does not voluntarily submit himself to the authority of the court. THE PRESENT RULE. the date of the letter of demand. who are personally within the state and can be found therein is not 'due process of law. the total obligation. — Summons by publication cannot — consistently with the due process clause in the Bill of Rights — confer upon the court jurisdiction over said defendant. ESSENTIAL TO SATISFY THE DUE PROCESS CLAUSE. plaintiff having complied with the court's order allowing service of summons and copy of the complaint upon the defendants-appellants through publication of the same in a newspaper of general circulation (Daily Mirror). 1970. Pantaleon vs. `D-1' & `D-2'). No.' and a statute allowing it is unconstitutional." (p.00. until fully paid.5. 33-34. when the proceeding is strictly in personam brought to determine the personal rights and obligations of the parties. ID. and. the amount of the principal and P9. defendants paid only P100. Asuncion. INC.976. REAL OR PERSONAL. ACTION IN PERSONAM. that when the sheriff went to the Jai-Alai Corporation of the Philippines at Cebu City where defendant-appellant Rene Nieto holds office. (c) that the plaintiff shall have the right to enforce payment of the obligation. Inc. beginning December 3. 73 Phil. it was held that service of summons by publication is proper in all actions without distinction. FORMER RULE. Magdalena v. CIVIL PROCEDURE. Guevara Law Office for defendants-appellants. personal service of summons. under the following terms and conditions to wit: (a) the defendants shall pay plaintiff the sum of P12.. Out of the aforesaid amount of P12.] MAGDALENA ESTATE. the latest expression of such a doctrine comes from Justice J. Dominguez.876. Plaintiff referred the matter to its legal counsel. it was held that service of summons by publication is proper in all actions without distinction. PROPER RECOURSE OF CREDITOR IN THE CASE AT BAR. Plaintiff presented further a statement of account stating therein that the amount still owing to it. 1972 (Exhibit `E'). — However. — It is true that in Fontanilla vs. SERVICE BY PUBLICATION.000. "2) the sum of P2.B. and "3) the cost of the suit.. 73 Phil. SYLLABUS 1. ID. provided the defendant is residing in the Philippines but his identity is unknown or his address cannot he ascertained.R. Rule 14 of the Rules of Court. Plaintiff claims that summons could not be served personally upon the defendants because they concealed themselves to avoid service upon them.. It is true that in Fontanilla vs.. ID.. and consequently. in turn. plaintiff-appellee. said amount to be payable without demand in consecutive monthly Installments of not less than P500. SUMMONS. Abraham F. who. shall automatically become due and immediately payable. defendants-appellants contend that the lower court erred: (1) in allowing service of summons by publication. RENE NIETO and HELEN GARCIA. and the decision is therefore void. Sarmiento for plaintiff-appellee. 1968. Reyes in the case of Citizens' Surety and Insurance Company. provided the defendant is residing in the Philippines but his identity is .. ID. ID. of the resident defendant debtor with unknown address and cause them to be attached under Rule 57.00. when the decision was served at the same address." (pp...00. Although a state legislature has more control over the form of service on its own residents than non-residents. 1960. 789) 4. the former were able to have the title to said lot transferred in their names. or the balance thereof. ID. Rollo) There was an ex-parte reception of evidence because the defendants-appellants had been declared in default. 41. ordering defendants-appellants Rene Nieto and Helen Garcia to pay plaintiff-appellee: "1) the sum of P11. 1972 is P21.00 was secured by a promissory note which they executed on November 3. (2) in granting relief to plaintiff-appellee when its cause of action is barred by laches. ID. . service by publication on resident defendants.. 2.00 per month. ATTACHMENT OF PROPERTIES. vs. inclusive of interest up to September 19. BELONGING TO A RESIDENT DEFENDANT DEBTOR WITH UNKNOWN ADDRESS. the trial court did not acquire jurisdiction over the defendants-appellants. (16A C. J p: Appeal from the judgment of the then Court of First Instance of Rizal in Quezon City. like the one at bar. They had made partial payments only and the balance of their account in the amount of P12. The facts which led to the above judgment are summarized by the trial court as follows: "The evidence shows that the defendants herein bought from the plaintiff a parcel of land located at New Manila Subdivision. 786. the attachment converts the action into a proceeding in rem or quasi in rem and the summons by publication may then accordingly be deemed valid and effective. in which case.L. . 1970 which letter was received by the defendants (Exhibits `D'.. the defendantsappellants were able to receive it. by special arrangement with the plaintiff.S. 765. — The proper recourse for a creditor in the same situation as petitioner is to locate properties. with interest thereon at the rate of 7% per annum. within the forum.90. The first payment was made on January 29. pp. 1960. 1963 and the second payment was made on March 14. 105 Phil. There is merit in this appeal. REMEDIAL LAW..00 in two installments of P50. in an action strictly in personam. but in spite of the said letter.999. he could not be found thereat but. is essential to the acquisition of jurisdiction over the person of the defendant. LibLex In this appeal. L-54242. . DECISION RELOVA. beginning April 21. Nieto FIRST DIVISION [G.999. and (4) in granting interests from November 3.000. in a later case. SUMMONS.000. Due process of law requires personal service to support a personal judgment and. And. personal service within the state or a voluntary appearance in the case is essential to the acquisition of jurisdiction so as to constitute compliance with the constitutional requirement of due process. (b) in case of failure to pay any monthly installment due. 579. exclusive of interests. Quezon City. vs. . Section 1( f ). November 25. it has been held that in actions in personam . PERSONAL SERVICE WITHIN THE FORUM OR VOLUNTARY APPEARANCE. real or personal. leaving a balance of P11. Record on Appeal).00 as and for attorney's fees. . 1960 up to September 19. defendants did not comply with their obligation. with interest thereon at the rate of 7% per annum. pursuant to Section 16. the Court ruled that it is a well-settled principle of Constitutional Law that.00 each. as manager.44 the amount of interest from November 3. ID. including attorney's fees and the costs of suit in case of litigation to enforce collection of the said obligation (Exhibit `C'). sent defendants a letter of demand dated April 21. 1960. Even if defendants had not fully paid the consideration for the said lot. Dominguez. defendants did not comply and even failed to make a reply.44. Despite receipt of said letter.999. (3) in lifting its orders dismissing the complaint for failure to prosecute.

service by publication on resident defendants. like the one at bar. Although a state legislature has more control over the form of service on its own residents than nonresidents. in which case. in an action strictly in personam. Reyes in the case of Citizens' Surety and Insurance Company. Melencio-Herrera. . 786. . personal service within the state or a voluntary appearance in the case is essential to the acquisition of jurisdiction so as to constitute compliance with the constitutional requirement of due process . 105 Phil. who are personally within the state and can be found therein is not `due process of law'.J. is hereby SET ASIDE and the case is remanded to the trial court for proper service of summons and trial. the latest expression of such a doctrine comes from Justice J. pp. the Court could not validly acquire jurisdiction on a non-appearing defendant. 1972 of the court a quo.. . Pantaleon vs. Asuncion. SO ORDERED. being in personam. within the forum. in a later case. We find it unnecessary to discuss the other assigned errors raised by them. In other words. L. real or personal." And. quoting 16A C. when the proceeding is strictly in personam brought to determine the personal rights and obligations of the parties. the doctrine laid down in Pantaleon vs. as follows: "Due process of law requires personal service to support a personal judgment. dated October 5. the Court. . And. the attachment converts the action into a proceeding in rem or quasi in rem and the summons by publication may then accordingly be deemed valid and effective. and a statute allowing it is unconstitutional. Inc. of the resident defendant debtor with unknown address and cause them to be attached under Rule 57. the decision. ruled that "it is a well-settled principle of Constitutional Law that.unknown or his address cannot be ascertained. . it has been held that in actions in personam . . Asuncion (supra) finds application. . personal service of summons. and. . speaking through then Justice Roberto Concepcion. who does not voluntarily submit himself to the authority of the court. absent a personal service of summons within the forum ." Inasmuch as in the case at bar the lower court did not acquire jurisdiction over the person of the defendants-appellants. 38 SCRA 369. ." The action of herein plaintiff-appellee. 789. 765. vs. However. The proper recourse for a creditor in the same situation as petitioner is to locate properties. is essential to the acquisition of jurisdiction over the person of the defendant. Section 1 (f). in these words: ". WHEREFORE.S. summons by publication cannot — consistently with the due process clause in the Bill of Rights — confer upon the court jurisdiction over said defendant. B.

P. 2.R. had entered into several contracts for the delivery of coconut oil to the petitioners.. PROVISIONAL REMEDIES. 1988. SORIANO. 87-40166 is a personal action. ID. or for the recovery of damages for the commission of an injury to the person or property (Hernandez vs. 1987. (Hernandez vs... vs. Ferandos. Inc. Those contracts stipulate that any dispute between the parties will be settled through arbitration under the rules of either the Federation of Oils Seeds and Fats Association (FOSFA) or the National Institute of Oil Seed Products (NIOP). Extraterritorial service of summons will not confer on the court jurisdiction or power to compel them to obey its orders." Furthermore. personal or substituted service of summons on the defendants. Inc. — An action in personam is an action against a person on the basis of his personal liability. in excluding the defendant from any interest in property located in the Philippines. 21. with whom its president. 82330. named in his place. complaint). Inc. (2) when the action relates to. property within the Philippines. Because IVO defaulted under the contracts. wholly or in part. — The action is purely an action for injunction to restrain the defendants from enforcing against Imperial Vegetable Oil company. P3. ID. BERISFORD COMMODITIES. 1. that the Board of Directors of IVO convened in a special meeting on March 21. wholly or in part. in business here. Bhb. respondent Judge authorized it to effect extraterritorial service of summons to all the defendants through DHL Philippines corporation (Annex B). DECISION GRIÑO-AQUINO. EXTRA-TERRITORIAL SERVICE THEREOF. 76 SCRA 85). and to recover from the defendants P21 million in damages for such "harassment. 1987. Dial Corporation et al. the petitioners filed motions to dismiss the complaint against them on the ground that the extraterritorial service of summons to them was improper and that hence the court did not acquire jurisdiction over them. A personal action is one brought for the recovery of personal property. are not domiciled in the Philippines. Inc. or the subject of which is. MANILA PUBLIC RESPONDENT and IMPERIAL VEGETABLE OIL COMPANY. SYLLABUS 1. actual damages of P10 million. 3-a. the United Kingdom. Presiding Judge. As Civil Case No. ACTION IN PERSONAM AND PERSONAL ACTION. not extraterritorial service. actual or inchoate. 129). subpar." It is clearly a personal action as well as an action in personam.. C & T REFINERY INC. "as foreign corporations doing business in the Philippines without a license. 3. Sec. place of business. ID. Dominador Monteverde. not an action in rem or quasi in rem. Blg. nor do they have officers or agents. and some have already obtained arbitration awards against IVO. LTD. Branch 3. 87-40166.000 per appearance of counsel. had entered into contracts for the delivery of coconut oil (Civil Case No.. instead of against the person. Rodrigo Monteverde. On April 8. J p: The petitioners are foreign corporations organized and existing under the laws of the United States. and Malaysia. 2. namely: "(1) when the action affects the personal status of the plaintiffs.. Soriano FIRST DIVISION [G. they are not licensed to engage. and are not engaged. INSTANCES. B. INC.. ("abusing and harassing") its contracts for the delivery of coconut oil to the defendants. BOTH DEFINED. SUMMONS. NALIN Sdn. 133 of the Corporation Code of the Philippines. cdphil On motion of IVO. The respondent Imperial Vegetable Oil Company.] THE DIAL CORPORATION. THE HON. ID. IVO filed a complaint for injunction and damages against nineteen (19) foreign coconut oil buyers including the petitioners. while an action in rem is an action against the thing itself. 1987. 64 SCRA 23). ID. IVO prayed for the issuance of a temporary restraining order or writ of preliminary injunction to stop the defendants from harassing IVO with their insistent demands to recognize the contracts entered into by Dominador Monteverde and from portraying the IVO as one that defaults on its contracts and obligations and has fallen into bad times and from interfering with IVO's normal conduct of business. Rural Bank of Lucena. respondents. On December 15. actual or contingent. and litigation expenses. 71 SCRA 292). initiated arbitration proceedings abroad. in which the defendant has or claims a lien or interest. And one of the reliefs demanded consists. On April 25. the court denied their motions to dismiss and upheld the validity of the extraterritorial service of summons to them on the ground that "the present action relates to property rights which lie in contracts within the Philippines. petitioners. RTC Manila entitled "Imperial Vegetable Oil Co. v. 1987 and removed Dominador Monteverde from his position as president of the corporation.. Pursuant to that order. (3) when the relief demanded in such action consists. the petitioners were served with summons and copy of the complaint by DHL courier service. CLEMENTE M. extraterritorial service of summons and complaint upon the non-resident defendants cannot subject them to the processes of the regional trial courts which are powerless to reach them outside the region over which they exercise their authority (Sec. IN PERSONAL ACTIONS. that the defendants have allegedly "harassed" IVO to comply with Dominador's contracts and to come to a settlement with them. and (4) when the defendant non-resident's property has been attached within the Philippines" (De Midgely vs. and PACIFIC MOLASSES COMPANY. or which defendants claim liens or interests. (or "IVO" for brevity) is a Philippine corporation which through its president. IVO also prayed that the defendants pay it moral damages of P5 million. No. pursuant to Sec. the petitioners and 15 others. vs.. Regional Trial Court. 4. and disowned Dominador Monteverde's allegedly illegal and unauthorized acts. without submitting to the court's jurisdiction and only for the purpose of objecting to said jurisdiction over their persons." (Annex H) The petitioners' motions for reconsideration of that order were also denied by the court (Annex M). — Only in four (4) instances is extraterritorial service of summons proper. exemplary damages of P5 million. IVO repudiated Monteverde's contracts on the grounds that they were mere "paper trading in futures" as no actual delivery of the coconut oil was allegedly intended by the parties."). Dominador Monteverde. CIVIL PROCEDURE.. for the enforcement of some contract or recovery of damages for its breach. REMEDIAL LAW. Development Bank of the Philippines. Interim Rules of Court. hence this .6. legal or equitable (par. Dial Corp. ID. — In an action for injunction. attorney's fees of P1 million. is necessary to confer jurisdiction on the court. INJUNCTION. or property in the Philippines. May 31. they opened themselves to suit before Philippine courts. EXTRA-TERRITORIAL SERVICE DOES NOT CONFER JURISDICTION. in excluding the defendants from any interest in such property for the reason that their transactions with plaintiff's former president are ultra vires.

The orders dated April 24.. Any order granting such leave shall specify a reasonable time. for the enforcement of some contract or recovery of damages for its breach. B. which shall not be less than sixty (60) days after notice. The petition is meritorious. 1987 (Annex B) and December 15. property within the Philippines. within which the defendant must answer. extraterritorial service of summons and complaint upon the non-resident defendants cannot subject them to the processes of the regional trial courts which are powerless to reach them outside the region over which they exercise their authority (Sec. "An action in personam is an action against a person on the basis of his personal liability. or in which the relief demanded consists. by filing motions to dismiss. and has no resident agent on whom the summons may be served. in excluding the defendant from any interest in property located in the Philippines. in excluding the defendant from any interest therein. wholly or in part.. is contradicted by its order authorizing IVO to summon them by extraterritorial service. The action is purely an action for injunction to restrain the defendants from enforcing against IVO ("abusing and harassing") its contracts for the delivery of coconut oil to the defendants. the personal status of the plaintiff or the property of the defendant and their jurisdiction over the person of the non-resident defendant is not essential. p." (5 Moran's Comments on the Rules of Court. 105. Section 17. 2nd Ed. 21. A personal action is one brought for the recovery of personal property. Inc. when the defendant is not residing and is not found in the Philippines. As Civil Case No. they have jurisdiction over the res. real or personal. nor any property in the Philippines in which the defendants have or claim an interest. Tait. while an action in rem is an action against the thing itself. Even if they can be considered as such. Respondents' contention that "the action below is related to property within the Philippines. 87-40166 is a personal action. Rule 14 of the Rules of Court provides: Section 17. 64 SCRA 23). service may.) In an action for injunction. a mode of service which is resorted to when the defendant is not found in the Philippines. and to recover from the defendants P21 million in damages for such "harassment. Venue in such cases may be laid in the province where the property of the defendant or a part thereof involved in the litigation is located. so as to sustain a money judgment. They have not submitted to the jurisdiction of our courts." It is clearly a personal action as well as an action in personam. property within the Philippines." (Hernandez vs. in which the defendant has or claims a lien or interest. the petitioners hypothetically admitted the allegations of the complaint that they are doing business in the Philippines without any license. We hold that the extraterritorial service of summons on the petitioners was improper. namely: "(1) when the action affects the personal status of the plaintiffs. — When the defendant does not reside and is not found in the Philippines and the action affects the personal status of the plaintiff or relates to. 71 SCRA 292). which allegation the latter denied. hence null and void. it may be validly tried by the Philippines courts. when the action affects the personal status of the plaintiff residing in the Philippines. in which the defendant has or claims a lien or interest. 1. not extraterritorial service. by leave of court. and (4) when the defendant nonresident's property has been attached within the Philippines" (De Midgely vs. 174). or for the recovery of damages for the commission of an injury to the person or property (Hernandez vs. personal or substituted service of summons on the defendants. or is intended to seize or dispose of any property.. Blg. The respondent court's finding that.e. 76 SCRA 85). Rural Bank of Lucena. specifically contractual rights that petitioners are enforcing against IVO" is specious for the "contractual rights" of the petitioners are not property found in the Philippines for the petitioners have not filed an action in the local courts to enforce said rights.petition for certiorari with a prayer for the issuance of a temporary retraining order which We granted. the Corporation Code did not repeal the rules requiring proper service of summons to such corporations as provided in Rule 14 of the Rules of Court and Section 128 of the Corporation Code. The petition for certiorari is granted. . Sec. (3) when the relief demanded in such action consists. The complaint in this case does not involve the personal status of the plaintiff." Only in four (4) instances is extraterritorial service of summons proper. of the defendant located in the Philippines. 67 Phil. be effected out of the Philippines by personal service as under section 7. Interim Rules of Court. the Philippine courts cannot try any case against him because of the impossibility of acquiring jurisdiction over his person unless he voluntarily appears in court. or the property of the defendant has been attached within the Philippines. (2) when the action relates to. The rule is explained in Moran's Comments on the Rules of Court thus: "As a general rule. The lower court invoked Section 33 of the Corporation Code which provides that a "foreign corporation transacting business in the Philippines without a license may be sued or proceeded against before Philippine courts or administrative tribunal on any valid cause of action recognized under Philippine laws. wholly or in part. Cdpr WHEREFORE. or the subject of which is. must be based upon personal service within the state which renders the judgment" (Boudard vs. in which case a copy of the summons and order of the court shall be sent by registered mail to the last known address of the defendant. or in any other manner the court may deem sufficient. i. actual or contingent. 3-a. Extraterritorial service of summons will not confer on the court jurisdiction or power to compel them to obey its orders: LLphil Neither may the court by extraterritorial service of summons acquire jurisdiction to render and enforce a money judgment against a non-resident defendant who has no property in the Philippines for "the fundamental rule is that jurisdiction in personam over non-residents. or which the plaintiff has attached. The complaint in Civil Case No. actual or contingent. not an action in rem or quasi in rem." It assumed that the defendants (herein petitioners) are doing business in the Philippines. or by publication in a newspaper of general circulation in such places and for such time as the court may order. 170. for then. instead of against the person. does not transact business here. But. Development Bank of the Philippines. 87-40166 is hereby dismissed as against the petitioners for failure of the court to acquire jurisdiction over them. SO ORDERED. Ferandos. subpar.P. is necessary to confer jurisdiction on the court. or the subject of which is. 129). Extraterritorial service. 1987 (Annex II) of the respondent Judge are hereby set aside. and that they may be served with summons and other court processes through their agents or representatives enumerated in paragraph 2 of the complaint.

