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Conflict of Laws Batch I interrogated   her   about   the

Jakarta   incident.   They   then


1.  Saudi   Arabian   Airlines   vs. requested   her   to   go   back   to
CA Jakarta   to   help   arrange   the
(Flight   attendant;   attempted release of Thamer and Allah. In
rape) Jakarta,   SAUDIA   Legal   Officer
Doctrine:   The   Philippines   is Sirah   Akkad   and   base   manager
the   situs   of   the   tort Baharini   negotiated   with   the
complained   of   and   the   place police   for   the   immediate
"having   the   most   interest   in release   of   the   detained   crew
the   problem",   we   find,   by   way members   but   did   not   succeed
of   recapitulation,   that   the because   plaintiff   refused   to
Philippine   law   on   tort cooperate.   She   was   afraid   that
liability should have paramount she   might   be   tricked   into
application   to   and   control   in something   she   did   not   want
the   resolution   of   the   legal because   of   her   inability   to
issues   arising   out   of   this understand   the   local   dialect.
case. She   also   declined   to   sign   a
blank   paper   and   a   document
FACTS: written   in   the   local   dialect.
Morada  was   a   flight   attendant Eventually,   SAUDIA   allowed
of SAUDIA (the airline). During plaintiff   to   return   to   Jeddah
a lay­over in Jakarta, she went but barred her from the Jakarta
to   a   disco   dance   with   fellow flights.
crew   members   Thamer   Al­Gazzawi Plaintiff learned that, through
and   Allah   Al­Gazzawi,   both the   intercession   of   the   Saudi
Saudi nationals.  Because it was Arabian   government,   the
almost   morning   when   they Indonesian   authorities   agreed
returned   to   their   hotels,   they to   deport   Thamer   and   Allah
agreed   to   have   breakfast after   two   weeks   of   detention.
together at the room of Thamer. Eventually, they were again put
When   they   were   in   the   room, in service by defendant SAUDIA.
Allah   left   on   some   pretext. In   September   1990,   defendant
Shortly   after   he   did,   Thamer SAUDIA transferred plaintiff to
attempted   to   rape   plaintiff. Manila.
Fortunately,   a   roomboy   and On   January   14,   1992,   just   when
several   security   personnel plaintiff   thought   that   the
heard   her   cries   for   help   and Jakarta   incident   was   already
rescued   her.   Later,   the behind   her,   her   superiors
Indonesian   police   came   and requested   her   to   see   Mr.   Ali
arrested   Thamer   and   Allah   Al­ Meniewy, Chief Legal Officer of
Gazzawi,   the   latter   as   an SAUDIA,   in   Jeddah,   Saudi
accomplice. Arabia.   When   she   saw   him,   he
When   plaintiff   returned   to brought   her   to   the   police
Jeddah   a   few   days   later, station   where   the   police   took
several   SAUDIA   officials her passport and questioned her
about   the   Jakarta   incident. 27, 1993. Nothing happened then
Miniewy   simply   stood   by   as   the but   on   June   28,   1993,   a   Saudi
police   put   pressure   on   her   to judge   interrogated   plaintiff
make   a   statement   dropping   the through   an   interpreter   about
case   against   Thamer   and   Allah. the Jakarta incident. After one
Not   until   she   agreed   to   do   so hour of interrogation, they let
did   the   police   return   her her   go.   At   the   airport,
passport   and   allowed   her   to however,   just   as   her   plane   was
catch   the   afternoon   flight   out about   to   take   off,   a   SAUDIA
of Jeddah. officer   told   her   that   the
One year and a half later or on airline   had   forbidden   her   to
lune 16, 1993, in Riyadh, Saudi take   flight.   At   the   Inflight
Arabia,   a   few   minutes   before Service   Office   where   she   was
the   departure   of   her   flight   to told   to   go,   the   secretary   of
Manila,   plaintiff   was   not Mr. Yahya Saddick took away her
allowed   to   board   the   plane   and passport and told her to remain
instead ordered to take a later in   Jeddah,   at   the   crew
flight   to   Jeddah   to   see   Mr. quarters, until further orders.
Miniewy,   the   Chief   Legal On July 3, 1993 a SAUDIA legal
Officer   of   SAUDIA.   When   she officer   again   escorted
did,   a   certain   Khalid   of   the plaintiff   to   the   same   court
SAUDIA   office   brought   her   to   a where   the   judge,   to   her
Saudi court where she was asked astonishment   and   shock,
to   sign   a   document   written   in rendered a decision, translated
Arabic. They told her that this to   her   in   English,   sentencing
was necessary to close the case her to five months imprisonment
against Thamer and Allah. As it and   to   286   lashes.   Only   then
turned   out,   plaintiff   signed   a did   she   realize   that   the   Saudi
notice   to   her   to   appear   before court   had   tried   her,   together
the   court   on   June   27,   1993. with Thamer and Allah, for what
Plaintiff   then   returned   to happened   in   Jakarta.   The   court
Manila. found   plaintiff   guilty   of   (1)
Shortly   afterwards,   defendant adultery; (2) going to a disco,
SAUDIA   summoned   plaintiff   to dancing   and   listening   to   the
report to Jeddah once again and music   in   violation   of   Islamic
see   Miniewy   on   June   27,   1993 laws;   and   (3)   socializing   with
for   further   investigation. the male crew, in contravention
Plaintiff   did   so   after of Islamic tradition. 
receiving   assurance   from Facing   conviction,   private
SAUDIA's   Manila   manager,   Aslam respondent   sought   the   help   of
Saleemi, that the investigation her   employer,   petitioner
was routinary and that it posed SAUDIA.   Unfortunately,   she   was
no danger to her. denied any assistance. She then
In   Jeddah,   a   SAUDIA   legal asked the Philippine Embassy in
officer   brought   plaintiff   to Jeddah   to   help   her   while   her
the   same   Saudi   court   on   June case   is   on   appeal.   Meanwhile,
to   pay   for   her   upkeep,   she domicile, or that a contract between nationals
worked   on   the   domestic   flight of one State involves properties situated in
of   SAUDIA,   while   Thamer   and another State. In other cases, the foreign
Allah continued to serve in the element may assume a complex form.
international In the instant case, the foreign element
flights.  consisted in the fact that private respondent
Because   she   was   wrongfully Morada is a resident Philippine national,
convicted, the Prince of Makkah and that petitioner SAUDIA is a resident
dismissed   the   case   against   her foreign corporation. Also, by virtue of the
and   allowed   her   to   leave   Saudi employment of Morada with the petitioner
Arabia.   Shortly   before   her Saudia as a flight stewardess, events did
transpire during her many occasions of travel
return   to   Manila,   she   was
across national borders, particularly from
terminated   from   the   service   by
Manila, Philippines to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia,
SAUDIA,   without   her   being
and vice versa, that caused a "conflicts"
informed of the cause. situation to arise.
On   November   23,   1993,   Morada We thus find private respondent's assertion that
filed   a   Complaint   for   damages the case is purely domestic, imprecise. A
against   SAUDIA,   and   Khaled   Al­ conflicts problem presents itself here, and the
Balawi   ("Al­Balawi"),   its question of jurisdiction confronts the court a
country manager.  quo. After a careful study of the private
respondent's Amended Complaint, and the
ISSUES: Comment thereon, we note that she aptly
a. Whether   RTC   has predicated her cause of action on Articles 19
juridisdiction. and 21 of the New Civil Code. Although
Article 19 merely declares a principle of law,
b. Whether   Philippine   Law Article 21 gives flesh to its provisions. Thus,
governs. we agree with private respondent's assertion
HELD: that violations of Articles 19 and 21 are
a. Yes, RTC has jurisdiction actionable, with judicially enforceable
b. Yes,   Philippine   Law remedies in the municipal forum.
governs
Where the factual antecedents satisfactorily Pragmatic considerations, including the
establish the existence of a foreign element, we convenience of the parties, also weigh heavily
agree with petitioner that the problem herein in favor of the RTC Quezon City assuming
could present a "conflicts" case. jurisdiction. Paramount is the private interest of
A factual situation that cuts across the litigant. Enforceability of a judgment if one
territorial lines and is affected by the diverse is obtained is quite obvious. Relative
laws of two or more states is said to contain advantages and obstacles to a fair trial are
a "foreign element". The presence of a equally important. Plaintiff may not, by choice
foreign element is inevitable since social and of an inconvenient forum, "vex", "harass", or
economic affairs of individuals and "oppress" the defendant, e.g. by inflicting upon
associations are rarely confined to the him needless expense or disturbance. But
geographic limits of their birth or conception. unless the balance is strongly in favor of the
The forms in which this foreign element may defendant, the plaintiffs choice of forum should
appear are many. The foreign element may rarely be disturbed.
simply consist in the fact that one of the parties
to a contract is an alien or has a foreign
The trial court also possesses jurisdiction Our starting point of analysis here is not a legal
over the persons of the parties herein. By relation, but a factual situation, event, or
filing her Complaint and Amended Complaint operative fact. An essential element of conflict
with the trial court, private respondent has rules is the indication of a "test" or "connecting
voluntary submitted herself to the jurisdiction factor" or "point of contact". Choice-of-law
of the court. rules invariably consist of a factual
The records show that petitioner SAUDIA has relationship (such as property right,
filed several motions praying for the dismissal contract claim) and a connecting factor or
of Morada's Amended Complaint. SAUDIA point of contact, such as the situs of the res,
also filed an Answer In Ex Abundante the place of celebration, the place of
Cautelam dated February 20, 1995. What is performance, or the place of wrongdoing.
very patent and explicit from the motions filed, Note that one or more circumstances may be
is that SAUDIA prayed for other reliefs under present to serve as the possible test for the
the premises. Undeniably, petitioner SAUDIA determination of the applicable law. These "test
has effectively submitted to the trial court's factors" or "points of contact" or "connecting
jurisdiction by praying for the dismissal of the factors" could be any of the following:
Amended Complaint on grounds other than (1) The nationality of a person, his
lack of jurisdiction. domicile, his residence, his place of
Clearly, petitioner had submitted to the sojourn, or his origin;
jurisdiction of the Regional Trial Court of (2) the seat of a legal or juridical person,
Quezon City. Thus, we find that the trial court such as a corporation;
has jurisdiction over the case and that its (3) the situs of a thing, that is, the place
exercise thereof, justified. where a thing is, or is deemed to be
situated. In particular, the lex situs is
As to the choice of applicable law, we note that decisive when real rights are involved;
choice-of-law problems seek to answer two (4) the place where an act has been done,
important questions: (1) What legal system the locus actus, such as the place where a
should control a given situation where some of contract has been made, a marriage
the significant facts occurred in two or more celebrated, a will signed or a tort
states; and (2) to what extent should the chosen committed. The lex loci actus is
legal system regulate the situation. particularly important in contracts and
Several theories have been propounded in order torts;
to identify the legal system that should (5) the place where an act is intended to
ultimately control. Although ideally, all choice- come into effect, e.g., the place of
of-law theories should intrinsically advance performance of contractual duties, or the
both notions of justice and predictability, they place where a power of attorney is to be
do not always do so. The forum is then faced exercised;
with the problem of deciding which of these (6) the intention of the contracting parties
two important values should be stressed. as to the law that should govern their
Before a choice can be made, it is necessary agreement, the lex loci intentionis;
for us to determine under what category a (7) the place where judicial or
certain set of facts or rules fall. This process administrative proceedings are instituted or
is known as "characterization", or the done. The lex fori — the law of the forum
"doctrine of qualification". It is the "process — is particularly important because, as we
of deciding whether or not the facts relate to have seen earlier, matters of "procedure"
the kind of question specified in a conflicts not going to the substance of the claim
rule." The purpose of "characterization" is involved are governed by it; and because
to enable the forum to select the proper law. the lex fori applies whenever the content of
the otherwise applicable foreign law is social standing and human rights of
excluded from application in a given case complainant, had lodged, according to the
for the reason that it falls under one of the plaintiff below (herein private respondent). All
exceptions to the applications of foreign told, it is not without basis to identify the
law; and Philippines as the situs of the alleged tort.
(8) the flag of a ship, which in many cases
is decisive of practically all legal Moreover, with the widespread criticism of the
relationships of the ship and of its master or traditional rule of lex loci delicti commissi,
owner as such. It also covers contractual modern theories and rules on tort liability have
relationships particularly contracts of been advanced to offer fresh judicial
affreightment. approaches to arrive at just results. In keeping
After a careful study of the pleadings on abreast with the modern theories on tort
record, including allegations in the Amended liability, we find here an occasion to apply the
Complaint deemed admitted for purposes of the "State of the most significant relationship"
motion to dismiss, we are convinced that there rule, which in our view should be appropriate
is reasonable basis for private respondent's to apply now, given the factual context of this
assertion that although she was already case.
working in Manila, petitioner brought her to In applying said principle to determine the
Jeddah on the pretense that she would merely State which has the most significant
testify in an investigation of the charges she relationship, the following contacts are to be
made against the two SAUDIA crew members taken into account and evaluated according to
for the attack on her person while they were in their relative importance with respect to the
Jakarta. As it turned out, she was the one made particular issue: (a) the place where the
to face trial for very serious charges, including injury occurred; (b) the place where the
adultery and violation of Islamic laws and conduct causing the injury occurred; (c) the
tradition. domicile, residence, nationality, place of
Considering that the complaint in the court incorporation and place of business of the
a quo is one involving torts, the "connecting parties, and (d) the place where the
factor" or "point of contact" could be the relationship, if any, between the parties is
place or places where the tortious conduct or centered.
lex loci actus occurred. And applying the
torts principle in a conflicts case, we find Prescinding from this premise that the
that the Philippines could be said as a situs Philippines is the situs of the tort complained
of the tort (the place where the alleged tortious of and the place "having the most interest in
conduct took place). This is because it is in the the problem", we find, by way of
Philippines where petitioner allegedly deceived recapitulation, that the Philippine law on tort
private respondent, a Filipina residing and liability should have paramount application to
working here. According to her, she had and control in the resolution of the legal issues
honestly believed that petitioner would, in the arising out of this case. Further, we hold that
exercise of its rights and in the performance of the respondent Regional Trial Court has
its duties, "act with justice, give her due and jurisdiction over the parties and the subject
observe honesty and good faith." Instead, matter of the complaint; the appropriate venue
petitioner failed to protect her, she claimed. is in Quezon City, which could properly apply
That certain acts or parts of the injury allegedly Philippine law.
occurred in another country is of no moment.
For in our view what is important here is the 2. In the Matter of the Estate of Edward E.
place where the over-all harm or the totality of Christensen vs Adolfo C. Aznar
(American citizen; institution of heir)
the alleged injury to the person, reputation,
Doctrine: There are two laws in the California that validity of testamentary provisions, shall be regulated
matter — Kaufman Case, which is its internal law, and by the national law of the person whose succession is
Article 946 of the Civil Code of California, which is its under consideration, whatever may be the nature of
conflict of laws rule. The internal law should apply to the property and regardless of the country where said
Californians domiciled in California; and the conflict of property may be found.
laws rule which should apply to Californians domiciled
outside of California. The applicable law in this case is The application of this article in the case at bar requires
the conflict of laws rule since the decedent is domiciled the determination of the meaning of the term "national
in the Philippines, hence, Philippine Law will apply. law"is used therein.

FACTS: The "national law" indicated in Article 16 of the Civil


Edward Christensen was born in New York but he Code above quoted can not, therefore, possibly mean or
migrated to California where he resided for a period of 9 apply to any general American law since there is no
years. In 1913, he came to the Philippines where he single American law governing the validity of
became a domiciliary until his death. However, during testamentary provisions in the United States, each state
the entire period of his residence in this country he had of the Union having its own private law applicable to its
always considered himself a citizen of California. citizens only and in force only within the state. So it can
refer to no other than the private law of the State of
In his will, he instituted an acknowledged natural California.
daughter, Maria Lucy Christensen (legitimate), as his The decision of the court below, sustains the contention
only heir, but left a legacy sum of money in favor of of the executor-appellee that under the California
Helen Christensen Garcia (illegitimate). Adolfo Aznar Probate Code, a testator may dispose of his property by
was the executor of the estate. will in the form and manner he desires, citing the case of
Estate of McDaniel, 77 Cal. Appl. 2d 877, 176 P. 2d 952.
Counsel for Helen Garcia claims that under Article 16, But appellant invokes the provisions of Article 946 of
paragraph 2 of the Civil Code, California law should the Civil Code of California, which is as follows:
be applied. Under California law, the matter is referred If there is no law to the contrary, in the place where
back to the law of the domicile ultimately making personal property is situated, it is deemed to follow
Philippine law applicable. Therefore, the share of Helen the person of its owner, and is governed by the law of
must be increased in view of the successional rights of his domicile.
illegitimate children under Philippine law.
It is argued on executor's behalf that as the deceased
On the other hand, counsel for Maria Christensen Christensen was a citizen of the State of California, the
contends that inasmuch as it is clear that under Article 16 internal law thereof, which is that given in the
of our Civil Code, the national law of the deceased must abovecited case, should govern the determination of the
apply, our courts must immediately apply the internal validity of the testamentary provisions of Christensen's
law of California on the matter. Under California law, will, such law being in force in the State of California of
there are no compulsory heirs and consequently a which Christensen was a citizen. Appellant, on the other
testator could dispose of any property possessed by him hand, insists that Article 946 should be applicable, and in
in absolute dominion and that finally, illegitimate accordance therewith and following the doctrine of
children not being entitled to anything and his will the renvoi, the question of the validity of the
remain undisturbed. testamentary provision in question should be referred
back to the law of the decedent's domicile, which is the
ISSUE: Whether or not the Philippine law should Philippines.
prevail in administering the estate of Christensen.
The recognition of the renvoi theory implies that the
RULING: Yes. rules of the conflict of laws are to be understood as
The law that governs the validity of his testamentary incorporating not only the ordinary or internal law of the
dispositions is defined in Article 16 of the Civil Code of foreign state or country, but its rules of the conflict of
the Philippines, which is as follows: laws as well. According to this theory 'the law of a
country' means the whole of its law
ART. 16. Real property as well as personal property
is subject to the law of the country where it is The court in deciding to grant more successional rights
situated. to Helen said in effect that there are two rules in
California on the matter: the internal law which should
However, intestate and testamentary successions, apply to Californians domiciled in California; and the
both with respect to the order of succession and to the conflict rule which should apply to Californians
amount of successional rights and to the intrinsic domiciled outside of California.
The California conflict rule says: “If there is no law to The court granted the petition and entered a decree
the contrary in the place where personal property is adjudicating Allison D. Gibbs to be the sole and absolute
situated, is deemed to follow the person of its owner and owner of said lands, applying section 1401 of the Civil
is governed by the law of his domicile.” Code of California. Gibbs presented this decree to the
register of deeds of Manila and demanded that the latter
Christensen being domiciled outside California, the law issue to him a "transfer certificate of title".
of his domicile, the Philippines, ought to be followed.
Where it is referred back to California, it will form a The register of deeds of the City of Manila, declined to
circular pattern referring to both country back and forth. accept as binding said decree of court, and refused to
register the transfer of title of the said conjugal property
Decision appealed from is reversed and the case returned to Allison D. Gibbs, on the ground that the
to the lower court with instructions that the partition be corresponding inheritance tax had not been paid.
made as the Philippine law on succession provides.
Allison filed in the said court a petition for an order
Notes: Von Bar presented his views at the meeting of the requiring the said register of deeds "to issue the
institute of International Law, at Neuchatel, in 1900, in corresponding titles" to the petitioner without requiring
the form of the following theses: previous payment of any inheritance tax. The court
(1) Every court shall observe the law of its country as reaffirmed order of September 22, 1930.
regards the application of foreign laws.
(2) Provided that no express provision to the contrary Under review, the SC remanded the case to the court of
exists, the court shall respect: origin for new trial upon additional evidence in regard to
(1) The provisions of a foreign law which disclaims the pertinent law of California in force at the time of the
the right to bind its nationals abroad as regards death of Mrs. Gibbs, also authorizing the introduction of
their personal statute, and desires that said evidence with reference to the dates of the acquisition of
personal statute shall be determined by law of the property involved in this suit and with reference to
the domicile, or even by the law of the place the California law in force at the time of such
where the act in question occurred acquisition.
(2) The decision of two or more foreign systems of
law, provided it be certain that one of them is The appellee contends that the law of California should
necessarily competent, which agree in determine the nature and extent of the title, citing
attributing the determination of a question to Article 9 of the Civil Code. But that, even if the nature
the same system of law and extent of her title under said certificates be governed
by the law of the Philippine Islands, the laws of
3. Allison G. Gibbs vs Government of the Philippines California govern the succession to such title, citing the
Islands second paragraph of Article 10 of the Civil Code:
(American citizens; conjugal property in the Philippines) “Legal and testamentary successions, in respect to the
order of succession as well as to the amount of the
FACTS: successional rights and the intrinsic validity of their
Allison Gibbs has been continuously, since the year provisions, shall be regulated by the national law of
1902, a citizen of California and domiciled therein. He the person whose succession is in question, whatever
and Eva Johnson Gibbs were married in Ohio, in 1906. may be the nature of the property or the country in
During said marriage, the spouses acquired land in the which it may be situated."
Philippine Islands as conjugal property.
It is argued that the conjugal right of the California wife
Eva Johnson Gibbs died intestate in California in 1929. in community real estate in the Philippine Islands is a
At the time of her death she and her husband were personal right and must be settled by the law governing
citizens of the State of California and domiciled therein. her personal status, that is, the law of California.
Allison Gibbs was appointed administrator of the estate
of his said deceased wife. In said intestate proceedings, ISSUE: Whether or not Eva Johnson Gibbs, at the time
Allison filed an ex parte petition in which he alleged of her death, is the owner of a descendible interest in the
"that the parcels of land described belong to the conjugal Philippine Islands
partnership, and that in accordance with the law of
California, the community property of spouses who are RULING: Yes.
citizens of California, upon the death of the wife
previous to that of the husband, belongs absolutely to the It is the law of the state in which the land is situated we
surviving husband without administration. must look for the rules which govern its descent,
alienation, and transfer, and for the effect and
construction of wills and other conveyances. This husband; that he is the absolute owner of all the
fundamental principle is stated in the first paragraph of community property from the moment of the death of his
Article 10 of our Civil Code: "Personal property is wife, not by virtue of succession or by virtue of her
subject to the laws of the nation of the owner thereof; death, but by virtue of the fact that when the death of the
real property to the laws of the country in which it is wife precedes that of the husband he acquires the
situated”. community property, not as an heir or as the beneficiary
of his deceased wife, but because she never had more
The second paragraph of Article 10 of the Civil Code than an inchoate interest or expectancy which is
states that: extinguished upon her death. It never belonged to the
Nevertheless, legal and testamentary successions, in estate of the deceased wife.
respect to the order of succession as well as to the
amount of the successional rights and the intrinsic Thus, the descendible interest of Eva in the lands was
validity of their provisions, shall be regulated by the transmitted to her heirs by virtue of inheritance and this
national law of the person whose succession is in transmission plainly falls within the inheritance and this
question, whatever may be the nature of the property transmission plainly falls within the language of section
or the country in which it may be situated. 1536 of Article XI of Chapter 40 of the
Administrative Code which levies a tax on
It seems clear that the second paragraph of article 10 inheritances.
applies only when a legal or testamentary succession has
taken place in the Philippines and in accordance with the 5. Cadalin vs. POEA, et al
law of the Philippine Islands; and the foreign law is
consulted only in regard to the order of succession or the (Overseas   employees   sought   the
extent of the successional rights; in other words, the payment   of   the   unexpired
second paragraph of article 10 can be invoked only when portion   of   the   employment
the deceased was vested with a descendible interest in contracts   and   secondarily,   the
property within the jurisdiction of the Philippine Islands.
payment   of   the   interest   of   the
The nature and extent of the title which vested in earnings.)
Mrs. Gibbs at the time of the acquisition of the Doctrine:  The   courts   of   the
community lands here in question must be forum   will   not   enforce   any
determined in accordance with the lex rei sitae.
foreign   claim   obnoxious   to   the
In accord with the rule that real property is subject to the forum's public policy.
lex rei sitae, the respective rights of husband and wife in
such property, in the absence of an antenuptial contract, FACTS
are determined by the law of the place where the
property is situated, irrespective of the domicile of the This   is   a   consolidation   of   3
parties or of the place where the marriage was cases   filed   under   Rule   65   of
celebrated. the Revised Rules of Court.
On   various   dates   from   1975   to
Under the provisions of the Civil Code and the
jurisprudence prevailing here, the wife, upon the 1983,   petitioners   were
acquisition of any conjugal property, becomes recruited   by   respondent   Asia
immediately vested with an interest and title equal to that International   Builders
of her husband, subject to the power of management and Corporation   (AIBC),   a   domestic
disposition which the law vests in the husband.
corporation, for its accredited
Attention has not been called to any law of California foreign   principal,   Browns   &
that incapacitates a married woman from acquiring or Root International, Inc (BRII),
holding land in a foreign jurisdiction in accordance with with   headquarters   in   Houston,
the lex rei sitae. Article 9 of the Civil Code treats of
purely personal relations and status and capacity for
Texas   and   is   engaged   in
juristic acts, the rules relating to property, both personal construction.   They   were   all
and real, being governed by Article 10 of the Civil Code. deployed   at   various   projects
undertaken   by   Brown   &   Root   in
The trial court found that under the law of California,
upon the death of the wife, the entire community
several countries in the Middle
property without administration belongs to the surviving East,   such   as   Saudi   Arabia,
Libya, United Arab Emirates and it   takes   precedence   over   the
Bahrain,   as   well   as   in common­law conflicts rule.
Southeast   Asia,   in   Indonesia To   the   POEA   Administrator,   the
and Malaysia. prescriptive   period   was   ten
Having   been   officially years, applying  Article 1144 of
processed   as   overseas   contract the   Civil   Code   of   the
workers   by   the   Philippine Philippines.   It   was   of   the
Government,   all   the   individual opinion   what   the   respondents
complainants   signed   standard violated   are   not   the   rights   of
overseas   employment   contracts the   workers   as   provided   by   the
with   AIBC   before   their Labor   Code,   but   the   provisions
departure from the Philippines. of   the   Amiri   Decree   No.   23
The   employment   contract   was, issued   in   Bahrain,   which  ipso
however,   terminated facto  amended   the   worker's
prematurely. contracts of employment.
