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Kazuhiro Hasegawa vs Minoru Kitamura

538 SCRA 261 – Conflict of Laws – Private International Law – No. The trial court did the proper thing in taking cognizance of it.
Jurisdiction – Lex Loci Celebrationis – Lex Loci Solutionis – State of In the first place, the case filed by Kitamura is a complaint for specific
the Most Significant Relationship – Forum Non Conveniens performance and damages. Such case is incapable of pecuniary
estimation; such cases are within the jurisdiction of the regional trial
FACTS: court.
In March 1999, Nippon Engineering Consultants Co., Ltd, a Japanese
firm, was contracted by the Department of Public Works and Highways Hasegawa filed his motion to dismiss on the ground of forum non
(DPWH) to supervise the construction of the Southern Tagalog Access conveniens. However, such ground is not one of those provided for by
Road. In April 1999, Nippon entered into an independent contractor the Rules as a ground for dismissing a civil case.
agreement (ICA) with Minoru Kitamura for the latter to head the said The Supreme Court also emphasized that the contention that Japanese
project. The ICA was entered into in Japan and is effective for a period laws should apply is premature. In conflicts cases, there are three phases
of 1 year (so until April 2000). In January 2000, DPWH awarded the and each next phase commences when one is settled, to wit:
Bongabon-Baler Road project to Nippon. Nippon subsequently assigned 1. Jurisdiction – Where should litigation be initiated? Court must
Kitamura to head the road project. But in February 2000, Kazuhiro have jurisdiction over the subject matter, the parties, the issues,
Hasegawa, the general manager of Nippon informed Kitamura that they the property, the res. Also considers, whether it is fair to cause a
are pre-terminating his contract. Kitamura sought Nippon to reconsider defendant to travel to this state; choice of law asks the further
but Nippon refused to negotiate. Kitamura then filed a complaint for question whether the application of a substantive law which will
specific performance and damages against Nippon in the RTC of Lipa. determine the merits of the case is fair to both parties.
Hasegawa filed a motion to dismiss on the ground that the contract was 2. Choice of Law – Which law will the court apply? Once a local
entered in Japan hence, applying the principle of lex loci celebracionis, court takes cognizance, it does not mean that the local laws
cases arising from the contract should be cognizable only by Japanese must automatically apply. The court must determine which
courts. The trial court denied the motion. Eventually, Nippon filed a substantive law when applied to the merits will be fair to both
petition for certiorari with the Supreme Court. parties.
Hasegawa, on appeal significantly changed its theory, this time 3. Recognition and Enforcement of Judgment – Where can the
invoking forum non conveniens; that the RTC is an inconvenient forum resulting judgment be enforced?
because the parties are Japanese nationals who entered into a contract in
Japan. Kitamura on the other hand invokes the trial court’s ruling which This case is not yet in the second phase because upon the RTC’s taking
states that matters connected with the performance of contracts are cognizance of the case, Hasegawa immediately filed a motion to
regulated by the law prevailing at the place of performance, so since the dismiss, which was denied. He filed a motion for reconsideration, which
obligations in the ICA are executed in the Philippines, courts here have was also denied. Then he bypassed the proper procedure by
jurisdiction. immediately filing a petition for certiorari. The question of which law
should be applied should have been settled in the trial court had
ISSUE: Hasegawa not improperly appealed the interlocutory order denying his
Whether or not the complaint against Nippon should be dismissed. MFR.
RAYTHEON V. ROUZIE (2008) shall be governed by the laws of the State of Connecticut. It also
[ G.R. No. 162894, February 26, 2008 ] mentions the presence of foreign elements in the dispute – namely, the
parties and witnesses involved are American corporations and citizens
FACTS: and the evidence to be presented is located outside the Philippines – that
Sometime in 1990, Brand Marine Services, Inc., a corporation renders our local courts inconvenient forums.
duly organized and existing under the laws of the State of Connecticut,
United States of America, and respondent Stockton W. Rouzie, Jr., an ISSUE:
American citizen, entered into a contract whereby BMSI hired WHETHER OR NOT THE COMPLAINT BE DISMISSED ON THE
respondent as its representative to negotiate the sale of services in GROUND OF FORUM NON CONVENIENS?
several government projects in the Philippines for an agreed
remuneration of 10% of the gross receipts. On 11 March 1992, RULING:
respondent secured a service contract with the Republic of the On the matter of jurisdiction over a conflicts-of-laws problem
Philippines on behalf of BMSI for the dredging of rivers affected by the where the case is filed in a Philippine court and where the court has
Mt. Pinatubo eruption and mudflows. jurisdiction over the subject matter, the parties and the res, it may or can
proceed to try the case even if the rules of conflict-of-laws or the
On 16 July 1994, respondent filed before the Arbitration Branch convenience of the parties point to a foreign forum. This is an exercise
of the National Labor Relations Commission, a suit against BMSI and of sovereign prerogative of the country where the case is filed.
Rust International, Inc., Rodney C. Gilbert and Walter G. Browning for
alleged nonpayment of commissions, illegal termination and breach of As regards jurisdiction over the parties, the trial court acquired
employment contract. jurisdiction over herein respondent (as party plaintiff) upon the filing of
the complaint. On the other hand, jurisdiction over the person of
On 8 January 1999, respondent, then a resident of La Union, petitioner (as party defendant) was acquired by its voluntary appearance
instituted an action for damages before the Regional Trial Court of in court.
Bauang, La Union. The Complaint named as defendants herein That the subject contract included a stipulation that the same shall
petitioner Raytheon International, Inc. as well as BMSI and RUST, the be governed by the lawsof the State of Connecticut does not suggest
two corporations impleaded in the earlier labor case. that the Philippine courts, or any other foreign tribunal for that matter,
are precluded from hearing the civil action. Jurisdiction and choice of
Petitioner also referred to the NLRC decision which disclosed law are two distinct concepts. Jurisdiction considers whether it is fair to
that per the written agreement between respondent and BMSI and cause a defendant to travel to this state; choice of law asks the further
RUST, denominated as “Special Sales Representative Agreement,” the question whether the application of a substantive law which will
rights and obligations of the parties shall be governed by the laws of the determine the merits of the case is fair to both parties.The choice of law
State of Connecticut. Petitioner sought the dismissal of the complaint on stipulation will become relevant only when the substantive issues of the
grounds of failure to state a cause of action and forum non instant case develop, that is, after hearing on the merits proceeds before
conveniens and prayed for damages by way of compulsory the trial court.
Under the doctrine of forum non conveniens, a court, in conflicts-
Petitioner asserts that the written contract between respondent of-laws cases, may refuse impositions on its jurisdiction where it is not
and BMSI included a valid choice of law clause, that is, that the contract the most “convenient” or available forum and the parties are not
precluded from seeking remedies elsewhere. Petitioner’s averments of
the foreign elements in the instant case are not sufficient to oust the trial
court of its jurisdiction over Civil Case No. No. 1192-BG and the
parties involved.