personal. HON. an urgent motion to vacate judgment and to dismiss case on the ground that the February 18. in in rem and quasi in rem actions. by claiming damages. it can be said that private respondent initially sought only to exclude petitioner from claiming interest over the subject vessel. 1991. the appellate court rendered its decision granting private respondent's petitions. and (4) when the defendant non-resident's property has been attached within the Philippines. private respondent testified during the presentation of evidence that.7. These three petitions were consolidated. also with leave of court.] BANCO DO BRASIL. and on July 19. ACTION IN PERSONAM.. Bearing in mind that in personam nature of the action. URBINO. this petition. SR. THE COURT OF APPEALS.. ARSENIO M. Thus. the publication of summons effected by private respondent was invalid and ineffective for the trial court to acquire jurisdiction over the person of petitioner. extrajudicial service of summons apply only where the action is in rem. in which the defendant claims a lien or interest. CA SECOND DIVISION [G. ID. This is so inasmuch as. SYNOPSIS On April 10. ATcaID The Court found the petition meritorious. an action against the thing itself instead of against the person. While the action is in rem. namely: "(1) when the action affects the personal status of the plaintiffs. Thus. thereby nullifying the disputed orders and effectively giving away to the entire decision of the RTC of Manila..00 in damages was void with respect to it for having been rendered without validly acquiring jurisdiction over the person of petitioner. where an individual is named as defendant and the purpose of the proceeding is to subject his interest therein to the obligation or loan burdening the property. is necessary to confer jurisdiction over the person of petitioner and validly hold it liable to private respondent for damages. the relief demanded went beyond the res and sought a relief totally alien to the action. since by seeking to recover damages from petitioner for their alleged commission of an injury to his person or property cause by petitioner's being a nuisance defendant. petitioner. in excluding the defendant from any interest in property located in the Philippines. ID. WHEN THE DEFENDANT IS A NONRESIDENT. insofar as its liability for damages was concerned. The appellate court denied the motion for reconsideration. petitioner Banco Do Brasil filed. In the instant case. Petitioner sought reconsideration. However. Petitioner subsequently amended its petition to specifically aver that its special appearance was solely for the purpose of questioning the court's exercise of personal jurisdiction. The third petition sought to nullify the order of the Court of Tax Appeals directing the Commissioner of Customs to place the Bureau of Customs and PNP officers and guards to secure the M/V Star Ace and its cargoes. Meanwhile. ID. (b) publication. within the Philippines. jurisdiction over the person of the defendant is necessary for the court to validly try and decide the case. — Clear from the foregoing.000.R. a certiorari petition was filed by private respondent before the Court of Appeals seeking to nullify the cease and desist order dated April 5. SERVICE OF SUMMONS. private respondent's suit against petitioner is premised on petitioner's being one of the claimants of the subject vessel M/V Star Ace. In these instances. (2) when the action relates to. Section 17 of the Rules of Court. and CESAR S. Nos. PERSONAL SERVICE OF SUMMONS WITHIN THE STATE IS ESSENTIAL TO THE ACQUISITION OF JURISDICTION OVER THE PERSON. one brought against a person on the basis of his personal liability. ID. (3) when the relief demanded in such action consists. or if not possible. vs. if the defendant is not physically present in the country. personal service of summons within the state is essential to the acquisition of jurisdiction over the person. the trial court had no jurisdiction to award damages amounting to $300. 2..00 in favor of private respondent and as against herein petitioner. respondents. The second petition sought to nullify the order setting aside the deputy sheriff's return as well as the certificate of sale issued by deputy sheriff Camangon. summons may be served extraterritorially in accordance with Rule 14. however. ID. wholly or in part.000. Accordingly. private respondent's action became in personam. by special appearance. Private respondent sought reconsideration of the order. or (c) any other manner the court may deem sufficient. service of summons may be affected by (a) personal service out of the country. substituted service of summons on petitioner and not extraterritorial service. On May 20. it can be said that private respondent initially sought only to exclude petitioner from claiming interest over the subject vessel M/V Star Ace. or the subject of which is property. the petition was granted and the decision and resolution of the Court of Appeals were reversed and set aside insofar as they affect petitioner Banco do Brasil. SYLLABUS 1. Any relief granted in rem or quasi in rem actions must be confined to the res and the court cannot lawfully render a personal judgment against the defendant. make inventory of the goods stored in the premises as indicated to belong to the private respondent. for being a nuisance defendant.. Gonong. and thus. REMEDIAL LAW. Thus. Banco de Brasil v. petitioner caused . INSTANCES WHEN EXTRATERRITORIAL SERVICE OF SUMMONS IS PROPER. actual or contingent. 1993. Clearly. or in an action quasi in rem. 2000. ID. Hence. jurisdiction over the person of the defendant is not a prerequisite to confer jurisdiction on the court provided that the court acquires jurisdiction over the res. but the trial court denied said motion. — Where the action is in personam. EXTRAJUDICIAL SERVICE OF SUMMONS APPLY ONLY WHERE THE ACTION IS IN REM. Private respondent's suit against petitioner was premised on petitioner's being one of the claimants of the subject vessel. 1991 issued by Judge Arsenio M. This cannot be done. CIVIL PROCEDURE. GONONG. 1991. When the defendant is a non-resident. Under this provision. with leave of court. 121576-78. there are only four (4) instances when extraterritorial service of summons is proper. 1991 decision of the trial court ordering herein petitioner to pay private respondent the amount of $300.. — When the defendant is a non-resident and he is not found in the country.. the court cannot acquire jurisdiction over his person and therefore cannot validly try and decide the case against him. June 16. the trial court issued an order acting favorably on petitioner's motion and set aside as against petitioner the decision for having been rendered without jurisdiction over Banco do Brasil's person. M/V Star Ace. Two more separate petitions for certiorari were subsequently filed by private respondent. 3.

1991 decision of the trial court cannot be said to have attained finality as regards the petitioner. JUDGMENT. 12 Accordingly. instead. On June 8. La Union while awaiting transshipment to Hongkong. JR. Banco Do Brasil. Aurelio M. Summonses for the amended Petition were served on Atty. though the main issue proffered in the present petition vary with the Vlason case. . 11 However.. . a Panamanian Company (hereafter referred to as Omega). and that its cargo would be smuggled into the country.. on April 4. only six (6) days after it learned of the existence of the case upon being informed by the Embassy of the Federative Republic of Brazil in the Philippines.. Tariff and Customs Code." 10 Finding that no fraud was committed. 1991 date when petitioner learned of the decision. acting District Collector of Customs John S. 17 Upon motion of the private respondent.. The request was approved by the Bureau of Customs. in the absence of any evidence on the date of receipt of decision. Amor. Sr. with no appeal perfected within such period. Tamondong and Commissioner Mison. Joseph Capuyan for Med Line Philippines: Anglionto (through his secretary. then acting as the local agent of Omega Sea Transport Company of Honduras & Panama. . Also impleaded as respondents were PPA Representative Silverio Mangaoang and Med Line Philippines.. On January 10. the publication of summons effected by private respondent is invalid and ineffective for the trial court to acquire jurisdiction over the person of petitioner. other than the alleged April 4. While seizure proceedings were ongoing. Ltd.. Singkong Trading Co. Dusit International Co. ID. and Thai-United Trading Co. and not extraterritorial service. Ltd. Thai-Nan Enterprises Ltd. herein Private Respondent Duraproof Services filed with the Regional Trial Court of Manila a Petition for Certiorari.. in a Second Indorsement dated November 11. 13 To enforce its preferred salvor‘s lien.. Atty. A notice of hearing of SFLU Seizure Identification No. 8 Despite the approval. Quiray. since by seeking to recover damages from petitioner for the alleged commission of an injury to his person or property caused by petitioner's being a nuisance defendant. Therefore. its authorized representative. 1991 decision.00. wherein we stated that. — We settled the issue of finality of the trial court's decision dated February 18. while the action is in rem. The material antecedents. cost and taxes. he forfeited the vessel and its cargo in accordance with Section 2530 of the Tariff and Customs Code. 1989.. among others. 1991 in the Vlason case. Dusit International Co. which had engine trouble. ID.6 .000. ANY RELIEF GRANTED IN REM OR QUASI IN REM ACTIONS MUST BE CONFINED TO THE RES AND THE COURT CANNOT LAWFULLY RENDER A PERSONAL JUDGMENT AGAINST THE DEFENDANT. ID. CaDATc 4. the District Collector of Customs. private respondent's action became in personam. its Motion to Vacate Judgment and to Dismiss Case was filed on April 10." Only upon the lapse of the reglementary period to appeal. which reinstated the entire Decision 4 dated February 18. Clearly. Vicente Angliongto. on suspicion that it was the hijacked M/V Silver Med owned by Med Line Philippines Co. substituted service of summons on petitioner. for these two (2) cases involved the same material antecedents. — It must be stressed that any relief granted in rem or quasi in rem actions must be confined to the res. the customs personnel boarded the vessel when it docked on January 7. Thus.00 in favor of private respondent and as against herein petitioner. and the vessel ran aground and was abandoned. 1993 and August 15. Branch 8. DOES THE DECISION BECOME FINAL AND EXECUTORY. the relief demanded went beyond the res and sought a relief totally alien to the action. 1991. Jr. considering the admiralty case involved multiple defendants. and its shipper. represented by its General Manager. 1989. Betty Bebero). if not possible. Inc. Singkong Trading Company as represented by Atty. respectively.000. ID. and the court cannot lawfully render a personal judgment against the defendant. DECISION DE LEON. . petitioner Banco do Brasil liable to private respondent Cesar Urbino. to unload its cargo and to store it at the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) compound in San Fernando. of the February 18. 1989. Bearing in mind the in personam nature of the action. Thus. Mison declined to issue a clearance for Quiray‘s Decision. 3-89 was served on its consignee. 1989. ID. 1991. are: Poro Point Shipping Services. La Union was hit by three typhoons. ONLY UPON THE LAPSE OF THE REGLEMENTARY PERIOD TO APPEAL. of Thailand. is necessary to confer jurisdiction over the person of petitioner and validly hold it liable to private respondent for damages.. J p: Before us is a petition for review on certiorari of the Decision 1 and the Resolution 2 of the Court of Appeals 3 dated July 19. entered into salvage agreement with private respondent to secure and repair the vessel at the agreed consideration of $1 million and "fifty percent (50%) [of] the cargo after all expenses. PPA Port Manager Adolfo Ll. 1995. holding. Sy issued a Decision decreeing the forfeiture and the sale of the cargo in favor of the government. of Hongkong. the trial court . 16 . for damages amounting to $300. Frank Cadacio. Prohibition and Mandamus 14 assailing the actions of Commissioner Mison and District Collector Sy.. requested permission for its vessel M/V Star Ace. Vlason Enterprises as represented by its president. Court of Appeals and Duraproof Services. by claiming damages.00. WITH NO APPEAL PERFECTED WITHIN SUCH PERIOD. as quoted from the Vlason 7 case. Eddie Tamondong. . "each defendant had a different period within which to appeal.000. 1991 of the Regional Trial Court of Manila. the trial court had no jurisdiction to award damages amounting to $300. the February 18. let us state that this case should have been consolidated with the recently decided case of Vlason Enterprises Corporation v. 9 The district customs collector seized said vessel and its cargo pursuant to Section 2301.irreparable damage to private respondent in the amount of $300. 5 At the outset. 5. does the decision become final and executory. lifted the warrant of seizure on July 1989. Cesar Urbino Sr.. then Customs Commissioner Salvador M. private respondent amended its Petition 15 to include former District Collector Quiray. personal or. In the case of petitioner. depending on the date of receipt of decision.

claiming that the trial court Decision had already become final and executory. On September 18. the Court is convinced. indeed. b.00. . 18 On January 29.000. and M/V Star Ace represented by Capt. and private respondent. private respondent and Rada. Thai-Nan Enterprises Ltd.00 for damages.000. f. upon the motion of Omega. Aside from impleading these additional respondents.000. respondentsmovants agreed not to appeal the Decision. IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING. both testimonial and documentary.000. to the detriment of the private respondent.00 in damages. Singkong Trading Co.000. . relief captain. . were the following: Singkong Trading Co. 22 On two other occasions.00. 1990. thus. Tamondong. 37 On March 8. [r]elief [c]aptain of the vessel and Omega Sea Transport Company.. For their part. d.00 based on . 1991. but the trial court denied the motion in its February 23. To satisfy the Decision." Subsequently.] is ordered to refrain from alienating or [transferring] the vessel M/V Star Ace to any third parties. 1990. Banco [Du] Brasil to pay [private respondent] in the amount of $300. that the trial court acted upon the motions. 25 alleging that its counsel failed to include "necessary and/or indispensable parties": Omega represented by Cadacio. Sheriffs Jorge Victorino. Quiray. representing Omega. and Thai-United Trading Co.000. 1991 to levy and to sell on execution the defendants vessel and personal property. Respondent M/V Star Ace.000. e. the trial court approved a Compromise Agreement 36 among the movants. however. 20 Later it rendered an Order dated July 2. [Vlason] Enterprises to pay [private respondent] in the amount of P3. 28 to which Cadacio and Rada filed a Joint Answer. and by the commissioner and district collector of customs on the ground of lack of jurisdiction. prayer and evidence adduced. securing and guarding fees on the vessel in the amount of $225.00. based on the alle gations. the trial court declared the other respondents in default and allowed private respondent to present evidence against them. Dusit International Co.. The Motion was granted and a Writ of Execution was issued. a. 4. 2. Amado Sevilla and Dionisio Camañgon were deputized on March 13. 32 Cesar Urbino.000. general manager of private respondent. private respondent also alleged in the Second (actually. Salvage fees on the vessel in the amount of $1. 29 Declared in default in an Order issued by the trial court on January 23. [private respondent] filed another Motion for leave to amend the petition. Inc. 35 and finally. Attorney‘s fees in the amount of P656. 1991. Costs of [s]uit. and the trial court granted. Omega and M/V Star Ace appeared in the next pretrial hearing. 31 Only private respondent. private respondent moved for the execution of judgment. defendants/respondents are liable to [private respondent] in the amount as prayed for in the petition for which it renders judgment as follows: 1. 1990. but only to exclude the customs commissioner and the district collector. Commissioner Mison. 21 In another Order. Nahon Rada. and that if Rada did not receive any instruction from his principal. entered into a Memorandum of Agreement stipulating that Rada would write and notify Omega regarding the demand for salvage fees of private respondent. 5. 1990. 3. 24 There is no record. . Singkong Trading Company to pay the following: Taxes due the government. third) Amended Petition 26 that the owners of the vessel intended to transfer and alienate their rights and interest over the vessel and its cargo. private respondent again moved to declare the following in default: [Vlason]. Salaries of the crew from August 16. 27 Instead. he would assign the vessel in favor of the salvor. Atty.000. Ltd. 30 Private respondent filed. on August 24. 1989 to December 1989 in the amount of $43.685. Preservation. giving due course to the motions to dismiss filed by Mangaoang and Amor on the ground of litis pendentia. . Sy and Mison on March 26. while Mison and Med Line had moved separately for an extension to file a similar motion. that. the trial court dismissed the action against Med Line Philippines on the ground of litis pendentia. private respondent moved to declare respondents in default.33 On December 29... Lloyd‘s Standard Form of Salvage Agreement. 1991. . Maintenance fees in the amount of P2. testified and adduced evidence against the other respondents. 23 and Banco [do] Bra[s]il. 1990. Commissioner Mison. 34 On February 18. represented by Frank Cadacio[. c. . represented by Capt. Nahum Rada. and Omega and M/V Star Ace. the trial court disposed as follows: "WHEREFORE. reducing by 20 percent the amounts adjudged. The trial court granted leave to private respondent to amend its Petition. private respondent filed the "Second Amended Petition with Supplemental Petition" against Singkong Trading Company..00 and unpaid salaries from January 1990 up to the present. M/V Star Ace and Omega.. 1990 Order 19 . 1990. because Mangaoang and Amor had jointly filed a Motion to Dismiss.allowed summons by publication to be served upon defendants who were not residents and had no direct representative in the country. Inc. an ex parte Motion to present evidence against the defaulting respondents.

1995. ." 48 Private respondent Urbino. This is so inasmuch as. Regional Trial Court of Manila. where the action is in personam. the trial court issued a n Order 40 acting favorably on petitioner‘s motion and set aside as against petitioner the decision dated February 18. or the subject of which is property. jurisdiction over the person of the defendant is not a prerequisite to confer jurisdiction on the court provided that the court acquires jurisdiction over the res. The petition bears merit. 1991 of the . namely: "(1) when the action affects the personal status of the plaintiffs.00. Nevertheless." 54 In these instances. not engaged in business in the Philippines. wholly or in part. 56 However. petitioner Banco do Brasil filed. Two (2) more separate petitions for certiorari were subsequently filed by private respondent. as such it is an action in personam which requires personal service of summons be made upon it for the court to acquire jurisdiction over it. Vlason Enterprises and petitioner Banco do Brasil filed separate motions for reconsideration. however. Branch 8. where an individual is named as defendant and the purpose of the proceeding is to subject his interest therein to the obligation or loan burdening the property. insofar as its liability for damages. the instant petition. petitioner Banco do Brasil sought reconsideration. However. or in an action quasi in rem. jurisdiction over the person of the defendant is necessary for the court to validly try and decide the case. with private respondent submitting the winning bid. the trial court did not acquire jurisdiction over petitioner . the Bureau of Customs also filed an ex parte Motion to recall the execution. Section 17 53 of the Rules of Court. Petitioner Banco do Brasil takes exception to the appellate court‘s declaration that the suit below is in rem. 57 This cannot be done. or (c) any other manner the court may deem sufficient. and to quash the notice of levy and the sale on execution. 49 Nonetheless. 1991. in Civil Case No. also with leave of court. service of summons may be effected by (a) personal service out of the country. (3) when the relief demanded in such action consists. within the Philippines. Hence. The third petition 46 sought to nullify the Order dated October 5. 1991 for having been rendered without jurisdiction over Banco do Brasil‘s person. the auction sale was conducted on March 21. 51 thus. The trial court ordered the deputy sheriffs to cease and desist from implementing the Writ of Execution and from levying on the personal property of the defendants. and thereby liable to private respondent Cesar Urbino for damages claimed. Sheriff Camañgon issued the corresponding Certificate of Sale on March 27. 1991 by Sheriff Camañgon. Despite this Motion. unless it has property located in the Philippines which may be attached to convert the action into an action in rem. 1991 issued by Judge Arsenio M. 89-51451 which remains valid. the appellate court rendered its Decision 47 granting private respondent‘s petitions. on the ground that there was no valid service of summons as service was on the wrong party – the ambassador of Brazil. 1992 setting aside the Deputy Sheri ff‘s return dated April 1. On April 10. in which the defendant claims a lien or interest. First. However. service of summons by publication was sufficient for the court to acquire jurisdiction over the person of petitioner Banco do Brasil. 1991 Decision of the trial court is void with respect to it for having been rendered without validly acquiring jurisdiction over the person of Banco do Brasil. thus the same should be as it is hereby granted. the appellate court denied the motions for reconsideration in its Resolution 50 dated August 15. When the defendant is a nonresident and he is not found in the country. inasmuch as petitioner Banco do Brasil is a non-resident foreign corporation. Hence. The second petition 44 sought to nullify the Order 45 dated June 26.xxx xxx xxx Banco do Brasil. (b) publication. 1991. 1991 as well as the certificate of sale issued by Deputy Sheriff Camañgon. personal service of summons within the state is essential to the acquisition of jurisdiction over the person.000. 1991 decision of the trial court was already final and thus. make inventory of the goods stored in the premises as indicated to belong to the private respondent. not in personam. 1991. 1993. actual or contingent. thereby nullifying and setting aside the disputed orders and effectively "giving way to the entire decision dated February 18. and (4) when the defendant non-resident‘s property has been attached within the Philippines. 55 Clear from the foregoing. final and executory. the court cannot acquire jurisdiction over it in respect of an action in personam. When the defendant is a non-resident. . there are only four (4) instances when extraterritorial service of summons is proper. 1992 of the Court of Tax Appeals directing the Commissioner of Customs to place Bureau of Customs and PNP officers and guards to secure the M/V Star Ace and its cargoes. On May 20. cannot be modified or assailed. one brought against a person on the basis of his personal liability. Private respondent sought reconsideration 41 of the Order dated May 20. in in rem and quasi in rem actions. amounting to $300. extrajudicial service of summons apply only where the action is in rem. 1991. Meanwhile. 1991. Petitioner subsequently amended its petition 39 to specifically aver that its special appearance is solely for the purpose of questioning the Court‘s exercise of personal jurisdiction. Likewise challenged was the Order dated August 17. 52 Petitioner avers that the action filed against it is an action for damages. Under this provision. if the defendant is not On March 18. if not yet wholly executed. These three (3) petitions were consolidated and on July 19. 1992 authorizing the sale of M/V Star Ace and its cargoes. an Urgent Motion to Vacate Judgment and to Dismiss Case 38 on the ground that the February 18. a certiorari petition 43 was filed by private respondent before public respondent Court of Appeals seeking to nullify the cease and desist Order dated April 5. it argued. (2) when the action relates to. by special appearance. with leave of court. 1991 denied said motion. Petitioner further challenges the finding that the February 18. in excluding the defendant from any interest in property located in the Philippines. an action against the thing itself instead of against the person. the trial court in an Order 42 dated June 21. For its part. Gonong. summons may be served extraterritorially in accordance with Rule 14.

