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VOL.

350, JANUARY 23, 2001 113


Alday vs. FGU Insurance Corporation
*
G.R. No. 138822. January 23, 2001.

EVANGELINE ALDAY, petitioner, vs. FGU INSURANCE


CORPORATION, respondent.

Actions; Jurisdiction; Estoppel; Words and Phrases; Estoppel by


laches arises from the negligence or omission to assert a right within
a reasonable time, warranting a presumption that the party entitled
to assert it either has abandoned or declined to assert it; A party
cannot be considered as estopped from assailing the trial courtÊs
jurisdiction over the other partyÊs counterclaim where such issue was
raised with the trial court itself·the body where the action is
pending·even before the presentation of any evidence by the parties
and definitely, way before any judgment could be rendered by the
trial court.·Before going into the substantive issues, the Court
shall first dispose of some procedural matters raised by the parties.
Petitioner claims that respondent is estopped from questioning her
non-payment of docket fees because it did not raise this particular

_______________

* THIRD DIVISION.

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114 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED

Alday vs. FGU Insurance Corporation

issue when it filed in its first motion·the " Motion to Strike out
Answer Compulsory Counterclaim And To Declare Defendant In
Default‰·with the trial court; rather, it was only nine months after
receiving petitionerÊs answer that respondent assailed the trial
courtÊs lack of jurisdiction over petitionerÊs counterclaims based on
the latterÊs failure to pay docket fees. PetitionerÊs position is
unmeritorious. Estoppel by laches arises from the negligence or
omission to assert a right within a reasonable time, warranting a
presumption that the party entitled to assert it either has
abandoned or declined to assert it. In the case at bar, respondent
cannot be considered as estopped from assailing the trial courtÊs
jurisdiction over petitionerÊs counterclaim since this issue was
raised by respondent with the trial court itself·the body where the
action is pending·even before the presentation of any evidence by
the parties and definitely, way before any judgment could be
rendered by the trial court.
Same; Same; Same; Although the lack of jurisdiction of a court
may be raised at any stage of the action, a party may be estopped
from raising such questions if he has actively taken part in the very
proceedings which he questions, belatedly objecting to the courtÊs
jurisdiction in the event that the judgment or order subsequently
rendered is adverse to him.·Meanwhile, respondent questions the
jurisdiction of the Court of Appeals over the appeal filed by
petitioner from the 18 September 1990 and 28 February 1991
orders of the trial court. It is significant to note that this objection
to the appellate courtÊs jurisdiction is raised for the first time before
this Court; respondent never having raised this issue before the
appellate court. Although the lack of jurisdiction of a court may be
raised at any stage of the action, a party may be estopped from
raising such questions if he has actively taken part in the very
proceedings which he questions, belatedly objecting to the courtÊs
jurisdiction in the event that that the judgment or order
subsequently rendered is adverse to him. In this case, respondent
actively took part in the proceedings before the Court of Appeals by
filing its appelleeÊs brief with the same. Its participation, when
taken together with its failure to object to the appellate courtÊs
jurisdiction during the entire duration of the proceedings before
such court, demonstrates a willingness to abide by the resolution of
the case by such tribunal and accordingly, respondent is now most
decidedly estopped from objecting to the Court of AppealsÊ
assumption of jurisdiction over petitionerÊs appeal.
Same; Counterclaims; Words and Phrases; „Compulsory
Counterclaim,‰ Explained.·The basic issue for resolution in this
case is whether or not the counterclaim of petitioner is compulsory
or permissive in nature. A compulsory counterclaim is one which,
being cognizable by the

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VOL. 350, JANUARY 23, 2001 115