Moreover, the propriety of dismissing a case based on the

principle of forum non conveniens requires a factual determination;
hence, it is more properly considered as a matter of defense. While it is
within the discretion of the trial court to abstain from assuming
jurisdiction on this ground, it should do so only after vital facts are
established, to determine whether special circumstances require the
court’s desistance.
HSBC VS. SHERMAN preliminary injunction and/or prayer for a restraining order. The IAC
rendered a decision enjoining the RTC Quezon City from taking further
MARCH 28, 2013 ~ VBDIAZ cognizance of the case and to dismiss the same for filing with the proper
HONGKONG AND SHANGHAI BANKING CORPORATION court of Singapore which is the proper forum. MR denied, hence this
(HSBC) vs. SHERMAN et al petition.
G.R. No. 72494
August 11, 1989 ISSUE:
Do Philippine courts have jurisdiction over the suit, vis-a-vis the
FACTS: Guarantee stipulation regarding jurisdiction?
It appears that sometime in 1981, Eastern Book Supply Service PTE,
Ltd. (COMPANY), a company incorporated in Singapore applied with HELD:
and was granted by HSBC Singapore branch an overdraft facility in the YES
maximum amount of Singapore dollars 200,000 with interest at 3% over
HSBC prime rate, payable monthly, on amounts due under said One basic principle underlies all rules of jurisdiction in International
overdraft facility. Law: a State does not have jurisdiction in the absence of some
reasonable basis for exercising it, whether the proceedings are in rem
As a security for the repayment by the COMPANY of sums advanced quasi in rem or in personam. To be reasonable, the jurisdiction must be
by HSBC to it through the aforesaid overdraft facility, in 1982, both based on some minimum contacts that will not offend traditional
private respondents and a certain Lowe, all of whom were directors of notions of fair play and substantial justice
the COMPANY at such time, executed a Joint and Several Guarantee in The defense of private respondents that the complaint should have been
favor of HSBC whereby private respondents and Lowe agreed to pay, filed in Singapore is based merely on technicality. They did not even
jointly and severally, on demand all sums owed by the COMPANY to claim, much less prove, that the filing of the action here will cause them
petitioner BANK under the aforestated overdraft facility. any unnecessary trouble, damage, or expense. On the other hand, there
is no showing that petitioner BANK filed the action here just to harass
The Joint and Several Guarantee provides, inter alia, that: private respondents.
This guarantee and all rights, obligations and liabilities arising
hereunder shall be construed and determined under and may be enforced
in accordance with the laws of the Republic of Singapore. We hereby
agree that the Courts of Singapore shall have jurisdiction over all
disputes arising under this guarantee. …

The COMPANY failed to pay its obligation. Thus, HSBC demanded

payment and inasmuch as the private respondents still failed to pay,
HSBC filed A complaint for collection of a sum of money against
private respondents Sherman and Reloj before RTC of Quezon City.
Private respondents filed an MTD on the ground of lack of jurisdiction
over the subject matter. The trial court denied the motion. They then
filed before the respondent IAC a petition for prohibition with
Adolfo Aznar vs Helen Christensen Garcia

7 SCRA 95 – Civil Law – Application of Laws – Foreign Law –

Nationality Principle – Internal and Conflict Rule
Application of the Renvoi Doctrine

Edward Christensen was born in New York but he migrated to

California where he resided for a period of 9 years. In 1913, he came to
the Philippines where he became a domiciliary until his death. In his
will, he instituted an acknowledged natural daughter, Maria Lucy
Christensen (legitimate), as his only heir, but left a legacy sum of
money in favor of Helen Christensen Garcia (illegitimate). Adolfo
Aznar was the executor of the estate. Counsel for Helen claims that
under Article 16, paragraph 2 of the Civil Code, California law should
be applied; that under California law, the matter is referred back to the
law of the domicile. On the other hand, counsel for Maria, averred that
the national law of the deceased must apply, illegitimate children not
being entitled to anything under California law.

Whether or not the national law of the deceased should be applied in
determining the successional rights of his heirs.

The Supreme Court deciding to grant more successional rights to Helen
said in effect that there are two rules in California on the matter; the
internal law which applies to Californians domiciled in California and
the conflict rule for Californians domiciled outside of California.
Christensen being domiciled in the Philippines, the law of his domicile
must be followed. The case was remanded to the lower court for further
proceedings – the determination of the successional rights under
Philippine law only.
Maria Cristina Bellis vs Edward Bellis

20 SCRA 358 – Civil Law – Application of Laws – Nationality Principle

Succession – Nationality of the Decedent – Legitimes

Amos Bellis was a citizen of the State of Texas, and of the United
States. By his first wife whom he divorced he had five legitimate
children (Edward Bellis et al), by his second wife, who survived him, he
had three legitimate children. He, however, also had three illegitimate
children in the Philippines (Maria Cristina Bellis et al). Before he died,
he made two wills, one disposing of his Texas properties and the other
disposing his Philippine properties. In both wills, his illegitimate
children were not given anything. The illegitimate children opposed the
will on the ground that they have been deprived of their legitimes to
which they should be entitled, if Philippine law were to be applied.

Whether or not the national law of the deceased should determine the
successional rights of the illegitimate children.

