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Conflicts of Law Case Digests

Saudi Arabian Airlines vs. CA, G.R. No. 122191, Oct. 8, 1998
Plaintiff Morada is a flight attendant for defendant SAUDIAs airlines based in Jeddah. On
April 27, 1990, while on a lay-over in Jakarta, Indonesia, Morada became a victim of
attempted rape by fellow crewmembers, Thamer and Allah, who are both Saudi nationals.
The two were eventually arrested and deported back to Saudi Arabia while Morada was
transferred to Manila. On various dates after the incident, Morada was summoned to Jeddah
by her employer in order to sign documents, purporting to be statements dropping the case
against Thamer and Allah. However, it turned out that a case was in fact filed against her
before the Saudi court, which later found her 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.
Hence, Morada filed this complaint for damages based on Article 21 of the New Civil Code
against SAUDIA and its country manager.

Whether or not the trial court has jurisdiction over the case
Whether the proper law applicable is Philippine law or the law of the Kingdom of
Saudi Arabia
Whether or not the case involves a conficts problem

Is there a conflicts case?
The Supreme Court held in the affirmative.
A factual situation that cuts across territorial lines and is affected by the diverse laws of two
or more states is said to contain a foreign element. The presence of a foreign element is
inevitable since social and economic affairs of individuals and associations are rarely
confined to the geographic limits of their birth or conception.
The forms in which this foreign element may appear are many. The foreign element may
simply consist in the fact that one of the parties to a contract is an alien or has a foreign
domicile, or that a contract between nationals of one State involves properties situated in
another State. In other cases, the foreign element may assume a complex form.
In the instant case, the foreign element consisted in the fact that private respondent Morada
is a resident Philippine national, and that petitioner SAUDIA is a resident foreign corporation.
Also, by virtue of the employment of Morada with the petitioner SAUDIA as a flight
stewardess, events did transpire during her many occasions of travel across national
borders, particularly from Manila, Philippines to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, and vice versa, that
caused a conflicts situation to arise.
Applicability of Art. 19 and 21, NCC and Jurisdiction of Quezon City RTC
The Supreme Court held that private respondent aptly predicated her cause of action on
Articles 19 and 21 of the New Civil Code. Although Article 19 merely declares a principle of
law, Article 21 gives flesh to its provisions. Thus, violations of Articles 19 and 21 are
actionable, with judicially enforceable remedies in the municipal forum.
Based on the allegations in the Amended Complaint, read in the light of the Rules of Court
on jurisdiction, the Supreme Court found that the RTC of Quezon City possesses jurisdiction
over the subject matter of the suit. Its authority to try and hear the case is provided under
Section 1 of RA 7691. Venue was also held to be proper. Furthermore, jurisdiction over the
person of the plaintiff and defendant were properly acquired.
Choice-of-law Problem

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. The purpose of characterization is to enable the
forum to select the proper law.
Our starting point of analysis here is not a legal relation, but a factual situation, event or
operative fact. An essential element of conflict rules is the indication of a test or
connecting factor or point of contact. Choice-of-law rules invariably consist of factual
relationship (such as property right, contract claim) and a connecting factor or point of
contract, such as the situs of the res, the place of celebration, the place of performance, or
the place of wrongdoing.
Note that one or more circumstances may be present to serve as the possible test for the
determination of the applicable law. These test factors or points of contact or
connecting factors could be any of the following:

1) The nationality of a person, his domicile, his residence, his place of sojourn, or his

2) The seat of a legal or juridical person, such as a corporation;

3) The situs of a thing, that is, the place where a thing is, or is deemed to be situated. In
particular, the lex situs is decisive when real rights are involved;

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

5) The place where an act is intended to come into effect, e.g. the place of performance
of contractual duties, or the place where a power of attorney is to be exercised;

6) The intention of the contracting parties as to the law that should govern their
agreement, the lex loci intentionis;

7) The place where judicial or administrative proceedings are instituted or done. The lex
fori the law of the forum is particularly important because, as we have seen
earlier, matters of procedure not going to the substance of the claim involved are
governed by it; and because the lex fori applies whenever the content of the
otherwise applicable foreign law is excluded from application in a given case for the
reason that it falls under one of the exceptions to the applications of foreign law; and

8) The flag of the ship, which in many cases is decisive of practically all legal
relationships of the ship and of its master or owner as such. It also covers contractual
relationships particularly contracts of affreightment.
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 the complainant, had lodged, according to the plaintiff
below (herein private respondent). All told, it is not without basis to identify the Philippines
as the situs of the alleged tort.

Moreover, with the widespread criticism of the traditional rule of lex loci delicti commissi,
modern theories and rules on tort liability have been advanced to offer fresh judicial
approaches to arrive at just results. In keeping abreast with the modern theories on tort
liability, we find here an occasion to apply the State of the most significant relationship
rule, which in our view should be appropriate to apply now, given the factual context of this
In applying said principle to determine the State which has the most significant relationship,
the following contacts are to be taken into account and evaluated according to their relative
importance with respect to the particular issue: (a) the place where the injury occurred; (b)
the place where the conduct causing the injury occurred; (c) the domicile, residence,
nationality, place of incorporation and place of business of the parties; and (d) the place
where the relationship, if any, between the parties is centered.
As already discussed, there is basis for the claim that over-all injury occurred and lodged in
the Philippines. There is likewise no question that private respondent is a resident Filipina
national, working with petitioner, a resident foreign corporation engaged here in the
business of international air carriage. Thus, the relationship between the parties was
centered here, although it should be stressed that this suit is not based on mere labor law
violations. From the record, the claim that the Philippines has the most significant contact
with the matter in this dispute, raised by private respondent as plaintiff below against
defendant (herein petitioner), in our view, has been properly established.
Cadalin vs. POEA, G.R. No. L-104776, Dec. 5, 1994
Cadalin et al. are overseas contract workers recruited by respondent-appellant AIBC for its
accredited foreign principal, Brown & Root, on various dates from 1975 to 1983. As such,
they were all deployed at various projects in several countries in the Middle East as well as
in Southeast Asia, in Indonesia and Malaysia. The case arose when their overseas
employment contracts were terminated even before their expiration. Under Bahrain law,
where some of the complainants were deployed, the prescriptive period for claims arising
out of a contract of employment is one year.

Whether it is the Bahrain law on prescription of action based on the Amiri Decree No.
23 of 1976 or a Philippine law on prescription that shall be the governing law

As a general rule, a foreign procedural law will not be applied in the forum. Procedural
matters, such as service of process, joinder of actions, period and requisites for appeal, and
so forth, are governed by teh laws of the forum. This is true even if the action is based upon
a foreign substantive law.
A law on prescription of actions is sui generis in Conflict of Laws in the sense that it may be
viewed either as procedural or substantive, depending on the characterization given such a
However, the characterization of a statute into a procedural or substantive law becomes
irrelevant when the country of the forum has a borrowing statute. Said statute has the
practical effect of treating the foreign statute of limitation as one of substance. A borrowing
statute directs the state of the forum to apply the foreign statute of limitations to the
pending claims based on a foreign law. While there are several kinds of borrowing statutes,
one form provides that an action barred by the laws of the place where it accrued, will not
be enforced in the forum even though the local statute has not run against it. Section 48 of
our Code of Civil Procedure is of this kind. Said Section provides:
If by the laws of the state or country where the cause of action arose, the action is barred,
it is also barred in the Philippine Islands.

In the light of the 1987 Constitution, however, Section 48 cannot be enforced ex propio
vigore insofar as it ordains the application in this jurisdiction of Section 156 of the Amiri
Decree No. 23 of 1976.
The courts of the forum will not enforce any foreign claims obnoxious to the forums public
policy. To enforce the one-year prescriptive period of the Amiri Decree No. 23 of 1976 as
regards the claims in question would contravene the public policy on the protection to labor.
Zapanta vs. Local Civil Registrar of the City of Davao, G.R. No. 55380, Sept. 26, 1994
Petitioner Gliceria Zapanta is the widow of Florencio B. Zapanta. When Florencio died, the
local civil registrar of Davao City issued a death certificate. However, she found that the
name appearing therein was Flaviano Castro Zapanta albeit the date of death and all other
circumstances and information reflected therein clearly and conclusively revealed that the
person referred to therein was no other than her late husband, Florencio. Gliceria, therefore,
filed a petition for correction of entry in the register of death. The trial court dismissed the
petition on the ground that the correction of the name Flaviano Castro Zapanta to
Florencio B. Zapanta was not merely clerical but substantial in nature.

Whether or not the trial court committed reversible error

The Supreme Court held in the affirmative.
The general perception was that the judicial proceeding under Art. 412 of the Civil Code,
implemented by Rule 108 of the Rules of Court, could only justify the correction of innocuous
or clerical errors apparent on the face of the record and capable of being corrected by mere
reference to it, such as misspellings and obvious mistakes.
However, in later cases, the Court has held that it adheres to the principle that even
substantial errors in a civil registry may be corrected and the true facts established provided
the parties aggrieved by the error avail themselves of the appropriate adversary proceeding.
Adversary Proceeding, defined
Blacks Law Dictionary defines adversary proceeding as follows:
One having opposing parties; contested, as distinguished from an ex parte application, one
of which the party seeking relief has given legal warning to the other party, and afforded the
latter an opportunity to contest it...
Thus, provided the trial court has conducted proceedings where all relevant facts have been
fully and properly developed, where opposing counsel has been given opportunity to
demolish the opposite partys case, and where the evidence has been thoroughly weighed
and considered, the suit or proceeding is appropriate.

HSBC vs. Sherman, G.R. No. 72494, Aug. 11, 1989

Sometime in 1981, Eastern Book Supply PTE, Ltd. (Company), a company incorporated in
Singapore, applied with and was granted by the Singapore Branch of HSBC an overdraft
facility. To secure the overdraft facility, private respondents who were directors of the
Company executed a Joint and Several Guarantee in favour of HSBC, which provides that:
This guarantee and all rights, obligations and liabilities arising hereunder shall be construed
and determined under and may be enforced in accordance with the laws of the Republic of

Singapore. We hereby agree that the Courts of Singapore shall have jurisdiction over all
disputes arising under this guarantee.
However, when the Company failed to pay its obligation, HSBC filed this action with the
Philippine courts. In a Motion to Dismiss, the private respondents raised the abovementioned
provision of the Joint and Several Guarantee. The trial court affirmed the plaintiffs but CA
reversed, citing said provision as basis.

Whether or not Philippine courts have jurisdiction over the suit

The Supreme Court held that the clause in question did not operate to divest the Philippine
courts of jurisdiction.
While it is true that the transaction took place in Singaporean setting and that the Joint
and Several Guarantee contains a choice-of-forum clause, the very essence of due process
dictates that the stipulation that [t]his guarantee and all rights, obligations and liabilities
arising hereunder shall be construed and determined under and may be enforced in
accordance with the laws of the Republic of Singapore. We hereby agree that the Courts in
Singapore shall have jurisdiction over all disputes arising under this guarantee be liberally
construed. One basic principle underlies all rules of jurisdiction in International Law: a State
does not have jurisdiction in the absence of some reasonable basis for exercising it, whether
the proceedings are in rem, quasi in rem, or in personam. To be reasonable, the jurisdiction
must be based on some minimum contacts that will not offend traditional notions of fair play
and substantial justice. Indeed, as pointed-out by petitioner BANK at the outset, the instant
case presents a very odd situation. In the ordinary habits of life, anyone would be disinclined
to litigate before a foreign tribunal, with more reason as a defendant. However, in this case,
private respondents are Philippine residents (a fact which was not disputed by them) who
would rather face a complaint against them before a foreign court and in the process incur
considerable expenses, not to mention inconvenience, than to have a Philippine court try
and resolve the case. Private respondents' stance is hardly comprehensible, unless their
ultimate intent is to evade, or at least delay, the payment of a just obligation.
The defense of private respondents that the complaint should have been filed in Singapore
is based merely on technicality. They did not even claim, much less prove, that the filing of
the action here will cause them any unnecessary trouble, damage, or expense. On the other
hand, there is no showing that petitioner BANK filed the action here just to harass private
The parties did not thereby stipulate that only the courts of Singapore, to the exclusion of all
the rest, has jurisdiction. Neither did the clause in question operate to divest Philippine
courts of jurisdiction. In International Law, jurisdiction is often defined as the light of a State
to exercise authority over persons and things within its boundaries subject to certain
exceptions. Thus, a State does not assume jurisdiction over travelling sovereigns,
ambassadors and diplomatic representatives of other States, and foreign military units
stationed in or marching through State territory with the permission of the latter's
authorities. This authority, which finds its source in the concept of sovereignty, is exclusive
within and throughout the domain of the State. A State is competent to take hold of any
judicial matter it sees fit by making its courts and agencies assume jurisdiction over all kinds
of cases brought before them.
Aznar vs. Garcia, G.R. No. L-16749, January 31, 1963
Edward E. Christensen, who at his death was a US citizen but domiciled in the Philippines,
left a will devising unto Maria Helen (Christensen Garcia) the amount of P3, 600.00, and
leaving the rest of his estate to his daughter, Maria Lucy (Christensen Daney). During
partition, Helen opposed, saying that she is deprived of her legitime as acknowledged
natural child of the testator. She further argued that Section 946 of the California Civil Code
provides that the laws of the domicile of the decedent should be applied.

The trial court ruled that since Edward E. Christensen was a US citizen at the time of his
death, the successional rights and intrinsic validity of the provisions of his will are to be
governed by the law of California.

