You are on page 1of 3


FACTS: Brand Marine Services, Inc., (BMSI) a foreign corporation organized under the laws of the State of Connecticut, and respondent Stockton W. Rouzie entered into a contract whereby the respondent was hired by BMSI as representative to negotiate the sale of services with the Philippine government. Respondent secure a service contract with the government on behalf of BMSI. In 1994, respondent filed before the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) a complaint against BMSI and Rust International In. for illegal termination, non-payment of commission, and breach of contract. The Labor Arbiter rendered a favorable decision for respondent. The NLRC reversed the decision of the Labor Arbiter. Respondent elevated the case before the Supreme Court but it was dismissed. In 1998, respondent filed an action for damages before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) against the petitioner and impleaded BMSI and RUST International reiterating the allegations made in the earlier labor case. The respondent also alleged that BMSI, Rust International, and herein petitioner combined and function as one company. The petitioner sought the dismissal of the case on grounds of failure to state a cause of action and forum non conveniens. It also filed an Omnibus Motion which was denied by the RTC. The motion for reconsideration was also dismissed by the lower court. Petitioner filed a petition for certiorari before the Court of Appeals which was also denied. ISSUES: 1. Whether or not the Court of Appeals erred in refusing to dismiss the complaint for failure to state a cause of action? 2. Whether or not the Court of Appeals erred in refusing to dismiss the complaint on the ground of forum non conveniens? RULING: Petitioner contended that their written contract with respondent included a valid choice of law clause, the laws of the State of Connecticut, hence the application of the doctrine of forum non conveniens became necessary. Under this doctrine, a court in conflicts- of -law cases may refuse impositions on its jurisdictions where it is not the most convenient forum and the parties are not precluded from seeking remedies elsewhere. However, the Supreme Court rejected petitioners contention stating that the presence of a valid choice of law clause did not suggest that Philippine courts are precluded from hearing the civil action. The High Court ratiocinated that jurisdiction over the nature and subject matter of an action is conferred by the Constitution and the law. The trial court acquired jurisdiction over the respondent upon the filing of the complaint. It also acquired jurisdiction over the petitioner when it appeared voluntarily in court. The Supreme also pointed out that the Court of Appeals correctly ruled the need for a full-blown trial to determine the alleged merging of BMSC and Rust International. Hence, the petition for review was DENIED. PRISCILLA MIJARES , petitioners

vs. HON. SANTIAGO JAVIER RANADA, respondent. FACTS: The petitioners filed a complaint before the US District Court, District of Hawaii against the Estate of former President Ferdinand Marcos. The petitioners claimed that they were victims of human rights abuses such as torture, arbitrary detention, and rape during the Marcos regime. They also alleged that due to the thousands of victims of human rights abuses necessitated the institution of a class suit warranted under Rule 23 of the US Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. The Alien Tort Act was invoked as basis for the US District Courts jurisdiction over the complaint. The US District Court rendered a Final Judgment awarding the plaintiffs (herein petitioners) a total of $1,964,005,859.90. The Final Judgment was affirmed by the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Thereafter, petitioners filed a complaint before the Regional Trial Court of Makati for the enforcement of the Final Judgment.They claimed that due to the failure of the Marcos Estate to file a petition for certiorari with the US Supreme Court, the decision of the US Didtrict Court became final and executory. The Marcos Estate filed a motion to dismiss on the ground of non-payment of correct filing fees because petitioners merely paid Php 410.00 as docket and filing fees notwithstanding the fact that they sought to enforce the amount of damages in the amount of over US$ 2.25 Billion. The petitioners contended that the action for the enforcement of a foreign judgment is not capable of pecuniary estimation hence they paid the correct filing fee. Respondent Judge Ranada dismissed the complaint without prejudice. The trial court estimated that the proper amount of filing fee should be Php 472,000,000.00. Petitioners filed a motion for reconsideration which was denied by the respondent court. Hence, it filed a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 before the Supreme Court. ISSUES: 1. Whether or not the Final Judgment sought to be enforced by petitioners capable of pecuniary estimation? 2. Whether or not the respondent judge committed grave abuse of discretion in dismissing the case on the ground of non-payment of correct filing fees? RULING: The Supreme Court held that that action for the enforcement of the Final Judgment would necessarily result in the award of a definite sum of money hence capable of pecuniary estimation. The providential award would be the adjudication of monetary award once the foreign judgment is enforced. However, the Court ruled that respondent judge committed a serious error when he concluded that the filing fee should be computed on the basis of Section 7(a), Rule 141 of the Rules of Court, wherein the amount of relief sought or the value of property in litigation should the basis of computation. The Supreme Court pointed out that Section 7(b) of Rule 141 is applicable and that the petitioners paid the correct filing fees for actions not involving property. The Court further ruled that based on the principles of comity, utility, and convenience have established a usage among civilized states for the enforcement of foreign judgment. Section 48, Rule 39 of the Rules of Court provides the actionable issues to

review the jurisdiction of a foreign court as well as the distinction of foreign judgment in an action in rem and one in personam. The foreign judgment in an action in rem is deemed conclusive upon the title of the thing while an action in personam, the foreign judgment is presumptive. In both cases, the foreign judgment is susceptible to impeachment in our local courts on the grounds of lack of jurisdiction, notice to the party. collusion, fraud or clear mistake of law or fact. Although the petition of certiorari was granted, the Marcos Estaste was not precluded from challenging the enforceability of the foreign judgment. Hence, the filing fee was properly paid but no verdict has been laid on the Final Judgment in question. Other issues relative to the foreign judgment are to be litigated before the trial court within the confines of the matters of proof under Section 48, Rule 39 of the Rules of Court.