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Sindico v Diaz:

Nature of complaint: accion reivindicatoria

Plaintiff: Virgilio Sindico
Defendant: Felipe Sombrea

Facts: Sindico said he owns the land which Sombrea occupies. Sombrea’s parents asked him to
cultivate the lot, with Sindico’s share in the produce as his “assistance in the education of his
cousins.” When the Sombrea’s father died Sindico asked him to vacate the lot but Sombrea

Defense: RTC has no jurisdiction over the person of the defendants as well as over the subject
matter; the lot is an agricultural land and the case is within the exclusive original jurisdiction of
the DARAB, in accordance with Sec 50 of RA 6657 (Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law of

RTC: Granted the motion to dismiss because it involved the right to possession of an
agricultural lot which is under CARP coverage, and thus falls within the exclusive jurisdiction of
the DARAB.

SC: Ruling on petition for review on certiorari.

Jurisdiction over the subject matter is determined by the allegations of the complaint. It is not
affected by the pleas set up by the defendant in his answer or in a motion to dismiss,
otherwise, jurisdiction would be dependent on his whims.

RA 6657 defined an agrarian dispute as one referring to any controversy relating to tenurial
arrangements…over lands devoted to agriculture…

The respondent’s only basis in assailing the jurisdiction of the trial court is that the subject
matter of the case is an agricultural land; they do not deny the allegation of the complaint that
there is no tenancy or leasehold agreement between them.

Since petitioner’s action is one for recovery of possession and does not involve an agrarian
dispute, the RTC has jurisdiction over it.

Manila Railroad Co. v Attorney General

Nature of complaint: action for the condemnation of lands for the construction of a railroad line
from Paniqui to Tayug in Tarlac province
After filing and serving the complaint, pending the final determination of the action, the
company then took possession of the lands subject of the complaint, built and started operating
the railroad. A commission was put up to appraise the value of the lands. Two years later, after
the court set a date for hearing, the Manila Railroad Co said it would be asking the court to
dismiss the action for lack of jurisdiction, because the lands were in the province of Nueva Ecija,
and not in Tarlac. The trial court granted the motion and dismissed the action.

