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MANUFACTURERS HANOVER TRUST CO petitioners, vs. RAFAEL MA. GUERRERO, respondent.

FACTS Respondent Rafael Ma. Guerrero filed a complaint for damages against petitioner Manufacturers Hanover Trust Co. and/or Chemical Bank with the Regional Trial Court of Manila. Guerrero sought payment of damages allegedly for (1) illegally withheld taxes charged against interests on his checking account with the Bank; (2) a returned check due to signature verification problems; and (3) unauthorized conversion of his account. The Bank filed its Answer alleging, inter alia, that by stipulation Guerreros account is governed by New York law and this law does not permit any of Guerreros claims except actual damages. Subsequently, the Bank filed a Motion for Partial Summary Judgment seeking the dismissal of Guerreros claims for consequential, nominal, temperate, moral and exemplary damages as well as attorneys fees on the same ground alleged in its Answer. The Bank contended that the trial should be limited to the issue of actual damages. . Banks Motion for Partial Summary Judgment is supported by Alyssa Waldens affidavit a New York attorney which says that Guerreros New York bank account stipulated that the governing law is New York law and that this law bars all of Guerreros claims except actual damages. . The RTC denied the Banks Motion for Partial Summary Judgment and its motion. The Bank then filed a petition for certiorari and prohibition with the Court of Appeals however the same was likewise denied.

Issue

Whether or not the RTC and Court of Appeals is correct in denying the motion for summary judgment The Courts Ruling

Yes. RTC and Court of Appeals is correct. Under the rules, court may grant a summary judgment to settle expeditiously a case if, on motion of either party, there appears from the pleadings, depositions, admissions, and affidavits that no important issues of fact are involved, except the amount of damages. In such event, the moving party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law. In a motion for summary judgment, the crucial question is: are the issues raised in the pleadings genuine, sham or fictitious, as shown by affidavits, depositions or admissions accompanying the motion? A genuine issue means an issue of fact which calls for the presentation of evidence as distinguished from an issue which is fictitious or contrived so as not to constitute a genuine issue for trial.

A perusal of the parties respective pleadings would show that there are genuine issues of fact that necessitate formal trial. Guerreros complaint before the RTC contains a statement of the ultimate facts on which he relies for his claim for damages. He is seeking damages for what he asserts as illegally withheld taxes charged against interests on his checking account with the Bank, a returned check worth US$18,000.00 due to signature verification problems, and unauthorized conversion of his account. Walden affidavit does not demonstrate that Guerreros claims are sham, fictitious or contrived. On the contrary, the Walden affidavit shows that the facts and material allegations as pleaded by the parties are disputed and there are substantial triable issues necessitating a formal trial. There can be no summary judgment where questions of fact are in issue or where material allegations of the pleadings are in dispute. The resolution of whether a foreign law allows only the recovery of actual damages is a question of fact as far as the trial court is concerned since foreign laws do not prove themselves in our courts. Foreign laws are not a matter of judicial notice. Like any other fact, they must be alleged and proven. Certainly, the conflicting allegations as to whether New York law or Philippine law applies to Guerreros claims present a clear dispute on material allegations which can be resolved only by a trial on the merits.

BANK OF AMERICA VS. AMERICA REALTY CORPORATION

FACTS

Bank of America, duly licensed to do business in the Philippines and existing under the laws of California, USA, granted loans to certain foreign corporate borrowers which is affiliate corporation of the private respondent . These loans were secured by two real estate mortgages by American Realty, a domestic corporation as a third party mortgagor. When the borrowers defaulted, Bank of America sued them before English courts. While these cases were pending, Bank of America likewise judicially foreclosed the real estate mortgages in the Philippines. Thus, American Realty sued for damages against Bank of Americafor the latter's act of foreclosing extrajudicially the real estate mortgages despite the pendency of civil suits before foreign courts for the collection of the principal loan. Bank of America argued that under English Law, which according to petitioner is the governing law with regard to the principal agreements, the mortgagee does not lose its security interest by simply filing civil actions for sums of money.

ISSUE: Whether or not Bank of America can judicially foreclose the real estate mortgages despite pendency of the civil suits before English courts

THE COURTS RULING The well-imbedded principle in our jurisdiction that there is no judicial notice of any foreign law. A foreign law must be properly pleaded and proved as a fact.Thus, if the foreign law involved is not properly pleaded and proved, our courts will presume that the foreign law is the same as our local or domestic or internal law under the doctrine of processual presumption. In our jurisdiction, the remedies available to the mortgage creditor are deemed alternative and not cumulative.Notably an election of one remedy operates as a waiver of the other. For this purpose, a remedy is deemed chosen upon the filing of the suit for collection or upon the filing of the complaint in an action for foreclosure of mortgage.Hence the filing of the suit by the petitioner barred them from other remedy.

SC further held that even assuming arguendo that English laws were proven, said foreign law would still no find applicability. When the foreign law, judgment or contract is contrary to a sound and establishedpublic policy of the forum, the said foreign law, judgment or order shall not be applied. Additionally, prohibitive laws concerning persons, their acts or property, and those which have for their object public order, public policy and good customs shall not be rendered ineffective b laws or judgments promulgated, or by determinations or conventions agreed upon in a foreign country. The public policysought to be protected in the instant case is the principle imbedded in our jurisdiction proscribing the splitting of a single cause of action. Moreover, the foreign law should not be applied when its application would work undeniable injustice to the citizens or residents of the forum.

CADALIN vs POEA

FACTS: Cadalin et al. are overseas contract workers recruited by respondent-appellant AIBC for its accredited foreign principal, Brown & Root, on various dates from 1975 to 1983. As such, they were all deployed at various projects in several countries in the Middle East as well as in Southeast Asia, in Indonesia and Malaysia. The case arose when their overseasemployment contracts were terminated even before their expiration. Under Bahrain law, where some of the complainants were deployed, the prescriptive period for claims arising out of a contract of employment is one year. ISSUE:

Whether or not Bahrain law on prescription of action based on the Amiri Decree No. 23 of 1976 or a Philippine law on prescription that shall be the governing law HELD: As a general rule, a foreign procedural law will not be applied in the forum. Procedural matters, such as service of process, joinder of actions, period and requisites for appeal, and so forth, are governed by teh laws of the forum. This is true even if the action is based upon a foreign substantive law. A law on prescription of actions is sui generis in Conflict of Laws in the sense that it may be viewed either as procedural or substantive, depending on the characterization given such a law. However, the characterization of a statute into a procedural or substantive law becomes irrelevant when the country of the forum has a borrowing statute. Said statute has the practical effect of treating the foreign statute of limitation as one of substance. A borrowing statute directs the state of the forum to apply the foreign statute of limitations to the pending claims based on a foreign law. While there are several kinds of borrowing statutes, one form provides that an action barred by the laws of the place where it accrued, will not be enforced in the forum even though the local statute has not run against it. Section 48 of our Code of Civil Procedure is of this kind. Said Section provides: If by the laws of the state or country where the cause of action arose, the action is barred, it is also barred in the Philippine Islands. In the light of the 1987 Constitution, however, Section 48 cannot be enforced ex propio vigore insofar as it ordains the application in this jurisdiction of Section 156 of the Amiri Decree No. 23 of 1976. The courts of the forum will not enforce any foreign claims obnoxious to the forums public policy. To enforce the one-year prescriptive period of the Amiri Decree No. 23 of 1976 as regards the claims in question would contravene the public policy on the protection to labor.