Alday vs. FGU Insurance Corporation

regular courts of hustice, arises out of or is connected with the


transaction or occurrence constituting the subject matter of the
opposing partyÊs claim and does not require for its adjudication the
presence of third parties of whom the court cannot acquire
jurisdiction.
Same; Same; Criteria or Tests in Determining Whether a
Counter-claim is Compulsory or Permissive; „Compelling Test of
Compulsoriness‰; Words and Phrases; Under the „compelling test of
compulsoriness,‰ „a logical relationship between the claim and the
counterclaim is required, that is, whether conducting separate trials
of the respective claims of the parties would entail a substantial
duplication of effort and time by the parties and the court.‰·In
Valencia v. Court of Appeals, this Court capsulized the criteria or
tests that may be used in determining whether a counterclaim is
compulsory or permissive, summarized as follows: 1. Are the issues
of fact and law raised by the claim and counterclaim largely the
same? 2. Would res judicata bar a subsequent suit on defendantÊs
claim absent the compulsory counterclaim rule? 3. Will
substantially the same evidence support or refute plaintiffs claim as
well as defendantÊs counter-claim? 4. Is there any logical relation
between the claim and the counterclaim? Another test, applied in
the more recent case of Quintanilla v. Court of Appeals, is the
„compelling test of compulsoriness‰ which requires „a logical
relationship between the claim and counterclaim, that is, where
conducting separate trials of the respective claims of the parties
would entail a substantial duplication of effort and time by the
parties and the court.‰
Same; Same; Docket Fees; Rule on the Payment of Filing Fees.
·There is no need for petitioner to pay docket fees for her
compulsory counterclaim. On the other hand, in order for the trial
court to acquire jurisdiction over her permissive counterclaim,
petitioner is bound to pay the prescribed docket fees. The rule on
the payment of filing fees has been laid down by the Court in the
case of Sun Insurance Office, Ltd. v. Hon. Maximiano Asuncion·1.
It is not simply the filing of the complaint or appropriate initiatory
pleading, but the payment of the prescribed docket fee, that vests a
trial court with jurisdiction over the subject-matter or nature of the
action. Where the filing of the initiatory pleading is not
accompanied by payment of the docket fee, the court may allow
payment of the fee within a reasonable time but in no case beyond
the applicable prescriptive or reglementary period. 2. The same rule
applies to permissive counterclaims, third-party claims and similar
pleadings, which shall not be considered filed until and unless the
filing fee prescribed therefor is paid. The court may allow payment
of said fee within a reasonable time but also in no case beyond its
applicable prescriptive or reglementary

116

116 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED

Alday vs. FGU Insurance Corporation

period 3. Where the trial court acquires jurisdiction over a claim by


the filing of the appropriate pleading and payment of the prescribed
filing fee but, subsequently, the judgment awards a claim not
specified in the pleading, or if specified the same has been left for
determination by the court, the additional filing fee therefor shall
constitute a lien on the judgment. It shall be the responsibility of
the Clerk of Court or his duly authorized deputy to enforce said lien
and assess and collect the additional fee.
Same; Same; Same; The trial court should give the defendant a
reasonable time, but in no case beyond the applicable prescriptive or
reglemen-tary period, to pay the filing fees for her permissive
counterclaim.·The above mentioned ruling in Sun Insurance has
been reiterated in the recent case of Suson v. Court of Appeals. In
Suson, the Court explained that although the payment of the
prescribed docket fees is a jurisdictional requirement, its
nonpayment does not result in the automatic dismissal of the case
provided the docket fees are paid within the applicable prescriptive
or reglementary period. Coming now to the case at bar, it has not
been alleged by respondent and there is nothing in the records to
show that petitioner has attempted to evade the payment of the
proper docket fees for her permissive counterclaim. As a matter of
fact, after respondent filed its motion to dismiss petitionerÊs
counterclaim based on her failure to pay docket fees, petitioner
immediately filed a motion with the trial court, asking it to declare
her counterclaim as compulsory in nature and therefore exempt
from docket fees and, in addition, to declare that respondent was in
default for its failure to answer her counterclaim. However, the trial
court dismissed petitionerÊs counterclaim. Pursuant to this CourtÊs
ruling in Sun Insurance, the trial court should have instead given
petitioner a reasonable time, but in no case beyond the applicable
prescriptive or reglementary period, to pay the filing fees for her
permissive counter-claim.
Same; Same; Same; Pleadings and Practice; There is no need to
file an answer to a permissive counterclaim until the defendant shall
have paid the prescribed docket fees for only then shall the court
acquire jurisdiction over such claim.·Petitioner asserts that the
trial court should have declared respondent in default for having
failed to answer her counterclaim. Insofar as the permissive
counterclaim of petitioner is concerned, there is obviously no need
to file an answer until petitioner has paid the prescribed docket fees
for only then shall the court acquire jurisdiction over such claim.
Meanwhile, the compulsory counterclaim of petitioner for damages
based on the filing by respondent of an allegedly unfounded and
malicious suit need not be answered since it is inseparable from the

