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Conflict of Laws Notes

Main reference: Agpalo, Conflict of Laws


Private International Law - that branch of international law which regulates the comity of states in giving
effect in one to the municipal laws of another relating private persons, or concerns the rights of persons within
the territory and dominion of one state or nation, by reason of acts, private or public, done within the dominion
of another, and which is based on the broad general principle that one country will respect and give effect to
the laws of another so far as can be done consistently with its own interests

Foreign element - a factual situation that cuts across territorial lines and is thus affected by the diverse laws of
two or more states
Comity - the recognition which one state allows within its territory to the legislative, executive, or judicial acts
of another state, having due regard both to international duty and convenience and to the rights of its own
citizens or of other persons who are under the protection of its laws

Lex situs - the applicable law regarding the acquisition, transfer and devolution of the title to property is the
law where the property is located
Lex fori - the law of the forum, where the case if filed
Lex loci actus - the law of the place where the act is done
Lex loci celebrationis - the law of the place where the contract is entered into
Lex loci contractus - the proper law applicable in deciding the rights and liabilities of the contracting parties
Lex loci delictus - the law of the place where the offense or wrong took place
Lex loci domicilii - the law of the place of the domicile of the person
Lex loci rei sitae (lex situs) - the law of the place where a thing is situated
Kilberg doctrine - a rule to the effect that the forum is not bound by the law of the place of injury or death as
to the limitation on damages for wrongful act because such rule is procedural and hence the law of the forum
governs the issue

Center of gravity doctrine (most significant relationship theory; grouping of contacts) - choice of law
problems in conflict of laws are resolved by the application of the law of the jurisdiction which has the most
significant relationship to or contact with event and parties to litigation and the issue therein

GENERAL RULE: Law of one country has no application and force in another country. Philippine laws have no
extraterritorial effect.
EXCEPTION: Consent: when our laws provide extraterritorial effect to our laws with respect to citizens and nationals
(e.g. extraterritoriality principle of RPC)
**But now in PRIL, foreign laws and foreign judgments may be given force and effect in our country, because of the
growing inter-dependence of states and on basis of the principle of comity.

1. Enforcement of rights
2. Recognition and enforcement of foreign judgment

**Conflict of laws presupposes two or more conflicting laws, between a local law and a foreign law involving a foreign
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element or elements, which requires a determination of which law should apply.

Is there a conflicts case?

A factual situation that cuts across territorial lines and is affected by the diverse laws of two or more
states is said to contain a foreign element. The presence of a foreign element is inevitable since
social and economic affairs of individuals and associations are rarely confined to the geographic limits
of their birth or conception. (Saudi Arabia Airlines vs. CA, G.R. No. 122191, Oct. 8, 1998)

The forms in which this foreign element may appear are many. The foreign element may simply consist
in the fact that one of the parties to a contract is an alien or has a foreign domicile, or that a contract
between nationals of one State involves properties situated in another State. In other cases, the
foreign element may assume a complex form. (Saudi Arabia Airlines vs. CA, supra)

In the instant case, the foreign element consisted in the fact that private respondent Morada is a
resident Philippine national, and that petitioner SAUDIA is a resident foreign corporation. Also, by
virtue of the employment of Morada with the petitioner SAUDIA as a flight stewardess, events did
transpire during her many occasions of travel across national borders, particularly from Manila,
Philippines to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, and vice versa, that caused a conflicts situation to arise.(Saudi
Arabia Airlines vs. CA, supra)


1. Court might refuse to hear the case and dismiss it on ground of lack of jurisdiction or forum non
2. Court might decide the case by its own local law
3. Court might decide the case by special rules formulated to address the problem

A. Choice of Law Principles

GENERAL RULE: Foreign laws and judgments have no effect in the Philippines

EXCEPTION: Consent, express (there is a law) or implied (comity)

B. Characterization and Points of Contact

Characterization (Doctrine of Qualification) - process of deciding whether or not the facts relate (refer to the
connecting factors) to the kind of question specified in a conflicts rule; to enable the forum to select the proper

1. Foreign element
2. Points of contact
3. Proper law applicable


1. Nationality of a person, his domicile, his residence, his place of sojourn, or his origin
2. The seat of a legal or juridical person, such as a corporation
3. The situs of a thing, that is, the place where a thing is, or is deemed to be situated. In particular, the lex
situs is decisive when real rights are involved
4. The place where an act has been done, the locus actus, such as the place where a contract has been
made, a marriage celebrated, a will signed or a tort committd. The lex loci actus is particularly important in
contracts and torts
5. The place where an act is intended to come into effect, e.g. the place of performance of contractual duties,
or the pace where a power of attorney is to be exercised

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6. The intention of the contracting parties as to the law that should govern their agreement, the lex loci
7. The place where judicial or administrative proceedings are instituted or done. The lex fori - the law of the
forum - is particularly important because, as we have seen earlier, matters of procedure not going to the
substance of the claim involved are governed by it; and because the lex fori applies whenever the content
of the otherwise applicable foreign law is excluded from application in a given case for the reason that it
fails under one of the exceptions to the application of foreign law
8. The flag of the ship, which in many cases, is decisive of practically all legal relationships of the ship and of
its master or owner as such. It also covers contractual relationships particularly contracts of affreightment.


Saudi Arabia Airlines vs. CA, G.R. No. 122191, Oct. 8, 1998

Morada, a Filipina flight stewardess for SAUDIA, was a attempted raped by Saudia Arabian national
crewmembers in Indonesia. She returned to Manila and while there, she was convinced by SAUDIA
manager to go to Jeddah and sign some papers, purporting to be release forms in favor of her fellow
crewmembers. It turned out that the documents were court summons and orders, trying and finding her
guilty of adultery and other violations of Islamic tradition. Upon her release and return to Manila, she
filed a case for damages based on Art. 19 and 21 of the Civil Code.

There is a conflicts problem as there is a foreign element involved -- Morada is employed by a resident
foreign corporation, an international carrier, and some of the acts complained of occurred in Jeddah.
The trial court has jurisdiction over the subject matter -- damage suit based on Art. 19 and 21 -- and
over the persons of Morada (plaintiff) and SAUDIA (voluntary submission by filing answer).
For characterization, the point of contact considered is the lex loci actus or the place where the
tortuous act causing the injury occurred -- Manila, Philippines since this is where SAUDIA deceived
Morada. The State of the Most Significant Relationship rule was also applied, SC holding that the
Philippines is where the over-all harm of the injury to the person, reputation, social standing and
human rights of Morada had lodged.

IN SUM: Morada is entitled to recovery for damages.

C. Choice of Applicable Law


1. What legal system should control a given situation where some of the significant factors occurred in two or
more states - solved by characterization
2. To what extent should the chosen legal system regulate the situation
1. Personal law - nationality rule
Family rights and duties - those which arise from family relations, and include those between husband
and wife, and between parent and child, among other ascendants and their descendants and among
brothers and sisters

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Status - birth, marriage death, legal separation, annulment of marriage, judgment declaring the nullity
of marriage, legitimation, adoption, acknowledgment of natural children, naturalization, loss or recovery
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of citizenship, civil interdiction, judicial determination of filiation, voluntary emancipation of a minor and
change of name
Legal capacity

2. Property - lex rei sitae


Bellis vs. Bellis, G.R. No. L-23678, June 6, 1967

Amos Bellis, a US citizen, died a resident of Texas. He left two wills -- one devising a certain amount of
money to his first wife and three illegitimate children and another, leaving the rest of his estate to his
seven legitimate children. Before partition, the illegitimate children who are Filipinos opposed on the
ground that they are deprived of their legitimes.

ISSUE: Whether the applicable law is Texas law or Philippine laws

Applying the nationality rule, the law of Texas should govern the intrinsic validity of the will and
therefore answer the question on entitlement to legitimes. But since the law of Texas was never
proven, the doctrine of processual presumption was applied. Hence, SC assumed that Texas law is the
same as Philippine laws, which upholds the nationality rule.

Renvoi doctrine is not applicable because there is no conflict as to the nationality and domicile of
Bellis. He is both a citizen and a resident of Texas. So even if assuming the law of Texas applies the
domiciliary rule, it is still Texas law that governs because his domicile is Texas.

Government vs. Frank, G.R. No. 2935, March 23, 1909

In Chicago, Ill., USA, Frank entered into an employment contract as stenographer with the
Government. The contract is to be performed in the Philippines. However, upon arrival in the
Philippines, Frank left the service. Government thus sued him for the breach. Frank raised the defense
of minority, contending that by Philippine laws, he does not have legal capacity to enter into contracts.

ISSUE: Whether or not Frank has legal capacity to enter into contracts
It is not disputed that at the time and place of the making of the contract in question, the defendant had
full capacity to make the same. No rule is better settled in law than that matters bearing upon the
execution, interpretation and validity of a contract are determined by the law of the place where the
contract is made. Matters connected with its performance are regulated by the law prevailing at the
place of performance. Matters respecting a remedy, such as the bringing of suit, admissibility of
evidence, and statutes of limitations, depend upon the law of the place where the suit is brought.

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The plaintiff (defendant) being fully qualified to enter into the contract at the place and time the contract
is made, he cannot implead infancy as a defense at the place where the contract is being enforced.

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GENERAL RULE: No foreign law may or should interfere with the operation and application of Philippine laws.

1. When the Philippine Legislature has, by law, given its consent to the extension of a specific foreign law
to the Philippines (e.g. COGSA)
2. When Congress enacts a law adopting or copying a specific foreign statute
3. When State enters into a treaty or convention
4. When parties themselves stipulate that foreign law governs their relationship
5. Borrowing Statute - a statute which directs the court of the forum to apply the foreign statute to the
pending claims based on a foreign law
6. When Philippine conflict of laws rule refer to foreign law as applicable law (e.g. nationality principle)


Cadalin vs. POEA, G.R. No. L-104776, Dec. 5, 1994

Cadalin et al. are OCWs deployed to various Middle Eastern countries, including Bahrain. Under the
contracts, the choice of applicable law is Bahrain law in case of contractual disputes. The contracts
were later pre-terminated so Cadalin et al. filed with RTC a case for recovery of unpaid wages, etc.
Under Bahrain law, the action has already prescribed.

ISSUE: Whether or not Bahrain law should be applied on the question of prescription of action

Statute of limitations is sui generis -- it may be procedural or substantive, depending on the

characterization given such a law. This distinction, however, becomes irrelevant when there is a
borrowing statute, as in the case of our Rules of Court, which provides that any action barred under
the law of the country where the cause of action arose is also barred in the Philippines. But, in this
case, SC did not apply our Rules of Court on the ground that doing so would contravene the
constitutional provision on protecting the rights of labor. The courts of the forum will not enforce an
foreign claims obnoxious to the forums public policy.

D. Agreement on Applicable Law

GENERAL RULE: Parties are free to stipulate as to the applicable foreign law to govern their dispute arising
from the contract.

1. Where there is some basis for applying law of the forum (minimum contact)
2. Where plaintiff and defendant are both residents of the forum
3. Where a reasonable reading of the choice of law and forum agreement does not preclude the filing of
the action in the residence of the plaintiff or the defendant

BUT if there is no agreement as to applicable law governing contract -Apply the law of the State of the Most Significant Relationship, taking into account the following CONTACTS:
1. Place of contracting
2. Place of negotiation of the contract
3. Place of performance
4. Location of the subject matter of the contract
5. Domicile, residence, nationality, place of incorporation and place of business of the contracting parties
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HSBSC vs. Sherman, G.R. No. 72494, Aug. 11, 1989

A Singaporean company applied with and was granted by the Singapore branch of HSBC an overdraft
facility, secured by a Joint and Several Guarantee executed by the formers directors (Filipino
residents). In the Guarantee, there is a clause stipulating that jurisdiction over any dispute arising from
the transaction is vested with the Singaporean courts. When the Singaporean company defaulted,
HSBC filed suit against the directors in the Philippines.

