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Saudi Arabia Airlines vs. CA, G.R. No. 122191, Oct.

8, 1998 HELD: YES

FACTS: In the judicial resolution of conflicts problems, 3 consecutive phases


are involved: jurisdiction, choice of law, and recognition and
enforcement of judgments. Jurisdiction & choice of law are 2 distinct
concepts.Jurisdiction considers whether it is fair to cause a defendant
Morada, a Filipina flight stewardess for SAUDIA, was a attempted
to travel to this state; choice of law asks the further question whether
raped by Saudia Arabian national crewmembers in Indonesia. She
the application of a substantive law w/c will determine the merits of
returned to Manila and while there, she was convinced by SAUDIA
the case is fair to both parties.
manager to go to Jeddah and sign some papers, purporting to be
release forms in favor of her fellow crewmembers. It turned out that
the documents were court summons and orders, trying and finding
her guilty of adultery and other violations of Islamic tradition. Upon In this case, only the 1st phase is at issue—jurisdiction. Jurisdiction,
her release and return to Manila, she filed a case for damages based however, has various aspects. For a court to validly exercise its
on Art. 19 and 21 of the Civil Code. power to adjudicate a controversy, it must have jurisdiction over the
plaintiff/petitioner, over the defendant/respondent, over the subject
matter, over the issues of the case and, in cases involving property,
over the res or the thing w/c is the subject of the litigation.In assailing
HELD:
the trial court's jurisdiction herein, Nippon is actually referring to
There is a conflicts problem as there is a foreign element involved -- subject matter jurisdiction.
Morada is employed by a resident foreign corporation, an
international carrier, and some of the acts complained of occurred in
Jeddah. In the instant case, Nippon, in its MTD, does not claim that the RTC
is not properly vested by law w/ jurisdiction to hear the subject
controversy for a civil case for specific performance & damages is
The trial court has jurisdiction over the subject matter -- damage suit one not capable of pecuniary estimation & is properly cognizable by
based on Art. 19 and 21 -- and over the persons of Morada (plaintiff) the RTC of Lipa City.What they rather raise as grounds to question
and SAUDIA (voluntary submission by filing answer). subject matter jurisdiction are the principles of lex loci
celebrationis and lex contractus, and the “state of the most significant
relationship rule.” The Court finds the invocation of these grounds
unsound.
For characterization, the point of contact considered is the lex loci
actus or the place where the tortuous act causing the injury occurred
-- Manila, Philippines since this is where SAUDIA deceived Morada.
The State of the Most Significant Relationship rule was also applied, Further, Nippon’s premature invocation of choice-of-law rules is
SC holding that the Philippines is where the over-all harm of the exposed by the fact that they have not yet pointed out any conflict
injury to the person, reputation, social standing and human rights of between the laws of Japan and ours. Before determining which law
Morada had lodged. should apply, 1st there should exist a conflict of laws situation
requiring theapplication of the conflict of laws rules. Also, when the
law of a foreign country is invoked to provide the proper rules for the
solution of a case, the existence of such law must be pleaded and
IN SUM: Morada is entitled to recovery for damages. proved.

Hasegawa and Nippon Eng. v. Kitamura It should be noted that when a conflicts case, one involving a foreign
element, is brought before a court or administrative agency, there are
3 alternatives open to the latter in disposing of it: (1) dismiss the case,
Facts: either because of lack of jurisdiction or refusal to assume jurisdiction
over the case; (2) assume jurisdiction over the case and apply the
The petitioner Nippon Engineering Consultants Co. is a Japanese internal law of the forum; or (3) assume jurisdiction over the case and
consultancy firm which provides technical and management support take into account or apply the law of some other State or States. The
in the infrastructure project of foreign governments. It entered into a court’s power to hear cases and controversies is derived from the
Independent Contractor Agreement (ICA) with respondent Kitamura, Constitution and the laws. While it may choose to recognize laws of
a Japanese national permanently residing in the Philippines. Under foreign nations, the court is not limited by foreign sovereign law
the ICA, the respondent will extend professional services to the short of treaties or other formalagreements, even in matters regarding
petitioner for a year. rights provided by foreign sovereigns.

Subsequently Kitamura was assigned as project manager of STAR Raytheon international vs Rouzie
project in 1999. In 2000, he was informed by the petitioner that it will
no longer renew the ICA and that he will be retained until its
expiration. Kitamura filed a civil casefor specific performance before FACTS
the RTC of Lipa and damages.

Brand Marine Services, Inc. (BMSI), a corporation duly organized &


Issue: Whether or not the RTC has jurisdiction over the case existing under the laws of Connecticut, &Stockton Rouzie, Jr., an
American citizen, entered into a contract
On the matter of jurisdiction over a conflicts-of-laws problem where
the case is filed in a Philippine court and where the court has
BMSI hired Rouzie as its representative to negotiate the sale of jurisdiction over the subject matter, the parties and the res, it may or
services in several government projects in thePhilippines for an can proceed to try the case even if the rules of conflict-of-laws or the
agreed remuneration of 10% of the gross receipts. convenience of the parties point to a foreign forum. This is an
exercise of sovereign prerogative of the country where the case is
filed.
Rouzie secured a service contract w/ the Rep. of Phil. on behalf of
BMSI for the dredging of rivers affected by the Mt.Pinatubo eruption
& mudflows. Jurisdiction over the nature and subject matter of an action is
conferred by the Constitution and the law & by the material
allegations in the complaint, irrespective of w/n the plaintiff is
Rouzie filed before the NLRC a suit against BMSI and Rust entitled to recover all or some of the claims or reliefs sought therein.
International (Rust) for alleged nonpayment of commissions, illegal The case file was an action for damages arising from an alleged
termination, & breach of employment contract. breach of contract. Undoubtedly, the nature of the action and the
amount of damages prayed are w/in the jurisdiction of the RTC.

