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spouses, wherein the latter intended to
marry again filed a petition w/ the RTC, for
the declaration of nullity of his marriage with
the petitioner on the ground of psychological
Although the respondent knew that
the petitioner was already residing at the
resort Munting Paraiso in Bancal, Carmona,
Cavite, he, nevertheless, alleged in his
petition that the petitioner was residing at
No. 72 CRM Avenue corner CRM Corazon, BF
Homes, Almanza, Las Pias, Metro Manila,
"where she may be served with summons."
The clerk of court issued summons to
the petitioner at the address stated in the
petition. The sheriff served the summons and
a copy of the petition by substituted service
on June 6, 1995 on the petitioners son,
Venancio Mariano B. Ancheta III, at his
residence in Bancal, Carmona, Cavite.9
The petitioner failed to file an answer to the
petition. On June 22, 1995, the respondent
filed an "Ex-Parte Motion to Declare
Defendant as in Default". During the hearing
on the said date, there was no appearance
for the petitioner. The trial court granted the
motion and declared the petitioner in default,
and allowed the respondent to adduce
evidence ex-parte. Thereafter, the trial court
issued an Order granting the petition and
declaring the marriage of the parties void ab
The petitioner filed a verified petition against
the respondent with the Court of Appeals
under Rule 47 of the Rules of Court, as
amended, for the annulment of the order of
the RTC of Cavite in Special Proceedings , on
her claim that the summons and the copy of
the complaint in Sp. Proc. No. NC-662 were
not served on her. Thus, according to the
petitioner, the order of the trial court in favor
of the respondent was null and void (1) for
lack of jurisdiction over her person; and (2)
due to the extrinsic fraud perpetrated by the

jurisdiction over the person of the
In a case where a petition for the
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 there from 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 in any
action or proceeding whenever it is
invoked,22 unless barred by laches.
In this case, the original petition and the
amended petition in the Court of Appeals, in
light of the material averments therein, were
based not only on extrinsic fraud, but also on
lack of jurisdiction of the trial court over the
person of the petitioner because of the
failure of the sheriff to serve on her the
summons and a copy of the complaint. She
claimed that the summons and complaint
were served on her son, Venancio Mariano B.
Ancheta III, who, however, failed to give her
the said summons and complaint.
In Paramount Insurance Corporation v.
Japzon,24 we held that jurisdiction is acquired
by a trial court over the person of the
appearance in court and his submission to its
authority or by service of summons. The
service of summons and the complaint on
the defendant is to inform him that a case
has been filed against him and, thus, enable
him to defend himself. He is, thus, put on
guard as to the demands of the plaintiff or
the petitioner. Without such service in the

absence of a valid waiver renders the

judgment of the court null and void.25
Jurisdiction cannot be acquired by the court
on the person of the defendant even if he
knows of the case against him unless he is
validly served with summons.26

acknowledged June as his daughter

with Nadina, and that he was posing
no objection to Nadinas petition.

On 7 September 1983, Nadina filed an

impleading Francisco and Gustilo as

The Office of the Sol. Gen. filed a

Motion to Dismiss the petition on the
ground that the RTC "had no
jurisdiction over the subject matter .
They cited various jurisprudence
holding that only innocuous or clerical
errors may be corrected under a Rule
108 petition for correction of entries.

Later on Motion to dismiss was denied

by the RTC and thereafter issued an
order granting the petition and
ordering the requested corrections to
be effected.

Gustilo died in 19 December 1986.

Two estate proceedings arose from his

Jose Vicente Gustilo ("Jose Vicente"),

allegedly a biological child of Gustilo,
he filed with the Court of Appeals a
Petition23 seeking the annulment of
the RTC Order of 7 January 1985 which
had effected changes in the civil
status of June..

After the Court of Appeals commenced

hearings on the petition, petitioner
Milagros Barco ("Barco"), on 11
January 1994, filed in her capacity as
the natural guardian and/or guardian
ad litem of her daughter, Mary Joy Ann
Gustilo, a Motion for Intervention with
a Complaint-in-Intervention attached
thereto. Barco alleged that Mary Joy
had a legal interest in the annulment
of the RTC Order as she was likewise
fathered by Gustilo.


Private respondent Nadina Maravilla

("Nadina") married Francisco Maravilla.
Later on, the spouses decided to live
separately and they obtained an
ecclesiastical annulment of marriage.