Hence,   petitioners   primarily NLRC believed otherwise, fixing
sought   the   payment   of   the the   prescriptive   period   at
unexpired   portion   of   the three   years   as   provided   in
employment   contracts   and Article   291   of   the   Labor   Code
secondarily, the payment of the of   the   Philippines:   “All   money
interest of the earnings of the claims   arising   from   employer­
Travel   and   Reserved   Fund. employee   relations   ...shall   be
Interest   on   all   the   unpaid filed   within   three   years   from
benefits, etc.  the   time   the   cause   of   action
The   claimants   are   of   the   view accrued;   otherwise   they   shall
that   the   applicable   provision be forever barred”
is   Article   1144   of   the   Civil The Solicitor General expressed
Code   of   the   Philippines,   which his   personal   view   that   the
provides:  prescriptive   period   was   one
The following actions must be year as prescribed by the Amiri
brought within ten years from Decree   No.   23   of   1976   but   he
the   time   the   right   of   action deferred   to   the   ruling   of   NLRC
accrues:  that   Article   291   of   the   Labor
(1) Upon a written contract;  Code of the Philippines was the
(2)   Upon   an   obligation operative law.
created by law; 
(3) Upon a judgment. ISSUE
AIBC   and   BRII,   insisting   that Whether   it   is   the   Bahrain   law
the   actions   on   the   claims   have on prescription of action based
prescribed   under   the   Amiri on   the   Amiri   Decree   No.   23   of
Decree   No.   23   of   1976,   argue 1976   or   a   Philippine   law   on
that   there   is   in   force   in   the prescription   that   shall   be   the
Philippines   a   "borrowing   law," governing law.
which is Section 48 of the Code Whether the prescriptive period
of   Civil   Procedure   and   that governing   the   filing   of   the
where   such   kind   of   law   exists, claims   is   three   years,   as
provided   by   the   Labor   Code   or of   the   Code   of   Civil   Procedure
ten   years,   as   provided   by   the is   of   this   kind.   Said   Section
Civil Code of the Philippines. provides:   "If   by   the   laws   of
the state or country where the
RULING cause   of   action   arose,   the
As   a   general   rule,   a   foreign action   is   barred,   it   is   also
procedural   law   will   not   be barred   in   the   Philippines
applied   in   the   forum. Islands." 
Procedural   matters,   such   as In   the   light   of   the   1987
service   of   process,   joinder   of Constitution,   however,   Section
actions,   period   and   requisites 48   cannot   be   enforced  ex
for   appeal,   and   so   forth,   are proprio   vigore  insofar   as   it
governed   by   the   laws   of   the ordains the application in this
forum. This is true even if the jurisdiction   of   Section   156   of
action   is   based   upon   a   foreign the   Amiri   Decree   No.   23   of
substantive law.  1976. 
A   law   on   prescription   of The   courts   of   the   forum   will
actions   is  sui   generis  in not   enforce   any   foreign   claim
Conflict   of   Laws   in   the   sense obnoxious to the forum's public
that it may be viewed either as policy. To enforce the one­year
procedural   or   substantive, prescriptive   period   of   the
depending   on   the Amiri Decree No. 23 of 1976 as
characterization   given   such   a regards   the   claims   in   question
law.  would   contravene   the   public
However,   the   characterization policy   on   the   protection   to
of   a   statute   into   a   procedural labor.   In   the   Declaration   of
or   substantive   law   becomes Principles   and   State   Policies,
irrelevant   when   the   country   of the   1987   Constitution
the   forum   has   a   "borrowing emphasized that: 
statute."   Said   statute   has   the "The state shall promote social
practical   effect   of   treating justice   in   all   phases   of
the   foreign   statute   of national   development"   (Sec.
limitation as one of substance. 10). 
A   "borrowing   statute"   directs "The   state   affirms   labor   as   a
the state of the forum to apply primary   social   economic   force.
the   foreign   statute   of It   shall   protect   the   rights   of
limitations   to   the   pending workers   and   promote   their
claims   based   on   a   foreign   law. welfare" (Sec. 18). 
While   there   are   several   kinds In   Article   XIII   on   Social
of   "borrowing   statutes,"   one Justice   and   Human   Rights,   the
from   provides   that   an   action 1987 Constitution provides: 
barred by the laws of the place "Sec. 3. The State shall afford
where   it   accrued,   will   not   be full protection to labor, local
enforced   in   the   forum   even and   overseas,   organized   and
though   the   local   statute   has unorganized,   and   promote   full
not   run   against   it.  Section   48 employment   and   equality   of
employment   opportunities   for divorced   in   Nevada,   U.S.   The
all." Fil   citizen   subsequently
Furthermore,   the   contention   of remarried   another   American
the   POEA   Administrator,   that citizen in Nevada.
the   three­year   prescriptive Thereafter,   private   respondent
period under Article 291 of the filed   a   suit   against
Labor   Code   of   the   Philippines petitioner,   stating   that   the
applies   only   to   money   claims latter’s   business   in   Manila   is
specifically   recoverable   under their   conjugal   property,   and
said   Code,   does   not   find asked   that   the   latter   be
support   in   the   plain   language ordered to render an accounting
of   the   provision.   Neither   is of   such   business   and   that   the
the contention of the claimants former   be   declared   with   the
in   G.R.   Nos.   104911­14   that right   to   manage   the   conjugal
said   Article   refers   only   to property.
claims   "arising   from   the Petitioner   filed   a   motion   to
employer's   violation   of   the dismiss   on   the   ground   that   the
employee's   right,"   as   provided cause   of   action   is   barred   by
by   the   Labor   Code   supported   by previous   judgment   in   the
the   facial   reading   of   the divorce   proceedings   before   the
provision. Nevada   Court   wherein   private
Therefore,   the   applicable   law respondent   had   acknowledged
on   prescription   is   the   Labor that   they   had   no   community
Code   of   the   Philippines   which property.   He   alleged   that   the
provides   for   the   three­year divorce decree obtained by them
prescriptive   period   for   filing in   the   US   was   void   for   being
of claims. against public policy.
The   RTC   denied   the   motion   to
6. Van Dorn vs Romillo  dismiss   on   the   ground   that   the
Doctrine:  While   a   divorce property involved is located in
decree is not recognized in the the   Philippines   so   that   the
Philippines   as   a   matter   of Divorce   Decree   has   no   bearing
public   policy,   such   policy in   the   case.   As   such,   the
covers   only   Filipino   citizens. denial   is   the   subject   of   this
Insofar as the alien husband is certiorari proceeding.
concerned,   divorce   is   binding
upon him. ISSUE:  What   is   the   effect   of
foreign   divorce   on   the   parties
FACTS: and   their   alleged   conjugal
A Filipino citizen (petitioner) property in the Philippines?
and   an   American   citizen
(respondent)   married   in RULING:
Hongkong,   and   established The   pivotal   fact   in   this   case
residence   in   the   Philippines. is   the   Nevada divorce of   the
They   had   two   children.   After parties.
some   time,   they   separated   and While   a   divorce   decree   is   not
recognized   in   the   Philippines against   petitioner   in   Germany
as   a   matter   of   public   policy, before   the   Schoneberg   Local
such   policy   covers   only Court   in   January,   1983.   He
Filipino   citizens.   Insofar   as claimed   that   there   was   failure
the alien husband is concerned, of their marriage and that they
he   is   governed   by   his   national had   been   living   apart   since
law. Being an American citizen, April,   1982.   More   than   five
he   is   governed   by   the   laws   in months   after   the   issuance   of
the US which recognize divorce. the   divorce   decree,   private
Since   his   national   law respondent filed two complaints
recognizes divorce, the divorce for   adultery   before   the   City
decree is binding upon him. Fiscal of Manila alleging that,
Thus,   pursuant   to   his   national while   still   married   to   said
law,   private   respondent   is   no respondent,   petitioner   "had   an
longer   the   husband   of affair   with   a   certain   William
petitioner.   He   would   have   no Chia as early as 1982 and with
standing   to   sue   in   the   case yet   another   man   named   Jesus
below   as   petitioner's   husband Chua sometime in 1983"
entitled   to   exercise   control
over   conjugal   assets.   As   he   is ISSUE:
bound   by   the   Decision   of   his WON   court   has   jurisdiction   to
own   country's   Court,   which try   and   decide   charge   od
validly   exercised   jurisdiction adultery   which   is   a   private
over him, and whose decision he offense   since   complainant   is   a
does   not   repudiate,   he   is foreigner   and   WON   he   qualifies
estopped   by   his   own as offended spouse.
representation   before   said
Court   from   asserting   his   right HELD:
over   the   alleged   conjugal We   are   convinced   that   in   cases
property. of   such   nature,   the   status   of
the   complainant   vis­a­vis   the
7. Pilapil vs. Ibay­Somera accused   must   be   determined   as
of   the   time   the   complaint   was
FACTS: filed.   Thus,   the   person   who
Petitioner   Imelda   Manalaysay initiates   the   adultery   case
Pilapil,   a   Filipino   citizen, must be an offended spouse, and
and   private   respondent   Erich by   this   is   meant   that   he   is
Ekkehard   Geiling,   a   German still   married   to   the   accused
national,   were   married   in spouse,   at   the   time   of   the
Germany.   Couple   lived   together filing of the complaint. 
and   had   a   child   Isabella In the present case, the fact that private
Pilapil   Geiling,   was   born   on respondent obtained a valid divorce in his
April   20,   1980.   After   about country, the Federal Republic of Germany, is
three   and   a   half   years   of admitted. Said divorce and its legal effects may
marriage,   private   respondent be recognized in the Philippines insofar as
initiating a divorce proceeding private respondent is concerned 23 in view of
the nationality principle in our civil law on the
matter of status of persons. FACTS:
Thus, in the recent case of Van Dorn vs. Lorenzo and Paula Llorente were
Romillo, Jr., et al., 24 after a divorce was married   in   Camarines   Sur.
granted by a United States court between Alice Lorenzo   departed   for   US   and
Van Dornja Filipina, and her American Paula   stayed   in   Phils.   Lorenzo
husband, the latter filed a civil case in a trial was admitted US Citizenship and
court here alleging that her business concern certificate   of   naturalization.
was conjugal property and praying that she be When he went back to Phils, his
ordered to render an accounting and that the wife   was   pregnant   and   having  a
plaintiff be granted the right to manage the relationship   with   his   brother.
business. Rejecting his pretensions, this Court
Lorenzo returned to US and filed
perspicuously demonstrated the error of such
divorce   and   married   Alicia
stance, thus:
Llorente. He executed a will and
There can be no question as to the validity of
that Nevada divorce in any of the States of the bequeathed   property   to   Alicia
United States. The decree is binding on private and   their   3   children.   Paula
respondent as an American citizen. For filed   for   letters   of
instance, private respondent cannot sue administration   and   was   opposed
petitioner, as her husband, in any State of the by   Alicia.   RTC   granted   paula’s
Union. ... petition. CA affirmed RTC.
It is true that owing to the nationality principle
embodied in Article 15 of the Civil Code, only ISSUE:   Who   are   entitled   to
Philippine nationals are covered by the policy inherit   from   Lorenzo   Llorente?
against absolute divorces the same being What is the applicable law?
considered contrary to our concept of public
policy and morality. However, aliens may HELD:
obtain divorces abroad, which may be Case remanded to trial court to
recognized in the Philippines, provided they rule   intrinsic   validity.  The
are valid according to their national law. ... fact   that   the   late   Lorenzo   N.
Thus, pursuant to his national law, private Llorente   became   an   American
respondent is no longer the husband of citizen   long   before   and   at   the
petitioner. He would have no standing to sue in time   of:   (1)   his   divorce   from
the case below as petitioner's husband entitled Paula;   (2)   marriage   to   Alicia;
to exercise control over conjugal assets. ... 25 (3)   execution   of   his   will;   and
Under   the   same   considerations
(4) death, is duly established,
and   rationale,   private
admitted and undisputed.
respondent, being no longer the
Thus, as a rule, issues arising from these
husband   of   petitioner,   had   no
incidents are necessarily governed by foreign
legal   standing   to   commence   the law. The Civil Code clearly provides:
adultery   case   under   the “Art. 15. Laws relating to family rights and
imposture   that   he   was   the duties, or to the status, condition and legal
offended   spouse   at   the   time   he capacity of persons are binding upon citizens
filed suit.  of the Philippines, even though living abroad.
“Art. 16. Real property as well as personal
8. Llorente vs. CA property is subject to the law of the country
(Wife   having   relationship   with where it is situated.
husband’s brother)
“However, intestate and testamentary The Court of Appeals also disregarded the
succession, both with respect to the order of will. It declared Alice entitled to one half (1/2)
succession and to the amount of successional of whatever property she and Lorenzo acquired
rights and to the intrinsic validity of during their cohabitation, applying Article 144
testamentary provisions, shall be regulated by of the Civil Code of the Philippines. The hasty
the national law of the person whose application of Philippine law and the complete
succession is under consideration, whatever disregard of the will, already probated as duly
may be the nature of the property and executed in accordance with the formalities of
regardless of the country wherein said property Philippine law, is fatal, especially in light of
may be found.” (emphasis ours) the factual and legal circumstances here
True, foreign laws do not prove themselves in obtaining.
our jurisdiction and our courts are not We hold that the divorce obtained by Lorenzo
authorized to take judicial notice of them. Like H. Llorente from his first wife Paula was valid
any other fact, they must be alleged and and recognized in this jurisdiction as a matter
proved. of comity. Now, the effects of this divorce (as
While the substance of the foreign law was to the succession to the estate of the decedent)
pleaded, the Court of Appeals did not admit the are matters best left to the determination of the
foreign law. The Court of Appeals and the trial trial court.
court called to the fore the renvoi doctrine, Whether the will is intrinsically valid and who
where the case was “referred back” to the law shall inherit from Lorenzo are issues best
of the decedent’s domicile, in this case, proved by foreign law which must be pleaded
Philippine law. and proved. Whether the will was executed in
We note that while the trial court stated that the accordance with the formalities required is
law of New York was not sufficiently proven, answered by referring to Philippine law. In
in the same breath it made the categorical, fact, the will was duly probated. Case
albeit equally unproven statement that remanded.
“American law follows the ‘domiciliary theory’
hence, Philippine law applies when 9. Republic vs. Obrecido
determining the validity of Lorenzo’s will. (Filipino   wife   acquired
First, there is no such thing as one American American   citizenship,   divorced
law. The "national law" indicated in Article 16 her   filipino   husband   outside
of the Civil Code cannot possibly apply to Philippines,   Wife   can   remarry
general American law. There is no such law after   complying   the   necessary
governing the validity of testamentary legal steps)
provisions in the United States. Each State of
the union has its own law applicable to its
citizens and in force only within the State. It
can therefore refer to no other than the law of
the State of which the decedent was a resident.
Second, there is no showing that the
application of the renvoi doctrine is called for
or required by New York State law.
The trial court held that the will was
intrinsically invalid since it contained
dispositions in favor of Alice, who in the trial
court’s opinion was a mere paramour. The
trial court threw the will out, leaving Alice, and
her two children, Raul and Luz, with nothing.
The instant case was one where at
FACTS:
the   time   the   marriage   was
On May 24, 1981, Cipriano Orbecido III solemnized, the parties were two
married Lady Myros M. Villanueva at the
Filipino citizens, but later on,
United Church of Christ in the Philippines in
the   wife   was   naturalized   as   an
Lam-an, Ozamis City. Their marriage was
American citizen and subsequently
blessed with a son and a daughter, Kristoffer
Simbortriz V. Orbecido and Lady Kimberly V. obtained   a   divorce   granting   her
Orbecido. capacity to remarry, and indeed,
In 1986, Cipriano’s wife left for the United she remarried an American citizen
States bringing along their son Kristoffer. A while   residing   in   the   US.   The
few years later, Cipriano discovered that his Filipino   spouse   should   likewise
wife had been naturalized as an American be   allowed  to   remarry  as   if  the
citizen. other   party   were   a   foreigner   at
Sometime in 2000, Cipriano learned from his the time of the solemnization of
son that his wife had obtained a divorce decree the marriage.
and then married a certain Innocent Stanley.
She, Stanley and her child by him currently The court ruled that taking into consideration the
live at 5566 A. Walnut Grove Avenue, San legislative intent and applying the rule of reason,
Gabriel, California. Article 26 Par.2 should be interpreted to include cases
Cipriano thereafter filed with the trial court a involving parties who, at the time of the celebration
petition for authority to remarry invoking of the marriage were Filipino citizens, but later on,
Paragraph 2 of Article 26 of the Family Code. one of them becomes naturalized as a foreign citizen
No opposition was filed. Finding merit in the and obtains a divorce decree. The Filipino spouse
petition, the court granted the same. The should likewise be allowed to remarry as if the other
Republic, herein petitioner, through the Office party were a foreigner at the time of the
of the Solicitor General (OSG), sought solemnization of the marriage.
reconsideration but it was denied.
In this petition, the OSG raises a pure question naturalized as a foreign citizen and obtains
of law: a valid divorce decree capacitating him or
WHETHER OR NOT RESPONDENT CAN her to remarry, can the Filipino spouse
REMARRY UNDER ARTICLE 26 OF THE likewise remarry under Philippine law?
FAMILY CODE 2. WON Cipriano’s petition for authority to
The OSG contends that Paragraph 2 of Article remarry will prosper.
26 of the Family Code is not applicable to the
instant case because it only applies to a valid RULING:
mixed marriage; that is, a marriage celebrated 1. Yes. 
between a Filipino citizen and an alien. The Article 26 provides:
proper remedy, according to the OSG, is to file ART. 26. All marriages solemnized
a petition for annulment or for legal outside the Philippines in accordance
separation. Furthermore, the OSG argues there with the laws in force in the country
is no law that governs respondent’s situation. where they were solemnized, and valid
The OSG posits that this is a matter of there as such, shall also be valid in this
legislation and not of judicial determination. country, except those prohibited under
Articles 35(1), (4), (5) and (6), 36, 37
ISSUE: and 38.
1. Given a valid marriage between two Where a marriage between a Filipino
Filipino citizens, where one party is later citizen and a foreigner is validly
celebrated and a divorce is thereafter obtaining a divorce, is no longer married to the
validly obtained abroad by the alien Filipino spouse.
spouse capacitating him or her to Thus, taking into consideration the legislative
remarry, the Filipino spouse shall have intent and applying the rule of reason, we hold
capacity to remarry under Philippine that Paragraph 2 of Article 26 should be
law. (Emphasis supplied) interpreted to include cases involving parties
On its face, the foregoing provision does not who, at the time of the celebration of the
appear to govern the situation presented by the marriage were Filipino citizens, but later on,
case at hand. It seems to apply only to cases one of them becomes naturalized as a foreign
where at the time of the celebration of the citizen and obtains a divorce decree. The
marriage, the parties are a Filipino citizen and a Filipino spouse should likewise be allowed to
foreigner. The instant case is one where at the remarry as if the other party were a foreigner at
time the marriage was solemnized, the parties the time of the solemnization of the marriage.
were two Filipino citizens, but later on, the To rule otherwise would be to sanction
wife was naturalized as an American citizen absurdity and injustice. Where the
and subsequently obtained a divorce granting interpretation of a statute according to its exact
her capacity to remarry, and indeed she and literal import would lead to mischievous
remarried an American citizen while residing in results or contravene the clear purpose of the
the U.S.A. legislature, it should be construed according to
Noteworthy, in the Report of the Public its spirit and reason, disregarding as far as
Hearings9 on the Family Code, the Catholic necessary the letter of the law. A statute may
Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines therefore be extended to cases not within the
(CBCP) registered the following objections to literal meaning of its terms, so long as they
Paragraph 2 of Article 26: come within its spirit or intent.12
1. The rule is discriminatory. It If we are to give meaning to the legislative
discriminates against those whose spouses intent to avoid the absurd situation where the
are Filipinos who divorce them abroad. Filipino spouse remains married to the alien
These spouses who are divorced will not spouse who, after obtaining a divorce is no
be able to re-marry, while the spouses of longer married to the Filipino spouse, then the
foreigners who validly divorce them instant case must be deemed as coming within
abroad can. the contemplation of Paragraph 2 of Article 26.
2. This is the beginning of the recognition In view of the foregoing, we state the twin
of the validity of divorce even for Filipino elements for the application of paragraph 2 of
citizens. For those whose foreign spouses article 26 as follows:
validly divorce them abroad will also be 1. There is a valid marriage that has been
considered to be validly divorced here and celebrated between a Filipino citizen and a
can re-marry. We propose that this be foreigner; and
deleted and made into law only after more 2. A valid divorce is obtained abroad by the
widespread consultation. (Emphasis alien spouse capacitating him or her to remarry.
supplied.) The reckoning point is not the citizenship of
[Legislative Intent] the parties at the time of the celebration of the
Records of the proceedings of the Family Code marriage, but their citizenship at the time a
deliberations showed that the intent of valid divorce is obtained abroad by the alien
Paragraph 2 of Article 26, according to Judge spouse capacitating the latter to remarry.
Alicia Sempio-Diy, a member of the Civil In this case, when Cipriano’s wife was
Code Revision Committee, is to avoid the naturalized as an American citizen, there was
absurd situation where the Filipino spouse still a valid marriage that has been celebrated
remains married to the alien spouse who, after between her and Cipriano. As fate would have
it, the naturalized alien wife subsequently declare that he is capacitated to enter into
obtained a valid divorce capacitating her to another marriage.
remarry. Clearly, the twin requisites for the Nevertheless, we are unanimous in our holding
application of Paragraph 2 of Article 26 are that Paragraph 2 of Article 26 of the Family
both present in this case. Thus Cipriano, the Code (E.O. No. 209, as amended by E.O. No.
"divorced" Filipino spouse, should be allowed 227), should be interpreted to allow a Filipino
to remarry. citizen, who has been divorced by a spouse
We are also unable to sustain the OSG’s theory who had acquired foreign citizenship and
that the proper remedy of the Filipino spouse is remarried, also to remarry. However,
to file either a petition for annulment or a considering that in the present petition there is
petition for legal separation. Annulment would no sufficient evidence submitted and on record,
be a long and tedious process, and in this we are unable to declare, based on respondent’s
particular case, not even feasible, considering bare allegations that his wife, who was
that the marriage of the parties appears to have naturalized as an American citizen, had
all the badges of validity. On the other hand, obtained a divorce decree and had remarried an
legal separation would not be a sufficient American, that respondent is now capacitated
remedy for it would not sever the marriage tie; to remarry. Such declaration could only be
hence, the legally separated Filipino spouse made properly upon respondent’s submission
would still remain married to the naturalized of the aforecited evidence in his favor.
alien spouse.
10. PHILSEC   INVESTMENT
2. No. the records are bereft CORPORATION,  vs. THE   HONORABLE
of competent evidence duly COURT OF APPEALS
submitted   by   respondent
concerning   the  divorce Facts: 
decree  and   the Antecedent   facts   :   libug   kaau
naturalization   of but   BASICALLY   loan   agreement
respondent’s   wife.   It   is wala   ka   bayad   so   ni   file   ug
settled   rule   that   one   who case sa U.S. thereafter ni file
alleges   a   fact   has   the sa RTC of Makati. 
burden   of   proving   it   and On January 15, 1983, private respondent
mere   allegation   is   not Ventura O. Ducat obtained separate loans
evidence. from petitioners Ayala International Finance
Accordingly, for his plea to prosper, respondent Limited (hereafter called AYALA) and Philsec
herein must prove his allegation that his wife Investment Corporation (hereafter called
was naturalized as an American citizen. PHILSEC) in the sum of US$2,500,000.00,
Likewise, before a foreign divorce decree can secured by shares of stock owned by Ducat
be recognized by our own courts, the party with a market value of P14,088,995.00. In
pleading it must prove the divorce as a fact and order to facilitate the payment of the loans,
demonstrate its conformity to the foreign law private respondent 1488, Inc., through its
allowing it.14 Such foreign law must also be president, private respondent Drago Daic,
proved as our courts cannot take judicial notice assumed Ducats obligation under an
of foreign laws. Like any other fact, such laws Agreement, dated January 27, 1983, whereby
must be alleged and proved.15 Furthermore, 1488, Inc. executed a Warranty Deed with
respondent must also show that the divorce Vendors Lien by which it sold to petitioner
decree allows his former wife to remarry as Athona Holdings, N.V. (hereafter called
specifically required in Article 26. Otherwise, ATHONA) a parcel of land in Harris County,
there would be no evidence sufficient to Texas, U.S.A., for US$2,807,209.02, while
PHILSEC and AYALA extended a loan to Motion to Dismiss, contending that the action
ATHONA in the amount of US$2,500,000.00 being in personam, extraterritorial service of
as initial payment of the purchase price. The summons by publication was ineffectual and
balance of US$307,209.02 was to be paid by did not vest the court with jurisdiction over
means of a promissory note executed by 1488, Inc., which is a non-resident foreign
ATHONA in favor of 1488, Inc. Subsequently, corporation, and Daic, who is a non-resident
upon their receipt of the US$2,500,000.00 from alien.
1488, Inc., PHILSEC and AYALA released
Ducat from his indebtedness and delivered to RTC   dismissed   the   case   and   CA
1488, Inc. all the shares of stock in their affirmed
possession belonging to Ducat.