The Labor Arbiter ordered BMSI & Rust to pay Rouzie’s money
claims. As regards jurisdiction over the parties, the RTC
acquired jurisdiction over Rouzi upon the filing of the complaint. On
the other hand, jurisdiction over the person of Raytheon was acquired
by its voluntary appearance in court.
Upon appeal, the NLRC reversed & dismissed Rouzie’s complaint on
the ground of lack of jurisdiction.
That THE SUBJECT CONTRACT INCLUDED A STIPULATION
THAT THE SAME SHALL BE GOVERNED BYTHE LAWS OF
Rouzie filed an action for damages before the RTC of La Union THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT DOES NOT SUGGEST THAT
(where he was a resident) against Raytheon International. He THE PHILIPPINE COURTS,
reiterated that he was not paid the commissions due him from the OR ANY OTHER FOREIGN TRIBUNAL FOR THAT MATTER, A
Pinatubo dredging project w/c hesecured on behalf of BMSI. The RE PRECLUDED FROM HEARING THE CIVIL ACTION.
complaint also averred that BMSI, RUST and Raytheon had
combined & functioned as 1 company.
JURISDICTION & CHOICE OF LAW ARE 2 DISTINCT
CONCEPTS. Jurisdiction considers whether it is fair to cause a
RAYTHEON SOUGHT THE DISMISSAL OF THE COMPLAINT defendant to travel to this state; choice of law asks the further
ON THE GROUNDS OF FAILURE TO STATE A CAUSE OF question whether the application of a substantive law which will
ACTION & FORUM NON CONVENIENS & PRAYED FOR determine the merits of the case is fair to both parties. The choice of
DAMAGES BY WAY OF COMPULSORY law stipulation will be come relevant only when the substantive
issues of the instant case develop, that is, after hearing on the merits
COUNTERCLAIM. THE RTC DENIED RAYTHEON’S MOTION. proceeds before the trial court.

Raytheon’s contention: The written contract between Rouzie & (b) NO.
BMSI included a valid choice of law clause, that is, that the contract
shall be governed by the laws of the State of Connecticut. It also
mentions the presence of foreign elements in the dispute, namely that
the parties & witnesses involved are American corporations & UNDER THE DOCTRINE OF FORUM NON CONVENIENS, A
citizens & the evidence to be presented is located outside the COURT, IN CONFLICTS-OF-LAWS CASES, MAY
Philippines, that renders our local courts inconvenient forums. The
foreign elements of the dispute necessitate the immediate application REFUSE IMPOSITIONS ON ITS JURISDICTION WHERE IT IS
of the doctrine of forum non conveniens. NOT THE MOST “CONVENIENT” OR

AVAILABLE FORUM AND THE PARTIES ARE NOT


PRECLUDED FROM SEEKING REMEDIES ELSEWHERE.
ISSUES
Raytheon’s averments of the foreign elements are not sufficient to
(a) W/N the RTC had jurisdiction. oust the RTC of its jurisdiction over the case and the parties involved.

(b) W/N the complaint should be dismissed on the ground of forum


non conveniens.
Moreover, the propriety of dismissing a case based on the principle of
forum non conveniens requires a factual determination; hence, it is
more properly considered as a matter of defense. While it is w/c the
RULING discretion of the trial court to abstain from assuming jurisdiction on
this ground, it should do so only after vital facts are established, to
determine whether special circumstances require the court’s
(a) YES. desistance.
For characterization, the point of contact considered is the lex loci
actus or the place where the tortuous act causing the injury occurred
HSBC vs Sherman G.R. No. 72494 -- Manila, Philippines since this is where SAUDIA deceived Morada.
The State of the Most Significant Relationship rule was also applied,
Facts:A Singaporean Company obtained a loan from HSBC. The SC holding that the Philippines is where the over-all harm of the
directors of the company executed a Joint and Several Guarantee in injury to the person, reputation, social standing and human rights of
favor of HSBC. The company defaulted. Hence, HSBC filed a suit for Morada had lodged.
collection against them before the RTC of Quezon City. Sherman
(company) filed a Motion to Dismiss on the ground of lack of
jurisdiction over the complaint and persons of the defendants.The IN SUM: Morada is entitled to recovery for damages.
guarantee provides: “This guarantee and all rights, obligations and
liabilities arising hereunder shall be construed and determined under
and may be enforced in accordance with the laws of the Republic of
Singapore. We hereby agree that the Courts of
Singapore shall have jurisdiction over all disputes arising under this Aznar vs Garcia G.R. No. L--16749
guarantee.”

Issue: Whether or not Philippine courts have jurisdiction over the suit
Facts:
Ruling: YES. The court construed that the agreement is one of venue
and not of jurisdiction.. A stipulation as to venue does not preclude the
filing of suits in the residence of plaintiff or defendant under Sec 2 (b), Edward Christensen is a citizen of the State of California and
Rule 4 of the Rules of Court, in the absence of qualifying or domiciled in the Philippines. He executed in his will acknowledging
restrictive words in the agreement which indicate that the place his natural daughter Maria Lucy Christensen as sole heir but left a
named is the only venue agreed upon by the parties.The parties did legacy of some money in favor of Helen Christensen Garcia who is
not thereby stipulate that only the courts of Singapore, to the exclusion declared by the Supreme Court in its decision as acknowledged
of all the rest, have jurisdiction. Neither did the clause in question natural daughter of Edward C. Counsel of Helen asserts that her
operate to divest Philippine courts of jurisdiction. A state is competent claim must be increased in view of the successional rights of
to take hold of any judicial matter it sees fit by making its courts and illegitimate children under Phil. law. Counsel of Maria insists that
agencies assume jurisdiction over all kinds of cases Art. 16 (2) provides that the NATIONAL LAW OF THE PERSON
brought before them. Jurisdiction cannot be fixed nor changed by applies in intestate and testamentary successions and since Edward C.
the parties;;but venue can be changed or transferred by the parties to is a citizen of CA, its law should be applied. Lower court ruled that
another place CA law should be applied thus this petition for review.

Saudi Arabia Airlines vs. CA, G.R. No. 122191, Oct. 8, 1998
Issue: What law should be applicable – Philippine or California Law?

FACTS:
Ruling: Philippine law governs.