ISSUE: Whether or not the choice of law clause should be upheld

Jurisdiction, which finds its source in sovereignty, cannot be bargained away by the parties. The State
can assume jurisdiction when there is a reasonable basis of exercising it. To be reasonable, the
jurisdiction must be based on some minimum contacts that will not offend traditional notions on fair
play and substantial justice.

In the present case, the minimum contact considered is the Philippine residence of the private
respondents. In assuming jurisdiction, SC held that the parties did not stipulate that only the courts of
Singapore, to the exclusion of all the rest, has jurisdiction.

(Because jurisdiction cannot be stipulated upon, the choice of jurisdiction was treated as a choice of
venue. And applying thus, the choice of venue is only permissive, in the absence of restrictive words to
lend exclusivity to the chosen forum.)

When faced with a case that potentially involves the application of Conflict of Laws principles:
First, determine jurisdiction of the forum
No jurisdiction
Has jurisdiction but refuse to exercise it (forum non conveniens)
Has jurisdiction and exercises it - move to second step
Second, determine the foreign element/s involved (factual)
No foreign element - apply local law
Has foreign element - move to third step
Third, determine existence of conflict of laws
No conflict - apply foreign or local law, as case may be
Has conflict - move to fourth step
Fourth, determine choice of law (law applicable)
Local law
Foreign law



1. By statutory directives (consent of the State)
2. By agreement of the parties
3. By treaty or convention
4. By conflict of laws rule

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In their absence -A. Principles governing Conflict of Law Cases

1. Substance vs. Procedural Principles

All matters of procedure are governed by the law of the forum where the case is filed, while matters of
substance are governed by the law of the country where the cause of action arose.

PROBLEM: Some laws may be treated by one country as procedural and by another country as
substantive (e.g. statute of limitations)

Government Interest Analysis - the law of the country whose interest is most impaired by
failure to apply its statute should be applied
Borrowing Statute - the law of the country has a statute borrowing the prescriptive period
provided in the foreign statute; EXCEPTION: when contrary to public policy or prohibitive laws
2. Center of Gravity Doctrine (Grouping of Contacts Principle or State of the Most Significant
Relationship Theory)
Law of the state which has the most significant relationship with the occurrence and with the parties
determines their rights and liabilities in tort or in contract
3. Renvoi Doctrine (Table Tennis Theory)
The conflict of law rule of the forum resorts to the foreign law, which in turn refers back to the law of the


Aznar vs. Garcia, G.R. No. L-16749, Jan. 3, 1963

Edward Christensen, who at his death was a US citizen but domiciled in the Philippines, left a will,
devising unto Maria Helen a certain amount of money and giving the rest of his estate to Maria Lucy.
Helen opposed the partition on the ground that she is deprived of her legitime. Her contention is that
the law of California directs that the law of the domicile (Philippines) should govern the will.

ISSUE: Whether or not the national law or the domiciliary law should apply

The intrinsic validity of wills is governed by the national law of the decedent. In the present case, the
national law of Edward is the laws of California. However, there were two conflicting California laws
regarding succession. One is enunciated in In Re Kaufman (which does not provide for legitimes) and
another is Art. 946 of the California Civil Code (which provides that the law of the domicile applies). SC
held that the national law is Art. 946, which is the conflict of laws rule of California. The reason is that
In Re Kaufman applies only to residents while Art. 946 is specific to non-residents. Thus, since Art. 946
contains a refer-back to Philippine laws (the law of the domicile), then Maria Helen is entitled to her
4. Lex Fori
The law of the forum governs all matters pertaining to procedural or remedial rights.

B. Applicability of Foreign Laws and its Exceptions

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1. Foreign law contravenes prohibitive law or public policy of the forum
2. Relationship of the parties affects public interest
3. Real property is involved (apply lex rei sitae)
4. Foreign law, judgment or contract is contrary to a sound and established public policy of the forum
5. Foreign law is procedural in nature (lex fori governs procedural matters)
6. Foreign law is penal in nature


Bank of America, NT vs. American Realty Corporation, .G.R No. 133876, Dec. 29, 1999

Bank of America, duly licensed to do business in the Philippines and existing under the laws of
California, USA, granted US Dollar loans to certain foreign corporate borrowers. These loans were
secured by two real estate mortgages by American Realty, a domestic corporation. When the
borrowers defaulted, Bank of America sued them before English courts. While these cases were
pending, Bank of America likewise judicially foreclosed the real estate mortgages in the Philippines.
Thus, American Realty sued for damages against Bank of America.

ISSUE: Whether or not Bank of America can judicially foreclose the real estate mortgages despite
pendency of the civil suits before English courts
English law purportedly allows the filing of judicial foreclosure of mortgage despite pendency of civil
suit for collection. But English law was never properly impleaded and proven. Thus, the doctrine of
processual presumption applies.

SC further held that even assuming arguendo that English laws were proven, said foreign law would
still no find applicability. When the foreign law, judgment or contract is contrary to a sound and
established public policy of the forum, the said foreign law, judgment or order shall not be applied.

Additionally, prohibitive laws concerning persons, their acts or property, and those which have for their
object public order, public policy and good customs shall not be rendered ineffective b laws or
judgments promulgated, or by determinations or conventions agreed upon in a foreign country. The
public policy sought to be protected in the instant case is the principle imbedded in our jurisdiction
proscribing the splitting of a single cause of action.

Moreover, the foreign law should not be applied when its application would work undeniable injustice to
the citizens or residents of the forum.
C. Authentication, Electronic Evidence and Judicial Cognizance of Foreign Judgments

**To be recognized by Philippine courts, foreign laws and judgments must be alleged and proved.


1. Official publication
2. Certified true copy or one attested by the officer having the legal custody of the record, or by his deputy,
and accompanied with a certificate that such officer has custody
The certificate must be made by a secretary of the embassy or legation, consul general, consul,
vice consul, or consular agent or by any officer in the foreign service of the Philippines stationed in
the foreign country in which the record is kept
Authenticated by his seal of office

**If the foreign law or judgment does not comply with the above requirements, it will not be recognized and the Doctrine
of Processual Presumption will apply (Philippine courts will assume the foreign law is the same as Philippine laws).
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GENERAL RULE: Philippine courts are not authorized to take judicial notice of foreign laws.

1. Where there are exceptional circumstances when the foreign laws are already within the actual
knowledge of the court (generally known or actually ruled upon in a prior case)
2. Where the courts are familiar with the specific foreign laws (e.g. Spanish civil law)
3. Where the adverse party did not dispute the application of foreign law
4. Where the tribunal is a quasi-judicial body which is not bound by strict rules of technicality


A. Nationality Principle

The law of country where a person is a national governs his family rights and duties, status, condition and legal

As opposed to domiciliary principle which applies the law of the country of domicile

B. Citizenship and Modes of Acquisition

Citizenship status of being a citizen of a state who owes allegiance to the state and is entitled to its protection
and to the enjoyment of civil and political rights therein


1. Natural persons
Those who are citizens of the Philippines at the time of adoption of the 1987 Constitution
Those whose fathers or mothers are citizens of the Philippines
Those born before January 17, 1973, of Filipino mothers, who elect Philippine citizenship upon
reaching the age of majority
Those who are naturalized in accordance with the law
2. Juridical persons 60% Filipino-owned
1. By blood (jus sanguinis) natural-born citizens
2. By naturalization naturalized citizens

Valles vs. COMELEC, G.R. No. 137000, Aug. 9, 2000

Rosalind Ybasco Lopez was born on May 16, 1934 in Australia to a Filipino father and an Australian
mother. In 1949, at the age of fifteen, she left Australia and came to settle in the Philippines, where she
later married a Filipino and has since then participated in the electoral process not only as a voter but
as a candidate, as well. In the May 1998 elections, she ran for governor but Valles fileda petition for
her disqualification as candidate on the ground that she is an Australian.

ISSUE: Whether or not Rosalind is an Australian or a Filipino

The Philippine law on citizenship adheres to the principle of jus sanguinis. Thereunder, a child follows
the nationality or citizenship of the parents regardless of the place of his/her birth, as opposed to the
doctrine of jus soli which determines nationality or citizenship on the basis of place of birth.

The herein private respondent, Rosalind Ybasco Lopez, is a Filipino citizen, having been born to a
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Filipino father. The fact of her being born in Australia is not tantamount to her losing her Philippine
citizenship. If Australia follows the principle of jus soli, then at most, private respondent can also claim
Australian citizenship resulting to her possession of dual citizenship. The fact that she holds an
Australian passport and alien registration certificate is an assertion of her Australian citizenship but not
a renunciation of her Philippine citizenship. Moreover, by filing her certificate of candidacy, she has
effectively renounced her Australian citizenship.

C. Election of Citizenship
Express such intention in a statement to be signed and sworn to by the party concerned before any
officer authorized to administer oath
File the sworn statement, together with oath of allegiance to the Philippine Constitution, with the
nearest civil registry
**The election must be made within reasonable time (3 years) from reaching the age of majority.

D. Dual Citizenship

Dual Citizenship the status of a person who is a citizen of two or more countries at the same time


1. Those born of Filipino fathers and/or mothers in foreign countries which follow the principle of jus soli
2. Those born in the Philippines of Filipino mothers and alien fathers if by the laws of their fathers country
such children are citizens of that country
3. Those who marry aliens if by the laws of the latters country the former are considered citizens, unless by
their act or omission they are deemed to have renounced Philippine citizenship
4. Those who retained or reacquired their Philippine citizenship under RA 9225 after having been naturalized
in a foreign country
GENERAL RULE: Dual citizenship is retained.

EXCEPTION: The person expressly renounces his other citizenship by filing a certificate of candidacy or by
accepting an appointive position in government.

Mercado vs. Manzano, G.R. No. 135083, May 26, 1999

Mercado and Manzano are both running for vice-mayor of Makati City. Manzano got the highest
number of votes but his proclamation was suspended in view of a pending petition for his
disqualification on the ground that he is an American citizen. Manzano is born in 1955 of Filipino father
and mother. However, since he is born in the US, he is considered as an American under the jus soli
doctrine. Upon his return to the Philippines, he is registered as a foreigner with the Bureau of

ISSUE: Whether or not Manzano is disqualified on ground that he is an alien

Manzano is a dual citizen, but his being such does not disqualify him from running for public office.
Under the LGC, what is prohibited is dual allegiance and not dual citizenship. The two terms are

Dual allegiance refers to a situation in which a person simultaneously owes, by some positive act,
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loyalty to two or more states. Dual citizenship arises when, as a result of the concurrent application of
the different laws of two or more states, a person is simultaneously considered a national by the said

Moreover, Manzano is considered to have renounced his American citizenship by filing his certificate of

E. Loss and Reacquisition of Philippine Citizenship


1. By naturalization in a foreign country (prior to RA 9225)
2. By express renunciation of citizenship
3. By subscribing to an oath of allegiance to support the constitution or laws of a foreign country
4. By accepting commission in the military, naval or air service of a foreign country
5. By cancellation of the certificate of naturalization
6. By having been declared by competent authority a deserter of the Philippine armed forces in time of war,
unless subsequently a plenary pardon or amnesty has been granted

Yu vs. Defensor-Santiago, G.R. No. L-83882, Jan. 24, 1989

Petitioner is a Portuguese national who acquired Philippine citizenship by naturalization. However,
despite his naturalization, he still applied for and was issued a Portuguese passport and declared his
nationality as Portuguese in commercial documents he signed.

