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Cases on contracts

In Antam Consolidated Inc. vs. CA et al. we expressed our chagrin over this commonly used scheme of
COMMUNICATIONS MATERLS AND DESIGN, INC., v. THE COURT OF APPEALS, ITEC INTERNATIONAL, G.R. defaulting local companies which are being sued by unlicensed foreign companies not engaged in
No. 102223 business in the Philippines to invoke the lack of capacity to sue of such foreign companies. Obviously, the
same ploy is resorted to by ASPAC to prevent the injunctive action filed by ITEC to enjoin petitioner from
FACTS: Petitioners COMMUNICATION MATERIALS AND DESIGN, INC., (CMDI) and ASPAC MULTI-TRADE using knowledge possibly acquired in violation of fiduciary arrangements between the parties.
INC., (ASPAC) are both domestic corporations.. Private Respondents ITEC, INC. and/or ITEC,
INTERNATIONAL, INC. (ITEC) are corporations duly organized and existing under the laws of the State of 2. YES; Petitioner’s insistence on the dismissal of this action due to the application, or non application, of
Alabama, USA. There is no dispute that ITEC is a foreign corporation not licensed to do business in the the private international law rule of forum non conveniens defies well-settled rules of fair play.
Philippines. According to petitioner, the Philippine Court has no venue to apply its discretion whether to give
cognizance or not to the present action, because it has not acquired jurisdiction over the person of the
ITEC entered into a contract with ASPAC referred to as “Representative Agreement”. Pursuant to the plaintiff in the case, the latter allegedly having no personality to sue before Philippine Courts. This
contract, ITEC engaged ASPAC as its “exclusive representative” in the Philippines for the sale of ITEC’s argument is misplaced because the court has already acquired jurisdiction over the plaintiff in the suit,
products, in consideration of which, ASPAC was paid a stipulated commission. Through a “License by virtue of his filing the original complaint. And as we have already observed, petitioner is not at liberty
Agreement” entered into by the same parties later on, ASPAC was able to incorporate and use the name to question plaintiff’s standing to sue, having already acceded to the same by virtue of its entry into the
“ITEC” in its own name. Thus , ASPAC Multi-Trade, Inc. became legally and publicly known as ASPAC-ITEC Representative Agreement referred to earlier.
One year into the second term of the parties’ Representative Agreement, ITEC decided to terminate the Thus, having acquired jurisdiction, it is now for the Philippine Court, based on the facts of the case,
same, because petitioner ASPAC allegedly violated its contractual commitment as stipulated in their whether to give due course to the suit or dismiss it, on the principle of forum non convenience. Hence,
agreements. ITEC charges the petitioners and another Philippine Corporation, DIGITAL BASE the Philippine Court may refuse to assume jurisdiction in spite of its having acquired jurisdiction.
COMMUNICATIONS, INC. (DIGITAL), the President of which is likewise petitioner Aguirre, of using Conversely, the court may assume jurisdiction over the case if it chooses to do so; provided, that the
knowledge and information of ITEC’s products specifications to develop their own line of equipment and following requisites are met:
product support, which are similar, if not identical to ITEC’s own, and offering them to ITEC’s former
customer. 1) That the Philippine Court is one to which the parties may conveniently resort to;
2) That the Philippine Court is in a position to make an intelligent decision as to the law and the facts;
The complaint was filed with the RTC-Makati by ITEC, INC. Defendants filed a MTD the complaint on the and,
following grounds: (1) That plaintiff has no legal capacity to sue as it is a foreign corporation doing 3) That the Philippine Court has or is likely to have power to enforce its decision.
business in the Philippines without the required BOI authority and SEC license, and (2) that plaintiff is The aforesaid requirements having been met, and in view of the court’s disposition to give due course to
simply engaged in forum shopping which justifies the application against it of the principle of “forum non the questioned action, the matter of the present forum not being the “most convenient” as a ground for
conveniens”. The MTD was denied. the suit’s dismissal, deserves scant consideration.

Petitioners elevated the case to the respondent CA on a Petition for Certiorari and Prohibition under UNITED AIRLINES, INC vs. COURT OF APPEALS
Rule 65 of the Revised ROC. It was dismissed as well. MR denied, hence this Petition for Review on
Certiorari under Rule 45. 2001UNITED AIRLINES, INC.,
Petitioner vs.
1. Did the Philippine court acquire jurisdiction over the person of the petitioner corp, despite allegations in his personal capacity and in behalf of his minor son
of lack of capacity to sue because of non-registration? MYCHAL ANDREW FONTANILLA,
2. Can the Philippine court give due course to the suit or dismiss it, on the principle of forum non Respondents.
convenience? FACTS:
Aniceto Fontanilla bought from United Airlines, through the Philippine Travel Bureauin Manila,
HELD: petition dismissed. three “Visit the U.S.A.” tickets from himself, his wife and his minor son, Mychal, to visit the cities of
Washington DC, Chicago and Los Angeles. All flights had been confirmed previously by United Airlines.
1. YES; We are persuaded to conclude that ITEC had been “engaged in” or “doing business” in the Having used the first coupon to DC and while at the Washington Dulles Airport, Aniceto changed their
Philippines for some time now. This is the inevitable result after a scrutiny of the different contracts and itinerary, paid the penalty for rewriting their tickets and was issued tickets with corresponding boarding
agreements entered into by ITEC with its various business contacts in the country. Its arrangements, with passes with the words: “Check-in-required.” They were then set to leave but were denied boarding
these entities indicate convincingly that ITEC is actively engaging in business in the country. because the flight was overbooked. The CA ruled that private respondents’ failure to comply with the
check-in requirement will not defeat his claim as the denied boarding rules were not complied with
A foreign corporation doing business in the Philippines may sue in Philippine Courts although not applying the laws of the USA, relying on the Code of Federal Regulation Part on Oversales of the USA.
authorized to do business here against a Philippine citizen or entity who had contracted with and
benefited by said corporation. To put it in another way, a party is estopped to challenge the personality ISSUE: WON the CA is correct in applying the laws of USA.
of a corporation after having acknowledged the same by entering into a contract with it. And the
doctrine of estoppel to deny corporate existence applies to a foreign as well as to domestic corporations. HELD: No. According to the doctrine of “lex loci contractus”, the law of the place where a contract is
One who has dealt with a corporation of foreign origin as a corporate entity is estopped to deny its made or entered into governs with respect to its nature and validity,obligation and interpretation shall
corporate existence and capacity. govern. This has been said to be the rule even though the place where the contract was made is different
from the place where it is to be performed. Hence, the court should apply the law of the place where the adequate authority to secure the peace and good order of society. In truth, the Contract Clause has
airline ticket was issued, where the passengers are residents and nationals of the forum and the ticket is never been thought as a limitation on the exercise of the State's power of taxation save only where a tax
issued in such State by the defendant airline. Therefore, although, the contract of carriage was to be exemption has been granted for a valid consideration.
performed in the United States, the tickets were purchased through petitioner’s agent in Manila. It is
true that the tickets were "rewritten" in D.C.,however, such fact did not change the nature of the original Such is not the case of PAL in G.R. No. 115852, and the Court does not understand it to make this claim.
contract of carriage entered into by the parties in Manila. Rather, its position, as discussed above, is that the removal of its tax exemption cannot be made by a
general, but only by a specific, law.
Boman Environmental Development v Court of Appeals
Further, the Supreme Court held the validity of Republic Act No. 7716 in its formal and substantive
Nilcar Fajilan was a stockholder and the president of Boman Environmental Development Corporation aspects as this has been raised in the various cases before it. To sum up, the Court holds:
(Boman). In 1984, he wrote a letter to the Board tendering his resignation and his offer to sell his
shareholdings for P300k. The Board accepted the resignation as well as his offer to sell. The Board (1) That the procedural requirements of the Constitution have been complied with by Congress in the
advised Fajilan that Boman will be paying the shares in installment. Fajilan is to transfer the shares upon enactment of the statute;
completion of payment. Boman paid the first two P50k installments but defaulted in paying the
remaining P200k. Fajilan then sued Boman in the RTC of Makati. (2) That judicial inquiry whether the formal requirements for the enactment of statutes - beyond those
prescribed by the Constitution - have been observed is precluded by the principle of separation of
ISSUE: Whether or not the RTC of Makati has jurisdiction. powers;
HELD: No. This is an intra-corporate dispute and as such the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)
has jurisdiction. This case involves an intra-corporate controversy because the parties are a stockholder (3) That the law does not abridge freedom of speech, expression or the press, nor interfere with the free
and the corporation. Fajilan is still a stockholder. There has been no actual transfer of his shares to the exercise of religion, nor deny to any of the parties the right to an education; and
corporation. In the books of the corporation he is still a stockholder. Fajilan’s suit against the
corporation to enforce the latter’s promissory note or compel the corporation to pay for his (4) That, in view of the absence of a factual foundation of record, claims that the law is regressive,
shareholdings is cognizable by the SEC alone which shall determine whether such payment will not oppressive and confiscatory and that it violates vested rights protected under the Contract Clause are
constitute a distribution of corporate assets to a stockholder in preference over creditors of the prematurely raised and do not justify the grant of prospective relief by writ of prohibition.
corporation. The SEC has exclusive supervision, control and regulatory jurisdiction to investigate whether
the corporation has unrestricted retained earnings to cover the payment for the shares, and whether the WHEREFORE, the petitions are DISMISSED.
purchase is for a legitimate corporate purpose.
NOTE: This is a 1988 case, now the RTC has expanded jurisdiction. Some RTCs are granted special vs.
jurisdiction to hear and decide intra-corporate disputes. NATIONAL SEAMEN BOARD, HON. CRESCENCIO M. SIDDAYAO, OSCAR M. TORRES, REBENE C. CARRERA
and RESTITUTA C. ABORDO, respondents.

Tolentino v sec of finance 235 scra 630 Facts:

FACTS: The valued-added tax (VAT) is levied on the sale, barter or exchange of goods and properties as Napoleon B. Abordo, the deceased husband of private respondent Restituta C. Abordo, was the Second
well as on the sale or exchange of services. It is equivalent to 10% of the gross selling price or gross value Engineer of M.T. "Cherry Earl" when he died from an apoplectic stroke in the course of his employment
in money of goods or properties sold, bartered or exchanged or of the gross receipts from the sale or with petitioner NORSE MANAGEMENT COMPANY (PTE). The M.T. "Cherry Earl" is a vessel of Singaporean
exchange of services. Republic Act No. 7716 seeks to widen the tax base of the existing VAT system and Registry. In her complaint for compensation benefits filed before the National Seamen Board, private
enhance its administration by amending the National Internal Revenue Code. respondent alleged that the amount of compensation due her from petitioners should be based on the
law where the vessel is registered. Petitioners contend that the law of Singapore should not be applied in
The Chamber of Real Estate and Builders Association (CREBA) contends that the imposition of VAT on this case because the National Seamen Board cannot take judicial notice of the Workmen's Insurance
sales and leases by virtue of contracts entered into prior to the effectivity of the law would violate the Law of Singapore instead must be based on Board’s Memeorandum Circular No. 25. Ministry of Labor
constitutional provision of “non-impairment of contracts.” and Employment ordered the petitioner to pay jointly and severally the private respondent. Petitioner
appealed to the Ministry of Labor but same decision. Hence, this petition.
ISSUE: Whether R.A. No. 7716 is unconstitutional on ground that it violates the contract clause under
Art. III, sec 10 of the Bill of Rights. Issue:

RULING: No. The Supreme Court the contention of CREBA, that the imposition of the VAT on the sales Whether or not the law of Singapore ought to be applied in this case.
and leases of real estate by virtue of contracts entered into prior to the effectivity of the law would
violate the constitutional provision of non-impairment of contracts, is only slightly less abstract but Held:
nonetheless hypothetical. It is enough to say that the parties to a contract cannot, through the exercise
of prophetic discernment, fetter the exercise of the taxing power of the State. For not only are existing The SC denied the petition. It has always been the policy of this Board, as enunciated in a long line of
laws read into contracts in order to fix obligations as between parties, but the reservation of essential cases, that in cases of valid claims for benefits on account of injury or death while in the course of
attributes of sovereign power is also read into contracts as a basic postulate of the legal order. The policy employment, the law of the country in which the vessel is registered shall be considered. In Section 5(B)
of protecting contracts against impairment presupposes the maintenance of a government which retains of the Employment Agreement between petitioner and respondent’s husband states that In the event of
illness or injury to Employee arising out of and in the course of his employment and not due to his own Constitutionality of the Warsaw Convention
willful misconduct, EMPLOYER will provide employee with free medical attention. If such illness or injury
incapacitates the EMPLOYEE to the extent the EMPLOYEE's services must be terminated as determined The Republic of the Philippines is a party to the Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules Relating
by a qualified physician designated by the EMPLOYER and provided such illness or injury was not due in to International Transportation by Air, otherwise known as the Warsaw Convention. It took effect on
part or whole to his willful act, neglect or misconduct compensation shall be paid to employee in February 13, 1933. The Convention was concurred in by the Senate, through its Resolution No. 19, on
accordance with and subject to the limitations of the Workmen's Compensation Act of the Republic of May 16, 1950. The Philippine instrument of accession was signed by President Elpidio Quirino on October
the Philippines or the Workmen's Insurance Law of registry of the vessel whichever is greater. Finally, 13, 1950, and was deposited with the Polish government on November 9, 1950. The Convention became
Article IV of the Labor Code provides that "all doubts in the implementation and interpretation of the applicable to the Philippines on February 9, 1951. On September 23, 1955, President Ramon Magsaysay
provisions of this code, including its implementing rules and resolved in favor of labor. 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
SANTOS III v. NORTHWEST ORIENT AIRLINES Philippines and the citizens thereof."

o INTERNATIONAL LAW: Warsaw Convention is constitutional, a treaty commitment voluntarily assumed The Convention is thus a treaty commitment voluntarily assumed by the Philippine government and, as
by the Philippine government and, as such, has the force and effect of law in this country. such, has the force and effect of law in this country.
o INTERNATIONAL LAW: Warsaw Convention, when applicable: To all "international transportations of
persons by aircraft for hire." Whether the transportation is "international" is determined by the contract Does the Warsaw Convention apply in this case?
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 By its own terms, the Convention applies to all international transportation of persons performed by
High Contracting Parties," the provisions of the Convention automatically apply and exclusively govern aircraft for hire.
the rights and liabilities of the airline and its passenger.
o INTERNATIONAL LAW: Warsaw Convention, jurisdiction: Place of Destination vis-a-vis Agreed Stopping International transportation is defined in paragraph (2) of Article 1 as follows:
Place: 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 (2) For the purposes of this convention, the expression "international transportation" shall mean any
the parties to the Convention that every contract of carriage has one place of departure and one place of transportation in which, according to the contract made by the parties, the place of departure and the
destination. An intermediate place where the carriage may be broken is not regarded as a "place of place of destination, whether or not there be a break in the transportation or a transshipment, are
destination." 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
FACTS: 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,"
Petitioner is a minor and a resident of the Philippines. Private respondent Nortwest Orient Airlines (NOA) the provisions of the Convention automatically apply and exclusively govern the rights and liabilities of
is a foreign corporation with principal office in Minnesota, U.S.A. and licensed to do business and the airline and its passenger.
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 Since the flight involved in the case at bar is international, the same being from the United States to the
Francisco airport for his departure to Manila. Despite a previous confirmation and re-confirmation, he Philippines and back to the United States, it is subject to the provisions of the Warsaw Convention,
was informed that he had no reservation for his flight for Tokyo to Manila. He therefore had to be wait- including Article 28(1), which enumerates the four places where an action for damages may be brought.
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. Does Article 28(1) refer to Jurisdiction or Venue?