Whether or not the Renvoi Doctrine should be applied

There is no question that Edward E. Christensen was a citizen of the United States and of the
State of California at the time of his death. But there is also no question that at the time of
his death he was domiciled in the Philippines.
Meaning of Domicile and Residence
Goodrich: The terms residence and domicile might well be taken to mean the same
thing, a place of permanent abode. But domicile, as has been shown, has acquired a
technical meaning. Thus one may be domiciled in a place where he has never been. And he
may reside in a place where he has no domicile. The man with two homes, between which
he divides his time, certainly resides in each one, while living in it. But if he went on
business which would require his presence for several weeks or months, he might properly
be said to have sufficient connection with the place to be called a resident. It is clear,
however, that, if he treated his settlement as continuing only for the particular business in
hand, not giving up his former home, he could not be a domiciled New Yorker. Acquisition
of a domicile of choice requires the exercise of intention as well as physical presence.
Residence simply requires bodily presence of an inhabitant in a given place, while domicile
requires bodily presence in that place and also an intention to make it ones domicile.
Residence, however, is a term used with shades of meaning, from the merest temporary
presence to the most permanent abode, and it is not safe to insist that any one use is the
only proper one.
Nationality Principle
The law that governs the validity of his testamentary dispositions is defined in Article 16 of
the Civil Code of the Philippines.
The application of this article in the case at bar requires the determination of the meaning of
the term national law as used therein.
There is no single American law governing the validity of testamentary provisions in the
United States, each state of the Union having its own private law applicable to its citizens
only and in force only within the state. The national law indicated in Article 16 of the Civil
Codecannot, therefore, possibly mean or apply to any general American law. So it can refer
to no other than the private law of the State of California.
The next question is: What is the law in California governing the disposition of personal
appellant invokes the provisions of Article 946 if the Civil Code of California: If there is no
law to the contrary, in the place where personal property is situated, it is deemed to follow
the person of its owner, and is governed by the law of his domicile.
.It is argued on executors behalf that as the deceased Christensen was a citizen of the
State of California, the internal law thereof should govern the determination of the validity of
the testamentary provisions of Christensens will, such law being in force in the State of
California of which Christensen was a citizen. Appellant, on the other hand, insists that
Article 946 should be applicable, and in accordance therewith and following the doctrine of
renvoi, the question of the validity of the testamentary provision in question should be
referred back to the law of the decedents domicile, which is the Philippines.
Renvoi Doctrine
One type of renvoi. A jural matter is presented which the conflict-of-laws rule of the forum
refers to a foreign law, the conflict-of-laws rule of which, in turn, refers back the matter back

again to the law of the forum. This is renvoi in the narrower sense. The German term for this
judicial process is Ruckverweisung. (Renvoyer to send back; or Weiterverweisung)
Another theory, known as the doctrine of renvoi, has been advanced. The theory of the
doctrine of renvoi is that the court of the forum, in determining the question before it, must
take into account the whole law of the other jurisdiction, but also its rules as to conflict of
laws, and then apply the law to the actual question which the rules of the other jurisdiction
prescribe. This may be the law of the forum. The doctrine of the renvoi has generally been
repudiated by the American authorities.
Renvoi Doctrine as Applied by the Court in this case
We note that Article 946 of the California Civil Code is its conflict of laws rule, while the rule
applied in In Re Kaufman, supra, its internal law. If the law on succession and the conflict of
laws rules of California are to be enforced jointly, each in its own intended and appropriate
sphere, the principle cited In Re Kaufman should apply to citizens living in the State, but
Article 946 should apply to such of its citizens as are not domiciled in California but in other
jurisdictions. The rule laid down of resorting to the law of the domicile in the determination
of matters with foreign element involved is in accord with the general principle of American
law that the domiciliary law should govern in most matters or rights which follow the person
of the owner.
Appellees argue that what Article 16 of the Civil Code of the Philippines pointed out as the
national law is the internal law of California. But as above explained, the laws of California
have prescribed two sets of laws for its citizens, one for residents therein and another for
those domiciled in other jurisdictions. Reason demands that We should enforce the California
internal law prescribed for its citizens residing therein, and enforce the conflict of laws rules
for the citizens domiciled abroad. If we must enforce the law of California as in comity we are
bound to do, as so declared in Article 16 of our Civil Code, then we must enforce the law of
California in accordance with the express mandate thereof and as above explained, i.e.,
apply the internal law for residents therein, and its conflict-of-laws rule for those domiciled
It is argued on appellees' behalf that the clause "if there is no law to the contrary in the
place where the property is situated" in Sec. 946 of the California Civil Code refers to Article
16 of the Civil Code of the Philippines and that the law to the contrary in the Philippines is
the provision in said Article 16 that the national law of the deceased should govern. This
contention can not be sustained. As explained in the various authorities cited above the
national law mentioned in Article 16 of our Civil Code is the law on conflict of laws in the
California Civil Code, i.e., Article 946, which authorizes the reference or return of the
question to the law of the testator's domicile. The conflict of laws rule in California, Article
946, Civil Code, precisely refers back the case, when a decedent is not domiciled in
California, to the law of his domicile, the Philippines in the case at bar. The court of the
domicile can not and should not refer the case back to California; such action would leave
the issue incapable of determination because the case will then be like a football, tossed
back and forth between the two states, between the country of which the decedent was a
citizen and the country of his domicile. The Philippine court must apply its own law as
directed in the conflict of laws rule of the state of the decedent, if the question has to be
decided, especially as the application of the internal law of California provides no legitime
for children while the Philippine law, Arts. 887(4) and 894, Civil Code of the Philippines,
makes natural children legally acknowledged forced heirs of the parent recognizing them.
Bank of America, NT vs. American Realty Corporation, G.R. No. 133876, Dec. 29, 1999
Petitioner Bank of America (BANTSA) is an international banking and financing institution
duly licensed to do business in the Philippines, organized and existing under and by virtue of
the laws of the State of California, USA while private respondent American Realty (ARC) is a
domestic corporation.
On numerous occasions, BANTSA and Bank of America International Limited (BAIL),
organized under the laws of England, granted US Dollar loans to certain foreign corporate
borrowers. These loans were later restructured, the restructured loans secured by two real
estate mortgages with private respondent ARC as third-party mortgagor. When the corporate
borrowers defaulted, BANTSA sued them for collection before foreign courts, without

impleading ARC as party-defendant. While these civil suits are still pending before the
foreign courts, BANTSA filed an extra-judicial foreclosure of real estate mortgage before the
Office of the Provincial Sheriff of Bulacan, Philippines. The properties were sold at public
auction, prompting ARC to file this action for damages against BANTSA.
The trial court ruled in favour of ARC and this was affirmed by the CA. Hence, this appeal.

Whether or not the petitioners act of filing a collection suit against the principal
debtors for the recovery of the loan before foreign courts constituted waiver of the
remedy of foreclosure
Whether or not the award by the lower court of actual and exemplary damages in
favour of private respondent ARC, as third-party mortgagor, is proper

Available Remedies

1. A waiver of the remedy of foreclosure requires the concurrence of 2 requisites: an

ordinary civil action for collection should be filed and subsequently a final judgment
be correspondingly rendered therein.
2. Under English law, which according to petitioner is the governing law with regard to
the principal agreements, the mortgagee does not lose its security interest by simply
filing civil actions for sums of money.
REMEDIES ARE ALTERNATIVE, NOT CUMULATIVE: A mortgage creditor may institute
against the mortgage debtor either a personal action for debt or a real action to foreclose
the mortgage.
In our jurisdiction, the remedies available to the mortgage creditor are deemed alternative
and not cumulative. Notably, an election of one remedy operates as a waiver of the other.
For this purpose, a remedy is deemed chosen upon the filing of the suit for collection or upon
the filing of the complaint in an action for foreclosure of mortgage, pursuant to the provision
of Rule 68 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure. As to extrajudicial foreclosure, such remedy
is deemed elected by the mortgage creditor upon filing of the petition not with any court of
justice but with the Office of the Sheriff of the province where the sale is to be made.
In the case at bench, private respondent ARC constituted real estate mortgages over its
properties as security for the debt of the principal debtors. By doing so, private respondent
subjected itself to the liabilities of a third party mortgagor. Under the law, third persons who
are not parties to a loan may secure the latter by pledging or mortgaging their own property.
Notwithstanding, there is no legal provision nor jurisprudence in our jurisdiction which makes
a third person who secures the fulfillment of anothers obligation by mortgaging his own
property, to be solidarily bound with the principal obligor. The signatory to the principal
contractloanremains to be primarily bound. It is only upon default of the latter that the
creditor may have recourse on the mortgagors by foreclosing the mortgaged properties in
lieu of an action for the recovery of the amount of the loan.
In the instant case, petitioners contention that the requisites of filing the action for
collection and rendition of final judgment therein should concur, is untenable.
PHILIPPINE LAW, NOT ENGLISH LAW, SHALL APPLY: In the case at bench, Philippine law
shall apply notwithstanding the evidence presented by petitioner to prove the English law on
the matter.
In a long line of decisions, this Court adopted the well-imbedded principle in our jurisdiction
that there is judicial notice of any foreign law. A foreign law must be properly pleaded and
proved as a fact. Thus, if the foreign law involved is not properly pleaded and proved, our
courts will presume that the foreign law is the same as our local or domestic or internal law.
This is what we refer to as the doctrine of processual presumption.
In the instant case, assuming arguendo that the English Law on the matter were properly
pleaded and proved xxx, said foreign law would still not find applicability.

Thus, when the foreign law, judgment or contract is contrary to a sound and established
public policy of the forum, the said foreign law, judgment or order shall not be applied.
Additionally, 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.
The public policy sought to be protected in the instant case is the principle imbedded in our
jurisdiction proscribing the splitting of a single cause of action.
Moreover, foreign law should not be applied when its application would work undeniable
injustice to the citizens or residents of the forum. To give justice is the most important
function of law; hence, a law, or judgment or contract that is obviously unjust negates the
fundamental principles of Conflict of Laws.
Clearly then, English Law is not applicable.
Award of Damages
As to the second pivotal issue, we hold that the private respondent is entitled to the award
of actual or compensatory damages inasmuch as the act of petitioner BANTSA in
extrajudicially foreclosing the real estate mortgages constituted a clear violation of the
rights of herein private respondent ARC, as third-party mortgagor.

Mercado vs. Manzano, G.R. No. 135083, May 26, 1999

Manzano and Mercado are vice-mayoral candidates Makati City in the May 11, 1998
elections. Manzano got the highest number votes while Mercado bagged the second place.
However, Manzanos proclamation was suspended in view of a pending petition for
disqualification on the ground that he is an American citizen.
In his answer, Manzano admitted that he is registered as a foreigner with the Bureau of
Immigration and alleged that he is a Filipino citizen because he was born in 1955 of a Filipino
father and a Filipino mother. He was born in the United States (San Francisco, CA) on Sept.

14, 1955 and is considered an American citizen under US laws (jus soli). But notwithstanding
his registration as an American citizen, he did not lose his Filipino citizenship.
The Second Division of the COMELEC granted the petition and cancelled Manzanos
certificate of candidacy on the ground that he is a dual citizen. Under the Local Government
Code (sec. 40), dual citizens are disqualified from running for any position.
The COMELEC en banc reversed the divisions ruling. In its resolution, it said that Manzano
was both a US citizen and a Filipino citizen. It further ruled that although he was registered
as an alien with the Philippine Bureau of Immigration and was using an American passport,
this did not result in the loss of his Philippine citizenship, as he did not renounce Philippine
citizenship and did not take an oath of allegiance to the US. Moreover, the COMELEC found
that when respondent attained the age of majority, he registered himself as a Philippine
voter and voted as such, which effectively renounced his US citizenship under American law.
Under Philippine law, he no longer had US citizenship.
Hence, this petition for certiorari.

Whether or not Manzano was no longer a US citizen

Whether or not Manzano is qualified to run for and hold elective office

Dual Citizenship vs. Dual Allegiance
To begin with, dual citizenship is different from dual allegiance. The former arises when, as a
result of the concurrent application of the different laws of two or more states, a person is
simultaneously considered a national by the said states. For instance, such a situation may
arise when a person whose parents are citizens of a state which adheres to the principle of
jus sanguinis is born in a state which follows the doctrine of jus soli. Such a person, ipso
facto and without any voluntary act on his part, is concurrently considered a citizen of both
states. Considering the citizenship clause (Art. IV) of our Constitution, it is possible for the
following classes of citizens of the Philippines to possess dual citizenship:

1) Those born of Filipino fathers and/or mothers in foreign countries which follow the
principle of jus soli;

2) Those born in the Philippines of Filipino mothers and alien fathers if by the laws of
their fathers country such children are citizens of that country;

3) Those who marry aliens if by the laws of the latters country the former are
considered citizens, unless by their act or omission they are deemed to have
renounced Philippine citizenship.
There may be other situations in which a citizen of the Philippines may, without performing
any act, be also a citizen of another state; but the above cases are clearly possible given the
constitutional provisions on citizenship.
Dual allegiance, on the other hand, refers to the situation in which a person simultaneously
owes, by some positive act, loyalty to two or more states. While dual citizenship is
involuntary, dual allegiance is the result of an individuals volition.
LGC sanctions Dual Allegiance not Dual Citizenship
The phrase dual citizenship in the LGC must be understood as referring to dual
allegiance. Consequently, persons with mere dual citizenship do not fall under this
disqualification. Unlike those with dual allegiance, who must, therefore, be subject to strict
process with respect to the termination of their status, for candidates with dual citizenship, it
would suffice if, upon the filing of their certificates of candidacy, they elect Philippine
citizenship to terminate their status as persons with dual citizenship considering that their
condition is the unavoidable consequence of conflicting laws of different states.
By Electing Philippine Citizenship, the Candidate forswear Allegiance to the Other
By electing Philippine citizenship, such candidates at the same time forswear allegiance to
the other country of which they are also citizens and thereby terminate their status as dual

citizens. It may be that, from the point of view of the foreign state and of its laws, such an
individual has not effectively renounced his foreign citizenship. That is of no moment.
The COMELEC en bancs ruling was that Manzanos act of registering himself as a voter was
an effective renunciation of his American citizenship. This ruling is in line with the US
Immigration and Nationality Act wherein it is provided that a person who is a national of the
United States, whether by birth or naturalization, shall lose his nationality by: (e) Voting in a
political election in a foreign state or participating in an election or plebiscite to determine
the sovereignty over foreign territory. But this provision was declared unconstitutional by
the US Supreme Court. Nevertheless, our SC held that by filing a certificate of candidacy
when he ran for his present post, private respondent elected Philippine citizenship and in
effect renounced his American citizenship.
To recapitulate, by declaring in his certificate of candidacy that he is a Filipino citizen; that
he is not a permanent resident or immigrant of another country; that he will defend and
support the Constitution of the Philippines and bear true faith and allegiance thereto and
that he does so without mental reservation, private respondent has, as far as the laws of this
country are concerned, effectively repudiated his American citizenship and anything which
he may have said before as a dual citizen.
On the other hand, private respondents oath of allegiance to the Philippines, when
considered with the fact that he has spent his youth and adulthood, received his education,
practiced his profession as an artist, and taken part in past elections in this country, leaves
no doubt of his election of Philippine citizenship.
His declarations will be taken upon the faith that he will fulfil his undertaking made under
oath. Should he betray that trust, there are enough sanctions for declaring the loss of his
Philippine citizenship through expatriation in appropriate proceedings. In Yu v. DefensorSantiago, we sustained the denial of entry into the country of petitioner on the ground that,
after taking his oath as a naturalized citizen, he applied for the renewal of his Portuguese
passport and declared in commercial documents executed abroad that he was a Portuguese
national. A similar sanction can be taken against any one who, in electing Philippine
citizenship, renounces his foreign nationality, but subsequently does some act constituting
renunciation of his Philippine citizenship.
Valles vs. COMELEC, G.R. No. 137000, Aug. 9, 2000
Rosalind Ybasco Lopez was born on May 16, 1934 in Australia to a Filipino father and an
Australian mother. In 1949, at the age of fifteen, she left Australia and came to settle in the
Philippines, where she later married a Filipino and has since then participated in the
electoral process not only as a voter but as a candidate, as well. In the May 1998 elections,
she ran for governor but Valles filed a petition for her disqualification as candidate on the
ground that she is an Australian.