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VOL. 350, JANUARY 23, 2001 117

Alday vs. FGU Insurance Corporation

claims of respondent. If respondent were to answer the compulsory


counterclaim of petitioner, it would merely result in the former
pleading the same facts raised in its complaint.

PETITION for review on certiorari of a decision of the


Court of Appeals.

The facts are stated in the opinion of the Court.


Cruz, Durian, Alday & Cruz-Matters for petitioner.
Jacinto Jimenez for respondent.

GONZAGA-REYES, J.:

On 5 May 1989, respondent FGU Insurance Corporation1


filed a complaint with the Regional Trial Court of Makati
alleging that petitioner Evangeline K. Alday owed it
P114,650.76, representing unliquidated cash advances,
unremitted costs of premiums and other charges incurred
by petitioner in the course
2
of her work as an insurance
agent for respondent. Respondent also prayed for3
exemplary damages, attorneyÊs fees, and costs of suit.
Petitioner filed her answer and by way of counterclaim,
asserted her right for the payment of P104,893.45,
representing direct commissions, profit commissions and
contingent bonuses earned from 1 July 1986 to 7 December
1986, and for accumulated premium reserves amounting to
P500,000.00. In addition, petitioner prayed for attorneyÊs
fees, litigation expenses, moral damages and exemplary
damages for 4
the allegedly unfounded action filed by
respondent. On 23 August 1989, respondent filed a
„Motion to Strike Out Answer With Compulsory
Counterclaim And To Declare Defendant In Default‰5
because petitionerÊs answer was allegedly filed out of time.
However, the trial court denied the motion on 25 August
1989 and similarly rejected respondentÊs
6
motion for
reconsideration on 12 March 1990. A few weeks later, on
11 April 1990, respondent filed a mo-

________________

1 Branch 134.
2 Docketed as Civil Case No. 89-3816.
3 Rollo, 42-44.
4 Ibid., 53-63.
5 RTC Records, 37-39.
6 Ibid., 46, 93.

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118 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED


Alday vs. FGU Insurance Corporation

tion to dismiss petitionerÊs counterclaim, contending that


the trial court never acquired jurisdiction over the same 7
because of the non-payment of docket fees by petitioner. In
response, petitioner asked the trial court to declare her
counterclaim as exempt from payment of docket fees since
it is compulsory and that respondent be declared8
in default
for having failed to answer such counterclaim. 9
In its 18 September 1990 Order, the trial court granted
respondentÊs motion to dismiss petitionerÊs counterclaim
and consequently, denied petitionerÊs motion. The court
found petitionerÊs counterclaim to be merely permissive in
nature and held that petitionerÊs failure to pay docket fees
prevented
10
the court from acquiring jurisdiction over the
same. The trial court similarly denied petitionerÊs motion
for reconsideration on 28 February 1991. 11
On 23 December 1998, the Court of Appeals sustained
the trial court, finding that petitionerÊs own admissions, as
contained in her answer, show that her counterclaim is
merely permissive.
12
The relevant portion of the appellate
courtÊs decision is quoted herewith·