No. The Supreme Court held that the said children, maria Kristina et al,
are not entitled to their legitimes under the Texas Law, being the
national law of the deceased, there are no legitimes.
AIB and BRII kept on filing Motion for Extension of Time to file their
answer. The POEA kept on granting such motions.
MARCH 28, 2013 ~ VBDIAZ On November 14, 1984, claimants filed an opposition to the motions for
BIENVENIDO M. CADALIN, ROLANDO M. AMUL, DONATO extension of time and asked that AIBC and BRII declared in default for
B. EVANGELISTA, and the rest of 1,767 NAMED- failure to file their answers.
COMPLAINANTS, thru and by their Attorney-in-fact, Atty. On December 27, 1984, the POEA Administrator issued an order
GERARDO A. DEL MUNDOvs. PHILIPPINE OVERSEAS directing AIBC and BRII to file their answers within ten days from
NLRC, BROWN & ROOT INTERNATIONAL, INC. AND/OR (at madami pang motions ang na-file, new complainants joined the case,
ASIA INTERNATIONAL BUILDERS CORPORATION ang daming inavail na remedies ng both parties)
GRN 104776, December 5,1994. On June 19, 1987, AIBC finally submitted its answer to the complaint.
At the same hearing, the parties were given a period of 15 days from
FACTS: said date within which to submit their respective position papers. On
This is a consolidation of 3 cases of SPECIAL CIVIL ACTIONS in the February 24, 1988, AIBC and BRII submitted position paper. On
Supreme Court for Certiorari. October 27, 1988, AIBC and BRII filed a “Consolidated Reply,” POEA
On June 6, 1984, Cadalin, Amul and Evangelista, in their own behalf Adminitartor rendered his decision which awarded the amount of $824,
and on behalf of 728 other OCWs instituted a class suit by filing an 652.44 in favor of only 324 complainants. Claimants submitted their
“Amended Complaint” with the POEA for money claims arising from “Appeal Memorandum For Partial Appeal” from the decision of the
their recruitment by ASIA INTERNATIONAL BUILDERS POEA. AIBC also filed its MR and/or appeal in addition to the “Notice
CORPORATION (AIBC) and employment by BROWN & ROOT of Appeal” filed earlier.
INTERNATIONAL, INC (BRI) which is a foreign corporation with
headquarters in Houston, Texas, and is engaged in construction; while NLRC promulgated its Resolution, modifying the decision of the
AIBC is a domestic corporation licensed as a service contractor to POEA. The resolution removed some of the benefits awarded in favor
recruit, mobilize and deploy Filipino workers for overseas employment of the claimants. NLRC denied all the MRs. Hence, these petitions filed
on behalf of its foreign principals. by the claimants and by AlBC and BRII.