Whether or not Rosalind is an Australian or a Filipino

The Philippine law on citizenship adheres to the principle of jus sanguinis. Thereunder, a
child follows the nationality or citizenship of the parents regardless of the place of his/her
birth, as opposed to the doctrine of jus soli which determines nationality or citizenship on
the basis of place of birth.
Rosalind Ybasco Lopez was born a year before the 1935 Constitution took into effect and at
that time, what served as the Constitution of the Philippines were the principal organic acts
by which the United States governed the country. These were the Philippine Bill of July 1,
1902 and the Philippine Autonomy Act of Aug. 29, 1916, also known as the Jones Law.
Under both organic acts, all inhabitants of the Philippines who were Spanish subjects on April
11, 1899 and resided therein including their children are deemed to be Philippine citizens.
Private respondents father, Telesforo Ybasco, was born on Jan. 5, 1879 in Daet, Camarines
Norte.... Thus, under the Philippine Bill of 1902 and the Jones Law, Telesforo Ybasco was

deemed to be a Philippine citizen. By virtue of the same laws, which were the laws in force
at the time of her birth, Telesforos daughter, herein private respondent Rosalind Ybasco
Lopez, is likewise a citizen of the Philippines.
The signing into law of the 1935 Philippine Constitution has established the principle of jus
sanguinis as basis for the acquisition of Philippine citizenship, xxx
So also, the principle of jus sanguinis, which confers citizenship by virtue of blood
relationship, was subsequently retained under the 1973 and 1987 Constitutions. Thus, the
herein private respondent, Rosalind Ybasco Lopez, is a Filipino citizen, having been born to a
Filipino father. The fact of her being born in Australia is not tantamount to her losing her
Philippine citizenship. If Australia follows the principle of jus soli, then at most, private
respondent can also claim Australian citizenship resulting to her possession of dual

Yu vs. Defensor-Santiago, G.R. No. L-83882, Jan. 24, 1989

This is a petition for habeas corpus, seeking the release from detention of Petitioner Yu, who
was being subject of summary deportation proceedings by Respondent Commissioner. The
Court denied the petition for habeas corpus. Thus, Petitioner Yu filed this motion for
Whether or not Petitioner Yu had renounced his Philippine citizenship
Petitioner's own compliance reveals that he was originally issued a Portuguese passport in
1971, valid for five (5) years and renewed for the same period upon presentment before the
proper Portuguese consular officer. Despite his naturalization as a Philippine citizen on 10
February 1978, on 21 July 1981, petitioner applied for and was issued Portuguese Passport
No. 35/81 serial N. 1517410 by the Consular Section of the Portuguese Embassy in Tokyo.
Said Consular Office certifies that his Portuguese passport expired on 20 July 1986. While
still a citizen of the Philippines who had renounced, upon his naturalization, "absolutely and
forever all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state or sovereignty" and
pledged to "maintain true faith and allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines," he
declared his nationality as Portuguese in commercial documents he signed, specifically, the
Companies registry of Tai Shun Estate Ltd. filed in Hongkong sometime in April 1980.
To the mind of the Court, the foregoing acts considered together constitute an express
renunciation of petitioner's Philippine citizenship acquired through naturalization. In Board of
Immigration Commissioners us, Go Gallano, express renunciation was held to mean a
renunciation that is made known distinctly and explicitly and not left to inference or
implication. Petitioner, with full knowledge, and legal capacity, after having renounced
Portuguese citizenship upon naturalization as a Philippine citizen resumed or reacquired his
prior status as a Portuguese citizen, applied for a renewal of his Portu
While normally the question of whether or not a person has renounced his Philippine
citizenship should be heard before a trial court of law in adversary proceedings, this has
become unnecessary as this Court, no less, upon the insistence of petitioner, had to look
into the facts and satisfy itself on whether or not petitioner's claim to continued Philippine
citizenship is meritorious.
Philippine citizenship, it must be stressed, is not a commodity or were to be displayed when
required and suppressed when convenient. This then resolves adverse to the petitioner his
motion for clarification and other motions mentioned in the second paragraph, page 3 of this

Bengzon III vs. HRET, G.R. No. 142840, May 7, 2001


Respondent Cruz was a natural-born citizen of the Philippines. He was born in San Clemente,
Tarlac, on April 27, 1960, of Filipino parents. The fundamental law then applicable was the
1935 Constitution.
On Nov. 5, 1985, however, respondent Cruz enlisted in the US Marine Corps and, without the
consent of the Republic of the Philippines, took an oath of allegiance to the US. As a
consequence, he lost his Filipino citizenship for under sec. 1(4) of CA No. 63, a Filipino citizen
may lose his citizenship by, among others, rendering service to or accepting commission in
the armed forces of a foreign country. Then on June 5, 1990, he was naturalized as a US
citizen, in connection with his service in the US Marine Corps.
On March 17, 1994, respondent Cruz reacquired his Philippine citizenship through
repatriation under RA 2630. He ran against petitioner Bengson III for the office of
Representative of the Second District of Pangasinan in the May 11, 1998 elections and was
elected for said office. Bengson III then filed a case for Quo Warranto Ad Cautelam with
HRET, claiming that respondent Cruz was not qualified to become a member of the House
since he was not a natural-born citizen. HRET dismissed the petition.

Whether or not respondent Cruz, a natural-born Filipino who became an American

citizen, can still be considered a natural-born Filipino upon his reacquisition of
Philippine citizenship

Petition is without merit.
Citizenship, How Acquired
There are two ways of acquiring citizenship: (1) by birth, and (2) by naturalization. These
ways of acquiring citizenship correspond to the two kinds of citizens: the natural-born
citizen, and the naturalized citizen. A person who at the time of his birth is a citizen of a
particular country, is a natural-born citizen thereof.
As defined in the same Constitution, natural-born citizens "are those citizens of the
Philippines from birth without having to perform any act to acquire or perfect his Philippine
On the other hand, naturalized citizens are those who have become Filipino citizens through
naturalization, generally under Commonwealth Act No. 473, otherwise known as the Revised
Naturalization Law, which repealed the former Naturalization Law (Act No. 2927), and by
Republic Act No. 530. To be naturalized, an applicant has to prove that he possesses all the
qualifications and none of the disqualifications provided by law to become a Filipino citizen.
The decision granting Philippine citizenship becomes executory only after two (2) years from
its promulgation when the court is satisfied that during the intervening period, the applicant
has (1) not left the Philippines; (2) has dedicated himself to a lawful calling or profession; (3)
has not been convicted of any offense or violation of Government promulgated rules; or (4)
committed any act prejudicial to the interest of the nation or contrary to any Government
announced policies.
Modes of Reacquisition of Philippine Citizenship
Filipino citizens who have lost their citizenship may however reacquire the same in the
manner provided by law. Commonwealth Act. No. 63 (C.A. No. 63), enumerates the three
modes by which Philippine citizenship may be reacquired by a former citizen: (1) by
naturalization, (2) by repatriation, and (3) by direct act of Congress.
Naturalization is a mode for both acquisition and reacquisition of Philippine citizenship. As a
mode of initially acquiring Philippine citizenship, naturalization is governed by
Commonwealth Act No. 473, as amended. On the other hand, naturalization as a mode for
reacquiring Philippine citizenship is governed by Commonwealth Act No. 63. Under this law,
a former Filipino citizen who wishes to reacquire Philippine citizenship must possess certain
qualifications and none of the disqualifications mentioned in Section 4 of C.A. 473.
Repatriation, on the other hand, may be had under various statutes by those who lost their
citizenship due to: (1) desertion of the armed forces; (2) service in the armed forces of the
allied forces in World War II; (3) service in the Armed Forces of the United States at any other
time; (4) marriage of a Filipino woman to an alien; and (5) political and economic necessity.
As distinguished from the lengthy process of naturalization, repatriation simply consists of
the taking of an oath of allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines and registering said
oath in the Local Civil Registry of the place where the person concerned resides or last
Repatriation Results in Recovery of Original Nationality

Moreover, repatriation results in the recovery of the original nationality. This means that
a naturalized Filipino who lost his citizenship will be restored to his prior status as a
naturalized Filipino citizen. On the other hand, if he was originally a natural-born citizen
before he lost his Philippine citizenship, he will be restored to his former status as a naturalborn Filipino.
In respondent Cruz's case, he lost his Filipino citizenship when he rendered service in the
Armed Forces of the United States. However, he subsequently reacquired Philippine
citizenship under R.A. No. 2630
Having thus taken the required oath of allegiance to the Republic and having registered the
same in the Civil Registry of Magantarem, Pangasinan in accordance with the aforecited
provision, respondent Cruz is deemed to have recovered his original status as a natural-born
citizen, a status which he acquired at birth as the son of a Filipino father. It bears stressing
that the act of repatriation allows him to recover, or return to, his original status
before he lost his Philippine citizenship.
What is a Natural-Born Citizen
Petitioner's contention that respondent Cruz is no longer a natural-born citizen since he had
to perform an act to regain his citizenship is untenable. As correctly explained by the HRET
in its decision, the term "natural-born citizen" was first defined in Article III, Section 4 of the
1973 Constitution as follows:
Sec. 4. A natural-born citizen is one who is a citizen of the Philippines from birth without
having to perform any act to acquire or perfect his Philippine citizenship.
Two requisites must concur for a person to be considered as such: (1) a person must be a
Filipino citizen from birth and (2) he does not have to perform any act to obtain or perfect his
Philippine citizenship.
Under the 1973 Constitution definition, there were two categories of Filipino citizens which
were not considered natural-born: (1) those who were naturalized and (2) those born before
January 17, 1973, of Filipino mothers who, upon reaching the age of majority, elected
Philippine citizenship. Those "naturalized citizens" were not considered natural-born
obviously because they were not Filipinos at birth and had to perform an act to acquire
Philippine citizenship. Those born of Filipino mothers before the effectivity of the 1973
Constitution were likewise not considered natural-born because they also had to perform an
act to perfect their Philippine citizenship.
The present Constitution, however, now considers those born of Filipino mothers before the
effectivity of the 1973 Constitution and who elected Philippine citizenship upon reaching the
majority age as natural-born. After defining who are natural-born citizens, Section 2 of
Article IV adds a sentence: "Those who elect Philippine citizenship in accordance with
paragraph (3), Section 1 hereof shall be deemed natural-born citizens." Consequently, only
naturalized Filipinos are considered not natural-born citizens. It is apparent from the
enumeration of who are citizens under the present Constitution that there are only two
classes of citizens: (1) those who are natural-born and (2) those who are naturalized in
accordance with law. A citizen who is not a naturalized Filipino, i.e., did not have to undergo
the process of naturalization to obtain Philippine citizenship, necessarily is a natural-born
Filipino. Noteworthy is the absence in said enumeration of a separate category for persons
who, after losing Philippine citizenship, subsequently reacquire it. The reason therefor is
clear: as to such persons, they would either be natural-born or naturalized depending on the
reasons for the loss of their citizenship and the mode prescribed by the applicable law for
the reacquisition thereof. As respondent Cruz was not required by law to go through
naturalization proceedings in order to reacquire his citizenship, he is perforce a natural-born
Filipino. As such, he possessed all the necessary qualifications to be elected as member of
the House of Representatives.

Romualdez-Marcos vs. COMELEC, G.R. No. 119976, Sept. 18, 1995

Petitioner Imelda Romualdez-Marcos filed her Certificate of Candidacy (COC) for the position
of Representative of the First District of Leyte, providing information that she is a resident of
seven months in the constituency where she seeks to be elected immediately preceding the
election. Subsequently, private respondent Montejo filed a Petition for Cancellation and
Disqualification, alleging that petitioner did not meet the constitutional requirement for
residency (must have been a resident for not less than one year). Petitioner thus amended

her COC, changing seven months to since childhood. This amendment was refused
admittance for reason that it was filed out of time, so Petitioner filed her amended COC with
COMELEC in division.
The COMELEC in division found the petition for disqualification meritorious and struck off the
amended as well as original COCs. In ruling thus, COMELEC in division found that when
petitioner chose to stay in Ilocos and later on in Manila, coupled with her intention to stay
there by registering as a voter there and expressly declaring that she is a resident of that
place, she is deemed to have abandoned Tacloban City, where she spent her childhood and
school days, as her place of domicile. The COMELEC en banc affirmed this ruling.

