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Case No. 1 Nerwin v.

G.R. No. 167057 | April 11, 2012
Ponente: Bersamin, J.
Topic: Mandatory of Prohibitory Laws

FACTS: The National Electrification Administration (NEA) published an

invitation to pre-qualify and to bid for a contract, otherwise known as IPB No.
80, for the supply and delivery of about sixty thousand (60,000) pieces of
woodpoles and twenty thousand (20,000) pieces of crossarms needed in the
countrys Rural Electrification Project.

The said contract consisted of four (4) components, namely: PIA, PIB and PIC
or woodpoles and P3 or crossarms, necessary for NEAs projected allocation
for Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. In response to the said invitation, bidders,
such as private respondent [Nerwin], were required to submit their
application for eligibility together with their technical proposals.

Following a thorough review of the bidders qualifications and eligibility, only

four (4) bidders, including private respondent [Nerwin], qualified to
participate in the bidding for the IPB-80 contract. Thereafter, the qualified
bidders submitted their financial bids where private respondent [Nerwin]
emerged as the lowest bidder for all schedules/components of the contract.
NEA then conducted a pre-award inspection of private respondents [Nerwins]
manufacturing plants and facilities, including its identified supplier in
Malaysia, to determine its capability to supply and deliver NEAs

However, on December 19, 2000, NEAs Board of Directors passed Resolution

No. 32 reducing by 50% the material requirements for IBP No. 80 given the
time limitations for the delivery of the materials, xxx, and with the loan
closing date of October 2001 fast approaching. In turn, it resolved to award
the four (4) schedules of IBP No. 80 at a reduced number to private
respondent [Nerwin]. Private respondent [Nerwin] protested the said 50%
reduction, alleging that the same was a ploy to accommodate a losing

On the other hand, the losing bidders Tri State and Pacific Synnergy
appeared to have filed a complaint, citing alleged false or falsified
documents submitted during the pre-qualification stage which led to the
award of the IBP-80 project to private respondent [Nerwin]. Thus, finding a
way to nullify the result of the previous bidding, NEA officials sought the
opinion of the Government Corporate Counsel who, among others, upheld
the eligibility and qualification of private respondent [Nerwin]. Dissatisfied,
the said officials attempted to seek a revision of the earlier opinion but the
Government Corporate Counsel declared anew that there was no legal
impediment to prevent the award of IPB-80 contract to private respondent
[Nerwin]. Notwithstanding, NEA allegedly held negotiations with other
bidders relative to the IPB-80 contract, prompting private respondent
[Nerwin] to file a complaint for specific performance with prayer for the
issuance of an injunction, which injunctive application was granted by Branch
36 of RTC-Manila in Civil Case No. 01102000.

Upon learning of the issuance of Requisition No. FGJ 30904R1 for the O-ILAW
Project, Nerwin filed a civil action in the RTC in Manila alleging that
Requisition No. FGJ 30904R1 was an attempt to subject a portion of the items
covered by IPB No. 80 to another bidding; and praying that a TRO issue to
enjoin respondents proposed bidding for the wooden poles.

Respondents sought the dismissal of Civil Case No. 03106921, stating that
the complaint averred no cause of action, violated the rule that government
infrastructure projects were not to be subjected to TROs, contravened the
mandatory prohibition against non-forum shopping, and the corporate
president had no authority to sign and file the complaint.

RTC: Issued the Writ of Preliminary Injunction.

CA: Reversed the TCs ruling.

ISSUE: Whether or not the CA erred in dismissing the case on the basis of
Rep. Act 8975 prohibiting the issuance of temporary restraining orders and
preliminary injunctions, except if issued by the Supreme Court, on
government projects.

HELD: NO. In its decision of October 22, 2004, the CA explained why it
annulled and set aside the assailed orders of the RTC issued on July 20, 2003
and December 29, 2003, and why it altogether dismissed Civil Case No.
03106921, as follows:

Respondent Judge gravely abused his discretion in entertaining an

application for TRO/preliminary injunction, and worse, in issuing a
preliminary injunction through the assailed order enjoining petitioners sought
bidding for its O-ILAW Project. The same is a palpable violation of RA 8975
which was approved on November 7, 2000, thus, already existing at the time
respondent Judge issued the assailed Orders dated July 20 and December 29,

Section 3 of RA 8975 states in no uncertain terms, thus:

Prohibition on the Issuance of temporary Restraining Order, Preliminary

Injunctions and Preliminary Mandatory Injunctions. No court, except the
Supreme Court, shall issue any temporary restraining order, preliminary
injunction or preliminary mandatory injunction against the government, or
any of its subdivisions, officials, or any person or entity, whether public or
private, acting under the governments direction, to restrain, prohibit or
compel the following acts:

b) Bidding or awarding of contract/project of the national

government as defined under Section 2 hereof.

This prohibition shall apply in all cases, disputes or controversies instituted

by a private party, including but not limited to cases filed by bidders or those
claiming to have rights through such bidders involving such contract/project.
This prohibition shall not apply when the matter is of extreme urgency
involving a constitutional issue, such that unless a temporary restraining
order is issued, grave injustice and irreparable injury will arise. Xxx

The said proscription is not entirely new. RA 8975 merely supersedes PD

1818 which earlier underscored the prohibition to courts from issuing
restraining orders or preliminary injunctions in cases involving infrastructure
or National Resources Development projects of, and public utilities operated
by, the government. This law was, in fact, earlier upheld to have such a
mandatory nature by the Supreme Court in an administrative case against a

Moreover, to bolster the significance of the said prohibition, the Supreme

Court had the same embodied in its Administrative Circular No. 11-2000
which reiterates the ban on issuance of TRO or writs of Preliminary
Prohibitory or Mandatory Injunction in cases involving Government
Infrastructure Projects. Pertinent is the ruling in National Housing Authority
vs. Allarde As regards the definition of infrastructure projects, the Court
stressed in Republic of the Phil. vs. Salvador Silverio and Big Bertha
Construction: The term infrastructure projects means construction,
improvement and rehabilitation of roads, and bridges, railways, airports,
seaports, communication facilities, irrigation, flood control and drainage,
water supply and sewerage systems, shore protection, power facilities,
national buildings, school buildings, hospital buildings and other related
construction projects that form part of the government capital investment.

Thus, there is nothing from the law or jurisprudence, or even from the facts
of the case, that would justify respondent Judges blatant disregard of a
simple, comprehensible and unequivocal mandate (of PD 1818) prohibiting
the issuance of injunctive writs relative to government infrastructure
projects. Respondent Judge did not even endeavor, although expectedly, to
show that the instant case falls under the single exception where the said
proscription may not apply, i.e., when the matter is of extreme urgency
involving a constitutional issue, such that unless a temporary restraining
order is issued, grave injustice and irreparable injury will arise.

G.R. No. L-41171 July 23, 1987


HERRERA, petitioner,
of First Instance of Cebu, Branch II, respondents.

Ponente: Gutierrez, Jr.


1. Vito Borromeo died on March 13, 1952, without forced heirs but leaving
properties in Cebu.
2. Jose Junquera filed with the Court of First Instance of Cebu a petition
for the probate of a one page document as the last will and testament
left by the said deceased, devising all his properties to Tomas,
Fortunato and Amelia, all surnamed Borromeo, in equal and undivided
shares, and designating Junquera as executor thereof.
3. Oppositions to the probate of the will were filed. On May 28, 1960,
after due trial, the probate court held that the document presented as
the will of the deceased was a forgery.
4. The trial court issued an order declaring several heirs, to the exclusion
of others, as the intestate heirs of Vito Borromeo. It also ordered that
the estate be divided in equal and proportionate shares among the 9
court-declared intestate heirs.
5. On August 25, 1972, respondent Fortunato Borromeo, who had earlier
claimed as heir under the forged will, filed a motion before the trial
court praying that he be declared as one of the heirs of the deceased
Vito Borromeo. The court dismissed this claim.
6. Fortunato Borromeo filed a motion for reconsideration. In the
memorandum he submitted to support his motion for reconsideration,
Fortunato changed the basis for his claim to a portion of the estate.

a. He asserted and incorporated a Waiver of Hereditary Rights

dated July 31, 1967, supposedly signed by Pilar N. Borromeo,
Maria B. Putong, Jose Borromeo, Canuto V. Borromeo, Jr., Salud
Borromeo, Patrocinio Borromeo-Herrera, Marcial Borromeo,
Asuncion Borromeo, Federico V. Borromeo, Consuelo B. Morales,
Remedios Alfonso and Amelinda B. Talam.
b. In the waiver, five of the nine heirs relinquished to Fortunato
their shares in the disputed estate.
c. The motion was opposed on the ground that the trial court,
acting as a probate court, had no jurisdiction to take cognizance
of the claim; that respondent Fortunato Borromeo is estopped
from asserting the waiver agreement; that the waiver agreement
is void as it was executed before the declaration of heirs; that
the same is void having been executed before the distribution of
the estate and before the acceptance of the inheritance; and that
it is void ab initio and inexistent for lack of subject matter.

ISSUE: Did the heirs execute a valid waiver of hereditary rights over
their respective inheritance to Fortunato Borromeo?

HELD: NO. The waiver was invalid because not all elements were

The prevailing jurisprudence on waiver of hereditary rights is that "the

properties included in an existing inheritance cannot be considered as
belonging to third persons with respect to the heirs, who by fiction of
law continue the personality of the former. Nor do such properties have
the character of future property, because the heirs acquire a right to
succession from the moment of the death of the deceased, by principle
established in article 657 and applied by article 661 of the Civil Code,
according to which the heirs succeed the deceased by the mere fact of
death. More or less, time may elapse from the moment of the death of
the deceased until the heirs enter into possession of the hereditary
property, but the acceptance in any event retroacts to the moment of
the death, in accordance with article 989 of the Civil Code. The right is
vested, although conditioned upon the adjudication of the
corresponding hereditary portion." (Osorio v. Osorio and Ynchausti
Steamship Co., 41 Phil., 531). The heirs, therefore, could waive their
hereditary rights in 1967 even if the order to partition the estate was
issued only in 1969.
In this case, however, the purported "Waiver of Hereditary
Rights" cannot be considered to be effective. For a waiver to
exist, three elements are essential: (1) the existence of a
right; (2) the knowledge of the existence thereof; and (3) an
intention to relinquish such right. (People v. Salvador, (CA) 53 O.G.
No. 22, p. 8116, 8120).
The intention to waive a right or advantage must be shown clearly and
convincingly, and when the only proof of intention rests in what a party
does, his act should be so manifestly consistent with, and indicative of
an intent to, voluntarily relinquish the particular right or advantage
that no other reasonable explanation of his conduct is possible (67 C.J.,
311). (Fernandez v. Sebido, et al., 70 Phil., 151, 159).
The circumstances of this case show that the signatories to the waiver
document did not have the clear and convincing intention to relinquish
their rights,
o Thus: (1) On October 27, 1967. Fortunato, Tomas, and Amelia
Borromeo filed a pleading entitled "Compliance" wherein they
submitted a proposal for the amicable settlement of the case. In
that Compliance, they proposed to concede to all the eight (8)
intestate heirs of Vito Borromeo all properties, personal and real,
including all cash and sums of money in the hands of the Special
Administrator, as of October 31, 1967, not contested or claimed
by them in any action then pending in the Court of First Instance
of Cebu. In turn, the heirs would waive and concede to them all
the 14 contested lots.
o In this document, the respondent recognizes and concedes that
the petitioner, like the other signatories to the waiver document,
is an heir of the deceased Vito Borromeo, entitled to share in the
o This shows that the "Waiver of Hereditary Rights" was never
meant to be what the respondent now purports it to be. Had the
intent been otherwise, there would not be any reason for
Fortunato, Tomas, and Amelia Borromeo to mention the heirs in
the offer to settle the case amicably, and offer to concede to
them parts of the estate of the deceased; (2) On April 21 and 30,
1969, the majority of the declared heirs executed an Agreement
on how the estate they inherited shall be distributed. This
Agreement of Partition was approved by the trial court on August
15, 1969; (3) On June 29, 1968, the petitioner, among others,
signed a document entitled Deed of Assignment" purporting to
transfer and assign in favor of the respondent and Tomas and
Amelia Borromeo all her (Patrocinio B. Herrera's) rights, interests,
and participation as an intestate heir in the estate of the
deceased Vito Borromeo. The stated consideration for said
assignment was P100,000.00; (4) On the same date, June 29,
1968, the respondent Tomas, and Amelia Borromeo (assignees in
the aforementioned deed of assignment) in turn executed a
"Deed of Reconveyance" in favor of the heirs-assignors named in
the same deed of assignment. The stated consideration was
P50,000.00; (5) A Cancellation of Deed of Assignment and Deed
of Reconveyance was signed by Tomas Borromeo and Amelia
Borromeo on October 15, 1968, while Fortunato Borromeo signed
this document on March 24, 1969.

G.R. No. 151258 February 1, 2012




G.R. No. 154954


RONAN DE GUZMAN, Respondents.


G.R. No. 155101




G.R. Nos. 178057 & 178080

GERARDA H. VILLA, Petitioner,


PONENTE: Sereno, J.

TOPIC: Article 6 Waiver of Rights

SUMMARY: The public outrage over the death of Leonardo "Lenny" Villa
the victim in this case on 10 February 1991 led to a very strong clamor to
put an end to hazing. Due in large part to the brave efforts of his mother,
petitioner Gerarda Villa, groups were organized, condemning his senseless
and tragic death. This widespread condemnation prompted Congress to
enact a special law, which became effective in 1995, that would criminalize
hazing. The intent of the law was to discourage members from making
hazing a requirement for joining their sorority, fraternity, organization, or
association. Moreover, the law was meant to counteract the exculpatory
implications of "consent" and "initial innocent act" in the conduct of initiation
rites by making the mere act of hazing punishable or mala prohibita.

Sadly, the Lenny Villa tragedy did not discourage hazing activities in the
country. Within a year of his death, six more cases of hazing-related deaths
emerged those of Frederick Cahiyang of the University of Visayas in Cebu;
Raul Camaligan of San Beda College; Felipe Narne of Pamantasan ng Araullo
in Cabanatuan City; Dennis Cenedoza of the Cavite Naval Training Center;
Joselito Mangga of the Philippine Merchant Marine Institute; and Joselito
Hernandez of the University of the Philippines in Baguio City.

Although courts must not remain indifferent to public sentiments, in this case
the general condemnation of a hazing-related death, they are still bound to
observe a fundamental principle in our criminal justice system "[N]o act
constitutes a crime unless it is made so by law." Nullum crimen, nulla
poena sine lege. Even if an act is viewed by a large section of the populace
as immoral or injurious, it cannot be considered a crime, absent any law
prohibiting its commission. As interpreters of the law, judges are called upon
to set aside emotion, to resist being swayed by strong public sentiments, and
to rule strictly based on the elements of the offense and the facts allowed in

Before the Court are the consolidated cases docketed as G.R. No. 151258
(Villareal v. People), G.R. No. 154954 (People v. Court of Appeals), G.R. No.
155101 (Dizon v. People), and G.R. Nos. 178057 and 178080 (Villa v.


1. In February 1991, seven freshmen law students of the Ateneo de

Manila University School of Law signified their intention to join the
Aquila Legis Juris Fraternity (Aquila Fraternity).
2. They were Caesar "Bogs" Asuncion, Samuel "Sam" Belleza, Bienvenido
"Bien" Marquez III, Roberto Francis "Bert" Navera, Geronimo "Randy"
Recinto, Felix Sy, Jr., and Leonardo "Lenny" Villa (neophytes).
3. On the night of 8 February 1991, the neophytes were met by some
members of the Aquila Fraternity (Aquilans) at the lobby of the Ateneo
Law School. They all proceeded to Rufos Restaurant to have dinner.
4. Afterwards, they went to the house of Michael Musngi, also an Aquilan,
who briefed the neophytes on what to expect during the initiation rites.
The latter were informed that there would be physical beatings, and
that they could quit at any time. Their initiation rites were scheduled to
last for three days.
5. After their "briefing," they were brought to the Almeda Compound in
Caloocan City for the commencement of their initiation.
6. Even before the neophytes got off the van, they had already received
threats and insults from the Aquilans. As soon as the neophytes
alighted from the van and walked towards the pelota court of the
Almeda compound, some of the Aquilans delivered physical blows to
them. The neophytes were then subjected to traditional forms of
Aquilan "initiation rites."
7. On the morning of their second day 9 February 1991 the neophytes
were made to present comic plays and to play rough basketball. They
were also required to memorize and recite the Aquila Fraternitys
principles. Whenever they would give a wrong answer, they would be
hit on their arms or legs. Late in the afternoon, the Aquilans revived
the initiation rites proper and proceeded to torment them physically
and psychologically. The neophytes were subjected to the same
manner of hazing that they endured on the first day of initiation. After
a few hours, the initiation for the day officially ended.
8. After a while, accused non-resident or alumni fraternity
membersFidelito Dizon (Dizon) and Artemio Villareal (Villareal)
demanded that the rites be reopened. The head of initiation rites,
Nelson Victorino (Victorino), initially refused.
9. Upon the insistence of Dizon and Villareal, however, he reopened the
initiation rites. The fraternity members, including Dizon and Villareal,
then subjected the neophytes to "paddling" and to additional rounds of
physical pain.
10. Lenny received several paddle blows, one of which was so strong it
sent him sprawling to the ground. The neophytes heard him
complaining of intense pain and difficulty in breathing. After their last
session of physical beatings, Lenny could no longer walk. He had to be
carried by the auxiliaries to the carport.
11. Again, the initiation for the day was officially ended, and the neophytes
started eating dinner. They then slept at the carport.
12. After an hour of sleep, the neophytes were suddenly roused by Lennys
shivering and incoherent mumblings. Initially, Villareal and Dizon
dismissed these rumblings, as they thought he was just overacting.
13. When they realized, though, that Lenny was really feeling cold, some of
the Aquilans started helping him. They removed his clothes and helped
him through a sleeping bag to keep him warm. When his condition
worsened, the Aquilans rushed him to the hospital.
14. Lenny was pronounced dead on arrival. According to the NBI medico-
legal officer, Lenny died of cardiac failure secondary to multiple
traumatic injuries.The officer explained that cardiac failure refers to the
failure of the heart to work as a pump and as part of the circulatory
system due to the lack of blood.
15. Consequently, a criminal case for homicide was filed against the
following 35 Aquilans.
16. RTC: rendered judgment in Criminal Case No. C-38340(91), holding the
26 accused guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of homicide,
penalized with reclusion temporal under Article 249 of the Revised
Penal Code. A few weeks after, against the remaining nine accused
commenced anew.
17. CA: set aside the finding of conspiracy by the trial court in Criminal
Case No. C-38340(91) and modified the criminal liability of each of the
accused according to individual participation. Accused De Leon had by
then passed away, so the following Decision applied only to the
remaining 25 accused.
18. RTC: in Criminal Case No. 38340 dismissed the charge against accused
Concepcion on the ground of violation of his right to speedy trial.
Meanwhile, on different dates between the years 2003 and 2005, the
trial court denied the respective Motions to Dismiss of accused
Escalona, Ramos, Saruca, and Adriano.
19. CA: in CA-G.R. SP Nos. 89060 & 90153 reversed the trial courts Orders
and dismissed the criminal case against Escalona, Ramos, Saruca, and
Adriano on the basis of violation of their right to speedy trial.
20. Petitioner Gerarda Villa assails the CAs dismissal of the criminal case
involving 4 of the 9 accused, namely, Escalona, Ramos, Saruca, and
Adriano. She argues that the accused failed to assert their right to
speedy trial within a reasonable period of time. She also points out that
the prosecution cannot be faulted for the delay, as the original records
and the required evidence were not at its disposal, but were still in the
appellate court.
21. Hence, this petition.


[1.] Whether the forfeiture of petitioner Dizons right to present

evidence constitutes denial of due process;

[2.] Whether the CA committed grave abuse of discretion, amounting

to lack or excess of jurisdiction when it dismissed the case against
Escalona, Ramos, Saruca, and Adriano for violation of the right of the
accused to speedy trial;
[3.] Whether accused Dizon is guilty of homicide; and

[4.] Whether the CA committed grave abuse of discretion when it

pronounced Tecson, Ama, Almeda, and Bantug guilty only of slight
physical injuries.


[1.] Yes. The forfeiture of petitioner Dizons right to present evidence

constitutes denial of due process.

[2.] No. The CA did not commit grave abuse of discretion, amounting
to lack or excess of jurisdiction when it dismissed the case against
Escalona, Ramos, Saruca, and Adriano for violation of the right of the
accused to speedy trial.