ISSUE: Whether petitioners acts constitute renunciation of his Philippine citizenship


Express renunciation means a renunciation that is made known distinctly and explicitly and not left to
inference or implication. Petitioner, with full knowledge, and legal capacity, after having renounced his
Portuguese citizenship upon naturalization as a Philippine citizen resumed or reacquired his prior
status as a Portuguese citizen, applied for a renewal of his Portuguese passport. To the mind of the
court the foregoing acts considered together constitute an express renunciation of petitioners
Philippine citizenship acquired through naturalization.
1. By direct act of Congress
2. By naturalization take the oath of allegiance to the Republic (RA 9225)
3. By administrative repatriation take the oath of allegiance to the Republic and register the same in the
local civil registry of the place where person resides or last resided; original citizenship is recovered


Bengson III vs. HRET, G.R. No. 142840, May 7, 2001

Respondent Cruz was a natural-born Filipino who lost his Philippine citizenship when he enlisted in the
US Marine Corps and subsequently became a naturalized American. When he returned to the
Philippines, he reacquired his Philippine citizenship through repatriation. Later, he ran for a seat in
Congress and won. But Bengson III questioned his election into office on the ground that he was not a
natural-born Filipino.

ISSUE: Whether or not Cruzs repatriation resulted in his reacquisition of his status as natural-born
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Repatriation results in the recovery of the original nationality. This means that a naturalized Filipino
who lost his citizenship will be restored to his prior status as a naturalized Filipino citizen. On the other
hand, if he was originally a natural-born citizen before he lost his Philippine citizenship, he will be
restored to his former status as a natural-born Filipino.

In respondent Cruzs case, he lost his Filipino citizenship when he rendered service in the Armed
Forces of the United States. However, he subsequently reacquired Philippine citizenship under RA

Having thus taken the required oath of allegiance to the Republic and having registered the same in
the Civil Registry of Magantarem, Pangasinan in accordance with the aforecited provision, respondent
Cruz is deemed to have recovered his original status as a natural-born citizen, a status which he
acquired at birth as the son of a Filipino father. It bears stressing that the act of repatriation allows him
to recover, or return to, his original status before he lost his Philippine citizenship.

F. Citizenship by Naturalization
1. Administrative naturalization - available only to aliens born and residing in the Philippines
2. Judicial naturalization
3. Legislative naturalization


1. Must be born in the Philippines and residing therein since birth
2. Must not be less than 18 years old at the time of filing the petition
3. Must be of good moral character and believes in the underlying principle of the Constitution and must have
conducted himself in an irreproachable manner during the entire period of residence
4. Must have received his primary and secondary education in any public school or private educational
5. Must have a known trade, business, profession or lawful occupation
6. Must be able to read, write and speak Filipino or any of the dialects of the Philippines
7. Must have mingled with the Filipinos and evinced a sincere desire to learn and embrace the customs,
traditions and ideals of the Filipino people


1. Made any false statement or misrepresentation or committed any violation of law, rules or regulation in
connection with the petition for naturalization
2. Within 5 years next following the grant of Philippine citizenship, established permanent residence in a
foreign country - covers the wife and children as well
3. Allowed himself to be used as a dummy in violation of any constitutional or legal provision requiring
Philippine citizenship - covers the wife and children
4. Committed any act inimical to national security - covers the wife and children

G. The Lex Domicilii Rule

Lex domicilii (Domiciliary principle) - the law of the place of domicile governs

Domicile - place of habitual residence; a place to which, whenever absent for business or for pleasure, one
intends to return, and depends on facts and circumstances in the sense that they disclose intent
1. Physical presence
2. Animus manendi - intention of returning there permanently

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**The law of the forum governs the standards of domicile. If domicile is put in issue, the court will apply its own
laws to determine the controversy.
H. Kinds of Domicile

1. Domicile of origin or by birth
2. Domicile of choice
3. Domicile by operation of law

I. Rules regarding Domicile

A man has a domicile somewhere
A domicile once established remains until a new one is acquired
A man can have but only one domicile at a time
1. Actual removal or actual change of domicile
2. Bona fide intention of abandoning the former place of residence and establishing a new one
3. Acts which correspond with such purpose

**All the foregoing elements must be proved in order to rebut the presumption of Continuity of Domicile.
J. Domicile and Residence
Residence - the actual relationship of an individual to a certain place; physical presence of a person in a given
area, community or country

Residence vs. Domicile

Residence is used to indicate a place of abode, whether permanent or temporary; domicile denotes
a fixed permanent residence to which, when absent, one has the intention of returning. A man ma have
a residence in one place and a domicile in another. Residence is not domicile, but domicile is
residence coupled with the intention to remain for an unlimited time. A man can have but one domicile
for the same purpose at any time, but he may have numerous places of residence. His place of
residence is generally his place of domicile, but it is not by any means necessarily so since no length
of residence without intention of remaining will constitute domicile. (Romualdez-Marcos vs.
COMELEC, G.R. No. 119976, Sept. 18, 1995)


Romualdez-Marcos vs. COMELEC, supra

Petitioner Imelda Marcos filed her certificate of candidacy (COC) for the position of Representative of
the First District of Leyte. She stated in the COC that she is a resident of the place for seven months.
Private respondent Montejo subsequently filed a Petition for Cancellation and Disqualification on the
ground that Imelda failed to meet the constitutional requirement of one-year residency. COMELEC
granted the Petition for Disqualification, holding that Imelda is deemed to have abandoned Tacloban
City as her place of domicile when she lived and even voted in Ilocos and Manila.
ISSUE: Whether or not Imelda is deemed to have abandoned her domicile of origin

An individual does not lose his domicile even if he has lived and maintained residence in different
places. Residence implies a factual relationship to a given place for various purposes. The absence
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from legal residence or domicile to pursue a profession, to study or to do other things of a temporary or
semi-permanent nature does not constitute loss of residence. Thus, the assertion that she could not
have been a resident of Tacloban City since childhood up to the time she filed her certificate of
candidacy because she became a resident of many places flies in the face of settled jurisprudence in
which this Court carefully made distinctions between (actual) residence and domicile for election

K. Nationality and Domicile of Corporations

**The nationality of a private corporation is determined by the character or citizenship of its controlling

**The domicile of a domestic corporation is its principal place of business (contained in the AOI). For foreign
corporations, their domicile is in the country under whose laws they are incorporated.
1. Grandfather rule - governs the strict application of the ownership of a corporation (generally 60%
2. Control test - a corporation that is at least 60% Filipino-owned is considered a Filipino for purposes of
determining the Filipino ownership of a corporation whose nationality is put in issue

Northwest Orient Airlines, Inc. vs. CA, G.R. No. 112573, Feb. 9, 1995

Northwest, a US corporation, and Sharp, a Filipino corporation but with a branch in Japan, entered into
an agreement whereby the former authorized the latter to sell its air transportation tickets. Sharp,
however, was unable to remit the proceeds of the ticket sales, prompting Northwest to sue for
collection in Japan. Summons was served on Sharps branch office in Japan but because the manager
authorized to receive summons was said to be in Manila, the same was also served on Sharps Manila
head office through diplomatic channels. Sharp nevertheless failed to appear during the hearing and
judgment was rendered. Northwest now filed a case before the Philippine court to enforce the foreign

ISSUE: Whether or not the Japanese court acquired jurisdiction over the person of Sharp

The domicile of a corporation belongs to the state where it was incorporated. In a strict technical
sense, such domicile as a corporation may have is single in its essence and a corporation can only
have one domicile which is the state of its creation. Nonetheless, a corporation formed in one state
may, for certain purposes, be regarded as a resident in another state in which it has offices and
transacts business.

In as much as Sharp was admittedly doing business in Japan through its duly registered branches at
the time the collection suit against it was filed, then in the light of the processual presumption, Sharp
may be deemed a resident of Japan, and, as such, was amenable to the jurisdiction of the courts
therein and may be deemed to have assented to the said courts lawful methods of serving process.


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State Investment House, Inc. vs. Citibank, et al, G.R. No. 79926-27, Oct. 17, 1991

Consolidated Mines, Inc. (CMI) obtained loans from Citibank, Bank of America and HSBC, all foreign
corporations but with branches in the Philippines. Meanwhile, State Investment House, Inc. (SIHI) and
State Financing Center, Inc. (SFCI), also creditors of CMI, filed collection suits against the latter with
writs of preliminary attachment. Subsequently, the three banks jointly filed with the court a petition for
involuntary insolvency of CMI. SHI and SFCI opposed the petition on the ground that the petitioners
are not resident creditors in contemplation of the Insolvency Law.

ISSUE: Whether or not a foreign corporation with a branch in the Philippines and doing business
therein can be considered a resident
Foreign corporations duly licensed to do business in the Philippines are considered residents of the
Philippines, as the word is understood in Sec. 20 of the Insolvency Law, authorizing at least three
resident creditors of the Philippines to file a petition to declare a corporation insolvent. The Tax Code
declares that the term resident foreign corporation applies to foreign corporation engaged in trade or
business within the Philippines as distinguished from a non-resident foreign corporation which is not
engaged in trade or business within the Philippines. The Offshore Banking Law sates that: Branches,
subsidiaries, affiliates, extension offices or any other units of corporation or juridical person organized
under the laws of any foreign country operating in the Philippines shall be considered residents of the
Philippines. The General Banking Act places branches and agencies in the Philippines of foreign
banks in the category as commercial banks, rural banks, stock savings and loan association making
no distinction between the former ad the latter in so far as the terms banking institutions and banks
are used in said Act.

A. Lex Loci Contractus
GENERAL RULE: The law of the place where the contract is made or entered into governs with respect to its
nature and validity, obligation and interpretation.

1. When parties agree as to the choice of law
2. Lex rei sitae - in case of contracts affecting land or title thereto
**Lex loci contractus governs only with respect to the forms and solemnities of the contract (extrinsic validity).
Intrinsic validity is generally governed by the national law of the parties.

B. Choice of Law by the Parties and Exceptions

GENERAL RULE: The parties to a contract may select the law by which it is to be governed. In adopting a
foreign law as choice of law, the foreign law shall be deemed to be incorporated into the contract as a set of

1. Where the foreign law chosen is contrary to peremptory provisions dealing with matters impressed with
public interest
2. Where the relationship of the contracting parties affects public interest in the country of one of the
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Page !15

3. Where the substantial contacts arising therefrom point to the law of another country as the applicable


Norse Management Co. vs. NSB, G.R. No. L-54204, Sept. 30, 1982

The deceased, husband of complainant herein, was employed as a Second Engineer by respondents
and served as such in the vessel, M.T. Cherry Earl. While at sea, he suffered apopleptic stroke and
died four days later. Complainant widow thus filed a claim for death benefits and contended that in
determining amount of the claim, the law of Singapore, where the vessel is registered, should be
considered. For its part, the respondents argue that Philippine laws should govern considering that the
law of Singapore was never presented and the NSB cannot take judicial notice of foreign laws.

ISSUE: Whether or not the law of Singapore ought to be applied in the case
SC held in the affirmative.
On the issue that Singapore law was not presented before the NSB, SC held that NSB, being an
administrative and quasi-judicial body, is not bound strictly by technical rules It has always been the
policy of this Board that in cases of valid claims for benefits on account of injury or death while in the
course of employment, the law of the country in which the vessel is registered shall be considered.

Moreover, the employment agreement stipulated that compensation shall be paid under Philippine law
or the law of registry of the vessel, whichever is higher. Thus, the amount under Singapore law being
higher, the same should apply in accordance with the stipulation.


Bagong Filipinas Overseas Corp. vs. NLRC, G.R. No. L-66006, Feb. 28, 1985

Pancho was hired by Bagong Filipinas Overseas Corp. as an oiler on board the M/V Olivine, a vessel
registered in Hong Kong. While the vessel was docked at Gothenberg, Sweden, he suffered a cerebral
stroke and was rushed to the hospital. Later, he was repatriated to the Philippines where he died later
on. His widow filed for compensation benefits with the NSB, which Board awarded her the disability
compensation benefits under the employment contract. NLRC, however, modified the decision and
instead applied the law of Hong Kong, awarding a higher amount of benefits to the widow.