The amended complaint sought the payment of the unexpired portion of The case rooted from the Labor Law enacted by Bahrain where most of
the employment contracts, which was terminated prematurely, and the complainants were deployed. His Majesty Ise Bin Selman Al Kaifa,
secondarily, the payment of the interest of the earnings of the Travel Amir of Bahrain, issued his Amiri Decree No. 23 on June 16, 1176,
and Reserved Fund; interest on all the unpaid benefits; area wage and otherwise known re the Labour Law for the Private Sector. Some of the
salary differential pay; fringe benefits; reimbursement of SSS and provision of Amiri Decree No. 23 that are relevant to the claims of the
premium not remitted to the SSS; refund of withholding tax not remitted complainants-appellants are as follows:
to the BIR; penalties for committing prohibited practices; as well as the “Art. 79: x x x A worker shall receive payment for each extra hour
suspension of the license of AIBC and the accreditation of BRII equivalent to his wage entitlement increased by a minimum of twenty-
On October 2, 1984, the POEA Administrator denied the “Motion to rive per centurn thereof for hours worked during the day; and by a
Strike Out of the Records” filed by AIBC but required the claimants to minimum off fifty per centurn thereof for hours worked during the night
correct the deficiencies in the complaint pointed out.
which shall be deemed to being from seven o’clock in the evening until 2. WON the Bahrain Law should apply in the case. (Assuming it is
seven o’clock in the morning .” applicable WON complainants’ claim for the benefits provided therein
Art. 80: Friday shall be deemed to be a weekly day of rest on full pay. have prescribed.)
If employee worked, 150% of his normal wage shall be paid to him x x 3. Whether or not the instant cases qualify as; a class suit (siningit ko
x.” nalang)
Art. 81; x x x When conditions of work require the worker to work on (the rest of the issues in the full text of the case refer to Labor Law)
any official holiday, he shall be paid an additional sum equivalent to
150% of his normal wage.” RULING:
Art. 84: Every worker who has completed one year’s continuous service 1. NLRC set aside Section 1, Rule 129 of the 1989 Revised Rules on
with his employer shall be entitled to Laos on full pay for a period of Evidence governing the pleading and proof of a foreign law and
not less than 21 days for each year increased to a period not less than 28 admitted in evidence a simple copy of the Bahrain’s Amiri Decree No.
days after five continuous years of service.” 23 of 1976 (Labour Law for the Private Sector).
NLRC applied the Amiri Deere, No. 23 of 1976, which provides for
A worker shall be entitled to such leave upon a quantum meruit in greater benefits than those stipulated in the overseas-employment
respect of the proportion of his service in that year.” contracts of the claimants. It was of the belief that where the laws of the
Art. 107: A contract of employment made for a period of indefinite host country are more favorable and beneficial to the workers, then the
duration may be terminated by either party thereto after giving the other laws of the host country shall form part of the overseas employment
party prior notice before such termination, in writing, in respect of contract. It approved the observation of the POEA Administrator that in
monthly paid workers and fifteen days’ notice in respect of other labor proceedings, all doubts in the implementation of the provisions of
workers. The party terminating a contract without the required notice the Labor Code and its implementing regulations shall be resolved in
shall pay to the other party compensation equivalent to the amount of favor of labor.
wages payable to the worker for the period of such notice or the
unexpired portion thereof.” The overseas-employment contracts, which were prepared by AIBC and
BRII themselves, provided that the laws of the host country became
Art. Ill: x x x the employer concerned shall pay to such worker, upon applicable to said contracts if they offer terms and conditions more
termination of employment, a leaving indemnity for the period of his favorable than those stipulated therein. However there was a part of the
employment calculated on the basis of fifteen days’ wages for each year employment contract which provides that the compensation of the
of the first three years of service and of one month’s wages for each employee may be “adjusted downward so that the total computation
year of service thereafter. Such worker shall be entitled to payment of plus the non-waivable benefits shall be equivalent to the compensation”
leaving indemnity upon a quantum meruit in proportion to the period of therein agree,’ another part of the same provision categorically states
his service completed within a year.” “that total remuneration and benefits do not fall below that of the host
country regulation and custom.”
1. WON the foreign law should govern or the contract of the Any ambiguity in the overseas-employment contracts should be
parties.(WON the complainants who have worked in Bahrain are interpreted against AIBC and BRII, the parties that drafted it. Article
entitled to the above-mentioned benefits provided by Amiri Decree No. 1377 of the Civil Code of the Philippines provides:
23 of Bahrain). ‘The interpretation of obscure words or stipulations in a contract shall
not favor the party who caused the obscurity.”
Said rule of interpretation is applicable to contracts of adhesion where As a general rule, a foreign procedural law will not be applied in the
there is already a prepared form containing the stipulations of the forum (local court), Procedural matters, such as service of process,
employment contract and the employees merely “take it or leave it.” joinder of actions, period and requisites for appeal, and so forth, are
The presumption is that there was an imposition by one party against governed by the laws of the forum. This is true even if the action is
the other and that the employees signed the contracts out of necessity based upon a foreign substantive law.
that reduced their bargaining power.
A law on prescription of actions is sui generis in Conflict of Laws in the
We read the overseas employment contracts in question as adopting the sense that it may be viewed either as procedural or substantive,
provisions of the Amiri Decree No. 23 of 1976 as part and parcel depending on the characterization given such a law. In Bournias v.
thereof. The parties to a contract may select the law by which it is to be Atlantic Maritime Company (220 F. 2d. 152, 2d Cir. [1955]), where the
governed. In such a case, the foreign law is adopted as a “system” to issue was the applicability of the Panama Labor Code in a case filed in
regulate the relations of the parties, including questions of their capacity the State of New York for claims arising from said Code, the claims
to enter into the contract, the formalities to be observed by them, would have prescribed under the Panamanian Law but not under the
matters of performance, and so forth. Instead of adopting the entire Statute of Limitations of New York. The U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals
mass of the foreign law, the parties may just agree that specific held that the Panamanian Law was procedural as it was not “specifically
provisions of a foreign statute shall be deemed incorporated into their intended to be substantive,” hence, the prescriptive period provided in
contract “as a set of terms.” By such reference to the provisions of the the law of the forum should apply. The Court observed: “. . . we are
foreign law, the contract does not become a foreign contract to be dealing with a statute of limitations of a foreign country, and it is not
governed by the foreign law. The said law does not operate as a statute clear on the face of the statute that its purpose was to limit the
but as a set of contractual terms deemed written in the contract. enforceability, outside as well as within the foreign country concerned,
of the substantive rights to which the statute pertains. We think that as a
A basic policy of contract is to protect the expectation of the parties. yardstick for determining whether that was the purpose, this test is the
Such party expectation is protected by giving effect to the parties’ own most satisfactory one.
choice of the applicable law. The choice of law must, however, bear
some relationship the parties or their transaction. There is no question The Court further noted: “Applying that test here it appears to us that
that the contracts sought to be enforced by claimants have a direct the libellant is entitled to succeed, for the respondents have failed to
connection with the Bahrain law because the services were rendered in satisfy us that the Panamanian period of limitation in question was
that country. specifically aimed against the particular rights which the libellant seeks
to enforce. The Panama Labor Code is a statute having broad
2. NLRC ruled that the prescriptive period for the filing of the claims of objectives.” The American court applied the statute of limitations of
the complainants was 3 years, as provided in Article 291 of the Labor New York, instead of the Panamanian law, after finding that there was
Code of the Philippines, and not ten years as provided in Article 1144 of no showing that the Panamanian law on prescription was intended to be
the Civil Code of the Philippines nor one year as provided in the Amiri substantive. Being considered merely a procedural law even in Panama,
Decree No. 23 of 1976. it has to give way to the law of the forum (local Court) on prescription
Article 156 of the Amiri Decree No. 23 of 1976 provides: of actions.
“A claim arising out of a contract of employment shall not actionable
after the lapse of one year from the date of the expiry of the Contract”. However the characterization of a statute into a procedural or
substantive law becomes irrelevant when the country of the forum (local
Court) has a “borrowing statute.” Said statute has the practical effect of (1) Upon a written contract; (2) Upon an obligation created by law; (3)
treating the foreign statute of limitation as one of substance. A Upon a judgment”
“borrowing statute” directs the state of the forum (local Court) to apply In this case, the claim for pay differentials is primarily anchored on the
the foreign statute of limitations to the pending claims based on a written contracts between the litigants, the ten-year prescriptive period
foreign law. While there are several kinds of “borrowing statutes,” one provided by Art. 1144(l) of the New Civil Code should govern.
form provides that an action barred by the laws of the place where it 3. NO. A class suit is proper where the subject matter of the controversy
accrued will not be enforced in the forum even though the local statute is one of common or general interest to many and the parties are so
was not run against it. numerous that it is impracticable to bring them all before the court.
Section 48 of Code of Civil Procedure is of this kind. It provides: “If by When all the claims are for benefits granted under the Bahrain law
the laws of the state or country where the cause of action arose, the many of the claimants worked outside Bahrain. Some of the claimants
action is barred, it is also barred in the Philippine Islands.” were deployed in Indonesia under different terms and condition of
Section 48 has not been repealed or amended by the Civil Code of the employment.
Philippines. In the light of the 1987 Constitution, however, Section 48 Inasmuch as the First requirement of a class suit is not present (common
cannot be enforced ex proprio vigore insofar as it ordains the or general interest based on the Amiri Decree of the State of Bahrain), it
application in this jurisdiction of Section 156 of the Amiri Decree No. is only logical that only those who worked in Bahrain shall be entitled
23 of 1976. to rile their claims in a class suit.
The courts of the forum (local Court) will not enforce any foreign claim While there are common defendants (AIBC and BRII) and the nature of
obnoxious to the forum’s public policy. To enforce the one-year the claims is the same (for employee’s benefits), there is no common
prescriptive period of the Amiri Decree No. 23 of 1976 as regards the question of law or fact. While some claims are based on the Amiri Law
claims in question would contravene the public policy on the protection of Bahrain, many of the claimants never worked in that country, but
to labor. were deployed elsewhere. Thus, each claimant is interested only in his
In the Declaration of Principles and State Policies, the 1987 own demand and not in the claims of the other employees of defendants.
Constitution emphasized that:“The state shall promote social justice in A claimant has no concern in protecting the interests of the other
all phases of national development” (Sec. 10). claimants as shown by the fact, that hundreds of them have abandoned
‘The state affirms labor as a primary social economic force. It shall their co-claimants and have entered into separate compromise
protect the rights of workers and promote their welfare” (Sec. 18). settlements of their respective claims. The claimants who worked in
In Article XIII on Social Justice and Human Rights, the 1987 Bahrain can not be allowed to sue in a class suit in a judicial
Constitution provides: proceeding.
“Sec. 3. The State shall afford full protection to labor, local and
overseas, organized and unorganized, and promote full employment and WHEREFORE, all the three petitioners are DISMISSED.
equality of employment opportunities for all.”
Thus, the applicable law on prescription is the Philippine law.
The next question is whether the prescriptive period governing the filing
of the claims is 3 years, as provided by the Labor Code or 10 years, as
provided by the Civil Code of the Philippines.
Article 1144 of the Civil Code of the Philippines provides:
“The following actions must be brought within ten years from the time
the right of action accross:
BANK OF AMERICA VS. AMERICAN REALTY deemed chosen upon the filing of the suit for collection or upon the
MARCH 28, 2013 ~ VBDIAZ filing of the complaint in an action for foreclosure of mortgage. As to
extrajudicial foreclosure, such remedy is deemed elected by the
Bank of America vs American Realty Corporation mortgage creditor upon filing of the petition not with any court of
GR 133876 December 29, 1999 justice but with the Office of the Sheriff of the province where the sale
is to be made.
Petitioner granted loans to 3 foreign corporations. As security, the latter In the case at bar, petitioner only has one cause of action which is non-
mortgaged a property located in the Philippines owned by herein payment of the debt. Nevertheless, alternative remedies are available for
respondent ARC. ARC is a third party mortgagor who pledged its own its enjoyment and exercise. Petitioner then may opt to exercise only one
property in favor of the 3 debtor-foreign corporations. of two remedies so as not to violate the rule against splitting a cause of
The debtors failed to pay. Thus, petitioner filed collection suits in action.
foreign courts to enforce the loan. Subsequently, it filed a petition in the
Sheriff to extra-judicially foreclose the said mortgage, which was Accordingly, applying the foregoing rules, we hold that petitioner, by
granted. the expediency of filing four civil suits before foreign courts,
On 12 February 1993, private respondent filed before the Pasig RTC, necessarily abandoned the remedy to foreclose the real estate mortgages
Branch 159, an action for damages against the petitioner, for the latter’s constituted over the properties of third-party mortgagor and herein
act of foreclosing extra-judicially the real estate mortgages despite the private respondent ARC. Moreover, by filing the four civil actions and
pendency of civil suits before foreign courts for the collection of the by eventually foreclosing extra-judicially the mortgages, petitioner in
principal loan. effect transgressed the rules against splitting a cause of action well-
enshrined in jurisprudence and our statute books.
WON petitioner’s act of filing a collection suit against the principal 2. Conflicts of Law
debtors for the recovery of the loan before foreign courts constituted a Incidentally, petitioner alleges that under English Law, which according
waiver of the remedy of foreclosure. to petitioner is the governing law with regard to the principal
agreements, the mortgagee does not lose its security interest by simply
Held: Yes. filing civil actions for sums of money.
1. Loan; Mortgage; remedies:
In the absence of express statutory provisions, a mortgage creditor may We rule in the negative.
institute against the mortgage debtor either a personal action or debt or a
real action to foreclose the mortgage. In other words, he may pursue In a long line of decisions, this Court adopted the well-imbedded
either of the two remedies, but not both. By such election, his cause of principle in our jurisdiction that there is no judicial notice of any foreign
action can by no means be impaired, for each of the two remedies is law. A foreign law must be properly pleaded and proved as a fact. Thus,
complete in itself. if the foreign law involved is not properly pleaded and proved, our
courts will presume that the foreign law is the same as our local or
In our jurisdiction, the remedies available to the mortgage creditor are domestic or internal
deemed alternative and not cumulative. Notably, an election of one law. This is what we refer to as the doctrine of processual presumption.
remedy operates as a waiver of the other. For this purpose, a remedy is
In the instant case, assuming arguendo that the English Law on the
matter were properly pleaded and proved in said foreign law would still
not find applicability.