[3.] No. Dizon is guilty beyond reasonable doubt of reckless

imprudence resulting in homicide defined and penalized under Article
365 in relation to Article 249 of the Revised Penal Code.

[4.] Yes. The CA committed grave abuse of discretion when it

pronounced Tecson, Ama, Almeda, and Bantug guilty only of slight
physical injuries.




[1.] In criminal cases where the imposable penalty may be death, as in

the present case, the court is called upon to see to it that the accused is
personally made aware of the consequences of a waiver of the right to
present evidence. In fact, it is not enough that the accused is simply warned
of the consequences of another failure to attend the succeeding hearings.

Clearly, the waiver of the right to present evidence in a criminal case

involving a grave penalty is not assumed and taken lightly. The presence of
the accused and his counsel is indispensable so that the court could
personally conduct a searching inquiry into the waiver.

The right of the accused to present evidence is guaranteed by no less

than the Constitution itself. Article III, Section 14(2) thereof, provides that "in
all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to be heard by
himself and counsel" This constitutional right includes the right to present
evidence in ones defense, as well as the right to be present and defend
oneself in person at every stage of the proceedings.
The trial court should not have deemed the failure of petitioner to
present evidence on 25 August 1993 as a waiver of his right to present
evidence. On the contrary, it should have considered the excuse of counsel
justified, especially since counsel for another accused General had made
a last-minute adoption of testimonial evidence that freed up the succeeding
trial dates; and since Dizon was not scheduled to testify until two weeks
later. At any rate, the trial court pre-assigned five hearing dates for the
reception of evidence. If it really wanted to impose its Order strictly, the
most it could have done was to forfeit one out of the five days set for Dizons
testimonial evidence. Stripping the accused of all his pre-assigned trial dates
constitutes a patent denial of the constitutionally guaranteed right to due

Nevertheless, as in the case of an improvident guilty plea, an invalid

waiver of the right to present evidence and be heard does not per se work to
vacate a finding of guilt in the criminal case or to enforce an automatic
remand of the case to the trial court. In People v. Bodoso, we ruled that
where facts have adequately been represented in a criminal case, and no
procedural unfairness or irregularity has prejudiced either the prosecution or
the defense as a result of the invalid waiver, the rule is that a guilty verdict
may nevertheless be upheld if the judgment is supported beyond reasonable
doubt by the evidence on record.

We do not see any material inadequacy in the relevant facts on record

to resolve the case at bar. Neither can we see any "procedural unfairness or
irregularity" that would substantially prejudice either the prosecution or the
defense as a result of the invalid waiver. In fact, the arguments set forth by
accused Dizon in his Petition corroborate the material facts relevant to
decide the matter. Instead, what he is really contesting in his Petition is the
application of the law to the facts by the trial court and the CA. Petitioner
Dizon admits direct participation in the hazing of Lenny Villa by alleging in
his Petition that "all actions of the petitioner were part of the traditional
rites," and that "the alleged extension of the initiation rites was not outside
the official activity of the fraternity." He even argues that "Dizon did not
request for the extension and he participated only after the activity was

For one reason or another, the case has been passed or turned over
from one judge or justice to another at the trial court, at the CA, and even
at the Supreme Court. Remanding the case for the reception of the evidence
of petitioner Dizon would only inflict further injustice on the parties. This case
has been going on for almost two decades. Its resolution is long overdue.
Since the key facts necessary to decide the case have already been
determined, we shall proceed to decide it.

[2.] The right of the accused to a speedy trial has been enshrined in
Sections 14(2) and 16, Article III of the 1987 Constitution. This right requires
that there be a trial free from vexatious, capricious or oppressive delays. The
right is deemed violated when the proceeding is attended with unjustified
postponements of trial, or when a long period of time is allowed to elapse
without the case being tried and for no cause or justifiable motive. In
determining the right of the accused to speedy trial, courts should do more
than a mathematical computation of the number of postponements of the
scheduled hearings of the case. The conduct of both the prosecution and the
defense must be weighed. Also to be considered are factors such as the
length of delay, the assertion or non-assertion of the right, and the prejudice
wrought upon the defendant.

We do not see grave abuse of discretion in the CAs dismissal of the

case against accused Escalona, Ramos, Saruca, and Adriano on the basis of
the violation of their right to speedy trial.

This Court points out that on 10 January 1992, the final amended
Information was filed against Escalona, Ramos, Saruca, Ampil, S. Fernandez,
Adriano, Cabangon, Concepcion, and De Vera. On 29 November 1993, they
were all arraigned.Unfortunately, the initial trial of the case did not
commence until 28 March 2005 or almost 12 years after arraignment.

The delay in this case measures up to the unreasonableness of the

delay in the disposition of cases in Angchangco, Jr. vs. Ombudsman, where
the Court found the delay of six years by the Ombudsman in resolving the
criminal complaints to be violative of the constitutionally guaranteed right to
a speedy disposition of cases; similarly, in Roque vs. Office of the
Ombudsman, where the Court held that the delay of almost six years
disregarded the Ombudsman's duty to act promptly on complaints before
him; and in Cervantes vs. Sandiganbayan, where the Court held that the
Sandiganbayan gravely abused its discretion in not quashing the information
which was filed six years after the initiatory complaint was filed and thereby
depriving petitioner of his right to a speedy disposition of the case. So it
must be in the instant case, where the reinvestigation by the Ombudsman
has dragged on for a decade already.

From the foregoing principles, we affirm the ruling of the CA in CA-G.R.

SP No. 89060 that accused Escalona et al.s right to speedy trial was
violated. Since there is nothing in the records that would show that the
subject of this Petition includes accused Ampil, S. Fernandez, Cabangon, and
De Vera, the effects of this ruling shall be limited to accused Escalona,
Ramos, Saruca, and Adriano.



[3.] The accused fraternity members guilty of reckless imprudence resulting

in homicide.

The absence of malicious intent does not automatically mean,

however, that the accused fraternity members are ultimately devoid of
criminal liability. The Revised Penal Code also punishes felonies that are
committed by means of fault (culpa). According to Article 3 thereof, there is
fault when the wrongful act results from imprudence, negligence, lack of
foresight, or lack of skill.

Reckless imprudence or negligence consists of a voluntary act done

without malice, from which an immediate personal harm, injury or material
damage results by reason of an inexcusable lack of precaution or advertence
on the part of the person committing it.In this case, the danger is visible and
consciously appreciated by the actor. In contrast, simple imprudence or
negligence comprises an act done without grave fault, from which an injury
or material damage ensues by reason of a mere lack of foresight or skill.
Here, the threatened harm is not immediate, and the danger is not openly

According to the NBI medico-legal officer, Lenny died of cardiac failure

secondary to multiple traumatic injuries. The officer explained that cardiac
failure refers to the failure of the heart to work as a pump and as part of the
circulatory system due to the lack of blood. In the present case, the victims
heart could no longer work as a pumping organ, because it was deprived of
its requisite blood and oxygen. The deprivation was due to the "channeling"
of the blood supply from the entire circulatory system including the heart,
arteries, veins, venules, and capillaries to the thigh, leg, and arm areas of
Lenny, thus causing the formation of multiple hematomas or blood clots. The
multiple hematomas were wide, thick, and deep, indicating that these could
have resulted mainly from injuries sustained by the victim from fist blows,
knee blows, paddles, or the like. Repeated blows to those areas caused the
blood to gradually ooze out of the capillaries until the circulating blood
became so markedly diminished as to produce death. The officer also found
that the brain, liver, kidney, pancreas, intestines, and all other organs seen
in the abdominals, as well as the thoracic organ in the lungs, were pale due
to the lack of blood, which was redirected to the thighs and forearms. It was
concluded that there was nothing in the heart that would indicate that the
victim suffered from a previous cardiac arrest or disease

There is also evidence to show that some of the accused fraternity

members were drinking during the initiation rites.

Consequently, the collective acts of the fraternity members were

tantamount to recklessness, which made the resulting death of Lenny a
culpable felony. It must be remembered that organizations owe to their
initiates a duty of care not to cause them injury in the process. With the
foregoing facts, we rule that the accused are guilty of reckless imprudence
resulting in homicide. Since the NBI medico-legal officer found that the
victims death was the cumulative effect of the injuries suffered, criminal
responsibility redounds to all those who directly participated in and
contributed to the infliction of physical injuries.

It appears from the aforementioned facts that the incident may have
been prevented, or at least mitigated, had the alumni of Aquila Fraternity
accused Dizon and Villareal restrained themselves from insisting on
reopening the initiation rites. Although this point did not matter in the end,
as records would show that the other fraternity members participated in the
reopened initiation rites having in mind the concept of "seniority" in
fraternities the implication of the presence of alumni should be seen as a
point of review in future legislation. We further note that some of the
fraternity members were intoxicated during Lennys initiation rites. In this
light, the Court submits to Congress, for legislative consideration, the
amendment of the Anti-Hazing Law to include the fact of intoxication and the
presence of non-resident or alumni fraternity members during hazing as
aggravating circumstances that would increase the applicable penalties.



[4.] The multiple hematomas or bruises found in Lenny Villas arms

and thighs, resulting from repeated blows to those areas, caused the loss of
blood from his vital organs and led to his eventual death. These hematomas
must be taken in the light of the hazing activities performed on him by the
Aquila Fraternity. According to the testimonies of the co-neophytes of Lenny,
they were punched, kicked, elbowed, kneed, stamped on; and hit with
different objects on their arms, legs, and thighs. They were also "paddled" at
the back of their thighs or legs; and slapped on their faces. They were made
to play rough basketball. Witness Marquez testified on Lenny, saying:
"[T]inamaan daw sya sa spine." The NBI medico-legal officer explained that
the death of the victim was the cumulative effect of the multiple injuries
suffered by the latter.
Our finding of criminal liability for the felony of reckless imprudence
resulting in homicide shall cover only accused Tecson, Ama, Almeda, Bantug,
and Dizon. Had the Anti-Hazing Law been in effect then, these five accused
fraternity members would have all been convicted of the crime of hazing
punishable by reclusion perpetua (life imprisonment). Since there was no law
prohibiting the act of hazing when Lenny died, we are constrained to rule
according to existing laws at the time of his death. The CA found that the
prosecution failed to prove, beyond reasonable doubt, Victorino et al.s
individual participation in the infliction of physical injuries upon Lenny Villa.
As to accused Villareal, his criminal liability was totally extinguished by the
fact of his death, pursuant to Article 89 of the Revised Penal Code.

DISPOSITIVE: WHEREFORE, the appealed Judgment in G.R. No. 155101

finding petitioner Fidelito Dizon guilty of homicide is hereby MODIFIED and
set aside IN PART. The appealed Judgment in G.R. No. 154954 finding
Antonio Mariano Almeda, Junel Anthony Ama, Renato Bantug, Jr., and Vincent
Tecson guilty of the crime of slight physical injuries is also MODIFIED and
set aside in part. Instead, Fidelito Dizon, Antonio Mariano Almeda, Junel
Anthony Ama, Renato Bantug, Jr., and Vincent Tecson are found guilty beyond
reasonable doubt of reckless imprudence resulting in homicide defined and
penalized under Article 365 in relation to Article 249 of the Revised Penal
Code. They are hereby sentenced to suffer an indeterminate prison term of
four (4) months and one (1) day of arresto mayor, as minimum, to four (4)
years and two (2) months of prision correccional, as maximum. In addition,
accused are ORDERED jointly and severally to pay the heirs of Lenny Villa
civil indemnity ex delicto in the amount of P 50,000, and moral damages in
the amount of P 1,000,000, plus legal interest on all damages awarded at the
rate of 12% from the date of the finality of this Decision until
satisfaction. Costs de oficio.

The appealed Judgment in G.R. No. 154954, acquitting Victorino et al.,

is hereby affirmed. The appealed Judgments in G.R. Nos. 178057 & 178080,
dismissing the criminal case filed against Escalona, Ramos, Saruca, and
Adriano, are likewise affirmed. Finally, pursuant to Article 89(1) of the
Revised Penal Code, the Petition in G.R. No. 151258 is hereby dismissed, and
the criminal case against Artemio Villareal deemed closed and TERMINATED.

Let copies of this Decision be furnished to the Senate President and the
Speaker of the House of Representatives for possible consideration of the
amendment of the Anti-Hazing Law to include the fact of intoxication and the
presence of non-resident or alumni fraternity members during hazing as
aggravating circumstances that would increase the applicable penalties.
GR NO 154598; CORONA,J:
Topic: Repeal (implied) of Laws
2 Thorntons, petitioner is the father, respondent is the mother;
American and Filipina respectively. The two had a daughter and respondent
became a housewife. She got bored as a housewife and went back to
working as a GRO in night clubs. One night, she ran away, bringing their
daughter with them. Petitioner filed initially a case for Habeas Corpus in the
FAMILY COURT OF MAKATI but was dismissed because of an allegation
that the two were in Basilan. After some credit card bills returned that a
purchase was made in Cavite, petitioner filed for Habeas Corpus, this time in
This was dismissed because according to the CA, RA 8369, the Family
Courts Act gave exclusive jurisdiction to the Family Courts for petitions of
Habeas Corpus pertaining to guardianship, and custody of children.
According to the CA this repealed the provision in BP 129 giving the Court of
Appeals exclusive jurisdiction on Habeas Corpus cases (Habeas Corpus writs
issued by the CA have National Application).
Did the CA err in dismissing the case? Did RA 8369 impliedly repeal BP
129s provision on allowing CA to issue Habeas Corpus, at least to cases
cognizable in the Family Court?
No. (ganito ipasok sa recit). The Courts will always look down on
implied repeal of laws. RA 8369 did not contain a provision that removed
the power of the CA in issuing Habeas Corpus Writs pertaining to cases
Cognizable by the Family Courts. Thing is, basic is it in Statutory Construction
that interpretare et concordare legibus et optimus interpretandi the
interpretation of laws , with laws, is the best mode of interpretation. It is not
the intent of RA 8369 to limit the CAs power. Besides, it would be better to
acquire a writ from the CA in cases like this where the whereabouts of the
child changes form tiem to time, or at least is uncertain.
Writ of Habeas Corpus issued by the Family Court only has application
as to the issuing Courts territorial jurisdiction whereas the one issued by the
CA has national application.
Case was remanded to the CA for the propriety of the issuance of a Habeas
Corpus writ.

Case No. 5 De Castro vs. JBC

G.R. No. 191002 | April 20, 2010
Ponente: Bersamin, J.
Topic: Art 8 Judicial Decisions


1. Compulsory retirement of CJ Puno, leaving the seat of Chief Justice as

2. Unique occurrence due to it happening days prior the presidential
3. Petitioners filed Mandamus case compelling the JBC to proceed with
the nomination process (De Castro and PHILCONSA) while some file
Prohibition cases enjoining respondents to do otherwise
4. OSG filed a comment regarding the case stating that the President may
proceed with the appointment of the successor. The arguments placed
by the OSG is actually parallel to how the Court decided the case.
Essentially, A VII 15 only applies to appointment in Executive
positions and not in the Supreme Court (or even in the Judiciary). In
addition, the position of Chief Justice is of public interest. 5. Court also
approved Intervenors to the case.

The compulsory retirement of Chief Justice Reynato S. Puno by May 17, 2010
occurs just days after the coming presidential elections on May 10, 2010.

These cases trace their genesis to the controversy that has arisen from the
forthcoming compulsory retirement of Chief Justice Puno on May 17, 2010, or
seven days after the presidential election. Under Section 4(1), in relation to
Section 9, Article VIII, that vacancy shall be filled within ninety days from
the occurrence thereof from a list of at least three nominees prepared by
the Judicial and Bar Council for every vacancy. Also considering that Section
15, Article VII (Executive Department) of the Constitution prohibits the
President or Acting President from making appointments within two months
immediately before the next presidential elections and up to the end of his
term, except temporary appointments to executive positions when continued
vacancies therein will prejudice public service or endanger public safety.

The JBC, in its en banc meeting of January 18, 2010, unanimously agreed to
start the process of filling up the position of Chief Justice.

Conformably with its existing practice, the JBC automatically considered for
the position of Chief Justice the five most senior of the Associate Justices of
the Court, namely: Associate Justice Antonio T. Carpio; Associate Justice
Renato C. Corona; Associate Justice Conchita Carpio Morales; Associate
Justice Presbitero J. Velasco, Jr.; and Associate Justice Antonio Eduardo B.
Nachura. However, the last two declined their nomination through letters
dated January 18, 2010 and January 25, 2010, respectively.

The OSG contends that the incumbent President may appoint the next Chief
Justice, because the prohibition under Section 15, Article VII of the
Constitution does not apply to appointments in the Supreme Court. It argues
that any vacancy in the Supreme Court must be filled within 90 days from its
occurrence, pursuant to Section 4(1), Article VIII of the Constitution; that had
the framers intended the prohibition to apply to Supreme Court
appointments, they could have easily expressly stated so in the Constitution,
which explains why the prohibition found in Article VII (Executive
Department) was not written in Article VIII (Judicial Department); and that
the framers also incorporated in Article VIII ample restrictions or limitations
on the Presidents power to appoint members of the Supreme Court to
ensure its independence from political vicissitudes and its insulation from
political pressures, such as stringent qualifications for the positions, the
establishment of the JBC, the specified period within which the President
shall appoint a Supreme Court Justice.

A part of the question to be reviewed by the Court is whether the JBC

properly initiated the process, there being an insistence from some of the
oppositors-intervenors that the JBC could only do so once the vacancy has
occurred (that is, after May 17, 2010). Another part is, of course, whether the
JBC may resume its process until the short list is prepared, in view of the
provision of Section 4(1), Article VIII, which unqualifiedly requires the
President to appoint one from the short list to fill the vacancy in the Supreme
Court (be it the Chief Justice or an Associate Justice) within 90 days from the
occurrence of the vacancy.


WON the appointment of the Chief Justice falls under the bar on midnight
appointments as stated in Art. VII Sec 15 of the Constitution.

In the consolidated petitions, the petitioners, with the exception of Soriano,

Tolentino and Inting, submit that the incumbent President can appoint the
successor of Chief Justice Puno upon his retirement on May 17, 2010, on the
ground that the prohibition against presidential appointments under Section
15, Article VII does not extend to appointments in the Judiciary.

The Court agrees with the submission.

1. Records of the Constitutional Commission

The records of the deliberations of the Constitutional Commission

reveal that the framers devoted time to meticulously drafting, styling,
and arranging the Constitution. Such meticulousness indicates that the
organization and arrangement of the provisions of the Constitution
were not arbitrarily or whimsically done by the framers, but purposely
made to reflect their intention and manifest their vision of what the
Constitution should contain.

The Constitution consists of 18 Articles, three of which embody the

allocation of the awesome powers of government among the three
great departments, the Legislative (Article VI), the Executive (Article
VII), and the Judicial Departments (Article VIII).

As can be seen, Article VII is devoted to the Executive Department,

and, among others, it lists the powers vested by the Constitution in the
President. The presidential power of appointment is dealt with in
Sections 14, 15 and 16 of the Article.

Article VIII is dedicated to the Judicial Department and defines the

duties and qualifications of Members of the Supreme Court, among
others. Section 4(1) and Section 9 of this Article are the provisions
specifically providing for the appointment of Supreme Court Justices. In
particular, Section 9 states that the appointment of Supreme Court
Justices can only be made by the President upon the submission of a
list of at least three nominees by the JBC; Section 4(1) of the Article
mandates the President to fill the vacancy within 90 days from the
occurrence of the vacancy.

Had the framers intended to extend the prohibition contained in

Section 15, Article VII to the appointment of Members of the Supreme
Court, they could have explicitly done so. They could not have ignored
the meticulous ordering of the provisions. They would
have easily and surely written the prohibition made explicit in Section
15, Article VII as being equally applicable to the appointment of
Members of the Supreme Court in Article VIII itself, most likely in
Section 4 (1), Article VIII. That such specification was not done only
reveals that the prohibition against the President or Acting President
making appointments within two months before the next presidential
elections and up to the end of the Presidents or Acting Presidents term
does not refer to the Members of the Supreme Court.

