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VILLAROSA V.

BENITO
Facts: Petitioner is a limited partnership with principal office
address at Davao City and with branch offices at Paraaque,
MM and Lapasan, Cagayan de Oro City. Petitioner and private
respondent executed a Deed of Sale with
Development Agreement wherein the former agreed to
develop certain parcels of land located at Cagayan de Oro
belonging to the latter into a housing subdivision for the
construction of low cost housing units. They further agreed
that in case of litigation regarding any dispute arising
therefrom, the venue shall be in the proper courts of Makati.
private respondent, as plaintiff, filed a Complaint for Breach of
Contract and Damages against petitioner, as defendant,
before the RTC Makati for failure of the latter to comply with
its contractual obligation in that, other than a few unfinished
low cost houses, there were no substantial developments
therein. Summons, together with the complaint, were served
upon the defendant, through its Branch Manager at the stated
address at Cagayan de Oro City but the Sheriff's Return of
Service stated that the summons was duly served "upon
defendant E.B. Villarosa & Partner Co., Ltd. thru its Branch
Manager Engr. at their new office Villa Gonzalo, Nazareth,
Cagayan de Oro City, and evidenced by the signature on the
face of the original copy of the summons. Defendant prayed
for the dismissal of the complaint on the ground of improper
service of summons and for lack of jurisdiction over the
person of the defendant. It contends that the RTC did not
acquire jurisdiction over its person since the summons was
improperly served upon its employee in its branch office at
Cagayan de Oro City who is not one of those persons named
inSection 11, Rule 14 RoC upon whom service of summons
may be made. plaintiff filed an Opposition to Defendant's
Motion to Dismiss. plaintiff filed a Motion to Declare Defendant
in Default. the trial court issued an Order denying defendant's
Motion to Dismiss as well as plaintiffs Motion to Declare
Defendant in Default. defendant, filed a Motion for
Reconsideration alleging that Sec.11, Rule 14 of the new Rules
did not liberalize but, on the contrary, restricted the service of
summons on persons enumerated therein; and that the new
provision is very specific and clear in that the word "manager"
was changed to "general manager", "secretary" to "corporate
secretary", and excluding therefrom agent and director.
Defendant's Motion for Reconsideration was denied, hence
this petition.
Issue: Whether or not the trial court acquired jurisdiction over
the person of petitioner upon service of summons on its
Branch Manager
Held: No. the enumeration of persons to whom summons may
be served is "restricted, limited and exclusive" following the
rule on statutory construction expressio unios est exclusio
alterius and argues that if the Rules of Court Revision
Committee intended to liberalize the rule on service of
summons, it could have easily done so by clear and concise
language. under the new Rules, service of summons upon an
agent of the corporation is no longer authorized. The
designation of persons or officers who are authorized to
accept summons for a domestic corporation or partnership is
now limited and more clearly specified in Section 11, Rule 14
of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure. The rule now states
"general manager" instead of only "manager"; "corporate
secretary" instead of "secretary"; and "treasurer" instead of
"cashier." The phrase "agent, or any of its directors" is
conspicuously deleted in the new rule.

GALURA vs. MATH ARGO


FACTS: Spouses Galura purchased broiler starters and
finishers from Math-Agro Corporation (MAC). The Spouses
Galura paid MAC P72,500. Despite several demands, they
failed to pay the P353,500 unpaid balance. MAC engaged the
services of a certain Atty. Pasamba for the purpose of
collecting the unpaid balance from the Spouses Galura. A
demand letter was sent to spouses Galura wherein it stated
that they were giving them 5 days upon receipt of the letter,
to pay the unpaid balance plus interest; that failure to pay
would result in an action in court.

Because of non-payment after demand was made, MAC filed a


complaint with the RTC praying that the court would order
spouses Galura to settle the balance plus attorneys fee and
litigation expenses. In their complaint, MAC provided for their
address where summons may be served to them. Clerk of
Court Ortega issued the summons.

1st SERVICE: went to 230 Apo St., Sta. Mesa Heights , Quezon
City where he was informed that the Spouses Galura were
presently residing at Tierra Pura Subdivision, Tandang Sora,
Quezon City .

2nd SERVICE: went to G.L. Calayan Agro System, Inc. in Barrio


Kalayaan, Gerona , Tarlac to serve the summons, however he
learned that the property had been foreclosed and that the
Spouses Galura no longer resided there.

3rd SERVICE: went to Tierra Pura Subdivision, Tandang Sora,


Quezon City , to serve the summons. Sildo served the
summons on Teresa L. Galuras sister, Victoria Lapuz.

The Spouses Galura failed to file their answer. RTC declared


them in default and allowed MAC to present its evidence ex
parte.

RTC ruled in favor of MAC and ordered the Spouses Galura to


pay the unpaid balance, attorneys fees, and expenses of
litigation. Subsequently, RTC issued a writ of execution to
implement its Decision.

Thereafter, Spouses Galura received from their parents-inlaw a copy of the 10 November 2004 Order. Spouses Galura
filed with the CA a petition for annulment of judgment and
final order under Rule 47 of the Rules of Court, with prayer for
the issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction or temporary
restraining order, claiming that the RTCs Decision and Order
were void beacuse the RTC failed to acquire jurisdiction over
their persons because the substituted service of summons
was invalid, and there was extrinsic fraud because MAC made

them believe that it would not file a case against them - MAC,
despite the commitment of its owner not to file the complaint,
did so. Such an act on the part of Math-Agro and its owner
constitutes extrinsic fraud, as it prevented petitioners from
defending themselves in the action lodged with the RTC.