Contrary to the protestations of appellant, mere reading of the


allegations in the answer a quo will readily show that her
counterclaim can in no way be compulsory. Take note of the
following numbered paragraphs in her answer:

„(14) That, indeed, FGUÊs cause of action which is not supported by any
document other than the self-serving ÂStatement of AccountÊ dated March
28, 1988 x x x
(15) That it should be noted that the cause of action of FGU is not the
enforcement of the Special AgentÊs Contract but the alleged Âcash
accountabilities which are not based on written agreement x x x.
xxxx

_______________

7 Ibid., 96-102.
8 Ibid., 110-125.
9 Judge Ignacio M. Capulong
10 Rollo, 105.
11 Fourth Division, composed of Justices Jesus M. Elbinias, ponente
and Chairman; Eugenio S. Labitoria; and Marina L. Buzon.
12 Rollo, 36-39.

119

VOL. 350, JANUARY 23, 2001 119


Alday vs. FGU Insurance Corporation

(19) x x x A careful analysis of FGUÊs three-page complaint will show that


its cause of action is not for specific performance or enforcement of the
Special AgentÊs Contract rather, it is for the payment of the alleged cash
accountabilities incurred by defendant during the period form [sic] 1975
to 1986 which claim is executory and has not been ratified. It is the
established rule that unenforceable contracts, like this purported money
claim of FGU, cannot be sued upon or enforced unless ratified, thus it is
as if they have no effect. x x x.‰

To support the heading „Compulsory Counterclaim‰ in her answer


and give the impression that the counterclaim is compulsory
appellant alleged that „FGU has unjustifiably failed to remit to
defendant despite repeated demands in gross violation of their
Special AgentÊs Contract x x x.‰ The reference to said contract was
included purposely to mislead. While on one hand appellant alleged
that appelleeÊs cause of action had nothing to do with the Special
AgentÊs Contract, on the other hand, she claim that FGU violated
said contract which gives rise of [sic] her cause of action. Clearly,
appellantÊs cash accountabilities cannot be the offshoot of appelleeÊs
alleged violation of the aforesaid contract.
On 19 May 1999, the appellate 13
court denied petitionerÊs
motion for reconsideration, giving rise to the present
petition.
Before going into the substantive issues, the Court shall
first dispose of some procedural matters raised by the
parties. Petitioner claims that respondent is estopped from
questioning her non-payment of docket fees because it did
not raise this particular issue when it filed its first motion
·the „Motion to Strike out Answer With Compulsory
Counterclaim And To Declare Defendant In Default‰·with
the trial court; rather, it was only nine months after
receiving petitionerÊs answer that respondent assailed the
trial courtÊs lack of jurisdiction over petitionerÊs
counterclaims
14
based on the latterÊs failure to pay docket
fees. PetitionerÊs position is unmeritorious. Estoppel by
laches arises from the negligence or omission to assert a
right within a reasonable time, warranting a presumption
that the party entitled to assert it either has

_______________

13 Ibid., 41.
14 Ibid., 332.

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120 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED


Alday vs. FGU Insurance Corporation
15
abandoned or declined to assert it. In the case at bar,
respondent cannot be considered as estopped from assailing
the trial courtÊs jurisdiction over petitionerÊs counterclaim
since this issue was raised by respondent with the trial
court itself·the body where the action is pending·even
before the presentation of any evidence by the parties and
definitely, way before any judgment could be rendered by
the trial court.
Meanwhile, respondent questions the jurisdiction of the
Court of Appeals over the appeal filed by petitioner from
the 18 September 1990 and 28 February 1991 orders of the
trial court. It is significant to note that this objection to the
appellate courtÊs jurisdiction is raised for the first time
before this Court; respondent never having raised this
issue before the appellate court. Although the lack of
jurisdiction of a court may be raised at any stage of the
action, a party may be estopped from raising such
questions if he has actively taken part in the very
proceedings which he questions, belatedly objecting to the
courtÊs jurisdiction in the event that that the judgment
16
or
order subsequently rendered is adverse to him. In this
case, respondent actively took part in the proceedings
before the Court 17
of Appeals by filing its appelleeÊs brief
with the same. Its participation, when taken together
with its failure to object to the appellate courtÊs jurisdiction
during the entire duration of the proceedings before such
court, demonstrates a willingness to abide by the resolution
of the case by such tribunal and accordingly, respondent is
now most decidedly estopped from objecting to the Court of
AppealsÊ18
assumption of jurisdiction over petitionerÊs
appeal.
The basic issue for resolution in this case is whether or
not the counterclaim of petitioner is compulsory or
permissive in nature. A