Valenzuela adverted the intent of the framers

In this connection, PHILCONSAs urging of a revisit and a review
of Valenzuela is timely and appropriate. Valenzuela arbitrarily ignored
the express intent of the Constitutional Commission to have Section 4
(1), Article VIII stand independently of any other provision, least of all
one found in Article VII. It further ignored that the two provisions had
no irreconcilable conflict, regardless of Section 15, Article VII being
couched in the negative. As judges, we are not to unduly interpret, and
should not accept an interpretation that defeats the intent of the

Consequently, prohibiting the incumbent President from appointing a

Chief Justice on the premise that Section 15, Article VII extends to
appointments in the Judiciary cannot be sustained. A misinterpretation
like Valenzuela should not be allowed to last after its false premises
have been exposed.[74] It will not do to merely
distinguish Valenzuela from these cases, for the result to be reached
herein is entirely incompatible with
what Valenzuela decreed. Consequently, Valenzuela nowdeserves to be
quickly sent to the dustbin of the unworthy and forgettable.

We reverse Valenzuela.

2. Section 15, Article VII does not apply as well to

all other appointments in the Judiciary.

There is no question that one of the reasons underlying the adoption of

Section 15 as part of Article VII was to
eliminate midnight appointments from being made by
an outgoing Chief Executive in the mold of the appointments dealt with
in the leading case of Aytona v. Castillo

Given the background and rationale for the prohibition in Section 15,
Article VII, we have no doubt that the Constitutional Commission
confined the prohibition to appointments made in the Executive
Department. The framers did not need to extend the prohibition to
appointments in the Judiciary, because their establishment of the JBC
and their subjecting the nomination and screening of candidates for
judicial positions to the unhurried and deliberate prior process of the
JBC ensured that there would no longer be midnight appointments to
the Judiciary. If midnight appointments in the mold of Aytona were
made in haste and with irregularities, or made by an outgoing Chief
Executive in the last days of his administration out of a desire to
subvert the policies of the incoming President or for partisanship, [77] the
appointments to the Judiciary made after the establishment of the JBC
would not be suffering from such defects because of the JBCs prior
processing of candidates. Indeed, it is axiomatic in statutory
construction that the ascertainment of the purpose of the enactment is
a step in the process of ascertaining the intent or meaning of the
enactment, because the reason for the enactment must necessarily
shed considerable light on the law of the statute, i.e., the intent;
hence, the enactment should be construed with reference to its
intended scope and purpose, and the court should seek to carry out
this purpose rather than to defeat it.[78]

Also, the intervention of the JBC eliminates the danger that

appointments to the Judiciary can be made for the purpose of buying
votes in a coming presidential election, or of satisfying partisan
considerations. The experience from the time of the establishment of
the JBC shows that even candidates for judicial positions at any level
backed by people influential with the President could not always be
assured of being recommended for the consideration of the President,
because they first had to undergo the vetting of the JBC and pass
muster there. Indeed, the creation of the JBC was precisely intended
to de-politicize the Judiciary by doing away with the intervention of the
Commission on Appointments. This insulating process was absent from
the Aytona midnight appointment.

3. Non-applicability of Section 15, Article VII to appointments in

the Judiciary was confirmed by then Senior Associate Justice
Regalado to the JBC itself when it met on March 9, 1998 to discuss the
question raised by some sectors about the constitutionality of xxx
appointments to the Court of Appeals in light of the forthcoming
presidential elections.

He assured that on the basis of the (Constitutional) Commissions

records, the election ban had no application to appointments to the
Court of Appeals.[79] This confirmation was accepted by the JBC, which
then submitted to the President for consideration the nominations for
the eight vacancies in the Court of Appeals.[80]

The fault of Valenzuela was that it accorded no weight and due

consideration to the confirmation of Justice Regalado. Valenzuela was
weak, because it relied on interpretation to determine the intent of the
framers rather than on the deliberations of the Constitutional
Commission. Much of the unfounded doubt about the Presidents power
to appoint during the period of prohibition in Section 15, Article VII
could have been dispelled since its promulgation on November 9,
1998, hadValenzuela properly acknowledged and relied on the
confirmation of a distinguished member of the Constitutional
Commission like Justice Regalado.

4. Of the 23 sections in Article VII, three (i.e., Section 14, Section15, and
Section 16) concern the appointing powers of the President.

Section 14 speaks of the power of the succeeding President to revoke

appointments made by an Acting President,[81] and evidently refers
only to appointments in the Executive Department. It has no
application to appointments in the Judiciary,
because temporary or acting appointments can only undermine the
independence of the Judiciary due to their being revocable at will.
[82] The letter and spirit of the Constitution safeguard that
independence. Also, there is no law in the books that authorizes
the revocation of appointments in the Judiciary. Prior to their
mandatory retirement or resignation, judges of the first and second
level courts and the Justices of the third level courts may only be
removed for cause, but the Members of the Supreme Court may be
removed only by impeachment.

Section 16 covers only the presidential appointments that require

confirmation by the Commission on Appointments. Thereby, the
Constitutional Commission restored the requirement of confirmation by
the Commission on Appointments after the requirement was removed
from the 1973 Constitution. Yet, because of Section 9 of Article VIII, the
restored requirement did not include appointments to the Judiciary.[83]

Section 14, Section 15, and Section 16 are obviously of the same
character, in that they affect the power of the President to appoint. The
fact that Section 14 and Section 16 refer only to appointments within
the Executive Department renders conclusive that Section 15 also
applies only to the Executive Department. This conclusion is consistent
with the rule that every part of the statute must be interpreted with
reference to the context, i.e. that every part must be considered
together with the other parts, and kept subservient to the general
intent of the whole enactment.[84] It is absurd to assume that the
framers deliberately situated Section 15 between Section 14 and
Section 16, if they intended Section 15 to cover all kinds of presidential
appointments. If that was their intention in respect of appointments to
the Judiciary, the framers, if only to be clear, would have easily and
surely inserted a similar prohibition in Article VIII, most likely within
Section 4 (1) thereof.

5. To hold like the Court did in Valenzuela that Section 15 extends to

appointments to the Judiciary further undermines the intent of the
Constitution of ensuring the independence of the Judicial Department
from the Executive and Legislative Departments. Such a holding will tie
the Judiciary and the Supreme Court to the fortunes or misfortunes of
political leaders vying for the Presidency in a presidential election.
Consequently, the wisdom of having the new President, instead of the
current incumbent President, appoint the next Chief Justice is itself
suspect, and cannot ensure judicial independence, because the
appointee can also become beholden to the appointing authority. In
contrast, the appointment by the incumbent President does not run the
same risk of compromising judicial independence, precisely because
her term will end by June 30, 2010.

6. The argument has been raised to the effect that there will be no need
for the incumbent President to appoint during the prohibition period
the successor of Chief Justice Puno within the context of Section 4 (1),
Article VIII, because anyway there will still be about 45 days of the 90
days mandated in Section 4(1), Article VIII remaining.

The argument is flawed, because it is focused only on the coming

vacancy occurring from Chief Justice Punos retirement by May 17,
2010. It ignores the need to apply Section 4(1) to every situation of a
vacancy in the Supreme Court.

The argument also rests on the fallacious assumption that there will
still be time remaining in the 90-day period under Section 4(1), Article
VIII. The fallacy is easily demonstrable, as the OSG has shown in its

Section 4 (3), Article VII requires the regular elections to be held on the
second Monday of May, letting the elections fall on May 8, at the
earliest, or May 14, at the latest. If the regular presidential elections
are held on May 8, the period of the prohibition is 115 days. If such
elections are held on May 14, the period of the prohibition is 109 days.
Either period of the prohibition is longer than the full mandatory 90-
day period to fill the vacancy in the Supreme Court. The result is that
there are at least 19 occasions (i.e., the
difference between the shortest possible period of the ban of 109
days and the 90-day mandatory period for appointments) in which the
outgoing President would be in no position to comply with the
constitutional duty to fill up a vacancy in the Supreme Court. It is safe
to assume that the framers of the Constitution could not have intended
such an absurdity. In fact, in their deliberations on the mandatory
period for the appointment of Supreme Court Justices under Section 4
(1), Article VIII, the framers neither discussed, nor mentioned, nor
referred to the ban against midnight appointments under Section 15,
Article VII, or its effects on the 90-day period, or vice versa. They did
not need to, because they never intended Section 15, Article VII to
apply to a vacancy in the Supreme Court, or in any of the lower courts.

7. As a matter of fact, in an extreme case, we can even raise a doubt on

whether a JBC list is necessary at all for the President any President to
appoint a Chief Justice if the appointee is to come from the ranks of the
sitting justices of the Supreme Court.
Sec. 9, Article VIII says:

xxx. The Members of the Supreme Court xxx shall be appointed by the
President from a list of at least three nominees prepared by the Judicial
and Bar Council for any vacancy. Such appointments need no

The provision clearly refers to an appointee coming into the Supreme

Court from the outside, that is, a non-member of the Court aspiring to
become one. It speaks of candidates for the Supreme Court, not of
those who are already members or sitting justices of the Court, all of
whom have previously been vetted by the JBC.

Can the President, therefore, appoint any of the incumbent Justices of

the Court as Chief Justice?

The question is not squarely before us at the moment, but it should

lend itself to a deeper analysis if and when circumstances permit. It
should be a good issue for the proposed Constitutional Convention to
consider in the light of Senate President Juan Ponce Enriles statement
that the President can appoint the Chief Justice from among the sitting
justices of the Court even without a JBC list.


WON JBC be compelled to submit the list of nominees to the President


Under the Constitution, it is mandatory for the JBC to submit to the President
the list of nominees to fill a vacancy in the Supreme Court in order to enable
the President to appoint one of them within the 90-day period from the
occurrence of the vacancy. The JBC has no discretion to submit the list to the
President after the vacancy occurs, because that shortens the 90-day period
allowed by the Constitution for the President to make the appointment. For
the JBC to do so will be unconscionable on its part, considering that it will
thereby effectively and illegally deprive the President of the ample time
granted under the Constitution to reflect on the qualifications of the
nominees named in the list of the JBC before making the appointment.

The duty of the JBC to submit a list of nominees before the start of the
Presidents mandatory 90-day period to appoint is ministerial, but its
selection of the candidates whose names will be in the list to be submitted to
the President lies within the discretion of the JBC. The object of the petitions
for mandamus herein should only refer to the duty to submit to the President
the list of nominees for every vacancy in the Judiciary, because in order to
constitute unlawful neglect of duty, there must be an unjustified delay in
performing that duty.[88] For mandamus to lie against the JBC, therefore, there
should be an unexplained delay on its part in recommending nominees to the
Judiciary, that is, in submitting the list to the President.

Accordingly, we find no sufficient grounds to grant the petitions

for mandamus and to issue a writ of mandamus against the JBC. The actions
for that purpose are premature, because it is clear that the JBC still has
until May 17, 2010, at the latest, within which to submit the list of nominees
to the President to fill the vacancy created by the compulsory retirement of
Chief Justice Puno.
CASE No. 6


INOCENCIO, Respondent.

GR No. 199310 | February 19, 2014

PONENTE: Justice Reyes
TOPIC: Judicial Decisions


On December 3, 2001, Remman Enterprises, Inc. filed an application with the

RTC for Judicial confirmation of title over two parcels of land namely Lot No.
3068 and Lot No. 3077 located at Brgy. Napindan, Taguig, Metro Manila.

On December 13, 2001, the RTC issued the Order finding the respondents
application for registration sufficient in form and substance and setting it for
initial hearing on February 21, 2002. The scheduled hearing was later reset
to May 30, 2002.
On May 30, 2002, when the RTC called an initial hearing, only the Laguna
Lake Development Authority appeared as the oppositor. They were given 15
days to submit their comment/opposition to the respondents application for

On June 4, 2002, LLDA filed its opposition to the respondents application for
registration, stating that Lot Nos. 3068 and 3077 are not part of the alienable
and disposable lands of the public domain. Likewise, the petitioner, Republic
of the Philippines, filed its opposition and its predecessors-in-interest have
been in open, continuous, exclusive, and notorious possession of the subject
parcels of land since June 12, 1945 or earlier.

According to the testimonies of the respondents witnesses, the respondent

purchased the said lots from Conrado Salvador and Bella Mijares in 1989.The
subject properties were originally owned by Veronica Jaime and cultivated
different crops on the said lots and hired farmers since 1943. Jaime then sold
the said lots to Salvador and Mijares sometime in 1975 and purchased by the
respondent in 1989. The respondent also presented the following documents:
(1) Deed of Absolute Sale dated August 28, 1989 executed by Salvador and
Mijares in favor of the respondent; (2) survey plans of the subject properties;
(3) technical descriptions of the subject properties; (4) Geodetic Engineers
Certificate; (5) tax declarations of Lot Nos. 3068 and 3077 for 2002; and (6)
certifications dated December 17, 2002, issued by Corazon D. Colamno,
Senior Forest Management Specialist of the DENR, attesting that the said lots
form part of the alienable and disposable lands of the public domain.

On the other hand, LLDA alleged that the respondents application for
registration should be denied because the said lots are not part of the
alienable and disposable lands of the public domain as it pointed out Section
41 (11) of R.A. No. 4850 that lands surrounding the Laguna de Bay located at
and below the reglementary elevation of 12.50 meters are public lands which
form part of the bed of the said lake.

The RTC rendered a decision on May 16, 2007, which granted the
respondents application for registration of title to the subject properties as
they form part of the alienable and disposable lands of the public domain.

The CA affirmed the RTCs decision dated May 16, 2007. The CA found that
the respondent was able to establish that the subject properties are part of
the alienable and disposable lands of the public domain and that the same
are not part of the bed of Laguna Lake.

Thus, the current appeal where the respondents claim that the Courts ruling
in Republic of the Philippines vs T.A.N. Properties, which was promulgated on
26 June 2008, must be applied prospectively, asserting that the decisions of
the Court form part of the law of the land and, pursuant to Article 4 of the
Civil Code, laws shall have no retroactive effect. Respondent further points
out that its application for registration of title tot eh subject properties was
filed and was granted by the RTC prior to the Courts promulgation of its
ruling in T.A.N. Properties.


Whether the application by the court of the doctrine of a previous case was
proper to render and justify their judgment.


Yes. As per Article 8 of the New Civil Code, judicial decisions

applying or interpreting the laws or the Constitution shall form a
part of the legal system of the Philippines.

Notwithstanding that the respondents application for registration was filed

and granted by RTC prior to the Courts ruling in T.A.N. Properties, the
pronouncements in that case may be applied to the present case; it is not
antithetical to the rule of non-retroactivity of laws pursuant to Article 4 of the
Civil Code. It is elementary that the interpretation of a law by this Court
constitutes part of that law from the date it was originally passed, since this
Courts construction merely establishes the contemporaneous legislative
intent that the interpreted law carried into effect. "Such judicial doctrine does
not amount to the passage of a new law, but consists merely of a
construction or interpretation of a pre-existing one."

Verily, the ruling in T.A.N. Properties was applied by the Court in subsequent
cases notwithstanding that the applications for registration were filed and
granted by the lower courts prior to the promulgation of T.A.N. Properties.

In Republic v. Medida, the application for registration of the subject properties

therein was filed on October 22, 2004 and was granted by the trial court on
June 21, 2006. Similarly, in Republic v. Jaralve, the application for registration
of the subject property therein was filed on October 22, 1996 and was
granted by the trial court on November 15, 2002. In the foregoing cases,
notwithstanding that the applications for registration were filed and granted
by the trial courts prior to the promulgation of T.A.N. Properties, this Court
applied the pronouncements in T.A.N. Properties and denied the applications
for registration on the ground, inter alia, that the applicants therein failed to
present a copy of the original classification approved by the DENR Secretary
and certified by the legal custodian thereof as a true copy.

Anent the second and third requirements, the Court finds that the
respondent failed to present sufficient evidence to prove that it and its
predecessors-in-interest have been in open, continuous, exclusive, and
notorious possession and occupation of the subject properties since June 12,
1945, or earlier.
Case 7
Topic: Duty to render judgment (Arts. 9-10, cf RPC Art. 5)

People vs. Ritter, 194 SCRA 690

About midnight of Oct. 10, 1986:
- Accused brought a boy and girl namely Jessie Ramirez and Rosario
Baluyot in a hotel room at MGM Hotel in Olongapo
- Accused told them to take a bath; Jessie was the first to take a bath
and when he came out, Rosario went to do the same
- Accused placed on the table objects which he described as like a vicks
- While Rosario was in the bathroom, accused to Jessie to lay down on
bed; he then started masturbating the young boy, and eventually gave
Jessie an erection
- When Rosario came out of the bathroom, she was told to do the same
- Accused tried to have sexual intercourse with Rosario
- The following morning, accused paid Jessie and Rosario 200 and 300,
respectively. He left them in the hotel.
- Rosario told Jessie that the accused inserted something in her vagina.
Sometime the ff day, Jessie saw Rosario and asked her whether the
object was already removed from her body and Rosario said yes.
However, Jessie claimed that on the evening of that same date, he saw
Rosario complaining of pain and said that it was not yet removed

One defense witness saw Rosario unconscious and foul smelling; he brought
her to the hospital
After she was examined, it was found out that there was a foreign object in
her vaginal canal; they attempted to remove but to no avail because it was
deeply embedded; she was operated, and the object was extracted. (took 7
months before operated)
It was successful; however, she died the following day

Heinrich Ritter challenges his conviction of crime involving a young girl

(Rosario Baluyot) of about 12 years old who had been allegedly raped and
who later died because of a foreign object left inside her vaginal canal. He
was charged with crime of rape with homicide.

When arraigned, he pleaded not guilty; case was set for trial on the merits
RTC: accused as guilty
Issue: WON accused was responsible for the death of Rosario (his
alleged insertion of foreign object inside the vaginal canal of victim)

Ruling: NO; acquitted, but civilly liable since what he did was an act
contrary to morals, good customs, public order or public policy
abusing Filipino children

Since Rosario was not established to have been under 12 years of age at the
time of the alleged sexual violation, it was necessary to prove that the usual
elements of rape were present; i.e. that there was force of intimidation or
that she was deprived of reason or otherwise unconscious in accordance with
Article 335 of the Revised Penal Code.

We agree with the defense that there was no proof of such facts. On the
contrary, the evidence shows that Rosario submitted herself to the sexual
advances of the appellant. In fact, she appears to have consented to the act
as she was paid P300.00 the next morning while her companion, Jessie
Ramirez was paid P200.00 (T.S.N. p. 50, January 6, 1988). The environmental
circumstances coupled with the testimonies and evidence presented in court
clearly give the impression that Rosario Baluyot, a poor street child, was a
prostitute inspite of her tender age. Circumstances in life may have forced
her to submit to sex at such a young age but the circumstances do not come
under the purview of force or intimidation needed to convict for rape.

In view of these clear facts which the prosecution failed to refute, no rape
was committed. We now ask "Was the appellant responsible for the sexual
vibrator left inside Rosario's vagina which led to her death?

Presumably, what Jessie Ramirez saw was merely the Vicks inhaler which the
appellant does not deny having possessed at that time. He was certain that
the object was white. Later, Ramirez retracted and corrected himself. He said
that it was grayish in color with color blue (Medyo kulay abo na may kulay na
parang blue). The inconsistency of the witness' testimony casts doubt as to
the veracity of the statements made especially when he answered on
additional cross-examination that the reason why he concluded that Exhibit
"C-2" was the same object being held by Ritter was because it was the only
one shown to him by the prosecution. Jessie Ramirez was not all certain
about the sexual vibrator because he did not actually see it in the possession
of the appellant.

What he merely remembers is the revelation made by Rosario the next

morning that the foreigner inserted something inside her vagina. The trial
court admitted such statement as part of the res gestae. In a strained effort
to accept such statement as part of res gestae, the trial court focused the
test of admissibility on the lapse of time between the event and the
utterance. For the average 13 years old, the insertion of a mechanical device
or anything for that matter into the vagina of a young girl is undoubtedly
startling. For Rosario and Jessie, however, there must be more evidence to
show that the statement, given after a night's sleep had intervened, was
given instinctively because the event was so startling Res gestae does not
apply. (Section 42, Rule 130, Rules of Court)
Even if it were established that the appellant did insert something inside
Rosario's vagina, the evidence is still not adequate to impute the death of
Rosario to the appellant's alleged act.

From the above testimonies, it is clear that Rosario was still conscious and
could still answer questions asked of her although she was complaining of
stomach pains. Unfortunately, the medical attention given to her failed to
halt the aggravation of her condition. The operation on May 19 was too late.

Rosario died because of septicemia, which in layman's language is blood

poisoning, and peritonitis, which is massive infection, in the abdominal cavity
caused by the foreign object or the cut sexual vibrator lodged in the vagina
of the victim. This led to the infection from the uterus to the fallopian tubes
and into the peritoneum and the abdominal cavity.

