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Cosco Philippines Shipping, Inc v.

Kemper Insurance
Company
G.R. No. ###### Date promulgated Ponente Authors surname

petitioners Names and titles of parties


respondent Names and titles of parties
s
summary Kemper (a insurance corporation based in the US) sued Cosco (shipper) because of the
spoilage of Genosi Incs beef (consignee). Problem: Kempers Filipino lawyer did not attach
any proof that he was authorised by Kemper to sign the Certificate Against Forum
Shopping.

SC: A certification against forum shopping must be signed by


(1) the principal parties or
(2) authorized individuals, with proof of such authority
(3) If the plaintiff is a corporation, the authority must be through a valid board resolution

1
facts of the case
An insurance case. Genosi Inc (consignee) tried to ship imported beef thru Cosco (shipper) but a portion
was spoiled so Genosi claimed the insurance proceeds from Kemper (insurer) which paid it.
Kemper is an insurance corporation based in the US
It instituted an action in the Philippines thru Atty Rodolfo Lat
THE PROBLEM: Atty Lat signed the Certificate Against Forum Shopping (CAFS) without showing
his authority to bring suit
There was a SPA made by Brent Healy for Atty. Lat, but it also does not show that Healy was
authorised by Kemper
Cosco filed a MTD, arguing that the CAFS is fatally defective
RTC: dismissed without prejudice
CA: reversed. Liberal application of the rule on CAFS.
issue
Whether the Certificate Against Forum Shopping (CAFS) is fatally defective. YES.

ratio
(1) Atty Lat was not properly authorised by Kemper to sign the CAFS
Who may sign a CAFS (Rule):
(a) A certification against forum shopping must be signed by the principal parties. If, for any
reason, the principal party cannot sign the petition, the one signing on his behalf must have been
duly authorized.
(b) With respect to a corporation, the certification against forum shopping may be signed for and
on its behalf, by a specifically authorized lawyer who has personal knowledge of the facts required to
be disclosed in such document.
only individuals vested with authority by a valid board resolution may sign the certificate
of non-forum shopping on behalf of a corporation
Reqd: proof of such authority (must) be presented
Effect if there is no proof of authority: petition is subject to dismissal
EXCEPTION (Republic v Coalbrine): special circumstance or compelling reason + subsequent
compliance by the submission of the proof of authority
Applied: There is no proof that (Kemper), a private corporation, authorized Atty. Lat, through a board
resolution, to sign the verification and certification against forum shopping on its behalf. Accordingly, the
certification against forum shopping appended to the complaint is fatally defective, and warrants the
dismissal of respondent's complaint for Insurance Loss and Damages.
Relaxation of the rule is unjustified:
there is no proof of authority submitted, even belatedly
there is no copy of the board resolution or the secretarys certificated attesting to Atty Lats
authority
the SPA by Healy is fatally defective (it does not show Healys authority to act in behalf of
Kemper)
(2) Cosco is not estopped by laches from raising the issue with the CAFS
Rule: if a complaint is filed for and in behalf of the plaintiff who is not authorized to do so, the
complaint is not deemed filed. The court should dismiss the complaint on the ground that it has no
jurisdiction over the complaint and the plaintiff.
Applied: since no valid complaint was ever filed with the RTC the same did not acquire jurisdiction
over the person of respondent (therefore) Cosco is not estopped from challenging the RTCs jurisdiction.

2
Note: the issue of jurisdiction may be raised at any stage of the proceedings, even on appeal,
and is not lost by waiver or by estoppel;
Exception: estoppel by laches (Tijam v Sibonghanoy)
But Sibonghanoy does not apply here because the trial court's jurisdiction was questioned by
the petitioner during the pre-trial stage of the proceedings, and it cannot be said that considerable
length of time had elapsed for laches to attach"