CA dismissed the petition for lack of merit. The Court of


Appeals held that there was a valid substituted service of
summons, that the allegation of extrinsic fraud was
unbelievable, and that the Spouses Galura should have first
availed of the ordinary remedies of new trial, appeal, or
petition for relief. The Spouses Galura filed a MR but was
denied. Hence, the present petition.

ISSUES:
1.
Was there a valid substituted service of summons?
NONE.
2.
Should have they availed first of the ordinary remedies
of new trial, appeal, or petition for relief? NO.

HELD:

1.
Sildo, in his Rertun, did not state that his attempts to
serve the summons by personal service at the Tierra Pura
Subdivision address failed, and that the same could not be
made within a reasonable time. He likewise failed to state
facts and circumstances showing why personal service of the
summons upon the petitioners at the said address was
impossible. Finally, he also failed to state that Ms. Victoria
Lapuz, the person with whom he left the summons, was a
person of sufficient age and discretion, and residing in the
said Tierra Pura address.

service is in derogation of the common law; it is a method


extraordinary in character, and hence may be used only as
prescribed and in the circumstances authorized by statute.

In the present case, there was no showing in the return of


service (1) of the impossibility of personal service within a
reasonable time; (2) that Lapuz, the person on whom
summons was served, was of suitable age and discretion; and
(3) that Lapuz resided in the residence of the Spouses Galura.
Consequently, the RTC did not acquire jurisdiction over the
persons of the Spouses Galura, and thus the Spouses Galura
are not bound by the RTCs Decision and Order.

2.
When a petition for annulment of judgment or final
order under Rule 47 is grounded on lack of jurisdiction over
the person of the defendant, the petitioner does not need to
allege that the ordinary remedies of new trial, appeal, or
petition for relief are no longer available through no fault of
his or her own.

In a case where a petition for annulment of a judgment or


final order of the RTC filed under Rule 47 of the Rules of Court
is grounded on lack of jurisdiction over the person of the
defendant/respondent or over the nature or subject of the
action, the petitioner need not allege in the petition that the
ordinary remedy of new trial or reconsideration of the final
order or judgment or appeal therefrom are no longer available
through no fault of her own. This is so because a judgment
rendered or final order issued by the RTC without jurisdiction
is null and void and may be assailed any time either
collaterally or in a direct action or by resisting such judgment
or final order an any action or proceeding whenever it is
invoked, unless barred by laches

TIJAM vs. SIBONGHANOY


The requisites of a valid substituted service: (1) service of
summons within a reasonable time is impossible; (2) the
person serving the summons exerted efforts to locate the
defendant; (3) the person to whom the summons is served is
of sufficient age and discretion; (4) the person to whom the
summons is served resides at the defendants place of
residence; and (5) pertinent facts showing the enumerated
circumstances are stated in the return of service.
In Sandoval, the Court held that statutory restrictions for
substituted service must be strictly, faithfully and fully
observed.

The summons must be served to the defendant in person. It


is only when the defendant cannot be served personally
within a reasonable time that a substituted service may be
made. Impossibility of prompt service should be shown by
stating the efforts made to find the defendant personally and
the fact that such efforts failed. This statement should be
made in the proof of service in the Return. This is necessary
because substituted service is in derogation of the usual
method of service. It has been held that this method of

FACTS: Spouses Tijam filed a civil case for recovery of a sum


of money and corresponding interests against Sopuses
Sibonghanoy in the CFI of Cebu. As prayed for in the
complaint, a writ of attachment was issued by the court
against defendants' properties, but the same was dissolved
upon the filing of a counter-bond by defendants and the
Manila Surety and Fidelity Co., Inc. Defendants after being
duly served with summons filed an answer with a
counterclaim.
CFI rendered judgment in favor of the plaintiffs. A writ of
execution was issued against defendants, however it was
unsatisfied. Spouses Tijam then moved for a writ of execution
against the Surety, but the Surety opposed on the ground that
no prior demand was made and that there was failure to
prosecute. CFI denied this motion on the ground that no
previous demand had been made on the Surety.
Thereafter the necessary demand was made, and upon failure
of the Surety to satisfy the judgment, the plaintiffs filed a
second motion for execution against the counterbond. Surety
motioned for extension to filed an answer, which was granted.

However, upon its failure to file such answer, CFI granted the
motion for execution and the corresponding writ was issued.
Surety moved to quash the writ on the ground that the same
was issued without the required summary hearing, but CFI
denied the motion. Surety appealed to the CA, which affirmed
the orders appealed from. It then filed a motion asking for
extension to file a MR, which was granted, but instead of filing
a MR it filed a Motion To Dismiss on the ground that the CFI
had no jurisdiction to try and decide the case as in false under
the jurisdiction of the Inferior Courts as per RA 296. CA
required Spouses Tijan to answer the motion to dismiss but
failed to do so. CA then resolved to set aside its decision and
certified the case to SC.