For the well-entrenched rule in evidence is that "before conviction can be

had upon circumstantial evidence, the circumstances proved should
constitute an unbroken chain which leads to one fair and reasonable
conclusion pointing to the defendant, to the exclusion of all others, as the
author of the crime

The requirement of proof which produces in an unprejudiced mind moral

certainty or conviction that the accused did commit the offense has not been

Noteworthy is the fact that nothing was mentioned about Rosario's activities
after the hotel incident. Considering Dr. Barcinal's testimony indicating that
she was "used" by a "Negro" three (3) months prior to admission in the
hospital and Rosario's unfortunate profession, there is always the possibility
that she could have allowed herself to be violated by this perverse kind of
sexual behavior where a vibrator or vibrators were inserted into her vagina
between October, 1986 and May, 1987.

Moreover, the long delay of seven (7) months after the incident in reporting
the alleged crime renders the evidence for the prosecution insufficient to
establish appellant's guilty connection with the requisite moral certainty.

The established facts do not entirely rule out the possibility that the
appellant could have inserted a foreign object inside Rosario's vagina. This
object may have caused her death. It is possible that the appellant could be
the guilty person. However, the Court cannot base an affirmance of
conviction upon mere possibilities. Suspicions and possibilities are not
evidence and therefore should not be taken against the accused.

Case No. 8

Alonzo v IAC & Padua

G.R. No. 72873
May 28, 1987

Ponente: Cruz, J

Topic: Article 9&10

Facts: Five brothers and sisters inherited in equal a pro indiviso shares
of a parcel of land registered in the name of their deceased parents. In 1963,
one of the heirs, Celestino Padua sold his undivided share to the petitioners
for the sum of P550 by way of absolute sale. And in 1964, another heir,
Eustaquia Padua sold her share to the petitioners for the sum of P440 in a
Con Pacto de Retro Sale. By virtue of such agreements, the petitioners
occupied, after the said sales, an area corresponding to two-fifths of the said
lot, representing the portions sold to them. The vendees subsequently
enclosed the same with a fence & with their consent, their son and his wife
built a semi-concrete house on a part of the enclosed area. However, on
1977, another sister-heir, Tecla Padua filed a complaint invoking her right of
redemption to the said property. Trial court dismissed the case on the ground
that the right had lapsed not having been exercised within thirty days from
notice of the sales in 1963 and 1964. IAlthough there was no written notice,
it was held that actual knowledge of the sales by the co-heirs satisfied the
requirement of the law. Respondent court reversed the decision of the Trial
Court & declared that actual notice would not suffice as substitute, citing the
cases of De Conejero and Butte, both cases conformed to a similar
requirement under Art. 1623 of NCC which provides that the notice must be
in writing

Issue: Whether or not actual knowledge satisfied the requirement of Art.

1088 of the New Civil Code.?

Held & Rationale: Yes. The co-heirs in this case were undeniably informed
of the sales although no notice in writing was given them. And there is no
doubt either that the 30-day period began and ended during the 14 years
between the sales in question and the filing of the complaint for redemption
in 1977, without the co-heirs exercising their right of redemption. These are
the justifications for this exception.
While the general rule is, that to charge a party with laches in the assertion
of an alleged right it is essential that he should have knowledge of the facts
upon which he bases his claim, yet if the circumstances were such as should
have induced inquiry, and the means of ascertaining the truth were readily
available upon inquiry, but the party neglects to make it, he will be
chargeable with laches, the same as if he had known the facts.
It was the perfectly natural thing for the co-heirs to wonder why the spouses
Alonzo, who were not among them, should enclose a portion of the inherited
lot and build thereon a house of strong materials. This definitely was not the
act of a temporary possessor or a mere mortgagee. This certainly looked like
an act of ownership. Yet, given this unseemly situation, none of the co-heirs
saw fit to object or at least inquire, to ascertain the facts, which were readily
available. It took all of thirteen years before one of them chose to claim the
right of redemption, but then it was already too late.

SC realizes that in arriving at such conclusion, they are deviating from the
strict letter of the law, which the respondent court understandably applied
pursuant to existing jurisprudence. The said court acted properly as it had no
competence to reverse the doctrines laid down by SC in the above-cited
cases. In fact, and this should be clearly stressed, SC itself is not abandoning
the De Conejero and Buttle doctrines, but merely adopting an exception to
the general rule, in view of the peculiar circumstances of this case.

More than twenty centuries ago, Justinian defined justice "as the constant
and perpetual wish to render every one his due. That wish continues to
motivate this Court when it assesses the facts and the law in every case
brought to it for decision. Justice is always an essential ingredient of its
decisions. Thus when the facts warrants, we interpret the law in a way that
will render justice, presuming that it was the intention of the lawmaker, to
begin with, that the law be dispensed with justice. So we have done in this
Case 9
Topic: Arts. 11-12 Presumption and Applicability of Custom

Martinez vs. Van Buskirk, 18 Phil. 79


1. On the 11th day of September, 1908, Carmen Ong de Martinez, was riding a
carromata in Ermita, Manila when a delivery wagon owned by the defendant
(used for the transportation of fodder and to which two horses are attached),
came from the opposite direction, while their carromata went close to the
sidewalk in order to let the delivery wagon pass by. However, instead of
merely passing by, the horses ran into the carromata occupied by the
plaintiff with her child and overturned it, causing a serious cut upon the
plaintiffs head.

3. The defendant Van Buskirk contends that the cochero, who was driving his
delivery wagon at the time of the accident, was actually a good servant and
was considered a safe and reliable cochero. He also claims that the cochero
was tasked to deliver some forage at Calle Herran, and for that purpose the
defendants employee tied the driving lines of the horses to the front end of
the delivery wagon for the purpose of unloading the forage to be delivered.
However, a vehicle passed by the driver and made noises that frightened the
horses causing them to run. The employee failed to stop the horses since he
was thrown upon the ground. (Note: the defendant, Van Buskirk was not
present the incident happened)

4. From the stated facts, the Trial Court ruled that the defendant was
guilty of negligence. The court specifically cited a paragraph of Article
1903 of the Civil Code. Hence, this is appeal to reverse such decision.

ISSUE: Whether or not the employer, who has furnished a gentle and
tractable team (of horses) and a trusty and capable driver, is liable
for the negligence of such driver.


NO. The cochero of the defendant was not negligent in leaving the horses in
the manner described by the evidence in this case. Acts the performance
of which, has not proved destructive or injurious and which have,
therefore, been acquiesced in by society for so long a time that they
have ripened into custom, can not be held to be themselves
unreasonable or imprudent. Indeed the very reason why they have
been permitted by society is that they beneficial rather than
prejudicial. Accidents sometimes happen and injuries result from
the most ordinary acts of life. But such are not their natural or
customary results.

One could not easily hold someone negligent because of some act that led to
an injury or accident. It would be unfair therefore to render the cochero
negligent because of such circumstances. Doctrine of Res ipsa loquitur
merely raises a prima facie case that is destroyed by the absence of proof of
the circumstances under which the act complained of was performed.

The court further held that it is a universal practice of merchants during that
time to deliver products through horse-drawn vehicles; and it is also
considered universal practice to leave the horses in the manner in which
they were left during the accident. It has been practiced for a long time and
generally has not been the cause of accidents or injuries the judgment is
therefore reversed.

Ruling: Judgment reversed. Defendant is not liable

Case 10
CIR vs. PRIMETOWN PROPERTY, G.R. No. 162155, Case Digest
On March 11, 1999, Primetown Property Group, Inc., through its vice chair,
applied for the refund or credit of income tax respondent paid in 1997 due to
the slowdown of the real estate industry where respondent suffered losses.
With this, it contended that it was not liable for income taxes. Nevertheless,
respondent paid its quarterly corporate income tax and remitted creditable
withholding tax from real estate sales to the BIR therefore, respondent was
entitled to tax refund or tax credit.
On May 13, 1999, revenue officer required respondent to submit additional
documents to support its claim. Respondent complied but its claim was not
acted upon. Thus, on April 14, 2000, it filed a petition for review in the Court
of Tax Appeals (CTA).
On December 15, 2000, the CTA dismissed the petition as it was filed beyond
the two-year prescriptive period for filing a judicial claim for tax refund or tax
credit as it found that respondent filed its final adjusted return on April 14,
1998. Thus, its right to claim a refund or credit commenced on that date.
Both Article 13 of the Civil Code and Section 31, Chapter VIII, Book I of the
Administrative Code of 1987 deal with the same subject matter the
computation of legal periods. Under the Civil Code, a year is equivalent to
365 days whether it be a regular year or a leap year. Under the
Administrative Code of 1987, however, a year is composed of 12 calendar
months. Needless to state, under the Administrative Code of 1987, the
number of days is irrelevant.
There obviously exists a manifest incompatibility in the manner of computing
legal periods under the Civil Code and the Administrative Code of 1987. For
this reason, we hold that Section 31, Chapter VIII, Book I of the
Administrative Code of 1987, being the more recent law, governs the
computation of legal periods.
We therefore hold that respondent's petition (filed on April 14, 2000) was
filed on the last day of the 24th calendar month from the day respondent
filed its final adjusted return. Hence, it was filed within the reglementary
Case 11
G.R. No. L-19671
November 29, 1965

TOPIC: Binding Effect, FC Article 26


FACTS: This is a direct appeal on the Complaint for damages filed by Escano
against his wife and parent's in law.

In February 1948, Pastor Enchaves (32) and Vicenta Escano (27 years old)
married without the consent of the latter's parents and before a Catholic
Chaplain in a house of one Juan Alburo.

Vicenta's parents sought priestly advice and a Father Reynes suggested that
the marriage was invalid in the point of view of the Catholic Church because
it lacked the authority from the Archbishop or the parish priest for the
officiating chaplain to celebrate the marriage. He further suggested that a re-
celebration must take place but the same did not materialize.

Barely a little over a month into marriage, Pastor went back to Manila for
work and Vicenta continued living with her parents.

By June 1948, the newlyweds were already estranged. Vicenta had to move
to Misamis Occidental to escape the scandal that her marriage stirred in
Cebu. Shortly thereafter, a lawyer filed for a Petition to annul her marriage
but the same did not prosper because of her non-appearance.

In June 1950, she applied for a passport without informing her husband
indicating the following: that she was single; her purpose for obtaining the
same was to study; she domiciled in Cebu; and she intends to return after 2
years. This was approved and she left for the US by August.

In the US, she filed for a Complaint for divorce against Pastor in the State of
Nevada on the ground of "extreme cruelty, entirely mental in character". This
was approved and became "final and absolute" by October 1950.

Meanwhile, in 1951, Vicenta's parents filed for a Petition with the Archibishop
of Cebu to annul her daughter's marriage to Pastor. 3 years after, Vincenta
herself sought for papal dispensation of her marriage.
On September 13, 1954, Vicenta married an American named Russell Leo
Moran in Nevada. They established their residence in California where by
August 1958, she acquired her American Citizenship.

Unknown to Vicenta, on July 30, 1955 Pastor filed with CFI Cebu a Complaint
for legal separation and damages amounting to P1M against Vicenta and her
parents for allegedly "having dissuaded and discouraged Vicenta from joining
her husband, and alienating her affections, and against the Roman Catholic
Church, for having, through its Diocesan Tribunal, decreed the annulment of
the marriage".

In the defense of Vicenta, she alleges that she was able to obtain a valid
divorce aaginst him and contracted a valid marriage with her husband.
Relatedly, her parents denied that they, in any way, influenced their
daughter's acts. They also filed for damages by way of a counterclaim.

RTC Ruling: no legal separation but judicially freed Pastor from supporting his
wife and to acquire properties to the exclusion of his wife. Damages in the
form of moral and exemplary damages were awarded to Vicenta's parents as
well as attorney's fees.


1. Whether or not the marriage of Pastor and Vicenta was valid.

2. Whether or not the divorce and subsequent marriage of Vicenta in the
US (Nevada) was valid.

(I) YES. The good faith of all the parties to the marriage (and hence the
validity of their marriage) will be presumed until the contrary is
positively proved (Lao vs. Dee Tim, 45 Phil. 739, 745; Francisco vs.
Jason, 60 Phil. 442, 448). It is well to note here that in the case at
bar, doubts as to the authority of the solemnizing priest arose only
after the marriage, when Vicenta's parents consulted Father Reynes
and the archbishop of Cebu. Moreover, the very act of Vicenta in
abandoning her original action for annulment and subsequently
suing for divorce implies an admission that her marriage to plaintiff
was valid and binding.

That on 24 February 1948 the plaintiff-appellant, Pastor Tenchavez,

and the defendant-appellee, Vicenta Escao, were validly married to
each other, from the standpoint of our civil law, is clearly
established by the record before us. Both parties were then above
the age of majority, and otherwise qualified; and both consented to
the marriage, which was performed by a Catholic priest (army
chaplain Lavares) in the presence of competent witnesses. It is
nowhere shown that said priest was not duly authorized under civil
law to solemnize marriages.

The chaplain's alleged lack of ecclesiastical authorization from the

parish priest and the Ordinary, as required by Canon law, is
irrelevant in our civil law, not only because of the separation of
Church and State but also because Act 3613 of the Philippine
Legislature (which was the marriage law in force at the time)
expressly provided that

SEC. 1. Essential requisites. Essential requisites for marriage are

the legal capacity of the contracting parties and consent.
(Emphasis supplied)

The actual authority of the solemnizing officer was thus only a formal
requirement, and, therefore, not essential to give the marriage civil
effects,3 and this is emphasized by section 27 of said marriage act,
which provided the following:

SEC. 27. Failure to comply with formal requirements. No

marriage shall be declared invalid because of the absence of one
or several of the formal requirements of this Act if, when it was
performed, the spouses or one of them believed in good faith
that the person who solemnized the marriage was actually
empowered to do so, and that the marriage was perfectly legal.

(II) II. NO. It is clear from the record that the valid marriage between
Pastor Tenchaez and Vicenta Escao remained subsisting and
undissolved under Philippine law, notwithstanding the decree of
absolute divorce that the wife sought and obtained on 21 October
1950 from the Second Judicial District Court of Washoe County,
State of Nevada, on grounds of "extreme cruelty, entirely mental in
character." At the time the divorce decree was issued, Vicenta
Escao, like her husband, was still a Filipino citizen. 4 She was then
subject to Philippine law, and Article 15 of the Civil Code of the
Philippines (Rep. Act No. 386) , already in force at the time,
expressly provided:

Laws relating to family rights and duties or to the status,

condition and legal capacity of persons are binding upon the
citizens of the Philippines, even though living abroad.

[I]n this jurisdiction Vicenta Escao's divorce and second
marriage are not entitled to recognition as valid; for her previous
union to plaintiff Tenchavez must be declared to be existent and

DISPOSITIVE PORTION: WHEREFORE, the decision under appeal is hereby

modified as follows;

(1) Adjudging plaintiff-appellant Pastor Tenchavez entitled to a decree of

legal separation from defendant Vicenta F. Escao;

(2) Sentencing defendant-appellee Vicenta Escao to pay plaintiff-appellant

Tenchavez the amount of P25,000 for damages and attorneys' fees;

(3) Sentencing appellant Pastor Tenchavez to pay the appellee, Mamerto

Escao and the estate of his wife, the deceased Mena Escao, P5,000 by way
of damages and attorneys' fees.

Neither party to recover costs.

GR NO | DATE: G.R. No. 185582. February 29, 2012

FACTS: Kanemitsu Yamaoka (licensor), co-patentee of U.S. Patent No.

5,484,619, Philippine Letters Patent No. 31138, and Indonesian Patent No.
ID0003911 (Yamaoka Patent), and 5 Philippine tuna processors, namely,
Angel Seafood Corporation, East Asia Fish Co., Inc., Mommy Gina Tuna
Resources, Santa Cruz Seafoods, Inc., and respondent Kingford
(sponsors/licensees) entered into a MOA.

Pertinent portions of the award read:

13.1 Within thirty (30) days from the date of transmittal of this Award to the
Parties, pursuant to the terms of this award, the total sum to be paid by
CENTS ($1,750,846.10).

(A) For breach of the MOA by not paying past due assessments,
RESPONDENT KINGFORD shall pay CLAIMANT the total sum of TWO
DOLLARS AND NINETY CENTS ($229,355.90) which is 20% of MOA
assessments since September 1, 2005[;]

(B) For breach of the MOA in failing to cooperate with CLAIMANT TPI in
fulfilling the objectives of the MOA, RESPONDENT KINGFORD shall pay

(C) For violation of THE LANHAM ACT and infringement of the YAMAOKA 619
($1,250,000.00). . . .

To enforce the award, petitioner TPI filed a Petition for Confirmation,

Recognition, and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Award before the RTC of
Makati City. At Branch 150, respondent Kingford filed a Motion to Dismiss.
Petitioner TPI now seeks to nullify, in this instant Petition for Review on
Certiorari under Rule 45, the order of the trial court dismissing its Petition for
Confirmation, Recognition, and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Award.
ISSUE/S: W/N a foreign corporation not licensed to do business in the
Philippines have legal capacity to sue under the provisions of the Alternative
Dispute Resolution Act of 2004?

HELD: YES. The Alternative Dispute Resolution Act of 2004 shall apply in this
case as the Act, as its title An Act to Institutionalize the Use of an
Alternative Dispute Resolution System in the Philippines and to Establish the
Office for Alternative Dispute Resolution, and for Other Purposes would
suggest, is a law especially enacted "to actively promote party autonomy in
the resolution of disputes or the freedom of the party to make their own
arrangements to resolve their disputes." It specifically provides exclusive
grounds available to the party opposing an application for recognition and
enforcement of the arbitral award. Inasmuch as the Alternative Dispute
Resolution Act of 2004, a municipal law, applies in the instant petition, we do
not see the need to discuss compliance with international obligations under
the New York Convention and the Model Law. After all, both already form part
of the law.

Rule 13.1 of the Special Rules provides that "[a]ny party to a foreign
arbitration may petition the court to recognize and enforce a foreign arbitral
award." The contents of such petition are enumerated in Rule 13.5. Capacity
to sue is not included. Oppositely, in the Rule on local arbitral awards or
arbitrations in instances where "the place of arbitration is in the Philippines,"
it is specifically required that a petition "to determine any question
concerning the existence, validity and enforceability of such arbitration
agreement" available to the parties before the commencement of arbitration
and/or a petition for "judicial relief from the ruling of the arbitral tribunal on a
preliminary question upholding or declining its jurisdiction" after arbitration
has already commenced should state "[t]he facts showing that the persons
named as petitioner or respondent have legal capacity to sue or be sued."

Indeed, it is in the best interest of justice that in the enforcement of a foreign

arbitral award, we deny availment by the losing party of the rule that bars
foreign corporations not licensed to do business in the Philippines from
maintaining a suit in our courts. When a party enters into a contract
containing a foreign arbitration clause and, as in this case, in fact submits
itself to arbitration, it becomes bound by the contract, by the arbitration and
by the result of arbitration, conceding thereby the capacity of the other party
to enter into the contract, participate in the arbitration and cause the
implementation of the result.

All considered, petitioner TPI, although a foreign corporation not licensed to

do business in the Philippines, is not, for that reason alone, precluded from
filing the Petition for Confirmation, Recognition, and Enforcement of Foreign
Arbitral Award before a Philippine court.
WHEREFORE, the Resolution dated 21 November 2008 of the Regional Trial
Court, Branch 61, Makati City in Special Proceedings No. M-6533 is hereby
REVERSED and SET ASIDE. The case is REMANDED to Branch 61 for further
proceedings. SO ORDERED.
Case 12
G.R. No. L-23678; June 6, 1967
Bengzon, J.P., J.
Topic: Article 16

Amos G. Bellis born in Texas and citizen of the State of Texas and of the
United States.
During his first marriage to Mary E. Mallen, whom he divorced, he had
five legitimate children.
By his second wife, Violet Kennedy, who survived him, he had three
He had also three illegitimate children
Amos G. Bellis executed a will in the Philippines, in which he directed
that after all taxes, obligations, and expenses of administration are
paid for, his distributable estate should be divided, in trust, in the
following order and manner:
a. $240,000 to his first wife, Mary E. Mallen;
b. P120,000 to his three illegitimate children or P40,000 each
c. After the foregoing two items have been satisfied, the
remainder shall go to his seven surviving children by his first
and second wives in equal shares.
Amos G. Bellis died a resident of San Antonio, Texas and his will was
admitted to probate in the CFI of Manila.
The Peoples Bank and Trust Company, as executor of the will, paid all
the bequest therein.
Preparatory to closing its administration, the executor submitted and
filed its Executors Final Account, Report of Administration and Project
of Partition.
In the project of partition, the executor pursuant to the Twelfth
clause of the testators Last Will and Testament divided the residuary
estate into seven equal portions for the benefit of the testators seven
legitimate children by his first and second marriages.
Maria Cristina Bellis and Miriam Palma Bellis filed their respective
oppositions to the project of partition on the ground that they were
deprived of their legitimes as illegitimate children and, therefore,
compulsory heirs of the deceased.
Amos Bellis, Jr. interposed no opposition despote notice to him, proof of
service of which is evidenced by the registry receipt submitted by the
The lower court, after the parties filed their respective memoranda and
other pertinent pleadings, issued an order overruling the oppositions
and approving the executors final account, report and administration
and project of partition. Relying upon Art. 16 of the Civil Code, it
applied the national of the decedent, which in this case is Texas law,
which did not provide for legitimes.