SC: On appeal, the SC held that sections 55 and 56 of Act 136 conferred jurisdiction to Courts
of First Instance “in all civil actions which involve the title to or possession of real property, or
any interest therein…”
It was apparent from the wording of these sections that it was the intention of the Philippine
Commission to give to the CFI the most perfect and complete jurisdiction possible over the
subject matters mentioned in connection therewith. Such jurisdiction is not made to depend
upon locality. There is no suggestion of limitation. The jurisdiction is universal.
The other provisions “simply arrange for the convenient and effective transaction of business in
the courts and do not relate to their power, authority, or jurisdiction over the subject matter of
the action.”
Certain statutes confer jurisdiction, power, or authority. Others provide for the procedure by
which that power or authority is projected into judgment. The one class deals with the powers
of the court in the real and substantive sense; the other with the procedure by which such
powers are put into action.
The one is the thing itself; the other is the vehicle by which the thing is transferred from the
court to the parties. The whole purpose and object of procedure is to make the powers of the
court fully and completely available for justice. The most perfect procedure that can be devised
is that which gives opportunity for the most complete and perfect exercise of the powers of the
court within the limitations set by natural justice. It is that one which gives the most perfect
opportunity for the powers of the court to transmute themselves into concrete acts of justice
between the parties before it.
The purpose of such a procedure is not to restrict the jurisdiction of the court over the subject
matter, but to give it effective facility in righteous action. The purpose of procedure is not to
thwart justice. Its proper aim is to facilitate the application of justice to the rival claims of
contending parties.
The proper result of a system of procedure is to insure a fair and convenient hearing to the
parties with compete justice between as a result. While a fair hearing is as essential as the
substantive power of the court to administer justice in the premises, and while the one is the
natural result of the other, it is different in its nature and relates to a different thing.
The power or authority of the court over the subject matter existed and was fixed before
procedure in a given cause began. Procedure does not alter or change that power or authority;
it simply directs the manner in which it shall be fully and justly exercised.
In certain cases if that power is not exercised in conformity with the provisions of the
procedural law, purely, the court attempting to exercise it loses the power to exercise it legally.
This does not mean that it loses jurisdiction of the subject matter. It means simply that he may
thereby lose jurisdiction of the person or that the judgment may thereby be rendered defective
for lack of something essential to sustain it.
There is an important distinction between person and subject matter with reference to
jurisdiction. Jurisdiction of the person and jurisdiction of the subject matter are both conferred
by law. As to the subject matter, nothing can change the jurisdiction of the court over
it. None of the parties to the litigation can enlarge or diminish it or dictate when it
shall attach or when it shall be removed. That is a matter of legislative enactment
which none but the legislature may change.
The jurisdiction of the court over the person is, in some instances, made to depend, indirectly at
least, on the party’s volition. Jurisdiction over the person may be conferred by consent,
expressly or impliedly given, or it may, by an objection, be prevented from attaching or
removed after it has attached.
The fact that section 377 appears in the procedural law raises the strong presumption that it
has nothing to do with the jurisdiction of the court over the subject matter. It is merely a matter
of method, of convenience to the parties litigant.
The parties may agree to ignore it, and file the case in a court different from that provided in
section 377. The law will not compel the fulfillment of an agreement which deprives one of the
parties to it of the right to present his cause to that court which the law designates as the most
appropriate. But this is different from saying that the law will not allow the litigants to agree to
submit the case to a court which, though competent, is not the one designated by the law.
In the other the relation is not contractual because not between the parties; but, rather,
between the parties and the court. In the one case it is a contract to be enforced; in the other,
a condition to be met.
After jurisdiction over real property in the Islands has been conferred so generally and fully by
Act. No. 136, it is not to be presumed or construed that the legislature intended to modify or
restrict that jurisdiction when it came to frame a Code of Civil Procedure the object of which is
to make that jurisdiction effective. Such modification or restriction should be held only by virtue
of the clearest and most express provisions.
The wordings of Sec 377 provides that certain actions affecting real estate “shall be brought in
the province where the land, or some part thereof, is situated.” The section contains no express
prohibition against the court.
The prohibition is clearly against the one who begins the action and lays the venue. The court,
before the action is commenced, has nothing to do with either; the plaintiff does both. Only
when that is done does the section begin to operate effectively so far as the court is concerned.
The prohibition is not a limitation on the power of the court but on the rights of the plaintiff. It is
not to take something from the court but to grant something to the defendant…giving the
defendant, as against the plaintiff, certain rights which he did not have.
It establishes a relation not between the court and the subject matter, but between the plaintiff
and the defendant. It relates not to jurisdiction but to trial. It touches convenience, not
substance. It simply gives to defendant the unqualified right, if he desires it, to have the trial
take place where his land lies and where, probably, all of his witnesses live.

The fact that section 377 is not such Act, that it is found in a Code of Procedure rather than in
the substantive law, that it deals with the relative procedural rights of parties rather than the
power of the court, that it relates to the place rather than to the thing, that it composes the
whole of chapter headed simply “Venue,” lead us to hold that the CFI of Tarlac had full
jurisdiction on the subject matter of this action at the time when it was dismissed.

Jurisdiction by express consent

The plaintiff submitted itself to the jurisdiction by beginning the action.

Waiver of objection to the venue after appearance in the case

There is no prohibition against his waiving it later. It might well have been in the mind of
lawmakers that, at the time of entering his appearance in the action, the defendant would not
ordinarily be fully informed of all the facts of the case, at least not sufficiently to warrant his
being held to a waiver of important rights; whereas, later in the cause, as when he files his
answer or goes to trial, being fully informed, he might justly be held to have waived his right to
make such objection. For this reason it might well be that the legislature purposely refrained
from extending the time for his protection beyond the “time of entering his appearance in the
In said clause, there is no prohibition against an express waiver of his rights by the defendant.
The general rule of law is that a person may renounce any right which the law gives unless such
renunciation is expressly prohibited or the right conferred is of such a nature that is
renunciation would be against public policy.

Conclusive presumptions. (estoppel). Whenever a party has, by his own declaration, act, or
omission, intentionally and deliberately led another to believe a particular thing true, and to act
upon such belief, he can not, in any litigation arising out of such declaration, act, or omission,
be permitted to falsify it.