Whether or not petitioner was a resident, for election purposes, of the First District of
Leyte for a period of one year at the time of the May 9, 1995 elections

Meaning of Residence
Article 50 of the Civil Code decrees that "[f]or the exercise of civil rights and the fulfillment
of civil obligations, the domicile of natural persons is their place of habitual residence." In
Ong vs. Republic this court took the concept of domicile to mean an individual's "permanent
home", "a place to which, whenever absent for business or for pleasure, one intends to
return, and depends on facts and circumstances in the sense that they disclose intent."
Based on the foregoing, domicile includes the twin elements of "the fact of residing or
physical presence in a fixed place" and animus manendi, or the intention of returning there
Residence, in its ordinary conception, implies the factual relationship of an individual to a
certain place. It is the physical presence of a person in a given area, community or country.
The essential distinction between residence and domicile in law is that residence involves
the intent to leave when the purpose for which the resident has taken up his abode ends.
One may seek a place for purposes such as pleasure, business, or health. If a person's intent
be to remain, it becomes his domicile; if his intent is to leave as soon as his purpose is
established it is residence. It is thus, quite perfectly normal for an individual to have different
residences in various places. However, a person can only have a single domicile, unless, for
various reasons, he successfully abandons his domicile in favor of another domicile of
choice. In Uytengsu vs. Republic, we laid this distinction quite clearly:
Residence vs. Domicile
There is a difference between domicile and residence. "Residence" is used to
indicate a place of abode, whether permanent or temporary; "domicile"
denotes a fixed permanent residence to which, when absent, one has the
intention of returning. A man may have a residence in one place and a
domicile in another. Residence is not domicile, but domicile is residence
coupled with the intention to remain for an unlimited time. A man can have
but one domicile for the same purpose at any time, but he may have
numerous places of residence. His place of residence is generally his place of
domicile, but it is not by any means necessarily so since no length of
residence without intention of remaining will constitute domicile.
For political purposes the concepts of residence and domicile are dictated by the peculiar
criteria of political laws. As these concepts have evolved in our election law, what has clearly
and unequivocally emerged is the fact that residence for election purposes is used
synonymously with domicile.
In Nuval vs. Guray, the Court held that "the term residence. . . is synonymous with domicile
which imports not only intention to reside in a fixed place, but also personal presence in that
place, coupled with conduct indicative of such intention." Larena vs. Teves reiterated the
same doctrine in a case involving the qualifications of the respondent therein to the post of
Municipal President of Dumaguete, Negros Oriental. Faypon vs. Quirino, held that the
absence from residence to pursue studies or practice a profession or registration as a voter
other than in the place where one is elected does not constitute loss of residence. So settled
is the concept (of domicile) in our election law that in these and other election law cases,
this Court has stated that the mere absence of an individual from his permanent residence
without the intention to abandon it does not result in a loss or change of domicile.
Did Petitioner satisfy the residency requirement?
In the light of the principles just discussed, has petitioner Imelda Romualdez Marcos satisfied
the residency requirement mandated by Article VI, Sec. 6 of the 1987 Constitution? Of what
significance is the questioned entry in petitioner's Certificate of Candidacy stating her
residence in the First Legislative District of Leyte as seven (7) months?

It is the fact of residence, not a statement in a certificate of candidacy which ought to be

decisive in determining whether or not and individual has satisfied the constitution's
residency qualification requirement. The said statement becomes material only when there
is or appears to be a deliberate attempt to mislead, misinform, or hide a fact which would
otherwise render a candidate ineligible. It would be plainly ridiculous for a candidate to
deliberately and knowingly make a statement in a certificate of candidacy which would lead
to his or her disqualification.
It stands to reason therefore, that petitioner merely committed an honest mistake in jotting
the word "seven" in the space provided for the residency qualification requirement. The
circumstances leading to her filing the questioned entry obviously resulted in the
subsequent confusion which prompted petitioner to write down the period of her actual stay
in Tolosa, Leyte instead of her period of residence in the First district, which was "since
childhood" in the space provided.
Did Petitioner abandon her domicile of origin (Tacloban, Leyte)?
In support of its asseveration that petitioner's domicile could not possibly be in the First
District of Leyte, the Second Division of the COMELEC, in its assailed Resolution of April
24,1995 maintains that "except for the time when (petitioner) studied and worked for some
years after graduation in Tacloban City, she continuously lived in Manila." The Resolution
additionally cites certain facts as indicative of the fact that petitioner's domicile ought to be
any place where she lived in the last few decades except Tacloban, Leyte. First, according to
the Resolution, petitioner, in 1959, resided in San Juan, Metro Manila where she was also
registered voter. Then, in 1965, following the election of her husband to the Philippine
presidency, she lived in San Miguel, Manila where she as a voter. In 1978 and thereafter, she
served as a member of the Batasang Pambansa and Governor of Metro Manila. "She could
not, have served these positions if she had not been a resident of Metro Manila," the
COMELEC stressed. Here is where the confusion lies.
We have stated, many times in the past, that an individual does not lose his domicile even if
he has lived and maintained residences in different places. Residence, it bears repeating,
implies a factual relationship to a given place for various purposes. The absence from legal
residence or domicile to pursue a profession, to study or to do other things of a temporary or
semi-permanent nature does not constitute loss of residence. Thus, the assertion by the
COMELEC that "she could not have been a resident of Tacloban City since childhood up to
the time she filed her certificate of candidacy because she became a resident of many
places" flies in the face of settled jurisprudence in which this Court carefully made
distinctions between (actual) residence and domicile for election law purposes.
From the foregoing, it can be concluded that in its above-cited statements supporting its
proposition that petitioner was ineligible to run for the position of Representative of the First
District of Leyte, the COMELEC was obviously referring to petitioner's various places of
(actual) residence, not her domicile. In doing so, it not only ignored settled jurisprudence on
residence in election law and the deliberations of the constitutional commission but also the
provisions of the Omnibus Election Code (B.P. 881).
How Domicile is Lost/Acquired
Private respondent in his Comment, contends that Tacloban was not petitioner's domicile of
origin because she did not live there until she was eight years old. He avers that after
leaving the place in 1952, she "abandoned her residency (sic) therein for many years
and . . . (could not) re-establish her domicile in said place by merely expressing her intention
to live there again." We do not agree.
First, minor follows the domicile of his parents. As domicile once acquired is retained until a
new one is gained, it follows that in spite of the fact of petitioner's being born in Manila,
Tacloban, Leyte was her domicile of origin by operation of law. This domicile was not
established only when her father brought his family back to Leyte contrary to private
respondent's averments.
Second, domicile of origin is not easily lost. To successfully effect a change of domicile, one
must demonstrate:
1. An actual removal or an actual change of domicile;
2. A bona fide intention of abandoning the former place of residence and
establishing a new one; and
3. Acts which correspond with the purpose.
In the absence of clear and positive proof based on these criteria, the residence of origin
should be deemed to continue. Only with evidence showing concurrence of all three
requirements can the presumption of continuity or residence be rebutted, for a change of
residence requires an actual and deliberate abandonment, and one cannot have two legal

residences at the same time. In the case at bench, the evidence adduced by private
respondent plainly lacks the degree of persuasiveness required to convince this court that
an abandonment of domicile of origin in favor of a domicile of choice indeed occurred. To
effect an abandonment requires the voluntary act of relinquishing petitioner's former
domicile with an intent to supplant the former domicile with one of her own choosing
(domicilium voluntarium).
In this connection, it cannot be correctly argued that petitioner lost her domicile of origin by
operation of law as a result of her marriage to the late President Ferdinand E. Marcos in
1952. For there is a clearly established distinction between the Civil Code concepts of
"domicile" and "residence." The presumption that the wife automatically gains the husband's
domicile by operation of law upon marriage cannot be inferred from the use of the term
"residence" in Article 110 of the Civil Code because the Civil Code is one area where the two
concepts are well delineated.
Parenthetically when Petitioner was married to then Congressman Marcos, in 1954,
petitioner was obliged by virtue of Article 110 of the Civil Code to follow her husband's
actual place of residence fixed by him. The problem here is that at that time, Mr. Marcos had
several places of residence, among which were San Juan, Rizal and Batac, Ilocos Norte.
There is no showing which of these places Mr. Marcos did fix as his family's residence. But
assuming that Mr. Marcos had fixed any of these places as the conjugal residence, what
petitioner gained upon marriage was actual residence. She did not lose her domicile of

Triple Eight Integrated Services, Inc. vs. NLRC, G.R. No. 129584, December 3, 1998
Osdana, a Filipino citizen, was recruited by Triple Eight for employment with the latters
principal, Gulf Catering Company (GCC), a firm based in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The
employment contract (originally as food server but later changed to waitress) was
executed in the Philippines but was to be performed in Riyadh. Once in Riyadh, however,
Osdana was made to perform strenuous tasks (washing dishes, janitorial work), which were
not included in her designation as a waitress. Because of the long hours and strenuous
nature of her work, she suffered from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, for which she had to undergo
surgery. But during her weeks of confinement at the hospital for her recovery, she was not
given any salary. And after she was discharged from the hospital, GCC suddenly dismissed
her from work, allegedly on the ground of illness. She was not given any separation pay nor
was she paid her salaries for the periods when she was not allowed to work. Thus, upon her
return to the Philippines, she filed a complaint against Triple Eight, praying for unpaid and
underpaid salaries, among others.
The LA ruled in her favour, which ruling NLRC affirmed. Hence, this petition for certiorari.

Whether or not Osdana was illegally dismissed

If so, whether or not she is entitled to award for salaries for the unexpired portion of
the contract

The argument must fail.
Disease as a Ground for Dismissal

Under Article 284 of the Labor Code and the Omnibus Rules Implementing the Labor Code,
for disease to be a valid ground for termination, the following requisites must be present:

1. The disease must be such that employees continued employment is prohibited by

law or prejudicial to his health as well as to the health of his co-employees

2. There must be a certification by competent public authority that the disease is of

such nature or at such a stage that it cannot be cured within a period of 6 months
with proper medical treatment
In the first place, Osdanas continued employment despite her illness was not prohibited
by law nor was it prejudicial to her health, as well as that of her co-employees. In fact, the
medical report issued after her second operation stated that she had very good
improvement of the symptoms. Besides, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is not a contagious
On the medical certificate requirement, petitioner erroneously argues that private
respondent was employed in Saudi Arabia and not here in the Philippines. Hence, there was
a physical impossibility to secure from a Philippine public health authority the alluded
medical certificate that public respondents illness will not be cured within a period of six
Petitioner entirely misses the point, as counsel for private respondent states in the
Comment. The rule simply prescribes a certification by a competent public health
authority and not a Philippine public health authority.
If, indeed, Osdana was physically unfit to continue her employment, her employer could
have easily obtained a certification to that effect from a competent public health authority in
Saudi Arabia, thereby heading off any complaint for illegal dismissal.
The requirement for a medical certificate under Article 284 of the Labor Code cannot be
dispensed with; otherwise, it would sanction the unilateral and arbitrary determination by
the employer of the gravity or extent of the employees illness and thus defeat the public
policy on the protection of labor. As the Court observed in Prieto v. NLRC, The Court is not
unaware of the many abuses suffered by our overseas workers in the foreign land where
they have ventured, usually with heavy hearts, in pursuit of a more fulfilling future. Breach
of contract, maltreatment, rape, insufficient nourishment, sub-human lodgings, insults and
other forms of debasement, are only a few of the inhumane acts to which they are subjected
by their foreign employers, who probably feel they can do as they please in their country.
While these workers may indeed have relatively little defense against exploitation while they
are abroad, that disadvantage must not continue to burden them when they return to their
own territory to voice their muted complaint. There is no reason why, in their own land, the
protection of our own laws cannot be extended to them in full measure for the redress of
their grievances.
Which law should apply: Lex Loci Contractus
Petitioner likewise attempts to sidestep the medical certificate requirement by contending
that since Osdana was working in Saudi Arabia, her employment was subject to the laws of
the host country. Apparently, petitioner hopes to make it appear that the labor laws of Saudi
Arabia do not require any certification by a competent public health authority in the
dismissal of employees due to illness.
Again, petitioners argument is without merit.
First, established is the rule that lex loci contractus (the law of the place where the contract
is made) governs in this jurisdiction. There is no question that the contract of employment
in this case was perfected here in the Philippines. Therefore, the Labor Code, its
implementing rules and regulations, and other laws affecting labor apply in this case.
Furthermore, settled is the rule that the courts of the forum will not enforce any foreign
claim obnoxious to the forums public policy. Here in the Philippines, employment
agreements are more than contractual in nature. The Constitution itself, in Article XIII
Section 3, guarantees the special protection of workers.
This public policy should be borne in mind in this case because to allow foreign employers to
determine for and by themselves whether an overseas contract worker may be dismissed on
the ground of illness would encourage illegal or arbitrary pre-termination of employment
Award of Salaries granted but reduced
In the case at bar, while it would appear that the employment contract approved by the
POEA was only for a period of twelve months, Osdanas actual stint with the foreign principal
lasted for one year and seven-and-a-half months. It may be inferred, therefore, that the
employer renewed her employment contract for another year. Thus, the award for the
unexpired portion of the contract should have been US$1,260 (US$280 x 4 months) or its

equivalent in Philippine pesos, not US$2,499 as adjudged by the labor arbiter and affirmed
by the NLRC.
As for the award for unpaid salaries and differential amounting to US$1,076 representing
seven months unpaid salaries and one month underpaid salary, the same is proper
because, as correctly pointed out by Osdana, the no work, no pay rule relied upon by
petitioner does not apply in this case. In the first place, the fact that she had not worked
from June 18 to August 22, 1993 and then from January 24 to April 29, 1994, was due to her
illness which was clearly work-related. Second, from August 23 to October 5, 1993, Osdana
actually worked as food server and cook for seven days a week at the Hota Bani Tameem
Hospital, but was not paid any salary for the said period. Finally, from October 6 to October
23, 1993, she was confined to quarters and was not given any work for no reason at all.
Moral Damages granted but reduced
Now, with respect to the award of moral and exemplary damages, the same is likewise
proper but should be reduced. Worth reiterating is the rule that moral damages are
recoverable where the dismissal of the employee was attended by bad faith or fraud or
constituted an act oppressive to labor, or was done in a manner contrary to morals, good
customs, or public policy. Likewise, exemplary damages may be awarded if the dismissal
was effected in a wanton, oppressive or malevolent manner.
According to the facts of the case as stated by public respondent, Osdana was made to
perform such menial chores, as dishwashing and janitorial work, among others, contrary to
her job designation as waitress. She was also made to work long hours without overtime
pay. Because of such arduous working conditions, she developed Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
Her illness was such that she had to undergo surgery twice. Since her employer determined
for itself that she was no longer fit to continue working, they sent her home posthaste
without as much as separation pay or compensation for the months when she was unable to
work because of her illness. Since the employer is deemed to have acted in bad faith, the
award for attorneys fees is likewise upheld.