ISSUE: Whether or not the Hong Kong law should be applied


Conflict of Laws

SC held that the employment contract should be applied, not Hong Kong law. The case of Norse
Management cannot be a precedent because it was expressly stipulated in the employment contract in
that case that the workmens compensation payable to the employee should be in accordance with the
Philippine law or the Workmens Insurance Law of the country where the vessel is registered,
whichever is higher. Such stipulation is not found in the employment contract between Pancho and
Bagong Filipinas Overseas Corp.

Page !16


Pakistan International Airlines Corp. vs. Ople, G.R. No. 61594, Sept. 28, 1990

Pakistan International, a foreign corporation licensed to do business in the Philippines, executed two
contracts of employment with private respondents for their services as flight stewardess. The contract
had a term of three years but also with the stipulation that, notwithstanding any provisions to the
contrary, the employer reserves the right to pre-terminate it at any time. Before the expiration of the
three-year term, Pakistan International sent notices of dismissal to private respondents, prompting
them to file this case for illegal dismissal and recovery of wages and other benefits.

ISSUE: Whether or not the stipulation in the contract as to the right of the employer to terminate
employees at any time should be respected

SC held in the negative.

A contract freely entered into should be respected, since a contract is the law between the parties. The
principle of party autonomy in contracts is not, however, an absolute principle. The rule in Article 1306,
NCC, is that the contracting parties may establish such stipulations as they may deem convenient,
provided they are not contrary to law, morals, good customs, public order and public policy. Thus,
counterbalancing the principle of autonomy of contracting parties is the equally general rule that
provisions of applicable law, especially provisions relating to matters affected with public policy, are
deemed written into the contract. Put a little differently, the governing principle is that parties may not
contract away applicable provisions of law especially peremptory provisions dealing with matters
heavily impressed with public interest. The law relating to labor and employment is clearly such an
area and the parties are not at liberty to insulate themselves and their relationships from the impact of
labor laws and regulations by simply contracting with each other.

C. No Agreement on Choice of Law

If there is no express contract, the courts of the forum will apply any of the conflict of laws rules, such as lex
loci celebrationis (see Bagong Filipinas Overseas, supra) or State of the Most Significant Relationship Theory.

In cases involving claims of Filipino workers on account of injury or death during employment or in the course
of services in a vessel owned by the foreign employer, the law of registry of the vessel, if favorable to the
worker, is applied.

D. No Agreement or Treaty

The plaintiff makes the choice of the forum, or the court where the action or complaint is filed. Thus, in Saudi
Arabia Airlines, infra, there being no choice of law clause in the employment contract, the plaintiff chose to file
her case before the courts of her home country and the Philippine court applied the State of the Most
Significant Relationship Theory to resolve the case in her favor.

E. Lex Loci Contractus or Place of Performance

The law of the country where the contract is to be performed generally governs the liability for breach of
contract by the obligor to perform his part of the obligation.


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Triple Eight Integrated Services Inc. vs. NLRC, G.R. no. 129584, Dec. 3, 1998

Osdana, a Filipino citizen, was recruited by Triple Eight for employment with the latters principal, Gulf
Catering Company (GCC), a firm based in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The employment contract
(originally as food server but later changed to waitress) was executed in the Philippines but was to
be performed in Riyadh. Once in Riyadh, however, Osdana was made to perform strenuous tasks
(washing dishes, janitorial work), which were not included in her designation as a waitress. In time, she
developed Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, for which she had to undergo surgery and weeks of hospital
confinement. But when she returned to work, GCC informed her of her dismissal, allegedly on the
ground of illness.

ISSUE: Whether or not Osdana was illegally dismissed from work

There was illegal dismissal.
GCC argued that the requirement of medical certificate from public health authority was physically
impossible to comply with since Osdana was employed in Saudi Arabia and not in the Philippines so
there was no way for them to get the alluded medical certificate from a Philippine public health

But SC held that the rule simply prescribes a certification by a competent public health authority and
not a Philippine health authority.

Also, the argument that Saudi Arabia laws should apply is not obtaining. Established is the rule that lex
loci contractus (the law of the place where the contract is made) governs in this jurisdiction. There is
no question that the contract of employment in this case was perfected here in the Philippines.
Therefore, the Labor Code, its implementing rules and regulations, and other laws affecting labor apply
in this case. Furthermore, settled is the rule that the courts of the forum will not enforce any foreign
claim obnoxious to the forums public policy.

F. The Warsaw Convention

Otherwise known as the Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules Relating to International Transportation
by Air, which took effect on February 13, 1933.
***Where there is a treaty or convention to which the Philippines is a signatory on where an action coming
within the purview of such treaty or convention may be filed, the plaintiff must follow the provisions thereof on
the matter.

Limited Liability of International Carriers limited to US$20.00 per kilo unless a higher value is declared in
advance and corresponding additional charges are paid.

1. When the airline itself is at fault
2. When the airline or its employees commit wrongful acts or are negligent
3. When there is waiver on the part of the airline
4. When delay is caused by force majeure and the airline is guilty of neglect or malfeasance (even if not
negligent, airline is still duty-bound to ensure the comfort and convenience of its stranded passengers)

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Santos III vs. Northwest Orient Airlines, G.R. No. 101538, June 23, 1992

Petitioner is a minor resident of the Philippines. Private respondent Northwest Orient Airlines (NOA) is
a foreign corporation with principal residence in Minnesota, USA and licensed to do business and
maintain a branch office in the Philippines. The petitioner purchased from NOA a round-trip ticket in
San Francisco, USA. On Dec. 19, 1986, the petitioner checked in at the NOA counter in the San
Francisco airport for his departure to Manila. Despite a previous confirmation and re-confirmation, he
was informed that he had no reservation for his flight for Tokyo to Manila. He therefore had to be waitlisted. On March 12, 1987, the petitioner sued NOA for damages in RTC Makati. NOA moved to
dismiss the complaint on the ground of lack of jurisdiction.

ISSUE: Whether or not Art. 28(1) of the Warsaw Convention is in accordance with the Constitution so
as to deprive the Philippine courts jurisdiction over the case
Art. 28(1). An action for damage must be brought at the option of the plaintiff, in the territory of one of
the High Contracting Parties, either before the court of the domicile of the carrier or his principal place
of business, or where he has a place of business through which the contract has been made, or before
the court at the place of destination.

SC held that the Warsaw Convention is a treaty commitment voluntarily assumed by the Philippine
government and, as such, has the force and effect of law in this country. On the question of jurisdiction,
SC found that the foregoing provision of the Warsaw Convention enumerated the four places where an
action for damages may be brought. Petitioner contended that since Manila is his place of destination,
then the action was properly filed. But SC held otherwise.

The place of destination, within the meaning of the Warsaw Convention, is determined by the terms of
the contract of carriage or, specifically in this case, the ticket between the passenger and the carrier.
Examination of the petitioners ticket shows that his ultimate destination is San Francisco. Although the
date of the return flight was left open, the contract of carriage between the parties indicates that NOA
was bound to transport the petitioner to San Francisco to Manila. Manila should therefore be
considered merely an agreed stopping place.

The contract is a single undivided operation, beginning with the place of departure and ending with the
ultimate destination. The use of the singular in this expression indicates the understanding of the
parties to the Convention that every contract of carriage has one place of departure and one place of
destination. An intermediate place where the carriage may be broken is not regarded as a place of


Sabena Belgian World Airlines vs. CA, G.R. No. 104685, March 14, 1996

Ma. Paula Augustin was a passenger of one of the planes of defendant airlines. Her flight plan was
from Casablanca to Manila with stopover in Brussels, Belgium. When she arrived in Manila, she found
Conflict of Laws

Page !19

that her luggage was missing. After reporting the matter to defendant, she was notified that the
Brussels Office of the airlines found it and that they will be shipping it to Manila. However, she was
informed that her luggage was lost for the second time. Thus, this claim for damages in an amount
equivalent to the value of the luggage. But defendant denied liability, citing Augustins own negligence,
and that if they are liable, arguendo, their liability is limited only to US$ 20.00 per kilo due to Augustins
failure to declare a higher value.

ISSUE: Whether or not the airlines is entitled to limited liability

SC held in the negative.
The loss of said baggage of the private respondent happed not only once but twice. This underscores
the wanton negligence and lack of care on the part of the carrier. Because of such, this forecloses
whatever rights petitioner might have had to the possible limitation of liabilities enjoyed by international
air carriers under the Warsaw Convention.

Moreover, the prescribed Warsaw Convention limitation on aircraft liability cannot invoked in the case,
but rather the domestic law and jurisprudence (the Philippines being the country of destination). It
states that the attendance of gross negligence (given the equivalent of fraud or bad faith) holds the
common carrier liable for all damages which can be reasonably attributed, although unforeseen, to the
non-performance of the obligation, including moral and exemplary damages.


Northwest Airlines vs. CA, G.R. No. 120334, Jan. 20, 1998

Rolando Torres, allegedly on a special mission to purchase firearms for the Philippine Senate,
purchased a round trip ticket from defendant Northwest Airlines for his travel to Chicago and back to
Manila. Via defendants flight, Torres left for the US. After purchasing firearms and upon arrival in
Manila, one of the baggages could not be claimed, allegedly because Northwest sent it back to the US
for US Customs verification. The baggage was eventually returned but when Torres opened it, the
firearms were missing. A Personal Property Missing Damage Report was subsequently filed but
Northwest continuously refused to settle the case amicably, thus prompting Torres to file this claim for
actual, moral, temperate and exemplary damages and attorneys fees. For its part, Northwest argued
that granting, arguendo, the firearms were lost, its liability was limited to $9.07 per pound (or $640 in
total) under the Warsaw Convention.
ISSUE: Whether or not Northwest is entitled to the limited liability under the Warsaw Convention


Conflict of Laws

SC held that Northwests liability for actual damages may not be limited to that prescribed in Sec. 22(2)
of the Warsaw Convention. As held in Alitalia v. Intermediate Appellate Court, the Warsaw Convention
does not operate as an exclusive enumeration of the instances of an airlines liability, or as an absolute
limit of the extent of that liability. Such a proposition is not borne out by the language of the
Convention. Moreover, slight reflection readily leads to the conclusion that it should be deemed a limit
of liability only in those cases where the cause of the death or injury to person, or destruction, loss or
damage to property or delay in its transport is not attributable to or attended by any willful misconduct,
bad faith, recklessness, or otherwise improper conduct on the part of any official or employee for which
the carrier is responsible, and there is otherwise no special or extraordinary form of resulting injury.
The Conventions provisions, in short, do not regulate or exclude liability for other breaches of contract
by the carrier or misconduct of its officers and employees, or for some particular or exceptional type of

Page !20


Japan Airlines vs. CA, G.R. No. 118664, Aug. 7, 1998

On June 13, 1991, private respondent Jose Miranda boarded JAL flight No. JL 001 in San Francisco,
CA bound for Manila. Likewise, on the same day, Enrique Agana, his wife and his daughter left Los
Angeles, CA for Manila via JAL flight No. JL 061. As an incentive for traveling on Japan Airlines (JAL),
both flights were to make an overnight stopover at Narita, Japan, at the airlines expense, thereafter
proceeding to Manila the following day. However, while in Japan, Mt. Pinatubo in the Philippines
erupted, causing unrelenting ashfall and rendering NAIA inaccessible to airline traffic. Hence, their
flight to Manila was delayed indefinitely. At first, JAL rebooked all the Manila-bound passengers and
offered to pay for their hotel expenses for their unexpected overnight stay. However, because of NAIAs
indefinite closure, this flight was again cancelled. At this point, JAL informed them that it would no
longer defray their hotel and accommodation expenses during their stay in Narita. When they
eventually got to Manila, they commenced an action for damages against JAL.