Morada, a Filipina flight stewardess for SAUDIA, was a attempted


raped by Saudia Arabian national crewmembers in Indonesia. She The renvoi doctrine is usually pertinent where the decedent is a
returned to Manila and while there, she was convinced by SAUDIA national of one country, and a domicileof another. Article 16 of the
manager to go to Jeddah and sign some papers, purporting to be Civil Code provides that the intrinsic validity of testamentary
release forms in favor of her fellow crewmembers. It turned out that dispositions are governed by the national law of the decedent,in this
the documents were court summons and orders, trying and finding case, California law.
her guilty of adultery and other violations of Islamic tradition. Upon
her release and return to Manila, she filed a case for damages based
on Art. 19 and 21 of the Civil Code.
The provision in the laws of California giving a testator absolute
freedom in disposing of his estate is the internal law which applies
only to persons domiciled within the said estate.
HELD:

On the other hand, the provision in the laws of California stating that
There is a conflicts problem as there is a foreign element involved -- personal property is governed by the laws of the domicile of its
Morada is employed by a resident foreign corporation, an owner is the conflict of laws rule that applies to persons not domicile
international carrier, and some of the acts complained of occurred in in the said state. Accordingly, the laws of the Philippines, in which
Jeddah. the testator is domiciled governs the succession and the regime of
legitimes must be respected. The court must apply its own rule in the
Philippines as directed in the conflicts of law rule in CA, otherwise
The trial court has jurisdiction over the subject matter -- damage suit the case/issue will not be resolved if the issue is referred back and
based on Art. 19 and 21 -- and over the persons of Morada (plaintiff) forth between 2 states.
and SAUDIA (voluntary submission by filing answer).

Bellis vs. Bellis G.R. No. L--23678


Facts:

The Supreme Court held that the courts of the forum will not enforce
any foreign claim obnoxious to the forum’s public policy. To
The decedent was a citizen and domicile of Texas,United States. enforce the one--year prescriptive period of the Amiri Decree No. 23
Under the laws of Texas, there are no compulsory heirs or legitime. of 1976 as regards the claims in question would contravene the
Before he died, he executed a will in the Philippines. The will stated public policy on the protection to labor.
that his legitimate children will get the remainder of his estate. In the
probate proceeding the illegitimate children opposed on the ground
that they were deprived of their legitime as the compulsory heirs of
the deceased. They argued that the decedent intended in his will that The prescription period applicable to the case should be Article 291
his properties in the Philippine should be distributed in accordance of the Labor Code of the Philippines with a 3--year prescription
with Philippine law not his national law. period since the claim arose from labor employment.

Issue:Whether or not the Philippine law on legitime will be applied to


the testacy of the decedent.
Bank of America NT & Asia vs. American Realty Corporation

Ruling: NO.
Facts: Bank of America (BANTSA) granted multi--million dollar
Under article 16, par. 2 of the Civil Code, the national loans to several borrowers who were not able to pay. Both creditor
and debtors entered into restructuring agreements secured by real
law of the decedent applies,in intestate or testamentary successions, estate mortgages executed by American Realty Corporation (ARC)
with regard to four items: over its properties locaed in the Philippines. The borrowers failed to
pay their loan obligations upon maturity. The creditor forthwith filed
(a) the order of succession;; collection cases in England and Hong Kong. It also filed an
extrajudicial foreclosure of real estate mortgages before the
(b) the amount of successional rights;;
Provincial Sheriff of Bulacan. The properties under the real estate
(e) the intrinsic validity of the provisions of the will. mortgages were subsequently sold at public auction. ARC
subsequently filed an action for damages against BANTSA before the
RC of Pasig City for the latter’s act of foreclosing extrajudicially the
real estate mortgages despite the pendency of collection suits before
Under the laws of Texas, there are no forced heirs or legitimes. foreign courts. The RTC ruled in favor of ARC which ruling was
Accordingly, since the intrinsic validity of the provision of the will affirmed by the CA. BANTSA appealed to the Supreme Court,
and the amount of successional rights are to be determined under contending “that the mere filing of a personal action to collect the
Texas law, the Philippine law on legitimes cannot be applied to the principal loan does not suffice;; a final judgment must be secured and
testacy of the decedent. obtained in the personal action so that waiver of the remedy of
foreclosure may be appreciated.”

Cadalin et al. vs POEA Administrator


Issue: Whether or not the petitioner’s act of filing a collection suit
against the principal debtors for the recovery of the loan before
Facts: Cadalin et al., were recruited by AIBC and employed by BRII foreign courts constituted a waiver of the remedy of foreclosure?
to work in several countries. Some of the petitioners were deployed
to work in Bahrain. They were prematurely terminated from their
work and upon their return to the Philippines, they sued AIBC and Ruling: Yes, the petitioner’s filing of collection suits in foreign
BRII for illegal dismissal and monetary claims. Bahrain had a law countries constituted a waiver of the remedy of foreclosure.
governing prescription of actions. Article 156 of Amiri Decree No.
23 of 1976 provided that “[a] claim arising out of a contract of
employment shall not be actionable after the lapse of one year from
the date of the expiry of the contract.” In our jurisdiction, the remedies available to the mortgage creditor
are deemed alternative and not cumulative. Notably, an election of
one remedy operates as a waiver of the other. For this purpose, a
remedy is deemed chosen upon the filing of the suit for collection or
The POEA Administrator ruled that the prescriptive period for the upon the filing of the complaint in an action for foreclosure of
filing of claims was ten (10) years. However, the NLRC reversed the mortgage, pursuant to the provision of Rule 68 of the 1997 Rules of
ruling of the POEA Administrator and held that the prescriptive Civil Procedure. As to extrajudicial foreclosure, such remedy is
period for the filing of claims was three (3) years as provided under deemed elected by the mortgage creditor upon filing of the petition
the Labor Code and not ten years under the Civil Code or one year not with any court of justice but with the Office of the Sheriff of the
under Amiri Decree No. 23 province where the sale is to be made, in accordance with the
provisions of Act No. 3135, as amended by Act No. 4118. Contrary
to petitioners arguments, we therefore reiterate the rule, for clarity
Issue: Whether Amiri Decree No. 23 should be applied in our and emphasis, that the mere act of filing of an ordinary action for
jurisdiction? collection operates as a waiver of the mortgage--creditors remedy to
foreclose the mortgage. By the mere filing of the ordinary action for
collection against the principal debtors, the petitioner in the present
case is deemed to have elected a remedy, as a result of which a
Ruling: No, Amiri Decree No. 23 should not be applied in our waiver of the other necessarily must arise. Corollarily, no final
jurisdiction.
judgment in the collection suit is required for the rule on waiver to parameters to test the validity of the Agreements joint child custody
apply. stipulations.