ISSUE: ...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
o Whether or not Article 28 (1) of the Warsaw Convention is in accordance with the constitution so as to to the applicable domestic law. Only after the question of which court has jurisdiction is determined will
deprive the Philippine Courts jurisdiction over the case 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 plaintiff’s destination was Manila?

HELD: 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.
Art. 28. (1) An action for damage must be brought at the option of the plaintiff, in the territory of one of Examination of the petitioner's ticket shows that his ultimate destination is San Francisco. Although the
the High Contracting Parties, either before the court of the domicile of the carrier or of his principal place date of the return flight was left open, the contract of carriage between the parties indicates that NOA
of business, or where he has a place of business through which the contract has been made, or before was bound to transport the petitioner to San Francisco from Manila. Manila should therefore be
the court at the place of destination. 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 Respondent on the other hand contends that the second contract she entered into at Geneva is part and
"destination" and not an "agreed stopping place" that controls for purposes of ascertaining jurisdiction parcel of the first contract, thus the third option under Article 28 of the Warsaw Convention would apply
under the Convention. to him. He further pointed out that petitioner cannot deny the contract of agency with Singapore Airlines
after it honored the conjunction ticketsissued by the latter.
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
The court ruled that petitioner’s argument is void of merit with reference to Article 1(3) of the Warsaw
to the Convention that every contract of carriage has one place of departure and one place of
Convention. According to the said article, transportation to be performed by several carriers shall be
destination. An intermediate place where the carriage may be broken is not regarded as a "place of
deemed as one and undivided. The number of tickets issued does not detract from the oneness of the
contract of carriage. Hence, the third option of the plaintiff under Article 28 of the Warsaw Convention is
clothed with jurisdiction.
WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED, with costs against the petitioner. It is so ordered.

PAL vs. Savillo et. al.

American Airlines Vs. CA 327 SCRA 482
FACTS: Private respondent Simplicio was invited to participate in the 1993 ASEAN Seniors Annual Golf
Tournament held in Jakarta, Indonesia. Heand several companions decided to purchase their respective
passenger tickets from PAL with the following points of passage: MANILA-SINGAPORE-JAKARTA-
SINGAPORE-MANILA. Private respondent and his companions were made to understand by PAL that its
Private respondent purchased from Singapore Airlines in Manila conjunction tickets from Manila- plane wouldtake them from Manila to Singapore, while Singapore Airlines would take them from
Singapore-Athens-Larnaca-Rome-Turin-Zurich-Geneva-Copenhagen-New York. In Geneva, he decided to Singapore to Jakarta.Upon arrival in Singaore, Griño and his companions proceeded to the Singapore
forego his trip to Copenhagen and go straight to New York. In the absence of a direct flight under his Airlines office to check-in for their flight to Jakarta howeverSingapore Airlines rejected the tickets
conjunction tickets from Geneva to New York, he exchanged the unused portion of the because they were not endorsed by PAL. It was explained that if Singapore Airlines honored the
conjunction ticket for a one way ticket from Geneva to New York from American Airlines, which issued its ticketswithout PAL’s endorsement, PAL would not pay Singapore Airlines for their passage. Griño tried
own ticket to respondent in Geneva and claimed the value of the unused portion of the to contact PAL’s office at the airport but it wasclosed. Eventually, Griño and his companions were forced
conjunction ticket from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) clearing house in Geneva. In to purchase tickets from Garuda Airlines and board its last flight bound for Jakarta andthey had to
September, 1989, respondent filed an action for damages before the Regional Trial Court of Cebu for the arrange for their transportation to the hotel at a very late hour.Upon his return to the Philippines, Griño
alleged embarrassment and mental anguish he suffered at the Geneva Airport when American Airline’s sent demand letters seeking compensation for moral damages to PAL and to Singapore Airlines.
security officers prevented him from boarding the plane. However,both airlines disowned liability and blamed each other for the fiasco. Later, Griño filed a
Complaint for Damages before the RTC.PAL filed a Motion to Dismiss arguing that the Warsaw
Convention, particularly Article 29 thereof, governed this case, as it provides that any claimfor damages
in connection with the international transportation of persons is subject to the prescription period of
two years. Since the Complaint wasfiled more than three years after PAL received the demand letter on,
Whether or not the issuance of American Airlines of a new ticket in exchange of the it was already barred by prescription.The RTC denied the Motion to Dismiss and maintained that the
conjunction ticket the respondent purchased in Manila bar him from seeking recourse in Philippine provisions of the Civil Code and other pertinent laws of the Philippines, not theWarsaw Convention,
courts. were applicable to the present case. The CA likewise dismissed the petition filed by PAL and applied
Article 1144 of the CivilCode, which allowed for a ten-year prescription period.
ISSUE: Whether or not the provisions of the Warsaw Convention are applicable in this case
The petitioner contends that under Article 28 of the Warsaw Convention, action for damages may only
be brought upon the following courst: RULING: NO. The Warsaw Convention does not "exclusively regulate" the relationship between
passenger and carrier on an internationalflight. In United Airlines v. Uy, this Court distinguished between
a.) Domicile of the carrier the (1) damage to the passenger’s baggage and (2) humiliation he suffered at thehands of the airline’s
b.) Carrier’s principal place of business employees. The first cause of action was covered by the Warsaw Convention which prescribes in two
c.) Place where carrier has a place of business years, while the secondwas covered by the provisions of the Civil Code on torts, which prescribes in four
d.) Place of destination years.In the case at hand, Singapore Airlines barred private respondent from boarding the Singapore
Airlines flight because PAL allegedly failed toendorse the tickets of private respondent and his
companions, despite PAL’s assurances to respondent that Singapore Airlines had already confirmedtheir
Since neither of these elements is present in the case, the petitioner contends that plaintiff passage. While this fact still needs to be heard and established by adequate proof before the RTC, an
cannot file the case in the Philippines. He further posits that the second contract cannot be deemed as action based on these allegations will notfall under the Warsaw Convention, since the purported
an extension of the first as the petitioner airline is not a participating airline in any of the destinations negligence on the part of PAL did not occur during the performance of the contract ofcarriage but days
under the first contract. before the scheduled flight. Thus, the present action cannot be dismissed based on the statute of
limitations provided under Article29 of the Warsaw Convention.These claims are covered by the Civil
Code provisions on tort, and not within the purview of the Warsaw Convention.
Hence, the applicableprescription period is that provided under Article 1146 of the Civil Code:Art. 1146. observed and fulfilled in good faith by theRepublic of the Philippines and the citizens thereof.”The
The following actions must be instituted within four years:(1) Upon an injury to the rights of the Convention is thus a treaty commitment voluntarily assumed by the Philippine government and, as such,
plaintiff;(2) Upon a quasi-delict. has the force and effect of law in thiscountry. The Warsaw Convention applies because the air travel,
where the alleged tortious conduct occurred, was between the United Kingdom andItaly, which are both
signatories to the Warsaw Convention. Article 1 of the Warsaw Convention provides:“1. This Convention
Griño’s Complaint was filed with the RTC on 15 August 1997, which was less than four years since PAL
applies to all international carriage of persons, luggage or goods performed by aircraft for reward. It
received his extrajudicial demand on 25January 1994. Thus, Griño’s claims have not yet prescribed and
applies equally togratuitous carriage by aircraft performed by an air transport undertaking.“2. For the
PAL’s Motion to Dismiss must be denied.
purposes of this Convention the expression "international carriage" means any carriage in which,
according to the contract madeby the parties, the place of departure and the place of destination,
Edna Diago Lhuillier vs British AirwaysGR 171092 March 15, 2010 whether or not there be a break in the carriage or a transhipment, aresituated either within the
territories of two High Contracting Parties, or within the territory of a single High Contracting Party, if
FACTS: there is anagreed stopping place within a territory subject to the sovereignty, suzerainty, mandate or
authority of another Power, even though thatPower is not a party to this Convention. A carriage without
such an agreed stopping place between territories subject to the sovereignty,suzerainty, mandate or
On February 28, 2005, petitioner Lhuillier took respondent British Airways’s flight 548 from London, authority of the same High Contracting Party is not deemed to be international for the purposes of this
United Kingdom to Rome, Italy.Once on board, she allegedly requested Julian Halliday, one of the Convention.(Emphasis supplied)”Thus, when the place of departure and the place of destination in a
respondent’s flight attendants, to assist her in placing her hand-carried luggage inthe overhead bin. contract of carriage are situated within the territories of two High ContractingParties, said carriage is
However, Halliday allegedly refused to help and assist her, and even sarcastically remarked that "If I deemed an "international carriage". The High Contracting Parties referred to herein (UK and Italy) were
were to help all 300passengers in this flight, I would have a broken back!" Petitioner further alleged that the signatories to theWarsaw Convention and those which subsequently adhered to it. Under Article
when the plane was about to land in Rome, Italy, another flightattendant, Nickolas Kerrigan, singled her 28(1) of the Warsaw Convention, the plaintiff may bring the actionfor damages before –1. the court
out from among all the passengers in the business class section to lecture on plane safety. where the carrier is domiciled;
Allegedly,Kerrigan made her appear to the other passengers to be ignorant, uneducated, stupid, and in
need of lecturing on the safety rules and regulations ofthe plane.Upon arrival in Rome, petitioner
complained to respondent’s ground manager and demanded an apology. However, the latter declared 2. the court where the carrier has its principal place of business;
that the flightstewards were "only doing their job;” prompting petitioner to file herein complaint for
damages. On April 28, 2005, petitioner filed a Complaint for damages against respondent before the RTC 3. the court where the carrier has an establishment by which the contract has been made; or
of Makati City. Respondent filed a Motion toDismiss on grounds of lack of jurisdiction over the case and
over the person of the respondent. Respondent alleged that only the courts of London,United Kingdom
4. the court of the place of destination.
or Rome, Italy, have jurisdiction over the complaint for damages pursuant to the Warsaw Convention,
Article 28(1) of which provides that:“An action for damages must be brought at the option of the
plaintiff, either before the court of domicile of the carrier or his principalplace of business, or where he In this case, it is not disputed that respondent is a British corporation domiciled in London, United
has a place of business through which the contract has been made, or before the court of the place of Kingdom with London as its principal place ofbusiness. Hence, under the first and second jurisdictional
destination. rules, the petitioner may bring her case before the courts of London in the United Kingdom.In the
passenger ticket and baggage check presented by both the petitioner and respondent, it appears that
the ticket was issued in Rome, Italy.Consequently, under the third jurisdictional rule, the petitioner has
”Petitioner argues that her cause of action arose not from the contract of carriage, but from the tortious
the option to bring her case before the courts of Rome in Italy. Finally, both thepetitioner and
conduct committed by airline personnel ofrespondent in violation of the provisions of the Civil Code on
respondent aver that the place of destination is Rome, Italy, which is properly designated given the
Human Relations. Since her cause of action was not predicated on the contract ofcarriage, petitioner
routing presented in the saidpassenger ticket and baggage check. Accordingly, petitioner may bring her
asserts that she has the option to pursue this case in this jurisdiction pursuant to Philippine laws. In
action before the courts of Rome, Italy. We thus find that the RTC ofMakati correctly ruled that it does
contrast, respondent maintains that petitioner’s claim for damages fell within the ambit of Article 28(1)
not have jurisdiction over the case filed by the petitioner.
of the Warsaw Convention. As such, thesame can only be filed before the courts of London, United
Kingdom or Rome, Italy.The RTC dismissed the case hence this petition.
Cases on Wills and Succession
Maninang vs. CA
ISSUE: Whether or not Philippine courts have jurisdiction over a tortious conduct committed against a
Filipino citizen and resident by an airlinepersonnel of a foreign carrier.

A Petition to Review the Decision of April 28, 1981 of respondent Appellate Court in CA-G.R. No. 12032-R
HELD: NO. It is settled that the Warsaw Convention has the force and effect of law in this country. In
entitled "Rafael E. Maninang and Soledad L. Maninang vs. Hon. Ricardo Pronove, Judge of the Court of
Santos III v. NOA we held that: The Republic of the Philippines is a party to the Convention for the
First Instance of Rizal, Pasig, Branch XI, and Bernardo S. Aseneta".
Unification of Certain Rules Relating to International Transportation byAir, 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 Pertinent to the controversy are the following antecedental facts:
signed by President Elpidio Quirino onOctober 13, 1950, and was deposited with the Polish government
on November 9, 1950. The Convention became applicable to thePhilippines on February 9, 1951. On
On May 21, 1977, Clemencia Aseneta, single, died at the Manila Sanitarium Hospital at age 81. She left a
September 23, 1955, President Ramon Magsaysay issued Proclamation No. 201, declaring our
holographic will, the pertinent portions of which are quoted hereunder:
formaladherence thereto, “to the end that the same and every article and clause thereof may be
xxx xxx xxx Petitioners Maninang resorted to a certiorari Petition before respondent Court of Appeals alleging that
the lower Court exceeded its jurisdiction in issuing the Orders of dismissal of the Testate Case
(September 8, 1980) and denial of reconsideration (December 19, 1980).
It is my will that all my real properties located in Manila, Makati, Quezon City,
Albay and Legaspi City and all my personal properties shagllbe inherited upon my
death by Dra. Soledad L. Maninang with whose family I have lived continuously for On April 28, 1981, respondent Court 3 denied certiorari and ruled that the trial Judge's Order of dismissal
around the last 30 years now. Dra. Maninang and her husband Pamping have been was final in nature as it finally disposed of the Testate Case and, therefore, appeal was the proper
kind to me. ... I have found peace and happiness with them even during the time remedy, which petitioners failed to avail of. Continuing, it said that even granting that the lower Court
when my sisters were still alive and especially now when I am now being troubled committed errors in issuing the questioned Orders, those are errors of judgment reviewable only by
by my nephew Bernardo and niece Salvacion. I am not incompetent as Nonoy appeal and not by Certiorari. 'Thus, this Petition before us.
would like me to appear. I know what is right and wrong. I can decide for myself. I
do not consider Nonoy as my adopted son. He has made me do things against my
We find that the Court a quo a quo acted in excess of its jurisdiction when it dismissed the Testate Case.
Generally, the probate of a Will is mandatory.

xxx xxx xxx

No will shall pass either real or personal property unless it is proved and allowed in
accordance with the Rules of Court. 4
On June 9, 1977, petitioner Soledad Maninang filed a Petition for probate of the Will of the decedent
with the Court of First Instance-Branch IV, Quezon City (Sp. Proc. No. Q-23304, hereinafter referred to as
The law enjoins the probate of the Will and public policy requires it, because unless the Will is probated
the Testate Case).
and notice thereof given to the whole world, the right of a person to dispose of his property by Will may
be rendered nugatory. 5
On July 25, 1977, herein respondent Bernardo Aseneta, who, as the adopted son, claims to be the sole
heir of decedent Clemencia Aseneta, instituted intestate proceedings with the Court of First Instance-
Normally, the probate of a Will does not look into its intrinsic validity.
Branch XI, Pasig, Rizal (Sp. Proc. No. 8569, called hereinafter the Intestate Case" for brevity).