and thus. 61 Clearly. Second. WHEREFORE. the subject petition is hereby GRANTED. the trial court had no jurisdiction to award damages amounting to $300. 1991. depending on the date of receipt of decision. the publication of summons effected by private respondent is invalid and ineffective for the trial court to acquire jurisdiction over the person of petitioner. We settled the issue of finality of the trial court‘s decision dated February 18. with no appeal perfected within such period. considering the admiralty case involved multiple defendants. and the court cannot lawfully render a personal judgment against the defendant. However. for being a nuisance defendant.000. SP Nos." 63 Only upon the lapse of the reglementary period to appeal. private respondent‘s suit against petitioner is premised on petitioner‘s being one of the claimants of the subject vessel M/V Star Ace.00 in favor of private respondent and as against herein petitioner. substituted service of summons on petitioner.R. SO ORDERED. 1993 and August 15. does the decision become final and executory. 59 Thus. . its Motion to Vacate Judgment and to Dismiss Case was filed on April 10. Thus.physically present in the country. the relief demanded went beyond the res and sought a relief totally alien to the action. Branch 8 in Civil Case No. 1991 decision. 8951451 is REINSTATED. 1991 in the Vlason case. only six (6) days after it learned of the existence of the case upon being informed by the Embassy of the Federative Republic of Brazil in the Philippines. 24669. private respondent‘s action became in personam. the court cannot acquire jurisdiction over his person and therefore cannot validly try and decide the case against him. the February 18. 28387 and 29317 are hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE insofar as they affect petitioner Banco do Brasil. is necessary to confer jurisdiction over the person of petitioner and validly hold it liable to private respondent for damages. while the action is in rem. petitioner caused irreparable damage to private respondent in the amount of $300. 65 Thus. 1991. in CA-G. The Decision and the Resolution of the Court of Appeals dated July 19. 1991 decision of the trial court cannot be said to have attained finality as regards the petitioner. 58 In the instant case.00. "each defendant had a different period within which to appeal. 64 In the case of petitioner. and not extraterritorial service. private respondent testified during the presentation of evidence that. by claiming damages. 1995. in the absence of any evidence on the date of receipt of decision. 1991 date when petitioner learned of the decision. wherein we stated that. respectively. of the February 18. The Order dated May 20. 1991 of the Regional Trial Court of Manila. if not possible. on April 4. since by seeking to recover damages from petitioner for the alleged commission of an injury to his person or property 62 caused by petitioner‘s being a nuisance defendant. Bearing in mind the in personam nature of the action. personal or.000. It must be stressed that any relief granted in rem or quasi in rem actions must be confined to the res. it can be said that private respondent initially sought only to exclude petitioner from claiming interest over the subject vessel M/V Star Ace. other than the alleged April 4. 60 Therefore.

1976. for LACK OF MERIT. (2) when the action relates to. — There is no question that the requirement of due process has been met as shown by the fact that defendants actually received the summonses and copies of the complaint and as evidenced by the Registry Return Cards marked as Annex A-1 and Annex B-1.A. or the subject of which is. said defendants are given NINETY (90) days from receipt of this Order within which to file responsive pleadings. 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. ID. and Marietta C. plaintiffs (private respondents herein) Ana Almonte Cariaga Soon filed in her behalf and in behalf of her minor daughter Carolina. 21. and Marietta C. by special appearance and thru counsel filed their motion to consider the service of summons upon them by registered mail as null and void. actual or contingent. which gave said defendants ninety (90) days from receipt of order within which to file their responsive pleadings. there was substantial compliance with Section 17 as related to Section 7 both of Rule 14 of the New Rules of Court in the service of said summons on said defendants. and Marieta Cariaga-Celis who were both residing abroad and were not served with summons. CARIAGA. MALAYA. January 16.R. On August 30. 33. defendants (petitioner herein). 3. L-48375. 1986.. Jr. be effected out of the Philippines in three ways: (1) by personal service. 1978. 1978. (3) when the relief demanded in such an action consists. Cariaga. The third mode of extraterritorial service of summons was substantially complied with in this case. Cariaga. as it is. docketed as Civil Case No.) by the Clerk of Court at the instance of plaintiffs (Annex "B" and "C"). All defendants in said action filed their answer with counterclaim with the exception of defendants (petitioners herein) Jose C. Cariaga v. (3) Recovery of Real Property with damages. 64 SCRA 23. Acting on the issue the lower court ruled in this wise: "ORDER "It appearing that but for the short period of fifteen (15) days from date of receipt of summons within which to answer given defendants Jose C. OBSERVED IN CASE AT BAR. property within the Philippines. respondents. CIVIL PROCEDURE. the lower court issued another order reading as follows: "ORDER MALAYA MALAYA . Whatever defect there may have been in the service of summons was aptly corrected by the court a quo in its assailed order dated January 16. Laguna. MANNERS IN EFFECTING THEREOF. in which the defendant has or claims a lien or interest. ANTONIO Q. JUDICIAL DUE PROCESS. Accordingly. Cariaga Jr. it being allegedly irregular and unauthorized under the provisions of Rule 14 of the Rules of Court (Annex "D") to which motion plaintiffs filed their opposition. CAROLINA ALMONTE CARIAGA-SOON AND ANA ALMONTE CARIAGA. August 13. and (4) when defendant nonresident's property has been attached within the Philippines.. Sgd. J p: This is a petition for certiorari to review and to set aside two orders of the respondent Judge dated January 16. SUMMONS. 17 and 18 of Rule 14 of the New Rules of Court. The antecedent facts of the case at bar are briefly summarized as follows: On October 6. 1978. who reside abroad. (De Midgely v. EXTRA-TERRITORIAL SERVICE OF SUMMONS. in the Court of First Instance (CFI) of Laguna. THE HON. Cariaga. 1978 and April 11. vs. Petitioners aver that the issuance of said orders by the respondent Judge is tantamount to grave abuse of discretion..8. "Let copies of this Order be served on the said defendants by registered mail with return cards at the instance of the plaintiffs. an action for (1) Annulment of a Deed of Extra-Judicial Partition of Real Property. ID. AND MARIETA CARIAGA. 1977. "Defendants Jose C. SC-1474.] JOSE C. hereby DENIED. petitioners. (2) Cancellation of Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT). — Under Section 17. Record).S. Defendants have no reason to complain that they were unaware of the action filed against them or claim that they were denied due process. Cariaga. residing abroad. with leave of court. DECISION PARAS. Branch IV. Rule 14 of the Rules of Court the service of summons may. Record). Rule 14.. who are residents of the Philippines filed a motion to set aside the said summons and to declare the service of summons abroad by registered mail as null and void. WHEN AVAILABLE. Ferandos. p. REMEDIAL LAW. "IT IS SO ORDERED. defendants. of the Rules of Court extraterritorial service of summons is proper: (1) when the action affects the personal status of the plaintiff. summonses with copies of the complaint were served to the defendants by registered mail abroad (Guam and U. ANTONIO Q. 7. who are residing abroad. Cariaga. — In any of such four cases provided in Sec. CONSTITUTIONAL LAW. wholly or in part. 34). JR. and (3) in any other manner which the court may deem sufficient. having already received copies of plaintiffs' Complaint with the service of summons on them. now known as the Regional Trial Court (RTC). J u d g e" (Annex F. Santa Cruz. ID. BILL OF RIGHTS. SYLLABUS 1. (Annex "A". Jr. Malaya SECOND DIVISION [G. ANTONIO Q. On March 31. No. the defendants' MOTION TO SET ASIDE SUMMONSES is. Jr. 9. 17. in excluding the defendant from any interest in property located in the Philippines.. 1978 giving validity to the service of summons by registered mail upon the defendants Jose C. p. 1978. On April 11. The lower court upon motion of plaintiffs granted them leave to effect extra-territorial service of summons upon said defendants pursuant to Secs. (2) by publication in a newspaper of general circulation in such places and for such time as the court may order. 2. ID. and Marieta Cariaga-Celis (petitioners herein).

Santa Cruz. in excluding the defendant from any interest in property located in the Philippines. 7. The main issue on appeal is whether the service of summons by registered mail upon defendants in the case at bar is one which is contemplated within the principles laid down in the provisions of Secs. Petitioners' contention holds no water. said motion is. The case of Habana v. actual or contingent. 1970. cited by the petitioners in support of their claim has no bearing in the case at bar since in said case service of summons was never made. WHEREFORE. or the subject of which is. with leave of court. petitioners aver that the lower court committed an error in allowing service of summons by registered mail. Rule 14. (2) when the action relates to. to be null and void because they are residing abroad.. extraterritorial service of summons is proper: (1) when the action affects the personal status of the plaintiff. The third mode of extraterritorial service of summons was substantially complied with in this case. arguing that such mode must be coupled with publication in a newspaper of general circulation which was lacking in the case at bar. Proof of service by registered mail. 1978. hereby DENIED. through counsel. 33. Laguna. in which the defendant has or claims a lien or interest. 64 SCRA 23. premises considered. and (4) when defendant nonresident's property has been attached within the Philippines (Sec. by tendering it to him. wholly or in part. — When the defendant does not reside and is not found in the Philippines and the action affects the personal status of the plaintiff or relates to. 34)." Sec. as it is. . which shall not be less than sixty (60) days after notice. 1978 and April 11. (3) when the relief demanded in such an action consists. actual or contingent. or 33 SCRA 569. MENDOZA T/IRINEO V. 1978. property within the Philippines. (De Midgely v. SO ORDERED. considering the findings of this Court as expounded in its January 16. Vamenta et al. Personal service of summons. L-27091. or the property of the defendant has been attached within the Philippines. p. — The summons shall be served by handing a copy thereof to the defendant in person. or by publication in a newspaper of general circulation in such places and for such time as the court may order. MENDOZA J u d g e" (Annex "H". which gave said defendants ninety (90) days from receipt of order within which to file their responsive pleadings. to consider the service of summons to them by registered mail. Under Section 17. with postage prepaid. 17. or the subject of which is. or in any other manner the court may deem sufficient. or if he refuses to receive it. In any of such four cases. be effected out of the Philippines in three ways: (1) by personal service. wholly or in part. April 11. Ferandos." Sec. Rule 14 of the New Rules of Court to Wit: "Section 17. and (3) in any other manner which the court may deem sufficient. Defendants have no reason to complain that they were unaware of the action filed against them or claim that they were denied due process. 17. in which case a copy of the summons and order of the court shall be sent by registered mail to the last known address of the defendant. 22. within which the defendant must answer. "IT IS SO ORDERED. inclosed in an envelope and addressed to the defendant. in which the defendant has or claims a lien or interest. 7 and 22. the service of summons may. (2) by publication in a newspaper of general circulation in such places and for such time as the court may order. There is no question that the requirement of due process has been met as shown by the fact that defendants actually received the summonses and copies of the complaint and as evidenced by the Registry Return Cards marked as Annex A-1 (page 56Record) and Annex B-1. or in which the relief demanded consists. Whatever defect there may have been in the service of summons was aptly corrected by the court a quo in its assailed order dated January 16. Extraterritorial service. 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. (SGD. service of summons was made upon them (although claimed erroneously by them as defective). the petition for certiorari is hereby DISMISSED with costs against the petitioners. 1978. 1978.) IRINEO V. has been mailed. service may. 25 Record). while in the case under consideration. Any order granting such leave shall specify a reasonable time. even if defendant knew of the case against him. by leave of court. 1978 Order."Finding on merit to defendants' motion filed on March 31. in excluding the defendant from any interest therein. showing that a copy of the summons and papers attached thereto. to which certificate or affidavit the registry receipt and return card shall be attached. — Service by registered mail under this rule may be proved by a certificate of the sheriff or affidavit of the person especially authorized by the court. Rules of Court). property within the Philippines. be effected out of the Philippines by personal service as under Section 7." Questioning the validity of the aforequoted orders dated January 16. June 30.

defendant must be a resident of the Philippines. SERVICE REQUIRED IN ACTION IN PERSONAM. 2. ID. ID. may be summoned either by means of substituted service in accordance with Rule 14. Valmonte is a nonresident who is not found in the Philippines. PURPOSE. Hence this petition for review on certiorari.9. Branch 48. — As petitioner Lourdes A. If the defendant is a nonresident and he is not found in the country. ID.. for purposes of this complaint may be served with summons at Gedisco Center. 1992.. THIRD DIVISION and ROSITA DIMALANTA. 1996. ACTION IN REM. Such service.. but. Valmonte. Valmonte before the Regional Trial Court of Manila. — Since in the case at bar. ID. § 17. said no and refused to declare Lourdes A. cdasia On March 9. "in any . . 5. 108538. but the Court of Appeals said yes. for private respondent. Moreover. ID. i. Valmonte in default. — On the other hand. jurisdiction over the person of the defendant is not essential for giving the court jurisdiction so long as the court acquires jurisdiction over the res. Washington. it should be noted. as provided in Rule 14. South Seattle. (2) by publication in a newspaper of general circulation in such places and for such time as the court may order. Branch 48. § 17 and certainly was not a mode deemed sufficient by the court which in fact refused to consider the service to be valid and on that basis declare petitioner Lourdes A. Valmonte and Alfredo D. Ermita. ID. Mabini. ID. U. As provided in § 19. 3. CA SECOND DIVISION [G. Valmonte and Alfredo D. service of summons on her must be in accordance with Rule 14. DEFENDANT MUST BE RESIDENT OF PHILIPPINES.S.. ID. The Regional Trial Court of Manila. a widow and is at present a resident of 14823 Conway Road. Valmonte. must be made outside the Philippines. Otherwise stated. Valmonte cannot be considered a valid service of summons on petitioner Lourdes A. service in the attempted manner on petitioner was not made upon prior leave of the trial court as required also in Rule 14. Chesterfield. like the first two. — In an action in personam. cdasia Alfredo D. — In all of these cases. service of summons may.A. ID. who cannot be personally served with summons.. Valmonte. J p: Petitioner Lourdes A. ID. 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. January 22. REMEDIAL LAW. substituted service. Manila." We hold it cannot. 6. otherwise an action in personam cannot be brought because jurisdiction over his person is essential to make a binding decision. what gives the court jurisdiction in an action in rem or quasi in rem is that it has jurisdiction over the res. § 7-8 is essential for the acquisition by the court of jurisdiction over the person of a defendant who does not voluntarily submit himself to the authority of the court. Valmonte v. § 17. who has a law office in the Philippines.. SUMMONS. The question is whether in an action for partition filed against her and her husband.S. Valmonte is a foreign resident. Valmonte was not made upon the order of the court as required by Rule 14.. however. who is a member of the Philippine bar. Valmonte and Cirilo E. the question is whether the service on her attorney. . ID. who is the sister of petitioner Lourdes A.A. petitioners. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS. This mode of service. private respondent Rosita Dimalanta. Alfredo A. vs. while the defendants are spouses. respondents. summons may be served exterritorially in accordance with Rule 14. if the action is in rem or quasi in rem. where he holds office at S-304 Gedisco Centre. § 17. MODES. In the first place. Valmonte was not done by means of any of the first two modes... No. Balgos & Perez. NOT VALID. The subject of the action is a three-door apartment located in Paco. U.e. DECISION MENDOZA. there are several reasons why the service of summons on Atty. In such cases.R. 4. if this is not possible and he cannot be personally served. Valmonte in default for her failure to file an answer. practices his profession in the Philippines. such as through the Philippine Embassy in the foreign country where the defendant resides. petitioner Alfredo D. or (3) in any other manner which the court may deem sufficient. Washington. private respondent alleged: The plaintiff is of legal age. so that he will be informed of the pendency of the action against him and the possibility that property in the Philippines belonging to him or in which he has an interest may be subjected to a judgment in favor of the plaintiff and he can thereby take steps to protect his interest if he is so minded.. They are both residents of 90222 Carkeek Drive South Seattle.. the personal status of the plaintiff who is domiciled in the Philippines or the property litigated or attached. by leave of court. who is also her attorney. VALMONTE. Valmonte are husband and wife... In her Complaint. Manila. In the second place. NON-RESIDENT DEFENDANT MAY BE SERVED WITH SUMMONS EXTERRITORIALLY. . ID. summons intended for her may be served on her husband.. personal service of summons or. U. service of summons on petitioner Alfredo D. must be made either (1) by personal service.S. filed a complaint for partition of real property and accounting of rentals against petitioners Lourdes A. a resident defendant in an action in personam. VALMONTE and ALFREDO D. supported by affidavit of the plaintiff or some person on his behalf and setting forth the grounds for the application. commuting for this purpose between his residence in the state of Washington and Manila. § 8 or by publication as provided in § 17 and 18 of the same Rule.. ID. but otherwise he is a Philippine resident. SYLLABUS 1. for petitioners. such leave must be applied for by motion in writing. — Service of summons in the manner provided in § 17 is not for the purpose of vesting it with jurisdiction but for complying with the requirements of fair play or due process. Valmonte.. The facts of the case are as follows: Petitioners Lourdes A.] LOURDES A. ID. manner the court may deem sufficient. can be justified under the third mode. ID.. SERVICE OF SUMMONS ON DEFENDANT'S HUSBAND AND COUNSEL IN PHILIPPINES. ID. namely. Missouri. be made by publication. ID. 1564 A. CIVIL PROCEDURE.. ID.A. the service of summons upon petitioner Lourdes A. Petitioner Alfredo D. If defendant cannot be served with summons because he is temporarily abroad.... to be effective outside the Philippines. of legal age and at present residents of 90222 Carkeek Drive. Doronia. ID.