Incidentally, BANTSA alleges that under English Law, which At the time the parties executed the Agreement on 28 January 2002,
according to petitioner is the governing law with regard to the two facts are undisputed: (1) Stephanie was under seven years old
principal agreements, the mortgagee does not lose its security interest (having been born on 21 September 1995);; and (2) petitioner and
by simply filing civil actions for sums of money. respondent were no longer married under the laws of the United
States because of the divorce decree. The relevant Philippine law on
child custody for spouses separated in fact or in law (under the
second paragraph of Article 213 of the Family Code) is also
This argument shows desperation on the part of petitioner to rivet its
undisputed: no child under seven years of age shall be separated from
crumbling cause. In the case at bench, Philippine law shall apply
the mother x x x. (This statutory awarding of sole parental custody to
notwithstanding the evidence presented by petitioner to prove the
the mother is mandatory, grounded on sound policy consideration,
English law on the matter. Thus, when the foreign law, judgment or
subject only to a narrow exception not alleged to obtain here.) Clearly
contract is contrary to a sound and established public policy of the
then, the Agreements object to establish a post--divorce joint custody
forum, the said foreign law, judgment or order shall not be applied.
regime between respondent and petitioner over their child under
Additionally, prohibitive laws concerning persons, their acts or
seven years old contravenes Philippine law.
property, and those which have for their object public order, public
policy and good customs shall not be rendered ineffective by laws or
judgments promulgated, or by determinations or conventions agreed
upon in a foreign country. he public policy sought to be protected in
the instant case is the principle imbedded in our jurisdiction
proscribing the splitting up of a single cause of action. ZAPANTA VS LOCAL CIVIL REGISTRAR OF DAVAO CITY

FACTS:
Section 4, Rule 2 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure is pertinent -- Petitioner Gliceria is the widow of Florencio B. Zapanta. When
Florencio died, the local civil registrar of Davao City issued a death
certificate, she found that the name appearing therein was “Flaviano
If two or more suits are instituted on the basis of the same cause of Castro Zapanta” although the date of death and all other
action, the filing of one or a judgment upon the merits in any one is circumstances and information reflected clearly and conclusively
available as a ground for the dismissal of the others. revealed that the person referred to therein was no other than her late
husband, Florencio.
Gliceria, filed a petition for correction of entry in the register of death.
Moreover, foreign law should not be applied when its application Regional Trial Court dismissed the petition on the ground that the
would work undeniable injustice to the citizens or residents of the correction of the name “Flaviano Castro Zapanta” to “Florencio B.
forum. To give justice is the most important function of law;; hence, Zapanta” was not merely clerical but substantial in nature
a law, or judgment or contract that is obviously unjust negates the
fundamental principles of Conflict of Laws. ISSUE

Whether trial court is wrong.


Clearly then, English Law is not applicable. Whether or not correction of entry should be upheld? And to what kind
of proceeding

Dacasin vs. Dacasin


RULING:

Yes, RTC committed revisable error


Facts: Harold, an American, and Susan, a Filipino, were married in
Manila in 1994. They had a daughter named Stephanie who was born Under Art. 412 of the Civil Code, implemented by Rule 108 of the
in 1995. Harold and Susan were divorced in the United States in June Rules of Court, could only justify the correction of innocuous or
1999. In 2002, they executed in Manila an Agreement for the joint clerical errors apparent on the face of the record and capable of being
custody of Stephanie. corrected by mere reference to it, such as misspellings and obvious
mistakes.

Issue:Is the Agreement valid and enforceable in the Philippines? However, in later cases, the Court has held that it adheres to the
principle that even substantial errors in a civil registry may be
corrected and the true facts established provided the parties aggrieved
by the error avail themselves of the appropriate adversary proceeding.
Ruling:No, the agreement contravenes Philippine law.

Thus, provided the trial court has conducted proceedings where all
In this jurisdiction, parties to a contract are free to stipulate the terms relevant facts have been fully and properly developed, where opposing
of agreement subject to the minimum ban on stipulations contrary to counsel has been given opportunity to demolish the opposite party’s
law, morals, good customs, public order, or public policy. Otherwise, case, and where the evidence has been thoroughly weighed and
the contract is denied legal existence, deemed inexistent and void considered, the suit or proceeding is “appropriate.”
from the beginning. For lack of relevant stipulation in the Agreement,
these and other ancillary Philippine substantive law serve as default In Republic vs. Valencia the Court, through Justice Gutierrez, Jr.,
discussed, rather at length, the phrase "appropriate proceeding" that the burden of proving the foreign law. In the present case, Ernst
could warrant the correction of even non--clerical errors.
hastily concludes that being a national of the Netherlands, he is
Rule 108 provide governed by such laws on the matter of provision of and capacity to
support. While Ernst pleaded the laws of the Netherlands in advancing
Thus, the persons who must be made parties to a proceeding his position that he is not obliged to support his son, he never proved
concerning the cancellation or correction of an entry in the civil the same.
register
are —
In view of respondent’s failure to prove the national law of the
● the civil registrar, and Netherlands in his favor, the doctrine of processual presumption
● all persons who have or claim any interest which would be shall govern. Under this doctrine, if the foreign law involved is not
affected thereby. properly pleaded and proved, our courts will presume that the
foreign law is the same as our local or domestic or internal law.
Upon the filing of the petition, it becomes the duty of the court to — Thus, since the law of the Netherlands as regards the obligation to
support has not been properly pleaded and proved in the instant case, it
● issue an order fixing the time and place for the hearing of the is presumed to be the same with Philippine law, which enforces the
petition, and obligation of parents to support their children and penalizing the
● cause the order for hearing to be published once a week for non--compliance therewith.
three (3) consecutive weeks in a newspaper of general
circulation in the province. It is incumbent upon Ernst to plead and prove that the national
law of the Netherlands does not impose upon the parents the
The following are likewise entitled to oppose the petition: — obligation to support their child. Foreign laws do not prove
themselves in our jurisdiction and our courts are not authorized
● the civil registrar, and
to take judicial notice ofthem.
● any person having or claiming any interest under the entry
whose cancellation or correction is sought. Granting for arguendo even if Holland’s Law should apply the
foreign law should not be applied when its application would work
The records show that the publication requirement has already been undeniable injustice to the citizens or residents of the forum and
complied with. The next step would thus be for the court aquoto would be contrary to public policy. To give justice is the most
consider the petition before it to be, in substance, an adversary
important function of law;; hence, a law, or judgment or contract that
proceeding and to allow petitioner and all adverse and interested
parties their day in court. is obviously unjust negates the fundamental principles of Conflict of
Laws.