Ex parte Schollenberger: The Act of Congress prescribing the place where a person may be sued
is not one affecting the general jurisdiction of the courts. It is rather in the nature of a personal
exemption in favor of a defendant, and it is one which he may waive.

In Toland v Sprague in which the defendant was not an inhabitant of the State in which the suit
was brought, the court ruled that it was a personal privilege or exemption, which the party
could waive. Exemption from liability to process and that in case of foreign attachment, too, is
a personal privilege which may be waived, and that appearing and pleading will produce that

The party who in the first instance appears and pleads to the merits waives any right to
challenge thereafter the jurisdiction of the court on the ground that the suit has been brought in
the wrong district.

Hembree v Campbell: It is not meant to convey the idea that the mere failure to plead to the
jurisdiction of the court would have the effect to confer jurisdiction where none existed before;
for it is well settled that even consent of parties can not confer jurisdiction.

Armendiaz v Stillman: All courts shall be open, and every person for an injury done him in his
lands, goods, person or reputation, shall have remedy by due course of law. A party may not
have an action in rem for or concerning land in a foreign jurisdiction, because redress can not
be given or had by such proceeding in due course of law; but personal damages may be given
for such injury and enforced by due process of law within the State. It would seem if the State
failed to give to one of its citizens a remedy against others for injuries of this kind, it would fail
in the pledge made in the Constitution as plainly as if the injury had been in a foreign
jurisdiction to one’s goods or person.

…these difficulties have not prevailed against the jurisdiction of the court. They are
countervailed by the opposing consideration, that if the action be disallowed, the injured party
may have a clear right without a remedy in a case where a person who has done the wrong,
and who ought to make the compensation, is within the power of the court.

De La Vega v League: This requirement is not a matter that affects the jurisdiction of the district
courts over the subject matter of controversies about the title or possession of lands…the
requirement as to the county in which the suit may be brought is a mere personal privilege
granted to the parties, which may be waived like any other privilege of this character.

Earl of Halsbury’s Laws of England:
Transitory actions were those in which the facts in issue between the parties had no necessary
connection with a particular locality, e.g., actions in respect of trespass to goods, assault,
breach of contract, etc.

**local actions
Local actions were those in which there was such a connection, e.g, disputes as to the title to,
or trespasses to, land.

In the case of local actions the plaintiff was bound to lay the venue truly, in the county in which
the land in question lay.
In the case of a transitory action, he might lay it wherever he pleased, subject to the power of
the court to alter it in a proper case.

The terms of section 377 providing that actions affecting real property shall be brought in the
province where the land involved in the suit, or some part thereof, is located, do not affect the
jurisdiction of Courts of First Instance over the land itself but relate simply to the personal rights
of parties as to the place of trial.

Act 1258: The provisions regarding the place and method of trial are procedural. They touch not
the authority of the court over the land but rather, the powers which it may exercise over the
parties. They relate not to the jurisdictional power of the court over the subject matter but to
the place where that jurisdiction is to be exercised. The jurisdiction is assured whatever the
place of its exercise. The jurisdiction is the thing; the place of exercise its incident.

1258 stipulates that the action embraced in its terms shall be brought only in the province
where the land lies.
Prohibition against multiplicity of suits
Rule against division of actions into parts
General principle that jurisdiction over a subject matter singly owned will not be divided among
different courts, the one in which the action is first brought having exclusive jurisdiction of the

It was not intended that section 377 should apply to actions for condemnation. Under the
provisions of that section, the defendant has no right to ask for a change of venue if the land
involved in the litigation, or any part thereof, is located in the province where the court sits
before which the action has been commenced…under the provisions of the special laws relating
to the condemnation of real estate by railroad companies, the defendants in the various
provinces through which the line runs may compel, if they wish, a separate action to be
commenced in each province in order that they may have a fair and convenient trial not only
before the court but also before commissioners of their province who are not only conveniently
at hand, but who are best able to judge of the weight of testimony relative to the value of land
in that province.
The action as to all of the defendants not objecting would continue in the province where
originally begun. It would be severed as to the objecting defendants and ordered continued
before the court of the appropriate province or provinces.