... The authentication of a will decides no other question than such as touch upon
On December 23, 1977, the Testate and Intestate Cases were ordered consolidated before Branch XI,
the capacity of the testator and the compliance with those requisites or
presided by respondent Judge.
solemnities which the law prescribes for the validity of wills. It does not determine
nor even by implication prejudge the validity or efficiency (sic) of the provisions,
Respondent Bernardo then filed a Motion to Dismiss the Testate Case on the ground that the these may be impugned as being vicious or null, notwithstanding its
holographic will was null and void because he, as the only compulsory heir, was preterited and, authentication. The que0stions relating to these points remain entirely unaffected,
therefore, intestacy should ensue. In support of said Motion to Dismiss, respondent Bernardo cited the and may be raised even after the will has been authenticated .... 6
cases of Neri vs. Akutin (72 Phil. 322); Nuguid vs. Nuguid (17 SCRA 449), and Ramos vs. Baldovino (2 CA
Rep. 2nd, 878). 1
Opposition to the intrinsic validity or legality of the provisions of the will cannot be
entertained in Probate proceeding because its only purpose is merely to
In her Opposition to said Motion to Dismiss, petitioner Soledad averred that it is still the rule that in a determine if the will has been executed in accordance with the requirements of
case for probate of a Will, the Court's area of inquiry is limited to an examination of and resolution on the law. 7
the extrinsic validity of the will; and that respondent Bernardo was effectively disinherited by the
decedent. 2
Respondent Bernardo, however, relies on the pronouncement in Nuguid vs. Nuguid 8, reading:

On September 8, 1980, the lower Court ordered the dismissal of the Testate Case in this wise:
In a proceeding for the probate of a will, the Court's area of inquiry is limited to an
examination of, and resolution on, the extrinsic validity of the will, the due
For reasons stated in the motion to dismiss filed by petitioner Bernardo S. Aseneta execution thereof, the testatrix's testamentary capacity and the compliance with
which the Court finds meritorious, the petition for probate of will filed by Soledad the requisites or solemnities prescribed by law. The intrinsic validity of the will
L. Maninang and which was docketed as Sp. Proc. No. Q-23304 is DISMISSED, normally comes only after the court has declared that the will has been duly
without pronouncement as to costs. authenticated. However, where practical considerations demand that the intrinsic
validity of the will be passed upon, even before it is probated, the Court should
meet that issue. (Emphasis supplied)
On December 19, 1980, the lower Court denied reconsideration for lack of merit and in the same Order
appointed Bernardo as the administrator of the intestate estate of the deceased Clemencia Aseneta
"considering that he is a forced heir of said deceased while oppositor Soledad Maninang is not, and Our ruling in Balanay vs. Hon. Martinez 9 had a similar thrust:
considering further that Bernardo Aseneta has not been shown to be unfit to perform the duties of the
trust. "
The trial court acted correctly in passing upon the will's intrinsic validity even
before its formal validity had been established. The probate of a will might
become an Idle ceremony if on its face it appears to be intrinsically void. Where Coming now to the procedural aspect, suffice it to state that in view of our finding that respondent Judge
practical considerations demand that the intrinsic validity of the will be passed had acted in excess of his jurisdiction in dismissing the Testate Case, certiorari is a proper remedy. An act
upon, even before it is probated, the court should meet the issue. done by a Probate Court in excess of its jurisdiction may be corrected by Certiorari. 13 And even assuming
the existence of the remedy of appeal, we harken to the rule that in the broader interests of justice, a
petition for certiorari may be entertained, particularly where appeal would not afford speedy and
The Nuguid and the Balanay cases provide the exception rather than the rule. The intrinsic validity of the
adequate relief.
Wills in those cases was passed upon even before probate because "practical considerations" so
demanded. Moreover, for the parties in the Nuguid case, the "meat of the controversy" was the intrinsic
validity of the Will; in fact, the parties in that case "shunted aside the question of whether or not the Will WHEREFORE, the Decision in question is set aside and the Orders of the Court of First Instance-Branch XI,
should be allowed probate." Not so in the case before us now where the probate of the Will is insisted Rizal, dated September 8, 1980 and December 19, 1980, are nullified. Special Proceeding No. Q-23304 is
on by petitioners and a resolution on the extrinsic validity of the Will demanded. hereby remanded to said Court of First Instance-Branch XI. Rizal, therein to be reinstated and
consolidated with Special Proceeding No. 8569 for further proceedings.
Moreover, in the Nuguid case, this Court ruled that the Will was intrinsically invalid as it completely
preterited the parents of the testator. In the instant case, a crucial issue that calls for resolution is No pronouncement as to costs.
whether under the terms of the decedent's Will, private respondent had been preterited or disinherited,
and if the latter, whether it was a valid disinheritance. Preterition and disinheritance are two diverse

Gallanosa vs. Arcangel 83 SCRA 676

... Preterition "consists in the omission in the testator's will of the forced heirs or
anyone of them, either because they are not mentioned therein, or, though
mentioned, they are neither instituted as heirs nor are expressly disinherited."
Florentino Hitosis was a childless widower and was survived by his brother Lito. In his
(Neri vs. Akutin, 72 Phil. 325). Disinheritance, in turn, "is a testamentary
will, Florentino bequeathed his ½ share in the conjugal estate to his second wife, Tecla, and, should Tecla
disposition depriving any compulsory heirs of his share in the legitimate for a
predecease him, as was the case, his ½ share would be assigned to spouses Gallanosa. Pedro Gallanosa
cause authorized by law." (Justice J.B.L. Reyes and R.C. Puno, "An Outline of
was Tecla’s son by her first marriage who grew up under the care of Florentino. His other properties
Philippine Civil Law", 1956 ed., Vol. III, p. 8, citing cases) Disinheritance is always
were bequeathed to his protégé Adolfo Fortajada.
"voluntary", preterition upon the other hand, is presumed to be "involuntary"
Upon his death, a petition for the probate of his will was wile. Opposition was registered by Florentino’s
(Sanchez Roman, Estudios de Derecho Civil 2nd edition, Volume 2.o p. 1131). 10
brother, nephews and nieces.
After a hearing, where the oppositors did not present any evidence, the Judge admitted the will to
The effects of preterition and disinheritance are also totally different. probate.
The testator’s legal heirs did not appeal from the decree of probate and from the order of partition and
... The effects flowing from preterition are totally different from those of
Later, the legal heirs filed a case for recovery of 61 parcels of land against Pedro alleging that they had
disinheritance. Pretention under Article 854 of the New Civil Code shall annul the
been in continuous possession of those lands and praying that they be declared owners thereof.
institution of heir. This annulment is in toto, unless in the wail there are, in
Pedro moved for a dismissal which was later granted by the Judge on the ground of res judicata.
addition, testamentary dispositions in the form of devises or legacies. In ineffective
The legal heirs did not appeal from the order of dismissal.
disinheritance under Article 918 of the same Code, such disinheritance shall also
15 years after the dismissal of the first civil case and 28 years after the probate of the will, the legal heirs
"annul the institution of heirs", but only "insofar as it may prejudice the person
filed a case for “annulment of the will” alleging fraud and deceit.
disinherited", which last phrase was omitted in the case of preterition (III
The court dismissed said action. However, the court set aside the dismissal after the heirs filed a motion
Tolentino, Civil Code of the Philippines, 1961 Edition, p. 172). Better stated yet, in
for reconsideration. Hence, this appeal.
disinheritance the nullity is limited to that portion of the estate of which the
disinherited heirs have been illegally deprived. 11
Whether the legal heirs have a cause of action for the “annulment” of the will of Florentino and for the
By virtue of the dismissal of the Testate Case, the determination of that controversial issue has not been recovery of the 61 parcels of land adjudicated under that will to the petitioners.
thoroughly considered. We gather from the assailed Order of the trial Court that its conclusion was that
respondent Bernardo has been preterited We are of opinion, however, that from the face of the Will, HELD:
that conclusion is not indubitable. NO. The SC held that the lower court committed a grave abuse of discretion in setting aside its order of
dismissal and ignoring the testamentary case and the first civil case which is the same as the instant case.
As held in the case of Vda. de Precilla vs. Narciso 12 It is evident that second civil case is barred by res judicata and by prescription.
The decree of probate is conclusive as to the due execution or formal validity of the will. That means that
the testator was of sound and disposing mind at the time he executed the will and was not acting under
... it is as important a matter of public interest that a purported will is not denied duress, menace, fraud, or undue influence; that the will was signed by him in the presence of the
legalization on dubious grounds. Otherwise, the very institution of testamentary required number of witnesses, and that the will is genuine.
succession will be shaken to its foundation, ... Accordingly, these facts cannot again be questioned in a subsequent proceeding, not even in a criminal
action for the forgery of the will.
After the finality of the allowance of a will, the issue as to the voluntariness of its execution cannot be This article has been applied in the case of Babcock Templeton against Rider Babcock, 52 Jur. Fil., 134, in
raised anymore. which it was declared that the testament granted in California and that could be legalized in that state,
The SC also held that the decree of adjudication, having rendered in a proceeding in rem, is binding upon may be legalized in the Philippines. In Varela's case against Varela Calderon, 57 Jur. Fil., 291, the
the whole world. Moreover, the dismissal of the first civil case, which is a judgment in personam, was testament granted in Paris, France, by the late Dr. Francisco Varela Calderon was legalized because it was
an adjudication on the merits. Thus. It constitutes a bar by former judgment under the Rules of Court. a testament that could be legalized in accordance with the laws of France.
The SC also held that the lower court erred in saying that the action for the recovery of the lands had not
prescribed. The SC ruled that the Art. 1410 of NCC (the action or defense for the declaration of the
A person may dispose of his or her property for after death by will. The granting of a will is a legal act
inexistence of a contract does not prescribe) cannot apply to last wills and testaments.
that can be performed in the Philippines or abroad; If it is granted in foreign countries, it must be done in
The Rules of Court does not sanction an action for “annulment” of a will.
accordance with the laws of that country, which is a universally adopted rule.
A final decree of probate is conclusive as to the due execution of the will.
A decree of adjudication in a testate proceeding is binding on the whole world.After the period for
seeking relief from a final order or judgment under Rule 38 of the Rules of court has expired, a final The foreigner may dispose of his property in the Philippines after his death by testament and is not
judgment or order can be set aside only on the grounds of: (a) lack of jurisdiction or lack of due process obliged to do so in the Philippines; You can do it in your own country or in another, but in accordance
of law or (b) that the judgment was obtained by means of extrinsic or collateral fraud. In the latter case, with the laws of the country in which you grant it. Article 635 of the Code of Civil Procedure, respecting
the period for annulling the judgment is four (4) years from the discovery of fraud. the testator's freedom to grant his will anywhere, provides that the will that can be legalized in a foreign
The Civil Law rule that an action for declaration of inexistence of a contract does not prescribe cannot be country in accordance with the laws of that country may also be legalized in the Philippines. This
applied to last wills and testaments. provision is substantive, it creates the rights of the beneficiaries of the testament: they are assured to be
able to legalize in the Philippines the wills granted outside the Islands if they can be legalized in the
dalton vs. Giberson country in which they were granted, giving them cause of action to request judicially the fulfillment of
the last Will of the testator, whatever the place of his bestowal. Sinesa disposition would be truncated
the faculty of testing.
In amending this Tribunal the Code of Civil Procedure, only enmendo the procedural part, but not the
substantive part. "The substantive law can not be amended by procedural rules." (Reyes v. Widow of
Lela G. Dalton filed an application on February 10, 1949, in the Court of First Instance of Cebupidiendo
Light, § 16 Lawyer Journal, 623.) For this reason, article 635 of the Code of Civil Procedure is still
the legalization of a document which, as she claims, is a wording of William R. Giberson, granted on April
subsisting as a substantive right.
29, 1920, in San Francisco, California; That Giberson was a citizen of the state of Illinois, United States,
and resident of Cebu;And who died on August 6, 1943 in the concentration camp of the University of Sto,
Tomas, Manila, Philippines. And Article 637 states: "The wills authenticated and legalized in the United States, or in any state or
territory thereof, or in a foreign state or country, in accordance with the laws of said state, territory or
country, may be Legalized, registered and filed in the Court of First Instance of the province in which the
Spring Giberson, the legitimate son of William R. Giberson, presented an opposition claiming that the will
testator has movable property or real estate effected by said wills. This article is in conflict with article
is apocryphal; Which does not represent the true will of the late Giberson: and which has not been
635; In reality, it is only its corollary. If a testament granted in a foreign country which may be legalized
granted according to the law.
in accordance with the laws of that country may also be legalized in the Philippine Islands, the
testaments already legalized in foreign countries in accordance with the laws of those countries may be
On July 1, 1949, the petitioner lodged a motion requesting the dismissal of the petition, claiming that, legalized in the Philippines.
before a foreign parole may be legalized in the Philippine Islands, it must be demonstrated that the will
had been previously legalized in that country , In accordance with Article 1 of Rule 78; That the
Article 1 of Rule 78 is nothing more than a transplantation of Article 637 of the Code of Civil
application does not claim that the will had already been legalized in California.
Procedure. We reproduce the two provisions:

The applicant objected to the motion of dismissal. On June 20, 1950, the Judge dismissed the request,
RULE 78, - SECTION 1. Wills provided outside Philippines may be allowed here . - Wills proved
stating: "... under our existing rules only those provisions that have previously been proved and
and allowed in a foreign country, according to the laws of such country, may be allowed, filed,
permitted in the United States, or any state or territory thereof, or any foreign country, according to To
and recorded by the proper Court of First Instance in the Philippines.
the laws of such state, territory, or country, may be allowed, filed or recorded in the proper court of first
instance in the Philippines. " Against this order the applicant appeals.
SEC. 637. Wills proved outside islands may be allowed here . - Wills proved and allowed in
the United States, or any State or Territory thereof, or in a foreign state or country, according
The opponent, in support of his theory, maintains that Article 635 of the Code of Civil Procedure has
to the laws of such State, Territory, or country, may be allowed, filed, and recorded in the
been repealed by Rule 78, under section 13, Article VIII of the Constitution. Said article 635 of the Code
Court of First Instance of the province in which the testator has actual or personal estate on
of Civil Procedure reads as follows:
which such may operate .