As   ATHONA  FAILED   TO   PAY   THE ISSUES: 
INTEREST   ON   THE   BALANCE   OF
US$307,209.02, the   entire In their present appeal, petitioners contend
amount   covered   by   the   note that:
became due and demandable. 1. THE DOCTRINE OF PENDENCY
Accordingly,   on   October   17, OF ANOTHER ACTION
1985,   private   respondent   1488, BETWEEN THE SAME PARTIES
Inc.  sued  petitioners   PHILSEC, FOR THE SAME CAUSE (LITIS
AYALA, and ATHONA in the United PENDENTIA) RELIED UPON
States  Civil   Case   No.   H­86­440 BY THE COURT OF APPEALS
( 1st case filed ) IN AFFIRMING THE TRIAL
Petitioners   filed   a COURTS DISMISSAL OF THE
complaint For Sum of Money with CIVIL ACTION IS NOT
Damages and Writ of Preliminary APPLICABLE.
Attachment   against   private 2. THE PRINCIPLE OF FORUM
respondents   in   the  Regional NON CONVENIENS ALSO
RELIED UPON BY THE COURT
Trial Court of Makati, where it
OF APPEALS IN AFFIRMING
was   docketed   as   Civil   Case   No.
THE DISMISSAL BY THE
16563. ( 2nd case filed) 
TRIAL COURT OF THE CIVIL
ACTION IS LIKEWISE NOT
Private   respondent   Ducat APPLICABLE.
moved to dismiss Civil Case No. 3. AS A COROLLARY TO THE
16563 on the grounds of  FIRST TWO GROUNDS, THE
(1)   litis   pendentia,   vis­a­ COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN
vis   Civil   Action   No.   H­86­440 NOT HOLDING THAT
filed by 1488, Inc. and Daic in PHILIPPINE PUBLIC POLICY
the U.S., REQUIRED THE ASSUMPTION,
(2) FORUM   NON NOT THE RELINQUISHMENT,
CONVENIENS, and   (   ENTIRE   CASE BY THE TRIAL COURT OF ITS
DWELLS ON THIS )  RIGHTFUL JURISDICTION IN
(3)   failure   of   petitioners THE CIVIL ACTION FOR
PHILSEC   and   BPI­IFL   to   state   a THERE IS EVERY REASON TO
cause of action PROTECT AND VINDICATE
ON THE OTHER HAND, private PETITIONERS RIGHTS FOR
respondents 1488, Inc. and its president Drago TORTIOUS OR WRONGFUL
filed a joint Special Appearance and Qualified ACTS OR CONDUCT PRIVATE
RESPONDENTS (WHO ARE U.S.   court   as   basis   for
MOSTLY NON-RESIDENT declaring   it res   judicata or
ALIENS) INFLICTED UPON conclusive   of   the   rights   of
THEM HERE IN THE private   respondents. The
PHILIPPINES. proceedings   in   the   trial   court
were summary.
First issue: 
Arguments  Second issue 
Respondent  contend   that   for Nor   is   the   trial   courts
a   foreign   judgment   to   be refusal   to   take   cognizance   of
pleaded   as   res   judicata,   a the   case   justifiable   under   the
judgment   admitting   the   foreign principle   of forum   non
decision is not necessary. conveniens. First,   a   motion   to
Petitioners argue that the foreign dismiss   is  limited   to   the
judgment cannot be given the effect of res grounds under Rule 16, 1, which
judicata without giving them an opportunity to does   not   include forum   non
impeach it on grounds stated in Rule 39, 50 of conveniens.  The   propriety   of
the Rules of Court, to wit: want of jurisdiction, dismissing a case based on this
want of notice to the party, collusion, fraud, or principle   requires   a   factual
clear mistake of law or fact.
determination,   hence,   it   is
SUPREME COURT AGREES WITH
more   properly
Petitioners contention is meritorious. While
considered a matter   of
this Court has given the effect of res judicata to
foreign judgments in several cases, it was after defense. Second,   while   it   is
the parties opposed to the judgment had been within   the   discretion   of   the
given ample opportunity to repel them on trial   court   to   abstain   from
grounds allowed under the law assuming   jurisdiction   on   this
“ SEC. 50. Effect of foreign judgments. ground,   it   should   do   so   only
- The effect of a judgment of a tribunal after   vital   facts   are
of a foreign country, having jurisdiction established,   to   determine
to pronounce the judgment is as whether   special   circumstances
follows: require the courts desistance. 
(a) In case of a judgment upon a In this case, the trial court abstained from
specific thing, the judgment is conclusive upon taking jurisdiction solely on the basis of the
the title to the thing; pleadings filed by private respondents in
(b) In case of a judgment against a connection with the motion to dismiss. It failed
person, the judgment is presumptive to consider that one of the plaintiffs
evidence of a right as between the (PHILSEC) is a domestic corporation and one
parties and their successors in interest of the defendants (Ventura Ducat) is a Filipino,
by a subsequent title; but the judgment and that it was the extinguishment of the latters
may be repelled by evidence of a want debt which was the object of the transaction
of jurisdiction, want of notice to the under litigation. The trial court arbitrarily
party, collusion, fraud, or clear mistake dismissed the case even after finding that
of law or fact.” Ducat was not a party in the U.S. case.
In   the   case   at   bar,   it   cannot
be   said   that   petitioners   were Third issue
given   the   opportunity   to Third. It was error we think for the Court of
challenge   the   judgment   of   the Appeals and the trial court to hold that
jurisdiction over 1488, Inc. and Daic could not contract whereby BMSI hired respondent as its
be obtained because this is an action representative to negotiate the sale of services
in personam and summons were served by in several government projects in the
extraterritorial service. Rule 14, 17 on Philippines for an agreed remuneration of 10%
extraterritorial service provides that service of of the gross receipts.
summons on a non-resident defendant may be
effected out of the Philippines by leave of In 1992, Respondent secured a service contract
Court where, among others, the property of the with the Republic of the Philippines on behalf
defendant has been attached within the of BMSI for the dredging of rivers affected by
Philippines the Mt. Pinatubo eruption and mudflows.
WHEREFORE, the decision of the Court
of Appeals is REVERSED and Civil Case No. In 1994, Respondent filed before the
16563 is REMANDED to the Regional Trial Arbitration Branch of (NLRC) a suit against
Court of Makati for consolidation with Civil BMSI and Rust International, Inc. (RUST),
Case No. 92-1070 and for further proceedings Rodney C. Gilbert and Walter G. Browning for
in accordance with this decision. The alleged nonpayment of commissions, illegal
temporary restraining order issued on June 29, termination and breach of employment
1994 is hereby LIFTED. contract.

11. RAYTHEON INTERNATIONAL v. Labor Arbiter Pablo C. Espiritu, Jr. rendered


ROUZIE, JR. judgment ordering BMSI and RUST to pay
(Mt. Pinatubo eruption, NLRC case, forum non respondent's money claims.
conveniens)
Upon appeal by BMSI, the NLRC reversed the
Doctrine: Doctrine of forum non conveniens - decision of the Labor Arbiter and dismissed
a court, in Conflict of Law cases, may refuse respondent's complaint on the ground of lack of
impositions on its jurisdiction where it is not jurisdiction. Respondent elevated the case to
the most "convenient" or available forum and the SC but was dismissed.
the parties are not precluded from seeking
remedies elsewhere; But Forum non Respondent, then a resident of La Union,
conveniens cannot be a ground for a motion instituted an action for damages before the
to dismiss unless the circumstances that would Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Bauang, La
show that the Philippine court is an Union against Raytheon International, Inc. as
inconvenient forum is established as a fact.; well as BMSI and RUST, the two corporations
Phases in deciding COL cases: 1) jurisdiction impleaded in the earlier labor case, alleging
2) choice of law 3) recognition and that BMSI verbally employed respondent to
enforcement of judgments. The court can negotiate the sale of services in government
decide if: 1) it is one to which the parties may projects and that Respondent was not paid the
conveniently resort; 2) it is in a position to commissions due him from the Pinatubo
make an intelligent decision as to law and dredging project which he secured on behalf of
facts; 3) it has or is likely to have the power to BMSI.
enforce its decision.
In its Answer, petitioner alleged that contrary
Facts: Brand Marine Services, Inc. (BMSI), a to respondent's claim, it was a foreign
corporation duly organized and existing under corporation duly licensed to do business in the
the laws of the State of Connecticut, United Philippines and denied entering into any
States of America, and respondent Stockton W. arrangement with respondent or paying the
Rouzie, Jr., an American citizen, entered into a latter any sum of money.
that the contract shall be governed by the laws
Petitioner also referred to the NLRC decision of the State of Connecticut. It also mentions the
which disclosed that per the written agreement presence of foreign elements in the dispute
between respondent and BMSI and RUST, namely, the parties and witnesses involved are
denominated as "Special Sales Representative American corporations and citizens and the
Agreement," the rights and obligations of the evidence to be presented is located outside the
parties shall be governed by the laws of the Philippines that renders our local courts
State of Connecticut (valid choice of law inconvenient forums.
clause). It also mentions the presence of
foreign elements in the dispute —the parties Petitioner theorizes that the foreign elements of
and witnesses involved are American the dispute necessitate the immediate
corporations and citizens and the evidence to application of the doctrine of forum non
be presented is located outside the Philippines conveniens.
— that renders our local courts inconvenient
forums. Petitioner theorizes that the foreign Ruling:
elements of the dispute necessitate the
immediate application of the doctrine of forum NO. Petitioner's averments of the foreign
non conveniens. elements in the instant case are not sufficient to
oust the trial court of its jurisdiction over the
RTC denied petitioner's motion. The trial court case and the parties involved. There are three
held that the factual allegations in the consecutive phases involved in judicial
complaint, assuming the same to be admitted, resolution of conflicts-of-laws problems,
were sufficient for the trial court to render a namely:
valid judgment thereon. It also ruled that the
principle of forum non conveniens was (1) jurisdiction
inapplicable because the trial court could (2) choice of law, and
enforce judgment on petitioner, it being a (3) recognition and enforcement of
foreign corporation licensed to do business in judgments.
the Philippines.
Court of Appeals rendered the assailed Where the Court held that the local judicial
Decision, denying the petition for certiorari for machinery was adequate to resolve
lack of merit. The appellate court deferred to controversies with a foreign element, the
the discretion of the trial court when the latter following requisites had to be proved:
decided not to desist from assuming
jurisdiction on the ground of the inapplicability (1) that the Philippine Court is one to
of the principle of forum non conveniens. which the parties may conveniently resort;
(2) that the Philippine Court is in a
position to make an intelligent decision as to
Issues: the law and the facts; and
(3) that the Philippine Court has or is
WHETHER OR NOT THE COURT OF likely to have the power to enforce its decision.
APPEALS ERRED IN REFUSING TO
DISMISS THE COMPLAINT ON THE On the matter of jurisdiction over a conflicts-
GROUND OF FORUM NON CONVENIENS. of-laws problem where the case is filed in a
Philippine court and where the court has
Petitioner mainly asserts that the written jurisdiction over the subject matter, the parties
contract between respondent and BMSI and the res, it may or can proceed to try the
included a valid choice of law clause, that is, case even if the rules of conflict-of-laws or the
convenience of the parties point to a foreign discretion of the trial court to abstain from
forum. This is an exercise of sovereign assuming jurisdiction on this ground, it should
prerogative of the country where the case is do so only after vital facts are established, to
filed. determine whether special circumstances
Jurisdiction over the nature and subject matter require the court's desistance.
of an action is conferred by the Constitution
and the law and by the material allegations in 12. MANILA HOTEL CORP. & MANILA
the complaint, irrespective of whether or not HOTEL   INTL.   v.   NLRC   ARBITER
the plaintiff is entitled to recover all or some of DIOSANA and SANTOS 
the claims or reliefs sought therein. The case is
an action for damages arising from an alleged Doctrine:  Under   the   rule   of
breach of contract. Undoubtedly, the nature of forum   non   conveniens,   a
the action and the amount of damages prayed Philippine   court   or   agency   may
are within the jurisdiction of the RTC. assume   jurisdiction   over   the
case   if   it   chooses   to   do   so
As regards jurisdiction over the parties, the trial provided:   (1)   that   the
court acquired jurisdiction over herein plaintiff Philippine   court   is   one   to
upon the filing of the complaint. On the other
which   the   parties   may
hand, jurisdiction over the person of defendant
conveniently   resort   to;   (2)
was acquired by its voluntary appearance in
that the Philippine court is in
court.
a   position   to   make   an
That the subject contract included a intelligent   decision   as   to   the
stipulation that the same shall be governed by law and the facts; and (3) that
the laws of the State of Connecticut does not the Philippine court has or is
suggest that the Philippine courts, or any other likely to have power to enforce
foreign tribunal for that matter, are precluded its decision. 
from hearing the civil action. Jurisdiction and
choice of law are two distinct concepts: Facts:
Jurisdiction Choice of law Respondent   Marcelo   Santos   was
an   overseas   worker   employed   as
considers whether it is asks the further question
fair to cause a defendant whether the application of a printer at the Mazoon Printer
to travel to this state a substantive law which Press   in   Oman.   During   his
will determine the merits employment,   respondent   accepted
of the case is fair to both an   employment   with   the   same
parties
The choice of law position   as   printer   but   with
stipulation will become higher   salary   and   benefits   at
relevant only when the Palace Hotel in Beijing, China.
substantive issues of the Santos resigned from the Mazoon
instant case develop, that
is, after hearing on the Printing   Press,   signed   the
merits proceeds before employment   contract,   and
the trial court started   to   work   at   the   Palace
Hotel.   However,   he   was
Moreover, the propriety of dismissing a terminated   due   to   business
case based on the principle of forum non reverses   caused   by   political
conveniens requires a factual determination; upheaval in China, and was paid
hence, it is more properly considered as a all   benefits   due   him.   Santos
matter of defense. While it is within the
filed   a   complaint   for   illegal protect him. However, he is not
dismissal   with   the   NLRC an   "overseas   contract   worker,"
demanding   full   compensation a   fact   which   he   admits   with
pursuant   to   the   employment conviction.   He   was   hired
agreement.   Manila   Hotel directly by the Palace Hotel, a
International   Company   (MHICL) foreign   employer,   through
trained the personnel and staff correspondence   sent   to   the
of   Palace   Hotel.   Manila   Hotel Sultanate   of   Oman   where   he   was
Corporation   (MHC)   is   an then   employed.   He   was   hired
incorporator   of   MHICL,   owning without the intervention of the
50% of its capital stock. POEA   or   any   authorized
recruitment   agency   of   the
Issue:  government. 
Under   the   rule   of  forum   non
Whether   or   not   NLRC   has conveniens,   a   Philippine   court
jurisdiction   over   the   case or   agency   may   assume
under   the   rule   of  forum   non jurisdiction   over   the   case   if
conveniens. it   chooses   to   do   so   provided:
(1)   that   the   Philippine   court
Ruling: is one to which the parties may
conveniently   resort   to;   (2)
No,   the   NLRC   do   not   have that the Philippine court is in
jurisdiction   over   the   case a   position   to   make   an
under   the   rule   of  forum   non intelligent   decision   as   to   the
conveniens. law and the facts; and (3) that
the   Philippine   court   has   or   is
The   main   aspects   of   the   case likely to have power to enforce
transpired   in   two   foreign its   decision.   The   conditions
jurisdictions,   and   the   case are   unavailing   at   the   case   at
involves   purely   foreign bar.
elements.   The   only   link   that
the   Philippines   has   with   the Not   Convenient.  —The   NLRC   is
case   is   that   respondent   Santos not   a   convenient   forum   given
is   a   Filipino   citizen.   The that   all   the   incidents   of   the
Palace   Hotel   and   MHICL   are case   —   from   the   time   of
foreign   corporations.   Not   all recruitment,   to   employment   to
cases   involving   Filipino dismissal   occurred   outside   the
citizens   can   be   tried   here. Philippines.   The   inconvenience
This   is   not   to   say   that is   compounded   by   the   fact   that
Philippine   courts   and   agencies the   proper   defendants,   the
have   no   power   to   solve Palace   Hotel   and   MHICL   are   not
controversies   involving   foreign nationals   of   the   Philippines.
employers.   If   Santos   were   an Neither   are   they   "doing
"overseas   contract   worker,"   a business   in   the   Philippines."
Philippine   forum,   specifically Likewise,   the   main   witnesses,
the   POEA,   not   the   NLRC,   would Mr.   Shmidt   and   Mr.   Henk   are
non­residents   of   the 13. BANK OF AMERICA, NT and SA vs.
Philippines.  AMERICAN REALTY CORP & CA
(Collection suits sa HK and England + REM
No   power   to   determine foreclosure sa Philippines para more chances
applicable   law.  —   Neither   can of winning pero pildi nuon)
an intelligent decision be made
as   to   the   law   governing   the Doctrine: When the foreign law, judgment or
employment contract as such was contract is contrary to a sound and established
perfected in foreign soil. This public policy of the forum, the said foreign law,
calls   to   fore   the   application judgment or order shall not be applied.
of   the   principle   of   lex   loci
FACTS: Petitioner Bank of America granted
contractus   (the   law   of   the
loans to 3 corporate borrowers (foreign
place   where   the   contract   was
affiliates of private respondent). Due to default
made).   The   employment   contract
in payment of the loans, Bank of America and
was   not   perfected   in   the the 3 corporate borrowers entered into
Philippines.   Respondent   Santos restructuring agreements. As additional
signified   his   acceptance   by security for the restructured loans, private
writing   a   letter   while   he   was respondent American Realty Corporation
in   the   Republic   of   Oman.   This (domestic corporation), as third party
letter   was   sent   to   the   Palace mortgagor, executed 2 REMs. The 3 corporate
Hotel   in   the   People's   Republic borrowers (foreign affiliates of private
of China.  respondent) defaulted in the payment of the
restructured loans. Bank of America filed civil
No   power   to   determine   the actions before the foreign courts for the
facts.  —   Neither   can   the   NLRC collection of the principal loan. 2 cases were
determine the facts surrounding filed before the High Court of Justice in
the   alleged   illegal   dismissal England and 2 cases were filed before the
as   all   acts   complained   of   took Supreme Court of Hong Kong High Court. In
place   in   Beijing,   People's these civil suits, the private respondent was not
Republic of China. The NLRC was impleaded as party-defendant.
not   in   a   position   to   determine
whether   the   Tiannamen   Square Despite the pendency of civil suits before the
incident   truly   adversely foreign courts for the collection of the principal
affected   operations   of   the loan, petitioner Bank of America filed before
the Office of the Provincial Sheriff of Bulacan,
Palace   Hotel   as   to   justify
Philippines an application for extrajudicial
respondent   Santos'
foreclosure of REM. Eventually, the mortgaged
retrenchment. 
properties were sold at public auction in an
extrajudicial foreclosure sale to a third party.
Principle of effectiveness, no power to execute
decision. — Even assuming that a proper Respondent filed before RTC – Pasig an action
decision could be reached by the NLRC, such for damages against the petitioner. Respondent
would not have any binding effect against the alleged that petitioner waived its remedy to
employer, the Palace Hotel. The Palace Hotel is foreclose the REMs by filing an action for
a corporation incorporated under the laws of collection of the principal loan before foreign
China and was not even served with summons. courts.
Jurisdiction over its person was not acquired.
In its answer, petitioner alleged that: 1) domestic or internal law. This is the doctrine of
respondent was not a party defendant in the processual presumption.
civil cases filed in HK and England; 2) There is
no civil suit for sum of money filed in the Assuming   arguendo   that   the
Philippines; and 3) Under the English Law, English   Law   on   the   matter   were
which is the governing law or choice of law properly   pleaded   and   proved,
under the principal agreements, the mortgagee said   foreign   law   would   still
does not lose its security interest by filing civil not   find   applicability.   Thus,
actions for sums of money. when   the   foreign   law,   judgment
or   contract   is   contrary   to   a
The RTC rendered a decision in favor of the sound   and   established   public
respondent and declared that the filing in policy   of   the   forum,   the   said
foreign courts by the defendant of collection foreign   law,   judgment   or   order
suits against the principal debtors operated as shall   not   be   applied.   The
waiver of the security of the mortgages.
public   policy   sought   to   be
Consequently, the respondent’s rights as
protected   in   the   instant   case
owners were violated by the foreclosure sale.
is   the   principle   imbedded   in
On appeal, the CA affirmed the RTC’s
decision. our   jurisdiction   proscribing
the   splitting   up   of   a   single
ISSUE: Whether or not the petitioner’s act of cause   of   action.   Moreover,
filing a collection suit against the principal foreign   law   should   not   be
debtors for the recovery of the loan before applied   when   its   application
foreign courts constituted a waiver of the would work undeniable injustice
remedy of foreclosure. to the citizens or residents of
the forum. Clearly, English Law
HELD: YES, the act of filing a collection suit is   not   applicable   and   the
against the principal debtors for the recovery of doctrine   of   processual
the loan before foreign courts CONSTITUTED presumption cannot be applied.
A WAIVER of the remedy of foreclosure.
14. YAO KEE, ET AL. v. AIDA SY-
Philippine laws prohibit the creditor to avail GONZALES, ET AL.
two remedies: collection of loan and (“The China marriage, or not???)
foreclosure of mortgage. It may opt to exercise
only one of two remedies so as not to violate FACTS:   Sy   Kiat,   a   male   Chinese
the rule against splitting a cause of action. On national,   died   on   January   17,
the basis of Philippine laws, the filing for 1977   in   Caloocan   City.
collection abroad amounts to waiver of Thereafter   Respondents
petitioner to institute foreclosure proceedings. initially   filed   a   claim   that
On the question of the choice of law, Philippine they   are   children   of   deceased
law shall apply notwithstanding the evidence Sy   Kiat   with   Asuncion   Gillego
presented by petitioner to prove the English and   they   do   not   recognize   Sy
law on the matter. A foreign law must be
Kiat’s   Marriage   to   Petitioner
properly pleaded and proved as a fact. Thus, if
Yao   Kee   nor   her   children’s
the foreign law involved is not properly
filiation   to   him.   They   also
pleaded and proved, our courts will presume
that the foreign law is the same as our local or nominate fellow respondent Aida
Sy­Gonzales   to   be
administratrix   of   Sy   Kiat’s of   her   marriage   was   a
estate. written   document   is
Petitioners   Yao   Kee   and   her exchanged just between the
children   opposed,   alleging   Yao parents   of   the   bride   and
Kee is the lawful wife who was the   parents   of   the   groom,
married   by   deceased   in   1931   in or   any   elder   for   that
China   and   they   are   legitimate matter; that in China, the
children   and   wish   to   become custom  is   that   there   is   a
administratrix. go­between,   a   sort   of
Probate   Court   held   in   favor   of marriage   broker   who   is
the   oppositors   (petitioners known   to   bother   parties
herein)   declaring   Sy   Kiat   and who   would   talk   to   the
Yao   Kee   were   legally   married parents   of   the   bride­to­
and children of Yao Kee and Sy be; that if the parents of
Kiat   as   legitimate   children. the   bride­to­be   agree   to
While   petitioners   were have the groom­to­be their
identified   as   acknowledged son­in­law,   then   they
illegitimate   children.   Court agree   on   a   date   as   an
also   appointed   Sze   Sook   Wah, engagement   day;   that
eldest   child   of   Yao   Kee   and during   her   wedding;   that
among   the   respondents,   as during   her   wedding,   Sy
Administratrix. Chick,   the   eldest   brother
On   Appeal,   the   CA   modified   the of   Sy   Kiat,   signed   the
decision   of   the   probate   court document   with   her   mother;
declaring that petitioners were that as to the whereabouts
only   acknowledged   natural of   that   document,   she   and
children as the marriage of Yao Sy Mat were married for 46
Kee   and   Sy   Kiat   could   not   be years   already   and   the
proved to be valid to the laws document was left in China
of China. and   she   doubt   if   that
Petitioners   come   before   the document   can   still   be
Supreme   Court   arguing   that   the found   now;   that   it   was
marriage of Sy Kiat to Yao Kee left   in   the   possession   of
in   accordance   with   Chinese   law Sy   Kiat's   family;   that
and   custom   was   conclusively right   now,   she   does   not
proven.   To   buttress   this know   the   whereabouts   of
argument   they   rely   on   the that   document   because   of
following   testimonial   and the   lapse   of   many   years
documentary evidence. and   because   they   left   it
1)   Yao   Kee   testified   that in   a   certain   place   and   it
she was married to Sy Kiat was   already   eaten   by   the
on   January   19,   1931   in termites;   that   after   her
Fookien, China; that there wedding with Sy Kiat, they
was   no   marriage lived   immediately   together
certificate;   that   the as   husband   and   wife,   and
practice   during   the   time from   then   on,   they   lived
together. However,   the   same   do   not
2) Testimony of Gan Ching, suffice   to   establish   the
the younger brother of Yao validity   of   said   marriage   in
Kee who stated that he was accordance   with   Chinese   law   or
among   the   people   who custom.
attended   the   wedding   of The law requires that "a custom
his   sister   with   Sy   Kiat must   be   proved   as   a   fact,
and   no   marriage according   to   the   rules   of
certificate   was   issued   by evidence"   [Article   12,   Civil
the   Chinese   government   as Code.]   On   this   score   the   Court
a   document   signed   by had   occasion   to   state   that   "a
parents   or   elders   is local   custom   as   a   source   of
sufficient. right cannot be considered by a
3)   Asuncion   Gillego’s court   of   justice   unless   such
statement that Sy Kiat was custom   is   properly   established
married   to   Yao   Kee by   competent   evidence   like   any
according   to   Chines other fact." The same evidence,
customs if not one of a higher degree,
4)   Sy   Kiat’s   Alien should be required of a foreign
Certificate   Registration custom. 
issued   in   Caloocan   City The law on foreign marriages is
contained   the   following provided   by   Article   71   of   the
entries:   “Civil   Status: Civil Code which states that:
Married;”   and,   “If Art.   71.   All   marriages
married,   name   of   spouse: performed   outside   the
Yao   Kee;”   “Place   of Philippines   in   accordance
Marriage: China” with   the   laws   in   force   in
5)   Certification   by   the the   country   where   they
Embassy   of   the   People’s were   performed   and   valid
Republic   of   China   to   the there   as   such,   shall   also
effect   that   “according   to be   valid   in   this   country,
the   information   available except   bigamous,
at the Embassy Sy Kiat and Polygamous,   or   incestuous
Yao   Kee   were   married   on marriages,   as   determined
January 19, 1931.” by Philippine law. 