Nadina gave birth to a daughter

named June Salvacio. Junes birth
certificate listed Francisco Maravilla as
the father but despite of the notation
of her daughters birth certificate,
Nadina subsequently claimed that the
real father of her child was Armando
Gustilo, a former Congressman with
whom she maintained a relationship.
At the time of Junes birth, Gustilo was
married to Caraycong, who would later
perish in the naval accident of 1981.
Later, Nadina and Gustilo were
married in the United States after two
and a half years of Nadinas marriage
to Francisco was alleged to have been
annulled in the Philippines.

On 17 March 1983, Nadina filed in her

own name a Petition for Correction of
Entries in the Certificate of Birth of her
daughter June with the RTC. She
prayed that the Local Civil Registrar of
Makati be directed to correct the birth
certificate of June that she will carry
the surname of her alleged real father
Gustilo. Notably, Francisco affixed his
signature to the Petition signifying his
conformity thereto.
On 20 March 1983. Gustilo filed a

The appellate court held that neither

Jose Vicente nor Barco were able to
establish the existence of lack of
jurisdiction and extrinsic fraud, the
two grounds that would justify the
annulment of a final judgment. 32 It
ruled that while Jose Vicente and
Barco had not been made parties in
the Petition for Correction, the
subsequent notice and publication of
the Order setting the case for hearing
served as constructive notice to all
parties who might have an interest to
participate in the case. The publication
of the Order conferred upon the RTC
the jurisdiction to try and decide the
Before this Court, Barco assails that
RTC Order on the ground of lack of

ISSUE: 1.) W/n the court acquires

jurisdiction over the parties due to the
failure of impleading Barco as a party to
the petition for correction.
Undoubtedly, Barco is among the parties
referred to in Section 3 of Rule 108. Her
interest was affected by the petition for
correction, as any judicial determination that
June was the daughter of Armando would
affect her wards share in the estate of her
father. It cannot be established whether
Nadina knew of Mary Joys existence at the
time she filed the petition for correction.
Indeed, doubt may always be cast as to
whether a petitioner under Rule 108 would
know of all the parties whose interests may
be affected by the granting of a petition. For
example, a petitioner cannot be presumed to
be aware of all the legitimate or illegitimate
offsprings of his/her spouse or paramour. The
fact that Nadina amended her petition to
implead Francisco and Gustilo indicates
earnest effort on her part to comply with
Section 3 as quoted above.

Yet, even though Barco was not impleaded in

the petition, the Court of Appeals correctly
pointed out that the defect was cured by
compliance with Section 4, Rule 108, which
requires notice by publication.
The purpose precisely of Section 4, Rule 108
is to bind the whole world to the subsequent
judgment on the petition. The sweep of the
decision would cover even parties who
should have been impleaded under Section
3, Rule 108, but were inadvertently left out.
Verily, a petition for correction is an action in
rem, an action against a thing and not
against a person.46 The decision on the
petition binds not only the parties thereto 47
but the whole world.48 An in rem proceeding
is validated essentially through publication.49
Publication is notice to the whole world that
the proceeding has for its object to bar
indefinitely all who might be minded to make
an objection of any sort against the right
sought to be established. It is the publication
of such notice that brings in the whole world
as a party in the case and vests the court
with jurisdiction to hear and decide it.
ISSUE: 2.) W/n the court acquires
jurisdiction over the nature of the
action or the subject matter.
Section 2, Rule 47 of the 1997 Rules of Civil
Procedure explicitly provides only two
grounds for annulment of judgment, namely:
extrinsic fraud and lack of jurisdiction.
Assuming arguendo that Nadinas petition for
correction had prescribed and/or that the
action seeking the change of name can only
be filed by the party whose name is sought
to be changed, this does not alter the reality
that under the law the Makati RTC had
jurisdiction over the subject matter of the
Reorganization Act of 1980, the applicable
law at the time, clearly conferred on the
Makati RTC exclusive original jurisdiction in