Thus, when the foreign law, judgment or contract is contrary to a sound

and established public policy of the forum, the said foreign law,
judgment or order shall not be applied.

Additionally, prohibitive laws concerning persons, their acts or

property, and those which have for their object public order, public
policy and good customs shall not be rendered ineffective by laws or
judgments promulgated, or by determinations or conventions agreed
upon in a foreign country.

The public policy sought to be protected in the instant case is the

principle imbedded in our jurisdiction proscribing the splitting up of a
single cause of action.

Moreover, foreign law should not be applied when its application would
work undeniable injustice to the citizens or residents of the forum. To
give justice is the most important function of law; hence, a law, or
judgment or contract that is obviously unjust negates the fundamental
principles of Conflict of Laws.

Clearly then, English Law is not applicable.

HERALD BLACK DACASIN, Petitioner, v. SHARON DEL joint child custody. Thus, the action lies beyond the zone of the Illinois
MUNDO DACASIN, Respondent. G.R. No. 168785 : February 5, court’s so-called “retained jurisdiction.”


Herald, American, and Sharon, Filipino, were married in Manila in
April 1994. They have one daughter, Stephanie, born on September 21,
1995. • In June 1999, Sharon sought and obtained a divorce decree from
the Circuit Court, 19th Judicial Circuit, Lake County, Illinois (Illinois
court). In its ruling, the Illinois court dissolved the marriage of
petitioner and respondent, awarded to respondent sole custody of
Stephanie and retained jurisdiction over the case for enforcement
purposes. • On January 28, 2002, both executed in Manila a contract for
joint custody over Stephanie. • In 2004, Herald filed a case against
Sharon alleging that Sharon had exercised sole custody over Stephanie
contrary to their agreement. o The trial court held that (1) it is precluded
from taking cognizance over the suit considering the Illinois court’s
retention of jurisdiction to enforce its divorce decree, including its order
awarding sole custody of Stephanie to respondent; (2) the divorce
decree is binding on petitioner following the “nationality rule”
prevailing in this jurisdiction; and (3) the Agreement is void for
contravening Article 2035, paragraph 5 of the Civil Code prohibiting
compromise agreements on jurisdiction and dismissed the case.

WON the trial court has jurisdiction to take cognizance of petitioner’s
suit and enforce the Agreement on the joint custody of the parties child

Held/ Rationale:
The trial court’s refusal to entertain petitioner’s suit was grounded not
on its lack of power to do so but on its thinking that the Illinois court’s
divorce decree stripped it of jurisdiction. This conclusion is unfounded.
What the Illinois court retained was “jurisdiction x x x for the purpose
of enforcing all and sundry the various provisions of [its] Judgment for
Dissolution.” Petitioner’s suit seeks the enforcement not of the “various
provisions” of the divorce decree but of the post-divorce Agreement on
Zapanta vs. Local Civil Registrar of the City of Davao on the face of the record and capable of being corrected by mere
on 6:00 AM in Case Digests, Civil Law, Remedial Law reference to it, such as misspellings and obvious mistakes.
G.R. No. 55380, Sept. 26, 1994
However, in later cases, the Court has held that it adheres to the
principle that even substantial errors in a civil registry may be corrected
o GENERAL RULE: Rule 108, Rules of Court justifies the correction of and the true facts established provided the parties aggrieved by the error
innocuous or clerical errors apparent on the face of the record and avail themselves of the appropriate adversary proceeding.
capable of being corrected by mere reference to it.
o EXCEPTION: Even substantial errors in a civil registry may be Adversary Proceeding, defined
corrected and the true facts established provided the parties aggrieved
by the error avail themselves of the appropriate adversary proceeding. Black’s Law Dictionary defines “adversary proceeding” as follows:

FACTS: One having opposing parties; contested, as distinguished from an ex

parte application, one of which the party seeking relief has given legal
Petitioner Gliceria Zapanta is the widow of Florencio B. Zapanta. When warning to the other party, and afforded the latter an opportunity to
Florencio died, the local civil registrar of Davao City issued a death contest it...”
certificate. However, she found that the name appearing therein was
“Flaviano Castro Zapanta” albeit the date of death and all other Thus, provided the trial court has conducted proceedings where all
circumstances and information reflected therein clearly and relevant facts have been fully and properly developed, where opposing
conclusively revealed that the person referred to therein was no other counsel has been given opportunity to demolish the opposite party’s
than her late husband, Florencio. Gliceria, therefore, filed a petition for case, and where the evidence has been thoroughly weighed and
correction of entry in the register of death. The trial court dismissed the considered, the suit or proceeding is “appropriate.”
petition on the ground that the correction of the name “Flaviano Castro
Zapanta” to “Florencio B. Zapanta” was not merely clerical but
substantial in nature.

Whether or not the trial court committed reversible error


The Supreme Court held in the affirmative.

The general perception was that the judicial proceeding under Art. 412
of the Civil Code, implemented by Rule 108 of the Rules of Court,
could only justify the correction of innocuous or clerical errors apparent
Wildvalley Shipping Co., Ltd. vs Court of Appeals And in case of unwritten foreign laws, the oral testimony of expert
witnesses is admissible, as are printed and published books of
reports of decisions of the courts of the country concerned if proved
342 SCRA 213 – Conflict of Laws – Private International Law – Proof to be commonly admitted in such courts.
of Foreign Law
Failure to prove the foreign laws gives rise to processual presumption
where the foreign law is deemed to be the same as Philippine laws.
TOPIC: PROOF AND AUTHENTICATION OF FOREIGN LAW Under Philippine laws, PPL nor Captain Colon cannot be held liable for
the negligence of Vasquez. PPL and Colon had shown due diligence in
In the Orinoco River in Venezuela, it is a rule that ships passing through selecting Vasquez to pilot the vessel. Vasquez is competent and was a
it must be piloted by pilots familiar to the river. Hence, in 1988 Captain duly accredited pilot in Venezuela in good standing when he was
Nicandro Colon, master of Philippine Roxas, a ship owned by engaged.
Philippine President Lines, Inc. (PPL), obtained the services of Ezzar
Vasquez, a duly accredited pilot in Venezuela to pilot the ship in the
Orinoco River. Unfortunately, Philippine Roxas ran aground in the
Orinoco River while being piloted by Vasquez. As a result, the stranded
ship blocked other vessels. One such vessel was owned Wildvalley
Shipping Co., Ltd. (WSC). The blockade caused $400k worth of losses
to WSC as its ship was not able to make its delivery. Subsequently,
WSC sued PPL in the RTC of Manila. It averred that PPL is liable for
the losses it incurred under the laws of Venezuela, to wit: Reglamento
General de la Ley de Pilotaje and Reglamento Para la Zona de Pilotaje
No 1 del Orinoco. These two laws provide that the master and owner of
the ship is liable for the negligence of the pilot of the ship. Vasquez was
proven to be negligent when he failed to check on certain vibrations that
the ship was experiencing while traversing the river.
ISSUE: Whether or not Philippine President Lines, Inc. is liable under
the said Venezuelan laws.
HELD: No. The two Venezuelan Laws were not duly proven as fact
before the court. Only mere photocopies of the laws were presented as
evidence. For a copy of a foreign public document to be admissible, the
following requisites are mandatory:
(1) It must be attested by the officer having legal custody of the records
or by his deputy; and
(2) It must be accompanied by a certificate by a secretary of the
embassy or legation, consul general, consul, vice consular or consular
agent or foreign service officer, and with the seal of his office.
February 19, 2003 | Carpio, J. | Petition for Review under Rule 45| Judicial
Notice ISSUE: WoN there are genuine issues of fact that necessitate formal trial—
RULING: Petition DENIED. There being substanstial triable issues, motion
for partial summary judgment is denied.

PETITIONER: Manufacturers Hanover Trust Co., and/or Chemical Bank RATIO:

RESPONDENT: Rafael Ma. Guerrero 1. A genuine issue means an issue of fact which calls for the presentation of
evidence as distinguished from an issue which is fictitious or contrived so
SUMMARY: Respondent Guerrero filed a complaint for damages against as not to constitute a genuine issue for trial. Walden affidavit shows that
petitioner Bank regarding his bank account. The Bank claimed that his account is the facts and material allegations as pleaded by the parties are
governed by New York law which does not permit any claim except actual disputed and there are substantial triable issues necessitating a
damages. The Bank moved for a partial summary judgment which was supported formal trial. Resolution of whether a foreign law allows only the
by an affidavit by a NY Atty. claiming that the governing law is New York law recovery of actual damages is a question of fact as far as the trial court is
as stipulated by Guerrero’s bank account. SC ruled that there is a need for a trial concerned since foreign laws do not prove themselves in our courts.
as the Walden affidavit shows that the facts and allegations were disputed.
Foreign laws are not a matter of judicial notice and must be alleged and proven. Foreign laws are not a matter of judicial notice. Like any other fact,
they must be alleged and proven. The conflicting allegations as to
DOCTRINE: whether New York law or Philippine law applies to Guerreros claims
present a clear dispute on material allegations which can be resolved only
FACTS: by a trial on the merits. The Walden affidavit cannot be considered as
1. Respondent Guerrero filed a complaint for damages against petitioner proof of New York law on damages not only because it is self-serving but
Bank for allegedly: (a) illegally withheld taxes charged against interests also because it does not state the specific New York law on damages.
on his checking account with the Bank; (b) a returned check worth
USS18,000.99 due to signature verification problems; and (c) Guerrero cannot be said to have admitted the averments in the Banks
unauthorized conversion of his account. motion for partial summary judgment and the Walden affidavit just
2. The Bank claimed that by stipulation Guerrero’s account is governed by because he failed to file an opposing affidavit. The Bank still had the
New York and this law does not permit any claim except actual damages. burden of proving New York law and jurisprudence even if Guerrero did
The Bank filed a Motion for Partial Summary Judgment seeking to not present an opposing affidavit.
dismiss the claims for consequential, nominal, temperate, moral and
exemplary damages. 1
SEC. 24. Proof of official record. The record of public documents referred to
in paragraph (a) of Section 19, when admissible for any purpose, may be
3. The affidavit of Alyssa Walden, a New York attorney, supported the
evidenced by an official publication thereof or by a copy attested by the officer
Bank’s claim that Guerrero’s bank account stipulated that the governing
having the legal custody of the record, or by his deputy, and accompanied, if
law is New York law and that this law bars all of the claims except actual
the record is not kept in the Philippines, with a certificate that such officer has
damages. The Philippine Consular Office in NY authenticated the Walden
the custody. If the office in which the record is kept is in a foreign country, the
certificate may be made by a secretary of the embassy or legation, consul
4. CA: Even if the Walden affidavit is used for purpose of summary
general, consul, vice consul, or consular agent or by any officer in the foreign
judgment, the Bank must still comply with the procedure prescribed by
service of the Philippines stationed in the foreign country in which the record is
kept, and authenticated by the seal of his office.
HELD: No. The specific Saudi labor laws were not proven in court.
EDI did not present proof as to the existence and the specific provisions
of such foreign law. Hence, processual presumption applies and
EDI-Staffbuilders International, Inc. vs National Labor Relations Philippine labor laws shall be used. Under our laws, an employee like
Commission Gran shall only be terminated upon just cause. The allegations against
him, at worst, shall only merit a suspension not a dismissal. His
537 SCRA 409 – Conflict of Laws – Private International Law – Proof incompetence is not proven because prior to being sent to Saudi Arabia,
of Foreign Law he underwent the required trade test to prove his competence. The
presumption therefore is that he is competent and that it is upon OAB
TOPIC: PROOF AND AUTHENTICATION OF FOREIGN LAW and EDI to prove otherwise. No proof of his incompetence was ever
adduced in court. His alleged insubordination is likewise not proven. It
In 1993, EDI-Staffbuilders, Inc. (EDI), upon request of Omar Ahmed was not proven that the submission of daily track records is part of his
Ali Bin Bechr Est. (OAB), a company in Saudi Arabia, sent to OAB job as a computer specialist. There was also a lack of due process.
resumes from which OAB can choose a computer specialist. Eleazar Under our laws, Gran is entitled to the two notice rule whereby prior to
Gran was selected. It was agreed that his monthly salary shall be termination he should receive two notices. In the case at bar, he only
$850.00. But five months into his service in Saudi Arabia, Gran received one and he was immediately terminated on the same day he
received a termination letter and right there and then was removed from received the notice.
his post. The termination letter states that he was incompetent because
he does not know the ACAD system which is required in his line of Lastly, the quitclaim may not also release OAB from liability.
work; that he failed to enrich his knowledge during his 5 month stay to Philippine laws is again applied here sans proof of Saudi laws. Under
prove his competence; that he is disobedient because he failed to submit Philippine Laws, a quitclaim is generally frowned upon and are strictly
the required daily reports to OAB. Gran then signed a quitclaim examined. In this case, based on the circumstances, Gran at that time
whereby he declared that he is releasing OAB from any liability in has no option but to sign the quitclaim. The quitclaim is also void
exchange of 2,948.00 Riyal. because his separation pay was merely 2,948 Riyal which is lower than
the $850.00 monthly salary (3,190 Riyal).
When Gran returned, he filed a labor case for illegal dismissal against
EDI and OAB. EDI in its defense averred that the dismissal is valid
because when Gran and OAB signed the employment contract, both
parties agreed that Saudi labor laws shall govern all matters relating to
the termination of Gran’s employment; that under Saudi labor laws,
Gran’s termination due to incompetence and insubordination is valid;
that Gran’s insubordination and incompetence is outlined in the
termination letter Gran received. The labor arbiter dismissed the labor
case but on appeal, the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC)
reversed the decision of the arbiter. The Court of Appeals likewise
affirmed the NLRC.

ISSUE: Whether or not the Saudi labor laws should be applied.

Norse Management Co. vs National Seamen Board employment, the law of the country in which the vessel is registered
shall be considered. In Section 5(B) of the Employment Agreement
TOPIC: PROOF AND AUTHENTICATION OF FOREIGN LAW between petitioner and respondent’s husband states that In the event of
illness or injury to Employee arising out of and in the course of his
NORSE MANAGEMENT CO. (PTE) and PACIFIC SEAMEN employment and not due to his own willful misconduct, EMPLOYER
SERVICES, INC., petitioners, will provide employee with free medical attention. If such illness or
vs. injury incapacitates the EMPLOYEE to the extent the EMPLOYEE's
NATIONAL SEAMEN BOARD, HON. CRESCENCIO M. services must be terminated as determined by a qualified physician
SIDDAYAO, OSCAR M. TORRES, REBENE C. CARRERA and designated by the EMPLOYER and provided such illness or injury was
RESTITUTA C. ABORDO, respondents. not due in part or whole to his willful act, neglect or misconduct
compensation shall be paid to employee in accordance with and subject
Facts: to the limitations of the Workmen's Compensation Act of the Republic
of the Philippines or the Workmen's Insurance Law of registry of the
Napoleon B. Abordo, the deceased husband of private respondent vessel whichever is greater. Finally, Article IV of the Labor Code
Restituta C. Abordo, was the Second Engineer of M.T. "Cherry Earl" provides that "all doubts in the implementation and interpretation of the
when he died from an apoplectic stroke in the course of his employment provisions of this code, including its implementing rules and resolved in
with petitioner NORSE MANAGEMENT COMPANY (PTE). The favor of labor.
M.T. "Cherry Earl" is a vessel of Singaporean Registry. In her
complaint for compensation benefits filed before the National Seamen
Board, private respondent alleged that the amount of compensation due
her from petitioners should be based on the law where the vessel is
registered. Petitioners contend that the law of Singapore should not be
applied in this case because the National Seamen Board cannot take
judicial notice of the Workmen's Insurance Law of Singapore instead
must be based on Board’s Memeorandum Circular No. 25. Ministry of
Labor and Employment ordered the petitioner to pay jointly and
severally the private respondent. Petitioner appealed to the Ministry of
Labor but same decision. Hence, this petition.


Whether or not the law of Singapore ought to be applied in this case.