Santos III vs. Northwest Orient Airlines, G.R. No. 101538, June 23, 1992
Petitioner is a minor and a resident of the Philippines. Private respondent Nortwest Orient
Airlines (NOA) is a foreign corporation with principal office in Minnesota, U.S.A. and licensed
to do business and maintain a branch office in the Philippines. The petitioner purchased from
NOA a round-trip ticket in San Francisco, U.S.A. In December 19, 1986, the petitioner
checked in the at the NOA counter in the San Francisco airport for his departure to Manila.
Despite a previous confirmation and re-confirmation, he was informed that he had no
reservation for his flight for Tokyo to Manila. He therefore had to be wait-listed. On March 12,
1987, the petitioner sued NOA for damages in RTC Makati. NOA moved to dismiss the
complaint on the ground of lack of jurisdiction.

Whether or not Article 28 (1) of the Warsaw Convention is in accordance with the
constitution so as to deprive the Philippine Courts jurisdiction over the case

Art. 28. (1) An action for damage must be brought at the option of the plaintiff, in the
territory of one of the High Contracting Parties, either before the court of the domicile of the
carrier or of his principal place of business, or where he has a place of business through
which the contract has been made, or before the court at the place of destination.
Constitutionality of the Warsaw Convention
The Republic of the Philippines is a party to the Convention for the Unification of Certain
Rules Relating to International Transportation by Air, otherwise known as the Warsaw
Convention. It took effect on February 13, 1933. The Convention was concurred in by the
Senate, through its Resolution No. 19, on May 16, 1950. The Philippine instrument of
accession was signed by President Elpidio Quirino on October 13, 1950, and was deposited
with the Polish government on November 9, 1950. The Convention became applicable to the
Philippines on February 9, 1951. On September 23, 1955, President Ramon Magsaysay
issued Proclamation No. 201, declaring our formal adherence thereto. "to the end that the

same and every article and clause thereof may be observed and fulfilled in good faith by the
Republic of the Philippines and the citizens thereof."
The Convention is thus a treaty commitment voluntarily assumed by the Philippine
government and, as such, has the force and effect of law in this country.
Does the Warsaw Convention apply in this case?
By its own terms, the Convention applies to all international transportation of persons
performed by aircraft for hire.
International transportation is defined in paragraph (2) of Article 1 as follows:
(2) For the purposes of this convention, the expression "international
transportation" shall mean any transportation in which, according to the
contract made by the parties, the place of departure and the place of
destination, whether or not there be a break in the transportation or a
transshipment, are situated [either] within the territories of two High
Contracting Parties . . .
Whether the transportation is "international" is determined by the contract of the parties,
which in the case of passengers is the ticket. When the contract of carriage provides for the
transportation of the passenger between certain designated terminals "within the territories
of two High Contracting Parties," the provisions of the Convention automatically apply and
exclusively govern the rights and liabilities of the airline and its passenger.
Since the flight involved in the case at bar is international, the same being from the United
States to the Philippines and back to the United States, it is subject to the provisions of the
Warsaw Convention, including Article 28(1), which enumerates the four places where an
action for damages may be brought.
Does Article 28(1) refer to Jurisdiction or Venue?
...where the matter is governed by the Warsaw Convention, jurisdiction takes on a dual
concept. Jurisdiction in the international sense must be established in accordance with
Article 28(1) of the Warsaw Convention, following which the jurisdiction of a particular court
must be established pursuant to the applicable domestic law. Only after the question of
which court has jurisdiction is determined will the issue of venue be taken up. This second
question shall be governed by the law of the court to which the case is submitted.
Was the case properly filed in the Philippines, since the plaintiffs destination was
The place of destination, within the meaning of the Warsaw Convention, is determined by
the terms of the contract of carriage or, specifically in this case, the ticket between the
passenger and the carrier. Examination of the petitioner's ticket shows that his ultimate
destination is San Francisco. Although the date of the return flight was left open, the
contract of carriage between the parties indicates that NOA was bound to transport the
petitioner to San Francisco from Manila. Manila should therefore be considered merely an
agreed stopping place and not the destination.
Article 1(2) also draws a distinction between a "destination" and an "agreed stopping place."
It is the "destination" and not an "agreed stopping place" that controls for purposes of
ascertaining jurisdiction under the Convention.
The contract is a single undivided operation, beginning with the place of departure and
ending with the ultimate destination. The use of the singular in this expression indicates the
understanding of the parties to the Convention that every contract of carriage has one place
of departure and one place of destination. An intermediate place where the carriage may be
broken is not regarded as a "place of destination."
WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED, with costs against the petitioner. It is so ordered.

V. SUCCESSION AND PROPERTY: SUCCESSION Extrinsic Validity and Probate of Wills

Vda. De Perez vs. Tolete, G.R. No. 76714, June 2, 1994
Dr. Jose Cunanan and his wife, Dr. Evelyn Perez-Cunanan, who became American citizens
and residents of New York, each executed a will also in New York, containing provisions on
presumption of survivorship (in the event that it is not known which one of the spouses died
first, the husband shall be presumed to have predeceased his wife). Later, the entire family

perished in a fire that gutted their home. Thus, Rafael, who was named trustee in Joses will,
filed for separate probate proceedings of the wills.
Later, Evelyns mother, Salud Perez, filed a petition for reprobate in Bulacan. Rafael
opposed, arguing that Salud was not an heir according to New York law. He contended that
since the wills were executed in New York, New York law should govern. He further argued
that, by New York law, he and his brothers and sisters were Joses heirs and as such entitled
to notice of the reprobate proceedings, which Salud failed to give.
For her part, Salud said she was the sole heir of her daughter, Evelyn, and that the two wills
were in accordance with New York law. But before she could present evidence to prove the
law of New York, the reprobate court already issued an order, disallowing the wills.
ISSUE: Whether or not the reprobate of the wills should be allowed
Extrinsic Validity of Wills of Non-Resident Aliens
The respective wills of the Cunanan spouses, who were American citizens, will only be
effective in this country upon compliance with the following provision of the Civil Code of the
Art. 816. The will of an alien who is abroad produces effect in the Philippines if
made with the formalities prescribed by the law of the place in which he
resides, or according to the formalities observed in his country, or in
conformity with those which this Code prescribes.
Thus, proof that both wills conform with the formalities prescribed by New York laws or by
Philippine laws is imperative.
Evidence for Reprobate of Wills Probated outside the Philippines
The evidence necessary for the reprobate or allowance of wills which have been probated
outside of the Philippines are as follows: (1) the due execution of the will in accordance with
the foreign laws; (2) the testator has his domicile in the foreign country and not in the
Philippines; (3) the will has been admitted to probate in such country; (4) the fact that the
foreign tribunal is a probate court, and (5) the laws of a foreign country on procedure and
allowance of wills (III Moran Commentaries on the Rules of Court, 1970 ed., pp. 419-429;
Suntay v. Suntay, 95 Phil. 500 [1954]; Fluemer v. Hix, 54 Phil. 610 [1930]). Except for the
first and last requirements, the petitioner submitted all the needed evidence.
The necessity of presenting evidence on the foreign laws upon which the probate in the
foreign country is based is impelled by the fact that our courts cannot take judicial notice of
On Lack of Notice to Joses Heirs
This petition cannot be completely resolved without touching on a very glaring fact petitioner has always considered herself the sole heir of Dr. Evelyn Perez Cunanan and
because she does not consider herself an heir of Dr. Jose F. Cunanan, she noticeably failed to
notify his heirs of the filing of the proceedings. Thus, even in the instant petition, she only
impleaded respondent Judge, forgetting that a judge whose order is being assailed is merely
a nominal or formal party (Calderon v. Solicitor General, 215 SCRA 876 [1992]).
The rule that the court having jurisdiction over the reprobate of a will shall "cause notice
thereof to be given as in case of an original will presented for allowance" (Revised Rules of
Court, Rule 27, Section 2) means that with regard to notices, the will probated abroad should
be treated as if it were an "original will" or a will that is presented for probate for the first
time. Accordingly, compliance with Sections 3 and 4 of Rule 76, which require publication
and notice by mail or personally to the "known heirs, legatees, and devisees of the testator
resident in the Philippines" and to the executor, if he is not the petitioner, are required.
The brothers and sisters of Dr. Jose F. Cunanan, contrary to petitioner's claim, are entitled to
notices of the time and place for proving the wills. Under Section 4 of Rule 76 of the Revised
Rules of Court, the "court shall also cause copies of the notice of the time and place fixed for
proving the will to be addressed to the designated or other known heirs, legatees, and
devisees of the testator, . . . "
WHEREFORE, the questioned Order is SET ASIDE. Respondent Judge shall allow petitioner
reasonable time within which to submit evidence needed for the joint probate of the wills of
the Cunanan spouses and see to it that the brothers and sisters of Dr. Jose F. Cunanan are
given all notices and copies of all pleadings pertinent to the probate proceedings.

Tayag vs. Benguet Consolidated, Inc., G.R. No. L-23145, Nov. 29, 1968
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 the order of the lower court is proper
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.
Laurel vs. Garcia, G.R. No. 92013, July 25, 1990
The Roppongi Property is one of the four properties in Japan acquired by the Philippine
government under the Reparations Agreement, as part of the indemnification to the Filipino
people for their losses in life and property and their suffering during WWII. The Roppongi
property became the site of the Philippine Embassy until the latter was transferred to
another site when the Roppongi building needed major repairs. Due to the failure of our
government to provide necessary funds, the Roppongi property has remained undeveloped
since that time. After many years, the Aquino administration advanced the sale of the
reparation properties, which included the Roppongi lot. This move was opposed on the
ground that the Roppongi property is public in character. For their part, the proponents of
the sale raised that Japanese law should apply, following the doctrine of lex loci rei sitae.
ISSUE: Whether or not the conflict of law rule on lex loci rei sitae should apply

We see no reason why a conflict of law rule should apply when no conflict of law situation
exists. A conflict of law situation arises only when: (1) There is a dispute over the title or
ownership of an immovable, such that the capacity to take and transfer immovables, the
formalities of conveyance, the essential validity and effect of the transfer, or the
interpretation and effect of a conveyance, are to be determined (See Salonga, Private
International Law, 1981 ed., pp. 377-383); and (2) A foreign law on land ownership and its
conveyance is asserted to conflict with a domestic law on the same matters. Hence, the
need to determine which law should apply.
In the instant case, none of the above elements exists.
The issues are not concerned with validity of ownership or title. There is no question that the
property belongs to the Philippines. The issue is the authority of the respondent officials to
validly dispose of property belonging to the State. And the validity of the procedures
adopted to effect its sale. This is governed by Philippine Law. The rule of lex situs does not
The assertion that the opinion of the Secretary of Justice sheds light on the relevance of the
lex situs rule is misplaced. The opinion does not tackle the alienability of the real properties
procured through reparations nor the existence in what body of the authority to sell them. In
discussing who are capable of acquiring the lots, the Secretary merely explains that it is the
foreign law which should determine who can acquire the properties so that the constitutional
limitation on acquisition of lands of the public domain to Filipino citizens and entities wholly
owned by Filipinos is inapplicable. We see no point in belaboring whether or not this opinion
is correct. Why should we discuss who can acquire the Roppongi lot when there is no
showing that it can be sold?