The principles laid down do not apply to criminal cases. The interests of the public require that,
to secure the best results and effect in the punishment of crime, it is necessary to prosecute
and punish the criminal in the very place, as near as may be, where he committed his crime…
criminal prosecutions must be brought and conducted, except in cases especially provided by
law, in the province where the crime is committed.


Nature of action: petition for certiorari to annul and set aside NLRC decision awarding P126,000
to private respondent Juvenal Lazaga, a former SEAFDEC employee

LA: claim for separation pay plus legal interest , actual damages of P50,000 and 10% attorney’s
NLRC: affirmed, but actual damages and attorney’s fees deleted for being baseless

SC: Judgment void for lack of jurisdiction. As an international association, SEAFDEC is outside
the jurisdiction of Philippine courts.
Salonga and Yap: In so far as they are autonomous and beyond the control of any one State,
they have a distinct juridical personality independent of the municipal law of the State where
they are situated.
Justice minister opinion: One of the basic immunities of an international organization is
immunity from local jurisdiction, i.e, immune from the legal writs and processes issued by the
tribunals of the country where it is found.
1. subjection to such organization to authority of local courts would afford a convenient
medium through which the host government may interfere in operations or control or
influence policies and decisions of organization
2. impair the capacity of body to discharge responsibilities impartially on behalf of
member-states (would have to suit its actions to Phil law which may not necessarily be
in the interest of other member states)

Why estoppel cannot be a defense: estoppel does not apply to confer jurisdiction to a tribunal
that has none over a cause of action. Jurisdiction is conferred by law; where there is none, no
agreement of the parties can provide one
(why estoppel? Because SEAFDEC in its answer with counterclaim, pleaded lack of jurisdiction
but also averred that Lazada had failed to comply with other requirements for clearance).


Nature of complaint: petition for review on certiorari

RTC: Soliven filed with RTC complaint for sum of money with damages
P195,000 as actual damages
P200,000 as moral damages
P100,000 as exemplary damages
P100,000 as attorney’s fees

Fastforms ordered to pay Soliven amount of loan plus interest covered by the check
P50,000 as attorney’s fees
5% interest until amount is fully paid

Fastform questioned court’s jurisdiction in the motion for reconsideration because the amount of
demand P195,000 did not exceed P200,000 so the complaint should have been filed with the
Metropolitan Trial Court

RTC said it has jurisdiction because the totality of the claim exceeded P200,000.
CA: reversed for lack of jurisdiction, case should have been filed with the MTC.
Respondent may assail jurisdiction anytime even for the first time on appeal

A.M. 09-94: damages of whatever kind applies to cases where the damages are merely
incidental to or a consequence of the main cause of action.
Therefore the case should have been filed with the MTC.

While jurisdiction may be raised at any time, this rule presupposes that estoppel has not
supervened. Respondent actively participated in all stages of the proceedings before the trial
court and invoked its authority by asking for an affirmative relief (relief sought by defendant by
raising counterclaim or cross claim that could be maintained independently of the action-
black’s). Clearly, respondent is estopped from challenging the trial court’s jurisdiction, especially
when an adverse judgment has been rendered.

While jurisdiction may be assailed at any stage, a litigant’s participation in all stages of the case
before the trial court, including the invocation of its authority in asking for affirmative relief,
bars such party from challenging the court’s jurisdiction. A party cannot invoke the jurisdiction
of a court to secure affirmative relief against his opponent and after obtaining or failing to
obtain such relief, repudiate or question that same jurisdiction.


Nature of complaint: petition for certiorari with prayer for preliminary injunction for nullification
of orders issued by CFI judge Salas deferring determination of motion to dismiss until after trial
of the case

Two cases:
Civil case: for damages
DOLE (labor arbiter): for illegal dismissal, reinstatement with backwages, quarterly
commissions, incentive leave pay and 13th month pay
Raul Laurente, a sales supervisor of Southern Food Sales, was terminated for gross neglect of
duty/dishonesty. He filed a civil action for damages with CFI of Cebu, and a complaint against
Southern Foods before the labor arbiter.