The testament granted outside the Philippine Islands, which may be authenticated and
The words underlined in the second provision are those that do not appear in the first.
legalized under the laws of the state or country in which it was granted, may be
authenticated, legalized and registered in the Philippine Islands, and shall have the same
efficacy as if granted in accordance with The laws of these Islands.
Article 1 of Rule 78 does not prevent a testament granted in a foreign country from being legalized in the Dr. Jose Cunanan and his wife, Dr. Evelyn Perez-Cunanan, who became American citizens and residents
Philippines if it can be legalized in accordance with the laws of that country, nor does it require that it be of New York, each executed a will also in New York, containing provisions on presumption of survivorship
legalized in that country in advance. Therefore, the theory of the opponent is unsustainable. (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 Jose’s will, filed for separate probate proceedings of the wills.
The order appealed against is revoked against the appellee.
Later, Evelyn’s mother, Salud Perez, filed a petition for reprobate in Bulacan. Rafael opposed, arguing
Tayag vs Benguet Consolidated Inc. 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
In March 1960, Idonah Perkins died in New York. She left behind properties here and abroad. One and sisters were Jose’s heirs and as such entitled to notice of the reprobate proceedings, which Salud
property she left behind were two stock certificates covering 33,002 shares of stocks of the Benguet failed to give.
Consolidated, Inc (BCI). Said stock certificates were in the possession of the Country Trust Company of
New York (CTC-NY). CTC-NY was the domiciliary administrator of the estate of Perkins (obviously in the For her part, Salud said she was the sole heir of her daughter, Evelyn, and that the two wills were in
USA). Meanwhile, in 1963, Renato Tayag was appointed as the ancillary administrator (of the properties accordance with New York law. But before she could present evidence to prove the law of New York, the
of Perkins she left behind in the Philippines). reprobate court already issued an order, disallowing the wills.
A dispute arose between CTC-NY and Tayag as to who between them is entitled to possess the stock
ISSUE: Whether or not the reprobate of the wills should be allowed
certificates. A case ensued and eventually, the trial court ordered CTC-NY to turn over the stock
certificates to Tayag. CTC-NY refused. Tayag then filed with the court a petition to have said stock
certificates be declared lost and to compel BCI to issue new stock certificates in replacement thereof.
The trial court granted Tayag’s petition.
BCI assailed said order as it averred that it cannot possibly issue new stock certificates because the two
stock certificates declared lost are not actually lost; that the trial court as well Tayag acknowledged that Extrinsic Validity of Wills of Non-Resident Aliens
the stock certificates exists and that they are with CTC-NY; that according to BCI’s by laws, it can only
issue new stock certificates, in lieu of lost, stolen, or destroyed certificates of stocks, only after court of The respective wills of the Cunanan spouses, who were American citizens, will only be effective in this
law has issued a final and executory order as to who really owns a certificate of stock. country upon compliance with the following provision of the Civil Code of the Philippines:

ISSUE: Whether or not the arguments of Benguet Consolidated, Inc. are correct. Art. 816. The will of an alien who is abroad produces effect in the Philippines if made with the formalities
HELD: No. Benguet Consolidated is a corporation who owes its existence to Philippine laws. It has been prescribed by the law of the place in which he resides, or according to the formalities observed in his
given rights and privileges under the law. Corollary, it also has obligations under the law and one of country, or in conformity with those which this Code prescribes.
those is to follow valid legal court orders. It is not immune from judicial control because it is domiciled
here in the Philippines. BCI is a Philippine corporation owing full allegiance and subject to the Thus, proof that both wills conform with the formalities prescribed by New York laws or by Philippine
unrestricted jurisdiction of local courts. Its shares of stock cannot therefore be considered in any wise as laws is imperative.
immune from lawful court orders. Further, to allow BCI’s opposition is to render the court order against
CTC-NY a mere scrap of paper. It will leave Tayag without any remedy simply because CTC-NY, a foreign Evidence for Reprobate of Wills Probated outside the Philippines
entity refuses to comply with a valid court order. The final recourse then is for our local courts to create
a legal fiction such that the stock certificates in issue be declared lost even though in reality they exist in The evidence necessary for the reprobate or allowance of wills which have been probated outside of the
the hands of CTC-NY. This is valid. As held time and again, fictions which the law may rely upon in the Philippines are as follows: (1) the due execution of the will in accordance with the foreign laws; (2) the
pursuit of legitimate ends have played an important part in its development. 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
Further still, the argument invoked by BCI that it can only issue new stock certificates in accordance with foreign country on procedure and allowance of wills (III Moran Commentaries on the Rules of Court,
its bylaws is misplaced. It is worth noting that CTC-NY did not appeal the order of the court – it simply 1970 ed., pp. 419-429; Suntay v. Suntay, 95 Phil. 500 [1954]; Fluemer v. Hix, 54 Phil. 610 [1930]). Except
refused to turn over the stock certificates hence ownership can be said to have been settled in favor of for the first and last requirements, the petitioner submitted all the needed evidence.
estate of Perkins here. Also, assuming that there really is a conflict between BCI’s bylaws and the court
order, what should prevail is the lawful court order. It would be highly irregular if court orders would The necessity of presenting evidence on the foreign laws upon which the probate in the foreign country
yield to the bylaws of a corporation. Again, a corporation is not immune from judicial orders. is based is impelled by the fact that our courts cannot take judicial notice of them.
Vda. de Perez vs. Bolete 232 SCRA 722 On Lack of Notice to Jose’s Heirs

o PRIVATE INTERNATIONAL LAW: Extrinsic Validity of Wills of Non-Resident Aliens This petition cannot be completely resolved without touching on a very glaring fact - petitioner has
o PRIVATE INTERNATIONAL LAW: Reprobate of Foreign Wills: Requirement of Notices 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
FACTS: 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 It is not disputed that the decedent was both a national of Texas and a domicile thereof at the time of his
given as in case of an original will presented for allowance" (Revised Rules of Court, Rule 27, Section 2) death. So that even assuming Texan has a conflict of law rule providing that the same would not result in
means that with regard to notices, the will probated abroad should be treated as if it were an "original a reference back (renvoi) to Philippine Law, but would still refer to Texas Law.
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, Nonetheless, if Texas has conflict rule adopting the situs theory (lex rei sitae) calling for the application of
and devisees of the testator resident in the Philippines" and to the executor, if he is not the petitioner, the law of the place where the properties are situated, renvoi would arise, since the properties here
are required. involved are found in the Philippines. In the absence, however of proofs as to the conflict of law rule of
Texas, it should not be presumed different from our appellants, position is therefore not rested on the
The brothers and sisters of Dr. Jose F. Cunanan, contrary to petitioner's claim, are entitled to notices of doctrine of renvoi.
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 The parties admit that the decedent, Amos Bellis, was a citizen of the State of Texas, USA and that under
addressed to the designated or other known heirs, legatees, and devisees of the testator, . . . " the Laws of Texas, there are no forced heirs or legitimates. Accordingly, since the intrinsic validity of the
provision of the will and the amount of successional rights has to be determined under Texas Law, the
WHEREFORE, the questioned Order is SET ASIDE. Respondent Judge shall allow petitioner reasonable Philippine Law on legitimates can not be applied to the testate of Amos Bellis.
time within which to submit evidence needed for the joint probate of the wills of the Cunanan spouses HELD:
and see to it that the brothers and sisters of Dr. Jose F. Cunanan are given all notices and copies of all Applying the nationality rule, the law of Texas should govern the intrinsic validity of the will and
pleadings pertinent to the probate proceedings. therefore answer the question on entitlement to legitimes. But since the law of Texas was never proven,
the doctrine of processual presumption was applied. Hence, SC assumed that Texas law is the same as
SO ORDERED. Philippine laws, which upholds the nationality rule. Renvoi doctrine is not applicable because there is no
conflict as to the nationality and domicile of Bellis. He is both a citizen and a resident of Texas. So even if
Testate Estate Bellis vs. Bellis 20 SCRA 358 assuming the law of Texas applies the domiciliary rule, it is still Texas law that governs because his
domicile is Texas.
Amos Bellis, born in Texas, was a citizen of the State of Texas and of the United States. He had 5 Bohanan vs. Bohanan
legitimate children with his wife, Mary Mallen, whom he had divorced, 3 legitimate children with his 2nd
wife, Violet Kennedy and finally, 3 illegitimate children.
Prior to his death, Amos Bellis executed a will in the Philippines in which his distributable estate should
be divided in trust in the following order and manner: Appeal against an order of the Court of First Instance of Manila, Hon. Ramon San Jose, presiding,
dismissing the objections filed by Magdalena C. Bohanan, Mary Bohanan and Edward Bohanan to the
a. $240,000 to his 1st wife Mary Mallen; project of partition submitted by the executor and approving the said project.
b. P120,000 to his 3 illegitimate children at P40,000 each;
c. The remainder shall go to his surviving children by his 1st and 2nd wives, in equal shares. On April 24, 195 0, the Court of First Instance of Manila, Hon. Rafael Amparo, presiding, admitted to
probate a last will and testament of C. O. Bohanan, executed by him on April 23, 1944 in Manila. In the
Subsequently, Amos Bellis died a resident of San Antonio, Texas, USA. His will was admitted to probate in said order, the court made the following findings:
the Philippines. The People’s Bank and Trust Company, an executor of the will, paid the entire bequest
According to the evidence of the opponents the testator was born in Nebraska and therefore
Preparatory to closing its administration, the executor submitted and filed its “Executor’s Final Account, a citizen of that state, or at least a citizen of California where some of his properties are
Report of Administration and Project of Partition” where it reported, inter alia, the satisfaction of the located. This contention in untenable. Notwithstanding the long residence of the decedent in
legacy of Mary Mallen by the shares of stock amounting to $240,000 delivered to her, and the legacies of the Philippines, his stay here was merely temporary, and he continued and remained to be a
the 3 illegitimate children in the amount of P40,000 each or a total of P120,000. In the project partition, citizen of the United States and of the state of his pertinent residence to spend the rest of his
the executor divided the residuary estate into 7 equal portions days in that state. His permanent residence or domicile in the United States depended upon
for the benefit of the testator’s 7 legitimate children by his 1st and 2nd marriages. his personal intent or desire, and he selected Nevada as his homicide and therefore at the
time of his death, he was a citizen of that state. Nobody can choose his domicile or
Among the 3 illegitimate children, Mari Cristina and Miriam Palma Bellis filed their respective opposition permanent residence for him. That is his exclusive personal right.
to the project partition on the ground that they were deprived of their legitimates as illegitimate
children. Wherefore, the court finds that the testator C. O. Bohanan was at the time of his death a
citizen of the United States and of the State of Nevada and declares that his will and
The lower court denied their respective motions for reconsideration. testament, Exhibit A, is fully in accordance with the laws of the state of Nevada and admits
the same to probate. Accordingly, the Philippine Trust Company, named as the executor of
ISSUE: the will, is hereby appointed to such executor and upon the filing of a bond in the sum of
Whether Texan Law of Philippine Law must apply. P10,000.00, let letters testamentary be issued and after taking the prescribed oath, it may
enter upon the execution and performance of its trust. (pp. 26-27, R.O.A.).
It does not appear that the order granting probate was ever questions on appeal. The executor filed a The most important issue is the claim of the testator's children, Edward and Mary Lydia, who had
project of partition dated January 24, 1956, making, in accordance with the provisions of the will, the received legacies in the amount of P6,000 each only, and, therefore, have not been given their shares in
following adjudications: (1) one-half of the residuary estate, to the Farmers and Merchants National the estate which, in accordance with the laws of the forum, should be two-thirds of the estate left by the
Bank of Los Angeles, California, U.S.A. in trust only for the benefit of testator's grandson Edward George testator. Is the failure old the testator to give his children two-thirds of the estate left by him at the time
Bohanan, which consists of several mining companies; (2) the other half of the residuary estate to the of his death, in accordance with the laws of the forum valid?
testator's brother, F.L. Bohanan, and his sister, Mrs. M. B. Galbraith, share and share alike. This consist in
the same amount of cash and of shares of mining stock similar to those given to testator's grandson; (3)
The old Civil Code, which is applicable to this case because the testator died in 1944, expressly provides
legacies of P6,000 each to his (testator) son, Edward Gilbert Bohana, and his daughter, Mary Lydia
that successional rights to personal property are to be earned by the national law of the person whose
Bohanan, to be paid in three yearly installments; (4) legacies to Clara Daen, in the amount of P10,000.00;
succession is in question. Says the law on this point:
Katherine Woodward, P2,000; Beulah Fox, P4,000; and Elizabeth Hastings, P2,000;

Nevertheless, legal and testamentary successions, in respect to the order of succession as

It will be seen from the above that out of the total estate (after deducting administration expenses) of
well as to the extent of the successional rights and the intrinsic validity of their provisions,
P211,639.33 in cash, the testator gave his grandson P90,819.67 and one-half of all shares of stock of
shall be regulated by the national law of the person whose succession is in question,
several mining companies and to his brother and sister the same amount. To his children he gave a
whatever may be the nature of the property and the country in which it is found. (par. 2, Art.
legacy of only P6,000 each, or a total of P12,000.
10, old Civil Code, which is the same as par. 2 Art. 16, new Civil Code.)