ISSUE: WON Texas law, which is the national law of the decedent, shall

HELD: YES. Article 16, par. 2, and Art. 1039 of the Civil Code, render
applicable the national law of the decedent, in intestate or testamentary
successions, with regard to four items: (a) the order of succession; (b) the
amount of successional rights; (e) the intrinsic validity of the provisions of
the will; and (d) the capacity to succeed. They provide that ART. 16. Real
property as well as personal property is subject to the law of the country
where it is situated.

However, intestate and testamentary successions, both with respect to the

order of succession and to the amount of successional rights and to the
intrinsic validity of testamentary provisions, shall be regulated by the
national law of the person whose succession is under consideration,
whatever may he the nature of the property and regardless of the country
wherein said property may be found.

ART. 1039. Capacity to succeed is governed by the law of the nation of the

Appellants would however counter that Art. 17, paragraph three, of the Civil
Code, stating that

Prohibitive laws concerning persons, their acts or property, and those

which have for their object public order, public policy and good
customs shall not be rendered ineffective by laws or judgments
promulgated, or by determinations or conventions agreed upon in a
foreign country.

prevails as the exception to Art. 16, par. 2 of the Civil Code afore-quoted.
This is not correct. Precisely, Congress deleted the phrase, "notwithstanding
the provisions of this and the next preceding article" when they incorporated
Art. 11 of the old Civil Code as Art. 17 of the new Civil Code, while
reproducing without substantial change the second paragraph of Art. 10 of
the old Civil Code as Art. 16 in the new. It must have been their purpose to
make the second paragraph of Art. 16 a specific provision in itself which
must be applied in testate and intestate succession. As further indication of
this legislative intent, Congress added a new provision, under Art. 1039,
which decrees that capacity to succeed is to be governed by the national law
of the decedent.

It is therefore evident that whatever public policy or good customs may be

involved in our System of legitimes, Congress has not intended to extend the
same to the succession of foreign nationals. For it has specifically chosen to
leave, inter alia, the amount of successional rights, to the decedent's
national law. Specific provisions must prevail over general ones.

Appellants would also point out that the decedent executed two wills one
to govern his Texas estate and the other his Philippine estate arguing from
this that he intended Philippine law to govern his Philippine estate. Assuming
that such was the decedent's intention in executing a separate Philippine
will, it would not alter the law, for as this Court ruled in Miciano v. Brimo, 50
Phil. 867, 870, a provision in a foreigner's will to the effect that his properties
shall be distributed in accordance with Philippine law and not with his
national law, is illegal and void, for his national law cannot be ignored in
regard to those matters that Article 10 now Article 16 of the Civil Code
states said national law should govern.

The parties admit that the decedent, Amos G. Bellis, was a citizen of the
State of Texas, U.S.A., and that under the laws of Texas, there are no forced
heirs or legitimes. Accordingly, since the intrinsic validity of the provision of
the will and the amount of successional rights are to be determined under
Texas law, the Philippine law on legitimes cannot be applied to the testacy of
Amos G. Bellis.

13 Tayag v Benguet Consolidated

G.R. No. L-23145, Nov. 29, 1968


TAYAG, ancillary administrator-appellee,
BENGUET CONSOLIDATED, INC., oppositor-appellant.

PRIVATE INTERNATIONAL LAW: Situs of Shares of Stock: domicile of the
SUCCESSION: Ancillary Administration: The ancillary administration is proper,
whenever a person dies, leaving in a country other than that of his last
domicile, property to be administered in the nature of assets of the deceased
liable for his individual debts or to be distributed among his heirs.
SUCCESSION: Probate: Probate court has authority to issue the order
enforcing the ancillary administrators right to the stock certificates when the
actual situs of the shares of stocks is in the Philippines.

FACTS: Idonah Slade Perkins, an American citizen who died in New York City,
left among others, two stock certificates issued by Benguet Consolidated, a
corporation domiciled in the Philippines. As ancillary administrator of Perkins
estate in the Philippines, Tayag now wants to take possession of these stock
certificates but County Trust Company of New York, the domiciliary
administrator, refused to part with them. Thus, the probate court of the
Philippines was forced to issue an order declaring the stock certificates as
lost and ordering Benguet Consolidated to issue new stock certificates
representing Perkins shares. Benguet Consolidated appealed the order,
arguing that the stock certificates are not lost as they are in existence and
currently in the possession of County Trust Company of New York.

ISSUE: Whether or not Benguet Consolidated, Inc. can ignore a court order
because of its by-laws? NO (WON the order of the lower court is proper

HELD: YES. The appeal lacks merit. Tayag, as ancillary administrator, has the
power to gain control and possession of all assets of the decedent within the
jurisdiction of the Philippines

It is to be noted that the scope of the power of the ancillary administrator

was, in an earlier case, set forth by Justice Malcolm. Thus: "It is often
necessary to have more than one administration of an estate. When a person
dies intestate owning property in the country of his domicile as well as in a
foreign country, administration is had in both countries. That which is
granted in the jurisdiction of decedent's last domicile is termed the principal
administration, while any other administration is termed the ancillary
administration. The reason for the latter is because a grant of administration
does not ex proprio vigore have any effect beyond the limits of the country in
which it is granted. Hence, an administrator appointed in a foreign state has
no authority in the [Philippines]. The ancillary administration is proper,
whenever a person dies, leaving in a country other than that of his last
domicile, property to be administered in the nature of assets of the deceased
liable for his individual debts or to be distributed among his heirs."
Probate court has authority to issue the order enforcing the ancillary
administrators right to the stock certificates when the actual situs of the
shares of stocks is in the Philippines.

It would follow then that the authority of the probate court to require that
ancillary administrator's right to "the stock certificates covering the 33,002
shares ... standing in her name in the books of [appellant] Benguet
Consolidated, Inc...." be respected is equally beyond question. For appellant
is a Philippine corporation owing full allegiance and subject to the
unrestricted jurisdiction of local courts. Its shares of stock cannot therefore
be considered in any wise as immune from lawful court orders.

Our holding in Wells Fargo Bank and Union v. Collector of Internal Revenue
finds application. "In the instant case, the actual situs of the shares of stock
is in the Philippines, the corporation being domiciled [here]." To the force of
the above undeniable proposition, not even appellant is insensible. It does
not dispute it. Nor could it successfully do so even if it were so minded.
ADMINISTRATOR, petitioner-appellee, v. ANDRE BRIMO, opponent-
G.R. No. L-22595 / November 1, 1927

The partition of the estate left by the deceased Joseph G. Brimo is in
question. The judicial administrator of his estate filed a scheme of partition.
Andre Brimo, one of the brothers of the deceased, opposed it. The lower
court, however, approved it.


Andre Brimo opposed and assigned the following errors:
a. denial of his participation in the inheritance
b. the declaration that the Turkish laws are impertinent to this cause

Andre Brimo opposed based on the fact that the partition is void as being in
violation of Art. 10 of the Civil Code which provides that legal and
testamentary successions, in respect to the order of succession as well as to
the amount of the successional rights and the intrinsic validity of their
provisions, shall be regulated by the national law of the person whose
succession is in question, whatever may be the nature of the property or the
country in which it may be situated because such partition puts into effect
the provisions of Joseph G. Brimo's will which are not in accordance with the
laws of his Turkish nationality.

The second clause of Joseph Brimos will says:

I like desire to state that although by law, I am a Turkish citizen, this
citizenship having been conferred upon me by conquest and not by free
choice, nor by nationality and, on the other hand, having resided for a
considerable length of time in the Philippine Islands where I succeeded in
acquiring all of the property that I now possess, it is my wish that the
distribution of my property and everything in connection with this, my will,
be made and disposed of in accordance with the laws in force in the
Philippine islands, requesting all of my relatives to respect this wish,
otherwise, I annul and cancel beforehand whatever disposition found in this
will favorable to the person or persons who fail to comply with this request.

Such will of Joseph Brimo has an effect of excluding Alex Brimo as a legatee
inasmuch as he is one of the persons designated as such in the will.
ISSUE: WON Philippine law as what the decedent desires in the will be the
basis of the distribution of Joseph Brimos estates.

HELD: NO. It is the Turkish Law that is the basis of the distribution of
decedents estates and not Philippine law as what he desires in his will.
The institution of legatees in this will is conditional, and the condition is that
the instituted legatees must respect the testator's will to distribute his
property, not in accordance with the laws of his nationality, but in
accordance with the laws of the Philippines. If this condition as it is
expressed were legal and valid, any legatee who fails to comply with it, as
the herein oppositor who, by his attitude in these proceedings has not
respected the will of the testator, as expressed, is prevented from receiving
his legacy.

The fact is that the said condition is void, being contrary to law, for
Article 792 of the civil Code provides the following:

Impossible conditions and those contrary to law or good morals shall be

considered as not imposed and shall not prejudice the heir or legatee in any
manner whatsoever, even should the testator otherwise provide.

And said condition is contrary to law because it expressly ignores the

testator's national law when, according to Article 10 of the civil
Code, such national law of the testator is the one to govern his
testamentary dispositions.

Said condition then is considered unwritten, and the institution of

legatees in said will is unconditional and consequently valid and
effective even as to the herein oppositor.

It results from all this that the second clause of the will regarding the
law which shall govern it, and to the condition imposed upon the
legatees, is null and void, being contrary to law.

All of the remaining clauses of said will with all their dispositions and
requests are perfectly valid and effective it not appearing that said clauses
are contrary to the testator's national law.

Therefore, the orders appealed from are modified and it is directed that the
distribution of this estate be made in such a manner as to include Andre
Brimo as one of the legatees, and the scheme of partition submitted by the
judicial administrator is approved in all other respects.
Case No. 15


G.R. No. L-16749 | January 31, 1963

Topic: Renvoi Doctrine; Single Renvoi; Choice/Conflict of Law Rules

Ponente: Justice Labrador


Edward E. Christiansen, an American citizen, executed a will in Manila. At the

time of his death, his will was admitted to probate and a project of partition
was proposed. However, an opposition was filed by Helen Christensen
Garcia, insofar as it deprives her of her legitime as an acknowledged natural
child. According to Helen, the distribution of the legitime should be governed
by Philippine laws, Edwards domicile, and not by California law

The problem was that under Philippine law, the national law of the decedent
shall govern. On the other hand, under California law, the law of the state
where the decedent has his domicile shall govern.


Should the Court accept the referral by California law and apply Philippine


Yes, Philippine law should apply. The Phil. court must apply its own law
as directed in the conflict of laws rule of the state of the decedent.

The national law indicated in Article 16 of Civil Code of the Philippines

provides that the national law of the decedent governs the validity of his
testamentary dispositions. The State of California prescribes two sets of laws
for its citizens, an internal law for its citizens residing therein and a
conflict of law rules for its citizens domiciled in other jurisdictions. Hence,
reason demands that the California conflict of law rules should be applied.

The conflict of laws rule in California precisely refers back the case to the
law of his domicile. As the domicile of the deceased was the Philippines,
the validity of the provisions of his will depriving his acknowledged natural
child of the latters legacy, should be governed by the Philippine law,
pursuant to Article 946 of the Civil Code of California, or the conflict of law
rules, not by the internal law of California.
Case # 17: (G.R. No. 193902- June 1, 2011: Justice Nachura)

(3 consolidated petitions for Review on certiorari Under Rule 45 of Rules of

Zamoranos wed Jesus de Guzman, a Muslim convert, in Islamic rites. Prior

thereto, Zamoranos was a Roman Catholic who had converted to Islam.
Subsequently, the two wed again, this time, in civil rites before Judge
Perfecto Laguio (Laguio) of the RTC, Quezon City.

A little after a year, Zamoranos and De Guzman obtained a divorce by talaq.

The dissolution of their marriage was confirmed by the Sharia Circuit District
Court, 1st Circuit, 3rd District, Isabela, Basilan.

Now it came to pass that Zamoranos married anew. As she had previously
done in her first nuptial to De Guzman, Zamoranos wed Samson Pacasum, Sr.
(Pacasum), her subordinate at the Bureau of Customs where she worked,
under Islamic rites in Balo-i, Lanao del Norte. Thereafter, in order to
strengthen the ties of their marriage, Zamoranos and Pacasum renewed their
marriage vows in a civil ceremony before Judge Valerio Salazar of the RTC,
Iligan City. However, unlike in Zamoranos first marriage to De Guzman, the
union between her and Pacasum was blessed with progeny, namely: Samson,
Sr., Sam Jean, and Sam Joon.

The relationship between Zamoranos and Pacasum turned sour and, in 1998,
the two were de facto separated. The volatile relationship of Zamoranos and
Pacasum escalated into a bitter battle for custody of their minor children.
Eventually, Zamoranos and Pacasum arrived at a compromise agreement
which vested primary custody of the children in the former, with the latter
retaining visitorial rights thereto.

Pacasum filed the following cases against Zamoranos:

1) Petition for Annulment of Marriage
2) Criminal complaint for Bigamy under Article 349 of the Revised Penal Code
3) Separate administrative cases for Zamoranos dismissal from service and
disbarment before the Civil Service Commission (CSC), the Integrated Bar of
the Philippines, and the Bureau of Finance Revenue Integrity Protection

Soon after amending his petition in Annulment case, Pacasum contracted a

second marriage with Catherine Ang Dignos.
Bigamy Case:
Meanwhile, the Office of the City Prosecutor, issued a resolution finding
prima facie evidence to hold Zamoranos liable for Bigamy. Consequently, an
Information for Bigamy was filed against Zamoranos before the RTC.
Zamoranos filed a motion for reconsideration of the City Prosecutors which
issued a resolution granting Zamoranos motion for reconsideration and
dismissing the charge of Bigamy against Zamoranos.

Annulment of Marriage Case:

On the other civil litigation front on the Declaration of a Void Marriage, the
RTC, Branch 2, Iligan City, rendered a decision in favor of Zamoranos,
dismissing the petition of Pacasum for lack of jurisdiction. RTC found that
Zamoranos and De Guzman are Muslims, and were such at the time of their
marriage, whose marital relationship was governed by Presidential Decree
(P.D.) No. 1083, otherwise known as the Code of Muslim Personal Laws of the

The CA and the Supreme Court affirmed the dismissal of Annulment case and
the denial by the Supreme Court of Pacasums appeal became final and
executory and was recorded in the Book of Entries of Judgments.

In the meantime, the RTC upon motion of Pacasum, issued an Order

reinstating Criminal Case for Bigamy against Zamoranos. Zamoranos filed a
Motion to Quash the Information claiming the she and Pacasum were
Muslims resulting in the mootness of Criminal Case and the inapplicability of
the RPC provision on Bigamy to her marriage to Pacasum.

Pacasum vehemently denies that Zamoranos is a Muslim, who was

previously married and divorced under Islamic rites, and who entered into a
second marriage with him, likewise under Islamic rites.

Issue: WON the RTC and the CAs separate factual findings that Zamoranos
is a Muslim are correct.

Held: Yes.
The RTC, Branch 6, Iligan City, which heard the case for Bigamy, should have
taken cognizance of the categorical declaration of the RTC, Branch 2, Iligan
City, that Zamoranos is a Muslim, whose first marriage to another Muslim, De
Guzman, was valid and recognized under Islamic law. In fact, the same court
further declared that Zamoranos divorce from De Guzman validly severed
their marriage ties.

From the foregoing declarations of all three persons in authority, two of

whom are officers of the court, it is evident that Zamoranos is a Muslim who
married another Muslim, De Guzman, under Islamic rites. Accordingly, the
nature, consequences, and incidents of such marriage are governed by P.D.
No. 1083.

It must be pointed out that even in criminal cases, the trial court must have
jurisdiction over the subject matter of the offense. In this case, the c harge of
Bigamy hinges on Pacasums claim that Zamoranos is not a Musl im, and her
marriage to De Guzman was governed by civil law. This is obviously far from
the truth, and the fact of Zamoranos Muslim status should have been
apparent to both lower courts, the RTC, Branch 6, Iligan City, and the CA.

The subject matter of the offense of Bigamy dwells on the accused

contracting a second marriage while a prior valid one still subsists and has
yet to be dissolved. At the very least, the RTC, Branch 6, Iligan City, should
have suspended the proceedings until Pacasum had litigated the validity of
Zamoranos and De Guzmans marriage before the Sharia Circuit Court and
had successfully shown that it had not been dissolved despite the divorce by
talaq entered into by Zamoranos and De Guzman.

In a pluralist society such as that which exists in the Philippines, P.D. No.
1083, or the Code of Muslim Personal Laws, was enacted to promote the
advancement and effective participation of the National Cultural
Communities x x x, [and] the State shall consider their customs, traditions,
beliefs and interests in the formulation and implementation of its policies.

Trying Zamoranos for Bigamy simply because the regular criminal courts
have jurisdiction over the offense defeats the purpose for the enactment of
the Code of Muslim Personal Laws and the equal recognition bestowed by the
State on Muslim Filipinos.

The two experts namely we refer once again to Justice Rasul and Dr. Ghazalis
Commentaries and Jurisprudence on the Muslim Code of the Philippines
unequivocally state that one of the effects of irrevocable talaq, as well as
other kinds of divorce, refers to severance of matrimonial bond, entitling one
to remarry.

It stands to reason therefore that Zamoranos divorce from De Guzman, as

confirmed by an Ustadz and Judge Jainul of the Sharia Circuit Court, and
attested to by Judge Usman, was valid, and, thus, entitled her to remarry
Pacasum in 1989. Consequently, the RTC, Branch 6, Iligan City, is without
jurisdiction to try Zamoranos for the crime of Bigamy.
Case No. 18 Villagracia v. Sharia
G.R. No. 188832 | April 23, 2014
Ponente: Leonen, J.
Topic: Art. 18 Code of Commerce

FACTS: On February 15, 1996, Roldan E. Mala purchased a 300-square-

meterparcel of land located in Poblacion, Parang, Maguindanao, from one
Ceres Caete. On March 3, 1996, a TCT No. T-15633 covering the parcel of
land was issued in Roldans name. At the time of the purchase, Vivencio B.
Villagracia occupied the parcel of land. By 2002, Vivencio secured a
Katibayan ng Orihinal na Titulo Blg. P-60192 issued by the Land Registration
Authority allegedly covering the same parcel of land. It was only on October
30, 2006, when Roldan had the parcel of land surveyed, found out that
Vivencio occupied the said parcel of land. Failing to settle with Vivencio at
the barangay level, Roldan filed an action to recover the possession of the
parcel of land with respondent Fifth Sharia District Court.

In its decision dated June 11, 2008, respondent Fifth Sharia District Court
ruled that Roldan, as registered owner, had the better right to possess the
parcel of land. It ordered Vivencio to vacate the property, turn it over to
Roldan, and pay damages as well as attorneys fees. A notice of writ of
execution was sent to Vivencio, giving him 30 days from receipt of the notice
to comply with the decision. Meanwhile, Vivencio filed a petition for relief
from judgment with prayer for issuance of writ of preliminary injunction. He
cited Article 155, paragraph (2) of the Code of Muslim Personal Laws of the
Philippines and argued that Sharia District Courts may only hear civil actions
and proceedings if both parties are Muslims. Considering that he is a
Christian, hence the respondent Fifth Sharia District Court had no jurisdiction
to take cognizance of Roldans action for recovery of possession of a parcel
of land.

However, respondent Fifth Sharia District Court denied Vivencios petition for
relief from judgment for lack of merit. Hence this petition for certiorari with
prayer for issuance of temporary restraining order to enjoin the
implementation of the writ of execution issued against Vivencio. Roldan
argued that since respondent Fifth Sharia District Court had jurisdiction to
decide the action for recovery of possession, he argued that the proceedings
before it were valid. Respondent Fifth Sharia District Court acquired
jurisdiction over the person of Vivencio upon service on him of summons.
When Vivencio failed to file his answer, he effectively waived his right to
participate in the proceedings [before the Fifth Sharia District Court] and he
cannot argue that his rights were prejudiced.