Southern Foods filed a motion to dismiss in the civil case, claiming that jurisdiction should be
vested with the NLRC. A month after the motion to dismiss was filed, the LA held that the
dismissal was for a just and valid cause but ordered the payment of unpaid wages and 13th
month pay.
The court in the civil case deferred the determination of the motion to dismiss, which was
Southern Foods maintained that the labor complaint was a prejudicial question which must take
precedence before the civil action for damages may be instituted. Also seeking remedies in two
tribunals would split the single cause of action

SC: no excess of jurisdiction.

Art. 217 (a) (4) provides that the labor arbiter shall have original and exclusive jurisdiction to
hear and decide claims for actual, moral, exemplary and other forms of damages arising from
an employee-employer relationship.
But in 1979, when the civil case was instituted, the applicable law was then Art 217 (3) which
says that while labor arbiters have exclusive jurisdiction to hear and decide on the following
cases involving workers…regional directors shall not endorse and labor arbiters shall not
entertain claims for moral or other forms of damages.

The rule is that where a court has already obtained and is exercising jurisdiction over a
controversy, its jurisdiction to proceed to the final determination of the cause is not affected by
new legislation placing jurisdiction over such proceedings in another tribunal. The exception to
the rule is where the statute expressly provides, or is construed to the effect that it is intended
to operate as to actions pending before its enactment. Where a statute changing the jurisdiction
of a court has no retroactive effect, it cannot be applied to a case that was pending prior to the
enactment of the statute.
Dismissal of determination of motion to dismiss until after trial does not amount to grave abuse
of jurisdiction.

PART IV. “Acquired jurisdiction”

1. By service of summons
Rule 14.
Sec. 1. Clerk to issue summons. Upon the filing of the complaint and the payment of
the requisite legal fees the clerk of court shall forthwith issue the corresponding
summons to the defendants.

Sec. 2. Contents. The summons shall be directed to the defendant, to be signed by the
clerk of court under seal, and contain:
a. the name of the court and the names of the parties to the action;
b. a direction that the defendant answer within the time fixed by these Rules;
c. a notice that unless the defendant so answers, the plaintiff will take judgment by
default and may be granted the relief applied for.
A copy of the complaint and order for appointment of guardian ad litem, if any,
shall be attached to the original and each copy of the summons.

Sec. 3. By whom served. The summons may be served by the sheriff, his deputy, or
other proper court officer, for for justifiable reasons by any suitable person authorized
by the court issuing the summons.

Personal service.
Sec. 6. Service in person on the defendant. Whenever practicable, the summons shall
be served by handing a copy thereof to the defendant in person, or if he refuses to
receive and sign for it, by tendering it to him.

Substituted service.
Sec. 7. Substituted service. If, for justifiable causes, the defendant cannot be served
within a reasonable time as provided in the preceding section, service may be effected
a. by leaving copies of the summons at the defendant’s residence with some person of
suitable age and discretion then residing therein, or
b. by leaving the copies at the defendant’s office or regular place of business with
some competent person in charge thereof.
Extra-territorial service.
Sec. 15. Extraterritorial service. When the defendant does not reside and is not found in
the Philippines, and the action affects the personal status of the plaintiff or relates to, or
the subject of which is, property within the Philippines, in which the defendant has or
claims a lien or interest, actual or contingent, or in which the relief demanded consists,
wholly or in part, in excluding the defendant from any interest therein, or the property
of the defendant has been attached within the Philippines, service may, by leave of
court, be effected out of the Philippines by personal service as under section 6; or by
publication in a newspaper of general circulation in such places and for such time as the
court may order, in which case a copy of the summons and order of the court shall be
sent by registered mail to the last known address of the defendant, or in any other
manner the court may deem sufficient. Any order granting such leave shall specify a
reasonable time, which shall not be less than 60 days after notice, within which the
defendant must answer.