In the case at bar, the surety had been notified of the


plaintiffs' motion for execution and of the date when the same
would be submitted for consideration. In fact, the surety's
counsel was present in court when the motion was called, and
it was upon his request that the court a quo gave him a period
of four days within which to file an answer. Yet he allowed that
period to lapse without filing an answer or objection. The
surety cannot now, therefore, complain that it was deprived of
its day in court.

ISSUE: Does failure to raise the issue of lack of jurisdiction for


a considerable length of time bar a motion to dismiss the
case? YES.
PPA vs. GOTHONG
HELD: A party may be estopped or barred from raising a
question in different ways and for different reasons. Thus we
speak of estoppel in pais, or estoppel by deed or by record,
and of estoppel by laches.
Laches, in a general sense is failure or neglect, for an
unreasonable and unexplained length of time, to do that
which, by exercising due diligence, could or should have been
done earlier; it is negligence or omission to assert a right
within a reasonable time, warranting a presumption that the
party entitled to assert it either has abandoned it or declined
to assert it.
The doctrine of laches or of "stale demands" is based upon
grounds of public policy which requires, for the peace of
society, the discouragement of stale claims and, unlike the
statute of limitations, is not a mere question of time but is
principally a question of the inequity or unfairness of
permitting a right or claim to be enforced or asserted.
It has been held that a party can not invoke the jurisdiction of
a court to sure affirmative relief against his opponent and,
after obtaining or failing to obtain such relief, repudiate or
question that same jurisdiction.
Furthermore, it has also been held that after voluntarily
submitting a cause and encountering an adverse decision on
the merits, it is too late for the loser to question the
jurisdiction or power of the court. It is not right for a party who
has affirmed and invoked the jurisdiction of a court in a
particular matter to secure an affirmative relief, to afterwards
deny that same jurisdiction to escape a penalty.
The facts of this case show that from the time the Surety
became a quasi-party on July 31, 1948, it could have raised
the question of the lack of jurisdiction of the CFI. It failed to do
so. Instead, at several stages of the proceedings in the court a
quo as well as in the Court of Appeals, it invoked the
jurisdiction of said courts to obtain affirmative relief and
submitted its case for a final adjudication on the merits. It was
only after an adverse decision was rendered by the Court of
Appeals that it finally woke up to raise the question of
jurisdiction. Were we to sanction such conduct on its part, We
would in effect be declaring as useless all the proceedings had
in the present case since it was commenced on July 19, 1948
and compel the judgment creditors to go up their Calvary
once more. The inequity and unfairness of this is not only
patent but revolting.

FACTS: Veterans Shipping Corporations lease over the Marine


Slip Way in the North Harbor expired on December 31, 2000,
because of this WG&A requested PPA for it to be allowed to
lease and operate the facility. President Estrada issued a
memorandum approving the request. A contract of lease was
executed with the following terms: (1) duration is from January
1 to June 30, 2001 or until such time that PPA turns over its
operation to the winning bidder for the North Harbor
modernization; (2) payment of monthly rentals of P12.15 per
square meter or an aggregate monthly rental amount
of P886,950.00; (3) all structures/improvements introduced in
the leased premises shall be turned over to PPA; (4) Water,
electricity, telephone and other utility expenses shall be for
the account of WG&A; (5) Real Estate tax/insurance and other
government dues and charges shall be borne by WG&A. On
November 12, 2001 PPA sent a letter to WG&A directing it to
vacate the premises and to turnover the improvements made
therein. WG&A requested for reconsideration, but it was
denied.
FIRST COMPLAINT: Injunction with Prayer for Issuance of TRO.
1ST AMENDMENT: Injunction with Prayer for Issuance of TRO
plus second cause of action - estopped from denying that the
correct period of lease and additional relief if they should be
forced to vacate the facility they are entitled to be refunded of
the value of the improvements it introduced in the leased
property.
PPA submitted its answer. Meanwhile, the TRO sought was
denied. WG&A moved for the reconsideration, subsequently
filed a Motion to Admit Attached Second Amended Complaint
2nd AMENDMENT: Injunction with Prayer for Temporary
Restraining Order and/or Writ of Preliminary Injunction and
damages and/or for Reformation of Contract plus additional
relief of reformation of the contract as it failed to express or
embody the true intent of the contracting parties.
PPA opposed this second amendment - reformation sought for
constituted substantial amendment, which if granted, will
substantially alter the cause of action and theory of the case.
RTC denied admission of second amendment. WG&A filed a
motion MR but was denied. WG&A then filed a petition
for certiorari with the CA which was granted. CA directed RTC
to admit second amended complaint. PPA file a MR but it was

denied. Hence, this petition.

ISSUE: Should the second amended complaint be admitted?


YES.

HELD: RTC committed grave abuse of discretion denying the


admission of second amended complaint. By applying the old
Section 3, Rule 10 of the Rules of Court almost five years after
its amendment patently constitutes grave abuse of discretion.