ISSUE: Whether a Sharia District Court has jurisdiction over a real action
where one of the parties is not a Muslim.
HELD: NO. In this case, the allegations in Roldans petition for recovery of
possession did not state that Vivencio is a Muslim. When Vivencio stated in
his petition for relief from judgment that he is not a Muslim, Roldan did not
dispute this claim.

When it became apparent that Vivencio is not a Muslim, respondent Fifth

Sharia District Court should have motu proprio dismissed the case. Under
Rule 9, Section 1 of the Rules of Court, if it appears that the court has no
jurisdiction over the subject matter of the action based on the pleadings or
the evidence on record, the court shall dismiss the claim.

Respondent Fifth Sharia District Court had no authority under the law to
decide Roldans action because not all of the parties involved in the action
are Muslims. Thus, it had no jurisdiction over Roldans action for recovery of
possession. All its proceedings in SDC Special Proceedings Case No. 07-200
are void.

Roldan chose to file his action with the Sharia District Court, instead of filing
the action with the regular courts, to obtain "a more speedy disposition of
the case." This would have been a valid argument had all the parties involved
in this case been Muslims. Under Article 143 of the Muslim Code, the
jurisdiction of Sharia District Courts over real actions not arising from
customary contracts is concurrent with that of existing civil courts. However,
this concurrent jurisdiction over real actions "is applicable solely when both
parties are Muslims"49 as this court ruled in Tomawis v. Hon. Balindong. When
one of the parties is not a Muslim, the action must be filed before the regular

The application of the provisions of the Civil Code of the Philippines by

respondent Fifth Sharia District Court does not validate the proceedings
before the court. Under Article 175 of the Muslim Code, customary contracts
are construed in accordance with Muslim law. Hence, Sharia District Courts
apply Muslim law when resolving real actions arising from customary

In real actions not arising from contracts customary to Muslims, there is no

reason for Sharia District Courts to apply Muslim law. In such real actions,
Sharia District Courts will necessarily apply the laws of general application,
which in this case is the Civil Code of the Philippines, regardless of the court
taking cognizance of the action. This is the reason why the original
jurisdiction of Sharia District Courts over real actions not arising from
customary contracts is concurrent with that of regular courts.

However, as discussed, this concurrent jurisdiction arises only if the parties

involved are Muslims. Considering that Vivencio is not a Muslim, respondent
Fifth Sharia District Court had no jurisdiction over Roldans action for
recovery of possession of real property. The proceedings before it are void,
regardless of the fact that it applied the provisions of the Civil Code of the
Philippines in resolving the action.

True, no provision in the Code of Muslim Personal Laws of the Philippines

expressly prohibits non-Muslims from participating in Sharia court
proceedings. In fact, there are instances when provisions in the Muslim Code
apply to non-Muslims. Under Article 13 of the Muslim Code, provisions of the
Code on marriage and divorce apply to the female party in a marriage
solemnized according to Muslim law, even if the female is non-Muslim. Under
Article 93, paragraph (c) of the Muslim Code, a person of a different religion
is disqualified from inheriting from a Muslim decedent. However, by operation
of law and regardless of Muslim law to the contrary, the decedents parent or
spouse who is a non-Muslim "shall be entitled to one-third of what he or she
would have received without such disqualification." In these instances, non-
Muslims may participate in Sharia court proceedings.

Nonetheless, this case does not involve any of the previously cited instances.
This case involves an action for recovery of possession of real property. As a
matter of law, Sharia District Courts may only take cognizance of a real
action "wherein the parties involved are Muslims." Considering that one of
the parties involved in this case is not a Muslim, respondent Fifth Sharia
District Court had no jurisdiction to hear, try, and decide the action for
recovery of possession of real property. The judgment against Vivencio is
void for respondent Fifth Sharia District Courts lack of jurisdiction over the
subject matter of the action.

That Vivencio raised the issue of lack of jurisdiction over the subject matter
only after respondent Fifth Sharia District Court had rendered judgment is
immaterial. A party may assail the jurisdiction of a court or tribunal over a
subject matter at any stage of the proceedings, even on appeal. The reason
is that "jurisdiction is conferred by law, and lack of it affects the very
authority of the court to take cognizance of and to render judgment on the
Case 19

Raytheon International, Inc. V Stockton W. Rouzie, Jr.

G.R. No. 162894, February 26, 2008

Tinga, J.:

Topic: Lex Loci Celebracionis


In 1990, Brand Marine Services, Inc. (BMSI), a corporation duly organized and
existing under the laws of the State of Connecticut, USA, and respondent
Stockton W. Rouzie, Jr., an American citizen, entered into a contract whereby
BMSI hired respondent as its representative to negotiate the sale of services
in several government projects in the Philippines for an agreed remuneration
of 10% of the gross receipts.

Respondent subsequently secured a service contract with the Philippines on

behalf of BMSI for the dredging of rivers affected by the Mt. Pinatubo
eruption and mudflows.

However, due nonpayment of commissions, illegal termination and breach of

employment contract, respondent was compelled to file a labor case against
BMSI and Rust International, Inc. (RUST). The Labor Arbiter (LA) ordered BMSI
and RUST to pay respondents money claims. Upon appeal by BMSI, the
NLRC reversed the decision of the LA and dismissed respondents complaint
on the ground of lack of jurisdiction. Respondent elevated the case to
Supreme Court but was dismissed in a Resolution, which became final and

In 1999, respondent instituted an action for damages against petitioner,

BMSI and RUST before the Regional Trial Court (RTC). The complaint
essentially reiterated the allegations in the labor case while it also averred
that BMSI and RUST as well as petitioner itself had combined and functioned
as one company.

Petitioner answered that the written contract between respondent and BMSI
included a valid choice of law clause, that is, that the contract shall be
governed by the laws of the State of Connecticut. It also mentions the
presence of foreign elements in the dispute namely, the parties and
witnesses involved are American corporations and citizens and the evidence
to be presented is located outside the Philippines that renders our local
courts inconvenient forums.
Thus, it theorizes that the foreign elements of the dispute necessitate the
immediate application of the doctrine of forum non conveniens.

RTC assumed jurisdiction over the case and held that the principle of forum
non conveniens was inapplicable because it could enforce judgment on
petitioner, it being a foreign corporation licensed to do business in the
Philippines. The the Court of Appeals affirmed TCs decision. Hence, this
petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45.


Whether doctrine of forum of non conveniens is applicable in this case.




Under the doctrine of forum non conveniens, a court, in conflicts-of-laws

cases, may refuse impositions on its jurisdiction where it is not the most
"convenient" or available forum and the parties are not precluded from
seeking remedies elsewhere.

Petitioners averments of the foreign elements in the instant case are not
sufficient to oust the trial court of its jurisdiction over Civil Case No. No.
1192-BG and the parties involved.

Moreover, the propriety of dismissing a case based on the principle of forum

non conveniens requires a factual determination; hence, it is more properly
considered as a matter of defense. While it is within the discretion of the trial
court to abstain from assuming jurisdiction on this ground, it should do so
only after vital facts are established, to determine whether special
circumstances require the courts desistance.

Ergo, the CA correctly affirmed the TCs conclusion that it can assume
jurisdiction over the dispute notwithstanding its foreign elements as the
doctrine of forum of non conveniens is inapplicable in this instant.

In Hasegawa v Kitamura, the Court outlined three consecutive phases

involved in judicial resolution of conflicts-of-laws problems, namely:
jurisdiction, choice of law, and recognition and enforcement of judgments.
Thus, in the instances where the Court held that the local judicial machinery
was adequate to resolve controversies with a foreign element, the following
requisites had to be proved: (1) that the Philippine Court is one to which the
parties may conveniently resort; (2) that the Philippine Court is in a position
to make an intelligent decision as to the law and the facts; and (3) that the
Philippine Court has or is likely to have the power to enforce its decision.

On the matter of jurisdiction over a conflicts-of-laws problem where the case

is filed in a Philippine court and where the court has jurisdiction over the
subject matter, the parties and the res, it may or can proceed to try the case
even if the rules of conflict-of-laws or the convenience of the parties point to
a foreign forum. This is an exercise of sovereign prerogative of the country
where the case is filed.

Jurisdiction over the nature and subject matter of an action is conferred by

the Constitution and the law and by the material allegations in the complaint,
irrespective of whether or not the plaintiff is entitled to recover all or some of
the claims or reliefs sought therein. Civil Case No. 1192-BG is an action for
damages arising from an alleged breach of contract. Undoubtedly, the nature
of the action and the amount of damages prayed are within the jurisdiction
of the RTC.

As regards jurisdiction over the parties, the trial court acquired jurisdiction
over herein respondent (as party plaintiff) upon the filing of the complaint.
On the other hand, jurisdiction over the person of petitioner (as party
defendant) was acquired by its voluntary appearance in court.

That the subject contract included a stipulation that the same shall be
governed by the laws of the State of Connecticut does not suggest that the
Philippine courts, or any other foreign tribunal for that matter, are precluded
from hearing the civil action. Jurisdiction and choice of law are two distinct
concepts. Jurisdiction considers whether it is fair to cause a defendant to
travel to this state; choice of law asks the further question whether the
application of a substantive law which will determine the merits of the case
is fair to both parties. The choice of law stipulation will become relevant only
when the substantive issues of the instant case develop, that is, after
hearing on the merits proceeds before the trial court.



[G.R. No. 122191. October 8, 1998]


MORADA and HON. RODOLFO A. ORTIZ, in his capacity as Presiding Judge of
Branch 89, Regional Trial Court of Quezon City, respondents.

Ponente: Quisumbing

1. SUADIA hired Morada (plaintiff) as a flight attendant for its airline

based in Jeddah.
2. On April 27, 1990, while on a lay-over in Jakarta, Indonesia, plaintiff
went to a disco dance with fellow crew members Thamer Al-
Gazzawi and Allah Al-Gazzawi, both Saudi nationals. Because it was
almost morning when they returned to their hotels, they agreed to
have breakfast together at the room of Thamer. When they were in
te (sic) room, Allah left on some pretext. Shortly after he did,
Thamer attempted to rape plaintiff. Fortunately, a roomboy and
several security personnel heard her cries for help and rescued her.
Later, the Indonesian police came and arrested Thamer and Allah
Al-Gazzawi, the latter as an accomplice [aka the Jarkarta Incident].
3. On January 14, 1992, just when plaintiff thought that the Jakarta
incident was already behind her, her superiors requested her to see
Mr. Ali Meniewy, Chief Legal Officer of SAUDIA, in Jeddah, Saudi
Arabia. When she saw him, he brought her to the police station
where the police took her passport and questioned her about the
Jakarta incident. Miniewy simply stood by as the police put pressure
on her to make a statement dropping the case against Thamer and
Allah. Not until she agreed to do so did the police return her
passport and allowed her to catch the afternoon flight out of Jeddah.
4. One year and a half later or on June 16, 1993, in Riyadh, Saudi
Arabia, a few minutes before the departure of her flight to Manila,
plaintiff was not allowed to board the plane and instead ordered to
take a later flight to Jeddah to see Mr. Miniewy, the Chief Legal
Officer of SAUDIA. When she did, a certain Khalid of the SAUDIA
office brought her to a Saudi court where she was asked to sign a
document written in Arabic. They told her that this was necessary to
close the case against Thamer and Allah. As it turned out, plaintiff
signed a notice to her to appear before the court on June 27, 1993.
Plaintiff then returned to Manila.
5. Shortly afterwards, defendant SAUDIA summoned plaintiff to report
to Jeddah once again and see Miniewy on June 27, 1993 for further
investigation. Plaintiff did so after receiving assurance from
SAUDIAs Manila manager, Aslam Saleemi, that the investigation
was routinary and that it posed no danger to her.
6. In Jeddah, a SAUDIA legal officer brought plaintiff to the same Saudi
court on June 27, 1993. Nothing happened then but on June 28,
1993, a Saudi judge interrogated plaintiff through an interpreter
about the Jakarta incident. After one hour of interrogation, they let
her go. At the airport, however, just as her plane was about to take
off, a SAUDIA officer told her that the airline had forbidden her to
take flight. At the Inflight Service Office where she was told to go,
the secretary of Mr. Yahya Saddick took away her passport and told
her to remain in Jeddah, at the crew quarters, until further orders.
7. On July 3, 1993 a SAUDIA legal officer again escorted plaintiff to the
same court where the judge, to her astonishment and shock,
rendered a decision, translated to her in English, sentencing her to
five months imprisonment and to 286 lashes. Only then did she
realize that the Saudi court had tried her, together with Thamer and
Allah, for what happened in Jakarta. The court found plaintiff guilty
of (1) adultery; (2) going to a disco, dancing and listening to the
music in violation of Islamic laws; and (3) socializing with the male
crew, in contravention of Islamic tradition.i
8. Facing conviction, private respondent sought the help of her employer,
petitioner SAUDIA. Unfortunately, she was denied any assistance. She
then asked the Philippine Embassy in Jeddah to help her while her case
is on appeal. Because she was wrongfully convicted, the Prince of
Makkah dismissed the case against her and allowed her to leave Saudi
Arabia. Shortly before her return to Manila, [12] she was terminated
from the service by SAUDIA, without her being informed of the cause.
9. Morada filed a complaint for damages against SAUDIA. The case
eventually went to the CA, declaring that the Philippines is an
appropriate forum considering that the Amended Complaints basis for
recovery of damages is Article 21 of the Civil Code, and thus, clearly
within the jurisdiction of respondent Court.
10. In the SC, the petitioner argued that the case involves conflict of
laws matter, and that private respondents claim for alleged abuse of
rights occurred in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. It alleges that the
existence of a foreign element qualifies the instant case for the
application of the law of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, by virtue of the
lex loci delicti commissi rule. Respondents maintain that the complaint
being based on Arts. 19 and 21 of the Civil Code, the case is a matter
of domestic law.

ISSUE: Which country has jurisdiction to try the case; the Philippines or
Saudi Arabia?

HELD: The Philippines.

Art. 19. Every person must, in the exercise of his rights and in the
performance of his duties, act with justice give everyone his due and
observe honesty and good faith.
Art. 21. Any person who willfully causes loss or injury to another in a
manner that is contrary to morals, good customs or public policy shall
compensate the latter for damages.
Although Article 19 merely declares a principle of law, Article
21 gives flesh to its provisions. Thus, we agree with private
respondents assertion that violations of Articles 19 and 21 are
actionable, with judicially enforceable remedies in the
municipal forum.
Based on the allegations [46] in the Amended Complaint, read
in the light of the Rules of Court on jurisdiction [47] we find that
the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Quezon City possesses
jurisdiction over the subject matter of the suit
Pragmatic considerations, including the convenience of the parties,
also weigh heavily in favor of the RTC Quezon City assuming
jurisdiction. Paramount is the private interest of the litigant.
Enforceability of a judgment if one is obtained is quite obvious.
Relative advantages and obstacles to a fair trial are equally
important. Plaintiff may not, by choice of an inconvenient forum,
vex, harass, or oppress the defendant, e.g. by inflicting upon him
needless expense or disturbance. But unless the balance is strongly
in favor of the defendant, the plaintiffs choice of forum should
rarely be disturbed.ii[49]

Weighing the relative claims of the parties, the court a quo found it
best to hear the case in the Philippines. Had it refused to take
cognizance of the case, it would be forcing plaintiff (private
respondent now) to seek remedial action elsewhere, i.e. in the
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia where she no longer maintains substantial
connections. That would have caused a fundamental unfairness to
Moreover, by hearing the case in the Philippines no unnecessary
difficulties and inconvenience have been shown by either of the
parties. The choice of forum of the plaintiff (now private
respondent) should be upheld.

As to the choice of applicable law, we note that choice-of-law

problems seek to answer two important questions: (1) What legal
system should control a given situation where some of the significant
facts occurred in two or more states; and (2) to what extent should
the chosen legal system regulate the situation.
Before a choice can be made, it is necessary for us to
determine under what category a certain set of facts or rules
fall. This process is known as characterization, or the doctrine
of qualification. It is the process of deciding whether or not the
facts relate to the kind of question specified in a conflicts rule. iii
[55] The purpose of characterization is to enable the forum to
select the proper law.
Note that one or more circumstances may be present to serve
as the possible test for the determination of the applicable law:
o (4) the place where an act has been done, the
locus actus, such as the place where a contract has
been made, a marriage celebrated, a will signed or
a tort committed. The lex loci actus is particularly
important in contracts and torts;
There is reasonable basis for private respondents assertion that
although she was already working in Manila, petitioner brought her
to Jeddah on the pretense that she would merely testify in an
investigation of the charges she made against the two SAUDIA
crew members for the attack on her person while they were in
Jakarta. As it turned out, she was the one made to face trial for
very serious charges, including adultery and violation of Islamic
laws and tradition.
Considering that the complaint in the court a quo is one involving
torts, the connecting factor or point of contact could be the place
or places where the tortious conduct or lex loci actus occurred.
And applying the torts principle in a conflicts case, we find
that the Philippines could be said as a situs of the tort (the
place where the alleged tortious conduct took place). This
is because it is in the Philippines where petitioner allegedly
deceived private respondent, a Filipina residing and
working here. According to her, she had honestly believed
that petitioner would, in the exercise of its rights and in the
performance of its duties, act with justice, give her her due
and observe honesty and good faith. Instead, petitioner failed
to protect her, she claimed. That certain acts or parts of the injury
allegedly occurred in another country is of no moment. For in our
view what is important here is the place where the over-all harm or
the fatality of the alleged injury to the person, reputation, social
standing and human rights of complainant, had lodged, according
to the plaintiff below (herein private respondent).
Philippine law on tort liability should have paramount application to
and control in the resolution of the legal issues arising out of this
case. Further, we hold that the respondent Regional Trial Court has
jurisdiction over the parties and the subject matter of the
complaint; the appropriate venue is in Quezon City, which could
properly apply Philippine law.

Moreover, we find untenable petitioners insistence that [s]ince

private respondent instituted this suit, she has the burden of
pleading and proving the applicable Saudi law on the matter. iv[64]
As aptly said by private respondent, she has no obligation to plead
and prove the law of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia since her cause
of action is based on Articles 19 and 21 of the Civil Code of the
o In her Amended Complaint and subsequent pleadings she
never alleged that Saudi law should govern this case. v[65]
And as correctly held by the respondent appellate court,
considering that it was the petitioner who was invoking the
applicability of the law of Saudi Arabia, thus the burden was
on it [petitioner] to plead and to establish what the law of
Saudi Arabia[66]

WHEREFORE, the instant petition for certiorari is hereby

DISMISSED. Civil Case No. Q-93-18394 entitled Milagros P. Morada
vs. Saudi Arabia Airlines is hereby REMANDED to Regional Trial
Court of Quezon City, Branch 89 for further proceedings.
CASE #20

G.R. No. L-27155 May 18, 1978


INC., respondents.