The wife Magadalena C. Bohanan and her two children question the validity of the testamentary
In the proceedings for the probate of the will, it was found out and it was decided that the testator was a
provisions disposing of the estate in the manner above indicated, claiming that they have been deprived
citizen of the State of Nevada because he had selected this as his domicile and his permanent residence.
of the legitimate that the laws of the form concede to them.
(See Decision dated April 24, 1950, supra). So the question at issue is whether the estementary
dispositions, especially hose for the children which are short of the legitime given them by the Civil Code
The first question refers to the share that the wife of the testator, Magdalena C. Bohanan, should be of the Philippines, are valid. It is not disputed that the laws of Nevada allow a testator to dispose of all
entitled to received. The will has not given her any share in the estate left by the testator. It is argued his properties by will (Sec. 9905, Complied Nevada Laws of 1925, supra). It does not appear that at time
that it was error for the trial court to have recognized the Reno divorce secured by the testator from his of the hearing of the project of partition, the above-quoted provision was introduced in evidence, as it
Filipino wife Magdalena C. Bohanan, and that said divorce should be declared a nullity in this jurisdiction, was the executor's duly to do. The law of Nevada, being a foreign law can only be proved in our courts in
citing the case of Querubin vs.Querubin, 87 Phil., 124, 47 Off. Gaz., (Sup, 12) 315, Cousins the form and manner provided for by our Rules, which are as follows:
Hiz vs. Fluemer, 55 Phil., 852, Ramirez vs. Gmur, 42 Phil., 855 and Gorayeb vs. Hashim, 50 Phil., 22. The
court below refused to recognize the claim of the widow on the ground that the laws of Nevada, of
SEC. 41. Proof of public or official record. — An official record or an entry therein, when
which the deceased was a citizen, allow him to dispose of all of his properties without requiring him to
admissible for any purpose, may be evidenced by an official publication thereof or by a copy
leave any portion of his estate to his wife. Section 9905 of Nevada Compiled Laws of 1925 provides:
tested by the officer having the legal custody of he record, or by his deputy, and
accompanied, if the record is not kept in the Philippines, with a certificate that such officer
Every person over the age of eighteen years, of sound mind, may, by last will, dispose of all has the custody. . . . (Rule 123).
his or her estate, real and personal, the same being chargeable with the payment of the
testator's debts.
We have, however, consulted the records of the case in the court below and we have found that during
the hearing on October 4, 1954 of the motion of Magdalena C. Bohanan for withdrawal of P20,000 as her
Besides, the right of the former wife of the testator, Magdalena C. Bohanan, to a share in the testator's share, the foreign law, especially Section 9905, Compiled Nevada Laws. was introduced in evidence by
estafa had already been passed upon adversely against her in an order dated June 19, 1955, (pp. 155- appellant's (herein) counsel as Exhibits "2" (See pp. 77-79, VOL. II, and t.s.n. pp. 24-44, Records, Court of
159, Vol II Records, Court of First Instance), which had become final, as Magdalena C. Bohanan does not First Instance). Again said laws presented by the counsel for the executor and admitted by the Court as
appear to have appealed therefrom to question its validity. On December 16, 1953, the said former wife Exhibit "B" during the hearing of the case on January 23, 1950 before Judge Rafael Amparo (se Records,
filed a motion to withdraw the sum of P20,000 from the funds of the estate, chargeable against her Court of First Instance, Vol. 1).
share in the conjugal property, (See pp. 294-297, Vol. I, Record, Court of First Instance), and the court in
its said error found that there exists no community property owned by the decedent and his former wife
In addition, the other appellants, children of the testator, do not dispute the above-quoted provision of
at the time the decree of divorce was issued. As already and Magdalena C. Bohanan may no longer
the laws of the State of Nevada. Under all the above circumstances, we are constrained to hold that the
question the fact contained therein, i.e. that there was no community property acquired by the testator
pertinent law of Nevada, especially Section 9905 of the Compiled Nevada Laws of 1925, can be taken
and Magdalena C. Bohanan during their converture.
judicial notice of by us, without proof of such law having been offered at the hearing of the project of
Moreover, the court below had found that the testator and Magdalena C. Bohanan were married on
January 30, 1909, and that divorce was granted to him on May 20, 1922; that sometime in 1925,
As in accordance with Article 10 of the old Civil Code, the validity of testamentary dispositions are to be
Magdalena C. Bohanan married Carl Aaron and this marriage was subsisting at the time of the death of
governed by the national law of the testator, and as it has been decided and it is not disputed that the
the testator. Since no right to share in the inheritance in favor of a divorced wife exists in the State of
national law of the testator is that of the State of Nevada, already indicated above, which allows a
Nevada and since the court below had already found that there was no conjugal property between the
testator to dispose of all his property according to his will, as in the case at bar, the order of the court
testator and Magdalena C. Bohanan, the latter can now have no longer claim to pay portion of the estate
approving the project of partition made in accordance with the testamentary provisions, must be, as it is
left by the testator.
hereby affirmed, with costs against appellants.
Miciano vs. Brimo 50 Phil. 867 In regard to the first assignment of error which deals with the exclusion of the herein appellant as a
legatee, inasmuch as he is one of the persons designated as such in will, it must be taken into
consideration that such exclusion is based on the last part of the second clause of the will, which says:
Second. I like desire to state that although by law, I am a Turkish citizen, this citizenship
having been conferred upon me by conquest and not by free choice, nor by nationality and,
The partition of the estate left by the deceased Joseph G. Brimo is in question in this case.
on the other hand, having resided for a considerable length of time in the Philippine Islands
where I succeeded in acquiring all of the property that I now possess, it is my wish that the
The judicial administrator of this estate filed a scheme of partition. Andre Brimo, one of the brothers of distribution of my property and everything in connection with this, my will, be made and
the deceased, opposed it. The court, however, approved it. disposed of in accordance with the laws in force in the Philippine islands, requesting all of my
relatives to respect this wish, otherwise, I annul and cancel beforehand whatever disposition
The errors which the oppositor-appellant assigns are: found in this will favorable to the person or persons who fail to comply with this request.

(1) The approval of said scheme of partition; (2) denial of his participation in the inheritance; (3) the The institution of legatees in this will is conditional, and the condition is that the instituted legatees must
denial of the motion for reconsideration of the order approving the partition; (4) the approval of the respect the testator's will to distribute his property, not in accordance with the laws of his nationality,
purchase made by the Pietro Lana of the deceased's business and the deed of transfer of said business; but in accordance with the laws of the Philippines.
and (5) the declaration that the Turkish laws are impertinent to this cause, and the failure not to
postpone the approval of the scheme of partition and the delivery of the deceased's business to Pietro If this condition as it is expressed were legal and valid, any legatee who fails to comply with it, as the
Lanza until the receipt of the depositions requested in reference to the Turkish laws. herein oppositor who, by his attitude in these proceedings has not respected the will of the testator, as
expressed, is prevented from receiving his legacy.
The appellant's opposition is based on the fact that the partition in question puts into effect the
provisions of Joseph G. Brimo's will which are not in accordance with the laws of his Turkish nationality, The fact is, however, that the said condition is void, being contrary to law, for article 792 of the civil Code
for which reason they are void as being in violation or article 10 of the Civil Code which, among other provides the following:
things, provides the following:
Impossible conditions and those contrary to law or good morals shall be considered as not
Nevertheless, legal and testamentary successions, in respect to the order of succession as imposed and shall not prejudice the heir or legatee in any manner whatsoever, even should
well as to the amount of the successional rights and the intrinsic validity of their provisions, the testator otherwise provide.
shall be regulated by the national law of the person whose succession is in question,
whatever may be the nature of the property or the country in which it may be situated.
And said condition is contrary to law because it expressly ignores the testator's national law when,
according to article 10 of the civil Code above quoted, such national law of the testator is the one to
But the fact is that the oppositor did not prove that said testimentary dispositions are not in accordance govern his testamentary dispositions.
with the Turkish laws, inasmuch as he did not present any evidence showing what the Turkish laws are
on the matter, and in the absence of evidence on such laws, they are presumed to be the same as those
Said condition then, in the light of the legal provisions above cited, is considered unwritten, and the
of the Philippines. (Lim and Lim vs. Collector of Customs, 36 Phil., 472.)
institution of legatees in said will is unconditional and consequently valid and effective even as to the
herein oppositor.
It has not been proved in these proceedings what the Turkish laws are. He, himself, acknowledges it
when he desires to be given an opportunity to present evidence on this point; so much so that he assigns
It results from all this that the second clause of the will regarding the law which shall govern it, and to
as an error of the court in not having deferred the approval of the scheme of partition until the receipt of
the condition imposed upon the legatees, is null and void, being contrary to law.
certain testimony requested regarding the Turkish laws on the matter.

All of the remaining clauses of said will with all their dispositions and requests are perfectly valid and
The refusal to give the oppositor another opportunity to prove such laws does not constitute an error. It
effective it not appearing that said clauses are contrary to the testator's national law.
is discretionary with the trial court, and, taking into consideration that the oppositor was granted ample
opportunity to introduce competent evidence, we find no abuse of discretion on the part of the court in
this particular. There is, therefore, no evidence in the record that the national law of the testator Joseph Therefore, the orders appealed from are modified and it is directed that the distribution of this estate be
G. Brimo was violated in the testamentary dispositions in question which, not being contrary to our laws made in such a manner as to include the herein appellant Andre Brimo as one of the legatees, and the
in force, must be complied with and executed. lawphil.net scheme of partition submitted by the judicial administrator is approved in all other respects, without any
pronouncement as to costs.
Therefore, the approval of the scheme of partition in this respect was not erroneous.
So ordered.

Cases on Prooperty
Roman Catholic Apostolic Admistrator vs LRC and on behalf of the faithful residing in the diocese or territory of the corporation sole; and (4) the latter,
as such, has no nationality and the citizenship of the incumbent Ordinary has nothing to do with the
Facts: operation, management or administration of the corporation sole, nor effects the citizenship of the
On October 4, 1954, Mateo L. Rodis, a Filipino citizen and resident of the City of Davao, executed a deed faithful connected with their respective dioceses or corporation sole.
of sale of a parcel of land located in the same city covered by Transfer Certificate No. 2263, in favor of In view of these peculiarities of the corporation sole, it would seem obvious that when the specific
the Roman Catholic Apostolic Administrator of Davao Inc.,(RCADI) is corporation sole organized and provision of the Constitution invoked by respondent Commissioner (section 1, Art. XIII), was under
existing in accordance with Philippine Laws, with Msgr. Clovis Thibault, a Canadian citizen, as actual consideration, the framers of the same did not have in mind or overlooked this particular form of
incumbent. Registry of Deeds Davao (RD) required RCADI to submit affidavit declaring that 60% of its corporation. If this were so, as the facts and circumstances already indicated tend to prove it to be so,
members were Filipino Citizens. As the RD entertained some doubts as to the registerability of the deed then the inescapable conclusion would be that this requirement of at least 60 per cent of Filipino capital
of sale, the matter was referred to the Land Registration Commissioner (LRC) en consulta for resolution. was never intended to apply to corporations sole, and the existence or not a vested right becomes
LRC hold that pursuant to provisions of sections 1 and 5 of Article XII of the Philippine Constitution, unquestionably immaterial.
RCADI is not qualified to acquire land in the Philippines in the absence of proof that at leat 60% of the
capital, properties or assets of the RCADI is actually owned or controlled by Filipino citizens. LRC also REGISTER OF DEEDS OF RIZAL v. UNG SIU SI TEMPLE
denied the registration of the Deed of Sale in the absence of proof of compliance with such requisite.
RCADI’s Motion for Reconsideration was denied. Aggrieved, the latter filed a petition for mandamus.
REYES, J.B.L., J.:
Whether or not the Universal Roman Catholic Apostolic Church in the Philippines, or better still, the
corporation sole named the Roman Catholic Apostolic Administrator of Davao, Inc., is qualified to
acquire private agricultural lands in the Philippines pursuant to the provisions of Article XIII of the The Register of Deeds for the province of Rizal refused to accept for record a deed of donation executed
Constitution. in due form on January 22, 1953, by Jesus Dy, a Filipino citizen, conveying a parcel of residential land, in
Ruling: Caloocan, Rizal, known as lot No. 2, block 48-D, PSD-4212, G.L.R.O. Record No. 11267, in favor of the
RCADI is qualified. unregistered religious organization "Ung Siu Si Temple", operating through three trustees all of Chinese
While it is true and We have to concede that in the profession of their faith, the Roman Pontiff is the nationality. The donation was duly accepted by Yu Juan, of Chinese nationality, founder and deaconess
supreme head; that in the religious matters, in the exercise of their belief, the Catholic congregation of of the Temple, acting in representation and in behalf of the latter and its trustees.
the faithful throughout the world seeks the guidance and direction of their Spiritual Father in the
Vatican, yet it cannot be said that there is a merger of personalities resultant therein. Neither can it be The refusal of the Registrar was elevated en Consultato the IVth Branch of the Court of First Instance of
said that the political and civil rights of the faithful, inherent or acquired under the laws of their country, Manila. On March 14, 1953, the Court upheld the action of the Rizal Register of Deeds, saying:
are affected by that relationship with the Pope. The fact that the Roman Catholic Church in almost every
country springs from that society that saw its beginning in Europe and the fact that the clergy of this
faith derive their authorities and receive orders from the Holy See do not give or bestow the citizenship The question raised by the Register of Deeds in the above transcribed consulta is whether a
of the Pope upon these branches. Citizenship is a political right which cannot be acquired by a sort of deed of donation of a parcel of land executed in favor of a religious organization whose
“radiation”. We have to realize that although there is a fraternity among all the catholic countries and founder, trustees and administrator are Chinese citizens should be registered or not.
the dioceses therein all over the globe, the universality that the word “catholic” implies, merely
characterize their faith, a uniformity in the practice and the interpretation of their dogma and in the It appearing from the record of the Consulta that UNG SIU SI TEMPLE is a religious
exercise of their belief, but certainly they are separate and independent from one another in jurisdiction, organization whose deaconess, founder, trustees and administrator are all Chinese citizens,
governed by different laws under which they are incorporated, and entirely independent on the others this Court is of the opinion and so hold that in view of the provisions of the sections 1 and 5 of
in the management and ownership of their temporalities. To allow theory that the Roman Catholic Article XIII of the Constitution of the Philippines limiting the acquisition of land in the
Churches all over the world follow the citizenship of their Supreme Head, the Pontifical Father, would Philippines to its citizens, or to corporations or associations at least sixty per centum of the
lead to the absurdity of finding the citizens of a country who embrace the Catholic faith and become capital stock of which is owned by such citizens adopted after the enactment of said Act No.
members of that religious society, likewise citizens of the Vatican or of Italy. And this is more so if We 271, and the decision of the Supreme Court in the case of Krivenko vs. the Register of Deeds
consider that the Pope himself may be an Italian or national of any other country of the world. The same of Manila, the deed of donation in question should not be admitted for admitted for
thing be said with regard to the nationality or citizenship of the corporation sole created under the laws registration. (Printed Rec. App. pp 17-18).
of the Philippines, which is not altered by the change of citizenship of the incumbent bishops or head of
said corporation sole.
We must therefore, declare that although a branch of the Universal Roman Catholic Apostolic Church, Not satisfied with the ruling of the Court of First Instance, counsel for the donee Uy Siu Si Temple has
every Roman Catholic Church in different countries, if it exercises its mission and is lawfully incorporated appealed to this Court, claiming: (1) that the acquisition of the land in question, for religious purposes, is
in accordance with the laws of the country where it is located, is considered an entity or person with all authorized and permitted by Act No. 271 of the old Philippine Commission, providing as follows:
the rights and privileges granted to such artificial being under the laws of that country, separate and
distinct from the personality of the Roman Pontiff or the Holy See, without prejudice to its religious SECTION 1. It shall be lawful for all religious associations, of whatever sort or denomination,
relations with the latter which are governed by the Canon Law or their rules and regulations. whether incorporated in the Philippine Islands or in the name of other country, or not
It has been shown before that: (1) the corporation sole, unlike the ordinary corporations which are incorporated at all, to hold land in the Philippine Islands upon which to build churches,
formed by no less than 5 incorporators, is composed of only one persons, usually the head or bishop of parsonages, or educational or charitable institutions.
the diocese, a unit which is not subject to expansion for the purpose of determining any percentage
whatsoever; (2) the corporation sole is only the administrator and not the owner of the temporalities
located in the territory comprised by said corporation sole; (3) such temporalities are administered for
SEC. 2. Such religious institutions, if not incorporated, shall hold the land in the name of three to be declared conjugal, this would accord to the alien husband an interest and right over the land,
Trustees for the use of such associations; . . .. (Printed Rec. App. p. 5.) which is not granted to him under the Constitution.