_______________

15 Philippine National Construction Corporation v. National Labor


Relations Commission, 307 SCRA 218 (1999).
16 National Steel Corporation v. Court of Appeals, 302 SCRA 522
(1999).
17 CA Records, 88-115.
18 ABS-CBN Supervisors Employees Union Members v. ABS-CBN
Broadcasting Corporation, 304 SCRA 489 (1999). See also Stilianopulos v.
City of Legaspi, 316 SCRA 523 (1999); Pantranco North Express, Inc. v.
Court of Appeals, 224 SCRA 477 (1993).

121

VOL. 350, JANUARY 23, 2001 121


Alday vs. FGU Insurance Corporation

compulsory counterclaim is one which, being cognizable by


the regular courts of justice, arises out of or is connected
with the transaction or occurrence constituting the subject
matter of the opposing partyÊs claim and does not require
for its adjudication the presence of 19third parties of whom
the court cannot acquire jurisdiction.
20
In Valencia v. Court of Appeal, this Court capsulized
the criteria or tests that may be used in determining
whether a counterclaim is compulsory or permissive,
summarized as follows:
1. Are the issues of fact and law raised by the claim
and counterclaim largely the same?
2. Would res judicata bar a subsequent suit on
defendantÊs claim absent the compulsory
counterclaim rule?
3. Will substantially the same evidence support or
refute plaintiffs claim as well as defendantÊs
counterclaim?
4. Is there any logical relation between the claim and
the counterclaim?

Another test, applied in the


21
more recent case of Quintanilla
v. Court of Appeals, is the „compelling test of
compulsoriness‰ which requires „a logical relationship
between the claim and counterclaim, that is, where
conducting separate trials of the respective claims of the
parties would entail a substantial duplication of effort and
time by the parties and the court.‰
As contained in her answer, petitionerÊs counterclaims
are as follows:

(20) That defendant incorporates and repleads by


reference all the foregoing allegations as may be
material to her Counterclaim against FGU.
(21) That FGU is liable to pay the following just, valid
and legitimate claims of defendant:

______________

19 Rule 6, section 7; BA Finance v. Co, 224 SCRA 163 (1993); Javier v.


Intermediate Appellate Court, 171 SCRA 609 (1989).
20 263 SCRA 275 (1996).
21 279 SCRA 397 (1997).

122

122 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED


Alday vs. FGU Insurance Corporation

(a) the sum of at least P104,893.45 plus maximum interest


thereon representing, among others, direct commissions,
profit commissions and contingent bonuses legally due to
defendant; and
(b) the minimum amount of P500,000.00 plus the maximum
allowable interest representing defendantÊs accumulated
premium reserve for 1985 and previous years,