all civil actions in which the subject of the

estimation.62 In complementation of grant of
jurisdiction, Section 1 of Rule 108 provides
that the verified petition to the cancellation
or correction of any entry relating thereto
should be filed with the Court of First
Instance (now Regional Trial Court) of the
province where the corresponding civil
registry is located.
Barco in this case posed defenses of
prescription and lack of capacity to bring
action to the extent that a finding that any of
these grounds exist will be sufficient to cause
the dismissal of the action. Yet, the existence
of these grounds does not oust the court
from its power to decide the case.
Jurisdiction cannot be acquired through,
waived, enlarged or diminished by any act or
omission of the parties. Contrariwise, lack of
capacity to sue and prescriptions as grounds
for dismissal of an action may generally be
rendered unavailing, if not raised within the
proper period.6
It thus follows that assuming that the
petition for correction had prescribed, or that
Nadina lacked the capacity to file the action
which led to the change of her daughters
name, the fact that the RTC granted the
Order despite the existence of these two
grounds only characterizes the decision as
The RTCs possible misappreciation of
evidence ( RTC erred in directing that the
name of Nadinas daughter be changed from
"June Salvacion Maravilla" to "June Salvacion
determination that Gustilo was the father of
June, but prescinding from the conclusive
presumption of legitimacy for the nonce
assuming it could be done, the child would
obviously be illegitimate. ) is again at most,
an error in the exercise of jurisdiction, which
is different from lack of jurisdiction. These
purported errors do not extend to the
competence of the RTC to decide the matter

and as such does not constitute a valid

ground to annul the final order.


Sometime in 2004, Rapid City Realty and
Development Corporation (petitioner) filed a
complaint for declaration of nullity of
subdivision plans . . . mandamus and
including Spouses Orlando and Lourdes Villa
After one failed attempt at personal service
of summons, court process server resorted to
substituted service by serving summons
upon respondents househelp who did not
acknowledge receipt thereof and refused to
divulge their names.
Despite substituted service, respondents
failed to file their Answer, prompting
petitioner to file a "Motion to Declare
Defendants[-herein respondents] in Default"
which the trial court granted by Order of May
3, 2005.
respondents filed a Motion to Lift Order of
Default,3 claiming that on January 27, 2006
they "officially received all pertinent
papers such as Complaint and Annexes. And
they denied the existence of two women
helpers who allegedly refused to sign and
acknowledge receipt of the summons. In any
event, they contended that assuming that
the allegation were true, the helpers had no
authority to receive the documents.4
By Order the trial court set aside the Order of
Default and gave herein respondents five
days to file their Answer. Respondents just
the same did not file an Answer, drawing
petitioner to again file a Motion to declare
them in default, which the trial court again

So, respondents filed an Omnibus Motion for

reconsideration of the second order declaring
them in default and to vacate proceedings,
this time claiming that the trial court did not
acquire jurisdiction over their persons due to
invalid service of summons.
The trial court denied respondents Omnibus
Motion by Order and proceeded to receive
ex-parte evidence for petitioner.
having been denied by the appellate court by
Resolution of August 12, 2008, it comes to
the Court via petition for review on certiorari,
arguing in the main that respondents, in
filing the first Motion to Lift the Order of
Default, voluntarily submitted themselves to
the jurisdiction of the court.
jurisdiction over the persons of the
defendants [respondents].
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
appearance. Thus Section 20 of Rule 14 of
the Rules of Court provides:
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 shall not be
deemed a voluntary appearance.
And Philippine Commercial International
Bank v. Spouses Wilson Dy Hong Pi and
Lolita Dy, et al. enlightens:
Preliminarily, jurisdiction over the defendant
in a civil case is acquired either by the
coercive power of legal processes exerted

over his person, or his voluntary appearance

in court. As a general proposition, one who
seeks an affirmative relief is deemed to have
submitted to the jurisdiction of the court. It is
by reason of this rule that we have had
occasion to declare that the filing of motions
to admit answer, for additional time to file
answer, for reconsideration of a default
judgment, and to lift order of default with
motion for reconsideration, is considered
jurisdiction. This, however, is tempered by
the concept of conditional appearance, such
that a party who makes a special appearance
to challenge, among others, the courts
jurisdiction over his person cannot be
considered to have submitted to its
Prescinding from the foregoing, it is thus
clear that:
(1) Special appearance operates as an
exception to the general rule on
voluntary appearance;
(2) Accordingly, objections to
jurisdiction of the court over
person of the defendant must
explicitly made, i.e., set forth in
unequivocal manner; and


(3) Failure to do so constitutes

jurisdiction of the court, especially in
instances where a pleading or motion
seeking affirmative relief is filed and
submitted to the court for resolution.
Respondents did not, in said motion, allege
that their filing thereof was a special
appearance for the purpose only to question
the jurisdiction over their persons. Clearly,
they had acquiesced to the jurisdiction of the