ISSUE: Whether JAL, as a common carrier, has the obligation to shoulder the hotel and meal
expenses of its stranded passengers until they have reached their final destination, even if the delay
were caused by force majeure

The general rule is that a party is not liable if the non-performance is due to force majeure. Since, the
eruption of the Mt. Pinatubo is such force majeure, JAL therefore cannot be charged for whatever
losses or damages incurred. SC held that to hold JAL, in the absence of bad faith or negligence, liable
for the amenities of its stranded passengers by reason of a fortuitous event is too much of a burden to
However, SC did not completely absolve JAL from any liability. It must be noted that private
respondents bought tickets from the United States with Manila as their final destination. While JAL was
no longer required to defray private respondents living expenses during their stay in Narita on account
of the fortuitous event, JAL had the duty to make the necessary arrangements to transport private
respondents on the first available connecting flight to Manila. JAL is not excused from the obligation to
make the necessary arrangements to transport private respondents on its first available flight to
Manila. After all, it had a contract to transport private respondents from the United States to Manila as
their final destination.

Consequently, the award of nominal damages is in order.


United Airlines vs. Uy, G.R. No. 127768, Nov. 19, 1999

Willie Uy is a passenger of United Airlines, bound for San Francisco to Manila. While in San Francisco,
it was found that one piece of his luggage was over the maximum weight limit, for which a United
Airlines personnel rebuked him and in a loud voice, in front of the milling crowd, ordered him to repack
his things. But even after repacking, his luggage was still overweight, forcing Willie to pay for the
excess with the use of his Miscellaneous Charge Order (MCO). United Airlines, however, refused to
honor it on account of some discrepancies in the figures, so Willie had to use his American Express
credit card instead. Upon arrival in Manila, he discovered that one of his bags had been slashed and
its contents stolen. Willie sent a letter of demand to United Airlines, which only offered to pay him the
value of US$9.70 per pound (the limit). Willie, however, rejected the offer and sent two more demand
letters, which were ignored, thus prompting him to file a complaint for damages with the Philippine
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Page !21

courts based on tort and the loss of his luggage. United Airlines moved to dismiss the complaint on the
ground that it was filed beyond the two-year prescriptive period under the Warsaw Convention.

ISSUE: Whether or not the action for damages is barred by prescription


SC held that although the two-year prescriptive period under the Warsaw Convention had already
lapsed by the time Willie filed the complaint for damages, this did not preclude the application of
pertinent provisions of the Civil Code. Thus, the action for damages could still be filed based on tort
which can be filed within 4 years from the time cause of action accrued. As for the action pertaining to
the loss of the contents of the luggage, while it was well within the bounds of the Warsaw Convention,
SC found that there was an exception the applicability of the 2-year prescriptive period that is when
the airline employed delaying tactics and gave the passenger the run-around.

Zalamea vs. CA, G.R. No. 104235, Nov. 18, 1993

The Zalamea spouses and their daughter purchased 3 airline tickets from the Manila agent of
respondent TransWorld Airlines (TWA) for a flight to New York to Los Angeles. The tickets of the
spouses were purchased at a discount of 75% while that of their daughter was a full-fare ticket. All
three tickets represented confirmed reservations. Once in New York, however, they found that their
flight back to Manila was overbooked, as a result of which they had to be wait-listed. Out of those waitlisted, the ones with full-fare tickets were preferred. Thus, only the Zalamea husband, who was holding
his daughters ticket, was able to get on board while his wife and daughter had to wait for the next
flight. However, it turned out this next flight was likewise overbooked, forcing the Zalameas to
purchase tickets from another airlines. Later, they sued TWA for breach of contract in the Philippines.

ISSUE: Whether or not TWA is liable for breach of contract


Conflict of Laws

SC held in the affirmative. Overbooking of flight amounts to fraud or bad faith, entitling plaintiff to an
award of moral damages because of bad faith attending the breach of contract. The holding that
overbooking was allowed under US Federal regulations was found erroneous because: (1) this
regulation was not proved and our courts cannot judicial notice of it, and (2) even if such regulation
was proven, the rule of lex loci contractus negated its application. According to this rule, the law of the
place where the airline ticket was issued should be applied by the court where the passengers are
residents and nationals of the forum and the ticket is issued in such State by the defendant airline.
Since tickets were sold and issued in the Philippines, the applicable law in this case would be
Philippine law. Under our jurisprudence, overbooking of flight is bad faith. Moreover, the hierarchy of
tickets practiced by TWA was evidence of its self-interest over that of its passengers, which SC held to
be improper considering the public interest involved in a contract of carriage.

Page !22


A. Extrinsic Validity and Probate of Wills

Extrinsic validity of wills is governed:

1. By the laws of the country where the decedent is a national
2. By the laws of the country where the will was executed
3. By the laws of the country where the decedent is a resident
4. By Philippine laws

**Intrinsic validity of wills is governed by the national law of the decendent.

Vda. De Perez vs. Tolete, G.R. No. 76714, June 2, 1994

The Cunanan spouses, formerly Filipino but became American citizens and residents of New York,
each executed a will also in New York, containing provisions on presumption of survivorship (in case of
doubt, husband presumed to have died first). Later, the entire family perished in a fire that gutted their
home. Rafael, the trustee of the Cunanan husbands will, filed for separate probate proceedings of
both wills. Meanwhile, Salud Perez, the Cunanan wifes mother, filed a petition for reprobate of her
daughters will in Bulacan, without notifying the husbands heirs. Rafael opposed the reprobate arguing
that New York law should govern and under which law Salud is not an heir but he and his brothers and
sisters are. For her part, Salud claimed that she was her daughters sole heir and that two wills were in
accordance with New York law. Before she could present evidence to prove New York law, however,
the reprobate court disallowed the wills.

ISSUE: Whether or not the wills should be allowed

SC held that petitioner should be allowed to present evidence for reprobate of the wills and that notice
should be given to Rafael and the other heirs.
To allow the wills, proof that both conform to the formalities prescribed by New York laws or by
Philippine laws is imperative. Evidence required are as follows: (1) due execution of the will in
accordance with the foreign laws; (2) testator has his domicile in the foreign country and not in the
Philippines; (3) the will has been admitted to probate in such country; (4) the fact that the foreign
tribunal is a probate court; and (5) the laws of a foreign country on procedure and allowance of wills.
Except for the first and last requirements, the petitioner submitted all the needed evidence.

Conflict of Laws

The necessity of presenting evidence on the foreign laws upon which the probate in the foreign country
is impelled by the fact that our courts cannot take judicial notice of them.

Page !23

B. Situs of Shares of Stocks

Tayag vs. Benguet Consolidated, Inc., G.R. No. L-23145, Nov. 29, 1968

Idonah Slade Perkins, an American citizen who died in New York City, left among others, two stock
certificates issued by Benguet Consolidated, a corporation domiciled in the Philippines. As ancillary
administrator of Perkins estate in the Philippines, Tayag now wants to take possession of these stock
certificates but County Trust Company of New York, the domiciliary administrator, refused to part with
them. Thus, the probate court of the Philippines was forced to issue an order declaring the stock
certificates as lost and ordering Benguet Consolidated to issue new stock certificates representing
Perkins shares. Benguet Consolidated appealed the order, arguing that the stock certificates are not
lost as they are in existence and currently in the possession of County Trust Company of New York.
ISSUE: Whether or not the order of the lower court is proper
The appeal lacks merit.
Tayag, as ancillary administrator, has the power to gain control and possession of all assets of the
decedent within the jurisdiction of the Philippines. There can be more than one administration of an
estate. When a person dies intestate owning property in the country of his domicile as well as in a
foreign country, administration is had in both countries. That which is granted in the jurisdiction of
decedents last domicile is termed the principal administration, while any other administration is termed
the ancillary administration. The reason for the latter is because a grant of administration does not ex
proprio vigore have any effect beyond the limits of the country in which it is granted. Hence, an
administrator appointed in a foreign state has no authority in the [Philippines]. The ancillary
administration is proper, whenever a person dies, leaving in a country other than that of his last
domicile, property to be administered in the nature of assets of the deceased liable for his individual
debts or to be distributed among his heirs.
Probate court has authority to issue the order enforcing the ancillary administrators right to the stock
certificates when the actual situs of the shares of stocks is in the Philippines. It would follow then that
the authority of the probate court to require that ancillary administrator's right to "the stock certificates
covering the 33,002 shares ... standing in her name in the books of [appellant] Benguet Consolidated,
Inc...." be respected is equally beyond question. For appellant is a Philippine corporation owing full
allegiance and subject to the unrestricted jurisdiction of local courts. Its shares of stock cannot
therefore be considered in any wise as immune from lawful court orders.
Our holding in Wells Fargo Bank and Union v. Collector of Internal Revenue finds application. "In the
instant case, the actual situs of the shares of stock is in the Philippines, the corporation being
domiciled [here]." To the force of the above undeniable proposition, not even appellant is insensible. It
does not dispute it. Nor could it successfully do so even if it were so minded.

C. Law on Successional Rights

National law of the decedent governs the following:

1. Amount of successional rights
2. Order of succession
3. Intrinsic validity of testamentary provisions

**The foregoing are exceptions to the general rule of lex rei sitae.
Conflict of Laws

Page !24

D. Lex Loci Rei Sitae

Lex loci rei sitae governs both real and personal property. But mobilia sequuntur personam (personal property
follows the person) still finds application in the sense that wherever a person may be, that is also considered
as the situs of his personal property.

**Shares of stock where the corporation which issued them is domiciled or is incorporated


1. A matter which concerns only real property incidentally and which is in reality of a personal nature
2. Treaty

E. Exception to Prohibition on Aliens from Owning Land

The Holy See vs. Rosario, Jr., G.R. No. 101949, December 1, 1994
A piece of real property was acquired by the Holy See by way of donation from the Archdiocese of
Manila. The purpose was to construct the official place of residence of the Papal Nuncio. Later, the
Holy See sold the property on condition that it will evict the squatters therein. For failure to comply with
the condition, the Holy See was sued. It moved to dismiss on the ground of state immunity.
Issue: Whether respondent trial court has jurisdiction over petitioner being a foreign state enjoying
sovereign immunity.
The Republic of the Philippines has accorded the Holy See the status of a foreign sovereign. The Holy
See, through its Ambassador, the Papal Nuncio, has had diplomatic representations with the Philippine
Government since 1957.
The privilege of sovereign immunity in this case was sufficiently established by the memorandum and
certification of the Department of Foreign Affairs. The DFA has formally intervened in this case and
officially certified that the Embassy of the Holy See is a duly accredited diplomatic mission to the
Republic of the Philippines exempt from local jurisdiction and entitled to all the rights, privileges and
immunities of a diplomatic mission or embassy in this country. The determination of the executive arm
of government that a state or instrumentality is entitled to sovereign or diplomatic immunity is a political
question that is conclusive upon the courts.

Where the plea of immunity is recognized and affirmed by the executive branch, it is the duty of the
courts to accept this claim so as not to embarrass the executive arm of the government in conducting
the countrys foreign relations.