PONENTE: Antonio, J.
TOPIC: Human Relations Article 19 and 21

1. It has been established during the trial that Mrs. Tapnio had an export
sugar quota of 1,000 piculs for the agricultural year 1956-1957 which
she did not need.
2. Mrs. Tapnio agreed to allow Mr. Jacobo C. Tuazon to use said quota for
the consideration of P2,500.00. This agreement was called a contract
of lease of sugar allotment.
3. At the time of the agreement, Mrs. Tapnio was indebted to the
Philippine National Bank at San Fernando, Pampanga. Her
indebtedness was known as a crop loan and was secured by a
mortgage on her standing crop including her sugar quota allocation for
the agricultural year corresponding to said standing crop.
4. This arrangement was necessary in order that when Mrs. Tapnio
harvests, the P.N.B., having a lien on the crop, may effectively enforce
collection against her. Her sugar cannot be exported without sugar
quota allotment Sometimes, however, a planter harvest less sugar
than her quota, so her excess quota is utilized by another who pays her
for its use. This is the arrangement entered into between Mrs. Tapnio
and Mr. Tuazon regarding the former's excess quota for 1956-1957.
5. Since the quota was mortgaged to the P.N.B., the contract of lease had
to be approved by said Bank, The same was submitted to the branch
manager at San Fernando, Pampanga. The latter required the parties to
raise the consideration of P2.80 per picul or a total of P2,800.00
informing them that "the minimum lease rental acceptable to the Bank,
is P2.80 per picul.
6. When the branch manager of the Philippine National Bank at San
Fernando recommended the approval of the contract of lease at the
price of P2.80 per picul (Exh. 1 1-Bank), whose recommendation was
concurred in by the Vice-president of said Bank, J. V. Buenaventura, the
board of directors required that the amount be raised to 13.00 per
picul. This act of the board of directors was communicated to Tuazon,
who in turn asked for a reconsideration thereof. On November 19,
1956, the branch manager submitted Tuazon's request for
reconsideration to the board of directors with another recommendation
for the approval of the lease at P2.80 per picul, but the board returned
the recommendation unacted upon, considering that the current price
prevailing at the time was P3.00 per picul.
7. The parties were notified of the refusal on the part of the board of
directors of the Bank to grant the motion for reconsideration. The
matter stood as it was until February 22, 1957, when Tuazon wrote a
letter to the Bank informing the Bank that he was no longer interested
to continue the deal, referring to the lease of sugar quota allotment in
favor of defendant Rita Gueco Tapnio. The result is that the latter lost
the sum of P2,800.00 which she should have received from Tuazon and
which she could have paid the Bank to cancel off her indebtedness.
8. Petitioner argued that as an assignee of the sugar quota of Tapnio, it
has the right, both under its own Charter and under the Corporation
Law, to safeguard and protect its rights and interests under the deed of
assignment, which include the right to approve or disapprove the said
lease of sugar quota and in the exercise of that authority, its Board of
Directors necessarily had authority to determine and fix the rental
price per picul of the sugar quota subject of the lease between private
respondents and Jacobo C. Tuazon.
9. The basic action is the complaint filed by Philamgen (Philippine
American General Insurance Co., Inc.) as surety against Rita Gueco
Tapnio and Cecilio Gueco, for the recovery of the sum of P2,379.71
paid by Philamgen to the Philippine National Bank on behalf of
respondents Tapnio and Gueco, pursuant to an indemnity agreement.
Petitioner Bank was made third-party defendant by Tapnio and Gueco
on the theory that their failure to pay the debt was due to the fault or
negligence of petitioner.
10. Hence, this Certiorari to review the decision of the Court of
Appeals which affirmed the judgment of the Court of First Instance of
Manila in Civil Case No. 34185, ordering petitioner, as third-party
defendant, to pay respondent Rita Gueco Tapnio, as third-party
plaintiff, the sum of P2,379.71, plus 12% interest per annum from
September 19, 1957 until the same is fully paid, P200.00 attorney's
fees and costs, the same amounts which Rita Gueco Tapnio was
ordered to pay the Philippine American General Insurance Co., Inc., to
be paid directly to the Philippine American General Insurance Co., Inc.
in full satisfaction of the judgment rendered against Rita Gueco Tapnio
in favor of the former; plus P500.00 attorney's fees for Rita Gueco
Tapnio and costs.
ISSUE: Whether or not the Petitioner Philippine National Bank is liable for

HELD: Yes. Philippine National Bank is liable for damages.

RATIO: As observed by the trial court, time is of the essence in the approval
of the lease of sugar quota allotments, since the same must be utilized
during the milling season, because any allotment which is not filled during
such milling season may be reallocated by the Sugar Quota Administration to
other holders of allotments. There was no proof that there was any other
person at that time willing to lease the sugar quota allotment of private
respondents for a price higher than P2.80 per picul. "The fact that there were
isolated transactions wherein the consideration for the lease was P3.00 a
picul", according to the trial court, "does not necessarily mean that there are
always ready takers of said price. " The unreasonableness of the position
adopted by the petitioner's Board of Directors is shown by the fact that the
difference between the amount of P2.80 per picul offered by Tuazon and the
P3.00 per picul demanded by the Board amounted only to a total sum of
P200.00. Considering that all the accounts of Rita Gueco Tapnio with the
Bank were secured by chattel mortgage on standing crops, assignment of
leasehold rights and interests on her properties, and surety bonds and that
she had apparently "the means to pay her obligation to the Bank, as shown
by the fact that she has been granted several sugar crop loans of the total
value of almost P80,000.00 for the agricultural years from 1952 to 1956",
there was no reasonable basis for the Board of Directors of petitioner to have
rejected the lease agreement because of a measly sum of P200.00.

While petitioner had the ultimate authority of approving or

disapproving the proposed lease since the quota was mortgaged to the Bank,
the latter certainly cannot escape its responsibility of observing, for the
protection of the interest of private respondents, that degree of care,
precaution and vigilance which the circumstances justly demand in
approving or disapproving the lease of said sugar quota. The law makes it
imperative that every person "must in the exercise of his rights and in the
performance of his duties, act with justice, give everyone his due, and
observe honesty and good faith, this petitioner failed to do. Certainly, it knew
that the agricultural year was about to expire, that by its disapproval of the
lease private respondents would be unable to utilize the sugar quota in
question. In failing to observe the reasonable degree of care and vigilance
which the surrounding circumstances reasonably impose, petitioner is
consequently liable for the damages caused on private respondents.

Under Article 21 of the New Civil Code, "any person who wilfully causes
loss or injury to another in a manner that is contrary to morals, good
customs or public policy shall compensate the latter for the damage." The
afore-cited provisions on human relations were intended to expand the
concept of torts in this jurisdiction by granting adequate legal remedy for the
untold number of moral wrongs which is impossible for human foresight to
specifically provide in the statutes.

A corporation is civilly liable in the same manner as natural persons for

torts, because "generally speaking, the rules governing the liability of a
principal or master for a tort committed by an agent or servant are the same
whether the principal or master be a natural person or a corporation, and
whether the servant or agent be a natural or artificial person. All of the
authorities agree that a principal or master is liable for every tort which he
expressly directs or authorizes, and this is just as true of a corporation as of
a natural person, A corporation is liable, therefore, whenever a tortious act is
committed by an officer or agent under express direction or authority from
the stockholders or members acting as a body, or, generally, from the
directors as the governing body."

DISPOSITIVE: WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing, the decision of the

Court of Appeals is hereby AFFIRMED.


GR NO 88694; BIDIN, J.:


This is a claim for damages against petitioner which stemmed from a
criminal action filed by it against respondent. In purchasing steel plates from
petitioner, Guaranteed Industries paid the former via a check. This check
bounce which prompted petitioner to trace the origin of the check. It was
discovered that Guaranteed Industries was a defunct corporation and, was
owned by respondent, Eugenio Baltao. Also, the address to which
Guaranteed Industries was said to be operating is actually from another
business owned by respondents son, Eugenio Baltao III, E.I. Woodworks Inc.
Because of these findings, petitioner filed a criminal case of BP22 against
The case was dismissed for lack of notice. The Provincial Fiscal warned
the Trial Court Fiscal to exercise more care next time. Knowing this,
respondent Eugenio Baltao is now suing petitioner for damages arising from
malicious prosecution.

Was the filing of the criminal case attempted with malice?

No. Under Article 19 of the Civil Code, a person who in the exercise of
his/her right must give act with justice and give everyone hiss due and
ovserve honesty and good faith. In the case, more of a finding of the fact, it
cannot be said that Albenson maliciously filed the criminal case. For one, a
check issued in their favor bounced, second, they went to the SEC to confirm
the existence of Guaranteed Industries, and lastly, it was found that
Guaranteed Industries information (existence and address) was untrue.
For an abuse of right to arise, there has to be the following: (1) a legal
duty, (2)exercised in bad faith, (3) for the sole purpose of prejudicing the
other party. That is not the case here.
Case No. 22 Arturo Sarte Flores v Sps. Enrico Lindo and Edna Lindo
G.R. No. 183984 | April 13, 2011
Ponente: Carpio, J.
Topic: Art 22-25 Human Relations


1. Edna Lindo (Edna) obtained a loan from Arturo Flores (petitioner)

amounting to P400,000 payable on 1 December 1995 with 3%
compounded monthly interest and 3% surcharge in case of late
payment. To secure the loan, Edna executed a Deed of Real Estate
Mortgage4 (the Deed) covering a property in the name of Edna and her
husband Enrico (Enrico) Lindo, Jr. (collectively, respondents). Edna also
signed a Promissory Note5 and the Deed for herself and for Enrico as
his attorney-in-fact. Edna issued three checks as partial payments for
the loan. All checks were dishonored for insufficiency of funds,
prompting petitioner to file a Complaint for Foreclosure of Mortgage
with Damages against respondents. The case was raffled to the
Regional Trial Court of Manila, Branch 33 (RTC, Branch 33) and
docketed as Civil Case No. 00-97942.

2. RTC, Branch 33 ruled that petitioner was not entitled to judicial

foreclosure of the mortgage because the Deed was executed by Edna
without the consent and authority of Enrico. The RTC, Branch 33 noted
that the Deed was executed on 31 October 1995 while the Special
Power of Attorney (SPA) executed by Enrico was only dated 4
November 1995. It further ruled that petitioner was not precluded from
recovering the loan from Edna as he could file a personal action
against her. However, the RTC, Branch 33 ruled that it had no
jurisdiction over the personal action which should be filed in the place
where the plaintiff or the defendant resides in accordance with Section
2, Rule 4 of the Revised Rules on Civil Procedure.

3. Petitioner then filed a Complaint for Sum of Money with Damages

against respondents. It was raffled to Branch 42 (RTC, Branch 42) of
the Regional Trial Court of Manila.

4. Respondents filed their Answer with Affirmative Defenses and

Counterclaims where they admitted the loan but stated that it only
amounted to P340,000. Respondents further alleged that Enrico was
not a party to the loan because it was contracted by Edna
without Enricos signature. Respondents prayed for the dismissal of the
case on the grounds of improper venue, res judicata and forum-
shopping, invoking the Decision of the RTC, Branch 33. On 7 March
2005, respondents also filed a Motion to Dismiss on the grounds of
res judicata and lack of cause of action.

5. RTC, Branch 42 denied the motion to dismiss. It ruled that

res judicata will not apply to rights, claims or demands which, although
growing out of the same subject matter, constitute separate or distinct
causes of action and were not put in issue in the former action.
Respondents filed a motion for reconsideration. In its Order dated 8
February 2006, the RTC, Branch 42 denied respondents motion. The
RTC, Branch 42 ruled that the RTC, Branch 33 expressly stated that its
decision did not mean that petitioner could no longer recover the loan
petitioner extended to Edna

6. The Court of Appeals ruled that under Section 3, Rule 2 of the 1997
Rules of Civil Procedure, a party may not institute more than one suit
for a single cause of action. If two or more suits are instituted on the
basis of the same cause of action, the filing of one on a judgment upon
the merits in any one is available ground for the dismissal of the

The Court of Appeals ruled that on a nonpayment of a note secured by

a mortgage, the creditor has a single cause of action against
the debtor, that is recovery of the credit with execution of the suit.

Thus, the creditor may institute two alternative remedies: either a

personal action for the collection of debt or a real action to foreclose
the mortgage, but not both. The Court of Appeals ruled that petitioner
had only one cause of action against Edna for her failure to pay her
obligation and he could not split the single cause of action by filing
separately a foreclosure proceeding and a collection case. By filing a
petition for foreclosure of the real estate mortgage, the Court of
Appeals held that petitioner had already waived his personal action to
recover the amount covered by the promissory note.


WON the Court of Appeals committed a reversible error in dismissing the

complaint for collection of sum of money on the ground of multiplicity of


1. The rule is that a mortgage-creditor has a single cause of action

against a mortgagor-debtor, that is, to recover the debt.10 The
mortgage-creditor has the option of either filing a personal action for
collection of sum of money or instituting a real action to foreclose on
the mortgage security.11 An election of the first bars recourse to the
second, otherwise there would be multiplicity of suits in which the
debtor would be tossed from one venue to another depending on the
location of the mortgaged properties and the residence of the

The two remedies are alternative and each remedy is complete by

itself.13 If the mortgagee opts to foreclose the real estate mortgage,
he waives the action for the collection of the debt, and vice versa.

2. Art. 124. The administration and enjoyment of the conjugal partnership

property shall belong to both spouses jointly. In case of disagreement,
the husbands decision shall prevail, subject to recourse to the court by
the wife for proper remedy, which must be availed of within five years
from the date of contract implementing such decision.

In the event that one spouse is incapacitated or otherwise unable to

participate in the administration of the conjugal properties, the other
spouse may assume sole powers of administration. These powers do
not include disposition or encumbrance without authority of the court
or the written consent of the other spouse. In the absence of such
authority or consent the disposition or encumbrance shall be
void. However, the transaction shall be construed as a continuing offer
on the part of the consenting spouse and the third person, and may be
perfected as a binding contract upon the acceptance by the other
spouse or authorization by the court before the offer is withdrawn by
either or both offerors. (Emphasis supplied)

Article 124 of the Family Code of which applies to conjugal partnership

property, is a reproduction of Article 96 of the Family Code which
applies to community property.

Both Article 96 and Article 127 of the Family Code provide that the
powers do not include disposition or encumbrance without the written
consent of the other spouse. Any disposition or encumbrance without
the written consent shall be void. However, both provisions also state
that the transaction shall be construed as a continuing offer on the
part of the consenting spouse and the third person, and may be
perfected as a binding contract upon the acceptance by the other
spouse x x x before the offer is withdrawn by either or both offerors.

3. In this case, the Promissory Note and the Deed of Real Estate Mortgage
were executed on 31 October 1995. The Special Power of Attorney was
executed on 4 November 1995. The execution of the SPA is the
acceptance by the other spouse that perfected the continuing offer as
a binding contract between the parties, making the Deed of Real
Estate Mortgage a valid contract.

4. However, as the Court of Appeals noted, petitioner allowed the

decisions of the RTC, Branch 33 and the RTC, Branch 93 to become
final and executory without asking the courts for an alternative relief.
The Court of Appeals stated that petitioner merely relied on the
declarations of these courts that he could file a separate personal
action and thus failed to observe the rules and settled jurisprudence on
multiplicity of suits, closing petitioners avenue for recovery of the loan.

5. Nevertheless, petitioner still has a remedy under the law

The principle of unjust enrichment is provided under Article 22 of the

Civil Code which provides:

Art. 22. Every person who through an act of performance by another,

or any other means, acquires or comes into possession of something at
the expense of the latter without just or legal ground, shall return the
same to him.

There is unjust enrichment when a person unjustly retains a benefit to

the loss of another, or when a person retains money or property of
another against the fundamental principles of justice, equity and good
conscience.23 The principle of unjust enrichment requires two
conditions: (1) that a person is benefited without a valid basis or
justification, and (2) that such benefit is derived at the expense of

The main objective of the principle against unjust enrichment is to

prevent one from enriching himself at the expense of another without
just cause or consideration.25 The principle is applicable in this case
considering that Edna admitted obtaining a loan from petitioners, and
the same has not been fully paid without just cause. The Deed was
declared void erroneously at the instance of Edna, first when she
raised it as a defense before the RTC, Branch 33 and second, when she
filed an action for declaratory relief before the RTC, Branch 93.
Petitioner could not be expected to ask the RTC, Branch 33 for an
alternative remedy, as what the Court of Appeals ruled that he should
have done, because the RTC, Branch 33 already stated that it had no
jurisdiction over any personal action that petitioner might have against

Considering the circumstances of this case, the principle against unjust

enrichment, being a substantive law, should prevail over the
procedural rule on multiplicity of suits. The Court of Appeals, in the
assailed decision, found that Edna admitted the loan, except that she
claimed it only amounted to P340,000. Edna should not be allowed to
unjustly enrich herself because of the erroneous decisions of the two
trial courts when she questioned the validity of the Deed. Moreover,
Edna still has an opportunity to submit her defenses before the RTC,
Branch 42 on her claim as to the amount of her indebtedness.
CASE No. 23


JOHN TARNATE, JR., Respondent

GR No. 160600 | January 15, 2014

TOPIC: Human Relations | Articles 22 to 25


After the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) had awarded on
July 22, 1997 the contract for the improvement of the Sadsadan-Maba-ay
Section of the Mountain Province-Benguet Road in the total amount of
P7,014,963.33 to his company, Gonzalo Construction,petitioner Domingo
Gonzalo (Gonzalo) subcontracted to respondent John Tarnate, Jr. (Tarnate) on
October 15, 1997, the supply of materials and labor for the project under the
latter's business known as JNT Aggregates. Their agreement stipulated,
among others, that Tarnate would pay to Gonzalo eight percent and four
percent of the contract price, respectively, upon Tarnate's first and second
billing in the project.

Gonzalo executed on April 6, 1999 a deed of assignment whereby he, as the

contractor, was assigning to Tarnate an amount equivalent to 10% of the
total collection from the DPWH for the project. This 10% retention fee
(equivalent to P233,526.13)was the rent for Tarnate equipment that had
been utilized in the project. In the deed of assignment, Gonzalo further
authorized Tarnate to use the official receipt of Gonzalo Construction in the
processing of the documents relative to the collection of the 10% retention
fee and in en cashing the check to be issued by the DPWH for that purpose.
The deed of assignment was submitted to the DPWH on April 15, 1999.
During the processing of the documents for the retention fee, however,
Tarnate learned that Gonzalo had unilaterally rescinded the deed of
assignment by means of an affidavit of cancellation of deed of assignment
dated April 19, 1999 filed in the DPWH on April 22, 1999; and that the
disbursement voucher for the 10% retention fee had then been issued in the
name of Gonzalo, and the retention fee released to him.

Tarnate demanded the payment of the retention fee from Gonzalo, but to no
avail. Thus, he brought this suit against Gonzalo on September 13, 1999 in
the Regional Trial Court (RTC) in Mountain Province to recover the retention
fee of P233,526.13, moral and exemplary damages for breach of contract,
and attorney fees. In his answer, Gonzalo admitted the deed of assignment
and the authority given therein to Tarnate, but averred that the project had
not been fully implemented because of its cancellation by the DPWH, and
that he had then revoked the deed of assignment. He insisted that the
assignment could not stand independently due to its being a mere product of
the subcontract that had been based on his contract with the DPWH; and
that Tarnate, having been fully aware of the illegality and ineffectuality of the
deed of assignment from the time of its execution, could not go to court with
unclean hands to invoke any right based on the invalid deed of assignment
or on the product of such deed of assignment.

The CA ruled in the affirmative the decision of the RTC that Gonzalo has
unjustly enriched Tarnate and that the principle of in pari delicto cannot be
applied in the case at bar for the violation of Section 6 P.DNo. 1594 because
it will only be applied if the fault of one party was more or less equivalent to
the fault of the other party.


Whether the Court of Appeals erred in affirming the decision of the RTC
because both parties were in pari delicto.


No, the doctrine of in pari delicto which stipulates that the guilty
parties to an illegal contract are not entitled to any relief, cannot
prevent a recovery if doing so violates the public policy against
unjust enrichment.

Section 6 of Presidential Decree No.1594, which provides: Assignment and

Subcontract. he contractor shall not assign, transfer, pledge, subcontract or
make any other disposition of the contract or any part or interest therein
except with the approval of the Minister of Public Works, Transportation and
Communications, the Minister of Public Highways, or the Minister of Energy,
as the case may be. Approval of the subcontract shall not relieve the main
contractor from any liability or obligation under his contract with the
Government nor shall it create any contractual relation between the
subcontractor and the Government.

Under Article 1409 (1) of the Civil Code, contract whose cause, object or
purpose is contrary to law is a void or inexistent contract. As such, a void
contract cannot produce a valid one. To the same effect is Article 1422 of the
Civil Code, which declares that contract, which is the direct result of a
previous illegal contract, is also void and inexistent.
According to Article 1412 (1) of the Civil Code, the guilty parties to an illegal
contract cannot recover from one another and are not entitled to an
affirmative relief because they are in pari delicto or in equal fault. The
doctrine of in pari delicto is a universal doctrine that holds that no action
arises, in equity or at law, from an illegal contract; no suit can be maintained
for its specific performance, or to recover the property agreed to be sold or
delivered, or the money agreed to be paid, or damages for its violation; and
where the parties are in pari delicto, no affirmative relief of any kind will be
given to one against the other.

The letter and spirit of Article 22 of the Civil Code command Gonzalo
to make a full reparation or compensation to Tarnate. The illegality
of their contract should not be allowed to deprive Tarnate from
being fully compensated through the imposition of legal interest.
Case 24
Topic: Human Dignity (Arts. 26-31)

Blas Ople vs. Torres, G.R. No. 127685, July 23, 1998

This is a petition field by Blas Ople praying that AO 308 be invalidated
entitled Adoption of a National Computerized Identification Reference
System on 2 important constitutional grounds: (a) usurpation of power of
Congress to legislate; and (b) it impermissibly intrudes on our citizenrys
protected zone of privacy

AO 308 was issued by Pres. Ramos

- Instant petition is not a justiciable case as would warrant a judicial
- AO 308 was issued within the executive and administrative powers of
President without encroaching on the legislative powers of Congress
- Funds necessary for the implementation of identification reference
system may be sourced from budgets of the concerned agencies
- AO 308 protects an individuals interest in privacy

Issue: WON AO 308 violates ones right to privacy, thus should be

considered as unconstitutional

Ruling: YES

Assuming, arguendo, that A.O. No. 308 need not be the subject of a law, still
it cannot pass constitutional muster as an administrative legislation because
facially it violates the right to privacy.