Cadalin et al. vs POEA Administrator


Norma Del Socorro vs Ernst Van Wilsem

Petitioner Del Socorro a Filipina and Ernst Van Wilsem, a Citizen of Facts: Cadalin et al., were recruited by AIBC and employed by BRII
Holland contracted marriage in Holland and were blessed with a son to work in several countries. Some of the petitioners were deployed to
named Roderigo Van Wilsem. Petitioner and Respondent obtained work in Bahrain. They were prematurely terminated from their work
Divorce Decree issued by the Court of Holland. and upon their return to the Philippines, they sued AIBC and BRII for
illegal dismissal and monetary claims. Bahrain had a law governing
Norma and her son came back to the Philippines. According to
Norma, Ernst made a promise to provide monthly support to their prescription of actions. Article 156 of Amiri Decree No. 23 of 1976
son. However, Ernst never gave support to Roderigo. provided that “[a] claim arising out of a contract of employment shall
not be actionable after the lapse of one year from the date of the expiry
Respondent Van Wilsem remarried again another Filipina and resides
of the contract.”
also in the Philippines in Cebu where petitioner Del Socorro also
resides. Norma instituted a complaint against Respondent Ernst Van
The POEA Administrator ruled that the prescriptive period for the
Wilsem for violation of R.A. No. 9262 for the latter’s unjust refusal to
filing of claims was ten (10) years. However, the NLRC reversed the
support his minor child with petitioner. The trial court dismissed the
ruling of the POEA Administrator and held that the prescriptive period
complaint since English Laws apply to Van Wilsem and not Philippine
for the filing of claims was three (3) years as provided under the Labor
Laws.
Code and not ten years under the Civil Code or one year under Amiri
Issue:Whether or not Philippine law apply? Decree No. 23.
Whether or not a foreign national can be held criminally liable under
local laws? Issue: Whether Amiri Decree No. 23 should be applied in our
Ruling: YES. jurisdiction?
Supreme Court discussed that Respondent Ernst is a citizen of Holland
or the Netherlands. RTC iscorrect that he is subject to the laws of his Ruling: No, Amiri Decree No. 23 should not be applied in our
country, not to Philippine law, as to whether he is obliged jurisdiction.
to give support to his child, as well as the consequences of his failure to
do so. The Supreme Court held that the courts of the forum will not enforce
However!!!!, This does not mean that Ernst is not obliged to any foreign claim obnoxious to the forum’s public policy. To enforce
support Norma’s son altogether. In international law, the party the one--year prescriptive period of the Amiri Decree No. 23 of 1976
who wants to have a foreign law applied to a dispute or case has
as regards the claims in question would contravene the public policy the arbitrator was in favour of Oil and Natural Gas. The arbitral
on the protection to labor. decision was confirmed by an Indian court.

Oil and Natural Gas filed a complaint in Pasig RTC for the
The prescription period applicable to the case should be Article 291 of enforcement of the foreign judgment. This was opposed by Pacific
the Labor Code of the Philippines with a 3--year prescription period for being “bereft of any statement of facts and law upon which the
since the claim arose from labor employment. award in favor of the petitioner was based.” The judgment of the
Indian court apparently simply adopted the award of the arbitrator
without stating anything by way of support for its judgment.
Aznar vs Garcia G.R. No. L--16749 The Pasig RTC dismissed the complaint. The RTC said that the
contract provided for some disputes to be settled by the regular
court and some to be submitted to arbitration. This type, the RTC
Facts:
said, was for the courts. “Consequently, the proceedings had
before the arbitrator were null and void and the foreign court
had therefore, adopted no legal award which could be the source
Edward Christensen is a citizen of the State of California and of an enforceable right.”
domiciled in the Philippines. He executed in his will acknowledging
his natural daughter Maria Lucy Christensen as sole heir but left a The CA affirmed the dismissal by the RTC. Aside from agreeing with
legacy of some money in favor of Helen Christensen Garcia who is the RTC that the arbitral award was void, the CA also said “that the
declared by the Supreme Court in its decision as acknowledged full text of the judgment of the foreign court contains the
natural daughter of Edward C. Counsel of Helen asserts that her dispositive portion only and indicates no findings of fact and law
claim must be increased in view of the successional rights of as basis for the award. Hence, the said judgment cannot be enforced
illegitimate children under Phil. law. Counsel of Maria insists that by any Philippine court as it would violate the constitutional
Art. 16 (2) provides that the NATIONAL LAW OF THE PERSON provision that no decision shall be rendered by any court without
applies in intestate and testamentary successions and since Edward C. expressing therein clearly and distinctly the facts and the law on
is a citizen of CA, its law should be applied. Lower court ruled that which it is based.”
CA law should be applied thus this petition for review.
ISSUE
Whether or not the judgment of the foreign court is enforceable
ISSUE: Whether or not the national law or the domiciliary law should in this jurisdiction in view of the private respondent's allegation that
apply it is bereft of any statement of facts and law upon which the award
in favor of the petitioner was based.
HELD:
RULING
The intrinsic validity of wills is governed by the national law of the Yes, it is enforceable in this jurisdiction. The SC said that “even in
decedent. In the present case, the national law of Edward is the laws of this jurisdiction, incorporation by reference is allowed if only to
California. However, there were two conflicting California laws avoid the cumbersome reproduction of the decision of the lower
regarding succession. One is enunciated in In Re Kaufman (which courts, or portions thereof, in the decision of the higher court. This
is particularly true when the decision sought to be incorporated is
does not provide for legitimes) and another is Art. 946 of the
a lengthy and thorough discussion of the facts and conclusions
California Civil Code (which provides that the law of the domicile arrived at, as in this case, where Award Paper No. 3/B-1 consists of
applies). SC held that the national law is Art. 946, which is the conflict eighteen (18) single spaced pages..” In effect, the SC was saying that
of laws rule of California. The reason is that In Re Kaufman applies we also do in this country what the Indian court did and it was okay
only to residents while Art. 946 is specific to non-residents. Thus, for as long as the award or decision adopted was complete in terms of
since Art. 946 contains a refer-back to Philippine laws (the law of the the discussion of the facts and conclusions. The 18 pages of single
spaced award by the arbitrator was, according to the SC, complete
domicile), then Maria Helen is entitled to her legitime. enough. The short decision of the Indian court which merely adopted
the award was acceptable in our jurisdiction.