Construing   this   provision   of
ISSUE law the Court has held that to
1) Did   Petitioners   Yao   Kee establish   a   valid   foreign
and her children prove the marriage   two   things   must   be
legality   of   the   marriage proven,   namely:   (1)   the
conducted in China? existence of the foreign law as
a question of fact; and (2) the
HELD alleged   foreign   marriage   by
The evidence presented may very convincing evidence. In proving
well prove the fact of marriage a   foreign   law   the   procedure   is
between   Yao   Kee   and   Sy   Kiat. provided in the Rules of Court.
With   respect   to   an   unwritten country   in   which   the
foreign   law,   Rule   130   section record   is   kept   and
45 states that: authenticated   by   the   seal
SEC.   45.   Unwritten   law.— of his office.
The   oral   testimony   of The   Court   has   interpreted
witnesses,   skilled section 25 to include competent
therein,   is   admissible   as evidence   like   the   testimony   of
evidence   of   the   unwritten a   witness   to   prove   the
law   of   a   foreign   country, existence   of   a   written   foreign
as   are   also   printed   and law.  In   the   case   at   bar
published books of reports petitioners did not present any
of decisions of the courts competent   evidence   relative   to
of the foreign country, if the law and custom of China on
proved   to   be   commonly marriage.   The   testimonies   of
admitted in such courts. Yao   and   Gan   Ching   cannot   be
Proof of a written foreign law, considered   as   proof   of   China's
on   the   other   hand,   is   provided law   or   custom   on   marriage   not
for   under   Rule   132   section   25, only   because   they   are   self­
thus: serving   evidence,   but   more
SEC.   25.   Proof   of   public importantly,   there   is   no
or   official   record.—An showing that they are competent
official   record   or   an to   testify   on   the   subject
entry   therein,   when matter.   For   failure   to   prove
admissible   for   any the   foreign   law   or   custom,   and
purpose,   may   be   evidenced consequently,   the   validity   of
by an official publication the marriage in accordance with
thereof   or   by   a   copy said   law   or   custom,   the
attested   by   the   officer marriage between Yao Kee and Sy
having   the   legal   custody Kiat   cannot   be   recognized   in
of   the   record,   or   by   his this jurisdiction.
deputy,   and   accompanied, In the absence of proof of the
if   the   record   is   not   kept Chinese   law   on   marriage,   it
in the Philippines, with a should   be   presumed   that   it   is
certificate   that   such the same as ours. Since Yao Kee
officer   has   the   custody. admitted   in   her   testimony   that
If the office in which the there   was   no   solemnizing
record   is   kept   is   in   a officer as is known here in the
foreign   country,   the Philippines   [See   Article   56,
certificate may be made by Civil   Code]   when   her   alleged
a   secretary   of   embassy   or marriage   to   Sy   Kiat   was
legation,   consul   general, celebrated,   it   therefore
consul,   vice   consul,   or follows that her marriage to Sy
consular   agent   or   by   any Kiat,   even   if   true,   cannot   be
officer   in   the   foreign recognized in this jurisdiction
service of the Philippines Petitioners   are   considered
stationed   in   the   foreign acknowledged   natural   children
considering   that   there   was state   that   in   lieu   of   retainer
failure   to   prove   the   legality fee,   it   is   agreed   that   Mrs.
of the marriage in China. Harden   will   pay   Atty.   Recto
Private   respondents   on   the monthly, during the pendency of
other   hand   are   also   the the   litigation   and   until   its
deceased's   acknowledged   natural termination,   25%   of   the   total
children with Asuncion Gillego. increase   in   allowance   or
They   have   in   their   favor   their pension which may be awarded by
father's   acknowledgment, the   court   over   and   above   the
evidenced   by   a   compromise amount   received   monthly   from
agreement   entered   into   by   and Mr.   Harden   at   the   time   of   the
between   their   parents.   Wherein agreement   out   of   the   funds   of
Sy   Kiat   not   only   acknowledged the   conjugal   partnership.
them   as   his   children   by Provided,   that   should   the   case
Asuncion   Gillego   but   likewise be   terminated   or   an   amicable
made   provisions   for   their settlement   thereof   be   arrived
support and future inheritance. at   by   the   parties   before   the
expiration   of   two   years   from
15. RECTO v. ESPERANZA P. DE HARDEN and the   date   of   the   filing   of   the
FRED M. HARDEN complaint, Recto shall still be
(Validity   of   contract   of paid the said 25% up to the end
services   for   the   purpose   of of   said   period.   These   monthly
securing   an   increase   in   the payments   shall   be   in   addition
amount of support received from to   whatever   amount   may   be
husband   to   effect   a   claim   of adjudged   by   the   court   against
attorney’s fees) the   Mr.   Harden   or   against   the
conjugal   partnership   by   way   of
FACTS:
litis expenses (attorney's fees
Mrs. Esperanza Harden and Atty.
chargeable   as   expenses   of
Claro   M.   recto   entered   into   a
litigation).
Contract   of   Professional
In   addition,   as   full   and
Services   for   the   latter   to
complete   satisfaction   of   the
appear   as   the   former’s   counsel
fees of Atty Recto, it has been
in   the   action   which   she   would
agreed   that   the   latter   be   paid
file   against   her   husband,   Fred
20%   of   the   value   of   the   share
M.   Harden,   for   the   purpose   of
and   participation   which   may   be
securing   an   increase   in   the
received   in   the   funds   and
amount   of   support   she   receives
properties   of   the   conjugal
from   the   conjugal   partnership,
partnership   as   a   result   of   the
as   well   as   for   protecting   and
liquidation.
preserving   her   rights   in   the
As   agreed,   Atty.   Recto   then
properties of the said conjugal
filed   the   case   for   support   in
partnership,   in   contemplation
the   CFI   of   Manila   which
of the divorce suit intended to
authorized   the   issuance   a   writ
be   filed   against   her   husband,
of   preliminary   injunction
in California.
restraining the defendants from
The   conditions   of   the   contract
disposing   of   the   assets   of   the Attorney   Claro   M.   Recto.   It   is
conjugal   partnership   in   fraud understood   that,   after   said
of Mrs. Harden. fees   had   been   finally
Subsequently,   the   Philippines determined   and   paid,   this   case
was invaded by the Japanese and will be completely dismissed as
placed   under   military prayed   for   by   the   defendants­
occupation.   Then   came   the appellants,   without   prejudice
liberation,   in   the   course   of to considering the claim of the
which   the   records   of   this   case receiver   for   compensation,
were   destroyed.   Said   records which   receivership   if   ordered
were   reconstituted,   the maintained.
proceedings   were   resumed   and, The   lower   court   designated   a
in due course, the CFI declared commissioner   to   receive
the   writ   of   preliminary evidence   on   the   amount   of   the
injunction permanent. fees   collectible   by   appellee.
The   defendants   appealed. Said   commissioner   submitted   a
However,   while   the   appeal   was report   with   the   following
pending   Mrs.   Harden   decided   to conclusion and recommendation:
discontinue   all   proceedings   of "Taking   into   consideration   the
the   case   and   to,   "vacate   all value   of   the   properties
orders   and   judgments   rendered involved   in   this   litigation,
therein,   and   abandon   and the   length   of   time   in   which
nullify   all   her   claims   to   the claimant   had   handled   the   same
conjugal   partnership   existing for   Esperanza   Harden,   the
between her and Mr. Harden", in volume   and   quality   of   the   work
accordance   with   several performed,   the   complicated
instruments   executed   without legal   questions   involved,   the
the   knowledge,   advise   and responsibility   assumed   by   the
consent   of   Atty.   Recto,   as claimant   as   counsel,   his
counsel   for   Mrs.   Harden, reputation   in   the   bar,   the
wherein   Mr.   and   Mrs.   Harden difficulties encountered by him
agreed   to   settle.   Now,   Atty. while   handling   the   same   in
Recto   is   demanding   for   the which he had to work hard every
amounts   promised   him   as   his inch of the way because of the
attorney’s   fees.   He   is   now stiff   oppositions   filed   by
claiming   from   the   property adverse   counsel,   the   diligence
under   receivership   that he   employed   not   only   in   the
belonged   to   Mrs.   Harden’s preservation   of   the   records   in
husband, Fred. his   possession   during   the   days
Counsel   for   the   defendants­ of   enemy   occupation   but   also
appellants   moved   for   the in   the   protection   of   the
dismissal   of   the   case.   The interests   of   Esperanza   Harden,
Court   issued   a   resolution his successful handling of said
remanding the case to the court case   and   those   cases   growing
of   origin   to   determine   the out   of   it   which   reached   the
amount   of   fees   claimed   by Supreme   Court,   and   the   extra
services   he   rendered   in   her secure   a   decree   of   divorce,
behalf   in   the   tax   and   other allegedly   in   violation   of
court   cases,   the   undersigned Articles 1305, 1352 and 1409 of
Commissioner   concludes   that the   Civil   Code   of   the
claimant   is   entitled   to   the Philippines; and
full amount of 20% of Esperanza (4)   that   the   terms   of   said
Harden's   share   of   the   conjugal contract are harsh, inequitable
properties,   as   provided   in and oppressive.
paragraph   3   of   the   Contract   of
Professional   Services.”   He RULING:
further   recommends   that   Atty. 1.  The   first   objection   has   no
Claro   M.   Recto   be   paid   the foundation   in   fact,   for   the
equivalent   amount   of   20%   of contract   in   dispute   does   not
Esperanza   P.   de   Harden's   share seek   to   bind   the   conjugal
of   the   conjugal   properties   or partnership.   By   virtue   of   said
the sum of P369, 410.04 as his contract,   Mrs.   Harden   merely
contingent   fee   for   services bound herself or   assumed
rendered in her behalf." the personal obligation   to   pay,
The   lower   court   rendered   a by way of contingent fees, 20 %
decision   adopting   substantially of   her   share   in   said
the   commisioner’s   report   but partnership.   The   contract
increasing   the   contingent   fee neither   gives,   nor   purports   to
from   P369,   410.04,   the   sum give, to the appellee any right
recommended   in   the   report,   to whatsoever,   personal   or   real,
P384,110.97.   Mr.   and   Mrs. in   and   to   her   aforesaid   share.
Harden appealed this decision. The   amount   thereof   is   simply
a basis for   the computation of
ISSUE: said fees.
Is   the   contract   of   services
entered   into   between   Mrs. 2.  The   second   objection   is,
Harden   and   the   appellee,   Atty. likewise,   untenable.   Moreover,
Recto, valid? it   has   already   been   held   that
contingent   fees   are   not
Mr.   and   Mrs.   Harden   assails prohibited   in   the   Philippines
that   said   Contract   of and are impliedly sanctioned by
Professional   Services   is   void, our   Cannons   (No.   13)   of
mainly, upon the grounds: Professional   Ethics.   Such   is,
(1)   that   Mrs.   Harden   cannot likewise,   the   rule   in   the
bind   the   conjugal   partnership United States where, “the great
without her husband's consent; weight   of   authority   recognizes
(2)   that   Article   1491   of   the the   validity   of   contracts   for
Civil   Code   of   the   Philippines contingent   fees,   provided   such
in   effect   prohibits   contingent contracts   are   not   in
fees; contravention of public policy,
(3)   that   the   contract   in and   it   is   only   when   the
question has for its purpose to attorney has taken an unfair or
unreasonable   advantage   of   his pursuant thereto,  one who seeks
client   that   such   a   claim   is equity   must   come   with   clean
condemned."  hands,   and   appellants   have   not
There   is   absolutely   nothing   in done   so,   for   the   circumstances
the   records   to   show   that surrounding   the   case   show,   to
appellee   herein   had,   in   any our   satisfaction,   that   their
manner,   taken   an   unfair   or aforementioned   agreements,
unreasonable   advantage   of   his ostensibly   for   the   settlement
client Mrs. Harden. of   the   differences   between
husband and wife, were made for
3.  The   third   objection   is   not the purpose of circumventing or
borne   out,   either   by   the defeating   the   rights   of   herein
language   of   the   contract appellee.
between   them,   or   by   the   intent [Having   secured   a   judgment   in
of   the   parties   thereto.  Its her   favor,   acknowledging   her
purpose   was   not   to   secure   a rights   to   the   assets   of   the
divorce,   or   to   facilitate   or conjugal   partnership,   which
promote   the   procurement   of   a turned   out   to   be   worth   almost
divorce.   It   merely   sought   to P4,000,000 in addition to litis
protect   the   interest   of   Mrs. expensae in   the   sum   of
Harden   in   the   conjugal P175,000,   it   is   inconceivable
partnership,   during   the that   Mrs.   Harden   would   have
pendency   of   a   divorce   suit   she waived   such   rights,   as   well   as
intended   to   file   in   the   United the   benefits   of   all   orders   and
States.  What   is   more,   inasmuch judgments   in   her   favor,   in
as   Mr.   and   Mrs.   Harden   are consideration of the paltry sum
admittedly   citizens   of   the of $5,000 allegedly paid to her
United States, their status and by   Mr.   Harden   and   the
the   dissolution   thereof   are additional sum of $20,000 to be
governed   pursuant   to   Article   9 paid by him in installments, at
of   the   Civil   Code   of   Spain the   rate   of   $500   a   month.   –
(which   was   in   force   in   the (This was based on the supposed
Philippines   at   the   time   of   the settlement   agreement   between
execution   of   the   contract   in Mr. and Mrs. Harden)]
question) and Article 15 of the In   fact,   no   explanation   has
Civil   Code   of   the   Philippines been   given   for   this   most
by   the   laws   of   the   United unusual   avowed   settlement
States, which sanction divorce. between   Mr.   and   Mrs.   Harden.
The   contract   of   services, One   cannot   even   consider   the
between   Mrs.   Harden   and   herein possibility   of   reconciliation
appellee,   is   not   contrary   to between   the   spouses,   the   same
law,   morals,   good   customs, being   inconsistent   with   the
public order or public policy. monetary consideration for said
alleged   settlement.   What   is
4.  The   last   objection   is   based more, the records show that the
upon principles of equity, but, relations   between   said   spouses
which were bad indeed, not only oppressive or inequitable.
at the time Mrs. Harden engaged
the services of the appellee in Further:
1941, but, even before, for Mr. “The   appellants   maintain   in
and   Mrs.   Harden   were   separated their   2nd  assignment   of   error
since   1938   had   worsened that   the   legal   services   have
considerably   thereafter,   as already   been   paid   by   his
evidence   by   an   action   for immediate   execution   pending
divorce   filed   by   Mr.   Harden   in appeal   in   the   civil   case
New   Jersey,   in   July   1948,   upon wherein he collected the sum of
the   ground   of   repeated   acts   of P175,000.00   for   all   such   legal
infidelity   allegedly   committed services.”
by   Mrs.   Harden   in   1940   and Said   decision,   however,   states
1941. clearly   that   the   sum   of
Then   too,   the   conjugal P175,000   represents litis
partnership   had   varied   and expensae,   and   the   contract
extensive   business   interests between   the   appellee   and   Mrs.
and   its   assets   were   worth Harden explicitly declares that
almost   P4,000,000.   The said litis   expensae shall
pleadings,   motions, be "in   addition   to" appellee's
oppositions,   rejoinders,   and share of 25% of the increase in
memoranda   filed,   and   the the   allowance   of   Mrs.   Harden
evidence   introduced,   in   the and   his   attorney's   fees   of   20%
aforementioned   cases   in   which of   her   share   in   the   conjugal
appellee was pitted against one partnership.   The   second
of   the   most   experienced   and assignment   of   error   is,
able   members   of   the   Philippine therefore, devoid of merit.
Bar   were   numerous,   extensive
and exhaustive.  Appellants, further contend:
Considering   the   character   of “The   contract   of   services   in
the   services   rendered   by   the question   provides   that
appellee,   the   nature   and appellee's   contingent   fees
importance   of   the   issues   in shall   be   20%   of   the   share   of
said litigations, the amount of Mrs.   Harden   in   the   conjugal
labor,   time   (1941   to   1952)   and partnership.   Pursuant   to   law,
trouble   involved   therein,   the the   share   of   Mrs.   Harden   shall
skill   displayed   in   connection be   determined   upon   the
with   said   cases,   the   value   of liquidation   of   said
the   property   affected   by   the partnership,   which   has   not
controversy,   the   professional taken   place,   as   yet.   What   is
character   and   standing   of   the more,   it   cannot   be   effected
appellee, the risks assumed and until   the   dissolution   of   the
the results obtained, we are of marriage   relation   between   Mr.
the   opinion,   and   so   hold,   that and   Mrs.   Harden.   Inasmuch   as
the   contract   of   services   in this   relation   subsists,   it
question   is   neither   harsh   nor follows   that   the   amount   of
attorney's fees due to appellee fulfilled   when   the   obligor
herein   should   not   have   been voluntarily   prevents   its
determined   in   the   decision fulfillment"   (Art.   1186,   Civil
appealed from.” Code)   and   "the   debtor   shall
This line of argument overlooks lose every right to make use of
the   fact   that   said   contract   of the   period"   when   he   "violates
services was made, principally, any   undertaking,   in
in   contemplation   of   a   suit   for consideration   of   which   the
divorce that, according to Mrs. creditor agreed to the period."
Harden,   she   intended   to   file (Art. 1198, Civil Code.)
before   a   competent   court   in [It should be noted, also, that
California,   "and   of   the the   compensation   agreed   upon
liquidation   of   the   conjugal for   appellee's   services,
partnership   between"   her   and consists   of three (3)   parts,
Mr.   Harden.   Had   she   filed   said namely: (a) 25% of the increase
action   for   divorce   and   secured in   the,allowance   of   Mrs.
a   decree   of   divorce,   said Harden; (b) litis expensae; and
conjugal partnership would have (c)   20%   of   her   share   in   the
been   dissolved   and   then conjugal partnership. The first
liquidated,   and   the   share   of part   was   dealt   with   in   the
Mrs.   Harden   therein   would   have first   paragraph   of   their
been   fixed.   However,   this contract   of   services.   The
cannot   take   place,   either   now, second and third parts were the
or   in   the   foreseeable   future, object   of   the   second   and   third
owing to the agreements between paragraphs,   respectively,
Mr. and Mrs. Harden, which were The first paragraph   limited   the
made for the evident purpose of rights   of   appellee   thereunder
defeating   appellee's   claim   for to two (2) years, in the event
attorney's fees. of   termination   of   the   case   or
In other words, the occurrence, amicable   settlement   thereof
within the time contemplated by within   two   (2)   years   from   the
the parties bearing in mind the filing   of   the   complaint.   No
nature   of,   and   the such   limitation   appears   in   the
circumstances   under   which   they second   and   third   paragraphs   of
entered   into,   said   contract   of said   contract.   Hence,   the   same
services   of   the   event   upon were intended by the parties to
which   the   amount   of   said   fees be   fully   operative   under   any
depended,   was   rendered and all conditions.]
impossible   by   Mrs.   Harden.
Hence,  whether   such   event   be Conclusion:
regarded as a condition or as a It   appears   that   the   assets   of
period, she may not insist upon the   conjugal   partnership
its   occurrence,   prior   to   the between Mr. and Mrs. Harden are
enforcement   of   the   rights   of reasonably   valued   at
the   herein   appellee,   for   "the 3,841,109.70;   1/2   thereof,
condition   shall   be   deemed representing   the   share   of   Mrs.
Harden,   is   therefore,   worth Damages with Preliminary Attachment against five
P1,920,554.85:   20%   of   this   is petitioners:
P384,110.97,   which   is   the 1. Pioneer International Limited (PIL) is a
contingent   fee   due   to   the corporation duly organized and existing under
appellee,   apart   from   the litis the laws of Australia and is principally engaged
expensae already   paid   to   him. in the ready-mix concrete and concrete
aggregates business.
Inasmuch   as   the   appellee   has 2. Pioneer Philippines Holdings, Inc. (PPHI) is
collected,   also,   the   sum   of the company established by PIL to own and
P80,000.00,   on   account   of   said hold the stocks of its operating company in the
contingent   fees,   there   results Philippines.
3. Pioneer Concrete Philippines, Inc. (PCPI) is
in   his   favor   a   balance   of the company established by PIL to undertake its
P304,110.97. business of ready-mix concrete, concrete
Subject   to   this   qualification, aggregates and quarrying operations in the
the   decision   appealed   from   is Philippines.
4. McDonald, the Chief Executive of the
hereby   affirmed,   therefore, Hongkong office of PIL
with   costs   against   the 5. Klepzig, the President and Managing Director
appellants. So ordered. of PPHI and PCPI.

16. PIONEER   CONCRETE   PHILS,   ET Pioneer International Limited


AL. v. TODARO  (PIL),   an   Australian   company
(of   forum   non   conveniens,   left engaged   in   the   ready­mix
his job only to be betrayed) concrete   business,   established
Doctrine: The doctrine of forum herein   petitioner   PCPI   to
non   conveniens   should   not   be undertake   its   business   in   the
used   as   a   ground   for   a   motion Philippines.   Todaro   has   been
to dismiss because Sec. 1, Rule the managing director Betonval,
16   of   the   Rules   of   Court   does a   company   engaged   in   pre­mixed
not include said doctrine as a concrete and concrete aggregate
ground. While it is within the production.   He   resigned   in
discretion   of   the   trial   court 1996.   PIL   contacted   respondent
to   abstain   from   assuming Todaro   and   asked   if   the   latter
jurisdiction on this ground, it is   available   to   join   them   in
should   do   so   only   after   vital their   intention   to   establish
facts   are   established,   to plant operations in the country
determine   whether   special to   which   the   latter   agreed.
circumstances   require   the Subsequently,   PIL   and   Todaro
court's   desistance;   and   that came   to   an   agreement   wherein
the   propriety   of   dismissing   a the   former   consented   to   engage
case based on this principle of the   services   of   the   latter   as
forum non conveniens requires a consultant   for   2­3   months,
factual determination, hence it after   which   he   would   be
is   more   properly   considered   a employed as manager of concrete
matter of defense. operations should PIL decide to
invest   in   the   Philippines.   PIL
FACTS: In 1998, respondent Todaro filed with the RTC started   its   operation   however
of Makati City, a complaint for Sum of Money and it   refused   to   comply   with   its
undertaking to employ Todaro on non conveniens?
a   permanent   basis.   Respondent
thus   filed   a   complaint   for   sum RULING:
of   money   and   damages   against (1) The doctrine of forum non
petitioner.  conveniens   should   not   be
used   as   a   ground   for   a
PPHI,   PCPI   and   Klepzig motion   to   dismiss   because
separately moved to dismiss the Sec.   1,   Rule   16   of   the
complaint   on   the   basis,   among Rules   of   Court   does   not
others,   of   the   doctrine   of include said doctrine as a
forum   non   conveniens. ground.
Petitioners   contend   that   since While it is within the discretion of the trial court to
the   majority   of   the   defendants abstain from assuming jurisdiction on this ground, it
should do so only after vital facts are established, to
in   the   present   case   are   not determine whether special circumstances require the
residents   of   the   Philippines, court's desistance; and that the propriety of dismissing a
they   are   not   subject   to case based on this principle of forum non conveniens
compulsory   processes   of   the requires a factual determination, hence it is more
properly considered a matter of defense. In the present
Philippine   court   handling   the case, the factual circumstances cited by petitioners
case   for   purposes   of   requiring which would allegedly justify the application of the
their   attendance   during   trial. doctrine of forum non conveniens are matters of
Even   assuming   that   they   can   be defense, the merits of which should properly be
threshed out during trial.
summoned,   their   appearance
would entail excessive costs. The doctrine of forum non conveniens, literally
meaning 'the forum is inconvenient', emerged in private
Respondent,   on   the   other international law to deter the practice of global forum
shopping, that is to prevent non-resident litigants from
hand,   avers   that   the   question choosing the forum or place wherein to bring their suit
of   whether   a   suit   should   be for malicious reasons, such as to secure procedural
entertained or dismissed on the advantages, to annoy and harass the defendant, to avoid
basis of the principle of forum overcrowded dockets, or to select a more friendly venue.
Under this doctrine, a court, in conflicts of law cases,
non   conveniens  depends   largely may refuse impositions on its jurisdiction where it is not
upon   the   facts   of   the the most "convenient" or available forum and the parties
particular   case   and   is are not precluded from seeking remedies elsewhere.
addressed   to   the   sound
The issue is a matter which is not ripe for
discretion   of   the   trial   judge, determination in the present case; rather, this issue must
who is in the best position to be taken up during trial, considering that its
determine   whether   special resolution would necessarily entail an examination of
circumstances   require   that   the the veracity of the allegations not only of herein
respondent as plaintiff but also of petitioners as
court   desist   from   assuming defendants.
jurisdiction over the suit. 
(2) Whether   or   not   there   is
Both RTC and CA ruled against employer­employee
the motion to dismiss.  relationship   between   PIL
and respondent.
ISSUE:   Whether   or   not   the   case In the present case, no employer-employee
should   be   dismissed   based   on relationship exists between petitioners and respondent.
In fact, in his complaint, private respondent is not
the ground of doctrine of forum seeking any relief under the Labor Code, but seeks
payment of damages on account of petitioners' alleged They claimed, among others, that they were exposed to
breach of their obligation under their agreement to this chemical during the early 1970's up to the early
employ him. It is settled that an action for breach of 1980's when they used the same in the banana
contractual obligation is intrinsically a civil dispute. In plantations where they worked at; and/or when they
the alternative, respondent seeks redress on the basis of resided within the agricultural area where such chemical
the provisions of Articles 19 and 21 of the Civil Code. was used. NAVIDA, et al., claimed that their illnesses
Hence, it is clear that the present action is within the and injuries were due to the fault or negligence of each
realm of civil law, and jurisdiction over it belongs to the of the defendant companies in that they produced, sold
regular courts. and/or otherwise put into the stream of commerce
DBCP-containing products. According to NAVIDA, et
Petition   is   DENIED   and   the al., they were allowed to be exposed to the said
products, which the defendant companies knew, or ought
assailed Decision of the CA are to have known, were highly injurious to the former's
AFFIRMED health and well-being.