These were 2 separate cases originally filed
by Godofredo Pineda at the RTC of Tagum for
recovery of possession (acciones publiciana)
against 3 defendants, namely: Antonia Noel,
Pineda was the owner of 790 sqm land
evidenced by TCT No. T-46560. The previous
owner of such land has allowed the 3
defendants to use or occupy the same by
mere tolerance. Pineda, having himself the
need to use the property, has demanded the
defendants to vacate the property and pay
reasonable rentals therefore, but such were
The complaint was challenged in the Motions
to Dismiss filed by each defendant alleging
that it did not specify the amounts of actual,
nominal, and exemplary damages, nor the
assessed value of the property, that being
bars the determination of the RTCs
The Motions to Dismiss were denied but the
claims for damages in the complaint were
expunged for failure to specify the amounts.
Thus, the defendants filed a Joint Petition for
temporary restraining order against the RTC.
Whether or not the amount of damages
claimed and the assessed value of the
property are relevant in the determination of
the courts jurisdiction in a case for recovery
Determinative of the courts jurisdiction in a
recovery of possession of property is the
nature of the action (one of accion
publiciana) and not the value of the property,
it may be commenced and prosecuted
without an accompanying claim for actual,
nominal or exemplary damages and such
action would fall within the exclusive original
jurisdiction of the RTC. The court acquired
jurisdiction upon the filing of the complaint
and payment of the prescribed docket fees.
Where the action is purely for the recovery of
money or damages, the docket fees are
assessed on the basis of the aggregate
amount claimed, exclusive only of interests

and costs. In this case, the complaint or

similar pleading should, according to Circular
No. 7 of this Court, "specify the amount of
damages being prayed for not only in the
body of the pleading but also in the prayer,
and said damages shall be considered in the
assessment of the filing fees in any case."
Two situations may arise. One is where the
complaint or similar pleading sets out a claim
purely for money or damages and there is no
precise statement of the amounts being
claimed. In this event the rule is that the
pleading will "not be accepted nor admitted,
or shall otherwise be expunged from the
record." In other words, the complaint or
pleading may be dismissed, or the claims as
to which the amounts are unspecified may
be expunged, although as aforestated the
Court may, on motion, permit amendment of
the complaint and payment of the fees
provided the claim has not in the meantime
become time-barred. The other is where the
pleading does specify the amount of every
claim, but the fees paid are insufficient; and
here again, the rule now is that the court
may allow a reasonable time for the payment
of the prescribed fees, or the balance
thereof, and upon such payment, the defect
is cured and the court may properly take
cognizance of the action, unless in the
meantime prescription has set in and
consequently barred the right of action.
Where the action involves real property and
a related claim for damages as well, the legal
fees shall be assessed on the basis of both
(a) the value of the property and (b) the total
amount of related damages sought. The
Court acquires jurisdiction over the action if
the filing of the initiatory pleading is
accompanied by the payment of the requisite
fees, or, if the fees are not paid at the time
of the filing of the pleading, as of the time of
full payment of the fees within such
reasonable time as the court may grant,
unless, of course, prescription has set in the
meantime. But where-as in the case at barthe fees prescribed for an action involving
real property have been paid, but the
amounts of certain of the related damages

(actual, moral and nominal) being demanded

are unspecified, the action may not be
dismissed. The Court undeniably has
jurisdiction over the action involving the real
property, acquiring it upon the filing of the
complaint or similar pleading and payment of
the prescribed fee. And it is not divested of
that authority by the circumstance that it
may not have acquired jurisdiction over the
accompanying claims for damages because
of lack of specification thereof. What should
be done is simply to expunge those claims
for damages as to which no amounts are
stated, which is what the respondent Courts
did, or allow, on motion, a reasonable time
for the amendment of the complaints so as
to allege the precise amount of each item of
damages and accept payment of the
requisite fees therefore within the relevant
prescriptive period.
Note: This case is consistent w/ the principle
laid down in Sun Insurance - liberal
FACTS: Petitioner filed before the RTC a
Complaint against respondents Tan, Obiedo,
and Atty. Reyes, for declaration of nullity of
deeds of sales and damages.
Upon filing its Complaint with the RTC
on 16 March 2006, petitioner paid the sum of
P13,644.25 for docket and other legal fees,
as assessed by the Office of the Clerk of
Court. The Clerk of Court initially considered
Civil Case as an action incapable of
pecuniary estimation and computed the
docket and other legal fees due thereon
according to Section 7(b)(1), Rule 141 of the
Rules of Court.
Then, Respondent Tan, thus, sought
not just the dismissal of the Complaint of
petitioner, but also the grant of his
Thereafter, respondent Tan filed before
the RTC an Omnibus Motion in which he
contended that Civil Case No. 2006-0030
involved real properties, the docket fees for
which should be computed in accordance
with Section 7(a), not Section 7(b)(1), of Rule
141 of the Rules of Court, as amended by
A.M. No. 04-2-04-SC which took effect on 16
August 2004. Since petitioner did not pay the
appropriate docket fees for Civil Case No.