F. If Property is Situated in a Foreign Country

Laurel vs. Garcia, G.R. No. 92013, July 25, 1990
The Roppongi Property is one of the four properties in Japan acquired by the Philippine government
under the Reparations Agreement, as part of the indemnification to the Filipino people for their losses
in life and property and their suffering during WWII. The Roppongi property became the site of the
Philippine Embassy until the latter was transferred to another site when the Roppongi building needed
major repairs. Due to the failure of our government to provide necessary funds, the Roppongi property
has remained undeveloped since that time. After many years, the Aquino administration advanced the
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sale of the reparation properties, which included the Roppongi lot. This move was opposed on the
ground that the Roppongi property is public in character. For their part, the proponents of the sale
raised that Japanese law should apply, following the doctrine of lex loci rei sitae.
ISSUE: Whether or not the conflict of law rule on lex loci rei sitae should apply
We see no reason why a conflict of law rule should apply when no conflict of law situation exists. A
conflict of law situation arises only when: (1) There is a dispute over the title or ownership of an
immovable, such that the capacity to take and transfer immovables, the formalities of conveyance, the
essential validity and effect of the transfer, or the interpretation and effect of a conveyance, are to be
determined (See Salonga, Private International Law, 1981 ed., pp. 377-383); and (2) A foreign law on
land ownership and its conveyance is asserted to conflict with a domestic law on the same matters.
Hence, the need to determine which law should apply.
In the instant case, none of the above elements exists.
The issues are not concerned with validity of ownership or title. There is no question that the property
belongs to the Philippines. The issue is the authority of the respondent officials to validly dispose of
property belonging to the State. And the validity of the procedures adopted to effect its sale. This is
governed by Philippine Law. The rule of lex situs does not apply.
The assertion that the opinion of the Secretary of Justice sheds light on the relevance of the lex situs
rule is misplaced. The opinion does not tackle the alienability of the real properties procured through
reparations nor the existence in what body of the authority to sell them. In discussing who are capable
of acquiring the lots, the Secretary merely explains that it is the foreign law which should determine
who can acquire the properties so that the constitutional limitation on acquisition of lands of the public
domain to Filipino citizens and entities wholly owned by Filipinos is inapplicable. We see no point in
belaboring whether or not this opinion is correct. Why should we discuss who can acquire the
Roppongi lot when there is no showing that it can be sold?


A. Law Governing Torts

1. Delict or crime
2. Quasi-delict (Tort)
3. Negligence

Lex Loci Delicti the law of the place of where wrong was committed governs the actionable quality or nature of
acts causing death or bodily injuries as tortuous

**But in order to recover, the tortuous act which ripened in another state must be actionable in the law of the place
of wrong and in the law of the forum.
1. Lex Loci Comisii the law of the place where the injury, wrong or death took place governs


Wildvalley Shipping Co. LTD. vs. CA, G.R. No. 119602, Oct. 6, 2000

The Philippine Roxas, a vessel owned by Philippine President Lines, Inc., arrived in Puerto Ordaz,
Venezuela, to load iron ore. After loading, the vessel was about to leave port when Vasquez, an official
pilot of Venezuela, boarded the vessel in order to navigate it through the Orinoco River. As the vessel
was navigating the Orinoco River with Vasquez as pilot, it ran aground, obstructing the ingress and
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egress of vessels, and the vessel of Wildvalley Shipping was unable to sail out of Puerto Ordaz on that
day. Claiming damages, Wildvalley Shipping filed an action for damages against Philippine President
Lines in the Manila RTC. The trial court held Philippine President Lines liable but, on appeal, CA
reversed the decision.

ISSUE: Whether or not Venezuelan is applicable to the case

SC held that the pilotage law of Venezuela was not alleged or properly proven.
A photocopy of the Gaceta Oficial (where the said law was published) was presented in evidence as
an official publication of the Republic of Venezuela. Likewise, only a photocopy of the rules on piloting
the Orinoco River, as published in a book issued by the Ministerio de Comunicaciones of Venezuela.
As foreign public documents, there should have been a certificate that Captain Monzon, the attesting
officer, is the officer who had legal custody of those records made by a secretary of the embassy or
legation, consul general, consul, vice consul or consular agent or by any officer in the foreign service
of the Philippines stationed in Venezuela, and authenticated by the seal of his office accompanying the
copy of the public document. No such certificate could be found in the records of the case.

In the absence of pleading and proof, the laws of a foreign country, or state, will be presumed to be the
same as the domestic law and this is known as processual presumption. Thus, applying the Civil
Code, there being no contractual obligation, the master of the Philippine Roxas is obliged to give only
the diligence required of a good father of the family. This was exercised by showing that the vessel
sailed only after the main engine, machineries, and other auxiliaries were checked and found to be in
good running condition; when the master left a competent officer, the officer on watch on the bridge
with a pilot who is experienced in navigating the Orinoco River; when the master ordered the
inspection of the vessels double bottom tanks when the vibrations occurred anew.
2. State of the Most Significant Contacts Rule (see Saudi Arabia Airlines, infra)
3. Agreement of the Parties as to Applicable Law


Suzara vs. Benipayo, G.R. No. L-57999, Aug. 15, 1989

Filipino seamen, petitioners; Magsaysay Lines, Inc., private respondent. Petitioners seamen entered
into a contract of employment with private respondent which was verified and approved by the National
Seamen Board (NSB). In the port of Vancouver, petitioner, through a special agreement, received
additional wages under rates prescribed by the International Transport Workers Federation
(ITF). Alleging that petitioners used force and violence in extracting the additional wages under the
special agreement, private respondent filed a complaint against them with the NSB. Later in Nagoya,
Japan, petitioners were made to sign an agreement in consideration of the dismissal of the case filed
against them in the NSB. It appeared that the line which amount/s was/were received and held by
crew members in trust for shipowners was inserted, therein, thereby making it appear that the amount
given to the petitioners representing the increase in their wages based on ITF rates were only received
by them in trust for the private respondent. When the vessel reached Manila, the private respondent
demanded from the petitioners the overpayments made to them in Canada.

ISSUE: Whether or not the petitioners are entitled to the amounts they received from private
respondent representing additional wages as determined in the special agreement
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SC held in the affirmative.

The Court found nothing to show for the alleged force and violence employed by petitioners to secure
the special agreement in Vancouver, Canada. There was no need for any form of intimidation coming
from the Filipino seamen because a strong Canadian labor union, backed by an international labor
federation, was actually doing all the influencing. Moreover, when the petitioners entered into separate
contracts between 1977-1978, the monthly minimum basic wage for able bodied seamen ordered by
NSB was still fixed at US$130.00, whereas as early as 1976, the ILO already set the minimum basic
wage at US$187.00. Even so, it was only in 1979 that NSB adopted this international wage rate in its
memorandum circular. Thus, it is not the fault of the petitioners that NSB not only violated the Labor
Code which created it and the Rules and Regulations Implementing the Labor Code but also seeks to
punish the seamen for a shortcoming of the NSB itself.

As for the allegedly inserted line in the agreement executed in Japan, SC found that it was an
intercalation added after execution of the agreement, and thus, not binding.

(NOTA BENE: It is clear from this case that in controversies between workers and their foreign
employers, Philippine agencies and the courts should take the workingmens interest and that of the
nation as a whole. This policy on labor protection is deemed read into any labor contract.)

B. Overseas Employment of Filipino Workers

GENERAL RULE: Law of the country where the physical injury or death of a person occurred governs the liability
of the person responsible thereof or of the employer of the injured or deceased person, as well as the amount of
compensation which the injured or the heirs would be entitled.
1. Kilberg Doctrine the forum is not bound by the law of the place of death as to the limitation on damages for
wrongful deaths because such rule is procedural and hence the law of the forum governs on this issue


Eastern Shipping Lines vs. POEA, 166 SCRA 533 (1988)

Vitaliano Saco, the Chief Officer of a ship, was killed in an accident in Tokyo, Japan. The widow filed a
complaint for damages against Eastern Shipping Lines with the POEA, based on Memorandum
Circular No. 2 issued by the latter. This circular prescribed a standard contract to be adopted by both
foreign and domestic shipping companies in the hiring of Filipino seamen for overseas employment.
Eastern Shipping Lines questioned the validity of the memorandum circular and contended that Saco
is not an OFW but a domestic employee and, as such, is entitled only to the death benefits under the
Labor Code (lower amount).

ISSUE: Whether or not the widow is entitled to the death benefits under Memorandum Circular No. 2

On the issue of validity of the memorandum circular, SC held that it was valid. The law creating the
POEA, provides, among others, that it shall have original and exclusive jurisdiction over all cases,
including money claims, involving employer-employee relations arising out of or by virtue of any law or
contract involving Filipino workers for overseas employment, including seamen. Clearly then POEA
has such delegated power to promulgate the questioned circular, as an exception to the Nondelegation Principle.
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As to whether Saco is an OFW, SC found that Eastern Shipping Lines performed at least two acts
which constitute implied or tacit recognition of the nature of Sacos employment at the time of his death
in 1985. The first is its submission of its shipping articles to the POEA for processing, formalization and
approval in the exercise of its regulatory power over overseas employment under EO 797. The second
is its payment of the contributions mandated by law and regulations to the Welfare Fund for Overseas

It is not denied that the private respondent has been receiving a monthly death benefit pension of
P514.42 since March 1985 and that she was also paid a P1,000.00 funeral benefit by the Social
Security System. In addition, as already observed, she also received a P5,000.00 burial gratuity from
the Welfare Fund for Overseas Workers. These payments will not preclude allowance of the private
respondent's claim against the petitioner because it is specifically reserved in the standard contract of
employment for Filipino seamen under Memorandum Circular No. 2, Series of 1984.


Seagull Maritime Corp. vs. Balatongan, G.R. No. 82252, Feb. 28, 1989

A crew agreement was entered into by Balatongan and Philimare Shipping and Equipment Supply
whereby the latter employed the former as able seaman on board its vessel Santa Cruz (renamed
Turtle Bay) with a monthly salary of US$300.00. This agreement was approved by NSB. While on
board said vessel, the parties entered into a supplementary contract of employment, which provided
for benefits in case of death or permanent total disability caused by accident. Later, Balatongan met an
accident in the Suez Canal, Egypt as a result of which he was permanently disabled. Thus, he
demanded payment for his claim of total disability insurance in the amount of US$50,000.00, as
provided in the supplemental contract, but his claim was denied for having been submitted to the
insurers beyond the designated period for doing so. Balatongan, however, was able to obtain award of
the claim from the POEA. Hence, this appeal.

ISSUE: Whether or not the employer can raise prescription of insurance claim as a defense to thwart
recovery by employee
SC held in the negative.
On the supplemental contract not having been approved by the POEA, SC held that while the law
requires for such contracts to have prior approval of POEA, the purpose is to insure that the employee
shall not thereby be placed in a disadvantageous position and that the same are within the minimum
standards of the terms and conditions of such employment contract set by the POEA. However, there
is no prohibition against stipulating in a contract more benefits to the employee that those required by
law. Thus, in this case where in a supplementary contract was entered into affording greater benefits
to the employee than the previous one, and although the same was not submitted for approval of the
POEA, the public respondents properly considered said contract to be valid and enforceable.

On the question of prescription, SC held the employer responsible for the delay in its employees
claim. The private respondent met the accident on Oct. 6, 1983. Since then, he was hospitalized at the
Suez Canal Authority Hospital and thereafter he was repatriated to the Philippines wherein he was also
hospitalized from Oct. 22, 1983 to March 27, 1984. It was only on Aug. 19, 1985 that he was issued a
medical certificate describing his disability to be permanent in nature. It was not possible for private
respondent to file a claim for permanent disability with the insurance company within the one-year
period from the time of the injury, as his disability was ascertained to be permanent only thereafter.
Petitioners did not exert any effort to assist private respondent to recover payment of his claim from
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the insurance company. They did not even care to dispute the finding of the insurer that the claim was
not filed on time. Petitioners must, therefore, be held responsible for its omission, if not negligence, by
requiring them to pay the claim of private respondent.
2. Carriage of Goods by Sea Act
1. Shipowner
2. Shipper
3. Ship agent of the vessel
4. Cargo owner
5. Consignee
6. Insurance company, which insured the cargo or the vessel


1. Liability
2. Who is liable
3. Extent of liability
4. Burden of proof
5. Applicable prescriptive period


Mitsui O.S.K. Lines LTD. vs. CA, G.R. No. 119571, March 11, 1998

Petitioner Mitsui OSK is a foreign corporation represented in the Philippines by its agent, Magsaysay
Agencies. It entered into a contract of carriage through Meister Transport, an international freight
forwarder, with private respondent Lavine Loungewear Manufacturing Corp. to transport goods of the
latter from Manila to Le Havre, France. However, the delivery was delayed, with the result that the
consignee allegedly paid only half the value of the said goods on the ground that they did not arrive in
France until the off season in that country. Thus, Lavine Loungewear filed a case in the RTC for the
damages incurred. For its part Mitsui OSK filed a motion to dismiss alleging that the claim against it
had prescribed under COGSA. RTC denied the motion to dismiss, which order was affirmed by CA.
Hence, this petition.