17. NAVIDA, ET AL. V. JUDGE DIZON, JR., The RTC of General Santos City issued an Order
SHELL OIL CO., ET AL. dismissing the complaint. It ruled that the substance of
Doctrine: The plaintiffs, material witness and alleged the cause of action as stated in the complaint against the
cause of action also took place in the Philippines. The defendant foreign companies cites activity on their part
Philippine court was the convenient forum. which took place abroad and had occurred outside and
beyond the territorial domain of the Philippines.
FACTS:
Beginning 1993, a number of personal injury suits were Second, the RTC of General Santos City declared that
filed in different Texas state courts by citizens of twelve the tort alleged in their complaint is a tort category that
foreign countries, including the Philippines. The is not recognized in Philippine laws. Averments describe
thousands of plaintiffs sought damages for injuries they and identify the category of specific tort known as
allegedly sustained from their exposure to product liability tort.
dibromochloropropane (DBCP), a chemical used to kill .
worms, while working on farms in 23 foreign countries. The lower court also opined that the decision of the U.S.
The cases were eventually transferred to, and District Court dismissing the case is not yet final and
consolidated in, the Federal District Court for the executory since both the plaintiffs and defendants
Southern District of Texas, Houston Division. appealed. Consequently, since the authority of the agent
of the defendants in the Philippines is conditioned on the
The defendants in the consolidated cases prayed for the final adjudication of the case pending with the U.S.
dismissal of all the actions under the doctrine of forum courts, the acquisition of jurisdiction by the court over
non conveniens. the persons of the defendants is also conditional.

In a Memorandum and Order dated July 11, 1995, the NAVIDA, et al., and ABELLA, et al., argue that the
Federal District Court conditionally granted the allegedly tortious acts and/or omissions of defendant
defendants' motion to dismiss. In the event that the companies occurred within Philippine territory.
highest court of any foreign country finally affirms the Specifically, the use of and exposure to DBCP that was
dismissal for lack of jurisdiction of an action manufactured, distributed or otherwise put into the
commenced by a plaintiff in these actions in his home stream of commerce by defendant companies happened
country or the country in which he was injured, that in the Philippines. Said fact allegedly constitutes
plaintiff may return to this court and, upon proper reasonable basis for our courts to assume jurisdiction
motion, the court will resume jurisdiction over the action over the case.
as if the case had never been dismissed for forum non
conveniens. DOLE similarly maintains that the acts attributed to
defendant companies constitute a quasi-delict, which
In accordance with the above Memorandum and Order, a falls under Article 2176 of the Civil Code. DOLE posits
total of 336 plaintiffs from General Santos City filed a that the Philippines is the situs of the tortious acts
Joint Complaint in the RTC of General Santos City. allegedly committed by defendant companies as
NAVIDA, et al., prayed for the payment of damages in NAVIDA, et al., and ABELLA, et al., point to their
view of the illnesses and injuries to the reproductive alleged exposure to DBCP which occurred in the
systems which they allegedly suffered because of their Philippines, as the cause of the sterility and other
exposure to DBCP. reproductive system problems that they allegedly
suffered.
ISSUE: Whether the Philippine court was the to be commenced and tried in the appropriate court,
convenient forum to decide the dispute? where any of the plaintiffs or defendants resides, or in
the case of a non-resident defendant, where he may be
RULING: Yes. The allegations in the complaints found, at the election of the plaintiff.
constitute the cause of action of plaintiff claimants — a
quasi-delict, which under the Civil Code is defined as an In a very real sense, most of the evidence required to
act, or omission which causes damage to another, there prove the claims are available only in the Philippines.
being fault or negligence. 1. Plaintiff claimants are all residents of the
Philippines, either in General Santos City or in
Article 2176 of the Civil Code provides: “Whoever by Davao City.
act or omission causes damage to another, there being 2. The specific areas where they were allegedly
fault or negligence, is obliged to pay for the damage exposed to the chemical DBCP are within the
done. Such fault or negligence, if there is no pre-existing territorial jurisdiction of the courts a quo
contractual relation between the parties, is called a wherein NAVIDA, et al., and ABELLA, et al.,
quasi-delict and is governed by the provisions of this initially filed their claims for damages.
Chapter” 3. The testimonial and documentary evidence
from important witnesses, such as doctors, co-
What determines the jurisdiction of the court is the workers, family members and other members of
nature of the action pleaded as appearing from the the community, would be easier to gather in the
allegations in the complaint. The averments therein and Philippines.
the character of the relief sought are the ones to be 4. Considering the great number of plaintiff
consulted. claimants involved in this case, it is not far-
fetched to assume that voluminous records are
In   this   case,  the   injuries   and involved in the presentation of evidence to
illnesses   they   allegedly support the claim of plaintiff claimants.
suffered   resulted   from   their Thus, these additional factors, coupled with the fact that
exposure   to   DBCP   while   they the alleged cause of action against the defendant
were   employed   in   the   banana companies for damages occurred in the Philippines,
plantations   located   in   the demonstrate that, apart from the RTC of General Santos
City and the RTC of Davao City having jurisdiction over
Philippines  or   while   they   were the subject matter in the instant civil cases, they are,
residing   within   the indeed, the convenient fora for trying these cases.
agricultural areas also located
in the Philippines. The factual This is in consonance with the lex loci delicti commisi
theory in determining the situs of a tort, which states that
allegations   in   the   Amended the law of the place where the alleged wrong was
Joint­Complaints   all   point   to committed will govern the action.
their   cause   of   action,   which
undeniably  occurred   in   the Court GRANTS the petitions for review on certiorari
and REMAND the records of this case to the respective
Philippines.  The RTC of General Regional Trial Courts of origin for further and
Santos   City   and   the   RTC   of appropriate proceedings in line with the ruling that said
Davao   City   obviously   have courts have jurisdiction over the subject matter of the
reasonable   basis   to   assume amended complaints.
jurisdiction over the cases. The   Court   likewise  GRANTS  the
It is, therefore, error on the part of the courts a quo when
they dismissed the cases on the ground of lack of motion   filed   by   Del   Monte   to
jurisdiction on the mistaken assumption that the cause of withdraw   its   petition   in   G.R.
action took place abroad and had occurred outside and No.   127856.   In   view   of   the
beyond the territorial boundaries of the Philippines,. previous grant of the motion to
Certainly, the cases below are not criminal cases where withdraw   the   petition   in   G.R.
territoriality, or the situs of the act complained of, would No.   125598,   both   G.R.   Nos.
be determinative of jurisdiction and venue for trial of 127856   and   125598   are
cases. In personal civil actions, such as claims for considered  CLOSED   AND
payment of damages, the Rules of Court allow the action
TERMINATED. Nippon moved to dismiss arguing that the ICA had
been perfected in Japan and executed by and between
Japanese nationals. They asserted that the claim for
18. KAZUHIRO HASEGAWA & NIPPON
improper pre-termination of respondent's ICA could
ENGINEERING CONSULTANTS CO., V. MINORU
only be heard and ventilated in the proper courts of
KITAMURA
Japan following the principles of lex loci celebrationis
Doctrine: Where the only issue in the case is that of
and lex contractus.
jurisdiction, choice-of-law rules are not only
inapplicable but also not yet called for; Before
In the meantime, the DPWH approved Nippon's request
determining which law should apply, first there should
for the replacement of Kitamura by a certain Y. Kotake
exist a conflict of laws situation requiring the
as project manager of the BBRI Project.
application of the conflict of laws rules.

FACTS: The   RTC   denied   the   motion   to


Nippon Engineering Consultants, a Japanese consultancy dismiss   on   the   premise   that
firm providing technical and management support in the matters   connected   with   the
infrastructure projects of foreign governments, entered performance   of   contracts   are
into an Independent Contractor Agreement (ICA)
with respondent Minoru Kitamura, a Japanese national regulated by the law prevailing
permanently residing in the Philippines. at the place of performance.
The CA ruled, among others, that the principle of lex
The agreement provides that respondent was to extend loci celebrationis was not applicable to the case, because
professional services to Nippon for a year starting nowhere in the pleadings was the validity of the written
April 1, 1999. Nippon then assigned respondent to work agreement put in issue. The CA thus declared that the
as the project manager of the Southern Tagalog Access trial court was correct in applying instead the principle
Road (STAR) Project in the Philippines, following the of lex loci solutionis.
company's consultancy contract with the Philippine
Government. Asserting that the RTC of Lipa City is an inconvenient
forum, petitioners question its jurisdiction to hear and
When the STAR Project was near completion, the resolve the civil case for specific performance and
Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) damages filed by the respondent. The ICA subject of the
engaged the consultancy services of Nippon, this time litigation was entered into and perfected in Tokyo, Japan,
for the detailed engineering and construction supervision by Japanese nationals, and written wholly in the
of the Bongabon-Baler Road Improvement (BBRI) Japanese language. Thus, petitioners posit that local
Project. MINORU KITAMURA was named as the courts have no substantial relationship to the parties
project manager in the contract’s aappendix. following the state of the most significant relationship
rule in Private International Law.
Kazuhiro Hasegawa, Nippon's general manager for its
International Division, informed respondent that the ISSUE: Whether the subject matter jurisdiction of
company had no more intention of automatically Philippine courts in civil cases for specific performance
renewing his ICA. His services would be engaged by and damages involving contracts executed outside the
the company only up to the substantial completion of country by foreign nationals may be assailed on the
the STAR Project on March 31, 2000, just in time for principles of lex loci celebrationis, lex contractus, the
the ICA's expiry. "state of the most significant relationship rule," or forum
non conveniens?
Threatened with impending unemployment, respondent,
through his lawyer, requested a negotiation conference RULING: The power to exercise jurisdiction does not
and demanded that he be assigned to the BBRI project. automatically give a state constitutional authority to
apply forum law. While jurisdiction and the choice of
Nippon insisted that respondent's contract was for a the lex fori will often coincide, the "minimum
fixed term that had already expired and refused to contacts" for one do not always provide the necessary
negotiate for the renewal of the ICA. "significant contacts" for the other. The question of
whether the law of a state can be applied to a transaction
As he was not able to generate a positive response from is different from the question of whether the courts of
the petitioners, respondent consequently initiated a case that state have jurisdiction to enter a judgment.
for specific performance and damages with the RTC
of Lipa City. There are three consecutive phases involved in judicial
resolution of conflicts-of-laws problems, namely:
(1) jurisdiction Necessarily, as the only issue in this case is that of
(2) choice of law, and jurisdiction, choice-of-law rules are not only
(3) recognition and enforcement of judgments. inapplicable but also not yet called for.

In this case, only the first phase is at issue — Further, petitioners' premature invocation of choice-of-
jurisdiction. Jurisdiction, however, has various aspects. law rules is exposed by the fact that they have not yet
For a court to validly exercise its power to adjudicate a pointed out any conflict between the laws of Japan and
controversy, it must have jurisdiction over the plaintiff or ours. Before determining which law should apply,
the petitioner, over the defendant or the respondent, over first there should exist a conflict of laws situation
the subject matter, over the issues of the case and, in requiring the application of the conflict of laws rules.
cases involving property, over the res or the thing which Also, when the law of a foreign country is invoked to
is the subject of the litigation. In assailing the trial court's provide the proper rules for the solution of a case, the
jurisdiction herein, petitioners are actually referring to existence of such law must be pleaded and proved.
subject matter jurisdiction.
It should be noted that when a conflicts case, one
In the instant case, petitioners, in their motion to involving a foreign element, is brought before a court or
dismiss, do not claim that the trial court is not administrative agency, there are three alternatives open
properly vested by law with jurisdiction to hear the to the latter in disposing of it:
subject controversy for, case for specific performance (1) dismiss the case, either because of lack of
and damages is one not capable of pecuniary estimation jurisdiction or refusal to assume jurisdiction
and is properly cognizable by the RTC of Lipa City. over the case;
What they rather raise as grounds to question subject (2) assume jurisdiction over the case and apply
matter jurisdiction are the principles of lex loci the internal law of the forum; or
celebrationis and lex contractus, and the "state of the (3) assume jurisdiction over the case and take
most significant relationship rule." into account or apply the law of some other
State or States. The court's power to hear cases
The Court finds the invocation of these grounds and controversies is derived from the
unsound. DCASIT Lex loci celebrationis relates to the Constitution and the laws. While it may choose
"law of the place of the ceremony" or the law of the to recognize laws of foreign nations, the court is
place where a contract is made. not limited by foreign sovereign law short of
treaties or other formal agreements, even in
The doctrine of lex contractus or lex loci contractus matters regarding rights provided by foreign
means the " law of the place where a contract is sovereigns.
executed or to be performed." It controls the nature, Neither can the other ground raised, forum non
construction, and validity of the contract and it may conveniens, be used to deprive the trial court of its
pertain to the law voluntarily agreed upon by the parties jurisdiction herein. FIRST, it is not a proper basis for a
or the law intended by them either expressly or motion to dismiss because Section 1, Rule 16 of the
implicitly. Rules of Court does not include it as a ground.

Under the "state of the most significant relationship SECOND, whether a suit should be entertained or
rule," to ascertain what state law to apply to a dispute, dismissed on the basis of the said doctrine depends
the court should determine which state has the most largely upon the facts of the particular case and is
substantial connection to the occurrence and the addressed to the sound discretion of the trial court. In
parties. In a case involving a contract, the court should this case, the RTC decided to assume jurisdiction.
consider where the contract was made, was negotiated,
was to be performed, and the domicile, place of THIRD, the propriety of dismissing a case based on this
business, or place of incorporation of the parties. This principle requires factual determination. Hence, this
rule takes into account several contacts and evaluates conflicts principle is more properly considered a
them according to their relative importance with respect matter of defense .
to the particular issue to be resolved.
The   RTC   is   vested   by   law   with
Since these three principles in conflict of laws make the power to entertain and hear
reference to the law applicable to a dispute, they are
rules proper for the second phase, the choice of law. the   civil   case.   Petition   for
They determine which state's law is to be applied in review on certiorari is DENIED
resolving the substantive issues of a conflicts problem.
19.  Manufacturers Hanover Trust
Co.   and/or   Chemical   Bank   v. Bank’s   Motion   for   Partial
Rafael Guerrero Summary Judgment. Her affidavit
(Walden Affidavit/New York Law) stated   that   Guerrero’s   NY   bank
Doctrine:  Foreign   law   and account   stipulated   that   the
jurisprudence   are   not   a   matter governing   law   is   NY   law   and
of   judicial   notice.   They   must that   this   law   bars   all   of
be duly alleged and proven. Guerrero’s claims except actual
damages.   The   Philippine
Facts:  On   May   17,   1994, Consular   Office   in   NY
respondent   Rafael   Guerrero authenticated the affidavit.
filed   a   complaint   for   damages RTC   denied   the   Bank’s   Motion
against   petitioner for   Partial   Summary   Judgment
Manufacturers   Hanover   Trust   Co and   its   motion   for
and/or   Chemical   Bank   with   the reconsideration   on   March   6,
RTC   of   Manila.   Guerrero   sought 1996,   and   July   17,   1996,
payment   of   damages   allegedly respectively.   The   Bank   filed   a
for   (1)   illegally   withheld petition   for   certiorari   and
taxes charged against interests prohibition   with   the   CA
on   his   checking   account   with assailing   the   RTC   orders.   In
the   Bank;   (2)   a   returned   check its   decision   dated   August   24,
worth   $18,000   due   to   signature 1998,   the   CA   dismissed   the
verification   problems;   and   (3) petition. On December 14, 1998,
unauthorized   conversion   of   his the CA denied the Bank’s motion
account. for reconsideration.
On   September   1,   1995,   the   Bank The CA sustained the RTC orders
filed   its   answer   alleging   that denying   the   motion.   The   CA
by   stipulation   Guerrero’s ruled that the Walden affidavit
account is governed by New York does not serve as proof of the
law   and   this   law   does   not New   York   law   and   jurisprudence
permit any of Guerrero’s claims relied   on   by   the   Bank   to
except   actual   damages. support   its   motion.   The   CA
Subsequently,   the   Bank   filed   a considered the New York law and
Motion   for   Partial   Summary jurisprudence   as   public
Judgment   seeking   the   dismissal documents   defined   in   Section
of   Guerrero’s   claims   for 19,   Rule   132   of   the   Rules   on
consequential,   nominal, Evidence.   The   CA   opined   that
temperate,   moral   and   exemplary Section   24,   Rule   132   should   be
damages   as   well   as   attorney’s followed   in   proving   foreign
fees on the same ground alleged law.
in   its   answer.   The   Bank The   CA   likewise   rejected   the
contended that the trial should Bank’s argument that Rule 34 of
be   limited   to   the   issue   of the old Rules of Court (Rule 35
actual   damages.   Guerrero in the new ROC) allows the Bank
opposed the motion. to   move   with   the   supporting
The affidavit of Alyssa Walden, Walden   affidavit   for   partial
a   NY   attorney,   supported   the summary   judgment   in   its   favor.
The   CA   clarified   that   the constitute   a   genuine   issue   for
Walden   affidavit   is   not   the trial.
supporting   affidavit   referred A   perusal   of   the   pleadings
to in Rule 34 that would prove would   show   that   there   are
the   lack   of   genuine   issue genuine   issues   of   fact   that
between   the   parties.   The   CA necessitate   formal   trial.
concluded   that   even   if   the Guerrero’s complaint before the
Walden   affidavit   is   used   for RTC   contains   a   statement   of
purposes   of   summary   judgment, ultimate   facts   on   which   he
the Bank must still comply with relies   for   his   claim   for
the   procedure   by   the   Rules   to damages,   while   the   Answer   of
prove foreign law.  the   Bank   contains   specific
denials   and   affirmative
Issue:  Whether   or   not   the defenses.
Walden   Affidavit   may   serve   as True,   the   court   can   determine
substantial   proof   of   New   York whether   there   are   genuine
Law and jurisprudence ­ NO issues   in   a   case   based   merely
on   the   affidavits   or   counter­
Ruling:  The   petition   is   devoid affidavits   submitted   by   the
of merit. parties   to   the   court.   However,
A   court   may   grant   a   summary as   correctly   ruled   by   the   CA,
judgment   to   settle the   Bank’s   motion   for   partial
expeditiously   a   case   if,   on summary   judgment   as   supported
motion   of   either   party,   there by   the   Walden   affidavit   does
appears   from   the   pleadings, not demonstrate that Guerrero’s
depositions,   admissions,   and claims are sham, fictitious, or
affidavits   that   no   important contrived.   On   the   contrary,
issues   of   fact   are   involved, such   affidavit   shows   that   the
except   the   amount   of   damages. facts   and   material   allegations
In such event, the moving party as   pleaded   by   the   parties   are
is entitled to a judgment as a disputed   and   there   are
matter of law. substantial   triable   issues
In   a   motion   for   summary necessitating formal trial.
judgment,   the   crucial   question There   can   be   no   summary
is:   are   the   issues   raised   in judgment   where   questions   of
the pleadings  genuine, sham, or fact   are   in   issue   or   where
fictitious,   as   shown   by material   allegations   of   the
affidavits,   depositions   or pleadings   are   in   dispute.   The
admissions   accompanying   the resolution of whether a foreign
motion? law allows only the recovery of
A   genuine   issue   means   an   issue actual damages is a question of
of   fact   which   calls   for   the fact as far as the trial court
presentation   of   evidence   as is concerned since foreign laws
distinguished   from   an   issue do   not   prove   themselves   in   our
which   is   fictitious   or courts.   They   are   not   a   matter
contrived   so   as   not   to of   judicial   notice.   Like   any
other   fact,   they   must   be the SC considered the testimony under oath of
alleged   and   proven.   Certainly, an attorney-at-law of San Francisco, California,
the   conflicting   allegations   as who quoted verbatim a section of the
to   whether   New   York   law   or California Civil Code, and who stated that the
Philippine   law   applies   to same was in force at the time the obligations
Guerrero’s   claims   present   a were contracted. Accordingly, the Supreme
clear   dispute   on   material Court also held in the case of Collector of
allegations   which   can   only   be Internal Revenue v. Fisher that the Tax Court
resolved   by   a   trial   on   the was correct in considering the pertinent law of
merits.  California as proved by the respondents’
Under   Section   24   of   Rule   132, witness. In this case, the counsel for respondent
testified that he was an active member of the
the   record   of   public   documents
California Bar, and that he is familiar with the
of   a   sovereign   authority   or
revenue and taxation laws of the State of
tribunal   may   be   proved   by   (1)
California.
an official publication thereof The Bank, however, cannot rely on Willamette
or   (2)   a   copy   attested   by   the Iron and Steel Works v. Muzzal or Collector
officer   having   the   legal of Internal Revenue v. Fisher to support its
custody   thereof.   Such   official cause. These cases involved attorneys
publication   or   copy   must   be testifying in open court during the trial in the
accompanied,   if   the   record   is Philippines and quoting the particular foreign
not   kept   in   the   Philippines, laws sought to be established. On the other
with   a   certificate   that   the hand, the Walden affidavit was taken
attesting officer has the legal abroad ex parte and the affiant never
custody   thereof.   The testified in open court. The Walden affidavit
certificate   may   be   issued   by cannot be considered as proof of New York law
any   of   the   authorized on damages not only because it is self-serving
Philippine   embassy   or   consular but also because it does not state the specific
officials   stationed   in   the New York law on damages.
foreign   country   in   which   the The Walden affidavit states conclusions from
record   is   kept,   and the affiant’s personal interpretation and opinion
authenticated   by   the   seal   of of the facts of the case vis a vis the alleged
his   office.   The   attestation laws and jurisprudence without citing any law
must   state,   in   substance,   that in particular. The citations in the Walden
the   copy   is   a   correct   copy   of affidavit of various U.S. court decisions do not
constitute proof of the official records or
the   original,   or   a   specific
decisions of the U.S. courts. While the Bank
part   thereof,   as   the   case   may
attached copies of some of the U.S. court
be,   and   must   be   under   the
decisions cited in the Walden affidavit, these
official   seal   of   the   attesting copies do not comply with Section 24 of Rule
officer. 132 on proof of official records or decisions of
Certain exceptions to this rule were recognized foreign courts. Thus, the Bank has only
in Willamette Iron and Steel Works v. Muzzal alleged, but has not proved, what New York
and in Collector of Internal Revenue v. Fisher. law and jurisprudence are on the matters at
The Supreme Court held in Willaemette Iron v. issue.