which FGU has unjustifiably failed to remit to defendant despite


repeated demands in gross violation of their Special AgentÊs
Contract and in contravention of the principle of law that „every
person must, in the exercise of his rights and in the performance of
his duties, act with justice, give everyone his due, and observe
honesty and good faith.‰
(22) That as a result of the filing of this patently baseless,
malicious and unjustified Complaint, and FGUÊs unlawful, illegal
and vindictive termination of their Special AgentÊs Contract,
defendant was unnecessarily dragged into this litigation and to
defense [sic] her side and assert her rights and claims against FGU,
she was compelled to hire the services of counsel with whom she
agreed to pay the amount of P30,000.00 as and for attorneyÊs fees
and stands to incur litigation expenses in the amount estimated to
at least P20,000.00 and for which FGU should be assessed and
made liable to pay defendant.
(23) That considering further the malicious and unwarranted
action of defendant in filing this grossly unfounded action,
defendant has suffered and continues to suffer from serious anxiety,
mental anguish, fright and humiliation. In addition to this,
defendantÊs name, good reputation and business standing in the
insurance business as well as in the community have been
besmirched and for which FGU should be adjudged and made liable
to pay moral damages to defendant in the amount of P300,000.00 as
minimum.
(24) That in order to discourage the filing of groundless and
malicious suits like FGUÊs Complaint, and by way of serving [as] an
example for the public good, FGU should be penalized and assessed
exemplary damages in the sum of P100,000.00 or such amount as
the Honorable Court may deem warranted under the
22
circumstances.

Tested against the abovementioned standards, petitionerÊs


counterclaim for commissions, bonuses, and accumulated
premium reserves is merely permissive. The evidence
required to prove petitionerÊs claims differs from that
needed to establish respondentÊs

_______________

22 Rollo, 61-62.

123

VOL. 350, JANUARY 23, 2001 123


Alday vs. FGU Insurance Corporation

demands for the recovery of cash accountabilities from


petitioner, such as cash advances and costs of premiums.
The recovery of respondentÊs claims is not contingent or
dependent upon establishing petitionerÊs counterclaim,
such that conducting separate trials will not result in the
substantial duplication of the time and effort of the court
and the parties. One would search the records in vain for a
logical connection between the partiesÊ claims. This
conclusion is further reinforced by petitionerÊs own
admissions since she declared in her answer that
respondentÊs cause of action, unlike 23her own, was not based
upon the Special AgentÊs Contract. However, petitionerÊs
claims for damages, allegedly suffered as a result 24of the
filing by respondent of its complaint, are compulsory.
There is no need for petitioner
25
to pay docket fees for her
compulsory counterclaim. On the other hand, in order for
the trial court to acquire jurisdiction over her permissive
counterclaim,26
petitioner is bound to pay the prescribed
docket fees. The rule on the payment of filing fees has
been laid down by the Court in the case27of Sun Insurance
Office, Ltd. v. Hon. Maximiano Asuncion ·

1. It is not simply the filing of the complaint or


appropriate initiatory pleading, but the payment of
the prescribed docket fee, that vests a trial court
with jurisdiction over the subject-matter or nature
of the action. Where the filing of the initiatory
pleading is not accompanied by payment of the
docket fee, the court may allow payment of the fee
within a reasonable time but in no case beyond the
applicable prescriptive or reglementary period.
2. The same rule applies to permissive counterclaims,
third-party claims and similar pleadings, which
shall not be considered filed until and unless the
filing fee prescribed therefor is paid. The court may
allow payment of said fee within a reasonable time
but also in no case beyond its applicable
prescriptive or reglementary period.

_______________

23 Ibid., 58-59, 60.


24 Santo Tomas University Hospital v. Surla, 294 SCRA 382 (1998);
Intestate Estate of Amado B. Dalisay v. Marasigan, 257 SCRA 509
(1996).
25 Quintanilla v. Court of Appeals, supra.
26 Suson v. Court of Appeals, 278 SCRA 284 (1997).
27 170 SCRA 274 (1989).

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124 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED


Alday vs. FGU Insurance Corporation

3. Where the trial court acquires jurisdiction over a


claim by the filing of the appropriate pleading and
payment of the prescribed filing fee but,
subsequently, the judgment awards a claim not
specified in the pleading, or if specified the same
has been left for determination by the court, the
additional filing fee therefor shall constitute a lien
on the judgment. It shall be the responsibility of the
Clerk of Court or his duly authorized deputy to
enforce said lien and assess and collect the
additional fee.