OLD SECTION 3, RULE 10:


Section 3. Amendments by leave of court. After the case is
set for hearing, substantial amendments may be made only
upon leave of court. But such leave may be refused if it
appears to the court that the motion was made with intent to
delay the action or that the cause of action or defense is
substantially altered. Orders of the court upon the matters
provided in this section shall be made upon motion filed in
court, and after notice to the adverse party, and an
opportunity to be heard.
NEW SECTION 3, RULE 10:
SECTION 3. Amendments by leave of court. Except as
provided in the next preceding section, substantial
amendments may be made only upon leave of court. But such
leave may be refused if it appears to the court that the motion
was made with intent to delay.Orders of the court upon the
matters provided in this section shall be made upon motion
filed in court, and after notice to the adverse party, and an
opportunity to be heard.

The clear import of such amendment in Section 3, Rule 10 is


that under the new rules, "the amendment may (now)
substantially alter the cause of action or defense." This should
only be true, however, when despite a substantial change or
alteration in the cause of action or defense, the amendments
sought to be made shall serve the higher interests of
substantial justice, and prevent delay and equally promote
the laudable objective of the rules which is to secure a "just,
speedy and inexpensive disposition of every action and
proceeding.

SWAGMAN HOTELS vs. CA


FACTS: Sometime in 1996 and 1997, Swagman Hotels and
Travel, Inc., through Atty. Infante and ] Hegerty, its president
and vice-president, obtained from Christian loans evidenced
by three promissory notes dated 7 August 1996, 14 March
1997, and 14 July 1997. Each of the promissory notes is in
the amount of US$50,000 payable after three years from its
date with an interest of 15% per annum payable every three
months. In 1998, Christian informed the Swagman Hotels that
he was terminating the loans and demanded from the latter
payment in the total amount of US$150,000 plus unpaid
interests.
In 1999, Christian filed with the RTC of Baguio a complaint for
a sum of money and damages against the petitioner
corporation, Hegerty, and Atty. Infante. Alleging
that:Petitioner obtained loans from him, total amount of
US$150,000 payable after three years, with an interest of 15%
per annum payable quarterly or every three months.
However, starting January 1998 until December 1998, they
paid him only an interest of 6% per annum. Thus, Christian
prayed that the trial court order them to pay him jointly and
solidarily the total amount, the unpaid interests, moral
damages; attorneys fees; and the cost of the suit.
The petitioners filed an Answer raising as defenses lack of
cause of action and novation of the principal obligations. The
petitioner and its co-defendants then prayed that the
complaint be dismissed and that Christian be ordered to pay
moral damages; exemplary damages; and attorneys fees.
RTC declared the first two promissory notes dated 7 August
1996 and 14 March 1997 as already due and demandable and
that the interest on the loans had been reduced by the parties
from 15% to 6% per annum. It then ordered the petitioner
corporation to pay Christian the amount of $100,000
representing the principal obligation covered by the
promissory notes dated 7 August 1996 and 14 March 1997,
plus interest of 6% per month thereon until fully paid, with all
interest payments already paid by the defendant to the
plaintiff to be deducted therefrom.
RTC held that when the instant case was filed on February 2,
1999, none of the promissory notes was due and demandable.
As of this date however, the first and the second promissory
notes have already matured. Hence, payment is already due.
It held that under Section 5 of Rule 10 of the 1997 Rules of
Civil Procedure, a complaint which states no cause of action
may be cured by evidence presented without objection. Thus,
even if the plaintiff had no cause of action at the time he filed
the instant complaint, as defendants obligation are not yet
due and demandable then, he may nevertheless recover on
the first two promissory notes in view of the introduction of
evidence showing that the obligations covered by the two
promissory notes are now due and demandable.
Court of Appeals denied petitioners appeal and
affirmed in toto the decision of the RTC, holding that in the
case at bench, while it is true that appellant Swagman raised
in its Answer the issue of prematurity in the filing of the
complaint, appellant Swagman nonetheless failed to object to
appellee Christians presentation of evidence to the effect that
the promissory notes have become due and demandable. The
afore-quoted rule allows a complaint which states no cause of
action to be cured either by evidence presented without

objection or, in the event of an objection sustained by the


court, by an amendment of the complaint with leave of court
A motion for consideration filed by petitioner was likewise
denied. Hence this petition.
ISSUE: Does Section 5, Rule 10 allows a complaint that does
not state a cause of action to be cured by evidence presented
without objection during the trial? NO.
HELD: Such interpretation of Section 5, Rule 10 of the 1997
Rules of Civil Procedure is erroneous.
Amendments of pleadings are allowed under Rule 10 of the
1997 Rules of Civil Procedure in order that the actual merits of
a case may be determined in the most expeditious and
inexpensive manner without regard to technicalities, and that
all other matters included in the case may be determined in a
single proceeding, thereby avoiding multiplicity of suits.
Section 5 thereof applies to situations wherein evidence not
within the issues raised in the pleadings is presented by the
parties during the trial, and to conform to such evidence the
pleadings are subsequently amended on motion of a party.
Thus, a complaint which fails to state a cause of action may
be cured by evidence presented during the trial.
However, the curing effect under Section 5 is applicable only
if a cause of action in fact exists at the time the complaint is
filed, but the complaint is defective for failure to allege the
essential facts. It thus follows that a complaint whose cause of
action has not yet accrued cannot be cured or remedied by an
amended or supplemental pleading alleging the existence or
accrual of a cause of action while the case is pending. Such an
action is prematurely brought and is, therefore, a groundless
suit, which should be dismissed by the court upon proper
motion seasonably filed by the defendant.
Unless the plaintiff has a valid and subsisting cause of action
at the time his action is commenced, the defect cannot be
cured or remedied by the acquisition or accrual of one while
the action is pending, and a supplemental complaint or an
amendment setting up such after-accrued cause of action is
not permissible. Contrary to the holding of the trial court and
the Court of Appeals, the defect of lack of cause of action at
the commencement of this suit cannot be cured by the
accrual of a cause of action during the pendency of this case
arising from the alleged maturity of two of the promissory
notes on 7 August 1999 and 14 March 2000.