The essence of privacy is the "right to be let alone." In the 1965 case
of Griswold v. Connecticut, the US Supreme Court gave more substance to
the right of privacy when it ruled that the right has a constitutional
foundation. It held that there is a right of privacy which can be found within
the penumbras of the First, Third, Fourth, Fifth and Ninth Amendments.

So it is likewise in our jurisdiction. Indeed, if we extend our judicial gaze we

will find that the right of privacy is recognized and enshrined in several
provisions of our Constitution. It is expresslyrecognized in Section 3(1) of the
Bill of Rights. It is likewise recognized in the Civil Code, in the RPC, and in
special laws. The Rules of Court likewise recognize the privacy of certain
Unlike the dissenters, we prescind from the premise that the right to
privacy is a fundamental right guaranteed by the Constitution, hence, it is
the burden of government to show that A.O. No. 308 is justified by some
compelling state interest and that it is narrowly drawn. A.O. No. 308 is
predicated on two considerations: (1) the need to provide our citizens and
foreigners with the facility to conveniently transact business with basic
service and social security providers and other government instrumentalities
and (2) the need to reduce, if not totally eradicate, fraudulent transactions
and misrepresentations by persons seeking basic services. It is debatable
whether these interests are compelling enough to warrant the issuance of
A.O. No. 308. But what is not arguable is the broadness, the vagueness, the
overbreadth of A.O. No. 308 which if implemented will put our people's right
to privacy in clear and present danger.
The heart of A.O. No. 308 lies in its Section 4 which provides for a
Population Reference Number (PRN) as a "common reference number to
establish a linkage among concerned agencies" through the use of
"Biometrics Technology" and "computer application designs."
In the last few decades, technology has progressed at a galloping
rate. Some science fictions are now science facts. Today, biometrics is no
longer limited to the use of fingerprint to identify an individual. It is a new
science that uses various technologies in encoding any and all biological
characteristics of an individual for identification. It is noteworthy that A.O.
No. 308 does not state what specific biological characteristics and what
particular biometrics technology shall be used to identify people who will
seek its coverage. Considering the banquet of options available to the
implementors of A.O. No. 308, the fear that it threatens the right to privacy
of our people is not groundless.
A.O. No. 308 should also raise our antennas for a further look will show
that it does not state whether encoding of data is limited to biological
information alone for identification purposes. In fact, the Solicitor General
claims that the adoption of the Identification Reference System will
contribute to the "generation of population data for development planning."
This is an admission that the PRN will not be used solely for identification but
for the generation of other data with remote relation to the avowed purposes
of A.O. No. 308. Clearly, the indefiniteness of A.O. No. 308 can give the
government the roving authority to store and retrieve information for a
purpose other than the identification of the individual through his PRN.
he more frequent the use of the PRN, the better the chance of building a
huge and formidable information base through the electronic linkage of the
files.[55] The data may be gathered for gainful and useful government
purposes; but the existence of this vast reservoir of personal information
constitutes a covert invitation to misuse, a temptation that may be too great
for some of our authorities to resist.
We can even grant, arguendo, that the computer data file will be limited
to the name, address and other basic personal information about the
individual.[57] Even that hospitable assumption will not save A.O. No. 308 from
constitutional infirmity for again said order does not tell us in clear and
categorical terms how these information gathered shall be handled. It does
not provide who shall control and access the data, under what circumstances
and for what purpose.
A.O. No. 308 is so widely drawn that a minimum standard for a
reasonable expectation of privacy, regardless of technology used, cannot be
inferred from its provisions.
Case 26
Topic: Arts. 32-35 Authority to file independent civil actions which include
action for damages, for violation of civil and political rights, defamation,
fraud, physical injuries and neglect of public officers

Madeja vs. Caro, 126 SCRA 293


1.) Cleto Madeja underwent an appendectomy operation that was done by

respondent Dr. Eva A. Japzon

2.) Cleto Madeja subsequently died thereafter.

3.) His wife, petitioner Carmen Madeja blamed the respondent for the death
of the husband and thus a criminal case of homicide through reckless
imprudence was filed against the said respondent

4.) The criminal case still pending, petitioner filed for damages in Civil Case
No. 141 of the same court. She alleged that her husband died because of the
gross negligence of respondent.

5.) The judge Hon. Felix T. Caro, granted the motion of the respondent in
dismissing the civil case citing sec. 3(a) of Rule 111 of the RoC stating the
instant civil action may be instituted only after final judgment has been
rendered in the criminal action.

ISSUE : W/N the dismissal of the separate civil case is proper


NO. Section 2, Rule 111 of the Rules of Court in relation to Article 33 of the
Civil Code is the applicable provision.

Sec. 2. Independent civil action. In the cases provided for in

Articles 31,32, 33, 34 and 2177 of the Civil Code of the
Philippines, an independent civil action entirely separate and
distinct from the criminal action, may be brought by the injured
party during the pendency of the criminal case, provided the
right is reserved as required in the preceding section. Such civil
action shall proceed independently of the criminal prosecution,
and shall require only a preponderance of evidence." (Rule 111,
Rules of Court.)
Art. 33. In cases of defamation, fraud, and physical injuries, a
civil action for damages, entirely separate and distinct from the
criminal action, may be brought by the injured party. Such civil
action shall proceed independently of the criminal prosecution,
and shall require only a preponderance of evidence. (Civil Code,)

The civil action for damages which it allows to be instituted is ex-delicto

(meaning arising from a wrong). The Code Commission stated that a citizen
must enforce his rights in a private action brought by him, regardless of the
action of the State attorney and that he should be permitted to demand
reparation for the wrong which peculiarly affects him.

Tolentino further added that when the offense arises from

defamation, fraud, or physical injuries, even without reservation to
file a separate civil action is made by the injured party; the law
itself in this article (Art. 33) makes such reservation.

Lastly, the term physical injuries in Art. 33 is a general term same

with the words defamation and fraud and not the same as the
specific crime in the RPC. This simply means that it may include not
only physical injuries but consummated, frustrated and attempted
homicide. The Supreme Court applying the doctrine of ejusdem

*****Just in case itanong ni Atty: Corpus vs. Paje, L-26737, July 31, 1969, 28
SCRA 1062, which states that reckless imprudence or criminal negligence is
not included in Article 33 of the Civil Code is not authoritative. Of eleven
justices only nine took part in the decision and four of them merely
concurred in the result.
Case 27







Petitioners operate and run Bombo Radyo DZNC Cauayan (DZNC), an AM

radio broadcast station, and Star FM DWIT Cauayan, an FM radio broadcast
station, in Cauayan Citry, Isabela. Back in 1996, Newsounds commenced
relocation of its broadcasting station, management office, and transmitters
on propery located in Minante 2, Cauayan City, Isabela.

On July 1996, the Housing & Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB) and Office
of the Municipal Planning and Development Coordinator (OMPDC) affirmed
and certified that the commercial structure to be constructed conformed to
local zoning regulations, noting as well that the location is classified as a
commercial area. The radio station was able to fully operate smoothly

In 2002 however, when petitioners applied for a renewal of mayors permit,

City Zoning Administratior-Designate Bagnos Maximo refused to issue zoning
clearance on the grounds that petitioners were not able to submit conversion
papers showing that the agricultural land was converted to commercial land.
Petitioners asked the court to compel the issuance of mayors permit but the
court denied the action. In the meantime, the Department of Agrarian
Reform (DAR) Region II office issued to petitioners a formal recognition of
conversion of the property from agricultural to commercial.

In 2003, petitioners again filed their application for renewal of mayors

permit, attaching the DAR Order. Respondent Felicisimo Meer, acting City
Administrator of Cauayan City denied the same, claiming that it was void on
the grounds that they did not have record of the DAR Order.

The deadline lapsed on Febuary 15, 2004, and respondents Meer and Racma
Fernandez-Garcia, City Legal Officer of Cauayan City, closed the radio
station. Due to the prvosion of Omnibus Election Code which prohibits the
closure of radio station during the pendency of election period, COMELEC
issued an order allowing the petitioners to operate before Febuary 17, 2004,
but was barred again by respondent Mayor Ceasar Dy on the grounds that
the radio station had no permit. Nonetheless, COMELEC allowed them to run
again until June 10, 2004 after elections.

Petitioners filed the case to the RTC and CA for the issuance of mayors
permit but both courts denied the petition.

A municipal or city mayor is likewise authorized under the LGC to issue

licenses and permits, and suspend or revoke the same for any violation of
the conditions upon which said licenses or permits had been issued, pursuant
to law or ordinance. In case of Cauayan City, the authority to require a
mayors permit was enacted through Ordinance No. 92-004, enacted in 1993.
However, nothing in the ordinance requires an application for a mayors
permit to submit either an approved land conversion papers from DAR,
showing that its property was converted from prime agricultural land or an
approved resolution from the Sangguniang Bayan or Sangguniang
Panglungsod authorizing the reclassification of property from agricultural to
commercial land.

In 1996, the HLURB issued a zoning decision that classified the property as
commercial. Petitioners are also armed with several certifications stating that
the property is indeed a commercial area. Also, petitioners paid real property
taxes based on the classification of property as commercial without
objections raised by the respondents.

Petitioners argued that this consistent recognition by the local government of

Cauayan of the commercial character of the property constitutes estoppels
against respondents from denying the fact before the courts. The lower
courts had ruled that the government of Cauayan City is not bound by
estoppels, but petitioners classified that this concept is understood to only
refer to acts and mistakes of its official especially to those which are


Whether the lower court is correct in contending that the government of

Cauayan City is not bound by estoppels on the grounds that the state is
immune against suits.


No. While it is true that the state cannot be put in estoppels by mistake or
error of its officials or agents, there is an exception.

Estoppels against the public are little favored. They should not be invoked
except in rare and unusual circumstances, and may not be invoked where
they would operate to defeat the effective operation of a policy adopted to
protect the public. They must be applied with circumspection and should be
applied only in those special cases where the interests of justice clearly
require it. Nevertheless, the government must not be allowed to deal
dishonorably or capriciously with its citizens, and must not play an ignoble
part or do a shabby thing; and subject to limitations . . ., the doctrine of
equitable estoppel may be invoked against public authorities as well as
against private individuals

Thus, when there is no convincing evidence to prove irregularity or

negligence on the part of the government official whose acts are being
disowned other than the bare assertion on the part of the State, the Supreme
Court have declined to apply State immunity from estoppel. Herein, there is
absolutely no evidence other than the bare assertions of the respondents
that the Cauayan City government had previously erred when it certified that
the property had been zoned for commercial use. The absence of any
evidence other than bare assertions that the 1996 to 2001 certifications
were incorrect lead to the ineluctable conclusion that respondents are
estopped from asserting that the previous recognition of the property as
commercial was wrong.

Respondents were further estopped from disclaiming the previous consistent

recognition by the Cauayan City government that the property was
commercially zoned unless they had evidence, which they had none, that the
local officials who issued such certifications acted irregularly in doing so. It is
thus evident that respondents had no valid cause at all to even require
petitioners to secure approved land conversion papers from the DAR
showing that the property was converted from prime agricultural land to
commercial land.

Respondents closure of petitioners radio stations is clearly tainted with ill

motvies. Petitioners have been aggressive in exposing the widespread
election irregularities in Isabela that appear to have favored respondent Dy
and his political dynasty. Such statement manifests and confirms that
respondents denial of the renewal applications on the ground that property
is commercial and merely a pretext, and their real agenda is to remove
petitioners from Cauayan City and suppress the latters voice. This is a
blatant violation of constitutional right to press freedom.

WHEREFORE, the petitions are GRANTED. The assailed decisions of the Court
of Appeals and the Regional Trial Court of Cauayan City, Branch 24, are
hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE. The instant petition for mandamus is
hereby GRANTED and respondents are directed to immediately issue
petitioners zoning clearances and mayors permits for 2004 to petitioners.
Case 28
G.R. No. L-26737
July 31, 1969

TOPIC: Authority to file independent civil actions which include action for
damages for violation of civil and political rights, defamation, fraud, physical
injuries, and neglect of public officers


FACTS: On December 23, 1956, a Victory Liner passenger bus driven by

Felardo Paje (Paje) collided with a passenger jeep driven by Clemente Marcia
(Marcia) in Lubao, Pampanga which resulted in Marcias death and injured 2
other persons.

Information was filed against Paje in CFI Pampanga for homicide and double
serious physical injuries through reckless imprudence. He was found guilty.
The case went up to the CA for appeal.

Pending appeal, Laura Corpus (Corpus), Marcias widow, filed for a Complaint
for Damages based on the criminal act of reckless imprudence. In the
Complaint, she claims that the defendants be ordered to pay jointly and
separately the amounts of damages.

CA ruling: reversed judgment of the RTC on the ground that the reckless
imprudence charged against him did not exist and that the collision was a
case of pure accident.

A Motion to Dismiss was filed by PAJE & Victory Liner on the ground that their
action was barred by the acquittal by the CA. This was denied.

At the Pre-Trial of the civil case, the defendants asked the court to rule on
their special defense that the plaintiffs cause of action based upon a quasi-
delict had prescribed considering that the complaint was brought 4 years
and 11 months after the collision and based on Article 1144, NCC based upon
a quasi-delict must be instituted within 4 years. Lower court dismissed the
complaint on the ground of prescription.

ISSUE: Whether or not court erred in ruling for the dismissal of the Civil
Code on the ground of prescription.


The acquittal of the defendant Felardo Paje by the Court of Appeals in the
criminal action on the ground that the reckless imprudence or criminal
negligence charged against him did not exist and that the collision was a
case of pure accident, was a bar to the civil action for damages for the death
of Clemente Marcia, which action was based upon the same criminal
negligence of which the defendant Felardo Paje was acquitted in the criminal

Criminal negligence, that is, reckless imprudence, is not one of the three
crimes mentioned in Article 33 of the Civil Code which authorizes the
institution of an independent civil action, that is, of an entirely separate and
distinct civil action for damages, which shall proceed independently of the
criminal prosecution and shall be proved only by a preponderance of
evidence. Said article mentions only the crimes of defamation, fraud (estafa)
and physical injuries. Although in the case of Dyogi, et al. vs. Yatco, et
al., G.R. No. L-9623, January 22, 1957, this Court held that the term "physical
injuries" used in article 33 of the Civil Code includes homicide, 1 it is to be
borne in mind that the charge against Felardo Paje was for reckless
imprudence resulting in homicide, and not for homicide and physical injuries.


It is, therefore, clear that the charge against Felardo Paje was not for
homicide but for reckless imprudence, that is, criminal negligence resulting
in homicide (death of Clemente Marcia) and double physical injuries suffered
by two other persons.

As reckless imprudence or criminal negligence is not one of the three crimes

mentioned in Article 33 of the Civil Code, there is no independent civil action
for damages that may be instituted in connection with said offense. Hence,
homicide through reckless imprudence or criminal negligence comes under
the general rule that the acquittal of the defendant in the criminal action is a
bar to his civil liability based upon the same criminal act notwithstanding
that the injured party reserved 2 his right to institute a separate civil action
(Chantangco vs. Abaroa, supra).

In the language of the Rules of Court (Rule 111, Sec. 3) the extinction of the
criminal action by acquittal of the defendant on the ground that the criminal
act charged against him did not exist, necessarily extinguished also the civil
action for damages based upon the same act.

Assuming, arguendo, that the civil action for damages for the death of
Clemente Marcia was based upon a quasi-delict, the trial court's finding that
on that basis the action had prescribed is correct. An action upon a quasi-
delict must be instituted within four (4) years (Article 1146, Civil Code). The
four-year prescriptive period began to run from the day the quasi-delict was
committed, or from December 23, 1956, and the running of the said period
was not interrupted by the institution of the criminal action for reckless
imprudence. (Paulan vs. Sarabia, G.R. No. L-10542, July 31, 1958.)


is affirmed, with special pronouncement as to costs.
Case no. 29
Division), HON. RUBEN C. AYSON, in his capacity as Acting Presiding Judge,
Regional Trial Court, Branch IV, Baguio City, and ALFREDO BOADO,
[G.R. No. 104392. February 20, 1996.]

TOPIC: Art. 36, Prejudicial Question

FACTS: Petitioner Ruben Maniago was the owner of shuttle buses which were
used in transporting employees of the Texas Instruments, (Phils.), Inc. from
Baguio City proper to its plant site at the Export Processing Authority in
Loakan, Baguio City.

On January 7, 1990, one of his buses figured in a vehicular accident with a

passenger jeepney owned by private respondent Alfredo Boado along Loakan
Road, Baguio City. As a result of the accident, a criminal case for reckless
imprudence resulting in damage to property and multiple physical injuries
was filed on March 2, 1990 against petitioner's driver, Herminio Andaya, with
the Regional Trial Court of Baguio City, Branch III, where it was docketed as
Criminal Case No. 7514-R. A month later, on April 19, 1990, a civil case for
damages was filed by private respondent Boado against petitioner himself.
The complaint, docketed as Civil Case No. 2050-R, was assigned to Branch IV
of the same court.

Petitioner moved for the suspension of the proceedings in the civil case
against him, citing the pendency of the criminal case against his driver. But
the trial court, in its order dated August 30, 1991, denied petitioner's motion
on the ground that pursuant to the Civil Code, the action could proceed
independently of the criminal action, in addition to the fact that the
petitioner was not the accused in the criminal case. Petitioner took the
matter on certiorari and prohibition to the Court of Appeals, maintaining that
the civil action could not proceed independently of the criminal case because
no reservation of the right to bring it separately had been made in the
criminal case.

Issue: W/N despite the absence of such reservation, private respondent may
nonetheless bring an action for damages against petitioner under the Civil

Held: No. Rule 111 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure, while
reiterating that a civil action under these provisions of the Civil Code may be
brought separately from the criminal action; provides that the right to bring it
must be reserved.
This Rule reads:

Section 1. Institution of criminal and civil actions. When a criminal action is

instituted, the civil action for the recovery of civil liability is impliedly
instituted with the criminal action, unless the offended party waives the civil
action, reserves his right to institute it separately, or institutes the civil
action prior to the criminal action.

Such civil action includes recovery of indemnity under the Revised Penal
Code, and damages under Articles 32, 33, 34 and 2176 of the Civil Code of
the Philippines arising from the same act or omission of the accused.

The reservation of the right to institute the separate civil actions shall be
made before the prosecution starts to present its evidence and under
circumstances affording the offended party a reasonable opportunity to
make such reservation.

Sec. 3. When civil action may proceed independently. In the cases

provided for in Articles 32, 33, 34 and 2176 of the Civil Code of the
Philippines, the independent civil action which has been reserved may be
brought by the offended party, shall proceed independently of the criminal
action, and shall require only a preponderance of evidence.

1 quite clearly requires that a reservation must be made to institute

separately all civil actions for the recovery of civil liability, otherwise they will
be deemed to have been instituted with the criminal case. Such civil actions
are not limited to those which arise "from the offense charged," as originally
provided in Rule 111 before the amendment of the Rules of Court in 1988. In
other words the right of the injured party to sue separately for the recovery
of the civil liability whether arising from crimes (ex delicto) or from quasi
delict under Art. 2176 of the Civil Code must be reserved otherwise they will
be deemed instituted with the criminal action

e requirement that before a separate civil action may be brought it must be

reserved does not impair, diminish or defeat substantive rights, but only
regulates their exercise in the general interest of orderly procedure. The
requirement is merely procedural in nature. For that matter the Revised
Penal Code, by providing in Art. 100 that any person criminally liable is also
civilly liable, gives the offended party the right to bring a separate civil
action, yet no one has ever questioned that rule that such action must be
reserved before it may be brought separately.

Indeed, the requirement that the right to institute actions under the Civil
Code separately must be reserved is not incompatible with the independent
character of such actions. There is a difference between allowing the trial of
civil actions to proceed independently of the criminal prosecution and
requiring that, before they may be instituted at all, a reservation to bring
them separately must be made. Put in another way, it is the conduct of the
trial of the civil action not its institution through the filing of a complaint
which is allowed to proceed independently of the outcome of the criminal

WHEREFORE, the decision appealed from is REVERSED and the complaint

against petitioner is DISMISSED. SO ORDERED.