OIL AND NATURAL GAS vs. CA Furthermore, the recognition to be accorded a foreign judgment is
not necessarily affected by the fact that the procedure in the
courts of the country in which such judgment was rendered
FACTS
differs from that of the courts of the country in which the
judgment is relied on.
Oil and Natural Gas Commission is a foreign corporation, owned and
controlled by the Government of India.
This Court has held that matters of remedy and procedure are
Pacific Cement Co is a Philippine corporation.
governed by the lex fori or the internal law of the forum. Thus, if
under the procedural rules of the Civil Court of Dehra Dun, India, a
Pacific was supposed to deliver more than 4,000 metric tons of oil
valid judgment may be rendered by adopting the arbitrators findings,
well cement to Bombay and Calcutta but because of a dispute with
then the same must be accorded respect. In the same vein, if the
the carrier, the shipment never reached the destination. Despite
procedure in the foreign court mandates that an Order of the Court
payment by Oil and Natural, as well as repeated demands, Pacific
becomes final and executory upon failure to pay the necessary docket
does not deliver the oil well cement.
fees, then the courts in this jurisdiction cannot invalidate the order of
the foreign court simply because our rules provide otherwise.
During negotiations, the parties agreed that the Pacific will replace
the oil well cement with Class “G” cement. Pacific did deliver the
Class “G” cement but they were not according to specifications. Oil
and Natural informed Pacific that they will submit the dispute to ST. AVIATION SERVICES VS GRAND INT’L AIRWAYS
arbitration as provided for in their contract.
FACTS
The dispute was therefore submitted to arbitration, the arbitrator was
Shri Malhotra, an employee of Oil and Natural Gas. The decision of
St. Aviation Services Co., Pte., Ltd., petitioner, is a foreign in that country of process of the High Court, the originating process
corporation based in Singapore. It is engaged in the manufacture, may be served –
repair, and maintenance of airplanes and aircrafts. Grand
International Airways, Inc., respondent, is a domestic corporation a) through the government of that country, where that government is
engaged in airline operations. willing to effect service;

Petitioner and respondent executed an "Agreement for the b) through a Singapore Consular authority in that country, except
Maintenance and Modification of Airbus"(first agreement). Under where service through such an authority is contrary to the law of the
this stipulation, petitioner agreed to undertake maintenance and country; or
modification works on respondent's aircraft. The parties agreed on
the mode and manner of payment by respondent of the contract price,
c) by a method of service authorized by the law of that country
including interest in case of default. They also agreed that the
for service of any originating process issued by that country.
"construction, validity and performance thereof" shall be governed by
the laws of Singapore. They further agreed to submit any suit arising
from their agreement to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the In the Philippines, jurisdiction over a party is acquired by service of
Singapore courts. summons by the sheriff, his deputy or other proper court officer
either personally by handing a copy thereof to the defendant or by
substituted service. In this case, the Writ of Summons issued by the
In January,, the parties verbally agreed that petitioner will repair and
Singapore High Court was served upon respondent at its office. The
undertake maintenance works on respondent's other aircraft; and that
Sheriff's Return shows that it was received on May 2, 1998 by Joyce
the works shall be based on a General Terms of Agreement (GTA).
T. Austria, Secretary of the General Manager of respondent
The GTA terms are similar to those of their First Agreement.
company. But respondent completely ignored the summons, hence, it
was declared in default.
Petitioner undertook the contracted works and thereafter promptly
delivered the aircrafts to respondent. Petitioner billed respondent in
Considering that the Writ of Summons was served upon respondent
the total amount of US$303,731.67 or S$452,560.18. But despite
in accordance with our Rules, jurisdiction was acquired by the
petitioner's repeated demands, respondent failed to pay, in violation
Singapore High Court over its person. Clearly, the judgment of
of the terms agreed upon.
default rendered by that court against respondent is valid.