ISSUE: Whether private respondents action for loss or damage to goods shipped is within the
meaning of COGSA
SC held that the goods becoming off season is not the loss or damage as contemplated under
COGSA so that any action based on such loss or damage is not barred by the one-year prescriptive
period under COGSA.

Under COGSA, Loss contemplates merely a situation where no delivery at all was made by the
shipper of the goods because the same had perished, gone out of commerce, or disappeared in such
a way that their existence is unknown or they cannot be recovered. Conformably with this concept of
what constitutes loss or damage, this Court held in another case that the deterioration of goods due
to delay in their transportation constitutes loss or damage within the meaning of COGSA, so that as
suit was not brought within one year the action was barred. Said one-year period of limitation is
designed to meet the exigencies of maritime hazards.

However, in the case at bar, there is neither deterioration nor disappearance nor destruction of goods
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caused by the carriers breach of contract. Whatever reduction there may have been in the value of the
goods is not due to their deterioration or disappearance because they had been damaged in transit,
but to other causes independent of the condition of the cargo upon arrival, like a drop in their market

The question is not the particular sense of damages as it refers to the physical loss or damage of a
shippers goods as specifically covered by COGSA but petitioners potential liability for the damages it
has caused in the general sense. Thus, the question of prescription of action is governed not by the
COGSA but by Art. 1144 of the Civil Code which provides for a prescriptive period of ten years.
3. Law of Country of Registry of Vessel
The Philippines adhered to the rule that Philippine ship or airship is an extension of the territorial jurisdiction of
the country.

Law of the Flag law of the country of the vessels registry governs
GENERAL RULE: Foreign vessels entering Philippine ports or waters are beyond the jurisdiction of the courts
of this country, in matters concerning discipline and all things in the foreign ship affecting only the vessel and
those belonging to her.

1. Matters which affect the peace and tranquility of the country (e.g. crime or torts)
2. Acts committed on board the vessel produce pernicious effects within the territory
3. Offense against the law of nations (e.g. piracy)
4. Wrongful act or omission caused injury to the countrys citizen
5. Local law is designed to protect seamen in Philippine ports

French Rule crimes committed aboard a foreign merchant vessels should not be prosecuted in the courts of
the country within whose territorial jurisdiction they were committed, UNLESS their commission affects the
peace and security of the territory

English Rule based on territorial principle; crimes perpetrated under such circumstances are in general
triable in the courts of the country within territory they were committed; followed by the US and the Philippines


People vs. Wong Cheng, G.R. No. L-18924, Oct. 19, 1922

Wong Cheng is a Chinese national on board a merchant vessel of English nationality anchored in
Manila Bay, two and a half miles from the shores of the city. He was caught illegally smoking opium, an
act violative of the Opium Law of the Philippines. The defense was that since he was on board a
vessel registered in England, the Philippines has no jurisdiction over the crime.

ISSUE: Whether or not the courts of the Philippines have jurisdiction over cime committed aboard
merchant vessels anchored in our jurisdiction waters
We have seen that the mere possession of opium aboard a foreign vessel in transit was held by this
court not triable by or courts, because it being the primary object of our Opium Law to protect the
inhabitants of the Philippines against the disastrous effects entailed by the use of this drug, its mere
possession in such a ship, without being used in our territory, does not being about in the said territory
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those effects that our statute contemplates avoiding. Hence such a mere possession is not considered
a disturbance of the public order.
But to smoke opium within our territorial limits, even though aboard a foreign merchant ship, is
certainly a breach of the public order here established, because it causes such drug to produce its
pernicious effects within our territory. It seriously contravenes the purpose that our Legislature has in
mind in enacting the aforesaid repressive statute.


National Development Company vs. CA, 164 SCRA 593 (1988)
NDC and MCP entered into an agreement by which NDC, as the first preferred mortagee of three
ocean-going vessels including the one with the name Dona Nati appointed MCP as its agent to
manage and operate said vessels in its behalf. E. Philipp Corp of New York loaded on board Dona
Nati in San Francisco, CA, a total of 1,200 bales of American New Cotton consigned to Manila
Banking Corp and the Peoples Bank and Trust Co., acting for and in behalf of Pan Asiatic Commercial
Co., Inc. who represents Riverside Mills Corp. The vessel figured in a collision at Ise Bay, Japan with a
Japanese vessel, as a result of which the aforesaid cargo was lost and/or destroyed. Plaintiff
Development and Insurance and Surety Corp, as insurer, paid to Riverside Mills Corp the amount of
the damaged and lost cargo, the latter being the holder of the negotiable bills of lading duly indorsed.
As a result of such payment, said insurer filed an action to recover the amount from NDC and MCP.
MCP contended that it cannot be held solidarily liable with NDC because it is not a ship agent but a
mere managing agent, and as such cannot be held liable if it did not exceed its authority. NDC likewise
denied liability.
ISSUE: Whether or not NDC and MCP are solidarily liable with each other
NDC and MCP are solidarily liable. Where collision is imputable to the preserve of a vessel, the owner
of the vessel at fault shall indemnify the losses and damages incurred after an expert appraisal.
Moreover, if the collision is imputable to both vessels, each one shall bear its own damages and both
shall be solidarily liable for the loss sustained by their cargoes.
The agreement between NDC and MCP shows that MCP is appointed as agent, a term broad enough
to inherit the concept of shipagent in maritime law. In fact, MCP was even infused with all the powers
of the owner of the vessel, including the power to contract in the name of NDC. Consequently, under
the arrangements, MCP cannot escape liability. Both owner and agent should be declared jointly and
severally liable since the obligation which is the subject of the action had its origin in a portion act and
did not arise from contract. Consequently, the agent, even though he may not be the owner of the
vessel, is liable to the shippers and miners of the cargoes transported by it.

(NOTA BENE: Although the collision occurred in foreign waters (Japan), the court applied Philippine
law because the vessel was of Philippine registry. NDC and MCP are thus held to be common carriers
who, by reason of public policy, are duty-bound to observe extraordinary diligence.)

Limited Liability Clause

The stipulation as to the amount of liability for damage to cargo is binding, unless the shipper declares a
greater amount in their agreement.


Everett Steamship Corp. vs. CA, G.R. No. 122494, Oct. 8, 1998

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Private respondent, Hernandez Trading Co., imported three crates of bus spare parts from its supplier,
Maruman Trading Co., a foreign corporation based in Inazawa, Aichi, Japan. The crates were shipped
to Manila on board a vessel owned by petitioners principal, Everett Orient Lines. Upon arrival in
Manila, one of the crates went missing, prompting Hernandez Trading to file a formal claim in an
amount equivalent to that stated in the invoice. But Everett offered to pay only the amount stipulated in
the limited liability clause contained in the bill of lading, which amount is lower than that stated in the

ISSUE: Whether or not the limited liability clause in the bill of lading is valid
SC held in the affirmative.
The questioned stipulation is reasonable and just. In the bill of lading, the carrier made it clear that its
liability would only be up to Y100, 000. However, the shipper Maruman Trading had the option to
declare a higher valuation if the value of its cargo was higher than the limited liability of the carrier.
Considering that the shipper did not declare a higher valuation, it had itself to blame for not complying
with the stipulation.

On the issue that the bill of lading is a contract of adhesion, SC ruled that such contract is not invalid
per se. SC held that Maruma Trading, having been extensively engaged in trade, cannot be said to be
ignorant. Everett, even if only a consignee and thus not a signatory to the contract, is bound by it. SC
likened the contract of carriage to that of a contract entered in favour of a stranger (contract pour atrui).
Moreover, by seeking recovery for the loss of the goods, Everett is necessarily trying to enforce the
contract. So it cannot now reject the stipulation.

Lastly, the higher valuation in the invoice is irrelevant. For the shipper to recover a higher valuation, the
declaration must be in writing and inserted in the bill of lading. Thus, the higher valuation in the invoice
is of no moment since the same was not made a part of the bill of lading.



Lex Loci Celebrationis

GENERAL RULE: All marriages solemnized outside the Philippines in accordance with the laws in force in the
country where they were solemnized, and valid there as such, shall also be valid in the Philippines.

1. Those contracted by any party below eighteen years of age even with the consent of his parents or
2. Those bigamous and polygamous marriages not falling under Art. 41;
3. Those contracted through mistake of one of the contracting party as to the identity of the other;
4. Those subsequent void marriages under Art. 53
5. Psychological incapacity; and
6. Marriages void by reasons of public policy:
Between brothers and sisters, whether of the full or half blood;
Between collateral blood relatives, whether legitimate or illegitimate, up to the fourth civil
Between step-parents and step-children;
Between parents-in-law and children-in-law;
Between adopting parent and adopted child;
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Between surviving spouse of the adopting parent and the adopted child;
Between surviving spouse of the adopted child and adopting parent;
Between adopted child and legitimate child of the adopter;
Between adopted children of the same adopter; and
Between parties where one, with the intention to marry the other, killed that other persons
spouse or his or her own spouse

**Lex loci celebrationis applies only to the extrinsic validity of the marriage, intrinsic validity being governed by
the national law of the parties. The exceptions to the general rule apply only to Filipino citizens, not to aliens.

B. Consequences of Marriage
1. Rights and obligations between husband and wife
2. Property relations between husband and wife
3. Family
4. Paternity and filiation
5. Adoption
6. Support
7. Parental authority
8. Emancipation and age of majority
9. Summary judicial proceedings in family law

GENERAL RULE: Philippine laws govern all incidents of a marriage celebrated in the Philippines.

EXCEPTION: In mixed marriages, the national law of the husband governs with regards to property relations.

C. Marriage Settlement
1. Marriage settlement
2. Civil Code (absolute community presumed under FC)
3. Local customs

GENERAL RULE: Marriage settlement governs property regime.

EXCEPTION: Where there is no marriage settlement existing or effective, Philippine laws apply.


1. Where both spouses are aliens
2. With respect to the extrinsic validity of contracts affecting property not situated in the Philippines and
executed in the country where the property is located
3. With respect to the extrinsic validity of contracts entered into in the Philippines but affecting property
situated in a foreign country whose laws require different formalities for its intrinsic validity

D. Foreign Marriage
1. Existence of the foreign law on marriage as a question of fact
2. Alleged foreign marriage by convincing evidence

**Procedure is the same as proving a foreign public document. Once proven, the same acquires prima facie weight
as evidence.

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E. Divorce
Tenchavez vs. Escano, G.R. No. L-19671, Nov. 29, 1965

Vicenta Escano, 27, and Pastor Tenchavez, 32, without knowledge of Vicentas parents, contracted a
marriage solemnized by a Catholic chaplain. Once the parents found out, it was decided that the
marriage should be re-celebrated since, according to Fr. Reynes, said marriage was invalid for lack of
authority of the solemnizing chaplain from the Archbishop or the parish priest. The marriage never
pushed through and Vicenta and Tenchavez continued to live separately from each other. Years later,
Vicenta went to the US where she obtained a divorce and then married an American. She
subsequently acquired American citizenship, but in the meantime, Tenchavez initiated legal separation
proceedings in the Philippines.

ISSUE: Whether or not the marriage between Vicenta and Tenchavez still exists
SC held that the marriage was valid and existing. The alleged lack of authority of the chaplain from the
Archbishop is irrelevant in civil law, not only because of separation of Church and State but also
because of the law in force at the time the marriage was celebrated.