The SC denied the petition. It has always been the policy of this Board,
as enunciated in a long line of cases, that in cases of valid claims for
benefits on account of injury or death while in the course of
Antonio Bengson III vs The House of Representatives Electoral HELD:
Yes. Bengson’s contention that Cruz is no longer a natural-born citizen
TOPIC: CITIZENSHIP AND THE MODES OF ACQUISITION since he had to perform an act to regain his citizenship is untenable. As
correctly explained by the HRET in its decision, the term “natural-born
357 SCRA 545 – Political Law – The Legislative – “Natural Born” citizen” was first defined in Article III, Section 4 of the 1973
Requirement – Requirements to be a Congressman Constitution as follows:

FACTS: Sec. 4. A natural-born citizen is one who is a citizen of the Philippines

from birth without having to perform any act to acquire or perfect his
Antonio Bengson and Teodoro Cruz were rivals in the 1998 elections in Philippine citizenship.
the 2ndDistrict of Pangasinan. They were running for Congress. Cruz
won by a significant margin over the incumbent Bengson. Bengson then In Cruz’s case, he lost his Filipino citizenship when he rendered service
filed a quo warranto proceeding in the HRET (House of in the Armed Forces of the United States. However, he subsequently
Representatives Electoral Tribunal) alleging that Cruz is not a natural reacquired Philippine citizenship under R.A. No. 2630. Under said law,
born citizen, as defined by law; hence he should be disqualified from repatriation results in the recovery of the original nationality. This
holding office. The HRET subsequently declared and affirmed Cruz as means that a natural-born Filipino who lost his citizenship will be
the winner. Bengson filed a motion for reconsideration alleging that restored to his prior status as a natural-born Filipino citizen.
Cruz was indeed born a Filipino and he is defined under the 1935
Constitution as a natural born citizen. Cruz however lost his citizenship
when he enlisted in the US Army in 1985. He also swore allegiance to
the US without consent from the Philippines. Cruz, on the other hand,
argued that he regained his Filipino Citizenship by virtue of Republic
Act No. 2630 which provides that:

Any person who had lost his Philippine citizenship by rendering service
to, or accepting commission in, the Armed Forces of the United States,
or after separation from the Armed Forces of the United States,
acquired United States citizenship, may reacquire Philippine citizenship
by taking an oath of allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines…

Bengson insists that Article IV, Section 2 of the Constitution expressly

states that natural-born citizens are those who are citizens from birth
without having to perform any act to acquire or perfect such citizenship.

ISSUE: Whether or not Cruz is a natural-born citizen.

MARY GRACE NATIVIDAD S. POE- to the U.S. after their wedding. She gave birth to her eldest child while
LLAMANZARES, Petitioners, in the U.S.; and her two daughters in the Philippines.
COMELEC AND ESTRELLA C. ELAMPARO, Respondents. She became a naturalized American citizen in 2001. She came back to
the Philippines to support her father’s candidacy for president in the
G.R. No. 221697 March 8, 2016 May 2004 elections and gave birth to her youngest daughter. They then
returned to the U.S. in 2004 but after few months, she rushed back to
TOPIC: CITIZENSHIP AND THE MODES OF ACQUISITION the Philippines to attend to her ailing father. After her father’s death, the
petitioner and her husband decided to move and reside permanently in
Facts: the Philippines in 2005 and immediately secured a TIN, then her
children followed suit; acquired property where she and her children
Petitioner Mary Grace Natividad S. Poe-Llamanzares was found resided.
abandoned as a newborn infant in the Parish Church of Jaro, Iloilo on
Sept. 3, 1968. After passing the parental care and custody over In 2006, She took her Oath of Allegiance to the Republic of the
petitioner by Edgardo Militar to Emiliano Militar and his wife, she has Philippines pursuant to RA No. 9225 or the Citizenship retention and
been reported and registered as a foundling and issued a Foundling Re-acquisition Act of 2003; she filed a sworn petition to reacquire
Certificate and Certificate of Live Birth, thus was given the name, Mary Philippine citizenship together with petitions for derivative citizenship
Grace Natividad Contreras Militar. on behalf of her three children which was granted. She registered as a
voter; secured Philippine passport; appointed and took her oath as
When the petitioner reached the age of five (5), celebrity spouses Ronal Chairperson of the MTRCB after executing an affidavit of Renunciation
Allan Kelley (aka Fernando Poe, Jr) and Jesusa Sonora Poe (aka Susan of American citizenship before the Vice Consul of the USA and was
Roces) filed a petition foe her adoption. The trial court granted their issued a Certificate of Loss of Nationality of the USA in 2011.
petition and ordered that her name be changed to Mary Grace Natividad
Sonora Poe. In 2012, she filed with the COMELEC her Certificate of Candidacy
(COC) for Senator for the 2013 Elections wherein she answered “6
Petitioner registered as a voter in San Juan City at the age of 18 in 1986; years and 6 months” to the question “Period of residence in the
in 1988, she applied and was issued Philippine Passport by the DFA; in Philippines before May 13, 2013.” Petitioner obtained the highest
1993 and 1998, she renewed her passport. number of votes and was proclaimed Senator on 16 May 2013.

She left for the United States (U.S.) in 1988 to continue her studies after On 15 October 2015, petitioner filed her COC for the Presidency for the
enrolling and pursuing a degree in Development Studies at the May 2016 Elections. In her COC, the petitioner declared that she is a
University of the Philippines. She graduated in 1991 from Boston natural-born citizen and that her residence in the Philippines up to the
College where she earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Political day before 9 May 2016 would be ten (10) years and eleven (11) months
Studies. counted from 24 May 2005. The petitioner attached to her COC an
“Affidavit Affirming Renunciation of U.S.A. Citizenship” subscribed
She married Teodoro Misael Daniel V. Llamanzares, a citizen of both and sworn to before a notary public in Quezon City on 14 October
the Philippines and the U.S., in San Juan City and decided to flew back 2015.
Petitions were filed before the COMELEC to deny or cancel her Source:
candidacy on the ground particularly, among others, that she cannot be
considered a natural-born Filipino citizen since she cannot prove that Poe-Llamanzares v COMELEC, G.R. No. 221697, G.R. No. 221698-
her biological parents or either of them were Filipinos. The COMELEC 700, March 8, 2016. Retrieved
en banc cancelled her candidacy on the ground that she was in want of from:
citizenship and residence requirements, and that she committed material .html.
misrepresentations in her COC.
Note: Special case assigned to the class related to Article 49 of the Civil
On certiorari, the Supreme Court reversed the ruling and held (9-6 Code.
votes) that Poe is qualified as a candidate for Presidency. Three
justices, however, abstained to vote on the natural-born citizenship


Whether or not Mary Grace Natividad S. Poe-Llamanzares is a natural-

born Filipino citizen.


Yes. Mary Grace Natividad S. Poe-Llamanzares may be considered a

natural-born Filipino.

It ruled that a foundling is a natural-born citizen of the Philippines as

there is no restrictive language which would definitely exclude
foundlings as they are already impliedly so recognized.

There are also no provisions in the Constitution with intent or language

permitting discrimination against foundlings as the three Constitutions
guarantee the basic right to equal protection of the laws.

Foundlings are citizens under international law as this is supported by

some treaties, adhering to the customary rule to presume foundlings as
having born of the country in which the foundling is found.