Muzzal, that Section 25, Rule 132 of the Next, the Bank makes much of Guerrero’s
Revised Rules of Court does not exclude the failure to submit an opposing affidavit to the
presentation of other competent evidence to Walden affidavit. However, the pertinent
prove the existence of foreign law. In this case,
provision of Section 3, Rule 35 of the old Rules of the children of Orlando from the first
of Court did not make the submission of an marriage, filed a similar petition with the RTC.
opposing affidavit mandatory, it only states that These 2 cases were subsequently consolidated.
the adverse party MAY serve opposing Petitioner prayed for the dismissal of the
affidavits. It is only permissive, not mandatory. petition filed by respondent on the ground of
Guerrero cannot be said to have admitted the litis pendentia, considering that the same estate
averments in the Bank’s motion for partial was already pending. Respondent alleged that
summary judgment and the Walden affidavit petitioner was not an interested person
just because he failed to file an opposing qualified to file for the issuance of letters of
affidavit. Guerrero opposed the motion for administration of the estate of Orlando.
partial summary judgment, although he did not Respondent also alleged that a criminal case
present an opposing affidavit. Guerrero may for bigamy was filed against petitioner before
not have presented an opposing affidavit, as Branch 54 of the RTC of Alaminos,
there was no need for one, because the Walden Pangasinan. Apparently, it was Felicitas Amor
affidavit did not establish what the Bank that filed the complaint of bigamy, alleging that
intended to prove. The Bank still had the petitioner contracted a second marriage to
burden of proving New York law and Orlando despite having been married to one
jurisprudence even if Guerrero did not present Eusebio Bristol on December 12, 1959.
an opposing affidavit. As the party moving for However, the RTC acquitted the petitioner of
summary judgment, the Bank has the burden of bigamy, and ruled that since the deceased was a
clearly demonstrating the absence of any divorced American citizen, and since that
genuine issue of fact and that any doubt as to divorce is not recognized under Philippine
the existence of such issue is resolved against jurisdiction, the marriage between him and
the movant. petitioner was not valid. Furthermore, the RTC
There being substantial triable issues between took note of the action for declaration of nullity
the parties, the courts a quo correctly denied then pending action with the trial court of
the Bank’s motion for partial summary Dagupan City filed by Felicitas Amor against
judgment. the deceased and petitioner. It considered the
pending action to be a prejudicial question in
20. Catalan v. Catalan-Lee determining the guilt of petitioner for the crime
(Letters of Administration) of bigamy. Finally, the RTC found that
Doctrine: Aliens may obtain divorces abroad, petitioner had never been married to Eusebio
which may be recognized in the Philippines, Bristol in the first place.
provided they are duly proven and are valid The RTC subsequently dismissed the petition
according to their national law. for the issuance of letters of administration
filed by petitioner and granted that of private
Facts: Orlando B. Catalan was a naturalized respondent. Contrary to the findings in the
American citizen. After allegedly obtaining a criminal case, the RTC held that the marriage
divorce in the USA from his first wife, Felicitas between petitioner and Eusebio Bristol was
Amor, he contracted a second marriage with valid and subsisting when she married Orlando.
petitioner herein. Without expounding, it reasoned further that
When Orlando died intestate in the Philippines her acquittal in the previous bigamy case was
on November 18, 2004, petitioner herein filed fatal to her cause. Thus, the trial court held that
with the RTC of Dagupan City a petition for petitioner was not an interested party who may
the issuance of letters of administration for her file such petition.
appointment as administratrix of the intestate The CA affirmed the decision of the RTC. The
estate of Orlando. While such case was CA held that petitioner undertook the wrong
pending, respondent Louella Catalan-Lee, one remedy. She should have instead filed a
petition for review rather than a petition for “very well lose her right to inherit from
certiorari, but the CA continued to decide the him.”
case on its merits. The CA held that as to the In Pilapil v. Ibay-Somera, we recognized the
issue of litis pendentia, it is not applicable to divorce obtained by the respondent in his
this case because a petition for letters of country, Germany. There we stated that
administration is a special proceeding, wherein divorce and its legal effects may be
respondent was not a party to the case filed by recognized in the Philippines insofar as
petitioner, and petitioner was not a party to the respondent is concerned in view of the
case filed by respondent. Furthermore, CA held nationality principle in our civil law on the
that the fact that the petitioner had been status of persons. We held that the divorce
charged with bigamy and was acquitted has not obtained by Lorenzo H. Llorente from his
been disputed by the petitioner. The deduction first wife Paula was valid and recognized in
of the trial court that the acquittal of the this jurisdiction as a matter of comity.
petitioner in said case negates the validity of Nonetheless, the fact of divorce must still first
her subsequent marriage with Orlando had not be proven as we have enunciated in Garcia v.
been disproved by her. Recio, to wit:
Issue: Whether or not the divorce obtained by Before a foreign judgment is given
Orlando may be recognized under Philippine presumptive evidentiary value, the document
jurisdiction - YES must first be presented and admitted in
evidence. A divorce obtained abroad is proven
Ruling: It is true that owing to the nationality by the divorce decree itself. Indeed the best
principle embodied in Article 15 of the NCC, evidence of a judgment is the judgment itself.
only Philippine nationals are covered by the The decree purports to be a written act or
policy against absolute divorces, the same record of an act of an official body or tribunal
being considered contrary to our concept of of a foreign country.
public policy and morality. However, aliens Under Sections 24 and 25 of Rule 132, on
may obtain divorces abroad, which may be the other hand, a writing or document may be
recognized in the Philippines, provided they proven as a public or official record of a
are valid according to their national law. In foreign country by either (1) an official
this case, the divorce in Nevada released publication or (2) a copy thereof attested by
private respondent from the marriage from the officer having legal custody of the
the standards of American law, under which document. If the record is not kept in the
divorce dissolves the marriage. Philippines, such copy must be (a)
In Van Dorn v. Romillo, Jr., we held that accompanied by a certificate issued by the
owing to the nationality principle embodied in proper diplomatic or consular officer in the
Article 15 of the NCC, only Philippine Philippine Foreign Service stationed in the
nationals are covered by the policy against foreign country in which the record is kept and
absolute divorces, the same being considered (b) authenticated by the seal of his office.
contrary to our concept of public policy and As  to  the  burden  of  proving
morality. In the same case, the Court ruled that such   divorce,   the   burden   of
aliens may obtain divorces abroad, provided proof lies with the “party who
they are valid according to their national law. alleges the existence of a fact
Citing this landmark case, the Court held in or   thing   necessary   in   the
Quita v. CA, that once proven that prosecution   or   defense   of   an
respondent was no longer a Filipino citizen action.”   In   civil   cases,
when he obtained the divorce from plaintiffs   have   the   burden   of
petitioner, the ruling in Van Dorn would proving   the   material
become applicable and petitioner could allegations   in   their   answer
when   they   introduce   new 132, a writing or document may be proven as a
matters.   It   is   well­settled   in public or official record of a foreign country by
our   jurisdiction   that   our either (1) an official publication or (2) a copy
courts   cannot   take   judicial thereof attested by the officer having legal
notice   of   foreign   laws.   Like custody of the document.
any   other   facts,   they   must   be
alleged and proved. FACTS: The instant case involves the
It appears that the trial court settlement of the estate of Felicisimo T. San
no   longer   required   petitioner Luis, who was the former governor of the
to   prove   the   validity   of Province of Laguna. Felicisimo contracted
Orlando’s   divorce   under   the three marriages. His first marriage was with
Virginia Sulit out of which were born six
laws   of   the   United   States   and
children, namely: Rodolfo, Mila, Edgar, Linda,
the marriage between petitioner
Emilita and Manuel. Virginia predeceased
and   the   deceased.   Thus,   there
Felicisimo.
is   a   need   to   remand   the Five years later, Felicisimo married Merry Lee
proceedings   to   the   trial   court Corwin, with whom he had a son, Tobias.
for   further   reception   of However, on October 15, 1971, Merry Lee, an
evidence   to   establish   the   fact American citizen, filed a Complaint for
of divorce. Divorce before the Family Court of Hawaii,
Should   petitioner   prove   the U.S.A., which issued a Decree Granting
validity of the divorce and the Absolute Divorce and Awarding Child Custody
subsequent   marriage,   she   has on December 14, 1973.
the   preferential   right   to   be On June 20, 1974, Felicisimo married
issued   the   letters   of respondent Felicidad San Luis at Los Angeles,
administration over the estate. California, U.S.A. He had no children with
Otherwise,   letters   of respondent but lived with her for 18 years from
administration may be issued to the time of their marriage up to his death.
respondent, who is undisputedly Thereafter, respondent sought the dissolution
the daughter or next of kin of of their conjugal partnership assets and the
the   deceased,   in   accordance settlement of Felicisimo’s estate. On December
with   Section   6   of   Rule   78   of 17, 1993, she filed a petition for letters of
the Revised Rules of Court. administration before the RTC of Makati
Thus,   it   is   imperative   for   the City.
trial   court   to   first   determine On February 4, 1994, petitioner Rodolfo San
Luis, one of the children of Felicisimo by his
the   validity   of   the   divorce   to
first marriage, filed a motion to dismiss on the
ascertain the rightful party to
grounds of improper venue and failure to state
be   issued   the   letters   of
a cause of action. Rodolfo claimed that the
administration   over   the   estate petition for letters of administration should
of Orlando B. Catalan. have been filed in the Province of Laguna
because this was Felicisimo’s place of
21. EDGAR SAN LUIS v FELICIDAD SAN residence prior to his death. He further claimed
LUIS that respondent has no legal personality to file
(3 ang asawa ni Gov) the petition because she was only a mistress of
Doctrine: Presentation solely of the divorce Felicisimo since the latter, at the time of his
decree is insufficient and that proof of its death, was still legally married to Merry Lee.
authenticity and due execution must be
presented. Under Sections 24 and 25 of Rule
Respondent submitted documentary evidence returning. However, for purposes of fixing
showing that while Felicisimo exercised the venue under the Rules of Court, the "residence"
powers of his public office in Laguna, he of a person is his personal, actual or physical
regularly went home to their house in New habitation, or actual residence or place of
Alabang Village, Alabang, Metro Manila which abode, which may not necessarily be his legal
they bought sometime in 1982. Further, she residence or domicile provided he resides
presented the decree of absolute divorce to therein with continuity and consistency.
prove that the marriage of Felicisimo to Merry In the instant case, while petitioners
Lee was already dissolved. Thus, she claimed established that Felicisimo was domiciled in
that Felicisimo had the legal capacity to marry Sta. Cruz, Laguna, respondent proved that he
her by virtue of par 2, Article 26 of the Family also maintained a residence in Alabang,
Code and the doctrine laid down in Van Dorn v. Muntinlupa from 1982 up to the time of his
Romillo, Jr. death. Respondent submitted in evidence the
On September 12, 1995, the trial court Deed of Absolute showing that the deceased
dismissed the petition for letters of purchased the aforesaid property. She also
administration. It held that there was an presented billing statements from the
improper venue and respondent was without Philippine Heart Center and Chinese General
legal capacity because her marriage with Hospital indicating the address of Felicisimo at
Felicisimo was bigamous, thus, void ab initio. "100 San Juanico, Ayala Alabang,
CA REVERSED! Muntinlupa." Respondent also presented proof
of membership of the deceased in the Ayala
ISSUES: (1) whether venue was properly laid, Alabang Village Association and Ayala
and (2) whether respondent has legal capacity Country Club, Inc., letter-envelopes sent by the
to file the subject petition for letters of deceased’s children to him at his Alabang
administration. address, and the deceased’s calling
cards stating that his home/city address is at
RULING: Venue is properly laid and "100 San Juanico, Ayala Alabang Village,
respondent has legal capacity. Muntinlupa" while his office/provincial
1) In the case of Garcia Fule v. Court of address is in "Provincial Capitol, Sta. Cruz,
Appeals, we laid down the doctrinal rule for Laguna."
determining the residence for purposes of From the foregoing, we find that Felicisimo
fixing the venue of the settlement of his estate: was a resident of Alabang, Muntinlupa for
“The term "resides" connotes ex vi termini purposes of fixing the venue of the settlement
"actual residence" as distinguished from "legal of his estate. Consequently, the subject petition
residence or domicile." This term "resides," for letters of administration was validly filed in
like the terms "residing" and "residence," is the Regional Trial Court of Makati which has
elastic and should be interpreted in the light of territorial jurisdiction over Alabang,
the object or purpose of the statute or rule in Muntinlupa.
which it is employed. In other words, "resides" 2) Anent the issue of respondent Felicidad’s
should be viewed or understood in its popular legal personality to file the petition for letters
sense, meaning, the personal, actual or physical of administration, we must first resolve the
habitation of a person, actual residence or place issue of whether a Filipino who is divorced by
of abode. It signifies physical presence in a his alien spouse abroad may validly remarry
place and actual stay thereat." under the Civil Code, considering that
In election cases, "residence" and "domicile" Felicidad’s marriage to Felicisimo was
are treated as synonymous terms, that is, the solemnized on June 20, 1974, or before the
fixed permanent residence to which when Family Code took effect on August 3, 1988. In
absent, one has the intention of resolving this issue, we need not retroactively
apply the provisions of the Family Code, foreign country in which the record is kept and
particularly Art. 26, par. (2) considering that (b) authenticated by the seal of his office.
there is sufficient jurisprudential basis allowing With regard to respondent’s marriage to
us to rule in the affirmative. Felicisimo allegedly solemnized in California,
The case of Van Dorn v. Romillo, Jr. involved a U.S.A., she submitted photocopies of the
marriage between a foreigner and his Filipino Marriage Certificate and the annotated text of
wife, which marriage was subsequently the Family Law Act of California which
dissolved through a divorce obtained abroad by purportedly show that their marriage was done
the latter. Claiming that the divorce was not in accordance with the said law. As stated
valid under Philippine law, the alien spouse in Garcia, however, the Court cannot take
alleged that his interest in the properties from judicial notice of foreign laws as they must be
their conjugal partnership should be protected. alleged and proved.
The Court, however, recognized the validity of Therefore, this case should be remanded to the
the divorce and held that the alien spouse had trial court for further reception of evidence on
no interest in the properties acquired by the the divorce decree obtained by Merry Lee and
Filipino wife after the divorce. the marriage of respondent and Felicisimo.
As to the effect of the divorce on the Filipino Even assuming that Felicisimo was not
wife, the Court ruled that she should no longer capacitated to marry respondent in 1974,
be considered married to the alien spouse. nevertheless, we find that the latter has the
Further, she should not be required to perform legal personality to file the subject petition for
her marital duties and obligations. letters of administration, as she may be
Applying the above doctrine in the instant case, considered the co-owner of Felicisimo as
the divorce decree allegedly obtained by Merry regards the properties that were acquired
Lee which absolutely allowed Felicisimo to through their joint efforts during their
remarry, would have vested Felicidad with the cohabitation.
legal personality to file the present petition as In view of the foregoing, we find that
Felicisimo’s surviving spouse. However, the respondent’s legal capacity to file the subject
records show that there is insufficient petition for letters of administration may arise
evidence to prove the validity of the divorce from her status as the surviving wife of
obtained by Merry Lee as well as the marriage Felicisimo or as his co-owner under Article
of respondent and Felicisimo under the laws of 144 of the Civil Code or Article 148 of the
the U.S.A. In Garcia v. Recio, the Court laid Family Code. DENIED.
down the specific guidelines for pleading and
proving foreign law and divorce judgments. It 22. MINORU FUJIKI v MARIA PAZ
held that presentation solely of the divorce GALELA MARINAY
decree is insufficient and that proof of its (Japanese Bigamy)
authenticity and due execution must be Doctrine: For Philippine courts to recognize a
presented. Under Sections 24 and 25 of Rule foreign judgment relating to the status of a
132, a writing or document may be proven as a marriage where one of the parties is a citizen
public or official record of a foreign country by of a foreign country, the petitioner only needs
either (1) an official publication or (2) a copy to prove the foreign judgment as a fact under
thereof attested by the officer having legal the Rules of Court. Petitioner may prove the
custody of the document. If the record is not Japanese Family Court judgment through (1)
kept in the Philippines, such copy must be (a) an official publication or (2) a certification or
accompanied by a certificate issued by the copy attested by the officer who has custody of
proper diplomatic or consular officer in the the judgment. If the office which has custody is
Philippine foreign service stationed in the in a foreign country such as Japan, the
certification may be made by the proper
diplomatic or consular officer of the Philippine Fujiki moved that the Order be reconsidered.
foreign service in Japan and authenticated by He argued that A.M. No. 02-11-10-SC
the seal of office. contemplated ordinary civil actions for
declaration of nullity and annulment of
FACTS: Petitioner Minoru Fujiki is a Japanese marriage. Thus, A.M. No. 02-11-10-SC does
national who married respondent Maria Paz not apply.
Galela Marinay in the Philippines on 2004. The The Solicitor General agreed with the petition.
marriage did not sit well with petitioner’s He prayed that the RTC’s "pronouncement that
parents. Thus, Fujiki could not bring his wife to the petitioner failed to comply with A.M. No.
Japan where he resides. Eventually, they lost 02-11-10-SC be set aside" and that the case be
contact with each other. reinstated in the trial court for further
In 2008, Marinay met another Japanese, proceedings. The Solicitor General argued that
Shinichi Maekara. Without the first marriage Fujiki, as the spouse of the first marriage, is an
being dissolved, Marinay and Maekara were injured party who can sue to declare the
married on 2008 in Quezon City, Philippines. bigamous marriage between Marinay and
Maekara brought Marinay to Japan. However, Maekara void. The Solicitor General
Marinay allegedly suffered physical abuse from cited Juliano-Llave v. Republic which held that
Maekara. She left Maekara and started to Section 2(a) of A.M. No. 02-11-10-SC does not
contact Fujiki.3 apply in cases of bigamy.
Fujiki and Marinay met in Japan and they were
able to reestablish their relationship. In 2010, The Issues
Fujiki helped Marinay obtain a judgment from (1) Whether the A.M. No. 02-11-10-SC is
a family court in Japan which declared the applicable.
marriage between Marinay and Maekara void (2) Whether a husband or wife of a prior
on the ground of bigamy. On 14 January 2011, marriage can file a petition to recognize a
Fujiki filed a petition in the RTC entitled: foreign judgment nullifying the subsequent
"Judicial Recognition of Foreign Judgment (or marriage between his or her spouse and a
Decree of Absolute Nullity of Marriage)." foreign citizen on the ground of bigamy.
Fujiki prayed that (1) the Japanese Family (3) Whether the Regional Trial Court can
Court judgment be recognized; (2) that the recognize the foreign judgment in a proceeding
bigamous marriage between Marinay and for cancellation or correction of entries in the
Maekara be declared void under the Family Civil Registry under Rule 108 of the Rules of
Code of the Philippines; and (3) for the RTC to Court.
direct the Local Civil Registrar of Quezon City
to annotate the Japanese Family Court RULING: 1) not applicable 2) YES 3)YES
judgment on the Certificate of Marriage The Rule on Declaration of Absolute Nullity of
between Marinay and Maekara and to endorse Void Marriages and Annulment of Voidable
such annotation to the Office of the Marriages (A.M. No. 02-11-10-SC) does not
Administrator and Civil Registrar General in apply in a petition to recognize a foreign
the NSO. judgment relating to the status of a marriage
RTC immediately issued an Order dismissing where one of the parties is a citizen of a
the petition and withdrawing the case from its foreign country. Moreover, in Juliano-Llave v.
active civil docket. The trial court based its Republic, this Court held that the rule in A.M.
dismissal on Section 5(4) of A.M. No. 02-11- No. 02-11-10-SC that only the husband or wife
10-SC. Apparently, the RTC took the view that can file a declaration of nullity or annulment of
only "the husband or the wife," in this case marriage "does not apply if the reason behind
either Maekara or Marinay, can file the petition the petition is bigamy."
to declare their marriage void, and not Fujiki.
I. For Philippine courts to recognize a foreign which has been recorded in the civil register
judgment relating to the status of a marriage xxx
where one of the parties is a citizen of a foreign Fujiki has the personality to file a petition to
country, the petitioner only needs to prove the recognize the Japanese Family Court judgment
foreign judgment as a fact under the Rules of nullifying the marriage between Marinay and
Court. To be more specific, a copy of the Maekara on the ground of bigamy because the
foreign judgment may be admitted in evidence judgment concerns his civil status as married to
and proven as a fact under Rule 132, Sections Marinay. For the same reason he has the
24 and 25, in relation to Rule 39, Section 48(b) personality to file a petition under Rule 108 to
of the Rules of Court. Petitioner may prove the cancel the entry of marriage between Marinay
Japanese Family Court judgment through (1) and Maekara in the civil registry on the basis of
an official publication or (2) a certification or the decree of the Japanese Family Court.
copy attested by the officer who has custody of There is no doubt that the prior spouse has a
the judgment. If the office which has custody is personal and material interest in maintaining
in a foreign country such as Japan, the the integrity of the marriage he contracted and
certification may be made by the proper the property relations arising from it. There is
diplomatic or consular officer of the Philippine also no doubt that he is interested in the
foreign service in Japan and authenticated by cancellation of an entry of a bigamous
the seal of office. marriage in the civil registry, which
To hold that A.M. No. 02-11-10-SC applies to a compromises the public record of his marriage.
petition for recognition of foreign judgment The interest derives from the substantive right
would mean that the trial court and the parties of the spouse not only to preserve (or dissolve,
should follow its provisions, including the form in limited instances) his most intimate human
and contents of the petition, the service of relation, but also to protect his property
summons, the investigation of the public interests that arise by operation of law the
prosecutor, the setting of pre-trial, the trial and moment he contracts marriage. These property
the judgment of the trial court. This is absurd interests in marriage include the right to be
because it will litigate the case anew. It will supported "in keeping with the financial
defeat the purpose of recognizing foreign capacity of the family" and preserving the
judgments, which is "to limit repetitive property regime of the marriage.
litigation on claims and issues." The Section 2(a) of A.M. No. 02-11-10-SC does not
interpretation of the RTC is tantamount to preclude a spouse of a subsisting marriage to
relitigating the case on the merits. In Mijares v. question the validity of a subsequent marriage
Rañada, this Court explained that "if every on the ground of bigamy. On the contrary,
judgment of a foreign court were reviewable on when Section 2(a) states that "[a] petition for
the merits, the plaintiff would be forced back declaration of absolute nullity of void marriage
on his/her original cause of action, rendering may be filed solely by the husband or the
immaterial the previously concluded wife"—it refers to the husband or the wife of
litigation." the subsisting marriage. Under Article 35(4)
Philippine courts exercise limited review on of the Family Code, bigamous marriages are
foreign judgments. Courts are not allowed to void from the beginning. Thus, the parties in a
delve into the merits of a foreign judgment. bigamous marriage are neither the husband nor
the wife under the law.
II. Rule 108, Section 1 of the Rules of Court
states: Who may file petition. — Any III. To be sure, a petition for correction or
person interested in any act, event, order or cancellation of an entry in the civil registry
decree concerning the civil status of persons cannot substitute for an action to invalidate a
marriage. However, this does not apply in a
petition for correction or cancellation of a civil the Philippines; and (2) whether any alleging
registry entry based on the recognition of a party is able to prove an extrinsic ground to
foreign judgment annulling a marriage where repel the foreign judgment, i.e. want of
one of the parties is a citizen of the foreign jurisdiction, want of notice to the party,
country. There is neither circumvention of the collusion, fraud, or clear mistake of law or fact.
substantive and procedural safeguards of If there is neither inconsistency with public
marriage under Philippine law, nor of the policy nor adequate proof to repel the
jurisdiction of Family Courts under R.A. No. judgment, Philippine courts should, by default,
8369. A recognition of a foreign judgment is recognize the foreign judgment as part of the
not an action to nullify a marriage. It is an comity of nations. The recognition of the
action for Philippine courts to recognize the foreign judgment nullifying a bigamous
effectivity of a foreign judgment, which marriage is a subsequent event that establishes
presupposes a case which was already tried a new status, right and fact that needs to be
and decided under foreign law. The reflected in the civil registry. Otherwise, there
procedure in A.M. No. 02-11-10-SC does not will be an inconsistency between the
apply in a petition to recognize a foreign recognition of the effectivity of the foreign
judgment annulling a bigamous marriage judgment and the public records in the
where one of the parties is a citizen of the Philippines. GRANTED.
foreign country.
Under the second paragraph of Article 26 of the 23. LWV Construction vs Dupo 
Family Code, Philippine courts are empowered (Severance   pay   equals   service
to correct a situation where the Filipino spouse award)
is still tied to the marriage while the foreign Doctrine: Article 291 of the LC
spouse is free to marry. Moreover, (3­yr   prescriptive   period)
notwithstanding Article 26 of the Family Code, covers   all   money   claims   from
Philippine courts already have jurisdiction to employer­employee   relationship
extend the effect of a foreign judgment in the and   is   broader   in   scope   than
Philippines to the extent that the foreign claims   arising   from   a   specific
judgment does not contravene domestic public law. It is not limited to money
policy. A critical difference between the case of
claims   recoverable   under   the
a foreign divorce decree and a foreign
Labor Code, but applies also to
judgment nullifying a bigamous marriage is
claims   of   overseas   contract
that bigamy, as a ground for the nullity of
marriage, is fully consistent with Philippine workers.
public policy as expressed in Article 35(4) of
the Family Code and Article 349 of the Revised FACTS: Petitioner,   a   domestic
Penal Code. The Filipino spouse has the option corporation   which   recruits
to undergo full trial by filing a petition for Filipino   workers,   hired
declaration of nullity of marriage under A.M. respondent   as   Civil   Structural
No. 02-11-10-SC, but this is not the only Superintendent   to  work   in Saudi
remedy available to him or her. Philippine Arabia for   its   principal,
courts have jurisdiction to recognize a foreign Mohammad   Al­Mojil
judgment nullifying a bigamous marriage, Group/Establishment
without prejudice to a criminal prosecution for (MMG). Respondent   thereafter
bigamy. signed   his   first   overseas
For this purpose, Philippine courts will only employment   contract,   renewable
determine (1) whether the foreign judgment is after   one   year. It   was   renewed
inconsistent with an overriding public policy in five times.
On   April   1999,   after   his   sixth pay   for   every   year   of   service.
and   last   contract,   respondent In   excess   of   5   years   an
left Saudi Arabia and went on a employee   is   entitled   to   one
vacation   to   the   Philippines. month   pay   for   every   year   of
On May   1999,   respondent service.
informed   MMG,   through   the For   its   part,   petitioner
petitioner,   that   he   needs   to offered  payment  and
extend his vacation because his prescription  as
son   was   hospitalized. He   also defenses. Petitioner   maintained
sought   a   promotion   with   salary that   MMG   pays   its   workers
adjustment. their Service   Award   or
In   reply,   MMG   informed Severance   Pay every   conclusion
respondent   that   his   promotion of   their   Labor   Contracts.   And
is   subject   to   management’s that   based   on   the   payroll,
review;   that   his   services   are respondent   was   already   paid
still   needed;   and   that   his his service   award   or   severance
decision   regarding   his pay for   his   latest   (sixth)
employment   must   be   made   within employment contract.
seven days, otherwise, MMG will Petitioner   added   that   under
be   compelled   to   cancel   his Article   13   of   the   Saudi   Labor
slot. Law,   the   action   to   enforce
On July   1999,   respondent payment   of   the service
resigned.  In   his   letter   to award must   be   filed   within   1
MMG,   he   stated   that   he   should year   from   the   termination   of   a
be   entitled,   as   the   Saudi   Law labor   contract.   Petitioner
stated,   for  a  long   service concluded   that   the   1­year
award  for   the   7   years   of prescriptive   period   had   lapsed
service he has rendered. because   respondent   filed   his
When   he   followed   up   his   claim complaint   on December   11,   2000
for long   service   award, or   one   year   and   seven   months
petitioner   informed   him   that after his sixth contract ended.
MMG   did   not   respond. The   LA,   NLRC   and   upon   appeal,
Thereafter,   respondent   filed   a the   CA   all   ruled   in   favor   of
complaint   for   payment respondent   hence   the   case   at
of service   award against bar.
petitioner before the NLRC.
In   support   of   his   claim, ISSUE:  WON   there   was   already
respondent   averred that:   Under payment   of   the   service   award/
the   Law   of   Saudi   Arabia,   an WON   prescription   already   set
employee   who   rendered   at   least in.
5 years in a company within the
jurisdiction   of Saudi   Arabia,     1.  YES.
RULING:     There   was
is   entitled   to   the   so­ already   payment   of   the   service
called long service award which  
award.
   We   find   that
is known to others as longevity respondents service   award under
pay of   at   least   one   half   month Article   87   of   the   Saudi   Labor
Law   has   already   been   paid. Our otherwise   they   shall   be
computation   will   show   that forever barred.
the severance   pay received   by In Cadalin   v.   POEAs
respondent   was   his service Administrator,   we   held   that
award. Article   291   covers   all   money
Respondent’s   position   paper claims   from   employer­employee
mentioned   how   his   long   service relationship   and   is   broader   in
award   or   longevity   pay   is scope   than   claims   arising   from
computed:   half­month’s   pay   per a   specific   law. It   is   not
year of service and one­month’s limited   to   money   claims
pay   per   year   after   5   years   of recoverable   under   the   Labor
service. Article   87   has   the Code,   but   applies   also   to
same   formula   to   compute   the claims   of   overseas   contract
service award. workers.