2006-0030, the RTC did not acquire

jurisdiction over the said case. Hence,
respondent Tan asked the RTC to issue an
order requiring petitioner to pay the correct
and accurate docket fees pursuant to Section
7(a), Rule 141 of the Rules of Court, as
As required by the RTC, the parties
submitted their Position Papers on the
matter. On 24 March 2006, the RTC issued an
Order17 granting respondent Tans Omnibus
Motion. In holding that both petitioner and
respondent Tan must pay docket fees in
accordance with Section 7(a), Rule 141 of the
Rules of Court, as amended.
In a letter dated 19 April 2006, the RTC
Clerk of Court computed, upon the request of
counsel for the petitioner, the petitioner
must still pay the amount of P720,392.60 as
docket fees.
Petitioner did not concede so it was
elevated to CA, however, CA affirmed RTCs
ISSUE: W/n the court is correct in
ordering appropriate docket fees be
based on Sec. 7(a), Rule 141 which
involves a real action rather than Sec.
7(b)(1) an action incapable of pecuniary
Well-settled is the rule "[t]he court acquires
jurisdiction over any case only upon the
payment of the prescribed docket fee."
Hence, the payment of docket fees is not
only mandatory, but also jurisdictional.
The docket fees under Section 7(a), Rule
141, in cases involving real property depend
on the fair market value of the same: the
higher the value of the real property, the
higher the docket fees due. In contrast,
Section 7(b)(1), Rule 141 imposes a fixed or
flat rate of docket fees on actions incapable
of pecuniary estimation.
In the Petition at bar, the RTC found, and the
Court of Appeals affirmed, that petitioner did
not pay the correct amount of docket fees for
Civil Case No. 2006-0030. According to both
the trial and appellate courts, petitioner
should pay docket fees in accordance with
Section 7(a), Rule 141 of the Rules of Court,

as amended. Consistent with the liberal

tenor of Sun Insurance, the RTC, instead of
dismissing outright petitioners Complaint in
Civil Case No. 2006-0030, granted petitioner
time to pay the additional docket fees.
Despite the seeming munificence of the RTC,
petitioner refused to pay the additional
docket fees assessed against it, believing
that it had already paid the correct amount
before, pursuant to Section 7(b)(1), Rule 141
of the Rules of Court, as amended.
The docket fees under Section 7(a), Rule
141, in cases involving real property depend
on the fair market value of the same: the
higher the value of the real property, the
higher the docket fees due. In contrast,
Section 7(b)(1), Rule 141 imposes a fixed or
flat rate of docket fees on actions incapable
of pecuniary estimation.
As this Court has previously discussed
herein, the nature of Civil Case No. 20060030 instituted by petitioner before the RTC
is closer to that of Serrano, rather than of
Spouses De Leon, hence, calling for the
application of the ruling of the Court in the
former, rather than in the latter.
It is also important to note that, with the
amendments introduced by A.M. No. 04-2-04SC, which became effective on 16 August
2004, the paragraph in Section 7, Rule 141 of
the Rules of Court, pertaining specifically to
the basis for computation of docket fees for
real actions was deleted. Instead, Section
7(1) of Rule 141, as amended, provides that
"in cases involving real property, the FAIR
MARKET value of the REAL property in
IN LITIGATION x x x" shall be the basis for the
computation of the docket fees. Would such
an amendment have an impact on Gochan,
Siapno, and Serrano? The Court rules in the