United Airlines vs. Uy, G.R. No. 127768, Nov. 19, 1999

October 13, 1989 Respondent Willie Uy is a passenger of petitioner United Airlines, bound
from San Francisco to Manila. While in San Francisco, it was found that one piece of his
luggage was over the maximum weight allowance of 70 kg. per bag. A United Airlines
employee rebuked him and in a loud voice, in front of the milling crowd, ordered him to
repack his things accordingly. Wishing not to create a scene, Willie did as asked.
Unfortunately, his luggage was still overweight so the airline billed him overweight charges.
Willie offered to pay the charges with a Miscellaneous Charge Order (MCO) or an airline prepaid credit but the same employee, and an airline supervisor, refused to honor it, contending
that there were discrepancies in the figures. Thus, Willie was forced to pay the charges with
his American Express credit card. Upon arrival in Manila, Willie discovered that one of his
bags had been slashed and its contents, amounting to US$5,310.00, stolen.
October 16, 1989 he sent his first letter of demand to United Airlines. The airline did not
refute Willies allegations and mailed a check representing payment of his loss based on the
maximum liability of US$9.70 per pound. Willie, thinking the amount to be grossly
inadequate to compensate him for his losses as well as for the indignities he was subjected
to, sent two more letters to petitioner airline, one dated January 4, 1990 and the other dated
October 28, 1991, demanding out-of-court settlement of P1,000,000.00.
June 9, 1992 Willie filed a complaint for damages before the Philippine courts. He had two
causes of action: (1) the shabby and humiliating treatment he received from petitioners
employees at the San Francisco Airport which caused him extreme embarrassment and
social humiliation; and (2) the slashing of his luggage and the loss of personal effects
amounting to US$5,310.00.
For its part, United Airlines moved to dismiss the complaint on the ground that it was filed
out of time. Under Art. 29 of the Warsaw Convention, the right to damages shall be
extinguished if an action is not brought within 2 years. However, the second paragraph of
the said provision stated that the method of calculating the period of limitation shall be
determined by the law of the court to which the case is submitted. It is Willies position that
our rules on interruption of prescriptive period should apply. When he sent his letters of
demand, the 2-year period was tolled, giving him ample time to file his complaint.
The trial court ordered the dismissal of the case, holding that Art. 29(2) refers not to the
local forums rules in interrupting the prescriptive period but only to the rules of determining
the time in which the action was deemed commenced (meaning filed). Willie filed his
motion for reconsideration of the order of dismissal only on the 14th day. The trial court
denied his motion and 2 days later Willie filed his notice of appeal. United Airlines this time
contended that the notice of appeal was filed beyond the 15-day reglementary period and
should therefore be dismissed. The CA, however, took cognizance of the case in the interest
of justice and ruled in favour of respondent. Hence, this petition for certiorari.
Whether or not the action for damages is barred by the lapse of the 2-year
prescriptive period under Art. 29 of the Warsaw Convention
Supreme Court held that although the 2-year prescriptive period under the Warsaw
Convention has lapsed, it did not preclude the application of other pertinent provisions of the
Civil Code. Thus, the action for damages could still be filed based on tort which can be filed
within 4 years from the time cause of action accrued. As for the action pertaining to the loss
of the contents of the luggage, while it was well within the bounds of the Warsaw
Convention, the Supreme Court found that there was an exception to the applicability of the
2-year prescriptive period that is when the airline employed delaying tactics and gave the
passenger the run-around.
Applicability of the Warsaw Convention: Courts have discretion whether to apply
them or not
Within our jurisdiction we have held that the Warsaw Convention can be applied, or ignored,
depending on the peculiar facts presented by each case. Thus, we have ruled that the
Convention's provisions do not regulate or exclude liability for other breaches of contract by
the carrier or misconduct of its officers and employees, or for some particular or exceptional
type of damage. Neither may the Convention be invoked to justify the disregard of some
extraordinary sort of damage resulting to a passenger and preclude recovery therefor
beyond the limits set by said Convention. Likewise, we have held that the Convention does
not preclude the operation of the Civil Code and other pertinent laws. It does not regulate,
much less exempt, the carrier from liability for damages for violating the rights of its
passengers under the contract of carriage, especially if willful misconduct on the part of the
carrier's employees is found or established.

Respondent's complaint reveals that he is suing on two (2) causes of action: (a) the shabby
and humiliating treatment he received from petitioner's employees at the San Francisco
Airport which caused him extreme embarrassment and social humiliation; and, (b) the
slashing of his luggage and the loss of his personal effects amounting to US $5,310.00.
While his second cause of action - an action for damages arising from theft or damage to
property or goods - is well within the bounds of the Warsaw Convention, his first cause of
action -an action for damages arising from the misconduct of the airline employees and the
violation of respondent's rights as passenger - clearly is not.
Action for damages arsing from the misconduct of the airline employees and the
violation of the respondents rights as passengers is covered under the Civil Code
Consequently, insofar as the first cause of action is concerned, respondent's failure to file his
complaint within the two (2)-year limitation of the Warsaw Convention does not bar his
action since petitioner airline may still be held liable for breach of other provisions of the
Civil Code which prescribe a different period or procedure for instituting the action,
specifically, Art. 1146 thereof which prescribes four (4) years for filing an action based on
Exception to the Application of the 2-year prescriptive period: When airline
employed delaying tactics
As for respondent's second cause of action, indeed the travaux preparatories of the Warsaw
Convention reveal that the delegates thereto intended the two (2)-year limitation
incorporated in Art. 29 as an absolute bar to suit and not to be made subject to the various
tolling provisions of the laws of the forum. This therefore forecloses the application of our
own rules on interruption of prescriptive periods. Article 29, par. (2), was intended only to
let local laws determine whether an action had been commenced within the two (2)-year
period, and within our jurisdiction an action shall be deemed commenced upon the filing of a
complaint. Since it is indisputable that respondent filed the present action beyond the two
(2)-year time frame his second cause of action must be barred. Nonetheless, it cannot be
doubted that respondent exerted efforts to immediately convey his loss to petitioner, even
employed the services of two (2) lawyers to follow up his claims, and that the filing of the
action itself was delayed because of petitioner's evasion.
Verily, respondent filed his complaint more than two (2) years later, beyond the period of
limitation prescribed by the Warsaw Convention for filing a claim for damages. However, it
is obvious that respondent was forestalled from immediately filing an action because
petitioner airline gave him the runaround, answering his letters but not giving in to his
demands. True, respondent should have already filed an action at the first instance when his
claims were denied by petitioner but the same could only be due to his desire to make an
out-of-court settlement for which he cannot be faulted. Hence, despite the express mandate
of Art. 29 of the Warsaw Convention that an action for damages should be filed within two
(2) years from the arrival at the place of destination, such rule shall not be applied in the
instant case because of the delaying tactics employed by petitioner airline itself. Thus,
private respondent's second cause of action cannot be considered as time-barred under Art.
29 of the Warsaw Convention.
WHEREFORE, the assailed Decision of the Court of Appeals reversing and setting aside the
appealed order of the trial court granting the motion to dismiss the complaint, as well as its
Resolution denying reconsideration, is AFFIRMED. Let the records of the case be remanded
to the court of origin for further proceedings taking its bearings from this disquisition.
Zalamea vs. CA, G.R. No. 104235, Nov. 18, 1993
The Zalamea spouses and their daughter purchased 3 airline tickets from the Manila agent
of respondent TransWorld Airlines (TWA) for a flight to New York to Los Angeles. The tickets
of the spouses were purchased at a discount of 75% while that of their daughter was a fullfare ticket. All three tickets represented confirmed reservations.
While in New York, the Zalameas received notice of the reconfirmation of their reservations
for said flight. However, on the appointed date, they found that on account of the flights
overbooking, they had to be wait-listed. Out of those wait-listed, the ones with full-fare
tickets were preferred. Thus, the Zalamea husband, who was holding his daughters full-fare
ticket, was the only person to get on board the flight while his spouse and daughter had to
wait for the next flight. But this next flight was likewise overbooked, forcing the wife and
daughter to just purchase new airline tickets from American Airlines.

Upon their return to the Philippines, the Zalameas filed an action for breach of contract of
carriage against TWA. The trial court awarded them actual damages, moral damages plus
attorneys fees. On appeal, the CA held that the award of moral damages was not proper
since the same is only recoverable in a damage suit predicated upon a breach of contract of
carriage only where there is fraud or bad faith. CA found that overbooking of flights, which is
allowed under the Code of Federal Regulations by the Civil Aeronautics Board, does not
amount to bad faith.
ISSUE: Whether or not TWA was in bad faith
US law or regulation allegedly authorizing overbooking has never been proved.
That there was fraud or bad faith on the part of respondent airline when it did not allow
petitioners to board their flight for Los Angeles in spite of confirmed tickets cannot be
disputed. The U.S. law or regulation allegedly authorizing overbooking has never been
proved. Foreign laws do not prove themselves nor can the courts take judicial notice of
them. Like any other fact, they must be alleged and proved. Written law may be evidenced
by an official publication thereof or by a copy attested by the officer having the legal
custody of the record, or by his deputy, and accompanied with a certificate that such officer
has custody. The certificate may be made by a secretary of an embassy or legation, consul
general, consul, vice-consul, or consular agent or by any officer in the foreign service of the
Philippines stationed in the foreign country in which the record is kept, and authenticated by
the seal of his office.
Respondent TWA relied solely on the statement of Ms. Gwendolyn Lather, its customer
service agent, in her deposition dated January 27, 1986 that the Code of Federal Regulations
of the Civil Aeronautics Board allows overbooking. Aside from said statement, no official
publication of said code was presented as evidence. Thus, respondent court's finding that
overbooking is specifically allowed by the US Code of Federal Regulations has no basis in
But even if the US Code of Federal Regulations does exist, it is not applicable in
accordance with the principle of LEX LOCI CONTRACTUS.
Even if the claimed U.S. Code of Federal Regulations does exist, the same is not applicable
to the case at bar in accordance with the principle of lex loci contractus which require that
the law of the place where the airline ticket was issued should be applied by the court where
the passengers are residents and nationals of the forum and the ticket is issued in such
State by the defendant airline. Since the tickets were sold and issued in the Philippines, the
applicable law in this case would be Philippine law.
Philippine jurisprudence states that overbooking amounts to bad faith.
Existing jurisprudence explicitly states that overbooking amounts to bad faith, entitling the
passengers concerned to an award of moral damages. In Alitalia Airways v. Court of Appeals,
where passengers with confirmed bookings were refused carriage on the last minute, this
Court held that when an airline issues a ticket to a passenger confirmed on a particular
flight, on a certain date, a contract of carriage arises, and the passenger has every right to
expect that he would fly on that flight and on that date. If he does not, then the carrier
opens itself to a suit for breach of contract of carriage. Where an airline had deliberately
overbooked, it took the risk of having to deprive some passengers of their seats in case all of
them would show up for the check in. For the indignity and inconvenience of being refused a
confirmed seat on the last minute, said passenger is entitled to an award of moral damages.
A contract of carriage is stamped with public interest.
A contract to transport passengers is quite different in kind and degree from any other
contractual relation. So ruled this Court in Zulueta v. Pan American World Airways, Inc. This
is so, for a contract of carriage generates a relation attended with public duty - a duty to
provide public service and convenience to its passengers which must be paramount to selfinterest or enrichment. ...inattention and lack of care for the interest of its passengers who
are entitled to its utmost consideration entitles the passenger to an award of moral
TWA is guilty of not informing its passengers about its overbooking policies and
hierarchy of tickets.
Even on the assumption that overbooking is allowed, respondent TWA is still guilty of bad
faith in not informing its passengers beforehand that it could breach the contract of carriage
even if they have confirmed tickets if there was overbooking. Respondent TWA should have
incorporated stipulations on overbooking on the tickets issued or to properly inform its
passengers about these policies so that the latter would be prepared for such eventuality or
would have the choice to ride with another airline.

It is respondent TWA's position that the practice of overbooking and the airline system of
boarding priorities are reasonable policies, which when implemented do not amount to bad
faith. But the issue raised in this case is not the reasonableness of said policies but whether
or not said policies were incorporated or deemed written on petitioners' contracts of
carriage. Respondent TWA failed to show that there are provisions to that effect. Neither did
it present any argument of substance to show that petitioners were duly apprised of the
overbooked condition of the flight or that there is a hierarchy of boarding priorities in
booking passengers. It is evident that petitioners had the right to rely upon the assurance of
respondent TWA, thru its agent in Manila, then in New York, that their tickets represented
confirmed seats without any qualification. The failure of respondent TWA to so inform them
when it could easily have done so thereby enabling respondent to hold on to them as
passengers up to the last minute amounts to bad faith. Evidently, respondent TWA placed its
self-interest over the rights of petitioners under their contracts of carriage. Such conscious
disregard of petitioners' rights makes respondent TWA liable for moral damages. To deter
breach of contracts by respondent TWA in similar fashion in the future, we adjudge
respondent TWA liable for exemplary damages, as well.

The Holy See vs. Rosario, Jr., G.R. No. 101949, December 1, 1994
A piece of real property was acquired by the Holy See by way of donation from the
Archdiocese of Manila. The purpose was to construct the official place of residence of the
Papal Nuncio. Later, the Holy See sold the property on condition that it will evict the
squatters therein. For failure to comply with the condition, the Holy See was sued. It moved
to dismiss on the ground of state immunity.
Issue: Whether respondent trial court has jurisdiction over petitioner being a foreign state
enjoying sovereign immunity.
The Republic of the Philippines has accorded the Holy See the status of a foreign sovereign.
The Holy See, through its Ambassador, the Papal Nuncio, has had diplomatic representations
with the Philippine Government since 1957.
The privilege of sovereign immunity in this case was sufficiently established by the
memorandum and certification of the Department of Foreign Affairs. The DFA has formally
intervened in this case and officially certified that the Embassy of the Holy See is a duly
accredited diplomatic mission to the Republic of the Philippines exempt from local
jurisdiction and entitled to all the rights, privileges and immunities of a diplomatic mission or
embassy in this country. The determination of the executive arm of government that a state

or instrumentality is entitled to sovereign or diplomatic immunity is a political question that