2. By voluntary appearance. Rule 14, Sec 20.

The defendant’s voluntary appearance in the action shall be equivalent to service of
summons. The inclusion in a motion to dismiss of other grounds aside from lack of
jurisdiction over the person of the defendant shall not be deemed a voluntary

BOTICANO V CHU (acquired jurisdiction by voluntary appearance) 1987

Nature of action: petition for review on certiorari seeking to reverse and set aside CA decision
which holds that Chu (defendant) was not properly served with summons

Boticano owned a Bedford truck which, while parked along the shoulder of the national highway
in Nueva Ecija, was bumped from behind by another truck owned by Chu. Chu agreed to
shoulder the expenses of the repair, but failed to comply with the agreement later.
Boticano filed a complaint for damages at the CFI in Nueva Ecija against Chu and Sigua, the
The summons issued on Sigua was unserved because he was no longer connected with the San
Pedro Saw Mill; the summons on Chu was served thru his wife at his home.

Chu was later declared in default for failing to file responsive pleadings within the reglementary
period and Boticano was allowed to present his evidence ex parte. Based on the evidence
presented the trial court found Chu responsible for the fault and negligence of his driver Sigua
and sentenced to pay Boticano P6,970 in actual damages; P73,000 for unrealized income; and
P2,000 for attorney’s fees.

Chu then filed with the trial court a notice of appeal and an urgent motion for extention of time
to file record on appeal, both of which were granted.

CA: JUDGMENT IS NULL AND VOID. The case was remanded to the court of origin and the court
ordered that the appellant be properly served with summons and copy of the complaint.

Defense: sheriff resorted to substituted service under Section 8, Rule 14 of the Rules of Court,
without first complying with the mode of personal service required under Sec 7 of the same

Whether or not the question of jurisdiction over the person of the defendant can be raised for
the first time on appeal

Defects in jurisdiction arising from irregularities in the commencement of the proceedings,
defective process or even absence of process may be waived by a failure to make seasonable
He was declared in default:
1. yes but he could have raised the issue in the subsequent pleadings he filed
2. he voluntarily submitted himself to the court’s jurisdiction: not only did he submit
pleadings and motions, but he likewise appeared in person, thru counsel and in the
Under section 23, Rule 14, the defendant’s voluntary appearance in the action shall be
equivalent to service. The defect of summons is cured by the voluntary appearance of the
The constitutional requirement of due process exacts that the service be such as may be
reasonably expected to give the notice desired. Once the service provided by the rules
reasonably accomplishes that end, the requirement of justice is answered; the traditional
notions of fair play are satisfied; due process is served.

Defense: San Pedro sawmill is a partnership, and the summons was served to his wife, who is
not a partner in the sawmill. Cannot receive under Sec 13 of Rule 14 (pres, gen manager,
managing partner, corporate secretary, treasurer, in-house counsel).

SC: partnership is not the party, but Chu, who himself assumed the responsibility of the
Jurisdiction was properly acquired by the trial court over the person of respondent thru both
service of summons and voluntary appearance in court; properly declared in default for not
having filed any answer; despite respondent’s failure to file a motion to set aside the declaration
of default, he has the right to appeal the default judgment but in the appeal only the evidence
of the petitioner may be considered, respondent not having adduced any defense evidence.

La Naval Drug Corp v CA – Aug 1994

(Regaladao) Even if he challenges the jurisdiction of the court over his person, as by reason of
absence or defective service of summons, and he also invokes other grounds for the dismissal
of the action under Rule 16, he is not deemed to be in estoppel or to have waived his objection
to jurisdiction over his person. In support of this new doctrine, the observation may be added
that the defendant may after all invoke his objections alternatively, hence he would not thereby
be said to be inconsistently challenging the jurisdiction of the court and, at the same time,
calling for the exercise of its jurisdiction.
The first questions the jurisdiction over his person but the second, assuming the court has
jurisdiction over his person, impugns its jurisdiction over other aspects of the case such as the
fundamental requisite of jurisdiction over the subject-matter which can only be conferred by
law. Besides, the presentation of all objections then available subserves the omnibus motion
rule and the concomitant policy against multiplicity of suits.