In December, petitioner filed with the High Court of the Republic of


Singapore an action for the sum of S$452,560.18, including interest
and costs, against respondent. Upon petitioner's motion, the court Bank of America, NT vs. American Realty Corporation, .G.R No.
issued a Writ of Summons to be served extraterritorially or outside 133876, Dec. 29, 1999
Singapore upon respondent. The court sought the assistance of the
sheriff of Pasay City to effect service of the summons upon EXCEPTION: CONTRARY TO SOUND PUBLIC POLICY
respondent. However, despite receipt of summons, respondent failed
to answer the claim. FACTS:
Bank of America, duly licensed to do business in the Philippines and
ISSUE: WON the Singapore High Court has acquired jurisdiction existing under the laws of California, USA, granted US Dollar loans to
over the person of respondent by the service of summons upon its certain foreign corporate borrowers. These loans were secured by two
office in the Philippines real estate mortgages by American Realty, a domestic corporation.
When the borrowers defaulted, Bank of America sued them before
HELD: yes English courts. While these cases were pending, Bank of America
likewise judicially foreclosed the real estate mortgages in the
Generally, matters of remedy and procedure such as those relating to Philippines. Thus, American Realty sued for damages against Bank of
the service of process upon a defendant are governed by the lex America.
fori or the internal law of the forum, which in this case is the law
of Singapore. Here, petitioner moved for leave of court to serve a ISSUE: Whether or not Bank of America can judicially foreclose the
copy of the Writ of Summons outside Singapore. In an Order the real estate mortgages despite pendency of the civil suits before English
Singapore High Court granted "leave to serve a copy of the Writ of courts
Summons on the Defendant by a method of service authorized by the
law of the Philippines for service of any originating process issued by HELD: No. Because it is contrary to sound public policy.
the Philippines at ground floor, APMC Building, 136 Amorsolo
corner Gamboa Street, 1229 Makati City, or elsewhere in the English law purportedly allows the filing of judicial foreclosure of
Philippines." mortgage despite pendency of civil suit for collection. But English law
was never properly impleaded and proven. Thus, the doctrine of
This service of summons outside Singapore is in accordance with processual presumption applies.
Order 11, r. 4(2) of the Rules of Court 1996 of Singapore, which
provides. SC further held that even assuming arguendo that English laws were
proven, said foreign law would still no find applicability. When the
(2) Where in accordance with these Rules, an originating process is to foreign law, judgment or contract is contrary to a sound and
be served on a defendant in any country with respect to which there established public policy of the forum, the said foreign law, judgment
does not subsist a Civil Procedure Convention providing for service or order shall not be applied.
Manufacturer’s Hanover Trust Company vs. Guerrero
Additionally, prohibitive laws concerning persons, their acts or
property, and those which have for their object public order, public Facts:
policy and good customs shall not be rendered ineffective by laws or
judgments promulgated, or by determinations or conventions agreed Rafael Guerrero filed a complaint for damages against petitioner bank
upon in a foreign country. The public policy sought to be protected in for illegally withholding taxes charged against interest on his checking
the instant case is the principle imbedded in our jurisdiction
account. Manufacturer’s Hanover Trust Co. alleged that respondent’s
proscribing the splitting of a single cause of action.
account is governed by New York Law which limits the claim only to
actual damages.
Moreover, the foreign law should not be applied when its application
would work undeniable injustice to the citizens or residents of the
In support of such, Manufacturer’s presented the authenticated
forum.
affidavit of Alyssa Walden, a New York Attorney stating the law of
New York that limits Guerrero’s claim to actual damages. Thereafter,
Manufacturer’s petitioned the Court for partial Summary Judgment.
Wild Valley Shipping Co. Ltd. vs. Court of Appeals
RTC denied the petition and dismissed the subsequent motion for
Facts: Captain Nicandro Colon, master of Philippine Roxas, a ship reconsideration. Manufacturer’s filed a petition for Certiorari and
owned by Philippine President Lines, Inc. (PPL), obtained the services
Prohibition with the Court of Appeals which was dismissed.
of Ezzar Vasquez, a duly accredited pilot in Venezuela to pilot the ship
in the Orinoco River. Unfortunately, Philippine Roxas ran aground in Issue: Whether or not the Walden Affidavit was sufficient to prove
the Orinoco River while being piloted by Vasquez. As a result, the that the New York Law bars the claim for other damages
stranded ship blocked other vessels. One such vessel was owned
Wildvalley Shipping Co., Ltd. (WSC). The blockade caused $400k Ruling: No. Foreign laws are not a matter of judicial notice. Like any
worth of losses to WSC as its ship was not able to make its delivery. other fact, they must be alleged or proven certainly the conflicting
Subsequently, WSC sued PPL in the RTC of Manila. allegations as to whether New York Law or Philippine Law applies to
Guerrero’s claim present a clear dispute on material allegations which
It averred that PPL is liable for the losses it incurred under the laws of can be resolved only by a trial on the merits.
Venezuela. The laws of Valenzuela provide that a ship that will
Under Section 24 of Rule 132, the record of public documents of a
traverse the Orinoco River must be piloted by someone who knows the
sovereign authority or tribunal may be proved by (1) an official
River. It further provides that the master and owner of the ship is liable publication thereof or (2) a copy attested by the officer having the legal
for the negligence of the pilot of the ship. Vasquez was proven to be custody thereof. Such o cial publication or copy must be accompanied,
negligent when he failed to check on certain vibrations that the ship if the record is not kept in the Philippines, with a certificate that the
was experiencing while traversing the river. attesting o cer has the legal custody thereof. The certificate may be
issued by any of the authorized Philippine embassy or consular
Issue: Whether or not Philippine President Lines, Inc.is liable under officials stationed in the foreign country in which the record is kept
and authenticated by the seal of his o ce. The attestation must state, in
the said Venezuelan laws.
substance, that the copy is a correct copy of the original, or a speci c
part thereof, as the case may be, and must be under the official seal of
Ruling: No. The two Venezuelan Laws were not duly proven as fact
the attesting officer.
before the court. Only mere photocopies of the laws were presented as
evidence. For a copy of a foreign public document to be admissible,
Edi--Staff Builders International vs. Nlrc
the following requisites are mandatory:
(1) It must be attested by the officer having legal custody of the
Facts: EDI--Staffbuilders, Inc. (EDI), upon request of Omar Ahmed
records or by his deputy;; and
Ali Bin Bechr Est. (OAB), a company in Saudi Arabia, sent to OAB
(2) It must be accompanied by a certificate by a secretary of the
resumes from which OAB can choose a computer specialist. Eleazar
embassy or legation, consul general, consul, vice consular or consular
Gran was selected. It was agreed that hismonthly salary shall be
agent or foreign service officer, and with the seal of his office. And in
$850.00. But five months into his service in Saudi Arabia, Gran
case of unwritten foreign laws, the oral testimony of expert witnesses received a termination letter and right there and then was removed
is admissible, as are printed and published books of reports of from his post. The termination letter states that he was incompetent
decisions of the courts of the country concerned if proved to be because he does not know the ACAD system which is required in his
commonly admitted in such courts. line of work;; that he failed to enrich his knowledge during his
5-­month stay to prove his competence;; that he is disobedient because
Failure to prove the foreign laws gives rise to processual presumption he failed to submit the required daily reports to OAB.
where the foreign law is deemed to be the same as Philippine laws.
Under Philippine laws, PPL nor Captain Colon cannot be held liable Gran then signed a quitclaim whereby he declared that he is releasing
for the negligence of Vasquez. PPL and Colon had shown due OAB from any liability in exchange of 2,948.00 Riyal.
diligence in selecting Vasquez to pilot the vessel. Vasquez is
competent and was a duly accredited pilot in Venezuela in good When Gran returned, he filed a labor case for illegal dismissal against
standing when he was engaged. EDI and OAB. EDI in its defense averred that the dismissal is valid
because when Gran and OAB signed the employment contract, both
parties agreed that Saudi labor laws shall govern all matters relating to to cases before administrative or quasi--judicial bodies such as the
the termination of Gran’s employment;; that under Saudi labor laws, National Seamen Board. For well--settled also is the rule that
Gran’s termination due to incompetence and insubordination is valid;; administrative and quasi--judicial bodies are not bound strictly by
that Gran’s insubordination and incompetence is outlined in the technical rules.
termination letter Gran received. The labor arbiter dismissed the labor
Finally, Article IV of the Labor Code provides that "all doubts in the
case but on appeal, the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC)
implementation and interpretation of the provisions of this code,
reversed the decision of the arbiter. The Court of Appeals likewise including its implementing rules and regulations, shall be resolved in
affirmed the NLRC. favor of labor. Foreign law applies if it is more beneficial