Republic v. Court of Appeals and Naguit

and (2) that the refusal of the Register of Deeds violates the freedom of religion clause of our
Alienation of Public Agricultural Lands
Constitution [Art. III, Sec. 1(7)].
We are of the opinion that the Court below has correctly held that in view of the absolute terms of
section 5, Title XIII, of the Constitution, the provisions of Act No. 271 of the old Philippine Commission On January 5, 1993, Naguit filed a petition for registration of title of a parcel of land. The application
must be deemed repealed since the Constitution was enacted, in so far as incompatible therewith. In sought a judicial confirmation of imperfect title over the land.
providing that, —
The public prosecutor, appearing for the government, and Angeles opposed the petition. The court
Save in cases of hereditary succession, no private agricultural land shall be transferred or issued an order of general default against the whole world except as to Angeles and the government.
assigned except to individuals, corporations or associations qualified to acquire or hold lands
of the public domain in the Philippines, The evidence revealed that the subject parcel of land was originally declared for taxation purposes in the
name of Urbano in 1945. Urbano executed a Deed of Quitclaim in favor of the heirs of Maming, wherein
he renounced all his rights to the subject property and confirmed the sale made by his father to Maming
the Constitution makes no exception in favor of religious associations. Neither is there any such saving sometime in 1955 or 1956. Subsequently, the heirs of Maming executed a deed of absolute sale in favor
found in sections 1 and 2 of Article XIII, restricting the acquisition of public agricultural lands and other of respondent Naguit who thereupon started occupying the same.
natural resources to "corporations or associations at least sixty per centum of the capital of which is
owned by such citizens" (of the Philippines). Naguit constituted Blanco, Jr. as her attorney-in-fact and administrator. The administrator introduced
improvements, planted trees in addition to existing coconut trees which were then 50 to 60 years old,
The fact that the appellant religious organization has no capital stock does not suffice to escape the and paid the corresponding taxes due on the subject land.
Constitutional inhibition, since it is admitted that its members are of foreign nationality. The purpose of
the sixty per centum requirement is obviously to ensure that corporations or associations allowed to Naguit and her predecessors-in-interest had occupied the land openly and in the concept of owner
acquire agricultural land or to exploit natural resources shall be controlled by Filipinos; and the spirit of without any objection from any private person or even the government until she filed her application for
the Constitution demands that in the absence of capital stock, the controlling membership should be registration.
composed of Filipino citizens.
The OSG argued that the property which is in open, continuous and exclusive possession must first be
alienable. Since the subject land was declared alienable only on October 15, 1980, Naguit could not have
To permit religious associations controlled by non-Filipinos to acquire agricultural lands would be to maintained a bona fide claim of ownership since June 12, 1945, as required by Section 14 of the Property
drive the opening wedge to revive alien religious land holdings in this country. We can not ignore the Registration Decree, since prior to 1980, the land was not alienable or disposable.
historical fact that complaints against land holdings of that kind were among the factors that sparked the
revolution of 1896. The OSG suggested an interpretation that all lands of the public domain which were not declared
alienable or disposable before June 12, 1945 would not be susceptible to original registration, no matter
As to the complaint that the disqualification under article XIII is violative of the freedom of religion the length of unchallenged possession by the occupant.
guaranteed by Article III of the Constitution, we are by no means convinced (nor has it been shown) that
land tenure is indispensable to the free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession or worship; or
that one may not worship the Deity according to the dictates of his own conscience unless upon land Issue:
held in fee simple.
Whether or not it is necessary under Section 14(1) of the Property Registration Decree that the subject
land be first classified as alienable and disposable before the applicant’s possession under a bona fide
The resolution appealed from is affirmed, with costs against appellant.
claim of ownership could even start.

Cheesman vs. IAC
(1991) Section 14 of the Property Registration Decree, governing original registration proceedings, provides:
FACTS: Thomas Cheesman (an American) was married to a Filipina, Criselda. The spouses later separated;
but Thomas brought this action to annul the sale of real property made by Criselda in favor of Padilla. He SECTION 14. Who may apply.— The following persons may file in the proper Court of First Instance an
alleged that the sale is void for lack of his consent. The property sold was bought by Criselda using her application for registration of title to land, whether personally or through their duly authorized
personal funds, and was registered in her name only. representatives:

HELD: The sale was valid. He has no capacity to question the sale of the property by his wife on the (1) those who by themselves or through their predecessors-in-interest have been in open, continuous,
theory that in doing so he is merely exercising the prerogative of a husband in respect of conjugal exclusive and notorious possession and occupation of alienable and disposable lands of the public
property. This would permit indirect controversion of the constitutional prohibition. If the property were domain under a bona fide claim of ownership since June 12, 1945, or earlier.
Issues having been joined, and the requisite evidence presented by both parties, the court declared both
(2) Those who have acquired ownership over private lands by prescription under the provisions of the sale and the lease valid and binding and dismissed the complaint. The court likewise ordered plaintiff
existing laws. to turn over the property to defendant and to pay a rental of P50 a month from August 1, 1945 until the
property has been actually delivered. As this decision was affirmed in toto by the Court of Appeals,
There are three obvious requisites for the filing of an application for registration of title under Section plaintiff sued out the present petition for review.
14(1) – that the property in question is alienable and disposable land of the public domain; that the
applicants by themselves or through their predecessors-in-interest have been in open, continuous, One of the issues raised by petitioner refers to the validity of Seirei No. 6 issued on April 2, 1943 by the
exclusive and notorious possession and occupation, and; that such possession is under a bona fide claim Japanese authorities which prohibits an alien from acquiring any private land not agricultural in nature
of ownership since June 12, 1945 or earlier. during the occupation unless the necessary approval is obtained from the Director General of the
Japanese Military Administration. Petitioner contends that the sale in question cannot have any validity
The OSG's interpretation would render paragraph (1) of Section 14 virtually inoperative and even under the above military directive in view of the failure of respondent to obtain the requisite approval
precludes the government from giving it effect even as it decides to reclassify public agricultural lands as and it was error for the Court of Appeals to declare said directive without any binding effect because the
alienable and disposable. The unreasonableness of the situation would even be aggravated considering occupation government could not have issued it under article 43 of the Hague Regulations which
that before June 12, 1945, the Philippines was not yet even considered an independent state. command that laws that are municipal in character of an occupied territory should be respected and
cannot be ignored unless prevented by military necessity.
The more reasonable interpretation of Section 14(1) is that it merely requires the property sought to be
registered as already alienable and disposable at the time the application for registration of title is filed. We do not believe it necessary to consider now the question relative to the validity of Seirei No. 6 of the
If the State, at the time the application is made, has not yet deemed it proper to release the property for Japanese Military Administration for the simple reason that in our opinion the law that should govern
alienation or disposition, the presumption is that the government is still reserving the right to utilize the the particular transaction is not the above directive but the Constitution adopted by the then Republic of
property; hence, the need to preserve its ownership in the State irrespective of the length of adverse the Philippines, on September 4, 1943, it appearing that the aforesaid transaction was executed on
possession even if in good faith. However, if the property has already been classified as alienable and February 2, 1944. Said Constitution, in its article VIII, section 5, provides that "no private agricultural land
disposable, as it is in this case, then there is already an intention on the part of the State to abdicate its shall be transferred or assigned except to individuals, corporations, or associations qualified to acquire or
exclusive prerogative over the property. hold lands of the public domain in the Philippines", which provisions are similar to those contained in our
present Constitution. As to whether the phrase "private agricultural land" employed in said Constitution
In this case, the 3 requisites for the filing of registration of title under Section 14(1) had been met by includes residential lands, as the one involved herein, there can be no doubt because said phrase has
Naguit. The parcel of land had been declared alienable; Naguit and her predecessors-in-interest had already been interpreted in the affirmative sense by this court in the recent case of Krivenko vs. Register
been in open, continuous, exclusive and notorious possession and occupation of the land evidenced by of Deeds, 79 Phil., 41, wherein this court held that "under the Constitutionaliens may not acquire private
the 50 to 60-year old trees at the time she purchased the property; as well as the tax declarations or public agricultural lands, including residential lands." This ruling fully disposes of the question
executed by the original owner Urbano in 1954, which strengthened one's bona fide claim of ownership. touching on the validity of the sale of the property herein involved.

The sale in question having been entered into in violation of the. Constitution, the next question to be
Rellosa v. Gaw Chee Hun
determined is, can petitioner have the sale declared null and void and recover the property considering
the effect of the law governing rescission of contracts? Our answer must of necessity be in the negative
This is a petition for review of a decision of the Court of Appeals holding that the sale in question is valid following the doctrine laid down in the case of Trinidad Gonzaga de Cabauatan, et al. vs. Uy Hoo, et al.,
and, even if it were invalid, plaintiff cannot maintain the action under the principle of pari delicto. 88 Phil., 103, wherein we made the following pronouncement: "We can, therefore, say that even if the
On February 2, 1944, Dionisio Rellosa sold to Gaw Chee Hun a parcel of land, together with the house plaintiffs can still invoke the Constitution, or the doctrine in the Krivenko Case, to set aside the sale in
erected thereon, situated in the City of Manila, Philippines, for the sum of P25,000. The vendor remained question, they are now prevented from doing so if their purpose is to recover the lands that they have
in possession of the property under a contract of lease entered into on the same date between the same voluntarily parted with, because of their guilty knowledge that what they were doing was in violation of
parties. Alleging that the sale was executed subject to the condition that the vendee, being a Chinese the Constitution. They cannot escape this conclusion because they are presumed to know the law. As
citizen, would obtain the approval of the Japanese Military Administration in accordance with (seirei) No. this court well said: 'A party to an illegal contract cannot come into a court of law and ask to have his
6 issued on April 2, 1943, by the Japanese authorities, and said approval has not been obtained, and illegal objects carried out. The law will not aid either party to an illegal agreement; it leaves the parties
that, even if said requirement were met, the sale would at all events be void under article XIII, Section 5, where it finds them.' The rule is expressed in the maxims: 'Ex dolo malo non oritur actio,' and 'In pari
of our Constitution, the vendor instituted the present action in the Court of First Instance of Manila delicto potior est conditio defendentis.' (Bough and Bough vs. Cantiveros and Hanopol, 40 Phil.210, 216.)"
seeking the annulment of the sale as well as the lease covering the land and the house above mentioned,
The doctrine above adverted to is the one known as In Pari Delicto. This is well known not only in this
and praying that, once the sale and the lease are declared null and void, the vendee be ordered to return
jurisdiction but also in the United States where common law prevails. In the latter jurisdiction, the
to vendor the duplicate of the title covering the property, and be restrained from in any way
doctrine is stated thus: "The proposition is universal that no action arises, in equity or at law, from an
dispossessing the latter of said property.
illegal contract; no suit can be maintained for its specific performance, or to recover the property agreed
Defendant answered the complaint setting up as special defense that the sale referred to in the to be sold or delivered, or the money agreed to be paid, or damages for its violation. The rule has
complaint was absolute and unconditional and was in every respect valid and binding between the sometime been laid down as though it were equally universal, that where the parties are in pari delicto,
parties, it being not contrary to law, morals and public order, and that plaintiff is guilty of estoppel in no affirmative relief of any kind will be given to one against the other." (Pomeroy's Equity Jurisprudence,
that, by having executed a deed of lease over the property, he thereby recognized the title of defendant Vol. 3, 5th ed., p. 728.)
to that property.
It is true that this doctrine is subject to one important limitation, namely, "whenever public policy is
considered as advanced by allowing either party to sue for relief against the transaction" (idem, p. 733).
But not all contracts which are illegal because opposed to public policy come under this limitation. The
cases in which this limitation may apply only "include the class of contracts which "SEC. 122. No land originally acquired in any manner under the provisions of this Act, nor any permanent
are intrinsically contrary to public policy, contracts in which the illegality itself consists in their opposition improvement on such land, shall be encumbered, alienated, or transferred, except to persons,
to public policy, and any other species of illegal contracts in which, from their particular circumstances, corporations, associations, or partnerships who may acquire lands of the public domain under this Act or
incidental and collateral motives of public policy require relief." Examples of this class of contracts are to corporations organized in the Philippines authorized therefor by their charters."
usurious contracts, marriage-brokerage contracts and gambling contracts. (Idem. pp. 735-737.)
"SEC. 123. No land originally acquired in any manner under the provisions of any previous Act,
In our opinion, the contract in question does not come under this exception because it is not intrinsically ordinance, royal decree, royal order, or any other provision of law formerly in force in the Philippines
contrary to public policy, nor one where the illegality itself consists in its opposition to public policy. It is with regard to public lands, terrenos baldios y realengos, or lands of any other denomination that were
illegal not because it is against public policy but because it is against the Constitution. Nor may it be actually or presumptively of the public domain or by royal grant or in any other form, nor any permanent
contended that to apply the doctrine of pari delicto would be tantamount to contravening the improvement on such land, shall be encumbered, alienated, or conveyed, except to persons, corporations
fundamental policy embodied in the constitutional prohibition in that it would allow an alien to remain or associations who may acquire land of the public domain under this Act or to corporate bodies
in the illegal possession of the land, because in this case the remedy is lodged elsewhere. To adopt the organized in the Philippines whose charters authorize them to do so: Provided, however, That this
contrary view would be merely to benefit petitioner and not to enhance public interest. prohibition shall not be applicable to the conveyance or acquisition by reason of hereditary succession
duly acknowledged and legalized by competent courts; Provide, further, That in the event of the
The danger foreseen by counsel in the application of the doctrine above adverted to is more apparent ownership of the lands and improvements mentioned in this section and in the last preceding section
than real. If we go deeper in the analysis of our situation we would not fail to see that the best policy being transferred by judicial decree to persons, corporations or associations not legally capacitated to
would be for Congress to approve a law laying down the policy and the procedure to be followed in acquire the same under the provisions of this Act, such persons, corporations, or associations shall be
connection with transactions affected by our doctrine in the Krivenko case. We hope that this should be obliged to alienate said lands or improvements to others so capacitated within the precise period of five
done without much delay. And even if this legislation be not forthcoming in the near future, we do not years; otherwise, such property shall revert to the Government."
believe that public interest would suffer thereby if only our executive department would follow a more
militant policy in the conservation of our natural resources as ordained by our Constitution. And we say "SEC. 124. Any acquisition, conveyance, alienation, transfer, or other contract made or executed in
so because there are at present two ways by which this situation may be remedied, to wit, (1) action for violation of any of the provisions of sections one hundred and eighteen, one hundred and twenty, one
reversion, and (2) escheat to the state. An action for reversion is slightly different from escheat hundred and twenty-one, one hundred and twenty-two, and one hundred and twenty-three of this
proceeding, but in its effects they are the same. They only differ in procedure. Escheat proceedings may Act shall be unlawful and null and void from its execution and shall produce the effect of annulling and
be instituted as a consequence of a violation of article XIII, section 5 of our Constitution, which prohibits cancelling the grant, title, patent, or permit originally issued, recognized or confirmed, actually or
transfers of private agricultural lands to aliens, whereas an action for reversion is expressly authorized by presumptively, and cause the reversion of the property and its improvements to the State."
the Public Land Act (sections 122, 123 and 124 of Commonwealth Act No. 141). Note that the last quoted provision declared any prohibited conveyance not only unlawful but null and
void ab initio. More important yet, it expressly provides that such conveyances will produce "the effect
In the United States, as almost everywhere else, the doctrine which imputes to the sovereign or to the of annulling and cancelling the grant, title, patent, or permit, originally issued, recognized of confirmed,
government the ownership of all lands and makes such sovereign or government the original source of actually or presumptively", and of causing "the reversion of the property and its improvements to the
private titles, is well recognized (42 Am. Jur., 785). This doctrine, which was expressly affirmed in State." The reversion would seem to be but a consequence of the annulment and cancellation of the
Lawrence vs. Garduño, G. R. No. 16542, and which underlies all titles in the Philippines, (See Ventura, original grant or title, and this is so for in the event of such annulment or cancellation no one else could
Land Registration and Mortgages, 2nd ed., pp.2-3) has been enshrined in our Constitution (article XIII). legitimately claim the property except its original owner or grantor the state.
The doctrine regarding the course of all titles being the same here as in the United States, it would seem
that if escheat lies against aliens holding lands in those states of the Union where common law prevails We repeat. There are two ways now open to our government whereby it could implement the doctrine
or where similar constitutional or statutory prohibitions exist, no cogent reason is perceived why similar of this Court in the Krivenko case thereby putting in force and carrying to its logical conclusion the
proceedings may not be instituted in this jurisdiction. mandate of our Constitution. By following either of these remedies, or by approving an implementary
law as above suggested, we can enforce the fundamental policy of our Constitution regarding our natural
"Escheat is an incident or attribute of sovereignty, and rests on the principle of the ultimate ownership resources without doing violence to the principle of pari delicto. With these remedies open to us, we see
by the state of all property within its jurisdiction." (30 C.J.S., 1164) no justifiable reason for pursuing the extreme unusual remedy now vehemently urged by the amici
"* * * In America escheats belong universally to the state or some corporation thereof as the ultimate
proprietor of land within its Jurisdiction," (19 Am. Jur., 382.) In view of the foregoing, we hold that the sale in question is null and void, but plaintiff is barred from
taking the present action under the principle of pari delicto.
"An escheat is nothing more or less than the reversion of property to the stae, which takes place when
the title fails." (Delany vs. State, 42 N. D., 630, 174 N. W., 290, quoted in footnote 6, 19 Am. Jr., 381.) The decision appealed from is hereby affirmed without pronouncement as to costs.
"As applied to the right of the state to lands purchased by an alien, it would more properly be termed a
'forfeiture' at common law." (19 Am. Jur., 381.) Phil. Banking Corp. vs. Lui-She 21 SCRA 52