3. By voluntary submission.


Nature of complaint: petition for review by certiorari

Petitioners: Belen Rodriguez and Jose Santos Jr
Respondents: Judge Alikpala of Manila CFI and Federico Tolentino and Felisa Tolentino

Facts: Rodriguez earlier filed a complaint with the city court of Manila for recovery of P5,320
from the spouses Rebollado. A writ of preliminary attachment was issued and served on the
Rebollados at their store in Divisoria. Rodriguez agreed to have the writ of attachment
suspended on the condition that Rebollado’s parents, Federico and Felisa Tolentino, would bind
themselves, jointly and severally with the Rebollados to pay the entire obligation. Felisa
Tolentino, who was then present, agreed. A motion for judgment on a compromise was drawn
up and the city court rendered judgment based on the motion.

When the Rebollados again failed to pay, Rodriguez brought a writ of execution against both the
Rebollados and the Tolentinos, which the Tolentinos questioned in an action for certiorari in CFI
Manila. Judge Alikpala rendered judgment excluding the Tolentinos from the effects of the writ
of execution granted by the city court, which judgment Rodriguez appealed to the Supreme

1. Judgment cannot be executed because it does not explicitly enjoin the Tolentinos to
pay, jointly and severally with the Rebollados
2. City court never acquired jurisdiction over the persons of the Tolentinos

SC: CFI/RTC wrong on both counts.

1. Dispositive portion “enjoining strict compliance thereto by the parties” adequate for
purposes of execution. It is both unnecessary and improper for the court to still make
preliminary adjudication of the facts and the law involved in the case. These rights and
obligations, although not reproduced in the dispositive portion of the judgment in
obvious avoidance of repetition, are understood to constitute the terms under which
execution may issue.
2. By assuming the roles of co-movants in the motion for a judgment on a compromise,
the Tolentinos actively instigated the city court into giving its judicial imprimatur to the
said agreement as well as their participation therein. Under the circumstances, the
Tolentinos are estopped from denying the very authority they have invoked. Even if we
assume that estoppel does not apply in this case, we cannot shunt aside the principle of
equity that jurisdiction over a person not formally or originally a party to a litigation
may nevertheless be acquired, under proper conditions, thru the voluntary appearance
of that person before the court. Thus, judgment may be directed against one who,
although not a formal party in the case, has assumed or participated in the defense. By
coming forward with the original litigants in moving for a judgment on a compromise
and, furthermore, by assuming such interest in unequivocal liability, together with the
Rebollados, to the plaintiff therein, the Tolentinos effectively submitted themselves to
the jurisdiction of the city court.

Held: CFI reversed. City court affirmed.

B. Over the res (subject).

Rule 14, sec 15.

Sec. 15. Extraterritorial service. When the defendant does not reside and is not found in the
Philippines, and the action affects the personal status of the plaintiff or relates to, or the
subject of which is, property within the Philippines, in which the defendant has or claims an
interest, actual or contingent, or in which the relief demanded consists, wholly or in part, in
excluding the defendant from any interest therein, or the property of the defendant has been
attached within the Philippines, service may, by leave of court, be effected out of the
Philippines by personal service as under section 6; or by publication in a newspaper of
general circulation, in such places and for such time as the court may order, in which case a
copy of the summons shall be sent by registered mail to the last known address of the
defendant, or in any other manner the court may deem sufficient. Any order granting such
leave shall specify a reasonable time, which shall not be less than 60 days after notice,
within which the defendant must answer.


Nature of complaint: appeal from order of the CFI

Facts: Banco Filipino foreclosed on a mortgage taken out by Engracio Palanca upon various
parcels of land in Manila. Palanca had, after executing the mortgage, gone to China where he
later died. Seven years after the foreclosure, the executor of his state went to court to protest
the court judgment allowing the foreclosure, on the ground that the court did not acquire
jurisdiction over Palanca because the summons was not properly served, i.e., there was no
proof that it had been mailed to Palanca’s address in China by the clerk of court.

1. Lack of proof of mailing of court summons does not invalidate the judgment; otherwise
every judgment “would depend, for its continued security, upon the presence of such
affidavit among the papers and would be liable at any moment to be destroyed by the
disappearance of that piece of paper. There is a presumption of regularity; “that official
duty has been regularly performed.”
After jurisdiction has been acquired, every act of a court of general jurisdiction shall be
presumed to have been rightly done; and if the record is silent with respect to any fact
which must have been established before the court could have rightly acted, it will be
presumed that such fact was properly brought to its knowledge.”
Failure of the clerk to send the notice to the defendant did not destroy the jurisdiction
of the court and that such irregularity did not infringe the requirement of due process of
Conditions for due process: a. there must be a court with judicial power to hear and
determine the matter before it; b. jurisdiction must be lawfully acquired over the
person of the defendant or over the property which is the subject of the proceeding; c.
the defendant must be given an opportunity to be heard; and d. judgment must be
rendered upon lawful hearing.