The above mentioned ruling in Sun Insurance has been 28


reiterated in the recent case of Suson v. Court of Appeals.
In Suson, the Court explained that although the payment
of the prescribed docket fees is a jurisdictional
requirement, its non-payment does not result in the
automatic dismissal of the case provided the docket fees are
paid within the applicable prescriptive or reglementary
period. Coming now to the case at bar, it has not been
alleged by respondent and there is nothing in the records to
show that petitioner has attempted to evade the payment
of the proper docket fees for her permissive counterclaim.
As a matter of fact, after respondent filed its motion to
dismiss petitionerÊs counterclaim based on her failure to
pay docket fees, petitioner immediately filed a motion with
the trial court, asking it to declare her counterclaim as
compulsory in nature and therefore exempt from docket
fees and, in addition, to declare that respondent was in 29
default for its failure to answer her counterclaim.
However, the trial court dismissed petitionerÊs
counterclaim. Pursuant to this CourtÊs ruling in Sun
Insurance, the trial court should have instead given
petitioner a reasonable time, but in no case beyond the
applicable prescriptive or reglementary period, to pay the
filing fees for her permissive counterclaim.
Petitioner asserts that the trial court should have
declared respondent30
in default for having failed to answer
her counterclaim. Insofar as the permissive counterclaim
of petitioner is concerned, there is obviously no need to file
an answer until petitioner has paid the prescribed docket
fees for only then shall the court acquire

_________________

28 Supra. See also Cabaero v. Cantos, 271 SCRA 391 (1997).


29 RTC Records, 110-125.
30 Rollo, 342-343.

125

VOL. 350, JANUARY 23, 2001 125


Alday vs. FGU Insurance Corporation
31
jurisdiction over such claim. Meanwhile, the compulsory
counterclaim of petitioner for damages based on the filing
by respondent of an allegedly unfounded and malicious suit
need not be answered since it is inseparable from the
claims of respondent. If respondent were to answer the
compulsory counterclaim of petitioner, it would merely
result in the
32
former pleading the same facts raised in its
complaint.
WHEREFORE, the assailed Decision of the Court of
Appeals promulgated on 23 December 1998 and its 19 May
1999 Resolution are hereby MODIFIED. The compulsory
counterclaim of petitioner for damages filed in Civil Case
No. 89-3816 is ordered REINSTATED. Meanwhile, the
Regional Trial Court of Makati (Branch 134) is ordered to
require petitioner to pay the prescribed docket fees for her
permissive counterclaim (direct commissions, profit
commissions, contingent bonuses and accumulated
premium reserves), after ascertaining 33
that the applicable
prescriptive period has not yet set in.
SO ORDERED.

Melo (Chairman), Vitug, Panganiban and Sandoval-


Gutierrez, JJ., concur.

Judgment and resolution modified. Compulsory


counterclaim reinstated.

Notes.·A counterclaim for attorneyÊs fees partakes of


the nature of a compulsory counterclaim. (Intestate Estate
of Amado B. Dalisay vs. Marasigan, 257 SCRA 509 [1996])
An appeal from the dismissal of the counterclaim,
although not totally unavailable, could well be ineffective,
if not futile, as far as the petitioner is concerned where no
single piece of evidence has yet been presented by it, that
opportunity having been foreclosed by the trial court, on
the dismissed counterclaim which could form

_______________

31 Gegare v. Court of Appeals, 297 SCRA 587 (1998).


32 Ballecer v. Bernardo, 18 SCRA 291 (1966); Navarro v. Bello, 102
Phil. 1019 (1958).
33 Suson v. Court of Appeals, supra.

126

126 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED


People vs. Magabo

part of the records to be reviewed by the appellate court.


(Santo Tomas University Hospital vs. Surla, 294 SCRA 382
[1998])

··o0o··

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