VILLAROSA vs. BENITO


FACTS: Villarosa & Partner Co., Ltd. is a limited partnership
with principal office address at 102 Juan Luna St. , Davao City
and with branch offices at 2492 Bay View Drive , Tambo,
Paraaque, Metro Manila and Kolambog, Lapasan, Cagayan de
Oro City. Villarosa and Imperial Development Corp. executed a
Deed of Sale with Development Agreement wherein the
Villarosa agreed to develop certain parcels of land located at
Barrio Carmen, Cagayan de Oro belonging to the Imperial
Development Corp. into a housing subdivision for the
construction of low cost housing units. They further agreed
that in case of litigation regarding any dispute arising
therefrom, the venue shall be in the proper courts of Makati .

In 1998, Imperial Development Corp. filed a Complaint for


Breach of Contract and Damages against Villarosa before the
RTC of Makati allegedly for failure to comply with its
contractual obligation in that, other than a few unfinished low
cost houses, there were no substantial developments therein.
Summons, together with the complaint, were served upon the
Villarosa, through its Branch Manager Engr. Wendell Sabulbero
at the stated address at Kolambog, Lapasan, Cagayan de Oro
City but the Sheriff's Return of Service stated that the
summons was duly served "upon defendant E.B. Villarosa &
Partner Co., Ltd. thru its Branch Manager Engr. WENDELL
SALBULBERO on May 5, 1998 at their new office Villa Gonzalo,
Nazareth, Cagayan de Oro City, and evidenced by the
signature on the face of the original copy of the summons.
Villarosa filed a Special Appearance with Motion to Dismiss on
the ground of improper service of summons and for lack of
jurisdiction over the person of the defendant. Imperial filed a
Motion to Declare Defendant in Default for failure to file an
Answer despite its receipt of the summons and the complaint.
Villarosa filed an Opposition to Defendant's Motion to Dismiss.
RTC issued an Order denying defendant's Motion to Dismiss as
well as plaintiffs Motion to Declare Defendant in Default.
Defendant was given ten (10) days within which to file a
responsive pleading. RTC stated that since the summons and
copy of the complaint were in fact received by the corporation
through its branch manager, there was substantial compliance
with the rule on service of summons and consequently, it
validly acquired jurisdiction over the person of the defendant.
Villarosa filed a MR alleging that Section 11, Rule 14 of the
new Rules did not liberalize but, on the contrary, restricted the
service of summons on persons enumerated therein; and that
the new provision is very specific and clear in that the word
"manager" was changed to "general manager", "secretary" to
"corporate secretary", and excluding therefrom agent and
director. This was however denied. Hence this petition.
ISSUE: Did RTC acquired jurisdiction over the person of
petitioner upon service of summons on its Branch Manager?
NO.
HELD:
NEW Sec. 11, Rule 14 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure
provides that:
When the defendant is a corporation, partnership or
association organized under the laws of the Philippines with a
juridical personality, service may be made on the president,
managing partner, general manager, corporate secretary,
treasurer, or in-house counsel.
OLD Sec. 13, Rule 14 of the Rules of Court which provided
that:
Sec. 13. Service upon private domestic corporation or
partnership. If the defendant is a corporation organized
under the laws of the Philippines or a partnership duly
registered, service may be made on the president, manager,
secretary, cashier, agent, or any of its directors. (emphasis
supplied).

The particular revision under Section 11 of Rule 14 was


explained by retired Supreme Court Justice Florenz Regalado,
thus:
. . . the then Sec. 13 of this Rule allowed service upon a
defendant corporation to "be made on the president,
manager, secretary, cashier, agent or any of its
directors." The aforesaid terms were obviously ambiguous and
susceptible of broad and sometimes illogical interpretations,
especially the word "agent" of the corporation.
It should be noted that even prior to the effectivity of the
1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, strict compliance with the rules
has been enjoined. In the case of Delta Motor Sales
Corporation vs. Mangosing,25 the Court held:
A strict compliance with the mode of service is necessary to
confer jurisdiction of the court over a corporation. The officer
upon whom service is made must be one who is named in the
statute; otherwise the service is insufficient. . . .
The purpose is to render it reasonably certain that the
corporation will receive prompt and proper notice in an action
against it or to insure that the summons be served on a
representative so integrated with the corporation that such
person will know what to do with the legal papers served on
him. In other words, "to bring home to the corporation notice
of the filing of the action." . . . .
The liberal construction rule cannot be invoked and utilized as
a substitute for the plain legal requirements as to the manner
in which summons should be served on a domestic
corporation.
Service of summons upon persons other than those
mentioned in Section 13 of Rule 14 (old rule) has been held as
improper. Even under the old rule, service upon a general
manager of a firm's branch office has been held as improper
as summons should have been served at the firm's principal
office. Accordingly, we rule that the service of summons upon
the branch manager of petitioner at its branch office at
Cagayan de Oro, instead of upon the general manager at its
principal office at Davao City is improper. Consequently, the
trial court did not acquire jurisdiction over the person of the
petitioner.
The fact that defendant filed a belated motion to dismiss did
not operate to confer jurisdiction upon its person. There is no
question that the defendant's voluntary appearance in the
action is equivalent to service of summons. Before, the rule
was that a party may challenge the jurisdiction of the court
over his person by making a special appearance through a
motion to dismiss and if in the same motion, the movant
raised other grounds or invoked affirmative relief which
necessarily involves the exercise of the jurisdiction of the
court. This doctrine has been abandoned.
The emplacement of this rule clearly underscores the purpose
to enforce strict enforcement of the rules on summons.
Accordingly, the filing of a motion to dismiss, whether or not
belatedly filed by the defendant, his authorized agent or
attorney, precisely objecting to the jurisdiction of the court
over the person of the defendant can by no means be deemed
a submission to the jurisdiction of the court. There being no
proper service of summons, the trial court cannot take
cognizance of a case for lack of jurisdiction over the person of