Issue: Whether or not the Saudi labor laws should be applied. Asiavest Limited vs. CA and Heras
Ruling: No. The specific Saudi labor laws were not proven in court.
Facts: In 1984, a Hong Kong court ordered Antonio Heras to pay
EDI did not present proof as to the existence and the specific US$1.8 million or its equivalent, with interest, to Asiavest Ltd.
provisions of such foreign law. Hence, processual presumption Apparently, Heras guaranteed a certain loan in Hong Kong and the
applies, and Philippine labor laws shall be used. Under our laws, an debtor in said loan defaulted hence, the creditor, Asiavest, ran after
employee like Gran shall only be terminated upon just cause. The Heras. But before said judgment was issued and even during trial,
allegations against him, at worst, shall only merit a suspension not a Heras already left for good Hong Kong and he returned to the
dismissal. His incompetence is not proven because prior to being sent Philippines. So when in 1987, when Asiavest filed a complaint in court
to Saudi Arabia, he underwent the required trade test to prove his seeking to enforce the foreign judgment against Heras, the latter claim
competence. The presumption therefore is that he is competent and that he never received any summons, not in Hong Kong and not in the
that it is upon OAB and EDI to prove otherwise. No proof of his Philippines. He also claimed that he never received a copy of the
incompetence was ever even adduced in court. foreign judgment. Asiavest however contends that Heras was actually
given service of summons when a messenger from the Sycip Salazar
Norse Management Co. vs National Seamen Board Law Firm served said summons by leaving a copy to one Dionisio
EXCEPTIONS Lopez who was Heras’ son in law.

Facts: ISSUE: Whether or not the foreign judgment can be enforced against
Restituta C. Abordo filed a complaint for "death compensation Heras in the Philippines.
benefits" before the National Seamen Board, for the death of her
husband, who died in the course of employment with petitioner HELD: No. Although the foreign judgment was duly authenticated
company, as Second Engineer in a vessel of Singaporean Registry (Asiavest was able to adduce evidence in support thereto) and Heras
(registered in Singapore). Abordo claims that she is entitled to was never able to overcome the validity of it, it cannot be enforced
compensation based' on Singaporean laws while petitioners contend against Heras here in the Philippines because Heras was not properly
otherwise since respondent Board cannot take judicial notice of the served summons. Hence, as far as Philippine law is concerned, the
Workmen's Insurance Law of Singapore. Petitioners offered Abordo Hong Kong court has never acquired jurisdiction over Heras. This
P30,000.00. However, benefits under Singaporean law were greater. means then that Philippine courts cannot act to enforce the said foreign
The records show, however, that the "Employment Agreement" judgment.
between Abordo's husband and petitioner company provides that
compensation shall be paid under Philippine Law or the law of the The action against Heras is an action in personam and as far as Hong
registry of petitioners' vessel, whichever is greater. Kong is concerned, Heras is a non resident. He is a non resident
because prior to the judgment, he already abandoned Hong Kong. The
Respondents strongly argue that the law of Singapore should not be Hong Kong law on service of summons in in personam cases against
applied in the case considering that their responsibility was not alleged non residents was never presented in court hence processual
in the complaint that no proof of the existence of the Workmen's presumption is applied where it is now presumed that Hong Kong
Insurance Law of Singapore was ever presented and that the Board law in as far as this case is concerned is the same as Philippine laws.
cannot take judicial notice of the Workmen's Insurance Law of And under our laws, in an action in personam wherein the defendant is
Singapore. As an alternative, they offered to pay complainant the a non-resident who does not voluntarily submit himself to the authority
amount of Thirty Thousand Pesos (P30,000.00) as death benefits of the court, personal service of summons within the state is essential
based on this Board's Memorandum Circular No. 25 which, they to the acquisition of jurisdiction over her person. This method of
maintained, should apply in this case. service is possible if such defendant is physically present in the
country. If he is not found therein, the court cannot acquire jurisdiction
Issue: WON Singaporean Law will govern. over his person and therefore cannot validly try and decide the case
against him. Without a personal service of summons, the Hong Kong
Held: Yes. court never acquired jurisdiction. Needless to say, the summons
tendered to Lopez was an invalid service because the same does not
Since private respondent was offered P30,000.00 only by petitioners, satisfy the requirement of personal service.
Singaporean law which granted greater benefits should be applied in
this case. |||

It is true that the law of Singapore was not alleged and proved in the
course of the hearing. And following Supreme Court decisions in a
long line of cases that a foreign law, being a matter of evidence, must
be alleged and proved. However, this matter was never meant to apply