is conclusive upon the courts.
Where the plea of immunity is recognized and affirmed by the executive branch, it is the
duty of the courts to accept this claim so as not to embarrass the executive arm of the
government in conducting the countrys foreign relations.
Suzara vs. Benipayo, G.R. No. L-57999, Aug. 15, 1989
Filipino seamen, petitioners; Magsaysay Lines, Inc., private respondent. Petitioners seamen
entered into a contract of employment with private respondent, MLI, which was verified and
approved by the National Seamen Board (NSB). In the port of Vancouver, petitioner received
additional wages under rates prescribed by the International Transport Workers Federation
(ITF). In the port of Yura, Japan, the petitioners were made to disembark. In Nagoya, Japan,
petitioners were made to sign an agreement in consideration of the dismissal of the case
filed against them in the NSB. It appeared that the lines which amount/s was/were received
and held by crew members in trust for shipowners was inserted, therein, thereby making it
appear that the amount given to the petitioners representing the increase in their wages
based on ITF rates were only received by them in trust for the private respondent. When the
vessel reached Manila, the private respondent demanded from the petitioners the
overpayments made to them in Canada.
ISSUE: Whether or not contract stipulation is valid
There is nothing in the public and private respondents' pleadings, to support the allegations
that the petitioners used force and violence to secure the special agreement signed in
Vancouver. British Columbia. There was no need for any form of intimidation coming from
the Filipino seamen because the Canadian Brotherhood of Railways and Transport Workers
(CBRT), a strong Canadian labor union, backed by an international labor federation was
actually doing all the influencing not only on the ship-owners and employers but also against
third world seamen themselves who, by receiving lower wages and cheaper
accommodations, were threatening the employment and livelihood of seamen from
developed nations.
It is impractical for the NSB to require the petitioners, caught in the middle of a labor
struggle between the ITF and owners of ocean going vessels halfway around the world in
Vancouver, British Columbia to first secure the approval of the NSB in Manila before signing
an agreement which the employer was willing to sign. It is also totally unrealistic to expect
the petitioners while in Canada to exhibit the will and strength to oppose the ITF's demand
for an increase in their wages, assuming they were so minded.
An examination of Annex C of the petition, the agreement signed in Japan by the
crewmembers of the M/V Grace River and a certain M. Tabei, representative of the Japanese
shipowner lends credence to the petitioners' claim that the clause "which amount(s) was
received and held by CREWMEMBERS in trust for SHIPOWNER" was an intercalation added
after the execution of the agreement. The clause appears too closely typed below the names
of the 19 crewmen and their wages with no similar intervening space as that which appears
between all the paragraphs and the triple space which appears between the list of
crewmembers and their wages on one hand and the paragraph above which introduces the
list, on the other. The verb "were" was also inserted above the verb "was" to make the
clause grammatically correct but the insertion of "were" is already on the same line as
"Antonio Miranda and 5,221.06" where it clearly does not belong. There is no other space
where the word "were" could be intercalated. (See Rollo, page 80).
At any rate, the proposition that the petitioners should have pretended to accept the
increased wages while in Vancouver but returned them to the shipowner when they reached
its country, Japan, has already been answered earlier by the Court:
Filipino seamen are admittedly as competent and reliable as seamen from any
other country in the world. Otherwise, there would not be so many of them in
the vessels sailing in every ocean and sea on this globe. It is competence and
reliability, not cheap labor that makes our seamen so greatly in demand.
Filipino seamen have never demanded the same high salaries as seamen from
the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan and other developed nations.
But certainly they are entitled to government protection when they ask for fair
and decent treatment by their employer and when they exercise the right to
petition for improved terms of employment, especially when they feel that

these are sub-standard or are capable of improvement according to

internationally accepted rules. In the domestic scene, there are marginal
employers who prepare two sets of payrolls for their employees one in
keeping with minimum wages and the other recording the sub-standard wages
that the employees really receive. The reliable employers, however, not only
meet the minimums required by fair labor standards legislation but even go
away above the minimums while earning reasonable profits and prospering.
The same is true of international employment. There is no reason why this
court and the Ministry of Labor and Employment or its agencies and
commissions should come out with pronouncements based on the standards
and practices of unscrupulous or inefficient shipowners, who claim they
cannot survive without resorting to tricky and deceptive schemes, instead of
Government maintaining labor law and jurisprudence according to the
practices of honorable, competent, and law-abiding employers, domestic or
foreign. (Vir-Jen Shipping, supra, pp. 587-588)
It is noteworthy to emphasize that while the Intemational Labor Organization (ILO) set the
minimum basic wage of able seamen at US$187.00 as early as October 1976, it was only in
1979 that the respondent NSB issued Memo Circular No. 45, enjoining all shipping
companies to adopt the said minimum basic wage. It was correct for the respondent NSB to
state in its decision that when the petitioners entered into separate contracts between 19771978, the monthly minimum basic wage for able seamen ordered by NSB was still fixed at
US$130.00. However, it is not the fault of the petitioners that the NSB not only violated the
Labor Code which created it and the Rules and Regulations Implementing the Labor Code
but also seeks to punish the seamen for a shortcoming of NSB itself.
Article 21(c) of the Labor Code, when it created the NSB, mandated the Board to "(O)btain
the best possible terms and conditions of employment for seamen."

Everett Steamship Corp. vs. CA, G.R. No. 122494, Oct. 8, 1998
Private respondent, Hernandez Trading Co., imported three crates of bus spare parts from its
supplier, Maruman Trading Co., a foreign corporation based in Inazawa, Aichi, Japan. The
crates were shipped to Manila on board a vessel owned by petitioners principal, Everett
Orient Lines. Upon arrival in Manila, one of the crates went missing, prompting Hernandez
Trading to file a formal claim in an amount equivalent to that stated in the invoice. But
Everett offered to pay only the amount stipulated in the limited liability clause contained in
the bill of lading, which amount is lower than that stated in the invoice.
The case went to trial and the lower court judged in favour of Hernandez Trading, basing its
decision on Art. 1750, NCC: A contract fixing the sum that may be recovered by the owner
or shipper for the loss, destruction or deterioration of the goods is valid, if it is reasonable
and just under the circumstances, and has been fairly and freely agreed upon. According to
the trial court, the limited liability clause was written in fine print and can be found at the
back of the bill of lading and that the same was a contract of adhesion. Such being the case,
any doubts regarding the provisions ought to be resolved against the one causing such

The CA affirmed the decision, adding that Hernandez Trading is not bound by the clause
because it is not privy to the contract of carriage between Maruman Trading and Everett.
Hernandez Trading is a mere consignee.
ISSUE: Whether or not the limited liability clause in the bill of lading is valid
Stipulation is valid
A stipulation in the bill of lading limiting the common carriers liability for loss or destruction
of a cargo to a certain sum, unless the shipper or owner declares a greater value, is
sanctioned by law, particularly Arts. 1749 and 1750.
The Supreme Court ruled that the questioned stipulation is reasonable and just. In the bill of
lading, the carrier made it clear that its liability would only be up to Y100,000. However, the
shipper Maruman Trading had the option to declare a higher valuation if the value of its
cargo was higher than the limited liability of the carrier. Considering that the shipper did not
declare a higher valuation, it had itself to blame for not complying with the stipulation.
Contracts of adhesion, not invalid per se
On the issue of the clause being written in fine print, the Supreme Court held that contracts
of adhesion, like a bill of lading, are not invalid per se. The shipper Maruman Trading has
been extensively engaged in the trading business. It cannot be said to be ignorant of the
business transactions it entered into involving the shipment of its goods to its customers.
Consignee is bound by the contract
Even if the consignee is not a signatory to the contract of carriage, it is still bound by
principle of agency (agent of shipper or consignor) or as a stranger in whose favour a
contract is executed. Everett, being such consignee, is trying to enforce the contract by
trying to recover for the loss of its goods. So it cannot now reject the stipulation limiting the
carriers liability because in trying to enforce the contract, it is now bound by the whole
Higher valuation in the invoice is irrelevant
For the shipper to recover a higher valuation, the declaration must be in writing and inserted
in the bill of lading. Thus, the higher valuation in the invoice is of no moment since the same
was not made a part of the bill of lading.

Tenchavez vs. Escano, G.R. No. L-19671, Nov. 29, 1965

Vicenta Escano, 27, and Pastor Tenchavez, 32, without knowledge of Vicentas parents,
contracted a marriage, solemnized by Catholic chaplain, Lt. Moises Lavares. Later, however,
the parents found out. Upon advise of a certain Father Reynes, it was decided that the
marriage would have to be re-celebrated as the priest believed that the same was invalid
since the solemnizing chaplain lacked authority from the Archbishop or the parish priest. But
this re-celebration of the marriage did not push through on account of Vicentas refusal,
having found out from friends in school (USC) that Pastor was having an affair with their
common friend, Pacita Noel. Thereupon, Pastor returned to his work in Manila while Vicenta
continued to live with her parents.
Years later, Vicenta filed a case for annulment of the marriage before the regional trial court
in Misamis but the case was dismissed due to her non-appearance. Vicenta then applied for

a US passport and while in the US, she filed a petition for divorce, which was granted. Not
long after, she married an American and bore children with him. In 1958, she acquired
American citizenship.
Meanwhile, in the Philippines, Pastor initiated legal separation proceedings and damages
against Vicenta and her parents (due to alienation of affection). In her answer, Vicenta
claimed a valid divorce. The lower court did not decree legal separation but freed Pastor
from supporting his wife and allowed him to acquire properties on his own.
ISSUE: Whether or not the marriage between Vicenta and Pastor still exists
Valid marriage
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 in the presence of
competent witnesses. It is nowhere shown that said priest was not duly authorized under the
civil law to solemnize marriage.
The chaplains alleged lack of ecclesiastical authority from the parish priest and the Ordinary
as required by Canon Laws, is irrelevant in our civil law, not only because of separation of
Church and State but also because of Act 3613 of the Philippine Legislature, the law in force
at the time the marriage was celebrated.
Moreover, the authority of the solemnizing officer is merely a formal requirement. Any
irregularity as to its compliance does not make the marriage null and void ab initio.
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. Doubts as to authority of the
solemnizing priest arose after marriage when Fr. Reynes was consulted. Vicentas act of
abandoning her original action for annulment and subsequent filing for divorce implies an
admission that her marriage to plaintiff was valid and binding.
Divorce is not recognized in the Philippines
At the time the divorce decree was issued, Vicenta was still a Filipina, subject to Philippine
laws. The Civil Code, now in force, does not admit absolute divorce, only legal separation,
and even then, marriage bonds shall not be severed. The marriage between Vicenta and
Pastor is existent and undissolved.
Legal separation is proper
Vicentas marriage to the American is technically intercourse with a person not her
husband from the standpoint of Philippine law, entitling Pastor to a decree of legal
separation on the ground of adultery.
Van Dorn vs. Romillo, G.R. No. L-68470, Oct. 8, 1985
Alice Reyes, Filipina, married Richard Upton, American, in Hong Kong and then established
their residence in the Philippines where they had two children. Later, they obtained a divorce
in Nevada, USA. The divorce decree stated that there was no conjugal property. Alice then
re-married Van Dorn, also in Nevada.
Upton later filed a case in Pasay City against Alice, claiming that her business (Galleon Shop)
is conjugal property and that she should render account for it or that he, as still her husband
under Philippine laws, should be allowed to manage to it. Alice argued that the action is
barred by the divorce decree obtained abroad. However, the lower court ruled that the
property is located in the Philippines so the Nevada divorce decree has no bearing the case
(it applied the lex rei sitae rule).
ISSUE: Whether the foreign divorce decree affects the conjugal property located in the

Divorce decree valid
There can be no question as to the validity of that Nevada divorce in any of the States of the
United States. The decree is binding on private respondent as an American citizen. For
instance, private respondent cannot sue petitioner, as her husband, in any State of the
Union. What he is contending in this case is that the divorce is not valid and binding in this
jurisdiction, the same being contrary to local law and public policy.
It is true that owing to the nationality principle embodied in Article 15 of the Civil Code, only
Philippine nationals are covered by the policy against absolute divorces the same being
considered contrary to our concept of public policy and morality. However, aliens may obtain
divorces abroad, which may be recognized in the Philippines, provided they are valid
according to their national law. In this case, the divorce in Nevada released private
respondent from the marriage from the standards of American law, under which divorce
dissolves the marriage.
Thus, pursuant to his national law, private respondent is no longer the husband of petitioner.
He would have no standing to sue in the case below as petitioners husband entitled to
exercise control over conjugal assets. As he is bound by the Decision of his own countrys
Court, which validly exercised jurisdiction over him, and whose decision he does not
repudiate, he is stopped by his own representation before said Court from asserting his right
over the alleged conjugal property.
To maintain, as private respondent does, that, under our laws, petitioner has to be
considered still married to private respondent and still subject to a wifes obligations under
Art. 109, et. Seq. Of the Civil Code cannot be just. Petitioner should not be obliged to live
together, observe respect and fidelity, and render support to private respondent. The latter
should not continue to be one of her heirs with possible rights to conjugal property. She
should not be discriminated against in her own country if the ends of justice are to be
Llorente vs. CA, G.R. No. 124371, Nov. 23, 2000
Paula and Lorenzo were married in Camarines Sur. Before the outbreak of the Pacific War,
Lorenzo departed for the US while Paula stayed at home. Lorenzo became an American
citizen by naturalization. Upon liberation of the Philippines, Lorenzo was granted a leave so
he returned to Paula, only to find her pregnant and having a living in relationship with his
brother. Paula later gave birth to a boy.
Lorenzo did not forgive Paula and instead made an agreement with her for separation of
property and no support. Lorenzo then went back to the US where he obtained a divorce.
When he returned to the Philippines, he married Alicia, with whom he had three children.
Prior to his death, Lorenzo instituted probate proceedings for his will, but died before its
termination. Paula then filed for issuance of letters testamentary, contending that she is
Lorenzos legal wife.
ISSUE: Whether the divorce obtained by Lorenzo abroad is valid in the Philippines
Which law should apply
The fact that the late Lorenzo N. Llorente became an American citizen long before and at the
time of: (1) his divorce from Paula; (2) marriage to Alicia; (3) execution of his will; and (4)
death, is duly established, admitted and undisputed.
Thus, as a rule, issues arising from these incidents are necessarily governed by foreign law.
Validity of the Foreign Divorce
In Van Dorn v. Romillo, Jr., we held that owing to the nationality principle embodied in Article
15 of the Civil Code, only Philippine nationals are covered by the policy against absolute

divorces, the same being considered contrary to our concept of public policy and morality. In
the same case, the Court ruled that aliens may obtain divorces abroad, provided they are
valid according to their national law.
Citing this landmark case, the Court held in Quita v. Court of Appeals, that once proven that
respondent was no longer a Filipino citizen when he obtained the divorce from petitioner, the
ruling in Van Dorn would become applicable and petitioner could very well lose her right to
inherit from him.
In Pilapil v. Ibay-Somera, we recognized the divorce obtained by the respondent in his
country, the Federal Republic of Germany. There, we stated that divorce and its legal effects
may be recognized in the Philippines insofar as respondent is concerned in view of the
nationality principle in our civil law on the status of persons.
Rayray vs. Chae Kung Lee, G.R. No. L-18176, Oct. 26, 1966
Plaintiff Lazaro Rayray (Filipino) seeks the annulment of his marriage (celebrated in South
Korea) to defendant Chae Kyung Lee (South Korean whose whereabouts are unknown).
Inasmuch as, the latter's whereabouts is unknown, and she was formerly a resident of
Pusan, Korea, summons was served by publication. The trial court dismissed the complaint
upon the ground: (1) that the court could not nullify a marriage contracted abroad; and (2)
that facts proven do not warrant the relief prayed for. CA affirmed.
ISSUE: Whether or not the Philippine courts have jurisdiction to nullify a marriage
contracted abroad
In order that a given case could be validly decided by a court of justice, it must have
jurisdiction over (1) the subject-matter of the litigation; (2) the person of the parties therein;
and (3) in actions in rem or quasi-in-rem, the res.
The subject-matter of the present case is the annulment of plaintiffs marriage to the
defendant, which is within the jurisdiction of our courts of first instance, and, in Manila, of its
Court of Juvenile and Domestic Relations.
The same acquired jurisdiction over plaintiff herein by his submission thereto in
consequence of the filing of the complaint herein. Defendant was placed under the
jurisdiction of said court, upon the service of summons by publication.
This is an action in rem, for it concerns the status of the parties herein, and status affects or
binds the whole world. The res in the present case is the relation between said parties, or
their marriage tie. Jurisdiction over the same depends upon the nationality or domicile of the
parities, not the place of celebration of marriage, or the locus celebrationis. Plaintiff here is a
citizen of the Philippines, domiciled therein. His status is, therefore, subject to our
jurisdiction, on both counts. True that defendant was and under plaintiffs theory still is a
non-resident alien. But this fact does not deprive the lower court of its jurisdiction to pass
upon the validity of her marriage to plaintiff herein.
Indeed, marriage is one of the cases of double status, in that status therein involves and
affects two persons. One is married, never in abstract or a vacuum, but, always to somebody
else. Hence, a judicial decree on the marriage status of a person necessarily reflects upon
the status of another and the relation between them. The prevailing rule is, accordingly, that
a court has jurisdiction over the res, in an action for annulment of marriage, provided, at
least, one of the parties is domiciled in, or a national of, the forum. Since plaintiff is a
Filipino, domiciled in the Philippines, it follows that the lower court had jurisdiction over the
res, in addition to its jurisdiction over the subject-matter and the parties. In other words, it
could validly inquire into the legality of the marriage between the parties herein.