the defendant. Any proceeding undertaken by the trial court


will consequently be null and void.

SANTOS vs. PNOC


FACTS: On December 23, 2002, respondent PNOC Exploration
Corporation filed a complaint for a sum of money against
petitioner Pedro T. Santos, Jr. in the RTC of Pasig City. The
complaint sought to collect the amount of P698,502.10
representing petitioners unpaid balance of the car
loan advanced to him by respondent when he was still a
member of its board of directors.

Personal service of summons to Santos failed because he


could not be located in his last known address despite earnest
efforts to do so. Subsequently, on PNOCs motion, the trial
court allowed service of summons by publication. PNOC
caused the publication of the summons in Remate, a
newspaper of general circulation in the Philippines , on May
20, 2003. Thereafter, PNOC submitted the affidavit of
publication and an affidavit to the effect that he sent a copy of
the summons by registered mail to Santos last known
address.

When Santos failed to file his answer within the prescribed


period, PNOC moved that the case be set for the reception of
its evidence ex partewhich was granted.

On October 28, 2003, Santos filed an Omnibus Motion for


Reconsideration and to Admit Attached Answer. He sought
reconsideration of the September 11, 2003 order, alleging
that the affidavit of service submitted by PNOC failed to
comply with Section 19, Rule 14 of the Rules of Court as it was
not executed by the clerk of court. He also claimed that he
was denied due process as he was not notified of the
September 11, 2003 order. However, RTC denied his motion
and held that the rules did not require the affidavit of
complementary service by registered mail to be executed by
the clerk of court. It also ruled that due process was observed
as a copy of the September 11, 2003 order was actually
mailed to petitioner at his last known address.

Santos filed a petition for certiorari in the CA contending that


the orders were issued with grave abuse of discretion. During
the pendency of the petition in the CA, the RTC rendered its
decision in the civil case ordering Santos to pay P698,502.10
plus legal interest and costs of suit. CA on the other hand
sustained the decision of the RTC. It also denied Santos MR.
Hence this petition.

ISSUE:
1.

Was there proper service of summons? YES.

2.
Does the rules on service of summon by publication
apply only to actions in rem? NO.

of petitioner by his own voluntary appearance in the


action against him. In this connection, Section 20, Rule 14 of
the Rules of Court states:

3.
Was there a defect in the affidavit of complementary
service having been executed by PNOCs messenger and not
the Clerk of Court? NONE.

HELD:

SEC. 20. Voluntary appearance. The defendants voluntary


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

1.
Section 14, Rule 14 (on Summons) of the Rules of Court
provides:
Petitioner voluntarily appeared in the action when he filed the
Omnibus Motion for Reconsideration and to Adm
SEC. 14. Service upon defendant whose identity or
whereabouts are unknown. In any action where the
defendant is designated as an unknown owner, or the like,
or whenever his whereabouts are unknown and cannot be
ascertained by diligent inquiry, service may, by leave of court,
be effected upon him by publication in a newspaper of general
circulation and in such places and for such times as the court
may order.

Since petitioner could not be personally served with summons


despite diligent efforts to locate his whereabouts, respondent
sought and was granted leave of court to effect service of
summons upon him by publication in a newspaper of general
circulation. Thus, petitioner was properly served with
summons by publication.

2.
The in rem/in personam distinction was significant
under the old rule because it was silent as to the kind of
action to which the rule was applicable. Because of this
silence, the Court limited the application of the old rule to in
rem actions only.

This has been changed. The present rule expressly states that
it applies [i]n any action where the defendant is designated
as an unknown owner, or the like, or whenever his
whereabouts are unknown and cannot be ascertained by
diligent inquiry. Thus, it now applies to any action, whether in
personam, in rem or quasi in rem.

3.
The rules, however, do not require that the affidavit of
complementary service be executed by the clerk of court.
While the trial court ordinarily does the mailing of copies of its
orders and processes, the duty to make the complementary
service by registered mail is imposed on the party who resorts
to service by publication.