"In modern law escheat denotes a falling of the estate into the general property of the state because the DOCTRINE:
tenant is an alien or because he has died intestate without lawful heirs to take his estate by succession, Even if the contract appears to be valid, if the provisions is against a constitutional prohibition, the
or because of some other disability to take or hold property imposed by law." (19 Am. Jur., 381.) same should be considered null and void.
With regard to an action for reversion, the following sections of Commonwealth Act No. 141 are
pertinent: FACTS:
Justina Santos executed on a contract of lease in favor of Wong, covering the portion then already leased to sell the land to Ong King Po and that she signed the document of sale merely to evidence her
to him and another portion fronting Florentino Torres street. The lease was for 50 years, although the indebtedness to the latter in the amount of P1,050.00. Epifania has been in possession ever since except
lessee was given the right to withdraw at any time from the agreement. for the portion sold to the other petitioner Pacita.
On December 21 she executed another contract giving Wong the option to buy the leased premises for
P120,000, payable within ten years at a monthly installment of P1,000. The option, written in Tagalog, On September 19, 1962, respondent filed a Forcible Entry case against Epifania before the Municipal
imposed on him the obligation to pay for the food of the dogs and the salaries of the maids in her Court of Sagay, Camiguin. The case was dismissed for lack of jurisdiction since, as the laws then stood,
household, the charge not to exceed P1,800 a month. The option was conditioned on his obtaining the question of possession could not be properly determined without first settling that of ownership.
Philippine citizenship, a petition for which was then pending in the Court of First Instance of Rizal.
It appears, however, that this application for naturalization was withdrawn when it was discovered that On December 27, 1966, respondent instituted before the Court of First Instance of Misamis Oriental a
he was not a resident of Rizal. On October 28, 1958 she filed a petition to adopt him and his children on Complaint for recovery of possession and ownership of the litigated land, against Epifania and Pacita
the erroneous belief that adoption would confer on them Philippine citizenship. The error was Vallar (hereinafter referred to simply as petitioners).
discovered and the proceedings were abandoned.
In their Answer below, petitioners insisted that they were the owners and possessors of the litigated
In two wills executed on August 24 and 29, 1959, she bade her legatees to respect the contracts she had
land; that its sale to Ong King Po, a Chinese, was inexistent and/or void ab initio; and that the deed of
entered into with Wong, but in a codicil of a later date (November 4, 1959) she appears to have a change
sale between them was only an evidence of Epifania's indebtedness to Ong King Po.
of heart. Claiming that the various contracts were made by her because of machinations and
inducements practiced by him, she now directed her executor to secure the annulment of the contracts. The trial Court rendered judgment:

ISSUE: "1. Dismissing the complaint with costs against plaintiff (respondent herein);
Whether the contracts involving Wong were valid
HELD: "2. Declaring the two Deeds of Sale, Exhibits A and B, respectively, inexistent and void from the
No, the contracts show nothing that is necessarily illegal, but considered collectively, they reveal beginning; and
an insidious pattern to subvert by indirection what the Constitution directly prohibits. To be sure, a lease
to an alien for a reasonable period is valid. So is an option giving an alien the right to buy real property "3. Declaring defendant Pacita W. Vallar as the lawful owner and possessor of the portion of land she
on condition that he is granted Philippine citizenship. bought from Emeteria Barsobia (pp. 57, 67, Record.)"[3]
But if an alien is given not only a lease of, but also an option to buy, a piece of land, by virtue of On appeal, the Court of Appeals reversed the aforementioned Decision and decreed instead that
which the Filipino owner cannot sell or otherwise dispose of his property, this to last for 50 years, then it respondent was the owner of the litigated property, thus:
becomes clear that the arrangement is a virtual transfer of ownership whereby the owner divests himself
in stages not only of the right to enjoy the land but also of the right to dispose of it— rights the sum total "x x x.
of which make up ownership. If this can be done, then the Constitutional ban against alien landholding in
In view of all the foregoing considerations, the judgment appealed from is hereby reversed. In lieu
the Philippines, is indeed in grave peril.
thereof, we render judgment:
Sarsosa vda de Barsobia vs Cuenco (a) Declaring the plaintiff-appellant Victoriano T. Cuenco the absolute owner of the land in question,
Epifania Sarsosa Vda. de Barsobia and Pacita W. Vallar, Defendants-appellees," declaring Victoriano T. with the right of possession thereof;
Cuenco (now the respondent) as the absolute owner of the coconut land in question. Sought to be
reviewed herein is the judgment, dated August 18, 1970, of the Court of Appeals,[1] rendered in CA-G.R. (b) Ordering the defendants-appellees to restore the possession of said land to the plaintiff;
No. 41318-R, entitled "Victoriano T. Cuenco, Plaintiff-appellant, versus
The lot in controversy is a one-half portion (on the northern side) of two adjoining parcels of coconut (c) Dismissing the defendants' counterclaim;
land located at Barrio Mancapagao, Sagay, Camiguin, Misamis Oriental (now Camiguin province), with an
area of 29,150 square meters, more or less.[2] (d) Condemning the defendants to pay to the plaintiff the sum of P10,000.00 representing the latter's
share from the sale of copra which he failed to receive since March, 1962 when he was deprived of his
The entire land was owned previously by a certain Leocadia Balisado, who had sold it to the spouses possession over the land, and which defendants illegally appropriated it to their own use and benefit,
Patricio Barsobia (now deceased) and Epifania Sarsosa, one of the petitioners herein. They are Filipino plus legal interest from the filing of the complaint until fully paid; plus P2,000.00 representing expenses
citizens. and attorney's fees;

On September 5, 1936, Epifania Sarsosa, then a widow, sold the land in controversy to a Chinese, Ong (e) Sentencing the defendants to pay the costs.
King Po, for the sum of P1,050.00 (Exhibit "B"). Ong King Po took actual possession and enjoyed the SO ORDERED."[4]
fruits thereof.
Following the denial of their Motion for Reconsideration, petitioners filed the instant Petition for Review
On August 5, 1961, Ong King Po sold the litigated property to Victoriano T. Cuenco (respondent herein), a on Certiorari with this Court on January 21, 1971. Petitioners claim that the Court of Appeals erred:
naturalized Filipino, for the sum of P5,000.00 (Exhibit "A"). Respondent immediately took actual
possession and harvested the fruits therefrom. "I. x x x when it reversed the judgment of the trial court declaring petitioner Pacita W. Vallar as the
lawful possessor and owner of the portion of land she purchased from Emeteria Barsobia, not a party to
On March 6, 1962, Epifania "usurped" the controverted property, and on July 26, 1962, Epifania (through this case, there being no evidence against her.
her only daughter and child, Emeteria Barsobia), sold a one-half (1/2) portion of the land in question to
Pacita W. Vallar, the other petitioner herein (Exhibit "2"). Epifania claimed that it was not her intention
"II. x x x when it included petitioner Pacita W. Vallar to pay P10,000.00, with legal interest from the The award of actual damages in respondent's favor of P10,000.00, as well as of attorney's fees and
filing of the complaint, representing respondent's share in the harvest and to pay the costs, there being expenses of litigation of P2,000.00, is justified. Respondent was deprived of the possession of his land
no evidence against her. and the enjoyment of its fruits from March, 1962. The Court of Appeals fixed respondent's share of the
sale of copra at P10,000.00 for eight years at four (4) harvests a year. The accuracy of this finding has
"III. x x x when it condemned petitioners to pay P2,000.00 representing expenses and attorney's fees, not been disputed.
there being no factual, legal and equitable justification.
However, we find merit in the assigned error that petitioner, Pacita Vallar, should not be held also liable
"IV. x x x in not applying the rule on pari delicto to the facts of the case or the doctrine enunciated x x x for actual damages to respondent. In the absence of contrary proof, she, too, must be considered as a
in the case of Philippine Banking Corporation vs. Lui She, L-17587, September 12, 1967, to x x x Petitioner vendee in good faith of petitioner Epifania.
Epifania Sarsosa Vda. de Barsobia.
The award of attorney's fees and litigation expenses in the sum of P2,000.00 in respondent's favor is in
"V. x x x in denying, for lack of sufficient merits, petitioners' motion for rehearing or reconsideration of order considering that both petitioners compelled respondent to litigate for the protection of his
its decision."[5] interests. Moreover, the amount is reasonable.[10]
As the facts stand, a parcel of coconut land was sold by its Filipino owner, petitioner Epifania, to a
Chinese, Ong King Po, and by the latter to a naturalized Filipino, respondent herein. In the meantime, WHEREFORE, except for that portion holding petitioner, Pacita W. Vallar, also liable for damages of
the Filipino owner had unilaterally repudiated the sale she had made to the Chinese and had resold the P10,000.00, the appealed judgment is hereby affirmed.
property to another Filipino. The basic issue is: Who is the rightful owner of the property?
Costs against petitioners.
There should be no question that the sale of the land in question in 1936 by Epifania to Ong King Po was
inexistent and void from the beginning (Art. 1409 [7], Civil Code) [6] because it was a contract executed SO ORDERED.
against the mandatory provision of the 1935 Constitution, which is an expression of public policy to
conserve lands for the Filipinos. Said provision reads: CHEESMAN V. IAC
Short summary: American married to a Filipina. Filipina wife sold land and house on it, initially w/o
"Save in cases of hereditary succession, no private agricultural land shall be transferred or assigned protest from American husband, but later contesting it, raising that the sale was made w/o his
except to individuals, corporations, or associations, qualified to acquire or hold lands of the public knowledge and consent. Court held that since he is an alien who is prohibitted from owning land in RP,
domain."[7] he cannot claim that he has a share in the conjugal property and thus, has no legal standing to void the
Had this been a suit between Epifania and Ong King Po, she could have been declared entitled to the sale.
litigated land on the basis, as claimed, of the ruling in Philippine Banking Corporation vs. Lui Facts:
She,[8] reading: -Thomas Cheesman (American) and Criselda (Filipino) were married in 1970, got separated in 1981
-Before they got separated, Criselda was able to purchase a land. Although aware of the sale and the fact
"x x x For another thing, and this is not only cogent but also important. Article 1416 of the Civil Code that the property was only in the name of his wife, Thomas never objected to the said transaction
provides as an exception to the rule on pari delicto that when the agreement is not illegal per se but is -tax declarations where issued in the name of Criselda
merely prohibited, and the prohibition by the law is designed for the protection of the plaintiff, he may, -Criselda exercised exclusive management over the property
if public policy is thereby enhanced, recover what he has sold or delivered. x x x" -In 1981 (oooh…kaya), Criselda sold the property. Thomas now complains
But the factual set-up has changed. The litigated property is now in the hands of a naturalized Filipino. -Thomas filed for ANNULMENT OF THE SALE: Sale executed w/o his knowledge and consent
It is no longer owned by a disqualified vendee. Respondent, as a naturalized citizen, was constitutionally Defense:
qualified to own the subject property. There would be no more public policy to be served in allowing Property was paraphernal
petitioner Epifania to recover the land as it is already in the hands of a qualified person. Applying by Thomas is American, disqualified to own or have any interest in real properties
analogy the ruling of this Court in Vasquez vs. Giap and Li Seng Giap & Sons:[9] The buyer was a buyer in GF
TC1: sale VOID (for Thomas)
"x x x if the ban on aliens from acquiring not only agricultural but also urban lands, as construed by this -the buyer filed PETITION FOR RELIEF: there was fraud, mistake or excusable negligence, seriously
Court in the Krivenko case, is to preserve the nation's lands for future generations of Filipinos, that aim impairing her right to present her case adequately
or purpose would not be thwarted but achieved by making lawful the acquisition of real estate by aliens Granted by TC
who became Filipino citizens by naturalization." Summary judgment:
While, strictly speaking, Ong King Po, private respondent's vendor, had no rights of ownership to Property was Criselda's paraphernal property
transmit, it is likewise inescapable that petitioner Epifania had slept on her rights for 26 years from 1936 Presumption that all properties acquired during the marriage belongs exclusively to the conjugal
to 1962. By her long inaction or inescusable neglect, she should be held barred from asserting her claim partnership DOES NOT APPLY because Thomas, an American Citizen, is disqualified under Consti to
to the litigated property (Sotto vs. Teves, 86 SCRA 157 [1978]). acquire and own real properties
WON Thomas can contest the validity of the Contract? NO
"Laches has been defined as the failure or neglect, for an unreasonable and unexplained length of time,
3 factual matters affirmed by both TC and CA:
to do that which by exercising due diligence could or should have been done earlier; it is negligence or
(1) there was fraud, mistake or excusable negligence w/c seriously impaired the rights of the buyer
omission to assert a right within a reasonable time, warranting a presumption that the party entitled to
(2) the property was bought by Criselda using the funds she had saved previous to the marriage
assert it either has abandoned it or declined to assert it. (Tijam, et al. vs. Sibonghanoy, et al., No. L-
(3) Criselda was the sole owner of the property
21450, April 15, 1968, 23 SCRA 29, 35)." (cited in Sotto vs. Teves, 86 SCRA 154 [1978]).
Art XIV, Section 14, 1973 Constitution
Respondent, therefore, must be declared to be the rightful owner of the property.
Save in cases of hereditary succession, no private land shall be transferred or conveyed except to
individuals, corporations, or associations qualified to acquire or hold lands of public domain
-Thomas had no capacity or personality to question the subsequent sale of the property by his wife on
the theory that by doing so he is merely exercising the prerogative of a husband in respect of conjugal
Thomas and Criselda have no conjugal property NARVASA, J.:
-or else Consti violated: not only would he have interest over the land, he would have a decisive vote as
to its transfer or disposition as well
-SC didn't discuss WON Thomas could recover from his wife if ever the funds used in buying the land was This appeal concerns the attempt by an American citizen (petitioner Thomas Cheesman) to
not Criselda's but their shared money annul — for lack of consent on his part — the sale by his Filipino wife (Criselda) of a residential
lot and building to Estelita Padilla, also a Filipino.
Since the buyer is a buyer in GF (she was led by Thomas to believe that the property was indeed
Criselda's and not their conjugal property), she would be protected
Thomas Cheesman and Criselda P. Cheesman were married on December 4, 1970 but have
1. THE CONTROLLING LAW been separated since February 15,1981.1
-depends on WON the property is movable or not
Immovable Movable On June 4, 1974, a "Deed of Sale and Transfer of Possessory Rights" was executed by
Armando Altares conveying a parcel of unregistered land and the house thereon (at No. 7
Lex situs: rights, May be: Neptune Street, Gordon Heights, Olongapo City) in favor of "Criselda P. Cheesman, of legal
age, Filipino citizen, married to Thomas Cheesman, and residing at Lot No. 1, Blk. 8, Filtration
interests of various  Lex domicili (mobilia sequuntur personam):they
Road, Sta. Rita, Olongapo City . . ."2 Thomas Cheesman, although aware of the deed, did not
person are could be moved from place to place, difficult to anticipate where object to the transfer being made only to his wife.3
determined by the law they may be situated at a given time
of the place where the  lex situs:
land is situated Thereafter—and again with the knowledge of Thomas Cheesman and also without any protest
 Traditional reason: the state has the
by him—tax declarations for the property purchased were issued in the name only of Criselda
sole power to decide the validity and effects of the Cheesman and Criselda assumed exclusive management and administration of said property,
transfer of property leasing it to tenants.4
 Policy-oriented rationale: parties
expect their transaction would be governed by the law of
the place where the property is located On July 1, 1981, Criselda Cheesman sold the property to Estelita M. Padilla, without the
knowledge or consent of Thomas Cheesman.5 The deed described Criselda as being" . . . of
 Lex loci actus (law of the place where the legal age, married to an American citizen,. . ."6
transaction was completed)
 Proper law of transfer: law of the state which
Thirty days later, or on July 31, 1981, Thomas Cheesman brought suit in the Court of First
has the most real connections with the transfer
Instance at Olongapo City against his wife, Criselda, and Estelita Padilla, praying for the
In RP: annulment of the sale on the ground that the transaction had been executed without his
ART414: property is anything that may be an object of appropriation knowledge and consent.7 An answer was filed in the names of both defendants, alleging that (1)
ART 16: irrelevant if real or personal property (as regards nationals) - lex situs applies the property sold was paraphernal, having been purchased by Criselda with funds exclusively
Problem: what if the place where the property is located distinguishes between rules belonging to her ("her own separate money"); (2) Thomas Cheesman, being an American, was
applicable to real and personal property and the applicable law is not their law? disqualified to have any interest or right of ownership in the land; and (3) Estelita Padilla was a
Why RP adopted Lex Situs? buyer in good faith.8
 Being physically part of the country, it [the property] should be subject to the laws
thereof. During the pre-trial conference, the parties agreed upon certain facts which were subsequently
 The situs is the place most closely and significally related to the issue in question set out in a pre-trial Order dated October 22, 1981,9 as follows:
 Increase in the amount and variety of personal property not connected w/ the
person of the owner, so adopt lex situs even with movables. 1. Both parties recognize the existence of the Deed of Sale over the residential house
CAPACITY TO TRANSFER OR ACQUIRE PROPERTY located at No. 7 Granada St., Gordon Heights, Olongapo City, which was acquired
-governed by LAW OF THE PLACE WHERE THE PROPERTY IS LOCATED: LEX SITUS from Armando Altares on June 4, 1974 and sold by defendant Criselda Cheesman to
Estelita Padilla on July 12, 1981; and
THOMAS C. CHEESMAN, petitioner,
vs. 2. That the transaction regarding the transfer of their property took place during the
INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT and ESTELITA PADILLA, respondents. existence of their marriage as the couple were married on December 4, 1970 and the
questioned property was acquired sometime on June 4,1974.
Estanislao L. Cesa, Jr. for petitioner.
Benjamin I. Fernandez for private respondent. The action resulted in a judgment dated June 24, 1982,10 declaring void ab initio the sale
executed by Criselda Cheesman in favor of Estelita M. Padilla, and ordering the delivery of the
property to Thomas Cheesman as administrator of the conjugal partnership property, and the Thomas Cheesman appealed to the Intermediate Appellate Court. There he assailed the Trial
payment to him of P5,000.00 as attorney's fees and expenses of litigation.11 Court acts (1) of granting Estelita Padilla's petition for relief, and its resolution of matters not
subject of said petition; (2) of declaring valid the sale to Estelita Padilla despite the lack of
consent thereto by him, and the presumption of the conjugal character of the property in
The judgment was however set aside as regards Estelita Padilla on a petition for relief filed by
question pursuant to Article 160 of the Civil Code; (3) of disregarding the judgment of June 24,
the latter, grounded on "fraud, mistake and/or excusable negligence" which had seriously
1982 which, not having been set aside as against Criselda Cheesman, continued to be binding
impaired her right to present her case adequately.12 "After the petition for relief from judgment
on her; and (4) of making findings of fact not supported by evidence. All of these contentions
was given due course," according to petitioner, "a new judge presided over the case." 13
were found to be without merit by the Appellate Tribunal which, on January 7, 1986,
promulgated a decision (erroneously denominated, "Report")17affirming the "Summary Judgment
Estelita Padilla filed a supplemental pleading on December 20, 1982 as her own answer to the complained of," "having found no reversible error" therein.
complaint, and a motion for summary judgment on May 17, 1983. Although there was initial
opposition by Thomas Cheesman to the motion, the parties ultimately agreed on the rendition by
Once more, Thomas Cheesman availed of the remedy of appeal, this time to this Court. Here,
the court of a summary judgment after entering into a stipulation of facts, at the hearing of the
he argues that it was reversible error for the Intermediate Appellate Court —
motion on June 21, 1983, the stipulation being of the following tenor: 14