Whereas Mrs. Valmonte's subsequent alleged special appearance made on behalf of his wife. Valmonte accepted the summons. Our Rules of Court. Balgos: This is in response to your letter. 1992. It would obviously be inequitable for this Court to allow private respondent Lourdes A. A motion for reconsideration was similarly denied on September 23. did not file her Answer. the Court of Appeals stated: 1 cdt [I]n her above-quoted reply.Unit 304. Valmonte thereafter filed his Answer with Counterclaim. Alfredo D. Any disclaimer therefore on the part of Atty. Valmonte in default. dated 20 June 1991. the trial court. Valmonte was validly served with summons. there is nothing in the records of the case before Us regarding any manifestation by private respondent Lourdes A. On December 29.. if not incredible. who at the time. A copy of the appellate court's decision was received by petitioner Alfredo D. Manila where defendant Alfredo D. but refused to accept the summons for his wife. In holding that she had been. Mabini. telephone and fax numbers appear below. If this be allowed. This Court hereby Resolves to nullify the orders of the court a quo dated July 3. The letter reads: July 4. belongs to the conjugal partnership of the defendants (the spouses Valmonte). 1992. private respondent filed a petition for certiorari. 1993 in Seattle. Valmonte as defendant Lourdes Arreola Valmonte's spouse holds office and where he can be found. according to her lawyer/husband/co-defendant. Valmonte about her lack of knowledge about the case instituted against her and her lawyer/husband/codefendant by her sister Rosita. prohibition and mandamus is given due course. alleging that the Court of Appeals erred (1) in refusing to apply the provisions of Rule 14. Ermita Metro Manila Telephone: 521-1736 Fax: 521-2095 Service of summons was then made upon petitioner Alfredo D. aisadc PREMISES CONSIDERED. prohibition and mandamus with the Court of Appeals. Valmonte on January 15. Dimalanta over the Paco property. Such directive was made without any qualification just as was her choice/designation of her husband Atty. cdtai In its Order dated July 3. this petition. Lourdes A. was at his office in Manila. It is highly inconceivable and certainly it would be contrary to human nature for the lawyer/husband/co-defendant to keep to himself the fact that they (the spouses Valmonte) had been sued with regard to a property which he claims to be conjugal. denied private respondent's motion to declare petitioner Lourdes A. The issue at bar is whether in light of the facts set forth above. Valmonte in default. Valmonte. she would nonetheless now insist that the same husband would nonetheless had absolutely no authority to receive summons on her behalf. whose address. Valmonte. Hence. Valmonte. 1564 A. § 8 is the applicable provision. Washington. Valmonte to private respondent's counsel in which. she referred private respondent's counsel to her husband as the party to whom all communications intended for her should be sent. Valmonte entered a special appearance in behalf of his wife and opposed the private respondent's motion. 1992 and further declares private respondent Lourdes Arreola Valmonte as having been properly served with summons. Valmonte is a nonresident defendant. Valmonte. cdasia c/o Prime Marine Gedisco Center. which I received on 3 July 1991. Valmonte to hold that her husband has the authority to represent her when an advantage is to be obtained by her and to deny such authority when it would turn out to be her disadvantage. Petitioner Alfredo D. there was no valid substituted service as there was no strict compliance with the requirement by leaving a copy of the summons and complaint . Valmonte had manifestly authorized her husband to serve as her lawyer relative to her dispute with her sister over the Paco property and to receive all communications regarding the same and subsequently to appear on her behalf by way of a so-called special appearance. the same lawyer/husband happens to be also her co-defendant in the instant case which involves real property which. . 1992 and September 23. . For this reason private respondent moved to declare her in default. should only be made by him when such representation would be favorable to her but not otherwise. cdtai Apparently. the Court of Appeals rendered a decision granting the petition and declaring Lourdes A. she is asserting that representation by her lawyer (who is also her husband) as far as the Paco property controversy is concerned. Petitioner Lourdes A. Mrs. now the subject of the instant case) to her lawyer who happens also to be her husband. on the ground that he was not authorized to accept the process on her behalf. the instant petition for certiorari. Petitioner Alfredo D. petitioner Lourdes A. xxx xxx xxx Turning to another point. however. Whereupon. Mabini St. and (2) because even if Rule 14. Petitioner Alfredo D. § 8 when the fact is that petitioner Lourdes A. Valmonte clearly and unequivocally directed the aforementioned counsel of Dimalanta to address all communications (evidently referring to her controversy with her sister Mrs. Please address all communications to my lawyer. in regard to the partition of the property in question. Valmonte. insofar as he was concerned. Unit 304 1564 A. Parenthetically. the foregoing averments were made on the basis of a letter previously sent by petitioner Lourdes A. Petitioners assail the aforequoted decision. But that is not all. Accordingly the process server left without leaving a copy of the summons and complaint for petitioner Lourdes A. it would not do for Us to overlook the fact that the disputed summons was served not upon just an ordinary lawyer of private respondent Lourdes A. Ermita. Atty. 1991 Dear Atty. 1992. In effect. Valmonte. but upon her lawyer husband. 1993 at his Manila office and on January 21. Valmonte as her lawyer likewise made without any qualification or reservation. This view is bolstered by Atty. Valmonte as to his being his wife's attorney (at least with regard to the dispute vis-avis (sic) the Paco property) would appear to be feeble or trifling. instead of being an instrument to promote justice would be made use of to thwart or frustrate the same. § 17 of the Revised Rules of Court and applying instead Rule 14. .

be made by publication. namely. in which the defendant has or claims a lien or interest. § 17. must be made outside the Philippines. (2) by publication in a newspaper of general circulation in such places and for such time as the court may order. "in any . are in a general way thus designated. Valmonte was not made upon the order of the court as required by Rule 14. and most importantly. Valmonte. there are several reasons why the service of summons on Atty. cdta In an action in personam. may be summoned either by means of substituted service in accordance with Rule 14. or in any other manner the court may deem sufficient. shall be not less than sixty (60) days after notice." We hold it cannot. as provided in Rule 14.with petitioner Alfredo D. it should be noted. jurisdiction over the person of the defendant is not essential for giving the court jurisdiction so long as the court acquires jurisdiction over the res. to be effective outside the Philippines. or other form of remedy. by leave of court. in excluding the defendant from any interest therein. cdt Finally. or by publication in a newspaper of general circulation in such places and for such time as the court may order. be effected out of the Philippines by personal service as under Section 7. § 8 or by publication as provided in § 17 and 18 of the same Rule. On the other hand. supported by affidavit of the plaintiff or some person on his behalf and setting forth the grounds for the application. service of summons may. Such service.e. foreclosure. summons may be served extraterritorially in accordance with Rule 14. substituted service. To provide perspective. . cdtai Since in the case at bar. such leave must be applied for by motion in writing. defendant must be a resident of the Philippines. 3 If defendant cannot be served with summons because he is temporarily abroad. which shall not be less than sixty (60) days after notice. must be made either (1) by personal service. § 17 and certainly was not a mode deemed sufficient by the court which in fact refused to consider the service to be valid and on that basis declare petitioner Lourdes A. upon the other hand. 4 Otherwise stated. property within the Philippines. Valmonte. otherwise an action in personam cannot be brought because jurisdiction over his person is essential to make a binding decision. service of summons on petitioner Alfredo D. §17. The judgment entered in these proceedings is conclusive only between the parties. it will be helpful to determine first the nature of the action filed against petitioners Lourdes A. As petitioner Lourdes A. All proceedings having for their sole object the sale or other disposition of the property of the defendant. — When the defendant does not reside and is not found in the Philippines and the action affects the personal status of the plaintiff or relates to. or in which the relief demanded consists. Service of summons in the manner provided in § 17 is not for the purpose of vesting it with jurisdiction but for complying with the requirements of fair play or due process. in which case a copy of the summons and order of the court shall be sent by registered mail to the last known address of the defendant. but otherwise he is a Philippine resident. can be justified under the third mode. petitioner Lourdes A. Palanca: 7 [An action quasi in rem is] an action which while not strictly speaking an action in rem partakes of that nature and is substantially such. petitioner Alfredo D. In the second place. who cannot be personally served with summons. The action quasi in rem differs from the true action in rem in the circumstance that in the former an individual is named as defendant and the purpose of the proceeding is to subject his interest therein to the obligation or lien burdening the property. It must be noted that the period to file an Answer in an action against a resident defendant differs from the period given in an action filed against a nonresident defendant who is . which provides: cdasia § 17. private respondent's action. In such cases. Valmonte was not given ample time to file her Answer which. actual or contingent. As provided in § 19. service in the attempted manner on petitioner was not made upon prior leave of the trial court as required also in Rule 14. if this is not possible and he cannot be personally served. 6 cdtai Applying the foregoing rules to the case at bar. . or (3) in any other manner which the court may deem sufficient. by leave of court. the question is whether the service on her attorney. Valmonte cannot be considered a valid service of summons on petitioner Lourdes A. In the first place. like the first two. 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. Valmonte. Valmonte and Alfredo D. Such an action is essentially for the purpose of affecting the defendant's interest in a specific property and not to render a judgment against him. wholly or in part. § 7-8 2 is essential for the acquisition by the court of jurisdiction over the person of a defendant who does not voluntarily submit himself to the authority of the court. i. what gives the court jurisdiction in an action in rem or quasi in rem is that it has jurisdiction over the res. We hold that there was no valid service of process on Lourdes A. Any order granting such leave shall specify a reasonable time. because there was no order granting such leave. service of summons on her must be in accordance with Rule 14. . the service of summons upon petitioner Lourdes A. Valmonte is a nonresident who is not found in the Philippines. such as through the Philippine Embassy in the foreign country where the defendant resides. Valmonte. personal service of summons or. Valmonte in default for her failure to file an answer. This mode of service. which is for partition and accounting under Rule 69. whether it is an action in personam. a resident defendant in an action in personam. . service may. the personal status of the plaintiff who is domiciled in the Philippines or the property litigated or attached. in rem or quasi in rem. Private respondent. Valmonte was not done by means of any of the first two modes. . Valmonte by private respondent. so that he will be informed of the pendency of the action against him and the possibility that property in the Philippines belonging to him or in which he has an interest may be subjected to a judgment in favor of the plaintiff and he can thereby take steps to protect his interest if he is so minded. or the property of the defendant has been attached within the Philippines. whether by attachment. if the action is in rem or quasi in rem. § 17. As explained in the leading case of Banco Español Filipino v. If the defendant is a nonresident and he is not found in the country. 5 In all of these cases. This is because the rules on service of summons embodied in Rule 14 apply according to whether an action is one or the other of these actions. Extraterritorial service. Alfredo D. asserts that petitioners are invoking a technicality and that strict adherence to the rules would only result in a useless ceremony. 8 Moreover. manner the court may deem sufficient. within which the defendant must answer. according to the rules. or the subject of which is. is in the nature of an action quasi in rem.

there would have been no doubt that the trial court could have acquired jurisdiction over Mr. no power of attorney to receive summons for her can be inferred therefrom. Schenker. . it appears that defendant in that case submitted to the jurisdiction of the court by instructing her husband to move for the dissolution of the writ of attachment issued in that case. The action was for collection of a sum of money. Schenker against him. Schenker had authority to sue. As this Court said. 10 it was held that service on the wife of a nonresident defendant was found sufficient because the defendant had appointed his wife as his attorney-in-fact. on behalf of her husband. As is usual in negotiations of this kind. In accordance with Rule 14. the decision appealed from is REVERSED and the orders dated July 3. In fact the letter was written seven months before the filing of this case below. Branch 48 are REINSTATED. like the one at bar. having gone to Dumaguete City for a vacation. In contrast. the period is fifteen (15) days from service of summons. also. petitioner Lourdes A. That is why in one case. 1992 and September 23. Valmonte did not appoint her husband as her attorney-in-fact. In the former. and had actually sued. it is at least sixty (60) days from notice. who was there. and it appears that it was written in connection with the negotiations between her and her sister. we hold that there was no valid service on petitioner Lourdes A. in the case at bar. while in the latter. In any event. if instead of filing an independent action Gemperle filed a counterclaim in the action brought by Mr. For the foregoing reasons. respondent Rosita Dimalanta. 9 although the Court considered publication in the Philippines of the summons (against the contention that it should be made in the foreign state where defendant was residing) sufficient. But the authority given to petitioner's husband in these negotiations certainly cannot be construed as also including an authority to represent her in any litigation. 67 SCRA 458. 1992 of the Regional Trial Court of Manila. Strict compliance with these requirements alone can assure observance of due process. 462-463 (1975). It was held that although defendant Paul Schenker was a Swiss citizen and resident of Switzerland. Mrs. cdta WHEREFORE. Schenker through his agent and attorney-in-fact. In fact Gemperle's action was for damages arising from allegedly derogatory statements contained in the complaint filed in the first case. nonetheless the service was considered insufficient because no copy of the summons was sent to the last known correct address in the Philippines. concerning the partition of the property in question. which he had earlier filed against William Gemperle. in the case of Gemperle v. Valmonte in this case. Private respondent cites the ruling in De Leon v. aisadc On the other hand. which is a consequence of the action brought by her on his behalf. SO ORDERED. But the ruling in that case is justified because summons were served upon defendant's husband in their conjugal home in Cebu City and the wife was only temporarily absent. in which it was held that service of summons upon the defendant's husband was binding on her. so that she was. empowered to represent him in suits filed against him.not found in the Philippines. service of summons upon his wife Helen Schenker who was in the Philippines was sufficient because she was her husband's representative and attorney-in-fact in a civil case. Mrs. was competent to receive the summons on her behalf. Schenker. "[i]n other words. and certainly defendant's husband." 11 Indeed. § 8. Hontanosas. substituted service could be made on any person of sufficient discretion in the dwelling place of the defendant. particularly in a case. Although she wrote private respondent's attorney that "all communications" intended for her should be addressed to her husband who is also her lawyer at the latter's address in Manila. the exchange of correspondence was carried on by counsel for the parties.

Dela Rosa. Roxas Blvd. at the same time furnishing respondent a copy of the order. a decision was issued granting the petition and approving the separation of property agreement. Martines receiving Clerk of Department of Foreign Affairs a person authorized to receive this kind of process who acknowledged the receipt thereof at ADB Bldg. Pasay City.. The court a quo denied the motion. 2000. all at the expense of Abelardo. On November 8. Rollo)together with a distribution of properties between her and Abelardo (pp. 2003] MARGARITA ROMUALDEZ-LICAROS. petitioner. on August 17. it ordered that summons be served by publication in a newspaper of general circulation once a week for three (3) consecutive weeks. they agreed to separate from bed and board. Angelo Q. The Facts The antecedent facts as found by the Court of Appeals are as follows: x x x Abelardo Licaros (Abelardo. to find out any possible collusion between the parties in the case. based on psychological incapacity under the New Family Code. Abelardo initially moved that summons be served through the International Express Courier Service. Rollo). 1990 before the Regional Trial Court of Makati for the dissolution of the conjugal partnership of gains of the spouses and for the approval of the agreement of separation of their properties. as well as the corresponding summons and a copy of the petition at the given address in the United States through the Department of Foreign Affairs. Answer. Margarita applied for divorce before the Superior Court of California. Valencia informing her that she no longer has the right to use the family name “Licaros” inasmuch as her marriage to Abelardo had already been judicially dissolved by the Regional Trial Court of Makati on November 8. 1968. J. April 29. DECISION CARPIO. This was docketed as Special Proceeding No. 91-1757. 40. Jr. Abelardo and Margarita executed an ―Agreement of Separation of Properties‖ (pp. the Decision (Annex “A”. petitioner commenced the instant petition on the following grounds: (A) THERE WAS EXTRINSIC FRAUD IN THE PREPARATION AND FILING BY ABELARDO OF THE PETITION FOR DISSOLUTION OF THE CONJUGAL PARTNERSHIP OF GAINS AND ITS ANNEX. Metro Manila. As Margarita was then residing at 96 Mulberry Lane. Margarita was granted the decree of divorce (Annex 2.R. 1991 issued by the Court in the above-entitled case upon defendant Margarita Romualdez-Licaros c/o DFA. In 1982. to settle down with her two (2) children.‖ (p. I have served a copy of summons and complaint with annexes together with order dated June 28. Licaros and Margarita RomualdezLicaros. (2) The Decision dated 8 November 1991 spouses null and void. This was followed-up by a petition filed on August 21. 1989. as well as the Resolution dated 23 October 2001 denying the motion for reconsideration. Maximo B. for the declaration of nullity of his marriage with Margarita. Out of this marital union were born Maria Concepcion and Abelardo.S. Margarita left for the United States and there. submitted his Officer‘s Return quoted hereunder: ―OFFICER‘S RETURN THIS IS TO CERTIFY that on July 3. 1990. 150656. on April 26. 1991. on June 24. 1991 from a certain Atty. Respondent was given sixty (60) days after publication to file a responsive pleading. Thereafter. 108. 91-1757 declaring the marriage between Abelardo and Margarita null and void. U. [G. p.. with the negative report of collusion. marital differences. Rollo) As required by law. Rollo). 1991. No. Ironically. the petition at bench was commenced when Margarita received a letter dated November 18.. The Court of Appeals [3] dismissed the petition to annul the following decisions rendered by Branch 143 of the Regional Trial Court of Makati: (1) The Decision dated 27 December 1990 granting the dissolution of the conjugal partnership of gains of the spouses Abelardo B. [5] [4] [1] [2] For his part.R.A. squabbles and irreconcilable conflicts transpired between the spouses. SP No. p. Asseverating to have immediately made some verifications and finding the information given to be true. Instead. Petition) was handed down in Civil Case No. On December 27. 166. Not long after. Abelardo was allowed to present his evidence ex-parte.: The Case This is a petition for review on certiorari to annul the Decision dated 9 August 2001 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. LICAROS. on April 28. 2551. hereafter) were lawfully married on December 15. 58487. respondent. 1990. On August 6. Jr. Atherton. Abelardo commenced Civil Case No. Almost nine (9) years later. County of San Mateo (Annex “1”. the case was referred to Trial Prosecutor Bruselas. 167-168. 1991. THE AGREEMENT OF SEPARATION OF PROPERTIES. 1990. On July 15. Rejoinder. for short) and Margarita Romualdez-Licaros (Margarita. California. (B) THE TRIAL COURT LACKED JURISDICTION TO HEAR AND DECIDE THE PETITION FOR DECLARATION OF NULLITY OF [6] MARRIAGE. (sent by Mail) thru Pat G. such that sometime in 1979. 164-165) where she manifested that she does not desire counseling at that time (Quotation. Rollo). 1991. ABELARDO B. 1991. declaring the marriage between the same . In the United States. 60-64. Process Server.10. pp. vs.