Moreover, even assuming that the service of summons was


defective, the trial court acquired jurisdiction over the person

SOLIVEN vs. FAST FORMS


FACTS: Marie Antoinette R. Soliven, petitioner, filed with the
RTC of Makati a complaint for sum of money with damages
against Fastforms Philippines, Inc. Soliven alleges that
Fastforms through its president Dr. Escobar, obtained a loan
from her amounting to P170,000.00 payable in a period of 21
days, with a 3% interest. This loan was evidence by a
promissory note executed by Dr. Escobar. Respondent issued
a postdated check but advised petitioner not to deposit the
check as the account from where it was drawn has insufficient
funds. Respondent proposed to petitioner that
the P175,000.00 be "rolled-over," with a monthly interest of
5% (or P8,755.00). Petitioner agreed to the proposal.
Respondent then issued several checks as payment for
interests but, despite petitioners repeated demands,
respondent refused to pay its principal obligation and
interests due.
Respondent, in its answer with counterclaim, denied that it
obtained a loan from petitioner; and that it did not authorize
its then president, Dr. Escobar, to secure any loan from
petitioner or issue various checks as payment for interests.
RTC rendered its decision in favor or Soliveb and ordered
Fastforms to pay their obligation. Respondent then filed a MR
questioning for the first time the trial courts jurisdiction. It
alleged that since the amount of petitioners principal demand
(P195,155.00) does not exceed P200,000.00, the complaint
should have been filed with the MTC.
Soliven opposed the MR, stressing that respondent is barred
from assailing the jurisdiction of the trial court since it has
invoked the latters jurisdiction by seeking affirmative relief in
its answer to the complaint and actively participated in all
stages of the trial. RTC denied the MR, ruling the totality of the
claim therein exceeds P200,000.00 and that under the
principle of estoppel, respondent has lost its right to question
its jurisdiction.
On appeal, CA reversed the trial courts Decision on the
ground of lack of jurisdiction. Petitioner filed a MR but was
denied. Hence, this petition.

ISSUE: Should the case be dismissed for lack of jurisdiction of


the RTC? NO.
HELD: While it is true that jurisdiction may be raised at any
time, "this rule presupposes that estoppel has not
supervened."
In the instant case, respondent actively participated in all
stages of the proceedings before the trial court and invoked
its authority by asking for an affirmative relief. Clearly,
respondent is estopped from challenging the trial courts
jurisdiction, especially when an adverse judgment has been
rendered.
The Court has constantly upheld the doctrine that while
jurisdiction may be assailed at any stage, a litigants
participation in all stages of the case before the trial court,
including the invocation of its authority in asking for
affirmative relief, bars such party from challenging the courts
jurisdiction. A party cannot invoke the jurisdiction of a court to
secure affirmative relief against his opponent and after
obtaining or failing to obtain such relief, repudiate or question
that same jurisdiction. The Court frowns upon the undesirable
practice of a party participating in the proceedings and
submitting his case for decision and then accepting judgment,
only if favorable, and attacking it for lack of jurisdiction, when
adverse
it Attached Answer. This was equivalent to service of
summons and vested the trial court with jurisdiction over the
person of petitioner

By Order the trial court set aside the Order of Defaultand gave
herein respondents five days to file theirAnswer. Respondents
just the same did not file anAnswer, drawing petitioner to
again file a Motion todeclare them in default, which the trial
court againgranted..So, respondents filed an Omnibus Motion
forreconsideration of the second order declaring them
indefault and to vacate proceedings, this time claimingthat
the trial court did not acquire jurisdiction over theirpersons
due to invalid service of summons.The trial court denied
respondents Omnibus Motion byOrder and proceeded to
receiveex-parte
evidence forpetitioner.Petitioners motion for reconsideration
having beendenied by the appellate court by Resolution of
August12, 2008, it comes to the Court via petition for
reviewon certiorari, arguing in the main that respondents,
infiling the first Motion to Lift the Order of Default,voluntarily
submitted themselves to the jurisdiction of the court.
ISSUE: W/n the court acquires jurisdiction over thepersons of
the defendants [respondents].RULING: YES
The petition is impressed with merit.It is settled that if there is
no valid service of summons,the court can still acquire
jurisdiction over the person of the defendant by virtue of the
latters voluntaryappearance. Thus Section 20 of Rule 14 of
the Rules of Court provides: Sec. 20.V oluntary appearance
. The defendantsvoluntary appearance in the action shall
be equivalentto service of summons. The inclusion in a motion
todismiss of other grounds aside from lack of jurisdictionover
the person shall not be deemed a voluntaryappearance.And

RTC
RAPID CITY VS. VILLA

FACTS:
Sometime in 2004, Rapid City Realty and
DevelopmentCorporation (petitioner) filed a complaint
fordeclaration of nullity of subdivision plans . . .
mandamusand damages against several defendants
includingSpouses Orlando and Lourdes
Villa (respondents).After one failed attempt at personal
service of summons, court process server resorted to
substitutedservice by serving summons upon
respondentshousehelp who did not acknowledge receipt
thereof and refused to divulge their names.Despite
substituted service, respondents failed to filetheir Answer,
prompting petitioner to file a "Motion toDeclare Defendants[herein respondents] in Default"which the trial court granted
by Order of May 3, 2005.More than eight months thereafter
respondents filed aMotion to Lift Order of Default,claiming
that onJanuary 27, 2006 they "officially receivedall
pertinentpapers such as Complaint and Annexes. And they
denied the existence of two women helpers whoallegedly
refused to sign and acknowledge receipt of the summons. In
any event, they contended thatassuming that the allegation
were true, the helpers hadno authority to receive the
documents.