2. There was no need to acquire jurisdiction over Palanca’s person; it was an action quasi
in rem, not a personal action. In fact, the principle is that extraterritorial service may
be done only in four situations, and three of those situations involve actions concerning
property. The general principle is that if the defendant had appeared, it becomes an
action in personam; but if he does, it is an action quasi in rem and the court does not
acquire jurisdiction over his person, but over the property, which is in the Philippines.
If the defendant is a nonresident and, remaining beyond the range of the personal
process of the court, refuses to come in voluntarily, the court never acquires
jurisdiction over th person at all. Here the property itself is in fact the sole thing which
is impleaded and is the responsible object which is the subject of the exercise of judicial
power. It follows that the jurisdiction of the court in such case is based exclusively on
the power which, under the law, it possesses over the property; and any discussion
relative to the jurisdiction of the court over the person of the defendant is entirely apart
from the case.
The jurisdiction of the court over the property, considered as the exclusive object of
such an action, is evidently based upon the following conditions and considerations:
a. that the property is located within the district;
b. that the purpose of the litigation is to subject the property by sale to an obligation
fixed upon it by the mortgage; and
c. that the court at a proper stage of the proceedings takes the property into its
custody, if necessary, and exposes it to sale for the purpose of satisfying the
mortgage debt.
No other relief can be granted in this proceeding than such as can be enforced
against the property.

1. The jurisdiction of the court is derived from the power which it possesses over the
2. Jurisdiction over the person is not acquired and is non-essential;
3. The relief granted by the court must be limited to such as can be enforced against the
property itself.

A personal judgment upon constructive or substituted service against a nonresident who does
not appear is wholly invalid. This doctrine applies to all kinds of constructive or substituted
process, including service by publication and personal service outside of the jurisdiction in which
the judgment is rendered; and the only exception seems to be found in the case where the
nonresident defendant has expressly or impliedly consented to the mode of service.
Quarl v Abbett: If property of a nonresident cannot be reached by legal process upon
constructive notice, then our statutes were passed in vain, and are mere empty legislative
declarations, without either force, or meaning; for if the person is not within the jurisdiction of
the court, no personal judgment can be rendered, and if the judgment cannot operate upon the
property, then no effective judgment at all can be rendered, so that the result would be that the
courts would be powerless to assist a citizen against a nonresident.

3. Finality of court decisions. Any motion to vacate the judgment on the ground of the
ground of irregularity in question must fail unless it shows that the defendant was
prejudiced by that irregularity. The least that can be required of the proponent of such
a motion is to show that he had a good defense against the action to foreclose the
mortgage. Where the judgment is not void on its face, and may therefore be enforced if
permitted to stand on the court, courts in many instances refuse to exercise their quasi
equitable powers to vacate a judgment after the lapse of the term at which it was
entered, except in clear cases, to promote the ends of justice, and where it appears
that the party making the application is himself without fault and has acted in good
faith and with ordinary diligence. Laches on the part of the applicant, if unexplained, is
deemed sufficient ground for refusing the relief to which he might otherwise be entitled.
Something is due to the finality of judgments, and acquiescence or unnecessary delay is
fatal to motions of this character, since courts are always reluctant to interfere with
judgments, and especially where they have been executed or satisfied. The moving
party has the burden of showing diligence, and unless it is shown affirmatively the court
will not ordinarily exercise its discretion in his favor.
The mortgage was executed in 1906, the proceedings were closed in 1908. No disability
on the part of the defendant himself existed from the time when the foreclosure was
effected until his death; and we believe that the delay in the appointment of the
administrator and institution of this action is a circumstance which is imputable to the
parties in interest whoever they may have been. Of course if the minor heirs had
instituted an action in their own right to recover the property, it would have been