California. the extrinsic fraud alluded to consists of Abelardo coercing Margarita into signing the petition to dissolve their conjugal partnership of gains together with the agreement of separation of properties. We see no indication nor showing of coercion or fraud from these facts. Moreover. Cortez. the case involves the personal (marital) status of the plaintiff and the defendant. together with the Order of June 28. A fortiori. when apparently both parties correspondingly received the properties respectively assigned to each of them under [7] the said document. Neither did she appear in court to submit voluntarily to its jurisdiction. In main. The case involves the marital status of the parties. 1991. which could very well be considered as extrinsic or collateral fraud to justify a petition under Rule 47. was served to the defendant through the Department of Foreign Affairs by registered mail and duly received by said office to top it all. but ―only‖ to comply with due process. 60-64. What is striking to note is that on August 6. The Issues The issues raised by Margarita are restated as follows: I. there is no showing that Abelardo was with her at the Philippine Consulate Office in confirming the separation of property agreement. 1990. that petitioner had no hand directly or indirectly in the preparation of the petition and agreement of separation of properties.‖ The clear import of this is that the agreement must have to be submitted before the proper court for approval. First Issue: Validity of the Service of Summons on Margarita Margarita insists that the trial court never acquired jurisdiction over her person in the petition for declaration of nullity of marriage since she was never validly served with summons. The trial and . by threatening to cut-off all financial and material support of their children then still studying in the United States. The Court of Appeals also rejected Margarita‘s claim that the trial court lacked jurisdiction to hear and decide the Petition for Declaration of Nullity of Marriage for improper service of summons on her. Hence. This is also the kind of action which the Supreme Court had ruled that service of summons may be served extraterritorially under Section 15 ( formerly Section 17) of Rule 14 and where such service of summons is not for the purpose of vesting the trial court with jurisdiction over the person of the defendant but only for the purpose of complying with the requirements of fair play and due process . Such mode was upon instruction and lawful order of the court and could even be treated as ‗any other manner the court may deem [8] sufficient‘. Abelardo argues that jurisdiction over the person of a nonresident defendant in an action in rem or quasi in rem is not necessary. the pretended coerced documents were rather freely and voluntarily executed by the parties therein knowing fully well the imports thereof. Whether Margarita was validly served with summons in the case for declaration of nullity of her marriage with Abelardo. Consul of the Republic of the Philippines at the San Francisco. Thus. the Court of Appeals dismissed the petition for annulment of judgment. the complaint with annexes. the Agreement of Separation of Properties. And yet. petitioner never received any notice of the pendency of the petition nor a copy of the decision. From all indications. Rollo) readily shows that the same were signed by the petitioner on the proper space after the prayer and on the portion for the verification of the petition. and. which is an action in rem orquasi in rem. a meticulous perusal of the controversial petition ( Annex “B-1”) and the agreement of separation of properties (pp. nor the notary public who notarized the deed. which explains and confirms petitioner‘s signature on the petition filed in court. stating that: At bar. The Court of Appeals ruled that in such an action the purpose of service of summons is not to vest the trial court with jurisdiction over the person of the defendant. This status is the res over which the Philippine court has acquired jurisdiction. The same is true with the agreement of separation of properties. the instant petition. The Court’s Ruling The petition is bereft of merit. that petitioner never met the counsel for the petitioner. The Court of Appeals stated: x x x. it is specifically stated that such property separation document shall be ―subject to approval later on by the proper court of competent jurisdiction.The Ruling of the Court of Appeals The Court of Appeals debunked the claim of Margarita that there was extrinsic fraud in the preparation and filing by Abelardo of thePetition for Dissolution of Conjugal Partnership of Gains and its annex. after being informed of the contents thereof. This conclusion finds more weight if We consider the fact that the separation of property was fully implemented and enforced. Whether there was extrinsic fraud in the preparation and filing by Abelardo of the Petition for Dissolution of the Conjugal Partnership of Gains and its annex. Margarita appeared before Amado P. The Court of Appeals concluded that any irregularity in the service of summons involves due process which does not destroy the trial court‘s jurisdiction over the res which is the parties‘ marital status. on page 2 of the same agreement. to affirm and acknowledge before said official that she executed the agreement of separation of properties of her own free will and deed. II. the Agreement of Separation of Properties. On the other hand. Neither does such irregularity invalidate the judgment rendered in the case. United States Consulate Office. the court a quo had properly acquired jurisdiction over the person of herein petitionerdefendant when summons was served by publication and a copy of the summons. Antithetically.

The Court of Appeals observed further that on 6 August 1990.‖ The Process Server‘s Return of 15 July 1991 shows that the summons addressed to Margarita together with the complaint and its annexes were sent by mail to the Department of Foreign Affairs with acknowledgment of receipt. As a rule. Under Section 15 of Rule 14. Philippine courts cannot try any case against him because of the impossibility of acquiring jurisdiction over his person unless he voluntarily appears in court. Margarita appeared before Consul Amado Cortez in the Philippine Consulate Office in San Francisco. At the time Abelardo filed the petition for nullity of the marriage in 1991. The due and regular execution of an instrument acknowledged before an officer authorized to administer oaths cannot be overthrown by bare allegations of coercion [18] but only by clear and convincing proof. this is exactly what the trial court required and considered as sufficient to effect service of summons under the third mode of extraterritorial service pursuant to Section 15 of Rule 14. Applying the foregoing rule. wholly or in part. the trial court acquired jurisdiction to render the decision declaring the marriage a nullity. In these instances.S. The Court is bound by the factual findings of the trial and appellate courts that the parties freely and voluntarily executed the documents and that there is no showing of coercion or fraud. when the defendant does not reside and is not found in the Philippines. The trial court considered Margarita a non-resident defendant who is not found in the Philippines. Abelardo secured judicial approval of the Agreement as specifically required in the Agreement. in which the defendant has or claims a lien or interest. U. actual or contingent. thru the Department of Foreign Affairs. This refers to ―any other means that the judge may consider sufficient. and jurisdiction over the person of the non-resident [11] defendant is not essential. service of Summons by way of publication in a newspaper of general circulation once a week for three (3) consecutive weeks. As a rule. the trial court stated in its Decision dated 8 November 1991 that “compliance with the jurisdictional requirements hav(e) (sic) been duly established.” We hold that delivery to the Department of Foreign Affairs was sufficient compliance with the rule. Margarita was residing in the United States. The Court is not a trier of facts. Abelardo allegedly threatened to cut off all financial and material support to their children if Margarita did not sign the documents. There was no showing that Abelardo was at that time with her at the Philippine Consulate Office.appellate courts made a clear factual finding that there was proper summons by publication effected through the Department of Foreign Affairs as directed by the trial court. (2) by publication and sending a copy of the summons and order of the court by registered mail to the defendant‘s last known address. On the other hand. or (4) when the property of the defendant has been attached within the Philippines. the trial court authorized extraterritorial service of summons under Section 15. (3) when the relief demanded consists. at the same time. The term ―personal status‖ includes family [14] relations.. Summons is a writ by which the defendant is notified of the action brought against him. Philippine courts have jurisdiction over the res. But when the case is one of actionsin rem or quasi in rem enumerated in [10] Section 15. Rule 14 of the Rules of Court. with leave of court. furnishing respondent copy of this Order as well as the corresponding Summons and copy of [12] the petition at her given address at No. The Court of Appeals noted that a meticulous perusal of the Petition and Agreement readily shows that Margarita signed the same on the proper space after the prayer and on the portion for the verification of the petition. to affirm that she executed the Agreement of her own free will. (Emphasis ours) The trial court‘s prescribed mode of extraterritorial service does not fall under the first or second mode specified in Section 15 of Rule 14. or the subject of which is property within the Philippines. Second Issue: Validity of the Judgment Dissolving the Conjugal Partnership of Gains Margarita claims that Abelardo coerced her into signing the Petition for Dissolution of the Conjugal Partnership of Gains (―Petition‖) and its annex. Rule 14 of the Rules of Court. 96 Mulberry Lane. Philippine courts have jurisdiction to hear and decide the case. Service of such writ is the means by which the court acquires jurisdiction [9] over his person. She left the Philippines in 1982 together with her two children. Before proceeding to declare the marriage between Margarita and Abelardo null and void. extraterritorial service of summons may be effected under any of three modes: (1) by personal service out of the country. The Court will not examine the evidence introduced by the parties below to determine if the trial [17] and appellate courts correctly assessed and evaluated the evidence on record . particularly the relations between husband and wife. the trial court required extraterritorial service of summons to be effected on Margarita in the following manner: x x x. After all. A person acknowledging an instrument before an officer authorized to administer oaths acknowledges that he freely and . Since the petition affects the personal status of the plaintiff. Thus. In such instances. also with leave of court. and thus the trial court approved the same. California. in an appeal by certiorari under Rule 45.A. or (3) by any other means the judge may consider sufficient. (2) when the action relates to. Actions in personam and actions in rem or quasi in rem differ in that actions in personam are directed against specific persons and seek personal judgments. The Process Server‘s certificate of service of summons is prima facie evidence of the facts as set [16] out in the certificate. the Agreement of Separation of Properties (―Agreement‖). the Court does not pass upon questions of fact as the factual findings of the trial and appellate courts are binding on the Court. The trial court did not find anything amiss in the Petition and Agreement that Abelardo filed. in excluding the defendant from any interest in property located in the Philippines. California. actions in rem or quasi in rem are directed against the thing or property or status of a person and seek judgments with respect thereto as against the [13] whole world. a defendant who is a non-resident and is not found in the country may be served with summons by extraterritorial service in four instances: (1) when the action affects the personal status of the plaintiff. but under the third mode. Atherton. all at the expense of [15] petitioner.

The certificate of acknowledgment signed by Consul Cortez states that Margarita personally appeared before him and ―acknowledged before me that SHE [19] executed the same of her own free will and deed. Margarita has failed to rebut this prima facie presumption with clear and convincing proof of coercion on the part of Abelardo. A notarized document has in its favor the presumption of regularity in its execution. giving rise to a prima facie presumption of such fact.R. 58487 dismissing the petition to annul judgment is AFFIRMED.voluntarily executed the instrument. Margarita acknowledged the Agreement before Consul Cortez. there is a prima facie presumption that Margarita freely and voluntarily executed the Agreement. In the instant case. and to contradict the same. the Decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. A document acknowledged before a notary public is prima facie evidence of the [20] due and regular execution of the document. convincing and more than merely preponderant. SO ORDERED. . WHEREFORE.‖ Thus. there must [21] be evidence that is clear. SP No.

1958. Rule 14. ID. if found. SUMMONS. WHEN RESORTED TO. and unless stricken down is entitled to respect. Rizal.11.. after his return to this country. judgments of courts should become final at some definite date fixed by law. Rule 14. MONTALBAN. 6.. or (b) by leaving the copies at defendant's office or regular place of business with some competent person in charge thereof. by his own admission. courts have jurisdiction over residents temporarily out of the country. — Where summons upon a parish priest. usually leaves his affairs in the hands of a person who may communicate with him. "(a) by leaving copies of the summons at the defendant's dwelling house or residence with some person of suitable age and discretion then residing therein. on December 16. SUITS IN PERSONAM. 38 Phil. APPLIES TO TEMPORARILY ABSENT RESIDENTS. — In suits in personam.) 8. J p: Chronologically. Manila. Gerardo Maximo who. SECTION 18 IS NOT SOLE MODE OF SERVICE ON TEMPORARILY ABSENT RESIDENT. ID. ID. Malabon. — Service of summons in suits in personam under Sections 17 and 18. and execution thereof until after. RULE 14. substituted service may be validly effected under Section 8. be effected out of the Philippines" as under Section 17 referring to extraterritorial service. ID. does not mean that Section 18 is the sole provision that governs summons upon a defendant temporarily absent in an action in personam. 5. L-22997." Said Section 8 is to be applied to all resident defendants . Plaintiffs commenced suit 1 against Fr. The rules do not require that papers be served on defendant personally or a showing that the papers were delivered to defendant by the person with whom they were left. Paul Hershell Montalban. ID.. SUMMONS.. SECTIONS 17 AND 18. vs. or.. PREJUDICE TO PLAINTIFFS.. MODES OF SERVICE. which in fact may not become actual notice to him and which may be accomplished in his lawful absence from the country. for personal service outside the country and service by publication are not ordinary means of summoning defendants. Rule 14. 1968.R. 3. — A resident defendant may be charged by a judgment in personam as a result of legal proceedings upon a method of service which is not personal. enjoys the presumption of regularity. The normal method of summoning one temporarily absent is by substituted service under Section 8. GERARDO MAXIMO. is more circuitous and is resorted to if defendant's dwelling house or residence or place of business in this country is not known. RULE 14.... COURTS. — Where defendant delayed in annulling the court decision against him. If the absent resident does not do so. SUBSTITUTED SERVICE UNDER SECTION 8.. was served upon mother priest. defendant-appellant. The march of time is truth in flight. son of plaintiffs. Rizal. did not move to set aside the default order. SUITS IN PERSONAM.without distinction as to whether the resident is physically present in this country or not. No. JUDGMENT BY DEFAULT. Plaintiffs' cause of action for damages sprang from a motor vehicle accident which occurred at Padre Faura St. DECISION SANCHEZ. at the risk of occasional errors. long final. ID. he cannot protest. COMPARED. Non quieta movere. service cannot be had under Section 8. August 15.. through Fr. VALID. JURISDICTION. ID. Crossfield & O'Brien. 9. .. JURISDICTION OVER TEMPORARILY ABSENT RESIDENTS. Maximo EN BANC [G.. following are the events that spawned the present case: August 15. who is a temporarily absent defendant. 526. NON QUIETA MOVERE. by leave of court. ID. ID. plaintiffs may not be compelled to file a fresh suit because prejudice.. RULE 14. Rules of Court. will be caused the plaintiffs. ID. SYLLABUS 1.. Montalban v. suffered injuries. may no longer be able to present a narrative as accurate as before. which could have been avoided by defendant. the default judgment for a big amount.. — A judgment. Gerardo Maximo at the parish church of Concepcion. 7. was residing at the parish church at Concepcion. laches has set in to prevent him from annulling the proceedings. 1958. PRESUMPTION OF REGULARITY. The latter may have to search for their witnesses who. JUDGMENT ON SUBSTITUTED SERVICE UNDER SECTION 8. SERVICE. — The statement in Section 18. LACHES BARS ANNULMENT. summons was served on defendant Fr. ID. according to the complaint. Public policy and sound practice demand that. ID. EFFECTIVE WHEN MADE UPON ANOTHER PRIEST OF SAME CONVENT. — When defendant. two years and two months from his knowledge of the judgment when levy and execution were made on his house. JUDGMENTS. 521. 4. ID. other evidence may have dissipated. SECTIONS 8 AND 18. RULE 14. temporarily absent. presumably a responsible person who lives in the same convent where defendant resides. 1957.] PABLO C. REASON. (Dy Cay vs.. 2. plaintiffs-appellees. Said statement in fact recognizes that Section 17 is but one of the modes of service. the service is effective. ANNULMENT OF. A resident. Arsenio Bautista — a priest in the same parish church. March 15. ID. ET AL. — In a suit in personam against a resident of the Philippines temporarily absent therefrom. Rules of Court that "service may. These give life to the salutary policy on which laches is founded. On this same day that the complaint was filed. Malabon. ID. if known.

1962. talents and physical strength. said defendant. The court denied this motion. Clerk of Court of the Court of First Instance of Manila. Fr. Copy thereof was received by defendant on February 9. Upon plaintiffs' evidence.00 as moral damages. 1960. Rule 7) of the Rules of Court. 7. informing him that defendant Fr. 332 Regina Building.00 as exemplary damages. 1962. 1958. 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. 5 accordingly. answered the foregoing letter expressing regret that he could not comply with plaintiffs' request. Plaintiffs themselves wrote defendant Fr. is not feasible. Fr. Arsenio Bautista sent a letter (dated August 21) to Macario M. A head on collision of views becomes inevitable considering the diametrically opposing positions taken by plaintiffs. Gerardo Maximo left for Europe on August 7. this Court appointed the Clerk of Court of the Court of First Instance of Manila. September 2. February 20. After the case was submitted for decision.00 as actual damages for loss of his spleen. Pay plaintiff Paul Hershell Montalban the amount of P10. Santos. The Sheriff's return to the writ shows that in response to . 1965. 1. Montalban and Regina Barretto the amount of P5. by counsel. 1959.00 and the cost of litigation. plaintiffs make the point that even with defendant temporarily abroad. the lower court "did not acquire jurisdiction over his person". The lower court declared defendant in default. personal service under Section 7. that is. 2.00 for loss or impairment of earning capacity. 37202 (in which the foregoing judgment was rendered) Montalban vs. 1962. January 30. in the criminal action arising out of the same incident. 1967.000. 3. which were to no avail. requesting prompt compliance therewith and suggesting that he communicate with or personally see their lawyer. 1959." 2 September 20.00 as moral damages. Maximo. Manila. Pay plaintiffs Pablo C." Actually. through his legal counsel. March 24. For. Maximo returned from abroad "about the second week of October. February 1. at the Malabon Catholic Church. Hence. Defendant. 1959. informing the latter of the lower court's decision. and "will be back on the first week of November." 4 and that the Sheriff found no property that could be subject to execution. representative of the deceased defendant. Gerardo Maximo. 1958." Plaintiffs argue that if the ordinary method prescribed by the rules. and "the trial and decision by default" are "null and void. 3 January 14. duly certified to this Court by the Court of Appeals. and demanded payment of the amount set forth therein. Pay plaintiff Paul Hershell Montalban the amount of P10. said defendant was acquitted by the Municipal Court of Manila." quoting therein the dispositive part of the decision just transcribed. June 8. An alias writ of execution was issued. Diokno." December 16.000. Dr. Pay plaintiff Paul Hershell Montalban the amount of P5. 1958. October 18. Jose W. Defendant's move to reconsider was rejected by the court. 1962. on the other. 4. Section 8 says: 6. 1965. Ofilada. Two years and two months after defendant admittedly learned of the lower court's decision from counsel for plaintiffs herein. Nicanor T. 1962.000. because he (defendant) was not aware of the said civil case. 1958. giving the data: "Re Civil Case No. Pay plaintiffs attorney's fees [in] the amount of P3. this appeal from the orders of March 3 and March 24. filed a verified motion in the same case praying for the annulment of the entire proceedings. His ground is this: Summons was not duly served upon him "as provided under Sec. 1960. Escolta. 1962. defendant's lawyer informed this Court of the death of defendant on August 1. Manalo of Rizal notified defendant of the issuance of the writ of execution dated January 7. and that. Pay plaintiffs the amount of P1. the court rendered judgment sentencing defendant to: "1. Rule 14 (formerly Section 8. Deputy Sheriff Liberato C." 6 March 3. at the latter's address.000. and defendant.000. The Deputy Sheriff attached and levied on a residential house located in Caloocan City and purportedly belonging to defendant.000. December 20. defendant alleged that he was then "financially hard up.August 23. 5. A question of transcendental importance which necessarily involves an inquiry into procedural due process is 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. on plaintiffs' motion of September 13. Following extensive efforts to have the deceased defendant substituted by any of his heirs or the executor or administrator of his estate. 1962. Rule 7 of the Rules of Court". Rule 14. and such demand. on the one hand. then the substituted service in Section 8 aforesaid comes into play.