A real action indisputably involves real

property. The docket fees for a real action
would still be determined in accordance with
the value of the real property involved
therein; the only difference is in what
computing the docket fees for cases
involving real properties, the courts, instead
of relying on the assessed or estimated
value, would now be using the fair market
value of the real properties (as stated in the
Tax Declaration or the Zonal Valuation of the
Bureau of Internal Revenue, whichever is
higher) or, in the absence thereof, the stated
value of the same.
In sum, the Court finds that the true nature
of the action instituted by petitioner against
respondents is the recovery of title to and
possession of real property. It is a real action
necessarily involving real property, the
docket fees for which must be computed in
accordance with Section 7(1), Rule 141 of the
Rules of Court, as amended.
respondent, filed with the Regional Trial
Court Tagum, an amended complaint for
injunction and damages against spouses
Godinez and their son Edwin, petitioners. The
complaint alleges that petitioners were
operating a mineral processing plant in the
annex of their residential house located
within Delfina Village.
Petitioners filed their answer raising
the following affirmative defenses: a) the
complaint states no cause of action; b)
respondent DVSHA has no capacity to sue; c)
it is not a real party in interest; d) the
complaint fails to implead the real parties in
interest; and e) respondent failed to refer the
case for conciliation to the barangay before
filing its complaint.
Thereafter, the trial court issued an
Order directing respondent to amend its
complaint and attach thereto proofs showing

that it is a juridical person with capacity to

sue and that it is the real party in interest.
Certificate of Registration with the Home
Insurance and Guaranty Corporation, as well
as its Articles of Incorporation and By-Laws.

laws. In their answer, petitioners promptly

assailed respondents lack of personality to
sue. The trial court, desiring to determine if
indeed respondent has the capacity to sue,
directed respondent to amend its complaint
anew by attaching thereto the necessary

The Court of Appeals held that the trial

court did not commit grave abuse of
discretion amounting to lack or excess of
jurisdiction in directing respondent to amend
its complaint. In sum, its intention was to
ensure respondents compliance with the
procedural rules.


W/n the court CA erred in
sustaining the trial courts April 3, 2001
Order directing respondent to amend its





In resolving this issue, we are guided by two
principles. First, there is nothing sacred
about processes or pleadings and their forms
or contents, their sole purpose being to
facilitate the application of justice to the rival
claims of contending parties. Hence,
pleadings as well as procedural rules should
be construed liberally. Second, the judicial
attitude has always been favorable and
liberal in allowing amendments to a pleading
in order to avoid multiplicity of suits and so
that the real controversies between the
determined, and the case decided on the
merits without unnecessary delay.
Here, we find no reason to deviate from the
foregoing dicta. It is on record that in its first
amended complaint, respondent DVSHA
alleged that it is a registered association.
However, it failed to attach to its complaint
the supporting certificate of registration, as
well as its articles of incorporation and by-


The petitioners, all minors,
sought the help of the Supreme Court to
order the respondent, then Secretary of
DENR, to cancel all existing Timber License
Agreement (TLA) in the country and to cease
and desist from receiving, accepting,
processing, renewing or approving new TLAs.
They alleged that the massive commercial
logging in the country is causing vast abuses
They furthered the rights of their generation
and the rights of the generations yet unborn
to a balanced and healthful ecology.

ISSUE: W/n the case constituted as a

class suit.
Petitioners instituted Civil Case No. 90777 as a class suit. The original defendant

and the present respondents did not take

issue with this matter. Nevertheless, We
hereby rule that the said civil case is indeed
a class suit. The subject matter of the
complaint is of common and general interest
not just to several, but to all citizens of the
Philippines. Consequently, since the parties
are so numerous, it, becomes impracticable,
if not totally impossible, to bring all of them
before the court. We likewise declare that the
representative enough to ensure the full
protection of all concerned interests. Hence,
all the requisites for the filing of a valid class
suit under Section 12, Rule 3 of the Revised
Rules of Court are present both in the said
civil case and in the instant petition, the
latter being but an incident to the former.
This case, however, has a special and novel
element. Petitioners minors assert that they
represent their generation as well as
generations yet unborn. We find no difficulty
in ruling that they can, for themselves, for
others of their generation and for the
succeeding generations, file a class suit.
Their personality to sue in behalf of the

succeeding generations can only be based

responsibility insofar as the right to a
balanced and healthful ecology is concerned.
Such a right, as hereinafter expounded,