The   payroll   submitted   by As   a   general   rule,   a   foreign
petitioner showed that respondent procedural   law   will   not   be
received severance pay of SR2,786 applied   in   the
for   his   sixth   employment forum. Procedural   matters,   such
contract. The   computation   shows as   service   of   process,   joinder
that respondents severance pay of of   actions,   period   and
SR2,786   was   his service requisites   for   appeal,   and   so
award under   Article   87. forth, are governed by the laws
Respondent’s   service   award   for of the forum. This is true even
the   sixth   contract   is if   the   action   is   based   upon   a
equivalent only to half­month’s foreign substantive law
pay   plus   the   proportionate A   law   on   prescription   of
amount   for   the   additional   nine actions   is sui   generis in
days   of   service   he   rendered Conflict   of   Laws   in   the   sense
after one year.  that it may be viewed either as
procedural   or   substantive,
2. NO. Prescription has not yet depending   on   the
set   in.  We   cannot   agree   with characterization   given   such   a
petitioner   that   respondent’s law.
action   has   prescribed   under However,   the   characterization
Article   13   of   the   Saudi   Labor of   a   statute   into   a   procedural
Law. What applies is Article 291 or   substantive   law   becomes
of our Labor Code which reads: irrelevant   when   the   country   of
ART.   291. Money the   forum   has   a  borrowing
claims. All   money   claims statute. Said   statute   has   the
arising   from   employer­ practical   effect   of   treating
employee   relations the   foreign   statute   of
accruing   during   the limitation as one of substance.
effectivity   of   this   Code Section 48 of our Code of Civil
shall   be   filed   within   3 Procedure is of this kind. Said
years   from   the   time   the Section   provides:  If   by   the
cause   of   action   accrued; laws   of   the   country   where   the
cause   of   action   arose,   the law,   all   wly­hired   employees
action   is   barred,   it   is   also undergo   a   probationary   period
barred   in   the   Philippine of one (1) year and are covered
Islands. by Kuwait’s Civil Service Board
HOWEVER,   in   the   light   of   the Employment   Contract   No.   2.
1987   Constitution,   Section   48 Echin   was   terminated,   she   not
[of   the   Code   of   Civil having   passed   the   probationary
Procedure]   cannot   be period.   She   returned   to   the
enforced ex   proprio Philippines shouldering her air
vigore insofar   as   it   ordains fare. She filed before the NLRC
the   application   in   this a   complaint   for   illegal
jurisdiction   of the   one­year dismissal against the NLRC. The
prescriptive period,  as regards NLRC   held   that   Echin   was
the claims in question, because illegally   dismissed.   It   argued
it   would   contravene   the   public on   its   appeal   before   the   CA
policy   on   the   protection   to that   the   Ministry   is   a   foreign
labor. government agency and is immune
Thus,   in   our   considered   view, from suit and such immunity was
respondent’s   complaint   was extended   to   ATCI.   This   was
filed   well   within   the   3­year dismissed   by   the   CA   affirming
prescriptive   period   under the   NLRC   decision.   Hence   this
Article   291   of   our   Labor petition. 
Code. This   point,   however,   has
already   been   mooted   by   our ATCI   argues   that   should   not   be
finding   that   respondents held   liable   because   Echin’   s
service award had been paid. employment   contract
specifically   stipulates   that
24. ATCI vs Echin her   employment   shall   be
Principle:  Doctrine   of governed   by   the   Civil   Service
Processual   Presumption;  The Law   and   Regulations   of   Kuwait.
party   invoking   the   application They   thus   conclude   that   it   was
of a foreign law has the burden patent   error   for   the   labor
of   proving   the   law,   under   the tribunals   and   the   appellate
doctrine   of   processual court   to   apply   the   Labor   Code
presumption; they must not only provisions   governing
be alleged and proven complying probationary   employment   in
with Sections 24 and 25 of Rule deciding   the   present   case.
132. Further, POEA Rules relative to
master   employment   contracts
Facts: accord respect to the "customs,
Echin   was   hired   by   ATCI practices, company policies and
Overseas Corp. (ATCI) in behalf labor   laws   and   legislation   of
of   the   Public   Health   Ministry the   host   country.   And   that
of   Kuwait   (Ministry)   for   the assuming   arguendo   that
position   of   medical Philippine   labor   laws   are
technologist.   Under   Kuwaiti applicable,   given   that   the
foreign   principal   is   a or   labor   arbiter   cannot   take
government   agency   which   is judicial   notice   of   a   foreign
immune from suit, as in fact it law.   He   is   presumed   to   know
did   not   sign   any   document only domestic or forum law. The
agreeing to be held jointly and Philippines   does   not   take
solidarily   liable,   ATCI   cannot judicial   notice   of   foreign
likewise   be   held   liable,   more laws, hence, they must not only
so   since   the   Ministry’s be   alleged;   they   must   be
liability   had   not   been proven. To prove a foreign law,
judicially   determined   as the   party   invoking   it   must
jurisdiction   was   not   acquired present   a   copy   thereof   and
over it. comply   with   Sections   24   and   25
of Rule 132. 
Issues:
Whether or not the CA is erred To   prove   the   Kuwaiti   law,   ATCI
in   affirming   the   ruling   of submitted   the   following:   MOA
NLRC. between Echin and the Ministry,
as   represented   by   ATCI,   which
Held: No. provides   that   the   employee   is
Indeed,   a   contract   freely subject   to   a   probationary
entered   into   is   considered   the period of one (1) year and that
law between the parties who can the   host   country’s   Civil
establish   stipulations, Service   Laws   and   Regulations
clauses,   terms   and   conditions apply;   a   translated   copy
as   they   may   deem   convenient, (Arabic   to   English)   of   the
including   the   laws   which   they termination   letter   to   Echin
wish to govern their respective stating   that   she   did   not   pass
obligations,   as   long   as   they the   probation   terms,   without
are   not   contrary   to   law, specifying   the   grounds
morals,   good   customs,   public therefor, and a translated copy
order   or   public   policy.   It   is of   the   certificate   of
hornbook   principle,   however, termination   certified   by   the
that   the   party   invoking   the Department   of   Foreign   Affairs­
application   of   a   foreign   law Office   of   Consular   Affairs
has   the   burden   of   proving   the Islamic   Certification   and
law,   under   the   doctrine   of Translation   Unit;   and   Echin’s
processual   presumption   which, letter   wherein   she   noted   that
in   this   case,   ATCI   failed   to in   her   first   eight   (8)   months
discharge.   In   international of   employment,   she   was   given   a
law,   the   party   who   wants   to rating of "Excellent" albeit it
have a foreign law applied to a changed   due   to   changes   in   her
dispute   or   case   has   the   burden shift of work schedule.
of proving the foreign law. The
foreign   law   is   treated   as   a These   documents,   whether   taken
question of fact to be properly singly   or   as   a   whole,   do   not
pleaded and proved as the judge sufficiently   prove   that   Echin
was   validly   terminated   as   a the   Litonjuas   to   increase   the
probationary   employee   under number of their ships, offering
Kuwaiti   civil   service   laws. them   easy   loans,   to   which   the
Instead of submitting a copy of latter   did.   The   operation,
the   pertinent   Kuwaiti   labor possession   and   the   funds
laws   duly   authenticated   and therefrom were placed under the
translated by Embassy officials complete   and   exclusive   control
thereat,   as   required   under   the and disposition of the banks. A
Rules, what ATCI submitted were 39­hectare   land   located   in   the
mere   certifications   attesting Philippines   was   included   also
only   to   the   correctness   of   the as   security   for   the   loan.
translations of the MOA and the However,   the   revenues   derived
termination   letter   which   does from   the   operation   of   all   the
not   prove   at   all   that   Kuwaiti vessels   declined   drastically,
civil   service   laws   differ   from and   the   loans   acquired   matured
Philippine   laws   and   that   under and   remained   unpaid.   The
such   Kuwaiti   laws,   Echin   was vessels   were   then   sold   at
validly terminated public   auction.   Later   on,   the
Lintojuas   filed   a   complaint
25. BANK   OF   AMERICA   NT   &   SA, before the RTC of Pasig against
BANK   OF   AMERICA   INTERNATIONAL, the   banks   claiming   that   the
LTD.  latter,   as   trustees,   did   not
vs. full   render   an   accunt   of   all
COURT OF APPEALS the   income   derived   from   the
operation   of   the   vessels   as
Doctrine: Under the doctrine  of well as of the proceeds of the
forum   non­conveniens,   a   court, foreclosure sale.
in conflicts of law cases, may
refuse   impositions   on   its The   banks   filed   a   Motion   to
jurisdiction   where   it   is   not Dismiss on grounds of forum non
the   most   "convenient"   or conveniens,   lack   of   cause   of
available forum and the parties action and  litis pendentia. RTC
are   not   precluded   from   seeking denied   the   motion,   and   a
remedies elsewhere. Petition   for   Review   on
Certiorari   of   the   denial   was
Facts: brought   to   CA,   which   was   also
The   Litonjuas   were   engaged   in denied.   The   banks   argued   that
the shipping business and owned the   foreign   corporation,   which
two   vessels   through   their is the registered owner, is the
wholly­owned   corporations. proper   party   and   the   the
Revenues   from   which   and   other Litonjuas.   Since   the   branches
funds   were   deposited   with   the of   the   banks   involved   are
branches of petitioner banks in located   outside   of   the
the   United   Kingdom   and Philippines   and   all   of   the
Hongkong.   With   their   business transactions   transpired   abroad,
doing   well,   the   banks   induced the   local   court   is   not   the
proper   forum,   thus   applying shopping, that   is   to   prevent
forum   non   conveniens.   Lastly, non­resident   litigants   from
since   the   banks   have   already choosing   the   forum   or   place
filed   cases   against   the wherein to bring their suit for
Litonjuas   in   the   Courts   of malicious   reasons,   such   as   to
England   and   Hongkong,   the secure   procedural   advantages,
latter   are   barred   by  litis to   annoy   and   harass   the
pendentia. defendant, to avoid overcrowded
dockets,   or   to   select   a   more
Issue: friendly   venue.   Under   this
WON   the   case   should   be doctrine, a court, in conflicts
dismissed   on   the   ground   of of law cases, may refuse, based
forum non conveniens. (NO) on   its   sound   discretion,
impositions on its jurisdiction
WON the Litonjuas are guilty of where   it   is   not   the   most
forum   shopping   due   to   the "convenient" or available forum
pendency of cases abroad. (NO) and   the   parties   are   not
precluded from seeking remedies
Ruling: elsewhere.  Philippine Court may
The   complaint   contains   the assume   jurisdiction   over   the
three   elements   of   a   cause   of case   if   it   chooses   to   do   so;
action.   It   alleges   that:   (1) provided,   that   the   following
private   respondents,   have   the requisites   are   met:   (1)   that
right   to   demand   for   an the   Philippine   Court   is   one   to
accounting from  banks by virtue which   the   parties   may
of   the   fiduciary   relationship conveniently   resort   to;   (2)
created   between   them;   (2)  the that the Philippine Court is in
banks  have   the   obligation,   as a   position   to   make   an
trustees,   to   render   such   an intelligent   decision   as   to   the
accounting;   and   (3)  the   banks law   and   the   facts;   and,   (3)
failed   to   do   the   same.  The that   the   Philippine   Court   has
corporations   are   wholly   owned or   is   likely   to   have   power   to
by   the  Litonjuas  and   prior   to enforce   its
the   incorporation   of   such decision. Evidently,   all   these
entities,   they   were   clients   of requisites   are   present   in   the
petitioners   which   induced   them instant   case.  Moreover,   the
to   acquire   loans   from   said doctrine   of forum   non
petitioners   to   invest   on   the conveniens should   not   be   used
additional   ships.  Thus,   they as   a   ground   for   a   motion   to
have a cause of action. dismiss because Sec. 1, Rule 16
The   doctrine   of forum   non­ of the Rules of Court does not
conveniens, literally   meaning include   said   doctrine   as   a
'the   forum   is   inconvenient', ground.  The   propriety   of
emerged   in   private dismissing a case based on this
international   law   to   deter   the principle   of forum   non
practice   of   global   forum conveniens requires   a   factual
determination, hence it is more Bechr (OAB), a company in Saudi
properly considered a matter of Arabia,   sent   to   the   latter   CVs
defense. from   which   OAB   can   choose   a
Forum shopping exists where the computer   specialist.   Eleazar
elements   of litis   pendentia are Gran was selected.
present   and   where   a   final Gran   signed   an   employment
judgment   in   one   case   will contract   that   granted   him   a
amount   to res   judicata in   the monthly   salary   of   USD   850.00
other. Parenthetically, for   a   period   of   two   years.   He
for litis   pendentia to   be   a was   then   deployed   to   Riyadh.
ground   for   the   dismissal   of   an But   5   months   into   his   service,
action   there   must   be:   (a) Gran   received   a   termination
identity   of   the   parties   or   at letter   with   the   grounds
least   such   as   to   represent   the mentioned therefor: 
same   interest   in   both   actions; 1.   Non­compliance   to   contract
(b) identity of rights asserted requirements by the recruitment
and   relief   prayed   for,   the agency primarily on your salary
relief   being   founded   on   the and contract duration.
same acts; and (c) the identity 2.   Non­compliance   to   pre­
in the two cases should be such qualification   requirements   by
that   the   judgment   which   may   be the recruitment agency
rendered   in   one   would, 3.   Insubordination   or
regardless   of   which   party   is disobedience   to   Top   Management
successful,   amount   to res Order and/or instructions (non­
judicata in   the   other.  The submittal   of   daily   activity
banks  mentioned   that   civil reports   despite   several
cases   were   filed   in   Hongkong instructions).
and   England   without   however Gran   filed   a   complaint   for
showing   the   identity   of   rights underpayment   of   wages/salaries
asserted and the reliefs sought and illegal dismissal.
for as well as the presence of LA:  Gran   (1)   did   not   submit   a
the   elements   of res single   activity   report   of   his
judicata should   one   of   the daily   activity   as   dictated   by
cases be adjudged.  They failed, company   policy;   (2)   not
wittingly   or   inadvertently,   to qualified   for   the   job   as
include   a   single   foreign computer   specialist   due   to   his
judgment   in   their   pleadings insufficient   knowledge   in
submitted   to   the  Court   as programming   and   lack   of
annexes to their petition.  knowledge   in   ACAD   system;   (3)
refused   to   follow   management's
26. EDI­STAFFBUILDERS vs NLRC instruction   for   him   to   gain
(Computer   Specialist,   PH   or more   knowledge   of   the   job   to
Saudi) prove   his   worth   as   computer
specialist.   Complaint
FACTS:  Petitioner   EDI,   upon dismissed.
request   of   Omar   Ahmed   Ali   Bin
NLRC:  reversed   the   decision   of Laws   should   govern   all   matters
LA. relating   to   the   termination   of
the employment of Gran.
CA:  EDI   failed   to   prove   that In international law, the party
private   respondent   was who wants to have a foreign law
terminated   for   a   valid   cause applied   to   a   dispute   or   case
and   in   accordance   with   due has   the   burden   of   proving   the
process; x x x no evidence was foreign law. The foreign law is
presented   to   show   how   and   why treated   as   a   question   of   fact
Gran   was   considered   to   be to   be   properly   pleaded   and
incompetent.   The   court   held proved   as   the   judge   or   labor
that since the law requires the arbiter   cannot   take   judicial
recruitment agencies to subject notice of a foreign law. He is
OFWs   to   trade   tests   before presumed   to   know   only   domestic
deployment, Gran must have been or forum law.
competent   and   qualified; Unfortunately   for   petitioner,
otherwise,   he   would   not   have it   did   not   prove   the   pertinent
been hired and deployed abroad. Saudi laws on the matter; thus,
the   International   Law   doctrine
ISSUE:  W/N   Gran's   dismissal   is of  presumed­identity   approach
justifiable   by   reason   of or processual presumption  comes
incompetence,   insubordination, into   play.   Where   a   foreign   law
and   disobedience  (NO,   SC   then is   not   pleaded   or,   even   if
applied PH labor laws) pleaded,   is   not   proved,   the
presumption is that foreign law
HELD:  In   cases   involving   OFWs, is   the   same   as   ours.   Thus,   we
the   rights   and   obligations apply   Philippine   labor   laws   in
among   and   between   the   OFW,   the determining   the   issues
local   recruiter/agent,   and   the presented before us.
foreign   employer/principal   are
governed   by   the   employment
contract.   A   contract   freely 27. ASIAVEST VS. CA 
entered   into   is   considered   law PRINCIPLES: 
between the parties; and hence, 1. Processual   presumption   ­
should be respected. x x x In   view   of   the   absence   of
In   the   present   case,   the proof of the [foreign] law
employment   contract   signed   by on   this   particular   issue,
Gran   specifically   states   that the   presumption   of
Saudi   Labor   Laws   will   govern identity   or   similarity   or
matters not provided for in the the   so­called   processual
contract   (e.g.   specific   causes presumption   shall   come
for   termination,   termination into play. It will thus be
procedures,   etc.).   Being   the presumed   that   the
law   intended   by   the   parties [foreign]   law   on   the
(lex loci intentiones)  to apply matter   is   similar   to   the
to   the   contract,   Saudi   Labor Philippine law. 
2. A foreign judgment against summons   within   the   state  is
a   person   rendered   by   a essential to the acquisition of
court   having   jurisdiction jurisdiction   over   her   person.
to   pronounce   the   judgment Since   it   was   stipulated   by   the
is presumptive evidence of parties that Heras “resides” in
a   right   as   between   the Quezon   City     and   the   summons
parties. was   merely   given   only   to   the
son­in­law, the Hong Kong court
BRIEF SUMMARY:  Asiavest Limited had no jurisdiction over Heras.
sued   Antonio   Heras   in   a   Hong Hence, the Supreme Court denied
Kong   Court   owing   to   his the petition of Asiavest. 
personal guarantee. The foreign
Court   awarded   damages   to FACTS:  In   issue   is   the
Asiavest.   Asiavest   then   prayed enforceability   in   the
the RTC of Quezon City to order Philippines   of   a   foreign
Heras   to   comply   with   the judgment.   Asiavest   Limited
foreign judgment. In pre­trial, filed   a   complaint   on   December
the   parties   stipulated   that: 3,   1987   against   Antonio   Heras,
there   was   an   existing   foreign praying   that   the   latter   be
judgment,   that   Asiavest   has   no ordered   to   pay   the   following
business   in   Philippines,   and amounts   awarded   by   the   Hong
that   Heras   resides   in   Quezon Kong   Court   dated   December   28,
City.   Heras   presented   as 1984:   $1.8Million   dollars   with
witness   Mr.   Russel   Lousich,   an legal   interest   and   $80K
expert   witness,   and   testified attorney’s   fees.   This   amount
via   direct   examination   that was due to a personal guarantee
Heras   did   not   receive   summons of Heras for the obligations of
from   the   Hong   Kong   Court. Compania   Hernmanos   de
However,   in   the   cross Navegacion S.A. 
examination,   Lousich   admitted The defendant filed a motion to
that summons was sent to Heras’ dismiss.   However,   before   the
son­in­law, Mr. Dionisio Lopez. court could resolve the same, a
Since   neither   Lousich   nor fire   razed   the   Quezon   City
Asiavest   stated   the   procedural Hall,   the   court   and   all   its
rules   of   Hong   Kong   regarding records.   After   filing   for   a
the   service   of   summons   in   in Motion   for   Reconstitution   of
personam cases, our rules shall Case   Records,   the   court   denied
apply   owing   to   the  doctrine   of the   Motion   to   Dismiss   and
processual   presumption  [see allowed   the   defendant   to   file
definition   above].   Under an Answer.
Philippine   laws,   in   an   action In   the   pre­trial   conference,
in   personam   wherein   the the   parties   stipulated   the
defendant is a non­resident who following   facts:   (1)   the
does   not   voluntarily   submit existence   of   the   foreign
himself to the authority of the judgment   (but   not   its
court,  personal   service   of authenticity/validity),   (2)
that   plaintiff   is   not   doing of   Section   50,   Rule   39   of   the
business   in   the   Philippines, Rules   of   Court,  which   was   the
and   (3)   that   the   defendant governing   law   at   the   time  this
resides in Quezon City. case   was   decided   by   the   trial
Asiavest   presented   evidence   to court   and   respondent   Court   of
show   rendition,   existence,   and Appeals,   a   foreign   judgment
authentication of such judgment against   a   person   rendered   by   a
by   the   proper   officials court   having   jurisdiction   to
concerned.  pronounce   the   judgment   is
The   defendant   presented   two presumptive evidence of a right
witnesses,   namely:   Fortunata as   between   the   parties   and
dela   Vega   and   Russel   Warren their successors in interest by
Lousich.   Fortunata,   the the   subsequent   title.   However,
secretary   of   Heras,   testified the judgment may be repelled by
that   she   did   not   receive   the evidence   of  WANT   OF
foreign   court’s   summons. JURISDICTION, want of notice to
Lousich,   an   expert   witness   and the party, collusion, fraud, or
former counsel of Antonio Heras clear mistake of law or fact.
in   commercial   cases   in   Hong Also,   Section   3(n)   of   Rule   131
Kong,   testified   that   Heras   did of   the   New   Rules   of   Evidence
not   receive   a   copy   of   the provides that in the absence of
foreign   court’s   decision   and proof to the contrary, a court,
summons.   However,   under   court or   judge   acting   as   such,
examination,   he   admitted   that whether   in   the   Philippines   or
(1)   receipt   of   the   court’s elsewhere,   is   presumed   to   have
decision   is   not   a   legal acted in the lawful exercise of
requirement   under   Hong   Kong jurisdiction.
laws,   and   that   (2)   the   son­in­ There   is   nothing   in   the
law   of   Heras,   Mr.   Dionisio testimony   of   Mr.   Lousich   that
Lopez,   received   the   Hong   Kong touched   on   the   specific   law   of
summons from Sycip Law firm.  Hong Kong in respect of service
RTC   ruled   in   favour   of of summons either in actions in
plaintiff. CA reversed RTC. rem   or   in   personam,   and   where
the   defendant   is   either   a
ISSUE:  WON   the   foreign   court resident or nonresident of Hong
acquired jurisdiction? The main Kong. In view of the absence of
argument   raised   against   the proof   of   the   Hong   Kong   law   on
Hong   Kong   judgment   is   that   the this   particular   issue,   the
Hong Kong Supreme Court did not presumption   of   identity   or
acquire   jurisdiction   over   the similarity   or  the   so­called
person   of   HERAS.   This   involves processual   presumption   shall
the   issue   of   whether   summons come into play. It will thus be
was properly and validly served presumed that the Hong Kong law
on HERAS.  on the matter is similar to the
Philippine law. 
RULING:  NO. Under paragraph (b) In   an   action   in   personam,
jurisdiction over the person of be   served   upon   the   defendant
the   defendant   is   necessary   for not   for   the   purpose   of   vesting
the   court   to   validly   try   and the court with jurisdiction but
decide   the   case.   Jurisdiction merely   for   satisfying   the   due
over   the   person   of   a   resident process requirements.
defendant   who   does   not In the case at bar, the action
voluntarily appear in court can filed   in   Hong   Kong   against
be acquired by personal service HERAS was in personam, since it
of   summons   as   provided   under was   based   on   his   personal
Section 7, Rule 14 of the Rules guarantee   of   the   obligation   of
of   Court.   If   he   cannot   be the   principal   debtor.
personally   served   with   summons Significantly, in the pre­trial
within   a   reasonable   time, conference, the parties came up
substituted service may be made with   stipulations   of   facts,
in accordance with Section 8 of among   which   was   that   "the
said Rule. If he is temporarily residence of defendant, Antonio
out of the country, any of the Heras,   is   New   Manila,   Quezon
following   modes   of   service   may City." 39 We therefore conclude
be resorted to: (1) substituted that   the   stipulated   fact   that
service set forth in Section 8; HERAS   "is   a   resident   of   New
21 (2) personal service outside Manila,   Quezon   City,
the   country,   with   leave   of Philippines"   refers   to   his
court;   (3)   service   by residence   at   the   time
publication, also with leave of jurisdiction   over   his   person
court;   22   or   (4)   any   other was   being   sought   by   the   Hong
manner   the   court   may   deem Kong   court.   With   that
sufficient. 23 stipulation   of   fact,   ASIAVEST
However,   in   an   action   in cannot now claim that HERAS was
personam   wherein   the   defendant a resident of Hong Kong at the
is   a   non­resident   who   does   not time.   Hence,   petition   is
voluntarily   submit   himself   to denied. 
the   authority   of   the   court
(such   as   this   case),   personal 28. GERBERT CORPUZ vs DAISYLYN STO TOMAS
service   of   summons   within   the
state   is   essential   to   the PRINCIPLES:
acquisition   of   jurisdiction 1) 2nd par of Art. 26 FC is an EXCEPTION to Art. 17
over her person.  CC (absolute prohibition against divorce)
2) 2nd par. of Art. 26 provide ONLY the FILIPINO
On   the   other   hand,   in   a
SPOUSE a substantive right to have his or her
proceeding   in   rem   or   quasi   in
marriage to the alien spouse considered as
rem,   jurisdiction   over   the dissolved, capacitating him or her to remarry.
person   of   the   defendant   is   not 3) To reconcile, the foreign divorce decree is a
a   prerequisite   to   confer presumptive evidence which allows the alien
jurisdiction   on   the   court spouse to have it recognized.
provided   that   the   court
acquires   jurisdiction   over   the FACTS:
res.   Nonetheless   summons   must
Gerbert Corpuz, a former Filipino citizen, There are only 2 types of defective marriages
acquired Canadian Citizenship through recognized under the FC, void and voidable
naturalization on Nov. 2000. On Jan. 2005, he marriages. In both cases, the basis for the judicial
married Daisylyn Sto. Tomas, a Filipina, in Pasig declaration of absolute nullity or annulment of the
City. Due to work, he immediately left for Canada marriage exists before or at the time of the
after the wedding. He returned sometime in April marriage. On the other hand, Divorce
2005 to surprise his wife, but he discovered that contemplates the dissolution of the lawful union
she was having an affair. He then returned to for cause arising after marriage. Absolute divorce
Canada and filed a petition for divorce, which was is not recognized by the FC.
granted by the Superior Court of Justice.