. but who is temporarily out of it. as under the preceding section. service may. the variance between Anglo. It had two fundamental principles of Roman origin: (1) in suits in personam and those relating to movables. Extraterritorial service. and (2) in actions concerning immovables. or (b) by leaving the copies at defendant's office or regular place of business with some competent person in charge thereof. Substituted service such as one contemplated in Section 8 upon a temporarily absent resident. Residents temporarily out of the Philippines. The state which accords him privileges and affords protection to him and his property by virtue of his domicile may also exact reciprocal duties. Mabee. . 13 And this precept is the foundation for the American rule that declares substituted service binding on absent residents. in excluding the defendant from any interest therein.American law and continental law became "less and less clear-cut" because "American law has had to yield to the increasing necessity of enlarging more and more the catalogue of forums available to the plaintiff. however." 18 When the framers of our Rules adapted Section 8. actual or contingent. defendant advances the theory that in a situation like the present. Rule 7). Rule 7 in the old Rules) in turn states: "SEC. In American jurisprudence. then traditional notions of fair play and substantial justice (McDonald vs. due process is served. . that in suits in personam. the authority of a state over one of its citizens is not terminated by the mere fact of his absence from the state. 16 substituted service is still considered to be valid.requisite to the rendition of a judgment personally binding against him. The word "defendant" in that provision is to be construed as including any resident of this country. wholly or in part. One such incident of domicile is amenability to suit within the state even during sojourns without the state. that American cases forged the doctrine. whether a defendant be in another state under the federal system or is abroad in Europe. or by publication in a newspaper of general circulation in such places and for such time as the court may order. The leading case of Milliken vs. or the subject of which is. is expressive: "Its adequacy so far as due process is concerned is dependent on whether or not the form of substituted service provided for such cases and employed is reasonably calculated to give him actual notice of the proceedings and an opportunity to be heard. Substituted service. property within the Philippines." 7 Section 17 referred to in Section 18 (Section 17. — If the defendant cannot be served within a reasonable time as provided in the preceding section. or the property of the defendant has been attached within the Philippines. 9 Hence. This brings us to the question of procedural due process. Once the service provided by the rules reasonably accomplishes that end. therefore." 12 Thus it is. the sole and exclusive method of service of summons in a case in personam is that set forth in Section 18. where the state has provided and employed e reasonable method for apprising such an absent party of the proceedings against him. Rule 14 of the Rules (formerly Section 18." Upon the other hand. 14 furnishes the rationale: " . 18. — When the defendant does not reside and is not found in the Philippines and the action affects the personal status of the plaintiff or relates to. 15 The constitutional requirement of due process exacts that the service be such as may be reasonably expected to give the notice desired. it has been held. now long recognized. was somewhat different. courts of the domicile of the defendant have general jurisdiction — actor rei forum sequitur. 'Enjoyment of the privileges of residence within the state and the attendant right to invoke the protection of its laws. which reads: "SEC. though temporarily out of its territorial jurisdiction. 8. be effected out of the Philippines by personal service as under section 7. 11 In the development of the law. in which the defendant has or claims a lien or interest. like the rights and privileges incident to domicile. 8 If a defendant was absent from the territory. that domiciliaries of a state. By comparative . Meyer. 17. Jurisdiction was based on the power to seize and imprison defendant. within which the defendant must answer. service may. the fact that he was a citizen would not enable the court's officers to seize him and service could not represent this power. The responsibilities of that citizenship arise out of the relationship to the state which domicile creates. or in which the relief demanded consists. supra) implicit in due process are satisfied. the traditional notions of fair play are satisfied." There should be no doubt. — When an action is commenced against a defendant who ordinarily resides within the Philippines. the courts of the situs have exclusive jurisdiction. are not dependent on continuous presence in the state." Historically. service may be effected (a) by leaving copies of the summons at the defendant's dwelling house or residence with some person of suitable age and discretion then residing therein. is wholly adequate to meet the requirements of due process. in which case a copy of the summons and order of the court shall be sent by registered mail to the last known address of the defendant. where defendant was temporarily abroad. in its common-law origin. are inseparable' from the various incidences of state citizenship . are always amenable to suits in personam therein. courts have jurisdiction over residents temporarily out of the country. or in any other manner the court may deem sufficient. supra. Any order granting such leave shall specify a reasonable time which shall not be less than sixty (60) days after notice. his presence within the territorial jurisdiction was a pre. Section 8 is to be viewed in the same context it is understood in the American legal system. That relationship is not dissolved by mere absence from the state. be effected out of the Philippines. 10 Continental law. by leave of court. 17 The language in Milliken vs. Anglo-American law then emphasized the power concept of jurisdiction. If it is. The attendant duties. the jurisdiction of courts to render judgments in personam was grounded on their de facto power over defendant's person. by leave of court. the requirement of justice is answered. ."SEC. Meyer. it is to be implied that they intended to give the provision the same meaning shaped out by the jurisprudence of the jurisdiction from whence it was patterned.

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. 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. Indeed. Bautista who lived in the same convent where defendant resided. Non quieta movere. Because "[p]ublic policy and sound practice demand that. Section 8 is to be applied to all resident defendants — without distinction as to whether he is physically present in this country or not. But extraterritorial service is allowed also by leave of court according to the above provision [Section 18]. Chief Justice Moran shares this view. jurisdiction over his person may be acquired by Philippine courts by substituted service of summons under section 8. Once defendant's dwelling house or residence or office or regular place of business is known. Where one temporarily absents himself." 20 This construction is but fair. Anyway. there is the temporarily absent defendant who was a parish priest. a local base. A comparison between the service in Section 8 and that in Sections 17 and 18 is beside the point. as Goodrich observed: "[I]f a substitute is to be made where an actual personal service is impossible. Here. If he does not do what is expected of him. In the light of the foregoing. On the contrary.construction. 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. 2. be effected out of the Philippines. to which any inquiry about him may be directed and where he is bound to return. It is well to remember also that judgment by default was not rendered against defendant until June 8. Not that he cannot be reached within a reasonable time to enable him to contest a suit against him. so to speak. It enjoys the presumption of regularity. since personal service is impossible. In practical terms. A man temporarily absent from this country leaves a definite place of residence. we find ourselves unwilling to concede that substituted service provided in Section 8 may be down. Logic and common sense tell us that Fr. and to communicate with him from time to time any incident of importance that may affect him or his business or his affairs. we perceive that — in suits in personam — the more circuitous procedure delineated in Sections 17 and 18 is resorted to by a plaintiff if defendant's dwelling house or residence or place of business in this country is not known. that Section 18 is the only provision controlling in this case. unless stricken down. we must assume. defendant's posture strikes at the very language employed by this reglementary provision cited by him. 23 Reasons for the views just expressed are not wanting. They both provide for substituted service. It is immaterial then that defendant does not in fact receive actual notice. There are now advanced facilities of communication. He is not asked to investigate where a resident defendant actually is. It is in accord with substantial justice. judgments of courts should become final at some definite date fixed by law. at the risk of occasional errors. And this. Long distance telephone calls and cablegrams make it easy for one he left behind to communicate with him. Summons upon him was served upon Fr. And upon the basic concepts under which our rules governing processes operate. or . Fr. Bautista. he leaves his affairs in the hands of one who may be reasonably expected to act in his place and stead. 'the best is none too good. 22 For. Bautista who received the summons and who took interest in the case must have informed defendant one way or another of the suit. 21 Accordingly. "which in fact may not become actual notice to him. entitled to respect. 1958." 25 The norm of conduct observed by defendant would not. By the terms of the law. 1959. 1958. Service upon him is effective. or. and a case comes up in court against him. The word "may" — in the statement in Section 18 that "service may. 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 informs him about it. The view we take of this case sweeps away defendant's argument that Section 18 is the sole provision that governs summons upon a defendant temporarily absent in an action in personam." as under Section 17 — will not support the deduction. the phraseology of the rule is a recognition of the fact that substituted service — out of the Philippines — under Section 17 is but one of the modes of effective service to bring a defendant in court.'" 24 3." and which may be accomplished in his lawful absence from the country. the normal method of service of summons on one temporarily absent is by substituted service set forth in Section 8. in the initial stage of suit. As we go back to the case at hand. a plaintiff. the rules do not require that papers be served on defendant personally or a showing that the papers were delivered to defendant by the person with whom they were left. The law presumes that for him. resort to substituted service becomes a necessity. Commenting on Section 18. at the latest upon his return in October. we believe. he cannot in justice raise his voice and say that he is not subject to the processes of our courts. service upon him cannot be had thereat upon the terms of Section 8. without more. The burden on a plaintiff is not to be enlarged with a restrictive construction as desired by defendant here.graded as an ineffective means to bring temporarily absent residents within the reach of our courts. if known. The judgment has long since become final. a dwelling where he lives. is a responsible person. as here. is merely required to know the defendant's "dwelling house or residence" or his "office or regular place of business" — and no more. at the precise moment of filing suit. We go to the background facts. even though he may be temporarily out of the state at the time. Under the rules. the defendant may be charged by a judgment in personam as a result of legal proceedings upon a method of service which is not personal. This will not affect the validity of the service. to do all that is necessary to protect his interests. because personal service outside the country and service by publication are not ordinary means of summoning defendants. By then there was still time for him to move to set aside the default order of September 20. he states: "Since the defendant is residing in the Philippines. or on "some competent person in charge" of his office or regular place of business. It is. Defendant did not move. Rule 14." 19 Justice Martin regards the word "residence" in Section 8 as "the place where the person named in the summons is living at the time when the service is made. by leave of court. tilt the scales of justice in his favor.

defendant then stated that he was "financially hard up. Costs against defendant-appellant. The decision below may not thus be annulled. 1957.e. 26 These. wrote back plaintiffs refusing payment of the claim. . Human memory can even be treacherous. WHEREFORE." Indeed. that was shortly after levy was made on his house in Caloocan. prejudice to plaintiffs. Because. he learned of that judgment on December 20. Neither was it correct for him to have waited so long. it was not right that defendant should have supinely sat on the decision. Time has an unfortunate tendency of obliterating occurrences from a witness' memory. which could have been avoided by defendant. Recollections are apt to be blurred.000 must have by then left an indelible mark in his mind. The lower court's decision made mention of two eyewitnesses and two doctors of medicine who testified as to injuries. And. Especially so when the amount is big. Plaintiffs will have to search for them and if found. Plaintiffs may not be compelled to file a fresh suit. It is in this factual environment that then CFI Judge Magno Gatmaitan. and deliberately disregarded the import thereof. in broad outlines. The full impact of the judgment totalling P34. The first writ of execution was served on defendant on January 14. 1962 are hereby affirmed. they may not be able to present to the court a narrative as accurately as they had done before. and only put plaintiffs to task when his own property was threatened because of the levy and execution thereon. Again. According to defendant. Lapse of time may also carry with it dissipation of other evidence. The additional expense. The accident took place on December 16.. That same day — December 20 — his attorney took a hand on the matter. there is great validity to the statement that the march of time is truth in flight. 1962. not less than two years and two months after he learned-by his own admission-of the judgment. 1962. correctly observed that 'the Court once again believes that this solution (denial of the motion to reconsider the appealed order) is just because of the apparent intentional inaction of defendant since 20 December. give life to the salutary policy on which laches is founded. It should not be trifled with. will become a reality. Surely.almost nine (9) months after the default order was issued." Defendant did not bestir himself until February 20. defendant did nothing. To bring back those witnesses to court becomes a serious problem. 1959. in his order of March 24. 1960. A judgment of a court of justice is no piddling matter. trouble and anxiety need not be essayed. because according to the Sheriff's return. slept on his rights. the orders appealed from dated March 3. So Ordered. 1962 and March 24. as it is here. 1959. That time he did not pay. i.

1997 TOTAL $600. Having seen and received the original of the checks. respondent. 0111372. Helier Jersey. dated August 14. doing business in the Philippines. Not satisfied..‖ the unsuspecting Catalan left the originals of the checks with HSBC TRUSTEE and was given only an acknowledgment receipt. 2004] HSBC INTERNATIONAL TRUSTEE LIMITED. On March 18. October 18. of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-G. 75756 and 75757.000. to wit: CHECK NO. They seek [1] the reversal of the consolidated Decision. Lozada. On March 20. due to HSBANK‘s alleged wanton refusal to pay her the valu e of five HSBANK checks issued by Frederick Arthur Thomson (Thomson) amounting to [2] HK$3. Bacolod City (RTC) in Civil Case No. 1999. Marilou A. on the grounds that (a) the RTC has no jurisdiction over the subject matter of the complaint. the Enterprise Center. 17.000.000. Catalan demanded that HSBANK make good the checks issued by Thomson. Thereafter. 15. Subsequently. HSBC TRUSTEE succeeded in its calculated deception because on April 21. vs. SP Nos. Branch 44. in the hope that HSBC TRUSTEE would act fairly and justly on her claim but these demands were met by a stonewall of silence. St. 2000. 159590. 01-11372 that denied their respective motions to dismiss the amended complaint of respondent Cecilia Diez Catalan. Catalan filed an Amended Complaint impleading petitioner HSBC TRUSTEE as co-defendant and invoking Article 19 of the Civil Code [6] as basis for her cause of action. (b) the RTC has not acquired jurisdiction for failure of the plaintiff to pay the correct filing or docket fees. On May 16. Thomson died and Catalan forwarded her demand to HSBC TRUSTEE. as she was made to believe that payments of the checks shall be made by HSBC TRUSTEE ―upon sight. a complaint for a sum of money with damages against petitioner HSBANK. through the fastest means. 1997 Mar. J. as a condition for the acceptance of the checks. On February 7. it filed a Motion to Dismiss. Catalan appealed for fairness and understanding.00 $3. Ayala Avenue corner Paseo de Roxas [3] St.00 The checks when deposited were returned by HSBANK purportedly for reason of ―payment stopped‖ pending confirmation.R. [G. no payment was made. The Amended Complaint alleges: Defendants HSBANK and HSBC TRUSTEE. Catalan sent photocopies of the returned checks to HSBC TRUSTEE. 1997 Mar. 1997. 22. Catalan through counsel sent a last and final demand to HSBC TRUSTEE to remit the amount covered by the checks but despite receipt of said letter. Thomson wrote another letter to Sousa of HSBANK requesting an advice in writing to be sent to the Philippine National Bank. 2001. Tower 1. dated March 8.000. 2001. dated May 15. Tower I. Hongkong and may be served with summons and other court processes through their main office in Manila with address at HSBC.R. neither were the checks returned to her. purportedly.000. personal secretary and attorney-in-fact of Thomson. DECISION AUSTRIA-MARTINEZ. and (e) plaintiff engages in forum-shopping. petitioner. to submit the original copies of the returned checks. Clearly.00. Moreover. 2001. Thomson issued five HSBANK checks payable to Catalan. 2002. 1997 Mar. 17. 2001. to hasten payment of her claim. Phoenix Lam. 1997. Channel Islands and with branch offices at Level 12. which dismissed the petitions for certiorari of herein petitioners assailing the Order. 1 Queen‘s Road Central.respondent. Senior Vice President of HSBC TRUSTEE.000. Then. refused to pay Catalan‘s claim. October 18.200.: Before us are two petitions for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court separately filed by the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited (HSBANK) and HSBC International Trustee Limited (HSBC TRUSTEE). required Catalan. 1997 Mar. [G.00 600. despite the fact that the checks were duly [7] funded. Thomson wrote a letter to a certain Ricky Sousa of HSBANK confirming the checks he issued to Catalan and requesting that all his checks be cleared. Catalan made several demands and after several more follow ups. wrote a letter to Sousa of HSBANK informing him that HSBANK‘s failure to clear all the checks had saddened Thomson and requesting that the clearing of the checks be facilitated. 2004] HONGKONG AND SHANGHAI BANKING CORPORATION LIMITED. Ayala Avenue corner Paseo de Roxas Street.00 800. of the Regional Trial Court. are corporations duly organized under the laws of the British Virgin Islands with head office at 1 Grenville Street.00 600. Sometime in March 1997. that the checks he previously issued to Catalan were already cleared. 159591.12. On the assurance of HSBC TRUSTEE that her claim will soon be paid. 2001. the act of the HSBANK and HSBC TRUSTEE in refusing to honor and pay the checks validly issued by Thomson violates the abuse of rights principle under Article 19 of the Civil Code which requires . 1999. docketed as Civil Case No. petitioner.00 600. the refusal of HSBANK and HSBC TRUSTEE to pay the checks is equivalent to illegal freezing of one‘s deposit. 2003. vs. 1997.R. CECILIA DIEZ CATALAN. On June 9. summons was served on HSBANK at the Enterprise Center. 23. anxious of receiving the money value of the checks but HSBC TRUSTEE despite receipt of the original checks. upon its request. informed Catalan that her claim is disapproved. HSBC TRUSTEE through deceit and trickery. Makati City. No reason or explanation whatsoever was made why her claim was disapproved. on August 16. CECILIA DIEZ CATALAN. HSBANK filed a Motion for Extension of Time to File Answer or [4] Motion to Dismiss dated February 21. 807852 807853 807854 807855 807856 DATE AMOUNT Mar.Makati City. No. The factual antecedents are as follows: On January 29. On September 10. No. HSBC TRUSTEE is deemed to have impliedly accepted the checks. in obvious disregard of her valid claim. (c) the RTC has no jurisdiction over the person of HSBANK.200. respondent filed before the RTC. (d) the complaint does not state a cause of action against [5] HSBANK. Catalan and her former counsel went to Hongkong at their own expense to personally deliver the originals of the returned checks to the officers of HSBC TRUSTEE.000.