Phili ppine Commercial International Bank v.Spouses Wilson


Dy Hong Pi and Lolita Dy, et al. enlightens:Preliminarily,
jurisdiction over the defendant in a civilcase is acquired either
by the coercive power of legalprocesses exerted over his
person, or his voluntaryappearance in court. As a general
proposition, one whoseeks an affirmative relief is deemed to
have submittedto the jurisdiction of the court. It is by reason
of thisrule that we have had occasion to declare that the
filingof motions to admit answer, for additional time to
fileanswer, for reconsideration of a default judgment, andto
lift order of default with motion for reconsideration,is
considered voluntary submission to the courts jurisdiction.
This, however, is tempered by the conceptof conditional
appearance, such that a party who makesa special
appearance to challenge, among others, thecourts
jurisdiction over his person cannot beconsidered to have
submitted to its authority.Prescinding from the foregoing, it is
thus clear that:(1) Special appearance operates as an
exceptionto the general rule on voluntary appearance;(2)
Accordingly, objections to the jurisdiction of the court over the
person of the defendantmust be explicitly made, i.e., set forth
in anunequivocal manner; and(3) Failure to do so constitutes
voluntarysubmission to the jurisdiction of the court,especially
in instances where a pleading ormotion seeking affirmative
relief is filed andsubmitted to the court for resolution.
Respondents did not, in said motion, allege that theirfiling
thereof was a special appearance for the purposeonly to
question the jurisdiction over their persons.Clearly, they had
acquiesced to the jurisdiction of thecourt.

FIGUEROA vs. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINESJULY 14,


2008NACHURA, J.SUBJECT AREA:
Estoppel by laches
NATURE:
Petition for review on certiorari
FACTS:
Petitioner was charged with the crime of reckless imprudence
resulting in homicide. TheRTC fo und h im guilty. In
h is appeal b efore th e C A, th e p etitio ner, for th e fi r st
time, questio ned RTCs jurisdiction on the case.Th e C A in
affi rm in g the decision o f the RTC, ru led tha t th e
pr in ciple of es to ppel by la ch es has already precluded
the petitioner from questioning the jurisdiction of the RTCthe
trial went
on for 4 y e a r s w i t h t h e p e t i t i o n e r a c t i v e l y p a r t i
cipating therein and without him ever raising
t h e jurisdictional infirmity.The petitioner, for his part,
counters that the lack of jurisdiction of a court over the
subject matter may b e r aised a t a ny tim e even fo r the
fi r st time on ap peal. As undue d elay is fu rther
absentherein, the principle of laches will not be
applicable.Hence, this petition.
ISSUE:
WON petitio ners fa ilure to ra is e the is sue of
jur isd ictio n dur in g the tr ia l of th is cas e, constitute
laches in relation to the doctrine laid down in Tijam v.
Sibonghanoy, notwithstanding thefact that said issue was
immediately raised in petitioners appeal to the CA
HELD:
No.
RATIO:
Citing the ruling in Calimlim vs. Ramirez, the Court held that
as a general rule, the issueof jurisdiction may be raised at any
stage of the proceedings, even on appeal, and is not lost
bywaiver or by estoppel.

Estoppel by laches may be invoked to bar the issue of


lack of jurisdiction only in cases inwhich the factual milieu
is analogous to that of Tijam v. Sibonghanoy.Laches should be
clearly present for the Sibonghanoy doctrine to be
applicable,
tha t is,lac k of ju risdiction must ha ve b een r aised so
b elatedly as to wa rra nt th e presum ptio n that
theparty entitled to assert it had abandoned or declined to
assert it.In Sibonghanoy, the party invoking lack of jurisdiction
did so only after fifteen years and at a stagewhen the
proceedings had already been elevated to the
CA. Sibonghanoy is an exceptional casebecause of the
presence of laches.In the case at bar, the factual settings
attendant in Sibonghanoy are not
present. Petitioner Atty.Rega la do , a fter the receipt o f
the Cou rt o f App ea ls reso lu tion fi nd ing her guilty o f
c ontem pt,prom ptly fi led a M otio n for
Rec ons id er atio n ass ailing th e sa id
c our ts ju risdiction bas ed onprocedural infirmity in
initiating the action. Her compliance with the appellate courts
directive toshow cause why she should not be cited for
contempt and filing a single piece of pleading to thateffect
could not be considered as an active participation in the
judicial proceedings so as to takethe case within the milieu of
Sibonghanoy. Rather, it is the natural fear to disobey the
mandate of the court that could lead to dire
consequences that impelled her to comply.

The petitioner is in no way estopped by laches in assailing the


jurisdiction of the RTC, consideringt h a t h e r a i s e d
the lack thereof in his appeal before the
a p p e l l a t e c o u r t . A t t h a t t i m e , n o considerable
period had yet elapsed for laches to attach.
DISPOSITIVE:
Petition for review on certiorari is granted. Criminal case
is dismissed.