Recognizing that divorce is a possibility in
2 years after, Gerbert found another Filipina to marriages between a Filipino and an alien, then
love. To marry her, he went to the Pasig City Civil Pres. Aquino enacted EO 227, which amended Art.
Registry Office and registered the Canadian divorce 26 of the FC, adding the 2nd paragraph.
decree he obtained. Nevertheless, despite
registration of said decree, an NSO official As applied in Van Dorn v Romillo, and
informed him that his marriage with Daisylyn still Pilapil v Ibay-Somera, the SC refused to grant the
subsists unless the decree is judicially recognized assertion of alien spouses of marital rights after a
by a Philippine Court. Accordingly, Gerbert filed a foreign courts divorce decree between the alien
petition for judicial recognition of foreign divorce and Filipino was obtained. The reason being, as
and/or declaration of marriage as dissolved with mentioned in Van Dorn v Romillo, it is unjust to
the RTC. Daisylyn did not oppose, and instead consider the Filipino souse still married to the
requested that she be considered as a party-in- alien spouse x x x. She should not be
interest with a similar prayer to Gerbert’s. discriminated against in her own country if the
ends of justice are to be served.
RTC denied the petition saying that Gerbert
was not the proper party since he is a naturalized Essentially therefore, the RTC was correct
Canadian citizen. According to Art. 26 of the Family in saying that the intent is really to avoid the
Code, only the Filipino spouse can avail of the absurd situation where the Filipino spouse remains
remedy. The RTC stated that this conclusion is to be married to the alien spouse despite the
consistent with the legislative intent behind of said decree obtained by the latter. Hence, the 2 nd par of
article as determined in the case of Rep. v Art. 26 provided the Filipino spouse a substantive
Orbecido III, which is to avoid the absurd situation right to have his or her marriage to the alien
where the Filipino spouse remains married to the spouse considered as dissolved, capacitating him
alien spouse who, after obtaining a divorce, is no or her to remarry.
longer married to the Filipino Spouse. Hence, the
petition.  2ND PAR OF ART 26 FAMILY CODE. IS AN
EXCEPTION TO ART. 17 CIVIL CODE
ISSUE:
WON the 2nd par. of Art. 26 FC extends to Art. 17 CC provides that the policy against
aliens the right to petition a court of this absolute divorces cannot be subverted by
jurisdiction for the recognition of a foreign divorce judgments promulgated in a foreign country. In
decree. - NO effect, the 2nd Par constitutes a direct exception to
this rule and serves as a basis for recognizing the
RULING: dissolution of the marriage between the Filipino
 LEGISLATIVE INTENT BEHIND THE 2ND PAR. and alien spouses.
OF ART 26 FC
An action based on said par. also includes
any decree that capacitates the alien spouse to
remarry, not merely the recognition of the foreign While Gerbert attached a copy of the
divorce decree. divorce decree as well as certificates proving
authenticity, he failed to include a copy of the
 THE FOREIGN DIVORCE DECREE IS A Canadian law on divorce. Nevertheless, the SC,
PRESUMPTIVE EVIDENCE OF A RIGHT instead of dismissing, remanded the case to the
THAT CLOTHES THE PARTY WITH LEGAL RTC to serve both interests.
INTEREST TO PETITION FOR ITS
RECOGNITION IN THIS JURISDICTION  A JUDICIAL ORDER IS REQUIRED BEFORE
THE CIVIL REGISTRY CAN RECORD THE
While not available to an alien, it was not a DIVORCE DECREE OBTAINED ABROAD
sufficient basis for the RTC to deny the petition
because the decree, after its authenticity and Article 407 of the Civil Code states that
conformity with the alien’s national law has been acts, events and judicial decrees concerning the
duly proven, serves as a presumptive evidence of civil status of persons shall be recorded in the civil
a right in favor of Gerbert, under Sec. 48, Rule 39 register. The law requires the entry in the civil
ROC. The divorce obtained abroad by an alien may registry of judicial decrees that produce legal
be recognized as long as it is valid according to his consequences touching upon a persons legal
national law. capacity and status. This includes a foreign divorce
decree.
The starting point in any recognition of a
foreign divorce judgment is the acknowledgment But while the law requires the entry of the
that our courts do not take judicial notice of divorce decree in the civil registry, the law and the
foreign judgments and laws. Justice Herrera submission of the decree by themselves do not
explained that, as a rule, no sovereign is bound to ipso facto authorize the decrees registration. The
give effect within its dominion to a judgment law should be read in relation with the
rendered by a tribunal of another country. This requirement of a judicial recognition of the foreign
means that the foreign judgment and its judgment before it can be given res judicata effect.
authenticity must be proven as facts under our Hence, the registration made is void.
rules on evidence, together with the aliens
applicable national law to show the effect of the  THE RECOGNITION BY THE RTC OF THE
judgment on the alien himself or herself. The CANADIAN DIVORCE DECREE DOES NOT,
recognition may be made in an action instituted BY ITSELF, AUTHORIZE THE CANCELLATION
specifically for the purpose or in another action OF THE ENTRY IN THE CIVIL REGISTRY.
where a party invokes the foreign decree as an
integral aspect of his claim or defense Article 412 of the Civil Code declares that
no entry in a civil register shall be changed or
In this case, Sec. 24, Rule 132 ROC applies corrected, without judicial order. Rule 108
in Gerbert’s petition. This Section requires proof, supplements the former by providing in detail the
either by (1) official publications or (2) copies jurisdictional and procedural requirements that
attested by the officer having legal custody of the must be complied with before a judgment,
documents. If the copies of official records are not authorizing the cancellation or correction, may be
kept in the Philippines, these must be (a) annotated in the civil registry. Since the petition of
accompanied by a certificate issued by the proper Gerbert did not conform with Rule 108, it cannot
diplomatic or consular officer in the Philippine be said that it was filed under Rule 108 of the ROC.
foreign service stationed in the foreign country in
which the record is kept and (b) authenticated by However, it must be noted that it is NOT
the seal of his office. required to file two separate proceedings, one for
the recognition of the foreign divorce decree, and
the other for the cancellation of the entry under
Rule 108. This is because, the recognition of the demanded   from   petitioner   the
foreign divorce decree may be made in a Rule 108 full payment of the performance
proceeding itself, as the object of special bond   and   after   several   demands
proceedings (such as that in Rule 108 of the Rules petitioner   paid   the   amount   of
of Court) is precisely to establish the status or the   performance   bond   to   the
right of a party or a particular fact. bank   of   Kuwait   with   the
understanding that the bond was
29.  Philippine   Export   and a   solidary   obligation   for   both
Foreign   Loan   Guaranty petitioner and respondent.
Corporation   vs.   V.P.   Eusebio After   its   payment,   petitioner
Corporation demanded   reimbursement   from
Doctrine: Doctrine   of respondent   and   when   respondent
Processual Presumption failed to pay, petitioner filed
a case for collection of sum of
Facts: A   Philippine money   against   respondent
Construction   firm   represented arguing   that   what   they   entered
by   respondent   entered   into   a into was a contract of surety. 
joint   venture   agreement   with   a
construction firm in Kuwait for Issue: WON   petitioner   is
the   construction   of   the entitled to reimbursement.
Institute   of   Physical   Therapy­
Medical   Center   Phase   II   in Held: No,   petitioner   is   not
Iraq. The contract entered into entitled   to   reimbursement
required respondents to execute because   the   contract   entered
an   advance   payment   bond. into   was   in   the   nature   of   a
Petitioner(bonding   company),  a guaranty   and   respondent   is   not
government   financial considered   to   be   in   default
institution   empowered   to   issue under   the   doctrine   of
guarantees   for   qualified processual presumption.
Filipino   contractors   to   secure
By   guaranty   a   person,   called
the   performance   of   approved
the guarantor, binds himself to
service   contracts   abroad,
the   creditor   to   fulfill   the
granted   respondent’s
obligation   of   the   principal
application for a bond.
debtor   in   case   the   latter
The   construction   did   not
should   fail   to   do   so.   If   a
commence on time and there were
person binds himself solidarily
numerous   delays   during   the
with   the   principal   debtor,   the
construction   period   resulting
contract is called suretyship.
in   the   project   not   being
In   determining   petitioner's
finished   on   time   and   the
status, it is necessary to read
performance   bond   had   to   be
Letter of Guarantee No. 81­194­
extended.   Despite   the
F,   which   provides   in   part   as
agreements   made   to   extend   the
follows:
time   frame   of   the   project,   the
In the event of default by
same   was   still   not   completed
V.P. EUSEBIO, we shall pay
within the period of extensions
you 100% of the obligation
given and so the Bank of Kuwait
unpaid but   in   no   case A corollary issue is what law should be applied
shall   such   amount   exceed in determining whether the respondent
Iraq   Dinars   (ID) contractor has defaulted in the performance of
271,808/610   plus   interest its obligations under the service contract. The
and   other   incidental question of whether there is a breach of an
expenses….   (Emphasis agreement, which
supplied) 39 includes default or mora,45 pertains to the
The contract entered into was therefore not a essential or intrinsic validity of a contract. 46
contract of surety but instead a contract of No conflicts rule on essential validity of
guaranty. As a guaranty, it is still characterized contracts is expressly provided for in our laws.
by its subsidiary and conditional quality The rule followed by most legal systems,
because it does not take effect until the however, is that the intrinsic validity of a
fulfillment of the condition, namely, that the contract must be governed by the lex
principal obligor should fail in his obligation at contractus or "proper law of the contract." This
the time and in the form he bound himself. 40 In is the law voluntarily agreed upon by the
other words, an unconditional guarantee is still parties (the lex loci voluntatis) or the law
subject to the condition that the principal intended by them either expressly or implicitly
debtor should default in his obligation first (the lex loci intentionis). The law selected may
before resort to the guarantor could be had. A be implied from such factors as substantial
conditional guaranty, as opposed to an connection with the transaction, or the
unconditional guaranty, is one which depends nationality or domicile of the
47
upon some extraneous event, beyond the mere parties. Philippine courts would do well to
default of the principal, and generally upon adopt the first and most basic rule in most legal
notice of the principal's default and reasonable systems, namely, to allow the parties to select
diligence in exhausting proper remedies against the law applicable to their contract, subject to
the principal.41 the limitation that it is not against the law,
It appearing that Letter of Guarantee No. 81- morals, or public policy of the forum and that
194-F merely stated that in the event of default the chosen law must bear a substantive
by respondent VPECI the petitioner shall pay, relationship to the transaction.
the obligation assumed by the petitioner was In this case, the laws of Iraq bear substantial
simply that of an unconditional guaranty, not connection to the transaction, since one of the
conditional guaranty. But as earlier ruled the parties is the Iraqi Government and the place of
fact that petitioner's guaranty is unconditional performance is in Iraq. Hence, the issue of
does not make it a surety. Besides, surety is whether respondent VPECI defaulted in its
never presumed. A party should not be obligations may be determined by the laws of
considered a surety where the contract itself Iraq. However, since that foreign law was not
stipulates that he is acting only as a guarantor. properly pleaded or proved, the presumption of
It is only when the guarantor binds himself identity or similarity, otherwise known as
solidarily with the principal debtor that the the processual presumption, comes into play.
contract becomes one of suretyship. Where foreign law is not pleaded or, even if
Having   determined   petitioner's pleaded, is not proved, the presumption is that
liability   as   guarantor,   the foreign law is the same as ours.51
next   question   we   have   to Our law, specifically Article 1169, last
grapple   with   is   whether   the paragraph, of the Civil Code, provides: "In
reciprocal obligations, neither party incurs in
respondent   contractor
delay if the other party does not comply or is
has defaulted in   its
not ready to comply in a proper manner with
obligations   that   would   justify
what is incumbent upon him."
resort to the guaranty.
As   found   by   both   the   Court   of 3.   Doctrine   of   Processual
Appeals   and   the   trial   court, Presumption
the delay or the non­completion
of   the   Project   was   caused   by Facts:  Petitioner   and
factors   not   imputable   to   the respondent   were   married   in
respondent   contractor.   It   was Holland   on   September   25,   1990.
rather   due   mainly   to   the Petitioner   gave   birth   to   their
persistent violations by SOB of son who was a minor upon filing
the terms and conditions of the of the case against respondent.
contract. Eventually,  their marriage bond
This brings us to the next question: May the ended   on   July   19,   1995   by
petitioner as a guarantor secure reimbursement virtue   of   a   Divorce   Decree
from the respondents for what it has paid under issued by the appropriate Court
Letter of Guarantee No. 81-194-F? of Holland. Petitioner together
As a rule, a guarantor who pays for a debtor with   her   son   returned   to   Cebu
should be indemnified by the latter67 and would City.   According   to   the
be legally subrogated to the rights which the petitioner,   respondent   made   a
creditor has against the debtor.68 However, a promise   to   provide   support   to
person who makes payment without the their   son   in   the   amount   of
knowledge or against the will of the debtor has 17,500   pesos   monthly.   However,
the right to recover only insofar as the payment respondent   failed   to   keep   his
has been beneficial to the debtor.
promise.   Upon   finding   out   that
From   the   findings   of   the   Court
respondent   got   married   in   Cebu
of Appeals and the trial court,
City,   petitioner   filed   a   case
it   is   clear   that   the   payment
against   respondent   under   the
made   by   the   petitioner
provisions   of   RA   9262   for   the
guarantor   did   not   in   any   way
latter’s   unjust   refusal   to
benefit   the   principal   debtor,
provide   support   in   favor   of
given   the   project   status   and
their   son.   Petitioner   contends
the conditions obtaining at the
that   under   Article   195   of   the
Project site at that time.
Family   Code,   respondent   is
obliged to support his son. The
30. Del Socorro V. Van Wilsem 
trial   court   then   dismissed   the
case   on   the   ground   that   the
Principles: 
information   filed   against   did
1. Family rights and duties are
not   constitute   an   offense   on
governed by the national law of
the ground that he is an alien.
the person.
Thus the present petition.
2. GR: Foreign laws in order to
be   applicable,   should   be
Issues: WON an alien is obliged
properly   pleaded   and   proven   in
to   support   his   minor   child
our courts.
under Philippine Law?
       Exc:   Even   if   properly
pleaded   and   proven,   if   foreign
Ruling:  Yes.   Respondent   is
laws   are   contrary   to   public
obliged   to   support   his   minor
policy   of   the   forum,   the   same
child   under   Philippine   Law.
should not be applied.
Petitioner   however   is   mistaken will   presume   that   the   foreign
in   relying   Article   195   of   the law is the same as our local or
Family   Code   in   demanding domestic   or   internal   law.  As
support   from   respondent   since such,   it   is   now   presumed   that
Article   15   of   the   Civil   Code the laws of the foreign country
stresses   the   principle   of are   the   same   as   that   of   our
Nationality.   The   obligation   to laws   and   therefore   respondent
provide   support   is   a   part   of is   obliged   to   provide   support
Family   rights   and   duties.   As to his minor son. 
such,   with   respect   to   the Further,   even   if   respondent
provisions   of   the   Family   Code, successfully pleaded and proved
it   only   applies   to   Filipino foreign   laws   which   do   not
Citizens.   With   respect   to   the obliged   him   to   provide   support
respondent,   the   law   that to his son, such should not be
applies   to   him   would   be   the applied. According to our laws,
laws   of   his   country   with when   the   foreign   law,   judgment
respect   to   family   rights   and or   contract   is   contrary   to   a
duties.   This   does   not   conclude sound   and   established   public
however   that   respondent   is   not policy   of   the   forum,   the   said
obliged to support his son.  foreign   law,   judgment   or   order
In international law, the party shall not be applied. Moreover,
who wants to have a foreign law foreign   law   should   not   be
applied   to   a   dispute   or   case applied   when   its   application
has   the   burden   of   proving   the would work undeniable injustice
foreign   law.   As   such, to the citizens or residents of
respondent   has   the   burden   in the   forum.   To   give   justice   is
proving   that   the   laws   of   his the   most   important   function   of
country   do   not   oblige   him   to law;   hence,   a   law,   or   judgment
support   his   son.   In   this   case, or   contract   that   is   obviously
respondent   only   pleaded   the unjust   negates   the   fundamental
laws   of   his   country   (Holland) principles of Conflict of Laws.
but   failed   to   prove   the   same.
Further, the courts do not take Additional notes:
judicial notices of the laws of ­Respondent   can   be   held   liable
a   foreign   country.   The   alien under   RA   9262   applying
alleging   the   same   has   the territoriality   principle   of
burden of proving it.  criminal   law   which   applies   to
Since   respondent   failed   to all   persons   living   and
prove   the   laws   of   his   country sojourning in the Philippines.
which   do   not   oblige   him   to ­Prescription   does   not   apply
provide   support.   The   doctrine since   in   the   case   at   bar
of processual presumption shall failure to provide support is a
be   applied.   Under   this continuing crime.
doctrine,   if   the   foreign   law
involved   is   not   properly 31.  Orion   Savings   Bank   VS
pleaded   and   proved,   our   courts Shigekane Suzuki
properties with the Mandaluyong
Facts: City Registry of Deeds. 
In   the   first   week   of   August Before   long,   Suzuki   learned
2003,   respondent   Shigekane that   CCT   No.   9118   represe   o
Suzuki   (Suzuki),   a   Japanese nting   the   title   to   the   Parking
national,   met   with   Ms.   Helen Slot   No.   42   contained   no
Soneja   (Soneja)   to   inquire annotations   although   it
about   a   condominium   unit   and   a remained   under   the   name   of
parking   slot   at   Cityland Cityland   Pioneer.   To   protect
Pioneer,   Mandaluyong   City, his   interests,   Suzuki
allegedly   owned   by   Yung   Sam thenexecuted   an   Affidavit   of
Kang   (Kang),   a   Korean   national Adverse Claim12 dated September
and   a   Special   Resident 8,   2003,   withthe   Registry   of
Retiree's   Visa   (SRRV)   holder. Deeds   of   Mandaluyong   City.
Soneja   informed   Suzuki   that Suzuki   then   demanded   the
Unit   536   and   Parking   Lot   42 delivery   of   the   titles.13
were   for   sale   for   3M   and   that Orion,   (through   Perez),
their   titles   were   clean.   After however,   refused   to   surrender
a   negotiation,   the   price   was the titles. 
lowered   to   2.8M.   Suzuki   then On   October   14,   2003,   Suzuki
issued a BPI check for 100k as received   a   letter   from   Orion’s
downpayment   and   on   Aug   21   2003 counsel   dated   October   9,   2003,
issued   another   check   for   2.7M stating   that   Kang   obtained
representing   the   balance. another   loan   in   the   amount   of
Suzuki and Kang then executed a ₱1,800,000.00. When Kang failed
Deed   of   Absolute   Sale   dated to pay, he executed a Dacion en
August   26,   20039   covering   Unit Pagodated   February   2,   2003,   in
No.   536   and   Parking   Slot   No. favorof Orion covering Unit No.
42.   Soon   after,   Suzuki   took 536.   Orion,   however,   did   not
possession   of   the   condominium register   the   Dacion   en   Pago,
unit   and   parking   lot,   and until   October   15,   2003.   On
commenced the renovation of the January   27,   2004,   Suzuki   filed
interior   of   the   condominium a   complaint   for   specific
unit.   Kang   thereafter   made performance and damages against
several   representations   with Kang and Orion. 
Suzuki to deliver the titles to The Regional Trial Court (RTC),
the properties, which were then Branch   213,   Mandaluyong   City
allegedly   in   possession   of ruled   infavor   of   Suzuki   and
Alexander Perez (Perez, Orion’s ordered   Orion   to   deliver   the
Loans Officer) for safekeeping. CCT   Nos.   18186   and   9118   to
Despite several verbal demands, Suzuki. On appeal to the CA, CA
Kang   failed   to   deliver   the partially   granted   Orion’s
documents.   Suzuki   later   on appeal   and   sustained   the   RTC
learned   that   Kang   had   left   the insofar   as   it   upheld   Suzuki’s
country,   prompting   Suzuki   to right over the properties.
verify   the   status   of   the
Issue:     WON   the   Dead   of   sale of   the   spouses.26   However,   the
executed   by   Kang   in   favour   of party   invoking   the   application
Suzuki   is   null   and   void. of a foreign law has the burden
Petitoner   alleges   that   under of proving the foreign law. The
Korean law, any conveyance of a foreign   law   is   a   question   of
conjugal   property   should   be fact to be properly pleaded and
made   with   the   consent   of   both proved as the judge cannot take
spouses. judicial   notice   of   a   foreign
law.27   He   is   presumed   to   know
Held:  only domestic or the law of the
We   deny   the   petition   for   lack forum.
of   merit.   Philippine   Law In   the   present   case,   Orion,
governs   the   transfer   of   real unfortunately   failed   to   prove
property.  the   South   Korean   law   on   the
It   is   a   universal   principle conjugal   ownership   ofproperty.
thatreal   or   immovable   property It   merely   attached   a
is   exclusively   subject   to   the "Certification from the Embassy
laws   of   the   country   or   state of   the   Republic   of   Korea"29   to
where   it   is   located.21   The prove   the   existence   of   Korean
reason   is   found   in   the   very Law.   This   certification,   does
nature   of   immovable   property   — not qualify as sufficient proof
its   immobility.   Immovables   are of   the   conjugal   nature   of   the
part   of   the   country   and   so property   for   there   is   no
closely   connected   to   it   that showing   that   it   was   properly
all rights over them have their authenticated bythe seal of his
natural   center   of   gravity office,   as   required   under
there.   Thus,   all   matters Section 24 of Rule 132.
concerning   the   titleand Accordingly,   the   International
disposition ofreal property are Law   doctrine   of   presumed­
determined   by   what   is   known   as identity approach or processual
the   lex   loci   rei   sitae,   which presumption   comes   into   play,
can alone prescribe the mode by i.e.,   where   a   foreign   law   is
which   a   title   canpass   from   one not pleaded or, evenif pleaded,
person   to   another,   or   by   which is   not   proven,   the   presumption
an   interest   therein   can   be is that foreign law is the same
gained   or   lost.23   This   general as Philippine Law.
principle   includes   all   rules Under   Philippine   Law,   the
governing   the   descent, phrase   "Yung   Sam   Kang   ‘married
alienation   and   transfer   of to'   Hyun   Sook   Jung"   is   merely
immovable   property   and   the descriptive of the civil status
validity,   effect   and of   Kang.   In   other   words,   the
construction of wills and other import from the certificates of
conveyances. On the other hand, title is that Kang is the owner
property   relations   between of   the   properties   as   they   are
spouses   are   governed registered   in   his   name   alone,
principally by the national law and that he is married to Hyun
Sook Jung. dated   July   20,   2008.   Orion
We   are   not   unmindful   that   in likewise   offered   in   evidence
numerous   cases   we   have   held the   supposed   promissory   note
that   registration   of   the dated   September   4,   2002   as
property   in   the   name   of   only Exhibit   "12"to   prove   the
one   spouse   does   not   negate   the existence   of   the   additional
possibility   of   it   being ₱800,000.00   loan.   Despite   the
conjugal   or   community exclusion   of   its   most   critical
property.33   In   those   cases, documentary   evidence,   Orion
however,   there   was   proof   that failed   to   make   a   tender
the   properties,   though ofexcluded   evidence,   as
registered   in   the   name   of   only provided under Section 40, Rule
one   spouse,   were   indeed   either 132 of the Rules of Court. For
conjugal   or   community this   reason   alone,   we   are
properties. Accordingly, we see prevented   from   seriously
no reason to declare as invalid considering Exhibit "5" and its
Kang’s   conveyance   in   favor   of submarkings and Exhibit "12" in
Suzuki for the supposed lack of the present petition.
spousal consent. Moreover,   even   if   we   consider
The petitioner failed to adduce Exhibit "5" and its submarkings
sufficient   evidence   to   prove and Exhibit "12" in the present
the due execution of the Dacion petition,   the   copious
en Pago. . In the present case, inconsistencies   and
the   Deed   of   Sale   dated   August contradictions   in   the
26,   200335   between   Suzuki   and testimonial   and   documentary
Kang   was   admitted   by   Orion   and evidence   of   Orion,   militate
was   properly   identified   by against the conclusion that the
Suzuki’s   witness   Ms.   Mary   Jane Dacion   en   Pagowas   duly
Samin   (Samin).   It   is   not executed.   First,   there   appears
disputed, too, that the Deed of to   be   no   due   and   demandable
Sale   dated   August   26,   2003   was obligation   when   the   Dacion   en
consummated. On the other hand, Pago   was   executed,   contrary   to
although   Orion   claims   priority the allegations of Orion. Also,
in right under the principle of the   Dacion   en   Pago   was   first
prius   tempore,   potior   jure mentioned   only   two   (2)   months
(i.e.,first   in   time,   stronger after Suzuki and Samin demanded
in   right),   it   failedto   prove the   delivery   of   the   titles
the existence and due execution sometime   in   August   2003,and
of   the   Dacion   en   Pagoin   its after   Suzuki   caused   the
favor. annotation   of   his   affidavit   of
At   the   outset,   Orion   offered adverse   claim.   Records   show
the   Dacion   en   Pagoas   Exhibit that it was only on October 9,
"5"with   submarkings   "5­a"   to 2003,   when   Orion,   through   its
"5­c" to prove the existence of counsel,   Cristobal   Balbin
the   February   6,   2003 Mapile & Associates first spoke
transaction in its Formal Offer of   the   Dacion   en   Pago.45   Not
even Perez mentioned any Dacion
en   Pago   on   October   1,   2003,
when   he   personally   received   a
letter   demanding   the   delivery
of the titles. 
These circumstances, aside from
the   glaring   inconsistencies   in
the   documents   and   testimony   of
Orion’s   witness,   indubitably
prove   the   spurious   nature   of
the Dacion en Pago.
With   the   conclusion   that   Orion
failed   to   prove   the
authenticity   of   the   Dacion   en
Pago, we see no reason for the
application   of   the   rules   on
double   sale   under   Article   1544
of   the   New   Civil   Code.   Suzuki,
moreover,   successfully   adduced
sufficient   evidence   to
establish   the   validity   of
conveyance in his favor.