2001. 2001 for the acts of HSBANK and HSBC TRUSTEE in refusing to pay the amount justly due her. Ayala Avenue corner Paseo de Roxas. (c) it has not authorized HSBANK Makati to receive summons for it. on October 17. Catalan prays that HSBANK and HSBC TRUSTEE be ordered to pay P20. Senior Vice-President of HSBC TRUSTEE.R. otherwise he opens himself [8] to liability for abuse of right. 2001. Hence. in addition to moral and exemplary [9] damages. Meanwhile. HSBANK and HSBC TRUSTEE filed separate motions for reconsideration but both proved futile as they were denied by the RTC in an Order dated December 20. HSBC TRUSTEE filed a Submission. THE COURT OF APPEALS COMMITTED SERIOUS ERROR IN HOLDING THAT THE COURT A QUO. and 4) HSBANK Makati has no authority to receive any summons or court processes for [12] HSBC TRUSTEE. attorney‘s fees and litigation expenses. dated October 29. TO PAY SUBJECT CHECKS ISSUED BY THE LATE FREDERICK ARTHUR THOMSON. In a consolidated Decision dated August 14.that everyone must act with justice. that it acquired jurisdiction over the person of defendants because the question of whether a foreign corporation is doing business or not in the Philippines cannot be a subject of a Motion to Dismiss but should be ventilated in the trial on the merits. thus causing damage to Catalan. HSBANK and HSBC TRUSTEE filed separate petitions for [16] certiorari and/or prohibition with the CA. HSBC TRUSTEE filed a Special Appearance for Motion to Dismiss Amended Complaint. HSBANK and HSBC TRUSTEE filed before the RTC separate Answers ad cautelam. 2) it does not maintain any office in Makati or anywhere in the Philippines. give everyone his due and observe honesty and good faith. 2001. questioning the jurisdiction of [11] the RTC over it. summons for HSBC TRUSTEE was tendered to the In House Counsel of HSBANK (Makati Branch) at the Enterprise Center. to honor them.R. No. coupled with the fact that the checks were duly funded. that the amended complaint states a cause of action under Article 19 of the Civil Code which could merit a favorable judgment if found to be true. and defendants voluntarily submitted to the jurisdiction of the RTC setting up in their Motions to Dismiss other grounds aside from lack of jurisdiction. they acted in bad faith.000. When they declined payment of the checks despite instructions of the drawer. that Catalan did not engage in forum-shopping because the elements thereof are not attendant in the case. and. A person may not exercise his right unjustly or in a manner that is not in keeping with honesty or good faith. Makati. (d) it has no resident agent upon whom summons may be served because it does not transact business in the Philippines. that the RTC has jurisdiction over the subject matter since it is one for damages under Article 19 of the Civil Code for the alleged unjust acts of petitioners and not a money claim against the estate of Thomson. HSBC TRUSTEE alleges that tender of summons through HSBANK Makati did not confer upon the RTC jurisdiction over it because: (a) it is a corporation separate and distinct from HSBANK. On February 21. The CA noted that Catalan may have prayed for payment of the value of the checks but ratiocinated that she merely used the value as basis for the computation of the damages. [15] 2002. the CA dismissed the two [19] petitions for certiorari. 2003. attesting to the fact that: 1) HSBC TRUSTEE has not done nor is it doing business in the Philippines. the present petitions. 2001. that the question of cause of action should be threshed out or ventilated during the proceedings in the main action and after the plaintiff and defendants have adduced evidence in their favor. 159590. 2003. the RTC issued an Order denying the two motions to [13] dismiss. 2003. the cases were deemed submitted for decision. The RTC held that it has jurisdiction over the subject matter of the action because it is an action for damages under Article 19 of the Civil Code for the acts of unjustly refusing to honor the checks issued by Thomson and not a money claim against the estate of Thomson. Thomson. Catalan moved to declare HSBANK and HSBC TRUSTEE in default for failure to file their answer to the amended complaint. and. [14] .00 representing the value of the five checks at the rate of P6. dated November 15. 2002. SP Nos. the two petitions for certiorari before the CA were consolidated and after responsive pleadings were filed. (e) it did not submit to the jurisdiction of the RTC by filing a motion for extension [10] of time to file a motion to dismiss. (d) the RTC has not acquired jurisdiction over the person of HSBANK for improper service of summons. The CA held that the filing of petitioners‘ answers before the RTC rendered moot and academic the issue of the RTC‘s lack of jurisdiction over the person of the petitioners. HSBANK filed a Motion to Dismiss Amended Complaint on the grounds that: (a) the RTC has no jurisdiction over the subject matter of the complaint since the action is a money claim for a debt contracted by Thomson before his death which should have been filed in the estate or intestate proceedings of Thomson. ADMITTEDLY IN PAYMENT OF HIS INDEBTEDNESS TO CATALAN. HSBANK submits the following assigned errors: I. (b) it does not hold office at the HSBANK Makati or in any other place in the Philippines. 3) it has not appointed any agent in Philippines. On May 15. as a ―precaution against being declared in default and without prejudice to the separate petitions for certiorari and/or [18] prohibition then pending with the CA. Tower 1. Without submitting itself to the jurisdiction of the RTC. both dated March 18. (b) Catalan engages in forum shopping by filing the suit and at the same time filing a claim in the probate proceeding filed with another branch of the RTC.864. respectively. docketed as CA-G. attaching the Affidavit executed in Hongkong by Phoenix Lam. THE EXECUTOR OF THE DECEASED FREDERICK ARTHUR THOMSON. Subsequently.‖ Meanwhile. In G. The refusal of HSBANK and HSBC TRUSTEE to pay the checks without any valid reason is intended solely to prejudice and injure Catalan. ACTING AS AN (SIC) REGULAR COURT. 2003. and. On October 2. Subsequently. (c) the amended complaint states no cause of action against HSBANK since it has no obligation to pay the checks as it has not accepted the checks and Catalan did not redeposit the checks or make a formal protest. On March 5.52 per HK$1 as of January 29. HAS JURISDICTION OVER THE AMENDED COMPLAINT SEEKING TO ORDER HSBC TRUSTEE. 75756 and [17] 75757.

V. and must not be excessive or unduly harsh. THE COURT OF APPEALS COMMITTED SERIOUS ERROR IN HOLDING THAT THE AMENDED COMPLAINT DOES NOT SEEK TO ORDER HSBANK AND HSBC INTERNATIONAL TRUSTEE LIMITED TO PAY THE OBLIGATION OF THE (SIC) FREDERICK ARTHUR THOMSON AS EVIDENCED BY THE CHECKS. Catalan anchors her complaint for damages on Article 19 of the Civil Code.000. But a right. HSBANK imputes error upon the CA in holding that by filing an answer to the amended complaint. THE COURT OF APPEALS COMMITTED SERIOUS ERROR IN HOLDING THAT HSBANK HAD SUBMITTED TO THE JURISDICTION OF THE COURT A QUO BY [20] SUBMITTING AN ANSWER TO THE AMENDED COMPLAINT. it should not be dismissed regardless of the defense that may be [25] presented by the defendants. THE COURT OF APPEALS COMMITTED SERIOUS ERROR IN DISREGARDING THE FACT THAT CATALAN ENGAGED IN FORUM SHOPPING BY FILING THE AMENDED COMPLAINT WHILE HER PETITION FOR THE PROBATE OF THE SUPPOSED WILL OF THE DECEASED FREDERICK ARTHUR THOMSON IS PENDING WITH ANOTHER BRANCH OF THE COURT A QUO. Catalan insists that her complaint is one for damages under Article 19 of the Civil Code for the wanton refusal to honor and pay the value of five checks issued by the Thomson amounting to HK$3.II. not the veracity of the material [24] allegations." It sets the standards which may be observed not only in the exercise of one‘s rights but also in the performance of one‘s duties. HSBC TRUSTEE also assigns the foregoing first. the issues boil down to the following: 1) Does the complaint state a cause of action? 2) Did Catalan engage in forum-shopping by filing the complaint for damages when she also filed a petition for probate of the alleged last will of Thomson with another branch of the RTC? and. a legal wrong is [26] thereby committed for which the wrongdoer must be held responsible. 00- 892. She argues that the issue of jurisdiction has been rendered moot by petitioners‘ participation in the proceedings before the RTC. when he acts with [27] prudence and in good faith. In addition. Succinctly. did the filing of the answer before the RTC render the issue of lack of jurisdiction moot and academic? We shall resolve the issue in seriatim. No. In addition. but not when he acts with negligence or abuse. 3) Did the RTC acquire jurisdiction over HSBANK and HSBC TRUSTEE? Corollary thereto. In her Comment. HSBANK and HSBC TRUSTEE contend in common that Catalan has no cause of action for abuse of rights under Article 19 of the Civil Code. that her complaint. act with justice. may the court render a valid judgment upon the facts alleged [23] therein? The inquiry is into the sufficiency. that is. OR IN NOT HOLDING THAT THE AMENDED COMPLAINT STATES NO CAUSE OF ACTION AGAINST HSBANK. III. HSBC TRUSTEE maintains that the RTC did not acquire jurisdiction over it for improper service of summons. give every one his due. though by itself legal because recognized or granted by law as such. HSBANK claims that the money claim should be dismissed on the ground of forum-shopping since Catalan also filed a petition for probate of the alleged last will of Thomson before RTC. docketed as Spec. A person should be protected only when he acts in the legitimate exercise of his right. IV. BUT PRAYS FOR DAMAGES EQUIVALENT OR COMPUTED ON THE BASIS OF THE VALUE OF THE CHECKS BECAUSE THE DEFENDANTS FAILED TO COMPLY WITH THE MANDATES OF ARTICLE 19 OF THE NEW CIVIL CODE. There is an abuse of right when it is exercised for the only purpose of prejudicing or injuring another. and observe honesty and good faith . Does the complaint state a cause of action against HSBANK and HSBC TRUSTEE? The elementary test for failure to state a cause of action is whether the complaint alleges facts which if true would justify the relief demanded.R.200. in the exercise of his rights and in the performance of his duties. . it claims that: THE COURT OF APPEALS COMMITTED SERIOUS ERROR IN NOT ORDERING THE DISMISSAL OF THE AMENDED COMPLAINT AGAINST HSBC TRUSTEE [22] DESPITE THE FACT IT HAS NOT BEEN DULY SERVED WITH SUMMONS. Branch 48. 159591. Stated otherwise. petitioners are estopped from questioning the jurisdiction of the RTC. Bacolod City. Proc No. under the guise of a claim for damages. AS DRAWEE BANK. second [21] and fifth errors as its own. there must be no [28] intention to injure another. The exercise of a right must be in accordance with the purpose for which it was established. is actually a money claim against the estate of Thomson arising from checks issued by the latter in her favor in payment of indebtedness. If the allegations in the complaint furnish sufficient basis on which it can be maintained. THE COURT OF APPEALS COMMITTED SERIOUS ERROR IN HOLDING THAT ALLEGATIONS IN THE AMENDED COMPLAINT MAKE OUT A CAUSE OF ACTION WHICH COULD MERIT A FAVORABLE JUDGMENT IF FOUND TO BE TRUE. may nevertheless become the source of some illegality. When a right is exercised in a manner which does not conform with the norms enshrined in Article 19 and results in damage to another. It speaks of the fundamental principle of law and human conduct that a person " must. In G.00.

such as. are [36] considered voluntary submission to the jurisdiction of the court . ―a check of itself does not operate as an assignment of any part of the funds to the credit of the drawer with the bank. there can be no forum-shopping where in one proceeding a party raises a claim for damages based on tort and. Branch 48. HSBANK claims that Catalan has no cause of action because under Section 189 of the Negotiable Instruments Law. HSBC TRUSTEE is representing the interest of the estate of Thomson and not its own corporate interest. a final judgment in one would constitute res [31] judicata and thus would cause the dismissal of the rest.‖ However. Her allegations in the complaint that the gross inaction of HSBANK on Thomson‘s instructions. Consequently. are the allegations of the complaint. HSBANK already invoked the RTC‘s jurisdiction over it by praying that its motion for extension of time to file answer or a motion to dismiss be granted. HSBC TRUSTEE‘s acts are anathema to the prescription for human conduct enshrined in Article 19 of the Civil Code. Consequently. or lack thereof. (b) which is exercised in bad [29] faith. such that a judgment in one case would not bar the prosecution of the other case. are sufficient statements of clear abuse of right for which it may be held liable to Catalan for any damages she incurred resulting therefrom. We find that both lower courts overlooked Section 20 of Rule 14 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure which provides that ―the inclusion in a motion to dismiss of other grounds aside from lack of jurisdiction over the person of the defendant shall not be deemed a voluntary appearance. HSBC TRUSTEE gave no heed to Catalan‘s incessant appeals for an explanation. for additional time to file answer. and (c) for the sole intent of prejudicing or injuring another. the relief being founded on the same facts. Anent HSBC TRUSTEE. and. Clearly. it is obvious that forum-shopping does not exist. b) identity of rights asserted and relief prayed for. HSBANK is not being sued on the value of the check itself but for how it acted in relation to Catalan‘s claim for payment despite the repeated directives of the drawer Thomson to recognize the check the latter issued. There is no identity of parties. prevented Catalan from seeking further redress with Thomson for the recovery of her claim while the latter was alive. The Court has held that the filing of motions seeking affirmative relief. HSBANK‘s reliance on the principle of forum-shopping is clearly misplaced. as well as which court has jurisdiction over it. regardless of which party is successful would amount to res judicata in [32] the other. On the other hand. irrespective of whether or not the plaintiff is entitled to recover upon all or [30] some of the claims asserted therein. in order to be liable under the abuse of rights principle. HSBC TRUSTEE is only a party in the probate proceeding because it is the executor and trustee named in the Hongkong will of Thomson. Did the RTC acquire jurisdiction over HSBANK and HSBC TRUSTEE? The Rules of Court provides that a court generally acquires jurisdiction over a person through either a valid service of summons in the manner required by law or [34] the person‘s voluntary appearance in court. Did Catalan engage in forum-shopping? It has been held that forum-shopping exists where a litigant sues the same party against whom another action or actions for the alleged violation of the same right and the enforcement of the same relief is/are still pending. the probate proceeding brought by Catalan before RTC. Proc No. smack of insouciance on its part. the facts or evidence as would support and establish the two [33] causes of action are not the same. after carefully examining the amended complaint. HSBANK is being sued for unwarranted failure to pay the checks notwithstanding the repeated assurance of the drawer Thomson as to the authenticity of the checks and frequent directives to pay the value thereof to Catalan. and c) the identity of the two preceding particulars is such that any judgment rendered in the pending case. When Catalan parted with the checks as a requirement for the processing of her claim. and without prejudice to the Petition for Certiorari and/or Prohibition xxx now pending before the Court of . three elements must concur. After all. HSBANK is not a party in the probate proceeding. In holding that it acquired jurisdiction over HSBANK and HSBC TRUSTEE. HSBANK‘s actions. Applying the foregoing requisites to the case before us in relation to Spec. It is evident that Catalan is suing HSBANK and HSBC TRUSTEE for unjustified and willful refusal to pay the value of the checks. such omission does not aid HSBANK‘s case. HSBANK‘s expressed reservation in its Answer ad cautelam that it filed the same “as a mere precaution against being declared in default. it is being sued for the baseless rejection of Catalan‘s claim. Her pleas fell on deaf and uncaring corporate ears. the CA ruled that HSBANK and HSBC TRUSTEE are estopped from challenging the jurisdiction of the RTC because they filed their respective answers before the RTC. Catalan may have prayed that she be paid the value of the checks but it is axiomatic that what determines the nature of an action. as well as its evident failure to inform Catalan of the reason for its continued inaction and non-payment of the checks. HSBC TRUSTEE summarily disapproved her claim with nary a reason. for reconsideration of a default judgment. even going to the extent of traveling to Hongkong to deliver personally the checks. we are convinced that the allegations therein are in the nature of anaction based on tort under Article 19 of the Civil Code. Verily. Undeniably. 00-892. and the bank is not liable to the holder unless and until it accepts or ce rtifies it. the merits of the action for damages is not to be determined in the probate proceeding and vice versa. In this instance. or at least such parties as represent the same interests in both actions. It must be noted that HSBANK initially filed a Motion for Extension of Time to [35] File Answer or Motion to Dismiss.Thus. a scrutiny of the entirety of the allegations of the amended complaint in this case reveals that the rights asserted and reliefs prayed for therein are different from those pleaded in the probate proceeding. to admit answer. the defense of litis pendentia in one case is a bar to the others. in another proceeding a party seeks the allowance of an alleged last will based on one‘s claim as an heir. the RTC held that both voluntarily submitted to the jurisdiction of the court by setting up in their Motions to Dismiss other grounds aside from lack of jurisdiction. Thus. With respect to the second and third requisites. to wit: (a) that there is a legal right or duty. there is forum-shopping when there exist: a) identity of parties. Bacolod City. and to lift order of default with motion for reconsideration.‖ Nonetheless.

Branch 44. e. service may be made on its resident agent designated in accordance with law for that purpose. the Court would be guilty of [41] sorcery. the RTC cannot take cognizance of the case against HSBC TRUSTEE for lack of jurisdiction over it. The Decision of the Court of Appeals. Section 12 of Rule 14 of the Revised Rules of Court provides: SEC. HSBC TRUSTEE is a foreign corporation. the fact of doing business must first be "established by appropriate allegations in the complaint" [40] and the court in determining such fact need not go beyond the allegations therein. It was a conditional appearance. there is no allegation in the amended complaint that HSBANK is the domestic agent of HSBC TRUSTEE to warrant service of summons upon it. The Decision of the Court of Appeals.. cannot be considered to have submitted himself to the jurisdiction of the [38] court. invalidity of the service of summons. Accordingly. Service upon foreign private juridical entity.R. 2003. the [39] [37] summons tendered to the In House Counsel of HSBANK (Makati Branch) for HSBC TRUSTEE was clearly improper. In French Oil Mill Machinery Co. 2003. Having earlier invoked the jurisdiction of the RTC to secure affirmative relief in its motion for additional time to file answer or motion to dismiss. 01-11372 against the HSBC International Trustee Limited. in CA-G. the filing by HSBC TRUSTEE of a motion to dismiss cannot be considered a voluntary submission to the jurisdiction of the RTC. In contrast. – When the defendant is a foreign private juridical entity which has transacted business in the Philippines.R. dated August 14. HSBC TRUSTEE has been consistent in all its pleadings in assailing the service of summons and the jurisdiction of the RTC over it. Inc. organized and existing under the laws of the British Virgin Islands. No. that a party is doing business in the Philippines does not make it so.R. WHEREFORE. or on any of its officers or agents within the Philippines. HSBC TRUSTEE cannot be declared in estoppel when it filed an Answer ad cautelambefore the RTC while its petition for certiorari was pending before the CA. SP No.R. . on the government official designated by law to that effect. We have held that a general allegation. we had occasion to rule that it is not enough to merely allege in the complaint that a defendant foreign corporation is doing business.. a conclusion of fact or law cannot be derived from the unsubstantiated assertions of parties notwithstanding the demands of convenience or dispatch in legal actions. in CA-G. The Regional Trial Court. SO ORDERED. Admittedly. Court of Appeals. The Answer of HSBC TRUSTEE was only filed to prevent any declaration that it had by its inaction waived the right to file responsive pleadings. Bacolod City is declared without jurisdiction to take cognizance of Civil Case No. or intends to engage in its ordinary and usual business undertakings in the country. Any proceeding [42] undertaken by the RTC is therefore null and void. standing alone. There being no proper service of summons. 159590 is DENIED. The petition in G. HSBANK. effectively submitted voluntarily to the jurisdiction of the RTC and is thereby estopped from asserting otherwise. and all its orders and issuances with respect to the latter are hereby ANNULLED and SET ASIDE. For purposes of the rule on summons. dated August 14. 75756 dismissing the petition for certiorari of the HSBC International Trustee Limited is REVERSED and SET ASIDE. It does not appear at all that HSBC TRUSTEE had performed any act which would give the general public the impression that it had been engaging. Thus.g. 159591 is GRANTED. Absent from the amended complaint is an allegation that HSBC TRUSTEE had performed any act in the country that would place it within the sphere of the court‘s jurisdiction. extracting substance out of nothingness. even before this Court. For proper service of summons on foreign corporations.Appeals‖ to assail the jurisdiction of the RTC over it is of no moment. the petition in G. Thus. SP No. No. or if there be no such agent. Such answer did not render the petition for certiorari before the CA moot and academic. otherwise. entered precisely to question the regularity of the service of summons. The allegations in the amended complaint subject of the present cases did not sufficiently show the fact of HSBC TRUSTEE‘s doing business in the Philippines. It is settled that a party who makes a special appearance in court challenging the jurisdiction of said court. the complaint against HSBC TRUSTEE should have been dismissed for lack of jurisdiction over it. vs. 12. The said Regional Trial Court is hereby ORDERED to DESIST from maintaining further proceedings against the HSBC International Trustee Limited in the case aforestated. 75757 dismissing the petition for certiorari of the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited is AFFIRMED. Besides.