1) to find that the presumption that the property in question is conjugal in accordance with Article
(1) that the property in question was bought during the existence of the marriage
160 had been satisfactorily overcome by Estelita Padilla; 18
between the plaintiff and the defendant Criselda P. Cheesman;

2) to rule that Estelita Padilla was a purchaser of said property in good faith, it appearing:
(2) that the property bought during the marriage was registered in the name of
Criselda Cheesman and that the Deed of Sale and Transfer of Possessory Rights
executed by the former owner-vendor Armando Altares in favor of Criselda Cheesman a) that the deed by which the property was conveyed to Criselda Cheesman
made no mention of the plaintiff; described her as "married to Thomas C. Cheesman," as well as the deed by
which the property was later conveyed to Estelita Padilla by Criselda
Cheesman also described her as "married to an American citizen," and both
(3) that the property, subject of the proceedings, was sold by defendant Criselda
said descriptions had thus "placed Estelita on knowledge of the conjugal
Cheesman in favor of the other defendant Estelita M. Padilla, without the written
nature of the property;" and
consent of the plaintiff.

b) that furthermore, Estelita had admitted to stating in the deed by which

Obviously upon the theory that no genuine issue existed any longer and there was hence no
she acquired the property a price much lower than that actually paid "in
need of a trial, the parties having in fact submitted, as also stipulated, their respective
order to avoid payment of more obligation to the government;"19
memoranda each praying for a favorable verdict, the Trial Court15 rendered a "Summary
Judgment" dated August 3, 1982 declaring "the sale executed by . . . Criselda Cheesman in
favor of . . . Estelita Padilla to be valid," dismissing Thomas Cheesman's complaint and ordering 3) to decline to declare that the evidence did not warrant the grant of Estelita Padilla's petition for
him "to immediately turn over the possession of the house and lot subject of . . . (the) case to . . . relief on the ground of "fraud, mistake and/or excusable negligence;"20
Estelita Padilla . . ."16
4) to hold that Thomas Cheesman had waived his objection to Estelita's petition for relief by
The Trial Court found that — failing to appeal from the order granting the same;

1) the evidence on record satisfactorily overcame the disputable presumption in Article 5) to accord to Estelita Padilla a relief other than that she had specifically prayed for in her
160 of the Civil Code—that all property of the marriage belongs to the conjugal petition for relief, ie., "the restoration of the purchase price which Estelita allegedly paid to
partnership "unless it be proved that it pertains exclusively to the husband or to the Criselda;"21 and
wife"—and that the immovable in question was in truth Criselda's paraphernal
6) to fail to declare that Thomas Cheesman's citizenship is not a bar to his action to recover the
lot and house for the conjugal partnership.22
2) that moreover, said legal presumption in Article 160 could not apply "inasmuch as
the husband-plaintiff is an American citizen and therefore disqualified under the
Such conclusions as that (1) fraud, mistake or excusable negligence existed in the premises
Constitution to acquire and own real properties; and
justifying relief to Estelita Padilla under Rule 38 of the Rules of Court, or (2) that Criselda
Cheesman had used money she had brought into her marriage to Thomas Cheesman to
3) that the exercise by Criselda of exclusive acts of dominion with the knowledge of purchase the lot and house in question, or (3) that Estelita Padilla believed in good faith that
her husband "had led . . . Estelita Padilla to believe that the properties were the Criselda Cheesman was the exclusive owner of the property that she (Estelita) intended to and
exclusive properties of Criselda Cheesman and on the faith of such a belief she did in fact buy—derived from the evidence adduced by the parties, the facts set out in the
bought the properties from her and for value," and therefore, Thomas Cheesman was, pleadings or otherwise appearing on record—are conclusions or findings of fact. As
under Article 1473 of the Civil Code, estopped to impugn the transfer to Estelita distinguished from a question of law—which exists "when the doubt or difference arises as to
Padilla. what the law is on a certain state of facts" — "there is a question of fact when the doubt or
difference arises as to the truth or the falsehood of alleged facts;"23 or when the "query
necessarily invites calibration of the whole evidence considering mainly the credibility of sale of the same property by his wife on the theory that in so doing he is merely exercising the
witnesses, existence and relevancy of specific surrounding circumstances, their relation; to each prerogative of a husband in respect of conjugal property. To sustain such a theory would permit
other and to the whole and the probabilities of the situation." 24 indirect controversion of the constitutional prohibition. If the property were to be declared
conjugal, this would accord to the alien husband a not insubstantial interest and right over land,
as he would then have a decisive vote as to its transfer or disposition. This is a right that the
Now, it is axiomatic that only questions of law, distinctly set forth, may be raised in a petition for
Constitution does not permit him to have.
the review oncertiorari of a decision of the Court of Appeals presented to this Court. 25 As
everyone knows or ought to know, the appellate jurisdiction of this Court is limited to reviewing
errors of law, accepting as conclusive the factual findings of the lower court upon its own As already observed, the finding that his wife had used her own money to purchase the property
assessment of the evidence.26 The creation of the Court of Appeals was precisely intended to cannot, and will not, at this stage of the proceedings be reviewed and overturned. But even if it
take away from the Supreme Court the work of examining the evidence, and confine its task to were a fact that said wife had used conjugal funds to make the acquisition, the considerations
the determination of questions which do not call for the reading and study of transcripts just set out militate, on high constitutional grounds, against his recovering and holding the
containing the testimony of witnesses.27 The rule of conclusiveness of the factual findings or property so acquired or any part thereof. And whether in such an event, he may recover from his
conclusions of the Court of Appeals is, to be sure, subject to certain exceptions, 28 none of which wife any share of the money used for the purchase or charge her with unauthorized disposition
however obtains in the case at bar. or expenditure of conjugal funds is not now inquired into; that would be, in the premises, a purely
academic exercise. An equally decisive consideration is that Estelita Padilla is a purchaser in
good faith, both the Trial Court and the Appellate Court having found that Cheesman's own
It is noteworthy that both the Trial Court and the Intermediate Appellate Court reached the same
conduct had led her to believe the property to be exclusive property of the latter's wife, freely
conclusions on the three (3) factual matters above set forth, after assessment of the evidence
disposable by her without his consent or intervention. An innocent buyer for value, she is entitled
and determination of the probative value thereof. Both Courts found that the facts on record
to the protection of the law in her purchase, particularly as against Cheesman, who would assert
adequately proved fraud, mistake or excusable negligence by which Estelita Padilla's rights had
rights to the property denied him by both letter and spirit of the Constitution itself.
been substantially impaired; that the funds used by Criselda Cheesman was money she had
earned and saved prior to her marriage to Thomas Cheesman, and that Estelita Padilla did
believe in good faith that Criselda Cheesman was the sole owner of the property in question. WHEREFORE, the appealed decision is AFFIRMED, with costs against petitioner.
Consequently, these determinations of fact will not be here disturbed, this Court having been
cited to no reason for doing so.

These considerations dispose of the first three (3) points that petitioner Cheesman seeks to
make in his appeal.1âwphi1They also make unnecessary an extended discussion of the other
issues raised by him. As to them, it should suffice to restate certain fundamental propositions.

An order of a Court of First Instance (now Regional Trial Court) granting a petition for relief
under Rule 38 is interlocutory and is not appealable. Hence, the failure of the party who opposed
the petition to appeal from said order, or his participation in the proceedings subsequently had,
cannot be construed as a waiver of his objection to the petition for relief so as to preclude his
raising the same question on appeal from the judgment on the merits of the main case. Such a
party need not repeat his objections to the petition for relief, or perform any act thereafter (e.g.,
take formal exception) in order to preserve his right to question the same eventually, on appeal,
it being sufficient for this purpose that he has made of record "the action which he desires the
court to take or his objection to the action of the court and his grounds therefor." 29

Again, the prayer in a petition for relief from judgment under Rule 38 is not necessarily the same
prayer in the petitioner's complaint, answer or other basic pleading. This should be obvious.
Equally obvious is that once a petition for relief is granted and the judgment subject thereof set
aside, and further proceedings are thereafter had, the Court in its judgment on the merits may
properly grant the relief sought in the petitioner's basic pleadings, although different from that
stated in his petition for relief.

Finally, the fundamental law prohibits the sale to aliens of residential land. Section 14, Article
XIV of the 1973 Constitution ordains that, "Save in cases of hereditary succession, no private
land shall be transferred or conveyed except to individuals, corporations, or associations
qualified to acquire or hold lands of the public domain."30Petitioner Thomas Cheesman was, of
course, charged with knowledge of this prohibition. Thus, assuming that it was his intention that
the lot in question be purchased by him and his wife, he acquired no right whatever over the
property by virtue of that purchase; and in attempting to acquire a right or interest in land,
vicariously and clandestinely, he knowingly violated the Constitution; the sale as to him was null
and void.31 In any event, he had and has no capacity or personality to question the subsequent