Time, Inc. vs. Reyes, G.R. No. L-28882, May 31, 1971
This case stemmed from a civil case for damages (libel) between Villegas and Enrile as
plaintiffs (herein respondents) and Time, Inc. as defendant (herein petitioner). In this civil
case, a writ of attachment was issued against the real and personal estate of Time and
summons was served to its offices in NY. Time, which is an American corporation with
principal offices in Rockefeller Center, NYC, moved to dismiss the complaint for lack of
jurisdiction and improper venue. Trial court, however, deferred the determination of said
motion and tried the case on the merits. Hence, this petition for certiorari and prohibition.
ISSUE: Whether or not venue is improper
SC held in the affirmative.
Under RA 4363, venue of a civil action for damages in cases of written defamations is
localized upon the basis of, first, whether the offended party or plaintiff is a public officer or
a private individual; and second, if he is a public officer, whether his office is in Manila or not
in Manila, at the time of the commission of the offense. If the offended party is a public
officer in office in the City of Manila, the proviso limits him to two (2) choices of venue,
namely, in the Court of First Instance of the City of Manila or in the city or province where
the libelous article is printed and first published.
The complaint lodged in the court of Rizal by respondents does not allege that the libelous
article was printed and first published in the province of Rizal and, since the respondentsplaintiffs are public officers with offices in Manila at the time of the commission of the
alleged offense, it is clear that the only place left for them wherein to file their action is the
Court of First Instance of Manila.
However, they filed their case in Rizal. Hence, there is improper venue.
Does the rule on venue under RA 4363 apply to non-resident defendants?
There is nothing in the text of the law that would sustain such unequal protection to some of
those who may be charged with libel. The official proclamation that a Philippine Press
Council has been organized is made a pre-condition to the effectivity of the entire RA 4363,
and no terms are employed therein to indicate that the law can or will be effective only as to
some, but not all, of those that may be charged with libelling our public officers.
The assertion that a foreign corporation or a non-resident defendant is not inconvenienced
by an out-of-town suit is irrelevant and untenable, for venue and jurisdiction are not
dependent upon convenience or inconvenience to a party; and moreover, venue was fixed
under RA 4363, pursuant to the basic policy of the law that is, as previously stated, to
protect the interest of the public service when the offended party is a public officer, by
minimizing as much as possible any interference with the discharge of his duties.
Perkins vs. Benguet Consolidated Mining, G.R. No. L-1981, Oct. 30, 1953
Perkins vs. Roxas, G.R. No. 47517, June 27, 1941
Eugene Arthur Perkins filed a complaint with CFI Manila against Benguet Consolidated Mining
Company for the recovery of a sum of money, consisting of dividends which have been
declared and made payable to shares of stocks registered under Eugenes name. The
payment of these dividends was being withheld by Benguet Consolidated on the ground that
Idonah Slade Perkins and one George H. Engelhard were at the same time claiming the said
shares. Later, Idonah and George were named as party-defendants in this civil case, and in
their answer, they alleged that the Supreme Court of New York already declared that she
(Idonah) is the sole legal owner and entitled to the possession and control of the shares of

stock in question. Idonah also filed a demurrer on the ground that the court has no
jurisdiction of the subject of the action but this demurrer was overruled.
Hence, this petition for certiorari, prohibition and mandamus.
ISSUE: Whether or not the local court has jurisdiction over the subject matter of
the action
The Supreme Court held in the affirmative.
By jurisdiction over the subject matter is meant the nature of the cause of action and of the
relief sought, and this is conferred by the sovereign authority which organizes the court, and
is to be sought for in general nature of its powers, or in authority specially conferred. In the
present case, the respondents action calls for the adjudication of title to certain shares of
stock of the Benguet Consolidated Mining Company, and the granting of affirmative reliefs,
which fall within the general jurisdiction of the Court of First Instance of Manila.
Similarly, the Court of First Instance of Manila is empowered to adjudicate the several
demands contained in petitioners cross-complaint. In said cross-complaint, she brought suit
against Eugene Arthur Perkins and Benguet Consolidated Mining Company upon the alleged
judgment of the Supreme Court of the State of New York and asked the court below to
render judgment enforcing that New York judgment, and to issue execution thereon. This is a
form of action recognized by section 309 of the Code of Civil Procedure and which falls
within the general jurisdiction of the Court of First Instance of Manila, to adjudicate, settle
and determine.
Whether or not the respondent judge in the course of the proceedings will give validity and
efficacy to the New York judgment set up by the petitioner in her cross-complaint is a
question that goes to the merits of the controversy and relates to the rights of the parties as
between each other, and not to the jurisdiction or power of the court. The test of jurisdiction
is whether or not the tribunal has power to enter upon the inquiry, not whether its
conclusion in the course of it is right or wrong. If its decision is erroneous, its judgment case
be reversed on appeal; but its determination of the question, which the petitioner here
anticipates and seeks to prevent, is the exercise by that court and the rightful exercise of
its jurisdiction.
Philsec Investment Corp. vs. CA, G.R. No. 103493, June 19, 1997
Private respondent Ducat obtained separate loans from petitioners Ayala International
Finance Limited (AYALA) and Philsec Investment Corporation (PHILSEC), secured by shares of
stock owned by Ducat. In order to facilitate payment of the loans, 1488, Inc. assumed
Ducats obligation under an Agreement whereby 1488, Inc. executed a Warranty Deed with
Vendors Lien by which it sold to Athona Holdings, N.V. (ATHONA) a parcel of land in Harris
County, Texas, USA, while PHILSEC and AYALA extended a loan for US$2.5M to ATHONA as
initial payment of the purchase price. The balance was to be paid by means of a promissory
note executed by ATHONA in favour of 1488, Inc. Subsequently, the US$2.5M was paid, and
PHILSEC and AYALA then released Ducat from his indebtedness and delivered to 1488, Inc.
all the shares of stock in their possession belonging to Ducat. However, as for the balance,
ATHONA defaulted. Thus, 1488, Inc. sued petitioners PHILSEC, AYALA and ATHONA in the US
for payment of said balance and for damages for breach of contract and for fraud allegedly
perpetrated by petitioners in misrepresenting the marketability of the shares of stock
subject of the Agreement.
While the US case was pending, petitioners filed a complaint For Sum of Money with
Damages and Writ of Preliminary Attachment against private respondents in the RTC
Makati. The complaint alleged that private respondents committed fraud in inducement by
overpricing the property. Ducat moved to dismiss on the grounds of litis pendentia, forum
non conveniens and failure to state a cause of action. The trial court granted the motion. CA
Hence this appeal.

ISSUE: (1) Whether or not dismissal was proper on the ground of litis pendentia
(2) Whether or not the principle of forum non conveniens is applicable
On Litis Pendentia or Res Judicata
While the present case was pending before CA, the US court already rendered judgment.
Thus, the question now is whether the instant case is barred by said foreign judgment.
While this Court has given the effect of res judicata to foreign judgments in several cases, it
was after the parties opposed to the judgment had been given ample opportunity to repel
them on grounds allowed under the law. It is not necessary for this purpose to initiate a
separate action or proceeding for enforcement of the foreign judgment. What is essential is
that there is opportunity to challenge the foreign judgment, in order for the court to properly
determine its efficacy. This is because in this jurisdiction, with respect to actions in
personam, as distinguished from actions in rem, a foreign judgment merely constitutes
prima facie evidence of the justness of the claim of a party and, as such, is subject to proof
to the contrary.
In the case at bar, it cannot be said that petitioners were given the opportunity to challenge
the judgment of the U.S. court as basis for declaring it res judicata or conclusive of the rights
of private respondents. The proceedings in the trial court were summary. Neither the trial
court nor the appellate court was even furnished copies of the pleadings in the U.S. court or
apprised of the evidence presented thereat, to assure a proper determination of whether the
issues then being litigated in the U.S. court were exactly the issues raised in this case such
that the judgment that might be rendered would constitute res judicata.
On Forum non Conveniens
SC held that the trial courts refusal to take cognizance of the case is not justifiable under
the principle of forum non conveniens. First, a motion to dismiss is limited to the grounds
under Rule 16, which does not include forum non conveniens. The propriety of dismissing a
case based on this principle requires factual determination, hence, it is more properly
considered a matter of defense. Second, 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.
In this case, the trial court abstained from taking jurisdiction solely on the basis of the
pleadings filed by private respondents in connection with the motion to dismiss. It failed to
consider that one of the plaintiffs (PHILSEC) is a domestic corporation and one of the
defendants (Ventura Ducat) is a Filipino, and that it was the extinguishment of the latter's
debt which was the object of the transaction under litigation. The trial court arbitrarily
dismissed the case even after finding that Ducat was not a party in the U.S. case.
Wright vs. CA, G.R. No. 113213, August 15, 1994
Australia and the Government of the Philippines entered into a Treaty of Extradition on
March 7, 1988. The Treaty adopts a non-list, double criminality approach which provides
for broader coverage of extraditable offenses between the two countries and which
embraces crimes punishable by imprisonment for at least one year. Additionally, the Treaty
allows extradition for crimes committed prior to the treatys date of effectivity, provided that
these crimes were in the statute books of the requesting State at the time of their
Petitioner Wright, an Australian citizen, was sought by Australian authorities for indictable
crimes in his country. Extradition proceedings were filed before RTC Makati, which rendered a
decision ordering the deportation of petitioner, which decision was sustained by CA.
Hence, this petition for certiorari.
ISSUE: Whether or not the Extradition Treatys retrospective application amounts
to ex post facto law

SC held no ex post facto law.
Early commentators understood ex post facto laws to include all laws of restrospective
application, whether civil or criminal. However, Chief Justice Salmon P. Chase, citing
Blackstone, the Federalist and other early US state constitutions in Calder vs. Bull concluded
that the concept was limited only to penal and criminal statutes. As conceived under our
Constitution, ex post facto laws are (1) statutes that make an act punishable as a crime
when such act was not an offense when committed; (2) laws which, while not creating new
offenses, aggravate the seriousness of a crime; (3) statutes which prescribe greater
punishment for a crime already committed; or (4) laws which alter the rules of evidence so
as to make it substantially easier to convict a defendant. Applying the constitutional
principle, the Court has held that the prohibition applies only to criminal legislation which
affects the substantial rights of the accused. This being so, there is absolutely no merit in
petitioners contention that the ruling of the lower court sustaining the Treatys retroactive
application with respect to offenses committed prior to the Treatys coming into force and
effect, violates the Constitutional prohibition against ex post facto laws. As the CA correctly
concluded, the Treaty is neither a piece of criminal legislation nor a criminal procedural
statute. It merely provides for the extradition of persons wanted for prosecution of an
offense or a crime which offense or crime was already committed or consummated at the
time the treaty was ratified.
Liang vs. People, G.R. No. 125865, March 26, 2001
Two criminal informations for grave oral defamation were filed against petitioner Liang, a
Chinese national employed as an Economist by the Asian Development Bank (ADB). MeTC
Mandaluyong City dismissed the informations upon DFAs advice that petitioner enjoyed
immunity from legal processes. On petition for certiorari and mandamus, RTC Pasig City
annulled and set aside the said order. Thus, petitioner brought this petition for review. SC
denied the petition, ruling that the immunity granted to officers and staff of the ADB is not
absolute; it is limited to acts performed in an official capacity. Furthermore, SC held that the
immunity cannot cover the commission of a crime as slander or oral defamation in the name
of official duty.
Hence, this Motion for Reconsideration.
ISSUE: Whether or not petitioner enjoyed diplomatic immunity
It should be made clear that nowhere in the assailed Decision is diplomatic immunity denied,
even remotely. The issue in this case, rather, boils down to whether or not the statements
allegedly made by petitioner were uttered while in the performance of his official functions.
SC found no cogent reason to disturb its Decision. As stated therein, the slander of a person,
by any stretch, cannot be considered as falling within the purview of the immunity granted
to ADB officers and personnel. Petitioner argues that the Decision had the effect of
prejudging the criminal case for oral defamation against him. We wish to stress that it did
not. What we merely stated therein is that slander, in general, cannot be considered as an
act performed in an official capacity. The issue of whether or not petitioners utterances
constituted oral defamation is still for the trial court to determine.