copy of which is attached to his complaint for damages and which must be deemed as an integral part thereof. there can be no question that private respondent was sued in his personal capacity for acts committed outside his official functions and duties. 1992.S. As described in the complaint. J p: May a complaint for damages be dismissed on the sole basis of a statement contained in a Diplomatic Note. the trial court gave full credit to petitioner's theory that he was a victim of a frame-up instigated by the private respondent.. CA THIRD DIVISION [G. ID. Verily. which was properly denied by the trial court. The case was docketed as Civil Case No. It should not have been overwhelmed by the selfserving Diplomatic Note whose belated issuance is even suspect and whose authenticity has not yet been proved. he is beyond the processes of the court. on two (2) occasions. SPECIAL CIVIL ACTION. ID. that the defendant was a member of the diplomatic staff of the United States Diplomatic Mission in the Philippines at the time the cause of action accrued? This is the issue in the instant petition. Setting aside for the moment the issue of authenticity raised by the petitioner and the doubts that surround such a claim. a dismissal of the case cannot be ordered on the ground of lack of jurisdiction over his person. Said complaint contains sufficient allegations which indicate that the private respondent committed the imputed acts in his personal capacity and outside the scope of his official duties and functions. On 3 August 1988. Jr. JR. respondents. 1 Petitioner alleges therein that he was the Labor Attache of the Embassy of Iran in the Philippines "prior to the Ayatollah Khomeini regime. he had in effect already waived any defect in the service of the summons by earlier asking. While in the instant case. in his Pre-trial Brief filed on 13 June 1990. . Minucher v. In the decision acquitting the petitioner in the criminal case involving the violation of the Dangerous Drugs Act. MOTION TO DISMISS. DISMISSAL OF ACTION BASED ON ERRONEOUS ASSUMPTION. GROUNDS. before he could secure the Diplomatic Note from the U. a motion to quash summons because being outside the Philippines and being a non-resident alien.. intelligent and fair resolution of the issue of diplomatic immunity. which is the basis for the alleged diplomatic immunity. 2. 3. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS and ARTHUR W. CERTIORARI. SCALZO. The undue haste with which respondent Court yielded to the private respondent's claim is arbitrary. an informer belonging to the military intelligence community. HOW ACQUIRED. CASE SHOULD NOT BE DISMISSED WHERE THERE IS SUFFICIENT ALLEGATION OF PERSONAL LIABILITY OF DEFENDANT. eight (8) months and seventeen (17) days from the time his counsel filed on 12 September 1988 a Special Appearance and Motion asking for a first extension of time to file the Answer because the Departments of State and Justice of the United States of America were studying the case for the purpose of determining his defenses. the complaint for damages filed by the petitioner still cannot be peremptorily dismissed. his immunity would bar any suit against him in connection therewith and would prevent recovery of damages arising therefrom. Iñigo had previously sought petitioner's assistance in connection with charges of illegal recruitment. with whom petitioner had several business transactions involving Iranian products like carpets. CASE AT BAR. he committed criminal acts for which he is also civilly liable... there is a prima facie showing in the complaint that indeed private respondent could be held personally liable for the acts committed beyond his official functions or duties. ID.. JURISDICTION OVER THE PERSON. SYLLABUS 1. In the Special Appearance to Quash Summons earlier alluded to. private respondent maintains that the claim for damages arose "from an alleged tort. — While the trial court correctly denied the motion to dismiss. 97765. the public respondent gravely abused its discretion in dismissing Civil Case No. No. caviar and others. DECISION DAVIDE. There is no question that the trial court acquired jurisdiction over the person of the private respondent. JR. was introduced to him by a certain Jose Iñigo. — Jurisdiction over the person of the defendant is acquired either by his voluntary appearance or by the service of summons upon him. the private respondent is clothed with diplomatic immunity. private respondent. A GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION. 88-45691 on the basis of an erroneous assumption that simply because of the Diplomatic Note. — It may at once be stated that even if the private respondent enjoys diplomatic immunity. private respondent's counsel filed. unequivocally states that he would present documentary evidence consisting of DEA records on his investigation and surveillance of plaintiff and on his position and duties as DEA special agent in Manila." Whether such claim arises from criminal acts or from tort. the barren self-serving claim in the belated motion to dismiss cannot be relied upon for a reasonable. The public respondent then should have sustained the trial court's denial of the motion to dismiss. ID." On 13 May 1986.R. belatedly issued after an answer to the said complaint had already been filed. Private respondent himself. petitioner filed with the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Manila a complaint for damages against private respondent Arthur Scalzo. LACK OF CAUSE OF ACTION WHERE DEFENDANT IS A DIPLOMAT. vs.. ID. and by ultimately filing an Answer with Counterclaim. petitioner. and even granting for the sake of argument that such note is authentic. for an extension of time to file an answer.] KHOSROW MINUCHER. on 26 October 1988. 88-45691 and was raffled off to Branch 19 of said court. — And now to the core issue — the alleged diplomatic immunity of the private respondent. REMEDIAL LAW. thereby divesting the trial court of jurisdiction over his person. then connected with the American Embassy in Manila. Thus. Having thus reserved his right to present evidence in support of his position.. September 24. Embassy in Manila. ACTIONS. on the other hand. but rather for lack of a cause of action because even if he committed the imputed act and could have been otherwise made liable therefor. such should have been the most proper and appropriate recourse. MOTION TO DISMISS.13. 4. CASE AT BAR. in view of the fact that it took private respondent one (1) year. According to Iñigo.

00 which private respondent had earlier delivered to him. private respondent filed with the trial court the Defendant's PreTrial Brief. that private respondent had prepared an elaborate plan to frame-up the petitioner and Abbas Torabian for alleged heroin trafficking. he further promised to arrange for the renewal of the aforesaid visas for a $2. 6425 (Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972) before the Regional Trial Court of Pasig.000. after about an hour.00 fee. private respondent's counsel. private respondent came to petitioner's residence and asked to be entrusted with a pair of Persian silk carpets with a floor price of $24.000. however. 5 Unsatisfied with the said order. During the said dinner held the very next day. 7 On 9 March 1990. Offering his help. private respondent filed a petition for certiorari with the Court of Appeals which was docketed as C. 1986 and detained at Camp Crame. private respondent gave the petitioner a calling card showing that the former is an agent of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). and the acts and omissions complained of were performed by him in the performance of official functions. 1-88.000. the Court of Appeals dismissed the petition for lack of merit. for which he had a buyer. robbery and estafa or swindling have already been filed against the private respondent. for the purpose of determining what defenses would be appropriate. private respondent's counsel filed a Special Appearance to Quash Summons 4 alleging therein that: "The action being a personal action for damages arising from an alleged tort. On 12 October 1988. head of the Anti-Narcotics Command. acquitted by the said court on 8 January 1988. the law firm LUNA. He therefore prays for actual and compensatory damages of not less than P480.00. Private respondent testified for the prosecution in the said case. Private respondent and his companions took petitioner's three (3) suitcases containing various documents. U. On 19 May 1986. said counsel also prayed that the period to answer be extended to 13 October 1988.00 representing the refund of the amount he had given for the visas. LLphil On 14 September 1988. prLL In the evening of 26 May 1986. took the carpets and gave the latter $24.R. Petitioner further alleges in his complaint that private respondent falsely testified against him in the criminal case. Defendant is beyond the processes of this court. The trial court denied the motion in its Order of 13 December 1988. claimed that he had already made arrangements with his contacts at the American Embassy concerning the visas and asked for $2.000. private respondent returned to petitioner's residence. private respondent invited petitioner to dinner at Mario's Restaurant in Makati.00) representing the fair market value of the Persian silk carpet and $2. 2 This prayer was granted in the 16 September 1988 order of the court. as well as the $24. Consequently. of the United States of America assigned to the American Embassy in Manila with official contacts with a certain Col. 91173. The following day. 3 On 27 October 1988. namely caviar and carpets.00 and informed the petitioner that he might have prospective buyers for these goods.A.000. The former also avers that charges of unlawful arrest.000. defendant acted in the discharge of his official duties or otherwise in the performance of his official functions as agent of the Drug Enforcement Administration. petitioner complained to the private respondent about the problems the former was then encountering with the American Embassy regarding the expired visas of his wife and fellow Iranian. Specifically. D.000.-G R. a quantity of heroin. 10 the pertinent portions of which read:s . petitioner promised a 10% commission based on profits." and praying that the summons issued be quashed. No.00 to answer for litigation expenses incurred for his defense in the criminal case and for the prosecution of the civil case.C.A." 9 and interposes a counterclaim for P100.000. exemplary damages in the sum of P100. Department of Justice. Private respondent also expressed his intent to purchase two (2) kilos of caviar worth P10. the defendant being outside the Philippines and not being a resident of the Philippines.00 ($24.00 to answer for attorney's fees and the expenses of litigation. the petitioner accepted. dismissed by this Court in the Resolution of 20 December 1989 for non-compliance with paragraph 2 of Circular No. In its Decision promulgated on 6 October 1989. 6 Respondent thus sought a review of the said decision by filing a petition with this Court which was docketed as G. private respondent told petitioner that he wanted to purchase an additional two hundred (200) grams of caviar and inquired about his commission for selling petitioner's carpets. They were. SISON AND MANAS.00. Philippine Constabulary. He was given this amount. private respondent returned. 88-46591 8 wherein he denies the material allegations in the complaint.S.000.000. the case is now under study by the Departments of State and Justice in Washington. however. Department of Justice. respondent failed to show that the Court of Appeals had committed any reversible error in the questioned judgment. seized from plaintiff by Philippine police authorities and in seizing the money used in the drug transaction. On this same occasion.00 and attorney's fees of at least P200. moral damages in the amount of P5 million. It turned out. No. sets forth the following Affirmative Defenses: "The Complaint fails to state a cause of action: in having plaintiff and Abbas Torabian arrested on May 27. Said petition was however. private respondent's aforesaid counsel filed another Special Appearance and Motion seeking a further extension of the period to answer to 28 October 1988 because the law firm had not yet received the decision of the Departments of State and Justice. SP No 17023. and were taken to Camp Crame in their underwear. the two were charged for the violation of Section 4 of R. LLpr On 13 June 1990.private respondent was purportedly interested in buying Iranian products.000. private respondent filed with the trial court his Answer in Civil Case No. both discussed politics and business.000. Petitioner and Torabian were handcuffed together for three (3) days and were not given food and water. Abbas Torabian. Metro Manila. his wallet containing money and the keys to his house and car. moreover. both were falsely arrested by private respondent and some American and Filipino police officers. filed a Special Appearance and Motion alleging therein that since the private respondent is an agent of the Drug Enforcement Administration of the United States of America. they were asked to confess to the possession of heroin or else they would be jailed or even executed by Iranian terrorists.00 each. Dumlao.

. docketed therein as C. It may at once be stated that even if the private Plaintiff's complaint is false and malicious. IN RULING THAT PRIVATE RESPONDENT SCALZO IS A DIPLOMAT IMMUNE FROM CIVIL SUIT CONFORMABLY WITH THE VIENNA CONVENTION ON DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS.S. 22505." 15 Private respondent then filed with the public respondent Court of Appeals a petition for certiorari. Arthur W." cdrep Petitioner opposed the motion. .14 the Embassy advised the Department of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of the Philippines that: ". IN NOT FINDING THAT SCALZO'S PARTICIPATION IN THE BUYBUST OPERATION IS OUTSIDE OF HIS OFFICIAL FUNCTIONS. 88-45691 due to the trial court's lack of jurisdiction over the person of the defendant because the latter possessed diplomatic immunity. which they subsequently did. .-G. 1985 until his departure on August 10. He therefore. in May 1986. Petitioner declares that the public respondent erred: "I. Scalzo retains immunity from civil suit for acts performed in the exercise of his functions. this petition for review under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court." 18 After private respondent filed his Comment to the petition and the petitioner submitted his Reply thereto. Petitioner's motion to reconsider the decision was denied in the public respondent's Resolution of 8 March 1991 because: "When therefore Mr. . which provides that Mr. While the trial court correctly denied the motion to dismiss.C. 2. enjoys immunity from criminal and civil jurisdiction of the receiving State under Article 31 of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.R. even though he has departed (sic) the country. Scalzo testified in the Criminal Case against Khosrow Minucher it was in connection with his official functions as an agent of the Drug Enforcement Administration of the United States and member (sic) of the American Mission charged with cooperating with the Philippine law enforcement agency. . . 2. . The Embassy takes note of the provisions of Article 39(2) of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. . . . . DEFENDANT'S EVIDENCE Defendant will present: 1. 13 dated 29 May 1990 and certified to be a true and faithful copy of the original by one Donald K.xxx "DEFENSES 1. 414 issued by the Embassy of the United States of America. On 31 October 1990. the trial court issued an order denying the motion for being "devoid of merit. consisting of DEA records on his investigation and surveillance of plaintiff and on his position and duties as DEA special agent in May 1980 in Manila. In having a quantity of heroin and the money used in the drug transaction between him and plaintiff seized from plaintiff by P. xxx xxx On 25 June 1990. public respondent promulgated a Decision 16 ordering the dismissal of Civil Case No. 1988.A. the public respondent gravely abused its discretion in dismissing Civil Case No 88-45691 on the basis of an erroneous assumption that simply because of the Diplomatic Note. . the plaintiff in the aforementioned case for allegedly trafficking in a prohibited drug. HENCE. Documentary evidence. It is this investigation which has given rise to the plaintiff's complaint. this Court gave due course to the same and required the parties to submit their respective Memoranda. . Department of Justice and was then a member of the U. with the cooperation of Philippine law enforcement officials and in the exercise of his functions as a member of the mission. plaintiff (sic) was acting in the discharge of his official functions as special agent of the Drug Enforcement Administration. . III. these will be identified by defendant and possibly by another DEA official. . diplomatic mission in the Philippines." 17 Hence.S. thereby divesting the trial court of jurisdiction over his person. as is the case here. Woodward. His testimony by deposition upon written interrogatories because defendant lives and works outside the Philippines and is not a resident of the Philippines. II. SP No. IN NOT DISMISSING THE PETITION FOR CERTIORARI FILED BY SCALZO. Mr. THAT HE IS NOT IMMUNE FROM SUIT UNDER THE VIENNA CONVENTION ON DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS." 11 On 14 June 1990. the private respondent is clothed with diplomatic immunity. U. private respondent filed a Motion to Dismiss 12 the case on the ground that as per the copy of Diplomatic Note No. We find merit in the petition. was a member of the diplomatic staff of the United States diplomatic mission from his arrival in the Philippines on October 14. Khosrow Minucher. NARCOM. Scalzo. . . . Scalzo investigated Mr. Vice-Consul of the United States of America on 11 June 1990. to nullify the aforesaid Order of 25 June 1990.

" Even Article 31 of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations admits of exceptions. before he could secure the Diplomatic Note from the U. he committed criminal acts for which he is also civilly liable. a motion to quash summons because being outside the Philippines and being a non-resident alien. Said complaint contains sufficient allegations which indicate that the private respondent committed the imputed acts in his personal capacity and outside the scope of his official duties and functions. we hesitate to make the same conclusion in G. As described in the complaint. eight (8) months and seventeen (17) days from the time his counsel filed on 12 September 1988 a Special Appearance and Motion asking for a first extension of time to file the Answer because the Departments of State and Justice of the United States of America were studying the case for the purpose of determining his defenses. insofar as the records are concerned. he is beyond the processes of the court. intelligent and fair resolution of the issue of diplomatic immunity. 20 this Court ruled: llcd "The aforecited authorities are clear on the matter. it is apropos to quote what this Court stated in United States of America vs. Embassy in Manila.. which was properly denied by the trial court. et al. unequivocally states that he would present documentary evidence consisting of DEA records on his investigation and surveillance of plaintiff and on his position and duties as DEA special agent in Manila. No. Having thus reserved his right to present evidence in support of his position. The cloak of protection afforded the officers and agents of the government is removed the moment they are sued in their individual capacity. but rather for lack of a cause of action because even if he committed the imputed act and could have been otherwise made liable therefor. there can be no question that private respondent was sued in his personal capacity for acts committed outside his official functions and duties. in view of the fact that it took private respondent one (1) year.R. While in the instant case. a dismissal of the case cannot be ordered on the ground of lack of jurisdiction over his person. and even granting for the sake of argument that such note is authentic. Only after it shall have determined in what capacity the petitioners were acting at the time of the incident in question will this Court determine. and by ultimately filing an Answer with Counterclaim. the trial court gave full credit to petitioner's theory that he was a victim of a frame-up instigated by the private respondent. copy of which is attached to his complaint for damages and which must be deemed as an integral part thereof. Guinto: 21 "But even as we are certain that the individual petitioners in G. In the decision acquitting the petitioner in the criminal case involving the violation of the Dangerous Drugs Act. He shall also enjoy immunity from its civil and administrative jurisdiction except in the case of: xxx xxx xxx And now to the core issue — the alleged diplomatic immunity of the private respondent. The needed inquiry must first be made by the lower court so it may assess and resolve the conflicting claims of the parties on the basis of the evidence that has yet to be presented at the trial. The contradictory factual allegations in this case deserve in our view a closer study of what actually happened to the plaintiffs. or beyond the scope of his authority or jurisdiction (Dumlao vs. the complaint for damages filed by the petitioner still cannot be peremptorily dismissed. private respondent's counsel filed. Jurisdiction over the person of the defendant is acquired either by his voluntary appearance or by the service of summons upon him. (Emphasis supplied). Court of Appeals. on 26 October 1988. They state that the doctrine of immunity from suit will not apply and may not be involved where the public official is being sued in his private and personal capacity as an ordinary citizen. private respondent maintains that the claim for damages arose "from an alleged tort. There is of course the claim of private respondent that the acts imputed to him were done in his official capacity. 19 after citing pertinent authorities. 80258. which is the basis for the alleged diplomatic immunity.R. private respondent did not come forward with evidence to prove that indeed. on the other hand. There is no question that the trial court acquired jurisdiction over the person of the private respondent. In short. It reads: "1. for an extension of time to file an answer. It is a (c) an action relating to any professional or commercial activity exercised by the diplomatic agent in the receiving State outside his official functions. on two (2) occasions. if still necessary. Nothing supports this self-serving claim other than the socalled Diplomatic Note. Thus. Lacking this information. It does not appear that an actual hearing on the motion to dismiss was conducted and that private respondent offered evidence in support thereof. there is a prima facie showing in the complaint that indeed private respondent could be held personally liable for the acts committed beyond his official functions or duties. 80018 were acting in the discharge of their official functions. he had acted in his official capacity. No. A diplomatic agent shall enjoy immunity from the criminal jurisdiction of the receiving State. LexLib well-settled principle of law that a public official may be liable in his personal private capacity for whatever damage he may have caused by his act done with malice and in bad faith.respondent enjoys diplomatic immunity." Whether such claim arises from criminal acts or from tort. In the Special Appearance to Quash Summons earlier alluded to.S. if the doctrine of state immunity is applicable. his immunity would bar any suit against him in connection therewith and would prevent recovery of damages arising therefrom. 114 SCRA 247 [1982])." It may be mentioned in this regard that private respondent himself. he had in effect already waived any defect in the service of the summons by earlier asking. this Court cannot directly decide this case. This situation usually arises where the public official acts without authority or in excess of the powers vested in him. The record is too meager to indicate if the defendants were really discharging their official duties or had actually exceeded their authority when the incident in question occurred. Setting aside for the moment the issue of authenticity raised by the petitioner and the doubts that surround such a claim. Thus. in his Pre-trial Brief filed on 13 June 1990. In Shauf vs. . Court of Appeals. the barren self-serving claim in the belated motion to dismiss cannot be relied upon for a reasonable.

WHEREFORE. such should have been the most proper and appropriate recourse. 88-45691 denying private respondent's Motion to Dismiss is hereby REINSTATED.The public respondent then should have sustained the trial court's denial of the motion to dismiss. . The undue haste with which respondent Court yielded to the private respondent's claim is arbitrary.R.-G. SO ORDERED. 22505 is SET ASIDE and the Order of 25 June 1990 of Branch 19 of the Regional Trial Court of Manila in Civil Case No.A. SP No. the challenged decision of public respondent of 31 October 1990 in C. It should not have been overwhelmed by the self-serving Diplomatic Note whose belated issuance is even suspect and whose authenticity has not yet been proved. Verily. Costs against private respondent.