On the divorce obtained by Vicenta, the same is not recognized in the Philippines. When the divorce
decree was issued, she was still Filipina, subject to Philippine laws. Under the Civil Code, absolute
divorce is not allowed, only legal separation. SC held that legal separation is proper in this case since
Vicentas marriage to the American is technically intercourse with a person not her husband (or
adultery, and a ground for legal separation) from the standpoint of Philippine law.


Van Dorn vs. Romillo, G.R. No. L-68470, Oct. 8, 1985

Alice Reyes, Filipina, married Richard Upton, American, in Hong Kong and then established their
residence in the Philippines. Later, Richard obtained a divorce in Nevada, USA. The divorce decree
stated that there was no conjugal property. Alice then married Van Dorn. However, Richard, contending
that he is still Alices husband in the eyes of Philippine law (divorce not being recognized here),
claimed that Alices business (Galleon Shop) in the Philippines is conjugal property, entitling him to its

ISSUE: Whether or not the foreign divorce decree can have an effect on property belonging to one
The general rule that divorce is not recognized in the Philippines applies only to those obtained by
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Filipino citizens. Aliens may obtain divorces abroad, which may be recognized in the Philippines,
provided they are valid according to their national law. In this case, the divorce in Nevada released
private respondent from the marriage from the standards of American law, under which divorce
dissolves the marriage.

Thus, pursuant to his national law, private respondent is no longer the husband of petitioner. He would
have no standing to sue in the case below as petitioners husband entitled to exercise control over
conjugal assets. As he is bound by the Decision of his own countrys Court, which validly exercised
jurisdiction over him, and whose decision he does not repudiate, he is stopped by his own
representation before said Court from asserting his right over the alleged conjugal property.

Llorente vs. CA, G.R. No. 124371, Nov. 23, 2000

Paula and Lorenzo were married in Camarines Sur. Before the outbreak of the Pacific War, Lorenzo
departed for the US while Paula stayed home. Lorenzo later became an American citizen and upon
liberation of the Philippines, he returned to Paula. However, he found that Paula was pregnant and
having a living in relationship with his brother. Lorenzo went back to the US and there obtained a
divorce. Then, when he returned to the Philippines, he married Alicia. Prior to his death, Lorenzo
instituted probate proceedings for the allowance of his will but died before its termination. Paula then
filed for issuance of letters testamentary, contending that she is Lorenzos legal wife, the divorce he
obtained not being recognized in the Philippines.

ISSUE: Whether or not the divorce obtained by Lorenzo is valid


Lorenzo is a former Filipino citizen who became an American citizen long before and at the time of: (1)
his divorce from Paula; (2) marriage to Alicia; (3) execution of his will; and (4) death. While Philippine
laws do not recognize divorce, aliens may obtain divorces abroad, subject to the limitation that they are
valid under their national law. In the given case, the divorce obtained by Lorenzo, being an American at
the time he obtained the divorce, has legal effects in the Philippines. As such, the first marriage
between Lorenzo and Paula is validly dissolved, making the second marriage between Lorenzo and
Alicia valid and subsisting.

G.R. No. 118870 March 29, 1996

Ray Perez, private respondent is a doctor of medicine while Nerissa his wife who is the petitioner
herein is a registered nurse. After 6 miscarriages, two operations and a high-risk pregnancy, petitioner
finally gave birth to Ray Perez II in New York were she worked.

When Nerissa came home a few days before Ray IIs 1st birthday, by then the couple was no longer on
good terms. She longed to be with her only child but he was being kept away from her by her husband.
So she filed a petition for habeas corpus asking Ray Perez to surrender the custody of their son to her.
The court a quo issued an order awarding custody of the 1-yr. old child to his mother, citing 2nd par. Of
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Art. 213 of Family Code which provides that no child under 7yrs. Of age shall be separated from the
mother, unless the court finds compelling reasons to order otherwise.

Upon appeal by Ray Perez, the CA, reversed the trial courts order and awarded custody of the boy to
his father because it would be for the childs best interest and welfare.
ISSUE: Who should have the rightful custody of the child?
Custody over the minor Ray Z. Perez II is awarded to his mother, herein petitioner Nerissa Z. Perez.
Since the Code does not qualify the word "separation" to mean legal separation decreed by a court,
couples who are separated in fact, such as petitioner and private respondent, are covered within its
The Family Code, in reverting to the provision of the Civil Code that a child below seven years old
should not be separated from the mother (Article 363), has expressly repealed the earlier Article 17,
paragraph three of the Child and Youth Welfare Code (Presidential Decree No. 603) which reduced the
child's age to five years.
The general rule that a child under seven years of age shall not be separated from his mother finds its
raison d'tre in the basic need of a child for his mother's loving care. Only the most compelling of
reasons shall justify the court's awarding the custody of such a child to someone other than his mother,
such as her unfitness to exercise sole parental authority. In the past the following grounds have been
considered ample justification to deprive a mother of custody and parental authority: neglect,
abandonment, unemployment and immorality, habitual drunkenness, drug addiction, maltreatment of
the child, insanity and being sick with a communicable disease.

F. Declaration of Nullity of Void Marriage and Annulment of Marriage


Rayray vs. Chae Kung Lee, G.R. No. L-18176, Oct. 26, 1966

Plaintiff Lazaro Rayray (Filipino) seeks the annulment of his marriage (celebrated in South Korea) to
defendant Chae Kyung Lee (South Korean whose whereabouts are unknown). Inasmuch as, the
latter's whereabouts is unknown, and she was formerly a resident of Pusan, Korea, summons was
served by publication. The trial court dismissed the complaint upon the ground: (1) that the court could
not nullify a marriage contracted abroad; and (2) that facts proven do not warrant the relief prayed for.
CA affirmed.

ISSUE: Whether or not the Philippine courts have jurisdiction to nullify a marriage contracted abroad
In order that a given case could be validly decided by a court of justice, it must have jurisdiction over
(1) the subject-matter of the litigation; (2) the person of the parties therein; and (3) in actions in rem or
quasi-in-rem, the res.

The subject-matter of the present case is the annulment of plaintiffs marriage to the defendant, which
is within the jurisdiction of our courts of first instance, and, in Manila, of its Court of Juvenile and
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Domestic Relations.

The same acquired jurisdiction over plaintiff herein by his submission thereto in consequence of the
filing of the complaint herein. Defendant was placed under the jurisdiction of said court, upon the
service of summons by publication.

This is an action in rem, for it concerns the status of the parties herein, and status affects or binds the
whole world. The res in the present case is the relation between said parties, or their marriage tie.
Jurisdiction over the same depends upon the nationality or domicile of the parities, not the place of
celebration of marriage, or the locus celebrationis. Plaintiff here is a citizen of the Philippines,
domiciled therein. His status is, therefore, subject to our jurisdiction, on both counts. True that
defendant was and under plaintiffs theory still is a non-resident alien. But this fact does not deprive
the lower court of its jurisdiction to pass upon the validity of her marriage to plaintiff herein.

Indeed, marriage is one of the cases of double status, in that status therein involves and affects two
persons. One is married, never in abstract or a vacuum, but, always to somebody else. Hence, a
judicial decree on the marriage status of a person necessarily reflects upon the status of another and
the relation between them. The prevailing rule is, accordingly, that a court has jurisdiction over the res,
in an action for annulment of marriage, provided, at least, one of the parties is domiciled in, or a
national of, the forum. Since plaintiff is a Filipino, domiciled in the Philippines, it follows that the lower
court had jurisdiction over the res, in addition to its jurisdiction over the subject-matter and the parties.
In other words, it could validly inquire into the legality of the marriage between the parties herein.

A. Domestic Adoption (RA 8552)
1. Filipino citizen of legal age, at least 16 years older than adoptee (16-year age gap waived if (1) adopter is
biological parent of adoptee or (2) spouse of adoptees parent)
2. Aliens of legal age, at least 16 years older than adoptee, provided:
His/her country has diplomatic relations with the Philippines
3-year continuous residence in the Philippines prior to application for adoption and until decree of
adoption is entered
Certification of legal capacity to adopt in his/her country by his/her diplomatic or consular office or
any appropriate government agency
His/her government allows the adoptee to enter his/her country

Exceptions to Residency and Certification:

Former Filipino citizen who seeks to adopt a relative within the 4th civil degree of consanguinity
or affinity
One who seeks to adopt the legitimate child of his/her Filipino spouse
One who is married to a Filipino citizen and seeks to adopt jointly with his/her spouse a
relative within the 4th degree of consanguinity or affinity of the Filipino spouse

3. Guardian, with respect to the ward, after termination of guardianship and clearance of his/her financial

GENERAL RULE: Husband and wife must jointly adopt.

1. If one spouse seeks to adopt the legitimate child of the other
2. If one spouse seeks to adopt his/her own illegitimate child, with consent of other spouse
3. If the spouses are legally separated from each other
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1. Any person below 18 years of age who has been administratively or judicially declared available for
2. Legitimate child of one spouse by the other spouse
3. Illegitimate child by a qualified adopter to improve the status of adoptee to that of legitimacy
4. Person of legal age if, prior to adoption, said person has been consistently considered and treated by
adopter as his/her own child since minority
5. Child whose adoption has been previously rescinded
6. Child whose biological or adoptive parents died (proceedings should be initiated within 6 months from


1. Adoptee, if 10 years old or over
2. Biological parents of child, if known, or legal guardian, or proper government agency in custody of child
3. Legitimate and adopted child, 10 years or over, of the adopters and adoptee, if any
4. Illegitimate child, 10 years or over, of the adopter, if living with said adopter and the latters spouse, if any
5. Spouse, if any, of the person adopting or to be adopted

B. Inter-country Adoption (RA 8043)

WHO MAY ADOPT: Alien or Filipino citizen permanently residing abroad who
1. Is at least 27 years old and at least 16 years older than the child to be adopted
2. Has capacity to act, etc.
3. Is eligible to adopt under his/her national law
4. Comes from a country with whom the Philippines has diplomatic relations
5. Possesses all qualifications and none of the disqualifications

WHO MAY BE ADOPTED: Legally Free Child a child who has been voluntarily and involuntarily committed to
the DSWD

**Inter-country adoption is only a last resort. Before allowing adoption under this law, all possibilities for adoption of
the child under the Family Code must first be exhausted.

C. Foreign Adoption
Ramirez Marcaida vs. Aglubat, G.R. No. L-24006, Nov. 25, 1967

An adoption preceeding were started before the CFI of Madrid Spain, by Ma. Garnier Garreau 84 yrs.
Old, adopting Josefina Juana de Dios Ramirez 55 yrs. Old, a citizen of the Philippines. Both were
residents of Madrid.
The application for adoption become final, the document was notarized. Thereafter it was
authenticated by the Philippine Vice Consul, Philippine Embassy, Madrid.
The document of adoption was filed in the Office of Civil Registrar of Manila, however the registrar
refused to register the document on the ground under Philippines law adoption can only be had
through judicial proceeding. And since notarial document of adoption is not judicial proceeding, is not
entitled to registration.
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ISSUE: Whether or not the Escritura de Adoption authenticated by V-consul in Madrid, Spain is
registrable in the Philippines.

Yes. Registration of civil status is not limited by law of local adoption. We cannot carve out prohibition
where the law does not so state.
Private International Law offers no obstacle to recognition of foreign adoption. This rests on the
principle that the status of adoption, created by the law of a state having jurisdiction to create it, will be
given the same effect in another state to the status of adoption when created by its own law. It is quite
obvious then that the status of adoption, once created under the proper foreign law, will be recognized
in this country except where public policy or interests of its inhabitants forbid its enforcement and
demand the substitution of lex fori.
Adoption created under the law of a foreign country is entitled to registration in the corresponding civil
register of the Philippines.
Effects of such adoption shall be governed by the laws of this country.

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